Saturday, December 31, 2011

what's in a picture?

Used to be I could up load photos from my computer onto my blogs, but I have been having issues with that. Between Ron and I, we tried a number of things to help solve the issues, and perhaps we have, today. An annoying (to me) solution, but a solution none-the-less.

So here is a post in Createlivity blogger style, with photos.

And here is a photo of the pattern Roxanne and I are using to make pajamas for her great nephews and her grandson. We were making the footy part on Friday, and once we got the hang of them, we thought, HEY! We could totally make slippers like this, more or less. Christmas inspiration for next year. Plus, the two piece footy pajamas are not difficult to make. We may go crazy with those, too...
Are you kidding? Footy pajamas? AWESOME!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I have all kinds of intent to do crafty makey things this upcoming year. Yes I do.

So, what will I make? For one thing (two, actually, since Roxanne gets one too) I want Roxanne and I to finish the quilts we have been making squares for all this past year. I think they are going to be AWESOME! and if you see them and don't think so... well, I really don't want to know. They are going to be AWEsome!

Other than that though? Well, that's where inspiration comes in. And where do we find inspiration? Well, it can be found almost everywhere, really, but certainly, I think art inspires art. I don't mean copying what someone else has done. I mean looking at a vision someone else has had and then incorporating that thought into your own schema. Working it through your own vision, and becoming inspired. Looking at things from someone else's point of view can give you "new eyes" for a moment, and what is inspiration but looking at things in a new way?

Another source of inspiration is nature. I get enthralled by the organic movement of bare tree branches building the shapes of trees. Particularly when there are two or three trees growing closely together, making one canopy. I also find myself fascinated by leave lately. Again, I think it has to do with the movement and organic curves of them.

So, on my to-do list for this year is to visit places and look for inspiration. To look for forms that speak to me, and to observe how other artists and craftists create with those forms (and other forms), and to learn from them. To be inspired.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

of sewing machines and christmas cards

There is something - a couple of things actually - that I can say about doing as much sewing as I have been in the past couple of years. One: my skills are improving. Not l33t yet, but improving. Two: the sewing machine does not intimidate me. So yesterday, when it started skipping stitches, I thought, hmm... probably needs to be oiled. Knowing that it was a sign to quit for the day, I did. Today, however, in good light and spirits, I pulled out the manual, and looked up what to do. I opened the area where the bobbin goes, and then took out the bobbin case and CLEANED. Whew, it needed it! I should do it more often, probably, but I'm not a fixer of what ain't broken. So, I cleaned the area, oiled as pictured, reassembled it, and it worked like it should.

Then, this afternoon, I took Raine and her friend, Ezekiel to the pool. For the whole session. 1-4:30, they swam. It kept them busy, exercised and entertained all afternoon. Score! Have I mentioned how much Raine loves that indoor pool?

While the kids swam, I worked on my Christmas cards. Yeah, I know. Late. Still, I thought, I'll make them Happy New Year cards, and Thanks for the wonderful gifts cards. So I did. And addressed them, and it took an hour. An hour. All that procrastination for a "chore" that took an hour? I'm let down. What was I thinking? I was thinking it would take waaay longer than that. Now, I feel like a dork. A dork with all her Christmas cards done. Finally.

Now, about those presents...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

lotsa not much

Isn't that what vacations - at least some of them - should be about? Well, it's working around here. We've watched movies, like Megamind, and Elf, and Coraline. I've been working on my mug rugs. Snowflakey ones. They're coming out pretty good, actually. Yay.

Tomorrow will be a kiddo day. I'll take Raine & Ezekiel to the indoor pool for a swim. I'll probably work on Christmas cards. Yeah. They're a little late. Oh, well. And knitting. And reading my new Kindle Fire. It has color...oooooo....

So, yeah, pretty boring.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

merry christmas eve

The morning started off with more snow, but by 10 it was starting to warm up, melt and clear. By noon, when Raine and I left the house, many of the streets were dry. We ended up in Walmart, looking for sweet potatoes and stocking stuffers.

They were out of sweet potatoes. We managed to find stocking stuffers for Ron & I (OK, and a few more for Raine, but she was officially shopped for already). What exciting things did we get for our stockings? Well, new undies, and a long sleeved t-shirt for Ron. Oh yeah, and a wolf calendar for next year as well. I got a new pair of sweatpants since most of mine went away last summer (and they needed to go, too...)

I made green chile stew for dinner, which was yummy.

We opened presents, since Ron is working tomorrow and will be up and gone before Raine or I are even stirring. I got some good ones, mostly thanks to Ron's folks (yay) and my Aunt Tola (yay). It isn't a huge Christmas this year, by presents, but relationship wise, it seems an important mark. One that we weren't necessarily going to celebrate together, but that is even a better celebration since we are, and THAT is the big present.

Oh, yeah. And I did laundry.

Friday, December 23, 2011

white christmas

We got snow here today. A good amount of it. A couple of inches at least (hey, that's a lot around here). The snow fell throughout the day, sometimes light, small flakes, at other times they were fat and fluffy. It was warm, though, so the roads melted nicely. To freeze not-so-nicely tonight. So even though it is a couple of days before Christmas, and the actual snow - unless a bunch falls again tonight - will be gone on Christmas day, I'm counting it as a white Christmas.

Even more amazing is the fact that it is our second snow-fall of the season, already.

Can you see the snow falling? This was about 7:30 this morning.

How about in this one? It was coming down pretty hard when I took this one about 11 or so.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

are you ready

for Christmas? I'm not. Don't get me wrong here, it is hard to hear the light-hearted lilt to it in writing. I'm not all done with the season. I've finally caught the spirit, and I'm not ready to let it go. And I won't have to for a bit, because I'm not done with everything, and it isn't all ready for Santa, or anyone else.

It's nice not to be stressing over it, though. I'm enjoying making the stuff. I just need to learn to start earlier. I think I finally internalized that I will enjoy it when ever I start the process. And I really do like to make things for Christmas. The hard part is - usually - deciding WHAT to make. Sometimes, that is what takes the most time.

So, the count so far is two scarves, and a third underway, one more in the wings. Two sets of mug rugs finished, with three sets of snowflakes 3/4 pieced, and another two sets 1/4 pieced. Some bias tape ready to be ironed, and some more to make for some of the snowflake mug rugs. Have I gone overboard? Definitely. And I'm enjoying the heck out of it. When I'm not working on them, my fingers are itching to get back to them.

So, I'm sorry if your gifts are a little late. Just know they were made with love, and joy. They were ready for Christmas, even if they weren't ready, for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

early gifty

Today Ron and I got a wonderful treat for lunch. We went to Japanese Kitchen and sat at the sushi bar and feasted on sushi. Which we watched being made. Cool. And Delicious! Yum. Sushi is one of those things (for me) that I want to eat about 3 times as much as I comfortably can. It just tastes so darned yummy. Especially when you have someone making it who knows what the heck they are doing. We got the Las Vegas roll, and a spicy tuna roll. mmmm

Then, we went to Lowe's and got hardware for my closet. It has been kinda thrown together since we did the remodel (and the closet was created). because that was what we could do at the time. But the rods were just not heavy weight enough. Then, Ron spent the evening putting it together for me. OK, it isn't finished yet, but woot! It will be spiffy! Not only that, but it will provide the kick in the butt I need to go through all that stuff that was stored in there and decide what needs to be kept, and what doesn't. What needs to go back into that closet, and what doesn't. And I'm not just talking about the clothes. You know I'm not...

Anyway. It's been a good day.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

wet winter

I was sitting here listening to the sounds of falling rain just now. It seems to have tapered off a bit, but I hope it will be back again. There's even been some thunder and lightening. Not a big monsoon type storm, but still. Without an attic or anything, we hear the rain on the roof, and it can be such a soothing sound. Great to sleep through.

We've had a couple of cloudy days. The kind that look colder than they really are. They've been nice, for the change they are. This is shaping up to be a kind of strange winter. We move from summer through a very quick fall right into winter. And not a warmish, dry winter, either. Rather wet, and cold.

Still, it is the season for that now. Solstice nearly here. Holidays, and celebrations, worries, and good news. Breathe in the good. Breathe out the bad. I've hardly gotten used to writing 2011 on everything, and soon it will be time to write 2012. May it be a good year. May it be a better year.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

wedding count-down

NOT my wedding. My cousin, Roxanne, who I usually sew with. She and her husband got married with a justice of the peace. Now it is time for the church. We didn't make her dress. She found a fabulous dress online and it was on sale, and beautiful, and thank goodness. We are tweaking it a bit, of course we are. But, not much.

We made Raine's outfit - she'll either be ring bearer or flower child. She and Roxanne's grandson will have to work that out. Who knows, maybe they will trade off. We made a white shirt for Carl, who will be a groomsman. We made the brides maid outfits as well. We finished the blouses for those today.

I'm really happy for my cousin to be able to have the wedding that she wants. I'm happy to help her out, and help her stay sane through the stress and all.

Know what? I'll be even happier when it is all said and done, and I can spend a morning (or afternoon) or two on the crafts I've got sitting around, beckoning me.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


So, half my students who are testing, are all tested and done. I have a little grading to do for them, but only related to the final. Tomorrow, first thing, the rest will get their tests done, and by tomorrow afternoon, I should have the grades all turned in, and be checked out for the semester. So, tell me, if you are checked out (as in done for the semester), does it make sense to have to return the next day? No? Doesn't make sense to me either, but I bet we have to do it... Sigh.

In other good news, I got the second scarf finished! Yay! That sucker's big! I like it! I have the third scarf cast on and  almost 20 rows in. This is one isn't as wide, and won't be as long, and will go much quicker.

Know what I REALLY want to work on, though? The wonky snowflake mug rugs that I started the other day. I really want to see how they turn out!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

not quite ready

For Christmas. The tree is up and decorated. Thanks to Ron's folks, there are even gifts underneath... and a cat (just our regular cat though, not one from Ron's folks...).

But the rest? The cards are still in their box. I've been working on gifts, but not many are finished. They'll probably arrive late, in fact. Sorry, everyone. It is one of those years, for me, at least. One of those I'm just not going to get everything done on time, am I years.

Ah, well. It will get done. Not sure many will care if their gift is late. I must admit to a happiness in making them, so there's that. I know I should start earlier, but the ideas don't come earlier. I have to take them when they arrive, and go from there.

I've pulled out the Christmas music, and even looked up some old favorites on YouTube. School is done for the semester this week, and finals are tomorrow and the next day. Looking forward to the time off (so I can get things done!). Maybe, just maybe, even get some cookies made.

Monday, December 12, 2011

short update

Saw the doctor today, in a non-emergency fashion. I'm scheduled to go in tomorrow at 9 AM for ultrasound of abdomen for gall bladder and liver. Trying to figure out what was going on, still. Feeling fine today. Planning to head for work after the ultrasound. Then, back to the doctor for results next week.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

scared a little

Today was not my best day ever doing the things I love - like getting to sew, which was my plan.

 I spent most of the afternoon in the emergency room, with chest pain. It wasn't a severe pain, and it didn't travel, but I did get some nausea and a little dizzyness. The tests came out fine, with no indication of a heart attack. The pain went away finally, and they let me come home. I'm glad because I didn't want to stay there. I didn't want to BE there at all.

My mom died of a heart attack because she wouldn't go get checked, even though she was feeling bad. I couldn't do that to my family.

Even so, I had to think about the decision to go. Was what I was feeling really something to worry about? (I called my cousin the nurse for a second opinion) I know that if I feel like there is something serious going on, I can panic and ramp it up, and then it gets worse. Its a hard line for me to toe, and I tend towards determinedly ignoring.

Then, of course, the emergency room isn't free. Our insurance gives us a $100 co-pay, which isn't all that bad in the scheme of things, but when the budget is tight - and ours is - it can be an issue. But I went. And we paid. And tomorrow, I'll go see my regular Dr. and try to find what was really going on.

Friday, December 9, 2011

weekend to-do list

There are a few things on my list this weekend besides the normal chores and sewing with Roxanne. For one thing, it is almost the end of the semester. Next week is finals. That means, yep you guessed it, grading. Grading, grading, grading. Actually, I've had bigger piles of papers in past years, so I feel I will actually get through it all. Yay!

I love clean sheets on the bed, but with Ron sleeping in the daytime, to work nights, coordinating changing them for laundry day can be a challenge. To take care of that challenge, I changed them tonight. One thing crossed off the list!

Tomorrow, Carl is coming over. While the laundry is running, he and I will go through the kitchen and pack his stuff for him to take to Roxanne's. Of course he has kitchen stuff. He's the cooking brother, after all. So, yeah, the GOOD pots and pans are his, and I will miss them. I'll be looking for some, though, not immediately, but soon. I have to say that having the thick bottom to keep the heat even is noticeably effective.

On the present-making front, I am close to the end of a second scarf, and oh so ready to be done with it. I will say that it is comfy enough for winter, though. I hope the recipient will enjoy it! Maybe - just maybe - I'll get a little extra sewing time in, too. Get those crafty gifts ready to give!

How is your weekend shaping up? Are YOU ready for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

something about peppermint

I have a thing for peppermint. It freshens my attitude, comforts me, soothes me. Don't even think about spearmint though, yuck! This time of year, I keep an eye out for the peppermint chapstick, so I have a couple extra tubes around to use all through the year. I'll even enjoy chocolate mint. In very small amounts - but that is because of the sugar, not the mint!

My favorite, go-to tea is peppermint. I ran out. I've been making do with the fruity teas that I used to drink all the time, but now they are just making do. I look longingly at the Earl Grey, but I don't want to mess up falling asleep with the caffeine. I tell myself, they need to get used up, too, and they do. Still, I'm looking forward to picking up another box of my favorite, peppermint tea, when I get to the store. Sigh.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

crafty snow day

My fabric stash and I took full advantage of the snow day we got today. I ironed and cut a variety of pieces and tried some new (to me) piecing techniques for some Christmas giftiness. I even made some bias tape for the first time ever! I certainly enjoyed my crafting today.

We did some Christmas season stuff, like watching Polar Express, too. Raine's friend was here a good bit of the time, and he and Raine played and watched Nine and even did a great job of letting Ron sleep.

It made for a mostly lovely day (until it came time to do homework, sigh).

Monday, December 5, 2011

no day like a snow day

During third period, early this afternoon, Ron sent me a photo of our back yard. Covered in snow. The weatherpeople had predicted snow for today, and what do you know... they were right! Of course, it came from the north, and hit home long before it reached my workplace. Still, on the way home, the closer I got, the snowier it got.

Best part of all? SNOW DAY! It doesn't take in my neck of the woods to make a snow day, and pretty much we got that requirement. My plan for tomorrow? I'm hoping to get some gifts sewn up, now that I've gotten some ideas...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

moving day again

Last Sunday, I spent the day helping Carl move to Roxanne & Harold's. Today Ron, Raine & I got his apartment emptied out, and everything back in our house. The computer room is set up, more or less. So is the library/spare bedroom. I even got laundry done. Well almost done, there is still a load to fold and put away. Right now, I'm tired, cranky and achy. Ready for a hot shower to work on the achy and cranky and some sleep. SLEEP.

The week moved by so fast. I thought I had been blogging along more or less until yesterday I looked and the last post was Monday. Sigh. Where did the week go? Must be close to the end of the semester...