Sunday, November 30, 2014

pom love

So yesterday I bought this pom pom maker and I'm ridiculously glad I did.  I've always made them using a piece of cardboard and wrap the yarn around, then shimmy if off and tie yarn to hold it all together.  Or wrapped yarn around my fingers for the same effect.  So, really, I didn't neeeeed a pom pom maker.  This is nice because there are sizes to choose from.  There was also a set of smaller poms which I think I'll go back and get.  The smaller ones will be perfect for knitted bunny tails :)

Here is my first pom.  Getting just this one picture this morning was kind of a task because George feels like she has to be in the middle of everything!  This is a thin yarn, I just grabbed what was close to try it out.  I can imagine how poufy the poms will be with thicker yarn!  Love.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Christmas decorations

I started putting up Christmas decorations.  I felt like I just had to even though I'm feeling crummy.  But, here's the thing - I needed to vacuum so I thought I should dust first, which meant I was moving things around anyway, so why not just trade things out?  Right.  

This is the little table right by the front door that I set my keys on.  Jan gave me that linen table top thing with the elves dancing, it had been in her Grandma's Christmas things and she had thought I might like it.  She was right!  
I have been collecting nutcrackers for many years.  I put a few on this little table, a couple in the kitchen and the rest are around the tv.

I love my light up Christmas village!  Last year I left it up so long!  I forgot the snow last year though I think.  Eh.  Usually those pictures are on top of the bookcase, but while I was dusting I was setting them one by one on the top shelf there and I kind of like how it looks.  

Here are the rest of the nutcrackers.  Not a very cute or exciting picture - such is life right?  I kid.  So, I bought the little owl wax warmer this morning at Joann's and I am digging it.  So, Scentsy is a big thing right now and it's one of those companies you order from someone you know type thing.  The scented wax isn't too pricey but the warmers are spendy!  So, Joann's had 70% warmers today which made this bird like less than $7.  And, Glade and all kinds of brands are making the scented wax squares now so, score!
And here's Miss George, napping as usual.  The corner behind this chair is where I might put a Christmas tree.  I am thinking a small one?  I would put that end table in the corner so Joey can't stand on it.  He likes to stand on that table which is why there isn't anything on it except the computer wifi thing.

I'm going to warn you all now that December is coming and December is a verrrry hard month for me.  As is April.  But, just so you know I may be sad, sparse or who even knows this month.  Last year were all the firsts without him and this year I just don't know how it will be.  I'm already feeling a heaviness, a deep sadness that life has gone on without him.  I'm just addressing this now because I've noticed from my blog reader thing that maybe people are actually reading my blog (besides my Mom!) and may not know me - but this is my life, I am a widow and it's been 20 months.  It's not like I share everything here but it is my space to be me and get out what I need to.  I'm sure it won't be all sad because I still have to keep going, keep knitting, keep sewing, keep my head up.

Monday, November 24, 2014

weekend finishes

I know I sound like a broken record but this was a loooooong hard week!  I worked this Saturday morning so it felt extra long.  We're still shorthanded so work feels like it's swallowing me up.  But.  I know this is temporary, this stressful overwhelming time.  So this weekend I felt like I needed to really get some stuff done that I've been wanting to and make the most of my time.  Saturday Jan and I did our nails and then it snowed!  
 I found a new show that I've been watching.  I hadn't heard of it before - it's Call the Midwife.  It's a BBC show (surprise, surprise!) and has sucked me in!  So, the library had season 2 and I borrowed it and have been watching and knitting.  I finished up the hat that I was working on.
It turned out really well I think.  Here it is on a jar so it looks super long.  I just love the little texture pattern.  The top picture is the decreases on the crown which I think looks kind of fun.  And then me, modeling it.....first thing in the morning bahaha.

Sunday being my "real" day off this week I just relaxed in the morning, then decided I neeeeeeeeded to be sewing!  I had bought some new Christmas fabric last weekend and I dove right in and made up these holiday zipper bags.  The gnome one is not out of the fabric that I bought but I felt it was sort of holidayish?  idk but I do know that I love it!  

I also played around with zipper pulls.  I've seen other people doing little jingle bells and I would never have thought of that on my own but thought it would be perfect!  One of the podcasts that I watch, A Homespun House, who is Molly, likes to put cute brooches on her project bags.  Another thing I wouldn't have thought but decided to give it a go.  In my beading stuff I actually found a little baggie full of odd and ends that I'm sure I picked up at a thrift store or yard sale or something similar.  Anyways, there was a cute little Christmas mouse holding a little bell! Perfect.

I think this one is my favorite.  And I think I can use it after Christmas as my winter knitting project bag.  I just love the little houses.  I like to imagine what each house's story is.  Like, does that tall house have a big family living in it?  Is their Christmas morning crazy, do they wait up for Santa?  And that smaller house next door I feel likes to bake.  Their Christmas morning is filled with the smell of baking and hot chocolate. :) Does anyone else do that?
So, I feel like I got a good amount of stitching done and that makes me happy.  I'm going to let a couple of friends pick a bag if they'd like one, I have enough of all the fabrics to make more.  And, I think I'm going to make a couple more and set them aside.  I'm going to start of box of items to maybe do a craft fair next year.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

turkey nails

Jan and I did our nails today.  She painted me little turkeys on my ring fingers!  Bah!  They are so cute.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

oh fabric

Okay fine.  I bought some fabric yesterday!  I kind of had to if you know what I mean.  I really just went in to Joann's because I happened to be in the neighborhood and thought I'd browse around.  And, right when you walk in is the Christmas fabric!!!!! BAH!  And then it went a little something like this: thinking about the project bags that just sold out from A Homespun House, which is one of the podcasts I watch and she just had the cutest ever Christmas project bags but I didn't want to spend $40 on one since I know I can make my own - but it's the fabric! that I wanted. So here I was in front of the Christmas fabric and I thought I'll just see if there's anything close to what she used because I don't just want any old Christmas fabric!  And I really wanted the little peppermint candy fabric that she used.  There wasn't any of that so I thought I was safe.

I was until I came across some clearance fabric that I thought said Downton Abbey on it.  It didn't.  It said Westminster Abbey.  But!  Cute little British landmarks!  Really though, how could I resist?  Well, we all know I couldn't and that's how it's sitting on my kitchen table.
And then it was like, well I don't want to go to the cutting counter for just one thing.  I did see a cute elf fabric after all.  And I don't need much fabric for a project bag.  Then I spotted some peppermint candy fabric and I was done!!!!  
And then I realized that I am out of interfacing.  Interfacing is one of those things that's just not fun to buy but you've gotta have it.  So, I didn't go overboard and I have some super cute fabric to make a couple project bags.  Because apparently December 1st I will need to put my knitting in Christmas themed bags!  Oh man.

Yesterday was quite a full day by my standards.  I worked in the morning.  At one I met Karla to watch her oldest son's first "biddy ball" game, which is basketball for 4 year olds.  Oh man that was funny!  These kids have no idea what's going on and there are adults down there shooing and wrangling and directing them around.  So funny!  And then randomly one of the kids might melt down or slide with the ball or swing around one of the hoop poles.  Baha!  

We went to coffee after that to chat and catch up since we don't see each other every day any more.  It was nice, we went to Starbuck's which happened to be having buy one get one free on their holiday flavors.  So we both tried chestnut praline lattes.  Then, I trolled over to Joann's (see above).  At 6:30 I went to a lights out zumba fundraiser for a 4 year old little girl who is a cancer survivor.  It was really fun!  Jan had gotten us glow in the dark bracelets and rings and it was just fun to dance/workout with friends.  And Aly, the little girl, got up on the stage towards the end and was just soaking up the spotlight and dancing, dancing, dancing!  

Today being my only full day off this week, I am chilllllllling out!  I might make those holiday project bags.  Or I might knit and watch movies the rest of the day.  I don't know yet.  Do you want to see what I've been knitting?  Cuz I'm gunna show you anyway :)
I started this hat Tuesday at knit night at my LYS.  The picture above it how much I had done by Wednesday!  It's been a really quick knit.  It is the Jul hat by Wiksten.  I had seen it knit up on another blog that I follow and thought it was super cute.  I'm not much of a hat person myself but I really like the subtle texture and it's sort of slouchy.  I filed it away as a possible gift idea.  And now that I'm thinking Christmas is right around the corner I started to knit it up with a special lady in mind.  I asked her if she wears hats and she said she has trouble finding hats that fit well because she has a small head.  Humpf.  

So, I did cast on the recommended amount of stitches but I knit tightly so I think it will be okay.  And I didn't go up a needle size after the ribbing.  And I had Jan try it on and she said it may be too small.  But, I'm not going to fret because the ribbing is stretchy and yarn tends to stretch as well with wearing.

Look how far I've gotten since Tuesday! 
I have one more set of 8 rounds for the texture stitches and then I start to decrease.  I'm very pleased with how it's turning out.  The yarn is beautiful, it's the Berocco Ultra Alpaca that I bought in Mendocino with my Mom.  It's 50% alpaca and 50% wool and is super soft and squishy.

I almost forgot that I received my Ipsy bag yesterday too!  I'm not sure that I really love the cosmetics but the little zipper pouch is silver sparkly!  I've decided that it needs to be a notions pouch.  I already have one but I have two of a lot of my knitting items and that way I can have one for home and one to take to go!

oh, p.s. we did have our first snow this week, which melted off before 10am!  It has been super cold, right now it's 28 and we're supposed to have a high of 41!  I am so thankful for my heater! and my job to pay the bill :)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

first snow

This morning I woke up after having a lovely dream.  Scott and I were eating pralines and cream ice cream and laughing together.  That feeling, laughing together, was so good!  And I woke up wishing I could have somehow stayed in the dream awhile longer.  I got up to let the dogs out and we had our first snow!  Just a little dusting, enough to make it look like frosted flakes.  I had a little laugh thinking I had just been dreaming of ice cream and woke up to snow.  Not the same, I know, but kinda funny.

This is the view just stepping onto my front porch and snapping a picture.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mr. Fox and quilt top

I've got lots of pictures to share!  Yesterday I knitted and visited with a couple friends.  It was nice while I was still feeling under the weather to just take it easy.  I got a lot done on Mr. Fox.  This morning I was determined to finish him up.  George was determined to be right in the way!

 I had just finished sewing the tail on and about to start the face and she was right up in the middle of everything, as usual!

And there she goes, sticking her curious face into my notions bag!

 And so I finally got this guy finished.  I don't really think he looks like a fox, do you?  Not sure what he looks like really but very cute.  I am planning to make him a little sweater and possibly trousers.

Tail view: 
I tried to get him to stand on his own, so here he is in some "wildlife" by the plant.

To finish the face on Mr Fox I had to go out the craft house and root around for some black yarn.  Doing so I got distracted by my modern maples quilt top that I had about 1/2 sewn together!  So, I pressed play on the book on cd I'm currently listening to and pulled up my chair to the sewing machine.  I'm listening to Inheritance by Christopher Paolini, it's the 4th book of that series.   The top is now sewn together and measures about 72 x 72.  I'm considering adding a bit of a border but not sure.

So, this is my attempt at an artsy quilt photo!  LOL  I look at other blogs and they take their finished quilt tops to fun locations or pretty places and get pictures in interesting ways.  And so I was like, hmmmmm I'm still in pjs so not going anywhere anyone can see me - what can I do with what I have?  I also have not raked my fallen leaves, quilt is maple leaves, ding dong!  I'll take a picture of my leaf quilt amongst fall leaves!  bahahahhaahhahahaaaaa haha hah ha.  So, I'm not a fancy photographer!  And I'm just fine with that.

Here's an artsy fartsy fall leaf picture for you.  I think my grass thinks it's spring because it has started growing like crazy and super green.

Anyway.  I've mentioned that I've been watching knitting podcasts.  This weekend I have been enjoying newest episodes (releases?) from my favorites.  The Dancing Geek (James) who is just lovely.  The Bakery Bears which are Dan and Kay Jones, and they had some really great news to share! Dan has gotten the all clear from an illness.  Today I got caught up on the Brant and Sherry podcast which is on itunes.  I was about to move onto something else but noticed that my google alert bell was on and the newest Come Knit With Us was released!  So I'm listening/watching that as I type.  Those girls are a hoot!  So silly.  Love them all.  I thought since I've mentioned that I started watching I'd share links so you can join too if you'd like.  I looked a bit today to see if I could find any quilting podcasts but only found audio podcasts, not video.  And they didn't seem quite as silly as these so I didn't keep listening - but if you know of any I'd love to check them out!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

finally weekend

I probably say this every week but this week was a doozy!  Yikes.  Drama at the office man.  I heard about it but I am just too busy to get involved, so I stay in my safety bubble.  But, you know how no matter how much you stay out of something the tension just permeates?  The chatter was still felt, I'll just put it that way.

I had a meltdown midweek.  I did write a post about it but then didn't end up posting it.  Widowhood is not easy, folks.  This week was physically hard for me, I've been sick.  So, trying to keep up with my normal work schedule plus some overtime and being sick have been taxing.  And the backround drama chatter, and not sleeping well.  And dang it, I miss my husband.  He would have brought me juice, jello and gummy worms and probably soup. And kleenex since my nose will not stop running. And comfort, hugs, love.  So yeah I had a poor me moment, played some sad music and let myself cry it out.  For some reason I tend to hold my emotion close, like save it for later.  So later came and I let it go.

And, then the next day felt slightly better.  And the sweetest thing happened, a coworker who is only in the office once a week brought me 2 homemade cinnamon rolls!  Just me.  I really thought that was the nicest, most thoughtful thing.  They were absolutely delicious and I had two sweet breakfasts.  And I had proof that it's not all bad.

In other news, you may have guessed that sewing did not happen last weekend!  I was too exhausted to even walk out to the craft house!  But!  I have been knitting because that takes minimal energy :)  I had started this knitted fox like forever ago and then got distracted by socks and other knitting - it happens!
The pattern is boy fox by Little Cotton Rabbits.  It's knit flat and then seamed.  Which, I have to be honest I'm not crazy about.  But, pretty much everything I've knit for the last year or so has been in the round.  I started the arms last night and modified the pattern to knit in the round and so far so good.  I think I wasn't thinking when I picked this yarn for a fox, it does have orange mixed in but it's very brown.  Are there brown foxes?  idk.  Google will know.

Once I finish this little knit I was thinking I'll finish my Dumbledore socks and then start Christmas knitting.  I don't think I have much in that department but we'll see what happens.  I should start thinking about gifts before it's like Christmas Eve, right?  

Okay I'm going to sew I think :)  Oh! before I forget though - holiday coffee creamers finally at the store!!!!!  Big news, big news.  Frosted sugar cookie is what came home with me and it is fab.  v.delish!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

daily view for Fall

This is my daily view from the upstairs room of our office.  (you can click on the picture to get a better view) That orange tree is so vibrant and beautiful!  I've been meaning to take a picture of it for a couple weeks and last weekend we had really high winds so I was sure that the leaves would have been shook loose.  But no.  So this was taken out the window late yesterday.  The brown tree was almost as vibrant until a week ago and the yellows are beautiful as well I think.  Yesterday it poured rain almost all day!

Right now, I am a cesspool of sickness and germs!  Uggggg.  I work in a doctor's office so you can imagine the things I have been exposed to.  But, truly, my immune system rocks!  And as soon as I feel any inkling of yuck I take airborne and drink juice and mooooore water.  So usually that with keeping a positive attitude - I tell myself all day that I can't get sick because my immune system is so strong- I usually don't succumb.  But this week was the perfect storm of stress, lack of sleep and exposure.  Last night was probably the worst with chills, aches, coughing and snot.

In other news, this weekend I think I will try and sew together the quilt top of my modern maples quilt and maybe make a pillow top out of my finished cross stitch.  I have a dinner to go to tonight for Charese's retirement.  Otherwise the weekend is wide open and perfect for pjs, movies, sewing and knitting.  And probably some podcasts.....not gunna lie :)