Monday, January 28, 2013

""Note - this was supposed to post on Saturday - but I forgot!!!"""  All the time references are off.""

Yesterday was a good 'run around' day.  I had a nail appointment at 11:00, so Dawn did some running around during that, and then we met up at the Beadman.  I was looking for a nice black pendant to go on a necklace I had started, and couldn't find anything I wanted at Joanne's or Walmart.  Still, I couldn't find anything at The Beadman either.  On to Michael's!  There, I found two - it figures!  Now I need to make another necklace so I can wear both stones.  The necklace is crocheted from 'ladder' yarn that I got in Reno at Ben Franklin's (before they closed) - 5 strands tied together.  So simple, but very pretty and unusual.

As part of our running around yesterday, Dawn and I stopped by a consignment furniture store.  I'm looking for a more elegant way to store my crafting supplies, specifically my quilt stuff.  I don't know a good way to deal with my crochet stuff - I have too much!  I found a pretty set of drawers, but.....I don't know that it is exactly what I want.  I'm still deciding on that part.  But....while I was looking for that, I found something I didn't know I was looking for.  I found, for lack of a better term, a jewelry armoire.   It is about 3 feet high by 18-24 inches (I didn't measure it, really!) and the top lifts up - and has a storage for 5 rows of rings.  The doors open, and there are several hooks for necklaces, and there are 5 drawers for storing more jewelry.  A link to a picture of it is here.  I decided I really didn't need it - and it was $199.00.  I did want more storage, and the piece I was looking at was $169.00.  Dawn and I decided to 'think about' it some more, and headed home.

While Dawn and I were out, the contractor stopped by.  Ralph and I needed to go pick out carpet and tile for the guesthouse.  (Hmmm....while we're out, want to stop by the consignment store and take a look and see what you think?)  We looked at carpet - and picked out a very nice flecked darker beige - it should hide everything!.  When we went to look at tile (the old counter top was done in brown tile) the salesman suggested instead that we look at marble.  It would hold up better, look more modern, and come in about the same price as tile.  Since I really hate the grout issue in the kitchen, I was good with it.  We will have to make sure the contractor can get it in at his budget with the insurance company, but if so, that is one step closer!  (Ralph said the contractor said he will have to build a new vanity for the bathroom - they don't make them that size, and it will be 4 weeks out for that - bummer!!!)  the counter top should go very nicely with the floor tile that is in the bathroom.  We'll see!!

Ralph and I stopped by the consignment shop, and I showed him the set of drawers.  Here is a link to them: antique dresser.  Pretty!  He was pretty non-committal about them - he agreed they were pretty and a good price, if that was what I wanted.  I still don't know!  I showed him the jewelry armoire, and he was much more interested in it!  (He was also very interested in an antique desk (desk) - and I don't blame him - I want it too!)  After we got in yesterday, we decided that he just might stop by today and see if they would take a bit less for the armoire.  It will probably follow him home.  I don't think the desk will - it is just a bit out of budget right now, sure is nice.  I think all those little drawers made Ralph's heart go pitty-pat - Mr. OCD!)

Here is what I have done on Mom's doily so far.  It is coming along very nicely.  I still have a ways to go (and the rows take longer to do as you go around) but I'm happy with it so far.

I don't know if you can see the textures in it or not, but there are crossed drop stitches on the corners and dropped stitches on the straight part of the row.

The end is in sight!  I have (almost) all the pieces done for my faux fox fur.  I am purposefully not doing the tail until I get it all put together so I can put my hand inside the body if I need it.  (Really - that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it - I mean "story" - not excuse!)   I plan on putting it together today, maybe while watching a good movie on TV - maybe!  I'm glad I got it to this point. It really will be cute, if I can get the ears on right.  They hold all the personality of the fox, so....they need to go on just right.

It's back to work for me today - and I was just getting used to staying home (not really - I was just finding more things to add to my 'to-do' list!)  I am pretty proud of myself for the things I did get done while on vacation.  I finished up my Christmas quilt yesterday, too - and had some help taking pictures of it (I usually do).

Not satisfied with helping me take pictures, she decided to help me crochet too!  This is Mom's doily - I hope she doesn't mind a few cat whiskers in it!  (And yes, it is hard to crochet and take a picture at the same time!)

Ralph went by yesterday and picked up the jewelry armoire for me, and I played with all my jewelry yesterday afternoon getting it set up.  It isn't that I have that much 'good' jewelry, but I have a lot of sentimental stuff, for sure (like the wolf earrings made with fake abalone AJ brought me back from one of his trips - I will probably never wear them, but.....)  I did amaze myself with home much rhinestone jewelry I have - I guess I just can't resist anything shiny.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ta  Dah!  Another finished project!  This one only took 6 years - not bad!  I am guessing that I started it in 2006 - that is when the magazine that has the pattern in it came out.  I don't really remember when (or sometimes why!!) I started it.  He did turn out cute - for a fox stole.  I feel good about finishing a project.  Those UFO's can drag you down sometimes, just thinking about them creates all sorts of negative energy.  

I was looking at my to-do list for vacation, and I did good!  I still have to do my scout stuff - I've been putting it off for a while, and I need to make a report on Tuesday, is the day for that.  I had on my list to clean up the garden area, but also on my list was to clean up the leaves in the flower beds.  Guess where they went!  So much for cleaning up the garden.  I put 13 tarp loads of leaves in there yesterday (all by myself - my wrists and arms are sore today from raking and hauling!).  Between the leaves I just added, the dirt the boys dumped in there last year from the yard project, and the weeds that are always there - I'm in trouble!  That was the only big item left on my list undone though - not too bad!  (It was a short list for a whole week though, I will admit!) The front yard looks good - ready for spring!!!

I had some help (of course) with my grocery bags yesterday.  Picot just cannot resist a bag - it doesn't matter where it is, or what is in it.

Who me?

Friday, January 25, 2013

The last two days haven't been as productive as Tuesday was, is vacation after all.  I did actually make a name tag for my Thimbleberries club (I was supposed to make it last year, but didn't get around to it).  This was another first for me - the pattern they handed out (I didn't have to use it, but I couldn't think of one on my own) needed me to create a template out of cardboard and cut the pieces out.  My first attempt at making a template (last year, when I first started quilting) didn't work too well, but this time, it seems to have worked just fine.  The flower is made from scraps of the quilts from last year, and interfacing scraps from my bag.  I've had to pay a quarter each month I went to Thimbleberries that I didn't have a name tag, so this just saved me $3.00 for the year!!!  (Good thing we don't count the cost of the hours we put into these things - the scraps were cheap, but it took me a while!!)

I also got my last quilt ready to sew the binding on.  I haven't started hand sewing it yet - I really want to get that done this weekend.  But, I have other things I want to get done this weekend as well - we'll see what wins out!

Poor Jasper looked like she tried to swallow a golf ball yesterday, and got hit in the head with the club, too.  Yesterday morning, she started rubbing her face with her paw and rubbing it against the couch.  When I took a look, her eye was swollen.  Poor thing!  I didn't see anything in the eye, so I thought she probably got something in it, and it irritated the eye, but had come out.  About an hour later, her left side of her face was swollen.  Her top lip looked like she was hiding a golf ball in it, and her eye was swollen half closed.  Oh no - it was getting worse, and quickly!  I called and cancelled my nail appointment (my manicurist is a dog person, so she completely understood!) and took Jasper to the vet.  Long story short - some eye drops, two shots, one antihistamine and one cortisone, and $144.00 later, she is doing much better.  The vet had no good idea what happened.  If it was a different time of the year, it would have been a classic case of a bee sting, bees!  Not what I had planned for the morning, all worked out.

It has been a while since I crocheted a doily, and I decided it was time!  So, when I went up to Mom's last weekend, I took along some thread and a book of doilies.  (Absolutely Gorgeous Doilies by Patricia Kristoffersen - and they are gorgeous!)  While I was there, Mom picked out one she wanted (after she changed her mind a few times - even after I started one - too late then!)  I got what I think of as the hard part done last night.  It is a doily that requires lots of counting - not always my strong point.  I should be good to go from this point on without having to count every stitch -  we'll see.  I'm sure she throw something in while I'm distracted, and I'll have to rip out and start a row or two over.

I also started another project that I didn't realize I was quite so far behind on.  I have tried to keep up with real photo albums.  Rather than just keeping digital copies of photos, I've had prints made and put them in a photo album.  I thought I had done it fairly recently, but....time flies!  I went through yesterday and pulled prints for 2010, had them printed at Wal-Mart, and put them in a photo album!  Now, for 2011 and 2012.  Maybe next week?  It was fun looking at the old pictures - 2010 is when we got both of the kittens, and they were so cute when they were little!  It was also the year of AJ's Eagle Project, the year I hiked up to Castle Crags and the first trip to Whiskeytown Falls.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My 'to-do' list is getting smaller!  I had a breakfast meeting yesterday at 7:30, so did my normal Saturday shopping - Wal-Mart and the grocery store - after that.  Then....I hit the yard for a bit.  I got the 'rose garden' area all cleaned out, and some new bark scattered (I need a couple more bags!)  I cut back all the asparagus fern and pulled out the old day lily leaves and pruned the roses. It is set for Spring!!  I also got the hedge trimmers out and trimmed up the jasmine and gardenia bushes that line part of my sidewalk.  You can now actually walk to the side gate and OPEN it to get out to hang clothes out.  What a thought!  If I had known I was going to get that carried away, I would have gotten the electric trimmers out - I did it the hard way yesterday.  I'm surprised my arms aren't screaming at me this morning.  Then I had to sweep up all the dirt, leaves and dog hair out on the back patio.  It looked pretty nice out there yesterday afternoon.

Then....I went inside and dragged out the sewing machine.  I made the quilt blocks for the next Thimbleberries quilt, made a sewing machine cover for the new (new to me at least) Singer, and got the backing put together for the last Thimbleberries quilt.  Maybe I can get that started today???  Or maybe not - we'll see.  Here are the blocks for the next quilt:

The colors are a bit off - I waited too late in the afternoon to get a good picture of it.  After that, it was time to fix dinner, and head off to scouts.  A nice, busy day.

Here's a picture I took of Mom's new dog, Sadie.  She is so sweet!  I bent down to get a picture of her, and evidently scared her, and she went running to Mom.  I didn't mean to scare her!

Ralph just came back in - there are rain sprinkles on the truck, so....we may get some rain today!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It was cold in Susanville!!!  I think the low when I was there was around -4.  I think the warmest was just under 20.  Brrrr.  I got out too late to get pictures of the pogonip, but it was still icy.

I had a nice visit with Michelle while I was there, and ran her back to her house in the evening.  When I got back to Mom's, I couldn't park - there were three deer in my parking space, eating the corn Mom put out for the quail.  I finally chased them away - they didn't got far though.  I sneaked out later in the evening and got a picture of one.  That is my bumper in the bottom left of the photo.

Monday morning, Alli decided that Grandma needed help cooking breakfast.  I think she would have eaten sooner if she hadn't helped.

Tank looses ..... to a CAT!

Friday, January 18, 2013

I made it (almost) through the week!  Another busy one, but mostly self-induced (as usual).  I had my normal scout meeting on Tuesday - with a twist.  I usually drop in early and talk to the adult leaders before they get busy with the boys, and stay for a while for any parents to talk to me when they drop their kids off, and then leave by 7:30 or soi.  This Tuesday, I was talking with one of the Mom's when I went in, and she mentioned how she made phone calls to all the parents....and that was why?   I got a very strange look back - there was a Parent's Meeting scheduled for that night, and she forgot to call me, because I'm not on the "Parent's List" anymore.  She felt bad, I could tell, and......I was already there (even though I had a list of errands to do after the meeting, so I was planning just a short stay) so I stayed - I left  about 8:45, with my list of errands still to run.  I got home about 9:45.  Long day!  

Wednesday night was the book club meeting - a fun time.  I think we spent more time talking about   other stuff than the book, but it was a fun night.  The book marks were well received, though one person decided I should have made a dragon instead of the musical note.  (She was kidding, but, I might try to work up a dragon, just for her.)  I got in from that around 10:00, another long day.  Thursday started off early - baking a cheesecake and making 7 layer-dip for work, as well as getting Alli off to school.  The whole day at work was a fast-paced blur as well.  We've been slow-ish lately - that changed yesterday for me!  I hope to get caught back up today.  I left my desk covered in sticky notes, and was leaving messages on other people's voice mail last night after 5:00.  They will all call me back this morning before I get in, I know.  I might start the day off behind, but....I'm on vacation next week!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The headbands were well received, with a request for one more mobius twist done in black.  Not a problem!  I got two more done last night.  It was a good excuse to go yarn shopping - not that I needed a lot of reasons! (or that I really needed more black yarn.)  I found a nice, thick black studded with sequins that worked up in minutes.  (Seriously - after I got in from work and before I had to start dinner.)  The other is a thinner yarn, so it took longer, but.....the yarn is black, shot with multicolored sparkles.  Gorgeous!  And still soft!  I love it!  What else can I make?  I tried some pictures of them, but because they are black, they don't show up well.  Trust me - pretty!!!

Alli had her annual visit with Dr Cooper yesterday - all is well with her eyes.  She is probably slightly more near-sighted than last year, but....she didn't wear her glasses then, she probably won't now either.  Dr C. suggested we try them on her periodically and see if she decides she likes them.  I'm thinking she likes to see the world as a blur - fewer demands on her.  If some of the 'experts' are right, and her she is unable to filter her vision, maybe it being blurry helps.  Who knows??

I got in some work on my fox stole last night.  I have so little to do, I need to just sit down and finish it, really!  One and half legs to crochet, the tip of the tail, and put it all together.  Somehow, I find lots of things to do instead.  I did weave in the ends on half the baby afghan - it looks so good!  I want to work on it too.  Unfortunately, I'm out of time.  Tonight is scouts, and tomorrow night is the book club, and Thursday morning is a birthday at work, so I need to make a cheesecake and something for the potluck either after the book club meeting, or early Thursday morning.  And....I feel like I'm coming down with something - bummer!!!  Maybe it's just allergies?  We'll see.

I'm off to Susanville this weekend, assuming the weather holds, and it should.  It is forecast to stay cold and clear for a while.  I'm on vacation the week following, so I can spend some extra time there, not having to rush back and get the household ready for another week.  I think a trip to Reno is planned with Mom- furniture shopping - again, only if the weather holds.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Here are instructions for making the musical note bookmark.  I made one up following the pattern, but that is the only test I did.

Pattern instructions:

Row 1:  Ch 5, 3 hdc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 hdc in next ch, 5hdc in next ch,  hdc in next ch (working around in original stitches) 2 hdc in next ch, join in 1st hdc.

Row 2:  ch 2, 2 hdc in same stitch, 2 hdc in next 3 hdc, 1 hdc in next 2 hdc, 2 hdc in next 5hdc, 1 hdc in next 2 hdc, 2 hdc in last stitch, join.  (body of note made)

Row 3: ch 1, sc in next 5 hdc, ch 19 (creating staff).  Sl st is 2nd ch from hook, sc in next ch, hdc in next ch, dc in next ch, tr in next ch. (created flag) Ch 2, sc in top of tr, sc down side of tr, ch in each remaining ch, sc in hdc on note.  Sc in next 5 hdc, (2 sc in next, 1 sc in next) 4 times, sc in next 5 hdc, 2 sc in next hdc and join.

Tail:  Ch 1 and turn, sl st in next 5 sc (until in center on note) ch 70 (or length desired for bookmark, and finish off.  Add tassel and weave in ends. 

Pin out and spray with starch.

One project off my to-do list!!!  I wrote a pattern for a Musical Note bookmark, and made 10 of them for the book club.  I'm pretty happy with the pattern, and am actually going to get it linked to crochetpatterncentral - along with the pattern for the elephant that I did a while back.  We'll see how that goes.  Creating a pattern for me is a lot of trial and error.  I visualize what I want, then think about how to put it together - and even draw a chart for it sometimes - and then I start crocheting.  In this case, I didn't try to chart the pattern.  Here is my first try - not too bad, if I do say so myself.

Here is try #2 - I liked #1 better!

Here is the final product:

And here they are (most of them anyway - one was still on the drying board) all made up.

I also got three headbands done for my co-worker.  Hopefully they will fit!  (and....that she actually likes them.)

Here is a close up of the black one - the pattern can be found here (notice how fancy I'm getting with links now - look at me go!)   It is the "Knotted Crochet Headband".

This one is a mobius pattern - hard to tell with this picture, and the pattern is here. It is the "Urban Turban" headband.

And this one - with the pattern here.  It is the "Catherine Crochet Headband".

I also got the book for my Thimbleberries club, and the material for the next quilt.  This quilt is the one on the bottom right:

Block Party book cover

Here is the material for the center blocks.  Next month, we get the material for the flowers - they use a technique I haven't tried yet - always something new!!

I thing I'm going to try to get the Christmas quilt ready to put together today.  My laundry is almost done, so....why not?  (Because I have all sorts of other things to do!!!!)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I finally broke down and updated the "About Me" for the blog.  I still had Alli listed as being 14 - oops!  Now that AJ is 20, I had several things to update. I probably should put something more interesting that what is there, but...I seem to be a pretty boring person.

The hat was a hit - and now I want to try some headbands.  I started one, but needed to measure it before I continued - nothing like making a bunch in the wrong size!  I took what I had done in to work yesterday, so now I have the measurements, so I am good to go.  I hope to get a couple done this weekend at least.  That shouldn't be a big problem - I don't have a lot planned for the weekend.  I have my quilting club today - I get to show off my completed quilt top, new bag!  I started using it as my crochet bag, and I love it - with 6 pockets inside, and a zippered top, it is perfect for a project.  (Of course, I do have another pattern for a different bag, so I could have a new bag for a new project, right???)  One of these days, I need to make a name tag for the club - I should have done one for the last year, but never got around to it.  Maybe this year?  I also need to make up 8 or so bookmarks by Wednesday.  Since I haven't even started them, I think I just found my project for the weekend!

Repairs are slowing coming together.  The HVAC is done - and the house is staying nice and warm.  Ralph talked to our insurance rep, and they are going to cover the cost of having the septic pumped!  Yippee!   That will put a bit more back into the emergency fund.  I think the insurance company still has so stuff to go over with the company doing the repairs, and then.....they will get started.  I can hardly wait to get the guest house back to 'normal'.  I really had hoped to be able to get it cleaned up while I was on vacation, but I kind of think it will take longer than that.  Oh well, it will get done, sooner or later.  I do feel sorry for Dawn having to deal with the chaos out there.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The annual birthday dip:

Brrrrrrrr!!!  Poor guy - he had a pretty boring birthday - at least until 7:30 last night.  I had a haircut after work, and Alli had one at 6:00, so Dad and I were running around after work, so I wasn't making him a 'special' birthday dinner - that is scheduled for Friday (along with truffles, flour-less chocolate cake and homemade ice cream) so it was a pretty boring day.  He was so bored that while I was cooking dinner, he sharpened all the knives for me.  Two of his friend came over about 7:30, so he was busy busy after that, but.....a boring day up till then!

I got a new commission at work yesterday.  A co-worker is loosing all of her hair - and doesn't know why yet.  (Multiple doctors - no reasons)  I was approached to see if I could make her a hat or something she could wear.  Could I?  Of course - what do you want??  I love making hats - hold still - I'll make one!  I gave her a website (crochetpatterncentral) to go look at hats last night, and then......I came home and made a quick little cloche.

Forgive the model - it was 10:30 at night, bad light in the bathroom, etc.  The hat is cute at least!!

I don't know if this is one that she was thinking of, but if not, it is at least a starting point.  The flower is just pinned on, so she can take it off if she wants, or swap it out with a pin that she does have.  The hat pattern is here: daperfectmix.blogspot.  I'm pretty happy with the hat - and there are so many patterns out there to make!  (Of course, I still need to make bookmarks for book club by Wednesday, etc., but....there's still time!)

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

My "baby" is no longer a teenager - he turns 20 today!  He is scheduled for his annual dip in the pool after work today -  brrrr!  At least it isn't below zero at night right now - nothing like breaking through the ice!  (Not that the pool ever ices over, but still - brrrr.)

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Back to normal this morning - up at 4:45, Alli up at 5:15 and (hopefully) ready for the bus at 6:00.  She is still eating breakfast, so we will see.  The break was very nice - sleeping in until 6:00 - a luxury!

The new HVAC unit was delivered yesterday - the installation should be finished today.  The workmen caused all sorts of ruckus in the house.  They were covering the vents in all the rooms - including behind the couch (where Indy was hiding) and in Allison's room (where Rufus was sleeping) and caused a few whirlwinds of activity from the cats.  Poor Indy - he is such a scaredy cat!  Rufus just didn't like being disturbed by strangers - Indy tore out from behind the couch and evidently scared the workman just as much as they scared him.

The workmen also left me a nice little present.  When I went to fix dinner last night, they hadn't turned the gas back on to the house, so....I had no oven or stove (or soon, no hot water - what was in the tank was still hot, but that would have been it.)  Ralph and AJ got the gas going again, thank goodness.  If not, it would have been cold showers this morning, and cold cereal for dinner last night.

Workmen are coming back today to work on the guest house as well.  I don't know how long that is going to take (or what the final cost is gong to be - yuck!  The HVAC unit was over $3,000 out of pocket - I can hardly wait to see the guest house bill.)  The guest house is in such a disarray right now too, it will take some good solid work to get it back to 'normal'.  Everything got pulled out and stacked in the living room - what a mess (not thaqt it wasn't already, it is worse!)  Oh well - no major damage was done to personal stuff - just the floors, carpets and walls.  It's all fixable.

I took my purse in to show off at work yesterday, and stopped by Meredith's after work too - it is so cool!  I have another pattern that I picked up in the after-Christmas sales that I would like to try too.  so many patterns, so little time!  I took out the afghan I'm working on, and I wasn't on row 30 - I was on 27.  Now I'm on 30.  I think I'm going to take some time and weave in some ends before I continue.  It may make the finishing a little less overwhelming in the end - there are so many ends!!!!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

I did it!  I made my bag/purse!  It took me from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. today (with time out for laundry, lunches, a walk, etc.)  It would have taken a lot less time if I had done everything correctly the first time, but....I eventually got it.  If I would just trust the instructions (and read them all the way through) it would help.  I'm used to patterns by Simplicity or McCalls - these are just a bit different.  I told Ralph it was a great learning experience, and I meant it.

The purse uses 4 different fabrics, three different interfaces, and 2 zippers.  It has 8 pockets - 6 inside and 2 outside, one of which is zippered.  And I did it!!!

I took a break from my sewing today, and took AJ and the dogs for a walk - another beautiful day (it rained last night - I was surprised at house pretty it was today).  AJ promised to dry the dogs off for me, so they got to go swimming (except for Tank - I don't think we could get him dry in a week!).  

Something about water, boys and rocks.  (If you notice, though - the dogs took off in a different direction than AJ was throwing - he tosses one for them to chase and then throws one for skipping or distance - something he doesn't want the dogs to chase.

This is close-up from the first picture - Koo is beautiful!

Tank just got to watch - poor thing.