Wednesday, March 26, 2014

This and That. Ends with Cuteness.


As tired as I am of the cold weather and winter (which is still here, regardless of it being a lot sunnier overall than last month at this time), I do love that I can still really enjoy a hot cup of tea for the moment, inside and out, as I use it to warm my hands up as well as my insides. I'm most definitely not a 'hot drink' drinker once the weather turns and ice tea isn't quite the same so time is running out for this little pleasure. :)

I took inventory of my loose/bag teas in January (written down on paper no less!) and, well, that was sobering. *ahem* I swore I was going to stop buying any for a long while............and OF COURSE  I didn't stick to that, but I really have been a more judicious in my purchases since then. Except I've recently fallen down a bit on that though as I've discovered the new-to-me Harney & Sons tea line. Oh my! Such nice teas! And they come in these brilliant little tins that I have no idea what to do with but, gosh, they are pretty. These are my three latest (all fairly 'fruity' ones) but my favorite so far is the Hot Cinnamon Spice which tastes like a robust black tea with a Hot Tamale candy melted in it. If you like that kind of biting cinnamon taste, it's dead on.

Finished stitching the last of the three stockings in this L*K pattern book and finished them off with a bit of flossing cording which, I have to say, I really have no love for stitching on. It takes so much time if you want to do it neatly and hide your stitches. So.....much.....time......

My favorite of the three is the 'Noel' one. I like the holly border/beads at the top. Second fave though is the sampler one.

My finishing, as always, is fraught with one mishap or other - as you can see I, uhhhhhh, sewed one inside out on the back. Whoops? I had some thoughts as to patiently ripping it out and redoing it..........and then those thoughts vanished into the wind because I plain ole don't care enough about it. lol

Until flowers and pretty things start popping up outside, I'm going to have to fill in the color gaps in my life with brightly colored yarn, I think. It's only fair, right? The one in the back (Poste Yarn from Simply Socks Co.) might be a tad too neon even for me. (There is no such thing, of course, but I'm trying to picture that as socks and it makes me laugh EVERY TIME.)

Well, there. I broke the streak of posting only once a month. *bows* I'll finish this off with a couple new pictures of the 'kittens' because they haven't been around the blog in a long while. 

 (You can't comb out the curlies. You can but they are right there again an hour later. It's like the worst magic trick ever.) 

(Livvy and her 'chinny chin' aka goat's beard.)

Kittens. Ha! At almost nine months, they aren't kittens but definitely not adults either. What they are is HUGE. And PUFFY. With fur. Oh_so_much_fur! Does that LOOK like a belly that is combed out every other day? ARGH. The bald spots are from where I've had to cut knots out. You just blink a few times a knot forms on these guys. I really hope their fur 'settles down' and gets less sticky as they get older otherwise they are going to be SHAVED BALD for the summer! lol

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

*waves*

 Oh, dear. Just not into this blogging 'thing' lately, I'm afraid. :(

Can't say it's for any particular reason either, other than general 'winter has gone on MUCH MUCH TOO LONG now' malaise that is probably affecting almost all of us in the northern hemisphere. Busy with work, yes, as always, but things are moving along as normal otherwise. 

Figured I should get in here before TOO much time goes by and I forget how to do it all together. Plus, I had a stack of  this hanging around that I'd like to put away:

Blogging or no blogging, I still pile finished things up to be photographed. It's like they aren't TRULY done unless their existence has been logged online in some fashion. That's a little sad, I think. I mean we DID 'exist' in our pre-online lives, didn't we? (And you can just shush if you are reading this and too young to have ever had a chance at a pre-online life, ok? We do not like young whippersnappers poking at our older selves. lol) 

Thanks to some tv-binge-watching (both seasons of House of Cards in EIGHT days! Eight!) I've actually been plugging right along on a bunch of things. Most of the individual photos I went for came out cringe-inducing awful though. Grrrrr. I only managed to take a decent picture of my newest pillow finishes:

Sadly, I did not put these 'together' in time for the holiday this year but I did finish STITCHING them in time. That has to count for.............something? I could only dig up two other appropriate smalls for this holiday so I figured it well past time I did a few more. The heart pattern is from a designer I saw on Etsy and the other two are freebies from The Primitive Hare. Used random scraps of linen and bits and bobs of lace and what not that I could scrounge out of my craft closet. 

I'll have to retake the photos of Most Hated Socks Ever and my L*K stockings. :)

I'm going to end this with another clover pic. A day late, of course, but I have a sweet spot for this holiday. For one, it's ridiculously easy to celebrate (wear green!) and comes with really tasty food and, two, I just plain ole like the color green. We need more fun, color-based holidays! :)

Friday, February 07, 2014

New Beads!

In keeping with the 'usual' (being late for everything in my hobbies), they aren't particularly in season. I just go with the flow and make what I like, seasons be damned. :)

Personally, I'm looking at a ton of snow out there so I'm game for some snowman. (I have a snow kitty-man on my deck right now. An inspired bit of snow fun by the hubby from the other day. lol)

http://www.moonrakerbeads.com/catalog.php?category=24
The snowman are sold separately from the spotted spacers so you can make your own sets up as needed.

http://www.moonrakerbeads.com/catalog.php?category=24
A Valentine's set, of sorts. I have a Christmas colored set like this that people seem to like a lot so I did a similar one in pinks. Because if there is one thing I know it's how much people love pink. Pink, pink, and more pink! (It *is* a fun color. Always happy!)

A couple other things too but I won't bore people. Well, except for this:

I lied a tiny bit when I said last month that I had packed up all my 'extra' beads and was starting over again for the new year with empty bead bowls. I meant to say all the extra beads that weren't the spacers and small beads that I like to hoard make in great quantities. Oh, THOSE. *ahem*

I've had to graduate from my bead bowl to this 'bead tin'. A whole tin! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! I haven't weighed it but it wouldn't shock me if it were around 2lbs.  It's a glorious, happy, massive pile of little beads that are MINE, MINE, MINE.

What can I say? I like spacers. They are a good way to use up all the glass rod shorts on my work table. A good portion of them go out in my shipped packages as little freebies but I make them upwards of six at a time on one mandrel (!!) so I always make more than I actually use. I should probably start scouting out a bigger container now. It's just never enough. Heh. :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Hmm.

Well, I guess I'm not going to update here any more than I did last year (roughly twice a month....in a good month) if *THIS* month has been an indicator. Ha! 

Though it has to be said: Winter is not my favorite time of the year. It certainly is pretty with the snow and all but, man, is it gloomy, gloomy, gloomy at times. Last year I didn't feel it so much but this year is not as good. I have some potted hyacinth bulbs popping up now in my living room and I don't know if it makes it better or worse. It makes the contrast between deep winter and spring so much worse somehow. lol (I'll take it though. I have them in pink and purple and I do love the flash of bright color.)

One thing I would like to do this year is read more. I started off SO GOOD last year with that but it dropped off in the summer...because of life....CANDY CRUSH obsession (ugh ugh ugh)........definitely didn't finish on a high note in regards to reading. I have SO MANY books downloaded or on the shelf here. It's not all about the numbers, of course, but there's no doubt it's better time spent than ANOTHER HOUR of Candy Crush gaming (UGH!!!!!!!!!!). 

The first book I read this year was The Hobbit. A re-read after I realized I could NOT remember how it ended *and* couldn't tell how much was new and what was original in the 2nd movie that we saw over break. (Otherwise known as, I have officially read too many books (thousands) and am starting to forget even the ones I've read more than once. Getting older is not being kind to my memory. *sigh*)

Interesting fact: I still have the Tolkien gift set that was gifted to me when I was 12-ish. AND it's in pretty good shape. (That would be 30 years ago. *ahem*) The husband had his OWN set of Tolkien books when I met him at age 19 and I've always read HIS copies instead of mine. Because I'm evil like that. Ha! (His are really rough now.) I think we need to upgrade to digital copies though because the pages are seriously yellowed and dry. I'll still keep these forever though. They certainly aren't for everybody (I actually hated them when I first got them - not much in there for a pre-teen girl, you know?) but I know I will still enjoy reading them again every so often.

First finished knit of 2014............sort of. I did MOST of it in 2013. Actually, I think the only bit I did in 2014 was the bind off and blocking. Heh. 


It's just a simple drop stitch scarf. (Truly. SERIOUSLY simple.) Why work so hard when the yarn is this pretty, right? I'm content to let the yarn do the heavy lifting here. (It's a Mini Mochi yarn. The tags are long gone but I THINK it's called 'Autumn Rainbow'?)  It's single ply and slubby so I'm slightly worried about the yarn breaking if any of the yarnovers 'catch' on something I'm wearing (like a zipper, etc.) but I'll think of something if/when disaster strikes.


Also finished another Flora McSample stocking. Just one left to stitch up on these guys! (In progress.) Fingers crossed I manage to turn these into actual stockings before next Christmas. I really like these and will be sad if they get stuffed into the drawer for too long. :(

The 'kittens' turned 7 months old earlier this month. 

Well, maybe not so much kitten-y any more. Almost full grown with their adult coats coming in like gangbusters, is more like it. I really need to get a picture of them jumping around in the snow. I still let them out on the deck for a few minutes when it's sunny out and they both LOVE snow. Eating it, digging in it, etc. They are like big, fluffy snow bunnies out there. :)

Not so much loved: the thorough combing they have to get when the snow melts and they dry off. They HATES that part. (Bitey little creatures, they are! A handful of treats afterwards soothes all though.)

Monday, January 06, 2014

Beads, beads, beads.

 I finished my New Year's cleaning - whew! Feels nice to have a clean start to the year. Purged of all things clutterly and so last year

 As part of that I've cleaned out all my 'bead bowls' from last year, strung them up by theme, and put them on Etsy for a steal.

Now I get to start over again from scratch and create new 'piles'. (And there are ALWAYS new piles. It's crazy how fast they start to stack up again!)

Friday, January 03, 2014

Yes, please.

To a new year, that is. :)
Like many, many others I've seen - I don't think 2013 was the best year ever
Still here in one piece though so I can't complain too much. 
Onward to 2014!

Oh, that might be a little unfair though because the holidays were quite nice 'round these parts and I've enjoyed the break. A nice finish to the year is appreciated after the depressing grind of the middle parts, yes?

I tried to put up my little 'Charlie Brown' tree in place of the 'missing' large one. Yeah. Someone kept knocking it over and trying to chew the electrical wires to the lights so that only lasted a few days before I packed it away again. So I was not wrong in my assessment of Fitz's abilities to behave with a tree - any tree. PLAYAS GOTTA PLAY.

 I kept the twinkly lights up in my picture window so at least we had that. (They must come down now though because he was caught trying to chew the light bulbs today. Grrr.) I did manage to put up most of my stitchy ornaments still. (See above.) I usually have a garland going around the banister and downnnnnn the stairs - works nicely for pinning ornaments it turns out. On the other side of that part of the bannister, I had my wee knitted stockings and sweaters up...

Turns out as long as I have a tiny bit of twinkly lights and my handmade ornaments up somewhere in the house, I don't miss the tree all that much. (I still want one again next year though.)

Oh, in lieu of any major gift giving this year, we decided to upgrade our phones so all pictures are brought to you via my smashing new iPhone. That newest version has quite a lovely little camera on it, doesn't it? Sooooooooo much better than my 3+ years old last iPhone. (The camera on that was laughable. And I haven't had a speck of space left on it in monthssssss to do any updates or add music, etc. And goodbye waiting a full minute for apps to open up!)  It served me well but I'm quite glad to move on from it. :)

So what did I do with my break? Gosh, a whole lot of nothing. IT WAS LOVELY. 

I finished one book. Just one.(Art history book. Boring to 99.9% of people, I'm sure.)

Started/finished one ornament. Just one. 
(L*K stocking design. Called for threads, random linen that I don't quite love but it will do and I added my own mini buttons. The linen has blotches of pink, blue and brown on it and it's origins are TOTALLY unknown. Anyone?)

Ha! That might be it. (I also finished a scarf just last night that I started last summer but it's still damp and can't be photographed in all it's glory yet. He will have to get his time in the sun, so to speak, in the next post.) Oh! I did catch up on three months worth of Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair magazines that were 'piling up' on my iPad. And I rewatched Series 4 of Downton Abbey because the hubby never caught it on the first go round. (Yikes. Did not love that Christmas special though. *snooooooze* Just me? Anyone?) And, course, there were lots of kitty snuggles and endless mugs of hot tea. :)

This week has been less of a break though because I've doing some New Year's cleaning and getting set up for 2014 with my business. Just really tossing things about and giving everything a good scrub. Took me 3 days to finish upstairs and now I get to start on downstairs. (Bleh.) Some things, like the linen cabinet, were an epic disaster. So glad they are all sorted out again. (I don't have to cringe anymore every time I go in there for a hand towel or a new set of sheets. Bless!) Back to work this weekend though. All good things must end at some point.... maybe? Or is that a really depressing view of things? Heh.

Oh! I have to post the hubby's last woven scarf as well. Another one I would have liked to keep for myself, for sure. The colors are ridiculously off in this photo but it's already gone on to someone else as a gift so it will have to do.

This one is all Paton's wool in a sock weight. The warp (length) is the gray yarn in the fringe and the weft (left to right) is the top most yarn in this pile from March 2012:
God love him for using up more of my yarn stash. It brings a tear to the eye, it does. *sniff*
I could - conceivably - get to the end of it now before old age. IMAGINE THAT. 
I just need a solution for my cross stitch stash now. :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

FA LA LA LAaaaAAaaaa!

 It's official. I am done with work until the New Year. 
*happy sigh*

Not a moment too soon, either! Just no idea where the last four weeks have gone. :(

Bless anyone who doesn't get a small break for the holidays. It's all so overwhelming.

For my first day of workless bliss (today) I had to deal with some Serious Business straight away before I got arrested........by the BEAUTY POLICE, that is. The mani/pedi situation was a tragedy. Let us not speak of it again. *ahem* I feel so much better now that that is taken care of*.  (It's crazy but true! lol)

 Tomorrow I have to beat back the dust balls in the house and, umm, decorate a little for Christmas? UGH. So late this year



Hanging out in the hoodie. If you look closely you can see his tongue sticking out. Silly goose.
 
We went back and forth - and forth and back - on the tree. We love having a tree. 
Do not love: cats knocking over trees. Or climbing trees. Eating trees? Pretty much anything cat + tree = BAD. 
I'm already tired of playing Mean Mommy to Fitz's daytime antics (get down from there! don't scratch that! get out of there! don't go in there!, etc.). I don't think my nerves could handle him AND a tree this year. He's still too, ummmm, rambunctious? He *is* the very definition of 'boy' at the moment. (But cute!) Hopefully next year, when he is older, it will be better. So........we'll miss the tree this year but I think it's best we don't put it up. I can still put some garland up on the stairway and hang a few things from that. (Can't do lights in that area though, which is a bummer.) I feel bad for waiting so long to get to it but we are traveling out to people for Christmas this year so I don't need to go crazy if I'm not entertaining here either, I guess.

THANKFULLY, I am golden on the gift buying. (THANK YOU INTERNETS.) Just need a few details in the gift wrapping department to finish that up. WHEW. 

Okay so after all THAT, *then* I can do something naughty like...........sit for a long stretch of time and read a book? Actually get some knitting done? Or stitching?  Hell, I'll take blankly staring at the wall like a zombie at this point. It's enough that I have TIME to do it without the stress of any work hanging over me everyday.  :)

 I didn't get any knitting done for the holidays this year (yikes) but.........the husband has been going like gangbusters through my yarn stash, weaving scarves for gifts. (There is one more to photo as well.)
I like each one better than the last and it's so great to see more of my yarn come out of retirement the stash boxes and be used up. 

 The brown one? This one is mine because it matches my winter jacket. YUM.
The weft (goes 'weft to right) is in done in Alchemy Yarns which I *think* I got from a sock club package? Anyhoo, the colors on this are divine. I *love* this kind of 'fall inspired' color combo.
The warp (length) is a tan Opal yarn and worked very nicely as the hardly-seen-but-still-important-background.

I rooted around my phone/ipad pics to see what *I* have finished lately and all I came up with is a Halloween finish from a couple weeks ago. :(

It's quite a nice one though! 
Silver Creek Samplers, JCS 2013 Halloween book. 
On.......40 ct maybe? Something small like that, at any rate. 

I messed up at the very very end. Literally. Annoying. Last thing to do on it was the crow and didn't notice until I was done that he was supposed to be perched on the bottom of the 'L', not the top. GRRrrrrr! I chose to EMBRACE my take on it (read: just get 'er done) and did an extra leaf where he was *supposed* to go. I love the little leaves on this so one more is just fine by me. :)

I feel bad for never posting pics of Livvy too but I swear to god she's IMPOSSIBLE to photograph. She LOSES HER MIND everytime I grab my phone to snap a pic and all I end up with is blurry blurry blurry gray messes or something like this:
Because that's a ladylike pose. Hello, crazy eyes!

Wait, wait, I dug around some more. Finally. One good one. It's a Christmas miracle. 

 
Well, hopefully I get a chance to post more often now so I don't run on and on like this anymore. It's exhausting to read, I'm sure. If I don't though, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to everyone!  :)




*(Also, I lasered the crap out of myself with my laser gun but y'all probably aren't interested in that unless you want to hear about how fricking_painful_it_is to have a good laugh at my expense because I PAID $$$ to do this to myself. I literally scream out approximately 3,815 obscenities per leg. At LEAST.  It's like electrocuting yourself. Over and over and over again.)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Ok.

 Which one of you is responsible for letting me go a month without posting? HUH? Please come forward. Because, surely, it's not my fault. It's got to be someone else out there who fell down on poking and prodding me into doing it......right? :)

Also, how is Thanksgiving already upon us? I'm feeling a little shell shocked over that and how close Christmas is, too. *scared*

 Tis the season for lots and lots of bead orders so I've been mostly keeping my head down and just trying to keep up. (Trying being the operative word here.) Muttering under my breath about how slow it will be halfway through December so I don't totally lose my mind over it. I can do it. Right? Just keep on trucking and a day off from all things work related will magically appear at some point? FINGERS CROSSSED. :)

Well, I can't go back and recap a whole month so I'll stick to the good stuff. Firstly, this year's Stitches East show has come and gone (earlier this month). I have mad love for this crazy convention-center-filled-to-the-rafters-in-yarny-goodness but I wasn't feeling it.........much?...this year. I mean, it was great to see everything but nothing was really sticking out to me. Am I jaded? Am I over the 'yarn thing'? Do I need an anti-depressant? Or have I just realized HOW MUCH FRICKIN YARN I HAVE STASHED away and how much I do NOT NOT NOT NOT need a single yard more? I think it might be the latter. Digging through the stash lately to find yarn for the husband's weaving projects have really made it clear how much yarn I have. *gulp*

Anyhoo. This is all I purchased at this year's show. I got the yarn/pattern for a pair of gingerbread mittens I wanted last year at the show and the hot pink sock yarn was 'just because'. (You don't actually come across NEON pink sock yarn very often. It's usually softer tones of pink only. Because most knitters, I assume, are adults and don't want neon colors. I happen to love neon colors but I'm not out there trying to pass as normal either. lol)

The neon colors are a thing with me right now, I guess, because I finished using up this yarn from my last post. I thought it wanted to be gloves but I ripped that out after I finished the first glove. Wasn't using up enough yarn. (This yarn was NOT cheap so I wanted to use up every last bit of it.) So I poked and poked around for a new pattern and came up with a free cowl pattern by the name of Inspira. The pattern is more an 'idea' than a hard and fast pattern. You adapt it to the yarn you want to use and just wing it.

Hmm. Cowls are kinda hard to photograph unless you are into selfies. (Which I'm not.) It's so sad and...........flat.

There. Much better with a model. Livvy loves poking her head and sitting in bags so she was a natural. Just plunked her in front of it and watched her go WHEeeeEEEEEEE A BAG, A BAG! while I snap a picture. I'm still a little dubious of how much wear I will get out of it (I like scarves) but it was fun to knit and the colors worked out quite nicely with a minimum of fuss. (The yarn changes color on it's own. No cutting/weaving ends in here!)

 I also had a MaMaMonkee as a model but I think the Livvy pic is much better. :)

This was all I had leftover of the two skeins of yarn, too. WIN! :)

Babies are babies no more. They had their junk ripped out and are officially sexless now. :) Poor Livvy and her boo-boo belly. Stitches come out the day after Thanksgiving so she's almost better now though. Just a little longer to go. Small price to pay, I think, for not being forced to give birth to your brother's babies. *snort*