December 31, 2006

Happy Anniversay/New Year

12 years ago today - JB and I got married. Today we will be purchasing a piece of exercise equipment for our Christmas Anniversary Gift, going out to breakfast, walking the dogs, and then heading to a party where he can play poker and I can feel inadequate at making small talk. It's okay - I'll survive. My plan is to set some 'couple' goals for 2007, finance goals, housing goals, and maybe see if we can work on a joint hobby that doesn't include sitting in the house staring at a box :) Hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year and gets to spend it with those that they love - I know I will be.

December 30, 2006

2006 In Review

Hmm - it seems like I accomplished alot during the past year. But if you want to see what someone who is truly prolific can accomplish, go check out what Carolyn got done last year. Way to go girl, thanks for the encouragement and I'm very glad to see you blogging again. So - what did I manage to accomplish during 2007? *I made 33 garments for myself. All of which get worn regularly. *I made a big red bow for a bride to tie around her waist and hang down her back. She loved it and I saw pictures - it didn't look overly large! *I knit 5 sweater for myself, 5 felted oven mitts, 3 felted bags and too many warshrags to count! *I helped my ASG group make infant clothing for the National Charity Project *I help my ASG group make roman shades for the Senior Center where we meet. *I got two curtain panels finished for my dining room. What is hanging over from last year? *The Man Sweater - the back is done, I am currently working both sleeves at the same time and am almost done with the shaping rows. *The curtains for the living room - 6 panels in all. They are cut, seamed and ready to go, I'm waiting on JB to hang the new rods so I can figure out how long they need to be to finish them. *Two denim-type jackets which are cut out and need to be sewn and one t-shirt. Goals for 2007? *To be true to myself in my sewing. *To actually make some of the items from my inspiration folder *To create with fabric I own and purchase less *To stop being afraid of fabrics I haven't used before. That should do it. Happy New Year everyone.

December 28, 2006

A Very Felted Christmas

A lot of the gifts I gave were homemade. Sorry TLC. Anyway, I knit several oven mitts. When The Princess saw the first one she asked if it was the mitten from the book about the boy who loses one of his mittens and all the animals of the forest climb in to stay warm during the cold winter. When he finds the mitten it's super stretched out of shape. That's what these oven mitts resembled pre-felting. (Does anyone happen to remember the name of that story?) They were kinda cute, but wouldn't fit anyone other than the jolly green giant and they definitely wouldn't keep you from burning yourself. When felting wool for use with hot items it is important to felt until no stitches can be seen at all. This is what that same mitt looked like after 3 goes through the wash cycle. I still have a top loading machine and I put a couple of oven mitts into the washer with a couple pairs of jeans. I would let the washer run for about 15 minutes and then go set it back at the beginning of the cycle. This little mitt had to be stretched a bit to fit comfortably through the palm. I love how the stripes show after the felting. Finally, here is a picture of the entire "kitchen set" given to The Princess. It contains one hand towel made of cotton yarn, 2 miniature Mason/Dixon Warsh Rags. I call these miniatures because the pattern has you cast on 45 and knit for 13 brick rows (that's what I call them, because that's what they look like!). Anyway for these I cast on 33 stitches and knit until I had 9 rows of bricks. They are just slightly smaller. Each kitchen set got 2 - each with the colors reversed. The set I gave The Musical One is more greens and since her wool was solid one of her cotton colors was variegated. I refused to make another dishtowel after these two however, so the Sister-in-Law only got an oven mitt and 2 dishrags. The final bit of felting was 2 purses. The pattern started life as the Rick Rack Purse from knitpicks.com. I am not affiliated with this online store in anyway, but I was quite pleased with the service I received. Unfortunately I didn't take any after photos of the purses and they got packed into a plastic tubs for transportation back to Canada. I think they were a hit. Hard to tell.

December 27, 2006

Why?

Why does the passing of Christmas feel like such a let down? It almost always has for me. All the hype and drama - and then, sorta nothing. It's just over. Anyway - the computer bags were a big hit. Both girls loves theirs. The felted purses seamed to go over well, along with the felted oven mitts and warshrags. I got photos of the kitchen sets, but not the bags in the after condition. Now I just have to get them out of my computer. Tonight we start installing the new closet system in the upstairs bedroom for The Musical One. Her bed got moved up last week so company could use it. They left this morning so now it's time for life to carry on. Hope to find some time to get some personal sewing done. The cutting table looks like a hurricane of wrapping paper hit it. Guess I'll need to get that cleaned up first. I have 4 days off this weekend with the possibility to attend a party on New Year's Eve. We'll have to see. Happy Sewing, Knitting and Crafting everyone.

December 25, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Said with the Frosty the Snowman voice. Hope everyone has a very happy, stress-less holiday and is able to spend time with family and friends doing exactly what they want. Thank you all for stopping by and offering encouragement when I'm down and depressed. For teaching when I needed lessons and for becoming great friends in the world wide web! Happy Holidays to all.

December 23, 2006

Life Lessons

Do any of you watch "TLC?" Well I do, alot. But that may change! Yesterday while watching the idiot box with JB before heading out on more holiday errands - I saw a new Life Lesson that I had never seen before. This was labeled Life Lesson #40, but I couldn't find a reference to it or a figuring on The Discovery Channel's webpage. Basically, it said that homemade gifts were only okay to make and give if you were under the age of 7! WTF? I don't get it. I make lots of gifts, and people seem to really enjoy them. Do you think they are just faking? Granted the 'husband' in the commercial had just given his wife a rather largish piece of a tree - either branch or trunk and was claiming it was a birdhouse, but still. A general don't make gifts if you're over 7 proclamation? I may have to remove Channel 36 from my televisions. Happy Holidays everyone. The in-laws are arriving today. The bedroom is painted. Half the bed is moved upstairs. Today, it's laundry (so I can felt), cleanup (so there isn't all the carp in my house from tearing the closet out in the bedroom) and more wild goose chase shopping (I certainly hope it's not a wild goose chase). I hope to be able to post before and after pictures of some of my felted goods tomorrow. I also hope to be able to sneak some sewing and wrapping time in :)

December 22, 2006

Busy, Busy

We're still super busy around here at the House of the Dogs. JB's last day of work until next year was Wednesday. You can bet I left him a long 'honey do' list. Starting with painting the room that was vacated by The Princess earlier this year. Today we will move the bed occupied by The Musical One upstairs to her new bedroom - which will eventually become the guest room if she ever moves out again!!!! I have to briefly go to work this morning. When you work for attorneys and what you do or don't do affects people's lives - sometimes you have to do when you don't want to. That's the boat I'm in this morning. I'll go and I'll smile. It should be fairly quiet this morning at the office, so maybe I can get some other work done. Then hubby has shopping plans. I plan on taking knitting with me where ever I go today. Two mittens needs to be made and one purse finished so all can be felted and wrapped before Monday. Happy Holidays everyone - time to let the dogs in.

December 20, 2006

Checking the List

and checking things off! These are the computer bags for the girls. I finished the polka dot one last night! I have also posted photos of the linings. The orange floral is the inside of The Princess' bag. The flannel used for the lining almost exactly matches the cotton used on the outside. On her bag I added some quilting lines to keep the batting from shifting, but didn't divide the pockets at all. Also I added a layer of cotton batting to the lining pieces just for a little extra cush. It wasn't called for in the pattern - but then I'm not positive they were meant to shlep computers around! I also lined both the fashion fabric and lining of the bottom pieces with batting. This bottom and sides get a piece of plastic canvas to help make them stiff! The outer shell is fused with a very heavy fusible interfacing - also to give the bag body. The lining for The Musical One's bag also has 2 inside pockets (oh yea, the pattern only called for one), but this time I divided one side into two pockets and the other side into 3. I like this much better as the pockets are still big enough to hold cables, a small notebook and whatever else you might need to have with your laptop - but they aren't as floppy as not dividing the pockets into sections at all! Unfortunately, because the sides have plastic canvas in them and then they are sewn shut with the application of the zipper - there is no easy way to divide the pockets on The Princess' bag. I'm sure she'll live! Two more work days until I'm off for the holiday :) I have to go back to work on Boxing Day - but that will be good as my sister in law will be visiting and I'm sure I will be more than ready for a break. Sewing left to do before the 25th: *5 aprons *3 stuffed Teddy Bears for the dogs Knitting left to do: *2 oven mitts to be felted *mini M/D Ballband warshcloths *continue working on the man sweater Of course I still have some "real" shopping to do. When, I don't know, but I think I can

December 19, 2006

As If!

Once upon a time somebody told me to act "as if." For example - as if I was a girl scout leader, as if I was happy, whatever. I think you get the idea. Yesterday, I was super busy at work. Slammed in fact. Then I got a phone call from my dentist's office asking if I could come in early for my appointment today? Appointment? Today? Sure! Left at 3, went to the dentist, went home and sat down quietly with a book and a cup of cocoa - where I fell asleep :) This morning I woke up with a headache (again) and a stomach ache. I wanted to climb back into bed. Instead - I acted as if I was feeling fine. As if I was a fully functioning human being. As if I was excited about the holiday season. I managed to get the lining sewn into The Musical One's computer bag. All that's left now is to seam and cut the plastic canvas and then insert the zipper. Moving right along. Will be finished tonight. Another thing I'm adding to my "As If" list. I'm going to act as if there is more time between today and Christmas!!!

December 18, 2006

While I Was Waiting

for something worthwhile to blog about, JB beat me to the computer last night. So, I blew my post a day - oh well :} I did get some sewing and some knitting done this weekend, along with all the eating, drinking and visiting. The back of the man sweater is off the needles and I cast on for both sleeves. I'm working them both at the same time. I also managed to get down into the "studio" (how pretentious am I?) after dinner and made one of the last pieces to my DWOA Secret Santa package. That little fleece bear in the back. The picture above is the package being mailed today. (She doesn't read this blog - so I'm safe to tell you all what's in it.) For the dogs - 2 soft squeaky toys, one purchased one handmade. A round stainless cookie tin with the bag of cookies in the front tucked inside. 3 rawhide wreaths and 3 yummy (according to my dogs) bone shaped cookies. For the human - a very wide and long mohair lace scarf. The pattern came from 365 Stitch Patterns - Lacy Zigzag on November 1st. I used size 10 mm needles to get a very open look. I cast on 35 stitches or 5 pattern repeats plus 4 stitches for a 2 stitch garter border. I knit through 4 balls of mohair that was purchased in England in the 80s. This is long and wide enough to use as a wrap, shawl, or scarf. I hope it is enjoyed. Also included for the human - a picture frame, a book, a rice paper journal and some tea. I was going to make and add some doggie themed magnets, but the Princess used my hot glue gun last and didn't put it away. Now I don't know where it is! I wasn't very happy when I figured that out yesterday. Finally - let me leave you with my beautiful scarf model. As you can tell - the scarf looks great with the color of his coat, but he wasn't very happy about modelling. According to Sheeba I must die for this humiliating event.

December 16, 2006

Joining In

This morning while the dogs were being super good - I got up and put them out at 5:30 and then went back to bed until 9. Not one of them made a noise - not even a wimper. Then I surfed blogs once I brought them back in before feeding them at 10:30. That's 3.5 hours late. If you knew Dudley, you would know how impressive the fact that he wasn't screaming at me was. In fact, I think they may have been fed twice this morning - but since The Musical One is at work, I can't verify that :) Anyway, I was reading Beki's Blog, Arty-Crafty Babe. She has a link to Quilts For the Kims. Earlier this week while reading Christine's Blog, I was inspired to find things to join. Earlier this year I did make squares for Christine's Comforting Jef project. It was one of the most incredible things I have participated in. That and Sadie's Love Quilt which was made for Sadie as part of our DWOA group. More on that later. Anyway - I will be making a 12" pink quilt square as part of a quilt project to help comfort Sabine who lost her father to a terrible tragedy. I don't understand it - but I am very thankful that I am able to participate and that my family is healthy.

Hostess Gifts & Holiday Traditions

This is the view of the entry way. The banister was adorned with fresh garland and multi-colored mini lights. I'm going to have to get out the manual for my digital camera so I can take pictures of the outdoor lights and the tree. I can't get the lights at dark to show up. Will work on it. The party was wonderful! I had a great time. I wore the green sheath dress - without an apron. I made 70 or so meatballs and put them in a crockpot with bottled sweet & sour sauce to which I added a can of pineapple chucks, with the juice and one chopped green bell pepper. I also had a crockpot full of "little smokies" in BBQ sauce. We had a beautiful tray with crackers with a bowl of spinach artichoke dip in the middle. A huge platter of ham, salami, Havarti & cheddar. A bowl of cooked shrimp on ice with a side of cocktail sauce. 20 mini quiches - courtesy of Costco. They were very good and the perfect bite size. One of the guests brought crackers and a homemade salmon ball. Very good :)
On the kitchen table was a box of chocolate cookies that I picked up also at Costco. I was worried there wouldn't be enough food! I was almost right. Also there were a couple bowls of mixed nuts, a box of chocolates that was brought as a hostess gift and the cheesecakes made by JB. I was quite disappointed, when I went to set up the candles for the dining room table I found that all the candles I bought at Michael's last week didn't make it home with me. Bummer! We called, but they claim not to have found them. I'm disappointed - but was able to punt. I have lots of candles! In fact, due to the wind storm we had on Thursday night several of our guests were without power. I got compliments for having candles in every room of the house - just in case :) On to hostess gifts - I was given a box of "Pot of Gold" chocolates, a box of Godiva chocolates, and a box of Russel Stover's chocolates, a bottle of wine and a plant. I let the 8YO at the party open the Pot of Gold - it's mostly gone and I'm happy. This morning our mailman rang the bell as he had a box for us - too big for the mailbox. I gave him the box of Russel Stover Chocolates and wished him a happy holiday season :) I will be taking the Godiva and regifting it to the hostess at the party we are attending tonight. {It's okay, nobody at the party reads this blog.}
What traditions do you have in your family? We have a couple - some created for our blended family after JB and I got married and some started when I had kids. This is one of my favorites. Every year since The Musical One was born both my mother and my sister send an ornament to my kids. Generally the ornaments match each other. Some years they are handmade, some years bought. I love these ornaments. These are the two that my sister sent for the girls this year -
they were in the box the mailman delivered :)
What's really great about this year's ornaments is just last night The Princess said to me that she wanted to start collecting snowman ornaments for her personal tree :0] How appropriate are these? She will be getting the tall one in her stocking.
I did purchase a few ornaments for her this year, but they weren't snowman - next year I'll know to be on the lookout for the fluffy white guys.

December 15, 2006

Doing What I Do Best

Have I mentioned that I'm having a cocktail party tonight? Have I ever mentioned that I have 4 dogs? Or how about the fact that my husband and I both work full-time? Or even that I might be a little bit of a procrastinator? So here's what I should be doing this morning - *grocery shopping *stopping at the liquor store *vacuuming *dusting *laundry (just 'cuz there's so much I can't hide it behind a door right now!) *then cooking *I need to press my dress and I would like to make an apron (it ain't gonna happen, but I'd like to) What am I doing instead - updating my blog - adding a list of my labels - thanks Debbie :) Reading comments - Linda, you are so right. I have been peri for a couple of years now, but nobody will listen to me. Yes, I finally found a new doctor who will :P Mary - do you have a blog or website? I would love to see pics of your dogs. And GP - thanks for being there. Jess - can't wait to see you and the boys, wish you were here for the party. Okay - headed off to get my errands run. The Musical One just woke up and I gave her a job to help - now she's not happy. Heaven forbit you should have to clean up after yourself :)

December 14, 2006

Thankful Thursday

Some weeks I need this more than others. This is one of those weeks. Right after the holidays I promise to get together with my doctor and see what I need to deal with - health, weight management, menopausal, depression - all of it. I'm feeling really low and nothing short of curling up is helping. Since curling up and ignoring life isn't much of an option - I'm working my way through. Sometimes, I am reminded of what a blessed life I lead by remembering the small things in life that bring a smile to my face - here's a few of my favorites *Kisses & Hugs from the Beau Man *Watching Lucy run around with a toy hanging out of her mouth *Catching a glimpse of the sunrise through my new sitting room windows *a clear morning drive that gives me a beautiful view of the mountains *cuddling with hubby for the few minutes that snooze allows me each morning *the lights on our Christmas Tree - even if it is outside *putting favorite ornaments on the tree *cute teacup ornaments with faces, arms & legs (bought one last night) *the smell of coffee *internet friends *opening holiday greetings Hope your life is filled with many, many small things that bring a smile to your face when you're feeling blue - and even when you're not!

December 13, 2006

Comments

I really appreciate everyone's comments. Whether they are on my precious pups, my frustration with weight management or sewing questions. I have a couple of questions regarding comments. Sometimes, commenters ask questions in their comments. What do you feel is the best way to answer them? A response in comments or a new post? I'm sure that many of you have posted comments on TypePad blogs. I really like their comment format. When you sign in, not only do you put your name and blog/website info - you also leave your email address. I have had a couple of people actually send me an email regarding a comment I left - just a thank you or good idea. Does anyone know if there is a way to add an email address to blogger posters? Is that something you have to have listed in either your profile or on your blog? Do you ever wonder if the person who's blog you left a comment on has read it? Especially if you are posting on an older post? I have my comments set so that I get an email every time I get a comment. Which is really nice - especially when I got a new comment last week on a post from this summer. But, in all truthfulness - I stalk my own blog to see if people are leaving comments and I always smile when I see them. So, thank you all, my new virtual friends, for reading my blog and leaving your opinion. It makes a difference. It makes it a little easier to post things that aren't sewing related. To "put myself" out on the Internet - as it were. I appreciate your comments, opinions, help and support. Happy Holidays everyone and happy sewing/knitting/crafting.

December 12, 2006

Santa Baby

Last night our local mall sponsored Pet Night with Santa. I had been looking forward to this for weeks - even since I found out about it. I put it on our calendar - we were going to load up all 4 dogs and take them to the mall to see Santa. This is one of the best Santas in the area. When I got home from work it was pouring down rain. I decided when I parked the car that we weren't going to go. We would have to walk about 20 minutes to get inside the mall and they dogs would all be drenched by the time we could get there. Not pretty. After eating dinner, the rain stopped. So I changed into leaving the house clothes and talked JB into going with me. Can't manage all 4 of them by myself. We easily found parking (I was very surprised since the holiday is so close). Unloaded the dogs and went into the mall. People were stopping us in the road to ask if there was some sort of dog show going on at the mall. At least every other person we past stopped to pet our dogs and ask what breed the "big ones" were. JB thought it was a silly idea to take the dogs to see Santa - but he went anyway. When we got to the Santa line - there were at least 6 dogs in front of us and 2 cats! We didn't have to wait long though - the line moved pretty fast and there were more dogs getting into line behind us all the time. As we were leaving we saw a beautiful grey 9 month old Great Dane. What a pretty dog. Anyway - I was pleasantly surprised by Beauregard. When he's on a leash he thinks he needs to 'protect' me and acts like a real bonehead toward other dogs. He's perfectly fine if he's off leash, but the mall isn't the place for that. He did wonderfully - he politely touched noses with the Pittbull puppy in front of us and the Chihauha behind us. He never growled or even really bothered with the other dogs. What a good boy!! The girls were a handful. They had to keep saying hello to other dogs in the line, ducking under the ropes to see the people and get some pets. When it was our turn, the short dogs sat down in front of Santa, between his legs and he held their leashes. Beau lined up on one side and Lucy on the other. Lucy didn't want to stay there though - as you can tell by the photo at the top - that's the one that I took. We did finally get them all to sit, stay and get our heads out of the picture. This is the final result: I took the picture above. The colors of the dogs are truer in the photo that I took. The bottom picture is a picture of the picture taken at the mall. It turned out great and is already displayed in the frame where it will stay on display all year until being replaced by next year's picture. All in all - I'm pleased :)

December 11, 2006

Posting - Just to Post?

Sorta, but not really. Although that's how I feel as I attempt to post every day in December. This is allegedly a sewing blog - although not much sewing is going on. Mostly knitting and some whinning. Well here's more whinning. Friday I bought a new pair of pants to wear to my office holiday dinner. My office is very informal - so technically to fit in, I should have bought a new pair of jeans. Anyway - here's where the whine comes in. My new pants? Size 12!! I'm incredibly distressed about this. The pants I bought last December - Size 8. I know I have vented about this before, but I still don't have the answer. Last year at this time I was easily maintaining my weight at 150# this year, 164# - that's quite a bit to put on during the year - especially if it continues. In another 3 years I'd be darn close to my pre-Weight Watchers weight and I don't want to do that. Just for the record - I'm 5'9" and I'm 43 years old. Also, I'm pretty wide. Having children spread my ribs and from the side I'm probably visually as wide as I am from the front - great! I'm a tall box, otherwise known as a rectangle with arms!! Here's the deal. In order to maintain a weight of 150# I need to work out 6 days a week for not less than 45 minutes per workout. Plus I have to walk dogs for roughly 75 minutes per day - 7 days a week. There is no fun in my food life, rarely a drink with dinner or dessert. Not a cookie, no chips or crackers, just fruits, veggies and lots of water. How important is it for me to maintain 150#. So, I'm curious, those of you who care about your shape - what do you do and why do you do it? What is "worth it" for you? Would you consider it as failure to increase your goal weight by a few (I'm not talking about the 14# currently attached) pounds to maintain a little less weight focused lifestyle? Happy holidays everyone - I hope to have sewing posts again soon. Tonight we are taking all 4 hounds to the mall to have their picture made with Santa :)

December 10, 2006

Lazy Sunday

After sleeping late - until 7. I spent a little time surfing blogs this morning. Now I have more craft ideas and no more time. Friday I manage to get a little more of the house decorated for my little (which is rapidly growing out of control) Holiday Cocktail Party this Friday. Did a little shopping and worked on the dress for JB's party on Saturday. Went out to dinner with my office - fun was had by all. Saturday we went to the Bellevue Botanical Gardens and walked around looking at their light show. It was incredible. JB took the 33mm film camera, but I left the digital at home. Then we headed over to his party - where I wore a fabulous green sheath dress - yep. Got 'er done! Today, got up late. Played with dogs, mended all the dog toys. Finished knitting a bag to be felted for a holiday gift. Worked on the Man Sweater - just an inch to go on the back before the shoulder shaping and worked on another felted oven mitt. Need to get 3 more made. I never left the house all day, barely got dressed. No sewing was done - but I did manage to knit. Headed to bed now so I can start it all again :)

December 9, 2006

The Dress that May Not Happen

This dress is kicking my arse! Yesterday I got all the darts sewn. Re-threaded the serged and edge finished the side seams. Then sewed the shoulder seams. I then very carefully basted the narrow bias into the shoulder and neck seams and sewed the lining into the dress. It looked like carp!! am I new? Did I just learn to sew? Have a never made a lined dress before? I sewed both the dress and lining with the rights sides up - rather than opposites which means that the lining has the darts on the body side of the dress rather than having them neatly sandwiched between the fashion fabric and the lining! What an idiot! So, after attending my office holiday dinner, having a drink, and being out much later than usual - I got up at 5:30 with the hounds and unpicked the armhole and neckline seams. I then ripped the basting off the bias. Not sure if I'll reattach that or not. I also ripped the shoulder seams on the lining - at least the seams can go to the proper side even if the darts can't - I'm no restitching them - I don't have time. Currently, I'm procrasting the resewing as I type this. Today includes charity sewing with my local ASG group - since I'm a NGL I have to be there early to set up. Which means I have to leave the house in about an hour to be early. Then JB's holiday party is tonight - I might be wearing something I've worn before :}

December 8, 2006

Holiday Dress

Today I am taking a vacation day. Why, you ask? Because somehow, I need to turn flat fabric which has been cut into the shape of a dress, but very little else has been done to it up to this point, into a three dimensional dress. I did manage to get both the waist and bust darts sewn on Monday night, but truthfully, I spent a fair bit of time watching The Closer instead of pinning and sewing darts!
This is the dress that I plan to wear to JB's office Holiday Part tomorrow night. So, the question still remains - why do I need to get it done today? Because - tomorrow is my ASG Neighborhood Group Meeting and I need help marking the hem! I know I do, I always do and since The Princess moved out - I don't have anyone living in the house to help.
But, first, before I head into the sewing/crafting space I'm going to take a quick shower, make oatmeal (I'm hungry), get the gifts for my office party gift exchange out of my car and find wrapping paper. My party is tonight and I'm sad to say that Jeans are the dress of choice - although the office is having dinner at a nice restaurant. I might just wear a skirt anyway as I love to look nice, but I might give into peer pressure.
The Princess had a good idea for the gift exchange gifts. The limit this year was $20. So, I headed out to Fred Meyer and picked up 2 movies, one 'guy' movie and one 'chick flick' and a box of popcorn - ready made date night! Hopefully it will be a popular gift.
Okay - got a lot to get done today, guess I should get busy.

December 7, 2006

I've got Nothin'

So Beau thought he'd tell you all about his day.
Hi, I'm Beau. I'm a dog and I'm mom's favorite, but don't tell the other - Abby thinks she's the favorite! Yea, Right.
Anyway, I love my mom and stuffed toys that make noise. Dad is suppose to be bringing home new noise makers so mom can fix my monkey but she keep forgetting. Ya know what else she forgot? To save some of her breakfast to share with me.
Mom has been super busy lately, she's putting different stuff all around the house and making stuff all the time. She's been really lazy and hasn't been taking me out to sniff the neighborhood. But that's okay, cuz when we don't get out of our yard alot, then she'll let me sit in her lap. Well when she doesn't have those pointy sticks in her hands. When she does she just yells at me about my feet! What about my feet? She says they are rough and big and will 'ruin' her project - Whatever!
Time for my nap while mom gets ready for work. Then she gets to be home for 3 days in a row with us - maybe I can talk her into walking me then - what do you think? Beauregard James

December 6, 2006

And Now Debuting

the "Man Sweater." For some insane reason I decided that JB needed a handknit sweater for Christmas this year. The first thing I had to do was find a pattern. I looked through magazines - online and in print and came up with Leo. This is a free pattern from the Fall 2006 issue of Knitty. If you have never been there, go now. Take a look. This is a free online knitting magazine and they have cute, easy, trendy patterns. Can't ask for more than that, now can you?
Taking the designers yarn choices into consideration as well as the growing barel belly on JB, I started looking for yarn that wouldn't break the bank. I ended up with Peruvian Highland Silk in calypso green from Elann-dot-com.
Unfortunately, I still needed to order 15 balls of it. Other than staining my new bryspun circular needles a slight green this has been a joy to work with. It's smooth, flows through the fingers effortlessly and apparently, progress is being made.
I cast on last Friday morning - nothing like waiting until there are only 24 days before Christmas. I knit on it any chance I get - waiting for my latte in the car on my way to work will usually get a row down. Cooking dinner - a stitch here, a stitch there adds up to a couple of row. Car - I am very lucking with the fact that while JB knows I'm knitting he doesn't actually pay any attention to what. So, I can work on this right in front of him and when he unwraps it, without fail he will say "When did you make this?" While taking the picture this morning I was pleasantly surprised to see that the back has made it to 7.5 inches - 16 inches total before shoulder shaping so I'm almost half-way there!

December 5, 2006

My Blog

I saw this on somebody else's blog last week and thought it was cool. Of course, mine would be so much better if I knew how to import the PDF file. I tried stretching it out, but it just truly stretched it out. If anyone knows how to import the pdf - let me know in comments and I'll fix it. I'm trying to post daily in December - like I don't have enough on my plate already. It just dawned on me that I'm never going to finish JB's sweater in time for Christmas. I should really save this for tomorrow's post :)

December 4, 2006

Weirdness

This morning when I woke up - I was dizzy. Not a little dizzy, but I thought I was going to fall down dizzy. I had to hold onto the walls to walk downstairs - dizzy. Moving very slowly I did what I needed to with the dogs. Since JB had the day off, we stayed downstairs until feeding time. I don't suppose I have to tell you all that I skipped my workout. Anyway - I managed to get my holiday dress cut out. It had to be cut in a single layer. I spent several hours on Sunday cutting the muslin apart. I trued up the new seam lines, added the seam allowances were I could and marked the muslin where I couldn't add seam allowances so I knew to add them on the fabric. I now have 3 pieces of a soft sage green sheath dress cut. Tonight I hope to cut out the lining - providing I'm feeling better. Of course The Closer has a 2 hour special starting at 8pm and JB will still be upstairs watching Monday Night Football so I can watch The Closer and work on my dress at the same time. I have a couple of other things on my plate that I want to get done before the weekend - so I guess I better quit goofing off and start sewing. Ideally I want to make several (8-12) of the flower pincushions to share with my ASG group as a little holiday gift. So, that's the plan for tonight - cut lining, cut bias strips for the edging on the dress and cut circles. I think I can get that done and actually start sewing. Happy Sewing everyone. PS - Does anyone know if I can get people's email addresses? Like when they leave comments so that I can reply back to them personally.

December 3, 2006

Decorating Instead

of crafting. Sometime's a girl just has to do what a girl has to do. Although that's not entirely true. I have finished the Clapotis and it's currently blocking. Also blocking is a green lace scarf made out of Koigu KPPPM - which will be gifted and I just finished a really wide, really long ivory and pink mohair lace scarf/wrap. Again, a gift. Today I thought I'd show you my favorite holiday decorations. I love these reindeer. There are ceramic made to look like they are stuffed. A client made them for me years ago. There are 6 deer and the sleigh. I haven't put them out for several years now and I'm glad they are back. edited to add - what happened to the option to post photos? Edited again - obviously it's back. Strange.

December 2, 2006

BoneHeaded Move Comes Back to Bite Me

Yep, that probably deserves an explaination. Well - here goes. Way before I married JB he was married to somebody else. They had 2 small kids. His sister Sue used to be quite crafty in a felt and glue gun kind of way. Anyway - Sue made several holiday decorations for JB prior family. A really ugly grapevine wreath, a felt advent calendar, placemats, napkins, etc. One year JB left the wreath out all year and it found it's demise then, about 9-10 years ago. We still have all the table decorations - and use them. The Advent Calendar is a different story. The original Advent Calendar is a piece of red felt which is about 18" long by 12" wide and hangs from a piece of cording. There are 24 pockets and they used to be filled with rather largish felt ornaments that the tree got decorated with as you counted down to Christmas. About 9 or 10 years ago, my nephew was born and one of my cross-stitch magazines had these really cute cross-stitch ornaments. Well I decided to take the felt banner idea and make new advent calendars - one for each of my girls and one for my sister's family. I also made a new set of decorations for our Advent Calendar. Here's where the boneheaded move comes in - I got rid of all the old, large felt ornaments that came with the original Advent Calendar and guess who coming for Christmas? I'll post pictures of the girls Advent Calendars later for all to see - I'm really rather proud of them :)

December 1, 2006

Thanksgiving Guest

Here's Bosley. He is a big boy! Very sweet. Poor Bosley has had a rough life. When he was a pup - he was run over by a truck and drug down the street. The driver of the truck claims to never have seen him.
His hips are bad, he has trouble getting up and unfortunately, he fell one morning coming down the stairs at my house. He doesn't exactly like other dogs - he likes his other dogs, but they stayed with the soon to be ex-wife of my brother.So, Bos is lonely on top of everything else. Just for comparison
- here's a picture of Abigail Jane and Beauregard laying on their blanket. Abigail is a fullgrown, 52# basset hound, Beau is a 3YO Male Bloodhound who weighs in at 102#. He's not so little himself, but next to Bosley - he looks like a small dog.
Beau was the most upset about Bosley visiting - he really doesn't like other dogs in his house. Once he was okay with Bosley being in the house, anytime that Bos would lift his head, Beau would go check and see what he was doing. He would sniff his nose and then step over him, going perilously close to the bad hip. Thankfully, Bosley is very well behaved and listens to my brother who refused to let Bosley put Beau in line because it was Beau's house.
Today is my Friday off and I plan on working on the Holiday Sheath Dress today, since I need to wear it Next Saturday and all that I've done is make the muslin and prewash the fabric!

November 30, 2006

Playing Hookie

In my professional life, I am a Legal Assistant. Currently I work for a very small firm - 2 attorneys and an intern plus myself. The focus of our practice is criminal law - traffic and others. Not icky bad criminal stuff though. Anyway, prior to working here - I worked for a solo attorney who practiced family law. The prior attorney has been having some issues with the local bar association and I was subpoenaed to testify on Wednesday. However, they were going faster than anticipated and he needed me to come on Tuesday. JB didn't want me driving to Seattle with the roads and weather what they were and my current boss wasn't real thrilled with me being out on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon (I also had a dental appointment scheduled). So, we said no and I testified by telephone on Tuesday. Since I had my desk cleared for all Wednesday - I stayed home anyway! JB came home from work at 9:30 because they were really slow. The leashed up the dogs and walked to the latte stand, then came home and goofed off. I knit - he played on the computer. Then I went to the dentist, came home, fixed leftovers for dinner and knit some more. I'm hoping to finish the Clapotis for my friend Sheila tonight, get all the ladders pulled and block it. I'll be glad to have this checked off my To Do List.

November 28, 2006

Winter Wonderland

I absolutely love the snow! I know - I should live somewhere else, but I don't. I live just outside of the Seattle Metropolitan area. I'm ready to move anytime, but JB is holding out - if I could just figure out for what? Hmmm. . . . .
Anyway - this was the view from my backyard this morning

And this is Charlie. It's our living Christmas Tree from last year. This is a new tradition and while I miss having the tree in the house for a week or so, I love knowing that the tree will always be around.

If you live in the Seattle area and don't have to drive. Don't - stay home, drink cocoa and craft your little heart out. If you do have to drive - do so very carefully.

November 27, 2006

Let It Snow!!

It's snowing in my neck of the woods! It snowed for the better part of Sunday and now it's snowing again this morning. Hard little snow, but snow, notheless! It is beautiful outside and I had the briefest opportunity to stay home and play all day. Somedays it bites being responsible. JB drove my car today - as it's front wheel drive. That left me with the Jeep. Fine! However, it was parked in the dirt on the side of the house and I was briefly stuck! I called my boss and told her I was stuck and wasn't it ironic that the others in my house who drive front-wheel drive vehicle got out just fine, but I was sliding all over. I sat and fumed while talking to her then tried to back up one more time. That time I made it. So, here I am at work! Responsibility bites! Over the weekend, I managed to get life back to normal. We walked the dogs on Saturday morning - it was a gloriously cold, but clear day. Then I got some crafting time. 2 things crossed off the Holiday to make list. I got all the Christmas cards written and weather permitting I'll be heading to the post office today for mailing. I even worked on the computer bag for The Musical One. Then the power went out. JB and I played 3 games of cribbage - I won 2 and he skunked me on the 3rd! By then it was late and my eyes were tired from the candlelight and we headed to bed. My brother headed over the pass last night thinking there would be less traffic to deal with so we are back to just our own 4 dogs :) I took a picture of Bosley and will post it tomorrow.

November 26, 2006

Feeling Better Today

Although I'm still feeling overwhelmed and like a huge failure. I know it has tons to do with the never ending rain! I did manage to find enough dry time to take JB, my brother, Beau & Lucy for a stroll to the latte stand on Saturday. That helped my spirits immensely. Then the Princess came over and hijacked her uncle - leaving me a few hours of uninterrupted crafting time. That too helped my spirits immensely. This morning when I got up, it was snowing! It didn't last long, it never does here. Basically I live at sea level in Washington, but it sure was nice - what a huge mood booster!! Thank you for your comments. I'm trying to be nicer to me - I often tell myself "Don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn't say to someone you love." Of course, I don't often follow this very sage advise. I believe - that life reverts to normal today. The dogs are sleeping on their beds, JB is sleeping on the sofa while watching football. I'm fixing leftovers for dinner - even if the Brother, The Princess and The Musical One go out to dinner. Laundry is being washed and crafting is getting done.

November 25, 2006

Seasonal Depression?

I'm pretty sure this isn't the place for it - but here goes anyway. I think I may suffer from some seasonal depression. In the general Seattle area it has done nothing but rain - hard - for days. Since daylight savings time, it's dark 80% of the time. Okay, not really, but all of my 'free time.' Lately, I'm feeling like a huge failure. We have a division of labor in our family - JB does the outside, including all the gardening and I do the inside. Well Thursday he cleaned all the floors - made me feel horrible! It was great that the floors were clean and sparkly and that I didn't have to do it - but instead of enjoying the feeling, I took it an indication that I'm not keeping the inside clean enough. Failure I have been killing myself working out lately and my weight is creeping up again this week. Friday, my head hurt when I woke up - it always hurts so this is nothing new. But what did I do, let the dogs out and then went back to bed - skipping my workout all together. Failure In years past I have always had all my Christmas cards ready to mail on Saturday, because I write them all, with personal notes the day after Thanksgiving. Yesterday I didn't touch them! Failure There is stuff on my desk at work that I can't seem to get to, no matter what I do. Come in early, leave late. It's making my crazy. Failure I am a member of the WW Group Dog Walkers of America - I haven't walked my dogs in months! I am so not exaggating. The last time they got walked was early in September. Poor dogs, of course they still love me, but they aren't as well behaved nor as exercised as they could be. Failure Because of this overwhelming feeling of failure I haven't been in my sewing space for days. Which just adds to the feeling of failure. By the way, I'm a classic overacheiver, everything has to be perfect and there is very little unschedule down time in my life. Walking dogs was one means of down time. Everything I do has to be done perfectly or I shouldn't bother doing it all. Make a project half-heartedly is not okay, it's better not to do it at all! Just my take on things. I hope I can snap out of this soon, before I completely spiral out of control.

November 23, 2006

Thankful - Thanksgiving

Today I am reminding myself of all the little things I am thankful for, including *a husband who loves me *both of us having good jobs that allow me indulge in somewhat expensive hobbies *The Musical One - who can be incredibly annoying, but I wouldn't change her *The Princess *Beau - who loves me best! *Lucy sticking her nose under my arm while I am trying to type *Abigail laying at my feet *Dudley who is the rock dog in this house *Virtual friends and their willingness to help with sewing, knitting, crafting and dog problems. *Family traditions that they kids (adults really) still enjoy *Being able to actually cook the meal, having a home to do it and the finances to afford it *That it's not raining - right now :) I'm off to do all the early prep work that I didn't do yesterday because I wasn't feeling well. Hope that everyone has a safe, happy, enjoyable holiday and finds sometime to do something you enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

November 22, 2006

I'm Sinking Fast!

I fear I'm getting in over my head. My sewing machine is acting up on anything other than a straight or zig-zag stitch. Of course - I can't be without it. Between now and Christmas, the following is currently on my plate: *Green lined holiday dress - to be done for party on 12/9 *One computer bag - cut, but hardly sewn *4 sets of stitch markers to be made *3 kitchen sets to knit - consisting of wool felted oven mitt, 2 warshcloths and a hand towel *2 clopotis *sweater for JB *2 felted handbags for family coming for Christmas *6 aprons *10 flower pincushions I know there's more, but I can't think of it. This morning I ordered yarn for the second clapotis, and one of the felted purses. I still want to get fleece to make The Musical One new fleece sweatpants - she loves them and lives in them and her old ones are gross!! And I need to come up with some neat cool thing to stuff in the Holiday cards that are being mailed to my DWOA group. Quick - somebody throw me a life preserver!!!

November 20, 2006

In Case You're Wondering

I ripped it! I pulled smaller needles and will start over - making it slightly smaller. I was working on 5mm needles. Next time 4mm needles :)

Weekend Recap

Friday I had a glorious day off. I got some knitting done on the gift, had lunch with a good friend, hung out with the hubby for a little bit and then had the evening to myself while hubby was gone playing poker. Saturday was more of the same - but really I spent the entire day in the sewing room, sewing and watching movies. I got the computer bag for the Princess done and then set all that aside and made a quick apron as a hostess gift for a friend. Saturday evening we had dinner with friends and I knit while hubby and the hostess played scrabble. It was a late night and my 5:30 wake up call was early! Sunday, after getting up at 5:30, I read for a little bit, fed the dogs then we all napped - me on the couch - them on dog beds until JB got up and made coffee around 10:30. JB and I then spent a very lazy laste morning, early afternoon. Finally I got moving - decided what we are going to eat this week and made a menu and grocery list. Since the rain had momentarily stopped, JB offered to shop with me. First stop - Costco! UGH. Then the grocery store - 2.5 hours and $300 later we are ready for the next week. Made Shepard's Pie with leftover turkey from last week for dinner, cleaned the kitchen then took my book and had a bath. I realize about 8:45 last night that I don't have enough yarn to finish the Clapotis - so now I need to decide if I want to purchase another skien or rip it. Suggestions. I know this isn't the weekend - but this morning I worked out. I have progressed to 45 minute weight lifting video and 8# weights. Yea me! Then I got JB out the door and put dinner together - spinach enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce. JB will round out the meal by making salsa while The Princess and I go to Weight Watchers. Yum - looking forward to dinner tonight!!

November 18, 2006

Exciting Saturday

I have a very exciting Saturday planned - how about you? It all begins with getting up with the dogs at 5:30 - after a late night of crafting.
It will start with fixing Hedgie. Hedgie is Lucy's most favorite toy in the entire world. She loves him. Her brother loves Hedgie too, but he likes to destroy Hedgie. I've tried buying them each their own hedgie - but neither will have it. So, first thing Saturday morning, Hedgie will receive some minor surgery. Then I will continue working on the computer bags.
I have been collecting apron patterns lately, and we are having dinner at a friend's house tonight. So, the plan is to whip out an apron to take to the hostess. I am trying to decide between View B on the Simplicity pattern and View C on the Butterick Pattern. Truthfully, it will depend on how much time I allow myself for this little project. I'm leaning toward the Butterick one - as really, what's the point in having an apron that doesn't cover your blouse? I like the half ones, but I think the full ones are just that much better. Thankfully, JB has to work today so I'll most of the day to my own devices again.
I will also be taking Sheila's gift to work on while everyone else plays cut-throat scrabble. I'm not the best at finding words, so I watch, stay out of the way and bring something to occupy myself.
Exciting, huh?

Friday

So it has worked out that I don't work any Fridays in November, which is great - but I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to work 5 days anytime soon. Anyway - spent a lazy morning - knitting my fingers to the bone. Clapotis is taking much longer than I expected. Currently I have 5 repeats of the straight rows done. Will start the decrease rows after 10 pattern repeats - rather than the 13 called for the in pattern. I had a fabulous lunch and a great visit with my friend. I took the unfinished scarf and showed it to her. She loved it. The great part is that it's lightweight so I can drop it in an envelope and mail it to her when it's finished. She doesn't live really far away - but we never manage to get together. Why is that? Once I got back home, I cleaned a week's worth of dog hair off the floors and then sat down to finish my book. JB got home, we rounded up Lucy and took her to the vet for staple removal, picked up Quiznos for dinner. JB left to play poker, and I had the house to myself for the entire evening. Did I work on Sheila's gift - no! Did I work on the computer bags that are cut and ready to go - no! I left the house - I went shopping. I went to Hancocks for a few things - which they didn't have. They weren't critical to anything I was working on, but I ended up headed to Joanns to see if they had them. This is what I came home with: Beads, magnets, those half-marble things. some plastic canvas (for the computer bags) and an apron pattern. I am thinking -- stitch markers, and a gift for my DWOA Secret Santa package. Then I headed over to Target. I picked up this movie, some scented stocking stuffers, and a couple of books for filler items in gifts that need to be shipped. Finally my last stop before home was Barnes & Noble. I have been reading this series of books written by Laurien Berenson. When I read books in a series like this will all the same main character, I have to start at the first book and read through to the most current one - today I finished Hot Dog, but I didn't have the last 3 in paperback. I still don't, I have 2 of the three with the middle one missing!! Once I put everything thing away - I watched Christmas with the Kranks and worked on the computer bags. Nice boring Friday evening.

November 17, 2006

I'm Not Going To Make It

but I'm not going to stop working on it either. If I had read through all the instructions and dimensions prior to getting as far as I am now, I would have made the clapotis narrower and shorter. But as it is, it will be shorter. I'm also considering making another one from Koigu for another holiday gift for one of the girls - probaby the musical one to go with her winter wool coat.

November 16, 2006

Sidetracked

All sewing has been put on hold this week. Tomorrow is my friend's birthday. I have known her since we were 15 - the things we did together in high school!
Anyway - I'm taking her to lunch and wanted to have a little something to give her. So, while at my knitting class on Tuesday night (great class by the way!) I picked up some absolutely lovely lace weight cashmere/silk yarn to make this . This is the Clapotis from the Fall 2004 Issue of the online knitting magazine Knitty.
The other color picture is how the scarf/shawl/whatever looks flat. As you can see from the schematic diagram - it is knit from one corner to the other. Last night I finished the increase rows. So, if I am reading the directions properly - I now have 144 rows of straight knitting with the intentionally dropped stitches to work on. I am keeping this on my desk and I work a row or 2 every so often throught the day. I may end up making it shorter as my friend is short - I'm also concerned about how much yarn I have left. I will not be purchasing another skein - although my friend is definately worth it - there are 400 yards per skein at $35 a pop and since I'm already thinking it may be too long - adding twice the yarn won't really help that situation any!

November 15, 2006

Great News!

This is Lucy. We love her (even when her face is crooked!) At the beginning of this year we found a little lump under her tail. We took her - immediately - into the vet and had it checked out. They wanted to measure it and wait to see what it did. It could be bad or it could be nothing!
Well she had to have her shots on the 3rd of November. Just a regular annual doggie exam. I asked the vet to take a look at the her little lump again. It seems in 9 months it had grown from 9mm to 15mm - so it was time to remove it. A little valium, a little local, several staples and it was gone.
Last night our vet call with the results of the biopsy of the lump! Completely begnign! Nothing! Not a smidgen of anything bad. Yea Lucy!!!!

The Computer Bags

The pattern is McCalls 4531.
I am making View A - which is the floral print sitting on the desk in the photo. I am making the longer handles from VB though. The pattern actually calls these "Business Bags." There isn't alot of cushing called for in the pattern. So, I am making the outer shell from cotton, but the lining is flannel. I have also added a layer of Warm & Natural batting to all pieces - with two layers along the bottom.
The bag for the Musical One is being made from the fabrics shown on the right. The dots are the main bag fabric with the black scroll print the bottom and handles. The orange is the flannel for the lining. This should be nice. She walked in the other night when I was interfacing the pieces and had stuff spread all over the cutting table. The comments was "nice fabric!" So, I think she'll like it.
The Princess's fabric is shown to the left. I'm not as sure that she'll like hers. She specifically requested something 'plain.' However, she didn't want to pick the fabric out herself as it was a gift and she wanted to be surprised! This was the only thing that said "The Princess" to me, however. I am always willing to make her another one when she picks out the fabric! In the meantime - this is what she gets - and she better like it. I'll post more photos as I actually make progress!

November 13, 2006

I'm Trying

To post daily. It's amazing, isn't it, what you can accomplish in as little as 30 minutes. This morning, I decided that I need to lift weights 3 times this week, so I did that first. I think after only 2 weeks, I'm ready to move up to 7# hand weights. After drying 4 dogs, we all then went upstairs, made coffee, cleaned up the dishes from last night (with a hubby and 22YO living at home, why am I the only one who can do this?), grabbed some leftovers to throw in JB's lunchbox (I enjoy doing this even though he's perfectly capable), ran upstairs and made the bed, got JB out the door and fed all 4 dogs. Time frame 5:45a.m. to 7:00 a.m. After that I poured myself a cup of coffee and headed back downstairs. I pulled out the vacuum and cleaned the floors downstairs. Beau came down and went outside. I laid the dog beds back out and called the other 3 dogs down. Then I sat down at the computer, checked in with my weight watcher friends, and surfed through sewing blogs. Time frame 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. After that I moved to the sewing machine. I got 5 of the 8 handle pieces sewn for the computer bags. These are going to be so cute. I really like the way the pattern has the little pieces for the handles. The plan is to finish them tonight and get them sewn to the outer bag pieces.

November 12, 2006

So Today

My friend from ASG Elizabeth - the one with the great taste, awesome eye and incredible talent - came over. First she loved up my dogs. They loved her right back. Then we headed down into the sewing room where I put on the muslin dress and she said it looks great. Then we headed upstairs to my closet to look at clothes, formals I had made for my girls and JB's holiday 'suit.' Finally, we headed out on a shopping trip. First (and ultimately only) stop - Hancocks. We found a couple of really great pieces of fabric. A brown with embroidered baby blue swirls - print was too big, looked busy. A really dark navy blue tonal of the same print. Like it, but didn't love it. A pretty pink brocade with gold and maroon flowers and a maroon silk that coordinated to keep the pink from being too close to my skin - wasn't enough there! So, we headed over the home dec fabric where I found a lightweight poly with a tonal print in sage. I absolutely loved this fabric, but of course the color didn't love me and made me look washed out. So we kept looking we found the same fabric in several light colorways - none of which worked for me. Finally we found it in a bluish/greenish/grey! Bingo! Holiday dress here I come. After picking up the dress fabric, lining, zipper, thread and a circle cutter ($19) I am now out $59. If you add in the $10 I spent on the faux fur wrap to wear with this dress, this year's holiday party outfit will cost right around $50 - not bad. I already have shoes, tights and jewelry! Yea. Now to prewash the fabric and start working my way toward a little green dress.

November 11, 2006

ASG Worked Their Magic Again

Well my ASG Group does it again! They worked their magic and I now have a muslin for a sheath dress. Tomorrow I am meeting Elizabeth and going shopping for dress fabric. Not sure what I'll end up with. In the meantime I managed to get the computer bags cut out. Now I'm off to sew :) Worked on a new intarsia sampler a little bit today. My joins still aren't seamless. They are flawed with larger stitches from the purl side. No matter how tight I pull those stitches, they still manage to come out a little big. Practice, practice, practice. Dogs are outside whinning because it's cold. What will they do when I go back to work on Monday?

Sorry I've Been Playing

So, what do you think of the new look? I finally updated to the Beta Version of Blogger and have been playing with the template, colors and links. Some of my links need to be added still. And I need to figure out how to edit some of them - man everything has a learning curve! So far, I think I'm liking it :)

Knitting

Remember I told you all I was taking a knitting class? Well on Tuesday night after racing to the vet to pick-up and pay a king's ransom for a sick dog I raced off to class as JB seemed to have the dog situation in hand. Anyway - out first class was intarsia - not at all what I thought. I was thinking it was the little blocks of knitting that go in every which way forming a sort of woven grid of knitting - but no. That is something else. That looks like this and is called interlock. What we actually learned to do is called intarsia. It is the process of making pictures with different colors of yarn, but not carrying the yarn all over the back. The instructor is having us learn using cotton yarn because, as she said, it is the least forgiving. Isn't that nice. Mine looks not great. I was going to take a photo to prove it, but apparently my camera battery is exhausted. I know how it's feeling! I'm back into getting up at 5:30 a.m. mode, everyday of the week. I like to wake the dogs up - otherwise there are carpets to shampoo!! Anyway - back to knitting. Once I let the dogs in this morning, I'm going to cast off the Tuesday night sample, finish weaving in all the ends and then start another one, to see if I can get the gauge as well as get rid of all the irregular stitches I seam to be coming up with every time I switch colors. I tend to have a little bit of perfectionist instincts and those big stitches are driving me crazy. Also - currently on the needles - Cotton kitchen sets for holiday gifts. I'm making a wool felted oven mitt and hot pad along with 2 coordinated M/D warshrags and a hand towel. I have 5 sets planned and the hand towel bites! I am also working on a light pinky/peach mohair lacey scarf. The yarn is older than dirt having been purchased when my first husband and I were stationed in England in the Air Force the Princess was 2 when we came back to the US. I'm using the zig-zag lace from the Stitch-a-Day calendar November 1. Also a holiday gift. I would like to knit a sweater for JB, but he doesn't wear the last one I knit, or the scarf I made him for walking dogs in the bitter cold, so I'm not sure I'll bother - better to spend the knitting something that will get used. Okay, off to let the dogs in, do a little knitting, and take a little morning nap :)

November 10, 2006

Procrastination

Miss Lucy is having a little lump removed today. In an effort to take my mind off of the risks I went shopping :) I stopped and JoAnns and got some pretty cotton and flannel fabrics to make both The Princess and the Musical One cases for their laptops for Christmas. I also picked up 4 really cute dog print fabrics. Earlier this week I cut out the muslin for the Sheath Dress - it's still in this same condition. Since the ASG Meeting is tomorrow, I guess I should get to working on it!! Gonna go refill my water glass, check on the dogs at home and then come back and sew :)

November 7, 2006

I Remembered

did you? To vote. Now, more than ever being an educated voter is so important. Don't forget. g

November 6, 2006

Did I mention

That I'm going to be taking a knitting class? I'm really looking forward to it. Of course, there's really only one technique that I want to learn, but I bet I can figure out how to use the rest of them. The class is on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 - 9:00 (which will interfer with House). The first class is intarsia; the second~continental; third~fiar isle (the one I'm really looking foward to) and the fourth class is aran. Now, I need to figure out how to balance knitting class and homework into life :)

Still Raining

I'm so tired of being wet. I found out this weekend that all of my umbrellas are at the office, now isn't that helpful? I got the muslin of the dress cut out last night, but then I sat down with a cup of tea and my book. No knitting, no sewing. I take that back, I did cast on for a mohair scarf for a holiday gift. I'll keep plugging away at that. I managed to get up and get on the treadmill this morning. I did not manage to stay off the scale. I did have oatmeal with a banana for breaky and black coffee. Now it's time to get ready for work. I promise to post photos soon - blogger allowing :)

November 5, 2006

Frustrated

I'm back from my week's vacation. Well actually I've been back for a week now. I'm so frustrated on many levels. Dogs - for some unknown reason - well I'm sure I know part of the reason. My dogs are restless. They are in my face wheneven I sit down. Doesn't matter what I'm doing. They are underfoot. And twice this week I've woke up to huge puddles on the floor. I'm sure the restlessness has to do with the rain. It has been raining here for the past week - to point where people are starting to think about building an arc! They can't run and play in their yard because half of them don't like to get wet. They can't really run and play in the house because the downstairs sewing/computer/dog room is too small and upstairs has all laminate floors. They can't really run well on the floors and I'm afraid they will hurt themselves. Currently, it's not raining and it would be the perfect time to walk some of them, but everyone else in the family is still sleeping. Maybe I'll take the short dogs out by myself after I feed them. Weight Management ~ Upon getting on the scale on Monday morning, I found I was only up 1# after vacation - not too bad. Decided Monday was the day that I get my weight management back on track. I got up before 6 so I would have time to get on the treadmill. I did, I put in 30 minutes. My treadmill has a track and I use the first 1/4 mile as a warm-up working my way from 3.2 mph to 4. I never go over 4 mph in the first 1/4 mile. For the next 2 miles I never go under 4 mph. I haven't worked out with any sort of regularity for about 4 months, so I didn't go much over 4.3 mph. I played with the incline and speed a little bit, but mostly just walked. The last 1/4 of a mile is a cool down - so 2.5 miles in just over 30 minutes. Did the same on Wednesday. On Tuesday and Thursday I plugged in a CORE Secrets video, got out my ball and did a 20 minute workout on Tuesday and the 25 minute workout on Thursday. Again - since it's been 4 months, I have dropped down to 5# weights. I was up to 10# weights when I was working out regularly. By Friday I woke up with a tummy ache, I had the day off, needed to do housework and some sewing. So, I took the morning fairly easy (read, skipped the treadmill). Also, I am a neurotic daily weigher. I know, I know! I'm working on it!! Anyway - by Friday I was up 3# on the week. Man was I bummed about all that. Anyway, skipped the workout but still had a healthy breakfast, drank my water, had my coffee black, ate fruit. Did just about everything right, until we went out to dinner. If you want a strong, calorie laden drink and a meal filled with high fats - Mexican is the way to go. So I only had one bailey's and coffee, however it came with whipped cream. I basically cleaned my dinner plate, it's a small consolation that I had spinach enchiladas what with eating all the beans & cheese, most of my rice, all the sauce and cheese piled on top as well helping JB empty the chip bowl! Saturday saw me attending my local ASG Annual meeting and potluck brunch. Because I was still trying to get my clothing sewn for the challenge - I got there late. There weren't many healthy choices - although I did have fruit. I also treated myself to a pumpkin spice latte on the way home and various other favorite fattening comfort foods during the evening. At the meeting I started talking with the girls in my neighborhood group about a holiday outfit for JB's party this year. I'm thinking of making this Sheath Dress. Unfortunately, accurate measurements were in order. I haven't taken my measurements in 6 months! I was very disappointed in myself to find that my hips have expanded 4 inches (that would explain why the new brown skirt rides up!), my waist has grown by a few, the belly is much bigger - the only constant is the bust! So, with that disappointing knowledge in hand - what do I do? Right, head for the ice cream. This morning - up 5# on the week! So - I'm going to do my best to do what I know is right for me, for my body, for mental health, and for my weight management. I didn't take 3+ years to lose this weight with Weight Watchers.com to gain it back within a year of reaching goal (at last WI I was still below WW goal, but way above my personal goal). So, here's the plan - starting today: *I'm going to eat a healthy breakfast each morning which includes at least one piece of fruit - that is so important for me. *I will do my best to get 3 servings of dairy products in, I don't like them but I understand how important they are for weight management. *I will get back on the treadmill and the ball! I will stop giving myself slack for the backward movement in the fitness area - it will come back. *I will not force myself to eat if I'm not hungry even if I haven't had all my fruits and veggies for the day. *I will limit dessert to one night a week - Sundays. This includes not eating the frozen Halloween candy which I don't really even like. *I will plan a menu and follow it. *I will do my best to stay off the scale every morning. *I will get my hind end back to WW meetings, before it gets any larger :) *I will muslin the dress for the body that I have now - if the final product needs to be taken in prior to the event - that's okay because I know how to do that!! Thanks for listening.

November 4, 2006

She did!!

I managed to get it done. Made a few changes - although I think the tabaco colored skirt would have worked better, it didn't really matter as my print was a skirt. On Friday morning (around 10) I started cutting. I only used 1 pattern I had used before. Kwik Sew 2948 out of a brushed creamy white ribbed knit. I made a sleeveless turtleneck. That top was finished this morning. The other 2 pieces which were cut out yesterday were Kwik Sew 2845, view B. I justed used a size medium - that's what seems to fit me with Kwik Sew. I used a pretty beige lace for the front and underline (?) it with nude swimwear lining. I used a beige knit for the back. Instead of putting a drawstring in the upper front casing - I put elastic in it. The final piece was Textile Studios Capri Jacket. I used the shorted version and shortened it another 3 inches! I also lengthened the sleeves by 2". This was made from a raspberry boucle type knit that I got from Emma One Sock a couple of years ago. Added to that were the brown suede skirt and the pink print Kwik Sew 3337 skirt. I wore the pink skirt, the lace top and the knit jacket to the meeting and got lots of compliments! Photos to follow :)

November 2, 2006

Will She or Won't She?

Okay I'm back and ready to get into the swing of things. Just not sure where to start. I'm trying to decide if I can make a top, skirt and sweater jacket tomorrow on my first Friday off. Our ASG Annual Meeting, potluck, and silent auction is Saturday. This year, they have thrown a challenge to Sew an Essential Wardrobe ("SEW"). This wardrobe only consists of 5 pieces - 2 tops, 2 bottoms, and a jacket. Same basic rules apply - 1 print, everything works together. There were a few additional items - like most of the fabrics had to come from stash and all items had to be made in 2006. I think that the brown suede skirt I recently finished works well with a print top that is mostly done. Then I have a raspberry boucle type knit for a cardigan. I have a tobacco colored linen for a gored skirt - which would leave me having to come up with one top. The gored skirt would be super simple, I think I can whip the cardigan out, no problem. It's just the last top. I'm thinking about a creamy off-white sleeveless turtleneck top. Will have to pull fabrics when I get home tonight. Of course - here's the rest of the dilemma. I don't have to work tomorrow, but I do have to clean the house, do laundry, walk dogs, and work-out. Beau & Lucy both have vet appointments tomorrow at 3:10 - my vet's office is at least 30 minutes away on a good day. Lately we've been having rain - so not a good day, will probably take about 45 minutes to get there. Once I manage to get home with 2 large, wet dogs, who will be groggy after getting their shots - Hubby and I have to be in Mount Vernon for a play at 7. Again - on a good day this is an hour's drive. But we're talking about a rainy Friday evening!! The meeting starts at 10 on Saturday morning - wish me luck.

October 29, 2006

Top Dog Prize

Please excuse this break from normal blogging. I have returned from my vacation. I promise that my next vacation will be spent on a beach, knitting, drinking fluffy drinks with umbrellas! No whinny nieces and nephews! No sister who thinks I'm not good enough and don't fit into her image of what a 43 year old woman should do, wear & say!! I did get to drive to Cary, North Carolina and meet my virtual friend Yvonne. She was wonderful - however I had a very long day leading up to the visit and forgot to take my camera into the house - bad blogger. The title to this post refers to my group of friends - some virtual, some I have met in person who have all been communication on the Weight Watchers Challenge Boards - some for as long as 3+ years! Yvonne is one of those friends. Anyway through WW we have a challenge about walking our dogs and losing weight. During 2005 Yvonne walked her goldens every single day of the year. Just think about that for a minute - EVERY SINGLE DAY! This in itself is remarkable. What comes next is too. As a group - we elected Yvonne as Top Dog of 2005. The girls all sent me checks and I purchased a $150 gift card to REI with the money. Then I put together a bag full of stuff - stuff I would like, stuff a dog lover would like, stuff a dog would like - this is what the gift looked like: The other side of the lining is remarkably similar to this side, however, instead of having the little pocket at the top, this side has just the lower piece divided into two pockets. Above the pockets is lettering done in pink - done with my sewing machine which says Yvonne Sunny, Jackson & Beau (Her dogs) Dog Walkers of America (The name of our WW Challenge group) Top Dog 2005 Across from that inside pocket is the one seen above - with the little pocket added. This pocket was added for the sole purpose of holding the gift card. The lower piece of fabric is divided into three pockets. This is the leash that Marsha made! It is beautiful and apparently something that Yvonne has always wanted. She is quite happy with the idea of walking "Nut" (a nickname for Sunny) on the leather leash. Stamped into the leather is the words Top Dog 2005. Finally ~ this is everything out of the bag on my kitchen table. Included in the bag, was the following stuff: Fake Fur bear for the dogs; 2 handknit cotton washcloths (one blue, one purple); 2 bars of handmade soap (lavender & oatmeal, once can been seen on the purple cloth); next to the bear is a picture frame that has dog charms on it; next to that is a box of tea; there is a mug which says "Bone Appetite" on it. The chef is a dog and he's serving up dog bones. The purple cloth and soap is in front of the mug; there is a wooden picture frame with a dog on it; behind that is a red shoe squeaky toy; the leash is in front of the shoe; under the picture frame is a box entitled 97 Ways to Make a Dog Smile; under that is a photo album with a very cute golden puppy on the front. Under the blue washcloth is another photo frame - this one is magnetic and has 3D goldens around the edges. Finally - there was a green lace scarf that I knit. Since Yvonne's favorite color is green - it fit the bill!
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