Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Weekend of Crafts @ 1087 S Main

Here is my craft update from what I worked on while I was home last weekend.

I made these fall wreaths for Mom and me. Mom's is the blue one to match her kitchen, and mine is the burgundy w/ the while flower cause I liked the colors together. Unfortunately with finishing up Mom's pillow, getting packed to go and all the car stuff I was still dealing with last week, I only got about 1/3 of Mom's made by Thursday night, so I had to bring it home with the skeins of yarn for mine to finish up with Mom. We took the blue one with us on Saturday morning to work on while we waited for my oil change, and then finished that up and made all of mine on Sunday mornings at Grannie's for breakfast. They don't really take more than 2 hours or so to make on your own, it's amazing how much quicker it goes w/ a 2nd person. One (me) wraps the yarn and ties off the bundles and the other (Mom) ties them onto the hanger and snips the long ends. It works really well, except that I constantly have to stop chatting while I could to 25!
Onto Grannie's pillow. I brought the yarn home thinking I would get a start on it. Even when Mom asked me if I was planning on finishing before Monday I was like "of course not!" I started thinking about starting it on Friday night, and realized that I was short a color of yarn! I had only brought home 4 and needed a 5th. I had given up on even making it while home, until while at Wal-mart w/ Mom asking for her suggestions on a color to use and she suggested the dark purple, so I got it and started working on it a little bit on Saturday night. Not seriously, I did like 3 rounds and then decided to make my Mom a couple of dish cloths instead (no pics were taken, sorry!) Sunday was a fun day at home and after finishing the wreaths @ Grannie's Mom and I went home and while she was working on making some food for that night, I picked up the project and started in on it again around 11:20 a.m. Well by 4:30 I had made amazing progress and had one side completed (the single stripped square side)! I made a comment to Mom before we left for Sam's Club and AJ's (yum!) about how I was hoping to have it finished in time for her to take it to Grannie this week. Mom mentioned how nice it would be to have it finished and take it to her on Monday morning and we would go early for breakfast. I knew Grannie would love this, so I set my mind to finishing it! We got home from the errands, Mom made dinner, I briefly ate and continued working on it until it was finished around 11:30 p.m.

This shot is from around 11:05 p.m., I'd already stitched up one side before I remembered to take a picture.

Yes, that means that in less that 12 hours I crocheted an entire 2 sided 14" pillow. I was cursing myself toward the end of that 2nd pillow and really kinda wished I had gone around it one more time, but the size was OK and I just couldn't bear to keep going, my wrist was killing me even with my brace on.

Here are the finished product for both pillows, both sides :-)

There are some differences between the 2, I learned from my mistakes on Mom's blue one but they're both great!
The navy blue on Mom's was a different type of yarn (Caron Simply Soft instead of Red Heart) and you can tell that it made the pillow loose it's shape quite a bit. Mom's had also been used for the weekend, so I'm sure that's "reshaped" it a little as well. On the side with the 4 squares, Grannie's individual squares are 1 round larger so that I didn't need to go around them 3 times to get the size right (I'd mis-calculated on Mom's, still worked pretty well considering I was doing this with no pattern!). I would have liked one more row around the outside of that side on Grannie's but I think 2 rows of double crochet might make it too big. I'm thinking about trying a row of double crochet and then a row of single maybe? or 2 rows of half double? I'm not really sure yet, which everyone I make next will be another "test" while I finalize the pattern!
Let me know what you think of my projects! I'd love feedback, and would love to eventually have a pattern to share with those of you who are interested!
I haven't worked on anything since returning from DC, 1. because I've been so exhausted that I haven't even unpacked and 2. I think I'm more productive with projects at home because I have just a set number of things to work on. In DC my options become endless and I can't make up my mind on what I want to do, or something I can't find what I need to make do with what I want to make! Hopefully once we move and I have more storage space for my crafts, I will be more organized and will be able to keep things more organized. Maybe I'll dig that summer blanket out to work on while watching Grey's tonight, or maybe I'll start Mom's blanket, or work on Grannie's blanket, or start a new pillow, or Halloween see my dilemma!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My first crocheted pillow

Post was originally started on 9/24/09 but I got pulled into a meeting and then raced out of here to get home and pack. Still wanted to share since it's actually about a craft project.

OK, to "technically" that's not a pillow yet. But taking a picture before I start stitching these 2 sides together is the only way you'll ever see both sides at the same time again.

This was originally to be a completely different Granny square pillow for my Mom, and when I didn't like how it was turning out over the summer, I quit working on it. Last Friday I got to thinking about these 5 skeins of yarn just sitting there waiting for me to make them into a pillow so between Friday night and over the weekend, I went through some new ideas including a 2nd trial run that I also did not like before settling on this. I spent most of Sunday afternoon hard at work on this as I wanted to make sure it was completed in time for me to give to Mom tomorrow when I get home.

It is by no means perfect, and there are a couple of things that I'm not super happy with in how they turned out (my navy yarn really needed to be different than just using what I had for plastic canvas. I know this now. The sides are also 2 different sizes which as I stitch together is a bit more troublesome to get even, but I think once the pillow is in will work out just fine.

Tonight I need to make a lining to put on the pillow form first, as I do not want the bright white showing through the holes of the square. I also have 1/4 of a side to stitch up before placing the pillow in and stitching up that last side. I hope my Mom likes it, I have no doubt she will and she will never notice these mistakes that bother me. Mom loves Granny squares, but has a very difficult time making them which I'm sure I'll hear about A LOT when I give it to her and at one or more points this weekend, I will probably attempt to teach her once more how to make them, curious if it'll be successful this time around, but maybe I'll be surprised!

I'm back in DC (have been since Monday evening) and now I am finally posting this. Pillow turned out great and Mom LOVED it! I have more crafts that I completed over the weekend to share as well as the completed picture of this pillow, and the lessons I have learned from the mistakes I made. Will try and upload the pictures tonight so I can post here tomorrow.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Car troubles

I know right, car troubles should never had crossed my lips after we sold the Kia in April and I got my wonderful Jeep! Problem is, it's back in the shop for the 2nd time in 2 weeks!
2 weeks ago the motor in my driver's side window was replaced so that I can go back to using my window again, can't even BEGIN to tell you how happy such a small this has made me! They also had to take apart my center console because the gear shift cover was not working properly nor was my emergency brake. Turns out this is because a previous owner had spilt like an entire can of Coke or cup of coffee down there and it was preventing anything from working properly! Lovely, and real safe right? They also were trying to figure out why the car sometimes didn't start up correctly for which they did a tune up and fuel injector service.............none of this was covered by my warranty (figures right?) so by the time you include my cute little rental car, it was a very expensive day!
What's worse, was the following morning when I went to turn the Jeep on, it still wasn't starting right!!! ugh talk about annoying! So I tried to wait a couple of days to see if it got better, but it did not, actually the car stalled out at the gas station less than a week later! Never had a car stall out on me before and when it's happens while you're sitting on the loading tanks of a busy gas station at rush hour it's DEFINITELY NOT COOL!
Well I finally called again last Friday to see about bringing it back in (sigh, I just want it to work right!) My friend Larry, the service consultant, was wonderful to talk with one the phone again and got me set up to bring in Wednesday (yesterday) night after work so they could be the first ones to turn it on this morning..........well luckily it was covered by the warranty this time around!
Larry calls me today shortly after 9:30 to let me know what they found. My fuel pump was shot and after the car sat for 8 hours or so there would be no pressure left in the engine, which is why it took forever to start, I was waiting for the gas to get back to the engine. This was replaced. They also found out that my gear box in the power steering was getting weak, also had replaced, also luckily covered by warranty. They high suggest getting a tank flush when they are already in the gas tank dealing with the pump, etc. so even though it wasn't covered by my warranty, for 110 bucks, I had them do it. Glad I did!! I just got off the phone with Larry to find out that they took about a gallon of SAND out of the bottom of my tank! The mechanic was actually able to scrape it off the bottom with his hands before he did anything else.....yes sand, from like at the beach, and no, no one has been able to tell me WHY someone would have done this/let it happen! They also said it's probably WHY the pump broke in the first place.
Fan-fucking-tastic right? Well they're keeping my baby over night again, not because it won't be ready by 7, but because I don't want to deal with rush hour traffic to get it tonight. I'll be there bright eyed and bushy tailed at 7 a.m. tomorrow, alright I probably won't be the bright eyed, until I jump back up in my Jeep and drive away, remembering how much I have missed it!
Now to get home early, since I've been here since 8 and hopefully get this G6 into my parking space before anyone else is parked around me. Then hoping the rain has stopped so I can jump into the sweats I've been craving all day and have my own little Happy Hour on my patio!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Regaining my motivation, one step at a time

Yesterday evening after work turned into work clothes shopping while waiting for Jonathan to get out of class. I sorta had this planned as I wanted to see for the future of this semester and his time at Georgetown if I was OK w/ once a week going to VA and running errands and then just swinging through to pick him up after. All was fine on the shopping front of course, I actually ran out of time to do all that I had planned (thanks to trying on the new fall line at NY & Co) and found myself racing down 50 to get back by 9. Jon's class was scheduled to get out at 8:45 so he said pick me up at 9. I got there at 9:03 and when Jon doesn't answer his cell, he texts me saying that his Professor is still lecturing. Luckily I found parking by the dorms and just chilled out until he was finished. Turns out his professor thought class went until 9:15, which would have been fine, but if I had known I had that extra 25 minutes or so, I would have stopped at McDonalds in VA to get dinner for us (one less thing to worry about when we did get home, and no dishes) and I would have had my book or something accessible for while I sat there. Oh well, lesson learned for next week.
When we did get back home, Jon made us some pasta for dinner and I spent my time trying on new outfits w/ my new fall clothes purchased at Target and NY and Co. instead of working on any craft projects. I also got a kick ass pair off boots at Rack Room:
They are purple and I'm in love! I plan to wear to work tomorrow, was planning to wear today but the outfit will really work better for tomorrow's chillier weather!
Needless to say at this point, by the time I ate my pasta, finished with the mess I'd made upstairs and hung up all my clothes/got together returns & exchanges for tonight, I all but passed out on the couch with my heating pad on my back watching the History Channel!
Tonight I plan to get out of here at a more decent time (5 instead of 6), and get out there to return/exchange/get a couple of things and then home for dinner and the main event of today: the premiere of So You Think You Can Dance season 6 and GLEE! While driving across the Key Bridge last night I was thinking about how when I got home I was planning to watch my recordings of these shows. Then I realized that yesterday was Tuesday and I had to wait one more day. So I've put in my time and I'm super pumped for both shows!! This time (2 hours) also gives me a chance to work things in the apartment which can not be done during my work day (like crafts and getting more pictures uploaded into Picasa!)
Be sure to check out my photos at and I will be sure to post some craft shots on here tomorrow as well!
Oh, and running in the mornings is just not something I have been able to get myself back into. I wish I could, I just purchases new running shoes in Syracuse (and by me, I mean mom got them for me) and I haven't even worn them outside of the hotel room in Syracuse! maybe next week, no need to get over ambitious on a Thursday morning!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Trying to get back in the swing of things once more

I wish I understand why I don't get on here as often as I wish I did, I doubt that it's because I have nothing to say or nothing that I'm thinking about, and I certainly have enough time in my day to take 10-15 minutes to type something up that I'm thinking about/updates, proof it and post away. Again, you would think that since I usually sign into Blogger daily to check my friend's blogs that I would post then, but someone I always get side tracked or just shut down the window all together if I have had lots of updates to read.
I really think this has been happening due to my "issues" with getting back into the swing of things in life in general. Silly things like picking up after myself, setting the coffee pot for the following morning, watering my plants, etc. etc. have just become to much "work" for me since returning from both Orlando and Syracuse. With all the changes that are quickly approaching after this past weekend and my upcoming trips to Busti and Manchester in the next 2 months, I'm just having a hard time focusing on anything accept getting home, into sweats and plopping down on my couch to watch TV for the evening.
This goes for things like crafts as well. Before Disney, I would spend 15 minutes every morning working on my blanket and around an hour each night while watching SYTYCD, etc. Since returning from both August trips, I haven't picked it up more than once (a second time was to transfer into a different tote bag). I did buy some new yarn at JoAnns last Friday that I felt compelled to crochet into a scarf over the weekend. It's 90% done, but I don't have a picture to post yet, because I have yet to finish. It's beautifully soft yarn, chunky and beautiful in color, but I really think it would be best to knit which means I'm planning to head back tonight and get in a different color to trying knitting with. This this, chunky fall scarf that's almost complete is very nice, and it looks fine crocheted, but it catches on my hook A LOT, like every stitch, and anyone out there reading this who crochets not only understands how annoying this is and slows a good crocheter down, but it's KILLING my wrist, which is why I did not finish last night at Bev's.
Another reason that I'm not very good about picking up a craft project to work on right now: I have no many things I want to work on! As always I have a million different projects started and 2 million more in my mind that I want to make. If I'm focused and organized with my projects I am usually able to keep myself on track, but once I fall off that focused, organized wagon, all hell breaks loose. "Hell" in this case would include, projects laying all over the living room, no rhyme or reason to anything and me not doing any productive work on them (I just end up back at AC Moore, Michaels or JoAnns buying more yarn in anticipation of what I can do next). It really is a vicious cycle and is why my yarn collection looks like I could own my own yarn shop!
Hopefully I will get focused again soon and will have pictures to post once more!