Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm ok

I know...I've disappeared from the world of blogging!  I get on each and every week day and read what you all have to say on my lunch break but there are never enough hours in the day for me to save pictures, post and be witty along with work, commuting (at least an hour and a half daily....) and getting ready for Christmas!

Since we travel for the holidays, I have to be packed and ready to go the night of the 22nd as we will be driving up to WNY on the morning of the yes you're doing that math correctly, I only have tonight and tomorrow night to finish everything up then Wednesday night to pack!  Things would be much easier if my job didn't get in the way and things weren't non-stop year end craziness here in the world of HR.

Yesterday prior to wrapping all Christmas gifts, I took 10 min and got a picture of each gift with my actual camera (vs. my phone) and plan to make a quick slide show of all that was crocheted, sewn and crafted this holiday season!

Until then, this quick message that I am alive and still love all things crafty will have to do.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!  I hope to get on before 2010 comes to an end, but no guarantees, things are always 5x busier with the family than I think they will be.

Lots of plans for amazing things crafty in 2011 so stay turned oh! and Happy New Year :-)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WIP it Wednesday

"WIP it, WIP it good!"

Very good indeed, I'm  making some much needed progress on Christmas presents!

My first 2 pictures to share are not so much a "work in progress" as they are a "DONE DONE DONE" project!

What feels like 100 years later it's finally DONE!  This is a Christmas present for Grannie, it's a lapghan (haven't actually measured it other than laying it across my own lap and legs...) and it's all Vanna's Choice.  Sorry the 2nd picture is so blurry towards the top, early morning quick pictures were not my thing today.   I am very VERY HAPPY to have this baby done and ready to be wrapped up before this weekend!

The next 2 are WIPs:

I worked on this last night during Glee and it's coming along nicely.  Another icky picture, sorry my "skills" were a bit lack this morning!  I love Marie Anne's pattern for this, it's nice and thick for extra warmth (and basically if you're anywhere in North America this week you need as many warm layers as possible!).

Here is the hat I was talking about earlier this week.  Correction, this is my 2nd attempt at making a matching hat to the scarf.  On Monday night I ripped out all that I did on Sunday and started again with a hook one size smaller (from an L to a K) and switched from dc to hdc.  I worked on it Monday night late and then for about 5 min this morning after dealing with the ripple "ends" so I'm not all that far along yet, but it's going to be a VERY nice hat.  The next time I'm in Michael's I'm going to have to check out all the colors Loops & Threads Charisma comes in for additional hats (don't worry, this would be for hats to make in 2011)

Christmas, work, and wedding planning is all keeping me extremely busy and I'm starting to run myself a bit too thin.  I'm trying my best to take a step back, eat well and get myself to bed a bit earlier each night.  I have no sick days left for 2010 so I need to be able to keep myself in one piece for the next 10 1/2 business days (plus weekends, and my birthday) until we drive home on the 23rd (!!!)

Fingers crossed our reception contract should be signed by tomorrow and the Save the Date cards will be ordered tomorrow or Friday night.  I plan on addressing envelopes for these over Christmas so they probably won't be mailed out until after Jan. 1, but having a signed contract, hotel block for our out of town guests and Save the Date cards which have been delivered to my apt. would take a GINORMAOUS weight off my shoulders and put my stress level down to I don't know maybe 5 vs. the 15 I'm working at this week.

Just one more WIP to compete before next Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

30 minutes of work this morning...

and this is all I have to show for it!

Even better yet, it's not a bad thing!  As most of you probably realize, this is a pile of tails that I cut off after weaving in ends.  They are the ends to the pink ripple lapghan that I finished about a month ago and have been procrastinating on truly finishing.  All of the other Christmas gifts I wanted to start just seemed like more fun at the time, and they were!
But now, as I was getting ready for work this morning and thinking about all the things I need to do, pick up and clean before our Christmas party on Saturday I realized that the unfinished blanket was STILL just sitting there.  Just think of the things/presents I would not have to put away (aka hid in the bedroom) if they were wrapped for Christmas and sitting nicely under my Christmas tree!  That was all the motivation it took for me to work on this for 30 min this morning vs. more crocheting on another gift!  In 30 min of listening to the Today Show, I got about 2/3 of one side done!  If I continue on this path each morning the rest of this week, I'll be wrapping this baby by Friday night after work, Saturday morning at the latest!  Talk about good motivation :-)

It's Day 2 of Secret Santa and I have yet to receive my mysterious Day 2 gift, but I gotta say I'm doing amazing well at keeping my recipient on her toes!  I asked her last night when she got yesterday and after telling me about the great gift card someone must have known she would love, she expressed how it couldn't be me "because the post it note wasn't on a pink post it" HAHA 
Here's today's gift
I got in early and left them for her before she got in at 9:15 she was eating them for breakfast and said "my Secret Santa is either someone who knows me really well, or knows someone who knows me really well"

The season of giving is more fun than ever before, I love this game!!!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Another Productive Weekend

19 days till Christmas
17 days till we drive home for Christmas
less than 17 days to get everything wrapped before going home for Christmas!

Time is flying by so my crochet hook must fly through skeins of yarn as well!

The first part of Saturday was spent picking up, taking down Thanksgiving decorations, dusting and then decorating for Christmas.  By around 3 p.m. I was fairly exhausted from all this so I sat down and crocheted and finished this:

I used this pattern with Loops and Treads (from Michaels) Charisma in Red with a P hook like the directions specify.  I did the 4 rows the pattern calls for and if this had been for me, would have probably liked it a bit longer.  It's a gift for someone with a shorter torso than I so I believe it will be perfect for her.  The black border is just a single crochet with a K hook and JoAnns Sensations Beautiful in Black.  Gave it a really nice touch and just makes it perfect for the recipient that will be receiving this on Christmas Day.  Last night I attempted a simple hat to match using an L hook but after a couple attempts, ripping out and starting over it's still too big for any normal human head.  I was too tired and cranky at that point to rip it all out and start over, the thicker yarn is really throwing me on this one vs. all the hats I've made in the past.

Saturday night was Crafty Saturday with the girls while watching Christmas movies.  My craft for the night was a wedding picture project that I needed to get done and ordered ASAP.  I just fiddled on some ongoing projects once that was completed.

Yesterday was consumed by laundry.  7 loads to be exact.  And that's 7 industrial loads (works into about 2 1/2 each in a standard washer....)  I didn't really have that many clothes that were dirty, I swear.  2 loads were new material that had come by mail, 1 was towels and 1 was bedding which left 3 loads of clothing (the usual whites, darks and other colors loads)  It was after 3 p.m. before it was all dry and back in the apartment.  I started around 10 (and had to make a trip up to the CVS for more detergent while the first load of fabric was in).  I folded all of Jon's clothes which is a bit out of character for me, but he was writing a paper for class all weekend so I was in a giving mood to help where I could.  This meant most of my clothes have not been folded or put away yet if they are folded, but at least all the shirts are laying flat waiting for me to fold them :-)

I've been dealing with a lot of chronic neck pain lately which leads to many headaches and yesterday was no exception.  Instead of continuing the picking up that I should have been doing in between runs back and forth to the laundry room I sat on the couch and crocheted while watching Harry Potter.  I had this done shortly after all the laundry was done:

After 2 tries to take a picture of the hat this morning I'm still not happy with either of's much cuter on, but I did not believe the new owner of this gift would appreciate the make up off my forehead all over the instead of her new hat!  Another Lion Brand pattern was used for this project.  I used "I Love This Yarn" in tweedy sage which looks really great in person.  It's also very soft, but thanks to an "I" hook and all those single crochets its holding it's shape nicely.  I didn't follow the pattern 100% for a couple of reasons:  it didn't take me as many rounds as the pattern called for to hit 132 stitches and I also decreased one additional row from what it called for because it seemed to large on both mine and Jon's head at 66 stitches.  I also did not join each row at row end, I instead worked in continuous rounds w/ a stitch marker to avoid the yucky ridge I get when I join rounds on anything circular.  Lastly if I were to make this again I would probably make the brim smaller.  I debated this as I was making it yesterday but opted to follow the pattern.  I think it's a little on the large side, but that's on my head....maybe my head is small....

One other project that was finished this weekend were these:
I've mentioned these a few times before and they're finally done and ready to be wrapped up for Mom.  This is the first project I've done using "crocheted ribbing" and actually am looking forward to making myself a scarf after the holidays using this stitch and some pretty yarn

Sunday after the hat was done, we decorated our Christmas tree (which was purchased on Friday after work).  It's a very pretty tree this year, perfect size for the space!  and lots of room for all those presents once they're wrapped!  See:

More spa cloths were created over the weekend as well!  I dug out my cotton collection this time too so now my options are plentiful (about a month ago I specifically purchased what I had planned on using for Christmas gifts this year while on sale).  The more I love these and the more positive feed back I get on them both online and in person the more I've want to make for gifts.  When I got the perfect person possible in my office as my Secret Santa this year, I was really surprised with myself for not knowing what to get for my "big gift"  The obvious choice all along should have been to do this:
I'm still waiting on my latest order from Avon to come in the mail so it's not wrapped yet, I'll be sure to take a picture of the finished project prior to Thursday to share.  I also wish that this picture had come out clearer, it doesn't do justice to the speckled yarn and how great all 4 of these look together....

Speaking of Secret Santa, they changed the rules on us a bit this year.  Instead of just getting a gift ($20-25) for the person whose name you picked from the bowl like last year to trade during our Holiday HR Lunch, they made it a 4 day event.  For the 3 days prior you have to secretly leave a small gift for your person w/ no name.  On day 4 you give you big gift at lunch and they have to guess off of their 4 gifts who it is from.  Apparently this is how you "do" Secret Santa, I've never heard of this or done it this way's caused a bit of stress but I do love what I came up with for all 4 gifts now that I have them.

I have pictures of tomorrow and Wednesday but after rushing out on my lunch to get today's gift card I forgot to take a picture!  This will be more fun starting tomorrow, but for today it was a FroZenYo gift card :o)

It felt good to get all these gifts done over the past 2 days, there are still many more to do along cookies to bake.  I do wish I had picked up more this weekend, but thanks to "Harry Potter weekend" on ABC family I spent as much time as I could doing all this!

Oh, I worked on this scarf this morning as well:

I really do love this yarn!! (hehe)  I actually started this after Thanksgiving when I was looking for something mindless.  It was going to be for me as well, but I do believe it's now a tentative Christmas gift.  It's tentative because I don't know if I'll be seeing this person over the's a good project for when I have 15-30 min to sit down and watch the Today Show before heading into work either way!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Anyone out there understand Blogger better than me?

.............what happened to my page?  If someone out there reading this has any suggestions, please send them my way.  I'm willing to try just about anything, and I've tried everything I can think of!

Last Wednesday morning while stuck working a 5 hour day prior to driving home the day for Thanksgiving, I decided that it was the perfect time to update my layout to something "Christmas-y"  As soon as I did this (using, like I always do) all of my gadgets disappeared!  When I go into my dashboard, they're still there.  On Monday I even deleted EVERYTHING from my dashboard and re-added it all new but with no luck.  I also tried a different template from my favorite layout website, and tried no layout at all and still nothing will bring back my gadgets!  Now, my picture is also off center and I don't understand why!!  I'm really quite computer savvy....I spend enough time each day on one that I should be, and I'm good at designing things (even non yarn/fabric items) so it's infuriating to me that this is still not right!  I've been meaning to write for a couple of days hoping that someone out there in "blogger land" could help (I've also submitted a question on the blogger help page but no one has answered).  I didn't write this on Monday because I acted like maybe the website was just being funky and that it would all come back tomorrow.  It hasn't and I need help!!

As for my crafting, I packed more than I needed to bring home with me over Thanksgiving.  I always ALWAYS do this.  I fear that I will run out of  projects to do and with the stash of yarn and running list of projects I always have to complete I hate to think I'd have to go buy more random yarn just to keep working on something!  I put some good time into a special project on Thanksgiving morning while watching the Parade with Mom, and then did more while dinner dishes were washed and food was put away.  I still didn't get as much done as I thought I would (I really think this project is bigger than I let myself believe).  I also find it hard now to work on a large project anywhere other than my favorite spot on my chaise with my legs stretched out in front of me.  At home (aka my parents house) I sit on a kitchen bar stool since that's where mom usually is (and I REFUSE to sit in the living room and listen to Fox news with dad).  The TV in the kitchen is also an old school 13" tube - hard to watch anything on that when you're working on something in your lap when you're used to a 47" HD flat screen at home!  Progress is progress though and each stitch and each row bring me that much closer to have this done by 12/25 :-)

Since returning home from Thanksgiving I haven't been to productive on Christmas crafties....this has been due to a number of factors:

  1. we drove home on Wednesday and I didn't get to bed until 2 a.m., I was up everyday by 7 and spent the last 3 days back home traveling to, checking out, discussing and arguing over wedding venue details, and we then didn't get back until after midnight Monday morning so saying that I'm exhausted this week would be an understatement.  Tack onto that all the Year End work that's going on right now and I can barely walk to my car after 9 hours of crazy in the office.
  2. I'm so excited about all the wedding details that are coming into place that I'm having a hard time with not quitting my job and planning my wedding for the next 8 months.  I realize that I can't give my almost finalized Save the Date cards as Christmas presents though so I really do need to get crackin' (and wrappin')! ;-)
  3. I'm starting to stress about all that needs to get done in the next 20 days before we go home for Christmas!  Yikes we drive home in 21 days we have no Christmas tree, I need to unpack from Thanksgiving before I can decorate for Christmas, our Christmas/my birthday party is a week from Saturday, presents need to be finished and wrapped, no Christmas cookies have even been thought about yet
Last night after spending far too much time trying to pinch pennies on my Save the Date cards, but I did get a chance to finish up the slippers for Mom.  My apologies for not properly linking the pattern here....I have searched and searched through all the blogs on follow and can't find the right post.  If you posted the pattern, please feel free to post the link in a comment for your rightful credit.  I didn't follow the pattern 100% because Mom and I wear size 9 and they never would have fit as the pattern read, but the pattern certainly got me off on the right foot and I love it!  This morning I tried my best to get out of bed early (this happened 45 min after the first alarm went off no less...) and I got 30 minutes done a a pair of slipper socks.  I love how simple this pattern is so I'm testing it in my favorite color (which will match Grannie's ripple lapghan of the same color perfectly!) as a solid and will then try a Christmas color scheme in my head if it works out!  I hope to have some pictures to post soon.

I'll leave you for today with this wonderful information regarding the wedding:
The best number for marriage and a wedding would be 6 the number of family, responsibility and commitment.
8 for fertility and wealth.
1 is the number of new starts, beginnings.