Saturday, December 27, 2008

Crochet Away

It's a winter wonderland and I was caught away from home for a couple of days longer than I planned, but I made the best of my time and accomplished some potholders that I must say, I love. I was tempted to make another set and keep these, but *sigh* they are promised to a lovely lady in Texas. In case she reads this, I came home to your package stuffed in my mailbox so tight that I couldn't get it out. I had to tear it.
GORGEOUS. I love them! I hope you love yours as well.
To everyone expecting clothes, blankets, etc.... you should be getting them soon.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Curse of the Hidden Camera

My children believe in torture and they administer it by stealing my camera on a frequent basis. I think it's a curse. No matter where I put it, they find it. If I put it somewhere really hard to find, I forget what I did with it.
I had it in the afternoon, took some bad pictures and set it next to my computer. By evening, I was pulling the house apart looking for it. It's BRIGHT RED. I thought hey, that's a color that's easy to see when looking through a jumble of things&stuff for my Amazing Migrating Camera. Nope.
I've found a rolling pin cover and pasty cloth set, a tomato slicer ( I had to look it up to learn what it really was) several keys, my lost G hook and the dog collar and leash that has been in Poof-It's-Gone Land since the beginning of spring. But no camera.
It's a cheapy as far as digital cameras go, only $90. But we don't HAVE $90 to lose! To add a little extra something to the general suckiness, we got our replacement cards for the camera and camera phone in the mail today. The only thing that left our house was the garbage, it went out hours before I realized the camera was missing so I am crossing all of my crossables that it's not been deposited in there by a misguided but well meaning 14 month old boy.
I have wished to take pictures of the two afghans I made, Rupert and his sister, the Spring Breeze 'ghan. I made a sweater, skirt, two hats and half finished pair of mittens for a little girl and they are sitting on my table begging me to take a picture. I made two sets of potholders and trivets, too.... I never thought I would be so crazy over it, but I am. WHERE IS MY CAMERA!?!?!?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Soap, sweater, and blankets Oh My.

I finished up the crochet toys and needed a little break from such small work, so enter: Rupert. Only, he's getting heavy and uncooperative and after all the little work my hands aren't at their best. Moving on to medium work... a child's sweater and skirt and hat. It went together in two nights, not done yet because I still need to add some flowers, but done enough for a picture.
Sadly, one of my sons made off with my camera AGAIN. Pictures will come as soon as it is found.
Edited To Add : I must have been even more tired than I thought when I posted this. I forgot about the soap! I used a recipe that I was told about by a friend on Granola Chicks and it worked beautifully this time. No growing or overflowing anywhere, yay me! The soap I used is white and I had a couple of old gallon milk jugs handy.... so I was forced to label them with a Sharpie. My children read the word SOAP on the side and still ask me why the milk is in the laundry room. Sigh.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tell me about the bunnies George.

I was searching the web for a realistic looking rabbit pattern - sad lack of them, by the way - and I found a simple and cuddly looking bunny pattern with no features. I thought 'aw, cute' and then moved on. It kept popping up on different site and links and I finally realized, wait, this says it was made from a square? What?
NOW I was intrigued. A round bunny from a square.. I set to work.

2 hours and many many abortive attempts later, I remembered I was bad at knitting. So I crocheted the square instead and followed the diagram. It's so stinking cute! as long as you don't turn it upside down. From underneath it manages to look a lot like... well. Uh, hrmph. You understand, right?



Friday, December 5, 2008


I know, I know, you all worried so about me when I was gone forever. Or a couple weeks. Or even a day. It's because I am wonderful and you love me.
Really, it's bee a fun and festive combination of
a)travel. Lots of that, my butt will never have feeling again and I never knew how much I would miss my own bed. When you stay in other people's houses there is an assumption that you did so because you do not value privacy in the least.
b)being sick. It's from the travel. It's no surprise travel agents don't make a point of warning people about illnesses. "Come book a trip with Fun-Time Travel today, you can be sick as a dog in no time!" is just a sucky jingle.
c)crocheting like a crazy person. And by that I mean not only that I crocheted Crazy, the green finger puppet. I made SO much stuff in an attempt to get my last minute stuff done before the true last minute.

Here is a picture of a few things I have made for one person. Since this "person" (you know who you are) will likely see this, I want to stress this is not all. Just the stuff I had sitting on the washer to keep away from my own kids.

My fingers are actually bruised. The tips are sore at night when I lay the yarn down and swollen in the morning when I pick it back up. good news though, I finally have all of the yarn coming that I need to finish off the blankets!!!! I never thought I'd get it all. Then again, who knew they would discontinue it right after I got a 1/4 of what I needed? But it's on it's way, we're good.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I got a present!!!

So I signed up to get one. I am in a swap on Granola Chicks, used to be RAK til we all realized it wasn't random if you planned and organized it.
Mike came home from work with a white package under his arm with my name on it. I was startled that it seemed firm and round but rattled when I shook it. Why I shook it, I dunno. It was the thing to do?
I double checked the address. Nope, still no memory of buying this rattly round thing. In a flash of brilliance, it occurred to me then "OH, I should open it!!!"

AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. I love them! Made my day a little shinier. Not gold lame dress with a ruffle kind of shiny, but shiny none the less. Someone knows me well.

Update time

So, I'm still sick as a dog. My dogs never seem sick (other than that one time... shudder) Funny enough, I was thinking of that particular time last night. I was getting my nightly Migraine from Hell and I thought to myself " I wonder if it's a sign of how low I've come that I am tempted to take the dog's anti-nausea meds?"
Mike says "Yes, yes it is. Leave them alone."

Oh. I think I may have thought my thought aloud. Whoopsie. That would be a side of myself I just adore people peeking at. I should have remembered from my hospital visits that I talk while in pain.

My list of complaints -
both extremes in the poo department
coughing, hacking, sneezing
ears clogged
ears draining each night in an itchy, insane way
feet and hands swollen each night and each morning
rash. How could I forget the rash that makes me scratch private places in public places. Sure, my arms and belly aren't too bad, but who decided the patch of skin between my boobs was a good place for an itch?
followed by fatigue and sleepiness

The upside-
I'm losing weight (face it, if you've seen me you know this is a good thing)
I have no energy to yell, which makes the kids and husband happy, and saves my throat. It's already damaged from the perpetual coughing.
I can feel 8.5 of my toes again.
My clothing and shoes are getting nearly no wear and tear put on them.
my brain still works.
I found a neat reaction to share with the kids when I take my cough medicine. full body shudders and a face that could make strangers use me as an example to their kids of how "it got stuck that way".
My brother-in-law just said "hey, do that again" giggle. Riiiiiight.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I am a little obsessed. I adore socks, especially funky or unusual ones. I have 6 pair of toe socks with stripes or tie dye or flowers and one even has the word Alaska. I've never been, they were a gift from Mike since he knows how to keep me happy. :)
I found a site that I am drooling over. Oh, to be flush with cash. $200 should do it. I especially love Super Ms. Anyone who loves me should buy me a pair. Seriously though, I am tall and large, it's not easy for me to find ANY socks for a 5 foot 8 inch tall woman who wears size 11 shoe and size 22 pants. go search for them. No, I'll wait, it's ok. See what I mean? Difficult. Even when I do find a pair, they are expensive.
Pity-me approach not working? What about bribery? I'll crochet or knit a pair of mittens or fingerless gloves for anyone who'll send me a pair of Super M, size large. No questions asked. I like Charcoal, Walnut, Natural, Dark Red, and Plum. Who am I kidding, I like them all! This has to be one of my top 10 websites, after Granola Chicks and Engrish, but ahead of Etsy and Damn Interesting.

Hey, if the owner of Socks Dreams sees this - don't you think that I deserve a pair on the house? You know, for promoting your site and hey, it would be an awesome chance for a review! (Aren't I shameless?)
They have so much great stuff, look around. Reply here and tell me what you like the best! After all, I hate shopping alone.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Oh, toil and toil again

I have no pics right now. I will! But since the kids and I have been sick for a while now (darn cold seemed to be going away and then came back worse overnight) I am about a week behind on my schedule. I have cut my precious Granola Chicks time down to the breaks I give myself at lunch and dinner. In the evenings I simply take my crochet and sit in front of the computer since I am addicted to SurftheChannel - thanks a bunch Lin. Like I needed a new way to spend my time.

Rupert is getting bigger and unwieldy. Thankfully his un-named sister, the lovely teal afghan, is made in squares and assembled before a border is added. Easy to do and a nice break from the stripes. Don't misunderstand. I love Rupert. If I could keep him I would, we're bonding. It's just that sometimes my arms or eyes get tired from going all stripey-back-and-forthy with such a heavy blanket. The Cat Pillow is undergoing a painful frogging right now and as soon as I have more stuffing for it (children wanted a snow fight. 'Nuff said, m'kay?) I will be working more on the assembly. There is a nice pile of sponges and scrubbies and toy food in a box in the living room, too. Where the mischievous and crafty short people can't reach it of course. About 5 years ago we were invaded by a short person and then two more.... now they knock things over and draw on clean surfaces, eat my crayons and when I'm not looking, steal liquid soap, knitting needles, fabric shears, steak knives from the dishwasher, and the batteries from the remote. Oh, and my camera. I can't forget THAT.

Back to yarn. I just got a nice bundle of pretty yarn in a package today. It was intensely scented with eucalyptus oil which while a little overwhelming, was of benefit as 4 of the 5 of us have been sick.
Black and purple and pink swirls, oh, my! I had to make a few adjustments to the fingerless glove pattern because of my man hand size, the bang up job I did on the thumb gusset (sarcasm) and the penchant my boys have for wearing one green knit fingerless glove while drawing or playing on the computer.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Here are the Fingerless Gloves!

I finished winding and washing and balling the yarn. Hooray!

I could have made 8 balls, but I started getting too lazy and just made them in increasingly larger sizes. I think the last one was 5.5 ounces. I used that largest one to start on my Fingerless Gloves, so you won't see it pictured. There is something so fine about yarn all lined up in a row, don't you think?

As my first project with this yarn, I chose Fingerless Gloves. They are awfully cute, but you can see why crochet is my area of expertise, NOT knitting.

The thumb gusset looks oddly patched on and the ribbing lumpy. This I expected because after all, *I* made them. My biggest complaint is that they aren't the right SIZE. I consistently forget that I have man hands and must change the pattern to fit them. Dang it all. One more row of ribbing would be nothing at all to add, but now I'm 3/4 done with them both. I may have to give them away - to someone who appreciates a rustic, unstudied look to their knitting.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My new yarn is going to be....

drumroll please.... gauntlets! Or fingerless gloves, wristwarmers, whatever you like to call them. I found a pattern simple enough for me with just a bit of whimsy to catch my attention.
Prosaically name Button Up Fingerless Gloves, they should be done in a day or two. the first one is half done now.
Pictures will come soon!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Reclaimed yarn

This is my reclaimed yarn soaking up some sun and drying. Pretty, right?

I had been recycling wool for a while now, cutting up sweaters to make smaller tops or pants or shoes for the kids. Makes cloth diapering so much cheaper and easier - not to mention cuter.
So last night I was cutting up a few sweaters I had in storage and I realized one of the sweaters was knitted in sections and sewn together, not cut into shape and serged together. This meant that I could trim the seams carefully and pull the yarn to be washed and reused in other projects. Oh, happy day! I had been nervous of trying to before, but this time I plunged in headfirst.
I should probably have thought it through, lol. It took a couple of hours to rip the seams and unravel the yarn. But the hard part was the winding. I didn't really plan ahead and I had to wind it three times. Then wash it. I got it done, though , and I can't wait to use it! I could easily have spent $40 in a yarn shop for the wool I have now. It weighs nearly 2 pounds and is angora/cashmere blend. I get giddy just looking at it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Come check me out

I have a separate blog for less yarn-related subjects, more home and family. I just started it. Come read it sometime :)
Today is Totally Different

I've been tagged!

So Lin tagged me. If I understand it correctly, I have to go to my photo folder and pick the 6th picture. That picture for me was of my oldest child when he was only a few months old. Bad, blurry, dark pic, but he was so happy and sweet, a real angel baby. Lets see, that pic was 6/6/03 and he was born 4/25/03. Wow, less than two months old. Dang. That's so long ago now.

I don't know 5 people to pass it on to, so I'll do what I can!

OK I tagged Mom and Joleen.
Now, when Mom learns to post pictures..... love you.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

this is why there are no pics of knitting today

I came back from taking pics of the snow, only to find The Stain in my place.

And then there were cinnamon rolls

I made the salty, I had to make the sweet, right? I can't tell you how happy my family is that I love to cook. Muffins, cakes, cookies, cream pies, fruit and cream crepes, cinnamon rolls, baked chicken, meatloaf, peas with butter and toasted slivered almonds, smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels with green onion (yes, MY bagels, cooked them myself) Do you love me now too?
I never used to be that good. I would come up with monstrosities my own mother wouldn't try. Once I got good enough to make it resemble a food, I had to work on technique. The first two things I did well enough to share with other humans were white bread and apple pie. I didn't get really good til 25 years old or so, and from then on I have been begged nearly daily to make something.
It could just be hunger. I prefer to think of it as a need for my wonderfully delicious food. I'd like to thank Alton Brown, Paula Dean, The Barefoot Contessa, and my personal favorites - Caprial & John, and Americas Test Kitchen.

I love nearly any kind of cinnamon roll. These particular ones are fluffy and light and bread-y with the sweet stuff (filling and drizzled icing) staying put, not really soaking into the bread.

It's tall and soft and smells sooooooo good. Mick asked Can I have one before they are cooked? I put too many in the pan and when they rose, they got mooshed together a bit, thus the funny shape, but its looks don't matter - it's what's on the inside that counts. And the insides are warm and gooey and cinnamon-butter-brown-sugar-licious. I love the cold months because of all the super wonderful hot baked foods I can make. Sometimes just beef broth and hot crusty bread with butter is perfect.

I could cry

Really, I've done it before and I'd do it again. The problem? Takes a bit of set-up, be patient.

The lovely deep teal afghan in the Spring Breeze square and the oh, so warm and cuddly Rupert The Striped Afghan are going to slow down a bit. I bought about 1/3 of the yarn I needed because it was so much cheaper to get at a local store than ordering it online, but the store doesn't carry as much as I need all at once. I figured, they have carried the same colors for years and it's only a couple of months til the blankets will be at their new home, so it should be fine.


I started to run low on a color, I stopped by the store and found all of the racks of the chosen yarn red tagged and mostly empty. Oh, sure, there was the occasional neon pink and a couple of dirty white, but nothing I needed. I thought it must simply be a sale to make room for the new shipment.
Two weeks later and the sale is still on, the yarn has not been replenished and I am getting nervous. I priced another store and it was almost double the cost. I found Annie's Attic sells the colors I need, and only 40 cents more per skein than I quoted my customer, so I'll have to eat the cost of shipping and the extra yarn cost, but it'll be made. I really should have simply ordered all I needed to start with and this wouldn't be a problem. But NO, I had to be clever.
I hate waiting.

Get your hot pretzels!

So, it's not crochet. But it IS a project I undertook and I want to share. Don't give me lip! Look at the blog name... no really, take a look. Up. A little further. There. Melanie's Closet Project Blog is not an inspired name, I grant you that, but Mike thought of it for me years back when I wanted to sell the products of my hook and he set this blog up for me to, so I keep it the way it is. Til I'm bored. :) Fickle, fickle, me.

I was struck with the desire for hot fresh pretzels last night and like any normal person, I decided to make them myself. I live 30 miles away from the nearest city and 'bout everything in it closes up at 10 pm, so unless my craving is for an Apple Martini, I'm out of luck. I need to be self sufficient. LOL, I say that as thought pretzels were a staple of pioneer times.

I made bagels before and pretzels aren't so very different, I felt confident I could do this. As usual, I was completely right about me. I have good instincts when it comes to me. So I made half the batch plain with salt and the other half with parmesan cheese. Oh, so good! Soft and warm out of the oven, they were exactly as I hoped they would be. I made up a little melted garlic butter for dipping and I felt complete. Deep sigh.

The children woke me this morning by hopping excitedly up and down both on and near my bed yelling
"mom! mom! mom! mom! mom! mom! (one with every up or down bounce) can we have one of the ... um....(wildly sketching the vague shape of a pretzel in the air near my head)...?"
Yes, yes you can. I was smiling about how cute it was. They loved my food, it feels so good making something people appreciate, do you know what I mean? Then as I woke up a little I remembered that these kids have eaten an apple after dropping it in the dog water, fishing it out and then dropping it again in the dirt near our front porch steps. They also think Fruity-O's are ok to eat after they hit the floor because, and I quote "they're dry, mom"
But I loved the pretzels and so did Mike even though he laughed and said it was so adorable that I do that as I took pictures to show my online friends how good I was.

OK, maybe I didn't get my credit where credit was due, but I enjoyed a darn good midnight snack and the feeling of accomplishment over making something yummy. Can someone tell me now.... are they supposed to have that green tinge? I know the ones at the mall stand do, but it's the mall food court. Things often don't have colors found in nature. I'm just curious and hoping I haven't lethally poisoned us. Maybe the kids take after me more than I thought, because after all, do many adults eat a food that's oddly greenish then later ask if it was ok?

Being a mom

I don't have pictures to add to my project blog tonight, I'll take them tomorrow. I have made several crocheted sponges and they were exactly what I look for in a pattern- pretty, fast, and easy. I know, sounds bad. Any yet I haven't changed it. Hm.
I've also started on a children's cat neck pillow. So cute and so far, simple too.

Ah, life is good. I have crochet, supercharged coffee from one of my many coffee machines, and thou. I am assuming here that I have readers since I have Followers. Oh, I love saying that. I have Followers. I am mighty and wield my hook with mighty mightiness. Alright, so I sound like a freak on a box on the corner of the street wearing a tin hat and my underwear on the outside, proclaiming I have been visited by Beings from Above and they tell me water gives us cancer. I have three kids, I'm buzzed on caffeine, and it's 1 am. Everyone has their little idiosyncrasies - mine is that I am a loony. I pull it off with style and grace, right?

Over a year ago, I was looking through eBay's greatest and found a set of Pokemon cards for auction. I'll never forget it. Not that I like those gaming cards, no, those are for kids and weirdos and goodness knows I'm not either of those. Ahem. Moving on. The mom selling the cards impressed me and made me laugh so hard that I could never forget, in fact, I sent a link to my own mom. The writer has 6 kids, my mom had 4, but other than the number, there were stories of my childhood that sounded eerily similar and were delivered with as much talent and showmanship as this woman's tale. Her blog Because I Said So is funny as all get-out, I snorted my gum into my left lung while reading it and trying not to wake the baby.
I just got off an obscenely long phone conversation with my mom. I love you mom and this is for you. I hope you pee yourself. Again. Yes, I said that in front of the entire web and they are all staring.

Adventures in Grocery Shopping

I'm selling a bunch of Pokemon cards. Why? Because my kids sneaked them into my shopping cart while at the grocery store and I ended up buying them because I didn't notice they were there until we got home. How could I have possibly not noticed they were in my cart, you ask? Let me explain.

You haven’t lived until you’ve gone grocery shopping with six kids in tow. I would rather swim, covered in bait, through the English Channel, be a contestant on Fear Factor when they’re having pig brains for lunch, or do fourth grade math than to take my six kids to the grocery store. Because I absolutely detest grocery shopping, I tend to put it off as long as possible. There comes a time, however, when you’re peering into your fridge and thinking, ‘Hmmm, what can I make with ketchup, Italian dressing, and half an onion,’ that you decide you cannot avoid going to the grocery store any longer. Before beginning this most treacherous mission, I gather all the kids together and give them “The Lecture“.

“The Lecture“ goes like this…
MOM: “We have to go to the grocery store.”
KIDS: “Whine whine whine whine whine.“
MOM: “Hey, I don’t want to go either, but it’s either that or we’re eating cream of onion-ketchup soup and drinking Italian dressing for dinner tonight.”
KIDS: “Whine whine whine whine whine.“
MOM: “Now here are the rules: do not ask me for anything, do not poke the packages of meat in the butcher section, do not test the laws of physics and try to take out the bottom can in the pyramid shaped display, do not play baseball with oranges in the produce section, and most importantly, do not try to leave your brother at the store. Again.”

OK, the kids have been briefed. Time to go.

Once at the store, we grab not one, but two shopping carts. I wear the baby in a sling and the two little children sit in the carts while I push one cart and my oldest son pushes the other one. My oldest daughter is not allowed to push a cart. Ever. Why? Because the last time I let her push the cart, she smashed into my ankles so many times, my feet had to be amputated by the end of our shopping trip. This is not a good thing. You try running after a toddler with no feet sometime.

At this point, a woman looks at our two carts and asks me, “Are they all yours?” I answer good naturedly, “Yep!

“Oh my, you have your hands full.”

“Yes, I do, but it‘s fun!” I say smiling. I’ve heard all this before. In fact, I hear it every time I go anywhere with my brood.

We begin in the produce section where all these wonderfully, artistically arranged pyramids of fruit stand. There is something so irresistibly appealing about the apple on the bottom of the pile, that a child cannot help but try to touch it. Much like a bug to a zapper, the child is drawn to this piece of fruit. I turn around to the sounds of apples cascading down the display and onto the floor. Like Indiana Jones, there stands my son holding the all-consuming treasure that he just HAD to get and gazing at me with this dumbfounded look as if to say, “Did you see that??? Wow! I never thought that would happen!”

I give the offending child an exasperated sigh and say, “Didn’t I tell you, before we left, that I didn’t want you taking stuff from the bottom of the pile???”

“No. You said that you didn’t want us to take a can from the bottom of the pile. You didn’t say anything about apples.”

With superhuman effort, I resist the urge to send my child to the moon and instead focus on the positive - my child actually listened to me and remembered what I said!!! I make a mental note to be a little more specific the next time I give the kids The Grocery Store Lecture.

A little old man looks at all of us and says, “Are all of those your kids?”

Thinking about the apple incident, I reply, “Nope. They just started following me. I’ve never seen them before in my life.”

OK, now onto the bakery section where everything smells so good, I’m tempted to fill my cart with cookies and call it a day. Being on a perpetual diet, I try to hurry past the assortment of pies, cakes, breads, and pastries that have my children drooling. At this point the chorus of “Can we gets” begins.

“Can we get donuts?”
“Can we get cupcakes?”
“Can we get muffins?”
“Can we get pie?”

You’d think they’d catch on by this point, but no, they’re just getting started.

In the bakery, they’re giving away free samples of coffee cake and of course, my kids all take one. The toddler decides he doesn’t like it and proceeds to spit it out in my hand. (That’s what moms do. We put our hands in front of our children’s mouths so they can spit stuff into them. We’d rather carry around a handful of chewed up coffee cake, than to have the child spit it out onto the floor. I’m not sure why this is, but ask any mom and she’ll tell you the same.) Of course, there’s no garbage can around, so I continue shopping one-handed while searching for someplace to dispose of the regurgitated mess in my hand.

In the meat department, a mother with one small baby asks me, “Wow! Are all six yours?”
I answer her, “Yes, but I’m thinking of selling a couple of them.”

(Still searching for a garbage can at this point.)

Ok, after the meat department, my kids’ attention spans are spent. They’re done shopping at this point, but we aren’t even halfway through the store. This is about the time they like to start having shopping cart races. And who may I thank for teaching them this fun pastime? My seventh “child”, also known as my husband. While I’m picking out loaves of bread, the kids are running down the aisle behind the carts in an effort to get us kicked out of the store. I put to stop to that just as my son is about to crash head on into a giant cardboard cut-out of a Keebler elf stacked with packages of cookies.

Ah! Yes! I find a small trash can by the coffee machine in the cereal aisle and finally dump out the squishy contents of my hand. After standing in the cereal aisle for an hour and a half while the kids perused the various cereals, comparing the marshmallow and cheap, plastic toy content of each box, I broke down and let them each pick out a box. At any given time, we have twenty open boxes of cereal in my house.

As this is going on, my toddler is playing Houdini and maneuvering his little body out of the seat belt in an attempt to stand up in the cart. I’m amazed the kid made it to his second birthday without suffering a brain damaging head injury. In between trying to flip himself out of the cart, he sucks on the metal bars of the shopping cart. Mmmm, can you say “influenza”?

The shopping trip continues much like this. I break up fights between the kids now and then and stoop down to pick up items that the toddler has flung out of the cart. I desperately try to get everything on my list without adding too many other goodies to the carts.

Somehow I manage to complete my shopping in under four hours and head for the check-outs where my kids start in on a chorus of, “Can we have candy?” What evil minded person decided it would be a good idea to put a display of candy in the check-out lanes, right at a child’s eye level? Obviously someone who has never been shopping with children.

As I unload the carts, I notice many extra items that my kids have sneaked in the carts unbeknownst to me. I remove a box of Twinkies, a package of cupcakes, a bag of candy, and a can of cat food (we don’t even have a cat!). I somehow missed the box of Pokemon cards however and ended up purchasing them unbeknownst to me. As I pay for my purchases, the clerk looks at me, indicates my kids, and asks, “Are they all yours?”

Frustrated, exhausted from my trip, sick to my stomach from writing out a check for $289.53, dreading unloading all the groceries and putting them away and tired of hearing that question, I look at the clerk and answer her in my most sarcastic voice, “No. They’re not mine. I just go around the neighborhood gathering up kids to take to the grocery store because it’s so much more fun that way.”

So, up for auction is an opened (they ripped open the box on the way home from the store) package of Pokemon cards. There are 44 cards total. They're in perfect condition, as I took them away from the kiddos as soon as we got home from the store. Many of them say "Energy". I tried carrying them around with me, but they didn't work. I definitely didn't have any more energy than usual. One of them is shiny. There are a few creature-like things on many of them. One is called Pupitar. Hee hee hee Pupitar! (Oh no! My kids' sense of humor is rubbing off on me!) Anyway, I don't think there's anything special about any of these cards, but I'm very much not an authority on Pokemon cards. I just know that I'm not letting my kids keep these as a reward for their sneakiness.

Shipping is FREE on this item. Insurance is optional, but once I drop the package at the post office, it is no longer my responsibility. For example, if my son decides to pour a bottle of glue into the envelope, or my daughter spills a glass of juice on the package, that’s my responsibility and I will fully refund your money. If, however, I take the envelope to the post office and a disgruntled mail carrier sets fire to it, a pack of wild dogs rip into it, or a mail sorting machine shreds it, it’s out of my hands, so you may want to add insurance. I will leave feedback for you as soon as I’ve received your payment. I will be happy to combine shipping on multiple items won within three days. This comes from a smoke-free, pet-free, child-filled home. Please ask me any questions before placing your bid. Happy bidding! :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

They grow so quickly, don't they?

Rupert is getting bigger and bigger. Why, I remember when he was nothing but a couple of stripes. He's beautiful, I love the random stripes and the size. I can't wait to get this done so I can see the big picture! I believe in this pic he is 14 inches.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The soap also sets

The soap is finally in submission. I used that long handled spoon to keep stirring it for what felt like days. It shrank back down and cooled off, and though it didn't lose the foamy quality, it's now thick like jello and solid so I have to use a scoop to cut some out of the bucket.
It also regained it's lovely pink color instead of nearly-white foam. Last night I used it to wash a load of towels. I gave it a nice hefty workout for it's first use - 8 full sized towels that had been used in various ways. Remember, I have a husband (what guy actually leaves a towel smelling nice?) and a potty training boy ~ use your imagination.
It dissolved fast into the wash water and the smell went from strong to mild and pleasant. The towels are brighter than when they went in and smell fresh from the line clean. All in all, I'm pretty happy with this stuff. Here is a picture of The Blob currently -
see the empty space in the middle? That's where I scooped out some for the towels - 13 hours ago. Holds it's shape nicely, don't it?
Since it worked so well I think the next Herculean task before it will be sheets. I'm excited, I might not have to buy store made detergent anymore!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Sister from another mother

She is just the best person ever. I miss her tons since she moved away. She sent me a lovely email today (not usually so sentimental, she as odd and smart-assed as I be normally) and I loved it so much I had to share.

There comes a point in your life when you realize

who matters,

who never did,

who won't anymore...

and who always will.

So, don't worry about people from your past,

there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.

AWWWWWWWW. I got tears in my eyes. Not that it's hard to do, a good pinch or making fun of my feet will do that, too. But it was accompanied by a soft squishy feeling in the middle somewhere. So here's to you, K. You are one of my Always Will. By the way, Mom says hi.

It's still growing!!!

I love to make things myself. I love the joy of creation and the stinginess of saving extra money. I have a child in cloth diapers and one just now out of them (accidents and messes galore) so I thought I'd make one of the simple laundry recipes I found online.
I couldn't find washing soda ANYWHERE IRL and paying $3 for the soda and $6 for the shipping negates the saving money aspect of making my own detergent. So I made it up as I went. Dumb-da-dumb-dumb-DUMB.
Here's what I started with

And good old H2O. Agua. Boiling hot.
I decided to double the batch. It was supposed to make 2 gallons. I used a 5 gallon bucket for the whole process thinking that it was ok to have too much space instead of not enough.

This was the one thing I did right.

As I stirred absentmindedly, I was thinking of a soft bed to sleep in and the kids being quiet. Lovely dreams, never gonna happen, but at least I was making soap - I had spent my night sick as a dog and then my morning rebagging trash that had been stored in the bed of a truck over the winter-spring-summer because we had no garbage service. We had started the service this spring when the snow was only waist high again, but there is only so much extra you can pack into a can and it was slow going.
It was stinky, slimy and utterly revolting. I was happy to make pink, lemony scented soap. Til it started growing.
I felt the bubbles on my fingertips and it didn't sink in that it was supposed to be 4-5 inches away, halfway up the spoon. NOT touching me. I was brought back to reality when it rose to mid-palm. I stopped stirring and watched it for a moment as it steadily grew and foamed higher. I had to recruit my DH to get me an 18 gallon Rubbermaid tub to pour it into, and as fast as I was it still started to overflow the bucket right as I tipped it.
I check on it later and it was about 2 inches higher, the top had mounded up and was smooth and shiny.
What had I created? Thoughts of The Blob started flitting through my head and I was getting suspicious of this stuff. I stirred it up and it's thick like soft whipped cream. I think I felt liquid about 4 inches down, but all I could see was bubbles. Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles.

We'll see how it goes, it seems to be in retreat now that I have caged it and started beating it regularly with a long handled kitchen spoon, but I'll keep you updated. My hands, on the upside, are SQUEAKY clean.
My DH has only one thing to say.
What's with you and soap? I've screwed up badly before. It wasn't a good time for me. So of course I do it again. And again. He's getting used to it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Some things I have made recently

Why? Because I can. The pink bag-thing
is actually an Apple Cozy by Kirsten TenDyke. You know, to protect the fruit. It comes in pear and banana as well, but we didn't need that as much so I just made the apple pattern. So fast and easy!
See? Apples go in it.

This (below) is a little scrubby I made for my kitchen. I was pondering the unused Red Heart yarn just lying around because I found it too rough to use for much, when it hit me. Scrubby! Soft enough to not abrade my hands like the sponges with a scrubbing side, I could throw it in the washer and dryer if it started to smell (I abhor dirty sponge stink on my skin)So I made up two disks and attached them all around and through the center. Simple as falling down. Here is the cutey:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It really worked, I loved it. It even withstood the washer and dryer... a little fuzzier and softer coming out than going in, but still a tough worker. I have more yarn just begging to be used. "Use me, use me! it cries. It's needy.

Next comes my coasters. I just got a coffee table. Admittedly, it's no source of pride, but I never had one living on my own and then I had three kids. After many tears and much blood, we came to the conclusion that coffee tables were not for us. Now, however, my youngest can walk and is in no immediate danger of putting an eye out so we jumped on getting a table for the big empty space in our living room. Then came smudges, hand prints, stuff getting shoved under it and worst of all... gasp... water rings. I know it's not crochet, my dear, but it involves yarn and I made it as a project, so it qualifies. 4 plastic canvas squares each with a different design. I love eggplants (who knows why, I'm weird that way) so that was #1. I loved it so much that I made an ear of corn on #2 as a tribute to the last time I had a table... in Nebraska. Get it? Now that I was back in Oregon, home sweet home, I made #3 a mountain range. It sucked. So I asked my oldest child for inspiration for #4, thinking that if I lost my muse, it might have been transferred to my firstborn son.
Nope. Take a look at that thing. WTH is it you ask. I think it's the sun and a cloud and a bird. He is a very type A child and he dictated every move of my needle. It's all his fault. Not mine. I rock.
Here is a completely out of order picture of the coaster on said smudgy coffee table.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The Random Stripes blanket is coming along nicely. I think I'll love it for life. I'm naming it Rupert. Well, maybe not. But I love it enough to give it a name should I have kept it.

10 Random Facts About Me

Brandy, the talent behind the awesomeness that is Stitchblade, gave me this little assignment. Sadly, I do not have 10 people to send it to, but I'll answer the questions anyway. All right Brandy, here goes.

I either have to eat each food on my plate separately or I have to have a little tiny bit of it all in the same bite.

I sing every day. Not always well.

I secretly hate being responsible all the time.

I hate gore in scary movies but love it in CSI or Discovery Health.

Bad weather makes me as happy as good weather does.

I love cute shoes and I hate to wear them.

Spending money is difficult for me. I'm born stingy.

I wish my kids would grow up at half speed so I had more time with them.

I have only felt jealousy and hate once in my life.

I'm a sucker for romance, Jane Austin style.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Guess What I'm Making

So this is my first official blog entry here. I feel as though I should be saying something world changing, some bit of wisdom or experience that would rival Confucius for the ability to make people say "OHhhh" and nod their heads with sudden insight.
Oh well, most of them are faking it. Outwardly understanding deep wisdom, inwardly yelling "WHO talks like that?! No one really understands schtuff like that. Nevermind, nod and go with it, it'll make you look smart."
OK, so I think I tangented... if that's a word. Back to the main subject.... YARN. And what I do to it. Ah, bad... with it? I do yarny stuff. With hooky things. I'm a hooker. I'm going about this badly, I think. I'll move on and forget I said any of this. What?

Been hooking for 18 years. Wow, does that make a chic feel old. I love it so, yarn and crochet have occupied a good deal of my free time. When I have it. Dude, I have kids. A passel. Free time is a mini pink unicorn that grants wishes. It's drinking coffee while it's hot. It's a bubble bath with rose petals and soft music. Chocolate without calories, just because I'm a nice person.

I'm doing it again, aren't I?

Right now, I am making a couple of really nice throws, full size. They are so much fun! I have only made a few blankets in my time (eh? did you mention age again, Mabel?... Oh, fudge, I don't care if YOU get it. I do... my dad would. Just repeat this: "it is funny, I laugh. hahahaha" til it feels ok again.) The first blanket is a mystery. Why? I was asked to make two, the second blanket being a very lovely choice of blue, carmel, and chocolate. I say carmel and chocolate because they sound yummy and I'm fat. I mean I love sweets. Blue is still blue because, well, I can't think of a yummy blue dessert.
Ah, tangent, we meet for the last time again.
So, very pretty colors in a stripe. Stripes are somewhat boring when laid out evenly no matter how much I love equality and even numbers. Or odd numbers evenly. One of my favorite blogs, Sharing the Moment, is by a talented and amazingly efficient woman. I can't do half of what she does in a week. She impresses me. She was designing a Soft Waves Afghan and used a Stripe Generator to make the colors come out beautifully. I used it too, why not (zoidberg). I love it! I got about 5 inches of the ghan done and my DH says "you need to start another throw, that one should be a scarf for me." Well, I now know what to make for him as a gift and I know the ghan is a hit with at least two people. I'm the other one, me. Hi.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The second afghan, as I said, was a mystery. Yeah, I bet you were wondering when I would come back to that! The colors were undecided and when I asked for a hint as to the look she wanted, I got "surprise me!" My darling husband suggested I say BOO, now what do you want? But I for one was intrigued with the idea of cart blanche on this project.
I found a lovely deep teal heather yarn that will go very well with the described decor, now I needed to find the right pattern to suit the yarn. This shows the color well, but also displays my mad skilz at ruining the beauty of photography. My apologies.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

nice huh? It'll look nice when I get it put together, at any rate. SOOO very many pretty patterns out there and so many hideous flower-strewn uggo 'ghans. Please don't hate me for that, I just have very specific tastes as far as patterns go. I judge no soul for their love of the ugly. I searched and compared and discarded ideas til I found the lovely Spring Breeze afghan square that looked perfect with my teal yarn. I got started right away since I can't STAND leaving yarn untouched. Which did I do first? Technically, I started on the teal, but I have been doing both in turns. Stop, it's not unhealthy in the least.
I have a really fun project coming up that will keep me busy for weeks, pictures to accompany. Not a bad time to start blogging, right?