Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Knitting news (and some cute kids)

So I've been working on Aidez for a while.  I thought I'd be super efficient and knit both fronts simultaneously. This is how far I had gotten.  By the time I reached this point (so, so close to finishing the fronts), I decided that I couldn't live with the fact that my center seed wishbones looked completely unlike everyone else's on ravelry (over 1000 projects can't be wrong).  It took me a few hours to come to terms with the fact that I was going to have to frog them.  I was not happy about it.
In unrelated news, on Sunday, we went out apple picking.  First, we stopped by Peddler's Village (a shopping center/tourist attraction) to look at the imaginative scarecrows on display.  Apple picking was both muggy and buggy.  Next time, I'm holding out for a cool, crisp (and gnat-free) fall day.  It was t-shirt day at church--I don't usually dress the kids all alike.
 Back to the knitting!  Here is the new left front.  I hope to finish this tonight.  See how the center design is different?  How it's actually seed stitch?  The written directions in the pattern are correct; the chart...not so much.

 Here you can compare the two.  The one on the right is the new left front--you're following this, right?  The left one is the old right front--hopefully by next week it will be all fixed.
And when the weather finally cools off for good, I'll have an awesome new sweater!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How It's Going

This is my third week of work.  So far, the transition has been pretty smooth.  I really am making the most of my days off--except for the stuff that I'm putting off.  Like the basement.  I'd rather run errands than deal with the dried-out smelly cardboard boxes that are in the basement.  I'm putting that on my schedule for Saturday morning.  But see, I put things on the schedule!  For example, next Tuesday, I'm cooking a whole chicken and using it to make three or four meals for next week.

I'm not going to mislead you, either.  Right now, the kids are scheduled to walk in the door in ten minutes, and I haven't started on dinner (stuffed shells because I didn't have time to make crepes for cannelloni).  Dinner needs to be served to Caroline by 5:00 because she has dance from 5:30 to 7:30--the rest of us can eat when we get back from dropping her off.  I'm just thankful I found a can of tomatoes in the pantry so I don't have to start chopping up the last of the garden tomatoes.  Whew.  Worn out?  In some ways, sitting at a desk is relaxing!

So, this desk where I sit is at a mom-and-pop screenprinting and embroidery shop. You know, they print team sports jerseys, company t-shirts, baseball hats, etc.  They have a website.  And if you go to the website and scroll down, you'll see that they offer holiday cards.  In the interest of full disclosure, if you order cards through the company, I will (!) make a little money.  But you were going to order cards from somewhere, weren't you?  I know that we are still very careful about where and how we spend our money--even two years after Rob's unemployment summer--so I really am not trying to be flip about this.  I am just letting you know that snapfish doesn't have to be your only option for the holidays this year.

Speaking of the holidays, I finally sandwiched that Christmas quilt.  Now to decide how to quilt it on another day off...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Staying Crafty

We are slowly settling into a routine.  The sun is setting noticeably earlier, so that is a huge help when bedtime rolls around.  (In the spring, it was next to impossible to get the kids to come in for bed because the sun was still going at 8:00pm!)

Yesterday, instead of bringing my knitting bag along to dance class, I threw some balls of yarn and a hook into the bag.  I made one complete granny square, and about three-fourths of another.  I finished it (and made another) once I got home.  I'm up to 21 grannies now (out of 81).  Slow progress, but still progress!  The pink is much more vibrant in person.  It's a heathered yarn, so you can see lovely pinks and purples mixed together.  It looks very mauve in the picture. 
 Last Thursday I was able to make the pillow covers.  I went a little crazy fabric shopping, and I splurged on several Heather Bailey prints for this project.  And I have enough left over for at least one more smallish project.  I love how these turned out.
 I purchased the pillow form for Caroline's pillow last week--forms were 50% off at Joann.  They didn't have the size I needed for Caitlin's, so I'll have to order it.  I just love how these turned out.
Today is a day off for me, so I'm heading to the library to pick up some holds, and then I'm off in search of clear contact paper, a new hairbrush for one daughter, and jazz shoes and a leotard for the other daughter.  Who'd a thunk that I'd have to search around to find clear contact paper?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Just keep swimming...

Isn't that what Dory the fish said in Finding Nemo

"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming..."

It's my theme song lately. 

You see, I have started working three days a week.  Yay!  Really, I could not have found a better situation--I work during school hours, and the business is family owned, so they have told me that if the kids are ever sick, or the weather is bad, etc., not to worry about missing work.  So I'm excited about working, about learning new things, and about getting paid.

Last year, I was amazed at how quickly a full school day could pass, and I was even more amazed at how little I could accomplish in that time.  So I know that working is really going to help me be more productive on the home front.  But right now, I'm trying to get ahead a little bit (thus the menu planning and meal preparation).  This week, the extracurricular activities are starting, and we seem to be at the dentist's office with frightening regularity (as we begin this long road to a mystical and expensive place called Orthodontia), so rather than freak out about all that needs to be done in a day, I'm gonna "just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

Friday, September 2, 2011

Five or Ten Things

I have five pictures, so we can start there, and if I think of more things to add, then so be it!

1. Already thought of one!  My cousin is getting married today, so at four o'clock this afternoon, let's all send them prayers of happiness.

2. I am so glad that the first two weeks of school are four-day weeks.  The packing-lunch routine is already wearing thin.

 3. The paperwork...the five dollar contributions, the checks for field trips...did I mention the paperwork?
 4.  A pleasant side effect of reading Leslie's blog is that you notice hearts everywhere.  This was ranch dressing that I'd dumped out after the kids abandoned it and the carrots.
 5.  Embroidery...hard to make personalized Christmas gifts on the sly around here.
 6.  Go ahead and blame this on Jodi.  My granny square itch just had to be scratched.  I rationalize this by saying that it's a great way to use up all the stray balls of yarn that I have, and yet I find myself thinking that I need to buy just a few more colors so I can finish it up...it's not really stash busting if you are simultaneously adding to the stash.  I have 18 out of 81 squares done, so this will be a while.
7. We went to Trader Joe's last weekend.  We don't go there all that often--usually only when we go out to eat at a restaurant that is in the TJ's shopping center.  And Rob usually buys mostly snacks.  This time I bought the dark chocolate covered espresso beans.  Yum.  The kids couldn't understand why I wouldn't let them eat any.  Really.

8. I have jumped on the pinterest bandwagon.  I had to open a twitter account in order to get into pinterest, so now I'm on the twitter, too.  I don't tweet, but if you're on there (or pinterest), feel free to friend/follow/tweet me (whatever the lingo).  All I've really done on pinterest is just re-pin others' pictures.  I haven't put any original things up there.  It's a nice inspiration board, I guess, and another potential time-suck.

9. My youngest child will be turning eight on Tuesday.  Eight!  Where did the time go?  And why has returning to school made him so wild and out of control?  Is it because he has to be well-behaved all day at school?  So that when he comes home he's just used up all his self-control for the day?  He really has me yearning for a return to the 7:00 bedtime.  Eight years old.  Wow.

10.  Hey, I made it to ten!  This week Erin wrote a post about how busy she's been in the kitchen.  And Tsh at Simple Mom has a meal-planning chapter from her latest e-book available for free download.  I took both ladies' posts to heart, and I have planned our menus for the next 12 days.  I entered the meals in my google calendar, and I am going to make double batches of some of the meals to freeze them for later.  Once the scouts/dance/baseball train starts rolling in a couple of weeks, I'm going to need some easy meals!