Sunday, March 30, 2014

I am keeping busy

I finally pinned my Log Cabin quilt yesterday evening. It is about 108x108 inches. I set the blocks into a star design. Now the only problem I have is, that I have no idea how to quilt it. I am planning on quilting it on my domestic machine, and already know, it will be a bear to wrestle through. I thought concentric stars would look great, but I am running in to the problem that the stars get distorted as they get smaller and larger. I thought about free motion quilting, but my quilt frame with the machine is too small for this quilt. I think free motioning a large quilt like this on my sewing table will not turn out great. My batting has to be quilted between 2-4 inches apart. I am trying to figure out some kind of straight stitching, because I think that would work the best. I will have to do some more thinking on that.

My sweater I am knitting has not been touched since I posted last. But I am planning on changing that today. I have so many knitting podcasts to catch up on. So I thought I could knit a few hours today, relax, and catch up. A cold front has moved in to our area again, and that makes of course perfect knitting weather. Also, I would like to get this sweater finished so I can wear it before it gets too warm for it. If I can get the body finished today, which is about 5 more inches, I think that would be great.

This brings me to a new endeavor I am starting. Like everyone else, I am trying to lose weight. I figure if I lose weight, and become skinny, my sweaters will knit up so much faster. I am not following a certain diet plan, because that just made me fail every time in the past. The "you are not allowed to eat this" approach is making me want the "forbidden" food even more. I tried a lot of diet plans, lost weight on them, but could not stick to them. Until I think, now it finally clicked. Not a diet, but a different lifestyle. So I have decided to do the "French Girls don't get fat" approach. I am controlling my portions, make good choices, and move more. I chose walking and strength training. I really enjoy Leslie Sansone's Walk away the pounds franchise. I have enough DVDs to keep it interesting and mixed up. On days I don't want to do her workouts, I have a Treadmill, exercise bike,  weight machine, rowing machine, Swiss ball, and assorted weights and stretch bands. So quite a home gym that I will use more now. I started on Friday with 195.1 lbs. and am down to 194.3 lbs. I know it is better to start weighing weekly, but I find it more motivating for me to weigh daily. This way I can make corrections when I see a gain or stand still, and I will catch it before it becomes too big. Now I know people say, "What about fluctuations?" Yes, that is mostly water you take on from eating too much sodium. But my theory is, if I see that fluctuation, I can counter act it by drinking more water, and flushing my system out. I will keep you updated how that is working out for me. But for my first week, I need to have special strength. I work in a doctor's office, and get take out lunch a lot from visiting drug reps. It is all very nice and good, but eating out gets old, and is nothing special anymore. My plan for this week is to bring my lunch from home. It is more calorie controlled that way. I just need  to be strong, and say "no thank you" when the menu comes around to me. I think it will be tough the first few weeks, but once I get control over my eating habits, I can start to take part of these lunches once a week, and make it something special again, rather than the norm.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Back to basics

I originally started this blog in order to have a sounding board for anything that moves me, and makes me tick. For some reason I just started posting about my crafts, but really not much about me or my life. I want to change this, and get back to the basics. I want a little of everything. After all, I am more than a crafter, and you really do not get to know me, until you know more aspects about me.

I have not been posting in a while, because I got busy and sidetracked, and really had not much to post about. But that is only because I have not given it much thought.

On the crafting line of things. My knitting is progressing nicely, and I will post some pictures here of my finished projects.  Currently I am knitting on a Cardigan, in one piece, with steeking. I thought it might be time to start learning that technique, and get over my fear of cutting in to my knitting. I will keep you updated on that.

My quilting is very slow, and even at a stand still right now. I don't know if I can blame the lack of time, or just not having the quilting mojo right now, because things in my quilt room are not going exactly the way I want them to. Murphy's Law has been hitting me left and right in this regard, and I am afraid to work on anything, because lately it is not working out well for me. Not to mention that I just have a hard time to make time for quilting, other than on retreat.

The lack of time brings me to my family. I am a little out of my comfort zone right now. My oldest daughter wants to move out, and all the way to Florida. Off course I have mixed feelings about these plans. I am excited for her, because I remember gaining my independence, and it was a very scary and exciting time for me. But I am also worried for her, because after all, she is my baby, and she is moving far away, and I can not be there to rescue her all the time. Naturally I want the best for my daughter. I want her to stay close to home. But I also know, she is 20 years old, ready to spread her wings, and she needs to soar. Not to mention she has to move away to a college with a good Psychology program in order to complete her degree. So you see how I am torn with my feelings about her plans. It is just difficult for me to accept the fact, she is a grown, young woman now, and  makes her own decisions. So I try to have a cheerful attitude, and try to support her as much as I can. After all, I done the best I can in raising her, she is a wonderful young woman, she needs to make her own way, and needs my support and prayers.

On the work front life is getting a bit busier too. My job responsibilities have multiplied. My co-workers are giving me the cold shoulder, and try to punish me for what they think is a great reward. I am a Certified Medical Assistant in a Family Practice. I am sorry I can not go into too much detail about my work, but I am sure everyone understands about confidentiality. Any way, my boss asked me to take on some more responsibility in addition to what I do on a daily basis in  order to improve the patients experience in our office. This means working a lot closer with the doctor, and my co-workers say they are OK with it, but their actions speak volumes to the contrary. So my days are a little more stressful. Not so much from the work load, because I have a pretty good system going, and very rarely stay late. Most of the time I am done with my work early and get to leave early. So needless to say, it was a no-brainer to accept the responsibility and trust my doctor is placing on me, and make this career move, and secure my position in the office by being more needed, due to the work I do. So now my co-workers, who used to be  good team players, are now giving me the cold shoulder.  This is not a reward by any stretch of the imagination, because I am working non-stop now, and have to plan my trips to the water cooler or bathroom very carefully, as to not get doctor behind schedule to see patients. But for some reason my co-workers see it as a reward. So I just have to weather out the storm, and hope the dust clouds will settle soon enough, and they will become the wonderful co-worker they used to be.

Friday, November 29, 2013

2 more Challenge finishes


 
I finished these placemats quite a few weeks ago. I just kind of forgot to post about them.

 
This is my finish for today. It was a mystery quilt the first year I went to quilt retreat. That has been quite a few years ago. I did a meandering all over quilting on it. Just simple and fast. I thought the pattern speaks for itself, and does not need much enhancement. The quilt is lap sized.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I kind of forgot to post


This sweater was forgotten in a closet for a very long time. I call it "Holly Sweater", because the color of the yarn is called Holly. This is one of my own designs.

 
These Mittens are a very quick knit. I found the pattern on Ravelry, and it took me 2 weekends to knit. They are called "Give A Hoot". If you look closely you can see the Owl on the back of the Mitten.
 

This Afghan took me exactly 1 year, but that is only because I had it laying in my sewing room for a few months. I bought this Pattern from Herrschner's, and really like it. As you can see, it is a descent size, and spans my Queen-sized bed. I love snuggling with it on my sofa in the evenings after a tough day at work.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I see PUPPIES!!!!

I finally have my daughter's quilt finished. It was high time too. The edges needed bound so badly, because they were unravelling. It feels so great to have a finished project again, but then it is also sad that it is finished.
Oh well, on to the next project, which ever that may be.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Let it Snow!!!


Perhaps not quite yet, since Autumn is just starting.

I finished my first Project of my challenge. One down and only 7 more to go. This project did not go quite as smoothly as I hoped. While finishing it, my sewing machine gave up it's ghost. Naturally I tried my hardest to finish this with the smallest of delays by getting the sewing machine I have been eyeballing for quite some time. So my new purchase is quite justified with the finish of this long overdue table runner. I am so pleased to have started of my challenge at a good pace.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Time for an update and a challenge!!!


I am way overdue for posting again. I am not trying to make excuses, but I just have the hardest time to find a rhythm in my live that will work and balance out work, family, home responsibilities, and my fun time.
 
I was at Quilt Retreat last weekend. My it already feels so long ago. I guess it was a very long week at work. But anyway, my friend Carolyn and I came up with a grand idea. We thought we should challenge each other to get some of our UFOs finished. Needless to say out plan went viral in no time. The challenge is to post pictures of projects we want to finish until April 2014 for our next retreat. But the kicker is, we are supposed to use fabric from our stash to do so, but if not possible, we may buy small amounts of fabric to finish a project. It has to really be justified. If we start new projects, they have to be started from our stash.
 
We are hoping to get a few projects finished, get some room in our sewing rooms by using what we already have, and to have some fun along the way.
 
So here are my projects I plan on finishing in various stages.
 
 
This is my "Deer Quilt" which I sewed last April retreat for my husband. Of course this man, who sponsors and supports my fabric habit deserves a quilt. So my goal is to get it quilted and bound, so my husband can actually use it.
 


Above is my "It's a Star" quilt top. It is queen-sized quilt top sewn in Eleanor Burns' construction method for Log Cabin quilts. I started it a few years ago, and it just hibernated for a while, and now it is in the holding pattern to be quilted and finished of. I think it will look really great on my bed.


This little bright beauty is a Mystery quilt we made at retreat a few years back. It is only lab-sized, or even smaller than that. It would make a great table topper too. My goal of course is to quilt and finish it, and finally get it out of my UFO pile.


This "Let it snow" table runner was a total surprise to me. I completely forgot about it. I made it a few years ago from a magazine pattern, stuck it into my to-do pile and forgot it. I made this from stash, and hope that it will be my first project to be finished, so I can enjoy it this winter season on my coffee table.


Above you see an orphan, on purpose. I abandoned it because one of the blocks I sewed wrong, and I am not fixing it. I do kind of like the look of the block anyway. This was a BOM we did on the Ohio Quilter yahoo group a few years ago.  It is twin sized, and the perfect size to snuggle with for nap time. The colors are just warm fall colors, and I really love the fabrics I used. I guess just frustration with my inability to follow a pattern properly made me put it on ice. Not anymore!!! Goal for it is, to quilt and finish it before April.


Above you see the start of Eleanor Burns' "Twisted Star" quilt. I am sewing the Queen-sized  version of it. My goal is to have the top assembled by April. I am not going to be too ambitious with that. I have to remember that my day job takes up a little of my sewing time.


Above you see the beginnings of a Hunter Star quilt. I have no idea how big it will get. I started it at the last retreat because some friends showed me a new method of sewing the pattern, I fell in love with it, and now I am making a quilt with 6inch blocks. So I have to see how big I like to grow it. It might become lab-sized or it might grow into a Queen. Who knows!!! But we will find out by April, hopefully


This little project should be easy and quick to finish. These are Autumn Place mats I started at retreat. I did not cut enough fabric for them, this is why I could not finish them. No they have become part of my challenge, and I hope these will be the second project that will make it on to them finished list. So that I may enjoy them this Autumn on my Dinner table.

Now this is my little confessional from my quilting room. I am not even starting on knitting on here. Those would be my bonus projects.

I am not going to make promises to update my blog on certain days, because that will not work out for me. But I will keep you all posted on my progress in the challenge, and on other things that are going on in my life.

Monday, May 27, 2013

I am still kicking, and quilting


I am back!!! Yes, it seemed like I have been disappearing from the face of the world, but I am still around. I just find it very difficult to fall into a good routine with my work. I have been in this job now for 6 months, and still I am struggeling to find a routine that works for me. But I am sure, eventually I will get the hang of it. I work 4 days a week, a lot of days more than 10 hours, and I drive 1 hour each way. So including lunch break I am gone from home about 13 hours most work days. Needless to say, I don't feel like doing anything on those days, and can just muster up enough strength to get the basics done, so my house will not turn into a health hazard. LOL
 
But I am trying hard to get in quilting, knitting, or crochet time on my weekends. Some weekends I even get something finished.
 
This is the Mini Bow Tucks Tote, and I made it for my Mother-in-law for Mother's Day. She was happy to get it, because she wanted to make herself one. So I lend my pattern to her, and she said it was a little more complicated than she would have liked it to be. So I thought it would be a great gift idea to make her one.
 

 
I also have another finish this month. I am so excited to finally get something done, and making progress with all these projects. But don't get me wrong, it is very difficult not to start a new project. But I know, I need to be more diciplined and get actually something finished.
 
This is the Buckeye Beauty that I made for my daughters High School Graduation. It is only one year late, as she just finished up her Freshman year in College. But she loves it anyway. She could not have been more excited if I would have handed her a pot of gold. 

 
I have of course a few other projects in the works. I am piecing the Twisted Star Quilt by Eleanor Burns. I must say, I love her patterns, but this is the last time that I follow her instructions. The next one of her patterns, I will read over the instructions, and see if I can figure out an easier way of making the quilt. She always has a lot of unnecessary extra steps in it, and it is just very labor intensive.
 
I also started to baste my Puppy Quilt for my other daughter, so I can quilt it. I am planing on straight quilting it, and then quilt some  motives into the Puppy blocks, so that my batting will hold together.
 
After that I still have my Log Cabin Quilt, a few pillow cases for every quilt, my Churn Dash quilt that needs finished piecing, my Eye Candy that wants hand quilted,  and many more in the plans.  Currently I am looking through my patterns for something to use my batiks with. Then in September I am going on another Quilt Retreat, and we will be having a mystery quilt. Of course I am looking forward to receiving the first step of the instructions, so I can pull my fabric for it.

Well, now I am all motiviated to get my breakfast in, get a few things taken care of around the house, and then go back into my sewing room on this cloudy, chilly day today, and relax before I have to get back to work again tomorrow.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Puppy Quilt has it's border on

My Puppy Quilt for my daughter is ready to be layered. I sewed the border on this morning, and now I have to figure out where I want to layer it. On the carpet or on the table. I am leaning more toward the table. I might have to get myself some of those table cloth clips so I can stretch the backing across my table. That way I will be more comfortable than crawling on the floor, and I can pin baste my quilt in sections. I am just worried that if I layer on the carpet, that I will have puckers in the back after quilting.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy National Quilt Day!!!!

I hope you all have a Happy National Quilt Day. I know, some of you are now making a face and say, "But it is St. Patrick's Day today!!!" Yes, it happen to be the same day. But since I have not a drop of Irish in me, not even Guinness, I am not qualified to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. But I am a quilter through and through, pure bred. Therefore, that is the holiday I chose to celebrate today. BTW, I don't celebrate Cinco De Mayo, Ramadan, and Hanukkah either, because I just don't fit the bill. But I am very excited about the Holidays I do get to celebrate, because I am part of the group they are for.

This is my daughter's graduation quilt. Graduation from High-School that is. She is about to finish her freshman year of college. I know, I am a little behind times. But I also know she will love it just the same. Today I finally quilted it, and put the binding on. I still have to fold the binding to the back and hand stitch it down, but that will be for my weeknight, after work, hand work times. I am very excited that I have it done this far, and my daughter will be sleeping below it in foreseeable future. I will also make a pillow case to go with the quilt for her.

Right now I will take a little break from quilting, and then perhaps work on another UFO for my other daughter. Said quilt needs to have the last border sewn on, and layered for quilting. I don't want to stress myself out too much, so I will keep my goals low, and for now I will just do some work around the house, and maybe take a little nap. Then I will see where I go from there.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ruffle Scarf

OK, I finally made one of these scarfs. Really the only thing holding me back was the technique. But a gentlemen who was in the waiting room of out office made one for his girl-friend the other day, and was so kind to show me how. I just could not resist making one for me too. Besides, some of my friends were making these too, and I just love how they look.

I used Red Heart Sashay, and it took me only last night to crochet it. It was a fun and fast project. I love these instant gratifications. Let's hope I don't ruin it when I wash it the first time. The label instructs to hand wash in cold water, and dry flat.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Acute Case of Staritis

 
Once again I contracted an acute case of startitis. I just could not help myself. I saw this BOM on craftsy.com, and since I like traditional blocks, I decided to join in. It is a crossover of a mystery quilt and a sampler, since there is no picture of the finished quilt. I just know that it has 12 blocks, but no idea what these blocks might be. I decided to make it from my stash, and use my country colors for this quilt. At first I thought about making 2 blocks for every month, and enlarging it to a queen sized quilt, since that is the size of all my beds in the house, but then thought better about it. Not every quilt has to fit my bed. It is OK to have a quilt just the right size for the sofa, or a nap.
 
This is January's block and is a Monkey Wrench. The colors do not show up properly in my computer, because the dark is not black, but a nice, rich, dark brown. This block went together very quickly, and was easy to sew. The finished size is 12 inch square.
 
This really gave me back some of my quilting mojo, and I am looking forward to next month's block. I really need to get going in cleaning my quilting room, so I can put this quilt into the frame that I would like to finish this month. Maybe I will get started on that tonight, or maybe next weekend. I don't want to feel like I am rushed, that is much too close to work, rather than pleasure. But for now it is just good to be back to sewing again.



Friday, January 4, 2013

Feeling very unmotivated today

Today is just one of those days that I would gladly spend laying around like a beached whale. I see the work around the house that needs done, and get it done a little at a time. Just my heart is not in it today. I should go out to the grocery store, but I am not even motivated to write a shopping list, or a menu for the week, so I would have an inkling on what to buy.

I also should exercise every day, but that does not happen. I started weight watchers online again. After having been diagnosed last month with hypercholesterolemia, and pre-diabetes I know I need to watch my diet, and incorporate frequent exercise. So I am hoping that weight watchers online is helping me to learn not to eat like a teenager anymore, and adapt a more healthy lifestyle. The prospect of heart disease and strokes just scares me a bit. I also hope, that once I am getting myself to exercise more frequently, that I will have more energy, and not be tired as can be by 8pm.

I also spend some time this morning to clean out my blog list. There were quite a few blogs that have moved to new locations, or were abandoned for quite some time. So I removed them from my list. I know myself how easy it is to get away from blogging. I am guilty of not keeping up all the time too. I am hoping to get to blog more too. It seems to be doing wonders for my emotional well-being. I guess a diary can do the same, but unless someone invades my privacy, nobody would know what I am about. Besides, there is something to be said about the interaction blogging brings with it.

On the weather in my area, it is very cold and blustery. Snow is still on the  ground, but thankfully not on the roads. Perhaps that contributes to my laziness. I am having a sweater in the works for nice cold days, but no motivation to pick it up and knit on it. I guess once I get all my work done today, (really only laundry left) I will find a good movie to watch, and get some knitting done. I will let you know how it all goes.

I hope you all are staying warm, and have the opportunity to have some fun with your favorite activities.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!!!

Have a New Year, and may it be filled with health, happiness, prosperity, and all the things you want to have.

I am not making resolutions today. I know how it goes, I want to lose weight, and after about a week I end up gaining. I want to quilt or knit more, but end up doing nothing of the sort. So this year I am not making to many plans. Mostly because I can not stick to them anyway. But I will hope that I will finally fall into a routine to juggle my work and home responsibilities, so I will find more time for the things I love to do, like quilting and knitting.

My monthly UFO to finish will be the Buckeye Beauty quilt I made for my daughter who is in college. So I am planning on getting that top quilted, the quilt bound, and hopefully 2 pillow cases sewn. The quilt is a queen sized top, in red, black, and white.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

I have met my goal!!!

I have met my goal of finishing my Patriotic Quilt this month. After losing my dog, it was quite therapeutic to work on this quilt. Especially when I look outside at the snow, I get reminded how much Fluffy loved to play in it. I wish he could have lived long enough to see just one more of these winter scenes. But then, one more will never be enough.

Back to quilting. This quilt was for almost 2 years in the making. It is hand quilted, and since I lose interest very quickly, I think almost 2 years was really fast for me. Every time I hand quilt a project, I swear to myself that I will do this never again. I don't understand why I keep getting these ideas of having to hand quilt.

I sewed the binding on by machine, turned it, and top stitched it by machine too. I don't quite like the result, and most likely with my future projects will return to hand sewing the binding down on the back with a blind stitch. At least now I can say I tried it, and don't like it. I am all for fast and easy, but perhaps some things just need to be taken slow. I guess a quilt is one of those things.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Fluffy, August 1998 to December 2012

On 12-26-2012 we had to say good-bye to our Fluffy forever. We have had over 14 wonderful years together. He was a wonderful play-mate for my children, a great watch-dog for me, and a loyal companion to my husband. I will never forget what a good Dog Fluffy was, and he will be greatly missed. We just had no choice to put him to sleep. Fluffy was suffering from Diabetes, and was Insulin dependent for over 2 years. But finally his illness caught up to him, and he suffered multiple strokes. So our wonderful vet decided that there is no more we can do for him, but do him the kindness to end his suffering.
Fluffy was always a good dog. He would greet you with a "Hello", or his version of it. He would watch over the kids in the yard, and block their way when they went to far away from the house. He used to sit and watch the woods for predators while we all enjoyed our yard. He loved taking walks in the woods with my husband, his favorite thing was to chase deer. Fluffy would sit with me for however long I wanted him, and keep me company. He was always patient with everyone, including his little dog brothers and sisters.We never had to clean up after Fluffy, because he always did his business in the woods. He was just a wonderful dog all around.
Fluffy is very missed by all of us, but we also understand that we would have been very selfish by keeping him around in his suffering. I like to think that he is in heaven now, enjoying youth and good health, and is at his favorite activity, chasing the deer around heaven.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

 
I am wishing you all a Merry Christmas. May your Holiday be filled with love and peace. May all your favorite people be able to spend time with  you.

 
I have a finish!!! Not the one I planned on, but hey, it is a finish. This sofa pillow has been going on for 2 years now. 2 years ago some friends and I had a Christmas Card Exchange where we included a 5" piece of fabric. I decided to make a Sofa Pillow out of them. The pillow looks the same on both sides, and is made completely by hand.
 
When I first gotten the fabrics I thought that all this variety would never work together. But then I thought of my friends whom have sent these to me, and about how different we all are, but yet, we are quite a cool group of Quilters. So I put all these fabrics together in a pillow, and I think  it looks great, and the fabrics really work out well. Just like my friends, we are so different from our point of views, likes and dislikes, walks of life, and believe systems, and yet we work great together. Now every time I see my pillow, I will think about how people as different as we are, can come together and become such a tight knit group as we are.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I missed my goal

I was hoping that I would finish my patriotic quilt in November, but for some reason, it just did not happen. Well, I actually have an explanation. Notice how I left out the "good"? I changed jobs. Yes I have a job in a Doctor's Office as a Medical Assistant. I am still learning my way around, but think I am doing well. It is a fast paced environment, and really stressful at times. It seems like everything needs to be done right then and there. It can get a little disconcerting at times, but I actually do love it. The good news is, my new job should give me more time to quilt and knit. I am not working shift work anymore, and have a regular schedule of working from Monday through Thursday. How exciting is that?

Well, back to quilting. My goal from November is carrying over into December. I will work on my Patriotic Quilt, and hope I can finish it this months, so I can move on to the next UFO. I will keep you updated on how I am progressing in my endeavors.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thank You!!!!

Thank you for all your sacrifice. I know, it could not have been easy to give of yourself so freely. I really appreciate all you do. May God bless you richly.

Friday, November 2, 2012

November Goal

I was supposed to post my goal for November yesterday, but got so busy with Trick-or-Treating, my daughters visit from college, and such things.

I think this month I will focus on quilting. I have this patriotic quilt which I started nearly 2 years ago. The ladies in church helped me quilt it, but we did not finish. I have one border left to quilt, and a few squares to fill in. It should be no problem to finish the hand quilting on it and sewing the binding on within this months. I will keep you updated on my progress.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Puppy Beds

I think October must be very conducive for my creativity. I have started and finished a project, or should I say 2? I made 2 new puppy beds for my dogs. My little Lillie took right to it. The last beds they had, got quite bad, and my Mugsy was digging the stuffing out of them. With these beds I am actually recycling our old pillows. I just took 2 pieces of polar fleece, cut them 6 inches bigger than  the pillow, cut a fringe of 3 inches, and tied them around the pillow.

It is time for me to think about which UFO I will work on for November. I will go through my stash and see what appeals to me. I  will let you know by Thursday what I will finally finish.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Autumn Bow Tucks Tote


I have another finish to report out of my UFOs. My new Fall purse is done. I made one for Summer, and now this one, and plan of eventually have one for all seasons. I just really like that pattern, and the purse is a wonderful size to fit all my stuff in it. I also love the organizing inside pockets that I can sew in for my own needs. I think since I finished 2 UFOs this month I get to work on something new. Perhaps pull fabric for a winter purse? Crochet an Afghan? Maybe need a Cardigan? Oh the possibilities.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Roller Coaster or a hike in the Mountains?

Did you ever hear anybody describe life as a Roller Coaster? I prefer to liken it to a hike in the Mountains. A Roller Coaster races through the valleys and across the peaks. A hike in the Mountains is a slow and laborious ascent up the Mountain, littered with rocks to stumble over, and thoughts of giving up and turning around. Then if you decide it is worth the effort to climb up, you are on the top, and see it was worth the trouble. But you can't remain there for too long, and you have to embark on your way down. The descent is more rapid. You find yourself having a difficult time to slow down, because of the steep path, and gravity pulling you down. Then you are tired and worn out in the Valley, and have to hike up the next mountain. A lot of times it is really difficult to find the motivation to go on up the next hill side, and we wonder if it is even worth the effort it takes.

So many of my friends are in the process of hiking up the mountain, or even just starting out of the Valley. My prayers are with them, that they will get that "push" to keep on going.

I am on my career Mountain right now. If you know Mountains, then you know how it starts out gentle, and gets steeper as you get closer to peak. I must be close to the peak, because right now it is a battle to climb that rock ledge up there. I need patients, calculate my steps, and keep pressing on. I can see the cross that marks the peak, but it is just out of reach. It is so difficult to have patients, and not try some crazy short cut, and risk getting stuck, and having to back track to get back on the right path.

I am praying that I will have the patients and strength to continue on my mapped out path to the peak. All I have to do it climb over this big ledge. I am not having illusions that it will be easy, but I know I can make it over this huge stumbling block. It is very tempting to explore some of the other paths, but I can still change direction once I am over that hard part.

To make it easier to understand, the ledge is the job I have right now, and I have to hold on for 3 1/2 weeks more until I am eligible to bid into a job in the Hospital system that I trained for. But with all the things going on at work, it is really difficult to have the patients. The other paths are jobs in private practice. On a normal day, I am determined to get a job within the hospital system that I work in currently. But today, a job in private practice looks very tempting too. I hope and pray I can push through, and see what is on the other end, I.E. a job in a doctors office. I am getting very impatient to be able to move on.

I know I am unable to fulfil God's plan for me by myself. So I am on my knees, and ask God to give me the patients and strength that I need to arrive at the point where he wants me at.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Vanilla Mitten

I actually managed to stick to my guns this month. I have one UFO finished. They are just basic mittens, but very important to me. They are my first mittens!! Now I know the basic construction of them, and knitting patterned mittens will be a lot easier from now on, and I am looking forward to it. I used Knit Picks Andean Silk in Hollyberry. I know it shows very pink here, but the yarn is actually a nice, rich, burgundy color.

Now I have a decision to make, will I try to finish another UFO, or start a new project? I think the sensible decision would be to work on another UFO. I have to see what appeals to me at the moment. I might even have to unravel things I don't like anymore. But I will definitely keep up with my resolution of finishing one UFO per month. So I might pull out something more involved, now that I have plenty of time left in the month to finish another project. I will keep you updated how I am progressing.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I just had a grandious Idea!!!

I admit, it is not exactly a new concept, but it is new to me. If you know me, then your know my plight with my projects. I start a lot of things, but hardly ever finish anything. But since I am now not having so many irons in the fire anymore, maybe I can devote some of my time back to my hobbies. So I thought it would be a great idea to commit to finishing a project every month. Now I am just talking about finishing something I have in the works, some pretty close to completion. Maybe some months I can start a project and finish it within the month, but it is supposed to help me get some of my Wip's (Works in progress) finished. So from today on, until October 1, 2013 I will post about my projects at the beginning of the month, tell what I am planning on finishing, and at the end of the month I will have to post a picture of my finished project. Now I ask you, my dear readers, to give me a hard time if I don't follow through. I don't mean to be rude to me, that would hurt my feelings, but I can handle friendly jest.

For this month I have picked a pair of basic mittens. I always like the fancy patterned mittens, and would love to make them, but am a little intimidated because I have no idea of the construction of a mitten. So my thought process was, if I make plain mittens, I will have a general idea of what I am doing, and the patterns will be easier to understand and follow. I have the first mitten 2/3 done, and should be able to start working on my first thumb soon. I will let you know how it all works out in the end.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Scattered too thinly

I am suffering from Startitis again. Because with that I am scattered everywhere, and accomplish nothing. I am in this weird phase where I just run around in circles, am busy all the time, but really get nothing done. I know, I just need to sit down, take a few deep breaths, and make a plan to stick to.

I started my Fall Purse, and am making very slow progress. I just need to devote a few hours every day to it to get it finished, but right now, I can't focus on it.

 I also started a Sweater in my knitting. It is a Raglan top-down pattern that I came up with myself. So I am knitting on this when I find a few minutes.

I also started plain mittens. I saw all these amazing mittens on Ravelry.com, and thought that I should knit a plain version first, in order to understand the construction of them. After this pair, I can delft into the more complicated patters. My eye is really on a few Aran Mittens. I saw so many wonderful designs. It seems to me, that just like with sock knitting, the possibilities are endless.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lazy Afternoon

I actually have the day off, imagine that. LOL I had such great plans for today. I did my housework this morning, and planned on quilting this afternoon. Well, if not actually quilting, at least look for some fabric to make a fall purse for myself. But wouldn't you know it? All I feel like doing is sitting her on my sofa with a quilt over my lap and watching Miss Marple, Caribbean Mystery. I hope I will find the energy to go get started on getting my stuff together for the purse tonight. I am off work tomorrow too, and plan on going grocery shopping early in the morning, and then perhaps spend the rest of the day in my sewing room. That is at least the plan.  I am thinking, an interesting audio book, a pot of tea, and the hum of my sewing machine would be a perfect way of spending a day.

Well, I guess I will take a little nap before it is time to cook dinner, and dream of all the projects I want to quilt and knit. Here is to a more productive day tomorrow, and hopefully I can make some progress on something, any one of the UFOs I have around my house.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Time just flew by...

... because I have been super busy. I am finished with my schooling. Well, almost. I have to go to school for 2 more Mondays, but have all the studying over with. I took my certification exam last Thursday, and passed. Now I am a Certified Medical Assistant. But school is the only thing I got done. All my sewing and knitting has been on the back-burner while I finished up. The last 3 months have been the hardest. In addition to 1 day a week school, and my job, I worked in the Doctor's Office to accumulate my practicum hours. It was a grueling 8 weeks, and I have no idea how I survived those, but I did. Now I am finished, and hope that I will find a job at a Doctor's office soon. Although I do like my job, I am eager to work in the position I studied for. Fingers crossed, there will be the right position for me opening up soon. There are a lot of doctors in my hospital's affiliate system, and more are joining in on a regular basis. So chances are good for an opportunity for me to slide into one of those offices in the not so distant future.

Although I have not sewn a stitch in months, I have seen great quilts in various quilting magazines, and am quite motivated now to get back to my projects, and maybe get some finished. As the weather is cooling now, and the rains of fall are moving in, it is also more palliative to work on these projects.

I also started 2 knitting projects in the recent past. One is a sock project, because I figured I need some nice new socks to wear with my scrubs in my medical clogs when I do get a position.  After all, I do like warm feet, and look stylish. The pattern is called "Orla" by Andrea Delhey, and I found it on Ravelry. They are simple lace anklets, which I chose to knit in KnitPick's Palette in Pennyroyal, which is a very light lavender color. I have the first one finished, and the cuff of the second one done. I will have to hurry up with it, before "Second Sock Syndrome" sets in, and it will end up as another UFO.

My other project is a Cardigan. "Cool Breeze" by AmyPolcyn, in Caron Country in a dusty light blue. I found this pattern in Creative Knitting in the July 2012 issue. The pattern is very simple with stockinette stitch, and a simple lace pattern in the sleeves. I have the back 3/4 knitted up, and have to keep on it every chance I have, in order to get it done before fall is over. I don't want to wait until the next spring to wear it. Besides that, I do like the high I get when I finish a project.

I also have a few other knitting projects in various staged, but they will stay the way they are until I have finished these two. I also think it might be a good idea for me to stay away from Ravelry.com, because every time I am on that website, I just find another project I would love to start. But I would like to get my house a little more cleared of UFO's, and therefore I have to behave myself, not order fabric and yarn, and finish what I started. If I finish all my UFO's in knitting, I will end up with 2 pairs of socks, and 4 sweaters.

Well, I better get to a close here, and pull out one of my knitting projects while I finish my pot of coffee this morning, and make some progress on that. After all, it is the perfect knitting day. It is quite chili and foggy outside, perfect for hot coffee and warm wool to work with.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

These are some of the things that make me tick, or tick me off

I decided to take the whole WeightWatchers thing a little more serious. I started to do WeightWatchers online a few weeks ago. I have some days where I do really well, and then a week or so, where I just don't care. So I will work hard to make this work for me, and to exercise as recommended. Because the truth is, this program really works, but only for those who work the program. So I will be on the treadmill in a little while. Because not only do I have a hard time with eating the right stuff in the right amounts, but I also don't exercise like I should. Clicking the remote control button does not qualify.

My little time schedule seems to work, at least for the school stuff. I have all my Transcriptions finished. I am dividing my craft time between the different crafts, and therefore no finished products.

What ticks me off, is when there is a separate set of rules for people in the same position. I have asked before in school for phlebotomy if we can take home needles to practice, and got a big old NO. Then I asked if I can practice and have a professional sign off on my sticks. Once again I got a big old NO. But then a girl in my class, who is really bad at it, and can seriously hurt people (I know first hand, she stuck me, and it hurt for 4 days), gets to take home needles to practice. Now what is the requirement to have the rules bent for one. I guess, since I am not too bad at phlebotomy I get a big no, and the people that really suck at it, get let lose on the population with sharp needles. No, I really wonder why there are different rules for people in the same situation. Maybe I need to start crying in class because I can't hack it, and then people will feel sorry for me too, and they bend the rules to my needs. Not going to happen, I never seem to get special treatment, and extra help.