Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One Down, Three to Go

I finished one pair of men's fingerless mitts today and have three more to finish before Friday afternoon.  I also have one felted hat to finish knitting and then I need to felt it along with the four other hats, before Friday afternoon.  Beside that I have a couple of designs floating around in my head for my signature wool coats, also need to get finished before Friday afternoon.  Good thing I've taken some time off work to get prepared!  I'll have some pictures to post tomorrow of the mitts and anything else I'm able to finish!

Tonight I had a hair appointment and normally I knit while I'm being worked on.  Unfortunately I left one of my double point needles in the car by accident so I had to just relax instead.  Imagine that!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jason Lends a Hand

Tonight at Panera I was working on a fingerless mitt for a man. Problem -- men's hands are bigger than mine. No frame of reference available. Wait -- Jason, the employee who makes our food, is a man. He can help, right? Sure enough I explained my predicament and he kindly obliged by sticking his hand into my nearly completed fingerless mitt. Harriet jumped at the chance to capture the moment.

The concensus was I needed to knit a few more rounds before finishing it off with the ribbing. More pictures tomorrow. One down, 7 more mitts to knit by Friday afternoon. No problem.
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

I'm Back

Once again, it's so nice to get away for a few days but good to be back home.  I've washed my clothes from my trip to Charlevoix, including my PJs which should be coming out of the toasty dryer in just a few minutes.  Don't you just love putting on clean, warm night clothes just before you jump into bed?!

I had a super time visiting with my sisters and their families.  My great-nieces seemed to really enjoy watching me  knit the giant hats that will be felted, tomorrow hopefully.  I explained how they are knit and then showed them a finished version.  Even my BIL Mike couldn't believe how the giant hats become the felted beauties!  I got 2 1/2 hats done up there in between all the cooking, eating, dish washing and game playing.

Here are some pictures from Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday:

I stopped at Holly & Mike's on my way home from Charlevoix today and picked up some of my craft show gear.  I loaded almost everything into the Montana tonight.  I have just a few last minute things to put in there for the first show Thursday night, and then there's the big 3 day show this weekend.  If you're in the area, let me know, and I'll give you directions to either show.  I love to see friendly faces (hint, hint).

Have you noticed my yarn ticker at the bottom of my blog???  Well, I'm getting pretty darn close to my goal of knitting 20,000 yards of yarn for the years!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Produce Delivery

Yesterday I received my Door to Door Organics delivery, one day early for the holiday.

As usual there were some things I've never bought before -- Rainbow Chard, Champagne Mango, and Rio Star Grapefruit.  I'm going to use the chard to make this super delicious White Bean Stew again.  

I'll be taking a lot of this up to my sister Denise's for the Thanksgiving weekend.  I'm really looking forward to getting away.  This will be the first long road trip for the Montana.  Today I took the back seats out, by myself thank you, and they weren't too heavy.  No, my roommate was no where to be found to help me out.

My good friend Mary is coming over to take care of Maggie while Kevin and I are gone.  Bless her heart!  I took Maggie over to Pet Supplies Plus last Saturday to get her caught up on her shots.  It was the most trouble-free visit ever to a vet.  She got all of her shots for $45!  Bargain of the day, for sure.  The vet checked her teeth and heart and instead of growling like I expected, Maggie was quivering the whole time!  Guess she is full of surprises -- she better behave for Mary!

I'll be offline for a few days and should be checking back in on Sunday.  I'm taking plenty of knitting with me so I can get some more of those felted hats knit up.  With two shows coming up next week I will be super busy getting all the last minute things together.  Let's pray for moderate weather next week, okay?

I hope everyone in the U.S. has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Another one has left....

Today was another 'last day' at work.  My co-worker Beth has left the building.  She's the last to go before I leave.  My team is down to 3 now.  It feels like the layers of an onion being peeled away.

I had shared some job search tips with Beth and hopefully we'll both be able to find something soon.  I know she wants to take some time off but I don't think I can afford to do that.  Bills will still keep coming in and someone has to pay them.  

I've sent my resume off in a few different directions so far.  Casting a wide net might work.  We'll see.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Knitting Fool

I have a deadline of 12/2 for my next show to get as many felted hats and fingerless mittens done as humanly possible.  I finished two more felted hats today so I have three that need to be felted.  

For comparison I placed one of my knitted hats on top of the soon-to-be felted hats:
Pretty crazy, right?

I used my squirrel cage tonight while I watched re-runs of the Housewives of Atlanta, and wound 13 hanks of yarn into pull balls.  Now I've got all I need to crank out some more hats and get started on the fingerless mitts.  It's going to be a busy week!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wise Decision

Sometimes I make choices I end up regretting but today I'm very glad I made one decision -- not to be a vendor at the Northville Christmas Market.  

Since I'm doing the Winter Markt in Birmingham in two weeks I wanted to check the Northville show out at night and see how the vendors set up their booths, traffic flow, and vendor opinions.  First off I headed to Rebecca's Restaurant where I enjoyed a bowl of cream of mushroom soup, sweet potato fries, and a hot chocolate.  Fabulous as always.
Then I headed toward the show.  Gee whiz.  It was dead there.

I wandered in and out of the tents and talked to a couple of the vendors.  One guy told me he and the guy next to him didn't have one sale on Friday and traffic was only so-so today.  I sure hope the Birmingham show goes better than that.  I only saw a couple of booths that looked to be making sales tonight:

I saw one wood worker who made furniture that Holly & Mike might be interested in so I nabbed his business card.  There seemed to be a lot of empty spaces between vendors so I wonder if there were some no-shows.  I only saw one booth with hand knit hats and those were for babies:

So had I vended I would have had merchandise unlike anyone else's.  But I know I would have been miserable sitting there in the cold if there were no customers.  I truly hope for a better outcome in two weeks.

There was so little to see tonight that I managed to eat, shop, and take pictures all in an hour.

The brightest thing going was the moon:

One other interesting thing I spotted was this sign in the window at Genitti's Theatre:
Too bad I didn't know about this sooner.  Our knitting guild could have cranked out some blankets for them.

Love Your Shop Giveaway

If you knit like I do, you'll have no trouble at all qualifying for this offer from Classic Elite Yarns.  Check out their website for more details.  Everyone wins with this deal!  Check here for a shop in your area that carries Classic Elite yarn and books.  Call ahead to make sure the list is accurate.  I know in my area one of the shops closed years ago.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Why do I blog?

With all the gazillion people out there blogging I used to wonder why in the world would I blog too.  Mostly, I've found, that blogging is cathartic.  Whatever is going on in my little corner of the world comes spewing out in the form of this blog.  I'd like to think that people are interested in what's going on in my life and can even relate to the events I disclose.  Maybe you do.  Maybe you don't.  I suppose if you don't you quickly move on to the next blog.

I think many people can relate to what goes on in my life because, well, it's probably going on in your life too.  People get sick.  People die.  People lose jobs.  Kids get married.  You knit.  You quilt.  You sew.  You might just admire crafters and wish you were one of us.  As much as I'd like to think that I'm unique, I trust that I am not.  I might just have a knack for putting it all in writing.  You could do it too but I suppose it's easier to just read my blog and nod occasionally in agreement and say 'I can relate to that'.  That's perfectly okay.

Today we had an off site luncheon at work.  The food was good but there was an odd air about us.  Some in the group have moved on to the new project team.  One person had already had their last day but joined us.  The rest of us, I suspect, just felt out of sorts, knowing our jobs were winding down and our days together were numbered. It's not getting any easier for me.  Only 15 work days left.  Jeez.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I've heard it said before and it's true -- looking for a job IS a job.  Maybe we don't use newspapers anymore but surfing the internet is exhausting.  I'm ready to hand my fate over to a head hunter.  There might be some benefit to posting my resume on sites like www.dice.com, too, since they deal specifically in tech jobs.  So far I've seen a few posts that look promising but I think it's kind of like gathering up your courage and taking the plunge.

I got my package at work yesterday and it was a hard swallow to open it and read through the separation packet and try to absorb what's ahead for me.

Life in Royal Oak has been a bit scary lately.  Last weekend there was a robbery-police chase-shooting only two streets over from me.  The other night 10 different businesses were broken into and robbed including the Chinese restaurant right near my house.  It really has me spooked and that's not easy to do.  I'm not used to crime like that.  I hope the police can put an end to it very soon.

I'll be glad when I can find a new job and start to put all the pieces of my life back together again.  In the mean time, I'm still selling yarn on Ravelry.com and building an emergency fund.  Woohoo!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Good Night!

I am so ready for bed!  So much happened today with work, TV repairman, dentist, cleaning and baking for stitch group at my house -- phew!  And I just spent 20 minutes screaming at the computer while working on edits to my resume.  More tomorrow!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Stitch Group Tomorrow

Whoa -- it's almost midnight!  I've been putzing around the house after a night of knitting at Panera's with Harriet and Tanya.  Got the nitty gritty on last weekend's knitting shop hop.  Saw some pretty nice giveaway items.  I had too much to do around here to go.  Tears....

I'm hosting the November stitch group meeting for my Chicken friends tomorrow and I'm taking a half day off work to get ready.  Tomorrow morning we're having a catered breakfast and then later a chair massage.  I wouldn't leave before that.  The Vizio repair guy is supposed to show up between 1 and 5 pm.  I have a dentist appointment at 2:30 -- let's see how all that works out.

I'll be baking something up for the ladies.  I have it narrowed down to two items.  I'll sleep on it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Now that I've created my resume I need to find some place to send it to!  I have a couple of leads from friends so as soon as it's proofed I will get going on that.  Even my nephew Andrew is helping with that task.  I know that lots of people are looking out for me and there's a lot of comfort in that.  I'm fairly confident that something will come my way.  How soon, I don't know.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What is Happiness?

Oh, I can tell you but I'd rather show you:

What the heck is that? you ask yourself.  Oh, my dear friend.  It's the scrumptious, cozy, toasty warm item that's going to save me from freezing when I do the Winter Markt show in Birmingham next month.  Outdoors.  In the park.  In a tent.  It's the Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw and it's only $24 at Costco with the latest coupon.  Can you say 'heaven'???  My little 'ol body is going to be good and comfortable, waiting for customers to peruse my goods.  It will come in handy while I'm sitting at my computer this winter by the chilly window.  Or on the couch when I'm knitting up a storm.  Or resting my weary bones in my nippy bedroom.  Dialing down you know.

As if that weren't enough to make me happy, I bought a new phone system so that I don't have to leap over debris in the craft room to answer a call.

To top everything off, I believe I have a relevant resume created.  Now I need a couple of people to proof-read it and then I can start sending it off.

I will sleep so well tonight..........

Thursday's GLHQ Meeting

The meeting on Thursday was super and the speaker, Kathy Delaney, was delightful.  She has a wonderful sense of humor and showed us some great slides of her quilts.  With all the changes lately to travel costs, it's just getting too cost prohibitive to bring a whole quilt trunk show on the flight.

I took some pictures of the quilts we saw on her Powerpoint presentation:

I know the photos don't really do the quilts justice but it's the best I could do that night!

She did have a couple of quilts with her but unfortunately I only got a good shot of this one:

There were several great quilts shown by guild members during Show N Tell.

The first three shots include quilts made from men's shirts purchased at a thrift store:

 This sweet baby quilt is going to a little gal who will be born with a hole in her heart and a cleft palate.  So many challenges already for a tiny baby.  If you're so inclinded, please send some prayers and positive thoughts her way.

 Can the bird quilt above and reproduction fabric quilt below be any more different??

I LOVE this one -- the pink sashing really sets the blocks off nicely.

This is what you make with a whole lotta half square triangles!  Her husband always wanted a sailboat!

Our guild is filled to the rafters with talented quilters and it's always so much fun to see what everyone's up to.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Handy Website

Today I discovered another helpful website courtesy of Worldstart.com.  It's called Driving Route Planner.com and it helps you map out a route when you have multiple errands or destinations.  You begin by entering your start and finish locations.  Many times that will be the same spot, like home.  Then you add the stops on your route, choose fastest, shortest, etc. and it gives you the route you need to take.  This can be loaded to your GPS and off you go!  I think this is something Kevin could really use when he's planning appointments with prospective customers.  Could also be useful for planning shop hops or journeys to Torch Lake or Chicago or....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Off to Guild

I'm off to my quilt guild meeting tonight so I've got a quick post.

You might have noticed something new in my right sidebar.  If you're a fan of Jane Austen then you'll enjoy taking the quick test to find out which female character you're most like.  As you can see, I am Elizabeth Bennet, one of my favorites.

The other new thing in my left sidebar is a recipe website that is full of great ideas.  It's called Recipe Gold Mine -- for a very good reason.  Just looking at the items on their home page makes my mouth water.  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

More Produce

Yesterday's delivery from Door to Door Organics included some things I don't normally buy.

I can't tell you the last time I bought a Butternut Squash.  What the heck is Rapini or a Pinova Apple or a Concorde Pear?  I'll just have to investigate on the web and find a good way to use everything up.

Having fresh produce dropped on your porch is the easiest way to make eating healthy a habit.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fussing for nothing

Yesterday I was fussing and fretting about a payroll export file that just wouldn't get picked up on the FTP site (sorry if I'm losing you here -- hang on, I promise).  I was having a meltdown.  Nearly in tears when I called someone for help. I kept thinking it was something I had done wrong.  Maybe I messed up the layout, didn't use the right naming convention, or some other stupid mistake.

NOT!  It wasn't me at all.  I tossed and turned last night for nothing.  Apparently the problem was on the tech side, not me.  When I got in to the office today I had a total of 21 fail messages before the file finally got picked up, nearly 12 hours after I had placed it on the FTP site.

There was some vindication involved here but never an explanation from the tech people so I may never know what was the cause of my consternation.

All's well that ends well....

Monday, November 8, 2010

Messed Up

How many different things can be messed up at the same time?  My new Vizio TV won't work, my newly replaced windshield is whistling Dixie while the stripping whacks the roof of the car, and I created an export file that just wouldn't go today at work.  Ugh.

The Vizio people will have to come to the house to fix the TV, the Belle Tire windshield guy will have to come to the office tomorrow to fix my car, and I will spend countless hours tomorrow figuring out just exactly which data field is wrong on the export file.  


On the positive side, I've found two good Spanish wines from Trader Joe's:

I had to buy the Syrah with the chicken on the label and the Tempranillo/Garnacha with the zebra on its label was too crazy looking to pass up.

Absolutely no blood was lost in the creation of this felted and beaded flower, even if I was listening to Kevin talk to the Costco customer service agent about the crazy ass TV while I worked on it.  Ah-hem.

It's hard to hold the hat on one hand and try to photograph it with the other.  I'm shocked you would suggest that I might have tested that wine a bit too thoroughly.  I wouldn't want to serve something less than stellar to my stitch group next week................

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Too Cute

After a hectic but relatively successful week I picked up my Mom and drove out to see Holly & Mike and their puppies.  Everyone was doing fine and 8 of the 13 puppies will have a home, so far.  Two different couples came out to pick out 'their puppy' while we were there.  

Aren't they just precious??  Sure wish I could find peaceful moments like that.................

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Busy, Busy Day

I knew I put a lot on my plate for today.  I got a lot of things done but still have a bunch of things to do on my 'to do' list.

My windshield wipers are working fine after starting the day at Belle Tire.  From there I went to Costco to get gas for the Montana.  Good thing I was there early -- the price was only $2.83/gallon where it was over $3/gallon every where else.

I picked up a new super-duper telescoping snow brush while I was there, plus sweets for tomorrow, beer, a ham, some insulated cooler bags, and a small flat panel TV (giving Kevin the old one so I don't have to listen to him smack his when it acts up).  Together we got the TV running but needed help from Costco support as well at AT&T and VIZIO eventually.  It looks great but it's about 1/2" too wide for my entertainment center so it's on an angle. No, I didn't even consider buying a new entertainment center -- I know how one purchase can snowball into a bunch more!

I dropped off some more EBay sales at the Post Office, deposited checks in the bank for the quilt guild, stopped at Right off the Sheep to see the gals and look for some yarn (NO COMMENTS!), and finally went to the fire department to pick up the extra key to the Montana.  As luck would have it, I was walking up to the fire hall when a truck left on a run, with the fireman I was supposed to see on it.  I got my key anyway and came home.

I made the ham today along with some vegetables and I'll take a plate to my Mom for her to have one day this week.  Tomorrow I'm heading out to see her and take her out to Holly & Mike's to see their puppies and wish Mike an early Happy Birthday.

I put a lot more yarn for sale today on my Ravelry stash page.  If you're on Ravelry check it out.

It's a good thing we get an extra hour of sleep tonight -- I need it!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Finally Friday

Another week is done at work.  Another co-worker had his last day today.  Now my team is down to 4.  We used to be 16.  Yep, sad.

I feel so much better today than I did a week ago about my situation.  At least I have the car problem sorted out and it looks (fingers crossed) like I've found a good vehicle.  Even if I can't reach the pedals.  Maybe a little wedge cushion behind the small of my back will be enough to reach the pedals without having my chest too close to the steering wheel.  Apparently car company engineers don't design their products with 4'10" women in mind.

There's a job posting for another office that I might consider applying for.  It's mortgage work and while I've never done that kind of work before, I've had mortgages for 17 years so maybe I can give it a go.

It's been really chilly around here the past few days.  I don't know what happened to Fall but I sure hope it makes another appearance before we get measurable snow!

I'm off to Belle Tire first thing in the morning to get my windshield wiper do-hickey fixed and I guess I better buy a new snow brush before I need one and don't have one.  I'll be taking my knitting with me and should be able to finish the hat I started there yesterday.  Then I have a laundry list of things to get done this weekend to prepare for my upcoming shows.  More yarn is going up for sale on Ravelry and EBay tomorrow too -- stay tuned for more Noro, Manos, Cascade 220, Mountain Colors........

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy Thursday

You know how sometimes when you get home you're just SO glad to be home??  Today is one of those days.  I took a half day off work again to finish up my car purchase and it was one thing after another.  I won't bore you with the details but suffice it to say, things did not go according to plans.

I spent nearly 5 hours at Belle Tire having various things repaired on the new/old Montana.  Enough time to cast on and nearly finish knitting a red wool hat. Long enough to eat a bag of stinky snack mix from the vending machine and drink a can of regular Pepsi.  Right, I only drink Diet -- that's what happens when I'm not wearing my readers!

I dropped a lot of money at the tire place and while I have to return on Saturday to get the wipers repaired, I should be done for a while with repairs and maintenance.  I know Frank gave me a plethora of deals, for which I am grateful, and trust I'm good for the winter.

My dinner at 8:30 pm consists of protein (Reese's Peanut Butter cups) and fruit (organic Riesling from Washington State) -- balanced, don't you think?

For those who are or will be trying to save their pennies, here's a blog/website courtesy of Worldstart.com, called The Frugal Girls -- Living Well with less $$$.  I'm adding their blog to my roll on the left.

We might have our first sighting of snow overnight -- better find my scraper before I leave in the morning....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

I found a car.  All is right with the world.  At least I can get around again.  It's pretty sad when you don't have a car.  I felt so limited.

Last night when I got home from knit group, I spotted a 2004 Pontiac Montana on Craigslist with only 104K miles on it.  Taking a leap, I contacted the owner who lives about 35 miles away from me.  Her husband happens to be a Royal Oak firefighter so I knew that was a good sign.

After a series of emails and phone calls I took a half day at work and Kevin picked me up.  We met Susan at the Belle Tire where Holly & Kevin's friend Frank works.  His crew checked it out and took it for a spin and came back with a pretty good bill of health.  It needs the rotors turned and windshield replaced.  The struts and shocks as well as the motor mounts would need to be replaced/fixed in a few months so I told Frank to go ahead and fix it all since it will be there anyway.  I might have the transmission and radiator flushed, too.  

I paid the owner Susan the cash I could withdraw and a check for her bank and off she went, leaving me with this: 

Yes, it is pretty sweet.  I miss my adjustable pedals though -- I'm stretching my tootsies to hit the gas!

I'm off to read the manual......

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Town & Country is gone......

Sad but true.  The only joy I've had today has been finally whipping my sister at online Scrabble -- sorry Denise.  Sometimes you get the letters...........

I'm still searching for a car.  My friend Joyce reminded me about Volunteers of America.  I found something on their website and it was already gone.  Seems I can't catch a break where cars are concerned.  Scrabble -- that's another story, though.

ETA:  I found this -- a little late for Halloween but you're going to be AMAZED!