Friday, February 27, 2015

Cabin Fever

I guess that's what I have. We've pretty much been snowed in for the last two weeks- no school, no extracurricular classes, no company other than each other... Blech! (Technically, we could've gotten out if we had to. Probably. But we had no urgent needs and I had zero desire to be out with all the crazies who can't drive in this mess. Given the option, I always stay at home any time the weather gets iffy.)

I don't know about the weather where you are, but we have had an unusual amount of snow here this month. I haven't seen this much snow since my husband moved us all down here. And all of it has hit in the last week and a half or so. Not fun at all. We're pretty much sick of each other's company.

We've only ventured out for groceries a couple of times and today was an adventure. All the streets and parking lots are pretty cleared off by now, but our rather long, uphill driveway is another story. We very nearly didn't make it to the road. The temperature is just above freezing for now, and the sun is out, so I'm hoping that some of that junk will melt down out of the way before I need to venture out again...

I think this confinement is probably the main reason for my crafty ADD. Well, the cabin fever coupled with my discovery of this blog (Plays With Needles), is probably to blame for my crafty ADD... (You should totally click over and browse. Her work is gorgeous!! I'm very awed and envious of her talents.) Even though I have quite a few projects going on, I want to drop them all and start a new one. Preferably one filled with green and the hope of spring. Probably one far outside my skill set. I've been browsing and pinning gorgeous embroideries all week now over on Pinterest. Also crazy quilts. And some knitting. I have dragged out every embroidery, needlework, and crazy quilting book I own and stared longingly at all the pretty pictures. I've been window shopping on craft supplies websites and dreaming of a time when there is no more snow and ice. Dreaming of warm temperatures. Dreaming of the ability to migrate south every winter, like a bird... (I hear Australia is nice this time of year. I've always wanted to go there...)

I am so ready for spring...

I mentioned last time that my older girl had done a project. She bought a little kit at the craft store, and it took her most of two days to finish it (with a little help from me, but not too much...). Here it is:

This is a shot of Sid (the teddy bear) and the blanket and pillow.

Here's Bebe the Bunny. Front:

And back. (You can just make out the little tail.):

Bebe is very fond of Sid and takes good care of him. Little Miss is also very fond of Sid. It's possible she likes him better than she likes the bunny. Shh... Don't tell Bebe!
So, that's what we've been up to for the last little while. And, I expect we'll be occupying ourselves in much the same way for the next few days. With any luck, our horrible weather is done, and maybe schools will even open back up next week. (They've been closed now for two entire weeks...)
 I'm going to attempt to find some time and willpower and just power through my very terrible case of startitis and get at least one of these current projects finished before I cave in and start a new one. (For more information on startitis, see the Yarn Harlot, who I believe invented the word. Her definition seems to be exclusively related to knitting, but I believe it is a universal condition that all crafty types sometimes succumb to. Actually, even if you aren't interested in learning about startitis, you should read her stuff anyway. Her books are great. I spent a lovely couple of weeks last year binge reading everything I could find with her byline. Including her entire blog. She's awesome.)
Next time, I'll have pictures of my one finished item this year. And with any luck, I'll be very close to another finished project. Maybe...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Christmas, part 3. Finally!

I know, I know. I said I'd be back in a couple of days. And now it's the end of February. :(  One of my goals for the new year was to blog at least once a week. As soon as I decided this, my computer went insane, or something. My husband finally seems to have sorted out whatever it is that my toddler did to this ancient monster (a couple of weeks ago, actually. Ooops...), so I'm hoping she won't mess with it any more. Anyway, since my computer appears to be working again (although, now the printer is screwy), here we go...

Finally found those photos of the last of the Christmas presents...

First up, the bunny hat for my kindergartener. (I promise the eyes are not quite as crooked as these photos make it seem.)

Here's a look at the pompoms.
She wears her new hat to school nearly every day. So, I'm pleased that it's seeing more love and use than the last one I made for her (at her request, no less).

And last, but not least, my niece's fingerless mitts. We're nearly all Whovians, and so this is the Rose's Wrist Warmers pattern from Ravelry.  It's based on a pair of mitts from one of the episodes of the show. I've always loved them from the first time I saw it, and I hope my niece is getting plenty of use out of them in all this winter chill... 

Here's a closer-up shot of the cable pattern.
This (finally) concludes the Christmas gifts for 2014. As far as I can remember.
We've been keeping busy so far this year, although not as crafty-busy as I really want to be given all this yucky snow and ice we have right now. Two little girls are a great hindrance to sitting in a chair and stitching all day. :) So, instead of curling up under a quilt-in-progress for 10 hours at a time, I'm lucky to get an hour here or a half hour there of knitting or stitching. Lots of refereeing fights this last week snowbound, though. I kinda can't wait for school to open back up. It's looking like our second full week out due to weather...
I've got all sorts of projects started, so far this year. All of them are either half finished or just started, though. I've started to attempt to get a jump start on Christmas, given that I have several very large/complicated items that I would love to have done in time (none of which have been started yet. Not the best sign, is it?), my husband  has me making two baby blankets for friends of his (I have really GOT to get those finished. Soon!), I'm doing two different (simple) embroidery projects, and I still have spinning to finish. It got abandoned halfway through back when the Christmas crunch hit around November, and I'm just now getting back to it. :(  Oh, and I also have a leftover dishcloth from my earlier obsession that's been abandoned about halfway through. And the first Christmas gift is just barely half knitted now. I think that list is pretty complete.
I do have one finished item so far this year. And my oldest has a pretty nifty little project she just finished, as well. She's been working on it ever since she got back from the grocery shopping yesterday morning, and she just finished it up. I have some pictures, of course.  :)  Next time...

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas, part 2

It took me a bit longer than intended to get to part 2 (so what else is new?), but here we are, finally!And since Christmas is now long gone, almost everything has been delivered. There's one left that I can't show until next week, but here's the rest. I think...

This is the shawl for my grandmother. It is pink, but maybe not quite as pink as it looks in this photo. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. 

These are the two mugs for my sister. She has a Pinterest board full of things she wants people to make for her, and these were listed, so...
 I loved this little piggy button, but I could only get my hands on one of the darn little things... (And it took ages to get here...)

So, the second mug doesn't actually match, but I love this little heart button, too. I think the cable shows up a bit better in this photo, too.

This is the first of the herd (warren? flock? whatever group name applies...) of little bunnies I made this year. And it also is the only boy bunny of them all. He hasn't been delivered yet, either, but there's almost no chance of my nephew looking here, so it'll be fine. :)
 Here's a group shot of the rest of the little bunnies:

Five little girl bunnies in cute little dresses, for five little girls who are also quite cute. (My little ones each snagged a bunny for Christmas, and my three adorable little nieces got the others.)

Looking at these pictures, I see that I still don't have that bunny hat uploaded yet. So that's two more Christmas presents left to post. I'll get that up in the next couple of days. I'm going to get back to my dishcloths for now. (I have no idea, really. I just suddenly needed to make some dishcloths. Maybe I'm not quite as recovered from that cold as I thought I finally was...)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas, part 1

So, as promised, here is the first of several posts to show you my Christmas knitting. I have one, maybe two, more I can post before Christmas, and then the rest will have to wait until after.
This first one is the hat and scarf I did for Baby Girl. She got a hat last year, but it doesn't fit her anymore. I don't know that she'll actually agree to wear either of these, but at least she has them. (It won't surprise me if she never touches them after Christmas morning, really. Her sister pretty much ignores the ones she got last year, so...)

Little Miss is getting a hat this year, as well. I took pictures the other day, but I guess they haven't made it from the camera to the computer yet. I'll work on that...

And here's a shot of both pairs of the socks I did, one pair each. I showed the bigger pair a while back, right after they were finished. ( you can find that post here, if you're interested ) Since then, I've added the smaller pair. I really like this weird, mismatched stripe thing that this yarn does. I'm definitely planning to do some more socks next year, although I think they'll be for me this time.

So, that's all for now. I'll be back in a day or so with a few more pictures. :)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Busy, Busy

Wow. I had no idea it had been this long since I posted last. Time really gets away from me at the end of the year. I've been busily working away at all of the Christmas gifts I want to give this year. And I'm happy to report that I only have one left to finish. I really want to have it finished by Sunday night, if possible. Hopefully I can do it. Next week is super full of baking chores.

I'm hoping to get some pictures of the finished gifts during naptime today. If I can manage it, I'll slowly start posting a few of the ones that aren't spoilers. (Which means, you'll mostly just get to see the things I made for the few people I know for sure never look at my blog. Which means, my girls and my nieces and nephew. Pretty sure he never looks here, although I think his mom occasionally does.)

I'm thinking next year, I need to start on the Christmas gifts in January, because July was apparently not early enough. If it was, I'd have been finished by now. :/  This is particularly true since this year's projects were all fairly small-ish. Next year, I have several much bigger and more involved projects I would like to make for certain of my relatives. Yipes! So, basically, the day after Christmas, I'm thinking I should probably start some serious planning...

There's also the matter of several extremely neglected UFO's lingering downstairs. I'm getting sort of sick of having them nag at me every time I walk by them. I think I need to make an effort to get at least one or two of them finished next year. :(

Wow. My year is already full (and more than a bit hopeless looking) and it isn't even January yet. :)

Hopefully, I'll get some pictures up here soon. I know posts without pictures are incredibly boring. :) And between the sweeties I'll be whipping up in the kitchen this next week, and the snaps of a few Christmas gifts, I should have plenty to show for the next week or so.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a couple of shots from our doomed Christmas card photo shoot. The little one just did not want to cooperate. At all.

Sadly, the ones we had to use for the card weren't that much better than these. But at least she wasn't actually screaming in those...

And... that reminds me- I need to get those cards addressed and in the mail!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Here we go...

Tomorrow is it. Day one of October Unprocessed.

I needed the jump start, I think, to get me back on track with the real food rules from our 10 Day Pledge. It's been a struggle to once again get organized (still haven't managed it) and arguing with the kid over why we're doing it. (She still doesn't want to, even though she admits that she felt better that week and a half. Tough. She's stuck.)

Once again, we're plunging in rather unprepared. And once again, there will be a panicked flight to the grocery store tomorrow morning. If I can scrape up a workable grocery list. Also, I need to find something appropriate to feed people in the morning...

I'd better get to work. I'll try to keep you posted on all the trials and tribulations. (Also, if I ever get some decent pictures taken, I have an actual finished project to show you! I know! I was surprised too.)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

As Much As I Really, Really HATE This...

...I sort of feel like I'm not being given any real choices, here. And if I'm being railroaded into this, everyone else is going down with me. Since at least one of my girls is going to be extremely unhappy about these changes (possibly even more unhappy than me), I'm going to leave them this little letter here (and, I guess I should leave some sort of explanation below it for the rest of you, huh?):

My dearest girls,

        Let me start by reminding you, because you probably don't remember this right now: I love you. Completely and truly. So does your father. We are totally in love with both of you, and we are only trying to do what's best for all of us. I know you're upset by these changes we're asking of you, and you probably don't believe that right now, but we truly do love you both.
        We wouldn't be doing this if we didn't love you and want you both to be happy and healthy, to live long and prosper. Believe me, I'm sure I don't like these changes any more than you do...
        I was pretty sure they were going to be necessary, eventually. These last several weeks have more than proved that to me. But, I wanted to do this a lot more gradually and gently. I knew that it would be much easier for you both. And for me. Unfortunately, circumstances don't seem to be allowing for gradual or gentle.
        I know that your daddy and I are asking a lot of you. We want and need your cooperation for this, if it's going to be as painless a change as possible. But I know it won't be easy. Not for any of us. Well... Okay, your daddy thinks it's going to be great, and he's very overly enthusiastic about it, in my opinion. We'll all do our best to try to forgive him for that as we all suffer through these next weeks- or years.
        Yes, my dears, I said years. I know. I didn't say it would be easy. It's not. Especially for me. You are both going to have a lot of bad habits to unlearn, and a lot of adjustments to make here, but me? I have a lot more years of bad habits to break, and a lot of learning to do- as quickly as possible, in the hopes of us all getting over the roughest parts of this as soon as we can. That's a very steep learning curve for all of us, but forgive me if I think that I actually have the worst of it. I understand that you will both be rather unhappy, and that you will have to do a lot of learning, and that we are asking you to give us a lot of cooperation. And that's hard, I know, especially as young (and stubborn) as you both are. But, please keep in mind that I have to do all of that with the extra handicap of having (one or more) screaming-until-you-puke-munchkins hanging off of my legs, being constantly in danger of having you pull my clothes right off me every time I try to move...
        Yeah, I think I have the worst end of it.
        Once upon a time, way back in the dark ages (you know, before dirt was actually invented and I was still in school...), I had a science class where we had a little discussion about life. I don't remember what the actual topic was, possibly it was just that the teacher had a new shirt and needed to make sure we all noticed it. But, however it came up, it was brought to our attention that, in life, there are basically three options: you can adapt, you can migrate, or you can die.
        At your tender ages, I do not think that you will manage to find anyone with the authority who is willing to let you migrate, especially when they hear what your actual complaint is. This limits your choices somewhat. (If it makes you feel any better, there isn't really anywhere we could migrate to, anyway. I've done a little checking around.)
        Your father and I would also like to point out that no one is going to let you choose the other option there, either. (Trying that would involve all sorts of unpleasantness for all of us. Don't go there.)
         Basically, what I'm trying to say, my loves, is this: None of us really have any choice in this matter anymore. Do what I have to do and just suck it up and deal. Please? It's time to adapt a little, whether we like it or not. Let's just get through this as quickly and painlessly as possible, okay?
         Thank you for your cooperation in this matter, voluntary or otherwise. (And remember, this sucks a lot worse for me than it does for you. You should find that somewhat comforting. Eventually.)

                                                                    Love, always

Not sure they'll be any happier after having all of that explained to them, but then, I'm not very happy either. I'm sure they'll live through this. Actually, I'm sort of counting on it. That is, basically, the entire reason for it.

So, what am I talking about? Well... Remember, back at the end of August and the beginning of September, my family did that whole 10 Day Pledge? Yeah, that was challenging. But, we made it through and we saw a few beneficial changes happening for some of us. In the end, we decided we would be making some permanent, much-needed changes to our family's eating habits, but my husband was adamant that we had to finish off all of the junk, processed stuff we already had in the house before we could replace it with real foods.

What this has meant for us is that we've been back on pretty much the exact same foods that we were eating before we did the challenge. And I've been noticing the difference. And, for a change, so has my husband now that he's back to being stuck in a motel room with no way of cooking or buying/storing real foods... (That's a big deal, because for the entire 10 days, he kept insisting that he wasn't seeing any changes at all in the way he was feeling. He claimed it was because his eating habits were so much better than ours were to begin with... Turns out, he was just suffering from the same thing we were, I guess.)

See, here's the thing. When we started the challenge, the only thing I really noticed for the first few days was my severe craving for sweets. After a few days, I started to notice other things, though. The most obvious was the dry skin on my hands. It wasn't actually dry anymore. Then I noticed that I was sleeping better. And that the girls were sleeping better, not so many nightmares or whatever it is that wakes one of them up so much.

And only a day or so after the challenge ended, I was already noticing that my skin was drying out again. Things have only gone downhill since then... Which stinks.

Here's the thing, though. Before the challenge, we figured these things are just life, you know? Nothing you can do about them but deal with it. Buy lots of lotion, make sure the baby gets plenty of juice to help her move things along smoothly, deal with losing sleep to get up and check on people 1-3 times a night, several times a week... What are you gonna do, right? Well, during the challenge, all of those things went away totally, or at least improved dramatically. (I think the nightmare thing happened maybe three times during those 10 days, all during the first half of the challenge...)

Now, having been back on our normal diets for a couple of weeks, all of those things are back. But worse. Or, at least, I'm noticing them more. And so is my husband, for a change. I think it took those things going away, not being the norm, before we truly realized how awful they were... My dry skin is terrible. He says his is dry, too, now. (That never happens.) The girls are complaining about dry skin again. (Doctor's been telling me for years that they both have a touch of eczema. Not one complaint from them during the last half of the challenge, if not sooner...) Both my husband and I are having an awful time sleeping. Usually he claims that he sleeps "fine" and that it's only me that has such a time with it. He blames the girls' every little noise for waking me up... Both of the girls are starting to wake at night again, for whatever their various reasons. The list is just getting longer and longer. It's terrible.

So, the short version of this story is: I don't think my plan to make these changes gradual and gentle for the girls is going to work out for me. Or them. And I hate that. For all of us, but especially for me. I feel like I'm sort of being railroaded into this by the entire universe. But, I also know that if I don't manage to get all of us a decent night's sleep in the very near future, bad things will happen to my sanity...  I think I'm going to be forced to jump headfirst off of an incredibly steep learning curve here and just hope that I can learn quickly enough to keep us all afloat. And, boy, do I wish my husband was here to help with that right now. Because this is going to be a very rough ride, and I could sure use the backup...

I think I do finally have him convinced that it would be a good idea to just go ahead and clear out all the rest of the processed junk in the house- donate it or give it away or whatever- instead of forcing us to use it all up. Him noticing all the changes in himself has really helped me there, I think. I'm really hoping he'll be back home in a few days so we can start the purge. And the all important re-stocking and cooking. In the meantime, I'm trying to find a few simple, and most importantly, real foods that are a quick and easy fix to get me through the next couple of days, until I can get a proper menu plan together...

Wish me luck. I think I'm gonna need it...