Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Invitation to Party

Hey everyone! The big party is next week. Read all about it on the 5 Minutes for Moms blog. Its going to be great fun and a wonderful chance to meet other bloggers and make some new friends. I am ready to party!!! (even got my noise-maker and cone hat on. Whoo Hoo!)

Ultimate Blog Party


So come on and join me at the party. I hope to see you there.

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme


Tackling Painting and Sewing Room Clutter


Tackle it Saturday and Sunday and Tuesday is more like it. Tackling for me began on Saturday when I decided to finish painting Chloe's nursery. We painted (well I painted) the whole house when we first moved in, but that was only the first coat. Now I am going back and putting the second coat everywhere so we can get the chair rails put up. (which we will be putting one up today in the living room. Yay!!!)

So, I tackled Chloe's room on Saturday. It went pretty fast too. I thought it would take me all day but it didn't. It took a couple of hours and then I went shopping with my girlfriend Pam. (when I bought that great set of dishes as Kmart)

Here is the "before second coat" ...

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...not that you can see much there. But it was pretty streaky and such with bare spots showing through. Now bare spots are no more. Isn't it beeeeutiful???

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That was Saturday. The it snowed on Sunday and James thought it would be a good idea for me to continue painting. So I ventured into the bathroom. (which has been a sore spot for me ever since we moved in.) I hate yellow. I mean, I do appreciate the sunshinyness of it and all, but it just doesn't suit me. I don't enjoy looking at it. And if ever there was a yellow...it was this wall.

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I just don't like this color. And it went horribly with the tiles they had down. (the fake tiles, mind you...not the ceramic ones.) I have told James that one of the things I would like to do is replace them with ceramic tiles. And check out this bathtub...

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It will need to be fixed (or replaced) but that will be a tackle for another time. I am only painting. I prepped the yellow wall...

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...which had a broken down old towel rod which I will be replacing with hooks this week. (I need more spots for towels than just two...there are three of us after all.) And then I primed away that old yellow to a nice white.

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Ahhhhh....much better. Much better. I like it already. But that isn't enough. I need color. I love color. So, I put on some color. Okay...maybe neutral but it still is better than white (and heaps better then yellow, I must say)

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And more of the same...

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Ummm...gorgeous. I love it. Now see how much better that goes with my beautiful shower curtain???

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Ahhh. It is beautiful, if I do say so myself. I love it. Now I just need some money to buy those hooks for the towels. I will also be replacing the lighting fixture to something a little less cold and more warm and inviting. (I have it all picked out at Lowe's too. Just you wait and see.) I also want to replace that medicine chest with something more woody...like oak or something. We will see.

That was a great tackle but it wasn't on Tuesday and since this is Tackle it Tuesday, I thought I had better do something at least. So, check this out.

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Can you believe that is in my house??? I bet your all thinking that I went over to the neighbours house and photographed thier sewing room. Nope!! That is indeed my very own sewing room. It is the one room in the house that has no order. Well, it does have a bit of order but I tend to let little things pile up. I shouldn't do that, but I do. Can you handle more?

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Are you choking from shock yet? To be honest, I didn't realize how bad it was until after I photographed it and started looking at the pictures. I am a little dismayed and in awe that it got this bad.

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Anyways, sometime today between stashbusting and typing up new patterns, I will be working on this. It shouldn't take me too long. So, a-tackling I will go. (and stashbusting. I have a couple of things to show you later in regards to that topic.) Tune in later today to see my Tuesday Tackling efforts.

UPDATE:
Okay. I really should be in bed but hubby is off feeding the homeless tonight and so I am unable to sleep without him. I probably COULD sleep if I climbed into bed and shut my eyes, but the point is that I don't want to. I love falling asleep with my hubby next to me.

Anyways, I am here to show you all my after pictures of the sewing room. I almost didn't do this tackle. I almost had myself convinced that painting for two days was enough of a tackle this week. But then I stopped and thought how great it would feel to be able to walk into my sewing room without stepping on Chloe's face. (not her literal face...just the photos that didn't make it into the scrapbook and were left discarded on the floor - poor Chloe)

Here is the new and improved sewing room.

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As part of my stashbusting efforts, I plan to completely remove that cardboard barrel from my sewing room. (need I explain that this barrel is chock-full of yarn??? Nah! You probably already knew that)

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And I betcha can't guess what is inside that gray tote. (the one that can fit two bodies in it...) Darn. You know me too well. Yes...that is more yarn that is going to get busted.

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While I am quite pleased with my tackling of this room, one thing in this last area has me kind of stunned. I didn't realize it was this bad. Do you see that larger of the blue totes stacked in the closet area? I went to put some cross stitching supplies away in that tote and lo and behold...it wasn't the cross stitching tote at all. Nope. It was chock-full of yarn. Can you believe that? I can't. I don't remember putting it in there.

Oh well. At least the sewing room looks almost presentable. Now I need to get going on this stashbusting venture. I wonder if I can do it? (or how long it will last, I should say)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Management Binder: My Schedules and Routines - Part 2

As promised this morning, I will be showing you part 2 of my schedule and routine section of my binder. The next thing I have after last weeks Daily Routine is the Structured Play Time Routine for Chloe. Every afternoon I have a half hour time period when Chloe plays at the table with something I choose for her. It is sort of an educational/fun time. I usually sit with her and play right alongside with her. We have all sorts of fun sharing giggles and what-not while she "learns".

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I believe this time is important for two reasons. (well...more reasons than that but I will only share two with you today) One is that it helps a child's focusing skills to sit and work on something like that. It also helps with their hand-eye coordination. (depending on the "Play" thing.)

Structured Playtime Routine

Monday - Color/Markers (alternating weeks)
Tuesday - Puzzles/Blocks
Wednesday - Music
Thursday - Painting/Stickers
Friday - Playdough


The days that two items are switched every week. This helps Chloe from getting bored. (or at least I think it does. Maybe it just keeps me from getting bored. Hmmm...now that's a thought.) I do recommend keeping this list age appropriate. I don't know how well an 8 year old boy would enjoy playing with Strawberry Shortcake stickers.

Anyways, the next portion of the Routines section is my Daily Schedules which are written out according to day. This is where I go into deep detail about what I do all day.

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And this runs over onto another page...

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I have listed side by side what I do and what Chloe is doing at the same time. For example...
At 8:00 am I clean up the kitchen, sweep the floor and prep for lunch and dinner. Chloe puts her milk in the fridge and throws away all the trash. At any given time during the day, you can look at this list and see what I am doing and what Chloe is doing at the same time. We don't have a "stick to this or die" attitude. I mean, how drab would life be if we stuck to the same routine for the rest of our lives? This is more like a guide that helps us to make sure everything gets done. You have to leave room for spontanaity and fun. (like fort building, tummy tickles in Mommy's bed and tea parties with Mickey Mouse and Barbie. Those can't always be planned)

And also, take today as an example. I felt like stashbusting and so I skipped housecleaning for the day. (mind you, I only made it until about 1:00 in the afternoon before I had to get up and mop my floors. But you all know me and my floors. *rolling eyes*) The point is that you can have a routine written down, but allow some flexiblilty in it. What would I do if Chloe didn't want to play with playdough? (that has never happened but this is only hypothetical anyways) I would simply pour some rice into a bowl...or put a bowl of water on a towel on the floor...or read some books...or watch the fish swim around...or dance to the Newsboys...or a million other things that we enjoy doing. You get the point.

This is all I have in this section of my notebook. Of course, my notebook is always changing and growing as my family changes and grows. Next Monday I will show you the next section in my notebook. My cleaning section. (ahhhh...you were waiting for this, weren't you. Will I talk about my floors? You will have to wait and see.)

Stashbusting Purses

The stashbusting continues. I chose to crochet up two Vintage Shell purses to get rid of some kitchen cotton that I had bought about a year ago for that very purpose only I bought cones of it. 1 pound cones. Which means that is alot of yarn to bust. And the sad thing is that since these were already partially used (since I had already made myself a purse last year) I only got 6 points total for these two purses. I feel like I should have gotten more since I spent a whole day crocheting them...and it was alot of yarn...and it took me all day to make them. (did I mention how long it took me??? And how much yarn it was???) Anyways, they are done...comeplete...finished...

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And, of course, these purses have my signature crocheted lining in them. First the tan one for my pastor's wife.

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And the pink one...for my secret pal. Only this will be in her reveal package so she will not know it is I who is spoiling her. (in case she reads this blog. I don't know)

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One purse will go to my pastor's wife since it was her birthday Saturday. I should have taken it with me to church yesterday to give to her but we were supposed to be taking her out to lunch today. Now I am not so sure if that will happen. We got about 5-6 inches of snow dumped on us yesterday afternoon. Ick! I was sooo ready for spring. I really believed it was coming too. Birds were chirping outside my window. The sky was sunny and bright last week. And then this. Snow. Buckets and buckets of snow. Right when the old snow was melting. What to do...what to do. Guess I will have to bust more stash.

Wanna know what my reward will be for all my stashbusting efforts??? The big reward that everyone gets is to BUY MORE YARN!!! Yay! I can hardly wait. But my reward is going to be bigger than just yarn. Check out this knitting book I bought a couple of weeks ago with my 40% coupon from AC Moore. (yes...another knitting book. I know! I'm a little crazy. So what! I am addicted to knitting books. Aren't you addicted to something silly too?)

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I have yet to decide what I want my reward project to be. I have two from this book that I am thinking about. Either this one...

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...or this one...

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Hey! Do you think I deserve both??? I mean, stashbusting is a pretty hard thing to do. Especially when you are addicted to yarn as I clearly am. Another question that has been floating through my brain is when I will call it quits on this stashbusting spree. Should I choose a number of points and once I reach that I am done??? Say...200??? Or should I say that once I empty the oversized rubbermaid tote (you know those obscenely HUGE ones? That you could fit two people in?) that is enough? I would like to get that out of my sewing room since it takes up so much space. Hmmm...decisions, decisions. What to do, what to do.

Guess what! I paid myself on Saturday. This is the first time since I started my business last July that I have actually paid myself in something other than yarn (or knitting books. But those don't count since they are kind of related to "fiber arts".) I was shopping with a girlfriend on Saturday and I saw this gorgeous set of dishes at Kmart. (yeah. I know. Kmart! But they were gorgeous) See?

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What did I tell you??? Gorgeous. (as if Martha Stewart could do anything NOT gorgeous.) I am tired of those beautiful pottery type dishes that chipped the first time I washed them. (I tried to be careful. Honest I did.) They are all chipped to smitherines. And I didn't particularly like them anyways. Everyone else did and would say how pretty they were but to me...they were boring. Just solid burgandy and solid green. Plain. Nor frills or ruffly edges. Nothing. But this new set is gorgeous. They fit me perfectly. And, in case you didn't notice, they even have a touch of pink. Yay!!!

But I didn't stop at just the dishes. I went all out. I got two sets of dishes, the platter, two serving bowls, the placemats and look at this!!!!!

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Oh yeah, Baby! I got the teapot. (and sugar bowl and creamer jug) Told you I went all out. Boy do I feel great. It was kind of weird eating off these dishes. I haven't had anything as nice as this that I truly loved. Oh boy!!! Now if only James will get me my china hutch for my birthday. (he didn't say NO when I asked him so this is a good sign.)

I leave you with a picture of a little doily I made for my friend Pam for Valentines Day. She loves doilies and she looks wonderful in red (not that she is going to wear this doily, but you know. Its a color that suits her)

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Okay. I am off now to stashbust more yarn. (I really want one of those coats. Can you tell???) I am going to skip housecleaning today. It is cold and snowy and I just don't want to clean today. It is not going to kill me to put if off for a day. I will be posting later on my Management Binder so stay tuned. Have a great day everyone!!!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Little Bit of Love

Hold Fast Your Dreams

Hold fast your dreams!
Within your heart
Keep one still, secret spot
Where dreams may go,
And sheltered so,
May thrive and grow-
Where doubt and fear are not.
Oh, keep a place apart
Within your heart,
For little dreams to go.

~~Louise Driscoll~~


I love that poem. It captures something deep within my soul and explains a bit of who I am. I have been called a dreamer before. I tend to daydream more often than I should. Most of the time, as a child, I kept these dreams to myself, hidden within my soul for fear of reprimand or criticism. Now that I am away from home and free to do as I please, I find myself reverting back to my childhood dreams more and more. I guess that special place in my heart has been there all along...just hidden deep within myself and longing to be set free.

Anyways, back to the title of this post. A bit of love. Seeing as how last week was Valentine's Day and I never got around to showing you the "love" we recieved, I thought I would do so today. (since, obviously, I am in a bit of a romantic "dreamy" mood anyways)

Chloe got her first Valentine last week. It was so cute. I actually got it while she was sleeping (since that is when the mail is usually delivered around here...mid-afternoon) I saved it for her to open, even though I really wanted to open it myself. But it was addressed to her and so I saved it for her. (good mommy...good mommy!)

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Okay...the little red thing in her hand is not part of the Valentine card. No...that is a very new "high tech" gadget that all "cool" and "trendy" people should have. What is it? You don't know??? Why that is nothing else than a Clover Knitting Row Counter Cell Phone. Don't believe me??? Just watch...

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So the orginal purpose of this was to help me count my rows while knitting dishcloths. But as you can see from the photo above, little fingers had something else in mind for it. I think it works very well as a cell phone. Not only can we talk to Daddy and Grandma but every once in a while Mickey Mouse calls. Now that is special. You can't get Mickey Mouse on the regular cell phone. Only the Clover Knitting Row Counter Cell Phone. Now you gotta get one!

So, what was in the envelope?

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Ahhhhhhh....how sweet. This is her first Valentine and it was from her Grandma and Grandpa. Thank you guys. That was a special treat. Chloe loved it.

I got a couple of books I ordered from Amazon in the mail last week as well. First off my Crochet for Barbie book arrived.

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Too excited to do anything else, I immediately sat down and proceeded to crochet a couple of patterns. Well, I quickly became frusterated since I don't have ANY of the yarn or thread used in this book. AC Moore and Micheals don't carry this stuff either. Its not your "run of the mill" type stuff. No...Barbie gets cashmere. And silk. I tried to substitute DMC size 5 Pearle cotton but that is not going so well. Even for the patterns that call for the DMC size 5 Pearle cotton I can't get the gauge. I am off by way too much. I did manage to make one outfit that fit Barbie only I used some Bernat Cool Crochet. I have fallen in love. This stuff is great. Its not 100% cotton but almost should be. It has some nylon in it which gives it this kind of sheeny sparkly look to it. VERY nice. Not as nice as Paton's Grace, mind you...nor even Red Heart Lustersheen, but I would rate this as my new third favorite yarn. I am thinking Chloe's birthday dress might be made in this. We will see. Depends on the stashbusting efforts and what happens with that. I will have to show you all the picture of the outfit that "worked" tomorrow. I put it up with Chloe's other birthday gifts and keep forgetting to get it down to snap a picture. I need to get cranking on more outfits for her too. But Barbie outfits don't help much in the stashbusting efforts. Oh well.

Lately I have been on this knitting book kick. I don't know what's wrong with me. I see a knitting book and I want to buy it. So I do. The first book I got last week was this one...

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Vintage Knits

This book would fall into the "dream" category. I "dream" of knitting the items in this book. I am nowhere near that skilled yet. (still trying to get beyond dishcloths at this point...I don't know how I knit two baby sweaters two summers ago. Can't figure that one out) Once I am skilled enough, there are a million things in this book I want to make. (for myself too!!!!) Like this...

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...and this...

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...and this...

Okay. no...I won't show you the whole darn book...because I could! I won't. But I could. This book has some of the neatest patterns in it and I want to make most every one. There are a couple that I wouldn't make for myself but for the most part, this WHOLE book is a must have. Yay!! Good buy.

Next book I got.

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Fun and Funky Knitting


Now this book is really a cool book. "Fun and Funky" are two words that aptly describe the items in this book. They are not "over the top" like some teenage type things can be. They have style with a hint of romance yet they appear to be a little easy with some "new to me" techiniques that will challenge me and increase my knitting knowledge. What can I say? I want most of the things in this book. Like this...

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...this was why I bought the book. How cool is that? Its a knitting needle holder that you knit!!! Amazing!!! I love the look and the different stitches used for the pockets. It rolls up too so it will store easily. I want this!!! If I weren't so slow at knitting this would make a great stashbuster project. But I would like the stashbusting to go rather quickly so I will stick with crochet...which is fairly quick for me.

I also thought this would make a lovely gift for my mother. (and I wouldn't mind one for myself as well...but she is the first one who popped into my brain when I saw it)

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This book is chock full of wonderfully small and relatively simple looking things to knit. (I say "simple looking" for the simple fact that I have yet to knit anything in this book and so I cannot say as to whether they actually are simple or not. I will let you know.)

I did a very naughty thing. Very naughty indeed. Of course, naughtiness is all in how you look at it. If you think of all the money I saved, then you might say I was a very good girl! As you might recall, I recently had a debate with myself as to whether I actually "needed" some new used books from the used bookstore. Well, I lost. Myself won. I couldn't take it any longer and I went yesterday and bought more books. Why? They were having a sale. That was my only reason. Okay...so the fact that I am addicted to books might have played a small role in things. A very small role. One that shouldn't even be considered a role. Come on!!! Who can pass up a 50% off EVERYTHING sale at a used bookstore???????

Not I...not I...

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You can see Max Lucado and Shelia Walsh and even a book put out by the Woman of Faith. I must say that I did pretty well for myself. I think you should agree with me.

Do you wanna hear something very sappy and "full of love"? (since that was the title of this post to begin with?) I was supposed to show you two weekends ago what we did for our Friday night date night and I never got around to it. I will show you now. (since obviously we are not having date night tonight. We went shopping instead. Always fun.)

Okay, I am quite proud of this particular date night since it was my idea in the first place. You see...I have been trying to come up with ideas of things James and I can do together after Chloe goes to bed for our date night. I am tired of waching movies all the time. I don't feel like we really "get to know" each other while staring at a television screen. And James hasn't been very good at his movie screening process lately and we have been watching some pretty raunchy things lately. (well, he falls asleep if its too bad and leaves me to finish it by myself. I usually end up turning it off)

Anyways, we tried the whole model car thing and that lasted about 30 minutes and now it sits in the back of the top shelf of the closet...never to be seen again. Well, two weeks ago, I had the "brilliant" idea to buy some music. James loves to play the guitar and I thought it would be cool for me to learn a song on the piano while he learned it on the guitar and we could play it together. We went to the Bible bookstore and I picked out the book.

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I love Casting Crowns music and hey...notice at the top of this book it says "Easy Piano"???? That means I might be able to learn it. We got home and lo and behold, James doesn't know the chords for the song I chose...nor any of the songs in the book. Some of them are too hard for him to learn. So while it said "easy" for the piano part, I guess the guitar part is "extremely difficult" or soemthing like that.

So, we ordered a song off the internet that James already knows and I learned that one. Maybe one of these days I will get brave enough to play it for you all on You Tube or something...or maybe not. I am shy, remember.

Chloe loves the keyboard. We left it up for almost two weeks and she would climb up and turn it on and play it whenever she walked in or out of the room.

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So now I must say goodnight. I need to try and get some sort of "date night" going around here. Its Friday night afterall. The night for love and romance. The night to stay up later than 8:30pm. The night to...well...nevermind. *blush* Goodnight everyone!!!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Flowers I Want to Plant in the Spring


As each day passes, spring creeps one day closer. I cannot tell you how I long for the day when I wake up to realize that spring has indeed come to my little corner of the world. The sheer bliss that will flood my soul on that cheerful and sunny morning will leave me singing the rest of the day.

I love to play in the dirt...planting seeds, weeding out the bothersome thistles, watering the sprouts and watching my lovely flowers bloom. I can hardly wait. Winter seems so long...especially up here in the north where they actually have winter.

While pondering on all things spring, I have come up with a list of 13 different flowers I think I will plant this spring.

1. Roses (kind of a no brainer on that one.)

2. Daisies (all colors)

3. Hyacinths

4. Hybiscus (if they will grow here)

5. Pansies

6. Violets

7. Hydrangeas (love them but they need a different kind of soil so I am a little unsure as to whether I can grow them or not.)

8. Delphiniums

9. Wisteria

10. Clematis

11. Hollyhocks (the true cottage garden flower)

12. Asters (the bright colorful ones. They really brighten up the garden)

13. Carnations

Ummmmmm...I can almost smell them now. Can you imagine how delightful my garden will smell this spring if I can get all these flowers into it??? Oh...such a dream.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Stashbusting

I saw this new CAL over at the ville a few weeks ago. (closer to the beginning of the year) I have had my eye on it ever since, debating with myself as to whether I should join in or not...and even if I really needed to bust my stash. The thing most forthright in my mind was my scrap tote. This tote contains all those leftover balls of yarn from previous projects completed over the past two or three years. That is a lot of scraps.

Well, I was searching online for some 12" square patterns for the Winter Afghan Square swap over on my forum when I ran across this Simple Yo-Yo Square pattern. The first time I saw it I thought "hmmm...interesting" and I clicked off it. Well, browsing through patterns again a week or so later I saw it again and this time my thought was more like "Hmm...that is kind of pretty" and I clicked off it. I noticed the Stashbusting CAL at the ville again and I thought "hmmm...that yo-yo pattern might make a good "stashbusting" project. Well, last week I clicked on the pattern again and this time my thought was "Hmmm...I bet Anne Shirley would've had something like that in her House of Dreams" and this time I clicked the print button.

That night I made a few yo-yo's...

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...and I then joined the CAL at the ville. Needless to say, I am now hooked on this stashbusting thing, and it doesn't stop at scraps. Oh no. I am on a mission to de-stash. I have so much yarn, it seems to be coming out my ears.

So, let me explain this for you all. For each full skein of yarn I use up completely from my stash I get 2 points. For each half skein (partially used skein) or scrap ball of yarn I get 1 point. Now the only problem is that for each full skein of yarn I inherit (or buy) I lose 2 points and the same for the half skeins and balls I inherit or buy...I lose 1 point. So, you can see why this would appeal to me. I love a challenge. Wanna know my score so far? (I started this on Saturday night - could have been Friday, I don't remember exactly) 42. Yup. I have 42 points.

Wanna see what got me a lot of points???

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That is a scarf. (in case you are blind...but then you wouldn't be reading this blog, so I don't really know why I have to tell you its a scarf) Anyways, I made this for a friend from church. We celebrated her birthday Tuesday night and I made this up for her. I used some Moda Dea Tutu yarn. I wasn't sure if I would like it as I was crocheting it up. It has these little confetti-like thingies hanging off it every so often and it seemed to me a bit over the top. But once I got done with the scarf, I knew it was perfect. And she loved it. (always a plus)

It took 2 skeins of this yarn for that scarf and since they were full skeins that was 4 points. Since this scarf worked up so quickly, I decided to make another scarf for my secret pal. It will be in her last "reveal" package so in case she reads my blog she won't know who I am. (isn't that clever???)

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Okay, I am afraid that I must admit something to you. I cannot type further without telling this since it will plague my conscious for the rest of the evening and I won't be able to enjoy the tea party I am about to visit with Harmony the Care Bear and LuLu the Alphabet Spider. Those two pictures of scarves are actually the same exact scarf. Not just that the pattern is the same...but they are the same scarf. I just changed the position of it for the second picture. You see...I was in such a hurry to get to the party on Tuesday I forgot to take a picture of the second scarf.

There. I did it. Now I can show you more of my stashbusting attempts.

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Now this picture you will not be able to tell what it is...and that is kind of the point. I can't tell you what it is...but I wanted to show it to you to prove that I have been stashbusting. This was started before I began stashbusting but I did finish 3 partial skeins for 3 more points this week. Hooray!!

And now the project I got the most points from. This is what I am most proud of. I made about a billion dishcloths since last night.

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I am missing about four in this picture that I finished this morning. I need dishcloths pretty badly. I have probably about 5 or 6. Not enough by any standards. So I will be keeping a few of these. I may even send some as RAOK's. Who knows. It might also be nice to have some on hand for when I have company. I can give them one when they leave as a little "I love you" and "thank you for coming" type gift. I got a TON of points for these since I used about 15 little scrap balls of yarn up. Boy or boy...you would think that my scrap stash is depleted. But oh no. I haven't even made a drop in the bucket. All this crocheting and there isn't even a dent. Oh well, I have many more project ideas. I am working on a Vintage Shell Purse this evening for my pastor's wife. It is her birthday Saturday and we may be taking her out for lunch on Monday. So I thought this purse would make a nice little gift. I have the outside done and now I need to finish the inside. Better get to it!!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Should I or Should I Not???

This is the question. I must admit something. It is hard to admit this...but I will do so anyways. I think I have an addiction. It is getting pretty bad. It all started when Lori posted about her 50 book challenge over on the ville and I decided to join in on this with my own 50 book list. Now I can't seem to get enough books. I borrowed a couple more books tonight from a friend. Yes...that would make 52 books only I will replace other books on my list that I don't currently have in my bookshelf with these two. So, I will still only have to read 50...not 52. (make sense? I don't know...it is late and I can't have coffee or I won't be able to sleep tonight)

But now, everywhere I go I think about books. I want to read books. I hear mention of a book and I think to myself "Oh...that would be a great book to add to my 50". Its as if 50 books isn't enough any more. What do I do??? I ask ya...what do I do? The compulsion is that to get more books. Alot more books I have this strong urge, pulling me towards my used bookstore. Its not so bad that they know me there. (like it was at Hobby Lobby in Louisiana...Gosh I miss that place) No...but I have the feeling that they soon will...very soon.

So anyways, my question is this...should I go? To the used bookstore I mean. There are a million reasons why I shouldn't. Like money or the fact that I have a ton of books in my bookshelf that I have yet to read or that I just bought a bunch of books. (both from the used bookstore and from Barnes and Noble the other night...didn't mention that here yet, but I did) But there is only one reason why I should go...and that would be because they have books. (duh!!!) And I like books. So, I am thinking I should go. Hey...I could even pick one up for Chloe. That wouldn't be so terribly bad, now would it? What if I got her two or three. Would that justify going? And if they happened to have any Cat Who books I might just slip one or two (or three...or four) in as well. Since I am already there and all. (and they are having a 50% off sale.)

While I have been on this book buying spree lately, I HAVE been reading some too. No...not as many as I have been buying but come on...I am planning ahead. For next year's 50 book challenge, right? (nod your head) So...since I last updated you on my challenge I have actually read three more books. Yay!!!

I finished The Cat Who Smelled a Rat by Lillian Jackson Braun last week sometime. Great book. I love this series. It is one of my favorites. Just light, easy going reading. It is one of those books that I don't find myself lost in a fantasy world like I would with...oh...say Anne of Green Gables? You know me...I get lost pretty easy in dreamland. I guess its also because the main character of the book is a 40 or almost 50 year old man with a mustache. I have never found mustaches particulary appealing. But he does have two cats...and these cats are very interesting. Pattycakes doesn't care for them, but hey...felines are known to be finicky in their friendships so I don't put much stock in her feelings.

I also finished Home Court Advantage by Kevin Lehman. Another great book. I would rank this up there with Dare to Discipline by Dr Dobson. Nothing quite compares to Dr Dobson but this comes pretty close. It was a Christmas present to James from my parents...but guess who was reading it? I hope James does read it though. It talks about alot of paranting philosophies that we have already implimented in our own home. Sometimes I think James just kind of goes along with whatever I do since I was the one rasied in the Christian home. I don't think he fully understands WHY I do the things I do. It would be great for him to read this book and understand my "whys".

The book I just finished yesterday was For Woman Only by Shaunti Feldhahn. I would recommend this book to any and every woman who is married to a man...or is getting married to a man...or even knows someone else who is married to a man. It has really opened my eyes to some things I never realized before. Oh sure...I knew them. Come on...I was raised in a Christian home. I know alot of things. But knowing and understanding are two totally different things. I guess it could be the way in which she describes it...but things really clicked for me. Great book! Read it!

Okay. I am off to climb my stairs 18 times. Why 18 times??? Is there a reason why I chose the number 18? Am I just being random? Actually no. I really am going to climb my stairs 18 times. You see...I have decided to try to be healthier. (hence the whole starving myself for 9 days...which, by the way, is a stupid thing to do. I have been craving chocolate cake ever since. I can't seem to get enough chocolate cake. Chocolate chips work...even chocolate bars. But I just NEED chocolate.)

Anyways, one thing we have done to be healthier was to switch to organic milk. Expensive, I know. But I do believe the benefits will be worth it for little Chloe when she grows up. I have never liked milk much...my mother thinks that maybe I am not supposed to have it for some reason or another because it gives me an instant headache when I drink it. When we first brought the organic milk into our house, I thought I would taste it just to see. (and to make sure I was feeding my child something that tasted okay and not like cow hooves or something) I was quite surprised with my findings. First, it actually tasted much different than "normal" milk. I could taste the difference. Second, I actually liked it. (I LIKED IT!!!) That is a big thing for me to say that I liked it. Okay. I do like chocolate milk (I think you all could have guessed that on your own by now) but this was not chocolate milk and I still liked it. Third, no headache. So, we now have only organic milk in our house. Yay. One change at a time. Start small. Baby Steps.

Okay...back to the 18 stair thing. I decided about two weeks ago that I wanted to start exercising a bit more every day. (interpretation: that I wanted to start exercising.) Well, thinking back to the whole baby steps thing got me to thinking about steps. And I have steps. Lots of them. I also read in the "Disciplines of a Beautiful Woman" book by Anne Ortlund that she climbed her stairs everyday. And if she could do it...so can I. She got up to 75 times a day. Now that is good. I can only dream of that at this point in time. I started out on Day 1 with only 10 stairs figuring "hey...I can handle 10 times". And wouldn't you know it but I almost killed myself doing this. Not from falling and breaking my neck either. No...from a heart attack or something sort of like that. My heart was beating so hard it felt like it was going to come crashing through my chest at any given moment. It HURT!!!

Well, now I am on something like day 16 or something and I am up to 17 times up and down the stairs. (okay you math whizzes out there...quit adding up those days. So, I haven't climbed the stairs every day. I'd like to see you try it! And you can't lollygag up them...NO! you have to run - since that is what James makes me do.) I can say that it is getting easier each time I do it though. My heart doesn't beat quite as hard as the first day. I am far from 75 but give me a couple of years and I may just get there. You never know.

I will really go now. This is quite a long post with no pictures so I am sure you all are getting awfully tired of reading. Have a wonderful night everyone. I am going to climb the stairs 18 times and then read a book. Haven't decided which one yet. Maybe I will draw straws or something.

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme


Tackling Bible Study


I have no pictures for today's tackle. I know Tackling is "supposed" to be something we do to our house...or rather our to-do lists, but what I did today as my tackle is a big thing. At least to me its big. While it may not have been finishing a load of laundry or painting the nursery wall, it still merits some recognition.

You see...I went to Bible study today. No big deal your saying??? Well, it is for me. I don't like big groups of people. I am quite shy by nature and have been hurt pretty bad in my recent past and this causes me to be a bit timid in group settings. I am also a homebody which suits my fancy just fine. I like my home and I like being IN my home. It really is a nice place to be.

But for the past few months I have been wanting to try the Ladies Bible study at our church. I swear it gets harder and harder for me to try things like this with each move we make. In the past 8 years we have lived on 6 different bases in 3 different countries. It does get hard to get out and make friends...especially for someone who is shy (like myself).

After much dilemma and debate, I finally convinced myself to go today. I found myself pleasantly surprised. (don't you just love those surprises?) I had a good time despite my shyness and I actually learned something too. Funny thing was the very first thing they talked about was having children and how we have no control over this. God is the creator, author and giver of life and it is not up to us. It was pretty hard for me to not start crying at this point but I managed to hold back the tears and listen to the message. Once they got past that point it was smooth sailing. I learned a few truths that will help me in raising Chloe and I even met some ladies who attend the church. I do plan on going back as I think it will be good for me. It will, of course, be hard for me to give up those hours of crochet time but I think I will survive.

So, I tackled Bible Study today. What are you gonna tackle???

Friday, February 16, 2007

A Rose and Some Books

Well, the good news is I have been crocheting. Can't show you what yet (which means that this crocheting I am doing is designing...yay for me) but just know that I picked up my hook and some yarn today and I really felt like crocheting. I wasn't forcing myself to...I wanted to.

Well, anyways...I wanted to show you something very special. You see...it was Valentines Day this week. I awoke Valentines morning to snow and ice. James was given a "snow day". (the "snow days" around here still crack me up.) Well, I got up and cooked a yummy breakfast of pancakes. (a little tradition of ours - only I forgot to use the heart pancake cutters, drats!) I set out my little gifts for Chloe and James at thier places on the table. I enjoyed watching them open thier gifts. The joy...the thrill...the smiles. But alas...I must say...there was nothing on my plate. (aside from a few crumbs and tad bits of syrup) I was sad. When I asked James if he had gotten me anything he said no. This dashed all my hopes of chocolates or candies or cute things. Usually he would say somethign like "I didn't know what you would want" or "I am going to get you something today". Only problem is that the "today" we were currently having was a "snow day" filled with ice and snow...so no shopping trips for me.

At this point, I was convincing myself that James does love me. He shows me this love in so many ways. He provides for our family so I can stay home with Chloe. He rarely (notice I said "rarely") complains about my crochet stuff and other hobbies...he is a wonderful husband. And hey...didn't he just buy me the nicest Christmas gift not too long ago???

So, I did it. I convinced myself that this was okay. I would survive a presentless Valentines Day with no dinner out. (since we were snowed in and all, you know) Well, Chloe's dollhouse was delivered at about 1:00 that afternoon. Yup. UPS can be on the roads but James can't drive 10 minutes to work...funny. Anyways, the dollhouse came. Yay. It was whisked away to the closet in the basement to hide until Chloe's birthday next month. Well, the UPS lady said to hold on...she had one more package. I just knew it was my books I had ordered and the two rooms I ordered to go along with the dollhouse. (each room is sold seperately...they sure know how to make a buck, don't they?)

Well, when she came back up the walk...the box she was carrying said "ProFlowers" on it. My heart skipped a beat...and then my face broke out in a grin when I realized what it was. (I must have looked pretty stupid to the UPS lady with that grin smeared all over my face.)

James got me 18 red roses.

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Ahhh...aren't they gorgeous??? I had to take more pictures.

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Its like perfection. It IS perfection. They are so gorgesomous!!!

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Oh I love roses.

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.

All these pictures of roses reminded me of Shakespeare.

"O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."


I got lost in a moment of romanticism...so much so that it drove me to the used bookstore today. And you will never believe what I got there. Well..books are kind of a given. But think hard. Really hard. Okay...can't get it? Let me show you.

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First, here are some books I bought Chloe. I am getting a little tired of the "lift the flap and count the two rabbits" type of books. They aren't holding my attention much any more. (I guess you could say the "novelty" is wearing off.) So, I got Chloe some neat books. You should read these books. They are full of imagination. I love them.

Anyways...the next picture will show you just how weird I really am.

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Doesn't look so bad??? Little bit of Jan Karon...little bit of Laura Ingalls to start off that collection. I even picked up Heidi. Thought it would be a good book once Chloe gets a little bit older. But no...check out the book in the upper right hand corner. Yup...that one. Am I totally weird? or what? You do see it correctly. That is Romeo and Juliet. Funny how receiving 18 roses for Valentines Day will create this burning desire withen me to read Romeo and Juliet. All because of a quote. Hmmm...I think I have gone completely mad. Anyways...it will be a challange to see how much of the old 1500's version of English I understand.

Somehow all this talk of Shakespeare makes me miss England. Ohh...my most favoritist place in England was Stratford-upon-Avon. It was so gorgeous. I even saw (and possibly touched...I don't remember) the bench that Shakespeare and Anne sat on while they were courting. Ahhhh...how romantic!!! (now I REALLY want to read Romeo and Juliet)

So weirdness must run in the family.I leave you with a picture. You can decide for yourself what happened here. (let's just say that Chloe has yet to grow out of her "climbing" phase)

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Have a great evening everyone. I am off to crochet until we crawl into bed. James is busy building his website on noodling for his college class at the moment which means I have some time to crochet before bed. Maybe I will have some pictures to show you all tomorrow. (I still haven't shown you the Barbie outfit I made this week for Chloe's birthday. I should get on that.)