Monday, September 29, 2008

Enough With the Procrastinating

I've had this fabric for several months now - sitting forlornly in a bag, waiting to be cut and ironed and transformed into valances for my windows. There was no great reason for my procrastination. Mostly, it had to do with the fact that I don't enjoy the cutting and measuring part of sewing.

Yesterday, I finally bit the bullet, pulled out the fabric, hauled the ironing board upstairs and got to work. I knew what I wanted and there was no need for a pattern. I just wanted flat panels. No ruffles, no gathers, nothing fancy - just flat panels. I had done the measuring of the windows months ago and thankfully, my measurements proved to be right on the mark. All in all, it probably took about 90 minutes, and that was with a lot of stopping and starting and dealing with children.

Today, I learned that it is difficult to take a good picture of a valance in a wood-paneled room. Here's the best I could do...there is one window on one wall and a bank of 3 windows on the next wall.

I can't believe it took me so long to do this.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Repurposing, or Making Do With What You Have

Two years ago, I knit a cardigan for Natalie. It was a bit big, but children tend to grow a lot in two years so the sleeves were getting short. The yarn, however, was still in great shape. What's a knitter to do? Rip it apart, wind the yarn back up into balls and knit something new with it, of course! So this:
has been transformed into this:
I looked and looked at patterns, hoping to find an easy crochet shrug (since crochet goes so quickly). Alas, I had no luck. I continued my search, though, and came across the Simple Lace Shrug (knit, not crochet) and thought I may have found just what I needed. While it is not written for children's sizes, I was able to adjust the size very easily.
The best part is that Natalie is much happier with her new shrug than she ever was with the original cardigan and I think she will wear it often.

Friday, September 19, 2008

February in September

Today I realized that my children aren't the best when it comes to photographing handknits. This should not come as a surprise to me since they are 4 and 6, but one tries to remain hopeful.

This is the February Lady Sweater, which is the adult version of Elizabeth Zimmerman's classic baby sweater. (Not the most flattering angle in this pic, but again - I think I was lucky to actually have my body in the shot at all, considering the photographers.) It is an excellent pattern and I could see myself knitting this again. I used Berroco Ultra Alpaca, which I have had in my stash for well over a year now and has been started as a few different sweaters and then ripped out. Much to my surprise, I quite like how the Ultra Alpaca knit up in this pattern. I had pretty much convinced myself that it wasn't going to be hefty enough, but I have been proven wrong.

Now if only the temperature would cool down enough to be able to wear my new sweater.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Big Promises

My children are intrigued by As Seen On TV items. I don't know why.

Last year I was on a quest for a great new handbag. One day Ethan interrupted my shower to tell me, with great enthusiasm, about the Buxton Bag. In fact, he declared that it could solve all of my problems.

Both kids were thrilled when we saw Aqua Globes on display at Walgreen's and were disappointed that I didn't snatch any up before they were all gone. However, since our house gets very little sun through the windows it is pointless to keep house plants. In fact, even as I clicked over to get the link for this post, the kids saw what was on my screen and squealed, "We've seen those on tv!! They help you not have a mess of sad, drooping-down plants! We should get some!"

But by far, the product that garners the most excitement with Natalie and Ethan is the Rocket Fishing Rod. Ethan has informed me that he needs one for Christmas. I am not convinced.

So tell me what you think. Are these types of products worth investigating? Or do you think they are scams? I think there are some that are probably good products...but I think there's a lot of junk that you have to weed through to find those treasures!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Me too, Winston...

Although prepared for martyrdom, I prefer that it be postponed.
-Sir Winston Churchill

Monday, September 15, 2008

Six Random Things

It's been sparse here on the blog lately. No big reason - just haven't had much to say. However, I was quite surprised to see that Jenni tagged me in her "Six Random Things" post! Some of you may know these things about me; some may not. Either way, here we go:

1. My left elbow is double-jointed. I think my thumbs might be, too, but I'm not certain.

2. I love garbanzo beans and enjoy them straight from the can. However, I'm not crazy about hummus. You would think that I would if I like garbanzo beans so much, but no.

3. Greg and I only knew each other for 9 months before we got married and did not live in the same state until after our wedding. Then he spent most of our first year of marriage on a major concert tour and was typically home for about 24 hours every two weeks or so. I'm not sure it's the ideal way to start a marriage, but we made it work.

4. I became a paid member of my hometown's symphony (comprised mostly of university students and faculty) when I was 11 years old and played with them through high school.

5. In college, I was a music performance major but everyone's first impression of me was that I was a voice major. I was not - my degree is in piano performance. More than one person told me, "You have voice major hair." What does that even mean??

6. I was plagued with constant ear infections as a child and had tubes 7 different times. Miraculously, I suffered no permanent damage to my hearing.

I can't decide who to tag, so feel free to tell me six random things about yourself in the comments - or do your own blog post!

Friday, September 05, 2008


My thoughts have been scattered this week, which is the main reason I haven't posted here. I have been getting Natalie back into our school routine and we had family in town for the long weekend. While they were here, I started having what I assume are some sort of allergic reactions - nothing serious enough to need to go to the doctor, but enough to leave me in a Benadryl fog for much of the time.

Otherwise, things are fine. I am finishing my umpteenth reading of Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire and am eager to start a new book. We discussed this not long ago, but do you have any suggestions??