Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Don't get me wrong, I love the holidays and the decorations. We just put them up WAY earlier this season due to a holday cocktail party that never happened. I was soooo tired of sweeping up pine needles...there is something to be said for faux trees.
Naaah, I still couldn't do it. I have a Dyson for a reason.
The holiday was good to us all. BubbaLou especially. The trike was a big hit, as was the Cub Cadet tractor w/ trailer that Poppy brought, and the piano that Nana brought. I know the holidays aren't about the stuff, but damn, Bubba's got it good. She's been circling the island in the kitchen like a shark...she figured out pedalling really quick. Steering, you ask? We're working on it.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
And I can't post it until after it hits the stocking, but wait until you see the hat for BL! It is so cute I almost couldn't stand to knit it!
I hope everyone enjoys their holiday this year and gets what they wish for most from dear old St. Nick. Me? Silk yarn, and a swift. Pretty please, Santa...I promise I've been good. And I leave the best cookies in town (and a glass of scotch.)
Merry, Merry, Merry....to you.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Abbie, your whoopie pies will hopefully go in the mail tomorrow. I ate one last night. Oh. My. Gosh. I am warning you now, I am not responsible for the calorie count in these treats, nor am I responsible for how many you eat. I will however go shopping with you so we can both buy new pants. Or treadmills. Your choice. I think new pants will be easier.
My holiday shopping is just barely starting. I'm hoping one of the gifts for Sy shows up before the holiday, but no bets. Some night this week I have to go do stocking stuffers.
Have I mentioned I also have to finish two knitting projects by Monday?
Yes, I'm a little bit crazy.
Friday, November 30, 2007
"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" I've heard.
I've also been busy on the sewing front. Here's a scarf I just completed with some extra fabric from a quilt I'm doing for the couch. It's a super-soft flannel in beautiful holiday prints. A little whimsical without being childish. The quilt and scarf have exposed seams on one side that get clipped and then fray in the wash, making a little fringe around all the blocks. I saw the quilt in progress at the local quilt shop and even though it's a little too "country," I thought it was pretty and it gave me a good excuse to buy the flannel I had seen on my last visit. Yes, I need an excuse to buy fabric. This is a taste of what 336 quilt square blocks looks like. I think I actually cut out closer to 400, but only needed 336. My kitchen looked like it was covered in a film of fuzz after I was done. Well worth it, though. I just think these colors are so soft and pretty. And it will be nice to have something seasonal on the couch to snuggle up in.
I do not need an excuse to buy yarn. In fact, my local shop was having a coupon sale...how convenient. I bought some wonderful washable wool for a new hat for my Dad, and some bulky, 100% silk yarn in a beautiful, shimmery silver. Perfect for a holiday scarf. Taa-daa. As if I've got nothing better to do.
The holiday baking season has begun, after all. And my darlin' Sy gave me the three BIG King Arthur Flour cookbooks for my birthday. I told him I might as well just paste the pages to my thighs. These cookbooks have centerfolds, for crying out loud. I wanted to lick the pages, it's baker porn.
Abbie, do you want some more pumpkin whoppie pies? I can't be the only one eating this stuff.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
My painted floor-cloth will be finished this weekend, just have to polyurethane it. Three times. I made it to coordinate with another rug in my kitchen so that I can have one in front of my cooktop that can be mopped off instead of washed. I think I did a pretty good job for my first attempt, but it is a much more involved process than I was led to believe (2-day project, my ass Martha.)
It's about 3 feet by 7 feet. It was all supposed to be stripes, but I don't have a lifetime to wait for paint to dry so I can waste more painter's tape. I like the dots a lot.
Excuse my scatterbrain, but my camera's working again, so interesting things are just gonna show up here and there.
This is what is behind the siding on our 1870's (?) farmhouse. Very old newspaper. Useless insulation, but fascinating artifacts. And in surprisingly good condition. We can't wait to take the siding of the rest of the house.
Abbie, I'l have to see if he's willing to part with any for you!
Friday, October 5, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
I was told day-care would help, all the other children in the preschool program are potty trained. Monkey see, monkey do. No, not BubbaLou. And, realistically, how much good can the teachers do when they're taking care of 12 other kids?
I'm at the end of my rope. Any suggestions?
Okay, on a happier note...I was looking through my Ikea catalog a couple of weeks ago and noticed their slip-covered couch has the same shape as mine. Chair, too. Hmmmmmm, let's do some measuring. No, too good to be true. Can't be. Impossible. Well, I went to Ikea last week and measured their cushions against mine, did some more measuring and voila! I brought home slipcovers for my couch and chair for less than $90 that are an almost perfect fit! Unbelievable. What are the odds? Did I mention these slipcovers are machine wash? Miracle, you ask? I think so. I can't afford new furniture and mine was an embarrassment. These slipcovers fit so well, it looks like I reupholstered my furniture. Ahhh, happiness, joy and clean furniture without holes.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
BubbaLou officially started pre-school today and Sy is generously letting me take the week off. I haven't had more than a few hours to myself since BubbaLou was born. Let me tell you, I will enjoy these three days! Just today I finished the sweater-vest for T (I already know I'm going to have to do another one for BL), finished the painting in BL's new room, repainted a decorative box for my bathroom, and helped Sy install the railings on the front porch when he got home. Oh, and I CLEANED the master bathroom. Hands-and-knees cleaned.
Tomorrow BL doesn't have "school," so I'm taking her to the Montshire for the day with Nana. Today was her second full day at school without me and neither day has she napped. I'm glad she's not there for more than 2 days at a time so she can get some sleep in between. BL is a 2-hour nap a day kinda girl and gets pretty cranky in the evening without it (not to mention she doesn't sleep as well at night if she's over-tired!) I hope she gets into the swing of things at school by next week.
Thursday and Friday she'll be in school, so my to-do list is the length of my arm. I'm hoping to finish the waist-cincher sweater from Knitting Lingerie Style...it just needs seaming and the stitches around the neckline. I'm recreating my wonderful kitchen rug in 3 painted floor cloths so I can sweep and mop them off instead of machine washing! I need to sew a special blanket for BL to take to school for nap time (hopefully she'll start taking them there.) And to top it all off, on Friday I have to move everything off of and from underneath my kitchen "counters" and remove the counters so Sy can install the new cabinets and part of my countertop. Very exciting. To have a surface I can actually clean! Like my upper cabinets, they won't have doors (or drawers) but its a start. Sy doesn't want to do drawers or doors until he can do them all at the same time in an assembly line. I can understand that.
As soon as my camera is working again, I will post new pictures of the house. The porch looks so wonderful with the railings up. They're really simple and classic, but they make a statement and anchor the porch. Next is the ceiling and the paint...then something will be really finished around here!
Monday, August 27, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
For those of you who don't know, Sy and I bought a 1870's -ish farm house last May and in July ripped half of it off and started rebuilding. Let me just say, going without a kitchen for 4 months with an 18 month old is not something I would recommend. Unless you're crazy, like us. What we ripped down was an addition to the original house (22'X16' one floor) that contained a kitchen and dining room. As we were tearing down, it amazed us that it was still standing.
It's a start. The foundation is actually concrete on this one!
I just love a blank slate. So much potential. I've never ever had a kitchen this big.
Now, more than a year later I can say that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It's a dim light, for sure, but it's there. The master bedroom is done, except for some trim and small touch-up details, the master bath is perfectly functioning, but the walls need to be finished, trim put it, and permanent vanities built. (Sy is custom building almost all of the cabinetry.) As of a couple of weeks ago, I have all of my upper kitchen cabinets installed (except doors), the base cabinets are almost all built, my double wall ovens are in (and work like a dream) and the best part of all....MY HARDWOOD FLOORS ARE IN, UP AND DOWNSTAIRS! Until you've lived on plywood sub floors for a year, you will never appreciate real floors as much as I do. I can finally sweep and mop and make a difference. BubbaLou will not go through the bottom of slippers quite so fast!
Today. The porch will be stunning when it's done. And the barn has fallen down. And the original house isn't yellow (we're going traditional white, red doors, sky blue ceiling on the porch.)
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
Sy is going back to school in less than a month. Actually in a week and a half. This means I have to get a "full-time" job, put Bubba-Lou in daycare :( and apply to the state of NH for some financial assistance. But we're all very excited he's going back to school.
My current employer is well aware of my current situation, and we have discussed increasing my hours from 16 to 32 a week. Perfect. Work 4 days, spend 3 with Bubba-Lou. And the added bonus is that her daycare is just down the street from work, so I can drop her off right before I go in, and Sy can pick her up when he gets out of school. My current employer and I had an hour long sit down meeting and discussed what days I could work, what responsibilities I would take on, etc. All was decided.
So I thought.
Meanwhile, I called and turned down a job offer (with a past employer) for more money, because the hours would mean Bubba would be in daycare before 9am, and I wouldn't be home until right before her bedtime (not to mention the longer commute and more gas $). More money is not always the answer. My family is the most important thing to me, and I have to do what's right not only for my checkbook, but them.
Jump to today...4 days after the sit down meeting. I get a phone call during which my employer states that after some "soul searching" and "reviewing the numbers", she just can't give me 32 hours a week. I can only keep the hours I'm currently getting. My employer goes on to say how she really doesn't want to lose me, because I'm such a valuable employee, and even though I already stated I would not work 2 part-time jobs she really wants me to work 2 days for her. Oh, and she bets that my former employer, if I called back, would understand and give me the job I turned down. No, I refuse to lower myself and beg, how does she think that is going to make me look? "Hello, sorry but I've changed my mind and do want the job. I hope you haven't hired anyone else, but maybe you could give them a call?" How unprofessional, how imature. I should not have even been told I could have what I needed, if she was still deciding if she could afford me. I was upfront and honest with her about other opportunities I had and that I really wanted to stay employed with her. I'm one of the lucky people that loves their job, and it makes me a better employee. Until I get screwed with only 2 weeks to find a job that is willing to work with a limited schedule (due to daycare constraints) and is willing to pay me enough to survive.
Okay, I understand not being able to afford me. I make more than anyone in the shop, but I also have more experience. Hell, I have more retail, sales and business experience than my boss. And I tell you what, she could afford me...if she knew how to cut corners and make a business run efficiently. She's been in business for about 2 years now and she usually only works in the shop on Saturdays. She pops in and out the rest of the time when she's on the way to her office (that she pays extra rent for, even though I've been told she has a great office at home.) I'm sorry, but if this were my business and I wanted it to be a success, I would be willing to pay qualified help, I would work every day if needed in the store, and I would do my paperwork and bookeeping at home until midnight if I had to to keeps costs minimal. I have worked for some very successful, very dedicated business people and I know what it takes. It takes perseverance, dedication, a very strong commitment, and the understanding that your "free time" doesn't exist anymore. Creating a successful business means that you have to work through exhaustion, burn out and illness because you don't have a choice. If you're strong enough to make it a success, you get a second wind, you don't burn out because you love what you're doing, and you don't get sick because you don't have time. Anyway, if you get burnt out in less that 5 years, why did you start a business to begin with? What were you planning on doing in 10 years? Retiring? Who wants to buy into a failing business, or for that matter, a business that isn't reaching its full potential? No one.
On a happy note, Bubba just informed me she "pooped big" on the potty. Hurray for potty training, it gives me a great reason to applaud wildly and yell "hurray" everyday!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
First, Sy's car went kaput. According to the damn dealer he broke the timing belt which in turn ruined his whole engine. Needless to say, we're down to one car right now.
Second, Ash, BubbaLou, and I went to a pow-wow on Saturday morning. Incredible. There was an extended veterans honoring during which the American Legion fired off a canon, did a 21 gun salute, and played taps. Taps always brings me to tears, regardless of how or where I hear it. At about that exact moment, Sy's father died. The world works in mysterious ways, doesn't it.
Third, after securing "Nana-sitting" for the next few days, Sy and I took off for S. Carolina to be with his family. Well, mostly his brother. His sister is a @#$#$%^&^%#$$##@, and everything in between. Instead of honoring her father's wishes, she decided to make the entire ordeal about her. Me, me, me. I have never been so ashamed of someone in my whole life. Sy's dad is probably seething mad and crying wherever he is. I'm just glad that I could be there for Sy. I could have skipped 2400 miles in the car over 4 days, though. Ugh. I'm so happy to be home.
On a happier note, I just finished painting BubbaLou's "new" room (new to her, in the old part of the house that we won't be able to remodel for a few more years). Pink walls (picture dark pepto) and sky blue ceiling going down the eave to the floor. Her color choices, but it suprisingly looks very pretty. Especially since all the trim and furniture is white...it tones everything down. When everything is complete I will have to post a photo...this room is so pretty. Very feminine without being fussy, a good room to grow with.
I hate painting, but I always love the results. Someday.....I will be able to pay someone else to paint!
Friday, July 13, 2007
Sunday, July 8, 2007
"Monica" top from summer Knitty. The one and only Bubba Lou modelling. I used Rowan (shut up, I get a discount) hand-knit cotton. Two skeins for the front and back, less than a skein for the ruffle, and a small amount of white. All in all, the top cost less than $15. And I modified the straps to tie, so next summer I just have to let them down (I knit everything too long and wide for her so I get 2 seasons out of it!)
I promise there will be photos of the Rowan "Cloud" and cami from IWK soon. They were worn in a fashion show this weekend and need to be laundered before I will put them on again.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Monday, June 4, 2007
This is what I'm thinking of starting. I have the yarn on hold so I can decide if I'm completely crazy or just a little mad. The photo doesn't do it justice. The bottom 2/3rds of this top is LACE. Beautiful, colorful lace. I've been doing miles upon miles of stockinette stitch these last few months and it's killing me. Please, give me some yarn overs. Yet another Rowan project. I can't help it. It's like crack, I just can't get enough and I'll go broke buying yarn and magazines. Thank goodness I work for a yarn store...I think.
There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home....
Bull. Give me a nice hotel.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Went to Lowe's today with my Dad. He very nicely bought me 2 azaleas and a bunch of different annuals. It's nice to have some color in my yard! The apple blossoms are gone now, but the lilacs are perfuming the whole yard! I wish someone could figure out how to bottle that scent and not screw it up.
Still inserting the sleeves into the rowan sweater. Hopefully I can finish the damn thing tomorrow and move on. Now that it's gotten too hot to wear it, I really don't care when I finish it, but I have to have it done by next Tuesday for display in the shop. For a better discount, I promised to have it done in 1 month and on display for 2-3 weeks a month while we're busiest (june-october.) At least I got the yarn at a good price!
Speaking of a good price, I just scored a bag of Rowan Cotton Rope in cyclamen for $2.99 a ball! With free shipping! That's cheaper than wholesale in the US! Yes, I did the happy dance in my kitchen when it arrived. Still haven't decided what it will become....suggestions?
Thursday, May 24, 2007
My Rowan summer tweed sweater is almost done, I just have to set in the sleeves. My Noro daria bag is almost done, I just have to sew up the lining and put it in. Bubba's hoodie is done, unless I decide to rip out the trim around the hood. Ugh. A lot of "almost". I think that's worse than having miles to go..
This is the sweater front, and the trim before seaming. The seaming I did on this sweater is AMAZING! My mom couldn't find the seam at first glance, and even then she had to feel for it. Hooray for me!! I can't wait to wear this!
This is the bag. Noro Daria is a rayon wrapped cotton cord. Very stiff and slippery. A challenge to work with on a good day, but so pretty when it's knit up. Very shiny and slick. The photos don't do it justice. The color way I picked is pale pink, aqua, and several shades of green. Instead of seaming the sides, I'm lacing them with aqua ribbon. Very girly, especially with the lucite handles!
Makes me want to cast on something new. Right Now. Socks? White sweater? I should do Abbie's little baby kimono, but that won't take me but a couple of days to do. Hmmmm, I think I could go for a little instant gratification right now.
Did I mention I work in a yarn shop? Yep, like an alcoholic working in a brewery, taste-testing. At least I can buy a few skeins and still drive home! It's crazy, I now have home projects and work projects and they never (read:hardly ever) get knit up in the other.
Okay, I'm off to knit in the sunshine and bugs.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Note "hats" not "hat"...one is never enough. Nevermind that she just got a new jumper and a new sweater, she needs hats. So, I knit this up one day and you'd've thought it was candy, or pirate booty. This smile is why Bubba Lou gets "hats." Thankfully she's got a small head!