Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bon Voyage to me!

I couldn't tell you if it was the zinc or the cinnamon/honey mixture, but I'm keeping my cold at bay.  I woke up feeling better than I did when I went to bed, so that's good.  I feel kind of icky every so often, but the zinc usually brings me back to life again.  Today is my Daddy's 65th birthday and with all the stuff I had going on and this dumb cold, I couldn't go see him.  But I did call him to tell him I love him and wish him a Happy Birthday.  We'll celebrate birthdays in a few weeks.. he, my husband, and my brother-in-law all have birthdays within weeks of each other.


I'm pretty much packed except for those last minute things you can't pack until you're about to walk out the door.  I have a card tacked up on the fridge with all the info Bill should need, complete with numbers to friends who have offered to help him if he needs it and the girls' doctors and schools.  Just in case.  I feel like writing out pages of instructions, but he is fully competent of taking care of them.  I'm just nervous.  =)

I can't tell how much my luggage weighs.... our scale is all jacked up.  It says one of my bags is 17 lbs and I know it has to be more than that.  Of course, even weighing myself and then weighing myself holding the bag, it was still about 17 lbs, but that just doesn't seem right.  I'll compare it to what Isabelle weighs on it tomorrow.  She's about 50 lbs, which is the limit for the plane.

I decided to leave a little treat for the girls each day.  I put a Hug and a Kiss in a bag for each of them and put them all in a brown bag with a little note from me....

Hugs and kisses

I made sure that the one for Saturday reminded them that it's their Daddy's birthday.  I feel bad that I'll be gone for his birthday, but I figure since he forgot my 30th birthday (and 31st...) that it makes us even.  ;)  I thought about having something delivered to him for his birthday, but he's not a flower kind of guy and I don't know if he'd like one of those edible bouquets.  If only they made a edible bouquet out of beef jerky and cheese....

Well, I need to get a few more things done before trying to sleep.  I can't wait to share pictures and stories with you guys!  Have a wonderful week....

Friday, January 27, 2012


I have two words for the chick at work who came up in my front office sniffling and sneezing.  And it's not "feel better."

I am sick.

I woke up this morning and I promise you I sneezed like 25 times in a 5 minute span.  I took my Zyrtec, hoping maybe the allergens were just super bad today.  But... alas... I just never felt better.  I realized shortly before lunch that I was coming down with a cold.  Two days before my cruise and I get sick.


So, at lunch I ran to Walgreens and bought some zinc lozenges.  Here's what I have to say about zinc lozenges.... while they actually do lessen your symptoms (shortening the duration is yet to be seen), I felt like I had picked up a stone to suck on.  They are so gross and they dry your mouth out.  It takes me almost half an hour to finish one off.  But I do feel better for about an hour.

Oddly enough, before I realized that I had this cold coming on, I had stumbled across a pin on Pinterest about mixing honey and cinnamon as a cold remedy.  So, after I got the kids in bed tonight, I tried to find it, unsuccessfully - but I am craving cinnamon rolls thanks to the search results - and just googled it.  Apparently honey and cinnamon is a cure-all for everything.  Who knew?

But it said for colds to mix about a tablespoon of honey and 1/4 a spoon (what kind of spoon?  just a spoon, I guess) of cinnamon in lukewarm water.

Warm cinnamon and honey water.  It tastes bettter than zinc lozenges for sure

Yes, I did it.  I'm desperate.  No one wants me snotting and sneezing all over the cruise ship.

Much to my dismay, I somehow do not have any regular clover honey.  I have buckwheat honey, which I bought to  use as a cough syrup for the girls.  Which they refuse to take because it's nasty.  I don't really care for honey all that much in the first place, but buckwheat honey tastes like liquid raisins and raisins taste like shriveled evil.  But I figure honey is honey and even raisins taste better than zinc.

I might have actually enjoyed the drink if it had been clover honey.  It wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible.

I finally found the pin.  It was bugging me =)

We'll see how all this homeopathic stuff does for me.  I need to feel human tomorrow - I have so much stuff to do.  Laundry, grocery shopping, finish up packing, prepare as much as possible for my husband.  I simply can't be sick right now.

Oh, and in case the mug has you curious... my dentist rocks.  And he's cute.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Big Fat Chicken

Oh my goodness, y'all.  I am freaking out.  You can tell I'm freaking out because I said "y'all" and I can't stand that word.

Two days.  Three sleeps.  And I'm off to that big boat to sail far, far away.  I could throw up already and I'm not even sloshing around on the ocean yet. (Actually, I'm hoping to not throw up at all - I don't recall ever getting motion sickness, but I have motion sickness pills just in case)

I went to the bank today to withdraw the cash I'm taking.  It's that close.  I have begun packing.  It's that close. 

Source: via Kristie on Pinterest

Jamaica.  Next Thursday, I will be there.  Grand Cayman the day before that and Cozumel the day before that.  So much blue and green and sand.  This is such a dream come true.

I've been checking out the excursions online.  You know, I'm going with a group of  about 20 ladies, and the majority of them want to go snorkeling in Cozumel.  Can I just share something with you?  I am claustrophobic and kind of afraid of being underwater.  Watching video shot underwater makes me hold my breath.   Just the idea of snorkeling  makes me feel panicky.  I would end up having a panic attack, sucking water into my snorkel and drowning right there with Nemo and Dory laughing at me.  It's just not happening.  Luckily, my sister doesn't care to go snorkeling either, so I won't feel bad about bailing out on that.

One of the ladies also mentioned parasailing.  Aside from the fact that I find it hard to justify paying $90 to fly in the air for 8 minutes, I don't think I could do that either.  I like the idea of it.  But I know how I am about heights.  I took the girls on the Ferris Wheel at the state fair last year and if I thought they would have stopped it to let us off, I would have been screaming to get off.  Instead I bit my tongue so the swearing I was doing wasn't as recognizable to the kids and held on so tight that I was sore the next day.  So, yeah, parasailing... I'd probably pee on myself and then someone would get a picture of that and I'd be embarrassed forever.

(I'm sure that's a visual no one needed.)

So basically, I am a big chicken and need to do stuff that keeps my feet on dry ground.

I told my sister I don't want to be a drag and she doesn't have to feel like she can't do stuff because I don't want to.  I honestly wouldn't mind exploring on my own.  Right after Bill and I got married, he got shipped off to South Korea and I managed to save up the money to fly out to see him for a week.  He still had to work, so I had to explore the area by myself.  I had fun - well, as much as you can in South Korea.  It's not exactly Disneyland. I'm sure I'll be very busy with my BFF Nikon.

I bought some yarn today for the baby blanket I'm going to work on while we are flying.  I wanted something unisex and I wasn't feeling the pastels, which is the bulk of the colors of baby yarn.  I ended up buying a really bright rainbow-colored variegated yarn.  I'm not a big fan of variegated yarn.  I think it is really tricky to find a good pattern for most of them.  And I pretty much regretted buying the yarn right away, thinking it would just be a splotchy, clowny-looking mess.  But I decided to get a head start on the blanket and I actually like it.  It should be a bright, fun blanket.  Babies like that =)  I'll try to get a picture of what I have so far before I leave out.  I may not be able to finish it on the plane, but I'll definitely have a good chunk of it done.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Did you know...?

That you can take crochet hooks (and knitting needles) on airplanes?

I thought surely they would be prohibited.  While I think a crochet hook would make a pretty crappy weapon unless you had a tiny steel hook, knitting needles could be kind of dangerous.  I guess us crafty types aren't generally dangerous and those dangerous types look for better weapons than a G hook.

Anyway, just out of curiosity,  I looked it up on the TSA website and it clearly states you can bring them.  I might even print it out, just in case someone wants to give me lip.  =)  I'm sure that would get me a full body search, flapping a sheet of paper at them telling them they're wrong.

I've been asked if I would make a baby blanket to donate to a basket a friend of a friend is creating... it's for moms with babies who have Down's Syndrome.  I think that would be a good project for doing on a plane...  I have a soft spot in my heart for parents of special children like that.  I think God hand-picks some really amazing people for that job.

So... just a handful of days to go until we set sail.  I still can't really believe I'm getting to go.  I'm excited, of course, but I can feel the worry and anxiety over leaving my family creeping up.  My neck and shoulders are already bunching up.  I know everything will be fine.  I've tried to sit back a little more and watch my husband with the kids... he's so good at helping them with their homework and can somehow get them to pick up their messes better than I can.  I don't see that all that much since we work opposite shifts.  I know he's fully capable of keeping all four of them alive for a week, but it's hard to imagine that they won't suffer somehow without me to run the show.  LOL  I guess it's possible that they won't miss me nearly as much as I worry about... which is a whole other worry in and of itself.

I don't know how much of what I had planned to get done before my trip that will get done.  I'm just not feeling the whole sewing thing right now.  I was so excited to get back in front of the sewing machine and I just didn't feel it when I got there.  I'm sure it will come.  Crocheting is just easier to relax with.  I can watch TV and it's quieter.  Takes less space.  Blah, blah, blah...

Wrapped ear buds

However, I did wrap the cords on the ear buds to my MP3 player.  I saw a pin on Pinterest a long time ago of wrapped earbuds and decided to figure it out.  I don't think I did it the same way, but it worked and I like it.  It seemed a like an awful lot of work since I rarely use the thing and even then, I rarely have tangled cords.  But now my pink Sansa has pale green cords and it's pretty.  What else matters?  =)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Why I haven't read Harry Potter yet...

I love books.  I love to just escape into a story.  Sometimes a little too much. 

I remember when I was growing up and my mother was sick, not having been diagnosed with MS yet.  Her doctors thought she was literally crazy and put her on the mental health unit of the hospital.  I remember her telling me that the doctor asked her how much she read (both my parents are also avid readers) and he told her he thought that he thought she had problems separating reality from fiction.  It was total BS, she was genuinely ill, but I can see how some people can have that problem. 

When I get into a book, it sometimes borders on obsession.  And series are the worst for me.  It's even more time spent getting to know this fictional character and when the book ends, or - even worse - the series ends, I'm all like, "wait!  I miss you!" and feel all mopey because it's over.

I may possibly be crazy.  My mother is not, but I wouldn't be surprised if I were.

I missed the boat with the whole Harry Potter craze.  When the first few books came out, I dismissed them because I'm not into wizards and whatnot.  My little sister has every one of the books, and I recently started to think maybe I'd read them.  Why not see what the hoopla is all about?  I haven't actually sat down to watch any of the movies, either.  That should come as no surprise since I rarely watch movies anyway.

But I still haven't gotten around to asking for the books, so I started The Hunger Games trilogy.

And now I think I might push off reading Harry Potter for a while longer.

I was so into these books that they have literally left me an emotional wreck.  I'm kind of embarrassed by the way I've acted today because I finished the series and it was so devastating.  Actual tears were shed... not while reading the books, although it was close.... but hours after the fact.  I had to get away and just let myself cry like a baby for these people in this book.  It's ridiculous.  It's really taken me all day to get a grip on myself.

I may not have read Harry Potter, but I have heard enough about the books to know I'd be getting into the same thing... getting attached to characters and something terrible happening to them.  I can't do that to myself again for a while.

Luckily, it's not always like that.  I've read all the Stephanie Plum series so far, and to be honest, I think it's past time for that series to end.  I enjoyed them up until the past two or three and it's like the same story over and over.  Sookie Stackhouse.... I'm glad there are only 2 more of those left because it's getting old, too.  Plus, these people go through way too much death and destruction to be able to be functioning human beings.  They should be in straight jackets by now. 

I think I need something warm and fuzzy to read right now, though.  Something without blood or death or tragedy.  Go dig out a Ramona Quimby book or something.  I actually do have a Junie B. Jones book that we haven't gotten around to yet.... Man, I love Junie.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I'm almost to the point where I need to start cutting and sewing on my cruise outfit I have planned.

And I'm seriously nervous about it.

I was playing around with the fabric and I really think it's going to be awesome.  If it turns out the way I want. 

Am I the only one this ridiculous?  Any time I strike out on my own, I'm so pumped and then I just start second-guessing every move.  Crocheting isn't as bad... I can always frog and haven't lost much in the process, but fabric.... well, once it's cut, it's cut.

I am telling myself that even if it doesn't turn out, there should be plenty of fabric to salvage to make something for the girls, so it won't be a total waste.

I gotta do it though.  Tomorrow night, the sewing machine is back in action...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Don't start!

I've been thinking of what kind of project to take with me on my cruise.  I really don't know that I'll actually do anything like that, but I like to be prepared.  I can't imagine an entire week of not hooking.  But I don't want to take up too much room in my luggage with yarn.  It gets a bit bulky, you know.

Then it hit me. 

I've been wanting to do this for a loooong time, but just haven't had a time when I didn't feel like there was something more pressing I wanted to do.

I don't have a really good picture to show you... even the project page on Ravelry was pretty barren until I checked it yesterday.  Here's the cover of the book the pattern comes from, which is a close up of what I want to do....

I want to make this Overlay Mandala Pillow Cover.  It's made with embroidery thread, not yarn.  40 skeins (are they called skeins?) of embroidery thread.  Sounds like a lot, but it all fit in my hand. 

Yes, I went out and got everything I need for it today, minus the actual pillow it would go on.  And I felt really bad, picking out the thread..... the girl was trying to do inventory.  It felt like watching someone count and then yelling out random numbers to screw them up.  Hopefully since I only had to get 8 colors, she won't put up a picture of me with the caption "Shoot On Sight" in the break room at Hobby Lobby.

So, anyway... it'll take up less space than a skein of yarn, and it's a complicated pattern, so I don't think I could finish it in a matter of a few days. I think that's a winner.

Of course, now that I have everything to make it, I'm itching to get started.  Must. restrain. myself.  I have other things to do....

But, I  did go ahead and prepare myself a little bag.... separated the thread by color, wound two skeins per color onto bobbins... stuck my pattern and teeny tiny hook in there and we're ready to cruise!  Well, that is anyway.  It's a bit early to pack anything else. 

So that's what I'll be doing on the cruise, when I'm not reading or eating or taking 5000 photos or God knows what else....

I'll shut up about it now.  I'm really trying to not be annoying about it, and I do know how annoying hearing about it can be.... I work with some of the most cruising-est people I've ever known and I always wanted to punch them in the head for going on about it.  But it's just so exciting!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I have an idea.

Today I had to take Olivia to the pediatric endocrinologist to be told that her pediatrician's office can't measure correctly.  Yeah... half relieved that she doesn't have some hormone imbalance, half irked because I'm going to have to pay for that, mostly out-of-pocket because they are out-of-network.  Oh well.  She is underweight, but that's not something an endocrinologist deals with, and I think we'll try to deal with that ourselves before seeking out more medical advice.

Anyway, I took the rest of the day off to have lunch with Miss Liv (where she hate half a slider and declared herself stuffed... =/ ) and we did a little shopping.  I hadn't been to Joann's in forever.  I haven't really sewn in forever either.  But I've been having the itch and wanted to make myself something for the cruise.


Wow, those colors are way dark in the picture.

I got some purple knit fabric and a pretty green cotton print.  They were going to go together, but I have a plan developing and the green cotton is losing purpose. 


Yes, the yarn is involved also. 

I'm hoping this works out the way it is in my head.  And that it looks good on me if it does.  I'm anxious about it... I don't work with knit much.  And I don't design for myself either. 

Fingers crossed....

Oh no... I just realized if it does work out that I have to model it.  Geez.  I hate being in front of the camera.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Oh, oats...

I hate oatmeal.  I mean, I really, really want to like oatmeal.  I love how it smells.  I love eating out of bowls.  Whenever I make it for the girls I wish it didn't make me gag.  It's just so slimy and lumpy.

I'm not a Greek yogurt fan.  I like yogurt, but the Greek kind is just a little too thick and tangy.

So I find this recipe...

Oats mixed with almond milk, greek yogurt, cocoa powder, and chia seeds, then left in the fridge overnight.

And for some reason, I think... "I should try this."  My hope was that preparing the oats like this will make them less slimy.  I mean, I really do want to like oatmeal.

And the chia seeds?  I hadn't even heard of them until I saw this recipe.  Yes, these are the things you smear on the chia pets.  You can eat them.  Who knew?  Then I did a little research and they sound amazing.  Really good for you.  I was sure I'd have a hard time finding them unless I wanted to visit the hole-in-the-wall health food store.  But there they were, in the bulk bins at Kroger.  And since they were in the bulk bins, I didn't have to buy a lot... just in case.  I got about 1/2 a cup of them and it cost me $.80.   They have no taste, and if you soak them, they expand alot (haven't tried that yet) and you can make a pudding of sorts from it.  They are supposed to help keep you full (since they expand so much) and are supposed to help regulate blood sugar.

I also bought almond milk, although I'm sure you could make it with just plain old cow's milk.  But then I noticed that almond milk has far fewer carbs than regular milk, which is awesome for a diabetic like me.  I love cereal, but you add the carbs of cereal to the carbs of milk and it's just more than I need in a meal.  I had the girls taste it with me and no one thought it was gross.  It doesn't taste just like cow's milk, but it would take a little getting used to if I were to try to drink it straight.  I'm not a fan of just drinking milk anyway.

So what's the verdict of my mixing up old things that I think are gross and new things?

Well... it wasn't slimy.  I tried... I had several bites before I gave up.  I think I might have enjoyed it more with bananas, but I was pushing my carb limit as it was.  It wasn't bad, but I didn't enjoy it and why eat something you don't enjoy?

Oh, oats... you have eluded me again.  My sister has been saying I should try some steel-cut oats.  It's worth a shot... if I don't like them, I'm sure she'll take the extra off my hands.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Wearing me out...

That's what this year is doing to me so far.  I'm just hoping we're getting the rough spots over now so that the rest of the year will be spectacular.  I'll make it spectacular regardless. 

My Dodo

My poor little Dodo is running a fever... with a sore throat.  Of course this has to start on the weekend.  This is her third time in less than 3 months to have what I'm sure is strep.  So, in addition to looking at the possibility of Olivia having surgery in the next few months to remove and replace the tubes in her ears, I have a sinking feeling Zoe's going to end up with a tonsillectomy before too long. 

My Livi

I'm trying to really concentrate on improving the nutrition in our house... something accelerated by that beautiful kiddo.  She's underweight, to the point that some of my friends and family have expressed concern about it.  She may also be having some growth issues, too, according to her pediatrician.  We're going to have it looked at, but hopefully it's nothing that improving her diet won't address.

Zoe's purple shrug

I finished Zoe's shrug yesterday.  She was so happy and wore it to bed.  I had to take it off of her after a while... I was hoping that's why she was feeling a bit warm.  Alas...   This one fits a little snugger than the green one because I left off the extra rows of sc around the bottom and front.  I didn't have enough yarn for that.  She's fine with the short sleeves, too, so at least the two shrugs are more different than just color.  I need to finish Isabelle's now... it's a different kind of yarn, so it will definitely have a different look to it.


Not much to say about my Isabelle right now.... except this is a good indication of her mood lately.  Quite disagreeable most of the time.  She doesn't want me to call her Izzy anymore.  I can't really refuse.  When I was little I hated being called Jenny, so I understand.  I do so love calling her Izzy though.   I have difficulty calling her by her new chosen nickname though.  Velveeta may be a beautiful name to her, but it just cracks me up.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I wish I could have seen my own face

I'm going to tell you about my embarrassing moment today, which I actually - for some bizarre reason - didn't get nearly as mortified about as you would think.

My aunt passed away last week and today was her funeral.  I had recently bought a skirt while thrift shopping and had decided to wear it to the funeral.  I never wear skirts or dresses.  Up until the past few weeks, I didn't even own any.  But I wanted something kind of dressy for the cruise and had picked up this skirt while looking for shorts.  So this was the first time in several years that I've worn a skirt. 

When I arrived at the church, there was a young guy and a younger boy outside.  I walked around them, grabbed the door and as I opened it I felt like something was wrong.  Like parts of my body were colder than I would think they should be.  With my free hand I feel around my hip and notice there is no skirt there... my skirt had fallen down past my bottom!  I look up, see my cousin (luckily one that I'm close to), grab my skirt, mouth "OH MY GOD!" and swing the door shut while trying to hike up my skirt... trying to ignore the fact that not only are there two males possibly staring at my backside (thank goodness for opaque tights is all I have to say) but who knows who else might have arrived in the parking lot.

Properly dressed again, I opened the door again and walked in like nothing had happened.  My cousin is cracking up and my father is just shaking his head saying "I didn't just see that."  Another cousin (my aunt's granddaughter) came up to me and gave me a hug and said "Thank you so much, you have no idea how much I needed that."  I think that helped me to not be too embarrassed... at least it provided a little comic relief to an otherwise somber event.  I'm just glad that (as far as I know) only 3 people witnessed it (not counting the guys outside).

When I was in the restroom, making sure my skirt was securely tucked into my tights' waistband, I noticed that it had been taken in at some point.  Apparently the material stretches out as you wear it.  I will have to alter it if I ever plan to wear it again... revise the waistband and put some elastic in there I guess.  Or maybe this is just a sign that I don't need to wear skirts at all.... 

Aside from that, it was a lovely service and I got to see family and friends that I hadn't seen in a very long time.  One of my aunt's sons is a pastor, so I got to hear him preach for the first time and his sons sing.  It was all very beautiful.

The funeral was held at the church I grew up in.  It looks very different... it's expanded greatly since I was a kid.  The whole area is different.  But it was definitely a walk down memory lane driving out there and seeing people who watched me grow up.  It made me miss being a kid and miss my Grandma and Pawpaw.  Sometimes I cringe about the goofy and dorky things little Jenny did, but who doesn't?  Obviously I'm still doing goofy and dorky things, but I stopped letting people call me Jenny long ago.  I don't think I'd mind so much anymore, though.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Livi's Granny Shrug

I've been slowly working on granny shrugs for the girls since New Year's.  I have half of Zoe's finished, and half of Isabelle's finished.

And I just finished Olivia's.

She was picky.  She wanted the sleeves longer and she had to be able to button it.  She also wants a heart on one side and a flower on the other.  I had to draw a line somewhere.

Olivia's granny shrug

I picked the buttons because they actually go with both her shrug and Zoe's shrug.  I only have one more button, so hopefully I can convince Zoe she just needs one.  And that her sleeves are good short so I don't have to buy another skein of yarn.

Shrug buttons

I used Lion's Brand Hometown USA in Monterey Lime.  I love this yarn... it's what I used for their Easter baskets.  I am totally digging super bulky yarn lately.  When I started working on my Mater hat, I had to double check that I hadn't accidentally grabbed some sport-weight yarn because it just looked so thin compared to what I've been playing with lately.

Granny shrug

As modeled by the Dodo.... it clashed with Olivia's uniform (not that it kept her from wearing it to school today, which makes my heart happy)

I should have the other two finished soon, I think.  They can't wait. =)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mater is no longer a tater

I had serious doubts that I would finish the Mater hat in time for my cousin's son's birthday party.  To the point that I almost didn't even try to finish it.  But, after making a fool out of myself Zumba-ing (privately, with the Wii... I try to avoid public humiliation), I felt like attempting to boost my seriously damaged ego (really, I can't dance.  At all.) and try to fix my Mater Potato Head.

I didn't have time to do the tire ear flaps (bummer) but that's OK.  I think it looks much more Mater-ish than it did, so I am happy.  Plus, how can you look at this and not smile...

That's more like it!

Making it 3D helped a bunch.  And fixing his teeth.

Mater hat

Happy Birthday, Grant!  (yeah, that's Zoe, not Grant.  With all the kids and fun happening, I only got a very fuzzy shot of him with it on.  He seemed to like it though.  His 5 year old brothers liked it more, I think ;) )

My cozy little Kindle

Holy smokes, Batman, what a horrid week this has been.  I have two posts sitting in drafts that I've written the past few days, just pouring out everything, but I am not sure they'll ever get posted.  While I know you'd be supportive, it's all really personal and sensitive.  It's just been a very stressful and emotional week and I am hoping to be in better spirits soon.

In the meantime, while procrastinating on fixing dear Tater Mater, I made a little something.... get this... for me.  Yeah, I know.  I told you this week was off.

I bought some Bernat colorama yarn at Hancocks last week in a very rare and unexpected solo trip.  It's a super bulky yarn in the most gorgeous blue color named Raging Sea.  I had no real plans for it, just couldn't pass it by.  The girls were suggesting things I could make for them with it and I just knew what I wanted to make and I knew it wasn't for them.  I think I was feeling selfish because they've been wearing me out this week.  Wearing me out, you hear?  Dear God, I love those children, but they are killing me this week.


Here's what I made...

Kindle cozy

Kindle cozy

I need a button for the flap.  I never have any buttons.  I feel like, as a crafty person, I should have an abundance of buttons, however I have squeaked by with only buying what I need when I need it.  Shhh, don't tell the craft police on me.

It was super duper easy to make.  I just made a chain as wide as my Kindle +1, and then sc'd across and back around... then worked rows in sc until it was as tall as my Kindle.  Then added a flap.  I'm pretty sure there are about 347 tutorials on eReader sleeves so I'm not taxing my brain to write a formal pattern.  There's really not much left right now to tax.  I'm worn out, tapped out, wrung out. 

TGIF, for real.

I have a different Kindle case planned... a fancier felt version... but this took like an hour to make and will work better if I want to just toss it in my purse.  Since it's super bulky yarn, it's pretty well padded and nice and cozy.  And, you know, if my brain is more permanently fried than I hope it is, I at least have one, just in case I don't get around to making my other one.

So here's to a better next week... if I disappear, don't worry.  I'll just be taking a huggy jacket break in that pretty padded room.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stupid Mater.

I'm working on a new pattern.  We're going to my cousin's son's 9th birthday party on Saturday and it's a Cars theme.  So I thought I'd make him a Mater hat.

Only he doesn't look quite right to me so far...


He looks like a goofy potato or something. 

I compared yarn to pictures and my rust-colored yarn was far more rustier-colored than the pictures.  But this brown screams potato to me. 

I think I need to make his mouth 3D.  It just doesn't look right.  And different teeth.  Those are just a mess.

I'll work on him some more tomorrow night.

I'm pretty excited about my planned earflaps, though.  They're going to be tires.  *snicker*

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ear Flap Tutorial

I have had a few people ask me for this.  I'm very honored that you like my work enough to ask me for direction here.  And I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get it up.  I made plenty of them the past few weeks, but I have to have a nice quiet night to actually get good pictures, and that was rare.  I finally had one of those nights and took pictures of the ear flaps I made for my daughter's zebra hat.

I've seen several ways to actually make ear flaps and, for me, my technique is easiest.  I hope you think it's pretty simple, too.

Again, I was working on a zebra hat, so that's what you'll see here.  The same directions apply to any hat you're adding ear flaps too, sock monkeys or whatever.

You will begin with your finished beanie.  Fold it in half with the seam running up the back of the hat and mark the stitch in the crease, like so, with some scrap yarn.


Alternatively, you can also count, of course.  I get distracted too easily, so this is easier

Decide how wide you want your ear flaps.  For a child-sized beanie, which usually have 60 stitches in the last rows, I go with 13 stitches.  For adult sizes, I bump it up to 15 or 17.  I prefer odd numbers to start with, and you'll see why in a second, but it really doesn't matter.  For this tutorial, I'm going to go with 13.

So, find one of your marked stitches.  Count 6 stitches to the right and attach your yarn. (This is why I prefer odd numbers, so the marked stitch is the middle number and there is an equal number on either side of it, but that may just be a touch of OCD talking.)

Ch 1, HDC in the next 13 stitches.  Ch 1, turn

When you begin each row from here on out, you will skip the first stitch to decrease.  You could just do a decrease stitch, but I think it looks just fine skipping the first stitch.


You will decrease a stitch on each row until you get to a row with just 6 stitches.  Finish off and weave in the ends.


If you are doing two or more colors, it's OK to just run the yarn up the sides when you switch colors.  Then I suggest doing a row of HDC around the entire hat, just to smooth out the egdes.  I don't usually do this with sock monkey hats, because I'm not switching colors, but it's a nice finishing touch.  Finish off and weave in your ends.  Next we will make the tassel.

I used a bulky yarn and used 6 strands per tassel.  You will probably want to use 12 per tassel of worsted weight.  The length will vary depending on how long you want.  You want it about 2 1/2 times the desired finished length. Tie a piece (or two if worsted) of yarn into each of the six bottom row stitches.


Tie a knot into the tassel close to the earflap, like so.


I then braid the strands and tie a knot  at the bottom.


You can trim the ends to be even.  The knots can be a little tricky to get even, just remember to leave them loose until you get them into a good spot and then tighten them - and tighten them well.  =)

There you go.... ear flaps for your hat!  Like I said, you can use this on sock monkey hats, or just about any other hat that would benefit from ear flaps.  Make them solid or multi-colored.  Make the tassels solid or multi-colored.  Just experiment and have fun.

If you have any questions, please feel free to send them my way!  I tried to be as clear as possible, and I think it's a pretty simple process, but sometimes I confuse even myself.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January To Do...

I am going to try to slow down a bit from the frantic pace I kept up in December, but probably not much.  I leave for my cruise on the 29th and have a lot I want to get done before then.  I'm so excited!

I want to rest my hooks a tiny bit and love on my sewing machine.  She's been pretty neglected.  But I don't think I'll be able to stay away from the yarn for long.  Let's see what I have planned:

I need to finish the peg people I had planned for Christmas but ran out of time to finish.  And I should make them a home, too...

I actually want to turn their bookcase into a doll house, too, but they need a travel home. ;)

Make a cover for my Kindle

Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest

Make some travel accessories

My camera needs some beautification, maybe?

Make one last South Park set.

Work on trying to make a crocheted version of the BeeGees.

Work on translating this awesomeness into some crochet patterns.  And several other ideas...

Make Granny Shrugs for the girls.  This will be a super quick project.

I also need to figure out what kind of project to take on my cruise to work on.  I won't be able to take too much yarn, and I might not even get a chance to work on it.  I may just read in my down time.  But just in case....


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