Category Archives: life

Moving On

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Welcome Back

I’ve spent the past month or so thinking about this space and what I want to do with it. Once I reached the 5 month mark of not returning, I assumed I would eventually wander in here and delete the whole deal. This journal is from a different part of my life. A part that sadly no longer exists and I didn’t know how to come back. Lucky for you folks, I’m incredibly lazy and never bothered to follow through.

 When I left in February, my life was in total upheaval and it still is to some degree. Things have finally come to a place where life should be settling down into a rhythm once again. And although it is a completely new-to-me rhythm, and not one I ever expected to be learning, I find myself looking forward to it. So when I got this tweet from Jan, it got me thinking again about the sweet old bloggy. I realized I’m not quite ready to give it up yet. So here we are again (after all these years. I never could resist a Paul Simon reference).

A lot has changed in the past few months. It’s just Izzy and me now, doing our own thing.

I’ve taken up a new hobby that really, really takes up all my time and energy. Especially my energy. And I can tell you one thing for sure, I never expected myself to be involved in this but I am so happy I am.

The friends I’ve made over the past few months make all the bruises, the soreness, the sweat, the tears, and the lingering knee injury worth it (note: that is not exactly my injury but the closest information I could find. My kneecap is not actually broken but does have some small fissures/cracks in it).

Of course, I still knit and stitch and fuss around making stuff. But it really has taken a bit of a back burner to the rest of my life.

Given all that’s changed, I’m not sure what direction this blog is going to go in. I still want to focus mainly on the crafting but that doesn’t happen nearly as much as it used to. Posting may happen once a week or maybe once every other week. Heck, maybe I’ll go crazy and be spurred by the blog to take up my breakneck speed again.

I know one thing for sure. I’m definitely not deleting the blog. The idea of finding a place to move all the tutorials that are still being used (judging from the page view stats) is pretty horrifying. I’d rather stay here and talk to you folks rather than do all that extra work. For now, we’re together again and that’s what matters.

(Didn’t you miss my abuse of parenthetical asides?!)


As you may have noticed, I haven’t blogged since New Year’s. I had all these plans and ideas for here and for the shop and not a single thing has been done. There’s a reason of course.

Some very serious changes are happening in my life and I’ve put everything on hold to deal with the situation. Life as I knew it has changed completely and it feels as though the world has been turned upside down. I haven’t had the time and/or the energy to deal with the issues going on and continue to bring content here at the same time. Some things have had to be cut.

I feel as though I am on the downside of the siutation now. The worst of it has been weathered and healing can hopefully begin. I am not, however, quite ready to return to this place. You’ll be the first to know when I am.

Until then, you can still find me loitering around the internet.



See ya around folks.

Looking Forward

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2011!

In addition to my crafting resolutions and my reading resolution, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish personally in 2011. Typically in the past, I’ve been a shunner of the resolution tradition. It seemed like everybody made the same resolutions every year and never stuck to them. “I’m going to get in shape!” “I’m going to stop smoking!” “I’m going to learn a new language!” And, reliably, in about 2 months time, the resolutions were forgotten and people returned to their status quo.

As I get older, I don’t think the problem lies in the idea of resolutions really. I think the problem lies in the way we go about them. America is the land of bigger, better, faster. Bigger cars. Bigger trucks. Bigger meals. Bigger malls. Bigger homes. Bigger tvs. Etc. Etc. It’s not surprising this is how we go about everything. It’s almost as if we are a nation (and generation) of hyperbole. You’re going to lose 5 pounds next year? I’m going to lose 100! You’re going to stop smoking? I’m going to stop smoking and run the New York Marathon!!!! Unrealistic.

We set ourselves up for these unrealistic goals that honestly couldn’t be achieved if we really tried. Then we feel 11 months of guilt when we don’t do them. And start the self-perpetuating cycle all over again next December 31. Where’s the logic in this?! It makes no sense at all.

I’m just as guilty of these hyperbolic resolutions as the rest of the country.  Last year, I read 45 books. Next year I’m going to read a million!! So this time, I’m looking at doing something I can really accomplish. Some things I know I (the hard to get started, lazy, sometimes overachieving person that I am) can actually do.

In 2011, I want to eat breakfast. I never do and consequently I’m starving at lunch and eat bunches of unhealthy things in my hypoglycemic rampage through the fast food district. Then I feel even worse because I’m bloated from hamburgers and 2 liter servings of pop. Awful. I didn’t eat breakfast today and I just had a healthy lunch. Guess what? I’m still hungry. Note: I do not actually have hypoglycemia. That’s more of that hyperbole I was talking about earlier. 

In 2011, I want to get outside more. Walks. Hikes. Sitting in the sun on my freaking deck. Vitamin D is good for us.

In 2011, I want to get rid of stuff and not bring in extra stuff. Do I need eleventy hundred necklaces? Honestly, my gut reaction is YES ABSOLUTELY. But not really. Those pants that haven’t fit since college? Gone. How about 3 rooms FULL of books? Not necessary. We have too much stuff. That $1 aisle at the front of Target? It was made for me. I get sucked in every. single. time. I don’t need it.

These are three of my resolutions I’m sharing here. Simple things that can be approached and changed on a daily basis but will have a huge impact on my life. That’s the way to do resolutions.

I hope. We’ll see if I’m eating my words in 12 months….

Handmade in 2010

At the end of 2009, I did a post which essentially counted up all the projects I had made in the previous year. I enjoyed doing that and having the opportunity to look back before moving forward. So I’m doing it again this year.

First the photos.

Not all projects are shown because 1. I don’t have photos of every thing I made, 2. Showing all the photos I do have would be…ridiculous, and 3. I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten several things.

While compiling this list, I was more than a little surprised. If you had asked me a couple weeks ago how I did in 2010, I would have told you not very well. I didn’t think I was very productive. But numbers don’t lie.

In 2010, I made approximately:

2 pairs of fingerless gloves
1 pair fingerless mitts
8 pairs of socks (not all completely finished)
6 hats (including ones for babies)
2 pairs of baby booties
2 baby sweaters
14 crocheted potholders
6 shawls
3 pair mittens
7 felt brooches
110 tatted snowflakes
21 mustaches
10 mustaches on sticks
1 large felt flower
5 happy snowmen ornaments
1 Ghostbusters cross-stitch
4 Marshall University ornaments
6 embroidery pieces for home decor
1 blanket
1 blanket to put together for a friend
7 assorted pieces of jewelry, including learning to bead
1 matryoshka ornament
1 cross-stitch pendant (separated because it was more cross-stitch)
2 crocheted hemp bird feeders
50-ish sock blanket squares
1 key cozy
7 tape measure cozies
1 knit sock ornament
6 knit mitten ornaments

2010 was indeed a very busy year. I drove myself crazy being obsessed with quantity. I had so many things I wanted to do and to try and I did try a lot of them. But I also got caught up in the frenzy of it all and forgot to actually stop and enjoy what it is I do.  The internet seems to harbor this Americanized idea of rush, rush, bigger, better, faster. The old saying used to be “15 minutes of fame” but the internet only gives you about 5 seconds. I want to take about 5 steps back from this frenzy, take a deep breath, and slow down. The world is not going to change much because I wasn’t able to make as many mustaches as I would like. Or because I only knit 2 pairs of socks instead of a bazillion. The only thing that will change is my own enjoyment of the process.

To that end I’ve come up with some crafty 2011 resolutions for myself. I want to
*focus on quality not quantity
*try to work from stash as much as possible. I have too much stuff.
*focus on ideas I have instead of getting caught up in the pretty things other people are making. I love using the patterns other people have made but I have some great ideas that are going to waste because I never make time for them.
*spend more time on my etsy shop
*do a 365 project. I recently found myself in a bookstore with a half off coupon and no real idea what to use it on. I found this book in the crafts section and an idea was born. I hope to do a 365 project using this book and embroidery. I’ll be posting my projects in a Flickr set and a weekly update here.

2010 was a very busy year. I accomplished a lot. My hopes for 2011 are more about simplifying and enjoying the process instead of rushing through in order to get to the next big thing.

Have you made any craft resolutions for 2011?

Snow Days

Over the past weekend we’ve had quite a bit of snowfall here in the Mountain State. Of course you know what that means. Cats in the snow. What? They wanted to go outside. Honest. At least I waited until it was well above 20F before I let them out. They were starting to go stir crazy.

Izzy ran outside and immediately jumped onto the porch railing because of this furry creature.

Jenna was really really really really excited that I and the cats were all outside. We were OUTSIDE! TOGETHER! CATS! And HUMAN WHO GIVES ME TREATS! Also, there’s a DOOR! with WARM! LET ME IN! SNOW TASTES GOOD! CATS!

 She was so excited her brain short circuted and she just sort of stood there.

And the inch or so of snow she’s standing in? That’s under our carport. That’s the snow we got in an area with a ROOF.

Not to be deterred by a dumb dog, Izzy continued walking down the railing.

The only problem with this is Izzy isn’t very smart. And she hasn’t seen snow for nearly a year which means she doesn’t remember it. Not very smart cat + soft, white, wet stuff she has no real memory of = hilarious photos for us.

Check out that stretched paw action. Claws fully extended. It’s as though her mind decided she could just stretch out far enough and there’d be no more snow. This would have to  ignore completely what her eyes are telling her since EVERYTHING was covered in snow out there. She’s cute. But she’s not bright.

After this she gave up and came back to me. Ready to be returned to the inside where her bed and the heater are.

Forget this crap. Let's go inside!

Guy on the other hand is smart. We know he’s smart. But I was impressed with him. He managed to only walk in spots with little to no snow.

He was bound and determined to be outside so he figured out the white stuff and got over it.

The humans cleared a path for me. Excellent.

That’s not really his path. That’s our path to the car.

And yes, this is really what I did while I was snowed in for 2 days last week. Laughed at my animals in the snow.

And took a photo of bird foot prints. It’s winter. There’s not much else to do…

It Will Be My Fault

Over the weekend we got a lot of snow. Well, not a lot by most of the world’s standards but a lot for early December in West Virginia. It prompted me to do something I’ve been meaning to do since I became a “responsible” adult.

You see, if it snows, I have to go out in the morning before work, in my dress shoes, and dig my car out. What kind of dress shoes do I own? Ballet flats. That’s it. My winter (and year round for that matter) shoe wardrobe consists of some sneakers and about 8 pairs of ballet flats. I might as well be barefoot in the snow.

Since it was snowing over the weekend and since I was particularly tired of having cold feet during the winter, I took myself to the store and made a wise purchase.

These bad boys have the rainboot bottom to keep my feet dry and are lined with an incredibly warm faux fur. And, AND, they’re guaranteed in temperatures up to -10 C. That’s Negative 10 Celcius people. Or 14 Farenheit.  Guess what the temperature was on Monday morning when I left for work? 16F.

My feet are warm. Oh, and my wool socks fit in there too. Toasty.

But you know what this means don’t you? I bought snow shoes that will keep my feet toasty warm only in the coldest of temperatures. In all other weather, I will have a heat stroke. Coupled with all of the wool socks I’ve knit, I’ve pretty much guaranteed that it will never snow again wherever I am. Sorry.