Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Off to the Woods

I don't have too much time, but I thought I'd give a little update: we're leaving tomorrow for a five-day vacation to Durango, Colorado. I can't wait! My parents rented a cabin for all of us, plus my brother who is flying in from Boston. I have projects packed, books on loan from the library, and the best babysitter for the whole trip (thanks, mom)! :) I hope to come back rejuvinated, in high spirits, and a little further on Pat's sweater and cross-stitch. Of course, there'll be pictures...

Take care!

Friday, May 16, 2008


I was tagged by Paula of Splitted Yarns! Here are the rules:

Tag the ABCs about you. Each player then tags 3 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

A- Attached or single: Attached
B- Best Friend: I don't have one "best" friend, but there are many people I love and care about from different times in my life
C-Cake or Pie: Pie
D-Day: Thursday--the weekend is just around the corner, plus Grey's Anatomy is on! :)
E- Essential Item: a Boppy (all you nursing moms out there will understand)
F- Favorite Color: blue
G-Gummi Bears or Worms: worms--I like to bite them where the colors change and eat them a little at a time (one of my OCD traits) :)
H-Home town: Los Alamos, New Mexico
I- Indulgences: wine--I like both white and red
J- January or July?: January. We tend to get a lot of snow in January, which I really enjoy
K-Kids: one son, two cats, and two dogs
L-Life is incomplete without: hope
M- Marriage Date: July 8, 2005
N- Number of Siblings: one younger brother
O- Oranges or Apples: apples (especially with peanut butter), but I also enjoy a good orange
P- Phobias or Fears: clowns and old dolls (especially the one at my grandparents' house with little teeth and human hair--yikes!). I am also afraid of flying.
Q- Quote: "All of the darkness in the world can't put out the light of one small flame"--anonymous
R- Reason To Smile: My son
S- Season: Fall--the leaves changing, more inside time for crafting, wearing sweaters again...
T- Tag Three: Ellie of EllieBelle, Britton of One Sew Sweet, and Julia of First Years
U- Unknown fact about me: I have had three piercings in my nose. Not all at once, though! I kept taking them out for one reason or another, then would get another piercing.
V- Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals: Oppressor of animals, but I do try to be informed about the meat I buy. I just love a good steak or burger (will green chili of course!)
W- Worst Habit: This is a weird one--when I'm nervous or stressed I pull on my eyebrow hair!Y-Your favorite food: Chips and salsa
Z: Zodiac Sign: Taurus, which does fit me pretty well.

Have a super weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My first Mother's Day was quiet and relaxing (similar to my birthday), but again, it's just what I wanted: sleeping in, going to church, finishing up my mom's present, having a small BBQ with my parents, having a movie night with my husband. We watched Juno, which I think was an appropriate Mother's Day film. Now I know why the movie received such high praise--I had much sympathy for all of the characters, and I liked how the issue of adoption was explored. I could relate to Vanessa, the adoptive mom, and her longing for a child. The director did a great job presenting a delicate issue.

Last night I finished my first crocheted garment: "Ring a Round the Posie" from Interweave Crochet, Spring 2008. It was a pretty fast project, and I enjoyed working on something different. About half-way through I didn't think I would like it, let alone actually wear it, but after I finished, my opinion changed. It actually doesn't look half-bad on! (I did take some pics of it being worn, but they were horrible--consider yourselves "spared").
Now I have finished two larger projects for myself while Pat has been waiting for a sweater for about a year and a half. I also owe him a completed counted cross stitch piece that I started over a year ago. So, next up: the Cobblestone Pullover. My goal is to complete it, as well as the cross stitch, by Father's Day. Hopefully I won't get side-tracked! :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Swap Bag Received!

Today I received my swap bag in the mail, and I absolutely love it! Joanna did a fabulous job, and I can't wait to use it and show it off! It has a double pocket inside plus a magnetic closure (a very good idea for this bag). Joanna also generously included extra fabric and trims, Japanese incense, a coin purse, and a recipe for strawberry shortcake. I am one lucky gal! Also, I wanted to maintain the element of surprise so I couldn't mention this before, but my swap partner, Ellie, received her bag on Monday. Coincidentally, she lives near some relatives I have in Wisconsin. It is such a small world... Definitely check out both swappers' blogs--there are sure some talented and artistic women out there!

Receiving my swap bag was perfect timing today as it is my birthday. I had a very peaceful and quiet day. We had dinner with my parents last night at one of my favorite New Mexican restaurants, I talked to some special relatives today, and of course there were a few presents. :) My favorite was a necklace from my husband. He bought it at the local craft fair over the weekend, and it's just perfect. I love handmade gifts--they're so unique and special. This is NOT the best angle of me, but I wanted to get a shot in of the necklace:

Thank you for all of your comments on my "mother guilt" post. Even my "little" brother left a sweet and helpful comment! I am feeling much better about it all. I think that happens sometimes--the highs and lows of motherhood. I know that I love my son, I'm not perfect, and I'm doing the best I can. I don't believe there's much more I can do than that. I'm also trying not to obsess over the news, but I'm trying to make small changes in my life for the better. That helps me as well becuase then I don't feel so helpless.

Now I'm off to share some cake and wine with my husband and watch The Milagro Beanfield War (and excellent movie!).

Friday, May 2, 2008

Show and Tell!

On my last post I promised some finished projects, and here they are! I've been quite busy! First, I have the "Pleated Beauty" bag I made for my swap partner. I hope that she likes it. Even though I made a test Pleated Beauty bag, I still made some pretty stupid mistakes this time around. I know that I should view each mistake as a learning experience, but really, I don't think I'll ever make this "Pleated Beast" (as another swap member called it) again! It is a cute design, but the instructions are a little difficult to follow, especially for a beginner like me (no offense, Amy Karol!). I wanted to throw in a little something extra for my swap partner, so I decided on this knitted washcloth along with a bar of juniper-scented soap I picked up at a craft fair a while back. The washcloth pattern is from Weekend Knitting (a book I highly recommend as much for the commentary and pictures as the patterns), and I used Knit Picks Crayon. I really enjoyed the yarn--a very economical, yet soft and natural, alternative to the suggested yarn.

I also used some stash yarn to quickly knit up a flower to felt and pin on the swap bag. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite the right shade of red. I'll save it to embellish something else down the road...

A couple of weeks ago I picked up Simple Crochet from the library. The projects are all, well, very simple, so I probably wouldn't buy the book. The fibers suggested, however, are unusual and surprising. I love Ericka Knight's ideas of using cloth strips, kitchen string from the hardware store, raffia, and leather. I made the following remote-control holder (now being used for keys instead) using one ball of kitchen string. Pretty good for 5 bucks!

Finally, my obsession with cloth diapers continues. It's been a long journey, so I won't go through it all again, but basically Matthew does best in pocket diapers as they wick the moisture away from his skin. Unfortunately, most pocket diapers cost at least $18 each! I would really like to cloth diaper him full time again, but our budget just doesn't allow for the upfront purchase right now. So, for the past week I've been searching the internet for pocket diaper patterns and doing some research about fabric. I ended up placing an order of PUL, microfiber and Aplix from Very Baby, which I received today. The PUL feels just like that of my name-brand diaper, and the microfiber is very soft. I decided to do a test run first on some fleece I had lying around. The pattern I used is for Rita's Rump Cover, but I did my own thing for the elastic casing. I'm glad I did a test run on some less-expensive fabric first, as there are definitely some things I'll do differently next time! Hopefully this will all work out with the PUL and microfleece. I'm just so excited about cloth diapers, especially the prospect of making my own, that I think my husband thinks I'm nuts. Hey, he won't think so when I save us hundreds of dollars, right? Riiiiight.