Thursday, January 31, 2013



So, January has proved to be a rather delinquent blogging month.  I blame Downton Abbey, which Don and I finally caught on to and spent most of our nights together this month catching up on. Holy cow, what a good show.  Now we are all caught up...  and might just need to start watching again from the beginning. 

We have successfully got back in the swing of things here. Amy has been really loving preschool lately.  She still says that she wants to be homeschooled, but I can see how much she enjoys the change of pace her "school" mornings bring.  I have spent a huge amount of mental energy this month thinking over her schooling options for next year.  I could go into all the pros and cons on my mind as a post here but I think I need to let it all gel a bit more, now that I think we've made a decision.  More on that later. 

Today I took her on her class field trip to the local news station to meet the weather man - a short little outing but she had a great time and even appeared (briefly) on the evening news. It was an interesting occasion for me to reflect on our status here.  We've lived here a year now but clearly are far from being locals.  We don't watch the local news.  All the other parents on this trip have known of this weather man practically since their own childhoods.  Just one of those things that make one think about much one does, does not, or can put down roots and make connections when one moves every few years.  Hmm. 

William picked out some new pajamas the other day - he has been beyond excited about them, because they have cars on them.  I don't think it matters that they are Cars with a capital "C"... we haven't watched those movies, but my, this boy does love his cars, of any kind.  Amy has been sporting some tiny braids in her hair for most of the week.   She requested them after bath one night and I obliged, but they turned out really cute and have held up through the baths and sleeping since.  


I'm behind on sewing but my house is pretty clean.  I sorted through a huge stack of recipes torn out of magazines and have filed them into their proper "try me" section of my recipe book.  That was exciting.  I'm on a chair kick, apparently, and have my sights set on purchasing a nice big arm chair for the living room in the near future.  All we have is our couch and the silly $25 thrift store glider bought almost four (really?) years ago and still going strong.  Good pieces and all but could use another place to sit.  

There's more of course but that's about all of my mind I care to dump out tonight.  I'm going to try a challenge to myself for the month of February - to post something here every night if I can, even if it is only one picture or a brief thought.  I seem to have a personal blogging glass ceiling of 4-6 posts per month, and lately I've been getting so hung up on "waiting till I have something good to say" that I need to get my writing flowing again and just get stuff up here.  A number of my blog friends out there seem to be on the same trend; I can't claim this as an entirely original idea.  

So, there.  See you tomorrow, I hope!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Chair, Finished


Ta da!  Finally finished re-finishing my Goodwill chair last week.  I moved pretty quickly on this project, by my standards, but got hung up for a bit on the fabric for the seat.  My "vision" involved some sort of patchwork of some of the super-cute fabric I've been hoarding - a chance to showcase something unique on a one-of-a-kind chair for my desk/sewing room.  I couldn't quite get the random-patchwork idea I had in my head onto paper, but decided to do a trip around the world pattern instead, which got me to here: 


And it was cute... but... a little too much.  Maybe too many fabrics, maybe too small a scale, or maybe just too much else going on in the room, but in any case it wasn't working for me.  So I shopped around a bit for something a bit easier on the eyes and finally ended up with this: 


Which is a Moda fabric, from the "Marmalade" line, I think.  Got it from ebay but saw it lots of places.  The background is a touch more creamy than it looks in this picture, but the blue is an almost perfect match to the paint color.  The trendy twist on a traditional pattern and the calm colors ended up being just what I needed. After that was decided, the assembly took all of five minutes.  I had the foam all ready to go, just wrapped two layers of batting (scraps I had on hand) and a layer of white muslin and then the fabric and stapled it all to the underside of the seat, and reattached the screws.  All done! 


Now I'm continuing to play with the little TATW square I started.  That has been one of my favorite quilt patterns since I was a little girl.  I love how one can use so many fabrics, I love the flow of it and how the design starts to pop once it gets big.  I've always wanted to make one.  Sigh.  I'll be limited by the amount of certain fabrics I have for this one, but for now I've worked it out to nearly lap-sized.  Might still be too visually busy, but I'm enjoying the process anyway. 


(See how I started the next project before completing the first one - of course!) 
Anyway, so that's my sewing progress for now.  And in the yarn department, I finished this today: 


Made this same hat for Amy when she was a year old and had so much yarn left that I just had to do another in a bigger size.  It was definitely a quick project, even for a slow knitter.  Two projects complete, and it's only January?  Not a bad start to the year! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

First Sweater


Got all bogged down in the past week or so with too big a stack of papers and such that went with "computer time" that I didn't get around to a post because I hadn't uploaded pictures because the pile of other stuff I had to do was too big.  Yeesh.  But it's better now, and before my computer battery dies (I need a deadline!) I want to write a quick post all about the sweater that I miraculously finished with time to spare, before Christmas.  Maybe because I had no intention of this being a Christmas present.  But, much to my surprise, I finished it, and stuck it under the tree for Amy.  

And bless her heart, she really likes it.  The pattern is this, made up in Cotton-Ease, in a color which I forget the name of - terracotta maybe?  It's a little more rust-y than it looks in the picture.  The yarn was nice to work with, the pattern was straight forward, and I didn't screw anything up too badly.  As I mentioned in my last post, this sweater was a huge victory for me.  I learned a lot of technique, and generally increased my proficiency to the point where I no longer feel like knitting is such a vexingly slow process.  

I added a little button found in my button box, and it was just right.  


Well, mostly.  The pattern clearly states that it is a cropped sweater, and I increased the length a bit but probably still could have made it longer.  Oh well.  

New Year's Goals, in the crafting department:  FINISH projects and USE SUPPLIES (aka, fabric and yarn) that I already own.  I have a ton of stuff, and honestly could stay plenty busy all year working just from what I have.  I really need to make a dent and stay thrifty (that being another New Year's goal).  So in progress already this month are: socks (first begun before I was even pregnant with Amy), a hat (probably a few - lots of yarn to use and new techniques I want to learn), an uninspired granny-square crochet afghan, which is up for review, and my cross-stitch projects.  Those all live in my bag downstairs.  Upstairs I am sewing a chair-topper-turned-trip-around-the-world quilt with some much coveted fabrics, finally.  Also nearly finished with the actual cover for the seat of that Goodwill Chair.  

Of course there is never enough time in the day to spend as much time as I'd like on these projects but I'm determined to make time, in some small way, every day.  Because after all, I have just as many hours as anyone else and there are plenty of fabulous ladies out there who do way more than I do in a day and find time for creative projects.  So no excuses. 

Speaking of excuses, I had better go work on something before the day slips away. Thanks for listening to my sewing/knitting mind dump! 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

In 2012

Well if I can squeak it in while January is still in the single digits I think I can do a year in review, in hopes of doing a follow-up post with some documentation (for my own sake) of goals plans and such for 2013. So, here it goes:

In 2012 I ...

: did not get my hair cut, not once.

: left the state of South Carolina only twice - once in May to visit friends and once in December to finally get back home to Connecticut.

: explored many places in South Carolina - including zoos, aquariums, the beach, parks, and libraries.  Visited familiar (and now nearby) places like Hilton Head, treasuring the chance to see my grandparents on a somewhat regular basis.  Visited Myrtle Beach for the first time, for an amazingly fun weekend with friends.

: hosted overnight guests on nine (I think) separate occasions.  Loved the luxury of having a guest room.

: found myself no longer in baby/toddler days, shifting completely into the busy world of preschooler days.

: settled into a new house.  Finally bought some grown up furniture.

: saw no snow.

: finally caved, and let Don buy a gun.

: watched Amy try all sorts of new things: dance class, drama class, art class, preschool (not all at the same time) with great success.

: listened to William learn to talk.

: grew comfortable with Don being away for a few weeks at a time, often.  Found new confidence.  Found that there were good surprises regarding his schedule more often than not.  Delighted in having him home like a normal working person for most of the last three months of the year.

: lost a very dear kitty.  And a betta fish.  Gained two goldfish.

: watched my kids grow closer and closer with each other.

: learned how to make pizza... or rather, how to make good pizza.

: maintained very special old friendships and formed very special new ones.

: finally made peace with knitting, once and for all.  I even completed my first person-sized sweater, showing here:


: finished two quilts, one huge crocheted afghan, and two baby blankets. Sewed two other quilt tops and a Halloween costume.  Wished I did more. 

And I think that's all I've got for now... no doubt there are other items of note.  It has been a good year for everyone, and I'm looking forward to everything 2013 may hold!