Too Little Excercise Leads to Too Much Aching May 13, 2013Posted by Sindy in Journal, WIDTW.
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Confused about the title? It’s like this – I used to help my Mom a lot. We’d work hard in the yard, the garden, and other places like the wood shop. Even when I became a web developer, on my days off I’d help her or my landlady. Then I became an author & illustrator, aka a desk jockey. Most of my days are now spent on the computer. I help out when I can, but that’s not very often.
Anyway, so one of the things I did this week was to help my landlady scrub a bathroom. The previous tenants didn’t open the window or have the fan going when they showered, so the walls were covered in mold. Talk about gag! And talk about sore shoulders. Correction, I don’t have shoulders, I have a couple of painful rocks on the top of my arms. And the job isn’t done! We only got through about a third of the scrubbing, and it’s a good thing we stopped when we did. Besides my shoulders, my head was hurting pretty bad from the fumes and the mold. I ended up taking three naps over two days and I still feel so tired like I’m trying to get sick.
BTW, after we get the rest of it scrubbed off (and I think I’ll wear a dust mask to reduce the fume intake), and we’re killing it with hydrogen peroxide as we go so it won’t come back, then we’ll paint the bathroom with some special mildew killing/preventing paint (2 coats), and she’s talking about connecting the fan to the lightswitch so it turns on automatically.
So, do you get the title? It’s simple, I had been slacking on my excercise and put myself in a position where I was too weak to be of much help and I easily over did it. Oh, and I found out this Sunday that I can’t fit in one of my favorite dresses anymore. T.T So note to self: crafting and drawing and writing are all very fun, but regular exercise is essential (and good hard work builds muscles faster and better than walking). I just need to find a way to do it regularly and make it super fun (besides playing with nephews ) so I want to do it.
On another note, I didn’t do much crafting this week except I made and sold three ruffle scarfs (and one of my customers is talking about purchasing some more for future birthday gifts) and my tatting class covered insertions (mine stunk, which doesn’t happen very often, right?).
And for the request-a-comment part of this post, my sister is planning her son’s birthday party. He’s a very precocious (aka rambunctious, hyper, etc.) four-year-old, and right now he loooooves rockets (not aliens or robots). Oh, and many of his friends have food allergies so my sister is going to avoid food at this party. Any great ideas out there?
Of Classes and Lost Yarn May 6, 2013Posted by Sindy in Journal.
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This was a great week for crafting on the go. On Monday my work had an all-day event, and when I wasn’t taking photos I was able to sit down and finish my tatting homework just in time for my class on Tuesday.
Speaking of my tatting class on Tuesday, I was getting ready for class and realised I hadn’t finished off my thread ends or washed and blocked my tatted pieces for the class. In crocheting that’s not such a bad deal, but with tatting it takes 15 minutes for each thread! – At least! By the way, never block your tatting with an iron. It doesn’t end up the best. Thankfully this tatting is just a sampler for how to attach edgings.
In fact, that’s what I learned on Tuesday’s class – how to attach edgings. We learned 4 of 6 methods, and he showed us the other two. The methods are: crocheting it onto an edge with open holes (you haven’t seen fancy hankies have you, so you probably don’t know what I’m talking about), taking a needle and thread through the hem to the next picot then stitching the picot to the fabric, tatting the edging directly onto the hanky (you attach the picots through the holes like regular tatting), and finally, if you have rings on a running line with thread bars in between, you do tiny whip stitching all… the… way… around… the… hanky (looks nice, but veeeery time consuming). As for the other two methods, one you do a 1/4 inch blanket stitch around the hanky, and the other I can’t remember at the moment – I’ll have to ask again.
So, that brings us to this weekend. I went to an Emergency Preparedness Expo/Conference. While listening to the speakers I got to go back and forth between lots of excercise up and down stairs carrying my rolling bag which has flat spots on one wheel and makes a terrible noise (no, I have no idea how the flat spots got on the wheel – I bought it at a thrift store), cursing at the lack of outlets for my laptop (and cursing cause facebook was somehow crashing my computer), and either doing a million whip stitches or attempting to make a ruffle scarf with a size 12 crochet hook cause I lost my size H hook.
Speaking of my size H hook and it’s lost status, somehow in the weekend I have lost an entire skein of yarn with a crochet hook stuck in it. If my mind would please remember where in blue blazes I put it I would reward my psychy and my wallet by making a ruffle scarf for one of my coworkers. I so need to clean (more – much, much more).
Gah! No Time! April 29, 2013Posted by Sindy in Journal.
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I’m really short on time today. Big day at work, and it won’t stop ’till late tonight, forgot to post earlier so I’ll make this brief.
This week I helped with a fundraiser for my local library. We did a little tea party based on the book Anne of Green Gables. I was able to use my fake British accent to teach a little about ettiquite and for a poetry reading. One lady said my accent was so good she couldn’t tell if it was real or not.
In prep for that I had a bit of fun with hats putting together a costume. I’ll have to post pics later.
Besides that I did a ton of cleaning (as I mentioned on Tuesday), finally finished my tatting homework, and I messed up converting an XL tee to a 9month tee. I seriously need to learn how to sew properly.
Well, got to go. See you tomorrow. (Thankfully I have my tutorial mostly ready.)
Of Soap Boxes, and Too Much Internet TV April 22, 2013Posted by Sindy in Business DIY, Journal.
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WIDTW – Crocheting, Tatting, Nephews, and sick
So this week I finaly finished the crocheted dress for my cousin’s little tike, but I haven’t delivered it yet. Speaking of which, I need to get it into my bag to deliver after work today.
After that I did a ton of tatting. At the end of the month I need to have five motifs and three edgings done, but I’ve only done four of the motifs and haven’t even started the edgings. I know I can make it, but it’s going to be tight. Thankfully I have my other homework out of the way (we learned dimpled and dimensional tatting this week) and he’s going on vacation for a week giving us a break, so that will help.
Speaking of dimensional tatting, it comes with a business lesson. Dimensional tatting was originally called something else, but when a guild used the name in a publication (they even gave the original developer credit for the technique!) she sued the socks off of them for using the name! So now no one calls it that, and no one knows who developed the method. It reminds me of a blog post by While She Naps that I read this week about how crafters should be nice, and even help, those who want to recreate your designs on their own. People buy from people who are nice to them. Simple as that.
Okay, off my soapbox. Besides crocheting and tatting, my apartment is getting sadly neglected. I need to make some time to clean this next week.
I did take some time to go play with a couple of my nephews. I don’t think there’s anything more precocious than little boys. They can certainly be a fun handful.
Finally I ended the week by being foolish – I watched 8 straight hours of Internet TV and got super sick from it. Mom says it’s probably because I’m related to my Dad who’s super sensitive to screens. She’s probably right since this doesn’t happen if I just read for 8 straight hours. Yet another reason why the printed book with never go out of style.
That’s it for this week. Have fun!
The Internet Needs More Preemie Patterns April 15, 2013Posted by Sindy in Internet Resources, Journal, Patterns, WIDTW.
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What I Did This Week: Besides finally catching up with my tatting homework and learning needle tatting in my class (I’m so excited!), and not touching my book at all this week, this past Saturday was my cousin’s baby shower, so I had to make something for her. And since the little cutie is a preemie, I just had to make something extra special.
I have a soft spot for preemie babies. I was a preemie myself, born four weeks early and only 5 lbs. I wasn’t the tiniest thing, but my Mom tells stories of cutting a third off the preemie diapers the hospital gave her and tiny doll dresses that my great-grandma made for me. So when my cousin had her tiny four lb baby five weeks early I imediately thought about making a little dress that would fit her.
I had already researched making preemie clothes for a friend who started an organization called Angel Babies that helps parents who’s tiny tikes don’t live long. Many of them didn’t develop enough to survive, and many of them are tiny preemies.
Sady, my great-grandma was lucky when she made my little doll dress – most doll patterns aren’t the right proportions for a preemie, so I went on a search to find some preemie patterns online. According to some medical study (of which I can’t seem to find right now) the rate of preemie births is increasing (mostly because of the behavior of the parents, but that’s another topic), and even full-term babies tend to be skinny little mites when they’re first born, so this should be easy, right? Apparently not. According to the clothes in retail stores “preemie” size just means an inch shorter. That’s not going to do.
I did find a couple good resources though:
- For people who sew, my friend’s Angel Babies website has a few patterns
- And for people who crochet, Bev’s Country Cottage has some great patterns
- And a couple sizing charts (Note: Sizing preemies is just an “averages” game. Sizes and proportions can vary widely.)
Preemie’s have special requirements when it comes to clothes. Their little furnaces don’t work yet, so a warm hat is almost required. The smaller the baby the thinner their skin so they can’t wear booties or socks and you have to design clothes to be easier to get the baby in. Oh, and the fabric or yarn needs to be super soft, and no big lumps from things like buttons and bows in the back. I like to use fingering size yarn (super skinny), which I’ve only found in yarn specialty shops, and flat buttons, and it’s good to have clothes that open all the way down the back to make it easiest to put it on.
If you know of a great preemie pattern online, let me know! Also, you’re welcome to donate handmade items to Angel Babies.
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You may notice that I changed from “What I Did This Weekend” to “What I Did This Week.” Yeah, I realized I do most of my crafting in the evenings.
To start off the week I did some of my tatting homework. This week we learned split rings in my class. I already knew how to do split rings, just not the “proper” way. I made a super cool snowflake with them which just might be the pattern I use for this year’s tatted snowflakes that I give as gifts.
Tuesday and Wednesday were long days of work, so I didn’t do much in the way of crafting.
Thursday I finished drawing the two pages for my book (my critique group still hasn’t looked at it yet), then I printed up some coloring tutorials (shoot, I should have gathered the URLs to share with you), then I felt like spending the rest of the work day crafting. I was trying to create a better method of making salad dressing instead of trying to shove mayo through the skinny neck of a recycled salad dressing bottle, so I bought a measuring/mixing bottle at my local retailer. The sad part was that it didn’t come with one of those handy wire mixing balls. You may have seen them in those smoothy bottles that were popular for a while. I could not find one of these wire balls for the life of me, so being a good DIYer I made one. NOTE: This activity is not recommended for anyone who doesn’t like challenges or holes in their fingers. I ended up buying a whisk (mostly for the food grade wire) and using the metal disk that came with it to hold things in place while I twisted wires through and around and ended up with something that I hope will work.
This weekend while I watched my church’s broadcast on Saturday I got more tatting done trying to catch up on my homework. I didn’t get as much done as I wanted. Kind of happens when you’re trying to take notes at the same time. And of course, I don’t do crafting on Sunday.
So for the most part, this week was kind of ho-hum. I did however find some great videos by craftypod.com talking about setting up and managing a crafty business. I long to have a crafty business. Maybe one day I will (to supplement my writing income of course). I got a ton of great ideas from these videos including ideas for my writing business. Go check them out!
And speaking of ideas, one of the videos mentioned a website called CRAFTS are the new CRAFTS. It’s just a random generator pretending to predict the next great fad, and if you think about it in terms of craft ideas (and crafty product ideas) it is hilarious! Some of the great ones I got were “Geoducks are the new Typewriters” (Geoducks are a funny looking shellfish – Google it), and “Saxophones are the new Zombies.” Can you imagine a typewriter with shellfish for keys or plushy saxophone zombies? LOL!
Then my sister sent me a great link of what super heroines would look like if they were modest. Besides being a big proponent of modesty, I think it’s a fabulous fashion design challenge (anyone can design a strapless dress, but to design within the constraints of modesty takes talent, plus everyone is wearing strapless and I like to be different). These are some great designs and I might use some of the concepts in some of my designs.
That webpage lead to another fun page: 18 snacks you can microwave in a mug, including brownies (of course), omletes, and even a muffin. Sigh, I always have too many fun things on my list to try.
Well I need to run (I should be in the shower prepping for work). See you tomorrow!
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Welcome to my new regular Monday posts called What I Did This Weekend! Okay, so the name is slightly misleading – it might often include stuff I did during the week too, and even if it doesn’t I usually mean Saturday as the “Weekend” (since Sunday is religious worship). I’m planning on including photos of some of the stuff I did and previews of upcoming tutorials.
With my goal to improve my blogs I also thought I’d start not just talking about ideas, but actually doing them – and better yet, teach you how to do them too. So, introducing Tutorial Tuesday starting tomorrow! The goal is to photograph my crafting adventures and help you copy them via a tutorial. I thought the name was fun, so I’m posting them on Tuesdays (let me know if that works for you or not).
Now with something on Mondays and Tuesdays, that leaves the rest of the week wide open. I might add something later, or I might not. Maybe I’ll move the tutorials to Friday (need to come up with a new name though), or maybe a Fashion Friday. Let me know what you think. What are some of your favorite features you’ve seen on other craft blogs? What do you wish they’d do? That said, let’s get started!
I think I will start by telling you that I am slightly disappointed in myself while at the same time I’m rather proud of myself. I’m proud that I almost achieved my goal of finishing drawing two pages of my book. I’m disappointed that I *almost* achieved said goal. I worked my tail off (and missed helping a friend move) and I only have one piece left to draw, BUT that one last piece needs some major brain-thinking of how I’m going to present it so it will have to wait until next week.
After that I went shopping (note to self: pay off credit card after shopping). I got some paint chips for a project (tutorial coming), bought a stevia plant for my Mom for Easter, and I started gathering ingredients for some bubble jet (I didn’t find washing soda at Wal-mart though). I even got a bowl for mixing crafting stuff (like the bubble jet). I drew on it so I’d remember to use only crafts in it.
And I finally found some reusable ice cubes at the dollar store!!!!! I’ve been waiting to find those for almost a year! I took a moment out of my schedule to made a quick gift out of them for my Mom for Easter. Don’t worry, I’ll post the tutorial soon (maybe tomorrow?).
I also found some chayote squash. I had seen them before (when my sister-in-law received one in a Bountiful Basket), but never tasted one. Apparently you can just wash and cut them. You can use the entire thing, skin, seed, etc. and you can eat it raw or cooked, in a salad or stew, casserole, salsa, etc. Well, I tried them in my famous microwave squash recipe (another tutorial I should do – it’s super easy) and WOW! It’s wonderful! I think I have a new favorite squash.
Then I finished out the day (Saturday) with my tatting homework. This week we learned how to do cluny leaves – something I’ve been wanting to learn for years. I can’t wait until my teacher shows us how to do stand-alone cluny that goes from point A to point A instead of A to B like regular cluny! That might be a year or more out there though. Sigh.
Latest News and Another Blog June 5, 2012Posted by Sindy in Journal.
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Let’s get to the point shall we? I quit my job to work on some children’s books I wrote! Crazy, right? Maybe, but that’s what I decided to do after a boat-load of thinking. I honestly think this is a good idea for me right now.
If you’d like to follow my adventures in this venture you may check out my other blog:
Update June 10, 2011Posted by Sindy in Journal.
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Just a quick update letting you know I haven’t fallen off the planet… yet.
I have several projects going on right now (no surprise there). I have a freelancing job right now working to add a WordPress section to a client’s website. They’ll be using the blogging features to list classes, plus I’ll be adding a shopping cart. It’s turning out far more complicated than I thought, and problems with the server aren’t helping.
Next, I have about a billion different crafting projects in the works. Right now I’m working on creating a drawing for a friend’s birthday. She likes ducks, so I thought I’d draw her sitting next to a pond and feeding ducks (either that or I bought some reusable buttons – the pin-on kind – and I’m doing a duck twist on the Frog Prince).
Finally, I’m trying to get into the swing of things working on a couple of my books. I started going to a writer’s group (finally found one in my area), so I’m working on getting one manuscript ready to submit to them. Plus I’m trying to push another book forward with the illustrations. I’m trying to get it done before my oldest nephew can read. I have a few years before then, but I still need to push it.
Anyway, gotta go. Still busy as all get out.
What I Did This Weekend February 14, 2011Posted by Sindy in Journal.
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It’s been pretty chaotic around her the past couple of weeks. Besides my Internet Provider being a pain (when it was working) my Grandma died. Yeah, it’s been a rough week.
I did get some DIY in though (mostly as therapy):
Over the weekend I surfed one of my favorite DIY shows (Threadbanger) and found a video on making a fun little heart out of curling ribbon (I know, it was another “little bits of paper” project (aka made out of junk and not worth the effort) but I have to do one every once in a while). It was pretty cool, took forever, was a bit tricky, and when it was done I had no idea what to do with the thing (even if I had a boyfriend, I don’t think he’d really care for it). So it was fun, but that’s the only time I’ll make one of those.
I also bought some really cute baby shoes at a discount store. Then I brought them home – and dissected them! @_o Bwahaha! They will be used for patterns to make my own. BTW, if you want to do this kind of thing yourself, here are some tips:
- Either keep one of the shoes whole or take a grundle of photos so you know how it goes together (of course keeping one whole is preferred).
- Mark key spots where the different parts go together. For example you’ll want one mark where the front of the soul meets the front of the shoe (mark both pieces of fabric), another mark where the back of the soul meets the back the shoe, another mark where the decorative piece goes, etc.
- Keep the whole shoe (or photos) together with the pieces. I put all of them in a ziploc bag.
I’ve also been saving some money by shopping for magazines on my own bookshelves. i.e. instead of buying a new magazine, I just pull out one of the hundreds I already have and most likely haven’t even read yet (a few years ago I went bonkers at my local thrift store). So I’ve been browsing my FamilyFun collection. There are some fun things in there that I’ll have to try out.