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Tomato Review – pt 2 :) October 20, 2015

Posted by Sindy in Cooking, Gardening, Journal.
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tomato-review2_wordpressTomatoes are one of my favorite vegetables. Quite honestly, it’s no wonder that I decided to do a second tomato review. (You can find my first Tomato Review here.) This time my landlady and I found ourselves at our local farmer’s market, so I bought some from a friend who loves to grow heirloom tomatoes. We had a grand ‘ol tasty time when we got home. 🙂

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Not Dead Yet. Changes to Too Many Talents. November 5, 2014

Posted by Sindy in Journal.
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It’s almost been an entire year since my last post?!!! O.O Wow, time sure gets away from me.

A few things have happened since my last post, most notably I moved out to a new apartment. Phew, this has been a different experience. My two roommates are serious night owls and I’m so totally a morning person, so they tend to get to bed about the same time I’m getting up. It was extra rough there for a while because 1) one of my roommates doesn’t seem to know what quiet is and 2) she would have friends over almost every night (correction: early morning). Anyway, it became 100 times better when my other roommate started working more normal hours so she needs to get up the same time I do, plus they became good friends and so are the first one doesn’t need friends over constantly. I still sleep with earplugs (especially since the landlord’s (who live upstairs) just had a baby), but at least I can sleep.

So, changes to the blog: Apparently I have a hard time keeping up with a set schedule of stuff to write, so I’m switching things up and just writing whatever I want when I want. Hopefully that turns into posting at least once a week, but we’ll see. Don’t worry too much about the content, I’m not going to start any political rantings (I might have some opinions, but I’ll try to keep them mild), and I’ll still mostly talk about my crafting, cooking, etc. but I’ll probably be throwing in some stories and stuff about my writing and life. I’ll try to include photos, but again, I’m not so good about taking them.

Well, I have a ton to do today, so I’ll sign out now.

Have fun and be good! 😀

– Sindy

Two Weeks – Ornament, Hat, Nails, Terrarium, Jam, Stand, and Plushie – Phew. July 22, 2013

Posted by Sindy in Fashion, Holidays, Home Decor, Journal, Toys.
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Today is WIDTPTW! Got that? (i.e. What I Did The Past Two Weeks.) Let’s start with the family reunion.

Since we had 8 long hours of travel, I got a couple, large, portable projects done. I had bought a foam Christmas ornament and was somehow able to draw on it in a bumpy car. Took forever, but I’m excited to start the next one.

Foam snowman ornament

I also made this funky hat with ruffle yarn. Looks like a giant shower poof on my head.

Poof hat

Next (when we got there) I did my nails with all the different things we’d be doing during the reunion (sort of). My cousin just returned from his mission (thus the bike and the suit), we were going swimming (without the fish), and we were going to play games (it’s hard to tell, but it’s supposed to be water balloons, badmitten (uh, no clue how to spell that), a trampoline, and a pile of balls). I mostly talked with my cousins instead of playing the games, but we sure laughed (mostly from me teasing my younger cousins).

Reunion nails - left

Reunion nails - right

Back home, I went to an activity where we made crocheted necklaces (sorry I don’t have a photo, but I hope to do a tutorial) and I made my first terrarium. I rather like how it turned out.

Terrarium

My Mom taught me how to make and bottle strawberry jam. We tried a new pectin called Pomona’s pectin. Wow was it fast and easy, and hardly needed any sugar! It’s a little expensive, but it’s fantastic.

Strawberry jam

My Mom also made me a glue gun stand. It has a little tile to catch the hot drips, and it keeps the gun upright so it’s easy to grab.

Glue gun stand

And I rounded out the past two weeks with a little chocolate chip cookie plushie. I’ve been watching some plushie tutorials by Tammy Hallam on YouTube, and I just haaad to try making one. I think it turned out really cute. And although it took a while (esp. with all the chocolate chips) it was really easy.

Kawaii Chocolate Chip Cookie Plushie

Out of Town July 11, 2013

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I missed another week’s tutorial (didn’t have the right size fabric, then I miss-measured and cut another one).

As for next week, I’ll be out of town this weekend (starting today) and I won’t have internet access, so no posts next week.

In the meantime, what have you guys been up to? Tell me about some of your favorite projects lately, or what tutorials would you like to see?

Too Little Excercise Leads to Too Much Aching May 13, 2013

Posted 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, 2013

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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, 2013

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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, 2013

Posted 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, 2013

Posted 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.)
http://www.heartfeltangels.com/Sizes.html
http://www.ebay.com/gds/Preemie-Clothing-Size-Chart/10000000005631703/g.html

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.

What I Did This Week (WIDTW) – Tatting, More Tatting, Wire Ball, More Tatting April 8, 2013

Posted by Sindy in Journal.
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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!