Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Shrugging Off My Wacky Week

This past week (well, really two weeks) has been very difficult.  I run the HR department for a technology company.  I have a great team, and I really enjoy my job.  Some days, though, just aren't easy.  It is what it is.  The past two weeks have been that way for me.  I've had lots of deadlines, crises, and a potential flu pandemic.  Thank goodness the last one didn't come true.

Anyway, I haven't necessarily been the sharpest knife in the drawer by the time I arrived home in the evenings.  One fine example of my nitwittery would be my Noro shrug.  Earlier this week I thought all I needed to do was sew up the side seam, and pop it over my head to wear it.  Well, I did sew up the side seam.  I did attempt to pop it over my head...and it promptly was stuck.  I tried again.  No luck.  I ripped out my seam and redid my bind off.  Still too small.  I looked at my pattern again and again, thinking, "perhaps I was supposed to make two."  Couldn't find that anywhere.  Got online and looked up the errata for the pattern.  None.  

I finally went back to the pattern and carefully reviewed it a fifth time (really).  Lo and behold, the very first line of the pattern says MAKE TWO in bold, all-cap letters.  Sigh.

So, here's the progress I've made on part two.  At least it's keeping me occupied during the NBA playoffs. Go Mavs!

New Stamps

Today a nice little package arrived from eBay.  I wish I had four cute cards to show you, but instead I just have four brand-spanking-new stamps that would love to have some ink.  Alas. Maybe tomorrow!

Bowl Me Over

Love to bowl.  Haven't done it in years.  I am not particularly good at it, but I always end up laughing and having a great time.  Today I took my team for a bowling outing, and we had a great time.  It's amazing how much stress you can eliminate just by knocking down a few pins (and in my case, I do mean a few).  I did break 100 both games, but barely.  Whew.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Let the Knitting Begin!

Not the best picture I've ever taken.  Trust me, this is delightful yarn.  It's from Sunshine Yarns, which is owned by a lovely person named Dani.  Dani's customer service skills are simply superior.  I wrote her to inquire about this lovely yarn, which was sold out.  She offered to whip up a batch just for little old me.  I was super-deluxe grateful.  My lovely yarns arrived quickly, and I've been all smiles ever since.

This collection is the Twilight Mini Skeins.  They are delicate and beautiful.  Each of the tiny bundles is named after a character from the ultra-fab Twilight series.  My favorite?  VERY hard to choose, but I'd probably have to go with Alice, which is the second from top.  I also love Vampire Baseball (third from top), Esme Island (fourth from top), and...oh.  I love them all.

I plan to make this lovely scarf.  Quietish has turned this into a beauty.

Stay tuned for pictures!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Day of Caring

United Way has a special place in my heart.  I truly believe in the organization's mission, and I've been blessed to see firsthand the difference it has made in the lives of many.  

Last Saturday, my company sponsored a United Way Day of Caring event.  We partnered with a local agency and worked on the exterior of two houses owned by elderly individuals.  One of the houses was in OK shape, and the other one had not been painted in more than 20 years!  We also took out a dead tree.  

We accomplished so much, and the homeowners were overjoyed.  We had incredible camaraderie and team spirit.  It was fun to be with coworkers in a setting outside of the normal business environment.  The best part, though, was getting to visit with our homeowners.  We simply fell in love with them.

I hope you enjoy the pictures, and maybe they will inspire you to go the extra mile in your community.

Don't I look like I know what I'm doing with that chainsaw? :)

Don't Shrug Me Off

I absolutely love to knit.  It's one of the most intriguing yet relaxing activities I've ever found.  I particularly love working with variegated yarn.  Noro is one of my absolute favorites.  I purchased this yarn at the Woolie Ewe, which is my favorite yarn shop.  They have a very wide selection, and they carry a huge amount of Noro.  Hooray!

This shrug immediately caught my eye.  The pattern is from Naturally Noro, and I would love to make every item in the book!  This pattern knit up very, very quickly.  I'm planning to sew it together tomorrow night.

Here's a detailed shot of the yarn.  I promise it's even more beautiful in real life!

The hard part will be waiting eight months until it's cold enough to wear it!

I Can't Make a Cake in the Kitchen...

My cooking skills stink.  And that's putting it nicely.  I don't think I've ever made a cake in my least not one in the oven.  Now I've produced a whole batch of lovely cakes!  This pattern has been very fun.  Rather than make blocks, you sew rows.  I worked in sets of three to ensure I kept my groups in order.  Very fun!  What you see is one jelly roll (minus five or so strips, which form the inner border).  Hopefully I'll get to work on the borders later this week!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rain Storm

It's not merely raining here; it's absolutely, positively, utterly pouring.  I was drenched walking (well, running actually - and in four-inch Italian heels, no less) from my office to my car.  I literally dripped and could not have been wetter if I had stood in the shower for five minutes.  

Upon arriving home, I needed to walk the dogs.  The rain had lessened significantly.  We had walked about 100 yards when the floodgates burst open again.  Two little black toy poodles made a mad dash back home, but the poor little things were soaked to the core.  They received bonus treats for their superior running efforts.

At least we'll all dry out eventually.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday Morning

Last night's headache is still present, but I'm improving.  I have a massage scheduled for this evening, so the thought of that should make the day fly by.  

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Google Reader

Just switched to Google Reader from FeedBlitz. W-O-W.  It's beyond easy to's fantastic.  Buh-bye, FeedBlitz.

Mary Engelbreit Quilt

Although I love purchasing fabric, I always dread cutting into it, mostly because I worry I'm going to botch it.  I have good reason to worry:  I actually have botched a number of quilts in the cut-out stage!  I now only cut out fabric at my parents' house.  My mom has a wonderfully huge island in her kitchen that doubles as the most delightful cutting area you can imagine.  Plus, it's a pet-free zone.  I need all my concentrating abilities focused on the fabric and measurements rather than on which pet is barking or meowing!

Last weekend I cut out two new quilts.  The first utilizes the Stacked Cakes pattern, which is available from Heirloom Creations.  The pattern isn't listed on their website, but if you call or e-mail them, they gladly will assist you.

The fabric I selected was the Mary Engelbreit's Recipe for Friendship line.  I love the cheerful colors!  These fabrics just pop together and the black makes everything work.  Plus, Moda quality is always wonderful.  I purchased my fabric from Hancock's of Paducah.  I don't know if they still have the jelly rolls in stock, but yardage is still available.  The pattern requires one jelly roll for the body of the quilt, and specifies yardage for the border, binding, and backing.

Here is my jelly roll all chopped up and ready to sew.  I've pinned the rows together to keep them straight.

Bella's Blossoms Card

Something about this flower just makes me smile.  Stampin' Up! created a perfectly pleasing design with the Bella's Blossoms set.  I made several versions of this card as I enjoyed it so much.

Stamps: Stampin' Up! Bella's Blossoms
Paper: Whisper White, Regal Rose, Rose Red
Ink: Regal Rose, Rose Red, and Old Olive Markers
Other: Star Dust Stickles