Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend Recap

Does anyone else feel like this weekend was on fast forward? Great chunks of time passed in the blink of an eye, and here it is Sunday night (and past my usual Sunday night bedtime) and I'm not sure how it got to be this time on this day.

We had rain all day yesterday. It was a steady rain with a comforting sound, which made for a day of general laziness, although I did not nap or spend the day reading. I made some earrings, finished making a few faux dicro beads, did a little bin organizing. And then it was bedtime. Huh? Seriously, it went that quickly.

Today was no slower. It didn't rain, but it was overcast and cool all day. The Chihuahua Brothers were content to snooze in their beds while I cleaned off my desk (again) and washed clothes. Which reminds me - my sheets are still in the washer. Guess I'm up for another hour until they finish drying. I started a sweater for my newest grandson, due in July. And I like the pattern so much that I started a second one before I was even halfway finished with the first. And I just might start a third. Yes, I like having project options. I have five socks finished for him. Unfortunately, none of them match. I have two more on the needles, and then I'll start over on the matching ones. My goal was a different pair for every day of the week. No soap this weekend - I think the soap supplies are permanently put away until early June when I can start selling some of what I'm making.

I did get quite a few bins emptied. I have a great stack of crafty stuff to give away, as well as several boxes of stuff that I'm just tossing. I'd say I'm about a third of a the way finished cleaning out my craft room. I've needed to do this for a very long time!

And there may or may not have been chocolate chip muffins baked ... I'd post photographic proof, but my camera batteries seemed to have died. You'll just have to take my word on the yumminess.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Techniques should be for Tuesday ...

... the alliteration is just better. But I learned a new technique tonight, and it's Thursday!

I love staying up late on Thursday. I'm normally in bed by 9:00 and up by 5:00 or 5:30, but on Thursdays I give myself permission to stay up late and do whatever I want. I just don't care if I'm tired at work on Friday, because - hey - it's Friday! It's ok to be tired at work on Friday, right?

So tonight I followed the detailed instructions I just purchased on how to make faux dicroic glass beads ( Out of, guess what - no, not soap. Or glass, either, for that matter! Polymer clay, in case you're tired of guessing. It's all very mysterious and involves translucent polymer clay, foil leaf, pearl-ex powders and liquid polymer clay. Magic heat applied by a heat gun and everything melts and clears and comes together in a beautiful bead that looks like glass. To wit:

Yeah, sorry about the crappy, blurry photo (and my messy desk). I think I may have actually captured a better image on my cell phone, but for some reason it won't download from my e-mail, so we may never know.

But in real life, this bead is clear and beautiful and not blurry. I still need lots of practice to make better ones because I smeared one of the layers of Pearl-Ex and the liquid clay ran in drivels on one layer. And there's a big stinking air bubble, and I'm not totally in love with the gold foil - this is one time I think silver foil may have actually worked better but I don't have any so I'll use less gold next time. And I should have added a few more layers of liquid clay for a thicker layer of clear on top the colors, but we all know how patient I am so that didn't happen. But tonight is Technique Tuesday on Thursday and I learned something new and I'm still awake and the Chihuahua Brothers are asleep in their little beds and tomorrow is Friday and it's all very, very good!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Soap photos!

Here are a some of the soaps I made yesterday. Good clean fun - right? LOL! I made more bars with crushed lavender buds, scented with anise and lavender and tinted a light blue (with a little bit of sparkle mica added), but I can't get a decent photograph of them because my camera just doesn't know what to focus on.

This is goats milk and aloe with ground oatmeal. The scent is wonderful - oatmeal, milk and honey. Soft and sweet, but not cloying. I made two bars with soap left from the loaf below.

Goats milk and clear glycerine with ground oatmeal added. I did a 2-color pour around the inclusions, and I love the way it turned out. I scented with oatmeal, milk and honey fragrance oil, but in hindsight I should have used an orange/vanilla scent to match the orange sherbet look.
These are foot-scrub soaps. The tan bar has raw sugar added, the white rectangular bar has white sugar added and the oval massage bar has sea salt. I'm having these bars "tested" for effectiveness, so I didn't include fragrances. But for foot bars, I'll probably scent with peppermint or eucalyptus or maybe tea tree or bamboo. Personally, I don't think the salt bar is going to work very well. I always wash my hands with any leftover bits, and this one doesn't lather very much. It's really for exfoliating, though, so we'll see what everyone thinks.

And lest anyone is worried about organizing being pushed aside for crafting, there's plenty of that going on this weekend, too. Bags of stuff to donate or throw away, craft supplies to share with friends and plenty to keep, although not as much of that as there was. I have found that I CAN get rid of yarn! LOL!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Great crafting weekend!

And it's not over yet! I love that I still have one more weekend day for working play.

Today's crafts:
  • Soap (and lots of it) - ground oatmeal in goats milk base with a soft milk and honey scent; two types of sugar scrub bars; a salt scrub bar (that I think still needs work, but we'll see what my testers think)
  • Hand-dyed yarn - in candy stripe colors
  • Beaded earrings
  • More polymer clay swirl beads
Photos tomorrow. Now to get my Etsy store up and running ...

My daughter Jennie and I had dinner together today, sort of. We cooked the same dish (a family favorite with Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, onions and lots of basil, served over rotini pasta and topped with Swiss cheese - yum!), but we're 500 miles apart right now, so we didn't actually sit at the same table to eat. But it was fun, nonetheless!

Diego loves Brussels sprouts. Well, Diego loves any type of food (except Jello). He waited patiently for a bite.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Almost time for my once a year post ...

It seems like that's about how frequently I can manage to blog, so we'll go with it.

A few weeks after my last post, I lost the love of my life, Miss Chelsea. She died on 8/5/2009, and it was one of the saddest days I've lived through. Her loss left a gaping wound in my heart that has finally started to slowly heal. I now only cry over her death once or twice a week instead of one or twice a day.

Chelsea came back to me one morning a few days after she died. For her entire life, from puppyhood on, every time she walked past me she would poke my leg with her nose. Every time, without fail. Diego has never done this, not once, not ever. The Friday morning after she died, I was getting ready for work and standing in the bathroom putting on my makeup. Diego walked past me and poked my leg with his nose. I had to go sit down. He had never done it before, and he has not done it since. I know it was her coming back for a minute to let me know she's ok, and I was thankful.

The Chihuahua brothers are vastly entertaining, though, and Skippyjon tries hard to love me in the same way Chelsea did. She and Skip used to have long conversations a few weeks before she died - he'd sit directly in front of her and would bark up at her face. She'd look down at him and would bark back. This would continue for ten-minute intervals, several times a week. I think she was telling him that she knew she was leaving and that he had to help take are of me. He is my snugglebug, and he makes a valiant effort. Diego continues to be the explorer - curious and interested in the people of this world. Well, except for those skateboarders who insist on riding the sidewalk right outside my front door. Those guys terrify him.

I might try to start posting more frequently. I still haven't decided which direction to head in blogging-wise. I'm doing a lot of papercrafting, but not enough to post something new every day. I'm still dyeing sock yarn, so maybe I'll post about that. And maybe someday I'll actually start gardening again!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Apparently there's no time limit ...

... for not posting anything! Now that I've written my password in a place where I can actually find it when I forget again, maybe I'll start posting on a regular basis.

To catch everyone up - I now have two Chihuahuas, brothers but not litter mates. They're as different as night and day, including their coloring: one is white and sable, the other is black and white. Diego is curious and outgoing and loves everyone; Skippyjon is a little more reserved and likes to observe before he joins the fun. Chelsea has learned to accept the boys, and she spends her time watching their antics.

It's late now, so I'm heading off to bed and I'll write more later. Now that I'm back in, I have to figure out a direction for this blog. Do I turn it into a crafting blog and write about what I'm making? Do I turn it into a blog about the dogs? Hmmm, decisions ...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And just like that, I'm back in.

For months and months (obviously) I have not been able to remember how to access this blog. Couldn't remember my sign in, couldn't remember my password, and couldn't find information on how to get back on.

And then magically this morning, it all came together. I searched the Help area, put in the right search terms and found the solution. Ta-da! And here I am again.

To catch everyone up -- Diego's baby brother Skippyjon is now living with us. Same parents, different litter. He's an aggressive little bugger and starts fights with Diego on a daily basis, but we're working on that. He is serving his purpose is a most excellent way -- he and Diego are best buds when they aren't fighting, and they totally leave Chelsea alone. She's much happier and more relaxed now, which makes me happy. I really didn't want her last years to be spent hiding behind the chair or under the bed so that she could avoid Diego.

I changed jobs almost a month ago. I'm now working as publications director for another yarn company. And I LOVE MY JOB!!! After a year of not really liking what I was doing at the previous yarn company but settling for it because I couldn't figure out what to do, actually liking my job again is refreshing and welcome. I'm crazy busy with it, and that's ok. I feel like I've been there for a long time instead of a few weeks. The whole thing totally fell into my lap out of the clear blue sky, and I'm incredibly blessed with a good salary and a great position.

What else, what else ... oh! I'm getting a new car today! Well, not a new car, but a new-to-me car. The Transition Car died two weeks ago. I've had a rental for a week, and found a 2003 PT Cruiser with decent milage in pretty good shape. It comes home today, and I can't wait. It's a limited version, with a sun roof and heated leather seats. The inside is in great shape, as is the outside. The dealer fixed a few little problems for me (that could have been big problems had I not had a prepurchase inspection done when I looked at it), so I'm happy. I still will need shocks, new wipers and new tires, but all of them can wait a bit and I can do one thing at a time until they're all done. I feel safe enough with it to drive to visit family over Christmas -- about 600 miles each way -- and it will be nice to not have to pay for a rental like I usually do when I drive home.

On the knitting needles: six socks, all on double-points, and one more sock to be cast on [soon] to try out the new square double points I just bought. I want to see if all the hype is true. It wasn't [at least for me] for knitting two socks at once on two circulars. I still have the same two socks on the same two circular needles that have been there for a year. I should finish them ... Also on the needles, my version of the Noro Silk Garden 1/1 rib striped scarf. I'm using Sonnet from Wisdom Yarns, which I'm pretty sure is very similar to Silk Garden. The colorways I'm using are prototypes, so they aren't available anywhere. The scarf is gorgeous and will be a gift to a friend who has been helping me out with occasional rides while I've been car-less. I finished up socks for my brother and sister-in-law, who are on their way here as I write this to spend Thanksgiving weekend with me. We'll have a wonderful dinner tomorrow, do some work, and then have some play time at Gem Mountain over the weekend. I can't wait to see them!

I think that's all the big stuff. Now that I know my sign-in stuff, I'll be posting often again. I missed writing here!