Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

I arrived through the snow safely to Buffalo, NY yesterday and have had the great opportunity to enjoy my mother's company since then. This morning, she and I did Meals on Wheels. Now the turkey is cooking, the parade has been watched and the table pre-set for dinner tonight.

May you all be blessed with the love of family and friends, faith and hope for your future and the warm recognition of the blessings in your life. And, I thank you for being a part of my life.

For those that I share a country with enjoy your holiday!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

On Your Fridge Wednesday

Amy did this compilation for On My Fridge Wednesday. I thought I should play too (although my fridge isn't quite as interesting...).
The photo board with all of my friend's little kiddos and a couple of older family or friends.

The "Today I Am Feeling" magnet.... today I am feeling confident.

And, a little picture of my little dog, a magnet from my alma mater, an inspiring quote and a picture of Abigail Adams (as I said before I'm kind of obsessed with her).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Appreciating the Little Things

Isn't it amazing how the little things in life are the most inspiring? This week, I'm feeling inspired by so many things around me....
  • The enthusiasm my dog has for life and all of the new people she meets.
  • The way rain sounds on the window when you are in a nice warm house.
  • Running into nice neighbors in the laundry room. Soon to be followed by the smell of clean laundry.....
  • The excitement students have when taking on a new leadership position.
  • The smell of my perfume, like cotton candy at the fair.
  • The peaceful and amazing transitional process of my government.
  • Malabrigo yarn packed into my Thanksgiving suitcase.
  • The idea of catching up with old friends this weekend, including one who is recently engaged.
  • The disco colored yarn that I'm using to make socks for my mom... who doesn't like the disco?
  • That happy sleepiness I felt at the end of the day yesterday.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sometimes it IS Easy Being Green...

I'm totally loving this dress! It's wool crepe fabric made into Vogue pattern #V8472. I lined it with a brown cotton broadcloth, which went in like buttah. It was the first time I did a lining and my first blind hem, both of which are next to perfect. I wore it to work today.... super comfortable for a day putzing around at work. I had on heels today but changed before walking the dog this evening. I got loads of compliments from staff and students. (I love that shocked reaction people give you when you say "Oh, I made it this weekend.") So, I'm excited to debut it at my conference in a week!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Choice Between Yarn and Food Would be Hard to Make

Ahh, success! Today was filled with crafty enterprises - sewing, yarn shopping and a wee bit of knitting. But first, here is the scarf I finished yesterday for my friend's Christmas gift. I like how it came out and I hope she is pleased with it. Between the scarf and some earrings, she should enjoy my crafty love!

I woke up about 7:30 this morning. After a little putzing around, I started back to work on the the green dress. By 11 AM, it was pretty much together. I love the gathers on it - at the waist and under the bust. At this time, the only thing left is the hem. I'm attempting a blind hem, which will be a first for me. I've been practicing on scraps all afternoon.... time to move on to doing it on the dress. I will either finish it tonight or tomorrow.

I also took a little venture out to my LYS today. I wanted to get a couple of things to keep me busy the next couple of week while I'm away. I decided to make my mom some socks for Christmas, as I know her sweater won't be done on time. (Luckily, her birthday is in January so hopefully I'll get moving in time to have it done by then.) So this gorgeous silver yarn will make some fancy schmancy socks for mom. And, some delicious purple-y yarn for a scarf, like above, for myself. Both are portable projects, to make my life easy.

What did you accomplish this Sunday?

The Colors of Fall... Before We Give Way to Winter

This photo of my little love was taken by my friend Laurel... Rosy loves frolicking in the leaves of the fall. I high kick and she chases. It is good fun!
Thank goodness for dog induced giggles!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Getting Stuff Done!

Today was quite a productive day - much more so than anticipated. I managed to finish the scarf (Rav link) for my friend for Christmas. It came out wonderfully! Pictures will be posted tomorrow as I'm too lazy to upload tonight. I ran a bunch of errands and then came home and worked on the green wool dress. The bodice is done. I'm planning on working on the skirt tomorrow and hopefully getting the zipper in either tomorrow or early this week. Woohoo! This dress will be done before my conference....

I also went through all of my Christmas gifts and realized the only person I still need to get stuff for is my mom. I, of course, have the quilt for her. I plan to make a complimentary pillow for her couch. I also think I will probably make her a necklace (gotta go to the bead store). And, I'm thinking of some socks, since her sweater is looking like birthday timing might be more appropriate at this time. Regardless, I'm feeling good about Christmas gift giving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Should be Knitting, Not Working... I Wish

Work has been challenging lately.... a lot going on on campus, especially as the semester coming to an end. So I haven't been crafting much lately. My dress is languishing on my kitchen table. My thought is that I really must get to working on it, as I'm going to a conference (to Denver! Any yarn store recs people???) when I get home from Thanksgiving and the plan was to take it with me.

The scarf I'm making for my friend is developing, although rather slowly. (How can a scarf go slowly? Hmm, I ask myself the same thing.) I'm hoping to finish it during my time off for the Thanksgiving holiday. Also, must plot out of the out of town knitting... what to pack....

I also need to think creatively about a couple of additional Christmas gifts. I'd prefer to make something addition for my mom, but haven't figured out yet what to make.

What your favorite homemade Christmas gift?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Seven Things

I've been tagged by Laurel to tell you 7 things about me you probably don't know.... oh the possibilities.
  1. At one point in my life, I wanted to go into politics. I was even a poli sci major in college. The nastiness that candidates face turned me off.
  2. In retrospect, I wish I had made more effort in my college studies. I did not do as well as I cold have because I allowed myself to get distracted by all of my co-curricular stuff.
  3. I met Philadelphia Police Commissioner Ramsey last week when he spoke on campus. It was definitely the highlight of my week as I'm a huge fan. I lived in the DC area during the sniper shootings and he was the DC/MD/VA joint task force chair for the shootings and spokesman. It was nice to be able to express my appreciation for his calming words and dedicated work during that time.
  4. I'm actually a pretty decent creative writer when I practice. I need to do more of that, if only because I'd like to write a book someday.
  5. I'm a good cook, even without recipes. I don't do as much of it as I should but do have a pretty good sense of what would taste good together.
  6. I have a light sensitivity that causes me to sneeze in the sun. It's one of those quirks few people have - and I'm one of them. I also have my mother's family sneeze: gotta do it at least three times.
  7. I keep debating going back to school for a EdD or PhD. One of the things holding me back is the GREs, since I had the flu the first time I took them. And, research and paper writing would take me away from my crafts.... I don't know that I want to lose that time.
I'm not tagging anyone but if interested feel free to play along....

As a total side note, I just took Rosy for a walk and it was ever so lightly snowing! That kind that is pretty while falling but doesn't amount to anything (ie. my favorite kind).... I think it stopped already but it certainly was lovely.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's Official....

I've finished my first pair of socks.....
The second one is definitely better than the first one. But, I'm pretty happy with this little pair. And, now on to the It's a Wrap....

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Big To Do

To Do This Weekend
Eat good food.
Smile a lot.
Imagine my possibilities.
Walk with Rosy.
Rejoice in nature.
Knit. Or sew. Or not.
Love myself.
Sink into the couch.
Sleep.
Relax.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My House Looks Like a Craft Tornado Went Through It

Thanks for the jewelry love folks.... it was my first time playing with fused silver. I don't know that I'd invest in the supplies to do it at home (altogether, it would probably run me at least $100 for supplies minus the silver wire) but I totally loved it. So, for now I'm sticking to playing with wire... no fusing.

I bought some lovely Cascade 220 pink yarn on Saturday to make this scarf for my friend for Christmas. She lives in Chicago so goodness knows a scarf is appropriate. I'm doing my best to work on the 2nd sock (more than half done) and the It's a Wrap before allowing myself to cast on. Fingers crossed on that one....

As for sewing, I really must get back to working on my green dress. Everything is cut out and a bunch of pieces are laying on the table calling my name. Oh, where is the time? It seems as though work is getting in my way of being my crafty self. Again fingers crossed, I will work on it on Saturday morning before I head to work.

What are you working on right now?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

All That Glitters....

Here is the bracelet I made this past Saturday. It was beyond fun to make.... small blow torch, firing block, hammer and all. I think I will probably add a bead to the one end.
And, since I went into work late on Monday, I made this necklace and earrings for my friend's birthday gift. I think the colors will be good for her and she'll like it.
And, earrings for another friend for Christmas. These were the leftover links from the bracelet... I'm pretty pleased to be able to get earrings out of the class too.

And, another pair of earrings for a friend who reads this blog! What a productive morning.

Monday, November 10, 2008

No Knitting But Ducks

This weekend was un-crafty. I don't think I got anything done. I was too busy to do anything. And, quite honesty that kind of bites. Good thing I was a good busy!

Saturday, I took my fused silver bracelet class (photos to come.... gotta take 'em still). It was so fun! I love when people give me a little torch and firing block and allow me to melt things. I also thought the hammering was a lot of fun. The bracelet came out great and was so fun to make!

From there, I went to work (I'm a lucky girl, aren't I?). I spent 3 hours wandering from sorority house to sorority house as they met some of the freshmen women. One chapter gave me great chocolate covered pretzels and lemonade - love those women! It was nice to spend some time with the women outside of the office too. Then, off to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner with a friend... (and a car fill up at $2.04/gallon!!!! One of the good things about New Jersey). We had a good time. It's always good to catch up. Home and to bed for a busy Sunday....

Sunday morning I had a date. We did the Duck Tour of Philly. It was tons of fun. All of my photos are from that. The guy was great too and I think we will be getting together again. Afterwards, it was back to work... same thing as Saturday with different groups. Then, finally home to nurse away my headache. Luckily, I get to head in late today....so perhaps a little knitting this morning?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sunshine and Happiness

The brightness of this photo reminds me so much of my week. I'm so grateful for such a wonderful time.... bright, happy and filled with good things. The residuals of the Phillies World Series win and then Obama's win has made the citizens of Philadelphia very happy. People have been saying hi to each other on the street.... simply unheard of! The only blotch on the week is the city's huge budget crisis. Let's just say we will have very few services this year. The mayor is giving himself a pay cut. Oh, this city always keeps things interesting!

I have been working away a little by little on the second sock. It is about half done now... I will probably turn the heel tonight. Mostly though this week was a bust craft-wise. I have been busy each night - late work meetings on Monday, election stuff on Tuesday, late work meetings Wednesday, and a date last night (pretty decent). I'm so grateful to be home tonight, hanging out of the couch and working on the sock.

I'm hoping the weekend will offer me productive craft time. Tomorrow I'm taking a fused silver bracelet class at Bumble Beads. I'm looking forward to learning some new jewelry skills. I'm planning to spend Sunday evening working on the green wool crepe dress. And, ideally a little knitting thrown in there for good measure. Should be wonderful.....

What are you up to this weekend?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election - Part II

I won't go on about my pride in my country or how historic this election was (although I could. And for paragraphs and paragraphs.). I'm just grateful that the American people won. More people voted this year than previous years. We truly came together as one people and stated what was in our minds and hearts. Yes, this country is split at times. But McCain had it exactly right last night - we must unite behind our leaders. Surely we will disagree at times but that is healthy and ultimately best for our democracy. May we move forward again as the United States of America.

All that said, I'm true blue today.....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Remember the Ladies...

I truly am a big sap. And, I'm totally okay with it. This morning, when watching the news, I totally started crying as I watched people lining up to vote. The polls hadn't even opened and there were over 100 people in line. I went to vote in the late morning and simply stared at my ballot once I pushed all of the buttons, marveling at this act of democracy and the historical nature of this campaign. I've watched the number of people who voted add up on Facebook. I sat down and read the Constitution (yes, I have a copy in my apartment).

I'm quite honestly overcome by all of this, especially when you think about the fact that women haven't even had the right to vote for 100 years in this country. I have never felt so moved or invested in an election, and I've been voting ever since I was of age. This is witnessing history and more importantly, being invested in moving my country closer to the direction I think it should be going. It is about using my simple voice to tell my leaders that I want them to remedy our country's image in the world. It is about caring enough to participate.

The turnout in Philadelphia, the place where this country first was imagined by our Founders, is high. I can only hope that that bodes well for the candidates I support. I imagine those men looking at what they created and being awe struck by where we are now. There are some things they would be immensely pleased with. And there are some things, like the deteriorating of our civil rights, that would concern them. But most all I think they would be proud of the democracy they helped to create. As Benjamin Franklin said, the sun truly is rising.

Yes, I'm proud to be an American.


** My title is a tribute to Abigail Adams, wife of the 2nd President, who reminded her husband during the writing of the Constitution to "remember the Ladies."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ending Blogtoberfest on a (Slightly) Slacker Note

Oh, Blogtoberfest! I was so darn close! I posted every day except Halloween. Oh well.... what can you do?

I have managed to get almost all of my weekend goals done today. The only thing I didn't get to the jewelry today.

I cut out the dress pieces. I still need to iron and cut out the lining pieces after I mark of the appropriate areas on the wool crepe.

I finished the body of It's a Wrap and have moved on to the first sleeve, as evidenced above. I cast on the second sock and have about 3/4 of an inch done.

I did sewing surgery on two of Rosy's toys that she recently split open. I even managed to clean almost all of my apartment too! Woohoo! I'm feeling like today was a day well spent.

Yesterday, I spent the day up at Rutgers University working with the collegiate women from my sorority. It was a good time, although a long day what with the 6-ish AM departure time. Thank goodness for early morning Starbucks....

Happy end of Blogtoberfest for all of the other revelers. And now only 53 days until Christmas. Off to organize my Christmas gift list!