Tuesday, April 20, 2021

I Can Do Project Monogamy!!!!!!!

 Or mostly, if we don't count switching back and forth between quilting and knitting.  

In spite of help from the kitties, mostly Charlie,

I have been working steadily on a new quilt project.
The project instructions said "simple," so it only took me a solid two months, which included ripping out some of my free motion quilting once I got so far off that I had huge puckers:

I am still very much learning, but the quilt sandwiching is one of the places I struggle most, and I did pretty well this time,

AND didn't discover that my borders were suddenly too full of ease to ever work.  And, drum roll please, the finished quilt is in the dryer.  That's right, I used the term "finished quilt" and I wasn't referring to someone else's blog. YAY!

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Goodbye February

 Why is it that working from home makes for longer hours?  

It seems I finished the purple socks AND sent them to their recipient without getting a picture, but I did finish them.  There has been quite a bit of sewing.  Back when I bought my first house, I made several sets of placemats using a fan pattern with doilies.  At the time, I never made more than 6 for a set because my table only had room for 6 people, there wasn't room in the house for a bigger table, and nothing in life ever changes, right?  A marriage and two houses later, I did find the remaining fabric and apparently the only remaining doily that will match the others, and made two additional placemats.  An in-progress shot:

Not realizing I had the material or doily to make them, last fall I'd ordered fabric to make a new set,

this time TWELVE with 15 matching napkins, because what isn't fun about hemming?

(besides all of it).  Sometime in the last 18 years the original doilies stopped being produced without notifying me first, so a new source had to be found.  Amazon really does have everything, but it seems the rest of the world isn't just here to accommodate crafting needs, so there was an additional center medallion on each doily that had to be cut away in order to be flat, and I don't know if you know this about doilies, but they really don't enjoy being cut.  This leads to fraying.  Lots of fraying, some of which isn't secured simply with a seam, so hand stitching is required to get them to cooperate in being a placemat.  Which explains why Andy's Valentine's Day gift,

didn't even get started until after Valentine's Day.  Oops.  Venus and I worked on the hand-stitching yesterday after taxes,

and there is still a chance I could finish the shirt today to at least achieve the right gift MONTH, so that would be something.....

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year

I didn't make my goal of 50 projects for the year, but I did squeak in a last project for the year with fleece pajamas for Andy,

and a last pair of socks, which are almost twins!
Considering how many knots were in this skein of yarn, I'm calling it a Christmas miracle.  Of course, I immediately cast on for a new pair:

because there might be some sock yarn that found its way into my stash this year.  Actually, a LOT of yarn might have joined me this year.  While under normal circumstances, I would feel bad about it, anything short of alcoholism to cope with the stress of 2020 seems like a "win."  

I'm working tons and tons of hours at my new job, but I think I'm still going to try for 50 finished projects this year.  It's my turn to make gifts, so there will be some smaller projects--maybe fabric bowls?  More table runners?  How many table runners do people who don't sew use?  It's a lot, right?

Let's hope 2021 is a MUCH better year than 2020.


Thursday, December 31, 2020

Holiday Greetings for 2020

 

It’s hard to know what to say about a year so dominated by “pivoting” and toilet paper.  Two normal 

months and bam,  I can’t stop touching my face, we all learned we weren’t washing our hands

 correctly, and suddenly the hot tip of the day is which store currently has supplies of cleaning 

products,  rice, and flour.  I had a “source” for hand sanitizer when it could not be obtained, but not one

 for thin elastic for sewing masks for healthcare workers.  We went from, “ OMG, THAT WAS AN 

EARTHQUAKE” at the end of March to “eh, I don’t think that aftershock was even a 4.2” later in the 

 summer.  And it really felt like a FAST change--in mid-March I accepted a new job and bought a new

 pair of shoes to celebrate, and by the time I started just two weeks later, pants were pretty much 

optional, let alone shoes.  

 


We have been very lucky this year:  Andy is still working for a health information company and the 

demand for accurate, peer-reviewed health information increased as did how frequently the information 

had to be updated, so while he logged some long hours, his company continues going strong, which is 

pretty exciting in 2020.  In March I was offered a job with an internet company that has expanded to our

 area to build a new fiber-to-the-home internet system, as their field marketing manager, combining 

everything I’ve done in my career--marketing, events, telecom, sales, public relations, and customer 

service.  Of course, as part of my job is to arrange to have the sales team out and about at events, it’s 

been pretty challenging and sometimes frustrating, but one definitely has job security when internet 

demand has skyrocketed and one’s company is bringing in the fastest speeds in the valley.  Of course,

 the irony has been that I’ve been doing this while working at home struggling with the limitations of our 

competitor’s internet service while ours is being built.  Such is 2020.  

 


We still have 4 cats, who have loved our new work-from-home situations.  They’ve crashed  interviews 

and video conferences, and we finally had to buy extra cat trees so there was one by each human’s 

workspace in order to distract our little helpers.  Charlie, the adventurous little stray we found last year, 

discovered a way to climb onto the shelf above one of the doorways, which she only did during work 

hours so we would have to stop, get the ladder out, and rescue her, which went on until we finally 

figured out how she was doing it and rearranged the furniture.  She could probably still climb the stone 

fireplace, but thankfully, she hasn’t figured that out yet, and is not too busy playing in the 9-foot 

Christmas tree to try it.


I’ve been quarantined twice for coronavirus exposures at work and once for a community exposure, but 

so far, we are staying healthy and safe, and we’re looking forward to being able to see all of you again 

when it’s safe to do so.  In the meantime, wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season.

 

This year we have learned... 

When global emergencies strike, have toilet paper one can use for barter 

30 days hath September, but COVID months have at least a year and a half 

Both parties need a great deal of trust when it comes to cutting one’s spouse’s hair. 

 Being unlikely to be seen by anyone else until it grows out also helps. 

Many people complain about them, but masks are great for walking on the Greenbelt 

during Cottonwood season.

 It’s possible to miss commuting, or at least driving between meetings 

It took a surprisingly short amount of time to start checking the schedule while getting 

 ready in the morning to see if one was going to be visible or not 

Life is better for everyone when there are regular “kitten breaks”

 We should have bought stock in Zoom 

Bumping elbows doesn’t get less weird, even after 9 months

 It’s going to be hard to go back to wearing shoes to work 

I know we used to do it before the pandemic, but it seems like three meals a day are a 

 LOT when one is under “stay at home” orders. 

I’m one quarantine away from becoming an agoraphobe

 I used to watch funny cat videos for entertainment. Now I watch them to see if there’s 

 anything Charlie hasn’t thought of yet.. 

Shooting the messenger is a fantastic way to stop communication 

A global pandemic is certainly one way to deal with the problem of how to handle 

 business luncheons while wearing braces

 Since we’re home a LOT, I revived my “new recipe of the week” project, which has been 

closely followed by “thank heavens we have leftovers and don’t have to cook” week 

Because I work long and sometimes unusual hours, Andy bought me a daily pill container 

and filled it with M&Ms to help me keep track of what day of the week it is.This is absolutely 

the best thing that happened in 2020 

I don’t know what to do in December without 10 or so Christmas parties to attend.

 When the pandemic first hit and everyone else was buying up the flour and toilet paper, I 

stocked up on wine and chocolate. We all have our priorities.

 Charlie has an “I am doing something bad and I want you to see” cry, and it’s REALLY 

 best to respond before she escalates things

 RIGHT before the pandemic hit, I actually scheduled a “nothing” weekend on our calendar

 so we could have an entire weekend where we didn’t go anywhere or see anyone. SO over that by now.

 Knitting isn’t quite the pandemic coping-skill one would think as one’s gauge tightens or 

loosens by how stressed one is. Between the pandemic and the new job, I think I’ve made 

bullet-proof socks.

 We finally caved this year and bought a robotic vacuum cleaner, which keeps locking 

 itself in the bathroom. I don’t think it’s emotionally stable enough for a home with 4 cats

 Employees can overlook problems, but not the consistent failure to fix problems

 We had no idea how much visitors influenced our house cleaning routine

 There’s a lot to be said for working from home, but there’s a lot to be said for being able 

to leave the office

 Somehow the “walk to the kitchen table” commute didn’t lead to more free time.

 Out of everything that happened this year--the pandemic, the earthquake and 

aftershocks--the thing that actually frightened me the most was finding a large spiderweb in 

my car. We all have our limits. I’m just lucky I was at a stoplight at the time.

 At least we’re going to REALLY appreciate the little things when this is all over 






Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

I am finally taking a whole week off! YAY!  I'm so burnt out by the new job, and by 2020 in general, so it's nice to get a break.

We get to have a Christmas tree this year!  We had to make a few Charlie-adjustments, like clip-on lights instead of light strings, no breakable ornaments, and

the tree skirt may or may not be found under the tree.  But at least the tree has ornaments this year--that's progress!

Because it is just not safe or responsible to be around people outside our home, we had a pretty low-key Thanksgiving.  I roasted a turkey on Sunday so we'd have leftovers, and we went for a long walk today, wrapped gifts, and I finished part of Andy's Christmas gift:

I used my favorite shirt pattern:
but no matter WHAT the envelope says, this is not a three-hour shirt.  It took me four days.  And now, with just over one month to go in the year, I have eight projects to go. I did finish the front of the current sweater project,
and have cast on the back, so I AM making progress, so there's still hope.  And I still have tomorrow off...................

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

It's Been A Long Year

What a ghastly year.  Besides the fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, and the pandemic, I am truly and utterly appalled by the realization that there are people who just don't care about others.  I just don't know what to say to people who are okay with those dying of coronavirus if they have "underlying conditions."  When did people become this awful?  215,000 deaths in the US now and I miss my "normal" life as much as anyone, but other people's lives matter.  I can't even believe this is debatable.

The new job REALLY keeps me busy, and for a few weeks I was was so stressed out that even with drugs, I could only sleep about 4 hours a night, but it's gotten better.  Hopefully.  I work a lot of hours--sometimes 12-14 hour days, so some days off I just rest, but there has been some sewing.  We have new, "fun" masks,

I have met the worst fabric ever made,

which will hopefully become shirts for both of us without killing me.  The drape is truly beautiful, but it is easily the hardest fabric I've met.  It's a moleskin/microsuede, which is usually fine once you get the hang of it, but this one isn't like the others.  I've had it so long that I don't even know exactly what it was labeled as, but I now understand why it was on clearance.  

Luckily I'd made some flannel pajamas for myself with these lovely butterflies before tackling the shirt, so I'm still almost positive that I enjoy sewing.

The cats think this is the best year of their lives because the humans are almost always home, and we chase water droplets in the shower,

We enjoy warm socks--each in our own way:


 We've sorted through some of our plush fabrics,

and we've learned some new features on THE sewing machine,

including how to keep a kitten from eating thread as I sew.  

Andy ordered a Gumby DVD set because I'd actually never seen the original show, and it came with two "blockhead" figurines, and to liven up being home, we've been taking turns hiding one of them in plain site for the other to "discover." 


Lucky for us, we can probably keep this up for several more months.  And if we lose interest, we always have Charlie:


Monday, August 10, 2020

Done!

Work is crazy-busy, but I did get a break yesterday and was able to finish a shirt I've been working on for me
 I'm really excited about this one, because it's the first time I've done more for a shirt than embroider a pocket.  My old machine just made too many mistakes to risk more, but since I had extra fabric in case I had issues, I decided to add embroidery to the yoke and the cuffs:

I know it's customary for the embroidery to be right-side up on the cuffs, but then my hummingbirds would be upside down to ME, so I decided as I would be the one seeing them most and it's MY shirt, they're upside down so they're right side up when I view the cuffs.  AND THE EMBROIDERY TURNED OUT PERFECTLY!!!  I'm so excited.  If it weren't crazy-hot, I'd wear this shirt today.

I'm also making the same shirt for Andy, with just a bit of approved embroidery on the pocket.  I staggered the shirt steps just a bit between the two sizes so I wouldn't sew the wrong yoke or pocket or something, so I'm closing in on Finished Project number 30.  I'm taking a few days off to make the Labor Day weekend a bit longer, so I hope to get some serious crafting done then.  4 1/2 months and 20 projects to go!