Saturday, April 22, 2017

Are You Sittng Down?

Yesterday I went to a quilt show and didn't buy ANYTHING.  Not even a pattern.  I don't think I was running a fever, but I didn't actually check.  If I hadn't been on a fabric-buying ban I might have bought something, but then again, it was so overwhelming that it might have been hard to decide on anything--we skipped the booths that had mostly fabric because it was just an overload.  THERE'S something I never thought I'd say.

Friday, April 21, 2017

And A Week Later....

If any of you were thinking that by now I would have heard something from national charity #3, you would be wrong.  It was even a charity I have given money to in the past, but THAT certainly won't be happening again.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Pod People Are Coming!

Our pod is filled and the Pod people will be out to pick it up this afternoon.  They'll store it in climate-controlled storage until we're ready for it again, then they'll bring it to our new location and we reverse the whole process.  Whew!

During all this, of course, I'm still searching for a job because getting our house ready to sell just isn't ENOUGH fun by itself.  I can't remember where we left off with the charity recruiter saga, but as I have an update, let's recap:

  •  National charity #1:   Kept setting appointments either without confirming times with the other parties, or which the other people completely disregarded anyway
  • National charity #2:  Assured me in no uncertain terms that the particular position we were discussing required NO fundraising of any kind--which I found out to be untrue in the in-person interview, right after I said I was tired of fundraising
  • And last week's cake-taker, national charity #3:  Called on Thursday to set an appointment for a phone screen the following day, then completely blew off the interview with no follow-up at all.  
That's correct--no follow up at ALL, even though she clearly had my email and phone number, and I actually called back on the number she called me at to leave a voicemail message finally.  But no response at all, and as the recruiter is on the east coast, it isn't like they haven't been open for several hours already.  Now I remember why I left working for national charities AND generally don't give them money. 

I had an in-person interview last week with a company I liked, but for a job that would have probably bored me to tears and been a nightmare for my hip, and while I was a bit shocked when they didn't invite me back for a second interview, I could understand completely and think it's for the best.  While part of me is just wanting to find A job, the more intelligent part of me is holding out for a job I really want--or at least could enjoy.  And not having to go through an inept recruiter would be a HUGE bonus...........:)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

639 Days!

It's now been 1 year (and a leap year at that) and 9 months since I last bought yarn!
And I have to say that my desire to buy yarn, fabric, or books has been greatly diminished by our packing adventures, although if anyone were hoping I'd be learning any great lessons about buying craft supplies, yarn and fabric in sweater bags has been REALLY helpful packing our storage pod, so I think it's sort of rewarded me more than anything else. Oops.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Alright, to be fair, it isn't a LOT of yarn and I didn't actually remember having it, but I'm donating it nonetheless, and as it's bulky yarn, it actually DOES free up some space.  AND that is another 5 yards of costume satin sitting there beside it.  I may not have much crafting time this year, but at least the stash is shrinking a little. 

It turns out that filling a pod storage container is like a giant game of Tetris.  Because it's going to move, things have to be securely stacked and tied down and they can't shift around, so today my project is to pack some smaller boxes because we need some filler.  I think it might work better if we were storing more furniture, but we really don't have that much furniture.  My parents have so thoroughly overcrowded every room they have with furniture that I've always tended the other direction.  We've decided to store most of our bookshelves to stabilize our boxes in the pod, but we could have skipped that.  Originally I hadn't planned to remove photographs from the wall, but our realtor said he has actually had people looking at a home who looked at a wall with pictures and honestly asked him, "Where would we put OUR pictures?"  Bless his heart--he was able to tell them that he thought the owners were planning to take their pictures with them without laughing, but I guess it's best that we remove them as one never knows, apparently. This is why, even with a background in sales, I have never once been tempted to sell real estate.  I don't think I could answer questions like that with a straight face.  :)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Not Quite In the Closet Yet

Two MONTHS after the interview process started with the American Red Cross, and two weeks since my "final" interview, I received the "we're not interested" form email from them today.  I thought I'd be disappointed, but dealing with them has been such an unprofessional mess that I'm not sure it isn't a relief.  ONE HOUR before one of the interviews that the recruiter had scheduled, I received an email from the person doing the interview that she'd scheduled my interview for 4 days later.  When I responded that the recruiter had actually scheduled it for THAT DAY, all the manager said was that she would let the recruiter know.  No "sorry for the confusion" or any acknowledgement at all that I might have rearranged my schedule to accommodate theirs or that this might be WILDLY unprofessional and rude--and the whole process was like that: times changing all the time, the recruiter and the manager obviously not communicating and just on and on.  One would think that a charity which needs donations would remember that everyone is a potential customer and should be treated accordingly, but they don't.  I think I dodged a bullet there.  What a mess. 

Speaking of mess,
we have yet another donation pile going.  The sweater on top is one I bought in college, and have pretty rarely worn because it's really kind of itchy, but I have kept it all this time.   No idea why.  Friday this was delivered,
and we're hoping to have it filled and taken away be next week if we're lucky.  It will be nice to have the boxes out of the house.  It's hard to tell if things are looking "spacious" yet as there are boxes everywhere. 

I haven't forgotten Me Made Mondays.  I wore these vivid beauties last week,
and today I'm wearing

which is basically a big mess that only works as a sweater because I made the neckband tight enough to hold a knitted sack up.  Yeah--it's from before my days of checking gauge, but it's a fun sweater to wear around the house--frankly, it's almost as big.  :)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sewing Tuesday

Between looking for a job and trying to get the house ready for to sell, my stress level is just a wee bit high right now, as I think most people would guess.  I say "most" because there are always those family members who never think you're doing enough for them no matter what is happening in your own life, but everyone has at least one of those relatives, right?  Anyway, the hobby party turned out to be both a nice break AND a really fun event. We had a "display" table of things that people had made for us that weren't going to be eligible for any voting, but were still fun.  I have a pair of pillowcases my favorite grandmother made me,
tin can furniture from my other grandmother,
both of which were made from old Band-Aid boxes, a doily one of my volunteers gave me, a ceramic owl Andy's cousin made, a ceramic Santa a friend painted, 
a quilt from Andy's great-aunt and one from my grandmother, 
and a rock table made by my great-grandmother.  My entry was the yellow shawl, which I still haven't worn,
and this diorama  won the prize for most unusual hobby.  People really brought very cool things to share, and we'll definitely be doing this party again.

Today I'm taking a break from both job hunting and moving as I'm a bit worn out,
and after digging out the sewing room, I have even had a chance to work on the new jacket.  The fabric has a little stretch which makes a few steps difficult, but it's coming along.  I had two pieces that stretched out so badly that they're in the wash right now to get their shape back, so I was going to cut out another project, but it turns out that I had never washed the fabric, so right now all my crafting is in the wash.

Yesterday I had another interview, so I didn't do Me Made Monday, but on Sunday I wore my butterfly jacket

because I can't get food ready for a party without getting it on myself.  I made this apron while still living at my own house, so maybe 2003, and there are SO many errors on it because it was so far over my head at the time, but it's awfully cute.  Unfortunately, cotton aprons have to ironed, which is really unfortunate, but once in a while I can convince myself to do it.  Then when I do wear this, I love it so much that I get excited about making more seasonal aprons.  Not that I've MADE them or anything, but I get excited about it.  This probably helps explain my stash issues.........

Saturday, March 25, 2017


So interview #1 is over and I did not get the job, but rather amazingly, they called me to tell me this.  That's a first--usually it's a form email or letter 6 weeks later when you've basically already figured that out.  I thought that was above and beyond, so very high marks to that gentleman.  The next one is on Monday, so hopefully I am not spending the rest of the week curled up in the back of my closet--but I will take knitting with me if I do.

Tomorrow we are hosting a Home Hobby party.  Many of our friends are amateur musicians, and there are regular "house concerts" for people to perform, which is fun, but it occurred to me that we have lots of friends with OTHER hobbies, so everyone is invited to bring something to show, and there will be prizes for favorite, most unusual, and just general door prizes.  I've been able to see some of the things our friends do, but they're always surprising me with new talents, so I'm very excited about this and hope it goes well.  I think I'm going to display one of my lace shawls.  I hope people feel comfortable bringing things.

AND, I am very proud to announce that I am donating several knitting books and magazines to our library--some of which have been with me for quite a while.  There comes a time when one knows one is never going to make something.  Don't get me wrong--my optimism still runs pretty high, but least there might be a few limits.......

Thursday, March 23, 2017

I Have Donated Fabric!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Andy hauled off a bunch of stuff to donate this week, and there were FOUR yards of costume satin in the pile!!! I am SO proud of myself for this.  I have never managed to donate fabric before, and was only able to give away fabric that I had been given and didn't think I'd use.  And even more exciting, I've set aside TWO MORE yards of fabric to give away!  And lots of crafting books and magazines as well.  Not a huge dent, of course, but every little bit helps.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


I don't know........does this remind you of anyone?

Monday, March 20, 2017


I'm always ready for spring, but after this winter, I'm even more excited. And...........I HAVE JOB INTERVIEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!  2 to be exact.  One this week and a final interview with another organization next week, so I might be back to work soon!  Conversely, if I go through all of this and don't get either job, I might be spending April curled up in a ball in the back of my closet.  Ah, the possibilities......

I finally have a picture of Andy's new shirt with buttons,
and started my next project,
 which you might notice isn't pajamas.  It's another one of these
which is what I'm wearing for Me Made Monday today.  At least this is also a very old piece of fabric--probably 2006/2007.  It's a fine-wale corduroy, and I bought it to make a shirt for Andy, apparently before I figured out how much fabric it takes to make a shirt.  Since the jacket involves a LOT of pieces, it takes less fabric, so it's almost the only option for this fabric, and it will make a very nice jacket, so
One great thing about a pattern you know REALLY well--you can pin up a lot of pieces to sew all at once, so even with all the top stitching and 20+ pattern pieces, it might be the fastest sewing project I have now.  I should look for a similar pattern with front pockets--that would be very nice.  I'm sure I have one--what I am LACKING is the drive to look through the pattern stash......

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Ah, Spring.......

So Me Made Monday was fairly easy this week, as it was freezing and spitting snow.  This
is one of the most comfy things I've ever made.  Being spring in Idaho, of course, it was 60 degrees yesterday  It's supposed to be almost 70 degrees this week, then heaven only knows.  Layers are our friend.

With the assistance of Callisto,
who has a passion for laying on sewing instructions, I have been working on Andy's shirt in little bits all week,
getting everything finished yesterday,
and adding buttons today:
The job hunt continues in both states, but slowly. job/moving/not moving is a FABULOUS way to get stressed out, but luckily we realized that most of the things we would have to do to prep our house to sell are things that need to be done anyway, so
this week I started with the closet in the master bath.  Besides just a general cleaning and sorting, it really needed to be repainted.  We'll have been in this house 11 years this summer, and the original paint definitely didn't have an 11-year life span.   Not that a bathroom closet could ever be really exciting, but it is looking quite spiffy with the new paint.  I can't wait to see how the doors look when we get those rehung and painted. 

I have taken some breaks for a bit of embroidery,
and I'm so thrilled with my recent success with the embroidered pocket that I dug this out today:
It's flannel-backed satin which I've had in the stash for a while, and while I don't actually need any new pajamas right now, they do wear out and I'm thinking of trying embroidery on the leg and chest, and maybe the lower hem?  And if I mess it up, no one but Andy will ever see them.   The other bonus:  this is older stash fabric.  It isn't in my original spreadsheet, so I wouldn't know the date for sure, but I'd put it at 2006 or 2007, so about 10 years.  There's something really exciting about using up fabric that's been with me a while--I think it gives me hope for the rest of it.  :)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

600 Days

It's now been 600 days since I last purchased yarn.  I think because I've been so busy with work, job hunting, and everything else, I haven't really felt the yarn-buying urge yet, which is surprising.  Shocking, really.  Okay--astounding.  Now if I just did more knitting............

Saturday, March 4, 2017

And This Week's Lesson Learned........

If one is cutting out a thick fabric--say, a thinner fleece perhaps--if the layout instructions say to cut out 2 matching pieces on the fold,
the squishiness of the fabric could be an even bigger factor than one originally thinks.  Between the two collar pieces and the interfacing, I have three separate sizes here.  REALLY separate sizes.  Luckily,
if I can get it away from Callisto, I have enough fabric to cut out more collar pieces, and this time laying the pattern piece flat so the two pieces will, I assume, come out to be the same size.  One never knows for sure with sewing, but there's always hope in my heart that the Sewing Gods are in a good mood.  Or have someone else to bother.

Aside from this fairly major collar issue, Andy's Valentine Shirt progresses,
 and could actually be done by Saint Patrick's Day.  We're flexible like that with holidays.

So, I might have gotten so excited about all the cool new designs that I ordered more towels,
like maybe 2 12-packs.  But,

I've now embroidered 4 of them.....and still have several new designs to try out.  Ahem.....

Thanks to the crafting time bribery, I'm still plugging away at the job search and
in addition to the towels, have made quite a bit of progress on the Begonia Swirl scarf/shawl.  I need to get back to the pink sweater, but the shawl is so mindless right now that it makes a perfect I-have-just-filled-out-yet-more-webforms-with-information-you-could-just-get-from-my-resume-if-you-had-bothered-to-look-at-it-and-am-rritable-and-tired project.  I had been previously unaware of this particular project classification, but it's a very real one.  It's probably closely related to the more general "I-knit-so-I-won't-hurt-anyone," which is very popular.

Today it's raining, so I am Chief Kitty Entertainer today it seems.  Theo woke me up at 2:00 AM to inform me of this, so now after we've changed the sheets on the bed, he's tired and is napping.  Poor thing--I think I'll go wake him up......and make another pot of coffee.  I now understand the attraction of fish as pets. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Glad I Could Help

As I'm sure all of you know, looking for a job can be a very depressing and frustrating process, and I think it's made far worse than it need be by receiving no notification or acknowledgement at all when one has taken the time to apply for a job.  I'm always grateful to receive notice when a position has been filled, but today's made my week:

"After considering your submitted application materials, we have decided to offer the position to another candidate."

Ha!  Glad I could help.  And tell that other candidate he/she owes me lunch. :)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wow, That Was Dismal

Yesterday was the last day of the "Race to the Bottom" challenge on Ravelry, which I helped moderate.  An 18-month challenge to potentially use up all one's stash (if possible) or an estimated 30,000.  Several people cleared out over 100,000 yards of yarn.  Me, I did an astounding 7,474.1 yards over a total of 18 months.  415 yards a month--that's just pathetic.  It did earn me the funniest badge ever,
The Dryer Lint Level participation badge! 

We'll be starting another 18-month challenge on May 1, and at least I'll have nowhere to go but up.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

It's Done!

And ready for Me Made Monday tomorrow.  And since I can't remember if I already did one for last week, I had a chance to wear my new yellow floral jacket for the very first time yesterday:
so I'm feeling a bit Amish this week.  I even started Andy's Valentine's Day gift.  I KNOW!  It isn't even March yet.  Aren't I just speedy...............?

Friday, February 24, 2017

In A Frenzy

So 2 weeks ago I got a message from an old boss that there were a couple openings with her group in Oregon that she wanted to talk to me about and would follow up on the following Monday.  Granted, we'd already decided that I'd start looking for a job in Oregon, but that kicked us into high gear because of the possible short time frame--hence all the frantic cleaning/sorting.  And then I never heard back from her.  It's kind of weird and disappointing, but I'm more worried that she'll feel bad and potentially draw back as a friend, because she's far more important to me as a person than any job is.  And it DID get some tidying of the sewing room accomplished, so I'm kind of grateful for that with or without a job.

I am still pursuing jobs outside of Idaho, and with that in mind, I decided to cancel
my Vogue Knitting subscription.  I had canceled all knitting magazine subscriptions several years ago, but there was recently a pretty tempting offer for this one, so after looking through the winter issue and finding lots of great patterns, I subscribed.  I'd like to say finding the willpower to cancel the subscription was totally about decluttering, but the fact that I didn't like anything in the entire issue probably didn't hurt.  I also finished the last of the 12-pack of towels,
plus a few I found lurking in the back of the shelf:
Can you tell I'm having a great time with all the new designs?

I've even managed to get some sewing in,
finishing up the flannel shirt for me tonight.  YAY!  We were having some really warm days for a while, but we're back to pretty chilly temperatures, so as soon as I get the buttons attached and wash the whole thing, I'll be ready to try it out.  AND with 18 finished projects, that 100-projects-finished goal for 2017 isn't looking QUITE as frightening.  Know how I'm doing it?  For every wretched, time-consuming and belittling job application I fill out, I get one hour of crafting time.  Really, have you looked for a job recently?  "Please upload your resume, except that now we want you to retype all the information on it into our web form so obviously we don't actually look at it, and please explain in a cover letter why you have every little bit of the experience we're looking for but please keep it to a page because we're really using mostly computer filtering.  And by the way, our website has some bugs that will force you to keep saving and reloading, even though we aren't actually hiring for a new web developer because we really never check to see if these sites actually work.  Oh, and don't expect us to ever notify you that the position has been filled, even though we obviously CAN send you automated emails--we just inconsiderate dolts who don't want to."  Blech!  Some days have required a bit of chocolate to help with the recovery process as well, and there are more towels on order.  On the other hand, if this torture lasts for a few more months, I might free up some serious space in the sewing room.  Win-win.