Friday, January 30, 2009

The things we spend our time on....

Okay, I mean the things I spend MY time on. ;-)

So most of my spare time is spent on the Facebook applications if I’m not eating, sleeping, working, or too lazy to boot up a laptop at home that takes 20 minutes before I can even open a web browser. Hello... my name is Kristin, and I’m a Facebook addict... There’s got to be a 12 step group, but I probably wouldn’t go because I’d be to busy on Facebook. :-p

When I’m too lazy to boot up the computer at home, I have been sorting through my rubber stamps. It all started when I was looking for a couple stamp sets, and then I realized I had never organized them when I took them out of the moving box (over a year ago). So I took them all out with the intent to organize them. First impression looking at all of them is that a rubber stamp store threw up in my craft room. Second impression was “now what?”. Kelli gave me a couple of good ideas, and as much as it’s going to kill me, I think I’m going to have to catalog them since I don’t really know what I have, and that means stamping out all the images on paper. I don’t even want to guess how many stamp sets I have, and I can guess there’s usually about 6-9 stamps per set. This could take a while. I hope I didn’t plan on doing anything constructive for a while. The good news is once it’s done, I can feel a sense of accomplishment and be able to find something (in theory) when I am looking for it. And I get to say that I’ve used every stamp set I own. How many people can way that? :-p

I am AMAZED by how many Christmas stamp sets I have. I shouldn’t be since the main reason I wanted the stamps was to scrapbook and to make Christmas cards. Okay, that sentiment lasted about 20 minutes. :-p I haven’t gone through those to see if there are any I no longer want, but even once I do, I think I’m going to still have a lot of Christmas stamps. And now we have a ton of purchased cards... I’ll probably make some (or finish ones I’ve started over the past few years) for this coming Christmas for the people that will appreciate them. Unfortunately, that’s not that many. But we’ll see what happens. I already have about two dozen stamp sets set aside to get rid of... I’m not sure how I’m going to go about selling them, but let’s deal with the business at hand first. They can sit in the garage just as well as all the other things I’ve been meaning to get rid of that are too valuable to just give away.

I got a great gift from a friend this week - two earwarmers! Just in time for a cold windy day, too! How did she know? ;-) Here’s her blog post about them with pictures. I haven’t taken a picture of me wearing them yet... I’ve been holed up in the craft room or sitting at the computer.

I have a haircut appointment tonight... my stylist likes me because she can experiment. :-) I never know what it’s going to look like (not that I don’t have a say - it’s just that lately I don’t care much, hee hee). And no, I’m not going to take pictures. I have pictures from Christmas I can show you the last cut, and I haven’t even gotten those uploaded yet. I’ll probably use one of them (If I like them) for my Facebook profile picture since I don’t have anything too recent to put up there. Right now I’ve got an avatar as my profile picture. I’m such a dork.

That’s all I’ve been up to... I’d update more often if there was something to say, so take it for granted that I’m not doing much besides Facebook if you don’t see me post. ;-)



Monday, January 26, 2009

Weekend update

Happy Monday, everyone! :-)

Thanks to a couple great ideas from my friend Kelli, I spent some time “organizing” my craft room Saturday. I moved some boxes to other rooms that had space (mainly the downstairs bathroom that’s three times bigger than it needs to be) and then was able to fit a wire cart and unearth my Iris carts. I have the things I have to move to get somewhere else at a minimum now, and they are things I don’t use very often or don’t need until I start a specific project. I was also able to unpack a box that was under my desk so I can actually put my legs there now - that was the main goal. I can’t say that it’s “organized” to most people’s standards, but I can walk around and I know where most things are. I’ve also gotten bitten by the scrapbooking bug (and discouraged from some of my sewing projects) so I might be doing some scrapping in my not-too-distant future. In the meantime, Walgreens is having a 10 cent per print sale, so I am going to try to go through my wedding photos and take advantage of printing some photos to get the wedding album started (once I’ve had a little more practice at scrapping since it’s been so long).

I do have to prepare my rose quilt to take to Girl’s Night Out on February 4, so I have a few more blocks to assemble before I can take the rows to sew. I should get the setting triangles cut, too, but I haven’t wanted to deal with that yet, plus getting all the blocks in each row put together will keep me busy for a while. I’m smart enough (believe it or not) not to sew rows together before I have the setting triangles in place. ;-) I do have a row on my design wall that I know is wrong, do I’m anxious to get the other rows in place to see what the problem is. I think a block or two migrated when the kitty batted them out of place, but they look like they belong there, so I’m stumped. All my rows need to have and odd number of blocks, but one or two have even numbers. That’s not going to work. :-p

Yesterday Bill and I and my parents to a bus trip to a casino a couple hours away. The buffet was good (too bad in landed on my white shirt - any suggested for a way to get chocolate out without having to go out and buy anything elaborate?)... I ended up losing what I brought except for $4, and the three of them each won $3 plus the match play coupon values they turned in (they had $15-$17 - I had $5). Bummer deal. But I had fun, and of course I was starting to win $2-$5 at a time right when it was time to leave. :-( Oh, well.

I guess that’s about all the update for the weekend... pretty much the rest of the time I played on Facebook. Bill has threatened to block the site on my computer. ;-)

Have a great week, everyone!



Friday, January 23, 2009

Not much to say, but I'm saying it anyway! ;-)

Hi, all!

There hasn’t been much new and different going on for the last week, but I’ll ramble anyway. ;-)

My eye is still a little red but not nearly as swollen (thanks, Kelli, for asking). I’ve only worn makeup once since it started swelling, and I haven’t worn contacts in I can’t tell you how long (before the swelling started, anyway).

This weekend will be pretty low-key... Saturday we have a free day to do whatever we want, and Sunday we’re taking a bus trip with my parents to Lucky Eagle casino. If you’re on the bus, they give you a ticket for a discounted buffet, so we usually eat first and then gamble our $10-$20 in the slots (the last of the high-rollers). The trip is kind of long, but it gives us a chance to visit. I can’t believe it’s been the week of Christmas since we’ve seen my parents! We’re going down there next weekend for a generic visit - nothing really on the agenda.

Work has been feast or famine for the past couple weeks or so, and this week there was some feasting, so that was nice. I also have a new manager (my former one moved on to another position), but it’s someone I like and who knows me pretty well, so that’s good. And we have the same last name. In fact, that’s how Bill and I got talking on the day we met. I found out his last name was Helgeson and I asked him if he was any relation to the Don Helgeson I worked with (who is now my manager). :-) Hopefully HR won’t think Don and I are related and try to suggest moving me out of the group. ;-)

Bill still likes his job, and he has his 90-day review next week. He expects it to go well because his manager and the interim manager that was there when he got there have been giving him good feedback. YAY! He’s still spending his time on the bus reading and / or listening to his new iPod (well, new to him - it used to be mine and I upgraded).

I had dinner with my friend Kelli last night - she’s always great to chat with, listen to, and glean great craft ideas from. She made a few suggestions that I’m going to have to try to follow up on - maybe tomorrow if I don’t have my butt in front of Facebook all bloomin’ day. (Bill won’t let that happen.) I have all these craft “urges” to scrapbook or crochet (not much sewing - pretty discouraged there at the moment and have been for about a month or so) when I’m at work, but I’m so fatigued when I get home that I couldn’t care less about doing anything. Hopefully with some sleep tonight, tomorrow will be a semi-productive day.

That’s it for now... I’m starting to really ramble about nothing, and pretty soon I’m going to be telling you what I had for dinner all week just to fill space. ;-)



Monday, January 19, 2009

My weekend

Hi, all!

Well, I haven’t started my second garment yet (haven’t even checked the blocking on the first) for lack of time, but I did manage to buy some yarn Sunday. ;-) I also completed a four-page layout for my friend Jana. She only wanted one page, but it was a workshop and we had the packages handed to us. I was going to use them for my niece’s layout, but I saw little frogs on VERY cute girl paper, and I couldn’t help but think of Jana (and the fact that I still owe her a layout). I don’t know what she’ll use it for - it’s not baby-specific - so she should have fun with it for some occasion either now or down the road. I’m going to give her the embellishments to play with (hint, Jana: princess party or dress-up) so she can tailor it herself. I think she’ll have fun with it, whatever she decides to use it for. Sunday was also nice because my workshop was in the evening, we got to have a leisurely Sunday morning / early afternoon before I left at 4pm to go shopping and head to the workshop.

Saturday was a fun day... we went to a wine-tasting party in the evening with a local wine club we belong to, and with our membership card we were able to do some free tasting beforehand at some local wineries. This was the first even we’d been able to make it to because more are in Seattle, and this one was practically in our backyard! So we starting our wine-tasting about 2pm, had lunch at a hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop nearby that Bill had a coupon for (I would go back again - good stuff!), hit one more winery where we met a great gal named Julie who was part of the club, and in addition to a bottle of wine, we scored a reusable 4-bottle wine bag for $2. That will be GREAT for the grocery store (not that we’ll need to buy wine from the store anytime soon). After that, we went on to the “warehouse district.” It’s a corporate park that has several (more than a dozen, I think) winery taste and sales rooms. I think we hit 4-5 of them - we bought two bottles at one, one bottle at one (a nice blend named after their poodle/cocker mix who happened to be there and was a great little pooch), and then went to a couple where we didn’t end up buying anything. I was collecting corks, though, for some art project I’m going to do eventually, so the places that we didn’t get wine from, I did manage to get a cork (except one place that had lame corks). One place gave bill a bag of corks (and they were different styles, so that was cool). I’m not sure at what point I’m going to start this endeavor or how big it’s going to end up (considering out kitchen wall space, there may end up being more than one), but we’ve been collecting corks from our bottles for a couple months now. I saw a couple that were really cool-looking, and I decided I needed to play with them. ANYWAY, back to Saturday. After the tastings, the party started at 6pm at another winery outlet, and there was art on display for sale, a ping pong table, a live band, and sports from a projector that took up a great amount of wall space (they’re having a Superbowl party there) - something for pretty much everybody. And, of course, and more tasting from their winery and another couple places that I didn’t catch (darn, I forgot to get a cork from two of the three tables. Oh, well). The only hitch in the day was my skirt. I didn't realize when I put it on (for the first time) that it was too big (it seemed to fit okay at the time), and it kept falling down to my hips. And I had been more worried about my panty hose! The day and night when pretty okay (it dropped to about mid-hip at one point, but hopefully no one noticed). Well, as soon as I got home, the thing dropped to my ankles! Glad it was then and not at another time! I had some static cling issues, too, but that wasn't as bad as the rest. I guess I'm going to have to remember how to make darts and snug that thing up a bit. :-p

I’ve also been spending some time on Facebook. Boy, that place is addictive! I’ve got a (fluff)friend, a pet at the pet society, several applications, and all sorts of fun stuff. Sometimes I even do serious things like look at peoples’ pictures and comment, or look for people I haven’t seen in a long time to see if they’re there. ;-) I was showing Facebook to my husband this weekend. I don’t think he’ll be getting an account anytime soon - he’s not as frivolous and silly as I am. :-D If you’re on Facebook, feel free to look me up (most people reading this probably know my real name - if not, let me know and we’ll see how I can get you my email address).

Well, I think that’s all the news I have the attention span for today... have a great week!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This and that

Hi, all!

Not too much to report (not that that has ever stopped me from rambling), but I didn't want you to think I didn't care anymore. ;-)

Crocheted sleeveless top news: I got the trim crocheted on the neckline and one armhole last night. I also sorted through papers and filed. Big night! :-) Tonight I'm going to finish the other armhole before Bill gets home, go through my credit card receipts that got unearthed last night in the paper frenzy, and then we're on to the next top (with the adjustments I wrote down). I bought enough yarn for three of the same top, and since this next top is the second experiment, it's with the second more expensive yarn... not that any of it was really that expensive - that's for when I get REALLY good (ha) and get some debt paid down (ha). After this top, I have a variegated yarn that's going to look great with denim, so I'm looking forward to that and hoping it comes out just great with the practice I'll have had. Did I mention that I bought some [inexpensive] yarn to try out for a cardigan? Sleeves.... DOH! LOL! It's also a different stitch (as in not as simple) as the ones I'm doing now, so it will be an adventure. I'll probably end up making a couple of those, too. I've also been wondering if I make the next size up on the sleeveless top or delete the sleeves on a cardigan if it would work as a vest. I have some short sleeve shirts that are too small to wear alone [and not show my true body contour, which no one wants to see] but work fine under other things. It's a thought, anyway. There are a couple tops in the book that I would LOVE to do, but I need way more practice (and a little more money) first. The weight yarn they require is only found in baby yarn at Jo-Ann's and Michael's, and I look horrid in pastels (and I don't wear white much). Doesn't anyone want a baby afghan in a nice bright purple or turquiose? :-\ I'm not ready to pay yarn store prices yet. The author can afford to do that - I can't. Unless I start selling crocheted sleeveless tops on eBay. ;-)

Yarn shopping is interesting... I was looking for something on sale to make the sweater out of, and the color combinations for variegated year can be pretty funny. There was one yarn that was cream, pink, and brown... neopolitan ice cream! LOL! I saw a great black, white, and gray that I wanted for another sleeveless top (can you tell I'm gearing up for summer and like making the easiest project in the book?) but there wasn't enough for the project. I'll have to keep my eyes out for that, and maybe try another store.

I'm also getting the nibble to work on some jewelry projects. I can kit things up and work on them at work at lunch instead of shopping online :-) but I haven't gotten to that point yet. I really need to know where a project is going or I end up not having something key that I need and it ends up being a really short work session. I found a design online that I want to copy - I might start with that one. I saw it and had to buy the components - even though I have very little that the ensemble with go with. I'm such a dork sometimes. I'm better about that now, but the ensemble was just SOOOO cool! :-) I also have something I want to do in purples, which I actually have a couple things I can wear with and I have all or most of the materials from when I made a badge lanyard for work. I have one necklace I made in silvers and blacks which is pretty cool. Problem being I made it too small so it has an extender and I may or may not tear the necklace apart one of these days and make it the right length. Then I made the same type of thing in browns, and I made it too long. Some days I just can't win. ;-) I'd like something in black that's a little more subtle for summer, so I'll have to work on that.

On the work front, Bill still really likes his job and is able to do some reading on the bus. He likes his walk through downtown from the bus stop to his building. There's a coworker that lives not to far from us, so he even has someone to talk to on the bus now and then. There are a few regulars at the stop near our house, so he's been getting to know them a little bit, too. I've still been able to get up and get to the vanpool (though some days are closer to departure time than others), and I love being able to relax on the ride, and sometimes listen to music. I like to do that more when it's daylight so I can see to untangle my earphones on my iPod. It's not daylight either way quite yet, but it's getting closer on the ride home where we don't arrive in the dark.

Work for me has been a little slow - kind of like the calm before the storm. We've been delivering airplanes more than putting them together, and I'm way upfront in the process (we tell design engineering what to design). February looks like it's going to be busy, so I'm holding out for that. Layoffs are also supposed to start in February, too, and the good news is that 50% of the group will be going before me if things stay the way they are. Unfortunately, they're going to be doing what I call a "rack and stack" where they decide who is going out the door before whom. I was told not to lose any sleep over it, but that's what I was told right before I got bumped out of a job in 2003. So, I'm not losing sleep, but I'm also not feeling invincible, either. I do trust this manager more than the one I had in 2003, so that's something. ;-)

I got an email about the temperatures beck east where I'm from originally... lows of near zero degrees F. I'll take our 35-45F any day over that stuff. :-) I love the Pacific Northwest! It's even going to be dry and partly sunny for the next three days - good news for the flood-filled areas. I think most of the roads are open now and back in business (at least we're getting more mail now).

Looks like this is the end, as the narrator for the Underdog Show would say...


Monday, January 12, 2009

Crochet News and Prayer Requests

Hi, all!

Well, Saturday night I was able to assemble the pieces of my crocheted top. YAY! I still have to do the trim and block it, but it’s put together (and something I would actually wear out of the house). There are a few things I’ll do differently on the next one (which will probably get started shortly), but overall not a bad attempt for a first garment. I bought yarn yesterday to do a cardigan - sleeves! ACK! LOL! :-)

Other than that, the Christmas decorations are all now packed away. The mantel looked really bare, so I put the “normal” stuff up there this morning before work since I had a few minutes. It looks a lot better now. Our mantel clock decided to stop working over the holiday, and since everything was bare last night Bill decided to take a look at it and it’s beyond anything he can do. :-( We’ll have to take it somewhere to get it looked at. It’s the biggest clock in the room and it’s got wonderful chimes every quarter hour, and I miss those a lot (yes, even in the middle of the night).

This week doesn’t look very exciting when I look at our calendar - more time to crochet. ;-) For the weekend, my parents are coming up to visit. I’m sure that card play will be involved, and maybe a trip to the casino to play some slots. I had a dream the other night that I won $100 on the slots and there was a quilt shop in the casino. There’s definitely something wrong with me. ;-)

On a more serious note, please pray for my friend Sharon. She lost her dear father in early December. They were extremely close and she did get through the holidays without him, but I don’t know how good of a support system she has. It sounds like a lot of the affairs are settled, but I know the next weeks and months (and years) will be hard for her. Thanks for praying.

Also on the prayer list (though much less important) is that I developed a swollen eyelid last night. It’s about the same this morning, but it hurts to the touch, and it didn’t last night. So thanks for praying for that if you think of it, and hopefully it will go away without my having to take time off work to get it dealt with. My vision seems fine, and it’s not bothering me if I don’t touch it, and it’s nor weeping or anything. I’ve had pinkeye, and this isn’t it. Hopefully it’s nothing serious.

I guess that’s about it for this morning... Thanks for reading. :-)


Friday, January 9, 2009

Facebook Fun and Crochet Cautious Optimism

Hi, all!

There’s not much to talk about in my world, but that rarely stops me. ;-)

I’ve been playing on Facebook a little more... not that I have much more figured out, but I’ve been playing. ;-) They have quite a few cool applications and features and silly stuff that no one really needs but entertains us and keeps us from doing less important things like laundry and such. :-p

This weekend we’re planning on taking down our Christmas decorations... why are they so much easier to put up than take down? ;-) Hopefully we’ll get it all done Saturday and then have Sunday to do what we want after church.

I started the front of my crocheted sleeves top this week - I’m 2/3 done and just at the neckline. Now I’m going to learn how to make a V-neck. Good luck! :-p Hopefully it will all turn out fine - I did find out that I was a stitch over somewhere along the line, but I have the number of stitches I’m supposed to have for the row right before the V-neck. Hopefully one extra stitch in the armpit won’t make a difference.

Weather-wise, we’re enjoying a dry day so far today, which hasn’t been the norm lately. There has been quite a bit of flooding here between the melting snow and the rain. Not a huge surprise since there’s flooding to some extent every spring, but it’s been pretty devastating and unusual for January. Bill and I are high and dry, but there are some pictures on TV that just tug at your heart. As expected in a flood situation, there are people (and retailers) who have lost much or everything, and one woman who is lucky to be alive after her house slid off its foundation and down the hill (while she was in it). It’s a good reminder of how incredibly blessed we are.

Believe it or not, that’s all I have for now. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll try not to be so boring next time. ;-)


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy [belated] New Year!!!!

Hi, all!
So much has happened since my last post... hopefully you (and I) won't fall asleep reading. ;-)

Today is my first day of work since December 22nd. It's been easier to get back in the routine than I thought, but the getting up at 5am part was a shock. :-\ This lunchtime is very welcome to restore my blood sugar and another caffeine opportunity. :-) So back to the Christmas break.

My parents were scheduled to come for a visit Wednesday through Friday for Christmas (they live about 50 miles away), but the weather changed things a little. We decided that it was best that they come up Tuesday night as they were predicting snow for Wednesday. And did we get snow. And snow. And snow. Our "official" measurement was 9.5 inches, but Mom and I think there was more than that. It was hard to tell since we had snowdrifts here and there and there were few areas that we could measure because they were unaffected. As the week went on, we had significant snow adn slush in our cul-de-sac, and very few people were getting in or out (including the mail carrier). We tried to get out on Friday, but that didn't work. My car isn't bad in the snow, but I wasn't going anywhere in that wet mess. If it had been just snow, we would have been fine, but with all the water and slush underneath... no dice (and no time away from the house). Friday turned into Saturday, and Saturday into Sunday. The snow and slush was starting to recede and more ruts were available, and my parents were running out of medication. So, Sunday they saddled up and Bill and I were ready to push if required. A powerslide and a couple ruts later, they were headed for home. Until that time, Bill was the only one that got a cure for cabin fever - he walked up to the grocery store about a mile away to buy a few things. I got out Monday night to go to dinner, and then ran some errands on Tuesday. It was good to be out.

As for our Christmas, it was white and wonderful. I made a ham for dinner and a couple of the accompanying dishes, and Mom made a couple of the side dishes as well. We've never cooked together much, so that was kind of neat. We had together time, presents, game time, and relax time. It was an altogether good holiday. I had some frustration getting my computer to talk to my new iPod (Bill got my old one), so that was a little annoying. It still every once in a while tries to make me register it (been there, done that), but the largest frustration factor seems to be gone. Now I just have to take all my Christmas songs off there until next year. Even if I don't, I have plenty of room for new songs! YAY! Now I just have to figure out which of my CDs I didn't burn the first time because I didn't have enough room. Hmmmm......

New Year's was pretty low-key... except at Costco! I had to park in a lot that I didn't even know they HAD! The place was a madhouse!! I'm so glad the only thing I went there for was to go to the optical. I went in the middle of the day, thinking that some people had to WORK on December 31. I guess not. ;-) No one but retail people and my husband.

Over the break from work, I'd been playing with some fiber that I couldn't knit or crochet, so I started a really long crocheted chain to make it a little bigger fiber, maybe to make one of those fiber scarves. There's a whirly-gig thingy that would probably do a better job and it would definitely be faster - maybe I should look into that.

For Christmas, among other things, I got a plus-size crochet book that I asked for, and after I got over my intimidation, I decided to try one of the smaller and easier projects (a sleeveless top). I bought some acrylic yarn on sale, and have enough to do the whole thing for $10. I've bough a couple other colors since then in case I need a do-over or like it so much I need more. They're not really light yarns that were recommended (medium weight), but I think it'll be okay for summer. I'd use a lighter fiber, but then I wouldn't know how to modify the pattern, so I'd better stick with the instructions. I'm a self-taught crocheter, and this is my first project where gauge matters, so I'm a little intimidated. Last night I got the back done, and tonight I'll start on the front (including a V-neck - ACK! LOL!). Wish me luck. :-)

I didn't do any sewing (too cold in my sewing room, hee hee) or many things that I expected to do during the break, but at least my crochet made me feel productive (even if I don't have much to show for it). Rest is good, too, right?

Well, back to work I go. Thanks to all you readers out there who make my rambling worthwhile (all 5-6 of you that I know of). :-) I did send my blog address to our Christmas card list... probably one look at this and they won't bother to come back! ;-)