Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm feeling melancholy this evening.  No plans for New Year's Eve this year.  I actually spent the day in my jammies watching the snow and working on Christmas gifts.  Yep, I'm still not done.  

2008 was a rough year for us.  I am kind of glad it is over.  There probably was more good than bad, but the bad has been weighing on me and stressing me out.  Hopefully 2009 will be better.  I don't usually make resolutions, so I am going to keep on doing what I am doing and get the rest of this weight off me and keep it off.  I have also started applying for jobs.  There isn't a whole lot out there now but we'll see.

Best wishes to you all for a happy and prosperous New Year.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas.  Ours was very quiet.  Just me and Patrick this year.  We woke up, opened presents, watched TV, played some Wii, and had ham for dinner.  Saffy enjoyed the wrapping paper enormously.  She even opened all her presents herself.  She got about a gazillion new toys and yet all she wants to play with is the wrapping paper and the tubes from inside the wrapping paper.  

I am STILL working on Christmas gifts.  Four of them have been received so here, finally, is the first round of Christmas gifts!

This pair was for Rita, Patrick's sister.  I used the Jaywalker pattern by Grumperina that I found on Ravelry.  It's a quick and easy pattern and I love how the yarn worked in this pattern!  I knit these in Blue Ridge Yarn Jubilee.

This pair was for Teri, Patrick's brother's wife.  I used the Monkey pattern from Knitty.  These were also knit from Blue Ridge Jubilee.

This pair was for Patrick's brother, John.  I used the pattern, Mr. Pitt's Socks and they were knitted in Noro Kureyon Sock yarn.

Last but not least, the Sudoku afghan for my mother and father-in-law.  I used Vanna's Choice and made up the pattern myself.  I used shades of blues and grays in honor of my father-in-law's Air Force career and a Sudoku puzzle in honor of my mother-in-law's love of puzzles.

As far as I know, all the gifts were loved.  

In other news, I have officially lost 10.8 pounds as of December 24th.  Yay me!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sorry it's been a while.  I wanted to post last week, but the universe just said no.  Last Thursday, New Hampshire had a huge ice storm and about half of the state was left without power.  Patrick and I stayed in the house over Friday night.  We slept with the dog and two comforters and many blankets.  I was planning on going to Syracuse on Sunday to visit my friend Sara, but ended up leaving a day early as she had power and heat.  Our power was out a total of five days.  I was going to come home yesterday, but there was snow in New York as well as New Hampshire, so I spent an extra day.  It was a really nice visit, except for the cold I brought home with me.  I just got over the last one.

I'll do some more updates when my head is less stuffy!

Friday, December 05, 2008

4 gifts complete!  I didn't finish yesterday as I was hoping, but just this afternoon.  I doubt I will finish two gifts this weekend either, but I will settle for one.  I am done with the majority of the crocheting for one of the gifts and all that is left is a LOT of finishing.  I can't wait until I can share everything I am working on.  I guess that is my Christmas gift to my blog readers.

I am still stuffy and snuffly.  I can't wait for this to be done!  Saffy keep stealing my tissues and then ripping them apart into a million pieces.  She tries to steal them while I am blowing my nose.  

Just thought I would post a quick update.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I purposely skipped posting yesterday after posting 30 days in a row.  It sure felt weird.  But I am back, typing more about nothing!

I am still suffering from this miserable cold.  It has finally reached my head and I am stuffy and snuffly.  I skipped yoga today as I didn't want my head to explode during the inversions.  I did have an appointment with a new dermatologist today.  I have a bump under my left nostril that has been there for around 15 years.  He thinks it might be a basal cell carcinoma and I have a biopsy scheduled for the 22nd.  I'm not too worried.  It's been there a while so if it was going to misbehave I think it might have done so by now.  My dad just got cleared of skin cancer so it's better safe than sorry.  

Saffy and I had obedience today.  She was really wound up.  She started freaking out the minute she saw me getting her bag ready.  When we got to Petsmart, she walked in the door, stood on her hind legs and waved her paws at the ladies at the checkout.  It was very cute.  She did do a good job in class as I got one good "stay" out of her.  She has been driving me and Patrick crazy lately.  She nips at our arms and scratches my head and face.  The instructor told me to put her in time-out every time she is naughty.  I've been putting her on the floor and standing on her leash until she calms down.  It seems to be working, but I will need to keep it up.   I am such a strict mommy.  Patrick is a push-over when it comes to the puppy, but I am with her most of the time so I guess it falls to me to be the disciplinarian.  I keep telling her that she is lucky we love her so much!

I'm about 3/4 of the way done with one of my gifts!  I hope to finish tomorrow and I want to completely finish two more gifts this weekend.  Wish me luck.

Monday, December 01, 2008

So, I figured out why I was so miserable yesterday.  I caught Patrick's cold.  I woke up with a killer sore throat yet still went to yoga.  At the time I was still holding out that I hadn't caught the cold.  Yoga made me realize that I did.  I spent half the class in child's pose and the other half of the class with my legs shaking.  Class was way harder than it should have been.  I was kind of hoping I'd sweat out any germs, but it didn't seem to work that way.  I'm supposed to go back on Wednesday, so we'll see how I feel.  Patrick had a head cold so I don't expect yoga to be as beneficial when you can't breathe.  

I spent the afternoon on the couch with Saffy and some tea.  I am almost halfway done with another Christmas gift so I am at:
3 complete
4 in process
2 not yet started
I'm getting there!

Today is my baby sister, Drea's birthday.  Happy 26th Birthday Sissy!  I sent her money for knitting lessons.  I tried teaching her this summer and we were working on the knit stitch, but with all the wedding work we didn't have much time to do any more than that.  Hopefully, another convert to the dark side.  Ha ha ha!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ugh.  It's snowing.  It's times like these that I wish I still lived in Seattle.  Seattle rarely gets snow and rarely gets colder than the mid-30s.  If you want the snow and cold, drive to the mountains.  We used to go skiing all the time.  In New Hampshire, I haven't been skiing once since we moved here.  I don't think my ski gear even fits me right now.  I remember our first winter in NH, Cocoa and Petie (our original Chihuahuas) had never seen snow before.  They did NOT like it one little bit.  We had to dig spots on the grass for them to go potty.  Luckily, they were paper trained so they could go inside if need-be.

Officially, today is the end of NaBloPoMo for November, but I pledged to post one extra day since I started a day late.  I can't believe I was able to do it!  I've really enjoyed meeting so many awesome bloggers through Ravelry and I love to read what everyone is up to.  It's almost like having pen pals.  Blogging is like making the world your pen pal.  Wouldn't it be crazy if my actual pen pal from growing up is reading this?  I doubt it.  I lost track of her a long time ago. . . 

I don't know what it is, but I have been feeling down today.  I think I'm stressed about the upcoming holidays.  I have so much work to do and not a lot of time to do it in.  Back to knitting.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I am halfway done with another gift.  Not much else is going on around here.  Patrick isn't feeling well, so we are just hanging out relaxing.  I hope he gets better soon and I hope I don't get it.  

I'm not very inspired to write right now and I don't have much to say.  Sorry.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Here are the pictures I promised!  First, we have the delicious Thanksgiving feast Patrick and I shared.  Everything was so good.  Isn't the canned cranberry sauce wicked classy?

Next up, we have the awesome Weight Watchers pumpkin pie.  It was very tasty.  

Saffy loves cardboard tubes.  We totally don't need to buy her toys.  We just give her toilet paper rolls.  Yesterday was a very special day and Saffy got the tube out of some cling wrap.  It's extra thick and chewable. 

Last but not least, Saffy was exhausted after her crazy tube chewing and doing tricks for turkey.  Puppy hangovers are so cute!

I got tagged by Tangletale for a meme the other day and I wasn't even paying attention!  I'll even post a real entry later today once I download the pics I took from our Thanksgiving holiday.  Here it is for funsies.

The Rules:
1) Link to your tagger and list all these rules in your blog.
2) Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3) Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blogs
4) Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

  1. I was born almost 9 months to the day after my mother's 18th birthday.
  2. I love candy corn and conversation hearts.  
  3. I like it when my husband sticks his nose in my eye.
  4. I don't like mayo or mustard and would rather eat my sandwiches plain.
  5. I don't like crafts that you have to clean up immediately after doing.  Like painting, polymer clay, anything messy like that.  Mostly because I don't like cleaning up after myself.
  6. I want a French Bulldog that I will name "Fromage."
  7. If someone else is driving, I will almost always fall asleep in the car.
I'm tagging: Nicole, Andrea, Lauria, Jennifer, Holly, Laux, and Michelle.  Have fun.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!  This was the sight that greeted us in our front yard two days before Thanksgiving four years ago.  That was the first time I ever saw wild turkeys and at first I had no idea what they were.  They looked like some sort of prehistoric creature.  Now they are a common feature around here.  Last November I opened the door to let Jesus out and didn't realize until it was too late that there was a group of nine turkeys in our yard standing next to our stone wall.  Jesus got out on the stoop, stopped and stared.  Without warning, he took off at top speed after the turkeys.  The all spotted him and took turns jumping the wall into the woods.  Unfortunately for the turkeys, Jesus was able to chase the turkey in the back of the group away from the rest and it was on.  The turkey turned and ran the opposite direction, her claws clicking away on the pavement.  She was flapping her wings and actually got off the ground a little in her retreat.  She eventually made it to the woods behind our house and Jesus gave up his pursuit.  Patrick and I watched this whole event unfold in hysterics.  We had no clue what Jesus thought he would do if he caught that turkey.  A four-pound Chihuahua doesn't have much of a chance versus a four foot tall wild turkey.  I only wish I had a video of the chase.  

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  I always get up in the morning and watch the Macy's Parade on TV followed by the National Dog Show.  Usually, Patrick and I spend the day alone.  Neither of us have any family nearby and all of our friends do, so they usually have plans that don't include us.  When we were in the army we used to have single soldiers from our units over for dinner.  In Seattle, we had a lot of friends like us who had family elsewhere so we would always come together at the holidays and we became each other's family.  In Wisconsin, all the family comes together and then the day after Thanksgiving, my mom, my sister and my grandma all go to Appleton for shopping and then to Green Bay to spend the night at the casino.  

Whatever your plans, I wish you a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I baked my pie this afternoon.  It smells so delicious.  I can't wait until tomorrow to try it.  I have a ton of phyllo dough left so I am going to have to look for some more recipes to use the dough.  

I went to yoga this morning.  It was great.  I really have missed it and I am glad I am back at it.  I have been going Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I definitely can feel myself getting stronger.  I love how yoga ideals can be applied to your entire life.  Today the instructor was talking about finding joy even in a struggle.  I think that is something I am going to try to do.  Maybe it will help me learn to be less scared in my life.

Five more days of posting until I have completed my entire month of posts!  Yay for me.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanks, Lauria!  You solved our no-heat-in-hubby's-car problem.  I suggested that my husband check the anti-freeze in his car and it was almost empty.  He filled it back up and, BOOM, heat!  You saved us like $80 which is what it would have cost if we got it looked at by a professional.  

I'm not as inspired to tell stories as I was last night.  Today was very boring.  I went to knitting in the morning, came home, ate lunch, took a nap and did some more knitting.  

My sister-in-law emailed me this morning to let me know she's been following my weight-loss adventures on this blog and started to document her own.  Her blog is Working Class Mother and I recommend you check it out.  Andrea is a great writer and an awesome person.  Probably the best thing to happen to my brother besides his three kids.  You go, girl!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Back in 1996 I was lucky enough to have one of those "what would you do if. . ." experiences everyone asks themselves about.  You know, the kind that you really can't say unless you've experienced it.  I was backpacking in Europe for two and a half weeks during my Easter break.  I had spent about four days by myself in Paris and Nice and was set to meet my friend Jenny in front of a youth hostel in Rome.  We were supposed to meet around 4pm.  There I was, standing on the street with all my bags, just waiting.  I had been in Rome all day and hadn't been able to find an ATM or anywhere to exchange the Francs I had left from France.  I was tired and hungry and Jenny was running almost an hour late.  Standing there, I finally dropped my bags and left them sitting next to my feet.  A minute later, a guy came up to me and started speaking to me in Italian.  I had no idea what he was saying and was just trying to get rid of him when suddenly he just up and left.  I saw him walk to the end of the block and turn the corner.  That's when I looked down and saw that one of my bags was gone.  The bag that was taken was the one with my passport, train tickets, plane tickets, money, and camera.  At that point, instinct totally kicked in and I was running at top speed after the guy who had spoken to me.  Around the corner, I spotted the guy and his accomplice and started screaming at the top of my lungs.  At that point, the guy with my bag dropped it and took off running.  I picked up my bag and started bawling.  I headed back to the street I was supposed to be waiting on and Jenny eventually arrived with her own story to tell.  Her flight had been delayed at Heathrow due to the royal family landing.  I guess they ground all the planes when that happens.  The one thing I learned from the whole experience is that I won't hesitate to act in that type of situation.  It makes me feel safer and more confident.  

I've been watching Band of Brothers with Patrick and wondering how I would act or react in war.  I had all the training and know what I would need to do, but it seems to me that it's one of those situations where you can't know until you are in the thick of it.  

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I spent most of the day today knitting.  I am about a quarter of the way through another gift.  Yay!

This afternoon I was bored so I convinced Patrick that we should go Candlepin Bowling so I could kick his butt (which I did).  It's so fun and so very New England-y.  It's like regular bowling, except the pins are smaller, the balls are smaller, you get three balls a frame and they don't clear the knocked down pins between balls.  I think it is actually harder than regular bowling.  We always make sure we bring our out-of-town visitors to try it out.  We took our nephews a couple of years back and my nephew, Michael, who was four years old at the time, had a huge temper tantrum because he didn't want to give the shoes back.  

I promised pictures so here is a picture of our downstairs powder room before (yes, Virginia, there is a Mr. Hankey):

And in progress:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Yay!  I finished another gift today!  That brings the total up to three finished Christmas gifts.

We also did our Thanksgiving grocery shopping today.  We are all ready for Thursday.  It is going to be just me and Patrick.  I plan on making a pumpkin pie I found the recipe for on the Weight Watchers website.  It uses phyllo dough for crust instead of the traditional crust.  It only has 3 points a slice as opposed to the 15 points a slice the cheesecake that I usually make has.  Hopefully it will be good!

Friday, November 21, 2008

It has been getting very cold here in New Hampshire.  Yesterday I put my VW Beetle convertible in the garage for the winter.  This morning I left for yoga and decided to take my husband's car because my truck is really low on gas and I hate stopping to get gas and avoid it at all costs.  It was about 20 degrees this morning when I headed out and Patrick neglected to tell me that heat in his car wasn't working.  It's about a 20 minute drive to the yoga studio and I couldn't believe how cold it was and how the car wasn't warming up.  I was counting the seconds until I arrived because the yoga I do is in a heated room--usually around 85-90 degrees.  In spite of the warmth, it still took me about 10 minutes to warm up when I got there.  My poor sweetie drove four hours in that car yesterday.  

I spent the rest of the day knitting and playing with the puppy.  I've taken a break from the crocheting for a little while.

I am glad it's the weekend and I get to spend time with my honeybunches.  We are planning on seeing the new James Bond movie and working on the house.  Hopefully I will have some pictures to post soon.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yay!  Patrick surprised me by coming home a day early.  I was feeling kind of down this morning after getting pulled over for speeding.  Luckily I didn't get a ticket.  I also had my first weigh-in at Weight Watchers and I lost 2 pounds in my first week.  I was hoping for more, but you gotta start somewhere, right?  By the way (does anyone actually type out those three words anymore?), I just wanted to thank everyone for all the support and kind comments you have been leaving for me.

I've been knitting with my Harmony dpns and I have to say that I LOVE them!  They are so smooth and slick.  They also feel so sturdy compared to the Pony rosewood and the bamboo dpns I have been using.  They also don't have chewed up ends like my bamboo needles do!  Saffy is not allowed near my new needles.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tomorrow is my first weigh-in for Weight Watchers.  I thought I would post a picture of myself from last month as a "before."  It's amazing how you can't see what you really look like until you see yourself in a photo.  Ironically enough, I didn't even eat any ice cream that day.  I just enjoyed the juxtaposition of the tiny puppy and the giant ice cream cone.  

I'm still working on my big crochet project.  I also cast on for another one of my gifts that is easier that I can take with me to the meeting tomorrow.  The other gift I have on the needles is the kind of project that requires my full attention.  It isn't that difficult, but for some reason it is very easy for me to get lost.

Class number four for Saffy was today.  We learned "come" and started with "stay."  We still need a lot of work on "sit" and "down" before we can really get into "stay."  She did great with "come!"  The other dogs were so cute.  Lulu, the Lab/Corgi mix and Winston the Yorkie really like each other.  When Lulu and her mom were working on "come," everytime the instructor let go of her leash, she made a bee-line to Winston instead of her mom and the treat.  Winston always seemed to try to run to Saffy.  Saffy spent the majority of the class standing on her hind legs and waving her front paws in the air (so CUTE!).  All the dogs were full of beans today.  We couldn't figure it out.  Maybe Sirius the Dog Star is in retrograde or something.  Who knows.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Not feeling that great this evening.  I have a killer headache.  My exciting news is that I got the 6" DPN Set I ordered from Knitpicks in the mail today.  They are so pretty.  I will definitely keep them away from Saffy.  I have been going through so many sock needles because of her, I had to find a less expensive solution to replacing them.  I feel a little guilty about not getting them at my LYS, but I just can't afford to keep buying new sock needles at $15 a pop.  Sorry Beverly.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I've been doing a lot of cooking lately what with the Weight Watchers and all.  I have to say I have discovered one of the best inventions EVER!  It's the Ziplock Steamer Bag.  I can perfectly steam a large portion of fresh veggies in the microwave in approximately 3 minutes.  I love steamed veggies, but I always have a tendency to over cook them in my stove-top steamer.  This takes all the guesswork out of steaming as it has all the cooking times printed on the side.  I highly recommend trying one out!

In craft news, I have been working really hard on my largest gift.  It's tons of small pieces that will require lots of finishing.  Luckily it's crochet so at least that part is going quickly.  I am just over halfway finished with the pieces.  I also laid a whole bunch of tile today.  Saffy wasn't happy about it.  She has been driving me nuts all day.  She has been very nippy and demanding of attention.  Tomorrow, I have knitting at my LYS so I will be taking a break from this tedious crochet project and crazy Chihuahua.  She's lucky I love her so much!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

This weekend has been pretty nice.  Yesterday was rainy and icky outside, so Patrick and I had pajama day.  We watched TV and I worked on gifts.  Patrick also got some tile measured which he cut today so I will be laying tile this week (yay!).  I told Patrick that for Christmas, all I want is the floor downstairs and the downstairs bathroom to be completely finished.  Of course, this means a ton of work for me, but since I am not allowed to use the tile saw, I depend on Patrick to cut the tile for me so I can lay it and grout.  In case you are wondering, I am not allowed to use the tile saw because I am a klutz and I most recently almost glued my pants and underwear to my butt.  A wet saw with flying shards of ceramic is just tempting fate.

Weight Watchers is going OK.  I am finally getting used to it.  The good thing is that I haven't been hungry.  I pretty much can eat whatever I want provided I watch my points.  I've made it almost into a game to see how I can eat tons of food with the least amount of points.  The key is fruits and veggies.  I don't know why I can't do this not in a program, but hey, whatever works, right?

About my previous post, I know it wasn't very well written or cohesive.  I just want to reiterate how AWESOME my grandma is.  She really is incredible and even the most eloquently written praise of her could not convey the awesomeness which is my grandma.  

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Two days ago, my grandma celebrated her 70th birthday.  She is one awesome lady.  She grew up on an Indian reservation in northern Wisconsin and ended up a single mother with six kids when she met my grandfather.  He said that she came into the garage that he was working in as a mechanic and all six kids were so well-groomed and well-behaved that he knew she was something special and fell in love with her right then.  Grandma has always been the kind of woman who will bend over backwards for her family.  If she can't be found at home, she is out driving someone around or playing bingo in Green Bay.  When she cooks one of her specialty meals (chicken and rice with fry bread is a favorite) an APB goes out all over Sheboygan and everyone shows up for dinner.  She is notorious for leaving her purse at my parents' house.  So much so that we once hid her purse from her and she didn't even notice she didn't have it when she left the house.  

My favorite thing to do with my grandma is to just talk and laugh.  Once her laugh gets started, everyone has to join in.  I lover her and miss her so much!  I really wish I could have been with her on her big day.  

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm kinda tired tonight, so this will be a short post.  Last week I wrote about how I gave up soda and how I needed another goal.  Well, yesterday I joined Weight Watchers.  I had a doctor's appointment on Tuesday and was told that I am obese.  Not a nice thing to hear.  I basically decided to join on Wednesday and found a meeting in town on Thursday.  The nice thing was I ran into a woman that used to work at my LYS.  It was good to see a familiar face.  

I must admit that I don't like that I have to do this, but I really don't know what else is going to work for me.  It's hard, but I can do it.  The hardest part is that I am so impatient I want to see results RIGHT NOW!  Patrick has offered to surprise me with a (non-food) treat after every ten pounds lost.  Hopefully that will help!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This is my gratuitous, I'm too lazy to write a real post, Saffy post. Enjoy.

A while back I sent a card to Saffy's breeder along with her certificate of spay.  I wanted the breeder to know that Saffy was doing well, so I gave the card to Saffy and she chewed it all up and I mailed it like that.  Much easier than the stamp pad/paw print signature.  For some reason, I thought it would be really funny if I made Saffy her own business card and then let her chew on it.  Saffy is an accomplished paper shredder.  Our living room looks like the aftermath of a ticker tape parade.  I love my silly silly puppy!

BTW, her business card says "Blueboys Saffron Fuzzypants -Chihuahua Extraordinaire"
That's her actual registered AKC name.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I started another Christmas gift so that means I now have:

2 complete
3 in progress
4 not yet started

The one I started today is pretty big, so I will have to put in some extra woman-hours on it.  I am going to have to work almost non-stop between now and Christmas to get this all done.  It's crazy.  I just have to keep reminding myself how much money we are saving by me doing this. We are really planning on only buying gifts for the nieces and nephews.  All our saved money is going to our 10th anniversary gift to Sandals in the Bahamas.  I can't wait!

Saffy and I had class today and the trainer worked extra with her on "sit."  Today we worked on "down" and discovered that Saffy thinks the hand sign for "sit" actually is "down."  So we are switching for her and now I just need to find a new hand sign that works for her with "sit."  We also worked on "leave it" and "take it."  Next week is "come," which will come in handy.  Saffy can be fast! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My husband and I met in July of 1998 when we were both in the Army.  We were stationed at Fort Lewis, WA.  I was in the 14th Combat Engineering Battalion and he was in the 9th Finance Division.  Our barracks were across from each other with Patrick's unit being a tenant unit in our barracks.  Thanks to First Sergeant Mabini, I was on on duty in Patrick's barracks on a Friday in late July.  Barracks CQ duty was a 24 hour shift from 9am-9am.  During non-working hours we were allowed to bring our TV to the desk and watch videos.  The week prior to this fateful night I had taken a trip to Las Vegas and won over $300 with which I bought the entire series of Blackadder videos.  I popped the first one in after dinner when all residents in the barracks were coming in to pick up their mail.  A guy with gray hair and glasses came up to me and started asking me about my videos and actually seemed to be familiar with Blackadder.  I didn't really think much about it.  Being in a unit with about 500 men and 30 women, I got used to random men coming up and talking to me or asking me out on dates.  Most of the night passed as normal, watching TV and writing letters to friends.  About midnight, the gray haired guy came back.  This time he was wearing THE most obnoxious shirt I have ever seen.  It was a short sleeved silk shirt with swirls of hot pink, purple and all the other colors you would imagine make up entrails.  We started chatting and he started telling me about his two ex-wives and all manor of things you don't tell someone you just met.  About 5am he actually got up the guts to ask me out and against all my reservations, I accepted, as a meal outside the dining hall paid for someone other than me was too good a deal to pass up.  I really didn't want to date anyone and wasn't sure about this guy at all.  I thought he was some sort of weird serial marry-er or something.  However, he eventually won me over.  This coming March, we will be married for 10 years

I find it quite amazing that we had been living across from each other eight months and our paths had never crossed.  About a month before that night I had been dating someone else and Patrick had been previously married to someone else.  Thanks to fate, the US Army and First Sergeant Mabini, I met my soulmate.

Happy Veteran's Day.

Me and Patrick, Christmas 2001

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Monday to everyone!  I am in a good mood today because Patrick isn't going back to Bangor until Wednesday and he finished installing the microwave over the stove this afternoon.  I got a few things done myself.  I finished a gift, worked on two other gifts and made dinner.

I just ate an absolutely delicious dinner.  I thought I would try to make good use out of my rarely used Crock Pot and made a pot roast.  I just got a 2 1/2 lb. roast and tossed it in the pot with a sliced onion, chopped celery and some carrots, poured a can of beef stock over the top and cooked it on low for 8 hours.  It turned out wonderful.  I served it with mashed potatoes, gravy, steamed carrots and crescent rolls.  Patrick made us drinks (vodka tonic for me, gin and tonic for him) and we had a lovely dinner.  

My first four eBay auction items end tonight.  It's so exciting!  I'm making about $40 off the four items, so I can't complain too much.

I'm pretty proud that I have been actually posting every day!  I also really enjoy reading all of my new Ravelry friend's blogs.  Keep up the good blogging, girls!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Not a whole lot happened today.  I mostly just chilled and went to the grocery store during the Pat's game so I knew it wouldn't be too crowded.  Saffy spent the day perfecting her shark impersonation and Patrick installed the outlet box above the stove so we can put the microwave up there.

In Etsy news, I have decided from today until December 31 I am offering free shipping on all the items in my shop.  Check it out and shop early for the holidays!  I am also planning on adding lots of new items so keep checking back!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I woke up Patrick at 9am this morning and told him he needs to get up and take me out for breakfast.  We had a nice breakfast together and we are having a movie date tonight.  We are going to see Zack and Miri Make a Porno.

This afternoon my bra was so painful I picked up and went to a lingerie shop to get fitted for some new bras.  I was wearing a full band size and cup size too small.  Now I have really really pretty Prima Donna bras.  Very expensive, but I probably won't ever go to a less expensive model if these work out for me like I believe they will.  Being the size I am, it is very difficult to find something pretty and supportive.  

Patrick started working on installing the microwave over the stove today.  When he pulled out the hood we discovered that the contractors that built our house just busted a hole in the wall to wire the hood in place instead of wiring an outlet box into the cabinet above as they were supposed to.  As we are working on the house, we are discovering all the shoddy work that was done on the house which is making our work more expensive.  Thanks guys!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Today marks my second week without soda.  I honestly believe that I had a little bit of a Diet Coke addiction.  Last week I was even dreaming about drinking it!  It has gotten much better and now when I think about having one, it just reminds me how hard it was to stop and I don't even feel tempted.  I decided that the best way to make changes in my life was to do it a little at a time.  Now I just need to decide what's next and when to start.

I got a call from the guy who was in charge of the volunteers at the Milford polling station yesterday.  He set up a blog for everyone who volunteered in Milford to post thoughts and pictures.  If you want to check it out, here's the link.

Here's the homemade Christmas gift count: 1 finished, 2 half finished, 1 three-quarters finished, and 5 not even started yet.  I've been working on the three-quarters finished gift and I hope to have it finished within a day or two.

Patrick comes home today for the weekend!  I'm so glad.  I miss him.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Last night around 9pm the phone rang.  I assumed it was Patrick calling to tell me good night and that he loves me.  Surprise, surprise!  It was my friend Sara Jo that I have known since first grade.  I haven't seen her since my Junior year of college.  We've emailed now and then over the years.  She has just moved to Syracuse from Germany and we have reconnected thanks to Facebook.  It was really great talking to her.  We actually spent an hour and a half on the phone.  It was interesting reminiscing and finding out that she didn't even remember not talking to me in seventh grade.  Of course, from my perspective, it's kind of hard to forget.  Anyway, I'm planning a visit for a couple of days next month once Saffy's school is done.  

I've been working on sit with her today and I realize what the problem is.  I'm supposed to use just the hand signal which is open palm in front of her nose and then over her head.  However, instead of sitting down and looking up at my hand which triggers the click and reward, she stands up on her back legs and tries to get the treat out of my open palm.  So, I need some new ideas on getting her to sit.  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I have been so tired today.  I had every intention of going to bed early last night, but got sucked into watching the returns.  Of course, Obama being declared the winner at 11pm didn't settle my mind.  I kept expecting to wake up to hear that McCain had won.  I've been smiling all day particularly every time I hear the words "President Elect Barack Obama."  

Saffy and I had obedience class this afternoon.  Saffy did not do so well with "sit."  We also did an exercise where we had to stand in one place, no talking, and every time our dog looked at us we had to click and give a treat.  Saffy figured that game out pretty quickly.  She just stood there and stared at me for a while.  She is no fool.  I like taking her to class as it wears her out.  She really enjoys playing with the other puppies.  There is a Yorkie named Winston and a Lab/Corgi mix named Lulu.  They are all friends.  Saffy is the oldest and the smallest.

Still knitting away on the Christmas gifts.  I got new size 1 dpns that I keep very far away from the puppy's mouth!  I've also got 9 items up on eBay and have about five more to list.  All the items are listed under the username "ivory_knight" if you are interested in taking a look.  

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It's been a busy day, for me at least.  I left the house about 9am to vote.  It took about a half an hour and the majority of the time was spent trying to get into the parking lot.  I got very emotional when I got in the voting booth and I teared up a little.  I'm sure I am not the only one.  The stress of this election cycle has been insane.  I definitely agree with the comment on my previous post that there is a lot hold over from 2000 and 2004.

After I voted, I headed over to Starbucks for my free coffee and to Target to return a curtain I bought for the kitchen that was the wrong color.  Then it was off to Nashua for my knitting group.  I left early to spend a little time with Saffron before I had to head back to the polls to volunteer as a poll checker.  I had a really nice time poll checking.  Everyone was really nice.  The Milford poll moderator brought over a ballot that a woman had cut out of the newspaper and given to her three-year old because he wanted to "vote" too.  He colored all over it with red and blue crayon and then gave it to old man collecting the ballots.  It was very cute.  As of 3pm, there were over 5000 votes counted in Milford.  There are about 13,000 people in town, so there was quite an impressive turnout.  

Tomorrow I have a little less happening.  Just Saffy's obedience class.  I'm not talking to her right now because she is driving me crazy.  

Monday, November 03, 2008

Today I decided to join NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month) which means I pledged to post one blog entry a day for 30 days.  I started a day late so I guess I will be wrapping one day into December.  I've also joined with a group of bloggers on Ravelry to make sure we all comment on one another's blogs so we don't feel like we are writing just for our own amusement.  

Patrick left this morning for Bangor.  He hasn't been in almost a month.  He was very glad to not have to fly.  I'm not sure if he'll have to do any major traveling in November or not.  I do think I will get a nice long weekend with him for Thanksgiving.  I miss him so much and I wish I could spend more than two days a week with him.  

I am still working on all the Christmas gifts.  I got a phone call this afternoon and I put my knitting down quickly and Saffy got ahold of it and chewed of the ends of two of my size 1 dpns.  So, I'll be putting the knitting aside for the evening and taking up the crocheting.

I can't wait for this election to be over.  My tummy has been nervous for the past week.  Don't forget to vote tomorrow!!!  Go Obama!  

Sunday, November 02, 2008

After being down and depressed not so long ago, I have been working on making some changes in my life. Most of these changes involve getting off of my butt and doing things that I have been putting off. Of course, these means that I have updated my Etsy shop and have at least four more pieces that I need to list. Doing the photographs is the major pain but I have been taking care of that and the new camera I have (10 megapixels!) makes the photos turn out very nice.   Here's my pink origami necklace that I will be listing later this week.

I have also been going through the house and finding things to post on eBay. This week I will be listing some random Lia Sophia jewelry, RMWC collectibles, and other various things for sale.  Here are a few of the items up for bid on my own personal version of the price is right:

Framed RMWC postcard from 1907:

A lot of assorted Swatch watches from the early 1990's:

Lia Sophia "Toasted" necklace:

I am also volunteering as a poll checker for the DNC at the Milford voting site, so if you see me, don't say hi, I'm not supposed to talk to the voters.  Last but not least, I have cancelled my gym membership because we just couldn't afford it anymore.  I have decided to re-take up power yoga to help me in my weight control battle.  It's Diana vs. Hypothyroidism/Chronic Depression.  A hard battle which can be frustrating and seem futile at times.

Thanks to everyone who sent me kind words of support over the last couple of weeks.  I really appreciate everything and am so very lucky to have such wonderful and caring friends and family.

Friday, October 31, 2008

I have been busy making gifts for birthdays and for Christmas. I sent my sister-in-law her gift and she loved it so I can finally post pictures here.

The fingerless gloves and hat are my very first venture into Fair Isle.  I think it turned out pretty good and I need to start working on more complicated Fair Isle patterns.  I'll have to wait until after the holidays though.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I've been thinking a lot about my childhood and my friends from school lately. For the most part I really liked them and enjoyed being their friends but a lot of my memories tend to be tainted with something that is a little uncomfortable or off. Of course in middle school, we all liked the same band, but had to like different members of the band so as not to encroach on the other girls' territory. The guy I "liked" I didn't really like because my friends would be mad if I let my true feelings be known. My whole life seemed to be about pleasing my friends and changing myself so I would be liked. When I look back, I realize that I might have been the group joke. I was never as smart or as pretty or as well off as the rest of the group and was constantly putting myself down and making myself into a joke to ingratiate myself with the other girls. I took everything I wished I was and turned it around into a joke. I was a horrible singer, the world's worst ballet dancer, and a lover of the guy in our favorite band that no one else liked.

In seventh grade, my friends all dumped me for no good reason that I could see. No one spoke with me or interacted with me for a whole year. It hurt me so bad. There I was, trying to be everything to those people to no avail. During that time, I lost who I was and wondered if I would ever figure out who I was supposed to be. Unfortunately, I still have no idea who I am or what I am supposed to do with my life. I honestly believe that those years of my life formed a lot of who I believe myself to be today. A lot of the struggles I have had with myself really stemmed from those experiences.

I don't have a lot of self-confidence or belief in myself. If I had more, I wouldn't have believed the Sergeant in the Army that told me that nobody liked me because I thought I was better than everyone else (when the opposite was true). She made me believe I was worthless and deserved to be treated like dirt.

I'm so scared of rejection, I don't want to put myself into a position where I could succeed. I'm scared of trying to sell my jewelry outside of my Etsy shop, scared to try to share my creativity with the wider world. It's easier to sit at home with 20 pieces of new jewelry that hasn't been photographed or put online and say it's because I'm lazy. The truth is I am terrified that the things I create and are so very personal to me will be rejected by the outside world and it will feel like a rejection of me.

Sorry to be such a downer in this post, but I really want to use this blog to track my progress in both the craft world and my life. Right now the two are very closely intertwined and my success in the craft world is dependent on success in myself and belief in myself.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Moving is no longer a certainty.  The way Patrick's job has been going, he will only be in Bangor a week or so a month.  So far this month, he has been there two days.  He was in Atlanta last week, he is in Dodge City, Kansas this week and will be back in Atlanta next week.  I miss him a lot.  This weekend we are planning on going to see the Art Nouveau jewelry exhibit at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston.  Anything we can do to make our limited time together "quality" time.  

Yesterday, I took Saffron to the Howl-o-ween Party at Petsmart.  She had a great time.  She was the smallest dog there, but was not shy in meeting the other dogs at all.  Some of the big dogs were actually scared of her.  It was kind of funny.  She wore her pumpkin shirt.  There were a lot of other pumpkin dogs so she didn't win the costume contest.  The dog that won was a Chinese Crested dressed as a biker.  He was actually wearing leather chaps and doggles.  I think he totally deserved the win.  Saffy passed out asleep when we got home.  All of the meeting and greeting wore her out.  Next week, Saffy and I are starting beginner obedience class.  

Been working on trying to get the house straightened up.  It is so messy.  All of the flat surfaces are covered in papers and junk and I have to go through everything.  I'm also working hard on Christmas gifts.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This past weekend was absolutely beautiful.  Patrick and I were naughty and took a break from working around the house and went to the Milford Pumpkin Festival.  I decided that Saffy should get out of the house after her traumatic spaying experience.  She was healed enough and no longer wearing her cone so she was very happy to be out on the town.  Because it was the Pumpkin Festival, I decided that Saffy needed an appropriate outfit for the occasion, so I whipped up a little pumpkin shirt with some polar fleece, felt, and velcro.  She didn't seem to mind it at all and was a huge hit at the festival.  

Here's a picture of Saffy in her new shirt meeting a new friend: Rebecca the Irish Wolfhound.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Lots of craftiness going on lately.  The major projects being the kitchen and the bathroom.  All the full-sized tiles in the rooms are laid and lot of the cut tiles are also down.  I have grouted about half of the kitchen.  I am pretty tired out from all this work.  I need to paint the upstairs bathrooms and the hallway once I am done downstairs.  

Here's a before and during of the kitchen.  The before was taken after Patrick cut some of the backerboard in the house.  It raised a lot of dust.  

I'm amazed how much brighter and cleaner the kitchen looks with the paint and the new appliances.  We do have an over the stove microwave/hood combo to install.  I'm very pleased with how everything is turning out.  

In actual craft news, I finished Patrick's socks as well as the Monkey socks I was working on.  

I have also started work on my many many Christmas projects.   None of which will be posted here until after the holiday of course.  

Since this economy has been really fun lately and I have no idea if we are moving to Maine or staying here. . .  I will be signing up with a temp agency soon to try to make a little extra money.  I will be living in NH for the time being, but may need to put the house on the market in the near future.  Right now, my deepest wish is for there to be a little certainty in my life.  Oh well.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Since I need to start getting things cleared out of the house before putting it on the market, I have been making lots of piles of things to donate and to sell. I have about six big bags of clothes going to the Salvation Army tomorrow and I have posted some cake pans and cake decorating supplies on craigslist. Check it out and let me know if you are interested. If you need things to be shipped I can work something out.

Here are the pictures of what I am offering. I didn't post them in the ad since the server wasn't letting me. . .

Update: The round and oval pans have been bought.  Thanks!

Sunday, September 07, 2008


Originally uploaded by coveykeating
Here is my personal Cute Overload. Saffy and Gus were best buds the whole time we were in Sheboygan. . . or should I say Saffy loved Gus and Gus tolerated Saffy. She loved snuggling him and using him as a step stool to jump onto the couch. They also enjoyed stealing each others toys.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Well, it has been quite awhile since I last posted.  I got home from Wisconsin on Tuesday night and am starting to get back in the swing of things around here.  It has been difficult to get all the wedding stuff off my mind but it is happening slowly.  Andrea and Paul's wedding was beautiful.  I am very happy that I was able to be a part of such a wonderful event and had a hand in making it great.  I really enjoyed spending a whole month in Sheboygan with my family.  It was like being a kid again.

Now that I am back we are getting the house ready to either rent or put on the market so the three of us can make the big move to Bangor, Maine.  All of our new appliances are just about finished being installed.  We just have to put some cut tile under the stove so we can grout and push it all the way back.  The kitchen looks about a billion times better than it did with those old yellow ugly appliances.  I almost don't hate it anymore!  The other thing that I have been busy doing is playing with the best birthday present ever, my new Wii!  I just kicked some major butt at boxing and was sweating and hot at the end.  I also have Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Rock Band which Patrick and I are planning on busting out tonight.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I'm taking a break from all my work and car shopping and cleaning up paper towel shreds from the puppy.  I found this meme on a random blog and thought I would do it.  Enjoy!

1.  What was I doing 10 years ago?  
It was a week before I met my future husband.  I was in the Army and I went on a trip to Vegas with my parents.

2.  What are 5 things on my To-Do list for today?
Make four necklaces and four pairs of earrings
Finish sister's wedding gift
Finish sister's bachelorette party gift
Play with puppy

3.  Snacks I enjoy:
Nacho Cheese Doritos, Take 5 candy bars, movie popcorn, Diet Coke, B&J's Oatmeal Cookie Chunk ice cream

4.  Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Set up trust funds for everyone in my family and my husband's family so they are all taken care of for the rest of their lives.  Get more Chihuahua puppies, set up a full jewelry/metalsmithing workshop, take a really nice vacation, get pampered at a spa.

5.  Places I have lived:
Sheboygan, WI
Lynchburg, VA
Reading, England
Ft. Lewis, WA
DuPont, WA
Lynnwood, WA
Milford, NH

6. Jobs I have had: 
Waitress at lunch counter
Kitchen staff at GS Camp
Camp Counselor
Accounts Payable/Data Entry
Supply Specialist in Army
Administrative assistant/events coordinator
Stock Broker
Unpaid artist ;-)
(Wow!  I have had a lot of jobs!)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Holy crap.  The calm is definitely over and I am smack dab in the middle of the storm!  Last week Friday we headed down to Maryland for our new nephew's christening.  Patrick is the Godfather.  We also brought six cases of left over flooring with us to give to the in-laws.  Saffy was a great traveler!  She adapted well to every place we brought her and stole everyone's heart.  We need to get puppy lo-jack because she is so lovable everyone wants to keep her.  

Anyway, the real "excitement" started when we got to Frostburg on Monday to deliver the flooring.  The car was acting up and it turned out that we had a leak in the transmission.  Our intention was to head home on Tuesday morning but, we ended up taking the car to the local Ford dealer and they tightened up everything.  We left on Tuesday afternoon around 3:30pm.  About three hours into the drive I started smelling something like burning rubber.  When we pulled over to get gas, it turned out that the transmission was leaking again.  So, while I took Saffy to go potty, Patrick dumped two bottles of transmission fluid into the car.  All was good.  Two hours later, the same thing.  By 11:30 we had emptied six bottles into the car and was smoking like the car was on fire and literally had a trail of fluid marking our trip from Maryland to Hartford, CT.  We stopped for the night with the intention of having the car towed the last 12o miles home until we found out it would cost us $800.  We decided to chance it.  We had to stop three times during the last two hours to add fluid and did a lot of praying and willing the car up hills.  The closer we got to home, the more the car struggled and smoked.  About halfway up the final hill, it just wouldn't go any farther.  Patrick hopped out and pushed the car the last 30 feet to the house.  I still can't believe we made it.  Right now, we have one working vehicle. . . Patrick's motorcycle.  The good news is I get a new car for my trip to Wisconsin next week.  Yay!

On Tuesday, Patrick found out that he got a new job with Fairpoint Communications in Bangor, Maine.  He hasn't received his offer letter yet, so we don't know when he will start, but the plan is that he will get an apartment up there while I finish getting the house ready for sale.  We hope to put the house on the market in the new year.  Hopefully the market will be a little better by then.  

The final countdown to my trip to Wisconsin is on.  I have one crochet project, one knitting project, two paper projects and jewelry to make before Wednesday.  I also have to take Saffron to the vet, pick up my bridesmaid dress from the tailor and get a new car.  Nothing to get to worried about.  Actually, why am I typing this and not working?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Ah, the calm before the storm.  Patrick and I had a very quiet 4th.  We went to Lowe's to buy grout.  That's about it.  I finished laying all the full-sized tile yesterday so all we need to do is get the tiles cut down for the edges of the room and then grout.  Right now all of the appliances are in the middle of the kitchen so I can't wait to get them moved into place.  I am getting tired of eating either sandwiches or eating out all the time.  

This week it is going to start getting crazy.  Tomorrow I am going to Boston for the day to hang out with Kate, Tuesday I have knitting, Wednesday Patrick has to go to Portland, ME and Thursday we are leaving to go to MD for the weekend.  When we get back, it'll be a week before I leave for Wisconsin for a month.  I am still working on all the wedding projects as well as the house.  It is kind of difficult because Saffy is always VERY interested in helping me with any knitting or crocheting I am working on.  

I know my posts are boring lately.  Not a whole lot of new or exciting things going on.  Just the same old, same old.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I love stress so much.  Especially the way it affects my body.  I have TMJ and lately my jaw has been killing me.  The last couple of days I haven't been able to eat without being in quite a lot of pain.  

I have been busy and I have a ton of things to do.  We are still working on the house.  The tiling is about half done and we are waiting for new appliances to be delivered.  I have about three large projects to work on for my sister's wedding that I would like to get done before I head to Wisconsin at the end of July.  All these things are contributing to my stress.  I'm trying to break it down and do little bits at a time.

Saffron has been with us for about a week and a half now.  She's a very good girl.  She is pretty well potty trained.  We have a crate lined with newspaper that she uses.  We can tell she is getting much more comfortable with us as she is crazy!  She runs around like a nut for about two hours at a time and then passes out.  Right now she is sleeping on the top of the back of the couch behind me.  She likes to sit back there and chew on my hair.  

I don't really have a whole lot else to say, just thought I would post a quick update.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Lots of news lately.  The bracelet that was featured in New Hampshire Magazine sold on Friday so that was good.  On Saturday morning, we were awoken by a phone call from the breeder I've been in touch with.  She called to ask us if we would like to visit a puppy.  Of course we did!  We are now the proud parents of a baby girl we named Saffron.  She gets to come home with us on June 16.  Because of her impending arrival, we are in overdrive working on getting the tiling done downstairs.  The last thing we need is a traumatized little doggie on our hands.  Jesus totally freaked when we put in the hardwoods, so Saffron is a great excuse to do the tile.  

Here she is with her daddy:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Patrick and I got home from Austin on Sunday.  It was a really good trip.  We ate lots of good food, did some shopping, checked out the National Wildflower Center (beautiful) and did a lot of walking!  I also got to indulge in the most decadent 3-hour spa treatment in the world.  I was basically a big pile of mush when it was over.  It consisted of a deep-tissue massage, facial, hand and foot massage, mud wrap, scalp massage and a vichy shower.  I highly recommend all of these things to everyone.  I did finish my first sock from my flat feet yarn while I was in Austin.  I used the Hedera pattern from Knitty.  I am about a quarter of the way through the second sock now.  It was great for the plane and for the hotel room.  

Now that I am back in NH I have been taking a break from knitting and have been crocheting.  I am part of a crochet-a-long on Ravelry which involves making a new 12-inch granny square every month.  I had only done the first two, so I have been catching up and am finishing up the May square right now.  I am using up scraps from all the baby items I made earlier this year.  I also have 6-inch squares (either knit or crochet) to make for a charity project I am working on through Ewe'll Love It!  I got the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Vol. 1 to learn new stitch patterns to make the squares.  The book is very beautifully done and if anyone is looking for a gift for me, there are three more volumes.  (hint hint)

I got a surprise yesterday.  My pink Fat Bottom Bag was featured on the Crochet Liberation Front's blog and labeled as "Hookalicious."  Looking at all the other projects that were featured on the blog, I am very honored to be in such amazing company!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Happy May Day!  New Hampshire Magazine has updated their site with the May issue so if you want to check out the article on Etsy along with a photo of my bracelet: look here.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Life is slowly tipping the scales from the bad over to the good.  My big news is that my Mah Jong Tile Bracelet was featured in an article on Etsy in the May issue of New Hampshire Magazine.  It's not on the newstand yet and the website is still showing the April issue, but I will be sure to post an update here.  I could scan my copy, but I have been too lazy.

The Souhegan Valley Chorus Spring concert is this Saturday.  The theme is "Broadway" and it should be a great concert.  If you are local and want to go, it is at Souhegan High School in Amherst, NH at 7:30pm.  Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children and senior citizens.

I really like singing in the choir, particular getting out of the house and meeting new people.  Lately, however, I have been having a conflict with another member of the group which is making it not so much fun anymore.  I really don't want to go into details here, but if things don't turn around with her, I might quit.  I'm at a point in my life where I know it is better for me to just get rid of the negative people in my life, particularly when they make me miserable and feel bad about myself.  

The other big news is that I finally finished my sweater!  It still ended up being a little big on me, but it is warm and cozy and that's the important part.

I have started working on my sister's wedding gift, which will not be posted on here any time soon.  Too bad so sad.  I am also working on my first pair of socks.  There was a special sock kit available at Ewe'll Love It! to benefit the Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk.  The yarn is beautiful: pink, brown and gray varigated.  Beverly, the owner of the shop designed the pattern.  The original pattern has two ribbons on the side, but I only did one repeat to keep the sock a little shorter.  I am almost done with the first one.  It is very exciting!

I also bought some really cool sock yarn called "Flat Feet" to bring along as a project when I go to Austin with Patrick in two weeks.  The yarn is machine knit into a flat and then handpainted.  You work directly from the flat which removes the need to wind the yarn into a ball and minimizes tangling.  I got these gorgeous Autumn-y colors that will match my sweater.

Time to go grocery shopping.  We have practically no food in our house.  Unless you count Jell-o and pretzels. . . 

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I have returned home from my last minute trip to Wisconsin.  I got home on Tuesday and pretty much went straight to choir rehearsal.  The concert is in less than three weeks so there is a lot of work to be done!

The visit with my family was very nice, it is always unfortunate to get together with family at a funeral, but it was good to see everyone and I really needed their love and support.  I was able to be with my brother to celebrate his 30th birthday and I got to meet my brand-new niece, Autumn.  She's a beautiful and very sweet little girl.  She is also very strong!

My good news is that I am almost finished with the second sleeve of my sweater.  Once the sleeves are done, all I need to do is the neck and block the sleeves and then sew them on.  I might actually get to wear it before the weather gets too warm.  

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

It's been very windy lately.  Last night it felt like the wind would blow our house down.  Today I wished that the wind would blow me away.  I've been very sick with the flu for the past week and woke up to the news that my grandfather had passed away this morning.  I'll be heading to Wisconsin tomorrow armed with dramamine and hoping the stress of trying to get healthy and dealing with yet another loss in my life won't get me sick again. 
Patrick says we are due a cosmic dose of good karma any day now.  I'm waiting. . .

In other news, my sister-in-law had her baby boy on Saturday night and loved the blanket I made her.  Here's an in-process picture:

The pattern is called "The Curve of Pursuit" and is also the mathematical name of this design.  It represents four dogs chasing each other's tails around a field starting from the four corners.  If the dogs were to keep going, they would eventually crash in the middle.  I figured a mathematical pattern would be good for the geeky-ness that are my in-laws.  I found the pattern and the info about the mathematical concept on Woolly Thoughts.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Welcome to this edition of Craftastic Cribs!  Today we are going to take a look at the room in which I create many of my crafts.  
Here we have a general overview of my craft room.  This room is actually intended to be a formal sitting room in my house, but who the heck uses a formal sitting room.  The bookshelves were purchased at the unfinished wood store and were painstakingly stained and varnished by me and my friend Erica.  The shelves are home to our books, my yarn stash, gem stones, papercrafting supplies, photo albums, and many other random items of crafty significance.  My craft table was found in the clearance room of Ethan Allen for $199.  It is very heavy duty and was in perfect condition.  I still can't believe what a deal that was!  The table is very messy because it seems to be the place in the house where we throw random stuff and I haven't gotten around to cleaning it up.  Anyway, who has a clean craft room?  Also, check out the wicked awesome hardwood floor that I installed all by myself.  
Here we have my jewelry corner.  Here is where I keep all of my beads, wires, and other findings.  I have found the tool boxes to be the best place to keep all my beads and I have even labeled some of the drawers!  The white bike basket was given to me by Patrick to go on the front of my Harley.  Unfortunately, we had to remove it to pass inspection so it now is employed as an earring holder.
The next stop is where I keep the majority of my completed jewelry.  Basically I took a piece of plywood, covered it with several layers of quilt batting and some canvas fabric from an old tablecloth and embellished with some ribbon and voila a jewelry-hanging thingy!  I use T-pins to hold the jewelry in place.  I am working on a larger solution now that my inventory is growing and hope to have it up soon.
Our last stop on this craftastic tour is my kick-ass rubber stamp shelf.  Patrick and I built this for all my rubber stamps.  I have all my jewelry hanging below it.  Once I move my jewelry, I will be building another shelf to house the stamps that do not yet have a home.  

I hope you enjoyed this tour of my craft room.  Now everyone get out so I can get back to work!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Copper Bowl--Complete!

Copper Bowl--Complete!
Originally uploaded by coveykeating
Just as I promised. The copper bowl in all its glory. Patrick cut the base in half for me. Thanks sweetie! I spent almost two hours shaping it and getting it ready to solder to the bowl. My instructor and I soldered the whole thing in one shot which was awesome. I cleaned it up and waxed it to protect the patina and it now lives on one of our shelves. Yay!

Friday, March 07, 2008

So I went to knitting on Tuesday and showed Beverly (the LYS owner) my sweater sans sleeves.  It is WAAAAAY too big for me.  There is at least 10 extra inches around.  I am going to have to sew up the sides, make the sleeve holes smaller and rewrite the pattern for the sleeves.  Oh well, what ya gonna do?

I finished my bowl on Thursday.  It looks awesome, but I have been too lazy to take pictures.  Patrick cut half of the base off so it looks much neater now.  It still took me two hours to make the base fit to the bottom of the bowl close enough to solder the two pieces together.

The weather here is starting to get a little more spring-like.  The snow is starting to melt.  I can't wait for the weather to get warmer so I can get my Harley out.  It will definitely help save money on gas to ride instead of drive.  This weekend we need to clean out the basement and garage as I don't want a repeat of the post flooding mess we had last year.  Luckily, most of the stuff that needs to be cleaned up is going straight to Goodwill as it is left over from our garage sale.  Fun!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

They say that when March comes in like a lamb it goes out like a lion.  What happens when March comes in like raging, psycho, insane bull?  I was over the snow two storms ago and we probably have several more in our future.  Lucky lucky us!  Our plow guy is making a mint off us this year!

In other news, I am almost done with my sweater!  I hope to have it done by the end of the upcoming week.  Lucky for me, winter is showing no sign of going away, so I will have plenty of time to wear it.  My metalsmithing class is going well.  It can be frustrating at times when things don't come out like I want them to.  I made a beautiful bowl and am working on a base.  I will be doing major reconstruction on the base as it doesn't look like I want and the soldered seam keeps splitting.  I should be able to fix it on Monday during open studio.  The bowl was completely handshaped using hammers.  My arm was very tired after two and a half hours of straight hammering.  I did a lot of cleaning up of the bowl on Thursday between bouts of wanting to scream and throw the base out the window.  

You can see the size of the bowl and the base in relation to my laptop.  I'll repost photos of the redone bowl base.  

Last night I went to Friday Night Knitting Club at Ewe'll Love It in Nashua.  It was a good time.  Erica's birthday is today so I baked cupcakes in her honor.  My new friend Holly also came and it was really good to get to see her again.  Next month's knitting club is going to be a cookie bake off.  Make way for the champion ladies!!!