Birthday vacation

Life snuck up on me and I turned 30 this weekend.

Since we had a four day weekend — HOORAY! — Logan and I headed out to Maine for a few days and enjoyed some R&R.  We even managed to spot a moose!  Logan claimed he saw two, but I only caught the one, so I think he’s Bigfooting me on the second.  At this point, I would share a photo but the moose was running at our car, at night, in the rain, so it’s a hilarious blur of nothing discernible.

On the way, we stopped at our favorite little farm in Vermont to get some of our favorite cheese.  We happened on it by chance several years ago when some friends from down-south happened to be in the area for work and now we never miss a chance to stop by.  It’s such fun!

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We stayed at a lovely farm near Moosehead Lake in Greenville, Maine that we found on AirBnB.  What an amazing view they had!  The body of water in the photo is Wilson Pond.  This photo was taken from inside the guest living room — we rented an entire semi-detached apartment — you can see the reflection of the TV in the glass.  If I wasn’t a lazy bum, I would’ve remembered to snap a photo outside but I’m not the best at remembering to take pictures. 😀

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It rained on us for half of our visit, but that didn’t stop us from driving around and exploring miles and miles of dirt road.  We even took a very short hike to look at the wreckage of a B-52 that crashed on Elephant Mountain back in the 1960s.  It was incredibly fascinating and seemed appropriate for a Memorial Day weekend visit.

…and then we ate lobster.  Every day.  Sometimes twice.  Yah, yah, we weren’t on the coast but we did find a seafood place that was just as awesome if you ask me; Graves & Sons.  Fresh picked lobster rolls for days!  They no longer have a restaurant but there were a few tables you could eat at or have it wrapped up to go.  So yummy!   …and as Logan will testify, I’m not usually a lobster kind of girl but when it’s freshly cooked and comes out still warm on a toasted, buttery bun, sign me up!

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Although the trip was lots of fun, I’m always glad to come back home to the fur babies. ❤  I do believe Tesla missed us.  She’s normally so regal and dignified…but not when it comes to getting her belly rubbed.

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Fleece management

My fleece collection recently got way, way, way out of control.  Worth it!  Storing it, however, was not so awesome.   😦

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I’m not always the neatest person, per say, but I do love to have my stuff organized and easy to find.  That overflowing basket of fleece was driving me CRAZY!

…and just in case anybody is curious (because I *always* am when I see others stash storage):  the large black cubes are holding my yardage with each piece marked with how much there is.  The small shoe cubby is holding folded FQs and a few pieces I hand dyed or set aside for upcoming projects in the three middle cubes on the bottom row.  The hanging curtain rod has the stuff that’s full WOF but less than a yard.  Any scraps I have that can’t be turned into FQs or isn’t full WOF length, I cut down into the largest pieces I can and store them in plastic shoeboxes (in the closet — they get turned into strips, hexies, and squares in sizes I use often).  Anything smaller than my “pre-cuts”, I put in a scrap bin for string and crazy blocks…or just to have something to throw on my machine if it’s throwing a tantrum.

The stack of children’s fabrics beside the shoe cubby have been relocated to a more permanent home in a plastic drawer under my cutting table since this photo was taken this morning.  😀  A drawer that was previously occupied by even MORE fleece.

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Actually, that fleece took up two drawers, so I now have an empty one awaiting whatever magic I can store in there…I’m thinking it’ll become interfacing as my stash of that has also grown (as can be seen in the right of the photo with the bolts of insulated fleece and foam).

I looked and looked online for ideas of how to store fleece and most people just seemed to fold and stack it.  Sadly, I have the smallest room in the house (except the bathrooms) as my craft area and it has the most stuff crammed into it…so I simply couldn’t stack and display.  So, enter vacuum storage bags!  Why on earth didn’t I think of these before?!

I grouped the fabrics into similar colors (except when I remembered the two plastic drawers at the end, so those bits of green got thrown in with the neutrals — I’ll swap them around when I do my next project).  Done!  Keep in mind this stack includes all of the fleece from both the basket and two drawers…it’s still a big pile but not nearly as crazy and uncontrolled.  🙂

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Now I just have to figure out where to stash three ginormous bags of fleece, but I have a feeling they’ll slide in on top of the drawers under my cutting table swimmingly.  At least I’m hoping they will!

Lunch Box

Finally got up the gumption to pull my ironing board back out and then I threw together a lunch box for Logan.  He picked the fabric and loves that it looks like old comic book ads.  The second picture is a bit blurry but I laminated the fabric on the interior so it’d be a bit more spill proof.

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The pattern is Luxie-Lunch Bag from Emmaline Bags.  I usually really love her patterns but for some reason, this one was lacking.  I was able to figure out everything but it took a bit of finagling and one quality session with my seam-ripper.  In the end though, I love how it turned out and am already planning on making others.  I think it’ll go much more smoothly next time.

Monsters, Ahoy!

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One monster/alien quilt finished.  It’s not perfect but at least I don’t have to worry about it any longer!

Now, onto my next project!   …which may or may not be trying to figure out how on earth to store all of my fleece scraps.

Sunflowers

Mom’s husband’s youngest daughter is graduating this coming weekend.  We live too far away to go, but I did stitch this cross-stitch pattern up for her as a gift a few months back with the intentions of her receiving it at graduation.  My mom technically thought of and purchased the kit but I did the hard work, right?  The girl’s mother passed away when she was young, but we’ve been told that her favorite flower was a sunflower.  We thought this would be a nice tribute and something functional for the real-world.  The cross stitch fits into a trivet.

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Fleece and more fleece

I know I’ve said it before, but packages are the best!

9 bundles of fleece, 4 of cozy flannel…and almost all of it came with end of bolt yardage.  Score!

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I just wish the two bluish fleeces didn’t look so similar but I like blue so I’m sure I’ll use it all up at some point.  Actually, since they came with extra yardage, I may use one of the blues to back a fleece baby quilt that has been long in the making.

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I finally finished making the appendages so I can applique down the last 4 blocks…and have a pile of eyes, pupils, and teeth to applique, but this thing has made more progress this past week than it has since the day I started it almost 3 years ago. =X

Fun aside: in the photo of the package, you can see my cupboard and my 1865 Wheeler and Wilson #3 in the background!  Not sure how old the cupboard is or if it’s even of the Hoosier brand but it’s family heirloom so I’m glad to have it.  I know at least through my great-grandparents had it when they were younger; they married in 1919 so I would guess that would be close to its origination.  It was red when my grandparents had it, pink with my parents, and I ended up painting it teal with black stencils because I’m afraid it’s too fragile to strip and refinish.  I’m not sure what the original color was.

One of these days I’ll have to make a post about my sewing machines.  I have a small herd (I think I’m up to 14 now — how bad is it that I don’t even know right off?) and they’re all vintage, dating from 1865 to 1969 with the one exception of the sewing machine that belonged to my hubby’s grandmother (1992 Singer).

 

Progress!

The shawl is actually making progress!   Only 175 rows to go!  XD

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I don’t think my stitches look half-bad either!  I haven’t knit in almost two years, so the fact that they’re staying relatively even makes me a happy camper…there are a few mistakes here and there so don’t look too closely!  🙂  I’m also still really loving this yarn.  The more I work with it, the more of a purist I fear I’ll become.

Pretty sure after this I’m going to bite the bullet once and for all and knit a sweater.  I have a pretty one picked out so I hope I keep up the motivation.  Plus, it looks relatively basic with just some lace at the neck, so I won’t have to pick my brain too deeply.  Then again, I did enjoy cabling a lot back when I knit more, so sticking to my wishy-washy self, I’ll probably change my mind a hundred times between now and then.

Sticking to my flip-flopping self I ordered a different fabric for the Christmas gift to-be.  They look okay IRL but I noticed the darker gray looks pretty dingy in photos so not sure how it will show up under different lights.  I definitely took advantage of the free shipping Joann’s had for a few hours yesterday for Mother’s Day to get a remnant with some fun shiny, silver stuff on it.  Hope it works!

…and since it’s been my goal to work almost completely out of stash unless it’s for a very specific purpose (e.g. customer or gift, but still trying to use as much stash as possible), I have to tattle on myself.  I totally bought a bunch of remnant fleece.  It’s hard to beat a yard for 2.99 and free shipping!

 

Ouchies

I can safely say I hope I never, ever have to have another lumbar puncture.  I had enough panic attacks to last the rest of the year and they had to drug me up like mad just to get through the thing.

Still waiting to hear back from my doctor on his interpretation of the results but the doctor that performed the LP said my opening pressure was a 13 and from what I can find online, average adult pressure is 10 – 20, so that would rule out increased intracranial pressure being the root of all my problems?  Guess I’ll find out soon enough.

I was told I have really awesome platelets and that I didn’t bleed at all where the IV was inserted.  Hooray for little things!

Yesterday my back hurt so bad I had to change positions or chairs every 15 minutes.  Today at least I can settle down for about an hour in one place before things start to hurt too badly, so I consider that a vast improvement.

…except I have the legendary headache today and I think if I drink another Coke that I’ll float away. I think it’s high time I throw in the towel, take an Excedrin with all of its glorious caffeine and try to nap the rest of the day away.

Really looking forward to getting back to my normal routine!!!

Restart (again) and panic

Apparently I have problems following directions…or if not that, liking the directions that pattern designers create and doing things my way.  It’s really becoming quite an issue.

I’m restarting the shawl AGAIN today.  Why?  I didn’t like the way the decreases worked.  I know it’s me — same with not liking the invisible cast on — but I tend to do this with almost every pattern that finds its way into my hands.  I really need to have a stern talk with myself about this.

At least this time I’m staring over with fresh balls of yarn and saving the other for the end if I need it.  Not having to rip that many stitches counts for something, right?

I really want to have this shawl progressing since I’m going to be down and out for a bit.  I have a lumbar puncture tomorrow and, to be honest, I’m absolutely freaked out and terrified by the whole thing.

I don’t like needles (not even my sewing ones since those have stabbed me on occasion).

I don’t like being touched.

The thought of a needle touching my back…well…I’ve already been panicking for days so that can’t be a good sign.

I almost feel sorry for the doctors.  For my Kindergarten registration shots, I distinctly remember having to have multiple nurses and my parents hold my scrawny self down…and as a toddler, I managed a backflip off of my mom’s lap to escape a finger prick.  I’ve matured a bit since then and can handle shots, blood draws, and even IVs…but not this.  Totally not prepared for this.

Dreary, rainy day – Hooray!

Okay, so I love rainy days.  I always have when I think back on it.  When I was a kid, I’d play in the rain or sit on the front porch with my dad and watch the storm clouds roll over the mountains to our house.  When I was older, I may or may not have spent a good deal of time swimming in flooded creeks with one of my high school friends; we should’ve known better but it’s hard to resist a lot of water and a baseball field that’s been turned to mud.  In college, I fully admit you could find another friend and I splashing in a fountain during a downpour.  If you’re already soaking wet, why not just enjoy it?!

These days, when it rains I happily embrace an excuse to hole up in my crafting room.

I haven’t sewn anything in a while; I just haven’t been able to find my mojo.  Today started off much the same but I ended up completely finishing the Nessie when all I had intended to do was try to match threads to the fleece.  Guess autopilot takes over sometimes.  🙂

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I also picked out the fabric for my a Christmas gift.  I know it’s well ahead of time, but projects have a way of getting shoved to the side here, so if I have it in queue, it’ll be done at some point.  You can actually see them in the background of Nessie too.

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On a completely different track, we saw an Alton Brown show this weekend and it was AWESOME!  We also had a Worst Movie Ever night with some of my husband’s coworkers.  I was secretly really pleased to see that some baby gifts I had made for one couple last year were being used — always a good feeling to know your hard work is being at least somewhat appreciated and used rather than collecting dust or passed off onto somebody else. 🙂