Friday, January 31, 2014

January NewFOs

I had hoped to get off to a BIG start of finishes this month, but I ended up true to form with not much done.    I did make and deliver several catnip mice, and the cats are clamoring for more as soon as I restock my tub of Nip.
 I finally hemmed a few napkins, because the ones I've been using are getting too shabby even for family dinners.
 I finished the first three potholders to give away next winter, but haven't quite gotten started on the next batch yet.
 I've been repeatedly covered in lint as I piece together the rows of squares for my baby/minky rag quilt.    This was be finished as soon as I can carve out a couple of solid hours to sew the squares all together.
 And I made my sister a leopard-print minky scarf.    I actually made it to give her next year, but it's so darned cold here that I couldn't wait!    This was quick and easy and she likes it so well that I plan to make several to put into my Christmas gift box.
Not as productive as most of my bloggy friends, but at least I can claim to have started and finished a few things in the new year.  :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Let There Be Light!

I won the coolest prize from Kelly at I Have A Notion and it arrived today!    A little back story -- this week I was with my sister while she recovered from knee surgery.  
I was there to help for a few days with food and meds and ice and the usual oddments that a person who is supposed to rest might need.    But I had a lot of time to sit quietly, too.    So I kept busy with a variety of things, including search and rescue research, letter writing, and crafts.   I made some adorable catnip mice with rick rack or feather tails.
I also worked on the endless scarf I am knitting.      I kept the lights low to avoid disturbing my sister and as evening fell, I had a hard time stitching and knitting.    More than once, I dropped stitches and had to huddle under a lamp trying to salvage my work so that I wouldn't have to frog the whole thing.

Which leads to the prize I won on I Have A Notion and received today.  A Beam n Read light from ASF Lightware Solutions.       I love flashlights, but this light is especially cool.  It has a choice of 3 or 6 LEDs, depending on how much light is needed, it has a strap that I can put around my neck so it's HANDS FREE.   If that weren't enough, it also has a built in magnifier and two filters, one for softer light and one for night vision!   And all this coolness runs on four ordinary AA batteries.    
My Beam n Read would also have been great for working in dim light so that I wouldn't disturb my sister, and at home in my own less-than-ideal lighting it will help me avoid dropped stitches and wonky catnip mice in the future!   And it will be perfect for stitching or knitting on long car rides, if only I had someone to drive me.  :)  

So I couldn't wait to try it.   I got out my knitting, and of course I always have AA batteries in the house . . . . except for today.    I seem to have used the last ones in my flameless candles.    I was SO disappointed, but I'll light it up tomorrow.    I have so much hand-sewing and knitting that I put down later in the evening when it gets too hard to see.   I can't wait to put this little helper to use!
If you haven't already, I hope you will check out Kelly's blog and her ihan shop.   I've followed her blog for some time, and it's been a great help to me.    Kelly has GREAT giveaways, but besides winning this cool prize, I've  gotten lots of ideas from her and have enjoyed her free tutorials.    I've also purchased fabric and notions from her store and I've been very satisfied with the quick delivery and super customer service.     Besides having a really useful blog and shop, Kelly herself is friendly and unfailingly supportive and helpful.    Thanks so much Kelly, I am going to love my new Beam n Read!  :)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Early Days

The New Year is off to an interesting start.   "Stuff" at work has been filled with drama and ugliness, coworkers making verbal attacks and making it an uncomfortable place to be.  (I was called "snarky" by one, which disturbed me because I certainly don't want or mean to be that way - although Lord knows I can - but it brought out some supportive comments by friends that made me smile.   One said that the very idea of me being snarky "endeared" me even more to him, and I am still chuckling over that.   Another suggested that the accusation said more about that co worker than about me, but it is something I will try to be more aware of.   And I ask myself if this is the way the Universe will encourage me to move on from this job, since I tend to stay put wherever I am placed.)   

Yesterday my sister had unexpected knee surgery yesterday after her meniscus shredded itself in one of those unfortunate combinations of aging and a mis-step.   She is a lot braver than I am, but it is clear that she is suffering and I hate that.    But as a result, I am out of town and helping her for a few days, and although I wouldn't have chosen the circumstances, it does provide a nice excuse to get away from the stresses at work and have a little time to think.    And she stocked up on junk food, which I usually try to avoid, so I am indulging in the guilty pleasures such as 'salted caramel gelato' that I would never have brought into my own house!

I lost yet another target shooting contest last week.  Lately it seems like one of those things that I get worse at the more I do.    This time we competed for a home cooked meal, and since I lost,  I am mentally planning a menu.   I like to try new things and am toying with the idea of try a ceviche and a lobster soup of some kind, neither of which I've ever eaten or prepared.    I'll toss in a reliable old favorite, too, in case the new things are a bust, and of course plan a fabulous dessert, depending on what I can find in the stores.    I'm open to ideas, so bring them on!  :)

Meanwhile, since I am away from home and doing lots of nothing, I don't have much of interest to report.   A friend's daughter mentioned that she has never given her cat catnip, so I am making some little catnip mice to send her in the mail.   I brought the fabric bodies and the catnip, but forgot the cotton batting at home so photos will have to wait.   A friend of my sister saw the one I was working on and demanded one for herself, so I'll make a few.    I am supposed to go home tomorrow night, but a winter storm is predicted so I may be snowed in, and if I am I'll really regret not bringing more hobbies!