Wednesday, January 31, 2007

UFO Challenge ...

I joined the UFO challenge.
Right now I'm too tired to show links or pictures. But I did pull out the sweater I made this fall that has been patiently waiting to be seamed and have the band added to it.
I swear I did. I will prove it later.

For now, I want to say I bought a house today. I'm in a lot in debt and really tired! LOL!

Added later:

Here is the pile of the sweater I pulled out. I have now pieced the sleeves to the back and front pieces. I still need to do the side seams and then add the nexk band. Which probably won't happen until I've unpacked more as the matching yarn and needle I need are hiding somewhere in a box. But at least this will be the very first project I finish in the new house. And really, without the motivation of the UFO Challenge, it would probably still be in a pile, laying in the basement, waiting to be moved from this house to the new house to be thrown in a pile there!

Now, the question becomes, what to resurrect for the month of February ....

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Death of a Salesman

A few days ago I finished Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller.

It was an okay read. It went really quickly too ... I think it would make more sense to me as the play version and not the print version.
I also think I don't enjoy reading plays all that much, even if the actual play itself is fabulous, if that makes sense.
It was an interesting story for sure. I didn't dislike the story, I just really dislike reading the play format. The family relationships were interesting.
I also thought the whole naming the play after what the ending is was pretty interesting! That we knew without a doubt the ending, which for me is generally confined to non-fiction.

This book was read for the Winter Classics Challenge.

Anyway, I have been flying through my books lately, but not so much flying through the sewing and knitting projects I would like to accomplish. This is because my current schedule is being turned upside down ... where basically I am trying to not stay up very late at night as it's not the best thing for my family. It means I am currently laying in bed for usually an hour at least trying to readjust my sleep schedule instead of working on craft projects. I do hope after the move and after readjusting my schedule (so maybe March-ish) I will reclaim my crafting time, but in the am before the children wake up instead of late at night.
We will see where that takes me. For now, it means that my crafting time is very limited and I'm doing what I can when I can while the kids are awake, but it's not much at all.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Virgin Earth

I finished Virgin Earth by Phillipa Gregory today.
I think this has been my favorite book by Gregory so far.
Just a fabulous read. I loved it. I just absolutely loved it. And the setting, and the history, the story, all woven together in such a fine way.
I was sad to see it end honestly.
I think Gregory is an amazing writing and the stories she creates just draw me into them.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Scarf knitting ...

In case you did not already think I am completely nuts - I offer proof.
This is me knitting at the Bears game on Sunday. The game they won that allowed them to go to the Superbowl.
When I found out we were going on Thursday late afternoon, I was determined to knit and finish a scarf with blue and orange to show my support.
I did not finish it, so naturally, I brought it to the game to finish. I told dh that if I could manage to finish the scarf, they should be able to manage a win.
I finished the scarf, weaving in the extra strings and all, and they won! Yeah!

Near the end of the game, we knew we had the win, and of course, a finished scarf around my neck ROFL!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Day the World Came to Town

I finished another book ...
The Day the World Came to Town.

What can I say about this book ... wow.
I cried. I laughed. It was hard to read and yet I flew through it very quickly. I started it yesterday and did not want to put it down.

For me, this is the first thing I've really read about 9/11 (or watched for that matter) since it occured. And the book took me back to some really awful moments, but yet, it offers hope and is uplifting to the spirit.

This book was for the TBR Challenge.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Another finish ...

Today I finished

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.

This book was a read for the Winter Reading Classics Challenge.
Great book! Some parts I just had to read out loud ... although I was reading a translated version, it was still so beautiful to just hear.
I did read it slowly though ... I tend to be a skimmer, and this was not a book to be skimmed. So sometimes I got to the end of the page, realized I skimmed and needed to reread.
Also, there was a glossary in the back - it was interesting to look names, places, things up that would have been so common back then but yet, meant nothing to me today (although I have to say some things I did know without looking it up!)
Anyway, again, another great classic that I'm glad I read!

Now, it just so happens in a white elephant gift exchange I recieved a 19" Ceramic Rooster. Dh and I have affectionately been referring to him as my ceramic cock. Yes, it's crude, I know, but I have to say, everytime we talk about him, we crack up laughing.
In honor of Chaucer I am hereby naming my ceramic cock Chauntecleer, after the cock in The Nun's Priest Tale.
I have to admit, I am giggling as I type. And it was very hard to concentrate on the story about the cock as I just kept laughing about my gift.
Talk about timing! LOL!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Bears! And knitting!

Baby sweater I am making right now ... the line of string is where I started at halftime of the Bears game today. The partial row is where I gave up on knitting and the Bears, and then wham! They won!


Block D9 for my Dear Jane quilt .... that makes 3 blocks and 92 pieces put together! Only 166 squares to go and over 3000 pieces!

Friday, January 12, 2007

New things to love!

As if I don't already have a list a mile long of things that I love to do, I have found another thing to add to the list.
It seems as if over the course of the last few months I have falling in love with cooking!

Now this may surprise you if in the past you have ever discussed cooking with me, as it used to be something I "had" to do, I didn't really want to do it, I pawned it off to others as much as I could and generally avoided it like the plague.
And now, all of a sudden, I am loving it. In the last two months I have acquired several cooking magazines and new cookbooks. I am having fun flipping through them and picking out new things to make, I am planning my dinners a month at a time, I enjoy writing up my grocery list as I see all the ingrediants to make certain meals. It has truly been fabulous!
Of course my dh is loving it. Almost every night he comes in and mentions how good it smells around here and comes to see what we are eating for dinner.
I am learning to make more and more things from scratch and attempting dishes just a year ago I would not have tried because I would have been sure it was too hard, too complicate, and probably would taste bad anyway. So far on my new cooking spree I haven't made anything that dh or I haven't liked ... a few things haven't been big hits with the kids - but some of those dishes have been unexpectedly quite rich and I can understand why they wouldn't particularly enjoy it!
One in particular - artichoke something pasta was like that. I thought it was fabulous, but it was quite rich and even I could only eat a bit! It was not shocking when the kids didn't care for it, but I was surprised to see dh go for seconds!
Anyway, I am having fun with all of this cooking! And I think overall the family is excited about it too!

More Reading ...

A few days ago I finished A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemmingway.
Okay, I didn't really enjoy it when I first started, but then I fell in love with the book. I really enjoyed it and was sad to see it end.
Of course, the ending was not a surprise. But while I was reading it, I thought we are supposed to know the ending. We are supposed to think about it ending how it does. It did not bother me to know the ending - which usually I hate books that I can predict the ending while reading! But for this book, it just seemed, that was the right way for the book to be - if that makes any sense at all.
This book was for the Winter Classics Challenge and I am so glad I picked it!

Now, this puts me at 2 books for the year and I'm halfway through Bookseller of Kabul ... another book I am loving! I also have to say I didn't know the book was non-fiction. I saw a lot about it, but for some reason that fact never made it into my mind. It is a fascinating book ... the kind I want to stay up late reading!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Second block is completed - bringing me to 57 pieces.
I will say, I wish I had different fabric, although I don't think I currently own anything better. And there are slight puckers on the curve, but I can live with that!

Okay ...

Blogger is not being very friendly today ... let's see if this post goes through ...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

What I've been busy with ...

My first block for my Dear Jane Quilt is finished! Yeah! It's block C-12 Family Reunion - which funnily enough I completed during our family's Christmas party this weekend - which is like a family reunion!
It's not perfect by any means, but it will do.
I hand pieced it ... I set out with the idea to hand sew the entire quilt - all the blocks, the triangles, the binding, the quilting ... I will say this, I am a painstakingly slow hand sewer. I may have to rethink this decision! LOL

The dress has been finished! Finally. Two night of staying up much too late with some more work today ... I'm so glad it's done, and not very happy I procastinated on it so much!

Yes Mom! I love this dress!
The top, with the collar, and the sleeve ruffle and the sleeve .... this top was pretty tedious truth be told. And, although you can't see it, the dress bottom is attached to the top - kind of at armpit height and it was all gathered - I think I spent about 70% of the sewing of the dress and pinafore just on the top half of the dress.

Eh, buttons are still missing in the photo, but this is how the back looks. Kind of cute.

Friday, January 05, 2007

First read

of 2007 is done!
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

My first read for 2007 is finished! An interesting book if I do say so myself ;-)
This book was the first one I've completed for the Winter Classics Reading challenge as well.
I'm glad I read it. I did enjoy the book, but apparently I'm not a very deep reader, as I guess I don't understand why this book is held in higher regards than other books published from that time period. I will say, the story could have happened today - well the plot anyway - with a few adjusts for modern conveniences, but I did like it.
The only bad part was in the introduction (which I read without thinking) they gave away pretty much everything that happened in teh book. So despite having never read it before, I knew exactly what would happen. For the most part, I believe the book led to you figuring it all out before it happened, but I would have appreciated not reading a synopsis of the story as part of the foreword!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Updates ...

I started my book yesterday for the Winter Classics Challenge.
I am beginning with Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. So far to me, it's a good book. I guess I don't get the whole amazingly wonderful classic that all should read ... but maybe I'm not as "deep" as those people who say that are! We'll see what happens when I get to the end =)

I received some fabric in the mail today for what will become my Dear Jane quilt...

Well, I like it enough - but I think from now on, I will be shopping in store. Some of it just isn't "me" but I think all of it, except maybe 2 of the fat quarters will blend in the quilt nicely, and really that is the point of it, right? But had I been picking these fat quarters in person, well, maybe half would not have made it home with me :0

I also had a chance to get some knitting done today. Which is good since 2 Christmas gifts aren't done. Yeah, just a slight problem, dontcha think? One will be bumped for a Christmas gift to a first birthday gift and the other will just be given late if I can finish it while the one it is intended for is still in the same size clothes! LOL!

And now I am off to make a dress for my oldest, who needs it for a play. We've only known about this for, oh, geeze, 2 months now? Of course the play is in 1.5 weeks. Nothing like waiting for the last minute, huh?

I'm never washing my hand again ....

I used to watch the TV shows, and the characters would get to meet someone famous, shake their hand and then promptly declare, "I'm never washing this hand again!"
I have had about as close experience to that as can be recently ....
An author that I really like is apparently on an e-mail list I just joined. For real. And she sent out an e-mail to the group - asking for a Recipe. A recipe. Know what that means - she cooks! For her family! According to the e-mail.
I was star struck.
It took every ounce of will power I had to not click "reply to" and then go on and on about how much I love her books, and how fabulous I think she is, and how neat we are on the same e-mail list - which coincidentally is about a hobby I would not have learned were it not for her books, and to just ramble away at how fabulous she is and how I love her books and I can't wait for the next one ....
and get how much I was planning on rambling to her? A lot!
And then I probably would have scared her - she might have thought I was a stalker or something scary like that. When really I was just so shocked to see an e-mail from her sent to me. And even though it wasn't really to me per se, it was to me! And that was fabulous!
Now I have to go check and see if she e-mailed again. And if she did, oh, I don't know .. I might just have to maybe send a quick hi back - I mean, that would be okay right? And not, you know, scare her completely?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Out rolls 2006, and in rolls 2007.
I am excited about this new year coming. There will be a lot of changes around here in 2007 and I am ready for them all to hit me now! Of course, we now have 31 days until we close on the new house, and then who knows when we'll actually move in, but sooner rather than later is my hope!

With the new year comes lots of resolutions ... I'm great at making resolutions, however, don't let the ability to make resolutions trick into believing I can, you know, actually follow through on any of them. Because, that would be a far cry from the truth.
But this year, one of my resolutions will be to actually follow my resolutions. Such a novel concept I'm sure ;-)
No, really, I hope this year I can get all my crafy things organized (which I should be able to do quite well in the new house). And with that, I will try to learn to part with things I probably and truly will never use. That will be the hardest part. I like to save things. Lots of things. So parting with them shall be hard.
I will also try this year to end the year with fewer UFO's than I started with. Again, that will be a very hard one to accomplish. I do hope finally having all my things in one location will help, and I'm sure it will go a long way, because afterall, how can I finish a project that isn't in the house I live in? I can't. Impossible, unless of course I every got un-lazy enough to drive to storage, sort through boxes, find it, bring it home, then finish it. Which for the entire 2 and almost half years we've lived here I have done approximately 0 times.
That's it. Those are my goals for the year. Not too many, but not too few. Just the right amount to hopefully finish them.

Happy New Year to you!