Archive for July, 2006

Can I afford another craft?

Monday, July 31st, 2006

Don’t answer that, because it’s too late.  But more on that in a bit…

First, I have to tell you about my incredible Wednesday night.  Yes, I realize I’m a tad late in posting about this.  And if you read any other Arizona knitter blogs, this is old news.  But look!

It’s me!  With the Yarn Harlot!  In a really blurry photo!  I have to say that Stephanie is a really, really funny woman.  But above all else, she is completely and truly down to earth.  And I absolutely love her description of Arizona. (If you look at the first group photo, I’m in the second row, to my left is my sister and Mel’s arm and then to my right is Pam and Heather.)  As others have said, if you get the chance see her speak and meet her, do so!  You won’t regret it!

In another fit of craftiness, I learned how to sew this weekend.  Yep.  First knitting.  Then spinning.  Now sewing.  I think I might need to look into a second job in order to pay for all of these hobbies.  Anyhoo, my sister taught me the basics of machine sewing – how to thread the machine, how to use the foot pedal, etc.  Then, I made a pillow.  Wanna see it?  Of course you do!  Here’s the front:

And here’s the back:

And, just for the hell of it, the side:

Personally, I think it looks pretty darn good!  Of course, my sister is an excellent teacher.  However, I discovered that sewing a pillow for a first sewing project is much like knitting a scarf for a first knitting project.  Great for learning the basics, but they can become boring pretty quickly.  I have enough material to make three more identical pillows.  I’m going to make them, but I’m guessing that I’ll never sew a pillow again in my lifetime.  Ok, maybe I’ll make more pillows, but they sure won’t be squares!

In random news, remember how I had to take my cat into the vet because she had a weird ulcer thing on her lip?  Well, at the time I had spent $400 trying to find out what was wrong.  All we came up with was that it was some sort of allergic reaction, but it was an allergy to her external environment and not something internal (which is a good thing).  The antibiotics she was prescribed got rid of the lip thing, but two days after finishing the medication, the same thing happened to her ear.  More antibiotics and the ear thing was fine, but it was back on her lip.  What the?  Just as I was debating on whether to bring her back to the vet, I discovered the problem.  I was playing with my other cat in the back bedroom (aka the cat room/junk room/fiber room) and I heard a noise coming from a set of cabinets.  I looked over and saw that the plastic handle of a bag of fiber was sticking out of the bottom drawer and my not-so-bright cat was rubbing her lip against the sharp edge of the plastic handle.  I spent $400 and a month of forcing antibiotics to discover that the cat is too stupid to avoid sharp plastic objects.  $400!!  So far, her lip is starting to look better, but I’m going to keep a close eye on it to make sure that really was the cause.  ($400!!)

Finally, since it’s Monday and I haven’t done this is a while… it’s weigh-in time!!

Starting weight: 188 lbs 

Weight as of 6/26/06: 173 lbs

Weight loss: 15 lbs

Target weight: 155 lbs

Pounds to goal: 18 lbs

Have a great week!

Remember me?

Sunday, July 23rd, 2006

I meant to post pictures of our Sedona trip when we got back, but I had to sort through 167 pictures, most of which are almost identical pictures of red rocks and clouds.  I apparently had a one-track mind in my photography.  Rather than bore you with the same picture over and over, I’ll include one of the red-rock-cloud theme and then some of the photos that I took from our (very-brief-because-it-was-freakin’-hot) hike in Red Rock State Park.

I also made two discoveries while we were in Sedona.  One is that while San Francisco has painted hearts and Phoenix has painted horses, Sedona has… um… painted javelinas?

The other discovery (and I swear that I didn’t know this, although my hubby is sure I secretly knew) was the Red Rock Knit Shop within walking distance of our hotel.

I swear I didn’t know!  Of course I had to stop in and by some yarn.  I got some Elsebeth Lavold’s Silky Wool.

My thought is to use the green as some sort of contrast color against the brown.  And I think it’s destined to be a tank top, although I haven’t entirely decided.  One possibility is this tank in the Summer 2006 Knitter’s magazine.

After we got back from Sedona I got out my poor, neglected wheel and started spinning this superwash merino roving.

Here’s what it looks like so far…

Sorry for the blurry photo!  Since I only have 4 ounces, I’m thinking that I should get some solid color roving to ply with this.  This will extend my yardage, but I’m not sure what color would complement the purplish-pink colors that are primarily coming out.

In another fit of craftiness, I’ve decided to learn how to sew.  A friend at work knows basic sewing techniques, but she wants to take a class to learn more.  I told her I’d take the class with her, but there’s a slight problem.  I don’t know how to sew and I don’t own a sewing machine.  The first part of this problem can be taken care of by my sister.  She’s been sewing for years and has offered to teach me the basics.  But I’d like to learn on my own machine (especially since the sewing classes require the students to bring their own machine).  Problem is… I don’t know what to look for in a sewing machine.  I don’t want to spend a lot, so I was looking at machines in the $100 range.  (Amazingly, the best reviews I’ve found so far are for the Hello Kitty machine.)  But I’m not sure what the product descriptions mean.  30 stitch function?  80 stitch function?  Free arm design?  Needle positions?  Help!  What do I want?  What do I need?  Does it make a difference if I’d like to eventually use the machine for quilting?? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

By the way, I haven’t posted a weight update in a couple of weeks, so here’s a brief recap.  The first week I broke even.  The second week I had lost a couple of pounds.  Which brings us to tomorrow’s weigh in.  I’ve been a bit, um, random in my point-tracking this past week, so I’m not quite sure what to expect.  Eek! 

Oh!  And on a completely random note… I get to see the Yarn Harlot in person on Wednesday.  Woo Hoo!!

Recharging my batteries

Sunday, July 16th, 2006

I’ve been very blah lately.  As I’m sure you’ve noticed by my lack of blogging.  Not sure if it’s the heat.  Or the fact that I’m kinda sick of house hunting.  Or maybe the heat.  Or maybe the house hunting.  Can you tell that my life is a tad boring right now?  The good news is that my hubby needed to take some time off from work because he’s almost maxed out on the amount he can accrue.  So, at the last minute, we both decided to take a few days off from work this upcoming week and try to relax and get reinspired.

To kick things off, I met up with Pam and Melanie yesterday for a little knitting R&R.  I had such a great time!  It was nice to be able to hang out for a couple of hours and not have to rush out like I do on Tuedsay nights (I feel so old… I have to get up for work at 5am, so I start getting ready for bed at 9pm).  Anyhoo, we stopped by Tempe Yarn and Fiber and signed up for Stich ‘n Pitch night at the Arizona Diamondbacks game in September, which should be lots of fun.  I’ll have to come up with a small, no-brainer project I can work on during the game.  You know what that means?  Project hunting!  I’m feeling inspired already!

Then, today, my hubby and I looked at a couple of houses.  Of all the days to forget my camera!  Before we went to the first house, our agent had warned us that there had been some confusion with the seller’s listing agent and we weren’t really sure what to expect when we got there.  Out agent made sure to knock on the door, ring the bell, and yell loudly before we entered.  As we walked around the living room and kitchen, the house seemed… oddly quiet.  I’m not sure how to describe it exactly, but something seemed amiss.  We walked into the garage and there was a truck inside.  My hubby said, do you think they’re still sleeping?  As soon as he said it, I knew it had to be true.  We went back into the house and our agent went back to the bedrooms and began calling out.  Sure enough, the guy who owns the house was out and had forgotten to tell his roommates, who were still sleeping, that we might be stopping by.  Oops!  The guys were nice and we went ahead and looked around, but it was certainly a bit odd.

As for the next house… we walked in the front door and, well, it was basically a country cute explosion (I realize that there are some who like the type of decorating I’m going to describe, but, to put it bluntly, I don’t.  So, I apologize to those who do for what I am about to mock).  There was green carpet everywhere.  A not-attractive-green carpet.  Every room, including the kitchen, had those wallpaper like trimmings around the rooms (you know the kind that are either right along the ground or right along the top of the walls?).  I don’t necessarily mind these accents, but they were in every single room and each room had a different theme.  The master bedroom had flowered wallpaper (not small pretty flowers, really big and ugly flowers that made your eyes water because of the pattern).  In addition to the interior-decorating-gone-bad, the garage had been converted into a workshop/storage room/media library area.  Judging by the amount of crap contained in this space, this family has lived in this house for a long, long time.  Keep in mind that the family had already moved out, they just hadn’t moved every little thing yet.  (This is an understatement.)

Now, trust me when I say that we did look past the decorating and clutter and looked at the structure of the house.  We know that wallpaper can be removed and rooms painted.  But because of the holly hobby look, the next thing that happened was that much funnier.  We were in the master bathroom looking at a cabinet that was installed over the toilet.  My concern was that it stuck out too far, but my hubby and agent agreed that it was fine.  While we were looking at it, my hubby happened to open the cabinet and took out what he first thought was a screw driver.  You know the kind of screwdriver that has interchanging pieces and the pieces are held in a little top of some sort?  Well, in a way, this was a screwdriver.  More specifically, however, it was…

Can you guess? Do you see where this is going?  Ok, I’ll tell you…  It was… a bright… blue… vibr@tor… d/ldo.  Can you imagine?  I was laughing so hard that I thought for sure I would start crying and my hubby went in desperate search of soap and really hot water.

After our, um, interesting morning of house hunting, we went to Farelli’s to see Mission Impossible 3.  I had told myself that I would never see anymore movies starring the wack job who will remain nameless.  But, I was craving a prime rib sandwich and had saved up my points for the week just to have one.  Mmmmm… it was worth it!

The fun will continue tomorrow when we head up to Sedona.  We’re just going to stay for the night, but it’ll be nice to get out of town for a bit.  I don’t think it’s that much cooler than it is here, but we’re going to try and do some hiking in the canyon trails where it’s got to be nicer than here in hell, er, Phoenix.

Happy 4th!

Tuesday, July 4th, 2006

Sorry I’ve been a bit spastic in my posting lately.  I haven’t had a whole lot going on lately.  Except for an allergic reaction that one of my cats had recently, resulting in a steep price tag at the vet’s office.  Thankfully her blood work came back normal, so the allergy is an environmental reaction and the medication she’s taking is working.

The only other news I have right at the moment is my weekly weigh-in:

Starting weight: 188 lbs 

Weight as of 7/3/06: 176.5 lbs

Weight loss: 11.5 lbs

Target weight: 155 lbs

Pounds to goal: 21.5 lbs

It’s a good thing I promised myself to post my weigh-ins every week, because a month could go by before I’d manage to sit myself down in front of the computer.