Category Archives: Art

Time Management

At the moment, all my children are awake, but the older two are in bed and should be sleeping soon.  The youngest is babbling away in his high chair eating a rice cake, but soon will need to be nursed and then will go for a nap as well.  The question on my mind right now is whether to spend that precious nap time sleeping or doing something creative.  My fingers are feeling a bit itchy today and sewing or painting would probably do the trick if I want relief.  However, I am on self-enforced bed rest, so it might be best to just sleep or relax while the kids nap.  But then again, the bed rest is non-restrictive (I made all this up, by the way), so maybe doing something creative shouldn’t be against the rules.  Maybe only doing productive things should be against the rules (isn’t that convenient?).

….Twenty minutes later….

I have now had a phone call from my grandmother that came when I was in the bathroom (don’t you just love those calls?), I have nursed Erik and put him to bed, went in to the kids room and gave them a good talking to about what they were supposed to be doing (after I found them sitting up talking and Jenny in only her underwear – “I was trying to be a princess!”) and returned to this question of what to do with an easy answer: take it easy.  I believe I will pick up my Tracey Bateman book (easy to read, somewhat silly chick lit..something I believe every woman needs now and again) and read until I feel like sleeping, at which time I will put the book down and attempt to take a nap.  I think this is a good idea.  I can deal with the itchy fingers later today after the kids are in bed.  Adieu.

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Filed under Art, Illness and Injury, Kiddos

About the craft fair

Well, as my sister-in-law put it, it was more like a craft FAIL.  I like that.  It’s true. 

Apparently, people who go to craft fairs in this town like Tupperware and fleece sheet sets (excuse me, but if you’re going to call it a “craft” fair, why on earth would you allow Tupperware and sheet people to have tables?!?) and would rather not buy hand knitted useful items.  My sister-in-law sold three pairs of mittens, one of them to someone we know and the other two to people with loads of money in hand.  I, however, sold only one small green coin purse to a ten year old boy who had previously spent hours wandering by our table, trying to be nonchalant about it, fingering the little thing and looking it over.  I wondered what his obsession was with it – after all, knitted coin purses don’t seem to be something that little boys would want to buy.  But, as Lacey said, little boys do funny things.  And I suppose that it was the one piece that I had that was somewhat masculine looking – a nice earthy green with a wood looking button.  The buyer then spent the next hour or so repeatedly removing and replacing it in the back pocket of his jeans.  Oh, how I do love little boys sometimes – he reminded me of my little brother in the times that I got along with him.

Anyway, thank goodness for my mother-in-law, who came by early on, picked out the things she liked and then said if they didn’t sell, she’d buy them from us.  She picked out three pairs of Lacey’s mittens and wouldn’t you know it – out of the ten she had and the three that sold, two pairs were ones that Mom wanted.  She picked out two of my coin purses and one handbag and in the end, I made twenty-four dollars total (the little boy managed to pick the very cheapest thing I had – he spent two dollars on it).  It felt a bit like a pity purchase on her part, but she says she’s thinking of them as gifts, so I’ll try not to read into it any different than that.  I am pretty proud of my work, so I shouldn’t feel bad about it; it just felt a bit funny selling things to my mother-in-law.

I have officially not knitted in twenty-eight hours now, probably the longest break I’ve had in three weeks.  I plan to take the next week off and clean.  Yes, clean.  My house has completely gone to pot while I’ve been knitting my fingers off, and while I have projects to finish, I’d rather finish them when my house is in better shape.  This almost physically hurts me, thinking of cleaning, but it simply must be done.  Christmas is coming quickly (our family drew names for gifts today, so I know it’s not too far off) and when it is here, the house will not be able to stand up to the barrage of stuff that inevitably comes with it, so it may as well start off looking decent.

In other news, I’m going to have another nephew or perhaps a niece at last!  Lots of people who have heard the news don’t seem very excited, as my sister-in-law did just have a baby six months ago, but I couldn’t be happier for them.  If the dates are correct, they will have the same space between their first two kids as I have between mine, and I have really enjoyed it.  Most people in our society would call us crazy and say we’re damaging our children because we can’t give them enough time on their own, yada yada yada, but I think it’s been great for my kids – they are such good friends even now.  I can only hope that Alaina feels the same way once she’s experienced it.

Oh, yes, I have my purse pictures posted on Flickr – right here.  Now you can see what nobody here wanted to buy.

One thing we observed was that the purple purse with the pink pom poms was repeatedly touched and almost everyone who touched it said the same three words: “Oh, how cute,” and then walked away.  Apparently it was so cute that they just couldn’t bear to buy it.  How nice.

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Filed under Art, Nine Months, The H Word

Knitting for profit? No way!!

So ever since I made my first knitted purse, I have been thinking about selling them.  They are quick and easy to make (well, the lining is tough, but the rest is simple) and people like them.  The Farmer’s Market is too big of a commitment in my mind, since it’s not all that cheap to my knowledge and requires having enough to sell to be worth the money.  Maybe someday when I don’t have babies, I’ll be into that, but not yet.  I’ve brainstormed about other places I could sell, but it always seems too complicated to me.  But there’s a light at the end of this tunnel – I brought my newest creation to Bible study on Thursday to show my sisters-in-law and the younger of the two, who is the church secretary, said that she wants us all to do a craft fair on the fifteenth of this month.  She has about six pairs of mittens that she’d like to sell and my other sister-in-law crochets toques (sorry, Americans..umm, beanies?  What are they calling them these days – ski caps??).  So if we all go in on it together, we can have a pretty full table of stuff and it only costs fifteen dollars to get a table, so we only pay five apiece.  This means (to me) that if I can sell at least five dollars worth of purses, I’ll be happy.  I’m thinking of charging ten and up for the actual purses and two or three for the coin purses/card wallets I’ve also made.  Of course, I have this silly little dream that some local shop or gallery owner will stroll past and love my stuff and want to carry it in their store…but I always have dreams like that and I’m usually not let down when they don’t come true.  It’s sort of like my blog dream…someone important will read it and be impressed and give me a job writing a life column or something…sigh.

To tell the truth, I like being home with my kids and not having outside responsibilities, so either of the above things actually happening might not be the best thing.  And both things happening at this stage in my life would be as impractical as they probably are impossible.  I can write a lot, or I can knit a lot.  Not both.

Or I can play computer games and squander all my time on totally unproductive things.  Ah, there goes the Sims siren song again…

 

By the way, for anyone reading in my local area, the craft fair is at Dr. Kearney on November 15th from 10 am until 3 pm – come see us if you have the time, even if you’re not going to buy anything (but especially come if you’re going to buy 😉 ).

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Time to write?

Who has the time anymore?  Not me. 

Okay, so it’s not busyness that has been keeping me away.  It’s those darn Sims.  It was a ridiculously good birthday gift that Mike bought me.  Even he’s hooked.  So, when the kids are occupied or sleeping, I play, and when Mike is home and gets the chance, he plays and I’ve been knitting.  At least something productive was being done.

Amazingly enough, I’m not behind on my laundry or dishes and the house isn’t really much worse than it normally is.  It’s just the online stuff that I’m slacking off on, and since I don’t think of this as being the real world, it’s not so bad.

So, I knitted a whole blanket.  Well, a whole baby blanket, anyway.  I’m pretty proud of it, even though I made a few mistakes and didn’t exactly piece it together perfectly.  It was a gift for my secret prayer pal from last year who had a baby on the 24th of September.  I made a pink and purple checkered blanket – size 15 needles, cast 20 stitches on and worked knit 2, purl 2 for 32 rows, then switched colours.  I made three strips like this – two purple, pink, purple strips and one pink, purple, pink strip and then sewed all three together to make a square(ish) blanket.  It was soft and cozy and pretty quick to make since I used such big needles and chunky yarn.  I had already given her an outfit for the baby, so I thought something homemade would be nice for her baby shower.  Turns out, for blankets, she only got the one I made her and the standard Olga quilt (from the mother of one of my husband’s friends who makes a quilt for just about every baby shower hosted at the church…her name is Olga, by the way).  I was glad to have put the time in to make it and glad to have it finished so I can move on to other things.  Next on the agenda is the sewing project that I’ve been avoiding for two months now.  The one I started way back in 2007.  It must be finished, so I’m just not going to do anything else until it’s done.  That’s the sound of me putting my foot down, just in case you were wondering.

So, anyway, my apologies for slacking off so much  here.  There will come a time (I assume) when The Sims will get boring and I’ll return to the land of food blogs, crafting websites, blogging, Facebook, emails and online friendships, but for now, I’m going to go build another house…or perhaps I’ll see if I can get my Sim’s lifetime aspiration fulfilled.  Wow, I’m such a nerd.

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Filed under Art, Life, in general, The Interweb

Cleaner Cupboards

My cleaner cupboards

My cleaner cupboardsThese may not look remarkable to you, but they are incredibly cleaner than they were yesterday afternoon. I went on a very big shopping trip and upon coming home, realized that I hardly had a place to put all those groceries. I then thought about all the times that things have randomly fallen out of my cabinets because I have had to shove things in to make them fit. You open a door and look, a box of baking soda has spilled all over the counter. I thought to do it right, I should start at the top and see what lovely things had accumulated there over the years that we've been in this house. One of the first things I found was a carton of molasses that had started to leak and left a nice big puddle of stickiness at the back of the cupboard. Fortunately, there was a liner on that shelf that I was able to tear up, since cleaning it out would have been quite time consuming. Along the way, I found things I had completely forgotten about and things that should have been thrown out months or even years ago. I found a bag of rice that I hadn't bothered to close up when I'd put it away, resulting in a big spill all over the shelves, counters and the floor. However, after all of that - two hours of work - they are much more organized. Admittedly, organization is one of the biggest problems I have in this house, primarily because I have nowhere to store things and also because I have so many things. I made an effort to put the things that I still need but don't use often at the back of the shelves and I was also able to organize by type of food - baking things on the top, spices on the second shelf, canned food on the bottom. I decided that I would get as much done as I could by midnight and then quit and go to bed. I worked hard, vacuumed up rice, scrubbed the counters, put away clutter and finally swept the floor and thought it must be long after midnight, but it was exactly twelve when I checked the clock in the bedroom. That I was able to get so much done in two hours was very encouraging. Now for the other three disasters - the laundry room, master bedroom and the kids room - it's hard to say when I'll get to them, but at least I know I can potentially get them done in a few hours. I am well aware that part of my success was my willingness to throw things away and I certainly will have to do that when I tackle the other rooms. I have clothes stored in our room that I haven't worn in years and it's time to say goodbye.I promised a picture, so here it is - my purple knitted pink lined purse. If I had to name it, I'd probably call it the Girly Girl, but maybe it's not as girly as they get. I'm still trying to come up with a good design name, just in case I decide to go all out and start selling on Etsy or at the Farmer's Market. My first knitted purse

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Filed under Art, The H Word

So far, so good.

My blog fast is going well so far.  Of course, I’m less than a week into it right now, but I haven’t had any major temptations up to this point.  I have started doing online jigsaw puzzles, but I’m trying to limit myself there, too.  As far as progress goes, I finished my first knitted purse and a small coin purse/cell phone holder/whatever and am about four rows away from having the body of my second purse finished.  I’m planning to completely finish the second purse and then move on to finishing the sewing project I’ve been at for over a year.  It needs to be finished by Christmas, since it is a gift that was originally intended to be a birthday gift for someone way back when I started it.  I think it’s time to get it done and give it away, as it’s taking up space and I can’t wait to see the reaction it will get anyway.  After that, I should probably sew some tote bags from the plastic bag material I made.  I started doing that a long time ago and it’s long overdue for finishing. 

Beyond all of those plans, I cannot say what I’ll be doing.  I may pick up a novel and decide I’d rather read for a few weeks than be artistic or crafty.  Who knows.

Just thought I should give you an update.  Pictures of the purses (or links to pictures) will be available soon.

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Filed under Art, Life, in general

No telling!!

I did something yesterday that I haven’t done in a really long time.  I mean, a REALLY long time, like more than a year.  Now, don’t go calling the health department on me or anything, but I finally got up the nerve to clean my shower.  I have cleaned the bathtub many times in the past year and a half, but the little shelves and the walls of my shower had not been cleaned since we painted our bathroom in May of 2007.  I don’t know what inspired me, but I knew that I needed to clean the tub and decided I may as well clean the whole thing.  I was using a scrub-free cleaner with bleach in it and I just sprayed it on and left it for almost an hour.  I had to open a window and leave the door closed while it sat, but it did the trick.  I don’t know why I put it off for so long – it looks great!  I guess part of my reasoning is that it wasn’t hurting anyone and no one had to see it because the shower curtain hid it from guests, but now that I’ve done it I realize that it makes me feel better that it’s clean. 

I can’t say that this is a breakthrough, but maybe one clean thing will inspire me to clean a few other areas.

In crafting news, I diligently knitted yesterday; while the kids watched a movie and while they had their bath (I hate just sitting there in the bathroom while they splash, so I brought my knitting in with me).  I also bought the lining for the purse that I’m making – the outside is a very dark purple yarn and the inside will be pink.  I bought a big bag of buttons, too, and hopefully I’ll find a good one for the purse.  I mentioned it to my sister and told her that I didn’t know what I would be doing with it and she suggested that it could be her Christmas present, so I may just do that. 

One of my biggest problems with my crafting is that my supplies are rather disorganized.  I have a plastic drawer tower with most of my stuff in it, but my fabric is in two separate containers in two different locations in my house and my scrapbooking/card making stuff is all over the place.  Anybody have tips for craft storage in a small space??

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Filed under Art, The H Word

Let’s be more specific

Okay, I’ve thought it over and I think it’s a very good idea to take a break from blog reading.  So, for one month (yipes!), I won’t read craft or food blogs.  Taking a whole month off from the internet is a bit extreme for me (after all, I wouldn’t be able to blog if I did that), but I can at least use the time I’ve been spending reading blogs to finish some projects and do some cleaning and organizing.  I’ll try to keep you up to date on my progress.  My other goal is to finish at least some of the on the go projects before I start new ones.  I broke that rule last night when I started knitting something, but I needed something to do with my hands that didn’t require much attention because we were watching a movie.  Also, I have a plan for this knitting and it’s not a huge project.

 

Oh, another update – friend three didn’t make it to Monday’s secret Mom’s Meeting, so I can’t investigate what they’re doing yet.  😦  Maybe next week.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, that post is here.

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Filed under Art, Food Blogs, Life, in general

Craft blogs

Along with my food obsession, I also have quite an interest in crafting and art, especially all things handmade and original.  My problem is that I like too many things and would love to learn to do all sorts of things.  I think I’ve mentioned this problem before, but lately the solution has been awful – I do nothing but just drool over all these projects that I’d love to take on.  I have been reading craft blogs today and exploring Etsy (I introduced my mother to Etsy today and she’s hooked, too).  I watched the teaser for Faythe Levine’s Handmade Nation documentary and drooled some more.  I check notmartha nearly every day for her links on craft, food, miscellany, shopping and tech (she’s awesome!) and often spend hours each week chasing the links she posts.  There is just too much out there to see – it leaves very little time for actual work. 

So, I am going to contemplate a hiatus from surfing.  I will still do my daily internet chores most days (email, checking the blog, etc), but if I don’t quit looking at other people’s stuff, I’ll end up even more frustrated.  As for the projects I have going at the moment, they will have to be finished or my house will only get more cluttered.  Right now I have a sewing project (blanket – started spring of 2007), a whole lot of plastic bag reuse projects (knitting and ironing layers to make material for totes – started summer 2007), some canvas that I painted on and decided I didn’t like and want to paint over, a beading project and some scanography prints that I want to make into cards. 

On top of all that is the house, but that’s another subject.

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Filed under Art

Did I write yesterday? And the day before?

I was just saying to my mother that I prefer to write no more often than every other day, because I don’t want to get obnoxious.  And yet I keep coming back.  My apologies.  Maybe if I think of this as a journal that no one reads, I can get over my fears of disappointing people.

I’ve learned something about myself (again?).  I’ve really been wanting to paint, and have managed to do some sketching, but just haven’t gotten around to pulling out the canvas I bought and starting on something.  I have been spending too much time on the computer and not enough time doing other things.  What this means is that my house is wrecked (no surprise there) and I haven’t done anything creative.  In many ways, doing something creative – and cleaning up after myself – would relax me enough to get some housework done.  The trouble is that when my house is so messy, I don’t feel that I should be doing anything creative.  Yes, folks, it’s a vicious cycle. 

I just searched to see if “vicious cycle” could be found on wikipedia as one of the most overused phrases of all time, but instead found out that Vicious Cycle is a tribute band for Lynyrd Skynyrd in northeast Ohio.  Fascinating.  It also seems to be the name of a number of bike shops across the country.

Today, as much as I could complain more about my kids and the weird things they do that make my life more difficult, I won’t.  I need a nap and I think today I won’t deny myself the luxury of it.  I’ll just set my alarm for an hour from now and then if I can manage to get up, I’ll do something productive. 

Or just end up on the computer some more.  We’ll see.

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Filed under Art, Life, in general, The H Word