Join me as I share my crafty journey with you. I continue to expand my repertoire of hobbies. I knit, sew, crochet, bead and probably most importantly am a lover of science fiction. Occasionally I even pick up a book. I play Nerd Wars for Team Stargate Command which consumes most of my time.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Plethora of Bags

     So last time I promised pictures of the sewing I've been doing.  Here goes: 
 This isn't even all of them.  I've made two more since I took pictures.  One of the new bags is for a swap, so pictures will come later, but I really love the fabric I found for that one.  The other bag that's not pictured here is a duplicate of the blue floral one in the middle there.  I had to fudge the dimensions on those two bags since the blue and purple batik I was using was on the small side.  Here is the pattern/tutorial I've been using:  In Color Order; Bag Tutorial.  I've been sharing it every chance I get.  Its' a really great tutorial, its relatively easy and the bags turn out pretty darn nice, if you ask me.  The designer is also local to me.  

Here is a shot of the insides of these bags:
I've been having far too much fun choosing fabric combinations.  I have found that I prefer to use cotton cord for the drawstrings.  It's easier than making fabric ones and the cords slide better.  I wish I could find a little bit better selection of colors.  I need to go back to the craft store when it's not quite so busy.  Yesterday was a bit nuts and there was a sale on all the cord and lace so the area was rather picked through.  I did find that I can get the cord I like by the spool, but again that area was picked through and all I could find was black and "Finding Nemo".  Yes, I picked up the Nemo cord, I couldn't resist, it was turquoise and the Nemos are small, so I think it will be subtle and fun.  I should probably try to find some fishy fabric now to make some bags that are all matchy.  I also did some fabric perusing.  They had some really nice looking prints in the sale section, but I wasn't there for fabric so I held back.  Well, until I got over the where the fat quarters were kept, which were also on sale.  I made it a point to pick out some coordinating fabric for once, which was really fun.  I cant wait to sew up some more bags with my new fabrics. 
     I also sewed up a different style bag last night.  But again, its for the swap, so no spoiling until the package is sent.  I have one more thing I want to sew for that.  Hopefully I'll have enough fabric left to make that thing sort of coordinate as well.
     About a month ago, when my in-laws were out for their annual visit my MIL gave me her serger.  She doesn't sew like she used to and thought that I would get more use out of it.  I've never used a serger before.  (My Mom just got one a year ago.)  I've watched the how-to video that came with it a couple times now, but I think I want my mom around to help me right at first.  It's so much more complicated than a sewing machine.  I'm still just getting comfortable with that.  I do have a pair of jeans that need to be hemmed up, so that's probably a good first project for the serger.  We'll see.    
Until later.  Happy Crafting!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Catching Up

     The end of July and beginning of August proved to be a bit rough for me, so I apologize for my blogging absence.  On July 26th we made the decision to put Pookie down.  It ultimately was my decision and it was not an easy one.  She had had some ongoing health issues the most significant of which was incontinence.  It seems a bit harsh, but really, I just got sick of cleaning up her bloody s#*%.  Overall she was a pretty miserable cat, but there were those special moments when she endeared herself to both me and my husband so yes, it is a loss.  We had discussed her ultimate end many times before, it was something we knew we would have to do eventually, so we had already discussed "getting a replacement for Pookie".  Even so, I was mopey and really depressed after that Saturday.  I perused the web for adoptable cats that evening, which in turn made me even more depressed.  So the next day, Sunday, hubs took me cat shopping.  The thought of picking out a cat the very next day made me feel guilty beyond belief and I decided, in my head, that none of them would pop out at me; that I needed more time to mourn my fat stinky cuddly green eyed monster.  
     First we went to the pet shop where we found Mongo, or rather where Mongo dallied with me just to get to my husband.  It no longer exists.  So then we stopped at Pet Smart.  They have cats from two local organizations.  They were mostly adults and two youngish ones that were sleeping.  I was looking over the adoption paperwork when it got quite crowded around the cat area, so we picked up a bag of kitten food and departed.  We were going to go back home when we decided to go to PetCo, which is right across the boulevard.  I couldn't remember if they kept cats on hand or if the organizations brought them in on special occasions.  So we risked it.  We wandered to the back of the store and where the aviary used to be, we found the adoption center.  There, sitting in her litter box was a 5 month old female who looked quite a lot like Mongo.  I didn't see her initially, there was a black and white male named Oreo in the first cage.  Hubs got my attention when he made the announcement "I think we just found our next cat."  That's when I looked and saw "Ricky Lake" sitting in the litter box.  That probably sounds like a very odd character trait to be attracted to, but it speaks volumes to her personality.  It was rather warm and stuffy in that room so we suspect she was just trying to cool off.  The Sunday cleaning crew came through and we were able to hold her, well attempt to anyway, she is not an arm kitty in the least.  She played with a jingly ball and hid in as many places as she could find.  I filled out the adoption application and contacted the agency person.  I was approved on Monday and we brought her home Tuesday July 29th.  It took us a whole week to figure out a new name for her.  (Ricky Lake is just wrong on so many levels.)  We still don't have a unified name for her.  I call her Reese and hubs calls her Lily.  Jack took to her within a day, Mongo took about a week.  She is a terror, an ankle biter and a curtain climber.  She cuddles for a few moments then wants to play again.  The boys being 3 and 5, like to take long undisturbed naps, so it took a bit for them to all bond well.  Reese is growing like a weed and becoming more affectionate and comfortable with us each day.  She loves fuzzy mice and jingly balls.  She purrs the loudest and is very vocal.  Reese likes the tub; she plays there just like Jack.  She climbs to the highest point she can, just like Mongo.  In only a few short weeks she became an amalgamation of our other two fur-babies.  Needless to say she fits in pretty well.  We went on vacation just two days after we got her.  (We take our cats with us whenever we go home.)  So she spent a good week with my parents.  They all got along marvelously, which is good, since Pookie hated my mother with a passion.

  Here is Reese.

     The bad news didn't end with Pookie's death.  On August 1st the start of round 3 of T11 it was announced that Nerd Wars was ending and the end of that round.  There will be no T12.  Since my crafting life revolves around Nerd Wars and lets be honest, so does this blog, I found the news to be downright gut wrenching.  I wont lie, I had a weep, okay a sob.  I get easily distracted, so Nerd Wars has been a great tool for me to focus.  It has been motivation to try many new things including lace and spinning.  I have gained some really great cyber-friends/family from my teammates.  Its been a wonderful experience and something I will treasure forever.  Nerd Wars is still going, just not in a competitive format any longer.  They decided to go right into it and not take a break in September.  We had a limited amount of time to claim a place on the team list so I took it upon myself, with some prodding, and I'm now Captain of Team Stargate Command in what we are calling NW2.  I had been wanting to step up and take a more active role on the team.  This seemed like a good time, with much less pressure since there is no scoring now.

     In the weeks leading up to this point, I had already been depressed, my 30th birthday was August 2nd.  I'm not sure why 30 seemed so daunting.  I guess because its a mile stone to some extent and I always thought I would be in a very different place at 30.  I thought I would have kids by now, a house, different priorities.  The one saving grace is that I'm at a different job.  If I was still at St. Joes, I think I would have had a meltdown.  I has some lofty plans for my future 5 years ago and I have lofty plans for the next 5.  I guess I was mostly depressed because nothing has changed.  I feel as though I'm in a rut.  (Which is absolutely no one's fault but my own.)  So I went out with some old friends Friday night, which was great.  Then went to Lowville Saturday.  I spent my birthday with my husband, our cats, my parents and my brother.  I had my first Wagyu steak and then enjoyed a nice long nap.

     On August 10th I took part in the 3rd annual Jephson Estate Knitting/Crocheting Charity Event.  There is something about sitting around and crafting with other people.  Lunch is provided which always makes it that much more fun.  Jephson is beautiful and its always such a treat to get out to Cazenovia for the afternoon.   

     Okay that was long and more personal than I normally get.  So, other than keeping an equilibrium on cats, thinking I would loose the cyber world I held dear and kissing my 20s goodbye forever.  I did get a little bit of crafting done.  In commemoration of Nerd Wars ending I decided to end the way I started.  Back in October 2011, in the first round of T3 when I started playing, my first ever challenge submission had been a hotpad.  Specifically the double-thick-diagonally-crocheted-potholder.  So my last ever submission to the Nerd Wars that was, was another hotpad.
  The other project I submitted, was the mostly completed shawl that I worked on at Jephson. 
The pattern is lilac-wish-lace-shawl.  It has nupps!  They're not a difficult as I thought they would be.  They aren't very prominent right now, but I think they'll show up better once the shawl is done and blocked.  The yarn is Flock Sock from the local dyer Holiday Yarns.  Lavender Buds is the color-way.  Its great yarn with a good tight twist.  It's just slightly tonal and the absolute perfect color for this shawl. 

     I only crafted one project back in July (round two).  There were a few really hot weeks so I decided to make a small raglan style top to go over tank tops.  I thought it would be a nice fast project.  Boy was I wrong.  I used the rather pricey skein of Araucania Huasco to make it.  I finished it, really, just out of spite and of course the rest of the summer wasn't that hot, just mostly humid.  (Humid enough that wool wasn't at the top of my to-wear list.)  The pattern is Indifference.  It's a good little pattern.  I should have tried it on more often, it wound up a bit big on me.  I still need to block it, so I apologize for the crappy shot.
     I've been sewing more than anything lately.  I've been wanting to make prizes for my team-mates and now in NW2, there is a challenge where sewing counts.  Score!  I also attempted to make some stitch markers, I got some wire, so I wanted to make the snagless king.  But, Reese intervened by attempting to eat one.  She didn't just cart it off to play with it, no, she legit tried to eat it!  So, I'll be making stitch markers only when the hubs is around to distract her.   
   I'll have pictures off all the sewing next time.  Picking out all the fabric is far too much fun.  Until later.  Happy Crafting!