Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Before & After

The bathroom floor was finished this past week. It looks beautiful. We plan to do the whole foyer after the 1st of the year but this time we might leave the tiles down & use a grout saw instead of taking the whole floor apart. In all fairness the before photo has some tiles that were removed & just laid down there for picture purposed, if you look closer to the top of the photo you can see the old grout in tact.

The cabinet is getting a paint job in the next couple of weeks. Along with some new knobs & some TLC. Thanks to my wonderful husband who did the grouting, yucky job! I highly suggest this if you have old tile you would like to save & restore. If you have any questions about the products I used just e-mail me. I spent a total of $156.78 on this project & still have enough product left to do the rest in the new year!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pattern Hording..............guilty.

The blog organizing is going very well. Google Reader has been a dream & everyday suggests new blogs I may like according to what I already have saved, I have found some very talented, neat ladies out there. Amazing how many knitters there are!
Now on to working on the sidebars.

I have been pattern hording or should I call it whoring...... Does anyone else do this? Where you just sit for hours on the computer sifting through Ravelry, saving patterns to your computer, printing them out & just reading them for the shear excitement of reading them, & dreaming about what your project will look like. If you ever get to it!

I found 3 patterns that I love from ChicKnits. Lara just knit Cassidy & when I went to look at it I ended up with 2 other patterns as well. I bought Ribby Cardi, Cassidy, & Basic Chic Hoodie. Ribby is definitely my fav!

Then off to Ravelry stashes I went to see if anyone had the yarns that I wanted. They did. I bought. We are all good.

My husband was telling me last night that he read somewhere recently that in tough economic times historically people will spend money on there "vices" or "habits". So I am guessing that beer, cigarettes, porn, & yarn sales have gone WAY up. Knitting just doesn't seem to fit with those, does it?

I also LOVE the new Knitty surprise, Franken Socks, created by this talented lady right here.
I just wish they would of put them out the beginning of October so you could have them in time for Halloween, but on the bright side if you use the recommended yarn it is only $3.99 a skein. Now that is a deal!

I also bought KoolHaas by Jared Flood. It looks hard but I would like to tackle it for my husband. I am going to the Ravelry ISO destash group & see if I can locate a nice Penn State Blue for his Kool Haas.

I would list all the wonderful patterns I downloaded, bought, & saved but it would take forever & Jack is asleep so mama gets to shower! Here's a quick photo I took of my new finds.

P.S. Stop over and say congrats to Abi!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Blog Makeover, part deux!

I'm in Phase 2 of my blog makeover/organization. Something that I had promised I would do by Halloween. There are 3 phases.

Phase 1: I completed by giving myself a new look & a new name.

Phase 2: is organizing my blog roll & transferring everything over to Google Reader. If you have not done this, I highly suggest that you do it NOW! It may take an hour or so to get it organized but you can transfer all of your blog lines feeds with a couple clicks of the mouse. You don't have to enter all of them all over again. Google Reader is easier to read, easier to use & easier to leave comments. I LOVE IT!
Instead of organizing all my knitting blogs in one folder I have organized my favorite blogs by regions. I have Knitting Blogs Canada, Knitting Blogs Northeast, Knitting Blogs Southeast, etc., etc.

Phase 3: Is weeding out the blogs of people that do not update enough, don't take enough photos(I'm a visual person), don't leave comments or never say thank you when I comment. I don't expect people to respond to my comments all the time but a little acknowledgment that I am there would be nice. I think that is fair.

In Phase 3 I will also find new blogs to visit & hang out on. I have to decide on what to put in my blog sidebar in Phase 3. I see so many cool options. Off The Needles/On the Needles/Projects past, Present & Future/Blog Rolls/Percentage Bars of things you are working on/last visited/last commented..........and the list goes on! Any suggestions of really great blogs you love? AND what things do you like to see in a sidebar?

I have no new knitting photos but my daughter took this photo of herself, by herself & I just love it!(no touch-ups, no Picnik)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cat Lady

I cast on a new project 2 days ago. The UPS guy delivered a box of yarn! I wonder if he thinks I am a little nutty, every time he makes a stop I say. "Oh, yeah you brought me yarn!" In an ecstatic shrieking tone.

This one is so much fun to knit. It is from the book Knitting The Easy Way by Terry Kimbrough. It is out of print but I did buy a used copy on Amazon.com.
I'm using what it calls for, Karabella "Aurora 8" in Vermillion. Which I bought from YarnMarket.
I'm really falling for cables, I don't do them often enough! Such an easy pattern.
My daughter's cat joined me for a little knitting this afternoon. His name is Lucky. He is quite possibly one of the most annoying cats in the world. But he was keeping me warm so I left him on my lap.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The unvailing of BOB.


He is here & he is a hit! Meet BOB of Mission Falls Cotton 1824, pattern can be found in Wee Knits 3 by Mission Falls. He is a little roomy, but that gives him some growing room. I have 4 more skeins of Mission Falls to make Rugger for Jack, which I will start soon. These are such easy knits, great for TV knitting. This is a size 12 months, and it is huge. I think I would of dropped down to a 6 month size & modified the sleeves a bit. It won't be bad when he is walking but for a crawling baby he gets his knees all caught up in the hem.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

New Look........same old me...........Sunday Reflection

The buzz word is FRUGAL, it's the "in" thing to do. There seem to be frugal blogs popping up left & right. How to save money! How to cut your grocery bill in half! How to save on gas! Suze Orman is everywhere. I always noticed she wears the same earrings, someone finally asked her why, she replied, "I bought these as a gift for myself, and they were expense, the only pair I own, I don't need any other ones, they go with everything & nobody ever notices I wear them everyday." She kinds has a point, I guess. (I don't wear jewelry so I wouldn't know)

The coupon mom was just on OPRAH. Go to her site for coupon deals. Oprah also had two families on that swapped furniture that they were tired of, to give there home new looks. Making your own cleaning products is hot right now & hosting parties where you make your own is even hotter.

Crafty people have always been turning junk into beauty, yarn into fabric for our clothing & homemade cookies instead of store bought have always been our thing. A lot of us are used to this. Sewing, baking, cooking & knitting just like some of our mothers did.
We have said YES! to aprons & no to fake nails, fake tans, hair extensions & overpriced jewelry! Natural is better, less is definitely more.................but I must admit I have expense taste for certain things. Yarn is a weakness. As are jeans, underwear & shoes. I spend money on a good haircut & buy $90 face cream, I wont' lie, I don't mind spending it on my skin. I like good tea, quality paper towels, quality toilet paper & quality laundry detergent. Some areas you just don't skimp but you do use coupons.

I like to pick & choose where I am frugal, I think we all decide where to spend & where to cut corners. That is why I clip coupons, always have, always will. My kids don't care that I didn't buy THE BEST cut of meat, they would rather I spent the money on a night at the movies with their friends or on their ZUNE subscription, which they pay off by doing chores.

I didn't grow up poor, but by today's standard's I did. My mom stayed at home after trying to get pregnant for 13 years. She came out of it with me & my sister, who is 3 years older. You bet your ass she stayed home after wanting babies for that long. My dad left school in the 9th grade to help support his family which consisted of my immigrant grandparents from Italy & his 6 brothers & sisters. He served his country in the Koren War then worked in the railroad supporting us for 42 years. We never wanted for anything but we never had an Atari either.
I married at 20 to my husband of 10 years, the father of Justin & Sabrina. He was a professional athlete & we lived very well & lived it in an 8000 square foot home on 7 acres, which was really hard to keep clean! *I'm so glad to be out of that place, it was like white-collar prison*

But my roots never escaped me. I still looked for deal, clipped coupons & got samples when I could. Now on my second marriage I have married beneath me.....not in that way....in years. Matt was just finishing college when I met him, he is 7 years younger than I. We budget, clip, & save, we do our own home repairs & remodeling when our expertise allows us. I just won't let him deal with gas lines & electricity. Though it wasn't always this way, he had to teach me to budget better & over time it has worked. He is only 7 years out of college & nowhere near retirement. Which we are both grateful for, a lot men & women that are taking that step towards retirement are losing it all. Probably having to work longer than they wanted to gain it all back, afraid they might get "let go" before retirement because someone younger can do their job cheaper. God bless them all.


I have been thrift store hunting lately & I have mixed thoughts on this. I go to these places & sometimes I buy stuff I really don't need but because Target sends their clearance to my Goodwill I will pick up brand new bath towels for $1.50...........but when I come home I take the same amount of old towels and turn them into rags.
*Tip: Look for Goodwill's in affluent areas around the city, that is where you find great stuff*

I got a great pair of Citizens For Humanity Jeans for my daughter, priced at $5.99 at Goodwill, $158 at Nordstom's. I also picked up a pair of Club Monaco Jeans for me & a sweet pair of JCrew jeans that fit me perfectly......$5.99 a piece.

I recently saw this sign on the side of the road. 10 CENTS! (they are 39 cents at pumpkin patches)I bought 14 pumpkins for $27.oo.----we are having a chili cook-off in 2 weeks & I am giving the neighborhood kids pumpkins to carve. I would of never bought that many pumpkins but at that price I did. If I would of bought 4 of those at a "commercial" pumpkin patch I would of paid around $10 a piece. I still saved money.

I found a copy on Salam Rushdie's Satanic Verses at Goodwill for $1.99. Knowing a little about books I looked at the copyright, it was a first edition!! Worth way more than what I paid. I bought it. I am not going to sell it, I'll hang on to it, I am sure it will only appreciate over time. That little teapot there I used this morning cost me 50 cents & that sweet little mug someone brought back from The Roman Baths of Bath, England, was a quarter. It is stoneware & keeps the tea nice & hot. Did I need any of these things, probably not. That is why I get conflicted about thriftiness. I buy stuff because it's a good deal. Not necessarily because I need it. Though I did get 300 Target brand sandwich bags for $1.00. (opened box)

So bring on the yarn swaps, spend a night at home with a good bottle of wine & the one you love. Rent a movie & watch it curled up on your outside deck with the family for the drive-in effect. Be frugal, be thrifty but most of all be happy. While the market tumbles take time to be thankful for the intangibles in life..............healthy kids, healthy spouse, a large stash of yarn to keep me busy and most of all a fixed rate mortgage.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Bob

I still had no luck finding my camera, I am beginning to think I have Alzheimer's. I stole my daughter's camera & snapped quick photo. Bob will be modeled by Jack this weekend at the pumpkin patch. That is where I believe Bob will shine.
The ratty looking white cloth hanging above Bob are my Martha Stewart Ghosts. Make them. They were quick, easy & look so cool at night.

Stop by & check out this new blog from a dear friend of mine that I have known since the boys were in pre-school together!!! She recently left us here in Pittsburgh for a sunnier climate but her artistic vision lives on. She has her own businesses & is great at all of them! Congrats on the blog Cris. Can't wait to see all the great stuff you make!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

No camera....

BOB is done, blocked & has been ready for photos for about a week, but I can't find my camera. :-(
I am frantically searching, hopefully I will find it soon.

The floor pieces look amazing, hopefully this weekend Matt & I will set them. Then I can fill you in on the trials & tribulations of this particular project.

Keana