Thursday, January 31, 2008

Too busy to blog lately

I've been busy this past week. I did a layout last week for a Sugar Free challenge at Sweet Shoppe. The theme was "Why Can't I?" and as I had just recently gone through my crochet UFO bin, I chose "Finish Things" for my layout

I decided to make it a goal to finish one of these things & I chose the granny square afghan in the middle.

Even though it is the largest of the projects & will take the most time, it is actually the one I am most likely to finish. Most of those projects are UFOs because I get bored with them. The same stitch, the same yarn, over & over. It gets a bit mindless. I can do quick little projects, like the tarot deck bags I used to make, but larger ones, like scarves, ponchos, sweaters, and afghans bore me after awhile, unless there are changes in pattern & yarn.

The granny square afghan works well for me because every round is a different yarn, they are relatively short and by the time I get bored making popcorns it's time to switch to the front post double crochet rounds, that require paying attention & then I'm done with a square before that gets on my nerves. Plus I have the satisfaction of seeing a growing pile of squares in various stages of completion. I prefer a pile of stuff to an ever growing scarf. I get a greater sense of accomplishment.

I had 8 squares completed,one double round and 22 single rounds done. I had started out making entire squares but then switched to doing them round by round in sets, to increase the randomness & because it is easier to have a skein of yarn and crochet 4 single rounds at a time than it is to have this bin underfoot so I can randomly choose 5 colors to complete an entire square.

The idea is to use up the odds and ends of your leftover yarn & you end up with this totally random collection of colors.  I have lots of yarn. That is one several bins of yarn, just the Red Heart no dye lot yarn. So I have to plan the randomness. I take a skein of yarn & make 4 beginning rounds with it, then I make 2 second rounds with it. Every other skein I also make a 3rd round. Once I have a decent number of 3 round sets made I will start adding a 4th and then the 5th. The sixth round is black on all of them.

It has been 5 days since I made that layout. I now have 28 single round sets, 11 double round sets and 2 triple round sets. I do about 2 skeins worth of rounds a day,over the course of about 2 hours, each round adding half again as many stitches as the previous round.  I need 100 completed squares to make the afghan. You do the math. I can't.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Photo of the Day Jan 21-27

Jan 21 - Havoc's favorite bedtime toys

Jan 22- trains trapped under track. Life on the Isle of Sodor is dangerous

Jan 23 - The gate is to keep our elderly cat out of the boys' room but they play a game called "puppy' with it. The one in the room is the puppy & the other one is the daddy & has to find food & blankets for the puppy

Jan 24-We've had this 4 inch helicopter for almost a year. The fact that it still has it's blades is miraculous

Jan 25-This seems to be a parade of race cars. Not sure why the big Lightening McQueen is on the firetruck though

Jan 26 -Long awaited birthday present

Jan 27 -Another birthday present that is getting all the play time today

Friday, January 25, 2008

ahhhh coffee!

You Are a Plain Ole Cup of Joe

But don't think plain - instead think, uncomplicated
You're a low maintenance kind of girl... who can hang with the guys
Down to earth, easy going, and fun! Yup, that's you: the friend everyone invites.
And your dependable too. Both for a laugh and a sympathetic ear.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It's done!

Less than 2 weeks after the last prompt was sent, I completed my Journal Your Christmas album. I am so pleased with myself for seeing it through. There are only 2 days of prompts missing, because I just couldn't think of anyway to do those 2 prompts. That is pretty damn impressive for me.

I just ordered my viovio book of all the layouts. It's a 8.5x8.5 book. It is a 34 pages long (the 35th layout is the cover), full bleed, soft cover book and cost $15.51 plus $4.38 for media mail shipping (super saver shipping is available on orders over $30). I found the order & book creation process very easy. I'm not sure how long it will take to arrive. According to my invoice they expect it to ship by Jan 29. Media mail can take up to 21 days. So I'm guessing end of February I will have my book. I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Photo of the day Jan 14-20

14 - the King

15 - The best thing about this ship is the anchor

16 - George - he hates rails

17 - We had 4.5 inches of snow today. Get the plows out!

18 - Sledding on the slick melting snow

19 - Weather related car crash

20 - Still snow snow left

Thursday, January 17, 2008

almost done!

I did my last photo layout for my Journal Your Christmas album

I still have to do Day1, the Manifesto page and I am going to try & do a page for Day 13, Christmas past. But they will both be journaling only.

I also did a layout with my daily photos (plus a few extra)

We had snow for awhile today! It snowed for about 5 hours & we had 4.5 inches. Then it turned to sleet. Now it is doing nothing. I got some good photos of the kids in the snow. Havoc managed to do some sledding, but the snow was rather deep & damp for it. Mayhem, once he finally ventured outside played with his loaders, plowing the yard. He stayed out longer than I thought he would considering his mittens are too small & we cannot find his boots (which are probably too small also) so he was out in his sneakers in snow up to his ankles. So sometime this month I have to take him to Wal Mart & get some mittens & boots, or maybe get Havoc new boots. One wears 11 and one wears 10/10.5 so the passing down thing is getting to be a bit of a challenge.

Monday, January 14, 2008

scrapping goals 2008

My biggest goal this year is to shop my stash first. I have so many kits that I have used once or not at all and I want to get more use out of them. I also have a lot of random element packs that I am not using.

My second is to keep things backed up and purged on a regular basis.

My third is do at least one layout a month using some of my Project 365 photos for that month.

My fourth is to participate enough in the Sweet Shoppe challenges to regularly earn at least a 30% off coupon every month.

My last goal is to get caught up on printing out my layouts & photos

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Photo of the day Jan 7-13

Jan 7 - Harvey's magnet has resulted in a lot of playtime recently

Jan 8 - Lizzie can fit on the train tracks

Jan 9 - the Troublesome Trucks spent today on time out, one of them makes this hideous noise that sounds like rainforest parrots but is billed as 'giggles'. Too much of it & they are removed.

Jan 10 - Emily's tender was discovered in the race car bin today. Still no sign of Henry's tender or the missing Malcom

Jan 11 - Fergus

Jan 12 - Elizabeth

Jan 13 Gordon, the favorite to send off of bridges.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Photo of the Day Jan 1-6

Jan 1 - a day of trains

Jan 2 - Thomas the Tank Engine - 'he's the one' as the song says

Jan 3 - Calling all engines! Roll Call! We have misplaced Henry's tender, Emily's tender and Murdoch, though we have *his* tender.

Jan 4 - Bill & Ben, the current favorites to take to bed

Jan 5 - Diesel 10, a favorite for all day play

Jan 6 - the 'race car bin' after cleaning up

Project 365 - my version

I decided this year to try the photo a day idea. But because random doesn't really work for me on an ongoing basis I decided to have a theme. That theme is boys' toys. Every day this year I will take a picture of at least one of the toys the boys are playing with or have played with that day (or the previous day). Basically whatever toy is laying around when I have a chance to grab a camera. 'Toy' is open to interpretation - my kids play with chairs, blankets, boxes, rolls of duct tape, random tools, stacks of wood, my Swiffer broom, and other non-toy items. These too will be photographed.  I hope at least once a month to do a layout featuring the overall toy of the month. I'm fairly certain January's will be all about Thomas the Tank Engine.

My camera is having issues offloading my photos at the moment. Hopefully this is not a sign of a serious problem.   I do at least have my 6 year old Olympus to fall  back on if there is a problem & my el cheapo pocket camera as well.  With any luck though I'll have photos Jan 1-10 uploaded here by the end of the day & will probably post a week's worth at time.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The need to crochet a scarf

It came upon me last night.

Must. crochet. scarf.

Probably this is due the fact that it is now cold enough to wear one. Winter seems to begin here shortly after Xmas. Sure it is often cold before Xmas, but not consistently. You can't rely on it being cold or snowing until after the first of the year. Hence the desire for a scarf.

It was 8pm when this need came upon me, so I decided to go browse my yarn stash, in search of the scarf I had begun last year at this time. I found it in it's project bag, minus the hook, making the project impossible to complete. I cannot begin to guess what size hook I used to dc the rows already completed. Most of the UFO's in their bags have their hooks or a note saying what sized hook was used. Anything lacking hook or note must be experimented with & failing any easy match is scheduled for unraveling. But I did not feel like unraveling 2 feet of already crocheted yarn & eyelash yarn. So I poked around the bins & shelves to find something else to use.

I have almost enough yarn to open a small shop. I am not buying any new yarn until summer at the very least. A lot of it basic cheap poly stuff, & then there is the Homespun. It is embarrasing how much Homespun yarn I own. This is due to my inability to figure out how much yarn a project will require. I overbuy every single time, usually several skeins worth.

I ended up selecting some black TLC Amore yarn & some multicolored Bernat eyelash yarn. I like the eyelash look but cannot crochet with it unless I have some other yarn at the same time. It's not quite turning out as I envisioned.


It's heavier for one. I unraveled & restarted this twice last night,making it smaller across and using a larger hook, but it's not helping. Also I am not sure what I was thinking when I bought this particular eyelash pattern. I must have had something in mind because I have a half a dozen balls of the stuff. It looks sort of a like a giant festive caterpillar decorated for Mardi Gras, which is not quite the look I was going for.

I'm thinking I need to just drop the eyelash idea, grab a P or Q hook and some Homespun and just get on with it.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Journal Your Christmas

Day 30

Day 32

Day 33

I have days, 31, 34 & 35 still to do plus the title and the 2 prompts we will receive today and tomorrow. I can't believe I only have 5 pages left. I really thought I would be much farther behind than I am.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Time for the bi-annual HD purge

First I backed it all up onto my back up drive.  Then I deleted the stuff I don't want to keep - mostly digi scrap stuff I have not used in 6 months and cannot imagine ever using.   Then I burned to DVD the stuff I wanted to keep, but wanted off my HD - audiobooks I have already listened to, the .psp versions of my layouts,1hour scrap product I have created & uploaded, receieved files.  Then I went through ACDSee to burn disks of the stuff I think I may not use, but am not sure about, yet still want off my hard drive, but still want in my 'catalog'.  Then,after confirming the DVDs actually have the stuff on them, I press the delete button.

Deleted digi stuff - 8GBs

.psp files - 6GBs

audiobooks- 4GBs


Received files-4GBs

ACDSee burn-8.5GBs

Approximately 35GBs of stuff cleared from my HD, almost half of it being unwanted or poorly chosen digi supplies.  Many of them were freebies, some were things I have been holding onto in the 'unlikely' folder for over a year, but a decent percentage were things I bought because everyone raved about them or they were on a big markdown. About 6 months ago I resolved to only buy things that I can see myself actually using immediately, only the things I can envision right then, in a layout. Going by the dates on the stuff, I have been pretty good about that. The things I didn't use were due to disappointing previews. So I need to start seaching the store's gallerys for layouts using the stuff before I buy it to get a better sense of the kits. 

My new rule for this year is each kit has to used twice. The price of kits are going up & to feel like I am getting my money's worth I need to be able to get at least 2 pages out of the kit.  I did very well with my Xmas selections. I used Twas the Night 6 times and Sleigh Bells Ring 4 times, the other ones have all been used twice and items from all of them have appeared in multiple layouts.  I spent about $20-25 on all the kits together and will have about 32 pages with them when I am done.  I need to do more of that in the coming year.

I scrapped 133 pages in 2007.