Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

(R.I.P. cupcakes for Pi's class).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


We finally, FINALLY got around to carving our Halloween pumpkin. Hubby went to the fruit stand, bought the biggest pumpkin I've ever seen (easily 20 pounds) and then walked over 3/4 of a mile home with it on his shoulders. We have no car and the man is crazy.

We looked online for inspiration because we didn't want to do the regular old triangle eyes, nose and mouth. Hubby saw a pumpkin with a skeleton like face and we all fell in love with it!

I drew it freehand onto the pumpkin, Piper scooped the pumpkin goop out, and hubby carved.

Pretty cool if I may say so myself. Its very Nightmare Before Christmas-like.

We roasted the pumpkin seeds too. Yummmmmmm.

Until Halloween is over, I'm going to insist that candy corn is indeed a diet food. Don't ruin my thunder by telling me otherwise.

Monday, October 27, 2008

My weekend projects

Thanks everyone for the kind comments about my cousin and I finding each other. To answer one of your questions, he'd left because of some drama between some of the adults in the family. His mom moved him away...he was only 14. I'm so happy that I get to reconnect with him and meet his new baby.

Piper spent the weekend at her dad's getting to know her new baby sister. Pi's dad and his g/f had a baby last Wednesday, so Piper is a sister again.

While she was gone, I spent time filling a custom order I got on Etsy. A woman had asked me to make some small snowmen pins for her. I just winged these and I like how they turned out. They're about 4" tall.

She also liked the child's snowman beanie I had made and asked me to make it in a larger size. Its a simple granny square hat using a J hook and caron one pounder in red.

Christmas is coming sooner than I'd like!
Piper and I also baked cinnamon cookies tonight, but no pics of them, sorry! We prepared the dough last night and let it chill overnight. Tonight, we baked the cookies. They came out a little too thick but now I know to roll them a little flatter next time. Even thick, they were good. I love cinnamon.
In a feeble attempt to lower the fat in them, I replaced the cup of butter with a cup of applesauce instead. My family couldn't tell the difference, heehee.
The 5th game of the World Series is starting soon. I'm rooting for the Phillies, even though I am a Mets fan!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A blessing!

I was going to post tonight about what I made this weekend, but a blessing happened today, a big one! One of my cousins left NY 9 years ago and my side of the family hadn't heard from him since. We didn't know where he'd gone and had tried to find him with no luck.

My grandmother saw him this past week at a funeral after all these years and gave him my number. I didn't think he'd call, but today he did. We talked for nearly an hour to catch up. He had no idea Pi existed...I had no idea he had a baby either. It was surreal. He promised that we wouldn't lose touch again.

So, after 9 years of hoping and praying to find my cousin, he's back. A blessing indeed!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Who called?!?!

On Wednesday, while I was brushing Pi's hair, I had a revelation of sorts. I guess its not actually a revelation, since its obvious to most people, but to me it was pretty big. It dawned on me that I wouldn't be brushing her hair forever. One day, and probably too soon for my taste, she'll be grabbing the brush from me and doing it by herself.

I know it shouldn't seem like such a big deal, but its something I take for granted...that she needs me. Even beyond just needing me, she still wants me to do things like this for her. I know she's growing up and that one day she'll go to college, move out, and maybe get married. I've been so busy preparing myself for the big things, that I neglected to realize all of the little things I'd miss too, like brushing her hair. Or hearing her sing America the Beautiful in the shower (really, she does this).

At 8, she's already wildly independent and there are some things she won't let me do for her anymore. She doesn't let me pick out her clothes or make a sandwich for her anymore (she says she makes it better than I do, lol). She doesn't cuddle with me nearly as much as she did when she was 5. Sigh, my baby is growing up.

To bring that point crashing home to me, she got her first phone call from a boy this week. A boy! On the phone! For her! Holy friggin cow.!! Pick me up off the floor someone. My husband repeatedly said he wasn't ready for this yet. Hello! Me either! Pi ran off to her room to have her conversation in private and then roller her eyes at me when I told her it was time to hang up over a half hour later. That boy called again the next day. This time, Pi locked herself in the bathroom, while I did my best to eavesdrop. All I could gather was a lot of giggling. After both calls ended, she was gushing and giggling and blushing. Lord, help me! I'm too young to have a kid with a crush.

This is a whole new stage for me to process. I'm not quite sure how to handle her growing up so fast without being an emotional, gushy mess. Is it too much to ask her if I can go to college with her?


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Swing Dance

About a week or so ago, I entered a blog contest at Half Time Lessons. I was randomly picked as one of three winners. My luck has been pretty decent lately, banking woes aside. Maybe I should play the lotto? If I win, you all get yarn! Thick yarn, thin yarn, pretty yarn, ugly yarn!!! YARN!!

I've gone off on a tangent. Ok, I'm composed now. Sorry 'bout that.

Back to the blog contest. The prize I won was an amazing 8x10 print at the Etsy store, Oranje. All of the prints are gorgeous, but I really felt a strong pull towards this one called Swing Dance. It arrived in today's mail and is prettier in person (though my snapshot doesn't do it justice).

Looking at this print makes me feel all nostalgic and fuzzy. I want to babble about that more, as I had a revelation of sorts while brushing Pi's hair tonight. Its just too late to give it the attention it deserves right now.

Thank you Nannette for the gorgeous print. Now I'm off to find a frame that I can only hope does the print justice.

Not much crocheting going on. I've got a nasty cold that has kept me from doing more than going to and from work, then immediately climbing into bed. Hopefully I'll have more stuff to show you soon.

P.S. - Kristina P., master of funny, I do sell some of my stuff in the Etsy store linked on the right. There's not much in there now, but I'll be filling it up soon.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Crochet Ninja!

This weekend we went on a Girl Scout bowling trip. There were a ton of troops there...easily over 100 girls. The noise level was amazing. I didn't know children could be so piercing.

Pi did great. She's already got my high score beat, which isn't very high I might add. Bowling a 50 makes me excited.

I crocheted while I was there and got lots of questions. The girl scout leader wants me to come in one day and teach the girls to crochet. I agreed because its a great idea!

I didn't get too much done this weekend, but I did make Crochet Ninja! Not sure why, but the idea of a crochet ninja just makes me giggle.

(I printed out the pattern ages ago and it doesn't have the website on it. I'll look for it, so I can post where you can find it a little later.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

K Family Weight Loss Challenge

Hubby and I have been having our own private weight loss challenge over the last 4 weeks. We're calling it the K Family Weight Loss Challenge. Anyone who knows me IRL knows I'd lost about 55 pounds 2 years ago and have gained back a few (cough25cough) over the last year or so.

Generally speaking I love sweets and hate exercise. You do the math. :) But I decided I didn't want to gain back those last 30 pounds. I'd rather lose the 25 I regained. Hubby only needed to lose about 20.

Our methods differ a lot.

Hubby gets on the elliptical for an hour a day. I stare at the elliptical for an hour a day.

Hubby happily enjoys salad for lunch and a side salad at dinner everyday. I will only subject myself to a salad once a day, usually at lunch, cursing it the entire time.

Hubby has cut back on coffee and is still just as chipper as usual. I've increased my coffee intake...might as well stick a caffeine IV drip in me.

Hubby lifts weights and is getting definition in his arms (hot!). My weight lifting happens at work, with the large dusty files. No definition to be seen.

Even though our methods differ we've both lost a few pounds over the last 4 weeks. I wanted to celebrate how great we're doing, so I made these:

I know, I know...I'm backwards! Couldn't help myself. Pi and I had a little Friday night bake fest and I let her decorate. Do you see her adorable Frankenstein on the bottom there?

I'm going to go have one of these bad boys for breakfast while trying to forget the upcoming lunch salad.

Have a great Saturday peeps!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pretty in Purple

When I went to check my account, the bank hadn't returned my money as planned. So I went into the bank yesterday and had a massive, giant, pissed off fit. After planting myself firmly in front of the manager and 45 minutes of arguing, the bank returned my money right there and then. They also agreed to reduce the 90 day investigation to 10. What the hell happened to good customer service?

I hate to admit it, but getting into a big argument like that gives me a rush. I don't go looking for fights, but when I find myself in one, its like I become super animated... I want to scream BRING IT ON! Anonymous hubby claims I should have been a lawyer.

Anyhoo, I found a lonely skein of Homespun sitting in my stash. Homespun rocks for scarves because it works up soft and fluffy. What more can anyone want in a scarf? I know a lot of people hate Homespun, but I can honestly say I like it! I used the shells scarf pattern I've used a gazillion times before.

(my pics are oddly small)

I threw it up on Etsy to see how a scarf might do and my very own cousin bought it, haha. Talk about family love.

Quick question - do any of you use eye cream? If you do, can you recommend one? A new brighter light bulb in the bathroom has revealed that the perfection that was once me (like back in utero) has begun to age, especially around my eyes.

Lord grant me the serenity to accept the wrinkles I cannot change, good cream to smooth the ones that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference!

P.S. - the yarn I used in the hats was Lion Brand Suede in blue and TLC Essentials in Light Green and Art (the variegated).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hats, hats, and hats

Last week I got into a hat making frenzy. It was probably because it was beginning to get a little chilly at night. Good thing I went hat nuts last week because its pretty warm this week!

This first one is a free pattern from the Lion Brand Website. I used more than one strand to give it a really thick, warm feel. I love the way the color striped itself diagonally.

I wanted to try something in this same colorway but have it be looser and soft, so I came up with my own simple pattern using multiple strands and a really large hook. I got the same effect with the color but the hat is a lot more casual.

You'd think I'd stop there but no. I had some suede yarn lying around and tried my pattern with it. Love it! Its sooooo soft. Like a baby's ass soft!

I still have a little hat fever and really want to try a newsboy style or something similar to that.
Ok, gotta head to work. Happy Thursday!
P.S. = Thanks Inky Binky for being my model!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Queen Anne Lace scarf

So I spoke with the bank today who agreed to give me my money on a conditional basis after they process the paperwork. The condition being that after their investigation, I get to keep my money or if they find fault with me (don't know how that would happen) then they would take it away. I know I'm not at fault, so I'm not worried about that. So, it'll be a sigh of relief when the paperwork is processed and my new debit card comes in. Oh yeah, and its Citibank.

I finished another Christmas gift, the Queen Anne Lace scarf.

Love this pattern! It worked up really quickly and was very easy. I think its kinda funky, in a not a normal looking scarf kinda way. This one will be heading to Pi's teacher for Christmas.

I also got 18 rows added to my scrapghan. I just might get all my Christmas gifts done on time this year!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Crappy Monday

Today was the most craptastical Monday in a long time. Anything that could go wrong did.

The icing on the cake was discovering my debit card number had been stolen somehow. Not my credit card, but my debit card! As in my checking account, with money, to pay bills.

Called the bank and there wasn't much they could do today since its Columbus Day. They'll be sending me a letter tomorrow that I need to sign and send back to confirm, in writing, that all the charges over the weekend were not made by me.

In the meantime, my debit card has been cancelled and I need to wait for a new one. The kicker is that the bank needs to do an "investigation" into the charges, which can take up to 90 days. I won't get my money back until the investigation is complete.

I don't know about you guys, but losing a chunk of my checking account for 90 days can have some disastrous consequences. I'm going to go into my bank branch in person tomorrow to see if there's anyway to speed that up.

I'm going to go have some chocolate therapy now.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My very own Wonder Woman!

We all know I'm my very own Wonder Woman (modesty at its best), but I'm not talking about me this time. Hubby and I transformed Ms. Pi into Wonder Woman.

Pi's school Halloween party was yesterday (a wee early, no?) and we didn't start thinking about costumes until last week (because its early!). First we checked out the stores on the avenue. Their run of the mill costumes were anywhere from 30-50 bucks and I just refuse to shell out that much for a costume that'll only be worn a few times. Besides, Pi didn't even like what they had.

So we raided my mom's house. With 15 year old twins that dress up every year, we were bound to find something. They've got a whole box full of costumes...that my dad "stored" and can't find now. Insert bad words here. Just as we were about to give up. my 20 y/o sister found a Wonder Woman cape that hadn't been thrown into the box. Progress!

Other than the cape, we didn't have anything that would make Pi look like Wonder Woman, so hubby and I got creative. We ran to the fabric store and bought some gold metallic fabric for $4, plus the matching thread.

I came home, googled Wonder Woman as a guide, and pulled out Pi's drawing paper. Using fancy equipment, like a paper plate, I drew and cut out a preliminary belt.

To make it a diamond shape, I folded the paper in half before cutting to make sure all the sides were the same.

Then sewing! Yes, the sewing machine was on a card table. I didn't want to sew in the dining room, so the card table had to do. The machine kept acting up and I was getting frustrated. It wasn't the machine's fault though. The fabric frayed like crazy and that matching thread was thick and kind of brittle so it snapped easily.

Hubby took pity on me and dragged his chair to the other side of the sewing machine. He helped me fix the machine when it was acting up and helped to hold the fabric flat so it had less chances of fraying while I was working with it.

After repeating that process for the headband and wrist bands, this is what we had.

Hubby also took pity on the fact that I can't draw an even star for my life. He made a star template and I cut these stars out of leftover felt I found in my craft bag. For the red stars, we just painted the white stars because I didn't have red felt.

Accessories: check! But what about clothes? We raided Pi's summer clothes to see what she had. We found navy blue shorts that would work perfectly as Wonder Woman's bottoms. We glued the stars on and viola! It actually looked better than we expected. A red fourth of July t-shirt that had stars on rounded out the outfit.

Pi has a box of old ratty costumes that my mom gave her 3 years ago to play dress up. None of the costumes fit anymore but we did find white boots that were perfect. One of the twins had dressed up as a space anime character and worn these boot years ago. Thank goodness we kept them.
Put it all together and you get Wonder Woman!

Pi loves the way the costume turned out. She didn't say so out-right, but catching her dancing in the mirror was proof enough.

For our first costume making adventure, hubby and I are really happy! Best part is that it cost less than $10 bucks to make!
P.S. - Pi had a great time at the party. I even got to stay because they needed help with the Pre-K class, so I was able to sneak in some pics of her and her friends.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Oops, we did it again!

Hubby and I were in the kitchen getting drinks to go with our lunch today. Its the middle of the day...the landlord is obviously at we're free to speak our minds, right?

For those of you who are new to my life, my apartment shares a wall with the landlord's crash pad (they don't live there but spend a lot of time there) and the walls are very thin. We can hear anything they say, so we assume they can hear anything we say too (I won't mention how when they are too noisy, we have a method of quieting them down by standing close to the wall and make we're-having-loud-sex noise and how funny we think that is).

I digress. Anyway, we've made more than one gaffe before by saying something we wouldn't want them to hear - like when we talk about what crappy landlords they are. Oops.

Today we were talking about our other neighbor, who has a studio apartment in front of our place. We were saying how's she's crazy (she really is!) and how we think she has a hidden peephole to watch us in the hallway. We got onto this topic because we checked the mail in the hallway and went inside. When we went back out less than 5 minutes later, all the mail was gone, including the mail that wasn't hers. She's weird about the mail like that...she has to be the first one to look at it. She's a strange bird.

As we're proclaiming how strange she is, we hear noise in the landlord's apartment. Oops again! I'm sure the landlord heard every word we said. When will we learn not to speak openly in our own apartment? *rolls eyes*

Hate. This. Apartment.

Ok, now to fun stuff. I discovered a new hilarious blog called Pulispher Predilections. The blog author, Kristina, is hilarious! Check it out.

Through her blog, I also learned about a give-away on the Halftime Lessons Blog. There are some awesome prizes that celebrate grassroot shopping.


It ends today, so run over and enter.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Spiders, Scarflettes, and Mail! Oh my!

So I've used that little title rhyme before. I'm not sure I have enough functioning brain cells at the moment to post this entry AND think of a good title, so you get stuck with this one. Work was so looooong today but I'm off for the next 2 days and should hopefully feel like a normal human being by Sunday.

Onto projects!

Nina_Kate over at Crochetville was looking for testers for her scarflette pattern. I'm normally not into testing scarves, but I was chilly and that swayed me.

I'm glad I did because it worked up really fast and is actually functional. This is something I can wear under my light jacket without being too bulky. Its made with Patons Shetland Chunky, which had many past a mobius wrap, a sweater, and my knitting practice.

Ignore the glazed-just-home-from-work-I-don't-have-glasses-and-can't-see look.

This next one was really fun! It's Caroline's spider pattern! Love it, love it! It was super easy and fast. The only problem I had was that the curlyq legs weren't as curly as they should be. I made it work for me though. Mr. Spider got strung up and hung in the doorway to my living room.

Is it wrong that I hung it up late last night after Pi was fast asleep, hoping to scare her with it when she woke up this morning? Heehee.

I also got mail! I won the Sudoku contest at Lesa's blog! She made a Sudoku puzzle into an afghan and whoever solved it first won. I love Sudoku, so it was right up my alley.

She spoiled me rotten.

Here are the prizes for winning the contest. A crochet borders book and 2 pattern leaflettes, 2 skeins of yarn, a hook holder, and an awesome pin cushion in my favorite color blue!

As if that wasn't enough, she also sent books for reading on the subway and a sewing book on how to make clothes.

She wasn't done yet!

Look at all the sewing patterns....and ribbon....and patterns.....and fabric.... and PATTERNS! Lesa is determined to get me hooked on sewing.

I swear the box was huge...I practically had to climb in it to get everything out. It felt like Christmas morning! Thank you so much Lesa!

My plans for the next few days are to try and get a costume together for Pi. She's got an early Halloween party this Saturday and I refuse to buy a $50 costume this year. We're going to have to get creative. If you've got ideas or tips, throw em my way!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Shameless Promotion

I tried to post last night for over 2 hours, but my internet decided it hated me. We cancelled our home phone service and downgraded our cable last week, trying to save some money.

Ever since then the internet has been awful. Time Warner - crappy company extraordinaire - at its best. We had a tech come out this past Saturday who "fixed" the internet problem. By "fixed" I mean made it worse! I'll be calling tonight after 9 (when my cell phone minutes are free) to complain my tooshie off.

Onto my shameless promotion....I've opened an Etsy store!
I've been working on some patterns (and could use some extra income, lets be honest), so I had them tested and put them in my Etsy store today.

The first is a Baby Papoose. Its a cocoon type wrap that's awesome for swaddling babies without having to worry about a blanket falling off.

Next is the Cluster Purse. Its a medium sized shoulder bag with wide straps for comfort. Its a perfect size for my essentials plus a paperback book.

I've got some finished object that will go up within the next day or two also...some hats, baby booties, and a Big Headed Frog ami. Wish me luck, as I've never sold on Etsy before.
I finished another scarf for my Christmas gifts too...hoping to get a pic of that posted by tomorrow.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

God Bless the Animals!

Today, our church celebrated St. Francis, the patron saint of animals. St. Francis had a deep love and respect for all of nature. All the children in the neighborhood were invited to bring their pets to the church schoolyard for a special blessing of the animals in honor of St. Francis.

People brought all kinds of animals....dogs, cats, turtles. birds, snails, and Pi's hermit crabs. There was a cat in a carrier that had its eyes on a parakeet nearby. It looked like it was ready to pounce.

Father Tom and Father Walker began the morning with a prayer.

Father Tom blessed each animal individually. Here's Pi getting her crabs blessed.

Blessed crabs!

Honestly, I'm shocked these little guys are still alive. Its been more than a months since we've brought them home. The last time we had crabs (2 years ago), they only lived 2 weeks. Guess these guys are troopers.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Working with chenille.

Today was an awesome day. So awesome that I'm positive that tomorrow will suck big golf balls just to make things even.

After dropping the Pip off at school, hubby treated me to a cup of Dunkin's coffee (mmmm). When we got home, he made me breakfast! Sometimes I swear the man was dropped directly from Heaven.

After breakfast, I crocheted for awhile and then....get it comes....we napped! Together! For TWO HOURS! Joy! I love naps.

Onto the crochet. Christmas has been on my mind and I know that if I'm going to do a homemade Christmas, I needed to start now. I was going through the stash I bought from Smiley's back in May and found this crimson chenille yarn. I've never worked with chenille yarn before. What was I waiting for? It rocks! Its a super bulky and so so soft. I knew this had to become something for none other than Dirty Grandma.

Complicated stitches would get lost with this yarn because its so thick and plush, so simple was the way to go. The hat is simple hdc made in rounds and the scarf is really easy dc done in rows.

(Don't mind me...I'd only just gotten up from my nap and had sleepy written all over my face).

Here's a close up of the hat so you can see just how plush it is. I think Dirty Grandma is going to love it!

Oh yeah, the day just got even better. Hubby just asked me to get butter because he's going to make cookies!

Bye peeps, have to go get the butter before he changes his mind!