Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday's Tribue

Tuesday's Tribute

Tuesday's Tribute is to one of my favorite things ever: Epic Fail.
I squealed with girly delight when Hubby noticed this.

Even if the double L is supposed to be a play on words, its plain stupid.
Misspelling words on purpose: Epic Fail!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Deal or No Deal Casting Call

Anonymous Hubby and I heard that Deal or No Deal was going to be hosting a casting call for their new daily show in CT. Pi already had plans to spend today with my sister, so we decided to go on a whim.

It was held at a car dealership in East Hanover, NJ. Thank goodness it was done in a place with as much space as this, because the amount of people that showed up was crazy...easily a few thousand. It would have been mayhem on a NYC street.

Anonymous Hubby staying anonymous.

We arrived right before 8am and there were about 600 people in front of us. It was a pretty good spot, considering we hadn't camped overnight like some people did.

This was about the midway point. 95.5 PLJ hosted the casting call and did an awesome job making sure everyone was taken care of. They handed out bottles of water, protein bars, peanut butter bars, and played a ton of music.

This picture was taken right before we went in to get interviewed. At that point, we'd been on line for 4 and a half hours. Look at all those peeps who are probably still there now.

The Deal or No Deal peeps take groups of 10 inside to meet with a producer who interviews everyone. By interview, I mean you get 30 seconds to describe yourself and make a good impression. At that point, the producer picks the people she likes and those people get sent to a second set of producers for another, longer group interview (like 1-2 minutes).
They were casting for both Season 1 and Season 2. Season 2 is going to be career oriented, so they separated people with specific careers for that season after the 2nd group interviews. Everyone else who made it to the second interviews is considered a possible candidate for the show.
I made it past the first interview (Hubby didn't though) and went on to the second interview. Woot woot! Now I just need to be patient and wait to hear back from them. It can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 4 years (!!!) depending on when/if they want you. I'm hopeful but not getting too excited. There were thousands of other people there, so anything can happen.
It was a really unique experience. I can cross "try out for a game show" off my life goals list. ;) heehee

And we're off!

Hubby and I are leaving to the Garden State for the Deal or No Deal casting call. Yep, we're nuts, I know.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Francisca, the Butterfly Girl

This toy is lucky number 13 for the toy drive.

This is Francisca, dressed as a butterfly. She is one of Owlishly's creations, the same lady who made the Sleeping Sarah pattern. The pattern was ROAKed (that's a Random Act of Kindness for anyone not in the know) to me last November and figured the toy drive was a good reason to give her a try.

The detailing on the wings made me feel like when I was a little kid in art class. You look at the teacher's example and try to make it that pretty, but the skill just isn't there. Embroidery is going to have to be my next crafty lesson, lol. Hopefully whatever little kid get Francisca won't wonder about the lack of symmetry in the detailing.

She's a hodgepodge of yarn...black is Caron Pounder, blue and white is RHSS, the brown and tan are unknown. The tan is a ww and the brown seems to be a DK or sport. Those are both over 15 years old with no bands. I wish I knew what the tan was, as its almost finished. Its the perfect shade for skin and I've yet to see anything that even remotely matches it now.

And just a random thought...before adding the wings and the antennae, she looked like a burglar to me. Just one more sign I've lived in this neighborhood too long, haha!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute

Tuesday's Tribute
Today's Tuesday's Tribute is to one of my co-workers who should keep his questions to himself.
Yes, I'm aware I've gained back 8 pounds since the Biggest Loser challenge ended.
Yes, I'm aware that I've been too tired, stressed, and generally drained to exercise regularly.
Yes, I'm aware that I'm comfort eating more than I should, especially with my recent stress.
But dear nosy, curious co-worker...
Good Grief!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ribbit Ribbit

Its a frog filled day around here!

I just found out that my Big Headed Frog Pattern will be in the 2010 Crochet Pattern a Day Calendar. I've never been published, so that's pretty neat.

Its also funny that I found out today because if the ami for the toy drive that I just finished up. How cute is this guy? He's way bigger than I expected him to be. You can easily stick him in a baby carriage and doll clothes because of his size. I think my favorite part about him is the curly arms and legs. Gives him character.

He's done with a G hook and Carol pounders in 2 shades of green.

I have no idea what booklet he is from. It was an old and beat up when given to me. The covers are gone, as are some of the titles of the toys. There is a lion in that book named Laurie the Lion. Maybe that will help narrow down what booklet it is, if anyone needs to know.

So, I need a little help. Like I mentioned before, the kid is having a birthday party in mid July. I want to make cute favors for the kids that are coming to the party, but don't know what. I want to do a little more than the average candy bag. Any ideas?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to Dad, Grandpa, and to my Hubby! I love and appreciate you guys.

I expressed my love with sweets. :)

Walnut chocolate chip cookies

Rainbow cake with buttercream frosting.

Hope all the dads out there had a great day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Adios 3rd Grade!

My little baby finished up 3rd grade yesterday (finishing on the honor roll, yay!)and bridged groups in Girl Scouts too. That's just a fancy way of saying she's graduated from one group into the next one. In Pip's case, she left the Brownies and is now a Junior.

I made these cake pops for the Girl Scout closing ceremony. I didn't make them cupcake shaped though. Just round balls dipped in chocolate and we made our own cream cheese frosting from scratch. Man, I could have eaten them all by myself, they were so good.

I'd love to show you pics of everything, but my head was somewhere in the clouds and I forgot my camera. I don't get an E for effort, apparently. Oops!

I didn't screw up completely though, because I made the teacher a Lots of Pockets Tote as her last day gift. Pip picked out the purple and brown combo. Unlike the first one I made, this one turned out nearly perfectly. There was some major bag mojo going on.

I've been wanting to make another one of these for my mom in the silky fabric I bought, but was nervous because I'd screwed it up the last time I tried. Now that I've done it in the nearly free cotton and have a better sense of how to make things work, I'm ready to tackle mom's bag.

In Mom updates, she's doing way way better. Her bronchitis is almost completely gone and I took her to have her catheter removed this morning. She's been walking around and cooking by herself too.

Oh and I finished up my first week of work in the new building. I've had some time to explore the area at lunchtime and all I have to say is Holy Cow, the SHOPPING! Every store you could ever need (except Dunkin Donuts) is within walking distance. There's only one thing that could really present a challenge to my cheap ways...Purl Soho and Purl Patchwork are a 5 minute walk from me. Gotta leave the wallet at home...gotta leave the wallet at home. Repeat it with me now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute

Tuesday's Tribute

Today's Tuesday's Tribute is to unexpected guests and the joy they (sometimes)bring.

Normally, I'm not one who gets excited over an unexpected guest. Usually, I'm miffed that they didn't call first to let me know they were coming. This probably wouldn't be such a huge issue if I chose to change out of pj's during the weekend, but that's neither here nor there.
When a guest is expected, I'll have nice things waiting like cupcakes, snacks, and drinks. If you're unexpected, good luck getting fed. There might be some Rice Krispies Treats or scrape-the-bottom ice cream if you're super lucky.
I don't always stick to these rules though. Sometimes, an unexpected guest is very welcome. Like when they bring pizza or wine. You can come right on in then! Once in awhile, an unexpected guest (or two) will show up with no food or wine, but they bring an immense amount of joy just the same.
These little guys showed up at my house today. I'm just a pit stop for them along the way. They plan on staying here just about a month before heading off to Kristie's Toy Drive. They were worried that I was stressed about making my 20 toy goal, since I've been preoccupied with my parents' medical issues, and decided to join my toy parade to boost the number of toys I had. Obviously, they couldn't mail themselves, so we have to thank the Kansas Hooker for helping them make their way here.
The pattern for these guys is HERE
Who knew an octupi (octupuses?) could provide a much needed boost? I was filled with a tremendous amount of warmth and joy to be reminded that there are people are filled with kindness. They give of themselves for the sake of giving and not expecting a thing in return. Thanks so much amiga! Your kindness really made my day...and will make the day of two kiddos who will adopt them August.
Two more toys decided to join the ranks for the toy drive as well. I'd completely forgotten these finished amis were in the closet. While looking for a particular ball of yarn, they jumped out at me, apparently tired of living in the stash.
The fairy is a pattern I tested and not sure if it is available. The frog is my Big Headed Frog. You can find the pattern for him on my sidebar. That brings the current toy total to 11! Woohoo, more than halfway there thanks to my unexpected guests!

Monday, June 15, 2009

You're Invited!

Little Monster's birthday is next month. She's going to be 9, so I suppose she's really my Big Monster now, but I don't want to think about that yet.

Every other year, we have a big-ish party. Last year was small with just my immediate family, so she wanted to do something that included her friends this year. After a lot of debating, she decided on a bowling party.

The bowling alley gives you invitations to hand out, but man, they're plain and ugly. Not girly (ie: Piper-like) at all. I saw this idea over at Small Fry & Co. and was instantly in love. (I can't link for some reason...I'll try again later).

I'm no paper crafter, but they seemed simple enough and I already had card stock and scrapbooking paper at home. Pi approved of the idea and this is what we came up with. This project is really kid friendly and Pi did a good deal of the steps on her own.

We cut the bowling invitations to fit and glued them on the inside of the card, so all the vital information was there.

I couldn't find lollipop bags that were large enough or even cellophane (no craft stores around here) to wrap them in. There is a card store that makes favors, though, and they carry yards of tulle. 2 yards was more than enough to wrap all the invites.

I think they're adorable and Pi loves them.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Update with Sucky Pictures

The last few days have been exhausting. Mom came down with bronchitis while she was in the hospital, which is making her recovery that much slower. She's coughing like crazy and can't breathe. The coughing can do some damage to her stitches, so she's using a pillow to brace herself and downing cough medicine plus antibiotics.

She was allowed to come home yesterday morning, though she's been armed with a nebulizer, oxygen, and an albuterol pump. Her breathing was so bad last night that my dad nearly called the ambulance but some oxygen did the trick. She's also dehydrated from throwing up. Her recovery is so much harder with the bronchitis. She's tired, in pain and stressed out to the point that she's been crying.

I brought her a little something to try and cheer her up. Its a bell so she can ring for whatever she needs. Finding a bell in the Spring is not easy. so I had to go to an all year round Christmas store and even then, it was a NY apple bell. It had a leaf but it fell off in my bag. Mom thought this was the funniest thing and laughed as much as she was able.

Bad cell phone pics, sorry.

In the midst of all this craziness, Non-dirty Grandma celebrated her 67th birthday. She loves chocolate but two of my sisters can't eat it. So a half and half chocolate and butter cream cake it was! I used cookie cutters to make the sprinkle hearts.

Inky and I had been taking turns watching the twins while Dad went to spend time with Mom in the hospital. This old girl, Penny, was definitely a help with stress relief. I think she can tell something has been up and she was my shadow the entire time I was with the girls.

On the work front, we finally moved offices on Friday. I went into work this morning to unpack and check out the new place. Its honestly a lot more roomy that I'd thought. I'd prepared myself to hate it, but I actually really like it. My commute is about 15 minutes longer, but I won't have to transfer trains, so I'm more than happy with that trade-off. One straight train means a lot more crafting time on the subway.

Speaking of crafts, I've been keeping busy. All the traveling back and forth made for a lot of on-the-go stitching. I have a lot to show, but just haven't had a chance to take any pictures yet.

Hope everyone's having a good weekend.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Mom is out of surgery and awake. Her blood pressure dropped when they gave her pain medication, so she is in a lot of pain right now, but otherwise the nurse said it went well, thank God.

Mom's sister is having a hysterectomy today too, at another hospital. Crazy coincidence.

I'm just so so relieved she's awake now.

Mom is in surgery now.

Mom, Inky and I went to the hospital about 5:30 this morning. They prepped her and took her in for surgery around 8. She developed a cough overnight, so we're hoping it doesn't turn into a full blown cold. Recovering from a hysterectomy with a cold has to suck.

I'll update when I find anything out.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Weekend Wrap-up and Great news!!

The weather was gorgeous yesterday, but we had an inside day because my Pipster has had a bad cold and fever this weekend. Even when she feels like crap, she's still a jumping bean and gets bored really easily. What to do with a sick kiddo that can't go outside? Crafts!

I had a bunch of these fake flowers left over from her 2008 and 2009 Easter Bonnet parade hats. They've been cluttering my craft bag and I wanted to do something with them and didn't know what, until my mom gave me a heart shaped styrofoam wreath that she'd never used.

I pulled the wreath and flowers out, armed Piper with a low temp glue gun and let her go wild (until she got bored and I finished it, haha). Now we've got a Spring wreath for the front door. Considering an 8 year old did most of it, it looks really good.

Karen asked me to show pics of our pathetic gardening attempts so far. This snap pea plant is one of the only ones thriving. Figures...I hate peas!

This pot is growing sunflowers. Those are my favorite flowers, so I'm crossing my fingers that they keep thriving.

These 2 pots have the cherry tomatoes. As you can see, they're looking pretty pathetic.

Over here were the basil, oregano, bell peppers, and tomatoes. These seedlings never grew. Super epic fail.

So there's my sad little garden. Looks like the vegetable stand will be seeing a lot of me this summer.
In awesome, fabulous, wonderful, dance on the ceiling news...mom's biopsy came back negative! Yay! After her surgery this coming Wednesday, we can all breathe a bit easier.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Under the Sea

Here are the latest toys for the toy drive. The pattern is a freebie from Lion Brand.

These toys remind me of when I was a kid. My dad is a huge animal person and we always had a bunch of animals at any given time. Dad's favorite thing to do was to keep fish tanks, both fresh and salt water tanks. One of my clearest memories is watching dad as he would measure the Ph balance.

The fish I loved most were Angel fish and sea horses. My dad's name is Angel, so we always had a bunch of angel fish. I used to sit and watch them, thinking how graceful they looked when they swam. Talk about a trip down memory lane!

Anywho...toys always look cuter in bunches.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dad is home

Dad had an angioplasty and it went well. The blockage wasn't as bad as the docs first thought and because he's so young (45), they say he's going to bounce right back. He was able to come home. Thank God! He'll be on medical leave from his job for awhile, so he'll have time to go to various doc appointments and figure out what the next step is.

Mom's surgery was moved up from late June to this coming Wednesday, June 10th. No biopsy results yet though. Sheesh. how long do those take?!

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers, guys. Its therapeutic to be able to share my worries sometimes.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Why does stress come in multiples?

My dad was at work yesterday when he started experiencing tightness in his chest. He was sent to ER by his job, with 2 other officers to watch over him. Thankfully, it was not a heart attack, but they kept him overnight for testing. We just got word that he has a blocked artery and will be admitting him.

My mom is worried, especially since the hospital is about 45 minutes away, which means she can't just run over to be with him at a moment's notice. Between this and waiting for her biopsy results, I'm worried about her stressing.

I wish there was more I could do. I hate feeling helpless.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sleeping Sarahs

Just a quick drive-by blogging today.

More toys for the toy drive! These little girls are the Sleeping Sarah pattern. That's a free Ravelry link, btw.

They work up super quick and are really adorable. They're just squishy enough and small enough that they'd be a great toy for an older baby or toddler.

There are more toys flying off the hook and hopefully I'll be able to get those posted in a few days. They're starting to multiply and I'm certain I can make the deadline if I keep at this pace.

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute

Tuesday's Tribute
Today's Tuesday's Tribute is to a rarity SO rare that some of you may have never experienced it: Good Customer Service from a large company.

Oh yeah, I said GOOD customer service. I'll wait a moment while you compose yourself.

In 2007, hubby and I bought a new computer screen since our old one had died. It was really old, as in before we got married old. We bought a modest LG flat screen because it was on sale.

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. Hubby unplugged the screen for a minute to get behind our desk and when he plugged it back in, the screen had gone belly-up. Begging, pleading, and sweet-talking it didn't get us very far in bringing it back to life.

We figured we were crap out of luck since 1. we'd long since disposed of the receipt and 2. we never registered for the online warranty. I'll admit that was pure stupidity on our part.

Hubby decided to give LG a call anyway. They asked him what the manufacturer's date was on the side of the screen and it was March 2007. Since the screen was less than 3 years old since the time of manufacturing, they were willing to replace the screen even without the receipt and warranty.

I was in complete shock. I didn't have to yell? I didn't have to ask for a supervisor? No rambling about poor manufacturing? No out-sourced employee, whose name is NOT Skip, even though he tells you it is, telling me I am out of luck? Say what?!?

The same day, LG emailed a pre-paid Fed-Ex label. We packaged the screen as best we could and Fed-Ex came to pick it up.

Today, just about one week after we mailed the screen, the Fed-Ex guy shows up with a nice package from LG with our new screen. Well, its not new, its refurbished, but its new to me. And it was replaced for free. Free! Didn't cost me one stinking cent and we didn't even have to yell at anyone on the phone.

Thanks LG for standing behind your products and replacing them if they malfunction.