4.30.2011

I begin to panic and get organized, or is it the other way around?

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Spring is here, along with the rain, I have begun my traditional spring cleaning/organization quest.

In addition to that, I’m working on a baby and a wedding present. Both handmade. Can’t blog about those right now. So I’ll have to be happy with sharing my eternal hope that I can become the organized person with a simplified life and house.

Always looking for a successful system to try, the few things that I have kept from various organizational/shows/books etc.….

When my home is not organized, neither is my life, the most chaos I have, the more I need to get organized.

1-OK, not in the mood, just call up a Hoarders episode, 5 min in top, I started tossing things. This is one of the scariest shows I have ever seen. (it also makes anyone feel tremendously in control of things, no matter how messy your house it)

2)-Use the 3 box/bag system, toss, donate and put away. I also like the “can’t get rid of it yet box”, have something you know you need to get rid of my can’t, stick it in the box, tape it up and set it aside with a 6 month date on it. In 6 months if you haven’t used/wanted it. Move to the toss or donate pile.

3)-The timer-set your timer for 15 min. Think fast and don’t overthink. Start going through things, cleaning etc.… You can do anything for 15 min. This also applies to exercise and knitting. Commit to 15 min a day to simplify, clean etc.…and you will be surprised at what you can get done!

4-The project is never as bad as you think it will be. I have spent many more minutes dreading a project than it takes to get it done. (well most of them aren’t)

5)-Get help from a friend and help her out. It is much harder to admit in front of someone that you can’t part with the first teddy bear that you owned or 4 tons of yarn. Plus you get to do the same for her. *evil laugh here*

6)-Keep like items together and label them in whatever container or area they are in. Now this sounds like a no brainer, but put it into action. That is when I discovered that I had 14 scissors, but could never find them. Now they are all in a labeled box on a shelf!

7)-Put things away in their labeled containers when done with them, if you don’t, this is how clutter starts off. Have something in your hand when you come in the door (mail, etc.) put it where it belongs, don’t lay it down to put it away later!

8)-Get a calendar, planner etc.…and use it, refer to it every evening. Plan tomorrow with it. I like this free one from Create your Printable Planner.

Out of self-discipline comes order, and out of order comes peace and harmony.
Don't underestimate the power of peace and harmony.

Sunrise__Sunset_by_peace_love_harmony

Simplify!

4.27.2011

Tickling a Baby Penguin

Sometimes you just need some cuteness!

This is a baby Penguin “Cookie” from the Cincinnati Zoo and it’s handler!

Smile today!

4.25.2011

Got Water?

Oh Yes we sure do! (“This is definitely a Top 10 event, if not a Top 5 event in many places,” ) according to the paper. When did we start calling weather an “event”? We have had several small power outages and some backup of water. My husband and I have trenched around our house. We are calling ourselves honorary civil engineers, ha!

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(Not my house, thank goodness)

Weather service: 'Catastrophic flash flooding possible', see article

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Schools and business's are closed due to flooded streets. People are sandbagging and the national guard is here. More raining coming up to 9 inches for some areas.

Steve bought an extra sump pump, in case this one goes out, why do things always stop working when you really need them?

Keep your feet dry and your hands knitting!

I’m inside, cleaning the house and hoping to get some knitting done.

4.23.2011

Knitted Flat Slouchy Hat Pattern

I’m still tweaking my flat slouchy hat pattern. Here is the next in the series. This is a slouchy hat pattern, knitted flat. It is easy for a beginning knitter!
Super slouchy hat, pattern below….
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I originally started making this pattern when I didn’t have access to my circular needles. It was fast and fun.
With cuff turned up (below)
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Super Slouchy Knitted Flat Hat Pattern (bulky yarn)
Pattern:
Flat Slouchy Hat (SuperBulky Yarn)
Slouchy hat knitted flat and sewn together, suitable for beginning knitter
Yarn Used: Super Bulky Lion Brand Hometown USA, I used 1 and a third skeins which is about 110-120 yds of  super bulky yarn
Gauge: 13 stitches x 9 rows, 4x4 inches
Needles: US 13 or size to get gauge
Cast On: 42 Stitches
Ribbing:
Row 1: K1, P1, repeat to end
Row 2: Repeat row 1 until, your ribbing is as long as you desire, mine is approx. 5 inches long.
Body:
Row1: (Knit 3, Inc 1)* repeat until end of row (total 55 stitches) (see link here, for all types of increase examples and videos)  (for beginning knitters it may be easiest to increase by using the M1 or make 1 see link
Row 2: Purl all
Row 3: Knit all
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until it is approx 5 inches long, remember the body will be longer than this, we still have to do our decreases.
End with a wrong side row, (purl row)
Decrease rows:
row 1: Knit 3, K2tog* repeat until end,( K2tog video here)
row 2: and all even rows, Purl
row 3: Knit 2, K2tog* repeat until end.
row 5: Knit 1, K2tog* repeat until end
row 7: K2tog* repeat until end (last row)
Now cut a long tail of yarn, using a yarn needle, draw up through your loops on your needle, remove from needle, and draw up tightly.
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Now stitch your hat down the side using one of these techniques.
from stitch n bitch book
http://mochimochiland.com/category/tutorials/
http://www.knitting-naturally.com/sewing-up-your-knitting.html
http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-sew-seams-together
Enjoy! I’d love to see any hats that you make from this pattern!

4.21.2011

Just Add Water, this one is for Teresa


I haven't done any watercolors since I’ve moved all of my “stuff” into my front bedroom. I did get it out and go outside and attempt a “plein air” painting.
I had fun, and it warmed me up to get back into sketching.
This is part of one of my flower beds, a little wild and blooming!
The first photo is just water colors


Then I added some ink into the painting, I think I went too far, and like the original better, what do you think?

We have been busy replacing all of the windows in the house, still at it. After the initial estimate,*gasp*, we decided to buy them and do the work ourselves. So far, pretty good. I’ve learned it is pretty hard to get a window out of it’s hole!

Featured Etsy Blogger

April’s Etsy Blogger is Linda B’s Jewelry

Mauve Pearl Wire Wrap Necklace $22.60

mauve pearl

From her bio:

Hi, my name is Linda and I'm passionate about using bright colors and gemstone characteristics in my unique beaded jewelry designs. Most of my items are one-of-a-kind. My Judaica line of jewelry and accessories is very popular and I enjoy coming up with new designs for it.
I've been beading for about 6 years now. I work full-time and find beading to be relaxing and fun.
Visit my shop at
lindab142.etsy.com
I love color and what the gemstones and colors symbolize and create one-of-a-kind, unusual designs of handbeaded gemstone and glass pendants, bracelets, earrings, beaded bookmarks, rings, beaded keychains and car mirror jewelry.
Also, I enjoy working with clients on more conventional custom orders...

I love to buy jewelry, so had trouble picking out some of my favorites from her shop:

Amethyst Healing Silver Wire Wrapped Pendant $24.30

silver

Blue Glass Beaded Bracelet $22.32

blue glass

I like that she also gives us the option of upgrading to sterling silver chains on her necklaces!

she blogs here

4.17.2011

STRESS Awareness Month, #winning, no I mean #knitting

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For the 19th consecutive year, April 2011 has been designated StressAwareness Month. During this thirty day period, health care professionals and health promotion experts across the country will join forces to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic.

Sponsored by The Health Resource Network (HRN), a non-profit health education organization, Stress Awareness Month is a national, cooperative effort to inform people about the dangers of stress, successful coping strategies, and harmful misconceptions about stress that are prevalent in our society.

Some signs of stress:

Loss of hair, forgetful, teeth grinding, irritability, skin conditions, unable to sleep, sleeping too much, etc..I’m sure we all have one or more of these signs!  In this busy world, it is all too easy to keep going and not take enough time to stop for a few seconds.

How to relieve stress: Knitting (of course), painting, breathing, meditation, muscle relaxation, music yoga, exercise, smile, laugh, and having a healthy diet. Doing something you enjoy is the bottom line.

What do you do to relieve your stress?

Keep knitting!!

4.11.2011

Cactus Flower

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I was so surprised when I woke up one morning and found my cactus blooming in my kitchen window! Years of ignoring it and occasionally watering resulted in growth but nothing exciting. Last year I must have over watered it, and the bottom started to rot. It got so bad I almost threw it out, but I couldn’t bring myself to. I hacked off the bottom and stuck the top part of the remaining plant in dirt. And then pretty much ignored it. Ha..

If you want some real info on cactus and how to make them bloom I found the cactus expert!

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I have had tremendous luck with Christmas cactus! Easy to grow and a delight to see the blooms every year (although not near the holidays for me, it flowers when it wants to). I found info on my brown thumb if you need help getting your Christmas cactus to flower.

I showed my husband the Lucet video from Strings n Things, (he is a carpenter) and he came home with this for me! You can make some great looking friendship bracelets, shoe strings, and those missing cords in waist bands. This would be fun for children also. Once you start, it is amazing how many things you can use it for. (book on making friendship bracelets with a lucet)

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A lucet is a tool used in cord making or braiding which is believed to date back to the Viking and Medieval periods, when it was utilized to create cords that were used on clothing, or to hang useful items from the belt. Lucet cord is square, strong, and slightly springy. It closely resembles knitted I-cord or the cord produced on a knitting spool. Lucet cord is formed by a series of loops, and will therefore unravel if cut. Unlike other braiding techniques such as kumihimo, finger-loop braiding or plaiting, where the threads are of a finite length, lucetted braids can be created without pre-measuring threads and so it is a technique suited for very long cords.