Friday, December 29, 2006

Another early post

Hey everyone, it's FlyLady Friday.

So what have I been up to besides nothing?

I finally went out to the website and started looking around. There is quite a bit of information out there. It can be overwhelming if you try to read it all at once. Kind of like this whole organizing thing. One baby step at a time is what 'they' say on the site and I agree. So, I've been checking it out a section at a time.

This weekend I will begin setting up my Control Journal. I'll also be setting something up for my finances and my weightloss. This whole de-clutter your life thing is hard work, so I'll need something to help me along.

The first step is "shine your sink". I can't even keep that one going. Sigh. A long journey begins with the first step - or something like that.

Knitting on all the leftover gifting projects continues. Hope to show some FO's (finished objects) soon.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A great present...

Yesterday, I came home to a package from one of my bestest contained this...

Image courtesy of philosophy.

It reads: "a few good men(tm) - philosophy(tm) : for girls who need more than one guy" . I got a good chuckle out of that one. (Right now I'd settle for just one. ahahahaha)

The 3 flavors are:
  1. the gingerbread man (tm)
  2. the milk man (tm)
  3. the ice cream man (tm)

Yum. Yum. And Yum.

Now my lips are all shiny and smell so good. Give us a kiss dahling! Muuuuaaaahhhh!

I would have linked to the actual page, but philosophy's direct product link was broken. Oh well. I tried.

Knitting content: More knitting was accomplished last night. Half of a candle wrap and a few more feet on the scarf in progress, with yet another scarf started. I'm on a roll.

Edited to add: I'd also like to thank everyone for their encouraging emails and comments about the whole weightloss and glucose test thing. I'm not the only one going through this and all the support I'm getting will help me through it. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Chaotic knitting returns...

Back into the knitty swing of things...

Finished objects!

The Fuzzy Harlot S.E.X.* scarves are done. I bought the Fuzzy yarn when Antonella and I went to see the Harlot back in September. Behold the two scarves in all their fuzzy softness. It was hard getting this photo. Had to wait until my kitty went to sleep. She is in love with the soft fuzziness that is this yarn.

Two out of 3 scarves planned are now finished. These two are headed out to Mom's again for her and Sis. The third is almost off the Knifty Knitter.

* Stash Enchancement eXcursion

And since I can't get enough of beads, but haven't started up with the candle wraps again (I need a break after 14 of those suckers)...I made these.

Napkin rings made from memory wire and beads recycled from two beaded tassels. The tassels were huge, so there were tons of beads. You'll be seeing a lot of stuff made with these beads. Should have taken a picture of the tassels...

I know I wasn't going to start this until next week, but here it is, a week early:

Weigh-In Wednesday and a belated Boobie Tuesday update.

WIW: Well, I'm not actually weighing myself today. No time to go to the doctor's office and it's just the first week. I'm still adjusting to this whole healthy choices thing, so I don't feel there was much progress anyway. I tried starting the South Beach Diet, but ended up doing nothing but cheating the first two days. Not good, so I scrapped that and will just try to eat healthier and cut down on the fat, the carbs, and the junk. I still eat what I want (to a point), but I watch my portions and always try to find the (best) healthiest thing to eat. This seems to be working. We'll see how well, next week when I weigh in at the doc's office.

BT: I've been walking every day, but yesterday my knee gave me hell on the way home and was quite swollen by bed time. I might have to re-think this whole AVON Walk thing if this keeps up. I'm hoping it'll stop harassing me as I lose more poundage. I'm going to wait until the first 20 punds are gone and see how it behaves before I do my official sign up. If I end up not actually walking, I will still raise money for the AVON Foundation by supporting other walkers. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, I've dusted off the exercise DVD's and cleared out a small space in the living room. Don't forget to breathe...

I moved the Glucose Test countdown to the footer. It was stressing me out having the two tickers together. If it continues to stress me out, I'll get rid of it for good.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Back to the 'ol routine...

OK, so now that Xmas is over and most everything has been gifted, I can finally post about what I've been knitting. It's about damn time.

But first..."What I did on Xmas Day" by Donna

I got up. I got dressed. I drove to AmpuT's house for brunching and chatting. She drove us to the theatre to see Apocalypto. I drove home. A wondrous day it some quality face time with a new friend and watched a really good movie.

And second...What Spencer and I made for each other for Xmas (we agreed to make our gifts this year)...

Spencer got a pillow made from a thrift store shirt and an embroidered patch (a bonsai tree) I bought back in May. He loves it - it's very soft and comfy.

I got two awesome hand drawn pictures. One of his own composition...

And one he spotted online and thought I would like (he pulls up images he likes and then draws them freehand).

They will be framed and hung in the hallway. Not just at Xmas. 'Cause I love them. And I want to see them. Every day.

Right now they are pretty much the only decorations on my tree.

Although I have added a few more ornaments that I've made this year since this picture was taken. Oh, and some beaded garland left over from a school project. Pathetic, I know, but hey. This year, the tree is up and decorated - if only half-assed decorated. Decorated none-the-less. (Just out of range of the camera are 3 boxes worth of Xmas decorations that never made it out of the boxes.)

Seen in my cubicle at work. All my co-workers decorated my white board tree! How festive. Santa even left a few small blue boxes (as in Tiffany Jewelers) on my tree. I've been a very good girl...

And in the Lobby of our building...the Annual Holiday Children's Art display. Spencer's is on the left up at the top. Once we get it back, I'll scan it and show it off again since you really can't see it in the photo. It's really cool.

Almost to the knitting folks...just one more thing to show you all...

Yes, it's called Wull. And for a good reason. It has wool in it. Just 3%, but still there is wool. And I'm sensitive to wool. And my enabler Mom sent this to me (she got a good deal on it) - it's soft, it's squishy, it's one of my fav colors. And then there's the wool. Only 3% though, so I'm hoping I can handle it. So far so good. I've been fondling it for a few days now and all seems to be OK. But can she knit with it? We shall soon see.

OK OK, Xmas knitting time!

First, my first attempt at wire knitting with beads.

Saw the ones that Grumperina made and just had to make some too. I didn't buy the book though since this was the only pattern I knew I would use, so I just went home, got out my wire, and my big bag o' beads and went for it. Worked out pretty good.

So I went to the store for more votive holders, more wire, and of course, a visit to the Bead Lady at the Ashby Flea Market. Not everyone can use green in their decor you know...

I needed 20 of these suckers. Silver colored wire and clear beads that have rainbow colors in them depending on how the light strikes them. Very pretty and oh so awesome when the candle inside is lit. Oh yeah, I've got 6 more to go...

Next up some "Totally Tubular" from Stitch 'N Bitch Nation.

One for Mom... (still needed the weaving in of ends here in this photo)

...and one for Sis...

Notice that there are no bobbles on this one like on Mom's. After knitting all those damn bobbles on Mom's, I decided that I don't like knitting bobbles. Therefore, I switched it to a simple lacy stitch. Now they can tell them apart too.

And there you have it. My secret Xmas knitting. Two tubes and 14 votive candle wraps. Phew! Now to make the last 6 candle wraps, and continue on with my other knitting projects that have been on hold:

  1. Gary's Cigar gloves (working on the second one)
  2. Two scarves in progress
  3. Phoenix (my beaded scarf)

Still need to start:
  1. Gerson's wine wrap (and he has requested a Kittyville hat)
  2. two upside down elf hats (we were going to use them as stockings this year, but we never got to decorating, so these are for next year)
  3. some wrist warmers to go with Mom and Sis's Xmas tubes
  4. something out of the Wull feels good to be back to my chaotic knitting...I did miss you so...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Xmas

Hello all. Merry Xmas to all who celebrate.

I will spend this Xmas Eve hanging with my kitty watching movies and doing other important things like - nothing. Hee hee

Spencer is off in TX with his Dad visiting both sides of the family. I have chosen not to accept the usual invite of my good friends in the valley to go there for Xmas. Instead, I will chillax, catch a movie with AmpuT and then chillax some more. I am looking forward to it all. It has been a rough year, and I'm not taking any extra time off for the Holidays, so I really want to chillax as much as I can this weekend.

There will be no knitting and no showing of Xmas knitting. I'm taking a break. I'll start up again on Tuesday and will post everything I made for Xmas gifting then.

I spent last night organizing my beading and sewing stuff - don't know what got into me, but it felt good. I need a few more plastic boxes to finish, but don't know if I want to venture out today or not. Well, I have to decide soon. Scorpion King is almost over and I need some fresh air. Shopping, walking or both.

Hmmm...but maybe some Jet Li first....The One. Boy, I sure do have this chillaxing thing down.

Stopped at GameStop the other day and took advantage of the 3 used movies for $10. Third movie? The Matrix.

The Rock, Jet Li, Keanu Reaves...action yum. Merry Xmas Donna.

Friday, December 22, 2006

I'm Stumped

I've been reading around the web about folks who are going ahead with the Knit from Your Stash yarn diet. I just don't get it. Some people are commenting that LYSs will go out of business or the industry will be hurt?

I don't think so.

I personally have only ever bought yarn from a LYS (Michael's, JoAnn's, Beverly's and WalMart don't count as LYSs) twice in my entire knitting life. That's TWICE in 36 YEARS people. Yet somehow in all the places that I've lived, I've never caused a LYS to go out of business.

For every one knitter who knits from stash for the first 9 months of 2007, there are probably so many more who aren't. And if you've read any of the 'personal' rules on any of the blogs of the folks who are going ahead with it, there will still be plenty of yarn purchased. We've put in lots of loop holes for ourselves.

What's a diet without any cheating?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wake up snooze allowed.

I am woman, hear me GROWL.

Today at 9:30am I had an appointment with my doctor to discuss some 'abnormal' test results.

I've been waiting for a week to hear what exactly does 'abnormal' mean. It's never been good, so, how bad it is? It's been one hell of a week.

Diagnosis pre-diabetic.

Translation lose weight, eat healthy, and exercise or you will be diabetic in the near future.

Donna speak - get your ass in gear - NOW!

While it's not the best news one could get right before the Holidays, it could have been much worse. Since it was caught early, I have a chance to reverse things by taking care of myself (like I should have been all along). I have a lot of work to do. This will be tough for me, I don't do well with the whole 'you can't eat this or that' kind of thing and making myself exercise when I don't want to, but it has to be done. Therefore I will do it.

Best case scenario: I reach my health goals and the glucose tests come back normal. Continue with new healthy lifestyle, no worries.

Worst case scenario: I get diabetes eventually as in 15 to 20 years from now. Continue with new healthy lifestyle, deal with it when it comes.

Either case, I'm one hot babe with a rockin' bod when it's all said and done. ;)

Better late than never.

So what now? Make healthier food choices, watch portions, take care about what I put in my body. Good thing I'm signing up for the AVON walk. Now there will be no slacking off when it comes to training. Lose 20 pounds and take the glucose test again - in 3 months. That will be rough, but I can do it with a lot of hard work and the encouragement of my friends and family.

Oh yeah, and the ticker has changed. I did an official weigh-in with the doc this morning, so we start back at the beginning. New starting weight, new goal. I'll be going in every few weeks to the office just to weigh in on that scale - 'cause that's the one that matters. I might add another count down ticker for the first goal of 20 pounds by such -n such date. We'll see.

Until then, was this distracting enough from the Xmas knitting or do you really want to see my vintage handbag collection?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Something else to do in 2007...

So far we've got normal (what is normal anyway?) everyday life.

Organizing with the FlyLady.

San Francisco AVON walk.

And now...(as spotted on Rabbitch which she got from Wendy)...

I'm crazy. But not really. (Wait for it....)

Here's the 'official' rules. Hey! Waddaya know? Being a financially challenged single parent, I already do that. Piece of cake. We are allowed to alter the rules to fit our specific needs. So here's my updates:

Knit From Your Stash 2007: Guidelines for Donna

  1. The Knit-From-Your-Stash-a-Thon will start January 1, 2007 and run through September 30, 2007 -- a period of nine months.
  2. I will not buy any yarn or sweaters to frog during that period, with the following exceptions:
    2.a. Sock yarn does not count. What? You think we are made of stone? (I don't really need this exception, but I'll keep it anyway what the hell.)
    2.b. If someone asks for a specific knitted gift that we really and truly do not have the yarn for, we may buy yarn or a sweater to frog to knit that gift.
    2.c. If we are knitting something and run out of yarn, we may purchase enough to complete the project.
    2.d. We each get one "Get Out of Jail Free" card -- we are each allowed to fall off the wagon one time.
  3. I am allowed to receive gifts of yarn.

And since you all have seen all my stash, you all know that I have enough to keep me busy for a very long time. And maybe, just maybe, I'll use up all that yarn that's over 20 years old...

Wendy and L-B are going to go to Stitches East in October - that is their 'reward' for clearing out the stash.

My 'reward' will be less of my very small amount of storage space taken up by yarn.

UPDATE: In addition to Boobie Tuesday and FlyLady Friday, I'm going to add Weigh-In Wednesday. I'll be updating the ticker every Wednesday.

Who wants to see my purse collection?!?

Oh come on, you know you do...besides, I'm done showing off my 70's apartment and the stash dresser. I've got to show you something besides my Xmas knitting. Xmas better come soon, I'm running out of things in my apartment to show you. And no, I'm NOT going to show you my undies drawer!

Right. I'm so glad you want to see them (the purses that is...). Oh just hush up and enjoy the pretty pictures...

We'll start with my collection of wee little purses.

The one that started it all. Bought in Spain in Spring of 1985. Cool. Leather. Stylish (in Spain in 1985). I love it.

A cheap plastic zipper pouch from Target Dollar Spot (good for holding a sewing kit) and a vintage blue clutch from a thrift store.

The latest addition - the Fabulous Brass/Copper purse from the thrift store and a donation to the collection from a generous friend.

A fake crocodile mini-makeup case from the Wal~Mart clearance rack (it was green and cute and I had to have it) and a patchwork bag from a thrift store.

A pink/brown mini bowling bag with a cat on it from the thrift store and an embroidered bag from a South American street vendor in San Francisco.

A silk bag from the thrift store and a hand embroidered bag that Mom brought back from her Mediterranean Cruise.

A mini straw bag and a vintage gold purse - both from the thrift store. I thought the vintage purse looked rather Cleopatra-esque.

A vintage dark grey beaded purse from the thrift store - very pretty and a new silk purse with beaded handles. The one purse in my collection that I paid full price for - I just had to have it - it's one of my favorite colors (and I needed it to go with a dress I was wearing to a wedding).

And finally - The two purses that literally hang with me at the office. My 'Romance' bag from the thrift store, and my $5 beaded bag from the Ashby Flea Market.

Well, that's it, but only for today - 'cause you know I got more for tomorrow and then there's still a small box somewhere that I haven't seen in ages filled with more...which I won't be looking for, so I'll spare you the torture of making you look at them too.

NOTE: This does not include bags currenly in use in the other bags (i.e. my other zippered and drawstring pouches), various tote bags, weekend bags, backpacks, non-vintage purses, etc. Wouldn't want to bore you with that, now would we. Besides, I'm getting tired of this and will be showing off my Xmas knitting very soon.

In the spirit of the season...

Your Elf Name Is...
Grumpy Snaggle Tooth

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I can sew...

What is this world coming to? Not enough Kilts?

Send those poor half nekkid Scottish soldiers over here. I'll sew them up some kilts...eventually.

My 70's Apartment...the little extras that make it cool

...and now for the season finale of My 70's Apartment...the last peek at the things the really make this place cool. Dude.

The dark wood paneling on the kitchen counter/bar...

The popcorn ceilings...

The ceiling tiles in the this an office or my apartment?

The 'chrome' in the bathrooms...

The ugly ass closet slider doors on the useless closets - check out the 'brass' trim...

The brown quasi-shag carpet.

The floor to ceiling dust catchers, I mean drapes...

And now what you've all been waiting for the 'bling' that gives this apartment it's groovylicious vibe...

Yes folks, not just a wall, but a mirrored wall.

So freakin' cool I can't stand it dude. But, it's our home, it's what I can afford (and somehow I feel it's still waaaay overpriced), and I don't complain - too much. Someday we'll move to a much better place (but not with 80's deco please - that stuff's nasty).

And you thought I was over the quizzes...silly you...

Your Inner European is Dutch!

Open minded and tolerant.

You're up for just about anything.

I draw the line at face painting...

Monday, December 18, 2006


...remember when I said my Knitting Bag needed a name?

I finally came up with one.

Everyone, I'd like you to meet...Mr. Stuffles.

Mr. Stuffles, this is everyone.

Ohhhh, so THAT'S how it works...

This weekend found me discovering a few things.

First of all this FlyLady stuff is hard work...
  1. Wash all your dishes, and scrub your sink til it's clean and shiny
  2. Do this every night and you will wake up to a clean sink and you'll have a great start to your day.

Wake up Saturday Morning - I can't see the bottom of my sink again. This FlyLady thing isn't working all that well. Ahhhh! OK, I get it now, so you have to dry/put away the dishes you washed by hand, and put away the dishes after the dishwasher cycle is complete. Only then can you keep your sink clean by washing the dishes, putting them away, etc. It's a vicious cycle I tell you. I spent all weekend doing dishes. This sucks. No wonder they have you doing one thing at a time until it becomes a habit. This organizing stuff is hard work. If you tried to do it all at once, you'd give up. HELLO! Been there done that.

Second, my friends think I don't take enough time out for myself - and they care enough to tell me by...

  1. Gifting me with some really comfy slippers and stuff to give myself a facial.
  2. A bag of Cinnamon and Orange tea with a bunch of dark chocolate.

So while the kid is away for the Holidays, I intend to do just that - facial, mani/pedi - ahhhh...

#2 came from a friend (male) with instructions. "How to relax: Brew the tea, put your feet up, enjoy the chocolates and think of me...or nothing at all." Easy enough. What did I do? I brewed the tea, ate the chocolates and thought of him wearing nothing at all. That's the way this woman relaxes. Booyah.

And now for some photos (not of the naked friend you pervs)...

A few peeks into my teapot/teacup collection...'cause I'm still distracting you from Xmas knitting...and there's still a whole freaking week left...and the whole "My 70's Apartment" thing is freaking boring. Gack.

First the gifted tea and my tea bags from Japantown. Can't read the instructions (they're in Japanese), so I'm winging it. Pretty straightforward though. Put tea in bag, put bag in hot water.

Next 'girlie' teapot and a few 'girlie' cups from my collection.

Spencer refuses to have tea with me when I use that 'icky girlie stuff', so he bought me these cups for Xmas one year. I give you...the 'manly' (as in plain with no flowers) teapot and the 'manly' cups (yes, they have flowers, but they're blue, and the cups are far from dainty).

Hell, I'm just happy he will sit down with me and have tea. I'll keep him.

NOTE: Just to let you know, I haven't forgotten about "Boobie Tuesday" and "FlyLady Friday". I'll start up with that officially next year. Sounds so deceivingly far away, doesn't it.

My 70's Apartment...the Lights

OK, so now we continue on with our "My 70's Apartment" horror tour.

Dining room "Chandelier"...

Bubbilicious Baby!...I'm sure it was 'all that' back in the day...not so much now.

Kitchen crapness...

...damn that thing is fugly.


and hallway (and no, it's not an outside hallway)

The bathrooms... about harsh.

There is no other lighting 'built in' to the apartment. No light on the balcony, or in the closets, no ceiling fixtures in the bedrooms or living room. I consider myself blessed. I couldn't deal with any more of these than I had to...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

What's with this frogging thing? And who cares?

Well my friends, there was one person curious enough and not afraid to ask.

Enter Cherry. A knitter wanna-be and a personal friend. Don't worry yourselves into a tizzy my knitting readers, she will be brought over to the dark side and into the ranks of the obsessive knitters ever so gently and soon enough...

Let's get back to the main topic shall we?

Well Cherry, here's my explanation - and you can consider this your first knitting lesson.

Knitting is made up of two different stitches: the knit stitch and the purl stitch. It's how these two stitches are manipulated that makes knitting such an ever-changing habit, I mean hobby. Whilst making a knit or purl stitch, mistakes can be made. Sometimes you have to un-do what you have done. If the boo-boo is on the same row or round of knitting, you can tink (knitting backwards or un-knitting or k-n-i-t is now t-i-n-k - get it? Cute, right?). If the boo-boo is a few rows down or you've made the mistake throughout the entire piece, you might want to frog.

Frog - v. to take apart knitting for whatever reason (choose one, choose wisely) 1. a big mistake in the knitting 2. you can't stand it anymore (can you say "Donna does that?" I knew you could) 3. the gauge is all wrong 4. the yarn is all wrong for the pattern 5. what the hell was I thinking?!? etc etc etc (Been there chose them all.)

Why call it frogging? This name comes from the words the knitter mumbles (or thinks) as the stitches are ripped apart. Rip it, rip it, rip it - almost sounds like ribbit, hence a frog and ta da! we get the official knitting term: frogging.

For the most part, when I'm frogging it means I'm taking apart a thrift store sweater and therefore gaining lots of expensive yarn for little to no $$. Booyah! Being a financially challenged single parent has allowed me to be more creative in how I subsidize my hobbies. Example: $5.99 bought me two sweaters, which took several hours to frog, which turned into 2600 yards of yarn, which took several hours to skein up, which has already kept me out of lots of trouble and will continue to do so when I finally do knit it all up. I shudder to think what that would have cost me at a store. Actually, I wouldn't have been able to buy it. At all. 2 Sweaters = $5.99, hours of low-cost entertainment = PRICELESS!

Frogging is very calming for me - one of my favorite de-stressers. While I do usually have to knit - frog - knit - frog until I can actually get something going, I enjoy frogging other stuff even more. Thrift Store Sweaters are the perfect things. For $2 to $4, I get hours of frogging and winding enjoyment and very cool, once expensive yarn to feed my stash. With a little TLC, it looks as good as new and I get to knit with some yarn I would never have been able to afford the first time around. It's a win-win all the way around as far as I see it.

For those interested, this is a very good tutorial and where I learned to do the deed. It explains how to pick out the right sweater (yes, there are actually sweaters that don't do well with the whole process - usually the ones in a color I like too), how to take that sucker apart, and how to deal with all the yarn you just scored (skeining, washing, etc). Ashley Martineau does a great job taking her readers through the steps, and there are lots of photos. Give it up for Ashley - You Go Girl! In checking out her site for the link, I noticed she's got a link to a free download of the eBook version. I'm gonna have to go back and see what else she's added...

Well, Cherry, that concludes your first knitting lesson. Hope I explained it well enough. If not, let me know.

Warning: Thrift Store Sweater frogging can be addicting. You could find yourself ignoring everyone and everything else to spend all your days combing Thrift Stores for 'the perfect sweater for frogging and all your nights frogging them. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Friday, December 15, 2006

So NOT the way to reduce your clutter...

If there was ever a reason to clear out the crap in your house, this is it...guess we're stepping up the FlyLady stuff this weekend.

My 70's Apartment...the Kitchen

And now back to our regularly scheduled distractions...

In my attempts to distract you once again from my Xmas knitting, I once again reveal way too much of my personal life. Ok, here we go.

Get ready for a blast from the past folks...time to WOW you with my 'retro' apartment decor.

Retro style is 'in' right? Riiiiigghhtttt?!? Oh nevermind.

The "Mod" kitchen cabinets...

...not too bad, I think they are selling stuff like this at IKEA, right? Check out the vent-a-hood. Lovely shade of green that goes with...

The Original 70's stove...

...I like green, but please - not on appliances.

It goes so well with the new fridge...

And That 80's dishwasher...

Oh! And the Formica! Just ties it all together, don't you think?

That's sarcasm folks.

At least the floor is 'new'...

...circa 1999.

Sometimes I just wanna put on some platforms and strut around the place. Instead of the platforms (cause you know I would fall and break something) I added this...

A genuine reproduction KitCat Clock. The tail goes back and forth and so do the eyes. It's taking in the scenery. I can hear what it thinks... "Tick Tock Tick that stove really green? Tick Tock Tick Tock...I can't believe it's green. Tick Tock Tick Tock...Holy Crap! The stove is green!"

I don't even notice it anymore. Seriously. I don't.