Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016 Recap and 2017 Resolutions

2016 was an interesting year for me. There were some definite high points. My biggest priority going into 2016 was to get accepted into graduate school. I was so blessed to be accepted into my top choice. The program is entirely online, so my family was able to remain anchored in Arizona, but is supported by a highly regarded university. What I had no idea was how much of my time it would take. My life during the semester pretty much consists of work, family, homework, and (a little) sleep. Hence the blog fell completely off the deep end. As a matter of fact, I'm still on Christmas break right now, so I had a little extra bandwidth in my schedule to write this.

The other huge thing that happened this year was a promotion at work. I am absolutely thrilled that I got it. I was so nervous during the decision making process. And it's stretched me some in terms of roles and responsibilities. Compounded with this, we've been short handed, leaving me with some long hours. Luckily that should ease up into the coming year.

Unfortunately the year wasn't all fantastic. My mom was in a severe car accident while on vacation this fall. She will ultimately be okay but it will take a while. And there is nothing quite like having to rush halfway across the country to be with her. Luckily for us, she's home now.

The boys continue to grow and change in ways that are fun to watch. C is now in fourth grade and J is now in 1st grade. Hard to believe that C is one of the older kids at the school! They are such interesting people to talk to and be around. The baby years are nice, but there is something magical about the elementary age as they really become their own people. E continues to be my rock and has really provided a strong support for me to lean on as I've gone through stressful times. We celebrated our 15th anniversary this year! And we've now known each other for 20 years, more than half my life. We took our family vacation to San Diego again and stayed for two weeks this time. I've never in my life taken a two week vacation and it was glorious.

Our extended family grew this year with the birth of my nephew. I'm sure I'm biased, but he is so stinkin' cute! Although the boys are really starting to outnumber the girls on that side of the family...

Now for the resolution list:
  • Get accepted into and start grad school - Yes!!!
  • Sew a skirt for myself - I tried. I found a pattern online for a skirt sewn from knit fabric that seemed easy enough. No paper piecing, just measuring the fabric, cutting and sewing. However, I cut the wrong way so the skirt isn't stretching the right direction. I also did the math wrong on my ease and added instead of subtracted, so the skirt is about 6 inches too wide! I think based on that fact, I may be able to salvage the fabric.
  • Lose 10 pounds - Not even close
  • Finish the last two stockings - I started one of them
  • Read 8 books (Honeymoon Suite  - 4/12/16; Babyland - 4/15/16; Heart of the Matter - 4/19/16; a few others I forgot to write down)
  • Make truffles - nope
  • Blog 24 times - hahahahahaha
  • Knit 2 pairs of socks - I've got two pairs on the needles but didn't finish either
So it looks like I got through two of my resolutions - 3 if you want to count the skirt that I sewed but couldn't wear.

On to this year's list:
  • Survive grad school (by the end of this year, I'll have one semester left)
  • Finish at least one of the Christmas stockings
  • Knit a pair of socks
It's not a long list, but considering what a time suck grad school is, I think it's reasonable. I figure I can go nuts on my 2018 resolution list :)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Knitted Fingerless Mitts

About two years ago I decided to make myself a pair of fingerless mitts out of my souvenir yarn from our epic Iowa family trip. I keep them at work because my office can get quite cold and it's easier to type without the fingers on the mitts.

Well one of my coworkers seems to have the same issue as me in that her hands get cold in our office. She's even borrowed my mitts a few times. She's also the sweetest person you would ever meet and is always willing to help others around the office. I wanted to do something for her to show her how much I appreciated her.

So another pair of fingerless mitts! The pattern is Koigu wristers, super easy and fast to knit. I used the leftovers of my starry night sock yarn, but wanted to make sure it would go far enough so I contrasted it with white. Frankly I think it looks even better than one color would (although it led to way more ends to weave in!)

My coworker really loved them! So glad I made them.


Monday, January 4, 2016

My Refinished File Cabinet

I recently obtained a new to me small file cabinet. I had one in the office/craft room already but it was really cheaply made and kept coming off its track so I was happy to take this one. didn't match the furniture already in there, which is more of a birch wood color, along with a multicolored rug and lots of bright accessories. This was more of an oak, with gold finishes. Very 1980s looking.

I decided to change it up a bit. I knew I wouldn't be able to match the wood finish exactly so I wanted to do something that would complement the existing furniture. I decided on a nice dark blue - E calls it Tardis blue, Krylon calls it Oxford Blue, with silver handles.

First I removed the handles, name plates and lock and painted them all with a silver gray acrylic paint. Then I gently sanded down the cabinet and drawers to remove the veneer.

After it was sanded, I gave each component a couple of coats of spray paint.

Voila! A new file cabinet. I'm so pleased with how it turned out. This room has totally become my happy place!


Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 recap and 2016 resolutions

2015 went by so fast! Like many years, it had its highs and a few big lows. Unfortunately nine weeks after losing my grandpa, my grandma passed away in January. I'm so grateful we got one more Christmas with her after losing my grandpa but it was so hard to lose them so close.

There were a lot of bright spots in the year though. In the spring we finally felt like it might be time to have a third dog again. We had been keeping an eye out at the Welfare League's website to see if it looked like any dogs would fit in with our current crew. While we were looking, we learned about a dog who needed a home from one of our family members. We agreed to meet her and it was love at first sight. Foxy joined our family - a two (now three) year old chihuahua-German shepherd mix. She is everyone's little love puppy and I couldn't imagine not having her here.

I'm still chugging along in year two of my job and I got promoted this year! It's been such a great move for me, both in terms of my career and the amazing people I get to work with. J started Kindergarten; C is in third grade and tested into the gifted program!

We took a leap and bought an RV, which we took to San Diego for what is turning into an annual vacation for us. It was so great having a place to chill, with a kitchen to cook in instead of having to go out for every meal. The boys had a great time hanging with their cousins and riding around on bikes and hanging out at the beach. We took them to the San Diego Zoo for the first time too!

As in years past I also tried to keep up with a goal list, so on to the list:

  • Blog three times a month - nope not even close. Things were so hectic and yet so ordinary that I didn't have a lot to say
  • Make stockings by Christmas for each member of the family - 50% done. C and J both got to use theirs this year, but I still need to do E's and mine.
  • Knit at least three pairs of socks - yep, in under the wire. I finished E's Christmas socks two days before Christmas. Funny enough two of the three pairs were for him this year. But he appreciates them so much.
  • Make a shawl/stole - not quite. I'm about 2/3 done with a scarf/stole thing
  • Sew an item of clothing - yep. Made four bow ties for the kids in my sister's wedding to wear.
  • Make bread - yes!!! After being on my list every year, I made some on Monday! So worth the effort - especially now that I have my kitchen aid
  • Make caramels - nope
  • Make truffles - nada
  • Lose 10 pounds - not even close
  • Read at least seven books - blasted through this. I read at least 11; I think it was more but that's all I wrote down
  • Learn to play guitar - nope and I think this will end up waiting a few more years
  • Learn a new cast on/cast off - no. Most of my knitting was types of things I know how to do.
  • Finish office/craft room organization - Almost. I got a new desk that can change heights so I can use it for typing on the computer or sewing, then raise it up if I want to cut fabric. I also got a new (old) file cabinet from my grandparents house when we were cleaning it up. It's super functional and nicer than mine but very 1980s wood and gold finishes. Doesn't match the room. So I sanded it down and am repainting it "Oxford Blue" aka Tardis blue. The handles are painted silver. It's actually sitting in the garage waiting for the last coat of paint. Then my beautiful office/craft room is done!!

So four done, six not and three half done or more. Not too shabby. I wish I had done a little better but c'est la vie. Now onward to 2016. I'm guessing grad school will be a time suck so this is a short but hopefully reasonable list:

  • Get accepted into and start grad school
  • Sew a skirt for myself
  • Lose 10 pounds
  • Finish the last two stockings
  • Read 8 books (Honeymoon Suite - 4/12/16; Babyland - 4/15/16; Heart of the Matter - 4/19/16)
  • Make truffles
  • Blog 24 times
  • Knit 2 pairs of socks

Happy 2016!



Saturday, October 3, 2015


School started a couple of months ago here, so I am now officially the mom of two elementary students! (And goodbye daycare payments, woohoo!) What I'm wondering is when did I become old enough to have a third grader; I remember being a third grader.

Both boys are playing sports this year. J started a second season of soccer a few weeks ago, and after taking a couple year hiatus C had his first basketball practice this week.

On the knitting front, I'm working on a second Christmas stocking. I've pretty much conceded that E's and mine won't be done before this Christmas but I want to make sure both boys have theirs.


My scarf is slow going. Unfortunately I missed the deadline for the lace along I was participating in. It's pretty much become just my plane knitting since the stocking is too bulky to take.


Speaking of plane knitting, I got to cross another state off my list as I had to go to Oregon last week. I've now hit 40% of the US. By the way Portland is beautiful!

I'm also applying grad school! I'm mildly terrified - I'll be 35 when I start and 37 (hopefully) when I finish. I finished my Bachelors 2 days before my 22nd birthday so we're talking 15 years between the two degrees. My kids think it's funny that mom will have homework like them. I'll also be working full time. Goodbye free time ...


Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Finished Object

I finished the Christmas stocking I was working on. We took a week long vacation to San Diego, which gave me plenty of time to knit - we planned our vacation to have a lot of down time this year, not so go go go, which I think was great for everyone. By the time we pulled back in our driveway I only had to Kitchener the toe (I'm prone to car sickness so I couldn't look at my hands long enough while riding to finish it).

I absolutely love the way it turned out! But I wanted to try lining it so that nothing would catch on the floats if I stuffed it. While I am not an experienced sewer, lining this ended up being super easy.

I found an awesome snowflake fabric at Joann to coordinate with the knitted snowflake motif. Then I laid out my stocking on the fabric, tracing it and adding a half inch seam allowance. I cut it slightly shorter than the stocking (up to the red ridge).

I cut the first piece out, then used it to trace the second piece (turning it so I wouldn't have two front side pieces and no backside pieces.

I wanted to have the right side of the fabric showing towards the inside of the stocking so I was careful to think through which way to sew it. Using my sewing machine I sewed so the right sides were facing each other, all around the stocking except for the top. Then I turned it right side out. I turned the stocking inside out and slid the lining over the inside out stocking. Once it was on the way I wanted it, I stitched the lining to the stocking using an overlock stitch.
The great thing about this particular stocking pattern is there is basically a ridge that forms on the inside near the top, which was the perfect place to attach the lining. Once I finished attaching it I only had to flip the stocking right side out and voilĂ  it was done!