Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Friday!!!

Okay, so Friday will be over in about 90 minutes. But I am sooooo glad today is Friday. This week has just been awful at work. I'm getting transitioned to a new position at work, and I'm training my replacement, who just doesn't understand how the department works. And, I found out that my immediate boss doesn't know what or how much I do every day.  Wow. Really? I have to train her in next week to do part of my job because my counterpart and my replacement don't have time to do it right now. ERRRRGGGHHHH! I don't know when I'm moving to my new desk in the other office. I'm sure I'm not even half trained in my new job, yet I'm expected to take over one of our biggest accounts. Really? Really?

It is stressful to say the least. I am so happy the weekend is here. I unwound with a couple glasses of wine and some fast food therapy. I'll pay for it, but I'm hoping this weekend I can get some calories burned so it won't make that big of a difference. Finished a hat and a ruffle scarf tonight - going to take pictures and list this weekend.

I realize that this spring/summer, I'm going to have to hit the garage sales and look for mannequin parts or a dressmaker's form. That way I can take better pictures. And I need to invest in some more poster board so I can have a better "light box". And a tripod. Definitely need a tripod. So, every penny I make off the shops will go in a jar. That jar will be my yarn expense account and hopefully my savings account  to buy the needed things. I suck at SEO, but maybe I can get better at taking pictures.

And I think this weekend I will rhinestone a pair of my son's jeans for this year's dance competition season.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I am never more happy than when I'm creating. I love the feel of yarns through my fingers. The smooth metal of a crochet hook or knitting needle. I love new patterns. Every night I'm not working on creating, I feel like I'm wasting time. This is my work ethic. The same as during my day job. If I'm not working, for whatever reason, I feel like I'm being lazy. I need to have work.

I realize that in having an online shop, I need to continuously working on my tags and descriptions in order to keep them fresh and new. But every time I'm working on my shop, I'm not creating something new and beautiful for the world to see. Okay, maybe they are only beautiful to me, but I am proud of every one of my creations. Yes, most are patterns that I've downloaded. I'm not really a pattern writer. Just yet. Soon. I hope.

Just like in my work life, I need a clone. One of me will be creating. The other will be working on the shop or the blog or the social media networks.  I know I need to get better with the tagging and keywords. It takes time and patience, neither of which I have. I admit this.

This weekend, I hope to list my new ruffle scarves and crochet hats. I have more ideas than time to make them.

Keep creating, whatever medium you use.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bigger is Better?

I'm a little disturbed by a recent AT&T commercial. It is one featuring a grown man in a focus group of young children. Faster is better, bigger is better, doing two things at once is better. These themes disturb me because they involve children. In one of the commercials, the children are saying that a bigger treehouse is better because if you have a small one, you can't have a big screen tv. Do we really want our children to be consumed with the idea that bigger is better? Faster is better?

This is what is wrong with children these days. They want the latest and greatest electronic toys for Christmas and birthdays - not caring about the costs to their parents. My son has an iPod - not something I would want him to have at this age. He's only 10. But his father bought it for him and has hinted on more than one occasion that he would buy our son an iPad. Which is completely unnecessary at his age. I've told my son that he can save for an iPad if he really wants one - so that he knows the value of something he wants.

Maybe I raise my son the same way I was raised. He doesn't have a lot of video games and I don't go all out for Christmas for him. Yes, he is spoiled, but not to the extent some of these kids. He got a new Wii game (Just Dance 4), a custom made towel, a handmade Chewy doll, and a Lego set. He also got clothes and movies,  of course.

But he knows bigger isn't necessary. If you have something that works - use it. When it breaks or is no longer functional - then buy something better. For example - I kept my Ford Escape for years. I paid it off then kept it longer until I started to need to replace parts. It was no longer functioning as it should. With my commute, the gas mileage I was getting from my Escape was no longer outweighing the money I was saving from having paid it off.

Just my two cents.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thoughts on not being normal - medically speaking

I have accepted the fact that my body is not medically normal. When I was a child, I had the chicken pox 3 times. As a result, I am susceptible to getting shingles as an adult, which is potentially fatal. My son is not allowed to catch the chicken pox, which is why he has had the vaccine and the booster. And why I am vigilant in making sure my son is not near anyone who is contagious or in contact with someone who has chicken pox.

Now, I am not a hypochondriac by any means. People have thought that about me because of my insistence that there was something wrong with me for years with the joint and muscle pain. I was right - I have fibromyalgia.

I've seen the commercials about the shingle vaccine and often wonder if I should get it. I don't think I will for the fact that whenever I get the flu vaccine, I get sick. Now, the CDC says you cannot get sick from the vaccine. I disagree, which is why I don't get the flu shot. And I don't get the flu (knock on wood). So, if I get sick because of some weird immune system, I'm not taking the chance I will get shingles from this vaccine.

So, I don't get the flu shot. People at work say I'm irresponsible. But you know, I'm one of the few people who will stay home if I am feeling sick. I choose not to infect my co-workers. If only they would give me the same courtesy. I don't know how many times I have caught a cold from one of my co-workers. Stupid people.

Ah well.


Monday, January 14, 2013

The consequences of getting old

Some days, I really hate my body. Not just the general shape of it. I admit it. I'm fat. I need to lose weight. But that's not why I'm upset tonight.

I have fibromyalgia. Team that with bad hips and bad knees from the Army, and you have a recipe for pain that comes at least once a week. Take today for example. I had worked out twice this weekend. I was feeling good. I had planned on going back on the treadmill today after work, hopefully before supper. That didn't happen. At about lunchtime today, my left knee started aching and by the time I went home, was so sore I could barely put any weight on it. Stupid me, I had left my Aleve and Advil bottle at home. By the time I got home, the pain was shooting down my leg into my ankle and through my toes.  There was no way I was going to work out tonight. So I didn't.  I can only hope that tomorrow my body will be less inclined to fight me when I tell it that we need to work out.

Now, I don't do a lot. I walk on the treadmill at a good pace. Sometimes I get on the bike for 30 minutes or so until my butt falls asleep. I don't lift weights, don't go crazy with the elliptical. I don't go nuts because I know my body and its limitations. 2 days in a row of working out is not my limitation. I know I can do better and I know that later this week, I'm not going to have a chance to work out because of a booster club meeting.

I don't take medication for the fibromyalgia because my quality of life is pretty good right now. I can go to work and to my son's dance classes. I know when my body needs a rest. Maybe in the future, this disease will become bad enough that I will need medication to function. I was almost to that point when I was in the Army. My pain was so bad that I went to work, then I came home and went to bed. All I wanted to do was sleep. But that's not my life today and I really hope it is not my life in the future.

So, here's hoping that tomorrow I can bend my knee again and I will be able to go on the treadmill or bike and get some resemblance of exercise in this week.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Changing the website

I decided to get rid of the Weebly account. I just don't have the time to devote to having a separate e-store website. So, from now on, when you go to, you will be directed to the blog. I will have links to my Etsy and HandmadeArtists websites, as well as Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest. Whew! That's a lot of websites to keep track of. But, one less to keep track of with getting rid of the Weebly site.

So, that means that all my pictures of my completed projects will be on the blog. Soon. I will also copy all my listings from the Etsy shop to the Handmade Artists shop. Not to mention I will have to save pictures of all my projects on my "tablet", so I will have a portable portfolio when I start approaching brick and mortar shops. So much to do, so little time. EEP! If I could afford an assistant, I would get one. Seriously. I do have a day off coming soon from the office job. MLK day would be a good day to spend working on the shop. Depends on how much I get done this week at work.

I am excited for this new year and I hope my sales increase from last year. I hope to have new products for your enjoyment and some new color combinations for Flip-Furs. I hear emerald green is the color of choice this year. Might have to go yarn shopping again.

My beloved Packers lost last night to the 49ers. So, I will predict that the 49ers take it all. In the past few years, the team who has knocked out the Vikings in the playoffs (when they make it) or the Packers, have gone on to win the Superbowl. The Saints won the year that they played the Vikings in the NFC Championship game. The Giants won last year when they knocked out the Packers in the 1st round. I predict the 49ers will win.

Have a great rest of your weekend. I'm going to have some lunch and get working on my son's scarf. Need to finish that before winter ends.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Memory of Light

It is no secret I am a geek. I revel in this fact. I love my books. They are friends who have seen me through depression, boredom and my sudden, infrequent bouts into exercise. I have seen 2 series end now in my reading career, both of which I started well into the middle of the series.

One was Harry Potter. I remember reading the first book right when the first movie came out. It was Thanksgiving and I was stationed in Alaska. I read the entire first book before we went to see the movie. I watched this series end and was a little mournful, as it would be one less series to look forward to.

The Wheel of Time series was introduced to me by an ex-boyfriend. I was told to get through the first 100 pages, then I would be hooked. It was true. I struggled through the first 100 pages but then I was hooked on the series. The Wheel of Time outlived its creator, Robert Jordan. Jordan spun a story of good vs. evil with twists and turns. Jordan died before the series was complete, causing his readers to worry the story would never be completed. His wife, Harriet, selected fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson to complete the series from notes left by Jordan. I admit, I was a little nervous with this, as I had never heard of Sanderson. But he did the series justice.

The end of this series left me satisfied. It was like a good meal, one you could revisit over and over again whenever you wanted. Usually, I do a complete read-through before the new book comes out. I didn't get a chance to finish my read-through this time (I'm only on book 5), but I intend to finish, adding this 14th book to the mix.

Spoilers to follow - just to warn you.

I was sad to see so many deaths in this book. Not minor characters, but major ones who shaped the book. Nearly all of the Forsaken died, and the two who didn't deserve their fates. Their ends were justified, if not foreshadowed in the series.

This book centered on the Last Battle between Rand al'Thor and the Dark One. Al'Thor was the Dragon Reborn, a man fated to fight the Dark One and die. Which technically did happen. The technical part I will leave to the reader.

The Last Battle draws in all the characters from the series. The battle is raged on four fronts and the effects are devastating. Eventually, three of the fronts are pulled together into one final battle.

The identity of the last Forsaken, Demandred, has been the topic of discussion on many discussion forums for years. The revelation of his identity was the only sore spot for me in the entire series. It was anti-climatic, almost stupid. His alter-ego wasn't even on scene.

For the most part, I did enjoy the series. I recommend it to any fantasy reader. I warn you, the books are thick and sometimes a little slow, but the twists and turns will keep you guessing until the end. The first book is The Eye of the World. Get through the first 100 pages and you will be hooked. There are a lot of characters to remember and keep track of. If you enjoy George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, aka The Game of Thrones series, you will enjoy this series.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

How's your year going?

How's your year going so far? Mine, not so good. I haven't stuck to 1 resolution. Haven't been exercising. Haven't been blogging every day. Really don't have an excuse for it, other than I'm lazy and I'd rather be knitting or crocheting than exercising.

Finished a scarf this week. What do you think?

Keynote Knit Scarf - Stays in Place - Child's Scarf

Working on a new scarf for my son now. I just have project after project. After my  hands get tired, I work online. I have a bunch of listings I need to renew and transfer over to HandmadeArtists. I need to get ready for the online craft show I've signed up for next month. I need to scan my patterns in and save to my Nook/Tablet. I have project after project I need to get done. No rest for the wicked, I guess.

Here's hoping for a better week. My new book will hopefully be here tomorrow, so I will spend the weekend unwinding and reading it. Then starting fresh again on Monday.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Blonde Moment

Have you ever had one of those moments as a crafter when you buy the wrong material? I didn't look at the weight on a skein of yarn I bought until tonight and saw that I had purchase the Caron Simply Soft Light. I never buy Light. I didn't know they had Light! So I guess I will have to buy another skein or exchange it. *sigh* Might as well keep it. I'll figure out something. Maybe I'll use it for the tops of the Flip Furs.

Watching Dance Moms as I work on this order. Once again, I'm surprised at these moms who put their children through this. I would never put my son in a dance studio with an abusive dance teacher. He gets upset if one of his teachers makes him do a part over and over and over again. Sure, he probably won't make it as a professional dancer, but that's not what he wants to do.  And these moms are just evil!  Evil dance moms!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope your holidays were wonderful and blessed with memories shared by friends and families. Last night I spent the evening with my two girlfriends and their kids. I made my mom's special pork chops and spaetzle, a wonderful German noodle that is messy to make and clean up, but totally worth it.

I love cooking for people who appreciate it. My brothers don't appreciate my cooking because, let's face it, they are much better cooks than I am. I never claim to be a great chef. In fact, I often say I don't cook, to which my girlfriends lovingly say I'm one of the best cooks they've known. And then tell me to shut up. I have a handful of recipes that I can make well.

I finished almost all of my Christmas presents. I have 1 scarf left to finish. I learned how to knit! I'm making a Dr. Who inspired scarf. Of course, I forgot to take pictures of all the gifts I made this year. Hopefully I will get appreciation pictures that I will post.

So, with the new year, there has to be resolutions. So, here is my list:

1. I will not start new projects until I have finished the ones I have already started. Unless, of course, I get an order.
2.  I will blog at least every other day.  I will try for every day, but seeing as how I usually have working lunches at work now, I'll have to wait until I get home.
3. Every 10 pounds I lose, I will buy a new pattern. Or a new book. Of course, that means I will only be able to buy 9 books or patterns. Yes, I'm trying to lose 90 pounds. With that, I will be going on a diet and trying to exercise every day. I will set smaller goals, of course. Working out every day for a week will earn a new reward (possibly 2). Maybe a new skein of yarn.
4. I'm going to work on the website. New features will include shipping options. I'm also expanding to, so I will have 4 websites you can buy from.

I think that's good enough for now. I will be hacking my Nook Color to make it into a tablet so I can put all my crochet patterns and recipes in 1 spot. No more carrying around books and pencils.

Well, that's all I have tonight. Need to get back to my knitting. Back to the schedule tomorrow.