Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Welcoming Fall

While last  Wednesday was the official beginning of fall the event that marks the end of summer for me is coming this Sunday.  The last Maxwell Street Days flea market of the season.  And to make it even more exciting we're going to have a booth!  So if you're in Cedarburg, WI you should come visit us!

This week will be a whirlwind of getting ready since we weren't sure if we were doing this until this past Monday.  I suppose there's no time like now to get ready!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Creative Endeavors: Spiral Blanket

I must admit, I started this blanket some time ago and now I'm a little stalled.  Since I started the blanket as an experiment I didn't buy all the yarn I would need for a full size afghan, instead, assured by a sales associate that Sugar N' Cream yarn colors are never discontinued, I bought a few skeins of each color and got started.

Lo and behond, when I've finally gotten into the swing of things and perfected the pattern to get exactly what I wanted I go back to buy the rest of the yarn and... there isn't any.  It's gone.  I picked four colors for the spirals - sage, country red, country yellow, and country blue - and there is not a single country color left.  I can still find the sage and the soft ecru I'm using to join the spirals since they are some of the staple colors that are always available.

After some intense searching, and dropping in on every Michaels, JoAnn's and Hobby Lobby we've passed on every road trip, I managed to get enough of the country yellow and country red.  The one color missing from every place we've gone is the country blue and now I'm down to less than half a skein and I'm going to have to resign myself to paying full price ($2/skein) online with $8 for shipping to get the rest of the yarn.  This little fact turns this project from affordable to a bit more expensive than I expected.

You should know that I'm a coupon girl.  I've been known to make Richard come in with me to buy a second skein of yarn in a separate transaction just to use a second 40% off coupon at the craft store.  I rarely pay full price for anything because stretching our dollars has become second nature and every penny puts us just a little bit ahead in our savings.

We're still trying to find a house to buy, which hasn't been the easiest process and has left me a little jaded.  But, as my father said at dinner this past Saturday, we will never find a better market in which to purchase property.  But that is a discussion for another time.

The pattern I'm working from is from the blog quarter of an inch, and although I admit I changed some stitches around I'm not sure I could ever tell you what exactly was changed as the circles have now become so easy and automatic.  My only goal is to finish this blanket by the end of 2010 because I think one big project a year is enough, especially since I've been working hard on more cupcakes and getting started on this year's hat and scarf, and with the cold weather coming fast I'd better get cracking!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Half Price Books and $2 Journal Finds

I was out in Brookfield the other day for one reason or another so I took a moment to visit the new Half Price Books location (I'm a sucker for used book stores) and look for a few things.  I found a couple of books that I've been looking for but I decided against picking them up until I've finished a few of the books on my shelves that I have yet to read.  Of course I couldn't leave empty handed so I was wandering around the clearance section to see what I could find and a stumbled across a couple of red Picadilly journals for $1 each.  

Primo Journal - Red -.. Medium (288 Lined Pages) (Hardcover)I didn't necessarily need TWO journals, but I've been looking for a new sketchbook as my previous one has been very full for sometime now, so for just two dollars I figured it was worth trying them out.  I'm already enjoying them and even have a project for my Tumblr Buddy gift sketched out.  It's a little strange to be drawing things over the lined pages, but it certainly makes my handwriting a tiny bit tidier.  All in all, I say I've made a sound $2 investment, and I may even swing by the Half Price Books near us to see if they don't have a few in clearance as well.

A little aside: I have always had this strange habit of not writing in the first few pages of a journal or sketchbook.  I'm not exactly sure why this is, especially since it's not a conscious decision and I usually don't notice until later, but I realized this time I've left five entire pages blank.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Apple Picking

Since today wasn't nearly as dreary as yesterday, and there was this great crisp chill to the air, we headed out to Barthel's Fruit Farm to pick some apples and get some of their fabulous apple cider.

We were a week too early for the cider, but we came home with a giant bag of apples just begging to become apple sauce, baked apple chips, and some canned apple pie filling.

I'm planning to do some baking on Tuesday or Thursday because Anna sent me a great lavender tea cookie recipe and with the chill in the air it is certainly the time for tea and cookies.

Now I'll take my afternoon break to read through the paper and clip my coupons for this week's grocery shopping.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Weekly goal update.

Well, it's Saturday, so I guess it's time to see how I've done on my weekly goals since I have just tomorrow left to finish them.

Make: The cupcakes are almost done, I have the pieces for four finished and they just need to be sewn together and filled but for now I'm still working on the pieces for the fifth.

Home: The office is just about done!  The floor is now clear (you can walk!) and I put the new duvet cover on the bed.  There are still small piles of paperwork that needs to be sorted (and most likely trashed) and a couple of boxes of things without homes, but it's so close and I feel rather accomplished.

Food: We made the Chicken Caesar Tetrazzini, and boy, was it good!

Photography: 1) I was able to scan three (3!) sets of slides this week, and hope to squeeze in one more tomorrow and 2) I plan on taking project photos tomorrow afternoon while Richard watches the football game.

Other: Turn in application to become a vendor at the October Maxwell Street Days in Cedarburg.... hasn't even been done.  The application is still sitting in my bag, so my goal is to fill it out this afternoon and stick it in the mailbox.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday Goals: 6 September - 13 September

So I'm going back to my weekly routine of setting a few achievable goals and to keep myself honest, and motivated, I'm going to be posting them here. They all fit into neat little categories, so this should go quick.

Make: crochet five cupcakes (ten cupcakes in the next two weeks)

Home: organize the office/spare bedroom. With all the furniture moving around lately it has become a bit of a disaster.

Food: Richard and I have the goal of making one new dish each week and this week that is Chicken Caesar Tetrazzini.

Photography: 1) scan one roll of film or one set of slides and 2) take photographs of two projects (this week: train case & crocheted cupcakes!)

Other: Turn in application to become a vendor at the October Maxwell Street Days in Cedarburg

***update: I've already crocheted one and a half frostings and one cupcake bottom, so if I keep up this pace this should be a breeze!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

One day in Oshkosh

So yesterday while I was up in Oshkosh four things happened.

1) I went to Hobby Lobby and found more skeins of the "funfetti" yarn I liked so much. It's a different brand ("I love this yarn" - the Hobby Lobby brand) but it seems a bit softer so I think it will be even better for the cupcakes. Which leads me to a side note: for the next month I'm going to give myself little crocheting/making things challenges. I really want to get more of my projects done, in a more timely manner, and I think this might help. So, my first challenge is to make 10 cupcakes in the next two weeks.

2) I spent the rest of the afternoon with Beth and Ben, and we went to Mario's for lunch... and all ordered the exact same veggie quesadilla. Later that evening we all went to the New Moon (my old cafe haunt) and all had the same veggie sandwich for dinner. Because we're awesome like that.

3) Went on the Zombie Walk, the fundraiser for the Time Community Theater, and saw all my old Sketch Night friends. It was a bloody good time!

4) Saw a few artist displays on Gallery Walk, but my favorite moment was being able to see my old writing professor's show. She has been using pieces of jewelry that belonged to her mother to create new pieces and every last one was gorgeous. It was also just wonderful to see her again. She was one of my favorite professors of my entire college career.