Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It was Wednesday when I started this

I guess that entitles me to a few words. ;)

I finished my super secret hush-hush surprise, and it's one of my favorite projects ever - but I still can't post pictures until I get it to the recipient! So you get these instead. (I'm sorry that they're sideways. I didn't fix them before adding and I'm too lazy to go back and redo it, plus editing the HTML codes to let me post pics side by side is too difficult for me to do more than once in a night. I do hate to do that.)
Baby quilt for my sister- hand embroidery took forever!
Stocking is starting to look like something!

The two cutest (and one grubbiest) kids ever!
The Wild Things. The dog's enthusiasm for the child isn't nearly as great as the child's enthusiasm for the dog.







Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Super Secret Hush-Hush Surprise Project (and a chat.)

That's what I'm working on. I have it all laid out on my table right now, waiting for a piece to dry, and I hope to be able to start putting it together tomorrow. If all goes well, I should be able to share it on Friday - if not, then Monday. (I would share it now, but it's a gift, and I don't want the recipient to stumble upon this. Then it wouldn't be a very good surprise anymore.)

In the meantime, I'm still slowly plugging away on the cross-stitch Christmas stocking for the baby - why, WHY does it have to take so long? And I've had to pull out whole rows because I never will remember to start the stitch from the bottom left, like the directions say to. I know in the grand scheme of things it won't be that noticeable, but I will know. And it will drive me crazy forever. I just want to get this thing done, so I can start on those adorable ornaments! 

I generally get excited for Christmas early, but I don't think it's ever been this early. These projects are making me want to start playing carols already, but then I remember that here in Minnesota, Christmas usually comes with snow. That freezes (haha) my enthusiasm a little...snow and I are not the best of friends. Not even frenemies. Snow is like that person you really don't like, try hard to avoid, and if the unavoidable happens, you just give a civil nod and bite your tongue, because there's nothing you can do about it now. 

Winter is probably the only time I'm going to miss Jacksonville (NC, where we previously lived while my husband was serving in the Marine Corps.) The winters there were comparatively, well, perfect, if you're like me and don't have much use for the cold. I can't say I'm complaining about living here now, though. The humidity is eversoslightly easier to take, and it typically isn't quite as hot. Plus, we have a lot of family and friends here, and having someone to visit with always makes the weather a little more bearable, whatever season.




Saturday, July 27, 2013

Five Things

I can't remember what day it is, most of the time. So I'm not sure how many posts I've missed already, but since it's technically Sunday, I'm going to count this for Sunday, since I'll be gone a good portion of tomorrow and probably won't get around to posting.

I have always been a list maker. As a kid, it was Christmas lists, birthday lists, general "wish" lists. In high school and college, I was almost obsessive about my school work, writing and rewriting if the lettering didn't look just right - and making lists. The work I had done, the work I had yet to do, and everything else besides school work I had to do. I think some of this must come from my mom - she's a list maker too, if for no other reason than that she has a myriad of things to remember and do. I make lists to remember things, but I also make them because it's soothing. For all my messiness and oft-chaotic workspaces, I need - crave - order, and making lists is a way to find that. I catch myself writing lists of things that I already have solidly in my memory. It's not to remember them. It's for my sanity, if you will. 

I've also always been a journal-keeper. Growing up, I can't count the number of notebooks and diaries I went through. In high school English class, we were required to write in a journal, daily. This drew some opposition from some, but that was always my favorite part of the day. I kept journals through college, and even up until a few months after I was married. I can't remember why I stopped, but just recently I've started keeping one again, and I guess this blog is a journal in a way, although not so personal as the cute little notebook I bought at Target on a whim. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and I guess it is - again for my sanity. A journal doesn't laugh, doesn't judge, and if you complain too much or obsess over things too much, it doesn't tell you to shut up and get over yourself. 

Combining the two, I remember for a few months in school I would write in my journal a daily list of ten things - ten things I was thankful for, ten things that made me happy that day, ten things that upset me, and so on. So the point of this post - Sunday is my Five Things day. Five, instead of ten, because I tend to elaborate on things, and I don't want this to go on for pages and pages. I write the way I talk, and if you know me, then you're preparing to quit reading halfway through anyway. ;) Today - Five Things About Me.

Five Things

1. I am afraid of the dark. Not necessarily in a little-kid way, although I do like to have a light somewhere in the room where I sleep, but that's mostly so I can see if I have to get up with a kid. I am fearful of not being able to see, and I have an overactive imagination. Pitch blackness sends me into a panic, even if my hand is on a light switch. And it's not just what I can't see - I fear the things I can see, as well. And this is more like a kid, I think - but things look different in the dark. I don't have very good night vision, and when the dark distorts anyway, well ... my imagination can take ordinary things and run wild. I am thankful for my kids and their night lights, because it gives me an excuse to have one.

2. I really do think I have OCD, at least mildly. I touched on this with my list making, and I do think it's more than just a few behaviors. The thing is, I'm aware of it, and lucky enough to be able to talk myself out of whatever I'm doing - sometimes. I'm a hand washer - not constantly, but if I touch something I deem "gross", or pick food up off the floor (and this happens frequently, with a toddler), even with a napkin or a tissue - I need to wash my hands. They feel different, somehow, until I do. Maybe that's weird, but I've done that for as long as I can remember. I'm a counter - I remember, starting in middle school, counting the steps I took across a room, and if it wasn't an even number, depending on where I was, I would go back and walk across again, or do a little stutter step at the end just to make sure I got that even number in before I got to the next room or hallway. I still catch myself staring out the window while riding in a car, counting the number of car lengths between telephone poles or road signs. I like things to be even numbered - odd numbers itch my brain, or something like that. If I run my hand over a row of things and miss one, or rub lotion on my hands and don't spend an equal amount of time on each finger, it bothers me and I have to correct it. I'm thankful that most of these behaviors are small enough that they don't disrupt my life, for the most part - they don't annoy anyone besides me.

3. I'd like to be "known", but I don't want to be famous. I'm too shy to be famous. As outspoken as I may seem sometimes, I'm considerably more reticent online, which is probably the opposite of a lot of people - and probably a relief to the people who know me. I know I'm not anonymous. I don't want to be, but then I'm aware that I don't have that freedom that I might have with anonymity. I'll be honest, here - there are things I would like to say, that I won't, out of tact, respect, and my own reputation with those who know me that I'd rather not have ruined. And even if I were anonymous, my own sense of who and what I am wouldn't allow me to say everything I'd like to. But I would like to be known. I just don't know what for. I wish that I were wittier, or more talented, something to set me apart, get me somewhere. I don't know where. But I know I want it.

4. I'm not as ambitious as I should be. Starting in elementary school, I got branded "Super Genius", the good speller, the smart kid. I had my own spelling list in the second grade; more challenging than the "Challenge Words". I was in Gifted Ed. I was given permission to go to the library pretty much any time I wanted to, because I was "smart" and "well-behaved" and "trustworthy" and all that stuff. I'm not mocking those adjectives, and I appreciate the labels, to some extent. However, high school took some of the wind out of my sails, and college finished off the rest. In high school, I had a lot of smart friends. Very smart friends. That was the first time I wasn't at the head of the pack, and it was a bit disconcerting. College was the first time in my life that I'd actually had to study material, and I didn't know how. As "smart" as I may be, I was not well prepared for it. Consequently, I think, I have a tendency to underestimate myself, and I don't try hard enough. I don't break promises to others, but I don't always follow through on my own goals. I should have that same regard that I have for others, for myself...

5. I'm vain, but I think self-deprecation is (part of) the key to confidence. I'll admit it. I'm a vain person. I don't take any great pains with my appearance - there are many, many days that I don't even brush my hair, and I'm not one of those people who can get away with that. I don't follow fashions by any means - I have no idea what's "in style" right now, and quite honestly, I really don't care. Jeans never go out of style, and they're comfortable. But I like to look good, and be told I look good. I like to feel like I'm prettier than I think I am. At the same time, I take compliments awkwardly (I'm probably just an awkward person), and I downplay a lot in public. It's not modesty, really. It's just that I feel uncomfortable saying that I do something well, or being told I do - even if I know I do. But some of that self-deprecating humor I have, some of the tendency I have to keep quiet about my talents - it's made me less shy, more confident in myself. I might not tell people I can do a certain thing well, but I have the satisfaction of knowing it. 

Maybe it's a smug satisfaction, but that's okay as long as I don't vocalize it, right? ...right?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Read this post, if nothing else.

Please?

I would like to share two giveaways I've just been busily entering, in case anyone reads this yet. ;) Or if you've seen them somewhere else, that's okay too. They are really, really awesome giveaways. 

First, Consumer Crafts (think Michaels-esque) is offering up to $500 worth of merchandise to a lucky winner - as long as it's on your Pinterest WishList! So, go. Go click the link, and browse and pin away. I won't wish you luck, because that would mean I didn't win. ;)

Second, it's the Favorite Birthday Giveaway! This involves lots of following, pinning, and liking, and it's oh-so-worth-it. A KitchenAid Artisan mixer (red, my favorite color!), $300 gift card to Target (my favorite retailer - and they're all about RED!), and 10 cookbooks! 

I never win anything. I'm not afraid of jinxing myself, because it's true. But...you can't win if you don't try, and if nothing else - I've got a whole pinboard full of awesome blogs to check out! Yay for inspiration!

Now if only my activity level matched all that inspiration. The Long List o'Projects has grown again. I got a box today with this ornament kit today - aren't they precious? I can see them on the tree already! Unfortunately, cross stitch takes me a bit of time - good thing it's only (well, the end of) July! I'll need the next few months. 

EDIT: A third giveaway, and this one is so easy to enter, as long as you have (or are willing to open) a Google+ account. Mini iPad giveaway from The Frugal Girls!

Alright, I'm publishing and walking away now. If I find any more I'll keep them to myself! :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

And on Wednesdays, I'll be quiet. Ish.

I've seen the Wordless Wednesday trend on several different blogs, and I like it. Personally, I know that I'm not very good about putting up pictures, and since it's hard to describe craft projects without pictures, at least I know I'll have to do it once a week! 

This already isn't very Wordless at all. Here are some beautiful cell phone photos for your viewing pleasure (the Toddler took off with my camera, or else I hid it so well that I can't even find it.)







Top left: Dimensions "Snowman Snapshots" cross-stitch stocking kit - for the Baby! If I get started now, maybe I'll get it done by Christmas...
The middle two are pinafores from an adorable Smashed Peas and Carrots tutorial. They're supposed to be reversible, but I messed  up on one of them so I decided they could just be opposites. You can see from the pictures that the two fabrics each took a turn being the outsides and linings. One has mismatched green and orange buttons, and one has matching yellow. I also made two matching diaper covers out of the fruit slice fabric! Those came from the excellent Perfect Diaper Cover tutorial by danamadeit.com. 
The top right and bottom pictures are a Jack Dempsey quilt square kit I've been working on for about three months, and finally finished! Putting together that quilt is just one line on my Long List o' Projects.

Which reminds me, here is the Long List o' Projects, which keeps growing:

I apologize for the poor quality. I'm not a photographer, and when the only camera I can find is a cell phone, well...

Next week I'll do better, and maybe I'll throw in a few less words. ;)

welcome back, me.

I'm back! And hopefully, the third (and a half) time's the charm. It would be nice if I could keep a blog going for longer than a year. I'd like to say life gets in the way, but probably it's more like ADD. Sometimes I have the attention span of a gnat...

About six months ago, I bought a new sewing machine, a brother cs6000i, and it was love at first sight. (By the way, no one told me I should say this, and I'm doing it out of the goodness of my own heart because I like to give my opinions, but if you're looking for a sewing machine that's fancy but not TOO fancy, and is cute on top of it, well, you want this one. Oh, and it runs beautifully, and has a whole bunch of fun little features, many of which I have no idea how to use. Yet.) That was a lot of commas. Anyway. Then I was too afraid to touch it for about three days, because I didn't want to break it. 

Finally, I did, and I made a blanket. I had so much fun with it, that I immediately made another one. Actually the second one took me about two months, but that was because ADD, I mean life, got in the way, and also there was a LOT of hand embroidery involved. I would post a picture, but it's late and I'm too lazy to find my camera, so I'll do it tomorrow.

And after a few more little projects, (including my first kid's garment ever that didn't look like a home ec. project) and a lot of Pinterest-ing, and a lot of thinking, and a fancy new phone with Instagram and Twitter and actual internet access, create3.5 was born. The create part isn't hard to figure out - that's what I like to do. Sewing, embroidering, cooking (baking under duress), photographing, crafting, and, well, childbearing. You name it, and if it sounds domestic-ish and results in something cute or delicious (or cute AND delicious - hello, cupcakes), I probably do it. How well is yet to be determined.

3.5 is the hopeful part. Hopeful because I don't want there to be a 4.5 in a year. I've had two blogs before this, and am/was a member of a (mostly defunct) family blog, hence the 3.5. If I can keep life and ADD from getting in the way and instead channel them, this blog will survive, which is what I'm hoping for. Because I actually kind of enjoy this. I hope you do too.

So. To finish up my introduction, I'm a mom of two adorable and sometimes naughty little girls, but I'm sure they don't mean to be. (I meant naughty, but I guess they don't mean to be adorable either. They come by that honestly.) heeheehee I complain about not having enough spare time to work on my projects, but I never seem to get much done when I do have time, either. create3.5 will (hopefully) be my motivation. Beginnings, middles, and ends of projects will be posted at random, giving me some accountability to JUST DO IT, and you, well, hopefully some entertainment, if nothing else.