Friday, September 30, 2005


So, I headed back out to the shops again yesterday to see if I could, on my third try, find the rest of the yarn to finish a few of my projects. No luck. DAMN!

I had one store order more of the one yarn, and that's supposed to be in soon. I'm actually pretty surprised that this shop would just order more and not charge me anything for the special order, but as the lady told me, "That is how it should be". Really? You think so? Cuz everyone else seems to think I'm a friggen loon for asking. With any luck, the yarn will be in soon and I'll be able to finish up this birthday gift in time to mail it out.

The rest of my yarn is MIA. The random thing is, this is just your run of the mill yarn, but for some reason, it's all out of stock everywhere I go. I feel like I've been looking at this crap in the stores forever, and now that I finally use it, it vanishes. Let me justify using the term, "crap" to describe yarn I'm using to make these projects. This yarn is for baby toys which will get yanked, stretched, washed incorrectly, spit up on and godknowswhatelse, so I just don't make them with fancy stuff anymore. SO, I think I've resolved to finish these two teddy bears with different yarn. I mean, what do the kids care if all the parts match, right? These may turn out to be some pretty funky looking patchwork bears, but who knows, they might be cute.

My weekend goals:
-Finish bear #1 (blue)
-Finish bear #2 (Pink. Which is actually going to be a pig instead, because I learned how to make a curly tail and want to use it.)
-Assemble and finish the BT project.
-Watch a good deal of football.
-Drink a good deal of wine.
-If the yarn comes in for the birthday project -- finish the birthday project.

Can I get a "Good Friggen Luck!" from everyone? Yes, thank you.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Finny's House of Horrors

So, I'll post photos of this later, but for now I have a freakshow of half finished projects lying around my house, inviting the raised eyebrows of my suspicious husband. In true Finny fashion, I've managed to start four separate projects that all need to be done at different times in the month of October. So now I have had to resort to some interesting project management techniques. For instance, laying out all the finished body parts of the two teddy bears so that I know how much I have left to work on.

The first two "due" are teddy bears I'm crocheting for my friends kids. These must be done by 10/15, in order to arrive in time for the shower. The third is a gift for a friend, whose birthday falls near the end of October. The last is my backtack project which has a hard deadline at the end of the month, since my "buddy" has to receive it by 10/31.

So, I'm freaking out a little bit. Not because I can't crochet, knit and sew quickly enough, but because one of the projects is totally uncharted territory (making time management impossible) and the other three are suffering from "insufficient initial purchase syndrome."Otherwise known as "Finny is too dumb to buy enough supplies to finish her projects so ends up with half finished teddy bear torsos and has to order the friggen yarn online and pay $8 S&H."

It's a bit scary. The issue with getting the yarn. The issue with having enough time to finish the projects once I have the yarn. The issue with being able to successfully finish a sewing project which is way over my head in time to send it to my ultra super fancy backtack buddy. It's all scary.

I'll post pictures of the carnage soon.
Photo of bear turned pig:

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Please don't jinx me

So, I'm keeping good on my promise to self-cheer. I went home last night, anxiety in hand, and sat down to work on this beast of a BT project. I almost don't want to say it, for fear of jinxing myself and turning out a mishapen product, but it is actually coming along ok.

Let me define, "ok". There is only one piece that I may have to remake, the "hard" part, as proclaimed by the pattern, is finished (and it wasn't too bad) and I haven't thrown anything. So, all that being said, the only thing left to do is take all the sewn pieces and assemble them into the final product. Of course, there's another "hard" part in the assembly instructions, but I'm hoping it will pass as successfully as the last "hard" part.

Status of project:
  • All pieces have been sewn
  • 0 pieces have been assembled
  • Confidence is above average

Wish me luck.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Oh, and here's the latest spawn from my pumpkin hatchery. There's another just like it on the other side of the vegetable beds and I have high hopes for their future as jack-o-lanterns.  Posted by Picasa

A little less "Uh oh"...

So, with fear in my heart, I headed to the fabric stores this weekend to get supplies to start my "challenging" sewing project. I found some great fabric, in colors I hope my buddy will hopefully not hate, and all the notions necessary to complete the project. The scary part about that is that the weakest link (i.e. my skill and expertise at handling the machine and interpreting directions) is now the only thing standing between me and a finished product.

In order to maintain my sanity and be my own little cheering section, I'm probably going to chronicle my adventures with this project right here in my blog in the hopes that one day I'll be able to look back, finished project in hand, and beam with accomplishment. Or at least, reflect on the lessons I've learned from getting in drastically over my head.

Status of project:
  • All fabric pieces have been cut
  • 4 of 10,000 pieces have been sewn
  • Zero blood has been spilled

Friday, September 23, 2005

Uh oh.

So, remember before when I made a comment about my enthusiasm for collecting projects without taking stock of how much time it would take to complete them? Yes, well, add that to my other downfall(s) which are either wildly over or underestimating how much talent/patience/experience I'd need to actually complete the project correctly and you'd understand my predicament right now.

I have this great backtack buddy (is that what we're calling them? I don't know) who is super creative and imaginative and interesting, so I wanted to make her a bag that would fit in with her unique characteristics. So, without letting too much out of the bag here, I found a bag that I thought would be perfect for her, ordered the pattern and, Voila! it looks very hard.

Now, I am a smart woman. I've managed to complete a few projects that I originally thought were way over my head, too. However, this would be the crown jewel in my crafting tiara if I were to pull it off. So, please, crafters everywhere, join hands and prey that I don't jack this thing right up.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

This is not a cat.

This is a weird post, I know. But the uncatlike nature of my "cat" has been striking lately and I wanted to point it out to remind myself that even though I go along in life expecting certain things to turn out certain ways, I should always appreciate the ironies and inconsistencies as interesting (annoying or bizarre) parts of life.

For instance, my "cat" is named, Rocket. She is not fast, she is not stealthy and she does not obtain thrust by the reaction to the ejection of fast moving exhaust, as the term would technically imply. As it turns out, she is slow, clumsy and unable to perform even the most rudimentary of cat-like behaviors, such as jumping onto the couch. For godssake, she doesn't even meow. She has been hoarse since kittenhood, which is one of the reasons I brought her home, since the sound of a meowing cat prompts me to throw things. And despite all of her adorable furriness, this cat is not cuddly. She has this temptingly fuzzy white halo of a belly and it is off limits. Do not cuddle this frothing she-beast as you are likely to lose a limb.

So I wrote all of that to show you this. Because really, I took this funny picture and wanted to share it.

Can you see the gleam of the devil's spirit in her eye? Ah yes, there it is.

So, as I go through my day today, I'll try to appreciate the way the moments unfold, even if not as planned, because at the end of my day I have this beast waiting for me at home and, if all else fails to be certain, I can rely on her waiting by the food bowl, teeth bared and eyes aglow with ferocious bloodlust.

Oh, and I'm also working on making two of these teddy bears for my friend who is expecting her second wee one. I also found out yesterday that another good friend of mine is pregnant, so I'll likely be taking on another baby project. Any ideas? Send them my way.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Forcing Fall

I often find myself getting anxious at the end of a season and will decide to begin the next season even if it's not quite time.

For instance, about a month ago when it was 95 degrees here and I was wearing shorts and flipflops desperately running from one fan to the next in my house trying to stay cool, I decided I was ready for fall. Maybe it was the little orange pumpkins turning up in my garden or the chili recipe I came across in a my new cookbook. Either way, I was ready to be done with summer and usher in the coziness of fall.

I got out my Joy of Cooking and began rolling out pastry dough for blackberry pies. While the pies were in the oven, I knitted up a wool hat. Meanwhile, sweating my ass right off.

Luckily, it has started to cool off since then, and Labor Day has passed meaning that summer is officially over. To honor the new season, I broke out the dutch oven and made up this new recipe that I came across in the Williams Sonoma catalog. I know, I know, that's a little cheesy, but I have the hardest time finding good recipes with which to use my fancy Le Creuset dish, so I'm not picky.

Anyway, for all those Fans of Fall, this is a delicious recipe with a very flavorful sauce. Served with mashed potatoes and a crisp salad (I made a caprese to use up all the tomatoes and basil in the garden), this is a very homey dish and a good one for welcoming Fall into your belly.

Chicken with 40 Garlic Cloves

Sunday, September 11, 2005

All hail the mighty watermelon

Someone, please, remind me next spring that SIX watermelon plants are quite enough. Ok?

The garden has long since runneth over and now we are faced with an abundance of tomatoes, canteloupe, pumpkins and watermelon. Sadly, it looks like we're seeing the last of the cukes and bell peppers, although we'll need the extra room to stuff in all the other vegetables that don't seem to realize that summer is over and I'm ready to plant my winter veggies.

Also, look at this bigun that sprung out of the pumpkin patch...

Hopefully soon, I'll be able to open up some space to plant lettuce, cauliflower, carrots and the like. Until then, I will don my ski mask and take on the role of the neighborhood melon fairy.

Friday, September 09, 2005

A new addition to the family

While everyone around me is talking about midnight feedings, breast pumps, daycare, play dates and the like -- we quietly welcomed a new member to the family. Of course, not the long awaited first grandchild of my generation or even the first grandpooch, but someone even more anticipated.

Please help me welcome our newest, and so far unnamed, member to the family -- a true steel bundle of joy -- our 1967 VW Squareback...

Now go ahead and tell me that isn't a face you could love!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Nothing like a long weekend

To finish a project that I started over a month ago.

See, here's the thing with me and projects, I tend to take them on rather haphazardly and with such eclectic zeal that I don't really think about how long it might take for me to complete any one of them-much less all of them.

For instance, a good friend of mine just came back to work after being on maternity leave for four months. She had an adorable baby girl, who we all adore, and before the clock hit 5pm, I'd promised her a veritable truckload of fruit inspired hats for her little one.

Yeah, I could have stopped at the Strawberry Hat, or even the Pumpkin Hat--seeing as Halloween is right around the corner. But, No! I had to push it and throw in a Lemon Hat, too, since I knew I had some yellow yarn wasting away in my knitting basket.

I actually managed to get the Strawberry Hat done fairly quickly and the Pumpkin Hat was a snap. However, I lost steam when I hit the Lemon Hat and it's been staring at me from my basket for weeks now. So, long weekend in front of me, I decided I'd get them all done and wrapped up to take into the office next week. Did I do it?

Surprise! Surprise! They are all done and ready to go. But not only did I finish all three hats and tie them up with a ribbon and little handmade gift tag -- I even managed to take photos to post to the blog. What's more, I'm actually posting to my blog, which is an accomplishment in itself.

And look how cute...