Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Alive, sans kickin'

Yeah, I'm still around. After losing what turned out to be TWINS, to my second ectopic rupture, I didn't feel much like posting anymore. I've now lost both of my fallopian tubes, and cannot get pregnant. Tragic, for sure. Currently, I'm waiting for yet another surgery, to take care of a scar tissue adhesion that is causing me pain, and a cyst on my ovary. Surgery is scheduled for August. Ugh.

I'm also having some problems with anxiety. My husband is going away to interrogator school on Feb 5, and will be gone for 5 months. Everyone keeps saying, "Oh, that's far away, you still have plenty of time..." yadda yadda. When you live the life we do, moving every 2-3 years, your concept of time changes. 6 months is a HUGE chunk of time. We're moving to Ft. Polk, LA, next July. Yes, it's a year away, but it feels like tomorrow. I'm not sleeping well, because I'm having disturbing dreams about moving by myself, custody issues, and struggling with the idea of being separated from my honey for half a year, only to be separated for a year and a half. Ft. Polk is where interrogators go to be prepared for deployment *sigh*

This summer has gone pretty well, so far, though. The kids have been pretty good, although my 9yr old son has entered the "I cannot tell the truth" phase. It's hard not being able to trust anything he says. I suppose, just like sleepless nights with a newborn, that this is all preparing me for the teenage years ;)

I have been crafting, mostly crochet. AND, I've been knitting! Much thanks to my wonderful mother<, who taught me more from two states away than all the knitting books I've read ;)

So, here are some pictures, just a sampling of some of the things I've been doing. I'm still doing swaps, a handful at a time, and I've really been enjoying sewing a lot more lately =]

Cherry stamp, carved for the "I <3 Cherries" swap on Swapbot

Little crochet mushroom, with hand-beaded straight pins.

Crochet coinpurse, with zipper, and little crocheted cherries (also for the "I <3 Cherries" swap on Swapbot)

Crochet beret, made from a pattern picked p at my LYS. I *love* this thing, and wear it all the time =]

My first finished knitted project, a sock for my iPhone. I really love this, it works better than any other iPhone "case" that I've had!

Wedding cake toppers (prototype). A good friend is getting married next spring, and asked me to make these for her.

Wire-wrapped jewelry sets, made for teacher gifts. (black is Swarovski crystal, blue is faceted sodalite)

Knitted fingerless loves. Again, I totally love these, and wear them a LOT, usually with the crocheted beret above.

Crocheting a super soft, fuzzy, scalloped scarf.

There you have it. I have been busy, despite pain that won't go away, and anxiety that has me jumpin' at the wind. I will make an effort to blog a whole lot more, although I must warn that my pictures may get crappier, as I have been seduced by the convienience of taking them with my iPhone, and uploading them immediately ;) I also tweet frequently over on Twitter!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Knock It Off!

*I keep editing this, because I keep forgetting things. Forgive me if you are using a reader!*

I actually look pregnant, believe it or not. It's not baby, or anything yet, of course - it's all fun stuff, like huge amounts of gas, and water (I'm Jupiter! I'm Neptune! I'm Jupiter! I'm Neptune!)

Anyway, my two favorite pair of pants do not fit me comfortably anymore unless I unbutton them. So, I made a knockoff maternity gadget, that will remain nameless (basically, it's a "Second letter of the alphabet" Band). Too effing easy to make to spend $20+ on one! Sheesh! This band hooks around the front belt loops of pants with snaps, and stretches comfortably to hide the unbuttons and resulting belly gap. Pretty nifty, imo. I might have to make them for my family for Thanksgiving Day use ;)

It's dark, and I am really tired, so I don't have a picture of the K Band in use, but I can assure you, it is in use right now. Every night, I lie on the sofa with my feet up, and my pants unbuttoned, and honestly, it just makes me feel fat. This is much better =]

Here is my little drawing, so that you can visualize my awesome new K Band. Except that mine is made of black cotton/lycra, with black snaps. The short ends are not turned & topstitched or anything; I just serged across them with black thread (they are hidden when they are looped around the beltloops, anyway. Oh, and the other half of the snaps is hidden in the diagram by the folded over ends. There are four complete sets of snaps on this.

I cut a rectangle 5in by [how long the fabric was when I stretched it comfortably from beltloop to beltloop over my unbuttoned pants]. I ironed the curly edges of the fabric flat, ironed a small strip of lightweight interfacing to each end (about 5in x 1in), folded the piece in half long-ways, and stitched up the long open edge. Back to the ironing board, I worked the piece so that the seam was centered in what became the back of the band, and ironed it flat, making sure not to slide my iron around so that I didn't stretch out the fabric much. Serged up the short ends, and applied snaps to the ends. I found that keeping the outer snaps closer to the corners kept the corners from poking out, or getting weird shaping from edges curling, etc.

I used lightweight iron-on interfacing on the very ends of the band, so that the snaps wouldn't rip through the fabric, but the center portion of the band would still remain stretchy. I wish there was stretchy interfacing...

I have some more of this type of fabric, and will probably make a couple more of these. But first, I need a new cap die for my snap press. After surviving countless trips across the country and back, little kids, big kids, men that are fascinated by a sewing "tool", this one die has finally wandered off.

If my mom is reading this: I used some of the black stretchy fabric you sent me ages ago to use on the edges of boggles my mind how I managed to hang onto so much of my stash throughout these past 5 years! I think I have a gift...or a problem ;)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lucky Number 7!

Every birthday my kids have is so special to me. I lost so many babies before they came along, and I hope that one day they will realize how special they are to me, and how encouraging they are to me. Every day that I see them running and jumping, singing, doing their homework, complaining about a bully at school, or quivering that lower lip because they are SO SAD because they wouldn't stop jumping on the sofa and got grounded, or tying 13 ribbons around the cat's tail and beg to re-name it "Pretty Princess"...every day I see these things, and I am reminded that I created the best that the world has to offer, and that I can do it again!

My Ashley is 7 years old today. At 10:20am March 18, 2002, my awesome dr yanked that little girl from my abdomen while her father and I - and the entire staff in the operating room - were singing along to the radio: "Hotel California". Funny, I had never liked that song before. She had a platinum cord, with a TRUE knot in it, and it was also wrapped around her neck. She was in a breech position, with one foot presenting (my cervix dealt with that for 2 months!), her other foot up next to her ear, squished between my ribs. Through all of this, she came out perfect, 7lbs, 13oz, with cheeks so chubby, the drs actually measured her jaw to find out why her chin looked so "pushed in" lol!

Ashley's favorite things to do now are singing (she is very good at making up songs), any kind of art, and playing "school teacher" to her [literally] hundreds of stuffed animals. And, of course, every one of those hundreds of animals sleep with her on her bed (E.T. style ;). Every night, she whispers a prayer over my belly that this baby will come out to meet her. I think she must be the sweetest thing ever ^_^

So, happy birthday Ashley! Thank you for all that you have done for me <3

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Maybe Baby

My final hCG Quantitative results came back. To date, we have:

1999 on Monday
2600 on Wednesday
4452 on Friday

I think these numbers look wonderful; as I have previously stated, the numbers should be doubling every 72-96 hours. Since these tests are only 48 hours apart, it's hard to tell, but I think they look good. They are moving up, so, at this point, I am still pregnant, until proven otherwise.

I am getting really bad headaches, and I have to drink prune juice every morning. Tylenol doesn't do a THING for the headaches, but the prune juice has solved the problem of the cramping. Basically, I still FEEL pregnant. I just wish I had morning sickness; did you know that morning sickness is actually linked to a decrease in miscarriage risk? How fun.

What I am really scared about right now is a blighted ovum. Quite simply, this means that everything moves along in order, except that a baby never develops. Gestational sac keeps on truckin', body keeps on preparin', etc. We thought I was 6wks pregnant, at which time an embryo SHOULD be seen, but all we saw was a gestational sac. So....yeah. It would be a new one for me - I have not miscarried in that way before. In fact, if it is a blighted ovum, I will have miscarried in every way, excepting voluntary abortion.

How fun.

Friday, March 13, 2009

the shining tunnel at the end of the light

After looking up hcg quants all morning on the intrawebz, I've found that once the number gets above 1200, it takes 72-96 hours for the number to double. My dr seemed to think my pg was over, because my number did not double in 48 hours.

So I got a new dr. I did this last year, too, though. I remember my husband saying, "I know this sucks, but going to a new dr is not going to magically bring our baby back to life." Well, whatever. It's true, but my numbers are NOT showing that I am losing this baby. My ultrasound did not show that I am losing this baby. All this was confirmed when I called my new dr.

Some women's hcg is so low, that they do not even register positive on pee stick until they are 3mos pg. Some women have what is traditionally considered very low, not-viable, numbers and go on to have perfectly healthy babies. "Normal" is different for every body, and every pregnancy, and it is impossible to create an all-encompassing STANDARD for these things.

My point is, I'm not giving up on this one, yet, and I found a dr that is also not ready to give up. I kinda wish I had not gotten the hcg quants testing. I kinda wish I hadn't had the u/s that said that my baby is almost 2 whole weeks younger than we thought (this means that I implanted later than we think, or the pregnancy has already ended). Unfortunately, I do not have the luxury of sitting back, and letting what will be, be.

*As I was typing this, I found myself suddenly doubled over in pain, cramps, crying horrible cut-me-in-two abdominal distress. Could be gas. I had enchiladas for lunch. Could not be gas. We'll see...*

And one for the road...

My hcg was 1999 on Monday, only 2600 on Wednesday; it is supposed to at least double every 48 hours in a viable pregnancy. Not sure if I will try to conceive again; hubby ships off for several months on Feb 5th. If I am not pregnant within the next like, 6 weeks, he will miss the birth. Or I suppose I could just wait to start trying again until the end of the year, and be pregnant while he is gone, but so far, it takes us one year to conceive anyway, so should I even bother waiting? Could I really handle going through this again, possibly alone?

Idk. I had two perfectly healthy, easy pregnancies. Easy to conceive, easy to carry, healthy babies. Now it's just loss after loss after loss. Am I just not supposed to have anymore babies? Is it possible that the drs screwed something up during my cesarean with my last baby? Can't I please just have ONE child with my husband?? This is our 5th loss in the short 3 years we've been trying.

How do I tell my kids AGAIN that yet another baby is not going to be coming home?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Had my first ultrasound today.

We found a gestational sac, measuring 4w4d on the u/s. I started puking right there on the table...puking during trans-vag ultrasound is NOT fun! I was so sure that that empty black spot on the screen was where my baby should be.

My first hcg quants are 1999 (hubby says: "I guess we should party?"), but I have to wait another couple hours to find out if they doubled (had blood drawn this morning). Hcg is the "pregnancy hormone" that pee-on-a-stick tests are detecting. The amount of hcg is supposed to double about every 48hrs.

All in all, the dr says that I am pg, but that I am only 4wk4d pg, not 6wk3d, as we had previously calculated. My cycles are 31 days long, my LMP was Jan 25th. Although, I am looking back at my chart, and I had a neg preg test on Feb 22 that I had forgotten about! Feb 22 was 17 days ago, which means that I am most likely only about 4wks pg, I think; what do you think? Here is my chart. Am I just getting my hopes up? Am I just seeing what I want to see?

On to the other stuff: my dr is SO terrified of my Marfan's, that I really think she is "building me up" to abort! She says that Marfan's patients have a risk of heart RUPTURE, because of increased blood volume during pg. She actually said, "Well, you shouldn't bee too concerned, at least you already have two healthy children...knock on wood." Arg. Okay, I actually do like this dr, so I'll try not to make her look like a tool. Anyway, Marfan's can cause enlarged aortas, and enlargement of the heart itself, which can lead to rupture. *I* do not have these conditions. *I* can run, I chase my kids all over the beach, I ride my bike with them! I don't go rockclimbing anymore, but I can still go hiking in the mountains, and I can still swim a mile in a lake with a current!

So, she's ordered a bunch of genetic tests, a full thrombophilia work up. She has also demanded that I see an internal medicine dr, to get in to see a cardiologist, because *IF* this pg continues, she wants me on constant heart monitoring. She expects that I have some blood/clotting disorder, and is already planning on putting me on Heparin & baby aspirin. She says that I will need the blood thinners for my entire pg, and at least 6wks after birth. Oddly enough, my non-pg related drs have always told me to stay away from things that thinned my blood (alcohol *snort*). They were afraid that it would cause my superficial clots to move around.

I had been concerned about the progesterone that my previous dr prescribed for me. She says that they do not bother testing prog levels, because they vary so greatly from individual to individual, that there is no "standard" or "normal". She says that half the studies show that it can help, whereas half show that it has no effect. So, I am paying hundreds of dollars a month "just in case". Okay. Whatever, I got a fat tax return. But the box also warns about horrible birth defects if it is used in the 1T. Dr says that she has never heard of that before, and not to worry about it ~.^

The dr also mentioned that my hcg quants were low, but still higher than what the u/s showed (??), and that depending on my quants today, and again on Friday, she wants me in for another u/s soon. She suspects that I could have another pregnancy, ectopic, which may be throwing off my numbers O_O !!??@&%#^$* Great. I manage to make TWO babies, and don't get to keep either of them? This just isn't fair -_-

I'm so exhausted right now, I can barely keep my eyes open. I was supposed to get the blood drawn for the genetic tests today, but the dr wrote them in a really funky way, and some of the tests the lab isn't sure what she is talking about, and the dr wrote a fasting test, but then told me to go get it done immediately, so they are having to work all that out. I go in tomorrow morning for the blood draw, and again Friday morning for another hcg quants.

I think I need a nap. But first, here is the list of tests the dr ordered for me. Some are really hard to read, so I might be spelling them wrong:
Factor V Leiden mutation
Prothrombin G20210 A mutation
Anticardiolipin IgG
Prothrombin aPTT
Homocysteine fasting (this is the reason I couldn't get the tests done today-the dr said nothing about fasting!)
VAT III antigene activity lvl
Pro C antigene activity lvl
Pro S antigene activity lvl (my awesome lab guy told me that these "Pro"s mean "Protein", but my dr abbrev. it wrong, should be"Prot")

Google says "antigene" is "antigen"; I'm assuming the difference is that my dr is foreign (from Iran, studied in France, then got her U.S. licensing in N.Y.)

Ooookay, nap, then I will research what all these tests mean, and look for u/s pics of gestational sacs! From what I can see so far, these tests just mean I'll need blood thinners for a long time.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Savage selvages!

I am *dying* to make some of these:

*Photo belongs to Quilts by Elena. Check her out, great stuff!*

My husband pointed out to me recently how much I love to make pincushions.I had never noticed before. I guess they are just quick, instant-gratification things. I get really bad anxiety attacks if I am not being productive in some way (makes it hard for me to sleep at night!), so pincushions fill a lot of gaps in my life where I don't have a lot of time, a lot of motivation, or am suffering a creativity block. Oddly enough, I have never thought to photo and share many of them. I guess they really are just "filler" items in my life *shrug*

So, back to these lovely selvage pincushions, there are two things keeping me from jumping on the project right now. Firstly, would I sew each selvage together, or use fusible web to stick them all together? If I used fusible, would that be okay for my pins to be poking through over and over? And, secondly, I don't have many selvages! I use felt, and knits, and fleece...I have a couple boxes full of fat quarters but I haven't found many selvages in them =[

Hopefully I will win the awesome selvage giveaway over at Moda Lissa! Seriously, you have GOT to get over there and see the rad selvage ball that she made - it just makes me smile =D

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I just can't help myself!

More baby stuff:

Free pattern for Noodle Baby Hat from Haakpoes
Free pattern for Grandma's easy 10-step Booties on Ravelry

Yarns are: Red Heart Soft Yarn in white, and Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille in Fruit Salad.

Another Noodle hat - I just love these things! I didn't put the cuff ont his one, although I am thinking I will. I don't really want to, because the cuff is really boring and long to make, lol...but the hat feels like it is missisng something =X

The booties are SO simple, and very cute, I think =] They really take about 30-45mins to make the pair. They are worked flat, and come out looking kinda upsidedown-"T"-shaped, then it's stitched up. Simple! I'm not sure I am going to leave the variegated cord in there; I have ribbon that looks just like that yarn, but would probably be easier to tie/untie.

I added the picot edge to the top of the booties: After completing final row, turn. *Sl st in nxt st, ch1, sl st in same st* across. That's def my favorite picot edge, I tend to use it a lot (like on my mushrooms in the last post).

I spent all day yesterday cleaning. I mean, ALL DAY. I didn't do anything else but clean! lol It was nice, though I still haven't tackled my bedroom (yikes). We need to have someone come in and take a look at our wiring; both bedrooms only have one working outlet now =X Very inconvenient! But I suppose I should make sure that the electrician can actually WALK through the rooms before I call, eh? ;)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Baby, it's cold, I mean hot, I mean cold, I mean....

Wow. I'm like, pregnant. FOR REAL. Puking, peeing, craving, sleeping, demanding, pregnant. Quitting smoking has been surprisingly easy - the smell makes me barf. Unfortunately...wait, I mean UNFORTUNATELY, coffee makes me barf, too! as do eggs, asparagus, and most dairy =[ I'm craving chicken like WOAH - not just any chicken, but Shake -n-Bake chicken. I bought a giant box of it, and have been eating probably 2-3lbs of Shake-n-Bake chicken a day. The last time I had Shank-n-Bake, my mother made it for me. And my mother had stopped cooking by the time I was in jr. high, so it was a looooong time ago!

Oh, for the record, my due date is November 1, but since I will be having a scheduled c-section, this baby will most like be born on Oct 26. I think that is great! I'll be fat when it's warm out- (my mom has always warned be that this is NOT a good thing, but...)-that means that I can get away with shorts and capris, instead of the $70 extra tall maternity pants! Seriously, with my two kids, I spent more on two pairs of maternity pants than I did on their carseats & layettes!

Okay, I'm done being pregnant for now. On to the crafty stuff!

I finished the doodle scarf I had been working on - it only took me a couple days =] Using a heavy worsted wool, I chained until it was ~about~ 6ft long ("Charlie, can you stand up, please?" *measuring chain vs. his height* "Okay,thanks".), and then made loops of chains, fastening each back into it's beginning with a slip stitch. I worked single crochet up the chain, between the loops. I had originally planned to go up one side, then back down the other but I got about halfway back down the 2nd side, and I didn't like it. So I stuck with the one side =] I have already gotten several complements on it and it is surprisingly warm, for how small it is!

Next up, these sweet little mushrooms that I spent WEEKS perfecting the pattern for! (that will be available soon, right here - I just need the weather to cooperate for some pics!). These were made for some swaps: 5 went to KnitSonya, for her Handmade Mushroom Swap; the red one went to Sonya, herself; there are two more, with green sequin spots instead of the white felt spots, and those are going to two different Swapbot swaps.

And, finally, I whipped out this little baby cap yesterday. The cap went really quickly, took less than an hour, but the cuff seemed like it took forever, heh. I just worked on it a bit here and there; while drinking chai, and eating the most perfect raspberry chocolate mousse at Kelly's Bakery (seriously, it was the size of a votive candle, but it was perfect!); worked on it a lot while Charles was taking a cigarette break-he's really sweet, and sits pretty far away from me when he smokes now, but I like to sit out there with him, and chit chat =] I also worked on the brim a lot while Charles was cleaning and sterilising the kitchen to bottle our most recent batch of mead (his brewing blog will be updated this evening). Oh,a nd yes, I did taste a sip of the mead! We bottled the cranberry apple, and it was a lot more dry than we expected, and also a lot more apple than cranberry. Has a weird flavor to it, I think it needs to age for a few months, but Charles drank half a bottle of it last night!

Oh yeah, the hat! The pattern is the Noodle Baby Hat on Ravelry, by Deirdre Fabery.

Oh, and here is an "in progress" picture of the Swirls Cap that I am working on for me! I totally <3 fpdc =]

So...yeah, a lot of yarning going on! I actually have several ATCs that I've yet to post, too, but I need to go work on getting the rest of my Lottsa ATCs for Swapbot!

Crap, see how braindead I am?? I keep forgetting that I have more to say ;) My husband is giving me my progesterone injections every night (100mg), and doing a very good job of it =] Progesterone is the same hormone that is responsible for PMS symptoms, so I'm just not even trying to be "normal" anymore, lol. Anyway, I wanted to publicly dote on my amazing husband, who although pretty apathetic about having a child of his own, has been incredibly supportive, and just all around sweet. I have been getting breakfast in bed, flowers, and VIP treatment since I broke the news to him =] I'm not sure if he is just hiding excitement/joy, or if he is trying extra careful to make sure that the baby and I am okay, because he was so torn up seeing ME so torn up last year.

Either way, I'm enjoying it =]

Friday, February 27, 2009

How could I forget?!

HOw could I have forgotten about this picture?! This is by far one of my favorite pictures EVER. In EXISTENCE. It's AWESOME!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm only missing the yellow slicker and umbrella

Ever wake up and think, "How the heck do I do it?" Not in the "I'm so cool, I rock my socks off," kinda way, either.

I'm at the kids' school every single day of the week now, volunteering, teaching art, etc. I love to do it, but lately, I am feeling overwhelmed. Perhaps by the 3270785298475 other things I have going on. But, I have made a commitment, so I need to be there; it's not like there are many people that are waiting in line to work for free nowadays, yanno?

My brother is having a rough time in his life right now, and for his privacy,, I wont go into any of that here. I'll just say that it is a life-changing, incredibly tragic, and difficult situation. I have been trying to be supportive, and helpful in every way I can, but I really wish I could BE there, like up there where he lives. Sometimes, i just wanna give him a hug; sometimes, I want to help him with everyday-gotta-be-done things that are really tough to get done when you are as stressed out as he is. I just wish I could do MORE, I guess.

My father's health is deteriorating quickly, and he really needs someone to live in, and take care of him. I don't have the room for it here, and I'm not sure that I have the time, with all the volunteering that I've got going on. But I don't know anyone else that will step up, and I feel like I am in a position where I need to choose between my dad and my kids? SO frustrating!

Next, my friend is being screwed over by another friend since they broke up and now Friend 1(the girl) is threatening to (or has already, I haven't heard from her today) take all of Friend 2's(the guy) indiscretions up to his chain of command. Possible consequences range from considerable demotion, to military prison time. I am torn, though. Everything she is saying to the boss-guys is TRUE. So, should I keep my mouth shut, and let them deal with their own issues? Should I warn him? I see this guy several times a week, I'm not even sure I can look at him anymore, knowing what is coming to him...but on the other hand, he made his own decisions, knowing the consequences. And then, should I tell my husband, who is friends and has to WORK with this guy every day? That would put him in a rough position, but I feel TERRIBLE keeping things from my husband, and I fear he may be upset when all this shit hits the fan, and he finds out that I knew it was coming, and didn't talk to him about it...UGH!

My children are getting injured on an almost-daily basis by a bully at school now. This kid has been bothering them for a while, and tells Isaac every day that he is going to kill him...but I don't see anything being done about it. No, but they want ISAAC to go to a special counsellor, and they want to have these meetings about how he doesn't seem to be able to interact well with the other children. Isaac gets angry and yells. This other kid gets angry, and HITS...or throws things, or kicks, etc. The kids KICKS ME. I said something to the boy recently, when he would not leave my kids alone, was pushing them down, and saying very hurtful things to them. I told him that he needed to leave my kids alone, and that it was unacceptable behavior. The next week, got a message (through my son's teacher) that his mother was upset that I spoke to her child, and that I am not allowed to do that anymore, that I am only to bring my problems to HER. That would have been fine, but I did not see ANY parents with this kid. I have met his mom ONCE, and probably wouldn't recognize her! I'm just sick of this kid picking on mine, especially since he HURLED my 1st grade daughter so hard that when she hit the ground, her shoe flew off, 15ft away, on the other side of an 8ft fence! Oh, she's okay, she has a lumpy bruise, and barely-there scratches on her leg, but WTF?? He got a "talking to", and then proceeded to kick me after school (because I got him in trouble @@), and chase my daughter around telling her "I'm glad I hurt you! I will do it again as soon as they aren't looking!" OMG, it makes me SO angry!

So, yes, when it rains it pours. I'm hanging in there, I suppose, but I think to myself every morning, "How do I do it?"

It is never-ending, I fear:
Found out this morning that I am pregnant. Again. My annual positive pregnancy test has me in knots, and because of my history (I miscarry every year), I am having a hard time even considering this a viable pregnancy. I start getting my injections today, and will likely be getting all sorts of bi-weekly blood tests, etc. It's taking all my willpower not to smoke, but to be perfectly honest, the majority of me is screaming


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bear head, not a bare head (pt 2)

So, here is the pattern for my teddy bear headband, better and cleared (I hope!). My mom ( was kind enough to test the pattern, and give me some feedback. So I have changed some of the directions (dec instead of dcr, for instance), and added some info. Hopefully, this will make it easier for someone else to follow the pattern =]

Bear Head
(That there is my new Furby, Domo, modeling the Bear Head for me =)

Ears (make 2)
G hook, do not join rounds (work in spiral); use st marker to mark beg of each round. You will not be working the last few sts of the final round - this is to leave the bottom of the circle a little "flat" to make it easier to sew onto the band.

-Ch 2
row 1: 6sc in 2nd ch from hook.
row 2: 2sc in each st around.
row 3: +2sc in next st, sc in next st+ around.
row 4: +2sc in next st, sc in next 5 sts+ around.
row 5: sl st in next 3 sts, +sc in next 3 st, 2sc in next st+. Repeat from + to + until 3 sts remain. sl st in last 3 sts.
row 6: sl st in next 3 sts, 2sc in next st, sc in next 4 sts, 2sc in next st, sc in next 6 sts, 2sc in next st, sc in next 4 sts, 2sc in 4th st from end of row. sl st in next st.
Tie off, leaving a long tail to sew the ears to the headband.

I hook
Turning ch counts as st; do not dc into turning ch. This headband has scalloped-looking edges - the turning chain kinda sticks out a little on the ends (a happy unintentional "design feature" ;). The finished headband measures 18in long. I used Red Heart Super Saver yarn.
When I measured my finished headband, I got 8 dc per square inch, including the turning chain (4 dc across, 2 rows high = 1in)

-Ch 7.
row 1: dc into 3rd ch from hook, and ea across. Ch2, turn. (5 dc)
rows 2-10: Repeat row 1.
row 11: dc into first st, 2dc in next st, dc in each st across. Ch2, turn. (6 dc)
row 12: 2dc in first st, dc in next 2sts, 2dc in next st, dc in last st. Ch 2, turn. (8 dc)
row 13: 2dc in first st, dc in next 4 sts, 2dc in next st, dc in last st. Ch2 turn. (10 dc)
rows 14-27: dc in ea st across. Ch2 & turn at the end of each row.
row 28: dec first 2 sts tog, dc in next 4 sts, dec next 2 sts tog, dc in last st. Ch2, turn. (8 dc)
row 29: dec first 2 sts tog, dc in next 2 sts, dec next 2 sts tog, dc in last st. Ch2, turn. (6 dc)
row 30: dc in first st, dec next 2 sts tog, dc in last 2 sts. Ch2, turn. (5 dc)
rows 31-40: dc in each st across. Ch2 & turn at end of ea row.
Tie off.

I measured the headband around my dd's head, and then just stitched the ends together, overlapping, to make it the right length. Easy! I've also learned that my daughter and I have the same sized head =X My husband calls me "Bead-head" ;)

9257946572687 Cards...almost

And this one by my daughter, who is going to be SEVEN in less than a month! Holy cow, where did the time go?!

So, yes, I have been busy! I've spent a couple hours today taking pictures, cropping, posting, etc, so you'll have to wait for another day to see all the crochet projects that I have worked on =]

Thursday, February 12, 2009

6th Picture

1. Go to your pictures on your computer
2. Open the 6th folder
3. Choose the 6th picture
4. Show the picture on your blog and write something about it.
5. Invite 6 new people to this challenge.
6. Link to them and let them know they are challenged.

This is the 6th picture of my 6th folder on my computer. It is my dad, brother, and nephew at the family reunion last July. Definitely one of my favorite pictures ever =]

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The hit heard 'round the World

Last night was Family Science night at the kids' school. It was pretty neat; a whole bunch of tables set up with different interactive science experiments in the auditorium. We made some neat stuff, and I found that my kids have a knack for building simple circuits out of Christmas lights, foil, and drinking straws =]

One of the problems I frequently run into with being a parent of grade-schoolers is how easily our schedule can get thrown off. "Family Nights" usually start around 6:30pm. If they are earlier, many parents would not be able to go because of work. Later, and the kids end up staying up too late. Unfortunately for us, 6:30 is dinner time!

Last night, I was faced with making dinner in less than half an hour, with only ground beef defrosted. Hot dogs, or even fish, would have been no problem. Throw some frozen veggies in the microwave, fry up some fish (we always have a ton of fish in the freezer), and butter some bread. THAT would have been easy.

Instead, I came up with this "recipe", using almost all pre-prepared ingredients. What makes this special was that EVERYONE in the house ate it! With no complaints! And it was comparatively healthy. I actually got compliments at dinner time! Seriously, one for the books, ladies and gentlemen. I served seconds for the first time since...well, since the last time I ordered pizza, actually ;)

Started some spaghetti cooking in a large pot. Then, I pulled out these:
1lb ground beef
1/2c chopped onions
1tsp garlic salt
Browned together in large deep skillet, and added:
1 jar prepared vodka sauce
1c frozen chopped spinach (I buy it in the bag, not the little frozen bricks!)
Simmered, stirring occasionally, until heated through, and pasta was done.

I'm just finishing up the [very scarce] leftovers now, and it is sooo good =]

I found a way to work around my missing camera problem. I went and bought a little memory card for my old camera ($10), and am using that for now. **Stay tuned for tonight, when I will have a new crochet pattern for the most adorable little toadstool...with pictures! =]

**I am starting to believe that the universe does not want me to post pictures on the internet =/ I tried to upload the pictures from my old camera, but it seems my USB cord has been damaged (one end is all rusty). BOOOOO! Well, regardless, have a mushroom pattern, and I *will* find a way to get the pictures up...eventually!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Do Wah Dotee

Found this page in one of my older sketchbooks of DoteeDoll faces. Feel free to use these to embroider your own Dotee faces! =]

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What is a cockle shell, anyway?

Holy moly, look at this! 2 posts is a row!

So, hubby and I went and did some SERIOUS looking for my camera last night, with no luck =[ I have NO CLUE where it could be! We pulled out all the furniture, we even looked in the freezer! It's so gone ;_;

Luckily, I was able to scan in some images of ATCs I've made this month =] January is the month of doodles! It's usually unintentional, but I tend to pick up a new technique every month, and stick with it for that month. Be it paper crafting, sewing, crocheting, etc...I'm always on the look out for new ways to do things =]

First, I have a set of four ATCs that I made for the Black and White ATC swap over at Swapbot. Mother Goosed is one of my heros X]

I am also working on a rainbow of doodles, that will ultimately be framed, because my husband says they are too awesomet o trade away ;) I messed up the red one, so it's not done yet, but I have orange thru purple! The pic clicks to my Flickr account, where there are closer-up images of all the cards.

Finally, a doodle card I made after seeing a really nifty rug in a catalog. This is drawn with black Micron pen on Whisper White SU! cardstock, and the red is colored in with Prismacolor marker. I touched up here and there with a white gel pen (I'm not very good at staying in the lines, heh).

Last night, I finished crocheting a headband with teddy bear ears. I couldn't figure out the ears in that pattern, tho. I've looked at a ton of pictures of the completed thing, but mine just didn't look anywhere near everyone else's. So I made up my own ^_^ I also made up my own headband pattern, because I wanted it to have a kinda wavy edge to it, and I wanted it to narrow behind the head. I made this for my daughter, and a wide headband would just slip right off of her.

So, like, I've never made a crochet pattern before, so this might not make any sense. I think it's a whole lot clearer than my own personal notes, though ;)

The finished headband measures 18in long. I used cheapo read Heart Super Saver yarn.

Ears (make 2)
G hook, do not join rounds (work in spiral); use st marker to mark beg of each round.

-Ch 2
row 1: 6sc in 2nd ch from hook.
row 2: 2sc in each st around.
row 3: +2sc in next st, sc in next st+ around.
row 4: +2sc in next st, sc in next 5 sts+ around.
row 5: sl st in next 3 sts, +sc in next 3 st, 2sc in next st+. Repeat from + to + until 3 sts remain. sl st in last 3 sts.
row 6: sl st in next 3 sts, 2sc in next st, sc in next 4 sts, 2sc in next st, sc in next 6 sts, 2sc in next st, sc in next 4 sts, 2sc in 4th st from end of row. sl st in next st.
Tie off, leaving a long tail to sew the ears to the headband.

I hook
Turning ch counts as st; do not dc into turning ch.

-Ch 7.
row 1: dc into 3rd ch from hook, and ea across. Ch2, turn. (5 dc)
rows 2-10: Repeat row 1.
row 11: dc into first st, 2dc in next st, dc in each st across. Ch2, turn. (6 dc)
row 12: 2dc in first st, dc in next 2sts, 2dc in next st, dc in last st. Ch 2, turn. (8 dc)
row 13: 2dc in first st, dc in next 4 sts, 2dc in next st, dc in last st. Ch2 turn. (10 dc)
rows 14-27: dc in ea st across. Ch2 & turn at the end of each row.
row 28: dcr first 2 sts tog, dc in next 4 sts, dcr next 2 sts tog, dc in last st. Ch2, turn. (8 dc)
row 29: dcr first 2 sts tog, dc in next 2 sts, dcr next 2 sts tog, dc in last st. Ch2, turn. (6 dc)
row 30: dc in first st, dcr next 2 sts tog, dc in last 2 sts. Ch2, turn. (5 dc)
rows 31-40: dc in each st across. Ch2 & turn at end of ea row.
Tie off.

I haven’t figured out how I am going to attach the ends of the headband together. I need Ash to come home from school to gauge how this fits her (too long, too short?). It fits ME very well, though, so I figure this would fit most adults, though my head tends to be on the smallish side ;)

Okay, I'm off to crochet a ninja for the boy. I think he kinda gets the shaft when it comes to having a crafty mom. Don't tell anyone I said this, but it's a lot easier to come up with things to make for a girl =X lol

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'm not dead, yet!

Seriously, I haven't posted anything because Murphy has been unleashing his wretched law upon me! I lost the cord to my camera back in OCTOBER, so my pictures have been held hostage. On the 1st of Jan, I went on a mad rampage through the house, determined to find my camera cord. Of course, I found it the next day...under two photo boxes, a stack of magazines, and a book =X YAY! Oh, wait, not camera is gone! My usually-so-helpful husband was less than helpful when he assured me that I had my camera in my hand when I went on my cord-hunt =/ I've cleaned, and cleaned, and I can't find it anywhere *cries*

So, I have no new pictures to show you, although I have made TONS of stuff. I made Christmas cards, and stamps, lots of crocheted items (I don't even think I have a crochet post here yet!), pincushions...we (as a family) even made a large handprint turkey for our front door at Thanksgiving.

I suppose for now, I can tell y'all that I am currently working on two bottlecap pincushions (great tutorial here!), and a braided rag rug for under my husband's carboy and fermenter bucket. On Jan 1, we started a batch of cranberry apple mead, and we will be starting a batch of ginger peach mead this weekend. Of course, no pictures on his blog...because I lost my camera. *grumble*

Back to this rag rug. These things are not as easy as they look! I spent a good 3-4 hours sewing the braid together, ending up with a very cute braided BOWL, and tearing it all back apart. I've finally figured it out, and am currently stitching away on it =] I've been home with sick kids since Thursday (respiratory virus; I expect they will both be back in school by tomorrow), so I have had a lot of quiet calm time to work on it =] The reason for the rug is that the bucket and carboy are quite heavy, and I'm always afraid they'll scratch the hardwood if they get slid across the floor. Also, the fermenter bucket sometimes leaks *just a tiny bit*, and so we have been keeping a towel under it. But the towel looks tacky. Especially after we spend 4 hours cleaning, and there is still a bucket sitting on a grubby towel in our front room.

I am working on developing a crochet version* of this wrapped criss-cross shrug. But a little more fitted. And not as thick. And without that horrid fringe. It's not really difficult (it's basically a giant rectangle), but it's a big project for me, and I am having a hard time deciding what kind of yard I want to use, and what stitch pattern I want to use. I was thinking a front-loop back-loop rib, but idk. The only yarns I have a decent amount of are Homespun, and Patons Divine. I've found both will probably be too frustrating for me to make a very large project with. Vanna's is going on sale at Beverly's on the 1st, and I really like that yarn. Plus, I would rather the shrug not be quite so thick as the Homespun and Divine.

I really *LOVE* shrugs. I'm over 6ft tall, and a size 4, so have a hard time finding long-sleeved shirts that fit me well. I also have a pretty rockin' collection of funny (or offensive, depending on who you are, I guess, lol) tshirts, that I like to be able to wear all year long. So, my love of the shrug. They basically turn normal t-shirts into long-sleeved sweater-type things that work very well for me. Also *shhh* I sweat a lot more than I think most people do. Especially at work. Shrugs help keep my little secret hidden, while still letting me look cute (as a bartender should, doncha think?).
List of Crocheted Shrug & Bolero Patterns
List of Knitted Shrug Patterns
I really should practice knitting more. In all honesty, I like the way crochet LOOKS better, but I like the stretch of knit. Oh, who am I kidding? I like that knitting requires less yarn, lol! *cheap!* Although, I did notice that the Lion Brand patterns for that criss-cross shrug require the same amount of yarn for both knitted and crocheted versions.

*While looking up the link for the shrug, I found that they actually have a crochet version. It is much much better, and closer to what I wanted to do with it =]

In other news, we got a really great deal on Sunday. We wanted to go to the flea market, as it was really nice that day. So, we paid the $4 admission fee, only to get in, and find that there were only about 20-30 vendors there! There is usually a couple hundred, at least! Apparently, the vendors were freaked out because it had rained all day Saturday =[ Anyway, we wandered around for a while. I found some books for the kids, and a HUUUUGE bag of rubber stamps (wood mounter, Hero Arts, SU!, etc, all for $1 ea!, and some un-labeled soft pink yarn. But nothing really worth paying the $4 admission. I only bought 2 stamps, as there were almost all giant flowers, ccountry-ish images, and a ton of angels. I got a neat background stamp, and a cool little doodle-y border.

ANYWAY, just as we were started to piss and moan about how much the flea was suckin;, we came across two used, but still usable, Razor scooters. My son had BEGGED for a Razor for Christmas, and his dad got him one. Great. Except that his dad's house is an hour and a half away, and he barely gets to ride the thing. So, we ended up getting BOTH Razors for $10! My daughter wasn't too keep on it. She says she doesn't know how to ride it, blah blah blah. I told her should would have to learn, lol.

Well, I am off to try to figure out why my printer/scanner has stopped finding my computer. I had the bright idea of just scanning in my stamps, cards, etc...and then found out that for some unknown reason, it isn't working.

I shake my fist at you, Murphy!