Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

But only in the stores. Christmas music playing, decorations up, gift and meal suggestions displayed...but it doesn't *feel* like Christmas. I need snow!

I'm working on some Christmas items as well as items for gifts, finished a couple of snowman gift bags:

And some soap socks, one of which I made in a more 'manly' colour, and it sold within a few hours of being listed on Etsy. So of course, I whipped up a couple more:

I have also been asked if I would like to donate something for a raffle at a fundraising dinner for Kittenaide. Kittenaide takes in stray cats and kittens and helps them find their 'forever home'. This is where our younger cat, Stormy chose us. I hope she hasn't regretted it; I know we certainly haven't! Since the cats and kittens are all vet checked and when possible neutered/spayed, the vet bill has gotten quite large (the vet is a wonderful animal lover). In an ideal world, there would be no need for organizations such as Kittenaide, because people would spay or neuter their own animals, but we're far from ideal.
I've decided to do snowmen toilet paper covers, and let the organizers decide whether to keep them together or separate them for their draw. I've also been told, I *must* include my business card. So I'm thinking I'd better hurry and design one!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A New Etsyhooker Challenge

Okay, couldn't resist. I'd just listed my Grim Peeper (complete with binoculars--the better to 'peep' with!), was visiting the Etsyhookers site on Ning to chat a bit, and realized Peeper fit the qualifications for the newest challenge. Which ended about 5 hours later...
So, very last minute, I entered, and the voting is now open.
You do NOT need to register, simply click 'vote' and choose your favourite item made from recycled or reused items, there are some cute ones. Of course, I'm partial and kinda like my Grim Peeper, but I do love the snowman features.
To vote, just click on my Grim Peeper and he'll take you there!

Friday, September 25, 2009

So THIS time the truck driver's a good guy???

A lot of people tend to look down on truck drivers, they drive badly, hog the road, cause accidents. Don't get me wrong, I know several truck drivers, all decent guys...and hey, I'm married to one.
Most drive carefully and responsibly, and by the way, that bad truck driver would be equally bad driving a car. Or a bicycle for that matter. He's just a bad driver period.
The other day my teenage daughter came home after having a scare crossing the street. She and some friends were crossing on a green light (walk signal up) and a truck wanted to turn in front of them, honking at them. Since they were halfway across, they didn't want to have to run back, but wound up having to run back fast when he continued anyway and they would have gotten hit by the trailer. Uh...don't they teach that pedestrians have the right of way?
The kids were all too shocked to get a name off the truck, and I was hoping that maybe some witness would see, note the name of the company and call to complain.
Turns out, someone did 'witness', but called the high school, complaining that students had crossed the street irresponsibly.
Why on earth, when so many people are over-eager to blame the truck driver, did he/she choose to side with the driver this time when the truck driver was at fault? Well, of course, his/her dislike of teenagers beat out dislike of truck drivers.
And of course, the principal took the witness' word as gospel and berated the students over the loudspeaker at school. I'm still tempted to call and complain myself. When my kids were smaller and said 'so and so hit me', although I believed them, I did NOT reprimand the other kid unless I saw it. Instead, I used a general 'we all know hitting is wrong, so nobody should be...'
I'm guessing the principal's not a parent. And maybe likes students a little less than he likes truck drivers.

Friday, September 11, 2009

School's back in, hurray!

With one girl starting high school, our bank account was quickly depleted within a week.  And only part of it was supplies and clothes.
First, $50 BEFORE she even started.  Yearbook, activity fees.
Then, first day of school, she comes home with a request for $38 for a gym uniform.  Plus $10 for science.
Then, the next day, she needed a few more dollars for another class, and it was picture day already, with payment due up front.  That was about $40 total.
Hopefully, they're done milking us for at least a bit...gotta let the milk supply replenish.

I finished a Hallowe'en design, using buttons from buttonsbyrobin on Etsy--I loved her buttons as soon as I saw them.  Pattern will be available in my pattern shop/on my website soon, and the finished set is available now.  

Click on the picture to go to the listing on Etsy.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Okay, so it's the highlight of my week.

I've finally 'made it'! I'm just about jumping off my chair, and hubby's trying to humour me, but doesn't fully understand my excitement. Sweet guy, humouring me anyway!
I had discovered earlier today that my Dismembered Digits pattern was selected for a Hallowe'en Preview Gift Guide on Etsy by Etsy admin. That made my day.
Now, after wondering why I had so many views on one item, I discovered that it was because the Dismembered Digits were featured on the front page of Etsy for a brief but glorious time! I've been selling on Etsy for a few years now, and this is the FIRST time I've ever hit the front page.
It is, I think, the highlight of a week that included having my car hit in the parking lot (with me in it) on my way to work...less than 30 seconds from a parking spot where I'd have been safe...and a night at work that started with me throwing up my hands and wanting to turn and run the other way.
That's me, bottom centre!

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Farewell

I would like to talk about my grandmother today.
She was a wonderful grandmother, always stopping by to visit us and bringing fruit and Fig Newton cookies. Christmas was always a special occasion. Grandma worked at the Hilltop Restaurant in Ruthven nearby...long gone now with a bowling alley in its place. Christmas Eve, Grandma waitressed, and we would get in the car, drive to the Hilltop and wait for Grandma to finish work so she could come to our house and spend the night.
Christmas Day, we would wake up and head downstairs to the living room, be warned by our parents not to wake Grandma up, and hear Grandma's quiet voice say "It's all right, I'm awake", then rush into the living room.
Growing up, if you've read my blog before, at times was difficult, and there were a couple occasions when Grandma was there for me when I needed someone. One time in particular, I can't remember just what it was, but I remember calling Grandma from a payphone across town, crying, and she came for me.

Several months ago, it was suspected that Grandma had breast cancer. At 87, with her health not good, and a frail body, it was decided not to send her for a biopsy to be 100% certain. The biopsy would be too hard on Grandma, and if surgery was needed, she would never have survived it. It was also decided then to keep her as comfortable and pain free as they could.
I saw Grandma the day before she passed, belligerent as she was when the pain medication started to wear off. The fire in her eyes when she turned to me and said "I said NO" very adamantly will last for some time. The belligerence was easy to take, though.
It was the "I don't want to be like this", the quiet "I wish everyone would just let me go", which we took at the time to mean she didn't want to be fussed over, but afterward...well I guess sometimes you look for deeper meanings. When I leaned over to kiss her before leaving, she whispered to me "You're so good", I think those are the last words I heard Grandma say.

Wednesday morning, I had just stepped out of the shower and was only half dry, planning to visit Grandma once again when The Phone Call came. I tied wet hair back in a pony tail, dressed quickly, and was there in minutes. Grandma was visibly unresponsive, but occasionally, a slight frown between her eyes, a movement of her mouth, even feeling her finger twitch while I held her hand, I am sure she was aware that we were all there.
My aunts, my mother and I were all surrounding her as she went at last where she'd been asking to go for some time: home.
I love you, Grandma.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Something old...

Well, not really old.  A picture of my daughter when she was  2, sketched from a photo around the same time.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Behind again. My take on the new HP movie

Seems to be the story of my life the last few months. Behind on blogging, behind on updating my site, behind on designing...
Unfortunately, with the automotive industry (which hubby's work is based in) the way it is, I've had to accept the fact that in order to keep the bill collectors from hounding us, and to help keep the roof over our heads, I've had to accept more hours at work. I struggled for a few months, being late with my new designs each month, but thought I could do it. Then, my 11yo said to me "Mom, I understand why you're not spending as much time with us. You have to earn money." Darn. Thought I was impervious to the ol' guilt trip. But I guess when it comes to my kids...I'm not.
So, something had to go. I am backing off on my 4 patterns/month commitment, at least for now. I will still design, but not as many patterns. I've re-imbursed remaining members for the remainder of their year, and wow, what a feeling easing that pressure. I've also wanted to work some of my older designs, just for fun, and to get back into drawing and maybe eventually painting, but with the commitments I had, there was just no time. Now there is. Hopefully.
However, I'm working full-time hours at work possibly the next few weeks, and a full time position is being posted, and I may apply for that.

With less pressure, I enjoyed a 'mother daughter' afternoon with my 14yo yesterday. We went to see Harry Potter, the Half Blood Prince. After the last few movies, I was prepared to be disappointed. You know, the usual, we have to cut this part from the book out, not enough time, but let's add this useless crap in just for fun...
And I was not disappointed in being disappointed.
Gone (again) is Dobby. No mention of Kreacher...the invisibility cloak which was supposed to remain on Harry's person throughout the movie from the time Dumbledore picks him up at the Dursley residence (not outside a diner where Harry was flirting with a muggle) only makes one appearance in a slightly messed up scene.
The battle at the end of the book I knew did not make it to the screen, something about being 'too much' with the final battle coming at the end of the last movie. Uh, funny, it wasn't 'too much' in the books. So, instead of that battle, let's toss in a pointless one earlier on where nothing was supposed to happen. Destroying a residence which is *supposed* to be the scene of a wedding in just a few months (their time--not ours). And which remained intact throughout the book series.
It was well-done, though, despite the extras and ommissions, and I was so glad to see that Emma Watson seems to have relaxed a little in her acting and doesn't seem so forced. Every time I watch Order of the Phoenix, I cringe when Hermione's voice is so angry when discussing with Harry that the Ministry should not punish him for conjuring a Patronus. I had always pictured her anxious and speaking quickly, but not angry, with pauses between phrases and words.
There's so much I could bring up that I was not happy with regarding to scene changes, character ommissions--I'm still trying to figure out if they're even going to have Dobby in the last movie. We haven't really gotten to know him, so *if* what happens to him next happens, how are we supposed to feel empathy???
Hopefully, the next two movies (if they still plan on breaking up the last book into 2 so they don't leave anything out--maybe they'll even add some missing things from HBP) Emma's acting continues as it was in this one.
So, yet again, mixed feelings on the movie, and I will still buy it, heck, have to complete the collection, I can't just have the first 5 movies.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I will NOT continue to play!

I may have stated before that I don't have anything to do with my mother. I stopped talking to her a few years ago, then got a phone call a year later with her crying about money, not knowing what to in the background sounded exasperated saying "No, everything's just fine", which it was. My mother just wanted a foot in the door, so to speak. She then went on to invite us over, even my husband, who she had greatly insulted (which was one reason I stopped talking to her).
Stupid me, I was honest. She wound up insulting my husband again, and hanging up before I could say anything either in defense or about her. My mother's way. Dial, insult, hangup. No listening involved on her end.

Another year, she called out of the blue, and although the message she left has been erased (Thanks, Cogeco for not having that option of saving it over and over like Bell has), the words are pretty much like this, with emphasis on words she emphasized:
"Well, I'm SORRY if Hunter [my nephew that they were raising after my sister died] got too close to Delainey [my daughter] and she's a TATTLETALE But, I've talked to adults at the school, and they say...they're CRYBABIES. So, YOU'RE not a perfect mother either."
Well, I'd be upset at the last part if I ever, ever thought I was a perfect mother. I just raise my kids, and hope I'm raising them so they make good choices later in life. It was the first two that got me. You do NOT mess with my kids. Even if you're supposed to be their grandmother.

Fast forward to last night. Delainey graduates grade school tonight, and really wanted her grandfather there. Not her grandmother, because D heard that lovely message, left just because my mother was in a snarky mood and wanted someone else to be miserable too.
I told dad that Delainey had one ticket, and she would really like him to go. It would mean a lot to her. (And hey, it took a LOT of courage for me to call him on his cell, I was afraid it would lead to more)
My father said he'd see what he could do. Then called right back and questioned the 'one ticket' saying my mother had planned on going. Aaaargh, it DID lead to more.
Stupid me, I was HONEST. I said I was sure he understood why Delainey didn't want her grandmother there, after all, that phone call.
Well, that phone call was NOT my mother insulting her grandkids, she was just saying what kids at the school said. (Insert scream and hair pulling here) She said ADULTS. And the tone of her voice, and especially the first part...SHE was insulting. Not passing on what she'd heard.
I said, I stepped away from this, I was tired of playing the head games. Being treated like dirt because I had my own opinion that differed from my mother's (heck, once it was the same opinion, and she STILL shunned me), then treated like nothing happened.
Apparently, I was never treated like dirt. And an incident that happened when Mike and I were the only adults here happened in front of EVERYONE.
And after we said good bye, and I hung up. I realized, I almost played the one headgame I hadn't realized I'd been playing all along.
The one where you start to wonder if maybe *I* am wrong, that I am over-reacting. Then I shook my head, mentally planted my feet firmly, and decided I will not play that game either.

I have to say, this goes back years and years. I have nothing against kids doing housework, but when they do most of it, and the mother sits on the couch watching soaps and reading Harlequins all day, or nursing a headache while she makes YOU go buy her cigarettes and pop when you're home sick with a headache ("The fresh air is good for you"), or waking your kids up at midnight to scrub a pan that you left to soak overnight because it'd gotten food burnt on, or to clean up a living room that had nothing out of place...or waking your kids up at midnight to find a stupid Archie comic book you'd misplaced....
NO, NO, NO. I will not do that to mine.
(Dad's story is that mom was the one who did the cleaning at midnight, NOT us--and I know there were times when he told us to go back to bed and HE did it)

I will also not make my kids clean MY bedroom. I remember one time cleaning my mother's room and knocking over her garbage can. Key words, bedroom, hers, and garbage can. I almost threw up at the sight of all the maggots crawling around on the floor. When I called out to my mother, well, it was my fault the maggots were in there. If I'd cleaned like I was supposed to...

My mother got migraines, and for years and years took Fiorinal ( sp?--highly addictive). There were times she was so doped up she could barely sit up to smoke her cigarette, and the ash grew and grew until it fell onto the coffee table she was leaning on to write out the 50 states in alphabetical order. There were times she'd threaten to walk out on us. I remember being about 11, leaning against the door and crying. After a few times, I stopped trying to stop her and just wished she would leave.

Not a word of this is a lie, or an exaggeration. And a lot has been left out. Yes, there were good times, but they quickly faded. There were too many bad memories pushing them to the back of my mind.
I keep hoping my dad would come to his senses, but now I know, he's starting to either believe her lies, or just go along with them because it's easier. As they say, there are none so blind as those who will not see.

So now, Delainey has been hurt not only by her grandmother, but now by her grandfather who can't see what my mother is doing, and refuses to come to Delainey's grad because my mother's not invited. I still feel like I'm doing the right thing, Delainey didn't want my mother there anyway. Really, would you?

If anyone reads this to the end, and would like to say a few words of congratulations to Delainey on her graduating, please leave a comment, and I will pass it on to her.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

An Afghan...with Sleeves??

Okay, I've seen the Snuggies commercial. Basically a blanket with sleeves. Drawback? Uh, really, am I to believe that person you show outside cheering at a game, claiming that the Snuggie keeps her warm...I'm thinking her arms may have been, and the fronts of her legs...probably the front of her torso...but what about her BACK?
When I'm outside, I wrap up from the BACK forward. If my back's cold, it doesn't matter how warm the front of me is, I'M cold. Warm the back...I think you get it.
And due to the popularity of these, I see a couple of crochet patterns for Afghans with Sleeves. That's high up on my Not to Crochet List, along with those retro potholders with the nightmare-inducing plastic faces and toilet roll covers that LOOK like toilet roll covers.
Just give me a sweater for Pete's sake. Not only will my back be warm, but I won't trip over the edge when I have to get up in a hurry.

If you have a Snuggie, do you love it, hate it or just have lukewarm feelings about it? Did you buy it, use it once and it's sitting in your closet keeping a shelf warm? I'm curious, share your story!
Comments are moderated: SPAM is not tolerated (not even a lukewarm feeling) so will be deleted, foul language (this is a family-friendly blog) will either be edited or the message completely deleted if it has no bearing on the subject.
Opinions will not be altered, though, or hidden, as long as they're clean!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oooh, baby...

No, I'm not expecting...and honestly don't know anyone who is! The idea for the baby shower favours hit me, believe it or not, while I was laying in bed with a migraine. That's usually not the time ideas hit. The baby in basket hit me while I was working on the babies in the blankets, one of those lightning bolt ideas I've mentioned before. Pattern will be available soon!

Also coming soon, a new thread Teddy Bear. I kind of like this one, made 3 now, 1 of which is on its way to a new home (the one shown), two of which are waiting for some kind of adornment.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Okay, I said...

In my last post that I'd come back with a rant or a rave...well, my thread got here today. Shipping was a little more than quoted (and I do mean little, less than $2 more)...and I *think* it was disguised as a craft book...I was billed for an LA book, didn't order or receive one, and I saw no shipping charge. I'm sure I will buy from them again.
So, now I have thread to make...I'm not sure just how many thread teddy bears! Here's my latest style:

He sits 3" tall, and was such fun to make! I didn't even mind embroidering his nose, which I don't normally like. The pattern for this guy will be available March 5th.

Monday, February 09, 2009

A virtual running around

Actually, it did start as a physical running around. I had a custom order and need a specific colour of crochet thread. Now, I do have that shade in my attic, but the pull-down stairs broke and we haven't been able to afford to fix them, what with hubby Mike off work for a month and a half. We have brought a ladder in, but with all the snow and slush outside, there's no way I want that tracked through my house.
So, what to do? Buy NEW!
Mike had to do a Leamington run with the girls to buy a birthday gift for one of their friends, and I showed him how the thread was packaged, and told him I needed light purple.
Nope, no light purple in Leamington.
So, no problem...there's MICHAELS! Saturday, after working the midnight shift and napping for 3 hours, we drove up, and the selection was pitiful. Hardly any thread, and not one spool of the colour I needed. As for yarn that I was looking for, they had about 6 shades of Patons Canadiana. There was a big sign advising that there was a new yarn department coming in the spring, so I'll not be too critical yet. Just disappointed.

We got home and I immediately jumped online to explain to my buyer there'd be a delay, if she wanted to cancel, I'd understand. Fortunately, she is not in a hurry and will wait for a few days longer than stated.
A virtual trip to Peaches & Creme yielded a 5 lb $25 cart, with shipping of a hair under $30. They *have* to ship priority unless they put it in an envelope. Well, duh, I feel like contacting them and saying put it in a d***ed envelope, I want YARN!
Okay, no Peaches & Creme. Shipping like that eats up my profit. More like inhales it...
Next, a virtual trip to Herrschners. Sure, they have what I need listed, but shipping is iffy. If the Canadian warehouse is out of stock, they have to wait for an order from the States. This happened to me once, it took TWO MONTHS. They do caution it could take that long, and boy do they mean it.
Okay, no Herrschners. My patient buyer could not possibly be that patient. Heck, I'm not that patient.
Then, a virtual trip to Mary Maxim. Shipping is a little high, but pretty much on par with similar online retailers that charge $x per $y ordered instead of by weight. But I'd be okay with it, after all, it's not Peaches & Creme high. Their crochet thread selection was slightly less pitiful than Michaels. Where on earth was the Southmaid? I was sure they'd sold it before...
So, no Mary Maxim. I mean, they didn't have what I needed!

I progressed to searching and found Wool-Tyme, which is located in Ottawa, probably a 3 day shipment away. They didn't have Southmaid cotton, but do have Clea, which I've used and do like, unless it's for something requiring stiffening. Teddy Bears do not. I held back on ordering for the first time, only ordered two balls of cotton thread, and it was just under $7 to ship the two, and from my experience, yes, it will cost that to ship.
So...YES to Wool-Tyme. I received an email today that my items are in stock and will be shipped today. If the shipping is good and I'm happy, I can see me returning to Wool-Tyme.
I'll have to post once I receive to rave or rant (though I have a feeling it will be a rave!) when I can say how their customer service is.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I warned him!

Last week, after having this feeling for almost 2 weeks, I told my husband about this overwhelming feeling that I was going to be in the car and be hit. I wasn't sure if I was alone, or if I was even driving, but I was sure that it would NOT be the fault of the driver of the car I was in...and it wouldn't be serious. I told my sister this, too.
Saturday, after shopping at a mall in Windsor, as we were waiting at the exit for the light to change to green, WHAM. We were hit from behind. The sound made it seem so much worse, but the damage is just to the bumper. The poor young girl driving was so upset, she'd just gotten her licence, the sun was (yes, it really was! in ours too) in her eyes and she didn't see us in time. I don't think there was much damage to her mini van, but the bumper on our little Ford Escort is cracked and knocked a little out of place.
She didn't want to go through insurance, said her father was a doctor and maybe we could work something out. We met her father, he seemed honest and did offer to pay for the damages.
Now, before I hear 'Ooooh, bad idea...' we did think this through. Especially after knowing a few people who have been told "Oh, I'll just pay the damages" and then never come through. We do have a week to report this, my husband just took the car in to the garage the girl's father recommended (he gets his own cars worked on there) and the estimate isn't much at all.

I did get to thinking, though, yes, there's got to be trust on our end. But how about the other side? Is the good doctor sitting at home wondering if we're the type to sue for trumped up injuries? Honestly, we're not the sue-over-every-little-thing kind of people. I do not miss work unless necessary, and will not fake an injury to do so. And especially would not fake an injury to sue someone. *If* the accident had been serious, and I was forced to miss work, well, yes, damages and loss of wages would be sought.
But, two days later, not even a bit of soreness. Like I said, the noise made it seem a lot worse than it was!

Afterward, I mentioned to hubby 'Didn't I tell you?' and his reply was something like "Psychics predict vague things, and if something remotely like it happens, they claim credit."
I'm sorry, but I was pretty sure my feeling was not 'vague'. Sure, I didn't know when or where, or even who was driving (hubby was, btw), but hey, I was right about being hit, and about it not being serious wasn't I?

Friday, January 16, 2009

A cold January

It's one cold January, we have had colder, but it's been awhile.
Yesterday, my poor little Escort (stick shift) started easily enough, but then just didn't want to shift gears. This morning, my Focus wouldn't start at all (I didn't want to either, but hey, the bus drove past my daughter who was out there freezing), the Escort did...and really, really didn't want to shift. I needed two hands to get into reverse, then had to keep trying to get into 2nd and NOT 4th.
I'm not complaining, though, it could be worse. And spring is only 2 months away, and milder temps usually come a little sooner than the official launch.

How many have gotten one of those emails 'My client has left you 12 point whatever million dollars'? If they were all true, I swear I'd have all the world's money by now. Most of us are savvy enough not to fall for them, and I think the few that are gullible enough to believe would clue in after having to pay a few thousand dollars for receiving something that is allegedly theirs in the first place.
Not one man. One Leamington, Ontario man fell for it, and for over a year, spent thousands here and there in the hopes of getting his 12 point whatever from some utter stranger. Strange thing is, he claims the 'lawyer' MET with him in England. Behind a hotel, so of course, sneaking around behind a hotel instead of meeting in a law office made it legit.
My husband is sure the guy wasn't scammed, but scammed friends and family himself and is just using this as a cover story. As one comment pointed out, the people who send these emails out do NOT meet with you, they'd be too afraid it was a trap.
I wonder if, after a few months of investigation, if this is what will be discovered. Part of me is hoping hubby's right, otherwise, even the man's friends and family are (pardon me) kind of idiots. I mean, tell me, not ONE said 'No way, dude, clue in, it's a scam.'?
The other part of me is hoping hubby's wrong, cause, well, then I'll hear, "Wasn't I right? Huh, huh?" for some time to come.
Link to an article (btw, the video I watched of this man didn't show me someone who was devastated that he'd been tricked into losing $150,000 of his/his friends', his family's money):
read here.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

It's a New Year!

And after being unable to keep my eyes open past 9:30 (waking up early to go to work!!), I was able to welcome the new year Wednesday night.

Not that I made it a resolution (I always break those!), but I am trying to update my blog more often. And feature more of my fellow Etsians.

Please note: these pictures are copyrighted and are used here with permission from DesignsByWho. Do NOT copy and use them elsewhere without contacting her for permission.

First of which is DesignsByWho. A wonderful seller, and beautiful work in polymer clay!
I contacted Dee about some flat backed beads she'd made. Could she possibly make these without holes, as I was interested in post earrings? Not only did she make these for me, she ordered earring posts and completed the earrings, saving me looking for the parts and figuring out what glue to use! And I am so happy with them, they're adorable:
And after purchasing my special listing, I found an equally cute pair of Santa earrings that I just had to have. If you like these earrings, click on the pic, there is a similar pair in blue available--if it's sold when you check it out, try contacting Dee for a special order.

With Christmas behind us, DesignsByWho has some spring and Easter themed treasures already listed, click on the pictures to see the listing, and don't forget to check out the rest of her shop!