Friday, December 17, 2010

Work Woes

First, just a bit of background.  I work in the produce department of a local grocery store, part of a large chain.
It was one fantastic night.  It started off okay...I actually remembered to swipe in before starting work--we now have to swipe in at the back of the store, where our department is,  I'm used to starting work as soon as I get to the back so have on a few occasions forgotten to swipe in on time.
Then, product signs were done up for the price changes...but not sorted as to 'everyday value' and 'Now'.  Okay, I can live with that, the ad was right there.  HOWEVER, several items in the ad didn't have signs made up, which I thought was strange, because the system automatically prints out increases and decreases when you're doing signs.  Figured I'd take care of these later.

Started pulling skids out onto the floor to work from, a case of raspberries fell off the top and inside I felt something between a scream and a hysterical laugh bubbling up as I watched helplessly ...BUT, good fortune was on my side, and NONE of the dozen 1/2 pints popped open. 

Fast forward till almost the end of my shift, scanned the 'missing signs' items to make signs...they scanned at *regular* price.  AAARGH.  So, had to go online to file a report, hand that in at the cash office for them to change the prices...go back and print the signs, but not all of them had changed.
Finally scanned out...'punch accepted but late'.  Geez, I had NO IDEA I had stayed 25 minutes past the end of my shift, I guess all the fun I was having...I just lost track of time.
Oh, and the fun doesn't stop there!  Next week's schedule shows me as having 52 hours.  Upon closer inspection, I noticed the problem lay in Thursday's scheduling.  With our new system, we use military time, so a midnight shift would be 22:00-6:30.  Well...*someone* entered my shift as 10:00-6:30, which means I start work 10 o'clock Thursday morning and leave at 6:30 Friday morning, for a whopping 20 hours (for my ninth midnight in a row better yet!!)

I had to laugh, though, and left a nice note for the acting produce manager:  "Much as I would LOVE to...I'll have to say no to working 20 hours on Thursday."  On the bright side--cause there always is one--after a night like last night, tonight *should* be a piece of cake.  :)

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me....

Another year has passed, and once again, my 29th birthday approaches.  Or, as my sister Sue once said my "anniversary of my 29th birthday".

To celebrate (other than working midnight shifts going into and coming out of my birthday!), I am running sales in both my Etsy shops:  20% off your purchase, just enter coupon code 'happybirthday' when checking out in either shop.  Smudgekitty (finished items) and CrochetSal's (my original patterns sent via email)
Coupon code is good through December 10th (my actual birthday) and this special will end at 7:00 am Saturday the 11th.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Used to be when someone was sitting alone in a restaurant speaking out loud to the empty seat across from them, they might be considered crazy.  Now, most likely, they are just unselfishly sharing their private conversations with everyone.

Seems more and more people want money for nothing.  Someone on a field trip riding a bike (uh...was he wearing a HELMET??) fell and sustained injuries, $300,000.  For falling off a bike, NOT due to any negligence.  Another kid:  $500,000 for injuring his finger on a weight.  Of course, not only did *he* sustain mental stress, but apparently his mother felt the need to recoup $50,000 for her own mental anguish.  Geesh.  My niece was at a friend's house and wound up requiring emergency head surgery because keys to a recreational vehicle were left within reach of minors.  My sister was told she would get NOTHING for her worry that her daughter could have DIED.  So, I guess if 'M' had injured her finger instead of her head, maybe there'd have been money involved.
People have to start taking responsibility for their own actions.  Frivolous lawsuits are taking up too much time in court, increase insurance costs to companies (raising prices for consumers so the company can cover these increased costs, for those who don't know this simple thing)

After reading the above article, I can only wonder how long it will be before schools stop field trips altogether.  And of course, when you play a sport, there IS a chance you could sustain an injury.  There is nothing on God's green earth that the school can do to prevent this, so if you choose to play, live with the consequences.  (Barring a case of negligence, like maybe a basketball net not being anchored firmly and falling on you)  Or maybe the schools would just be better off and do away with gym and sports.

And of course, do away with recess, because kids could trip over a loose shoe lace while chasing after that kid they've been bullying for two months, lose a tooth and the parents could sue the schoolboard.  But wait, THEN parents would sue because (home life aside) little Tom or Annie are becoming obese from lack of exercise.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Hallowe'en!

Hallowe'en is one of my most favourite times of the year, I think it always has been.  Even back in grade school, when dressing up for Hallowe'en was not something to avoid for fear of insulting someone.  Although I do remember wanting to create my own costume, but my mother would instead buy the costumes.  Back then, the costumes came in a box:  a paper 'apron' style costume with a painted plastic mask held in place by a thin elastic stapled in place.  Sometimes, the staple would grab hold of your hair and tug, other times, it would let go of the elastic at an inopportune time.  But Hallowe'en was still fun.

In music class, we would listen to the tale of the Headless Horseman (definitely pre-Johnny Depp), and if you had an imagination, no director could match the visions you yourself produced to convince you that going out after dark could be detrimental to a major body part.  And one song...classical music, and I had forgotten it till very recently when out of nowhere, a tiny portion of a tune started playing in my head.  Without knowing the name, and without even being able to hum much of the tune to anyone to ask for help, I was overjoyed to finally find it.  The song, Danse Macabre.   I'm listening to it now as I write this--only about the dozenth time in a week.  If dozenth is a real word...

And I still like carving pumpkins, even scooping out the messy, eew-y, goopy innards.  I have to admit, I can be creative other times, but I've always had a hard time figuring out just how I wanted to carve my pumpkin.  I've been in awe of the jack-o-lanterns that have been so intricately worked until they're not jack-o-lanterns, but pieces of art.  I try for them, and fail miserably, and wind up with a simple jack that doesn't look nearly so nice as the traditionally carved ones on neigbours' porches. 
But this year was different.  An idea hit suddenly, before I'd even looked at the pumpkins, and this little fellow is the result:
I guess even pumpkins like gum.

Happy Hallowe'en!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Beautiful Fall Day

We went camera shopping the other day.  Nothing fancy, although I did see a camera I'd love to have if we did have $300-$400 to throw away.  And not exactly what we had gone looking for, which was a Wal-Mart special.  For only $70, it wasn't a bad deal, a Kodak Easyshare...but we were looking for one with the settings on a dial on the top, like we've been used to for a few years now.
We did find one, just under $100, with advanced video features (hey, we can ZOOM while in video mode now!!), with the settings on a dial on the top.  I was hoping for a viewfinder other than the screen on the back, but the cameras we were looking at didn't have that.
I am happy with the camera, though, I took it with us this morning when we took the dogs for a short walk.
Some shots from our walk with the dogs:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This month's winners:

I just couldn't do it.  With only 3 people entered in my giveaway, how could I possibly draw 2 names and leave just one out?  So...all 3 who commented on my blog win my first giveaway.
If you read this before I contact you, please email me at crochetsal (insert 'at' symbol) yahoo (insert 'dot') com. with your email address and your choice of prize:  either the scrubbies/cloth set or the PDF patterns (any from my site or my Etsy shop totalling up to $6.50). 

Congratulations to the winners, and thank you for entering my first giveaway!

Keep an eye on my blog for more giveaways!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Giveaway!

To celebrate my daughter's birthday, as well as the upcoming fall season (my favorite time of year!) I've decided to have a blog giveaway.
Prize:  your choice of any of my original patterns totalling up to $6.50 max (PDF email OR snail mail), OR a set of 3 candy corn face scrubbies, est. value $5 (similar to picture, but the shades of yellow and orange may vary slightly) and a matching candy corn striped washcloth all in 100% cotton.

This is open to anyone 18 and over.
To be entered:
First, comment on my blog, telling me either your favourite thing about fall, or something you would like to see crocheted for fall or Hallowe'en.  This will get one entry.  (Please note, comments are moderated so will not show right away.  Spam and other irrelevant posts will be deleted and will not count as an entry)
Additional entries:
Following my blog will get you another entry.
Following me on Facebook will also get you another entry.
You can choose to do all 3, and receive 3 entries.  Maximum 3 entries per person.

I will keep this short and sweet, I know waiting to see if you've won can be hard!
Deadline to be eligible for entries is September 20th.  I will put all entries into a hat and will draw TWO winners September 21st, time of day depends on what shift I am working.  I will announce the winners here, and will also try to contact the winners privately.  Be sure to check back on the 21st; if your name is here and you have not received an email from me, you will be instructed as to how to contact me to claim your winnings!

How Time Flies!

First, although I loved the background my daughter had made me, I do admit, it was rather hard on the eyes so I switched to one of blogger's templates which is a little easier, still matches the 'lemonade stand' banner!

Today, my 'baby' turns 13.  I looked at a picture of my shy little toddler this morning, and wondered how she grew to be almost my height in such a short time!  But, I guess that's the way it is, always has been and doubtless always will be.  The picture beside that one is my 15 year old when she was a little over a year old.  It wasn't that long ago really that she was prancing into my hospital room after her younger sister was born, wearing pink and purple plastic shoes with a big red plastic 'gem' heart on the front.  These were, she announced proudly, her 'holiday shoes':  a dollar store item she and her dad had bought just before visiting.

I look at the pictures, and just want to hug their 13 and 15 year old selves.  But, along with the days of sheer happiness in a pair of plastic dollar store shoes, hugging time has passed, except for special occasions, which are made all that much more special by that hug.

Happy Birthday to my 'baby', love and many hugs,

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Big Thank You for my surprise

Thank you to my daughter who surprised me with this background and the banner.  I thought  the lemonade stand style was cute!  She does enjoy designing graphics on the computer, and has even done a couple of animated cartoons, fairly simple, but I was impressed.  Maybe some day she'll let me share one here...hint, hint!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Understatement of the year?

I've posted before about the problems we were having with Next Door, so I won't say much except that there hasn't been much to laugh about going on there.  Well, maybe when the port-a-potty was tipped over, but it might have been funnier if someone had been in it...
Until this morning.  What's this on Mt. Kingsville?

Let's take a closer look:

Happy for the heads-up, cause that one may have taken me by surprise.

Thank goodness for that snow fencing btw, obviously not there to keep people out, but to hold back that dirt in the event of a heavy rainfall.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

An ooops on my site, Bethany Ballerina free pattern

I really have no idea how long my Bethany Ballerina page was sporting a picture only; it could have been when my site was upgraded (a few years?) or it could have been during an attempt to edit my pages which lately has meant pictures have been royally messed up on pages I wasn't even editing.
One morning I woke to TWO emails wondering where the pattern was?  A big thank you to them, and I am so glad I was able to find it (a few computers later--the pattern was written in 2003), since the pattern seemed to have been lost in the computer switches.  And another thank you, to the Wayback Machine where I found an old version of the page with my pattern intact.  Whew!

Now, with my computers running Windows 7, and Yahoo's Sitebuilder not compatible with Windows 7 (running it by choosing compatibility works ONCE then I have to uninstall, reinstall...and each time pictures mess up) I thought I would try their Site Solutions.  Aaargh.  I already have a blog, thank you, and my 'new' pages with site solutions look more like a blog than an actual website.  Plus, there's not as much freedom in creating my site.  And I can't figure out how NOT to have every page linked to from the main page:  with app. 100 free patterns, uh...nope.
So, rather than put Bethany back up on my site (please, Yahoo, will you FIX sitebuilder so it is compatible with Windows 7!!!) I'll post it here for now.

All the same copyright applies:  no sharing the pattern via email, posting on another website (LINKS are okay though!!), no selling printed or electronic versions of this pattern.  Feel free to make some dolls up and sell at craft shows, though, and if you make some money, I'll be thrilled for you!

Bethany Ballerina
Sally Ives/2003

Bethany is app. 9" tall

worsted weight yarn in 3 colours: A=skin colour, B=Dress/shoes, C=hair
two small (4mm) beads, buttons, or embroider floss to embroider your own eyes
polyester stuffing
crochet hook size F (3.75mm)

Notes: Always join at end of rounds.  Ch1 does NOT count as first sc, always sc in same st as starting ch1 of round.  Sc dec: pull up loop in next two stitches, yo, pull through 3 loops.
Blp=back loop
To start:
With A:  ch2, 6sc in 2nd ch from hook. 
Rnd 2: In blps, ch1, 2 sc in each st around.  (12)
Rnd 3&4: Ch1, sc in blps of 3, both loops of 6 and blps of last 3 sts.
Rnd 5&6: Ch1, sc around.
Rnd 7: ch1, (dec, sc in next) around.  (8) Stuff head firmly.
Rnd 8: Ch1, 2sc in each st around.  (16)
Rnd 9: Ch1, sc in each st around.  FO A.
Rnd 10: In back loops, join B in any st at back.  Ch1, sc in each blp around.
Rnd 11-15: ch1, sc around.  At end of 15, join in blp.
Rnd 16: in blps this round, ch1, sc around.
Rnd 17&18: Ch1, dec around.  At end of 18, join, FO, leaving 6" tail.  Weave tail in and out of stitches, pull tightly and fasten securely.

With B, ch10.  Sc in 2nd ch from hook and across.  Turn.  (9)
Rows2-4: ch1, sc across, turn.  At end of row 4, FO, leaving about 12" tail.
With right side facing, join A in end of last stitch worked.  Ch1, 5 sc evenly across end.  Turn.
Rows 2&3: ch1, sc across, turn.
At end of 3, FO, leaving about 6" tail.
To finish: Cut 4" piece of pipecleaner, fold over ends slightly to fit inside length of arm.
Place pipe cleaner on wrong side of arm.  Fold arm over, matching colours, sew long edges of arm together.  Gather around hand end of arm using tail of col A, pull tightly, fasten securely.
Repeat for other arm.
Attach to sides of body, keeping free loops of first rounds on head centred at back.  Sew between rounds 12&13.

Legs: (make 2)
With A, ch18.  Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across.  Turn.  (17)
Rows 2-4: Ch1, sc across.  Turn, FO at end of row 4, leaving about 18" for sewing.
Join B with right side facing, in end of last stitch worked.  Ch1, 5 sc evenly across end.  (5)
Rows 2-4: Ch1, sc across, turn.  FO, leaving small tail.
Matching colours, whipstitch long edges together, following finishing directions for arms, but using ½ of a pipe leaner for each leg.
Sew legs securely to body bottom.

With head facing, join B with sl st at back in free loops of rnd 15.  Ch1, 2 sc in each st around.  (32)
Rnd 2: ch3, dc in next st and in each st around.
Rnd 3: ch3, 2dc in same st.  3dc in each st around.  FO.

Neck trim: with head facing you, join B with sl st at back in free loops of rnd 9.  Ch1, sc in same st.  (Ch1, sc in next st) around, ending with ch1, join to top of sc.  FO.

Sew two beads, or embroider two eyes on face according to picture, or where you desire.

For Hair, cut several 8" lengths of C.  Holding two strands together, and starting at bottom of free loop rounds, insert hook from bottom to top, fold strands centred around hook, pull through about ½", yo with tails and pull through loop.
Repeat in each free loop on head.  For additional hair on top to avoid a bald spot, I did two fringes worked around posts of stitches of first round.  Trim hair as desired.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Website work

In the spring, I had contacted Yahoo about being unable to use their sitebuilder to work on my site with them, and found out their sitebuilder is not compatible with Windows 7 (still, btw); I was given directions as to how to work around this.  Sadly, installing it using 'compatibility' worked ONCE.  After I closed the program, in order to use it again, I had to uninstall, re-install using the compatibility whatever...and pictures messed up on pages I wasn't even EDITING.  Which is why if you visit my site some of the pictures look like this:
Click HERE to see my new (even if temporary) front page.

I finally decided to try their site solutions, which in my opinion looks nothing like a webSITE and more like a BLOG.  Although it is fairly easy to use (would like to be able to put two paypal buttons on one item though!), the actual viewing area is about half the width of the screen, so each description is long as opposed to wide, and there is more scrolling involved to see everything on the page.  *sigh*  I think I am still hoping for the day someone at Yahoo makes their sitebuilder compatible with Windows 7 without the seemingly useless 'fix'.  I miss being able to have more control over the appearance, as in my own backgrounds...this *may* be available with site solutions, I just may not have found out how yet. 

Until then, though, I guess it's better to be able to edit items error-free and have a 'site' that looks like so many others.  BTW, if anyone knows how to customize the design using Yahoo's site solutions, I'd love to hear how--as long as you can tell me in 'Sitebuilder for Dummies' terms.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

You're stuck...where? You want HOW much?

Ahhh, the scammers are out in full bloom now, just smell that fishy fragrance.
In one crochet group recently, there was that good ol' "I'm in another country and have been mugged and all my money and my passport has been stolen, the embassy is not helping fast enough, I need money now." that was posted.  Now, I know that sometimes, these scammers hack into other people's accounts and use them so that the email seems to come from a person you know, but many others do not.
One woman in the group was quite derogatory about the 'sender', let's call her 'Jane', and blasted 'Jane'.  I pointed out that it probably wasn't 'Jane' that sent it at all, but that someone probably had hijacked her email.
Sadly, this went through to the group BEFORE that name was removed...and this is one scammer who was waiting for a reply.
I was fortunate enough to get a personal email from the scammer.
"Thanks for you getting back to me,yes i sent you the email.Actually i came down here for a program and on my way back to the Hotel where i was staying, i forgot my little bag in the Taxi where my money, passport, documents and other valuable things were kept, i am facing a hard time here and really stranded here  because i have no money on me right now.I contacted the embassy here to help me out but it will take some time for them to get back to me,i urgently need your financial i will appreciate what so ever you could afford to help me with and i promise to pay you back as soon as i get back home.
Hope to hear from you soon,"

Uh...yeah.  You'll be hearing from me, hate to see a 'friend' stuck (btw, all my friends are present and accounted for--and you're not one of them, but oh, well, if you can't trust an unknown stranger, who can you trust) and sure, I'll forward a couple grand to help you out.  Right after I finish sinking all this money into running here and there and paying fees to get that inheritance from overseas.  Or after that several million dollars is put in my account so an anonymous person can remove it from their country, for which they will give me a sizable chunk.  (there's a few of those, I don't think my descendants will EVER have to worry about money)
And after all the goodies come rolling in from forwarding emails about commercial products and hotels and whatever else, maybe I'll share some of those with you, too.
Of course, my email might be shut down so I might not be able to contact you.  I don't think I forwarded the MSN/hotmail/aol/Yahoo message enough times, you know, the one about deleting inactive accounts that didn't forward this message x number of times?  So please provide me with your name, phone number, physical address, social insurance/security number, bank info, oh, and don't forget the PIN.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Is it National Scream Your Head Off Day?

Is there even a National Scream Your Head Off Day?  If not, I now believe there should be one.  Scream and let it all out.

First, the mess next door.  Already mentioned, moving on...
Vacation.  Hubby didn't let me know soon enough (March) and the weeks he did finally ask for and be approved for are no longer available to me due to others having already booked.  Okay, so my manager did try to book me off for several days straight, he is awesome when it comes to trying to work with you like that.
Work?  Uh, scratch those several days off.  We're one man down, due to a teen who looked upon work as something to do when there was nothing else to do.  If there was something else, oh, well, just don't show up.  don't call, don't show up.  Or try to request a day off AFTER the schedule has been written, then don't bother to check said schedule, but ASSUME you get your day off and don't show.  Or better yet, don't bother asking for a special day off for an event that every idiot knows is planned months in advance.  When the schedule is posted with you being scheduled to work that special day, don't bother seeing if other arrangements could be made, just DON'T SHOW UP.  And forget about showing the next day...or a few days later for that shift either.
But please, don't be surprised when you finally do decide to show up for a shift that it's not yours anymore, and you don't need to worry about checking a schedule at that place anymore.  Period.

And please, don't bother yourself that because of your irresponsibility, others will now have to fill in.  Again.  Others who do show up for work on their scheduled days.  Others who didn't take a vacation the previous year because her spouse was laid off and she figured it was better to have that money than time off.  Others who rarely get a Sunday off, who were *hoping* to get a full weekend off this weekend.  The first weekend of her husband's two week vacation, and she may have wanted to do at least a quick weekend trip somewhere.
Okay, end of rant.

Wondering though, if this crap could actually benefit me.  How would hubby feel about me running my own business now, if I could add to the plusses with:  no more midnight shifts, with me trying to sleep during the day when you would actually like to do something as a family.  No more midnight shifts and day shifts mixed in a week.  No more being called in when someone doesn't show up for work and feeling obligated to say 'okay' or feeling a little guilty at saying no.  Choosing my own hours, opening one Sunday a month, or even none at all...

Thursday, July 01, 2010

And more Happy Pictures

I've just been told by a neighbour who spoke to someone and discovered that our lovely view will be all ours for the entire summer.  Need I mention just how happy this makes my husband and I? 
The dirt finding its way into our open windows, or onto my clothes hanging out to dry...
The pipes 40 centimetres from our property line, which smelled like sulfur?
The front end loader which looked like it was about 3 feet from my fence, which btw, is 10 feet INSIDE my property line...
I am waiting for just one of our trees to be harmed, just one...
And I have composed a letter to the Deputy Mayor which is waiting for me to re-read when I've cooled down a bit.  Hopefully I do cool down a bit.
I would like to set things straight, we are not really angry with the workers, after all, they're doing their job.  We are upset that they don't seem to have been advised to respect the neighbourhood, especially the neighbours whose property is alongside 'their' property.  And...ALL SUMMER???  I am so not looking forward to the upcoming week when I'll be working midnights and expecting to sleep sometime through the day.  I am just glad that the last night I worked, the following day was a pick up dirt day and not a dump dirt day.  The pick up dirt days are quieter than the dump dirt days:  no sounds like cannons going off several times through the day.

Today's pictures, the most recent addition to the mess.  These pipes are about 40 centimetres from the property line.  And as mentioned above, have a sulfurous smell to them, I'm wondering if they were gas lines?!?
The measuring tape is a 3metre tape, and its tip is at our fence.  The picture below shows the distance between the pipe and the 3 metre from our fence mark (which is still inside the property line).  It is 40 centimetres, unfortunately, I could not get the numbers to show clearly on the tape and still show the tape and the pipe.  A crocheter I am, photographer...not so much.  This was after my husband tried to move the pipes away from our property, I'm not sure whether he did manage to move them at all or not.  If he did...they were closer before.
And a couple more shots of the jumbled mess of pipes, along with the new pile that is stretching toward us.  If I were a Sci-Fi geek, I might think it was actually growing.  Uh...wait, I AM a sci-fi geek.  (or so my kids say)
For sale or trade:  one three bedroom house...with a view?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Lot Next Door...revisited

I'll sum up our story so far:  town owned garage on property, we wanted to buy small strip to preserve trees, town ignored us, sold land for a pittance, spent taxpayers money digging up a brand new road to put in new sewer connections for 4 duplexes.  Found contaminated soil (no surprise, they KNEW it was there) after they dug a pit, so no housing.  Pit sat for a year...finally the town filled it in and THEN accepted our offer to buy that tiny strip of land.  After of course, most of the trees were removed.
Now, there is street construction going on, for about a month now...with a couple streets north of us, and at least one south of us being worked on, and guess where headquarters is for all the old crap dug out of the street and the new crap going in?
So, instead of a view like this:
We have this one from our bedroom window:

The 500 feet I'm guessing means while it's out on the road and moving, since there's no way it's 500 feet from us.  In fact, it was only 4 feet from our property line:

 Those small trees, btw, were what we could afford to plant to 'replace' the large emerald cedars that were ripped down.  Some day, they will grow large, I'm not sure I hope I'm still in this house to see that though, the way things are going with that lot. 
Instead of being home to some nice birds and squirrels, maybe a thieving raccoon or two, we have this pile in the back corner, again, not too far from our property line:  (yes, there's an old hydrant in that pile!)
And some other views of the property, which apparently is for sale zoned commercial:
What's not shown is the now huge pile of dirt close by where that water truck 'was' parked (it was removed this morning, maybe just temporarily).  Even hearing the dump trucks approach, and KNOWING what's coming next does not stop me from jumping out of my skin at the cannon-loud sound of the back flap slamming shut after the dirt is dumped. 
The piece-de-resistance?  This lovely view from the road--
Yes, right to the curb!  Now, couldn't they have put it farther back?  I mean, the poor neighbours across the road have a somewhat uglier view than even we have.  And really, would YOU use it, knowing anyone driving by knows what you're about to do???  I probably shouldn't complain, they might move it back in the corner by that old fire hydrant and my dogs will bark every time some worker has to go-potty.

The kicker:  That nice view of trees above?  We could have had that, if the town hadn't waited till they discovered the land could not be used the way they wanted it to be used--and after the pit within 12" of our fence and property line, caving in, btw, they STILL charged us full price, along with ALL fees involved.  Yes, we were willing to pay this, but geez, I wonder if they would have gotten that much from the intended purchasers for the whole d***ed lot!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My creative muse is back!

Thankfully!  My creative muse had left me sometime last year, and it was hard to come up with new ideas, I just felt stale.  I did stop trying to force myself to design, and instead worked on some items from 'older' patterns of mine.
Finally, I believe my muse is back, whether for a short visit or a long-term stay I'm not sure.  Hopefully the latter.
Two of my first designs since his/her return are bookmarks--Page Peekers I think I will call them.  Their faces peek at you from above the book page they're marking, and their puffy toes (or shoes on upcoming ones) poke out the bottom.  Of most books.  There are some very large books that will keep the toes well-covered.
Here I have Red Devil and the Hairy Goblin, the patterns are currently being tested and will be available shortly! 

The finished bookmarks are available now in my Etsy shop, clicking on the picture will take you to the item's listing.  If they've sold, just send me a message and I can make them to order!

Summer's Almost Here...a new school year ahead

Two girls are looking forward to the end of the school year:  as usual, I kind of am, but part of me will miss having some alone time at home for those months.  Round about the beginning of August, I will be looking forward to the beginning of the school year!
I have to say, for the first time ever, I am REALLY hoping my daughter doesn't get a particular teacher.  Besides my daughter coming home so many times through the school year complaining, I myself am sure this teacher tells the kids one thing, and acts completely different around adults.  I did meet the teacher face to face, and although she was saccharine sweet to us and expressed concern that maybe my daughter was misinterpreting the teacher's actions (my daughter got the impression Mrs. X thought she was stupid), I just got this feeling that that wasn't real.  *Usually* my feelings aren't too far off.
Back in soccer season, I helped drive the girls to their games at nearby schools.  While waiting one day, a few girls came into the front entry exclaiming "Wow, Mrs. X REALLY does not like the kids leaving early for soccer!"  Not just a "Oooh, she doesn't like" but a "Wow, she REALLY does not like".  When talking to the vice principal later on, she admitted she'd talked to the teacher, but about a different matter surrounding the kids leaving early for soccer.  (A whopping 10-15 minutes usually!)  The teacher told the VP that she did not want people to think she was against extra-curricular activities.
Apparently, students don't count as teachers.
This teacher also 'calls out' students who have asked for help or are in need of it.  Can you imagine most of your classmates seem to have a grasp on a certain topic you're learning, and you have gone to the teacher and gotten the help you need, but maybe you still need more help cause you're not quite there day in class, the teacher comments that if anyone needs help, to please see her.  Just ask Sally, she asked for help!  Uh, I think I would be mortified.  Would the other kids think I was stupid?  I might even be hesitant to ask for help later when I need it.  Or maybe Tommy, who is struggling along..."If you don't understand this, please come back and see me.  No one???  Well, Tommy, you should be back here."  Poor Tommy.
Yes, the kids are in grade 7, and I certainly don't expect the teacher to hold their hands and walk them tenderly through the year, but a little bit of respect and common decency (and maybe some teacher/student confidentiality?) might not be amiss.

Hopefully, you can understand my desire for my daughter to NOT have that teacher for her final year of grade school.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

'Human' Selfishness

Or maybe it's sub-human selfishness.

Many years ago when I was considerably younger, I remember going out to my grandfather's farm where there'd been excavating going on.  Eventually, the pits filled with water and were kept as ponds, and my family would go back in the summer and swim in some of them.
Sometimes, while my parents were talking to my grandfather and step-grandmother, my two sisters and I would walk back to the ponds.  One time, along the path at the top of the hill, my one sister screamed and went running back:  there'd been a small snake at the side of the trail.  Another time, following a strange noise, I came upon two sets of eyes, one strangely on top of the other...then I realized it was a snake swallowing a frog.  Nothing I could do for the frog at that point.
The ponds were a place where I felt at peace:  it was quiet, with trees around, and birds, but no people.  I started to dream about the ponds, mostly about people who lived 'under' the ponds.  They weren't good, they weren't bad, they were just there.  I couldn't help but wonder if there had been people living there, long before my grandfather, and the dreams were showing me what once was.

Several years back, the ponds became a place where a few people (with permission of course!) could set up their trailers and camp through the summer, and eventually became--aptly named--The Ponds trailer and rv park.

Close by I guess is an area that's popular for dirt bikes and atv's, I am not sure if they have permission to be on that land or not, but do know they have no permission to be on my family's property.  The owners of the vehicles modify them for maximum noise level, and have been destroying the peace and tranquility of the Ponds.  Yesterday, the Ponds was in the local daily newspaper, the problems with the 'men' riding these vehicles has escalated.

I am outraged that they were confronted doing something wrong, and have the nerve to swear and attempt to run someone over.  If they'd had just a BIT of consideration for other people, this would never have happened.  But apparently, it is more important for them to make their off-road vehicles as noisy as possible and race and rev to their heart's content than it is for other people to enjoy nature.  Definitely a case of human selfishness.
I do hope these 'men' are caught.   Please note the quotes, I use the term 'men' loosely, since I'm really not sure you can be called a man if you intentionally run over a woman and a defenceless man for trying to calmly stand up for their rights.  Or maybe the people under the ponds will rise up to defend the land that long before had been theirs. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Spending more time on Facebook now...and Doily Dilemma

But not too much!  I've recently started a fanpage there for my crochet--both patterns and finished items--and am gradually adding photos of my work. 
I have also started listing some of my patterns for purchase through Ravelry, and that's an even slower process, since I now have over 250 patterns.  Wow, didn't realize I had that many for sale!!  And once I get around to those ideas that have been floating around my head for a few weeks now, there will be a few more. 

I was recently given a few grocery bags of fabric scraps, with some doilies mixed in.  This was from a co-worker who just retired, and I so want to make something from some of this  for him and his wife as a thank you.  I had thought of affixing a doily to fabric, either sewing (ugh) or by ironing on with fusible web (tried the stuff, LOVE it).  Someone in my Etsyhookers team suggested stiffening them into bowl shapes, which is a great idea.  While mulling this over, a couple of suggestions came through the Crochet Partners mailing list--quite coincidentally because I hadn't posted anything to that group!  One linked to a blog where someone had sewn doilies together, to form a larger piece, then wrapped it around a pillow.  I do like the look of it!
There was also a link to a candle cover (around a glass container, and well away from any flames) made using doilies which was another idea, unfortunately, I seem to have deleted the email with the link.

I had also wondered, along the stiffening lines...can you use resin on crochet cotton?  If anyone has tried this, I'd love to hear about it!

Whatever I do decide to do with the doilies, I will have to wash them thoroughly, they'd been starched and stiffened, and some I believe were ruffled doilies but due to the storage, they were all scrunched up and the ruffles lost.  I might have some fun with these doilies, just a matter of finding time to play!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

A Mother's Day Gift

From my 12yo, who took images from items I've made and listed on Etsy to form not only the background, but the letters as well!  Thank you Allie!
Hope all moms have a wonderful Mother's Day.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Wow, think moving became a stronger possibility...

Continuation of my last post.   Where were we?   I had heard back from someone at 'Billing' where  either the link the guy I talked to by phone and gave me was wrong, or someone did not read and forwarded it to billing.  She gave me the proper web page to fill out a form.  (after a flew clicks to go to another page)
I filled that out, it was via  After a few days, I just heard back last night.  The da**ed message got bounced to BILLING again.  And I stated  on the form that I was NOT behind, even the worker on the phone told me my account was fine.  So, BILLING?  AGAIN?

I just do not understand how such a big company can seem to be so uncaring.  In my reply to this latest 'please call us' from billing, I replied with an "I think I'm GIVING UP".  Geez, I hate to seem like I'm not caring, yet I seem to be putting more effort into reporting this phishing attempt than Yahoo is putting into looking into it.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Yahoo, is it time to move on?

Ya know, I've heard people complain about Yahoo and trying to reach them with problems, but usually after several minutes of digging around their site, I could find a contact form to fill out for my particular problem.

A month or so ago, I noticed that my Sitebuilder was not working.  I did some digging, discovered that it's not compatible with Windows 7 and was able to reach them by a contact form.  Helllloooo, most places would try to come up with a fix right away.  Instead, I was instructed to uninstall, then reinstall following a troubleshooting option.  Okay, worked, I edited, published all was good with the world.
Until the next time I tried to edit my site.  Sitebuilder would not work.  Apparently, the installation method did not save the settings.  I contacted them again, asking if maybe I was supposed to uninstall and reinstall EVERY time I needed to edit my site?  I was given the same directions, with a little more to save the settings...again, I worked, edited, published.
Then a few days I need to say more?  I contacted Yahoo once more, to receive a message stating that I could call them if I needed help.  I was really hoping not to have to go that route.  There are times you want to speak to a live person, then others when a simple email conversation is preferable:  this was one of those times.
If you check out my site, there are pictures that are glaringly pixelated in brilliant red blue and green hues.  Why?  Because I really did not feel like calling Yahoo.  Seriously, I am considering moving my site, and I've been there from the beginning--of my site that is.  :)

Last week, I did wind up calling them.  I received a 'final notice, account suspension' email apparently from yahoo billing.  Well, a few things made me suspicious.  #1:  the payment to them each month has been showing up on my credit card statement.  #2:  the amount stated just didn't add up given my monthly payment.  #3:  A 'final' notice?  Don't I have to receive at least one notice prior before receiving a 'final'?
So, I called them to ask for an address to report a possible phishing scam.  The gentleman gave me an address, I happily forwarded the email, full headers and all, explaining that I was sure it was a phishing attempt, that although *I* did not click on any links, others might be more trusting and give out personal information.

The response?  Well, first, it was an automated message telling me they couldn't help me, to fill out a form at 'this' address.  Okay, clicked...had to click another link...then another...think there *may* have been another...then finally found the form to fill out.  The response?  Came from BILLING, telling me that if I was concerned about an overdue payment, that I could call to check my account status.
Uh...HUH????  Do these people READ their bloody emails?  In full I mean, not just skimming?

So, I may be 'house hunting' for my site.  Bravenet comes to mind...
And put that together with Ning doing away with their free sites and our Etsy team may have to move from there soon, I may be looking at major upheaval.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's a RHHN!

Short for Red Hot Hooker Night!  Hooker, as in crocheter, if you thought otherwise...well, shame on you!  :)

  If you crochet, there are a few shops involved who are offering BOGO free specials on their original patterns--me being 'two' of them:  patterns and finished items.
check out this list of participating shops, there's everything from patterns, to yarns, to scarves, dolls, afghans, dishcloths...something for everyone!

There's some excitement in the Hooker ranks today, Red Hot Hooker Night began at 6pm Eastern and will run until 12 midnight.
Participating shops and their advertised specials--don't forget to mention 'RHHN' where required for your savings!  And for the BOGO pattern specials, be sure to state which pattern you would like free, this will speed up delivery time for your PDF's, as the seller will not have to contact you and wait for a reply.

Welcome to Etsyhookers team Red Hot Hooker Night!
Below is a list of participating shops and the specials they are offering.  If you
see something you like, snap it up and take advantage of the sale before it's too late, this 'red light district' shuts down at midnight!
**Please check each shop's announcements for more details on their special. and :  10% off any crocheted item, difference refunded via paypal after payment is
made. :  BOGO, buy any pattern, get one of equal/lesser value FREE! State free pattern choice in 'Notes to Seller'. Also, 10% off all shop items (excluding pdf patterns
and shipping), type 'RHHN' in Notes to Seller and difference will be refunded. :  All patterns, BOGO free (free one is of equal/lesser value). State your free pattern choice in Notes to Seller. Also, 10% off finished/ready to ship items, mention 'RHHN' in Notes to Seller and the difference will be refunded. :  20% off all winter items tagged 'winter'  Reduced prices are as shown. (ps:  it's mysparetimedesign's birthday!  Happy Birthday!) :  10% off storewide, refunded after payment is made.  Free gift if you add 'RHHN' in notes to seller! :  All crochet patterns, BOGO free (free one is of equal/lesser value)  State free pattern choice in Notes to seller.  Also, 10% off all items excluding patterns, mention 'RHHN' in Notes to Seller, difference will be refunded through paypal. :  10% off your entire order via a PayPal refund, plus free shipping if you mention 'RHHN' in Notes to Seller.  For faster service, please state colour and size choices in Notes as well. :  All Crochet items, save 15%, refunded through paypal after payment is made. :  10% off everything, refunded through paypal after payment is complete. and :  free shipping in both shops. :  10% off your entire purchase, plus free shipping when you mention 'RHHN' in Notes to Seller.  Savings will be refunded after payment is complete. :  I will be offering 25% off all of the Econopac yarns (bags of 10 balls) in the shop, and 10% off all other yarns.  The econopacs include the Inspiration (alpaca /soysilk blend), the ROCK (wool, soysilk, hemp blend) and the CRAFT (organic cotton & milk protein blend).  If you see something in the smaller packages that you would like in the larger pack, please let me know. I may not have all the large packs listed.  All shipping will be combined. Discounts will be in the form of a paypal refund.
And YES!!! I do ship worldwide! :  BOGO 25%off.  25% discount will be taken from the less expensive of the two items and refunded via PayPal after I recieve cleared payment. This offer is good for anything in my shop - including clearnace items!  Also, 10% off any custom order placed during Red Hot Hooker Night - just mention RHHN in your convo. :  Receive 10% off all handmade items when you enter RHHN in message to seller section at checkout. Discount will be refunded via Paypal once payment is received.  Also, buy one individual crochet pattern, get one free (of equal or lesser value.) Enter RHHN and which pattern you would like for free in message to seller section at checkout. :  15% off all items, be sure to mention 'RHHN' in notes to seller.  15% refunded via paypal after payment is complete. :  10% off all items excluding patterns.  Mention 'RHHN' in notes to seller to receive your 10% refunded via paypal. :  20% off the purchase price (excluding shipping) on everything in my shop.  Discount refunded via paypal after payment has been completed. :  15% off all shop items (not including spinning/felting fiber, pdf crochet patterns, and shipping cost). Add RHHN code in notes to seller at checkout and your discount will be refunded to you through paypal (after payment is received). :  15% off all shop items (excludes shipping, does include sale items!).  10% off all custom orders placed tonight. :  BOGO--buy one crochet pattern, get one of equal/lesser value FREE!  State your free pattern in Notes to Seller.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Current works

I've been having fun lately working with thread.  Plus a traditional granny square afghan on the side when I need a 'break'.
In particular, I've been making teddy bear bookmarks.  I've seen some people make bookmarks out of worsted weight yarn, and this always makes me cringe.  I think it 's just me--I imagine the thick yarn 'stretching' the book while it's holding the reader's place.  Then, especially if the reader doesn't return in a timely manner, for sometime afterward, the book will remember that spot all by itself and automatically fall open to it.

I do much prefer thread bookmarks, although they still are thicker than a sheet of paper, they're less than half the thickness of a yarn bookmark.  And these teddy bears I have to say, look so cute peeking above the book cover waiting for your return!

So far, I have only 5 of them in my shop, but do hope to have more (plus a few different ones I have in mind to start when my thread order comes in!) soon.  You can click on the picture to be taken to the listing and see other pictures, along with a closeup of the face!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Time of Bizarre Dreams

I had thought at first it was the Buckley's, or the NyQuil, that I'd been taking (not at the same time of course!) for my chest cold in the hopes that one of them would stop the constant coughing that kept me from having a good night's sleep.  Then I began to wonder if it was perhaps the cold itself...
Now, I'm just not sure.
It's just a time of bizarre dreams.
Like, last night, I dreamt I was in a small town, in a park that overlooked shops across the street.  I do remember seeing a hardware store, but don't remember the other shops adjacent to it.  Basically, the dream was about a woman who had kicked her husband out, suspecting he'd been cheating on her.  He'd come home and the wife noticed lipstick on his face.
In the park, I witnessed him approach a woman who was sleeping on a bench (she looked like she may have been a prostitute, blonde, 30-40-ish) with lipstick prints on her face in a pink lipstick shade.  (Remember, I DID say bizarre! and I tend to dream vivid, btw)  I watched as the man reached into a pocket, pulled out a lipstick tube, applied some to his own lips, then tucked the tube into his pocket and walked off.
So, he wasn't cheating, just had a weird lipstick fetish.

Now, where on earth would that dream have come from?!?  I cannot be the only one that dreams such vivid, weird dreams?

I have to say, the bizarre dreams are still more welcome than the 3-4 nights of dreaming about UFO's approaching, and the dread I felt hearing them, but not wanting to SEE them.  Not to mention finding out quite some time later after I mentioned them to my brother that (I seem to remember it was) in South America, there'd been UFO sightings during that time.

If it has to be one or the other, I'd much prefer the bizarre dreams, they're at least entertaining.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring is...where?

Officially, it's spring.  Temperature wise, I think Ol' Man Winter's dragging his heels making way for Spring.

With milder temps, I love hanging clothes out on the line.  Not only does it cut down drastically on energy usage, but my energy bills go way down.  So...I carry out my first basket of clothes fresh from my cold water wash.  It's a little breezy, but not too bad.  My youngest daughter, however, has a habit of pulling off her clothes and leaving them inside out, and I have a hard time hanging them that way.  So, I turn them rightside out.  And before I finish hanging one load, my fingers are throbbing and stiff from the cold, making it a little tricky to use the clothespins.  After a brief defrost inside the house, I went out to finish, learning from my lesson, and determining with the next load to turn the clothes rightside out while still INSIDE the house...or grit my teeth and hang them inside out.

The good news is, that little breeze picked up a bit more, so as cool as it is outside (9 degrees celsius, about 48 fahrenheit--but they don't mention the wind chill!) they should be pretty dry by the time I pull them in.


OKAY.  Left this partway through to hang my last load.  Two loads on the line, I was almost in my door, and heard a strange noise behind me.  Wondering what our little Westie had gotten into, I turned around, then almost laughed.  But I thought I would save the laughing till later, in case I wouldn't be able to stop myself.  There, no longer upright and proud but flat on the ground, was my clothesline.  With the clothes.  (Two loads, did I mention?)
I opened the door, called out to hubby that he just *had* to see this, he came to check out what I meant...and thankfully, he didn't laugh, but was kind of sympathetic.
The bright side:  (yes, there IS one) we've been putting off getting a new clothesline because it would be a pain in the keister to dig up a deep block of cement so chose instead to use this one as long as we could.  Turns out the previous homeowner was not exactly a great DIY'er, and instead of digging a deep hole, chose to dig one about 4-5" deep, lay some gravel, then a few INCHES of cement.  What with the weight of the clothes, the wind, and the excessive sogginess that comes with spring, that bit of cement pulled away from the earth.
Now, like a slightly better DIY'er, I did some research on clotheslines, now that we no longer have to worry about digging up a 2-3 foot deep block.  The smart thing to do, when living in areas that freeze, is to dig the hole below the frostline (they recommend about 3 feet), and to make the bottom of the hole slightly wider than the top.  Well, obviously this past hole was not dug even close to the frostline, and was bowl shaped, with the narrow part of the bowl at the bottom.

What did I do?  I DID laugh.  That's me.  Out in the windy cold (they don't give the wind chill when temps are above zero...figures), hanging cold wet clothes till my fingers hurt almost as bad as the headache part of a migraine, with a chest cold to boot...and all for nothing.
Well, at least the hydro company will be happy a little longer now that I have to continue to use my dryer.

Friday, March 26, 2010

My Website and Windows 7

Who knew?  I bought a laptop a month or so ago, with Windows 7 pre-installed.  After the horrific time we had with Vista, there was no way I was buying anything with Vista loaded on it.  At the same time, we had our desktop in for 'surgery':  Vista was removed, and Windows 7 installed.
Now, I had to download all the programs I'd been using before this of which was Yahoo's Sitebuilder.  Download, install...check.
Open, edit...check.  Save...AAAAARGH.  Errors.  Wouldn't save a thing.
Tried a few times, thinking it was just a glitch, and each time sighed (okay, SWORE would be more like it) and closed the program.
I finally contacted Yahoo yesterday, and figured it had to be a compatibility issue, after all, Windows 7 is only 6 months released? and during the contact us process, when it asked for the operating system....Windows 7 was nowhere to be seen.
TODAY, I heard back.  Wow.  Only one day!  And yes, it was a compatibility issue, but the tech in his reply gave me step by step instructions.  I was almost afraid to try to edit and save, after all, I'm coming down with my first cold in ages and have a scratchy throat; I really did not feel up to yelling  four letter words at my laptop.  Thankfully, that was not necessary.

On a crochet note, I bought a pattern (yes, sometimes I do use someone else's patterns) from MsPremiseConclusion on Etsy.  She's also a member of Etsyhookers team, and during a promo thread on Etsy, I checked out her budgies.  They were so cute, and suddenly I had a picture in my mind of our tiny little tree out front with colourful budgies adorning its branches.  Wouldn't that make people look twice?  To see  a picture and check out the listing, just follow me...
I will have to post a picture when it's done.  Of course, I will have to put the birds in place when no one's home to stop me.  :)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Finally got around to it...somewhat!

I am emberrassed to say just how long I've been thinking of and talking about doing this, so I'll just say after a 'little bit' of time, I've finally gotten around to taking out some of the crochet and craft magazines I know I will no longer use, took pictures and listed them on Etsy as commercial supplies.
I do have more, but baby steps!  Put them together with my yarn and thread already in my destash section, and there's projects in them thar listings.  Check them out.
Now, I also have a bag full of Avon skin care products and 'with purchase' items that were sent as part of a seller's program, please, grant me the determination to break out my camera and take pictures and get them up on eBay.  And grant me the good fortune of having people want to save $$ to take them off my hands at cost or very little above!  In some cases, below cost!
Procrastination is my enemy.

Also, I did add a new handmade item, from my Easter Stuffies pattern set I'm re-working, and got a little creative with the main picture:
Clicking on the picture will take you to the listing.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Spring is coming! Spring is coming!

And although our winter so far has been relatively mild temperature wise and snow wise, I am still looking forward to spring.
Looking forward to hanging clothes on the line instead of paying astronomical hydro bills to keep my family in clean (and dry) clothes.  Looking forward to colour to replace the drab brown and white.  Looking forward to opening my windows and smelling my lilac tree in bloom!

I decided one day a few weeks ago to use one of my free square patterns to work on an afghan.  This helped use up some of my skeins of blue and purple, and some off white yarn I had--although I did have to buy more of that for the border.  The finished afghan turned out app. 48 x 64", I was quite happy with the way it looks.  In person.  I'm not overly happy with the way it looks in the photo!  I will have to re-take, but trying to figure out how without recreating the overall 'purple' tint that I couldn't get rid of even in editing.  (The wall is actually peach--not pink--peach!)
But, here it is.  And I'm sure I would never get the over $200 that some would say to charge based on charging an hourly rate, so decided on a price of $125.  (Clicking on the picture will take you to the listing)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

On to the next project!

But which project?  The teddy bear in the wonderful ribbon yarn I purchased.  The poor thing is laying there, I got as far as (almost) completing his head and set him aside for something else.  Just can't remember exactly what, it *might* have been:
A granny square afghan using my Raspberry Medallion pattern (yay!  I'll finally be able to post a picture again!) with shades of blues and purples for the round centre of each square and cream for a wide 'border'.  Which got set aside after a few squares to work on:

And this I do remember!  An order for an overseas customer for baby shower favours.  24 babies in blankets, and a special baby tiger in a blanket, since this year is the year of the tiger.  I am so happy with the way the tiger worked out, I had to ask my customer if she would mind if I used her idea to create more baby tigers to offer them.  The response was pretty much "It's the year of the tiger, you must!"  And she thought the tiger was cute, btw:

The order was for 24 babies, 6 each of 4 different colours.

And the tiger, at right.  After I started his head, someone in a crochet group passed on a link to a yarn company's pattern for a tiger.  That tiger had vertical stripes on the head, and it looked like the head started at the muzzle, then simple colour changes for the orange and black.  I think I prefer mine with the horizontal stripes and the 3-D muzzle, now to work on a pattern set for the babies, tiger, and a couple more baby animals!

BUT, that leads me back to my first question, WHICH PROJECT NEXT?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

It just hit me....

I think my months' long 'affair' with Card Services may have come to an end.  I don't think I've gotten ANY calls from them this week.  Either they don't love me anymore...or...dare I hope...they've been SHUT DOWN?
I think the last couple of calls did not go well.
The second last one that I picked up, was just before my last blog post about this affair.
The very last one, I picked up the phone, hit '0' as I usually do, turned the tv up loudly (but not too loudly--I'm not sure how this works, but I *think* the people that actually call work for another company hired by Card Services--I just want to get the point across that I'M NOT INTERESTED) and set the phone down.  When my contract is up with my phone service provider, I am seriously considering switching, just for the ability to be able to BLOCK numbers.  Geesh, what a service NOT to have.  And while I'm at it, wouldn't it be nice to have a phone that could automatically detect robo-diallers from solicitors and re-route the call back to someone else's computer at the same centre?????

Ahhh, well, to get on with my card services free life (oooh, hopefully it remains so!).

I am currently working on 25 babies in blankets shower favours that will soon be shipped overseas.  The request from the customer has me thinking about different babies now...
Working last night on the baby 'body', I was marking the rounds with a short piece of light blue yarn.  When I return to that today, I think I'll change the blue yarn, because the blue showing against the peach coloured flesh and the white body spoke to me.  Kind of like Harry Potter was the only one who could hear the basilisk, no one around me heard the yarn.  The words were a little indistinct, but the meaning was clear:  touch me, work with me, make something with me...

And now, to get some coffee going, and...time to make babies!

Monday, January 25, 2010


After procrastinating for some time, and running out of room to put the new boxes of yarns coming in--even though they are small boxes!--for projects I have to do, I have finally started listing some of the supplies I am not going to use on Etsy.  So far, one lot of doll heads and about 6 listings for yarn and threads.
Some pics:

And another one, 100% cabled cotton:

And a few more.  Click on the pictures to go to the listing in  my shop.  I'm hoping these find homes, especially at less than half the retail price!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just an Update

A few months ago, I took over as team leader for our Etsyhookers team--you really should check us out.
I've just updated our blog there with the first entries for our Creative Challenge #8, and looking forward to seeing what else my fellow team mates have come up with.

My relationship with Card Services seems to be long-lasting.  After requesting several times to be removed (but they can't do it because it's in the 'system'--okay, find me someone WHO CAN!), and finally snapping and yelling at one woman (believe me it takes a LOT to make me yell) now instead of a weekly phone call or two, I'm getting more each week.  Last one, I pressed '9' to talk to someone, set the phone down beside me while I typed and listened to the spiel about 'you have pressed 1 to lower your interest rates?' followed by a 'hello....hello...'.  So THAT'S what I sound like when those idiotic PITA robo-diallers call me and there's no one there to follow through with the call.
Honestly, would it be kind of stupid for me in Canada to consolidate all my credit cards with an American company who has to resort to harrassing people for business??

I have been rejoicing in the return of my creative muse.  Although hubby doesn't seem too happy.  I think he was beginning to enjoy not having yarn staring at him wherever he turns in the house.  (Okay, that is a slight exaggeration, although he might disagree)  But, I'm happy.  I now have three projects on the go, one of which I can't remember right now what it is....and have another one I'm about to start today for an order.  Plus, an attempt at felting a basket I'd designed didn't yield the results I wanted, so I am planning on re-working it.  Though that's not high on my priority list.


Monday, January 11, 2010

It's beginning to look lot like winter...

Finally! A little late for Christmas, but the snow does look so nice on the ground. I'll just not think of how it will look when it melts and my dogs try and track dirty slush into the house.
I was working on some Valentine items, but got sidetracked by The Ruins, written by Scott Smith. I'm not one to get nightmares from reading--not even from Stephen King (but sshhhh, don't tell him that!)--but after only a couple of chapters I was so wrapped up in the atmosphere I actually had a nightmare. One of those ones that wake you fully up and make you want to stay awake until the memory of it fades. The funny thing is, I hadn't read a single 'scary' thing!

Anyway, I did finish this Rock People Valentine couple:

have the set listed in my Etsy shop (click on picture to see the listing) and am now working on a pair of pink fuzzy lips, which will hopefully soon join the couple.

Friday, January 08, 2010

They're Still Here...

Aaaargh! After yet another call from that lovely voice telling me they've tried to reach me on several occasions to lower my interest rates and that this is my 'final chance' (geez, sound familiar? Seems they're calling weekly now with these final chances!)...I talked to 'George'.
He informed me that he *could* remove my name/number, but I might still get accidental calls, since it's in the system?!? But that if I press "2" instead of "1" to talk to someone, it will automatically remove my name.
Uh huh. I've heard differently.

When I asked contact info, the guy couldn't give me much, except for 'Card Services'. He had no phone number. I informed him that in Canada, solicitors are required to be able to give me all that contact info. Also informed him that after a request to be removed, I should not get any calls from them.
Of course, since they're not in Canada, they're probably not all too concerned.

I have filed a complaint with the CRTC, not sure if anything will come of it, but in the meantime, I may just follow some of the advice to get rid of annoying solicitors.
**Please note, I am NOT rude to all solicitors--wasn't even rude to 'George'-- (don't regard this as an invite to call, however!), since I know a lot of the companies that do call are legit, and WILL remove me from their list when asked. And I do know that the solicitors are merely doing their job, so I do try to be polite (even told 'George' that it was nothing against him personally), unless they start to get pushy and rude first.
And calling me at least once a week to try to get my credit card number(s) after being asked not to does count as pushy.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Helping someone up off the ice is bullying?!

First, the one local grade school has a VERY strict 'NBC--no body contact' (not to be confused with 'KPS--keep personal space').
Last night, my 12yo came home, a friend of hers had slipped on some ice, so 'A' and another friend were helping her up. A teacher saw this, and reminded them of the 'NBC' rule. Huh? So, the poor kid's supposed to slip and struggle to get up herself?
I wholeheartedly agree with no hitting, slapping, throwing snowballs, etc (although we grew up having snowball fights and turned out fine--I think!). But geesh, this is going just a bit too far. I worry that rules like this are going to turn our kids into cold-hearted individuals. Or that we're going to raise a society of what once would have been called 'tattletales', informing on the least offensive acts, and unable to cope for themselves.
I know of one girl who was suspended for 3 days because she touched another girl's earring. Not trying to hurt her, even.
With anti-bullying as well, the kids are taught at school that if another child wants to play with them and they say's BULLYING. Huh? Kids don't always get along. To force someone to play with a kid that they don't really get along with is just plain mean (talk about bullying). My oldest had a teacher once that the day she started filling in for their regular teacher, had them write a piece about another student. With no need for talking: since they'd been going to school with the assigned student for 9 years, they should know all about them, including siblings, likes/dislikes...
Uh...not everyone gets along (gee, is there an echo?). To me, I'd just be happy that they're not beating the crap out of the other kid and not be worried that they don't know personal details.

I do agree that something has to be done about bullying, but wow, I do think they've gone too far when you can't lend a helping hand to someone who's fallen.

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year, New Determination, Watch out One Specific Telemarketing company

I swear, the 'Do Not Call' requests give you more calls.
I have one 'company' that calls every couple of weeks. Something about I'm paying too much interest on my credit card, and this is my FINAL notice to lower my rates. After hanging up on these automated messages I finally chose one time to actually talk to someone.
Me=Me, TS=Telephone Solicitor

Me: "So...which credit card company are you calling from?"
TS: "Oh, we're not a credit card company, we're actually a financial institution..."
Me: "Oh-ho! Then, take me off your list. You know, your automated announcement is VERY deceptive, btw."
TS: "Okay, we'll remove you from the list."

Few weeks later, another call...
TS: "You wish to lower your interest rates?"
Me: "No, I want you to remove my name from your calling list."
TS: "....." Uh, wait, there was nothing, they HUNG UP ON ME!!!! (How's that for customer service?!)

Several weeks (and calls) later:
TS: "You chose '(whatever number)' to lower your interest rates..."
Me: "Actually, no, I clicked '0' to talk to someone. I've requested before to be removed from the list. I've also had someone hang up on me when I requested to be removed from the list."
TS: "I'm sorry about that, I'll remove your name now"

Few weeks later:
My daughter answered. For those old enough to remember the briefly-lived 'Valley Girl' trend, she used one of those voices. Complete with 'Like' (and not bad, considering she's 14 and is blissfully ignorant of the 'Valley Girl')
She was hung up on.

So, my new determination.
Next time, and I am SURE there will be one, I will talk to a person, politely ask what company and their contact information (which by law here, they HAVE to give me), then ask to speak to a supervisor (and hope to get one and not get hung up on) to let them know I will be reporting their company. To the BBB as well as the CRTC, which may or may not result in them losing their phone lines. We can only hope.

Some interesting reading for those who are in Canada and ticked off about telemarketers--and even getting dead air when you answer the phone: apparently the CRTC has rules about that too!!! Though due to the large number of such calls that I receive, I think some of these telemarketing companies are fudging their books.