Sunday, August 23, 2009

my brain hurts

my dear sweet hubby Paul bought me a new laptop Friday night. it was a bargain and it should fulfill my needs and wants from the computer in my life. my old laptop was just that: old. and it was built before things like netflix instant and hulu were around and it just couldn't do all the shiny new fun stuff i wanted it to...at least not without limping.

but here's the thing.
my old laptop: an apple powerbook G4.
my new laptop: a Compaq that hub installed Windows 7 on.

i used to be a Windows user at my old office job so i'm not too completely thrown by this change, but i am thrown at how difficult it is to switch your life over from one operating system to another. it was all fine and well when i was just using firefox on the new lappy, but suddenly i wanted to import my mail and photos and music. and did you know that there is no easy way to export from Mail on a Mac to Outlook on a PC? so far i've found all sorts of convoluted ways of going about it, mostly importing to a middle program and exporting again, but i gotta say - it seems a little ridiculous...and it's causing me to clench my jaw. then there's the way that iPhoto had my photos organized, and how i like them, but really the folder structure underneath that - is a little nuts. i haven't even touched the music yet. i'm a little afraid for my life. at least iTunes is available for Windows and should maybe be able to handle this for me.

so far i've got the email on this computer - in Mozilla Thunderbird. so at least i can see it if i have to.

today i try to conquer photos, and see how long it will take to transfer all that music.

that's my venting. have a good day :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

my style of knitting

there are a couple of distinct knitting styles out there, the continental style and the english style (which are both explained here in this video). i've also heard of an irish cottage style and a portugese style. turns out i knit my very own way, probably because most of the re-teaching myself that i did as a kid was from old books and i just made it work as well as i could. here are some pictures to point out my oddities. :)


i hold the yarn between my thumb and index finger while knitting...
and i tension the yarn by running it over my middle finger, under my ring finger, and back out over my pinky.
i get my middle, ring and pinky fingers out of the way when i make a stitch, like this:
how do YOU knit?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

must....blog....

i'm so tired i just want to collapse right now but i don't want to miss a day here at sunshinewalks.com.

SO. a list. HAPPIES (+) AND NOT-SO-HAPPIES (-)

+watching Lost on Netflix instant with hubby
+watching Greek on Hulu and chitchatting about it with Bon
-90 degree heat makes me want to quit life
+cold shower, jammies, and AC as soon as i got home
+the cleaners coming today (they were supposed to come yesterday, but really i'm not picky about when someone else cleans my house)
-no yarn in the mail today (how spoiled am i?)
+hubby getting his back pains checked out and taken care of
+no work tomorrow morning
+forecast is 10 degrees cooler for tomorrow
+the week is more than half over!!

good night!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Charade Socks


I'm knitting these socks for a Ravelry friend, Beth. The pattern is Charade (if you don't have a Ravelry account I don't think the link will work.) It's an easy knit, and I'm rearranging things and knitting toe-up instead of cuff-down. And I'm using these great Kollage square dpn's that I got in a swap. I LOVE THEM. They're short, metal, and the square shape feels great while I'm knitting. (I'm praying I don't lose any of them.) The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino, which is so squishy and soft - definitely great to knit with. Anyway - on to the photos!

Monday, August 17, 2009

fabric is fun

just a quick sneak peek at the fallish fabric i received last week. all are from the Apple collection by Alice Kennedy for Timeless Treasures. of course i was initially attracted because of the sweet owls, but i loved all the others as soon as i saw them as well. i have a tentative plan to have pieces made with these up in the shop by mid-september.


guess who forgot to blog yesterday?

it's monday and the forecast says high temp of 90 today. this means i'm in survival mode. my schedule has been changed and instead of hanging with Libby this afternoon i'll be cutting & sewing starfish pillows at the shop in Rockport. i'll be standing directly in front of a fan, you can count on it.

here's the owl notebook i got at barnes & noble on saturday night:



i love listing, it helps me feel in control and organized. choosing the pens i use and separating my mind into categories makes me so happy. here's today's to do list:


i'm going to try to blog again later to make up for missing yesterday. i'm trying really hard to make this a habit again. :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

what happened today...

i wanted to have a photo for this post but of course i forgot about it until after dark...so i'll sum up my day with a list - which is, of course, my favorite way to think about things:

  • woke up fairly early and started cutting fabric for drawstring project bags, which are my main sewing goal for the weekend. i hope to do a small shop update monday or tuesday.
  • worked on sewing until noon at which point i retired to the air conditioned bedroom.
  • reflected on how August is the roughest month for me. i'd rather be cold than hot any day. cold means: sweater and blankets and cocoa. hot means: blech.
  • ate cold leftover pizza for lunch.
  • worked on Clothilde shawl while watching Lost Season 1 on Netflix Instant.
  • during the afternoon i took a couple knitting breaks to sew some more on the project bags.
  • travelled off the island and went to Barnes & Noble (where i bought an owly notebook and Amigurumi Knits, and Paul bought a cheesemaking book), Bed Bath & Beyond (where we looked for things that might help Paul with making cheese), and Home Depot (where we actually found things to help with making cheese, including all the parts for a kick ass cheese press...i'm told i was very helpful).

goals for tomorrow:

  • a trip to the grocery store - for ingredients to make a cold pasta salad...going to be super hot the next few days...lord have mercy on me and bring september more quickly!
  • a blog post with a photo
  • finish all the drawstring bags and cut some fabric for a couple of my new interchangeable needle cases
  • enjoy the last day of the weekend by knitting and watching more Lost

random thoughts:

  • i love to visit home depot - smells great and has all sorts of fun stuff
  • i'm a sucker for stuff with owls. i almost brought home three different owly notebooks/journals. luckily i came to my senses, picked one, and it happened to be the least expensive.
  • i have survived one more super hot summer day and i consider this a victory
  • i love hershey's nuggets

Friday, August 14, 2009

I have a goal to blog each day for the next seven days...even if it's just a photo.
Here's one of the projects I'm knitting on lately:


It's Clothilde by Kristen Hanley Cardozo, knit with Kirky Sock in Verdant. Buy yummy Kirky yarn HERE.

Monday, May 25, 2009

"We can dance if we want to...

We can leave your friends behind
Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance
Well they're no friends of mine."

This song has been stuck in my head for hours. But I don't mind, it's a fun tune.

I can't believe it's been more than a month since my last post. I've been very busy.

After catching the sewing bug like crazy (due to more than usual time at home) - I finally opened an Etsy shop. It's been open since April 21 and I've made one measly sale. :) I've actually just decided I'm not allowed to buy anymore fabric until I sell some more so I hope business picks up! My hope is to build up an inventory of sorts and then purchase and ad or two on Ravelry (for the needle rolls, zipper pouches, project bags and totes) and maybe purchase a couple ads on mommy blogs for the knitted stuffs. And eventually I'd love to approach a couple local yarn shops to see if they'd be interested to sell the sewn stuff. I just got 8 yards from the Denyse Schmidt Katie Jump Rope fabric line (which has been one of my faves for SUCH a long time) and I'm excited to cut it into project pieces tomorrow afternoon.

Pretty much all my time (not at work) has been spent working at home knitting or sewing. I hope it's all worth it eventually. I really like what I'm doing, but it would be nice to at least earn back the money I've spent on supplies. I'm back to work at Again & Again now that business has picked up a bit, so most of the time I feel pretty stretched.

We had a couple busy weekends in the past month. Hub's sister came to visit in early May, and the following weekend we headed to NH for my Nana's (my mom's mom) 90th birthday party. We don't see my extended family very often and it was good to visit with everyone. However - I value my weekends greatly (doesn't everybody?) so I've been glad the the past couple weekends were more normal - which means sewing/housecleaning/knitting for me.

This was an unexpected bit of free time. I'm babysitting right now and this is the first afternoon in over two weeks that Libby actually fell asleep at nap time and (strangely) there's no laundry for me to fold. But I'm going to get back to knitting and take advantage. I'll try to check in here more often!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

family

Anna (6) and Sofia (4)
Anna (6) and Sofia (4)

today my sister Emily packed her three kids (Caleb-9, Anna-6, Sofia-4) in the car and drove 3 hours south from Maine to visit me, her baby sister.

the girls had a bit of coloring/crafty time and took a little walk, the boys took apart a computer and played a little bit on the Wii. i thought it might be fun to interview the kids and put the highlights on the blog...i was really curious to hear their answers. i hope i can think of different questions to ask them next time.

Caleb (does NOT like to have his picture taken - so no photo here today):
How he would spend a day if he could choose anything: "I would do lots of jobs to earn money, and then the next day go to the Lego store."
What he wants to do when he's a grown up: "I want to be a Lego Designer!"
Would he change anything about himself: "I would make it so I couldn't hear Sofia when she's trying to annoy me."

Anna:
Favorite animal: "Cats...and zebras!"
What she wants to do when she's a grown up: "Play with my kids." (She later said she thinks 3 kids is a good number.)
Would she change anything about herself: "I would not wear dresses as often. And I would learn to cook."

Sofia:
Favorite animal: "A owl and a duck and a bird."
What she wants to do when she's grown up: "Knit, work, play on computer, play on iPod." (She also said she wants to be an artist, but clarified that she can do whatever she wants to do, and she will bring her kids to McDonald's...) Later, "When I'm a human I'm going to be in a dress."
Favorite song: "Ummm...'The Bible Tells Me So' and 'Twinkle'."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

sewing frenzy

sooo...very little knitting happening the past few days. instead, the sewing machine has been getting quite a workout.

patchwork tote
patchwork tote bag

needle roll for swap
needle roll for double pointed needles/crochet hooks

needle roll for swap
another needle roll for double pointed needles/crochet hooks

i started all this sewing because i wanted to have something to offer up in a Ravelry swap group that my friend Rachel told me about. it looks like so much fun to swap for stuff, but my yarn stash is slim so that's not really an option. so i decided to make some stuff to see if folks would like it. so far Rachel has claimed the patchwork bag and several others indicated interest, so i'm planning to make at least a couple more of those. we'll see if the needle rolls are liked.

it's been fun to sew. but it's a little scary because i find myself not wanting to do anything else! the housework has been neglected. (see how well i procrastinate by writing a blog entry, too!)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

"he wanted a big cup of joe! (cup of joe)"

i grew up in the methodist church. which is how we say it, those of us in the churchy know, "grew up in the church," which is a little silly because i think most of us actually grew up in a house somewhere near whatever church we're talking about.

regardless. methodists are ALMOST the most reserved christians i know. and i love that. it's comfortable (i love my comfort zone), it's traditional (for me), very seldom does someone ask you about your "walk with god" or get nosy with your personal business (good for introverts like me), prayers are generally read from a book, and everyone usually stands very still while singing 3 or 4 hymns i know very well from my childhood.

my husband on the other hand, he grew up going to a more charismatic church. what this means to me (on the surface only): worship band, repetitive worship songs, arms waving, people swaying, TEARS, dancing, audience participation (glib i know). this is not comfortable to me.

after going to a christian college and thereby "experimenting" with churches to find the right fit, and attending my husbands former church with him and his family occasionally for years, i began to think that there were real christians and ordinary christians and the real ones cried in church. but no matter how i tried...i only felt more guilty that i wasn't feeling it like everyone else and i started to resent church because it just made me uncomfortable and that's no fun.

all this to say. i like the methodist church. after visiting one on christmas eve with my sister and her family it felt so right to be there. i know this is largely due to my upbringing and the familiarity of it, but also it fits my personality and how much i like to keep to myself about serious things. (ask my poor dear open thinking hubby...it takes a lot to get me talking about...um...anything that matters?)

and this morning i'm not going to church, but just the mention of easter recalls a couple of hymns i used to love to sing out - into the thick scent of easter lilies and into the sea of pastel easter outfits of families i knew but not too well (which is just how i like it).

so in my head i'm singing...
"christ the lord is risen today...ha a a a a le lu u jah"
and
"up from the grave he arose! he arose"

over and over and over. i can never quite remember the rest of the words, but the tunes are there and they'll be hummed all day...i'm sure of it. sometimes i make up the words and i think jesus and god would appreciate my sense of humor when i sing
"up from the grave he arose! with a little chicken on his nose! (on his nose)"
or
"up from the grave he arose! with nothing on - he needed clothes! (needed clothes)"
(i THINK it's actually something about "victory o'er his foes"...)

anyway. when i think of church as a kid i remember it fondly.
when i think of church as a young adult i remember it with guilt and confusion and DISCOMFORT (gasp - the horror!).
i think, if i choose to be a churchgoer again, i'll try to do it like when i was little.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

look at what else i got!

paul found this wallet for me at Newbury Comics and we both kind of figured i had to bring it home with me.

New Wallet - Both Sides

OWL! hurrah!

also - at Border's i noticed a bunch of umbrellas right near the check out, and i actually did need an umbrella (it's been raining a lot and i think i'm too grown up to enjoy getting soaked all the time), so i got this:

new umbrella!

LOVE LOVE LOVE! it's even prettier when opened up - i think it's so great to have something so happy for a grey rainy day. i had to use it yesterday when we got nailed with some serious thunderstorms...sadly it's a pretty weak umbrella - the wind blew it inside out pretty quickly...so this will have to be a gentle-rain-umbrella. i guess you get what you pay for ($12).

while at Borders i also purchased books two (New Moon) & three (Eclipse) of the Twilight series. it only took me a couple days to read Twilight, and after buying these books on sunday i'm almost through New Moon. i don't like it as much as the first, mostly because i loved the Bella/Edward relationship so much. also - i totally knew what was going on with Jacob Black. i'm just saying.

Monday, April 6, 2009

pretty ribbon

i went to Michael's yesterday to get some split rings but of course i had to browse a LITTLE while i was there, especially considering i've only been there a couple times since it opened over a year ago. these were one of my little splurges while i was there:

ribbon!

aren't they pretty and happy?? i had to limit myself to just these even though there were at least five others i wanted.

i also bought this:



an owl paper punch (by martha stewart)! i love it and have absolutely no idea what i'll use it for.

i really loved just walking through the store and browsing and feeling inspired to be creative. i think i'll have to get there more often (when i have money to spend).

more weekend purchases to share tomorrow!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

photo post

crocs no socks!
today is crocs with no socks! a sure sign that spring has arrived! i need to pull out my other two pairs to put into rotation.

bracelet
the bracelet i made with Libby yesterday, Gimlee loves playing with this

chewy gingersnaps
chewy gingersnaps, we call them Miss Karen Cookies at our house, because we love both Miss Karen and these cookies

mini cadbury eggs
mini cadbury eggs are my very favorite easter candy. i'm wondering if it would be too weird to buy several bags of these to ration out until next easter comes along...

booties in process
booties in process...they'll look like mary janes by the time they're finished.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

+/-

+ took the time to make cookies when i got home, chewy gingersnaps, so yum and the house smells great
+ leftovers of one of my favorite meals for dinner tonight, one pot pasta
+ being able to pay our bills without a hitch...i don't think that will ever cease to make me glad
+ good afternoon with Libby, i picked up a bag of miscellaneous largeish beads at the store thinking it was an activity we hadn't tried yet, and she really liked stringing them on yarn to make bracelets. wasn't sure how that would go with a 2 year old.
+ lots of Buffy to watch on Hulu
+ springtime
+ local yarn shop had the yarn i ran out of yesterday - yay!
+ enjoying the Twilight book and already planning how to get the rest in the series. really easy reading, so it's relaxing.

- laundry to fold
- vacuuming to do, if i'm disciplined

(it must be a good day if those are the only cons. sweet.)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

friends

most of the time i do fine without friends. i'm a homebody to the extent that it's verging on hermitude...or hermitage. if i didn't need to leave the house for work or errands i wouldn't go out most days. i'm really very capable of entertaining myself here, what with the cats, the t.v., the internet, the knitting, the books, the cooking/baking, the cleaning.

i adore the friends i have. i admire them and encourage them quietly and hope wonderful things for their lives. but most of my friends are more like acquaintances these days, no longer local, and being in touch is not something i do very well. (sorry friends.)

but i have days where i really miss friends. i have vivid dreams about hometown friends and remember them so fondly and really long for that kind of closeness, the kind that only comes with knowing someone for 10 years through such formative years. i miss the laughing so hard that you have to catch your breath, the being silly with someone you trust your silly with, the being sad with someone who cares, the talking about somedays and also yesterdays. i miss friends who were here but now aren't, and i miss the dinners and the dropping bys and the going outs and the nothing at alls with them.

all this to say, we got together with some friends yesterday, and it was lovely and i found myself missing them even while sitting next to them. i don't know how it is that certain people take residence in your heart, and others don't, but the ones that do are really precious, aren't they? i forgot how nice it is to feel familiar. i was very aware that i was quiet, taking a lot more in than usual, maybe trying to store it all up for the days when i remember to feel lonely.

My creation

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

what's up - in list format...

1. i'm at the tea company again this morning while the cleaners are at the house. i'm knitting on a little hat, brought the book i'm reading, and my laptop. i've successfully gotten google reader down to '0' unread posts.

2. lately i've been working on knitting projects commissioned by Hannah Wilde of Hannah Wilde Photography. she wants a bunch of tiny little hats and various other things to use as photography props for her sessions with wee ones and we've worked out a barter for time and she's buying the yarn. it works out great for me. i have purposeful knitting to do and they're little projects so they're mostly very quick.

3. last night for dinner i made a pork roast and tried a new recipe as a side: barley bake. it was creamier than i thought it would be, and i think it was missing something flavor-wise, maybe something acidic or peppery?, but paul loved it and had seconds. (which i take as a compliment.). (asparagus was the veg.) tonight is leftovers, and tomorrow i'm making beef stroganoff in the crockpot. that's a recipe i haven't tried before too, so i'll let you know how it goes. i used to love my mom's beef stroganoff, and i hope this lives up to the craving memory.

4. i've been reading more than usual lately. since i finished college and got my B.A. in English Lit i've been struggling with reading. being an english major seemed to create all this guilt when it comes reading for pleasure. if it's not a classic, or if i can't analyze it and find some larger meaning, if it's not hard to read...then it's not worthwhile. but i'm trying really hard to get over that. i loved to read as a kid, i would devour books. and i think i've come to realize that all i really want is a story. it doesn't really have to be a good one, but that's all i want out of a book. i DON'T want to be a scholarly reader, i want to read for leisure and pleasure. a couple summers ago i bought a LARGE stack of books for cheap at a local library book sale and i'm working my way through that pile. last week i finished two books and i'm on a third now. i also signed up for paperbackswap.com and i've posted all the books i've read and don't really care to take up valuable bookshelf space for swap. i've already received two books in the mail, and mailed two books out myself. (i'll do anything for fun mail.)

5. we've got a date to meet friends at The Friendly Toast in Portsmouth on Saturday morning. so so many people have recommended this place to me as a breakfast lover and i'm looking forward to the food and the friends.

6. There is a Sensational India event at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem the weekend of April 4-5 and i'm really hoping we can make it. i love Indian food and dance and color! Would be fun to get lunch at Passage to India and then visit the Museum celebration.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What a busy few days it has been...

I will tell you first that I recovered from my weekend by spending yesterday from 2:30 to 6:30 mostly on the couch, with a mug full of Hershey's Kisses reading a book about a yarn shop and its customers. That's how badly I needed to chill. No computer, no knitting, no music, Paul wasn't home. Just me and my extreme comfort zone. It was lovely.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

+/-

+ sunshine
+ half day of work
+ open windows & fresh air
+ yummy healthy snacks this morning (cucumber & hummus, strawberries, pretzels)
+ a whole pile of projects ready to block
+ netflix
+ cooking a st. patrick's day dinner for my husband who loves corned beef & cabbage

- my cat is licking the windows & mirrors...which i'm sure is due to windex...but i'm not sure if it's TERRIBLE for him or just dumb...google is not helping with this
- lots on the to do list today. errands and housework and phone calls. probably not much knitting will happen.
- hummus breath :)
- no interesting pictures to post...will try to remedy that soon. maybe a picture of dinner?
-

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

ch-ch-ch-changes...

so it's really not a big deal, at least it isn't right this second...
one of my part-time jobs is ending for a little while.
my boss had signed up to be a vendor at a major conference in St. Louis in April. so we had been working hard to get a good amount of inventory ready for her to take. (the shop is not open very much this time of year so the conference was the only reason i really had work right now...) she found on monday it was a total scam...i guess about 40 vendors paid $1200 each to participate in this event and it's not really happening at all. she's still getting emails from whoever's in charge as if it's still happening, she can't get anyone on the phone, but the conference center where it was supposed to happen says the event doesn't exist. YUCK. soooo...she doesn't really need me to make any more bags for her until she sells some. she thinks she'll have more for me to do early-may.

we'll have to sit down and really look at the numbers, but i think we can make it financially without me freaking out until then. it works out alright because i'm finished paying off a loan in about a week, so there will be less going out than there was. so it kind of balances out the less coming in. AND my other boss helen is due to have a baby in two weeks or so, and i think i can pick up a few extra hours helping them out if it turns out we're falling short.

the extra time will likely be used for me to build an inventory of my own...pieces ready to put in the shops when the shops need them...and stuff for later in the year, fall-ish time, so that i don't have to be panic knitting when we get back around to chilly weather. i also want to do some designing of some new pieces, which i always want to be doing but don't have the time to do.

so that's the news. i normally work wednesday mornings, and every other wednesday is when the cleaners come to the house...today being the day. this morning i didn't need to work but i still had to get out of the house so i've been at the local tea company for the past couple hours drinking hot cocoa, knitting, watching twitter... i really can't complain, can i?

also, i want:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

bowl of booties

bowl of booties

booties ready to have labels sewn in, and tags tied on.
special thanks to the fruit who gave up their bowl for the purposes of this photo shoot

Monday, March 9, 2009

swiss chicken casserole

dinner tonight was another new recipe and this one definitely gets the thumbs up from me because i love me some comfort food. especially EASY to make comfort food.

swiss chicken casserole

i halved the recipe, and cut each breast into three strips each but other than that i followed the recipe exactly. (except for when i put it in the oven without covering it and realized it after 10 minutes.)

my original plan was to have some frozen veggies from Trader Joe's on the side, but we had leftover potatoes, onions, and peppers from last night instead.

i will definitely make this recipe again.
gimlee

i found Gimlee napping on and amongst my stuffed animals yesterday. this was the only shot i could get before he got up and walked away. you can see poor Wickford (a sheep) is squished in the front, and in the rear (under Gimlee's rear) is Sam (a dog) who you can't see in this photo.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

bad blogger!

so they say it takes 21 days to make a habit, right?
well, i'd like to start forming two habits.
one - i'd love to start taking walks every day. without the pressure of exercise (yuck) but with the purpose of getting fresh air and loving my neighborhood. it's so easy to use knitting or housework or anything at all as an excuse to stay in, but that's silly and lazy.
two - i'd love to be back in the habit of blogging regularly. i love having a journal to look back at to see what's been going on. even if i just take ten minutes a day, post a photo or a list...i think i'll feel a little more centered by checking in with myself.

so what's going on? oh nothing really. we're finally getting some warm weather. it doesn't usually hit me this hard, but i'm really tired of the snow this year. we got 12 inches a week ago and i just didn't want to face it at all. i had to keep reminding myself that i wasn't the only person in the world who had to go out and shovel... (i'm such a big baby). the windows have been open the past couple days and the fresh air is just so super stimulating. i've gotten so much done!

i really have to go start dinner in about four minutes. i've been trying very hard to try new recipes...i have so many cooking magazines and cookbooks, and i HATE having the same meals in rotation over and over and over. tonight it's a recipe from everyday food from jan/feb 2007...roast beef with peppers, onions, and potatoes. (that's another thing - i need to expand our vegetables from just broccoli and asparagus). this recipe has a followup for what to do with the leftover beef later in the week. AWESOME. (beef and mango wraps scheduled for tuesday). i hope this recipe is good because the roast i bought cost almost $15. that's a chunk of the grocery budget. i love cooking in general, and there's something i really love about having a meal ready for hub when he gets home from work. domesticity!

knitting is good. mostly work projects going on right now. i'll try to post some photos later this week.

time to go cook!

p.s. i've decided Bollywood music is the best for cleaning house and getting stuff done!