A few weeks ago I hosted a Christmas party/high school reunion with a friend of mine. We invited all the old friends from our clique and hung out on a Tuesday to catch up and reminisce. Some of these people I hadn’t seen in ten years and it was delightful to find out what they were up to. Most of them had moved far away to big cities all over the States. Three of them had gotten married in the last year. Two were going through divorces. Only three of us, myself included, had kids. Some looked exactly the same. Mostly, though, we looked older. Fatter. More tired.
I was sitting on the couch with one of my friends and she leaned over and whispered, “When did we get so OLD?” It struck me as a weird comment. We’re not old- hell, high school was just… wait. 10? No… 12 years ago. No… We graduated in 1998… so that makes… HOLY CRAP WE ARE OLD.
I realized how much time has passed and how many things have changed. No longer are we in the dating and finding someone phase, or the partying every night and coming to work hung over phase. (Well, a few people were still like that. Frankly, it was a little sad.) For the most part, we’ve settled down. We’re doing what is expected of 30 year olds. (Crap, we’re in our 30s. IMPOSSIBLE.) In my head, I feel like I’ve been stuck at 24 years old for the last… awhile. And yet here I am, surrounded by a husband and children (plural, for fuck’s sake) and my daily worries include work and bills and groceries.
So yeah, I feel old.
One of our group has copious amounts of gray hair. Most of the guys were quite a bit rounder around the middle. Some people had parents who had died or were dying. Marriages had already ended. It seemed like we are on the downhill slide of the bell curve instead of on the up, fun roller coaster ride.
Over the New Year weekend, I went to see my parents. Dad called me over asked me to sit down to “discuss some business.” In the middle of pulled pork sandwiches, he informed me that I was named the executor of his estate and let me know where to look for specific wills, lock boxes, heirlooms and what I would need to do upon his demise.
Just a minute. I’m not old enough for this conversation.
So, now that my birthday has come and gone for this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m doing with my life. Am I happy? Ehn. I get by. The real question is, is that enough? Of course not. Ideally I’d like to not be working and be able to spend time with my kids. I’d like to travel, read, craft, cook, rest, learn.
Goal for my next birthday? Get this shit fixed.
First, let me say that I don’t believe in resolutions. I feel like everyone should be striving to be a better person every day, not just decide that the first of the year is a good time to make a bunch of promises you don’t intend to keep.
However, being a good person is hard and there are things I would like to do to improve my daily life and there are things I would like to learn. In the spirit of new beginnings with 2012 just warming up, here are some things I would like to accomplish (perhaps not all this year, but sometime in the near future):
1) Really learn how to knit. I get the theory, I have the stuff to do it. Children can do this and often make usable garments year round. As of yet my hands haven’t adequately communicated in a way that has produced something I would wear in public. Mostly I want to learn so I can make these mittens.
2) Yell less, play more. I think my kids would like this as well.
3) Take more time for me. Read more, yarn more, cook more. My kids and husband don’t always have to come first and most days this is incredibly hard to follow through on.
4) Do something that scares me. Not quite sure what this entails yet, but I’m thinking on it.
Happy New Year, everyone.
Normally I hate doing Christmassy things before Thanksgiving. I hate the stores already playing Christmas music and the pre-pre-pre-Black Friday sales. I hate Thanksgiving getting the bums’ rush and the consumerist greed masking the thankfulness and gratefulness of the holiday season. Where’s the love, baby?
That said, I made this:
I wasn’t sure I’d have the time in a few weeks to get this done before the holidays started and I wanted to make sure the pattern made sense to me. I found these cute beads at Hobby Lobby and thought they were perfect for “ornaments.” The pattern is a new one by Planet June. I’m going to try it again with different beads and this cotton yarn that’s apparently Norwegian.
What can I say? I’d be ashamed of myself if it hadn’t turned out so cute.
I haven’t updated since July? Sorry. I have a good excuse though- it seems that I had a baby. Okay, so it was nearly nine weeks ago, but if you know anything about babies, they kinda like your attention. Pretty much all of the time. Oh, and I have a two-year-old who also likes attention pretty much all of the time. When I’m not taking care of one or chasing after the other, I’m reading or cleaning or trying not to lose my sanity. In the meantime (Ha! Hahaha!) I craft.
So, did you get your alphabet blocks done?
Why are you so mean? No, I didn’t. But thank you for pointing my failure out to me. I did, however, make these a little while ago:
I think Colin Nissan said it best: Guess what season it is—fucking fall. There’s a nip in the air and my house is full of mutant fucking squash. The pattern can be found here. I doubled the pattern for the large one, improv-ed the vine and leaf and threw it all together.
The bottom of the large one didn’t come together very tightly despite a lot of tugging and swearing, so I dug through my button collection and came up with this simple wooden one to cover the hole. This way the stuffing won’t come out and it adds a nice little detail to the pumpkin. I like the large one much more than the small one- even though I followed the pattern to the letter, the stem came out a little awkward and tall.
In other news, I reopened my Etsy shop for the season. Go buy my stuff to help feed my kids!
The blocks and I made up.
After a three day hiatus, I got back on the plastic canvas horse, remade the broken kitty (with whiskers, as I forgot them on one square last time, but it broke anyway so who the hell cares) and finished the C block. Then in quick succession I finish I for ice cream and ice cube, D for duck and drum, and A for apple and airplane.
I must confess: I’m a little sick of these blocks and I’m not even halfway done. Oh, and the baby will be here in 6 1/2 weeks. I’m so screwed.
Meanwhile, I’m still trucking along on the plain letter sides and I think I’ve figured out more on what I’d like to do with the number blocks. However, I’m getting into the letters that are more difficult to design. I started to sketch out X for x-ray but it made my brain hurt and I stopped. I pulled out other letters, but O for owl, L for lion and H for house have all fizzled out. I think I need another break to regroup.
It may be time to break out the baby blanket yarn and take a craft vacation.
Things were going great. I got another block designed and done, had a few more sketched out and was moving right along. I settled on “g for guitar” instead of grapes because 1) trying to do rounds on a square is a little difficult and 2) because I don’t have enough shades of purple to make it look right. I think the guitar turned out okay, although if I were to do it again I would shake the colors up a bit more than I did.
Then. Oh, and then. It makes me so furious, I nearly hurled the whole box of yarn and needles across the room. For “c” I designed a cat that looks a little like our kitty, Dinah. My son loves to play with her and I thought he would get a kick out of a block with her likeness on it. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve made so far, but he recognized it as a cat and was happy, so I left it.
Then this happened:
The plastic I was using for most of this project were squares my mom had cut out when I was 4 years old. It was much heavier and sturdier than this other plastic she dug out of her stash. I don’t know if it’s due to age or was just crappy to begin with, but as soon as I started to assemble the block, the edges started to crack and pull away. I thought I could get away with it for a bit, but after I finished stitching up the side I had about five or six broken squares and the entire side ripped away with little effort.
For now, the blocks are in time out. In the meantime, I’m trying to heal with chocolate and marathon sessions of Rollercoaster Tycoon. I realize Baby Girl will be here eight weeks from today, but I’m trying to remain positive that I will get this done and I will finish a blanket for her too. In the meantime, a park is demanding to be expanded.
Baby Girl will be here in 10 weeks. I’m afraid I’m running out of time. However, I’ve been steadily plugging away at these blocks, stitching as fast as I can until my fingers cramp and the metallic needle smell won’t wash off.
I’m skipping around the alphabet as I assemble the pieces. Designing the sides with the upper and lowercase letters, as well as the sides with my own original designs is taking longer than I like. It’s all trial and error, but I’ve had some success the first time out of the box:
B is for ball (I freehanded the stitching), E is for egg, K is for key (which is modeled after the key in Cinderella, my son’s current favorite flick), M is for mittens, N is for needle, P is for pig (whom I happen to think is pretty damn cute) and S is for sun. I’m almost finished with G (for grapes or guitar, not sure which yet) and A (for what, I don’t know yet). I’ve got a pretty good idea of how I’d like the coordinating number blocks to look, but haven’t sketched them out yet. So far my son loves the blocks I’ve finished- he hurls them around the room and shakes them to hear the jingle bells I’ve suspended inside. I hope my baby girl loves them as much as he does.
I haven’t just been laying on the couch, eating bon bons and watching my stories. I’ve been laying on the couch, eating Zingers and watching old CSI episodes on the laptop with yarn in my hands. Behold:
I’ve got duplicates of all the letters but V (I ran out of purple yarn) and I’ve started to design my own letter blocks.
I designed the baseball myself! (Yes, I am a little proud it turned out so nice.) I have no idea where the original pattern came from, but my mom had started some of these letters when I was about 4. She never finished the blocks, but kept all the pieces and the patterns. I’m hoping to finish these for my little girl before she gets here, but with six sides per block, plus original designs, plus my insane desire to design 10 number blocks as well, she’ll probably get them either by the time she’s 30 or she takes over and works on them for her own little girl. I hope not, but I’ve got less than 12 weeks until her arrival and I haven’t finished her baby blanket either.
On a related note, being 7+ months preggo in the summer sucks ass, especially when you’re fondling yarn. Thank God we have the a/c up and running. I think this project is going to require more Zingers.
In an effort to work towards my goal of learning to knit, I picked up some wool and needles at the local craft store. After a few hours, lots of swearing and two cramped wrists, I had something that looked akin to cat puke. Right now that “project” is in time-out. Then I dug out some of my old yarn and bigger needles with the hopes that I might actually see what the hell it was I’m supposed to be doing. After a few failed attempts and one dropped stitch that ended up with me ripping the whole damn thing back (and more swearing and lots of stabbing motions), I’ve so far made this:
Which really doesn’t look like much. It could be a skinny scarf, I suppose, but right now it’s just something to keep my hands busy while I watch TV. Who knows- it might turn out to be something when I get done. Right now it’s just practice. I also managed to complete one plastic canvas square for a set of alphabet blocks I’d like to make for New Baby. Somehow it took much long than I thought it would (about an hour and a half longer) and now I’m contemplating the other kajillion sides that are left to be stitched. I have 20 more weeks… That’s plenty of time, right?
I also played hookey from being a mom yesterday (which is pretty hard when you’re gestating, but I managed) and ran around KC with my mom getting into all sorts of trouble. After French apple pie and coffee at The Uppercrust, we ran around Pryde’s like two kitchen gadget-mad idiots and tried not to max out the credit cards. Then it was off to The Studio, where the very kind lady working tried to enable my fiber habit and failed when I told her that I would only buy more once I learned how to knit a sock and with the way things are going so far, it wasn’t looking very good for her store. She helped me pick out some lovely sage yarn and dpns to help me along. Now I just have to sit down with my friend who promised sock lessons and DO IT.
Maybe the magic sock knitting faerie will visit me and install the magic that it takes into my hands so that they communicate to each other and stop trying to attack the yarn like I’m hooking it instead?
Wish me luck.
You know, instead of just insisting that I do and then making excuses as to why I haven’t. Behold:
A really phallic carrot! I don’t know how the creator of the pattern crocheted hers so tightly, but mine came out twice the projected height despite using a hook one size smaller. I don’t get it, but I think it still turned out cute.
Bunny! I made this set for my niece for Easter. She’s only four months old, but I hope some day she’ll appreciate all the time, effort and swearing I put into each stitch.
Happy Easter, everyone.