First Day of School 2014

Today was the first day of school here.  Bug started 4th grade and Fidget started Pre-K.   Both were pretty excited about starting a new adventure.

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Here Fidget is waiting outside his classroom before he could go in with his new teachers and classmates.  The school my boys attend is an awesome school.  It’s a Montessori school and they have combined classrooms for the Pre-K/K classes and the 1/2 classes.  This means Fidget will remain in the same class for 2 years, with the same teacher and half of the same kids.  They do a lot of hands on activities and they teach in a child led manner (despite the fact that NY is unfortunately a Common Core state).2014-09-04 08.14.52

 

I will say that Fidget was a bit hesitant and scared about starting something new, but he did it with no tears.  He did try to make not one, but two attempts to leave with me, but once he was significantly distracted finding his cubby he was fine.  When I picked him up at the end of the day he said he had fun, left his lunchbox in his cubby and was very distraught over the fact that he couldn’t bring his nap blankie, that I knit for him, home.  He doesn’t quite understand that he’ll get to see it again every school day.2014-07-22 19.45.56My day was a typical housework day and while I was sad that my baby isn’t a stay at home baby anymore I was glad to have the break and the quiet, even though it meant cleaning.  I had the sheets off the beds and into the washer before we left for school, had them hung up on the line outside just after getting home, opened all the windows, had breakfast, put away some clean laundry, cleaned the living room and vacuumed it, put new sheets on the beds, cleaned one of the bathrooms, and gathered all the garbage and put it in the bin outside.  

After all that cleaning I did manage to do some crafting.  I’ve been spinning up some wool that I brought home from the Estes Park Wool Market this past June.  After attempting to dye it, I found that it’s rather sticky (almost like there is lanolin that won’t come out) and it felted with hardly any agitation.  Spinning it seemed to work better for it and I am actually liking how it came out – despite the fact the my fingers feel sticky whenever I touch it.  I finished the second bobbin of singles last night before bed and today I wound it into a center pull ball and made a 2 ply today, all while watching a couple episodes of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman on tv.  The first skein I made, which I re-skeined today, is 140 yrds of DK/sport weight (13-15WPI).  I also found that soaking the yarn in super hot water with dawn, followed by 2 hot water rinses and a conditioning rinse alleviated the sticky factor and the yarn is a bit softer.  It’s actually a very pretty ecru color…not sure if I’m going to bother dyeing it.  I think I might leave it plain.  

Not sure what tomorrow will bring…I need to clean the other bathroom, at the very least.  I’m hoping to do a little spinning.  I’m thinking of having a giveaway contest on my shop facebook page when I reach 300 likes.  I think I’m going to offer a skein of handspun faux cashmere as the prize.  If you are interested, hop on over to facebook and give my page a like – if you want to make sure you get in on the contest you can request notifications whenever I post anything…it will go directly into your notice bar.  :)

 

 

Shop/Craft Update – Let’s Get This Blog Going Again!

I really suck at this blogging thing…with the end of school and the summer having the boys home I just never found a quiet moment to sit and type.  I’ve had ideas floating through my brain for what I could write about, but never put my fingers to the keyboard.  With school starting back up this Thursday I’ll have the house to myself for almost 6 hours a day!  Yay for peace and quiet!  

I still have my normal housework to attend to, but I’m sure without someone underfoot or needing me to do something or help with something I can get it all done fairly quickly.  I also plan on working on my shop/stock, advertising, and my crafting/spinning.

I currently have 3 knitting projects in the works.  The first is a hat, following this Cabled Dad Hat pattern, worked in Premier Yarns Alpaca Dance.  It’s a lovely silver color (silver fog) and is super soft.  It has a slight aura to it as well.  I’m 4 repeats into the first chart.  I’m not sure if I’m going to keep it or not.  I haven’t decided just yet.

The second pattern I’m working on is for 4 year old Fidget.  I’m making him a new pair of socks.  I’d planned to get it done before he starts school – he’s going into Pre-k this year – but I just didn’t get it in progress in time.  I finished the first sock today and with a little luck I can get them finished by next week. 

The last thing I’m working on is a shawl.  I’m actually using my own handspun for this project.  It’s a mix of corriedale, finn, and rambouillet cross spun into a laceweight singles yarn.  I called the colorway Little House on the Prairie because it’s a brownish green mix that reminded me of the cabin and the fields from the old 1970’s TV show.  I just finished watching the 3rd season on dvd with the intention of watching the rest when I get around to checking them out from the library.  The shawl is knitting up very nicely, using this Swallowtail Shawl pattern.  I think I made a mistake in the last row that I worked, but thankfully I put in a lifeline strand so hopefully I won’t lose too much of my work when I “tink” it back.  

As for my shop I’ve done some new colorways that I’m really proud of.  My favorite so far is Laetiporus, which was inspired by an awesome shelf fungus that I found in the woods at my parents house.  You are probably thinking, “Eewww!  A Fungus!  That’s disgusting!”  That’s where I think you are wrong…just look at this amazing, bright color that was created by nature.  

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Here is the colorway that I created.  This is dyed on a Merino/Firestar blend (85/15), this bright colorway closely matches the inspiration photo and sparkles slightly like it’s dew covered!  Click the image for the etsy listing.

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I’ve also been spinning, too.  I recently finished up an amazing faux cashmere handspun from fiber that I dyed myself.  This bright colorway is called Neon Lights and is available in my Etsy Shop.  This has all the amazing softness of cashmere without the high ticket price of the real thing!  

A2014-08-01 11.27.25Well, it’s almost bedtime for the boys.  Hopefully this post won’t be the last one for another 5 months.  I really do have plans to update this blog more often.  I may even try to offer photo or video tutorials.  

 

30 Day Shred 2014: Day 2 & 100 Days of Happiness: Days 6-10

Well, day 2, level 1 is under my belt.  I can tell you that my muscles made sure I knew that they’d been used!  Woke up this morning with practically every muscle in my body sore, but, it’s a good kind of sore, not a painful one….though I often rethink that when I need to sit down, stand up or go up and down stairs…lol

Day 2 was definitely easier than day 1.  I was able to do all of the last cardio set (jumping jacks, butt kicks, punches and jump ropes).  I still have a bit of trouble with stamina and I can’t always do all of the bicycle crunches, but it will all come back to me and get easier.  I ate a serving of oatmeal with a little salt and sugar and a cup of Earl Grey tea a couple hours before working out and took a package to the Post Office for Sarandipity Handmade before I did day 2. I found that the oatmeal keeps me fuller longer and I don’t want to snack in between breakfast and lunch.  I’ve gotten into the habit of having something for breakfast, unlike 5 years ago when I’d often skip meals, so I’m thinking that had an impact on the amount of energy I’ve got and the fact that I’m not dizzy or nauseous this time around.  Not sure what I’m going to have for lunch, yet.  Maybe some leftover baked ziti or a turkey sandwich.  Plan to have pork chops with bacon grits for dinner.

Oh, and I did weigh myself again before showering.  I’m back up to 150lbs, but then again I don’t have one of those fancy scales that tells me lbs and oz, so I could have been on the very edge yesterday.  I also took some body measurements today so I can see if I lose or gain any inches.

Arms: 12″
Waist: 33″
Hips: 40″
Thighs: 24″

3/29 – Happiness is shopping with Darling Hubby to find the perfect dress to wear to a party.

3/30 – Happiness is finding yarn that matches my new dress perfectly so I can knit a shawl.

3/31 – Happiness is Craft Night and finding the perfect shawl pattern.

4/1 – Happiness is pranking Darling Hubby with the kitchen sink water sprayer and getting away with it.

4/2 – Happiness is delivering a package to the Post Office from Sarandipity Handmade.  I hope the Ultra Cuddle baby girl blanket brings happiness to the recipient in Colorado.  :)

Back in the Saddle Again

I’m doing something that I haven’t done in 5 years…I’ve decided to break out my Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD again.  It’s not that I’m in dire need to lose weight, it’s more that I want to tone up and tighten the areas that are a little, shall we say, wiggly.  I’m in size 12’s or 14’s and while it’s not as skinny as I’d like to be some days, I’m comfortable.  But, I find that there are more days that not that I don’t like to look at myself in the mirror while unclothed.

Was this what made me jump back on the exercise bandwagon?  No, not entirely.  Darling Hubby and I were invited to a testimonial for his step father.  He is District Governor of something (yeah, I’m not entirely sure on all the details) and they are holding an afternoon fancy shmancy thing in his honor on May 5th. I’ve already bought my dress and jewelry.  I already had shoes and underthings and I’ve plans to knit myself a shawl to go with it (you never know just how chilly it might be in May or in those hotel banquet rooms.)  I’ve already bought the yarn (it matches perfectly) and got started.  The dress fits me perfectly and looks good (Darling Hubby says hot), but I look in the mirror and always see what is wrong and what could be different.  I could stand to lose that little bit of a tummy and my arms could be less flabby…That’s what made me decide to pull out the dvd, yoga mat, and my hand weights and throw on my sneakers.

I weighed in this morning and I was 149lbs (that’s down 1lb from yesterday…lol).  I think this time I may try to take some measurements of myself so I know if I lose any inches.  Like I said, I’d still like to lose some of the flab around my middle…you know the little paunchy thing that never seems to want to go away after having kids…and tighten up my arms and legs a bit.  I know my legs could look super hot in those heels with a little toning up…lol

Anyway, I already did day one, level one and let’s say that it was so much easier this time around than it was 5 years ago.  Let’s just say that when I finished I wasn’t wanting to curl up in a ball and die or vomit.  I felt a little weak muscled, but never felt sick or dizzy and I didn’t even have trouble breathing.  I can obviously feel it in my thighs and I know that tomorrow sitting down or standing from sitting is gonna be a little rough.  I can also feel those muscles walking up or down stairs (and even walking down the hill at Bug’s school.)

Looking back I’m already at a lower weight than when I started the first go around.  I don’t have a particular weight goal that I’m working toward and I’m not going to keep close tabs on what I’m eating. aside from trying not to go overboard with portion sizes.  I already know that I’m eating a little healthier than I was 5 years ago, especially having cut most processed foods out as a way to avoid soy.  I still indulge, don’t get me wrong, I’m still a snacker and I’ve found ways to get back some of my favorite foods that I was forced to cut out.  I still love chocolate and found that the Nestle Dark Chocolate morsels are soy free and oh so good.  I’ve found ice creams that I can eat again, so I do find myself having a bowl before bed some nights.  We still do our game night sessions once every 2 weeks, but I find that I’m usually pretty good and only eat the things like the cheese and jelly or the fresh bread and not all the chips and junk foods that we used to nosh on.  I just have to watch my portion sizes.

So, that’s my goal, 30 days (hopefully including the weekends this time).  My end date to get in shape is May 4th, so I’ve got the month.  I plan to blog about my journey again so I can keep myself motivated.  Feel free to join me if you want.  I won’t mind the company.

100 Days of Happiness – Days 1-5

I’ve recently seen my facebook feed explode with people jumping on the 100 Days of Happiness bandwagon.  I’ve often been accused of being grumpy or just plain miserable by my Darling Hubby and I think that I might just need a little daily reminder that there are happy moments for me everyday.  It’s all about perspective.  I find that the little things that bring me joy often get lost amongst the daily jumble of everyday chores and tasks.

My plan isn’t to join the 100 days website, instagram feed or even take a photograph every day, but to simply write down something each day that made me happy.  It could be something big or something small, but I want to start seeing the joy in everyday.  I may even occasionally share photos, but for now I’m just going to keep a list and post when I can (it won’t be everyday.)

I know I’m a couple days late, but I sort of unofficially started on Monday.

3/24 – Happiness is a new mattress with the hope of a good night’s sleep.

3/25 – Happiness is a skype session with a couple far away friends.

3/26 – Happiness is watching your usually shy 9 year old take the lead at his mini Lego Expo presentation at Math Night at school.   (I have pictures, but haven’t uploaded or had time to edit them.)

3/27 – Happiness is watching a stupid movie with Darling Hubby after the kids go to bed.

3/28 – Happiness is commenting on a blog and winning a free knitting pattern and having a day free of tantrums and naughty behaviour from Fidget.

I actually noticed more than just one happy moment for each of those days and it was actually hard to pick just one.  Hopefully I’ll continue this HAPPY trend!

New Yarn in the Shop!

I’ve decided I’m going to merge my shop blog and this blog since I tend to write about crafty things in my life here anyway.  Since that includes my etsy shop, I figured it would be perfect for Sarandipity’s Craft Room.  :)

On to the yarny goodness!  If you’ve read my blog in the last month or so, you might have seen these yarns before.  They were spun up as part of Ravellenics this year.  I’ve decided to put them up for sale so others can enjoy the beautiful colors and make beautiful things with them.

First up is X’s & O’s.  There are 2 skeins of this yarn, both 2oz and approximately 64 yards.  Worsted weight with approx 10 WPI (wraps per inch).  Both are up on etsy at $15.50 each plus shipping (NYS residents add tax).  Click the photo to go to the listing.

X's & O's

X’s & O’s

Next up is a First on Facebook Friday Sale – I like to offer some of my yarns for sale before they go up on etsy.   This week I’m offering Chocolate-dipped Berries.  This yarn looks good enough to eat.  It’s spun from a mix of Finn, Corriedale and Rambouillet Cross wool.  It is Navajo or Chain plied resulting in a worsted weight 3 ply yarn.  There are 128 yards at 3.2oz.   Just look at those gorgeous colors!  Lots of reds/pinks, purplish blues and shades of brown.  This is available for 23.50 + Shipping (NYS Residents add tax.)  Click the image to hop over to my facebook page and comment with an email address where I can send a paypal invoice.

EDITED: Chocolate Dipped Berries is now available via etsy.  Please click on the photo to be taken to the listing.  Look for future First on Facebook Fridays.

Chocolate-dipped Berries

Chocolate-dipped Berries

Also, my Luck of the Irish sale is on until midnight  tonight 3/21/14 (EST).  Just enter code IRISHLUCK and receive 10% off a $10+ purchase.  That goes for the First on Facebook Friday Sale, too!  EDITED: SALE HAS ENDED.  Look for future coupons and sales here, facebook and twitter.

Happy First Day of Spring

Spring is finally here, though you wouldn’t really know it by looking outside.  It’s very dark and dreary with a fine rain falling on the layer of sleet that fell yesterday.  Hopefully, the weather will start improving, the buds will start popping up and Mother Nature will show her true beauty in all the flowers and green leaves.  I’m looking forward to the snow going away!

I’m also hoping that I won’t need all the winter woolies anymore.  Though, that will make me kinda sad as I just finished a pair of fingered gloves for myself.  I’m loving the colors (black, red, green with a hint of white and blue) and they match my winter coat and hat perfectly (well, the black and bright green do anyway), but I’m kinda sad that while I made them to fit me perfectly, they have stretched a bit with wearing them a few times and now feel like they are floating on my hands.  They are still warm, though and I’ll either keep them or give them to Darling Hubby if he’d like them.  I was considering making them with a mitten flap to go over the fingers, but I don’t think I have enough yardage leftover to do both flaps…Oh well.

I haven’t been spinning since the Ravellenics ended in February (geeze, that was a month ago almost!).  I went to Open Spinning at the LYS last night and finished up the 2nd skein of my X’s and O’s worsted weight Navajo plied yarn.  It felt good to finish something.  I finally washed the first skein of X’s and O’s and the skein of Ten and Tardis singles that I spun.  Now I’ve got 3 skeins of yarn drying.  I’m hoping the weather improves so I can get out on the porch to photograph.  The dark and dreary light of today isn’t great for photography…and my attempt at making my own light box was a failure.  :(  Sometimes I’m crafty, but this wasn’t one of those times!

Oh, and I have added one new project to my WIP list.  Little Fidget will be turning 4 in May and along with that he has the opportunity to go to pre-k.  I’ve already put his application in for the district pre-k lottery which will be drawn on 4-11-14.  We should hear if he got into our chosen school by the following week.  We’re really hoping that he gets into the same school his brother currently attends.  It would make life so much easier!  lol  Anyway, since school starts in 6 months I figured that would give me plenty of time to work on a “nap blanket” like I made for Bug when he went to Pre-k.  Fidget decided that he wanted something simpler than the Wheels on the Bus blanket I’d made for Bug.  In a way I’m grateful that he chose something simpler.  While the Wheels on the Bus was a cute blanket it was a lot of work and after a school year of weekly washing it didn’t hold up as well as I’d have liked. Plus, sewing all those 2 inch squares together was a right royal pain!  lol

Fidget chose a red blanket at first, then chose a red and black blanket.  I fell in love with the Moderne Baby Blanket from Mason Dixon Knitting so we scoured Ravelry together to find red and black blankets to give us ideas for 2 more colors.  We settled on black, red, white and dark grey.  So far I’m on block 6 and only messed up once, putting block 4 in the wrong place, but it will work out in the end I think with a bit of fudging.

Sadly, I don’t have any new photos.  Hopefully I’ll get something this week to share.  It’s weird, but I don’t like talking about my craft projects without photos to share!  Better get back to knitting.  Happy Spring, Everyone!