Friday, February 27, 2009

J canz writez - Part 2

J got two more books.

He edited two of them (one is the orange one above) and wrote chapters for the other two (the black and blue ones above). He's only received three out of four.

I'm terribly proud of him.

M is 7!

I'm so glad M's birthday is over.

That may sound terrible, but it seems that the ramp up to the birthday started a month ago.

My folks gave her a Wii and we got it two weeks early. We set that up early. Partly because I wanted to play with it, too.

Then we got stuff from J's parents on the Thursday before her party. She's wearing her party dress she got from Grandma to her birthday party - M LOVES party dresses.

We had a Mad Science party with 15 kids. Here are the pics (Thank you so much COH!) We forgot our camera at home and we had someone with a camera phone take pics - at least we have something.

Love this photo - My kid - the know-it-all.

Then on Monday - she celebrated at school.

As she was going to bed on her birthday, she mentioned that she hated that it was over so soon.


Pilates Hell

I have a good friend who has been kicking me into activity for the past three years. (Thanks, M).

We even now have J working out!

Yesterday, we all took our first Pilates class.

It. Kicked. My. Ass.

I'm not as sore today as I thought I would be, but I ended up falling asleep in front of the tube last night and ended up not going to a game night because I was just incredibly exhausted.

I am just amazed laying down on the ground and lifting legs and butts, etc. can be so taxing.

I plan on going next week, too.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We're okay

Each day, J will occasionally look over to me and say, "It's okay. We're going to make it."

Currently, my business is just so slow. The clients can't borrow money in order to get stuff done. Cities are scaling back because the bond markets are just so bad.

I know we're not past the worst, but I do feel that we have hope.

We're going to be okay. Tight, but okay.

Weird KIP moment

I've found that knitter's who knit in public (KIP) are generally very friendly people and more than happy to talk to you about your shared love of this hobby.

I went yesterday to get allergy shots - we have to stick around for 30 minutes after getting shots. There was a woman there knitting - which isn't something that happens a lot. So, I told her that I was a knitter, too and asked about her project.


She didn't want to talk to me AT ALL. Every question was answered with a monosyllabic response. At first I thought it was because she was counting and trying to keep the pattern - which I was very nice about and backed off, but when she put the knitting down, I tried talking to her again only to have the same response.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

More Socks!

I'm getting back into the groove with my CSM. Here are a pair of socks for a friend of mine's mother.

Women's Size 9
Paton's Stretch Sock Yarn
Leg: 50 rows 1x1 rib
PH: 10
Foot: 54 rows
Gage: 9 rows/inch

Interesting: Toe measuring 1.5"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

FO - Felted Daypack

I knitted this out of stash yarn for a church auction. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

CSM Socks!

Made the socks with one of the hand-dyed yarns last night.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm dyeing


My neighbor is a true fiber artist and knows everything there is to know about them - at least that what it seems like. And she's also really humble about it, too.

Her kiddo's were off one weekend and she invited me over to show me how to dye yarn.

This is what the results were.

It's a lot more darker than what the photo shows - oh and that's the new floor laminate we have in our living room now - isn't it beautiful?

I also did the yarn dying class at the fiber retreat. Here it is drying:
Can't wait till I can knit this up into a pair of socks!!

Catching up

Okay, I have been knitting/crocheting (!) and just not keeping up with my blog posts.

I just finished a heart for M. (Pop Heart by Diana Prince) It's made with kitchen cotton yarn.

She loves it.

I also just finished knitting a felted back pack that will be donated to a church auction (I belong to a local UU church now - I like it).

It's being felted right now. I'll post a photo when it's done. Made with some stash yarn (Reynolds Lite Lopi and Cascade 220).

I also finished up a square that will go into a guild afghan - we're going to enter into the State Fair.

It's the first time I was able to knit straight from a chart. Yay!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fiber Retreat

I spent Saturday and Sunday at a fiber retreat located just north of where I live.

It was a lot of fun as I schlepped my CSM. We had about 5 other CSM'ers there and I had a great time. The first day was terrible - I made three socks only to have to rip them out due to dropped stitches or screwing up some other way.

My CSM does not like to travel.

I had wanted to take my new LeGare 400, but it's so gunked up that it needed to soak some more in the MMO. I was finally able to take the v-cam off. I'm glad I did because the previous owner never did clean it up and the gunk build up has actually made the metal wear so much that I'm a little concerned about how it's going to work after it's been cleaned - i.e., there will be too much play in the v-cam. Time will tell.

The second day proved to be a little more productive - I got a pair of socks done - for me. I have a number of socks I have to make (Mom, I have my machine up and running - I'll start getting some whipped out for you.)

This pair was done with Lion Brand Sock Ease.

Leg: 60 rows 1x1 rib
10 row pre-heel
Foot: 44 rows (7.5 rows/inch gage)

Size 10.5 Women's

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Abe & Charlie

Today is Abe Lincoln ("Abraham Lincoln is the sixteenth pres-i-dent") and Charles Darwin's 200th birthday.

Two extraordinary men.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ugh-part 2

So, I was told by the Editor of Craft magazine that they wanted to do an article on me for Craft:11.

Alas, there will not be a Craft:11. :(

I'm not all that upset about the article - I kept telling them to interview other CSM'ers 'cause I'm just a newbie struggling to figure out my machine.

I am upset there won't be a Craft: anymore.

RIP, Craft:.



I just got a call from a client - he's in Florida trying to scare up some business.

It's been like this with all my clients - they just don't have money because they're investors disappeared almost literally overnight.

I have been watching a lot of debate of the the latest stimulus package. I am on the fence.

J said, "If we're in debt, do we go out and spend our way out or do we cinch up our belt and slowly pay off the debt."

Well, we don't borrow more money - that's for sure.

I absolutely hate how the TARP has been handled to date. The bankers really stuck their middle fingers up to the American people.

I'm just really frustrated right now.

The Repub's are pounding the tax relief drum, but since I'm doing my taxes right now, when would I get tax relief? Next year?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Proud Mama

M was given an option, since she's in first grade, to participate in this year's science fair.

She loves anything dealing with science. I give the credit completely to Mad Science - we've been sending her to the after school program for about two years now and she LOVES it.

She decided to do something with Diet Coke and Mentos since she saw the Eepy Birds perform live at Maker Faire last year.

Her hypothesis: the fountains of cold and warm diet coke will be the same height when you add mentos to them.

We bought 7 liters of diet coke and a number of mentos (of course you have to have extra for sampling!)

I took three of them and put them in the oven at a very low heat. Another three were put in the fridge, and the last was kept at room temperature.

We took the temperature of the coke, added 4 mentos to it, and measured the fountain height.

Here's her science fair display.
She was so proud when she took to to school today. I was proud if her, too.

FWIW, the warm coke fountains were really higher than cold coke.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Time - It Is Crawling. . .

I got a package in the mail today - and it's from Canada.

Must. Resist. Opening. It.

Oh, and gotta go run by an auto parts store for Marvel Mystery Oil

Economic Stimulus Idea

Okay. I'm a small business person. My husband is also self employed. We meet up with a lot of people who would like to be self employed, but are held hostage to health care coverage. I mean that literally.

I pay $550 a month in health care premiums and that's for a crappy HSA. We were paying $1000 a month.

Why don't we get universal health care for every one - then people who have been wanting to start a business can do it without fear of bankrupting their family if anyone falls seriously ill.

I think that is a fine idea indeed. It will also put us on equal footing with the Canadians, the French and the Brits. You guys are so smart.

Pop Pies 2

J has just released a new game.

It's fun and I hope you like playing it. I'll post it here when he releases it to the four winds.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Beware of IKEA furniture

I have always liked the deals you can get from IKEA. We bought a number of items from IKEA. Almost three years ago, we bought an EKTORP sectional couch. We were a little skeptical about buying the couch as it was IKEA furniture, but they had 10 year warranty splashed all around the area and the assurances that we could bring it back if we had problems.

About a month ago I had called IKEA to see what I needed to do to get the couch fixed. I knew it was having troubles. The call center put a trace out to track down my receipt as I didn't have the original and said someone from the store will call me to tell me what I needed to do to get the warranty work started.

A week later, I got a call from the local IKEA store. I was informed that I had to bring the sofa to the store for inspection before they would authorize any work. I asked what the inspector would be looking for and the answer was "workmanship". I asked what that meant, and he replied, very rudely, "workmanship". I asked if there was any way I could pay for someone to come out to the house to look at the couch as I had to have the couch delivered. "No, you will have to bring it in. It's the only way." I asked if he could fax a copy of the receipt and he said is wasn't necessary - just bring it in.

So, when we cleared out the living room to get the flooring done, I actually got to see the extent of the damage - and it wasn't good. The center beam had sheared through the main frame and the back was coming undone.

First of all, the shearing was happening because there is no structural support at that location. It's bad design. In the photo above, what you're seeing is the cross beam below the frame. The frame beam has broken and the dowels going into the beam sheared straight through the beam. Maybe this photo will show it a little better.

The other real problem is the back is no longer stapled to the back beam. This is what it should look like:
Here's what it does look like:

To me, the staples are really bad quality and the whole reason why it's coming apart.

My friend doing the flooring installation was really nice and allowed me to use his truck - so I loaded the pieces up and got to IKEA - it was 10:30.

I had to wait for 20 minutes before I got someone to help me at the desk only to be told that this was not her usual station. She refused to get anyone to help me get the furniture into the store until she was able to track down the reciept - and she told me a number of times that it was MY responsibility to keep the original receipt and that she was just doing me a favor by tracking down the transaction. So, I had to wait for 40 minutes before she came back and said that they had a copy of the reciept. I asked for help with unloading the sofa and she wandered off. After getting one piece off the truck, I finally had someone come and offer to help. That took another 20 minutes to unload everything. I was then told to wait till they had their quality control guy look over the sofa.

By this time, I was a little hot so I told the guys that I needed to cool off and I went to look at stuff. After a half an hour, I came back and waived at the Customer Service guys to show them I was back. It took them another 10 minutes to get a manager. Kim, the manager, came up and told me that her QC guy looked at the sofa and determined that it was not a workmanship issue.

I told her that I did not agree and tried to explain to her that the wood sheared right at the joint. Then she told me that she had the same sofa and had a 3 year old niece come and jump on her sofa and it broke in the same place as where the damage was on my sofa.

I must admit that I thought I was calmed down pretty well when I came back. When she told me about her niece, she was basically telling me that we were abusing the furniture. I told her that it was very insulting that she told me that because it just sent a message to me that she believed that we were abusing the furniture.

I was really upset.

I asked if there was any one I could appeal this to, and she said no. The decision was made. So I told her that I wanted to load it back onto the truck and asked if I could have help. She helped wheel it out to the truck and then told me that I had to wait for help. I looked at her and told her that I had been here for two and a half hours and that I wasn't going to wait any more. I also told her that this was terribly inconvenient to have to haul the whole couch here to find out the warranty was not what was originally billed to us. She said that someone could have come out to look at the damage. I must admit that at that point I yelled. I told her that I called two weeks ago and asked. She said that that was a call center and they wouldn't know. I told her that NO it wasn't the call center it was a person from THIS store. Well, she would have to take this issue up with the managers of the store to see if they could offer this service. I was so mad at this point that I started to load the furniture onto the truck myself. THEN I got the help I needed to get it loaded.


Never. Again. Will. I. Buy. Furniture. That. Can. Be. Sat. On. Or. Slept. In. From. IKEA.

Plus their customer service SUCKS.

I'm also a savvyer person now when it comes to warranties. Workmanship warranties aren't worth a damn.

So, now I'm having a furniture repair guy come to see if it can be repaired fairly inexpensively. An upolsterer wanted $500 to fix it and said that it wouldn't last.

Make the hemoraging of money stop. . .

More Updates to the Home

A couple of months ago, J found a post on Craigslist for some wood laminate. Turns out the family had the laminate in their kitchen and their dishwasher backed up and ruined a large spot. They salvaged what was left (325 SF). This included all the padding. While getting quotes on installation, we found out that the flooring/padding is top quality so I feel good about the deal.

It's being installed by a good friend right now and I have to admit that I was on the fence regarding putting this in my living room. I have wood paneling (oak) and am gun shy with putting wood with faux wood.

BUT! I was wrong to be worried. Here's what it looks like as it's being installed.

Getting excited about moving back in.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

FO - Beachbum Outfit

The pattern was confusing on how to put the "life jacket" together and how to sew the trunks. It would be nice to have had a better photo.

Just a link so I won't forget

I stumbled across a great tutorial on how to do bust darts. I'm just putting it here so I won't lose it.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Nerd crush

I guess crush is really the wrong way to describe this, but I've been fascinated by the idea of wearable electronics. When I went to Maker Faire in 2007, I spent HOURS at one of the areas trying to get a simple soft circuit to work (I never did).

I have an RSS feed to the Craft: and Make: blogs and they have been recently pimping the LilyPad system. I want to order a kit, but don't have any idea what I would do with it.

I guess I'll keep on dreaming.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

New Toy on it's way

This was a deal that I just felt like I couldn't pass up. It was for sale on eBay for $350. A LeGare 400 with a 54 cylinder/36 ribber dial.

The knitting you see here dates back to the 80's from what I got from the seller.

It definitely will need a good cleaning.

I'm torn about who to root for - Cardinals first time, but Kurt Warner is annoyingly fundy. Steelers pos. 6x winner, but has youngest coach.

Wipeout is a RERUN. Come on. If you pimp out to switch to you for the half time show, at least make it original content.

The kitty bowl half time show just isn't a cute as the puppy bowl. They just look scared all the time.

DH mentioned that Bruce is becoming more like my generation's Jimmy Buffet. Will we start seeing Glory Day's restaurants?