1) Let it be known that I really am sick to death of religious and/or spiritual conversations 98% of the time. I say this because Theresa posted about this Secret thing and I finally got around to pulling up a clip on YouTube. The clip mostly bored me but the comments were like a wreck I couldn't stop reading even though I really wanted to. While the secret is most definitely not for me (is it just me or are they just new ageing prayer?) I found it pretty relevant to me since I recently gave up complaining for Lent.

2) The whole experiment with sacrificing complaining has been an interesting one. Let's face it, things like positive thinking and visualization have been around for ages and they wouldn't continue to be used if they weren't effective. I'm not advocating that, but it's definitely interesting to see what happens not when you necessarily add positive thinking to your life but when you eliminate negative thinking (no matter how true to life it is) from your life. I think it's one of those things where you hear of these people who have intense stress in their lives (they live in a war zone for instance and food is scarce) and yet they are happy. We all know life can be no picnic but I think what got to me was how often in a day I'd reflect on the non-picnicness (new word?) of it. And it's not even a conscious reflection of it where I am actually sitting here contemplating over how crappy my life is but just vocalizing little things, I think, really started to add up. Maybe it's more out of sight, out of mind but so far it's working. And what's really neat is how much I have to pay attention to what I'm saying (or typing). I've been pretty good about self-monitoring and my husband has only caught one or two I've missed myself. I just wonder if it'll stick?

3) Does anyone have ANY advice for a messed up shoulder? I woke up Sunday with a sharp pain in my shoulder/back area. I'm not sure of medical terms, maybe a pinched nerve? I've taken Motrin and hot baths but they don't seem to alleviate it. It does feel better when I dig my knuckles in and rub but well that's not a practical solution is it? 🙂 Do I just need to wait it out?

4) I have cast on a baby blanket and am in love!! I am using KnitPicks' Shine Worsted for the very first time. It is so incredibly delicious and gorgeous to work with. And machine washable! I'm using the coral and green apple colors. The pattern is the Easy Eyelet Blanket from Knitting for Baby except I'm doing thick stripes. I officially LOVE this book. I have knit the garter stitch hat, the beginner baby booties, the garter cloche, and now am doing the blanket. The booties and cloche were gifts at a shower this weekend. She liked them lots. And was surprised they were handmade. Yay! I think this book may be the one that finally gets me to do a baby sweater. One day. Maybe for Sadie next winter? I've just looked up one of the authors, Melanie Falick, and see she has several knitting books. I am especially interested in Kids Knitting book as Eldest is dying to learn how– he learned the Off Jumps Jack poem this weekend. I'm also eyeing Weekend Knitting. Anyone have any input on any of these books?

5) Speaking of books, I'm not exactly sure how much of this is revealing too much of my personal life or whatever but I recently got Babyproofing Your Marriage thanks to a $20 Amazon credit (I love Amazon sales). I think that so far I'm going to go ahead and recommend this book. At first, I was hesitant because even though the authors swear it's not a bitchfest and a whine festival that berates husbands for not doing enough, the first couple of chapters definitely read that way- at least to me they did. I've read a few chapters and have handed the baton to J for him to read to where I've gotten so I'll give you his feedback if he'll let me. However, it's worth mentioning that for all the "You need to help MORE!" chanting in the book, the chapter on sex alone almost makes the book entirely worth it. I've learned a lot from this book so far and the most eye-opening and comforting lesson has been this: My husband and I are really freaking… normal. I mean it's almost embarassing how normal we are, how accurately so much of this book describes us. There are definitely parts that are off. J for instance does help around a lot and I personally think that although a Training Weekend would be nice as it'd really give us a common ground to communicate from, it's slightly extreme and almost not necessary in his case. But yes, if you have a little one under one let's say or maybe are even expecting a baby, get the book. Although, if you're pregnant don't even bother reading it because I have a feeling you won't buy into much of it until oh let's say Week 5 of baby being there.

6) Daughter is crying and J's almost home. Time to get the house together and dinner ready. Dinner by the way is another Barbecue in the Crockpot adventure- this time, chicken legs. Mmmmmmm.


Movies and Books

What else is there to do really when summers are unbearably hot, humid, and even worse- rainy as hell? Stay indoors with the a/c and read, watch movies, and craft- right? I've never been much of a TV person but lately it's really convenient to sit in front of the boob tube while nursing Daughter or while soothing her in the carrier. I also have been caught with her on my chest and me knitting above her. 🙂

I watched two movies the other night that are so excellent. The first was Saved! which is actually a few years old and I've seen it before. This movie is excellent. First of all, it's freaking hysterical. Second of all, it's hard to find a movie featuring high school students that also showcases an extremely powerful message. Saved! is one of those rare exceptions. I went to Catholic school from Kindergarten to 12th grade and even though the school featured is not Catholic, the basic undercurrents are the same. Sadly too many Christians take the movie incredibly personally and can't get past the satirical aspect immediately going into defensive mode. They miss the whole point of the movie which is wading through everything to get to the truth of what it takes to be a good person. Yes there are cliches. Yes there are stereotypes. Yes there is a level of predictability to it. But really, finding movies without any of those things is incredibly rare if not impossible especially in the comedy genre. It is really just good fun to watch and there are definitely scenes and lines that make your brain do a double-take (I have the bible-throwing scene in mind in particular).

Then I was lucky enough to see that Finding Neverland came on right after. I've been waiting to since this movie since it came out. J is not interested at all so it was perfect that it came on at 2 in the morning when the only stirring creatures in this house were myself and Daughter. Oh hell what a movie. So beautiful!! And it had so many levels and things going on. I love the creative process being portrayed. Like the bell attached to the kite bringing forth Tinkerbell and the grandmother as Captain Hook? Priceless! And of course I cried like a hormonal disaster. I mean here I am holding my sleeping newborn girl and watching a movie about mortality and really it was one of those situations where I had to force myself to not think too much because I was really close to just sobbing like a fiend. Hooray hormones! When it was over it occurred to me I've never read Peter Pan and that frustrated me greatly so it's at the top of my list of must-reads.

Speaking of books, I ordered two knitting books the other day. One Skein: 30 Quick Projects to Knit and Crochet and Stich n' Bitch Nation. SNBN is mighty thick so I haven't skimmed it yet. I skimmed One Skein though and I can tell you you won't be seeing any of those projects here for a while yet. Almost every project in the book calls for circular needles and/or double pointed needles. I am not opposed to using those but I'm not comfortable doing it yet. Also, it uses stitches I haven't learned yet like cable and seed. I'll get there but I'm really enjoying myself mastering the basics with fun projects that are easy and straightforward. SNBN looks really fun but I think I noticed that there is no indication of level on the projects. Am I right? They don't tell you if something is easy, intermediate, or advanced? I find that frustrating. But it's a minor thing. I'm going to sit and leaf through it now as my hands are a bit achey right now.

In unrelated news. Coloriffic August is Rainbow themed. How cool is that!?! I'm having a blast looking around for ideas and inspiration. Here's some cute stuff I've seen so far.

I actually LOVE all of this stuff. The last top with the dots is my favorite and the necklace too. Yummy!! I forgot how much I love rainbows. 🙂 I've loved them since I was a little girl and then they kinda got shelved in the back of the brain.


I shipped my Vintage Love Swap today. It was a really fun experience. I met a new blogger whose identity I’ll reveal in a couple of days when I’m sure she’s received her package. I’ve had a neat time looking at her blog as it’s not typical of the blogs I read. It was also really interesting shopping for her because I don’t know her well. I hope she enjoys her goodies. I stuck to what seemed to be a favorite for her- old books. And I threw in a little bowl that made me smile. Mostly though? Books and a magazine.

The books I ordered as presents arrived yesterday. Hooray for Amazon Prime. I realized when I opened the box that I had also ordered my film friend The Enchanted Tarot: Book and Cards off of her Wish List. And that could help me generate some more ideas for gifts, but what really got me going was my copy ofVisual Chronicles. I took it out and upstairs with me into my bath (scented by Tutti Dolci’s Chocolate Bubble Bath btw). I started reading and am all over the place. First of all, I have a billion ideas running through my head. And yet, I got this really weird feeling of being scared that maybe the book would lead me to create pages that were more like what was in the book then what really reflected me. I am halfway through the book and already I can tell you that I really wish later in the book I get to see a lot more of Karen Dinino’s work. I understand that Linda Woods is the artist but that’s exactly why I am not as interested in her pages. Also, and maybe this is the pregnancy talking, some of the chat in there is way too artsy fartsy for me. It’s a really weird mix in there. Some of the casual chat sounds almost contrived. And some of the encouraging “You are art” talk makes me roll my eyes. For whatever reason, when it comes to art and people start talking about this being representational of that and that being symbolic of this, I feel like puking. Actually, I feel the same way when people tear apart literature. But seriously? I like a lot of the ideas and even most of the text. Although I don’t understand what seems to be quite an obsession with gesso. Maybe if I use it I’ll get it? I am most intrigued by the Personal Palette. I really like the idea of associating people with colors and let’s face it, I do make that association. So I can definitely see myself working on something like that. Also, what really gets me and I have to just make it a habit, is the emphasis on carrying things with you to make notes- and actually making the notes when they hit you. I have never ever made this habit and I have always intended on doing so. Some times I try- I stash a tiny notebook in my purse for a few days. I inevitably lose it. Or take it out of my purse for space and never replace it. But it’s really something that needs to stay there. So I’m hoping this motivates me to do it. I’m going to try the artistic journal- visual journal, maybe? And if nothing more, reading the book so far has given me a flood of ideas for my friend’s gift- supplies for her journal of course. Markers, pencils, the ever-present gesso, shipping tags, screw posts, glue sticks, alphabet stamps, a label maker, ink pads, index cards, the small notebook for the purse, etc. These are all really great little things that would be fun to shop for and fun to throw in. And even though I’m sure she’ll be baffled when she opens the gift, she’ll get it when she starts reading.

Tomorrow, I get to meet an internet buddy! It’s amazing to me that frequently using the internet for over ten years has yielded me only two personal encounters. This is the second actually. There are not a lot of internet-savvy people down here I guess- at least not ones with the same interests as me. We are taking the kids, and meeting at, Jacob’s Aquatic Center in Key Largo. I’ve been there once before and it’s a really fun time for the kids. Plus, it’s a public space and so it’s a little safer. My little brother is going with me. I’m really excited about meeting her and her husband and her two kids. I think it’s going to be such a fun time. We’ve been friends for almost two years now!

I packed the hospital suitcase today. I also packed Mario his bag. I had my massage yesterday. It was divine. Really, truly divine. And tomorrow, Thursday, I turn 38 weeks. The end is near. Doctor said I was 50% effaced, 1 cm dilated. Which means NOTHING of course and really I’m not concerned about her being here sooner than later. I like the dates June 5 and June 7. June 8 is good too. June 3 can be her early date if she so desires.

Well internet, thanks for letting me work off some of this insomnia. Bedtime.

Wrap it up!

Just thought I’d end my day with another post. What can I say? I’m chatty today.

Just a couple of previews and updates and things of that nature. First of all, two of my best friends have birthdays this weekend. Each of them has such distinct personalities and are so special to me, I am really having a great time getting presents together for them.

One of them loves writing, art, and film so I’m putting together a little gift bag for her. I ordered her a handmade journal from Five and a Half, a purchase completely and totally enabled by Ellia’s post the other day. Ok fine I got one for me too. I also got us each a copy of Visual Chronicles: The No-Fear Guide to Creating Art Journals, Creative Manifestos and Altered Books. Now that I think about, I’m pretty sure that I can credit that purchase to at least two other bloggers- Snowbear who apparently has it on her nightstand, and Red Instead who not only has been churning out some fabulous work lately, but she was inspired by the book to begin her own art journal and has even received feedback from the authors.

I think my friend has dappled in this before so I figure she’ll really get a kick out of something like this and it’ll be fun if we embark on it together. I am also going to make her a tote bag and have tinkered around with some ideas. I know I want to play with the film thing and do a naughty-ish tote bag with a spicy stencil and a fun tagline. Otherwise, I am stumped. She’s going on an internship to LA in June for six weeks. That will officially make her a college graduate as well. Anyone have any ideas?

My other friend has been bitten by the crochet bug mostly thanks to my being bitten by the knitting bug. She saw me teaching myself and remembered how when she was younger, she used to do the chain stitch and such so she’s begun to pick it up again. I got her the Stitch ‘N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker since I’m pretty sure it has patterns she’ll find entertaining.

I also bought some really cute patterns from as the amigurumi dolls I’ve been showing her have her totally reared to go. I’m going to print them out on nice thick paper and put them in a flexible binder for her. I also got her a great crochet hook holder from Melimade which I’m going to fill with hooks in different sizes. All of this is also getting shoved into a tote bag which is going to feature this stencil I made of Ki Toy Johnson, one of her favorite models. I’m going to iron on something like Happy Hooking or Hooked or whatever on the bag too to play on the whole crochet thing.

I have tons of other things coming up but I figured these would be fun to share for now. I’m working on that puzzle swap I mentioned the other day and have three backgrounds done- beach, Americana, and purple & sage. Also, Mario got a butterfly thing for Easter and the butterflies hatched today. I’m trying to get decent photos of them and we’ll be releasing them soon. I don’t want the poor butterflies trapped forever- it makes me sad. And he keeps asking me to release them too except I think he wants me to release them in the house so he can chase them… I have my massage tomorrow and my doctor’s appointment the day after. So many errands to do but at least these two appointments shove me out of the house and that actually helps motivate me to get things done!

As promised, I’m going to go ahead and throw lots of yummy pictures and links your way. These are my favorite posts to read on other blogs and so I’m returning the favor. Since my desk is sort of transient right now, and a crafting space nonexistent, I really use the internet as my inspiration and my blog and the blogs of others as a sort of inspiration board. So here we go.

First off, the knitting books.

Knitting For Baby
is truly gorgeous. More important to me is that it is highly motivational because it features really beautiful projects that shouldn’t be difficult. I’m going to enlist the help of my SIL and work on the patchwork baby blanket. I can do garter stitch squares! I’ll let you know how it turns out but it’s definitely at the top of my project list.

World of Knitted Toys
by Kath Dalmeny is really cute and fun-looking but kinda makes me nervous. My being a complete newbie knitter, the patterns make kinda glaze over and ask, “Huh?” The book claims the seal is the easiest toy to complete so that will be my first project from the book. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Speaking of knitting, let me update you on that whole um thing. Right now, I’m mostly in search of practice although now that I have found two projects I really want to do- the seal and blanket, I’m still sticking to practicing with the scarves. And if it’s a practice piece, it’s a Project Spectrum Piece. I initially had no plans other than the Stitch n Bitch Ribbed For Her Pleasure scarf for my practice piece. The thing is, I was getting so frustrated with it, I wanted to do something easier to lift my spirits a bit while I worked on it. So I grabbed some super bulky yarn and my gigantic needles and just started cranking out a simple simple garter stitch scarf. That one is ten times further along than the ribbed one but hey I’m trying not to give up.

My very first package of fun stuff to my new address came in over the weekend. Theresa at CraftyCorner sent me one of her really beautiful Departed Souls Trading Cards and CD. I love the idea of sending an ATC as a trading card with a sticker and a stick of gum. It’s so great. And cute little envelope for it too!! Everything about her package is so personal, it really was special getting it from her so thank you so much Theresa. Your little prince will make his way to you soon I promise!!

I don’t think I’ve mentioned before how much I love vinyl toys. It all started with my love of things Japanese and the vinyl toys out right now you can tell really derive from that influence. Anyways, my boss knows about my fixation and on one of our trips to New York I dragged him to Kidrobot. That store is just heavenly. It pops with colors and makes me drool a lot. Anyways, it’s become a habit that every time he goes to NY, he pops in and buys me one of their Dunnys. These are the last two he brought back for me. The yellow is from the limited edition Los Angeles series and the green is from the new 2 faced series. He has two faces but the one I photographed is my favorite.

Speaking of shopping, which I do quite often, I discovered some stores that also leave me salivating. The first two I actually found in an issue of Lucky magazine that I somehow missed before. The third I found thanks to Shim + Sons. If you have a chance and you love bright colors and bold graphics you’ll want to check out the following:

Juice Planning
has some REALLY cute stuff like bags and trays and stationery items. They’re all in that really bright Japanese heavy pattern style I adore.

Little Odd Forest
is similar but has a lot more to offer and for me, it’s ALL about their bags and tees. I’m not too crazy about their home stuff but I also haven’t looked at it too hard because I can’t stop drooling over their bags.

is one of those sites that makes me physically itch for a sewing machine and someone to teach me how to use the thing. It also makes me wish I had walls and walls of fabric like this at my disposal. I want to stretch some of their fabric over canvas and hang it on my walls and the others I want to make into soft blankets, or towels, or throws, or even skirts and dresses. Some of those would make GREAT purses too.

Also, just for fun. I have a Yoshitomo Nara calendar above my computer. Check out the March image. I love her.

Just a list of things

I have so much crafty news to update with and although they really should have pictures attached, I’m just too beat up to take pictures right now so I’ll list them now and make a nicer update tomorrow when I’m a little more recovered than I am right now from an event I worked yesterday.

* Friday I got two new knitting books in the mail. This is quickly turning into an obsession for one big reason: Portability. I got Knitting For Baby by Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas and I got World of Knitted Toys which isn’t right next to me so I can’t give the rest of the relevant information on it.

* The Ribbed For Her Pleasure scarf is coming along but very slowly. To make myself feel better, and to redeem the first ucky ucky ucky scarf I made, I picked up some Lion’s Brand Boucle yarn in this crazy varied color yarn that has reds and pinks in it as I am continuously inspired by Project Spectrum. THAT one is coming along a LOT faster and makes me smile.

* I got a beautiful package from Snowbear in the mail today– well yesterday. It’s one of her day of the dead atc’s and just made me drool everywhere. Or maybe it was the gum that did it.

* There are some online stores I am in love with for the simple reason that looking at them makes me smile: ReproDepot, JuicePlanning, and LittleOddForest. I’ll provide links tomorrow I PROMISE.

Anyways, my body is screaming at me as is the husband (something about my cell phone). I am going to make my way upstairs and take a hot shower. After that is anyone’s guess. Maybe I’ll work on one of the scarves.

Hooray for Mail Day!!

Today is what we call a FABULOUS mail day. I got some ebay purchases in the mail including some stuff for cleansing the new house and the stuff you would be interested in.

FOUR ATC’s from the fabulous Artist Trading Cards Community.

AND the gorgeous Mayweed I bought from Abby at While She Naps who is actually not pink at all but a beautiful red and beige. I actually like her more that she’snot pink.

AND my three books from Overstock: Stitch n Bitch, The Knitting Experience, and Ready Set Crochet which I might gift to someone. We’ll see. It looks excellent but I’m preoccupied with the knitting thing.

Here is my gorgeous son modeling some of these fabulous goodies for you

Also a small note. It looks like the heavens have smiled on us at last and we will be closing Monday which means we will be moving Monday and Tuesday. I don’t know when the internet will be up there but believe me, I don’t part easily with it if at all so don’t expect a long absence because of lack of INTERNET just lack of TIME.