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Happy Birthday, John

My love
Originally uploaded by crazycatladymel.
Today is John's birthday (#34, if it's relevant to you). Sadly, he's recovering from dental surgery and is still in a lot of pain, so I'm not sure that we'll be celebrating, except that I've promised to watch a few episodes of Sanford & Son with him tonight. (I got him all six seasons on DVD for his birthday).

Weekend Recap

In the Dark (my camera)
We survived the "squall" yesterday pretty much unscathed. We lost power, and had a small branch come down, but that was it. I took a picture of one of the candles with both cameras: my regular one (above) and my phone's camera, here. Quite a difference, huh? I'm not sure how long the power was out, because we left about an hour into it for John & SIL C's birthday dinner.

For the weekend, I'd pretty much like a do-over. Saturday was really rough, and was basically a wash. Note to self: you really have to eat breakfast,and within an hour of waking, miniumum. Not doing so will make you cranky and moody and unpleasant to be around. And when you do finally eat (about 5 hours after you get up), you'll feel somewhat better, but still be anxious and have a headache.

Matchbox BundlesI did manage to get some matchboxes covered and bundled up. pedal_pushers  suggested I combine the twine I planned to use with buttons, and I think she was exactly right. Another picture (overhead) in my photostream, here.

While I worked on these, I watched some of Buffy, season 6, starting with Once More with Feeling (the musical, if you're not a fan). I still have "Walk through the Fire" stuck in my head.

Totally random observation: when you watched these episodes, did it bother you that of all the people that lived in that house, only Buffy had to go get a job? Willow and Tara lived there, rent-free, and never appeared to pony up for groceries or anything. (Yes, I know -- it's TV, and doesn't have to make sense.) My folks helped out quite a lot when I was in college, but I still had to get a job, even when living at home, even if it was part-time. Tara had been cut off from her family, so they weren't sending her $. Maybe Willow's mom gave her $ for living expenses, so why not contribute that to the bills?

Rice Crispy "Cake"Back to reality. Apologies for the terrible quality, but none of us brought a real camera to dinner. (Bad blogger!)

We've always celebrated birthays in pairs, by going out to dinner as a family, with the birthday people taking turns picking the restaurant. My dad & brother were both born in January, and my mom & I in August. Christie (a June baby) came along, and for years got her own dinner, then I married John - another June baby - and now they share.

This year's dinner didn't really turn out as expected. John wanted to go to a restaurant he liked, and we were all for it, but we picked a location that was very different from the one he'd been to. It was loud and almost impossible to hear anyone at the table, which was one of those stupid circular booths that no one over 21 should have to sit at. Most of us were pleased with the food, though, and the cake was excellent.

Of course, we brought the cake in with us. SIL C, who has a small cake (cookies, cupcakes, etc.) business, made John's cake. (I flaked on doing anything for her (last year I got pie), but she was fine with that -- she's seen enough cakes this week.) It's a one-layer round Rice Crispy treat (John's favorite snack). She made the Superman shield as well. No candles, no singing, just the way John likes it. (None of us like singing when it's done by restaurant staff.)

Cool Find!

Today is my work-at-home day. Good thing, because I'm all back-achy and head-achy and perfectly content to stay home with bare feet and comfy clothes. Around lunchtime, SIL C called. She was at a JoAnn Fabrics just down the street and had spotted something she thought I could use for the craft show. Woot! I was able to drive over and meet her for a few minutes, see that she was absolutely right, buy every package (of the item (see below)) in stock, see the kids, hand over her birthday present, and get back home. (Her birthday was Wednesday, but she's been really busy this week with cake and cookie orders. John's birthday is next week (the 12th), so we'll probably celebrate theirs together sometime this weekend.) Edited to add: The verdict? She loved it!

Mini Ornament Box FoundBecause the ornaments I'm selling at the show are glass, I want to package them so they have a chance of getting home safely.

Of course, since the cheapest boxes I could find in the style I wanted were 60¢ each plus tax, buying boxes would mean I either charged a bunch more to make up for the cost, or made a small amt. of money.

SIL C has one of those cutters that you attach to your printer, and they have a small take-out box pattern available. She was going to order it for me, but she spotted these in the kid's craft section at JoAnn Fabrics: stack of 5 for $1. SOLD! Totally worth it, considering how much time and effort it would take. I got 25 boxes for what the pattern would have cost. I should have known better than to assume that the gift wrap section is the only place to get this kind of thing. Glad she was looking out for me!

Mini Ornament Boxed UpThey fit perfectly!

Into the box went a small handful of the shredded paper I got on sale last weekend (less than perfect colors, but for 97¢...), then the ornament.

I decided to use some of the bakers' twine to tie them up, since a) I have a lot of it, and b) I think it's cheery and pretty and stuff. (I'm also going to use it on the matchboxes instead of the button/ribbon ties.)

Bakers' Twine for Craft ShowSpeaking of the bakers' twine... I am going to put out a few of these spools, plus 3 or 4 of these little center-pull balls in clear containers. The one pictured is mine, because I'm not risking my adorable acorn dispenser out in public. I'll put together a packaging basket like my at-home one, but with things I won't freak out about losing if someone goes off with them.

Craft show veteran lilfish    recommended that I have a variety of things at the show (already planned), with at least one item for $1. So the spools will be $1. I won't make much of a profit on them (the spools are new, purchased in the wood aisle at Michaels), but they won't be a loss, and I think she's right about having some really inexpensive things.

The dispensers will have tons more twine (spools have 6 yds, dispensers have 50 yds), but I'm thinking of selling them for $5.

Crafty Fun Friday

Sweet Cupcake BoxLook what I made! This is for the craft show -- not to sell, but to simply show off one of the cupcake flags in action. It's entry #1 in this week's list. Mine turned out a little ripply, but personally, I like that much frosting, so it's okay.

Michael's has the boxes called for --99¢ each. The Joann I went to did not have any of this style box.

(crafting) Sweet Cupcake Box (see picture, above).

(crafting) From the same site, this easy-peasy tin can caddy is great for holding utensils at a picnic.

(crafting) I love these! Lisa Solomon's Robots (link to pattern PDF is near bottom of entry).

(sewing) Fabric fortune cookie, via Whip-up.

(sewing) Rolled-hem Handkerchiefs (hand sew project)

(knitting) Scrubbing Power! Combine cotton yarn and strips of nylon net for these cute and functional dish scrubbies (updates). Via Boogaj.

(crocheting) Cotton Dish Sponge, via Berlin's Whimsy

(cooking/giving) More food in jars! NotMartha's Pies Baked in Tiny Jars and (via NotMartha) LloydandLauren's Frozen Desserts in Jars (eat straight from the freezer!)

(blogging) How to start a craft blog, via Whip-up.

(cooking) At the bottom of this post is a set of guidelines (not really a recipe) for White Trash.

(wanting) I really want this. It would be perfect for cakes made with my Easy Bake Oven.

(shopping) This needle gauge pendant is terrific! I will be ordering one.

(crafting 4 kids) Felt Donuts

Coming events

Mark your calendars!

Saturday, June 7: Reminder to parents and caregivers that Michaels is having a free activity from 10-2 (check with your store).

Thursday, June 12: John's birthday

Saturday, June 14: Worldwide Knit in Public Day. The first one I heard about is kind of a drive. Hopefully there are some more local activities? Edit: Yes! There is one at Cranbrook.

Thursday, June 26: Saucy's Wedding Party. RSVP on her blog (this link) and then, on the 26th, post pics of your wedding. (Or, pics of the heinous bridesmaids dress you were forced to wear.) She's doing a wedding picture a day right now, and they're a blast!

Friday, August 8: My birthday. (Just giving you plenty of advance notice.) I will be announcing the official start time of the IH contest in the next couple of weeks. One prize for sure: 2 skeins of Claudia Handpaint, in -- I'm pretty sure -- fingering weight.

Saturday, August 23: Craft Show @ Holly Library 9:30 - ?


No Wonder My Back Hurts

But first
Every morning, the radio station I listen do does a little "brain buster" contest, where they give a percentage and a segment of the population, then listeners have to guess what it is they do/don't do/believe in/find hot, etc. This morning, it was "98% of working adults think what is wrong?" The what: stealing other people's lunches.

I think I'd reword that to say that 98% of people think it's wrong for someone to steal their lunch, because I think more than 2% of people have stolen food or beverages out of the fridge/freezer. At one job I had, food was stolen constantly. Sandwiches with a bite taken out of them? Gone before the end of the day. Unlabled bowls of unknown (except to the owner) soup? At least they left the bowl in the sink when they were done. Everyone wanted to blame the night shift (phone & data entry center), but surprise! When our promotional dept. moved to another building, the thefts all but stopped, except for the things taken out of their communal fridge (they stole from each other). Those were the highest-paid people, with their own area, their own fridge, and they shopped out of the other fridges. Too sad.

When I was in high school (maybe 9th or 10th grade), all the girls kept our lunches in the bathroom window. It was high up, with a deep ledge, and stayed cool all day. Well, someone started going through all the lunches and stealing all the good stuff. All we knew is that it was probably a girl in junior or senior high. Maybe 100 suspects (really small school) A friend and I got together at my house and made molded chocolates for our lunches the next Monday. Except that we -under the tutelage of my father  - carefully blended chocolate Ex-lax into the candy melts before molding. The chocolates disappeared, but it was the last compromised lunch.

Oh, yeah. On to the point of the post:

Activity Bag

Apparently, some part of me is seven years old, because this (above) was my "knitting bag" yesterday (it's since been cleaned out so it will close). I take an activity of some kind everywhere I go. I have a simple washcloth project in my purse, and usually a book. In my knitting bag, I cram books, patterns, tools, and any project I might want to do at lunch one day that week. I've also been known to throw in a DVD of a TV series to watch at lunch. I thought it would be fun to inventory it.

  • Seven sets of knitting needles, not in use (2 pr. Sox Stix, 1 pr. sz 2 (I think) long circs, 2 short circs & 1 pr straights, 1 set DPNs)
  • Sunscreen
  • Lotion
  • Un-seamed, but otherwise finished baby sweater
  • 3 balls of yarn from finished projects
  • 1 ball of yarn for no reason whatsoever
  • Current project (small felted bowl = 1 ball of yarn & 1 pr needles)
  • 2 tubes of glue
  • Bag of ribbon
  • Cupcake box (see tomorrow's CFF post)
  • 2 or 3 books
  • Project journal
  • File folder full of patterns, papers, etc.
  • Camera & iPod cables
  • Knitting tools case (zippered cosmetic case)

Does not contain: snacks, gum, juice box or water bottle (or Pacifier, gwensmom  ).

knit tool bagInside the knitting case (this isn't as scary):
  • Scissors (vary -- I'm always losing and finding them)
  • Over-the-ear light (this one sucks. I want my Sharper Image one back). I don't actually use it while I'm out, but grab for it at home sometimes.
  • Tape measure (see note for scissors)
  • Mini clicker-thingy from Clover (should be on a string)
  • Flair markers (orange & pink)
  • Crochet hook (for picking up dropped stitches -- I cannot crochet)
  • Chibi
  • Pumpkin spice lip balm (gift from someone that knows me pretty well -- she also gave me the case)
  • Never-completed knit pumpkin (someday...)
  • Thread/yarn cutter necklace
  • Baggie w/ stitch marker(s) and tiny emery boards

Like I said, last night I cleaned out the bag so it not only closes, but is light and spacious. For now. Someday I'll show you the inside of my purse (not as bad as this, to be honest).

How much crap stuff do you carry around during the day? (Not counting what you tote for your kids (if applicable).)


Such a Card!

I forgot how much I like Hallmark. When I was in college, they started the Shoebox line, and my dorm room door was covered in cards. At one point, I had a "Gold Crown Card" (frequent shopper card) and spent lots of money in various Hallmark stores. I like the ones where the buyers branch out and carry non-Hallmark products as well. But mostly, I like the cards. Having said that, I don't buy that many. People that get gifts from me are lucky if there's a tag of some kind; usually, I wait until they reach for it and say "that's from us." Yesterday, I felt the need to stop and look for a couple of cards, and had to resurrect my old rule of "if it makes me laugh out loud, I have to buy it." Their Fresh Ink line has some pretty hysterical cards.

Just for fun
Top 11 Signs You're on a Summer Vacation with a Geek. As a geek, I take no offense, and thought #8 & 9 were hysterical, and #10 could hit a little close for comfort if I traveled with the laptop.

This might sound weird
I love coincidences and friends that think like me. Last week, my boss told me that we'd be moving (again (this will be my 4th desk here after a little more than a year. 5+ years at GM and I never moved)). He acted like he was afraid (a little) to tell me, but I was elated. Someone that sits near me has a really annoying voice and I'm dying to escape it, plus we're on the main aisle. I asked if I could have a cone of silence (except that mine would work as intended). I don't think he got it, but he said no. Later that day I was chatting with jennifred  , and she mentioned a cone of silence. I almost fell over.

The voice thing? I was telling Jennifer about it, and I hate what she calls "mouth noises." I hate listening to people eat. If I'm eating, too, then it's no big deal, but if I'm sitting near someone eating and they're making any kind of sound, it makes me a little crazy. Gum chewing? Just shoot me.

The poor lady that sits near me at work doesn't know it, but had kind of a mini breakdown over her voice. I'm sure she's a very nice person, and I'm reasonably sure that her voice doesn't drive other people crazy (not like Urkel or anything), but it GRATES on me. I always have earphones on, and my boss is okay with it. Anyway, several months ago, I started hearing her voice in my head. Not like hearing voices, but when I spoke, in my head, it sounded like her. It still weirds me out a little, on occasion, but back then, I freaked. I wouldn't speak for the better part of a weekend. Nothing like that had ever happened before, and I hope to God it never happens again.

Media Recap
I've been a very busy media addict. I don't always share lists like this, but I'm in the mood today. I'm putting it under a cut for length.


I haven't done a meme/quiz thingy in ages. This one looks interesting, and took some thinking.

Although, after all the questions, the results seem to have been based on the first 2 colors I chose. However, it's pretty accurate.

I've always had a hard time deciding what I want to do on a vacation, and it was interesting how quickly I went for strolling through unique shops and antique stores. Hmmmm. Still getting to know myself, obviously. Listening to a light rain on a country cottage roof was a no-brainer for another question. My maternal grandmother was not necessarily kind to me, but her house had a tin roof. I loved listening to the rain. A country cottage would have a different kind of roof, but it would still be a pleasantly relaxing time.

Like I said, it took some thinking, and I was wondering how you'd answer this. These were my options for the last question, which was something like, "What words would your friends use to describe you?"

1. Trustworthy and calm, a good communicator
2. Peaceful, helpful and reassuring
3. Welcoming, optimistic and spontaneous
4. Communicative and creative, a connoisseur
5. Sensitive, thoughtful and compassionate
6. Cheerful, enthusiastic and full of energy
7. Intuitive, curious and passionate
8. Honest, sincere and supportive
9. Sophisticated and straightforward, a purist

I almost went for #3, until I saw the "optimistic" there in the middle. I ended up picking #8, but I'm curious to see what people really think. Notice that there aren't any that are really negative, so please be honest.


Happy Monday

Originally uploaded by crazycatladymel.
My new box of Moo Mini Cards arrived over the weekend. I realized while I was ordering that I had not been uploading pictures like I used to, so I had to go back in time to find images I like. Four are repeats, 'cuz I like them, and the rest are new. I'm not doing swaps very often (read: hardly ever), but I really like having these on hand. I only pass them out to people that I don't mind knowing about my blog (so no one at work has ever seen one). This time around, I added my Halloween links site as well as the blog and the currently-empty Etsy shop.

ribbons for cupcake flagsI'm deep into craft show prep. saltnlt552   has rented the space, and we've paid extra (ooo, $5) for a canopy. I've knit eight bowls and partially felted seven of them (dropped one on the way to the laundry room).

This morning, I took a pair of scissors into my ribbon garden (that's what it felt like) and snipped random lengths of ribbon (instead of herbs). I can cut them into the appropriate lengths and group them together while I'm on lunch today. I got washable fabric glue, which I can use to attach the ribbon (once I find the picks). I'm on the hunt for a box of plastic toothpicks. I know they exist, but have had no luck thus far. I want the cupcake flags to be reusable (and more sanitary).

Happy Monday, y'all!


Other Stuff

©2003-2008 Melissa Shaw
Tutorials & patterns shared on this blog are provided free for personal use. Individuals may share unlimited print copies, as long as the copyright information is included. Images, tutorials and patterns may not be duplicated in any format - e.g. electronic or print - without permission (feel free to link to the pages, but don't copy/paste). Have fun, but don't steal!

Stores may not distribute these instructions in any way without express written permission from the designer.

I contributed to these books:
Cheaper than Therapy
Offbeat Bride

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