Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

It's that time of year again! Time to give ourselves unattainable goals and feel miserable when we can't reach them. New Year's resolutions should be about better ourselves not belittling ourselves when we can't reach our goals. That's why last year I didn't set a weight loss goal. Instead I set goals to be a better person.

At the beginning of this year, I made my resolution list.   I'm pleased to say that for the most part a lot of these resolutions follow through.  I have learned to knit and boy have I advanced my skills. I'm very proud of all the items that I've made and am satisfied with my skills. This year, thank God, we were off a lot better  financially than last. We were able to help out a little boy for Christmas. We got him a nice Lego set. It was a joint effort. Everyone at Jess's work helped out the family. It was an adopt a family event. It was great. Growing up, my family was always involved in some charitable event or other  like this. I was always so grateful to get new clothes or shoes and a toy forget it , I was over the moon with joy . I know how it feels to not have enough to celebrate a birthday or holiday. How people always look at your like you're not good enough to talk to them because your clothes are used and not some brand. I can say that going through that does make me appreciate new clothes better but thrift stores will always have a special place in my heart.

I haven't really given any thought to what I'd like on my resolutions list this year. I guess that will be another post another day.

I want to thank everyone for following and all of your insightful comments. I look forward to what the New Year will hold for us all.  I wish everyone a happy and great New Year's. See ya next year! 

                         Ridley wishes you all a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Giveaway Alert

Just wanted to let you all know that Techinolo Cutie is having an awesome Besame giveaway. Be sure to check out her blog.

Time, where did it go?

I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since I last posted. I've been trying to finish up Christmas projects and get the house cleaned up. It seems that the closer we get to the end of the year, the busier we get. We've been so busy with life in general we don't even know what we want for Christmas. We agreed to get a couple of "filler" presents for under the Christmas tree Then after the holidays, we'll figure out what we want. A couple of weeks ago wee bought a 6' Noble Fir for $35. It was cheap since we had a $10 off coupon. I love signing up for newsletters because, most of the time, you get a coupon so you become a repeat customer. It works out for both parties.

Over the last couple of years, I've been building my Christmas decoration collection. I've gotten great deals on silk ornaments and some string lights. Most items I've bought at rummages sales or  thrift stores. I love vintage ornaments.They have a lot more character and are made a lot better than modern ornaments.  They have a history. Someone loved and appreciated them at one point.  A while ago I picked up a Holly ball. It's a styrofoam ball covered in plastic Holly leaves and berries.  I turned it into my Christmas wreath. I bought a wicker wreath, a hanger and just placed the Holly picks in the wicker.






I started working on the sweater I post last time. It was going good until I realized that I had made the waist band 10 stitches too short. Yeah, not good. I undid all of my work and this time made sure that I had the right amount of stitches. It gave me a chance to begin the sleeve and see how it's going to look. I haven't really worked on it since I've been working on other projects. I figure it'll be easier if I work on it after the New Year. Hopefully, I'll have it done in time for Spring.

We're suppose to get a ton of snow this weekend. Over 10 inches! I guess we'll see it it actually sticks around. We got some snow this week. I have to say that I really love watching snow accumulate and change the landscape. Especially when it's light and fluffy. Ridley keeps wanting to go out in the backyard but he's too much of a wimp to go out in 14* F weather. Not that I blame him; he never grew a winter coat. I was trying to knit him a sweater but I needed finer yarn. He'll just have to wear him bow tie for Christmas photos.

My in-laws will be coming over this Sunday. It'll be nice to have them over. We'll be spending Christmas Eve at our house eating tamales and pozole that I need to get started on today or tomorrow. I'm going to make the tamales and freeze them. Then on Christmas Eve morning I'll finish cooking them. This way I avoid being all frumpy and put out. Christmas Day, we're going to Jesse's uncle's house for dinner. We'll see how things go.

This is what I see when I decided to step out of the house. I can honeslty say that I love looking at the snow-topped Sierras. Just over that mountain lies Tahoe. It's hard to remember we're at a high altitude when you look up at that mountain.

I everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. I wish you and your family a happy, joyful time. Be sure to have lots of food, drinks, and  love. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Getting Better

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine wasn't so good. I thought I was having period pain and general discomfort but it turns out I had a head-cold. I felt so bad last week I didn't do any of my chores and I just laid about the house with a splitting headache and congested sinus. I hate being sick. I have no patience for it. I never have, even as a child. I hate that I feel so helpless and useless. I didn't do any dishes and cooked the simplest of meals. I didn't do laundry but I did manage to keep the animals and plants feed. Sunday night I went to bed with a headache.I thought it wasn't too bad but then my teeth started hurting; it turned out to be something close to a migraine. I finally got up and took an Excedrin PM pill and that let me sleep.  Today is the first day that I can tell Im feeling better. My sinus is starting to clear out and my head isn't as foggy.

It's hard to believe that we are almost at year's end. It seems that time keeps moving faster and faster the older we get. I am very thankful that our financial situation has improved greatly compared to last year. I thank God everyday and night that we were given the opportunity to continue ours lives here in this home and town. I'm also very thankful that our families and friends are safe and healthy.  I always ask that everyone who needs helps gets it.

We've gotten a lot of rain in the last week. Friday it rained all day.The sound of the rain hitting the front windows was pretty loud and sounded more like hail than rain.  I really missed the rain. Although, I wish it would snow instead but it hasn't been cold enough for that yet. One thing is for sure, we've gotten a lot more rain this year than we did last year.

A few weeks ago my father called me and asked for my forgiveness. It was an unexpected call to say the least. he was crying and asking me to forgive him. And I did. He hurt my siblings and I  immensely but there is no point in me holding onto such negative and hateful feelings. I can't tell you how much better I feel now that I have forgiven him. I no longer feel this ugly, hateful feeling brewing within me. I feel more at peace with myself and him. He ,however, has not forgiven himself. He's going down a self-hating, destructive spiral that I fear will not end well. I told him that if he truly wants to change he needs to forgive himself, get closer to God, and get lots of therapy both for his psychological issues and his substance abuse. I was surprised that I was able to keep relatively calm and coherent while we were talking. He didn't cuss at him; I didn't yell at him. I was able to give him advice and he listened. Whether he decides to do anything with that advice its up to him.  People have to want to be helped in order for them to get better.

I finished knitting my mother-in-law fingerless gloves similar to mine only shorter. I also made a warm and fuzzy cowl. I just need to buy the buttons to sew on. I started working on my first sweater. Yay! I hope it turns out well. I'm using a similar color and weight. I don't really want to use wool because it makes me itchy and then I won't wear it.

This sweater is called "Jan" and it's out of Joan Crawford's A Stitch in Time Vol.2  I may lengthen it a bit since I have a long torso and don't have the need to show my tummy. This book has so many great patterns. Hopefully once I learn to alter and translate patterns a bit better, I'll be able to use some of the vintage patterns I have stored on my laptop.  And I have a lot of patterns saved.

I hope everyone has a great and fun filled week.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Post Thanksgiving Recovery

I am still alive and kicking just recovering from a long Thanksgiving weekend. Happy belated Thanksgiving to all of my American readers. It was a happy, loud  reunion for our families.
 Jess took a half day on Wednesday and we down to California. It was a really easy drive with no hiccups along the way. We really enjoyed the drive and made awesome time. We didn't hit any traffic until we got into Riverside. The 15/215/91 interchange is always a mess even with the new overpasses. It wasn't too bad though. Jess decided he wanted some Baker's since it had been over a year since he had had any. I had a taco. I wanted to get home as quick as possible to have some of my moms cooking.
It was nice to be back home without my father around. It was a lot calmer and quieter. Well not exactly quiet because my family tends to be loud whenever we get together.

Dinner was pretty good. My mom and I did all the cooking. A turkey, ham, and the traditional sides. Let me tell you, cooking a huge dinner is hard work. I had forget how much work  goes into cooking for more than four people. It was tiresome but everything turned out well. My in-laws came over and it was very obvious that our two famlies are very different. My family tends to be loud and close knot while his tends to be more quiet and detached. It's actually one of the things that sometimes bothers me about Jess. He can be affectionate but then he doesn't show any emotion. Like he keeps things hidden and he's secretive. I know there's nothing to be secretive about but I'm not used to his monotone voice and stoicism. I guess it's just one of those things I'll have to learn to deal with.

I'm not much for Black Friday shopping but since I wanted to spend time with my mom and sister we went to the mall. Not to mention that I needed to buy some new jeans. I haven't bought jeans in a couple of years. I love wearing jeans especially in the cold winter months. After shopping at the mall (which was insane and my sister was starting to get all anxious and panicky) we went to a couple of thrift store. The first one didn't yield anything interesting but Salvation Army sure did. The entire store was 50% off which was totally cool and they are a HUGE store. Back when I was in high school I found all of my cardigans and blouses there. I did find this vintage sweater. I don't know how old it is but it looks like it's from the 80's. Brand new no stains or rips.



I've been looking for a strawberry purse for a while now. I have quite a few saved on my Etsy wishlist but most of them are are bit too pricey for me. Imagine my delight when I saw this lovely peeking out from a bin of purses. I snatched it up and put it in my cart. Sure it has a little bit of dried mud here and there but it's in great condition and will so be washed.



Since I was a little girl and we bought a lot of things used and in thrift stores, I've always had a special place for the star-burst lights. You know the ones that are pointy and hurt like heck if you step on them.Yeah Ive always loved those. There are items that I always keep in the back of my mind whenever I got to thrift stores or garage sales. Vintage ornaments and purses being the top two. I got this lovely topper for a $1.50 it made my day all the sweeter. Now we have a topper for our Christmas tree! I also bought this ball of lights (don't know what to call it). My in-laws have the same one but in blue. I think I'll hang it out on our porch.



We had a nice visit with my in-laws too. They threw a  family get together so we could see all of Jess's relatives. It was nice and quiet. It was hot too. I packed jeans and sweaters thinking that it was going to be cold and overcast but it wasn't. Oh well. I guess I'd forgotten that California weather can be very temperamental at best. I was nice to have the warm sun on my face. My mother-in-law surprised me by giving some of her jewelry from when she was a little girl. My mother-in-law is going to be 60 I think so a lot of these pieces are from the late '50s and early '60s. She said she had her grandmother's rhinestones but she wasn't ready to give those away yet.







This vintage leather purse was waiting for me when I got home. It was a present from a former customer of mine. She thought I might like it. I do! I need to make a strap for it since I'm not much of a clutch kinda gal. I figure I can use some duck cloth to compliment it.



I was nominated for a Liebster Award thanks to CityScape SkyBaby!  Thank you! I do  plan on making the post next. Im just getting things together.

 Ridley hasn't wanted to pose for me. He was mad that  we left him alone for a few days. He got his revenge: he destroyed a roll of toilet paper (again) and bite me and the hubby. Now he's all loves and cuddles. Darn cat but we love him still. I hope everyone has a great week and weekend.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Mama's Got a Brand-New Hat

Saturday I woke up and was surprised to find the  world had been blanketed by a couple inches of snow. I was super excited! I ran around the house opening the blinds and curtains. I truly love snow and how it mas everything look a lot prettier. Ridley wasn't too impressed that is until I opened the back door and he got a whiff of the snow. Then he couldn't wait to get out.




 Snow always makes me happy. I get all giggly and just stare out the window.  To me it's such a great part of nature. I love rain too and love watching it fall with a nice cup of hot tea and some cookies.

Over the last week I've knitted a couple of new patterns. I bought this book a couple of months with birthday money.  It's a big honking book. It has a lot of lovely projects too. The best thing is that most of the patterns are in my bust measurement. I've been wanting to up my knitting skills and this book will do that. I'm learning to read knitting charts too. I made the "Pictoral Sunday Beret" out of this book. It was an easy knit just really slow going since it was on small needles. I may remake the bow. It's a lot bigger in the book than in real life. Please. excuse my slightly frizzy hair. One side is always more manageable than the other. I used to have curls when I was a baby  so my hair can be nice and wavy or a frizzy mess. Today it was both



I also made a pair of fingerless gloves in matching yarn. These were really easy to make and I used a chart to make them so I'm getting practice in for bigger projects. Both the beret and glove are made from wool so they should keep me pretty warm. I'm going to take this for our trip down to So Cal.


Thanksgiving in less than a week away and I'm totally psyched to see our families. I need to start packing and making lists of the things we want to do and buy.  Tonight we're going to a cheese store that is opening in Reno. One of Jesse's co-workers knows the owner and mentioned it to him. We both really like gourmet cheese especially goat cheese. It has  very smooth and sweet taste to it. It pairs wonderfully with sweet apples and grapes. Wine? I'm not so sure. We're not big wine drinkers but I really like dessert wineI guess we'll see how ti goes tonight.

Here's Ridley playing at Secret Agent Cat. Hope everyone has a great weekend.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Afghan is Done!

The wind outside is howling, there are grey clouds on the horizon and we are suppose to get some snow showers tonight. It's perfect weather for bundling up, getting a nice cup of tea, and starting a crocheting or knitting project. That or baking some delicious cookies.
 Last week I began crocheting an afghan to get rid of all the small scraps of yarn that I've been saving. I saw no point in getting rid of them since small bits of yarn lend themselves well to making throw pillows and blankets. I used this vintage pattern.  I really liked this pattern for a bedspread but I'm afraid it would cost me over $100 in materials since we have a queen size bed.  I made a lap blanket measuring 48" x 60" It took me about 5 days to make 80 squares. I was really cranking them out. I used worsted yarn and a size 8 crochet hooks so they were very easy to make. I love making squares. I don't really like joining the squares  and then rows is my least favorite part of crocheting projects. I was able to join everything in one day so it wasn't too bad. I have this issue where once I'm about  90% finished with a project I just want to jump on the next one and not finish the current project. I'm slowly training myself not to do this.
I had hoped that it would have been big enough to use on our bed but this way it's easier to way and throw about. I ran our of yarn so I didn't add a finished border. I'll get around to it eventually. Maybe.


A couple of weeks ago I bought some vintage millinery. They are in great condition with no cracks or damage. I have been seeing some pretty pretty combs .  I'm still trying to figure out how I want to make my combs but in the meantime I made this brooch. I used a wood button I bought at Joann's to attach the brooch pin and fruit stem. I used an epoxy to adhere everything. Let me tell you, epoxy can really stink up a room and give you a massive headache. But it was all worth it. I love the way it turned out.


We're about two weeks away from going to visit our families for Thanksgiving. I'm so excited! I get to see my mom and siblings as well do some much needed shopping. Not just for new clothes but thrift store shopping too. I just have to remember not to spend too much money. We're trying to save up.

My mom's 50th birthday is next year. She keeps telling me how tired and stressed out she is. I've been thinking that since it's her 50th birthday we (my siblings and I) should take her to Vegas. She really loves Vegas and really deserves to relax even if it's just for the weekend. I want to take her to an  all male strip review but have mixed feelings about it. On one hand I know she'll love it and have looks of fun. On the other hand, I don't want Jess to think it's okay for him to go to strip clubs. I just wouldn't feel right if Jess went to strip club and came home all horny and looking for action. I'd feel like I was being use. He says he's okay with it but I'm not so sure.

I hope everyone has a productive warm week.  I leave you with this photo of Ridley and his handy work.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween and some projects.

Happy (belated) Halloween. I hope everyone had a fun and stayed safe. Today I woke up with a menstrual migraine. Yeah, it sucks. I really hate it when I get a headache first thing in the morning. It takes me most of the day to feel better and functional so chores and most projects get pushed aside.
Halloween was fun and low key we stayed at home, eat some pizza, and handed out candy to the neighborhood kids. It was nice we didn't have a great turn out because it was so windy and cold. I dressed up like a skeleton.  I did my hair first and then did my make up. We bought some make up at the Halloween store and it was okay. I wasn't able to get a good base but it worked out okay.





The last couple of weeks I've been  hailed by my Muse. I've been having a creative and productive streak. I finally made the stockings for my family's Christmas presents. I forgot to take a photo but it's just a basic felt stocking. I also stained my sewing table turned vanity table.  I don't know why I out it off for so long. I took me about an hour to stain the whole thing. It was  pretty easy and I really like the color.

BEFORE: The front was water stained and there were numerous scratches and stains in the wood.

AFTER:  I sanded the entire table and removed most of the major stains and scratches. I used Min-Wax stain in gun-stock grey which is funny because it was more of a red oak color. Whatever. It matches most of the furniture in the bedroom. I removed the trellis wicker in the front because it didn't stain evenly and looked crappy. I replaced it with a faux suede fabric panel and Jess really like it.


We went to Reno last weekend for a HAM radio swap meet. It was really small and Jess didn't find anything that he likes. I checked out the local Salvation Army but they didn't have anything that was worthwhile or in my budget. There we some vintage sewing needles that would have looked great framed and mounted but I just couldn't bring myself to spend $10 on them.

After that rather uneventful trip, we went to the Reno Antique Mall. If you remember, this is the place where the old biddy was being a condescending bitch to my sister and I. I like to ramble about the mall and look at all the pretty things I'd love to own. In one of the stalls, I saw this cute swan powder bowl. I picked it up and saw that it was FREE. Yup, free. I don't know about you but I've never gotten anything for free at an antique mall do I jumped on it and took it. Some lady held it for me up front and told the same old biddy that it was free. That old woman got very angry and said "We don't do that here. If she wants to give something away she can clear out her stall and sell at the local flea market." Wow. There was so much hate and anger in her voice. It was totally uncalled for. I really like this place but every time I go there that lady kills it for me and I don't go back for a few months.

Here's the lovely swan. There are a few chips but that doesn't bother me. It can hold a lipstick on her back and the top is removable. Now I just need to get some body powder and make a fluffy puff.


I also found this awesome pineapple brooch for $3.50  I found the exact one on eBay months ago but didn't win it. It's a really neat brooch because the body of the pineapple is made of metal but the inside is made of plastic.

I had the car on Wednesday so I checked out the local thrift store. I lucked out. The entire store was 50% off. I bough a few throw pillows for $1 a piece. It was a really good deal.
How bitching is this Tiki themed pillow?  I only wished that there had been a pair instead of just one but oh well. I washed and dried the pillows twice just to be on the safe side. That thrift store is really good at cleaning items but my mom taught me to was everything that wasn't bought new.

I also found these gloves and they fit me! They're a longer length and I'm debating weather to shorten them or not. I haven't decided yet. Since they're kind of plain, I was thinking of embroidering some flowers on the back of the hand.


I hope everyone has a pleasant and fun weekend. Until next time, Ta!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Knitting up Some Christmas

I've had a busy and productive week. I've been knitting up a storm. This week alone I have knitted four hats for my nephews, niece and brother and two new snoods. I've been busy I have three nephews from the ages of 7 to 8 years old and my niece is 4 years old. Hopefully, I'll be able to go to Joann's to buy some felt and make them individual stockings. I figure a hand-made hat and some small toys will make a good stocking.

Two of my nephews really love Spider-Man so I made them each a beanie in alternative colors so they can know who's is whos but I'm sure they'll be switching back and forth.



This is for my other nephew. He really likes Angry Birds. This was fun and challenging. I've never really made a character hat before this. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

This is for my brother Rudy. He likes the tigher fitting hats. Oh, it's reversible too.

This one is super cute. I had the hardest time trying to figure out what I should make my niece. I figure all girls like cute animals and what's cuter than a panda! I know my sister is going to want one but I've already made her  three hats. I'll make her one for her 17th birthday.

 Oh, did I mention we're going down to visit our families? I'm so excited!  My mom is besides herself with happiness. She's already planning what we're going to do while were down there. She really wants to take me shopping. I do miss shopping with her. Even if it was just window shopping.  We used to talk and just hang out. I talk to her a few times a week but it's not the same as being there in person. While we're down there we're also going to be looking into buying a car. We keep fixing things on the Toyota and it still has the same problem. It's stupid to keep putting money into something that doesn't work.

Jess has been wanting to take up hiking. I got a pair of hiking shoes a few weeks back. I think it'll be a good way for us to get some exercise and maybe meet some people. He wants to go camping next Spring/Summer. I'm kind of freaked out by the idea of sleeping outdoors. My father wasn't  the type to let us sleepover at friends house so camping was out of the question. It may be fun to go outdoor activities. Jess seems to think that I'll like it once I get a taste of it. 

We've also been preparing an emergency kit. We have a grab-and-go bag ready for Jess. Now we just need to get one ready for me and Ridley. We've talked about how things will get handled and who will do what. I know the basic items that need to go in a pack: medicine, glasses, first aid kit, etc. One thing I started to think about was feminine hygiene. I know that just because an emergency happens my period isn't going to stop.  It'd be nice if it did but then again it wouldn't be good for me. I started looking at reusable pads. Yes, I'm a pad girl. My period is light enough that using  tampons would be uncomfortable.  I decided to try my hand at making reusable pads. They'll work perfect in an emergency setting. They seem to last a long time and are there ready whenever you need them. I'll let y'all know how it works.

The weather has been getting colder. It's been sprinkling this morning and we're suppose to get some snow this week. We bought a humidifier. We've been looking at buying once since last year but it was $90 and I just couldn't commit to buying something so expensive. Let me tell you, I regretted that decision. We've been keeping our eye out on that and finally it paid off. This last weekend Costco had the humidifier on sale for $15 rebate. We jumped on it.  It's made a HUGE difference in our bedroom. I no longer get a that horrible dry throat where I feel like I'm going to choke. My face and body don't feel as tight either. It's nice even Ridley seems to be enjoying the moist air in our bedroom.

As always, here's Ridley-boy! He really likes wool yarn.