Monday, October 31, 2011

Did you know??? Poor man's waterproof snow gloves...

So last winter we came across this problem.  The kids were out in the snow and their hands were getting wet through their gloves.  It didn't matter if they were knit gloves or the kind that are supposed to be waterproof.  They were getting wet.  You can't tell a kid they can go out in the snow but not get their hands in it.  You just can't.

I decided to remedy this problem in the only way I could at the time.  There was no way to get new gloves that were quality and waterproof in the short time that we had snow.  Plus the stores were out of gloves anyway.  So I did the next best thing.  I went to the grocery and bought kitchen rubber gloves.  Yup I did!!  I bought them in sizes that would fit over their gloves.  I put their stocking gloves on their hands and then stuck a rubber glove on top.  The gloves were long enough to go over their wrists and prevent snow from getting in there.  Then we put their coats on and Voila! waterproof gloves.  They went out and could touch the snow, play in it and get in all kinds of trouble out doors.  The rubber gloves helped them grip on to their sleds and form a great snowball without the snow sticking to their gloves.  How cool is that???  The best part is that their hands didn't get wet at all, and neither did their gloves underneath!  So when they came back in and then decided to go back out they didn't have to wait for their gloves to dry.  They already were!

I need a plan....

I am getting a bit frustrated and I know what my problem is.  Well, I have several problems I think.

First: My food storage is dwindling and that is because we are eating it.  I stock up and that is all good but then I don't feel the need to go to the grocery store because we have all this food in the house.  So we eat it until it starts dwindling away and then I realize we have just eaten our food storage. UGH!  I need to work on a better plan.

Second: I am trying to bite off more than I can chew right now.  I need to focus.  I am trying to get my 72 hour bags, my food storage, and our other emergency supplies all accomplished at the same time.  This is taking way too much energy, time, and money. UGH! I need to take baby steps.

Third: Along the same lines as the second problem, I am trying to complete a task in one sitting.  I want to get the 72 hour bag all done.  Done with clothes, food, water, other supplies.  All done at once.  This takes a lot of money if we don't have it just laying around plus, if it is laying around then I tend to steal from it also.  For example.  We have some flashlights in the house.  So I put one flashlight in each bag.  That is five bags.  Now we have no more flashlights in the house.  They are all in the bags.  What if we need a flashlight?  Well then we go get one out of the bag. {sigh} That is not what those bags are for.  So I can't use what we have unless it is totally extra stuff we don't need.  I have to buy 5 flashlights.  I don't want dinky ones because in an emergency then I want a flashlight that will work.  I will NEED it to work.  So 5 flashlights is expensive.  And that is just flashlights!!!  How about those backpacks that we need? UGH!  I need to work on this plan.

Fourth: I am all talk and no game apparently.  I know what I want to do, get done, and where I want to be with my preps but I never seem to be able to get this whole movement off the ground.

Fifth:  I don't have anyone else on board with me.  My kids don't count.  They are in their own little worlds right now.  My husband, while on board with the whole idea of prepping, is off in a different direction than I am.  He is looking for land in the country where we can move to.  I am not ready for that yet.  He says that we need to be more self sufficient.  He wants farmland.  He wants chickens, fruit trees, and land to farm have a big garden which I will take care of.   I am trying to focus on food storage and emergency bags.  He wants the big picture.  I am not ready to pack my family up and toss our world upside down.  Now that the kids would notice!

So I am thinking---------  I need a plan.  I need to go back to basics and focus on one thing at a time.  I just need to decide what that one thing is right now.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My New Scrap Room

I can't be more excited. I love my new space. After much thought and more thought and then discussion we decided to let me have the dining room as my space. I am closer to the kids who hang out in the living room and I am close to the kitchen so I can cook and such in there and slip into my scrap room and work on a project or two also.

I have a few pictures of my new scrap room.

Here is my new armoire I got from the Goodwill yesterday. It is solid wood and I love love love this piece.
New Armoire

This is the inside. The top of the armoire holds all my paper. My kits and inks are on the top shelf. Below is two 12x12 drawer sets with more paper in it. (and that isn't all my paper)

Inside Armoire - paper paper paper

In the bottom drawer is my cuttlebug and baby bug.

Cuttlebug drawer

The very bottom drawer holds empty albums and some of my ribbon.

lower drawer with albums

Then we have more "views" of the room. It is no where near being "done". I still have some sorting and straightening and putting away but it is so much better than this morning.

Looking from the living room

looking towards the kitchen

This is a big file cabinet that we have had for a while now.

File cabinet

The top drawer has embellies and stamps in it.

Top of File cabinet

The bottom drawer has alphabets and more smaller paper packs and pads. 8x8s 6x6s, and 4x6.

Bottom drawer of File Cabinet

And of course my desk, complete with a project on it already. I just had to play for a few minutes tonight.

My desk by the window

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Knitting Addiction

I have a favorite yarn store. It is in Kill Devil Hills, NC and called Knitting Addiction. I love this store because the owner is incredibly nice. She didn't bat an eye when I told her that I also crocheted. Then again, I was telling her of an experience with a lys in my town where the owner of that store DID bat an eye. I told that lady that I knitted and crocheted and she got all uppity with me and was really rude. Apparently you can't switch hit with yarn. LOL

Anyway, back to my favorite LYS and the owner Jeanne. She giggled a bit when I told her the story of my hometown LYS and the crochet story. I don't know if she didn't approve of crochet or not because she didn't let on. Good thing because if she had I would have to hate her too. People can "switch hit" with yarn, and I think it is a good thing. There are things that are better crocheted than knitted and things that are better when knitted instead of crocheted. If you can do both then you can have the best of both worlds. Right? Say 'right'.

Moving on. I don't get down to the Outer Banks but a couple times a year and I always try to get to the yarn store. She carries so many yarns that you just can't get in the big box stores. I love to touch and feel the yarns, wools, silks and cottons. They are just so yummy. Jeanne also displays incredible projects with the yarns that you need to make it as well as the patterns right there. Her patterns are $4.95 but if you buy enough yarn to complete the project the pattern is free. It is so good to actually see the project in true form so you know what it will look like before you begin. Jeanne is also so nice that she will sit down with you and teach you what you want to learn. Then help you with any problems that you have (knitting wise). She used to be a teacher so she is great at teaching knitting too. One can't help but fall in love with this store when they walk in. And if they don't then there is something wrong with them. LOL

I walked out with $113 worth of yarns and new knowledge of how to make cables. (Did I say I love this woman???)

Here is my first cable pattern that I made. It is a coffee cup cozy. It still needs a button and then it will go around a coffee mug. This will be so much fun to use in the winter time.

Cup cozy

I made the cozy out of Peaches and Cream cotton yarn that I got at Walmart, in purple. I thought it would be a good practice yarn to use and I had just enough to make it. This pattern doesn't take much yarn. You could probably get at least three out of a skein of Peaches and Cream yarn.

I also bought these yarns: (sorry these photos are so dark and blurry. They were taken with my phone. It is all I have today)

Knitcol sock yarn

Knitcol is a favorite yarn of mine. It is a little thicker than regular sock yarn but it feels so good. Knit them with #3 dpns. These skeins will be socks.

Pioneer Stiletto

Close up of Pioneer Stiletto

I really wish that these photos were a bit clearer. This yarn is so fun. It will also become a pair of socks. This is fun pretty colors AND sparkles. I love that I can make sparkly socks and with pretty colors. So fun! I had to buy it.

Princess by Elite

This is Princess by Elite, and it feels so snuggy. It is really soft yarn. Unfortunately Jeanne told me that this is discontinued by the manufacturer. I immediately went into mourning. I might need to get some more of this stuff.

Mission Falls

This Mission Falls yarn is also being discontinued. I love this yarn too. I made a gator scarf with it and I love the way it feels. These skeins will become a pair of socks for my hunny.

Merino 5 Yarn

This Merino 5 yarn is also soft but not fuzzy. Love it. It will be some more coffee cozies. I hope people like purple!

Sock in progress

And finally, this is what I have been working on recently. This is a pair of socks using Red Heart Heart and Sole yarn. I love self striping/patterning yarns. I love to knit with them and see the pattern emerge. It is very motivating. I am knitting on #2 dpns and it seems to take forever to knit with #2's. I am about two inches from the end and then I have another sock to make. Then I can start playing with my new yarns I just bought.

I am hoping that I can make a bunch of presents for Christmas this year. I really want to make this a "handmade Christmas".

Monday, October 17, 2011

Do you watch Glen Beck?

Over the past several years I have watched Glen Beck.  Sometimes I think he is a bit over the top but other times I think he is spot on politically.  Recently he has moved from Fox News Channel to his own internet based program.  I have yet to subscribe but I do watch the snippets that he posts on his other websites.

Last Thursday he did a show on preparing.  I don't know exactly why he is telling us to prepare, again, because I haven't subscribed.  But I do know one thing, he posted portions of his program on a couple different blogs and websites.  If you search around a bit you can see some parts of his program, but this is the jist of it.  He posted on his website this post which I find very interesting.  He does go on to allude to our economy collapsing or that there may even be some violence and looting in some places.  Actually he says no place will be immune from some sort of something.

He gives us a great list of things to think about when preparing too.

One thing I found interesting is under money he states that we should gather gold, cash, cigarettes and liquor.  He says the last two items will be great for trading.  He says that our economy will return to a barter system and even if we don't have items to barter we may have skills to barter with.  He encourages us to work to learn skills that were "lost" in recent years like mending, sewing, canning, etc.

I have always been concerned which is why I started this blog.  Mainly to express my feelings and not make myself start to sound like a "freak" amongst my coworkers, friends, and family.  I can tell you all what I am thinking and in essence get it out of my system.  However, I am now really beginning to get a bit scared.  There I said it, I am scared.  This fear is making me make lists, print out food storage recipes, and begin to get super serious about saving money.

We have a big expensive family vacation coming up that the family is looking forward to but I am wondering if we should scale it back and perhaps save that money that we would have spent and invest it in more food storage. 

How are you all feeling right now?  Tell me what you are doing.  Is this something that you are beginning to worry about?  Are you getting scared like me?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Story Tellers Kit Club

This past spring I joined Story Tellers Kit Club and thought I would like to get kits each month for scrapbooking. I love kits because they are already put together with coordinating papers and embellishments. I don't need to go searching for anything. It is all there in the kit. I heard great reviews from this club and I was anxious to join another club again. I love getting monthly "surprises" in the mail, even though I am expecting them and even though I pay for them they are still like presents to me, from me.

I got my first kit for $6 (can't beat that with a stick) and a discount on other past kits. I bought one more. I anxiously awaited the kits to come in the mail. I was so disappointed though when the first two came. They weren't packaged in a box, they were just in a clear cellophane bag. The post office had actually mutilated one of the kits in their automatic machines. It had punctured a couple holes in the kit's bag that it comes in. So sad but it didn't mess up any of the papers.

I looked at the kit and the paper was just okay. It was nice and heavy but it wasn't really my style of patterned papers. I set the kit aside. I forgot about it until the next month's kit came. I glanced at the kit and wasn't excited about it and planned to cancel the membership. But alas, I forgot until the next month's kit came. The kit's packaging again didn't protect the kit and it got damage. I again wasn't thrilled and I did cancel the club. At the same time I mentioned to their customer service that I was disappointed with the packaging and that two of the kit bags were damaged. They were nice enough to replace my bags and shipped two more out to me. But in the shipping one of them was damaged as well. I didn't worry with telling them though. It wasn't worth my time even though I would venture to bet they would have replaced it again. Their customer service is really good.

Here are a few layouts I did with one kit.

Storytellers Club Kit

Storytellers Club Kit

What I don't like is that the pp is not the kind that you can cut and use parts of on different layouts. It sort of is its own picture. I also didn't like the embellishments that you get. They are all die cuts and are slick. You punch them out and then use them on your layout just as they are. They are sort of difficult to use when you are used to using other types of embellies. The solid cardstock had a lot of linen in it and it tended to get fuzzy on the edges when you cut it.

I am still looking for a good kit club for the money. If you have any suggestions feel free to leave me a comment and let me know. I like to feel like I got a lot for my money, so I am looking for a kit that is packed with stuff.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cute crochet flowers and hearts

First I have to apologize for not posting anything here in almost 6 months. I have still be crafting but I just haven't been posting. I will work on getting some great items up here particularly for Christmas gift giving.

Today I have been making these cute little gems. I just love these little flowers. I got the pattern from a friend of mine on Scrap Sisters Studio message board and I adjusted it just slightly to make a bit fuller petal. These little flowers are about an inch in diameter when crocheted with crochet thread and a size 0 hook.

Crocheted flower embellies

The pattern is super easy too.

Little Crochet Flower

Chain 5 and connect to first loop with sl st.

Rnd 1: ch 3, 9 dc in loop. (counts as 10 dc)
rnd 2: *ch 2, 4 dc in next dc, ch 2 sl st in next dc* repeat from * to* making 5 petals. Tie off in back.

Now, check out these little heart gems! I {heart} these so much! I found the pattern online and I can't for the life of me find it again. I will edit this post when I find it to give the credit to the right person.

Crochet Hearts

This pattern is super easy too. I memorized it quickly!

Super Cute Crochet Hearts

Chain 4.

3 tc in first loop of chain (all these stitches are in first loop of chain), 3 dc, ch 1, 1 tc, ch 1, 3 dc, 3tc, ch 3 and connect in loop with sl st.

To make a larger heart after you sl st at end do not tie off but continue around again for a second round.

Rnd 2: 4 sc in first ch 3, 2 sc in next 2 tc, sc around in each st to tc at the bottom of the heart. In bottom tc make 2 sc, sc around in each st to second tc. 2 sc in second tc, 2 sc in next tc, 4 sc in final ch 3 space. sl st to first sc and tie off.

See how easy that is???