Doodle Doodle Doodle

Every time I say the word “doodle” I think about the new Blue’s Clues show with that stupid doodle board – they’d say “a Doodle doodle doodle, a doodle doodle doodle” every time they’d draw something and then it would be stuck in my head all stinkin’ day long…

And now I’m singin’ that same tune all over again.

Except this time I’m happy to be doing so.

I’ve signed up for an online class: Doodle 101 and I can’t wait to get started.

What?

You’re wondering why anyone would sign up for a class to teach you how to doodle?

Well, if you saw some of my doodles you would understand. I am not artistic in the least when it comes to freehand drawing. That is SuperMan and Big Girl’s department, not mine.  They are great at it. Terrific, even.

Me?

I have trouble because I want it all to be perfect, immediately. And it’s not. And I get frustrated.

Stephanie talks in the opening materials of the class about how creating a perfect doodle is, by definition, complete and yet carefree.

THAT, my friends, is what I hope to learn.

So, want to join me? Hop on over to sign up!

a doodle doodle doodle…. a doodle doodle doodle….

How cute is this?

I am giggling with glee – I finished my very first knitting project.

I am giggling because … well, when you see what it is you will understand.

IMGP1997

I mean, seriously, can you look at that and NOT giggle?

Yes, it really is a Polly Pocket blanket.  You thought I was kidding in my earlier posts when I said that I was making one. Nope. Not kidding.

But…

to redeem myself, it is the first thing I have finished; it is the first thing I’ve ever done the Purl stitch on; and I did it ALL start to finish on my own. From casting on to binding off.

So, even though it is a whopping six by six inches square (thereabouts) I am very proud of it.

And more importantly, the Little Princess will be thrilled when she sees it tomorrow morning.

Hee Hee… I knit Polly Pocket blankets. (and I’m sure I’ll be knitting more before very long, if the Little Princess has anything to say about it)

I want to make these

Now that I have been bitten by the knitting bug, I have been snooping around on the web trying to find videos of stitches, patterns, etc. 

I also made a quick trip to the store today because the Big Girl has decided she must also do yarn/needle crafts if Momma is doing them. She picked out the biggest, chunkiest thread I’d seen. It is a deep teal, very pretty, but it looks so huge compared to the yarns I’m used to. We got her a size 13 needle (I think) to crochet with and the stitches are ginormous, but they are cute and very fitting of something a pre-teen would do. She has decided she is making bookmarks and maybe a “Friendship Bracelet” with her yarn.  I guess I am going to have to hook her up with Ms. Pam and get some real crochet lessons for her. 🙂

My little Polly Pocket blanket has morphed into the beginnings of a scarf, which Big Girl has already laid claim to. I am learning, though, and enjoying what I am doing. I have learned that this is very calming for me. When I am stressed, I’m grabbing the needles.  Which, after a day like I had today, was a LOT!  I am also noticing that I knit much better when I am not trying to referee the kids, answer ten-bajillion questions, and rock someone in the rocking chair. (Little Bit is sick with strep)  I have been finding mysterious extra stitches on my rows whenever I do that. Ah well, it is my first attempt, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.

RodeoBut, as I was saying earlier, I have been rummaging around the web and I stumbled across some of the absolute cutest little knitted animals.

I mean, is he not just stinkin’ cute?

I am going to have to figure out how to make one. Big Girl and Little Bit have already put in their requests.  The only rub is that it calls for circular needles.  Hm…  I may be hitting up my friendly neighborhood knitting teacher for some advice on Thursday night.

I didn’t get any scrapbooking done today, in spite of my best intentions. After a trip to the pediatrician, the pharmacy, WalMart and Michael’s, I had to bring Little Bit home for some rest.  And that wasn’t as restful as planned because she absolutely, positively, did not want to take her medicine. Much hysteria and drama ensued and then she finally gave in.  After all of that I was mentally and physically (and emotionally) exhausted.  I just sat in my rocking chair and knitted and tried to relax for about an hour.

Thank goodness SuperMan came home shortly afterwards and took Big Girl to ballet so I didn’t have to get Little Bit back out in the craziness.  I love that man. He takes good care of us.

So, if you are hoping to see the latest weekly challenge, or any new templates, you may have to wait a couple more days. First I have to get the little princess healthy again. Then, I must figure out where I left my sanity.  THEN, I will try to do some scrapbooking!  Oh, and find out if I’m too much of a beginner to do this cute little hamsterveil.

Isn’t he just adorable?

It’s official

I am a knitter!

I had such fun last night with the ladies at the knitting circle. It reminded me a lot of what crops are like, minus lugging the paper, trimmers, pictures and other paraphernalia I take when I go to a crop.  I traveled lightly. I took a little tote bag with two different skeins of yarn and my knitting needles. I also took my knitting board and a scarf I had made using it because I wanted to show them that I had at least done something before showing up last night.blogpost

You might remember this little scarf I made over the Thanksgiving break. I used the knitting board for that. It was part of what got me so interested in learning to knit.

A little back story here. 

There is a really sweet lady at church that I have met through our mutual volunteer responsibilities. She has also been so kind to my girls and they look forward to seeing her every Sunday morning and loving on her between services.  I mean, they just crawl all over her (literally) and tell her all about their week and what is going on. She is so patient and kind with them. It’s really touching.

She also happens to crochet. Beautifully.  And I have seen some of her finished pieces.  One Sunday I made a comment about how I would love to be able to learn to crochet like she does. We chatted a bit more and I confided that what I really wanted to do was learn to knit.  She reached around and pointed to a lady sitting about three rows in front of us. “You need to talk to her,” she said.

So, you know what I did?

I just got right up (it was before the service started, don’t worry) and marched up there and introduced myself.  I told her I had heard that she was an awesome knitter and that I had always wanted to knit. I asked her if she knew of anywhere I could go to learn to knit. She said she would teach me.  She mentioned a knitting circle that she had started and that they met on Thursday nights at the local Starbuck’s.  She invited me to join them (hooray!) the next time they met.

So, Thursday night I met with them for the first time.

I was so excited and a little intimidated as these ladies had obviously been knitting for a long time. They had all these patterns and elaborate projects (beautiful, elaborate projects with the most gorgeous yarn I’d ever seen) they were working on.

Finally, Jane sat me down and showed me how to get started. I was scared to death to take the needles from her and get started. I was afraid I’d mess up what she had done.  But, you can’t learn if you don’t do. So, I took them and got going.  Before I knew it, I was knitting! I was actually knitting.  So cool.

By the end of the night I had knitted a very nice little bedspread for a Polly Pocket.

 IMGP1976

Ha!

It was not really supposed to be that, but it was about that big.  Little Bit decided that she really, really needed it for her Polly Pocket so it may actually end up being a bedspread after all.  Which would be ok, I guess, because I want to learn how to cast on/off stitches myself and that would give me the excuse to do so.

One thing I realized last night, as I was driving home from my knitting night out, was that this could quickly become a new hobby of mine. The knitting circle is a lot like the crop – the social aspect anyway – minus all the extra luggage.  I enjoyed the time I spent relaxing, chatting with and getting to know these ladies. And the tactile part of knitting was very soothing to me.  Which is something I’m missing now that so much of my scrapbooking is digital.

It will be interesting to see how this develops.  But don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

Our First Weekly Scrapbook Challenge!

Be sure you check out our first challenge post over at the Scrap Weekly blog.  It's our first in a series.

Next week is my turn, this week, the challenge is offered by Dawn.

I can't wait to see what you do with it! (Renay!)

Coming out of the Haze

There is nothing quite like being sick during the holidays. After all the cooking, cleaning, baking, preparations and anticipation, my body simply decided it was done.  Quit. Finis. Full Stop. 

Thank goodness I have a very understanding, loving, and compassionate family.  SuperMan did most of the cooking (including our delicious Christmas Day dinner) and general taking care of things.  The girls were so well behaved (for the most part) and just played with their new toys and patted me on the arm as they went by.  Me? I spent most of Friday and Saturday either on the sofa or in my recliner in a snot-induced haze. Gross imagery, I know, but true.

I am finally starting to feel a little more like myself, although I think a trip to the doctor is still not out of the running. 

However, yesterday, SuperMan took the girls for an afternoon outing with friends. They went to see the new Alvin & the Chipmunks movie – The Squeaquel (I love that play on words!).  They had a great time and then MB went to spend the night at a friend’s house. They were supposed to be staying here, but we decided there were too many germs in our house so they moved the party.

While they were gone, I thought I would do a little reading or scrapbooking. Turned out, I got to do both.  I am reading Dan Brown’s new book: The Lost Symbol.  It is very engaging and from about page 50, I was hooked.  I have been carrying the book around under my arm everywhere I go in the house this weekend (from the couch to the recliner… from the recliner to the couch :-)  and reading every second I can.  Basically, it’s similar to the other Dan Brown books although this time it’s not focused on the Catholic Church – it’s about the Masons.  Pretty interesting.

Anyway, I also sat down to do some digital scrapbooking (my scrap table is covered in Christmas paper right now and I didn’t feel up to cleaning it off) only to find out that the new “patch” of the StoryBook Creator software I’d installed had completely erased all the links to my content.  Argh! So, I spent close to two hours re-linking all the files.  While this probably was a good thing in the long run (it cleaned up my mis-mashed linking I had before) it was SO not how I wanted to spend my afternoon of silence and solitude! 

Once I finished that chore, I was determined to get some scrapbooking done.  I managed to finish the album I’m making for my brother (shh, it’s a secret!) and did a little work on the one for my mom.  Then, I started on some pages on my family album.  Here are a few I did:

CoverPage2009 This will be the cover page of our 2009 album.  Do you get the reference?
I love the simplicity of the design –
and the fact that I managed to fit 12 pictures from the year on one page!

 

Halloween I think this one speaks for itself concerning the topic.
All of the elements are freebies (including the paper) that I found online in October.

Here are larger pictures of the pages:

HalloweenLeft

HalloweenRight

 

FieldDay I have been wanting to do something special with MB’s field day pictures. I think this turned out pretty well.
I used one of the free CM templates (Great Escapes) and doctored it a bit to make it less ‘travel’ oriented and more sports oriented.

Here are larger pictures of the pages:

FieldDayLeft

FieldDayRight

I don’t know if I will have time today to do more scrapbooking, but I am hoping to. Next on my list of things I want to scrap are Ang’s graduation pictures, our trip to the pumpkin patch, and the Girl Scout hike the girls took in November.  I am really enjoying not constraining myself to crop chronologically… although I am a wee bit concerned I may miss a few pictures here and there. But heck, when you take close to 200 a month some months, you are bound to miss one or two, right?

What have you been up to?

Color and Loveliness

Look at this.

If you love color like I do, you are probably salivating now.

How pretty are these?

I can just imagine taking them and festooning them with some ribbons and stickers and brightly colored papers… and tucking them in my purse to pull out whenever I need to jot a note or an appointment down.

Sigh.

Just lovely.

Santa? Do you hear me? I love these.

New Jessica Sprague Idea/Inspiration Book

I am new to the world of Jessica Sprague. But I have very quickly become an avid follower.  She has very well put-together classes, great content on her website and is always coming out with nifty things to inspire, help, encourage the scrapbooker in me. 

InspirationInHand-prev
Her newest nifty thing she announced today: Inspiration in Hand, a quarterly (FREE) book which will include ideas for “layouts, stories and projects to spark your creativity.”

I am downloading my copy now – you should too!

Season’s Greetings?

It’s that time of year again, folks… time to get out your mass-assembly-line technology, your address book and a million stamps.  Yes, it’s Christmas card time.

Before kids, I used to have all my cards addressed and ready to go on the Friday after Thanksgiving. (that was before Black Friday was called Black Friday).  They had a cutesy little “newsletter” inside telling about all the things we’d done that year and wishing everyone peace, love and happiness.

Now?

I’m lucky if I get them addressed and mailed before the 20th!

This year, I decided to create a photo card.  I did a nifty 4×6 sized card and ordered prints.  I really like how it turned out.

Christmas card - Page 002 

Then came the dilemma.  What do I mail them in?

My husband chuckled at me as I anguished for weeks about how I was going to mail them. They were too big for a regular small envelope.  Too tall for a business one. Didn’t really fit in a card-sized envelope.  Sigh. That is what I get for going my own way.

So, yesterday we were in Hobby Lobby (dangerous place to go) and I saw they had all of their Christmas cards on sale for 50% off.  Hello!

I picked out a really adorable card:

Christmas card_edited-1
and will just put the pictures inside! Problem solved.

I love how this has the handmade look, but that I didn’t have to hand-make it.  I made Christmas cards one year (maybe two) when Ang was a baby.  That was enough for me.  The whole thing was just not a fun experience for me.  First, I agonized on what to create.  Then, I had to figure out what materials I would need and then how much it would cost.  Those adorably detailed cards can get pretty pricey when you are doing 20-30 of them.  (and most of my recipients are not crafty people and do not appreciate the effort, time and creativity it takes to make them)

So, after trying that out, I gave myself permission to go back to store-bought cards.  Why make life difficult?

Last year, I did a photo card as well, but I used one of those templates online where you get the envelopes with the cards – and didn’t have the dilemma I have had this year.

Now, this year’s set up doesn’t equate to the uber-low-cost plan I originally had, but oh well.  At least I have cards, and a plan.  Heck, most are even addressed at this point!

Now, if I can just talk SuperMan into going to the post office for the stamps…

Idle hands…

I may not have been online last week, but that doesn't mean I wasn't busy.  While I was at my mom's, I stumbled upon some beautiful, soft, variegated yarn.  I just had to have it – I figured I'd make a scarf or something with it.  When I got back to her house, I started to crochet and mentioned I wish I knew how to knit. (one of the things on my to-do-one-day list).

Mom showed me this nifty gadget that she had:

IMGP1646_edited-1

It's called a Knitting Board.  Apparently, they have them at the Vet Center where she volunteers. The vets use them to help with their hand dexterity.  After watching the short video, I was off and "knitting."

I quickly became obsessed and found myself working on my scarf all week.  Everytime I sat down, I was "knitting" away. It is very easy, once you get the hang of it – and easy to do while you are visiting or watching TV. 

I finally finished the scarf on Saturday afternoon.  It's a little short – only one skein of yarn – but I had planned to give it to my pre-teen, so it's a perfect length for her. 

IMGP1647_edited-1

I just love the colors, don't you?

Now, I'll be off scouring for more pretty, soft yarn. I think an outing to my local craft store is definitely on the schedule for this week.  Oh, and I'll also be looking for the larger version – I think there are sizes up to 32 inches; which would make a great afghan.

Here's the website if you are interested in learning more about them.