A little bit of everything…

Monthly Archives: March 2009

Here is a nice green mosaic in honor of the Irish holiday…
green mosaic
1. green wind…, 2. Green Lamp, 3. Apple, 4. Red Green and Bokeh, 5. Lorry,Malaysia, 6. acorn squash, 7. Want an ice-cream?, 8. Bubble View, 9. greens, 10. Shamrocks, 11. after more than a week , 12. Untitled, 13. Leaf Project – No.4, 14. 61468-green field, 15. After rain …, 16. snake, 17. Grün, 18. DSC_7382_DxO_ds1_rawAnd2more_LC, 19. Willow Coming Alive, 20. Green-orange, 21. Get to the Point., 22. Stool Sample, 23. Spike of Light, 24. Gift, 25. Starry-eyed

Green is such a beautiful color. Winter and its monotone gray color scheme can really depress me. I love seeing the small green sprouts of my garden struggling to return to life. The weather has been very spring like. Yesterday was in the sixties – it felt like heaven to me. There is that fresh and alive scent to the air and I can be outside without shivering or having my teeth chatter to the point of a headache.

Speaking of green, I wore my Hulk tshirt yesterday with my fuzzy green zip up hooded sweater. My friend Chris once told me it looked like a putting green but I still adore it. Matt wore the shamrock green tshirt I found on clearance a couple years ago. It never fit me right and it is from the men’s department. We were quite the couple.

Today is hopefully going to be a productive day.

I want to get organizer/planner life back in order. I’ll try to snap some pictures. I’m working on a “hold-all” for my paid bills and paperwork. Its a letter sized rolla/circa contraption. I need to punch some dividers I bought for a dollar at Target and get the rest of that paperwork sorted and punched. I have a feeling my shredder will be busy. My compact sized circa planner needs some tidying and I have newly acquired post-it tabs to incorporate. I need to create an compact sized archive and move some of the full pages.

I have several errands to run including a visit to my parents. I haven’t spent any time over there in the last weeks because of getting sick and being busy and all. I also have so many lil things I *should* do. Oh and I have a coupon for JoAnn fabrics I should use… 50% off is no laughing matter.

Matt and I are going to have a night out on the town so to speak. We are going to Milwaukee to see the Bucks game at the Bradley Center. I have never seen a live NBA game before and I can’t even remember the last time I was at the Bradley Center. We’ll be joining his friend and another couple for dinner and then the game. I hope we have lots of fun – we could both use it! Oh and don’t worry about Iggy Pup – we’re dropping him off at “Gramma & Grampa” G’s before we head out of town. (We call our parent’s Iggy’s grandparents… is that odd?)

I have so many ideas and projects I want to work on but so little free time. Last night we were at work until 9… after starting at 7:30am that was a LONG day that really took its toll. ::sigh:: Today is my day off though and that’s all that matters, right? :]

Take care, be well.


This weekend was a good one. Saturday was beautiful and Iggy Pup and I went on two walks. While Matt was away fixing his car, Iggy decided he wanted to sleep in the sun. I couldn’t let him lay on the bare floor… so I brought his doggy bed into the dining room.

sunny spots are best

Iggy Pup on his bed of sunshine.

Sunday we took a mini trip to Lake Geneva. We have been visiting a specialty shop called “Paws For Treats” since Iggy Pup was just a lil squirt (6 mths-ish). The owners – Dave and Shelly – are just the nicest people and they adore Iggy and spoil him rotten. They have an excellent assortment of treats, accessories and even things for felines. If you ever make it to Lake Geneva – be sure to stop by their shop! After our visit, we walked around downtown and along the lake walk… the weather was so gorgeous! It made going to work today that much harder.

I also made progress in the crochet realm of my life. I have successfully used an entire skein of the blue yarn for my afghan and have a less-than-fist-sized ball of yellow left before that skein is gone. I am so proud of myself. This is officially the largest thing I have crocheted! I started it at the beginning of the year. It is a basic ripple pattern with skinnier ripple rows on the ends… well on one end so far.
Crochet Afghan - WIP
I had Matt snap this picture during our lunch today after Iggy and I went on a quick walk. I love the sunshine. The blanket reminds me of sun and blue skies too. I can’t wait to finish it and use it for a lovely nap with the windows wide open.

Notice the green fleece? St. Patty’s Day is tomorrow and to celebrate, I will be wearing more green. Matt made corned beef and cabbage for dinner tonight. I must say that our slow cooker was one of the best Christmas presents. (Thanks Jen!)

Tonight I hope to get some organizational things done. I printed out a few more calendars to fill in since my first batch ends with April. I have to share how much I adore Oh.Amanda for her phenomenal diy planner template creations available over at Ahhh-design.com I’m using page 5 of the black and white series on our refrigerator. I like being able to put stuff on there and encourage Matt to do the same. I’m not sure we will ever have the same habits when it comes to tracking things or organizing and planning…

In the design and artsy side of things… I’m working on a “great” idea – “Uvula Is Not A Dirty Word” … I have it sketched out and will be inking it this week. I’m thinking of offering it on t-shirts like my “got hpda” logo thing. Its likely that no one will buy one but its still fun. I did some checking and no one has that idea out there yet or at least I didn’t see any other versions.

Time goes so fast these days. I walked Iggy after work tonight and it was still sunny out. I can’t wait until the days get even longer. I don’t do well without sunshine. It won’t be too much longer before I’m up to my elbows in dirt and my gardens are blooming. :}


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Matt and I goofing around last winter. (Click to make larger)

I’ve had a sore throat the past couple of days but nothing too serious. Matt and I work at a magazine together in the art department and Tuesdays we send one of our publications up to the printer. After a long day we came home, Matt made dinner and nothing eventful happened.

4am this morning I woke up feeling quite sick and made it to the bathroom. I had to call Matt to help me make it back to the bedroom – I felt so strange! I fainted, Matt helped get me back to the bed. He said I was only out for a minute.

Needless to say I spent my day off resting and letting Matt take care of me. He really is the greatest.

Sleeping has helped a bit but I still feel raunchy. Now if only this horrible headache, general fatigue and stomach bug would go away. I have so much at work waiting for me tomorrow. Luckily Wednesdays are our “mercy” days each week and I didn’t miss work.

I’ll be wrapping up my thrilling sick day with some dinner Matt is cooking right now, lots of fluids to fend of dehydration and some “Scramble” on Facebook. It’s kind of like Boggle but you don’t disregard words everyone has. Maybe I can stay awake long enough to watch a movie. Lol… the human body really does handle illness in strange ways!

Take care and be well.
P.S. Thanks again to Matt for catching me!


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Me with a thin mint smile at work.

Girl Scout cookies work well.

Matt and I ordered cookies from Dave’s daughter… they arrived last week. My boxes are intact but Matt’s have taken quite a hit. The first box of Thin Mints were opened before we even left work. I snapped the above picture with my work imac. Ain’t I just adorable? He’s down two whole boxes already… we’ll need to find more Girl Scouts.

I noticed a sore throat taking hold yesterday and by last night it was irritated to the point of painful swallowing. I hate colds and this is how they usually start for me. Powerade even burns going down today. Let’s hope I’m wrong and I’m not getting sick, k?

Circles
Here is a drawing I did last night. Circles are in, did you know? I doodle things like this a lot recently. Not this big or on anything appropriate so I decided to give it a go on a sketch book page. I like it… feels dreamy to me for some reason. I debated on adding color but opted to leave it black and white. Maybe I should add some digital color.

Speaking of color… I am so addicted to orange right now. Here is a flickr mosaic I made. One of the blogs I discovered does a “Mosaic Monday” post… I wonder if I should adopt that practice. (I hope Carina from Carina’s Craftblog doesn’t mind).
Here it is:
Orange Mosaic
1. Oranges, 2. Zoo trip, 3. Orange Blossom Necklace, 4. oranges, avocados, and pomelos., 5. I wish that I had duck feet…, 6. IMG_4871, 7. Up and Down, 8. Some ORANGE Leftovers, 9. Orange: didn’t make the assignment, 10. IMG_4900, 11. Sexy tulip, 12. Keep it Real ll, 13. Orange, 14. three two zero / 365, 15. Orange, 16. 2009 – 66/365 – Orange Orange en Macaron !, 17. ORANGE SUN, 18. JJD2001-19-3, 19. Orange, 20. Swamp HDR – Galapagos, 21. www.flickr.com/photos/jowaho/3336478448/, 22. honeycomb, 23. One-Eyed Wonder – Clownfish at Monterey Bay Aquarium, 24. Orange piece, 25. oranges
Created at BigHugeLabs

Speaking of color, I changed my name concept for the upcoming arrival of spring.
Spring Concept

I’ll leave you with one last picture – one of our Iggy Pup being adorable last week during the nice weather we were blessed with. Too much rain the past couple of days. I miss the sun.
Iggy Pup

Take care, be well. I’m off to entertain some fussy felines. =^..^=


Spring is in the air... think GREEN

My Daffodils are sprouting! Spring is in the air... think GREEN

It’s occurred to me that being “Green” has become fashionable more out of hype than necessity for many people. This greatly saddens me but I’m happy that its catching on.

I have leaned toward a low impact lifestyle my entire life. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and recycle everything you can. My mother taught me to put a bucket in the sink during the summer and let it fill up during regular activities like washing hands or your afternoon snack apple. When its full, run outside and water your flower gardens! She also instilled the value of less is more. I adore my mother and cannot thank her enough for all the lessons she has taught and continues to teach me. (I love you Mum!)

Here is a quick list of things I do to help limit my “footprint” on mother earth. They are easy to do and I encourage you to take steps to minimize you impact as well.

  • Turn the lights out. When you leave the room or close your book, flic the switch and save some energy.
  • Bored with the tele? Nothing on? Shut off the boob tube. Still need some background noise? Try the radio or internet music options.
  • Driving somewhere? Slow down! Speeding wastes gas and on average you only get there 3 minutes faster. Don’t believe me? Try it some day. Oh and coast… I love coasting… from red light to red light… a little bit of gas can go a long way and saves you money too.
  • Compost. Don’t have a compost pile? Does a friend or family member or your community have one you can contribute to? Don’t throw that bag of spoiled veggies away – recycle it back into “black gold.”  Afraid of odor? Keep a bucket with lid or bag in your freezer and stash your banana peels, potato skins and all that green goodness until you can get to a composting site.
  • Cook and bake efficiently.  Cooking for two? Make food for 4 or 6 or even 8. The freezer is your friend. (Labeling is recommended for anyone like me who forgets). Also, listing what is available in the freezer might sound a bit overboard but can help on those nights when you’re hungry and don’t want to forage.
  • Get your clean on! I use vinegar and baking soda all around the house. Vinegar may not smell pretty (still reminds me of Easter egg dying with Nani) but it sure does work. Baking soda is awesome at attacking and defeating stains on counter tops and scrubbing tubs and sinks (without scratching delicate surfaces too). Tough grease mess on the stove top? Give it a try! I have also dumped baking soda down drains followed with a vinegar chaser and cleared up some serious clogs. Vinegar is also great for windows and safe to use around pets. (I use vinegar during my weekly tank cleanings for my pet mice).
  • Unplug things. Done with your laptop and the battery is charged? Unplug. Leaving for a weekend – unplug the unnecessary electronics like the television. Don’t leave your cell phone chargers or the toaster plugged in when not in use. Surprisingly they do still draw energy and run up your bill.
  • Recycle everything you can. Run unwanted junk mail through the shredder and recycle. Plastic, paper, and more. Mulch your grass clippings back into the lawn or use around your garden to keep the moisture in the soil. Grind up leaves and use them as a mulch in your gardens. (We do this every fall. Its great to protect your plants and can be dug into soil when Spring rolls around).
  • Clean out your street’s gutters! You may not realize that what goes into the sewers often is not treated before it runs back into local river or lake. Don’t let things go down the drain. Also, keeping the gutters clear helps your street not flood in rain storms. (My city is on Lake Michigan and I have seen neighbors dump chemicals down the sewer EEK). Pick up trash in your yard… it is likely going to end up in the gutters anyways.
  • Second hand is okay. I love rummage-sale-ing and thrift store shopping. Ask friends if they want to swap clothes or even hand them down to younger generations in the family. Don’t forget to donate to local charities if you have a stash of unwanted items.

So… I hope this has given you a new idea or at least inspired you to think a little greener today. If everyone does a little bit – it will add up to a big difference.

Here a few links to blogs that I’m subscribed to. I find them informative, inspirational or just plain fun:
TreeHugger.com
GreenDaily.com
WardrobeRefashion
TipNut

Anything I missed? Do you have an idea or currently do something “green” that you want to share? Know of a great “green” site? Please add a comment.

Be well.


JetPens carries the Hello Kitty Hi-Tec-C or if Hello Kitty isn’t your thing, they also offer regular Hi-Tec-C pens and retractable versions.

I received a 0.3 Orange pen to review. Orange is my new guilty pleasure… its warm and bright. It just adds enough to my day to keep me thinking of brighter and warmer seasons.

I had never used a 0.3mm tipped pen before.

At first I was hesitant – I didn’t want to hurt it. It had to be delicate, right? After a while I caught myself writing normally with it. I tend to write “hard” and it didn’t mind one bit. The tip is durable and reliable.

The ink flow is smooth and writing is effortless. I had no issues with skipping or blobbing. I wish all gel pens wrote this well!

The cutest part of the pen is the Hello Kitty topper… I turn 30 this year and I consider Hello Kitty a guilty pleasure! Definitely a subtle way to bring some cheer and cuteness to the office. The toppers are removable. It took some coercing to remove the topper. It straddles the cap’s clip and slides up for any of you having trouble like I did. I have 0.4mm Hi-Tec-C in a rosey pink color and will migrate Hello Kitty accordingly.

I recommend the Hi-Tec-C to any person looking for a smooth writing thin barreled cap pen. The ease of ink flow prevents the “death grip” I often get on pens when they write inconsistently or too lightly. For daily writing or long writing sessions, I prefer the 0.4mm over the 0.3mm – but this is personal preference.

This pen is the newest member of my pencil case arsenal. I have a 3.75 by 6.75 inch circa/rolla notebook with tiny monthly calendars I pasted onto pages and this pen is perfect for recording info in those teeny tiny boxes. It is also handy for check book registers and squeezing a lot into a little space (like in our frequent Boggle games).

Here are some pictures of the pen in action.

Thank you JetPens for providing me with a great pen to review and enjoy! Also thank you for your excellent customer service…

Be well.


Iggy’s Sweater… my first attempt at dog clothes without a pattern.

**Disclaimer – I have never written a crochet tutorial before and did not keep any type of notes for Iggy’s Sweater. Please keep this is in mind. I frogged quite a lot of stitches to get this sweater exactly how I wanted it to fit Iggy Pup. Please don’t get discouraged and keep that puppy handy for fittings!

My father’s friend is a foster home for CRUSA and just got Paris who is in need of some winter warmth. I am crocheting a sweater for her using this method. Find out more about Paris here

I used Red Heart in “Earth and Sky” for Iggy and “Pink Camo” for Paris.

First off – the collar.
The collar is very simple. Chain the desired height of the collar. I chained so it was approximately three inches long.
Hdc (half double crochet) in each chain across.
Chain 2 or 3 for turning chain. (Iggy’s sweater was done with 2, the Paris sweater is done with 3 for a more frilly scalloped appearance).
Hdc in the back loop only.
Chain 2 or 3 for turning chain.
Hdc in between the stitches.
Keep repeating this until the collar is long enough to fit comfortably around the dog’s neck.

Now resist the urge to stitch up the collar into a circle. I think it makes fittings much easier :)

Now onto the body.

Attach the yarn at a corner (I simply decided which edge was the best and connected it to the other one).
Sc (single crochet) in each stitch around.
When you get to opposite corner of the collar keep going.
You could use stitch markers if you were concerned with being precise but I didn’t for Iggy’s sweater.

The sweater is going to start taking shape :) You are creating the shoulder and upper chest areas.

Fit the dog and stop when you get to the top of the front legs.

Crochet the chest piece separately from the back. I just marked where Iggy’s legs were with twist ties and just went back and forth until there was ample room for a leg hole.

Next crochet the back piece. You can judge how your dogs leg holes should be shaped. (Many dog sweaters in stores simply have a slit) Crochet the back piece until its long enough to reach just behind the front leg.

Sc from the back piece into the chest piece. (They should be approximately the same length so connecting them is easy-cheesy).

Continue Sc. This will form the belly of the sweater.

Fittings are important during this stage. Boy dogs will need you to be more precise in where you end the round and round scing.

When the belly is long enough, start scing back and forth using 1 turning chain.
In order to shape the end of the sweater, I dc’d a few times in each row.

Continue until the sweater is as long as desired.

Now the sleeves!
I was not concerned with tapering the sleeves. I thought they were pretty adorable straight.

Attach the yarn to a corner of the arm slit.
Sc in each stitch around and keep going. (Again feel free to use stitch markers but know Iggy’s was done without ’em)
Make the sleeves as long as desired.
Repeat for the other sleeve.

Optional:
Finishing on Iggy’s sweater – I did the crab stitch on the cuff of each sleeve and on the bottom of the sweater. It added a nice finished look.

Finally, stitch up the collar, weave in your ends and tell your pampered pet that the masterpiece is ready! :o)

Variations:
♥ Stripes – thick or thin they will add some style and interest.
♥ Crocheting for a diva dog? how about some ripples or even a cute ruffles on the sleeves and butt end.
♥ Embellish – add some buttons or even some crochet flowers.
♥ Use a different stitch than the Sc… hdc or dc will create more open airy sweater.

Please feel free to ask questions or offer comments, criticisms, etc.