Sunday, September 30, 2007

Emicat Made Me Do It

I am 73% Addicted to Coffee

Knitter's Coffeeswap 3 sign ups officially opened ten minutes ago. I was wrestling with the decision to join or not to join (yeah, yeah, that was the question), when I clicked on Emicat's blog. She stated, and I quote, "C'mon, do it, you know you wanna :)" How could I resist?

Runagogo Round 3

I joined Runagogo to keep me on track. Join in! Details here.
You can walk, run,

or cycle.

Edited: July 7. The wonky date of this post is to help keep the finish line in sight. Please scroll down for current posts.

Monday, September 24, 2007

This and That

I just wanted to thank the bloggers who left comments for their kind remarks about my first sewing project. I appreciate the support. Someone in class christened them with the moniker of the "Demon Pants" (because I clearly wasn't jazzed about them); but once they were hemmed, they looked a lot better. They're still roomier than I would have liked, but really, only the cats are going to see me in them (like they care what I look like). I finally figured out that it was really more about the process; so what if I screwed up a bit on some seams? It got finished and I'm not as intimidated by my sewing machine anymore. Besides, if I find that I really can't stand them, I can cut them down into shorts and use the excess as really fancy dusting cloths!

About two weeks ago, Emiko over at Java Gibber tagged me for Name Tag. Apparently, I have to list some things about myself using the letters in my middle name. Happily, my middle name is considerably shorter than my first name!

A is for Anal Retentive. Oh look around my house blows that one out of the water. I suppose I'm only that way when I'm organizing my books, cd's, or yarn. Blame it on my father, the accountant. What other A things could tell something about me? Absent-minded? Sometimes. Acorn? I think they're pretty. Antique? Sometimes I feel that way. Aaah...found one! Adaptive. My childhood was spent moving around and out of the country. The perennial new kid, I had to learn how to adapt and fit in as quickly as possible. "A" Things I Like: angel food cake and Louis Armstrong.

N is for Nerdy. I have to face the facts...I got excited when Target had a 4 MB flash drive on sale for under $30. If that's not nerdy, I don't know what is.

N is for "N" Things I Like: Namaste (I take yoga), Napa, nachos, nasturtiums, nature, necklaces (I make them), and needlework (knit, crochet, cross stitch, and now sewing).

I'm going to be bad and I'm not going to tag a specific blogger. However, if you want to play along, "Tag, you're it!"

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My First Secret Pal Package Arrived!

One of the things I like most about participating in swaps is that the packages tend to arrive when you've had a long, tiring day. You make the move to open the door, see the parcel waiting for you, and things begin looking up! My September package seemed to hit on most of my interests. The first thing that caught my eye was the set of espresso cups and the chocolate covered coffee beans. My sister has been trying to get me to buy an espresso set for months now; wait until she gets a load of this! It reminds me of my friend's set in Brazil -- I'm sure I'll feel very fancy drinking from it. But wait, there's more! Three, count 'em three skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky (love it's springiness), a set of beads (stitch markers, anyone?), some lime pepper (my partner uses it on chicken), and if that wasn't enough, toys for the furballs in my life. Gotta love a spoiler who even thinks about the cats! Thanks so much, "Sassy" whoever you may be!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Much Sewing, Little Knitting, and Ravelry

Years ago, when I was newly married, I bought a sewing machine from my brother-in-law, thinking that I would take up sewing. My (then) husband got more use out of the machine than I ever did. I was always a bit embarrassed by that, as my Hawaii grandmother was an accomplished needle worker. Not only did she sew beautifully, she taught sewing classes as well (she even went to other islands to teach!) She also knit and crocheted. My mother did not inherit my grandmother's talents; consequently she did not find it necessary to teach my sister or myself. Evidently, the crafty gene skipped a generation, because I am finally learning how to sew.
I have been taking a series of classes at Stone Mountain and Daughter in Berkeley. Funnily enough, my knitting created the need for me to learn how to use my sewing machine, since I wanted to make a holder for my dpn's and line the purses I've knit. My first sewing project is a pair of pajama pants. It's a pretty easy pattern, since I only have to worry about the inside seam (Yay! No outside seam needed!) I'm not entirely thrilled with the (almost finished) project - the legs are wide, my fabric choice was a little loud (ok, a lot), and they remind me of clown pants. My sister (God love her), told me to "get over it," because they are cute on and I would want them roomy in order to lounge comfortably. I guess I'll bring them out at Christmas time and try to blend in with the decor.
I just need to finish the hems.
Loud, isn't it?
There isn't much to report about my knitting projects, since the sewing class is taking up some of my free time. My projects have stalled out, but I hope to get back to them soon, since I finally received my invitation to Ravelry! My ID is hapagirl. I haven't added much to my notebook yet, but it is fun to look around and see what everyone else is doing.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Blogging on the Fly

Still alive and kicking....Just a quick post to thank my SP11 Pal for the e-card she sent (Was it last week? I've lost all track of time).

I've been tagged by Emiko at JavaGibber, so I will add to this later.....

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Just Watch the Foot

My cat, Little Girl, just loves to be brushed. However, a curious thing happens when I hit the "sweet spot" under her chin. It never fails to make me laugh!

We Now Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Blogging

Whew! What a week! My absence has been caused by the craziness associated with the beginning of the school year (and the fact that I needed to entertain mom).

I felt that I needed a brand-new beginning this year, so to start the year off right, I : rearranged all the classroom furniture (including the massive teacher desk), put new paper and borders up (amazing what some calming colors can do for your psyche), and generally decluttered my room. The room now seems more spacious; it also feels welcoming, although I think the fake vines climbing the walls and the hanging monkeys might have something to do with that!

This years class is so social! I couldn't believe how chatty they were on the first day of school. Usually kids are shell-shocked and quiet, but this bunch acted like they had known each other for years -- even the kids that are new to our school! It's a dual-edged sword: on one hand I hope they will be quiet when I'm teaching, on the other hand, I'm grateful that they are all so sweet and seem to get along well with each other.

Another positive note, I survived back-to-school night! A part of me is always afraid that I will blather on incessantly and sound like an idiot. One mom, bless her heart, kept smiling and nodding at me every time I looked up during my presentation, so I must done all right (although at one point near the end, I did mention that I needed more caffeine!) I have high hopes for the parents this year - they seem like a good bunch. I already know a few of them well enough to joke around with them and razz them right back when they start to tease me.

I don't have much to report on the knitting front, as I haven't been doing any lately. I didn't even get to finish the coffee sock in time to get it in the package to my vacation swap partner. So spoilee, if you read this, you will be getting a small padded envelope in the mail in the not too distant future! Heck, you may even get to see a picture of it before it gets mailed to you!

Speaking of vacation swaps, I received my package from my KVVS partner! She's Sally from Newcastle Upon Tyne in the United Kingdom. When I opened the package and saw the postcards, my brain immediately said, "Newcastle United!" My ex was a football (soccer) player and a huge fan, so I've actually sat through some of their games via satellite.

The cat liked the package, too.
My virtual tour of Newcastle upon Tyne. Beautiful!
A book and tea towel written in Geordie, a dialect associated with the north east of England. I especially like the sentiment on the tea towel, "TO AVOID DISH-WASH HANDS, Avoid Dish-washin!" My kind of thinking!
Sheepy goodness from Hutton-le-Hole in North Yorkshire! A sheep key chain, sheep worry dolls, a magnet, soap, and two skeins of wool yarn. The yarn is from British Breeds, spun in Yorkshire from Bluefaced Leicester sheep. It feels so nice, I know I'm going to enjoy knitting with it! Edit: I have no idea why the above photo is linking to the Geordie site. Weird...
Finally, coffee, tea (Earl Grey), and a pen & pencil that say Newcastle Gateshead (Gateshead is on the other side of the River Tyne).

I am truly a lucky, lucky, girl! Sally, I can't thank you enough for my vacation in a box! It makes me want to rush right out and renew my passport! Thank you ever so much!