Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Three Day Weekend Equals Three Visits to a Craft Store

This past weekend was busy.  It seemed like there was no time to do anything.  I hoped for more progress than I got on my list but I don't know when we could have done more.

Saturday I paid bills, worked on budget and we went to my sister-in-laws wedding.  Sunday we went to several stores.  The first was Home Depot and after that I sat in the car while Vicki and Ken went into the stores.  Vicki and I did go to Joann's.  There were Ibottas and coupons.  I got a lot of money back for buying yarn I was going to buy anyways and 10% back.  Additionally I had a coupon for 20% off my whole order.  On Sunday, I had two coupons for 60% off any regular priced item.  I got two lengths of luxe fleece.  This is super soft fleece which is normally $15 - $20 per yard.  I only buy it when I have big coupons or it is on steep discount.  I also found lace I liked for the front window.  Ken had put up an dark blue ugly curtain I didn't like on our front door.  I looked through the lace.  There was this gorgeous feeling white which I loved the feel of but didn't really suit the room.  Vicki picked out a color I liked but I didn't think Ken would.  I'm not sure he likes it but I do.

Monday Vicki and Ken went back to Home Depot to get a range hood.  Ours has been getting louder and louder as well as working less.  They picked up one.  Ken came home and installed it.  We discovered more strange things about how they did things in our house.  The range hood is on the same breaker as our garage.  Vicki and I went back to Joann's because when we were there on Sunday we picked up some buttons on clearance.  These are the fancy buttons which normally cost anywhere from $1 - $5 each but on clearance for 50 cents.  When we were there on Saturday the buttons had all sorts of prices on them but they rang up as 50 cents.  So Sunday we went back specifically for buttons.  Vicki and I picked over what they had and then found a table to lay them all out at.  We weeded through and narrowed it down.  I still spent over $20 on buttons.  But I got a great deal on them.  Plus I got the 10% back on Ibotta.

All three days we went to Joann's and I used coupons to save big, bought stuff on clearance, or used Ibotta to get rebates.  I saved over $16 in rebates from Ibotta but in savings from the coupons and in store sales I saved over $85.  I saved almost as much as I spent so really good deals.

As for what did get accomplished, I got bills paid.  That was on my list.  Ken finished the closet space in the family room.  Next step is for Vicki and I to figure out what we want out there.  I did work on crocheting all weekend.  I got six sets of hand towels / dish towels done.  I also prepped five fleece blankets for crocheting.  I crocheted the edging for two of them.  Other items I worked on, I got four pairs of earrings and four scrubbies made.  I organized all the stuff which had been accumulating on my couch.  I'm going to keep working on dish towels and hand towels.  I have three skeins of scrubbie material so I'm going to keep making them up.  All the excess crocheted items are going on the rummage and craft sale we're going to have.

I got stuff done.  I shouldn't feel bad I didn't get stuff done.  I just didn't get the stuff done I planned to get done.  In the meanwhile, I'm going to keep crocheting and adding to my stockpile for the sale.  I have excess fleece in the craft room which I plan to make up into blankets for the sale.  In my head I have a list of things I want to make for the sale.  I'll see how far I get in making the stuff.  I'm trying to only use the yarn I have on hand.  I'm trying to use up my stash of yarns and reduce the amount of stuff I have in my craft room.

Ultimately a productive weekend but not productive for my list.  Part of me says to let go of the damn list but another part of me knows I'll forget things if I don't keep my list.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Fun Versus Work

I have the feeling I'm going to be struggling with balancing out the need to have down time while I also have a long long list of things to get done.

Things I want to get done include:

  • going through the garage and organizing all the things out there including bringing in the last of Vicki's belongings 
  • going through the back porch and organizing all the things we are storing there for the sale
  • cleaning and organizing the craft room
  • finish setting up the closet type space in the family room so the coats, scarves, etc aren't tossed on the couch
  • finish cleaning the office
  • publishing and writing tasks
  • cleaning the basement (i.e. arguing with my husband about not keeping everything)
  • getting ready for the rummage sale I want to have 
Now there is enough here to keep us busy for several weekends.  I'm aware of this but for some reason, I want to get all this stuff done so we should work on it all weekend.  Right?  Nope.  I know perfectly well I'll be lucky to finish one of these tasks.  

It may be a three day weekend but it's also a pay weekend which means there are all the errands which go along with getting paid.  I have stuff to go to the post office.  Grocery shopping and other errands need to be run.  We have a family wedding to attend.  Preparations have to be done for next week and all of us going to work.  

On the fun side, I'd love to go to a movie or spend a day crocheting and watching movies (or both).  I'm well aware all three of us work hard during the week and need to have some down time on the weekends to recharge our batteries.  

Realistically, I'm hoping to accomplish one or two things on my list.  With the extra day, we might be able to accomplish something in addition to the normal weekend tasks like laundry, grocery shopping, and errands.  I'm crossing my fingers and trying to not be cranky about it.  

Monday, May 22, 2017


Where did the weekend go?  Saturday I was up and dressed but didn't do a lot.  I crocheted.  I'm working on a kitchen set for someone.  Friday night I worked on dishcloths - lots of them.  Saturday I worked on pot holders.  Sunday I worked on a lot of different things.

It seems like my weekend flew by but I didn't get a lot of stuff done.  Sunday I helped Vicki in the kitchen with baking, prepping for the week and a few other things.

We're having a rummage sale next month.  I've been working on crochet items to sell during the rummage sale.  I've got a few dish cloths and I had some terry cloth.  Sunday I worked on cutting it up and prepping it so I could crochet around the material.

Once I'm done with the kitchen set I'm working on, I'll work on the dish towels and hand towels.  I think I might have some fleece in the craft room which isn't claimed.  If I do and I have time, I'd like to make up those so I could try selling them as well.

My goal for the rummage sale - make enough to get our dishwasher installed.  We're going to go look at the dishwasher this next weekend - during all the sales.  The hope is we will have a built in dishwasher by the end of June or mid July.

From there, we will tackle other issues in the house.  In the meanwhile, I'm crocheting a lot and hoping the items will sell.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Publishing Crochet Patterns

My day yesterday did not go as planned.  This is not a surprise to me - rarely do my days go as planned.  But last night I was kicking myself for taking a nap instead of getting things done.  Vicki went to bed early and I opted to work on the computer.

This meant the publishing I was going to do in the morning got done last night instead.  I have eight new crochet patterns out.  There are links to them on my website.  They are all on the Crochet Patterns page.

My niece asked me for headbands so I created new ones for her.  In doing so, I took pictures and wrote the patterns.  This means there's a new Half Dozen Thread Headbands available.  She also wanted a bandana which lead to me creating Bandana X.

I had two student workers graduating - one wanted an afghan and one wanted scarves.  The blanket is called Framed Tipped Lattice and the scarves are Climbing Vine, Lattice, Shades of Blue, and Sparkling Squiggle.  I finished an experiment for my daughter which is really a mini scarf - Puff Chain Scarf.

I've got a couple more in the works but they aren't quite ready to be published.  The patterns are done, I need to work on the components.

Today, I'm working on publishing stuff until my niece gets here, then I'll be working on cleaning and organizing my office and hopefully tackling some of the dining room.  It depends on how long stuff takes us.  I'm hoping we can get a long list of things done but I know my plans never work out.  I'm going to go with the flow.  Anything finished is an improvement.  If it reduces the chaos we're living in right now, that's all that matters.  I have two more places to market my stuff.  Then I'll be getting off the computer and start on the other stuff - I hope.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mini Vacation

Ken has flown the coop to visit our daughters in Georgia.  This means I get the house to myself (mostly).  Our middle daughter has moved home so she's there when she's not working.  However, I have the next five days off.  I've got plans, so many plans - too many to get done in a matter of five days.  This means I'll pick and choose which of them I want to get done the most.

I've got household, publishing, crochet, and writing projects all on my list and all screaming at me.  My house is chaos.  I'm going to attempt to get one room done this weekend.  I've gotten through a large part of the sorting but need some help.  My niece is coming out to help so fingers crossed by the end of the weekend my office will be organized and clean.

If we actually manage to finish the office, the next step for me is the dining room.  My dining room table is heaped with stuff.  I'm hoping we can clear it off and maybe get the table out of the room.  It's an old table and too big for the space.  I'll have to see how things go but I'm hoping to get it out of there.

With any luck, I'll get a little bit done in each category.  I also have to pay bills, prep for grocery shopping, and do all the usual pay week errands and chores.  I need more energy and less pain in order to get everything done I want to.

Tonight will be crocheting.  I'm working on finishing projects and making things to put out when we have the rummage sale.  While I veg out in front of the tv tonight, I'm going to work on either a shawl or some dishcloths.

Last night when I couldn't sleep, I watched a show on the Spencer family in the UK (Princess Diana's family) and made 1 1/2 dish cloths.  It will be more of the same tonight.

Vicki's usually up around 5:00 and gets me up around 6:00 so I intend to stay awake and work on several projects.  While I'm alone in the house tomorrow, I want to get as much as I can crammed into the day.  It will be bill paying, organizing the office, and if my legs can manage it maybe some publishing of crochet patterns.  This is my plan.  Now the next question is - how well will this plan go?  I guess I'll see tomorrow.

Friday, my niece comes out.  Since I'll be doing some heavy duty cleaning with her, I might take it a bit easy in the morning before she gets there.  Vicki will have me up at 6:00 though so I could get more work in whether that's crocheting or editing in my recliner or publishing crochet patterns, I don't know yet.

At some point, I'll have to make a grocery list, set up a menu for the next month, and clip coupons.  I've got a lot to fit in over the next few days.  I might end up needing a vacation from my vacation.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Projects - Done and To Do

This week I've finished the scarves and the afghan for my student workers' graduation gifts.  I've given one gift which is why I'm posting the two pictures.  For the afghan, I need to take pictures.  I plan to publish four of the scarf patterns and the afghan pattern.  This adds to my list of crochet patterns to publish.  I have a bandanna, log cabin afghan, and set of headbands to publish.  

The collar or cowl scarf shown on the left turned out gorgeous.  I'm really proud of it because it was outside my normal and preferred type of project.  The smaller yarn and projects like this are hard on my hands but it was worth it to do and redo some of the stitching.  The other scarves turned out excellent and I'm excited to publish the four new ones.  The necklace type scarf I love making.  It uses up small bits of yarn but is stunning and versatile.  

Tonight I'll be working on dish towels and dish cloths to make for someone who is helping me out this weekend.  After I get those done, I'll be back on my other projects.  Currently I have bibs for a former co-worker of Vicki's, a skirt, a couple of afghans, and a few smaller projects which aren't designated for anyone yet.  

This weekend Ken goes off to Atlanta for twelve days.  I know he's excited to visit the girls down there.  It will give him a nice break from work and our messy house.  

Vicki and I plan to play a bit on Saturday.  Sunday we will have help with getting things organized and settled.  Next weekend will be busy with working on the house as well.  

However, I'm taking off work on the 11th and hoping to get some writing stuff done - like publishing patterns.  I'll have two days with no one in the house so I plan to get up and work on anything I have for writing - publishing, writing, marketing, editing.  I have a number of projects in the works so I want to make progress on them.  

Ken may be gone for twelve days but it will be a busy time for Vicki and I.  Hopefully by the time he comes home, the house is better organized.  I'm hoping this will lower everyone's stress levels.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Reader Conference

Vicki and I attended a readers' conference over the weekend.  It was interesting as I looked at it from a reader's perspective.  There were lots of free gifts - post its, pens, gadgets, and so on.  Books of course were high on the gift list.

I wanted to take aside the organizer and say - listen there are some basic things you should have going.  First an agenda of events - either handed out to people or posted in the hall.  Second, a map of where rooms are.  Third, set up early and be prepared for the long lines.

Something I want to say to hotels and conference centers.  I get they make the most money by jamming as many people into one room as possible but let's be realistic.  People are not child size.  They range in size from small to large.  Additionally, handicap people with walkers, wheel chairs, and scooters need to be able to get through.

One of the events was a signing.  In order to get to the signing, we had to go from a lunch to another room.  I told Vicki to go without me because there was no way my scooter was getting through the crowd of people and tables.  Skinny people were struggling to get between tables.

As a writer, I soaked in all the things readers seemed to enjoy.  I wonder if at some point I would do an event like this.  At the same time, I wonder if I would be able to do an event like this with my mobility issues.

My daughter suggested I donate items to one of the reader conferences.  I'm going to see if I can do this.  I can crochet something and add some of my books to a basket for one of the giveaways.  I certainly don't have the funds from my writing to be a guest author at an event but I can start small and go from there.

Small talk is not my forte but is definitely needed at an event like this.  I'd rather have a meaningful conversation than do small talk.  Yet small talk abounded at this event.  Whether it was between fellow attendees or with an author, you have to be willing to talk about common topics which won't offend people.  This is quite a feat for me.

It was good to spend time with my daughter.  I didn't know any of the authors, don't read any of them.  But it was interesting to talk to some of them and to see the event.  As normal for me, I was not in love with the large crowd or the noise.  This is my introverted self screaming in my head to run from so many people.  I like the one on one or small group.  I'm glad I went.  If my daughter asks, I'll probably go again.  I should probably read some of the books by the authors who will be there before I go to the event.

Back at the Grindstone

With nine days off, you would think I got a lot accomplished.  I did when it comes to spending time with my girls but off my to-do list?  No...