Not making any resoultions

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I’m not really that into resolutions. I think they are kind of silly, actually. That’s why I started my new exercise plan on December 28th — so much less pressure! I’ve been pretty good, only skipped two days in the last 9. January 1st because I was just too hung over to jump around with Jillian Michaels and January 2nd because it was my last day of vacation and I really wanted to finish Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

I finished it and liked it a lot. I’ve moved on to The Half-Blood Prince, and knowing that the Half-Blood Prince isn’t who one would think is bothering me a little. (I can’t imagine that I could spoil HP for anyone, but if you don’t know who the Half-Blood Prince is and care for it to remain a secret, stop reading now.) All the clues point to Voledmort, and I don’t remember it ever being mentioned that Snape is of mixed descent. I’m confused about how he can be the head of Slytheryn House if he’s not a “pure blood.”

I am also not resolving to make anything in particular this year. I’d like to keep up with the crochet because I enjoy it. Here’s a picture of the scarf I made for my mom for Christmas. The pattern is from Red Heart, but I added a little scallop detail along the edge. The stitch is three double crochet in the same stitch followed by a slip stitch in the next stitch. The colors are actually a true dark purple and pretty dove gray. The important part is that I think she really liked it. I made a similar scarf for a friend in purple and turquoise.

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Reading Harry Potter

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I am working my way through The Order of the Phoenix right now. We read the first three books aloud a few years ago when M was younger. Then homework became a nightly ordeal and we didn’t have time for Harry.
I’m glad to finally be reading the books. I generally prefer to read a book before I see the movie, because I find the director’s vision colors my reading too much. But even if I hadn’t seen the HP movies (all but the last one, so please don’t spoil it), the imagery is so ubiquitous that my vision would be influenced by the movies.
I’ll be posting everything I read this year. I am an avid reader and literally (no pun intended) a stack of books nearly a foot high waiting for my attention.

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Doing the impossible

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My project this week: completely overhauling my 10 year-old daughter’s room.

The challenges are vast. She is a borderline hoarder and keeps every item she has ever touched. I’m not kidding. I had to bribe her to get rid of Valentine’s cards from first grade. She loves stuffed animals more than she loves life and owns hundreds. I’m trying to come up with a way to pare down the stuffed friends without devastating her. It is not going to be easy.

We made tons of progress yesterday — the closet shelves have been cleared and are ready to be filled back up with stuff she needs. We filled six bags with trash and four for Goodwill. We bought new curtains that will cover the west-facing arch-top window and hopefully help cool her room down in the summer. I’ll post pictures when it is done!

Making earrings

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About a year ago I decided to try my hand at making jewelry. I’ve made a few things: a couple of necklaces, a few pairs of earrings. But mostly I’ve purchased supplies. See, making jewelry requires a lot of stuff. Which can be expensive. So it’s taken me a long time to accumulate enough stuff to put together the look I want. I’m mixing vintage and new, hoping to come up with something a little steampunk-ish, a little vintage inspired, but also wearable in the professional world.

I made two pairs of earrings in the last two days. The first was a gift for a friend. The beads are vintaqge pressed glass with a pink opalescent hue.

The second pair have vintage glass pearls and red glass drops. They don’t have a home yet, although I may send them to my boss as a thank you for the personalized notebooks she sent me.

Toasty warm

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Ta-da! This nifty hat and cowl set were my first foray into crocheting for real. Mousie is cute and all, and I learned tons from making her — but these two projects really required time and attention.

I wanted to make something I would actually wear. The cowl appealed to me because I was never able to master knitting in the round. One of the reasons I love crochet is because round stuff is easy!

I made the cowl first using one whole skein of Patons Classic Wool. I love the texture added by using front-post double crochet (fpdc). Sascha Loves to Knit created the pattern. The blog is in Dutch, but there is a link to the pattern in English from Ravelry. Mine isn’t as bulky as hers, but it came out nicely.

The hat, “Durango + Robin’s Egg Blue,” is courtesy of Simple Beans. She artfully combined a crochet pattern with her own ribbing pattern to copy a knit hat she wanted to crochet. I’m so happy she did. I love my new hat and have been wearing it during this unusually snowy winter.

Crocheting

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my first amigurimi project

Thanks to Nerdigurimi, I completed this adorable mouse amigurimi. I tried to make a bear, but the ears came out too big, so it became a mouse. I didn’t have any safety eyes at the time, so I just added the pink nose. I think it is pretty cute.   The step-by-step tutorial helped immensely, walking me through the hard bits. The site is chock full of unusual, imaginative amigurimi — a far cry from your typical tiny yarn animals. Since then I have been crocheting up a storm. More photos to come soon!