21 February 2014

Project Progress!

Remember all those exciting craft projects I've been working on? I'm making progress!

I shared my wooden disc gift for Wendy a few days ago and now it's time to share some more of my finished creations!

Up first, Wendy's Christmas present:

Mustaches. Evidently they're in? :-)

I love Wendy, but after this, I hate mustaches. Making line after boring black line of Xs was TEDIOUS! It turned out really cool, though, if I do say so myself. My only complaint is that I didn't have it professionally framed so that it was all nice and centered and stuff. Live and learn. Now I know.

Next, Billy's Valentine's Day present:

We don't celebrate/acknowledge Valentine's Day usually, but when I saw this pattern on Etsy I knew I had to make it! Billy's said this to me pretty much forever and I thought this was a great way to say it back. Ironically? He hates olives. Odd.

17 February 2014

Wooden Disc Project

Last year, Wendy and I started a crafty gift-giving project. The rules were loose - I made her something and she made me something. One thing a month. Whatever we wanted.

This year, to mix things up, we added a little structure to it. (We also reduced the frequency to every other month. Whew!) The structure is that we have to use the same main supply in our gift-giving. Or maybe same genre, like sewing or papercrafts. Maybe we haven't worked out all the rules.

Anyway, I picked first - wooden discs.

Wendy is way into quilting right now, so I found a block I thought she'd like and charted it. I thought it turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself:

Wanna see what Wendy made me? Brace yourself for awesomeness:

That's my boyfriend - David Boreanaz - CROSS-STITCHED! I can't get over it. Seriously. David Boreanaz in thread. A-Mazing. 

This totally ties for the best gift I've ever received. (I'll blog about the other one shortly!)

11 February 2014

Karma and Stuff

Back when I was in college, my dad one time told me I was "too gracious". I actually looked gracious up in the dictionary because I didn't think he was using it right. Turns out he was using it fine. He was saying I was too "courteous, kind, and pleasant". And he was saying it like it was a bad thing.


The comment stemmed from something that happened earlier that week. It was January. Cold. Wet. Snowy. Icy. In other words, gross. I was driving home from college and got a flat tire on Route 6, a semi-major highway. Semis were flying by. No one stopped to help. I couldn't get the tire off to change it. Bleh.

I ended up walking to a business down the road to see if I could use their phone. (Here I date myself. Yes, this was before cell phones.) They let me call my dad and then let me hang out in their lobby until he came. I thought that was nice of them.

Later that week, I sent them a thank you card and a few bucks for the phone call. (I didn't know how much phone calls were. Only that I could only call long distance after 7 p.m. and even then couldn't stay on the phone long, so they must be expensive. Ah, the good ole days.)

Dad said I was "too gracious". I thought it was the right thing to do. Without that business, I would've been at the mercy of some crazy truck driver. That hardly seemed safe.

I've thought about that comment a lot over the years. Why was it such a bad thing to thank someone for doing something nice?

I think he was concerned about my personality in general and was using that as an example. I know he thought I was soft. I should've been tougher. I was going to get walked on. Used. Hurt. He was right, to an extent. There was probably a balance between feeling like I owed someone for every simple act of kindness and just accepting the kindness and moving on. Taking from this world as much as I give. Stuff like that.

But I'm not that kind of person. I am truly grateful for every nice thing anyone's ever done for me. I try hard not to "return the favor" every time, but I hate feeling like I owe someone something. Even when they say I don't.

This all relates in some way to my belief in karma. That good things happen to good people. That what goes around comes around. To treat others how I want to be treated. All things, I might add, my dad taught me.

I'm not sure where all this is coming from, but it's a thought I've been having lately. Can someone be "too gracious"? Can you be gracious and still have a backbone? Do nice people always finish last? Will I ever be OK accepting a "just because" gift from a friend? :-)

If you can answer these questions, I'd really appreciate it. But I won't do anything in return except say thank you.

31 January 2014

Projects, Projects and More Projects!

Sometime last fall, I got a little itch to do some embroidery. Not sure where it came from, but it was fun and I enjoyed it. A lot. Maybe because I don't need to spread out tons of supplies like with scrapbooking and cardmaking. It's just me, some fabric, a needle and some thread.

That little itch went from embroidery to cross-stitch and turned into a pretty serious hobby. I started working on a project for Wendy, which I think she is going to love! (I'll post pictures after I give it to her next month.) Then I started working on a project for a family member, which turned out to be a total success. (I'll post pictures of that after I finish a similar one for another family member.)

And then somewhere in this new-found love of cross-stitching, I found The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. It's bad, guys. As in, I'm-going-to-spend-every-extra-dollar-I-ever-have-at-this-store bad.

For Christmas, my awesome husband got me 3 patterns: the Once Upon a Time Sampler, which I'm working on now; the Woodland Sampler; and the Halloween Spooky Sampler.

My Once Upon a Time progress:

I've never done a year-long project before. And I've never done a mystery project before. I think I'm hooked. Tackling a project in chunks is perfect for me. I don't get bored; I can still do other projects; I don't feel guilty. The mystery part is harder to handle, but still cool. Having seen other Frosted Pumpkin designs, I know this one will be amazing. It's just really hard for someone as structured as I am to go with the flow and wait to see how the design unfolds. Luckily, the February block comes tomorrow! And I have the beautiful border to work on in between other projects.

What other projects? Brace yourself. The list is long:
  • Framing the project I made for Wendy.
  • Adding something to the project I made for the family member and reframing it.
  • Starting the project for the other family member.
  • Finishing up a fun little project for Wendy (more about that later).
  • Finishing up a fun little project for someone else who may or may not read this blog from time to time.
  • Starting a fun little project for someone else who may or may not read this blog from time to time.
  • Starting the Woodland Sampler.
  • Starting the Halloween Spooky Sampler.
  • Starting a family tree. This one is really special to me. Years and years ago, my mom cross-stitched a family tree for her parents. It still hangs in their living room. A few months ago, I found the pattern and decided it'd be cool to use the same pattern to make my own family tree!
  • Finishing and framing an embroidery project I started at the sew-in I went to in November. That one is super cool. I had people I met draw flowers on some linen, which I then stitched over. I think it's going to turn out really cool. Here's a teaser:

These are just my embroidery/cross-stitch projects! There's a lot more on my crafting agenda for 2014! I'm excited to share these projects, and the others, as I get them done!

What about you? What crafty things are you working on this year?

10 January 2014

Dear People Who Hire Librarians

I would like to apply for a job as a librarian.

While I do not have a degree in Library Science, I believe I am more than qualified:
  • I love to read. 
  • I belong to a book club (solid evidence that I love to read). 
  • I collect and make bookmarks (wow, that sounds dorky). 
  • I do not discriminate; I love paper and electronic books equally. 
  • I’ve written 175 pages of my own book (which I hope to someday see on your shelves, whether you hire me or not). 
  • I have the beginnings of about 6 more books on paper and about 78 more books in my head. 
  • I speak fluent Pig Latin (actually, I’m not really sure how that helps me). 
  • I can recite the alphabet frontward and backward (well, the backward part isn’t completely true, but I’m a quick learner). 
  • I’m really good at research (having completed 8 of 11 grad schools classes, which, ironically, aren’t in Library Science). 
  • I wear glasses (well, usually I wear contacts, but for you, I’ll wear my glasses). 
  • I always like the book better than the movie. 
  • I’m organized (some might say to a fault). 
  • I passed this Should You Become a Librarian quiz with flying colors: careerplanning.about.com/library/quiz/career_quizzes/bllibrarian_quiz
As your librarian, I promise to:
  • Volunteer to bring the books in the drive-through collection boxes in when it’s raining. 
  • Never shelf a book incorrectly. 
  • Not take it personally when a patron doesn’t enjoy the book I suggested to them. 
  • Act appropriately when a patron damages a book (i.e. I will not file charges, damage something they hold dear, etc.). 
  • Come up with fun and exciting ways to share the joy of reading with children, teenagers and adults. (On a related note, I applied to be a World Book Night Book Giver this year!)
Thank you for your consideration! I look forward to discussing a start date, er, the position, which doesn’t really exist, except in my head…