Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! My son was so wound up about Valentine's Day this morning. He told me Miss Tammy (his teacher at daycare) said the kids "are going to be king of hearts and queens today", LOL! He's a funny little boy.

I decided to go the card shop downtown yesterday at lunch time to get a card for my husband, and some Beanie Babies for the kids. I should have known better. I got to the card shop, and there was a line at the cash register starting at the front of the store and stretching all the way to the back, and people were three-deep at the rack of Valentine's cards. I don't know why it didn't occur to me that a card shop would be packed the day before Valentine's Day. I gave up trying to buy a card (ended up getting one at the drugstore instead), and just got the kids' Beanie Babies. I got Bethany a pink teddy bear, and Dominic a dolphin (he loves the Veggie Tales "Jonah" movie, and has little figurines of the characters from the movie, except for the whale, so I thought he could pretend the dolphin is a whale). I gave them to the kids this morning, and they really liked them.

My husband came home from work this morning with a card, a box of chocolates, and these beautiful roses, for me. Isn't he sweet?! My kids got loaded up with candy at school and daycare, of course. Bethany didn't get nearly as much candy as Dominic, so she tried to get into his candy, and he told my husband, "Everytime it's a special day, Sissy gets into my candy!". They managed to get into my candy too, but that's OK, because I already had enough Valentine's day treats today.

I gave my husband some man bath stuff from Bath & Body Works for his gift. OK, I know that's probably not the ideal gift for a man, but there's so few places left to shop in downtown Cleveland anymore. Dozens of stores downtown have closed over the past 10-15 years (our economy here is in bad shape). We don't even have any department stores left. My husband and kids and I went to Pittsburgh (they have an incredible children's museum) in 2006 and we ended up driving through downtown (after Mapquest got us completely, horribly lost on our way to our hotel after going to Kennywood amusement park - long story), and even Pittsburgh's downtown looks more alive than Cleveland's does (at least they have a department store left) - now that was depressing!

We went to Chicago in 2005, and I was in awe, I mean absolute awe, over the blocks and blocks of stores they have downtown - everything from low to moderate priced stores like Payless and Sears, to top of the line upscale stores like Tiffany's and Bloomingdale's. They even have a Joann Fabrics downtown. If I worked in downtown Chicago, I'd be in trouble, because I sure would go broke with all those stores there!

Anyway, I have a few crochet projects to show. I've been meaning to post them for a while, but I've been totally sick all week. I have a horrible cough that won't go away. It gets worse at night, and when I lie down, and in addition to not being able to fall asleep, I wake up half a dozen times a night coughing, and am now just completely exhausted. I've been taking over the counter cough syrup, but it doesn't help much. I'm really hoping this isn't turning into bronchitis. I had bronchitis about 6 or 7 years ago, and it took over a month for the cough to go away, plus the prescription cough syrup and antibiotic made me so nauseated that I couldn't get out of bed.

On top of the lack of sleep, I've been busy planning my sister's bridal shower that's coming up next month, and have been swamped with that. At least I got to stay home from work on Monday, because my kids' school and daycare were closed because of the cold (only 7 degrees), and I got to leave work at 3PM on Tuesday (with pay for the rest of the day) because a bad storm was rolling in.

I did get my sister's ringbearer pillow finished, finally. I had both of the crocheted pieces done, and tried single crocheting them over the pillow, but a bunch of the ribbon rosettes and pearls popped off while I was crocheting. Then when I finally got it put together, I realized that the heart looked all distorted. I ended up cutting off the cover, throwing it away, and crocheting two new pieces. Luckily I had bought extra rosettes and pearls, so this time I glued them on after I was done with all the crocheting and the border, and it came out a lot nicer looking this time.I'm still working on my sister's shawl as well. I'm about 75% done with it, but think I'm going to need a few more skeins of yarn.

The last bridal shower present I have for my sister is this hydrangea unity candle.

It's personalized with her's and her fiancee's names (Shauna and Rich) and their wedding date. The bridal shop called today to let me know that mine and my daughter's bridesmaids' dresses are ready to be picked up, so I'll be getting those soon. Mine is periwinkle blue and my daughter's is lavender. I'm excited to see how they look, because the store didn't have any sample dresses in that style in those colors.

The second crochet project I have is a hat I crocheted for my friend Latanya for her March birthday. After I sent her crocheted Christmas presents (which fortunately she loved), she started throwing hints for me to crochet her a hat or a jacket. I don't have the skills to crochet any jackets yet, but I can do hats. I used Bernat Organic Cotton in Prairie Rose and Desert Bloom for the hat. The organic cotton is a little pricey, but so much softer than regular cotton and I figured Latanya would like because she's really into organic and natural products.

The hat pattern is a "Gidget Bucket Hat" from the book "Get Hooked Again", and I figured it would be a quick, easy project...ha! This hat drove me absolutely crazy! If it weren't for a gift, I would have just scrapped it. I don't know if something was wrong with the pattern, or if I just have a big old head, because I just could not get this hat to fit right. The pattern called for an F hook, but I crochet tightly, so I used a G, and got the right gauge. The book said at the correct gauge, the hat would crochet up tightly, but would stretch to fit most heads. Well, the hat came out so small and short, it would have fit my 5 year old son. I tried again with an H hook, and it came out too big. I went back and forth with different size hooks, and ended up using the G, and adding some extra increases and rows until I finally got it to fit.

I literally must have made and took apart four hats before I got it to come out right. It's still a little tight, but at least I can put it on. The pattern didn't call for a turning chain between rows, and I'm wondering if that was part of the problem. It didn't occur to me until after I finished the final hat that I could have added a turning chain between rows, or maybe even done the hat in half-double crochet instead of single. Oh well. Hopefully it will fit Latanya OK.

I'm also working on my PIF gifts, and am about halfway done with those, but can't show them here - I don't want to ruin any surprises!Have a happy Valentine's Day (what's left of it, anyway!)


Bezzie said...

Gorgeous ring bearer pillow! I love it!

Dude, what's with the lack of Joanns? Hudson, OH is only 1/2 an hour from Cleveland!

Laura said...

Thanks Bezzie!

Woohoo, I'm very impressed that you know where Hudson, OH is! : ) We have quite a few Joann's stores, but not one downtown. : ( And there's the perfect retail space a few blocks from my job (built a few years ago, but never occupied) that would be perfect for a Joann's. Sigh... If there was one downtown, I'd be in my glory!

Interestingly though, one of the newer Joann's stores, in this City View shopping plaza that opened in an inner-ring suburb of Cleveland just about 2 years ago, is closing. I think maybe people have gotten scared off from shopping there, because it came out that the plaza was built on a former toxic waste dump, and several stores in the plaza have already have had problems with methane gas leaking in from underground. I know I wouldn't shop there.

Christina said...

The flowers your hubby gave you are very pretty! I've always loved pink roses. My dad used to get me pink roses for every special occasion because he knew I liked them so much.

I know what you mean about not having a craft store nearby. You'd think in NY, I'd be in retail heaven, but there is no Joanns, Michaels, A.C Moore, or Hobby Lobby in Brooklyn. I have to borrow a car and drive over a bridge to Staten Island to get to a decent craft shop.

naida said...

Hi Laura, beautiul roses! the ringbearer pillow is wonderful, so pretty.
Enjoy your weekend :)