Saturday, May 24, 2008

Little Things

I'm back . I know I've been AWOL for a while. I have been crocheting a little lately, but I just haven't felt like updating my blog. I've been feeling down in the dumps about my job situation, and have had a hard time motivating myself to do much.

I do have a job interview coming up on Wednesday. It's for a Research & Planning Associate with a Catholic nonprofit grants-making foundation in downtown Cleveland. I'm nervous though - nervous about how to explain why I lost my last job, and nervous because I found out that it's going to be a group interview. I hate group interviews! Regular one on one interviews make me nervous enough, but interviews with more than one person is even worse. I hate sitting at a conference table with a bunch of people all staring at me.

And what do I say about why I lost my last job? Do I say the truth, that it was due to a personality conflict between me and my old boss, but then risk looking like I can't get along with people (I think I'm an easy person to get along with, even if I am generally quiet)? Do I say that the job just wasn't a good fit (but the Research & Planning Associate has a lot of similarities to my last job, and I don't want to look like I'm not qualified for it)?

All I know is I really, really want this job. Out of all the jobs I've applied for since losing my job, this is the one I want the most. It has everything I want in a job - it requires a degree, it's in a field directly related to both my bachelor's and my soon-to-be had master's, it's with a nonprofit organization, I have the necessary skills for it, and best of all, I would be working for an organization that deals with issues about which I am passionate and knowledgeable - affordable housing, healthcare accessibility, and educational disparities. I'll be seriously heartbroken if I don't get this job.

Now on to some lighter stuff. I finished my sister's wedding shawl a few days before her wedding, and gave it to her the day before her wedding. I was worried that the blue shade I chose would be a lot lighter than the trim on her dress, but the yarn actually wasn't too far off. My sister loved the color and the sparkle of the yarn. Here's the completed shawl:

I know the photos are crappy - my photos I take inside don't come out well between the indoor lighting (most of the rooms in my house have ceiling lights) and the flash on the camera (which I don't know how to turn off). I was going to weave ribbon through the borders on the shawl, but I ran out before I got to the third side, so I just took it out and tied ribbons on each corner of the shawl instead. The shawl took 8 balls of Patons Katrina yarn in Dusk.

Other than the shawl, I had mainly been working on some items for the fundraising auction for my daughter's school band. In addition to the hats I previously posted, I had crocheted a really cute baby wrap sweater, using the "Mini Wrap Sweater" pattern from the March/April '08 issue of Crochet Magazine (adjusting the measurements to make an infant size). I used Red Heart Soft in Pink for the body, and added a ruffled trim in Chocolate.

I had also crocheted a baby washcloth in Lily Sugar N' Cream Stripes - Baby Stripes, using an "arcade" stitch pattern from the Crochet Stitch Bible. I wrapped the washcloth around a bar of baby soap and tied with a ribbon. I took photos of both the sweater and the washcloth, and left them on my camera. As luck would have it, the same day that I sent the baby stuff with my daughter to school to give to her band teacher, I got ready to download the photos of the sweater and the washcloth to my computer, and realized that my husband had deleted them when he was clearing out old photos from the camera. Argggghhhh! Needless to say I was very upset.

I do have one other item I crocheted for the auction to show however. This is a bib crocheted with DMC Senso (microfiber cotton/acrylic blend) and a G hook.
The pattern is "So Simple Baby Bib" from the August/September '06 issue of Crochet Today. That was my first time working with such thin yarn (it's about a fingering weight) and it was a bit difficult, but I'm proud of myself for managing it, LOL! I added Velcro to the straps for closures after taking the photo.

Oh, and speaking of the band, I almost forgot to mention that Bethany had her spring band concert last Wednesday. The beginning band (4th and 5th graders) did two songs and a few solos. Here are some videos of the songs that included Bethany - the first one is "The Hey Song", and the second one is "Popcorn Prelude".

Next up is a kerchief I crocheted for Bethany, with Strawberry Cream Cotton-Ease and a G hook. The pattern I used is the "Cozy Kerchief" from the book "Cozy Crochet". Bethany talked me into taking her and Dominic to the park today. The park is about a quarter mile down the street from our house, about a 15 minute walk (with kids, because they walk slow), so it's not far, but I've just been feeling like crap lately and haven't felt like walking anywhere (my husband had to work last night so he was sleeping all afternoon and couldn't drive us). My colon became infected and ruptured in 2001, requiring me to have two surgeries and a temporary colostomy, and ever since then, I've had occasional bouts of nausea and stomach pain. This past week has been particularly bad, which worries me, because I lost my medical insurance along with my job, and the last thing I need right now is to end up hospitalized with no insurance. My husband was able to get insurance for the kids through his job (a must with both of them having asthma and allergies and being on daily medications) but with me not working, the premiums for entire family coverage are just too high.

I couldn't say no to walking down to the park though, when my daughter told me that walking is good exercise, and that it's better for the Earth than driving, LOL! I like our lakefront park, because there's always a lot of families with kids there, so my kids always find someone to play with at the playground. When we were walking into the park, my daughter spotted a brown speckled bunny underneath a tree. I couldn't get very close to the bunny without it getting nervous, so I used tried to zoom in with my camera, but the photo came out fuzzy. The last thing I have to show is one of my PIF gifts that I mailed out a few days ago. The recipient, fellow blogger and crafty Clevelander, Gretchen of Lazy Mama Designs, should have gotten it by now, so I think it's safe to post a photo.It's a scarf, crocheted with Moda Dea Vision in "Princess" and a K hook. The pattern is from the book "Get Hooked Again", and the stitch design is called "chevron lace". I love how it came out - the color, the design, everything. I had such a hard time resisting keeping it for myself! Obviously there isn't much need for scarves in Cleveland in May, but in my defense, I finished it about two months ago, when it was still cold. I was just lazy about weaving in the ends, blocking it, and getting it mailed out.

Well, that it for now for finished crochet projects. If you're of the praying type, please pray that my interview goes well, and that I get the job.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Wedding Photos!

Shauna and Rich

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

Chagrin Valley Athletic Club

Chagrin Falls, OH

It was a beautiful wedding! Everything went really well. It was chilly and windy here in Cleveland on Friday, and chilly, windy and rainy today, but Saturday was 66 degrees, and sunny with a nice breeze - perfect weather for a wedding!
The wedding was outdoors. The bride and bridal party got to walk down a stone path, over a bridge, and past a waterfall and pond. A friend of Shauna's who is a local orchestra played instrumental music (along with a few other musicians she knows) for the ceremony as a gift for Shauna. Our older brother, Brian, walked Shauna down the aisle and gave her away, since our dad is deceased.

All of the kids in the wedding party did really well. Here's my daughter Bethany, junior bridesmaid (10), her cousin Rosie, also 10 (my brother Joe's stepdaughter), and her cousins (my sister Desiree's daughters) Alexis (11), junior bridesmaid, and Kaitlyn (4), flower girl. All of the girls looked so beautiful!

My handsome little man, Dominic. When I first saw him all dressed up in his tux, he looked so grown up that I got tears in my eyes. Shauna did too.
My niece Rosie with her little brother, Mohammed (8).
Shauna was surprised and happy when I made a speech for her and Rich. I normally hate speaking in front of people, and she told me beforehand it would be OK with her if I didn't want to give a speech, but I thought of something great to say, stood up in front of 80+ people and made a speech. It felt good when I got lots of compliments on it.

We had great food and a beautiful cake (ivory with blue hydrangeas). I had a picture of the cake, but it's too fuzzy to post. A friend of Shauna's decorated the reception hall for the wedding as a gift. The DJ was great too - besides being a professional DJ, he is also Shauna's boss's accountant. He made Shauna blush when he read from some emails (I think Rich snuck them to him) Shauna and Rich exchanged after their first date, LOL!

The kids had so much fun at the reception, dancing, eating, and playing with their cousins and siblings. The athletic club was a great place to have a wedding with all the places indoors and out for the kids to run around. Dominic had a lot of fun playing with Alex, the son of one of Shauna's friends. Bethany and her girl cousins loved dancing with Nikki, the daughter of a family friend - Nikki is graduating from college today with her bachelor's in elementary education, and is doing her student teaching in a second grade class, so she's great with kids.

Here's me and Bethany (note to self: stick with strapless bras for halter dresses, LOL!):

And me and Dominic:
Shauna dancing with Dominic:
Shauna and Rich:My husband and I had fun dancing, even though I can't dance worth a lick. My husband is a fabulous dancer though, so my oldest sister, Diane, and her friends (all a little tipsy!) dragged him out on the dance floor to dance with him. Poor guy was one of the few men out there, until some of the other men had a few drinks, and got out there, LOL!

Overall, it was a great day, and I'm thankful and proud to have been in the wedding. I'll post more wedding pictures when I get copies some of the professional photos. In the meantime, here are some short videos from the wedding - my husband was able to take these with our digital camera (they even have sound!) - I think that's pretty cool, LOL!

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Whew! Busy Week!

This was one of those weeks that I'm glad is over. I feel like I barely had 5 minutes to sit down all week.

Monday - My Dominic's kindergarten screening
Tuesday - Second fitting for mine and Bethany's bridesmaid's dresses and final exam for my online grad school class
Wednesday - Interview and tests with another temp agency
Thursday - Interview and tests for the job I applied for at Cleveland State
Friday - Wedding rehearsal and dinner
Saturday - My sister's wedding!
Today - Mother's Day

I'm glad this week is just about over! I'll be posting some wedding photos either later today or tomorrow.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Loom Knitting Books & Booklets for Sale

FOR VISITORS FROM THE KNIFTY KNITTER YAHOO GROUP:

I have a number of Knifty Knitter booklets and books to sell. I find that I rarely loom knit since I learned how to crochet, so I am clearing out my stash.

If you are interested in buying any of the items, please email me personally through the Yahoo group, as I am on special notice only, and won't receive messages sent to the entire group.

I accept payment via Paypal only. Payment must be recieved within 48 hours after indicating that you wish to purchase an item. I will email you an invoice with payment instructions. Items will ship the next business day after payment clears.

Prices include 1st Class postage.

All items are first-come, first served, and are from a non-smoking home.

Thank you for looking!

KNIFTY KNITTER I, II, & III BOOKLETS - 75 cents each
KNIFTY KNITTER LOOM SERIES USING BERNAT YARNS BOOKLET - $3.00Hard to find item. Has patterns for Golf Club Covers, Hats for the Family, Throw, Shawl, Kitchen Accessories, Holiday Stockings, Ribbed Scarf, Yoga Bag and Child's Flat Top Hat & Scarf.

LOOM CRAFTS WITH KNIFTY KNITTER - $12.00

ISELA PHELPS' LOOM KNITTING PRIMER- $12.00 - SOLD! KNITTING WHEEL FASHIONS - $5.00 - SOLD!Has patterns for Neck Cuff & Belt, Ear Warmer, Sequined Hat, Spiral Hat, Shaggy Dog Hat & Scarf, Mohair Bag, Cotton Bag, Shrug, Wrap, Hat & Shawl. Please note that tis book has some water damage on the bottom corners of a few pages. The pages are all still readable howver.

LEARN TO KNIT ON CIRCLE LOOMS - $7.00 - PENDING

Has patterns for Pleasing Ponchette, At-Home Comfort Socks, Mom & Daughter Bangle Bags, Make it Soft Scarf, Make it Soft Hat, Striped Squares Baby Blanket, Keep-Warm Tubular Scarf, Keep-Warm Hat, and Relaxing Afghan.
LEARN NEW STITCHES ON CIRCLE LOOMS - $7.00 - SOLD

Has patterns for Bordered Scarf, Woven-Top Hat, Pocorn Bobble Hat, Drawstring Purse, Seed Stitch Spa Set, Mobius Shawl, Diamond Lace Shawl, Shell Stich Afghan, Chevron Baby Blanket

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Few Little Things

Thank you to everyone for your nice comments and suggestions about the wedding expenses - it means a lot to me. My sister offered to let me borrow the money for the dress alterations, and I'm going to sell my collection of loom knitting books (nothing wrong with loom knitting - I just haven't done any since I learned how to crochet) and use the proceeds towards my salon expenses. I have a couple of textbooks I can sell, too.

In crochet-related news, I was looking at the new items on Knitting-Warehouse.com, and saw they have more new yarn/colors posted - Lion Brand, Caron, Lily Sugar N' Cream. I fell in love with these crochet labels though - I think they are just too cute! They have knitting labels too. The crochet labels are going on my wish list of crochet things to buy when I'm working again.

I also found out that Lion Brand has a new yarn blog, Lion Brand Notebook. Check it out here.

Finally, another blog I like, Five Minutes for Mom, is having a Two Weeks of Toys Giveaway - visit their website to enter. I love their giveaways - I actually won a $400 (pink!) Dyson vacumn cleaner through their website last fall. Ironically, I have almost all hardwood floors in my house, but the vacumn cleaner is still great for the carpeted stairs and sunporch and rugs.

Thanks again for everyone's comments and suggestions. I may have some more baby projects for the band basket to post soon.