Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Today was a pretty low-key day. I worked from home on my nutrition research. I'm doing a piece about eating healthy at restaurants. It was easy at first to give general recommendations and for common cuisines like Italian and Mexican. Now I'm getting into more unfamiliar cuisines like Thai and Greek so I've had to do more research.

Later I met my crafting group for Open Knit Night. I got a little confused because the people I thought were coming couldn't make it then other people came as guests so it was a different crowd than I was expecting but fun all the same. Now that I've been organizing knitting groups for a while it's interesting to see how people come and go over time. Sometimes people move away or get busy with work and stop coming. Then new people either move to the neighborhood or take up knitting and become the new regulars.

I came home and played with Little Kitty for a while. It's crazy how much energy he has to chase after things. No wonder he gets so antsy when I don't pay attention to him and starts climbing all over and getting into stuff he shouldn't. I'm going to try to make more of an effort to devote some solid playtime for him. Maybe he'll stop attacking the Big Cat so much. He bit her today on the neck and came up with a big tuft of hair but I think it's because she's shedding more than anything. He looked like he had a goatee with the hair hanging from his mouth. Will have to start brushing her more...and I thought cats were low maintenance.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Crafting Journey

Today was a very interesting day. I went up to Westchester with the head of the book division to help out on a crafting book we're putting together. The author, Coleen Mullaney, had just gotten a shipment of supplies in and needed help putting together the crafts and getting all the instructions written out.

She was an interesting person to meet. She writes books and articles on entertaining and crafts especially for kids. It was a little surreal for me to leave the city and be in a big house with kids around and see what it's like for someone to make a career out of this sort of thing. I worked on some projects involving plastic canvas, yarn, and lanyard. I did the basic samples then took the more involved stuff home to finish this weekend.

Later Wendy dropped me off in the city as I had a private knitting lesson scheduled. We actually managed to get back early. Then Julian texted me as he was in urgent need of a cake carrier since he'd volunteered to bake for his office's monthly birthday party. I had just enough time to slip over to the Container store and then back to the atrium for my lesson. I taught Roz to cast on and knit which she was really excited about.

When I got home Julian had made a bundt cake and a tray of brownies but said they were all for the office. Booo! Luckily for me he stayed home from work today and got in the Passover shopping that I had originally planned to do today. He gave me a brownie after he'd cut them. It was soooo rich it's a good thing he's bringing the rest into work tomorrow. Well, back to crafting!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Earrings, Earrings, Earrings!

I gave my first earring making class tonight and it went really well. It had a good turnout with 6 people. Everyone enjoyed being able to choose their own beads. Learning to make wire wrapped loops for the first time can be tough but everyone managed to bang out 3 or 4 pairs.

As for myself I really liked teaching. It gets easier every time I do it. I'm learning to break each task down into steps and to be more clear with my instructions. I like helping each person figure out what went wrong and how to fix it and love that moment when they first do it right. It's interesting to me how different the designs other people make using the same beads I use.

Everyone was excited to take more beading classes. I'm going to set up the April schedule soon. For more information visit: Crafty Like a Fox

Monday, March 23, 2009

Little Devil....er Kitty

Little Kitty came into our lives over the holidays. I find myself having a love/hate relationship with our kitten. When I come home he's super sweet and just wants to be held and purr against my neck. When he's half asleep on the couch he'll let me pet him and is really cute.

Other times he can be such a terror. In the morning he plays a game called Jump on Jen's Head and Dig Your Claws into her Hair. If that doesn't get a good shriek he moves on to part two: Bite Jen on the Face Just Narrowly Missing Her Eyes. He'll keep doing it until I get up and feed him his wet food. If I'm being lazy on the weekend I'll pull the covers all the way up over my head but this only works until I come up for air. It's also a constant battle to keep him from walking all over the kitchen counters/my beading table/the jewelry box on my nightstand, etc. As I write this he just jumped on the coffee table to lick crumbs off my plate.

We've had to cover all the little trash cans in the apartment as he'll knock them over and rummage around for pieces of plastic to crinkle and tissues to shred. His favorite is Q-tips. Clean or dirty-he doesn't mind. Over the last couple weeks he's knocked both the soap dish and cotton ball cup into the bathroom sink not only breaking them but chipping the sink. I won't even talk about what he does to my yarn. Let's just say he takes after me as a fiberphile.

I've tried to get him toys and keep them out so he's not bored. He has a kitty gym to climb. I'll wave wands around for him to chase. Several times a day he'll attempt to play with Big Cat which involves him attacking her and her trying to shake him off until she gives up and runs away.

I know these are all typical kitten things but it can be really frustrating when you just want to sleep or have some quiet time and it's constantly like, "Little Kitty get down!," "Little Kitty stop that!," "Little Kitty leave Big Cat alone!" Sometimes I wonder how I'll ever deal with children.

Just when I think I've had enough I realize I couldn't let him go. After listening to me complain my mother offered to take him for a while so her cat would have a playmate. All of a sudden I realized I'd miss him growing up. I'd have no one to make up little songs about. No one to keep me company while I unload the dishwasher (while trying to load himself) and protect me from the sock balls while I fold laundry. So Little Kitty is here to stay....now I'll just have to convince Big Cat of that.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

You Should Really Get Your Eyes Checked

Today Julian and I went to get our eyes checked. He's been squinting for ages and was in denial that his Lasiks surgery was no longer effective. I'd never thought about it but getting the surgery doesn't mean your eyes will be 20/20 forever. Anyway we found a place in Forest Hills that takes his insurance and he ordered some cool rimless square glass with blue plastic arms.

I got my eyes checked too and my prescription is pretty much the same. I did try a new pair of contacts since mine have never been comfortable and are "a generation back." I always thought I had a severe astigmatism but apparently it's only a mild one and the eye doctor thought I could get away with non-astigmatism lenses which are thinner and more comfortable. Am I the only one who for years thought it was called just "stigmatism?"

Afterwards we went to Macy's to get a few things. We both had gift cards to use. I got a pair of jeans and some "intimate apparel" as they so nicely label it. Julian got some shorts. I got a little annoyed because I brought all the coupons they sent me but there are so many rules and I couldn't use them on my jeans b/c DKNY was excluded. Booo!

Then I got home and put all my new beads away in their containers. I definately have enough beads now! Tomorrow I have to work at the hospital. Preparing self to tell people they have to eat more protein...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Give Me a Bead!

I did it. I went to the bead show. I had gone to the one back in the fall and there were definitely more 'show specials' this time around. It's really overwhelming with tables and tables of gleaming crystals and beads of all types. Then there's all the vendors selling lengths of chain in gold, silver, and copper in all different shapes and sizes. There's tons of findings: clasps, bead covers, etc.

I loaded up on beads then also picked up some chain and pre-made necklace cords. I got a cool gadget called a wig-a-jig. It's basically pegs put into a block and then you can wind wire around it to get different shapes. I read a book on wire bending on the way to the show and they recommended getting one as it's faster and more consistent than doing it by hand. The vendor I bought it from specialized in selling all kinds of wire in different gauges and colors. I've been wanting to start knitting with wire and now I have no excuse to get started!

I had a good strategy of getting there 2 hours before they closed for the night. That way I could only do 2 hours worth of damage. It forced me to just look around, buy stuff I wanted, then get out. Afterwards I stopped off at the regular bead store to stock up on more storage trays. I also bought a memory wire cutter as I started experimenting with that recently and realized I can't use my regular side cutters on it.

I'm excited to get started! Maybe tomorrow...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Knitting group

Tonight I went to knitting group at Michelle's apartment. It was prettty low key as a couple girls who are roomates had to drop out due to a toilet overflowing emergency. 'Nuff said. Anyway, Michelle had a really cute puppy that looked like a combination between a fluffy wig and a mop. We noshed on crackers and cheese and chips and guac (while keeping the puppy away from the food). There were still six of us there and it was fun to talk shop along with current events and other stuff. For more info on my group check out Upper East Side Knitters.

Otherwise, I've been home a lot this week as the hospital only put me on for one day which was Sunday. I still have my internship on Mondays and Wednesdays which gets me out of the house. They had advertised for a freelancer so I applied this week. Cross your fingers for me.

Tomorrow I'm planning to go to the Whole Bead Show. That should be fun. I'm going to have to set a time limit for myself as I have a tendency to get real sucked into those kinds of things. Ok, kids. Time for bed. G'night!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Making Stitch Markers

I taught a stitch marker making class tonight for two really nice women. I'd never taught it before so was a little nervous how things would go but it worked out great. We started by learning about the tools and supplies, chose beads then I taught them both simple and wrapped loops. Their creations turned out fabulous and we even made plans to do it again.

These wooden beads are really lightweight and colorful.

Maureen sported green for St. Paddy's Day.

Knitting stitch markers can also be worn as pins on sweaters, jackets, or shawls.

Ronnie proudly shows off her creations.

Check out my group Crafty Like a Fox for more info on classes in beading, knitting, and crocheting.

Life: Part 2

June 1st 2008

"God Bless the Broken Road"

Fuzzy florals

Scalloped edges

Sint Maarten/Saint Martin

Life: to be continued...