Friday, May 29, 2009

When He Shines

Read my latest Squidoo lens about reading in the bathroom!

You will so need a cup of coffee for this:

So, let me tell you what the dog did last night. He was lying on the floor next to the surge protector that holds the plugs to the cable and DVR. He sneezed, his paw lifted up and when it came down, it turned off the surge protector.


I turned it back on - cuz I was watching the t and v and when I turned it back on, my DVR was blitzed. My cable did not recognize it's own DVR box. So I called Comcast and they reset it - still didn't recognize it.

Sigh. Sigh.

So, while they were trying to reset it, I asked them to let me know what specials they were running cuz I was looking to lower the cable bill. The very nice Comcast lady told me the cable I have now (standard cable package) was going away with the new digital revolution. (Still think that's a government conspiracy) so I would need to switch packages anyway and gave me three options: o
ne for $49, one for $89, one for only Oprah could afford it. These fees would all be locked in for one year after which they would sky rocket like you wouldn't believe. I chose the middle package because it would be less than what we pay now and because after a year, I could threaten to go to a lower price one and lock in the price again.
I asked when it would be effective and she said immediately so I told her to wipe out everything I had that was extra on the service I have and just put in the new one.

You still with me?

So, the DVR never re
set. All the movies I had saved...gone. All the episodes of Knitty Gritty...gone. Some of the season ending episodes..gone.

Dog was fine, though.

So, she set up an order for the technician to come out and see what was what. I also asked her if I could get a new remote because we've worn out one of the buttons and she told me where I could go to pick one up and that would save me $10 in a mailing fee. No problem. I would pick it up. I said good-bye to the nice Comcast lady and I was now wired so I wasn't going to bed - but hey, the new cable package includes all the movie channels so I was going to watch a movie - turned to HBO.






She said the package also included the premium sports channels so I thought I'd watch some baseball.

Yeah, right.

OK, so maybe it would take until the morning. I would go get the new remote and all would be right with the world.

Getting the new remote was the easiest part of the experience. No problems with that. Came back home.

Remote won't sync with the t and v so now I have to use the remote for the cable and the remote for the t and v.

And the DVR is still out.

And I still don't have the
new package - but all my old add on stuff has been wiped out just like I asked.

I've already apologized to God for whatever it was that I did - but honestly, I just think he's having some fun.

This is my latest work in progress.
I didn't know how stunning it was until I saw the picture. It's going to be an afghan, of course, cuz I am in an afghan phase and probably will be until I go through all the patterns that are calling my name. I am in danger of running out of the ivory yarn so I have to make a mad dash to the basement to see if I have any in one of the five boxes down there - hey, it used to be six but I consolidated! I'm winging the stripes, but now that I see the photo, I think I will probably do one more round of the baby stripes, but then do the solid stripes the rest of the way. I think the thicker stripes make a better statement!

Oh, the cable guy is coming tomorrow between 1-4.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

You Are On My Mind

I tell you it's an exciting time. So much so I don't know if I can keep up with myself!
I had a brain drizzle - those of you who know me know I can never really come up with a brain storm so a drizzle is about all I can manage. Any way, I have two blogs one here which talks about knitting and other stuff, and designbcb, which tells the story behind some of the things I knit.

ell, I was never really satisfied with the other blog but I didn't want to give it up all together and then along came Handmade News. It's the online news mag where I get to interview artisans about their craft and their work. The powers that be really want this magazine to take off and I must say I would like for it to be successful as well and part of that means marketing and promoting the site, my department, and my artists (yes, I claim them as mine.)

I don't want this blog to turn into a big promotional blog - that wasn't its purpose -you know where I'm going, right?

It was the purpose of designbcb. That blog was created to promote my things and it still can because Handmade News and the artisans are now part of my thing. I love synergy!

So, here's the deal. I am g
oing to use the designbcb site to talk about the handmade movement, Handmade News and my shops. I will keep this blog for its original intention - time spent with you and me and our other crafting friends and seeing how this thing called knitting enhances and shapes our lives. Because it has evolved from two sticks and a string to what we have now. And we love it.

So, hang out over at designbcb and find out about interesting people, places and things. Click the links over to Handmade News and learn a few things about how crafting really does hold the world together and how it can take us those few steps back we need to take so we can move forward more responsibly. I'll see you over there.

Here's my new baby. She's soft and cuddly and green! This is a different version of the scarf I made a few weeks back. It's only 60 inches long but still very soft and will keep someone chill free. This is also the first original piece I've made for the ArtFire shop. I used a different Artistry colorway and the I Love This Yarn both from Hobby Lobby.

Quick knit and fun! Like I said exciting times!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I'll Try Something New

This is Marie Santiago. She's another one of the people I've interviewed for Handmade News.

Now, way back I thought it would be nice to feature the folks who hearted by Etsy shop. I thought it would be a nice to do thing for those people who stopped by the shop and gave me a heart when they didn't have to. I have certainly never asked for people to make me a favorite.

Well, it was a dud. Only one person responded - no, the person wasn't Marie - hold on, I'm getting to Marie.

I was really a little disappointed people didn't want to be interviewed for a blog...any blog, has at least two readers: the one who writes the blog and the one who doesn't want to get on the bad side of the one who writes the blog so they read the blog and are able to discuss its content at dinner.

Not that this is anyone I know or live with - I'm just saying.

So then along came Handmade News and I got to be in the department I wanted - which was interviewing people and helping them get people to look at their shops.

Dontcha just love the synergy?

My guess - and it is a guess - I have not checked any data. My guess is that some of the 90+ people who are wanting an interview with Handmade News turned me down when I was just a lowly blog writer but now they want themselves a little bite of the Bevvy!

See, this is why the ever wise God made the world round - so you wouldn't see it when the universe comes back to bite you in the butt! And since the world is round..

Marie Santiago.
Marie has a photo of her workspace on her Flickr page, (Yes, you will have to read the interview to get to it.) Now, you all know how I talk about my workspace. I haven't worked in my office in I don't know how long. I can tell you, the computer is on and has been all day, but I've been working at the satellite location in my living room. I'm in the living room right now - even though the workspace is looking better than it ever has and the chair is more comfortable.

I don't know why.

Marie makes mostly bags and they are cute. I mean officially, they are officially cute! Check out the interview and her shop and you'll see for yourself.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Sunshine of My Life

I believe in the power of prayer. I believe every prayer is answered. Sometimes the answer is no. Sometimes it's yes. Sometimes it's wait. Sometimes it's "I knew a thousand years ago you would ask for that and the answer is still no."

I was in a need of prayer
recently. That prayer was answered in the positive. Part of the request was a sign that I was doing what God wanted me to do. That this writing/selling thing was the right direction to take me to whatever it was I was supposed to do on this planet. I asked one of my friends, who I have never asked to pray for me, to do just that and he did.

One of the t
hings I asked for was sales in the shop - I mean, really, that's the only way you can measure success when you sale things. So I asked my friend to pray that God would let me know if I was making quality items that people would want to buy and here's what God told me the very next day.

Now, before you think the news was all miraculous with angels singing, I also received a very clear message: "Don't question me when you doubt yourself." It's what we do. Ask God to prove Himself when we're the one falling short.

But there was more good news. I started doing some writing on a site called Helium and I did some articles as part of a contest regarding pizza. I haven't been on the site for a few weeks, I checked in today and saw I won third prize in the contest!
The last time I checked, I was no where near third place so this was another great affirmation.

I know I should be more faithful and I promise I'm trying - at the very least I won't ask God to prove himself when I'm the one lacking in faith. But how great is that 3 sales in one day - and all to one person. Winning third place in a contest (hey, it's $30!) and the interviews I've done have shown up as being popular.

What more could God do for me? I'm in for an attitude adjustment.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Don't Make Me Wait For Love

This is Tracy Radford. Tracy runs A Fabulous Flair on Artfire. She is also my first interview for Handmade New. I have a favor to ask - please ready Tracy's interview.

1. It is a really nice story and I couldn't have asked for a better first interview.

2. Because this is the picture Tracy wanted to run for her article, but I had to run with the first one she gave me because it had already gone to press. So, read the article, but think about this picture.

3. Here's the truth: I went surfing through Handmade News looking at other articles and there's some good stuff there! And I'm not just saying that cuz Tracy's interview was one of the most popular pages on the site. There's some really good info there if you are interested in the handmade movement or if you have a shop or are a buyer.

So I encourage you to go over to the magazine (use the link above) and take a look around. But make your first or last stop, Tracy's interview because it really is a good read - if I say so myself. And show her some love (ok, so me so love) give the article a thumbs up or down as you see fit.

HERE IT IS - Here is the afghan
I was working on. It came out a little smaller than I wanted, but it would still make a nice afghan for a twin bed or a college dorm bed - if they're anything like the dorm bed I had when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Would you believe there is nothing on my needles at the moment? I started another afghan but didn't like the way it was going so off it went and there's nothing on anything right now. But never fear, my schedule says I am supposed to start another project which means I have to start two projects. So the needles - and the hands - won't be idle for long!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

It's So Easy


I know, it's been more than a week. And what a week it's been. I started the new writing gig and truth to tell, it was more of a rough start than I'm used to - mainly because Handmade News is big news and I didn't map out the internal resources I needed to in order to do it all justice. So, I spent several restless, sleepless nights causing myself stress before beginning to calm myself down and put it all back into perspective.

Add to that, my online knitting group StitchCraft on is growing! The last time I really looked, we had about 40 or so members - we are now over 70! So somewhere between stressing out over the new job and making myself crazy are plans to get that group together for a fun night. It has to be at night and it has to be planned right so I'm thinking somewhere in September when folks are done with summer and will want to pick up the needles to do the holiday knitting that will be just around the corner. This is a good problem to have but sometimes it's hard to balance the bad stress with the good stress. At some point, it's just stress.

But wait...there's more.

I think I told you our bazaar was successful. We had over $400 in sales. That's the good part. The not really bad but has to be dealt with part is that our supply of prayer shawls and afghans were seriously depleted. Baby blankets we have, but afghans and prayer shawls are practically sold out. Which means the group (of which I am a leader) has to have one or the other on their needles for the foreseeable future. And I do have one on my needles, but it's going into the shop. There's an afghan that's an expired listing that's going to the group.

There's good news...

My office is 95% organized. I can step into it and not have to step over a clutter bomb. The only boxes left are my stash boxes (now down to two!!) and the boxes of craft goodies I inherited from my mother in law. Not much left to do but vacuum the carpet, put the new speaker wires into the speakers and let Joe clean the carpet. Alas, it looks like an office instead of a craft room - but I smile every time I walk into it. Yes, when it's all done, I'll take a photo.

I will also take a photo of the beautiful afghan on my needles. It should be done sometime this weekend - I'm hoping for tomorrow. I would take a pic now, but it's 2 in the morning and the light isn't good. Besides, if I finish it tomorrow, I can take the shop photos and blog photo during the same session.

Forgive me for being away so long - I have missed you - but sometimes you have to ride the breakdown so you know when to get off.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ode to Billie Joe

I'm convinced if someone had shown this poncho to Billie Joe he never would have jumped off that bridge. Of course, I think the reason he jumped because his mama made him spell his name with Billie instead of Billy. Boy probably was teased something fierce.

(For those of you young folk, read here about Ode to Billie Joe. It's a great read)

This is a cute poncho, but you have to be a little adult to wear it. It's made for a littler woman so I can't wear it and doesn't even look good on Joe. But Kenya here can wear it just fine.

This is Hobby Lobby's Angel Fleece and it is a really soft polyester/acrylic blend. This wasn't the yarn I intended to use for this poncho but you know what they say about I finished it anyway.

Thanks to everyone who sent me folks to interview. I just got word I need to have some of my interviews done by tomorrow! (gasp) So Susie - I'll be contacting your friend today to interview her for the magazine. Thank you for the intro!

Well, back to work!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Don't Fight It

I was looking for a pic of me and the hubby and though I have tons, they are all in glued in the wedding album.
Today is our 13th wedding anniversary. Every year I ask him if he wants me to renew his contract for the coming year and I ask him for a two year extension. So I'm locked in until 2022 while he's only committed until 2010.

He didn't know what he wanted for his anniversary gift. Usually he'll want a book but he couldn't think of one he wanted this time around. I know he's been working really hard at his retirement job and around his mom's condo getting it ready to sell. Someone is giving me a free coupon for a massage so I am going to give it to him. I'll make the appointment and drive him to wherever it is and wait while he gets his body tended to. I'll even let him have a female masseuse.

What did I get? I got a shopping trip to Hobby Lobby and I got 21 skeins of yarn, 5 sets of double pointed needles and sequins in black, green, blue and pastels. I tried to buy more. Seriously. This was a different Hobby Lobby where I'd never been. It is a huge store, but the yarn department wasn't very big. There wasn't much in the way of clearance yarns so I went with the tried and true. I really did my best to clear out the store, but it just wasn't to be.

I still got a boat load of my favorite yarn. Didn't need the yarn but now I am so set. He didn't even flinch when he saw the total and he even carried the bag to the car.

We then went off to a restaurant where we'd never been called Pete Miller's - we got a $100 off certificate that cost us $50. We brought home enough food for a meal tomorrow - best kind of meal is one you can have twice and pay for once!

So how is married life? I love it. I've been engaged a couple of times and this was the only time I made it down the aisle. He was worth the frogs that came before him.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Just One Look

Yes, I know, I have a store on Etsy. I will also have a store on ArtFire. I think it's only fitting since:

I'm a new columnist for the ArtFire online magazine Handmade News!!

Yep, I managed to fool them into thinking I can write for them and the really good news is I got in the department I wanted which was the Featured Artist department.

It will be my job to write two articles a week focusing on an ArtFire artist. So, if you're on ArtFire and/or if you know of someone on the site, have them contact me if they would like to be interviewed for the column. The newspaper will go live soon and I would like to have some interviews 'in the can so we can have a smooth operating process.

I'm really excited about the opportunity to be on the ground floor of this site and I hope to see some of you featured on the site!

Spread the word!!


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