Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesdays Are For Gratitude: January 30, 2013

It's Richards birthday today! We're keeping it low key tonight, and going possibly going out for dinner tomorrow. We're waiting for his birthday gifts to come in the mail. I got him a computer stand and case for his new computer. One of them is coming directly to us, and the other is at our US shipping address. It's really nice having that, because on that one purchase alone, I saved about $20 on the cost of shipping.
Here is what I'm grateful for this week
Richard and Winston / My friend Tracy / My friend Christine and her not yet arrived bundle of joy / Lisa of Petite Tuques / Shocktop wheat ale / Tumblr / Podcasts / My MacBook / My interchangeable knitting needles / This blog / You!

What are you grateful for this week?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Update: January 28, 2013

The weekend is over, so now I get a couple days off. Working part time means I often work weekends, so I look forward to the start of the normal work week, as it means I get a couple days off. I hope your weekend was awesome, and it wasn't too chilly where you are. It snowed here, and it's beautiful! It's all starting to melt now, but it was nice while it lasted.
The past few days, my project of choice has been the start of my Beekeeper's Quilt. I started getting yarn for this before Christmas, and I am finally getting around to starting it now. I have a loose goal of knitting 365 puffs before the end of 2013, so we'll see how that goes. My first one was the blue in the first photo. I made it on the 23rd, and I decided to photograph all the ones I've finished everyday. It seems like I can comfortably make 2 a day, and sometimes push to make three. I'm also still working on items to sell at the craft shows, so realistically, I could probably be more productive once craft shows wind down.
With the yarn I got from Evermore Studios, I made nine of my first twelve puffs. I somehow missed one ball of their yarn in my stash, so I'll be making the tenth colour at some point in the next couple days. I've been talking with the owner of Evermore Studios about doing a giveaway, so be sure to keep an eye out for that!
The other yarns I used are KnitPicks Felici (the pink and purple one in the first photo) and some Flusi Sock Monster yarn I got from a destash on Etsy (the two multi colour ones in the last photo).
I still have quite a few colours I haven't used yet. I am going to try to make one of each colour before I start duplicating them. I might even assemble these first few, just to see how it will look.
I still don't know how I will weave in the ends on this. I was thinking about assembling the whole thing with the ends, but I'm now leaning towards using one colour for the whole thing. What did you do, or what are you doing for your quilt?
Overall, I am absolutely LOVING this project. I'm shooting to have it done be the end of 2014. The finished size will be for a queen sized bed. I'm struggling to figure our how many puffs I will need for one this size. I'm getting numbers between 250 and 1000. I think what I'll have to do is lay out what I have, calculate the area they cover, and multiply that by how big I want it. It's a lot more math that my poor brain is used to, but it seems like the best way. The other option is to have one of you fine folks tell me exactly how many you used, which would be a whole lot easier. I've had a couple people give me numbers they're shooting for, so I'm likely to head in that direction.
Regardless, I love this project, and I know it will take me a while. I'll take it one puff at a time, and when I have enough, I'll stop. Actually, I might even continue and make a throw to use on the sofa as well. We'll see if I'm tried of them when that time comes!
In other knitting news, I've been making more bows for my two upcoming craft shows. I wanted to have a lot of little items available, because I don't think I'll sell a whole lot of the wintery items. I also assembled some earrings this morning. My dad is building me a display rack for my earrings, and bows. I'm really excited to see how it turns out! I drew up what I wanted, and he seemed pretty confident that he could pull it off. I'm crossing my fingers!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Debt Update

After some incredibly rude comments the last time I updated about my debt, I decided I'm not going to let assholes get me down, and I'm going to keep updating about this. As a side bar, if you have a problem with me, or anything I blog about, you don't have to follow me. You also don't need to comment anonymously on this or any of my other blogs.
Anyway! Now that that's off my chest, here goes! I bought Rick's birthday gift partially on my credit card, because it was an online purchase. The other portion used up some Amazon gift cards I had saved up from SwagBucks. Some people might suggest skipping buying gifts because I am pretty broke, but that's just something I won't do. He got me an incredible birthday gift this month, and I feel the need to return the favour. His gifts were something he specifically asked for, and he was with me when I ordered them.
Without getting into anything too specific, my debt is now around $1475. I'd purchased some earring supplies a little while ago that weren't charged to my card right away, and I had kind of forgotten about them.
I decided I'm going to use a part of what I make at my two upcoming craft shows to pay down some of my credit card. Normally, I use it for rent, and treat Rick and I to a nice meal at a restaurant, but I'm going to be a little more responsible this time around. With work hours being what they are, I need to make this money work!

Friday, January 25, 2013

My Week In Instagrams: January 25, 2013

This past week hasn't been too exciting. I knit quite a bit, but I don't have many pictures of what I've done. I'll be posting some of those next week, though. This is what I've been up to.
-Rick and I ate some red gummy candies while watching movies. I love Hot Lips and Big Foots. We also had some Swedish Berries, but those didn't make it into the picture. I can't remember what we watched while eating these. I think I was on my computer for part of it anyway.
-Winston has been pretty good this week. He spends a lot of time napping on his bed while Rick and I hang out. He used to sleep in the bed with us, but since his attitude became an issue a little while back, he's been banished to the floor. It's helped quite a bit from what we can tell. He very, very rarely gets up onto our bed anymore, even when we tell him he can. This is a good thing, because we were able to take off the protective blankets we had on the bed to keep all his dirt and grime from getting on our nice bedding.
-One business related thing I did do this past week was add earrings to my Etsy shop. I didn't add too many, but I plan on adding more. Some of them are in multi packs that I think would be great for Valentine's Day. My next craft show is February 2, so I'm hoping to sell a few of those there.
I did sell two pairs this week, one to someone in California, and one to Greece! I thought that was pretty cool. Now I've sold to Canada, the US, Australia and Greece. I'm thinking about getting a map to put pins in with all the places my items have gone. Kind of silly, but it would be really neat to see!
-I finished knitting a neck warmer while watching some Round The Twist on my iPad. I am fully caught up with Carin's podcast, and I've started watching The Knit Girllls. I love watching videos while knitting. It makes the time pass, and I hardly notice how long I've actually been knititng, until I look down and see half a scarf/neck warmer/whatever hanging from my needles. I'll do up a post this week with pictures of all the items I've knit so far this year.
-I washed and blocked the baby gift. If you couldn't tell from this photo, it's a baby blanket. I also blocked Rick's lopi neck warmer, his alpaca blend scarf, and my neck warmer. I used some Soak in the Aquae scent, and it's absolutely lovely. The smell is subtle, but fresh and clean smelling. I will definitely be buying some of this. I also have a small pack of the Celebration scent, and I'm curious to see what that is like.
I still have to weave in the ends on the baby blanket, but I'm not in a big rush to do that. I'll probably do a few a night this week.
-On Wednesday, I went to the dentist to get my broken tooth fixed as well has have a cavity filled. It took some time to get those both done, and my jaw was getting sore and tired from being wide open. The dentist gave me a break for a while, so the hygienist brought me my knitting. We chatted for a little while about what I was making, and she thought it was pretty neat. I'll be posting photos of what these are this week as well.
-The very last photo is of something for myself. Something new that I've only done once before (the same as what I was knitting at the dentist)
It's made of Bernat Satin Sparkle in Platinum. I'm loving this yarn. Super soft, just the right amount of sparkle, and the perfect shade of grey. I went to Zellers yesterday to see if I could find more of it. They only had this yarn in ugly colours that I didn't  care for. With Zellers closing, I'm really losing out on a place to buy inexpensive yarn. The only other place is Walmart, and all they sell is crap. I'll have to start venturing into Windsor more often to hit up Michael's and get some stuff there. I could order online, but I'm hesitant to do so for the mass produced synthetics because of the cost of shipping versus the cost of just going to get it myself. Something to really think about.
This week has been pretty solid. I've been pretty productive as far as knitting goes, which is a good thing. I have two craft shows coming up that I am trying to prepare for. Work hasn't been too exciting, but that's not surprising considering the lack of hours I have. I'm averaging 8 hours a week currently.
How are all of you fine folks doing?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesdays are for Gratitude: January 23, 2013

Halfway through the work week for most of you, and I haven't worked since Saturday! I'm back tomorrow, though.
Here is what I'm grateful for this week:
Having dental coverage to get my busted tooth, and a cavity fixed / Podcasts / My family / Richard and Winston / Having a place to call home in these bitter cold days / Etsy / Clementines / Hexipuffs / My yarn stash
What are you grateful for this week?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Update: January 21, 2013

It's the start of a new work week for most, but I don't work till Thursday. This past week, I haven't been super productive as far as knitting goes. I had a couple rough days mentally, and I just didn't want to knit. Yeah, you read it: I didn't want to knit. Most of the time, knitting helps me relax. Well, this week that just wasn't enough. I cried for a good long while one night. Okay, I can't write about this anymore, it's making me misty eyed. I feel a lot better now, which is a good thing.

I finished knitting another neck warmer this week. Very similar to the other ones I've made, just slightly different numbers, because I was using a different yarn. I really like the way this one knit up. The yarn is Loops & Threads "Country Loom" which is available exclusively at Michael's. My mom got me two skeins of this in the Landscape colourway, which is shades brown and blue. I will probably get more of this yarn once my stash diet is over. I definitely won't be replacing Homespun, but this is a nice alternative.

The other things I've been working on are bows. I shared them on Friday, but here is another little peek at one of them. They turned out really good, I think. I tried puling them off the ring base, and they're stuck on there pretty firmly. This was a concern I had when I started making them. I knew the adhesive I had was good on non porous surfaces, but I wasn't sure how it would work on the porous yarn. Well, it works! I have to decide on a colour to keep for myself. I'm a fan of the red, but it won't match most of the stuff I wear to craft shows (where I will likely be wearing it the most) so I might just go with white or black.
I'm sending a couple of these to a photographer friend of mine so I can get some really nice photos up in my Etsy shop. I'll have these listed as soon as I get the photos from her.
In other news, I've been listing earrings in my shop! I used my iPad to take the photos, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The photos aren't stellar, but they are definitely pretty darn good. I just have to work on my editing skills in Camera+ and I'll be set!

I haven't made any progress on eliminating skeins of yarn. Most of the knitting I have done has been on the baby gift, and that's not much. I'm going to start finishing off the little balls of yarn again so I can start counting some numbers!

What new projects have you been working on?

Friday, January 18, 2013

My Week In Instagrams: January 18, 2013

This past week has been up and down for me. Some of the low points include: I'm no longer going to Guatemala, which is a bummer, but the timing for it just isn't going to work for me. My hours at work have all but disappeared. They messed us around and I am now going to be getting one shift a week. I'm going to have to find some other income stream to pay for my necessities, and delay paying off my credit card even more. I knocked my forehead off some metal shelving at work today, and now I have a goose egg, and a headache. I also had a bit of a breakdown today. I don't really know what happened, but I just snapped and cried for a good long while.
Some of the better things are included in this collage.

  1. Rick and I went to Tacos Tony for dinner a few days ago. I got a shrimp tostada, Rick got shrimp soup, and we split a large order of nachos supreme. Seriously delicious food. I could eat a tostada everyday for the rest of my life and never get tired of it. I might try the chicken or beef one next time we go.
  2. Rick and I rented some movies the same night we went for Mexican food. He got a bag of Sour Patch Kids, and I got some pop rocks. They were pretty darn good. Not as poppy as I remember them being, but I won't complain at all. Some of the movies we got were Frankenweenie, 13, Yellow, Bigger Stronger Faster, and Paranorman. (I think we got one more, but I honestly can't remember) I have the last one left to watch, and I can't wait. I'll probably watch it tonight.
  3. I worked a fair bit this past week. Not nearly as much as I used to, but enough to get by. I took a photo of a bag of the empty cans a customer brought back, praising the way he did it, because I usually post pictured of what not to do. I got a pretty good response to this on Facebook.
  4. Winston has been pretty good this week. We had him upstairs playing with the other dogs, and racing around, being his normal self. He disappeared for a little bit, and when he came back, he had Whitney's stuffed duck. He liked playing with it for a while. Rick also washed all of Winston's toys, and our crazy pup went bonkers and played with every single toy for a little while. He's funny like that. He'll play with one toy for a while, then go get another one and switch back and forth so they each have their turn.
  5. Yesterday, we went to Colasanti's to drop off my registration stuff for a craft show they're having in February. We decided to make an afternoon of it, and grabbed lunch. This photo is of some of the pretty citrus trees that grow in and around the seating in the restaurant. I've loved this ever since I was a little kid. I had a fish burger and a poutine, and Rick had a cheeseburger and poutine. It was pretty tasty.
  6. Colasanti's also has a petting zoo. (Seriously, if you are ever in Essex County, you need to make a trip here!) The goats have been a long time favourite of mine. This little lady was loving the head scratches, and didn't try to run me over in hopes of getting some food. I have a couple photos on my Instagram page of other animals I petted.
  7. In addition to the petting zoo, they have some other animals on display. There was a little pot bellied pig named Stinker whom I fell in love with, and had the cutest little snorts and tail wags for me. He was adorable. Rick really enjoys the birds. He was talking with them for ages. He'd say something to them, and they'd either bob their heads in agreement, say "Hello" or raise their head feathers. The macaws weren't as responsive, staying a little farther back from the cage walls. We also saw some fruit bats, tortoises and ducks.
  8. When we got home from our "date" I made some earrings with some of the newer supplies I got over the past month. I made 72 pairs, from beginning to end, including packaging and pricing. I was super happy about that! I'm going to try to take some photos of them tomorrow with my iPad, and try out the Etsy app for creating listings. I've browsed with it, and checked stuff in my shop, but have yet to actually create any listings. I'm hoping it's easy enough to use, because I would love to have another task to do on the iPad instead of the computer. (I'm thinking about going 100% iPad, and selling my computer)
  9. The other awesome fun thing I made were some knitted bow rings! I've been posting about these lately, without giving away too much. But here they are! You can get an idea of size from this photo, and these are all the colours I currently have made. I'm selling them for $6, just like the brooches and hair pins, but this might go up a wee bit. So, if you like them, and want to get one before I increase the price, let me know!
I have a flash sale going on in my shop right now. If you use the code "Flash20" you can save 20% off your entire purchase. I'm not sure how long I'll offer this, so you should really jump on it!
What sorts of fun things have you fine folks been up to?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Come Check Out my First RTS!

Some of you may have heard of RTS sales before. If not, it stands for Ready To Ship, meaning all the times are already made, the only waiting you have to do is the shipping time.
I'm taking part in one that is going on RIGHT NOW over on the Petite Tuques Facebook page. Head over there and take a look at the awesome Petite Tuques and Knit, Nicole, Knit! items that you can get!

Wednesdays Are For Gratitude: January 16, 2013

This past week has been a roller coaster of emotions for me. From being stoked about going to Guatemala, to announcing that it won't happen, it's been pretty crazy.
Here are a few things I am grateful for this week:
Rick being amazing and driving me where I need to be, in addition to being his normal awesome self / Winston finally seeming to have snapped out of his grumpy habits / The Bleubird Vintage blog (which I've been reading incessantly since Rick shared it with me) / My iPad / My computer / Delicious food from Tacos Tony / LeeLee Hats / Phog Lounge for hosting an event I'm setting up / New clothes / Pretty manicures that lasted WAY longer than I expected / My yarn stash / My ability to knit

What sorts of things are you grateful for this week?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sad News

Unfortunately, due to some circumstances beyond my control, I won't be making the trip to Guatemala at this time. It's a long boring story that I'd rather keep private.
There is nothing wrong with the group I was going to travel with, just some miscommunications.
It may happen in the future, but nothing will happen any time soon.
Thank you for understanding.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Update: January 14, 2013

Happy Monday! I've been busy working on the fundraising for my trip to Guatemala, and I haven't been doing a whole heck of a lot else. If you'd like to help, you can purchase something from my Etsy shop, or join the Ready to Ship sale on Petite Tuques' Facebook page.
Last week, I finished three small (very very very small) balls of yarn, as well as one slightly larger one. I am tracking how many skeins/balls I reduce my stash by this year, and this brings me to minus 4. I almost didn't even want to count the small ones at first, because they were so small and insignificant, but I figured if I get some numbers going, it will encourage me to keep going, and not give up less than a month after setting myself the goal. I am hoping to reduce my stash this year quite significantly. I have a LOT of yarn. Most of it is in clear plastic totes, but there is quite a bit in cardboard boxes, and reusable shopping bags. The lowballing goal is to get rid of the cardboard and bags, and the extreme goal is to clear out those, as well as three of the eight plastic totes. If i reach the latter goal, I will allow myself to stock up on yarn that I use most often, such as Homespun, Thick and Quick, and hopefully some sock yarn for the Beekeepers quilt.
To eliminate these balls, I made a bunch of bows, and a colour block neck warmer. I haven't been super productive, partly because of all the fundraising stuff I need to take care of. I've also been working on Christine's baby gift, which I need to have finished soon!
Sorry about the quality of the first one. I didn't realize how terrible it was until I uploaded it to Ribbet.
The middle photo is of a bowl with a bazillion little bows waiting to be sewn. I also made one of my lace neck warmers in dark blue. I am still in love with this pattern. I tweaked it a little bit to adjust the size, just based on how the one I kept for myself is doing.

As far as debt goes, I'm still at $1400. I paid a small chunk on the card, but after interest charges, and a couple small iTunes purchases, I'm back to square one. Some more crappy news on this front is ahead. I don't know whose bright idea it was, but things have changed drastically at my workplace. We got two new full time employees, who've transferred from other stores, as well as a new manager who will be working with us full time (unlike our current manager who splits his time between two stores). What this means is that our already thinly spread hours are even thinner. I'll be lucky to get 5 hours a week. This is all coming at a bad time for me. Not that there is ever really a good time to lose hours at work, but with going away for a couple weeks, I don't feel comfortable applying for jobs now, and then have them call while I'm gone. I think it would just end up making things more difficult for me.
The other option is to try the knitting thing again. I knit almost constantly already. I have a few local stores that sell my stuff pretty successfully. My Etsy shop is getting decent traffic. It seems like this year would be a good year to try doing this again. I'd still keep the one day a week at the Beer Store, but maybe, just maybe, I could supplement with my handiwork. Argh, I'm so confused and torn!

This week has been a busy, confusing week. I hope to get through this in one piece.
What have all of you fine folks been up to?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Another Guatemala Hope Fundraiser!

It seems like I'm posting almost everyday lately! But there is lots to update about!
I'm taking part in a collaborative RTS over on the Petite Tuques Facebook page. I have quite a few of my items up for sale there, with the proceeds going towards funding my trip to Guatemala.
If you go and "Like" the Petite Tuques page, you can check out all the items for sale, and purchase one if you are so inclined!
Thank you so much for your support!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Repost from Tuesday: Guatemala Hope Update

This post is very important. Something life changing is going to happen, and I would love for you to help in my journey.
A few days ago, Tracy from LeeLee Hats called me, and asked if I would be interested in going to Guatemala for a week and a half to teach the midwives in a small village how to knit hats for the babies born there, as well as teach a marketable skill to help the villagers become more self sufficient. I was hesitant at first, but now that I've looked into this further I am ready to go!

I need to raise roughly $1200 to get me and the knitting supplies there, as well as cover other expenses like getting to and from the airport, travellers insurance and vaccinations. Yes, this number has increased, but things are turning out to be a little pricier than I initially thought.

There are a couple ways to donate. The first is to donate directly to Guatemala Hope. The easiest way is to mail them a cheque. Their address is
Guatemala Hope
Box 68 County Road 46
Woodslee, ON, N0R1V0
If you go this route, please put "Nicole D. Flight to Knit" on the Memo line. All donations over $20 will receive a tax receipt.

The second way is to purchase something from my Etsy shop. I will use 80% (or more) of the proceeds to purchase supplies and necessities for this trip. The other 20% will cover PayPal and Etsy fees, as well as the supplies. There will not be a tax receipt for this donation, but you will get an awesome Knit, Nicole, Knit! item, and know that your money is helping a small Central American community give their babies a healthy start on life.

The trip is in the middle of February, so I have just a little over a month to collect this money and put all my ducks in a row. If you can help, I would be eternally grateful. I will update with any important news as necessary.

Friday, January 11, 2013

My Week in Instagrams: January 11, 2013

Pardon my mediocre mood today. I just got some crummy news regarding my job, so that's weighing heavily on my mind. I am still employed, barely, and there is nothing I did wrong; our workplace is just screwing us over big time.
Here is what I've been up to over the past week
1) Rick's mom got me a birthday cake. We had it after the sausage soup she made. Both were quite good.
2) Work has been very quiet lately. Rather than stand around doing nothing after all the cleaning/stocking is done, I bring knitting with me and work on that. My current purse project is a dish cloth. Nothing too exciting, but it doesn't take up too much room, and it's pretty mindless. Plus, I can pick it up and put it down at any point, and not get lost in any kind of patterning. I'm almost done this cloth, and I think I'm going to put a neck warmer in there next. It's a bit bigger, but I prefer knitting those over cloths. Something about the soft yarn just calls to me.
3) I worked on Christine's baby gift while watching the Yarngasm podcast. I have ball three and four of 4 started, so I'm just past halfway. It's still dragging along. I'm trying to force myself to do a few rows everyday, but it's hard. I love the yarn and the pattern, its just that I have to pay attention and count while knitting every other row, and I usually like to just knit mindless things. I have to get it done!! The baby is due to arrive a bit before I go to Guatemala, so amongst all the preparations, I have to knit on it. Not to mention, it has to be washed and blocked. And since it's a thicker wool, I feel like it might take a little while to dry. Gotta think positive. I CAN get it done and I WILL get it done!
4) I made gnocchi with mushrooms and egg for breakfast one day. We had half a package of gnocchi that had been sitting open in the fridge for a while, and a container of mushrooms that were on their way out. I had to use them both up before they went bad. Added an egg, and that tied it all together. I'm definitely going to be making this again. I love gnocchi!
5) These are a few of the bows I've been making. I have a lot of ideas for these. I'm making them pretty much assembly line style. I knit and cast off a whole bunch, then sew them all up in another sitting. I haven't cut all the ends, but that will be the next step. Then adding all the findings. They are going to become a few different things. I don't want to spoil what that's going to be until I have some made. I think they're going to be super cute!
6) This is a dumb thing that happened this week that I wasn't going to share initially. That's the baby toe on my left foot. I stubbed it on the corner of the stairs before work the other day, and I'm pretty sure I broke it. It's been hurting since then, and the bruising spread to the top of my foot. I'm not too concerned, as I've broken toes before, it's just a minor inconvenience. I hope it stops hurting before the trip!
7) The photo of this doesn't do it justice, so you'll just have to trust me on this. I made lentil soup a couple days ago. I took a photo of a 4 ingredient recipe that was in one of my moms magazines a while back, and finally got around to making it. Lentils, carrots, onions and chicken brother are the only ingredients, so I knew it would be healthy, but a little bland. Instead of just boiling all the ingredients, Rick suggested I sautee the onions in a little bit of oil before and getting a little more depth of flavour. Definitely a good idea. After cooking, I added some curry powder, chilli powder, turmeric, and coriander. And then salt and pepper when we served it. It turned out really good! I blended it last night, and it tasted even better.
8) On Wednesday, I had a dentist appointment to get my teeth checked and cleaned. I have a couple minor cavities, as well as the tooth I broke recently, so I have to head back there in a couple weeks. After the visit, Rick and I went to Bubi's for lunch. I've heard loads of good things about this place, and to be honest, Rick and I were both a little disappointed. My chicken quesadilla had very little chicken in it. His gyro was nothing but "Bubi's sauce" as far as taste goes. I don't think he and I will be going back.
9) I posted a photo of my quesadilla on Facebook, and my friend Katie from Blab! commented saying that we should go visit her and her business partner at the office. Rick had mentioned wanting to check out the building their new office is in, so we decided to go. The new digs are way better than the old place. Larger, airier, brighter, it's great! We stayed for a little while, chatting and catching up with Katie and Jessica, and it made me miss living in Windsor quite a bit.
10) Today I had my interview with two of the lovely ladies from Guatemala Hope. There was a lot to absorb, lots of questions to answer, and lots of homework. But, I am incredibly excited. Unfortunately, I'm missing out on one of the events tomorrow because of work, but there's going to be a make up session at some point next week. If you would like to help me out, you can purchase something from my Etsy shop, and 80% of that money is going to my trip.

Overall, this week was pretty alright. Minus the crappy news about work today. I'll probably post more about this another time. This post is already huge.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wednesdays Are For Gratitude: January 9, 2013

I just can't seem to wake up this morning. I went to bed early, and that always seems to make me sleep in later. I don't get it. Here are some things I am grateful for:
Richard / My yarn stash / My job / The chance to travel to Guatemala next month / You! My blog readers / My iPad mini / Podcasts / Tracy from LeeLee Hats / Delicious soup that I made last night / My family.
What are you fine folks grateful for?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Terrific Tuesday Report

This post is very important. Something life changing is going to happen, and I would love for you to help in my journey.

A couple days ago, Tracy from LeeLee Hats called me, and asked if I would be interested in going to Guatemala for a week and a half to teach the midwives in a small village how to knit hats for the babies born there. I was hesitant at first, but now that I've looked into this further I am ready to go!
I need to raise roughly $1000 to get me and the knitting supplies there, as well as cover other expenses like getting to and from the airport, travellers insurance and vaccinations.
There are a couple ways to donate. The first is to donate directly to Guatemala Hope. You can do this through their website. They use PayPal to collect donations. If you go this route, please put "Nicole D. Flight to Knit" in the special instructions box. You can also send them a cheque, putting the same message on the Memo line. All donations over $20 will receive a tax receipt.
The second way is to purchase something from my Etsy shop. I will use 80% (or more) of the proceeds to purchase supplies and necessities for this trip. The other 20% will cover PayPal and Etsy fees, as well as the supplies. There will not be a tax receipt for this donation, but you will get an awesome Knit, Nicole, Knit! item, and know that your money is helping a small Central American community give their babies a healthy start on life.

The trip is in the middle of February, so I have just a little over a month to collect this money and put all my ducks in a row. If you can help, I would be eternally grateful.
I will update with any important news as necessary.

Monday, January 7, 2013

What I've been Up To

Thank you for the input on my last post where I laid my cards out on the table as far as my debt goes. I didn't publish all the comments, but I did reply to all of them. I will update now and then about my progress, and what I am doing to have more money available for paying off my credit card.
This is what I've been up to lately as far as knitting goes. The first and fourth picture, I've already shared. I'm going to try to do weekly recaps of what I've knit every Monday. Some stuff might be repeated, but I'll try to keep that to a minimum.
The second picture is a small pile of the bows I sewed up last night. I have 15 bows total in those five colours. I want to have 100 made for the craft show I'm doing at the beginning of March. The third photo is of yet another neck warmer. My mom got me this gorgeous Homespun colourway for Christmas. Two skeins of it! I love it! It's so autumnal and warm looking.
I've been knitting loads, but I haven't finished any skeins of yarn yet! This is hopefully going to be remedied with some projects I have on the back burner right now. I need to work on stock for the aforementioned March show before I work on more wintery things for next craft show season.

I'm going to watch some podcasts and knit some more bows! I can't want to show you what these turn into! I think you'll love them!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Airing my Debt Grievances

So far this year, I haven't paid off any debt. This first pay cheque (I get paid every Thursday) was spent nearly as soon as I had it in my bank account. I had some bills to pay, mouths to feed (ain't nothin in this world for free) and what not.
My debt is currently at about $1400. This is divided between a credit card, and money owed to my parents. Not accounting for interest on the credit card debt, I would need to pay $27 a week to pay it off. So let's round it up and say $30 a week. I know I wouldn't be able to do this. My hours at work have all but disappeared. I went from an average of 40 hours a week in the summer, down to 14 this week. That leaves pretty much no extra cash for paying off debts. In fact, it's almost not enough to cover my basic expenses. (Contrary to what most think, I'm not making $15 an hour at The Beer Store. That won't happen for years, if at all.)
Anyway, I'm hoping at the very least to get my credit card paid off this year. That will take less than $20 a week, once again not accounting for interest. That's maybe a little more doable. I'm going to call them soon and see if I can get my interest rate lowered. It's REALLY high, and that's not conducive to paying off debts quickly.
Having this debt hanging over my head stresses me out immensely.

I'm hoping that by starting to open up about my money troubles, I can start fixing them. I used to have several thousand dollars in savings, and that has disappeared through a combination of events.
I won't turn this blog into a money related blog, don't worry. I am just trying to keep myself accountable.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me, and My Week In Instagrams: January 4, 2013

Today is my birthday! It's been a pretty good day so far, but more on this later on in the post! Here is what I've been up to this week, in Instagrams. If you want to see the photos larger, check them out Here. These are in chronological order for once, instead of being backwards.

1) Rick bought us each an iPad for Christmas/our birthdays. I got a mini, and he got a retina, which he has since returned due to some dead pixels. He'll be getting a new one as soon as they get them back in stock. Mine is wonderful, I didn't expect to like it as much as I do! I need to download some more apps, mainly one to write my blog posts from.
2) Last week we had a couple pretty busy nights for empties. One guy brought back something like 30 cases of empty cans. It filled the whole upper section of the bin. We looked over the edge and couldn't see a single can of another brand. Crazy!
3) We picked up some movies from the new-ish local movie rental place. We've watched most of them, just a couple left to get to for me. Some of them were scratched or otherwise unplayable, which is a bummer, but they cleaned them and gave them back so hopefully we'll be able to watch them. Some of the movies we got were Crashing, A Lonely Place To Die, A Dominatrix Story, Albatross, And They're Off, Brotherhood, and I think there was one more, plus a TV show that Rick got. None of them were exceptional, but I enjoyed all but "And They're Off" that was terrible.
4) New Year's Day I watched some movies and had some snacks. It was a nice laid back kind of day. We don't usually do much for New Year's Eve/Day, so this was just my speed.
5) I knit another mustard lacy neck warmer, which was a made to order sale that I got on New Year's Eve. It took me a couple days to whip it up, but I love knitting with Lion Brand Homespun, so it's always a treat to knit with it. I used my KnitPicks Harmony Wood for this. I've used the Sunstruck a few times, for darker yarns, and I really, really like them. I have to figure out something to knit with the smaller sized needles so I can use them all! I have quite a bit of lace weight, so maybe another shawl or two is in order. This style of neck warmer is still my favourite thing to knit. In fact, I have two more on the needles right now! Not even kidding!
6) Rick and I stopped at Taco Bell when we went to Windsor to return his iPad. They have something called an XXL Burrito, which I decided to get. It was really tasty, but comically huge. I picked it up, and it must have weighed over a pound and a half. GIGANTIC. Next time I get it, I'll skip the fries and just eat it.
7) I started on the THIRD of four balls of yarn for Christine's daughter's gift. I was watching some YouTube videos while doing this (The one in the photo is This One, you MUST watch it) I haven't done much more than a few rows, and the baby shower has already passed (I missed out because of work), but I am okay with this. I will have it done before the baby gets here!
8) Yesterday before shipping the mustard neck warmer, I stamped my first fibre content and care tag. I bought the manilla tags at Staples, and got the stamp itself from TickledPinkPaperInk on Etsy. I am absolutely in LOVE with this stamp. High quality, crisp print, and the fact that it is see through is great. If you need a custom stamp made, I highly recommend TPPI. I might get another stamp from her with the same font and a similar layout and use it to stamp my business cards. And then possibly a third to make the earring cards. I want my branding to be consistent, and I don't want someone else to have the same type of cards as me (which is the problem with using Vista Print)
9) I told you I loved this neck warmer pattern! I finished this bright red one this week as well. For next fall/winter, I want to have sets made with neck warmers and one or two other wintery accessories, which I am still trying to figure out. I think matching sets are super cute.
10) And now we're up to today! I went and got a shellac manicure from the salon I get my brows waxed at. I bought a Groupon a while back, I think during the summer, actually, and finally got around to using it. I had a hard time deciding between colours, so I went with two: a really pretty reddish pink, and silver on the ring fingers to add some fanciness. Rick thinks multiple colour manicures are weird. What are your thoughts?
11) Rick brought me for Vietnamese today. We have a pretty sweet local place that makes some excellent food, and today was no exception. This first photo is of two of the three types of rolls we get: minced shrimp on sugar cane in the background, and fried spring roll type in the foreground. We also get the cold rolls in rice paper that are filled with vermicelli, shrimp and veggies. So much deliciousness!
12) This is my usual dish at this Vietnamese place. Vermicelli with spring roll and shrimp. I love it, I think I've gotten it there all but two of the many, many times we've been. It's almost like a deconstructed roll, as it has all the components, with the addition of a fried roll, and some bean sprouts. I add some hoisin, and it's prefect.

Thank ou so much for reading this far! I'm off to watch the last movie of the bunch we rented, as it's due back tomorrow, and then Rick's mom is making sausage soup for dinner! Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wednesdays Are For Gratitude: January 2, 2013

I hope you haven't already broken your New Year's resolutions! I'm working on mine!
Here are some things I am grateful for this week:
Having access to work out equipment, at no charge, and at any time of day / My yarn stash / New Etsy orders / Rick being patient / My job / My new iPad Mini / Ridiculously cheap movie rentals at the new movie place, so we can be entertained on a budget / Cheez Its / My new perfume / Crumpets

What are you grateful for this week?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Bonus Tuesday Post!

Happy New Year everyone! I have today off, so I figured I would update you all with what I am up to. A few weeks ago, I mentioned my goals for 2013. In addition to what I normally blog about (Regular Monday post, Wednesdays are for Gratitude, Instagram Friday) I will include little snippets updating you about how my goals are progressing. I thought about returning to Tumblr to work on my goals, but having multiple places to update about similar things hasn't worked for me in the past, so I don't think it would work for me now. In any case, here is where I stand right now:

  • Knit the stash All the yarn stores are closed today, so I can't buy any yarn yet! I do have a Michael's gift card that I received for Christmas, so I might pop in there tomorrow when we go up to Windsor. The other option is to wait to use the card until I have a custom order that I need to pick up yarn for. I will be doing a skeins in/skeins out tally throughout the year. If I can eliminate 100 balls/skeins of yarn this year, I would be ecstatic. This is totally doable if I knit a few times a week, which I definitely do.
  • Blog more about what I am knitting Haven't knit much yet. Maybe half a neck warmer, that was a made to order sale on Etsy (which I am stoked about) and that's it. As soon as it's done, I will definitely post about it. I will probably also re-list the MTO item, because I still have another skein in this colour.
  • Take more pictures I'm still working on my 365 project, and not doing bad with it at all. I do want to take more photos though, even if they're just on Instagram. More knitting, more food, more of what I am up to every day. I see all these bloggers with awesome photos of seemingly insignificant things, but the memories captured are priceless. I am also going to be posting more photos into my Flickr stream, not just my 365 photos. I'll likely start with my shop photos, and go form there.
  • Get fit This one I'v already actively worked on today! I spent 30 minutes on the... Gazelle-like thing. You know those lame infomercials with Tony Little and his ponytail "running" on the elliptical-like thing? Yeah, this is similar to that, only less ponytail. Anyway, I played an upbeat album on my iPad, since my phone was dead, and got to "running". It's easier on my knee and ankle, but doesn't give me the same rush as running does. I'll keep this up for a while, and once the snow melts, I will get back outside with "Zombies, Run!" and Runkeeper.
  • Take better care of myself This is the big one that I know will be hard for me. I'm lazy, and I don't take good care of myself anymore. I really need to work on this. I'll be back another time with the game plan for this one.
  • Pay down my debts I'm on the fence about sharing too much about this one. My debts aren't huge, but I am not sure if I should share the exact amount on here. I don't really know why, but it doesn't seem like the greatest idea. I would love if you weighed in here, should I share how much my debt is, or keep that a secret and just use percentages?
What is your game plan for your resolutions/goals?