Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesdays Are For Gratitude: May 22, 2013

Sorry for the lack of post on Monday. I haven't been knitting much lately, so I didn't really have anything to post about. I'm so distracted with all sorts of other things going on, that I just haven't been getting crafty.
This is what I am grateful for this week
Richard being awesome  /  Parking lot beer  /  My customers at work who helped me collect about $100 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society  /  My twitter friends being helpful  /  Going on drives with Richard and Winston  /  Having a light enough car that I can push it out of the sand when we get stuck  /  The Bates Motel season finale  /  Masterchef starting tonight  /  Biking to work  /  Going out for drinks with my buddy Nick  /  New earring supplies  /  Comfortable shoes
What are you grateful for this week?
I'm going to use my new supplies and start making some new styles of earrings that I haven't done before. I'm so excited!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I Love My iPad Case: A Review of The Snugg

Normally, when I am approached for reviews/guest posts to be done on my blog, I am very hesitant. I blog about a very specific topic (knitting, in case the name didn't give it away) and I don't want to flood my blog with what I see as crap. I don't like it when the blogs I follow start doing all kinds of reviews about stuff that has nothing to do with the subject of their blog, and I don't want to do that to all of you.
I made an exception recently.
I was contacted by The Snugg to see if I wanted to review some of their products on my blog. I looked around the site, and thought about it for a while, before I finally said yes. I got a pink iPad Mini cover, which I am absolutely in love with. There was some confusion at the post office before I received them. We have a PO box which is too small to receive most packages, so we have to go to the desk and pick them up. My name wasn't on the package, so there was a bit of hassle to actually get it from them. The ladies that work at our post office, while great when it comes to shipping stuff out, are ridiculous when it's time to pick stuff up. Photo ID this, and sign that, and "a health card doesn't count as ID" blah blah blah, it's annoying to say the least.
Anyway, as soon as I got it, I ripped the packaging open in the car, to check it out. It looked even better than the pictures! You can see to the right here that the back of the case has black bits on it. That's elastic for the carrying handle thing. On mine, it's the same colour pink as the case! It's minor, but I like when everything matches.
I've been using this case for a couple weeks now, and it's awesome. It's a lot more substantial than the case I had before, which I like. The screen is 100% accessible, the buttons are easy to press, and I can plug it in without any screwing around.
Overall, I am loving this case! It comes in a whole bunch of colours, and is available for most (maybe all?) the iPad generations. The Snugg also does cases for a bunch of smart phones, other tablets, Kindles and some iPods. The prices are really reasonable so you could get a matching set for your phone and tablet!
If you are interested in purchasing one of the cases, or are looking for more information, you can check out their website, or find the cases on Amazon.

I was sent this case for review free of charge. The opinions expressed in this post are mine, and I am not being compensated in any way for writing a positive review. Seriously, this case is awesome.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Giveaway Winner, and My Week In Instagrams

I've been away from the computer quite a bit this past week, what with our drives, and movie watching and what not. I nearly forgot about the giveaway with Pymatuning Crafts! But, I just picked a winner!
Congratulations Sierra J!
I contacted the winner, and I will be sending her information to Pymatuning Crafts. Thank you everyone who entered. I wish I could give you all a pack of these buttons! They're awesome!
In other news, this week has been a fun one. Here is a little bit of what I've been up to.
Next weekend, The Beer Store is having Returns for Leukemia. What this is, is a fundraiser for blood cancer research, where the money raised is collected from the money a customer would normally receive from bottle returns. I have never participated in this event, I didn't get hired until June last year, and this event is held at the end of May, but from what I've heard, it can be a lot of fun. I have my red teeshirt at the ready, and sunblock, too, as we spend the majority of the day in the parking lot. I'm really looking forward to it.
Rick, Winston and I went for a nice drive a couple days ago. Normally, we stay to the south of the 401, but decided to head north of it this time around. We saw quite a few new places. And some old ones too: we stumbled across a bake shop we had been to in 2010, and picked up some goodies. We made a couple other stops, which I wrote about in my last post, and had a fantastic time. Winston is getting better about being in the back of the Smart Car. There isn't much room for him in the back, but he manages to make the most of it. Since it's been warm out, we put a dish with water back there for him. He's never been one to eat or drink in the car, but on this trip he did drink some water. We were really happy with this. When we took him out to do his business, he wasn't as scared as he usually is, which made us even happier.
There is one downside to having a convertible. That is being out in the sun all day. I was really good and put sun screen on my face, neck and arms. I was wearing shorts and patterned tights. I didn't even think about putting anything on my legs. That was a big mistake. I felt my legs burning after about 2 or 3 hours in the sun. I knew they'd be red. I didn't expect the pattern of the tights to show up so clearly on my legs. This is my leg thigh. Rick says it looks like a piece of salmon. Don't feel bad for laughing at my misfortune, I laugh every time I look at my legs. Just take my advice and put sun screen on everywhere. Even if you think you won't need it.
Overall, this week was a fun one. I wasn't at the computer as much as I normally am, which was a nice change.
How was your week?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesdays are for Gratitude: May 15, 2013

It's a little later than usual for my daily post, but I think I have a good reason. Rick and I went for a nice drive, and enjoyed each others company. And also got gnarly sunburns. That bit wasn't so great. Anyway, this is a short list of what I am grateful for this week.
Spending time with Rick  /  Winston (even when he finds a way to gross us out. Ask me how, if you really want to know what he did)  /  Sun block, even though I still got a sun burn  /  Visiting Heaven is Handmade in Sarnia  /  My pretty skein of Malabrigo  /  New yarn acquisitions as a whole  /  Upcoming craft shows  /  Astronaut Chris Hadfield  /  All the lovely people who've entered the giveaway  /  My new iPad case (a review coming soon!)  /  and so much more!
What are you thankful for this week?
On our mini trip today, we went to Sarnia. I did a quick internet search on my phone for local yarn stores, and found Heaven is Handmade. I walked in, and immediately felt super happy. It's bright, nicely organized, and the owner is very passionate about what she does. I ended up with a skein of Malabrigo Worsted in the Whales Road colourway. My very first Malabrigo. I can't wait to knit with it! Though I might just end up staring at it and petting it for a while.
I love having the SmartCar. It's allowing us to go exploring places we wouldn't be able to see. Plus, spending time with Rick and Winston is always a bonus.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday Knitting Update: May 13, 2013

This past week has been a doozy when it comes to the stash down. It was definitely a stash up, any way you look at it.
First of all, I got rid of 75 balls of yarn! They were the ones I was attempting to sell on Kijiji. I donated them to LeeLee hats. Some will be used for tying the tags onto the hats, which is pretty much the only thing they're good for. They're not soft in any way, and definitely won't provide much warmth.
In exchange for this, I got 150 balls of yarn. Now before you go crazy, thinking I'm taking yarn from a charity group, everything I took is wool or mohair blends, which LeeLee Hats can't use. They use all synthetics for the donated hats, for ease of care, and to avoid potential allergy issues. I will be donating money to LeeLee Hats for every item I make and sell from the yarn I got from them.
I used up two balls of yarn on various baby knits this week. This brings my total to +80. I have a LOT of work ahead of me.
I decided that my first project out of this yarn would be something for me. I'm using Nordlys superwash in colour 970 to make a triangle shawl for myself. I thought about adding texture to it, but I think I'm going to let the pretty striping/gradient do all the work. It's looking great so far. I'm using my US 5 Knitpicks Sunstruck interchangeables, and two stitch markers from Evermore Studios. I'm not really in any kind of rush to finish this, but I would like it done before the end of summer. The same with my Hitchhiker. I haven't been working on the latter very much, but I am still loving it.
What are all of you fine folks up to?

Friday, May 10, 2013

My Week In Instagrams: May 10, 2013

This past week has been a busy one, where I feel like I accomplished quite a bit. I have the giveaway going on, which you can enter to win some gorgeous wooden buttons, I entered to win funding for my small business, and bought yarn. Yeah, I bought yarn...
On Tuesday, Rick and I went to see The Place Beyond The Pines. I enjoyed it. It wasn't great, but I hadn't watched the trailer or anything before seeing it. We also went to Starbucks and Indigo, which are right next door to the theatre. I had an iced tea, and Rick had an iced coffee. They were pretty tasty.
Winston has been pretty good lately, so we've been letting him sleep on the bed some nights. The other morning, I woke up, and this is the face I saw. His face looks just like when we first got him, when he was a baby. After I woke up, he and Rick sawed logs for another hour or two. I was surprised at how early I got up. Normally I sleep in till 10 or so.
I took him on a nice walk down the nature trail near our house. When we got to the big rocks, I patted it once and said Up, and he jumped right up. He's got some smarts, despite his hard headedness. I'm hoping to continue bringing him for walks. He is happy as can be, I am too, and it beats the heck out of working out indoors. I'm still working on losing weight, and it's going slowly but surely. Last night, Rick told me he could see the results so far, which made me feel really good. I know I have a ways to go, but it's a start!
I had a bit of a break down yesterday at Value Village. I brought a resume in, and decided to go look at the yarn area. I'm really glad I did. I bought 4 or 5 bags of various yarns, totally 23 whole and partial balls. These are mostly for the one project I have on the go right now, which is a photography prop. I don't want to reveal too much, but I'mr really excited about it. I also got 6 skeins of dish cloth cotton. My stash on that is running a bit low, so I wanted to boost it up a bit. I think I'm going to knit a bunch of cloths in the next little while, so I have stock for some upcoming shows I might participate in. I said I was going to get away from them, because there isn't any money to be made, but I enjoy making them. Soothing garter stitch is always a nice thing. This brings my count to +7. Going backwards again, but I promised Rick the majority of this yarn will be used within a month. Which I am pretty confident I will be able to do.
Lastly, we have today's breakfast, cooked by Rick. Omelette, toast, and sautéed whole tomatoes and baby bell peppers. Delicious. I really appreciate and enjoy the food he makes for us. I'm so lucky to have him, and not just for his cooking abilities.
How has your week been? I go back to work tomorrow after being off for a while. I don't know if I'm looking forward to it, or not.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Wooden Button Giveaway with Pymatuning Crafts

Last week, I posted about the buttons I got from PymatuningCrafts. I got cherry, apple and yew. All super pretty. I had a really hard time deciding on just the three packs to get. They were packaged nicely, and labeled so I would know what they were. Not to mention, SUPER fast shipping! Especially considering there was an international border! I haven't actually used any yet, but I can't stop going through the bags and playing with them constantly. They feel amazing! So soft and smooth. I have lots of plans for them, starting with some of the baby hats I've been working on lately. I can't wait to share those projects with all of you!

I talked with Leigh about the buttons, told her how much I loved them, and asked if she wanted to do a giveaway on my blog. She happily said yes! So here it is! There are lots of entry options, some of which you can repeat daily, so make sure you read all the details. The entry will close May 17, at 12:00am, and is open to residents of USA and Canada. Good luck!
If you can't wait to win them, and you'd rather purchase, you can use the code SPRING10 to save 10% on your entire purchase (excluding shipping)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesdays are for Gratitude: May 8, 2013

I just got back form a nice walk with Winston, and I'm feeling super refreshed. We were gone for almost an hour, walking one way on the trail, and then back tracking, and heading to the mail box. This is a little of what I'm grateful for this week.
Going to the movies with Richard (We saw The Place Beyond the Pines)  /  Movie popcorn  /  Walks with Winston  /  Peanut butter and banana smoothies  /  Some special Facebook friends who have been helping me out with stuff  /  Goofy iPad games  /  Frozen yogurt  /  Red Bull  /  Tacos from the local Mexican restaurant  /  Etsy
What are you grateful for this week?
Also, keep an eye on this space tomorrow, because I am doing a giveaway for some buttons from Pymatuning Crafts!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Knitting Monday: May 6, 2013

The weekend is over, and to be honest, I couldn't be happier. It hasn't been a fun one, at all.
Friday afternoon, I went to Kingsville High School to set up for the craft show this weekend. I was the first one there, and picked an excellent spot near the entrance. I set just about everything up, and was very happy with how it was laid out. I came back Saturday morning, and I wasn't the closest to the door anymore. A woman set up next to me, and had her stuff squished up against my racks of scarves. It ticked me off, but I tried to let it roll off my back.
That wasn't even the crappiest part about the show. I try not to complain about shows too much, but this needs to be said.
If someone signs up for a show, and commits to doing it, and then doesn't show up without as much as a phone call or email, it is a terrible, horrible thing to do. Especially when all the money raised from the table fees goes to helping students with special needs.
There were supposed to be roughly 50 vendors, and only 25 showed up. I wish I had the list of them with me so I could call each of them out individually. I couldn't believe it Saturday morning when the gym was still only half filled. It was upsetting to say the least.
On top of that, traffic was low, so I only sold two things. Overall, just a cruddy weekend.
A couple things made it a bit better though. I won a giveaway done by Babydoo Dolls, and Jennie, the creator of Babydoo won a giveaway I did on my Facebook page! I laughed when I saw her number come up on the random number generator.
Also, I'll be doing another giveaway for some wooden buttons right here, on the blog, tomorrow! Keep an eye out!
Over the weekend, I managed to eliminate one skein of yarn from the stash. I knit quite a bit, but no finished skeins. This brings me to -16. I might be acquiring some yarn next weekend, so make sure you check back in next Monday to see where I stand.
How was your weekend?

Friday, May 3, 2013

My Week In Instagrams: May 3, 2013

Happy Friday! Today is already shaping up to be a fun one. I took Winston for a walk to the post office to pick up a parcel (more on that later) and it's set up day for this weekend's craft show! I'm so excited.
This is a peek at what I've been up to this past week.
I started reading UnEnchanted by Chanda Hahn on my iPad this week. Finished that up in sort order, and bought the second book in the series, Fairest, and ploughed through that as well. Simply amazing. If you have an iPad or e-reader, you need to get them! The first one is free, and the second is just $3.99. She's working on the third book now.
I took Winston for a nice walk down the trail that runs along the back of where we live. There are big rocks marking the end of the actual trail and I had Winston jump up on them so I could get a picture of him. I was hoping to get one of him looking at the camera, but he was too busy looking around and smelling all the things. He's been really good the past few days, I'm sure partially due to the walks and extra exercise he's been getting.
We've been taking him into the front yard for him to run around in the longer grass and see different sights. He loves long grass, especially being able to roll in it. I have a video of him rolling around in the grass that I find absolutely hilarious. When we first got him, almost 3 years ago, he would roll in the grass a little bit, but then his face would swell up, so we stopped that, assuming he had a grass allergy. He seems to have grown out of that, which is good. We have to bring him to the vet on Monday though, unrelated to all this grass rolling. He has a lump in his neck that we're a little nervous about. It could be anything, and we're hoping it's nothing severe. It seems to have shrunk a little, which we're assuming is a good thing.
Wednesday, we went for a nice drive up to St Thomas for something to do. With the new car, we made it there and back on a tank, which costs us between $20 and $25 to fill. Pretty darn good I'd say!
It's a convertible, so we made sure to slather on the sunblock before heading out. I'm half Irish, and I burn faster than toast. Rick is pretty fair skinned as well, so he was pretty well covered.
Generally, when we head out for drives, we like to go along lake Erie for as long as possible. This takes us to Blenheim, where Delhaven Orchards is. We stopped here a couple years ago and got some of the tastiest apples I've ever eaten. And I'm not a big apple eater, so that's saying something. We stopped again this time, and got a small mixed bag of Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and a couple others which are slipping my mind at the moment. We picked up a little paring knife to cut them up and eat them in the car. So delicious! I had two of them with some brie last night, which was absolutely wonderful. We also got some sweet potatoes that are gigantic. Not sure what's going to be made out of them yet, but they're sure to be delicious as well.
We decided to stop in St Thomas and have a look around. There is a brewery there that makes a beer I really enjoy, so we went on a quest to find it. Railway City Brewing makes Dead Elephant IPA. I love IPAs (India Pale Ale for those who don't drink) and this is definitely a good one. I initially got it because of the the name, but kept getting it because it's that good. The brewery was closed, but now that we know where it is, next time we go, we can make a stop. Rick unfortunately isn't a beer drinker, so I'm not sure he'd like to go on the tour.
Yesterday, we went up to Windsor for the afternoon. We had some things that needed to get done, like doctors appointments and returning some things to Costco. We went for all you can eat sushi at TenkO, which is our favourite place. The food was excellent as usual, but the service was pretty much nonexistent. I couldn't get my fried banana for dessert which kind of bummed me out. Oh well, next time I'll just have to get two! And next time probably won't happen for a while. My restaurant spending has been crazily over budget the past little while, and I need to reel that spending in.
This brings us to today. The weather has been a little up and down lately, but today has been absolutely amazing. I took Winston for a walk to the post office, hoping our PO box would be stuffed with some Etsy goodies I ordered a few days ago. I was right! I practically jogged home, I was so excited. In the package were three packs of tree branch buttons from Pymatuning Crafts, on Etsy. Clockwise from the top are No Bark, No Bite Apple Wood, Cherry Wood and Yew. All prettier than the last. I am so excited to use these on my baby props! I have a few things in mind that I want to whip up, and these will get sewn on there as soon as the knitting is finished.
If you like these buttons, keep an eye out next week, because I'm going to be doing a giveaway!
Tonight is the set up for the KDHS craft show I'm taking part in. If you're in the area, you need to check it out! 9-5 on Saturday, and 9-4 on Sunday.
Check out my Facebook page for an earring giveaway!
How has your week been?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wednesdays Are For Gratitude: May 1, 2013

Every Wednesday, I write up a little post listing various things I am grateful for that week. It could be simple things, or it could be something extravagant. Scientific studies have shown that people who show gratitude live happier, more fulfilling lives. I don't like to argue with science.
This post isn't meant to point out the things I have that others might not, in fact, it's a way to keep me humble.
So, here goes! This week I am grateful for
Richard  /  Our new (to us) car  /  TheKnitGirllls  /  DramaticKnits  /  Etsy  /  Facebook  /  Winston being happy despite some more health issues  /  Long walks  /  Casino buffet  /  Junk food  /  Ebooks  /  Winning a giveaway  /  My yarn stash
What are you grateful for this week?

In other news, I finished off another skein of yarn! I used it to make a baby hat for one of tomorrows RTS sales. I've been cranking these things out like crazy lately. I'm really happy with the way they look. I'll be taking pictures of some other hat styles next week when I finish the second one of the pair.
This brings my tally to -15 for the year! I'm so happy. I have another few skeins which are close to being finished as well.
I hope you all are having a wonderful first day of May!