Monthly Archives: December 2009

Two Thousand and Nine

2009 has been an interesting year. It has brought the hardest times for me as well as some of the most hopeful times for me. Time is funny like that. A trending topic on Twitter tonight has left me a bit nostalgic. 10 years ago sounds like eons but when I think about what I was doing, it really wasn’t long ago at all.

Ten years ago I was…

I had left The University of Texas after one semester because I wasn’t in LHB. Yes, folks, I left a university because I didn’t get a spot in their marching band. I was a music major and everyone I had made friends with in my classes were in the band. I went to the games, as a spectator, thinking that would help. However, it didn’t and I hated Austin. So the only thing to do was leave to go home to the DFW area and attend UTArlington (or UT Almost). Some might say it was a bad decision – I didn’t do well in school at UTA, had a bad relationship with my boyfriend that left me in tears at least once a week, and worked my tail off at a restaurant. However, it was a good decision. I realized what I needed in school and eventually went back to UT and did very well, I realized what a goober I was dating, got to spend more time with my mom (something I treasure now, more than ever) and found myself a bit more.

On this very night, ten years ago, I was waiting tables at On The Border in Bedford Texas (a job I really liked and still miss, at times). I remember thinking that if Y2K was real, what would happen to what few tables were left in the restaurant after midnight. Perhaps those guests were sticking around to see if the computers would implode and they would get a free meal. Needless to say, nothing happened and spending the turn of a mellenium at a restaurant smelling of refriend beans and tortillas isn’t exactly my idea of a good time.

I wore clunky, ugly boots 10 years ago. My mom used to say they were ugly (probably not in those words… can’t remember which absolutely kills me) but I thought they were wonderful. We all wore them, don’t deny it. I’m glad that at the turn of 2010, I’m not wearing those boots anymore.

I was listening to the same music I am today, minus a few bands/performers that have popped up since then. It’s reassuring knowing that I was as picky about my music at the age of 19 as I am at 29.

My best friend was Stephanie. It’s also reassuring that she is still my best friend. Stephanie saw me through so much since we became friends. She saw me through a bad break up from the Goober boyfriend I mentioned earlier, she saw me through the death of that Goober boyfriend (long story, we’ll save it for another post), she saw me through the break up of someone I thought I’d grow old with, she saw me through the death of my mom. It’s amazing what best friends will mean to you. (It’s also reassuring that I can say I have 2 best friends now and it’s VERY reassuring that one of them is my big sister)

10 years ago I was so green and didn’t know where I was going in life or what the next year would bring. It’s funny how tonight, 10 years later, I’m still that green and still don’t know what the next year will bring.

So many people are posting resolutions, goals and plans for the upcoming year. So much has happened in the past year that has started to shape who I am. I’m afraid not spending some time reflecting on that will do me a disservice. I can’t even begin to come up with resolutions, goals and plans until I know how everything in the past has added up. Perhaps those will come tomorrow.

I wish you all a wonderful New Years Eve!

It even has a poof

See this hat? I made it tonight. I made it without a pattern. I made it without really knowing how to pick up stitches to finish off the second ear flap. I made it with a poof/pom-pom without ever really having made one, but today I did.

I’m feeling quite accomplished. Never mind that I still have 3 things to make for Christmas gifts. Never mind that I should be starting the other gifts instead of blogging about this one. Never mind that this hat is so warm it will feel like you’re getting a sun burn on your head in the dead of winter (it is for someone who will be in Montana for a while). I’m just feeling good that I finished something that wasn’t a scarf, cheater hat, or wrist warmers.

I’m proud of myself… at least for the moment.

But seriously guys, check out that pom-pom!

People and being nice

Some people are nice, so very nice. I participated in a Secret Santa Swap with the Phat Fiber Contributors and got my swap package today from Jennifer over at DesertGarden.etsy.com. The package is full of some many lovely things – 2 things of gorgeous fiber batts, a bag to hang on my new spinning wheel, some lovely Manos del Uruguay yarn (one of my favorite yarns), an awesome bracelet made by her son, a vintage sugar and creamer set that her girls helped her pick out, and some hand salve for my poor, dry hands. I just ADORE the entire package.

I was taken aback but how thoughtful the package was. Jennifer had carded batts just for me, read my blog to find out that I want to start a vintage sugar and creamer collection, knew I love jewelry, knew I got a new spinning wheel that needed a bag, and just knew exactly the colors of fiber I adore. There could not have been a better package to come home to after a very long Friday. Go check out her shop (linked above) – she has beautiful fiber. Oh, and she has another shop at PrairieStyle with some adorable hats. So check them both out!

Now that I have 2 sugar and creamer sets, I need a shelf. In an effort to not sit around all day tomorrow, I’ll make it out to some local thrift stores in search of a shelf to hang in my kitchen with my new and growing collection on it. I love having to go in search of something at the thrift stores. It’s like going on a treasure hunt.

And my last bit of news – I’m done with work until 2010. 2 weeks of bliss. I’ll sleep in, wear PJs all day, knit, spin, bum around – it’s going to be glorious.

The List Grows

My first art yarn spun on my new wheel… it was easy peasy!

Just a quick update about my new Lendrum. I love it. I love it soooo hard. Not only does it spin easily and smoothly, but I can spin coreless corespun yarns (see above) with ease. I could spin a lot of things on my old wheel, but I couldn’t do coreless corespun on it to save my life. It’s nice to know that it was the wheel, not me.

It’s been a few since I posted my list of things I want to make/do for Christmas. While I haven’t technically done anything from that original list, I have done other things that should have made it to the list. I’ve listed those below (to make me feel like I’ve accomplished something) along with some other things I’ve found that look like fun:

Half Eaten Gingerbread Man Ornament

Coffee Toffee (only without the coffee flavor)
Cookie and Cream Bark
Spiced Pecans

I’ve made 3 of the above things – see, I’m getting lots of things done!

I’ve got 4 more days of work left before I have a couple of weeks all to myself, well, to myself and to those who I want to see for Christmas. I’m getting more and more bitter by the day so this vacation could not come soon enough.

Oh – good news! I get to go see Manheim Steamroller tomorrow afternoon. We have them here at work for 2 shows and I was soooo worried I wouldn’t get tickets. I usually rely (okay, always rely) on employee comp tickets for shows I want to see. I’ve only once bought tickets and they were for a gift. I got the bad news last week that there would be NO comp tickets for employees for Manheim Steamroller because they are so stinkin’ popular and sales are through the roof. Huge bummer. WAY huge bummer. I was looking forward to going and didn’t really have the extra moola to buy a ticket. But good news, the Christmas music Gods were watching over me because I’ve been assigned to sit in on the show as a Senior Manager and because of that, I get 2 tickets. What luck! My sister and I will be going to enjoy some Christmas music. If my mom were still here, she’d be all over this like white on rice. I’m sure she’s enjoying it wherever she is.

You can expect me to be in full holiday spirit sometime around 5:45PM tomorrow once the concert lets out. It will be unavoidable and super sappy around here until at least New Years Day. Just warning you.

on to new things

After all is said and done, after I’ve packed up my Farmer’s Market set up for the last time in 2009, after the last Holiday Boutique show has finished, after my last stint pimping my jewelry and yarn to those doing some last minute Holiday shopping, I’ve finally found time for some spinning and fiber prep for my online shop. It’s not that I’ve totally ignored it for the past 6 months, but I certainly haven’t given it the attention it deserves. I took some time to card fibers while waiting on my new wheel to arrive (it’s here – I’m excited, you can go see it over at my Flickr account) and had a sizable update over at Woolyhands today (the favorite of my new batts is pictured above “Frosted Forest”)

You should check it out
.

It’s good for you.

Santa will add you to his “good” list if you do.

I also managed to find time to do all of the laundry today, make some cookie and cream bark, English toffee, and two batches of spiced nuts. I’m not sure what came over it – the spirit of Martha Stewart? I feel like Superwoman or at least I feel like I could sleep for 12 hours.

By the way, Christmas is less than 2 weeks away? Are you ready? I’m not.

It’s mine… all mine!

It’s mine. I bought it. Now I just have to wait for it to get here.

I’ll try to wait patiently, but I am not going to make any promises.

I’m not gonna lie, watching for the UPS man each day could get ugly.

It’s so nice to have finally purchased it. I’ve been spinning very happily on my Heavenly Handspinning wheel for over a year but it’s time for a big girl wheel. It’s time for a Lendrum.

I’m so happy, can you tell?

Idyll, not Idle, Hands

It’s brought up to me, quite often, that Idle Hands are the devil’s playground. Yes, I know this, that’s why my shop name is Idyll Hands. My hands are poetic, musical, dreamlike – in no way would the devil have time to play around on these hands.

As you can tell from my previous post, I’ve been bitten by the Holiday bug. I’m ready to create, make, build, and fabricate Holiday goodies of all kinds. I’ve not been interested in browsing the aisles at Hobby Lobby for decor this year. It either all looks the same or it’s tacky. Neither of which I want in my house this time around. I want to display things that are unique, I want to give things no one else is giving, I want things to be memorable.

Unique and memorable require creativity. I’ve got a lot of creativity but I might have used up my allotment for 2009. Thankfully, there are blogs and flickr accounts with tons of creative ideas that people are willing to share. Those willing to share are going to save my Holiday crafting!

So, without further delay, I bring to you some projects I want to make this year (but probably won’t have time to get to):
Stacking Fabric Trees
Little Felt Trees
Needle Felted Bowls

As I find projects I want to make over the next few weeks leading up to the Holiday, I’ll post them here… provided I’m not too busy making them to blog!

If you find any cool projects, post them here. I’d love to add more to my list.

And go!

Today marked the start of my “handmade for the holidays” marathon that will take over the next couple of weeks… scratch that, few weeks. While I’m not going to go entirely handmade for this season, I am going to do as much as I think will be valued. I’m not going to lie, handmade is completely lost on some people – no need to waste my time and energy on them. They get gift cards, but for everyone else, consider yourself lucky.

I have big plans of mini gift baskets to include some tasty holiday treats. I started those today with candied orange peels. As soon as they dry out a bit more, I’ll dip the peels in chocolate, put them in jars, and call them done. This is my first attempt at candied orange peels and right now I feel they are a bit sugary but hopefully I can shake some excess sugar off and the chocolate will give them some umph. I’m going to save a few for me, pre-chocolate, to add to some cranberry or blackberry muffins.

The orange peels will get put into some baskets/bags with some other holiday goodies that will get made the week of Christmas (cookies? fudge? cheese balls? – I haven’t decided).

I suppose today wasn’t the first day I’ve worked on my handmade gifts. I’ve been spinning the heck out of some yarn and while it’s not yet knit up, it will eventually go into some gifts. So perhaps I’ve made more of a start then I give myself credit for.

I think today was the first day I’ve really felt ready for the holidays. Perhaps that is why the oranges were finally tackled. I even put up the Christmas tree (not decorated, but still pretty all lit up in the front window). I’m now fully ready for Holiday baking, decorating, cooking, thinking, dreaming, movie watching, carol listening, and gift wrapping. Good things will come this year, yup, good things.

What are your handmade plans for the holidays? Or do you have any? Sometimes I think it brings a lot of stress (last year I felt that way) but sometimes I think it brings a lot of Holiday spirit. What do you think?

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