Wednesday, October 22, 2008

playing catch-up

It's been a busy week and a half and I find I've been playing a bit of catch up at home and at work. I was a bit sickly this week, and all the things I had put aside some time to do ended up becoming resting time instead.

I did want to post a few pictures from the Puttin' on the Ritz extravaganza! We found a great little place to eat beforehand called Fast and French (or G&H) that is top on my list of favorites here in Charleston, we had some great fondue and cheap table wine - it was great! All the ladies and their gents looked their finest and we had a lovely time - it was rather entertaining evening, and not just because of the show - the audience was just as amusing. Here we are all cleaned up:

And our hat looked pretty fine too:

(upper right)
I only wish it had been on the table so you could see all the knitting parts better.

Speaking of hats, I promised pictures of the baby hat I finished:

It doesn't look as cute in the pictures, but I was trying to take pictures on a rainy day. I think the rain is partly why I've felt so cruddy lately.

And I have almost finished the booties to go along with it -I did run out of yarn for the ties, but I'm going to add some brown ribbon instead:

Ignore the stuffing as I blocked them! I just have to get out of work in enough time to make it to the store to get some ribbon. I will see if Knit has any tomorrow when I go.

Part of the reason I haven't been getting out of work until late is ... I got promoted! whoo-hoo! I kinda knew it was coming because they added two people to replace me a few weeks ago - that's right! It took two to replace me! So lately I've been training them to do my job, while also trying to get my job done.. oh and although technically things don't go into effect until Nov. 1st.. I'm now doing the new job too. Oh. joy. So, I'm getting a bit behind - which really frustrates me, because I'm usually pretty good about being up on my work and tasks and getting back to people.

I just realized tonight, I have to let some of it go, and that's what I was having a hard time with this past week. I didn't want to turn over my duties to the new people quite yet, I wanted to try to get them all done and cleaned up and in order before they were passed on. But I'm realizing I'm just being less effective at the new job, so I need to do that tomorrow. I just don't want to be a slacker or fall behind in the new position. I'm giving myself the end of the week to clean up as much as I can, and then .. let all the old stuff go. Move on and forward.

Next progress on the last of the baby items (for now I think) - a flower for Crystal's sweater, 1/4 of the way through the EZ baby sweater and I found the pattern I'm going to use and have started on the baby bonnet. Pictures of all that in the next post. I'm trying not to wear myself out too much.

Monday, October 13, 2008

with car trouble

I've been having issues with my car, but couldn't put my finger on just what it was. First I thought it was the brakes and brought it here and they were so nice that they didn't even charge me to look at it and tell me my brakes are fine. Then I got an extra oil change - nope - still acting up. Finally I took it in and found out it needed a new transmission. Ugh. The mechanics here were so nice they let me know that it could still be covered by the warranty and I so I took it to the dealership to find out I was 300 miles and 6mo. past the extended 'defect' warranty! After a discussion with the dealership and a call to corporate to make my plea, Acura/Honda is standing behind their product and covering it -whew! I still have to pay for the service and a new transmission mount, but all-in-all that's not anywhere near as bad as it could have been. Thanks M&D for keeping an extra eye out on me!

I have been quite productive on the knitting front - I finally sent out a few of the baby things I had made. Missy liked the hat I sent her son so much, she requested one for her daughter as well! Yeah! It's always nice when people like what you made them. And the Anouk did fit Gabriella - whew! I was a bit worried there. Just this morning I finished the booties to go with the hat for the brand new Chicagoan. They're blocking now, so they should be able to go out once I have transportation again. I'd take pictures, but my camera is in my knitting bag, which is in my car, which is still at the shop - doh!

Now I'm onto EZ's baby sweater and a christening cap for a certain baby girl (I got a few in mind and need to pick one to start on). Another thing down to the wire - but I've been feeling much more productive and quicker with my knitting lately. I think I'm getting a better handle on when I need to sit and focus, and when I can knit while talking/watching TV etc.

Since I'm off work today - I'm trying to be productive around the house and get things cleaned and in order. We had the bug-lady come and spray and all the 'palmetto bugs' I've seen lately have been dead or dying so I feel oh-so-much better about that too!

Friday, October 3, 2008

in awe of my hubby's mad skills!

This semester, Mike's project for school has been for the plaster students to photograph, document and duplicate one of the ornamental plaster ceilings located inside Drayton Hall here in Charleston.

It's the third ceiling for this house, dates to the 1870s and is beautiful and massive. Each plaster student chose a particular element to replicate from the decorated ceiling:

To give you an idea of scale, each star around the outside is I think, about the size of your hand. In the picture you can see spots where the stars are missing around the outside and a portion at the bottom middle that has been repaired without all the decoration. These decorations are what they are trying to replicate.

If you look closely, you can barely make out the part Mike chose - it's the very center medallion piece and looks like a sunflower with a large middle and small petals:

This is the type of work he wants to do when he graduates, so he's been working really hard to get it just right. To replicate it, he had to draw it all out in proper proportions and then carve it out of clay. The clay is then used to make a mold to cast the plaster piece in. (If you really want to know more about how the whole thing works, look at his website - he explains it all there).

Here's what he started with, which is about the size of a small Frisbee:

And then carved away, ending up with this beauty:

Not bad for his first ever clay sculpture. Puts my knitting to shame eh?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

knitting again

Mike and I have decided our Thanksgiving plans and are headed to Louisiana for the holidays to see my Aunt & Uncle and cousins! The have come to us the past few years for my brothers and my weddings, so now it's time to visit them! It's been a while since we've all been together that wasn't for a wedding, so this should be a really good time! The Tamburro side (which this is) usually gets together every 10 years or so for a full family reunion, but I think that's still a few years away, so this will do well in the meantime!

I think I've figured out what to make with the Indigo Moon fibers yarn I won recently. I'd love to make a pair of socks out of it, but the color really isn't right for my skin tone, so I've decided it will look really wonderful as the February baby sweater by Elizabeth Zimmerman, and it'll take care of one of the last baby gifts I have to make.

In the meantime, I'm knitting as fast as I can to finish a gift for someone due this week (who I don't think reads my blog, but you never know). Either way, I have some beautiful baby alpaca yarn 3-ply in browns that I tried making socks out of and they just didn't turn out - see blob on left-hand side of photo? Can we say bad gage bad!?

Then I was going to make a baby boy sweater out of it, and realized I didn't have quite enough yarn, and we don't need to go through that again! So I have now decided a warm hat and cute booties will work perfectly. I've started on the hat tonight and am already 2-3" up the brim (don't get too excited here, it is a baby hat) and its' going quickly. I didn't take any pictures, but I will in the next day or two. I've chosen the bootie pattern that I want to use already too - it's got a cute bulbous toe and ribbed cuffs that fold over - it should be really cute and just in time for the Chicago winters! What I really need to do is enter all this in Ravelry so it'll show up in my side bar and if I ever add pictures people can see what I'm talking about. Another night, not this one - it's too late to get going on that. I'll never make it to bed!