Thursday, June 30, 2011

Moment of Panic

I got a package today full of crocheted toys for the Eastern European and Russian Orphanages Project. We're doing a toy collection for the orphans for Christmas so some very on the ball people are already sending in donations which is awesome! Well, I took the bag full of toys out on the deck for a moment to try and get a picture in some decent lighting.
Toys in bag waiting for good light.
However, my friend Megan was over so I just figured I'd leave the toys out until later and come back. I went inside and Megan and I watched some t.v. and chatted and what not. After an hour or so I remembered the toys and went outside to get them. That's when I noticed that the bag, which had been sitting on the metal patio chair had sort of fallen over and a couple of the toys had fallen over onto the patio. Unharmed of course but they were dangerously close to the edge of the balcony. Danger Will Robinson... Cautiously I peeked over the edge.... Is that....
Do you see the blue speck down there?
Could that be one of the toy balls? In front of my neighbors porch? Crap it. I couldn't leave it down there. But what if my neighbors were out there or worse, what if I go poking around in their bushes/monkey grass and they come out (as they often do) to hang out on their porch. I thought about all these things while trying to calculate the time of day and wondering if my neighbors worked and what time they might come home from said jobs as I snuck around the side of the building and tried to causally see where my neighbors were and what they were doing. P.S. This is totally different from stalking. Please no one call the police. Thankfully they weren't out there and the blue thing turned out to be a piece of plastic or something. It looked way bigger from my porch (I should have known, I have a problem with depth perception).

Oh, and I finished a hat to go with the wavy scarf. More on that later.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wavy Scarf

The scarf is finally finished! I'd hoped to have it done over the weekend but Tuesday works too. Now let's hope I can knock out a hat in a day...
Here's the scarf pre-blocking and almost finished.
And here it is soaking in the sink of the guest bathroom. It has since been spun out in the washer and is blocking on the floor in my room but I forgot to take pictures. It turned out to be quite a long scarf (probably about 6 feet long) and I like how the colors blended together. The hat has been started but not much work was done on it because...

I came home today and found 4(!) more packages waiting for the Eastern European and Russian Orphanages Project. So I spent today photographing and packing those items away. I was hoping to use a medium sized suitcase but I ended up pulling out the biggest one I had just to fit the donations inside.
That's all my towels, undergarments, socks, a raincoat, and half my shirts plus two large space bags filled to the brim with donated items. Oh, and a roll of toilet paper. Because that's a commodity in Eastern Europe. Seriously. I still have a few things to pack but most everything else I'm going to try and fit into my carry on. Which includes a travel sized hair dryer and all my toiletries. I'm nothing if not adventurous.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Deadlines and Adjustments

This working from home thing is going to take some getting used to. I'm used to having my store and charity be side projects so I'm having to train myself to actually block out the majority of my day to work on these things and not other stuff. It's a slow process. Especially since I took on a baby-sitting/nanny job that will run until the end of June. I did manage to spend a day working on updating the shop. I finally have all my products listed.
Including new beauties like Oriental Lilly.

I also photographed over 40 donated pieces of clothing that came for the Eastern European and Russian Orphanages Project. I'll be taking them with me to Romania next week.
 Some super cute crocheted hats.

 A warm hat and neck warmer.
Cute baby sweater and hat combo.
 Two more boxes to unpack!

And speaking of Romania...I still haven't received my final information packet yet. The one with my plane tickets and packing list. Yeah, that one (I will not freak out...I will not freak out...). I'm praying that everything will work out.

The scarf I have been working on as my contribution to take with me to Romania is also not being as cooperative as I would like.
It's getting to just about the right size but my stitch count is forever off on the first 40 or so rows of the pattern. Right now I'm 4 stitches short. Which is more than slightly maddening. But I'm pressing on. And hoping to have this done by the end of the weekend so I can start working on a matchy-ish hat (it won't have the wavy multi-directional pattern but it will use the same yarn). I think I have a little over half a skein to go until the scarf is finished. Do-able? Yes. Probable? Hmmm....Knitting for tomorrow is mostly out as I will be helping my mom prep for my b-day celebration with family that evening and Saturday is somewhat out with a tubing trip and missions ministry meeting. I can probably manage to squeeze some time in there somewhere for knitting so it just might get done. That is, as long as I can get the right stitch count.

In other news, Penelope got her summer hair cut.
And I need to repaint my nails.

Friday, June 10, 2011

An End is a Beginning

Oh wow, where the heck did May go? Month #5 of 2011 was crazy. I was so busy with a million different things. There were 3 festivals, the end of the school year (and as such, the end of my teaching career), and juggling the start of several new ventures. So it's no wonder that I'm just now able to get back to blogging. However, I'm hoping that I'll be able to keep up the social networking on a more regular basis.

Now that I've ended my career as a teacher what am I going to do? Well, a lot actually.

1. Run Vivid Creation Fibers. That means more festivals and more time to devote to dyeing.
Section of my booth at the Middle Tennessee Fiber Festival.

2. Running the Eastern European and Russian Orphanages Project. We've been collecting and distributing clothing to orphans for a year and half now. Just since January we've collected 120 items. Currently there are two campaigns going on: a collection of items for me to take and distribute in Romania in July (ending June 25th) and a drive to collect 154 blankets for orphans in Ukraine and Russia (not ending until November). With big campaigns like this running pretty much all year I want to spend more time making sure the word gets out about the charity and logging and tagging donations.

3. Graduate school. I'm set to finish up in December of 2012 and next year I'll start my internship which will be like having a full time job (but not getting paid for it). Since I'm already taking a full load it will be nice to be able to devote more time to assignments instead of just after I finish a full day at work.

4. Personal assistant. Somehow I was lucky enough to swing a gig as a personal assistant for a friend of mine, Jonathan Merritt, who is a faith and culture writer. I clean, I file, I type book edits, I pick up dry cleaning. I pretty much do whatever is needed of me. I really enjoy having such a totally different job thrown into the mix of what I do. And because Jonathan and I have been friends for a few years we have a good working relationship.

In addition to these main four jobs there are other things I do. I'm very involved in my church's orphan care ministry, One.27, and I'm working with the leaders of our women's ministry to start a knitting group. I also baby-sit/nanny for a few families. I'm sure that there will always be a few "other" things that are going on in my life.

And what about the knitting? Mostly I've been making washcloths. Yep, washcloths. For selling, not using or giving away. So, I've been doing "work knitting." I have managed to start a Moderne Log Cabin blanket for some friends of mine who are getting married.
It's a little hard to see the white since it's against a white sheet but the finished blanket will be red, white, and black; a UGA blanket. I've been working on this since last Saturday but I've only gotten 2 squares finished. The wedding, unfortunately for me, is tomorrow (Saturday). They'll be getting a picture and promise that the blanket is on the way. It will be done though. I promised my friend Nick that when he got married he would get a handmade afghan from me. And I plan to make good on that promise. Even if it takes me until October.

I also picked up some new yarn today while I was on vacation in South Carolina.
I'm itching to begin some new projects, mostly hats and scarves, to take with me to Romania. There will probably be some project juggling over the next few weeks. Hopefully I'll keep up the blogging trend so you can follow along in the fun :)