January 2009

January 26th, 2009 - Smelly Goodness

Sorry for the unscheduled blog absence there, I spent the last couple of weeks helping out with some temp work at my husbands employer. I had about 18 hours notice that I would be going, so it was a bit of a wrench in the usual scheduling. It was good though, because I got to see what hubby does in detail. It helps with the after work conversations.

While most of my Christmas list was taken care of this year with our trip, I did make a couple of crafty gifts. We have two sets of neighbours and friends from our old town that I wanted to do something for. They both have little boys, so it was a good reason to play a bit.

I made the boys each a cape - each one is reversible with batman on one side and superman on the other.

I used this tutorial basically for the logos, and winged the rest of it.

I am quite happy with how they turned out, and I know one of the little boys loves his.

I also wanted to make something for the mom's and dad's, I so used some corduroy to make some coasters.

Each coaster has some spices inside, so that when you put your warm coffee or teacup on it, the scents are released.

I think I will have to make myself some of these for next Christmas. They smelled like a bakery when I was wrapping them up. Especially the cinnamon one!

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January 17th, 2009 - Crafty Gifts

With Christmas and my birthday so close together, I am often overwhelmed by the awesome gifts I receive from my family and friends. As I have mentioned before, our families decided to forgo Christmas presents this year. I think this has lead me to appreciate the birthday gifts that I received even more. It's almost as if there was more time to appreciate them - does that make sense?

I got a couple of great crafty gifts over the holidays. First was this book from missbedora:

It has all kinds of great suggestions for how to keep the holidays simple, and how do keep it more handmade (which is right up my alley). I am planning on doing a post on how my unspoken "year of handmade gifts" went, and this book will help me work up this year's handmade plan. Thanks hun!

I also received a fantastic tin from Ellen, full of all kinds of supplies to boost my card making.

Ellen makes the most incredible and thoughtful cards and crafts for every occasion (I think she needs a blog!). This one was all done up in two of my favourite colours, pink and chocolate brown. Inside is even more fun:

A great supply of brads, eyelets and little plastic bubbles, as well as some paper de-stressers and perforators. She even made a little stamped cover for the glue stick. Not to mention the great stamps!

How cute is this little guy? I have already used him for a card. And there was also the Born to Craft stamp that she used to make the tin and my card.

Now that I have the tools, I just need the talent! Did you include that in the package Ellen? I think I am going to invest in a Cuttlebug as well. Ah, and I said that I would never get into paper crafts. So much for that!

missbedora was sweet enough to get me some software for my computer - interior design software! She has been on me for a while to get started on a career in interiors, and I think this was one of her biggest pushes yet. It is a great software and I definitely have a lot to learn. Now if the temp job that I am doing right now finishes up soon I can get started.

I was also lucky to receive some birthday money which I am hoping to spend on a LeClerc Dorothy table loom (a used one for sure). So if anyone has one hanging around that they would like to part with, let me know!

Thanks everyone for making this year's holidays so special. I love you all.

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January 12th, 2009 - Palm Tree Christmas

As I mentioned last time, the fam decided to have a little vacation in Florida together over the holidays. We passed on gifts this year and rented a house instead, which ended up saving us a lot of money (or at least for T and I). A little photo montage, shall we?

Beaches: A trip to Siesta key, the beach with the world's whitest and finest sand. I have never felt anything quite like this, that is for sure. It was like walking in flour. They have a great drum circle at sunset every Sunday there, so we partook while burying our toes in the sand.

Mini Golf: What is a trip to Florida without mini golf? There may have been a lot of cheating. But I did get a legitimate hole in one, which was awesome.

Greyhound Racing: I have never been to these races, but they were so quick! I wanted to bring a greyhound home (Sarasota Kennel Club has a great adoption agency) but didn't think she would be too happy in the car all the way to VA.

Sunrise Walk on the Beach: Very early New Year's day myself and some of the others got up to head to the beach and look for some shells. I figured you should start your New Year how you would like the rest of the year to go - so can I spend the rest of the year on a beach?

Palm Trees: Sigh. The epitome of tropical.

Best Friends and Convertibles: That combined with awesome old lady visors - can't beat it.

Costume Party: Why? Just cause.

A 30th Birthday Party: Yup, I got to spend my 30th in Florida with my friends and family. Not a bad way to do it eh? It even came with 30 items from the dollar store, one of which is the glow stick around my neck.

And finally, dinner spent with my family. It was so good to be able to spend a whole week together, and I can't wait to do it again soon.

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January 6th, 2009 - Roundup

Happy New Year everyone! I was away with the family in Florida for a while, thus the extended absence. In catching up on all my blogs I decided I really liked the round up format for a new years blog, so here goes.

January - Put up our first house for sale and sold it in two days. Extreme happiness that it went quickly and extreme sadness because it made the fear and finality of our upcoming move real. Celebrated my Dad's 60th birthday with him and the fam. Bought our new house in Roanoke. Handed in my resignation to the only company I had worked for since graduating.

February - Spent most of the month getting sorted for the move with paperwork and what not. Had my last day at work and traveled to San Francisco for an extended long weekend as a stress reliever (yeah Aeroplan points!)

March - What a crazy crazy month. Had a final party with friends to empty the liquor cabinet (with mixed results) and say our goodbyes. Packers came to the house in a huge snowstorm to pack all of our belongings up. Movers came the next day and we had to say goodbye to our first home. This was a very tough day, and I still tear up thinking about it. Car was loaded onto a truck and off it went. Another huge snowstorm (2 1/2 feet) the day before we flew out made the last goodbyes to family and friends a bit challenging. Flew into Roanoke on March 9th and promptly had a teary breakdown in an Appleby's. Luckily, this was the worst it got. Unpacked and got the house set up and started to learn my way around. Missbedora came for her first visit and I met a whole new bunch of knitters. Started running again. My friends wife was in a very very bad car accident and we wondered if she was going to stay with us. Thankfully she did and is doing well.

April - Spent more time getting used to the city and making small changes to the house. Worried a lot about my friends wife. Traveled home for a visit which was well needed. Got to know our neighbours a little better and found out they are all great people. Marveled at the wildlife that is in our backyard.

May - MDSW! With people I had only just met! What a fabulous weekend. I didn't buy much but I got to know a great group of women and started to feel more at home. Finished Lady Eleanor. May was a very good month.

June - Stitch n Pitch, my first spinning lesson, and some ridiculous thunderstorms here. I coordinated a comfort afghan and started another one. Got to know the great group of knitters here even better. Took another trip home which was great. Did lots and lots of crafting, including some new things.

July - Visitors month! Friends of ours from Sarnia came down with their little boy, then my parents, then TJ's mom and her friend. It was amazing to have a full house for the whole month. Traveled to Charleston and loved both the city and the traveling companions. Experienced my first 4th of July.

August - Continued lots of work on the house, and finished a couple of sweaters that are favourites of mine. Lots of knitting and crafting overall.

September - Another visit home, this time by car for a friends wedding. I got to have a Timmies donut, which I didn't think I was going to miss so much. Started much needed guitar lessons to teach me the basics. Got an organizational handle on my studio, particularly my fabric. Painted the bathroom funky orange.

October - TJ's 30th birthday and another visit from his family. Created my first t-shirt quilt for that occasion. Went to my first Nascar race and my first Hurricanes game and stand on the ice. Got to know our neighbours across the street better. First US Halloween complete with campfire.

November - Experienced my first US election, even though I couldn't vote. Watched things get back with the politics back home. Met our newest addition to the neighbourhood. Had a "Displaced Canadians and Friends" US thanksgiving party and ran in my first 5k in a long time.

December - Enjoyed not having to worry too much about Christmas, since our families decided on a non gift Christmas and went to Florida instead. I thought back over the year and realized how lucky I am to have found such great people in all parts of my life.

Certainly 2008 will be remembered in my mind and the one with the most changes for us. While challenging, they have all turned out to be a good thing. I think that 2009 is also going to be a challenging year on the grand scale, but I think that it is going to make us and particularly me a better and more conscientious person. Thanks to all who have helped me over the last year - I am grateful to have you in my life.

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