Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blue Moon

Happy New Year everyone! Tonight there is a "Blue Moon" which I feel I must mention, since my company name is Once In A Bloomoon Creations. A Blue Moon comes every 2-1/2 years, but only about every 19 years on New Years Eve . So, now that you know that piece of info......

Let me just say, 2009 had its share of moments, that's for darned sure...

The highlights:

~Kaitlyn graduated from high school with high honors

~Kaitlyn got her drivers license and a car (THANK THE HEAVENS ABOVE I am done carting that girl's butt around!)

~Kaitlyn started college

~Kim and Drew announced that Mike and I would become grandparents!

~McKenna was born

~I became a very proud grandma!!

Some of the challenges:

~Insomnia came to visit and didn't want to leave... I still have sleepless nights at times but things are somewhat better. That was a struggle for quite a few months. There have been several other health worries, some of which are still unresolved. Other family members have had their share of health issues as well.

~McKenna's birth was 9 weeks early, due to Kim developing severe pre-eclampsia. McKenna's 45 day stay in the NICU downtown was emotionally, logistically, and basically in all ways challenging. We all got through it... I am humbled by Kim and Drew's strength and perseverance during this time to do everything they could for their tiny preemie daughter. Happily things have only improved over time and she is doing so well now!

~The timing of McKenna's birth coincided with my planned trip to Portland to go to the Sock Summit. While disappointed about missing the SS, I was also going to be able to visit with my sister who lives too far away for me to see more than once a year if we're lucky. And I was going to finally meet my dear online friend Maria. We have "known" each other online for 12 years and we were so looking forward to a face-to-face visit (and some sock knitting together). But I needed to be here to support Kim and Drew as they learned to cope with the situation and help them get through it to the prize at the end....

~Mike worked about a million hours (slight exaggeration, I think... but I'm not sure) this year... way more overtime than he would like at this point in his life. I try hard to not complain, considering the rate of unemployment, especially in Michigan. And considering a couple of family members lost their jobs this year, we do consider ourselves fortunate to not have faced the prospect of Mike looking for a new job (again). But really, 70+ hours a week when you're in your 50s gets a little hard on the body (and mind). Give the man a bit of a break. We'd all be a little happier and less stressed, that's for sure.

My business was very slow this year, but I am going to take part of the blame for that. My focus was definitely elsewhere, and the lack of extra time to devote to promoting my patterns was just something I had no control over.

I spent a very huge portion of the spring, summer and fall planning and executing a graduation party, a baby shower (that came after the baby!), then caring for McKenna when Kim went back to work...I was devoting my attention to everything (it seemed) but Jake. Guilt overpowered me at times... I felt like he spent way too much time at the bottom of the totem pole this year, and I tried very hard to make special times with him, but it just felt like I was throwing him a bone. I am hoping to somehow make it up to him. He was a trooper, thank goodness. I hope he doesn't resent the lack of attention compared to everything else that happened this year.

Jake didn't really have any huge milestones, but I will report he is doing great in 7th grade, and loves being "Uncle Jake" to McKenna. So many days he rushes in from school, scrubs his hands, and comes to say hello to her. Such a good boy :-)

So that was 2009, and I think we are all ready for a New Year. Here's to the hopes and expectations and dreams... may they all come true!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dodecahedron---I just call it Pointy Ball!

What's this? Another blog post so soon? Another FO so soon? In the midst of the holiday chaos?

I finished up McKenna's ball last night. Knitting the last point after stuffing it was pretty tedious, but I'm happy with the results. I put a cat toy (bell in a cage) in the middle of the stuffing for a little jingly fun. I hope McKenna enjoys her dodecahedron for years to come.

click for pattern

Oh heck, let's just add one more photo here. I made this Pretty Thing cowl for my good friend Tamara. I used alpaca, (because Tam loves her some alpaca) but it kind of hid the stitch pattern. Next time I make a Pretty Thing (and I will do this project again) I will use a less fuzzy yarn. It's a pretty thing indeed!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

McKenna's Stocking

I went to my stash and came up with these 4 colors to knit McKenna's Christmas stocking. Not Christmas-y colors by any means, but definitely girly-girl colors. I made up the pattern as I went along, and had no idea how it would turn out. McKenna thought it was a pretty cozy sleeping bag before it went into the washer for felting!

I haven't felted anything in a while, and I guess I forgot that standing over the washing machine with a watchful eye is the key to getting the results you want. I had the stocking in the washer for only 8 minutes, and it was done. I would have stopped the felting a bit earlier had I been standing there. It's not WAY too small, but I would have liked it if all my design elements were a bit more visible and also if it were just a wee bit bigger to fit more goodies inside in future years.

I'll be needle-felting McKenna's name once the stocking is dry.

Hey! What happened to my sleeping bag? It used to be THIS big! I can't fit in that anymore!!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

My new toy

My new piece of electronics arrived today. I decided I needed one of these slick little Flip video cameras. The fact that you could personalize it with a photo or a graphic really sealed the deal for which camera I might buy. I love the fact that no one else will have a camera exactly like mine!

It really couldn't be any easier to use. The USB connection "flips" out of the top of the camera and you plug it right into your computer, without any cords.

The software is so user friendly. Within mere seconds you can save to your computer, email your video, upload it to the internet, pull screen shots from it, make it into a video greeting card, burn it to a DVD, etc.

The Flip MinoHD is quite small, (smaller than my phone) and will slip easily into a pocket or purse. I am going to be taking a ton of video of McKenna (and Christmas, and many other things) How handy, to just be able to whip it out because it's with you all the time, instead of having to haul around the big video camera, in its big case, worrying about if you have a blank tape or DVD to record onto, etc.

I'm so excited to get the early Christmas present that I bought myself. I got the power adapter free (you get one free accessory on the website right now) which allows me to charge it when I am away from my computer. I also want the HDMI cables that will let me watch the videos on the TV, and also the mini tripod which will come in very handy.