Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hookers Love Coffee

Hi everyone!

A quick hooker project to show you today...I love to drink coffee and found some cute patterns to create a coffee cup cozy and coaster!

The pattern I used for the cozy is Marion's Cozy Mug Warmer and the coaster pattern is called Springtime Coaster.

I used sparkly blue and basic brown cotton yarns for these small projects. I love being able to hook up something quickly. I'm all for instant gratification!

Have a great day!

Monday, September 26, 2011

No Time for Losers Cause I Am The Champion!

Hi everyone!

Real quick, I'm guest blogging...well, I answered some awesome questions anyway over at mommaruthsays so check it out! :D

My husband works on the other side of town, it's a bit of a drive to get him over there every day. Luckily the Michael's, AC Moore and Hobby Lobby surrounding his workplace more than makes up for the gas and mileage spent getting over there. Sometimes when he's off and one of these crafty stores is having some sort of one day sale or awesome coupon I'll ask him, "Hey Honey, don't you need to go to work for some reason?"

This was the case yesterday as AC Moore was premiering some new yarns and decided to celebrate with some make and takes (Toot made a yarn ghost), some demonstrations (both knitting so that counted me out) and....two giveaways: a gift basket of the new yarns and $100 YARN gift certificate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111 (<---I added some 1's to the exclamation points to show you how excited I was about this giveaway)

Anyhoo, the husband was off (of work, not his rocker although I have my suspicions) and I thoughtfully dragged my mom and Toot all the way across town to enter these giveaways. I had decided that the $100 yarn certificate was going to be mine. I went into the store and filled out about 20 tickets (I could only get my mom to fill out 5...whatever, Mom!) and because you had to be present to win, tried to find something to do as we wandered around the store for 2 hours. (!)

I scoped out the yarn to think about what I would get with my winnings, tried to keep Toot from unrolling all of the skeins and bought my mom Starbucks to try and bribe her to fill out more tickets. After all, I NEED this yarn! Well, need may kind of strong but I just need it okay? I can stop any time I want. But there was no way I was walking out of that store without $100 worth of yarn and if I needed to knock down some old lady that won, then so be it. So we waited with bated breath (and sore feet, we were there forever!) for them to announce the winner...

And then.... I WON THE $100 YARN GIFT CERTIFICATE! Cue Queen!

And here's what $100 worth of yarn looks like:

Best shopping trip ever.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Having Fun at the Beach

Hi everyone!

I'm coming to you LIVE from...wait for it...the beach!

Wait a minute...that's not the beach! Sorry about that folks...*ahem*...the BEACH!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Gauche Giveaways and a Tutorial

Hi everyone!

I'm off to the beach and have absolutely nothing awesome to show you. Well...nothing I made anyway! :P

Gauche Alchemy turned 3 in September so all month long we're giving away some awesome prizes! You can enter for a chance to win a 3 month ACME kit subscription, a postal pack, a Lace and Ribbon Variety Pack and a Mixed Media Color Kit of your choice! Check out the links above for rules, they're super easy and open to everyone worldwide so get your entries in! You're entered for just leaving a comment on all the giveaways but one, I'd love to see some familiar faces over there! :)

I also wanted to share a tutorial that one of our Alchemists, Cheryl created, she recently got married and made her own bouquet. And not out of flowers either, this tutorial is awesome so check it out!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ode to a Pet Store

The other day, Toot and I were in a pet store spending too much money on too little dog food. Being there reminded me that years and years ago I worked at a "big box" pet store. They put me in the Aquatics department where I bagged fish, boxed up birds and kept the cages and tanks clean. It was a time of great joy, wearing a very attractive and flattering back belt and big money for very little work, appreciated and applauded by every customer that came in store. /sarcasm

But it was always interesting. Like, there was this one time...

-A customer wanted a cichlid fish. These fish are full of personality but they're also some of the meanest SOBs in the water. I climbed up the ladder to the tank, took my handy little fishing net and went ta fishing. I was chasing one particular fish around the tank when all of a sudden, he leaped (literally) out of the tank and slapped me right in the face before hitting the floor. Ker-SPLAT! Don't worry folks, he survived and I popped his little fishy smarty pants butt right back into the tank. He slaps me, then he don't get sold that day. In your face, fish!

$4.75 an Hour (What? I told you it was years ago.) Worker: 0
Smarty Pants Acrobatic Fish: 1

-Like most stores, this one featured Muzak. Working a full 40 hour work week, you're bound to hear the same songs over and over eventually. I still can't hear Paula Cole's "I Don't Want to Wait" without thinking of dead fish, molting birds and 50 lb bags of dog food.

$4.75 an Hour Worker: 0
Dawson's Creek: 1

-This guy walked in one day and wanted to buy a goldfish. Selling goldfish was always a pain in the butt because most people don't realize that you can't just stick them in a bowl. They NEED a filter, folks! Anyhoo, he wasn't having any of my pet-righteous "save the goldfish" speech and haughtily informed me that he just needed the fish for one day as it was going to be a background prop for a commercial he was shooting. I then told him that not only would it be harmful for the fish to be put in a bowl but we didn't have a "buy a fish today, return it tomorrow" policy in place. He was shocked! Didn't I realize that my fish would be seen in a national commercial? Dude, it's not like you're going to add a tag that says, "Goldfish seen suffocating in the background is courtesy of Maggi". No dice, buddy. He got all huffy about how I was losing a sale AND there would be no fish from our store in his commercial.

$4.75 an Hour Worker: 1
Snooty Commercial Making Fish Killer: 0

-We had a couple of kissing fish in a tank together and one morning I came in and actually caught them kissing! It was the neatest thing! Nature at its finest, the true circle of the...wait a minute...they're not kissing...that one is eating the other one! *dry heave*

Grossed Out $4.75 an Hour Worker: 0
Dead Fish: 0
Live Fish Getting a Real Breakfast Instead of Fish Flakes: 1

-One day some customers asked to buy a parakeet. Oh crap. Okay, here's the thing. Trying to catch one specific bird (because they always want THAT bird) in an aviary full of birds trying to escape their prison is a pain in the butt. THEN you have to clip their wings. I always counted a "no bird sold" day as a win. So there I am, inside this aviary with my totally helpful bird catching net being swarmed by freaked out parakeets with these customers watching me through the glass. I FINALLY catch the stupid bird these people wanted and with a "in your face bird" look on my face, I take him to the back to clip his wings. The bird meekly hands me a wing to clip...NOT.

That little f$#%&^@ bites my hand and I yelled remember that scene in "A Christmas Story" where Ralphie says "fudge" only he didn't say "fudge" he said the "F dash dash dash" word? Well, that was me. Now I had to go back out there and face these customers (with children), apologize for the cussing AND convince them to buy this evil bird. Luckily they were cool about it.

$4.75 an Hour Worker: 0
Evil Bird: 1

-Here's how you clean the fish tanks at a big store with a ton of fish tanks: Hook up a hose to the sink, run out a huge line of this hose into the store, stick the end of it into the water and it works like a vacuum, sucking up all the crap (literally). Problem is, you can't take the fish out before you vacuum because out in the air they like, die and stuff. I hated vacuuming because I was always terrified that I would suck all the fish up in this thing. Which can't really happen because when you lift the hose out of the tank, it stops sucking and just spits whatever water is in there out back into the tank. Well guess what...

One day I'm merrily cleaning the tanks when one of the most expensive fish we had gets caught in my vacuum. It had never happened before and I was by myself because the store wasn't open yet and I just froze. I totally forgot about picking the hose up out of the water to spit the fish back out and could only watch as the fish got sucked down about a mile of hose and went to wherever fish go when they go down the sink. I like to think he made it to the ocean and found his father a la "Finding Nemo".

$4.75 an Hour Worker: 0
Innocent Fish Sent to the Lord Before His Time: 0

Sidenote: Did you know that "vacuum" is spelled with two u's? I didn't either!

In conclusion, $4.75 an Hour Worker: 0

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Crochet Meh

The cover of the September/October 2011 issue of Crochet Today is cuter than a bug's ear:
"Hi! I'm perky and sweet and so cute in my hat!"
See? Isn't that the cutest hat and the cutest cowl on the cutest model you ever did see? I thought so too when this issue arrived at my doorstep. I knew I just had to hook up that hat. And so it was that I was lucky enough to have some yarn left over from this hot mess. I loved the color scheme from the baby afghan from hell and decided to use the same color scheme to make this gorgeous hat.

"Hi. I'm not perky nor sweet nor so cute in this hat...meh."
That was my last good decision in the matter of this hat. I'm not calling this a Craft Fail because it is indeed a hat. But I am going to call this a "Craft...meh." because I did not instantly feel like throwing it up in the air a la the Mary Tyler Moore show. Actually, maybe I did want to "throw it up" but not in the air.
The main problem is that it's just too small and it's all my fault. I'm notoriously hateful of "checking my gauge" which for you non-hookers means that you crochet part of the pattern and then measure it to make sure it's the right size. Checking gauge saves you all sorts of time because you won't end up spending days and days hooking something that won't fit right. Like I did. (See pictures above)

Well I can't help it! I hate reading manuals and I hate checking gauge so I accept full responsibility for the above "meh" of a hat. This just sucks because Lord knows, I have a talent for rocking a hat. I LOVE hats. *sigh* Oh well, I finally tried the hat on Toot and of course she looks adorable in it.
"Look at me! Mommy's time has passed, there's a new hat rocker in town!"
Oh whatever Toot!  So lesson learned folks: Take the time to be bored and boring and check your gauge, otherwise your two year old will look cooler than you.

"In your face Mommy!"
The end.

Friday, September 2, 2011

I Love Gauche Alchemy...and Free Stuff

Hi everyone!

I'm going to skip my Fab Five for this week because:

1. I have something new to show you that I'm super proud of...

and 2. I have something to tell you that I'm super excited about.

Good enough reasons to skip a Fab Five, yes? Actually, since I have two things to show/tell you about, I guess I could call this a Friday Night Fab Two.  Anyhoo, I made this!

My Gauche Alchemy banner!
I help out writing the blog over at Gauche Alchemy and this month they're celebrating their 3rd birthday! So in honor of that and the fact that I've always loved GA's kits of "lost things", I decided to make this banner.It all started with a vintage ad showing a housewife holding an oven door.