Monday, June 27, 2011

Today I Shall Be Lazy...

There are so many things I need to be doing in the house right now, not including all the things I need to be doing for The Chickadee Tree.  But honestly, I just have no energy today.  I have at least taken out the upstairs trash and the kitchen trash.  I still need to gather the trash from the rest of the downstairs' rooms, but they are at emergency levels yet, so they can wait until tomorrow.  And I am going to sweep the stairs shortly.  Hermione (the chow) is still shedding enough to be a nuisance, but she won't let me cut anymore hair off of her at the moment.  Maybe sometime before the end of the week, I will be able to attack her with the scissors again.
I do have a few ideas on tags and packaging for The Chickadee Tree.  Not that they really matter because I won't be able to print anything for at least another month.  My 12-year-old printer has finally bit the dust.  The scanner still works, but I can't print anything off.  I will probably post a few samples in here soon.  I'm just trying to think of ways to make very simple tags for my products that will be instantly recognized.  Probably use my little chickadee on some nice "parchment" colored paper.  I'm not sure if I'll keep him pink though.  I know I'm using a pink/brown combo with my banner and avatar, but I am really thinking that a nice tannish brown background with a green chickadee would look quite nice.  Maybe type the shop address on the back of it and make it a folding tag.
Just tossing some things out here.  Half of my ideas probably will not work because Open Office never seems to like my ideas, therefore it doesn't have a template for it.  Or a way to do it at all.
I just know that I need to design:
  • item tags
  • address labels
  • business cards
  • item labels (for items that need additional information--like skeins of hand-dyed yarn, clothing, etc)
There are probably a lot of other things I need, but those are just the ones I can think of offhand.
I need to find a better way to keep up with my part and finished item inventory.  Right now, Open Office Calc isn't doing what I need it to do, and I'm not handy enough to build a database.  If anyone has any database skills, I would greatly appreciate any help you can toss my way.
For now, I must go.  A storm is on it's way in and the baby just woke up from his nap, so I need to go close all the windows and play with the boy.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Early Morning Laugh

So, I crawl out of bed this morning, blissfully happy because Lil' Man FINALLY slept through an entire night (I'll take 9:00 to 5:30 any day!), and I walked around the end of the cribs to this funny moment:

Yes, that is Lil' Man's walker.

Yes, that is Lil' Bit in Lil' Man's walker.

I figured that since she only weighs about five pounds more than him that she wasn't really breaking any weight limits on it, and since I keep a close eye on them anyway that she wasn't going to hurt herself in it anymore than she hurts herself when she launches herself off the bed after jumping on it.

She's a fuddy duddy sometimes, that's for sure.

Now she is over here stabbing her mega blocks with her breakfast fork.

And I'm off to take out the trash before the trashman gets here. :o)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Think I Have Crafting ADD

I just did a count on how many Works in Progress (WIPs) I have. I really am starting to think I have Crafting ADD. I can't settle on any one thing. List of projects are as follows:

1) The Tetris Blanket: Not a majorly important one to finish, but I still have to keep up with all the blocks that I have finished and the pattern. And because the blocks are usually only using a partial skein, I have that 1/2 or 3/4 of a skein sitting around staring at me.

2) The Speedy Baby Blanket (the name is a lie): It's a three-stranded blanket that I'm making to eventually sell, but Anna is going to get to use the prototype for a while to see how well it holds up to her. The directions said I could finish it in an evening or two. That was three weeks ago. I still have a long way to go.

3) The Bag Bag: This is a personal design, so it's taking a while. I keep having to frog and redo. It's a bag holder for all those plastic shopping bags that I get.

4) The Enjoyable Ribbed Scarf: It was enjoyable the first three times I started on it. This last time (after Anna liberated all my needles from their projects) has really been wearing on me. I tried to slip the needle back in and continue, but with all the Yarn Overs, I was unable to get the pattern back. It's getting there, but it's the one project I have going right now that I really have to focus on because it has a definite pattern repeat, so it's hard to get good quiet time to work on it.

5) The Practice Sock: It's been ripped back to the beginning a few times as well, with Anna's Needle Liberation Movement, and then the ribbing not fitting over my ankle, but it's getting there. I'm going to try to get more done on it here shortly since both of the kids are sleeping.

6) The Felted Bag: This is actually a secret project--not because it's intended for a reader, but because Sam said if he saw me working on one more new project without finishing up the others, he wasn't going to buy me anymore I work on this one when he isn't home and hide it. It's coming along nicely. I'm hoping the colors felt up a lot. I'm not really enjoying the colorway, but it may look better felted. It's my first felted project, so if it doesn't work like it should, it's not really a loss for me since I hate the colorway.

7) About ten random projects that need their ends woven in. I know, I know, I should really weave them in when they are done so I won't have a huge pile to dread, but I just don't want to. My tapestry needle is a cheapy plastic one, and the cat has been chewing on the end, so it'll fray my yarn if I try to use it. Planning to buy a few new ones soon.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Time Has Come...

The time has come.

It's the time of the year that I dread the most.

The shaving of the chow.
She looks so nice and sweet in that photo, doesn't she? And I won't lie--she is a very evenly-tempered chow. Heck, she lets Lil' Bit wallow all over her. But as soon as I approach with the comb and clippers, she becomes a bit persnickety.

I used to brush her out all the time, but as she has gotten older and more ornery, brushing for hours on end has become a thing of the past. I'm lucky if she lets me run it through once. But, since it's now in the middle of summer and she has released most of her winter coat, she really needs to be shaved and brushed.

Especially her back legs, which are severely matted. Anyone who has owned a chow knows that matting occurs on them just by walking. Matting is just like felting with yarn. A little water, some agitation, and you have a mat. It sucks, but that is just how nature works.

And now nature has left me with no choice but to tackle her with the clippers and comb and pray that I don't get bitten.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Updates, Updates, Updates

Good gracious, it has been crazy here lately. Both children are teething. Lil' Man is cutting a frontie and Lil' Bit is cutting a molar. They are miserable, and all they want is to be connected to Mommy. I am barely getting time to go to the bathroom when I need to. They constantly want to be in my lap, so we have been camping out on the sofa, reading books and watching Sesame Street.

I have gotten little to nothing done since they started feeling so bad, so there aren't many project updates. I have several knitted and crocheted items on the needles/hooks. So many that I have filled up a diaper case-size box with my projects. I did manage to finish up my dad's and brother's Christmas presents, mostly. I still need to to weave in the ends, but otherwise, they are done. I can crochet if I am holding Anna only. Sammy makes it a little harder. I don't knit with either of them in or near my lap. Anna wiggles so much that I'm afraid I'm going to stab her if I am knitting near her. My knitting projects aren't getting anywhere fast at all.

On the homefront, we have been cleaning and organizing. So much fell behind while I was pregnant and trying to keep up with a toddler that it just really needs to be handled. And there are a few rooms that need cleaning done in them so we can do a few repairs. And with the harvest season upon us again here soon, I really need to get the pantry area cleaned up and cleared out for the new stuff.

The Husbeast's new job is going well. He seems to love it. He's not loving first shift, but he will be on third as soon as he finishes the training, so he is dealing. He's gotten through his first month fairly well, as far as I can tell. He's so tired by the time he comes home that he usually bathes and collapses, so we really don't get much time to talk about it in detail.

Does anyone know of a good Dill Pickle recipe? I told the Husbeast that I would can some for him this year, but the only recipe I have is my mom's, and he doesn't really like that one. So I'm looking around for a new one.

Need to run! Daughter is climbing where she isn't supposed to be.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 2011 Giveaway: Bright Aluminum Sweet Pea Chainmaille Earrings


Bright Aluminum Sweet Pea Chainmaille Earrings

Want to win? Now through June 30, 2011 11:59 PM EST, you can enter to win a free pair of "Bright Aluminum Sweet Pea Chainmaille Earrings." To enter this contest, simply visit The Chickadee Tree ( and pick out your favorite item. Then leave a comment with the name of your favorite item to enter. This contest is open to residents of US and Canada, ages 18 and up. Please remember to leave a way for me to contact you for acquiring your address information should you win this contest.

You may complete each of the following tasks for one additional entry for each task completed. Please comment in a separate post for each completed task.

1) Tweet this contest and tag it with #thechickadeetree. Comment with your tweet.

2) Become a fan of The Chickadee Tree ( on Facebook AND share this contest link on your Wall. Leave a comment.

3) Blog about this contest. Comment with a link to the blog post.

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5) Follow my blog.