Sunday, January 31, 2010

Best Laid Plans

People say the universe has a sense of humor. I am sure it does, although at the time it seems to have the sense of humor similar to a bully.

I am concerned that I might not be able to be a teacher. I am not sure I have an immune system that can handle being a teacher. My mom is diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases, both that have a tendency to run in families, especially women. I am now realizing, maybe I have at least one of these.

I have only spent one week in the school environment. I have been sick all week, including a fever, congestion, headaches, etc. I thought the weekend would be nice and slow, so I would have time to heal. I missed a teaching workshop on Saturday because I didn't get any sleep due to coughing all night and I woke up with pink-eye in my right eye. May I say I have NEVER had pink-eye before this in my whole entire life. My sisters use to get it all the time in school, but never once did I get it before. I was very diligent yesterday about not touching my eyes, as to not infect the other eye. I washed my hands more than usually, I even stooped to using anti-bacterial soap, which I think is evil incarnate. My fever came back last night, but only a little fever of 100. Then this morning I woke up with not only pink-eye in my left eye, but a huge cold sore on my lip. Needless to say, no going into work today either.

Seriously, what the heck?!?!?!?!?

I know it's only been a week, so I shouldn't jump to conclusions. But on the other hand, it's only been a week! I've had a fever twice, I have pink-eye in both eyes, I have a huge cold sore, and I have had some kind of lung cold. Someone is either trying to give me a sign, see how much I can endure, or is playing a mean trick on me.

I usually try to keep an optimistic look, but this is becoming ridiculous. I have already considered the fact that I may not have the immune system to teach. I may just have to take my fine arts degree and move out into the world.

Oh well, I will go to the doctor tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I think life is trying to through me a few curve balls. I haven't been feeling well since around Friday. I thought it was just due to switching my sleeping around and not getting as much sleep as I needed. Not quite. My body has decided it is sick. The boy said I should take my temperature since I hadn't been feeling well for so long. Last night it was 101.2, my normal temperature is around 97.5. So almost four degrees. No wonder I feel like crap. This morning it has dropped to 99.9.

It'll be fun doing my first lesson today with a fever! Oh, the joys of teaching. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sorry to have disappeared

Well, I am sorry I just disappeared. Preparing for student teaching and being in student teaching was, of course, more work than I expected it to be right off the bat. I am trying to finish up gifts and Pay It Forward gifts, but it is trickling by. Tomorrow is my first lesson I am teaching. I am teaching a kindergarten class and we are doing self-portraits. It should be interesting. I will try to post more, but promise nothing.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Peek

Going through old wips and figuring out what I want to finish, what should get ripped, and what need ripped and re-worked. One of them is this teddy bear:

A new project is a frog for my boyfriends nephew:

And a tease, these are part of my Pay It Forward Gifts, but I am not giving away what they'll be just yet:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Food Friday - Gluten Free Cupcake Review

This is more of a review than a recipe. When we went grocery shopping, I noticed Betty Crocker had a new box. It was a Gluten Free Devil's Food Cake. Evidently more kinds should be coming out, but this is the only one in my grocery store so far.

I baked them in a silicone cupcake thing. The box makes about 12-14 cupcakes. The batter doesn't really rise very much at all.

Here they are frosted with whipped Vanilla frosting.

They were pretty good. I would definitely buy this product again. They were more expensive than the regular cake mix though, about 2-3 times as much. Personally it was worth it, because these didn't make me feel like crap.

In warning though, whatever you do, resist the urge to lick the batter spoon. It'll really ruin part of the experience, trust me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Too many thoughts

Sometimes the mind works too much.

School starts back up on the 25th. I begin student teaching. I am in a classroom, with an art teacher but I teach lessons and all that. It makes me nervous. I am having a bit of an inner crisis. I am crafting and will be back in a few days to show you. Hopefully my inner wishy-washiness will have subsided. Just feeling off.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

More finished gifts

Well, I finished both Mark and Justice's socks.

Justice's Socks
Yarn: FibraNatura / Exquisite Bamboo(un-spun, took out the 2 wool singles and 6 bamboo singles, re-spun)
Content: 77% bamboo & 23% superwash (afterwards about 50/50)
Care: hand wash cold, lay flat
Needles: US 0 / 2mm
Gauge: 31.5sts/ 3"
Size: 13 Kids

I like the way they turned out. They are very nice and soft. I hope she likes them. I did a regular slip-stitch heel and a version of a round toe.

Mark's Socks
Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks FX
Color: Cadet Colors
Care: hand wash cold and lay flat
Content: 75% wool & 25% nylon
Needles: US 1 / 2.25mm
Gauge: 7.5sts / 1"
Foot Size: 10.5 Mens

They look like they are two different sizes there, but I promise you I just forgot to spread out the top one all nice and neat. I like how these turned out, just slow knitting. I used a regular slip stitch heel and a version of a round toe again. I think I might prefer the round toe in general.

Overall, I enjoy sock knitting and will be making Justice another pair in the near future. I sure do appreciate the size of children's feet over adults. :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Finished Gifts

First we have Vera's Sweater. I started this quite some time ago, shortly after she was born. I knew myself well enough to begin the size for a 9 month old. Hopefully it still will fit her. I have many pictures of it, as I am quite proud of my work and hope it fits her!

Here is the complete sweater. I chose raglan so I could customize the fit better. I didn't use a pattern, but went of the measurements of a "typical" sizes from the internet.

Here is a close-up of the self-patterning yarn, Bernat Baby Jacquards, color Berries & Cream.

A close-up of the buttons. We went to Jo-Ann's to find buttons, I walked one side of the button aisle with the sweater, looking for matching buttons. The boy walked the other side and just found these perfect buttons without having to match anything. He's proving himself more and more worthy when craft shopping.

I chose to do the sleeves pink, the self-patterning is so long and I didn't want to try to fiddle with it. A little ribbing ends the sleeves and the bottom of the sweater.

My craft focus yesterday was crochet. This worked out wonderfully because I decided to crochet the button bands for the sweater. One side is a row of single crochet and then a row of triple crochet for button loops. As you can see, the buttons can technically be placed in any of the holes.

The other side is three rows of single crochet, with the buttons secured on with pink embroidery floss.

Yarn: Bernat Baby Jacquards
Color: Berries & Cream
Content: 90% acrylic and 10% nylon
Care: Machine wash and dry
Needles: US 3 / 3.25circular - - - - 2.25 crochet hook
Gauge: 26.75sts = 4"

There were a few times that I doubted this would work out as I have never made a baby garment like this, much less without a pattern. It seems to have worked out well though. I hope that I get a few wonderful pictures of Vera in it!

* * * * * * * * * * *

The next finished item is my mom's purse. Originally this was a knitted purse for my sister Echo, but I ended up wanting to sew her one. My mom liked it, so I finished it for her.

I crocheted black handles to match the black in the purse. I though it'd be too much to do them in teal or purple. My ability to attach the handles to the bag is less than desired though and hopefully my mother does not use it for anything heavy, or she knows a better way to secure the handles.

The inside is a hand stitch lining of dark blue fabric. It is made to the size of the bag, so the knitting with not get stretched out or misshapen.

Overall, a very time consuming project. I enjoy how everything but the attachment of the handles worked out. Due to the length of the project and that I am not, myself, a big purse person, I will probably stick to sewing purses. :)

* * * * * * * * *

Last items for today are John, my soon to be brother-in-law's handkerchiefs. He wanted them solid colors, so I made the sewing a bit more decorative, but not too much as to make them girly.

I made five, so he'd have some more color variety. They are approximately 22" x 21".

Dark blue & Orange = running stitch with the occasional back stitch
Medium Blue, Purple, & Green = Herringbone stitch

Overall, I really enjoyed doing the embroidery type stitch of the herringbone and think my next sewing project will involve embroidery. I hope he enjoys them and wears them.


Such high hopes for the new year and then I have spent most of the past couple days sleeping due to headaches and not feeling good. Oh well, I do think I am feeling better now. I have lots and lots to post, so I will post some tonight after we get home from grocery shopping. *crossing my fingers for better health*

Saturday, January 2, 2010


In some ways, I am glad to see 2009 go . . . in others, I am not sure that I am really ready to go through 2010.

It didn't start out the way we planned. Icky snow coming through parts of NY, PA, and OH. So, no trip to Ohio. We probably would have made it there okay, but we might have gotten stuck there for longer than we could actually afford/manage to be there. So no go.

My goals for 2009 weren't really accomplished. I did exercise more, but not as much as I wanted to. I wasn't going to craft for gifts, but that lasted about a nano-second. I did not last 365 blogging. Obviously, the longer we live, the more we learn about ourselves and our own capabilities. I thought my 2009 goals were do-able, but failed. I did NOT think I could give up dairy and bread, while I still cheat a little dairy here and there, they don't really exist in my diet anymore.

So hopefully, with what I have learned about myself in 2009, I can make better goals for 2010. I have decided to do things on a more incremental level. Vague goals for the year, precise goals for the month.

Health: Exercise more. Become healthier.
January: Exercise every day. Use personalized exercises on Wii Active. I do better
when I am consistent.

Spiritual: Study more. Celebrate more.
January: Research different celebrations for month of January. Celebrate those that feel
"right" to help find my path.

Crafting: Be more diverse. Change your expectations. No holiday crafting.
January: Create a calendar of "a craft a day". Each day will have a craft emphasis, but
will not be a limitation. Work on Pay It Forward gifts.

The first two will most likely not be blogged about here, unless for some reason there is an overlap into my arts/crafts stuff. However, for crafting, I would like to embrace the different things I enjoy doing. So I hope to make up a calendar today for a crafting cycle of days. Each day will have a focus (meaning I want to spend at least 30-60 minutes on it), but it is not limited to that craft. This is to make my experience more diverse, but not make me feel like I am boxed in.

With the "no holiday crafting" this simply means that no one will receive things for holidays, birthdays, etc. I can still make gifts for people, they simply aren't tied to specific days of celebration. This is mostly associated with my problem of finishing things with deadlines. Then the resulting guilt of late presents, presents I don't feel like finishing, presents I would like to start over on but really need to send out, etc. It just creates some negative feelings sometimes towards a gift that shouldn't be full of those things.

Pay It Forward gifts are due before Feb. 4th.

I have a feeling 2010 will be much better than 2009. I hope that I can help make it so.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Food Friday - Homemade Indian Sauce

This was an attempt to make some Indian Food a little more home-made. I came across a recipe for Spicy Butternut Squash Soup on Adventures of a Desi Knitter's blog. I thought it sounded good and would maybe translate into a good sauce.

Chop up a few gloves of garlic.

2 tbsp of ginger

Melt butter in pan and add garlic and ginger.

I bought a 1lb package of squash, instead of having to peel, clean, and chop one myself.

I use approximately half the container and chopped up each of the pieces into much smaller pieces. Add to pot.

1 medium potato, peeled and chopped. Add to pot.

I only added one cup of water, since I was making a sauce instead of a soup.

Here is everything cooking down. I cooked it on about medium heat.

Boil two chicken breasts.

Julienne half of a zucchini and chop up other half. Chopped half throw in pot.

I put about a tsp, instead of a tbsp, since the boy doesn't care for spicy stuff.

This is not in the recipe, but I added just a little turmeric because the flavor seemed to be to light, but this was a mistake. It ended up over powering everything in the sauce.

I steamed some broccoli and cauliflower.

Cut up the chicken breasts and brown in a little EVOO.

I added half of this to the sauce to thicken it up a bit.

Chopped up two Roma tomatoes.

Take sauce and blend together. I should have cooked the sauce down further, it was difficult to get it as smooth as I would have liked, because the squash wasn't as soft as it needed to be.

Add zucchini and tomatoes to the chicken pan and fry until zucchini are tender but still a little crisp.

Make rice and layer. Rice, sauce, broccoli and cauliflower, and then the chicken and veggie mix.

Conclusion . . . this was headed in the right direction, but needs to be tweaked some. It definitely gives me encouragement to continue to try to make my own Indian sauces though. I liked the veggies and meat cooked that way. Some things simply taste better fried, while others taste better steamed.