Friday, December 17, 2010


IT'S FINISHED!!! After a marathon effort, which included an additional trip to Yuba City and the local quilt store, lots of late night and so many puncture wounds I've lost count, the quilt is finished. It's in the dryer now, trying to get rid of all the loose threads. I finished it a new way, for me. The seam allowances are all exposed and snipped so they fray a bit when washed. It's cool, but a little messy with random threads. I may have to send it through the wash and dryer again.

It doesn't matter at this point, though because it's finished. I'm quite impressed with myself. I got it done ahead of schedule! I need it by Sunday. It is done Friday night. This is a true Christmas miracle.

(Never mind that I still have a dress to make for myself....that's completely beside the point).

I am a perpetual procrastinator. I tell the story on myself that, when going through some old school papers of mine, I ran across one of my kindergarten report cards. It said something to the effect that "Lori is a hard worker, if she just didn't leave everything to the last minute." I have been fighting my natural procrastination tendencies for 30 years.

Back to the dress I mentioned before. At this reception on Sunday, all the girls in our assembly are all wearing the same fabric. I have held off on sewing mine and have used all my sewing time on the quilt. Now, I can use my sewing time for my dress. I've got tonight and tomorrow night. Hubby just left to go to Pittsburg for the weekend, so I won't feel guilty about staying up until all hours of the morning sewing. Piece of cake. (Yeah, right).

I hope to get some good pictures of the quilt tomorrow as well. If not, I will get some at the reception on Sunday, after it has been given to our special girl. I'm quite proud of myself. And quite relieved. Whew.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Silent, but busy

I just realized how long it has been since I've posted anything new. I've been working my fingers to the bone, with several puncture wounds to prove it, on my mystery quilt. It is down to the wire now. I have a little over a week to get it finished. The good news is that I've farmed out several quilt squares, so I didn't have to do them all. I have done my fair share, don't get me wrong. I will count up the total tomorrow when I wash and iron them all in preparation for final assembly. I have purchased (what I think it) all the fabric and am now ready to begin putting this darn thing together. I'm a little anxious as I'm trying a technique that is new to me. It should go together much more quickly than a traditional quilt. I am not doing a separate front and back, then quilting them together. I am sewing everything together all at the same time, with the seams exposed (and fringed) on one side. As I have said before, I will post some pictures once the intended recipient has received it, and it is no longer a surprise.

I have to say I'm quite impressed with the improvement in my embroidery skills over the course of this project. Upon its completion, this quilt will be the first one I've done in several years. I learned to sew in 4-H as a child, from my mother. She is a fabulous seamstress, from HER childhood. I didn't like it so much. I think this is due, in part, to my perfectionism. If I can't do something right away well, I get very frustrated. (Gee, and I wonder where The Girl gets that from). Sewing is something that takes time. I have come back to the joy of sewing through quilting, when The Little Man was little. ;) Once The Girl was born, time just kind of evaporated. I also got more into crochet and now knitting. My sewing/cross stitch days have become non-existent with the new love of all things yarn. I'm not a good one for balance in my crafting, apparently. Maybe that can be a resolution for next year. I still owe my soon-to-be five year old nephew a Christmas stocking. maybe this year, after the quilt. No promises though.

Okay, now enough stalling, back to cleaning. 'Tis the season for hosting parties at Chez Rodrigues. Tonight is the first of just two this year. (It's a slow year for us). Hopefully, the next post will be pics of The Quilt, whose appearance date is Dec. 19. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Finally! It's DONE! I stayed up until 11:30 last night, sewing up seams and sewing on pockets. I have a new kink in my neck labeled "The Girl's CPH". The pockets are a bit wonky, but The Girl loves it and wore it to school today! THAT, my friends, is true success. I will try to get her to stand still long enough to post some pics tomorrow. Woo! Now, onto my quilt squares......

What? What's that you say? You hear that beautiful teal knit jersey fabric calling you as well?? I suppose I could fit sew that up into a quick formal before our Masonic event this Saturday. But shhhh.....don't tell the quilt squares!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I was so close....really, just a couple more rows to go, when I did a count and realized I had too many stitches on my needle. Grr. I missed a decrease along the way. So......I had to rip back a good 20 rows or more. Luckily, it's getting smaller as I go. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a day of rest for my back and my knitting. This darn thing. It is the perfect weather around here for The Girl to be wearing it too.

I really need to finish this up so I can start on my quilt squares. Those won't embroider themselves, you know!

Goal for tomorrow: FINISH THIS DANG SWEATER!!!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Alllllllmost there

I am so close, I can taste it. The Girl's sweater is almost done. I'm to the sleeve cap on the second sleeve. Then it's just a matter of sewing it together....again, and adding on the pockets. Just in time for the rain. I didn't work on it quite as much as I had planned during The Little Man's hospital stay. He decided to give me a little scare the first day. He's fine, but his heart rate dropped to about 60 and his respirations were around 5-7 a minute. Just a little too relaxed for my taste. Also, the first day, I was no good to anyone, due to the lack of sleep. The night before surgery, it was a case of.....go to sleep for a bit, *wake up in a panic thinking I've over slept, hitting Hubby to ask the time (the clock was on his side), go back to sleep*, repeat from * until clock reads 4:30 a.m. I spent the rest of the day in a haze. I did work on it down there though. Last night, thanks to my lovely friend, Insomnia, I got to the bottom of the sleeve cap. Now to finish the rest off, which will take longer than I expect, of course.

As for what's coming up next, I have NO idea. Actually, come to think of it, I do. I've got some quilt squares to work on. I won't say m
ore on that due to the surprise factor. (I highly doubt the intended recipient of this quilt even knows about this blog, let alone reads it, but I don't want to tempt the Craft Gods). Only a couple of months and I'll post some pictures.

In the meantime, here is a pic of my last sleeve.

Not a very good one, but progress none-the-less. Don't mind the hair, I still haven't quite got my act together this morning. I'm trying to get excited about helping in The Girl's class this afternoon for the Halloween celebration. I'll get there. I'm also needing to get some more quilt squares cut for tomorrow. I have an all-day Rainbow Girl event that some of my helpers will be at. I'm hoping to off-load some of my quilt-square burden onto them. That it, IF I have quilt squares to give out. :)

Okay, enough delaying. Time to get this day started, even though all I really want to do is build a fire, put in a movie and knit. Did I mention it's raining? Perfect day for crafting. Alas, it was not meant to be. Maybe next week. :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My weekend

Crafting is still hit and miss with me. I'm trying to get back in the swing of things, getting something done every day. It's been hard. My back is still (figuratively) broken. I go for an x-ray tomorrow, with an MRI in my near future. Hopefully some successful treatment will come of all this.

I'm still working on The Girl's sweater sleeves. The first is almost done, and I think it will fit. My goal is to finish it in the next couple of days so I can try it on Her before the weekend. I will have plenty of time to finish the other this weekend as my Little Man is going in for surgery on Friday and will be in the hospital at least until Sunday. This means, plenty of crafting time for me by his bedside. This surgery, his 8th by my count, is a planned one. He has a pump implanted in his belly, with a catheter running under his skin into his spinal column. It delivers a constant flow of Baclofen, (a muscle relaxer) to help ease his Cerebral Palsy symptoms. My Boy tends to be stiff as a board. The pump has made a HUGE difference in his life. It's hard to believe we've had it now for six years. The window for replacement of the battery on these pumps is anywhere from five to seven years. At his flow rate, we felt six years was a great time to replace it. Barring any unforeseen complications, we should be home Sunday or Monday.

It has been four years since The Little Man has been admitted to the hospital. Quite an accomplishment. In the early years, we were there every few months. It was hard to imagine any other life. Now, it's amazing the life we have without hospitalizations. We actually HAVE a life. We have outside activities that all the members of the house are involved in. This surgery also marks the first time The Girl will experience him being hospitalized in her recollection. She was 3 the last time he was in and doesn't remember it. She's understandably worried, being such a caring soul. We are, by nature and experience, rather non-challant about it and trying to be as casual and non-worried as we can, to help ease her mind. There is always that little "what-if" monster that lives in a shack in the back corner of my mind. He peeks his head out every now and again, throws a few barbs, then retreats. I tend not to listen, except every so often, and usually only very late at night.

Anyway, back to crafting.....I'm sure I'll pack something else in my craft bag, besides The Sweater! Maybe my own! I should block it before I take it though, to make sewing the seams easier. I might leave that for a home project though. Maybe some more hanger covers or dish clothes for the craft faire. We'll see. I'll think about it tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Back issues

The reason for the recent blog silence is physical injury. A couple weeks ago, I headed out to Eureka with the fam to attend a workshop by Franklin Habit. On the way home from said vacation, I threw my back out. Since then, I have spent 90% of my time in bed, since sitting and standing really make me hurt. Today, I'm sitting long enough to check my email and Facebook before heading back to bed. The doc told me to double up my meds and see if that helps. If not, it's looking like x-ray/MRI time again. (I had a similar problem back in '07). Nothing much besides exercise (gasp) will help, unfortunately.

As far as crafting goes, last week, I didn't do anything! Ugh. So much for crafting everyday. I think the extenuating circumstances allow for that slip. I have felt up to crafting this week. I am working on a second sock for my Little Man, who is healing quite well from his buckle fracture of two weeks ago. I've got to rip out the sleeves of The Girl's sweater and re-knit them bigger. Ugh. Hopefully, they should work back up pretty quickly, since they are girl sized and not my sized. The unfortunate thing is that I got the sweater all sewn together before I realized the sleeves were too small. :( I won't make that mistake on MY sweater. I plan on pinning the sleeves up and trying them on before I get that far.

Anyways, that's that. My weekend in Eureka was really great! I loved the shop and Franklin. He was very nice and I learned a lot. Enough to want to tackle a lace project, as soon as I get some better needles for that.

Okay, enough sitting for now. Time to take it easy and rip out the second sleeve. The weather's turning and The Girl needs her new duds. Until I can sit again..........

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I have a special needs son. He is ten. He has had a LOT of hospitalizations over the course of his ten years. These last four, he hasn't been in the hospital. I can't even think of a time he went to the ER. He's been on antibiotics and been to the doctor but not to a hospital. That changed last night. Yesterday evening, my hubby and I discovered that his leg was tender. We've been through this before with him, 8 years ago, and thought it was the same thing. It was. He suffered a buckle fracture of his right femur. Ouch! We had him transported by ambulance to our local hospital and then transported again down to Sacramento to a bigger hospital. We left our home town at about 2 in the morning. We got home right around 7. All in all, a nice short trip. As I was preparing to go to Sac, I gathered the usual items: purse, clothes for The Boy, medical cards, yarn.

I was thoroughly prepared to sit for 12 hours like we did last time. I grabbed my homework for my knitting workshop, a couple balls of cotton to work on more padded hanger covers and my needles and hook. I barely had time to do my homework and the ER docs were shipping us out. Not that I'm complaining. It's a little hard to concentrate at 5 in the morning on much of anything, let alone crochet, but I was game. So instead, we got to come home. The Boy got a brace and a prescription and I barely got my homework done. (Technically, I still have to bind off, but who's counting?)

After coming home, both The Hubby and I took a nap and then around noon, got on with the rest of our day. Mine was taking care of The Boy and fielding phone calls and visits and a little bit of vegging out. I did get some knitting done tonight. I picked up an knit about three rows of the edging on The Girl's sweater. I finished the hood last night, after a couple tries, and I think it looks good. I'll try to get some pictures up tomorrow.

Now, it's off to bed for some much needed sleep.

Monday, September 20, 2010

So far, so good

This weekend, I took The Girl to cheer at her Mighty Might football game. Pre-game and during the first half, I crocheted another padded hanger cover. I just need to sew it together on the hanger. I was also able to get in some knitting on the hood for her sweater Sat and Sun.

This morning, after helping to get her out the door for school, my back needed a little more time to wake up, so I got in another couple rows on the hood.

This upcoming weekend, I am attending a workshop by Franklin Habit on lace knitting in Eureka. It's about a 5 hour drive from here. I don't think I've been to Eureka as an adult. I know I went through as a kid, but it's been a good 20+ years. I'm sooooo looking forward to it. There are three workshops by Franklin; knitting lace, knitting lace edging, and photography of your fiber. I also get a chance to check out NorthCoast Knittery, the LYS that is hosting this weekend of loveliness! I just can't even express how excited I am about this weekend. I've never taken any kind of knitting (or crochet) class. I'm also looking forward to the scenery, and the trees too! I've got a little homework to do for the edging workshop, but I'm putting it off for a bit. I've got to get something finished for the photography section, so I have something to photograph! I don't know if The Girl's sweater will be near done enough or if I should focus on a teddy bear I've had languishing in No Man's Land for a while. We'll see what the week brings.

Friday, September 17, 2010


I finished a padded hanger cover and put it on the hanger. Plus, I finally bit the bullet and tackled the shoulder seams of The Girl's sweater. Turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. I then proceeded to start on the hood, picked up the required number of stitches and am moving forward. That wasn't as scary as I thought, either.

Tomorrow The Girl is cheering at a football game, so I will either take The Little Man's sock, that has been wasting away in space, or start another hanger cover. I'm making some hangers for the local craft fair. The Girl goes to a private Catholic school and they are having a booth at the craft fair this year. I'm planning on either knitting or crocheting some dish clothes as well. All in all, a successful crafting day. Yay me!

(almost) failure

The first day of my challenge and I almost didn't make it.  Life happened yesterday and the time I thought I would get to craft, I didn't.  I thought I'd have some extra time last night, before my board meeting, to do a little crochet.  Instead, I had just enough time to eat my dinner.  Then, after my board meeting, I attended a reception and didn't get home until late.  Migraine struck on the drive home, but I managed to crochet a couple of rounds on a padded hanger cover I keep in my purse for those fifteen minute waits we all have.

Today, I'm waiting for my muscle relaxer to kick in before I sit and start to work on my daughter's sweater.  I need to start working on it, because I have to pick up an ton of stitches around the neck for the hood.  And Lord knows that hood isn't going to knit itself!

I would at least like to get the shoulders seamed and possibly the first row or two of the hood started.  My house, unfortunately, also needs some attention.  I've got to do a little here and there, though I doubt my back will allow for much more today.

Staring at my computer screen isn't getting anything done any faster.  Time to get a move on....or at least a shuffle.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

a challenge

Recently (just today in fact) I was motivated by a sort-of cousin of mine. (I think she's a cousin. First, second, once or twice removed....I have no idea. She's actually from my hubby's side of the family, but I digress....) She has a lovely website, Très Bébé Photography, and has asked if my family would be part of her next project, 12:12. That wasn't the inspiration. The inspiration came from her previous project, 365 days in the Life of a Photographer Mom. This got me thinking. Maybe I could do something similar.

The OCD part of my brain wanted to wait and start on October 1st. Heck, it would be happy to just start on a Monday, not a random Thursday, but another part of my brain (which part, I'm not sure) said, "NO! We're starting NOW!". So here goes.

MY challenge is to post something crafty every day. That means, I need to actually do something crafty. I am a fairly crafty person. I knit, crochet, sew, cross stitch.... Theoretically it shouldn't be difficult to do something every day. Posting it might be more of a challenge, but I'll cut myself some slack and allow for post-posting (is that even a word?) Posting after the fact.... I already know there will be days I'm without a computer. As long as I physically craft everyday, the posting can come as it will. My challenge, my rules. :)

Right now, I'm staring at the pieces of my daughter's sweater. I finished up the pockets yesterday, washed the pieces and blocked them. Now, they are dry and I'm procrastinating the next step. This is my first sewn-together sweater. The OCD part of my brain (curse it) is afraid of doing it wrong. So I've been researching technique online. But let's be honest and call it what it really is.....stalling. Now, I've done this blog.....another stalling technique. That OCD part, let's call it Susan, as in Lazy Susan, is a real pro. She's got her technique down pat. I've got a few other things to do before starting on the sweater. Then, I'm kicking Susan to the curb.

Monday, May 3, 2010


*Disclaimer* This is my blog. I have opinions. They might differ from yours. If so, and you don't like what I have to say, don't read. No one is forcing you to read my opinion. So there.

That being said, I have a rant. My son is in a wheelchair. We drive a van with a wheelchair lift that loads from the passenger side. When I park this van, I need to park in a handicapped space that had a loading zone on the right. These are hard to come by. Especially when going to places like medical facilities or shopping centers. There never seem to be enough handicapped parking spaces.

Today, I took The Boy to a doctor's appointment in Sacramento. I parked in a handicapped space with a smallish loading zone. I made it work. When I came out after his appointment, a new car was parked next to me. This car had decided to park IN the loading zone, most likely to unload someone out of the passenger side. I was totally peeved, to say the least. I had to move The Boy several spaces down, park him, alone, and reverse to move into a new spot where I could load him. Luckily for me, a car had moved and I was able to find a nearby spot to load.

Several things about this irk me. One: I can only park on the lowest level. My van is too tall to park on the upper levels. I have limited spaces available to me. Two: I HAVE to have a loading zone on the right. Three: a car can park on ANY level, it just may not be as convenient. Four: Since I was traveling alone, I had to leave my son unattended, in the open, while I moved the van. VERY SCARY! I was so peeved, I left a note on the offending car's windshield.

If you know me, I get mad, and curse and moan, but I usually don't do much about it. I am a pretty patient and accommodating person. For me to leave a note is pretty extreme. I even signed my name to it. It makes me shake just thinking about it.

People are so inconsiderate and self-centered most of the time. Most of the time, I roll with it. When it affects my child, especially my HANDICAPPED child, it really bugs me. Life is hard enough without having to deal with stupid stuff like that. I wish people would just stop to think about someone else once in a while.

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Annoying. grrrrr...... Okay, shake it off. Let it go. Move on. But, the next time you're thinking about pulling into that handicapped spot for just a second, or if you DO need a handicapped parking spot, consider the van that needs to park there, before you take the ONE spot that has a side entry. Just think.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I'm back

So I believe it's been about a year, or just over, right? I'm going to start doing this again. Why? I have no idea. Will anyone read this? I doubt it. But, I need to keep these creative writing juices going.

First off, I have made two pairs of socks successfully for The Boy. The first two socks were not the same size, but luckily, his feet aren't either. The second pair is much closer. I have just cast on a third pair this afternoon. I'm anticipating a long wait in a waiting room on Wednesday and figured a sock would be easy to pack along. Though, come to think on it, I also have a second mitten that needs finishing...... After the second pair of socks, I had an entire skein of yarn left. It was so soft and warm as socks, I reckoned I'd make a pair of mittens. I've had to design my own, based off a pattern I found on Ravelry. I lost the pattern at one point, so, naturally, I began another project, and the mittens got put down. I have since found the pattern, but become obsessed with something else.

Now, you may be thinking, "It's spring, almost summer. You live in Northern California. It gets over 100° there in July/August. Why mittens?" Well, since you asked ;)..... My son has....issues. One of his issues is cold hands and feet, all the time. Even when it's over 100°. This is what spurred me to knit. I needed to make socks that fit his feet and kept him warm without being tight and making his toes purple. This necessity for knitting has become an all-consuming passion. I really enjoy it. It also bears telling that I enjoy a challenge. When I had tried knitting in the past and failed....well, that just didn't set well with my brain. I had to give it a try again. (Just like my homemade macaroni and cheese obsession...but that's another ball of yarn all together).

I will save my new knitting project (besides the socks and mittens :) ) for another post. That way I have something to write about. Plus, it isn't put together yet. I have a hard time with that. The Final Stage. Actually finishing things. I love to plan, and imagine and begin....but finishing..... I have a lovely cross-stitched calendar that I made for myself, gosh, 15 years ago. I still haven't managed to sew the damn thing together yet. I keep saying, "Maybe this year."

Alright. Time to go take care of The Boy and take The Dogs out. Then, try for some sleep. The next few days are busy, but I hope to be back before another year goes by.