Of Yarn Crawls, Craft Shows, Re-Imagining, And A Snowy Thanksgiving

Here we are, staring Christmas in the face, and I am, yet again, in the middle of the busy craft season. I started building up my inventory in August, but I think it looks woefully small…again. I should have started in June, but I don’t feel like spending the better part of the year, and my life, making stuff for sale. I like wearing the stuff I make *pout*.

Adopting our newest family member from the shelter!
My new baby and a sweater I knit

Conversely, no one is putting a gun to my head and forcing me to do this. I feel that selling my goods is a way to not feel like a freeloader in my house. Along with my writing gig at Outlaw Soaps that I mentioned a few posts back, I realize that, yes, I am contributing, but it doesn’t feel like enough.

In the spirit of that thought, I decided to up my game with my graphics. Rather than keep them in the limited world of Cafe Press, Zazzle, etc., I have re-imagined my Nittin’ Ninja brand. I now have shops on Etsy, Inktale, and Bonanza platforms. Still working on loading graphics – did not realize how much time it would take! However, if you’re interested, click on those links! If this isn’t your cup of tea, do me a solid and share the goodness, please! This is a very limited niche market, and I’m just trying to spread the word at this point. Thank you guys!

On to other stuff!

After many years of reading about yarn crawls and wondering what they were like, our area LYS finally got it together. Of the 11 participating shops, I made it to only three before I ran out of money!

Map of Sierra Nevada 1st Annual Yarn Crawl
Those three pins look sooo lonely!

As you can see, I will have to pace myself. I had actually planned to hit up at least 6, but there were other events going, such as the Colfax Railroad Days event that happens every year.

While there, I purchased some fiber art from really cool people.

Beautiful mandala work from Bohemian Designs by Silvermoon Regalia (artist not pictured. She had to go take care of her children while her mother and husband manned the shop!)
Local folks having a laugh

Those both pics are from October, and a lot of the merch has been sold and replaced with new stuff – yay!

Taking a break from shoveling a track for the tires on our slanted driveway!
The view from the other side…

And this was Thanksgiving. Three hours of scraping and fighting to get the Subaru up the driveway – but I freakin’ did it! And I still managed to gain weight!?

What’s everyone else up to these days?

And I’m Still Not Done

My Thanksgiving was unexpectedly small, but relaxing.  We hadn’t planned for a gigantic gala to begin with, but my daughter opted to dine with friends and my husband got called in for work, so with only two of us in attendance for this annual pig-out, I was able to streamline the menu and relax, unlike most other years.  Instead of cooking a whole turkey, I got a breast and threw it in the crock pot with some chicken broth and seasonings, believing this would alleviate the inherent dryness.  I’m sure if I’d been a little more diligent that it would have turned out fine; however, I learned that yes, you can still overcook in a slow cooker.  *sigh*  Everything else turned out fine and my mother and I were able to gobble away.

As for making all of my Christmas gifts before Black Friday, somehow, I’ve managed not to even after getting a head start in September.  It’s not that they’re incredibly complex, it’s just that there were other obligations, life got busy and here we are.  I have only to finish one more hat that’s about halfway done, but it’s been lying neglected in one of my many project bags, just waiting for me to pick it up again.  I imagine having company doesn’t help.  After my mother had been here for a few days she asked me, “Do you ever not knit or crochet?”  I took this as a sign that she wanted me to pay more attention to her.  So the unfinished hat remains…just that.

My mom should have been a concert pianist...really.
My mom should have been a concert pianist…really.

Since we both can't hear, if we're in a noisy environment, we text each other!
Since we both can’t hear, if we’re in a noisy environment, we text each other!

I have also discovered that if I take my Foxy Hooded Cowl to consignment shops, they sell.  They don’t sell on Etsy, but they sell locally.  Good enough.  I closed the account anyway.  So, any of you crocheters who want a little extra cash this season, you may have a little cash cow pattern here.

Aside from being derailed on my Christmas gifts schedule, it’s all been good.  How was your turkey day?



Thanksgiving rant and a DIY all-purpose cleaner – a twofer!

Even in the midst of our anticipation, I am seeing all this funk that must be cleaned!

Slumbering peacefully.

I hope everyone had a great turkey/tofurkey day!  I need to make it plain that I am not ungrateful for all that I have.  I feel blessed that I live indoors and have food in the pantry and am able to make a feast of such epic proportions every year.  I haven’t always been so blessed.  But that’s another entry.

Having said that, I must now bash these beautiful sentiments with ingratitude and share a wonderfully inexpensive DIY all-purpose cleaner that helps with all the nasty clean-up!

Thanksgiving is not so much about the wonderful meal, in my opinion, and I believe I’m not alone, but about the clean up.  It is the North American tradition that the men, children and elderly sit in the living room, sitting room, parlor, or what have you, and watch football and eat snacks while the capable women work in the kitchen and prepare what could be the most time and labor intensive meal of the year.  And as the men, children and elderly are sleeping off the somnolent effects of overeating, the equally tired capable women are cleaning up in the same kitchen what could be the most time and labor intensive mess of the year!  I know, I know, one would say clean as you go.  And believe me, I do.  Really.  When the turkey is on the table, all the cooking dishes are already cleaned.  Yet here I am, another year, looking at another gigantic mess.

First load down...
First load down…

A new tradition I have seen crop in the last 20 or so years is just to chuck out all the work and let somebody else slave in the kitchen – right on!  We have tried that on several occasions.  The results – we generally all sit for an hour or so in an overcrowded restaurant waiting area, are seated and served by the overworked, resentful staff and receive food that isn’t so special.  Yikes.  At first, we thought this was an anomaly.  We tried it again another year, and have discovered similar results.  One year we actually ended at the fair dining establishment of Carl’s Jr. because every other place was packed to the gills.  It wasn’t so bad, except they didn’t include my order.  *sigh*

So, in the spirit of “God helps those who help themselves” (who coined that anyway?), I decided to add an easy, cheap inexpensive, and effective all-purpose cleaner.  I nabbed it from Megan Card but wanted it to smell citrusy.  I just happened to have some essential oil on hand, but I believe this addition can make it a little less economical; however, I also use it for making laundry detergent, so it works out for me.  For the original instructions, follow the link.

Here is all you need:
1 spray bottle

Being good and cheerful!
Being grateful and cheerful!

1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap 
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
2 tablespoons of vinegar
2 cups of water
8 – 10 drops of essential oil (I used doTerra Wild Orange)
Mix the dish soap, baking soda, and water in your spray bottle. Let the baking soda dissolve fully before adding in the vinegar (You want to avoid a reaction with the baking soda and vinegar. Otherwise you will have a nice science project for your kids to observe on your hands!) Then add 8 – 10 drops of the essential oil scent of your choice.  Once you have added all the ingredients, screw on the lid to the spray bottle (be sure the nozzle is in the OFF position) and shake lightly. 
*Tip- If you notice that your spray bottle has pressure building inside it, unscrew the nozzle slightly to allow some of the pressure to release and then screw it back on.
So I’ve kind of redeemed my rant by helping out with instructions for a good cleaning product; however, I imagine my Thanksgivings will be spent working in the kitchen until I reach the “elderly” age, when I will then bitch about how old I am!  Enjoy!