Sunday, December 28, 2008

Some fun projects

I've been working on a set of dishes for the house since September. They will be a set of 12 dinner plates, salad plates, cereal bowls, desert bowls, and sauce dishes. Right now I've finished the desert bowls (square) and the little sauce dishes. I just finished this large serving bowl and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I wanted to write in Chinese something poetic like "Give thanks to God, for He is good..." or something like that. When I asked our Chinese friends they said I should just use these four characters: 謝謝上帝 and it means "Thanks God." I really like how it turned out.

I'm still having fun with the crochet. I downloaded this scarf/neckwarmer pattern from here and made this:

Then I was inspired by these wrist cuffs and made these:

The ones on Etsy are simply fantastic and mine aren't that good yet. But these look super cute on Haven and she likes them a lot. I'm still working on the design to make them more chic. I had fun editing the photos too.
Rob asked me today why I don't do something creative in my spare time. That's his "man" way of saying he thinks what I've made is cool! :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Fun

We had a really nice, quiet Christmas day. I managed to clean as the kids were opening gifts and I took a load of recycling to the trash compactor on base in the middle of the day!

Ethan had a "robot" christmas. He got this cool walking, talking robot from Nana, and a big Optimus Prime from PawPaw that partially transforms itself! He also got "Bumblebee" from the Transformers from Uncle Bruce and Aunt Vicki. We got him the Batcave by Imaginext and all the little toys, but the transformers won!

Haven got a ton of crocheting stuff from us this year. Yarn, books, and a cool set of crochet hooks. She really likes her new clothes from Nana, and the Ninetendo game from her brother.

Rob and I gave each other the same gift! We each got the other Ipod speakers! Haha! I also put a backing on this Star Wars fleece panel with some super soft swirl minky.

We got the cat involved in the action too. She got a new collar, a cat "leash," and her first taste of catnip. Whew! That was something else! I've never seen a cat high on catnip before. Pretty amusing!

And here's a funny picture of Tinkerbell, just because!

Corinnea and Haven have inspired me to crochet. I started with those cute neck warmers. Then I had to make a flower to go with it. Then I needed more colors of flowers. Then I decided to make one for my friend Amber for Christmas. For this one I figured out how to make little scallops on the ends. I am not very successful with the button closure, so I invented my own little "stick method." I covered the end of a chopstick in gold micro beads and it looks pretty cool!

Then Haven and I started working on a blanket with the new yarn. She's going to make it with Granny Squares. First we had to learn how to make one. I also learned the little Irish rose.

We decided to make the quilt together, which is so much fun. Here's the squares we got done today.

So... anyway... good times!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Things I forgot to mention

in the last post...

The cat LOVES the real Christmas tree. She loves to shake it and knock the balls off, knock the needles off, and dig in the dirt! All the things I love! NOT! So I bought all plastic ornaments. Don't they look like glass ornaments? And I constructed a make-shift cat protector out of a cardboard box to fit down in the pot.

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,

Wie grün sind deine Blätter...

This year I insisted on having a real Christmas tree. We've had an artificial tree for the last ten years and I just wanted to have something more natural this year. Don't get me wrong, our artifical tree is really nice. In ten years I've never found one I like better. But this year I just wanted a change.

So Rob suggested we get a potted tree so we weren't de-foresting. I went last Thursday and found a nice one at the new Baumarkt. (Which is HUGE! I may never go to Hornbach again...) Anyway, I'm glad I went last week because I was there today and there were NO potted ones left! Anyway....

So I got this cool pot to put it in and decorated it with the new Christmas papers from K&Co (which are FINALLY available in the store! Whew! What nightmares with shipping this year!!!) So... voila!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Inspired to Scrap

I haven't made a digi page in like... months! I've been busy, and uninspired. But today I downloaded a free kit from here and was inspired by a layout challenge on the Memory Maniacs Forum here.

I've also copied Corinnea and made a neck warmer which I might post a picture of later. I haven't crocheted since like 5th grade. What was that teacher's name? She made us all learn! Thank you Ms. I-Can't-Remember-Your-Name! I want to learn how to make flowers next so I can keep the neck warmer on with little brooches.

Today I decided to stop moochin off of all my baking friends and I made Mexican Wedding Cookies BY MYSELF! Recipe from here. Now I've eaten so many sweets I feel ill... Oh, and I broke my mixer so I had to make them totally by myself! I want one of those big mixers that does it all...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Day the Earth Stood Still

We just had a date! I love dates with my husband! :) Tonight we went to see "The Day the Earth Stood Still." Has anyone else seen this movie yet? I really liked it. Once we figured out the plot it was very predictable, but in this fantastic "it's like I wrote the movie" way! It's very "green," very existential, and very ... timely. Ok, no spoilers, but here's some thoughts that I have had over my life span that were echoed in this movie:
* Society as a whole has lost it's moral base
* It's only when faced with persecution that man will realize what's truly important
* Agrarian vs. Industrial ... the ongoing battle. Go read some Tolkien! :)
* and the bottom line... WE are the change.
Anyway... this movie will probably get trashed in the box office, but I really liked it. Oh, and if you watch it, just ignore the part where it sounds like their alluding to reincarnation. It's just the first law of thermodynamics. Ok, this post makes it sound totally boring! IT'S NOT! It was really interesting! So go watch it! :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Gift Exchange

We had our annual Christmas lunch and gift exchange with our staff yesterday at the King's Palace (Chinese Restaurant). A lot of people couldn't make it, which was a bummer, but those of us who made it had a lot of fun together. Of course I forgot to take pictures of us there!

But here's some pics of the gifts from my secret santa, Kara.

First was this darling little cosmetic bag that she made out of the Heather Bailey fabric. Sorry, I don't know the name of the line (someone will comment with the name, I'm sure). But I love this line!
I already filled it with stuff from my purse! :) Isn't the lining pretty!
Inside the bag was another gift (even though the bag was enough by itself!)
These lovely little purple dangly earrings that she also made.
I can't believe it... I don't own a purple shirt. But that's about to change! The Urban Couture fabric arrived last week. It's a compilation project by Moda and Basic Grey and it is scrumptious! I bought three yards of this yummy purple piece today and it will promptly become a blouse!
I'm planning to try a collar and those cool finished sleeves with the slit in the cuff. I don't know what that's called either. Of course I have no pattern, so I'll be laying a shirt I own out on tissue paper to make a pattern. How long do you think it will take me to get to it? Well, the fabric is in the washing machine right now... but don't hold your breath!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Something besides banking woes!

The pin number finally came for my bank card so I can buy groceries again! Yeah! I still have to get money from the ATM since I don't have an actual debit card, but this is HUGE progress! So here's some stuff I've been meaning to post but have been too stressed (or something) to post.

A fun picture of Ethan.
Ethan decopauging his St. Nikolas shoe. This is the first time he has been interested in the craft at Mom & Tots so I spent the whole class hovering and taking pictures! He did really well too. Ms. Adie helped him at the end when he started gluing over spots that already had paper.

Then he spent a LONG time in the bathroom meticulously picking the glue off his fingers.
St. Nikolas came to our house two days late! Oh well, better late than never! :)

Saturday we repainted the youth room at church. It was white with gray paint rolled over the top. It was ok as far as office space goes, but we wanted a more youthful look.
We had a really good group of kids and adults come out to help paint.

And here's the final product. Of course the furniture isn't back against the wall in this photo. We're also getting new laminate for the floors that looks like weathered wood. It's really neat.

I really like the colors they chose. The orange isn't too overpowering and the blue is really nice. It's bright and warm and funky and way better than those gray walls! It was fun to work with the kids too. But I was BEAT afterwards!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Banking Update

STILL NO DEBIT CARDS!!! I'm going to blow a gasket. I'm glad I had money in my local bank account! This is ridiculous!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why does banking have to be so hard?

Our nice, friendly, neighborhood bank got bought out by Citibank a few years ago. You know the one. They just filed for bankrupcy or something, got bailed out by the government, and now the CEO is working for $1/year until they can recover. Hmph. So here's been my experience the last few days:

1 Dec: Discover my debit card has expired and a new one has not arrived. Not only that but I can't access my account online because it wants the new card's information.

2 Dec: Still no card, go through all the mail to make sure it hasn't been overlooked. Call the bank. They SAY they sent one with my DH's name on it, and they'll go ahead and send me one with my name on it too. (I've never bothered to have one in my own name...)

3 Dec: My card arrives. Rob's still not here. My card is only an ATM card. Not good for anything except withdrawing money from an ATM. Not only that but the PIN number comes separately a few days later. STILL can't get onto my online banking because I have to put in the freakin PIN number to activate it. Phone operator says I CAN'T have a MasterCard Debit Card because I'm overseas. BS. She'll be sending me a nice letter that will explain the procedure for requesting a MasterCard when you're overseas. OH, and the best part. The card they sent out in Rob's name was RETURNED by the US Postal Service and was destroyed by Citibank. But they can't send out a new card because Rob has to call himself. Where's Rob? Already asleep!

4 Dec: Four days with no access to my freakin money and very irritated.

Conclusion: will be promptly switching my entire paycheck to be deposited into the local army bank account and will use the Citibank account for backup only. This is ridiculous. Boy do I miss my nice little neighborhood bank.

Check these out!

This is a website I encountered while browsing today. It's called Pumpkin Seeds. Click the photo to see the website. She's got some pretty whimsical stuff. Jennifer, you'll like the Halloween/Christmas stuff. Skellies in snow suits! I like their long skinny legs.

Jenny H started a blog!

Check it out! Not only did she start blogging, but look what she's giving away!!!

Here's her site.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's DONE!!!!

Three days, two trips to Ikea, six bags of garbage, lots of drilling, and assembling of flat packed furniture, hours of reorganizing and Haven's room is finally finished!!!! Just in case you can't fathom how bad it was, here's the before:

Ok, yes, that's actually the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. But her room wasn't that much different!!! Well, I couldn't actually bear to take before photos. It was too much to handle. But here's the after photos!

Pink drawers replaced rickety old wood drawers that were falling apart.

Bed moved from wall under the slant roof to side wall. Shelves for little nick nacks. I haven't completly cleaned the cubbies under the bed, but I made a dent.

This lovely shelf with 16 cubbies replaces a boring bookshelf that didn't match anything in the room. The height fits perfectly under the slanted roof with room for smaller trinkets. Bean bag chair for reading strategically located next to the books. :)

Second half-size bookshelf with attached desk. This is a new thing from Ikea and I love this desk! It is so cool how it attaches to those shelves. Also in this picture, I covered some silver magnet boards with pretty wrapping paper to lighten them up and make them fit the color scheme better. Clever, clever! The shelf on the wall was added today to have a place for the dolls to stand. It will get little vitrine doors eventually.

I am loving vacationing at home! People keep telling me to relax. So today to relax I shopped at the commissary, sans children, had lunch with my boss and colleagues at one of my favorite restaurants, shopping again at the German stores, followed by building and hanging the shelf, hours of cleaning, and then hours more of cleaning the bathrooms. I even washed windows today!!! I love the smell of clean.

Ok, and one last tid bit of exciting news, today I bought a ONE TERABYTE external hard drive for 99 euros!!!!! It's a "green energy" model by Siemens. SCORE!!! I love Media Markt.

So the house is clean, company's coming tomorrow and I have all day to just cook. Ah... Wonder if I'm going to want to go back to work next week... Well, yeah. Can't be this clean all the time! Hahahaha!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Family Photo

We finally got our family photo from the photographer! Yeah!

More reasons to love Ikea

I've spent the last two mornings in Ikea. I love that store. Haven's room was pushing the outer limits of my dirty boundaries! So two days and six bags of trash later ... well I'm still not finished. But I will post pictures when I am. Ok, but here's why I love Ikea today... they installed self-checkout! Now some of you may be thinking, ugh, yeah the commissary has that and the lines are longer. Not at Ikea! I avoided the SUPER LONG normal lines, scanned all my items, paid with my Ikea card and was on my way! There was a very friendly young lady helping four self-checkout stands at the same time. No bottle neck, no scale to stress me out, just pure self-checkout joy! You're supposed to only have 15 items or less, but since no one else was in line when I got there she let me in. You can only use a card (EC, Ikea, giftcard), no cash. I would like to say I could limit my purchases to 15 items or less from now on ... but no promises!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

She's giving him away!

My friend Corinnea is giving away "Stuart" in celebration of her 100th post! Just post a comment here if you want to win him!

Pottery Day

Today was girl's pottery day with the youth group. Here's just a few of the girls enjoying painting pottery! We did a big ornament and then some of the girls also did mini-Christmas figurines. Some of the girls made very intricate ornaments! I can't wait to see them after they have fired.

Here's the kitty "helping" me with my pottery!

I also finished a super secret project today. No hints!!! But one very lucky person will be the recipient if we ever decide when our staff Christmas party is going to be!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Whew! What a month!

If you want to know where I've been the last few weeks, just check out the store blog: Patch Crafts. It was Halloween Costume Contest, followed by Art and Espresso, followed by the annual Photography Contest, followed by administrative stuff with my credit card, an award's ceremony today, and a tour of the store on Monday. I'm beat. I'll be taking some time off next week so if you don't see me around here it means I'm sleeping or at Ikea! :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

School Pictures

To family: you should be able to click on the photo and save the file in a resolution suitable for printing.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

Technically my mom's birthday isn't until Tuesday, but I don't want to forget to post! :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008


OH MY GOODNESS!!! I totally don't deserve this, but look what Jennifer made me as a gift for watching her kids!!! There are a few more pictures on her blog. (I was too excited to take the time to take pictures myself and upload them!) This is the most awesome bag and I LOVE Russian dolls so it's just SO cool!