Thursday, December 20, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Haven't had time to write. Things are NUTSO.  I didn't put a Christmas tree up, and have been working non-stop.

Custom orders, Etsy orders, and Christmas presents.

Stay tuned for great stuff in the new year.  I'll have a new blog look, and lots of new things to sell.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas and New Year!

If you purchased something from The Pink Woobie this holiday season, I'd love if you could send me a picture of it in action!   Send them to chrissy@thepinkwoobie.com.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

I Don't Clean

It's no secret that I live a fairly messy and chaotic life.  I own a lot of stuff, and use most of it on a fairly regular basis.  This "stuff" that I own is multiplied by the fact that I live with a man who also owns a lot of stuff.  We have hobbies, we like to cook, and we hate to clean.

When I say I don't clean, I'm sure your first thought is that I live in a gross, hoarders like house with 15 cats.  First of all we only have one cat, and a snake but she lives in her own little tank habitat.  And I do clean, just not in the way that a lot of people would declare "clean."  In our house we go for "clean enough."

I like having a clean toilet so the bathroom gets wiped down on a fairly regular basis, about the only thing that I take sole responsibility for in our house.  The rest of the housekeeping chores I share with the husband.  Here is where it gets tricky...

I have Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, so chances are on a day that I have the ENERGY to do proper cleaning, my shoulder or knee or hip hurts, and makes the task 10 times harder than it should be.  Besides, who wants to clean when there are so many other exciting things to do?

Ryan is a champ, he keeps our dishes and laundry mostly caught up.  When it comes to undirected cleaning tasks it's almost like he's blind to clutter and the piles of dust, cat hair, litter, and yarn bits that inevitably build up.

For those of you who are inclined to feel the same way as I do about the horrible tasks of housekeeping, I'd like to share a little bit of my strategy and thought process to cleaning.

If there is something on the floor that should be picked up, I ask myself three questions.

  • Can I vacuum it up with my handy handheld vacuum?
  • Will the cat eat it?
  • Will it hurt if I step on it?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions it gets picked up right away, I love my little handy sucker it saves me so much bending over.  If it's something the cat will eat I pick it up not only for his safety, but also because he most likely will barf and then I'd have to clean that up too.  That's messy and takes way more energy than just picking whatever it is up to begin with.  And stepping on things OUCH, something I don't need in my life.

If the answer is no to these questions, I file it away into the "to be picked up at another time" category.

My other chores goes as follows:

  • If it's sticky- wipe it up.  We have cheap white bar towels that we use as napkins, paper towels and use for general wiping.  These save waste and are easy to throw in the washing machine.
When we have people coming over we try to wipe down the dusty things, and sweep the floor (this can be done with a vacuum or with a broom, depending on what room you are in).

I just feel life is too short to stress about having a clean apartment.  Are you a clean freak?  Or are you alright with things being "clean enough"?

Addendum (added 3:48) I forgot one important thing... If it smells take it to the dumpster!  This includes, trash, cat liter, and anything else that my be less than pleasant to have hanging around.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

10% Discount for Early Holiday Shopping!

Starting at midnight you can get a 10% discount at my Etsy shop!!  Use the coupon code CYBER12 when checking out.  The sale goes till Tuesday at midnight!
Check out The Pink Woobie on Etsy!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Shop Local Ohio

Have you been wanting to buy that perfect item that's been sourced and made locally?  Look no further than these lovely items for sale in my Etsy shop!  In this post I want to highlight the items in my shop that are made in Ohio.  I realize that Ohio is a big state, but when you consider buying yarn made in Ohio in comparison to yarn made in Turkey, I'd call that local.

Each of these items are hand-spun by me-- the Woobie. :)  I produced the yarn by spinning it with my drop spindle or on my wheel.  The wool and other fiber was purchased from several different local sellers, and was grown in Ohio.

I chose the fibers for the colors and texture, which created a unique item you will enjoy for a long time.

Currently I have only four Ohio made items in my shop, but I will be adding more in the near future.




  1. Crochet Slouchy Hat- Hand-spun
  2. Merino/Alpaca Fuzzy Beanie Adult Large
  3. Raspberry and Cream Handspun Neckwarmer
  4. Hand-spun Merino Cowl


PS. If you live in Columbus, OH you can contact me through my shop for local shipping options as well!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sales

SALE!
Just wanted to give you a heads up!  On Thursday at Midnight I will post a coupon code for my Etsy shop!  It will be good through Tuesday at Midnight for you to save 10% off anything in my shop.  I'll be posting it here, on Facebook, through Twitter, and a friend is sharing it in her blog.  So lots of people will know about it and things may go fast, so be sure to check it out right away.

If you miss out, I'll be restocking the shop and hosting another sale in time for Christmas!  I'm also taking custom orders.  If my schedule gets busy I might have to stop, so get your request in early.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Links, Likes, and Love- 11/15

It's been quite awhile since I've done a Links, Likes, and Love.  A lot has been going on, but I wanted to share with you some things I'm a part of.

Links

  • Make it Better: Craftalong for Sandy Relief- In response to Hurricane Sandy some folks got together and enlisted crafters to create warm things for those who are without electricity, heat, or homes.  I sent a package out this week containing some mittens I had made last winter, a few hats I whipped up, and a scarf I had been working on forever but didn't have a reason to finish.  The deadline for submissions is tomorrow, but I'll keep my eyes out for other projects incase you want to contribute.
  • The Kick Start Your Handmade Holiday Shopping Giveaway- My friend Carrie is doing an awesome giveaway!  I'm thankful for her and her effort to encourage people to buy handmade this holiday season.  Hop on over and enter and you could soon be an owner of something awesome from The Pink Woobie!
Likes

  • You!- I am so grateful for each one of you who keep coming back to read what I have to say.  Things are slow sometimes, but I still feel like I have a lot of important things to say, so don't give up on me.  It's only because I know some of you out there are interested that I keep writing.  
  • The Weather- yes, it's getting cold but I own a lot of warm accessories from all the years of crocheting.  But it's been mostly sunny, and my body doesn't get overwhelmed like it does in the heat.  Many days this summer I hid in my bedroom with the AC cranked.  It's so nice to be able to go outside, take a walk, drink a coffee, without sweat pouring out of everywhere.
  • My electric blanket- this goes along with the weather.  Although my body doesn't get overwhelmed as much in the cold, my joints and muscles do hurt a little more.  I'm combatting that with an amazing electric blanket that Ryan got me.  I highly suggest investing in one for anyone who might struggle with the cold.  I can't believe the difference it makes compared to a normal blanket.
Love
I'm not really sure this even needs words.  This is Popeye helping me with my spinning.  What a good cat!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Those Times I Forget I'm Chronically Ill

Today I wanted to share a little bit with you about what it's like living, working, and playing with a chronic illness.  More specifically I wanted to share with you those times that I forget I'm chronically ill.

Living in constant pain and fatigue isn't something that's easy to forget.  And trust me it doesn't happen often.  Things aren't always hard, or painful.  Sometimes it's just that dull reminder that I don't have the energy that I once had to do the things I love, or the nagging knee pain that I have dealt with my whole life.  And although it may sound like a good thing to forget you are ill, it usually isn't the case.  

There are two specific instances in which I occasionally forget about my illness.  On the rare day that my pain is low, or that I'm attending an event that I've looked forward to for a long time I can get caught up in enjoyment.  If you catch me on one of these days, I might even be dancing, loud, obnoxious, and generally smiley.  I've set my health issues aside for the time being, and have captured a small bit of my natural joy.

I often live for these nights! I will talk your ear off if you let me, and unless I tell you (which I often do) you would never know I struggle with my health on a daily basis.  Then morning comes..... and I again remember that my body is not as strong as it once was.

Regardless of the night's activities or alcohol consumption I'm "hungover."  My head pounds, my throat hurts, my legs ache.  After one of these "good nights" it often takes me 3-4 days to recover to my normal daily activities.  No matter how careful I am the only way to avoid this feeling is to not go out at all, and that sucks.  As much as I hate the phrase "suck it up" when it comes to pain, somedays that's just what I do.  I suck it up, enjoy myself, and know that for the next week things will be slow.

The second instance in which I can "forget" about my chronic illness is sometimes the hardest.  As you know I've been working on building a business very very slowly over the last couple of years.  It started as a hobby, became a cute idea, and now is at the point where I'm actually (almost) making money.

Before I started all of this, I had no real idea about the crafting business.  I understood the production part, and doing what made me happy, and I knew it would be a lot of work.  But I wasn't familiar with the craft blogging world, Pinterest didn't exist yet, and the majority of people I followed on Twitter knew nothing about crafting.

Starting from scratch, I'm learning slowly, and well.  It turns out I'm pretty good at a lot of things.  However, as I build my crafting business, form relationships with other crafters and bloggers, and attempt to make myself known I get overwhelmed.  I often feel as though I'm not "doing enough"and that everyone is getting ahead of me.

When the stress is really high, and I feel like I'm failing it's because I've forgotten that I have a chronic illness.  I'm attempting to function like a healthy average person in a world of overachievers.  To begin with I've never been an overachiever, but I'm also operating at a much slower pace in my daily life than most people.  This is when I need to remind myself of how far I've come, and how well things are going.  That DESPITE my chronic illness I'm still succeeding.  This is really easy to say, but oh so hard to remember.

So I thought by sharing with you, I might remember to cut myself a little slack from time to time.  Also I'm sharing this with you so you might understand a little bit more about others with chronic illness.  I'm a pretty open book, but a lot of people who struggle do not share their struggles with others.  If you can learn a little bit of what I'm going through, hopefully you can help be supportive to others.

And because I hate leaving you without a picture of something that I'm working on, here is a full bobbin of yarn that I spun last night.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Frugal Foodie Mama

Hi Woobie friends!

I wanted to share a friend's blog with you.  Carrie at Frugal Foodie Mama and I are collaborating on some good things month.

I met Carrie when she was still living in Columbus, but we've stayed in touch through that wonderful magic of the interwebs.  She writes about food, motherhood, her attempt to be a more eco-responsible family, and she's a great supporter of small handmade businesses!

I'd love for you to jump on over to her blog and check things out.  We'll be doing a give-away together later in the month and I'll let you know about that here!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Busy Bee

I haven't blogged a whole lot lately and there is really no excuse for it.  It seems that when I have the time to blog I find other things to do.  I think being on Twitter has seriously changed my blogging habits.  I'd still like to get on a more regular schedule but I'm not going to stress about it, and it's not my top priority.


Anyway, I wanted to let you know what I've been up to over the last few weeks.  I wrote about my cold, and following that I had a serious Fibromyalgia flare.  It seems to happen this time of year, everything becomes pretty painful and I feel like I have to drag myself around like I'm wearing cement shoes.

Despite feeling so crappy, I was able to get a lot accomplished.  I am now an officially recognized business with the state of Ohio.  I've registered my business name, and obtained a vendor's license.  Now the book keeping begins, so far things are going ok, hopefully I don't screw up anything too badly.  If anyone has known me for long, you'll know I'm seriously bad at math.  Thank goodness for computers.

I've also been seriously busy making items for my Etsy shop.  I try to finish one item a day.  It doesn't always happen, but I've been pretty productive.  Be sure to head over there and check out what I've been doing.

Besides the business things I've been doing I've also started physical therapy for some pain that I've been having.  I've had life long knee pain, but my hip has gotten particularly bad in the last two years, and the tendinitis in my shoulder is not really improving.  Hopefully some strengthening and stretching will help.  Really want to get back to my yoga, but it's been pretty uncomfortable with all the pain.  Soon I hope.

So, that's what is up with me.  Just wanted to update you all.  If you are interested in hearing from my a little more regularly you can check out my facebook page, where I post pictures and status updates about how things are going.  Also for all my facebook fans there is a giveaway going on that you have till Wednesday to enter.  You should check it out. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Etsy Gift Cards!


Did you know Etsy now has gift cards?  This is FABULOUS gift giving news!

Better news is that The Pink Woobie is set up to receive said gift cards!  If you are interested in giving a card to a loved one, head on over to here and check them out!   Also, if you purchase a gift card before November 14th you'll be entered to win a $250 gift card for yourself!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Featured Creation: Teething Necklaces


Last week a friend put out a request on facebook for teething necklaces for her growing baby.  I loved the idea and took up the task.  This is what I came up with and they are now available in my shop!

Made from 100% cotton and unfinished wooden beads I find that they are perfect for little hands and mouths.

I think they will make great gifts, or a perfect treat for mom to spiffy up your outfit without worrying about baby.

 I will be adding different designs after I place an order for more supplies.

There are lots of ideas going on in my head for creations lately, so keep a lookout for more postings!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Featured Creation: Children's Pumpkin Beanie


In the next few weeks I will be posting all kinds of items for fall in my Etsy shop.  Wanted to get this one up as soon as possible.

I LOVE this pumpkin beanie, perfect for hay rides, or a Halloween costume.  It's also a great price.  Hop on over to my SHOP to check it out!

Made from acrylic yarn it's durable and important for kids WASHABLE!



Saturday, October 06, 2012

Game Day Necklace- I Found it on Pinterest

The purpose of the "I Found it on Pinterest" series is to encourage you to try new projects, exercises, or techniques you've never tried before.  Take a chance, learn something new!


I decided to share my most recent Pinterest  project with you at just the right time.  The Ohio State University Buckeyes are getting ready to take the field against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.  Good thing I have my awesome ribbon Game Day Necklace handy!

This necklace tutorial comes from Moore Babies and was a super fun project!

Here are my notes on this tutorial and my experience:

  • I used satin ribbon and it was SUPER slippery, it took awhile to get the hang of holding onto the ribbon, beads, and thread all at once.
  • I totally suggest measuring and marking your ribbon before threading your beads.  I attempted to just eyeball or wrap the ribbon around the bead to thread, but it made it particularly difficult because of the slipperiness and it came out much better when I measured.
  • I used a jewelry clasp that I had on hand so that I didn't have to slip it over my head, but I end up doing that anyway, it's long enough even though I didn't use the full length called for in the tutorial.
I think this necklace is super classy and a way to show team spirit without a necklace of large Buckeyes clacking around your neck.  Hope you enjoy and give it a chance.  What are your team colors?

Friday, October 05, 2012

*Sneeze*

A celtic cabled hat that I've been working on.
So I have a cold, and I haven't blogged in two weeks.  The cold came upon me earlier this week.  Before that I was experiencing some stress that really isn't important, but kept me distracted and made me not feel well.

Last Monday as I was lining up shots for Etsy products and blog posts, I dropped my camera.  It ended up being repairable, but about 12 hours of stress took it's toll on my body.  The rest of the week I focused on resting up as friends of ours got married over the weekend.  I was in pretty good health and had a wonderful time at the wedding.

By the time I recovered from wedding festivities I came down with a cold, almost right in the middle of planning this weeks blog posts.  I was at the coffee shop and everything, had my computer, was drinking my latte and chatting with a friend.  Then BAM I felt horrible.  I retreated to my bed immediately where I spent the next 48 hours.

Now I'm experiencing a little of the manic phase I talk about here.  I haven't slept so I really don't have the mental faculties for Links, Likes, and Love or any other kind of post.  But thought I should update and say howdy.

This is life with chronic illness, and I just try to take it as it comes.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Links, Likes, and Love- SUPERSIZED

Hey friends!  I missed Links, Likes, and Love last week because of the tendinitis in my shoulder.  I thought for today's I would share some EXTRA with you.  These are still all things that I find super awesome and I totally think you should check them all out.

Links- all the links I'm sharing this week are sites that I visit if not daily at least several times a week.  They provide a huge amount of inspiration for me, especially that last few weeks when I haven't been able to craft as much as I'd like to, they've given me things to think about and plan.

  • Be Up & Doing- This is my friend Allie's blog.  She covers a huge variety of topics, which is why I love it so much.  My interests are wide and varied as well, and they often overlap with Allie's blog.  She recently has gone full-time freelance and I know she is going to rock it because she is so awesome.
  • The Zen of Making- Haley Pierson-Cox is a crafty, granny-glasses wearing, Brooklyn gal with a crush on all things DIY.  And to be honest, I have a huge crafting crush on Haley (she's aware).  She tries her hand at a little bit of everything, and her geek crafts are the best (TARDIS EVERYTHING).  She's awesome on Twitter too.
  • Craft- My interest in Craft is highly influenced by Haley, but there is a serious amount of great projects of all shapes and sizes culled from all over the internet.
  • Ravelry- Ravelry is an amazing community of knitters, spinners, crocheters, etc.  There is an endless amount of patterns, forums, groups, and users on Ravelry.  I don't use it as often as some people, but is definitely a great source of information that I consult on a very regular basis. 
Likes- 
  • I have probably read more in the last 5 weeks, than I did in the last five years.  For a long time I had chronic headaches.  They had a lot of different causes, and one thing that has helped is cutting my dreadlocks and having short hair.  Nothing is squeezing my head anymore at least.  This past week I read Diving Into the Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. I have become well versed in science fiction television since becoming ill five years ago, but this has been one of my first forays into reading the genre.  Diving Into the Wreck is the first in a series and so far I am loving.  I knew about halfway through the book I was enjoying it, and now I can't wait to read the next in the series.  Bonus points: I'm getting it them from the LIBRARY.  Libraries are so cool.
  • Greuyere cheese-  This is my favorite cheese ever.  I think it's important to have a favorite cheese and I love it's rich gooeyness.  I've been eating more than I probably should when I go to Stauf's for lunch I get a turkey, bacon, Greuyere sandwich on gluten free bread.  SO TASTY.
Love
This probably isn't a secret but I LOVE YARN!!  I love the feel, the color, and even the smell of yarn.  Much of my life for the past five years has been surrounded and comforted by yarn.  I wrote on Monday that I am the proud owner of a spinning wheel.  Even before acquiring said wheel I was spinning with a drop spindle.  I'm still setting the twist on yarn from my wheel, but here are some pics of handspun yarn from my drop spindle. 
This is a mixture of Alpaca and Merino wool, I crocheted a pretty great fuzzy beanie with this.
This is Mohair and Romney Wool.  The left skein is two ply and the other two are single ply.

This is Mohair and Romney Wool single ply, one of the favorites I've done so far.


Monday, September 17, 2012

A Wool Gathering 2012


On Saturday I was able to venture towards Yellow Springs, OH to "A Wool Gathering" at Young's Jersey Dairy.  The farm itself was impressive and it would be interesting to see all the activities without an event going on at the grounds.

"AWool Gathering" was a collection of animals, demonstrations, and vendors.  We seem to just miss some sheep sheering as we were arriving.  Although it's not necessarily the time of year for such an activity they appeared to be using one or two sheep for demonstration and sheering just small bits of wool.  There were also some llamas present who tried their absolute hardest to ignore me while I took their picture.

The vendors had a large variety of raw wool, beautifully combed and dyed rovings, and already spun yarn.  Also there was every configuration of spindles and other tools you could ever imagine.  Everyone was very friendly and eager to show you their craft.  My first purchase was a beautifully hand carved crochet hook.  Crocheting being my first crafty love, one can never have too many crochet hooks.

I was waiting till after I had seen all that was available to buy my fiber.  I've been drop spinning for awhile now and I pretty much wanted to buy everything I saw.  I was also looking for a new spindle, when we came across a used wheel for a reasonable price.  The husband surprised me by saying he had prepared for such a thing, and I was able to come home with my very first spinning wheel.

By the time I made it back to the first bunch of fiber I had wanted to buy the particular color was sold out.  I was bummed but consoled myself by getting some great colored merino.  I'll be posting about those separately as I go through the process of learning on my new wheel.

It was a really beautiful day and my health seemed to hold up until I was done shopping.  I think Ryan enjoyed himself as well, even if it was just getting to make me happy by purchasing my spinning wheel.  I hope we can make it a yearly tradition.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Add It To the List

I have another diagnosis/injury to add to the list.  I think I've mentioned my shoulder pain here, but I certainly have been talking about it on Twitter and Facebook.

It's been going on for about six weeks now, and hurts especially when I crochet, knit, type, etc.

I went to the doctor this afternoon and she has diagnosed it as rotator cuff tendinitis.  She said it's a pretty common injury, and happens with many professions.  Basically anything that I do in front of me aggravates it.
She gave me a shot of cortisone in the joint and I plan on resting it for another week or so.  Been doing the icing and the constant taking of NSAIDS.  Also important is to keep movement in it and doing some shoulder exercises, so I plan on being vigilante at that as well.

I'm going a little bonkers however.  My pain first flared when I was working on a knitting project, and since then have not been able to do much.  For the last 5 years I've been crocheting or knitting almost daily for several hours a day.  It's what kept me sane in my sickest months, and has provided some great gifts and even a little bit of income.

I really don't want this to become a chronic problem, so here I am, resting it as much as possible and trying to find other things to do.  I've been reading a lot, and I guess that's what I plan on doing for a few more weeks.  Will be getting to the library very soon.

Will try to keep creating blog posts, and hopefully I can come up with some kind of creative content while my crafting takes a rest.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Links, Likes, and Love- Ithaca Edition

This week I am spending time at my sister's house in Ithaca, NY.  I had made plans to be here during the summer but didn't make it until now.  My nephew went back to school on Wednesday, so I've had the days mostly to myself.  Here are Links, Likes, and Love for September 7, 2012.

Links
  • Ithaca Bakery- Yesterday and today I headed to the Triphammer Marketplace location.  They also have a location in downtown Ithaca.  My iced lattes have been amazing.  Not only do they have a tasty menu, they carry gluten free bread and bagels!!  The website is pretty interesting too.
  • Visit Ithaca- If you've never been to Ithaca, you can check out their official tourism site.  I had hoped to have a much more in depth blog post written about what Ithaca has to offer, but this body just wasn't up for being a tourist this week.  So check it out and find out why Ithaca is Gorges! 
Likes
  • J.R.R. Tolkien- Over the years I have started The Hobbit several times but never really got very far.  I read it this week and can't wait to read The Lord of the Rings.  We had picked up a new paperback copy of The Hobbit recently because Ryan wanted to read it again before the upcoming movie.  I haven't seen The Lord of the Rings movies and I'm missing out on sharing that experience with him, so I wanted to make sure to share this one.  Looking forward to the movie and being a fan of Wifred, I can't wait to see Elijah Wood.
  • Cayuga Lake- Although I haven't actually spent time at the lake this summer it's visible while driving and it takes my breath away.  The sights are beautiful and the activities around the lake are amazing.  I'm sure you've heard of The Finger Lakes wine tours.  This is a picture I took last summer from Stewart Park, as you can see it's a big lake. 

Love

My Nephew!!  I love my sister and the rest of my family too, but my nephew is growing into such a great kid.  He's intelligent, and funny, and he loves hugs.  How could it get any better.  He has the best one line quotes as well.  This week alone my favorites are: "Especially considering my extensive library" and "I ran out of onomatopeoeias!"  I made him sit down with me for a few minutes and take some pictures with my webcam.  He's a lot of fun!

Monday, September 03, 2012

Frugal Foodie Mama Giveaway!!!

My friend Carrie over at Frugal Foodie Mama is celebrating her birthday with a Handmade/Homemade Giveaway.  Your's truly is participating by giving away a handmade crocheted cotton market bag!  It's purple and pretty awesome!  The rest of the items are great, and winner takes all!!

You can enter by doing many very simple things, and the rest of the ladies giving away handmade items are pretty talented.  So head on over and check it out!!

You can find the post by clicking here!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Marvelous Monday



My friend Carrie at Frugal Foodie Mama is co-hosting a Marvelous Monday party.  It's only Sunday night and there seems to be a great collection of links.  Be sure to go and check it out!

Also, I'm participating in a giveaway for her birthday, will post more tomorrow morning but there is one going on at this very moment in her sidebar, you totally want to enter!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Saturday's Spinach Smoothie

For the last few weeks I've been enjoying spinach smoothies as a snack and sometimes as a meal replacement.  With my gastritis I wasn't eating a whole lot in general and it was becoming clear to me that I was not getting enough vegetables in my diet.  I did a bit of googling and found a few tips on making spinach smoothies.

I don't really think there is a particular science to smoothies, more of a personal preference.  So I thought I would give you an idea of what I have been doing to make my spinach smoothies, and maybe you can try too.

We have an immersion blender that I love, it makes smoothie making quick and easy with very little clean up.

To start, Ryan and I keep frozen fruits in the freezer pretty much all the time for the purpose of smoothie making.  We always have frozen bananas, as well as what's on sale in the grocery or we are often given berries when they are in season.  What Ryan does is cut them up (if they are larger fruits) and sets them on a try in the freezer to freeze.  Once they are hard, he pours them into a zipper bag and they are individually frozen pieces of fruit.  You can also buy pre-frozen fruit at the grocery.

What I put into today's smoothie:

  • One large handful of spinach
  • Between 1/2 and 1 cup of cold water
  • I then blended up the spinach and water to make sure it is evenly blended
  • 2 tablespoons of unsweetened apple sauce, I find this gives it a little bit of sweetness, a small amount of juice would work as well
  • About a half of a frozen banana
  • A few chunks of frozen pineapple
Then I blended it until it was a smooth consistency and poured it into my glass.  I've gotten to the point where I can eye ball the ingredients in the mixing cup to know just how much I need for one glass, but if you have leftovers I think they may last ok in the fridge for a little while.  Also I like to use a straw, I always feel like I have a smoothie mustache other wise.

If you are worried about not liking spinach, I can tell you that for the most part this smoothie tastes like the fruit that you put in it.  I suppose that if you have a serious aversion to spinach it may be a turn off, but I don't think spinach has that much flavor when it's uncooked.  Don't knock it until you've tried it.

So I'll hope you'll give it a chance.

For those who are already in the know, what are your favorite smoothie ingredients?

Friday, August 31, 2012

Links, Likes, and Love 8/31/2012

Another semi-busy and productive week.  Not a whole lot to show for it, but hopefully soon my hard work will be paying off.   Here's a run down of Links, Likes, and Love for the last week in August 2012.

Links

  • Elevatory Brewery- Starting on Tuesday The Elevatory Brewery and Draught House will have a gluten free Saison on tap.  Not only is having a gluten free beer on tap absolutely awesome, it just so happens that it's a homebrew creation of my very own husband Ryan.  If you live in Columbus you should try to check it out in the month of September. 
  • Ravelry- A great online community for crocheters, knitters, and yarn enthusiasts.  I've been spending more time around there lately and I encourage you to check it out if the above includes you!
  • The newly painted bike lane on King Avenue.
  • Frugal Foodie Mama- This is a friend of mine who just so happens to be having a birthday this weekend!!  To celebrate she's doing an awesome two part give away.  The first one starts on Saturday, and then an item from yours truly will be in the give away starting on Monday.  I'll post about it more when the time comes!  Be sure to check it out for some homemade/handmade goodness.


Likes

Bike Lanes- King Avenue got bike lanes this week!!  Pretty awesome if I do say so myself.  Although my bike riding has been limited this summer, Ryan rides his bike to campus and other places quite a bit.  Usually it's right down King Ave.  Not only did they resurface the road for a smoother ride, but now there are designated lanes!  Great job Columbus!

Quote- I came across this quote and it absolutely hit home for me.  It's about being tender and sensitive.  I'm very tender and sensitive, my feelings get hurt easily, but I also care deeply about a lot of things.  Even if you know me in real life you may not know this, I do a pretty good job about hiding, which I guess I really don't need to do.  Zooey Deschanel tells us why:

Being tender and open is beautiful. As a woman, I feel continually shhh’ed. Too sensitive. Too mushy. Too wishy washy. Blah blah. Don’t let someone steal your tenderness. Don’t allow the coldness and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart. Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to truly be affected by things. Whether it’s a song, a stranger, a mountain, a rain drop, a tea kettle, an article, a sentence, a footstep, feel it all – look around you. All of this is for you. Take it and have gratitude. Give it and feel love.

Love 



Bamboo Splash- I've always been a doodler, I love drawing and have sketchbooks full of incomplete artwork.  Which is why I'm loving my new Bamboo tablet.  I've spent hours figuring it out and creating fun pictures.  No great masterpieces yet, but I like how when I dislike something instead of flipping to a new page in my sketchbook I can just delete it.

The last few weeks I've been dealing with some shoulder soreness that is really aggravated by knitting and crocheting (and most likely sewing if I attempted) so this has given me something else to do with my time.  Also it's required me to clean off my craft table, which has been a nice change.  The picture above is at my table in Stauf's where I have been spending a lot of my days recently.  

For my next trick I shall draw you a monster!
This is the Woobie Monster, he is drinking an Iced Latte.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Felted Soap - I Found it on Pinterest

I have thoroughly been enjoying Pinterest for many months now.  I've been seriously inspired and I've learned things I may have not known I wanted to learn.  I spend the last hour or so before I go to sleep every night checking my favorite boards, it relaxes me and I enjoy seeing what others find interesting.

Many months ago, I came across a felted soap tutorial by the Frugal Kiwi.  I had recently started needle felting, and dabbled in a little bit of wet felting when making small wool balls.

I pinned the tutorial and kept it in mind for a day when I was looking for a new challenge.  Well I finally got around to it and I wanted to share my results with you.

The idea of felted soaps is appealing to me as a fun project, and something practical to give away as gifts.  The wool makes a great lather, and keeps the soap from being too slippery so you can use the entire bar.  I had set aside two bars of soap especially for this project, the large bar is just a generic store brand bar of bath soap.  The smaller one is a sample from Tom's of Maine that came with my favorite deodorant.   The tutorial is very thorough and I encourage you to go over and check it out, as I won't be sharing the process here.

What I do want to share is some of the problems I encountered on my first tries:

  • I was trying to be sparing in the wool that I used, even knowing that it would shrink as it was felted, and as you can see I did not cover the entire bar.  So next time I'll use more wool!
  • I was not prepared for the amount of suds that this project would create.  I originally started off with a bowl of hot water so I could sit down for the process.  However I soon had to move to the bathroom sink as there were suds everywhere!!  
Overall it was a fun experience and I encourage you to try it!  Don't be afraid of messing up, it's soap and wool, you can't really ruin it.  Come back and let me know how it went for you!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Rainy Days and Mondays

I'm sure I've used that title before, because really how can you not when it's raining on Monday.  Things this weekend were pretty quiet.  I'm dealing with shoulder pain that is most likely from overuse. Which normally I wouldn't think it would be possible to over use anything with the fibro and fatigue, but it hurts when I crochet, knit, and draw.  Three things I've been doing a lot of lately.  I'm not sure if it's a real injury or just a new addition to the Fibromyalgia pains.  I thought maybe over the weekend I should see the doctor, but I may just wait it out.  Icing and taking muscle relaxers seem to help it quite a bit, and I'm resting it as much as possible.  But sometimes it's just so hard to sit still.

Right now I'm at Stauf's, drinking an iced latte.  I've cut most caffeine out of my diet to heal my gastritis in my stomach.  The more active I am, the better I do with a little caffeine in my system.  I've gone from drinking 7 plus Diet Pepsi's a day to maybe a coffee, or a pop, or a tea every other day or so.  I think it's a pretty good change.  When I have a headache the caffeine actually helps now, and I'm such a big fan of water.  I'll post about my Sodastream soon.  I chose a latte today because it seems to be the most satisfying for me.  I drink it slower than iced coffee or an iced chai.

Some things that you can look forward to this week on the blog:

        • Pictures, information, and links to my new t-shirt designs.  Hand drawn designs of my favorite things.
        • Another post about "I Found it on Pinterest"
        • And on Friday more Links, Likes, and Love

The picture above is from a few weeks ago, I'm actually sitting here listening to "Electric Avenue" because I switched computer bags and forgot my headphones.  Luckily, usually the music selection is pretty good and eclectic.

Until later!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Links, Likes, and Love

So it's Friday and it's been a busy week.  The first half showed a large improvement in my health and I finished projects I'd been working on and started others that had only taken form in my head.  I wanted to share with you some of the important things from this week in a series I hope to do weekly.  Here are some links to items you should pay attention to, two things I liked, and one love for the week of August 20, 2012.

Links:

  • Skreened- Check out this custom apparel company.  It's part of a new project I'm working on and if you look hard enough you just might get a look into what I've been doing this week.  Eventually this will be some shameless self promotion that I will write more extensively on later.
  • Geek and Sundry-  This is a seriously awesome YouTube channel featuring the best in "indie geek culture."  The hubs and I have seriously enjoyed watching Table Top together which is Wil Wheaton and guests playing board games, and Ryan always checks up on Felicia Day's weekly Flog.


Likes:
Yarn- Last week I had the occasion to buy new and exciting yarn after meeting and agreeing to test knit a pattern for The Intinerant Knitter.  I spent the week working with Malabrigo Silky Merino and it is absolutely wonderful.  The color is amazing and it is an absolute dream to knit.  Silky Merino a DK weight blend of, as the name states, silk and merino merino wool.


  • The Weather- The weather this week was absolutely blissful.  After months of scorching heat, making me and everyone else miserable, I've enjoyed several days of sunny comfortable weather, and nights cool enough for two blankets. 

Love:

Baseball

When I was a little girl I would listen to the Phillies games on the radio with my Grammy Bea, and my best friend in elementary school was a bit Mets fan.  I never really gave baseball much thought in high school and college, but upon moving to Ohio Ryan and I became Cincinnati Reds fans.

Baseball has become a pretty big part of our summer activities, but for the last several years I haven't really felt well enough to attend games.  We've spent a lot of time listening to the Reds on the radio this summer and they are kicking butt.  But we also have a AAA team right here in Columbus.  Last night I attended my first Columbus Clippers game in their new Huntington Park.  We use to go to games before I got sick at the old park, and I was excited to see what the new one has to offer.  My favorite thing, very few stairs.  We happen to enter through an entrance that had stairs from street level, and I thought things weren't going to go well as the pain in my hip immediately started acting up.  But that was all I had to conquer and the rest of the night was relatively pain free.

Also I got to eat yummy ballpark food like peanuts and popcorn.   It was a really good night and I hope to be able to do it again next season.



Monday, August 20, 2012

Bed Time Yoga- I Found it on Pinterest







Exercise has been one of the best things I have done for my fibromyalgia.  I love to get out of the apartment to ride my bike or go for a walk, however that is not always possible.  Besides the monster pain I often experience, there is also a large amount of fatigue that plays a role in my ability to get moving.  I have a pretty regular yoga routine that I attempt to do several times a week, but even then it is sometimes difficult to get myself onto and then up from the floor again.

A few days ago I came across this yoga routine on Pinterest and immediately clicked over to fitsugar to check it out.  I've been doing this sequence before I get in bed for the night.  I'm certainly enjoying it.  Even if I have done other exercises or yoga during the day this gets things loosened up before I attempt to fall asleep.  I've also been heating my tighter spots (my shoulders and hips) and the combination has me feeling really well.

This is not just for my chronically hurting friends, I want to encourage my crafty readers to give this a try at the end of the day as well.  I KNOW you are sitting for hours on end in front of your sewing machines or writing blog posts at your desk.  You totally can benefit from a little loosening up before bed.  Remember to breath and quiet your mind as well, and you'll be asleep in no time.

Let me know how it works out for you in the comment section below!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Reusable vs. Disposable: Face Wipes

There is a certain balance that I try to maintain in my life between reusable items and disposable.  I try to do what's best for the environment while at the same time lessening the burden on my often fatigued body.  It shows up in all sorts of way, from the food containers I use, to the way I clean the bathroom.

The top choice for me is always reusable.  If I can do something with a cloth or container that can then be washed and used again, I do.  There is however, one area in my life where I often take the disposable route when my legs are tired and my head hurts.   Bending over to wash my face in the sink is not always an option.  To solve this problem and to avoid any more fatigue I keep disposable pre-moistened face wipes on my night stand.

I know I'm not the only one, and be honest, even as a healthy person how often have you thought, I just don't want to get up and wash my face.  But in the end you know how much better you will feel.  Even when I was working full time I often kept face wipes in my bag to freshen up after a long shift.

I've used several different brands over the years and can't say that I have a favorite.  It's often a matter of price when I'm shopping for a new pack.  But don't get rid of your face washes and wash clothes just yet, because for me they are still a necessity.  I must wash with a medicated face wash at least once a day to prevent break outs.

Another fatigue saver that I also use is baby wipes.  They come in conveniently small packs that you can often buy on sale, or in larger bulk containers.  Keeping baby wipes in my crafting area has prevented me from distributing a mess (such as, pain covered hands) all over the apartement.  They may not clean up the stickiest of messes, but they do contain said mess until further measures can be taken.  I also use them if I'm knitting, crocheting, sewing and stop to have a snack, they are a quick way to clean up so my snack does not incorporate itself into my craft.  They are also great for travel.

Reusable vs. Disposable will hopefully be an ongoing series in my blog as I discuss how and when I make choices between the two.

Have you used disposable wipes?  What you your thoughts?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New Diagnosis

It's been a bit since I've written, more or less because I've felt like crap and have a hard time telling you awesome things when there really isn't that much awesome to tell.

I do have answers though, and that is something to celebrate.  Last week my mom came to visit and I went in for my EGD, which was an endoscopy of my upper digestive system.  It was an interesting experience which included me being partly awake and gagging hardcore while the scope was taking a look around.  The long and short of it is that I have gastritis, which is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach.  There are also complicated terms about what's going on in my esophagus, but what you need to know is that it's being treated

I've had to cut out mondo amounts of good tasty things from my diet.  I miss potato chips horribly, and as for my decade long love affair with Diet Pepsi, that is pretty much over.  I'm not feeling better yet, but I'm hopeful, which is all I can be.

While Mom was here we did a lot of other fun things as well.  Ryan and I celebrated our Seventh wedding anniversary on June 25th and Mom bought us our gift on her visit.  It's a Sodastream that allows you to carbonate and flavor your own water at home.  So far I am loving it.  Pre-gastritis diagnosis I was drinking carbonated water with lemon juice.  Now that citrus is off the menu we bought some water flavors without any sweeteners in them.  VERY TASTY.  I have plans to take pretty pictures of sparkling water and fruit, but probably not today.

We also went to the Grandview Farmer's Market and bought some very tasty veggies.  I took Mom for a short walk on the Scioto Mile, and we spent some time at the Grandview pool.   Mom also bought a couple books at Half Price Books before her trip home.  It was nice to spend time with her, as it had been since Christmas.  Was sad to see her leave.

I haven't been doing much on the creating and selling front, but I have some things planned for the fall as long as I start to heal and do not get any more sick.  So even when I'm not creating I'm always thinking about what I'll be doing next, keep a look out!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

An Update: health and insecurities

This is me today, feeling rough and crazy haired.
I haven't blogged in quite awhile and there are a lot of reasons for that.  This might be a long one, but I wanted to explain what's up.  The main reason is my health is pretty horrible right now.  With chronic illness one does never get "Better" but there are times of feeling well.  I can meet people for drinks or lunch, attend concerts and picnics, and have a general all over happiness.

Then there are dark times of complete utter helplessness when the illness takes over.  Getting out of bed is a task, showering is next to impossible, and forget about any kind of social activities.  This most recent bout of horribleness started around Thanksgiving.  I glutened myself at a Thanksgiving dinner with friends.  I knew it was a possibility but took the chance and ate anyway.  I barely made it home that night.  I struggled through Christmas, and started really paying attention to my diet in January.  I was nauseated and worn down.  I hated eating and I didn't have energy to do anything.  All of my Fibromyalgia symptoms were out in full force.

In March or April I FINALLY want to the doctor.  When she pushed down on my stomach I thought that pain was going to make me pass out.  The initial diagnosis was an ulcer caused by the amount of NSAIDs that I take for my chronic daily pain.  I took my medicines, avoided coffee and alcohol, only took pain meds when I really needed them, and crossed my fingers that I would get better.

That hasn't been the case and in fact I continue to feel worse.  I've lost at least 10 pounds, which I had the weight to lose, but it's still not good.  My skin is pale and there are dark circles under my eyes.  I have an esophagogastroduodenoscopy on July 3rd.

On top of all of this my headaches and neck pain were becoming unbearable.  So I finally bit the bullet and cut my dreadlocks off.  This was a really stressful time for me.  I miss them, and feel like I've lost part of my identity.  But my headaches are better.  My neck pain is something I will need to address when I fix whatever is wrong with my stomach.

So this is why I haven't been writing.  I have a lot to say, and it's frustrating.  But hoping things will turn around soon.

Another reason I've been pretty quiet lately is my insecurities.  When I think about blogging, I think about what others are doing and how I don't really fit into what is suppose to be a successful blog format (at least according to the "experts").  When what I have to say doesn't make a "good" blog post, I just toss it all together.  That won't be happening anymore.  If I want to tell or show you something I'm vowing that I am going to do it.  No matter how unorganized or how irregularly I post.  I've never done things the way they are suppose to be done, I'm not sure why I was trying to start now.

I hope you stick around to see what I have to offer.


Friday, April 20, 2012

When Popeye Attacks!!

My least favorite bit of running my Etsy shop is getting my photographs to accurately represent the size, texture, and color of the items I am selling.  I love taking photos, however I live in an apartment with less than stellar lighting, not to mention I'm unorganized and cluttery.  Ryan was home this morning, so I took the opportunity to use his assistance and took some pictures of things that have been waiting to get posted to the shop.

It's no secret my cat is a camera hog, and he has as special affinity for gnomes (he thinks they are funny to bat around anyway.)  He enjoyed getting in on the action a bit today.


I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What I've been working on: Socks and Gnomes

Over the last couple of weeks I've been developing some new projects.  I haven't been a super good Etsy shop keeper lately, really only selling things that are custom orders.  But honestly that is my favorite part.

One thing I have been developing for the shop are these little mini gnomes.  They popped into my head one day and would not go away.  It's a great way to use a lot of my small balls of yarns, there is an endless amount of hat, top, and pants color combinations.  I've even made them so they can go on a skewer and sit in your house plants.

Besides developing things for my shop, I also like to work on projects for myself.  These are usually things that won't be on my shop for a very long time, or ever.  But they are things I enjoy making for friends and family.

The last few weeks I have been working on socks.  I haven't done any cool patterns or anything yet, just a normal short sock.  I am making short socks because that is what I wear and does not require as much yarn for the learning knitter.  I love self striping yarn, one of the best inventions!  Each sock takes quite awhile, so they won't be something I will be making in large quantities.  But it's been totally fun!








Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Kid's Bow Tie- I Found it on Pinterest!

There's a new trend sweeping the internet and it's being met with many cheers as well as jeers.  I am not writing this to get into a discussion about the guidelines of Pinterest or other similar sites.  I simply want to share with you the joy I have found from using this social photo sharing website.

One of the main benefits of viewing and sharing pictures on pinboards is the inspiration I have found in other people's creativity.  It has become a process of discovery for me, whether I'm making a gift for a family member or brain storming color choices for my next crocheted scarf.  I've also found awesome home decorating tips and many gluten free recipes.  Pinterest really speaks to all the aspects of my life.  The social aspect is great as I often get to see the projects my sisters, friends, as well as favorite bloggers are into on a particular day.

I've already tried a few recipes, sewing projects, and knitting patterns.  I've decided to share some of my favorite completed projects here with you.

Today I will share with you a picture of this AMAZING velcro bow tie I made for my nephew.  The tutorial I used came from a great site called A Lemon Squeezy Home.  This site is packed full of great sewing projects for any season and any size.

I made this great bow tie for my nephew Johnny, after he chose to wear a bow tie for his winter band concert.  I hope he enjoys this one for the spring.


I thought the tutorial was spot on, my bow tie did exactly what the pictures and instructions said, and it came together rather quickly.  The only thing I did different than Christie did in her tutorial is I used a lighter interfacing rather than felt.  This was mostly because I did not have any felt on hand, but I am pleased with the outcome.

I've been aware of the mechanics of sewing pretty much for my whole life, but have only been practicing the act regularly since right before Christmas 2011.  So if you are on Pinterest and see a project you might like to try give it a shot, even if you've never done something like it before.  And if you write about it be sure to give the original tutorial a shout out!

Come back here and let me know how you did!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Crochet Easter Egg Tutorial


The sun is shining, and the birds are beginning to sing.  For years I've always felt that spring has arrived after celebrating Easter.  Attending Easter Egg hunts, the bright pinks, greens, and blues of the holiday, and of course eating chocolate (ok so chocolate is not spring specific, but there are some Easter candies that make me really happy).

After making a few spring related amigurumis I decided that crochet Easter eggs would be a great decor addition (if I actually did things like decor).

There are dozens of tutorials out there for crochet Easter eggs, but every one I tried just didn't create the shape I was looking for.  So I've put a pattern and some instructions together for you to enjoy.  I made at least a dozen different eggs trying to get this pattern just right.

The great part about crochet Easter eggs is that they are a perfect scrap buster.  You can dig out all the little tiny balls of yarn you have at the bottom of your stash for this project.

Read on for tutorial and pattern...

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Cautionary Knitting Tale

I would like to regale you with a cautionary tale of knitting needles and multi-tasking.

I've been crocheting now for about 5 years.  The apartment is often littered with crochet hooks as I work on different projects throughout the day.  In January I began knitting, which presents several challenges to this crocheter.  I am a perfectionist ONLY when it comes to my crafts.  I will tear out my creations many times before they are finished, and sometimes scrap projects all together, winding the yarn back into a ball.  This is more difficult for me while knitting and I have mostly just made practice items until my skills are of a higher quality.

Also, where in crochet you can create anything using a single hook.  In knitting you need at least a pair of needles and sometimes extra for things like cabling.  I've mostly been using my grandmother's knitting needles that I retrieved from my parents' basement.

Currently I am working on leg warmers on a new pair of circular needles.  I am making cables and using an extra double pointed needle to hold my stitches.  This is where my story takes a turn towards the strange and perhaps nauseating.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New Items at Etsy

I've recently posted bunches of things on Etsy! Check them out here:

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

What I Made Today: Amigurumi Owl

I have been incredibly restless lately.  I have not been getting proper restorative sleep which is a common problem for those who live with Fibromyalgia.  Often when I feel like this, a lot of mental energy without the physical, I start to feel discouraged.  I feel like I should be contributing so much more than I'm currently capable of.

I thought that I would post something here today so I would feel that I had contributed.  I hope it at least makes you smile.

This little amigurumi owl came to me after Ryan's alarm had gone off and I had yet to fall asleep.  He hooted at me till I turned the light on and gathered the yarn I thought would be perfect for this project.  I rarely use patterns for anything.  I get more satisfaction out of paying attention to how the yarn responds to different combinations of stitches and shaping it whatever I am making.

My amigurumi owl is made out of 100% Peruvian wool with acrylic accents.  I love the rustic look the texture of the yarn creates.

I will certainly be perfecting my design and make more of these little guys.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ear Infection Mania

Often when I've been down with a general flare of my chronic conditions or some illness for awhile, I go through a period of time which I can only describe as creative mania.  It happens after I have been unable to do things for many days and I begin to feel a fraction better.  I get ideas about things I want to create and it is impossible for me to sleep or sometimes even rest until I can see my ideas in some tangible form.  This process is often counterproductive as I spend many hours, sometimes staying awake all night, creating. Lack of rest and sleep allows my flare or cold to get worse again.  It's hard to control, but it usually produces some very lovely things.

On January 3rd I woke up not being able to hear out of my right ear.  By the 4th it had started to hurt and was clear that I had an ear infection.   After visiting Urgent Care and starting antibiotics, then visiting a specialist and receiving ear drops the infection still seems to be clinging on.  I go for another specialist appointment tomorrow in hopes of getting some more answers.  

Late one night when the pain in my ear was still unbearable I treated myself by purchasing some wool roving on Etsy.  I found beautifully colored Polwarth roving form Greenwood Fiberworks.  I was so excited when it came in the mail that I wanted to spin it up immediately but I already had another project on my spindle (green and yellow yarn).  So I finished that one, and spun 4oz. of my new wool.  I still have 4oz. left that I'm brainstorming about now.  



After I finished spinning on Sunday night I started (and finished) a great crochet beanie with a cute heart pattern.  There are other things I want to be working on now too, but my body has put a stop to that feeling achy but I am sure I will be back at it in a few days.