Monday, December 22, 2008

inventing patterns - Simple Camera Case

I bought a new camera the other day to carry around in my purse. It didn't come with a case, so I made one that night. It took about an hour to make, but it was totally worth it. Check it out:

This pic is of the camera and the case. The yarn was dyed with Kool Aid: Berry Blue, Cherry and Strawberry.
The camera, in case anyone is curious, is a Kodak Easy Share, with 8 megapixels and a 4 x optical (3 x digital) zoom. I bought a 2 GB memory card and it will hold over 1600 photos. I haven't taken video with it yet, but the photos are pretty good. It's great for a purse camera.

I didn't use a pattern for this case. I just picked a set of double pointed needles that I knew would work with the yarn (Paton's Wool) and worked in the round. I used the full set of needles (4 for the stitches and 1 working needle) and had 10 stitches on each of the 4) This was perfect to go around the camera I bought. Your camera may be larger or smaller, so work with the yarn until you have the right number of stitches for your camera's size. I worked in the round until it covered the entire camera, then bound off the two sides and the front.

The back flap has to be worked in stockinette because you are no longer working in the round. I just used two of my double pointed needles and worked back and forth like normal, knitting one row and purling the next. On the knit rows, I did a K2tog on each side to get the shaping and then stopped to do the little flap for the velcro. Eventually, I'll sew a button onto the outside of the little flap to make it look a bit better. So that's it! Total knitting time was about 1 hour, but if you're faster than me, it won't take that long.

Finished Christmas shopping

I finished all my shopping this weekend! Yay! I've never been so happy about it in my life. This year, my parents and I decided we wouldn't go nuts with the presents for the kids because we have already booked a vacation to Disney World for all of us in June of 2009, so that's the real present. So we decided to split the cost of one big gift for each child and then get a couple of small ones so they will have enough things to unwrap. The big gifts are going to be a huge hit this year!

Noah (12 years old) Guitar Hero World Tour - complete band kit
Hannah (6 years old) Biscuit the anamatronic dog - it obeys six commands
Kohl (5 years old) Kota the anamatronic triceratops (sp?) that he can actually ride.

I think they are going to be very happy. The smaller gifts are smaller but still fun. Every year I think it will be the best year because of what someone has found for them, and every year is better than the one before. I'm totally looking forward to playing Guitar Hero with Noah. I'll play the drums while he plays guitar!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

being single during the holidays

If you know me personally, you know that normally, I'm pretty happy with my status as a single woman with a career and a life bursting with hobbies and activities. I sometimes wonder where another person would fit into this life and how I could manage a relationship while juggling all my other responsibilities, my job, volunteer work, theatre stuff, and of course - we can't forget the most important thing - the writing.

At Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, it's inevitable that I will be asked the "dreaded question" by at least 12 people, mostly well-meaning aunts or cousins who know how old I am and who know my past history, so they wonder, as any normal human would, about my status right now and whether or not that might change in the future. Normally, I brush off the question, which usually goes something like this: "What aren't you married yet?" with something amusing that is meant to show them that I still have a sense of humor about things and am not taking it too seriously - because most of the time, that's how I feel.

This year, however, I was hit from another angle - one I didn't expect. My cousin was there with her newborn. You know where this is going. My first mistake was holding the baby. I know, I know - this is so stereotypical. The 32 year old single girl holds a baby and everything changes. Well, that's not exactly what happened, but it's close. I watched her watching everyone - so aware at such a young age. I watched her watching me while I baby-talked her and tickled her nose. We looked at the Christmas lights on my aunt's tree. I could see the lights reflected in her big blue eyes. It reminded me of when each of my sister's kids were born and how much I loved holding them and just looking at them for hours. And I was sad. Truly, deeply, devastatingly sad. I usually brush off the whole thing - marriage... children... it's probably not for me because if it was, it would have happened already. But when I held that baby and she fell asleep in my arms, well - it was a moment. But that wasn't the thing that got me. What got me was when my cousin (the baby's mother) came up to me and said, "you're a natural." I've never thought of myself as "good with babies" or "good with children." I mean sure, I'm great with my sister's kids, but they are special. But when she said that, I nearly started to cry. And then a voice inside me - the independent, busy, career-minded, single woman - started to scream at the other part of me. Started screaming that I am happy being single and I don't want a family. But this other voice, the new voice, it wouldn't shut up.

So now there's this new fear. A fear that I'm going to come across as desperate. That's that last thing I want - to be one of those women who is just looking for a husband. And I especially don't want to come across as one of those women who just wants a man so she can have a baby. That's not true at all. Loneliness is powerful and we all have a deep need for companionship. I've been alone for a very long time. I'm not sure why, other than the fact that I'm not society's vision of pretty or attractive or whatever. But I look at other couples and think that I'm at least as pretty as that girl so how did she manage to find happiness and I haven't yet. That's petty, I know, but most of the time I think that's the main thing keeping me from finding someone, because if people take a second look they will realize that I'm a great catch! See, I have lots of confidence in my inner beauty, just not much in my outer... whatever.

And I know I'm supposed to let go and let God take care of things. I know I'm supposed to trust that if I'm supposed to be with someone, He will make it happen. But still, I worry. Still, I get impatient. Still, I fear spending the rest of my life alone.

So okay, this post took a really interesting turn, but I intended it to be just a glimpse into what it's like for me, being single during the holidays. I think that mission was accomplished. I'm going to stop now, though, before I humiliate myself any more!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

still sick - getting better

Just wanted to pop in and say that I'm still sick but am getting better.  I finally went to the doctor and got meds, so I'm on my way to a full recovery.  It's a severe sinus infection, which is exactly what I thought.  It's been miserable for something like 12 days, so I'm looking forward to the medicine kicking in.  I hate being sick.  I'm such a baby when I'm sick and I know it so I try to stay away from people so they won't see that side of me!

So anyway, it looks like things are looking up.  I can't wait to have energy again.  That's the worst part of being sick - it's exhausting just to walk across the room.  So anyway, more later.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Duck Hunter Shoots Angel

I was asked in the comments for this, so I thought I would post it here, in case anyone else is curious! This is the show I'm stage managing right now and it is an absolute RIOT! The actors are amazing and the script is hysterical. The Theatre 98 audience won't know what hit them!

Duck Hunter Shoots Angel
A rare comedy with a surprisingly heartfelt lesson. Duck Hunter Shoots Angel is the uproarious story of two bumbling Alabama brothers who have never shot a duck but think they shot an angel. As they lament their fates in a murky swamp, they are chased by a cynical tabloid journalist and his reluctant photographer, who don’t believe any of it—until feathers, wings and a tiara are discovered along the way. The play hysterically interweaves a love story, sibling rivalry, tawdry media, race relations and cultural stereotypes as the chase to find the angel builds to a crescendo in the swamp. Ultimately a sweet allegory about redemption, written by the best-selling author of Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People You Meet In Heaven and For One More Day.


Yep, I'm sick today. It's my annual sinus/cold problem, but just because it happens every year doesn't mean I am used to it or know how to deal with it any better than the first time it happened. ARGH!

Anyway, usually it lasts a few days and I'm fine, so here's hoping it follows the usual pattern.

Nothing else to tell really.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

trying again

So I lost 20 pounds during the show over the summer, which was completely awesome, but since the show ended, I haven't lost any. I haven't gained any, but the loss stopped - which is very upsetting. It totally makes sense, I'm not as active as I was in the show. So I've decided to get serious about it (again) and really try to lose the rest of the weight I need to lose.

It's all about changing my attitude and my habits when it comes to food and exercise. That's so hard, but I'm going really try to do it this time. Usually, I'll do really well for a little while and then totally fall off the wagon. I'm going to try to not let that happen this time - and if I fall off the wagon, I'll get right back on it!

I went back to sparkpeople and rejoined. It's such an amazing tool for living a healthy lifestyle, so I'm going to use it as much as I can.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Hello out there!

I do this every once in awhile, just to let people know that I welcome comments. In fact, I love comments! If you are visiting for the first time or if you've come by several times, or if you accidentally stumbled on this blog because of a bizarre google search, WELCOME!

Stick around and say hello. I'd love to chat!

Since I'm doing this anyway, I'll go ahead and mention some new things that I've added recently. You'll find my twitter update, a facebook badge and a badge directing you to my youtube channel. I think they are pretty cool.

So anyway, it's nice to have visitors, so I'd love to hear from you!

my head is spinning

Today was one of those days. It went by so fast and now that I look back on it I can't believe it was all one day. I got a ton of work done, which was great. I'm working on getting Christmas cards out to donors, and I think it's only right to sign them by hand rather than just sending a computer generated one, so that's tomorrow's project!

Other than that, I did research for direct mail appeals. We're doing a holiday one and I planned out the whole strategy for 2009 so that's done. I started a newsletter and planned an annual report. My department had a meeting with someone from another department, which was very productive! That ended the day on a nice, positive note.

But my head isn't spinning from all that. It's really everything that is coming up in the next couple of weeks. We're dedicating 10 houses Friday, and then we have several dedications next week and one almost every day the following week! It's a great time to work for an organization that helps people. We'll have 30 families in their homes by Christmas! Yay!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Bloggers Unite: World AIDS Day

Bloggers Unite
Today is December 1 - World AIDS day. To help raise awareness and to hopefully help someone understand AIDS better, I am joining with other bloggers across the world to post about AIDS. I don't know of anyone in my world who has AIDS or HIV, but I know that it's something that affects all of us in some way. Today, I visited and found lots of information about awareness campaigns. I also visited and found some interesting information. I knew most of this, but I wanted to post it here, just in case someone reading this does not know.

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). By killing or damaging cells of the body's immune system, HIV progressively destroys the body's ability to fight infections and certain cancers. Over one million Americans are living with HIV/AIDS today. Worldwide, the figure is over 33 million. Effective HIV care—including antiretroviral drug therapies and regular access to primary health care—can help people manage their HIV disease and live longer. (

I also thought it was well worth posting this information, as there are still a lot of misconceptions about AIDS out there and prevention is so important.

HIV and AIDS are life threatening conditions. There is no cure yet for HIV/AIDS. The transmission of HIV occurs through three well documented means: 1) having sex (anal, vaginal, or oral) with someone infected with HIV; 2) sharing needles and syringes with someone infected with HIV; and 3) being exposed (fetus or infant) to HIV before or during birth or through breast feeding. HIV transmission can be prevented through avoiding behaviors that expose someone to the means of transmission and by taking preventive measures if identified risk behaviors occur.

To protect yourself, do not inject illicit drugs and remember these ABCs:

B=Be Faithful

HIV is not transmitted through day-to-day activities such as shaking hands, hugging, or a casual kiss. You cannot become infected from a toilet seat, drinking fountain, doorknob, dishes, drinking glasses, food, or pets. You also cannot get HIV from mosquitoes. (

I can't describe how terrifying it is to take that test and wait for its results. When my ex husband and I split up and I found out he had been unfaithful, I went to the doctor and asked to be tested for everything. Thankfully, I was negative for all possible diseases and six months later I was still negative - and then a year later, still negative. By that time, my doctor told me I was absolutely fine and didn't need to test again, so I was, needless to day, extremely relieved. It was an ordeal I never wanted to have to go through and one I never want to go through again.

So if you have engaged in risky behavior, such as unprotected sex, please get tested for your own peace of mind and for your future partners. Let's stop the spread of this disease. Nobody should be getting AIDS anymore, not since we know how to prevent it.