Sunday, August 28, 2005

Econo-Shopper Mesh Bag, II

This bag is done from basically the same schematics, with a more open mesh pattern, and in a bigger size. I made the edging and handles from sc instead of hdc on this one - I haven't decided which I like more, but the difference between the two is slim, anyways. I used Aunt Lydia's Denim Cotton and a size "J" TOTC hook for this one. I've never worked with this yarn before and I really like it. It's a nice, smooth blend.

Here it is all loaded up with groceries:

And a picture of all the groceries it really did hold - it was almost too heavy for me to carry!!
For the record, that's:
- One regular sized box of Crispix
- One regular sized box of Cheez-Its [in a yukky flavor]
- One giant sized container of Miracle Whip, full
- One peanut butter jar half-full of bulk mixed nuts
- One box of taboule mix
- One can of potatoes
- One can of sliced peaches
- One can of cherry pie filling
- One 3/4 full 5lb jar of honey
- Two tomatoes
- Three boxes of Mac & Cheese
- A bag of bulk tea
- A bag of croutons
- A bag of cornbread mix
- A carton of 18 eggs

Basically, a whole shitload of groceries.

Hopefully I'll be able to get the pattern/schematics written up soon so I can get them tested and up here.


The Unveiling...

This is a design that I've been wanting to create for a while, but wasn't sure just how to go about doing it. When I saw the shopping bag in the 2006 Calendar, it was another version of what I didn't want. So, I finally got my butt into designer mode and tackled the project. I'm pretty pleased with the finished product.

Ladies and Gentlemen... The Econo-Shopper Mesh Bag I!

Since this bag is not worked in the round [what I *didn't* want] there's no unsightly, unstretchy areas on the bottom. This is the smaller version, I have the big one in the works right now. But look at all the groceries it holds!

If you're interested, that's:
- One box of graham sticks
- Two bags of cornbread mix
- One bag of croutons
- One can of mixed fruit
- One can of pie filling
- One box of mac & cheese
- One box of taboule mix
- One bag of bulk tea
- Two tomatoes

This bag was worked up in a hemp/wool blend, which I realize may not be the most ideal fiber... The next one will be in Aunt Lydia's Denim Cotton and some of the the hemp I mentioned in my last post will probably become at least one of these.

There are two different honeycomb mesh patterns, one is more open and I'll use that for the bigger bag. [duh.] I need some pattern testers... the pattern is pretty simple and really more schematics than anything, you can use it to make any size bag you want... If it works out okay for everyone, than I'd like to submit it for the 2007 Pattern a Day calendar.

I made this bag to be like the ones we sell at my work, and although it's not exact [those bags have woven handles] it's close - it's nice and stretchy in the way I wanted it to be - and I like it. :)

Friday, August 26, 2005

Holy shit! She crochets!

I dedicate this post to Deneen, just to fulfill her prediction.

Anyways, as you may have guessed by my title, I do, in fact, remember how to crochet. I've actually been utilizing my talent, too! There was a period there where I wasn't inspired to pick up a hook... Think it has/had something to do with the damn collared cardigan, which still isn't completed, BTW. I sewed one sleeve on all wonky and still haven't gotten the rev sc edge, even though the collar is finally complete.

I've been sticking with small projects, rebuilding my confidence... I churned out a few angel dishcloths for a co-worker who has a fixation with angels. [Thanks to Jessi for the pattern!] I used three different weights of cotton - one from Lily Sugar N Cream, and the other two from two different sizes of FoxFibre Organic Cotton.
Angel Cloths

I also stitched up a little blanket for baby Emma... I bought the yarn for it, Bernat Cotton Tots, as soon as I found out she was a girl [months ago!]. I totally forgot about it until she came along, two weeks early! I wanted it to be something warm and thick enough to be functional and not have her fingers get stuck in it, but also open enough to only use three skeins of yarn. I settled on a hdc V-stitch. Although I previously had negative feelings towards the hdc, I'm coming to find I enjoy it more and more. My thoughts used to be that it was a pointless, yarn wasting stitch, but I now realize it has possiblities beyond either the sc or dc. I finished this blanket up with my old standby, the rev sc edging. Simple, clean, classic. I'm just not a frilly edge type of gal.
Emma's Blanket Stich Close-Up

I have to admit that I'm a little peeved with the way the Secret Sistahs swap is going... I've asked everyone to email me but have only heard from a few. I'm upset that this isn't running as smoothly as possible, and that I would even have to worry about expectations not being met. That was the whole fucking point of this!! Ugh. I can't even go on about that one.

My funky mood has pretty much departed. I think honestly all I needed was to spend a little money... it's amazing what a trip to the bookstore will do for me! I'm also *really* looking forward to school starting next week [whoda thought?] because it means no more 40 hr. work weeks at Crazies, Inc. I am just not ready to be working full time, especially doing what I do at a place like that with people like those for $8 fucking dollars an hour. Hell no. I didn't even make enough money to keep myself happy last paycheck - literally! When I'm broke I'm miserable - it's not that I spend a lot of money or anything, it's just that when I want something, I like to be able to go get it.

So, when Kris got paid he gave me some much appreciated cash and i went and indulged a bit - I picked up the 2006 Crochet Pattern A Day calendar and Family Circle's Easy Crochet [can't find a link for that one, sorry]. I was really happy to have scored them but have to say I'm not thrilled with either. The calendar is so so... I think it's cool I know so many of the designers but it's like a compendium of internet patterns, y'know... although there are some neat things, the quality isn't consistant. The thing that *really* bugs me is that they lied about the yarns used!! Some of the photos are so obviously Red Heart but they say it's Louet Top Merino or whatever... my ass!! And Easy Crochet is nice - nicer than Crochet! or most other crochet mags - but the patterns don't thrill me personally. I think the cutest ones are the ones that use knitting, also. The retro ones are pretty much all available online in their original form, lol! I dunno, I'm on the fence with this one. I think I'll like Interweave's Crochet more.

I also got to spend some cash over at Knit Pixie, courtesy of my summer pal at C'Ville. She was pretty much deadbeat but sent this in time to stay off the Shame List. I'm not going to complain about free yarn, though! I picked out some of the all HEMP 3 and also some Hempton Fine. I can't wait for it to come, I've already got uses planned for this yarn.

Ever since Deneen made the call for submissions to the 2007 Pattern a Day calendar, I've been busy mentally designing. My Hippie Hat pattern is already acceoted, but I'd like to submit a few more. Since I'm on a small projects kick, I decided to start with a shopping bag that I've been thinking up for a while. I have the stitch pattern worked up already, and hope to have a tester pattern together by the end of the weekend. Wish me luck!

My mom's painting our house this weekend... She's already got the living room done. We went from no color sterile grey to a nice, rich sage green. I *really* like it. I have a before
and an after.
Even though the quality for these pics isn't the best, you should get the idea. The color really makes the room look great. [Pictures of the kitchen to follow.]

I was able to find a decent amount of copies of Easy Crochet at my JoAnn's... even though I gave it a less-than-stellar review I know others have really thought highly of it. I stashed a couple copies and would be willing to grab them for anyone who's interested, as long as I can get them. All I want for them is the cost of the magazine, $5.99, no shipping cuz I can do it for free. Drop me an email if you're interested.

Alright, I've rambled on long enough, and I have my whole family barking at me to use the computer, so I gotta run. Bye bye!!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Popsicle stick joke:

Q. How do billboards talk?

A. Sign language. Hehe :)

Wish I had more to write, but really, I don't. Kind of disheartened lately and I don't want to dwell on it. Suffice it to say - I can't wait til Friday when I can afford some shop therapy.

I do want to welcome the latest addition into our little circle, Kris's best friend's daughter Emma, who was born last week. She's a little doll, I swear.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Woodward cruisin'

When else do u see this driving down the street?!

Sunday, August 14, 2005


Trying out this new template. Let me know what you think, any and all feedback is great. I'm not sure if it's easy to navigate, etc. Comments, please?


Ah! What a rough weekend, LOL!! friday we did some belated birthday celebrating... We went out to dinner at Applebee's with a bunch of people from work, then three of the cashiers and I went out dancing... and drinking...

We went to a local club... and didn't even get there until just before midnight, so of course we closed the place. I think the new girl at work was having fun getting me drunk cuz she just kept feeding me vodka and cranberries... And it's normally a 21+ venue [we had some nice connections] so even though I had big black XX's on *both* my hands, none of the guards were really looking for underage drinking... It was nice cuz it's one of the few clubs that have an outside area, and it wasn't terribly crowded either.

I think I got home around four the next morning... Kris said I fell asleep half on the bed and half off it, LOL!! That's when you know you had fun! I also made it home with only one earring... Who knows where the other one ended up! I had a great time, until Saturday morning rolled around -

And I woke up at 6 am dry heaving. So much for working at 9!! I spent my whole morning hanging over the toilet, wretching. Made me remember why I am not a fan of drinking. I think it must have been cheap vodka, cuz I have not hung that hard in a loooooong time. I finally got some soup down around 6pm Saturday, and today my whole throat is raw and - get this - my tongue is actually sore. Like, achy muscle sore. Yuk!

Today, I am taking it easy and recovering. I've been pretty useless the majority of the weekend, although I did make it to our town's little annual car show yesterday. It's a hokey little event but it's fun, and a nice precurser to the Woodward Dream Cruise coming up in a couple weeks. I have a bunch of WIM and even some design ideas floating around in my head, but I haven't gotten the motivation to pick up a hook!

I know I was tagged, but honestly my brain is such mush still I don't think I can play along yet. I know I won't be able to come up with 5 idiosyncrasies and 5 things I miss about being a kid... all I can think about right now is how good a popsicle sounds! Maybe tomorrow.

I shipped out my first package to my secret sistah and have been working on her next one... I have a few things in mind I think she'd like but I want to spread them out in a good order... I'm *very* pleased to see all the good remarks being made about it! Espcially with the C'Ville swap issues, I'm glad that this is turning out to be a success, and I'm already thinking ahead to the next round. Actually, it's not that far away!

Gotta go rustle up something for dinner!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Okay - I'd planned on posting today - catching up with the tags I've been hit with - but now it's already 1 and I have to eat, shower, register for classes, etc, before 4 when I work... So maybe tomorrow...

Thanks, everyone, for the wonderful birthday wishes - it was so awesome to get them and made my day so special!! I'm celebrating with some gals from work tomorrow, we're going out to eat and them dancing at a club as a joint birthday/bye bye celebration for me and another cahsier...

I had a job interview yesterday - all in all, I'd say it went well, but I'm not sure I'm thrilled about the job... So if I don't get offered it, I won't be disappointed... not sure I will accept it if I do.

I have the collared cardigan done, seriously... All I have to is the rev. sc. edging... But I haven't had a chance to pick it up the last couple days. It turned out really nice, I can't wait to share pictures.

What else? I had a counselor's appointment at school... I only need 15 more credits at the community collge, and I will go back to the university with an Associate's in Liberal Arts... That works well for me, I'll go back next fall, and take a lighter load this year.

I'll catch up soon, I promise...

Monday, August 08, 2005

My Birthday!!

Thanks, everyone, for all the birthday well wishes! It makes me feel so special!

20 is kind of a dud year, nothing special happens except now I am a whole decade older! Crap - In the next ten years - I have to grow up!! Scary.

We're headed out the door to go to Logan's Steakhouse for dinner... I'm wearing the super cute earrings Deneen gifted me with and my mom has complimented how cute they are and asked where I got them. "You look good in earrings, Nat" she says. Thanks again, Deneen, hopefully I can get a pic.

Anywho, I'm off - thanks again!!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

New Profile Pic

I figured I've been out of high school long enough, it's time to get rid of the graduation picture. The new one is taken with my camera phone, LOL, right before I fell asleep, so I apologize if I look a little stoned. It's actually a fairly accurate representation of me. :)

I've finished crocheting the parts on the big collar cardigan. Now I have to block them, I'm going to do that today - and sew them, hopefully I'll get started on that today. Then I have to crochet on the collar, which I'd like to have completed by tomorrow. I think once it's finished I'll take it to be dry-cleaned? The weather is still very much August - read: hotter than shit - so it will be awhile before I'll be able to actually wear it.

I'm off to the flea market now, then back to block and clean my nasty car...

Friday, August 05, 2005


Today's going crappy!! I just need to whine a little bit...

First of all, the lady never called me back about the job. Poop. I'm going to wait until Monday and call her one more time.

Next, my car payment was late this month. The *only* time it has ever been late. Sucks. I also realized that I only get one more paycheck before the next payment is due - a paycheck that is going to be *very* small because of vacay and was supposed to be used to pay my $220 phone bill.

So what does that means? Means Natalie will be using her birthday cash to pay her car payment! Fuck. Also means that the entirity of my check will be going to pay my phone bill, no spending cash for me!!

It's not that I'm broke per se, since I actually do spend quite a bit of money on things I want, frivolous things, whatever. It's just that I have to be broke on my birthday! The way I figured it out - I won't even have money to put gas in my car until I get paid at the end of August. I'm in such a downer mood that it makes me want to cry!

It also doesn't help that Kris is superbly broke this week too.

Enough with my pity party, I have a ton of shit to do today.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Early Birthday Goodness!

When I received a little box in my mailbox today, I knew it was for my birthday... next week... but I couldn't wait to open it so I tore right in! I'm so glad I did! Here's the amazing gift I got from the wonderful Twink:
Happy girl, I am, to have these excellent goodies! Here's Kris modeling the hat for me, it's so soft!! There's also a cute drawstring bag, which I'll use for change, filled with gold coins and jewels - fabulous pirate's booty - as well as a red bandana, Burt's Bees lip balm, and the cutest little paper clip I've ever seen, which I am going to use for it's suggested purpose - marking patterns. In the bag with the booty was also a curious little charm for my awesome new cell phone. I've never seen cell jewelry before! I have it clipped onto it's holster right now, but it may move, I haven't decided yet.

Thank you so much, Twink, for your totally sweet and thoughtful gift! I love it all, and I feel *very* special to be the owner of one of your tricornered hats!!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A tiny carrot!

Penny is for size reference.

Monday, August 01, 2005


... is my very favorite month. Could it be that my birthday is in a week? Yes, it could. It also has something do with intensely hot days, being a Leo, and bubblegumn popsicles. Not to mention savoring the last week before school... I'm happy August is here.

I got back from up north on Saturday evening after an eventful trip... The week spent there was great. We had a nice mix of weather - beautiful days for the lake, and some overcast ones for cabin maintenence. We did quite a bit of fishing, and also ventured into both nearby "big" towns, Gaylord 30 mintues west and Alpena 30 minutes east. We also took a nice stroll through the Jordan River Valley, through the Pinney Bridge campgrounds. In that same valley is a MI state fish hatchery - very cool, I've never seen anything like it.

I do have a ton of pictures - I'll put a few up here but if anyone wants to see more, drop me a comment and I can link to an album.

Me crocheting by the fire

A plane preparing to take off at the airport across the street from my cabin.

My mom, dad, and Kris standing in front of the cabin.

Me crocheting on the boat while Kris and my dad fish Long Lake.

A mama turkey with her babies. Our yard is an old turkey run.

Kris getting the boat ready to go out on Clear Lake.

Go Cart racing in Alpena.

Kris and I on a pier overlooking Lake Huron, also in Alpena.

The group, minus my mom, at the Pinney Bridge.

One of the tubs at the fish hatchery, full of lake trout.

After enjoying our wonderful trip, we packed up all our crap up into the two vehicles and left... Kris and I with my dad, Lauren and her friend with my mom... and we weren't an hour out of town when the "Check engine light" came on the in the van. Kris and my dad are both car guys, and figuring it was a misfire or something, they ignore it... for about 20 mintues... until all of a sudden the van sounds like it's going to blow up. So, we pull over, the boys are looking under the hood, the whole parking lots reeks like burnt oil and rubber... and they conclude we have overheated. So, my mom goes to buy antifreeze ($12 freaking dollars for a jug of antifreeze up there!! Absurd!) and while she's gone, my dad and Kris discover a piece of cardboard they'd placed in front of the radiator in the winter to get heat into the van. Well, in the summer, that piece of cardboard - not good - and even though they took it out, the van had already gotten way too hot... So it got us home, but is still not running well at all. That was the only bad thing about the trip!

In other news - the Secret Sistah swap is up and running - I'm totally thrilled about my partner, I can't wait to start shopping for her... Everyone else seems to be pretty excited too, which is cool. I'm just so glad that it ended up coming together!!

I also need to find a new job, badly. Beofre vacation I got into an altercation with one of the managers and was sent home early... Details aren't neccessary because it's not worth giving energy to this girl - suffice it to say she picked a fight and she won. My general manager and none of my co-workers seem to want to stand behind me on this, and I'm realizing that I have to get out - soon! I've made friends with alot of the cashiers, and that's a problem - when a job becomes more than business. So in interest of friendships and self-preservation, I have to get a new job, and quickly!! I need something with higher part time hours, hopefully something I can stay in for awhile, I'm trying to stay away from retail. If anyone knows of any good jobs in the Northern Detroit suburbs, drop me a line!! I *hate* job hunting, and it's hard to get motivated to go out an apply when I *do* still have a job. I just don't want it!

School - that's another stressor - that I don't want to even think about! The closest counselor's appointment I could get was August freaken 10th... and classes are already almost filled up, I hate to think what they'll be by then. I don't even know how I'm going to *pay* for my classes, anyways! Yuk. I just keep ignoring it, hoping it will all straighten itself out. Fat chance!

I gotta go get ready for work...