Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sew, what's up? (and a blog question)

A few weeks ago, I bought about 5 or 6 wool sweaters at the thrift store. And that particular day, they were 1/2 off. As I was checking out, a lady behind me said "I guess I got here a few minutes too late." I said "pardon me?" She asked "are those wool sweaters?" I told her yes, and she mumbled some comment about there not being any left, except the one she had in her hands. That wasn't true...there were many more left. They just weren't very pretty. ;) I didn't want to tell her I had plans to cut them up use them in craft projects.

So in an attempt to try to get out of my funk, I worked on a little something last night.

Wool sweater #1, washed and dried. I probably should have run it through again, because while it did tighten up, it was still a bit misshapen, which you will see in my finished project. But I couldn't be bothered to do it the right way, I wanted to do it the quick way.

After a lousy, quick attempt at embroidering, I sewed the sucker up, stuffed it and I was done. Now I can feel good that I got my butt off the couch and did *something.*

Can you even make out what that embroidery is? Probably not, so let me tell you. It's an "F" for our last name. I just quickly free-handed it while watching Forensic Files. As you can tell, I was more interested in Forensic Files than paying attention to stitches. Oh, well. It has "character." ;)

Today, I looked at the leftovers from Wool Sweater #1.

Let's see, what can I do with a sleeve? Make a leg warmer? Tie it around my neck as a scarf? Fill it with stuffing and make a breeze protector for my front door? While those might fun ideas ;), I made an iPod case.

I used the waistband portion to make a tiny pocket inside the case to hold my ear buds so they won't get tangled.

Sew on a button for a closure.

Stitch up the sides and bottom, and then remember that you forgot to double-check that the iPod would fit (it does).

Notice how misshapen it is? That's called character.

Take a peak inside.

The end of Wool Sweater #1 project. It may not be pretty, but it's functional, and more importantly, it's done. Now my iPod won't get tangled up in my purse.

Blogger question:

Twice today I tried to add blogs that I want to follow, and I get an error message saying something like "you are trying to follow this blog, but it appears that there is no feed." But then I show up on their list of followers. But they aren't showing up on my end. What gives?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

See Spot. See Spot and Zach.

Last night I did another rescue transport. Let me introduce the two dogs I drove from DFW to Ardmore, OK. The final destination is Minnesota, to a great rescue up there.

This is Spot. He's a pit bull (possibly a mix, but I don't think so). And, once again, VERY sweet, probably one of the sweetest dogs I've come across. And beautiful, too. He was white with a small brown spot over his right eye, much like the dog from The Little Rascals.

A lot of times, with certain breeds (boxers, bully breeds, etc.), if they are white in color, they have a higher tendency to be deaf. Such is the case with Spot. Though I think he could somewhat hear when I clapped my hands really loudly. But he is smart as a whip and knows some hand signals. He was very good on the ride, and in fact, could be heard snoring contently along the way.

Spot came from a local animal control facility. I'm not sure how he ended up there (stray, owner turn-in, etc.), but he really beat the odds. One, he's a pitty, and a lot of shelters will not adopt out pitties, regardless of their personality, history or behavior. They automatically have an X on them based on their breed, which is very unfair. As I've said before, every pitty I've come across during the many years I've done animal rescue has been nothing but sweet and well-behaved. Spot is no exception. The workers at animal control loved him so much, they kept "saving" him from euthanasia, hoping he would be adopted or rescued. He'd been there for over 2 months, which is VERY rare (most municipal shelters only give animals 3-5 days, and if they aren't adopted or rescued, they are euthanized). Now he has a chance for a good life! :)

Now meet Zach. Poor Zach was pulled from a very abusive home (notice the cast on his broken leg). He's a German shepherd mix. Very sweet and playful, though we had to try to keep him settled down so that he wouldn't hurt his leg. He did try to get fresh with my leg a couple of times. ;) I just don't understand how people can hurt animals (or anyone for that matter, but especially those who can't stand up for themselves, such as animals, children, the elderly and the disabled). I think animals are little furry gifts from God. And I believe there has to be a special ring in hell for people who abuse others.

The shelter Zach came from is not rescue friendly. However, a worker at the shelter went against policy to make sure he was not euthanized and was able to go to a rescue. She was almost fired for doing so (can you believe that?!). He's a lucky boy.

I got an email from the lady who was overnighting the dogs in Oklahoma City last night, and she said they both were doing well and were settled in. Tonight they are being overnighted in Des Moines, Iowa, and will reach Minneapolis around 2:30pm tomorrow.

Both dogs are already listed on the rescue's website with a full bio!

Spot's bio and pictures

Zach's bio and pictures

I wish I could have brought them both home with me. But then I always do. ;)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Liar, liar, pants on fire

Ok, so I found myself walking down the hallway at work to pick something up.

I spotted a large crowd of people outside of two conference rooms. What the heck? Was I missing a meeting?

Oh no. It was another sample/prop sale! I said I had been to my last sample sale the other day when I scored those 5 pairs of shoes. I wasn't going to go in to this one, but curiosity got the better of me. I had to see what was in there. I didn't get much. I spent a total of $4. That won't break the bank.

I bought another two pairs of shoes (for $1 a pair!).

They are very cute Mudd brand shoes. I'm not too old to wear Mudd, am I? I think not.

I also bought two pillows. Each was $1. One is a square down-filled pillow, and the other is an oblong suede-ish pillow. It's an ugly shade of pinky-purple. Why should I care? I'm going to use these as pillow forms for a couple of pillow projects I have in the works! Yay me! Now I won't have to go out and spend $10 for a pillow form.

Hopefully I can get these pillow projects done soon so you will be wowed with my talent and endless creativity. :)

Today was a sad day at work. Actually, every day is sad. I'm sad that I was laid off. I'm sad that my friends and coworkers were laid off. I'm sad that there are people I know I'll never see again, even though we always say we'll keep in touch. Today, one of the merchandising teams had a little farewell party for us. Everyone on the "home department" creative team was invited (those being laid off as well as those staying). There was cake, and every single one of us who is leaving got a card signed by all of the buyers. Several people got up on the microphone to say a few things. One girl got up to speak, but was having a difficult time because she was in tears. You know how that goes...once one person starts with the water works, it's like a domino effect. It was a really nice gesture, but it just makes transitioning all the more difficult and bittersweet.

My last day with be either Monday or Tuesday. Most likely Tuesday. I still have a lot of packing to do. I'm not a crying kind of girl, but I know Tuesday will be very hard for me. Just sitting here thinking about it is making me tear up a bit.

I'm also going to miss all of the great sample sales! I've practically furnished our house with items from those sales...curtains, pillows, blankets, dishes, home decor, and also clothes, shoes, purses and jewelry. I'll also miss having a discount to the stores. I think someone said we can keep our discount card for another year. I'll have to check on that (especially since I can use it at Sephora).

On another note, it's bitter cold outside today. Bitter for those of us who live in the south and were wearing shorts and sandals just a week ago. Yikes! I'm going to have to make sure all three dogs are in bed with me tonight. You may not realize, but dogs make very good heating pads. Their little bodies can generate enough heat to start a fire. Seriously. I love it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Much randomness

Such is my life right now...full of chaos and randomness. So why would my blog be any different? :)

Last week I got on the registry to be a bone marrow donor. I'm very excited! Several years ago I looked into it, but it was going to cost me close to $100 to get registered. Then last week, an email was sent out at work saying an associate was looking for a donor, so the company would have a drive and pay for everyone's registration fees. Hey, I figure that's the least they can do for laying me off.

For more info on becoming a donor, you can look here

And I also let them pay for my flu shot.

And I'm long overdue thanking these ladies for these awards. I've been out of touch lately and am sorry I haven't done this sooner. Please know they are very much appreciated!

AJ gave me this one

And Mandi gave me this one.

Thanks girls! I've really enjoyed getting to know these two fellow bloggers. Both are very sweet. I enjoy reading about their lives, decorating triumphs and even about Zac Efron (even though I have no idea who he is, but apparently AJ lusts for him). :)

I'm a list person. I love lists and post-its. I use them for everything. Right now I've been working on a list of projects that I want to work on while I'm on hiatus from the corporate world.

There was a shoe sample sale at work today. I wasn't going to go. And I didn't. Until one of my friends came back with a cute pair of boots for me (and a bag of about 10 pairs of shoes for herself). So I decided to go up. Heck, the shoes were only $3 each pair. Never mind my shoe obsession. Never mind that I have about 100+ pairs of shoes. Well, maybe not anymore. A few months back I purged. But shoes are something I can always use. And this was my last sample sale ever (sniff, sniff).

It's not bad having a shoe obsession, is it? Shoes are put to good use, unlike some things that are just put up in a closet, never to be seen again. And, perhaps I can wear the two dressy pair on interviews. We'll see.

The silver ones intrigue me. On, they are very dressy and elegant. Off, they are reminiscent of stripper shoes. Maybe hubs will like those. ;)

Been busy copying over files from my hard drive at work to my thumb drive. Over the years, I've saved lots of pics and links of crafts, family, etc., and I don't want to lose them.

That took a long time. Who'd have thought?

Tomorrow I need to copy over .pdf versions of my samples for future jobs.

If you don't have a thumb drive, go get one. They are priceless. 4.0 gigs for $10. Great for backing up your computer, too.

Now I'm going to retreat to my flannel jammies. The ones with the dachshunds in santa hats. Tres chic.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Take a tour with me

I love our town. Actually, it's a city. And according to recent reports, it's the fastest growing city of it's size in the United States. But I call it a town, because it has that type of feel. It's actually a suburb, so I feel we have the best of both's quaint and friendly and feels like a smaller town, but it has everything you'd want located right here. I really love the old, historical areas best.

Our city happens to be the county seat. Because of this, there is a historic downtown and courthouse square. Texas is known for having beautiful historical courthouses. While ours is pretty, it's definitely not the most elaborate. But "the square" is wonderful even so! We live a short 5 minutes from the square. It's peppered with adorable little cafes, antique shops, galleries and more. I really enjoy it and spend quite a bit of time down there...sometimes to shop, browse, people watch or have a glass of wine at my favorite winery.

Lining the streets surrounding the square are beautiful old homes of several different styles: Victorian, Frank Lloyd Wright, farmhouse, craftsman, cottage. They are all stunning in their own way. Most are private residences. A few are B&Bs.

Come visit with me!

Here is our courthouse. It's very sweet. It's been recently restored and now serves as the performing arts center.

The courthouse has seen several renovations over the years since it was built in 1874.

Here it is in 1908.

Another look in 1927.

In 1939.

Notice the cars parked outside from each picture? Cool!

If you were to take a stroll, here is some of what you'd see.

My favorite shop. It's a little pet boutique called Reigning Cats and Dogs. How cute is that?! The lady who owns the shop is very sweet and is a fellow animal rescuer. She usually has at least one of her 3 dogs up there with her, along with a cat or two. She sells everything from fancy collars to beds, treats, toys and more. I love her store. It's a fun place to visit.

This place used to be an antique mall. It went out of business, and half of it now is a coffee shop/Mediterranean restaurant and the other half is a children's clothing store. I haven't eaten dinner there, but we've had coffee/tea, and it's really good.

My favorite winery.

Even Cissy had fun at the winery. Some folks at the next table gave her pieces of cheese from their wine and cheese tray. She also got lots of lovin's from everyone.

Here's a sweet old-fashioned family-run pharmacy that has been around for well over 100 years. We didn't realize until we were down there a couple of weeks ago that they have been hit with hard times due to the economy. It's a shame. I saw on the news recently that the owners are hoping an investor will come in and save this piece of history.

I love our "town."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Christmas will be here before you know it

Anyone starting to think of Christmas crafts and decor yet?

Christmas and Halloween are my two faves to decorate for...I have an entire closet dedicated to my c-mas decorations. Most are cherished items that have been passed down from my mother (ok, truth be told, she purged her stuff and I took it out of the "Goodwill" pile..ha). Some I made. Some are from craft swaps I joined in on with some great ladies I know from online (shout out to Gwen and Leah!).

I really enjoy making crafts, and I have a few c-mas ideas in mind for this year. I'm hoping to get started soon. I can't wait to show you pics! (provided the ideas pan out)

Here are some cute ideas from BH&G that could easily be duplicated with thrift store items and craft supplies you probably already have on hand.

I've seen something done similar to this one using leftover strips of cardstock and glitter.

Inexpensive glass ornaments can be decorated with all of those scrapbook pretties you probably have stashed away.

Scrapbook paper can be used for anything!

I saw trees similar to this at the Goodwill and Borders recently for next to nothing.

Fabric and/or scrapbook paper and ribbon would be all you'd need for this one!

I'm really loving all of the different tree grouping ideas.

I have some ornaments that aren't the prettiest, but they are special nonetheless since my grandmother made them before she passed away. Do you have any decorations that are sentimental? Maybe something a friend made, or something that belonged to a grandmother?

National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week

In 1996, The HSUS launched National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week (based on an idea from the Capital Humane Society in Lincoln, Nebraska). This campaign was designed to acknowledge and promote the invaluable role shelters play in their communities and to increase public awareness of animal welfare issues and shelter services. During National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, the first full week of every November, The HSUS promotes and celebrates animal shelters across the country through media and public outreach.

You can find materials here to help you celebrate National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week in your community. The materials also can be customized to promote the important role of shelters any time of the year.

As you probably already know, two of my three dogs came from an animal shelter (the third came from a rescue group that found her at a shelter).

Adopting from a shelter saves lives. Millions of perfectly adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized every year solely on the basis that there aren't enough adopters for all of these animals. Some communities are fortunate enough to have the support from the public to create no-kill shelters.

If you can't adopt a new friend, shelters offer a variety of volunteer opportunities. In the past, I've: walked dogs, helped socialize cats, cleaned cages, participated in adoption events, wrote newsletter articles, washed, dried and folded cage towels and more. There are many more things to do: write thank-you notes to donors, become an adoption counselor, participate in grief counseling for those who've lost a beloved pet, take photos for the shelter's web site and more. It's a lot of fun! Any little bit of help they can get is truly appreciated

I've very thankful for all of the people who have volunteered/worked at shelters along with those who've adopted from them.

A great big "thank you" from me! :)