Friday, 31 December 2010

2011 Crafty Goals

Okay, I'm going to be a bit more realistic about my crafty goals for 2011. This is what I've come up with:

1. DESTASH! Seriously. I'm running out of room.
2. Make a blanket for charity/Put together a basket for charity (and deliver.)I keep saying I'm going to drop off a basket full of supplies at our local animal charity and I never get around to it. I have three blankets already and one half done but I want to make more.
3. Join 10 craft swaps. Should be easy - and good for destashing!
4. Craft 1 thing for each of my best friends - to show them how much I care.
5. Learn a new craft.

Crafts I could try:

Altered journals
Altered puzzles
Book binding
Cardboard weaving
Chunky houses
Magazine bowls
Tee-shirt recons

6. Learn to knit round things. And it's about time too.
7. Make a Mario/Zelda/gamer craft for my brother. I've been meaning to do this for a long time.
8. Write REAL letters to people - because it means MORE than an email.
9. Try 12 new recipes. I'm getting into cooking and I really enjoy it.
10. Finish my latch hook kit. I've had this FOREVER and I'm still working on it.
11. Craft for my etsy. I've been slacking big time.
12. Work on promo items/submission to The Sampler - AFTER I get my etsy back up and running.

I call him Mongo.

Okay. I can understand WHY people sneer at me when I say "I have a migraine." Too many people use that phrase when they mean "I have a really bad headache." I, however, know the difference.

A headache is pretty annoying.

A migraine puts you flat on your back.

When I say "I have a migraine," I mean that the muscles in my shoulder and neck have cramped up, my head feels like it's being squeezed in a vise and my eye is throbbing. Oh, don't forget that every light in the room is pulsing in time to my throbbing eye and that every sound I hear makes me want to throw up.

When you have a headache, you take a couple of painkillers and deal with it. I take a DOCTOR PRESCRIBED pill every night to try to prevent the migraines from starting plus another DOCTOR PRESCRIBED pill when the bloody things start anyway.

So when I say "I have a migraine" don't smirk at me and make jokes. It's not funny - it's an effing medical condition.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Happy Holidays!

It's horrible to say, all things considering, but we had a good Christmas here at the Vanian house. We slept in, opened pressies, watched telly, visited the MIL and BIL and opened more pressies, played CoD, ate lots of junk food and had a few adult beverages, watched more telly and fell asleep together on the sofa. We both got loads of stuff we wanted - and, of course, the odd thing or two that wasn't so much what we wanted - and got to spend the day pretty much alone - which we haven't done once in eight years.

Sucks that it had to be because his mom has cancer, though.

Anyway, Did I share my presents with you yet? Meet our two new kittens:

One is a biter and one is a cry baby. Naturally, I called them Damon and Stefan. :) It's hard to tell them apart at the moment unless you pick them up. Damon is very cwtchy and loves to be with you but Stefan is a loner and doesn't want to be held. How apropos, right? Lol.

Willow hates them but Willow hates pretty much everyone and everything. Thankfully, they're already litterbox trained and they aren't big enough to do too much damage to the tree!

Sweep enjoyed his present this year too. We got him - as a joke - a reindeer with a rattle in his head and sixteen squeakers. (The MIL yelled at me everytime I bought him a toy with a squeaker so this was suppose to make her laugh. Which she did when I told her about it. She even called me a "little bitch," just like she would have if she'd been home to see it.) He also got a giant rawhide bone. Watching him open his presents was funny. I had to tear a little piece open but once he saw what was inside, he couldn't wait to get in it.

Who would spend the holidays with pets? Lol.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Happy Holidays?

I hope you are all enjoying the festive season.

We're struggling to do so here, to be honest. You know the DH was in the hostpial this week? And that his mother has been in the hospital for the past two weeks? Well... Yesterday, the DH was summoned to the hospital by his mother's doctor. They told him (and his brother) that his mother has cancer.

They found a shadow on her lung and one on her spine. When the DH asked how big they were, the doctor told him it didn't matter. They're going to be performing more tests to see how bad it is and what can be done.

She has pretty much given up, according to the DH. "Gone to pieces" were his words. I know it's a terrible thing to say but I dread seeing her later this afternoon. I'm really not good at the emotional scenes.

The DH is stoic as ever. He made the phonecall to his dad to tell him. (They've been divorced a good fourteen years or so.) Really, I think he's just trying not to think about it - especially trying not to think about how, less than six months after being diagnosed with lung cancer, my big brother died this year.

It seems pretty crappy of life, if you ask me. Wasn't it bad enough for my father to die two months ago? And my brother the two months before that? And for my husband's dog and my dog to die on the same day? (four thousand miles apart) And for our favourite cat to run away? And for me to miss practically a whole month of work because of a sprained back? And for him to severe a tendon in his hand? And...

You get the point.

A few months ago, I said "How much bad stuff is one person suppose to live through in a year?" I guess I'm finding out now. Thank the gods there are only seven days left of this year.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Happy Solstice!

Yesterday was a very productive day for me. Although I didn't get to celebrate the Solstice in the way that I would have liked, I did manage to get a whole lot done around the house, went grocery shopping AND put up our tree.

I love our Nightmare Before Christmas tree! Since I'm Wiccan and the DH is agnostic - and we're both a little strange - it just wouldn't be right to have anything else. Our house IS very tiny, though, and it's a six foot tree so there's not a whole lot of space left over. Still, for two weeks, we can cope.

The DH is still in a lot of pain with his hand and he says the pills he's on are making him feel sick all the time. Poor thing. I don't like leaving him here all alone while I go to work but I've already missed four days in the last two weeks so I don't really have much of a choice. Here's hoping he gets better soon.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Crafty Goals 2010

With only 10 days left of 2010 (thank the gods!), I thought I'd have a look at my Crafty Goals for 2010 (originally posted to a friends only journal). How did I do? Well... Maybe I was a bit ambitious?

1. Attempt to make one decent fimo creation
2. Complete my latch hook kit
3. Complete an altered journal
4. Complete a crohook project
5. Cook/bake something new every month Well, no BUT I have cooked more which I consider a success.
6. Craft something for each of my friends
7. Craft a Repo! craft
8. Craft a Star Trek craft
9. Craft a Mario/Zelda craft
10. Craft a Dr who craft
11. Craft for a craft fayre/show
12. Crochet anything amigurumi
13. Crochet a blanket for charity 50%
14. Crochet a lovespoon
15. Crochet at least one set of bangles
16. Crochet at least one headband
17. Crochet at least 12 granny squares
18. Crochet a bag/purse
19. Crochet a water bottle holder
20. Cross stitch a sampler
21. Cross stitch something Mario
22. Have a serious attempt at gardening
23. Join 10 swaps 9/10
24. Knit something ROUND
25. Knit at least one dishcloth
26. Learn a new craft
27. Learn a new papercraft
28. Make hand warmers
29. Make a dozen ATCs
30. Make a couple chunky houses
31. Make an altered puzzle
32. Make a magazine bowl
33. Make a zine
34. Make (stock) felt ornaments
35. Make a gift for preggo friend But I LOST it so it doesn't count.
36. Make a gift for moving friend
37. Make 2 dozen promo items
38. Make a submission to The Sampler
39. Make chinchilla/rat toys
40. Make a terrarium
41. Needle felt a big project
42. Needle felt a set of rainbow bangles
43. Paint ONE thing that doesn't completely suck
44. Recon a tee-shirt
45. Recon a My Little Pony
47. Revamp my etsy (handmade) shop
48. Sew geek brooches: floppy disk, Pac-Man set, triforce, etc
49. Sew (restock) Happy Little Uterus Plushies
50. Sew Happy Little Floppy Disk
51. Sew Happy Little Acorn Plushie
52. Sew Goddess dolls
53. Start a quilt/Learn to quilt
54. Start a tee-shirt quilt (completely different, of course)
55. Stencil 2x canvas totes
56. Thrifty recons
57. Try home made dog treats
58. Try making inchies
59. Try origami
60. Try book binding
61. Try cardboard weaving
62. Try making my own paper
63. Make a dottee
64. Make a needle felted bowl

Yep. I should be ashamed of myself. So have I done ANYTHING crafty this year? Not as much as I'd like, that's for sure.

Let's end the year on a positive note (the year ending is positive enough on its own!)... What I HAVE accomplished this year:

1. Needle felted a Pac-Man & Blinky
2. Needle felted bangles
3. Needle felted a Mario 1UP bag
4. Painted a mini set of Space Invaders
5. Made 2 dottees
6. Made 3 charm bracelets
7. Needle felted a set of bowls
8. Sewed an owl brooch
9. Painted a Pac-Man box
10. Crocheted 3 stuffed toy hammocks
11. Sewed a sugar skull
12. Needle felted a double decker purse
13. Made a lacy cuff bracelet
14. Crocheted a necklace
15. Crocheted a set of bangles
16. Crocheted four scrunchies
17. Cross stitched dirty words
18. Crocheted a bag
19. Crocheted 3 pairs of slippers
20. Made fibre wrapped bangles
21. Crocheted a lap blanket
22. Tried 5 new recipes

Huh. When you put it that way... I'm actually quite proud of how much I accomplished this year. :) You can check out some of these projects on facebook.

I guess it's time to start thinking about how much I want - REALLY want - to accomplish in 2011...


Well, it's been an interesting couple of days here. I sent the DH out to check the garden path for me, to make sure it was safe to go down on my way to work, and what happened? He slipped and fell - and put his hand right through the front of the greenhouse.

He tried to convince me that he didn't need to go to the emergency room ("I'll just superglue it.") but when we looked at the wound and saw BONE, he lost that argument. I had to call his best friend and have him take us to the emergency room at about 11.30 last night. They did x-rays to make sure there was no other damage and then put him in a queue to have stitches - except when they went to stitch it up, they realised that he'd severed a tendon 75% which meant that he needed additional surgery.

At about 9AM they finally came around to tell the DH that they were finding him a bed in a ward and scheduling him for surgery. They told us that they expected to do the surgery sometime after 5PM and they thought he'd need to stay in overnight so we talked about it and he convinced me to go home and pick up a few things for him and his mom - who has been in the hospital for the past week with a back problem.

I caught a bus from the hospital into town, picked up what they needed and caught a bus home. That's the short version. The longer version includes being blinded by the snow and nearly falling on my face a hundred times. And my bus? Over an hour late. It slid all over the road too and the driver stopped three times to call the depot. I knew as soon as the bus stopped that I wouldn't see another one for that day which really upset me because I knew the DH would be waiting for me to come back.

So I spent an hour on the phone, trying to get ahold of the DH. Every department I got through to said they didn't have him and didn't know who did. When I did finally manage to hunt him down, he'd already been through the surgery and was in recovery. They told me that they were ready to send him home - I just needed to find him a ride.

In the middle of a blizzard.

I called his best friends but they were both stuck in the snow. His brother was stuck in Cardiff because of the snow. I called about twenty taxi firms - half of them wouldn't answer and the rest straight up said no. At his friend's suggestion, I called the hospital and asked if they could arrange an ambulance for him. The "sister" got really bitchy with me, telling me that "they had to find their own way home" and "they really needed his bed."

I was in tears, trying to figure out how to get him home. Finally, I had to call him and tell him I just couldn't find him a ride. THEN the nurses decided to try to be helpful. They said that they would do what they could to get him home. An hour or so later, the snow let up a bit and one of the DH's friends called and said he'd TRY to get to the hospital. Three hours later, the DH got home. He's stuck in a plaster cast for a week which is making him pretty crazy. He's not suppose to drive until it comes off - which I don't think is an issue since the car is snowed in.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Fried pickles!

The DH and I tried fried pickles the last time we were in America and we both loved them. When we got back, I decided I'd give them a go and see how they turned out. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't find everything that I need because Britain doesn't always have the same products America has and, if they do, they tend to call them something else - like pickles. Spent ages looking for pickles until I realised that here, they're called sweet cucumbers. Makes sense, I suppose, but it didn't occur to me straight away.

I finally had everything that I needed to make them yesterday - including TIME since we're snowed in at the moment. And here's what I came up with:

They're not as pretty as the ones we had at Hooters, of course, but they are pretty tasty. The first couple of batches didn't turn out very well because the batter kept coming off. It took me two goes to realise what I was doing wrong: instead of battering up the pickles (is that a word?), putting them in the fryer and lowering the basket, I needed to lower the basket, batter them up and place them directly in the oil. I also realised that it worked better if I cut the pickles in half because it made them less floppy. Maybe I should have known straight away but I'm really not the best cook.

Oh, I got the recipe from

A new blog!

Well, I've been debating whether or not to start a new public blog for awhile now and - as you can see - I've decided in favour of it. My livejournal will continue to function as my private/fanfic journal and this will be my crafting/cooking/photography/everything else journal.

I'll have to work on a new look for this blog - and maybe matching up that look with my website Wondra's World. (And eventually moving my site to a less pop-up friendly host.) But at 7AM on a Sunday, I think this is just about as much as I can manage.