Hey, remember me?

We don't have internet at home still and now that I don't get paid to sit in front of the internet all day, I have gotten out of my old internet obsessions. I haven't even been able to read Harlot since October! I do have her latest book to read still though. Any way... Thought I would catch up with a quick post. We have a new addition to our little family, her name is Bella. She was born 9-14-06 and we adopted her from a shelter that was at the Novi Pet Expo the weekend of November 17. Here are some pictures of her from the first couple days we had her.

She was pretty stinky, so we ended up giving her a bath the first night.

And here we are hanging out on the couch.

She is a Sheltie mix, We aren't sure what she's mixed with, so we don't know how big she'll get. She was 6 pounds last week, probably up to 8 now. It's been almost a month since we got her and she is doing really well. She sleeps with us and is our new licking and biting and barking alarm clock. 7:30 is perfect during the week, but she can't differentiate between a tuesday and a sunday.

In other news... I'm still working at home, which means I spend all my time in the sewing room working and when the work is done, I don't want to be in there anymore. So, no new art to show off for now. And now that Bella is here, there isn't much knitting happening either. A couple more months and she'll be better around the needles and knitting. Right now anything that is within reach is a toy. Including our socks, my purple fuzzy slippers, a gardening glove she found in the yard, and used dryer sheets. She'll pretty much play with anything that she can carry away.

That's all for now. Christmas is coming and only one person is for sure getting anything home made. The trekking socks, well, it is still just one sock, not a pair yet. They will be wrapped and under the tree whether finished or not. More likely 'NOT'. I will try to post at least once a month for now, but I think we'll be getting the internet at home soon.

HOpe everyone had a lovely thanksgiving and that you all have a great Christmas too!



Somehow I left the house today without putting my contacts in. Two months ago, that wouldn't have been a problem, I would have noticed as soon as I got to work and looked at my computer screen. But this time, I noticed when I was half way to work, which instead of the 10 minute drive I had 2 months ago, is a 45 minute drive now. So I couldn't turn around and go back, or wait till lunch time to go home and put them in... nope, have to wait till 5 when I get to leave. Which will be too late. I will already have a headache. grrrr...

So, I just wanted to slip into my own blog and write a little sumthin' sumthin'.

The entry deadline for Quilt National has come and gone and I didn't get to send anything in. I wanted SO bad to send in my black remazol wholecloth quilt that I've been hand quilting since spring. It is just moving along too slowly, and I don't want to rush it because I want it to be perfect. So, maybe next year.

It is my last week of work. Starting Monday I am officially an artist. Doing someone else's art, but that is beside the point. It's a stepping stone. It's all a stepping stone to my dream job, ARTEEEEEST. I'm still a little nervous, but I think it will all work out.

I dyed some fabric over the weekend, I am starting a multi-process and multi-layered piece to hang in a cool old frame in our bedroom. I acqured the frame from my old job at a frame shop. When customers would bring in art that was already frame, sometimes they didn't want their old supplies back, so they were up for grabs for employees. Needless to say that I have BOXES and BOXES of stuff in our basement that came from my almost 4 years at that job. Ryan too, because that is where we met!

Anyway... Not much else new to report. Going to look into getting internet hooked up at home in the next week or two. Then I can get back to posting regularly. Please know that I miss ya'll when I am so far away from the whole world, without my internet, without my blogs to read, without my Ebay... the list goes on... and now, my MySpace. ugh... I resisted for SO long, but I finally gave in and started a myspace. It's fun so far, addicting. Like when you first start reading blogs, you can sit there for hours going from one page to the next.


do it already

Oh.... you have no idea how many times I've opened up blogger and started to write a couple sentences, read them over and then said, "that's dumb" or "that's boring" (not to mention the times that I stared at the blank screen) and just closed the window and went somewhere else. But today, even if it is dumb or boring... gotta write something.

Things are changing and I'm freaking out a bit. kinda starting to cry right now at work because I just changed something huge and I don't know what's going to happen next.

Quitting your job because you hate it and are bored is a good reason right? Quitting your job for those reasons, plus getting to work for an artist is a good reason. Except when your original job paid really well even though you had to get up at the ass crack of dawn and drive for 45 minutes to get there because you bought an awesome house too far from work. I have been weighing all these things for days. I am looking, searching, hunting for a 2nd job to go along with my awesome work-at-home-doing-art-for-someone-else-almost-full-time job, because I need to make up the difference in my pay, because HOLY MAMA, I OWN A HOUSE now and have lots of bills.

whoa... not at all what I expected to come out when I started typing. I really came to show some pictures of what I've been working on at home, which isn't a whole lot, but it's something.

I made my Grandma a roll up dpn case for her birthday and included a set of size 1's in the 5-inch length, which are THE BEST!

Turns out that she has never used the 5-inchers before... oh she will LOVE them for socks! How can a sock knitter use the long ones? I have tried since I switched over the the 5's and man, they just get in the way of each other. I love my 5" needles!

And, here is a purple rail fence quilt that I started back in the apartment.

It is layered and trimmed and ready for quilting and binding. I am thinking of some all over floral pattern. something to really be opposite to all the geometric stuff.

And, to all those that loved these pieces before... I had to do it.

I peeled off all the little details. I even threw them away. I really could just leave them the way they are now. I love them. But I will probably do some hand stitching on them.

For now... I have a stack of resumes to read and sort through. My replacement you know. Hard to read and process them all when you can't think straight.

Hopefully will be updating more regularly again soon. Still no internet at home.
But Sunday... Oh... Sunday is the Fiber Festival in Chelsea. I have $50 burning a hole in my pocket, and I will be buying yarn with it.


The difference 12 square feet can make

We started our first big home improvement adventure last night. The hall closet is no more. I brushed my teeth and blow dried my hair and put my makeup on this morning and didn't bump my elbow once. It was great.

So here are some pictures of the bathroom up until 7:00 last night.

As you can see, the sink is tiny and not as deep as the wall on the right side of it. The other side of that wall is the hall closet.

And this is what it looks like now.

It will probably look like this for a few months until we fix the roof. That will be at least $1,000 to buy supplies and do it ourselves. And by "ourselves" I mean, Ryan and his buddies will fix the roof, I will hand them tools from the ground and go get beer and pizza and maybe make a cake or some other dessert (the strawberry shortcake with berries masserated in Vodka went over well last time). The roof has to be done before winter and we're planning on the bathroom costing another $1,000, so we'll have to save up for a while before we can buy the new vanity and fixtures.

There was only one casualty in the process (besides of course the closet). Here I am doing the first bit of demolition. I got to do the first wail on the wall. But in that first hit, becuase the handle on the hammer was so short, my knuckles hit the wall and my ring got smashed between the handle and the wall.
Now it looks like this:


Finally some freakin' pictures

As soon as I got home on Friday I headed straight for the box I thought the camera cords would be in. EUREKA!!! I packed them in around my computer monitor at the last minute... I probably chose that box so I would remember where they were and be able to find them quickly. Isn't that always the way it goes.

So, the sewing room is assembled as far as the furniture goes. All the stuff that gets stored in or on the furniture is not so organized yet. I am getting an itch to get in there and get it done enough so I can sew. I think it's been at least 2 months since I have sat at the machine for longer than 20 minutes. And the button I sewed back onto my pants on Sunday doesn't count.

This is my sewing table and machine. I have the table set up so that I am facing the doorway when I sew. I don't like to have my back to the door when I'm sewing, especially because my machine is so loud that I wouldn't hear anyone come in the room. And, because of the hilarious habit Ryan has of sneaking up on me and saying BOO!

This is an old ugly hand-me-down dresser that I am not at all attached to, but it serves it's purpose. My dad built a little table top and I use it as an ironing surface and storage.

Here is a shelf that I'm going to store all my calico and hand dyes on. This spot in the room gets no direct sunlight, so it should be perfect to just leave everything folded and on the shelves. My design wall is there to the right. It doesn't get much direct sunlight either.

And last night I set up my little loom area. The sewing room isn't big enough to keep the loom in, so I set it up just outside the sewing room in the basement living area. That bench is FULL of all my coned yarn. When Ryan picked it up at my apartment to take it out to the moving truck I told him, it's not heavy, it's just full of yarn... The groan he made when he picked it up said otherwise.

On the other side of the wall behind the loom in that picture is about a 10 by 10 storage room that also has the furnace in it. There is no outlet on the wall in the living area of the basement, so I had to plug in that silver lamp around the corner in the storage room. The previous owners had their carbon monoxide detector plugged into that outlet, but there was room for one more thing, so I plugged in the lamp and turned it on. Nothing. Made sure the light bulb was still good and screwed in all the way, tried again, nothing. Went into the storage room and turned on the light switch and the silver lamp came on... Did you catch that? That stroke of genius? The previous owners plugged their carbon monoxide detector into an outlet that only works when the light switch is turned on. GENIUS.

Shannon and my parents came over on Friday for a weenie roast around our fire pit. It was our first party-type thing at our new house and all we did was come up with the idea. Mom brought the dogs, buns, beer and even some cooking tools. All we supplied was a little bit of gasoline to get a fire going... Which at over $3/gallon is nothing to huff at. haha. We tried to get my dad to drink a beer, but he wouldn't. We thought maybe if his only choices were beer or water, surely he'd choose beer. He ended up walking to the gas station around the corner to get a pop.

Here is Ryan and I sitting at the fire. Shannon took about four dumb pictures of us with fake smiles. I knew in order for a picture to turn out with us looking like we were actually having fun she'd have to do something funny. She did. She was wearing a skirt and sitting on a blanket on the other side of the fire from us. I yelled out a specific request, just before she took the picture, for her to do something very unlady-like... she did.

and here is one of Shannon and Ryan cooking their weenies. (They really were having fun, even though they both look bored out of their minds.)

It was a fun time and I think we're going to do it again soon.



I had 10 extra minutes this morning before I had to leave for work, so I went downstairs with my camera to take some pictures of my roughly assembled sewing room in the new house. Then I remembered that I haven't taken any pictures yet not because I didn't have time, but because I don't know where the cord is to get the pictures from the camera to the computer. It's in a box labeled "computer stuff" and it is somewhere in the house. I haven't found the box yet. I am sure I put all the cords for my camera and my iPod all in the same box and then wrote on it, "camera cord" or something obvious. Because I knew I would want that before we set the computer up. I looked in ALL of my boxes in the sewing room, and the basement where all of the still packed boxes have accumulated. So of course, my 10 extra minutes turned into 15 minutes of me looking through boxes that I had already checked, then remembering I still had to put on my shoes and gather all my work stuff before I could leave. 20 minutes later I was on the road and stuck behind a gas guzzler that couldn't decide if he should do 5 under or 5 over the speed limit. If it isn't a soccer mom on the phone, it's a gravel truck... every single morning. For the two weeks I have been commuting to work so far I have been late. Why does it take 35 minutes to get TO work, but only 25 to get home, when I take the exact same roads?!

Shannon is in town this weekend and she is coming over tonight to see the new house. We're going to have a fire in the fire pit and cook hot dogs and s'mores. Ryan and I had our first fire in the pit earlier in the week and if you had been there you would have laughed so hard at us city kids having to start a fire with gasoline. It took so long to get the fire going and actually get the LOGS to start burning instead of the brush and newspaper underneath. And then the first dose of gasoline burned off and we had to put more on it. By the time it was a good fire we were bored with it and wanted to go inside. I think we figured out some better techniques though and it should be easier this time around.

Pictures on Monday. That is the goal. I think I just thought of where they are... I remember having some extra space in the box I put the computer monitor in... I think that's it.

I had a little time to knit last night. I am done with the heel flap on the brown/purple sock. It looks the same as the first one, you can see it here. I am anxious to get this pair done because it is boring the hell out of me. I want to start a pair of trekking socks. I got a brand new ball of Trekking in a certain boring colorway for a certain big-footed man that will get his first pair of hand knit socks for Xmas this year. I also got a set of shorter bamboo size 1 dpns that I am anxious to try out. It has taken everything in me to not start these socks without finishing the brown/purple ones.
Has anyone out there ever knit man-socks for someone with wider than average feet? I'm wondering if I should cast on more or maybe do some increases around the ball area of the foot. And I'm thinking that if I do a 2 by 2 riibbing all the way down to the toe it will be more snug and stretchy.


Peachy Keen

Whoa, I knew it had been a long time since I posted, but I didn't realize HOW long until I went back to view my last post. (Surprise, I don't re-read my own blog after it is posted!) My excuse (this time) is that I didn't think all the stuff going on right now would be interesting to a whole lot of people that come here looking for Yarn Porn, quilts and other fibery goodness. Not much of that has been going on, unless you consider doing laundry "fibery goodness".

We just love our new house and are both so happy. We have melded our lives together perfectly. Yes it has only been two weeks, but we have been spending more time together than we EVER have, we've been making big decisions, we've been dealing with money, and still no fighting, arguing or agreeing to disagree. It seems like people are standing back, watching and waiting for some kind of shit to hit the fan. People at work keep asking, "How is the house" I say, "It's GREAT!" and they say, "so, how do you like having a room mate?" It seems like they just can't wait to hear some dirt. For me to tell them that he puts the toilet paper roll on the wrong way, that he leaves his dirty socks on the couch, that he doesn't do laundry or dishes. And honestly, I can't say that. None of it. Okay, the toilet paper roll thing we handled immediately, but everything else isn't an issue. We both lived on our own for long enough before living together that there isn't that, "oh, if I leave this dish in the sink, it won't magically become clean and teleport itself back into the cupboard" shock that you get when you don't live with your mom any more.

The main level of the house is pretty much put together, the kitchen was first, then the bedroom and living/dining room. This past weekend I started on the sewing room. All the furniture has found its final resting place, so this week I'll be organizing and putting away fabric and yarn.

And here is the list of home improvements, and in the tentative order of importance.

  • Tear down wall in bathroom. For some reason, the builder or a previous owner thought that having a hall coat closet would be better than having a bathroom big enough to brush your teeth in without hitting your elbow on the wall. So, goodbye closet. We don't need no stinkin' closet! The wall is coming down. We probably will end up actually fixing the bathroom last, maybe this winter, but the wall is coming down ASAP.

  • Break up and remove cement driveway. There is pavement on two sides of the house, the driveway and the back yard has a good sized patio. The cement is graded TOWARD our foundation, which means any water runs INTO the foundation. The pressure of the cement pushing on the foundation is also making it bow in and crack. So the cement has to be broken up and removed.

  • New roof.

  • Then we can start thinking about remodeling the bathroom

  • Finish the almost finished basement, which may include un-doing what was already done and starting over.

I also want to paint almost every room in the house. But, since the kitchen/dining room/living room will all be remodeled eventually, we're only worried about painting the bedroom.

Still no internet at home, and probably won't have it for a while. I'll take some pictures soon and will have to load them here at work.

I am still having a hard time grasping the OWNING part of this living situation. I can't grasp that I'm setting up my sewing room and it will stay that way for longer than a year. I still see For Sale and For Rent signs when I drive around and for a split second think, "oh, I'll have to remember to look that one up". And I'm still on the look out for empty boxes for moving. For two months I snatched up every empty box I could get my hands on. Now that our garage is full of empty and broken-down boxes, I can't quit the habit to acquire more. And the most surprising habit that has carried over from renting an upper unit apartment; when we drop something or walk around on our wood floors and they creek or I notice that I am walking with a heavy footed gait, I think, "the people downstairs will be pissed."


The ink is dry

We signed all the papers, got the keys and some money that was part of the deal (towards a new roof) today. We had lunch with my mom and then headed to our respective homes to load up some preliminary moving items. I wanted to get my loom over to the house and Ryan wanted to get his motorcycle and tools over today. Mom and I intended on cleaing the house today while it was still for the most part empty, but we cleaned the windows and called it done. The previous owners cleaned it pretty well before they left.

So this is my last night in my apartment, my last night of sleeping alone and my last post in my apartment before I shut down and pack up the computer. We don't plan on signing up for cable or internet service right away. We are going to be so busy with unpacking, getting settled and doing our respective hobbies, that cable tv and internet is going to be fairly low on the list. Plus, it's a big expense every month and we want to make sure we aren't spending more than we have to while we're figuring out what all our bills will be like and all that fun stuff of home ownership. Not to mention all the nickel and dime things that will come along that we'll need/want to do to the house.

So, I won't have access to the internet again until I go back to work on Tuesday... OH MY GOD... Will I survive?!

I have to say that Yarn Harlot picked the WRONG day to come to Ann Arbor. She will be here on Sunday at the Library for a reading/signing and I know I will be busy at the house setting up everything and unpacking and as much as I REALLY want to go see her, I know I won't want to leave my new house for a couple hours for it.

That is all for now, pictures of the house and my new sewing room will come in due time.


One more week of...

  • Living alone

  • Noisy neighbors

  • This lovely view from my bedroom window

  • Parking in a parking lot

  • The wonderful blasts of screamin' hot water in the shower when a neighbor flushes the toilet

  • Squeeky floors and bed noises in the bedroom above mine

  • Annoying, over-sensitive car alarms in the middle of the night

  • Going to Mom and Dad's to do laundry

  • My small hallway of a kitchen

  • The heavy-footed people in the stairwell

We close next Friday. We had one more speed bump to overcome last week, but that is past us, and now the only thing to do is finish packing and get really really excited.


**Insert clever title here**

What a crazy week it's been. Nothing too frustrating, stressful or worrisome has been going on, but with the holiday on a Tuesday, it kind of messed up the whole week. Saturday Ryan and I went to a birthday party at his parents' house, which is usually a Sunday destination for us, so Saturday really felt like it was Sunday. Sunday actually felt like Sunday because I had to work on Monday. I left work early on Monday because there was no one else there and no one was calling because I think I was the only person in Michigan (and some of Ohio) that had to work on Monday. So since I left early and didn't have to work the next day, it made it kinda feel like a Friday. Then Tuesday was the holiday, so that felt like another Sunday because it was a day off and I did have to work the next day. Then on Wednesday, thinking the rest of the week would be getting back to normal, felt like a Monday. Thursday felt like Friday and Friday felt like a Wednesday for some reason. I can't really explain why today didn't feel like Friday, but believe me I was glad when I finally realized it.

The ratio of Yarn:Bills in today's mail made me extremely happy. I ordered some yarn from Elann.com on Monday. It came in the mail today. They are so quick and affordable. I got 3 skeins of a reddish/maroon and one skein of pumpkiny orange 100% peruvian wool to make a French Market Bag from Knitty. I'm kindof planning projects and hordeing yarn, I'm anticipating a... um... financial shortage coming. So I think I need to buy yarn while I can. Stockpile, ya know.

So tonight, I almost finished a sock. Just need to kichener it up.

BUT... The book that holds the mystery of the kichener stitch is packed somewhere in this mess of boxes and bags. That sounds like a project to tackle tomorrow.

I haven't used the kichener stitch enough to memorize it, I still need to read the instructions out of my sock-shaped sock book.

And the BEST most exciting thing I've been waiting and waiting for...

It's real, I really did graduate. Having not participated in the commencement ceremony and since it is summer whether I would be taking classes in the fall or not, it still isn't really real to me that I don't have to go back in the fall, or ever.


Third time's the charm

I haven't posted because we've still been busy house hunting. The one I talked about last time was not for us. We made an offer, but ours wasn't the only one. We had a chance to counter offer, but the other offer was still higher and they accepted that one. Which, we have found out is a good thing, because our panicked counter-offer was too high for our income and we would have been broke after a couple months. I think we were getting a little too greedy and picky, we looked at at least 25 houses. A lot of them out of our price range, hoping we could offer less. So, we made an offer on a house that was actually our "first choice" for a couple days before we saw the other two that we made offers on. This one is a perfect starter house. We made the offer Friday evening and got a call about three hours later that our offer was accepted as written!!! I will have a studio in the finished basement, near the laundry room where I can do my dying. The yard is very large and we are only a couple blocks from town. We close at the end of the month, so I still have about 4 weeks to finish packing. Which really means, I can think about packing for 3 weeks, and actually start on the 4th week. It also means I have only 3 days to move out of my apartment and clean it and do any cleaning at the new house and get everything into it. No problem, right?

I've been working on a sock and started the Lotus Blossom Tank in the latest Interweave Knits. I'm using Elisebeth Lavold Silky Wool in pink. I'm almost done with the first lace repeat and it isn't too hard. I've only had to tink back one round so far. The lace pattern is not repetitive enough to be done while watching tv, movies or with any other distractions. This is "alone time" knitting; which is why I'm not farther into it after two weeks.


Good things come to those who wait... and... I always get what I want.

After a month of wating for news and dealing with crazy bankers, crazy realtors and crazy home buyers (yes, us, we're going crazy), we have withdrawn our offer on the house. We went back to look at the house Wednesday night. It was storming pretty good and had been raining on and off for about 24 hours. We walked up to the porch and peeked in the windows. The house was empty except for a tv, a spiderman chair, a pair of little boy's underwear, random cd's, toys and cleaning products and a crib full of stuffed animals. When we walked in the door, I looked up at where we noticed water damage stains the first time through the house. We had examined the roof (from the ground) and it looked as though the water damage had been fixed and should be water tight again... well... we were wrong. Wet Plaster. We wandered the house and things we hadn't noticed before were everywhere; evidence of past water damage in the basement, stained carpet, shotty (shoddy?) cabinets in the kitchen. Seeing the kitchen with no appliances was a shock too. We knew they were taking them, but actually seeing them gone was weird. Made us realize that yes, we are going to have to drop a grand on appliances if we get this house. So, after talking to the listing agent about all these problems, he said we would be buying the house AS IS, which means we would not lower our offer because of the problems we would have to fix. Nor would we be reimbursed. So, they can keep it. We have found something else that is actually exactly what I pictured myself in. We overlooked it at first in favor of a newer house, but it turns out that the newer house has more problems. We're writing an offer on Saturday. And there is just no way that this deal can take any longer than we waited for the previous one. So we hope to have an answer in less than a week, and have a closing date set for mid-July with posession at closing. Which leaves me plenty of time if I decide to not pack another thing until then... and I'll probably do that. That's the way I roll. I like to wait till the last minute.

Everything with the house seems to be falling into place perfectly. If the process had gone smoothly, we would have taken their word for the pool being "opened" (which does not mean brown, murky water with toads living in it, as is the case right now) and we wouldn't have known that the roof does in fact leak into the living room, we wouldn't have seen all the stains in the carpet, or the water damage in the basement, or the stench in the garage that was so bad, we couldn't go in there. We would have bought the house, closed on it next Friday, and then had to spend $1,000 on appliances, at least $3,000 on a new roof, more on new carpet, paint and who knows what else. It was so frustrating, time consuming and maddening, but now it is over and it's for the best. I do not feel bad at all about losing this house.

Wait, what did you say? This is a knitting/fiber art blog? oh yeah... ummm

  • Skirt is done and seamed

  • Socks are done, as seen in last post

  • Heading toward the toe on sock 1 of the next pair

  • Mentally preparing to start my first garment... one of the lace bottomed tank tops from the current Interweave Knits. pink/cream wool/silk blend. (I guess the skirt was my first garment, but it was easy.)

  • I'm on a rail fence quilt kick too. I have ideas for about 5 more... those will probably wait till after the move though.


Boxes and Soxes

I have had quite a productive couple of days. I've been ADD packing all week. I got a jackpot of boxes from a local produce store and started randomly packing things. I have 4 big boxes of clothes that either don't fit or I just don't wear anymore. All are moving with me, I'll go thru them after the move. Hopefully we'll have enough crap for a garage sale. The rest of the boxes I've packed so far have books and fabric. Ryan was very happy to find out that I alternated fabric and books in each box. So they don't all weigh 50 pounds. (When I moved out of my parents house I packed a lot of books in BIG boxes. He could hardly lift them... he didn't think it was funny) So this time, anything that is packed too heavy for ME to lift, gets unpacked and redistributed.

I still feel like it is too early to start packing. My lease is up July 31st, so regardless of not having a signed contract yet, I have to move somewhere by the end of July; whether it is into our house, or into a storage unit and live at my parents' house for a couple weeks.

Friday I finished this pair of socks, yarn is Lana Grossa Meilenweit 7018. My first pair of socks knit on size 1's. I don't think it was any more tedius than any other sock I've done. I love the tiny tiny any way.

And the most exciting accomplishment this weekend, was the almost 5 hours I've spent updating my website. I have redesigned the entire gallery. Here it is, Textile Stockpile Gallery, let me know what you think. The store section is up next, There are a lot of pictures that need to be redone, and I want the whole website to have the same format, just like the home page and all the new gallery pages. I think the white background is much more aesthetically pleasing than the black, and I think keeping every page with the same color format, really makes it look better, like every page is part of the whole.


"ABC's" or "I'm bored"

Accent: Michigander. But the lower peninsula, so we don’t say “eh” after every statement. We sound like we talk thru our nose, and it’s usually stuffed from allergies.

Booze: Sex on the Beach, dark beer, cheap wine (the kind that just tastes like fruit juice).

Chores I hate: cleaning the bathroom and doing dishes.

Dog/cat: Dog. Allergic to cats.

Essential Electronics: everything. I’m a city girl, can’t do without my hair dryer, computer/internet, tv, iPod.

Favorite perfume: DKNY Be Delicious

Gold/silver: Silver or white gold

Hometown: Chelsea, Michigan

Insomnia: nope, gotta get my eight hours

Job Title: Office Manager

Kids: in the next 5 years or so I hope

Living Arrangements: moving out of my apartment and buying a house!

Most admirable trait: Conscientious and optimistic

Number of countries visited: only two. US and Canada

Overnight Hospital Stays: when I was born

Phobias: heights

Quote: "I am like no one in the whole world. I may be no better, at least I am different." Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Religion: None. Was not raised in a particular religion, but do believe in God, or some kind of higher spirit. I love to read about Greek/Roman mythology and the Hindu/Buddhist religions.

Siblings: one younger sister, Shannon

Time you wake up: 7am for work, my eyes pop open at 9am on the weekends

Unusual talent: can’t think of one at the moment

Vegetable I refuse to eat: peas, lima beans, brussel sprouts

Worst Habit: sitting on my feet and crossing my legs when I sit.

Xrays: Arm when I was in pre-school. An IVP in 2001, looking for kidney stones, found two… whoopee!

Yummy food I make: spinach/artichoke dip; cheese ravioli with chicken, zucchini and carrots; lots of stir-frys; Chocolate/Cinnamon biscotti

Zodiac: Aries


Don't I know you?

One night last week, my mom and I were in a Chinese restaurant. We were sitting in a booth along the wall, waiting for our food when the people in the booth in the corner stood up and walked past us toward the cahsier. One of the older men that walked by looked familiar...

Me: Where have I seen that guy?
Me: OH MY GOD!!! I have seen that guy naked!
Mom: WHA?
Me: That guy standing at the counter, I've seen him naked! He was one of our Life Drawing models in school!
Mom: {Cringe} Oh god... I recognize him from your drawings!!!

We spent the next 10 minutes cringing and saying "ewwww!"

I suffered through that class. It was 15 looooooong weeks of drawing naked people and being ridiculed and tormented by the instructor.

Hey, I said I TOOK the class, I didn't say I was good at it.


The mark of the devil

Today is 6*6*6. I guess there are extremely pregnant women out there who are holding it in so their new baby won't have this 666 birthday. A lot of them had scheduled C-sections yesterday too. My first thought when I heard the date this morning on my way to work was, "damn... shoulda tried to conceive 9 months ago to try to get a kid with this birthday" He'd probably come out with screamin' red hair, black eyes and fangs. We could name him Lucifer. My sister had a boyfried who turned 8 on 8-8-88. Sorry for reminding you Shannon!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my apartment complex management for hiring a bunch of guys to spread mulch around all the trees and landscaping. I really appreciate being woken up at 6 am for four days in a row by semi trucks dumping loads of mulch into the parking lot outside my bedroom window and then the hours of bulldozers and trucks moving the stuff from the parking lot to the areas of landscaping. Oh, and don't forget the leaf blowers that blow the red mulch dust out of the parking lot. Really, I would gladly trade a couple hours of sleep every day to have a beautifully landscaped yard. Really. I mean it. A** holes.

I haven't blogged about anything interesting lately because I haven't really been sticking with any one project for more than an hour. Here's a run-down.

Sock: One sock done, 2nd sock is ready for heel flap

Whole cloth quilt: taking forever (hand quilting)

Skirt: knitting part is done. need to fold and sew drawstring area... doesn't sound fun, so it's been sitting in the living room for a week.

Modular scarf: DONE!!! and blocked!!!

But I did start a small quilt over the weekend. I was cleaning my sewing room a week ago and had piles of dyed fabric everywhere. I was organizing them by color and I ended up with a considerably large pile of purples. So without using my rotary cutter or mat, I cut strips of varying sizes of purples and put them all in a box. (a smarter person would have ironed the fabric before cutting it. I am not that person... I ended up ironing a box full of one-inch and smaller strips.)
Then the strips got sewn together in no particular order and not paying attention to keeping things lined up or at all even. As usual, I am a natural at keeping things even, so my un-evenness is subtle. Then the longer strips got cut into square-ish pieces and arranged on the design wall. Now it is almost all in one piece. It is hard because things don't line up like a grid, so I am having to do funky things to sew pieces into an uneven corner.

The original plan was to cut into each piece with a diagonal line or two and insert some avocado green strips, but I didn't like the way it looked. So I might machine quilt it with green. I love purple and green together.

My mind is just consumed with house stuff. We wrote an offer on a house we LOVE on Thursday the 25th. We still haven't heard anything. It is driving me crazy!!! When the realtor called me yesterday to tell me we probably wouldn't hear anything until FRIDAY, my heart sank and the rest of the evening I had that same sinking feeling you get when you get dumped out of the blue. Like a mix of depression, panic and anger.

It's just a house, it's just a house, it's just a house...



I just now got around to uploading the pictures from this weekend from my camera to the computer. So here was our set up for jeopardy watching...

The view from Shannon's front door looking out onto the porch. As you can see, Leah was not as excited about this arrangement as Shannon and I were.

And the view from my seat on the porch.


Whirlwind trip

We had a great weekend in North Carolina with Shannon! It was so sunny and warm and beautiful. We left very early Friday morning and drove straight thru to Asheville only stopping for fast food and bathroom breaks for us and the dogs. Here we are in my car before we left Ann Arbor. We tried to get a picture of all four of us in the car, but it turned out to be more of a portrait of Jada.

We got into town at about 6:30 and got settled in at Shannon's, then decided we all needed some exercise after sitting in the car for 10 hours. The dogs especially. So we went for a walk around Asheville to show Leah the huge gorgeous houses in the neighborhood. Then we headed out to Charlotte Street Pub for dinner at 10pm.

On Saturday we started out at Biltmore Village and went to the cute shops there (including Yarn Paradise!), then headed downtown to walk around a bit. We stopped for a rest and a smoke at this fountain. Saturday night we were at home, and it was so stuffy in Shannon's apartment, but so nice out on the porch, so we stayed out there. We wanted to watch Jeopardy though... So we rolled the tv stand to the doorway and turned it out toward the porch. The best of both worlds!!!

Later Saturday night we made Daquiris and sat on the porch for a good 6 hours. We played CatchPhrase for a long time, then just sat and chatted into the wee hours of the morning.

Sunday was Shannon's birthday. Remember that Knitting Olympics skirt that was to be Shannon's birthday present? Yeah, not done yet. We ended up spending most of the day sitting on her porch in the sun... well, they were in the sun, I followed the shade around. (I can not get a tan, it's impossible. I just go straight from pale to burnt.) At about 3 we were finally all ready to get out and do something. So we headed to the edge of town to a yarn store that we hadn't been to yet. When my mom was down there last week she and Shannon tried to go and it was closed. The hours were not posted on the door, it just said, "Tuesday and Saturday" Above the Closed sign. Who knows what that means, because they were there on a Tuesday and it was closed, and we were there on a Sunday and it was closed. So that was a bummer. Next we took the dogs to a park that had plenty of room for them to run around off leash for a while. We found a big stick and threw it for Billie. She even helped us get it off the tree. After we thoroughly exhausted the pups and worked up a good appetite, we took the dogs home and headed to a great restaurant called Provence 620. It was SO good. Seafood is totally different in North Carolina. Shrimp is a completely different flavor there than it is in Michigan. Probably because it hasn't been dead and frozen for so long before you eat it like it is in Michigan.

So we stuffed ourselves there and headed home to watch RENT! All three of us sat on the futon and knitted while we watched RENT. We had inteded to get to bed somewhat early, so we could get up early again on Monday to get on the road. Well, Midnight turned into 3am... and we weren't in bed yet. We got about 3 hours of sleep before waking up at 7:30. We were on the road at 8:20. Shed a few tears on the way out of the driveway and headed north.

And now I'm at work. That is all I'm going to say about that.


It's Thur-Fri-sday!

Today is my Friday. Leah will be on her way to Ann Arbor late tonight then tomorrow we are getting up before the sun, packing ourselves and her two dogs into my little car and heading south to visit Shannon in Asheville. One more time before she moves north again. It's going to be a short trip. We will spend one day in the car, two days in Asheville and one more day in the car. Totally worth it.

But tonight, before all that happens, Ryan and I are meeting with our realtor to write an offer on a house. We could not be more excited about this house. It is just perfect, we both loved it immediately and only saw it for the first time yesterday. I won't say anything more about the house because I am SOOOOOO afraid that I am getting too excited about it before we even write an offer. Don't want to jinx myself.

There will pictures and stories when I return.


Moebius... felted

Mark this day on your calendar folks. Today is Monday May 15th, 2006. I am 26 years, one month and four days old, and I plucked my first grey hair this morning. No, I did not take a picture. It's sitting on my bathroom counter. If it's still there when I get home today I'm going to drop it in a lit candle or maybe put it in the garbage disposal.

I felted the moebius basket yesterday and it looks great!!! I am definitely going to use the extra ball to make a second one. Mom wants to learn to make it, so I'll wait and start it when I teach her. Hopefully some time this week. I finished one sock on Saturday and started the 2nd one Sunday morning before heading out for the "tour of mothers". We went to my parents house first and had lunch and talked about the houses we saw on Thursday and Saturday (5 total). We stuffed ourselves with steamed cauliflower and carrots, green bean and asparagus bundles (wrapped with bacon of course!), mozzerela cheese sticks and weenie-tots (pigs in a blanket... sausages wrapped in crescent rolls. So bad, but sooooooo good). We ended up eating later than expected and had to leave before the brownie cheesecake happened.

Then we drove to Ryan's sister's house to watch her two kids while she cooked dinner. I was so stuffed already from a late lunch that I only ate half of an enchilada for dinner. I just couldn't fit anything else in there. So we sat and chatted and played with the kids and I got to knit for a while. It was a fun Sunday.

The past two or three weeks have been stuffed full of house hunting and meetings and driving around looking for For Sale signs and checking out new neighborhoods that I have hardly had time to do anything else. I went right from being busy with school to buying a house. I'm not complaining, it's one of the most exciting things I've ever done (so far), but tonight I am taking the night off. I HAVE to go to the grocery store. I really should have gone Friday. I am down to frozen dinners, canned soup and peanut butter. I had the last two pieces of bread this morning, I have no milk, no eggs, no CHOCOLATE.

I have a new favorite house. Of all the houses we've looked at, this is the first one that I can picture all our stuff in and I can close my eyes and picture where a christmas tree will go, I can see me cooking dinner in the huge kitchen, I can really picture myself hanging out in the 2 person jacuzzi tub, but that's a given. This is the first house we've seen that needs absolutely no work, we could move right in and not touch a thing until we have a kid or two and need to add on another bedroom. It does need a new garage for Ryan, but what is already there is usable for a while. Unfortunately though, we think it might be too small for us. So we are going to go look at it again on Tuesday and also going to see two more in the same town. One of those is a similar style and age, but a lot bigger. Previous owners have already added on a few times. It has five bedrooms and 2 baths and it will need a new garage also. I so so so hope that this is the perfect house for us. I love going to look at houses, but I am so anxious to finally have one and start packing and moving stuff over!


knitting goes quicker when you're not feeling guilty about what you're not doing

All I did tonight was knit. hahahahahahahaha, I love it! no responsibilites other than just entertaining myself. ahh... the life of a college graduate.

I Finished Moebius basket (except for felting) and only used one skein of yarn. I bought two for the project, so maybe I'll make another one and have a pair.
Maybe it isn't a basket...

Screw renting, let's BUY!

It's the ultimate shopping trip. The most expensive thing we'll ever buy in our lives, but the most exciting. After only viewing one house to rent, but many many calls on others we have decided that renting sucks. We have a realtor, and are shopping for a lender. We looked at 3 houses last weekend and are looking at 4 tomorrow. We only have 2 months to look and one month to do the money, paperwork, closing and inspections. So we are spending all of our free time on this.

Saturday we met with our realtor and saw three houses. We were done at about 4:30 and had planned on going to my parent's house for dinner. So I asked Ryan if he just wanted to go straight to my mom's or if he wanted to drive around. He said he wanted to go drive around Dexter, because he has never been there and if we are considering buying a house there, he wants to go see it. I said, "you've been to dexter, that's where we went to look at that house that didn't have any appliances in it, and that's where we went to the Dairy Queen and walked to the park with the river." and Ryan said, "yeah, but I never paid attention". So we drove to Dexter, I showed him the downtown area, where the hardware store is, grocery, pizza place, you know, all the important stuff. Then we drove up and down the blocks looking at houses and then he said, "are there any roads that just go out into the country?" So I showed him what roads lead out of town to other places he knows and we drove around a subdivision with $500,000-$600,000+ homes and that took us out to a road that would lead us the really long way back to my mom's. So at 5:30 I called my mom to tell her we were going out to drive by one more house and would be there for dinner in about a half hour. She said that she'd fire up the grill because we were having the best hot dogs on the face of the planet. So we drove out the long dirt road to drive by the house on 4 acres that would need way too much work and is just too far away from, well, everything. So we ruled that one out and headed back to my mom's. We pulled into the driveway, I grabbed my sheets out of the back seat that I had brought to wash while we were there, and went into the house. Dakota ran at us, always so excited to see anyone walk through our door. I walked into the dining room and saw my dad standing there with the video camera and heard, "SURPRISE!!!!!!!!" My mom had been planning this surprise graduation party for a week. Shannon came home for it, Leah was there, my grandma and an aunt and uncle, a cousin, my friend Bekkah and her son Kahner (who I was knitting a hat for, but his head grew faster than the hat did) and Ryan's parents were all there. Ryan was in on it. I was telling Shannon later that night, "wow, Ryan sure can lie well... I don't think I like that." Leah was giving me hints up and down and all over the place and I didn't put it all together. I really was completely surprised and had absolutely no idea anything was going on. it was great!

Leah stayed with me Saturday night and she taught me the Moebius cast on. When I was visiting her in Grand Rapids in April, we went on a mad knitting shop dash. We found the best yarn shop and walked in about 5 minutes before they closed. We just needed to buy some needles, so we were going to run in and run out because we saw that they were actually open on SUNDAY, so we planned on just coming back the next day to really do some damage. On our way over to the corner with all the needles, there was the cutest little felted basket sitting there. We oogled it and fondled it and ooo'ed and aaaaa'ed. The lady told us the pattern is from that book there, so leah snatched it up, asked how much yarn you need for the basket and we ran around the store looking for wool. We each each got enough yarn to make a basket, leah grabbed the book and headed to the counter to pay. We got home and read over the pattern and found that we needed a 60" circular for the cast on. We were SOOOOOOO disappointed because we had wanted to get started on it right away and it looked like a quick project that we could do in one night and even felt them before I left on Sunday.

So while Leah stayed with me this weekend, she taught me the cast on that we've been waiting to learn since that weekend. I've been bugging her to take the book in to her yarn shop and ask them to help her cast on. When she knew she was coming to my surprise party she went around to the different yarn shops to get help on it so we could do it together while she was here!

What a great weekend!!!


Final Grades

Final grades have been posted for my LAST semester. I got an A on my final test in physics. Pretty amazing considering how the semester started out, with the crying and all.


it's great to slow down and breathe

**sigh** I have just been so busy lately that I have not had time to blog... Just kidding, I've been so busy NOT going to school and NOT doing homework and NOT studying and NOT working on projects under a deadline. It's great!!!

I've been knitting and watching tv and hanging out with family. I gave my apartment a real good once-over and cleaned the hell out of it. I had been accumulating all kinds of papers and piles of stuff everywhere, stacks of junk mail to deal with later, huge piles of wunder-under release paper, tiny scraps of fabric that got thrown on the floor and then tracked into other rooms. Pay stubs and deposit receipts from months ago, all kinds of rental ads, and drawings of things I want to sew or knit. The only thing I've really kept up with is the laundry. Which is amazing because I have to leave the house and drive 20 minutes to do it.

I had my physics final on Friday and I think I did really well. I definitely passed and I think I at least got a B on it. Which means I'll still get an A or a high B+ for a final grade. Wahooooooo!!! I guess all that crying and frustrtion in the beginning was worth it. As for my textiles grade, who freakin' knows. I'll let you know when I find out though. I'm guessing it'll be another week before grades are posted online.

Ryan and I have been apartment hunting, and we looked at our first one on Friday. It was a little house on the back half of an old couple's property, out in the country. It was a beautiful lot, with a view of the lake and lots of trees and flowers (and mosquitos). The old couple took us out and opened it up, it must have been closed up all winter, and possibly even longer, because it was pretty musty and stale in there. I would guess the place was about 800 or so square feet on the main level with two bedrooms, bath, kitchen, small dining room and a living room with a screened porch. Plus it had a full basement with a half bath, laundry hook-ups, a garage that can't be used as a garage becuase they caulked the door shut (wha...?). and the upper 1/2 story was mostly finished attic space that was large enough to be a bedroom if you don't care that the walls were made of cardboard stapled to the beams to hold the insulation in. (which really, I was just glad the place was insulated). So, the old crotchety lady showed us around the place, showing us every detail of the house and where she keeps extra 50's style drapes and storm windows and extra screws and instructions for appliances and who knows what else. All the while her sweet old husband was busying himself in the kitchen, smiling. He was a cool old guy, reminded me of my grandpa on my dad's side. So, she showed us everything and we were standing in the empty living room and she said that she didn't know what else to tell us about the place and "I would expect you would want to know what YOUR responsibilites are." She gave us about half a second to respond before she said, "well, I don't see wedding bands..." That's when I said, "no" and giggled, because in my experience, people say that and are just egging us on, ya know. It's something old people say, but don't care about the answer, just to get a rise out of us. So, she leaned up against the wall, crossed her arms and said, "well, that will be a problem, I am an old fashioned woman..." Ryan didn't give her a chance to finish her sentence, he looked at me, pointed to the door and said, "ok, you ready to go?" I said yes and we politely thanked them for their time. We walked back to the car with our arms around each other and said mean things about them. heh heh.

Now we are calling ourselves "new fashioned".


Hey look, she CAN finish something she started!

I finished my little bag and felted it on Saturday, here is the before/after shot. The colors in the after picture are accurate. It was a fun and quick knit. I even have a whole skein of Manos that I didn't use, should I return it? I'd have to drive ALLLLLLLLL the way to Grand Rapids to return it... Yeah right, I'll NEVER EVER return yarn.

Last night I also finished Red Striped Rail Fence. The pic I took of the whole quilt looked exactly the same as before it was quilted, so here's just a closeup.

Last ever textiles class is tonight. It's a wierd feeling, I'm pretty excited about it, but at the same time, it's nice to have all that space and freedom and some kind of deadline and goal. I guess now I get to learn how to motivate myself to get things done.

I was over at my parents' house on Saturday, hanging out and doing laundry. I brought Shannon's skirt with me to work on, since it is my only WIP now, I did two whole rounds on the thing which took at least 45 minutes. I don't know how many stitches it has now, but it's a lot and there are still one or two sets of increases to do before it is done. Well, my mom had just finished a pair of KnitPicks socks, and didn't have another project lined up to work on. So, me, being the BRILLIANT and GENEROUS daughter that I am, gladly sacrificed my own project to give her something to work on. So, the skirt is in her trusted hands. HAHAHAHAHAHA... I cast on a sock on Sunday! I just can't not have a sock in progress. Add it to my list of weaknesses. I am using the dusty brown Pima/Tencel yarn for the main sock and the lilac color for the toe and heel, and probably a stripe at the top. (see yarn in this post, upper left corner) Pictures to come, it's less than an inch long right now, so I didn't take a picture.

Are you all using the Blingo search engine? It is SO cool! I have won three times, three separate $10 iTunes gift certificates. (and I've never gotten any spam from them) It's sponsored by Google, so you'll get the same results as if you were searching with Google, but instead you use Blingo and maybe win a prize! There are bigger and better prizes than iTunes too, you could win an iPod Nano, or a $25(or more) Visa Gift Card. The last iTunes gift cert. I got, I used it to buy an album on iTunes that I wouldn't have spent money that wasn't free on, Michael Nesmith and the First National Band, "Nevada Fighter". I bought this album (yes, on vinyl) in high school when I was going thru a pretty heavy Monkees phase (circa 1995 or so), so I thought I would put it on my iPod for a little memory-lane action.


I can see the finish line

Tomorrow night is my last critique, then we will bring all our stuff in again next Tuesday if we need to do more work on it over the weekend. And next week I have one more physics class and then the final. And that is it. The end. Finished. I dun gradiated colledge.

So here is what I am taking to the critique tomorrow, I'm calling it "Red Striped Rail Fence" Title subject to change pending appraisal of it's cheesiness. (I always think my titles are cheesy and have considered just having a billion "untitled" pieces.)

and the detail shot

I haven't shown any pictures before now because I only JUST figured it all out at about 8:00 tonight. I am pretty pleased with it. I'd like to do another one, pieced maybe instead of fused, and I'll dye gradations specifically for it, these aren't perfect gradations, but they work.

I started to take some pictures of my sewing room after this week of frantic "gotta get a freakin' quilt outta all this fabric I dyed" fusing, but I am too embarrased. it's bad. Real bad.

In knitting news, the latest socks are finished and have been worn, but not washed yet. Hand wash only ya know.
Started on the felted bag with the green and maroon Manos. It's almost done, needs a front pocket and a strap. Then I'll felt it this weekend. After that is done, it's the skirt, and only the skirt.
I Candice, do take you Olympic Skirt in a monogomous knitting relationship. I promise to work with you until you become the beautiful skirt I know you can be. I promise to knit around and around for what will seem lilke an eternity and then knit some more, purl too. I promise to be faithful. I will not cast on socks. Even though that Twizzle is SCREAMING to get some action, you are my one and only knitting project. God help me.

Oh and skirt, I hope you know there will be a frenzy of dpns and sock yarn the minute I'm done with you, so, you know, don't get too upset.

Thank you all for your nice comments regarding Olive. Honestly I expected at least one a** to comment saying that I did the wrong thing and I am a horrible person. And I guess if that is what you do think, thanks for keeping it to yourself. And I'm sorry to those of you I made cry. T'wasn't my intention.


It's time to tell the story

Today is the day the finalists of the Quilting Arts Magazine Calendar Contest are announced. I have changed the homepage on my browser to the Editor's blog, where the finalists will be posted, and am checking it obsessively. Whether I make it or not, I thought today would be a good day to finally tell the story of my entry. This is what I wrote and sent in with my entry. I've added pictures for the blog that were not included.

In December of 2004, I decided I was ready for my first dog. I started reading as much as I could about training puppies, comparing different breeds and talking to people who have had experience raising good dogs. My boyfriend Ryan and I went to the Detroit Humane Society the day after Christmas. We walked past rows of cages with adult dogs in them, and could see down the hall there were cages with animals that would not be adopted for one reason or another. We found our way to the puppy room, it was a small room with stacks of cages against three walls, there were quite a few litters of puppies that were 6 weeks old, and only a few puppies that were older. The top left cage caught my eye. A 12-week old female, white with huge black ears was whining and wagging her tail, so excited that we were talking to her. We grabbed her paperwork off her cage and went back up front so we could take her out and play with her. The employee took her out of the cage and we went into a little room where she jumped all over us and licked our faces and was so happy. I loved her instantly. We kissed her and put her back in her cage and told her we’d be back in a couple days. Back up front I took care of the paperwork and was told to come back on Wednesday, after she had been spayed and given the routine veterinary care.

We went back on Wednesday to pick her up, I think we waited in that waiting room for hours and hours, but it was probably only 15 minutes. A doctor came around the corner holding my puppy and I could see that she recognized me. Her tail started wagging and her ears laid down against her head. As soon as the doctor put her in my arms she peed all down the front of me. I got some final instructions and signed more paperwork and we were on our way home.

The first week was rough. That may be an understatement. The first week was a nightmare. I had no idea what I was doing. I had taken the week off work so I could stay home and get my puppy, who I had decided to call Olive, acquainted with her new surroundings. I spent a lot of time on the phone with my mom, my sister, and with Ryan, usually crying. I was having feelings like I had made a mistake. I didn’t know how to raise a puppy. I wanted to work in my sewing room, but every time I sat down, Olive peed on the floor, whined or needed some other attention. I don’t know what I was expecting; I guess I thought puppies slept a lot. This one sure didn’t. At the end of the week I had decided to stick with it, to keep working with Olive and she would be the best dog ever.

The next couple months brought lots of good things, along with bad. She was potty trained by the age of 4-1/2 months; she hardly ever chewed anything she wasn’t supposed to; she could sit, lie down, come when she was called and we were working on ‘roll over’.

Olive was about 8 months old when the aggressiveness started. It started with just some barking, whether we were outside with another dog in view, or inside looking out at another dog outside. The barking developed into growling and snarling. It got so bad that when she would sit by the window and see another dog outside, she would jump all over the window, sending the vertical blinds all over the place. At first, I would pull her by the collar and talk to her calmly. After a while, when I reached for her collar during one of these “freak-outs”, she would turn and snap at my hand. I refused to let her become the alpha dog in this house, so I kept pulling her back and was more firm with her especially when she snapped at me. Nothing worked. After about a month of this, and three separate attacks on Dakota, the 10 year old German Shepherd Husky mix at my parents house, we were on a walk with Olive and happened to pass by a woman in front of her house. Olive started barking at her dog through the fence, and this struck up a conversation with the woman, who happened to be a dog trainer. She worked with Olive for a few minutes and thought she could be a good dog with the correct training. As the woman was talking a man with two Jack Russell Terriers walked by. Olive, predictably, stood on her hind legs, barked and snarled and leapt at the dogs across the street. The woman stopped mid-sentence and just said, “oh my”. I told her how often that happens and that she has started to snap at me and other people who take care of her. Her unfortunate recommendation was to have her put down. Dogs with that much aggressive tendency are just not safe.

As we continued on our walk, I talked with Ryan and my parents, but no decisions were made. I was assured that they would be there for me whatever my decision was. I wrestled with every possible option available, but could only think of one thing. What if Olive hurts someone? I knew I could not keep her, but if I took her back to the Humane Society, she would be adopted to another family, possibly with another dog or small children. I couldn’t let that happen, so I made the awful decision to have her put down.

The morning of June 22, 2005 I left for work after a lot of kisses and scratches and hugs for Olive and quite a few tears. My mom came shortly after I left and took Olive home with her. My dad picked her up and took her to the vet. He had already made arrangements so that they could come in the back door, where she wouldn’t come in contact with any other animals. As soon as the vet laid eyes on her he told my dad he could see why we had been having so much trouble.

It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Olive was my responsibility. I volunteered to be her sole caretaker and give her everything she needed. I felt like such a failure, I would look around at other people walking their dogs and get sad and jealous. So many people have dogs, what is wrong with me that I couldn’t keep mine? But I have slowly realized that it wasn’t my fault. I did everything I could to keep her and take care of her so she could have the best life, and so that I could have a great companion as well. But I see now that sometimes, no matter how hard you try; some things just can’t work out the way you want them to.

My quilt is a portrait of Olive sitting in her favorite spot by the window keeping watch over the yard. I used hand-dyed fabrics and some commercial fabric and over-dyed commercial fabric. It was fused and then hand and machine quilted.