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Archive for January, 2012

Knitting Monday: Turtles, Turtles Everywhere

Earlier this month, I decided I wanted to make something for my nephew who was turning one. I looked through the patterns I all ready had, but nothing stood out to me. So, I did a new pattern search on Ravelry and found this one. Thought it was really cute, so decided to try it. This one knitted up pretty quick so I decided to make it a friend as well.

A pair of turtles

Then, just a few days after I opened for business, I got a request to make a ninja turtle hat. I couldn’t find a pattern for a knitted one(although I did find one for a crochet hat), so after looking at some pictures I came up with an idea of how to do it. After working out the details, I started on the hat. I had planned on getting the money before starting on a project, but since I had not done one like this before, I wanted to be sure I could do it before taking any money. It only took me about 2 days to finish it. I was pretty pleased with it since it actually turned out pretty much the way I had pictured.

First attempt

The customer wanted something a little different though(mask a little lower and wider with wider eyes). So, I started on another one and made some adjustments for what she wanted. And I think the second attempt turned out even better.

Second attempt

Making this hat did give me some confidence that I can make my own designs, instead of just following someone else’s pattern. I have some ideas now for other hats as well that I’m hoping to make.

Sunday Update


  • Finish the first two steps of the Snowflake method(1 sentence summary & expand that to a full paragraph – got the one sentence summary written on Thursday. That wasn’t too difficult as it was the basis of the flash fiction piece this will be based on. And was able to get the paragraph summary done on Friday. Had a little more trouble with that and figuring out what the major disasters would be. I think it will become even clearer as I expand on what I have so far.
  • Cut flash fiction piece down to 1000 words or less – got that done on Thursday as well after two passes through it. Will post it up here on Wednesday probably. And I even started another one on Friday. Not exactly sure where I’m going with it, but I’ll figure that out as I keep writing.


  • Read 1 more chapter of Self-Editing for Fiction Writers and do the exercises for it. done! Just 3 more chapters to go.
  • Finish reading Indulgence in Death – did this Friday as well. Started reading The Search by Nora Roberts on Saturday.

Social Media:

  • Write up & publish Family Friday post – got this done early Friday morning as it was something that’s been on my mind.
  • Comment on 2/3 blogs – commented on two Wednesday. And it seriously took me about 20 minutes to write 2 sentences and hit the post comment button on the one. I’m always afraid something I say will be taken the wrong way, especially over the internet. My social anxiety always has me second guessing everything I type. And I commented on another one on Friday.
  • Interact with at least 1 person on Twitter – actually managed this one.
  • Work on Facebook page –Took my about page here and reworked it for on my Facebook page. And started to work on my notes section as a place to put all my flash fiction. Still needs some work though.

Goals for Wednesday:

  • Finish step 3 of snowflake method
  • Finish flash fiction piece and have it edited to under 1000 words(if necessary).
  • Read 1 more chapter of Self-Editing for Fiction Writers
  • Halfway through The Search
  • Have knitting post up on Monday
  • Comment on 2-3 blogs
  • Interact on Twitter
  • Work on Facebook page
  • Workout 2 times

Family Friday: Passing On Personality

This is something that’s been on my mind for a while now. Neither of my children really look like me. They both seem to have gotten blonde hair and blue eyes from their father. Every time we go somewhere, we hear how much Nathaniel looks like Cory, although when he was first born he looked just like me when I was a baby. Their personalities though are a different story.

Hayleigh is me. That’s really all there is to it. She is like me in so many ways, it’s almost scary. She’s overly sensitive. One little thing will trigger a meltdown. Or a tantrum. She’s beyond shy. She would rather play by herself(or spend time with an adult) than with kids her own age. When we had trouble getting her to stay in bed at night(just until she fell asleep, once she’s sleeping she’d sleep all night. It was just a matter of getting her there), I started letting her take books to bed and it basically solved that problem. As long as she has her books she’s out within half an hour usually. No matter what time she goes to bed, she is up early(unless she’s getting sick). Like I said, so much like me, and that worries me sometimes. I don’t want her to struggle with social interactions like I do. I don’t want her to think she’s less because she doesn’t act like everyone else. I certainly don’t want her to think she has to act like everyone else just so she can fit in. At the same time, it makes me realize what I probably put my mom through. And I wonder how much is in environmental and how much is just passed on. Is it because she never really did socialize much as a baby/toddler? Which I can’t help but feel is my fault because I’ve given my social anxiety issues too much control. Is it because of her other delays? Or is it just her personality?

Now my little monster man on the other hand…I don’t see any of my own personality in him. No, he definitely takes after his father(which he says quite often himself). Once he gets comfortable somewhere(less than half hour usually, unless he’s tired), he’ll go up to anyone. Doesn’t show the same discomfort around people that Hayleigh has. I was reading to her from the time she was about six months. Still haven’t started a bedtime reading routine with him. I’ve tried, but he just won’t sit still long enough to even finish a short board book. With her, we only had to tell her ‘no’ a few times and she’d stop doing whatever it was. Not Nathaniel. Move him away and he goes right back to it. Tell him no, and he shakes his head as he goes back to it.

So, how can two kids be so different when their early environment has been the same? What I keep coming back to is that we’ve passed on our individual personalities to them.

Stole his sister's bike when she was distracted by a cartoon

Having a tea party with her doll

Writing Wednesday: Row80 Check-in 1/25


  • Decide on next WIP –Done! I have a list of all my ideas for future WIPs(17 in all) in an excel spreadsheet(used to be on my phone until it crashed and I lost everything). And I have a random number generator app on my phone that I use for making these important decisions. Without it, I may never decide what to work on next. With the help of that app, I decided to work on Stained Snow which is the first flash fiction piece I wrote last year. I’m going to try to expand it into at least a novella.
  • Start brainstorming – did a mind map for ideas- characters, setting, plot(which I most had from the flash fiction). Going to start going through the steps of the Snowflake method next to expand on these ideas.
  • Write one flash fiction piece – Done! Finished this Tuesday morning, but it ended at 1108 words, so I needed to do some cutting. Planned to do that this morning, but haven’t been feeling great(sore throat, ear ache, sinus pressure), so decided getting some extra sleep would probably be a better idea.


  • Read at least 1 more chapter in Self-Editing for Fiction Writers – Did this Monday night. have I think 4 more chapters to read in it.
  • Be at least halfway through Indulgence in Death – Did some reading yesterday and am only about a chapter away from the halfway point.

Social Media:

  • Comment on 2/3 blogs: I replied to comments on my Sunday post but not on anyone else’s blogs.
  • Interact with at least one person on Twitter: Haven’t been on Twitter much this week.
  • Work on my Facebook page: Nothing here yet.


Workout on Monday & Tuesday: Worked out on Monday, but my hip was feeling a little sore again on Tuesday so decided to rest. Was going to get back to it today, but feeling crappy and hip is still bothering me a bit. I’ll get back to it when I’m feeling better. Still haven’t had any pop yet this year but snacks haven’t been too healthy but I haven’t been snacking a whole lot either.

Goals for Sunday:

  • Finish the first two steps of the Snowflake method(1 sentence summary & expand that to a full paragraph
  • Cut flash fiction piece down to 1000 words or less
  • Read 1 more chapter of Self-Editing for Fiction Writers and do the exercises for it.
  • Finish reading Indulgence in Death
  • Comment on 2/3 blogs
  • Interact with at least 1 person on Twitter
  • Work on Facebook page

Knitting Monday: Socks & Slippers

This is the usual situation in our house: the thermometer reads around 65 degrees even with the pellet stove running. And there is my son, running around with no socks on. Usually within five minutes of putting them on him, he has ripped them off again. Of course, I rarely wear socks so he’s not the only one sockless around this house. And the cold feet do not seem to bother him.

I started looking for sock patterns last weekend, hoping to find one that would be more difficult for him to get off. I had a skein of sock yarn that I had bought without a specific project in mind for it. So, Saturday I started knitting him a sock. I didn’t think it would take too long, but by the time I usually go to bed, I had only managed to do the leg part. I decided I would do the heel before going to bed. I never got there until about 1:30 in the morning. Then, I spent the next day finishing the rest of the foot. By the time I had the whole sock done, I had spent about 15 hours total on it, and he was in bed for the night. Fifteen hours is longer than it takes me to knit a hat or a bib, and that was just for one sock. There was still another to make.

On Monday, I tried the sock on him. I wanted to make sure it fit before I attempted the second one. The heel did not look quite right, but it did fit him. And he left it on for about half an hour. The second time I put it on him though, it did not last even five minutes. So, I decided I’d try something else instead of making the other sock. I had a pattern for some “baby” booties that came in several different sizes, so decided to try to make a pair of them. Just had a little trouble with the first when it came to joining it at the toes. Once I figured that out, the rest of it was a breeze. I made a pair of them in less time than it took me to knit one sock. Of course, he doesn’t keep them on either. So, I guess he’ll remain sockless until the weather warms up. And then it won’t matter anyway. And now I have some new techniques under my belt.

One sock made

New Slippers

Sunday Update: 1/22


Since finishing the first draft of Guarding the Heart on Wednesday I haven’t done any writing. I turned off my morning alarm for the rest of the week. It’s back on now, so I can get back into my routine this week.


Haven’t read any more of Self-editing for Fiction Writers. Did start another novel though, Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb.

Social Media:

Haven’t done a lot here either. Commented on a couple blogs, but that’s about it.


I’m only about 1 lb away from my goal weight now. Still haven’t had pop. Decided to take Thursday as a rest day from exercise and woke up Friday with a pain in my hip so decided it would be better to rest until it felt better. Worked out this morning(with some “help” from the kids) and hip didn’t hurt, so I’m going to try to do a 3 days on/1 day off schedule for my workouts.

Goals for Wednesday:

  • Decide on next WIP
  • Start brainstorming
  • Write one flash fiction piece
  • Read at least 1 more chapter in Self-Editing for Fiction Writers
  • Be at least halfway through Indulgence in Death
  • Comment on 2/3 blogs
  • Interact with at least one person on Twitter
  • Work on my Facebook page
  • Workout on Monday & Tuesday.

Writing Wednesday: Goal Met


Finish Guarding the Heart by the end of January.: Completed! Finished the last scene of the first draft this morning. The final total is 83,376. A little shorter than I originally planned for, but I tend to under write, instead of over write, so I’ll probably add more in as I read over it. I’m just happy to be finished, even though it was a little difficult to say goodbye to these characters.

Blog at least 3 times a week.: On track here.


Read 1 craft book a month.: Read a bit more of Self Editing for Fiction Writers. Taking my time with it, so I don’t know if I’ll finish it by the end of the month, but that’s okay.

Read 1 fiction book a week.: Haven’t started a new oneĀ  yet. I did get my two books in the mail last week, so will probably start one of them soon.

Social Media:

Comment on at least 5 blogs a week: Made a couple comments, probably 2-3. so not the five, but the week isn’t over yet.

RT at least 5 articles a week.: Not sure how many, not 5 yet though I don’t think.

Interact personally at least once a week on Twitter.: haven’t really even done that yet this week. Still have a few days in the week though.

Finish setting up my Facebook page.: Nothing yet. But, I got my page set up for my knitting. Since that’s done, I might be able to put some time on my writer page.


Cut out pop at home: Still doing good with this one.

Attempt to eat healthier snacks: Need to get to the store to get something besides popcorn. But, I’ve been making a large bowl of popcorn and then put it in a different container and eat a small bowl of it at night. Sometimes I’ll grab a handful during the day too. That lasts me about 3-4 days.

Exercise 4-5 times a week.: Didn’t work out on Sunday, but did Monday, Tuesday, and this morning even though the program reminded me today was supposed to be a rest day. planning on doing one more tomorrow, then I’ll rest on Friday.

Knitting Monday: Open For Business

I haven’t really talked about this on here, but at the beginning of the year I decided to start trying to sell my knitting. I had been thinking about it for a bit and was looking into what all I needed to do to start. So, at the beginning of the year, I bit the bullet and sent everything into the state. I got my sales tax license a week later. I set up my shop on Etsy and started a page on Facebook. Yesterday, Brown’s Novel Knits went live.

I published my Facebook page on Wednesday and had 24 likes before I officially opened for business. And yesterday, I got 26 views on my Etsy shop, but no sales yet. I don’t have a lot of items up yet, just a few hats & bibs. Working on some more things and hoping I can get more of a variety. I’m not expecting to make a lot of money from this, but hopefully enough to supplement our income. Plus, it will give me somewhere to send my projects instead of having them sitting around the house(and my kids can only wear so many hats).

Hoping I make my first sale soon. But, I’m going to try to remain patient(not an easy task for me) and keep the knitting needles moving until I do(well, and after).

Sunday Check-In: 1/15


Finish Guarding the Heart by the end of January.: doing very good here. Wrote 4896 words this week, which is almost 650 over my goal for the week. I only have 2 more scenes to write to finish this, so I don’t have an actual word count goal for next week. Just to get those last 2 scenes done.

Blog at least 3 times a week.: good here too. got Monday’s post up on time. Struggled to think of something to post on Friday. Until I looked over and saw my son trying to get up on the back of the couch for probably the third or fourth time that day. I definitely have a little monkey on my hands.


Read 1 craft book a month.: Still working through the self-editing book. Haven’t made a lot of progress but working on that this weekend.

Read 1 fiction book a week.: Finished reading Drawing Free on Friday. I had trouble putting it down once I got into it(this is a common occurrence with me, by the way). Didn’t agree with all the decisions the main character made, but could certainly understand the feeling behind them.

Social Media:

Comment on at least 5 blogs a week: failed here. I don’t think I really commented on any.

RT at least 5 articles a week.: I did 3 or 4 this week.

Interact personally with at least 5 people a week on Twitter.: Certainly not 5, but I did with 1 person. And posted a few times myself, which I hadn’t been doing too much of. I think I’m going to change this one to simply interacting with at least one person each week. Sometimes even that can be a struggle for me.

Finish setting up my Facebook page.: Nope. Nothing.


Cut out pop at home: Haven’t had any pop at all in the last two weeks. And my husband even bought some, but I haven’t really even wanted any.

Attempt to eat healthier snacks: popcorn is about the healthiest I’ve gotten(although it is air popped at least).

Exercise 4-5 times a week.: Worked out 5 times during the week and took Saturday off. Then, my daughter told me, “Tomorrow we work outing together.” So, I guess I won’t be getting out of it today.

Family Friday: My Little Monkey

I knew from the time he was born(well, really from the time I found out I was pregnant), that my son would be very different from his sister. With her, no morning sickness. With him, nauseous all day, every day during the first trimester. With her, I craved pasta, fruit, & milk(and popsicles in the middle of February). With him, pasta nearly made me sick even after the first trimester. Instead I craved meat and vegetables and just about anything spicy. When we went in for the 20 week ultrasound, my daughter had her legs crossed, so they were just “pretty sure” she was a girl. My son, there was no doubt. My daughter was laid back pretty much from the day she was born(until about 3 or so when she became a total drama queen). As I’m sure you can guess, my son is still the total opposite of his sister.

Even before he could walk, he was climbing on everything he could. We had to move our coffee table to where he couldn’t reach it because he’s use his sister’s set of chairs to climb up on it. He apparently has not gotten the climbing urge out of his system at 16 months old either. We can’t keep him off the couch or coffee table(which we finally moved back into the middle of the living room). And recently he’s learned if he stands on the arm of the couch, he can almost get up onto the back of the couch. Yes, I’ve had a few near heart attacks in the last few days.

We’ve tried redirection. Tell him not to stand on the couch. Set him back on the floor. Move him to his toys. Even got him a little slide so he’d have something he’s allowed to climb on. He doesn’t care. He goes right back to what he’s not supposed to do. Every single time. And there’s only so many times I can move him away before I start to lose my patience(and my mind). Thank goodness for the playpen. Except for the fact that he can pull himself up and hang on the side of it. Has not quite figured out how to get his lower body over the side yet. But, I’m afraid we won’t even have that as an option anymore. And it probably won’t be long after that he’ll figure out he can climb out of his crib as well. Certainly not ready for him to be in a toddler bed yet.

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