Super Sekret Christmas Gifts COMPLETE!

Yellow, Hobbes #2: COMPLETE!! ^_^

     

I’m the tiniest bit bummed that Yellow Hobbes didn’t turn out the same size as Original Hobbes — this would be due to the fact that I didn’t realize the yellow yarn I had in my stash wasn’t actually worsted weight like the recently purchased orange.

Side note for future reference: the random yarns you chose from your stash without first looking at the labels (on the assumption that all your yarn is the same weight) probably means that you are going to be in for a bit of a surprise in the end. Let this be a lesson learned. 

Advertisements

Commission Project: COMPLETE!

Crochet cellphone carrier/protector/pouch/cozy (ugh I hate that term!)/whatever: COMPLETE!

This would be my first commissioned project in ages and it came with an interesting customization request: an added belt loop!

I designed this pouch ages ago for TheHubbs’ assorted electronic toys (cell phones, gameboys, PSVita, Nintendo DS, etc) and quite a few people have asked over the years where he got his Pocket-O from. When he tells coworkers or casual observers that I made it for him, they always seem to express their amazement that it’s even possible to make something like this.
  
I am immensely proud of how the whole thing turned out as there was a lot of crochet-drama going on: tons of frogging back, so much cursing at my sloppiness & poor observation skills (there is in fact a visible right & wrong side when adding a border!), and the continual bemoaning of my lack of mental visualization abilities & engineering skills on my part. 

Let me just say that things become way more complicated when a piece needs to be turned inside out to become the finished product. 

Creating a belt loop is lot harder when you have to figure out and remember which side of the piece is considered front/back or pretty/ugly to determine what will become inside/outside when it’s complete! While you’re doing that, there’s also the issue of remembering that the sides need to be stitched together with the right/pretty-sides facing, so that when you do turn it inside out, all the pretty stitches are what you actually see; but that little flap closure also needs to be properly sandwiched in the middle of it all before it can be stitched closed and finally declared complete! 

*Whew!*

Currently all that’s left to do is: stitch on my creation label, make some cute packaging, and make some updated thank you business cards to be included in the whole delivery of the Bumblebee Pocket-O™.

As a side note: I have a bit of a conundrum in trying to decide if I want to change, or if I should change, the name of my little crafty business-self. 

Cuz really: it could be kinda hard to explain the concept of the name TeaseMeGirl Handmade. Although, I suppose could come with up a cute, marketable, answer for backstory. I still like the name and TMG Handmade just doesn’t sound as cool!

To be honest, it makes me sad to be changing my crafty business name after all this time, but something niggling at the back of my brain is saying I should do it for the sake of professionalism and/or marketability, especially if it comes to TheHubbs having to field any questions on my behalf, should he get any more commission requests from coworkers or potentially someone out of the blue.

On that note, I guess I have some brainstorming to do. *ponder*

AmiNeko finally made

 New amineko handmade stuffy for our Goddaughter Bug’s birthday is complete!

 I’ve always wanted to make one of these guys ever since l saw the orignal crochet pattern* when it was first published, but at the time I just couldn’t wrap my head around reading symbol diagram-only crochet patterns.

These guys are just so darn cute and I think I may need to make at least one more of these cuties for the cats ^_-

Needless to say, as you can see in the collage below, each of the kitties has her own opinion on the embarassments I inflict on them with a stuffed crochet cat :D

 

*Link to original pattern is located one the left, in the first column, and is the second item down in the list.

So much work..! And thoughts about SALLY & the past two years.

Amigurumi.

It would seem that these are my “thing” as of late the last few years. I still can’t make them as itty bitty teeny tiny as they’ve been originally designed, but that’s wholly because of SALLY and the damage she’s caused to my hand mobility — I’m ever so thankful (and incredibly grateful) that I still have the ability to type on a keyboard. That summer when TheHubbs  & I still didn’t know what was wrong with me, I couldn’t even type because I had digital ulcers that I didn’t even know were digital ulcers at the time. I distinctly remember that doing anything that required even the lightest of fingertip touch was so incredibly painful.

After finishing up the Ewok Tree Mobile, I’ve been itching to start another mobile. Not an Ewok Tree, mind you, but something equally, if not more, geeky — Star Trek: The Next Generation, Doctor Who, or a collection of VW Bugs & Buses. I haven’t entirely decided as I am currently attempting to fast-track a set of Hello Kitty & Dear Daniel stuffies for Baby Bro’s GF. We’re celebrating everyone’s birthdays super early this year (a whole month!) because there’s going to be a lot of travelling going on to other cities, other countries & even other continents!

Baby Bro’s birthday present is already decided on, but his girlfriend’s birthday we’ve never actually celebrated in years past because they’ve not thought to celebrate it at my parents’ house. Since the both of them will be off exploring Vienna & Italy, thereby missing both birthdays to be celebrated at home, Mom & Dad wanted to do an early birthday party before Baby Bro left for his internship(?)

I love that amigurumis are so simple & cute looking as a finished product, but good god it takes so long to make the finicky little body parts, stitch them together, add facial expressions and accessories! What you would think to be is a short project, ends up becoming a full working day of crocheting per stuffy, if not more!

Right now I am most of the way through HK, but I still need to stitch on all her facial features and make a complete DD in time to give for tonight. Cross your fingers I will at the very least complete HK, DD will totally be a bonus.

New Topic: The elephant in the room or Why I haven’t really been blogging.

The last two years have been difficult to try to do much writing about. Not because I’ve been dealing with all the stuff SALLY decided to throw at me (in the scheme of things, very little, thankfully) but more so because I had been so frustrated at my old Endocrinologist’s actions, or lack thereof to be more correct.

Back in 2013 Rheumy III wanted to get the ball rolling to start new treatment: Rituximab. The issue was that she needed some information and professional recommendations on how to proceed with reducing my steroid use. As a bit of background information: I take a constant baseline dose of steroids for my original underlying condition Panhypopituitarism which keeps my body functional; and in terms of being able to deal with the stress of being sick, I need to triple the steroid dose or I would die because my body hasn’t the ability to cope.

After 9 months of attempting contact with my old Endocrinologist by Rheumy III, HawtDoc, FamDoc, KidneyGuy, and myself, I decided to call it quits. The ability for us to move forward with Rituximab treatment rested solely on the fact that we were getting absolutely no contact from my old Endocrinologist. Thankfully FamDoc is always on my team to help do what he can and we decided at that point that it was time to find me a new doctor who would actually be willing to be an active participant in my care.

Fast forward two years and we’ve got me an Endocrinologist that I wholeheartedly love as much as the rest of the team of doctors who care for me, is an absolute joy to converse with intellectually during small-talk and who has a completely open door policy regarding questions or concerns I may have — all I have to do is give a quick call to the office and leave a message with the girls at reception that I need to talk to him, or just drop him a direct email(!!) and he’ll call me back as soon as he’s got a spare few minutes in between his patients. Not only that but he is truly of the opinion that it doesn’t matter what he thinks or any other doctor things we should do regarding administering my steroids — I get ultimate say in the final decision.

If I felt that lowering my current dose was just not working for me and it was making my life considerably poorer (versus better), he doesn’t care that other doctors want it lowered even further, he is comfortable & wants me to be comfortable with determining what level is right for me and my current situations. He’s giving me the power and the permission to decide what’s best for me, no matter what any other doctor may think is correct based on whatever references they’re using. That statement is positively mind blowing to me. Having always been “The Patient” listening to “The Doctors”, you kind of just assume that they know what they’re talking about and what they’re prescribing for you. Until the episode with my old Endocrinologist, I’ve never been in the position where I’ve felt unsafe in the care of any of my doctors. They’re a fantastic team that keeps everything running smoothly and with my new EndoDoc, and the new-found support he’s been giving, I feel like all the pieces of the puzzles to my care have finally fallen perfectly into place . I am so thrilled with him, he gets the official nickname “Dr.Cuddles“.

As to the Rituxan treatment starting back in April, I’ve been thinking a lot about SALLY the last few days. The side effects I experienced from the infusions has made me seriously question what is going to happen next. It’s still too early to really determine whether or not the treatment has been beneficial and improved my QoL or improved any of my lung function, as HawtDoc is at the very least crossing his fingers for. I asked him what would be the next case scenario if the Rituxan treatment won’t be continued after my 4-6 month hiatus and he honestly didn’t have an answer for me. He flipped through my chart to see what Rheumy’s treatment options were that she was originally deciding on — IVIG, methotrexate, etc… But none of those treatments are really any “better” or “safer”, nor will they necessarily have better or worse side effects for me.

So, as usual, it’s basically a waiting game until I see Rheumy at the end of July.

In the meantime, I’m hoping to get back into blogging again as I think it’s about time I set my thoughts down again on paper regards to how we move forward with SALLY’s treaments.

Candy Cane Spiceworm Gloves — way overdue update!

Over the weekend I had the urge to work on a new crochet project and decided that I wanted to work on something that was created just for me.

In the process of trying to come up with something that piqued my interest, I remembered that I still had my unfinished Candy Cane Spiceworm Gloves that I had started way back in 2010.

2010!

It’s been almost three whole years since I began the project and I still can’t believe it. o_O;; It just seems so weird to read, and realize all that time has passed on paper, yet it does not physically feel like it’s been three years. Where does time go? It’s such a bizarre concept to think about time escaping to somewhere unknown, somewhere untraceable by the mind…

Anyhow, I managed to get back into the swing of working on the gloves pretty quickly — it only required a few replays of the original technique video of the pattern, I loosely based my gloves on — and now I am rather proud to say that I’ve almost completed my first mitten in its entirety! It’s still in need of a thumb, but it looks and feels pretty fantastic considering all the tedious work that came from making each individual thrum!

Candy Cane Spiceworm Gloves, minus thumb
Candy Cane Spiceworm Gloves, minus thumb

The biggest concern from the get-go for this pattern was that this yarn is so bulky and there’s so little per ball (50g/60m) that I thought I may be screwed. I only have 4 balls on hand and I had bought it back when K1C2 was having their going out of business clearance sale, eons ago, so there’s no chance of buying more should I need it.

This stuff is so beautifully soft and squishy but I was pretty sure I didn’t have enough to complete both gloves. What I had originally decided to do was to allocate 2 balls of yarn per mitten, hoping to get the body completely finished to the fingertips and then use some other similarly massive, bulky & squishy yarn to finish the thumbs – in fact, if you recall the green yarn I used for my first ever blanket project, the Expensive Woolly Blanket of Doom from waaaaaaaay back in 2007(!!), I still have some of that left. believe it or not. So I thought I would make the thumbs green.

Turns out, the 4 balls of yarn that I have is enough to complete the mittens in their entirety! I’ve finished the body of mitten #1 and there’s still about 1/3 of the second allocated ball remaining (for this mitten) to make the thumb!

I’m so thrilled that I will be able to complete the mittens in all the same colour instead of having to make that colour change I had originally planned for the thumbs. I am a little disappointed that the thrums are so janky-looking in the spots where you can see I started to decrease each round for the mitten top, but I can’t really complain too much since this was my first attempt at making a mitten without being able to properly read a mitten pattern (or any visual pattern, for that matter) in the first place.

Cross your fingers I’ll be able to remember how I originally started the pattern when I begin mitten #2 in the very near future.

 

Oups I did it again…

Man, I miss writing.

I don’t know what happened over the last nine months or so, but writing was far, far, far away from my list of things that I wanted to do.

Having surgery last October took it out of me and everything that came after it was just too tiring to consider. I’m not feeling any better at the moment in regards to my health, but I am feeling a little more inclined to write.

The thing is, there was so much I wanted to write about, I just didn’t have the energy to sit down and formulate coherent thoughts about everything I wanted to write about. Most of it pertained to food, some of it pertained to projects and even some still had to do with SALLY & Co.

So what should I do?

How about I start by making this a massive photo-dumping post (because that’s always fun!) and then I could just see how things play out over the next little while.

Sound good? Good.

So without further ado, here we go!

X-Garden Update

This is what our raised bed garden currently looks like, as of about a couple weeks ago. We had a return of bees to our formerly empty hive! For the longest time we had bees and wasps coming into the hive and ransacking whatever was remaining from the previous colony’s stores of honey after realizing we had no bees. As of a few weeks ago, we now have a proper colony of bees again and the ladies are working their little butts off to get enough new stores before the winter hits. Hopefully they will be more successful than their predecessors, who, unfortunately, we were told, had gone into the winter without a viable Queen.

The Hubbs is also beginning the slow process of being mentored in the arts of beekeeping, as we will be the ones taking care of this hive as best we possibly can. Sadly, J & Miss R are no longer going to be doing the bee thing as they lost almost all their hives over the winter, except for maybe two or three of the many they had set up around the city. The Hubbs wants to make sure he can do everything in his power to help this colony survive as there have been so many colonies of bees which have been decimated from all sorts of horrible things. We have been planting as many bee-friendly flowers as we possibly can in hopes that it helps the Little Ladies to flourish.

As for other 2013 Garden Experiments, at the beginning of the summer I had purchased some corn transplants from our fantastic egg & flour CSA farms. Again, a few weeks back, is a photo of the corn’s girly bits readying itself for pollination from surrounding corn plants. Unbeknownst to me at the time, you’re supposed to plant corn in squares to increase the chances of cross-pollination in your corn. The wind is the biggest pollinator for corn and the more chances you give the corn’s silks to catch the falling pollen from above, the better odds of having actual cobs of corn with fully developed kernels on it. We shall see if we get any viable specimens this year, seeing as I only had four transplants and was sexing up all the corn by hand.

One night over dinner, we were discussing my new discovery of corn pollination with J & Miss R and everyone had the mental picture of me going around the garden “sexing up my girly corn bits with boy corn bits”, J said we should play the song “It’s raining men” around the garden to get the corn in the mood for pollination ;D

X-Garden Corn

Well, I finally finished my first crocheted commission projects. Ladies & Gentlemen, I introduce to you Peep and the Lumpy Space Princess.

X-Peep & LSP

I am currently working on Loki for my newest Project #Ranma! Amigurumi and will actually be making a second one in the near future for another commissioned project for a friend of The Hubbs’ in Vancouver.

X-Loki Bits

Now that The Hubbs & I are taking over the beekeeping responsibilities (okay, more The Hubbs, than I, but still!), The Hubbs had some very grave concerns that I might have a serious allergic reaction should I ever be stung because we’re not entirely sure what SALLY’s done to my immune system’s ability to deal with things like foreign substances in my body. The other thing is that we’re not entirely sure if The Hubbs has allergies to stings, either. So as a precautionary measure, we got me a couple of prescriptions for an Epi-pen. HOLY JEEBUS these things are terrifyingly huge! The sight of it even terrifies me and I’m pretty used to needles and scary pokey things now o_O;;

X-Epi Pen

From our wonderful 2013 CSA delivery, we have a first: CANTALOUPE! Homegrown in Alberta! I find that absolutely amazing and it tastes pretty damn fantastic, I have to admit and I am almost considering the idea of naming it my favourite melon… almost.

X-CSA 2013 Cantaloupe

Whilst shopping last week, I stumbled upon this brand new tea: Dark Chocolate Chai. Mmmmm…. so incredibly yummy and is great when used as a base for making steel-cut oatmeal, believe it or not! How, you ask?

* Bring to a boil 1cup milk + 1 1/4 cup water + squeeze of honey with 2 teabags.
* Turn down heat to simmer and add 1/2cup steelcut oats.
* Cook for 5 minutes, remove teabags.
* Continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occassionally!

X-Chocolate Chai

Finally, my last photo of today’s post: 1L of iced teaccino. The weird thing? Even though it’s a 1L mason jar, it’s not actually a lot of caffeine. There’s a full tray of ice, a small cup of strongly brewed rooibos tea, a large espresso and finally a 1/2 glass of milk.

X-Teaccino

First Commissioned Amigurumi: COMPLETE!

I have to admit, I am pretty impressed.

I’m pretty impressed that I made this from a pattern that I managed to put together myself.

Would I ever consider doing this again? Maybe. I guess it depends upon whether it would be worth my time & effort.

This little guy is Peep and he was based upon the logo of a small at-home business.

The owner is actually someone I used to work with when we were both still massage therapists. Life has certainly changed for both of us. I just hope that the finished amigurumi exceeds her expectations when she sees it for the first time in person.

Below are just a few pics of Peep from different angles.

20130406-211600.jpg

20130406-211627.jpg

20130406-211642.jpg