Posted by: geekycrochetmom | February 25, 2013

First Attempt at Blocking

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Up until now, I have always been using small balls of mercerized cotton thread size 8 for crochet. In the advent of local online yarn sellers, crocheters in the Philippines have been introduced to different kinds of yarns that are relatively easier on the budget (compared to mall shops and online stores from other continents). Hooray!

This huge spool of yarn that just sits there and unwinds itself as I work makes me so happy. (Insane, right?). No wrangling with and chasing after balls that jump about as I crochet.

The 5-ply, off-white acrylic has been my companion for the past couple of days. I have fallen in love with it but, like most loves who come with not-so-endearing traits, it puzzles me why I ended up with wrinkly edges. (Was it because it’s not as elastic as my old cottony  friend?).

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Thus, my first attempt at blocking. After having spent hours (for the past months) reading blogs & Ravelry discussion forums, I haven’t made up my mind – does one block acrylic? Will steam blocking work? Won’t it melt right into the rubber mat? (Lastly, aren’t there more pressing concerns in the world than these?) =p

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Anyway, I opted for wet blocking. After having taken the picture above, I fixed the rightmost edge and oh-so-gently coaxed and pulled it into as straight an edge as I and the pins can manage.

I know staring at it will not make it dry faster. So I better go upstairs and grab another WIP while watching more Criminal Minds and scare myself out of my wits.

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Posted by: geekycrochetmom | February 24, 2013

Have you ever crocheted a doily using acrylic?

I meant to make a traditional circular doily but it was not easy with this 5-ply acrylic. So I tried out these motifs.

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I love how the acrylic is not as stretchy as cotton thread but find it to be less suited for lacey projects. Beginner’s mistake,maybe?

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This pattern is from a Japanese crochet book. I plan on making something for our plain, round table. Wish me luck!

Posted by: geekycrochetmom | February 21, 2013

Birthdays & Decluttering

It’s been quite a week.
We’ve celebrated the Big Boy’s 9th birthday withsome mall-ing & dinner. We surprised our little bookworm with some more Hardy Boys hardbounds:

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And the following Monday, we brought his birthday cake & some spaghetti & chicken to school for sharing with his classmates.

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Peanut’s 1st birthday fell on the same day (so she’s now 7-dogyears-old, is that right?). We surprised her with some great-smelling shampoo/conditioner, a dog “bone” treat, & a new toy.

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She was quite pleased.

A good part of our weekend was also spent on some major cleaning & decluttering. We had an aircon unit installed in the den; two men drilled holes into one of the walls & we were quite shocked by the amount of dirt & dust that covered the whole house. Hubby also asked them to make the aircon “hole” in our bedroom a bit bigger so it can fit a 1.5hp unit in preparation for summer (our old one did not do the job well & has been thus handed down to the den). A bloody Sunday it was.

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Everything had to be hauled out. Shelves & windows covered with plastic. My desk was a huge mess & dirt was uncovered from nooks & crannies – quite embarrassing.

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Eeeew…

My desk surface turned from looking like this…

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… to this:

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Ahh, so much better!

Posted by: geekycrochetmom | February 21, 2013

An FO, at last!

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My Bright & Cheery Grannysquare Cushion is finally finished! There’s nothing like the thrill of a finished project, plus the encouraging words of appreciation of loved ones. You can see her “getting to know” the other cushions on the couch =D

Here’s the back side:

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Because of this, I feel my fingers itching to start a new project. I actually ordered some new yarns a couple of weeks ago & it’s taking me all the strength I can muster to keep from starting yet another project (it helped that I have been keeping them in a box… out of sight).

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Those up there are different kinds of yarns & the possibilities are endless!

I’ve also managed to add two rounds to my son’s Giant Granny Square blanket which has been in hibernation. Mindless crochet but a bit of a challenge too… as it grew bigger, it also took longer to complete each round. To keep from getting bored, I watched Criminal Minds. Look, a crochet sighting:

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A beautiful crocheted afghan!

Posted by: geekycrochetmom | February 8, 2013

When the going gets tough…

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… the tough goes crocheting!

It’s been a tough couple of weeks — a health scare, big projects (one of which is stalled, argh!), difficult cases/patients, not to mention the guilt of not giving the family my 100%

Overwhelmed? I guess you can say that. I sit in traffic analyzing the situation & asking myself some difficult questions. No wonder I feel so T-I-R-E-D.

This afternoon, I went to church & ran an errand for the Little Girl. Then, in the evening,  despite the huge urge to plunk myself on the couch & drink decaf while browsing Instagram, I gave in to hubby’s request: for me to bike around the village with him as he ran (he’s preparing for a duathlon). Hearty dinner. Then a bit of crochet for a friend (this one is long overdue). Somehow, I feel refreshed!

Where did I read it… something about the things that should be done that are left undone being the most tiring & distressing? How true!

So, the cure to my stress — however weird this sounds — is not to rest on my laurels but to do more tasks, especially the ones that have been hanging around for so long on my to-do lists. To spend time with loved ones. To honor their simple requests. To count my blessings.

Despite all the challenges of everyday grown-up life, there is always so much to be thankful for.

Posted by: geekycrochetmom | January 23, 2013

My Bright & Happy Granny Square Cushion

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Yep, bright & cheery! =)

Posted by: geekycrochetmom | January 22, 2013

Circles in a Square Throw – done!

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My first finished project for the year! I finished this yesterday while I stayed home with a bad case of diarrhea (back to work now). When I updated my project page on Ravelry, I was mildly shocked to find that this was started last Oct 3. Almost 3 1/2 months!

But, I am happy and relieved. When it came to the border I placed some half-double crochet & double & treble crochets in the corners (in between squares) as I wanted the border to be straight (it sort of curved/dipped into the corners where 2 squares met). Honestly, I didn’t know exactly what I was doing… I was just winging it. It’s not perfect but I am pleased.

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It added much needed (new) color to our otherwise too-orangey-mustard-living-room. (Hubby bought the couch more than two years ago to surprise me; I appreciated it though I would’ve picked a beige/neutral one). We’re planning to replace it someday & buy a decent coffeetable but for now, the throw has seemed to turn our living room into a happier place. =)

Posted by: geekycrochetmom | January 15, 2013

Notebooks Galore

I cannot remember exactly when my love affair with notebooks began. My earliest memory was of being giddy about my small, brown, spiral Golden Gate pocket notebook when I was maybe 5. My memory of holding it is still quite vivid though I cannot remember what I had written in it.

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So, it occurred to me – it’d be kind of fun if I gathered all my notebooks & see how much of an addict I really am. I brought them — the ones that are currently being used — all out. From the nooks & drawers of my desk alone, I found eight!

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So here I had rounded them all up. The accumulation was not deliberate. Like almost all collections, I simply bought one by one… notebooks that I fancy & are not too expensive. I find all sorts of uses for them — excuses to keep them, to justify the hoarding purchase. Then hubby took notice & gifted me once in a while.

Starting from the periwinkle blue on the upper right hand, going clockwise:

1) Periwinkle – this is my one-sentence journal inspired by Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project. It’s fun especially when you come to a date & find out what you were up to exactly a year ago.

2)Smaller, lighter blue – it’s where I record short anecdotes, funny things my kids have said (kids say the funniest things!). The kids grow up right before eyes & I’d hate to forget all the amusing & hilarious things that have come out of the mouths of these babes. Wouldn’t it be fun to reread this when they’re much older?

3) Small, green – my prayer request list, tucked in my desk drawer for easy access. Sick loved ones & friends, special concerns from close family members… I will have to update this soon.

4) Orange, small – our family’s health record. I had an electronic version but found the hard copy quicker to access & bringing it to the hospital/doctor is simpler. Vaccines, lab results, weights, etc.

5) Black notebook – I started this one as a gratitude journal. It helped me through some rough times.

6) Red 2013 planner – holds my patients’ follow up/check up schedules. I like to be able to block specific days in advance, sparing my patients futile trips to the hospital.

7) Small yellow & white spiral – my auto record, a sort of “baby book” for my car. It stays in my glove compartment & holds records of oil change, tire replacement, aircon repair. Very important especially since I drive a 6-year-old, albeit, well-maintained sedan.

8) Red, small spiral – this is my absolute favorite, a constant companion. My brain dump, literally. It holds bits of information, to-do lists, ideas from lightbulb moments, must-reads, errands, etc. Amazing how helpful it is, the simple act of placing on paper the things that nag or bother me.

9) Small orange/black (with cartoon) – I bring this to teachings & recollections. Scribbles from homilies that I’ve found very helpful. For notes that are vital to my spiritual growth.

10) Journal, light brown – for my notes on books that I’ve read. Not all… mostly for those that struck a chord. A significant amount of writings here were lifted from the book Death by Suburb by David Goetz

11) Red big planner – my daily reflection/prayer book. This year, hubby & I vowed to be more faithful to our daily prayer & scripture time. (We do it separately, for now). In here I write personal reflections, small “epiphanies” during prayer, Bible passages that seem to have come at the time I needed them most.

12) Lastly, orange spiral – I used this for my notes & reflections as I read Max Lucado’s Cure for the Common Life. Very inspiring as always.

I always enjoy rereading them (except for the occasional cringe) whenever I have time.

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These two below are the ones that keep me company every single day.

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These three below are for specific projects or tasks. Huge reponsibilities that require months of work & preparation, therefore deserving of their own notebook. (All work-related). Note: The notebooks are give-aways from pharmaceuticals during conventions.

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And these below are my “reserve” =)

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I love looking at them on my shelf and have a few ideas brewing for their use. A notebook for gift ideas? For instance, I only learned last month how much my mom loves polvoron (a powdery, sweet treat/delicacy). I never knew! So maybe I can write them down as ideas for pasalubong (homecoming gifts). Even gift ideas for Christmas or upcoming birthdays so I wouldn’t have to tear my hair out with last-minute shopping! Or gift ideas for relatives who live abroad. Yup, I really should do that.

Or a notebook dedicated solely to crochet projects or WIPs. Though our Ravelry virtual noteooks do the job quite well.

If you’ve stayed with me down to this last paragraph, I thank you from the bottom my heart for your patience & tolerance. Three cheers for notebooks & notebook lovers! =)

How do you use your notebooks?

P.S. I do not own a single Moleskine. Nothing against it… I think they’re excellent products. I just couldn’t bear to buy notebooks that are that expensive. I’m afraid the cost will only leave me paralyzed, haha.

Posted by: geekycrochetmom | January 14, 2013

Decaf!

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After five, gruelling coffee-less days, I finally was able to get some decaf. I craved for coffee like a pregnant woman craves for weird stuff. Hubby was very encouraging and kept me from making myself a cup (despite killer stares from me, haha). He had a point. We both didn’t want my happiness and sanity to depend on some “chemicals”. I was caffeine-free AND headache-free  since Friday (though my temper was a tad shorter).

The canister says it’s 99.7% caffeine-free. And that’s more than good enough for me. Yehey!

Posted by: geekycrochetmom | January 11, 2013

Stress & Lists

Oh man. I cannot help feeling weighed down by tasks & responsibilities. Worry wart!

I’ve recently been handed a couple of huge tasks at work. Already I can feel my “hyperacidity” acting up. Feeling so inadequate & intimidated. Funny how I “catch” myself saying words of encouragement to myself (yes, I’m trying out healthy self-talk for a change) . Such a dork. =)

As soon as I got home, I fixed myself my comfort food – liverspread & quickmelt cheese sandwich (the kids & hubby are at Kumon).

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Turned on the radio to music from my “era” (80’s & 90’s music from Friday Magic Madness). Then sat down & thought hard & prayed & made lists. To-do’s. Lists of lists.

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I felt a little better after listing down my to-do’s for the coming week (with some bits of crafting time squeezed into the schedule). Suddenly, it seems doable. Now I pray for the discipline to actually carry them out.

By the way, today is my 2nd coffee-less day… am so proud! I have been having headaches all week; that’s when I realized I should be cutting down. (I did make myself tea for my list-writing… ).

While I dilly-dallyed, I also made a list of my lists (totally unrelated)… of my notebooks. I have notebooks for specific purposes. Do you know I have at least 11 notebooks existing today? Yes, currently in use for all sorts of things! Such a nerd. It’s so nerdy it deserves a blog post of its own, ha!

Hope you all have a great weekend.

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