Saturday, November 19, 2011

My Favorite Things for 2011

I had almost forgotten about my "favorite things" entry for this year again, so here we go!

I just recently picked up a pair of Mossimo Paisley Platform pumps in red from Target. LOVE THEM! They are practically stilettos, which I've never had before, and such a hot shade of red that I couldn't resist. Normally $29.99, Target had them on clearance for $20.99 and all of the Paisley Platforms were going quick. They were also available in black and taupe. And for stilettos, they are quite comfortable and sturdy feeling. I don't feel like I'm going to tip over and break my neck in them!

I was also lusting after these shoes from K-Mart: Glo Women's Jayden Glitter Platform Pump in gold because my sister has them. These are very similar in appearance and shape to Target's Mossimo pumps but covered in glitter. While they look like something a stripper or Barbie would wear, I needed these shoes too! They are available for $24.99 online or $20 in the K-Mart my sister got her's from, but on Black Friday, I got these shoes for $12.99.

The Ocean View Dog Park just opened up here in Norfolk earlier this year. Before, our neighborhood didn't have a dog park and the closest one was out towards downtown and Ghent. "The park was finished with the help of Norfolk Sheriff's Office Inmate Work Crews who provided the free labor. Seven City of Norfolk departments also had a role in getting the open space fenced in, which costs $8,000.00, according to the Ocean View Business Association." This is turning out to be a great place to visit, with both humans and canines alike, and the people who frequent the park take real ownership in it. People have donated plastic bags, hand sanitizer, plastic chairs and even a picnic table to make it more user friendly. It even has it's own Facebook page!

I stumbled across the Poems brand of yarn at Three Oaks Knits in Waterloo, IA and instantly fell in love with this yarn. "Poems is a 100% wool roving yarn featuring artistic colors which shade easily from one color to the next. Perfect for sweaters, scarves, hats, and more --- and it felts like a dream!" This is such an easy to work with yarn. I got four skeins of it in Twilight Thicket and I'm almost done with the pair of socks I'm making with it. It actually works up incredibly soft, airy and lacy. It was $7.00 per 109 yard skein.

I decided it was time to replace my still working and reliable (corded) mouse this year to a cordless mouse, so I had my husband pick out a good one for me (I am so NOT a techy person). He got me the Logitech M305 Wireless Mouse from BJ's. "The 2.4GHz wireless connectivity and a plug-and-forget nano receiver deliver fast data transmission and a reliable connection. Intelligent battery management extends the battery life by turning off the mouse when it is not in use." It sells for $24.99 and I like this because it's very smooth when being used. There's no skipping or jumping. The mouse is powered by one AA battery. I don't always remember to turn the mouse off when I'm done with the computer, so this first battery lasted for several months. When the battery died out, it actually just stops. There's no warning about remaining battery life.

My husband introduced me to Tijuana Flats this year. "At Tijuana Flats we make innovative, exciting and fresh Tex-Mex food served in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. We also offer a wide array of hot sauces." It's similar to Moe's in terms of menu and sauce bar, but without the line at lunchtime. From what my husband tells me, the line at Tijuana Flats moves faster at lunch than Moe's moves, but that might be due to the fewer ingredients Tijuana Flats has. However, you won't even notice the ingredients Tijuana Flats doesn't have. They also have an excellent range of sauces to try before you buy by the bottle; 10 varieties ranging from sweet to their little death face.

Of course, my year wouldn't be complete without mentioning my new Singer Fashion Mate 5500 from my husband. :) "Although automtically set for optimal sewing precision, stitch width and length is fully adjustable for all of the 100 built-in stitches. The stitch package includes 6 fully automatic 1-step buttonholes and 76 decorative stitches including intricate decorative designs." In the store, this sold for $189, just like on the website.

And to go along with the sewing machine is Dollar Tree's line of kitchen linens and textiles. As we speak, I'm working on a Christmas swap on Craftster, and with this new machine, I've learned how to embellish plan kitchen towels. Looks like I'm going to make some more of those for future gifts! And the nice thing about Dollar Tree? Even though it is a big corporation, they are headquartered in Chesapeake, VA, so it's kind of like supporting a local business by shopping there. "Just as important, especially during these tough economic times, we continue to offer our customers products they need at extreme values! We carry a broad, exciting mix of merchandise that includes many trusted national and regional brands."

So there's this year's "Favorite Things" entry. If you've got a favorite thing, let me know what it is in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Handmade Holiday Pledge 2011

I pledge that at least half of the holiday gifts I give are handmade by me, a friend or a super cool artist.

As it turns out, I've been doing more and more of this for Christmas over the years and I didn't even realize it until I saw this blog button on someone else's site.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Had My First Regretsy Moment

Sorry for the shitty picture, I took it with my cell phone.
Here is the last of my shared vacation photos. How many people take pictures of items for sale when they are on vacation anyway??? 

This was my first public Regretsy moment and it made me think of the "Compare and Save" category there. This was at a Hancock Fabrics and I saw this when I went in to buy a new glue gun.

They are advertised as “decorative clothespins,” 12 for $3.99.  Later on, I had to look this up to see if I was seeing it right

It made me think of the “Compare and Save” category they have sometimes. Amazon has 72 clothespins for $2.39.  And by the way, I sent this photo over to Helen Killer at Regretsy. I wonder if she'll use it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Going Through My Camera Again

I recently got back from a trip back home to see family and to get a little "mini vacation" in. While I was gone, my mom decided that since plans to go to lunch and shop with a friend were changed because of plan changes on both parts, that I needed to hit a couple of yarn shops that were new to the area with her: Crazy Girl Yarn Shop in Cedar Falls and Three Oaks Knits in Waterloo.

At Crazy Girl, I found two possible wool yarns for Nicole the Knitter to finish off the 25' long Doctor Who scarf she's making for a friend and a bar of sheep shaped soap (say that three times fast) for Michelle, as well as more crap I didn't need.

But the really interesting things were seen at Peekaboo Baby next door to Crazy Girl.

This homely green fellow is the Uglydoll Ox in the Box. Who does this look like to you? To my mom, it looks like the ugly bunneh pirate and other ugly dolls I had been making. Granted, those ugly bunnehs were not my own creation. I found the pattern on Craftster, but makes me wonder which version came first!

And here was the other shocker. A Hello Kitty crocheted baby hat with ear flaps. It's being sold for $24.99. Remember my Hello Kitty crocheted baby hat with ear flaps? All of a sudden, I thought, damn, maybe I should have stuck with the etsy shop idea afterall and sold actual items instead of just patterns. I'm not saying this company swiped my idea, because I'm sure lots of other people have crocheted their own Hello Kitty hats, but damn, that's kind of wild to see something in a store that you made as well, but you made it better. (As of today, if you go to etsy and search handmade for "Hello Kitty crochet hat," you'll find 404 options.

I had to touch this hat. It was thin and loosely stitched. It looked like double crochets instead of the single crochets I used in mine. I'm pretty sure this store version was not machine crocheted though. This looked and felt like the real deal.

More pictures to come tomorrow, since I'm still cleaning up the camera and phone. :)

An Early Christmas Gift For Me

Two weeks ago, my husband said we were going to Wal-Mart to look at sewing machines so he could get an idea of what I wanted in a new machine for Christmas. I believed him, that we were JUST LOOKING.

He lied to me. :)

Instead, he surprised me with one of the two machines that met my needs and approval by grabbing it off the shelf and saying, "Let's go get in line to pay for this." He decided I couldn't wait until Christmas.

My new toy: the Singer Fashion Mate 5500. Ooooooooooohhhhhhhh. Aaaaaaaaahhhhhh.