Eight days to move

This is really happening.

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And so many sad and tearful goodbyes and hugs today…the farm (again); the school omg. One of the girls’ poor teacher was trapped in her classroom alone with the girls and me after school, all three of us crying. I made my ugly cry face at least three times today. I gave the girls candy and TV after school in hopes of ceasing the sobbing. It worked. For now. Kids…

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The dogs are not happy. They refuse to leave the couch. Carl’s armpits are hot pink. That means his anxiety is in full swing.

Three families are coming over tonight who leave for out-of-town holiday vacations tomorrow…more cry face for sure. Sh*t’s about to get real. For now, I am drowning sorrows in homemade whoopie pies (thanks N – I love you).

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Ten Days to Move

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So, here we are with ten days to go. I’ve been packing for three straight days and every time I run out of boxes, someone I love brings me more and I get sad again about leaving such good people behind…

The house is beginning to be a challenge to navigate as boxes are scattered around the floor so I have taken to stacking them in high towers. As long as we don’t have another earthquake, I should be ok.

I’ve been running around like crazy with my list. I dropped the kids off at school today with teacher gifts and party treats; went to break our gym contract and am a little bummed that it’s only a statewide chain because it was wonderful while it lasted; we all three had hair cuts (my favorite farm friend/boss was there getting hers cut too!) and sadly said goodbye to our stylist (though we will get to hug her again at a party next week ;). We also had a last swim lesson after nearly three years with the same teachers :( …but they threatened to come help us load on Saturday. And our dentist was at swim too, so said farewell. This town is smaller than it seems.

Said some tearful goodbyes at the farm today…I will miss it there; as a customer and employee (most fun job I’ve ever had), and I guess also as a friend. I should really take more pictures of the people I really really like.

I had a wonderful bartering experience at my favorite local vintage shop. I thinned out my collection of old things while packing, loaded up the car, and went to the shop. The owner, who I love and totally want to copy her shop, took every single thing I had and invited me to go shopping and I was able to get some awesome things that I’ve had my eye on. You may be wondering what the point of thinning my stash was, but I took a whole carload and walked out with a vintage suitcase full of amazing (small) treasures – I was sooo happy!

Anyway, tomorrow is an electrician house call, a house appraisal, a vet appointment (sorry boys), and more tearful goodbyes…

So, I just rambled a ton, but I think this move rambling is keeping me sane. The only drinking I did in the last three days was to finish off a nearly empty bottle of wine today because it was recycle day and I really wanted that bottle in the bin and out of my way. So what if I didn’t use a glass – I’m being super efficient with dishes in this stage of the game.

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Thirteen days to move…

If you ever have to do this, I suggest taking a day to wrap your head around it all and possibly have a drink or two or a bottle of wine.

Then get something to write with and start making a list of every thing that needs addressing…did you loan anything out that you need to collect; who do you need to call to request records…doctor, dentist, school, vet; call your realtor, figure out where to get packing supplies, etc.

Next, make all the calls and send all the necessary emails resulting from your list.

Then, pick up the house. Put every single thing away where it belongs. But don’t waste time cleaning because you’re going to have to do that later anyway.

Now you’re ready to pack…

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I followed those steps this weekend and ended up packing most of the day today. Dave pressure washed the house yesterday and did a few minor cosmetic house things today (working around the Seahawks game of course).

When I was dangerously close to running out of boxes and newspaper, i sent out a text and was replenished in no time. I am constantly reminded of all the people we will sincerely miss when we leave. We had two different box drop-offs over the weekend by people who are ready to drop everything this close to the holidays and take care of us… they are difficult to say goodbye to.

I’m also realizing that three years is right around the time when the newness has worn off a friendship and you start feeling like its turning into something. You tell each other the truth, you go over for no reason at all, and you don’t have to knock anymore… I have more if those here than I ever imagined I would.

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How to make a cross-country move with two weeks notice…

Yep. Two weeks. Virginia to Washington. Two kids two dogs two cars two weeks. Step one…

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…it’s not like we’re going to take it with us.

Seriously though, I don’t actually know how to do this. I’m no stranger to moving – this will make 12 moves for us. But we’ve never done one this fast and we’ve only done one with a family and a house to sell and all the rest. This should be fun.

Admittedly, this is not a total shock. I mean, our goal was to be here fewer than five years and we have been here about three and a half now, but we were hoping for a summer move. Plus, I really wanted this to happen and I felt that if I prepared in any way, I would jinx it and consequently, we wouldn’t get the move opportunity that we wanted. Superstition is counterproductive…or is it?

So, we really do only have two weeks, including a big fat holiday, and it’s pretty much all me as Dave is working these last two weeks.

Wish us luck.

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Christmas Tree Coasters

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Using medium weight, 100% cotton yarn and a size ‘H’ hook:
Chain 16
Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook and in ea ch to end, ch 1, turn (15 sts)
Row 2: sc in ea st across, ch 1, turn (15 sts)
Row 3: dec in 1st 2 sts, sc in next 11 sts, dec in last 2 sts, ch 1, turn (13 sts)
Row 4: sc in ea st across, ch 1, turn (13 sts)
Row 5: dec in 1st 2 sts, sc in next 9 sts, dec in last 2 sts, ch 1, turn (11 sts)
Row 6: sc in ea st across, ch 1, turn (11 sts)
Row 7: dec in 1st 2 sts, sc in next 7 sts, dec in last 2 sts, ch 1, turn (9 sts)
Row 8: sc in ea st across, ch 1, turn (9 sts)
Row 9: dec in 1st 2 sts, sc in next 5 sts, dec in last 2 sts, ch 1, turn (7 sts)
Row 10: sc in ea st across, ch 1, turn (7 sts)
Row 11: dec in 1st 2 sts, sc in next 3 sts, dec in last 2 sts, ch 1, turn (5 sts)
Row 12: sc in ea st across, ch 1, turn (5 sts)
Row 13: dec in 1st 2 sts, sc in next st, dec in last 2 sts, ch 1, turn (3 sts)
Row 14: sc in ea st across, ch 1, turn (3 sts)
Row 15: sc3tog, ch 1, do not turn (1 st)
Edge: sc in ea row end and st around coaster, making 4 sc in ea lower corner and 3 sc in top point; join to first sc of edge; fasten off and weave in ends.

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Finish coasters by weaving a narrow grosgrain ribbon inside the edge and fasten a star button to the top. I just used the end of the ribbon to secure the button before I wove the ribbon end in.

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Canning Jar Ring Wreath Ornament

Warning: The following photos were taken indoors with terrible lighting because it is COLD today. Super cold. And I’m not saying that I am; but I could still be in some form of jammies, and if that’s the case, am not willing to go outside…

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I have been using the new plastic jar lids for freezing things like jam and sauce in jars and now have an abundance of unused metal rings for sealing canning jars.

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They don’t store well in a small kitchen with limited cupboard space and are super annoying when doing anything besides that which they were specifically designed. So, in an effort to get them out of my kitchen, I made them into cute little holiday decorations with a little crochet, ribbon and a dab of glue.

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They do make me smile and are really easy and fast to make. I used two strands of kitchen cotton yarn and a larger hook, like a ‘J’ maybe…and single crocheted all the way around. I did 25 or so stitches around the regular size rings and about 30 stitches around the wide mouth rings. It really doesn’t matter as long as you like how it looks. I don’t mind having a sliver of the metal showing through here and there.

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When I have gotten all the way around, I just slip stitch to the first single crochet and weave the ends in on the back side. (I crocheted over the top of the beginning tail so there was no need to weave that end in.)

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When the crochet is finished, just make a little bow with ribbon and glue in place.

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You can add a string for hanging or a wire ornament hook. Old rusted lids would be great for this project too.

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If you made a bunch, it would be a cute kitchen window garland for the holidays…which puts them right back where they started; or, for pun’s sake, brings them full circle…

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Bus Stop Hand Warmers!

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I made the kids these cute hand warmers with some fabric scraps and filled them with rice. They warm up in the microwave for about 30 seconds and then the kids put them in their pockets at the bus stop. It has been super cold this week!

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Petunia, the Palm-Size Pig

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I made a cute little palm-size pig. Named her Petunia. Alliterations. I like them.

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This pig is very simple and the only part that actually has stuffing is the body. I did not stuff the snout or legs. Also, the worst part about amigurumi for me is sewing legs onto bodies so that they stand up…I hate it. But on this one, the body is so compact that you really just need to squish all the legs together and the pig will stand just fine.

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Here’s what you’ll need to make this cute pig:
Light pink yarn
Dark pink yarn
G hook
Blunt needle
9 mm Safety eyes
Stuffing
A tiny bit of patience for attaching all the small parts…

Note: Pattern is worked in continuous rounds; do not join.

Head/body:
With lighter yarn, make an adjustable loop
Rnd 1: 6 sc in loop, pull loop closed (6sc)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 sts (12sts)
Rnd 3: (1 sc in next st, 2 sc in next st) 6 times (18 sts)
Rnd 4: (1 sc in next two sts, 2 sc in next st) 6 times (24 sts)
Rnd 5: (1 sc in next three sts, 2 sc in next st) 6 times (30 sts)
Rnd 6: (1 sc in next four sts, 2 sc in next st) 6 times (36 sts)
Rnd 7: (1 sc in next five sts, 2 sc in next st) 6 times (42 sts)
Rnds 8-12: 1 sc in ea st around (42 sts)
Fasten safety eyes using the beginning loop as the reference for the snout.
Rnd 13: (1 sc in next five sts, sc2tog) 6 times (36 sts)
Rnd 14: (1 sc in next four sts, sc2tog) 6 times (30 sts)
Rnd 15: (1 sc in next three sts, sc2tog) 6 times (24 sts)
Rnd 16: (1 sc in next two sts, sc2tog) 6 times (18 sts)
Rnd 17: (1 sc in next st, sc2tog) 6 times (12 sts)
Finish stuffing
Rnd 18: sc2tog 6 times (6 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a tail for gathering the remaining six stitches closed and weave in end.

Snout:
With darker pink yarn, make an adjustable loop
Rnd 1: 6 sc in loop, pull loop closed (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in next 6 sts (12 sts)
Rnds 3 & 4: 1 sc in next 12 sts (12 sts)
Fasten off leaving a tail to sew snout to face. Make two stitches on the front of the snout with the lighter pink yarn and the blunt needle. Do not stuff snout. Sew the snout over the beginning adjustable loop of the head/body, centering it between the eyes.

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Feet (make 4):
With darker pink yarn, make an adjustable loop
Rnd 1: 6 sc in loop, pull loop closed (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in next 6 sts (12 sts)
Rnds 3-5: 1 sc in next 12 sts (12 sts)
Fasten off leaving a tail for sewing to body. Do not stuff feet. Sew them to under side of body so the feet are all touching like there’s one foot in each quadrant of a square.

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Ears (make 2):
With darker pink yarn, ch 7
Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in remaining 5 sts (6 sts)
Row 2: sc2tog 3 times (3 sts)
Row 3: sc2tog, sc (2 sts)
Row 4: sc2tog (1 st)
Fasten off leaving a tail for sewing to body. Fold the ear by folding the bottom edge (Row 1) in half so that the beginning and ending tails come together. Tie the tails in a small knot. The folded part becomes the base of the ear that you sew to the head just behind the eye. (Tip: To make the ears appear even, fold one right side out and one wrong side out.)

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Tail:
With darker pink yarn, ch 10
Row 1: 2 sc in 2nd ch from hook, 2 sc in ea ch to end (18 sts)
Fasten off leaving a tail for sewing tail to body. Sew to body.

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Super Fun Crochet Bean Bags!

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Cute right?

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This is a super easy pattern for fun bean bags that the kids can use for hop scotch and a kid friendly version of the corn hole game.

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Here’s the whole pattern and then there are more detailed pictures below…

Materials:
Worsted Weight Yarn
‘H’ and ‘I’ crochet hooks
Large eye, blunt needle
Scissors
1 Small bag of medium size beans (I used Roman)

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Note: I used Lily Sugar n’ Cream 100% cotton worsted weight yarn.
For the body of each bean bag, I used an ‘I’ hook and two strands of yarn. I used an ‘H’ hook and one strand of yarn for the edging. I also used roman beans to fill the bags because they are a good size for staying in the bag and not coming out of the stitch spaces.

This pattern is worked in continuous rounds, so do not join.
Using ‘I’ hook and two strands of yarn, make a magic loop
Rnd 1: 6 sc inside loop (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in ea st around (12 sts)
Rnd 3: (1 sc in next st, 2 sc in next st) 6 times (18 sts)
Rnd 4: (1 sc in next two sts, 2 sc in next st) 6 times (24 sts)
Rnd 5: (1 sc in next three sts, 2 sc in next st) 6 times (30 sts)
Rnd 6: (1 sc in next four sts, 2 sc in next st) 6 times (36 sts)
Slip stitch in next stitch to fasten off but don’t weave in end.
Make two of these for each bag (front and back).
Join the two pieces together with single strand edging and ‘H’ hook:
Hold both pieces together with magic loop tails already pulled tight and facing toward the inside of the bag. Tie the end tails of each piece together for extra strength and then tuck them inside before you begin closing.
Beginning anywhere around the outside round, join edging yarn through both layers and ch 2 (counts as one hdc), 2 hdc in same st, (sl st in next st, 3 hdc in next st) all the way around (but don’t forget to stop about an inch or two from closing it all the way to add the beans!), sl st in first cluster of 3 hdc to end. Fasten off but don’t weave in ends. Tie beginning and end tails together for extra strength and then weave them in.

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This was a super easy and cheap way to get a couple yard games together for the kids. We’ve actually had our set since last summer when I made the first ones. This new set is for a friend for a birthday party. The two hoola-hoops, I found at the dollar store and they are overall pretty crappy hoola-hoops for hoola-hooping, but I think they make pretty solid bean bag toss game hoops and they’re actually slightly smaller than full size hoola-hoops which makes them a little easier to store and makes the game a little more challenging. The little buckets were 99 cents each at Target (in the toy department oddly, not the dollar area or the seasonal area). The beans were $1 and I already had the yarn, so about five bucks altogether.

Here’s a little more detailed version…

Remember, do not join rounds.
With an I hook and two strands of yarn, make a magic loop

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Round 1: Make 6 sc in loop (6 sts)

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Round 2: 2 sc in ea st around (12 sts)

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Round 3: (1 sc in next st, 2 sc in next st) 6 times (18 sts)

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Round 4: (1 sc in ea of next two sts, 2 sc in next st) 6 times (24 sts)

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Round 5: (1 sc in ea of next three sts, 2 sc in next st) 6 times (30 sts)

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Round 6: (1 sc in ea of next four sts, 2 sc in next st) 6 times (36 sts)

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Sl st in next st

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Cut yarn and fasten off leaving a tail a few inches long but don’t weave in end.

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Make two of these. One is the front and one is the back of the bean bag.

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I made a set of six bean bags so I made two each of six different colors.

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For the edging, I switched to an H hook and one strand of yarn. I made three with one color edging and three with a different color edging so that two teams could tells their bean bags from the others.

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The pattern around the edging is (3 hdc in one st, sl st in next st) around.

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Stop before you close it all the way so you can add the beans

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Fill the bag nearly all the way with beans.

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Finish crocheting the edging to close the hole and end with a slip stitch.

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Tie the beginning and end tails in a knot for extra strength and weave in the ends.

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Have fun!

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Floppy Disk Crochet

Cutest thing ever…

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I just LOVE them! I made a set of these for a birthday gift earlier in the year and when I went to the Goodwill on the hunt for a floppy disk holder, there were two perfect ones, so I grabbed both. Of course I forgot to take photos of the first set before I mailed it…because that’s what I do…but anyway, they were very well received and I still had the other holder so I made these! I can’t decide whether to list them in my etsy shop or to keep them…???

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