Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April Stitching

I caught the stitching bug again this month, and I managed to get a few things done.

Here we go...

Janlynn Mini Disney Kits

Mickey & Pluto

These are about 2 1/2" by 2 1/2" when they are finished. I have around 2 dozen kits. When they are done, I plan on making a wall quilt that I can use to display by Disney Pin Collection. I think it's going to be fabulous!

I also worked on something different.

BMB #606 Pillow Top

This is an all over Smyrna Cross Stitch design in colors I'm not used to seeing in a Norwegian kit. It took me less than a week to complete, which made me very happy.

Last was Bent Creek's Big Zipper. I finished two more charts. I need to get back to this in the next week or so.

The Big Zipper - The Big House

The griding was tremendously helpful when I was doing the border, but now that I'm working on the smaller sections, it's throwing me off. I matched the grid lines to the master pattern, and the grid lines are different on the smaller charts. Argh! I haven't screwed things up too badly thus far.

I have now officially completed more stitching charts than socks this year. That's the first time in 3 years that has happened. Maybe my stitching mojo is back. It certainly has been on a long vacation.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

An open letter to John Ratzenberger and Tea Party Supporters

This morning I read an article from the Sacramento Bee, in which the following quote was reported to have been made by Mr. Ratzenberger:

"I worked hard and I went for the American dream and I did OK," he told the crowd. "But now I'm confused … why does the government want to take my money and give it to people who don't work?"

In all fairness, I would like to hear the whole speech that was provided by Mr. Ratzenberger, but since that is unavailable, I will make a few points to this comment specifically.

First, Mr. Ratzenberger has been a strong supporter of American manufacturing and he is an advocate for children with Diabetes. These are two things that I commend him for. I wish him continued success in promoting these endeavors.

Prior to 2006, the longest I had been off of work was 9 months. This was from 1996-1997, when I went out on disability and then had to file for unemployment before securing a new job. I have held jobs since 1982, and had to file for unemployment only once before 1996.

Since June 2006, I have exhausted Unemployment Benefits twice, and collected wages for a total of 12 months (out of 34) under 5 different contracts.

On average, I have sent out resumes or applied for 40 jobs a week.

I registered with 26 different employment agencies and reapplied to 12.

I have 14 different resumes and 26 different cover letters.

I am registered with 16 different job posting sites.

The last full-time, permanent position I held was as a Vice President of Operations.

I have worked primarily in the Mortgage industry since 1992. I worked admin and ops. I wasn't a loan officer. I didn't make the big $$.

I have dumbed down my resumes, scaling back job titles and using generic explanations for my job skills.

My background includes accounting, human resources, project management and auditing.

I have been told more times than I can count that I am either over qualified or my background is too industry specific.

Though I have been an Executive Assistant to C-level executives, I couldn't even find a job as a secretary.

Under the Bush Stimulus Bill from the Spring of 2008, I received an extension of my unemployment benefits. I was entitled to an additional $1,300. I received $111 a week. That's less than half of what I used to get paid for 1 day of work. It was humiliating and quite depressing.

The last 3 years have been depressing and humiliating. It doesn't help when people of note make callous comments such as Mr. Ratzenberger's.

I have read and listened to comments made by Tea Party supporters, and I can understand their feelings on the current state of our Nation. This problem didn't start on January 20th. It started in 1998 and has gone down hill from there. See Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1998.

The national unemployment rate is over 8%, and it is estimated to surpass 10% by the end of the year. In California, it is already over 10%. This takes into account those filing for or receiving unemployment benefits. It doesn't take into account those that have exhausted benefits, or are under-employed. That would bring the total to over 15M Americans. I am one of those 15M.

I don't reject your right to protest, but I can reject your rhetoric and callousness. To blame those that have lost their jobs to corporate greed and mismanagement, to having their jobs shipped overseas, or to downsizing due to reduced revenue, shows a gross lack of understanding and empathy.

Simply put - I wouldn't wish my experience on anyone. To walk in my shoes for the last 3 years would be a completely demoralizing experience.

It would be nice to hear some solutions for a change, instead of blame. Do you, Mr. Ratzenberger, or any of the Tea Party Supporters, have thoughtful solutions for our future? We're all waiting.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Recap - March Madness

Last month I went a bit nuts with the dishrag cotton. I found out that there would be a new baby in the family, and I went to work. Unfortunately, this little one wasn't meant to be. Nature sometimes makes that decision, but it's still a hard thing to accept. So I will put them away for the future.

I had a huge stash of Sugar n' Cream, and a lot of little balls of the same and Peaches & Creme. I was determined to put a dent in that stash. Using my favorite patterns from Mason Dixon Knitting, here are the results:

Bibs O' Love

March Bibs O' Love Madness

Between these two, I used up 5 balls of leftovers. The one to the left includes solid yellow and white stripes interspersed with the variegated yellow/green/white.

March Bibs O' Love Madness

March Bibs O' Love Madness

I was shooting for a dozen in total, but settled for ten. I had better luck in the scrapbook section finding buttons that I liked than at Joann's. I very much miss the old fabric stores.

Baby Genius Burp Cloths

Baby Genius Burp Cloths March Madness

Baby Genius Burp Cloths March Madness

Baby Genius Burp Cloths March Madness

I have more of these I would like to make, but they will be done at another time. I still have about 6 balls of Sugar n' Cream set aside for burp cloths.

Ballband Dishcloth

March Ballband Dishcloth Madness

March Ballband Dishcloth Madness

March Ballband Dishcloth Madness

March Ballband Dishcloth Madness

March Ballband Dishcloth Madness

March Ballband Dishcloth Madness

What I like about these is that I can mix and match and use leftovers, which I did. I want to make more of these, as they make great gifts and of all the washcloths I have made, I like these best.

So, that is my March Madness recap!

Saturday Night Movie

It's been a while, but this was worth it.

Monday, April 06, 2009

And then there was needlework

I took a break from knitting. I know - shock - she can resist the pointy sticks.

The Big Zipper - Love Grows

It's been a while since I posted an update on one of my needlework projects, because I haven't picked one up in a looong time. But if I want to have something to compete with at State Fair this year, I better start being less monogamous. ;-)

The pattern for this part is in the picture, so you can appreciate scale. The pattern is 8.5 x 11 - that should give you an idea. And I'm working it in hand - no hoop, no stretcher bars. I'm doing it old school - like I did when I was a teenager. I was pretty proud of myself when I finished the Love Grows section. It's like riding a bicycle, almost.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Loving this......

I've mentioned that I love Yarn Pirate - you could say I'm a little over the moon for Georgia. She is an awesome dyer! I get giddy when the package is in the mailbox because I know there will be yarny goodness to fondle. I know, it's an illness. The Booty Club is one of my guilty pleasures.

This is my latest sock in progress.....

Faceted Rib Socks

The colorway is Patina (Yarn Pirate Merino/Tencel Sock). The pattern is from The Little Box of Socks by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott. The pattern is called Faceted Rib. Isn't is awesome!?