The City of Crochet

Crocheting...an escape from everyday life in Europe as I face the perils of yarn shopping in a foreign country and dealing with all of the crazy looks I get for crocheting & knitting on the public transportation system.

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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Rain, rain go away

It is raining....again. I don't mean those nice little summer rain showers, I mean full out downpour....for the third day in a row! We even have had thunder and lightning showers which are unheard of here in Belgium! Not sure why, but in two + years, this is only the second time that I can remember thunder and lightning! Add to that the torrential downpours, and its not a lot of fun!

And of course I had plans to go out all weekend! Went to dinner with friends on Friday night where I managed to fall flat on my back while walking to the restaurant! It was not a graceful fall - it was with flaying arms and legs! This was of course after I slid across my hardwood floors and wrenched my bad ankle! Needless to say I am on a self prescribed advil diet right now to take down the swelling and pain! My hip is sore and my ankle is tight, but I don't think any major damage!

Saturday I went to Ikea - ugh - again in the rain. Not a lot of fun since its a 5 minute walk to Ikea from the metro stop! Got into a fight while in line. My friend Zori had her stuff on the line first, so I helped her bag it up. She paid, and I turned around to get my stuff, only to have the two French jerks who were BEHIND me in line start thrusting their papers at the cashier so she would help them...umm, hell no! I did not wait in line 25 minutes to have you hold me up even longer. So I interrupted "Excuse-moi, mais je suis premiere" (Excuse me, but I was first) At which the French guys started yelling at me and telling me off...ummm...okay - why? You know that you were behind me, there is no reason that you should be mad at me for wanting to go before you....jerks!

I have done absolutely zilch on the crochet front this weekend! My current snowflake sits abandoned on my coffee table. Once I get my dishes done I'll think about starting back on it...Then again I do have the entire first season of the Dukes of Hazard waiting to be watched! My Dad was a darling and let me bring his set back with me...I've been waiting for the right day to watch them.....as its raining like mad, I think that it is a great day to start!!

Have a Happy Sunday!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Snowflakes on Thursday

Well, three days have passed in the Snowflake CAL, and I can say that I have finished three snowflakes! I am at least managing to do what I had set out to do - one snowflake per day!

Here are the pictures (my camera is not the best at close ups and details...ask it to take a scenery shot, not a problem. But close up??? Not a chance!

Tuesdays Snowflakes
Peach Snowflake Baby Flake Size Comparison


Wednesday Snowflake (only finished one *sigh*)
Wed Snowflake


And since I said that the camera takes better scenery shots, here is one of my most favorite pictures that I have taken with this camera - it was shot on the island of Santorini in Greece.
Santorini


I've been thinking of making each Thursday be "Travelling Thursday" where I show a new picture from my trips around the globe - sound good?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Snowflakes in July CAL

Snowflakes in July Along

Today marks my first day of participating in the Snowflakes in July Crochet Along over at Crochetville. It officially started yesterday, but I was not around to pick up my hooks and thread, so today was my first attempt! I've finished one regular size Snowflake tonight and one miniature snowflake!

(I will post pictures as soon as they finish drying and I can snap a good picture of them - they are currently on my makeshift blocking board (old ironing board cover). )

The regular Snowflake I made with size 10 Coats Aida thread in a light peach color.

The miniature Snowflake was made with DMC Babylo White Size 10 thread.

I am enjoying both threads (are they available in the US???) Both seem to be a better quality thread than I have used in the past! I am looking forward to making more snowflakes with these threads, as well as a doily or two....once the CAL is over of course! :)

Merci Beaucoup Mon Amis!

I need to say a big thank you to everyone who sent me Birthday wishes yesterday - it really meant a lot to me and helped make my day so much brighter! Merci Beaucoup!

I received my parents package at work - was I ever surprised by all of the goodies in it! As long as my teeth do not rot out from the chocolate and candy, I should be doing good! Here's peek at the package they sent - before and after I unwrapped it!
Wrapped Unwrapped


I also received a RAOK yesterday that was sitting on my desk when I got to work - perfect timing!!
RAOK #2


I also owe a belated thank-you to Vera who sent me a wonderful little gift. A while back Vera announced that I had been the 800th person to comment on her blog! As such, she was going to send me a little something! Here is what she sent:
Gift from Vera Veras Doilies


Many thanks to everyone!!
*hugs*
Kimberly

Friday, July 22, 2005

A FiberRAOK Thank you!

I was excited to find out that I had been approved into the FiberRAOK Ring - I've had it up on my blog for a while now and was patiently awaiting my approval into the ring - was I ever excited to receive it!

A big thanks to everyone who has stopped by my blog and said hello! *hugs* to all!

Another big thanks goes to Jenn for the cute e-card she sent to me - it put a smile on my face - thanks!!

I'm getting a package!

Well, my Dad has gone and done it again! He is always sending me something in the mail and then hinting about it on accident "So honey, did you get any mail today" "No Dad - why - should I be??" "Oops...oh crap, No. You're not...don't tell your mom I mentioned anything"

Well, with my birthday coming up, it appears that they mailed a little something to me a week+ ago to my work here. I should have gotten it yesterday, but with it being a holiday and all, I did not go into work! Not a problem - they were good about not saying anything! I get home from some errands today to find a nice little card in my mailbox at my apartment that was mailed out 4 days ago (wow - that was quick) and this time my Dad slipped in the card! He never expected that I would receive the card first, so he had written "Hope you received your care package and enjoyed it! We just thought it would be something different" I gave a little chuckle of glee and phoned him, waking him up in the process here is our conversation...

"Hhheello" Dad in a raspy 'I'm still sleeping' voice
"Morning Dad - thanks for the card" Me in a 'I'm gonna get you good' voice
"Huh....you got a card" Dad in a confused 'What is she talking about' voice
"Uh huh. I got my birthday card in the mail. I guess I'm getting a package to eh?"
. . . . . "Shit. Its your daughter" Long pause as he thinks about what he wrote...A short exclamation, and then the sound of him handing the phone to my mom.
"Morning honey...whats wrong?" Mom in a 'worried tone'
"Nothings wrong mom. I'm just calling to say thanks for the birthday card and to let Dad know that I've not received the package yet that he mentioned in the card" Me in a gleeful 'he is sooooo busted' voice
"Bernie!!!!!! Sorry honey it was supposed to be a surprise!" Mom scolding my Dad and apologizing

What a great start to my birthday weekend....I know that I have a package waiting at work for me on Monday which is my actual birthday!!! I'm going to be an old 27....I always thought that I would be married with 2.2 kids by now!

Thanks Mom and Dad - love ya both!! *hugs*

Wow...what a surprise...and WHAT???

First, please note that the subject title was said with extreme irony! I saw a blogthing on Misfit's blog, so away I went to check it out.....heres my version -

You Should Learn French

C'est super! You appreciate the finer things in life... wine, art, cheese, love affairs.
You are definitely a Parisian at heart. You just need your tongue to catch up...


Are y'all surprised with that one? LOL - I think I got the learning french down pat! Oui, je parle français mon amis! The man at the chocolate shop this morning said that I spoke it very well! Woo hoo! :)

Celeste - I thought of you when I passed one of the Beer stores (yes we have stores for only beer here - with 800+ kinds, its...well....needed!) and they had a huge display in the window for Chimay - I wish that I had had my camera!

Second - I saw this on Sara's Blog - and her comment to her result was "WTF" my comment upon the first reading was "Huh? A what?"

In a Past Life...

You Were: An Obese Executor of Sacrifices.

Where You Lived: Ireland.

How You Died: Suicide.


What exactly IS an Obese Executor of Sacrifices??????? Why obese? Why suicide? I need more information here folks! Why did I kill myself? Was my job that horrible? Anyways - how the heck does someone get a job as an executor of sacrifices...what are the job requirements? Did I need prior experience? Sheesh - talk about leaving some unanswered questions in my mind!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Cordelia's Challenge and my ? Button!!

First of all - Good monring everyone!! Second of all, while doing my ritual morning blog read (I crawl out of bed, use the restroom, stumble to the computer, read some blogs, go back to bed for 30 minutes) I read Cordelia's Challenge to all of us out there in Blog Land! While none of my current projects are in the "almost but not quite" finished category (more or less then "you gotta heck of a lot to go" category) My challenge to myself is to start no new projects, to finish at least 2 of the 63 Square Squares, finish the current ball of yarn I'm using on my Evening Shawl, complete at least 2 squares for the Square Swap AND finish the head of my Frog Princess! A busy undertaking, but I'll have 3.5 days to do it all in! Check out WIP Road (aka the City of WIP) to see how my progress is going!

My advice for the day....while cleaning your apartment and vacuuming up the cat hair from your visiting fur-friend, DO NOT take your vaccum to your computer keyboard! I spent half an hour trying to extract my "?" button from the depths of my LAST vaccum bag...Gave in, ripped the bag apart and found the missing button....only problem is how do I clean up the mess since I can not vaccum it up with no bag in the bloody machine!! :)

Oh! Here is a peak at my funky french keyboard after I did surgery to replace the "?" key.....notice anything strange about my keyboard??

Left Side French Keyboard Right Side French Keyboard

EDIT: An American keyboard is called a QWERTY based on its top row of alpha keys - the French keyboard is called an AZERTY for that same reason!

I can not really say which is easier - there are things that I like about both versions of the keyboards and things that I do not like about both version! LOL I do like the placement of the M and ease of using the special keys like !"&()"' but on the other hand I don't like using the Shift key to get to my numbers on my laptop (can not have your cake and eat it to I guess)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I've been RAOK'ed!

First of all, its officially the weekend for me...are y'all jealous?? Tomorrow is Belgium's National Day so my company gave us the two days off! My goal is to do as little as possible (excluding crocheting of course) with a minimum amount of effort! I do need to run some errands on Friday, but hopefully I can get them done in the morning and have all afternoon to sit in the sun...always assuming its going to be sunny! :)

As I hinted at in my post this morning, I had a surprise waiting for me at work today! A wonderful fairy godmother from Crochetville sent me my very first RAOK! Being very sneaky to put my US address as the return address, I have narrowed the sender down to someone living in the great state of Texas - my most humble and sincere thank yous go out to you! You have brightened up my day! The tea was very good - I've never had that kind before! The gum was great!! The Apple Bubble gum was a big hit with me (all of it is at work - the package in the picture is just the outside! :) The coaster is lovely - fits perfectly under my mug! And the square is gorgeous - thank you!!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Blogging Personality Test......

The saga of the Blogging Personality test……my introduction to the BPT began when I read about it on Sara’s blog who had gotten it from Kari’s. Put a note in my mental to-do list and carried on with my day. I then read it on Ro’s blog and then on Misfits blog (and they both got it off of the Kari-Sara link). And that my friends is when I deduced that Professor Plum had killed Mister Boddy in the Library with the candle..err…umm…wrong game – heres my answer to my BPT:

Your Blogging Type is Pensive and Philosophical
You blog like no one else is reading...
You tend to use your blog to explore ideas - often in long winded prose.
Easy going and flexible, you tend to befriend other bloggers easily.
But if they disagree with once too much, you'll pull them from your blogroll!


Do you agree? I’m not so sure on all of it – some yes – i.e. the long-windedness and the befriending…but pulling from my blogroll for disagreeing with me?? The City of Crochet is a democratic society and not a dictatorship! No one ever goes missing in the night, unexplained accidents happening, no planning of terrorist style attacks on vegetables (it wasn’t me…but the question is still out there…who tried to do the veggies in??) So please, feel free to disagree with little old moi!

Psst - I got something in the mail today at work....will post about it when I get home tonight and can take a picture...it was totally unexpected....this person deserves some huge hugs...as a hint, the postmark was from Texas but the return address was from....me?!?!? I can not hug myself....but be assured that mental hugs are going out to this person...whomever she may be! :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

My famous afghan

I can not remember if I already posted about this, and I am way to tired to go back and re-read my old posts...yup, I'm being lazy!

But, imagine my surprise and shock when I was surfing through iVillage the other day and came across this post: http://messageboards.ivillage.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=iv-ppcrochtknit&msg=3126.1 Yup, thats my afghan that they are referring to - http://cityofcrochet.blogspot.com/2005/05/my-star-afghanit-is-finished.html

I was extremely surprised and a little bit tickled pink to think that others have found their way to my blog and enjoyed the afghan!

I scratch my head and wonder what I did with all of my time a year ago before I started crocheting! Now its spent crocheting, blogging, checking out Crochetville, blog-stalking others, RAOKs, Swaps, yarn shopping, searching for patterns...and so forth!

I know that I am much happier now, so that is what counts! A year ago I was probably snowed under at work, working 12+ hour days, pulling my hair out, dealing with a new boss that did not have a password for a single system and expected me to do it all, taking on additional tasks knowing that I could not keep up and would eventually fall flat on my face (managed to catch myself while falling and crawl throught the budget season), and generally having a miserable life! Life is better now - even with crappy work and idiotic morons to work with, I have my yarn and hooks, and a bunch of new friends on the web. Life is looking better and better every day!

*hugs* to everyone!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Weekend Crocheting Show & Tell

Well, another weekend has passed and while I did not get as much done as I had envisioned, I was able to put a good dent into my WIPs and UFOs as well as a few new projects...I know, I know - enough with the new projects I have more than enough to do on my plate as it is, but I just can not help myself!

First: Dishcloth UFOs - I managed to finish both of them, and while the star is a bit wavy, I still like the final look of both! Have not decided yet if I am going to keep them for myself or send away as a possible RAOK....to be determined!

Dish Cloths


Second: Here are the first three squares that I have finished. I really do not like the one on the top right, so I am only send that one if I can not finish a replacement in time!

3 Squares


Third: I worked up Dot's Ditty Bag - it worked quickly and easily! I added a few rows of half-double stitches for variation - hard to tell though. I would suggest to make the handle a few stitches longer - although I think my crocheting too tightly is the main issue - the handle barely fits over my wrist but since I am sending it to a 7 year old, it is all good! My secret pal has a few girls...I might work up 3 more this week to send in my package to her!

Dot's Bag Closed Dot's Bag Open


Others: I worked on several items but no pictures - Started the head for the Princess Frog - I like how its working up but the French is a bit confusing at times! I worked a little bit on my Grandmother's doily...I might finish it up before Christmas at the rate I am going! I also worked some more on the scarf for my niece (same one who is getting the bag) and finished a few more rows - almost done with it!

I think that is all for now..See - I do on occasion crochet! Well, the scarf was knitting but its still working with my beloved yarn! :) My stash has gone down just a smidgen but that is a good thing...making room for new!

July Tea Update

As I mentioned yesterday, I purchased a wonderful Chinese tea set. It came with 6 cups, 3 spoons, a pot and a bamboo tray - here are the pictures of the set:

Chinese Tea Set
Tea Pot Tea Cups Tea Spoons


I also made an interesting purchase on Friday night (Friday night shopping in Leuven was done with free beer samples...my kind of shopping!) of a Pineapple & Rooibos tea blend from Twinings Tea based in London. I was very hesitant to try it, but decided what the heck and purchase a box of it. It was not as sweet as you would expect and yet still had a very pinappley (is that a word??) taste! I would be willing to share some (not all of it though!!) if anyone is interested!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

What does my birthday mean????

While doing my daily reading of blogs, I read on Cordelia's blog another blog quiz, this one about birthdays. I had to try it out, so away I went and here is what is said about little ole moi's birthdate:






Your Birthdate: July 25

Your birth on the 25th day of the month (7 energy) modifies your life path by giving you some special interest in technical, scientific, or other complex and often hard to understand subjects.

You may become something of a perfectionist and a stickler for details.

Your thinking is logical and intuitive, rational and responsible.


Your feelings may run deep, but you are not very likely to let them show.

This birthday makes you a more private person, more introspective and perhaps more inflexible.

In friendships you are very cautious and reserved.

You are probably inventive, and given to unique approaches and solutions.


To analyze the above:

--- Special interest in technical, scientific, or other complex and often hard to understand subjects. Okay, I am an accountant with a computer science background working on data retrieval and analysis from the various computer systems in the company...I think that this qualifies for this one.

--- Perfectionist and a stickler for details. Yup, read above.

--- Thinking is logical and intuitive, rational and responsible. Not sure about the rational part (I do tend to be irrational at times...but usually for a good reason) otherwise, yup thats me again

--- Feelings may run deep, but not likely to show. Depends on who its with - I am extremely open with my feelings - especially with family and friends....only time that this is true, is in regards to relationships I've been in....one specific individual comes to mind - not even sure if he knows now how much I care for him.

--- A private person, more introspective and perhaps more inflexible. Nope, my life is an open book in almost every aspect. I can be very inflexible if I feel that I am right...but show me or explain why I'm not and I am more than willing to consider bending

--- In friendships you are very cautious and reserved. Almost - I tend to make lots of friends and acquantances very easily and often. I do not make true deep friendships easily or lightly, but once I do, its for the long haul come good or bad.

--- Inventive, and given to unique approaches and solutions. Another yuppers - I love using my computer background and knowledge at work to get the data that I need....if I think about it long enough I can usually find the key to persuade the computers to cough up the data that I need!

Willy Wonka - Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

A continuation of the last post, but deserving of its own post, so here it is....

And the highlight of my weekend so far.....I got to see Willy Wonka!!

Okay, its actually Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but that's just semantics! I have been in love with the first version for years! The Oompa Loompa songs (What do you get when you guzzle down sweets? Eating as much as an elephant eats. What are you at getting terribly fat? What do you think will come of that? ....I don't like the look of that. Oompa Loompa Doo ba dee do, if you are wise you'll listen to me. You will live in happiness to, like the Oompa Loompa Doo bah dee do......Doo bah dee DO!) remain my favorites in the first version, a bit of a let down in the second version - the singing was hard to understand and lost the simplistic messages of the first version.

They changed the movie a bit in the new version, and from what I have heard, they stayed closer to the book in this one. I've not read the book (or at least don't remember reading it) so I can not exactly say. They did go into how Wonka met the Oompa Loompas and a few flash backs to his childhood and what caused him to become the eccentric candy & chocolate maker that he is. Mister Depp did a fair rendition of Willy Wonka - not a crazy/bizarre kinda kooky as Mister Wilder did, but more of a disturbed genius struggling with past issues.

End decision...I enjoyed the movie very much, but the first still holds the top spot in my heart! Have you seen the movie yet? What is you opinion? Vote in my two polls on the side bar!!

3 down, a whole lot more to do!

Well the weekend has been fun so far! Thursday night my friends Laura and Gil dropped off their cat Mils to spend a two week 'vacation' with me! I am excited to have some company in my apartment - even if I thought that Mils was going to jump off the balcony of my third floor (fourth floor in America - the ground floor is considered 0 here).

Friday during lunch I went into the center and bought almost all of the thread needed to make the Frog Princess - I still need to find the yellow for the crown - they did not have it at the store so I am not sure what I will do (they can not order it in for me) There are a couple of other shops in that same chain around the city - I will start stalking all of them until I find the yellow - what is a Princess without her crown?????

Friday night I went out to Leuven to stay at a friends house with another co-workers - the three of us stayed up talking and crafting away...All on my projects! My friend Zori went to work on my fun fur scarf that I am knitting for my niece - I realized that I've been holding the yarn in the wrong hand as I knit.....oops! That's what happens when I teach myself - now the fun of trying to learn the correct way! My other friend Leen finished up a twelve inch square for my Grandma's afghan (she had started it at the last craft night at my place) and then snaffled one of my Sugar n'Cream cotton balls and made herself a dishcloth - my supply keeps dwindling away of the S'n C :(

Saturday was shopping - picked up the cutest Chinese tea set! It is a Green Tea teapot with the little cups on a bamboo tray - its adorable in cream with green leaves and red dragonflies! I went with Zori to the Yarn shop by my house and managed to leave without making a single purchase! I decided Friday night that I was not going to purchase any more yarn until I had used up some of what I currently own! All four of my tubs are full now and I have still more yarn that I am working on as WIPs that do not fit into the tubs!

And to the title reference, I have completed three of the squares for the square swap over at Crochetville! I only have 32 more to go - yippee!! Pictures will be coming soon!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Blogger Shout Outs

Since finding my way to Crochetville and the wonderful Blogs, I've met so many talented and wonderful individuals! They make me laugh, cry, cringe, go Eeeewww and cheer each and every one of them on!

While I have links to many of them floating around my page, I would like to introduce you to a few of my favorites - take the time to go and check out their blogs - it is well worth the time and effort! In random order (I would never want to play favorites - every blog is special and unique!!)

- Misfit's Blog A talented Crocheter from India - check out her gorgeous sunset pictures! And don't forget to vote in her current pole!!

- Heather's Blog Yet another talented crocheter...this one from the exotic locale of Iowa (Which will be added to my places to visit list!! lol) Rants and raves and general takes on life....all this from a lady who has a pony named Peter Dragon! :)

- Celeste's Blog Highly amusing, a talented designer (she won 3rd place in the Stitch Diva Contest for Flowers) and even shares her Engrish sightings!

- Cordelia's Blog In her words - Daily ramblings of living, loving, crafting, critters, and of course rants! Gotta love those rants! And check out her animals - oh so cute!

- Sara's Blog A wonderful talented person who has started the Hooked Project

- Debs Blog Another beginner crocheter who has a wonderful sense of humor!

- Ro's Blog A super talented crocheter who has a heart of gold as she helps out others via her site Project Sherwood Take some time to read, sit back, crochet a hat or blankie and help out a wonderful cause via One Small Thing

- Regina's Blog An extremely gifted crocheter who has a wild and wonderful sense of humor! Take the time to find out about her Vegetable Liberation Army. Best of all - her favorite SoM song is the Goat Herder Song!! "High on a hill was a lonely goatherd Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo"

Just a sampling of my daily reads - for more wonderful bloggers - Check out the Blog list on the bottom right and the Rolling Blog Buttons!

(Can you tell that I was so excited about my Package from Jessica last night that I had not time to get any Crocheting done?? Don't forget to check out her blog too!! I am looking forward to reading it in the future!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A HUGE MERCI BEAUCOUP!!!!!!

I just have to say a huge thank you to my awesome and wonderful Secret Pal from the Summer Secret Pal at Crochetville! During the whole time she has been super wonderful - sending notes, postcards, e-mails and e-cards, several wonderful mailings and now to top it off - her "piece de resistence"!

As I was leaving work (after posting about the Thank Yous in an earlier post today....must have know that I was going to have to send one out tonight) I walked past the receptionist who said "Your Package is Here" huh? I did not bother checking my voicemails on my phone this afternoon (avoiding having more work thrown at me) so I missed her message about needing to pick up a package! Well I am sooooo glad that she caught me - I could not wait to get home and open up the box! I even thought about opening it up on the tram ride home, but I resisted temptation and had a HUGE surprise when I got home and opened the box!

Inside my reveal package / early birthday gift were these wonderful items:
Summer Secret Pal


poncho SP Pkg SP Pkg 2


My lovely Secret Pal sent me a box full of goodies! She sent me a wonderful Poncho made with silk in black and white which I LOVE!! She also sent me some Bernat Frenzy, Caron Jewel Box (can not wait to make a scarf with this) and Cream Luster Sheen. A bunch of pattern sheets (perfect! I did not have any of them!!), some letter "K" stickie notes, a family photo album (perfect for my purse!!) A stash of American chocolate & gum (the crunch bar did not last long after the picture was taken), A cro-hook and a size H afghan hook, a daisy flower patch, instructions for thread birdhouse pins, some DMC flower thread (love the colors) and some Eternal Silk threads (ooohhh so soft!!) an easy Kintting magazine (perfect as I am still in the learning phase!!) and last, but not least, a cute birthday card with butterflys and a postcard from Columbus Ohio!!

Thanks you Secret Pal! You are the bestest! I am sure that everyone is dying to know who such an awesome and wonderful Pal is (I had not a clue by the way, and to think I even signed up for your CAL - were you laughing at that one?) To answer the burning question that everyone else is wondering, the best summer secret pal EVER is none other than Jessica aka kusine! Thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart - this has meant the world to me!

Ps - I'm wearing my poncho aright now - I really love it!!!!

Question on Thank yous....

This has been buring a hole in the back of my head for a few months now. Cordelia over at CraftyCritter made a mention on her blog today about folks saying Thank You. I am not sure about this, but I thought that most of us were raised to say Please and Thank You....or at least I know that I was (although I will admit that I needed to be prodded now and then by every parents common phrase "What do you say?" until it stuck in my head).

One of my favorite things about sending someone something - be it a R.A.O.K. (Random Act of Kindness), Swap, Exchange, Christmas in July gift or even a Just Because I Wanted to gift - is to read / hear the comments when it is received...Especially the RAOK gifts - I love to know that I brightened up someones day....knowing that will usually brighten my day up also! Warm fuzzies and all that jazz!

I have had a Love/Hate relationship with the Postal System ever since I worked for them in College. (Warning - I can go Postal at any time......) They seem to take great pleasure in tormenting me by losing, misplacing, misdeliverying and disfiguring the packages and letters that I mail (Is it because I turned down that postman Eric for a date???)! I usually live in torment during the mailing process that the package is not going to arrive! And this includes the delivery companies as well! DHL was the last great culprit...I am still hoping that it turns up one of these days.....it has my name and address on it afterall!

Often we know due to the wonders of Delivery Confirmation when a package arrives, but for the little things we don't know....is it acceptable after a period of time to give them a nudge and ask them if they have received anything???? Whats your opinion????

Monday, July 11, 2005

Enough said......

Brussels has a love affair with their pets - they are allowed everywhere! I've even seen one lady in a restaurant place her dog on the seat next to her and order a meal for it! With a large number of dogs in a city along with rude and inconsiderate owners, there tends to be a lot of miniature "road apples" everywhere you walk! Thankfully I learned well during my summers working on Mackinac Island to avoid suspicious looking piles on the sidewalk and streets! I just have to share this funny doggie sign with you that I found (and then bought) during my trip to the Hardware store on Saturday (I bought the items I need to create a little something for Regina's VLA over at MonsterCrochet)

Doggie Sign

Les Doudous....

I hope that everyone had a good weekend. Luckily it was sunny Sat and Sunday so there was no need to sleep with my water collection tool on my bed! I realized last night that my UFOs have gotten out of control! I have multiple WIPs and UFOs taking over my apartment....it looks like WW3 occurred in my living/dining room!!

I finished two WIP dishcloths (could be considered UFOs since I started them before leaving on vacation and did not touch them for a month) and organized my yarn stash some last night. I am not liking the crates for my thread and cotton - everything just gets thrown into a bin and forgotten - not good! I will be working on finishing at least half of my current projects and not starting another until I see some progress.

I bought two of the cutest crochet books this weekend.....in french!! I am going to be very brave and try my hand at crocheting in french - they are the most darling patterns for childrens doudous. Doudous????? The only translation from french to English is that it is a french slang for a childs security toy. Here are the books and will be my first projects from them:
(All are clickable for a larger view!!)

DoudousDoudous Autour du Monde

Princess FrogTurtleMrs. Bear


Almost everything is done in Size 5 DMC Petra thread with some of the smaller details being done in Size 20 (i.e. the Flowers on Mrs. Bear's jacket). I am really excited about these creations - not sure when I will be able to start them as I need to find all of the correct colors of Petra thread - I have some, but not enough colors already in my stash. I wish that this was sold in the US as it is a really nice thread - the colors are wonderful and it works up really nicely!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Introducing the first Animal Inhabitant....Target!

The City of Crochet is proud to introduce to its friends and fellow citizens the first animal inhabitant......Target the Chipmunk!

Target 1 Target 2


Please notice the magical blue ever so high tech water collection receptacle behind Target on the bed! Now, I am sure that you are thinking "Why in the world would she name her Chipmunk Target!" Well my friends, the answer is simple - I did not have any fiber-fill or synthetic stuffing material on hand, so I made do with what I had sitting next to me and stuffed the little sucker with an ever so handy Target bag! Now that certainly qualifies for the "Reuse, Reduce, Recycle" challenge! :-) I've left his bottom off so I can stuff him properly at a later point in time!

I think that the apartment folks are avoiding me this morning....must have known after the rains that I would be calling back! As they oh so conveniently enough do not have an answering machine, I sent them an ever so nice e-mail...honest...I was nice!!! I did mention that I preferred not to sleep with my garbage can and that I was highly unpleased to find a wet bed when I got home last night! Slight understatement, but honey catches bees better than vinegar!

Target Details:
Pattern: Sally V George's Pocket Animals & Forest Friends
Yarn: Worsted Weight - Gold, Brown and Black
Stuffing Material: 1 Target Bag from the US
Name Origins: Derive from the stuffing
Height: Abt 3.5 inches
DOB: 07 July 2005 @ 11:52pm

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Drip...drip...drip

So I mentioned when I got back from the US that there was a leak in my bedroom ceiling and that I had called maintenance. Well maintenance decided that it was not that big of a deal and that that since it was over a rug I could put a basket under it to catch the drips. Okay, I'll play ball for now and not throw my toys out of the crib.

So its been raining all day today. Well, I got home from work tonight, and the leak has extended across the ceiling - ain't no way that I can catch all of those drips! And to even make things worse there is now a drip over my bed!! There is no way to move my bed to another spot since my room is small and there are drips going all the way across the ceiling. There is only one spot dripping on the darn bed, so I guess it will be me and the garbage can sleeping in my bed tonight! I have such exciting bed partners!

So tomorrow will be another call to the landlords with just a little bit of screaming and yelling happening.....I was willing to deal with the drips, but I will not tolerate drips on my bed! Either fix them or find me a new apartment!

Another day of pain....

The hatred in this world often overwhelms me. I can only shake my head in disbelief everytime I open up the news. The bombings....kidnappings....murders.... all done in the name of Religion.....what GOD wants their followers to kill others? I did a report in high school on Terrorism and one quote sticks out in my mind (kinda para-phrasing as its been several years) "The greatest common threat in the world today is neither the H-Bomb nor the Atomic Weapons.....it is mans eternal desire to be free." As long as people feel they are oppressed they will strike out at those who they feel are causing their oppression in a plea for attention and relief, but little do they realize that often the reason they are being oppressed is because of actions exactly like the one they are taking! Why can't we all just get along and play nicely?

Just my take and ramblings on events today - my thoughts and prayers go out to those injured for a quick recovery and also to the family and friends of those injured and killed.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Secret Pal and more....

My wonderful secret pal has surprised me again (I still do not know who she is...she is being very sneaky!!) I received my mail that was being held for me while I was gone and had a nice little surprise from her. Here is what she sent to me to brighten up this rainy dreary day:

Secret Pal 3

She sent a wonderful craft booklet that has a pattern for a really cute tank top (I mentioned to her once that I would like to make a wearable, possibly a tank top - I think that I already have the yarn I want to use picked out from my stash) a post card from South Dakota and 3 different teas - can not wait to try all of them to see which I like best!! Thank you so very much! You are wonderful! My Secret Pal also let it be known that she is sending out her reveal package this week, so, depending on the time of mailing to Belgium, I should be receiving it in the next 2 weeks or so - can not wait to find out who you are! You've been absolutely great and have put huge smiles on my face!

As I mentioned, I did a little bit of shopping while I was home in the States. Here are some of the goodies that I picked up:

Crochet & Knitting BooksPattern Group 1Pattern Group 2

In order: 1) Garden of Afghans, Cool Crochet, Knitting Without Tears and Cozy Crochet 2)Casserole Carriers, Painted Doilies and Hooked on Fish 3) Beautiful Blossum Afghand and Hug-A-Bugs

As Wednesdays is WIP day, here is my latest attempt at crocheting:
Work in Progress

What is it you ask? Once completed it should be a chipmunk....but we will have to wait and see how it goes! It is working up fairly quickly and easily so far and will be my first item completed for the Amigurumi-Along that I am particpating in!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Computer Fun

Almost forgot to mention why I did not post anything yesterday after returning. I got back into Brussels at 10:30ish (plane was 2 hours delayed) and dropped my suitcases off at home, and then headed to the office after calling maintenance about the leak in the ceiling in the middle of the bedroom (luckily over the rug and not the bed!).

So, I stuck my laptop into its docking station (a little thingie that turns my laptop into a desktop) turned it on and went to lunch. Came back and it was turned off! I tried as hard as I could to get it to turn back on - taking out the battery, plugging it directly into the power cable and no dice. Called the Tech help desk to book an error log (darn rules) and then headed down to the tech team only to find that they were all out of the office! Crap-o-la! Left a message on their machine and then went home to sleep some, unpack some, read a book and go back to sleep. This morning Arnuad the Tech Guy comes (after driving 45 minutes into this office from another one so he could help me out), exchanges my hard drive with the one from his laptop so I could get some work done (ain't he sweet) and took away my laptop (minus the harddrive) to do his magic. Three hours later he is back with my laptop where he changes back the hard drive and I am back in Blogger and Crochetville work action!

Woo hoo! Seems I somehow managed to fry part of the mother board or something along those lines.....I'm a programmer, not a technician...yup, you read right, along with the dubious honor of being a glorified bean counter, I also show my geekism by having a computer science minor thrown in. Can't tell it from my blog site though can you? Never fear - I am working on a new blog layout - just ran into some issues making the layout do what I want it to do!

The Streets of the City of Crochet.....

On the streets of the City of Crochet:

On WIP Road there are a few new temporary residents that have taken up squatting rights – including the next fur scarf for my second niece – I was working on it while home and even had her “help” me on a few rows so she can say that she helped! Bekky is 7, and I even gave her some cotton yarn and a hook and showed her the basics of working on a dishcloth before I left – she seemed to really want to learn how, so we will see how it goes since I am back in Belgium and she is in the US!

CAL Avenue has seen three new residents arrive this week. The Cathedral Window has moved in, although the colors have not been determined yet. The Snowflakes in July has also taken up residency for the week of July 25th. And the last new resident on CAL Avenue is the Amigurumi-Along Stuffed Animals for those who are like I was and went Ami-what?!?! Existing resident 63 Squares has seen a temporary delay in construction and has been contemplating a move to UFO Lane.

The Apartments on Finished Objects Boulevard filled up during my holidays, although some residents have decided to leave the City of Crochet and move on to new homes in other blogs! Several apartments were temporarily inhabited by Dishcloths (forgot to take pictures), which left via parcels for some Christmas in July participants (I am not participating in this years CiJ except as an Elf). I also put together a quick doll afghan for my niece to use – she had been using the arm cushions from my mom’s good couch! Picture to come in the next few days – I left it with my mom to weave the ends in (I really hate weaving in ends!!).

A large increase has been seen in the number of residents of Stash Street. While on holidays I picked up a large amount of new yarn, of which 75% was left in the US with my other belongings that are in storage…I went a little bit overboard! I also received when I got back to Brussels a wonderful box of yarn from Heather to work on the Pocket Friends! I traded some Lang Opal thread and some red thread with lurex in it for some "boring worsted weight yarn" (or at least that was Heather's opinion on it - I think that it is perfect and wonderful since it is impossible to buy it here (or at least I've not been able to find it - can find the Sport Weight but at $3 for 50 grams it would get to be a little bit expensive) Oh! I heard a rumour that Lurex is made in Belgium….I might have to check this one out as it would probably be cheaper for me to purchase it here than to keep buying it from US suppliers…will keep everyone updated on this one as I find out more!

No more radio........

What a welcome back to work! My company just announced new internet policies...these include no steaming of internet radio. Okay, I really do not mind living in Europe, but one thing that I seriously miss is listening to American radio. I like to listen to a really eclectic mix – my personal CDs range from Edith Pilaf to Eminem and Mozart to Toby Keith – in all it’s a weird collection. For the most part, I can listen here to all of the popular music via the Belgian Radio stations and MTV. The one type of music that I can not listen to is Country! There is one random station here that will occasionally play the older country from the 60s and 70s, but that is not what I am looking for usually. I turned to the internet and internet streaming of various country stations and channels….now what am I supposed to listen to??? Theres also been rumours of them turning off external internet access, severely limiting and monitoring the sites we are allowed to go to, limiting certain sites during main working hours (i.e. it would be impossible to check your home e-mail between 9 and 5!) Argh! Only my company!