Saturday, March 31, 2007

Productive weekend

My latest creations, available on my Web site, or click the pictures.

White cable-knit belt:
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White brocade purse with pink flowers and a pink butterfly pin:
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Polka-dot tote bag:
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Friday, March 30, 2007

It's all downhill from here

In the post below, you'll see I got excited about how to fold a T-shirt. In this post, we'll observe my slow descent into Loserville. I definitely am a loser of sorts because I can never remember which hand to make the loser "L" with on my forehead so that the "L" will go the right direction. I have been told that makes me a loser in and of itself.

In this post, I get overly excited about an ironing board. But once you see the picture, perhaps you'll understand:
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Mark may get mad that I bought a new, not very cheap ironing board when we already had one that worked, but allow me to present my defense:
1. He doesn't iron. Ever.
2. I do.
3. Pressing is an essential and integral part of sewing. One must press constantly and between every step.
4. This ironing board is much wider than a normal ironing board, and since I do a lot of my pinning on the board, this allows me a greater work space.
5. This ironing board has a holder for the iron -- thus leaving me with more work space.
6. This board has a little bar that folds out to hang shirts, which comes in handy when I iron MARK'S shirts and have to walk each one to the bedroom to hang it as I go. For the record and in Mark's defense, he does pay me to iron his shirts. And I do complain more than necessary despite that.
7. This board has a shelf underneath on which to store my pressing ham and roll. Do you see how snug and comfy they are down there? I can also hang the spray bottle there.

Mark doesn't necessarily understand the importance of these factors, but I'm sure you do. And in all liklihood, he won't even notice that the ironing board is different.

UPDATE: Mark noticed the ironing board the very second he walked into the room. I was not in too much trouble. He appreciated the holder for the iron, at least.

Magic Asian folding lady

What does your t-shirt drawer look like? Admit it. It's a rumpled pile o' cotton ugliness. But now you can learn to fold t-shirts like a pro!



Look -- it works!
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OK, but really, I tried it a few more times and it actually was pretty close to working. Except my t-shirts were wadded up in a laundry basket for a week and hers was perfectly ironed.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Job offer!


I have this cool orange and gold brocade skirt for sale. Today, someone contacted me to see if I had more of the fabric because she wanted me to make four of them for her bridesmaids and two dresses for her daughters.
I don't have any more, and I bought it last fall, so I doubt I can find it, but it was a great compliment and sort of a terrifying prospect, as well. It would, at this point, be a lot of pressure for me to make skirts for someone's wedding, and in differing sizes, no less. I don't have pattern grading skills, yet, and I am not sure how I'd approach the whole project, but I think it would have been really cool!
I'm going to go check for the fabric tomorrow, just in case.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Too lazy to write my own blog item

I went to the dentist yesterday and found out I have a cavity. My husband said, "What, are you 10?" Well, "mister I haven't had a cavity in 50 years," I never had a cavity until I became an adult. This is because my mother didn't let us eat crap. Then I rebelled as soon as I became old enough to say, "You're not the boss of me" and not get smacked. Not that my mother beat us.

Anyway, I have a cavity. And it reminded me of my brother's blog item about his recent dentist visit. Here it is, reposted without permission:

Forgive me Doctor for I have sinned, it's been 10 years since my last visit.

Went to the dentist today for "Phase 2" of my cleaning. (Phase one was a cake walk as they only used blunt objects like jackhammers and mallets & chisels).

During my cleaning the nice hygenist said somethings like, "Your gonna go home and eat a steak tonight, or better yet, some liver." Me (with my mouth full) managed a "hugggh?" She replied something along the lines of, "Well with all this blood loss and all." Now, up until this point I thought things had been going pretty good... When she removed the pointy metal things from my mouth I said (concerned), "It's bleeding alot?" She said, "Oh Yeah! Can't you taste it?"

At that point I quietly said, "No." (probably with a worried look on my face) and kind of just sunk back in the chair, stared at the Van Gogh poster on the ceiling, and tried to make myself zone out.

She offered to numb me up (and it was pretty painful) but I decided to tough it out because I like to avoid needles whenever possible. (YES, even though the pain from the needle would have been nothing compared.) Throughout the process she stopped a few times and said, "Are you SURE you don't want anisthetic?" After declining she said, "Ready to finish this?" and I said "Bring it ON! And don't stop until we're done."

I figured if I could zone out for the rest of the session I'd be fine. I guess she knew my strategy because at one point she said, "Are you in your happy place?" and I simply replied, "Ugh-Hugh" feeling like a helpless little kid.

Now, I like my dentist alot. I am very comfortable with them and trust them completely. I've yet to be nervous when going there (which is a BIG change from my childhood) They have magic tools that clean your teeth without most of the scraping I had to deal with 10 years ago. Unfortunately I don't get to dig in the cardboard treasure chest for a reward when I'm done. Man, I used to love getting crappy little toys from there.

I'm the kind of person who would rather get a painful situation overwith instead of stopping every now and then for a rest. I would prefer not to even stop for the spit suction thingy. Lets just take care of business then mop up the blood or hose down the room when were done.

(And the zoning out thing really did work... at one point I snapped out of it and had forgotten what was going on. Then I was like, DAMN... and tried to get back into it.)




(((I'd like to know what those magic tools are. My dentist still uses pointy scrapers)))

Monday, March 26, 2007

Same blog, different name

Burst of Happiness this, Burst of Happiness that. You may have noticed the name and url of this blog have changed. It's no longer Burst of Happiness the blog. It's now Roady Jane.

Here are some FAQ:

Why the change, Robyn?
Well, I just wanted something different. Burst of Happiness is my business, and I sometimes promote it on here and will continue to, but I have a main site, Burst of Happiness, and a Burst of Happiness etsy shop.

Who is Roady Jane?
Take a look to the left. She's my cat and I love her very much.

Is your other cat, Baby Suggs, jealous?
Maybe, but would you want a blog named "Baby Suggs"?

What are some synonyms for Roady?
Here you go:
1. Just a little thing
2. Little angel sent from heaven above
3. Peeker
4. Little precious
5. The tiny one

What does Roady have to do with Burst of Happiness?
Roady has bursts of happiness, and she kind of is the root of the term, invented by my husband.

Aren't you sort of copying Amy's Chickenbone Jones blog by naming it after your pet?
Yes.

Where does the "Jane" come from?
Jane is her middle name. It's rarely used, mostly when she's in trouble. Her full name is Roadcat Jane Vines. Her new dad has yet to formally adopt her. For short I call her Roady. Many people think Roady is short for Roadkill. This is false. She was found in the road once upon a time but is clearly not roadkill.

What else can you tell us about Roady?
She is 14 and just got a checkup and is quite healthy.
She has a spot in her eye, but it just looks weird. It doesn't hurt.
She is the sweetest, friendliest cat you'll ever know, and she can convert even a cat hater.
She's a gray tabby like all the others on the outside, but on the inside, she's like no other.
She hates faces. Don't be offended, she hates mine too, and there are more hideous faces than mine.
She's always cold.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Tote yur stuff, look cute

My latest creation is a Burst of Happiness in itself. It's a very summery flowered and striped bag, in coordinating colors. Flowers on the inside, stripes on the inside. Pockets, magnetic snap, fun colors. What else do you need?
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Lies, all lies

Anyone who has ever read a fashion magazine knows there is article after article about how to achieve sexy, tousled hair, like this:
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Supposedly, all you have to do is wash it, put in some gel or mousse and then scrunch it while you dry it. And then you have sexy bed-head! Luscious waves! Cascading curls!

I have always wondered why they perpetuate this lie. Does it ever work for anyone? Still, I try it again and again, thinking this time I will miraculously end up a wavy-haired goddess. But this is what I end up looking like:

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Don't be hatin', folks, don't be hatin'.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Healthy little kitties

Anyone who knows me knows that my two cats are like children to me. I talk to them constantly and they follow me all around. We're a happy family.
Recently, I've known three people who lost their cats in three weeks. My mom pointed out that her cat hadn't been himself lately. He died a week after he started acting strangely. I noticed Precious Roady hadn't been herself lately. She stays in bed longer, but they are both 14, so I guess that makes them old. I just felt that maybe something was wrong and I should either get it fixed, or consider putting her out of her misery if it was bad. I was really nervous.
Today was vet visit day, and they weren't excited. Everything checked out beautifully. Yay! I've got two super healthy elderly cats, although they'll always be babies to me.

Thank you, Dreamweaver

I have an old version of Dreamweaver, but I have always been too lazy to figure out how to use it. I also thought that programs were for wimps. I prefered to make my Web pages the hard way, through good ol' typing in of the HTML. Well, I was having a horrible time restoring my Web site after the disaster, considering the tables within tables within tables. I couldn't figure out what was what after a while, and everything was doing very strange things.
My brother's coworker suggested using a program and not doing it the hard way, so I tried it and I figured it out quickly. I'm up and running again, so come and visit and buy lots of stuff from me at Burst of Happiness..

Crash and burn

Yesterday, I had a long day at work. I was covering for someone else, so I got off early at 7 p.m. I went to the store and bought some supplies and then went home to make soup. Some time later, the soup was looking lovely. I thought it needed about 5 more minutes of simmering, so I ran upstairs to grab my robe. Then I saw the computer and remembered that I had needed to ftp the index page of my Web site, Burst of Happiness.

For a few weeks, I'd been blaming my brother, who hosts my Web site, for the fact that I couldn't ever get a connection to the server. Meanwhile, I noticed that my ftp program was having increasingly more trouble starting up. I finally decided to uninstall and then reinstall it. Now it worked beautifully (so I guess it was my problem, not my brother's), but when I reuploaded the main page, it was blank.

I went to the html file on my computer and it was EMPTY. Everything was deleted out of it. I have no idea how this could have happened, but it was just gone. I thought I had one last chance -- right before I reuploaded the page, I had been looking at the old version online. I could hit the back button till I got there and then hit "source code" and copy and paste it. Alas, I had closed the browser and reopened it since then. Therefore, I have to start all over writing it.

To make things better, I forgot all about the soup and when I went downstairs, all the liquid was cooked out. I almost started to cry. Somehow, I did salvage it by adding more water, and it tasted pretty good.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sunday, March 18, 2007

This is a perfect example of ...

... disaster.
This, friends, is phase I of my design class project. It will hopefully someday be a really cute shirtdress made of white and yellow striped seersucker. It will have a flared skirt and gathered cap sleeves. It will have a white cable-knit belt that I am working on right now. In my head, it is sooooooo cute.
Well, I drafted the patterns and did test #1 in muslin. I have no idea what happened to the skirt, but it's a good 4-6 inches too small. Back to the drawing board, on this one. And that is what muslin is for.


Here is the top half, so far. It's coming along nicely, though it may be hard to tell. It fits pretty well -- much better on me, actually. It's missing the collar and the button stand, which runs along the center, so that will make the two sides actually meet. I've stuck one sleeve on, and it looks nice. It will be shortened to be a cap sleeve and will have elastic at the bottom -- here it looks a bit Amish.

Now, if I could just lose 50 pounds, the skirt may not need alterations after all.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Get out your credit cards

I have a Cafe Press shop. It's full of Burst of Happiness merchandise. No, not stuff I made for my shop, but stuff with my logo that costs way too much. I don't know why I did this, but it just seemed so cool that a person can design T-shirts, mousepads, etc. and sell them. Problem is, why would anyone want a Burst of Happiness logo item besides me?

Anyway, just in case you were in the market for an overpriced mousepad that says "Burst of Happiness," today is your lucky day! Go to Cafe Press and check it out.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Idiots

I'm in the computer lab at school, where everyone is very, very silent. Everyone, that is, except the girl who came to sit right next to me. She's got earphones on and her music is so loud I can hear it. Then her phone rings and she starts yelling into it because she can't hear because she's still got her earphones on. (Everyone else steps out to talk on the phone. It's sort of the rule.) Then she starts humming to the music. I guess she thinks because she can't hear herself, that nobody else can hear her either. I am debating whether she would notice if I tried to take her picture with my cell phone.

Be careful what you write

You may have noticed the google ads at the top left on my page. They try to pick ones that are connected to your blog content. You'll notice that I write about knitting, for instance, and they'll have knitting ads. Today I noticed one for sewer stuff. I wondered what the heck. Then I remembered that I had written about the toilet in my grandma's hospital room the other day. Of all the topics I write about, it has to pick that one?!

Change of topic:
Did I mention that I get to go to Miami for the ACES conference next month and that Dave Barry will be the guest speaker? Have I mentioned how much I love Dave Barry?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Roses are red, and so is this scarf

This very soft and snuggly red scarf is available at my shop.

New look, same great Web site

Revamped my Web site to look less crappy. Let me know if you have any suggestions on how to improve it. Burst of Happiness

Grandma Update

She's going home today (well, to my uncle's house for a while)!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Is this a joke? I can't tell

Can't get enough of your loved one? Winter weather getting in your way? Try the Smitten Mitten. Almost as good as that love toilet on Saturday Night Live.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I just can't stop

Today I made this handbag, which I want to keep but have posted for sale. It's black eyelet with pink lining and a pocket inside.


Just click on the photos and it can be yours, you lucky dog.

Friday, March 9, 2007

This one, I'm keeping

I have been carrying around this quilted bag with cats all over it full of my knitting stuff. It was quite embarrassing. I had bought it a decade ago and found it when I started knitting recently. It's leftover from when I worked at Hobby Lobby a million years ago and tried to crochet for about 2 days.

Sorry it's blurry, but trust me, the less you can see it, the better for you.

I knew I had to get with the program, so I made this tote. Making a lined bag is MUCH harder than you can imagine. It probably took me about 3 and a half hours to make a pattern and then cut all the fabric and assemble it. That's after researching how to make one in the first place. There's lots of weird inside-out stuff to consider when sewing. For instance, you have the outside of the bag right side out but inside of the inside-out lining with the handles turned upside down and sandwiched in the middle. Then you sew them together and turn it through a hole in the lining. If you're lucky, it all comes out the right way and your handles aren't sewn INSIDE the bag or something. Sometimes it's hard to think that way and see that if everything's turned the wrong way, it will come out the right way later.

Anyway, here it is:


I am a terrible photographer, but it's a cute white bag with purple flowers. The lining is lavender, but looks grayish here. Inside, there is a magnetic closure and a velcro pocket on one side that closes. On the other side is a segmented pocket, good for cell phones or what-not.



And there you go. I'm cool again!

Grandma update

Grandma is doing much better. She got that awful tube out of her nose. It was draining her stomach. Now she can have broth and probably Jell-O tonight. She should be released in the next few days. She's walking farther and looking good. She'll go to my aunt and uncle's house because they work from home and are around. Then, next weekend when they have to go out of town for their business, my cousin will come from Phoenix to stay with her.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

My life in a nutshell

Here is a quick roundup:

1. I sold my third item on etsy.com! It's the heavenly scarf posted below. It's very exciting when things sell, and I sold two things this week.

2. I'm PO'd because my TiVo screwed up American Idol last night and I didn't get to see it.

3. Grandma's doing OK, but I haven't visited her in two days. I'll see her tomorrow.

4. School's getting better as we get started on our projects, but I have midterms next week. In one class we were given pictures of a few outfits and we have to be prepared to create a flat pattern for one of them next week. Which one is TBA that day. The other one is multiple choice from the draping text.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Looks like sky, feels like clouds

I know, I know. Clouds aren't REALLY cottony-soft. They are made of water and stuff. I know this because when I was 3, I went on an airplane (the regular kind) and rolled down the window and touched one. It felt cold and wet and my hand had condensation on it. Nobody believes me about this because normally you can't roll down airplane windows, but I swear it happened. Maybe it was different in the 1970s -- maybe they had to lock the windows for terrorism purposes.
Anyway, I made this scarf, and it's so damn soft. I could just rub it on my face all day and night, but I won't because I want to sell it. So click the picture for the link to my shop if you want to feel clouds but can't afford a plane ticket.
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Available at Burst of Happiness.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Instant Breakfast

Today I was telling someone at work that I have been really craving Instant Breakfast (chocolate malt) and that I used to drink it with my dad when I was little. A girl I work with said she has also been really craving Instant Breakfast because she used to drink it with her dad. I think that's really weird.

There's a picture of me and my dad drinking our Instant Breakfasts with one hand each on the counter and our feet crossed one in front of the other. I wish I could find that picture. At the end, we'd always smack our lips and say "Ahhhhh."

Grandma update

Grandma's doing much better today. When asked if she's feeling better, she doesn't seem to think so, but I could tell by how she looked and acted that she is. She also didn't have any pain meds today, so it was much more manageable. She got up and did her walks and sat in the chair without complaint. Yesterday was much harder. She was also very happy to see my uncle, who was out of town, and talk to her grandsons. I think she'll be much better in a few days. Yesterday, she told the nurse, "This is a pain in the butt." I think it's more a pain in the GUT. HA!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Grandma update

The surgeon called me last night about 12:30 a.m. to update me after my grandma's surgery. She said she's really, really glad we decided not to hold off and see how things go. She said it wasn't a blockage, but rather her intestines had twisted up and the blood supply was cut off. She lost about 3 feet of her small intestines (I think, I was tired). The doctor said she could have died even if we'd waited one more day because they would have possibly ruptured. I think she's doing fine after surgery -- haven't made it in yet. That's what I've go to go do now.

Meanwhile, here's a picture of her on her "throne" on Christmas 2004:
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Friday, March 2, 2007

You have to find SOMETHING to laugh about

Today I got a call that my grandma was in the hospital. This took me by surprise because despite the fact that she's 85 years old, she's been healthy as a horse all of her life. Healthier, really. I mean, she has perfect organs -- no heart trouble or anything. No diabetes. The only health problem she has is acid reflux. They think there's some sort of intestinal blockage. Well, she got terribly ill Thursday night and didn't call my mom until after 5 hours of vomiting and other problems. She was taken to the ER, but since NO HOSPITALS ANYWHERE IN ALBUQUERQUE had any vacancies, she languished there in the ER for 20 hours. I had to yell about that because Albuquerque is a city of more than half a million people. You'd think you could get a hospital room around here if you need one. She finally got admitted to a real hospital room across town around 8 pm tonight.
The surgeon said that often they hope they can resolve these blockages without surgery, but my grandma's white blood count keeps rising, so the doctor was afraid to let it go. So she is currently in surgery. In a way, I think she's glad because she was so tired and all she wanted to do was sleep. They promised her she can sleep all she wants during surgery.
Grandma doesn't like people fussing over her. This is a woman who got walking pneumonia a few years ago (one of the few times I've seen her get sick at all) and swore till the end it was just allergies.
I'm waiting to hear from the surgeon whether all went well. I have a positive outlook because my Grandma's strong and mighty.

OK, here's the funny thing. We were in her room and I needed to go to the bathroom. That's when I noticed there's a toilet in the room -- not a separate bathroom or anything. Next to the toilet is a window that has blinds you can lower. But say there's someone in the room with you and you have to use the bathroom. Never fear -- there's a curtain that pulls all the way around the toilet. Only the curtain, as you'll notice in this picture, would reach to about your upper arms if you sat down on the toilet, thereby not offering one ounce of privacy for the region that actually needs it. I'm thinking it's that baby mentality that if they can't see you, you can't see them, and since your face is blocked by the curtain, your naked butt is invisible. Here is a camera phone-quality photo (the curtain is not the curtain for the window, but the toilet "privacy" wrap-around curtain):
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Red-rum -- er Red-scarf

Yep. I'm a headline writer by craft, and that was the worst one I've ever done. But they aren't paying me the big bucks right now.

The point of this post is this:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
My latest creation, a red, lacy, loose-knit scarf.
It's for sale here.

UPDATED: I took this scarf off the market because I was very cold and I liked it. But I'm in the process of making another from the same yarn.

Kellie Pickler aged about 30 years

Remember the young, bubbly Kellie Pickler from last year's "American Idol"? Well, she made a guest appearance last night and she looked SO OLD. Reasons she looked weird:
1. It looked like she was wearing a 1950s wig.
2. I think she quickly invested in fake boobs.
3. Her body has expanded.
4. Her dress was clearly from before her body expanded.

I tried to find pictures to make this posting more interesting, but I couldn't. And I know my tendency to stay on the computer all day instead of getting stuff done. So one more post, and I'm outta here.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

high class + low brow = Robyn

OK, perhaps I wouldn't be considered HIGH class, but I needed it in order for my title to work, and I think I have SOME class. But today's movie choice was "Reno: 911," and I thought the preview looked really funny. When I told this to people, they looked at me like I was insane. People also mocked me for seeing "Norbit," but please see my reason in post below. I was concerned that it may be one of those movies where all of the funny parts are in the preview and then the rest of the movie sucks. I should have been clued in when I was the only person in the theater. Let me save you the trouble: all the funny parts are in the trailer. The best part is the unattractive women on the beach saying "Don't be hatin'." Other than that, may I recommend saving your hard-earned dough?

Changing subjects, I am a very bad mommy. I let Suggs outside this morning (it's very cold and very windy here right now) and then I forgot about her and went to Santa Fe from 9 am to 9 pm. I didn't even give her food or water. Luckily, her new daddy is going to make a run home to rescue her to save me from driving home from Santa Fe and then back again for my next class. Yes, I would do this for my kitties. If she's hungry enough, she may be brave enough to come in when he (referred to by Suggs as "That Guy") opens the door. She probably couldn't be cold enough for that, though.