On Wednesdays, we wear short sleeves.

For a brief, shining moment, all is right with the world.

Yes, friends, it’s 72 degrees in Charlotte on February 24, 2021. That’s why on this Wednesday, we wear short sleeves of any damn color we like. Pink, if you happen to be a Mean Girl or just look exceptionally good in it.

For those of you like me who struggle with depression and/or Seasonal Affective Disorder, pleasepleaseplease take 10 minutes today and simply sit outside. Do nothing but enjoy the warmth and the sunshine on your skin, if you like. I promise, it’s a little thing that feels so special today.

Right now, I’m sitting on my back porch listening to the dulcet tones of pug snores and the energetic bops from Kylie Minogue’s Disco album. (Yes, I’m still obsessed with it. Yes, you should listen to it if you even vaguely like pop music. Yes, I know I sound like a broken record but I promise it’s a fun album.)

I’m also thinking through my project list. The other day, one of the guys on the men’s fiber work Zoom call asked how many projects I had going. I had to stop and think because I’ve had more projects than usual lately, but I was able to honestly answer that I had three active projects: the knitting I was working on (more about that on Friday), my hexie quilt, and my crazy quilt. Though I’ve picked fabric for my next quilt, I’ve not done anything with it so it doesn’t count.

The thing is, I have to pace myself or I’ll burn myself out. In the past, I’ve found that if I take on too many graphic design jobs, it starts to feel like a chore. Something I love starts to feel like a tedious job. I don’t want that to happen with my crafts, which is why I don’t work on commission. I’d rather teach you to do it so you can enjoy it, too, than feel like it’s a burden to make you something. Does anyone else feel that way?

So, this Wednesday’s work in progress update is fairly easy: I’m working on adding four more rows to my hexie quilt.

The top three rows are already sewn together. I’m adding the row of blocks directly beneath those one at a time, then I’ll combine the whole piece to the larger bottom section.

In other news, we survived the brief addition of a third dog in the house even though Rocco the Wonder Pug was not happy to share a bed with Pablo. It made sleep difficult for all of us Monday night. But if you follow my social media, hopefully you were amused by my posts. Rocco and Pablo made an interesting pair and I enjoyed making up fun back stories about their activities. I even included my coworkers in the fun:

Until next time,
-Tommy

Lord, deliver me from dogs.

I love dogs but the two we have are trying my patience lately. We’ve had a lot of rain this winter and our backyard doesn’t have the best drainage, so it’s inevitable that the dogs will track mud in. That’s all part of having pets, right? I try to keep the floors somewhat tidy, but between mud and pug shedding it’s a challenge. Baby Girl (also sometimes known as the Wo.M.A.D., or World’s Most Annoying Dog) also seems to think she needs to go out every twenty minutes. As you might suspect, we very much disagree on that matter.

Today, my sister texted and asked if we could watch her chihuahua for a few days. She and her fiancée are going out of town for a funeral and their dog sitter fell through. She’s watched our dogs tons of times and I’m happy to return the favor.

But my word – adding one dog to the mix increases the noise threefold. Not because of Pablo the chihuahua, mind you. It’s because of this:

No lie, you’ve been able to hear this from every point in our house for hours now. It’s a little problematic when you’re trying to have work-related calls, but he’s so excited and happy to have a new friend to play with that you can’t really get too upset. I am starting to wonder if I should be a little concerned, though… poor little guy might hyperventilate at this rate.

I’d planned to start cutting fabric for a new quilting project this afternoon. I have some batiks jelly roll strips from JoAnn that’ve been tucked away in my Jelly Roll storage container for quite a while now. I figured I could pair them with the roll of Free Spirit solid black strips I bought at the quilt store recently and just do a simple geometric pattern.

But I might just spend the afternoon with these dog beasts. If I’m lucky, they’ll wear themselves out and take naps… or at least quiet down enough that I can take one myself.

Until next time,
-Tommy

When life attacks…

Howdy, folks!

We’ve survived about two and a half months in Boston, including our first snowfall.  It was a little snowfall for this area, but I’m counting it. That amount of snow in Charlotte would’ve shut down the entire city.

No, I’m not kidding about that. An inch of snow in Charlotte results in a rush on grocery stores for bread and milk, because, you know, bread and milk will keep you alive in the event of Snowpocalype.

Considering my absolute dislike of all things cold, you’ll be surprised to hear me say this: it was even kind of pretty.

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But enough about this wintery nonsense.  Let’s get on to more important things!

I finally finished the baby blanket my friend (and mother of my best friend) Wendi asked me to make.  It turned out pretty well, but I admit that it’s not very decorative and girly… and that’s just the way I wanted it.  Babies can be are messy, and every new parent I’ve ever known seems to need durable items to help with baby’s care.  So I made the blanket white and kept it fairly simple so the new mom can bleach it when baby spits up (or worse) on it.  I’d rather make something she can get real use out of than something that has to be set aside for use in photos.  I love the stitch pattern, though:

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So, I hope that her friend gets good use out of it.

I’m feeling like a bit of a new parent myself these days.  This past weekend, Jose and I drove to West Virginia to pick up a new addition to our little family, Rocco, and his sister, Lola, who’s a Christmas present for his kids!

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I confess that I’m smitten with them.  They’re entirely too cute for their own good!  Just look at these little faces:

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And, of course, one of the first things I did was start working on little sweaters for them.

What?  It’s cold in Boston, people!  Really, really cold – and it’s only December so it’ll get worse.

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Sorry for the ends hanging out, y’all.  I made Lola’s first and wanted to make sure it fit right – and snapped the picture while she was actually sitting still.  They’ve been woven in now and she looks, well, as pretty as a picture in it.

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My sister, Kim, told me that Clorox wipes would be my new best friend when we picked up the little cuties from her.  She was not lying!  I have gone through more paper towels and Clorox wipes than I care to admit. And don’t even get me started on how many times I’ve mopped the kitchen floor.

That Pine-Sol lady can stick it.

I’m definitely learning to do what you can when you best can.  Once they’ve run around for an hour and a half and then crash, I mop the floor.  When one wakes up, he or she immediately goes outside before the other one wakes up.  Carrying two squirming puppies down from the third floor is not easy (nor safe), so I either take them individually or plop them into a basket with the first lapghan I ever made (hideous thing, too… green and white stripes that was relegated to cat carrier usage years ago).

Two seven week old puppies are rambunctious as hell, but they’re such smart little dogs!  Rocco is already picking up that he’s supposed to poop outside and whines to let me know he needs to go.  Lola is incredibly good about going on the training pads.  We still have some trouble with peeing, but that’ll improve with time.  Poor Rocco (boy that he is) needs to work on his aim, as he makes the effort to use his puppy pads but most often pees on the corner of it.

Guess what?  Puppy pee rolls downhill.  Gotta love a kitchen in an old Victorian that isn’t even remotely level.  But little puppies have little bladders, right?

And, ultimately, at the end of the day it’s impossible not to fall in love with cuteness like this:

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Sorry if the picture quality isn’t all that great… iPhones can only work so many wonders.  But that’s my update… see y’all next time around!