Showing posts with label life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Luck and Determination

magazine prize

I was lucky enough to win a copy of the latest Somerset Workshop this past week. I’m looking forward to getting some down-time when I can relax and read through it. Is it really luck when I enter a lot of contests online? Not sure, but entering sure increases my odds. You can visit the Stampington & Company blog here –> Somerset Place.


tamdoll socks

I am determined to finish this 2nd sock. It’s been laying around since the summertime, and all I need to do is a few more inches of the cuff. So, I’ve decided that 10 rows a day should get me done pretty quickly. Sitting down last night to get my 10 done & I managed to do about 30… so now I’m even more motivated to keep at it. It wasn’t enough for me to want to get it done, or to give myself a deadline – but a very specific daily to-do is what did the trick. Ten rows a day isn’t much but it will get me where I want to be! What am I doing while knitting – listening to these fun and motivating podcasts: Skein after Skein, and CraftyPod.

Any thoughts on luck? Getting things done?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Not There Yet

Not as coordinated as I thought I was. Balancing family, home, part-time work, creating, volunteering, etc, etc, isn’t as easy as I thought it would be.  I really want to do it all.  ALL.  Resisting sleep is not the answer – no matter how late I stay up – those late night hours aren’t exactly productive AND don’t lead to the most pleasant of mornings the next day. 

I’m still evaluating whether I’m making the best use of my time & all this contemplating is making me drag my feet…  each week I add project to-do lists to my calendar, and on Sunday, it seems like I’m re-writing the same things on the calendar again for the following week.  Still trying to figure things out, just a “checking-in” blog post here. 

I’m still online, browsing blogs and looking at inspiration all over the internet.  Not a time-waster, I definitely get inspired by creative folks, colors, images and the productivity of others – that nudges me on.  And.. I entered a contest online and won!  That was pretty exciting – I won the pattern and Blue Sky Alpacas TECHNO yarn to make The London Tunic:

BSA Techno The London TunicI’m putting this aside for now, and will concentrate on spring and summer projects as best I can.  I have been in love with Blue Sky Alpacas yarns since they came to town, the yarns are truly luscious to work with and make the most beautiful items. 

Working on my focus, hopefully opening my etsy shop again soon.  One of these days. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Returning from Vacation

I’m mostly back from my vacation, (physically, I’m here,  mentally is another story…)  I need to catch up on sleep and get organized once again.

tamdoll Vacation 2011

I tried to relax during our trip, but really we did so much sight seeing in CA, that there wasn’t much time for rest!  Here’s a photo of my crochet-in-progress one morning while I waited for everyone to get ready for the day.  (I actually finished it last night and will have photos of the completed shrug in a day or so.)

Want to see some pictures?  There were lots of animals to see, some movie stars, and patterns that caught my eye.  You can see some here at my flickr account:

tamdoll CA 2011 

One other set of pictures that I started uploading were “faces”… it’s a little odd, but since I take a lot of these, I figured I’d put it somewhere.  I have a lot more to put online, just have to take the time to do it one of these days:

tamdoll pictures

Going to focus my crafting on the future now, going to take this seriously and get down to work each day like it’s my job.  I think that’s the only way I’ll be more productive.  Any thoughts on vacation, renewal and crafting-as-work?  Or just want to comment on my pictures?   (You can do that at the flickr site, too.)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Blogging

It’s summertime and I have been lax in blogging, my kids have been keeping me busy and I had some company.  I’ve been feeling the tug to come back here and share things – I’ve frogged a sweater, finished a crochet baby dress, made a new handbag for sale … among other things… but blogging has fallen by the wayside.  I just can’t seem to do it all.  I can’t!  I admit it. 

For now, here’s a clip of some photos strung together of my nephew doing some weaving.  Thanks so much to Pam at Gingerbreadsnowflakes for her Saori Weaving inspiration and how-to!!


It was nice to see my sister and her kids who live so far away.  While they were here, we also took a visit to the SEE Science Center in Manchester, NH to see the LEGO® Millyard Project - the largest permanent LEGO® installation at minifigure scale in the world:

Lego® Millyard 

If you click the link you can see a few details of the project, including some of my favorite pictures – you won’t believe how intricate some of it is!

I will do my best to update here at least once a week… I still will put knit and crochet projects at Ravelry, other pictures at Flickr, and shop updates (local and etsy) at Facebook

Friday, June 3, 2011

Crazy Hectic

I’m trying not to let the mayhem that is having teenagers get to me.  Making some cell phone cases & purses to sell locally (will announce on Facebook).  Thinking about some crazy handbag projects for my online shop (in a week or two?).  Working on some family projects (will post this weekend, they have to be kept secret for now!) 

I love to read and usually reach for a fantasy/vampire/post-apocalyptic style book to escape reality…. but I heard about this book, Take Your Time: Finding Balance in a Hurried World* and thought it was great.

It made sense and the 8 steps recommended are practical and doable.  Most of the time, I’d say that I loathe self-help type books.  Loathe.  Have you read this book?  Are you going to?  Do you have any favorite books that you’d recommend that are easy to read and practical?


*if you click my Amazon links, I get a % of any sales you make at that time.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I’ve Been Tagged

I’ve been tagged… and I wouldn’t have done this if it hadn’t come from Jane and been pretty unique.  As she puts it: “In case you're not familiar with this game, what it means is if you want to play along you just have to answer a few zillion questions. But for this handwriting version, you have to write your answers in long hand.”

I usually throw out chain letters, delete those emails that tell you to forward to 20 people and ignore requests like this most of the time.  But here it is – it took me only a few minutes, answering off the top of my head the best I could, and I’m NOT forwarding it on:

These are the questions.....
1. What's your name/Blogger name?
2. What's your blogs name/URL?
3. Write "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."
4. Favorite quote?
5. Favorite song?
6. Favorite bands/singers?
7. Anything else you want to say?
8. Tag 3 - 5 people.

Tamdoll was Tagged

On that last, anti-social note… if you’d like to participate, please do!  It certainly took longer for me to digitize this handwritten page than it did to answer the questions.  Now you can all see my odd half-script, half-print handwriting.

Are you going to play along?  Leave a comment with your blog post link, please. 

I didn’t exactly play by the rules (#8), and a (#5) didn’t pop into my mind quick enough.  This is my one and only tag/meme post for 2011!  There certainly is a love-hate relationship with tagging on the internet. 

Tamdoll's Workspace

As I’m looking over this post, I wonder, what does our handwriting say about us?  I once had a job where my boss insisted I hand-write cover-letters to faxes overseas.  He knew the people in the home office appreciate the personal touch and I always made sure to do that.  Do you take the time to handwrite nowadays?

Thanks Jane! this was interesting and not too painful. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

EtsyBloggers Carnival – the Public Library

StoryBeader is the host for this week’s EtsyBlogger Carnival.

Did you know the first Public Library (in the US) opened on April 9th, 1833 in New Hampshire? 
1) what fond memories do you have of your public library and reading?
2) Peterborough is the town where the first public library opened.  What's your town known for?  Show us around!

I love libraries, love to read.  Growing up in a small apartment, in a house of voracious readers, I was a frequent visitor to the library.  What’s not to love about libraries?  Knowledge, adventure and escape to new worlds are only pages away, and all for free! 

Growing up in Brooklyn, I remember the stacks of books and the rotating mini art exhibits they held in the front room.  As I got older, I made sure to get a library card at every town that I lived or worked in.  I still have a ticket stub from when I saw the Dead Sea Scrolls at the NY Public Library in 1994.  When I was in college, I loved to browse through the art books and ancient cookbooks that the university had on campus (preparing Chicken Marengo and my first taste of tarragon is embedded in a library memory … didn’t use the library much for studying though…)  Even with all those stacks, I always sought out local libraries and their cozy chairs and quiet corners.

Here’s the public library in the town that I live in now, taken about 100 years ago:Goffstown Public LibraryIt really doesn’t look very different today – there has been an addition of a 3rd floor, but since the building is on the National Register of Historic Places, the addition was put on in keeping with the original design. 

As soon as I could, I introduced my girls to the library and all they have to offer; now as teens they still make a habit of checking out books for leisure reading.  We even visit libraries when we’re on vacation – when they were little during children’s hour or to see exhibits on display.

Tamdoll Vacation August 2010 Mosaic on outside stairs of library in Saratoga Springs, NY, 2010 vacation

I’ve been the president of my local Friends of the Library group for about 9+ years now because I love the library so much. … But… this Wednesday night I’m having a meeting and I have to give it up.  I wish I could say that we had elections and someone new is willing to step forward, but they haven’t!  The Friends support the library, fundraise to buy discounted and free museum passes for patrons & so much more.  I’ve put it in the local news that we’re looking for active volunteers and I hope someone can take on this responsibility – future book sales depends on it!  After this long time, I’ve just run out of steam and have taken on some new volunteer jobs in town – the group deserves someone with more time and passion than I can give right now. 

I hope you have fond library memories!  Please share (or link to your post about a library in the comments.) 

Want to share book lists?  Join me on Goodreads – a great place to keep track of what I’ve read and looking forward to reading soon. 

“Libraries Change Lives” is the phrase that appears on our library book bags.  I’ve heard people mention that they’ve learned so much and felt safe in a library.  What do you think?

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Not So Common Cold

Tamdoll's Winter

Took this photo Tuesday morning.  Yes, it snowed again.  And then the cold hit.  The worst cold I’ve gotten in years.  Then everyone in the house got it.  We’ve all been taking turns napping, coughing and blowing noses.  I hope to be back to crafty pictures in a day or two.

In some ways, I feel like the snow cleans things up and makes way for the freshness of the next season.  I need this bleakness to contrast and appreciate the hope and life that springtime will bring.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I’ll Be Back

I’ve had lots going on these past few weeks.  I’ll be back to crafting soon, taking pictures of what I’ve been working on and what I’m going to tear-out and start over.  Probably tomorrow.

Thanks to my cousin Stuart, here are Lessons from and words about my grandfather.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Creative Kids

A few hours stuck inside this weekend and this is what my girls came up with:

Creative Kids

My 12 yr old has been crocheting for weeks – finally completing the elephant from the Mr. Funky Super Crochet Wonderful You can see & buy the book here.*  Someone [else] around here doesn’t like to follow directions as you can see with the elephant-turned-bear.

My 14 yr old got a hold of my recycling bucket and the glue gun and created this masterpiece.  I think it looks like a tropical island.  But I didn’t ask her what it was.

Ever since my girls were little, I thought it was important to let their creativity flourish by not asking them to define what they do.  So I never asked them “What is it?”.  When they were younger, they’d hand me all sorts of crazy drawings and creations and I’d smile and say “That’s great!”  I think it worked - they’re both pretty creative and never tried to conform.  I read Tomie dePaola’s book The Art Lesson to them so often to reinforce that, too. Book link.

Someone else blogged about this recently, and it’s always irked me when parents helped their kids to make things.  In the pre-school years, we’d be at the library making an age-appropriate craft project and someone would always get their hands on their kid’s piece and start fixing, cleaning or straightening up bits.  Not me.  Instead, I now have a great record of how my kid’s skills have developed over the years and they’ve grown this way with no criticism from me.  It think that’s important.  Getting off the soapbox now.

Having some fun editing the pictures…. Photo editing is something I want to learn more of & how to draw with vectors.  collage

Silly?  Goofy?  A waste of time?  Just having fun.  Now I’m off to crochet and think about the other two projects of the week – working on that quilt & Artful Thursday’s family portrait collage. 


*A link to an item in my “Amazon Affiliates” store list.  I’m always shopping there… so I hope you don’t mind me sharing the links once in a while, too.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Little Details

Ever notice little packaging details?  These caught my eye recently.

little details

Florida’s Natural Orange Juice 1/2 gallon lid (looks like a slice of orange)

Yogi Tea bag quote “You are infinite”

Pizzelle’s “Caution” clipped from back of package

Have you noticed the little details lately?

Monday, March 8, 2010

What – If

What was I thinking those years ago when I started this?

defeatinig the neverending quilt

At least it still looks ok after being mashed in a paper bag for a long time.  I just have to find the bits that are missing from the three corners.

If I finish this, I can go fabric shopping.  That’s the incentive to get this done.  And to cover my living room wall already.

Today I’m going to see if I can stick this entire thing under my walking foot – and forget about hand-stitching.  The time for patience is gone.

And here is where I go off the deep end….

Do you ever craft when you’re in a bad mood?  I usually don’t.  I can’t do anything when I’m “down”.  I heard something on the radio yesterday, a Dr. talking about how depression in creative people is what gets them thinking creatively – thinking of ways to escape their discomfort through art – to create a new reality for themselves (of course this isn’t an exact quote, but what I took away from it.) 

Well, I’m in a bad mood right now, not feeling well – and thanks to this artist's post and her comment about being honest, I’m exposing myself a little here.  I’ve seen too many friends with “perfect lives” – only to discover years later that it’s just been a facade – and no need to pretend here on my blog that I live in a perfect happy world, either.  For the most part, I avoid discussing much personal stuff because it’s the crafting that really keeps me happy – I can focus on it and really feel good.

I don’t want to put folks off with words like “depression” or getting emotional and grumpy – but it’s a big part of my reality.  My blog, and creating, are a bright spot for me and I love sharing it online and meeting like-minded folks to be inspired by.

I really think I need to conquer this quilt – like it’s been cluttering my mind and the corner of my workspace for too long…

Friday, February 26, 2010

Best Vacation Ever

I was reading a post over at Gingerbread Snowflakes – Pam’s reply to my Creative Blogger Award nomination of her blog – and admiring all the beautiful travel pictures she’s posted over there – when I remembered about this month’s blog carnival!!! I almost forgot! The EtsyBloggers topics – fun, sometimes thought-provoking, are what keep me part of the group, I can’t let this slide by!

This February 28 Blog Carnival is hosted by: HandmadeBySandi & the question is:

#1 What's the best vacation your ever had?

Easy answer! 2007 Ocean City, New Jersey

wearing a dorky hat, Ocean City, NJ

I wish I could find some better pictures of this trip – but they have been filed away somewhere and I’ve got to dig them out. Ignore the dorky hat and just enjoy the scenery.

I remember a few things about this trip – one, that Ocean City was really a nice, family-friendly place & very peaceful. Their Main Street was full of unique shops & a cafe there even had bubble tea! I love bubble tea – not something I thought I’d find in an out-of-the-way spot.

What sticks out in my mind is the little bed & breakfast we stayed at – a place called Somewhere in Time. It was so tiny. So cute. We stayed in “Arthur’s Bungalow”. The cutest part?? My husband booked it because he recognized the name from one of my favorite movies, Somewhere in Time. (I guess you’d call that romantic.)

One thing that stays with me is that it was so peaceful. We could walk everywhere, there was no rushing around, the kids behaved well and there was no stress. That’s what makes this the best vacation ever, in my mind. What’s yours?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Being Thankful

Once Upon a Pie These are pies from my library’s Once Upon a Pie Competition held last weekend.  I’m so thankful for the library!  Without it I’d be broke, because I love to read, and my kids do, too (video here).

I’m also thankful for my family & friends who have endless patience with me.  I’m so grateful for that.

I’m thankful for for my internet friends (that’s you!), because I have a place to share and connect with and about the things that I love – crafting and art!


And one more picture of something yummy.  I made this cake after getting an email from Betty Crocker.  I usually wouldn’t bake from a cake mix, but this looked so delicious, I just had to make it.  Bringing it to a friend’s house later today. (Click it to link to the recipe.)

Happy Thanksgiving and Enjoy your weekend, whether you’re celebrating or not.  I believe there’s always something to be thankful for and to appreciate.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I’ve been thinking about this blog.

And I’ve been crafting – but – not too successfully.  Worked with some deliciously soft silk and wool yarn last night, knitting and ripping. Knitting and ripping.  I wanted to make something wearable.  Something to sell.  But it’s just not working.  frogged too many times

I’ve also been thinking about making dolls again.  One series of something dark that’s been brewing in my  mind.  Maybe I need to take a break from all the tiny little projects that I have in progress.  I was going to start the dolls in January – but why wait? 

It’s been years since I really worked on dolls.  And here I am as “tamdoll” all over the internet.  Ha!

Usually, when I try to change modes, I’ll be drawn to something else – who knows, maybe I’ll start working on dolls and then have inspiration and success at some new wearables.

There are ornaments I want to make.  Rings, necklaces, bracelets that I want to create out of fabric and yarn.  I have lists of gifts that I’d like to put together.  So many things, I’m overwhelmed.  It’s not a bad thing to have all these ideas in my head – it’s just bad when I work on them for a while and they go wrong.  I think it’s worse when I don’t get any ideas.  I don’t have enough patience. 

I’ll have to make some lists soon and see what to do first, or at least… make a list.  Prioritize it I think.  And go from there.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Giant Pumpkin Regatta

IMG_0104Once again, the NH Giant Pumpkin Growers Association have descended on our small town and their 2009 weigh-off was held yesterday.  These guys were big.

What do you do with a giant pumpkin?  Here, we hollow them out and decorate them:IMG_0116

Then, normally sane adults climb inside, add a motor and race them up and down the river:IMG_0184

More pictures at the flickr group.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Confession

artist Dan Larson

I read comics.  There it is. 

Today was 24 Hour Comics Day, so I stopped by Double Midnight Comics to see what was going on and to see what’s new.  I read about Umbrella Academy & wanted to check it out… they didn’t have any so I’ll have to return in a few weeks.  I don’t visit the store too often (twice a year?) since it can get pricey… (not as expensive as yarn, I know..)  I also wanted to see what Emily the Strange was all about, but couldn’t find anything about that.

Who’s in the picture?  That’s Dan Larson, local artist and author of Stick-Man, after a night of drawing.  Click the links, go visit and see for yourself.

Did you read comics when you were younger?  Do you still?  Which ones?  Any other confessions you want to make?… I promise, only folks that read the blog comments will ever know….

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Back from NYC

Trying to get organized after a quick trip, still need to unpack little bits of knitting and crochet I did while on the road and take pictures of those.  What did I do while away?

Admired architectural details:
details details
Some of it knit - At the Lion Brand Yarn studio – loved this yarn cityscape in the window:
Lion Brand StudioI didn’t make it to Tinsel Trading or Purl SoHo like I wanted to… maybe next time…


Wafer candy Mochi Cupcakes

& shopped just a little bit:

Pearl River Mart ISBN978-4-529-04690-9

I loved the patterns in this book, will have to blog more about them at a later date and take some pictures.  No… I don’t have little kids to knit for, but just prefer to make small projects! Met a great woman in the mall who showed me how to read the symbol for “stitches” – now I just have to follow the charts and I think I can do it.  Anyone else love these Let’s knit (crochet!) Japanese books?

Now back to that unpacking.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Getting in a Better Mood

I wasn’t in a good mood.

500+ emails.  Missed Twitter for days because I was avoiding procrastinating on the pc.  Trying to plan Friends of the Library book sale on the lawn of the library in a couple of weeks – need to worry about rain and volunteers for 6:30am (our indoor site fell through).  Mass amounts of unfinished projects.  Gained a pound.  Need I say more?

Well, something about the shop of the week, A Cagey Bee, cheered me up.  I love this pendant below, and all of her art, really.


There’s a great interview with the artist, Kris, here… and a special: “As a special thank you to her Twitter pals, all prints in her shop are 2 for the price of 1 this week. Buy one print and simply enter the name of the second print you'd like in the notes to seller box. Double the cuteness!”  Check her out, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed, add some cheer to your day, too!


a mess

The disaster I’ve been looking at:  Unfinished projects galore.  Unorganized beads and supplies.  Headless birds (down near the center front of picture).  And this isn’t even my desk, this is the extra card-table I brought in to work on. Ugh.