The Knitting Elf

Friday, June 30, 2006

Knitting Update

So yesterday I didn't finish the right front of my cardigan. I meant to, I really did, but I remembered that I have a hat to finish (for a personal swap) and I've started searching for small projects to work on at the dreaded reunion. This is what I have so far:
  • A pair of socks - yes they're simple and maybe even a bit boring; but I like them and wanted a simple pattern for my first pair
  • Boogie time - I've been without a watch for almost two years. I've had a hard time finding one that I like; I'm not really picky, I just like having one that's unique and screams "I BELONG TO JESSICA!!" :o)

I'm hoping to finish my cardigan before the dreaded reunion but if I don't I'll take that too. Does that sound like enough knitting for a week?? I'm also toying with the idea on taking my shawl (the one I need the needles from my cardigan for). Here's a picture of the yarn I'll be using for the above projects:

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From left to right; Wildfoote sock yarn (for boogie time) - I've had both of these for awhile, I'll going to be using the color 'Master Grey' (the other one's 'Geranium', I have no idea what to do with this one; I have just over 200 yards of it, any ideas??). Shimmer lace yarn (for my shawl!) in the color 'Morning Mist'. And Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn (for my socks) in the color 'Green Mountain Madness'.

It feels so great to finally be finished turning all those hanks into balls! I was so scared that I would turn them into a giant mess but it was much easier then I thought :o)

After yesterday's post I decided I might one day need a "blog name" for some of my other relatives so I've started a list*. I must say it has been very therapeutic :o) I think it's presence will make the dreaded reunion a bit more bearable. I'll be able to look at them and think "Aunt Wishy-Washy, Uncle Boring, Cousin Hate-his-guts, Aunt Gossip" etc. I haven't thought of names for all of them yet (I have a HUGE extended family) but I'm happily working on it!

Tomorrow I'm going to the "Candy Parade" and then over to the Farmer's Market to knit! Last week I couldn't go because sister's quartet was performing (they did a wonderful job but I missed my knitting!)

I'm excited; tomorrow's going to be fun :oD

*I just wanted to clarify that none of my relatives will ever know about the list, nor will I ever tell them their "blog name". I may be thoroughly enjoying thinking up names but I'm not mean enough to tell them that.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Today is a Good Day!!

I bet you're wondering why today is such a good day; well I'll tell you! I just found out that the family reunion I have been dreading isn't till a week from Monday (I thought it was this Monday)!! Do you know what that means?! It means I get to go volunteer at the Jazz festival!! You see, this particular family reunion is going to be a camping trip that lasts an entire week. At first I thought it was the same week as the Jazz Festival so I wouldn't be able to volunteer (because I already told Daddy I'd go) but I was wrong!!!! I never knew how good it could feel to be wrong :o)

Now I bet you're wondering why I'm dreading this family reunion so much?? Of course you are; so I'll tell you why. This reunion is for Daddy's side of the family (dun dun dun!). It's not that I don't get along with Daddy's family (well I get along with most of them) I just don't like being around them. They're all so manipulative and negative and close minded it really brings me down. At first we weren’t going to go because of gas prices and the rest of my family don’t like being around Daddy’s family for the same reasons but Grandpa came and fixed our car, and lent us a better car, and offered to come pick us up in their motor home so now Daddy would feel really guilty if we didn’t go. The entire family ignores us until they need or want something (like Aunt Psycho that needed a place to stay, we let her, now she pretends she still lives here and puts our address on all her bills, we have people come try to serve her legal papers all the time; Then there's Aunt Crazy that lives in Arizona, comes to Utah quite frequently but never tells us. Last time she was here she called to say her daughter really wants to play with Baby Sister, who was in school, and could she come drop her off? What she really needed was a baby sitter).

I also really don't want to go because of what happened last October. We went to California to go to Disney Land with Grandpa and Aunt Crazy. Things were ok till we spent a day at the beach....One of Aunt Crazy's kids (who is one of the few people on that side of the family that I actually like, we'll call her Nice Cousin) was feeling bad because she and I hadn't been able to spend a lot of time together so Aunt Crazy accuses me of ignoring her. I had thought that Nice Cousin was ignoring me because she and Sister are better friends then we are and Sister didn't come (she couldn’t miss school). I tried to explain this but Aunt Crazy suddenly blows up and starts YELLING (almost screaming) that if I don't like her daughter and don't want to spend time with her then I should just say so, and how does my family live with me I'm so emotional, and why don't I just stop being a jerk and grow up and lots of other horrible things that have absolutely no basis is fact but still made me feel really, really bad......I’m still not quite over it and really don't want to spend a week with Aunt Crazy. I wouldn't go, except Daddy needs help keeping an eye on Baby Sister and Brother (Mum can't get work off and Sister refuses to go).

Bleech, crazy relatives.

Enough with all that depressing stuff; today I'm probably going to finish the right front of my cardigan (Yay! Now on to the sleeves!)! And last night I started winding the yarn for my shawl from hank to ball! I'll be using the same needles for my shawl that I have been for my cardigan so I'm extra excited to finish because that means I can start my shawl (wow, I hope that sentence made sense)!! Oh yeah, something else fun, this Saturday is the Candy Parade (that's what some of my cousins, on Mum's side, call it)! It's a parade for Taylorsville Dayz. For the past 3 years we've gone with my cousin. It is truly amazing how much candy is thrown at this parade, every single float and band and group that goes down the street throws buckets of candy (last year the fire department threw stuffed animals).

I love candy :oD

Oh yes, I almost forgot, over on the sidebar is a new "section" called 'Top 5 Favorite Songs'. I love making lists and reading such things on other people's blogs so I thought I add one to mine. I've made links to the lyrics of each song (well, I couldn't find a site with lyrics for Gold Mine) as well as links to the artist's official page so if you're curious you'd easily be able to check them out. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Oxalis is home!

So I was planning to post this yesterday but was distracted by something shiny and forgot until I was to tired to care :o) And today I feel more like knitting than blogging so I'm pretty much just going to copy and paste what I posted on craftster. Later I might come back and change a few things....maybe

Oxalis was a bit homesick when he first arrived so Haylie bought him a kitty! Oxalis named him Shamrock and Haylie's sister made Shamrock a pillow and blanket (which is brilliant because my room is always freezing!) ;o)

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The day Oxalis arrived at Haylie's they left for vacation in Florida! One of the fun things they did was go to the beach and they found this shell. They brought it home and Haylie painted it (notice the tiny Oxalis under the palm tree)

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Another thing they did in Florida was go to Medieval Times for Haylie's birthday (Happy Late Birthday!!). They had dinner and watched Knights joust; they cheered on the red Knight but sadly he didn't win. Oxalis brought home a cup and a red flag.

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After returning home Haylie took Oxalis to dance competitions and recitals in which she, her sister, and cousin preformed! They're dance studio is called "Gotta Dance" so Haylie made Oxalis a Tshirt so he'd feel more like part of the group (he's still raving about what good dancers you all are!).

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Oxalis also got to experience the Detroit Zoo! He brought home this awesome mug (it has footprints from an elephant, lion, raccoon, gorilla, bear, and frog)

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And here's Oxalis's scrapbook! Haylie faux screen printed a picture of Oxalis on the cover (which is fabric). Haylie also had specific times when I was supposed to open all of the individually wrapped souvenirs. I'd be reading the scrapbook and there'd be a note saying "open present #4 now" :o)

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Here's a couple of my favorite pages from inside:
Here you see Oxalis's room and his new friend Froggy -

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Oxalis at the movies (notice his glowing red eyes in the top pic; this made me laugh ;D) -

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Oxalis sunbathing on the beach in Florida (this also made me laugh :D) -

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Haylie took so many pictures they wouldn't all fit in the scrapbook so she also sent me a picture CD! The CD has all the pictures she used in the scrapbook and a bunch more; it also has a couple movies :oD (it's just occurred to me that I could've gotten that picture of Oxalis sunbathing off of the CD instead of taking a picture of the picture, duh! I'll be fixing that later)

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Group Pic -

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Saturday Sky

I was browsing knitting blogs and came across Sandy's Knitting. Sandy just started something called

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Basically, to participate, you post a picture of what the sky looks like every Saturday; Sandy's also going to draw a random winner (the prize is yarn!) in July. So I thought "Hey I can do that!" and promptly joined :o) (Sandy explains it all much better than I, click on the link to read more about it)

You might've notice I changed my name in my profile; my real name is Jessica but as it was listed as Melannen (my Sindarin Elvish name) it was causing confusion for several people that read my blog and know me in real life.

I've also been toying with the idea of putting little lists of my favorite books, music, and movies over in the sidebar. No particular reason; I just like to make lists (and I like reading that sort of thing on other blogs).

I'll be updating again later today; Oxalis has arrived home (my turtle stuffie who went away for Craftster's Little Visitor Swap)!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

End of Marathon

The weeklong ISSI marathon is over! Sad, yes, but also good (it completely wiped out Mum and Sister and interfered with my attending SnB ). I got lots of good ideas on how to improve my skills and I'm excited to start practicing again (I've been slacking for a few months). Because all I did was sit and observe classes all day I was able to finish the back and half the front of my sweater (it's a cardigan, I finished the left side) and I finished the hat part of another kittyville hat! A few days ago, in Sister's orchestra class, there was a mom knitting; she was making the coolest sweater! It had elephants and some traditional fair isle patterns on it. I wish I had taken a picture (forgot my camera that day).

It's just occurred to me that when I refer to Sister you probably don't know who I'm talking about. I have 3 siblings; I'm the oldest, then there's 'Sister' (15), 'Baby sister' (9), and 'Brother' (5). I'm hoping you'd be able to deduce that when I refer to Daddy or Mum I'm talking about my parents :o) So a blurb about each of them:

  • Daddy also has Celiac Disease (it's genetic, we're still trying to figure out how to break it to his family that they should all get tested). He's a people person; you can't help but like him :o) He likes to "fix" things (he's one of those dads that does more damage then fixing but he tries) and clean. He's recently discovered that cleaning and gardening go a lot faster if you listen to a book on CD/Tape; sometimes he goes through a book a day! He loves to swim, bike, and wrestle with Brother.

  • Mum is the best accompanist ever (no really, she is). It's amazing how she can play for someone and make them sound good even if they're not. She is very generous and giving and has a hard time saying 'no' to people (like when they call and say "My son is playing in a recital tomorrow, when can we get together to practice" <-- this really happens; it's amazing how people can be so inconsiderate. Things like recitals are usually planned at least a week in advance; you'd think they'd call earlier). She loves to help with anything and everything she can and also has perfect pitch so whenever Sister or I practice she'll yell from the other side of the house "That B sharp isn't high enough". Sometimes this can be very helpful, others, it's very annoying. She loves snowflakes, paper, and pens.

  • Sister also plays violin. She's at the age where she knows everything and everyone over 18 is stupid (well, not always). Last week she went camping with a church group and a log fell on and fractured her wrist! So all this week she's been playing violin with a fractured wrist (it's her bow/right arm); she was not going to let it hold her back but today she's paying for it. Mum and I are going to try to talk her into getting it cast (they wanted to do it before but it would've been impossible for her to play at all so she refused to let them). In addition to violin, she also plays the clarinet, trumpet, viola, and a bit of piano (she also has a lovely voice).

  • Baby Sister has the world's biggest imagination. She wants so bad to grow up faster (she's always saying "I'm almost a teenager")! Mum tried her on the violin but it wasn't her thing; neither was the piano. So we tried swimming and bam we've got a fish (or a mermaid). Tomorrow she's leaving for Girl Scout camp (first time going by herself); she is soo excited but also soo nervous! She loves to ride her scooter, hunt for snails, and jump rope with friends.

  • Brother is a Jedi (or a Sith, Ninja, Knight, Army Guy, or Spiderman depending on what day you catch him). He is very much into weapons of every kind but his first love is light sabers. He is very good at video games and can literally talk for hours (he makes up his own "video games", acts them out, and narrates so you know what's going on). He loves to wrestle with Daddy (or me if Daddy's at work), ride his bike, and jump on Mum and Daddy's bed :o)

  • Last night I finished the orange shirt I blogged about awhile ago (go here to refresh your memory). It had it's first public appearance today and nobody noticed it (boo!)! So in a few days when I post pictures of it I need you guys to tell me if there's something weird I just don't see (of course, maybe they all did notice but were just blown away by it's amazingness).

    I'm also just realizing that I never posted about a swap I did awhile ago. It was the Menstrual Care Package Swap. If you'd like to see what I sent go here (there's also a link in the Craftster post to see what I received).

    Tuesday, June 20, 2006

    Knitting Update

    So remember this project? Well, I've finished the one side of the bag and have started number two (of four) *the first picture gets bigger if you click on it*

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    However, this project has come to a full and complete stop due to me starting my first sweater!! I CO Friday night and since then I've been working on it every spare moment that I can (this is the back of said sweater, it looks funny because I'm using circular needles and am in the middle of a row)

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    In the next couple of days I'll be starting a Kittyville hat for a personal swap (She's going to make me earrings!! Lately I've discovered I have a bit of an earring fetish :oD )

    On a not so joyous note, I can't go to SnB tonight :o(
    Mum's taking Daddy out for dinner (late Father's Day gift) and I agreed to be a good daughter and watch my youngest siblings. So I'll just be knitting with myself...

    Monday, June 19, 2006


    So this weekend I went to knit at the farmers market. There were only 3 of us (Myself, David, and Erin - hope I spelled your name right). About an hour after I arrived, Erin had to leave so it was just David and I. I worked on my sweater (it now has multiple stripes!!). After David left some creep came over and started grilling me. At first he was just asking about knitting (which was fine) but the idiot didn't know when to quit. Finally he said "so I bet your boyfriend likes to watch your hands while you knit huh" to which I said "no, he knits too". After that he finally got the message and left me alone. So thanks for coming David, he thought I was talking about you :o) (in reality I only wish I had a boyfriend).

    For Father's Day I cleaned (every time I ask Daddy what he wants for Father's Day/Birthday/Christmas he always says "a clean house and a family that doesn't fight") and we went over to my Aunts because my Grandparents were going over there (our extended family is too big to all visit at their condo). I took my sweater and got a lot done (I'm almost to the half way point on the back!!). I don't have pictures right now but I'll post some either later today or tomorrow.

    So you may be wondering why I'm up at this hour (it's about 4:30am). I have some swap stuff to finish up and Craftster won't let me log on (I need the address to I can send Tortue back home!). My new allergy meds (which are great, I can breathe now!) are keeping me up too :oP So if something doesn't make sense it's because I haven't slept at all tonight.

    In a few hours (after Mum and sis wake up) I'm going to observe at the "Intermountain Suzuki String Institute"*. I used to go when I was younger but I'm now old enough to be one of the teachers so I'd feel really weird taking classes. So I'll be tailing my sister (she plays the violin and is taking classes, it'll probably be her last year) and sometimes I'll tail Mum (she'll be accompanying various classes on piano). I could take Teacher Training classes but I really don't want to end up teaching music; for me, that would take the joy out of it. I guess those classes could be fun too, but I think I'll stick with what I already love :o)

    *ISSI is a weeklong event where teachers and students from all over the country (and some from other countries) all come together and teach/take classes. As the official title suggests, they're all string players (violin, viola, cello, and string bass). It's an absolute blast and really jump starts you (when I go I'm always excited to practice!). I also love getting input from other teachers; it makes me feel more “well rounded” and gives me ideas on how to improve my playing .

    Thursday, June 15, 2006

    New Yarn!!

    Today I received my first order from Knit Picks!!

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    I'm going to make my first sweater (Sesame from MagKnits) with the Wool of the Andes (Blue Bonnet and Maple Syrup) and a lace shawl (this one) with the Shimmer (Morning Mist). The Shimmer is soo soft!! I can't stop petting it and I can't wait to knit it up! I'm going to start the sweater first because to start the shawl I'd have to wind the hanks into balls first and I want to do something with this yarn now :o) (I'm swatching as I type this)

    This summer I'm planning to take a break from swapping on Craftster. At first the reason was I kinda overloaded myself and was stressing over it; but I think even if I hadn't overloaded myself I'd want to take a break anyways.

    I have been so frustrated with my latest partners!! For the last two swaps (Secret FOC, and Amazing Tshirt) I've had to post pictures of what I've sent (the person receiving is supposed to post them or at least request that the sender does). Maybe it's just me but I think that's rude!! After putting a lot of work into a package everyone deserves to have their partner rave and gush over their stuff. It feels so awkward to post your own pictures, kinda like your showing off or "tooting your own horn". I always make it a priority to make a big deal over what I receive even if I don't adore every bit of it.

    I just finished another swap ("Menstrual Care Package Swap", pictures to come in a few days) and it looks like I'll have to post my own pictures again!!! That's three in a row!! This has also happened to me three other times (Harry Potter Swap, partner left out pictures of the big item, I posted pictures a few weeks later; Friendship Bracelet Swap - partner never posted pictures, neither did I; Chocolate Swap - I posted my own, partner finally posted some almost two months after the swap ended).

    Maybe the stuff I make isn't really as cute as I think it is?? I really do my best to "post stalk" my partners and tailor each package to their likes. I love swapping, but maybe I'll just do one-on-one swaps from now on :o(

    Saturday, June 10, 2006

    Worldwide KIP Day

    That's "Knit in Public" for all of you who don't know :o)

    Today I went downtown to the farmer’s market and knit for a lovely 4 hours with a bunch of people from the SLC S'n'B. I was hoping to get there a bit earlier but last night my Aunt and two cousins came to visit and stayed the night. I had some crafting I needed to finished but I was trying to be good hostess. So I waited till they were otherwise occupied (asleep) and stayed up till around 2; than my insomnia kicked in and I was unable to fall asleep till at least 3:30 (that's what time it was when I rolled over and couldn't see the clock anymore). This led to me hitting the snooze button a few more times than I should've this morning....

    I worked on "Counterpanes to Go" (Bags: a knitters dozen) and am about to the point I was at before I frogged it:

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    I'm in the middle (ok, only about a third) of a row of a bunch of bobbles (they take forever!). It was kind of a pain to frog it but I'm glad I did, the edges are much better now (before they were soo tight).

    *David - It was cool to meet you in person (at first you thought my name was Melissa...I'm guessing that's because on my blog I'm Melannen), I'm sorry I'm too shy (offline) to say "Hey you've commented on my blog; I'm Melannen from 'The Knitting Elf'! I've also commented on yours and I said you had cool hair!". Your hair's even cooler in person btw :oD*

    One of the shirts I blogged about last time is finished!! I saw a shirt kinda like this on the internet somewhere and really wanted it but didn't have the money; so I put my own spin on it and finally pulled it together last evening:

    Sorry about the flash, my camera wouldn’t focus otherwise -
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    And the way I had to hold my arms to take this one made it wrinkle funny at the top -
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    Later I may go back and thinken the lines of the Heartagram or fill in the letters of HIM. But for now, I love it!

    After knitting, I went sightseeing with Tortue. I don't think I've blogged about Tortue so let me explain...

    I'm doing a swap on Craftster called "The Little Visitor Swap"; basically we sent our partner a stuffed animal and they send us one in return. When we receive our "little visitor" we have about two months to take it around our city; we take pictures, buy it little souvenirs, and make a little scrapbook documenting their adventures with us. So today I took Tortue around town and took a bunch of pictures at the Library, the Salt Palace, Gateway, Temple Square, the Delta Center, and Abravanel Hall. We also went shopping for postcards and other touristy things. :o)

    Here a picture I took of Tortue awhile ago when we went to visit Mum at the hospital (it's in a little garden, Tortue's sitting on a dry fountain):
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    So that's what I did today....I wish everyday could be like today; today was fun :o)

    Tuesday, June 06, 2006


    Remember the purple froggy shirt?? Tenika sent it to me for the Amazing Tshirt Swap; I ended up sending her shirt late but she's had it for awhile (according to my DC#) and hasn't posted anything. :o( I've even messaged her about it.....

    I swear I took a million pictures before I sent it off, but my computer ate them and they're nowhere to be found. So I have a picture of the back, two detail close ups of the front, but none of the entire front; I sketched the layout so you'd at least get an idea though.

    My idea was to have two flowers from which a dragonfly and a bee took off; the dragonfly and bee would then fly from the front of the shirt to the back, make a heart, and return to the front:

    "Front" -
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    Back -
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    Close up of bee -
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    Close up of dragonfly -
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    It was all hand painted except for the "flying trails" which were drawn with a fabric marker. I hope she likes it....I do; I may just make one for myself sometime.

    Here's a Tshirt that used to be white (sorry I forgot to take a before picture):

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    This was my first dye job and I think it came out rather well! In the picture it looks a bit too neon. I'm going to stencil something on it later this week (or maybe next week). I'm not saying what, you'll just have to check back later to find out :oD

    This shirt will stay white but I'm going to draw something on the front of it. This one will be done this week because I want to wear it on Saturday for 'Worldwide Knit in Public Day'. No, the "stuff" going on the front has nothing to do with knitting.

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    And last shirt; I've had this for about a year (found it at a second hand shop) but I have no idea what it says! I love the fit (so comfy!), and I think it's cute, but I'm a bit self conscious wearing it out in public because I don't know what it says. I've reason to believe it's in Japanese (sorry about the lighting in the first one, the shirt really is white....and clean):

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    So if you have any idea of what the Japanese characters might say, please let me know :o)

    Thursday, June 01, 2006

    I love stickers!!

    Today I received a package from Ember77 (for the Unconditional Swap May)!! I wished for stickers but she also added in a few other goodies! *the ones with a star by them get bigger if you click on them*

    *Animal stickers:

    *Hello Kitty stickers:

    Jelly Stickers (they're squishy!)
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    Music related stickers (I had said that I was searching for some tiny music notes for some magnets I'm making. She was unable to find any but thought I would like these instead and she was right!):
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    *And more music related stickers:

    Disney Stickers:
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    *All the different ones (there's a couple of each):

    Two books of stickers (links to see all the different pages under the pic of the book they are in):
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    Page 1
    Page 2
    Page 3

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    Page 1
    Page 2
    Page 3

    A sticker dispenser:
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    Here are the stickers that are in it:
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    And now the extra goodies!

    Blank Card (I've played the violin for about 15 years, I think that's why she chose to send one with violins on it, same reason for the violin stickers above):
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    1" buttons (I love dragons and this mushroom is so cool!):
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    Pencils - *from left to right* sparkly green (one of my favorite colors) with feathers, purple and silver piano, black and green music notes, and yellow with bears and rabbits playing the piano with a treble clef on top:
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    And a CD (I haven't listened to it yet, it says "Aida" on it but I don't know if that's the name of the album or the group??):
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    Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go play with my new toys :o)

    Knitting Bag

    So because I figured out that I need to take my own chair to S'n'B I made this bag to hold my knitting:

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    As you can see, the straps go around the handle of the chair. What you can't see is that I've attached them on the other side with snaps. I wanted to do buttons but didn't have any good ones on hand and was too excited to try it out. I think I'll probably remove the snaps and put on buttons later if I can find the right ones. It has two pockets that are about 10" wide and 8" deep (one on the outside, one on the inside). This morning when I went to take pictures I discovered that I had made it reversible! So here's the reverse side:

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    I've been kicking this idea around for a week or two but yesterday I finally decided to try it. It was my own design but I used several techniques from various tutorials to help with the construction. Originally I was going to put a third strap (it would've been on the side) to prevent it slipping off the handle of the chair but I bagged it because I didn't know how I would attempt it and wanted to finish.

    Yesterday Mum and Daddy went for a walk, ran into a neighbor getting ready for a yard sale, and brought me home this surprise:

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    A SNOWBOARD!!!!! Sad but true I've lived in Utah my entire life and I've never been skiing or snowboarding. I've always wanted to learn how and this winter I'm finally going too!!! My neighbor, who's having the yard sale, used to sell skis and snowboards for a living; He and his family are moving so he's trying to get rid of all his old inventory and was selling them at his cost! He had a bunch of new or like new equipment and he's letting it all go for under $30 a set!!! The boots are just a tad small so later today I'm going to go trade them for one size bigger :o)

    I can't wait for winter!!!!

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