Where I’ve Been

HELLO MY FRIENDS WE MEET UUUUUUGAIN!

I nearly upgraded my site just so I could post that Creed video and you all could judge accordingly, but it’s kind of pricey to upgrade so I’m just going to trust that you all click the link and shake your heads.

So.

How’s it going?

It’s been over three months since I posted and I’ve been missing this little blog.  I’ve been keeping pretty busy, but to keep from boring everyone I will just focus on the highlights.

TEST

After my last post, I succumbed to “obsessively check and wait for results” mode, which was awful. Waiting is the worst!  I finally received results in late May and, like I expected, I did not pass.  It was pretty disappointing.  But the difference between my score and the passing score was in the single digits…so…I am not far.  The next test is October 27th, and I have already started studying. I will pass this time!  I NEED TO PASS THIS TIME.  The next test after the October one is April 2018, which is when I’m getting married, which is a big NOPE.

TRAVEL

Another thing I started focusing on after my test was scrubbing up my admittedly weak Italian.  My family and I had a trip planned in June.  It was probably late May where I realized I wasn’t going to learn 32 years worth of Italian in a month, so I relaxed a little bit.

I will need to do an entire post on Italy but it was a pretty great trip.  We were there for two weeks and I was able to see my family, who I hadn’t seen in so long! My Italian was still bad, but I learned a lot being immersed over there.

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Selfie in Positano

Work

As one of my aunts says, “Lavoro é lavoro” (work is work), but I’ve been enjoying it.  Lots of reports to keep me busy. I really enjoy the projects where I get to dig deeply into the data (because I’m a nerd), but projects involving a lot of data can always be stressful because you want your analysis to be perfection.  I was also in the field for two weeks this month at a couple of my sites.  Guys. I’ve lived in Texas for over 20 years so I’m used to this heat – or I thought?  But one week was just so bad!  I’m so glad August is crunch time at the office and I have an excuse to be in the AC.

I do have one funny story – a gate wasn’t closed properly at my site, so we arrived the next morning to find a bunch of cows who had decided to make a visit.

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Just a small sampling of the cows at the site.

 

That was a call I wasn’t looking forward to making to my project manager.  He said we needed to herd them off-site.  “I…um…is there a way you recommend herding them?” I asked.  He told us to make lots of noise.  So I started running at the cows wildly, waving my arms and yelling “SHOOOOOO!” while my coworker jumped in his vehicle and started honking at the cows.  We were able to get the cows off-site and back to their proper home in ten minutes, which exceeded my expectations.  I can now add Jenny: Cow Herder to my resume.

CRAFTS

I want to post a couple of pictures of things I’ve either worked on or finished. I finished a couple of other neat pieces, but I want to spend more time on those posts.

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Fun sashiko-inspired piece from Studio MME

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Another Studio MME piece. I finished this one in Italy – this is my aunt’s table, isn’t it beautiful?

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Fun amigurumi piece from Little Box of Crochet

Wedding

We’re actually getting a lot done.  Booked a photographer (NOT the guy who told me, “I’m a hugger, deal with it” and openly admitted to google stalking the both of us – good lord), finding a caterer, and narrowing down on a baker and officiant.  Fiancé has been really helpful and taken the lead on a lot of the vendors.  Go Fiancé!  Planning is making this wedding less of this nebulous event and something real and tangible.  I’m getting really excited!

Alrighty, I need to get ready for work, but I will be back soon! I have been toying around with ideas for this little blog and hopefully we’ll have some fun in the process!

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Rapid Fire Picture Post Time

Hey guys! I hope all is well.  Things are good here, studying has taken over my life, etc etc.

PICTURE TIME.

So I’ve been able to work on my Little Box of Crochet March project…I have one mug cozy completed. I just have to block it, which I’ve been too lazy to do.  Blocking and gauge swatches – who has time for that? (I know, I know, these are important elements, just let me ask my rhetorical questions.)

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I’m now working on the second cozy, which has pretty flowers:

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I’ve also been working on my embroidery project from Studio MME:

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But most importantly, I can confirm that, yes, I did order the Scheepjes Hygge CAL kit in Jewel because it arrived today! Look, look, look:

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Squeeeeee!

Ok, I’m going to unwind by working on my projects!  I hope you had a great Monday. Let me know what you’ve been working on!

Making Mistakes to Grow

One of my roles at work is being a safety rep.  For the next several months, I’m giving focus topic meetings on different aspects of being a safety rep since we have a lot of new safety reps in the area.  For my first focus topic yesterday, I decided to discuss the aspects I’d found most daunting about being a safety rep when I first started – like dealing with difficult project managers and people assuming that I was suddenly an OSHA expert and asking really detailed safety questions.  My area safety manager told the group that it was okay to make mistakes and encouraged people to get out there and try, even if they failed.

This maxim, that it’s okay to make mistakes, is one I constantly remind myself.  I made one that my team member gently reminded me of via email.  I was so frustrated!  I should have known better! I went home and felt better after eating my feelings and walking my dog.  But making mistakes just helps us grow, and part of working on a team is having other people holding you accountable and ground-truthing your work.

Last night, I started thinking about making mistakes in my own creative work.  I still consider myself a beginner with crafting which holds me back, because naturally, I don’t want to make mistakes. I just want to make a perfectly Instagrammable piece of art. But that inclination keeps me from trying riskier stitches because it will “look bad.”  Staying inside the box all the time can really hinder creativity, and I’ve definitely always been a rule follower. I can’t even purchase any of Keri Smith’s books, like This is Not a Book, because the idea of tearing pages from the book or destroying a page by pouring milk on it (or whatever the creative prompt actually is), is just so foreign to me. (I know! That’s supposed to be the point! BUT I CAN’T, YOU GUYS).

I’ve been working on a Studio MME Super Stitcher’s Club piece.  What I love about Megan Eckman’s work is you can stitch the piece as simply or as elaborated as you’d like.  It’s designed for stitchers who don’t like the crazy fancy stitches like French knots, but allows enough room for improvisation in case you decide to go crazy and plop a couple on there.  I’ve decided to go outside the box and play around with some extra stitches on the piece.  It’s made me uncomfortable, if I’m being honest.

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My brain is like, “STOP IT. YOUR STITCHES ARE UGLY.” But I know that I need to at least try this idea and see where it takes me.  Maybe my stitches will continue being ugly.  Or maybe I will end up with a piece I’m really proud of.  I’ll never know if I don’t try, or if I just continue doing the same back and running stitches and nothing else.

Making mistakes is a sign that you are growing and if you stumble a little, it means your path will be smoother in the future.  I proposed a risky little strategy at work several days ago and to my shock, the team decided to accept it!  There’s no way I would have had the gumption to propose it without the stumbling blocks I’ve had over the past year in this role.  And I know if I continue pushing myself with my creative projects -instead of restricting myself to the ones I already know I can do – I know I’ll continue growing in that aspect, too.

I hope you all have a great weekend! I’ll be indulging in a lot of crafty time while Fiancé is at band practice.  Need to buy some flowers and plants since the one hard freeze we had this year killed all my succulents.  The house needs to be cleaned because it’s looking cluttered and I feel stressed when it’s cluttered.  I’ll need to do some yoga and maybe a run, because I haven’t run since the half-marathon and now I feel that pent-up crazy lady feeling when I haven’t been able to run in several days.  Maybe watch more of The People v. O.J. Simpson (not sure how I feel about it yet – and those fake Kardashian kids take me out of it every. single. time) and listening to a lot of this song, which is a current obsession.  See you Monday!

Labor Day Weekend

In the world of consulting, sometimes you are so busy that you’re not sure if you’ll be able to meet your deadlines on time (that was me two weeks ago).  And sometimes, you have no work to do, which leads you down a spiral angst as you wonder if no one ever wants to work with you again (that was me last week).  Labor Day weekend really couldn’t have come at a better time, as I was ready for some R&R.

It was a perfect long weekend.  Lots of lazy time on the couch, watching Investigation Discovery (check), catching the Half Price Books Labor Day sale (check), and eating some decadent yummy dishes (check). I also cleaned my house so I could (at least partially) feel like a responsible adult.

Yesterday I went tubing with Boyfriend and our friends at the Comal River.  I hadn’t been tubing before. It was a blast. I’m not a strong swimmer and am kind of afraid of water, so I dutifully skipped the first chute since it had an ominous “WEAK SWIMMERS EXIT NOW” sign. The other two I could not skip, which I’m glad, because they were FUN.  On a scale of 1 to 10, with like 10 being scary deadly rapids and 1 being a baby pool, these chutes were probably a 2.  But whatever, going through them made me feel like less of a wuss, okay?!

That evening we went to a Tex-Mex restaurant and ordered some delicious food.  My friend asked me something that I couldn’t hear over the din/the margarita had already hit.  Thinking that she had asked me if I did crafts, I enthusiastically responded, “Oh yes, I love all the fiber arts*.  I crochet, knit, embroider, and cross-stitch.”  She stared at me for a second and I realized then that she had not asked me about my handmade endeavors.  “Oh…I was wondering if you drink craft coffee,” she clarified. Ensue embarrassment and laughter.

Speaking of crafts (like…handmade crafts, not coffee), I was able to finish a project and make progress with some others.

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I love, love, love Studio MME‘s work.  I think this is the fourth kit I’ve finished from her collection.  Her work is modern and very approachable for new embroiderers (you won’t see the dreaded French knot in her collection!)  So when I found out that she designed a kit of the Denver skyline to celebrate Fancy Tiger Craft‘s tenth anniversary, I was so excited.  I took a trip to Denver last year and it was one of my all-time favorite trips.  This kit is the perfect way to commemorate it.

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I’m working on my first subscription box from Knit-Wise.  I’m probably about halfway through the kit, which involves making coasters.  I’m enjoying the kit so far and will post a review when I’m finished.  (I’m a fairly new knitter, so excuse the wonkiness.)  It kept me busy when Boyfriend decided to “make a quick stop” for “just an hour.”  (Multiply that by three.  When you’re dating a chemist, you learn to bring activities with you when he promises a quick trip to the lab).

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I’m working on a pattern I picked up at Michael’s.  It’s called the Stepping Stripes Knit Pillow, and I’m using Bernat Maker Home Dec yarn for it.  It’s a fun project and is going pretty quickly so far.

My long weekend went by a little quickly, but with all the fun and relaxation I had, I can’t complain. I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend!

*Yes, I really did say “fiber arts” because I’m a dork, though I’ll blame the margarita.