A new to me office!

For the past few months (wow, okay, five of them), I’ve been working on an old dining room table in the living room. While the view was fantastic (straight out to the lake across the street), it was really hard to stay focused on work for a number of reasons. One, my back was to the rest of the house and so I spent a lot of time turning around whenever someone was walking around the house (or the animals were up to something). Two, there was no real privacy to allow me to focus when I really needed to and other people were home. Three, I spent a lot of time stacking stuff on the table behind my computer or on the chair next to me. Most of my files and books and things were being stacked in the other room (away from nosy kitties). It was making me crazy and making it really hard to get done those things I needed to get done.

So, this last weekend, my love and I spent some time and cleaned out the office. Yes, there’s been an office this whole time, but it was being used for storage as he went through things that needed clearing out. We also were using it to store things we’d moved out of the living room when we rearranged it. It’s not fully there yet, but it is at least now useable. There’s still a whole bookcase that needs to be emptied and gone through, as well as a file cabinet, but it’s well on its way.

The best parts about this room? Windows all around (okay, I’m not totally thrilled because it makes it really hard to put cool storage furniture in here when there’s no available wall space) for light. I can still see out to the lake as well as the yard. There’s a window a/c unit in here, so as it only gets hotter here (we’re already hitting in the 90s these days), I can stay comfortable. And, best of all, there’s a door. Not that I’ve shut it yet, but it’s going to be a little easier for the boy to recognize that I’m working over the summer if I close it part way.

Oh, and my favorite part?

The view in the evenings when my love sits across from me. The “desk” that was in here is a table from IKEA so we each have a side from it. So, in the evenings now, he sits across from me and we both can work. Of course, as I tweeted last night, this means when we want to show something to the other, we now rely on Google Talk to share links. In the old set up, we were sitting next to one another so it was a little easier.

The animals have approved the office as well. Cinder, our dog, sleeps on the floor either next to me or under the desk the entire time I’m in here. Alice, has decided to employ the “If I fits, I sits” method of choosing a cat bed (although she was unhappy that there is another box inside this one…it was sitting there to make it to the recycle bin):

The other two cats sneak in from time to time and then wander back out. I like that I can shut the door to the room at night and not have to worry about the cats stealing yarn or projects or whatever.

I’m hoping that now that I have a space I can truly work in, I can get a lot more accomplished. ๐Ÿ™‚

A day in my new life

View from front porch

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a day in the life kind of post. Typically, I open a document somewhere on my laptop and actually record, live as it’s happening, my day including all its interruptions and such. Then the next day, I post it. Well, today I’m going to do something different. My days change a bit each day, so this will instead by a general day in the life.

As I mentioned at the end of last year, this new year has already brought a lot of changes (including the fact that there will be a bit more of general life stuff in this blog). I’ve now mostly moved and settling in to my new routine. If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I thrive on routines. So having them in the state of flux that they were in the last four months has been making me crazy. It’s nice to finally settle in.

I’m not completely moved, and most of my work related stuff is still at my parents’ house. We don’t have the office set up yet and I’m currently working in the living room (in front of an incredible lake view) and any crochet stuff resides in the room that will become our new bedroom so the cats don’t attack it in the middle of the night (only took once for me to relearn that little lesson). But, I’m making do. One of the benefits of working in tech editing and not designing is there was a lot less stuff to bring over.

So, what are my days like now? Well, here’s the general schedule:

6:00am: G’s alarm begins to go off. Apparently, I’m the only one who can hear this so I end up waking him up. Over and over again as he hits snooze. I can’t say much, I used to have three staggered alarms for the same reason.

6:30am: G finally gets up and wakes up Mr. B (his son). I stay in bed. It’s just easier. G starts getting ready for work and Mr. B works through his morning checklist (get dressed, let the dog out, feed the dog and cats, eat breakfast, clean up after breakfast). He tries to do this quietly, but that doesn’t always work. So I end up snoozing and slowly waking up in bed. Which is for the best as I am so not a morning person and he is an instant on kind of kid. And those two things don’t mix well. lol.

7:00am: G comes back in the bedroom and makes sure I’m awake. We chat for a few minutes as I get up. Then I prepare everyone’s coffee for the morning, help G make Mr. B’s lunch, and then get them both out the door by 7:30am.

7:30am: Take a nice deep breath enjoying the sudden quiet in the house. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy my cup of coffee. Play catch with the dog. Start my bath. Get ready for my day.

8:00am: Dressed and usually at the desk. I use this time to check my email and such and then settle in to work. This changes every day, but lately there’s been a lot of tech editing and I love that. Glance up every few minutes to stare over the lake (the picture at the top of this entry is that view, so if you’re reading this through a reader feed, go ahead and click on through to my site. It’s worth it).

9:00am: Whenever I get up to move around, I do some of my housework. See, I’m in love with the fact that I’m finally a housewife (of sorts). So I intersperse some of my cleaning throughout the morning. This is when I’ll start a load of laundry, or maybe wash the dishes real quick, etc. A lot depends on what work I have going on. If I’m really busy, then housework gets pushed off until the afternoon. If I don’t, or I need more frequent breaks, then I do a little throughout the day.

11:30am: This is when I start my lunch/exercise break. Most of the time, I walk the 0.8 miles up to meet G at work and go to lunch. Sometimes we hit one of the local places near his work, sometimes if I’m unable to walk up there then he comes home and we have sandwiches here. Sometimes we use this time to run errands. I also hit the post office at this time to check mail. I usually walk back when we’re done, unless I need his car that afternoon and then I drive home.

1:15pm: Usually home by now and I either settle in to get a little bit more work done, or I start some of the housework that’s easier to do without Mr. B underfoot (sweeping and mopping the living room, for example).

3:15pm: Leave to go get Mr. B from after school care (he goes for an hour, he gets to hang out with friends and it’s a lot less chaotic than picking him up at school). Bring him home, get him his snack and start him on his homework. I have learned very quickly that there is little work I can do while this is happening. So, I tend to take care of the housework while he’s doing that. Which works out for me anyway, since I’m more alert first thing in the morning than I am in the afternoon.

4:30pm: Mr. B gets his playtime in and I start working on dinner prep, usually.

5:15pm: G gets home from work and he helps me with finishing up dinner.

5:30/6:00pm: Dinner time and cleanup.

7:00pm: This is when our quiet time starts. We have quiet music playing and during the week there is no more screen time happening. We either settle in on the sofa to read, do crafts, or we play a board game. It’s nice. And I think it’s helping all of us sleep better.

8:00pm: Bedtime prep starts for Mr. B. Bath, sleepytime tea, phone call to Mommy, story time in bed before lights out at 9pm. The quiet time above is making this go so much smoother than it used to.

9:00pm: This is when, theoretically, G and I would watch a movie or something. But often, we tend to just sit on the sofa and either keep reading or work on things online for a bit.

11:00pm: We go to bed. I usually read for a bit more before falling asleep, but for the most part I’m asleep by midnight.

I really do love this new routine. I find I have a wonderful work/life balance, something I was struggling to find for a few years now. Some days I will sit out on the front porch to work, and that usually leads to days where I’m chatting with some of our neighbors over the fence as they walk their dogs. Some days I take a longer walk back home from lunch and enjoy the quiet time to be with my thoughts. I enjoy working to keep the house looking nice and welcoming to family and friends. I love having time to cook a real meal, mostly from scratch (working hard to cut out processed foods here). I love the quiet time we have in the evenings together as a family.

To say I’m happy right now would be an understatement. ๐Ÿ™‚

Weekend update

Friday night we went out to dinner to celebrate my good news. ๐Ÿ™‚ A great dinner at a nice little place up the road.

Saturday I didn’t do a lot, just relaxed and watched TV while John worked out in the garage. I worked a bit on my sock, but mostly just lounged around.

Sunday I got a bit more done. I straightened my studio up since I have a lesson here this afternoon and I’ll be working in there a lot more starting later this week. We went out and did our usual Sunday trip of lunch, Borders, and errand running. Once we got back John mowed the lawn and I ran the vacuum. Then I finished my sock while we watched TV. See?

Today I have a couple of lesson plans to write up and then I have a lesson this afternoon. Tomorrow I have another lesson at the shop. Hopefully on Wednesday or Thursday I will be getting a box o’yarn (woo hoo) and will need to crochet my little fingers off to get the project turned around and back out the door. ๐Ÿ™‚ We’ll see. It’s exciting.

And yeah, I’m not giving real details yet on what’s going on, but yes, I got the gig. This is the type of gig where the boxes show up at the door with yarn. ๐Ÿ˜€ So, I’m going to be very very busy soon. Which is good.

Okay, I’m off to get work done!

End of week update

Thursday morning I woke up still a bit stiff from the near fall on Tuesday. As I was getting ready to start my work day, Debbie called and I found out that I wouldn’t have to go down there on Friday to do the photography. Which was a big weight off my mind as I was a bit worried about moving around and up and down and such if I was still a bit stiff. So I decided to take the day off.

I worked on a shawl (Blue Curacao from Doris Chan) and generally had a lazy day. No pics yet as I want to get it done first. ๐Ÿ™‚

Our A/C started giving us more problems (I had noticed that it was getting warm during the day but chalked it up to it being so blasted hot outside) on Thursday night. By bedtime it was still 82 degrees in the house. So John stayed home on Friday to start making calls to get it fixed.

We ended up on standby service on Friday with the company that installed it (since the unit itself still had a warranty). We kept the blinds shut, the ceiling fans on, and tried not to move too much. It was not a day for crocheting.

We ran out to get lunch (too hot to try to cook) and swung through Lowe’s because John needed some screws for the transmission of his bike. They had a 44″ ceiling fan with light kit on sale for $49 so we picked up it and a remote unit (we have the bedroom fan on remote and it’s awesome). Got home and John installed it in my studio for me. It’s awesome.

That afternoon we got the phone call that they weren’t able to fit us in, but had us scheduled for 8am on Saturday. Okay, we’d make that work. We grilled burgers outside and again just sat and tried not to move around too much.

I did, however, start on a birthday gift for Margarita. We were going to her birthday party the next day and I just felt like I should make her something. I kept going back to the Initial Design from the “Your Name and More in Filet Crochet” leaflet that I had. So I decided to do it. But not in thread. I wanted to make it in blue since it’s her favorite color, but I only had that in size 3 fashion thread. So I did it in that.

Started it around 7pm, worked until midnight and then went to bed. I got up this morning at 7 and after taking care of morning duties with the animals I got back to it. I finished it at 9:15am. I finished just as the A/C guy was finishing up (he arrived right at 8am). I was able to get it blocked and wrapped in plenty of time to leave.

Oh, and the A/C….we were low on coolant and the valve was busted. Thankfully, the valve (a $300 part) was covered under warranty. The coolant and service call weren’t, so that did cost us a bit over $300, but it could have been worse. And the house cooled down quickly and felt wonderful. We think the valve had been going out for a while because my studio is the coolest it’s been since I started wanting to work in there.

Okay, so here’s what you come to this blog for. The picture of the birthday gift. ๐Ÿ™‚

I made her open the gift before we left (it was an all day party and we left shortly after cake) so I could see if she liked it. ๐Ÿ™‚ She loved it. I’m glad. I know she tends to give away most of her doilies she makes, so it was nice to make something for her that she could keep. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tonight we’re just resting. Not sure the plans for tomorrow but I may try to finish the sock I’m working on. Tonight I think I’m going to see about finishing the shawl. Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

A Day in the Life….

Here you go. I kept track of this yesterday. It’s not nearly as glamorous as it seems being a crochet designer would be. Granted, I’m only working on one project right now. I’m sure if I was working on a few at one time (and really, I am, but it’s still at the point I can work on one for a period of time and then click back to the other one).

Anyway, here it is. I’m going to get back to work and hope to finish the wrap today so I can get pictures.

A day in the life of this crochet designer

4:30am: I hear John’s alarm go off and it takes me a minute to process that it’s his phone alarm and not a phone ringing (almost a year after leaving the supervisor gig and I still have issues with waking up to a phone ringing). Roll over and go back to sleep.

5:30am: Wake up to John kissing me goodbye. Mumble something along the lines of “Love you, drive careful, see you tonight” or some variant. Roll over and go back to sleep.

7:29am: Woke up and looked at my clock. Wow. Slept until 1 minute before the alarm. That’s pretty good. Turn off alarm, take out earplugs, roll out of bed. Bathroom pit stop, hair up in a ponytail, grab clothes and get dressed in something I won’t be too embarrassed to be seen outside in (today’s selection was a t-shirt and yoga pants).

7:35am: Open bedroom door and actually surprise one cat when I reach down to pet her. Said good morning to the two girls (the other cat came running up to the chair to be greeted) and then to Midnight (who was now at the gate whining).

7:38am: Open the gate, grab the dog before he runs into the living room, turn on the coffee pot on the way, put shoes and sunglasses on and leash up the dog to go out. Run into a neighbor from down the street and realize that while my clothes are okay for this time of the morning, I slipped on brown loafers instead of sneakers and I look kinda silly. Oh well, she’s moving anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

7:45am: Come back inside, go get Midnight’s food out of the garage (we are fighting ants in here, but for some reason they’re not out there) since I forgot to get it last night, feed Midnight, feed the girls, move Midnight’s bed out of the kitchen, turn on the news, turn on the laptop, open the blinds in the living room and turn on “kitty TV” in the front room (opening of the front blinds).

7:55am: Settle in and check email, Ravelry, blogs, etc. Chat for a bit with Dani. Decide what I want to work on for the day.

8:15am: Finally get a cup of coffee. I often either forget it’s ready or I’m too hot from taking the dog out (it was already in the mid 70s with high humidity when we went out). Delight in the fact that the air is still working.

8:30am: Decide I’m going to continue to work on the broomstick lace wrap instead of jumping to the tree skirt. Go over schedule for next couple of weeks and get things written in. Begin work, taking quick breaks every 20-30 minutes to give hands a rest.

10:30am: Get another cup of coffee, check to see that the trash got picked up, wander around for a bit, then get back to work. Fight off the design ideas that are creeping up and mentally file them away for later. Refuse to start anything new until these items are done.

11:30am: Get up, put the cup in the sink, get a glass of water, and try to figure out why the mail is late. Love on the cat who is following me from across the room. Get back to work. Grumble about not being able to crochet fast enough to keep up with the list of things I want to do.

12:30pm: I finally hear the mail truck, so I go out and pick up the mail. Nothing exciting, so I flip through it and then get back to work. Realize that in one of the early rows of this wrap I missed a loop and there’s a large loop of delicate rayon thread sticking out. Cuss. A lot. Try not to cry. Realize that it’s okay because this final product stays with me and I can hide it for pictures and maybe even sew it down so it won’t be a problem.

2:00pm: Take Midnight out for his middle of the day walk. Come back in and cool off. It’s already miserable here in Florida (by my standards). Climbing humidity and temps in the upper 80s. Think again about running away to a northern state. Realize that it wouldn’t work ’cause John hates the cold weather. Sigh and drink more ice water.

2:30pm: Deal with a dog who does not want to settle and just wants to whine (but doesn’t want to play). Deal with a jealous cat who wants to climb in my lap. Try to explain to both that I need to get back to work.

2:40pm: Realize the headache coming on is because I haven’t eaten lunch yet. Oops. Try to decide what to make. Finally decide on something and fix it. Get another row done while it cooks. Wonder why such an easy pattern and quick stitch is taking forever. Realize it’s because I picked a very slippery fiber to do it in. Consider making a HUGE sign for the studio that reminds me to K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Silly).

3:00pm: Take a quick break, eat lunch, check email, refill the water glass. Get back to working on the wrap. Count the repeats I’ve finished again. Wonder what time and space wormhole I’ve climbed in that’s not letting this move forward very much.

4:15pm: Deal with the dog who wonders where his Daddy is (John’s usually home around now, but he’s doing overtime this week and won’t be home until 8pm).

4:45pm: Rip out a row because I can’t count. Cuss. Redo row.

5:10pm: Feed the dog and start figuring out what to make for dinner. Clean the kitchen up. Get back to work on the wrap to get a little more done.

6:00pm: Decide to stop for today because my hands are really dry (and catching on everything) and I need to get a shower.

6:20pm: Get off phone with John and then go get my shower.

7:15pm: Update my blog so Mom doesn’t worry if I don’t post. ๐Ÿ™‚ Give info about this post happening tomorrow.

7:30pm: Take Midnight out for his last walk of the day. Come back in and start dinner so it’s ready when John gets home. Baked chicken and rice. Yummo.

8:15pm: John pulls in and we eat dinner. We chat about how his day went and then I clean up the kitchen from the dinner dishes.

9:00pm: Goof off online chatting with Kerry about a situation she’s going through and try to give her as much support as I can. Realize I’m not going to be doing any more crocheting tonight.

10:00pm: Get Dani on messenger so we can chat while watching Top Chef. Still chatting with Kerry, too, so I’m not getting any other crochet done.

11:00pm: Set up coffee for tomorrow morning, and take Midnight out to the front yard for last bathroom break before bed. I can’t put him to bed in the kitchen yet because John’s finishing laundry.

11:45pm: Watch Midnight put himself to bed because he was tired. John’s laundry finishes and we finally go to bed. Alarm set, earplugs in, and off to dreamland.

Working working working

The house is lovely and cool and makes me think we’d been having issues with the a/c being clogged for a few weeks now. I haven’t had to turn the air down to a comfortable temp (which I was having to do in the middle of the day to try to keep up with how hot it was). It’s wonderful.

Today’s work has been on the broomstick lace wrap. I decided the other day (with the input of John) that instead of making it all in one direction, I’m going half way this way and then will turn around, rejoin to the foundation chain, and do the same amount in the other direction. This should give a cool look to how the twirly parts look as it’s hanging on your shoulders. Plus, it’s a much better mind game to know I only have one more pattern repeat before I’m done with this half. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hey, sometimes it’s the mind games that keep me going.

I’m a little stiff today. Did an exercise video yesterday that nearly wiped me out. So I’m sitting correctly today and stretching every ten to twenty minutes. It’s making work a little slow going, but I’m getting it done.

I’m hoping to get done with this half and get started on the other half by the end of the day. John’s working late again tonight so when I break for dinner, then I’ll try to finish up the afghan I’m making. I’m on the first round of a three round edging. Hopefully I can get it done either tonight or tomorrow night.

I may post pictures tonight or tomorrow. Depends on what kind of progress I’ve made. Lunch time is over, time to get back to work!

Hard to crochet when it’s hot

Our a/c has been on the fritz over the last few days. I’d almost be willing to say a week or more simply by the difference I feel now. So not a lot of crocheting got done today. Really hard to work in wool when it’s 80 degrees in your house. That’s with a window open and a breeze coming through.

John got home from work tonight and blasted compressed air, water from the hose, and then about a cup of bleach down one of the PVC tubes coming off the unit in the garage. A whole pile of nasty looking brown algae ended up out by the door to the garage where the drain comes out. We apparently had a blockage.

It’s now been about 45 minutes since he fixed it and this is the coolest the house has been in probably a week or more.

Tomorrow should be a productive crocheting day! ๐Ÿ™‚

Finished socks

I thought I posted this yesterday, but I guess I didn’t. I was busy cleaning all day so my computer time was limited.

Anyway, I finished Mare’s socks….see:

I added a few things to the closet, but didn’t get a picture ’cause really, it’s not all that exciting. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, not a lot of other work done. I’ve been cleaning and that takes it out of me so I only did about 3 more rows on the baby dress sample. I’m hoping to get the last of my cleaning done by lunch time so I can crochet a bit more before people come over tonight. Which means I need to get off the computer! Later!

Delay in pattern coming

So I was going to have a pattern to post tonight for sale. That has been delayed for a multitude of reasons (ah, the joys of working from home):

1. Midnight wouldn’t eat this morning. At all. Not a bit, so I was worried about that and had to keep getting up and dealing with trying to get him to eat.

2. I got the item finished and felted but part of it needs to go longer.

3. John stayed home and we went to lunch and ran a couple of errands.

4. We got home and Midnight had gotten sick a bit on his blankets.

5. Our washing machine is now tied up with washing comforters and blankets.

6. It’s about to storm here so I’m not about to shove my hands under water to hand felt it.

Midnight’s better now…he ate dinner okay. I’m holding off his pills tonight (he didn’t get them at breakfast either) so his stomach can settle down.

Well, I better get off of here ’cause the storm is bearing down. Hopefully tomorrow morning I can finish felting part of the design and I can have it up here. ๐Ÿ™‚

Stitching away

This week (already) has been one of those that proves to me how hard designers work. Just to get submission proposals put together is a full time job. I just finished doing all the crocheting for one (#128 on my spreadsheet) and it’s blocking. I’ve done all the math (ew, hard….really, I should have paid more attention in school) and have the pattern mostly written. Now I’m getting ready to work on the next idea (#129 on my spreadsheet). I’m hoping to finish the sample swatch today.

Tomorrow will be all computer work. I need to sit down with the drawing program and get the charts made for these. I also need to knock out the smaller one I want to get out with this run to the Post Office.

So yeah, busy busy days. I did manage to run the self-cleaning cycle on the oven (our temps dropped today, so it was a good day to do it) and get the bed made and my laundry put away. I am able to intersperse a bit of housework in between all my work crochet.

I also got all my design files backed up onto CD. The one thing that worries me is losing all my notes and designs. So John gave me one of his CDs so I could back all my files up onto it. The ultimate thing will be once John gets a backup for our server ’cause then I can toss it all on there (offline storage, no chance of hackers getting to it). But in the meantime, the important files and pictures and such are all on a CD now.

Well, I need to get this sample done. I’d like to be able to end “work” around 5:30 or so and try to finish the sock I’ve been working on. At some point I need to get the swatches caught up, but for right now, this takes the priority spot. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a good day!

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