Monday, April 28, 2008

Preemie Hats

The babies just keep on coming at my workplace. I made these little preemie hats for the newborn twin daughters of my co-worker. He and his wife recently welcomed identical twin girls, Grace and Hope, weighing in at 2 and 2 1/2 pounds. They are facing some medical challenges that come with premature birth. I hope these hats will keep them warm and help them grow.

As I was stuffing these hats in my coworkers mailbox, I learned of another impending birth at work. Fortunately, I have until November to get it done. 5 births last year, 3 so far this year . . . the daycare is full!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Art Night and Other Happenings

Event number 2 of my volunteer activities, Middle School Art Night, was Friday. I schlepped in my knitted jewelry and some kits and set up a lovely display, which, regretfully, I do not have a picture of. I met a few parents and chatted with co-workers, but it was not the big event I though it would be. It was only open to the school community and not the general public. It was not meant to be a sale, just promotional,which I knew, but in chatting with people, I realized that while I was promoting my business, I was not effectively promoting sales. I haven't got any art fairs lined up for the near future, and I'd better get working!

Event number 3, the 2nd grade camping retreat is at the end of this week, and I'm looking forward to it. I hope the weather will be good. It was in the 70's this week, but they are forecasting snow for tomorrow. Then again, that's no reason why it shouldn't be sunny and beautiful again by Thursday. Ah, Wisconsin! You've got to love it.

DH and I enjoyed a play and dinner out with friends last night. Our friends will not be able to join me at my little birthday soiree, but they surprised me with an early birthday card and a donation to my heifer project scheme. I feel certain that I shall raise enough for a sheep,and maybe even a fiber basket,and that's exciting. Perhaps I should make a little sheep poster and glue on cotton balls with each donation, as we get closer to our goal.

I realize that I'm blogging so that I can put off writing my final paper for my grad school class. I'm also ignoring the idea of going in to work and finishing the movie that I was making for the music teacher. . . . Unfortunately, I don't much more to say, so I'll just have to stop writing so that I can buckle down and write.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mittens in May

My birthday is coming up in just a few weeks. It is one of those nasty birthdays ending in a zero, and I've been dreading it for the last 6 months. I finally decided I have to both celebrate it and do something for a cause so that I don’t feel sorry for myself. I therefore proposed to friends and family that we pay tribute to my birthday and my favorite charities – My school's Mitten Tree and the Heifer Project. Here's the deal: Mitten Tree --knitting friends may pledge to knit a hat or mittens, (to be completed by December) for the school mitten tree, with the goal of accumulating 1 hat for every year of my life –as it is a significantly large number, group co-operation is needed, and they had better start now.
Heifer project --Yes, it's a bit tacky to ask for money, but I'm asking non-knitting friends to give a buck or two for a ewe. Put a few bucks in a birthday card and I will donate the total proceeds to the Heifer project. I hope to collect enough for a sheep or a fiber basket. I'm also having a Knitter's Journey Jewelry sale party at my house, once again donating the profits to Heifer. It does not help me feel anyyounger, but it does help me feel better. A few glasses of wine with my birthday cake may help as well.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Back at Work

Well, Paris was a dream. I've been back to work for two weeks already and loving it.
Everyone at work enjoyed the blog posts, and I have sent my friend Margaret off to enjoy a 3 week stay in Paris with a recommendation to dine at Cafe Breteuil. My husband has also been talking up the trip, and he is passing on his leftover euros and subway tickets to a friend at his workplace.

Stop me if I've said this before, but I really do love my job and the children. While I'm not a teacher but a staff person, I do have a teaching degree, and I try to make teaching opportunities happen whenever I can. Most of these activities are extracurricular(read unpaid), but my time is freely given. In the first 24 hours that I was back at work from Spring break, I offered or was asked to help out with 4 such activities. First, I volunteered my services to demonstrate knitting and jewelry making at Middle School Art Night. Next, the second grade team asked if I would return to their camping retreat to teach the beaded keychain that I did with the students last year, then the science teacher told me that she would love it if I could teach the craft activity that I had suggested to her as an activity for students to do for a Mother's day gift, and finally, because my boss is out on a two week medical leave, the Brownie moms asked if I could pinch hit for my boss and teach digital scrap booking to the 3rd grade troop. I said yes, yes, yes, yes! Laughing all the way, because it is so much fun!

I already taught the digital scrap booking class (photostory.) We had 27 girls, 19 computers, 3 moms and me. In one hour and 1/2 everyone made a mini-movie and had burned it to CD to take home. I could tell it was a great success because I heard the girls talking about it the next day, and 2 girls asked me follow up questions. The Brownie Moms were very grateful, and I received a pack of Thanks A lot cookies and a Computer Badge as compensation. It was great, and I'm looking forward to the next event.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Knitter in Paris - Day 7 (Le Fin)

Our last day in Paris. I walked with my friend over to Les Invalides to visit the Musee de l'Armee and Napoleon's Tomb. I got a couple of cool pictures of knight's armour that I will use for my Days of Knights summer school class. My friend then left to go to his business meeting, and we promised we would try to see each other again before another 20 years go by.

My husband and I then did some last minute souvenir shopping, but did not buy much. I actually found a very nice yarn shop, Le Droguerie, right next to Les Halles and St. Eustache church. It was very busy. They carry only their own line of hand dyed yarns, but in just about every fiber and color. The shop had many garments of their own design on display. Most were of simple construction, but with unique embellishments of ribbons, buttons, beads, or felt appliques that they sold in the store. It was tempting, but I didn't know what I wanted, and you had to request help to buy anything. It was beyond my patience and my limited french to wait for an available clerk. I admired and left with all my Euros still in my pocket.

That evening we had another rendezvous--this time with my step-daughter's best friend from grade school who has been living in Paris for the last 8 years. We had a great time meeting her and her fiancee, and loved the restaurant that she recommended. It was a gourmet affair, typiquement francais, as you can see from my husband's enjoyment of his "gambas." Also very french, was the cute little chien you see here. He trotted into the restaurant like he owned the place, and the staff greeted him warmly. As he passed our table, he stole my state fair blue ribbon winning mittens out of my coat pocket, and tried to turn them into his appetizer! Fortunately, he was bi-lingual and understood No! No! No!(Non! Non! Non!)