Books I'm reading now....a little sexy stuff mixed in.

I've discovered a good "steamy" romance author who writes about characters who knit! Heidi Betts has written several good "chick-lit/sexy" romance novels, and I just finished Tangled Up in Love. This book was a quick, fun, lighthearted read, and (gasp!) had some really good sex scenes. Now most non-knitter's might picture little old ladies when they think of knitting or even if they're young knitters, they tend to think straight-laced/ they'd never be "that" kind of girl. But hey, I would venture to say a lot of us crafter's in general like to keep it clean in daily life, but don't mind getting a little kinky between the sheets with our significant other. I know my husband is turned on when I knit in my bra and panties in bed...OK I don't have to be knitting let's face it, men don't care. LOL

Anyways, I like how Heidi Betts worked in "real" women who have regular jobs, friends, family, etc...and a love for knitting. The series revolves around the same knitting circle of women and their love interests. Tangled Up in Love features a woman newspaper columnist who is "dueling" with another columnist, who happens to be a hunky man. They challenge each other to all kinds of crazy stunts in attempts to outwit the other, and she ends up challenging him to learn to knit which she believes he'll never manage. He knows he's in over his head, but determined to prove her wrong. Of course I'm not giving anything away when I say it's a happy ending, and the subsequent match-up of the pair is amusing and like I said, very sexy stuff.

Here are a few of Heidi Betts' books. These are worth checking out for a little "winter warm-up" reading. Even good if you're snowed in with your "honey" on hand for re-enacting some of the steamy sections later. (wink-wink) OK I'll stop now...

Tangled Up In LoveLoves Me, Loves Me KnotKnock Me for a Loop

I definitely plan to pick up the other 2 books in the series and look forward to more from Ms. Betts!


Is there a Hoarding Crafters show yet?

It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff
If TLC, Bravo, or any of those cable networks with hoarding shows decided to do one just for crafter's, I could be the lead story...seriously, this is a problem in my life. Even though most of my stuff is currently in boxes due to an attempted house sale earlier this year (didn't happen, stuff stayed in boxes for 6 months until I recently started re-introducing my crap to the house or purging it where possible), I know that at least 50% of it is stuff I will never use. Here's my dirty little secret: I just love buying and having the stuff.

Like my favorite organizing expert Peter Walsh says, "It IS all too much." I mean really, how many rolls of Steam-a-Seam can one own when you haven't used it in 3 years? I have got to get this craft clutter under control. I know it is hindering my creativity, and ability to even want to spend time in my craft space at all. With so much "stuff" around me, it is too difficult to concentrate on the project at hand. I get sucked into moving this to make room for that, or pick up another UFO and tinker on it, completely missing the point of coming down to finish another UFO as I had intended. It is all very frustrating, and I am determined to fix it as best as I can by first purging what I know I don't use or need, or ask myself what I was thinking when I bought the item. Luckily there is always another crafter on Freecycle or even at a Goodwill store, with Crafter's ADD like me who is only too happy to take my "junk" and turn it into their treasure. I will choose not to think about all of the stuff they probably have piled in their rooms...I'd probably want to work out a trade!


Put me in the "loomy" bin, I've found another craft!

About 3 weeks ago I stumbled across a group in Ravelry called Loom Knitting. My curiosity was peaked, and I clicked..the rest is history. I saw the projects people had completed, the testimonies of how simple an alternative this was to traditional knitting with needles, and I sprinted to my local Joann Fabrics to purchase (with a 50% off coupon!) my first loom. Now, a little background here: I enjoy knitting with needles, but after about 30-60 minutes of it, my fingers would ache and I had to put it down. I think it may be a slight form of arthritis, but not worrisome enough for me to actually go and get checked out by a doctor. I mean, I enjoy knitting, but I am willing to not do it vs. worry whether my fingers are going to end up aching all day from it. In any case, one of the comments that stood out to me when reading more about loom knitting, was the fact that it was a good alternative for people with arthritis or joint pain.

Now if I had actually read a book or other blogs before running out and buying my first loom (a sock loom, compact, and I have always wanted to learn to knit socks) I would have started with the easier Knifty Knitter round looms and made a baby hat or something simple like that as a first project. But no, I decided I wanted to try and make socks, and there on the shelf was a sock loom. Perfect right? Well, maybe if this was my 3rd or 4th project. Problem is, the loom I bought, while a good one, is probably not the best choice as a first project that I want to complete quickly, if only for the sense of satisfaction at having completed something fast. But no, I had to go and buy the loom with the "finer" prongs, and sock thread, which means I am only 3 inches into the leg of the sock and it's been 3 weeks! And I have to make 2 of these things unless I want to "show off" one sock and one bare foot......aaarrrgh..why do I do these things to myself? It's not like I don't already have about 20 UFOs going. It's not like I don't have about 100 other things to do around this house, I had to go and start yet another craft like a crazy person, like someone with ADD....oh yeah, I DO have my own self-diagnosed form of Crafter's ADD....that's my excuse/story and I'm sticking to it. Just like I'll stick to completing these darned socks if it kills me...and it just might at the rate I'm going! Pray for me people.....pray for me.

Here are a few good enabler sites/blogs I've found if you're interested in learning more about loom knitting:

Purling Sprite blog of Isela Phelps, author of the Loom Knitting Primer. I can't recommend this book or her blog enough. Check out the book here:

Loom Knitting Primer: A Beginner's Guide to Knitting on a Loom, with over 30 Fun Projects

Loom Knitting blog

Loom Knit pattern site of Isela Phelps

Knifty Knitter looms by Provo Craft


Where the heck has the time gone?

Sometimes you only have a few minutes to do anything: get dressed, make a meal, pee, clean the bathroom, work on a craft....and it's all you can do to catch your breath and figure out what's next on the to-do list or decide what you really want to do is sit down with a bowl of ice cream and the remote control in hand to catch up on your Tivo'd shows.

The last few months have been a constant stream of that kind of time availability - a few minutes here, a few there, but no "real" time to sit and make true progress on anything, including blogging. Work has been absolutely crazy, and the only thing that's helping me slow down is the fact that my advancing pregnancy is forcing me to take it easy. Between work and family, it's all I can do to get up, shower, get dressed, and drag my behind around to where I need to be each day.

Lucky for me, things DO seem to be "normalizing" and I am getting back into a groove where I can take some time and do a few things for myself. Don't you love that? When you find yourself (alone) walking the aisles at Target and just being able to leisurely browse the cute and kitschy stuff they have...vs. making a mad dash in for some diapers and trash bags while wrestling with your toddler for control of the shopping cart? True Mommy Bliss...
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