Friday, April 28, 2017

Rushing!

We left off our Spring Break Story where Chief was in DC, Captain was home, Chickee and I went to Florida with my Dad and then we rushed home...

We rushed home because Chickee had PROM to get to!

 My girl's first prom! 


Can we just take a moment to appreciate the hair? LOL 
How is she so grown up already? 

I have a really big week next week. I'm not sure if I'll have time to post because I'll be off... taping the next season of Knit and Crochet Now! Stay tuned! 


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

While the cats are away...

Chickee and I were away while Chief was in DC. Captain stayed home. Chickee and I went to Daytona Beach with my Dad. Lots of quality time with my Dad, which we haven't had for a long time!


 We spent Easter Sunday together.
 Praise Jesus, the condo had a piano! I knew Chickee couldn't go a whole week without playing piano. It wasn't perfectly in tune but close enough that random guests offered her tips for playing! :)

We spent a Magical Day at Epcot! Dad hadn't been in more than 20 years and Chickee has been several times but loves it so much that she knows the park inside and out. We ate pastries in France, egg rolls in China, beef and potatoes in Canada. We rode rides, saw acrobats and drums... all in one day.
Here we are at Chickee's favorite Disney restaurant Teppen Edo, the Japanese grill. It was a ton of fun squeezed into one day.
 The Ponce Inlet lighthouse.
A few days running on the beach and tons of lounging and reading. I even got about 20 minutes of crochet done. Snicker.

Friday's post... why we rushed back home to Ohio! (Don't worry)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Vacation Re-cap

Last week was a super busy week for us! It was spring break for the kids. Chief went with his 8th grade classmates to Washington, DC. They had a great time squeezing in as much as humanly possible. I followed along with him by text and stalking him through the Find Friends app on our phones.

Chief is on the far right. What a great kid. I just love that guy.

Wednesday I'll reveal where Chickee and I were all week.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Deadlines!

 Except while on vacation! Still, crochet deadlines won't wait. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Runner Spotlight

My Running group on Facebook featured me for the Spotlight recently so I thought I'd share:
SPOTLIGHT ON ELLEN GORMLEY!
1. Give us the basics: Age? Married? Kids? Job? Pets?
I’m married, 44 with a daughter, 15, and a son, 14. I’m in between jobs and I still am a freelance crochet author/designer. I have two cats, a guinea pig, and 7 chickens. 

2. How did you get involved in Sub 30? (Our club)
I can’t remember! It was probably about 4-5 years ago. 

3. How long have you been running?
I began running almost 5 years ago. By some divine providence both kids had soccer practice at the same time at the same field and there was a paved trail around the park. I began walking during practice but quickly got bored so I started running… running the flat parts, walking the hills. Running during the parts that were in plain view and walking the parts hidden in the trees. 

4. How has running changed you?
Running has changed how I view myself. Running is something that I make happen, it doesn’t just happen to me. I make my life happen. My family is proud of my running. I’m proud that my kids see me working hard to take care of myself. 

5. Do you have a specialty/specific interest? What's "your thing"? (roads, 
trails. I’m really too klutzy for obstacles. I’d still be “in” for a trail run if friends are going. 

6. What distance do you prefer, and would you like share your PR? 
I like the 10K distance but I’m most proud of my 10 Half Marathons. My PR is from my first HM (when I was too na├»ve to understand how awesome I did!) 2:20. My 5K is from a few years ago 29:46, 10K is 1:02. I’d really love to go sub-60 in a 10K one day! 

7. Do you follow a training plan created by someone else or do you make your own or do you not follow a plan at all? 
My Half PR came after following the Another Mother Runner Prove It training plan. I haven’t been loyal to a training plan since, which probably explains my lack of PRs since then. 

8. Guilty pleasure after a long run/workout?
After a long run or race I really crave a BIG BURGER. Yum. 

9. Coolest place you ever ran? (bonus points if you can add a picture) 
I ran while on work/vacation in Galway, Ireland! On my run I learned that it’s really difficult to cross the road at a roundabout where the traffic doesn’t stop and is going the opposite direction from my instincts. 

10. Who/ What inspires you? 
I am inspired by sunshine, even if it’s cold. I’m inspired by music and it’s easier to get out the door if I turn on the music while I’m getting laced up. Volunteers and spectators at races are really helpful in addition to a well-placed photographer to make me put more spring in my stride.
 
11. When not running, what is your favorite thing to do? 
If I’m not running or driving the kids around then I’m crocheting and designing crochet projects. I wish I had more time for reading and cooking. 

12. Tell us something about you that we don’t already know. 
Some of you already know that I’m on the tv show, Knit and Crochet Now, which airs on PBS. We’ll be filming again in May.




Monday, April 17, 2017

My Mountain Man

Hopefully when you are reading this, spring will be in full swing! I'm writing ahead to post when I need a day off. :) Also, sometimes I procrasti-blog.  I write posts ahead when I should be doing other things and then I save them on days when I'm actually busy.

So Tom is in training too. He has had a bucket list wish to climb Mt. Rainier for as long as I can remember. For some reason (milestone birthday?) he feels that THIS is the year. He's been working out with a personal trainer, shifting our diets as much as we can and adding weekly hikes, strength training and cardio to his usual biking.

We actually have a county park within walking distance of the house. In early March I went with him on his hike through the rolling hills and trails of the park. The 5 mile hike was easy for me but much more difficult for him since he carries a weighted backpack to simulate all the gear and water he will have to carry on his expedition. He usually hikes 6-8 miles but the snow made the hills muddy and gross so we cut that day short. His trip is scheduled for mid summer.

Fitness doesn't have to be running, treadmills or biking. Hiking, walking, even unconventional activities like Frisbee or hula-hooping all count!

Do you have a bucket list fitness or well-being type goal? Is THIS your year? Did your heart rate speed up just hearing this question? Perhaps you haven't actually put your goal on the list yet! Whisper it, then write it down.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Breaking in: A question



Let's share with the class!  When one person has a question, it's usually the same question that many others have!  Here's an exchange between me and S.

S writes:

I just started following your blog today and I just wanted to let you know that is is very inspiring. My grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was five years old and I've been crocheting ever since. I graduated from a college a year ago and have kind of found myself at a crossroads, wondering what's next and what do I really want to do. I had no idea that there were opportunities to turn crochet into a possible career until I started investigating a few months ago! Right now I'm in the process of becoming a CGOA member. If you have time, please tell me how you came to be a crochet designer and offer any basic tips for a girl just breaking into the field. Are there any other good blogs out there that I should follow? I would be really grateful. 
My reply: 
Thank you for your interest in becoming a crochet professional.  There is a great deal of competition among aspiring crochet designers.  To figure out if you are suited to the profession, I suggest you read the posts on my  blog that are labeled, "Become a Designer".

Joining the CGOA is definitely the right first step.  Read, study, write patterns, get people to test them for you. After you have done a good deal of research and established your goals, you can apply for Associate Status as a CGOA crochet professional.

Thanks so much for reading my blog! I look forward to seeing how you develop your career.

S writes again:
Thanks for your response. I have been crocheting a lot lately and have been trying out more advanced patterns. I'm currently working on a shrug for my mother. I'm just having a hard time getting started! It's a pattern by (designers name withheld) published by (publication name withheld) and the way the pattern is worded by this publisher is really confusing to me. I've tried looking for the designer on sites like ravelry.com to see if I can ask for help but no success there. Any pointers?

Here's where it gets tricky....
I really don't have the time to help S with a pattern by another designer, but if she wants to be a designer, she has the perfect opportunity to practice her problem-solving and creativity skills!
so, I wrote back: 

If you are having a hard time following a pattern, perhaps you should allow your improvising spirit of a designer to take over and find a solution.  As designers, we constantly solve problems... how to make it work. Challenge yourself and see if you have the creative spirit to get it done.

What would you have said?


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Do I Dare?


I hate that we live in a world, where on a bright Saturday morning, I have to make a decision whether or not I dare to run alone on a trail. There it is, the trail entrance in a busy park. Tempting me. I think, how many people have I seen in the park? What kind of people? What are the odds of a bad person being on the trail? What are the odds that a bad person would be up to no good at this time of day? Is it well-lit? This time of year, I can still see through the trees pretty well... I can turn off my music so that I can hear. What does my gut say today? Do I dare? Do these same questions go through the minds of male runners?


Yes, today it seems the odds are in my favor. You can't let fear rule your life but reality is what it is. Be smart.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

These Working Hands

Occasionally a product comes along that surprises me. There are a few things in life that strike me as, "totally worth the price". My prescription sunglasses for example, awesome. I love them. Totally worth the money I spent on them. It's really nice though when that happens and the sticker price doesn't require you to take out a loan.

I bought O'Keefe's Working Hands at the drug store because it was an obviously un-girly package and Chief's hands also get really chapped and I thought he would be willing to use this. (He is)

Sometimes I am reminded that crochet is an art that takes its toll on the hands. Working with fiber and paper seems to dry out my hands. Add in being a mom and constantly washing my hands, cooking, cleaning, washing my hands again... many times lotion burns.

I was surprised at how much I love Working Hands Lotion. It's unscented, it didn't burn my hands, it absorbed quickly and the NEXT day, after using it one time, I still felt like it had made an improvement in my skin.

*I was not paid for this endorsement, I just really liked it and thought you might like it too.



Friday, April 7, 2017

Knit and Crochet Now Update!

Robyn Chachula asked me a few fun questions for the Knit and Crochet Now update. Since Robyn has been a dear friend for so long I knew chatting with her would be fun! Here's the result of that quirky conversation. Find out why not making the Junior year volleyball team was a good thing. Find out my deepest thoughts about fringe. Also, read exactly how I started running.



I'm trying to embrace my new "reader" glasses. Channeling my inner librarian? School teacher? Editor?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

My Car Talks to Me

And it's telling me to RUN.
It figures. I've been super productive with my 40 designs in 40 days challenge (getting closer to on-goal again). I've made good progress toward other crochet project goals but I haven't had time to run.  It seems like I can never create a balance of both. When I'm productive with one, the other suffers. Tomorrow I will run. I will run long on Saturday and home to create some sort of balance. Hopefully my crochet productivity won't lag in the process.

I do know that when I am productive, I feel better about myself and feel more optimism than when I am stuck. That is why I try hard to give myself credit for the things I DO, and not beat myself up for the things I didn't get to yet.

Maybe that is why I love the final edging on crochet projects so much! I get to fasten off and complete a project! That when FO stands for 'Fasten off' and not, uh... go away... FO. heehee

Monday, April 3, 2017

Show Up!


Show up. If you show up on Monday the rest of the week feels doable. It's just like making your bed in the morning. Theories say that making your bed in the morning is not important because of having a neat room. It's important because the first thing you do in the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. Making your bed is symbolic of starting the day with accomplishment. Whatever happens after that, they day is not a total loss because at least you made your bed. ;)

Let's show up today, shall we? For me, I'm going to work on the Yarn Trends Newsletter that I write for Annie's, I'm going to work on the family budget, I'm going to run at least 30 minutes, I'm going to check in with a friend who had surgery, and then I'll crochet on the secret project, and pick up groceries that I ordered last night. And yep, I made my bed.

How are you showing up today?