Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Eleanor Roosevelt was a Cool Lady


I stumbled across a great book a few weeks ago and want to share it with the beings of the internet, whomever you may be.

I've been participating in some leadership seminars at work. Once of the recommendations that I decided to act on is to read a biography of a leader. Real-life examples are usually helpful. I thought about various historical occasions - the Revolution, the Civil War, the Roman Empire... and settled on WWII. It' s fairly recent and I didn' t actually know that much about it - my high school history teacher ran out of time and had to cover it very quickly. And, I'll be honest, I didn't pay that much attention in history class - I've always been a math/science girl. :)

So, I went to the biography area of the Fremont Library and started looking for biographies of FDR. I caught sight of a book in the adjoining section - Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way by Robin Gerber. Hmm... it was about leadership and it covers the WWI era. I took a quick glance and decided to check it out.

It's fantastic. I never knew how amazing Eleanor was. She's done so much for women's rights, civil rights, rights of the poor. She didn't have a position of authority, was not elected to any office. Didn't impede her in the least. She knew how to influence people, network, listen, show compassion and understanding... all the things that a great leader needs to do.

The book itself is very well written. Stories from Eleanor's life, sprinkled with leadership advice and examples from other women leaders showing the same leadership behavior. Makes it not your typical biography and yet not your typical leadership book.

I highly recommend this book to all aspiring woman leaders and anyone interested in history or leadership.

Digitally yours,
Zen

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Baby Hats!

Several of my coworkers are expecting babies - either them directly or their wives. So I decided that this weekend is baby hat weekend and I've made good progress so far:

I used the following patterns, with my own modifications:
  • (upper left) Dot Matthew's Lil' Darlin' Baby Hat
  • (upper right) sweaterbabe.com's Crochet Pixie Hat
  • (lower right) Haakpoes' Noodle Baby Hat
  • (middle) one that I don't remember what pattern I started with, but it didn't work out well, so I improvised
  • (lower left) and one that I made up as I went along
I also discovered that a small ball I have is 15.5 inches in circumference. According to a size chart I found online (thanks, Bev and friends!), that's the same size as a 3-6 month old. I think that's a good size to aim for, since some babies may be born bigger than average - my parents tell me I went straight into 3-6 month clothing when I was born. And if the baby is average or a little smaller, they can still grow into it. Since I don't have much experience with babies myself, it's nice to have a 'model' to use as a santity check. And my cats weren't thrilled with the idea of modeling for me.















Do you have a good baby hat pattern to recommend? Please post a comment with a link. I have a large department, so I know there will be more babies on the way.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sometimes Unraveling is a GOOD thing

I remember times when I felt like things were unraveling and I stressed me out. Now, I've discovered the fun of unraveling on purpose! Thanks to my southern friend, I'm addicted to pulling apart sweaters. Plus, it's so earth friendly, since it recycles yarn without additional chemical processing.

My husband and I went on a treasure hunt to Goodwill (he'll never say no to that). Before I left, I reviewed Neauveau's tutorial on recycling yarn (http://www.recycleyarn.com/), so I felt confident that I'd be able to find a sweater with good seams. If you're interested in unraveling, I HIGHLY recommend reading her tutorial. I know it saved me a ton of disappointment, since I knew what sweaters to pass on. Thanks to Neauveau (ravelry name) for putting this together!

This is the first sweater I unraveled. It's from The Limited - 53% acrylic, 20% wool, 16% nylon, and 11% alpaca- and was $5.


Is it sad that I spend most of my Saturday doing this? I was thrilled when I finished unraveling a sleeve and had a good sized ball of yarn. Here's the unraveled sleeve next to the yet-to-be-unraveled sleeve (and a deck of cards for size reference).


And, now, it's lots of fun yarn for me to use.


And all for only $5! Woo-hoo.

Next, on to two 100% cotton sweaters I also picked up. The green one from Arizona was also $5. The blue one from DKNY was only $1.50 and a men's XXL - score!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bad Blogger!

I know, I know. I'm such a bad blogger. I had this great vision of the awesome blog I would create and all the followers that I'd get. So, I created the blog (back in Feb) and had two great posts (imho). Then, I didn't post again until June. June! How'd it get to be June already? I even got a comment on my blog, but just figured out now that I need to publish it. Maybe I should change that setting...

But, I'm back. And I will be a better blogger. I will be a better blogger. I will be a better blogger. Where's a chalkboard when I need one?

I will post about my crochet projects, including a few designs! I've started getting design inspiration as I wake up - especially waking up from a nap. Hmm, I guess naps are good for the brain. Gets those creative juices flowing.

....think I just ran out of mental yarn, so it much be time to grab a new skein. See you later, peoples of the internets!

Friday, February 27, 2009

I Did It In Public!

Yesterday, I did it in public. It's a way to promote the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art festival and the wonderful crafts that are showcased there. (for more info, check out fiberandfolk.com).

I was surprised about how much fun I had. It was invigorating to be around other crafty people working on their craft. There were people knitting and crocheting, of course. But, also, rug hooking, which was more beautiful than I would have expected. One woman shared some of her experience with spinning. She was working on a lapghan for a friend, with yarn that she made from the sheddings of a Burmese mountain dog (if I remember correctly). Now, I want to learn how to spin. I think my Maine Coon's fur would make fantastic yarn. Couldn't think of a better source (maybe my other cat). Not that I'm biased. Here, this is my Addy, isn't he cute?


Wouldn't his fur make a great sweater? At least, it would make me feel better about the sheddings all over the house. My husband and I have joked about making another cat from all the fur, but I didn't think it was possible until now. What do you think? An amigurumi cat made with cat fur yar?

I can't wait to Do It In Public! again.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Expanding My Blogging Lungs

Here it is. My blog.

whoopie!

I long debated whether or not to create a blog. What would I write about? Would anyone actually read it? What would they think? I hope the first person to find this will leave a comment. I'd like to know how long it takes for someone to find it and read this post. Leave a comment, won't you? At least to say 'Hi'?

As I thought about my first post, an image came to mind. A baby taking it's first breath. It's not trying to use that breath to sing an opera or to address a nation. It's just trying to expand it's lungs. After all, it hasn't used them yet. It needs to expand it's lungs before it can really breathe. So, this post is how I will expand my blogging lungs. Soon, I'll be breathing with the best of them.

Breathe with me now... in through the nose... out through the internet...