Girl Scout Cookies VS. SNOW!!

Buy Girl Scout Cookies!

Buy Girl Scout Cookies!

Hey everyone! In case you didn’t know it, today is the first day of the Girl Scout 2017 cookie sale! This year, we’re celebrating 100 years of Girl Scouts selling your favorite winter treat! We’ve got Thin Mints, Samoas/Caramel Delights, Trefoils/Shortbread, and so much more!!! And we even have a new cookie – the Girl Scout S’mores cookie! And let me tell you, that’s a tasty cookie! (Yes, as cookie mom, I do get to try the product :D)

 

Buy Girl Scout Cookies!

Haven’t you bought your Girl Scout cookies yet?!

Princess and Pixie are both selling cookies this year! If you would like to buy cookies from them and support their troops, go to their cookie sales websites.

To order cookies from Princess, visit here: Buy cookies from Princess!

To order cookies from Pixie, visit here: Buy cookies from Pixie!

Be sure to check out their art and videos that they’ve posted on their cookie sales pages. You can see on Pixie’s page just how much snow we’re getting right now!

Thank you! I’m going to get back to work on the webcomic. I know I’m way behind on publishing a new one, but the next comic should be up soon!

ACW Episode 299 – The Apples and the Tree

Cynical Woman webcomic!

Click on the image to make it bigger!

Sooooooooo… I’m a little behind schedule.

My apologies for the delay in getting this episode posted to the web. The first month of the school year has been hectic to say the least. So far, we’ve had 6 weeks of cross country practice, two 5K races, an all-day service project at a local convent (yes, I spent a day at a convent; the sisters were very nice), a Girl Scout recruitment meeting, a Girl Scout troop meeting, and Girl Scout service unit meeting, two sick kids, one sick mom, and one Hubster out of town on a business trip. Plus the usual homework, housework, and other daily chores.

Did I mention I crocheted seven Pokemon this month for my Girl Scout troop to hunt for in my yard?

So, we’ve been busy. I am trying to get back to a schedule where I work for at least an hour every day on the webcomic, but it’s a bit tough to do during cross country season. Practice is four days a week, for two and a half hours, after school. That doesn’t leave us much time in the evenings to get stuff done. And with the start of the school year, my mornings are taken up with Girl Scout work (which has to be done) and exercise (which desperately needs to be done). If I’m lucky, I find a bit of time to wash and fold the laundry and clean the dishes.

And I tell you all of this as a way of explaining that yes, I am going through a sort of mid-life crisis in real life right now. Well, I wouldn’t really call it a crisis. But I have been looking back a lot to the days when I was younger and my time was my own to do with as I pleased. And yes, it’s still my time to do with as I please, but how I choose to spend it now is vastly different from how I used to spend it. I no longer spend my time on me. I spend it on my kids, on my friends, on volunteer work. And I don’t think that’s a bad choice. Just a very, very busy one.

Anyway, enough chit-chat. I’m posting this now and getting back to work on the next episode. Hopefully episode 300 will be up within a week! If not, you know what’s going on. Life, that’s what’s going on 🙂

ACW 296 – What was the future supposed to be?

Cynical Woman!

Click on the image to see it full-sized!

Did you ever have a clear idea of what the future was supposed to be like? I never did, to be honest. I can’t think about the future and say where I’ll be in five years, or even in one year. I’ve never been able to do that. I can make plans, sure. I make plans all the time. But I have learned from hard experience that nothing ever goes the way I plan it.

So over the years, I’ve tried to learn to just roll with whatever happens. As a teen, I never could have imagined myself serving in the military, but I did – 11 years in the Army Reserves. As a college student, I couldn’t see myself married with kids, and yet Hubster and I celebrated our twenty-third wedding anniversary last June, with our kids in attendance. And had anyone ever suggested that I would become a Girl Scout troop leader and cookie mom, I would have laughed in their face. Yet now I am gearing up for my fifth year as troop leader and my seventh year as cookie mom.

I never had any idea what I was going to do with my life. I had no plans for what kind of career I’d have, where I’d live, what I’d do. And yet somehow, it all turned out pretty well. I still have no clear idea of where I’m going with my life, beyond the fact that I want to do a lot of drawing and crafting and take care of Hubster and the kids. And I think that’s okay. I think if I’d ever had a plan, it would have all somehow gone horribly wrong, or I would have died of stress from trying to make it work. I am not a planner. I am a “seat-of-the-pants” kind of person. Good thing I have tough pants!

February Cats – Day 14, 15, & 16, Catflu vs. the Stomach Bug! Wait, what?

Well, when last we chatted, I was recovering from the flu, and I had done NOTHING on any cat-themed projects because I was too busy either watching my feet come out my mouth or sleeping like a dead woman. I started to feel better on Valentine’s Day, and Hubster and the kids and I met with some friends at the local hibachi place for a lovely dinner. Shortly after we got home, Princess complained of heartburn, only her symptoms didn’t sound like heartburn. Hubster laughed, but I made Princess put a bucket beside her bed that evening. Sure enough, by 1AM she was puking her guts up. I ended up sleeping on the floor in her room the rest of the night. She spent the next day on the couch, slowly recovering, and I. Spent that time trying to clean and recover my house as well as my brain.

So today is the first day since the stomach flu hit this household that I’ve been able to do any work on the Catbug pillow. While I’m still not completely satisfied with the last big spot I made, I decided to move on to another spot and try a slightly different method of making it. This time, I feel like I’m getting the results I want. Here’s a peek at the spot in progress.

 

Catbug's spot!

This spot I like!

 
As you can see, I drew a lopsided oval on some graph paper and used that to plan my stitches. Each square on the graph paper represents one single crochet stitch. I have to get a little fiddly at the bottom because this oval starts narrow but expands very quickly, but I think this looks okay.

I have no idea how many more posts I’m going to be able to make this week. Troops pick up their order of Girl Scout cookies this weekend, and then we start delivering to customers. Booth sales start then, too. So I’m going to be very busy with Girl Scouts for the next few weeks. I will keep working on this project though. I have a feeling that aside from Catbug, the only other project I’m going to get done this month is another cat bolster pillow for Princess’ birthday this month. It’s one thing I know she really wants. Other than that, things are pretty much up in the air. Maybe I’ll do another cat month in the spring. Pixie really wants a Franken-kitty, and her birthday is coming early June.

I’m going to bed now. Hopefully, I’ll see you tomorrow!

Creature Comforts – Day 22 & 23, Snow Days!

So, how’s the weather been in your area?

Around here we’ve had snow alternating with rain and sleet and more snow. In other words, it’s been yucky. Yesterday, the girls’ school let out early, so I decided we’d do some crafting. There’s nothing more comforting that hot chocolate, cookies, crafting and games on a snow day. I’d recently seen some videos on resin casting with embedded objects and I already had a lot of the supplies on hand, so I decided we could try that! After a lot of set up and preparation and a game of “Adventure Time Munchkin,” the girls and I were able to make these…

 

Resin casting!

These are NOT muffins! Do not eat them!

 
The shiny sparkly blue casting is Pixie’s. The pretty red sprinkly one is Princess’. And the thing that looks like sparkly raw eggs is mine.

Before I show you how mine turned out (the girls absconded with theirs before I could get pics), let me explain what Iwas trying to do. I wanted to place some small buttons of breakfast foods in the front of the casting and layer a kitten sticker behind that. Then I wanted to add a layer of pretty yellow glitter, followed by a layer of clear yellow resin. The idea was to make a sort of sunny kitten breakfast scene. However, I didn’t leave anough time between my layers, and this is what I got instead.

 

Breakfast Kitten!

“Breakfast Kitten Trapped in Runny Eggs”

 
I like it, but it does look like I embalmed that poor kitten in egg yolks for all eternity.

Aside from the layers getting all mixed up, I think it looks pretty good. I’m wondering if polishing would help clear it up, but I’m not sure I want to try that. I’m afraid I’ll mess it up. I think instead, I’ll do a few trial pieces and learn how to polish on those. For now, runny-eggs-breakfast-kitten looks good to me.

Good night!

Krampus Challenge – Day 25, A special elf for me

 

Special shrunken elf head

“Can you ‘ear’ me know?”

 
It’s Christmas Day. I got VERY little sleep last night, staying up to finish off wrapping presents and setting up little surprises for the girls. And then Pixie wanted me to get her up early so she could make the family a special Christmas breakfast of strawberry cream cheese sandwiches and ice cream. That’s when I discovered the dishwasher was totally full but wasn’t working, and I managed to wash 5 sinkfuls of dishes before Hubster (who KNEW the dishwasher wasn’t working) decided to flip the circuit breaker and voila! The dishwasher was now fixed. And also empty because I’d already hand-washed everything.

On the bright side, it was a slow, liesurely day. The kids tore through a mountain of presents and were very happy with (and even thankful for) what they received. Hubster was happy with his gifts too (more kitchen wares and dishes for me to wash… grumble, grumble…). And I got some very nice gifts, including a whole bunch of Studio Ghibli movies and some classic horror books.

Princess chased the cats with her new BB-8 while Pixie assembled her new Hot Wheels RC car, and I kind of stumbled around trying to pick up all the torn wrapping paper, or get the kids to pick up the torn wrapping paper, and sometimes even the cats picked up the torn wrapping paper, so I suspect we may get some very nicely wrapped gifts showing up in the litter box later this week, if you know what I mean.

And in between all this, I found time to work on a special shrunken elf head for myself. This guy is made with Vanna’s Choice yarn and he’s going to have EARS in addition to stitched on eyes and mouths. I think the ears really help sell the whole “shrunken head” thing.

And that was our Christmas Day. Oh, one more thing. Our household Krampuses (Krampii?) decided to come out and play in the tree. Here are a couple shots of the little buggers. 

Pink Krampus

“I see England, I see France!”

 
 
Green Krampus

“I see STAAAAAARS!!!”

  

Yes, that is underwear they’re carrying up into the tree. Don’t ask me why. It’s just what they do. Merry Christmas ya’ll.

Krampus Challenge – Day 05, Krampus Cowl in progress

Krampus Cowl!

We are a little further along!

Actually, I had hoped to have another 3-4 stripes done on this cowl, but I discovered I’d made a mistake… About 3-4 rows after I had made it. So I ended up tearing out an hour’s worth of work and starting over again for the day.

But that’s okay! Mistakes happen, things have to be torn out, and we all have to start all over again from time to time. At least that’s the lesson I try to teach Pixie and Princess whenever they work on a project. And we’ve been starting a lot of new projects lately, especially Pixie. She got a set of knitting looms two weeks ago and has been learning to use those. Then this week she got a new sewing machine! Not a kid’s sewing machine that uses glue or string to put fabric together, but an actual Singer sewing machine that uses actual thread, and has a bobbin and real needle. We set it up today and I watched while Pixie sewed a very basic pillow first and then started work on something a little more complicated. That’s probably about the time I made my mistake on the Krampus Cowl, but that’s okay. I got to watch my youngest figure out how to thread her sewing machine and set up the bobbin, figure out how to pin fabric and run it through the machine. There’s nothing like watching a kid catch fire over a new hobby.

But if she breaks into my yarn or fabric stashes, I will squish her like a bug. Just between you and me.

ACW Episode 282 – Run, Princess, Run!!

Webcomic!

Click on the image above to see it bigger.

Yes, it took me forever to get this one done. I apologize. I started this at the beginning of October, which turned out to be one of the busiest months I’ve had to deal with in a loooooooong time. It was so busy and so hectic, in fact, that I look forward to the peace and quiet of Girl Scout cookie season.

Yes, I actually said that. And now I’ve put it in writing.

What kept me so busy? Well, Girl Scouts was one part of it. In addition to our troop meetings, we also had an archery trip and a murder mystery party. Then there was Halloween and All Saints Day. The girls attend Catholic school, and this year Pixie’s class held a “Courtyard of Saints,” where all the students dressed up as different saints and gave a sort of living history presentation. Pixie was Mother Teresa, so I spent a week sewing that costume for her. And then, since we can’t visit one end of the spectrum without seeing the other, I also had to sew her a Kylo Ren costume for Halloween. Princess wanted to be a Jedi, so there was that to sew. And of course, I was busy working on the October Crochet challenge. But what kept me busiest of all in October was…

Cross Country.

Princess was encouraged by her friends to join, and I’m very glad she did, because it was a great experience for her. She went from barely being able to run a mile to running 3 miles, and over the course of the month shaved 4 minutes off her mile run time. Thankfully, though, the Cross Country season ended before Halloween, because practice was 3 days a week with a race on top of that, so just about every day after school, we were running somewhere for 2 hours at a time. Well, Princess was running. I opted to do lawn work at the school (we do school service hours every year), or drive kids to races and chaperon at events. It was time-consuming, to say the least.

But now Cross Country is over, and November’s challenge is drawing, so I’m going to get back to regular work on the webcomic. I can’t promise weekly updates, but I certainly think I can do better than once a month!

Enjoy the webcomic! Later today, I’ll post another update for the November drawing challenge.

October Crochet – Day 31, Double Death Spirals of DOOOOOOM!!!

 

Nautilus Shawls

This month just really spun out of control…

 
I did it. I finished the second Nautilus shawl. And most of it was done this evening while watching “Manos: Hands of Fate!” Terrible, terrible movie. Perfect for crocheting. Now I just need to sew up the ends a bit and stitch the two shawls together at the shoulder to make them into a PONCHO! Beause I never wear shawls. Unless I can turn them into ponchos.

It’s just after midnight right now. There are 8 girls downstairs in my living room, screaming and giggling and challenging each other to “Truth or Dare.” Before I came upstairs, I told them the truth – I would get really scary if they keep me up all night. And then I dared them to do it. The girls have promised they will quiet down in an hour. If not, I did set up a graveyard in front of the house.

I’m going to come up with a new challenge for November. I’ll announce it tomorrow. And I’ll explain what happened to the missing day of October Crochet. But for now, I’m going to curl up with a collection of Lovecraft stories and read myself to sleep. Or maybe strangulate a bunch of girls. I haven’t decided which yet.

Good night.