November 2007 Archives

Presentation prep: 30 hours and counting

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30 hours. 4 on Thursday. 10 Friday and 10 more Saturday. 6 today. Whew.

My interview is Wednesday morning. I expect to review the presentation again once (or twice or thrice…) before then. The interview includes a 10-15-minute presentation. I decided to create a PowerPoint presentation with embedded screenshots of the course management system (CMS) since the topic is an introduction to the CMS not a hands-on workshop.

To prepare, I reviewed 4 books, took notes, outlined in PowerPoint, created a course in the CMS complete with lectures, discussions, assignments, web links, assessments, and more. Then I made screenshots, added small versions to the presentation file, and linked most of the small images to full-screen images. I've fine-tuned slide animations for a smooth flow.

The final (at least right now) presentation has 22 slides. 22 in 15 minutes is about 41 seconds per slide, but there are a few that will be quick and at least 1 that will be longer.

Time to think about something else for a while… Maybe hang up the clothes piled 2 feet high on my dresser! (Not kidding - 2 feet!) And, as you can see by this entry's photo, we haven't yet gotten around to moving the framed picture and 4 wall candles since we rearranged our bedroom in October 2006 (yes, over a year ago!).

Patterns can be made in any color

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Why do people include color in search terms?

Pretty much any pattern can be made in any color. Why search for "purple granny square" or "red and yellow ripple afghan"?

There are some patterns best created with light-colored yarn so the texture or detail of the design is more easily seen - like "aran crochet afghan" or "fisherman crochet sweater". And, yes, some patterns look great in contrasting colors - like "black and white crochet".

But try searching for the type of pattern not the color of the pattern - like "checkerboard afghan crochet pattern", "basketweave crochet pattern", "lacy granny square", or "reversible baby blanket".

If you're using the name of a color in your search term, try the search without the color specified and you'll get more results. Learn to look at pictures of projects without focusing on the colors used by the designer. There might be a blue and yellow ripple afghan pattern that would look great in red and yellow.

Having a concert!

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I'm now having a concert! A sing along concert to songs from my past (and a few from the present!). Buying one or two favorite songs at iTunes is a wonderful thing!

I spent the about 5 hours today going through my old 33rpm LPs (vinyl record albums), my old cassette tapes, and my very old 45rpm singles (vinyl). From those, I culled a lot I have no attachment to, and bought songs I love or like a lot - or just want in my music library for sing-alongs! I also bought from Amazon full CDs from a few artists.

Cover for See the Light.
Whoop! Last night, I was hunting around Amazon looking for CDs and discovered that Bo Bice has a new single out, but Amazon didn't have the full album in a CD (but does have it as a downloadable MP3 album). So I went to Bo's website and discovered that the See the Light is a Wal-Mart exclusive - which means it's sold only at Wal-Mart.
Image from

I listened to a few sample tracks, liked what I heard, and bought See the Light through Wal-Mart's website.

This is the sound Bo's first album after American Idol should have had. The Real Thing just wasn't his style. See the Light fits him so much better!

[NOTE: The following is my opinion about our experience with installing Pergo laminate flooring. I am not an expert. I do not represent Pergo. Your experience may vary. I am not responsible for any problems you may encounter.]

On occasion I see that visitors to this blog are looking for information about Pergo laminate flooring in general or Pergo Global Passages flooring in the Dolce Mahogany color in particular. In September-October 2006, we installed Pergo Dolce Mahogany laminate flooring in our master bedroom as a 16-year Anniversary activity (yes, we're odd like that!), and I wrote 7 entries in this blog during the project.

Recently, I received a message from someone with questions about our experience with our Pergo floor and the installation process. I thought I'd include the questions and answers here as a set of Frequently Asked Questions (with answers!) that may help others with similar questions. It was nice re-visiting our Anniversary project from last year! Leave a comment if you have additional questions.

The links below are helpful:

On to the questions…

Q. How is your floor holding up in the past year since it was installed? Are there any noticeable scratches? Any other issues to be aware of?

A. No scratches to date. The floor is supposed to be pretty resistant to that.

We noticed that our vacuum cleaner left skid marks (rubber(?) plastic(?) wheels) so we don't bring it in there. The skid marks came off easily. I used my fingernails, but a washcloth may also do the job.

We pick up anything that might scratch the floor if we were to step on it (such as clay cat litter that gets carried around the house sometimes in between the cats' toes).

We put thick felt pads (from Orchard Supply Hardware) on the bottom of every piece of furniture in the room, except the wheels of the bed (which are plastic(?) and don't seem to leave skid marks).

Bill (who is a machinist) does not walk in there with his work boots on (metal chips get embedded in the bottom of his boots).

[Update April 10, 2010] I thought I would check in now that it's been a few years since we installed our Pergo floor. We love it! Dolce Mahogany is a dark brown color. It shows dust and strands of long hair (mine) and cat hair balls. After being cleaned, the shine is great.

There may be one or two small scratches from some sharp object on our shoes (such as a metal chip on Bill's work boots - which he doesn't usually wear in our bedroom - or me skidding on a piece of cat litter).

Liquids never touch the floor. The floor is swept with a dry swiffer or vacuumed (the vacuum is placed on a small rug in the room so the wheels don't leave skid marks). Random skid marks, dirt spots, lotion spills, and cat puke are quickly and carefully wiped up with a dry or damp soft cloth, paper towel, or tissue. Pieces of cat litter, metal chips, and any other sharp object is picked up when it's spotted.

Crochet? Not lately.

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Hmmm, this blog used to have quite a bit of crochet project news. Not lately. I think I burned out on Bryan's Lap Blanket (which I haven't posted about yet - burned out, ya know!) which I started right after finishing my beautiful Babette Blanket.

I finished Bryan's blanket on September 30 so it's been almost 6 weeks now. It's been a busy 6 weeks too! Painting the trim on our house (white over chocolate brown - tough!), moving this blog to Movable Type 4.01, moving Tame My Mind - Imagery to Movable Type 4.01, thinking about applying for the open position at work, thinking about it more…and more…and finally spending 23 hours last weekend working on application materials and my online portfolio.

I still have three crochet projects in progress/on hold:

  • Ripple Blanket for Bill's side of the bed (start Aug. 18; then too hot so put aside to do granny squares)
  • Ripple Lap Blanket - White, Lavender (start May 29; Jun. 2 put aside for Pineapple Blanket, then Babette Blanket)
  • Granny Square Lap Blanket - White, Tan, Green, Pink, Yellow, Blue (start Jan. 22; put aside early Feb. after 20 squares; picked up again May 28; put down again May 29)

But I also have quite a few skeins of Caron Simply Soft in the bright colors - love 'em!

Decisions, decisions…

I am thoroughly spoiled - dinner's ready!

Via WheatCarr, I learned the U.S. Postal Service offers 41¢ stamps in 4 knit designs - called 2007 Holiday Knits. The designs are a reindeer, Christmas tree, snowman, and teddy bear.

Hmmm, no crocheted designs?

Another 11 hours later

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Yes, 10 more hours yesterday. 1 hour this morning.

My application packet for the job was turned in to Human Resources just before noon today. Whew.

I've been asked this question a few times, so I thought I'd create a post with the information. "Picture afghans" are blankets with charted designs (graphs) made using small (usually 2-row) crocheted granny squares. Listed below are the books / leaflets / booklets I'm aware of that have these patterns.

Go to to buy them - I do not have these books for sale. You may have to do searches every day or so for a week or more, but you will find them eventually. The easiest book to find is "The Great Granny Crochet Book" - see #4 below for a list of the picture afghan patterns in this book.

  1. kidscovers.jpg Kid's Covers by Anis Duncan, published by Creative Hands in 1977. Difficult to find. Patterns include:
    • Playful Kittens (2 cats and a basket of yarn)
    • Summer Carousel (with 2 horses)
    • Jungle Friends (elephant, camel)
    • Butterflies
    • Magic Castle (castle with drawbridge down)
    • Circus Clown
    • Grandpa's Farm
  2. pictureafghansbyanisduncan.jpg Picture Afghans by Anis Duncan, published by American School of Needlework, Booklet 1, 1977. Difficult to find. Patterns include:
    • My Home Town
    • Wheels (cars, truck, fire truck)
    • Puddle Ducks (mama with babies)
    • The Bird Watcher (cat, birds)
    • Dutch Pinwheels
    • Party Time (teddy bear, duck, balloons)
    • Desert Sunset (cactus in desert with hills in background)
    • Summer Garden
  3. pictureafghans.jpg Picture Afghans by various designers, published by Creative Hands, booklet #411 (but that's not clear on my copy), 1981. Difficult to find. Patterns include:
    • Spring Bunny
    • Window View
    • Village Square
    • Freight Train (8 train cars)
    • Rocket Ship
    • Silent Star
  4. greatgrannycrochetbook.jpg The Great Granny Crochet Book, published by American School of Needlework, 1979, ISBN 0-930748-10-7 (hardback book). Easy to find! I've seen it on eBay many times - for very little money! In a chapter called "Picture Afghans" are these patterns:
    • Dutch Tulips
    • My Home Town
    • Supper Time (dog, bone, dog house)
    • Wheels (cars, truck, fire truck)
    • Circus Clown
    • Playful Kittens (2 cats and a basket of yarn)
    • Summer Carousel (with 2 horses)
    • The Bird Watcher (cat, birds)
    • Puddle Ducks (mama with babies)
    • Summer Garden
  5. greatafghanbookthe.jpg [Just added! December 10, 2007] The Great Afghan Book, published by American School of Needlework, (no date, but certainly in the 1970s), ISBN 0-930748-19-0 (hardback book). Another easy find on eBay! In a chapter called "Picture Afghans" are these patterns:
    • Dutch Pinwheels
    • Desert Sunset (cactus in desert with hills in background)
    • Party Time (teddy bear, duck, balloons)
    • Grandpa's Farm
    • Jungle Friends (elephant, camel)
    • Magic Castle (castle with drawbridge down)
    • Butterflies
    • Ship of Dreams (sailboats)
    • Tulip Quilt

Additional charted designs made using small granny squares are in:

  1. Annie's Favorite Special Occasions Crochet Projects, Annie's Attic, 2000, ISBN 0-9655269-7-6 (hardback book). Pattern: Jack 'O Lanterns.
  2. Christmas Spirit Afghans by Linda Lefler-Wright, The Needlecraft Shop, unknown publish date, leaflet 971534. Patterns: Christmas Tree, Bell, Santa Claus face, Candy Cane, Snowman, Wreath.
  3. Classic Quilt Afghans by Carolyn Christmas, The Needlecraft Shop, 1993, leaflet 931510. Quilt-style designs.
  4. Crocheted Patchwork Granny Afghans by Lissa Amman, Leisure Arts, 1991, leaflet 2032. Quit-style designs.
  5. The Crocheter's Quilt Book: Afghans with Quilt Motifs by Elyse Sommer, Segwood Press, 1987, ISBN 0-02-609179-4 (hardback book). Quilt-style designs.
  6. Garden Cat Afghan by Martha Brooks Stein, Annie's Favorite Crochet Magazine, April 2002 (may also still be available on
  7. Granny Square Christmas Afghans by Martha Brooks Stein, Annie's Attic, 2001. Patterns: Santa (English style), Pine Trees, Log Cabin Tree, Peppermint Delight, Bear with Wreath, Tree.
  8. Granny Square Quilt Afghans by Martha Brooks Stein, Annie's Attic, 1999, leaflet 871914. Patterns: hearts, quilt-style designs.
  9. Granny Square Quilt Afghans Through the Year by Martha Brooks Stein, Annie's Attic, 2001, leaflet 872841. Patterns: hearts, basket with ribbon, pot with rainbow, snowman, candy corn, july 4th motif, more!
  10. Patchwork Afghans Thru The Year Afghans by the Dozen by Martha Brooks Stein, Leisure Arts, 1996, leaflet 2866. Patterns: trees, leaves, flowers (tulips?), variety of quilt-style designs.
  11. Patchwork Afghans Thru The Year, Book 2 by Martha Brooks Stein, Leisure Arts, 2001, leaflet 3223. Patterns: saleboats, pumpkins(?), variety of quilt-style designs.
  12. Patchwork Bear Afghan by Elizabeth Eure, published in Crochet Fancy magazine, March 1993.
  13. Patchwork Grannys for Afghans, Pillows & Bedspreads by Diane Marie Goff, Leisure Arts, 1983, leaflet 267. Patterns: flower baskets, pinwheels, variety of quilt-style designs.
  14. Patchwork Patterns by Judy Sajewski, Leisure Arts, 2002, leaflet 3294. Quilt-style designs.
  15. Quilt Block Afghans by Vicki Blizzard, House of White Birches, 1999, leaflet 101142. Quilt-style designs.
  16. Added February 2008: Perfect Patches - 5 Afghans to Crochet by Annis Clap, Leisure Arts, 2007, leaflet 3888. Patterns: Sailboats and Fish, Butterflies, Trucks, Stars, Pinwheels.

Another idea is to use graph paper to design a custom chart using squares and half squares. A do-it-yourself picture afghan!

Nearly 12 hours

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I spent nearly 12 hours today preparing a resume and other application materials to apply for an open position at the college where I am currently employed. Whew. And I already had a good, updated resume on hand!

I've spent the past 3 weeks and a few sleepless nights thinking about applying, thinking about the reasons to apply (lots of good ones), thinking about the reasons to not apply (at least 2 big not-so-good ones), and on Friday morning finally decided to apply. I have reservations about the salary and about the length of employment term (currently worded as "Temp" because the department is in flux).

If I am offered the position, I have a few ideas for additional responsibilities that would increase the salary. Hopefully, the "Temp" nature of the position will hash itself out during the interview process. If the offer and conditions are not satisfactory, I will remain in my current position at the college and continue to try to enhance my responsibilities and try to get an assistant for the more mundane website updating tasks.

I now have:

  • a newly updated resume (mostly new formatting, some shortening / cutting / reorganizing of info)
  • the completed application form
  • the completed minimum qualifications or equivalency form
  • a list of professional growth activities
  • a list of references
  • a list of graduate level courses I've completed
  • testimonials from students of web authoring classes I have taught
  • an improved, reorganized portfolio website

Still need to:

  • find and make copies of transcripts
  • write a cover letter

If I'm chosen to be interviewed, I'll need to prepare a 10-minute sample lesson from a list of topics. Yikes!

Dead phone

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I committed a technical support faux pas at work yesterday. I moved my phone from one side of my desk to the other and then it no longer worked. No sound. I checked the connector to the wall - ok. No sound. I pulled the connector out of the wall port and re-connected it. No sound. I checked the volume control - ok. No sound. I turned over the phone to make sure the cable was secure - ok. I placed a helpdesk request: "my phone is DEAD".

The phone guy from IT visited today mid-morning…

Sketch of Cheryl

About Cheryl

Enjoys crocheting, gardening, cats, NASCAR (especially Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch!), reading, photography, snorkeling in Kailua-Kona with sea turtles, Sizzler's Mega Bacon Cheeseburgers, hot and iced decaf coffee, dark chocolate, color (yarn, fabric), playing around with web technologies - not necessarily in that order! Still very much a beginner with quilting, knitting, and sewing. Donates crocheted lap blankets.

List maker, detail-oriented, organized, leans heavily toward perfectionism. ISTJ. Libra.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2007 is the previous archive.

December 2007 is the next archive.

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Cat playing with strand of yarn.


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