Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dog Show Week

It has been a week of dog shows. They started on Tuesday and will continue until Sunday. I have been insanely busy consequently. Fortunately, I'm only showing Lagan in the real shows. I will be showing Farset on Friday evening (assuming that her sprained ankle is better) at basically a practice match. Just like a real match, but without the points and usually helpful tips. My BIL handled Lagan on Tuesday, we came in second out of two. After showing Lagan on Tuesday, my sister had me bring Lagan over to her barn and we stripped the heck out of him (mostly my sister) and then gave him a bath. He certainly looks better, but if it weren't for the shows, I wouldn't go to all the trouble.

I handled Lagan on Wednesday with the same result as Tuesday. My sister gave me constructive criticism afterwards. I handled Lagan again today with a similar result, third out of three. I arrived late and really didn't have my head together, so I am not surprised that we didn't do very well today. I tried to remember as much as I could from what my sister said. I do think that it helped.

As of Friday, the shows become really big. There will be 25 Irish Wolfhounds competing on Saturday. I don't think that I have ever seen that many in a show.

On top of the dog shows, I have dog walks and pet sitting to do too. I have also been walkign Lagan and Farset in the afternoons. Lagan may get some exercise, but Farset hasn't and gets a little explosive. So for her sake, I try to get them both out too. And if you have ever seen our driveway, it is a good cardio workout just getting to the street.

I certainly have been getting a lot of exercise. Since I am not getting any thinner, in my opinion, it just reinforces the message from the "Good Calories, Bad Calories" book. When you exercise more, you get hungrier to compensate. I have been trying to cut out the carbs, but they are truly an addiction at this point. It is going to take some non-super stressful time to get past the hump. If I can make it for three days, things begin to get much easier.

I love my dogs. They can just be a little challenging at times. Trying to handle them myself and work full time and do anything else is a struggle right now. The shows will be over on Sunday, then back to once a week handling practice. I do want to enter them in the Hound show in early May. Farset will be old enough to show by then. I will need someone else to handle one of the dogs in case we do really well. With them being different genders, they don't initially compete against each other. It would only be an issue if they both won their groups.

I am also craving fiber arts. I did actually finish spinning my yak/dyeing experiements yarn. My goal was fluffy and soft and I think that it accomplished that. I had no interest in making it really uniform or anything along those lines. I still haven't gotten a photo of it yet.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Fiber Craft Overload

I have quite a bit of space in one large bedroom to use as a craft room. When we first moved in, I sorted all of my craft things into boxes with the intent to put them away once I had a better idea of how I wanted my room to function and obtained the appropriate storage.

Well, the Vet Tech program at Central Carolina Community College happened, and I didn't do anything craft oriented for the year I was attending the program. Since then, I have been working out of the boxes. I started to get more involved in knitting and actually bought yarn from stores (rather than spinning it myself). I had a small dresser that worked pretty well to store it. I kept buying yarn as I learned more. Most of my early yarn purchases were novelty yarns. I have quite a lot of that kind of stuff, especially since I most of my yarn purchases were from AC Moore and in the beginning, I would buy enough yarn to do a particular project 2 or 3 times (usually in different colors).

I worked for Nancy of Nancy's Knit Knacks for about a year and learned a lot more about knitting and the fiber arts business and just how hard it is to make a living in the fiber arts business. I have been involved with dog training and my own pet sitting and dog walking business since then. So I have spend up until the last 3 months staying busy with that.

After getting a little overwhelmed with the pet side of my life, I am finally back to doing more crafty kinds of things. Farset, our 5 month old puppy, has made it almost impossible to spin up until now, but I have been able to knit. I have been doing enough knitting to have a better understanding of yarn and how to use it in projects.

I am in the process of sorting through my craft room/office finally. I have sorted the yarn into the different sizes. I used a WPI (wraps per inch) tool to determine the size and attached it as a small label on the yarn. Not all yarn marked Worsted or DK or fingering is actually the size the label claims it is.

Now I just have to find homes for it all. Plus I need to finish going through everything else in my sewing room/office so that I can actually get some things accomplished. I really need to have an additional table set up. My desk/table contains two monitors, a desktop, and a dysfunctional printer. There really isn't room for much else.

I have a knitting machine that I would like to set up. I have a drum carder that I would actually like to use on occasion. I really need to have a ball winder and swift set up all the time. I just remind myself that I have to take it one day at a time. I really need to find someone to help out with the dog walking. It is hard to grow my business (and find time for crafts) when I am working all the time.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Pictures Finally - How big is she?

I finally got a chance to process some pictures of Farset.

She looks very puppyish in these pictures. You don't really get an idea of scale.

Here is a photo of Lagan and her together. You still don't really get a good idea of her size.

Since I am usually taking pictures, I am not usually in them. I have a photo of Farset graduation photo that includes me. All of these pictures have been taken in the last 2 weeks.