The 100 Day Project

Puppies Day Out!

On March 13, Chiclet gave birth to three healthy puppies.

First photo - Chiclet nursing Pandora, Roku, and Shadow

First photo – Chiclet nursing Pandora, Roku, and Shadow

We are so proud of Chiclet! Truthfully, we thought we had a week before delivery, so imagine the surprise when the husband came home from his shift to find two wee puppies! The third pup soon followed. Buti na lang marami kaming cardboard boxes from grocery shopping – he was able to make a bed for the new mom and her puppies lined with soft clean rags. No need to buy a new crate.

Sometimes, I feel like Chiclet needs a break from breast feeding. We find her snuggling elsewhere every once in a while like she’s craving a moment of peace!

Sometimes mama just needs a break. #chicletonyxapitana

A post shared by Vera S. Ocampo-Apitana (@verabear) on

When the puppies turned two weeks’ old, we took them out for their first visit to the Veterinarian. They were so precious crammed into one big shoe box! They were well-behaved, and didn’t fuss. Not even when they got their vitamin shots.

I’m still amazed that our baby Chiclet carried three babies in her tummy, and gave birth all on her own. She has been a very good parent. Sirius, on the other hand, has been left out a little because Chiclet doesn’t like him fussing over the babies at all. We just make sure we give him cuddles too so he doesn’t feel so bad.

So now, we’re a household of two humans, two adult dogs, and three puppies.

See how behave the puppies were while getting their shots:

That’s 6 of 100, blogged!

Stitch Count – April 2018

Time flies when there is so much happening around you, doesn’t it? Isn’t it also true though, that at the end of a certain period of busy-ness, one realizes how much time has truly passed?

For example, I can hardly believe we are well into the second quarter of the year already. March went by like a blur, and so have the months of January and February.

One of my goals this year is to keep on crocheting and knitting. 2016 was a very productive year for me as a crafter, but 2017 was a different story. In fact, the projects I finished so far this year were those that I did not finish last year. Let’s have a look at those projects:

Baby Blanket for Kayzel

My best friend lives overseas with her family. Her daughter Kayzel, was turning a year old, and I decided to make her a blankie. I followed the Fluffy Meringue Blanket tutorial by The Crochet Crowd. I did not get to personally hand over this beauty when they were here early this year, but it’s finally going home to Kayzel by the end of this month. Finally!

Here’s a sneak preview of the pink and blue blanket:

Learning the Brioche Stitch

Knowing that it was going to be cold in Taiwan for our trip, I decided to make myself a scarf. It took such a long time though, because I also made the decision that I was going to knit it (thinking it would be faster), and that I was going to learn to do the Brioche stitch.

Well, I did learn a new stitch. I also picked a lovely ball of Sugar Free Yarn for the project. But what I didn’t pay attention to was the need for a lifeline. A lifeline is literally a life saver for those times when you realize that you missed or dropped a stitch. The lifeline is a string that you pull through a good row (and re-attach every few rows) so that when you make a mistake you won’t have to frog the entire fabric. Let’s just say that I frogged so many times.

I ended up not finishing the scarf in time for the trip.

But it’s done now, and even if it’s a little short (I only had one ball, and did a double pull), and has a lot of imperfections, I love how it turned out.

Secret Paths Shawl for Vanette

For a dear friend who is moving to a colder geo, I decided to whip up the Secret Paths Shawl by Johanna Lindahl.

I loved working with this particular yarn (also Sugar Free), and this was my first time to make a triangular shawl. It really came out lovely.

Currently, I am working on a laptop case using hexies. I don’t LOVE the colors I’m using because I just went with left over yarn from previous projects, but I’m pretty sure I’ll still love the end product. Hope to share that soon!

What projects have you completed this year? Doesn’t have to be yarn projects, do share! 🙂

5 of 100, stitched!

Stitches and Words

Today, I made the decision to rename my webspace.

Welcome to the newly re-christened STITCHES & WORDS!

Daily life is filled with these – stitches, because I crochet and knit, and words, because I love to read (and now also rekindling my love for writing). I realize that right now, that is what this space is all about, and really why I’m doing #100daysofblogging in the first place:

re-stitching this old platform

It’s hard for me to remember now why I started my first blog in 2004; I also can’t recall why I kept doing it with some regularity for 10 years. I’ve blogged in at least seven (7) different spaces in all that time. That probably means I loved it. Right?

But what was it I loved about broadcasting my life online, pre-Facebook? Was it the idea of articulating my thoughts and feelings into a (sometimes) cohesive Post? Was it interacting with readers (not saying I had any), and fellow bloggers? Or maybe it was knowing that whatever message I had for the world, I had a platform to express it. Perhaps, all of the above.

It seems easier now to figure out why I stopped.

There are so many creative, dynamic, and beautiful blogs out there. And I let myself compare my work with theirs, as if it was a competition. What’s worse? I declared my blog/s the loser.

In 2014, I talked about a Reboot. I came as far as changing the layout, writing an About page (which now needs rewriting), and then not much else. This time around, I’ll just keep writing and see where this goes. The blogging scene may very well be a huge jungle where everyone fights for their audience, and sponsors, but I don’t necessarily have to take part in that.

Let’s just keep writing shall we?

4 of 100, published!

Oh, but subscribers, readers, and sponsors would be nice too! ?

The Don’t Buy List

Do you have one? A list of items NOT to buy?

For a two-person household, grocery-shopping doesn’t need to be a weekly affair. It’s become a fortnightly husband-wife bonding activity to walk through the aisles of the grocery store and debate about what makes it to checkout (like how many bags of chips he’s allowed to have).

Having a grocery list is really helpful (as I’m sure you would already know) – it keeps us from adding unnecessary items onto our cart. Every once in a while I remember to write a short list of must-buy items after asking the husband what pantry items need to be replenished – he would know better because he’s the Master Chef in this family. I’d really hate for him to get frustrated when he starts to cook only to realize he’s missing an ingredient or seasoning (also, if that happens, it’s his fault. Haha!).

At other times we just don’t have a list at all. What for? Even with one we end up going thru each aisle at the store anyway. Lately, I felt like we’ve done a better job at making wiser choices – the tape receipts are getting shorter and we’re getting closer to sticking to the budget. There are also sections that we ignore and old favorites that we’ve stopped bringing home (our purchasing habits changed a bit since I made the choice to take the path to true wellness – hope to write about this soon!).

A few weeks ago, while at the kitchen sink, I noticed that we had one too many bottles of ketchup. Then a quick check revealed that we also had one too many bottles of a few other items. We had a good laugh about this, but I knew, there was a lesson there somewhere.

We’ve also had too much toilet paper, bath soap, etcetera, etcetera.

That’s when I realized that we needed a Don’t Buy List.

The Don’t Buy List is for items we are well-stocked on – at least for the next two weeks. Having such a list becomes handy when there are on-the-spot decisions about the next week’s menu – do you want spaghetti? how about tuna-macaroni salad? At least we can check our list and know that, for example, we don’t need to buy more canned mushrooms or pasta.

But the list isn’t comprehensive and isn’t an inventory of every grocery item we still have in the house. What get’s on the list are just those obvious ones that we already have too much of, or won’t run out in the next month. Certainly, we don’t mind having extras – but too much at a time just means we could have used the money for something that would have been more urgent. With a small living space, it also means we’re not storing too much of what we don’t need right now or in the immediate future.

What do you think about the Don’t Buy List?

3 of 100, blogged!

30 Days of Thankful – November 2017

Finally, after years of just watching from the sidelines, I have completed a 30 Days of Thankful Album <happy dance!>.

Every November since 2012, Cathy Zielske has done this project “to help (you) remember all that is good, from the tiniest of things in this life to the most humongous, to everything in between.” Every year, I follow her posts with the full intention of joining in. In 2014, I even got as far as signing up for the private Facebook Group created for anyone who needs inspiration and support for completing their projects, yet year after year, I end up with nothing.

It doesn’t matter that it took me five months to complete an album that was meant to be done in 30 days – what matters is that I did it!

Here’s a flip-through video of my completed album:

I loved working on this album and being reminded to find joy in the smallest of things, and to be grateful always.

This project also helped me come to terms with how I’d like to approach memory keeping:

  • I love memory keeping and the Project Life system. I almost chucked off scrapbooking as something I would never really get around to doing. I have a lot of physical products, and I also have the App. It seemed like I would start an album, make a few pages, and then never finish anything. I thought it was something I already needed to give up and get off my plate so I didn’t have to feel bad about not accomplishing anything. Completing this project changed my mind.
  • Having a home printer is important for me to stay on track with documenting life. By the end of the first week, I had completed my cover and the first six pages. Then I ran out of Paper for my Canon Selphy printer. That really set me back big time. I know fully well that I can still build my title Cards and journalling, then add the photos later – but for me it needed to start with the printed photo. Not having the printed photo felt like a mental block from going forward with what needed to be done.
  • Color coordination and embellishments are not all that important to me. Although I had always admired scrapbookers who do great embellishments, and have cohesive album pages – I realized that mine didn’t have to look that way.
  • Stamps are wonderful tools that you can use over and over again for your pages, but I just can’t stamp effectively. Maybe my ink pads are low quality, or maybe they‘ve dried up or lost their pigment after I’ve had them so long and not used them. I don’t know. I may really just be awful at stamps.
  • Alpha and number stickers are LOVE. I don’t have a lot. When the self-imposed moratorium for spending on hobbies is lifted, I am getting more. Gifts are WELCOME too. 🙂
  • Maybe not everyone can read my handwriting but I’m not about to let crappy handwriting stop me from adding journalling to my pages.
  • Speaking of journalling – I didn’t plan it, but it just came naturally to journal in English. Next time, I’ll try to express myself in Filipino or TagLish (Tagalog-English).
  • Great photography would be awesome for my pages! But not having great photos is just another roadblock I’d rather not stop me. Not all my photos are great, but they are photos that show what life is right now, and THAT’s what’s important.

Have I mentioned that I LOVE DOING THIS ALBUM? I really, really do.

Supplies: 6×8 album, photo pocket pages, and assorted cards from Project Life by Becky Higgins

2 of 100 done!

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