Hard at Work

Happy hobbies during a quarantine make all the difference for me. I have been fortunate to continue my career working from home for my regular full-time position and my crafting hobby along side it. I have found that having a hobby has been more anxiety relieving now than it has ever in the past. Let me share with you how Knitting and Crocheting have helped me during these difficult times.

Large Reusable Market Bag

I do have an Etsy shop where I list almost everything I have made for sale. If you are interested in checking it out, go to my social links menu to click to it or click here -> https://etsy.com/shop/MrsVogels to visit it too.

When I am crocheting something simple like the market bag, it is such a simple stitch that I get lost in the motion and its relaxing tempo. Chain 2, double crochet into 3rd stitch, repeat until the end of the row and so on and so on. The “mindless” crafting places a brief hold on anything complicated outside of my field of vision and touch that I truly am relaxed and comfortable. Until of course I split the yarn and lose the beat for only a moment.

When I am creating more complicated things like this baby blanket where I am carrying three colors of yarn there is a little more involvement and thought that goes into the craft. Like which yarn carries over the the top of another and do I crochet the carried yarn in or allow it to hang back so that I may weave in the ends later in post work. And more importantly, did I switch colors at the right stitch and place.

Posting a section here as the finished project has not been delivered yet.

I have grown to love crocheting more than knitting at this time in my life but I will return to knitting too, it’s in my title and all anyways. But knitting has the same great benefits of crocheting, you just carry all your work at once so there is a weight factor for larger projects.

I can say that one of my reasons I love crocheting more right now is because of the AMAZING deal I found on Clover comfort crochet hooks that are normally $75 online and in store and I was able to snag a set on Amazon for $35! Yes, it was totally worth the wait too as it was the real deal.

But other than good deals, shopping for supplies, the craft itself is what matters. When you make something with your own hands there is a sense of pride into what you make. I am happy in knowing that I made something. I made something with a skill and trade that has been in use for centuries. My skills grow every day that I use them. My projects get better each time that I try them. My for sale items show quality even now when I can make them for quantity too.

There is one drawback to comes to my immediate attention. Time. If you are not a fast crafter or if you do not have patience for a in depth or larger project, it makes it more difficult to maintain focus on finishing what you started.

Take for example the Latch-Hook Anchor above. Believe it or not I started this project when I was only 3 month’s pregnant with my first son. Leander is now 3.5 years old. I only finished it this last January, 2020. The finished project is maybe 1.5 feet square. I finished 90% of it within less than a month than what took me 3 years to do the first 10%!

So if you want to get into any type of crafting keep aware of the time requirement projects have. I can make one of the Airpods cases listed in my Etsy shop in less than 20 minutes. It takes me the better part of a day to make a market bag if I am mostly uninterrupted. And I can make a blanket in about a month if I make enough time to get it done. Now my particular case is that I do all these projects simultaneously… I hate being tied to just one project after all. I love my WIPS! (Works in Progress)

I encourage anyone and everyone to find a healthy hobby to help make the best of what we have at any time. Check out my social media pages for inspiration or something to try I prepared custom.

Recap 2019

Happy Holidays from the Vogel Family

Becoming Who We Are

PreSchool, High School and future planning, this year has been filled with milestones and memories for everyone in our family, big and small!

It started 2019 with my Birthday turning 30! It doesn’t feel like I’m getting old but I am glad to be done being pregnant. We won’t be adding any more little ones to our family after Theodore was born, Eston and I decided we were done having more kids. Next, we celebrated Basil’s 12th Birthday! Her last year before becoming a teenager and before we know it, then she’ll be an adult. All the wonderful things about being a woman and We’re so happy that We get to see her grow first hand, emotions and all.

Leander had his first experience with surgery at the beginning of the year with a Trigger Thumb Release surgery on his left hand. His first look at his stitches when he removed his bandages scared him a lot and convincing him to leave the bandages alone was interesting, to say the least. Both Eston and I wore matching wraps to make sure he kept his on as extra influence. When it was time to take the bandage off to complete the rest of his healing, that was interesting too. Leander no longer has issues with his thumb and it’s healed perfectly, as well as he learned the importance of leaving bandages alone.

I returned to work in March; four months of maternity leave was so amazing to spend with Theodore and getting back the time that I didn’t get to have with Leander was so wonderful. While Riley and Basil went to school, our routine was to watch the bus every morning they left and to be there watching when they got home. Leander can’t wait until he can ride the school bus too! Theodore just wants to do everything Leander gets to. Our winter stay-cation with Mommy being home was well spent creating memories.

Riley’s birthday in May signaled the biggest change in our home. He is now ready to go for Driver’s Training and get his first job! Riley seems hesitant about both a little bit but we know once he gets started with his foot in the door, there’s no going back and we’ll be looking for a third vehicle soon enough. 

The summer was filled with great things. I got a promotion at work to Senior Coordinator, a nice pay increase and greater responsibility included. Eston finding his career with T-Mobile as a Mobile Expert! We’ve got blue and magenta swag all over our home and our family from our great workplaces! As Riley says he’s “sponsored” by the two companies. Theodore, in June, also had his first memory with stitches. His were due to an accident though, poor baby busted his lip wide open playing with a toddler chair. He received two little stitches in his lip and after it was all done, he played just as bravely and hard as he did before. He really is a brave boy trying lots of new things.

In June we also got to visit the Largest Candy Store in Minnesota, The Big Yellow Barn! Leander loved seeing Iron Man but was a little intimidated by the big suit.

     Back into the School year, we bought school supplies for Riley and Basil then celebrated Leander’s 3rd Birthday! He is growing so fast and learning so quickly that when he starts school we are going to be blown away by what he can do and learn. He is also still measuring near the top 100% for both height and weight.

Eston and I celebrated 7 Years in July. It’s supposed to be the year of copper and wool, instead, we celebrated with a Himalayan Salt (Lamp)! It’s supposed to cleanse the air with negative ions and promote a peaceful environment. Either way, we love it. Thinking to the future, we want to continue to have inviting conversations and loving home for all of our family and friends. No matter where we are and what we’re doing, we keep each other close in our hearts and thoughts.

Finally into the Fall and Winter, Eston and Riley enjoyed scaring the pants off of people at Molitor’s Haunted Acres. Riley’s first job was a success and he cannot wait until next October to do it again. Most of our family was sick the first couple of weeks of November, 5 of the 6 of us were on some kind of antibiotic at one point. Luckily we get well quick!

We had lots of fun and enjoyed both Theodore’s First and Eston’s 35th Birthday! It is so hard to believe it’s already been one whole year Theodore has been with us as his birthday was a week prior to Eston. He was walking and talking so quick it was like being our little baby boy was just a short little while and now he’s all ready to become a big kid. Eston loves that he gets to have his birthday with Theodore but we made sure to celebrate him also. As a Father to four, it is never a dull moment. 

     Basil won the local American Legion sponsored Peace Poster Contest with her Peace Poster she drew so artistically. Keeping it a secret from her for a few days while getting her answer on what Peace means to her was a little tricky but she was so excited and surprised when it was announced she was the winner at her school! Her poster will go on to the District Level contest against other districts in Minnesota. If she wins there too then she would be entered into the National contest where she could potentially win real money! We are keeping our fingers crossed that her poster continues.

     Ending the year with the few remaining Holidays, We visited my Grandma Darlene’s home for Thanksgiving this year. Leander and Theodore got to meet a lot of the cousins they haven’t had a chance to yet and had a lot of fun playing with new friends and eating tasty foods! They also really love seeing their Grandpa Roger who is always good for lots of fun and great big hugs! We cant wait to see Leander and Theodore’s faces light up with seeing all the family they love and all the presents they get are so much fun.

How We Met… 2010

September

     I met Eston at Groat’s Bar in my home town. My cousin Tawnya had brought me out for drinks. I had just moved back into my dad’s home after my first year of college, it was Summer Break.

     Tawnya was friends with all of Eston’s friends that were at the bar and so we all drank together. By the end of the night, they had all left but we were still chatting away. As the bar had then closed up, I drove Eston home. The very next day I went back to his house to visit some more. After that, I never really left.

November 21st

     Eston and I had been hanging out for a couple of months by now. I remember I was watching a movie with his little kids Riley and Basil that I then heard a familiar ping on my phone. He texted me “Will you be my girlfriend?”

     I had to pin him down to get him to really say it out loud but I said “Yes” to his question with enthusiasm anyways.  

November 24th

     This was Eston’s 26th Birthday! It was also our first date as a couple, I drove him to Marshall, MN and we enjoyed food, shopping and then ice cream from the local Cold Stone Creamery! The ice cream ended up all over the side of my car at 60MPH as we were traveling home later. We also slid into the median of a divided highway by Granite Falls, MN as a cop tried to get me to slow down by swerving in front of us. In his defense, I was speeding a little bit but that is no excuse to attempt a maneuver like that on icy roads.

     Eston made fun of me for quite some time for that and still loves retelling the story to people who will listen.

December

     I finally moved into Eston’s house! Our first home together.

A Picture is not the whole Story, but a really good excerpt.

I took a little bit longer on this unit for Digital Storytelling than I have the others. I want to say it was that I was not entirely wanting to do all the extra assignments but in reality, I was neglecting my knitting projects and I had too much fun making an Illusion Deadpool Scarf to work on a blog post. Check it out here!

So I started this unit, back in the day, with a really engaging Photoblitz! Since it is too cold outside here in Minne”snow”ta I did this assignment inside my home. Its a glimpse of the whole story because it doesn’t portray all the pieces of our lives. That is probably the most interesting part of a photo, it is the perfect little side story of someone’s life. A moment in time depicting that little scene that can mean something to everyone or a whole world of memories to an individual.

Taking these photos, like I said earlier, was really engaging and a lot of fun, not just because I also included my baby boy. But I also learned new techniques to take a better photo. The depth of view and perception, background and foreground focus and lighting are the few that I focused on the most. Taking a photo that focuses on the background rather than the foreground like of my knitting and the lighting on my snake plant was interesting that it provided a new view on an object I see every day. I loved playing with the different angles and intensity of lighting on an object, whether I adjusted a curtain or moved the item itself to highlight key points or shadows was fun also. It shows that just because something exists that it doesn’t have just one look or one purpose. Overall, I love the new ways I can take a photo to make it extraordinary.

Check out too my other Daily Creations and artwork for this unit.

Daily Creations, ongoing works

Daily Creates have been a lot of fun to get engaged online. This one challenged to create a secret name using the last thing that you ate or drank. As I just had a tasty drink of peach flavored water, this seemed like a really good spy name, now I have to think of a new one for my real secret name.

Just over two years ago now I started my current day career. In my role, I fell in love with the snipping tool app and I use it all the time now! It’s so perfect for capturing just the right piece of something or a snippet of an email to forward to my coworkers. It’s the best tool I’ve found and I discovered my personal PC has it installed to which made it even better!

As a child, I read this book maybe a dozen times or so, the imagery is spectacular in the words I would read every time. I did also learn how to pronounce the word “Abalone” and have not forgotten it since. I recommend this book to everyone young and old for a story of finding yourself and your place to know that everything will always end up OK.

Sweet 16 Pixels

I am falling in love with editing images and making them something really unique! So just like my baby boy, I made a 16×16 pixel of one of his photos and of course had fun doing it. I will admit, capturing all the important details in the right places in so little space was interesting but I think I pulled it off pretty well. I chose this photo specifically because I thought it was going to be easy, it really was not that easy but I did add back some color to the black and white photo. I was going to import the photo into my image editor but I found it was much easier to create an empty new file that was 16 pixels big and “paint” it myself.

16 x 16 pixel art
Hey Baby Boy!

Playing with Colors

Playstation in this house! (2 stars)

In DS106 Visual Assignments, I saw this one that instructed to take an ordinary everyday item and play with the colors and tones. I chose my Playstation controller as the item, as we use it every day in our home, and I turned it bright purple while leaving the background it’s on the way it was. It took some work but I got it to stick. I really enjoyed this assignment because of how I was able to pull the image together the way I did. Thank you paint programs!

Rebuild Your Brand, Resume

We’ve all read how to write a resume, how to make your resume stand out and how to land the job articles. But a lot of those articles don’t include the most important aspect that is You and what You stand for. Your Brand.

I’m still going to go over how to really create a quality resume that will help get you in the door and beyond but we focus on You, not just what you’ve done.

So, who are you?

Do you like to have fun? What are your hobbies? Do you volunteer? Do you spend time in your community even if you don’t take credit for it? Have you donated your time or money to a cause or to a person? Do you know what your attributes are?

These are some of the things you should think about when putting all of your information on an 8.5×11.75″ piece of paper. But don’t let those boundaries be the defining border of where your experiences end and you begin. Be a cohesive You in all that you say and do.

Your Name big and bold. Stand out and personalize it. Now don’t choose Comic Sans, we’re not in high school and you are way more valuable than that. There is a way to find a font that in a way represents your personality if you like staring at a list of fonts and trying each one out to find you find the one you like best. Most professional typefaces are in the Serif family of fonts. Let’s move on, you can choose your font on your own valuable time.

All About You section. If you refer back to our previous post of creating the perfect personal biography, we will use those key points here.

This speaks more to online bios but we can use the key details for paper items also.
  • What is your Purpose in life?
  • What have you accomplished and what do you hope to accomplish?
  • Are there other details you want to share right away? A hobby or activity?
  • Use keywords that describe you, attributes that fit how you work. Compassionate, empathetic, adaptable, passionate, hardworking, etc.
  • Avoid filler words at all costs. No one is “really” empathetic or “very” hardworking. Really and very are filler, space holders taking up the precious space on your hardworking resume! (See what I did there?)

Your About section should be concise and human. You are not a robot and no one expects you to only work. You have a life that you live for and you can share it. Just don’t go overboard on the details. Stick to a few great statements. This is your brand as a person.

current and past employment history list. By “list” I mean to describe. Your title shows what you were with that employer, but you should describe the characteristics of the role you filled and the attributes you gained from it. Those experiences showcase who you were in that position.

Now there are several ways you can go about filling in your work history. You can do the last 3-5 positions in descending chronological order OR you can list the most relevant work history to the role in which you are applying for… even if there is some “time” between those positions.

When listing your past work experience, don’t call them “jobs”. Those roles you held are more valuable described as positions or roles and career changes. A high schooler has jobs, an adult has a career.

If you choose the latter option to list the most relevant work experience, still place them on your resume in chronological order and highlight the experiences you had in those roles that really fit with the company you hope to be employed with.

Include with your work experience the title you held and the dates you were with the employer, month and year.

Your Keywords! These are the words to your theme song; your skills that stand out above and beyond the competition, what your experiences speak volumes too. This is your work brand.

Are you charismatic? Can you speak in front of groups and lead the discussions? Have you been able to do that all along and just now realize that you’re pretty awesome at it? Use it, highlight it and build upon it. Do you plan to achieve goals or do you plan goals that are achievable? Do you wake up each morning motivated to “DO WORK”? Do you excel in Excel? Maybe Google Docs is your thing. Whatever you are good at those are your keywords, sometimes those keywords are more like a phrase but as long as it’s you, true and bold, use it. Stick to 5-7 great keywords.

Volunteerism and Certifications. Pick your top 3-4 of each for what you have and detail them here. Use the title of certificates as they appear and if it is available, how long they are good for. For volunteerism, list the project, location, and date you volunteered. If the act of volunteering is part of a larger collaboration, list the organization or non-profit the volunteer opportunity was for as well. These items build upon your brand as a person (that the happy recruiter was enjoying reading).

Now looking at all of this information together, you should stick to one page. Being concise and straightforward should help you to achieve that. Leave out extraneous details that do not flow with the rest of the pieces. Use a font that is easy on the eyes for reading and doesn’t distract from the words. Your headings for each section should be slightly larger and bold but again not distracting from the important details that are you in words.

Professional references should be listed on a separate page, or even the back side of your resume. Choose individuals that build you up or your buddy who lives down the street you hang out with… unless they are also an awesome build you up person!

Here is my example of an awesome resume. Pardon the missing personal identifiable information, that info is not quite that public. As you can imagine, your contact information, position title, and name are very important. So have fun with your resume and let You shine!

A Story for Your Eyes

Every day I am always thinking about what I can accomplish, what am I still working on and what do I have to get done today. Thinking about these things also gives me the spare moment to really cherish the things I am in love with the most. My family, my craft and my time. I put these things above all the rest because they are the things I actually want to spend my little bit of time on. The dishes can wait, the laundry doesn’t have to be folded right now. These photos of them that I took really capture what I see every day, the awe and the wonder. Enjoy.

Some of My Favorite Things