Saturday, November 29, 2008

Big News - The Ups and Downs of Life

I cannot believe I've left my poor little blog unattended for almost a year! I attribute it to extraordinary circumstances. My sweetie crashed his motorcycle and broke his neck. That was scary! Thankfully, he is fully recovered and has only minimal loss of movement in his neck. The man is a walking miracle. He wrecked the bike on a Thursday, had surgery on Friday, and came home on Saturday, walking under his own power, mind you. As he said, God still has a purpose for him here.

The other circumstance is actually a very positive one. At the grand age of 55, I have enrolled in college. Drum roll, please. It is something I've wanted to do for a long time, and I finally got my courage up and did it. I am majoring in Web Design and Multimedia, which is such a lovely combination. I love technology, but even more, I love art. I always have. So I'm enrolled at Westwood College Online, which is one of the best online colleges. They also have ground campuses, but I felt more comfortable with the online venue. The downside is that it is very intense. We cover a semester's worth of work in ten weeks. But I am loving it. I have learned so much already, and I am convinced this is the best school ever. The amount of support I've received is staggering. They really WANT their students to succeed.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that I haven't had much time to devote to crochet. I am hoping that I will find little pockets of time here and there, because I really love it, and it is a great relaxation technique for me. So please don't abandon me. I'm going to be making more of an effort to post from now on, so check in periodically and see what I am up to.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Christmas Spa Set

I thought I would share with you the spa set I made for my niece for Christmas. I used Priscilla Hewitt's pattern for the Bath Puff and Back Scrubber. For the washcloth I used the split single crochet stitch (I think...I had a bad allergy reaction, and feel like I have the mother of all sinus infections) :(

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

It's A Brand New Year!!

Okay, so it's almost brand new. It's only 2 days old. I have some exciting plans for this year, but you'll have to wait until I have them a little more organized.
I'll give you a little hint, though. I want to do something to make a positive difference this year.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Past

Well, Christmas is over until next year. It was really nice this year. No family squabbles, no unrealistic expectations. I enjoyed giving the presents that I made, and seeing the faces light up. I didn't get as much done as I had planned, but I also wasn't nearly as stressed out as I have been in years past.

I made my niece a spa basket, except I put it in a bag instead of a basket. I'll get the pictures up sometime in the next few days. I also whipped up a purse for another niece, but I forgot to get a picture before I gave it to her. :(

From my Sweetie and my daughter, I received several books, which I am over the moon about, especially the Amigurumi.

Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts, Amigurumi, by Tomoko Takamori
Bag Style, by Pam Allen & Ann Budd
Vogue Knitting, Shawls on the Go

Guess what I am going to be playing with soon?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Busy! Busy! Busy!

I absolutely have got to get busy on my pressies. I think I've got plenty of time still. But that kind of thinking has gotten me in trouble before..."2 days before Christmas, and what?? Oh, I can whip out the kids' ornaments really quick"...uh-huh, sure I can. And I do get them done, but I'm frazzled by the time I get done.
I'm working on a spa basket for my niece with handmade face cloths, and some other things to go in it, and those darn ornaments, and oh, yes, bracelets for the kids. Yeah, [sigh] I better get busy. Actually, I enjoy making things, but not when I'm in a time crunch.
I'll have to post pictures after Christmas.

Holiday Traditions

There is a wonderful meme going on at Sew,Mama,Sew! It's called Handcrafters' Holidays. It started me thinking about some of our traditions in my family. I think my favorite is our cookie baking. It's not the baking, it's what we do with the cookies after they are baked.

If any of you have ever worked in retail, you know what it's like during holiday season. It's hectic, and customers quite often are downright rude to employees. My daughter worked in a particular store for 5 years. So up until this year I have baked cookies to give out to them on Christmas Eve. It's my way of saying thank you for all that they do, not to mention to brighten their day. This year we did it on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. I think I got more joy out of it than they did, just to see the looks on their faces. I may do it again for Christmas Eve, I haven't decided yet. It depends on how much time I have. I have got to get to work on my Christmas pressies!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Candy Cane Pattern

Arrgh!! I can't believe I haven't posted since Thanksgiving. My excuse is that between my food allergies, and my asthma, I really haven't felt like posting.

BUT, here is the Candy Cane pattern as promised. It's really an easy pattern, and a good way to use up some of those leftover bits of yarn that everybody has. I prefer mine in red and white, but you could use whatever colors you like.

Candy Cane

Here's what you need:

Scraps of yarn, in white (Color A)and red (Color B) or colors of your choice
chenille stems - in a color to match Color A
Size H crochet hook

Note: Please read these notes before you start your project.
  1. The sequence in the first and last ch taper the ends for a more finished look.
  2. Don't be alarmed if the chains seem to 'gap' from the multiple st in each ch. You won't be able to see them when you're finished, and they make it easy to weave the chenille stem through.
  3. When you work the 3 dcs in each chain, your work will automatically begin to spiral. Don't be alarmed if it seems to take on a life of its own. :) You can easily manipulate it to spiral the way you want it to go.
Foundation row: With Color A, ch 36

Row 1: In 2nd ch from hook, work 1 sc, 1 hdc, and 1 dc (all in same ch), * (3 dc in each ch across)* ending at next to last ch. In last ch, work 1 dc, 1 hdc, 1 sc. End off and weave in ends.

Row 2: Do not turn. Starting at the beginning of Row 1, with Color B, ch 1, sc in 1st sc, sc in each st across. End off and weave in ends.

Finishing: Take a chenille stem, and measure the length of your candy cane, after you have it spiraled in the direction you want it to go. Add a little to the length so that you can turn the ends under, so that they don't 'poke' you. Do not turn them under until after you have woven them through the candy cane. This is where those 'gaps' (see Notes) come in handy. Thread the chenille stem through those gaps, and turn the ends under to hold it all together. You can either thread a piece of yarn through and tie it to make a hanger, or hook one of the regular ornament hooks through and hang it on your tree. You could also use it as an embellishment on your presents.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Day!!!

I probably won't be on the computer tomorrow, so I'm posting this now.

We have so much in this country to be thankful for. I've been thinking a lot lately about things that I am thankful for. I have my own little private blog, where I write my thoughts that are just for me. One of things I am doing is my 100 things I am thankful for. It's amazing when you start thinking about it. I am finding that, rather than having to work hard to think of something as the list gets longer, I actually have to narrow it down to just 1 per day.

I hope you will take a few minutes tomorrow to think what it is all about, and count your blessings. :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Homemade Soup

Mmmm! I'm making my famous vegetable soup tonight. Okay, it's only famous at my house, but it always get a major thumbs up from my husband and daughter. It's really easy to make.

If I have veggies left over from other meals, I put them in a container in the freezer. When it gets full I use it to make soup. If I don't have any frozen, I throw in a few cans of green beans, corn, peas, carrots...whatever I feel like. Sometimes I add ground beef, but most times I don't. For starches, I either cut up a few potatoes, or throw in a few handfuls of rice. I add a big can of tomato sauce, add water if I need to thin things down. I season it with good old salt & pepper, and a lot of basil. Then I just let it simmer until the rice/potatoes are done and the flavors have had a chance to do their thing.
Tonight, it's rice and meat, along with the veggies. My husband was just diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, so I'm learning to balance carbs and such. My family like their soup hearty - leaning more toward stew consistency, so I add a lot of veggies and rice. If you prefer a thinner soup, use less. You really can't go wrong with this. Grab some crackers, a big bowl of soup, and enjoy.


I posted a while back about a site called Chulamama and the mobiles they offer. Chulamama is actually a maternity/baby store, and no, you can't buy a baby there...sorry, I just couldn't resist. ;) They contacted me recently and if you type "vivian" as a promo code, you will get 10% off your purchase there. Did I mention they have really nice things?
You can check it out for yourself. Just click on this link.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Candy Cane

Candy Cane
Originally uploaded by crochet_jo

I made this candy cane ornament a few years ago. It's really easy to make. I'll have to look at it and write down the pattern. I will try to get it posted today or tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Baby Ripple Afghan_flat

Baby Ripple Afghan_flat
Originally uploaded by crochet_jo

This is the afghan that I have mixed feelings about. I was going to frog it, but when I laid it out to take a picture of it, I decided that I might just save it for a while, and come back to it at a later date.