General

Brave, Scary Thing

My first sketch!

…that I’m willing to share

I like jack-o-lanterns.  They make me happy. In fact,  I’d like to share a little jack-o-lantern inspiration. My spouse has some mad carving skills!

 

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

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Crochet · I'm loving this!

Nothing Short of Miraculous!

I’ve been crocheting for about four years now, and I’ve been fairly prolific.  I’ve started and finished a lot of projects, and if you do the math, that nets out to lots and lots of ends that I’ve woven to complete those projects

I’ve also been a student of the craft.  I’ve read voraciously, and studied all of the information I could assimilate with a single-minded focus.  So when I say that there’s not really a lot of information out there on how to weave ends, I feel pretty comfortable with that statement.

People may tell you to leave an “ample” end to weave.  They might even give some direction on methodology, but never once have I seen or read anything that recommended a “tool” as superior to others in the end-weaving game.

You can just imagine my surprise, when lo and behold, I found one! And this find is truly…yes, truly….wait for it…Nothing Less Than Miraculous!  And simple..it’s so freaking simple!  And maybe everyone in the world knows it, but I didn’t!

It’s the composition of the needle!  For four years I’ve been using these

That’s right, the good old $1.99 a pack plastic yarn needles.  I’ve gone through packs of them.  I lose them like you lose pens.  They’re functional, sometimes come in cute colors, and that’s about all you can say about them.

Then last week, out of the blue, I bought these

They’re steel! Cold, smooth steel! The now forever sub-standard plastic needles utz their way through the yarn.  (Utz is a non-scientific term for sallying forth in a manner that is not awesome)  These chrome beauties, however, slice through the yarn, rendering the act of end-weaving mere child’s play.

Why didn’t anyone tell me?  They’re phenomenal! And they’ve been here all long! Behold….Awesomeness!

General

Awards are Nifty!

I’m always thankful and moderately amazed to get feedback on my ramblings. I’m still fairly new to blogging, and I’m not sure when you become cavalier about being “read” or “followed”, but I do know that I’m not there yet. I am completely susceptible to flattery.  It’s just how I roll.

I’ve been passed two very thoughtful awards this week.

Seasonsgirl forwarded the Sunshine award.  Her blog  is lovely and certainly brings sunshine to my day!

Marsha Lee at Streaming Thoughts bestowed the One Lovely Blog Award. Her blog is a wonderful blending of her thoughts on blogging and life in general.

The rules for these two awards vary, so I’d like to give both of them to a handful of blogs that are lovely and bring sunshine.

The Giraffe’s Hat-whimsical and colorful

House of 34-stylish and funny

Stir and Stitch-talented and tasty

By Number 19-crochet wizardry

Oh Sew Tempting-amazing patchwork

Chic Envelopements-radical refashioning

They’re all fabulous! Take a moment and check them out.

Now, I’m supposed to tell you guys 5 or 7 or 11 or 600 things about myself.  So hard.  I think I’ll aim for three.  I’m all about setting achievable goals 🙂

1.  I listen to NPR whenever I’m in my car.  I don’t know when it happened.  One day I listened to a wide variety of music.  The next day, I had crossed over to all talk radio all the time.  I can’t tell you what songs are top 40 and I don’t know who most of the new artists are.  This morning I busted out of my rut and listened to Def Leperd, the Pretenders and 50 Cent.

2.  I can’t tolerate reality TV.  Because of this I’m hopelessly out of the loop at the water cooler.  I didn’t even watch Dancing with the stars this season. I have, however, tuned into A&E’s Duck Dynasty twice in the last week.  Not sure what’s happening there…it’s kind of like watching a wreck.

3.  I have three favorite drinks currently:  1) Latte made at home with Cafe Bustelo, fat free milk, lightly sweetened with agave syrup 2) Dripping Springs Vodka with Fresca 3) Diet Dr. Pepper from the Sonic

What’s your favorite drink this summer?

 

 

 

Crochet

Tunisian…Ta Da!

I completed the first panel of Jennifer Hansen’s Tunisian Multi-Garment!

It was fun.  Learning Tunisian has been very gratifying. These pictures  were taken after my first quick run at blocking.  I still have some perfecting to do with the structure.

I have a sneaky suspicion that I would have been happier with a slightly larger size.  I won’t know for certain until I’ve completed the second panel.  The sizes were based on bust circumference and I think I would prefer a little more length on what will inevitably be the “torso”.  Maybe I’m long-waisted….or maybe my tummy is a little more of an issue than my bust….

The color work is fascinating.  Let it be known, however, that it leaves a gazillion ends to be woven.  Hence the probable delay in starting the second panel for the garment.  I need a little time to forget what a pain those ends were.

All in all, however, I’m extremely pleased!  The Craftsy class on Tunisian was a great experience.  I’ve signed on for three additional classes since beginning the Tunisian.  I’m not sure that the instruction I’m seeing is the same quality that Jennifer Hansen provided in the Tunisian class, but I love the platform and  recommend it for anyone who struggles to find classes available in your location or that work with your schedule.

General

Kreativ – ity

Anna, a phenomenal blogger found at Oceannah on WordPress, has very graciously nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger award.  I’m so flattered!  Thank you!

The first thing I did following anna’s post was Google the award.  There are dozens of different versions of the rules out there! Most of them deal with information posted in groupings of seven, but not all of them do so I’m going to wing it.

First I’m supposed to tell you guys something interesting about myself.  Boo.  I’m terribly interesting, but I can never think of anything under pressure-so here are several random facts:

  • I’m a native Texan. I never planned to remain in rural East Texas.  I just grew up and realized I like it.  When you spend your life in a place, it becomes part of who you are.  Who knows what the future may bring, however.  I never rule out possibilities.
  • I’m the youngest of four and so is my husband.  My sister-in law told us not to get married.  Her theory was that two “youngest” children should never wed because all youngest children are spoiled and selfish and the marriage will inevitably blow up.  We’re 12 years into our marriage, and we’re still ok. Needless to say, she’s an “oldest” child.  You have to take her birth order wisdom with a grain of salt.
  • I love movies based on comic book heroes…all of them.  Spawn is on my top five favorite movies list.  His cape is cool. He was hot before they burned him. The little clown guy is gross. You have to take the bad with the good.
  • As a child I lived in an old school building.  There were chalk boards in all the classrooms, a stage, an auditorium and urinals in the bathrooms.  As one can imagine, living in this environment between the ages of 3 and 12 was awesome!  This was during the 70’s and early 80’s when roller skating (a la Xanadu) was the activity of choice.  I practically had a rink at my disposal.  It helped that my mom and dad put a jukebox, ping pong table and pool table in the old auditorium.  Our living room was set up on the stage.  Good times, people, good times….

That’s a lot-I think I’ll stop there.  Next I’m supposed to pass on the award to more Kreativ blogs.  I’m fairly new to the WordPress family, but there are several that I enjoy and admire:

  • Paper and Salt-I love the way Nicole intertwines her love of Cooking and Literature.  Delicious! Delightful!
  • House of 34-No stranger to this sort of award, Laurie is a Design DIY maven with a wicked sense of humor.
  • SCCLiving-Kimberly writes about her Star Creek Country Texas homestead and all the bounty it provides in a most endearing way.
  • Made by Patch-Trish blogs about her love of crochet, sewing and the occasional delectable recipe. Her patchwork is a whimsical treat!

I hope you enjoy this group as much as I have! Have a wonderful weekend!

Sewing

A Sewing Do-Over

Sewing and I have a love/hate relationship.  I’ve always been fascinated by it in theory.  But it’s always fallen apart in practice.  As a kid, my mom put in a good faith effort to teach me to sew.  The poor woman finished every item I ever started.  Unfailingly, the projects were miserable experiences.  The detail…The jargon…The need for constant focus…all of it worked to my weaknesses.  Even then, I was a big picture girl-conceptual and broad in my focus.  Attention to detail has always been an “opportunity” for me.

After I began crocheting, however, my craft blog obsession led me to all that sewing can produce.  The adorable, the beautiful, the intricate, the awesome projects on the web beckoned….and I began to covet.  I began to covet the ability to sew.  Per my usual mode of operation, I made the decision to learn and immediately began collecting all the accoutrements needed.  Especially fabric….stacks of it.  That’s what I do-I collect…

Over the last three years, I’ve completed the following:

  • One apron
  • A handful of cup cozies
  • One skirt
  • Approximately 25 pair of pajama pants
  • Curtains
  • Monday’s  pillowcase

I enjoyed the curtains and the monkey pillowcase.  The others? Not so much.  I make so many stupid mistakes!  So I’m regrouping.  I can do this!

I’m starting over….that’s right, a sewing do-over.  First, the basics….pillows! I’m more than tired of the throw pillows in the living room.  I’m going to use some of this freaking fabric if it’s the last thing I do!

I’m thinking some combination of these…They make me happy.

I’m also going to look for a class.  I won’t let my past define me.  That’s right, I call “do over”.

 

Sewing

A little monkey business…

I spent a little quality time with my number one girl yesterday.  She’s developed a new obsession with stuffed monkeys.  She’s apparently in the middle of some kind of tween self re-branding and the monkey seems to be symbolic and key to her metamorphosis.  Anyway, the long and short of it is that she’s proclaimed herself to be a monkey collector and now she’s doing the Vulcan mind-meld on me and lobbying for new and more fabulous monkeys in her life.  I’m standing firm.  Her room is already a fall-out shelter for stuffed animals.  No new monkeys!

So, ever the rock, I asked her, “how about we find a pattern for a monkey?  Maybe we can make it?”  (Be advised, I carry much mother-guilt over how little time I spend with my craftiest child doing anything that could be characterized as crafting.) So I’m thinking, two birds-one stone.  I assuage the mother-guilt aka-the “monkey” on my back .  She gets a monkey.  She was lukewarm to the idea. None of the free patterns we found on-line really floated her boat.  I rejected the amigurumi patterns she liked.  I didn’t want to present her with a monkey.  I wanted her to participate in making a monkey.  Then she presented the solution, “Mom-how about we make a pillowcase like I did with Memaw (her grandmother) that time?  Then I can like, draw a monkey on it!”  Great idea, angel, but maybe we try doing the monkey in applique?  So here is the compromise.

Behold our first applique ever! He’s a cheeky rascal…

He’s just lightly fused with some iron-on strips pending stitching. I think he’s cute.  My crafty little diva did a great job picking fabrics, cutting and even doing some of the stitching.  She’s awesome!  We’ll finish him next weekend and place him in a position of honor and prestige in her sanctum, which is of course, a hot pink, black and zebra striped zone fit for a tween!