Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays

Wishing you and yours a Very Merry Holiday season, no matter which Holiday you Celebrate we hope this one is the Best one yet! 

Sign can be found here

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Frogging Again

So this was supposed to be a Christmas Gift but that's just not going to happen.. This year anyway.

It all started with some poking around on the internet, I am always looking for new ideas. And I came across this stripped cowl pattern. I loved the flow of colors and I sent a quick link to a friend. She loved it too, I asked about what colors she thought would work, she decided Red, Black, Grey and White and I thought that it would make a quick gift for Christmas. To start off it has been a crazy season and I am a bit behind but I though tit would be easy to knock this out. After all I have all those colors in my stash, shocking I know! So I dug around a bit pulled them out and started on my way.

First I followed the pattern as written, 54 sc in a round. Did about 16 rows and decided it was too wide and too stiff. Frogged it and left it for the next day. Got back to it and decided to cut the stitches in half and add another row to the colors. Much better but as I went along it was still really stiff. I know that a SC makes for a solid cloth but the person I am making this for is looking for something more "soft". SO it's coming out again today,  after I fix the antlers on the reindeer hat one more time. Having a bit of problem with getting them right too. I just love the way the colors flow into one another. I might end up with a flat cowl instead of doing it in the round but still with SC or perhaps half doubles. Any Ideas? I hope to finish it up this weekend and I'll make it a New Years Present!

 I think it's time to take a break from crochet, after these projects of course and complete something else. I'm afraid I'm having a bit of a Holiday burn out. Once this is completed I'll  post a picture of my seriously changed version. My issues might stem from all of the time I have spent on Pintrest lately looking at strip quilts. I am having a hankering to knock out a few for some new babies that are on the way. Never fear I have stash for that also..

Here's hoping you were able to get all of your projects done and packages up by now. If you're in my boat , at least it's better to know you aren't alone!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Ideas for the Next Year

I'd call them resolutions but just the thought of that makes my skin itch. So I'm leaving it open ended and calling it Ideas. I'm a bit overwhelmed with the holiday rush so I'm trying to be proactive and think beyond so I'll have something positive to look forward to.

I'm also have a problem with making lists so I'll list these and then I'll be able to refer back and see what I haven't accomplished in the New Year!

1. Move the Treadmill to the Shop (It's a Barn really we're in the south on a farm after all,but he doesn't like that term), so that I can actually use it. If I use it in the house, the Chocolate dog wants to run too and I'm a bit afraid of broken legs, mine and hers. Just close her out in the hallway you say? Doesn't work. She'll stand out there and Howl like her heart is breaking, and It breaks mine, so moving it out is the only option..

2. Organize the Craft Room so I can get back there and tackle some projects. At least hang those awesome curtains and lay down the super cute rug.. Oh and make room for a dog bed. It all comes back to her doesn't it..

3. Work on some of those projects that I was talking about
  A. E was born a bit early (8 weeks to be exact) almost 25 years ago and I thought it would be nice to make some blankets for a Neonatal Center. I totally get the stress of waiting and watching others go right home. Having something homemade for her might have helped me a bit. I checked and the hospital we were in still don't do this but I have found a few that do. I'll be happy to spread them around. My goal is 25 in her honor but It might not hit that in the few months I have available.

   B. Get some of the quilting done on the blanket I started for E!. Might make a good Bday present.and boy should she be shocked to get it..

  C. Work ahead on projects for this Fall, so I'm not trying to put together inventory at the last minute..That will also shock people..I might even get more sales that way..hmmm

  D. Finish that damn Cross Stitch "Moose Welcome". It's been in the works so long the Moose may have wandered off.

4.Don't get involved in another CAL. It's already too late for that one I just saw the Moogly Crochet along. I have a coupon for Micheal's for this weekend. Might just have to go pick up some colors because the living room will be minus a treadmill and I can add a love seat in there.

5. Do some landscaping (cut back the overgrown weeds and bushes) if you want to get into the Counties' Master Gardener program.

6. Actually start working in the garden before it's the last minute, so I can enjoy it, I don't enjoy spreading horse and alpaca poop at any time but if it's cooler that makes it a bit better. That goes ditto for starting seeds in the greenhouse.

7. Take some time to do some pottery. A couple hours a week helps get those mugs out and the table set finished. Then I won't have to fight off those people who are always after MY personal mug, they'll have their own.

8. Find a charity or an organization that needs a little help. Our county is sorely lacking in everything but they are also lacking in organizations that want to help.

9. Work on being happier in my surroundings, remember that poor planning on their part doesn't constitute an emergency on my part. And I am responsible for my well being and happiness.

10. Spend more time outside, walking the dog, smelling the flowers, Posting to my blog reading in the sun, taking pictures, and make sure to  do one thing every day that makes me and someone else happy.

How many of these will I accomplish.. I hope a majority of them. I thought that 2014 was going to be a great year. I was very very wrong. I'm not as optimistic about this year but I'm working at what is best for me and that's all I can do. Hopefully things will fall into place, even if it's an extended time frame. Something is better than nothing.

Have you been thinking about the new year or are you just trying to get thru the holidays and then you'll worry about the rest? Are you one that never ever makes a resolution or are you in the majority crowd that makes them but they seem to fall off near March..?


Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Hunt is on!

So I have a Meeting on Thursday for a group of Daisies that are joining my troop. I have all of their paperwork, Intro for the cookie business and other forms already to go. My issue is the craft that they will work on while I talk to mom and dad.

I thought I'd do something simple, something that they could take home with them. Ah Ha! Pony Bead Candy Canes, I remember making these when I was little and I think we still have the ones we made when E was little. And it only takes a few supplies, Ribbon, pipe cleaners, beads. Surely in this mess I have those. So I dug around in the craftroom and I found Ribbon.. Check that off, Pipe Cleaners.. yep check those off, Beads.. white ones right here.. red? red?.. nope.

So I had some other errands to run so I stopped by Micheals, out.. tried JoAnne's.. nope.. 2 Walmarts in different towns.. nada.

WHAT.. has there been a run on Red Pony Beads!? Are they the craft du jour for the zombie apocalypse? Are they not making another batch of red dye #6? I know it's the holidays but I'm not looking for red pom poms for Rudolph's nose, (which I did get the last bag of at Micheal's, sorry).

Chris says don't panic you can get them off of Amazon. Really? He must have an underlying  reason for saying that. I'll have to check the account and see what he's trying to get and just needs a bit more to get free shipping..

I'll figure this out. I do have until Thursday. I'm not panicking, yet anyway. It's only beads they have to be somewhere right?  Ask me on Wednesday and we'll see how I'm doing,..

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Weather Woes

We have finally gotten back into our sort of normal weather around here this week but the problem is that we had a few weeks of February weather in the middle of Fall.

The leaves barely got a chance to change before they were frozen and fell off. Our Garden took a beating, even though we covered and hooped the rows. It was just too cold too soon.

And now it's warm again! 60 degrees right now at 4:00 in the afternoon. Not that I'm complaining by any means and have no doubt I will take this over the other that we had. But it's causing havoc with my plants!
This one of my poor Hydrangeas that think it's time to send out new shoots and leaves. 

The azaleas are fairly sure spring is rolling back around! 

It's still only December and quite a few months of fall and winter left to go around here. Hopefully we won't have the back and forth all winter. That will be really bad news for the fruit trees and such. In fact I had better check the grape vines to see if they are thinking about sprouting again. And Mother Nature if you are listening, can you keep the polar vortex up where it belongs, the south would appreciate it if you do. We enjoy watching snow on TV but we are NOT equipped to deal with it down here. As entertaining as it maybe to those up north, watching us stuck and sliding around in an inch of snow, we'd rather be spared from that this year. Once every ten years is certainly good enough around here!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Small Town Holiday

I've lived in near the state capital and I've lived in medium cities but for somethings I think small towns just do it better. Not all things by any means but somethings like holiday celebrations, they excel in.

We went last night to the tree lighting celebration in Hookerton as vendors. We lucked out the weather cooperated and it was chilly (not cold) and clear. Overall it was a great night to be outside with friends.

I should have taken more pictures of things like the tree and the kids but I did get a couple of Santa. It was very neat, they had carriage rides around town for anyone who wanted to go, complete with jingle bells. Santa ended up coming in on the carriage, in prior years he has come on the firetruck. I liked the idea of the carriage a bit better. You could have your picture taken with Santa for free, FREE, does anyone do that anymore?

We were serenaded by wandering groups of small children singing carols with their elf hats. I think that is something I can put down for my Daisy/Brownie troop to do next year. I remember doing that with a church group when I was small and it was a ton of laughs. We made fruit and cookie baskets for the older members of the church and sang for them as they were delivered...but I diverge.

They had a local radio DJ keeping the festivities rolling, their were raffles and contests for kids, local church choirs and bands. A petting zoo with a donkey that loves kids and carrots, not necessarily in that order. I was informed by one of my Brownies that she had been concerned that this donkey had escaped from the live nativity scene at the church just down the road. I checked for her and assured her that they didn't have a real donkey just real people. She decided that donkey's tend to make a mess in the hay when they hang around for a while so that must have been why they didn't use them. I agreed. Disaster averted..

Do big cities have celebrations, sure they do. They have lights, they have people and they have all kinds of flashy stuff, what do small towns have? They have the homemade elf hats and cookies for the kids. Homemade fish stew and hushpuppies by the bucket. They have people who invite you to dinner and ask about your family and they really mean it. I am taking orders for Friendship Fruit Cakes and I'm afraid I am reaching the order limit already. I'm glad to know that we'll be apart of so many holiday celebrations. It's nice to be part of a community that values homemade and handcrafted items.

I will have to say I fall strongly in the category of scrooge rather than holiday elf. But even the grinch was won over, so maybe with a few more of these outings I might too change my tune about the holidays. We have another event in the community on the 12th, a Christmas Extravaganza, I might even wear a reindeer hat if the weather permits...

Here's a good one of the horse, he was a great sport about the whole thing, He must still be seeing flashes from all of the pictures that were taken. 

And a good picture of of our local Santa in his carriage. I wonder if Ms. Claus knows he is stepping out with an Elf this year..

Monday, December 1, 2014

I made a thing Monday 12/1/14

It was a Holiday Weekend but it ended up being a wreath weekend too. I had accumulated quite a few wreath orders over the last week. I thought I would share a few that are being delivered today.

The person who ordered them wanted a simple wreath that she could use with an initial. She is giving them away as gifts and I'm doing the hard part so she

I have a few more that went out over the weekend and two more to make this week. One is has a frozen theme, we'll see how that goes.

I also worked on a few Rudolph hats for a tree-lighting we are attending tonight. We have a busy week, shows on Monday, Friday and Saturday this week. Let's hope I can keep ahead of the orders!

Hope your December is starting out busy and fruitful too!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

What I learned from NaBloPoMo

NaBloPoMo for November, Posting everyday for thirty days. I started a blog, oh a couple of years ago and that's how far it got. I had the urge but not the determination to follow through. Then I saw some posts on Ravelry of all places and I decided that the time was right. 

I know that I enjoy writing, but could I actually sit down and do it. You know it's been years since I had to write something. I learned that I could and that I really enjoyed it. I don't think I have found my voice yet but I will.

I learned that you don't have to be perfect, you just have to be you. People will like it or they won't, that doesn't meant that your ideas are useful or important, it just means that they have their own. And that's good too.

I learned that it takes more than a couple of minutes a day, and some days I just don't have that but I made myself a priority and got it done. It felt good to put myself first even if it's for a few minutes a day. 

I learned that there is so much more to learn! I have enjoyed discovering other blogs and learning from them. This is just my start and I can see it moving forward from here. Will it ever get a thousand hits in a day, probably not,  I have a gained a couple of followers. And that means the world to me. If they leave, is it the end of the world? Nah, I'll survive and I'll perhaps pick up a few more in other places.

Will I blog everyday going forward, chances are not in December , it a really busy month, but then again I have ideas floating around. I am promising myself that I will post at least three times a week. I hope that you will stick with me and maybe invite a friend or two. I've enjoyed your blogs and your links and I have made a few friends, it's been worth it and I for one thank Blogher  for giving me the push I needed to become a blogger. Here's to the hope that I can learn enough from all of you to become a better blogger, writer
and photographer, too.

One day this whole thing might grow into a real blog. I can't wait to see. Thanks for joining me on this trip!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sign Saturday

I'm a sign person, I enjoy the everyday strange about signs, road signs, advertising and just plain informational signs. It should be interesting if you have to write it down or make a sign for it! I'm going to try and add this as my regular Saturday post. Enjoy!

This was one my Cousin sent to me from Cracker Barrel, I think I will be heading over there this weekend to pick one up for here! I Love it and she knew I would, family is great like that!

This on the other hand, this one will never find a place at our House. There is a reason we stayed in the south and didn't go back to Michigan with the rest of Chris' Family.

Do you have a great sign, that you'd like to share? Send them on!

Friday, November 28, 2014

No Stash Busting Here

There is a group on Ravelry that did a stash busting exercise. Well the goal I think was to bust the stash but maybe it was more to show how much that comes in and what doesn't go out, which is more the case in my house. I think it led to some ugly truths for some people and others were pleasantly surprised. But due to lack of interest I don't think that she will do it again.

They were measuring by yards, and tracking what comes in vs. what was used. I think its a great idea but measurements might be a bit much for me to track. So I've decided that I will start in December and see how long I can keep it up. I'm starting with 0 instead of the real number that is packed into my craft room and all over the house and keep going from there. If I get adventurous after Christmas I might make some adjustments. I figure if I use part of a skein that will count for one and if I buy something I will use the actual number that comes in,

I am not one that buys for a specific project but I can, normally I run across yarn I love or if it's a good sale, then I have to stock up. Or if I visit Carolyn at Heelside Farms, then I know I will come home with a few bags of something wonderful and local. It's gotten a bit out of hand lately. I also have a few enablers in my life so they don't help either.

I'm not going to sugar coat it, my craft room should be declared a disaster zone. If I get really brave I'll post a picture to show how bad it really is. I'm not sure how brave you guys are if you're ready to see it. It hasn't always been this bad but it is in a bit of a reconfiguration right now. We recently painted and it hasn't been the same since.

I am in awe of people who have only project and one project going at all times, or that will buy just for a certain project. Tell me how that works and maybe I can wrap my brain around it. I admit I have a yarn problem and admitting it is half the battle right?

I can say that I saw the ads for Michael's Black Friday Sale and I am not impressed, I just bought some charisma and that's really all that's on sale yarn-wise, So I will be safe for a couple of weeks anyway.

I think I'll try and do Bi-weekly updates and keep a running total. Any one else out there have this problem? Willing to share your counts too? Don't let me feel like the only yarn hoarder out there!

Make sure you are sitting down for these pictures. This will give me a reason to get back there and straighten it up. Right now I sneak in, grab some yarn and run out. Chris had put up these great wire blocks for me and I started to get organized and then as usual something came up and I never got back. Did someone say Squirrel?


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!


For Everyone in the US. We're wishing you a Bountiful Thanksgiving with Family and Friends! 
For Everyone Else wishing you a Wonderful Day Too!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Shawl Pattern Search is on

Chris is setting the wood turning equipment back up and some of his first projects after the holidays will be some shawl pins that I have been asking for. I've also been asking for a few yarn bowls but that's another story..

Anyway I have been hunting around for a while for a few shawls that are just right for me and some to make that would show off the pins and buttons that he is working on. I'm not too girly and I want it to be functional as well as decorative, so am I asking too much? Maybe the problem is that there are just so many and it's hard to pick just a hand-full to try.

These are some of the ones I'm considering.
Oswin I love it but is it practical.. Would I use it?
INSTANT DOWNLOAD, OSWIN, Crochet shawl pattern pdf

Same Designer as above Hera. More me maybe and I do love the shawl pin..

INSTANT DOWNLOAD, HERA, Crochet capelet pattern pdf

This designer is local to our area, well kinda local, within a couple of hours. and I love the edging detail.
Tropical Breeze


Again Same Designer but this one is named after my home county Onslow

and one just for my mom. This is her style all the way. Proud as a Peacock

Any Ideas or votes for your favorites?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Later Gator, never say Goodbye

As this posts will be attending the funeral of the person who has been my best friend since I was 14.
I'm not going to do the weepy sad post that I'm feeling because she would seriously disapprove of that. I will say that she was and always will be my hero. She smiled and fought when I know her heart wasn't in it and she never missed an opportunity to help someone else or to try and lift up someone who she thought might not have as much as her.

I have stories I could tell but I won't in case our Children ever get around to seeing this post. There are things that are just better left in the woods, and at bonfires and on the beach. But I'll pull them out every now and again when I'm feeling low, to give myself a chuckle or a huge belly laugh, depending on the situation.

In High School we as best friends, dated a set of best friends. She would go on and marry her one and only boyfriend. I won't say he and I always saw eye to eye and that it is my fault that I shied away from them at times because I disapproved of him, so therefore I was the one who missed out.

We attended the same college although at different times, and I was the one who dropped her off to college and worried the whole way home, if she would be okay up there by herself, while she worried about me driving home, alone. I was the one who had to go and visit her when someone dug up a prediction from some book that their would be a disaster at a college near a railroad track on the such and such parallel at such and such date. Didn't happen but we enjoyed the craziness of it all.

I will take the blame for killing her goldfish in her first apartment, but in my defense it had to be the clean water that did him in. When I saw the water in that tank moving around but couldn't see the fish I was afraid he would be a mutant, so I had to help. Sadly Herman had grown used to the slime and couldn't handle daylight or oxygen.

When I was pregnant with my daughter and the majority of people around me were less than thrilled, she made sure to remind me that it couldn't be that bad, we had practically raised ourselves, and that she would be there to help. But the diapers were my duty.. Bestest Friend duties only go so far. When E was born premature, while everyone else stood around and wrung their hands, she held my hand and pointed out how much she looked like her dad but had my eyes, so just wait until she got old enough to date, we were going to have trouble... she was right as usual.

She was ridiculously book smart but like a turkey I was afraid to send her out in the rain for fear that she would drown. But she made it through college on scholarships and then on to law school. First as a family attorney and then as an Assistant District Attorney, because helping people made her happy.

She loved soccer and was E's biggest fan, I remember her being very pregnant in the stands of my five year old's soccer game, and yelling directions to the team. Didn't want to coach but would have been the best one they had. She'd settle for working in the concession stand with her mom, during the crazy cold days as well as the horribly hot ones too.

She has two wonderful, smart, athletic boys who thankfully got the majority of their gene's from her. My wish for them is to know how many people love their mom and how much she'll be missed. I also hope she taught them how to pee in the woods better than she taught me!

Even when that f*ing disease was winning she made sure that she didn't miss an opportunity to spend time with her friends, just because we wanted to be with her.

There will be new inside jokes, new places to explore, and new fears to conquer. I won't be alone in any of these because of my guardian. She's gone on to break a trail for us, and get the party started. My advise to the Angels meeting up with her is to not let her stay up too late, she gets the giggles and can't stop when she's over tired, teach her that she doesn't have to do it all, others really do want to help, and  be prepared to make tons of rest stops along your travels or make her go before you leave the house, she has the smallest bladder in the universe.

I wonder if Father Cass will be giving your Mass, Hopefully he won't bring up how many times he caught us sneaking out early to head to the beach. Your mom did only say we had to go, she never said how long we had to stay...

Rene' I miss you more than I can say.
PS Just for the record Mom, If Rene' had jumped off a bridge you can guarantee I would have too.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday 11/25/14 I Made a Thing

I've got a crap ton  Few projects in process but I was able to knock a few out this weekend with a little help from my Fiber buddies. I meant to take picture of all of our goodies this weekend but after I packed the projects, yarn hooks and snacks, I totally forgot my phone.. I posted in the morning and set it down right by the door and that's' right where it was when I got back. There will be other meetings maybe even next weekend and I'll make sure to show them off!

I bought a bit of Charisma from Michael's a week or so ago (very Cheap), in fact it was a better sale than their Black Friday Sale, at least from what I've seen so far. So I've been looking for a few quick patterns for gifts and items to sale. Rose came to my rescue, again, she had a great stitch and again I should have taken pictures to explain but I'll make sure to make a few more and show how It was done. I might even hunt around for a real tutorial, I'm sure someone has done it better justice than I ever could.

Right now this is just my show off page to prove that I am accomplishing something!

So here's my Bulky scarves. One is done using two Skeins of Charisma, Half doubles but instead of going in the top loops I went into the third loop on the back side. Strange I know but I creates a very dense but squishy fabric, with a nice ridge detail. Once I got it working it went very quickly. I'll be making more of these.

and here's the ridge detail view

Then there is scarf #2 I used a basic offsetting dc2tog. I had originally thought to do the Scarfati by Moogly  but my bulky was a bit too bulky and it didn't lay right and was way too long. So I backed it down to 111 starting chain with a 9 mm hook  and the dc3tog down to dc2tog with two chains instead and it worked better. I stayed with the same format of four rounds. I think that they will work well as multiples. I'll be knocking out a few more of these for stocking stuffers for sure.

And for the last one, I was asked to make a winter beanie for a friend. She said she had a fall themed hat and she wanted a winter themed hat. So here's her Winter Themed hat, with it's very own snow flake. Hopefully it will be the only kind of snow we see this year!

Hoping you have a productive week too!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

December Calendar is getting out of hand..

It seems like every time I turn around something else is being added to my calendar. At this point I'm thinking I'm either going to have to clone myself or hire an assistant to get it all done.
I really shouldn't complain, I enjoy being busy but I'm not a fan of the Holiday Season and all the craziness that goes with it. I'd love to be able to slow down and enjoy it all, but it doesn't look like that's gonna happen this year. So I'd better teach Abbey to crochet so I can get ahead on the inventory!

So far I have for December:

  • 1 Wool Dying Class
  • 2 Brownie /Daisy Meetings
  •  3 Holiday Parties to Attend
  • 5 Vendor Shows
  • 7 Gift Basket orders to fill
  • 40 small loaf and 5 Bundt  Friendship fruit cakes to Bake 
  • A few last minute Gifts for friends from us
  • Make sure to add in the unknown number of last minute Christmas orders
And I feel like I should add something about swans a swimming or make that Chickens a laying to just round it out.  Oh crap I'm fairly sure there should be some Christmas Cards sent out and I should do some Christmas shopping, decorate a bit and visit with my child..and it's my birthday month too. We can forget that one, I'd really be thrilled if we skipped it this year.

 How many Projects do you have on the books for December? Make me feel better and post your lists!

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sunny Saturday

HEY! It's Caturday and I'm out with the girls getting a bit of Fibre things done. So I thought I'd let Chipmunk give you a bit of Good Morning Cheer. I caught her on her way to the top of the hay pile this morning on my way out. It's still a bit Chilly but she's about to settle in for a morning nap in the sun. I hope where ever you are you at least have a nice bit of sun to nap in too!
Hopefully I'll a have a bit of updates for on some of the projects I'm working on soon, this should be a productive Saturday with my Knit/Crochet Group.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fall has Fallen a bit short

I swear we went straight into winter around here as well the rest of the county but seriously this is the South! We live here for a reason, frost we don't mind because you need a little to make the collards taste better for Thanksgiving, but we do enjoy our Fall weather. Cool nights and warm days. Just nice enough to sleep with the windows open and work outside during the day. This year we skipped all that. We didn't even get a chance to see the leave change much around here, they are still green when they froze and fell off. Speaking of which when I left the house yesterday there were a few leaves down. Today I leave and the ground is covered, with green leaves! See them, they are GREEN!

Bob is seriously concerned about this turn in the weather. He is not appreciative of the crinkling noise when he is trying to sneak up on the mice. I think that look says "Make sure you take care of this mess this weekend!"

Sorry Bob maybe if it doesn't rain on Sunday I'll take care of them for you. They are headed to the garden to become mulch, nothing goes to waste around here. I hear that the temperature will be heading out of the teens and back into the high 50's. That we can handle, but I do miss getting to see the leaves turn and all of the great colors.Here's to getting back to normal November weather and leave January weather in January. Hopefully the crazy cold then warm ups won't do too much damage to the garden either.

If nothing else it encourages people to bundle up, which is good for

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A winter something for me

I'm trying to get back into the swing of completing some projects and to that I give you a set of boot cuffs that I made for me. Yeah I know I'm supposed to be working on inventory but I saw these and I knew it would a quick self serving project. Now I just have to find a perfect pair of boots to wear with them. I have a tan pair but I think these would work best with black. I really didn't plan it that way, so I would have to shop for another pair of boots but it's been a busy season and since we skipped Fall and ran straight into Winter I think I have earned them..

Here is the Pattern for Boot Cuffs shown above. I used Vanna's Choice in Linen. It has a more of a grey color than what I would think of as Linen but I think it will work nicely on black. After the holidays I think I will work on a few more in different colors and maybe I can squeeze in a few for last minute stocking stuffers. Yay for me..

What is your go to project when you need a little pick me up?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Getting the orders out

I took November off so I could get some of the Christmas orders completed. It doesn't seem to be working out the way that I had planned. I had this idea that I would be able to crank these items right out as well as replenish the inventory that had sold in the prior months. I'm not sure if it's the time change or the lack of light but I have been sluggish and slow. Projects aren't moving as fast as I feel like they should and so on and so on. BUT an order is going out today so Hopefully this will get me back on track for the other items that are not quite ready to be sent out. I have also been back about taking pictures of finished projects, which I find when I do have then it is very helpful for the next sale.

So having said that this set is heading out today for a December Baby. I really enjoyed making it and I think that I should concentrate on some smaller items to get my crocheting mojo back!
Bootie Pattern is here and the hat is just a basic newsboy/beanie type. And below is the corresponding basic diaper cover.

This Saturday I will be able to meet up with the local fibre group for a few hours! I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else is working on and maybe a bit of their finishing will rub off on me. it's really bad that I have to bring the items into work to get a good picture.. lol. Please ignore the stacks of files that snuck into the picture.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Just because you can..

Doesn't mean you should. Just saying that Science is capable of doing so much and yet there is are groups of people doing the strangest things just because..

The Quest to Create a Living Velociraptor Is Underway

They are manipulating Chicken genes to try and create a Dinosaur. Does this ring any bells about how bad an idea that just might be..Jurassic Park.. anyone? In fact it seems like George Lucas is even doing some of the funding for the project.

If you have ever had a chance to spend anytime around a group of chickens, then you have no doubt that in an earlier evolutionary stage they were surely at least related to Velociraptors. They might seem fairly harmless scratching around in the yard but they can be ruthless. Try taking a bowl of oatmeal out on a cold day or a nice bowl of watermelon on a hot one and see how they act. Those fluffy creatures who don't seem like much of a predator turn into a crazy pack of wolves. Even as fluffy little yellow chicks they are often kept under a red lamp so that if one is injured then the others won't peck him to death. The sight of blood does that to them. The whole idea is Just plain scary.

But on a lighter note...

Dr. Ian Malcolm: God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs.
Dr. Ellie Sattler: Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth
credit Jurassic Park (1993)

Hey you never know...

Monday, November 17, 2014

I made a Thing Monday 11/17/14

So here is Today's thing.

I had gotten the book The Finer Edge and I'm determined to be able to do something with these patterns. I make a simple scarf with a row of doubles and half doubles and then on one side I added the Birch Scallops Edging. Just one side because I thought it would lay better while you were wearing it. I'm not a fan of too many ruffles.  It was done in Lion Brand HeartLand and I'm not really thrilled but it will do for now. I'm hoping that a bit a blocking will keep it from the frog pile but I'm not holding out a lot of hope. Here is a bit more detail of the Scallop. I feel like it just doesn't fit with what I was going for. But that's my opinion today, tomorrow it might grow on me. maybe a bit thicker yarn would help also, heartland is a bit soft for this kind of project.

On to other items. I should have been working on orders but I need a diversion and the book came in so I wandered off track again. Back to work for me. Have a great Monday!

Sunday, November 16, 2014


I was recently on Amazon and had made a small order and of course I needed a bit more to make the minimum for the free shipping. I hunted around a bit and came up with this.

It is nice in the fact that it does give you written pattern as well as charts and it does have a nice selection but they seem to be more clothing oriented rather than for what I would have thought about using edgings for. Again that's not bad because I'm always up to learn something new. All in All it has 20 Top - Down, 8 Bottom-up, 14 side to side and 12 motif patterns, along with 10 projects using some of the motifs and edgings.

The book just came in this week and I can say that I do like the boarders it has but I'm not so thrilled with the selection. There are as many Motifs as boarders and I know it says that on the front and in it's defense it does give you projects for uses. I thought I would try out one as a edging for a scarf, something to jazz it up a bit. It's in the works but it should be ready for my Monday show off.

Originally bought it because I had been thinking about adding some boarders to a few fleece blankets I had picked up. I wanted something functional but different. Kinda something for an impulse buy for the summer or spring markets.

I would recommend it to others but I don't think my search is over. Next time I'm on Amazon they'll get me again and I've got my eye on a couple. What do you suggest?

I hope that everyone is having a great Sunday, We're a bit bundled up over here this afternoon and some of us are snoozing, while others work...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Cotton and Traffic Jams

If you aren't in our neck of the woods or even in this hemisphere you might not realize that it is Cotton Picking season right now, along with soybeans but they aren't nearly as dear to my heart. I know you may have read or seen movies where they are picking in the summer but trust me cotton is done in the late fall. I'm a fan of Fall, it has all the great tree colors, Pumpkins, my favorite holiday, Halloween and the weather has generally toned down a bit. You get those great cool nights, when you can sit outside with out being eaten alive by bugs or melting from the heat. But Fall really means harvest time around here. The winter crops are planted and the last of the summer crops are coming in. I few weeks ago I was walking around down our road and we have a few fields on either side. The cotton was just about ready so I appropriated a couple of stalks for a fall wreath I was working on. I neglected to get a picture of the wreath but I did get one of the Cotton, Some of the bolls (that's the green thing on the right side) hadn't opened yet so it made a great addition to the wreath, along with a few magnolia leaves. I'll have to make a point to make another for me. I think I still have a branch or two of the cotton left.

As someone who works with fibers, crochet and spinning, I get all worked up when I see how much cotton actually gets left on the ground after the harvest. It will look like it has snowed around here for a couple of weeks until it gets worked back into the ground. I always want to run out and pick up a few bushels for combing but then I think about the thousand of pounds of pesticides they spray it with and it keeps me from snapping it all up. Just barely but that is some pretty nasty stuff. You can see the huge bales on the left, that they compress it into so that it can be transported to the mills. It's hard to tell from here but those are huge piles of cotton.

And I'll sum this all up with the reason I got on the cotton kick for today. I was trapped behind this, on my way out this morning for a good while. These things just crawl along..
We don't have to worry too much about traffic around here but tractors can certainly back everything up for a while. I wouldn't have worried too much but I was on my way to Michael's with a great coupon AND yarn is on sale, so it wasn't very welcome this morning. I did make it to the sale and I'll have some posts soon showing off a few projects I've got planned.

Here's Hoping you'll have a traffic free day also!

Friday, November 14, 2014

And on the flip side

Yesterday I talked about the awesome Fruit Cake tradition that I'm now the proud owner of, but there is a dark side to some of our Holiday Food Traditions. Yes, I said it and I know there are those of you out there that will totally agree. Some ideas and/or recipes should have been left right where they were back in the 70's, 80's and before. We have a few that thankfully I don't have pictures of but I'm sure a majority of you will have seen it sometime in your life and for that I you have my apologies. For the ones who don't agree with me and continue to love these items, Good for You!. Just please leave them at your house..

I'll start with Watergate Salad. Heard of it? It a staple in the south and not just for the holidays but that's when we see the most of it. It's Pistachio Pudding with pineapple and apples at our house or other fruit, whipped topping, nuts and marshmallows. You'll find that I am horrified by many things that contain marshmallows, there is a story there but I'm not sure I should share it. My opinion is that it's green goop. It's chilled and served cold. I'm hoping this won't be on the table this year but you never know. Someone always says "I should have made that green salad this year". I for one am always thankful that they didn't have time..

My second item is not as offensive but in my opinion has passed its prime. The dreaded jello mold with fruit. Again not a Jello fan and it's the same reason as the marshmallows and I have seen marshmallows in the jello fruit mold which is doubly scary. For some reason at our celebrations green jello was used, maybe it was to help it seem more festive? I will admit that I have my Grandmothers Jello Mold, it's one of those Tupperware sets with the different inserts for the different holidays or seasons. I have it for the sole reason of preventing anyone else in the family from making this unwelcome desert. And maybe for a bit of sentimentality   I stole this image off of Amazon, with a link if you are so inclined to revisit this adventure at your holiday table. i won't be putting mine up for sale anytime soon, I think it's best for everyone if it stays where it is.

To round out the Holiday Horrors I'll add one more but it's only related to a food item. It is actually a byproduct or left over from the feast and thankfully it's only happened once. But having said that I am officially scarred for life. My crafty mother saw a Santa Sleigh made out of a turkey breast bone somewhere, I can't imagine where. Yes it was the eighties but still, really. Why in the world would you go to all of that trouble of keeping the bones intact, bleaching them and then to top it all off spray paint it glittery Red. I felt bad for the turkey but I felt worse for me having to pass by it for the next month. Horrors on top of horrors.

It's not quite as bad but I'll include it here, I'm being pressured to make Icebox Fruit cakes for Thanksgiving. I have nominated myself to be the family baker so I should have seen it coming. I'm considering it since I have found a recipe that doesn't include the dreaded marshmallows, so maybe it will make it to the table but I'm not promising anything yet..

What makes up your list of food items (or food related crafts) to be avoided during the holiday season? Share with us please,  we all want to know we aren't alone in this...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Taking over a Tradition

My Grandmother was "The Baker" and holiday cooker in the family. The rest of us might have brought a side dish but we were also smart enough to stay out of her way. We kept to the edges of the warzone, ah I mean Kitchen and if called upon we rushed in to do our duty then got the hell out of her way. She was a dynamo in the kitchen and as much I try there are things that I will never be able to duplicate. The Chocolate Gnash frosting, Biscuits, Lemon Meringue Pie  and Hush puppies. I saw them made for years, biscuits and hush puppies almost every day, can I make them, yes, do they taste or look remotely like hers, nope. There was nothing fancy added to the mix, flour was poured onto the table, she made a dip in the middle, Crisco, powdered milk were added, it was mixed by hand and holy cow they were Awesome. I even have her pan! Not happening. The dogs even shy away from my feeble attempts.. I give. I will never be the family bread person.

BUT I can bake, not like her of course but in my own meager way I am picking up the spoon and I am attempting to make fruit cakes for the family this year. I do have an aunt who held the position for the last few years but due to health problems is unable to continue in her duty. Could I let it fall to the wayside, NEVER!

 I have my grandmothers recipe book and I have already started the traditional Friendship Fruit Cakes. And it is quite a process, you have to start your starter, which takes 14 days and then for another 30 you feed it. Then you have to bake! Quiet a process but I'm willing to sacrifice a bit of the kitchen counter this endeavor. In fact today is the day that I will take this starter and turn this into something more.

 It will become the base for a fruit cake you and your family will actually enjoy. I know all about how people run from the dreaded fruit cake at Christmas but this one is the one you'll be glad to get or even give. I'll give you a link to a traditional Friendship cake and starter recipe but I can't share the family secret just yet..Friendship Fruit Cake. But remember part of the deal is that once the cakes are made you will have starter left over to gift to your very bestest friends,, as we say down here, along with the recipe so that they can also gift their families with this wonderful treat. It's not just a Christmas deal, my grandmother would often whip out a few for special occasions.

The jar shown above is actually a big bigger than a gallon, it's my Collard Kraut jar but I'm not quite ready to start that yet. We haven't had a really good frost and y'all know collards aren't the best until they have been frosted on. And this is a double batch of  starter because we started counting the people who would need a cake, we're doing the medium bread pan size and one batch wouldn't do it. Then I mentioned that I was making these to a friend and she decided she needed some and then Chris mentioned it and now we have orders pouring in. So last week another double batch was started and hopefully everyone will get what they hope for but we'll see. I'm glad they are processing a week apart, that will give me a bit of time in between marathon baking events.

But I'll enjoy every minute of it and I might even break out Grandma's apron to wear. I know she's enjoying watching me carry on her traditions. One day I might even pass it along to my daughter. The only catch will be that her version will be vegan..since she's named for my grandmother I might make one batch vegan and see if they can tell. Chances are they will like that version more and a new Tradition will be born, from one Elizabeth to the next..

What Holiday food  tradition will you uphold or which ones would you like to see drop off the menu? The good, (this cake) the bad and the ugly ( those two are for Friday's post).

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Shhh... I think it heard us!

A few weeks ago we were in the backyard talking about the things that needed to be done before it got too cold.

  •  Chicken coops need new litter
  • One coop needs a new Latch on the door
  • Peach and Pear trees need to be pruned back into order
  • The grapevine needs a new support added
  • Hay bales need to be picked up so they can be ready for spring planting
  • Spread the Alpaca and Horse poop over the garden
  • Trim the Kiwi Vine
  • dig up the SunChokes
  • and so on and so on
So last night I got home a bit early and I wanted to check on the Sunchokes that are in the back garden, we'll be harvesting them soon, just waiting for a good frost first. I snuck  around the barns instead of walking through the yard and upsetting the chickens/cats/dogs and came up on the Arctic Kiwi Vine first. It really has taken over and is heading towards the bee hives. The bees might not mind having the flowers a bit closer this spring but before they know it they'll be covered! This stuff is worse than Kudzu. I think it might be the pile of Alpaca poop we planted it in four years ago.

I checked on the Sunchokes and they are doing great, so then I'm heading back to the house. No need to be quiet or sneaky this time, since I have already been spotted by the dogs who are sounding the alarm, chickens are already heading to bed by this time since it's about dark. And when I get to the fence what do I see but this..

That Kiwi is trying to tie up the gate! At first I'm amused that it has made it his far down but then I think oh no, it heard us talking about giving it a major trim and it's trying to thwart what it sees as an upcoming attack! I quickly untangle the gate and make sure it knows we've got plenty to do this winter and I'm fairly sure that job has fallen off the list for this year. I may have won this round but I'm not sure if I have won the war. We'll be sure to keep an eye on it in the near future, and I think we'll schedule the planning discussions for the front yard..

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It was Not Exactly as I had Expected

I was surprised and a bit confused by some of the things I saw this weekend, we went to the Mistletoe Magic Holiday Show in Morehead City and the Farmer's Market in New Bern. I'm a bit late on this but I had a couple of other ideas already planned for posts so as to not get off track I'm doing this now. If you are in our area you are welcome to go and make our own decisions about these two locations everyone's opinion is different and you are encouraged to visit these locations and come to your own conclusion.

We took a morning off to run away from the farming and canning for a bit this last weekend. We were thinking about applying to a Holiday Show down on the coast as a vendor for next year. Neither of us had been so we thought we would check it out first and see what it was like. Would our items fit in or would it be a waste of time. I also wanted to check out a local farmers market that was sort of on the way, at least we had to drive through the town it was in.

Neither one ended up being what I though it would be.

 I'll start with the New Bern Farmer's Market, which we hit first. It's easy to get to and in a historic district but parking left a bit to be desired. I was thinking Farmers for Farmer's Market but out of about 25 Vendors there were only 3 and one was only selling sweet potatoes. I know it's late in the year but there really are some great veggie coming off now, and the selection with one vendor was really nice, so I guess it was good for him! The others were a very diverse group of crafters. Handmade items from Jewelry to Sheep milk soap. Christmas is right around the corner and I think that might have had a bit to do with the variations of vendors available. I'd go again to see what the spring or summer is like.The weather was wonderful for the ones outside and there were even a couple of real food trucks standing by, one with Vegan options, too. I was impressed by that! I was impressed with the size of the crowd too. And shockingly enough there wasn't a Jam or Canning Vendor in sight. We'll have to check it out but I might be back for more than a visit.

Then we head over to the Holiday Show, it was totally not what I expected. As we walked up we saw  a few vendors outside, one was for novelty cutting boards, something we use quite a bit and after seeing them I'll pass along the link. I'm all about shopping local but this deserves a shout out. Pig Cutting Boards are too cute and handy, too. Then there were a couple of vendors that would fit into what I would say was the handcrafted category, but they were mainly stuck outside like an afterthought. One person was selling knit hats for kids for 5.00, I know it wasn't a wool hat or expensive yarn but goodness you can undercut yourself, I saw people browse but no sales for her. We then ventured in, there was a 3.00 fee for entry and that was the only money we spent. I did see some very nice turned wood bowls but they didn't even have a business card available. Chris does some wood turning and has promised me a yarn bowl but it never hurts to have a back up plan. The building was pretty small and there were some nice booths but I was surprised to see one for Rainbow Vacuums and then one for Verizon. Seriously if you needed a filler couldn't you have put the other vendors inside. I know it didn't tout itself as a craft fair but as a Holiday Market, but in my opinion Vacuums are not what women are wanting to find under the tree. And as far as who was shopping the majority were woman with a a few significant other males dragged along.  We can mark that one off the list of possibilities.

All in All it was great to get out of town, to enjoy the sunshine before this cold snap takes over again and I learned a few things, Sunday was back to the grind, finishing up the last of the apples for Apple Butter, working on Holiday gifts and orders and working in the garden. We'll have to rake soon, since the pecans are falling and that's a whole new adventure waiting for us. Enjoy your week!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday 11/10/14 I Made a Thing!

So now that I've been doing this for just over a week I thought I would try to keep myself on Track with not only blogging but completing projects, see yesterday's post. I'm pledging to post a finished Object every Monday! Some Mondays it will be crochet, but it could be something else crafty. I also make wreaths, do pottery. cross stitch and quilt. So it could be any combination of any of those.

Today's project is a small crochet one but it's functional and that's what we are shooting for this holiday season. We have so much stuff and we are working on paring down quite a bit of the things we just don't use or haven't un-boxed in the 6 years since we moved here. So in that aspect I give you my version of the Holiday Towel Holder.

I thought instead of a spring daisy I would try a poinsettia for Christmas. After a bit of trial and error I think I'm happy with it. It needs a bit of tweaking but it works.

I got the idea from here-Daisy Towel Holder

Then I ran across these towels and since my Daughter is such a huge fan of owls I just had to do this.
Now this owl needs a bit of help and I think I will change out the strap to be more Christmas colors but I thought I would match the center. Ignore the horrible picture, it doesn't do the owl justice. It would help to have a beak too or just the solid color center. I think this one is going back to the drawing board for some adjustments...Keep an eye out for upcoming changes..

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Startitis I have it..

What  in the world is startitis? It's a common problem many crafters face, we start a project and suddenly come across another that just must be made, and then another and another. Then you wind up with other issues like a box full of WIPs (works in progress), UFOs, (Unfinished Objects), I unfortunately have my share, in fact I bet I have enough to have your fair share also.

Why do we do this to ourselves, can't I just sit down and finish one project before I start the next? Not everyone has this problem, could it be a gene we inherited? I'll take that explanation and run with it. I have run a cross a project or two that my mother started before I was born and it just never got finished, we won't talk about how long ago that is let's just say they might have gone out of style and are heading back into system by now.

I could list them but I just don't have that much time, If I'm going to get something accomplished today so I'll leave you with a few pictures and you can see I do make progress just not much at once. And in my defense I do try to have a travel project, a take to work project and who am I kidding. If I could stay off Ravelry I'd get more done!

Here's a few I'm working on and the links if you are so inclined to join me in my madness..

This my version of a modern granny square Blanket. Just sold the boy version last weekend so It's time to do another and get this one finished!

The there is the Elf Hat that just needs the ends tucked in a pom pom

Then a Star Blanket that I had started for a baby boy but with the Dallas Colors I might have to make the big boy of the house one..

Then one more blanket to show, but not the only ones that are in process. It's the Irish wave and I plan on using light pink, darker pink and two shades of green.. I love the way it comes together.

This might or might not be another reason I haven't gotten much done lately..
Check out that face, too sweet. I was using her window box so I guess she deserves a bit of a tummy rub too.

Have a great week!