Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday Morning

Monday morning and I am home sick...again...but with the company of my children...sick as well. I am doing some better, but my youngest was running a slight fever and I just didn't feel right about leaving her at home all day while I was at work. Probably need another day myself to get over this a little more. The wind is blowing...again...fourth straight day...or so. This part of the country cannot handle the wind well, things are getting blown over all over town. Branches broken off, utility poles knocked over, whole trees uprooted. It is actually kind of erie the way it has finally died down this morning. But, yesterday, it was full force and I tried to just stay in and rest. Ended up having to get out and go to Walmart though. Was out of toilet paper and Kleenex, two essentials if there ever was one. And of course, while there I had to pick up a couple of things in the craft department.

I want to make my grandson a crocheted afghan, John Deere colors you know, so was looking over the choices. I was thinking I would just buy some one pounders, checked the selection, not really the green I want, but would work. Price was $5.88, okay so I know that JoAnn's has them for $5, figure I will save a little and just get it there. Got home only to find that the sale price ended on Sat. GO FIGURE. Oh well, after thinking about it, if I can just find the box of yarn I put "where it would be safe and out of the way" I know I have lots of black and yellow, just need the green. Already know what pattern I will use as well. Now, if I could just find that box of yarn. Oh well, you all know how that goes. Funny thing, I picked up some green crochet thread, to use for my "Green Garden" round robin project. I know, that is a crazy quilt project, but can added crocheted items, if they are green. As I look at it I think, I have some of this, just saw it. In the box of yarn under DD's bed. So I didn't buy it, got home, went right to the box, right to the same green thread, simple. Except that it is a sage or pea green, was actually meant to make a table cloth. LIKE A TWO OUNCE BALL OF SIZE 10 THREAD WILL MAKE AN ENTIRE TABLECLOTH? Barbie size maybe. Oops, was supposed to say 11 1/2 inch fashion doll size.

Let me tell you, after spending some time working on crochet projects yesterday, I do not like thread. I joined a crocheted bookmark exchange, piece of cake so I thought. Went on the trusty Internet, went to
Crochet Pattern Central and then went to the directory and straight to the listing of bookmarks. This is the third Butterfly Bookmark.
The first one , the one on the left, came out okay, but not great. I always make one first to see how it will come out first. My personal view on swaps, exchanges, round robins, and other type work is simple, "only offer up work that I would appreciate getting in return" and so I usually end up with a few realizations that would not have come to light other wise. This particular project brought about an insight for my feeble little mind. I AM DUMB WHEN IT COMES TO CROCHET. I had no idea, still don't really, that there are different sizes of crochet thread. Not sure about this, but it seems that the larger the number, the smaller the thread. Or finer the thread. In other words, the size 5 thread is a little thicker than the size 10 thread. Same with the silver steel hooks as well. It would seem that a size 1 hook is a little fatter than a size 6 hook. So, not really thrilled with the first result, I choose a larger hook and made one again. Yes, I know, I forgot the little circle thing at the bottom of the second one. I have gained new insight to my abilities and comfort zone for crocheting. I do not like thread, do not like a hook smaller than a size 0. Lord, how I ever managed to make those collars and doll dresses, the table cloth I started and abandoned, I will never know. I went blurry eyed trying to find the stitch to crochet through.

Okay wise guy, go ahead and say it. I have bifocals, should probably wear them while working. I still say, give me a plain old worsted weight and a size K hook and just leave me be.

However, I am seriously rethinking this bookmark exchange. That being said, I choose to see the positive in most situations. I really liked the little butterfly as a motif, which brought to mind the crazy quilt "Green Garden" round robin I am participating in. I was hunting some buttons, in amongst the hundreds of plastic boxes of bits and pieces I have been hording for my married life, of which there are buttons that are from my aunt's collection that date back to the 20's, when a spool of Christmas green satin ribbon fell out. It was green, so set it aside. Well, one thing led to another, things went on, and eventually I hit upon the idea of using the ribbon to crochet with.

This is the result. I know this is not a "new" idea or technique, but I did think it up on my own, for which I am pretty pleased with myself over. It has the look I want for the project I am working on. Also opens up a few possibilities for further little projects. I used a size E crochet hook with 1/8 inch satin ribbon. Funny, when you get in to the hooks with a letter, the size gets larger as the letter/number gets larger. Go figure.

Along with the two bookmarks and ribbon butterfly, I also made a second potholder like the one I already made. Actually, this was bottom side to the top. I had posted earlier about making the potholder for an exchange, only to find out I had not made it thick enough. So, I learn, and started on a different pattern making the top, the bottom, then crocheted them together. Now I have a nice thick potholder, have even tried it out, that I am well pleased with and will be mailing it off tomorrow.

This pattern is called Pentagon Dishcloth and is available for free from
JPF Crochet Club which has many free patterns. They also have a pattern of the day that changes each day. This was one of those patterns that was free one day, so I saved it. Sorry, can't post the directions but there are a lot to choose from. I know it is a dishcloth pattern, but was told that it would be great for a potholder if made thicker.

It feels so good, have gotten hooked on using the cotton yarns. This is made using Sugar N Cream with an I hook. Since the finished item was supposed to be approximately 8 1/2 inches and this one is right at 8, guess I should have gone up to a J hook. Told you I crochet tightly, the pattern calls for a H hook. At any rate, I have been saving a bunch of dishcloth patterns as I hope to get involved in some of those type exchanges. They actually feel great to use and wash up great. This was done with ecru color, which reminds me of muslin.

I initially just bought 4 0z. skeins, but after working with it I went and bought a one pound cone of variegated. Just don't mention to my husband those 27 plastic tubs (sorted by color) of the huge cones of yarn I have that came with the knitting machine I was given. I love the idea of being able to make things with that machine, and she gave me all the bells and whistles to go along with it, but try as I might I have not been able to figure out how to take the project off the machine with out it raveling out. Also, I have no room to just leave it up either. When I had gotten it, I mistakenly thought that I would get oldest son's bedroom (built temporarily in the garage) for putting my sewing and crafting stuff in. Hubby decided he wanted his garage back, which I can't blame him, and then son moved back home (three times) so the knitting machine has sat idle. Now son is out for the final time and hubby has taken the walls down over the weekend. However, our youngest DS graduates in May, will be going off to college and in to the dorm. Hey as long as I leave his bed the rest of the room is fair game. SHHH, that is is a secret for now, although I suspect my hubby probably has already thought about that himself.

I have sent DS off to pick up some lunch for my DD and I. He is spending his day off from school by going to the thrift store to find things to use for his costume. He is in drama class. Now lunch is here, along with the cup from @#$*. Seems that the bottom of the plastic cup is bulged out so it has decided to act like a Weeble. Remember them? Weebles wobble but they don't fall down? Well they did and I don't trust this cup not to.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Green Alert - A Word About Plastic Bags

Okay, all the talk about going green is really getting old, but in an effort to do my part I thought I would just throw this out there. A quilting group I am on is getting a lot of chat going about making grocery totes using up fabric in their stash. Since we all have used plastic bags to bring home our stash, supplies to use with our stash, food to supply energy to use or stash, okay you get the drift. At any rate, I can remember my aunts using bread bags to crochet rugs for the bag door foot wipe before coming in and of course crocheted slippers to use over our shoes in the snow. I kind of got to thinking, in my weird way of reasoning, especially when I am sick, what's old is new. I did a Google search and found some offerings for using up those plastic bags to crochet them in to reusable bags for the beach and shopping. Making a not so green product, turn green friendly in the end.

I am not feeling up to writing these in so that they will open in a new window, but you should be able to just click on them. You may be able to right click and tell the computer to open in new window, depends on your system I guess.

Here are a few of the links I found:
Marlo’s Corner


uses cassette tape

uses VHS tape

uses bread bags

Vegan Crochet

Amelie Redman

Bev’s Beach Bag

Also, for your entertainment, I found this really neat You Tube clip of Cristen Andrews explaining how to make bags and such out used plastic bags. Really is king of cool to watch.

In fact, once you cut your bags in to strips and make your "plarn" (kind of like pleather) you can pretty much use any favorite pattern to crochet or knit. You really need to make at least one. I know I am. Have decided that cutting the bag into strips and joining them together will be the perfect "Job" for DD, 11, who is currently grounded due to grades. DON'T even think how mean I am, she is going to love this job. She really does like doing anything craft related.

That is all for now about that.

Snow On The Hills

Just had to add one more thing.

For almost two days, the highways out of town were closed due to snow and the third and final way out of here was closed for a few hours. You can see the obvious snow line. That is the elevation the snow started at. I took this shot on the way to work yesterday. They got a little more and we are waiting to see if more comes with the next system. We don't see it here often, so is a kind of unique sight.

Musings About Crafting

I didn't think I could feel any worse, I WAS WRONG. Had no idea one person could blow their nose so many times, cough for so long at a time, but am finding it out quickly. Along with the typical body aches, chills then hot, and over all plain old bone tired feeling. No matter how sick I am, I am not the type of person that is able to sleep during the day and laying in the bed for too long makes my body hurt. Must be the fibro aspect of life. So, I am slow at it, but work on this or that any way.

Last night I worked all evening embellishing my first two Crazy quilt ATC projects. I spent more time trying to figure out what embroidery stitch to put where than I actually did sewing.

This is my first efforts at this type of project. I am pleased with the way they turned out. I will be working on some hearts today, a little larger space to work with. My little camera for some reason will not take good close up shots. Am pretty sure there is some setting I might could change, but have no clue what it would be. Now that the other computer is set up with a printer/scanner, I may try to scan them and see if I can get the little stitch detailing to show up any better. The top ATC has green grapes growing. The bottom ATC (not that it shows up in the photo) has some ripples in the pond.

Now, I guess I can see if anyone wants to trade with me. May need to work on my embroidery stitching a little more. I know I tried the bullion stitch on the bottom one. Do not like that stitch at all. But, there are a ton of them I can try on future projects. Speaking of which, learning stitches that is, ordered some new books and am looking forward to their arrival.

Speaking of learning stitches, I am a visual learner. In other words I have to be able to see it to do it. I am that way with sewing as well. I follow the drawings not the printing. With the Crazy quilting, like everything else I do, when I first thought I would take it up, I dove in head first. Buying all kinds of supplies, books and such, you know how it goes. Guess that is why I have a crochet hook holder that has every size hook there is.
I made this crocheted holder back in the early 80's when I thought I would be doing SO much crocheting. You know, remember the big crocheted collar craze? Every sweat shirt was worn with one, along with leg warmers off course. It was during this time that realized I crochet very tightly. My hubby's sweet grandmother was the one that explained this to me. Now that woman was crocheting dynamo. People would bring her a bag with skeins of yarn one evening, would pick up a beautiful completed afghan on their lunch break the next day. I would sit in awe and watch this woman in motion. So, I crocheted a southern belle style dress for my daughter's fashion doll (yeah Barbie, but that is a trademark and can't say it) which was absolutely gorgeous, but way to small. Could barely get it to close around the waist and only came just below the knees instead of floor length. Then when the crocheted collar I made for my mom barely fit my 5 year old daughter, I was determined to find out what I was doing wrong. Off to Granny I went with the two finished items, the patterns I used, the thread and hooks as well. Her first comment was "Lord child, how do you hold on to something so tight?" She then explained that I should use larger hooks than suggested, about three sizes. Like I said, that was the early 80's and after starting a table cloth, that is still around here somewhere because I never throw anything away, except the pattern because I was so frustrated, I gave crocheting up. Do I need every hook size there is? NO. Did I get every hook size there is? YES, because I may need it. Never mind that 95 percent of my crocheting is done with an I or J hook. So, two years ago when I was asked to crochet some helmet liners (aka beanies) out of black yarn, given a pattern and told how easy it was, I was pretty proud of myself that I actually was able to find my roll of hooks.

So, I made hats for the soldiers.
Lots of hats. 248 hats to be exact. They had to be black, military regulations and all, so I bought lots of black yarn. In fact, I had actually at one point, when I finished them all, decided I would never do anything using black yarn again as long as I live. Of course I have gotten over that, especially since I have not accumulated all these tid bits of colored yarn and have decided I need a granny square afghan. YES, you remember them, from maybe your grandmother's house? Each square is a different colored center with black around to finish it. I didn't have a grandmother to visit, but I had aunts. Both sides of the family each aunt had at least one, my mom still has hers. Hey it will be great to take camping for sitting around the fire. How did I end up with all those colors if I had quit crocheting you ask? Simple, when I got through with the black hats, I moved in to slipper mode. Lots, and lots of slippers.

All sizes, all colors. In fact, the last photo shows the pair I made that ended up being probably about the same as a man's shoe size 18. Well maybe not that big, but very big and when my adopted soldier said his bunk mate fit in them I found myself wondering what the bunk mate looked like. Okay you caught me, it is a by product of writing the romance novels, but hey, you know the saying, big feet and all? At any rate, the slippers were made with two strands of yarn, one variegated and one solid, so have all these colors left over.

But, I have strayed the path as I was explaining that when I start a hobby, a craft, a project, I dive in head first and full force. Crazy quilting was the same way. I had went to and purchased several books on the subject. My favorite book was this one.
An Encyclopedia of Crazy Quilt Stitches and Motifs. This is the best book. I liked it because it not only gave wonderful directions on how to make the stitches and variations of the stitches, it also showed them paired up or combined with other stitches.

Only problem, I cannot find that book. I know I had it camping, went out in the wind and dark of night to search the motor home with flashlight in hand. No luck. I remember having it and another book in a blue tote with all my embroidery supplies, remember that the books fell out of the tote, am afraid that hubby didn't realize what they were and threw them away when he cleaned out the back of the car where the tote had been. But, lucky for me, Amazon happened to have some used one listed for around $5-$6 so I have already ordered a replacement, just have to wait for it now. Can I help it if I found a few more? They were quite reasonable as well. At least that is what I will tell my hubby when he questions me about the Amazon charge to the checking account.

Guess that is about it for now. Need to go read my emails, take some more medicine, then work on something, anything, to get my mind off this "dirty word" flu slash cold.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sick Again

Man does it really bite to be sick. I tell you, I have had four kids, all with out any drugs, and I would rather go through labor and delivery than this flu crap. This all started on Nov. 21, and just when I thought I was getting over it, my husband and daughter come down with it, now they are pretty much over it and I am back down with it.

On another line of thought. I have this cross collection that is displayed on a wall of my living room. I don't collect a certain type, just what ever pleases my eye so to speak. Of course family and friends know it makes a great gift for me as well. I did a little shopping on Ebay and found four crosses to add to the collection. I received them this week. The small one is very rustic, almost like rusty iron, quite ornate. The one in the middle is a favorite, it has an angel in the middle and the little glass candle holder fits in her arms. The photo doesn't show it clearly. The third cross is a Byzantine style. Which by the way is a reference to the Roman empire after the 300's AD which is know for its rich iron works and ornate styling. Today, it reminds you more of Mexican style art. Of course, my decorating budget is on the lower side, okay I am down right cheap, so this isn't really iron, it is more like plastic resin with a few metal trimmings. However, they do look nice on my wall, at least to my way of thinking, and that is what matters.

My fourth cross, a really lovely one with a depiction of a Texas longhorn did not however survive the trip through our postal service transfers. At least it was a clean break. The seller has promised a refund, unfortunately does not have any more like it. Said that he bought it off Ebay as well however suggested super glue. I offered to send it back since he was refunding the money, he declined. I think I will try to glue it back together and hang it on the wall anyway. I love the longhorn, which looks a little like pewter. But then, I really like anything that is Texan in nature.

I am however extremely put out with the postal service over this, the box was clearly marked "fragile" on all sides. I didn't pay for insurance, usually don't with the amount of funds I use, so that is all there is for that. Forrest Gump would say, "that's all I got to say about that."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Another Day - Crochet Gift

Well, here it is another day at work. Be careful what you wish for. Isn't that the old saying? I wished for a little income of my own. Having been home with the kids for so many years I was pretty sure it would be difficult to find a job. SO...I looked through the want ads and applied for a few office positions that were taking resumes over the Internet. Well, that was in late February '07 and by mid March I was employed and a member of the working force. Now I am making money, which was supposed to feed my craft habit. I don't have the time to craft that I did before, or go to the gym. Which by the way I really was enjoying going in the mid morning time when there was like 4 other people there. But, now I can't give up the job because my kids have become way to dependant on mom's wallet to pay for gas, dates, cell phones, clothes, well you know the story.

Perfect example was this week end. I get paid, looked like I was actually going to be able to bank up a little extra in the old check book. No such luck. Spent $50 on ink for the printer so I could actually print a little something out once again. Got it set back up with the old computer system that for a long time it played happily with. Seems Vista doesn't get along with printers too well. At any rate, hubby was doing our oldest DS's taxes and needed to print out a hard copy for records (we have lost too much to hard drive crashes to take chances) only to find out that now that computer won't communicate with the printer either. It was a really great all in one printer too. SO...we conclude that it has to be the printer, off I am sent to the store to find a replacement. "Get one that goes with Vista" he says as I head out the door. Now understand that when it comes to the hardware of what works with what, I am a total imbecile. I can make an electronic scrapbook page (with a software program) can make great greeting cards (with my Printmaster) but to determine on my own which printer is the best? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING! At any rate, $100.00 (plus some sales tax) and I am walking out with a new all in one Kodak Share printer. I picked it because it is new (Vista compatible) and ink is cheap (will see how much one really prints) and the other similar printer was wireless ready and hubby didn't want to have to buy more stuff to make it workable. Of course, not one printer in the store was compatible with the $50 worth of ink I had bought earlier that day. He was able to get it working with the old computer, and was able to print out the copies of the tax returns. Oh, and earlier that day, had bought an inexpensive keyboard that would work and was not like typing on piece of cardboard, only to find the extra keyboard we had a few hours later, after hubby had moved things around to make the house wireless. This is so DS, 18, can use his laptop int house. He has a computer in his bedroom already, uses the laptop to chat on MySpace while laying in his bed, instead of getting a job to pay for his own dates. Back to the story though. I was tickled to death to get to finally print out a crochet pattern after having been with out a printer since mid summer. Although, it took forever because the old computer only sends a little bit of info at a time. So, we go to bed (this was on Sunday of course) so we can get up and go to work while the kids sleep in to honor Marting Luther King day at school. Won't even get started on what I think of making a person's birthday a federal holiday. The next morning, wanted to print off something else, only to find that over night the computer had now quit talking to the new printer.

Now, DS 18, needs to use our computer to print out something off the Internet for class assignment. Dumb me was thinking he needed to use ours because he doesn't have Word on either of his computers. He has a working printer I realize and find out that his computer has a pop up problem which keeps him from being able to print. This makes no sense to me, I think he just doesn't want to deal with all the pop ups he has that don't get blocked now that he has all the stuff loaded from MySpace, AIM, and what ever else they use to pop up and in for chatting. Needless to say, I was a just a bit miffed at paying almost $200 to be able to print and still could not. It is supposed to be working now, seems he forgot to tell the old computer that the old printer was no longer there. But, it is running so slow it is almost like playing with our first dial up service. Amazing what you get use to. I remember how excited I was when we came home with a Commodore 64, plugged in like an Atari game. LORD DID I JUST DATE MYSELF?

Oh, and my computer (the newer one with Vista) now has a printer error and won't let us add any printers so hubby is going to run the restore disk. Pray for me blog friends, the last time he did this we lost everything on the computer. I know that in time we will get all of these marvelous gadgets up and running, but all that gadgetry has turned us in to an instant gratification type of society. We want it now by golly, and now we will get it. Guess I will just have to entertain myself the old-fashioned way and use the hook and needle for some creative releases.

On that corny little lead in note, I finished the gift set for my co-worker's new baby girl. I crocheted a little hat and booties to go with the quilt. Personally, I think they turned out just cute as could be. I used lavender fun fur to trim the edges of the hat and booties. The back of the quilt is a deep royal purple fleece so his wife can just throw it in the washer. Two more guys I work with are expecting as well. I was told that today when everyone saw the set I gave. Guess I better get started on a couple of more quilt sets.

I had posted earlier that I joined a crochet pot holder exchange with a photo of my first pot holder that I promptly sent off to person in charge of the exchange. Was so pleased that I managed to get it to her in a timely manner, even more pleased when she emailed me that it had arrived. Only, one problem, having never done this type of project, I failed to realize that it would need to have another layer added. She was very kind and supportive about it, mentioned it would make a great dish cloth. To that I replied asking if she knew of any groups for dish cloths I could join and told her to just send mine back to me and I would fatten it up and mail back. I have however already started on a new one that I will make sure is thick enough to be of use this time.

On the sewing front, received a crazy quilt block from my avocado group for the "Green" round robin I am a part of. In the previous posting, along with the photo of my "nakkid" block, I sort of explained that the round robin is done in green. In fact, it is actually a color study of sorts. All the fabric, all the trims, threads, embellishments, are all to be green. Karen's block arrived today and her creative juices were really flowing as she took an image of a Victorian lady and printed it in green for the focus of her crazy quilt block. I will post before and after photos of my contribution to her block in the weeks to come. I have a month to work on it and send it to the next member so have a few days to put some intelligent thought (yes I know that is an oxymoron when coming from me) in to determining just the right touches for Karen's Victorian beauty.

Of course that is time period I am just in love with. Simpler times, way more morals and higher ethics, family and honesty was important, and according to the romance novels they had a lot of spice for the more intimate side of life. I think I lived that era in a former life, but if I did was probably, pretty sure any way, I was a soiled dove. Well, enough of the playful thoughts. I am off to read my emails, check my free pattern of the day sights, and then maybe work on the spinning the yarn I am currently in the middle of. Literary yarn that is, one of the many unpublished romance novels I like to create as a means of emptying my head that goes a 100 miles a minute when it is time to sleep. Until I post again....

Saturday, January 19, 2008

How a Sewing Machine Works - On You Tube

You have got to watch this. These guys did this for an audition for Junkyard Wars, but it is a demonstration on how a sewing machine works. It is great.

Just a Thought.

I was doing some blog surfing, noticed a posting about some 30's fabric. It made me think about the thirty's repro fabric I used for a quilt. It is not the best of photos, taken a while back, over a year, but you can get the idea.

This pattern is called "Rancher's Daughter" and can be found free at Debbie's Creative Moments then scroll down to the bottom.

I made this quilt to be a wedding gift, rushed to get it made before the wedding. Long story short I now have the top, the wedding was cancelled. They broke up. Guess it will be on the UFO list to finish in 2008. It was made in 2006. I have several UFO projects, similar situations. Guess I should make a list of them and just check them off as I finish them.

Today, I finally got the computers moved around. Now, I am back to the old set up so I can print, seems Vista doesn't play well with printers. Hubby even bought me a great flat screen monitor so I can set up on my sewing desk and still have room to sew. Amazing how quickly you get use to something because I sure miss that big screen. That computer also has a much better keyboard. Had forgotten how crappy this one is. Doesn't even register all the keystrokes, will be typing along and then realize that half the letters are missing. The other computer is too far away from the router, so need a longer wire before I can have Internet with it. SO...I am off to buy ink for the printer, now that I can print again, and a longer wire to get Internet. Just wanted to post this photo of the quilt while I was thinking about it.

Hubby is sick, one kid is sleeping at a friend's, the youngest is grounded for a few weeks, and I have been battling a severe headache. We ate out last night, don't even feel up to going out tonight, had fast food for lunch, so am thinking I will just make some soup for supper. Okay, I am off to run the shopping errands and get back home so I can settle in and read emails and work on some sewing projects. Am going to have to get a keyboard as well.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Quilt Top Is Done

Just thought I would pop back in and post a couple of photos. I am finished with the quilt top for the baby quilt I am making. It will have a deep purple fleece back with a lighter purple cotton binding. I machine embroidered the name and birth date in one corner as well.

I am still learning to use my little camera, but I think it came out pretty well. Think the quilt came out pretty cute as well. My co-worker is the dad, he mentioned that they did the baby's room in pink, black, and white. I actually thought about putting this quilt aside and going and buying all new fabric, but then decided that they can use it in the car or something. I know when my kids were small I was always short on utility type quilts.

I also thought I would post a photo of the center square. You really can't see the detail in this photo, but the little angel is machine embroidered and done to look like cross stitching.

Like I said, the detail isn't showing up very well. But, you get the idea. I am heading off for the night. Going to see what other trouble I can get in tonight. Still need to eat.

Two Projects Ready To Go

I have two projects now ready to send on their way. I am so proud of myself that I am getting them done on time. That is going to be something I have to really watch, since it seems that I will only be able to work on things for the most part on week ends.

The first project is a crocheted pot holder. It is for an exchange on one of my Yahoo groups. I like the one on one exchanges, you have a little more time to work on it and don't feel so rushed. I took my cotton yarn and a set of hooks along with the pattern directions to work one day and crocheted over lunch. Didn't quite get finished, so finished it up at home. You can find the free pattern online at Lacy Honeycomb she has it available in a downloadle file along with a ton of free patterns.

I think it turned out pretty nice. Am looking forward to getting a name now to swap with. I love the look of crochet, but it takes me so long to make anything and I have to really concentrate on where I am. I like quilting much more, don't have to think as much with it. The machine does the stitching, it is the same stitching all the way through. But, there is something about the look of crochet that is just so warm, homey, it is just a really neat medium to work in. And now they have so many specialty yarns that have just awesome results. I have however come to the conclusion that I do not like plastic crochet hooks. That was all I had handy at the time, it was a set I actually bought for my eleven year old daughter, so that is what I took to work with me. I have since dug out my collection of aluminum or metal hooks for future use. NOW, I am not saying anything is wrong with the plastic ones, it is just that my personal choice is metal. I can remember my aunt using wooden ones, she would laugh at my metal ones and tell me that they were just a fad and wouldn't stay around long. I dearly wish that sweet aunt could see what I do now. She was so patient with me as she taught me to chain, then single crochet and double crochet. Told me that was all I needed to know to make anything I wanted. Of course I have taught myself a few more stitches, have a small library for reference, but she was actually pretty much correct in that statement. She never was successful in getting me to loosen my hold on the yarn, but hey, I know that I just have to go up about threes sizes in hooks to make the gauge come out.

Okay, while you chuckle at that, my next project ready to go out is a Crazy Quilt round robin block for another Yahoo group I am on. They are a great group at CQ For Newbies and so very helpful for people just starting out in the craft. I joined the Green Garden round robin. This exchange is a little bit different than the one on one type. I made a basic Crazy Quilt block, known to the group as a "nakkid" block.

Did I mention that it is being done in all green? All green fabric, trim, beads, thread, just all green. I will mail my block to the next name on the list and she will add some embellishment then send it to the next name. For this round robin, I will always send to the same person, will receive from the same person. The block travels around the group, then when it gets back home it is all dressed up. I will post the progress of it as it happens.

I am off now to move the laundry around and get started on a quilt project. I also have to take my son, 18, to the thrift shop so we can find clothing for a costume to wear in his school play. Will definitely take a photo of that.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Guess What I Found?

I woke up with a nasty stomach bug this morning. Good thing the bathroom is in my bedroom. At any rate, this afternoon I started feeling a little better so decided to try and finish cleaning my sewing area up in between trips to the bathroom. Amazing, I found a desk and shelves and carpet.

It is sure great to have a place to work once again. The only thing missing is the monitor that will be going with the computer. Hubby bought me a flat screen monitor for Christmas so I can have more room and still be able to sew. Early last year he bought me a new computer to use for school, it came with Vista, which has printer issues, so am unable to get a printer working. He is getting it all set up for me to run both computers (the old one - with printer and embroidery converter box) and the new one. I think is more so he can get on the computer at the same time I am home.

I went to work full time outside the home in March 2007. Then added internet classes through the local junior college. Stands to reason I guess that since superwomanwifemom I am not, something had to get left out. That has been the house and my hobby time. That is one reason I decided to take the semester off. My goal was to be able to start sewing on Wednesday, I made that goal. I will be back in my corner happily putting the pedal to the meddle as the needle sings along.

Now, as I said, I found so many things while I was cleaning. A co-worker and his wife recently welcomed their first child, a baby girl, born in December. I want to make a quilt for the baby, bought some great fabric for it. Yeah I know, with plastic bins and tubs of the fabric all over this house why would I buy more? Because it was a heck of a lot easier and quicker than trying to search through all the places I have fabric stuffed, rolled up, poked in, and stashed around this house. At any rate, I have been letting the wheels crank back up in to motion, after a generous oiling of viewing several recent issues of various quilt magazines, to get inspired and settle on a design for the quilt. Have it narrowed down to five you know. But in the midst of cleaning, I came across this small top I had made for a charity project that has a darling little cross stitched angel (okay, so it was done with my embroidery machine) in the center, done with yellow accents.

I meant to take a closer photo of the center, but my batteries died. Guess I played with the new camera a little too much. I will take one soon though. When I saw this little lost angel, it struck me that if I made a few blocks with colorful fabric I bought to border around this then I would have a nice size quilt. It may look like a single quilt block, but the quilt top is 24 x 24 inches as shown. I know that she is there little angel, even has brown hair like this one. Must be guilty karma going on, but that is the way a lot my projects work out. I get it in my head to make it one way, the perfect person to receive that quilt almost always shows up. It was the same way with a star quilt I made. Everyone in the class was using cottage colors (rose, pink, cream, sage) but I had to be totally different, using bright colors and black. The quilt shop gang just didn't have the appreciation they should have for my color choices, but then I really don't care much for their thoughts any way. A few months later my husband's boss got word that his daughter had been injured very badly in the line of duty while serving in Falujah as an MP when she was the victim of an explosive device that blew up the vehicle she was in. She went through 9 very painful operations to save her leg and skin graphs for the burns. I gave her the quilt telling her she was our shining star. It was all her favorite colors and she has it proudly on her bed. Got side tracked there, it really doesn't take much to do that to me. I will post a photo of the baby quilt when I get it done. I hope to have the top finished up tomorrow so I can take it to my quilt group on Thursday night and use the tables to get it basted. I have really missed the ladies at the church group and know it has been well over a year since I was in attendance with them.

On another side note, I also bought some green fat quarters to make an all green block using the Crazy Quilt method. I have joined the Green Garden Round Robin on one of my Crazy Quilt groups on Yahoo. I make the beginning (called a nakkid block) block then send it to the next name on the list. We are the avocado group. When we receive a block, we will embroidery some embellishments to it and send it on. By the time it has gone through everyone and returns home my block will be all dressed up and ready to shine. I am so excited about this project. Also found some lost bags and boxes of trims and such that will be used at some point. Oh, and by the way, even though I told myself I was only going to have one blog to keep up with, I have created a few more. I created a second edition of my stupidly deleted Needle Me Crazy blog. It is called Needle Me Crazy 2 and you can get to it through my profile. Will be adding the link to this blog sight later in the week. Am just to tired to mess with it tonight.

I am actually fading very fast as I type and need to go get a bath and off to bed. Sure wish I could stay home tomorrow and just sew. But, have to go work to pay for all my little pretties.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Happy New Year

Yeah, know it is a little late, I have been really busy though. But here I am in the late hours of the night, unable to sleep again, so trying to play catch up with all my groups and blogging.

Okay, since the last posting, I finished up the pantry. Even sat down and made up menu plans for several weeks using only what I had on hand. Believe me that is a lot of food. This will be my first real test of it, as this is the first full week back after the holidays and the kids go back to school as well.

Now the really cool stuff. I used some of my Christmas money to buy me a really cool little digital camera so I can take photos of all the stuff I plan to make. It is an extensive list, a good portion of which is UFOs and PIGs but of course that is every quilter and crafter as well. I also bought this awesome rolling tote which was half off to put all my beads and embellishments in so that I have them in all in one place. Earlier in the year I would take some of my crazy quilting to work to embroidery on during lunch, but it never failed that I would get there with out needles, without floss, and so forth, even have a wonderful collection of items that a wonderful person gifted to me to help get me started and it is all in a shoe box. Okay a boot box, but still it needs to be where I can use it.

Now this week end I got started on clearing all the crap from my sewing desk so I can just get to my machines. So much dust on the poor baby's and they are just covered with copies of test, notes, homework assignments, mail, kids school papers, and photos. I did manage to get a good deal of it disposed or put up in a proper place. I had two big garbage sacks full that went to the dumpster along with a few Walmart bags full of papers as well. I hope to have it all cleared and able to actually sew by Wednesday.

I have to make time for the gym in there somewhere as well. Was so surprised that I actually lost some weight over the holidays. Of course having pneumonia for over a month had a little something to do with that. But hey, I will make sure it stays off and hopeful shed a lot more. A great deal more. If I keep really busy with the gym and sewing then I won't have time to keep up the emotional eating that I have a huge problem with. Not as bad as it was this time last year, but still creeps in from time to time.

I admit it, I bought fabric this weekend as well. I know I shouldn't have, I have a hundred tons of it stashed about the house, but I need to make a baby quilt for a gift and that was just quicker than trying to sort through the tubs of fabric at the moment. Besides, it is really great baby quilt fabric with purple fleece for the back and it was all on sale. I also bought some cotton yarn to make potholders out of.

I have joined a couple of swaps, am making myself adhere to a strict limit of them due to time considerations, and am really looking forward to them. Both are through a couple of my Yahoo groups. One is for a color on color swap of crazy quilt blocks. The whole block has to be done entirely in greens. It is not really a swap, it is a round robin. In other words, it will get passed along the list of names and everyone will add a little something special to the block for me, I will be adding a little something to everyone else's block as well. The second one is a potholder swap on a crochet group. This is a true swap and I will be sent one name and her info, then crochet from cotton yarn a potholder, send it to the name and they will send one to me as well. Oh goodness I can hardly wait to get started, even purchased what was needed to make my offerings, but will not let myself get started on any of it until I have that desk cleaned up. The projects are however, and all the others I have planned, HUGE incentives to get the cleaning done quickly.

Good thing about cleaning, I found some nice treasures was sure were lost forever today. Found some treasures that I was needing, but didn't know I had already gotten. Such is life though. Okay, allergy meds have kicked in and am now sleepy, also have gotten quite cold sitting here so it is time to get to bed and warm up with my fuzzy teddy bear (aka dear sweet hubby) so until I have more to post, here's hoping you have a truly blessed year to come.