December 31, 2010

December Ramblings

After my last post, my life got really crazy! But that's not really anything new, is it? I spent most of December frantically finishing gifts, many of which had been planned since March, and should have been completed by August. Several times, I wanted to sit down and write a blog post, but something else was always more important. The day of my last post (Dec. 11), we learned that Callie, our Calico cat had a tumor and would have to be put to sleep. The day after she was put to sleep, and friend of my Dad's was struck by a car as he tried to help someone caught in a snowdrift. I had only met him once, but members of his family have helped us with yard work since my Dad's cancer diagnosis. I was unaware of his injuries until the next day when I heard on the radio that he had passed away. Yet, through this tragedy, God was glorified. A local radio personality saw the accident, and stopped to see if he could help. He found tracks and a Bible in the man's pocket. He was also greatly moved when the man's wife arrived, and instead of praying for his life to be spared, as one might expect, she prayed that God's will be done. He was so moved that he talked about it on his radio program. I have been amazed at the number of people I've encountered who heard about the accident.

After all that, I really had no interest in blogging, and was really scurrying to finish up gifts. Now that I have had a few days to decompress from Christmas, my thoughts have returned to blogging, and all the things I wanted to blog about before the end of this year. Although they won't be published this year, I will try and get all the posts written today, and set them to auto publish during the coming weeks.

We have adopted a new kitty from our local animal shelter, Lollipop Farm. Her name is Cassie, she is approximately 2 years old, and part Russian Blue. She is full of energy and loves to play. She also loves petting and napping next to me while I'm reading. She has so much energy that we sometimes call her Crazy Cassie. This past week, she decided that walking across my keyboard was pretty cool, so I've been calling her Miss Computer Kitty. I will always miss Callie, but Cassie has helped fill the hole left by Callie's absence.

I hope you all had a merry, Blessed Christmas, and enjoy your New Year Celebrations!

December 11, 2010

Scrappin' Saturday XIII

Welcome to Scrappin' Saturday - take a peek into the pages of my scrapbooks, and learn how I made them.

Paper: A sheet of purple paper. I think it came in a pack with a scrapbook.
Photos: For the photos of things in frames, I cropped as close to the frame as possible. I did the same thing for the coaster pictures. The remaining photo was simply cropped as small as possible.
Die Cuts: I used all three of the dies in the Spellbinders Ribbon Tags Trio.
Projects Pictured: Quilled Coasters, Quilled Woven Heart Border, the Quilled Herb Sampler and Woven Heart Border are both on this page: Quilling.

December 7, 2010

Dishcloth #1

A few months ago, I decided to go through all of my Creative Knitting issues, and knit all of the dishcloths in them. So far I've only knit one, and I have three knitting projects to finish before starting another one.

The pattern is from the January 2007 issue of Creative Knitting, page 66, "Dish Pan Bubbles" The dishcloth is knit using two colors of yarn. I used Sugar'n Cream yarn in Weathered Rose and Country Red.
I had a lot of fun doing the faux popcorn stitch - I've always liked the look, but have never felt motivated to figure out how to crochet it.
The next dishcloth will be from the March 2007 issue, page 66, "Mock Cable Dishcloth" (link goes to the Ravelry page for this pattern.)

December 4, 2010

Scrappin' Saturday XII

Welcome to Scrappin' Saturday - take a peek into the pages of my scrapbooks, and learn how I made them.

This is another page of knitted projects.
Background Paper: "Purple Sponged" by Paper Pizazz. This paper is probably discontinued, but here's the code for it. HOTP-20070
Photos: The oval picture was cropped using Creative Memories Custom Cutting System. The picture of the teddy bear was cropped using Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels Two. The remaining photos were cropped square to the size I wanted, then I used a corner rounder on them.
Die Cuts: The die cuts (journals) were cut using Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels One. I also used Sizzix Tags, Scallop Combo #2. It appears to be discontinued - I can't even find it on the Sizzix website.
Other: I used some yarn I had on hand to make little tassels for the tags.
Projects Pictured: Kelly's Sweater, Spa Set, Sushi, and Luke's Teddy.

November 30, 2010

Blog Posts of the Week X

Blog posts of the week; a semi-regularly published collection of my favorite blog posts from the past week. (Or however long it's been since the last time I shared my favorite blog posts.)

Jelly Xmas Star Tutorial
Jelly Wares is sharing this cute little crocheted star pattern. Although crocheting is not my preferred mode of crafting, I will be trying this pattern. It looks like the perfect size for my little Christmas tree.

Keep it Simple, Stupid
I'm Knitting As Fast As I Can notes that as time goes by, she seems to prefer simpler patterns. At the end of this post are some clever little I-cord bracelets. Since I love knitting I-cord, I see a few of these in my knitting future.

My Craft Room
French Press Knits has just finished turning her basement into a craft room. As you can see in the picture below, ours still needs a little bit of work to look as clean and organized as hers. She also just had a baby - congratulations!

December 2010 Desktop Calendar
I have been using these calendars from Chocolate and Zucchini all year. They always make me smile, and sometimes crave the food pictured. This month the picture is of chocolate clusters. Yummy!

From The Craftiblog:
Explosion Mini Gift Birthday Box - This is the cutest little box and when you take the top off, it 'explodes' to reveal candy or whatever else you put inside. I think these would be prefect to include with Christmas gifts.
Candy Bar Gift Card- This is also a very clever card and gift box all rolled into one sweet package.

From Jon's Thread Escapades:
Merriment Doily/Coaster - Jon is generously sharing this lovely pattern with her readers. Doilies have always intimidated me, but I think I might be able to manage this one.
Adding a Bead in the Centre of a SSSR - Jon has created a technique to insert a bead in a Single Shuttle Split Ring.

Little Teapots
Umi and Tsuru has been tatting little teapots from Martha Ess' Tea is for Tatting book.

From Yarnplayer:
It grew around a bottle cap - featuring a necklace that started with a bottle cap pendant.
Truckload Giveaway - Yarnplayer is hosting a giveaway, including a 'truckload' of HDT, a copy of her newest book, and some other goodies.

I hope you have fun checking out these blog posts!

November 25, 2010

25 Things I'm Thanful For

This month I decided that I would find at least one thing each day to be thankful for. Some days were easy, and some weren't so easy. Here's my list.
  1. The availability of information through internet, newspapers and other sources.
  2. The right to vote.
  3. Election results, and getting the craft room rug installed.
  4. Spending the evening doing crafts with friends.
  5. The ability to make dinner for my family, and having enough food.
  6. Daylight savings time! Plus an extra hour of sleep!
  7. My Church Family.
  8. Clothing.
  9. The doctor said my knee was ok, I just need to do some exercise to strengthen it.
  10. Wednesday night Bible Study, and being able to meet freely.
  11. Shrimp for dinner! Also, finding a lot of things for my Operation Christmas Child boxes.
  12. Shopping time with Mom. :)
  13. Physically able to swim - I'm not very good, but at least I can swim!
  14. Good discussion in Sunday School
  15. The car I drive passed inspection! Whew!
  16. I 'fixed' the problem with my ITunes, 'all by myself'.
  17. Having the energy to get a lot of things done today.
  18. We started decorating the craft room!
  19. I got a haircut! Also, being able to buy food for Thanksgiving dinner.
  20. Dad's __'th birthday! Dinner at the China Buffet - Yummy!
  21. Operation Christmas Child, and completing 2 boxes.
  22. Warmer weather.
  23. My chiropractor, and my insurance covering the appointments.
  24. Safety while cooking Thanksgiving side dishes - I cut my finger on a blade, but didn't need stitches. Some friends had their first baby today! 
  25. Thanksgiving Day. Today I am thankful for a day set aside to be thankful. Too often we focus on our problems, and not on what we have to be thankful for. 
    I am making a resolution to write in my calendar every day at least one thing that I am thankful for. What are you thankful for?
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Clip art by: Webweaver

    November 22, 2010

    Tatting; Motifs & Bookmark

    Here are pictures of my most recent tatted pieces. The motifs were for the birthday tatting club, and the bookmark was for a friend.

    These two are the Seed Bead Earrings from the Big Book of Tatting. I have made them several times, and prefer to use them as motifs, rather than earrings.

    This heart pattern is from a free pattern sheet, published by Lizbeth Thread. I have also made this pattern many times. It is fairly quick and easy, although the first try gave me quite a lot of trouble.

    I found this pattern on It is called "Tatted Flower Medallion." I made two of these. The pattern seemed to have been made for the thread, or vice versa. I used Lizbeth Springtime. The pattern was easy to make, although I did have to think through some of the instructions several times before fully comprehending what I was supposed to do.

    This is the same pattern as this cross bookmark. (Last picture in post) The pattern is from Elizabeth's Lace. She uses "front side/back side" tatting, which I taught myself the first time I made the bookmark. This time, I was in a hurry, and I just tatted the way I normally do. Next time I try this pattern, I plan to leave myself enough time try a split ring 'tail' as seen in this post by UMI and TSURU.

    Happy Tatting!

    November 20, 2010

    Scrappin' Saturday XI

    Welcome to Scrappin' Saturday - take a peek into the pages of my scrapbooks, and learn how I made them.

    Background Paper: I used the paper that came in the scrapbook sleeves.
    Photos: The glove-mitt photos were cropped to the size I wanted, and the corners rounded. The remainder of the photos were cropped using  Creative Memories Custom Cutting System Oval. I also used the CM system to cut backgrounds of solid colored paper for the sock pictures.
    Die Cuts: The paisley die cuts were made with Spellbinders Nestabilities Classic Scalloped Paisley. I used the paisleys to write information about the patterns, where to find the pattern, and the date completed.
    Other: The rectangle above the Mary Jane Socks came with a package of journaling die cuts.
    I wanted the glove-mitts to be on their own, and not just jumbled in with the rest of the pictures. To accomplish this, I used  a sheet from the 8x8 DCWV Luxury Stack, rounded the corners, and pasted it in the bottom left corner of my page. Both the pictures fit nicely on the sheet, and it gave me the effect I wanted.
    Projects Pictured: Glove-Mitts, Mom's Socks, Dad's Socks, Ally's Mary Jane Socks

    October 30, 2010

    Scrappin' Saturday X

    Scrappin' Saturday - take a peek into my scrapbook pages, and read about how I made them!

    Background Paper: The background paper is a plain brown paper.
    Photos:I only wanted this to take up one page, and had a difficult time deciding how to arrange it. I finally chose the hats I liked best, and that looked different from each other and carefully cut around them. (Some of the hats were nearly identical)
    Die Cuts: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels Seven. The largest label is cut out of a DSP with small pastel hearts on it. I used it to journal about the project. The two smaller ones are on solid colored paper and have information about the hat patterns I used.
    Project Pictured: The 300 hat project.

    October 24, 2010

    Blog Posts of the Week IX

    Blog posts of the week; a semi-regularly published collection of my favorite blog posts from the past week. (Or however long it's been since the last time I posted my favorite blog posts.) I can't believe that it has been a month since my last collection of blog posts! I believed it once I started wading through 600+ blog posts!

    Tatting Posts

    Purple Glory
    Yarnplayer dyed some tatting thread in lovely shades of purple, inspired by morning glories.

    An Impending Death
    TattingChic is back to blogging, and, after lamenting the impending death of her computer, shares a lovely celtic bookmark.

    Butterfly for a New Necklace
    Umi & Tsuru is a tatting blog that I've been reading for about a month now. I love the original ideas the author has of adding tatting to pre-made shapes, beads, etc. In this post she tatted around the edges of a filigree butterfly.

    Knitting/Crocheting Posts

    Sheri from The Loopy Ewe blogged about how awesome shawlettes are, and quite a few links to various patterns.
    Kniterella has designed gift tags for knitters to use with their knitted gifts! The best part about these tags is that the back side has care icons, so you can circle the appropriate icon, and not have to write out care directions.
    Jelly Wares designed this lovely crocheted little girls dress, and is sharing the pattern! To get the first installment of the pattern, follow the directions in the post.


    This post is from The Purl Bee. Mom and I have been talking about making and using cloth napkins for quite a while. When we were on vacation in Pennsylvania, we bought some fabric to make napkins with. I really like the way the edges were finished on these, so maybe we can try it.

    Painting Our Craft Room, Part Two
    This is from my Mom's blog, A Crafter's Chronology. This post tells most of the saga of how the project went from simply painting to ripping out the carpet. The new carpet has yet to be installed, and then we will be carefully evaluating everything that goes back into the craft room. I still haven't figured out how we crammed all that stuff in there in the first place. The picture is how our craft room currently looks. The painting is all done. No rug, and no furniture other than the computer desk and chair. The rug has been ordered, but we don't know when it will be installed.

    October 23, 2010

    Scrappin' Saturday IX

    This week we're going back a few pages to my cross stitch pages. There is a lot of empty space because the rest of the cross stitches that I want pictures of on these pages aren't framed yet.

    Paper - I used the pages supplied with the scrapbook.
    Border - The capital X's from the Cuttlebug Alphabet Die set Olivia.I'm not sure this was the best idea I've ever had. It took forever, and gluing them down was difficult, to say the least. However, given that my original idea was to draw the x's by hand, this method was probably better.
    Photos - I used a combination of Creative Memories Oval and Circle cutting systems, and cropping the photos to squares or rectangles and rounding the corners with a punch.
    Projects Pictured - Prayer Away, Ruth 1:16, Butterfly towel, Clothespin Angel, and Teapot Afghan. I don't seem to have blogged about the lady/angel in the oval frame. It was a kit, and nearly everything is backstitched - it was very tedious.

    October 16, 2010

    Scrappin' Saturday VIII

    This page is titled "My Favorite Shawl" for a very good reason - I've made the shawl four times, and currently have a request to make another one!

    Background Paper - The background paper is a marbled pale pink color.
    Border - The border across the top is from a pack of 12" paper strips.
    Letters - The letters are from the Cuttlebug die set "Olivia".
    Photos -The two rectangular photos were cropped, and the corners were rounded. The two oval photos were cropped with the Spellbinders Nestabilities die sets Large Classic Ovals, and Small Classic Ovals.
    Die-Cuts - The photo labels were made with Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels Four The larger die that has the pattern and yarn information is from the Spellbinders Shapeabilities Fancy Tags set.
    Embellishments - The yarn ball and 'Just Knit' stickers came from a sticker pack by K & Company.
    Projects Pictured - Blue Triangle Shawl, Purple Shawl, Mom's Shawl, and Another Easy Triangle Shawl.

    Scrappin' Saturday is Back!

    I finally ordered the pictures I needed for my 'brag book'. It is as finished as it can be. The only pages that are incomplete are the cross stitch pages (because I don't have the other projects that I want to include framed). The other incomplete pages are the 'Sophie' pages. They are up to date, but I left extra room to add new pictures. I will be updating pictures in some of the previous Scrappin' Saturday posts, as well as scheduling the remaining pages to be posted on Saturday afternoons. As each page is published, I will add it to the link list on the Scrappin' Saturday page. Look for a post this evening, and come back on Saturday afternoons for more pages!

    October 9, 2010

    Knitting Rules

    Lately it seems as though every time I think about blogging, something more important comes up. I finally have a little bit of time, and a question. My question is: Do you have any 'rules' about your knitting? I do. I have two, actually. The first one is easy: Don't pick a project wildly beyond your knitting capabilities. Work your skills up to the project before starting it.
    The second rule is somewhat more complicated, as it has exceptions. On the surface, it seems quite simple and straightforward: Never have more than one knitting project at a time. Easy, right? The complications come with the exceptions: Dishcloths or other small no-more-than-two-sessions projects are allowed. Taking time off from one project to knit a gift is allowed. Taking two projects on vacation is a good idea, in case one of them doesn't quite go the way you'd hoped.

    And that's where I ran into trouble. I went on vacation in August. I thought that it would be a good idea to have two projects. So I cast on a knit a few rounds of two separate projects. Somehow that started things spiraling out of control and I now have three four knitting projects going. One is a gift, so that doesn't really count, right? That still leaves me with three WIP's, though.

    The first two pictures are the projects I took on vacation. The top picture is of Cat Bordhi's Spring Thaw Socks. (Knitter's Magazine Summer 2008) I haven't worked on the socks since the day I cast on.
    The second picture is "Cabled Wristlets" by Silka Burgoyne. (Creative Knitting November 2008) I worked on these the first day of vacation. Haven't touched them since.
    The third picture is of a vintage stocking that I started. The pattern was downloaded from Vintage Purls. I have no idea why I started it, especially since I already had two projects going. I have no idea why I bought the yarn, either, since I'm not supposed to be buying yarn until I use some up.

    This brings us to the fourth project. All I can show you is the yarn - it's a gift, and I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise for the recipient.
    Million dollar question of the day: What project should I go back to after I finish knitting the present?

    September 27, 2010

    Quilled Frame & Buddy Bag

    These were supposed to be done in September of 2009. I didn't finish them until August 2010.
    This was for my previous employer; she remarried and moved to Italy, and I'd hoped to have it done before she left. I was able to give it to her when she and her family came back to visit this past August.

    I designed the frame myself. For the names, I roughly followed the alphabets in The New Paper Quilling. For the flower clusters, I just experimented until it looked right. Some of the flowers have quilled centers. For the ones that didn't, I glued on a small flat-backed gem.

    This was for her son. He loves anything Tractor related, especially if it's John Deere. It's the same pattern as the backpacks I made for my cousins a couple years ago. This one is slightly different, because instead of knitting a pocket, I made it out of fabric. My Mom set up her fancy sewing machine to embroider the tractor on the pocket. The inside is lined with (what else?) tractor fabric, and I even got a little fancy and added two pockets.

    If you would like a custom designed photo frame, feel free to contact me through the Alchemy section of my Etsy Shop.

    Etsy Shop Update

    I just updated my Etsy shop with these polymer clay flowers! I split them up into for separate lots. They should all be on my Etsy homepage. If not, click the 'flower' category on the left.

    September 16, 2010

    Ice Cream Sandwiches

    I crocheted these for my Cousins in California. It was supposed to be mailed in time for Christmas, but with one thing and another, I ended up giving them to my Aunt and Cousin when they came for my Sister's wedding. My cousin thought that it was awesome, and I'm planning to crochet some more 'food' for them this year. The pattern is from the book Tasty Crochet.
    As you know, I'm not much of a crocheter. However, the two patterns I've made from this book have been very easy. The hardest part of these treats was sewing the whole thing together.