Monday, December 05, 2011

Been Gone Too Long.....

You know what I did? I went and got a job, it wasn't on purpose, but for now we could really use the income and the hours suit me. However, Mondays are not what they used to be, back when I looked forward to everyone leaving the house. Anyway, it is what it is and I refer to it as being somewhat of a "cush" job. Remember back when I was helping out delivering auto parts? Well they offered me a position. I told them that I couldn't be there early because I have kids to drive (zero hour class) and a young one who still needs someone to get them off to school, thinking this would pretty much disqualify me for working. Well, low and behold, they came up with a route for me that starts late enough and ends fairly close to home. The pay isn't too bad, and with Christmas just around the corner, it has been a blessing.

For some odd reason this has led me to knitting. Don't ask me why, but one of my girlfriends thought that maybe it was because I now needed something to stimulate me mentally, and it's portable. Now you know I crochet too, but for some reason knitting is taking the forefront, at the moment. Last night I finished a Slouchy Hat for my 16yo and will next be working on fingerless gloves and a particular round washcloth that I thought was cool looking. Oh and on the crochet front, it hasn't gone completely by the wayside as my 8yo is now learning how to do it. We started him chaining last night, and he is extremely pleased with himself, which pleases me!

Now it's time to head to work! Have a Happy Monday!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WIP's and Future Ideas.....

I didn't expect to be posting this late in the week, but at least I'm finally doing it.

Last weekend was filled with fishing, crochet and a bit of tatting. The fishing part wasn't too bad, my 13 yo brought home a nice looking Humpy, which made a wonderful dinner!

Next, I've been working on a vintage doily pattern from Elizabeth Hiddleson. This was a find at a garage sale. I bought a box of crochet/tatting magazine that had a few loose patterns that someone had pulled from some older magazines. Want to guess what I paid for this box of treasures?...........25 cents. Can you believe it! Anyway the pattern is called "Yellow Rose Doily". However, I did the roses in red. I'm thinking that the finished doily might make a great starting point for the back of a vest....hmmm.

Next, I've also been re-learning to tat. Now this has shown me that I have a long ways to go with becoming proficient at this. I quickly made up a mini bookmark (see above) for practice, and then started on a bigger collar/necklace project (see below) and screwed up right away. It's hard to see, but I actually have too many picots on all but the first ring. Oh well, I will continue with it since I need the practice, and until the thread runs out. I definitely need to pay closer attention to the directions. Have I mentioned that I'm a needle tatter, but am going to learn to do it with shuttles also.  For me, I think it will give me a better understanding of how the threads work, overall, which would be a good thing for me in, maybe, designing my own lace.

So this is how things are going for this week.

Have a Happy Hump Day!

Friday, September 09, 2011


Here are the two projects I was working and I have to tell you that the scarf (above), as easy as it is, well I ended up screwing it up when I got a bit of a tangle in the yarn. Of course, I forgot where I was, and ended up pulling the yarn through for a chain instead of making a ring like I was supposed to....oye! So that, I decided, was the end of that, for now anyway. I was just starting to work my way back down the other side, literally the first turn. Give it a week or so, and I will most likely go back and pull out my mistake, but redoing mistakes on tatting is not as easy as crochet, by pulling it out and starting again. Tatting, at least for me, requires cutting, and gently pulling out and then adding yarn back in.

The second project (yellow flower) was an experiment from Priscilla Tatting, Book 3. There is an edging in Flower Design, using Twisted Tatting, also known as Josephine Tatting. It's a fun design, but I only did one motif just to see what it was like. I really enjoyed "twisting" things for a different change of pace, but I need to note that I didn't use no. 30 crochet cotton, as called for in the directions, but instead used size 10 cotton for a much larger motif. With a little adjusting, I think it would be wonderful to put on a pair of jeans or maybe a hat.

Now that the kids are back in school I'm working on clearing two work areas. One for leather, and the other for clay. That is one of the wonderful things about Tatting and Crochet, you do NOT need any special areas to work in. However, I like to keep things interesting, and add a lot of variety to my work. I do "dominate" a bit of the house, but at least I keep it out of the kids rooms, the laundry room, and the kitchen (for now)  : )

Now to get back to work and maybe squeeze in an episode or two of True Blood before they get home from school.

Have a wonderful Friday!

Monday, September 05, 2011

School Prep & Fishing

So the last couple of weeks got extra busy, and I don't mean craft wise. Between school shopping and fishing there was barely time to breath, but it was a good kind of deprivation : )  We also added one last impromptu camping trip. I'm looking forward to the kids getting back to school so I can breath a bit, lol!

The camping trip was a lot of fun, and if you pay attention to my blog I'm pretty sure you know that I am NOT a fan of camping, however if the right people are there, and I'm not sleeping in a tent, I don't mind so much. My hubby's cousin recommended the spot (and we met them there), it was a great area, not too far from home.

 The boys sleeping arrangements.

 Don't they look like they're having fun? This was down time after setting up : )

Next we spent a ton of time out fishing with my 13 yo. This was one of his catches! A nice 10 lb Salmon. We actually ended up limiting out on that day. Didn't have another day like that though, darn it!
And last, but not least, we spent the day at a BBQ with friends where I was wearing some of my hand made rings. They were a hit, which was really nice. The bottom one with the pink stones in not my design, the tutorial can be found here Opposites Attract Ring. Makes me want to start making rings again....but in the meantime....

On the creative side, I have been tatting. I didn't think about snapping pictures of it though, but if you want an idea of what I've been working on, and it's really just a way for me to practice, go to this site Totus Mel. I've been practicing two of her designs the chain maille and a scarf. If you are just learning to needle tat, this is an excellent site to visit. If you're looking to buy some fantastic needle tatted items this is her Etsy shop.

This should be enough to keep you busy until my next post!

Hope you're enjoying your long weekend!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sorry, A Little Interruption.........

I did a little fill in for a week delivering Auto Parts for a friend, and preparations are beginning for the boys to get back to school. I have a couple of projects going, but the friendship bracelets have gone by the wayside, for the moment. The weather is finally nice too, which doesn't make anyone want to stay inside. We've had a pretty, um, un-sunny Summer, literally not more than a day or two of sun, then the rain returns, for long stretches. Right now we are on a streak of nice weather, and we haven't had any (streaks) since the start of Spring, much less, Summer. At this point we'll take what we can get.

While doing the driving I did a bit of thinking about my next project. Shrink plastic is fun and great for the kids too. I remember doing this with liver lids when I was a kid. The possibilities are endless! Here is a kit that I own that's well worth the investment. It has jewelry projects for all age ranges, click on this link and this one too, for the smaller guys . I have a couple of things in the works, but haven't had a chance to get pictures. This weekend will be a bit busy, so expect more from me next week!

Happy Friday!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Macrame & Micro Macrame

This post comes back around from Friendship Bracelets. The first bracelets were "technically" macrame. Not surprising since they came about in the 70's (right at the end of the Hippie era), and I can remember my Mom making macrame belts and plant hangers back then. Macrame seems to have a bit of a resurgence these days. I think this is due to more people crafting than ever before, in part, due to the economy (though I hear it's making a comeback), and to the talented Micro-Macrame Artists out there. In the last year I have purchase two Micro-Macrame books that were well work the investment. The first was Joan Babcock's Micro-Macrame Jewelry. This book is well worth the price and offers plenty of tips, techniques and projects to get you started in this creative art.
The second book is also by Joan and incorporates Wire into the Micro-Macrame. Being a wire Artist this book holds a special place in my heart and is full of inspiration, along with techniques and projects. 

However if you have not done Micro-Macrame before, I highly recommend the first book, to get you started before moving on to the more advanced Wired one. You can also go to her website @ and order books, kits, and all the other supplies you need to get started.

I need to mention that there are other Micro-Macame books out there, but these two are my hands down favorites!

Keep in mind that actual friendship bracelets are done with craft thread while micro-macrame is made with a heavier nylon cord for more body, but if you would rather try your hand at Friendship Bracelets (with macrame techniques) there are some excellent kits out there. I highly recommend anything made by Klutz. We have purchased numerous books by them, on all sorts of different crafting endevours and never been disappointed with any of their books/kits. Here are 3 different kits by them:

And please keep in mind that while I know these are geared toward girls, boys will enjoy them just as much!

My son's girlfriend makes excellent bracelets. I will get some pictures of the ones she's made for my son, and his brothers, and post them as soon as I get the chance.

This should be enough to get you started, or at least pique your interest. Right? : D

Monday, August 01, 2011

Friendship Bracelets

According to Wikipedia, Friendship Bracelets became popular in the US during the 1970's and was most commonly worn by teens.

Here is an interesting tid-bit I copied from them:

The knotcraft and hand weaving used to create traditional patterns stems from Native American handcrafts, particularly from Central American tradition. According to indigenous tradition, the recipient of a friendship bracelet must wear it until the cords wear out and fall off naturally. The idea is that the friend paid for it with the hard work and love that made it, and the recipient repays the friend by honoring the work. Removing the bracelet before it naturally falls off is a sign that the friendship has gone sour. Another variation of this tradition is that the recipient of a bracelet is entitled to a wish. After the bracelet wears out and falls off naturally, the wish will come true.

On that note I have to say that all 3 of my boys took to making these bracelets easily after coming across this kit by Janlynn.

I actually bought this kit at JoAnn Fabrics & Crafts and ended up using one of their 40% off coupons. 

This kit includes 8 cardboard wheels, 105-10 yard skeins of craft thread, and easy to follow instructions. There are 4 designs that you are able to make and each wheel has 2 designs, one on each side.

To make each bracelet you cut 16 lengths of thread, and then they tell you what colors go where to produce the design that you want. In two simple moves and the rotation of the wheel you will have a bracelet in no time. My only complaint is that the wheel starts to separate along the edges before you finish your 1st bracelet. On that note, all 3 boys had no problems learning how to use the wheel, and have each made themselves at least 2 bracelets (I'm thinking you could easily cut more cardboard wheels, if needed). The 16 years old really likes it, since his girlfriend has made him several bracelets, and now he can reciprocate (She makes them the old fashioned way). Love this craft, but I am looking to check out a couple of books at the library to see about expanding my knowledge and learning a few more "moves", for the wheel which is also known as a "weaving wheel" and falls under my weaving interest. Another name would be Kumihimo, or Japanese Braiding if you're curious, however you can find books on friendship bracelets, Search for friendship bracelets, or Kumihimo Search for kumihimo whichever interests you more.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

It's time!

Yes, it's time to get this show back on the road!

I'll start by telling you that I tried starting a couple of "new" crafts. Emphasis on "try". Why I do this, I don't know. It's like the minute I need to get going on something I already know how to do (ie...sewing, crochet, sculpture, & a touch of weaving...) my mind starts to wander in another direction to try something new. I'm not sure why I do it, but I am, from now on, going to try and work on improving my "known" skills, instead of wandering from all over the place. Now with that said.....I will give a brief review on one of the things I tried.

Hook, Loop n Lock

While not for me, I highly recommend this craft, especially if you like Latch Hook (this is much quicker). This book gives excellent instruction, and lots of ideas. I should also mention that Theresa  Pulido is releasing a new book on this craft around the end of this Summer. Locking Loops: Unique Locker Hooking Handcrafts.
 This book looks excellent too, and offers lots of new ideas for this craft including a Bolero Sweater, Velvet Rose Necklace, Country French Hamper and tons more!

So now I am back to what I already know. Next project on the boards is recycling leather coats/jackets and sweaters into handbags/purses. Along with learning how to do Overlay crochet, and few other stitches I don't know yet.

So this is my new goal, I have 3 (ok 4) main things that I know, and always come back to. Sewing, crochet and sculpture and a little weaving, these are actually pretty large things in and of themselves, with so many variations. Now the test is for me to stick with these "projects". Don't get me wrong, I believe in learning new things, however I tend to get spread out all over the place and need to "stick closer to home", if you know what I mean. One other thing in the sculpture realm is wire so if you see wire remember that is part of my sculpture "thing", although I do polymer clay, mostly.

Oh, and lastly, I try to get my boys interested in creating from time to time. If I'm successful in getting all three of them to start/do a craft, I'll let you know. They are quite the age range (16, 13 & 8) and their interests are very different so when I am able to get them all interested in one thing, I am amazed!

So what will I be posting about tomorrow? Stay tuned.....

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Finding Focus

First off, I must apologize for not being more consistent in posting. This has proved to be extremely frustrating and seems to be getting worse instead of better. Being peri-menopausal seems to be aggravating it. While not having been diagnosed, I'm sure from everything that I've seen and read that I have ADD, including it being a part of my genetic code. Now I must also point out that most, but not all, of my father's side of the family is on some sort of anti-depressant. Am I depressed? I don't think so.

I have come to the conclusion that I do NOT want to take any prescribed medication and am now actively looking for a natural alternative. One of the treatments I have run across is Clematis Flower Essence for ADD. I just started using it 2 days ago. The recommended dosage is 2 drops, 4 times a day. I have been adding it to a little shot glass of water. Can I tell a difference after 2 days.....not sure....I'll have to let you know. If you would like to find out more information on the use of Flower Essence please visit this site....Anada Apothecary. Here is the link to Choosing Flower Essences. I will keep you updated, and you'll know it's helping if I start posting more : )

In the meantime my Mom is doing much better. Next week I'll be taking her to renew her drivers license, which they wouldn't let her do while she was using a cane. Honestly, I think the guy had a bit of a God complex and just liked telling her she couldn't renew. He was an Ass to be sure!

Now that I'm back "working" at home I should  be able to get more done. My "focus" right now is on tatting, and leather work. We'll see how that goes......and if I start posting regularly, you will see more pictures. Right now I'm looking toward the positive.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Waiting for the color to develop.....

and thought that since I've failed again at blogging regularly I would catch you up on events of late. We made it through Christmas and New Year's without any major mishaps.  Actually everyone was very happy and that always makes me happy, since I tend to stress at the last minute about what was bought and what everyone is getting. There were no complaints! Yeah!

Oh and the color that's developing, is on my head, black to be exact.

Today is my day off. I have been helping to take care of my Mom since she had a rather nasty spill at the mall right before Christmas and it has been a very eye opening experience for me. A little role reversal of taking care of her, since she was the one who took care of and raised me. And realizing just how easy she is to take care of. A little cooking, and cleaning and then she wants to play Tetris the rest of the time, for pain management. Well that's how it was at first, but now she's starting to feel better and do stuff which makes me very happy, because it is very distressing to see your Mom in so much pain : (

On the creative front I haven't had a whole lot of time to do much of anything. I have been playing around with Tatting bit, since it's easily transportable, but haven't produced anything significant since........hmmmm....well it's been way toooo freaking long. This is my fault since I just need to make time, no matter what is going on. Tomorrow I'm going to take some polymer clay and see if I can get my Mom to start creating again. That's something that she's let go by the wayside for years. She used to do a bit of sculpting when we were kids and loves Ceramics but really hasn't done anything in forever, and I know she misses it a lot. I'm hoping I can motivate her and myself to create something.

In the meantime I'm playing catch up at home, as in catching up the laundry, dishes......and stuff.

One of these days I'll blog, right.