Thursday, December 29, 2011

Poinsettia Doily

Another gift I made was this Poinsettia Doily in a gorgeous deep red.

A straight-on shot:
Hubby and I both liked the way the 'petals' seemed to swirl from the center, so I did not attempt to force them straight (as the pattern suggested). This was his favorite doily of the ones I made for gifts. ...maybe it's his all-time favorite, I never asked for clarification. It's just nice to have someone like what you've made!

Monday, December 26, 2011

First Snow Doily

My only white doily made for Christmas! (not that I didn't love the other colors I used, I just always thought of doilies as traditionally white...before I started making them)

The pattern is Winter's First Snow. Thus the choice of white. =)

A straight-on shot:
This is possibly Size 5 Thread, but I don't know for sure. It hasn't had a label in years. It is slightly thicker than Size 10 Thread. Do you think the thicker thread causes it to lose too much detail? I'm wondering so that I can mark my pattern for if I ever make it again.

Regardless of the thread, I enjoyed working on this pattern.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Lavendar Lagoon Doily

This was my first doily made with a variegated thread. Maybe it's a bit too small to appreciate the colors, but I didn't want to go too big for it. I used the Blue Lagoon pattern.

This thread is a thinner size than the last time I made this pattern, so I added an extra round before the Rnd 9 (increasing the ch sp by 1).

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Camera Case

We recently received a little point-n-shoot camera as a rebate, but it didn't have a case.

Fix that with its own cozy little sock.

This project was the epitome of cheap. Not only did I have the yarn on hand, it was actually a little project I'd been hanging on to with the intention of frogging it to making something new.

I Love This Cotton!
Size G Hook
Extra button that fit in the stitches

Monday, December 19, 2011

Personalized Map Gift

Finally something new!!! I'm so excited to be able to show some of the gifts I've made that have now been given.

First off: a little sentimental framing.

I saw the idea on another blog, so I don't know to whom credit belongs for the original idea. The three hearts are labeled 'we met', 'we married', and 'we live' with maps showing those places in the couple's history. If I was fancy, I would have printed it in a fancy font or something, but I wanted to keep it simple. Leftover coordinating paper and silver Sharpie worked very well.

We were even able to find some free maps to use. Score! ...and less guilt for me when having to cut it up.

Hmmm...dear friend, those hearts look a little familiar, don't they? In September, a friend of mine (who shall remain unnamed to protect the innocent... until she speaks up... ;-) ) saved me HOURS of time by using her Cricut to make matted cut-outs for an Iris Folding Tutorial I was doing for close to 20 people. There were a few leftover that fit perfectly into this frame we found at Michaels. (Hey, speaking of which... when did they take the apostrophe out of their store name? I just realized the change today. Get with the program, Mindy!)

Other than the initial confusion that they thought the 'point' of the heart actually pointed to the location rather than just being centered in the heart (which is what we chose to do), I think the gift was well received. Tiny oops. Oh well.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mini-quilt Giveaway!

My friend Rachel at The Life of Riley is having a giveaway for a beautiful mini-quilt she made. I can't even imagine working with such tiny pieces of fabric!!

This finished mini-quilt (NOT a potholder!) measures about 7.5" square.

Hop on over there to tell her what you love about the Christmas season, and she'll enter you to win this beauty! Become her follower, too. You'll love her projects. She's even willing to ship internationally, so go enter now. You'll thank me later.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Broomstick Lace Scarf

I have finally finished a Broomstick Lace project!

This was with Caron Simply Soft in Grey Heather. The yarn has that touch of shine that is so pretty!

My tools:
Less than one skein of yarn
Knitting needle the size of a baseball bat (That may be a slight exaggeration, but it is certainly around thumb-size-ish... very specific here. Oh wait! --double check... It seems to be around the same or slightly larger than Size 19 needles.)
Size H Susan Bates hook for all the sc parts
Size H Boye hook (I found this to be easier when hooking the yarn over the needle because it catches the yarn less than the Susan Bates hooks, which is, interestingly enough, one of my favorite qualities of Susan Bates hooks.)

For the fringe, I chained 15 then slip stitched into the next stitch. I like the look of it on this one. It seems to work well with the lace part.

Tamara said that she has done a vest or sweater with a Broomstick Lace pattern. That sounds just a bit too intimidating to me as of yet! Have any of you tried it? What did you think? Likes? Dislikes? I'm curious.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Wreath Reminder

If you're looking for a little extra something for your Christmas gift tags or maybe a quick ornament gift, try this pattern.

It works really well with a little school picture glued to the back with the precious face peeking through!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Projects

There has been a LOT of crocheting going on around here. A mini 'girls weekend' provided tons of crochet time.

...except there weren't 400 of us. Source
Where's the proof, you ask? Well, here's the thing. Recently someone told me that so-and-so told them that I have a knitting blog...


Let's get one thing straight here:

I. Don't. Knit.


I happen to like my eyes staying right where God placed them, so this seems like a safe plan for me.  (We'll ignore the Broomstick Lace for now since I still fear for my throat every time I have to lean forward while working on it...)

Once it was clarified that I crochet and couldn't actually help answer her knitting question, I had to wonder how these people knew about this blog and if they'd ever seen it.

Contrary to popular belief, there can be a certain amount of anonymity to the blogosphere. A few close friends and a family member or two know about my blog, but there are very few people in my life that know or care about this 'lil ol' place.' I kind of like it that way. I can interact with tons of talented people and not be embarrassed by my limited abilities because nobody in blog-land cares, right!?!

Which begs the question: what about you? How many of your friends and family know about or read your blog on a regular basis?

Tangent over. Back on track.

What does any of this have to do with proof of my crochet projects?

Well, it has all made me wonder how many other people know about this blog without me realizing it. Therefore, with many Christmas gifts just finished up, I can't actually post them until I'm sure the gifts are received and the surprises won't be spoiled.

So, I'm sorry that it's been so quiet around here. All in good time, I suppose.

I did recently finish a project for myself. It will be posted soon. Speaking of knitting needles...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Good Mom or Bad Mom

I came across this on a blog I follow:

Wouldn't you know... I saw this while I was literally in the middle of washing my kitchen floor. So that will teach me to walk away for a moment or at least to not rely on the internet to tell me whether or not I'm a good mom. Well, I guess I'll just use this as an excuse to leave my oven a mess...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Felted Purse

Paula had sent me some great yarn a while back, and I finally found the perfect pattern for one of the colors. The label promised that it was good felting yarn. Out came my book of purse patterns, and here's what I made.

Hook: Size K

Yarn: Lion Brand Landscapes, Color: Spring Desert
Washed and dried: 3-4 times

Final product:
It looks brighter because it's a much sunnier day today, and I used a different camera. Other than that, I like the results!

My first attempt at felting is stamped a success.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day US

There are several of my readers that have served in the military. There are many spouses of readers that have served, and I have a brother-in-law that served in the Army.

Thank you for your service to our country! We appreciate your sacrifices and dedication.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Special Order Headbands

A couple months ago, Kitty Cats and Airplanes did a 'Headband Week' for links of headband projects. I linked a few of mine, and Amie featured them at the end of the week! She really liked them and had wanted to get some the previous winter, but she never did. So I offered to make one for her.

Once Amie decided on colors, I found just the right yarn in my stash, whipped something together, and packaged them up for her.

...then I realized I forgot to take any pictures.

Thankfully Amie looks super cute in these headbands and took some great pictures! So here's a glimpse, photos courtesy of Amie at Kitty Cats and Airplanes. Take a look at her post to see some other great items she's received recently!

--Gray yarn with yellow cabbage rose.

--Slightly sparkly silver/gray yarn, white and yellow flowers, and a touch of bling.

Even though I have some headbands for sale in a local boutique, I think I'll be putting some more for sale in our ArtFire Shop again soon. If anyone wants to order specific colors for Christmas gifts, feel free to make a special request!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Handmade Holidays

I'm linking up our ArtFire shop, PF Creations, to Sarahndipities' collection of online shops for handmade gifts.

Check out her blog to find lots of great gift ideas for Christmas!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Queen Anne's Lace Scarf

This was a quick and easy little project that finished up an almost-full skein that was leftover from a blanket. I love how it turned out!

It's a soft pink color in I Love This Yarn. I found the pattern here. The yarn was just structured enough to not hide the pretty pattern, but it's soft enough to not give you the 'itchy neck' issues.

Hubby wonders if it's too short to give as a Christmas gift. Should I consider adding a couple motifs to each end in a contrasting color to lengthen it? Or should I just leave it alone and let it be more decorative than practical (as far as wrapping it around the neck)? I welcome your input!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I have a niece!

My new baby niece was born last night!!! Yay!!

I would love to show you a picture of the blanket and headband that I made for her, but somehow hubby or I took the pictures and erased them before they made it to the computer. =(

We'll have to see if the new mama can take a quick pic with the beautiful baby sometime!

On that note, her blanket was made with the very special Great Great Grandma Ginny stitch. I'll be posting about that once I have some pictures.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Jewel Afghan - Complete


It's done.
The final afghan is slightly wider than a twin bed and more narrow than a queen size bed. The shape is quite normal, but the tiny house prohibits a good picture of it on a bed.
Boy am I glad that it is done!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


What do you do when

your breakfast is clearly looking back at you?

Monday, October 24, 2011


Once again, I've been doing lots of crocheting and not much blogging!

Here's a snowflake I made a couple weeks ago.


Blocking process:
It's true. I don't have an actual 'blocking board' as of yet... This old folded up pair of jeans worked for such a small project.

The pattern can be found here.

It has crossed my mind to spray it with some type of sparkly-something, otherwise, all it really needs is a pretty ribbon, and you have a cute little ornament!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Messenger Bag and Tote Bag

I am SO excited to show you these two projects. I've lumped them together because I made one in order to see how I liked the pattern so I could adapt it something a bit more original. Here is the picture.

The one on the right is the one I made first. It is 18 1/2" wide and has two straps.

I wanted to try it a bit more narrow since that's a pretty big bag (though useful for the right things). As I worked along on the second one, I mentioned making only one strap. Hubby liked the idea of it going along the entire edge to the bottom. I think I like how it turned out. It adds some structure to it. This one is about 15 1/2" wide.

Both were made with worsted weight cotton and a Size G hook.

The last thing I'd like to do with it is chain a little loop and add a button at the top of the narrow bag to keep it closed. Or I'll just add a large flower on the side. It sounds like a fun addition.

Don't you love how the variegated yarn lined up? It's different on each of them, but I love it on both!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Crochet Mystery Books

Have any of you seen these?

They're Crochet Mystery Novels! Color me intrigued!

With names like Hooked on Murder, Dead Men Don't Crochet, By Hook or By Crook, and A Stitch in Crime, these are definitely going on my 'must-read' list. Each one even includes a recipe and a crochet pattern!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Scarf Organizer

A lot of crocheting = less time for posting!

But here's a little project I did one night.

I looked into my (extremely tiny) closet and found this:
What a mess! I was instantly reminded of something my mom made for our belts when we were younger. There wasn't a sample to follow or anything, but here's what it became:
Not perfect, but it will certainly work! Grab a few milk rings and a wire hanger, crochet around, and voila: a neater Scarf Organizer!
(After the picture, I took the thicker brown pashmina and draped it over the middle so it didn't get wrinkled squeezing through a tiny loop.)
Several more projects to post soon! Two of them will have to wait until after their recipients have received them. Yay! One of them was the classic 'just-taped-it-up-and-OH CRUMB!-I-forgot-to-take-a-picture' scenario. =)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ugly Blanket Progress

One of my favorite projects got some TLC recently:

This picture needed some sort of perspective, but it's too hard to take a picture while laying down next to it. ;-) It's growing and growing! Since it could be done soon, it's time to start laying out the yarn choices for the next one that will be a bit smaller  (more twin-bed size). Can't wait!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Green Doily with Edging

As many of you know, my attempts at making doilies are very new. It seems with each one, there's something new to learn about the art.

At first, you'd think that it should all make perfect sense once you know the crochet stitches, but I'm still learning things about how to keep them flat as I'm working on them, how to hold the thread for the tension to be to my liking, and especially some things about spray starch and ironing them since I still don't feel like I've 'officially' blocked any of them correctly yet.

With the next doily that I made on Sunday afternoon, I did two things I was sure I'd never do... at least not until I was much more experienced as a doily-er... doily-maker... doily-ist... doily-izer... (well now I have to make up a new word for 'one that makes doilies' so that my life will be complete).

The first unbelievable experience occurred as I was getting toward the end of the pattern. I had already had a lot of trouble with this pattern because the directions just didn't seem very clear and didn't always work. (My husband might tell you that I was arguing with the sheet of paper, but there is no evidence of that...) I had to adapt the pattern on the fly to make it work. But then it was coming toward the last round and was still much smaller than I would have liked.

So I added some rounds!  


I have admired some gorgeous handiwork on doilies, but I've always been sure I would never be creative enough to make up a pattern. It's definitely not that far yet, and I'm still not creative, but man, did it feel great to come up with something all on my own!

The next new thing is that I actually changed colors for a little accent on my last round! Again, I've admired the gorgeous work of several-colored doilies, but I was always intimidated by the inability to hide the thread. It wasn't nearly as bad as I expected!

So without further ado, here is my life-changing (well, at least as far as being a doily-ist) and most recent doily:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Weekend Pineapple Doily

The itch to make more doilies came along again.

This pattern was the Pineapple Placemat and called for worsted weight cotton and Size G hook. I chose some thread I had on hand (it seems slightly thicker than my Size 10 thread) and a Size 5 hook to make it more doily-like than a placemat.

Here it is after spray starch and ironing:

I like the pointy corners on this one!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Housekeeping Schedule: Saturday


Today is the day for catching up on anything that got missed through the week or taking care of a special project. Isn't it so much easier to set aside some time to clean out a closet or organize basement storage or rearrange a room when the rest of the house is already (mostly) in order?

Someone asked me how this schedule has been working out for me this week. Thus far, it's all been covered!

However, as organized as we can be, life still happens. I've been following this Housekeeping Schedule since the beginning of April. I have an actual checklist that I've typed out so that it's easy to see and follow. (I also just love that accomplishment of physically checking something off a list. It's the little victories, right?!) There were certainly weeks of being gone or being extremely busy, and the list just didn't get 100% done. There's the beauty. The following week, you don't have to cram to get it all accomplished, you just start fresh at the beginning (or whatever day it happens to be), and give it the 5-15 minutes it will take to get that day back on track.

Perfectionist that I am, YES!, I still have empty boxes. But I'd sure like to believe that I spent that time playing with my boy or something else equally worthy. ;-)

Were there any glaring omissions? Watering houseplants? Weeding the garden? Emptying out the refrigerator? Please share! But I'll tell you right now, if it's cleaning out the oven, I'm sorry. We've had this one for a few years, and I have yet to tackle that project.

Well, that was a whole lot of information this week into our household cleaning habits. Hopefully it gave you some new ideas of how to keep a couple chores under control. If not, we'll be back to your 'regularly scheduled' crochet projects soon.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Housekeeping Schedule: Friday

It's almost the weekend! Phew! The house is mostly in good shape, so we can enjoy Saturday or (as is usually the case) take care of a million obligations rather than working on rushing through some cleaning jobs.

As always, dishes top the list. This is extremely important to me through the whole day on Friday, because if I get behind, it bites me in the behind on Saturday morning. Hubby likes to make breakfast when he has the chance (what am I saying? Hubby just plain LOVES to cook and he's very good at it). But if I've gotten lazy on Friday evening, then I have loads of extra dishes with all the breakfast prep dishes added.

Friday: Vacuum carpet throughout house
           Change sheets (this doesn't always get done every week)
           Laundry: son's laundry hamper

I really love to vacuum. It's one of my favorite chores. Yep, I'm a freak.
This is my weapon for vacuuming and saving space (except mine is a few years older and blue...).

Not much left on that cleaning list!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Housekeeping Schedule: Thursday

Thursday is a simple day as far as there not being much on the list, but it takes a little longer.

Dishes are still at the top of the list.

Thursday: Vacuum and wash kitchen and bathroom floors
               Laundry: Dark colors in cold water

This is my mop (without the green fuzz on the sponge), and it is great! My kitchen floor, on the other hand, is horrible. It's this awful, textured, poop and mustard linoleum (sorry, was that crossing the line?). But this wonderful mop with my horrible kitchen floor makes it all a little better. See that bristle brush? Boy! Does that thing work wonders when there is something giving me extra trouble in that textured linoleum. I love it!

As far as cleaner, I'm currently using up an old-school bottle of cleaner, and then I'm moving on to this.
Quite frankly, I highly doubt it will make our ancient linoleum 'shine,' but it will at least keep it clean!

Someday, if I'm feeling brave and not in fear of scaring you all away, I'll snap a picture of the kitchen floor. I'd really rather not subject you dear people to the terror.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Housekeeping Schedule: Wednesday

Wednesday is typically a pretty busy day for us, so I've tried to keep my list minimal. Overbook yourself, and you're quickly overwhelmed, and nothing gets done, right?

As always, I include dishes, but I don't add laundry on Wednesday unless we're desperate.

Wednesday: Clean counters
                   Clean stove

Typically, Fantastik is a great cleaner for this day.
This cuts through the grease on the stove or crud on the counters really well. Yes, I wipe things down as I'm cooking, but doing an extra 'grease clean' helps keep it tidier.

However, if we've had a slew of dishes cooking on the stove or I've had a pot of beans spill over and burn, that's when the big messes have to be scraped off.

Comet and Scrubby Sponge are a good combo for that, too!
Halfway through the cleaning week! Phew!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Housekeeping Schedule: Tuesday

Tuesday's cleaning schedule includes the bathroom along with dishes and laundry.

Tuesday: Clean sinks (kitchen and bathroom)
              Clean tub
              Clean toilet
              Laundry: Dark colors in hot water

My dream is to someday have a stainless steel sink that doesn't get marked up by pots and pans, but in the meantime, this is my close friend:
Comet and the scrubby side of a Scrubby Sponge usually gets rid of any sink markings.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Housekeeping Schedule: Monday

There are some housecleaning jobs that I love to do. There are others that I do my best to avoid at all costs (yep, I know I'm the only one...). So I've figured out a way to try to keep up with all of the housekeeping chores so that the majority of it gets done every week.

The solution is little bits of cleaning each day. Most take only a few minutes, and I find it easier to accomplish in smaller portions.

This week, I'll post my schedule. It works for me. Each day includes dishes (obviously) and a designated set of laundry.

Monday: Wipe mirrors (and the occasional window)
              Dust surfaces
              Laundry: Whites
I love my Windex! Is there anything better than that shiny, spotless mirror?

In all honesty, dusting is my least favorite, so usually this means just swiping everything with a Static Duster. That's OK in my book because it's still more than I used to do as far as dusting. It also makes it much easier to actually move everything and dust with Pledge and a cloth when I feel like it.

I'm certainly not claiming to be a housekeeping expert, and this is obviously not the full solution since I still have my 'magnet spots' that collect piles of junk regularly (i.e. the computer desk area and my yarn corner of the couch), but it helps!

On the crochet front, I am just finishing up the last steps of those projects I told you about, so rather than post them 99% done, I'm hoping to finish the last steps soon and post the completed project.

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Dilemma

That previous Mystery Project has a bit more progress, but I've run into a dilemma.

It all started because I was plowing along with the Ugly Blanket last weekend (can't wait to show you more...even though it's ugly ;-) but that's the point), and it was time for color change. There was a skein someone found for me that didn't have a sleeve on it, and as I started working it in, it felt like it was wool.

Of course, it is an Ugly Blanket and all, but I really like it anyway, and I don't want to have a random patch in it felt up eventually.


It was time to figure out whether or not it was wool. It was suggested to light some on fire. Apparently, if it is acrylic, it simply melts. If it is wool, it will light on fire more like a candle wick.

Brilliant! That works for me! I couldn't wait to try it. I felt sort of silly like I should have known that trick, but in case it was new to anyone else, I was going to share it with you.

Lo and behold, as I was taking pictures, wouldn't you know it: both kinds of yarn lit on fire for me! Gar! Now how was I supposed to tell?

Getting back to what started it all. Since I had originally figured out the gold color was wool, I decided to take the plunge and try to make something different with it with the intent to felt it when I'm done.

Now, I'm not certain if it's wool! I have another color of yarn that I was going to work into the gold for some variety of stripes or something, and the sleeve on that contrast color promises that it will felt when machine washed and dried. I can't risk one yarn felting and the other not felting, right?

So again, HELP!! What should I do? Any other suggestions?

I had always thought that I wouldn't want to take all the time to work on a project only to purposely felt it, but now that I've decided on something, I can't help but be disappointed and determined to follow through on it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Current project

Here's a sneak peek of my current project.

In all fairness, I may end up taking it all out and resizing or possibly adding in an accent color, but in the meantime, any guesses?