Friday, January 27, 2012


 I have a love for leaves. I really do. I love the tendrils and the muted colors. I love the gentle curve and the veining. And I love leaves as a design element.  I use real leaves as castings, stampings and stencils. I crochet leaves. Big ones such as those in the picture - great as coasters or dishcloths or in the spa; little ones to embellish a scarf, and tiny ones for cards. Leaves are pretty. We once had a liquidambar in front of the house. It had broad leaves that change colors with the seasons. Tom and I loved that part of the tree -- but it had these golfball-sized pods with spikes. We could have tolerated the pods, and it could have stayed if not for the bathroom plumbing getting tangled up with roots!! Whatta nightmare!  I was once told that I reminded someone of Marianne Dashwood for my love of leaves. But I'm not the drama queen that Ms. Dashwood is..actually I'm more like her sister Elinor in keeping to myself.

But I digress...anyway, leaves.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Learning: The Spike Stitch

I've had a photo of the spike stitch over at a  Pinterest  board of crochet items I wanted to make. I had wanted to try this and yesterday I saw the pattern for it  at Crochet Me,  reminding me to get started.
So I got started, using Elann's Lara cotton in marine, oasis and butter. One change I did was to use hdc for the spikes, which made for a defined strip, which is okay for this.The stitch is easy to learn. The cloth made is stiff, but I'm using cotton. I'm going to try it on worsted wool. I thought of making a dishcloth but instead will make a sewing needle case.

My first Etsy Treasury

"oh, my love is like a red, red rose..." 

..created six days ago.

Next up, more items and more treasuries...

Sweet Little Doily

I've had a very busy week of designing one-skein cotton wonders culminating into a very nice potholder/hotpad I made for a swap at Crochetville, more dishcloths, coasters, coin purses, and learning the spike stitch (pictures next post). I also designed and finished a bucket hat. So after the crocheting frenzy, I rewarded myself with this sweet little doily from an old Magic Crochet magazine. Size 10 white thread with size 7 steel hook, pretty for a coaster. It took me two Leverage episodes to make.

Crocheting Resolutions for 2012

Actually, yes I'm one for making resolutions. I admit it. Come on now.. people say they're not into doing that but really do; they complain about the past year and how they're glad to be rid of it, implying a resolution to do things differently. So mea culpa; I do resolutions.

So at the end of each December I face the coming year as another chance and usually have a list of things I want to do, or not do. Here they are, and it's a good thing because many of them are Etsy-related.

* Open my Etsy boutique, even with only a few ready-to-ship items.... Check!
* Renew my CGOA membership, join the CYC.... Check.
*  Revisit and start participating at Crochetville....check.
* Crochet and knit every day.....check, so far so good.
* Commit to knitting a pair of Socks for Soldiers a down for January, started one for February.
* Learn entralac, Fair Isle, and intarsia.....looking into classes, bought books on the subject.
* Learn a craft I've never done before....signed up for Torrey Pines Needle Basket-making for February.
* Re-join Soldiers' Angels......done, and got connected with the local Vet group.
* Join my local Arts Guild.....not yet done, but got a brochure on the subject.
* Start local craft fairs...not yet done; will be with local Arts Guild.
* Take up watercolor painting....saw a class offered at the Craft Center but will take when I have more money.
* Be active in my Literary Classics Book Club....joined last November but the holiday season swallowed me for February: Persuasion by Jane Austen. I already have the book and have read it before..started reading, need to fix my email issue with the site.
* 2012's 50-Book Challenge with Livejournal and Crochetville....check.
* Where's my sewing machine?? It's packed away in the garage...need to find it, get it refurbished, and get quilting.
* Increase my income!! .....add extra shifts in travel nursing.
*Get healthy!!!...use health insurance since I'm paying beaucoup bucks for it! Make regular appointments, avoid getting ill, rest, mini-vacations, drink lots of liquids (my downfall), eat regularly....make appointment with nutritionist...use the clinic's lose-weight program, etc. etc....
* Continue the momentum on the study of medieval history...check! I love this subject anyway :))

*Journal everyday....already developed this habit so I have a good start.
*Poetry every day....ditto
*Do more blogging....okay a hard one, and easy to ignore since I really no longer like to blog as I did before, but this exercise is probably the best outlet to get writing.
*E-publish some short stories and novellas....started editing some works...will fix a target date for publication.
* problems there. I'm a readaholic with no cure in sight.

 Boy, it looks daunting....but I'll do my best..

My Crocheted Bucket Hat

A crocheted bucket hat of two strands of merino wool, grey and fuschia.

 This hat will be mine :). But I will make one to sell, maybe felted and simply embellished, perhaps with a cluster of green leaves and felted berries..

Friday, January 13, 2012

AAQI's Traveling Quilt Exhibit

From the Traveling Quilt Exhibit:

"Alzheimer's Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope" is a traveling quilt exhibit about Alzheimer's. It will be exhibited at venues throughout the United States through 2015. It features 236 quilts. Long, narrow "Name Quilts" are made from 55 purple patches, each marked with the name of a person who has/had Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia.

The "wrong" side of the fabric patches are showing. The color looks faded. The bright side of the cloth, full of the color and pattern of life, has been turned to the inside of the quilt, never to be seen again.

The Name Quilts create a wall more than 10,000 names, representing and honoring the 5.4 million people in the United States who have this horrid disease.

Hanging among the Name Quilts are 54 small format art quilts that tell the story of Alzheimer's from a variety of perspectives."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Opening Day @ Etsy

I did it!! After procrastinating and hand-wringing and worrying for over a year, I finally opened my first Etsy boutique. At 2AM.

And I have two, count them, 2 listed ready-to-ship items.

Cloche in green and variegated pink of merino wool/nylon and alpaca.
The pictures turned out adequate. Actually, pretty good :) Can you believe I used my cell phone??

I do have a digital SLR camera (a Nikon D40 I named Mr. Magoo) but beats me how I can get it to focus. The more I tweaked it the more frustratingly out-of-focus it got. I'm not gadget-savvy and the blurriness was just one more excuse I used to not open shop. I suppose I can go online and look for the manual, but....oh heck, anyway, the cell phone worked for me! I'll deal with THAT another time.

I have more hats in various stages of construction, and WIPs of scarves, dishcloths and bath poufs. I have designs on paper for felted clutches, amigurumi, doggie duds and what I can closely call fine china shock absorbers...

...but I'm now going to bed. Feeling quite accomplished, really :)

Simply Stylish Hat of two strands red and gray peruvian wool.

Friday, January 6, 2012

1st pair of socks 2012 almost finished. I just need to put in the final kitchener stitches, weave in the yarntails, launder, then send them in a care package to a special Marine neighbor. The leftover yarns are to be knitted into beanies.

I'm looking into the second pair of socks for a neighbor's daughter who's in the Navy. They will be leisure socks in black and red, her favorite colors.

A third pair leisure socks is in the works made of Tofutsies. I love Tofutsies and have a big batch of them in my stash.

I will need to order more of the regulation yarns from our group founder.

AND... I'm feeling much better. I'm taking the next three days off to get caught up on housework and fiber arts, maybe make a bridal necklace or two, catch up on my reading. I'm foregoing classes this winter quarter and start in March. Too late anyway...many classes I wanted are either cancelled or I need to be wait-listed.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The beginnings of the new year and....

.... I feel poorly as I type this. Yep, I'm beginning the year sick. Not the cold-or-flu sick, but the fibromyalgia I-can't-stand-this-pain-and-fatigue sick, and the IBS flareup I-can't leave-the-house-where's-the-bathroom sick. Ugh!! My nursing job can wait.

So I am in bed, drinking lots of liquids and Kefir, and trying to get some crocheting and knitting done. My portable studio is set up, so when my legs are more cooperative I will get up and take pictures. I am determined to open my online stores!!

Before Christmas, and while looking for Christmas decorations, I dug into some boxes in the guest room and found the yarns and the beginnings of a pair of olive drab socks I was knitting for Socks for Soldiers. To make a loooong story short, I frogged and started all over. I'm now at the toe-shaping portion of the socks; I hope to be done tonight. Below is the photo of the socks I took last week.

Okay...going offline..I feel sick to my stomach..more when I'm feeling better..