Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gracie's all wounded....

Yeesh! Sometimes, you just gotta laugh. Can't do anything else. Jon came home yesterday, my fourteen year-old baby has been with his Dad for about three weeks, and I have missed him terribly. Apparently, as soon as he walked in the house, he and his brother, Tim, started fighting. What's new. I wasn't home, I was at work. I was greeted when I got home with the tale of it all...... Ah, what's a mother to do.
Today, I wanted to take my oldest, who is visiting me just for a few hours before he goes home with his Dad, to Barnes and Noble, because he wants a new manga. I needed to stop at the bank and get some cash from the ATM, but the line was so long, I said heck, I'll wait, and thought I'd pop through a closed lane. Turns out, those lanes at that bank are pretty narrow, and I kinda scuffed that little pole that sticks up that keeps you from hitting the curb there. Not a big hit, but it broke my front end parts.
Now, don't expect much here, I don't know what I'm talking about. There's a hub at the end of the tie rod? That the tire hooks onto? And the transmission too? Well, that broke. And then it knocked out my rack and pinion steering, and the steering is leaking all over. I got the van towed to a shop, and they're fixing it, but it's gonna cost me a little over $1200. Yeesh. I know that's a lot of money, but, although it's worrying me a little, and I have to figure out how I'm gonna get to work the next couple of weeks, I have faith that God will take care of me. The money will be there, I'll get to work to make the money, and in a couple of weeks (or who knows, maybe less) I'll have my car back. Truth is, the man at the shop says the van will be fixed by the end of the day. Wish I could have the money that soon, but oh well. When I have paid him for the repairs, I can have my van back.
Now, in my opinion, I don't think I hit that pole hard enough to break the van. I think the thing was worn enough that that little hit broke it. I'm just glad it didn't break driving down the highway at 60-70 miles per hour. I was barely moving when I hit it. Frankly, I'm thanking God that nobody was hurt, and that this incident is really a case of 'all's well that ends well'. Not that it's really 'ends well', but nobody's hurt, and it'll all work out. Some things will be put off yet again, but oh well.................
Eventually, this big old black cloud hanging over me is gonna shrink, and we're gonna find ourselves a silver lining! Meantime, I'm just trusting God.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Computer Subscriptions

Wow! I have been wanting a subscription to my favorite Crochet magazines forever, and have been considering the digital subscriptions. They're cheaper than the paper ones, just $15 (you can add it to your paper subscription for $10, but I think it's kind of a waste to have both, being I keep so many patterns on my computer anyway.) and they say you get access to 'at least two years of back issues'. Sounds good. Well, I finally decided to go for it. Awesome, the 'back issue access' actually includes all issues dating back to January, '07. That's almost four years worth! All this for $15, plus the new issues as they come out. I tell ya, this seems like a serious bargain to me! When I get some spare cash, I'm gonna get a digital subscription to Crochet World as well. Yeesh, then I'll have so many patterns, I'll never have to worry about boredom!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

This is so convenient!

Look at this cute little cell phone carrier. I tell you, I made this up one day not thinking much, just thinking I needed to get the cell phone out of my pocket, where it seems I lose the signal and miss calls. I was forever leaving my phone in my car, or forgetting it at home, or man, digging in my purse as it was ringing, only to find it just as it quit ringing, and I had missed that call.
This was easy to make, it's all single crochet. I think I chained seven, and made sixteen rows of single crochet, then made an edge of single crochet, then joined it all with wrong sides together, again using single crochet. The handle is, of course, single crochet, with a chain of five at the end to go around a button sewn onto the carrier. The yarn I used was good old Red Heart, just grabbed a skein out of my box and used a tiny bit.

This little thing has been so handy. I think I made it two weeks ago, and have been using it since then. Usually, I hook it through a loop of my jeans, so that when I bend down or reach for my keys, it doesn't hit odd buttons and dial weird things, yet it's handy when I need to grab a call. I don't forget it in my car, either. I didn't even realize how handy it would be, but I love this thing now.

I'm thinking it might make a fun little Christmas present, and I may need one in a couple more colors. I'm also thinking now, it might be fun made in the afghan/tunisian stitch. The more I look at this, the more I use it, the more ideas I get.

Friday, July 23, 2010

What's On My Hook?

Most times, I have several projects going. I'll pick up each one in it's turn, and work on it for a bit. Then usually, there comes a time when I'll finish several things within a couple of days. That's usually fun!

Right now, I have about five projects going. For the most part, they're small, except for another version of The Afghan Squared. I finished one not long ago, it had so many colors! My son Jon liked it, and claimed it. So then, I went to Hobby Lobby and got what I thought were the colors most like the ones used in the display photo on Lion Brand Yarn's site. I got home and started working on them, and no, the colors weren't the same. In fact, the last two colors, a turquoise, and gray, just did not go with the afghan as a whole at all - clashed, in fact. I pulled them off and decided to proceed without them. The more I work with this afghan, the more I like it, even if it isn't what I had envisioned when I started. It's funny, in these pictures, it looks really pink, and right now, it kinda does. I think that's because the last row I did was the bright pink. Usually it has an all-over, kind of warm tone to me. I can see it working very nicely in my living room. I am doing this with 'I Love This Yarn' brand yarn. I really do love this yarn! So soft and snuggly. I think from now on, if I anticipate having a blanket, afghan, or pillow (or anything for that matter) next to my skin, it will be done in I Love This Yarn.

Here's a pillow I'm working on for my sister. What do you think, Jane? I hope the color is right, she said dark ivory or ecru. This is I Love This Yarn in Linen. Right now, it looks very puffy, I think that's due to the fact that it's a British pattern. The yarn differences are sometimes a bit tricky, so I read. I think once I block and play with it, it'll flatten out nicely, though. I think the pillow is going to be beautiful. This is done pretty much in treble crochet, which I don't use a lot. When I sit down to work on it, I will sometimes forget and do doubles, and have to rip it out. Isn't that the great thing about crochet, how easy it is to fix your mistakes!

This is that turquoise yarn that didn't work with the afghan. I was reading a crochet book, and saw the three double crochet wrap, and thought I'd try it. I like it! So I'm making this little pillow. I have no idea what I will do with the pillow, but that is my oldest son's favorite color, and the yarn is so snuggly, maybe he would like it.

I've been thinking of Christmas for quite some time, and fell in love with the 7-hour Tree Skirt from Crochet World 2008. It's designed by Katherine Eng. I need a tree skirt badly, and thought this would be perfect. I am going to make myself one in red. Meanwhile, I started one in white, just because I didn't have any red yarn on hand. Well, silly me, I misread the directions, and thought it called for a D hook. I thought to myself 'I am not using a D hook with 4-ply yarn.' I tried that once, it wasn't pretty, so I started it with my trusty G hook, only to see later, that the D hook was for adding the beads on the edge, and the skirt was supposed to made with an I hook. Ah-hah! Sometimes, I really am a goob! Well, by then, I was 13 or 14 rows in, and I was not gonna tear it out. So I'll finish it. Someone will want it. I'll make my red one with an I hook. Ha.

I'm also working on a bag to list on Etsy. None of my other bags have grabbed any attention yet, and the listings are active until November, so I figure it'll wait. Ha.

There are a bunch of other things I want to make, as always. Boy, it's easy to keep that hook busy. I keep thinking I need to make a list of things I plan to make, a written list, and check them off as I finish. Wouldn't that be ambitious, and kind of, I don't know, organized? Ha. Then again, where would I stop? There's just so much yarn, and so little time.........

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Decoration Inspiration

One thing I love to do on the 'net is look for decorating inspiration. I will pull pictures from anything - apartment ads, department store ads, articles, and of course, decorating sites. Even if I don't like the picture or the room in general, if there is one element I like, I'll save the picture. Like if it's an all-white room, but I like the picture arrangement, or something like that, you know what I mean. So here, just in case you want to know, I'm gonna share some of my favorites. Because you want to know what my decorating style is, don'tcha? I like lots of styles, and admire them in other peoples' homes, but my style is ..... I like warm colors, and substantial furniture pieces. In the picture above, I love the colors, and the gorgeous canopy over the bed. I want to put a canopy over my bed. I have tried a couple of times, and it really didn't come out the way I wanted it to, but I figure persistence pays. I'll try again.... and again, if I need to.

Here is another picture full of warmth. I particularly love that big cabinet in the background. There are lots of things here I like, though - the mirror, and the fireplace, for example.

More color to drool over. I like those four-by houses on the wall. I think I might like to try to make one of those.

This picture is just a collection of color, and that's what I like.

Oh man, where to begin with this picture! I love the cinnamon-y color, all that red..... and the screen in the back right...... my favorite part of this picture, though, is that picture in the back. Four young men in a kind of abstract piece of art. I want something like that, and would like to commission a painting based on that. Something to represent my four boys, in a big, bold piece to hang on my living room wall above the sofa.

I just like the pillows here. Black and white with a dash of red....... I figure a dash of red goes nicely anywhere in a house. The rest doesn't need to be black and white, it could be anything, cream, yellow, whatever. There's a good shade of red to go with anything.

As you can see, I got this picture off an apartment site when I was home-hunting. But don't those colors just pop? I love them.

Oooohhhh, here. One of my favorites. I love the colors - have I said that before? Here, it's the fireplace that grabs me. I adore that.
See, you knew you wanted to know, didn't you?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bags and more bags

Well, here is my version of attic24's striped tote. I don't have the gift of color that she has, but I do think it turned out very pretty. It seems like it took a while to make, though, but maybe that was because I was making it in the midst of the move and everything else. But I enjoyed making it, it was fun. I just wish I had the gift of color she has.

Otherwise, I have been in a bag-making frenzy lately. I have been making these to list on Etsy, and maybe take to a craft fair coming up in October that I want to get in on. I have a goal to have fifty items made for the craft fair, will that be enough, do you think? I figure a few bags, and some other stuff, like I don't know, hats and scarves, pillows, should I do some afghans? What about gloves or slippers, or other stuff. This will be my first craft fair, I'm really looking forward to it. I understand Austin has a lot of craft fairs throughout the year, and in the short time I have been in and around Austin, I've seen several advertised. As I've said, it would be so nice to be able to make a little spare money with my crocheting, because otherwise, I've got a lot of projects that really don't get used, even though I am doing more garments these days, and those would get use. Ha.
In other news, I am kind of aggravated at the nursing agency I registered with. They assured me that I would be able to get four to five days a week in work, and I have so far (in over two weeks) not gotten one day. This is crazy. They assured me that there is nothing in my file, it is not me, just 'the census are down' and they are not getting the assignments. Well, I do have to say I am grateful to them, because they did verify my employment so that I could get into this apartment, but I want the work. So this week I will be actively looking for work, out there filling out apps and interviewing. I don't mind this, but I wish I had done it sooner. Ah well, I have no doubt that I will be working soon.
Then I can start buying me some nice stuff for my house! Ha ha.
Oh, and more yarn.................

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Crocheted bags

So I was out shopping, at Sears, and found this. A purse rack with two full shelves of crocheted bags! Wow! And they were gorgeous. I tell you, it seems like now is a great time to start my Etsy shop that I have been meaning to start forever. Maybe I'll start with a few bags, and then do some garments, some afghans, pillows, oh I can think of lots of things. Crochet is really hot right now. I even saw a feature in People Magazine on crocheted fashions. That's cool to me.

So I sat down with my hook and my yarn, and some pictures of those bags as inspiration. Then I thumbed through pictures I have on my computer (I'll right-click anything.) and various others things, and tried to design something. It's not very original, borrows heavily from the bags at Sears and the most recent crochet how-to I've read (can't remember where) but I came up with this. I like it! I actually think that once it's lined, it's sell-able. I'll list it first, I think. I'm gonna work on more ideas, more bags.

Let's see if I can make some money with my little hook here........ Wouldn't that be nice!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What do I do here?

Well, I am in my new little apartment. The longer I am here, the more I like it, too. I was looking for a nice big three- or four- bedroom apartment, but settled for this, because time was getting short, and it is nice. Now that I'm here, it is truly totally adequate. Yes, it's small, but it's big enough. It's two bedrooms, but the boys are all content to share a room, and my bedroom is a very nice size. More importantly, it has two bathrooms. That's nice. I have my own bathroom, where I can put my nice little things. The kitchen is small, but adequate, with a dishwasher and garbage disposal. Joy. Ha ha. Live without those for a while, and you'll know just how nice they are.

So now, I get to start decorating again. Mostly from scratch, although I do have some nice things. When I can get to my stuff in storage, I'll have a lot more, too. Hopefully in the next month or two.

Here is my 'bar area'. Or is it just a 'pass-through'? Anyway, it's out in the dining area, and it looks into the kitchen, and the opening does have a nice counter/bar there. It is going to be one of my very earliest projects, because sitting at the dining room table, you can't miss it, and it really needs something. But what? I'm thinking a swag or a wreath or something.... lemme look a little longer. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dove PDF Giveaway

One lucky Person will win this amazing PDF Pattern from Itsy bitsy spider crochet.

I hope that you take the time to enter. this giveaway will go until the 12 of July until Midnight.
Please leave a comment for each entry that you do along with your email so that I am be able to get a hold of you if you win.
Good Luck!
Main Entry: If you don't do this entry then all others do not count Go over and visit the itsy bitsy spider shop and tell her what other item that you love.
1 entry: become a follower of itsybitsyspidercrochet
1 entry: place itsy bitsy spider crochet's button on your blog
1 entry: become a fan of Itsy bitsy spider on facebook
1 entry: become a follower of Marie's cozy corner
1 entry: become a fan of Marie's cozy corner on Facebook
1 entry: place marie's cozy corner button on your blog
1 entry: blog about this giveaway
Disclaimer! I copied and pasted the above entry from another blogger (Marie's cozy corner) who led me to the itsy bitsy spider's blog (which is fabulous). I presume you leave the message on itsy bitsy spider's blog. I left one on Maries, though, so who knows. I'm so illiterate when it comes to computer stuff, who knows. LOL I love these doves though, and really want that pattern.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Gotta have 'em!

So I was shopping at my friendly local Barnes and Noble yesterday, and found two books that I absolutely must have. I would put them on my Christmas list, but you know I'll have them way before then. While we were at B&N, the skies opened and the rain came, so we had to sit awhile. Didn't mind a bit, I just read some more! LOL

The books are The Encyclopedia of Crochet Techniques by Jan Eaton, and Crochet - The Complete Guide, by Jane Davis. Oh my gosh, they were both just chock-full of great crocheting methods and techniques. They told beginning information, like how to crochet, and lots of other stuff I don't know how to do, like the fact

what I have always thought was called the afghan stitch is actually Tunisian Crochet. Hmmm! One of them, or maybe both, told how to do other Tunisian Crochet, stitches, did you know there were more than one? Makes sense, but I didn't know it. Maybe because I didn't think of it. Ha ha.
There was also info on how to make different motifs, and edgings, flowers and snowflakes. Man. I think if I master a few of these techniques, I wouldn't have to rely so much on the written pattern for my crocheting. Wouldn't that be cool?
I have loved to crochet for years. A year or so ago, my main crocheting was the ripple afghan. I would make ten or twelve of those things a year, and maybe make something else simple. But I didn't do a lot of variety, and mostly, if not always, I worked with that good old Red Heart yarn you get at Walmart. A few months ago, I decided I wanted to stretch my crocheting skills. I have really been enjoying it, too. I have made a cape for my aunt, slippers (simple, but still, I had never done it before.), a cardigan, a rose block, a little amigurumi octopus, and am now making a round bag, all my attempts to hone my skills. I am finding that I do not like to crochet, I do not love to crochet, I am obsessed with crochet. It has taken over my life. LOL Most of my shopping is related to crochet, whether it be crochet magazines, more and different yarns, more books, whatever. I enjoy it more every day.
Now where's my hook?

Friday, July 2, 2010

18 already?

It's my oldest child's birthday today. Dan is eighteen. He's an adult now, accountable for his own actions. Wow. I have an adult child. That astounds me. When did he grow up? Oh, the years have flown by.

Eighteen years ago today, my biggest dream came true. I became a mother. That's all I ever wanted to be growing up, a mother. It was such a wonderful day for me.

Dan is such a sweet young man. So thoughtful and kind, he truly is. I couldn't be more proud of the young man he has become. He has a gentle spirit. And I consider him quite brave. He has autism, and last year, he entered a regular High School, and is working on his diploma, in regular classes. He works so hard, and got full credits for his Freshman year, and will be a Sophomore this fall. I admire him so much for that.

So, happy birthday Dan, your mother is so proud of you. Today we will all enjoy your birthday cheesecake. (because he said he really is not crazy about cake.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Well, there's my van. She's not much, but she is a blessing to me. God is good, all the time.
When I got the van, I was hurting for a car. Oh, I needed one, and I didn't care what kind, just a dependable car. I tried and tried to come up with the money. Finally, in January, I said "That's it. I need a car. I have $1200, and I have got to find something." So I prayed about it, of course. And looked, and waited, and trusted God. I found this here, and it had a price on it that was more than $1200, I don't remember how much. I just asked God, "Well, if it's meant to be, you'll make the way." I called the guy, and asked him if the price was firm. He said "Well, I could go as low as $1200." Bless God. When I took the test drive, I barely got on the road before I knew this was the car God was giving me. Yes, it had a miss, and yes, the seats are ragged. No, she's not the prettiest thing on the road, but this is the car God was providing me with. Bless God and here's your money, friend. I told the people selling it to me that God was providing it, and it would be a good car for me.
I have said since I have owned this van that I know God will keep it running for at least as long as I need Him to keep it running, and I know that is true. It has never broken down on me, has always gone. Sometimes it does lurch unexpectedly (Ha ha!) and sometimes it hesitates, but it keeps on going. I have no doubt that it will keep going until there is a reason it needs to quit, whether that be that God has another one for me, that He has given me the money for a 'nicer' car, or that I don't need a car.
As I was driving the three hours to Austin this last week, with the car totally loaded down, and as that car ran the best it has ever run, I realized again, that God will keep that car running. I just felt so blessed, and at peace.
My mother used to name her cars. I think I've named a few of mine, I'm not sure. But now, I have named this one. She's Grace. So I have quit saying 'Come on car' when she needs a little encouragement. Now I say 'Come on, Gracie!' LOL