28 December 2008

My Daughter Elf-ed Herself Jonas!

Our daughter Taylor is a HUGE Jonas Brothers fan and she "Elf-ed" herself with the Jonas Brothers (and their little brother Frankie.) This was so cool! LOL!

This was from ElfYourself.com where you can add pictures that are made into elves faces and they do this really spectacular dance! She purchased the little video that was created so I'm adding it here so you can see it. It's a riot!

The quality is better on the original. Uploading it to the blog cut the quality. Sorry. But you get the idea... LOL

27 December 2008

It was a very Merry Christmas!

Our Christmas was so special this year. We spent it with just our family - just my husband, myself and our kids... a nice quiet day enjoying the blessings God has given us, and the wonderful gift of family. Our oldest son also visited with our grandaughter and she was just a joy!

We had a special addition to our family this year - a precious little doggie who arrived on Christmas Eve. His name is Mr. Bean and he is a little 4 pound Shih-Tzu. Mr. Bean is 4 years old, is very shy and needs lots of love and attention which he is getting and adapting to quite well. :O)

He is such a loving and special little soul, and seems to have become my little shadow. LOL! You can see he's wearing his little DOG SWEATER I designed and crocheted for him. It fits him quite well!

My husband gave me a special gift as well. It holds balls (or cakes) of yarn. With this yarn stand, I can have up to 6 different colors at my fingertips while I crochet! My father-in-law helped him make it. I came up with a much smaller idea, but I didn't expect this! I LOVE it!

I need to add a rubber washer in the middle of the dowel to keep the two cakes separate. This will go well with the Scripture Afghan pattern that my son gave me, and the vintage-type sewing basket from my daughter. My mom used to have one of these when I was a kid and I always thought it was so cool. And I can't wait to try the Scripture Afghan! :O)

Our kids requested that we go nowhere for Christmas day and we gladly granted that wish. We had such an enjoyable day. Just spending time together, having fun and making probably the best Christmas dinner we have ever had! LOL We made a surf-n-turf dinner and it was wonderful! We played some new games and just had a great time! My daughter had a very Jonas Christmas. LOL She was given several gifts of Jonas Brothers items which she loved!

Oh, and my two youngest kids also got me jars of Elderberry Jelly! I love the stuff, and have only been able to get it from Lancaster, PA when someone takes a trip there. So, it's a very special treat for me. :O) Ya know, Smuckers used to sell it in the grocery stores when I was a kid. I miss that. lol

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas too! Now, I've got to get started on more crochedting. LOL

God Bless!

19 December 2008

I Am Santa Claus!

Okay, it's settled! My husband always says I'm Santa's Chief Elf, but I've got news for him...

Christmas Character
Christmas Character by QuizRocket.com

So there! LOL

A Very Merry Christmas to all!

15 December 2008

Striped Keyhole Scarf

Another Christmas gift is complete! I made this Striped Keyhole Scarf for my Grandmother. She is 90 years old and going strong!

Striped Keyhole Scarf

I just love this pattern! I saw a similar type of scarf for sale on the internet, but I could not find a pattern for what I wanted, so I made one! You can find it HERE. It's really quite easy to make.

Now, on to the next gift! I have 2 hats yet to make, finish the trim on one scarf, get the buttons for my DOG SWEATER, and crochet the rest of my SNOWFLAKE ORNIES.
Merry Christmas!

13 December 2008

Popcorn Garland on our Tree!

Remember that POPCORN & CRANBERRIES GARLAND I posted about earlier? Well, we decorated our tree today and I got a great picture of the garland on our beautiful lighted tree! My free pattern can be found HERE.

The Garland on our Tree

I just absolutely LOVE this garland! It just says old-fashioned Christmas to me. Actually, where we had to put our tree this year was more in a corner so we couldn't put as many ornaments that would be able to be seen, so we picked our favorites, the really special ones, and the tree is still loaded with ornaments! But that's what Christmas is about... the memories, the special ties with loved ones.

May you have a happy, joyous Christmas!

Doggie Sweater

Crocheted Doggie Sweater

Here's a new thing I've come up with. A little Doggie Sweater! This one was made for a little dog about 4-5 pounds. My friend breeds adorable little Shih-Tzus and she gave me the idea to try to come up with a little sweater for them. They're such sweet, loving little babies.

You can find the pattern HERE. This doggie sweater is made with 2 buttons, so you don't have to pull it over the dog's head.

This is my own design and I had to guess on the size, since I didn't have one of these sweet little critters at the time, but it fit my little Shih-Tzu perfectly when he arrived.

08 December 2008

Snowflake Ornies

I've been busy making Christmas gifts! This year I'm doing a lot of hand crocheted gifts, which I'm really enjoying. I wanted to get back to a more old fashioned type of Christmas and not so much of the commercialism and materialism associated with the holiday in recent years. One of my latest are these cute little snowflake ornies!

Snowflake Ornaments

They're done with a sport weight yarn, white with a thread of silver going through it. Then I'm adding a little loop of silver thread so they can be hung on the tree. These are so quick & fast! Each one only takes me maybe 15 minutes to make

I found the pattern HERE. It's actually a pattern for a snowflake garland, but I just made the separate little snowflakes. I chose not to use them as a garland since I've made my own popcorn & cranberries garland for our tree (one of my free patterns listed on the right), but these are just so cute as little ornies! I just love them! I'm trying to do at least 15 of them... more if I want more than one on my own tree! LOL I've got at least 2 sets of 4 ornies to do and other single ornies as little gifts. I'm also busy making a few beanie hats, a few different scarves, 2 hat & scarf sets & a neck warmer for my grandmother. Are we sensing a theme here? LOL!

I've also been working on a new original pattern for Christmas (no, not this year, LOL) It'll be ready to purchase in late Winter/early Spring 2009 if all goes well, so that you'll have plenty of time to crochet this one for next Christmas. :O) I just need to test out the pattern to make sure I've got it right. Keep watching for it!

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!!

03 December 2008

Cushy Slippers

These are slippers I made for a birthday gift. They were relatively easy to do and I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. They actually look better on the feet than they do in the picture though, I think. LOL

Padded Sole Slippers

They have a double layer sole - the pattern called for 2 separate soles made and then crocheted together one on top of the other. They feel so wonderfully cushy on the feet! I may just have to add that aspect to other slipper patterns I do if I can.

I found the pattern for these Padded Sole Slippers on Ravelry HERE. (You need to be a member of Ravelry to view this pattern, but if you crochet or knit, it is worth joining and it's free!) Again, I used worsted weight yarn I had in my stash. I can't wait to give them.

02 December 2008

Water Bottle Sock

This was a fun one to do. Every night I freeze about 1/3 to 1/2 of my bottle of water, then fill with water when I'm ready to go, and it keeps my water nice and cold at work. And the bottle sock absorbs any condensation that accumulates on the bottle. It's actually gotten me to drink a lot more water which is a good thing. :O)

Water Bottle Sock

That "flower" section on the top half was a first for me... It was a little confusing at first and I had to try it, frog it, and try it again, but once I figured it out it was kind of fun to do. I actually did this at work in under 4 hours! Yeah, it gets kinda slow at work at night. LOL

I found the free pattern HERE. This fits a 24 oz. water bottle perfectly and it has a neat little drawstring at the top. Why not use a bigger bottle? I like to drink water, but not THAT much! LOL!

Black & White Checkered Scarf

Another project for this Christmas. A Black & White checkered scarf. Well, okay, so it's actually charcoal gray & white, but who's keeping track? LOL! That's what I had available, and I always try to use up some of my stash if I can (before it gets too big.)

Checkered Scarf

I made this as a Christmas gift for my older son's girlfriend and it was the first time I had tried the checkered design. A friend on a crochet Yahoo group pointed me to THIS pattern (actually for a dog sweater), and I used only the part of the instructions that made the checkerboard pattern and adapted it to make my scarf. I made each color 3 sc, and did that for 3 rows before alternating the colors. Then I edged the whole thing in the gray. By the way, if you try this, your yarn may twist up a lot so you will have to stop periodically and untwist it. I haven't yet mastered the art of keeping my yarns straight. LOL

My left hand cramped up something awful doing this one! I think I was tensing my hand up too much trying to hold both the yarn I was actually crocheting with and also the yarn of the alternate color that I was crocheting over top of. I used Lion Brand Homespun yarn, which is very soft and has this cool looking bumpiness to it, but which makes it really hard to see my stitches. So that, I guess, added to my cramped hand problem. But, all in all it came out pretty good I think. About 3/4 of the way through the scarf I was getting the hang of it and was able to relax my hand a little, but even now that it's done, my hand still gives me fits now and then. Aspercreme to the rescue! LOL! (I've been told that Tiger Balm works better, but I like the 'no odor' thing. LOL)

I also received some great tips from a YouTube crochet friend, Mikeyssmail about proper posture and positioning of your body in the chair when crocheting to ease tension. Thanks Michael! :O)

Merry Christmas all!

01 December 2008

My Life "Stitches"

Okay, I'll periodically update this to keep it current. Here's a little bit about me & mine....

My passion right now is crocheting. I say 'right now' because it used to be decorative painting! I did love to paint, but I've suffered from "burn-out" and just really needed to simplify things. Crocheting seems to fit that bill for me. I've been spending quite a bit of time in and out of hospitals & doctor's offices with my husband who is Diabetic and suffers with chronic pain from Diabetic Neuropathy, as well as other complications from the Diabetes. So, I've found that the crocheting is easy to grab-n-go! And it's so relaxing for me! Taking my crocheting along is a great way to pass time while sitting and waiting. I couldn't do that with the painting.

I'm married to a wonderful man, my hubby John, who is a Christian Apologist. We have a website that features a downloadable highlighted Bible with commentary, pictures, quotes, and more. It's cross-referenced and color-coded by subject matter, such as Science in the Bible, Spiritual Truth in the Bible, Biblical History, and even shows you where we get our Bible and which translation is the most reliable (and yes, there is a difference!) Right now it's in PDF format and the file was getting too large, so we're now offering it free on CD for just the cost of shipping. You can find it here. We have seen so many blessings through this ministry and every day God gives us both the strength to do what He wants us to accomplish. Check out my article, A Little Miracle from God about a very special set of circumstances that happened to us, and was so clearly the hand of God working in our lives that we just have to share it!

We have 3 children; 2 boys and 1 girl, and 1 granddaughter. God has blessed us with a wonderful family and opportunities to pursue His will in our lives. Our oldest son, and daddy to our granddaughter, is 27. Our second son is 14, and our daughter is 12. We homeschool the two youngest. Every Friday night we have "family night" where we watch two old sitcoms (such as The Honeymooners) followed by a good family movie, or once in a while a movie that has to do with what the kids are studying. For instance, we just watched The Right Stuff since they were learning about the 1960's and when we began space travel, the Apollo missions, etc.

Our daughter loves crafts, art, reading, writing and plays the flute quite well! She also is a HUGE Jonas Brothers fan. I enjoy their music as well and we share a lot together through this interest. She will tell you that I'm obsessed (LOL), but I'm not. My "Jonas Brothers" was the Bay City Rollers in the 70's. Both groups have similar fun, pop/rock kind of music that I really enjoy. Okay, okay, I WAS obsessed with the BCRs at the time - literally wallpapered my room with their pics and posters, had every album, knew every lyric, knew all the facts about each member of the band, etc. Oh boy, what fun I could've had if we had the internet and YouTube back then! LOL! My daughter and I both keep track of JoBro television appearances and fun, new videos of them that we send to each other. I have to say, I enjoy that the most - the fun that we share together with this music. When I was a teen and into the Bay City Rollers, I wasn't able to share my "obsession" with my mother since my mom wasn't at all into that kind of music, so she really didn't get what I was so excited about. Now though, my daughter and I can share that fun! I love it! And I totally understand her excitement. :O)

Our 2nd son is very much into military aircraft, paintball, and medieval weaponry. Wow! Hard thing for me to get into, but I do try. He's also into 3D animation and computer graphics and has created some amazing things! My husband understand's that stuff better than I do... I think it's a 'guy thing'. LOL! I do love to watch the aircraft; we live near an airport (though I don't at all want to fly in one, they are fun to watch.) Our son amazes me that he can look at any plane flying in the sky and immediately tell me what kind of aircraft it is! He knows his stuff! And speaking about the Bay City Rollers, I had the chance to totally embarrass him in the grocery store the other day. LOL! Well, isn't it a parent's prerogative to embarrass their kids once in a while? *wink* The song "Saturday Night" by the BCRs came on over the loud speaker and I, of course, got all excited and started to sing along (quietly) and dance (a little). He just wanted to crawl away, but I grabbed his shirt sleeve so he couldn't go anywhere. LOL! Gosh, I love those moments.

Our first son, and oldest, works in sheet metal. He is a wonderful daddy who loves to go snowboarding and sometimes paintball. We don't get to see him as much as I would like due to our conflicting work schedules but we talk on the phone regularly. He has blessed us with an adorable little 2 1/2 year old granddaughter who is just such a joy! She was actually quite fascinated with my crocheting the other night! Cool!

So, there's a glimpse into some of my life "stitches". So, the blog's not going to be *all* crocheting, but I will include a lot, along with little peeps into our lives.

God Bless!

Kiley's Hat

This is a crocheted floppy hat I made for my precious grandaughter, Kiley for Christmas. She is such a joy and I can't wait to see her wearing it!

Adorable Ruffles Hat

I found the Adorable Ruffles pattern HERE. It was easy to make and was the 2nd hat I ever crocheted. I was able to use up yarns I had on hand, except for the green trim, and then I added a round button and a heart button to hold up the brim.

Kiley is such a treat to be around. The other night I was visiting her before her Dad went out, which is when I stayed to watch her. She kept calling the hook a pencil, and I showed her how the "hook" worked with yarn. Well, she just had to try it herself. I gave her a bit of yarn and a big plastic hook to play with and she was walking around saying "crochet" (She's 27 months old). It was so cute!

Popcorn & Cranberries Garland - Crochet

This is another of my own original crochet designs. I wanted to make a faux string of popcorn & cranberries for our Christmas tree.

Popcorn & Cranberries Christmas Garland

My free pattern can be found HERE or listed in the box on the right. If you can do double crochet, you can do this! I can't wait to see it on our tree this year. With each Christmas season getting more and more commercialized and materialistic, I love going back to an old fashioned Christmas, and the real meaning of this wonderful season.

When we wake up Christmas morning, the kids open their stockings while their Dad and I wake up and get some coffee. :O) But, before opening our regular gifts, we read the story of the birth of Christ from Luke chapter 2. And no, we are not forcing our kids to do this when they'd rather be digging into those gifts. They ASK to do this every year now, it means that much to them. It brings us back down to what the holiday is really about and sets our priorities on what is really important.

I hope everyone has a safe, wonderful, old-fashioned Christmas season!

Color by Degrees Afghan - My old/new project

Okay, I'm new at this blog thing. I actually started up this account for a contest, but since I really like crocheting and have been doing several projects lately, I thought... why not?

Color by Degrees Afghan

This is my oldest project. Color by Degrees Afghan - my own original design. My pattern can be found HERE or listed under My Patterns in the box on the right. It's a very simple afghan starting with a row of granny squares and then using only double crochet stitches & chain stitch. The design is a little unique in that I increase the width of the stripes as I go along.

I started this afghan after my mother taught me to crochet in the early 70's... some 35+ years ago! I never finished it. I took it out a couple of times and added another row or two, but that was it. It stayed packed away for years in the back shed (I hadn't even realized it had ended up in there!) A few years ago we cleaned out that old shed (turned it into a screened pool house) and I came across my afghan, still in perfect shape believe it or not! So, I packed it better and moved it into my craft area of the house.

Recently, I got back into crocheting, and am loving it! So, I dug out that old afghan. I am determined this time to actually finish the thing. LOL! Although it will have to wait till after the holidays since I am busy crocheting Christmas gifts. The colors don't match anything in my house, but that's not the point! It's the sentiment, the memories, the determination to finish it that will make it special. And the fact that it was the first real thing I actually crocheted. :O)