Monday, November 21, 2011

Looking for a handmade gift? Crochet for Hire!

Crochet is very versatile and makes for great gifts. Not just scarves and hats for winter, either! I've been crocheting since I learned at the age of 10 and I couldn't have learned a better craft. I love making just about anything for babies, including covers for cloth diapers. I make all sorts of things for the house as well as wearable items and accessories, great for yourself or as gifts.

I prefer to use PayPal for transactions but if time is on your side, I will accept cash or check with the understanding that your order won't be started until the money arrives or the check clears. If you have any questions or want to make a purchase, contact me at
For all of those quiet window-shoppers and anyone who wants to see what kind of work I produce, I've put together an album of things I've made (the ones that I remembered to take pictures of) Anyone who's made a purchase from me and wishes to share pictures, I'd love to add them to my album. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cough Syrup recipe results!


I tried the Cough Syrup recipe and the kids approve. Smelled so yummy being made... like a Christmas dinner.

FLAVOR: Personally, I had trouble with the honey and onion combo being cold. Oddly, when it was warm I could think of it like a really great glazed ham with onions and veggies and I could be ok with it. Cold was harder on me. The kids didn't blink an eye, they thought it was great... especially the youngest who hate hate hates cough syrup.

EFFECTIVENESS: Very good. The kids coughing almost disappeared after using it for a day (every 3-4 hours)and since there was no fuss over the flavor, I didn't have to coax or cajole. Using it myself, once I got past the intense onion it was great. I added ginger root and cloves which is why there is such a dark color to it. Ginger never fails to make me feel better and I love the numbing cloves bring. In the syrup, the ginger was warming, the honey soothing, and the cloves numbed it just enough. The onion smell/flavor wasn't too bad, but it lingered. In about 20 seconds the warm feeling spread and I lost the tickle in my throat. By the 3rd dose, the rattle in my chest was diminished as well and I slept well since I could breathe clear. I could get used to onion for that!

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

How I got addicted to reclaimed yarn.

Now settle down kids, and let me tell you a story. Once upon a time.... no, I won't keep going in that vein, you can unclench.

BUT -I do have a story. A boring and fibery one at that. I love yarn. Seems a weird thing to be addicted to but I fully admit it. I'm just a step past recreational use, barely in control. In in attempt to save a little money I started looking up cheaper yarn on eBay and Etsy. There was a lot to sift through and much of it was labeled 'reclaimed'. Now THAT caught my attention, I had to investigate further. People could buy sweaters at thrift stores and take them apart for the yarn? is this possible?! When I figured out how to do it myself I was in yarny heaven. So many possibilities! Merino, angora, and silk, oh, my! I spent my weekends hitting thrift stores, secondhand stores, and garage sales... it felt like treasure hunting.

When my pile of yarny booty began overflowing it's bounds in my closet and started taking up residence in the living room, my darling husband used my own words about his tech habit against me- "income needs to equal output". Something comes in, something goes out... do you know how painful it is to get RID of yarn?!?!

In the midst of my discovery-of-reclaiming buzz I shared the knowledge with my mom since she loves knitting and crochet, too. Oh, me, oh, my. Who could have known exactly how much yarn and sweaters she would collect in such a short time?

Tonight I went to JoAnn's in search of some materials that I needed, it was necessary that they be new. Our local JoAnn's recently moved into a former Gottschalk's and I was a little awed when I walked in. So. Much. Fabric. I was fairly dizzy with the bright lights and colors of all of the different crafting mediums and thankful I had a limited amount of money to spend in one place.

Now, I'll have to disappear off the interwebs again for a short period of time while I make good use of the new crafty things I picked up. :) See you when I come up to breathe!

P.S. I have been curing the rosemary soap I made and it finally appears to be hardening up. Thank goodness for that, I was worried I had wasted a bunch of ingredients. It works well, too, though the scent is pretty faint after rebatching so many times.I think it was 4... maybe 5?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cold and Flu season, Ho!

Today my youngest started getting a runny nose and acting whiny and petulant. Sigh, the signs that he's getting sick. By this afternoon a very mild fever and sleepiness joined the team so now I'm playing defense.
I found a couple of recipes on a blog recently and I'm dying to try them, this is a perfect opportunity. I stumbled on Keeper of the Home Cold Kicker recipe to help kick it in the bud right as it starts - forewarning, it's supposed to steep for a couple of weeks so plan ahead. It was simple to put together since I had just about everything on hand and wow, was that ever a potent mix. My breathing is VERY clear now, lol. I have high hopes for it's effectiveness, but doubts about my children opening their mouths for it. Crossing my fingers that the honey added after it's finished will make a big difference in the flavor.
Next I made a more immediately gratifying recipe from the same blog, the Cough and Cold syrup. It was even simpler and smells much more appealing. Thank goodness for generous bloggers sharing their recipes! I'm always looking for good home remedies so I can avoid the ingredients in store bought stuff. I'll be sure to share how this works for my family.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Coffee syrup, crochet, and hair care

Not really an auspicious beginning, but I'm not feeling that clever and it's what I'm up to.
I've been crocheting a lot lately and thankfully most of it's paid. I love crocheting for money and I hope I never have to stop, who knew yarn could be so addicting? Had someone told me before.... No, no, I'd still have gotten into it. Scarf and hat and mitten season is coming and guess who's excited? This girl. Yes, I'm a super duper dork but I'm happy and that's what counts.
Since I cut my hair I've worn kerchiefs and headbands and barrettes, but not hats. I tried on a hat for funzies, one of my old faces and wow, having short hair REALLY changes how that looks! March to now, it grew from 1/4 long on the back of my neck to brushing my shoulders. New hats for a new style. This got me thinking about my hair care routine.
I developed an ... What's the right word, intolerance? Allergy? Anyway, I had awful reactions to my beloved brand of hair care and began a search for the solution, which turned out to be sulfate/wax/silicone free products. It works so well that I have to be an idiot to go back to my off-the-shelf habits but I do. Every so often I try it and then get all disappointed that it's still a failure. Sigh. I'm even having reactions to some of my tried and true stuff now, so back to baking soda scrubs, co washing, and flax seed gel. It's just so boring and I miss the yummy fragrances. A nice recipe of salt scrub or sugar scrub makes up for that, I'm in love with brown sugar scrub with a vanilla orange scent or a salt scrub with lemon and ginger. I'm never going to have skin like a Hollywood starlet but a scrub with olive oil gives me a nice healthy, soft, glow.
I admit it, I'm one of those people, the irritating ones who make their own .... Everything. I make lipgloss, hair gel, hats, bread, and today, coffee syrup. It's stupidly simple to make all of those things if you practice so it's not as though this makes me feel accomplished or special. The syrup turned out well,


1 cup water 1 cup sugar and whatever flavors your might want. Medium heat til it boils then turn it down and simmer for 5 minutes.

yeah, that easy. I added a teaspoon of vanilla, a shake of cinnamon and a pinch of grains of paradise. Smells heavenly, like homed apple pie. So very good.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's harder than though tot to do a give away

I've finished up the stuff I have lined up for a give away. Easy.
I've started a Facebook page for Melanie's Closet. Not quite as easy, but I didn't explode.
Pictures... Well, a bit harder still since my children absconded with my USB cord. Again.
But the hardest part is the freaking RULES. I make stuff in crochet. I want to bring attention to my little endeavour by giving away a couple free samples of what I make. Sounds simple right? But if I'm broke and can't afford to restart a store on Etsy or Hyena Cart then it's not as simple. I've read the rules to giveaways on Facebook and it boils don't to one idea: DON'T.
I'm told by a WAHM friend that I can officially do the giveaway on my blog then *talk* about it on Facebook to garner interest. I'm a little less confident now. I really don't want to get in trouble or bite off more than I can figuratively chew. Why is it so hard to give away cute creations? Shouldn't that be the easy part?
Tomorrow I'm making myself get it done. If I fail, I fail, but I need to try. It's always too easy to give up or make excuses to walk away before I give it a real shot.
Truth is, I'm good at crochet and I love it. That should be enough motivation, right?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I want this t-shirt, I really do.

I started a Facebook page for Melanie's Closet and I'm attempting my first give-away in hopes it will get me more exposure and in turn more business. Being that I haven't given anything away before - unless you believe my husband, in which case I give away everything I make -I figured it couldn't hurt to check out other giveaways. I Googled 'crochet give away' and this great t-shirt came up. I love tossing into conversation that I hook for spare cash, especially fun I tell people I learned it from my mom and grandmother. This shirt would be just the best thing ever! I want to win it so bad I'm actually doing all of the extra entry rigamarole, I HATE doing that.
In case you're reading this and you're genuinely interested in buying hand crocheted goodies, here is my Facebook page:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Oh the weather!

We don't get warm weather til the end of what's commonly referred to as spring.... Spring here being less snowfall and the occasional melt-and-refreeze. This is fine by me, I love love love the snow and see it as an even trade off for a normal growing season. Especially since it give me a constant supply of goodies to make. Hehe.
I feel like I always say how busy I am and how sorry I am to neglect my poor blog, but I think all of you know this by now and repeating it is simply becoming an irritation, both to any readers I have and to myself. This time I'm not going to say it.... Other than the part where I already said it. That doesn't count.
I'm a mom. A full time, stay at home, homeschooling mom to three boys under the age of 9. I think that alone gives me reason to not keep up daily with my little blog, but then being so into my hobbies takes up the rest of my time. Can you tell I'm working on taking time for myself without making excuses?
On to more crochet! Right now I'm crocheting a skirt but as it gets longer I'm less and less happy with the way it hangs and e size of the spaces in the work. I fear it's doomed to be frogged, poor thing. I'll make up for it by finding an even better pattern for it ;)
Next, I'm finishing up a jacket pattern I found on, vintage inspired swing style. I am reclaiming a white acrylic sweater just for this project. 6 ply worsted with a K hook. The pattern called for Vannas Cotton Ease and an I hook, but I needed it to be a bigger size. I've made the back and 3/4 of the front and so far it's looking good. Cross your fingers that I got the measurements right because this would be waaaaay too much work to have to redo the whole shebang. I keep forgetting I'm a different size and shape.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tv dinner diet=successful

Mike needed a little support while trying a new way to lose the weight he had been putting on and after two months we have a consensus- it works. For him. He's lost about a pound a week so far and he's happy, I'm happy for him, but it wasn't so great for me. Too much sodium and my stomach doesn't like so much prepackaged food. I didn't gain, but I also didn't lose and I had water retention.
I think 2 months is supportive enough, so I'm back to eating my way and I feel so much better. I got a new exercise ball and resistance band since my kids respectively popped and lost the old ones and I've been doing pilates every other day and yoga in between. Nothing too hard, but it feels so good to be doing it again.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

At Home Pampering

I have always used sunscreen, taken care of my skin, and stayed out of the sun but it was because I'm so very pale, not out of any desire to keep young and healthy looking. In fact, I was never much of a girly girl. In my somewhat recent turn toward the feminine, I've taken an interest in my poor skin. I found a product I love, Skin Genesis from L'Oreal but it's not the cheapest way to care for my skin nor the most natural. Which, if you know me, you know is fairly hi on my list of pluses.
I used to have gorgeous skin, never had blemishes and at a glance I didn't even have pores, lol. Once I stopped working out every day, I started getting spots at certain times of the month, then I gained weight and my skin got oily and my pores enlarged. The next hit was pregnancies, 3 of them. I had bald patches, serious skin issues, and dark brown spots.
This was the time I used a sample of Skin Genesis and fell in love, but it didn't solve everything. I'm 30 and starting to notice dark circles and AGE SPOTS. SERIOUSLY? Age spots?
In my ongoing quest for something to make me look less like my mother (no offense mom, you're lovely) I got interested in a chemical peel. I'm still interested in getting it professionally done but the cost and time involved will make it a special occasion to save for so in the meantime I have been trying out recipes for at-home care. I LOVE this very simple peel recipe

1 Tbsp honey
1 500mg vitamin C, pulverized

Mix together and slather your face. Leave on for no more than 10 minutes, rinse with warm water and apply moisturiser.

Here's a helpful hint from me to you.... Don't use too much near your eyes. Why? Honey melts when warm and vitamin C and honey in your eye burns like the dickens.

It made my skin tone look more even and reduced the color of the dark spots and dark circles under my eyes after one application.
Tonight I made a gentle exfoliating face scrub recipe that I'll have a couple of uses from.

1 tbsp ground oatmeal (just put it in a blender or food processor)
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp plain yogurt

Mix the ingredients and apply to your face, scrubbing in small circles. Leave it on for a couple of minutes and then rinse off. just store the leftover in the fridge for next time you wash your face

Monday, May 23, 2011

Crochet group in the making

I love crochet and knitting, I've done it for 21 years this summer. We're settled in the small town of La Pine and we have our own home, friends, congregation, and favorite events and businesses locally but I still don't have a crochet buddy here. I tried a knitting group but as nice as they were it wasn't a great fit for me, I had a friend in the next town over who knitted ... And then moved away. My mom and I have a knit/crochet night when we get together... Every three months or so. Sigh. I didn't even get to see her last time I made the trip to her area.
It seems awfully simple to just find a person or two and knit while talking, but it's not. Have you ever tried? There's no clear place to look for someone whose interests are the same

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's time for spring crochet!

Right now I've got a thing for jewelry, so I've made several necklaces and bracelets, earrings on the way when I get them finished to the point of pictures. I also made a bikini top and have a couple more in the works. I've got enough to restock my Hyena Cart and Etsy store but I have to sell a few first to pay up the fees I have left over and to restart my accounts.
So to anyone who is interested, I have a few things for sale right now, ready made. $10- A bikini top in B/C cup (depends on your preferred coverage)

Some pretty purple rings $5 in medium (8-9) and large (10-11)

Necklaces $10 each, $13 with a matching bracelet

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A little change of direction

Normally I don't enter give-sways on blogs, there are so many entry requirements and I hate signing up for websites or newsletters. This give-away is for an artist, on a blog called The Enchanted Tree, a friend runs it and the entry requirement? Go to the artist's store and pick what you like the best, then post it on the blog.
If you want a more expansive view of the artist and her work, a direct link to the artist's site is Tara Sullivan Photography
I was impressed with her work, I think that if I by chance won this give-away I would buy Scrabble Love or Waves, though Colorado was a close third. I love her eye for shots.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

There's been little progress to report, but here it is.

I got about 13 inches into the back of the Helena Jacket before I realized I had goofed a tiny bit on the gauge and that very little goof of half a stitch per 2 inches changes the intended width of the back by 2 inches. Dang it.
I had a bad moment when I realized that, I had to face it, accept it, and decided on a course of action. I could give in to my baser impulse and tear it all out, stomp on the hook, and stalk away to 'do better things' til I felt mature enough to take it on again. -OR- I could just keep forging ahead in the hopes that it'll look great on me anyway.
I took the high road. It was mostly because I would have cried to see my work all messed up. So I guess not so high after all. Oh well, the outcome is for the best, right?
It's worked from the hem up and I've finished the waist shaping and I'm on to the arm-hole shaping now. It looks good and I can't wait to get the back done so I can start on the front! It's so pretty.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Helena Jacket - Interweave Crochet

Helena Jacket - Interweave


I use Interweave almost daily. Seriously now, I use it for techniques, inspiration, the newest in crochet and knitting trends, you name it. Today it paid off! I got an email offering me a survey, at the end of the survey I got a coupon for $5 off any purchase, no minimum. EEEEEEEEEEE! It was a hard choice between the Tuscany Tank Dress and the helena Jacket. You can see which one I chose, but I think I'll be buying the Tuscany Tank Dress pattern anyway. It's so pretty and I've been looking at it for at least a year so it's not really an impulse buy, now is it?
Yay for me!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Time for Blocking

I've been making stuff and things for sale and I think it's time to block them up. Jewelry seems to be the path I'm taking this week and I LOVE making necklaces and bracelets. I made a necklace and bracelet set for my niece last week and I didn't want to stop.

First I made a 6 strand necklace similar to the one I made for my niece, I used a pink cotton 4 strand thread and made the shortest length 17 inches. A matching bracelet with a single flower came right after.

I had some reclaimed nubbly silk in a lovely pale cream color that just made me think of flowers. I arranged an Irish rose, a slightly smaller English rose and a little 5 petal flower on a medallion and and attached it to a single strand necklace.

I think I had my fill of flowers by then because I made a gorgeous butterfly pattern in a single thread of tan silk using a number 14 hook. They were eye-crossingly tiny stitches but it turned out so great. I'm not sure whether it will be a necklace or a bracelet but I'll block it anyway.

Right now I'm making two half snowflakes in a mint green, I have no idea what I'll use those for, I just thought they were pretty.

You know what might complement jewelry? Some light, lacy spring fingerless gloves and a thin scarf.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Toe Up Toe Socks for my mules

I adore shoes. I never used to but as I got older I fell a little more in love with shoes each year and now I have a gorgeous collection of high heels and cute shoes that get comments.
As much as I love shoes, I prefer to be barefoot. Confusing, I know. Look at it this way - if I HAVE to wear shoes then they need to be cute, interesting, sexy. I bought a pair of mules as a nod to warmer-but-not-warm-yet weather and after wearing them a few times I remembered why I pass them up so often. Being half open, half enclosed little bits of dust and grit get flipped in and I hate that. I would wear sock, but socks+mules=NO NO. Ugh, how tacky!
Last night I finished up a pair of toe socks to solve the problem. They're exactly what they sound like, the toes only of socks. Since I was still enamored of the eggplant colored Pima lace thread, I made my toe socks from that.

I measured where I wanted them to end on my foot and came up with a length of 4 inches. Then I measured around my arch where I wanted the cuff. Easy peasy from here on out!

this is going to be my first picture tutorial, go easy on me.
First, make a chain for 2 inches. this is worsted weight yarn and a G hook, so 2 inches = 8 chain.

Chain 1 (this is the turning chain) SC in the second chain from hook across. That's 8 sc so far...

make 2 more sc in the last sc (this is an increase as well as shaping) sc across the opposite side of the chain as well, 3 sc in the same chain as the first sc. Don't Join!

Place a marker in the center sc of the 3 on the end, I recommend a different color for each end so you can tell which is the beginning.

Repeat the increase row until it reaches your arch measurement.

Sc in each sc around without joining or increasing til it reaches the length you desire, keep markers in place. If you want an edging then stop 1 inch BEFORE the desired length and make the last inch in a different edge.
finish off!
Here is a sc rib edging

a FPDC edging

and a shell edging

Yarn Necklaces are Pretty

I posted this to my family/personal oriented blog, but considering the amount of crochet talk I poured into that entry it needed to be shared on my project blog as well.

Tonight my niece turned 15. We got her a pretty off-white linen dress with a thin leather belt, but I felt like something was missing. Being without wrapping paper, I quickly sewed a bag our of white fabric with black flowers and a red ribbon for a tie. Hmm.... tied up all pretty and still, something was missing. While searching for the fabric to make the bag I had run across a couple of balls of a very deep purple Pima cotton lace weight thread so when I finished up the gift bag a lightbulb went off in my head.
BING!! (yes, it made the sound)
I had seen a crocheted necklace somewhere, at sometime, I couldn't remember the details but I loved it. Basically it was lengths of chain with a small section of single crochet at either end, each chain length is a little longer than the last. A button on one of the single crochet ends and a button hole on the other, then some flowers sewn to the lengths off center. It was much simpler than it sounds when I explain it, I promise. So I whipped up a necklace and a bracelet.
Here's what I did, though you can change the weight of the yarn and number of stitches to suit yourself.

With two strand lace weight cotton, doubled and a size 10 hook:
Chain 161, turn, sc in 5 ch, chain 170, sc in the last 5 ch.
Turn, sc in 5 sc, chain 180, (sc, chain 3, sc) in last 5 sc.
Turn, (sc, 3 sc in chain 3 space, sc), chain 190, sc in last 5 sc.
turn, sc in 5 sc, chain 200, sc in last 5 sc.
Turn, sc in 5 sc, chain 210, sc in last 5 sc.

Attach a button to the single crochet section without the button hole. Weave in ends. Crochet 2 flowers and attach them to two strands together, wherever you think they look best.


Same materials and hook as for necklace.
Chain 56, turn, sc in the first 5, chain 45, sc in the last 5.
turn, sc in 5 sc, chain 45, sc in 5 sc.
Turn, sc in 5 sc, chain 45, (sc 1, chain 3, sc 1) in the last 5 sc.
Turn, sc in sc, 3 sc in chain 3, sc in sc, ch 45, sc in 5.
Turn, sc in 5, chain 45, sc in 5.
finish off, weave in ends. attach button to the side without a buttonhole, make a flower and sew it to two strands together wherever you think it would look best.

with single thread, chain 4, join into a ring. chain 1, *sc, hdc, dc, 2tc, dc, hdc, sc* Repeat til there are 5 petals, join to first sc and finish off.

She seemed to like them. Her favorite colors are purple, black, and red and I managed to add those all to her present AND she has a thing for buttons but she also admitted that she's the type to smile and pretend to love it even if she hates it. She's 15 and I'm not sure what teenagers like or if it was really dorky. Oh well, *I* thought it was pretty so I think I'll be making one for myself tomorrow.
If you make this, it's fast and easy, just 3 tips - 1) try to make sure that the button isn't so heavy that it pulls the necklace down the back of your neck 2)take the time to stop and organize the strands of chaining every so often in order to keep it straight and even 3) sew the flower to 2 strands to keep the flower from twisting backwards.
My skirt is coming along nicely as well, but it's in a boring stretch where I just keep repeating the pattern over and over and over and... see it's not interesting in the least. 2 more inches and I'll start making some decreases for the waist, that will involve some thinking at least. I'm not sure what I'll do for the waist bad and tie, but I love the look of the motifs on the hem and I can't wait to get the edging on it to see the finished look.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Where, Oh, Where Can She Be?

I fell off the face of the Earth. I joined a commune. I ran away. I was too busy/lazy/forgetful to update my blog? BINGO!!!! We have a winner.
It's been 2 1/2 months since I showed my darling face around here and for depriving you of my company and wit I apologize. I got wrapped up in the little things of life that are unavoidable yet mindnumbingly average - colds, kids, more colds, spring cleaning, pet sitting, subsequent carpet shampooing, yadda, yadda, yadda. Well, I did like the yadda and yadda, but that last yadda was uninspiring. While I was away from Blogger, I learned to make a Wii remote shaped cake and Lego Indiana Jones characters out of modeling chocolate. Which I also made myself. And I got a haircut. I took off well over a foot of length. Yeah, think about that! I tip forward as I walk now.

Why did you ask? Even I have no idea what I mean sometimes.
Enough of the pleasantries, onward to yarny stuff!!! I have been so thrilled by spring this year that I've made a fitted tank in a pastel green cotton and I am *just* about halfway finished with a pretty skirt I found a patter for on a web archive. I get so lost when I've pattern surfed that I forget where I found it or what led me there, I simply bookmark it and peak at it again in the morning to decide if it really was that cute or if I was wearing crochet goggles. They're kind of like beer goggles but its concerning ....aha, yeah, you get it.
I found this skirt pattern on Ravelry as well. Completely accidentally while I was looking for any new patterns, I believe it's titled Lace Edged Skirt, but you can look for yourself using the search, just make sure to tick free, crochet, skirt, and have the word 'lace' in the search box. There are some pretty skirt patterns there so even if you don't care about this particular skirt, you won't be wasting your precious crafting time.
The skirt starts with a long row of joined flower-like motifs. I don't think it's a surprise that I've altered the pattern a bit to fit what I want (and my backside, which I do NOT want). I used 5 play reclaimed cotton in a morning glory blue color and since I'll not be doubling the strands as the pattern calls for, I simply made more of the motifs. I adjusted for the thread and my plus-sizedness by making three of the motifs and measuring. I want a bit more flow and flutter, so I took my biggest hip measurement and added 10 inches then made the number of motifs I needed to reach that length/girth. It's worked flat, so the last and first flowers aren't joined. The pattern if pretty specific about the number of stitches per motif so that made it easy to DC over the entire length of them for one row, then to split the next row into the start of vertical panels. 16dc section divided by a simple 1dc, ch3, 1dc shell. I altered the pattern a little for the shell since I didn't like the look of it when I used the original instructions. Hookers prerogative *shrug*
I want it to hit just below my knees so I am making the body of the skirt about 20 inches. This isn't counting the motifs at the bottom edge or the waist and belt at the top. It has button holes every three inches down one of the straight sides so it's fairly easy to keep track of the length as I go, without the need to break out my much coveted measuring tape.
Yes, coveted. My children and I have a checkered past where the measuring tapes are concerned. I've bought the enclosed kind with a cool pattern and the children, thinking it was a present or treat of some sort, opened it. Poor thing was only a year old. I got a replacement and it died soon after coming home. OK, time to be a little more fiscally wise, cheap tapes here I come! The round cased retractable ones for $1... the first's retracting button was brutally crushed in and it was unusable. The second was either pulled out or retracted too hard and the little tab on the end snapped off. The third is still missing. Thinking I was ever so clever like Magical Trevor, I got the kind that HAS no case to break. The long plastic tape that you have to hand roll. None have died as far as I know, but I have two blue and one white somewhere here in the house that I can't FIND. Knowing they're here and not knowing where drives me around the bend, every so often I'll got crazy and toss the house searching for it while alternately muttering and screaming to no one in particular.
One day last month I was having a fit searching for my Nook, which has also mysteriously vanished and what did I find shoved in the recesses of the couch but a blue measuring tape! I've kept a close eye on it since I cant really keep buying innocent tapes for my children's nefarious deeds. There have been two rescues and once I caught the youngest in the act of whipping the poor thing. Not what it was made for and that's not even touching on my issues with the wild whipping about of a very long plastic tape with sharp, eye rending metal edges or the 'fun' to be had in wrapping it around various body parts and sliding down our steep stairs yelling 'whee, I'm a mummy!'
In more crocheting goodies news, while shopping one day we saw a very good sale on a shelving unit. It was pretty, heavy duty, and best yet, 75% off. I pointed and yelled "MINE!" with great maturity. Mike jumped, looked at me with one eyebrow up and asked calmly, "So hun, would you like a shelving unit?"
It's mine. For me. Now when I come in the door or walk down the stair I see MY shelves. I have three canvas eyelet totes on the top shelf, one with finished projects, one with WIP and the last... well, it holds my nail polish and related accessories. Seeing nail polish on the cream carpet and the remover in a puddle on the table was enough. the next shelf down holds my books. My collection of fairy tales, leather bound Reader's Digest books, a TON of crochet pattern books and booklets, and of course, my library books. The next shelf down after that is too readily monster-child accessible so there is not much more than a t-shirt and a laptop cover on that one.
I wish there was a crocheters group that I could meet with here in La Pine. I've gotten to spend more time with my SIL this last month or two and I have REALLY enjoyed it - clothes shopping, movies, lunches out and COFFEE. Mmm, Dutch Bros is the best, but I digress. As much as I love this time I've had to spend with her (I've missed her while she worked over in Eugene) I wish I had some ladies nearby who don't look glazed over or uncomfortable when I bring up yarn and hooking.
I'll be taking and posting pictures tonight, as soon as I make sure my poor neglected camera is charged up. Oh, and after a trip to the library to get Super Fudge for my boys. yeah, I had to say it because I just know you care. Goodbye til I remember you again, old blog.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Doris Chan, how I love your patterns

She creates patterns for beautiful, elegant, garments that manage to appear simple yet are made with a subtle complexity. In short, I admire her talent and artistry. However, having one income for 5 people, 3 of them being growing boys, I don't have the money to spend on patterns often. Her prices are reasonable for both books and individual patterns and I am tempted all the time by them. Her shawls, sweaters, dresses.. oh, my. LOL.
The best I can do is try to make a pattern of my own that ends up looking similar to hers, but it's never the same. (and never for sale, I have to add - just for me) I made a tank top in blue cotton that was inspired by her Sweet Tea pattern. I want to buy the pattern after all because while it turned out satisfactory, it's not near as good as hers.
I printed up a free pattern for a dress by Doris as well and thank goodness I did! I can't find it free anymore and I love it. I'm just waiting til I lose enough weight to look good in it :)
Time to move on from my favorite pattern maker ever and on to the rest of my projects. Tonight I nearly finished off the lace for a tablecloth edging that I've been working on. It's pretty, but simple since the cloth has a print and many colors, made in cream with a sort of wing shape tipped by a shell with a picot. Hmm, hard to describe, but if you are a member of Ravelry it's a Corticelli pattern, Narrow Edging with Picot number 696c. A pdf of an antique crochet book, I nearly got lost, forgetting what I was doing puttering around the patterns.The old ones are so pretty, I adore them.
Another project, a short one this time to get my mind off the long lasting ones. We're always running out of wash rags and dish cloths and I am always a little hesitant to use them on my face since I never know what the kids have used them for, if you have kids you know what I mean.
So far the finished ones are a blue knit of a paw print, a natural knit of hearts, a red/cream tweed knit of a spiral flower, and a crocheted zig zag. They're all different sizes and styles and colors and weights, what can I say I'm fond of variety.

Monday, January 3, 2011

I love purses

I love crochet and while I was on a mini-purse swap I fell in love with making bags and purses. Two patterns stood out to me, the Fat bag and the Derek bag. I love the look of the Lacy Leaf Satchel but I don't have money for the materials or the pattern right now.

I used an 8-ply cream colored cotton and a 2 ply cream-&-brown cotton for the body then the cream cotton alone for the handles and edging. I'm not sure yet what I plan to do as an embellishment. Maybe an oversized flower with a button center or possibly a brown ribbon I have. Then comes the lining... I have so many choices for that, I can't even begin to narrow it down yet.

The Derek bag comes later this week. I already have the dowel for the handles and plenty of yarn and lining fabrics, still searching for the right buttons. I really don't need more purses, I just love them.