Corny plays on the English language are classic and always elicit a good chuckle.
My Tunisian project, the final ruling.
I think I MIGHT like it! I have actually started a second project, who knew!
If you are completely lost at this point, please check out this post for the first part of this saga….if you have anxiously been awaiting this post, here ya go pals!
In case you’re a visual person, here was the beginning of it. Shocker, I ended up ripping most of it out from this point and I pretty much started over. I was thrilled with the end result! I still definitely need to figure out how to join it better when making an infinity and if anyone has any advice on this, feel free to comment below!
I also managed to put a hell of a dent in the scrap stash in the trunk….which means there is more room again to go yarn shopping!
So there ya go! My first run at a Tunisian crochet stitch! Have you tried it yet?? If you have. share your pics in the comments!!
Recently, I was faced with some heating issues at the old house. Nothing too seriously and eventually (when the weather breaks) fixable. However, it did leave me in the midst of the Great Polar Vortex with no heat. I stayed in the house for 24 hours with supplemental heat before the decision was made to winterize the house and move out until the worst was over.
However, in that small window of time, I had a lot of time to think….and stress. Now, mind you, the house was maintaining at about 45-50 degrees! I personally found this amazingly impressive since we were being hit with wind chills of -20 to -25.
Back to the point.
I could not help but think of the homeless who were out suffering in the arctic temps. Northeast Ohio isn’t any more or less special than the rest of the country in this regard. In Akron, there has been a bit of a battle between the city and a private resident who has been using his property to provide shelter for the local homeless. The biggest point made from the entire argument is that there is a huge problem when people are living homelessly for prolonged periods and we as a society move right on by.
Chicago was nationally reported on for the issues they were facing and the amazing good samaritans who stepped up to help. Hats off to you Candice Payne for everything you did and are now doing to help! Not to mention, the city of Chicago for using their transit buses and mobile warming centers. Now that is thinking creatively!
Then, I was watching the Netflix documentary The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman, and one of the episodes talked about a gentleman in the UK who goes around and gives homeless people free haircuts. In the process of his generosity, he developed the #DoSomethingForNothing. Joshua Coombes, you also sir…are a saint.
Do you ever feel like the universe is throwing signs in your face? Like hello you dumb ass, wake up and pay attention?
Enough rambling, get to the point girl.
In the past, I have donated goods I have made to the homeless. Truthfully, it is when I have items that have not sold and need be rotated through to make room for new stock. Mainly, because I am addicted to crochet and will ALWAYS be making stuff until my little fingers fall right off.
I seriously feel bad just saying that. They were discards. I know they helped people. I do. I just recently donated two trash bags of scarves to the homeless around the school where I work. I know the people who received them probably greatly valued them, especially during the Polar Vortex.
One piece was missing though. The personal connection.
So, my goal for the winter of 2019-2020 is this. I want to make 20 beautiful, warm and snuggly scarves/hats/blankets and I want to personally donate them and shake the hands of the recipients. I want them to know that I see them and they are not just the underbelly of society to me.
I do feel like it is a pathetically small thing. So small. But it’s a start. Who knows where it will grow. However, hopefully my teeny-tiny step will spark a little flame in someone around me…because the world needs more love. It definitely can’t hurt, right??
So, this topic has recently popped into some of my daily conversations with peeps who have received a crochet/knit item and are not sure of how to care for it.
Shockingly, as someone who gifts/donates/forces a TON of crochet items on loved ones, I have NEVER discussed with any of those recipients on how to care for it (FYI, my new personal goal in life is to include some simple instructions with each prize!) I have also ALWAYS taken it for granted that since I was raised in home with tons of handmade stuff that EVERYONE automatically knew how to care for their gifted goodies.
Guess what? Nope, not the case.
So, here is some VERY basic 411 on and suggestions I have learned over the years. Feel free to comment with any suggestions or lessons you have learned on this topic! Lord knows, all help is always welcome when it comes to keeping our beautiful creations looking amazing for years to come!
Before washing your gift, you might consider contacting the creator for specifics on what type of yarn they used and how they recommend laundering it.
Now, I can’t lie…do I throw my winter scarves I made in with my regular laundry, wash and dry it with everything else, and move on with life. Sure do.
However, you might consider following a different life path. I would always recommend a gentle cycle (consider even using a lingerie bag) or handwashing if you are concerned about damaging the item. I make so much stuff, if it falls apart (which it rarely does), I make a new one and move on.
To be safe, always air dry your items. One of the easiest ways it to lay an item out on a flat surface that is covered by a couple of towels. Feel free to “block” (shape while damp and smooth out to lie evenly) for this process to help the item retain a lovely shape. It is IMPERATIVE that the item is completely dry before it is folded and stored away. Yarn will get funky and nasty quick if it is stored damp. Imagine a wet dog smell forever, only worse.
A random end….
So, you have a glorious blanket that your Great Aunt Gertie handed down to you. It’s your fav. EVER.
One night while binge watching Handmaid’s Tale or Outlander, you spot a random tail peeking out of the edge of the blanket. You think, no biggie and you tie a knot in it and snip it short.
Worst thing EVER.
If you do not crochet or knit, you might understand the mechanics of how that tail works. Nor should you! It ain’t your gig to make this stuff!
That little tail however, plays a pretty important roll in the construction of your piece. Each time a color is changed or a new skein of yarn is added, there is a connection made. Those connections have two tails. Now, most creators, weave them back in using a tapestry needle. Over the usage of the piece, those ends can weave themselves back out. When you snip it short, you are getting dangerously close to where the two pieces connect and therefore closer to the creation of a hole. If you see an end, the best thing to do is to tuck it back in. You can use your fingers, a crochet hook or a tapestry needle to weave it back in.
Dum, dum dum….a hole.
Oy. This could be a problem. Your favorite winter scarf that you have sported for years and washed without a care in the world has developed….gasp….a hole.
Now, there are a couple of approaches on this. First, do NOT pick or pull at it. It will only get worse….promise.
Next, call your craftiest friend, offer to buy them wine, dinner, whatever and beg them to fix it for you. They most likely will do it without any payment minus the joy on your face when you get to wear your gem again!
You can always also contact the creator. I know personally, if I have made it, I will ALWAYS fix or replace an item. I back my work and I want people to wear and use the crap out of things! That is what it is for and should know that I have their back!
If you feel fairly savvy with a needle and thread, you can always try to repair it yourself, by catching as many of the loops as possible and “securing” things back in place to prevent any more unraveling.
Highly recommend jumping to YouTube for some guidance on this. You will most likely not have the exact yarn, so match it with thread or yarn the best you can. One quick Google search provided a ton of options, including this one!
Most likely, this will always look like a repair. I personally am good with that, because you can still love and use the item! It just has more character now that it is showing it’s age.
In closing, if you have been so lucky to be gifted a handmade gift, please NEVER insult the creator by not using it. They made it for you. They want you to enjoy it and love it forever. The best thing you can do is bring it into your life fully and just go with it. If it has an issue, contact someone. We are everywhere…us crafty folks…and all of us are awesome and amazing and would love to help you!
Don’t forget, comment with any advice you have to add! LOVE hearing from y’all!
Well, would you look at that. It is almost December!!
So, I have a question for everyone….what’s everyone stance on Christmas decorations?? Specifically Christmas trees.
Not holiday trees either.
I am not hugely religious, but I have a wicked old-school traditional streak that runs through me. It’s hard to modify the name of one my of favorite things ever.
I personally am addicted to Christmas trees.
I just returned back to school from my Thanksgiving break. Over the course of my 5 day (really actually only 4 days…) I managed to decorate a total of 5 trees, 4 of which were at my house. Friends and I were discussing it this morning and it is kinda crazy. I don’t have holiday parties, I don’t really entertain…but I LOVE the house being decorated and enjoying the lights!
In years past, I would spend Black Friday decorating the house. However, I knew that with everything, I should start to break it into chunks. The themes of these two are “Ice Queen” & “Thin Blue Line”.
Then the big one got done! I found my new little tree stand at my fav Hobby Lobby. Don’t be like Momma D. and point out that the plaid doesn’t line up in this picture!
Love you Momma D.!
Just for the record….this is the kind of chaos that ensues when I decorate…plus you can see the little kitchen tree, even though it’s not done!
Then throw in Momma D’s tree for more fun! Excuse the look on my face, it was after Turkey Dinner and I had a sore throat and was TIRED!
I even have two little trees in my classroom! I can’t get away from them. One of my life mantras is to do all the things that make your heart happy and Christmas trees make my heart happy!
So, do me a favor peeps! Share your pics! Add your comments!
I swear, as I get older, I just love the holidays more and more.
I love doing the little things for all the people in my life who help keep my world turning.
I love seeing the smiles.
Our world needs more damn smiles.
So, I haven’t posted…because I have been working like a crazy little elf on all of the goodies for all of the peeps. It’s been busy!
I did take a break last Sunday to make the storm window frames for the craft room. Funny story there. I had been up there sewing, in multiple layers, still freezing. I was watching the musical Rent while working and the thought crossed my mind…”Hey, minus the drugs and AIDS, I have a lot in common with the characters in this! Freezing my ass off and looking at a burning candle like it’s really going to make me feel warm!” So, I decided it was time to get those windows buttoned up!
But, this is some of the stuff I have been working on!
It has been a variety of gifts for coworkers and the kiddos in my Off the Hook Club at school and even some fun doggie accessories for The Pet Loft! PHEW! This doesn’t even include gifts for my friends and family…that’s tomorrows project, because if I shared pics now….it would ruin the fun.
But the point of this post is this…it is so easy to get so lost in the lists and the To Do’s and the stress of the holidays. For me though, each year…although always stressful…gets easier and easier. I have really started to LOVE the process. Making things gives me a chance to knock the cobwebs out of the crafty side of my brain. I get to have an excuse to spend hours in my craft space just jamming and creating. It doesn’t get much better than that for me. Plus, I get to see the smiles…that’s so selfish of me. But I LOVE seeing people smile and knowing I played a part in that!
So, take a moment…breathe…and love the moments that make this time of year so magical. It’s not about the money spent…it’s about the smiles and the memories. Laugh. Love. Embrace it!!!!
Plus, I really like Christmas lights. I’m a kid at heart!
If I don’t talk to you all before Christmas….have a WONDERFUL holiday!
So, how is everyone on this gorgeous Saturday morning?
Last weekend, I hosted another painting class at the house…and oh we are starting to have so much fun!
I think I have found my niche!
So, when I started the classes, I wanted to do a variety of classes and I can’t say that I still won’t. But the masses have spoken.
They like to paint.
So, now when it comes to the painting classes, I basically let everyone tell me what THEY would like to paint! That way, I know for certain, that they are taking something home with them that they will LOVE!
I have got to tell you…I love how creative and talented everyone is! It’s so exciting to see everyone work and encouraging each other to make such wonderful things!
Not to mention, everyone gets to serious and into it!
Next class up…we will be painting on glass! Check out the Facebook event if you’re local and are interested!
Oh and memories…One year ago this weekend was the Open House party at the house!
In the last 48 hours here in Ohio, I have felt the first signs of Fall. The crispness in the air, the golden leaves laying on the grass, the first head cold of the season, the snakes moving into the dining room…
So, last night, I slept almost 9 hours. Whether it was because it was finally perfect sleeping weather or the fact that I was literally exhausted, it was wonderful!
Last Sunday, I hosted a great mini-pallet painting class at the house. I really can’t express to anyone, besides my ever-patient mother, how stressful having the classes can be. Between prepping for the class, cleaning house, making food and then teaching….there are MANY moments I wonder if it is worth it.
But then, everyone shows up, the laughter begins, the creativity starts and it’s just wonderful to see everyone have so much fun making things!
With being back to school for the last couple of weeks, prepping for the class was even more challenging! But, it all got done and I think they turned out great!
I started by cutting apart pallets to make these mini-pallet canvases to paint. It was a labor of love to say the least. But just like everything else, once I got the first few made, they were pretty easy to put together.
After a few solid hours working in the new and improved Girl Cave, I was well on my way to being ready for class.
Now, for the heart attack of this story.
At the time I was wrapping up, it was about 10 pm. I headed in the house determined to knock one or two more things off of my To Do list. So, I quickly decided I would water the plants (sometimes remembering to do that can be harder than you think!). Got my watering can, headed into the dining room.
To find this bastard. **Warning…there is one cuss word.**
So, needless to say, after beating the poor thing to death with a flip flop. I called it a day! lol!
Anyway, back to the class. Everyone did an amazing job! It was the first time that I offered for everyone to make something they would prefer (instead of me selecting the theme). It was great! Plus, this way, I knew for sure that everyone would be able to take home something they would really enjoy to have in their home.
Although I like to pretend my dining room is more formal and fancy…I love seeing it covered with creativity.
Now, you’re probably wondering why it’s so dark? Because not only was it one of the hottest days of the summer (and there have been PLENTY) but we lost power after a storm rolled through.
These women were such troopers. It was sticky and hot and dark. They were rock stars!
Just look at what we made!
Because of the loss of power, I wasn’t able to get a group picture…but here are some of the other gems!
Plus, this darling! She had a bonus day…she even lost a tooth while she was at class!
She also won the award for the most paintbrushes used.
Overall, I couldn’t be happier.
No worries, I have already started planning the next class. Not to mention, I still have people interested in doing another pallet class…so it looks like the work will go on!
More to come…
Fall wrap up is on full swing…so be patient with my lack of blogging. I am sure by the time December rolls around, I’ll be driving you crazy again with all of my random thoughts on life.
Well, I don’t know about you, but the holiday weekend was a hum-dinger, wasn’t it?
For maybe the 4th time in almost 5 years, I took Saturday off from my second job to go to my Momma’s family reunion.
I can’t lie. I was only really excited about one part of it.
Seeing the family homestead.
Ok, that’s a lie. I was really excited to see family too. Oh, and to eat. For sure…eating is important in my family!
But, back to the house. My Great, Great, x10 Grandparents built this place. As my Grandpa B. told me, first there was a small one-room cabin, but then they upgraded to a tw0-story cabin before they finally built the current house in 1875.
Now, when the current member of my family moved in (about 8 years ago) it was in less than stellar condition. It was suffering from the same fate so many old jems do….age. Flat out, age….it was wearing her down. Fading her beauty. But then came along Cousin M….who saved her. Hands down.
This home is STUNNING!
The farmhouse is so statuesque. Bonus, Cousin M. has some serious style in her decor choices. The entire house has been brought into the 21st century…trust me I was taking notes.
They have Central Air.
I know right???
I am jealous beyond words on that fact.
Oh…and jealous of THIS bathroom???? (hey Aunt Pitbull…you’re still safe!)
At one point, 9 of us were just hanging out in there. it’s so …so….charming? Elegant? Roomy? All of the above!
This home is so tastefully done, I just couldn’t help drooling over her decor. I tried to wipe most of my drool marks off of her furniture….but just look at it!
Not to mention, just all of the overall updates and structural repairs that had to be done to the house (there were years of strip mining damage to the house that needed attention).
So, this is my HUGE thank you to Cousin M, her husband and family for saving a piece of our family heritage. How cool that our family has lived in this house for 141 years!
Just check out this photo from 1910 in front of the farmhouse!
With all of that being said, it was inspirational to see her back to her old glory. She is back to standing tall on the hill, showing the world she could stand for another 141 years. Without the people to love these old places and try to save them…their fate would be much worse.
So, thank you. To each and every person who has fallen for the old house, barn, business or store front. Someone…or many someones….probably thought you were crazy. They might have even told you to your face. But, if these walls could talk, they would be thanking us endlessly and beaming with pride to share their secrets with future generations!
There will be a Part 2 to this day….just too much fun to share in one little old post! Including the story about these little darling oinkers!
So, we had another great class last Sunday (holy crap, I can’t believe it’s been almost a week already!) making lots of fun stuff out of wine corks! I wanted to take a moment and share some of the photos.
I was so excited because it was a nice day out and we were able to get all the doors open on the house…which was a nice change from being cooped up all winter.
I’m really looking forward to enjoying more fresh air in the house in the next couple of months.
Granted, I’m saying that now, before it is July and 90 degrees and I’m dying of heat. Oh yeah…no AC in this old bad boy of a house. At least not yet. Hee hee hee!
We had a small turn out…which is something I am struggling with, but more on that later.
The cork fun was great. Minus trying to hot glue corks to glass. Which, I will throw out to you…anyone have an experience in this area? When I found this craft, it recommended using the E600 craft glue. So, being the prepared, planning type person I am…gave it a try. I HATED it. I did not realize that it took 42 days to set up. Literally… 42 days.
Well, that’s not gonna work.
Especially since these classes are designed to be completed in one afternoon. So, out came my trusty 1982 hot glue gun.
Let’s just talk about that glue gun for a second.
It is unregulated.
It’s a rebel.
Needless to say, we have a lot in common.
All of that translates to… small children should DEFINITELY never get anywhere near it. Like they shouldn’t even be in the same house. Maybe even the same zip code. Many adults should be wary. Brave adults should be prepared to loose a layer of skin. There is your warning. You’re welcome.
On my samples, it worked great! So, I thought that the hot glue option was the answer to all of my prayers (well, many of them at the immediate moment). I thought for sure I was prepared and good to go for the class. Quickly figured out that the low-temp glue guns are crap. Here I am trying to be safe and all…pointless. The low-temp guns were not beefy enough for this project. So, for those who wanted to try it, out came the unregulated glue gun. This is Holly. She still had function of two of her fingers at this point. She even seems happy!
Everyone had fun…no one was seriously injured…so in my book….that’s a WIN!
I really had a blast and I love sharing my hobby with these wonderful people!
So, off to go plan the next class….looks like the next one will be a painting class! Watch the Facebook page for more info! I’m excited, I have a fun idea for what we can paint!
Lots going on outside at the house, can’t wait to share pics! Plus, I’m down to something like 18 days left of school…so soon, it will be full time work at the house! Get ready!!!
I realized as I wrote that title, that it sounds terrible. But hopefully, I’ll be able to clarify by the end of the post and it won’t seem like I am horrible, greedy person! lol!
I am finishing up my Spring Break and as I review what my To Do list was and what I actually got done, I realized it’s never enough. Never enough time, energy, and even creativity! So, then it became a matter of really enjoying what I did accomplish and taking pleasure in the fact that I was able to make SOME progress.
I started work on my new craft table, which was an extra 9 foot tall door from downstairs. I will be getting pieces of glass to cover it and I think it’s going to be a great workspace! I am super excited about it.
Ironically, on October 15th…I moved this very door from almost the exact same spot it is in now. When I bought the house, the doors had been stored in what is now the craft room. Well, I wanted them hanging in their original door frames. But once I lived in the house for a while, I realized I didn’t want all of these extra doors. So, back upstairs it went. I think it’s much more handy as a table!
Have I mentioned…those doors are extremely heavy!
I also got my craft closet one step closer to being done. It still needs plaster work done and painted. But at least I have started to be able to put things away to make more space in the main room.
So, sometimes, it’s the very smallest things that you have to focus on. But it’s very easy to feel like there is never enough time. When that starts to happen, just remind yourself that every little bit counts and you’re only in race against yourself. Not the world. Not the expectations. Not anyone else. Just you. So, be patient and forgiving of yourself daily.
As a friendly reminder, I woke up this morning to a fresh blanket of April snow. There is something so refreshing and calming about snow. I kinda needed it this morning.
Which translates to….we are hunkered down for a nice quiet morning 🙂