crochet on the go.

In my world, I am pretty much always on the go or doing something. Not to the point where I am frantically running around like a chicken with my head cut off, but most definitely busy. I multi-task as much as humanly possible whenever I can.

Here are some of my quick life cheats.

  1. I listen to audiobooks while mowing and weeding in the yard. This has allowed me to finally get back into books in a way that I thought was gone forever!
  2. I never make a trip somewhere in the house empty-handed. Even if it means picking up a dog toy and putting it away while walking back to the living room.
  3. My Hulu account has commercials and I love it. I take breaks. Switch out the washer. Put away some dishes. Let the dogs out. I know, I know, I might be the only human who needs breaks from watching TV.
  4. I crochet on the go. I have a morning post at school where I open the door for the drop off kiddos. You can literally see me there every morning with this bag attached to my wrist! I purchased it back in November and it has been an amazing addition to my crochet habit. So much so, I wanted to share it with YOU!

In fact, I have loved it so much, I bought one for Momma D., and she has thoroughly enjoyed it also! Knowing how much they travel, I knew it would be a perfect addition to pack up projects for the road.

Upon receiving mine, I was instantly impressed with the craftsmanship. You could tell that Kathy, the store owner of 1000 Stars, took her time! Everything was pressed crisply, the stitching was on point and the grommets work perfectly for feeding material through. The game changer, however, is the wrist strap! Who knew hanging a bag from your wrist would make standing and crocheting so easy? Here, for YEARS, I had shoved skeins under my arm while working on a project! Even better, this bag keeps your materials clean and untangled. Plus, I have enough room to keep a small container for my scissors, measuring tape and extra hooks (just to keep things tidy).

I have to give credit to my dear Sarah C. for the inspiration of monogrammed water bottles and sugar skulls!

On any given day, I can fit two regular sized skeins in this bag. Lately, I have been on a cleaning product bender, so I have been cramming it full of cotton and cleaning yarns. I can typically fit 5-6 of those smaller skeins in this bag, along with the finished items. When it is all used up, I have a good ole’ sit and finish off all of the items and make them snazzy for people to enjoy!

Hint hint, I found this other new yarn…AMAZING! I started making scrubbies with it…it is stunning and works perfectly, but there will be a post on THAT soon.

So, if you crochet/knit and are looking for a great bag to help your hobby travel with you, check out 1000 Stars, and Kathy. She has lots of fun goodies available! As I was writing this post, I of course had to peruse her newest goodies and I might have found another one that is adorable and I am resisting the urge to purchase it right now!

Thanks for reading about my first big Etsy review! If you liked it…comment! If you have a great find on Etsy you would like to share…comment! If you are bored and tired of the rain…comment!

Painting class this Sunday to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in our own way! Hopefully will have my life together enough next week to post on that!

Peace out peeps!

podcasts.

Recently, I have delved DEEP into the world of audio entertainment. It is something I thoroughly enjoy and now, I feel I must share one of my new favs with you guys! It is actually connected an old fav from my childhood and I am sure yours also.

I started listening to audiobooks about two years ago (and I plan to start a new conversation topic on that soon! Be so excited!) and that kinda transitioned into listening to podcasts while I would wait for a book hold from the library, etc. I primarily used it to fill the down time between books. But then I started to really get into them, the concept, the content and the ease of access are top notch. Plus, the variety of topics…it’s like blogs…ENDLESS!

In my most recent search, I stumbled upon the handsome Joe.

hee hee hee!

How could I NOT post that pic of this man! I mean, it’s freaking hilarious and you probably need a good laugh at this very moment! Or on the flip side, you could be highly offended. Which in that case, my apologies.

However, back on track. This guy, Mike Rowe, hands down one of my favorite celebrities who I find to be pretty down to earth and incredibly talented. I mean, he might have faked it, but he did make it into the Baltimore Opera and a performance of Rigoletto! Want to know more…his site is pretty handy.

Anywho, his podcast is called “The Way I Heard It” and I found it on Google Play, but you can check it out here if that is easier for you.

Way back in the day, there was this great story teller named Paul Harvey and for over 56 years, we could listen to his broadcasts on almost a daily basis. I never realized how much of a role those broadcasts played in the fabric of my life, until they were gone.

Well, if you’re seeking a bit of a throwback feel, truly, check out “The Way I Heard It”. All of the episodes are under 10 minutes and they will teach you something, enlighten you and even have you finish a cast and think, “Huh, who knew!”. Plus, you get to listen to that great voice of his!

I know you think that this post has nothing to do with the house, however, just think about all the Paul Harvey broadcasts that were listened too over the years in that old brick house!

Check it out and enjoy your day everyone! Don’t count on a 3rd post in 3 days, I don’t know if I can keep the expectations that high!

Peace out peeps.

to-nisian or not to-nisian, part 2.

See what I did there??? You love it. You know it.

Corny plays on the English language are classic and always elicit a good chuckle.

Anywho.

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!

check out my new mannequin!

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!!

Speaking of which, any of you follow the #wearwhatyoumake on Instagram?? Or if you really want to be blown away, check out #crochetersofinstagram!

Not on Instagram?? No worries! Just search either of those hashtags in Google and click on images!

It is so inspirational (in my opinion) to see all of the gorgeous items out there that people make, love and wear daily!

#wearwhatyoumake

Finally, for those of you who are right with me on the countdown to spring, check it out! We can so make it! I CAN NOT wait to see the first green plant pop through the ground!

Have a fabulous day everyone! Peace out peeps.

if I had a kid, chapter 2

A long, long time ago, in a land far, far away….called the internet….I wrote a blog post about “if I had a kid”. The concept was that I would use this title to share little tidbits of wisdom that I have come to value throughout my life journey.

The first one was about showering.

Probably a good thing I haven’t had kids.

However, if you’re dying to read it, here ya go…click away! lol!

Anyway, today’s contribution is hopefully a little more deep that keeping up with basic hygiene. I want to take a moment to dig into something super important to me, which is taking a moment to realize that every single person around you is going through a laundry list of stressful items that are playing on their souls every damn day.

Putting it shortly.

Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

I myself am so guilty of getting caught up in my own drama (even though I work so hard to cut drama out left and right!). It is SO easy to let your life become all consuming. To the point where you come across that person while your in a store, or a restaurant and you snap at them. The innocent victim. You have not idea what’s going on with them and frankly vice versa.

At the end of the day, we are ALL bogged down with too much stress. We are ALL doing the very best we can to keep our boats from sinking. We are ALL juggling mental, physical and emotional health battles.

However, I believe taking those moments to breathe, step back….reassess and just remember, we are all human. We are ALL in this mess together. So, here is a quick list of some of the things that I have to remind myself to do sometimes that might help someone have a better day.

  • be kind
  • let them chose what is for dinner
  • practice a random act of kindness
  • hold the door for someone
  • make them a cup of tea or coffee
  • when they ask for a ride, give it
  • smile at strangers (they might think you’re creepy, but they might smile back, ya never know!)
  • crack a joke and get someone laughing
  • check in on people
  • don’t go out of your way to be a jerk
  • actually comment on their social media instead of the distant “like” button
  • call them (especially if they actually like to talk on the phone)
  • compliments are always a solid choice, especially when they are legit
  • park farther away and let someone else get a closer spot
  • be patient with people
  • do not lose your mind over a piece of limp lettuce on a sandwich on the poor cashier
  • thank people, thank them a lot
  • prizes, everyone loves prizes
  • fill up your brother’s car when he lets you borrow it
  • clean up the dog crap
  • if they need a hug, give it…it won’t kill ya
  • put things in perspective
  • let someone have control of the tv remote
  • empathically listen when they are talking, there doesn’t always need to be a fix
  • when someone trusts you, don’t break it

Now, some of these might seem super specific, they are! lol! Some of these are examples of what some of my friends have gone through this week alone.

So, take a moment, breath…you got this! So do your friends….but we all need each other.

Next post….the finished Tunisian scarf! I know you are just tingling with anticipation.

Peace out peeps.

it will be fun they said…

I am sitting here laughing at myself….mainly because that title could apply to my ENTIRE LIFE.

Buy a century home….it will be fun they said.

Own horses…it will be fun they said.

Become a teacher…it will be fun they said.

Try Tunisian crochet…it will be fun they said.

Ok, ok, ok….in FAIRNESS, all of those and my entire life do have some fabulous shining moments and I wouldn’t trade a single bit of it.

To clarify, this post is about Tunisian crochet and my lame attempt at it so far. So, if you just read those words and thought, “Um, stupid.”. My feelings will not be hurt when you dip out right now.

I have been crocheting for about 20 years and I have never tried any of the Tunisian stitches. Funny fact, neither has Momma D….which shocked the living hell out of me, because she if it falls under the crafting umbrella, I thought she had done it!

So, I was finally ready to give it a whirl and I found this beautiful scarf pattern on Pinterest (where else, duh?!)

I loved it. Who wouldn’t?? It drapes beautifully. It appears to be exceptionally warm and snuggly. It would match so many outfits.

I was SOLD!

One little problem…or a few. I did not have that gorgeous yarn on hand or anything even remotely similar and I am on a yarn purchasing hold. The trunk is overflowing and I have restricted all yarn purchases until I use up some of the stash.

would you look at that hot mess express???

So, the next best thing was this Red Heart super hot pink, right?! Well, it’s what I went with. You can see the culprit right there on top of the pile. Honest, the biggest reason I selected it was because there was an ample amount of it left.

Next issue was that the original pattern called for it to be twice as wide than what is shown. As soon as I got a couple of rows in, I realized because of the weight and texture difference in the yarns, that was going to be a terrible idea. So, I ripped and ripped, starting over at 1/2 the width.

Now, the next issue is….Tunisian crochet turns out, feels very knit-like. I do not mind knitting, but I am terrible at it. I don’t have the patience and I suck at fixing mistakes. With the Tunisian, a huge bonus is it is easy to fix mistakes (in my experience so far).

But man, it works up SLOW.

Over the last couple of evenings working on it, I have started to enjoy the methodical slowness to the project, but it has taken a minute of getting used too.

Then last night, I ran into a new issue. I ran out of the pink.

Ugh.

It is too wide to be a cowl, it is too short to be an infinity. So, I broke into the trunk and dug out some other colors, thinking that I might try going the “scrap” look route??

I am still not sure about it. My edges are horrible and obviously need some more practice.

So, what do I do? Rock it out for exactly what it is, a practice piece and just let it work up however it’s little heart wants too?? Rip it out, narrow it again and just keep practicing and hopefully get an infinity out of it as a single color?

HELP!!!

Also, feel free to share pics and helpful hints in the comments! ALL ADVICE IS WELCOME!

Parting Friday thought…

Dead serious. You have zero idea of how much you mean to so many people. You might not see or hear it, but you are!

Peace out peeps.

#DoSomethingForNothing

Mornin’ darlings!

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.

straight up…first world problems and I was a baby.

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.

just a wee bit of frost going on

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.

Morgan Freeman watches as Hair Stylist, Joshua Coombes, gives homeless man, Stuart Durkin, a free haircut. (National Geographic/Maria Bohe)

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, thoughts? Opinions? Inspirations?

Peace out peeps.

how to’s of crochet item care

Hey hey darlings!

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!

Cleaning

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!

cute, random kid who loves his crochet scarf!

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!

Peace out peeps.

The Wall.

 

So, way back in March, I wrote a post about resolving the annoying bird problem by fixing my ceiling in my closet.  I also hinted at my next big project.

HA!

Well, needless to say.  I forgot about that promise to fill you in…and I am SURE you have been sitting on the edge of your seat since then!!  I mean, who wouldn’t be???

This is where I left all y’all hanging.  Truly.  CLIFF HANGER.

IMG_20180304_145802078.jpg

Let me fill in the back story here a little bit.

This wall is in the craft room.  It was built when they installed the upstairs furnace by some very creative and talented carpenters.  When I moved into the house, I immediately wanted to remove it. It was very elaborate.  It had a screen door installed to access the furnace “room” and a dropped ceiling.   It was a true work of art and craftsmanship…as you’ll soon see!

However, before I got crazy, I did talk to a furnace guy.

He informed me that the only thing that might be up there would some of the duct work running to the attic.

Crap.

So, the above picture was my trial run.  Before just destroying the wall, I wanted to make I knew exactly what I was getting into!

IMG_20180304_145818706

Apparently, the only thing all of this “wall” was hiding was a massive amount of dirt and cobwebs!

Maker:0x4c,Date:2018-1-13,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

This lame little map gives you a SLIGHTLY better idea of the design of this wall and how it affected the room.  The bold line indicates the actually crappy wall.

You would never believe I was an art teacher based on the above image.  Please don’t hold it against me!  lol!

So, with the good news that there was nothing stopping my progress….bring it on!

Out came the sawzall, the shop vac, the drill, crowbars of various sizes….and pretty much anything else I deemed worthy of this demo!

This was the first big change and frankly my favorite!  With this STUPID wall gone, the amount of natural light that now floods the hallway is amazing!  You can really see the dropped ceiling in this picture and how “cave-like” it made the hall.

Now, it might be hard to tell in this grouping, these walls were built from rough OLD stock wood of some sort.  There was a TON of wood used in this little wall, with not real rhyme or reason to it.

Little by little.  Chunk by chunk.   I managed to get 97.3% of it removed and carted outside to the burn pile (no small feat if you know my steps!!)

As with any project around my house, there are always surprises!  I mean, what a perfect place for a hook…just missing the latch!  How about those lag bolts???  I can’t lie, they might end up staying.  They are securing that board into the wall of the house (which is solid brick) and as dad says, “If you take them out, the house might fall down.”

Plus, they would make for a great conversation piece for the rest of EVER!

So, as of today….this is how the room looks…

IMG_20180318_160423317_HDR

Ok, that’s also a total lie…it’s cleaner than that!

I do love the original ceiling color in this room!  Although, it won’t be that color this next time around.  Thank you again to $9.00 mistints….you’ll see hopefully before the end of the year what it will be!

I need to finish a SMALL amount of demo (hence the 97.3% reference above).  Then rebuild enough to frame in a door for the furnace and WA-LAAAAA!!

Just look at all of the light and space I was able to add back to the room!  It was well worth the demo!

Until next time.

Peace out peeps.

checking in.

Hey peeps.

download

How ya’ll doing?

So, I have literally NOTHING to write about.  No crazy “animal-in-the-house” stories.  No “this-is-the-insane-project-I-am-into-now” stories.  No “the-dating-world-is-slowly-killing-me” stories.

That’s a lie.  There are always those stories, but truly…it’s a broken record.

So, I just wanted to drop a line and see how everyone is doing?

Reading anything good?

What are you planning in your gardens this season?

Are you working on anything cool?

Do YOU have a fun dating story?!?!

What’s really gonna suck is if NO ONE responds to me.  So, you know you wanna!  lol!

Have a great Monday!  It’s the last day of April and time is FLYING by!  I promise, next post will be more interesting!

Peace out peeps.

Resolutions.

So, shocker….I have something to say on this topic.  I know…right???

why-im-not-making-new-years-resolutions

I hate resolutions.  In fact, I never make them.  Every year, I toss around the idea, but never follow through.  What is the point?

Now, I have friends who are religious about their resolutions and I have nothing but admiration and respect for them.  In fact, anyone who can be that dedicated to something.

But, for me, resolutions should not be a once a year even.  Reflection and resolutions should occur throughout the year, even daily.  Because, in my humble experience, things happen from minute to minute that can change your outlook on your life.  Why do you need one holiday to make something happen?  You shouldn’t!

Apparently, I’m not alone either.  One quick Google search proved that there are plenty of people out there, for various reasons, who don’t believe in making resolutions.

So, here’s to a glorious New Year’s!  Do what you want and what is best for you at this time in your life!  That could change next week and you should be ready to adapt accordingly.  Life if about change.  Give and take.  Being about to bend and flex.  Here’s to YOU!!!

colorful-new-year-pictures

Stay safe out there tonight!

Peace out peeps.