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.

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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!

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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…

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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.

Buttoning up the Old Place.

Hey peeps!

So, I haven’t died.  But it is the holiday season.  Between preparing for the holidays, making stuff and working on the house, every minute seems to just evaporate.  It’s unbelievable!

Since I moved into the house, I have been researching and reading a lot about interior storm windows and what to do with these old windows of mine.  Primarily since last winter when I took this video and realized that I might have an issue with some of the windows in the house. Or I had a real poweful ghost.  No wonder the orchid died.

 

Shockingly, the most common advice to owners of historic homes to KEEP the original windows whenever possible!!!  I know, it seems odd.  But many research studies have been done that with proper repairs and use of storm windows, the original windows can be just as efficient as a modern thermopane.  Not to mention, you get to continue to enjoy the beauty of the historic window and not add to your carbon footprint by throwing the old ones away. After I decided that I wanted to try to save the windows, I found this AMAZING company called Indow Window and I was blown away!

I fell in love.  Head over heels.

They will build a custom fit interior storm window for your historic homes.  They even have a design that will reduce sound by 76% in your home!  Sign me up!! But then they came back to me with a quote and needless to say, the sound proofing version I was interested in came back at $500 a window.  So, yep…slightly out of my current budget.

This let me to digging around…and I found so many people who were in similar situations! After lots of searching, this was what I liked the best.

With their video as a guide, I started making my own storm windows about 6 weeks ago.  I have been working on them here and there and I am proud to say the entire downstairs is done.  Which means, only 15 more windows to go!  lol!

So, my process….

Because I am such an awesome planner, when I went to Lowe’s, I was so excited about starting this project that I purchased a ton of material and then realized that I had to figure out how to fit in my poor little car.

No worries!  I was able to shift and drive safely!

Once home, I set up and started to work out the template I wanted to use.  I have access to all of the fun tools they used in the video,  but not at my house.  So, I modified the frames to the tools that I had accessible.

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I initially set up and was working on them outside, but it has definitely gotten chilly enough that I had to move the factory line into the Girl Cave.

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The process goes like this.

I build the wood frames.  Apply the pull tabs.  Line the edge with the weather proofing foam.  Once I finish those steps, I take the frame to the actual window and fit it in.  Then once it’s in place, I apply the plastic to the frame and finish trimming it out the plastic and using the hair dryer on it.

I have to say that so far, I really am impressed with them.  They take a minimal amount of time and they are a fairly low-cost project.  Since one of the goals of them is to be reusable, hopefully, they will buy me enough time until I can get the fancy ones.  I even feel like they help muffle the sound from the road.  Which makes me feel very optimistic when I can get to the point of putting the Indow Windows or something similar in.

So, for those of you looking to amp up the weather proofing in your home, you might want to consider this project!  There are tons of videos and articles on windows!  I will keep you posted on my utility bills for the future and if I see an improvement!

Peace out peeps.

Mini Pallet Recap!

Oh. My. Goodness.

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.

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After a few solid hours working in the new and improved Girl Cave, I was well on my way to being ready for class.

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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.

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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!

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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!IMG_20160828_175507281

She also won the award for the most paintbrushes used.

Ever.

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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.

Peace out peeps!