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!

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.

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.

Welp.

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”.

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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.!

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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!

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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!

Most of all, do what makes your heart happy!

Peace out peeps.

 

‘Tis the Season

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!

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If I don’t talk to you all before Christmas….have a WONDERFUL holiday!

Peace out peeps.

Hey hey

Hi everyone!

This is going to be brief….and a bit of a shameless plug.

You know you love it.

So, Etsy.  I am imagine the amount of people who are blogging and also have Etsy shops is actually a pretty high number.  I am one of them!  I know that it’s that time of year to get your shop on…but please consider checking out Etsy.  These are amazing people making some pretty stunning things!  I am doing 90% of my shopping on Etsy this year and I am so excited to wow people with some unique, handmade wonders.  You should REALLY check it out!

Mainly my shop.

Insert shameless plug.

Go on…get to it!

Yellow Horse Trinkets on Etsy.

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Also, BIG post coming on the progress of the interior storm windows I am building!!!!  I have 6 done…18 more to go and snow is in the forecast for Sunday, so I had better get on it!

Peace out peeps!

I think I have found my niche.

Hey y’all!

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.

A lot!

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!

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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!

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See, organized and AMAZING!

So…as usual…thanks again for all of your support!

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!