Welcome. Spring. 2012.


the mad hatter

Even though it's 50 degrees outside, I've decided to get on with making hats.  It is winter, afterall, and eventually we'll have "hat weather." 

So, I've been busy making hats.  I absolutely LOVE this pattern, by Dot Matthews, called the Ugly But Warm Hat (I hardly think they're ugly, though).  I haven't found a link that takes one to her pattern.  I had printed it off back in 2005, so if you're interested in the pattern, let me know.  Anyway, here are some tah-dahs!

Vanna's Choice, acrylic
Kelly Green
Loops & Threads Impeccable, acrylic

Super Saver Solids, acrylic
Burgandy and Soft Navy

Loops and Threads, Impeccable, acrylic
Lavendar &
Vanna's Choice, acrylic
Trim:  Super Saver Solid, acrylic

Super Saver Solid, acrylic
Gold & Hunter Green

Nature's Choice, organic cotton

Nature's Choice, organic cotton

Loops and Threads, acrylic
Vanna's Choice, acrylic
Soft Rose

see more on my Ravelry page under

See ya round the (toasty) corner...



O Christmas Tree...

Well, we finally got our tree! 
It's all I really wanted for Christmas and it makes me so happy.

Other projects:

I went and bought 4 yards of red felt to make a tree skirt.  I pulled out my Grandmother's circa 1936 Singer and started in.  The fun part is getting to the edging. 
It was a really simple pattern that yielded a nice size skirt.  I'm not going to do anything other than a simple blanket stitch with some stashed white acrylic yarn. 
I'll probably come back and edit this post with the finished skirt...

Last week I had some fun making some crocheted ornaments... not bad for my first attempt

The stars didn't come out that well.  Not very pointy-points, even though I sprayed a TON of spray starch on them... suggestions anyone?

and of course, I've been working on grannies... this past week was a cushion cover. 

I just love all the ends that all my grannies have made;
 so much so, I just had to take a picture.
 (these include those from the popsicle blankie)

blocking on a towel in the kitchen...

 Now to find a pillow to cover.

I also made my mother-in-law a warm hat (should winter ever decide to arrive- 58 degrees F yesterday?!?), using yarn she chose herself at Michaels.  How nice it was for us to spend last Saturday together in Santa Fe.  She suffers from both Alzheimers and macular degeneration (loss of vision), so it was a joy to take her to see the Christmas decorations in all the stores and let her pick out new boots that fit her high arch and yarn for a hat and scarf that wouldn't be scratchy against her sensitive skin.

Anyway, I love, love, love this yarn! 
LBY, Nature's Choice, Organic cotton in macadamia and walnut,
 the "Ugly But Warm" pattern by Dot Matthews, Copyrighted 12/28/04,
although I really don't think it's ugly at all.  In fact, I think it's quite cute... maybe one for me in a nice peacock blue?  Must have a look in the stash...

De-cluttering update:

It's my last week to "declutter."  I think I set a deadline of December 31.   Did I say 2010?  What I meant to post was 2011.  ;0)

Ahem.  Anyway, I told a friend of that silly idea, that if I posted that deadline on the blog it might help motivate me to get it done.  The whole idea of "people are watching you" might actually help me get it done... um, that hasn't really happened.   But, I did get a little re-motivated after putting the tree up.  J worked until really late (he said he came home at 2 am, but I peeked at the clock when he was brushing his teeth and it was really 2:30 am- BUSTED sweetheart, ha ha) so I spent until about midnight sorting through "stuff."  That all needs to get out of the house, into the car and over to the free box before I loan my car to a good friend for her Christmas travels.  Goodness, what a car full.  I shall take photos before it's relieved of it's cargo.

Well, I must go and get some real work done... one day left to hand in a quarterly report at work... oh, reality can be so crushing sometimes. 

See ya 'round the (Christmassy) corner...



simplify: chapter two

I took the first step and started hauling crap out of rooms.  Once it was all in the living room, I started putting things back.  Not much went back in.  I should have taken more photos.  Quite a bit went into the dumpster including my bouquets from the wedding.  So did the fake cattail arrangement that caught fire at the reception.  As J said after I told them of the elimination, "We're still married."  That made me feel better.  It's not an easy thing to let go of things.  This whole water leak thing has really helped me do just that.  I still have boxes of photos and letters to go through, but at least I have the two spare rooms put together in some fashion.

  The second bedroom has been rearranged, the bed away from the window and I put in the bookshelves from the living room.  I think they look much better in here...

And for the room I've been just dying to put together, another bedroom complete with single bed and some of my Finnish fav's....

 I can't wait to sit in the glider and hook away....

In all the mess, I found some old Christmas decorations; the nutcracker that my Mom painted to resemble a Michigan State marching band member (my alma mater) and various tealights and candles that were hidden in a box.

And our nativity that friends gave us last year as a wedding gift.

and a not-so-bad looking fake holly wreath for the door.

So, little by little it's coming together.  I still have 23 days to finish the first serious round of simplification.  The tree we'll get together this weekend.  Christmas cards and gifts are still on the list of things left to take care of. 

See you round the (simply Christmas) corner....



popsicle blankie color update


The trip to Santa Fe was a moderate success.  Couldn't find the greens I wanted, nor a light orange or pink that wasn't florescent.

Here's the final selection of yarns for the blankie:

So, the inventory includes:

Red Heart Super Saver
:: lavender
:: light blue
:: delft blue
:: carrot
:: Aruba sea
:: gold
:: cherry red
:: orchid
:: turqua
:: dark orchid
:: Aran (off white)
:: light raspberry
:: soft navy
:: burgandy
:: pale yellow
:: light sage
:: honeydew
:: hunter green

Loops and Threads, Impeccable
:: grape
:: soft rose

The hooking is coming along, although I've been on the receiving end of some sighs from my husband.  I think he'd understand if I could put it into crafts he could relate to, like wood working and leather craft.  It comes and goes, this funny obsession, but really, it's too much fun for it to be bad, right?!?  I won't tell him that last night I dreamt of such amazing color combinations...

Time to get to weaving in those ends...before it gets away from me.

See ya round the corner....



the popsicle blankie begins...


Hooking Diary

Here it is, I've finally started my Lucy-inspired (attic24) granny blankie (also posted under my page Crochet-Granny's). 
The Popsicle Blankie.  I couldn't come up with a better name than that.  The colors just make you smile and I think will be a good blankie to curl up in when we get sick or on one of those "blah" days.  It can't help but make you feel better...

The Popsicle Blankie
Pattern: Grannys-a-Square-Afghan
Hook: I

Terrible as it may be, there was no way I was going to pay the nearly $350 on Noro yarn to make the suggested blanket.  I went to check Noro out at my local yarn store (LYS) to find a sample.  It was incredibly dyed yarn, but it was about the scratchy-est yarn I ever felt.  Why on earth would anyone ever make a blankie out of something so hideous?!? 

So, instead, I'm going the frugal route.  Red Heart Yarn provides a vast array of color choices at an economical price.  I think I paid $2.88 per skein at our local Walmart.  When I get to Santa Fe on Wednesday, I plan on picking up a couple more colors at Michaels to round out the popsicle rainbow of colors.  So far, I have:

:: lavender
:: light blue
:: delft blue
:: carrot
:: Aruba sea
:: gold
:: cherry red
:: orchid
:: turqua
:: dark orchid
:: Aran (off white)
:: light raspberry

Hooked until 1am when J came home from the office.  As I've posted on Ravelry, I definitely need to rethink that gold and get to the Michaels in Santa Fe for some light/dark green/teal and pale orange and pink. 

Here's the progress:

Of course, there are lots of ends to weave in and blocking to be done on each square, but I'm happy about it so far.  The gold does look a little sickly on that large square in the upper right.  I may have to frog that and try something else. 

...see ya round the (hooker's) corner.



weekend of crochet...

Well, after we got the water back on last week, the flu hit our household.  Each of us has had some variation of aches (head, stomach, muscle), stabbing pains (hips, back, stomach), and vomitting; much distress in general.  So, while all of this was going on, I got to thinking and hooking.

Here were the results:

Scarf #1, the Cascade Scarf  (Kittyboo Crochet, Rebecca Jackson), Blueberry tangle


Scarf #2:  Granny Scarf, Lion Brand Yarn, Chocolate Mint Mocha

And I spent some time staring at part of my stash.  I am missing a light yellow, light pink, light orange, light green, and a dark green, but it shall be called the "Popsicle Blankie."

I will update you all with progress photos as I go along as well as add the material details of all my projects under my Crochet, Granny's page.

Until then, see ya round the (less distressed) corner...



simplify: chapter one

Well, I hadn't intended on this, but we sprang a leak in the guest bathroom this past Saturday night.  Before we realized what was going on, water had leaked into the spare bedroom where all of my saved photos and letters had been stored in cardboard boxes.  Note to self:  buy plastic storage boxes

So, I guess this is the first chapter of the long book
that is all about the simplifying of my life.

First, setting the scene:

every spare towel was used to mop up the flood,

cut a hole on the other side of the shower to find the leak,

...got the guys to come out after a couple of days
and put valves in to shut off the water at the leak.

 Resident MacGyver, husband J, was quick with a solution to dry out the carpet and wall:
a bungee cord, a portable fan and a space heater

got the stuff wet on the corner of the closet too,

So, I moved it all out into the guest bedroom,

mixed in with all of E's firefighting gear and clothes.

So, today will be spent sorting through all of my old letters,

and crinkled photographs.

and of course there is 6 loads of laundry that piled up with the water shut off,

 How appropriate that it is Thanksgiving week and right now I am incredibly thankful,
 as there is such thing as white chocolate Reese's peanut butter cups.


See ya 'round the (dried and sorted out) corner...




This morning I sit and think ...

...why is it that everyone yearns for the simpler things in life? 

We get to feeling this way especially as we come in from the cold, looking to start our hibernation period that is winter.   We literally become surrounded by that which we classify as "must haves."  All of the impulse buys;  the things we thought would fix a sad day or at a minimum match that favorite sweater. 

I think of all that I have and all that I really need and see such excess.  Everywhere.  In the bathroom (will I ever use those hotel shampoos and conditioners?) and in the laundry room (3,576 plastic grocery bags). 

Really?!?  C'mon.

 I have set a date.  The end of the year.  I give myself until December 31.  That's a little more than a month.  I will go room by room, box by box and keep only what is necessary, what I (honestly and truly) wear and use (on a regular basis) and what I love and treasure, including what's in the white box (for another post, another day).

I will gather shampoos and baggies and say enough is enough, a little every day.

I guess J can stay.

See ya round the (simplified?!?) corner...



first snow

We had our first snow yesterday evening and awakened to this beautiful landscape

and the big bird watches from an icy perch

the old feed bin dusted


 and the corral fence flocked 

the garden looking much different 

the garden angel in the morning sun

the rose garden nook is quiet

no birds at the bath

frosty grape vines yet to see the sun

and the old apricot tree stands watch...

...see ya round the corner


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