Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rosebud Angel Baby Shoe Wreaths

Rosebud Angel Baby Shoe Wreaths

Materials Needed:
G (4.5mm) hook
Caron Simply Soft in two colors, A: rosebud color, and B: leaves color.
Needle to weave in ends and attach wreaths to baby shoes.

Abbreviations used:
ch - chain
ss - slip stitch
Beg ppcn - beginning popcorn stitch: chain 3, do 4 double crochets in same stitch, remove hook from last dc and insert from back to front into the top or third chain of beginning chain 3, reinsert into last loop of the 4th dc and pull through, slip stitch back down though last double crochet and slip stitch into chain.
st - stitch
sc - single crochet
hdc - half double crochet
dc - double crochet
tc - triple crochet
FO - fasten off

Round One:
With color A, ch 12 and join with a ss into first chain.

Round Two:
Ch 1, and ss into the same st as join, ss into next ch, beg ppcn in same st, ss into next 3 ch, beg ppcn in next, ss into next 3 ch, beg ppcn in next, ss in remaining 2 and join with ss in beginning ss. FO and weave in ends.

Round Three:
Join color B with a ss AROUND the sts in round two just before a rosebud or beg ppcn, ch 1, and sc, ch 2 behind rosebud, do a sc, hdc, dc, tc, dc, hdc and sc in the space between the rosebuds, ch 2 behind rosebud, do a sc, hdc, dc, tc, dc, hdc and sc in the space between the rosebuds,
ch 2 behind rosebud, do a sc, hdc, dc, tc, dc, hdc and join with a ss in the first sc. FO leaving a long end of yarn to sew wreath to baby shoe. Weave in other end.


If you have any questions or remarks, please don't hesitate to let me know. I'm trying to spend more time on the computer as my health improves, so I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Many Blessings!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Thought For The Day

Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body.

Proverbs 16:24
Too often I forget this.

Hope you all have a blessed day!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Happy Easter Sunday!

We've had a lovely Easter day here. My baby girl Wendy and I went for a walk as the sun was rising early this morning. She enjoyed all the different sights and smells, and surprised me immensely by rolling in the dew covered grass. Wendy does NOT like to get wet!

After we came home, I tried a new recipe from my favorite baking cookbook, "The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion", Hot Cross Muffins! Much quicker to make and bake than traditional Hot Cross Buns, but every bit as yummy, in my opinion. Everyone else seemed to like them, too, as they disappeared rather quickly. I made them with golden raisins and dried cranberries - such a good combination!

After our lunch, my grand daughter asked if we could go to the beach, and Dearest said yes, so off we went. I haven't felt up to walking on the beach in a long time, so this was a real treat for all of us! The flowers are blooming on the dunes, I don't know how well you can see them here. The beach was packed with people!

Dearest and I walked along the beach, watching grand daughter boogie boarding in the waves, and admiring all the different sand castle creations we saw. I found a couple special shells and saw a huge blue bottle jellyfish/ I wish I had captured a photo of the jelly fish, but the waves washed it back out before I could get a shot.

This was our favorite sand castle formation. The tide had started to wash over it, and it left these amazing spiral towers.

Our grand daughter waiting with her boogie board to catch the perfect wave. She had a great time, as did we. We didn't stay at the beach too long as I worried about her getting sunburned, and it was very warm for me!

Now we're all relaxing at home. I have a pot of vegetarian Chick'n and Dumplings bubbling away on the stove. We're having that stew with a side of fruit and a Key Lime Pie for dessert. My mouth is watering at the scents drifting from the kitchen!

I hope you all have had as wonderful a holiday as we have had. Many blessings to you all!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I See Rainbows

"Rainbow Connection"
Why are there so many songs about rainbows
and what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
and rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it.
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard
and answered when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that and someone believed it.
Look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us star gazing
and what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell. We know that it's probably magic.

Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that called the young sailors.
The voice might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
It's something that I'm supposed to be.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Rainbow Connection song from "The Muppet Movie"
I can't think of anything more inspiring or hopeful than the sight of a rainbow in the sky, so I thought I'd try something a little different this week. I'm declaring it my personal rainbow week.

Each day I hope to focus on a different color of the rainbow, and share photo's of either an item that I've crocheted in that particular color or a piece of artwork that features that color. Could be quite a challenge, don't you think?

At the top of the page, you'll see what I titled, Rainbow bears. Not quite every color of the rainbow, but close. Each bear measures approximate three and a half inches, and are fully jointed. Most of these bears have found new homes with grandchildren or with children's charities.

This is a polymer clay pendant I titled "Rainbow and Pearl Heart".

What do you think? Would you care to join the challenge, too?

Wishing you many rainbows, beauty and hope in this upcoming week!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'm Designing Again!

I haven't been able to do a lot of crochet recently, and frankly, I find it depressing. I needed a little project, something I could do quickly, in one 'sitting' so to speak. A little instant gratification, if you will.

Then I remembered reading a post from one of my favorite bloggers who wrote about getting her hair cut, and how she'd like to try designing/crocheting a fascinator to wear. She shared some beautiful photo's to go with this post, and I found it inspiring. You can read that post here.

So this morning I picked up my hook and yarn, and started working on a fascinator of my own. And yes, you betcha' I'll wear it! I've finished two elements of my fascinator already, and am at decision stage now, should I use one of those big, rhinestone buttons as the center, or should I crochet a centerpiece. I know I definitely want to incorporate some birdcage veil in my fascinator, I'm not sure where to find some in my area.

That's where I'm at right now. I'll post some photo's when I get a little farther along. What's on your hook today?

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's Monday!

"Life is just a bowl of cherries.
Don't take it serious; it's too mysterious.
You work, you save, you worry so,
But you can't take your dough when you go, go, go.

So keep repeating it's the berries,
The strongest oak must fall,
The sweet things in life, to you were just loaned
So how can you lose what you've never owned?
Life is just a bowl of cherries,
So live and laugh at it all."

- Lew Brown and Ray Henderson, 1931

I'm ready, bring on the cream pies!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Temporary Setback

I. Give. Up.

Don't look at the background of my blog. No, no, no! Don't pay any attention to the layout either! I just spent (wasted) an hour trying to put a nice Eater background on my blog, and rearranging the layout to fit, and it didn't work. Not to my satisfaction at least.

Just.... Look at the pretty Easter Bunny and his friends up there! Isn't that lovely? What? No, I'm not trying to distract you. Would I do that??? No, no no...

Actually, I posted the photo of the Easter Bunny for a reason. The image is from one of my old children's books, "The Story Of The Easter Bunny", written by Sheila Black and illustrated by Robyn Officer.

It's a nice story to read to the little one's around this time of year, but that wasn't why I chose this book for my collection. It's the illustration's that caught my eye. I love her style! It's what I strive for in my watercolors and my colored pencil art. She gives just the right amount of detail, and her highlights are perfect. I wish my art work was more like hers, and I suppose if I am to believe what I keep telling my grand-daughter, that's why we keep practicing - practicing - practicing!


I hope you are all having a wonderful, sunny and warm Sunday!


We've been without the internet for almost two hours now, and it's driving me crazy! Now, it's not as if I can't LIVE without the internet, mind you. It's more we all get into our little set routines, and when that routine is upset when there's nothing you can do about it, one tends to get a little ... irritated.

Sometimes when the internet goes 'out', there are things that you can do do to fix it by yourself. I've tried all those things, that was the first thing I did. After those self help thingies didn't work, and an hour went by, I had another idea.

**Please note, I have had a couple of cups of coffee by this time, so I can't claim to be dumb by being half asleep at the time.**

'I can call the cable company! Maybe they don't know that the internet is down in our area, it IS the middle of the night, I could be the only one in our area that's trying to use the internet, and thus the only one who knows it's down.'


Yeah, we have Vonage, a really great phone service at a great price... And you get it through the i.n.t.e.r.n.e.t.

Uh huh.

So I'll work on one of my crochet projects and that will keep me busy. Yes. Yes, very good idea, isn't it?

Unfortunately, I'm using patterns I have found on the internet, and no, I didn't print them out.


Is it Monday already?


The above post was written earlier this morning. The internet ultimately was down for over four hours, and I had to do something to get my frustration out. Forgive my angst, please.

I feel much better now!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Confession Time

There's a part of me that's never grown up. I still collect shells when I walk on the beach. (You should see my shell gardens outside - I've brought home so many shells, I use them instead of stones or mulch in the borders beds.)

My favorite, rarer shells I keep in a jar on my toy shelf.

I also have baby dolls. These baby dolls don't belong to my grandchildren. They are MY dolls! This is a five inch doll I got at WalMart. The poor baby's outfit looked like someone was playing soccer with her on a very dirty floor, so she was on the marked down shelf. I had to rescue her, and in a way, she's helped 'rescue' me at times. She's perfect for those times when I want to crochet, but don't want to do a big project. I've made her clothes, and this morning she has a brand new bed and pillow to rest on. I'm thinking I'll make her a blanket for the bassinet, just haven't decided on the design or colors yet.

I looked online for patterns for the cradle purses that I made my grand daughters in the past, but the ones that I found weren't big enough for Suzy, so I adapted one to fit her. She fits nicely in the new one. I'm also very happy to report that crochet is starting to return to normal for me. It no longer takes me 45 minutes just to crochet one row LOL.

This is my Toy Shelf. You can see two of the other dolls I crocheted. To be honest, the one isn't 'crocheted', she's a yarn doll like the ones my grandmother would make for me when I was a little girl, but she IS wearing a crocheted dress, and has a crocheted cradle to sleep in. I like the Bunting Baby, too. I don't really care for making faces on baby dolls. I'm not good at embroidery at all, and they don't have to have faces for me to love them. Can you see Suzy's Easter basket with the robins egg in it? You might spot one of my teddy bears, and some of my pig collection as well.

Am I the only one? Does anyone else have baby dolls that they keep to dress up? I do hope you'll share if you do.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Night Sounds

The crickets are chirping outside!

I find that such a comforting sound. It takes me back to warm summer nights, and porch swings. I'm reminded of fireflies flashing, endless games of freeze tag and the laughter of children under growing star light.

I pray your night is filled with peace.

Good Mornin'!

Good mornin',
Good mornin'!
We've talked the whole night through,
Good mornin'
Good mornin' to you.
Good mornin', good mornin'!
It's great to stay up late,
Good mornin', good mornin' to you.

I've had this song running through my head ever since I woke up. I even sang it to my grand-daughter when I got her up for school, poor baby!

I hope you all are having a bright, wonderful day!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The ABC's of Me

One of my favorite bloggers posted this on her blog today, and I enjoyed it so much that I couldn't resist doing it myself! Thank you, Charlotte!

A. Age: I recently celebrated the twenty-eighth anniversary of my twenty-fifth birthday.

B: Bed size: Queen, thank goodness! My dearest is a bit of a bed hog, so I end up hugging the edge anyways. The queen size just gives me more sleeping time.

C. Chore you hate: Cleaning the ferret cage. They're clean little critters, and use a litter box MOST of the time. I don't think I know anyone who likes cleaning a litter box. Do you?

D. Dogs: I love all animals, but if we had a dog, I would want a miniature breed. I am owned by two of the sweetest ferret babies, and 'grandma' to a third. (Hello Wendy, Bubba and Bela!)

E. Essential start to your day: Gotta have my gourmet chocolate flavored coffee with my coconut flavored creamer. It's like a liquid Mounds candy bar in a cup!

F. Favorite color: No no no... Don't make me pick just one! I can never choose between spring green and baby pink!

G. Gold or silver: It's gotta be gold, all the way!

H: Height: 5'4"

I: Instruments that you can play: The drums and shell whistle. I was in marching band and orchestra all through my school years, and I taught myself to play a whistle made from a sea shell a couple of years ago just for fun.

J: Job title: Fiber Artist. Doesn't that sound all fancy and cool? I love it. I make things with thread and yarn, so that makes me a 'fiber artist', right?

K: Kids: Two sons, and two daughters, sons-in-laws, daughter-in-laws, step-sons, step-daughters, and lots of lovely grandbabies!

M: Mom’s name: Joyce Anne.

N: Nicknames: Lamb, NeNe, MaggieMay, Princess.

O: Overnight hospital stays: Too many to count so let's not go there, 'kay?

P: Pet peeve: People who talk on their cell phones everywhere they go and whatever they're doing. Driving a car and talking on the phone, I'm not talking about the hands free model, either, especially bother me! I mean, really!! Suddenly everyone is so important that they can't go anywhere or do anything without having a phone attached to their heads! Don't get me started...

Q: Quote from a movie: "Ooh, if I just wasn't a lady, WHAT wouldn't I tell that varmint." Scarlett O'Hara from "Gone With The Wind".

R: Righty or lefty: Right handed.

S: Sibling: Two sisters,

T: Time you wake up: Somewhere between 2:30 and 3:30 a.m. usually. I'm a morning person. DEFINITELY a morning person!

U: Underwear: White cotton grannies. What can I say? They're comfy and they're clean.

V: Vegetables you dislike: Brussels Sprouts. I'm actually a vegetarian, so I eat all kinds of veggies and love them. I just had a very bad experience with Brussels Sprouts once and will never eat them again.

W: What makes you run late: "Just one more stitch...", or, "I'll just finish this row, then..."

Y: Yummy food you make: Mmmm, homemade pizza from scratch, dough and sauce! I made yogurt cheese once, but it didn't turn out so well. Oh yeah, and chocolate chip oatmeal raisin cookies! Have to have my homemade bread, too. I guess you could say I just love to bake!

Z: Zoo favorite animal: Capybara's! They're like a giant guinea pig and I adore guinea pigs. My second choice would have to be meerkats or penguins!

Your turn!

Oh Dear!

When last I posted, I promised more photo's of my handmade books. I wanted to share pictures of the miniature books and book pins that I had made. Unfortunately, once I looked at them, I decided that I would be too embarrassed to share them, the photographs are too poor in quality.

Instead, I'm sharing another love of mine, dragons! I adore dragons, and have found myself making them in all sorts of mediums. (I'll have to get some photo's taken of some of my watercolor and pen and ink paintings, I know where they are, just need to find the energy to set them up.)

This is one of those miniature alchohol bottles, like you would get when flying on an airline? I covered it with polymer clay, way back in 2006, when I was really, really, REALLY into polymer clay, and before I figured out just how heavy polyclay is to pack up and move around the U.S. Now that we're retired, I may just drag that bag of clay out and start to play again. This is 'The Princess and the Dragon'.

Probably one of my most famous and popular crochet patterns, my Baby Snow Dragon. I can hardly believe that people are still making (and loving) them as much as I do. I've made them in all sizes, colors, and poses. This is one of my 'Dragon Family' sets.

Another polymer clay dragon, this was a big (if I remember correctly, about 9 inches in diameter) Dragon Orb. This was made for a gift.

Another gift for a special little girl, a crocheted Bed Dragon. I only made one of these, but I think I have the pattern shorthanded somewhere.

And one of my very first polymer clay dragons, Percy, sitting here glaring at the Blind Wizard. Both Percy and the Wizard are still around packed away somewhere.

I know I haven't been here much lately. I'm having some new health problems, I won't go into all the gory details, I'll just say that it doesn't leave me with much energy to do much of anything. I have two baby blankets all set up to be crocheted together, and when I can, I pick up my hook and yarn and work on them. I have two packages waiting to go to the post office, soon to be three, and I have photo's to share of what's in those packs, but I don't want to post them until they are sent and received. I feel like I'm so far behind in everything!

Oh yes, I promised the babies a big play time today, and hopefully will get some new pics of them to share with you, too.

Thanks for spending time with me, and all the loving thoughts you send my way!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Handmade Books - Part One

I have a confession to make. I love paper. I also love reading and writing. Making books by hand that I could write in seemed a perfect way to combine these adorations of mine. One of the first and easiest methods of book making I learned was the piano hinge book binding. No sewing or glueing involved, just cutting and weaving. I could also decorate them any way I desired. I loved it!

I also developed a new love, one of handmade paper. Oh, the things you could do with handmade paper! And beads! Yes, beads are a must to decorate piano hinge book binding, they just seemed to add the perfect touch.

And let's not forget glitter. Or stamping. Or pretty, pretty ribbons!

Trying to match all those items together into a coherent theme just adds to the thrill of the finished book!

I'm not sure what happened to all the books that I've made over the years. I know I've sold a few, and given a few away as prizes. I found a few of my favorites in my treasure box the other day, and was instantly filled with the desire to go search for paper and bamboo skewers. Fortunately, I had a pile of yarn with a crochet hook sticking out of ut to bring me back to my senses.

Ah well. Maybe I can talk my granddaughter into another bookmaking class this summer.

Monday, April 04, 2011

I'll Never Stop Learning!

Pen and Ink Painting (stippling) of my grand-daughter Jeva Lee sleeping on her Daddy's shoulder.

Pen And Ink Painting (stippling) Of My oldest grandson John-John.

Pen and Ink self-portrait, done quite a few years ago.

My daughter and her then youngest son, Jules Ethan. (Pen and ink stippling, again)

I miss teaching.

I miss sharing what I know and what I have learned. I miss working with people of all ages, and all the fun we had making things.

After all my children grew up, my husband and I found ourselves moving all over the country. He is/was a computer programer who worked under contract which meant we moved every six to nine months for a new contract. If you can imagine, that can be a very lonely life. You never really live anywhere long enough to make friends of any kind.

I don't remember exactly how it happened but when we moved into an apartment in Edina, Minnesota, I offered my services as an arts and crafts teacher to the manager of the complex. She jumped at the chance, and I soon found myself planning and writing up lesson plans, and gathering materials for my classes.

I wanted to keep my classes fairly simply, with supplies that most people could easily find around their homes. Two of my favorite classes were making books and origami. We also worked with polymer clay, and learned scrap booking. We learned to make Shrinky Dinks, and stickers to decorate our homemade scrapbooks. One of my biggest kicks out of teaching these classes was that my students usually ranged from four years old to 80 + Years. I've always felt that when you stop learned, you start truly growing old.

I think my most popular classes from that time were the origami and eraser clay lessons.

I was sad to leave Edina, but that wasn't the end of my teaching classes. When we found ourselves living in Shaumburg, Illinois, I quickly got caught up in teaching beginning crochet classes to adults, baking and cooking classes (homemade pizza crust and marinara sauce from scratch, and again, arts and crafts classes to kids. I found both the kids and the adults were fascinated by my watercolor painted classes. One of my highest compliments was hearing an adult say, "I did that? I DID that, all by myself!"

I haven't done any teaching for a couple of years now, and I miss it so much. I wonder what happened to all my former students. Have they kept on trying and experimenting what they learned?

Way back in my thirties, my dream was to take classes to become an art teacher with an official degree. Now with all my health problems, and our financial difficulties, I've had to watch that dream die, and it has been hard.

SO now I have a question for you. Is there anything that you have always wanted to learn to do? I had an online friend who always wanted to learn to do polymer clay, all the techniques and tricks, but she lived clear across the country from me. We managed through email and email photo attachments to teach and learn from each other.

Is there anyone out there willing and wanting to do something similar with me? Leave me a comment and I'll get back to you by email. Please note, I don't know how to do everything artistic, but I may be able to direct you to a website that may help you.

Happy crocheting and happy crafting!

p.s. Over the next few days, I'll be posting some of my work, both from my classes and things I've taught myself. Consider this a warning...

Friday, April 01, 2011

I Remember Grandma

My Grandma in her sunflower patch.

As I sat quietly crocheting this morning, I started thinking about the first time I saw someone working with hooks and yarn, and how intriguing it was to me. It was my own grandma, of course, she was the type of person who couldn't just sit still and do nothing.

Grandma was one of my heroes when I was growing up. There was nothing I loved more than spending time at her house. Even with all the other grandchildren she had, she had the special talent of making each and every one of us feel like we were her personal favorites.

I remember Grandma loved to bake and crochet. She loved to garden, too, but best of all she loved to spend time with us.

She lived on a tree farm way out in the country, and grew not only Christmas trees to sell, but she had a blueberry farm where we kids spent many a summer day helping pick the plump, juicy berries for her to sell. I'm not sure if more berries ended up in our bellies or in the baskets, but it's one of my favorite memories.

Grandma used to let us spend summer nights camped out in a tent in her front yard, and that was always an adventure to me. I'd fall asleep listening to the turtledoves coo, and crickets chirp. I tried very hard not to wonder what the other sounds were I heard were coming from. I knew Grandma and grandpa wouldn't let any coyotes or bears get us, They would keep us safe from any dangers.

I remember that when ever I got hurt or sick, not one else could take care of me like my grandma. My Mom was wonderful, too, don't get me wrong, but she had four other children to take care of. When I was with my grandma, she had the special skill of making me feel as if I was the only child in the world, and as such, the most important one as well.

One of my special memories involves peaches and my own children. One of my greatest joys is knowing that she lived long enough and was healthy enough to enjoy my children, her great grandchildren. Which brings us to mty before mentioned treasured memory.

I can still see it, like it happened just yesterday. My grandmother seated at the head of the kitchen table, peeling and slicing fresh, sweet peaches to make peach cobbler for our evening meal. On each side of the table sat two or three great-grandchildren, my oldest son, his little sister, my sister's two girls and her littlest at that time, a boy.

With every peach Grandma peeled and sliced, five little mouths opened in anticipation, reminding me of five hungry baby birds in a nest. And Grandma never failed, she'd pop a slice of peach into each eager little mouth. I swear, for every peach she did, only two or three slices landed in the bowl for the cobbler!

Time passes much to quickly sometimes. I lost my beloved Grandma over twenty years ago, and I miss her still everyday. My children are grown now, and have babies of their own. Recalling this memory today makes me determined to sit down one day soon, and make a peach cobbler of my own with MY grandchildren seated at the table around me. Maybe I'll forge some precious memories for my children, too.

Even though I have loads of loving memories, I don't have many physical things to remember her by. I DO have her precious tea set, though I've never used it. It spends its time perched on top of my kitchen cupboards, safely out of harms way. I got it down this morning and carefully washed all the dust and grime off so I could share it with you.

I recently decided that I'm going to find a teacup and saucer or two to match grandma's set, and then I am going to use that tea set to have special tea parties with my own granddaughters. I'll share stories of my special grandma with them, and all the joy that she brought to my life. Hopefully they will pass these memories down to their children and grandchildren, too.

This is one of the few photo's I have of my grandmother and myself when I was a baby. I know my mother has more, I just need to ask her for copies of them.

Love is meant to be remembered, passed on, and most importantly to shared and allowed to grow.

I love you, Grandma, and I always will! Thank you for giving me the good things in life that have helped me grow into the person that I am today.