What happens when you put two ladies together, friends with a Lutheran church connection and a need to be more creative?


Welcome to our journey of creative discovery!

Friday, November 25, 2011

What a nice surprise

My Christmas cactus is blooming beautifully! This never ceases to amaze me because I don't think I take very good care of it all year long. I do much better with outdoor plants. Nonetheless,  I was greeted this week with these gorgeous blooms. A true gift!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Preparations

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We are busy here at home preparing for Thanksgiving - the shopping is done, food for tomorrow is being prepped, the kids are helping to clean the house and my hubby is trying to finish stage 1 of our basement redo - painting and laying down a new floor.  Eva comes home from college tonight and we are all looking forward to catching glimpses of Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade tomorrow.  Our favorites are the balloons, marching bands, Radio City Rockettes (reminds me of all the Christmas and Easter shows Omi, my grandma, used to take me to as a child) and of course Santa!  Now its back to work...
Flipping through some of my old favorite cooking magazines for inspiration.

Preparing the red cabbage the way Omi used to.

Sweet potatoes next.
 Kids love them mashed with marshmallows on top.
 Just the way I had them when I was growing up!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Something old, Something New

Some Progress on Daniel's Blanket
Well I have added a few more rows onto Daniel's blanket. This is usually my take-along project to do when watching F-Troop with Dad. He likes to watch the same episode over and over. That's OK. It's time together. 

Something New
Sometimes in the midst of a long project I get the urge to do something a bit quicker and different. Some immediate satisfaction. So I am using some of the lovely yarn I bought (on sale hubby, on sale) to make covers for my three wooden stools. I was inspired by seat covers I saw on another blog (I will post the link as soon as I can remember where I saw it (Carol do you remember?) Right now I am playing with colors and pattern.  But its time to put it away for today and get to the housework, food shopping and pack for the Youth Retreat I am attending as a  chaperone for six of our church's Jr, high students.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Squares of Comfort

Carol came over today for our weekly creativity fest. She was a little bleary-eyed from her trip to the eye doctor and I had to leave for an hour for parent-teacher conferences at the middle school (it was so good to see my former colleagues!) so we didn't actually get a lot of creating done. We are still trying to figure out this world of blogging (what exactly is the difference between following a blog and becoming a member?), so we spent some time on that. Also, Carol brought along two big bags of 8 inch squares that our friends at church have been making. She started (a year and a half ago?) a crochet group at church. Carol is a great teacher and has taught many women and some of our girls to crochet. I was always too busy or exhausted  juggling my family and teaching job to get to any of these meetings. Then last December I stopped working (that's a story for another post) and one of the benefits was that I could now go on Tuesday nights! The group has evolved into more than just crochet - some crochet, some knit, some do beautiful needlework, some make jewelry, another draws and paints,  and one little girl came and brought her shrinky dinks to make jewelry with! We enjoy creating and sharing our lives together. Aside from our own projects and gifts, we are going to assemble blankets to donate. That is where the 8 inch squares come in. These are just a few of the many - all different styles, colors and patterns. In January we will begin the task of designing and sewing together the blankets.
I haven't seen the squares I made in a while. Looking at them I am reminded of my dad.  When I made these he had just moved into an assisted living and I crocheted squares as I sat with him and watched his favorite movies.  Dad has dimentia and I knew the move, while essential,  was the beginning of a long, sad decline. Focusing on learning different patterns helped to ease the turmoil of knowing that the dad I knew was slipping away.  I hope the blanket made with my squares will bring comfort to someone else, child or adult,  going through a difficult time.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Crocheters

I shopped with my niece Anna today.  My mom and I taught her to crochet.  She has picked it up so quickly and with the eye of a designer.  She already creates items without use of a pattern.  I am proud of her creative talent.  Of course we were in a craft store in the yarn aisle.  We explored the yarns together, pondering what each skein might become, zeroing in on the new yarn that was on sale, and selecting the perfect skein.

That yarn connection between fellow crocheters is an amazing thing.  I have met so many interesting people while exploring the yarn aisle.  We all understand the pull to find new yarn and mold it with hook and strand into something uniquely ours.  Now my niece is one of us. 

Keep on hooking - yarn that is!!


Carol's Projects

Some of Carol's projects
These are a few of the gifts I have made.  Clockwise from top left: a blanket for my niece Joanie; a blanket for my friend Amy heading off to Colgate (she is a graduate now!); a blanket for my sister Ruth for Christmas last year, baby sweater, hat and booties for Dan and Ayeska's baby David; the multi colors of Kyle's high school graduation blanket for heading off to University of the Arts (from where he is now graduated); the requested orange and red for my nephew Benji; my daughter Emily's fall blanket; Kelly and Dan's wedding blanket; and another view of Kyle's blanket.

I remember making each gift, so the photo brings back memories of the people and the project.  Two of them were from patterns, the rest were my own designs.  I think I have made over a hundred adult or baby blankets for gifts, zillions of scarfs and hats (well, maybe a little exaggerated), and wish I had remembered to photograph all of them. 


Monday, November 14, 2011

It's like opening a new box of crayons

Some lovely new yarn purchased last week.  I just love the colors (and the fact that it was all on sale)! Thanks for making the trip with me Carol!
Now, what to make, what to make...?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Jolly Ol' St. Nick

I began this needlepoint Christmas stocking for my husband many, many years ago.  I was finished except for the french knots around Santa's eyebrows and a small bit of his beard. By that time we were expecting our first child and my husband decided that the stocking should say "Dad" not "Bob". So I diligently ripped out his name to make the change. Well, Eva was born and the stocking fell along the wayside. Now, 20 years later, he thinks its time to finish it! But I may not have enough red yarn left to make the name change, so its back to Bob for him.  Hopefully there'll be a new stocking hanging up this Christmas Eve.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

To Buy or Not to Buy

I met Cynthia today at our local craft store to browse the yarn department because everything was 25% off.  Not a safe thing to do when your basement yarn stash looks like a yarn store.  But a friend in need is a friend indeed and my friend Cynthia wanted my opinion on some yarn for a project she is inspired to begin.

So I went...  no, not reluctantly, this is yarn we are talking about and yarn is my drug of choice.

Cynthia likened the experience to being a child in a store picking out that new box of crayons - all those colors are so mesmerizing.

So I looked.  I touched.  I held.  I put skeins into my cart.  I took skeins out of my cart.  I put different skeins into my cart.  I dreamed of what those skeins could become in my hands with one of my hooks.

I love yarn.  I am addicted to yarn (just ask my husband).  I know that yarn is an issue in my house.  So did I buy yarn?


I have not learned to just say no to that question...to buy or not to buy.


Monday, November 7, 2011

The first of many unfinished projects -Daniel's Blanket

I'm afraid I may have more unfinished projects than finished.  What does this say about me? On one hand my unfinished work shows a wide array of interests - crochet, knitting, punch needle, needlepoint, cross stitch, quilting, drawing, sewing...  On the other hand - they are all UNFINISHED!  Yet if I walked into a yarn or fabric store (or visited ebay where I bought the most delicious Kaffe Fassett fat quarters this summer) I would be inspired to start something new.
I have made an agreement with myself to finish at least three projects before Christmas - I can't say what they all are incase they get finished and become gifts.

 This is project number one.  I started crocheting a simple blue blanket for Daniel when he was just a preschooler. Life must have gotten busy, and the unfinished blanket was put away and eventually forgotten. I unearthed it again a month or so ago while in the beginning stages of our basement redo. But I couldn't find the rest of the yarn. Stuck in the world of matchy-matchy I fixated on trying to find a blue that would go. A few attempts and much frustration and ripping out later I was ready to give up. Inspiration came while browsing some favorite crochet blogs, especially Little Woolie. I loved the multitude of colors and textures I saw. No more plain blue blanket for Daniel!  Unfinished project number one is back under way and I am loving it!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Prepping for Craft Show

I am getting ready for the first craft show I have done in years.  It seems that my addiction to crochet has produced 113 items without really thinking about it.  My sister Janet talked me into doing the show.  She and my sister Ruth are doing the show as well.  Janet makes beautiful handbags and jewelry and Ruth makes beautiful jewelry and hats and sketches and who knows what else.  I think it will be fun to be with them and hopefully I will sell a thing or two.

Support a local artisan this holiday shopping season!
Since I don't have much experience in the craft show circuit, I wonder if it is really a way to get your stuff out there to sell or if other methods work better.