Friday, November 4, 2011

Just a Taste!

I don't even think I can consider this to be a "Sneak Peak" at all.  I just wanted to SHOW something!  Anything! 

I apologize in advance for the terrible picture!  I had to take it on my phone, since my camera and cord to upload pictures are both missing in action.  I can't help but imagining this weird idea of the two running off somewhere to a warm beach for a picnic.  They are on strike and refusing to be used and over-worked!  The really funny thing is I can't stand it when people make a post full of terrible pictures from their phones!  I even have seen this on "professional" blogs.  The whole time I am thinking, "Wha-huh?  Is that a shoe?  And eyeball?  What the hell is the point of all this crazy picture-mess?"  But, in my case, I didn't have much of a choice.  This, I hope will be one of the last times, but who knows what will happen in the future....... my cord and camera may choose to remain in hiding forever, leaving me with nothing but my camera phone.

OOOKKK!!!!  So enough of the blah-blah and on with business!

I made this poncho for my Little Darling.  I thought that I was finished with it, but then I realized 2 things:  (1) I think I need to line it with something so that it's warm enough to wear under a sweater on a cool day.  I have some super cute fabric to put on the other side of it!  But I have to do that after I take care of #2...

(2)  The Hello Kitty thing I tried to crochet soooooo did not work for me!  I kept messing it up.  Then I found an embroidery pattern in this book


I bought this book several months ago.  Obviously, I don't speak Japanese......and apparently I am TERRIBLE at reading patterns. Hahahahaha!  I can't have the diagram OR the words.  I only understand patterns where there is a diagram, a picture, AND word instructions.  I tried to crochet a Hello Kitty face, but it didn't work out.  Then I was like, "OK, Mr. 'I'm gonna make this too hard for you', I am going to figure out an alternate solution to this, so take that!"  That's when I grabbed the embroidery pattern that you see for the blanket above/next to the hat. I found out that it's too big for the little square.  So now, I am on the hunt for a smaller Hello Kitty face to put on the front.

Either way.... This is what I have at the moment.... and it is "evolving" as time goes by!



Again, sorry about the low-quality picture!  I have never made a poncho before. My Little Darling has been begging for one since the summer..... I love this one and I can't wait until it's 100% done and I can show everything in vivid detail ANDDDD show what it looks like on my Little Darling!  So stay tuned for my "finishing touches"....and definitely stay tuned for the other cute little wintry items that I have made for her!

Have a great weekend!

PS------ If you are interested in making something from this book (which totally was $60 PLUS shipping- *CRAZY*) just leave a comment with your email address and I will scan the pattern and email it to you.  I am not sure whether posting the patterns here is a bad thing or not.  This is an out-of-print book, maybe written by a dead person.  So I don't know what copyright laws apply to old books by dead people (no disrespect!!).  But I do know that sharing patterns, books, ideas, and so on is the exact same thing as if I said, "Yea, girl, go ahead and borrow my book.  Just give it back whenever you are done".  I mention all the time how important it is for me to SHARE in the world of creativity, so hit me up if you want a pattern from the book.  I won't post it here, but I will email it to you so we can share :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thoughts on a Rainy Thursday

Hellloooooo Blogland :)

Normally a groggy, rainy day would be discouraging, but I am finding it rather nice today.  My allergies are in complete disagreement with me, but my soul feels more at peace.  This Autumn season has been surprisingly warm and comfortable.  There have been several days this season that I have been able to walk around without sleeves.  THIS is the Kentucky that I remember when I moved here.  Last year was a freak of nature!  It got cold so soon and actually stayed cold.  I just kept wishing and praying every day this past spring that summer would come soon and stay for a long time!  I think my prayers were answered.

But, now, I am finally trying to focus on things like: WINTER//CHRISTMAS//COMFORT MEALS//A WINTER JACKET//PARTY PLANNING

The holiday season is the craziest time for me.... With Thanksgiving {party planning}, my brother's birthday, my Little Darling's birthday{party planning}, another brother's birthday, Christmas {shopping}, New Year's {party!!!} and then my sister's birthday {PARTY!!}!  GAH!  Just thinking about it is actually super exciting.  I looooove giving and making gifts!

Right now, I am planning 3 things at a time...which is not my strength.  Ha!  You will shortly see that 3 things is really 30 things balled into 3 categories *blushing!*

Thanksgiving menu:  It'll be my very first Thanksgiving that I cook and stay at my home with my family.... scary!  Last year, my friend who did her first Christmas at home asked me when I planned on setting a family tradition of my own.  I honestly hadn't thought about it...so my response was, "I dunno.  When my parents are dead?"  BAD ANSWER!  So I am now rummaging through cook books, magazines, and websites for interesting meals/dishes to create for Thanksgiving.  I want everything to be perfect and tasty.  You will surely see an atomic explosion from my apartment if someone doesn't eat what I have worked so hard to prepare!!!

My Little Darling's birthday party:  She declared that she wants it to be a pink fairy party!  I am not one to be very girly, but I am excited to make pretty, fluffy things for my daughter.  I am excited to bake again and decorate.  I used to host dinner parties all the time, but that hasn't happened in literally YEARS!  Now, the only time I can look forward to hosting guests and decorating is during her birthday.  You better believe that Martha Stewart and I have become verrrry close this week as I gather ideas!  I just can't wait.  I have wanted to do a fairy theme (I don't know about the pink part) for about 2 years, but I always let my Little Darling pick.  Last year was rainbows, the year before was a zoo theme.

Christmas presents:  I am being considerably more selective this year!  For the past 2-3 years, I have shelled out over $1500 on gifts.  I can't do that this year because I am not working full time. But I also don't have the motivation to do that this year.  My younger brother & sister are now 12, and they only care about electronics and such.  Daddy handles the "big gifts" for them.  The Christmas spirit has died down in our home.  Everyone wants to sit and do their own thing.  While growing up, we used to have family and friends over.  We played music and danced and played cards.  That hasn't happened in a long time.  This year, The Hubs and I have decided to make our own little Christmas.  So we will only buy gifts for this household (and not 30-40 gifts!!!) and we will stay home.  I am still going to hand make some thing for some people.  Last year, I crocheted several scarves for friends...this year... I think I want to do something completely different....  I think I want to make things from paper this year...... Ok, I literally just had this thought RIGHT NOW... so I need to let it marinate and think of exactly WHAT sort of paper gifts I will be making, but I hope it's awesome.

So those are my 3 things for the moment.  Thanksgiving Menu, Pink Fairy Party, and Paper Christmas.

I am sorry I don't have any photos for this post to show what I have been working on (and what I just finished-- CUTE CUTE CUTE!!!) but I can't find the cord to upload my pictures!  And now, as I look around my living room, I just realized that I no longer can find my camera either!  GAHHH!!!!  I will find both and make a couple of posts this weekend.  I am still in the process of doing my deep cleaning for the week.  I am sure everything will turn up as I clean.

Until then--- Have a Wonderful Thursday!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Snailing Along

I am not sure if I have mentioned it or made it clear, but I was just thinking today, while watching Avatar, how much I love to write letters.  I started snail mailing about a year ago.  I can't believe that I started something so long ago, and I am still totally interested in it!  I started with about 40 pen pals, mainly from Europe.  And then, I went down to less than 20.  I preferred that actually.  I like being able to write long letters to people, with no stress about time or anything.  I used to spend hours and days responding to all 40 of my pen pals.  Lemme tell ya!  It's really expensive to pay for packages, postage, cute letter sets, and everything for 40 people!  So I was happy to be able to invest the time and money for just a few.

Then, I lost my job back in May and I just.... I don't know.  I wasn't depressed or anything, but I just didn't know what to do!  It was like when I decided I wasn't finishing grad school.  I didn't know what to do with all the time.  I didn't have 100s of pages to read, papers to write, community service projects. I just had work and motherhood, and those two things were kicking my butt!  But eventually, I filled that time.  And I felt the same void after losing my job.  "What am I gonna do all day?  Just me and my Little Darling?  Together? Alone? All day?"  It took a while, but after a few months, I got the answers to all of those questions, and I am just as busy as if I were working a full time job, part time job, and going to school 12 hours and doing my practicum 25 hours per week.  I know, you're thinking, "Do wha'?  How in the world did you manage all that in a week?!"  I would say the answer is obvious:  I DIDN'T!  Hahahahaa!  That's why I am here, focusing on what matters most out of it all, Home.

As I was figuring everything out, I didn't write any letters... And lately, I have been back!  I have been decorating paper...


I am not great at making stationery, but I love to decorate my own letter sets!  I wish I knew how to duplicate some of my favorite designs...


My favorite thing to do use a crayon to lightly color the paper, and then use rub-on stickers.  I also like to do some small doodles myself.  Whenever I have some time, I am going to find a high quality copy/print service and see if they can make copies of my papers. That way, I can create and copy piles of them to have whenever I write.  I can't even recall some of my favorite letter set designs! 

Going through my random archives on my phone gallery, I found these that I made for some pen pals.  I wrote my letters inside of them:

The quality of this picture is terrible because it's from my phone (in bad lighting)!  These are little envelope book thingies for me to write in.  The strawberry was the first one... my trial version...  The cupcake one was MUCH better!  

This is what's inside the cupcake one.  I had fun making this, and I hope that my pen pal who got it enjoyed everything inside!  I can't remember, but I am sure she loved it - LOL.

This is also some fun stationery that I made for one of my favorite pen pals.  We stopped corresponding over Christmas 2010.  I really enjoyed writing her, so I am sad about that.


This is another letter I wrote to her.  I made all the pages with this fun sort of graffiti looking pattern.  I wish I had made some better pictures or at least a copy!  But I didn't.  I also made the book behind the letter.



This is what is inside the book that I made.  She is very artistic and she was great at decorating paper for my letters too.  She also made me some cute things from felt.  I wish I knew how to make such cute things from felt!

I also love to make envelopes...


I have envelopes that I have made in all shapes sizes and colors.  I just pulled these out of my stack in order to be "Festive"! HALLOWEEEN!

I love a hand-written letter.  I love that personal touch.  That kiss and a hug with a pen and a stamp.  I love that someone special out there would take the time to sit and write to me, think of me, share with me.  I love the chance to do the same thing.  I have made some GREAT friends this way.  I hope that one special day, I can meet every pen pal in person.  I would love to surprise them with their next letter by handing it to them in person.  I am not rich!  And I definitely can't haul my Little Darling all over the world to meet and greet everyone I have made a friend.  But a girl can dream, right?

Well, I guess I better get back to writing!  Good night!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Oooh La La -- TA DAH!

Welp. I said it, didn't I?  I am back again with another post.  I am pretty proud of myself for making time to share today.  I know the past few times I said that I would make another post, I disappeared.  With so much going on these days, I am sure it's understandable that I may not have time to post, but I wish I could have time for everything!!!

This winter, I planned on a "surprise".  Well, I still don't want to say what it is.....or have I already?  Oh, shoot!  I do that all the time!  I can never remember things.  Oh well, as far as I know, I haven't said anything about what it is, so I will just continue on that path.  Anyway, I wasn't anticipating a sore wrist and working double hours at work, or the winter items for my daughter (I started on a CUUUUUTE hat/scarf set for her tonight at work!) or her Halloween costume....  But, still, my original plan, when I made it 6 months ago or something, was to announce the suprise after Halloween.  It kinda sucks that Halloween is in a week, and I am not as well equipped as I thought I would be, but I am still going through with my plan.... no matter how Terrified I am! More on this topic of "Surprise" later!

Anyway, I guess I will cross that bridge when I get to it.  Until then, I am excited to show you what I finished last night:


I was going to make a "Sneak Peak of the Week" post, but I was so close to being finished with it that I figured I might as well just complete the project! 

I was looking at some different stitches from different patterns, became inspired, and I thought "I would love to make a scarf that had this pattern!"  I was going to fade from black-navy-aubergine-magenta-purple-red wine-pink..... but after I got to magenta, everything looked crazy!  So I ditched my super colorful idea, and went for something a little more pleasing to the eye. 

The pattern is a really simple one that I made up.  I'll share the details below :)
Chain 34 to start with.  Dc in the 4th ch from the hook and in the next 3 ch, *ch 3, skip next 3 chains, dc in the next for chains*  Repeat from * until you are at the end of the scarf.
Chain 3 (counts as 1st dc) and then dc in the next 3 dc *ch 3, skip next 3 chains, dc in next 4 dc* Repeat from * until then end of the row.

You can just keep on going until the scarf is as long as you want.  Is it too wide?  Do less than 34 to begin with!  If you decide to make one of your own, tell me about it!  Blog about it!  I will be pumped to see what others can come up with to improve upon my little creations!


 Sorry about the crazy angle of this photo.  I was on my way to work this afternoon, and I just knew that if I didn't have all the pictures taken and ready to upload Before I went to work, I wouldn't even bother with it when I came home. 

Last year, I made several scarves for Christmas presents.... and then I wore them all at some point or another.  Hahahaha!  YES!!!  I am sooooo embarassed to admit this!  But, I know that they must've smelled wonderful when they got to whomever I mailed them.  This year, I promised myself that I would NOT wear any of the scarves I made.  It's super hard because I just love scarves.  It's my favorite winter accessory, next to ear muffs :)  I hate bulky coats, so I run around all winter in the snow, shivering my bum off...with a HUGE scarf and some ear muffs LOL.

Well, I am signing off now.  I have a sweet tooth (at nearly midnight!!) and I am about to make some brownies and work on joining the squares on my sunset blanket.  Yep, I still got it!  I am still chugging away at it slowly, but I think as I am baking and waiting to be able to eat my brownies, I may actually finish connecting the squares.  I am almost 1/2 way done with that part of the process. And then I will just have to get my hands on an interesting border pattern!

Good Night for those who are state side and Good Morning to everyone who isn't!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What Happened?

That is what I have been asking myself non-stop here lately!  I secretly know the answer to that question, but I guess I hate to admit it......
I'VE TAKEN ON MORE THAN I CAN HANDLE!

Happens all the time.  I think I am super woman with multiple clones.  I over-commit to so many things and the result is inevitably the same:  I end up doing Nothing because I am too overwhelmed. 

3-4 weeks ago, everything went wonky.  I said I would try to work full time hours, which has been a kryptonite to my marriage.  I hate feeling selfish about things (and this is a daily battle for me) but I keep asking these question: "Why the hell do I have to give everything up in order to maintain order in the home?  What about my goals, my plans, my education, my career, my body?  What about ME?"  I really need to just sit and prioritize, remembering that when I have achieved all those goals it will have been for nothing.  My marriage will have completed deteriorated.  I will have a child who is a stranger to me because she was brought up in daycares and after school programs.  I will have a house, but no home...  Even though it seems insane, and even thought I have the answer, I still feel selfish so often and I want it all!  Why can't I do me...and then come home to a family that was sustained by my clone or something?

These days, I am forced to admit a sad truth:  As much as I feel called to social services, working where I do is really fucking hard!  I have bruises, fatigue, and I have trouble "calming down" when I get home so that I can rest.  It's gotten nearly out of control.  I feel like we are right there on the edge of reason + possibilities...and ultimate doom + disaster.  I don't want to walk that tight-rope anymore.  I have bad balance!

I also had to stop crocheting so much.  My wrist was (is) killing me.  I hate that, but I am right-handed, so if my wrist is useless, I will have bigger issues than my lack of yarn time... I won't be able to wipe my own ---- Well, you know!  I have a brace and that helps.  I also need to stay off the computer so much, which as you have noticed, means less posts.  Holding my wrist in this funky manner to edit pictures and whatnot just kills my wrist!

I also joined a Bible Study.  It's a BLESSING!!!!!  Can't say that enough :)  I needed empowering, supportive, REAL women in my life.  But it's also time consuming.  The study is all morning and then I ususally can't wait to go spend time with my friend for a few hours afterward.  It's an all day event.

So what have we here?  We have a damaged wrist.  Lack of projects to display.  Less time to get the same amount of things done in the day around the house.  Working DOUBLE the hours I was working.  An increasingly stressful and dangerous work environment.  A husband, who, out of nothing but love and innate obligation to protect me, who hates that I have invested so much time outside of the home.  And finally, my moment of clarity and connection with God, which is also time consuming.

THAT is what happened....... 

I do have some things to show, but I will start with that tomorrow.  I have been reading a lot about how people prepare their posts in advance when they have the time.  I am about to jump on that bandwagon!!!  I've got my photos done, and I will be back later tonight to edit them and start my chronicles.

Wish me luck! 

See you very very soon :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Inspiration: Little Girl's Rainbow Wonderland

GAH!  My internet just went out, right as I was editing photos to get this post going.... So, I decided- SCREW anymore editing!  Let's get this post rolling or I may not be able to!  You know how you take things for granted (like fully functional and dependable technology) and then when you have it snatched away from you, suddenly you realize what you had?  Well, I am experiencing that with my wonky internet service!  And the tecky helpers are either 1- Mean, as though the whole world should understand technology (but then they would be unemployed, right?) 2- From some foreign country.  And I seriously could care less about out-sourcing, but I just need someone who speaks good, clear English because I already am confused with the basics, when it comes to computers 3- My least favorite:  An automated menu!  "Please push #7 if this doesn't work, press #5 if that does work....."  With no option to speak to a human.

Anyway, enough ranting about that. The truth is my wrist was hurting too bad to spend much time on the computer anyway!  My laptop is the reason I couldn't crochet (bummer!)  I guess I hold my wrist at a weird angle.  But thanks to MereKnits, I had the Hubs buy me a brace to wear at night when I sleep.  Thank you so much for your wonderful advice, because it has me back with my hook in my hand, ready to put a hurt on some of these projects I've allowed to pile up!  Check out both of her blogs Mereknits and The Flower Bed!

Lately, I have been inspired by children's clothing.  I want to redecorate my daughter's room.......and I have wanted to decorate her room since we moved here THREE YEARS AGO!  Hahahaha :)  But I am actually finally making some progress towards creating a themed space.  My first project is this:


This is  but a quarter of the blanket. It's another giant granny, 40 rounds.  It will fit across her twin sized bed, but I will need to do another giant granny to fit the entire length of her bed.  Can I let you in on a secret?  It's already done *Smiles*.  But I didn't want to post too much about it because then the completed project won't be as interesting.  I really like dramatic reveals.  Like, you see a pile of squares or hexagons and then someone reveals this elaborate pattern of squares that's been put together perfectly with an edging that's to die for!  I am not saying that I am that fabulous, but I definitely strive to make it to that point.

Here's a close up of the rounds.  The second one actually doesn't match this one.  I was too lazy to go to the store to find more yarn.  I was determined to use up what I already had.  And it actually looks pretty righteous together!  Now, all I have left is 1/2 of the blanket.  It's going to be a super large, super warm project.  The first I've ever done!!!  I would give myself another week or so to finish it completely...*doing a happy dance now :)

In fact, I have been inspired by children's everything lately.  I love the freedom of imagination.  I love the playful spirit of the clothes, shoes, jewelry, accessories, etc.  I can't help but get this whimsical feeling that anything goes and everything will be Ok at the end of the day!  My Little Darling has recently had a growth spurt, so I have to buy her all new winter clothes.  I was excited about it until I realized that she is no longer completely in the "baby section".  She is in the "girls section" now.  If you have female kids, you know that the "girls section" spans from 5-14 years of age!  I keep finding things that mirror the terrible shows on the Disney Channel (not so much appropriate for my kiddie!) or worse, the clothes are mini versions of adult clothing.  I don't care what others dress their daughters in, but my Little Darling isn't going to be caught in a pair of skinny jeans.  She's a CHILD!  She doesn't need low rise panties, skinny jeans, mini skirts, or "baby high heels".  NO, NO, NO!!! 

Now, I am on a mission to either locate or create some looks for her that I feel comfortable with.  I am all about the preservation of innocence and imagination in our youth!  They don't need to feel pressured to grow up, because when they get to that point, the pressure turns on them to be "younger".  They don't need to be oversexed because they don't understand it, and these days, there is no money left in our social welfare account to help these babies having babies!  ****End.SoapBox!

But look at these precious finds from Gymboree

I could buy her some "normal" jeans and then embroider hearts on them or whatever design!
How precious are these buttons on the bottom of the corduroy???  I love them!  And it's easy to accomplish!


And you already know I am going to be making MANY crochet accessories for her now that the season has turned :)  I am really excited about the ideas to embellish a simple hat!














I think I have taken enough time today!  I'll be back tomorrow or the next day to show off some things that I have finished.... At least, that's the plan!  And we all know that I am soooooo not into "sticking to a plan"!  Hahaha :) 

I would love to know:  What inspires you, when you create?  Who is your audience?  Your muse?  What/Who are you creating for right now?


Monday, September 26, 2011

Still here....

Just a short note to say:  I AM STILL HERE!

I think we have all been there, where we know we should blog...but we just don't for many reasons.  Me, I have just not felt much like blogging--- uploading pictures, editing pictures, uploading them into blogger....blah, blah.  The weather here has also been hit or miss, so I haven't been able to take advantage of the great sunshine I had this summer.  I miss that!  If we get a day of sunshine, it's after monsoon rains, and the ground is too wet to take pictures (bummer!)  I have also bee super crazy busy with Life!  Man, don't you just hate it when you can't stay in the lovely world of creativity?  When you have to leave your special world that you worked so hard to create for the place that you just exist within?  Whew!  Now that I think about it, I better get back to blogging!  hahahaha!  I miss my little happy place :)

I've finished some nice new projects, and I can't wait to show them all!  But not today... Today, is just a hello and a prayer that everyone is having the time of their lives, making the most of what each day has to offer, whether that is kicking some serious butt on an exam...or whether you finished a huge afghan you have been putting off....or whether you finished the errands you had-- MAKE THE MOST OF IT!!!

Until tomorrow...... Take good care!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remember, Remember the 11th of September

I couldn't help but make a short post about 9-11.  It's been 10 years, and, as with every year, I feel as though time has turned back to the moment it happened.  I was a freshmen in college, leaving my remedial math class.  My friends and I were joking as usual.  On the walk home, we overheard people in panic on their phones.  My friend got a call from her cousin in New York.  I didn't have a cell phone at the time, so it wasn't until I got back to my dorm that I knew what was really happening.  My roommate and I didn't get along, but she took her TV out of her room into our common area so that we could watch the events unfold.  I had never been so afraid in my life.  My dad was nearing the end of his 20 year service with the army, and my heart was pounding out of my chest as President Bush declared it an act of war, worthy of retaliation. I was terrified so badly that I couldn't sleep that night.  I kept having nightmares that my dad would have to go to war (again).


Today, I pray that God continue to shelter and look over the souls who were lost in the crisis.  I ask that he comfort the wounded hearts of those who lost loved ones.  I pray that he continue to favor those who risked their lives to rescue victims, not thinking or caring that they would soon be denied health care for the injuries they sustained.  I pray that God continue to cast his infinite and unconditional love to all of those affected by the crisis and also to those who committed the crimes.  I pray for strength within our nation and the world, and that we will never forget these events that changed a generation, that changed our country, and that ultimately changed the world.  Amen.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Good, The Bad, The Unnecessary!

Well, I am going to have to take a break from crochet.  My wrist is killing me.  This happened before, and I stopped for about a week or two and then everything was fine.  I am not entirely sure what I did to myself, but it's pretty painful to continue right now.  No worries.  I have plenty of projects that need to be pieced together and I am also going to dip back into other venues of artistic expression.... I also love drawing, making collages, making jewelry and making things from paper.  Sadly, crochet is the funnest and easiest out of all of those, but the good news is that I won't be left without some way to be creative.

**Major sad face** I was literally smack in the middle of a project for my daughter's room too!

In other news, I have been really getting into the idea of granny squares in fashion.  I think that it's really hard to make a granny square look chic.  I mean, grannies are great for blankets, scarves, hats, cushions, purses and maybe even house shoes.  However, when you have made a dress out of grannies...it's usually scary!  Not chic.  Not sleek.  Just a clumpy, colorful, itchy-looking hot mess!

So check this out.  This is some recent research that I have done on how true-blue designers have tackled the question of how to translate a granny square into something anyone with even a modicum of fashion sense would bother wearing. 

I found this. It's from the 2002 Fall/Winter collection by D&G (Dolce & Gabbana)

This is the warmest, chunkiest, but also still very chic granny square shall ever!  I love the tennis shoes. I also love that this would look cute if I were wearing a dress and wanted to go on an early-autumn walk with my family.
















Then there are these sexy looks from Christopher Kane (F/W 2011 collection) I have absolutely no clue how he did some of these things, but I love them so much!  I am a huge fan of pencil skirts.  I have some hips, so it's a good look for me!  I don't know how he made the v-neck swearer, but I love the black pants and the trench. 

I do know that he used a granny square PRINT on leather!  Smart, sleek, sexy....expensive.  Both expensive looking and ...in cost! LOL.  If only I had an unlimited budget!  If only I were a more skilled crocheter!  I would super-LOVE to figure out how to make these some of these items.  I also really love the drape of it.  I hate the chunky-itchy look for crochet apparel.  I think you have to find the right (likely also expensive) yarn in order to get it to flow right.

Now, let's take a small look at the bad..........disclaimer:  Everyone has different ideas on style.  This is just my opinion and personal preference.  And I think these looks are a little questionable fashion-wise.....


These are from the Paul Smith F/W 2010 collection.  I don't know what to think of the .... granny square sash?  I just think the whole ensemble is terrible.  The weird colored skirt, the beige corset, the arm warmers, and then the chunky sash-thing just took it to a whole other level of "Oh No!"  I think the dress could be kind of cute.  I have seen some really cute knitted chunky dresses.  I just don't think that all the random colored grannies look all that great.  They look chunky and tacky to me.

And now....for the UNNECESSARY!  I have seen these pictures in sooooo many blogs and everyone is really excited about them.  Dude, I just don't know about this at all! 

House of Holland F/W 2011 collection was a super BUST in my eyes!  I am not excited about any of these uber-tacky looks, but I especially would ban the chunky hideous scarf thing from my wardrobe!  I am actually convinced that it's really a blanket that was rolled into a scarf and then secured by a belt.  NO NO NO NO NO!!!!  I am very curious, however, if these are all tiny crochet granny squares shaped into ensembles, or if this is a print onto some other fabric.  Either way- this is a scary attempt to bring back the gaudy retro hot mess ensembles made from crochet squares.  To me, if you can't update/upgrade a retro look and make it modern and sexy, just leave it in the past!

Yes, I do realize that I am a little blunt in delivery when it comes to my opinions, but I am not closed minded by any means.  If you read this post and disagree, TELL ME!!!  I so very much would love to hear what others like in regards to fashion.  Were you inspired by the tacky color option?  Do you like the "idea" of the House of Holland collection, but you want to challenge yourself to improve the looks?  Are you bored with the Christopher Kane collection?  Do you think he should have taken more risks with colors?

For me, I am inspired by D&G and by Christopher Kane.  I like very sleek and simple clothes.  I like interesting, but not over-the-top accessories.  I am very reserved with my colors when it comes to clothing and when it comes to most of my crochet projects. I am venturing out in the project world and trying to add more color to things, but you won't catch me rolling up a blanket and wearing it as a scarf any time soon!

All images are from www.style.com

Thursday, September 8, 2011

High Fashion...Right? -- Part Deux!

Sorry I have been missing!  I guess I don't even have to say anything about my terrible internet issues anymore.  At this point, I am guessing that it's assumed- if you don't hear from me for a while, it's because I had no way to make a post.

As far as "work" goes, I am still finishing about 3 projects.  Every time I get near the end, I start working on something completely new.  I started working on a give-away that I have been thinking about doing for at least 5 months.  Almost finished, hit a wall, and then started my autumn color's blanket.  Finished that, and then I needed to connect it, but got bored, and went on to something for my daughter.  My entire apartment is so blank, bland, plain, boring.  I want to make it more of a HOME.  I also want to start with my daughter's room :)  So I started a giant granny blanket for her bed.  I stopped working on it because my wrist was killing me (yikes!) and I started to decorate paper and work on jewelry!  Ha!  Sadly, that is how my crazy brain works.  I am only interested in projects for short spurts of time...and then ON TO THE NEXT ONE!

But this post is about something I found in Elle Magazine October 2011.


Yes, this is Gwyneth Paltrow.  You are probably thinking:  Doth my eyes deceive me?  NO!  NO, your eyes are perfectly fine.  She is so totally rockin' a Granny Square Sweater (for $1100, mind you)  I love it!!!  I know that grannies were in high fashion back in the 70s or something... but I have to be honest...al of those ensembles looks like a hot ass mess!  For serious, you couldn't pay me to purchase or wear any of those colorful and uncomfortable looking granny square crocheted items!  For me, the important thing is that it looks CHIC and elegant.  I don't want to see someone wearing a woolly, frumpy, hot mess of a granny square.  I love this sleek wool sweater.  Love-Love it, to be exact. 

Just more proof that hookers can really get somewhere.  I would never attempt to make a sweater, but if you think you might, or could, I would sure love to hear about it!!!

Too-da-loo!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Welcome Back, Autumn!

This morning, my daughter and I went on our daily stroll to the local bakery to satisfy my unhealthy sugar cookie habit.  I have to say that I am going to be ending that relationship with pastries today!  I'm getting out of hand, hahahaha :)
The thing is that when we stepped out to start walking, it was already chilly! Then it dawned on me that August (and summer) is nearly over!  I can't believe it happened so fast. Now, it's on to the next season already!
Fall Colors
When I moved to Kentucky, it was during a year of El Nino.  In February, we got 80 degree weather and my first summer here was well into the 100s Fahrenheit.  It was awesome!  Where I lived in Germany at the time never got that hot, and winter was winter only until about August.  And then it was all over by the end of September.  And for year and years, these super hot, humid summers would start around mid-April and last all the way until about November.  In October, it would get cold in the mornings, but by the afternoon it was back into the 70s/80s and sunny.  I remember sitting under a tree, studying with some friends outside on a blanket shortly before finals...in NOVEMBER!  It was a warm, sunny day.  Over the past few years, however, it's been really cold here.  This past winter was much harsher than before.  It started getting cold in September, and by October, there wasn't any sun the afternoon to warm things up.  So, for the first time in ages, since I have lived here, the winter went from roughly October until April :(  My birthday is the end of March.  It was 80 degrees at the beginning of that week, and literally snowing by the end of that week...

Autumn Tree Leaf
I love the Fall Season.  I am excited it's on the horizon and I hope this year, it sticks around a bit longer before Winter freezes everything over.  What is it about Autumn?  It's the smell of the leaves.  It's the changing of the leaves.  I love the browns, oranges, magentas, reds, yellows.  I love pumpkins!  I love when all the leaves fall to the ground.  I walk the streets, specifically to hear the crunch underneath my shoes.  I love the foods that come around in Fall.  Apples, Pumpkins, Squash...and, for some crazy reason, Pineapples are really fresh here in the Fall.  I love that everyone slows down as weather slowly gets colder and the days get shorter.  I love that the family meals increase and that everything that everyone is doing is in order to prepare for Christmas.  It's a wonderful time of year!

So I started this new project as an Ode to Fall :)   I love it!  I love fall colors :)  In fact, I love a warm color palette in general.


 
I have to confessions about this new project: (1)  I am doing this instead of the other blanket I was working on. 
BOO! HISS!!!!  Ugly Blanket Disaster!!!  LOL :)  I will rectify this mistake and redeem myself later!
I had a funky feeling about it, and I wasn't all that excited about it, while working on it.  I need to learn to trust my instincts because when I made a post about that blanket and the other one I am working on simultaneously, no one else liked the pink one either.  No one was mean (THANK GOD!) but everyone was very clear that they liked the "OTHER" one and the "DAISYS" was cute.. hahahaha!  I know what that really means, and it's all good because I feel the same way.  So this new blanket with Autumn colors is going to be the replacement for the hideous pink one.  And I will work on this blanket and the daisys blanket simultaneously.


(2)  This color scheme is totally inspired by the yarn that I used for my giveaway project.  *sigh.  It's 90% finished, but I have a problem with getting riiiiiiiight to the end of something and then becoming completely disinterested in it.  SO!!!  I just need to put the finishing touches on the giveaway project, take pictures and post it.  I am giving myself until Friday to buckle down and finish it!!!


The other thing this reminds me of is a beautiful sunset.  I am obsessed with nature and the sky... I used to spend hours taking pictures of trees and the sky during different times of day/night...  This isn't my photo, but it matches my colors, right?
Rhode Island Shore
Crimson sunset
I am so excited about this project that I made 36 squares in less than 24 hours!  (eep!)  I want to make this a little bigger than the other blankets I have finished, so I think I need....72 or 80 squares total. I also haven't made any serious decisions about the background or the color that will be connecting the squares.  All I know is... I love Fall.  I love the Summer Sunset.  And I love my new project!

 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thanks for the comments!

I apologize if I rarely respond to comments.  I still havent really figured this out just yet.  I wish it were like Facebook, where if you comment on someone's post, you get a little notification that they responded or something...  but I guess that would get way out of hand in the case of those bloggers who have like 4000 followers!  I can't even fathom what that would be like, coming on to check your comments and you had 5,000 notifications to go through and 100s of comments :/  CRAZY!

But I do appreciate everyone who stops by for a quick moment, whether intentionally or accidentally...

I just wanted to take some time today to answer/reply to posts this way, rather than all the clicking around I normally do:

MaryMargaret thanked me for my tutorial here. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I wondered if you finished the blanket in time. I can't wait to try it out!  You are very welcome!  I did finish everything, but I couldn't make it to the baby shower.  Now, my friend is on the verge of popping and she still doesn't have her gift.  I am determined to see her precious baby girl wrapped in the blanket I made for her, so I will make sure that she gets everything as soon as the dust settles.  Check out MaryMargaret's witty blog here.

Debbi Y. also thanked me for the same tutorial.  YOU ARE WELCOME :)  Check out her amazing charity project that she's committed herself to here and her other blog with an arsenal of ideas here.

Winkieflash wrote: I share your philosophy of sharing patterns for free! <3 People not sharing patterns is like painters afraid to tell you that you need paint and a brush to make a painting ;)  Love the blanket too! Those colors work so well together. Nice job.  Thanks a lot!  While I understand that some people are professional designers and such, I feel that the everyday cratfers should share!  I am a die-hard activist for free arts!  I think the more people engage in creativity and use it for its self-esteem enhancing and therapeutic qualities, the wold can truly become a better place!   Check out her webpage here.  She has the cutest little projects!

Leah wrote: Love your crochet daisys x.  Thanks a lot!  They are just African flowers made to look like daisys.  I am so boring!  hahaha :)  Check out her delightful blog here.

Marlene Rodrigues wrote: you are working in two crochet blanket at the same time ?! I like specialy the first one! Have a great time crocheting!  Thank you!  I liked the daisies better too, but now I am working on a similar, but totally different one.  I wanted to post the picture of where I got my inspiration from for the pink "romantic" blanket, but I couldn't remember the source and I didn't want to offend anyone.  I may have to give the "romantic" blanket another time in the future, when I can find the colors I really need.  Marlene's got some really unique and amazing projects on her blog!  She is also kind enough to make her blog bi-lingual so no need to use google translate :)  Check out Marlene's blog here.

And THANKS to my friends, two sisters, Anita and Branka for reading my blog.  Branka writes a cute blog here.  I think of it as more of a literary blog because she is a great writer.  Check her out if you have some time to sit and read.  Anita is new to the craft world, but she is totally taking it by storm.  With her permission I may do a blog post on her behalf, featuring some of her cute creations.

OK, this is getting to be a little long.  I will continue to either feature blogs of people who post comments or thanks them in mass in a future posts!  Either way, for anyone who dropped in for a peak of my world:

And NOOOOOOW!!!!  I have to get back to working on my first ever give away!  I am so excited, but I want to make sure it's something that someone would actually even want!  LOL. 


Again, Thanks :)


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tutorial: Puff Stitch Granny Square

Woooo-hoooo!!!  This is the week of BLOGGING!  After about 3 weeks of learning the hard way that I can't procrastinate when it comes to making a post because (a) I will never get around to it, and (b) my internet isn't exactly reliable these days, I have finally come to conclusion that I would be better off planning out my posts for the week and then executing them as soon as I have everything ready to do so!  I guess you can expect to be reading/browsing a LOT more of me :)

And I guess this post also functions as a semi- Oooh La La Ta-Dah! Hahaha :) I made this blanket as PART of a baby gift set for a friend. She hasn't made some time to meet up so I can give it to her, which is why I haven't made the post showing everything off. But I made a promise to someone who I think is following my blog to share this pattern, so here goes nothing!!!

OK, this is my very first attempt at a tutorial.  I am SO very NOT good at teaching people new things, so I leave you with this disclaimer:  this tutorial is for someone who is relatively well-versed in crochet pattern reading!  But if you do have questions, shoot me an email or leave a comment and I'll clear it up for you!

Puff Stitch Granny Square.


This pattern is for the squares worked in this project. 


puff stitch: yarn over, insert hook into ring/indicated space, draw up a loop at least about 1/2 an inch, yarn over, insert hook & draw up another loop, and do this again one more time. Yarn over, pull hook through all 7 loops on hook. slip stitch to close the puff stitch and then chain one to secure it.

The pattern:

Chain 4, slip stitch to form a ring

Round1: Work 6 puff stitches into the ring. slip stitch. (6 puff stitches)

Round 2: Work 2 puff stitches in between each of the 6 puff stitches. (12 puff stitches) -- just the same as if you were working rounds to make a circle larger, but using puff stitches instead of double crochet

Round 3: *Work 1 puff stitch into the same space, 1 puff stitch into the next space, 2 puff stitches into the next space*, rep from * 3 times.  slip stitch (16 puff stitches)

Round 4:  Chain 3, double crochet in same space, 2 dc in next space, 2 dc in next space, 3dc/ch 1/ 3dc in next space (corner) * 2dc in next space, 2 dc in next space, 2 dc in next space, 3dc/ch1/3dc in next space* rep from * twice.  slips stitch (32 dc)

Round 5: Chain 3, dc in same space, 2 dc in next space, 2 dc in next space, 2 dc in next space, 3dc/ ch1/ 3dc in next space *2 dc in next sp, 2 dc in next sp, 2 dc  in next sp, 2 dc in next sp, 3dc/ ch1/ 3dc in next sp*  Rep from * twice. slip stitch (44dc)

Round 6: chain 1, single crochet in each space, chain 1 on the corners, slip stitch.

Round 7: chain 2, Half double crochet all the way around, chain 1 on the corners.  slip stitch, fasten off
                                                               ************************

Ok, so here are some pictures!  Maybe this will help.  I struggled all day trying to draw out a diagram.  Clearly I failed at that. HA!  I also tried to take pictures of each step.  That didn't work out either.  Also, I will admit that I didn't try to follow my own instructions to make sure they work.  I did refer to a motif that was already completed, so I think everything should be all right.

Check out these pictures for reference.....






Of course, feel free to contact me if you need further instruction.  I am a firm believer in sharing information/patterns for free.  Creativity makes the world go round, and I think the world is a happier place with more people expressing themselves through artistic creativity!  And if you do attempt this pattern and have a great time with it, share the link so I can see what you made!

HAPPY HOOKING!!!!




Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sneak Peak of the Week

Well, as I mentioned yesterday, I have some serious posts to crank out before my internet decides to pack its bags and leave me for a week.  I have to admit that there have been several times here in the past week where I found myself asking and asking, "Why the hell did you go to school for art??"  I totally should have suffered through years of grueling classes and books with no pictures so that I could major in Information Systems Technology or whatever.  At least then, I could fix all my broken things around my apartment.  I also wish that I could go back in time and marry McGyver.  Do you remember that show?  He could find his way home from a stranded island that's being bombed by terrorists with nothing more than the wings of a dead locust, a paper clip, and the wrapper from chewing gum!  He was amazing!  I miss shows like that.

Once again, I have been feeling nostalgic...which leads me to my first sneak peak.  Yeap, you're getting TWO for the price of one today.  I was going to work on one, but I had this idea and I started to get the pieces out of the way on that... And then I remembered Sucrette's blog (which is great, so check it out!!!) and how she recently finished two projects at once that she worked on simultaneously.  I thought to myself-- "Uhm, Yea!  I can do that!!!"  I am always starting something and never finishing because I get distracted.  Well, what if I made the effort to work on two things at the same time? 

I went back to thinking of when I was a little girl in Berlin, Germany.  I used to always play behind the building we lived in.  There was a picnic table and it was surrounded by daisies and clovers.  I would spend forever searching for four leaf clovers.  I would play in the daisies every single day and never get bored with their ordinary beauty.  I think it was then, when I was just 5 years old, that I realized how much I appreciate the ordinary.  The simple things in life.  The natural, unenhanced beauty.  Daisies became not only my favorite flower, but a symbol of how I feel about the perception of "pretty" and the value I find in the "mundane".


I started these African flowers last winter.  I was going to make a scarf.  I realized, after making several of them in different patterns that I hated the way a scarf made of hexagons looked.  It seems funky to me somehow.  But, as usual, I kept the pieces I made...and I came back to them.  This time when I looked at the African flowers, I was brought back to a place of happiness and serenity in my childhood.  You know how you remember the crazy things that happened as a child?  Or your mind automatically drifts to your favorite vacation, first kiss or the first time you did something truly amazing all by yourself in your childhood?  My mind always goes back to a time of peace and quiet.  Happiness and Beauty...which is what i was surrounded by in my small patch of daisies around my picnic table.


This will be a rather large project.  Seven or Eight flowers across by nine flowers long.... Sounds like a lot.  I better think of something else before I scare myself away from this blanket!!  Ha ha! 

I am connecting them one row at a time as I finish them.  Nothing is more discouraging that sitting with more than 100 little motifs to connect.... hence, my heap of nearly finished projects!

The second project is inspired by some random thoughts back to romantic fashion ad campaigns.  I am thinking of almost a fairy tale...or maybe bohemian chic, but not the trashy one.  I am thinking of the beautiful florals and the long hair blowing in the wind, only retained by some whimsical, flimsy, flowery head dress.  That is what happened when I started to throw this together:

I like it and it looks much better in natural light...but I am not 100% sure about the colors... I think I mixed too many cools and warms together.  I think I should have picked one color palette and not gotten so crazy.  But on the other hand, there is something sweet and calming about it. 

For now, I am working two rows of each when I get the time.  I have no schedule.  I just work here and there and when I am done with two rows from one afghan, I switch and do two rows of the other.

Oh!  Goodness!!!  Iam falling assleep while typing andmaking some seriously HORRIBLE spelling mistakes.  That means it's time for me to hop in bed.  but not before editing this post!!!

^^
  I left that unedited as a testimony to my exhaustion!  Just these two lines are crazy.  Imagine how hilarious and grammatically insane my entire post would have been!
Good night!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

...Issues....

I keep intending to make posts....but my internet router has it out for me!  LOL!  I have so many posts to make that I will become annoying on the web!  I just got my internet back for the first time in about 5 days, and I think I have about 5 days to make as many posts before I lose connection again....

But, I am not exhausted from the toils of getting the internet sorts...and I am cooking dinner, so my first post will either be much later tonight (as is my usual time to make posts...between 11pm and 4am) or it will be tomorrow :)

But I am back and I have some great news to share/show and I have some first-time-evers that I will be trying out too!

Until then!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Shopping Spree

I am assuming that some of you thought that my shopping sprees were related to my random bouts of depression.  Not really.  I just have this thing about dreaming.  My dreams are always filled with beautiful things....usually of the high fashion sort!

Last night, I went "shopping" for some things in the 2011 Fall/Winter Ready to Wear Collections (F/W RTW).  I normally hate clothes for cold weather.  Back when I was so into fashion, it was all I ate, breathed, and dreamed, I was always sad about F/W wear.  I was also really skinny and looked better half naked, or so I thought. So I was obsessed with the hot pants, cocktail dresses, and beautiful flowy gowns of the spring/ summer. 
Needless to say, my life and body are quite different now.  I can't just shimmy into some belly shirt and skin tight mini skirt with some thigh high boots and a peacoat.  No way!  My mom boobs would come out the bottom of the belly shirt.  My gut would jiggle until I toppled over because it wouldn't be restrained behind two shirts.  My thighs would rub together and start a fire, but that would be only in the event that my daughter didn't run up under my skirt, causing a "Britney Spears moment" where everyone would see my "pushi-shminka".  And then I would fall on my face because the heels would be too high and my feet aren't used to walking in them anymore.

That is all a very serious and dramatic scenario.  The real point is that I have GROWN UP.  Real Women need to be, in my opinion only, sophisticated.  They need to be well-groomed.  They need to wear clothes that compliment their bodies and their skin tones.  They need to be fully-functional!  Why do I keep thinking of Michelle Obama????

Because she's gorgeous, style-wise!
Harper's Bazaar
Not flashy...and if she had one, she could pop them heels off and chase a little one right on the spot if need be.

Anyway, I am not The First Lady.  I am a little more "interesting" than that,.  And I can be, since no one will be photographing me.

My Faves of the season:

Alexander McQueen 2011 F/W RTW Collection
  I admit that some of these items may look a little uncomfortable, but think about it like this:  You wouldn't style it this way, right? But, I have a confession.... The coat on the top right corner... I would wear that sucker to bed every night!  I love it!

Burberry Prorsum.  Top 2: Pre-Fall Ad campaign.  Bottom 2: 2011 F/W RTW runway
I have completely fallen in love with Burberry Prorsum. Growing up, I was always bored with Burberry ads.  They were always in black and white.  All the clothes had some form of plaid.  Unless I was invited to a naughty school girl party, I didn't have much of a need to be decked out in that many squares!  But now, look!  I love how sleek everything it!  I love a slim paint.  I am not one for fur, but there's something interesting about the fur sleeves on these shirts that can either be dressed up for the evening or worn like it's nothing on top of a pair of jeans.  And the gold bag?  Yeap.  I'm a bag lady!  I could fit my four year old in that one, so, for me, it's perrrrrfect!

Top Left:  Fendi. Top Right & Bottom two:  Gucci.   Both 2011 F/W RTW
I love how "grown up" these clothes look from Fendi & Gucci.  Again, I am not a fur person, but there is something so elegant, yet playful about the colorful fur accents in the Gucci collection.  And, I am reminded of how women in the past always wore hats and gloves when they were out.  I would rock these outfits on the days I am expected to wear my big girl panties :)

Valentino 2011 F/W RTW
I have always been a fan of Valentino.  I love how feminine everything is.  Talk about a Man who really gets Women.  He could make the hardest-bodied, tomboyish, dyke man-lady look gorgeous, soft and lovely.

Top Left: Ann Demeulemeester Top Right & Bottom Two: Louis Vuitton. Both 2011 F/W RTW
Call me crazy.... But I really want a coat this winter that makes heads turn.  I know these look a little..... Intense... but, again, I think it's all about the styling.  Don't think it's about the ensemble as it's presented.  That's just for show. 

Louis Vuitton 2011 F/W RTW
Keep that same concept in mind when you look at these favorites of mine.  The jacket on the bottom left would be hot on top of some skinny jeans on a night out....or on top of a pencil skirt if I were heading into an important meeting.  I am also excited to see pantyhose!  I rarely wear them because they itch, but they are so sexy...so lady like.  I feel like a woman in a sleek, sophisticated ensemble with some hose underneath has some sort of a naughty secret...

Anyway, just dreaming again....  This whole fashion craze was set off by this picture of Sarah Jessica Parker in the September 2011 issue of Marie Claire. 


 I love SJP and I'll at least read any article with her in it, but I bought this because it had so many cute coats!  Isn't this skirt wonderful?!  I like it better on her, while she is sitting down.  When I saw it in Christian Sariano's 2011 F/W RTW collection, I didn't like it as much.  But it made me want to look up more collections and styles and see what's happening in the fashion world.



What do you think about high fashion?  Do you have favorite designers?  Are there certain things that you would just DIE to have?  Are you daring enough to wear something that seems off the wall?

If I had a limitless budget for shopping, I would need less than half an hour to rack up every item out there that sparks my interest...every item from today aaaaalll the way back to 1997, when I was 100% sure that the fashion industry would be a part of my life forever, whether I was a model, designer, or an envious on-looker....  Just Thirty Minutes!