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!


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


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!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Remember Me?

Woke up late this morning, slightly dreading work.  We had this crazy storm that came from nowhere around 8am or something this morning.  Storms typically give me migraines, so my Little Darling and I hopped back in bed and slept until 11:45 this afternoon.  NICE!  Those moments are quite rare, as I am sure most can imagine, especially if they have children.
So I started my late day off the right way.... With some sugar cookies and milk!

My local bakery is Off.the.Chain!  It is soooooo good.  These soft, frosted, fresh-baked yummies are a great start to any day..... and unfortunately for me, they just so happen to be a great start to most of my days.  I am a true, bonafied COOKIE MONSTER!  I was a recovering cookie addict, but I have relapsed full throttle here lately.

As I have hinted about in previous posts, I have been preparing to homeschool my Little Darling.  She's 4, too young and too small to start kindergarten this year.  We wanted to do private or homeschooling with her anyway, when she was eligible for school.  I just figured, since she is totally ready and prepared mentally/cognitively for kindergarten that I would just do a year of homeschooling for her and see where she ends up around this time next year.  If she is ready, maybe she could skip into first grade, or if it goes well, I may continue to homeschool her for a couple of years longer.

This little morning board was sooooooooo much work!  I got a lot of print outs from different home school blogs, but then there was the cutting, the mounting, the laminating, re-cutting, etc.  And everything that wasn't pre-made, I had to make on my own.  I am so tech-retarded it's not even funny!  So I am sure some of you are shaking your head thinking, "This is what took you five days?"  It also took more time because it's a bilingual board, with the exception of the Bible verse.  I am teaching my daughter Spanish, or doing what I can at least. I am pretty proud of myself, and I am hoping to get some great use out of this as we go on our homeschool journey.  No worries!  I am not a Homeschool Blogger.  That would be terrible because 1- I'd be bored with the topic and 2- After blogging about schoolwork, I wouldn't have the energy or attention span to blog about arts/crafts, which is more recreational, as is this blog.

Speaking of which! REMEMBER THIS?

I can't even remember when I started it.  I just know that, at some point, I stopped working on it.  I think I got into some project as a gift or something.... Who knows!  Anyway, I had this little basket of hexies that I was supposed to make more of.  In fact, I think I needed about 80 more or something.  Just knowing I wasn't near the end was enough to drive me crazy.  So i just dropped it off into my dark abyss of a craft room.

Then, the magic happened.  Whenever I finish something that I have been working terribly hard on (homeschool planning and morning board) I kind of come off that high and get restless.  You know, after a really long run, your muscles are achey and you are tired and mentally frazzled.... but the adrenaline from the run and the excitement over your accomplishment keeps you from being able to just crash on the couch in bliss.  That was me last night.  After finishing my planning and the damn board, I was like "Now what?  What can I do?  Gotta decompress.  Gotta get my crochet on.  Something. ANYTHING?!!"  I know, I am a little crazy, but I can't stand to not be busy.

So, I picked up some things that I had been working on.  I finished a hat and a cardigan and I thought about working on some baby booties.  I changed my mind because I was in the mood to finish things.  So I walked around my arsenal of craft leftovers...and I picked up this guy again!

I laid all the hexies on my floor, and it was so perfect!  It was symmetrical.  It was just the right size for a baby boy.  And I had exactly the right amount of hexagons!  Not one too many and not one less.  If that's not a calling I don't know what is!

So.... what happened?  Nothing!  LOL. I fastened them all off, put them in the pattern I wanted to attach them in...and then I hit a wall.  I have no idea how to attach them!!!!  I actually only know ONE way to attach motifs.  I know a whip stitch.  So I tried that without a border, but it looked pretty terrible to say the least.

Remember what they looked like with the border versus without?  I most definitely don't want to go back and add the navy border to all those hexies! Not a chance in hell that will happen (angry voice).  But, I think I will attempt to crochet them together or do some research on other ways to connect motifs.  If you know anything-- hook a girl up!
Until then.... the mystery of how to get connected will remain unresolved....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sneak Peak of the Week

I think I am on a roll today!  Actually, I am not.  I just learned the hard way this week that I shouldn't procrastinate the way I do.  When I was in college and growing up in general, I would always put things off and wait until the last minute.  It didn't matter much then.  Now I am fully grown with a family, living in the Real World.  All that time that I used to have to spend up all night trying to sort things out that I should have done earlier just doesn't exist.  These days, it's Now or Never.  And unfortunately for me, it's usually Never.

I have been screwing around with all these Ta-dahs that were supposed to be posted in some sort of a timely fashion...and my idea of giving a sneak peak of the week has been thwarted by faulty internet connections and pure laziness on my part.  I should call it "Random Sneak Peak", so that no one gets the false impression that I am on top of things and remotely capable of keeping with some sort of schedule.  I am not.  I have never really been much of a "scheduled" kinda gal.

All of that changes in about 36 hours.  I am starting to unofficially homeschool my Little Darling.  She is too young and small for Kindergarten this year, despite the fact that she is so very ready for school.  So I figured I should homeschool her.

Perks: I can go at her accelerated learning pace.  I can control what she is learning and how.  I can see how this goes and decide better if she should attend "regular" school next year.

Downfalls:  I have to be consistent, stick to a schedule, and be unwaveringly dedicated to her education on my own.  Sounds better than it is.  It really goes against my natural state of being.

With all of that said, I figured I should start making my posts a part of my regular weekly routine.  I am going to get better at this blogging thing if it kills me!  Hahahaha!

This week.........  I just have one question for you:

What do all three of these balls of yarn have in common.  Clue:  No, they are not going to be used on the same project, or any project at all......  Stay tuned to see what the answer is, and leave a comment if you have a guess.  It may be worth your while :)

Oooh La La -- TA DAH!

I am not sure if I have been naming my Oooooh La Las or not.  I'm assuming not, since I am not all that great with coming up with names for my projects.  I'll change that soon though.  You just watch!

Anyway, I planned on  making this post uhm.... what?  Like, 3 days ago or something?  I totally can't remember.  Everything has been such a whirlwind!  I meant to take pictures of this blanket Thursday, but my husband surprised me with another day off from work.  You don't even know what that means.  He works so much, we never get time together as a whole family, so I was like "Yeeeeaaauuuh!  HOLLA!!!"  We all went swimming all day on Thursday and then I went to hell.... I mean work.

Work has been off.the.chain.  I have this special routine that I do when I am going to work:
Shower.  If my hair is braided, then I make sure the stray hairs aren't too wild.  If my hair is in an afro puff, then I wet it a little, product-it a little, and then pull it back.  If my hair is flat ironed, I brush it out and then pull it into a pony tail.  Hair routine for crazy day: finger-comb hair into tight bun so it doesn't get pulled out of my head by angry children.

Then I get dressed in something nice, yet comfortable.  I like dresses in the summer with leggings underneath.  It's easy and cute.  Since it's hot, I like sandals.  Attire for crazy day: 1 of the 3 pairs of jeans that are baggy enough for me wrestle in without making me look like a box-shaped lezbo.  A shirt that I am not particularly attached to emotionally that doesn't show ANY skin, plus another super long tank top underneath that I tuck waaaaay down into my jeans (you never know how your clothes may shift or get pulled when in a "situation" at work) a belt, and some closed-toe shoes so I don't break a toe.

Then I like make-up.  I have crazy acne, sensitive skin and I scar easily.  That means, on any given day, I am either broken out from some hormonal rampage that has chosen to seize my face rather than impair my ability to function as an emotionally stable person.  Or, I am broken out because someone touched me too much and my skin rejects oils of any sort, including my own personal home-grown right from my own flesh natural body oils.  If I touch my face throughout the day, I will go to bed fully broken out.  Or, when the coast is clear, you see the aftermath of whatever insane breakout has left on my poor, little face.  In short.  Make up is essential.  Nothing touches my actual skin that I can't wash off, and I don't touch my face because I don't want to smear anything.  I like eye make up.  It's fun to play around with.  Make for crazy day:  foundation, mascara, chapstick, MAYBE blush.  I stick with the basics so that if someone does touch my face, I can easily wash it off without experiencing the damage.

Anyway, that's been my week.  I have fantastic family time, and then I shower and rush into work, where I chase and manage children who could otherwise choose to behave so that I don't have to dress like a boy and they don't have to be bored with restrictions.  I love what I do-- NEVER MISTAKE THAT!
So...  Here we are on Saturday, my day off.  I wanted to get out and take some pictures of my blanket, but then all hell broke loose!  The sky went black and there was rain, winds, thunder, lightening. It was straight up Wildness.com outside my window!

This is some of the aftermath.  My sister was out driving around and she came to have me walk the streets, looking at the damage.  There was more as we continued walking through neighborhoods.  A friend was unfortunate enough to be caught driving in it as trees were literally being uprooted and falling across the street!

So I had to, despite the terrible lighting, take these photos indoors.  I am pretty gutsy, but I never fuck with Mother Nature.  N.E.V.E.R.  But, I have been thinking about things, and I have got to set up some sort of a lighting system for photos.

43 rounds total, with 6 rounds for the border

I am really pumped about the spike stitch border.  I have experimented a little with the spike stitch before, but I have never made it a part of a finished project.  I will most definitely be using this interesting and fun stitch more often....and, by "more often", I mean within the next week for some new projects I have planned!

The only thing I am not super excited about is how the edges curl a little.  I have to sort out how to get that under control LOL.  I plan to make 2 more giant grannies. One with the pinks, that I showed you a while ago, and then another one with browns, off-white, and maybe a light orangey sherbet looking color...  I haven't worked out the kinks on the last one of the trio.  I will have different borders on all of them, and I am hoping that I can get it right so the corners don't curl.

After some thought, I think I have have answer to the curled edges problem, but I am not even going to attempt to work out this issue until I get over my blanket blues!  I need to work on something other than blankets, and after rounds and rounds and rounds of blue hues, I need to get away from that color too!!! 

Sucrette.  If you are just blog hopping and have some spare time after my long rambling, you should definitely check out her blog!!!  She has all these free patterns on there and tutorials.  Nothing makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside as when a person offers something to the craft community for free!  So THANK YOU, THANK YOU to Sucrette for coming up with the idea and giving me the opportunity to come out of my shell and try something new!

Happy Hooking!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sneak Peak of the Week

Hey Hey!  I am sorry about being MIA for a while.  I guess it hasn't been that long, but my absence was longer than planned. 

I just haven't been motivated.  I have been groggy, bored, uninspired.  I have been depressed about not knowing how to sew.  I have been longing for things that I know I just can't have right now.  I basically sort of chose to start dreaming and then get mad at myself for not being able to make each little dream come true.  Let me tell you, I am one Crazy Dreamer! 

In one dream, I imagined that I went to NYC back when I was 18 after being offered a modelling career.  I left the modelling gig to start my own fashion line and lived the life the fast, rich, and well-dressed.  I was actually offered a career, but when they asked me to lose 20 pounds even though I'd only gained about 7, I knew I couldn't spend my life being poked and prodded and having my self worth summed up by some fat meanie whose career description is: Make skinny, young women feel terrible about themselves in the name of fashion.

My real obsession lies in fashion photography!  I love-love all the photos...and hey, the clothes aren't too bad either!!!
Like this ad from Jean Paul Gaultier
All of that would be awesome, but I wouldn't have The Hubs or my Little Darling.  And I think it goes without saying that a life without my family isn't worth living!

The other dream that I keep dreaming has to do with sewing. I keep dreaming that I make  myself these wonderful clothes inspired by Alexander McQueen and Burberry Prorsum and by artists like Lady Gaga, Boy George, and B.E.P.  Only something more "wearable" than their stage get-ups!

Alexander McQueen Spring 2011
You can't tell me that if someone gave you a pair of these for your birthday that you wouldn't just DIE!  I know I would!!!

Burberry Prorsum Resort 2011
The other dream that I keep dreaming is that I become a well-known published author and I get offers to turn my books into films.  But I am a demanding and stingy woman, so I demand to be on-set for all productions, as I refuse to have my books distorted into ridiculous Hollywood hubbalub full of great-looking actors who are a) quite obviously starving and b) have no real talent!

Anyway, being stuck in my dream world has had me forgetting about the Real World.  My World consists of planning a home school fall semester for my four year old.  My World consists of planning healthy, predominantly vegetarian menus for my family.  My World consists of more cleaning and tossing on some yoga pants and flip flops for play time than actually getting dressed and "going out".  My World consists of working with youth that, if they had it their way on most days, would skin me alive and stuff me with an apple before roasting me on an open fire.  My World consists of working on crochet projects using familiar stitches and familiar patterns because I haven't grown the balls or patience to try something out of the box.  My World is really, really small.

But then, yesterday, something awesome happened.  I was reminded of something important:

The Hubs and our Little Darling in a creek looking for frogs and crawdads at Bernheim forest
My World is actually pretty awesome and full of meaning.  I just needed that special family time out hiking at a local forest to remember it.  It's the small things that really matter to me.  And the dreams of living it big and rich and famous...well, I think I enjoy them so much because they are just dreams.  I am happy to wake up to My World every day, with The Hubs wrapped around me and my Little Darling jumping in the bed to say, "Good Morning, Mommy and Daddy.  I wub you boff".

And with that said/realized, I made an effort last night to put 3 of the last 5 rows on my Mega Granny Blanket -- you just have to see it!!!!  .... Tomorrow!  Hahahahaha!  I'm mean, I know.  And I was also motivated to post this sneak peak that I planned to post about 6 days ago:

I usually don't bother with doing anything that has rows because I get discouraged and bored.  Something tells me I need to grow the hell up!  Afterall, I finished a MEGA GRANNY SQUARE, didn't I?  So I am putting my Big Girl Panties on and I am going to work out this baby blanket.  I am sooooooo far from being done, but I rather enjoy the process.  I am using 100% cotton yarn that I have LOADS of, but never use.  I am also using 3 different stitches-- single, half-double, double and popcorn stitches. 

**As for the designing... I am just going to go back to my high school ways:  sketching out my personal ideas and making mood boards.  Get ready for some posts from my fashion sketch book!
**As for modelling... I am still almost 6 feet tall, but I am also now 28 and I weigh 184 pounds, and unless I can lose 8 years and 70 pounds by tomorrow morning, I think I will have to let that one go!  **As for my sewing... I am taking classes starting the end of this month (WOO-HOO!  No more fear and no more excuses!) 
**As for writing.... I hate to write.  I'll be honest.  But I have plans for a graphic novel, so stay tuned for sketches of my character line-up, since I am going back to my fine arts roots these days.  Did you know that about me?  I am actually more of a studio artist, rather than a crafter?  I paint and draw...which explains my frustrations with crafty things such as sewing and crochet.
**And finally... As for Crochet... I have a shit-wad of patterns and ideas and sketches and you-name-its that I am about to embark upon.  I am so tired of being unmotivated because I am too afraid to Get Motivated.  I'll never truly know what I am capable of if I keep making excuses and keep letting my fear of failure rule my decisions.

Life in Fear is No Life at All.