Monday, February 23, 2015

A Valentine For You ♥

As February is drawing to an end I just wanted to let my faithful followers and friends know how much I love and appreciate all of you. I don't get tons of comments on my blog but that is okay because I know there are those of you who are faithful to leave a few words no matter what the situation I write about. I do not profess to be the most interesting blog on the block. I know some bloggers can post a photo of a flower in an old cracked vase and get dozens of comments. I am one of those people who read your blog. If you follow me I try my darnest to follow you back. I'm just like that. In the start I did not think anyone would find me interesting at all. I was wrong, there are those who seemed to like what I wrote and came back for more.  Today, this month that is known for valentines and love comes close to an end, I post this heart and share with you one of the last valentines my husband gave to me.

I normally don't share things of a very personal nature with all of you, and if I do it is usually in an email, but if nothing else I wanted to give all of you a good laugh or smile sharing with you how sweet and silly my guy could be when he wanted to show his more goofy side. It is amazing, isn't it the things we love about the people we commit ourselves to in marriage. There are both good and bad situations that test the strength of that bond. We either get through it or the marriage crumbles. For us marriage was for the long haul. Our promise to each other was in front of God and a Justice of the Peace with 2 people who worked in his office as our witnesses. These people were all strangers to us and we never saw them again. There had to be 50 other couples that day, lined up also waiting for the same judge to marry them. We often wondered how many of those couples were still married after all these 40 some years. For us there was no big wedding with all the frills, no wedding dress, no reception, no cake or gifts. We eloped although it was never a big secret. Everyone that knew us knew we went to Monroe Michigan to get married. I was too young to marry in Ohio. You had to be 21 years old. I was just 19. My guy was 24.

I ran across this the other day while looking for the paid real estate receipt from 2014 for my tax accountant. The card was tucked away in a tote with a stack of papers needing sorted and filed away. Needless to say I was also in the doldrums of feeling sorry for myself because all around me, no matter where I turned, it was Valentine's Day and personally it was wearing me thin and on my last nerve. I do not like feeling sorry for myself, woe is me, no one loves me. Then of course you have to give yourself a good talking to and remind youself that you are NOT THE ONLY ONE on this earth who feels this way, and knock it off.
It looks just about like any other valentine card doesn't it, well it does folks, until I opened it and these are what fell out..........then I remembered receiving this card from my man a few years back......

Okay!!!!! I also remembered my reaction WHERE ON EARTH DID HE GET THESE and why had I never seen them before????? Yeah, they were my legs. I knew when they were taken, way back in 1983 at the New Years party we had at our house in the basement. We had about 5 couples come. My mother-in-law had taken our girls for the weekend. We didn't have any noise makers when the clock struck midnight, but my husband had a small chain saw that he revved up outside the door and of course what a laugh that was. My 18 year old nephew showed up at the door. He came to our party cause he said the one he went to with his friends was boring and our party was much livelier. One of the guys had even taken black soot from the wood burner and smeared it on his face to do the Gene Gene the Dancing Machine from Chuck Berry's The Gong Show. We had a Mr. Microphone and if that wasn't the funniest evening. I weighed about 127 pounds and that dress was a slinky number with gathered sleeve that I later thought resembled something an undertaker would hang from the funeral home windows. But I looked pretty good in that dress (yes, I still have it in the closet), and evidently my husband thought my legs looked good too. Who snapped that picture? and evidently my husband picked the pics up when they were developed and went through them before I saw the bunch. As I remember my first question was where did these come from and what else have you taken pictures of that I don't know about? It really didn't matter, we got a good laugh out of this. I did some head shaking and eye rolling and of course wondering if he was trying to tell me I was a lot heftier now. 

There were a lot of laughs over the years. I miss that. I guess what I am trying to get at here is that when I was feeling blue a good and funny memory came back to me to make me smile and remember that life does not always have to be serious. I don't think I ran across that card by accident. I think it was meant for me to find it the other day and to cheer me up. Like so many things that make our days brighter I have to think of all of you. When you landed in my blog I think it was meant to be that we found each other and that is why I count all of you a blessing. Thank you for being there for me.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Not So New Projects, Just Repetition

 "He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes."
Psalm 147:16

One thing about quoting the Bible is that no one is going to sue you for it. There is no copyright.

Hello my followers and my friends. It is another cold day here in NW Ohio. Gee, I sound like a broken record, don't I? I'm trying my darnedest to "Keep on The Sunny Side of Life" and so I will share with you how beautiful my Christmas cactus is on this frigid February morning. I kinda found it odd that there would be blooms long after November and December, but it actually started setting buds some time before Valentine's Day and while some of you were enjoying flowers from your loved one, I was admiring something totally unexpected. I like to think of this as a way for God to tell me that my sweetheart in heaven did not want me to feel left out. Oh, and by the way, that mosaic pot was decorated by my youngest daughter Meghan back in her Renaissance days at college during art classes.

I don't have a whole lot to share with you from this week. It did snow yesterday and the weatherman said it would stop around dinner time. While waiting to go out and do some snow removal I busied myself with working on my 2 current projects. Believe me I do not mean to bore you with mundane things that comprise my life at the moment. So many of you are doing some exciting stuff and far be it of me to be envious. I just know that God has plans for us all and we can entertain ourselves and each other in our own ways.

I just can't seem to stop doing this wide brim skullcap pattern found here. This might be the 5th one I have made, I'm starting to lose count. Don't ask me why I'm making it in a purple, I just randomly grabbed a partial skein of yarn that looked like enough to make one. I like it cause I can mindlessly knit for awhile and not have to concentrate on counting until I get to the decrease rows. 

I am also making another scrap afghan/blanket. Yes, you have seen this one before too, actually 2 times before. This one will be the one I donated to F.A.C.T. for this new year of 2015. All proceeds will go to this worthy charitable cause that helps people fighting the battle of cancer. I will not go into any big detail but if you are interested you can read more about it here. There are still raffle tickets available for the 2014 afghan/blanket. The winning ticket will be drawn on May 1st. I will not put a value on the first afghan/blanket I made because there is no possible way to do that. Just consider all the colors that I used for that hex afghan/blanket and tally up what it would cost to purchase enough yarn to make so many combinations of color. Then tack on the hours of work and don't even get me started on how many yarn tails had to be woven for each hexagon, let me see, there are 5 color changes to each one, so that would be 10 tails each how many hexes, okay, there are 163, and so if I have calculated right, there were 1,630 yarn tails to weave. Only those of us who actually do this kind of work know how tedious it can be. That is why I believe we always love to see our work appreciated and lovingly taken care of by the person who is on the receiving end. 

Here is the 4 rows I have completed. I am presently working on the 5th row with 2 more to go. I think after I complete this pattern that I will give it a rest and do something different. I have learned that some times too much of a good thing often leads to burnout. For now I just need to get this one out of my system and move on. Besides, I am running low on color choices and not often happy about what color I put next to the other. I have frogged rows just because I was not happy with what I saw, and there were a few iffy color pattern choices that I'm still not too crazy about......well, maybe that is just it, I'm just not too crazy yet, but teetering on the edge, hanging on by a thread of yarn....sanity at the moment.
Love you all, and for those of you still dealing with snow, keep warm ♥♥♥

Monday, February 16, 2015

My Little Valentine

Today, the 16th of February is another cold day. It is 0 degrees here in NW Ohio, minus 1 degree in Toledo. The furnace has been running pretty much non-stop, about every 3 minutes. Yes, it is cold, yes, I am sick of winter, yes I am grateful not to be living in Boston or any of the other surrounding states close to there. Last year we had our own Boston right here where I live. We had well over 50 inches of snow ourselves. There was so much snow folks that I no longer knew where to put it. Yeah, I was shoveling it all by hand because the snow blower was out of gas and it had been 2 years before that when my husband had showed me how to operate it. I found it intimidating to say the least. I was too stubborn to ask for help and so I paid dearly for it by killing my poor back. My own fault really. For every action there is a reaction, and vice versa.
I hope all of you had a wonderful Valentine's Day weekend. No I don't, I hope that box of chocolates your sweetheart gave you adds about 5 pounds to your butt, lol, but seriously, I hope you all know I am joking, lol. What does one do when they no longer have a man in their life to shower them with lots of love and attention, why you go find yourself another darling to pour all your love on and so here he is, my little guy...

He gave me a chocolate peanut butter candy, not really, his mom did. It was suppose to be from him but I have a sneaking suspicion that had he gotten hold of it that he would have eaten it and I'd have never seen it. But I bought him a Sponge Bob heart that claims to have gummy crabby patties in it. We will find out tomorrow when I go to babysit him. I also found these cute little items for his "ish" (how he pronounces the word fish). I'm not so sure they will fit in the little tank with his Betta Fish, but they will look good in the tank he bugs his parents to buy when he gets older. I know that because most of us have had an aquarium some time in our life, you know, the one that ended up out in the garage when we discovered you had to take care of it just like the dog and cat you begged for.

I also want to show you the most terrific, tasty, deliciously crunchy, healthy snacks I have run across at Kroger and Meijer stores. 

Believe me, I bought the first bag on a whim, something new to try, one bag, no big deal. Next thing I am buying some for my oldest daughter and she is liking them. She ends up with people at work showing some to her and she lets them know that she has been snacking on them for a few weeks. According to her they were acting so crazy about them, like they were the best thing to be invented since bread, lol.

I loved the Wasabi Ranch and then discovered the Black Pepper ones. Now they are my favorite. Then tried the Lentil Snaps Tomato Basil and now another favorite. Honestly, I could eat the whole contents of the bag. There are about 3.5 servings to a bag and 120 calories per serving. Price around here ranges around $1.50 a bag. If you can find them at your grocery store try them. I know you will not be disappointed. They are manufactured in California and there is a website HARVESTSNAPS.COM.......

I have not done much of anything these past 3 days. No knitting, no hooking, no sewing to speak of. I have felt guilty every evening when I sit down to watch tv. I got caught up in the Breaking Bad series quite by accident one night a couple weeks ago. As usual there are 500 channels on DISH, but nothing worth watching. While surfing through the channels I ran across the program and next thing I knew I was setting the DVR to record any new episodes. Unfortunately I started in about the last 10 or so episodes so I have to now go back (Netflix) and start at the beginning. It is a edge of your seat show, but definitely not a program you would want your younger children to watch. There is a lot of violence. I'm not prone to shows of that nature but when you flip through the channels and most are infomercials and shows you have already seen several times you are only left with 2 options, watch it or turn off the television. Sadly the main reason I have the tv on is so the house does not seem so empty. I even surprised myself with not having any project to work on because I honestly consider watching tv as a waste of precious time unless you can accomplish something as well.
Hope you all have a great week.Thank you for coming to visit me.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Wide Brim Scull Cap

Hello friends. Thank you for coming to visit me. You are finding me on Friday the 13th of February with thoughts of keeping warm on this cold, cold day. I made a 4th knitted scull cap from the pattern found here.
I have posted about this before.

It is the cap pattern I made for my grandson and his daddy. Amazingly the pattern did not need to be altered to accommodate the smaller toddler head. The 33 rows of purl 5, knit 4 make it snug enough and what I really like is that when you fold up that ribbing it makes a double layer of warmth for the person's ears.

I made this last one out of the Hobby Lobby "I love This Yarn" in the same color that I made Holden's cap. The number is 414 color Moss Creek. This is a soft yarn and works up nice. I use the size 6 circular needle stated in the pattern but on the decrease rows I knit onto double point needles because it becomes clearly  impossible to manage so few stitches on the circular one. 

The above pic shows the cap with the cuff turned up. Like I said, it is nice and warm because that part of the cap is now a double layer of warmth covering the ears. Using this variegated yarn also produced an interesting color pattern as well.

The crown turned out pretty too. If you are looking for a good pattern to make for a cap I suggest this one. So far it is my favorite. Rebecca has a lot of other free patterns on her site. I'm sure she would like you to visit her. Have a great weekend.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

My Tissue Box Cover Pattern

US size F crochet hook
1/2 to 1 skein knitted worsted weight yarn, smaller amounts for flowers and leaves
Tapestry needle for sewing seams and flowers/leaves/buttons on
Buttons or embellishments of choice

Long Sides and Top (for one cover make 2 of these).
Chain 41.
Row 1:: Single crochet in 2nd chain from hook and in each chain across row to end (39 stitches). Chain 1, turn.
Row 2 to 17 :: Repeat row 1.
Row 18 :: Single crochet in BACK LOOP ONLY across row. Chain 1 turn.
Row 19 to 27 :: Single crochet across row and chain 1 at end of row, turn. 
Row 28-33 :: These next 6 rows are the short rows, you single crochet in top of next 7 stitches, chain 1, turn, and repeat this for the next 5 rows. Leave about 5-6 inch tail of yarn for sewing seam.

Short Sides (for one cover make 2 of these)
Chain 23.
Row 1 :: Single crochet in 2nd chain from hook and each chain across row to end (21 stitches). Chain 1, turn.
Row 2-17 :: Repeat row 1. Leave length of yarn for sewing this piece to larger top sections.

When sewing the 4 pieces together you start with the 2 larger pieces. Below I have drawn a sad diagram but it should give you the main idea of what I am talking about.

The short tails of yarn are used to sew up the short seams on the top of the cover. If your sewing is not perfect don't worry, you can always hide those seams when attaching some crocheted flowers. I usually sew the side panels on next starting with seaming at the top and then sew down the sides. You can make any kind of flowers you want. I made the first cover before Christmas for my mom with crocheted flowers and used small fabric yo-yos for the centers held down with French knots made of yarn. I have made 4 more including the 2 shown in this post, but used yellow or orange buttons for the centers of the crocheted flowers. Mom's had a few different flowers from the book "200 Crocheted Flowers, Embellishments & Trims" by Claire Crompton. The flowers I made for the rest was a simple chain 4, join to form ring, single crochet in ring, *chain 2, double crochet in ring twice, chain 2, single crochet in ring*, repeat from * to * until there are 5 petals. Leave tail to sew button and flower to top. Make sure the needle you use will fit through button holes. Secure to top and place as many flowers as you want on the top. Leaves are just random patterns from books on hand. It is wise to have a tissue box handy to help ensure the cover will fit properly. I am a tight crocheter, this worsted weight yarn was rather skimpy and just a glorified heavier sport weight if you ask me. You may have to adjust yarn or size hook. Any questions, just ask. I'll be more than glad to help. If I get too many questions I will do a tutorial. Have fun.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Old House, New Look

Hello friends. How are all of you this bright and sunny Saturday? 
I am doing okay. Temperature here in NW Ohio is around 33 degrees this winter morning.
I wanted to share with all of you some photos I took yesterday at my youngest daughter's home.
Over 3 years ago she began the process of gutting the bathroom, master bedroom and the kitchen of 
her 100+ year old house. Some of the other rooms are also on the agenda for remodeling in the future
but right now those three rooms were top billing. She does have a contractor helping her, but she has pitched in and did lot of the work herself. She has "before" pics, I do not. Today I will share pics of the kitchen.
I'll give you a tour from left to right........

View of sink area looking in from dining room.

continuing on from left to right.......

 Entering the kitchen on the left is counter space and cupboards. She just finished putting her back splash up. She still needs to grout some areas.

The farmhouse sink. The new dishwasher (a first for her).

Then moving from left to right is the focal point of this entire kitchen, the sink. If there is one thing that I would rip out and take home with me it is this farmhouse sink. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! 
About 30 years ago while browsing through a Country Living Magazine, what did I spy....I wanted one then and why I never had one put in my kitchen I do not know. I could kick myself.

I wanted this shot because it shows the yellow honey comb teapot, cups and saucers I bought her years ago for Christmas. This is the first time they have been out of the box other than when she opened them that Christmas morning. Actually several other pics show them better. She is still debating what to put in the left cupboard, but I have a Brown Betty Teapot made in England that I plan to give her if she wants it. It would match the brown in her tiles.

Quartz counter top.
Such a serious expression, but then it has been serious work.

I told her to move so I could get a better pic of that spot where she was standing.

The pantry cupboard. Please excuse the dusty counter top.

 Then moving clockwise around the room just past the window is the pantry cupboard above and

 the new microwave and below that will sit her new range (which is still sitting in her living room). Right now she has her Taters & Onyuns box (her dad made that) sitting there temporarily.

Continuing around the room there is an archway opening leading into the living room and then there is the space where the fridge goes under the little cupboards. Still some finishing things to do as you can see.

Here is a better pic of that fridge space. Why aren't the range and fridge in the kitchen yet you might be asking, I'll get to that in a minute.

She put up the tin ceiling by herself.

And here is the reason her appliances are not in the room yet, her new hardwood floor has to be wiped down and needs another coat of poly sealant. You can see in the top far left of this photo how dusty things become when working in this space. She had a drop cloth down where she was working, but when gluing and grouting there was dust. 

So we end the tour right back to what I love most about this kitchen. Actually I think she did a great job so far. She pick out everything herself. She refused to charge anything on credit cards or go to the bank for a loan. When she had the cash that was when she bought what she needed. She is very frugal and thrifty. She gutted all the rooms she planned to remodel to save the cost of paying someone else to do it. She told me she gutted the place right down to the bare studs thinking she might find a bag of money someone hide over the years. It was a good thing she did strip everything down because there was not one dab of any kind of insulation between the outer and inner walls.
Back in the day heat was probably coal, and cheap.

 I will leave all of you now with a final pic for today, my little darlings. The one on the far left is of course the infamous Cabbage Patch Doll that was all the rage years ago. Back in the day I bought my girls each one and of course I had to buy one for me too.

The other 3 are Waldorf Dolls, made by 3 different very talented woman in different parts of our world. The one in the orange sweater and hot pink cap is a Little Jenny Wren doll from Tasmania. She came with a gray mohair sweater, but I was into knitting dolly clothes and she wanted the bright colors. Cabbage Patch also has one of my hand kitted sweaters with a matching scarf. Little Pippa, is my newest addition, and she is definitely a pip by all standards, she is small. She came from Gibraltar, and then I have the little guy on the right, he is from Germany. They all get along quite nicely and seem to love each other already.
Hope you are all having a great weekend.
Until next time, love you all, and thank you for coming to spend time with me. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

She's Here!!!

She arrived today in the mail. Isn't she absolutely adorable!
I have been waiting for her for a good couple of weeks. She came from far away.
This little munchkin is the sweetest, all the way from her head to her knitted booties.
Her entire body is knitted, everything but her little head. She is so soft and lovable.
I found her on Etsy. She is made by Daniela Petrova. 

I will let her sit in the big recliner chair in the living room for a bit, 
then I will introduce her to the other 2 Waldorf dollies that came here to live over the past few years.
I just want to look at her for awhile and let her look around a bit.
I have always been a doll lover since I was a very little girl. I may be much older, 
but I am still young at heart ♥

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Quick & Smaller Projects

Good morning. Another cold day in NW Ohio. Temperature in my corner of the world is 7 degrees. Guess if you read the post from yesterday then you kinda figured that, huh? You might even be a bit surprised that I have posted again so soon. I am trying to play catch-up with all I have been doing these past few months. All of these fast projects were free patterns that I found on Pinterest. These boot cuffs are for a young school-age girl. The yarn is RH and I liked this color pink because it reminded me of bubble gum. Basic pattern with knit and purl stitches, but crazy me, if I try to watch tv and do any real pattern other than straight knitting, I find myself goofing up and back-tracking more than once. I am still debating what to embellish them with, the crocheted hearts or the heart buttons. What are your thoughts on this? I think they would make the perfect gift for a little girl for Valentine's Day.

These of course are for the older female. More free Pinterest patterns. The pair on the left are knitted, the pair on the right are crocheted. 

Once again I am debating on which buttons to embellish with. 

Now for the caps, more free patterns from Pinterest. I have made this particular pattern 3 times. In a previous post I showed it to you done up in a different color for my grandson Holden. This one is designed by ChemKnits and is the Wide Brim Skullcap. I have to laugh about this though and tell you all about how nuts I am. I love the knit stitch, I hate the purl stitch. Always patterns like this tell you to be careful about twisting the stitches when they are joined at the ends of the first row. Okay, so far, so good, but then of course you do your ribbing, in this pattern it starts out with purl 5, knit 4. "I don't want to purl so much," I tell myself, so I will start off with knit 5, and purl 4. Halfway done with the 33 rows and a light bulb moment.....dang! That brim will be folded up when wearing this thing and now smart me, I have the purl stitches greater than the knit when a person wears it. Nope, I kept on, no way was I was frogging this. I guess no one would even know had I not told them.

I love how the crown looks. The decrease stitches fall in such a pretty patten.

Don't remember what this pattern was called, but it is basically a ribbed cap all the way. It is also off of Pinterest. I really need to make a note to myself to write down the link to these patterns. I admit to being so guilty or just plain old scatterbrain. For anyone interested the foam display head it was purchased from Joanne Fabrics. 
Love the crown on this one too. My daughter Rachael tried this one on and it looked so cute on her. Was my camera handy, no it was not!
So do they need something to embellish them, maybe not?

Little knitted cap for an infant. The day I made this I was just playing around with my yarn. A little bit of ribbing with knitted stripes of various colors, then some evenly spaced decreases and there ya have it, a little cap. Probably could use a pom pom on top, maybe in the blue?

There, I think I am now caught up with showing you all of my workings while I was absent for that long stretch of time. 

Now I have to deal with this in order to.........

finish this.

Keep warm ♥
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