Wednesday, June 21, 2017

More Second Chances

I can't get enough of stories of second chances.....

Saturday, June 17, 2017

June 17, 2017

This is safflower kernels.....the Amish owner of the bird products suggested I put thread with washers on the ends of the feeder to scare off sparrows.  The finches don't seem  bothered by the strings.  We'll see how it does!

$5 teapot, as a finch birdhouse

Fabric found at an antique mall.....$2 of fabric created 3 purses, this one the smallest.  Very festive fabric.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Journey's Progress

Those close to me know the depth of grief I've experienced the past 18 months.
I am not cryptic here on purpose, other than for the fact that I choose to protect the privacy of others.  It is a privilege to do so.  For those not so close to me I believe they can handle that.

I had an amazing experience two weeks ago.  I had just texted a friend who is a dear Christian sister to me.  She and her family are making a very noble, life-changing decision.  I texted her that I know the depth of her fears and pain over the situation due to my own recent grief. I wrote that I understand that her pain runs deeper than her ability to express.

After I sent the text I sat at my computer and contemplated what her family is going through.  Out of the blue I became acutely aware of how thankful I am for all the pain of the past two grief as well as life-threatening illness, just two of many circumstances.  I sat here and repeatedly, unrehearsedly told God how very grateful I am for all the heartache.  Not because it is what I felt I was supposed to do, not because the words were rote, but because I feel it with searing sincerity.   Not thankful just IN the grief, but FOR it.  Suffering helps us to conform more to the image of Christ.

I then went on to other things.  I didn't think much about that prayer for a week until it struck me between the eyeballs that THE PAIN OF GRIEF WAS GONE.  My circumstances surrounding The Grief haven't changed....but the pain is absent. 

Some griefs worsen with time.....the farther out they get, the farther those involved have to travel to undue them.  (Translation: cryptic)

To be able to say my pain is gone is something I can't really put into words.  Do I still wish things were different (i.e., The Grief circumstances)?  Of course I do.  However, it is as if I turn my head to look at the past 18 months and I can't feel The Grief because a wall of gratitude has been erected between it and me.

I am not giving a formula here; I wouldn't be so presumptuous.  My grief is not uncommon, and it is, to a point, revocable (though I can do nothing to change it myself).  Most who suffer grief are in situations of "finis loss"-----loss that is final, with no chance of going back in time.  Still, this has been my experience thus is part of my journey.  I do not know what tomorrow will hold regarding the progress......but am so thankful for the change gratitude-with-abandon can bring.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Overdue: Faire fare

It's been ages since I posted last....mostly due to a busy time readying for an upcoming small Faire locally.

Some items I've been working on are as follows.....

These ear cuffs are a lot of fun to make as well as wear.    Copper is easy to clean; just put it in lemon juice then take out and pour salt on it and rub with a clean cloth.
The tarnish comes off with little to no effort. (Use kitchen gloves due to the salt being so abrasive.)

These are project bags for knitting, crocheting, or handsewing.

I made one of these for myself as a money belt/purse for the Faire.  I liked it so much I've made several to sell.

Faith in all her cuteness

This is our sleeping arrangement.  Under the cloth (which is under her bed) there are potty pads.  She is really good about coming and going through the night.  She spends a lot of time going from her doughnut-bed to the folded flannel blanket at the foot of the bed. You can see she basically takes up half the bed, even though she is only seven pounds.  Sheesh....what doggy-love will do!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Out of my League

But still fun.....I've been trying to work on copper wire ear cuffs, I've seen a lot on Pinterest that are fascinating.  They are hard to do, tho, with my arthritis.  I've been laying in bed at night wondering how to assist my hands to keep the arthritis at a minimum.
Voila!  I am pretty happy with the outcome.  The pic of the cuff on my ear was a prototype from a few months ago....a bit larger than the ones on the green mat.  Each has been tried on and they fit well without pinching the ear edge.
On to the next project...

Friday, April 14, 2017

Game-Changer: Options

I read an article today that made me stop in my tracks.

A widow was recalling when, two months after her husband's passing, there was an upcoming parent-child event at school.

A friend suggested to her that she take a "stand-in dad."

"But I want my husband here."

"That's not gonna happen."

"But I don't want anyone else; I want him."

Her friend wisely responded, "That's option A.  Option A isn't available.
Let's go kick butt on Option B."

     What is your Option B that you reluctantly stare at, really wishing for Option A?
I have a few As that have been derailed in the past two years...and am left with only Option Bs.
     I can choose to look back and long for the As or gently lay them down (mine are "currently not available") and pick up the Bs and find to my surprise that the Bs aren't nearly as frightening as I had hitherto thought.
     Here's to a B day!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

kits finally done

I finally got the basket ready for the Volunteer Luncheon, set for later this spring.

I like working en masse because you get a chance to learn small tips----no matter how small the nuance-----when you have to make a lot of something. Plus, it makes me feel like I am contributing something sizable.  Goofy me.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Owls and Faith

I took 2 dozen owls to the Cancer Floor because it was Wednesday and they all needed a lift, or so I summized.  It is always fun to give away things you make with TLC.
Nikki, I hope you and DR are enjoying Julia, Gabi, and Adela.  We'll have to further discuss your talent of juggling....and what that might mean for your household. ;) 
Faith likes to go out with me no matter where I go.....tonight I wanted to take out the trash so I loaded her up in a wool-batted is supposed to snow...she looks so funny in the quilt but no longer fusses over it cuz she sure can feel the cold wind at her little nose and eyes.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Says it all

Bottle of Tears was having a sale before Valentine's Day on small French bottles.
I used a coupon from HL to get a shadow box.  The card with the Scripture comes with the bottle.  The same Scripture is inside the bottle.  I have removed the hangtag from the bottleneck so you can see the Scripture card better.
Bottle of Tears is a class act; visit them for encouragement as well as comfort!


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

End of March catch up

Busy today gathering more yarn.  The owls have taken over.  I have a few projects that somehow managed to get squeaked in....

New yarn colors-----the owls will be happy!

These chicks(chickens) go over Easter eggs....they are for Michele's class of second-graders.  Fun and easy to do.

The opening of the chickens is smaller than the rest-----so the egg doesn't drop out when you pick it up.  It has to be wrangled out! ha ha ha

Michele's birthday is on Easter this year.  Above is the pair of felted slippers I knitted for her.  They are almost finished; are now dry and the second one needs the gather string woven through it.  These are blissfully!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Catch up--on a rare snowy day


new labels!

The bag was too big for just 24----so 40 looks better....

I saw this on the internet and had to try it----as you can see, the flashlight
really illuminated the water.  This will be great in a black-out!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Busy busy busy

Hurrah, two dozen owls completed for the hospital pediatrics lab......
on to the next project, until time for more owls!

Here is the pattern for the owls; I have test driven it several times, I trust there are no errors....

Crocheted Amigurumi Owl

copyright 2017
For use as donation only.
Owl is approx. 5-1/4” circ. and 3” tall

·         DK or sport wt. yarns—2 colors for body,

yellow or orange for beak

·         Size E crochet hook

·         Safety eyes, 10.5mm—black pupil, yellow rim

·         Crochet cotton,  (doily thread) size 5, white

·         Size B (or steel 6) crochet hook (for white around eyes)


This is not worked in spiral fashion because the eyes would not be even.  Each row is finished by sl st to first sc of row.
For body, starting at bottom, work magic loop or ch 3 and join as ring.  Always work first sc of next row in same slip stitch you stitched into to join previous row.
Row 1: ch 1, work 6 sc in ring; sl st into first sc.
Row 2: ch 1, work 2 sc in each crochet around; sl st into first sc. (12 sc)
Row 3: ch 1, *sc in next st; 2 sc in next st….work from * around. Sl st into first sc. (18 sc)
Row 4: ch 1, *sc in next 2 sc; 2 sc in next st---work from * around. Sl st into first sc. (24 sc)
Row 5: ch 1, sc around, working 3 increases evenly. (27 sc)
Rows 6-12: ch 1, sc in each st around. (27 sc)
Row 13: change color; sc around, working 3 dec evenly around row. (24 sc)
Rows 14-19: ch 1, sc in each st around. (24 sc)    Leaving a long tail,  finish off.  Do not stuff; set aside.
Eye whites --with size 5 cotton, make magic loop or ch 3 and join as ring.  Ch 2; work 14 dc in ring.

Sl st to first dc to join.  Finish off, leaving tail.  Weave in both ends.
Beak:  With beak color; ch 5. Sc in 2nd ch;

hdc in next ch; dc in each of next 2 ch.  End off.

Turn this sideways and you will have a triangle beak. (I’ve since changed mine and do 3 ch, sc in second st from hook, dc in last ch.  This makes a smaller beak and I like it better.)
Construction:  You can just stuff beginning “tail” and “tails” from color change inside. 

Place safety eye inside eye white; place this now through a hole between sts in the second row up of the second color.  Secure tightly with safety backing.  Work other eye same way and place 3-4 sc apart from first eye.

Stuff the owl, firmly but not too.  Sew up top seam of head, horizontally.  Work in tail of yarn.

Place beak between eyes, at the row where the color change was made.  Using each end (yarn tails), secure to owl and double knot ends.  Weave these ends into owl body, pull, and cut off excess.

I get my safety eyes at Lisa and Ed’s Eyes (  They are very helpful.  Give them a call for questions.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Bags and stylin' dog

I did finish the 15 bags late last night; but in my rush to pair some with a project bag, forget to take a pic of the 15 together. Meh.

Here are some of the sets I have put away for Christmas...

Faith and I just had to tool around town today as the weather was fantastic.  One of the credit union managers said that I keep wishing that Faith could be a therapy dog----but that she already is, because if I take her in on a Friday when the tellers are more apt to feel a bit frazzled and they get to hold her, even for 1-2 minutes, they say they can feel their blood pressure dropping.  Go, Faith!
She is here sporting her new harness. I wanted something easy to be able to throw on her (or say, throw her into?) if we have to bug out due to a tornado warning.  Sounds dumb, but this is after all the Midwest...... you can see she is enjoying herself immensely.  No, it was not hot out today----about 50 degrees....but her tongue comes out when she is excited, too.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Snow, sewing, and the BBC

Well it did snow a bit, still is----not sticking on the ground (yay!) but chilly chilly chilly.
I've been working on the (now 15) triangle bags, have five finished.  My thumbs are really hurting so I need a break. Knitting or crocheting are definitely out-----that's why I'm sewing.
I'm watching YouTube BBC documentaries.  I declare I probably know more of England's history than many Brits.  It isn't so much that I love their history-----I just find it pleasant to listen to. Barring the blood and gore, however......ahem.

Second seam set-up for triangle bag...this picture really helps me not make mistakes.
I've already thrown out 3-4 bags in the last month.  No more! Hurrah!

Five down, ten to go for the weekend.  Many of these will be paired
with projectbags.  They are really small and oddly enough make me giggle.

Zippers galore and more bags!

When I turned 55 a friend sent me 55 small zippers----I am enjoying them with the triangle bags. 

I'm posting a pic of the zipper collection I now have....the 14" ones come from, a sewing company. 

Until Feb. 28 if you buy two sets (25 various colors each) you get a third set free.
On the 14" zippers that works out to 26 cents each.  Added to fabric I already have, these bags (the larger project bags) make good and inexpensive gifts.

Who says it's too early to start on Christmas??????

The 7" zippers work out to 20 cents each.  I got the Wawak catalog from my hair stylist who is a quilter/seamstress.  She says the sale happens 3-4 times a year.

If you are a fiendish zipper fan or user, make sure to get in on the sale.

Probably 150+ zippers.....oh, the things I can make!!

Some recent project bags

Triangle bags prepped and ready.....after all, it's supposed to snow this weekend.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

tea dyeing merino sock yarn

I've dyed homespun wool before using coffee as well as KoolAid.  I don't think I've used tea...
This is a "doll blank" I knitted with KnitPicks Bare Merino sock yarn.  I used the magic cast on and a 40" circular size 1 needle.  I started with 8 sts. on each needle end and worked up to 16 sts on each needle end.
I knitted in the round until the entire piece measured 5".  I then cast off, leaving a 36" tail (to be used as the nose, and for closing the doll body).

It is a bit hard to see the difference---but the Constant Comment tea (one bag in 2-2 1/2 C hot water) left the yarn a delightful light tan/flesh color.
Now, on to doll designing!
Bare Merino, knitted up

Bare Merino, soaking for 30 min. in hot water-----no agitation!

In rinse water, after soaking in tea for about 15 minutes.

Finished Constant Comment tea-dyed doll blank......happy.
This is Constance. She is inspired by Maidolls, which can be found on Etsy.
I made a crocheted cap for her wig then added mohair for the braiding.
I also made her arms and legs double-yarned.  She will join the other smalls that I have in my collection.