cooking, crochet, cross stitching, haPPY

wwip

Hello, Wednesday.

Better known around these parts as Wednesday Works in Progress.

Do you ever jot down a list right before bed time?  Sort of lifts my spirits now and then.  I jot down a list of all the things I have done or working on during the day.  Do you ever put a couple of stars on the calendar just for you and a couple things you accomplished?  It’s very gratifying to see those stars.

Wednesdays are similar.  I jot down a list or try to remember to take pictures of my works in progress. I try and take a moment to be happy about what I am working on.

My health & wellness is a work in progress.  Ha, no, I am not going to start taking a Wednesday selfie.  That would be weird.

Let’s see………kitchen cabinet update.  Yippee!  Time for a half celebration!  The entire upper section is done! Each cupboard has fresh paint, new hardware, new stoppers. Inside two of the cupboards have chalkboard paint (so stinkin’ cute).  I am officially taking today off from painting.  Tomorrow, I will start the bottom half.

The quote I chose for the soffit:

they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.  acts 2:46

Counted cross stitch update.  I am in love with both pieces I am working on.  I love the sparkle thread in the bee’s crown.  I was not tickled with it while I was stitching.

 

We bought another half a flat of raspberries this past weekend.  I have only two boxes left.  The Rhubarb Raspberry Galette baked in cast iron, turned out wonderful.  The crust was a bit crisp, the Rhubarb tart and the Raspberries were sweet as could be.  A wonderful combination.

 

Friends are having twins.  I wanted to be prepared for the gender reveal this week.  So I crocheted FOUR sweet little hats.  I guessed girl, girl.  Mr. Right guessed boy, boy. Our niece guessed one of each.

I made four.  I gave the two blue hats to the parents to be.  I donated the two pink hats to charity.  We are celebrating their works in progress!

 

Hope you are having a productive and happy Wednesday.

I would love to hear about your works in progress.

Please share about your Wednesday, after all, we are…..

in this together.

Chat soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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crochet, friends, haPPY, Homemade gift, sewing, Uncategorized

oh boy!

There are people whom one loves immediately and for ever.  Even to know they are alive in the world with one is quite enough.  Nancy Spain

I am not a fan of attending baby or bridal showers.

Yes, I have hosted several.  Yes, I always R.S.V.P and yes, I will be attending.  Yes, I take a gift and yes, I thank the hostess for including me.

That being said, let me explain.  First, after being a career Army wife, just imagine how many baby showers one is invited to?  Seriously, think of all the young families and how many children they have.  Each of those families is away from their home town friends and kinsfolk, so Army wives step in and fill that gap.  You attend.  You just do.  You help them celebrate, you are their “family” so you show up with a smile.

Second, I loath the goofy , often times embarrassing parlor games.

Third, I never really enjoyed putting on stockings,  the traditional pumps or sandals depending on the time of year, the pretty party dress to walk around someones’ living room, sit like a lady for 2.5 hours and drink weak coffee out of a proper cup and saucer with 99% of the people I have never met.

Fourth ( and this is just me grumbling), I can’t have the sugar laden punch and for some reason, often times said punch is served with globs of floating colorful sherbet.  I can’t have the amazing, lush,  array of desserts that are always, always served.

Most weird feeling  of all, the opening of the gifts.

Let’s talk gifts, shall we?

I have done handiwork since I was 12 years old.  I have practiced sewing, quilting, embroidery and as of the last 3 months, I am learning to crochet.  I feel compelled to do my very, very best and make something with my own hands to give as an offering.  The idea of a shower is to SHOWER the recipient with love & goodness.  I want to be part of the celebration and join in the tradition of giving handwork made with love.  I have been practicing for so long, that when the time comes to offer up a beautifully wrapped surprise I want the person to feel bathed in Grace with what I have made.   I want them to know that they were thought about and I started making something just for them weeks, often times, months prior to the party.   (Who knew it would take me so long to crochet a baby blanket?) 20170428_111916-1_resized (1)

Here’s where the awkward part comes in, it’s not you, it’s me people, really.

I honesty want to make gifts for some folks.  However, when said gift is opened in front of 28 other people who exclaim, “You MADE that”?  It is a tad weird feeling.  My face feels hot.  My hands start sweating. 20170428_111810-1_resized

 No, I did not make it to impress you or to “show off”.  No, I don’t really want to make something for your twice removed cousin, I don’t even know you, let alone your cousin.  (Whom I am sure is very nice.)  No, I don’t sew for money.  I’m truly sorry you “hate’ me for making something.  THEN, to top it off, I never really know a sincere, pleasant way of saying, “Oh, your present of a “gift card” will be so nice for them to go to the store and buy something they want.”

I just want to take a moment out of my life and make something from my heart. I want to give a gift, just not the opening in front of people thing.

I was graciously invited to attend a baby shower.  At first so excited to be included on their list of friends, then the worry about attending set in……… this past weekend I went and golly gee, I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.

With the exception for my own daughter in law, I have not been to a shower in a few years.

The food.   Holy Guacamole!!!!    There was a Nacho Bar!!  Really great choices and you got to build your own. In essence, no one cared what you put on your creation, no one gave a hoot if you ate meat or not, liked hot peppers or not.  It was a WONDERFUL idea and so dang TASTY!

Yes, there was a glorious dessert table, chocolate fountain and candy bar….there was also a gorgeous array of fruit to choose from.  Glory be, something for everyone.  dessert bar

From the invitations to the decorations, all was charming and well thought out.  Very festive and felt so happy.   Everyone attending was friendly and a pleasure to be around.

Huge news!  There was only one game and it was more of an interview of the parents to guess each other’s answers.  So sweet and kind, nothing rude or embarrassing.  It was fun to listen and watch, very entertaining.20170429_105336-1_resized

Good gravy, I even wore a cute outfit of jeans, sassy shoes and fun jewelry.  No stockings or stuffy proper dress! (My girlfriend challenged me to take a selfie.  Seriously, this selfie “thing” is a weird hobby.  I did take the picture, pretty sure it won’t become a habit.  ha)

When it came time for my present, the gift opening still felt a bit awkward.  My cheeks blushed and my hands felt sticky.   I thought about it on the way home.

Grown up Girl, Light bulb moment!!!!!!! Listen to this pearl.

You know, I love those parents-to-be so much, I don’t honestly care what others think.  How’s that for personal growth????

 I wanted them to know, I was trying my very best to make several homemade gifts for their new sweet babe.  It wasn’t about what others thought.  It was about my heart & soul and wanting to lift them up in celebration.  It was about showering them with love.

I’ve been practicing for over 40 years with needle and thread.  I got the call!  These are the moments I have been working towards, learning new, even stitches.  I have a reason to wash my hands, warm up the sewing machine, buy some yarn and get a move on.

Their sweet baby boy will be having his birthday sometime in June.  That gives me plenty of time to hand stitch a “welcome to the world” gift.  Oh, you know, each stitch will be made with love and prayers for that new baby and parents.

Love to hear what you have made for a baby or bridal shower.  Please don’t keep me in suspense.  Please tell me there are others out there who make something with their hands to celebrate life and love!

What are you making a new baby in your life? I would love to swap ideas.

Oh, boy!

crochet, friends, grandchildren, grateful, haPPY, Uncategorized

spirit lifting yarn

20170306_133222-1_resized_1While in line, to buy forgotten yellow yarn for a chicken beak, I spoke to the lady behind me.  (Wow, never thought I would type that sentence.  To be clear, the yarn for a chicken beak, not talking to a lady.)

In her arms, she juggled several rose, pale & hot pink skeins of yarn.  Draped over her arm was the beginning of a pink crocheted afghan.  I asked her what she was making.  She said her Great, Granddaughter wanted a pink, pink, pink blanket. So, how could she say no?

Grinning ear to ear, I told her I had two granddaughters & one grandson.  Then I shyly said, I am learning to crochet.  I asked her how long she has been crocheting and she smiled and said, “forever”.  Next, I asked her, who taught you?  She couldn’t remember, however everyone crocheted around her so it was probably lots of people.

Then she asked me, who taught you?  I said, You Tube.  (I had to explain briefly about the computer site You-Tube and taking lessons.)  She said learning the computer is way harder than learning to crochet.  She says she gets messages from her grandchildren on the computer everyday, so it was worth learning to use the darn thing.  haha

She made me feel like I am tied to a really good group.  People who have grands.  People who make things for others.  People who like to keep learning.  She lifted my spirits & offered encouragement.crochet lesson

My daughter in law, asked me to make a couple of hats for her friends’ preemie babies. Wow!  Pretty nice of her to think I could do that.  Did she forget I am a beginner?  I gotta tell ya, having someone think you are capable is pretty spirit lifting & encouraging. Then when you get to see a picture of the little tiny babies actually WEARING the hats I made……..well, that just elevated my spirits into the stratosphere!

A friend shared a picture of a crocheted apron with several pockets.  He thought of me collecting eggs and learning to crochet.  Simultaneously, the gesture made me giggle & happy.  His thinking was, hey, I bet she would get a kick out of this? egg apron (even though I have only collected one egg in ages and I have no idea if I could even crochet an apron)  I adore that he already thinks I can.  Lifted my spirits & offered a pocket full of encouragement.  (get it?  the pockets on an apron )

Never once did You-Tube mention that if you learn to crochet your spirits will be lifted and you find all kinds of encouragement.

20170220_103259-1_resized_1Yesterday, while opening the mail, out fell a card addressed to me.  yippee!  I carefully opened the envelope and what did I find?  The sweetest, photo card.  I had made a crocheted hat for a darling little girl in Pennsylvania.  (Her parents) She sent me the most adorable thank you card with a picture of her wearing the hat I made!!!  Pretty as a shiny new penny!  Gosh, my spirit soared and well, I am still walking on cloud 9.

Who knew learning to tie some yarn into different patterns of knots would encourage my spirit so much?

I guess the folks at You-Tube knew.

In this together friends,

Chat soon.

crochet, Homemade gift, Uncategorized

do over

Mistakes happen, all the time.  Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who makes goofy lou-lous and then I talk to my dog and she assures me, humans make mistakes.  Dog? Never make mistakes, just humans.  snort

In this world of social media we conveniently “forget” to share the OOPS, the mistakes, the Mulligan pictures.   I sort of wish more people would share the goof ups.  I think it would make me feel more normal.

Currently,  I am thick into “learning to crochet”.  I am figuring out a new stitch or process every couple of days. 20170208_154540-2_resized_1-1

In the olden days, If I was stuck or confused or made a mistake,  I would walk down the street to my grandma’s house or aunt’s house or a kind elderly neighbor.  As if by magic, every person over 50 knew how to do some type of handicraft.

Once, when I was in college, I was taking an evening class and there was a 50 something gal in the class.  One night, I waited until after class was over and shyly asked her if she could help me.  Oh no, not about the class study, no, I’ve got that.  I needed help and I thought maybe she could teach me how to make an embroidered French knot?  (My heart was racing and dramatic music was drumming in my ears.)

I had my supplies with me, needle threaded and ready to go. She didn’t make a big deal out of it.  Just said, sure, dropped her purse and book bag and got right to it.  I will show you a couple of times, until you understand.  It took less than 3 minutes.  I still make the French knots the same way.  I can still hear her kind, non-judgmental voice.  I can sort of still hear the “relief” in her voice.  The sound of…French Knots?  Oh, that’s easy peasy.  This college learning stuff is way more difficult.  French Knots, I’ve got this”.

I am well over the 50 mark and not many of my acquaintances or friends do much handwork.  Sure there is a Master Knitter here and an amazing quilter there…….just……

I am sort of tempted to go to an Assisted Living place and ask if anyone over 70 could help me with a crocheted Shell stitch!

Today, I can’t find anyone who stitches in my neighborhood or circle.  I’ve turned to YouTube videos to help teach me. If I can’t understand their teaching methods, I move on to someone else.

20170213_130302-1_resized_2I learned the “puff” stitch.  Easy, very showy20170213_115424_resized_1

I learned the reverse single crochet stitch. Twisty, A bit tricky, worth reviewing the video 17 times.

20170211_215102-1_resized_1Changing yarn colors was/is a bit different,yet somehow, I am pushing forward.

Then came the shell stitch.  WHOMP, WHOMP, WAAAAAAA

Today, I am unwinding the entire thing.  Finding a new video to watch over and over.  The elusive shell stitch.  I want it and I want it bad.

How hard can this be?  Apparently, for me, pretty dang hard.

a-life-spent-making-mistakes-is-not-only-more-honorableWith each round I crochet, it gets a bit more “off” a bit more wonky.  Sigh.  This isn’t calm and relaxing.  This is frustrating and I can feel my blood pressure rising.  Yet, I refuse to cuss!  I won’t.

I put it down yesterday.  I baked instead.  Baking I can do.

The prettiest, pale pink, soft yarn.  I paid extra because I just loved the feel.

Seriously, at this rate, if I keep going, some baby’s head will have to be the size of an oval shaped 15 pound watermelon.  Let’s face facts, that won’t be good for anyone. 20170215_082030-1_resized

drats.

In this together, friends.

Onward.

PS. I made a really fancy sign…...

Will trade a beautiful loaf of homemade baked bread ….. for the shell stitch crochet lesson.20170207_131803-1_resized_2

crochet, haPPY, Uncategorized, volunteer/donate

hats, hats and more hats

I’ve taken 3 knitting classes.  I have made a scarf for every member of my family. Let’s get real here……it was a hot mess.  Seriously, I thought maybe it was the teacher? Then I tried another teacher and yet another.

While I can distinctly remember the clicking noise of my mother in law’s knitting needles as she flew through a project, and talked on the telephone and watched television (it looked like she enjoyed it and she produced really well made and beautiful items), that never once happened to me while knitting.

I never heard my knitting needles click.  I never enjoyed the craft nor did I relax while attempting to finish something.  There may have been a few cuss words sprinkled here and there.  The whole idea of knitting has become so popular and hip.  I wanted to be hip and cool.   Still it wasn’t clicking with me. I bought books, patterns, yarn etc.

nothin’

I had to face facts.  It was not the teacher.

It was the student.  Plain and simple.

I’ve always loved to look at the yarn.  The textures and colors.  I am drawn to it.  I want to touch it.  I want to buy it for some reason.  Heck, once, I even took a class on how to spin your own yarn.

About two weeks ago, I heard a story of a woman who watched (I’m guessing  the number here) about a gazillion You Tube videos and built a house.  Did you catch that?  SHE BUILT A HOUSE USING YOU TUBE VIDEOS.  Seriously.  A very nice, large, multi bedroom house.

Wait!  If she can do that.  Certainly, I could learn to crochet.   Maybe?

Okay, You Tube bring it on!!!  The student is ready and willing.  Let’s see what I can do. 

I want to only make stuff for babies or children.

Babies & children are non-judgmental.  They will not tell me I dropped a stitch or I crocheted it too tight or too loose.  Only thing that will happen is that they will have warm heads.  Their moms will take pictures. Their Grannies will be over the moon happy to adjust the hats just so and gush & fuss.  In my dream, Grannies will do what Grannies have always done, smile and take pictures and say how cute their grands are.

Easily I found a beginner video on You Tube.  I opened my bin of yarn I have been storing/stock piling/hoarding for the perfect project.   This hat made me smile even before I learned how to make a rose!  The yarn sort of reminded me of a cactus or a sea anemone.

I give you my first crocheted hat.

20170202_191947-1_resized

Next, I found some yarn called “Sprinkle” yarn.  Again, made me happy.

20170205_191317-1_resized_2

Here in the Seattle area, we were in for a doozie of a snow storm.  Perfect.  I can crochet.

That’s what I do now. haha, I do other stuff like work and make food and I figure out how to crochet.   I can add that to my list of hobbies.  Because it makes me happy and not once have I used a cuss word.

Seven inches of snow and some free time………

I stumbled across this really great project.  Little Hats Big Hearts.  It is for the American 20170206_194916-1_resizedHeart Association. During the month of February, people make & donate hats for preemie babies.  The hats get taken to hospitals and then little babies get to have a special hat to help keep them warm.   20170206_153108-1_resizedSounds simple enough.  I could try to make one?

small, quick, simple

If you would like to learn more, just go to this website.  They have all the details and information.

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/General/Little-Hats-Big-Hearts_UCM_487734_SubHomePage.jsp

I am a “Doer”.  So give me a project and a goal and well…..

here’s the rest of the story…

20170207_190936-1_resized_2-1

In this together, folks.

Hope you are smiling as brilliantly as I am today!  Please share what makes you smile/happy lately.

Chat soon.