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

gifts, good karma, good marriages, haPPY, Homemade gift, Uncategorized

chop, chop, lollipop

Hello February!  Such a beautiful thing to say.  In our family, January has always been a tough, ugly, tricky month.  2017 was no different.

On to the fresh, clean slate of February.  Valentine’s day isn’t too far away.  It’s time for love and smooches and lollipops, of course.

I tied the sign, filled a jar and gave this to Mr. Right.20170131_154015-1_resized

Start with making the tag.  Next, fill whatever size (I used plastic) jar with bubble gum or suckers.  I thought Blow Pop suckers was silly, sweet and funny.

This is such an easy way to remind your Mr. Right, you love him and you are thinking about him.  You do send him to work with silly things he can share with co-workers, right?

Um, yeah, take the time.  How on earth do you think this thing called marriage is going to thrive and swirl?  You gotta feed it, girlfriend.  YES, even after 35 years of being married.

Yes, I know you are very “busy”.  You are going to tell me, “he knows I love him, I am lucky, I don’t have to show him.”

wrong.

Everyone needs to be reminded that they are loved.   It feels good.

It is HAPPY all stuffed into a jar!

That’s why this project is so dang tootin’ easy, quick and full of goodness!

Chop, Chop, Lollipop!  

Fill and give a jar of goodness, TODAY!!

In this together, friend.

Go share some happy!

20170131_154015-1_resized

gifts, grateful, Homemade gift, Uncategorized

rolled up goodness

Yesterday, in the hustle of getting dinner ready, the mail arrived.

A box.  A surprise.  My name written on the outside.   I spy my niece’s name as the sender.

wipe hands on dish towel

smile

push back curly hair out of eyes

rub hands together with glee

keep smiling

start unwrapping

giddy with anticipation

read letter

tear up

keep smiling

oh my goodness, the handiwork, the beautiful purple, the shine, the thought

She made me a beautiful necklace and earring set.20160617_103510-1

It get’s better.

Her note:

Dear Aunt Daleen, I made this necklace and earrings set for you.  The beads are made of paper and markers, rolled up, glued then sealed with nail polish. Inside each bead is a though of you.  Something we love, thankful for or remember about you.  Mom, Dad and I each wrote on them for you. 

She went on to tell me what they wrote.  Then ended the note by saying:

.….The mothers of my students liked the one’s we made for mother’s Day.  My mother loves hers as well.   enjoy, with love, J

20160617_103518I gotta tell you, this is a show stopper.

As I run the beads through my fingers I am smiling.  I am remembering all the good times and things we have done together.  I feel the smoothness.  All linked together.

I am so grateful, thankful and appreciative.

A charming and heartfelt gift to make. A treasure to receive.  Humbled to wear.

Heartfelt thanks dear sweet niece, how lovely of you to think of me and make something so beautiful and special.  A keepsake.

Today, as I scurry around our home, doing chores and such, I am wearing a beautiful necklace & earrings of pure goodness.

Have I mentioned lately….what a lucky girl I am?

I am.  I really am a lucky girl.

Smiling

 

 

 

gift giving, gifts, happy marriage, Homemade gift, husband, Uncategorized

short & sweet

Every single year for over 30 years I have baked shortbread on or about the 11th of December.  Mr. Right’s birthday is the 12th.

I use my shortbread rolling pins.  I use the best ingredients I can find.  I will say that the shortbread I baked while living in Germany was by far the best ever.  I think the flour and the unsalted, organic butter were the secret.20151211_100611-1_resized (1)

Homeschool lesson for today:  Shortbread originated in Scotland.  First recipe printed in 1736 by Mrs. McLintock.  It is a type of cookie made from one part sugar, 2 parts butter and 3 parts flour.20151211_100003-1_resized

Each year, I bake the cookies, cool them completely, wash every single bowl and utensil I used.  While I am washing, I open every window in the house to air out the delicious cookie smell.  I use cookie parchment and wrap the cookies into a tin.  Then I wrap them in Birthday paper and tie with a fancy ribbon.  Then I have to wait for the next day for him to open his surprise gifts.

Every single year, when he comes to that gift, he feels the weight and says, “Gee, I wonder what this is?”  He unwraps, takes off the tin lid and selects the perfect taste tester.  He takes a bit, closes his eyes, smiles and says, “this is the best shortbread I have ever tasted”.

Now, I don’t know if it is the best ever shortbread, however  I do know, no matter what is going on, weather I was healthy or not, busy or not………….the shortbread gets made.  Once, he was out of the country with the Army and I had to mail it early.  I have no idea what the heck it looked like when he received it.  It may have been just cookie dust in a tin, however he said it was the best he had ever had.

Somehow his Shortbread gift has become a tradition.  It reminds him of his grandmother.  He savors the taste.  He only eats one a day.

EEE GADS , I adore that man.  I would do just about anything for him and if baking a batch of shortbread once a year makes him happy…..

Oh sure, I could buy him any number of things. Lord knows I have tried to find the perfect gift to celebrate him.

It always, always comes back to one batch of perfectly made shortbread just for him.20151211_103439-1_resized

He knows he is loved and adored.  His grands tell him.  His grown kiddos tell him.  The dog reminds him how much he is loved.  Baking the perfect shortbread is one way I remind him over and over and over how much I love him.

Oh that and a beautiful, delicious, Blackberry Cobbler for dessert.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Right.  20151212_134136_resized_3

 

grandchildren, Homemade gift, love

Grand #3

There once was a little boy named Cooper.  Today, our family celebrates his FIRST birthday!

We have been plotting and planning.  The day has arrived.  We have all said, we can’t believe how quick the year has flown by.

Cooper has a curious and adventurous spirit.

He loves to go on hikes.

Camping was so much fun.

Walking on the beach.

Going to Hockey games.

Feeding his dog treats.

Figuring out how things work.

We knew we had to make something perfect for him.  20150927_171828-1

So we bought sandpaper, stain, varnish and gadgets and locks and things kids would like to figure out.

20150928_080836We cut out letters from sandpaper and glued it on.  To help save his parents hardwood floors, we put little felt circles on the back corners.

Papa used his drill and screw driver.20150928_080746-1

Then we wrapped it up in silly paper.  Of course we got him other things to show him that we love him.

Heck, we love that kiddo every single day.

Today, well today we celebrate!

Happy Birthday, Cooper Troy. imagejpeg_0 (5)

You are loved beyond imagine.