Monday, May 30, 2011

452 Making Crafty Plans for Fiber Arts Friday

I have been consumed with end of school, birthday, minor medical emergency x2, and cleaning. Spare moments have been spent doodling and painting ... and by spare moments I mean when I am stuck outside sweating and watching the kids play.

There are a few things which have popped into my head that I want to work on that will fit into my Fiber Arts Friday type stuff, but they are sadly still in my head. I have made a few more small purses. A few moments here and there are all I have had to devote to crochet.

The only thing that purse has carried is a hamster ... that poor, poor rodent ..
I also made a cute one with chenille yarn. Soft and fuzzy.

BUT! My next project is to make some little arm covers for the chair I rescued from the neighbor. I have coveted this chair (and its twin which he still has) since the first time I saw it. The lines. THE BACK! Swoon! This one is more worn than the other, but it is mostly on the arms. I eventually would like to try to make a slipcover for it, but I think I will be content with some arm covers for now.
I gave it a good steam cleaning before I brought it into the house to live. I would love to haul it out in the middle of a field for some pictures...

My other project is for my Soon-To-Be Nephew. Awhile back I bought a pattern for a baby portrait prop. It is a crocheted baby coccoon, and I would love for my newest family member to be the first inside. Luckily I have until July 28th to complete that project.

I also would love to do some more quilting. I really enjoyed making that art quilt, so I might have to make time to play with my sewing machine. Maybe another baby quilt will go into the works... a baby quilt is the largest size I have ever completed...

And ... it is summer vacation here, and last year the girls made little purses. Maybe this year we will make it all the way to completing a pillow. One of the days when it is too hot to even contemplate going outside I will break out the sewing machines for them.

So, there are endless things to do ... just need to find (or MAKE) the time to do them. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

451 The Magpie Turns Nine

So, any other bloggers been putting off posting for fear that Blogger would eat their post again? Okay, I am not really worried it will, but I was very disappointed when that post came down. I get discouraged... and maybe just a little distracted. Okay ... fine ... so I have mostly been distracted.

My sweet baby Magpie turned NINE on Monday. NINE!!! How in the world did that happen?! Oh, and the pre-teen/tween attitude is already starting. Boy, is it ever! I know, it is our fault for spoiling her ... but really, who wouldn't spoil this face?

Impossible, right?! And the cuteness just continued to grow. I really stood no chance against her ... until she learned the word "no". Why do we teach kids to walk and talk?! It just leads to them leaving us *WAHHHHHHHHH*

But eventually, they do learn to talk .. and then they learn to TALK BACK. Last year, Katie learned the art of the "bobblehead" ... mouthing off in her head while her head bobbles back and forth with sass. Maybe this year she will learn to keep all complaints firmly leashed in her own head. A Mom can hope ...
Monday we took cupcakes to school, and then we checked Katie out for lunch at Joe's Crab Shack and a little trip to Toys'R'Us.

The playground was a bit moist, but that didn't stop my little grubbers from playing.

 We even had a special guest for Katie's birthday lunch ...
Happy Birthday my sweet girl! You are the light of my life and the beat of my heart. I wish you the best ninth year ever. I love you forever.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

450 A Weekend in Cleveland...

Through the lens of my cell phone (because I forgot my real camera)


449 Dear Mom...

As with everything else in my life I am doing this late. I have no clue why I am always behind, but it can't be blamed on you. I am pretty sure I have never known you to be late (when it wasn't my fault) ever. I don't think I learned all the lessons I should have growing up because I am clearly an amateur when it comes to this parenting thing. I lack your patience and quiet strength. And obviously your organizational skills. I think you must have found extra hours in the day that no one else knew about. I seem to turn in circles without ever getting anything done.
I did learn the most important lesson. LOVE. Above and beyond anything else was your devotion to us, even at our most unappreciative. As I watch Katie, and I see the beginnings of puberty (way too soon), I remember what a horrible brat I was and I am afraid. Very afraid!

---Gee, Thanks Blogger for deleting this post and only having a partial saved in drafts. I wrote something really sweet and touching here. Luckily my Mom got to read it before you decided to remove EVERYONE'S last post. I know they say that anything you put on the internet can be found, even after it is deleted, but I just don't have the skills (read, patience) to look for it.

So, in summation ... Thank you Mom for always being my biggest supporter, my loudest cheerleader, and my shoulder to lean on. I love you!

Happy Mother's Day!
You know, to anyone who didn't read it when I wrote it the FIRST time ....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

448 Small Crochet Purse Tutorial

A quickie project (shhh, it wasn't last minute and mostly to fill this spot) ...
This is the first multiple stitch I ever learned, and it has remained a favorite because it is so simple and it looks great. I use it for baby blankets quite a bit.

The Stitch - We will call it the Simple Shell since I have no idea what the real name is. As long as your base chain is divisible by three then this will work. Every third hole you do 1 single crochet and 2 double crochets. The most complicated part? Remembering the start and end of each row.

For the purse I created a chain of 48 stitches (yarn is cotton, worsted weight. F hook). You will subtract 3 and divide by 3 to figure out how many shells you will have on each row. 48-3=45 / 3 = 15 ... okay, technically you will have 14 full shells since the final spot will be how you create the turn.

Chain 48. You will do 1 double crochet in the third opening from your hook. Then you coninue in your pattern until the last hole on the row. When you hae reached the last possible place for a stitch you just do 1 single crochet, chain three and turn. After the turn you will do 1 double chain in the first hole, then start over with the pattern. Simple. It creates a small puffy shell. (is any of this making sense?)

I think the purse is eight rows. I lay the rectangle out (without binding off), then folded it in thirds to create my purse shape, stitching up the sides still with the yarn uncut using a slipstitch through both layers. I had to bring the yarn across the bottom to stitch the other side, so I estimated how much yarn that would take and "sewed" it through the bottom before stitching up the other side. I created the strap by  slipstitching my yarn into one corner, chaining until I had the length I wanted and slipstitching, then I single crocheted my way back to the other side. Make sure you use a few stitches when joining to the purse for stability.

My purse is super small, about the size of a man's billfold, but it is easy to increase the pattern to any size you wish, just increase in multiples of three.

Hmm ... Fiber Arts Friday seems to keep happening on Sunday, but Sunday doesn't start with an F ... and since no one seems to mind I will just keep Friday. It is mostly just a suggestion anyway, it really means the whole weekend.

Most of this week I was playing in my sketchbook, and I will be adding pics to my Sketchbook link on the side soon.