Wednesday, December 31, 2014


It's been a while since I properly shared with Ginny's yarn-along, as work and baby have kept me busy. Oddly enough, I don't have any pictures of finished gifts. They were finished just under the wire, and gifted to my family out of town.

because I need more cosy blankets
My mom and sister have a tendency to pick up Lion Brand Homespun for me, for my craft show projects. So although I just started my 2015 Stashdown-- with the Knit Picks (and more!) Stashdown group - 6000 g net loss by Dec 2015-- I got a few **cough**8**cough** new skeins of yarn. To counter the yarn gain, I started another Rectangular Sampler Blanket. This pattern is great in any weight yarn- for the homespun, I just take out the bobble rows and do more granny rows. Also, since this is a bulky weight yarn, I may do fewer rows-- or just keep going for an adult sized blanket. 

My little one is getting so big!

My little bundle of love is four months old now, and loves chewing on things, wiggling, and standing. He's not crawling yet, but with the way he's moving, we expect it soon. I still have a few WIPs for him, but hopefully will get them finished before he gets too big.

Linking with Ginny!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Busy Elf

I said the painting would return. I got inspired Sunday night, and put my inspiration into action during JT's afternoon nap yesterday. Last year, I received as part of a gift exchange a multi-media Christmas canvas- "O Tannebaum" would probably be the theme- and I was really struck by its beauty and simplicity. As mentioned before, Michael's had canvas on sale- plus I had a few that I had snagged from my little sister- so all my supplies were on hand. These are planned as gifts, though still incomplete at the moment. All of them will have some form of crocheted embellishment added plus maybe some paper or fabric. 

in need of some pink hearts

I may add more yarn to this one

in need of a border to create balance

Painting hasn't been my only adventure since Christmas break started. I've been struggling to finish some blankets, and the first one is nearly done. There are a few ends left to sew, and the possibility of a bigger border, but the largest part is complete. The pattern is Sunny Spread, and is quite enjoyable. Full notes on my Ravelry page. I really hope it will be received with as much love as it was made with.
a sunny snuggly lap blanket
The next few days are going to be extremely busy, with lots of traveling. E is working Christmas Eve, and the day after Christmas, but we will be able to attend Mass as a family on Christmas Day before adventuring to my parents' for celebrating with my family. JT and I will be celebrating with my aunts on Friday, and Saturday all three of us will celebrate with JT's godparents. Sunday will be a busy day with all of my husband's family in town. I love having a season of celebrating, though it sometimes can be a struggle to remember to slow down, too. I'll get reminders of that, I'm sure. 
JT's favorite snack: his hands
If I don't get back before Christmas, I want to wish everyone a safe and blessed holiday. Thank you for you love and support and encouragement this year- it has meant so much to me!!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cutting it Close

Christmas gifts for this year are still in progress. I was swamped with a few custom orders right at the end of November, and was struggling to find time to crochet for me.

I'm getting close to catching up now. 

The painting's a new thing. I thought I would try my hand at another artistic outlet, and while it's not Picasso or anything, I'm mostly content. Bob Ross was great inspiration. 

Michael's had a great sale on canvas yesterday, so a few more things will pop up here over the next few weeks, I'm sure. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014


I tend to have a lot to say, ask, and do. But finding the time to do those things is often difficult. My whole family has been sick over the past three weeks, and as Christmas break starts, I find myself in the midst of a million things that need to get done. So, my little blog gets neglected. I apologize, as I do enjoy you all stopping by and saying hello, sharing prayers and wisdom and encouragement. Hopefully I'll get a few of my thoughts posted before school starts back up in January.

Thanks. <3

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Promo and Giveaway

I've just reached 200 likes on my Facebook page- - and to celebrate, I'm giving away one ready made item of your choice! 'Like' my page and comment on the giveaway post with what you would like to win. For an extra entry, 'share' my giveaway post.  

My ready made items are in a separate album on my Facebook page, if you are looking.  

I'm offering it to anyone, and I only have about 20 entries so far, so your chances are still high!

I'm also offer $2 off any item that is ready to ship for the next two weeks! 
Check it out, you may be a winner! 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Crochet Giveaway!

I'm keeping busy with my little crochet business, as I mentioned the other day. As my Facebook page approaches 200 likes, I'm planning a little "celebration".

If I reach 200 likes BEFORE December 1, I will have a promotional discount on all my ready-made items and a giveaway! If I don't reach the December 1 goal, I will go back to my original plan of a promotional discount on ready-made items, but no giveaway.

I'm trying to separate my personal blog from my business stuff, so you should see a division here soon.

Thanks for stopping by!!! :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

When it rains...

Actually, we just got hit with snow. But I just got rained on with crochet commissions. Just yesterday, I posted about trying to expand my business, and last night I *encouraged* my little sister to send out invites to my page to all her friends. Turns out one of my cousins' fiancees ( I have several cousins that are getting married soon) is interested in items for their family Christmas gifting. So I got flooded, a bit.

My donation for my school's annual auction
Luckily I finished an order last night, and am on the edge of finishing another one. Last year, I made my first donation to my school's annual auction, and I wanted to up the ante this year. Unfortunately, I was a bit behind, as the auction is this Friday. I am pleased with my donation, especially the penguin hat. Next year, I'll be trying to be prepared before the call for donations goes out. 

My little munchkin
We're still trying to enjoy the little-ness of our munchkin- but he's getting so big, so fast! I want to make so many things for him, but other projects are getting in the way. I'll be calling off custom orders at the beginning of December so I have time for gift crafting, and hopefully I'll get to some woolies.

For now, I will continue to be grateful and continue to pray for wisdom. Thank you all for your prayers and warm thoughts as well. 

Monday, November 17, 2014


Everything's growing in my neck of the woods. It's growing colder. My baby's growing. I'm trying to grow my home business. We're looking at food to grow next year. It's all very exciting.

I've been in the craft show business for at least 5 years now, possibly closer to 6. I enjoy doing 3 or 4 shows in the fall with my aunt, but I'm also looking at expanding. I'd like to get more of an online presence, but I'm not sure how. Any advice? I already have a Facebook page, which has been relatively effective up to this point. A photographer friend is using my items as props. What more can I do?

The weather also makes me more inclined to crochet away. Chilly winters means more woolies are needed. I have quite a few scarves, but I'd like to have a wider range of styles and colors. That may be my downfall, crocheting for myself.

However, I am crocheting quite a bit for my little one, who is getting more adorable and bigger by the minute. Going to work kills me, but right now it is needed. Hopefully next summer, we'll get a better planned garden together, which will cut back food expenses.

Living on a teacher's income is definitely not sunshine and roses, but I know this is where God wants me to be. I'm hoping and praying that working from home is in God's plan for me somewhere, as I can't imagine continuing this for more than one child. We shall see...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Christmas Crochet Giveaway

Robin's hosting this giveaway at her blog- you should check it out! It's Edie Eckman's Christmas book, and Robin's added a few things of her own to the mix! Only 4 more days left to enter!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

End of the Season

Weather's getting colder, and the craft show season is over for me. Last weekend, I went to my last show for the year. I'm scoping out a few more, to see if I can add a few closer to home (as I'm still going back to my parents' town for the others).

I am hoping to move stock, so I can have more new product next year-- check it out-- Mary's Crocheted Creations! My hats are posted right now, but I'm hoping to get my scarves up soon.

Since I'm back to teaching, I really have only been able to restock between craft shows. These are my only real FOs in the past few weeks.

Baby Monster

Baby Owl

Baby Snowman

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Snow in Progress

Four half finished snowman hats. These two are more complete than the others, as the others don't even have snow yet! The two above still need their second earflap. 

I really want all four done for my Saturday craft show. We'll see if it happens. 

The prototype is pictured above on my son. I'm not planning on a three dimensional nose on the new ones. 

I also have some penguin hats to finish but again, we'll see. Work and baby consume a lot of time. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

New Titles

I'm still getting used to being 'mom'-- my little one isn't even close to talking, so it's mainly others asking about him and reminding me of my new role. 

He's doing well, even with my going back to work. It's hard to leave him, but he's becoming very socialized at an early age with all the babysitters. 

Yes, I'm back to work, but even as a two income family, I'm still looking for ways to cut costs. 

Luckily we have friends who destashed their fabric. Burp cloths, nursing pads, and cloth wipes are all on my pile of things to sew. My sister-in-law also cloth diapered, and is passing her supplies onto me. Even though I won't ask my babysitters to use cloth when I'm working, weekends & evenings with cloth can still save us some money. 

My sister's calling me hipster and crunchy now, because of these changes. 

Why save money now? We're looking at a house again, and it has amazing potential. Prayers that it works out! 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Mickey & Minnie

This is my last week of maternity leave. I'm crocheting like crazy, knowing that as soon as I go back to school, my time will go way down.

I mentioned a week or two ago that I was having my little one's photos taken. The photographer is an acquaintance, and we ended up creating a so of partnership. She gave us digital copies of all JT's photos, and in return, over the course of the next few weeks, I would give her the equivalent in crocheted photo props. She also said she would order any future props from me as well.

Not more than two days after we came to this agreement, she messaged me asking for sibling Mickey and Minnie hats. A friend of hers is apparently a huge Disney fan, and she wanted a gift for them. I'm excited about this opportunity to stretch my abilities and see if I can work within a deadline (other than the self imposed ones).

Friday, October 3, 2014

Two Shawls

Both of my Wednesday projects were finished!

Ends are waiting to be woven in, only because they needed a light blocking. 

The rainy weather is preventing me from taking outdoor sunshine photos, but hopefully I can once it lets up. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Out of my Element

I've been sewing. Which is so not me. I never took up sewing when single because my mom had this older sewing machine that she was convinced my sister and I would break. So I took up yarn arts because that was different from what my mom did. But with a little one at home comes the need for sewing projects. I feel silly paying for someone to hem fabric for me-- ala nursing cover or car seat canopy. Several internet searches led me to some DIY designs for both of these items. I didn't even need to buy fabric, because my mom has a friend who used to work at a fabric store and was destashing her fabric a few years ago. There are several large bins of it in my parents' basement now. 
very geometric fabric- so my lines are straight!
Luckily when this idea to do some sewing hit me, my mother-in-law was able to provide. I'm currently borrowing her machine, which apparently she rarely used.
the instruction booklet stays close!

All the hemming done!!
sewing machine problems
I made it most of the way through both my projects before the tension on the machine decided to go wonky. What's left on my two big projects is mainly hand sewing anyway, but 'breaking' the machine really dampened my morning. 

I was able to switch to my crocheting projects though. Both are CAL patterns from the CSW Ravelry group.  The first one I've been working on since July, but was motivated by the September CAL to get moving on it. 

nearly finished
I'm using KnitPicks Stroll and Candy Skein Yummy fingering. The colors are not showing true due to the overcast weather we're having.
My second one is the October CAL, modified to be more of a scarf size. I'll try for better pics when my arms aren't occupied by baby J. I'm holding two strands of Lion Brand Sock-ease together for this one, the second ball being one I dyed a while back. Hopefully the Sock-ease will soften, as it feels a bit stiff right now. 
new project
Pink Shawl-- desperately seeking shallow crescent
Blue-green scarf-- Nena

Wednesday link-up with Ginny

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Blanket

A giant hook and super bulky yarn make a blanket come together rather quickly.

It's a rather large granny square, with modified corners to give it a more substantial weight. Lion Brand Homepsun yarn is a bit finicky to work with, but makes beautiful cozy home items. This blanket will most likely become a Christmas gift, but I'm still debating about adding more yarn. It is finished for now, hence my sharing it. I love how cozy it is!

The granny square style is also perfect for little ones, because the holes give them something to grab. 

My photo doesn't do the colors justice. The darker color is a rich purple-blue, with flecks of teal, and the lighter color is white with blue, purple, and green alternating. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sitting gets Boring

Sunday Instagram:

Using the super bulky lion brand homespun thick n quick, I have progressed way further than this pic shows. Of course, it having been taken on Sunday has something to do with it. I also finished my book. My little pumpkin went through what felt like a growth spurt Sunday and Monday- he was nursing like crazy all day Monday- so I had plenty of book time. My crocheting progressed as well. I'm working a giant granny with modified corners as a way to work through some of my Homespun stash. The yarn was purchased on clearance for craft show purposes, but I'm at a point where I want it used up more than I want to make more craft show stuff. The FO will likely become a Christmas gift for one of the sets of parents. 

My shawl has made progress as well. I have about ten more rows before the border. 

Since finishing The Beekeeper's Apprentice on Monday, I have been reading bits of different things. Nothing's really sticking, but I'm hoping to find something else soon. 

I'm getting a bit of 'cabin fever', being inside with a baby all day. We've been running errands and taking walks to ward off feelings of depression. 

Stop by Ginny's for more Wednesday yarn goodness!

Adventures in Baking

My husband does not like even slightly brown bananas. So when I buy bananas and they go uneaten, oftentimes they end up in the freezer. (note: I don't dislike bananas, I just tend to forget that they are waiting to be eaten.) Our freezer has a habit of spitting things out at us when we are searching for something, and the bananas were a victim. The plastic container they were in got cracked, and I started the hunt for a banana recipe. I've made muffins and the like before, but this time I needed something quicker-- having a baby in the house means baking time gets reduced.

Luckily for me, the first recipe I had on my cooking pinterest board was a banana cookie recipe that boasted only three ingredients. I was incredulous, but given the ingredients- bananas, oatmeal, and chocolate chips- I didn't think it could go terribly wrong. As you can see above, I didn't make cookies. The "batter" was a bit disagreeable, so I just spread it out like a cookie bar. I also added more chips and cinnamon and vanilla, per the comments on the original recipe post. 

They turned out not quite what I expected, but I ate them in the span of a few short days. Several people commented on the texture, but I didn't have a problem with it. I would definitely consider making these again, especially since there is little you can do to make these "wrong".

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sitting Down

I've been spending lots of time sitting. Not complaining, especially when my view looks like this:

I'm working on a single crochet crescent shaped shawl. Using knitpicks stroll in firecracker heather and bare that I dyed pink. I plan to add a third color- berry sangria on yummy fingering from candy skein yarns. 

Near all of my typical sitting spots are books, though mostly I've been reading ebooks on my iPad. Monuments Men is my current ebook, with The Beekeeper's Apprentice on the side in paperback. There are a few other books as back up, but I haven't started any of those yet. I'm enjoying reading both books, and Monuments Men is a good refresher for me for WWII. I'll be teaching that era come November, so I felt it was good to be up on it. 

Check out Tami's and Ginny's for more mid week progress. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A few Small Things

With this cutie pie ruling the roost, there has been very little crafting time for me. I've been trying to keep up with my lesson plans for the substitute teacher in my spare moments. However, we have engaged a photographer friend to do a newborn session, so I'm prepping for that. 

I was making great progress on this cocoon, until my husband pointed out that it was going to be too small. So half of it got frogged. I have to try it on the little guy before I make any further progress. Luckily, I have two more weeks before the photos. 

The hats are my other small project(s) in progress. My aunt has been generous enough to continue to allow me space at her craft show booths, and we had a two day show last weekend. With the new baby, i was only able to help for part of one day, so I don't know how well I did, personally, so I'm trying to make sure everything gets restocked. My owl and monster hats seemed like crowd pleasers while I was there, so more are in progress now. 

I'm not reading as much as I thought I would-- mainly ebooks that I can download on my ipad for nighttime feedings (someone blogged about that last week, and I was inspired. It makes feedings feel faster). Library ebook selections are not the most diverse, but something to read nonetheless. 

Be sure to check out Tami and Ginny's blogs today! 

Saturday, September 6, 2014


The peace in troubled seas. A light shining through the darkness. 

Only a few weeks ago (was it only a few weeks? it seems so far from here and now) the Summer Camp musician introduced us all to a new song. In reality, its not *new* new, but new to us. It struck a chord with me due to my attachment to lighthouses. When we came home from camp, I found that the original artist is this Irish Christian band, Rend Collective. Their music definitely fits into the stuff I like.  

In the times of murkiness I've had, this song has become encouragement. Another blessing from summer camp.

Also, the music video's kinda quirky, and I like it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Quiet and Simple

Labor Day weekend and a little munchkin in the house definitely make me lose track of the days.

Most of my day looks like this. When I have gotten a moment or two of crafting, it looks more like this:

Simple and mostly intuitive infinity scarves (next to lesson planning books, lol) are the best projects right now. I have a few little baby hats in progress, but they're in the other room and my lap is occupied. :) 

Healthy baby, quick delivery, and my time
is less my own. But we are blessed, and I need to keep reminding myself of that. Quiet simple days are not a bad thing. Just something to adjust to. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Peaceful Fridays

So I made it through a week of professional development, followed by a week of school, with absolutely no major signs of baby. Over this time, I have felt ridiculously loved by all of my colleagues, who were always checking on me, showering me with love and humor and advice. 
The four day weekend is a needed break, for me as well as E, as his work schedule has fallen in such a way that he's home with me all weekend. I'm almost looking forward to lesson planning, just as an intellectual stretching exercise, though I'm sure I won't get as much done as I hope for. This weekend marks the start of my maternity leave from school, so even if I don't do any 'stretching' this weekend, there will be more to come. 
Hopefully my crafting will benefit from this weekend as well. Last weekend, my mom and sister helped me prep for next weekend's craft show, which they will be working instead of me, and that was a huge blessing. I still cannot believe that my aunt puts up with me-- though I think she enjoys the company. As long as I am not put on total rest post baby, I will be visiting the craft show even though I can't be there working the whole weekend. (Luckily this is our only 2-day show, so the others won't be a problem.)
I'm already restocking for the October show, making sure I have a similar variety of items, etc. Being able to create and not having to worry about the intended recipient is very freeing. I don't want to seem ignorant of my customers- I do consider those people who buy things from me, but when I'm creating for someone specific, there is some need to please. When I'm creating for a general public, so to speak, I can get have a bit more fun, guessing what might appeal to people. Right now, I am working on a variety of striped projects, and am dreaming of embellishments. 

My nesting tendency is also in play a little bit this weekend. E and I are both making attempts to tidy things up and prepare. Though we know we can't really be prepared, it is nice to clean things up in a very thorough manner. 

I'd appreciate continued prayers, and have felt loved by everyone who's commented saying that they are thinking of us. We are starting such an exciting new journey, and really don't know what to make of it. Thanks for the love and support! Hopefully there will be a new little face and model for my hats soon!

Post script-- I wrote this Thursday evening... Friday morning I woke with contractions. Our baby was born Friday evening!!! 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Professional Development

The week before school is full of fun stuff. Being 39 weeks pregnant makes it more fun. Sitting during meetings has already gotten old. 

But baby's not moving, so I'm still working! I have two more days of meetings, plus I'd like to get in the first day of school... Maybe I'm crazy, but I love teaching and my job. So I'd super appreciate prayers for my energy and stamina as I go through the next seven days. 

I know babies are unpredictable, and God often has a different plan from us, but I'm still praying it'll all work out. 

If I suddenly disappear, you'll know why. 
Thanks for the flow of love and prayers and support, I really appreciate it!!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

How Long Does it Take?

Apparently, it takes 16 months to make an adult sized afghan and only nine months to make a baby blanket. Go figure.
Blurry phone pic!
I think the pressure is different for a baby blanket, though I felt no obligation to finish a blanket for my little one, as I knew that both grandmothers wanted to make something special for him. But in my nesting/avoidance of schoolwork frenzy, I've been finishing more projects than expected. Once we found out we were having a boy, I stopped adding in squares that seemed overly girly, so this blanket is leaning blues & greens. 

"Pattern" info-- 3 round grannies, joined in a 6x4 using the granny-style JAYG method. 2 additional rounds of granny on the border, plus a final 2 rounds of green- one being dc, ch1 and the second being hdc. 

If I were going to make another one, I would make 6x5 my goal, as that would produce a more square blanket. I may have the opportunity, as we just found out that E's brother & wife are expecting #2-- the debate is whether or not I try to compete with Busia (E's mom). There are many other baby patterns I could try for them, but I have a bit of time to think about it. 

Anyway, the baby "time crunch" seems to be the best time of time constraint to work under. It means I actually finish something! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Getting Back in the Groove

It is taking me longer than expected to get back into a regular routine. This past week has been full of ups and downs, with my downs being particularly low. Part of it may be the sinus infection that E and I think we both have, which is leaving me more fatigued than just pregnancy fatigue. But we're coming closer on the end. That is my main encouragement. My only 'worry' is that once I find my new groove, the baby will come along and give me something new to adjust to. I just keep coming back to changes, and adjusting to those changes.

A finally finished blanket in use

There have been a few good days, even when E was working. I've been making precise plans, and  actually got done what was needed. My extra time then became dedicated to finishing my biggest WIP, the 'wedding' ripple. In my typical fashion, I simply crocheted until I was sick of it, then called it done. It's not quite as big as I originally wanted, but it is finished. There are a few ends to weave, but I'm calling it.

Baby Owl
Riding on the coat-tails of that finish, I was motivated enough to finish one of my baby hats. There are several in progress, but I told myself I would get at least one done before Baby is born. Now I'm hoping to have two or three. Only two of them are actually for him, but getting extras done can always be a plus. My craft show stock on hats is low this year, so I've been hoping to get it up in these last few weeks.

This green-- one of Vanna's Choice Baby-- was initially difficult to match, but after thinking it over and halting multiple times, I just decided to stick with another shade of green. Not living with my artistic sister can be such a drag sometimes, because she has always been my main color-matcher. I'm a lot less adventurous with my color choices, and mainly just stick to colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. My sister tells me that her method is exactly the same as mine, but I don't really buy it. She has some magical sense that just allows her to coordinate colors better than most people.

Getting one hat done means I'm just a bit closer to getting more done, which is extremely motivating. Which brings me to more projects that need to get done.

Half-finished Granny Squares

I've come back to my baby granny blanket, and added to that as well. It was started at Christmas time, when I brought a bag of Vanna scraps with me to my in-laws, because my oldest niece wanted some crocheting tutoring. My brother-in-law was extremely frustrated that I was working on something that really had no coordination or purpose-- randomly colored granny squares can do that to even the most relaxed person-- so it was more an effort to tease him than anything else. But it turned into a baby blanket, now intended for our new little one.

 In an attempt to not overwhelm myself, I keep switching between projects. By finishing small things, the big picture looks tidier in my head. My sinus headache is still awful, but the edges around my crafting mess are starting to get smoother. 

Depression is an odd thing. I don't know even if these blues I've had for most of my pregnancy qualify as depression. But it's been a struggle. These moments of accomplishment, though sometimes small, are sometimes all I have to cling to in dark times. E has been amazing through all of this, praying with me and for me and taking on more than his share of the burden. Without his constant reminders, I think I would lose sight of who's really in control. 

These little accomplishments help me get back on track, with everything. Being grateful for the small things helps so much. And these small things get added to the list. I am grateful that I finally finished a baby project. I am grateful that even though he feels as sick as I do, my husband still helped with the dishes. I am grateful that our family has been blessed with life. I am grateful for changes that stretch me, and for normal things that give me comfort.

Linking with Tami & Ginny & KCCO

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

After Vacation

We spent two weeks out of town, one with E's family on vacation and the second working at a Christian summer camp. I truly felt blessed by the time away from home. Granted, there's a stack of paperwork to catch up on, but being out of the world for a while definitely helped me to come back to a place of peace.

Since coming back, things have been really busy and not necessarily peaceful. But I think I'm becoming more accepting of the rush, and by taking time to find the blessings and peace in the chaos, I'm doing better. 

Sunset on Lake Michigan
E and I are getting closer to being ready to welcome our little one. The only things not ready are my baby 'knits', but they are nearly there. Hopefully I'll be settled back into the normal routine soon enough to pick up my hooks.  

That's the only 'bad' thing I see about vacations and going away- settling back in. The normal routine became something else while being away, and now readjustment is necessary. But changing things up every once in a while can be good. We just have to handle it properly. Take things one at a time, and always seek out the blessings amidst the chaos.