Tuesday, December 01, 2015


It happens every year, and much as I may try to prepare for it, December always manages to take me by surprise.

After quite a long creativity dry spell, I designed two crocheted gift card holders.  One was one of those lightning bolt ideas I love so much:  I had thought of crocheting a snowman, then thought maybe a gift card holder might be nice....and then I saw exactly how it was going to close....
Made with worsted weight acrylic yarn, plastic buttons and some dimensional fabric paint.
Then I thought I would do another version, this one closes with a loop through a 'handle' that forms a pompom of sorts as well as doubles as a hanging loop.
Made with worsted weight acrylic yarn, buttons, dimensional fabric paint and size 10 crochet thread.
The pattern includes instructions for both snowmen designs and is available in my Etsy shop, click on either picture to view the listing.
*Finished gift card holders can be purchased, I have one listed here, and a few others finished that I have not yet listed (including the green ones shown here)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A tough decision

I have long feared that one day, I would have to make The Decision. 

Recently, it became that time.

Our little Westie, Daisy,  has been through a lot in her 13 1/2 years.  ACL surgery several years back (she bounced back so fast it scared me until the vet said she was fine!), last year, a uterine infection, right after Christmas time.  This meant an emergency surgery.  After doing some reading while Daisy was at the vet's, I discovered that this could have been avoided if we had had her spayed.  It wasn't a matter of money:  at first, we thought we might let her have one litter, then as time progressed, she was fine, and when she was heat, it wasn't like a cat being in heat, so we just never bothered.

Late this summer, I took her in with a urinary tract infection.  I noticed before taking her in that she had lumps in one of her mammary glands and mentioned this to the vet.  He told me "lumps in the mammary glands are not good"  which I had kind of figured, but he was going to take care of the infection, we could discuss the other later. 

About a month later, I noticed Daisy again showed signs of discomfort that she had shown with her UTI, minus the tail clamped so tightly its tip probably touched her abdomen.  I took her in, the vet felt a lump in her bladder.  An x-ray and an ultra-sound later determined it was not stones, but a large mass.  Not good news.  Without cutting her open and doing a biopsy, we couldn't know 100% for sure that it was cancer, but it was a very good chance this was.  My husband and I had discussed this: at Daisy's age, why put her through this just to be 100% sure?   When at her age, another surgery to remove it (if possible) might not be the right thing to do?  We would try to manage her pain, watch her, and when we thought it was time, we would make the call.

 The pain med/anti-inflammatory dose that she is getting no longer seems to be helping for long.  She whimpers, whines and groans while she strains...even right in front of us in the house...to eliminate.  She groans and barks outside while trying.
We are cleaning up puddles of urine and  trails of blood drops daily.

It is time.

But it is still hard, there is a part of me that wonders if it is too soon,  that if, aside from her sleeping a lot and in between the bouts of pain, there is still some quality of life.  Then I hear her groaning and watch her squirm or try to squat and part of me knows it is time. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mastering the Crocodile Stitch, and a couple of hasty reviews

I think I've gotten the hang of the crocodile stitch.  I remember trying months ago, maybe it was the pattern, maybe I was just not able to focus, but I was not able to figure it out.
Then, for a great-niece's birthday I wanted to make some adorable slippers that used this stitch, bought the pattern from Bonita Patterns and had no problem following her instructions.  I bought a few different patterns, I am hoping to do some winter accessories for myself before winter hits. 
If you do purchase, however, please note that I was automatically added to her mailing list, which is, btw, against Etsy's TOU's.  Instead of asking you to opt in, she considered buying the pattern as opting in.  It was easy enough to unsubscribe, but that is not the point.  Will this stop me from buying again?  Nope, but I will be sure to put something about this in my note to seller when checking out.
Forward about a half year, and a couple of friends tagged me in a post on FB.  Someone was looking for someone to crochet some owls that used this stitch, the owls were adorable, so I messaged her.  Never did hear back with a yes or a no thank you, but someone else in the same post commented that she would be interested.  I messaged that one, heard back right away, and wound up purchasing the pattern and completed these:
The pattern from CAROcreated(click on the picture to see the listing) is actually for an applique and calls for sport or fingering yarn for an owl app. 4" tall.  The customer wanted one a bit larger, for a wall, so I used worsted weight yarn and ended up with these, app. 7.5" tall.  The colour may be a bit off, the owl on the left is not purple, but grey.

Now, this pattern was fairly easy to follow, however, someone with less experience crocheting may have gotten confused:  I had to stop and reread at times because the pattern did not exactly follow standard format.  Instead of saying (example, this is *not* from the pattern) 2sc in 1st st, sc in 10, 2sc in last, it was 'increase, 10sc, increase'.  I did have some difficulty interpreting that and something like 'inc, 3sc, 1sc, 2sc', when I wasn't sure if the 2 were in one stitch.  Until I realized there were actually brackets:  'inc, (3sc) 1sc, 2sc' to show that the 3sc were all in one stitch.

Would I buy from this seller again?  Oh, yes! CAROcreated has some awesome looking parrots and some more appliques that I would love to work up!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Has it been *That* long??

I guess it has, last published Sept of 2014.   My how my poor blog has been neglected.
So, quick sum-up:
Still here.
Still crocheting (although not as much, sadly)
Working on a new pattern, though I have been working on it for months.  And I think I have misplaced my hand-written scribbles.
Finally going through some of my craft supplies, which was my New Year's Resolution.  Only took half a year...

I do have to be honest, though, I started out looking for a pattern that I am sure I still have, which I never did find.  Hey, if you happen to know which magazine (I am convinced it was one of the digest sized ones) or an online site where I can find it, feel free to comment:  it is a long potholder, crocheted using 2 or 3 strands of cotton held together.  One long piece, tapered at each end, with two short pieces, also tapered, that are joined at each end to form pockets for your hands to fit into.

Anyway, didn't find that, but did find some 'treasures' in a plastic bin I brought up to dig through.  Some baby dresses that I may work on at some point, some Hass Design patterns that I had forgotten about, and a few booklets that seem to be hard to find.  A couple of which are selling for considerably more than they did originally.  Finally, after seeing others discover such treasures, I have some myself. 
I started listing some on eBay, and some in my Etsy shop.
Crochet Ornament Toppers was one of the surprises, being unable to find many at all for sale, the one I did find is listed at almost $60 US.  Figured I'd try a bit lower on eBay and see if there are nibbles:

And one so far in my Etsy shop:

I have a week of "stay-cation", so am hoping to at least get through this bin.  It will be brutal, even after listing, that little voice in my head is whispering "Are you sure?  You might want to make these some day!"  I think you know how it is.