Friday, January 27, 2012

Photo Friday

I think this deserves TWO photos.  Here is my Mother and Father-in-law's cat, Hope, who has a broken leg.  While they were on vacation, I took Hope to her two follow up check-ups. She is expected to make a full recovery. No one really knows how she broke it.  How do you get a cat with a broken leg into a cat carrier? Very carefully. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Scarlet Nights by Jude Devereaux I listened to this one on audiobook.  I learned later that it is part of a series of books.  I'm not sure where it was in the sequence. Which, I guess is a good thing that I wasn't able to notice that I had missed on previous installments. A big city detective has to go back to his home town to uncover a fraud/murder plot.  Reluctant to go back and face his past, the detective finds himself more emotionally entangled in the case and the town than he had planned.  The problem with reading the middle book in a series, now I don't need to read the previous ones because I know how it ends up.

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson  .
After limping through the first 75-100 pages the book got much more interesting. The first half of the book was full of long descriptions of small town life in a Pacific Northwest Island town. (I forget exactly where it was set). There were too many men names that began with the letter "A" so that I had trouble keeping them all straight.  The book is set in a post- WWII time. An untimely death of a fisherman is being investigated.  Prejudices and loyalties are put to the test as a Japanese-American and long time resident of the town is accused of the crime. Throw in some pride and a love triangle, unrequited love and a test of whether or not to help someone you have a grudge with... it turned into a very good book. Of course, if you can't slog through the first boring part, you'd miss out on the rest.

Bonnie by Iris Johansen, I didn't know, when I chose this book, that it is either the 2nd or 3rd book in a fictioin trilogy.  So, I was a little lost, but not completely. This book picks up with Eve, the mother of a little girl, Bonnie, who had been abducted and murdered. The mom, with the help of her, CIA friends and the soldier father of the daughter go and hunt for the killer. I listened to the audiobook version. The transitions between scenes or sections weren't always clear, so sometimes I was like, "huh, did she finish that section or did I miss something?"  It did have some interesting twists.

Books 10 thru 14 of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series 'nuff said.  She's so funny.  Book 1, "One for the Money" is a movie out this month. I am looking forward to going to see it.

Virals by Cathy Reichs, A teen book from the writer of the Bones tv series.  Amazon said it is for kids "9 and up", but I wouldn't agree.  There is a murder, guns, conspiracy, animal testing, and a veiled reference to a teen having a girlfriend spend the night.  For older kids, 13-14, ok, maybe.  Tory, a 13 year old misfit, living on an island off the coast of South Carolina is a friend to other geeky-smart science loving kids who stumble upon a shady research project funded by the University where her father works.  The kids use science and logic to uncover the evidence and follow the clues. In the midst of their research they are exposed to a virus which gives them into wolf-like characteristics (hence they call themselves "Virals".)  It should be a new series and it's nice to see a smart, science loving female lead character.

Modelland by Tyra Banks Oh my goodness, I gave it an honest shot.  I made it to about page 25 and thought "What IS this?"  It's a teen book, maybe teens will like it. It's fantasy so all the places and names are made up and funky. I moved on. Tyra should stick to show business and leave the writing to writers. I guess in a nutshell it is an ugly-duckling story.

Divergent by Veronica Roth  If you liked the Hunger Games, teen series, you'd like this one.  Again it is a sci-fi fantasy with a female teen protagonist.  Set in the future, Beatrice is introduced as she has to choose which segment of society she wants to live in. The society is separated basically by personality, Candor (honest), Abegnation (self-lessness), Dauntless (Brave), Erudite (the intelligent), and Amity (the peaceful).  Beatrice comes from an Abegnation family and the story is about which segment she chose, the training she received and how no one fits neatly into just one category.  There is violence.  It is a fascinating book though and I enjoyed it.

Embrace the Grim Reaper by Judy Clemens  I had to read this one, because I had lunch with Judy at the Books by the Banks event back in October.  First, the book is not nearly as scary as the title and cover might make you think.  It's not a horror book.  It is the story of drifter, Casey Maldonado, who's husband and son died tragically, suddenly. The book starts with Casey wandering from town to town evading the circumstances of her family's death. She happens upon a small town in Ohio where she finds some lovely people who are mourning the suspicious death of town favorite.  Casey tries not to put down roots but finds herself helping the town residents in their investigation as the past threatens to catch up with her.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Inspiration: Beach Sarong

Today's "What was I thinking" is the Beach Sarong!  It was in the Summer 2009 issue of Interweave Crochet. Here's the link to the Ravelry page for the project.  Originally when the call came out for designs for the summer issue,  I was thinking about weddings and items you might wear on your honeymoon, or items to wear on the beach.  (Remind me to tell you about the Amazing Grace Wrap).

I was thinking, wouldn't it be great to have just a little something to cover up with at the beach when you want to walk to the snack bar?  It would need to be light weight and lacy and pretty. It would need to dry quickly, handle getting wet, and wear well on the sand.  LINEN!  The wrap is made of Euroflax sportweight linen by Louet.  Though it starts out crunchy it softens the more you wash it and use it.  It blocks beautifully and dries quickly and doesn't get heavy when wet like cotton does. Perfect!  For the design, I didn't want it to go ALL the way around the body, but leave a sexy little slit.  However, there is no reason why you can't make it bigger for more coverage.  Someone on Ravelry even adapted the pattern to make it into a calf-length skirt!  For the magazine, they styled it as a yoga skirt and indeed some yoga and dancer fans have made the sarong for their own creative dressing.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Scrap projects!

So many of you have stated that your Crochet New Year's resolutions include using up your STASH! I wanted to remind you of this fantastic designer collaboration that will not only be a great use of stash, but all sales benefit a designer friend who has breast cancer. The blocks in Pam's Comfort Cables can be mixed and matched to make a blanket or used along for dishcloths or smaller projects.  Pick and choose just your favorite squares or try them all!

Here's the Ravelry project page link so you can share your projects and see close-up photos of all 23 squares.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sneak Peek

I'm sharing a sneak peek with you.  Just one of the fasten offs I am hoping to have this week. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Photo Friday

"Citrus" has now been nicknamed "Piglet".
I am so anxious to reveal some crochet to you!  I can think of 4 items that will be in spring magazines, so keep your eyes open for the previews. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Inspiration: Blossom Trio

 Last week I talked about the Blossom Blanket, this week, I talk about the Blossom Trio!
 The three pattern set debuted in Interweave Crochet in Spring 2010 and is now available on their website.
Look at the model's t-shirt!  It matches so well! The stylist did a great job finding it!  What was I thinking?  I was thinking of how could I put flowers on the headbands but try to make them blend into the background so that it looked like one fabric.  I wanted it to almost look like a jacquard fabric.  I needed flowers that were small enough to fit on the baby headband and some bigger ones for the toddler head tie. I also incorporated partial flowers thinking that I could use up more of the foundation crochet fabric and there would be less background showing.  I also wanted to make it look more organic, like actual flowers.  Actual flowers have petals missing and are perfectly imperfect.  I think the baby headband turned out so sweet!  It has a little piece of elastic sewn on the back to help it stay snug (but not too snug!) on  baby.  Little French knots are sprinkled here and there.

Monday, January 16, 2012

BIG goals

I'm trying really hard not to bust out singing, "I like BIG goals and I cannot lie".  With the beginning of the New Year, it's a great time to make goals, but how big should they be?  The bigger the better.  But the bigger ones might be more long-term goals.  In the meantime, break the big dreams into smaller goals that can be worked on yearly and monthly, even daily. 

Over the holidays, we visited my Grandfather's cousin, who we address as "Uncle Charlie".  He is in his mid 80's or so and is still sharp as ever.  I know he's sharp because he is one of the few people in my life who "gets it".  Over the years as I have explained to him and his wife, Aunt Ruth, what I do, Uncle Charlie is the first one to say, "You are a business owner!"  YES!  He loves the fact that I wrote a book and though he has little knowledge of crochet as a craft he appreciates my efforts.  Uncle Charlie was in the Army back in the day. He likes to read and has introduced Tom and I to the Brad Meltzer books.  He had the lastest John Grisham book on his end table when we visited.

Back to BIG goals... When you meet cool people who have done cool things, it makes you want to do cool things.  I can't wait to tell Uncle Charlie what I'm up to next. :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I made my deadline! Yay for getting to move on to a new project.  I'm tallying up receipts from 2011. As a small business owner, it appears that the biggest recipient of my hard earned income was the USPS.  I'm keeping the USPS in business. Also on my agenda today is wading through emails.  If you are awaiting a reply from me, it will likely come today or tomorrow depending on how much research I need to do to answer your question.  Easy questions get answered first.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Petite Purls!

Check out the Winter 2012 issue of Petite Purls.  The online magazine interviewed me for their Renaissance Mom's series!  Thanks!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Deadline Land

I'm deep in deadline land, I'll let you know when I resurface. Keep those hooks flying!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Photo Friday

Testing, testing, is my mic on?
(Feel free to comment with your suggestion for a caption).

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Inspiration: Blossom Blanket

It feels like YEARS since this one was published in Crochet Today, but it was only May/June 2011.  This fun hexagon blanket was made of Red Heart Sport Solids.  Was one of your New Year's Resolutions to crochet down your yarn stash? I think this would be a GREAT stash buster.   You can also change the colors of the blue hexagon "backgrounds" to use up more small amounts of yarn.  If you change the backgrounds to many colors, you will get more of a cacophony of color effect, less definition of the shapes. You can find the details on the Ravelry project page.

Yes, all that is nice, but "What was I thinking?" you ask?  Well, you know I love hexagons.  Because the colors were so fun, I was really excited to punch up the fun with dimensional flowers.  They are attached so securely that they can even be tugged on a bit and they will be fine.  I was thinking of creating depth with the flowers that really POP from the surface.  You can even see shadows and see how floppy they are. Because of this, they all flop organically, just like a real flower patch.  They don't all stand stiff uniformly, but instead are all slightly askew.  (Again, being slightly rebellious and trying to make my work a little asymmetrical or off-balance, remember the fried egg, Jiggly blanket? LOL).  I have a fascination with crocheting into unused loops and that is how the flowers were added.  I made all the backgrounds first and there was a row that used the back loop only. Then later, the flowers were crocheted onto the surface into the unused front loops of that row.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


It's back to work for me today. But I have boring tasks on the to-do list, nothing worth sharing by photo. I'm actually planning on tech editing a pattern this morning.  It will be great to have it off my to-do list. 

Chickee purchased this little critter over the weekend.  This is Citrus.  (Who I can hear running laps in her cage behind me).  Too cute.  She's a few-months old guinea pig and brings the total of indoor pets to 4. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

For all of you aspiring designers... it's time! Time to wrap up your receipts from 2011, close out and print and save your balance sheet from 2011.  Time to reflect back on the goals from 2011. Don't forget to give yourself kudos for things you accomplished that didn't even make it to the list.  Time to make goals for 2012.

Here's a birdhouse decoration that Tom and the kids made for me for Christmas. Tom cut the pieces, Chief nailed them in place, Chickee stained the wood and glued on the accessories. Chief used the drill press to make the holes.  Merry Crafty Christmas to me!