Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween Happenings and a fun hat

Halloween is my favorite holiday.  It is all about fun and not all about decorating, cards, presents, shopping, wrapping and shipping and all the money that goes into that.  I feel like I am always running around with my head cut off at Christmas.  Actually I am usually so tired when it comes to the actual day I don't even appreciate it.  Yes I know Christmas is about so much more than presents, but with a family that is unfortunately a big part of it.  Halloween is just about fun, plain and simple fun.  I love to decorate at this time of year.  Even though the temperature is still in the mid 80's I can pretend it is more Autumnish (is that even a word?) when I look around my decorated home.
 Want a peek?


In my living room there are spiders crawling up my railing, and a spooky black cat sitting on my antique piano stool. 




The mantle in my family room, from left to right looks like the above photos.  There are more things dispersed around my house which I will show you next week, including my very favorite holiday decoration that I put up every year.  If you have read my blog for very long I bet you will remember it. 


Do you remember the brown crochet blob I posted about a few days ago?  Little Buddy's Medical Foster Mom asked me if I could crochet her a baby turkey hat for a friend having a baby right before Thanksgiving.  She found this Crochet Turkey Hat pattern on Pinterest and I said I would give it a go.  This hat is very fun to make and can be whipped up in an evening.  I think it might be a little big but who cares?  I had the yarn in my stash from the Milk Chocolate Yarn Eating Blanket I made my teenager a few years ago.  I had the golden color in a tiny little ball waiting to be used up, and I had the filling, so it was free, fast and fun.


Of course I could not make just one Little Buddy needed one too! He has a strangely shaped head not unlike many preterm babies.  His head is small and a little flat on the sides so the hat I made him did not fit perfectly.  If he wears it for two seconds on Thanksgiving I will be happy.


Actually he was not a cooperative model at all, the rest of the photos from this photo shoot were a compete blur as he was rapidly swinging his head from side to side.   He loved the beanie part of the hat which he put on and off his head a million times while I made up the turkey legs.   He liked the hat so much I decided to make him a beanie with extra yarn I had on hand.  Just a hat to play with. 



He looks like a little boy from an exotic, foreign land.  The beanie is funny don't you think?  The beanie pattern for the turkey hat and for the one above can be found here and the pattern is free.

Thank you for all your lovely comments on Little Buddy's trip to the farm.  Today he sat in a police car at school with the police officer!  Lets hope this is the only time that happens in his life, well at least after the age of 10!


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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Little Buddy at the farm

Little Buddy had the day off school yesterday.  His vision teacher invited him to attend and event held in the morning at a local farm.  Well sort of a local farm.  He loved it, so just in case you need an almost mid week happy fix here are some cute photos of him at the farm.


 He rode on a miniature horse named Missy.


He held on tight all by himself.   I walked alongside him just in case he got nervous or decided he wanted to slide off.  But he was a trooper and had a big smile on his face the whole ride.


Missy wasn't much bigger than Little Buddy, I think they were a match made in Heaven.  If only he could have ridden more than the few minutes allowed.  This little trip made me want to get him into Hippotherapy, where children with different special needs get to ride on and take care of horses.  It would do wonders for his balance and trunk stability, as well as help to relax his legs.  I believe he will be discharged from vision services soon as he is really doing fantastically with his vision.  When that happens we will have one free afternoon a week, so Hippotherapy might be perfect in that slot.


We met a pig although he/she did not oink for us.
 

We saw bunnies, goats, chickens and my favorite this beautiful little lady, Miss Donkey.
 

He got to go on a hayride with his vision teacher who also snuck him on the tractor that pulled the hayride trailer around.  


While they were off on their adventure I walked around and could not take my eyes off this old boat house.  It is part of an old campground that can be rented out and is still in use for boyscout retreats.  Can't you imagine all the squeals of delight this old boat house has heard over the years.  Frankly the water looks gorgeous but I wouldn't venture in it.  Fresh water in Florida houses water moccasins and alligators.  People say they stay out of the way of swimmers, but would you take a chance?  I took about a million pictures of this boat house as I walked around, it was so beautiful and almost haunting if you know what I mean.

 
On our way home we spotted this!  Seriously 30 minutes from my house is a 75 acre alpaca farm I did not know about.  We will visit next time they have an open house.

Hope your week is going well.
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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Scattered thoughts on a Saturday


I am feeling scattered today.  So I guess you are getting a scattered post.   Here are the beautiful sunflowers on my kitchen table.  I love sunflowers in Autumn.  The ghosts Little Buddy made with his babysitter with tissues, cotton balls, string and markers.


My beautiful Mum is flowering so nicely.  See the little surprise flower behind it?

This basket that has been refilled several times with yarn is near empty because................

Thirty-five dishcloths have been completed.  I think I might be done with this project, well at least for now.  I think I should celebrate!


Little Buddy leaves a cute mess everywhere he goes.  Firefighters and a firetruck came for a visit at his school this week, he loved it.  He got this Elmo coloring book that discusses the old favorite, "stop, drop and roll."  He is also in LOVE with his fake money.  He says, "I love money," all the time in this weird deep voice, sort of like a deranged accountant or banker!  We might have a problem on our hands as he gets older!!!!!


I made something cute last night, more on that later.

I hope to be sitting my behind right here in a few minutes listening to Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld.  I am really enjoying this book so much.  I was listening to The Rope Walk by Carrie Brown but I returned it to the library early as it frankly was driving me crazy.  There were way, and I mean way to many similes in this book.  I am not a literature Queen but I swear I was ready to scream at the author if she had one more sentence with, "like" or "as if," in it.  The main character was 10, and there is just no way a ten year old has these types of thoughts.   And it also took place in current times but it should  have taken place in the 70's, it felt wrong when the author mentioned 9/11 or cell phones, sort of jarring in fact.  I finally put myself out of the misery I was in and returned the audiobook early.  I looked up the book on goodreads and frankly might be the only one who did not love it.  

Listening to a book while driving, going for a walk or playing with yarn is my new favorite thing to do.  I get double the "reading" time and can get other things done at the same time.  I am re-reading the Big Stone Gap series by Adriana Trigiani in the evenings before bed.  I have missed the main character Ave Maria, she feels like a good old friend.  I am enjoying them even more than the first time I read them.  That is the wonderful thing about a good book, you can re-read it many times and get different things from it each time you read it.

This morning I spent pressure washing my driveway.  I never even knew something like this had to be done until I moved to Florida, the mold and mildew capitol of the world.  The pressure washer stopped working about 3/4 of the way through the job.  I think I overheated it.  I will try to finish it tomorrow, boy I have such an exciting life!  

I have been decorated for Halloween for a couple of weeks.  I love this holiday.  I will show you more this week.

Is Blogger slow today or is it just me?

Hope you are having a slightly less scattered day than I am. 

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Babies, a prize and the dreaded dishcloths

This weekend I took a tiny break from my Christmas creating to make some cute little baby things.  My neighbor across the street had a baby girl a couple of weeks ago.  She has a 14 month old and a new baby, bless her heart.  Last year when her first was born I made little booties and a hat for her.  I really don't think these were all that well received.  You know as well as I do that not everyone appreciates a handmade gift.  Did that stop me from making daughter number two the same thing?  No, it absolutely did not.  I had fun making them, they are a creative gift and if they are not used or even thought of nicely, then oh well who cares.


This hat pattern came from the lovely Olga at Lacy Crochet.  I made it with a size G hook and stash yarn I had from a baby  blanket I made my great niece. 


These little booties were an idea I got from the sweet Lisa at Needles and Wool on her Friday Favs.  Lisa is adorable and just had a birthday, pop on over and wish her a Happy Birthday for me.  The original pattern for these booties was from canalblog.com, but I could not find the exact source.  They have been reworded by Small and Friendly and are called the Bitty Baby Booties.


I think they are cute and I had fun taking a break from dishcloths to make them.  Ah, babies what could be cuter?
 

Because big sister's (even if they are still little) need a little something special too, I bought these little finger puppets at the alpaca store when I was there visiting this past Saturday.  Just a little something she can play with that might be fun and different.


Carla of the gorgeous blog The River had a giveaway and I was the very happy winner.  Carla and her husband make these gorgeous cards.  You can find them on her blog and also at her etsy store located here.  Carla has a beautiful blog, she lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two boys.  You all know I have a soft spot for Wisconsin, so visiting her blog makes me feel like a little bit of me is still there.  She has a kind soul, I hope you will visit her.  And for any of you thinking you are getting one of these in the mail from me you are wrong, they are much to lovely to use.   I am going to put them up on my bulletin board so I can be reminded of the beautiful Autumn in Wisconsin.

 
Seventeen of these babies have made it into the Christmas bin.  I have made a few more and already given them away so they don't count.  I have just a few more to do and I think I am at the point where this project might be over.  I bet you will be as happy about the finish as I will be.

Have a great Wednesday.
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Sunday, October 12, 2014

A visit to the alpaca store and a gift

Well, well, well I see that all of your were excited for me to visit the alpaca store, and many of you thought I could not make it out of there without a yarn purchase.  Oh my friends, you do not have much faith in me do you?  Let us take a visit the store shall we?

You have been here with me before, actually it was about a year ago.  This is where I purchased the alpaca nesting balls and had the idea to make Max's fur/yarn nesting balls.   The Store is called Criativity and is located in Largo Florida.  They do not have a website but do have a Facebook page if you are interested.  For my fellow Floridians, or those of you who travel down this way this store is worth the visit.


When you walk in there is a big showroom full of alpaca clothing and lots of Free Trade gifts from soaps, toys to those beautiful felted birdhouse I bought for Christmas gifts last year. Everywhere you look there is something wonderful to see.


Birdhouses, baskets, shawls, mittens, hats and sweaters, oh my!

Around the back of the store is the yarn/workroom.  They used to just have a portion of this wall filled with yarn.  Now they have gorgeous yarn located in three different areas of the room.  
 

They have two large worktables, chairs, projects and looms are everywhere.  And the staff, oh my goodness they are just the nicest people in the world.   They are kind and helpful, ask your name and feel like they have been your best friend for ages.  The yarn they have is gorgeous and I felt it was very reasonably priced.   Did I succumb?  No I did not, but Cathy bought interchangeable needles and my friend Joy bought yarn.  I did make a teeny, tiny purchase which I will share with you another time.


This masterpiece was in the corner, it is spectacular.  This was a 4th grade class project.  Each 4th grader got to felt their own flower, once placed together and adhered to a painted frame it made this gorgeous piece.  I swear I thought it had been completed by a fiber artist.   Well I guess it was created by many young fiber artists.

Seriously if you are near the area you have to visit this shop.  And I seriously need to remember to come back sooner than a year from now.  Maybe when I take myself off my yarn diet I will venture over and have a look at all of the beautiful yarn. 

You can find Criativity here:

Criativity
720 9th Ave SW
Largo, Fl 33770
(727) 584-4191
Tuesday-Friday 10am - 5pm
Saturday 10am -4pm
Closed Sunday & Monday

Onto other very happy news.  I was one of the very happy winners of a giveaway hosted by Chris of Chrissie's Knit Times.  We had to identify a very interesting piece of well, piece of something she had posted on her blog.  It was fun to see the guesses, and although I did not come near to being right she took pity on a few of us and allowed us to win anyways.  Now is there anything better than getting a gift in the mail from a blog friend?  I think not!  Especially such a kind blog friend that really took the time to think about what would be perfect.  


Look at this!!!!  I swear I squealed in delight when I pulled this beautiful shawl pin and gorgeous yarn from the envelope.  Chrissy said she thought the yarn reminded her of me and Florida.  I think she is right on both accounts.  The color reminds me of the sun setting on the water with clouds near by.  The hues are gorgeous, can you tell I am excited?  Chrissy, a thousand thank you's for your kindness and generosity.  Pop on by and give Chrissy a hello for me.  You will love her I just know it.

My friend Ellen has returned to blogging recently.  She took time off to rehab a very bad back.  I hope you will pop in and tell her hi and wish her the best on her return into the blogging world.  You can find Ellen at Growing Gills. 

Gillian from Hookin A Yarn,  asked me if I like using Sugar n' Cream yarn for my dishcloths.  I do because the cotton yarn is perfect for that type of project although it is a bit rough on your hands and wrists.  I also get a weird little skins sensitivity on my yarn exposed fingers when I use this yarn.  I am not sure if it is the cotton, the texture or the dye.  When I take a break from the yarn it gets better.  They also make a version that has a scent to it, watch out for that it will knock you socks off.  I accidentally bought some and put it outside for a week and it still smelled much to sweet and smelly for me.  I ended up donating it because I couldn't stand it. Go visit Gillian, she lives in Northern Ireland, and it is beautiful. 

Oh and Pat from the Sew We Quilt blog.  I am using Berroco Boboli Lace in the color 4312 for the table runner on my loom.  Hopefully we will have a finish on that sometime in the near future.

Okay I think I am all finished.  Hope you had a fun weekend.


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Friday, October 10, 2014

October 10 is I Love Yarn Day

 

October 10 is I Love Yarn Day.  And while I am ready to celebrate my love of yarn today, I am ready to celebrate it everyday.  Working with yarn soothes my soul.  I really am not sure what I would do without it.  I choose to crochet, knit and weave, and they all involve using yarn.  I love the colors, the different fiber contents and the smell, yes there is nothing like the smell of wonderful yarn.   There are some yarns I have not loved, and of course projects I have hated, but for the most part yarn is a huge part of my life.


The combinations of colors, stitches and patterns is endless.  I am never ever bored if I have yarn with me.  The search for beautiful projects in books, magazines, on Pinterest, Ravelry or my favorite in blogland is almost as fun as creating the projects.

I have always said that yarn is a lot cheaper than therapy, and the positive results are faster.  And of course I think that life is to short for cheap yarn.  You will pay for it in the end.  So why not treat yourself to yarn you love to touch, yarn you love to work with, and of course yarn that will make your end product worth all of your hard work.

Ironically I am on a bit of a yarn diet this yarn holiday.  I am only allowing myself to buy more yarn to make the crochet blanket I have just started.  Tomorrow my best knitting friend and I are traveling to a wonderful alpaca store to see their yarn for her birthday.  I have been there before and hear it is even better now.  I am going for the visual beauty not the buying potential.  Maybe I need to leave my wallet in the car!

So Happy I Love Yarn Day to all of you who love yarn as much as I do.
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mid Week Catch Up

Another week is sliding by at a rapid pace.  Does time ever seem to slow down?  
This past weekend I worked on my new blanket.  I made up a square, just one to see what it would be like. I have decided the weekend is free for me to work on what I want to, the week days are for Christmas gifts until I get them completed.


Made from the free pattern by Donna Mason-Svara, or SmoothFox, it can be found here.  I have realized that I seriously underestimated my yardage for this project.   I am going to need double what I ordered from Knit Picks.  Each 11 x 11 square takes up almost 100 yards of yarn, crochet is a yarn eater that is for sure.  I will have to order more yarn soon.


I sat right here all Sunday afternoon swinging and listening to my audiobook.  The weather had changed and the high was only 78 degrees, it has since gotten warmer and more humid, but Sunday was spectacular.  I am thrilled with audiobooks and love the versatility I can have with them.  It makes my long, long drive to work and back much more tolerable.  And while I am reading in the evenings I feel like I can use my drive time, walking time and even yarn time better with a book to listen to.  My local library system has an app that can download audiobooks for free, it is a win-win. I am listening to books I may not ever buy or even check out from the library, nothing life changing but certainly entertaining.


This past weekend I did a bit of closet clean up.  I realized that I have an abundance of yarn in my closet that I do not use, yarn that has been used to make projects that I am not in love with.  So I frogged a tank top I had knit a while back, after washing it once this cotton yarn did not play nice.  The fit was completely changed and I knew it would just sit in my closet.  So rip, rip, rip.
 

This yarn and fringe was a gift.  I really never liked the way it ended up in a short of narrow shawl, the pattern that had come with the yarn.  I didn't like how the increases went, and frankly the pre-cut fringe was not enough.  So I took it apart and now I have some fun yarn to make a cowl or scarf with. It is almost like getting new yarn.  I have a few more items I am thinking of re-purposing but I will wait a bit just to be sure.


There are some Autumn themed beauties on my kitchen table making me smile.
 

While we are not really seeing cool temps or changing leaves, I do sense a change in the light.  It is lower in the sky, softer around the edges.  The intensity is dimming, a nice break if you live in the Florida sun all year long.


The Mums I planted a week ago are starting to take hold of the soil.  The little flowers make me happy.
 

These latest addition dishcloths do not make me happy.   Apparently my light is so dim in my family room that I did not notice that this was cream and purple variegated yarn, I thought it was a darker white.  Oh bother, what will I do with these?  They are not what I like at all and really did not even notice the glaring imblance of colors until I got them outside.  It is too bad as I had a lovely cream yarn that would have gone nicely with the purple.  Well I might just donate these and get on with the project.  With these I had 16 flower dishcloths completed, without I am back down to 13.


I decorated for Halloween my very favorite holiday, more on that later.


We celebrated my Dad's 91st Birthday on Sunday.  He is in love with Little Buddy.  My Dad was not well last week on his actual birthday so we were a week late.  It doesn't matter, cupcakes were enjoyed by all.

How is your week going?
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