A Crocheted Dog Named Mouse

I’m currently participating in a photo book challenge on Instagram. I love reading and decided to incorporate my crochet into the book prompts. For the most part, I end up using crochet items I’ve already made and try to incorporate them into the theme of the book I’ve chosen. But for one of the prompts, I wanted to make something new.

The prompt called for a book with my favorite familiar or animal companion.

Meet Mouse the dog: A temple dog of Foo origin and Harry’s companion in the Desden Files.

Mouse is one of my favorite characters in one of my favorite book series. I knew I had to try and make him. I haven’t crocheted anything in months, so it was nice to have a goal and a challenge. He is described as being tall, has a broad build, his coat is dark grey, and he’s marked with black on the ear tips, tail, and lower legs. He has a lion-like mane around his face. Mouse seems to possess an extremely high intelligence, able to formulate complex plans, and understands instructions. He is a great fighter and a fast runner. In combat, he will occasionally emit a nimbus of pale blue light. He has supernatural endurance and healing abilities beyond mortal dogs. I love this dog! Continue reading

Self-Publishing My Crochet Book

My book came! It came! I was gone on Friday and my book arrived while I was gone. My son placed my book in my office and I didn’t see it until almost midnight on Saturday. My book was here an entire day and I didn’t know! When I discovered the package, I thought it was something else I was expecting. I was so surprised and elated when I opened the package and it was two copies of my book.

It’s here! It’s here!

I wanted to call my sisters and friends but understood they might not appreciate it if I woke them up. I had to wait until Sunday morning to bombard everybody. I did, however, take a chance and texted my sis-in-law because she has a reputation for staying up late. Luckily she was up, and I was able to share. It was very emotional, more than I expected. I know that any new book by an unknown author, much less a self-published book, doesn’t face good odds, but that doesn’t matter. I was holding in my hands something I had worked on for years (YEARS) and it looked good! I didn’t realize how worried I was that once I got it, I would be disappointed. I was very happy with the pictures in the digital format of the ebooks, but printed…I wasn’t so sure. Also, the quality of the paperback could have been terrible. I had no idea how Amazon produced the books. But I wasn’t disappointed. It looks great! It looks like a real book! 😍 There are things I would do a little differently for the next book (there will be a next book 😀) but overall, I’m over the moon. Continue reading

Gift Of A Bonsai Tree

Have you ever received a gift that you absolutely wanted but were horrified when you actually received it? No? Well, I’m guilty of it. My sis-in-law (and friend since we were 15 years old) had this little bonsai tree in her backyard. Every time I would visit, I would say I was going to steal it…every time. I didn’t mean it of course. I wouldn’t steal it, but I did want it in theory, but not for realsies.

I love it!

Imagine my horror when she came for a visit and walked into my home with that very plant! A gift for me because she knew how much I loved it. Instead of being properly delighted that she brought me such a generous and thoughtful gift, I looked like a deer caught in the headlights. In a split second, I had thoughts of how I might kill this beloved plant. Did she actually bring it here where it might not make it? She’s known me forever, she knows my history with plants! But after the panic passed, I asked what any sane person would ask…would she be alright if the plant died on me? Luckily she wasn’t insulted at my freakout and assured me that she wanted me to have it and if it didn’t make it, it didn’t make it. Since she wouldn’t hold it against me if the plant didn’t like my care (and died), I was able to jump with glee that she was giving me her plant. Continue reading

Crochet Challenges and Progress On My Book

I don’t normally do crochet challenges or crochet alongs because…I don’t know, just because. I like looking at what other people are doing though. One of my best friends/sis-in-law started participating and enjoying some challenges on Instagram. She kept encouraging me to join a crochet one she was doing. She had this crazy notion that I might like it, AND that it would force me to post more regularly on my Instagram account.

The prompts are fun and fully within my purview.

See, I was guilty of going weeks without posting. Before, I was pretty active. I always had something to show, what with making things for and with the kids at work, and my own projects at home. But after the pandemic shut down our school and it not opening back up, I wasn’t crocheting much. Instead, I hyper-focused on finishing my crochet book on dolls that had been brewing for years. After intense work, I finished it and then…nada. I stopped talking about it. My excuse was that I was waiting to get the cover from my husband for the physical book edition…but that had been months already. I’m sure she and other family members were wondering why I wasn’t doing more to get the word out. I think after the big push this summer to finish it, my brain took a break, figuring when the physical book cover was done, I’d focus back in. Instead, I focused on a new account on Instagram all about succulents and my garden. I’m thoroughly enjoying that account by the way, but I became guilty of neglecting my crochet account both here and on Instragram.

There’s nothing wrong with focusing on something different. Sometimes we just need a break from things, but being the good friend that she is, my sis-in-law was getting frustrated that I stopped talking about my book. The book that took me years to finish and that I finally self-published on Amazon and Apple Books as an ebook but wasn’t announcing it from the rooftops.

Uhm, I don’t think that sat well with her. She started mentioning this challenge she was in and I enjoyed her posts on it. She gave me a few nudges here and there about things I could post about but nothing too pushy. I wouldn’t say I was ignoring the hints. It was more that I wasn’t catching them and letting them land. Then, I saw that Eleanora from Coastal Crochet was also doing the challenge and things just clicked. All the nudging paid off, and I decided to join the challenge. When I joined, I had to do a few catch-up posts, but they were fun to do and now I’m all caught up. I even had the courage to start talking about my book and incorporated it as part of the challenge.

I was reminded that just because I’m not necessarily working on a particular crochet project, I still have things to post about. And being more active on my crochet account again jumped started my creative juices, which I suspect was my friend’s evil plan all along. And after my hubby saw me getting motivated again, I think that motivated HIM too to finish my cover (and he was trying to get done by our 27th anniversary, which he did!). He was still very busy with his work so I wasn’t complaining, but I was super happy when he was done with it.

I love it! I love it!

I was able to upload it to Amazon and I’ve ordered a copy to see how it looks. It should arrive in about a week. Hopefully it looks good and I can start yelling from the rooftops. 😉 If not, it’s back to the drawing board to make it look good.

On that note, I already have a bunch of posts I want to write about here on my blog about the trials, tribulations, and frustrations I went through to upload and self-publish my book. I also have some ideas for posts unrelated to the book but are all very yarny. I might use some of my favorite prompts from the crochet challenge as inspiration for blog posts. I want to use different images than the ones I use there so followers to both will see something different. As for Instagram, I plan to continue with the challenge as it’s been super fun.

A big thanks to my sis-in-law/friend that her evil plan worked! If not for her, I would probably still be in my garden with my head in the sand saying, “What book?” LOL

 

Crochet Coco From Animal Crossings

My niece asked ever so kindly if I would make her Coco from the video game Animal Crossings. I have some knowledge of the game since my daughter loves it and told me all about it when it came out. But I had no idea what Coco looked like. I did a little internet research and knew I could reproduce her in crochet.

She’s cute!

I used other images as well for reference to get a well rounded idea of her. I immediately knew I had the perfect yarn for the skin tone. I had a little ball tucked away in a drawer somewhere. It would be just enough to make the entire doll if I planned it right.

I think I did a pretty good job. 😊

Heatwave! In Southern California

It gets hot in the summer around here but the digits have risen higher than I’ve ever experienced in my neck of the woods. I used to cry foul when we hit 105. This week, we reached 115 more than once and and 109 seems to have become the norm!

Other places are hotter so why am I whining? Because not only am I not used to this extreme heat, my plants aren’t doing very well. They’re succulents so you’d think they could handle it but noooo, they can’t.

My garden suffers every summer but bounces back when cooler weather comes around, but this extreme heat might kill some of my succulents permanently. My plants I’m most worried about are my plumerias. I have two from cuttings that finally had beautiful leaves. One still looks fine but my other one looks like this!

I’m melting!
This is what it looked like the day before.

I’m hoping it will bounce back. I moved it to the shade and gave it water. I have my fingers crossed!

Crochet Baby Yodas at Yosemite

Friends or enemies?!

I was fortunate enough to visit Yosemite National park with my siblings and sibling-in-law on a camping trip. My brother was able to snag reservations to Zion, Mesa Verde, and Yosemite, all before the pandemic. Apparently, Yosemite was super hard to get. Reservations would sell out within seconds of opening. He kept trying and timed the system just right and managed to grab one for this past weekend.

As the pandemic hit, the reservations were canceled with first Zion and then Mesa Verde. We were crossing our fingers that Yosemite would happen. As the date got closer, they did close most of Yosemite down, but our reservation at Upper Pines remained active. Then, they canceled half of the Upper Pines reservations. Ours was one of the lucky few that did not get canceled, but we kept watch to see what would happen. The week before we were set to go, Yosemite started slowly opening back up–with many restrictions–but opening nonetheless. That was such good news because it meant that our reservation would probably hold–and it did!

I took so many pictures of our adventures, but I almost didn’t take any pics of the Baby Yodas. Months ago, I had made a Darth Maul/Baby Yoda hybrid for my brother and my sis-in-law had crocheted him a Baby Yoda. He carries them in his car, and they went on the trip. It was on the last day that my sis-in-law said I should take pics of the dolls (action figures!) before we left, and I mean literally before we left! We were packing up to leave! I thought it was a great idea.

They didn’t do any hiking, being snug and forgotten in the car, but they were there with us and deserved their own photoshoot. 🙂 If you’d like to see more, check out my Instagram account at @yochetcrochet.

I see you!
I think they’re friends.

I loved being at Yosemite! Can’t wait to go back someday!

I’ll post another entry of my adventures with my siblings but if you’d like to check out pics now, head over to my Instagram @yolihikingandoutdoors.

Baby Yoda Crochet Mask – We Won!

I was asked to share how the Baby Yoda crochet mask did in the contest at my sister’s work. We won! Sadly, and for reasons unknown, they didn’t post the doll sporting the mask. But still, my sister won anyway, although I’m convinced that if they had used the right picture, we would have had a bigger lead! But I digress, we won!!!!

I asked my sister to take another pic of the doll wearing the mask after the win. I think the doll looks pretty happy, even though she didn’t get to make her debut. 🙂

Large Crochet Doll Wearing Crochet Baby Yoda Mask

My sister asked me to make her a crocheted Baby Yoda face mask. I responded that of course I would and then didn’t make it…for two months! She asked again because she wanted to enter it in a contest at her work. They were awarding prizes for the best homemade mask. She was convinced we would win.

Well, now there was a deadline so I actually had to do it – plus prizes! I started throwing out ideas like maybe she’d like a Wonder Woman mask or a mermaid mask. Nope, she wanted Baby Yoda. I didn’t realize it at first, but I was probably baby Yodaed out. The other masks were things I’d like and not things she’d like, so I stopped procrastinating and made it.

I looked around for ideas on how to make a general crochet mask. I had already crocheted a few, but I wanted a different style for this one. Once I saw a few varieties, I designed my own with the right colors.

Just for the fun of it, I made the mask it’s own mask.

My sister also wanted her Company’s logo somewhere, so I placed it on the mask for the mask. The logo didn’t look complicated but it was challenging to represent it in crochet while making it recognizable as such. I made a few attempts until we were both satisfied.

Then she thought it would look cute if we took a picture of the mask on my big crochet Baby Yoda but it was too much baby Yoda! I suggested she take my big crochet doll instead and try it on her. The doll has only traveled from the school (where she was born) and my house. I entrusted her to my sister’s care and sent her on her way.

My sis did a fantastic job taking pictures of the doll with the mask. And it was fun to see she used one of my mom’s blankets as a backdrop. There was lots of crochet going on but it looked super cool.

All I can say is if she doesn’t win with that, I’d like to see what does win!

Simple Succulent Garden Joys

One of the things that brings me joy when I’m feeling cooped up is going on a stroll through my backyard garden. I enjoy taking note of which plants survived and which ones just couldn’t hack it. My plants are the survivors of my black thumb, and I look at them with pride (and that I didn’t manage to kill them). At this point, the ones still standing aren’t going anywhere. They’ve made it! Aside from bringing me joy, they also serve as fabulous backdrops to pictures of my crochet dolls.

I wrote a post about how my friend noticed I had just one type of plant in my backyard and how she thought it was funny. My response was that that was the only plant I could keep alive! It thrived on my neglect and so that’s all I had. Embarrassed by my lack of variety,  I embraced a journey of discovery and experimentation. I endeavoured to find other plants with the same resilience. After all, if there was one that could survive me, there must be others. And indeed there was! And now I have an abundance of lovely succulents that I truly believe love me because they had the fortitude to survive. 🙂

So while I’m in isolation, I have the fruits of my labor to enjoy. It rained back in April (my plants wouldn’t make it without the occasional rain), and I went on a photo safari to capture the plants in all their plump, rainy-day glory. I was inspired by a fellow blogger who went through a stroll in her garden to lift her spirits.

So here are some of my plants that not only survived, but continue to thrive:

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EROV9974 Continue reading