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Knackered Life-Size Crochet Doll

In case anyone wants to know what the life-size crochet doll is up to, here’s an update. She’s knackered! The kids are getting into full swing playing with her and it ain’t pretty!

Crochet life size doll IMG_3342

Ok, this is kinda pretty.

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Crochet Jeffy the Puppet Request

gold crochet crown

What have I gotten myself into? The kids’ memories have deep roots! Their memories are lousy for most things but then, one of them will remember that last year I made so and so such and such and why can’t I do it this year too? I’m blabbering so let me explain.

Today, I got unexpected pleas to make crochet items. The kids are always requesting things, and this year, I’ve moved away from making crocheted items for individuals because it was hard to keep up with demand. This year, I made things at my leisure and threw them in our prize box. I got good at saying no, sorry, can’t do it. Eventually, the requests started to taper off. I thought, “Good, they’re starting to forget.” Every now and then, one of them will remember we had a year where I made them all crowns when they made it to king or queen (an incentive on our star chart where they are the king or queen for the day and they get to pick our treat and what movie we watch on Friday). But that was several years back and I was counting on them forgetting, which they mostly did. I would happily make the crown for those that did remember because they were few and far between. Continue reading

Gray

 

Gray. What do you think of when you hear the word gray? Is it sad that the first thing that popped into my head was gray hair? Gray hair. I have more gray hair than I had yesterday. Yesterday, I had more gray hair than the day before. It crept up on me at first. It wasn’t so noticeable. Then I got more and I told myself it looked like highlights. It was still pretty in my mind.

Minie Me in garden

This is Mini-Me. I gave her gray highlights to match my hair. This is when I was liking my gray hair. 😉

As it continued to replace my dark hair, I didn’t like it so much. Was it time to start coloring it? I had never colored my hair. My sis–in- law and dear friend had stopped coloring her hair and started embracing her gray hair and she looked beautiful. I couldn’t decide if I should start coloring or try to embrace it as she did.

I really, really didn’t want to color my hair for a number of reasons. (1) I have allergies to chemicals and I was worried I would have an allergic reaction. (2) Coloring my hair would be a commitment and I knew that once I started the process, I would have to keep doing it because it doesn’t look good to have all those roots showing. (3) I have thinnish hair and I was worried the harshness of the chemicals would destroy what little I had left.

As an alternative, I looked at henna. The benefit would be that henna is actually supposed to be good for your hair. Big bonus! But everything about it looked complicated. Not only would I have the commitment of staying on top of coloring my hair, now the process looked even more complicated!

Then one day, my sister had stopped coloring her hair because she was worried the chemicals were actually causing her harm (hah! I knew it!). She didn’t mind coloring her so I told her about henna and she actually tried it. And it looked good! She found one that was pretty easy (or easier than some of the others) and so I gave it a try too.

My first attempt looked good but I messed it up. My sisters helped me apply it. What a mess we made! Henna is so messy. I left it on for one hour per the instructions. The sis who had tried it told me not use shampoo because the henna wouldn’t come out. She said to use dish washing liquid. Well, I, in my infinite wisdom, noticed it was coming out just fine with water alone, so I thought it would be fine with shampoo.

The results

The first thing I noticed was that some of the gray was still showing through, but that was fine since most of it looked really good. When my sis saw it, she agreed it looked good but said all the gray showing through was because I used shampoo. Shampoo has conditioners and I was supposed to avoid conditioners immediately after because they strip the color. Hey, she didn’t say anything about that before! She said not to use it because it’s not strong enough to get the henna out. I should have listened.

What I liked about the henna was that it looked so natural. No one even noticed that I colored my hair. Granted, when you do something like coloring your hair, you want people to notice but I didn’t. My hair was just darker and had less gray. The grays looked brownish and looked like highlights. When it faded (henna fades), it faded naturally so it was less noticeable. I was very happy at how this was working out.

For my next attempt, I was armed with more knowledge. I threw an egg in the mix in an attempt to condition the hair. Henna can be drying. I also added vinegar. That is supposed to help it set. I also left it on way longer. When it was time to shower, I removed it with just plain water. It takes a long time but it takes a long time anyway. The results were beautiful. The hair was shiny and almost all the gray was covered. The best part for me is that if I don’t want to continue coloring it, it just fades away and it’s very subtle. The worry about the commitment is no longer a worry. So at least for now, it’s henna all the way. 🙂

Scary Stories

Today I’d like to promote a great blogger, Tami at Tanglewood Tapestry, that features some great food, great writing, and my favorite, Scary Saturday. Scary Saturday is a weekly segment where Tami features true paranormal stories submitted by her followers. I have submitted some of my own personal experiences that have been showcased. I am super excited to see this segment grow so I can read all the wonderfully scary stories that are submitted. So if you have any great stories head on over there and submit them. I can’t wait to read them!

Just to give you a little taste, here is one of my stories that is featured on her blog. And this yarn (pun intended) is linked to crochet loosely. 🙂

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This photograph has been re-enacted to represent true events. That is not the same crochet chain mentioned in the story. I made a new one because the old one was unraveled (to appease worried spouse), but the wrist pad and keyboard are one and the same.

Q: Did you experience this paranormal event or was this an occurrence that someone else experienced?

My husband experienced it but my son and I were involved as well.

Q: What type of paranormal event have you experienced (examples – spirits/ghosts, UFOs, monsters/weird creatures, etc)?

It’s still a mystery but I would categorize it as a spirit/ghost event.

Q: Have you experienced this phenomenon multiple times?

Something similar happened again some time later.

Q: Where did you experience your paranormal event?

This happened in our house.

Q: Were you alone or did other people experience it too? If you were alone, have other people reported the same event in that location or during that time period?

My husband was in his office when he had the experience and my son and I were in our rooms.

Q: Please describe the details of your paranormal experience.

My husband was working in his home office (upstairs). He stepped out to go do something (maybe go to the bathroom or the kitchen) but when he went back into his office, he came right back out and came straight into  my office. He asked if I had gone into his office. I said I hadn’t. He asked if I was sure. Of course I was sure. Naturally I asked why. He seemed agitated.

He said there was a string placed on his wrist pad near his computer that wasn’t there when he stepped out.

What???

“You know, one of your yarn things!” he said.

I was very confused.

“You did it, right?” he asked.

I went to his office to look because I had no idea what he was talking about. I saw one of my crochet chains, made from a chunky, rainbow yarn, laid perfectly straight across his wrist pad in front of his keyboard. I told him that yes, that was mine but that last time I looked, that particular chain was downstairs because my students made it and I brought it home. But I did NOT put it in his office. He seemed relieved that at least it didn’t appear out of nowhere. It had been in the house already. I don’t know why that made him feel better but it did.

At this point, I started laughing because it was all so ridiculous. He immediately accused me of doing it as a joke because I was laughing so hard. I kept repeating that I hadn’t done it but he wasn’t convinced, which made me laugh harder. He asked my son if he did it and my son was more confused than I was and said no, he didn’t. So we were back to me laughing. Now they both thought I did it as a joke. I kept telling them through hiccups of laughter that I didn’t but the fact that they thought I did  was even funnier. I stressed that that would have been the worst joke ever. Why on earth would I think placing a crochet chain on his wrist pad be funny? It turned out it was very funny but I was innocent! He started to skeptically believe me so he called my daughter, who no longer lives with us but still has a key to the house, if she came over and did this. I couldn’t stop laughing. The thought of my daughter sneaking into the house, grabbing a chain that I had downstairs, and placing it on his desk like a present, had me in hysterics.  And then she zipped out, all while we were home.  Naturally, she said no, she had done no such thing.

He then went around the house looking for an intruder. Nope, there was no intruder. More laughter ensued (I couldn’t help myself!).

I said it was our ghost messing with him and playing a joke. He didn’t think THAT was funny at all. My son just thought it was all weird and thought maybe I did do it. We came up with theories on what could have happened. Maybe the chain got stuck to my husbands jacket when he brought something up from downstairs and it ‘landed’ on his wrist pad while he was working. The problem with that theory was that the chain was perfectly straight. There’s no way it just fell that way. To this day, I believe he has doubts as to whether I did it but we just chalked it up to a mystery we may never solve.

Q: Are there any other details or related information that contributed to this event or that you believe are related to it?

Something similar happened a few months later. My husband has a favorite water bottle he takes to the gym with him. I don’t usually interact with this bottle because he always has it.

One day, it was on the kitchen table so I decided to wash it. The whole time, I was wondering if I should dry it right away and put it back in his office. I ended up leaving it in the drying wrack and I forgot about it. My son puts the dishes away and I’m pretty sure he put it in the cupboard with the other water bottles. I vaguely remember thinking I shouldn’t leave it there but it was just a fleeting thought.

The next day, my husband asked if I had seen his water bottle. He was on his way to the gym. I told him I thought our son put it in the cupboard. He said it wasn’t there. He left and I looked too and it wasn’t there. I thought maybe my son borrowed it. He said he hadn’t because he knew it was dad’s favorite and he has his own. Last he remembered, it was in the cupboard. My husband was annoyed it was misplaced but said it would turn up eventually. It didn’t, so he went out and bought a new one.

About two weeks later, repeat the scenario from above. We were all in the same rooms. Hubby comes to my office again and asks me if I’m messing with him again. I started laughing again which made me look guilty…again. I asked what I did this time.

Apparently, while he was working, he turned around and saw his water bottle on the floor, as if someone rolled it in from the door. He insisted it wasn’t there before because he would have had to step over to get to his desk.  And the kicker was that it was wet inside as if it had been used. I know it was dry by the time my son put it away. It didn’t smell dank either. It would have been if it had been wet since I washed it and was somehow lurking in his office all this time.

Repeat the same laughter and the same accusations about it being me. It wasn’t. This time, through bouts of laughter, I accused him of forgetting he brought it up and left it on the floor all this time. I didn’t really believe this. I find it hard to believe he didn’t see his water bottle in the middle of the floor for weeks. Hey, turn about is fair play! After we were all convinced we were all innocent, we tried to come up with theories and just concluded we had another unsolvable mystery, but my theory was that the ghost did it.

There’s probably a perfectly good explanation and we just don’t know what it is but I’ll stick with my ghost theory. 🙂

Blogger Recognition Award

A grateful thank you to Tami of Tanglewood Knots for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award. I humbly accept and truly appreciate it, especially since it’s coming from a blogger I admire.

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The rules for the award:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

How my blog started

I was in the process writing a book. I wanted to start a blog about the book and my experience going through it. It’s a crochet book about making crochet dolls and I was pretty proud of it. It was mostly done but I still needed to edit the thing and add pictures and what not. I got going on the blog and then froze up. I wasn’t sure what I was going to write. Since the book was mostly done, I wasn’t sure I wanted to write about that anymore. Instead, I focused on the crochet projects I was currently working on. Since then, I’ve found my blogging ‘voice’ and am happy with it’s direction. I have to chuckle that the reason for the blog, i.e. writing about my book, never happened (at least not yet) but I found I enjoy the blogging experience very much.

Advice

  1. My first piece of advice would be to take your blog seriously and post consistently. Set a realistic goal for yourself about how often you want to post and try to meet it. But also be flexible. It’s ok to change your goal with more or less postings, but don’t neglect it or forget about. In the beginning, I was worried I wouldn’t have enough to write about. I set a goal for myself and most of the time I was able to meet it but there were times I didn’t have anything to write about. By having a goal, it forced me to think about topics I could be posting about. The more consistent I became, the more I found I could write about.  Now I have a queue of things waiting to be written about and trying to find the time to write them all.
  2. My second piece of advice and one I wish I had started using sooner is to use the tools WordPress offers to help your blog be successful. They have excellent tips and tutorials that are very helpful. I Just recently discovered The Daily Post. It’s a very good resource for bloggers. One of my favorite sections is the daily prompts.  They provide a daily word to post about and you can link back to the prompt. I’m finding the prompts very helpful in stopping writers block. If I run out of ideas on what to write, I can always turn to the word of the day and connect to that community. The fun part is trying to make the word of the day work with the topic of crochet. More often than not, I can make it work. I don’t do the daily prompt everyday but it’s there when I need it.

Bloggers I like:

I know that many of these blogs have already received this kind of recognition before so if you are on my list, you don’t have to do anything. It just means I really enjoy your site.

  1. Tanglewood Tapestry: I love her writing  and look forward to reading her creative short stories but I am hooked on her Scary Saturday stories. They are true stories submitted by her readers. I love reading true, scary stories. I am always looking forward to her Saturday posts. I encourage everyone to check it out and submit stories. I can’t wait to read them. 🙂
  2. Evelina Crafts: I love making crochet dolls and hers are beautiful. Looking at other peoples work is very inspiring for me. She makes really cute miniature crochet toys. So cute!
  3. Kate Davies Designs: This one is about knitting and I don’t knit but her work is amazing. Her husband is a photographer and his photos are simply stunning. It’s definitely worth a look.
  4. The Twisted Yarn: I love her sense of humor. Her work is fantastic and I’m always chuckling while I’m reading. As a bonus, she has fun giveaways all the time.
  5. That Space  in Between: If you like art, this is a really cool blog. I like seeing the work come to life. Looking at art inspires my crochet by inspiring me.
  6. Coastal Crochet: I am so jealous that she lives near the coast but I love seeing how she incorporates her love of crochet with her love of the sea. Love it.
  7. Lime Green Lady:  There’s some really cool crochet happing at this site.
  8. By hook, by hand: This is one of the first blogs I ever fell in love with many years ago and helped me become a better crochet-doll maker. Her work inspired to keep working on my dolls. She has tons of free patterns and her dolls are beautiful. Truly worth checking out.

Honestly, there are so many excellent blogs and bloggers out there. Another piece of advice is to search out the ones you resonate with and become a part of the blogging community by interacting with others.

Denial: Crochet Mermaid Crown for the Renaissance Faire

It’s Renaissance Faire time! We are going this Sunday and I want a mermaid crown. I’ve been seriously considering my outfit options. I usually sew (I use the term sew loosely) or crochet something new. I start off in denial about how much time I have to make something as I almost always wait till the last second to actually start. But this year, I think I just want to wear something I already own. You see? No one is in denial here. Considering I only have three days before we’re going, I think I’m making a pretty smart decision here.

I decided my mermaid outfit can once again appear at the fair. However, I never really liked the head-dressing I originally made for it. Sooooo, that means I need to make a new crown/headband/tiara thing to complement the outfit. I see all the head shaking already. It’s only three days! But I can do it! Seriously, I’m not in denial.

I moseyed on over to my friend, the internet, and did a little search on crochet mermaid crowns. I’ve been drooling over photos on Etsy for a bit. Mainly, I was looking for inspiration. I was hoping lightning would strike me with some amazing (easy) idea on how to make one. I wasn’t finding anything at first, but then, I found a really pretty one that I thought I could emulate.

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This mermaid crown is gorgeous!

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Bavarian Crochet Coat

Dense Bavarian Crochet Coat

I went off and started another crochet coat (sweater, cardigan, I never know how to label it). I’m almost done with it and realized I hadn’t done a single post about it. Well, if you count the post I made about the Bavarian square, then I guess I did post about it (at least the idea of making a sweater from it). And here I am , almost done with it.

The process for this one has been interesting. Here’s what I knew I wanted in a new sweater (coat, cardigan): It needed to be long. It needed to be dense (i.e. no holes to plug up). It needed to be easy. Lastly, it needed to fit! Oh, and feel good too, let’s not forget that. Continue reading