Tag Archive | memories

Freebie Friday – Crochet Diamond Pattern Afghan

I’m very excited to have found a pattern for my mom’s rebozo (shawl) that I had previously posted about. I always loved it and when she passed away, it came to me.

mom's shawl_1

Mom made this over 30 years ago. Still beautiful!

mom's shawl

It’s like a little hug from mom 🙂

Just recently, out of nowhere, I saw an image of it on Pinterest. Even better, it had a free pattern. I love the age we live in. As time passes, I’m finding more and more vintage patterns of things my mom made that I don’t know how to make. It’s a nice feeling finding them. I was actively looking for those patterns but finding this one was more like a gift from mom, precisely because I wasn’t actively looking for it. I am so happy to be able to share it.

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This is the image I found online. Looks the same to me.

Crochet is Relaxing?

Am I the only only crocheter who doesn’t think crochet is relaxing?

The very first time I heard someone say crochet was relaxing, I remember smiling and nodding but in my head I was all Huh? Relaxing? Really? You think so? I guess I had never thought of it that way. Fun, obsessive, inspiring, creative, compulsive, expressive, exciting, thrilling, artistic, enjoyable, addictive, stress-inducing,  soul-fulfilling, euphoric,
frustrating and possibly soothing (does NOT mean the same thing) but never relaxing. What’s so relaxing about obsessively working on a piece until my hands and wrists hurt? What’s so relaxing about looking at your piece and knowing you’re so far from being finished (I’m looking at you dragon cloak)? What’s so relaxing about planning and organizing and trying to learn new things and not always being successful? What’s so relaxing about obsessing over trying to finish a piece you can’t possibly finish in one sitting? What’s so relaxing about being pumped and excited to start a new project? Is it relaxing when I have to complete a gazillion pieces for the craft fair? And so many more things that aren’t that relaxing.

Mini me_7

I don’t have time to relax! I’m crocheting!

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Freebie Friday – Crochet Jelly Fish

It’s official. I have become my mother.

My daughter tagged me on Facebook in a post about a crochet jellyfish. She wants one. More specifically, she wants ME to make her one. I looked at this thing and thought it was cute and super simple to make. I didn’t think I even needed to use the pattern to make it but I looked it over just in case.
Jellyfish crochet

I came to the conclusion that yes, it was pretty simple and she could probably make it herself with my guidance. About a year ago she had accompanied me to a craft fair and it was slow so she was open to letting me teach her how to crochet (she was bored :-)). She never showed much interest in crocheting herself. She always relied on me to make her things. She is so creative in so many areas that I didn’t understand why I couldn’t get her to crochet. So on this particular day, I had her undivided attention and so I was finally able to convince her to try it.

Imagine my surprise when she picked it up immediately. Like, she was crocheting rows in no time and going in the round a few minutes later! I don’t think I’ve taught anyone that picked it up that quickly. I felt duped! My daughter was a prodigy and she refused to learn. She could have been crocheting ages ago. That was the first and last time she picked up a hook.

Back to the Jelly. I responded to her post by saying I could guide her in making the jellyfish, knowing full well she wouldn’t do it. She countered with, and I quote,”What’s the point of having a mother with these skills if I can’t exploit them???” I was my mother. My mother made stuff for her children all the time. Stuff we never asked for. The moment we asked for something, we got the “You can make it” talk. She always offered to walk us through it. Sometimes I took her up on it but mostly I just wanted her to make it for me. Mother was wise. LOL And now I get to lob those words at my own daughter and now I understand both sides. 🙂

 

The free pattern can be found here.

 

I am not affiliated with any websites nor do I make any money from these sites. They are simply patterns I like or would like to try myself.
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Mexican Mother’s Day

We always celebrated Mother’s Day with my mom on May 10th because that’s when she said it was really Mother’s Day. In Mexico, it always falls on May 10th. So today, I’m celebrating Mother’s Day with my mom in my heart. My mom passed away almost three years ago and my siblings and I went through her things and kept those items that were the most valuable to us sentimentally. With the recent passing of my oldest sister, her children did a similar thing and generously passed some things back to us. I was fortunate enough to get some of my mom’s finished crochet pieces.

Mom was pretty amazing and some of her best pieces are gone but here are two of my favorites.

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The Prodigal Doll Returns!

This story was inspired by the passing of my oldest sister due to complications of diabetes…

So I made this doll back in 2010. I had just learned about Tunisian crochet and I experimented making some dolls with it. I loved the knitted look that could be achieved and since I was lousy with knitting, I wanted to give it a go. This particular doll was my third attempt at making a doll with this style of crochet. When I was done with her, I thought she was ugly (but I never told her that. I wouldn’t break her confidence that way!). I was happy with the overall doll but I wasn’t too happy with her face. I didn’t do such a hot job with her hair either but she was a prototype so I wasn’t too concerned.

What surprised me about this doll was the reaction some family members had to her. My sis-in-law and close friend fell in love with her and kept cuddling her and asked me if she could have her. She begged me for her. I’m pretty sure she begged me for her :-). I still wanted to make the doll an outfit and take some pictures of her. This doll wasn’t intended for anyone. I wanted to keep her as future reference for other dolls but I had written a pattern already and my friend wanted her so badly that I agreed to let her keep her, but not until I was done finishing her up.

Then, my mom-in-law came to visit and had almost the same reaction as my friend. She also asked if she could keep her but let her know that I had already promised her to someone else but that I would make her a new one (I did eventually make her a new one but it took me over a year to deliver, oops!). I told my friend about it in the event she was feeling generous and would want me to give her to my mom-in-law but she said no way.

Well, on a day my extended family gathered for the holidays, I had intended to give the doll to my friend. I had made her a bassinet, pillow, blanket, an outfit and bought her some clothes. My niece saw the doll and asked me if she could have her too. I let her know that it was already given to someone else and besides, I had already given her some dolls I’d made.

I gave the doll to my sis-in-law (notice she is no longer my close friend at this point) who enjoyed her all of 15 minutes before she gave the doll to my niece! In her defense (this was her defense, not mine), my niece came up to her and let her know how much she loved the doll. My niece, 10 years old at the time, looked pretty cute and convincing. My sis-in-law then said, “Well, dolls should be loved and played with by kids. Will you promise to take care of her?” My niece was no sucker and said that of course she would take care of her. My now not so loved (I’m joking of course!) sis-in-law handed the doll over and that was that.

A couple of things went through my mind in that moment. What just happened???!!! Did she really just give away the doll she begged me for to my niece to whom I had already given dolls to? It could have gone to my mom-in-law (it’s never a bad thing to score brownie points with the mom-in-law), who I was pretty confident would not have given her away in less than 15 minutes.

I don’t blame my niece for wanting her and asking for her but I did NOT expect my sis-in-law to cave in so easily! I felt like snatching the doll back up and giving her to my mom-in-law (brownie points!). But then I came to acceptance. What was done was done. She belonged to my niece now. She conned sis-in-law out of it fair and square. My niece reads this blog and she knows it’s true!

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This is one of the dolls I had given my niece. Just in case there was any doubt I gave her good things!

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Renaissance Faire in My Back Yard!

end of fair

There is a Renaissance Faire that happens in my home city???!!! What???!!! I’ve been trekking all the way to Irwindale (about 40 miles away) to go to the faire and I have one practically in my own back yard! Obviously I have to check it out. It’s called the Koroneburg Old World Renaissance Festival. I already bought tickets for The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale, the one I’ve been going to for years. We are still going but if this one is as good, we will be going there from now on. Continue reading

My Weed Garden

Not to long ago, my sis-in-law and friend was gazing out to my patio through the sliding glass door. She cocked her head and exhaled, “Huh, I never noticed that all your plants were the same.” I giggled  sheepishly because they were indeed all the same. I blurted out, they’re the only plants I can’t kill!” She laughed with understanding. She said they looked nice. I wasn’t sure if I should believe her.

Many years ago, someone, I can’t remember who because it was so long ago, commented that she (I’m pretty sure it was a she) hated this plant we saw in someone’s garden. It’s a succulent that has these big, shiny, tear drop shaped leaves. She said she hated them because they were the weeds of the succulents world. I didn’t say anything because I had some of those in my own garden. I was embarrassed to admit that I actually liked them. I didn’t know they were equivalent to weeds!

I have a black thumb when it comes to plants. I can pretty much kill anything except weeds. That hasn’t stopped me from trying to have a pretty garden , albeit with various degrees of success. I finally had to come to the conclusion that gardening just isn’t my thang. I know I can learn if I really wanted to but I just had to admit that I obviously didn’t want to.

My mom had once attempted to beautify my back yard with these lovely little flowers she bought for me. I looked at all those trays  of flowers and thought, “Oh no! death!” I politely told her that maybe planting those at my house wouldn’t be a good idea since I couldn’t be trusted with their care. She completely disregarded me and said all I had to do was water them. I thought but didn’t say, “If you say so….” My mom happily started digging and planting and sending me off to do various tasks, one of which was to water all those trays of flowers. I quickly did her bidding and asked what else I could do. When she was ready to start planting, she lifted one of the potted plants and said, “Didn’t I ask you to water these? They are still dry inside.” I replied that yes, I watered them. She saw me do it. She shook her head and said in Spanish, “These poor little plants. They were so excited to come to your home to be planted and now they’re thinking, why did you bring us here to die.” I just crookedly smiled and shrugged and she laughed. She said, “No wonder your plants die if you water them like that.” She kept planting them and told me to water them properly from now on. I’m sure nobody is surprised that they didn’t make it. Since then, I’ve tried different things, all mostly failures, until…

I decided I wasn’t going to be embarrassed for liking the weeds of the succulent world! How silly of me to let one person’s opinion color how I felt about certain plants. I chose to embrace that plant and used it all around my house! I couldn’t kill it no matter how much I neglected it. In fact, I could just cut off a stem, a leaf, or any part of it, stick it in some dirt, and voila! It grew. I loved it. It didn’t care if it only got watered when it rained. I even started wondering if I could do topiary with it. If I messed up, no harm no foul. I felt loved back by this plant because it refused to give up and die no matter what I did to it. Today, I saw I bunch of broken stems and leaves on the ground outside because we had some strong winds. I grabbed them, found a cute pot that’s been rolling around outside and put some dirt in it, some pretty rocks and those broken bits plus I cut some more and shoved them right in. I put it on my kitchen counter by a large window.

Succulent

The plant that will not die!

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