Monday, December 31, 2012

Ta-Da!!! Crochet Tartan Afghan

Wow... it's the last day of 2012... Good to see that the world didn't end ;)

I had all these grand plans of posting every day of Kwanzaa, which started on 12/26, but I forgot every day in the midst of being down in Florida with Lamar and his family ^.^  I think I'm going to do a grouped post for each day of Kwanzaa tomorrow (the last day). 

Anywho! The thing I'm most excited about today is.......... drumroll ............ I finished the tartan blanket for Lamar's parents!  It was a good bit of work to do, but I'm glad I did it because not only does it look nice, but it's also really meaningful for their family.  We're going to visit them this evening and I'll give it to them then. I know I shouldn't be nervous, but I am *shrug* 

I haven't measured it yet, but when I do I'll update it here (47 inches by 61 inches).  It took me about 4 weeks to complete (mind you there were many holiday gifts in the making at the same time).  So here are a bit more details about how I put together the whole shebang...
  • Foundation chain: 196
  • Mesh Stripe pattern repeated 4 times: peach, black, navy, royal, sky
  • Chain Stripe pattern repeated 4 times: same
  • Border: Row 1: w/ black, hdc around, ch3 in corners. Row 2: w/ peach, granny stripe.  Row 3: w/black, granny stripe. Row 4: w/peach, sc in ea st around.
Tips on making the afghan:  to get the foundation chain, multiply the number of stripe rows in one repeat by 2 (in mine it would be from the start of peach to the end of sky blue: 24 rows x 2= 48 chain sts).  Then take that number and multiply by the number of times you want your stripe pattern to repeat (mine repeated 4 times: 48 x 4= 192).  That is your base chain.  Add 4 chain sts to the base to serve as the turning chain.  The first row is worked like this: dc in the 6th chain from hook, *ch1, skip 1 ch, dc in next ch* repeat between ** across, turn. Row 2: ch 4 (counts as first dc and ch1 here and throughout), *dc in the top of the next dc stitch, ch1*, repeat between ** across, turn.  Repeat row 2 until mesh is the required size.

Well, I'm gonna go eat something then get ready to deliver this blankety goodness ^.^  If you have any questions or decide to make a tartan/plaid blanket, leave a comment.  These blankets are a lot easier than they look. Just a tad bit time consuming with all that chaining :)


Monday, December 24, 2012

Break time: Grandma's Birthday Shindig

Hello hello! Happy holidays and all that jazz! ^.^

I think that today was the official beginning of my Christmas break.  We celebrated my Grandma's 80th birthday this afternoon.  She was so happy :)

It was so great to see how happy all the comments and expressions of love made her.  A lot of people spoke about her work with children at church and in the community.  She got two awards: one from the Alabama Partnership for Children and another from Governor Bentley.  She also got a letter/card from President Obama.  She's too fancy right? lol ^.^

Grandma with some of her past/current students.
Grandma with some of our extended family.
Grandma with her children & spouses.
Grandma with grandchildren & "adopted" grands.
Grandma with her grandchildren.

Grandma and my family.
Ok. That's enough photo dumping. We had a lot of fun celebrating with my Grandma. It's such a blessing for her to be able to say that she has lived 80 years.  My Grandma lives her life always seeking to help others.  She loves her family and is very loyal to her friends.  She has always set such a good example for her children, grandchildren, and students.  Hopefully, I can be as awesome as she is when I turn 80.

I love her so much ^.^

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Empathy: A How I'm Feeling Post

My emotional state has been quite the roller coaster over the last few days.  But because of the upheaval, I've sort of had an epiphany.  I'm extraordinary empathetic.  I always knew that I was sensitive & felt deeply for people who were going through different things, but it was reinforced over the weekend.

After hearing about the... tragedy... (I want a better word but I don't know what to say) in Connecticut on Friday, I couldn't stop crying.  It was like I was leaking and I couldn't quite pull myself together.  Eventually, I got it all "tucked in" enough to get stuff done.  The next morning, I was still feeling off.  It was a feeling like when you walk into a room and the floor is slightly tilted... it looks normal, but you feel the difference.  So I figured the best thing to do is to get out of the house and visit one of my friends.  We talked a bit and I told him I was worried about going to this particular potluck that afternoon.  Reason being, they always have a "discussion" about either current events or spiritual things or whatnot and I knew that the shooting was going to be it.  He told me not to fret too much and that I'd be ok.

A few hours later, I'm at the potluck, feeling ok, eating some food, and talking to friends.  Then they started the discussion. It was to shooting, of course... I was actually ok throughout the whole thing, pretty much because I was totally focused on the crocheting I was doing.  After that discussion ended, someone suggested a season of prayer.  Normally prayer is great, but at that particular moment, the only thing keeping me together was being able to crochet.  During prayer, all I could see was blood... and tears... I kept trying to push the feelings out, but I couldn't.  Prayer ended and I just wanted to lay on the couch, but people kept asking what was wrong with me. I felt frozen. Like if I moved I would break completely. So I just laid there and breathed. That is until my friend that came with me insisted we leave so he could figure out what to do.  I remember getting up, quickly making my way to the door, whispering goodbyes, and trying to put my shoes on.  The one of the girls looked at me and asked was I alright, and I felt it.  It was like a crushing or a vacuum in my chest and I ran out of the house.  I got to the front yard before the pain rammed me.  I wailed. I couldn't breathe.  I felt so much pain and sorrow radiating from the center of my body. It was so far past terrible I can't express it.  I kept seeing them.  Hearing them.  All I could do was wail and sob with my face to the ground.  I wanted to stop crying but I couldn't.  Eventually, my friend carried me to the car and drove me home. Even now, writing this, I'm focusing on my breathing just to keep the tears at bay.

The following days were rough... to say the least.  I'm feeling everything and it's very tiring.  A couple days ago, when leaving work, I had a thought.  I pray for God to make me more like Him, and He's the strongest empath ever... so me becoming more sensitive and in tune to the experiences of others could be Him answering my prayers.  People have been telling me that this empathy is a spiritual gift since Saturday.  I guess there's nothing I can do to back out of it now, so I just need Him to help me to use my empathy efficiently and not get clobbered by it.

I went to a counselor this morning... he was nice.  Pretty much restated things I knew, but he read me very well.  I need to learn to do that.  I did some reading about managing empathy and have decided to get back into meditation.  Hopefully it'll be good for me.

Right now, I'm ok.  Not up not down. I'm good with this.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Sometimes you meet people that unknowingly bless you in their existence. Just their everyday goings on.  I think that when I realize this, it's God showing me that He's orchestrating things all the time.  Creating networks and connections so that I get a comment, that leads me to a blog, that gives me just the right encouraging word that I needed today.  Everything's in His control.  All the time. In good. In bad.  When my emotions are running amok and all I can feel is sadness pouring into me.  When the cave of me floods, God will give me air bubbles to breathe along the ceiling...  I know life is screwed up.  I know that everything isn't always going to be happy, but God's got me.  He always has. He always will.

I prayed today that God would help me put all  this in His hands... I'm still trying to understand how that's done.  But I know He'll show me.  He's good like that.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What's on My Hook? #18: Stripey Stripes

(A WOMH Wednesday post on a Thursday... I totally passed out sleep when writing this Wednesday night.  Who knew I was that tired?? Not me! Anyways, enjoy!)

Tuesday, my crochet project of the night was the woven tartan blanket that I'm making for Lamar's parents.  Needless to say, making the tartan mesh is a l...o...n...g... and boring job, so I decided to take a teensy little break.  I have been wanting to make a super cozy cowl for a while now... I even had the yarn picked out (Lion Brand Homespun in 4 colors) but I kept saying, "I'll make it after the holidays..."  So yeah, I made it last as my 'break from the tartan' craft.

I didn't use a particular pattern or anything, it's just a chain 102 loop, dc in 3rd chain from hook & across.  The rest of the rows were turning ch of 2 and dc in the spaces across.  I used a 'P' hook which is something like 11.5mm (HUGE!!) and that made it really gappy... if that makes sense.  It almost looks like granny stripes.

Each color has 4 rows and it wraps around my neck 3 times ^.^ I'm very excited about that!  I need to make a matching hat so I can be all fancy and whatnot.  That'll be my next break project.  Anywho, I love it so much!  All I can say about it is that it's SO snuggly and warm :) Yay.

Please excuse the sleepy eyes... It was like 1 am or something :)

I'll post updated pictures of my holiday projects soon.  I want to have more totally done instead of in progress. ^.^  I hope you have a great day!


Thrift-tastic Tips! Part 2

Hey hey!  Here, as promised, is part two of my thrifting tips.  If you missed the first installment, don't fret, you can read it here.  So on to the last half of my thrifting tips ^,^

Calli's Thrift-tastic Tips pt. 2

6.  Try it onTrying the different items on is something you should do if the thrift store has a changing room.  Aside from seeing if it fits, you can see how the pieces you like work together, you can also see any potential trouble spots (pulled seams or stretched out parts).  Oh! Tip 6-B, if the shop doesn't have changing rooms, wear something that you can try clothes on over... leggings, skinny jeans, fitted shirts, etc.

7.  Be patient & take timeThrifting takes time.  Time to sort through clothes that may not be organized at all.  Time to think about how to style different items.  Time to check for imperfections.  Time to make your way through the store.  It is not really something to do on your lunch break... unless you're not planning to buy, then lunch thrift away!  Be patient.  Some days are better than others.

8.  Don't be afraid of little imperfections
Missing/loose buttons? Loose stitching on hems?  Almost unnoticeable stains?  Odd paint job?  These things can be easily fixed with a needle and thread or a bottle of fabric dye or a can of spray paint.  Don't let those little things discourage you from taking home a piece that you'll love.

9.  Smell it
This tip applies mostly to handbags and things that cannot be easily washed.  Smell them!!!!!  Finding a beautiful tapestry tote buried in the bottom of a box of bags and snagging it for only $2 and getting all the way home only to realize that it totally REEKS of cigarette smoke is a sad sad story indeed.  It leads to a lot of googling how to get rid of smoke smell and days of sadly walking past it unable to use it yet...  So guys, sniff sniff.  (And if you know how I can get rid of the smell, please leave a comment.)

10.  Think outside of your box
Thrifting is a great way to try out new styles, patterns, and combinations without spending a whole lot.  And the great thing about fashion is that it's cyclical, so for the runway conscious, lots of things that designers are presenting tend to nod back to fashions past.  This makes it easier to take inspiration from current images and recreate them.  Try new things.  If it turns out that the pink pencil skirt wasn't for you, you only spent a few bucks on it.  Use thrift stores as gateways to explore uncharted fashion territory.  You never know what you may actually find and love.


Well guys, those are my last tips ^.^ I hope you like them & keep them in mind the next time you grace a thrift store.  Writing these has really made me want to get out and thrift, lol. Maybe I will... 


Lastly, my lovely Lamar wants to add a bonus tip to the list.

11.  Go with realistic expectations
Keep in mind that you aren't always going to find amazing things on your thrifting trips.  Of course there can be name brand pieces that retail for $$$ hidden among the other bits, but those gems are few and far between.  It also depends a lot on where you live and who is most likely to donate to that store.  So keep your eyes open for the gems but don't miss out on the great pieces right on the racks.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How to: Saving Money on Craft Supplies

So, as a crafter, I spend a lot of time shopping for specific yarn, fabric, or other crafty bits.  If I'm lucky, I can thrift a bag of yarn or fabric, but the downside to that is the yarn is most likely an older brand so whatever I get is all I'll have.  That leaves retail craft stores for filling my stash, and since I'm such a die-hard thrifter, I hate paying full price for anything if I can help it.

Enter CoUpOnS! 

I was never much of a coupon shopper in the past, but the more I pay attention, the more I figure out how to s t r e t c h my dollars.  So here are a couple tips for getting the most out of your craft budget and then I have something awesome to share.  Enjoy!

1) Sign up for the mailing lists.  If the store offers a mailing list, I've joined it.  For example, Jo-Ann's; I signed up for their list and it sends coupons in email and snail mail.  Often times, these will be doubles, which means more savings for me.  Just make sure that the bar-code numbers are different.

2) For smartphone users, download the apps.  The first application I got for crafting purposes was The Coupons App.  My main stores are Michaels, Hobby Lobby, & Jo-Ann Fabrics, and this app has coupons for all three.  There are also standalone apps for Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann's (Michaels needs to get with it!), and the Jo-Ann's app often give more coupons than the Coupons app.  So check them all out. (All apps available in Google Play Store and Apple Store.)

3) Ask about combining.  Most of the time, the coupons will say "cannot be used with another coupon" or "one per customer per day," but what I've learned is that sometimes, you can combine certain coupons if you ask.  For example, I once had two 60% offs and a 40% off that were expiring the day I went into the store, I told the cashier that I didn't want them to go to waste and she let me use all three in the same transaction. It was a great day.

4) Check out the sales.  Sales are great an all, but it's terribly annoying when I want to use a coupon but the items I need are already on sale, and the sale percent is not as great as the coupon percent.  To remedy this, I occasionally peek at what is currently on sale and plan to go when the sale ends.

5) Visit the website.  Some craft stores like Michaels have printable coupons on their sites.

5) Make a plan.  It sounds a little OCD, but when I have a few coupons to use, I will plan which item will go with which coupon.  It helps me stay focused and not pick up random yarn that I likely will never use...


Now, I went through all that to share with you the awesome savings I managed to swing the other day ^.^  Seriously, I went to Jo-ann's on Sunday and I'm still geeked about this today, lol.  Check it out:

So let me explain the awesomeness you are about to witness!  I went into Jo-Ann's with two 50% off reg price coupons and one 15% off your total purchase coupon (including sale items).  So I got a pound of black yarn (50% off) and some crochet hook grips (50% off).  I like to reserve any coupon that includes sale items for transactions with sales items to get the most savings.  Unfortunately, there wasn't any sale yarn that I wanted or needed so I took a peek at the fabric.  Lo and behold, there was a sale on the sale!  What?  The clearance red-tag prices were an additional 50% off!  So I got three different fabrics: a solid red, a large motif, and some red lace.  Now, evidently when you buy almost the rest of the fabric on a bulk, Jo-Ann's has a policy where they will offer you the remnant for 50% off whatever the sale price per yard of what your buying is (did that make sense??)  So I bought the rest of the bulk on the large motif and the solid red.

When I got up to the register, I was expecting to have to do two transactions. One for reg price items and another for the sale so I could use my 15% off coupon, but the lovely cashier let me use all of them together!  So... let me see if I can break this down...
Yarn = 50% off
Grips = 50% off
Fabrics = clearance + 50% off + additional 50% off on remnant
Total Purchase = 15% off

I spent $31.28 and saved $44.18... (let that sink in) I saved more than I spent! When does that happen?!?!?!  Turn up for coupons! ::does happy dance::  So yeah, this was long, but I think you guys understand my zeal for craft store coupons now, lol.  Try it out. ^.^

Saturday, December 8, 2012

DIY: Mini Christmas Tree Globe

Yesterday, while walking my dogs home, I found a pine cone that wanted to be a Christmas tree ^.^  Really! I picked it up and thought... "this guy was made to be a little Christmas tree!"  So here are the steps I took to make its dream come true!

  • Pine cone
  • A pint sized smooth side mason jar
  • Cream spray paint for primer
  • Silver spray paint
  • A star charm
  • Gold fuzzy (o.O) yarn
  • Red nail polish
  • Gold glitter nail polish
  • Hot glue gun & glue sticks
  • Scissors

OK, now we're ready to get started :)

Step 1:  Spray the pine cone with the cream paint.  Make sure to get into all the little layers, but don't let the paint get drippy.  Let it dry for a few minutes.

Step 2:  Spray your cream colored pine cone with silver paint.  While the cone is drying, paint the lid pieces of the mason jar silver as well.  Let everything dry fully.

Step 3:  Paint both sides of the star charm with the gold glitter nail polish.  Set aside to dry.

Step 4:  Hot glue your beautifully painted silver pine cone to the inside of the mason jar lid.  My cone was a tad lop sided, but I just made it stand straight in the HUGE puddle of hot glue.
I realized I didn't take a picture of the freshly glued cone, so you get this after-the-fact photo. Sorry :)
Step 5:  Use the red nail polish to paint dots on the edges of the "branches" for ornaments.  Let dry.  If you want other colors, have at it.  I wanted to do green also, but my green polish is MIA...

Step 6:  Attach your yarn 'garland' at the bottom of the tree with a dot of hot glue, and wrap around a few times.  Attach it at the top with another dot of hot glue.  Set aside.

Step 7:  Hot glue your glittery star to the top of the cone.

Step 8:  Screw the jar on to the lid and...

You now have a cute mini Christmas tree for your table or mantle.  Hurray ^.^

I'm pretty sure there's a way to make this into a snow globe with water and glitter, but I don't have any glitter & didn't feel like researching how to make that work.

If you decide to make one of these, I'd love to see it! Leave me a comment or link :) Happy holiday crafting!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thrift-tastic Tips! Part 1

(I know, cheesy title, but I really couldn't help it *shrug*)

One of my bloggy friends (Erica) recently posted about wanting to get more into thrifting and asked her readers if they had any tips to share.  I wanted to leave some in a comment, then I realized it would be better just to do a post about it.  And I haven't done a Thrifty Thursday post on here in quite some time.  So here we go! (I just had a Joker flash back...)

Calli's Thrift-tastic Tips ^.^
1.  Learn the discount days
Most thrift stores have specific days when you can get discounts on top of the already low prices.  Sometimes they'll have different percentages off based on tag color.  My favorite store here does 50% off a different tag color each week and on Mondays those tags are $0.99.  Another store here, assigns percentages from 10% - 90% off to everything in the store.  If you don't see anything posted, always ask. 

2.  Have a plan, but keep it flexible
Going into a thrift store can initially be overwhelming, especially if it's not a particularly organized one. Having an idea of the types of things you want to find can help you stay focused as you're on the hunt. I say to keep it flexible because there are always hidden surprises that will jump out at you while you're looking for specifics. 

3.  Look past the hanger & see the possibilities
Frankly, some items at the thrift store can be really grubby.  People will donate craptastic clothes, or dirty clothes, or whatever.  Don't immediately toss these aside.  They may have great bones, and with a little effort and DIY finesse, they can be given new life.  Marisa Lynch of New Dress a Day is the QUEEN of this.  Check out her blog, it's mind-blowing. Really...
4.  Look for quality staple pieces
If you have a favorite clothing item (jeans, sweaters, silk shirts, etc) look for them at the thrift store.  I think the best thing about thrifted jeans is that you don't have to break them in (yay!).  You can fill the basics of your wardrobe in without spending a lot of money.  For instance, I love silk blouses, but instead of completely blowing my money on one shirt for $70+, I can get thrift them for less than $5. And if I go on a discount day, I can get them for 50% off of that or even $0.99.  (I did that last week. 6 silk blouses for $0.99 each- score!)
5.  Use the buddy system, but beware the "Yeah! Yeah!" friend
Having a friend with you can make the hunting go faster especially if your friend knows your style. I can't count the number of things that my thrifting buddies have pulled for me that either I'd missed, looked at but wasn't sure, or just hadn't made it to that section yet.  But as helpful as a friend can be, beware of the friend that tells you everything is awesome and genius and SUCH a great idea.  That's how you end up with a random poncho or something in your closet with the tags on it for 6 months... (don't worry I don't have a poncho, lol) 

Those are my first five tips and explanations, I'll post 6-10 next week on Thrifty Thursday.  Let me know if you like these tips and if you have any to share.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tuesday Favorites #11: Christmas List

I never really make Christmas lists.  Like never... My answer to 'What do you want for Christmas, Caleisha?' is always 'I don't really need anything, so whatever you decide will be great.' 

So I figured, 'Hey, why not make a ridiculous list of the things I want?'

  1. An Instax 210 Camera with film. I have a polaroid cam that I found in a thrift store for $3 and I use to use it to take fun pictures of my friends when they'd visit my house.  My fridge was covered in them... these were the days when the film was still in Walmart (provided it was like $15-$18 for 10 exposures).  But now, since the supply has pretty much run dry, the cost for film takes away from the spontaneity that (I think) should accompany instant cameras.  You shouldn't be like... Hmmm... should I pay my utilities bill or buy film for this camera??  Oh well. So I miss having an instant camera to use.  Yeah Instax film is still more expensive than getting digital pics printed, but that's why it's on my Christmas list and not my shopping list.
  2. A new large Moleskine notebook without lines.  Lamar gave me my first Moleskines and I LOVE them!!! I dunno... they're durable and have a stuff pocket (something I use to always make in the back of notebooks/journals), the pages aren't white, they have book mark ribbons...  The one I'm using now is this one.  I like the size, but I find myself wishing it didn't have lines... sometimes I feel like they're hemming me in... that's weird, I know. But I'd like another one because I'm getting close to the end of this one.  I've had to duct tape the stuff pocket back together. I guess I store too many things in there, lol.
  3. An Ipad... nuff said.  If anyone out there has one they'd like to give me, I'll love it sooo hard!
  4. A spinning wheel.  I just want one.  Nothing fancy.  Just to be able to spin my own yarns faster than on my drop spindle.
  5. More brightly colored tights & socks.  One can never have too many colors.
  6. Cute Christmas dog sweaters for Kiva and Toot.  Yes, I will dress my dogs up for Christmas with no.shame.
  7. A new phone.  I'm not sure what phone I want tho... Any suggestions other than Iphone. I'm with sprint. 
  8. A job in Florida that I'll truly enjoy.
  9. An apartment in Florida with lots of storage space.
  10. Peace on earth and good will to all and walks on the beach at sunset with ice cream and donuts for everybody!!! lol.
Yeah, so if anyone knows how to make any of my Christmas dreams come true, let a girl know ^.^ Tomorrow I should have a good update for What's on my hook Wednesday. I'm excited... and nervous... this Christmas countdown is in FULL swing...

Will our crochet hero make it out of Handmade Holidays alive??? Stay tuned to find out :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Not So Blue Monday #18

Today's Good Things
  • Absolutely loving my outfit: I've been calling it the vintage inspired librarian. I wore a cream pleated collared blouse, an orange cardigan, a below-the-knee black/white hounds-tooth pencil skirt, orange opaque tights, and tall black boots.  I really enjoyed my look today, which is something that doesn't happen often.  I forgot to snap a full outfit picture, oops! :)
  • Running into a crochet friend at the craft store on my lunch break.  Yes, I went to buy yarn on my lunch break.  I'm serious about this crafty business ^.^
  • More lemon mint tea with milk... I'm addicted... *shrug* no.shame.
  • Working a new tartan pattern.

  • Morning walks with the pups even though they almost made me late for work o.O

  • Lovely sunsets on my way home.
Umm I think that's it.  I really want to stay up and work on this tartan some more, but I have to be to work at 8am tomorrow.  So I'm gonna put my hook to rest for now, take the dogs out, and then go on to bed.  I hope you had a good Monday!

~Peace ^.^

Ps... Look at this little cuddler! She really can't help but to sleep on my crocheting... I'd be annoyed if it wasn't so darn cute!

Crafternoon #20: Letters and Stripes

I have been soo wonderfully productive today!

I was crocheting literally from when I got up at noon until 5:00pm when I ran out to find peach yarn.
I'd like to take a moment to RANT on how Michaels has NO PEACH YARN!!!! What the heck?? At first I was in the store like... "maybe I don't know what color peach is..." NO, they just don't have it.  Sigh... Jo-Ann to the rescue.
Anyway, I did pick up 3 balls of orange and a ball of navy blue at Michaels.  Luckily, I found a coupon for 20% off your total purchase, so SCORE for me!  So like I said, after I left Michaels, I went on to Jo-Ann's and they carried a peach yarn.  The only down side was that this was the ball:

A pound tho... WHEN am I EVER going to use a whole POUND of peach yarn?!?! ::wails & falls to the bed dramatically:: Well... tomorrow I'm going to check Hobby Lobby to see if they have peach yarn. If so, I'll return this POUND and that'll be that.  Or... if it costs more... I'll just keep it... I dunno. I'm still reeling off the friggin' pound... OK I'm done & stepping down off my soapbox.

The projects I was working on today were my baby brother's initial scarf & my dad's tartan pattern.  Both came out wonderfully.  I pretty much sat in my lil orange chair and watched youtube haul videos until I finished the lettering. Here are the completed letters:

Please ignore the messy bed. :)

I'm very proud of them.  I was a little nervous about the J because it took me SO long to graph out, but it all works nicely. ^.^  Now I just have to finish the rest of the scarf.  It's suppose to be solid black.  So I think I'm going to go maybe... 6 more inches before I designate the halfway mark.  This scarf should be finished by this coming weekend...

I worked on my dad's tartan before and after working on the scarf.  I worked up a test square to see how the colors work together and whatnot... I think it came out nicely.

The only change I'm going to make is to change out the deep purple for a lavender so that it can be seen easier.  Other than that, I'm very satisfied.  So now, I just have to get going on the full blanket mesh.  I plan to work out the number of chains I need tomorrow at work. :)  See... I'm already planning to fill my dead time with craftiness.  I'm being proactive ^.^

So the reason I had to do the peach yarn gallivanting, is because I need the color for Lamar's family tartan.  I had all the other colors in my stash already, so I'm ready to make their test swatch as well. Even though I sit down and graph it, it's hard to picture.  I decided to go back to Scotweb and put in my idea and this is what came out:

It looks really masculine... but what should be expected with 3 different shades of blue? Oh well. We'll see how it works up.

So yeah, that's what I've been up to today.  A crap ton of crafting and now I'm super ready to go to sleep.  I hope you had a wonderful weekend and good vibes pour into your week.  At least, that's what I'm praying for for me.  :)


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Playing Artsy Catch Up

I have been wanting to write this post since WEDNESDAY!!! But I was attacked by a mixture of fatigue, holiday crafting, new design creating, and seeing something totally awesome in the sky Wednesday night.  So I suppose I'll just hop right into the list of recent happenings :) Here we go!

[1] I've knocked out the butterfly & bow clips! I feel so accomplished ^.^  I used this pattern for the butterflies, so they were really easy to whip up using some thrifted yellow and white yarn.  Here they are:

The bows were a bit more challenging.  Not because the pattern was hard, but because I couldn't find a pattern I liked.  I have literally been on the hunt for the perfect bow pattern for E...V...E...R... but for some reason I didn't like any of the ones I was finding.  My a-ha moment was in the midst of making one of the butterflies.  I saw that when just the two large wing lobes were done it made a cute bow shape. ^.^  So I used that idea and came up with these:

I love them!  I wrote out the pattern for memory sake and I want to create 2 more sized (med & large). I'm about to have bows on everything!!! lol

[2] The next thing I've been playing around with is based on the Babette Crochet blanket. (They're awesome! Click here to see the flickr group.)

If you remember way back at the beginning of the year, I was working on a queen sized granny square blanket for my bestsisterfriend's wedding (finished post here & finished photo here), and since then I've wanted one of my own.  Soo, up popped the idea to create a babette style blanket. ^.^ This whole idea materialized while I was having a cruddy day at work.  (Creativity to the rescue, right.) I was doing my best to look busy while I planned the layout of my blanket.  Here's the plan so far:

The colors in the graph are NOT the colors I'm going to use in the actual blanket.

It'll have 6 large (2 ft), 12 medium (1 ft), and 48 small (6 in) squares.  I haven't decided on the color scheme yet, but I can't wait to get it underway.  Well... that is after I take a well deserved break from crochet after the holidays.  Do you have any color combo suggestions for me?

[3] The last crafty bit that I've been working with is to design a crochet tartan afghan.

I saw the technique in the book 'Crochet Master Class' and thought it was a great idea, promptly logging it away on the Artsy-To-Do List.  Now for some reason, yesterday it jumped back into my conscious with a vengeance like "MAKE ME WOMAN!!!" So I did a bit of googling to find out how to design my own tartan pattern & found this site that has a free tartan design application.  (Cue Caleisha making tartans for the next hour and a half ^.^)

While I was playing around with the idea, I realized that it would be a great way to give Lamar's parents a thoughtful holiday gift.  The plan would be to design a tartan using the favorite colors of each family member and then create a small afghan for them.  I love it!!! So I'm just waiting for Lamar to give me the family colors... (come on Lamaaaar)

So today I took some scrap yarn and worked on a practice square.

First, make the foundation mesh in your chosen stripe pattern.
Then, crochet chains that are wide enough to go across the piece also following the stripe pattern.

Last, weave the chains perpendicularly through the mesh following your same stripe pattern.
And Ta-Da! Basic tartan making.  Something to keep in mind is that whatever the order you create your mesh stripes in, do the same rhythm with your chains.

Repeat your stripe pattern a couple times to really make the tartan/plaid pattern stand out.  My example is only one stripe repeat.

[4] Now the LAST awesome thing that I wanted to tell you is (drumroll) I saw Jupiter on Wednesday night!  Yes, the planet!!! Evidently, Jupiter's orbit allowed it to be seen by the naked eye next to the moon.  It was super bright and really exciting for me being a lover of starry skies.  I didn't know what it was until the next night when I noticed the 'bright star' was gone.  So I googled, figuring it must have been a planet or something.  I still get excited when I think about it ^.^ I saw JuPiTeR! ::falls out::  That is all.

So yeah, my last few days in a nutshell.  This was long, I know & if you made it to the end I applaud and hug you over the interwebs >>hug<< I hope you have a wonderful and restful weekend... and if it must be full, let it be full of things you love :)