Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Memorial

I haven't been able to blog or write a blog post in quite awhile now. 2017 has been a rough one so far. Lately, I've thought about writing a post and I keep telling myself I have nothing important to say. Instead of talking about crochet or knitting projects I'm going to get a little personal. This post is going to be a memorial to my brother.

On February 5, 2017 my 34 year old brother tragically left this world. He left behind three children, his girlfriend, our parents, our sister, myself and many other family members and friends.

I love this pic...This sweet face 
It's a struggle everyday. The guilt is tough to do deal with (for all of us). Wishing I would've called and been there more. That is the hardest part. All I can hope for is peace of mind for myself and all who are struggling right now. 

Our last photo together
I worry about my mom, and his girlfriend, and my sister the most. Death changes us forever. I hope it will become less raw over time. I work around death on a regular basis, but seeing a loved one so young leave... its just devastating.

I think of the past, happy times and his children.




one of my favorites


He was a music lover, and I can't listen to music very much right now. 

He also loved UNC basketball...that is something we shared. We're both die-hard Carolina fans. I do watch the games and think how happy he would be if they were to go all the way this year. Go Heels!

I just wish he would have seen in himself what all of us could and did. He had so much to offer to this world and the people he left behind.

Depression can be a silent killer. But it doesn't have to be. Take part in the lives of those who are struggling. Call more, visit more, and be present. Guilt and regret are heavy burdens to carry for those left behind. 




Monday, December 12, 2016

The Winner of the Crochet Therapy Give Away

I know I'm a couple of days late, but I'm back now and ready to announce the winner of Crochet Therapy

Congrats to Windy! (the 23rd comment) I hope you enjoy the book and find something you would like to crochet. Just send me an email to sunshine75t@gmail.com and include your address. Thanks to all that left a comment. Have a peaceful week.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Crochet Therapy and a Give Away


Crochet Therapy by Betsan Corkhill is a book I contributed to awhile back. The book came out in September and I'm finally getting around to blogging about it. I came up with two patterns for the book; a ripple throw and a small hexi rug.




There are several more designs in the book, here are just a couple


If you're interested in Crochet Therapy you can find it here. I love working on projects for books and magazines, but unfortunately I just don't have the time for too much. Currently I have no commissioned projects scheduled, so I'm working on gifts. A mix of crochet and knit. I'm really liking the fur pom poms right now, so I'm working on a few hats.

 This is a short post, but I do want to offer a copy of Crochet Therapy to a fellow blogger. Since I've been away for so long I feel compelled to give something away. I have a couple extra copies and if you decide you would like to win one, then just leave me a comment. You don't have to do anything else, just comment. I'll randomly select a winner this coming Friday. Good Luck and I'll be back Friday!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Vacation

The last week of July we got in the car and just drove. We made no reservations or plans. We did ask for a week off from work ahead of time. I even forgot to take my camera. So all photos taken are iPhone pics. After driving all day, we ended up in Florida


This is Summer Haven beach. It's about 15 minutes south of St. Augustine. We found a cottage on the beach, which took us half a day to find, because after all, it is peak beach season. The great thing about this location is the seclusion. We hate a crowded beach, and this place is perfect because there are only a handful of cottages for several miles. We had it all to ourselves for 6 days.


One evening we drove back up to St. Augustine beach and tried Salt Life Food Shack which had pretty good seafood and drinks. This is a Happy Captain 


Ireland and I wanted to visit the dolphins, so we went to Marineland which is only two miles from our cottage. She was pretty excited




I have mixed feelings about places like this. I hate to see wild animals in captivity and can only hope these precious dolphins have more space to live and swim in than what we saw during the experience. Our dolphin was Tomo, and is one of the younger boys there. He was such a sweet boy and seemed happy. I let myself have a good time despite my mixed feelings.

We also took the Old Town Trolley tour of historic St. Augustine. This has to be the most beautiful city I've seen.





Our last day was spent at Ripley's and then the lighthouse, because I just love them





And then to the beach



Our last day felt perfect... I didn't want want to think about leaving, which was strange considering I had been homesick for the previous 2 days.

In the past couple of weeks I haven't crafted very much. Girl Scout season is starting again, so I'm trying to get ready for it. The next post will be about crochet... I have a couple of patterns to share...they were included in a book coming out next month.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Stripey Hanging Basket

Can you believe I'm finally posting the pattern for this basket?



I just love this basket... it makes me smile every time I walk by it in the craft room. The colors are so bright and cheerful. I chose Lion Brand Vanna's Choice because of the variety of colors. The acrylic holds up well for repeated use and gives it the right amount of form and shape.  


I use it to hold all of those hexagons that I've been crocheting for awhile now. 

Ok... on to the good part.

Materials

Worsted weight yarn
I used Lion Brand Vanna's Choice. Obviously, I used several different colors. For certain colors I used the Vanna's Choice Baby
Crochet Hook size G 
Yarn needle

Stitches Used

Ch   chain
Sc    single crochet
Dc   double crochet
Sl st   slip stitch
Standing double crochet
Standing single crochet
Invisible join

Standing dc: Begin this stitch with a slip knot. YO, then insert the hook into the stitch. YO and pull through st. YO and work like a regular dc. Pull the starting tail tightly. You'll weave it in later.

Standing sc: Begin with a slip knot, then insert hook into st. YO and pull through st. YO pull through both loops,making a sc. Pull the starting tail tightly. You'll weave it in later.

These two stitches may seem confusing at first. Basically you'll be eliminating chains. 

Gauge is not too important
If you crochet loosely then it will turn out larger than mine. I tend to crochet a little bit tightly


Pattern

Ch 4

Rnd 1: Work 9 dc in the 4th chain from hook. The 3 chains skipped, count as the first dc of the rnd. Join with sl st. (10dc)

Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as first st). Dc in same st, 2 dc in each st around. Join with invisible join method. (20 dc)

Rnd 3: Changing colors, use the standing dc method for first st. Dc in same st. Dc in next st. (2 dc, dc) around. Join using invisible join method. (30 dc)

By using the standing dc method and the invisible joins you can start each new round at any point of the work. I started each rnd, in different areas of my basket... just to make sure it looked seamless

For the next few rounds, remember the standing dc and invisible join.

Rnd 4: (2 dc, dc in next 2 sts) around. (40 dc)

Rnd 5: (2 dc, dc in next 3 sts) around. (50 dc)

Rnd 6: (2 dc, dc in next 4 sts) around. (60 dc)

Rnd 7: (2 dc, dc in next 5 sts) around. (70 dc)

Rnd 8: (2 dc, dc in next 6 sts) around. (80 dc)

Rnd 9: (2 dc, dc in next 7 sts) around. (90 dc)

The bottom is now complete. You will have 90 dc.


Rnd 10: Changing colors and working in the back loop, dc in each stitch around. Remember to continue using the standing dc and invisible join method for each round.

Rnd 11: Changing colors, work under both loops (like normal), begin with the standing dc method. Dc in each st around. Join with invisible join.

Rnd 12- 28: Repeat rnd 11.

Rnd 29: Change colors and use the standing sc method to begin. Sc in next 44 sts. Ch 22, sc in next st and remaining sts of rnd. Do not join or finish off.

Rnd 30: Sl st in each st and chain. I crocheted this rnd rather tightly to draw the top in just a smidge.
Finish off with an invisible join.

Weave all ends with the yarn needle.


You can now hang it or sit in on its bottom. I had so much yarn left over after completing this project. I'm using my left overs to make squares and hexagons.

Leave me a comment if you have a question. I'll do my best to answer. I'm working hard to improve on that.

If you decide to make one, please share. I'll be sharing the pattern on Ravelry soon.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Life outside of crocheting

It's obvious I've not blogged very much lately. I haven't crocheted or knitted very much either. I've certainly wanted to but I chose not to. Other things became more important over the past 6 months or so.

I've been reading the blog lately and I've noticed a habit that I do all the time. I apologize quite a bit. I apologize for not posting, or reading my blogging friends blogs enough, or for not creating new patterns to share. I've decided I'm not going to apologize so much from now on. There are things in my life that are taking up a lot of my time, and I can't seem to find the time, or balance my time to be able to include blogging with all the other things. I want my daughter to grow up knowing that I was present in her life and all the activities that she chooses to do. I don't want her to look back and think, "All Mom did was sit on the couch and knit or crochet." Don't get me wrong I love crafting more than any thing. But I haven't been able to find the balance yet. Honestly, the priorities for me at this time are being present and active in family life. So now I'll share a little bit about what I have been doing over the past few months. I have to say even though I haven't been able to knit or crochet as much as I want, I am happy and proud about the things I've been able to accomplish.

Last year when the school year started, Ireland decided she would join Girl Scouts... But there was one big problem. There was no Brownie troop in our area. There was a troop of Cadettes, and their troop leader told me that unless a mom stepped up and formed a new troop, there would be no troop for Ireland to join. So guess what... I became the troop leader of a brand new troop of Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors. The Junior dropped out so it became a Daisy/ Brownie troop. From September until the end of the school year we held meetings, events, and cookie booths. Ireland and the other girls had lots of fun.

Here are my girls... aren't they cute... I just love 'em.


We held cookie booths this winter


Earned several badges and fun patches




We also went to a movie, trampoline park, out for pizza, and a couple other outings. In a couple of weeks we'll go see The Secret Life of Pets. We'll have a break from scouting until September.

Ireland also joined the county swim team. She's always been a pool baby so I thought she would love being on the team.


I think she enjoys herself, but she seems to get frustrated if she doesn't finish first or second. I keep reminding her it's more about improving as a swimmer, learning more, and improving her own times. But I guess there's nothing more motivating than winning. It's very hectic working full time, going to the pool 4 days a week, and trying to get to the out of town meets, but the season ends in two weeks. 

So that's what I've been up to. I regret that I can't crochet or knit more, but I am happy about everything else I have chosen to do. 

I'm still knitting the same pair of socks I posted about two months ago. I'm also working on the post about the hanging basket. That will be coming soon. I will not make any more promises, but I am motivated to finish that post because of a collaboration with Lion Brand. I'm super excited about that since I love and use LBY so much.

Have a great holiday weekend!