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Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mama


This is my mother, Joann Loftis, in 1976. This picture was taken the night I graduated from high school.
Today she would have been 68 years old. But we lost her 6 years ago. She was an amazing woman; she got married when she was 15 years old, had me and my brother when she was still a teenager, and yet she managed to raise a happy, loving family, work her way up in the county government, be active in community service and maintain innumerable friendships. She was the Administrative Assistant to the county judge for many years (and heaven help anyone who called her his "secretary.") She was smart and funny, an awesome cook and she could crochet circles around me. She was my inspiration, my number one fan and my best friend. She still is.
She also smoked from the time she was a teenager, and so even though I am a major live-and-let-live kind of person, I hate cigarettes and I want everyone who smokes to quit. It breaks my heart that some of my nearest and dearest still smoke, and I celebrate and praise those who have managed to quit (a big pat on the back and a hug for you, especially, Robyn!)
Mama, me, baby Robyn and my Daddy, Paul on May 26, 1976

Happy Birthday Mama. I love you and I miss you everyday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Knitting makes you beautiful (and Crochet does, too!!!)


I love old Workbasket magazines. They are absolute treasure troves of wonderful old patterns, recipes, and gardening tips. Last summer, I bought a box full of them off ebay. I got almost a complete set ranging from 1950 to 1959. What a wonderful glimpse into the past they give! I wish I had the time to sit down and just read them all from cover to cover. As it is, I take them out at odd moments and flip through them, stopping to read whatever catches my fancy; "Oh look, an article on over-wintering geraniums;" "Hey, here is a really cool little crocheted potholder;" and "I wonder if this recipe for spiced apple cake is the same one my Aunt Eunie used to make?" 

Anyway, last weekend I got them out and started flipping through them. I was looking for crochet patterns when this page caught my eye: Wow, how cool is that? This is an ad for Lees Columbia, Miverva, & Beehive Yarns, in the April 1954 issue. The text reads:
"A beauty treatment from the inside out? And from the outside in, too! Psychologists now assure us of something you have always known. Relaxation makes you beautiful! And what is more relaxing than knitting or crocheting with Columbia- Minerva and Beehive Yarns? Wherever you are- on a train, plane, boat, or watching TV- improve each shining hour by making something lovely- with those Heavenly Yarns by Lees."'
I am so glad they mentioned crochet, even if it is buried in the text. And I love the phrase "improve each shining hour." The next time one of my kids calls and asks me "What are you doing?" (even though they know I will  answer the same way I always do - "Crocheting!") I am going to tell them, "I am improving each shining hour by making something lovely."
I am sure they won't be a bit surprised; they already think I am nuts.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Twinkle, twinkle, little star.....

This is the first in a set of super simple baby blankets that I started this weekend (okay, I give up on not starting anything new-when I get the urge to make something I just have to go with it!) It was really fun and easy to make. I have wanted to do a set like this for a long time; so many people want to make baby blankets, but don't have a lot of time to work on them. It is my goal that each design in this set should take no more than 12 hours to complete (by an average crocheter), at least that is the plan.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day, filled with love and sweet things!
This is my "sweet thing", David, who makes everyday Valentine's Day for me.

Friday, February 06, 2009

BellaCrochet patterns are now available on Karp Styles Site!!


I am so happy to announce that 6 of my patterns are now available for down load at Karp Styles. Karp Styles is a wonderful source of crochet and knitting patterns and supplies. They are rated one of the top 100 Crochet sites, one of the top 100 Craft sites, and one of the top 100 Knit and Crochet sites, and they have a wonderful selection of items available.
Here is what they say on their site:
"Knitting and Crochet Supplies from Karp Styles where personal service comes first. We offer a large selection of patterns and related tools and accessories. If you don't find the pattern, hook or needle you are looking for, please contact us."
You can see my patterns at:
http://www.karpstyles.com/catalog.html?category=Bella%20Crochet

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Crochet Scarflette Set

I know, I know. I said I wasn't going to start another set until I finished up the ones I already have going. But that is not really how my creative process (such as it is) works. The cold hard truth is, that as much as I love my thread designs, the ones that sell the best for me are my quick and easy yarn designs. Economic times being what they are, I was thinking about what I could do that would appeal to the most customers. I came up with this set, which is indeed, SUPER quick and easy, since I just started it Sunday afternoon and I already have 4 finished (plus two that didn't work out.) I am going to make at least 2 more to go in this set, so I should have it finished by the end of the week. I am also finally going to break down and buy a manniquin to photograph them on. These little scarflettes (or neck warmers or collars or what ever you want to call them) are fun to make. I have about a dozen sketches for different ideas, so there is no telling how many I will wind up with!
And on another happy note, the Easter Basket Doily was picked up by e-patterns central!!!