Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My new Friend, Ruby


I would like you all to meet my new friend, Ruby. Here she is, modeling one of the scarflettes I have been working on.
I have known for a long time I needed to get a mannequin, but I could not make up my mind on what kind I wanted. I knew I wanted a French mannequin, but went back and forth on what color and style; I really like those little spindle thingies at the top of some of them, and I really like black. But I kept telling myself the white was more practical. Then I found Ruby, who is black, but came with an extra white cover (she is wearing it in the photo above.)
I love her, in spite of the fact she is a tiny size 2, and even though she has already scared the life out of me. I had forgotten she was here, and when I went back into the studio after supper, I though she was a burglar or a monster or something lurking in the corner. At least David got a good laugh out of that!

Ruby, modeling another design from the Scarflette set (without her white cover).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gabe

This is my sweet little grandson, Gabe. He had to have surgery this week, so I am praying for his quick and complete recovery.
I love you Gabe!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunshine and a Sweet Surprise

The sun is finally shining today, so I have been outside enjoying it for a while.

This pink geranium spent the winter in the garage; I brought it out last Sunday (just in time for it to enjoy a week of cold and rain), and it is already starting to bloom. Amanda gave it to me last year for Mother's Day; thank you again, Manda!
These little petunias volunteered; I am going to have to dig them up and put them in a pot. David mowed around them last week; they won't be so lucky next time.

This purple verbena survived a winter outside. I love tough flowers.

Molly doesn't like to have her picture taken. When I went to check the mail, there was a package full of old Workbasket magazines from the 40's, sent by my friend Pamela. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. Thank you Pamela! I love them!
Look at those precious little kittens! It also shows them appliqued on a baby's bib.
A crocheted poodle!!! How cool is that?
I LOVE this potholder; I can't wait to make it! There are tons of old crochet patterns in these magazines; lots of inspiration for designs to come.

Thanks again, Pamela! You are so sweet.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Crocheted Knitting Bag-- WHY??

It is rainy and cold here in Texas today. I was having a little trouble getting started on the potholder set I am working on  this morning, so I decided to look through some old crochet books (this is actually fun for me.)
Anyway, I was flipping through an old Star pattern book (no year given, but it is #116, looks like from the 50's.) And on page 4, I found this:
A Crocheted Knitting Bag. Hmm.
I don't know why this bugs me so much, but it does. Shouldn't it be a "Crocheted Crochet Bag?" If you knit and needed a bag, wouldn't you make a "Knitted Knitting Bag"? Or is that just being redundant? I know there are all those clever people out there who know how to do both: maybe this is just a way for them to show off their multiple talents.
And this is not the first one of these I have run across; there seems to be a lot of them out there. And every time I see one I have the same reaction; it makes me crazy.
But not as crazy as the crochet designer I know of who had her picture printed on the back of her "Ultimate Crochet Book," wearing a hand knit (knitted?) sweater. Now I ask you, if you went to all the trouble to write a crochet book and were going to have your picture taken for the cover, wouldn't you be sure to wear a crocheted sweater? So everyone could see how good you are, and what great designs must be in the book? Wouldn't that make more sense?
Maybe it's just me.
Anyway, the doily in the picture is also an old Star design and I love it, so I guess I will have to forgive them this time.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Pineapple Frustration

A lot of people ask me how I come up with the ideas for my designs. Actually, that is the easy part. I have notebooks full of ideas for things I want to make; I would probably have to crochet for a couple of lifetimes to make them all. And really, even that wouldn't even be enough time, because it seems like every thing I make gives me idea for another design or two.

What is hard, is turning those ideas into actual items. I have been designing for a long time, and have worked hard at learning my craft. So, usually, by the time I start a design, I have been thinking about it for a while, and I know exactly what I am going to do to get it from the idea stage to the finished item stage. Sometimes there are small adjustments I need to make, but usually things go pretty smoothly.
But every now and then, there is a design that just won't cooperate. And maybe because I am used to having things go the way I want them too, whenever I run into one of these ornery designs now days, it just makes me crazy!

And boy, have I run into one now.

Ever since I started the thread potholder and hot pad set (yes, I am still working on it), I have known I wanted to include some kind of pineapple design in it (I love pineapples!) The set is almost finished now, and there is still not a single pineapple anywhere in it. Looking at all the finished items together, I thought it would be really cool to do a square potholder, with a pineapple design front over a solid background. Good plan, right?

But somehow, the square pineapple ideas are just not flowing. I have made several, and ripped them all out when I get close to the last round. I spent all Friday afternoon and a good part of Saturday on this:


Which is okay, I guess, but it is just not right, somehow. I have tried starting with a rose in the center, but I didn't like that. I tried chain spaces in the corners, and little fan looking things, but nothing has looked right.

There comes a point in some designs where I get so frustrated that I can't do anything right, and nothing makes me happy. It makes my head hurt to think about it anymore. When I get to that point, I know it is time to just put it aside and work on something else. But this is the third time I have had to put this idea aside.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon, I didn't think about pineapples, and instead made a cute little granny square potholder:Which cooperated quite nicely (it is the green one at the top- and wow, that picture is bright, the colors are not so neon-like in real life). It went so smoothly, it made me happy!

So, what I have to figure out is this: do I keep trying for a pineapple square, or give up and do something else? Maybe a single big pineapple made with two strand of thread? I don't know, but I hope something comes to me soon.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Happy Birthday, Robyn!

I promise to do a post or two about crochet sometime soon, but today, I have to wish a happy birthday to my dear daughter, Robyn!
Robyn is my oldest child. She is an amazing young woman, and I don't know what our family would do without her. Whenever any of us are in trouble or need help, Robyn is always the first one we call. She has worked her way up the corporate ladder, and successfully runs the largest department of a very busy resort, yet she manages to keep up with all of her kid's many activities, maintain one of the happiest marriages I know of, and always be there when anyone needs her.

She is such a great mom.

Robyn and Aaron are a great couple! They perfectly complement each other.

Aunt Robbie is so silly! She always brings joy and laughter where ever she goes.

Happy Birthday Robyn! You are such a blessing to me!

(Oh, and no, that is not a real bug in her mouth; it was a Halloween toy she used to terrorize me and the little girls.)