Thursday, February 28, 2013

National Crochet Month begins tomorrow

“You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Maya Angelou
I can't believe tomorrow will be the 1st day of March. Spring is around the corner. Yeah.
But also tomorrow begins National Crochet Month. For me something that is definitely worth celebrating since crochet is my passion.
I will be joining Crochetville in its Celebration of Crochet which is being called
A Tour Through Crochet Country. You can read more about it. here.
There will be a blog tour of different crochet designers. Should be fun and informative. Who knows what each will have to say. They have left that up to us. 
A Tour through Crochet Country
I will have my day on the tour on the 28th of March.
I am still planning what I am going to charm you with that day. I do think there will be a pattern involved. So you might want to stop by.
Anyone who knows me knows how much crochet has been and is a part of my life. It's something I have always had a passion for. I can forget my purse at home and no biggie, I get by. Forget my crocheting it's turn around now or else live with the aftermath. Thankfully I have a hubby who understands my addiction and has been know to aid and abet it.
My passion has always been thread crochet and I love adding beads for emphasis

Irish crochet has always played a large part in my design process.
Controlled free-form. If there is such an animal.

Along the way I create snippets that might become something or not

and sometimes they all come together to create a whole.
But until then you may want to visit the rest of the stops along the way.
I tried to post the list and blogger didn't like it so here is the link again to
the Crochetville blog with all the information

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Feeling a bit grumbly......

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Project A has to be set aside for project B. I haven't put it away, Just set it aside while I get the one with the closest deadline done.  Project A is grumbling....
Projects C,D,E,F,G,H,I, and so on and so forth are nagging from the side lines for their turn.
Either I need more hours in a day or I need to quit adding to my idea stash. And more important I need to stop listening to these inanimate objects.....
Actually they don't really talk to me. But I do feel the pressure sometimes of wanting to do it all NOW!
This morning I spent the early part blocking.
My finger is complaining. The one that got broken over 2 years ago. The one the doctor said would quit hurtingwithin 6 months. I sometimes think I should write him a note and tell him what I think of his prognosis. Pushing in pins on my blocking board is definitely something it doesn't like doing.
 I of course do it anyways because I am the most dexterous with my left hand and the index finger is the best push when used with the thumb.
I will try not to complain too much. At least I can still crochet and it doesn't bother me much. But there are times it lets me know it isn't 100% and never will be again.
When it's cold, Weather changes, Lifting something too heavy.
Alright I will quit whining. I will post a few more pictures from out anniversary trip instead, Think of more positive thoughts like what is getting ready to jump on my hook.....  
Such a relaxing spot to have lunch. This is where we spent our lunch break.
Other than the music of the water cascading down the hill it was so quiet. This was one of the pools in the Romero Canyon.

Below that pool it wasn't quite so serene. But it was a beautiful song it was singing.

Our lunch time companion was this Morning Cloak Butterfly.
Isn't he regal.

And another shot of Mr Butterfly.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Oh My.....

“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
Frank Zappa
I sometimes hate when a inspiration hits me.
I find it so hard to keep myself working on the project I have going.
I want so bad to drop everything and play with the new idea.
If you can't tell I was hit by the inspiration bug this morning.
I am being good and working on the project I am supposed to. But I have decided to give myself a goal for the day and if and when I reach that goal I can play with the new idea. Sounds reasonable to me.... In the meantime I had to move all the sketches out of my sight so I can concentrate on what I am doing. I found myself counting incorrectly as I was already thinking about the new project.
I did have pleasant surprise this morning when I got on Facebook. Aunt Lydia's Crochet thread just released another one of my patterns. It is my Starshine doily.
Then my friend Michele Maks sent me a link to the song Good morning Starshine and now it is playing in my head as back ground music for the morning...... Thanks Michele. I think I owe you one.
You can see the doily here and get a copy of the pattern
Here is a another picture of the doily
 I did promise you more pictures from out trip to Catalina, Here are a few more. Still lots to show you though.
This is looking up the canyon into the montrose pools.
It is so peaceful down in there. Worth the climb down into see them.

I was captivated by the colors and shapes of the leaves of last years growth. I couldn't resist this color study.
I also have a thing for trees. This one was at our turning point in the trail
4007 ft up is were we turned around and headed back down.
After I spent some time taking this trees portrait.

Well if I want to play with my new idea sometime today I had best get busy with the project on the hook. Which is coming along nicely by the way.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Post Snow

“I heard a definition once: Happiness is health and a short memory! I wish I'd invented it, because it is very true.”
Audrey Hepburn
Yesterday afternoon we actually saw snow. Now for most people this is sooooo. It's winter lady, it's supposed to snow. Well not around here it's not. Apache Junction will never be the ski Capitol of the world as we don't get snow.
I grew up in snow country. So it was no biggie. But I did have to take pictures to prove I wasn't hallucinating.
Today and yesterday have been major project day. Still not done, but the end is in sight. Will have it done before the end of the weekend. Good thing as I want to ship it out on Monday or Tuesday.
I learned the yarn for the next project should be here next week. Wonderful in some ways. Not so in others. My list of projects I want to be playing with is growing and growing. Seems like for every project done, my idea list grows by at least 2. I can't seem to catch up with my ideas.
I do keep telling myself over and over that I will never lack for something to keep me busy.
This morning we saw more snow on the Superstition than we have ever seen. True we have only lived here 3 winters now. But still.

This is looking out my garage last evening when I went out to greet Marv and look at all the snow on his car.

This is the lowest I have seen the snow in Hog's Canyon.

Last week we figured this would be the last snow we saw this year.
Ha! Ha! Ha!

Well with all the crazy weather I thing I need a bright spot in my day.
We found a few Fairy Dusters in bloom last week.
Few and far between but oh so delicate and lovely

Not to mention the little forget me nots.
Spring has to be around the corner

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Get to share..... WEEEEEEEEE!

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
Scott Adams
This morning on Facebook I got a pleasant surprise. Red Heart has released the pattern for my Romantics Pineapple Shawl. So I get to share it with you finally. Oh how I love when I get to share one of my designs with everyone.
You can see it here.
Well not only see it, but get a copy of the pattern also.
This shawl was one of my winning shawl this last year at the CGOA design Contest.
It took 3rd in the Accessories division.
 I was so proud.
Here is a shot of the original Shawl.

And another shot of it.

For our Anniversary trip we headed down to Catalina State park and spent 3 days there hiking and enjoy ourselves. 
It was great as there was lots of waters in the canyons doing their dance down the hillside. 
We got to see and hear it quite often on our treks. I don't have too many pictures today.
I will post more later this week.  
This was a fall above the Romero pools. We challenged ourselves to climb up higher than we have before. We were rewarded by this sight.

This is a close up of the spillway for these falls.

I did get some floral shots. Which I will be sharing later. But the beauty of last years growth called to me also. I am intrigued by natures simple beauty.
It's all about Harmony

Monday, February 18, 2013

Wiggly Crochet Dishcloths Blog tour

“Creativity is as important as literacy”
Ken Robinson 

Wiggly Crochet Dishcloths
By Susan Lowman

This is my first blog tour and I was thrilled when Susan asked me to take part in it.
She is a talented designer and a good friend.
Her new book Wiggly Crochet Dishcloths is a must have for anyone who loves to make dishcloths.
The book is concise and well written. Making these charmers easy to make as well as functional. The charts are well done and easy to understand.
I whipped mine up in little over an afternoon.
I must admit I didn't use the recommended yarn as I like a little smaller dishcloth since I have small hands. So I made mine out of Aunt Lydia's size 3 crochet thread with as size 00/3.5 mm hook. It helped me use up some of my stash and gave me the size I feel comfortable holding. I also only used 3 colors total instead of 4 for mine as that is what I had in stock and I didn't want to wait to go buy more thread.
Mine came out 8 and 1/4 inches square.
 Diagonals dishcloth
This is the design I chose to make the Diagonal Dishcloth
There are 5 more great design in the book.
My finished dishcloth.

Though if you are like me you may not want to use these beauties as dishcloths. ( too pretty )  Mine just might be used to set a warm pan on on my counter top instead.
 Being cotton it will work well for that also.
Though as a dishcloth they are lightweight, even wet. textured with the wiggles to help get your dishes clean, and charming enough to help make a dreary job cheerful.
 Hard choice to make...
Another view of my dishcloth
My only complaint about the pattern is that like a lot of patterns, us poor lefties were forgotten. Susan promises to do better in the future. But if you are left handed you can still easily make these if you remember you will be crocheting in the opposite direction than what the arrow points.
Overall though I enjoyed the pattern and will most likely make a few more from this book to give as gifts.
My finished dish cloth and Susan Lowman's Book
Wiggly Crochet Dishcloths

Remember to go visit Susan at her Blog and enter to win a signed book for yourself.
But if you are like me and not the lucky sort you can also go to Annie's and get a copy for yourself. It will definitely be worth it.
 Go here to order your copy of Wiggly Crochet Dishcloths
(print and download available):
Go here to “Like” the Annie’s Facebook page:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A bump on the head.

“Instead of focusing on how much you can accomplish, focus on how much you can absolutely love what you’re doing.”
Leo Babauta
If you read my posts on face book then you know I took a tumble this weekend.
My own fault. I know better than to try and enjoy the scenery while walking down a rocky trail out in the desert. I tripped over a embedded rock and fell. Thankfully I do know how to fall. I taught people how to for years as part of being a riding instructor. No broken bones from trying to catch myself. See I do know better than that.
So I only have a bump on my forehead and my  right knee isn't so pretty. But I walked out of there on my own and no signs of trouble from the bump on my head.
 AND YES we have been monitoring it closely.
I have had concussions before. Never something I want or plan on doing, but I have never hidden from life to avoid being hurt. Once a tomboy always a tomboy.....
The polka dot clouds reflected in a pool of water

It was a different sort of hike though. Cool weather and hardly any signs of flowers on this side of the mountains. It's just been too cold. We should have plenty this year as we have been wetter than normal. Which I am loving.
We saw lots of water cascading down through the washes. Some of the trails were actually a little tough to negotiate due to all the water. But worth the hike.
Bump and all.
You could see snow on the 4 peaks in the distance when we got to the trail head. Though by the time we got back it was mostly melted. But oh she was a pretty site.
This is the view that was awaiting us when we arrived to go hiking.

Took this shot almost immediately after my tumble.
Starting to clear off the peaks.

A half hour later she was totally visible

And most of the the snow was gone.
I came home and settled in with my knee propped up in my recliner and worked on a project I was saving for this next weekend. But it seemed like the perfect one for my recovery. I made a Wiggly Crochet Dishcloth from Susan Lowman's book. I will give you a full report on that next Monday the 18th as that's my day of her blog tour.
Maybe I should bump my head more often as Marv has given me orders to take it easy the next couple days and just work on my crocheting. I won't argue with that.
My major project is coming along nicely. Actually beginning to feel like I just might get it done someday. I knew this was a long term project when I started it. So no surprises there. It's just a matter of remembering to keep plugging at it every chance I get.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Keep on stitching, keep on stitching

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
Marcel Proust
Since most of this week has been on the go. I decided today was a get down to work day, and to put some real time into the projects I have going. Actually I am working on the stay at home project.
I have got lot's and lots done. Crocheting and pattern writing, and the day isn't over yet.
Amazing how much one can do when you stay focused and push yourself a bit.
You know I am busy when you can't see my desk top for the balls of thread and yarn, Motifs scattered here and there, pincushion, scissors, hooks, needles tablets, pencils, and more thread and yarn.
I do have a few more pictures from last weekend to share.
These remind me of the buttercups from when I was growing up. Though they are on a bush not a low lying plant.

Some times I wonder how I can compete with natures lace making.
Look at the intricate beauty of the seed pod.
It keeps me rather humble

The rocky crags can give a surreal feel to some of the landscapes around here.
Hard to believe this is so close to my home.

And finally a cascade of water playing peekaboo.
The melody it sang is still singing in my heart.

Now I am off to spend the afternoon doing what I enjoy best.
Creating my own bits of beauty.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Busy couple of days

“A good friend is a connection to life - a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.”
Lois Wyse
The last three days have been rather busy, But oh in such nice ways.
Tuesday was Prescott crochet group meeting. Boy was I ready, We didn't meet in January so it had been a while. They are such a wonderful friendly group, I love going up there and sharing my passion with them. Good friends, crocheting, and good food and conversation. It doesn't get much better.
Yesterday wasn't so great but good. I did house work. I know who cares, But I was doing it for a definite reason. My friend Susan Lowman was going to come visit me and she is allergic to cats so I wanted to make sure I cleaned all the cat hair and dander up as much as possible.
So at least three of the rooms in my house got their spring cleaning.
We had a great visit and she got to see all my crochet treasures. I don't get to show off my lovely hooks and books too often to people who care. We talked and talked crochet. The time passed way to quickly, and nary a sneeze one. So yesterdays cleaning was worth it.

I am still working on two different projects. One is a bit more long term than the other. But both are important to me. I like to have one that I work here at home and one that is easy to pack around with me.
 I am also going to be doing a Blog tour for Susan Lowman's book Wiggly Crochet Dishcloths. I will be doing that on the 18th of this months. So mark your calendars. This will be the first time I am participating in one of these. A little nervous. I want to do a good job.
More pictures from our hike last weekend.

We were pushing time to get back before dark. But when I saw the sun reflected off of the hills in the distance , Well I had to stop and take a picture. Nature's art is so inspiring.
But you have to open you eyes and look around to see and catch it.
So glad I was there to see this moment.
More floral shots. These delicate blossom make my heart sing
Spring is Coming! Spring is Coming!

Of course the seed pods of last years flowers are still part of the landscape and they call to me also.

More signs of spring.
I can hardly wait until the desert comes into full bloom in a few more weeks.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Oh my tired feet

“The poetry of the earth is never dead.”
John Keats

If you follow my blog you know we do a lot of hiking, especially in the winter. But we were exhausted after yesterdays hike. We chose to do the Weaver's Needle loop. According to our hiking book it was supposed to be about a 10.7 miles. We thought no big deal. We do ten miles on a regular basis.
We gave our selves plenty of time. We started out about 8:30, we made it back to the parking lot at 6:15. The hike was actually about 13 miles and it was almost all either going up or going down. Very little just going. It takes longer to negotiate hills on rocky trails. All three of us were pretty tired and foot sore when got home.
But the weather was delightful, the temperatures almost perfect and the water was a running in the desert after the good rains the previous weekend. We were serenaded a large portion of our hike by the tinkling water cascading over the rocks.
Music for my soul.
Spring was starting to show its self out in the desert.
A few blossoms and lots and lots of buds. A week or two and we shall see a riot of color.
 In the meantime I will enjoy the first tastes of spring.

Project report:
After several starts and redoes, I think I have this design about figured out. I don't do a lot of garments so this is a challenge for me to make it work the way I intend. Trying to keep it fairly simple so writing up the pattern won't make me pull out my hair.

A few photos from this weekend
This a color study.
It made me stop in my tracks when I saw it. It may not be a flower but oh the beautiful way nature combines colors always takes my breath away.

Seed pods have their own beauty. Not only for the visual senses but for the promise of their seeds.  

One of the blooms I found this weekend. Most of the flowers in the desert are small and delicate. They do their jobs in the most economical fashion.

We marched clear around this landmark.
This is Weaver's Needle
Not quite as impressive up close as when we see it standing alone in the distance on most of our hikes. But  still impressive. I have more shots of the it to share this week. But this shot relates to the next photo.

In one of the many pools of water  I captured the Weaver's Needle reflected in the water.
It matched the same angle as the photo above.
This was a common occurrence on this hike.
The water dancing and skipping down the hill side over the rocks.
It may be a long time before I see so much water up there again.
But I definitely was loving it this time.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Making decisions.......

“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”
Søren Kierkegaard
You know it's hard to stay in routine about writing here when your internet goes out. I had three days this week that my internet was down. The new smart phone did help, but I am still a babe in the woods with it and didn't feel up to doing my post from it. Maybe by the next time this happens again I will be able to. Let's hope that doesn't happen for a long time.
The rain last week shorted out a connection somewhere on the line leading to our house. A fairly simple fix, but getting someone out here is the hard part. 
It's fixed now so I am back in business. 
Decision Time
Speaking of business. I mailed off a package this morning for an order for one of my books. Well I had a real shock about the new rates. Especially an overseas package. I just gave away one of my books. The postage cost as much as the total order based on the old postage prices. Actually It was 70 cents less. But when you figure in the cost of my paper and ink, envelope and gas. I was probably in the hole. 
We will be spending the weekend converting all my remaining hard copy books to PDF files only.
No more hard copies.
I just can't keep up with the postage and the printing costs. 
If a person really does need to have a hard copy they can get hold of me and I will set up a special sale on my Etsy site to accommodate them. I do understand some people do need and want hard copies, but I can't afford to keep eating the costs.
Project report
One project is on the blocking mat. Am I happy? We shall see when I take it off the board and try it on. Somethings you just can't tell until it has been blocked.
I am all set up to begin a new project. Actually I started one the other day, but changed my mind on the thread I was using. So I am experimenting with some thread here. We shall see if I like the results. I will know by this evening if it meets my expectations.
I took this color study shot a couple weeks ago.
Wish I could find some nice sock weight yarn with these hues.
Love the soft purple.  

One day this weekend we are going to go hiking . Looking forward to getting out and away from everything for a little while. Waiting to see what the weather is doing before we decide which day.  

Just a shot from one of our hikes last month. I have a thing for water in the desert. Have to take a picture of it.

I am almost ready to cuddle in for the evening with hook in hand.
I will be enjoying what I call the three C's