Wednesday, August 6, 2014


I can't say I have ever taken a vacation just for the fun of it. Normally we go see family, or such. Oh we do the occasional weekend. But 5 days of being treated to good food, wonderful scenery and great conversations made my trip to Maine exceptional.
Michele Maks of Mainly Crochet invited me to come stitch by the sea after convention. Promised me a lobster dinner. Now who in their right mind could say NO to that.
It was wonderful. I got to wiggle my toes in the Atlantic ocean, Eat ice cream while watching sail boats come and go in Camden Harbor, see the awesome view from Camden Hill, walk the Giants steps, eat more ice cream in a flower garden, wander a secluded cove.
Then there was the fabulous food. If Michele ever decided to quit the crochet world. she would make an awesome chef. We had our lobster as promised and I can now say I have ravaged a whole lobster on my own. Then there was crochet talk, photo shoots, picture taking and my hook was happily creating when ever I got the chance.
Loved all the beautiful green.
and would love to visit Maine again.
Of course Michele's dog Mika made a point to make sure I wasn't too dog deprived without Pippie.





Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Well I have been home a few days now and my mind and body are beginning to slide back into my normal routines.
Not that anything is normal these days, but more on that in another post.
I had a grand time at convention. Enjoying what I like best about the whole thing. Talking, sharing and rubbing elbows with fellow crochet addicts.
I was very pleased with how I did in the design contest.
I finally took a 1st place in the Thread division. So I get to cross an item off my bucket list.
My skirt took a 2nd in the Fashion Division which of course thrilled me.
My Riviera Shawlette got an honorable mention. But when I posted it to my CrochetNBeads page on facebook it took off like a house on fire. over 24,500 looks, That was just mind blowing.
So the reactions to all my pieces have left me with a warm glow.
To be honest I was a little disappointed with the banquet. Being the 20th anniversary. I expected a celebration program. There wasn't much to be honest. Just a short program and the fashion show, Which felt a little rushed this year. I hated the half hour standing in the hall waiting to get in once they opened the door. It would have been much nicer to have set my things down at my table then wandered and visited. As was we just moved the line in a bit closer and we paid for that privilege.
I took 2 classes. One with Mary Beth Temple on Independent pattern publication to see if she had some ideas I hadn't thought of. She did and I will have to give some thought on how to incorporate them into my business.
The second was my fun class. Free Form with Margaret Hubert. She is such a dear and it was so fun to take her class. I made me a little needle case instead of the bag as I know me and a purse would sit in a drawer. The needle case will go in my work bag and I will think of the fun I had creating it every time I use it. 
Next year will be San Diego. Which was a surprise as it was my understanding the west coast just doesn't draw enough people. There will also most likely not be a design contest either. Oh well the ideas that are brewing for it will have a little more time to mature this time.
Then I had the fun and privilege of heading to Maine with Michele Maks for 5 days. I will share that experience tomorrow.  Lets just say my camera got a work out. Loved the green......

Monday, May 19, 2014

Secret Identity

Time: 3:14am
With my head pounding from the crud that will not let go and an idea that is just as tenacious. I decide I might as well get up and try and relieve both problems.
So after doing my Canadian goose imitation, I grab my clip board, pencil, and a throat drop, I head out on the back porch and the cool night air. Sitting comfortably for the moment, I start my sketch of the motif that was keeping me awake.
 I had it almost complete when I realized
I wasn't alone....................
..............scurrying across the floor was a mouse.
Apparently in a moment of relived youth one of the cats brought it in. Of course enthusiasm  probably waned quickly and they let it go.
So it's just me and the mouse. I quietly closed the door. The mouse wasn't going to get into my home.... No Siree!   
Armed with nothing but a clip board I start my attack.
Dodging first right,
then left,
 then right again,
Deftly switching my clip board from one hand to the other.
left then
right again,
the battle goes on.
 I finally prevail,
 and the mouse scoots out the door I had opened for him.
He turns around and slams back into the door I had just shut.
( not my fault he's not very smart, he did get up and run away )
So all ends well,
I feel like a super hero.
Preserving my home, protecting the innocent,
and being kind to dumb animals all at one time.
I look down and laugh
I do have my super hero suit on.
No spandex or leotards here, But
The one I wear all the time.
I am NAKED.....
See we all wear the same super hero suit.
We can all be heroes
In small ways,
Without being on U tube.
 ( Believe me I definitely don't want my little episode to go viral on the net.  This is not a young svelte body I am flashing here, but a woman nearing 60. Nor can my neighbors, or passing strangers can see onto my porch My super hero identity is safe )
Like Clark Kent though I hide my suit everyday under layers of clothing
So do you...
But under it all we are all heroes!
In small ways.
Let's celebrate our unique ability to be a hero everyday.
In small ways.
3:30 am
Sketch done,
snuggled back in bead, Bilbo asleep on my pillow, Elsie asleep in the crook of my arm. Marv snoozing peacefully beside me, and Pippie at our feet.
All is well.
My secret identity is safe..............
Until next time!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Into every life.............

Funny how disaster can also be a catalyst.
Yesterday afternoon I had a horrible moment when my tablet hit the tile floor in the kitchen. Tablet 0, Floor 1..... After the tears dried up, I was still a bit shaken to say the least. It's never a good time to have that sort of expense pop out of the clear blue. But I finally put things in proper perspective.
It wasn't the end of the world.
Just the tablet.
It could be replaced.
And we did replace it last night as I truly do need it. It keeps me mobile and in touch anywhere we go. Plus I can work on it unlike my smart phone.
Since my brain was whirling and twirling, I decided discretion was the better part of valor and put up my doily design I am working on. Figured anything I did yesterday would have to be redone. So why add to my frustration level. None of my projects that demand my focus was going to be a good idea.
So I found the thread I want to use for the Mariah Shawl. Chose my hook, and started crocheting.
Well of course I can't leave anything alone and within a half hour I was going OOOOH! What If...
So, ripppp....  and away I go in a slightly different direction. So much happier with it so far.
But now it's no longer the Mariah Shawl. I have decided to rename this version  Maria..... Because now the design is signing to me.

So out of disaster come success. You just never know what is going to set things in motion.
You will have to wait until I am done to see the Maria Shawl
Mariah Shawl in Paton's Lace
Like but not love
Thought of blaming all this on the full moon.
But lets be honest. I am a bit of a KLUTZ
I put in some Oleander this year. My first blooms in the evening light
I will be glad when May is over though It's been a rough month so far.


Friday, May 9, 2014

In spite of it all.

In spite of.....
The last three weeks have been rough for me.
Lost my aunt Clarice, whom I totally admired, respected and loved.
When  I got home from her memorial I found Marv suffering with a nasty bug. He's still suffering, but he invited me to join him. Isn't he kind and generous?
But in spite of all that I have continued to work.
Finished one design last week. Though I think it will look nicer in thread. So that's on my list to redo.
At least the pattern is written. I intend to self publish this design when I am totally happy with it.
I almost have a doily complete. Though I had to walk away for a couple days from it as I definitely was not thinking straight. I  have  most of the pattern written up, and good notes for the rest so far. Hoping to finish it early next week. I know better than to think it will get done this weekend. Too many other things seem to happen on weekends. All to the good, but not conducive to the type of thinking I need to do for this design.
Like most of my doily designs it has morphed from the original sketch.
For the better I would like to think
Will have to wait and see when it's done.
Doesn't mean my hook won't be working. There is always a project that needs my attention.  
While working on this doily I found 4 flower motifs that I hadn't written up, so had to stop and rectify that situation, and as I progressed I found another one. It's pinned on my bulletin board so I don't forget it again.
So hard to stay totally on top of things. Though the clip board helps for my projects, it doesn't help for my snippets, swatches, or trials that I do when an idea strikes me.   

The upside this week is another one of my designs was released at Mainly Crochet. They have lots of my designs now, and I am working on more for them all the time. So go check them out.
Here are a few photos she sent me of the Irish Rose Pillow. These pictures are Don Patty photos.

And of course a post would not be complete without a flower shot.
This is looking straight down at the top of a Lupine bloom.
I like to try and see things from a different angle when I can.

Friday, May 2, 2014


Doily versus Motif
Granny Square versus Motif or Square
How do you See it?
I see so many offerings/posts of what I term as motifs offered as a small doily.
Personally I don't consider anything smaller than six inches a doily.
 A motif, a coaster, a pincushion top, a snowflake.
Oh Yes!
But a doily?
Maybe I am old fashioned.
Don't know
Could be.
But I really hate to see things lumped together under a name whether to sell a design or just to impress your friends and family you made a doily.
To me a doily showcases the art of fine crochet.
4 rnds of shell stitches isn't all that impressive folks.
Great jump off point. Nice motif,
but I don't see it as a doily.
If a 4 inch motif constitutes a doily then I have 6 doily designs all done.
Instead I figure I have 6 great motifs waiting for me to either expand upon and make a doily from any one of them, or put them together in an artful manner to create a top, shawl, runner, afghan, purse, pillow, or what ever the motif tells me it needs to be.
So I want your opinion here.
What is the difference to you?
 Size, number of rnds, or style? I am curious.
Granny Squares  are another item that I think we have turned into a lump together category. I only consider a old fashioned granny square or simple variation on a granny square deserves that title.
All else in my book is a motif or square. If it has clusters, puff sts, chain variations , front and back post stitches. or various stitch heights I don't see them as a granny square. When I see a round motif called a granny square, I scratch my head.
At what point in time did we start lumping it all together.
It's confusing enough, why are we making it even more confusing by blurring the lines?
Again I may be a bit old fashioned in my thinking.
So convince me otherwise.
I am truly trying to grasp this concept.
But at this point if you ask me to design something with a granny square, I am going to sigh and design something with a granny square or something with a slight variation.
Ask me to design a motif or square and my heart would sing at the possibilities just offered to me.
Ask me to design a doily and it definitely is going to be larger than 6 inches.

Remember this is my personal opinion and I am asking only what you think.

My Irish Rose Pillow
These motifs were put together to make a pillow
Which will be up on the Mainly Crochet Site shortly
Picture used with permission of Mainly Crochet. Don Patty photo
My picture of said pillow.
Motifs/Squares are wonderful.
I would never call this a granny square.
Not a doily
This is a doily
Spicy Rose Afghan Square
One of my few free patterns
Not a granny square either.
Squares put together to form a whole
Motifs and granny Squares.
Those I would call granny squares


Friday, April 18, 2014

Rain clouds and wishful thinking

Always hopeful
  There are clouds on our horizon, but we aren't likely to get any rain.
But I can always hope.
I would do a rain dance, but my luck some one would video it and I would find myself being silly all over U tube.
Think I will pass on that.
I will just keep hoping that the we get a bit of rain.
I am taking advantage of a nice cool day around here and finishing up a few things. Actually worked outside for a bit. Won't be much longer and that will be almost impossible to do comfortably. The heat will be here soon. Then curling up with my hook will be the best option for a hot day.
My desk was cleared for action last night.
Which is my signal that I have finished a project.
 All the components, notes and charts are carefully put away until I am sure the pattern is written to my satisfaction. Have learned it's so much easier when I remember to keep things together and don't have to chase down a elusive note. Putting each project on it's own clip board has been a big help for me. Now when I am done I slide all the notes, ball wrappers, and anything else pertinent to the project into a page protector and file it away.
I now have over 15 clip boards though, each with a project waiting to be done.
Not to mention those on the bulletin board  and my letter nail.
Someday I will catch up with myself.
We can only hope.
Monday I will take the time to sort through and prioritize them.
Shift things around, and move some forward, also add some to clip boards that what been on the letter nail or the bulletin board.
Think it's time to add a few quick projects. I have been working on larger ones here for a while.
Feeling the need of the thrill of accomplishment.
Got that rush last night and it's addictive.
Red Heart released another one of my design last week.  
Which is also one of those WOW moments.
I don't think I will ever get over the thrill of seeing one of my designs published
The Rosalinda Necklace
It's a free pattern so go enjoy
My pictures of the finished necklace
One more shot
Now  a few flower shots.
You know I can't resist a pretty flower.
Love my globe mallows  
My Alstroemeria is blooming
Came across some pink globe mallow.
Mr spider snuck into my shot.
I did get up and saw the Blood moon this week.
Unfortunately I couldn't get a good shot of it.
But did get a nice shot of the moon before.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Going through the change and it's not what you think.

There is never a guarantee when starting a new design that it will turn out as envisioned. I just got done reworking the chart for a design as it didn't live up to expectations. Now for the major frog that goes with this rework.
Am I crying in my chocolate!
For me it is part of the process!
Most designers understand this phenomenon. It happens all the time. I am not sure the average crocheter reading a pattern realizes how many times things get frogged and reworked when we are designing to make sure it turns out just right. Well at least for this designer it does. I am a firm believer that I should never, ever send out a pattern I am not pleased with. I would prefer not to hide my head with shame when I see a design of mine come up in a magazine or on the internet. So when you are enjoying a pattern remember that it may not have even started out looking like the finished product. It may have gone through several changes before it ended up as the design you are working.

Sometimes I have been known to start all over just because it was easier than frogging the whole darn thing. Then I can see where I want to make changes easier that way too. There are times also when I look at something I have been working on and just think to myself, well if I had just done this, the whole piece would look better and/or be easier to do. Of course it gets a rework then.  More changes.

There are days when I almost wish I could turn off my
What If Button.
Designing would be simpler if I would stick with the plan. But then there are several of my designs you would have never seen.
So I will frog whenever I think an idea can be improved upon.
I will rework until I am happy with it.
and I won't cry in my chocolate when it happens.

I only cry when I have to frog a large number of rows because I can't count, or I make a mistake.
Then it's just because I hate being so stupid as to not double check myself.
Since I have done this long enough and often enough to know better.

If I like what I have just done you will eventually get to see what I am working on. If it never improves to the point I like it. You will only know it as the rumor it is at this point.
I love when the flowers start blooming and we celebrate the changes nature shows us every day.
I do get to share a design that was just released. My Wild Rose Shawl
It is a Free pattern from Red Heart Yarns
You can find it here
Inspired by natures beauty
here is a detail shot of the shawl
and a flat shot of it.