crochet:: for the love of african flowers

My WiP basket runneth over with african flower projects right now. Wanna peek?

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I love how the dishcloths turned out.  I was playing with those colors for Valentine’s Day and then it evolved to needing the combo in my life on a daily basis.  Can you say channeling my Grandma Amy from the 1940’s???

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What the what?! you ask

That my dearies is a brick covered with african flowers to transform into a doorstop.  It even has handles.  That way I can drag it out of the way instead of trying to lift a brick.

Will wonders never cease?

 

 

 

 

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And this is the start of a project bag.  More on that one later.

Make today ridiculously amazing :)

crochet:: headwraps are all the rage

In my part of the world it’s pretty cold right now and we are headed for the longest short month of the year.  You know, when all you want is for the weather to break and February is super stubborn.

I’ve been using headwraps this winter, and even though I am a little slow to adopt the craze, I still think they have been the accessory to have this year.  I have a spare shoved into my bag at all times and they take up way less space than hats.  Which we all know, I do not wear.

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The free pattern for this headwrap can be found here.

I made mine with her Resilient Superwash wool.  PS ~ this is where I got all the sari silk recycled yarn a few months ago.

It’s a tad on the expensive side, but wowsers I love that wool.  I’ve been making socks with it, and 1 skein will make a pair of socks and a matching headwrap.

The other day, Miss Cortini came into work with this one and I thought it was pretty cute.

wrap 4

It looked like knitting, but it’s actually crochet.  It’s hdc behind the back loop (not a bphdc), so it pulls the top loops forward. Kind of interesting.

Naturally, I decided to make my own take on it.

wrap 1

wrap 2

Would you like another free pattern? A two-fer today, woot.

winter headwrap::

K hook

Lion Brand Homespun yarn

rnd 1 – ch 45, hdc in 3rd ch from hook, then hdc 41 to end, 4 hdc in beg ch, then hdc back down the opposite side of the ch and make 3 hdc in end (makes 4 on that end too) join, ch 2, do not turn (or work in continuous rounds ~ your choice)

rnd 2 thru 4 – tilt your work towards you so you can hdc in the loop behind the back loop (that’s what makes it look like a knit stitch) and continue on with behind the back loop hdc on the long sides; on the ends where you have 4 stitches on the previous row make dc, dc & tr, tr & dc, dc still working the loop behind the back loop

rnd 5 – continue on with the hdc st, but on the ends switch to dc& tr, tr & tr, tr & tr, tr & dc in those 4 end stitches

rnd 6 – switch to sl st in the loop behind the back loop, join and voila ~ done.

Add your favorite flower, or not.  Add a cluster of buttons instead, or any other embellishment, or not.

Then sew on a big button near one end to be your clasp.

Finally…snap a late night selfie when you get it done…image

Happy hooking :)

food:: i’m a tea girl

Every few years, Frankie tries to get me to like coffee.  It just ain’t happening.  Love the smell, can’t handle the bitterness no matter how much vanilla syrup and sugar I add to it.  No offense coffee people, I just can’t aquire the taste.

But tea?  That’s an entirely different story.

It’s my elixir that sometimes makes me think I could be a superhero and fight crime.

When you live in a thoroughly OCD home like mine, you are always in search of caffeinated perfection.  Frank has all his gizmos and brands and roasts and cups figured out because he has been at the coffee game for like 40 years.

As for me? I’m still in search of my holy grail of tea.  I didn’t start drinking it until about 10 years ago.  I am still finding brewed perfection.  There have been many miserable flops.

Clear glass teapots and small children do not mix.

The cup that sparked in the microwave when I tried to re-heat it.

Rushing to try many new flavors only immediately forgeting the namebrands, never to be enjoyed again.

You get the picture ~ only crap an OCD tea person would give 2 hoots about.

But I digress.  I just wanted to show you a couple of awesome new finds and share some tea inspiration with you.

tea cup

This lovely handmade cup was a Christmas gift from the even lovelier friend, Miss Cortini.  She shares my vision of finding the perfect tea and perfect tea accessories.  While I am normally a tea must be enjoyed in bone-china girl, she totally scored with this one.  The handle is made so you can hold your cuppa and warm your hands.  (The lip of the cup isn’t all spilly or 10x the size of bone china.) 5 stars.  Seriously.  She found it at Clay In Motion’s website ~ handmade in the USA.

As for my new fancy panda charmed tea ball, it’s made in China but I can’t for the life of me find a local or handmade one.

peacock tea pot

My semi-new, I-think-I-posted-it-somewhere, handmade tea pot (and its new infuser) that reminds me of the colors in my Mother’s kitchen when I was a child.  I love Hannah Turner Ceramics in the UK ~ I found her through my facebook page and she was lovely to purchase from.

tea tin

These are just my vintage tea tins that manage to cheer me up, every single day.

And to the finding of tea…I have now found 2, count ‘em 2, amazing little tea shops locally that feel like exclusive oases the moment you walk through their doors.  Score.

My enjoyment of my daily cuppa (or 3) has improved with these ~ I think I am bordering on perfection :)

Now, I included some names; but please know that I am not writing sponsored posts and I share only because I like their products ~ I don’t get paid for this $hit y’all.  But if you are on a similar quest for tea perfection, check ‘em out because they are tried and true in my book.  I still feel that old-school share and share alike is nice.  It’s like sitting down with me for a cuppa and exchanging recipes & such, because I like you.

crochet:: as graceful as a baby giraffe

But we’re not talking about me right now.

giraffe hat 2

The northern hemisphere in December really knows how to mess up photography.

girffe hat

This was a fun one and turned out much more graceful than I.

A special THANK YOU to Jill over at Nice Piece of Work for the hat-spiration ;)

Smooches, Miss Jill!

2014 in review:: thankyouverymuch to all my bloggity friends :) you brighten my world

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 96,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

crochet:: something new…sari silk yarn

I’ve told myself time and time again to STOP BUYING novelty yarn!!

But I don’t listen to me all that well.

sari silk yarn

Isn’t this stuff absolutely divine??

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sari silk yarn 2

I’ve started a few scarves as Christmas gifts with this beautiful stuff.

sari silk yarn scarf

sari silk scarf 2

sari silk scarf 3

It’s scooped up threads at the sari factory spun into yarn.  Yay for recycling and upcycling.

And that my friends, inspired me to do a little facelift on the old blogster.

Whatcha think?

crochet:: my masterpiece is complete

And the funniest part?

I have stats.

21 months

145 colors

254+ hours

16,747 (approx) yards of yarn

And the most impressive stat of all…

244,896 stitches

Boom.

palette afghan before

~before washing~

palette afghan

~after 1st shrinking wash~

palette afghan lexi

We’re going to give it the 2nd shrinking wash today.  I fully expect that it will have decreased by 1/3 in size…but we absolutely love it.

This has been my ALL-TIME FAV afghan ever.

And I don’t usually say things like that, because let’s face it afghans take forever to make and if the stitch, yarn, or pattern is a bore/hassle/frustration, I’m just satisified the experience is over.  This one was pure bliss all the way around.

I loved the yarn:: Knit Picks Palette (they don’t pay me btw, but they have been PIVOTAL in changing my mind regarding fibre choice & I will most definitely purchasing from them again.  Just sharing my personal thought as a customer.)

I loved the stitch:: ch, sl st, dc (can you say mindless so I can watch seasons of Sons of Anarchy, Game of Thrones, and tons of football??)

I loved the pattern:: 14 round grannies/join as you go (I could always keep a square or 2 in my purse with me)

The finished product is exactly what I was looking for.  Warm and squishy, soft and cozy, and my very first large-scale 100% wool blanket.

I love it when a project is successful. I’ve decided this is a family heirloom.

My son asked me how much time & money I spent on it.  So I told him & showed him my stats.

Then he asked:: Why didn’t you just buy a new comforter?

He is no longer in the will.

crochet:: my deathstar pillow can beat up your deathstar pillow

Hellloooooo friends.

I’ve been doing some child’s-play.

That’s no stretch for me, amiright?!

crochet death star 1

I’ve started my making for Christmas.   When the weather is beautiful, I have a NEED to make art on the weekends.

I have a Star Wars obsessed nephew and  had no choice but to make one after I

 found this pattern through the most odd set of circumstances on fb,

Holla!

crochet death star

food:: my favorite season

fall fires

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

You needed to sing that line in your head.

Ok, try it again.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

I love everything about autumn.  The crunchy leaves, the colors, the sounds of birds migrating overhead, the football games, and the chilly nights wrapped up by a bonfire.

Well, let me clarify that, I love everything about autumn except for the pumpkin spice fake flavored everything.  THAT I can do without.  It must be some new phenomenon, and it’s a bandwagon I will not be jumping on any time soon.  It’s kind of like bacon.  I have eaten bacon for oh, 40-ish years and yes it’s good, but why it suddenly gained super-star status a few years ago is beyond me.  It’s food people, not the Holy Grail.

But I digress.

I did some apple picking and some awesomesauce canning recently.

Fresh picked, organic, locally sourced, tree-hugger approved apples.  I’m getting really super good at embracing my inner hippie.

apples

I have in a sense, bottled and preserved autumn for just a little while longer than the actual season lasts.

applesauce

And I have no doubt when I open a jar of awesomesauce in January I will feel that I have been transported to heaven for a moment.

Maybe that’s what all the bacon hype is about…

Cheers to you lovely friends :)

Happy Autumn