Friday, October 19, 2012

Blankets and such...

I feel like I have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off since I got back from my trip to Oregon.  I have been working like crazy, babysitting as much as possible on the side and getting as much crocheting in as possible.  Christmas is right around the corner and I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little stressed.  I am making four blankets for presents this year.  I finished one in the very beginning of August, started the third with in 30 minutes of completing the first blanket.  The second recently came out of hibernation.  As it stands I could potentially finish either the 2nd or 3rd blanket this weekend.  More than likely the 2nd one.  Its all put together and I still have to add a few more rows for the border and put a cute edge on it.  The 3rd well, I cannot wait to be done.  I am at the point where I am bored with it and the 2nd blanket.  Here is the 2nd as I left lastnight...
Here is a reminder of what the 3rd looks like...
This was when it was first started, I honestly thought I had a more up to date picture. I will have to work on that this weekend. 

Since I am showing off the other two may as well remind you all of the first!
Oh yes, look at that granny goodness! 

I have to start the 4th.  I have the yarn but am uncertain as to a pattern.  I thought I had one picked out and I started playing with it lastnight and its not a good fit.  I plan on using camoflauge yarn and possibly incorporating green, brown and or black into the blanket.  I have enough camoflauge yarn and would love to use as much as possible, if not then I can use it for another blanket. 

There are so many crafty things I wanna make right now. I am really wanting to sew more, but fabric is so expensive. I really want to embroider but I am telling  myself no to anything until I get these blankets finished. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

New family and memories

I had an amazing trip home to Oregon.  I did not get the chance to take many pictures, or rather I should say that I was way distracted.  On this trip to Oregon it did not rain even once, it was rather hot during the day with the mornings and evenings much cooler.  I made due, but was not pleased. 

I got to see just about everyone I wanted to see and unfortunately there were a few I did not.  Most importantly I saw my nephews K & T who are 9.

I also got to see my niece A who is the twins older sister and she is 16.  I unfortunately did not get a photo of just her and I like I wanted.  My mom, A and I went to see my grandfather.  It was an incredible feeling to have 4 generations together. Here are three of u, minus my mom.

I was so happy and very lucky to of been able to change my flight information.  I waws able to extend my trip by two days and attend a family reunion on my moms mothers side.  My Grandmother passed away at the age of 36 and my Grandfather kept his children from her side of the family for whatever reasons.  Seven years agon I had the chance to meet my Grandmothers youngest brother.  My Great Uncle C is such a wonderful, sweet and caring man. Thinking of him brings tears to my eyes.  At this reunion I was able to meet my other Uncle F.  He is without a doubt one of the cutest men I have ever met.  My Great Uncle Fs smile warms my heart just thinking about it.  He was so nice, happy and accepting.  I thought my three uncles were wonderful but I think my great uncles have them beat.  (F on the left and C on the right)

I was also surprised at the reunion. No one ever surprises me and it is a hard to do!  I say that beacause I kind of consider myself the Matriarch. My baby cousins M & C whom I love with all of my heart surprised me by showing up.  They made me cry and it was quite the reunion

The crem de la creme on the day of the reunion was getting to meet my Great Great Aunt A.  GGA is my great grandmas sister.  She is the last one of her siblings.  I got to speak with her a few years ago and was unable to meet her.  Due to her health she was unable to come to the reunion that was literally 2 blocks away.  So afterwards we all went over to see her.  She suffers from Alzheimers.  Meeting her was so very emotional for me.  Mind you my mom and I went with her uncles, cousins and my grandmas cousins.  I started crying because I was so happy to see her and meet her.  Taking in the situation all around.  There was about 12-16 of us all there to see her.  That is love, I think she was overwelmed and she did recognize her daughter L.  My mom and I were introduced.  Anytime someone was introduced or just went up to say hi, the first words out of her mouth were "Bless your hearts." & "I love you so much."  Shes 88, will be 89 in March and hope that she is around for a while longer and that I have the chance to go and see her again.  She is sitting in the picture.
So all in all my trip was wonderful. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Hi my name is Thea and I am addicted to swapping!  Ravelry swapping that is!  My plate is full at the moment and I am enjoying it.  I always overwelm myself but then settle into it no problem. 
The one thing I like just as much as spoiling someone else, is the fact that I get to challenge myself.  I have been making things that I normally wouldnt.  Lets say that maybe I have been a little scared to make something new as much as I have been wanting to. 

I made slippers over the weekend, interesting to say the least.

I made a market bag.

Last night I made one fingerless mitt and will make the other tonight. 

A shawl

I almost forgot...Skull potholders!!! This required me to crochet with two colors.

I will work on getting pictures and posting ASAP!

These are all for soemeone in my swaps. 
All of these may sound easy and like a no brainer to others, but they are things I have never attempted.  I love to crochet and consider myself to be a great one at that.  I cannot say expert yet because I have not gone outside my comfort level.  Expert is right around the corner.

I am also learning about new yarns.  Since I am not a yarn snob, Red Heart is pretty much all I have known.  So lucky for me, I now have a LYS 2 minutes down the road.  I purchased some yummy yarn yesterday for the mitts and a couple of other goodies for other swaps.  It was important for me to feel some of the types of yarns that these ladies love.  I guess you could say I am a yarn virgin and to be honest I was a little embarrassed yesterday in the store.  You know the feeling Im talking about right?  When you are unfamiliar, its like being in class  and the teacher putting you on the spot. 

I too will overcome this and I look forward to it.  I love giving to others, making things for others and spoiling someone else.  Its funny because I find that where I would not buy something for myself I for some reason do not think twice about it for someone else.  It donned on me the other day that I will be receiving stuff as well.  I honestly forgot that was part of the deal!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The itch

     I have the itch to make something for someone super special to me.  I have a friend whom I absolutely love and adore.  I do not get to see her as often as I would like due to the craziness of life and the fact that she is a mom of four!  Her boys are super busy in sports and the teams that travel, her husband works alot but does help with the traveling of the sports.  Her daughter is so special to me and I love when I get to spend time with her. 

     Lastnight my friends daughter G came up the block to where I am staying and visited with me for about two hours. Shes 12 mind you, we threw the ball for the dog and then talked crocheting for about 45 minutes.  Her mom knits and just recently learned to crochet a bit.  She has taught G how to knit a few years ago and here recently to crochet.  A couple nights ago I got visit with R the mom and we always have so much fun.  Shes animated, down to earth (from the Midwest), easty to talk to and shares my love for color.  I could go on about her... :) 

     It hit me the other night that I need to make her something.  She loves the beach and has worked on making her house serene like and the colors remind me of the beach.  She LOVES the beach.  She is always wearing coral somewhere on her body.  I was out getting yarn a few weeks ago and I came across some coral yarn.  I have never seen this before.  I bought 5 skeins!  Whats a girl to do?  So again it hit me the other night I need to make her something.  I wanna make her a blanket with the coral.  I am going to get some sea foam and white and maybe a mocha.  I have to scratch this itch!

     Mind you I have several other things I have to complete.  I have those 3 of the 4 blankets to finish for Christmas.   I have been working on my swap projects from Ravelry.  I got caught up in the SWAPTASTICNESS and might have slightly overwelmed myself for like a second...maybe 10.  Im good now.  I sent one box out already, another is pretty much ready and the other could be ready by tomorrow!  I have also RAK'd a few ladies. You know Random Act of Kindness!  This is when you send something to someone that they wanted.  I know this because they have wishlists!  I also rec'd my first one the other day. I was so excited.  I got stitch markers and I even used them lastnight while working on a swap project, skull socks( which I purchased lastweek for someone Im swapping with) and sock yarn! 

     You see I have never worked with sock yarn, I purchased some last week because I wanted to crochet socks.  I found a pattern and thought this is going to be so easy, how hard could it really be?  I consider myself to be an experienced crocheter, well maybe I should say advanced since I have yet to make clothing.  I found the pattern through the DROPS design site. I should have known it wasnt going to go well when it starts out CH 90.  I have to frog it.  Im not giving up, Im just gonna look for another pattern.  If it still doesnt work then I am going to have my friend R that is mentioned above teach me how to knit socks. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Last class

Yesterday was the end of crochet lessons at the camp.  I was sad to say goodbye.  The one girl standing to my right as you're looking at the picture, finished her scarf! I was so proud of E!!  C who has her dishcloth in front of her face, proved to be aa challenge for me.  Have you ever tried to teach someone something and as hard as you try it seems impossible?  I seriously felt this way.  C proved me wrong, she got with the program, went on youtube like I advised and figured out her dishcloth.  I was so proud, I almost cried.  When I saw her yesterday, I would say she was about half way done with her scarf that she is making for her grandma.  How sweet is she?

All the girls stepped p their A-game and enjoyed crocheting.  They have all struggled with their tension, but who doesn't when they are learning?  I provided the yarn, which was exciting as I got to lighten my stash.  My boss actually donated the hooks.  The girls were so excited about this because they could crochet at home and keep a hook.  They also made thank you cards to my boss.  They thanked her for the hooks, letting me leave work and teach them and congratulated her on her recent engagement. 

Before this class I had taught and came out with no results.  I started to wonder what I was doing wrong, what cold I change and do better?  Maybe I was not choosing the right starter project. Maybe I just cant teach.  Maybe its the kids, maybe they are too young.  This experience has taught me that I can teach, I know what I am doing.  It has given me confidence that I did not have before.  I really thought one or two would get it and they all got it!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Proud Auntie Moment

I just have to say that my nephew ROCKS!!! He is progressing very nicely!

Teaching and making memories!!!

I love crocheting so much that it is all I want to do.  The one thing I have never done is forced someone to learn.  I will gladly teach if someone is interested.  As I have mentioned in prior posts, I have had the opportunity to teach 11-13 year old girls for the past month. 
(I can see that Blogger is not gonna cooperate today)

I am unable to post more pictures as of now.  Above is Miss T and I have known her since she was 5 or 6.  So teaching her how to crochet was sentimental for me.  She had a little bit of experience before coming to me and that always makes things go a little bit smoother.  She was the first to finish her dishcloth and the first to start her scarf.  Miss T also wants private lessons!!! I have never done that before  and have no idea as to what I should charge.  Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!
Today is the start of our last week together.  All of my girls are doing so well and already working on their scarves. 

Since I started teaching the girls, one of my friends came to me and asked if I would teach her.  We have had one lesson so far.  I have also helped another friend who learned via youtube.  I am working with her to read patterns and since she learns by watching I taught her how to start a square and she chose to continue the square and turn it into a huge square. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Unplanned Adventures...

This past weekend I was looking forward to spending it at home, since I had been dog/house sitting for 2 wks.  My niece J turned 7 yesterday and I was not sure if I was going to see her or not.  Her parents recently purchased some land here in NJ and they put a little house on it. It is next to the lake and a pool.  So they spend a week or two at a time there.  Anyhoo her mom and I had been talking back and forth on friday about if they were headed home to Long Island and if they did when I would come over.  I get a call about 8:30pm telling me that the boys (my nephews) really want me to come out and see their cabin and spend the night and all that stuff.  I told her sure!  I am babysitting, once Im done I have to go and  collect my stuff from where I have been staying and then I will be on my way.

Finally at 11 pm I was on the road.  I just love unplanned adventures!!! It was about an hour drive and pitch black once I got out to the general area.  The older 2 of the 4 knew I was coming and greeted me with big hugs once they saw me.  I take that back the oldest had been sleeping and heard me and jumped out of bed!  They younger 2 woke up the next morning and crawled in bed with me and we cuddled.  Talk about a great way to wake up!  That to me is what living is all about. 

We walked around the man made lake. 

We saw frogs, turtles, dragon flies, butterflies, lots of bees and swans!  We swam, we ate, we played volleyball and basketball.  Mind you my niece M texted me on friday and said that she wanted me to sit down with her again and teach her to crochet.  I said if you really want to and would commit to more than 5 minutes and really try it I would be more than willing to teach her.  She said yes. 

Saturday in the midst of all the chaos we went to get yarn.  She picked two colors and once we were back she raided what I had just purchased.  Off to crochet we went.  I apparently had attempted to teach her when she was 8 and she reluctantly retained some of it.  So she picked it up really fast!

Let me just say sheshooked!  This is all she wanted to do for the rest of the time I was there.  If we did take a break and go do something else, all we heard was "I just wanna crochet! I need to work on my blanket."  If she had the chance she took it everywhere with her.  Also as you can see we or I finally found some Red hearts With LOVE yarn! I have looked everywhere for it and no luck until now! M got some and I bought a few colors for myself.  M & C both raided it as they each picked a color from my newly found stash.
Here she is in the car lastnight, after dinner! 

I was so excited when she decided this is what she wanted to do!  M is 15, then I have two nephews. C is 12 and H is almost 10.  C decides he wants to learn.  I was like, are you serious?? Mind you C is all boy!  He loves to play sports, play with the other boys and he is just all boy!  I know he is sensitive, loves to help care for and at times play with the younger kids, he loves animals and when he loves and you have his love you are IN!  He tells me "Auntie I do want to learn, just let me try."  Who am I to stand in his way?  If he wants to try it then so be it.  I honestly  just though he would try it, get frustrated and be done. 
He likes it, hes getting it.   The he decides hes done with SC and wants to do what M is doing.  Im like what?  I quickly teach him to DC.  Mind you when he was chaining, he was a natural.  He picked everything up right away.  Way quicker than the girls I have been teaching for the past month. 

I cannot even begin to express how happy I am.  I am the proudest Auntie!  C is totally into this, he is so satisfied.  He is excited to make a blanket that he can cuddle up under.  I was totally  ready for him to say that he didnt want to bring it with us down the lake, as there were boys his age down there.  He even said in a split second that he was not going to.  Then he changed his mind.  I had given him 4 colors and found a black canvas messenger bag in my trunk.  If we werent up at the house and he was where ever he had that black bag around his body.  He walked proudly with hook in hand!!!!

You know by now there are 4 of them!!!  J had tried a stab at it on saturday, I did not get a picture of her doing it and it was short lived.   Yesterday towards the later part of the day H decides he wants to learn.  Let me tell you, I am elated at this point and also very very exhausted.  Two wks of not sleeping in is catching up with me.  I have been playing with these 4 and enjoying every minute of it.  It took everything I had in me to teach him.  H like the other two is a natural! 
I outfitted him with a little bit of yarn, a hook and another bag like his big brother C.  He was so excited at the way his chain was coming out. Again I am a super proud Auntie!!! 

Then of course J turned 7 yesterday. Since my trip was unplanned, I did not have a present when I arrived.  So I called the Birthday Fairy and she helped me save the day!

I had such a great weekend! I made a lot of memories!
I love you M, C, H & J!!!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Oregon....for good?

I know I have mentioned this before, but I really do miss Oregon.  I miss my family and friends, plus all the things that Oregon has to offer.  I moved away when I was 18 and never looked back.  It comes down to not being happy here in NJ.  I am not living my life to the fullest here and it is way to EXPENSIVE!!!!  I also miss my Gram.  She is my bestfriend and means the world to me.  I have often felt guilty living so far.  She has bee a trooped though, she has flown out to see me on several occasion and even drive cross country with me twice.  Who else can say that about their Gram?  She is the one person I can go to if something is wrong.  I want to spend time with her, be close to her as I always worry about her and worry about what I would do if something happened to her while I was so far away.  She needs me!

I miss my friend Diana!  She is one of the funnest and most caring persons I know.  I love her laugh!  She is the one that has that laugh that can make anyone laugh!  She completes me.  Have you ever had a friend that just knows you?  Can complete a thought?  Make you feel better and is just there?  I have found that in her.  I also must say that I have a handful of friends like that. 
Diana and her family are some of the most forgiving people I have ever met.  They do not hold grudges and accept everyone.  I have a lot to learn from them.  They are so good to be around.  Diana comes from a large family and has trickled into my family.  I say this because her Aunt married my Uncle several years ago.  When everyone gets together it is always a wild and crazy time.  Everyone looks out for each other and I want that! I want that sense of family.  I miss the days when she and I would drive to the swimming hole, going to yard sales, hitting the thrift stores or any of our crazy adventures. 

I miss the mountains, I miss the rain, I miss the cold weather, I miss the coast, I miss maple bars, I miss camping, I miss biscuits and gravy, I miss the big trees and clean air.
I am so not ready to talk about the things I would miss out here and the heartache I will go through!

Monday, July 30, 2012

What is on your hook?

 It is almost impossible to put myself in crochet timeout!  I hate having more than one project going at a time.  I usually have to be strategic in whatever I choose to make because I tend to get bored. Thats why the Stitch Sampler is perfect, until the end that it is due to the rows being so long. 
I do not know whether I should start with the newest project started or the one I just finished.  Okay, okay, okay the one I finished first wins!  I started my Granny Ripple (project #1) I believe back in April.  I have struggled with it as I got very bored.  I pushed and pushed to get it done.  So last week I finished the body of the blanket and then busted out the border yesterday.  Yay shes done and shes the first completed Christmas present!!!

I also started an Infinity Scarf for myself about two weeks ago. I ran out of yarn and just picked up some more the other day.  I am using RedHearts Boutique Treasure color:Abstract Lot: 68000
I am loving this! I am even more excited to wear something I made.  I will not give it away or sell it, I do not care how much someone else loves or likes it.  I will not do it this time!

I am also working on something for my swap partner.  I am out of yarn at the moment, so it is at a stand still until I make it to the store.  I am sure that some of you can feel my pain!  I have three stores I could get yarn from.  A.C. Moore (it seems to be my favorite and closest), Michaels ( I do not live super close to one anymore) and Wal-Mart( I would rather die).  A.C. Moore has the RedHeart Soft that I am using for my Swap, but does not have the Boutique Treasure...GRRRR!

The newest project and the third(#3) Christmas present I started yesterday! I know its only July, but I wanna make sure I get the four items that I want done are completed.
If you noticed I said third.  The second project I started, I liked it in the beginning.  Twice now I have come up with another way to work with what I have and to give it to its intended new owner.  I have yet to play with it and work on it.  I did come up with another idea this morning and I will see what I can do.  Project #3 will be done before #2.  I still have no idea what I will be doing for #4.


Friday, July 27, 2012


I am so excited right now that I think someone else's  A.D.D. has set into my body.  Some of you know that I am originally from Oregon, was born and raised there.  I left when I was 18 and have gone back for visits on occasion and a family emergency that had me there for three years.  My family is all over the place and the circumstances for my last couple of visits were not for pleasure.  Its been a year and a half since I was last home.  I set my trip up this morning, cheap flight + cheap car rental= happy me!!!

As I have grown older I have a new respect for my home state.  I miss the rain, the green trees, camping, swimming in the lakes, the embrace of the mountains and my family/friends.  Each time I go home I am the one always running around trying to see people.  It is so hard and this time I am going to try and have it not be that way.  I plan on spending a couple nights with my nieces and nephew.  I am thinking of taking them to Multnomah falls or Astoria.  I plan on seeing my twin nephews while home and not sure what my options are there.  The majority of my cousins are in and around my home town, as well as my grandfather and a couple uncles.  See where this is going? 

While I am there I would like to as I mentioned above visit Multnomah Falls, visit the Coast, take a drive up to the mountains where I use to camp, check on the Carousel that is being built in my hometown.  I cannot forget Voo-DooDonuts! They are out of this world and they have my favorite maple bar with bacon as the special topping.  I already feel rushed...Grrr!  I got the best fair for only seven days.  I wanted to go for 9 and it was not happening.  Most importantly I get to see my family.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Where is the Sandman???

     I love a good nights rest....who doesn't?  Lately I have  not been able to sleep and I really want to.  I need the Sandman to come back!  Have you heard of the Sandman?  If you have not let me try and explain the folklorish character from my childhood.  When I was a child my parents were either really creative or just typical parents who tell you stuff (lies) and then you grow and realize everything you thought was true was not so.  I like to think of it as them being creative and I am lucky to have those fond memories. 

     When I was little I remember waking up at some point and my mom brushing the crusty grit sand sand like grain out of the corner of my eye.  I remember asking her what it was and why I had it in my eye each morning.  She told me it was because the Sandman had visited me as he does each night.  I remember being old enough to know that it was not okay to let some stranger into the house at night and why would my parents let him put sand in my eyes.  I always pictured the Sandman as an old man, grandfatherish.  She said the sand was to put me to sleep and I remember waking up each morning to see if he had been to visit and he had.  I wish he would come and visit me. 

     I am not sleeping probably because I have too many things running through my mind.  As I have gotten older I have noticed that I get excited over anything new and fun in my life.  I know, I know you are thinking there is nothing wrong with being excited.  I use to think so as well, but now I cannot shut things down at night.  I am constantly thinking about all the things I want to do, make and the places I want to visit.  I have been crocheting like crazy, my list is endless.  I wish I had eight sets of arms and then maybe, just maybe I could complete more. 

     Lastnight I was working on my swap project and it finally is starting to look like I am making progress. I figure if I keep doing at least two rows a night for  maybe a week if that I will be done!  I dropped off my application lastnight to become a Notary Public at my local Senators office.  This is not a big deal but a little exciting.  Then of course there is my car issue.  My car is in the shop today and hopefully does not cost too much.  It could possibly be the flex pipe.  You are probably thinking what is a flex pipe? Well its the piece underneath in the front that gives your car that give when you bottom out, hit a pot hole or something hard.  Nothing like unexpected repairs!  I am just happy to know that when things seem to be low and not good, someone else has it worse unfortunately.  I am grateful for what I do have and for those that I can control. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Being Productive...

I love to crochet more than anything in the world.  It relaxes me and it is all I wanna do.  It is constantly on my mind. I am always thinking about what I wanna make, the yarn I will use, how fast can  I get it done and most importantly who should I give it to?  I like most of you, always have a project that I can take with me.  I have such a big stash, I can actually say I have a big stash.  I honestly did not think it was so big, until  my mom came to visit and did her motherly cleaning and organizing because she didn't know how to relax.  So now all of my yarn is sorted by color!  I know I know you are thinking great! By color is great right?  Well not always, but I can deal!  It is nice because if I want pink I can go up to my personal store, open a drawer and its all right there. 

I have been trying like crazy to make blankets or anything to reduce the yarn.  I have made two in less than two months.  It barely made a dent.  I now have more small balls and am not throwing them out.  I have a special tin that I plan to put them all in.  We all love small balls of yarn.  Don't you hear it?  SCRAPGHAN!!!!!  Not now, but one day. 

I did mention being productive...I have been finishing up my granny stripe. I feel like it has taken me forever and a day.  I am not done with it persay, but the end is near.  I am done building the blanket itself.  I am now running in the endless ends and then will be able to do the border.  I am currently taking a break, because I hate ends. Unless someone would like a job, I will hire you to run in the ends!  No joke, I am dead serious! Since I do not have enough of the left over yarn for the border I have started making these squares from Heathers site.  I have loved those since I first laid eyes on them.  I was also thinking of doing this.  I think the Elmer may win this round!

 This past saturday I decided that I was going to make something for myself and chose to make an infinityscarf.  I found some new to me yarn.  Red Hearts Boutique Treasure, color is Abstract and dye lot 68000.  I love it. I have to buy more so I can finish it.  I am also a part of a scarf swap on Ravelry.  I just found the pattern and yarn for that project yesterday!  This time I am not sending internationally and it is stateside.  My person is actually maybe an hour tops away from me.  Whats nice is that I am making something that I have never made before, for her and myself. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Its done!

Dontcha just love the feeling of accomplishment? I sure do, with all the crocheting I do it seems like I never finish anything.  I shouldn't day I never do cause I don't have too many wips around here at all.  Its hard to remember what I made, when I finished and sometimes who I gave it to. 

This beauty is for someone close to me, I don't dare say as I am not sure if she has stumbled onto my blog yet.  Today I get to teach the art of crochet to a group of 12 girls.  I started on Tuesday and it was a lot of fun.  The idea of teaching someone to crochet is kind of nerve racking.  I have done it has been awhile since I have attempted a group.  I would say maybe between 4 and 6 of the 12 girls have the hang of it.  I am afraid of failing...I really shouldn't be so hard on myself, but I think we all are.  I will keep ya posted!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Busy, busy, busy

I have been working on another sampler and as of this morning I officially have 5 more rows to go and I am done!  I am so excited to give her away! The best part is that her new owner has no idea.  Don'tcha just love surprises?  I know I do, I live for them!  This is the second sampler I have made, the first one was done in 2weeks and 2days.  I started the new one within minutes of finishing the first one.  This one has taken me a little longer, 1 month and 8 days!  I love playing with colors and even more how they play out in a blanket.  I could potentially finish this girl up tonight and once I do I am back to working on my granny stripe.  

I have neglected her for sometime, I am sure I will have to do some sweet talking and I hope she comes around.  She is more than half way done and is a Christmas present!  Again I love surprises!  It seems as though everyone around me wants a blanket.  I cannot make them fast enough. Does this happen to you?  Of course I have two no-no three other blankets going aside from the granny stripe.  I have my ripple that is 3/4 of the way done (this is for me), another present possibly started and I do not like it as much as I thought. Or rather I decided it is WAY too boring for the person it was intended for.  The last is another also for me. In all the years I have been crocheting I have never made anything for myself.   Is this the same for you?  Needless to say I have to get these WIPS done!

A few years ago I had the opportunity to volunteer at an after school program. This school was in an undesirable area and the kids were off the wall crazy!  I guess I would be too if I felt like I was being locked in a cage.  The schools in Newark, NJ are very strict on who comes into the schools and they are serious about the safety of their children.  So in most cases there are some sort of bars or grated like panels on the windows.  So anyhoo, I went once or twice a week and taught a group of third to fifth graders.  They were a lot like me in the sense that they were looking for instant gratification!  They wanted that yarn to VOILA into dishrag or something!  I think one or two really got something out of it.  I then realized that even though I was there to teach them how to do something new, I got more out of the experience than they did.  I learned more about patience & listening.  
With that I was asked last night if I would like to teach an older group of girls how to crochet at a summer camp. Even though she is my bestfriend(Kelly), she still asked me if I would like to do this.  I love to crochet and think I do an okay job, but never really think that I am good enough to teach, but I was so excited!    
Kelly works for a company called PCCI, and I have also done many things with her as a volunteer and as the best friend.  I was a tutor and a coordinator of my own program.  I cannot wait and will definitely be posting pictures!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hello...hello...hellooooo! I cannot believe it has been over two months since my last post.  Let's see that was back on May 1st and oh wow I was quite busy!  I had just finished up a visit with my mom, I was getting ready to graduate( surprise to me, I graduated Magna Cum Laude) and about to leave for my cruise.  I cannot believe I have not updated!  

My boyfriend A and I cruised to Bermuda, St. Maarten, San Juan and Labadee.  I had never cruised before and cannot believe that a year or so prior I was actually considering working on one of these monsters!  For those who have never been on a cruise, it is basically a city on water!  We ate everything in site and whenever we wanted basically.  My favorite thing to eat for breakfast was the tator-tots, an ok version of biscuits and gravy, eggs and bacon.  I was in heaven.  Every night you have the option to eat in the formal dining room or the Wind Jammer Cafe which is where you eat throughout the day and is very casual.  A and I ate in the formal dining room maybe 3x.  We did not care for the people we sat with, we tried but did not work.  I had an amazing tan as the sun out there is much stronger.  

Bermuda- The water was sooo cold, let me clarify, colder than I had anticipated.  I later found out because it is further north.  The beach was beautiful. A was reluctant to get off the ship, he was in a new place and watches too much Locked-up Abroad.  So he would have been happy to stay on the ship or be tied to it like a dog.  You see I am very adventurous, I want to see everything, be everywhere and just do it.  He knew this before we left, as a matter of fact he knew this as soon as I booked the cruise. I laid down the law and he said he was cool.  Hmph... : /  So yes, yes back to Bermuda, she was beautiful.  We did not partake in any of the excursions that the cruise line offered.  We winged it everywhere we went.  Here we bought day passes for the local bus and made our way to Horseshoe Bay.   They drive on the other side of the street here so that was great to experience.  Bermudas beaches are known for their pink sand.  This is due to the coral being tossed all over the place over the years and presto! I did bring a little home, inexpensive souvenir.  We went to the Maritime Museum and spent a couple of hours there.  The water is absolutely beautiful.   Since my favorite color is turquoise I was in heaven.  

Of course while I was on my cruise I did a lot of gazing out to sea and the water is this amazing blue.  When you are out at sea it is this deep navy blue at times, and this other color that I am sure has a name.  So while I am taking in all the colors, I am planning my vacation blanket!  I see it being a ripple or the catherines wheel stitch.  So that is a possibility here in the future.  I took countless pictures of the water and its different shades and I have the sand.  Yes I did crochet on the boat and yes I did get some looks!  

Okay, okay, okay...St. Maarten was our second stop and we did some shopping here, saw "The Yoda Guy," and ended it by getting a couple loungers, an umbrella and some beers on the beach!  $1.50 beers made A extremely happy and I just kept encouraging him to drink, especially since the alcohol was super expensive on the boat.  The Yoda Guy know as Nick Maley lives there now and has a small shop/museum.  
 He was Yodas creator.  We walked in and he was the only one in there and never even looked up and said hello or anything.  On the beach here the locals walk up and down selling their goods.  It was hot and somewhat humid there and trust me wearing jeans or carrying lots of stuff was not in the cards for me! 

Here was my view once we made camp!
Did not matter where we were or what new and fun food was around...this is the only thing that made A happy!

I have so much to show still and other things to talk about.  I will come back later and talk about the next two ports.  However since I have been back I have been crocheting a lot and even started sewing again.  
I made a sampler afghan for a dear old friend.  Not only was it a great feeling making something new, but the joy you get when you give a gift like that to someone who is not expecting it and hearing their reaction.  We all get so busy in our daily lives that we forget that people about those who really care about us.  So she called me screaming with JOY!!!  It is not the greatest picture but here she is...still waiting for a picture of her with her new owner! I have even started another one for someone else.  I cannot wait to be done, almost there.  I swear I have ADHD when it comes to my crafts.  I am constantly seeing butterflies.  As I mentioned prior, I started sewing again.  I love to sew and it has been years.  I use to make clothes and what nots all the time.  I got into crocheting and sadly never looked back.  I am sure that some of you have seen the handmade pillowcases with the crochet edging like this .
These are made by a wonderfully talented woman named Beata at
I have been watching these for awhile and then stumbled across Cassie at  Now both of these women are phenomenal sewers like my grandmother.  I wish I could be as good.  So anyhoo...I go to craft fairs all the time and never buy anything because I ALWAYS say "I can make that!"  I never do, as I have not sewn in over 10 years.  So I could have easily made a set of these pillow cases, but I ended up having Cassie make a custom set for me.  She is so amazing to work with and she is all about  making you happy and nothing is final until you are happy.  Let me tell you I am sooooo happy!  Here is the picture Cassie took Custom order for Thea
Here she is in her new home and not such good light 
Photo: I am loving my new pillowcases! Thanks to Cassie over at is one of two and just meeting her other life long partner! I thought they looked nice together!  I asked Cassie to do this because I did not think I would ever break out my machine since I crochet ALL the time.  I felt it was my duty to support my crafty sisters out there!  I got them and I had the sudden urge to sew.  I went and bought fabric and a few tools since all of it is at my Grams house.  I am very slow and so it took me a few hours, yes I said a few maybe more to sew one complete pillowcase.  I did it and it looks great, even has a pocket so the pillow does not show and so it will not fall out.  I still have to make the other one and crochet the edges.  I have multiple patterns for these cases and Cassie even has a tutorial here where she shows you over 4 wks.  
Luckily you do not have to wait.  You can find the pattern for the pillowcase with the flap on the web in a few places, but she has it all set for ya!  For those of you who do not sew, just do it! Contact her or Beata!  

Til next time, I promise promise promise to post sooner than soon!