Knitting and Felting and Combining Yarns and ETSY Pictures have to be more professional!!

BEFORE Felting

I found a great link that merits a review: It talks about using non-wool yarns with wool to get a different effect when felted... These pictures are my before and after - after reading this article:

Combining Yarns

I knit one purse a few months ago that I was calling a Foo Foo purse on my Etsy store, I combined fancy fur and merino wool, held together throughout, I've got pictures of the before and after. I was displaying it at a craft show and some younger women, corrected me, "Don't you mean Froo-Froo?" I mean, I don't think I've been Politically correct for a long time, I cannot keep up with the "lingo." But the Froo-Froo or Foo-Foo was my d-i-l's choice this weekend when it got removed from ETSY and adopted out of my knitting closet.

Anyway, it actually looked nothing like the picture on I had on Etsy, because it doesn't really show the fur effect the froo-froo. But seen in real life - it got snagged..

I have a few new goals for 2008. One is to get published in a knitting magazine. Vogue Knitting preferably, (my son and d-i-l bought me a year's subscription - YEAH I don't have to drag the hubby around trying to find the latest issue!!) There is a contest for designing an item and 1st prize will be published!! It is using Aslan Trends luxury yarns. http://www.aslantrends.com/, so when I get to Phoenix, I'll be looking for Aslan Trends yarn, and I'll be writing patterns for some of my bags.

My son thinks I should also make videos of my items, I'm hoping to set that up in Phoenix also. Today I packed all my yarn, books, needles, and of course my polymer clay for the closures for my bags. I love having a plan for the new year.

Last year's goals were: 1. Learn a totally new skill in knitting and 2. Start an Etsy store with my handmade items... I did it!!


Yep, there's water in the basement. And I remember Christmas as a kid.

Well, the hubby is headed out into the rain to clear the gutters, we have these trees.

We have trees that take turns dumping stuff on our roof. They all wait their turn, and since they all have their own personalities and are so creative, they dump everything from limbs, leaves, seed pods, flowers, blossoms, bird nests, squirrel fodder, you name it. But only one thing at a time...the gutters are also particular, please send one item at a time, once the hubby clears the gutters, then you can drop your next gifting. Anyway, if we don't do our weekly gutter cleaning (forget gutter guards) this stuff just crawls under them and clogs everything anyway. Last night the gutter guards were frozen over!! So, if we don't clean them, water stands up next to the house and starts seeping into our basement. No biggy, but we just completely cleaned the basement, organized it and now water - not much - just a nice Christmas Eve project. Yuk!!

I was just thinking about Christmas time as a kid. My Dad is in surgery right now, and my brother-in-law is hanging in there so far, causes a person to pause.

I only remember a few special Christmas presents, Barbie Dolls came out when I was young, I got a brunette one because my little sister's name is Barb and she and I were both blonde, so she got the blonde one. Hmmm, maybe we have issues. I remember a red and white stripe nightgown, my Mom made 3 of them, we could hear the sewing maching at night after we were in bed. My best memories of Christmas was Santa calling me about one week before Christmas every year, he got my list over the phone, he sounded so much like my Dad's cousing Frank that I was sure they were related. He always promised to leave Chocolate Stars just for me ... Cousing Frank always brought Chocolate Stars Christmas Eve, but I never put the two together.

One thing about the weather that is comical to me. In Indiana the weather changes dramatically every 3 or 4 days. Yet, each prediction is the "perfect storm" that hardly ever hits. When I was little, I remember the adults talking about December rain, "If this was snow, just think how many inches we would be getting." Then the Blizzard of 1978 hit and if it had been rain, we'd still be wondering.

Gotta go cook!!


Knitting under pressure! OK I'm doing one more Christmas gift! What about Christmas Cookies?

I cannot believe I'm picking up my needles to do one more gift. We just assembled a 20 some piece toy for (name withheld), and now I have the perfect yarn for a (item withheld) to match. It is going to be so adorable. The toy is kinda plain, so the handmade item will spruce it up!!

By the way Andrea, don't forget to bring Aven's current babydoll Wednesday night, one of her toys won't work without it!!

I have wrapped just about every gift there is in the guest room, they gotta get under the tree cause the guest room is going to live up to it's name this weekend, so all foreign objects must be removed.

I'm still knitting a sister purse, I'm actually working two projects --- something I never allowed myself to do in the past. Wow, what's gotten into me.

Well, we're iced in again, good thing we did the grocery list yesterday, and got all that last minute stuff. We have about 5 items on a last last minute list for tomorrow when it's supposed to rain and thaw. The pumpkin rolls are in the refrigerator and the pork loins go into the slow cooker tonight, our son and his main squeeze from Denver arrive tomorrow, and tomorrow afternoon our other son and his awesome family, wife, 4 sons and daughter come over for Christmas Eve. We'll try to eat a little before diving into packages, but the wait gets shorter every year, no one under 12 is hungry, and the littles are about to outnumber the grown-ups. We've found it takes one grown-up per child to remove twist ties, staples, screws for battery compartments, heat molded plastic package wrap and whatever the heck the manufacturers come up with to keep us from stealing little parts out of boxes of toys for our wonderful grandkids. I wanna buy gifts that a child can open and immediately play with, toy manufacturers must not have kids. I did read recently that AMAZON is approaching toy manufacturers with a new concept in packaging...hmm hope that goes over.


Several years ago our grandson, Chase, asked me if I would be having the Christmas tree cookies again, and try as I may, at that moment, I couldn't remember an occasion where he and I had made Christmas tree cookies, so I pretended to remember, and told him, "Of course."

When they arrived Christmas Eve I had all the decorating supplies laid out and pre-made sugar cookie dough ready to roll and cut and decorate. I asked if he was ready to help me make Christmas Tree cookies and he said, "not really."

I was puzzled. I said, "You asked me about Christmas Tree Cookies and I got all the stuff, you want me to just make them, I don't mind?" He said, "Sure."

He walked out of the kitchen and passing by the centerpiece I had on the dining room table, he said, "Look Mom she does have the Christmas Tree Cookies." He was pointing at my Christmas Tree shape server standing there full of cookies and candies.

A mainstay in our home at Christmas time: Yep, it's on the table, and by tomorrow afternoon it will be full of cookies!!


I just went through all my yarn, and am about to start another project.

My sister in Arkansas put in a special request about a month ago, and I've had a mental block on beginning to knit it. Now that my Christmas knitting is done, I'm ready.

Dedicated to Karen, this bag's for you - I love you.


OK Christmas Knitting is Done and thoughts on Death and Dying

Really can't talk about the last two items I just completed knitting, but they are adorable!!

I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't do last minute gifts in my knitting, because I don't like extra pressure around the holidays. So Christmas is one week away and I QUIT!!

I know everyone dies, but when someone is sick and dying of anything but old age, it's always hard to take. I also know many people who have survived the loss of a loved one, that's why I know we'll be fine, my sister will be fine, their kids and grandkids will be fine, but ...

My brother-in-law has now been told that he may have 2 months to live, and in surgery the other day they didn't do the procedure they planned to do because the cancer has spread to many locations. We're hoping he and my sister can celebrate their 43rd anniversary the day after Christmas. They've had an amazing marriage. They set a high standard for all of us who are watching.

I really struggle with how to deal with this upcoming loss. My mind wants to hang on to hope that a miracle will happen, while my gut tells me to get myself ready for a loss. I hate the battle between my mind and gut. I know life goes on, I know God is sufficient His grace and comfort will carry my sister, she loves the Lord and trusts Him, it's just that the day-to-day pain of loss is slamming her.

Today I just stay busy with packing my office, knitting supplies, and the hubby's tools into the camper for our journey West after the holidays. We're so blessed to be two people who can rearrange our schedule when we're needed in another part of the country.

Even though we know a loss is coming, we also are preparing for a wonderful holiday with our kids and grandkids. What a joy they bring to our lives, and we cherish every second.

My brother-in-law, Norman, has a little 3 year old granddaughter who thinks the Sun rises and sets in Norman, her little mommy is very worried about how Noelle will react to the loss ... she is so precious and just hooked on Norman. We all get through these things, but surely do not choose them as a part of OUR plan for OUR future. God has a bigger picture to fulfill.

Sorry, if this is rambling or uninformative, but it's what is on my heavy heart today.

Gotta go see if the ice is off of the drive-way so we can go get a few more g-kid Christmas gifts...gotta get stuff under the tree!!


Victorian People and Mary with Baby Jesus

We put on Victorian costumes and played a role in the church Christmas program. Our d-i-l was Mary with the "live" baby Jesus miming a beautiful song. She was amazing. We wandered through the crowd as Victorian greeters, too fun watching the kid's faces.

It's been a long time since I've had my picture taken that much, and I've never voluntarily been on camera, but this was fun, three nights in a row. The tension was high just before we went out to do our part, but all-in-all I believe the people who attended to kick off their family Christmas events were moved, entertained, and fired up for Christmas ... the true meaning of Christmas that is.

I asked a young boy if he had all of his shopping done, he was probably 8 or 9. He said yep, he'd done all his shopping, and he also knew he was getting every gift he asked for on his list, cool!!

Christmas is traditionally a time for families to pause and remember how much they mean to each other, for people who don't have families that are close literally or emotionally, I hope you are surrounded by others who care for you and also need company and encouragement. Have a wonderful holiday and remember,

Jesus is the REASON for the SEASON, meaning Christmas ain't without HIM!


I'm knitting and felting slippers. And unrealisitic New Year's resolutions.

I have finished one slipper for the hubby. Since I'm planning on felting it, it is huge!! Remember they shrink about 1/4 to 1/3 in length and 1/4 in width once felted properly. Here is a picture of the before slipper with on of his shoes.

Here are some of the knitting techniques I've learned so far:

Along with Double Pointed Needles, Heel Flap, Turn Heel, Heel Gusset, Cabled Instep, Toe Decrease and Kitchener Stitch.

I've practiced with Double Pointed Needles for several evenings before starting this. Also, I've never used a circular needle before last January, so I think I've learned a lot this year, and I believe I've moved from beginner to intermediate with many of my items I've made this year. It just feels good to reach some personal goals.

With that in mind, I like having New Year's resolutions that help me learn new things, like blogging, knitting, writing, opening an Etsy shop. Wow, now I'm praying about the next year's resolutions. I've spent so many years making my resolution about my weight and appearance, blah, blah, blah, that was either media or fear driven...now I'm really into keeping my mind active and being an encourager to others!


One of a Kind and Unique Gifts

Well, my bags on Etsy are unique.


And I just bought a cool unique ******* ***** ******* off of Etsy for a special gift. It's one of a kind and that's what I love about Etsy.

I really feel bad for the people who have Etsy stores that sell items for children. The article posted here:


Evidently there is a bill that has been passed and is in effect February 10, 2009 covering safety issues of all toys - which will have a huge impact on handmade items.

Here is Etsy's letter about the Safety Improvement Act:


How did I ever survive childhood?

I never wore a seatbelt, walked one mile to school, home for lunch and back again (4 miles a day) on public streets crossing major intersections, passing men working under their cars, walking to town. I sold spray snow door-to-door to earn my first Bible in Sunday School, chased my run away dog several city blocks at 10:00 at night, ran the alleys of the downtown streets of Indianapolis with my cousins, and rode the city bus to art school on Saturdays when I was 11 years old. I babysat cousins when I was 8 years old, and walked to several blocks to campfire girls, weekday religious education, and the corner drug store. I had an easy-bake oven I was allowed to use without parental supervision, and made beaded jewelry all by myself, without swallowing the beads or stuffing them up my nose. I didn't hang myself on blind cords, I only used them to open the blinds in the mornings (and close them when it got dark so bad people couldn't watch me change into my nightgown). I could go on and on, but ...


Hunters and Gatherers - Shopping with my man.

I'm looking for a Large Dark Green or Dark Blue turtleneck pullover (100% cotton) for tomorrow night (goes with the costume for the Christmas program I'm in). Well, not only did we hit every store in the local mall, we also hit the discount department stores, and now, I've been on the phone, "why aren't they available this year?" I ask, no one knows, just a aren't carrying them. OK, now I know why.

But first, the hunter gatherer thing. I like looking on every shelf, especially when it is a particular item I'm looking for, I could miss it altogether if it isn't on an end cap jumping out at me.

The hubby on the other hand likes scanning - and moving right along. He also likes allowing a set amount of time for a shopping trip.

I've quit looking, but still need to know what happened to the Turtleneck staple that you wear under sweaters - the layering look?

I know why. It's the bare it all style that is in every magazine, commercial, and ad in front of us. Don't tell me low cut is in when the temperature is 18 degrees and the wind chill is -10. Show me low cut and check back in a week with a bad head cold, I wasn't born yesterday, not everyone parks in a garage and walks into a building without a coat, not everyone has gone to the new low cut styles for EVERYDAY wear, maybe an occasional special event, but even then gotta wear layers in the mid west icy winters.

OK now I've vented. Back to knitting.

A note about the above picture. When I did a google image search I found this picture, but in the full view it is very tight and showing all!! So much for turtlenecks helping on the modesty issue.


My most visited blog post! HOW TO KNIT AN I-CORD

This has me entirely baffled. I get more hits on this blog by people look for instructions on how to knit an i-cord (a knit cord) than any other search.

Although it is a knitting procedure, I'll give you that much.

http://www.stitchdiva.com/ also has these steps in pictures:


Hmmm! A craft sale where I sold a few things, and bought many things.

Well, this is the second year I've joined my sister at this craft fair, and the customers were pretty much a no-show, it's the snow that fell today, and/or the economy, but for the most part it ended up being crafters buying from each other, which is kinda fun!!

I sold my wristers , they were little and black wool, with a pink/purple/off-white fancy fur trim. They could be worn with the fur trim at the fingers or the end with the ribbing fit snug around the fingers...giving the wristers, (very short arm warmers) two ways to wear them. The hubby didn't think they would sell, they were the first to sell, and other ladies standing around asked if that was the only pair...amazing, could've sold more of them.

Then my leg warmers sold...that's another story, similar to the first. And I sold two more bags today. It was a productive day, but...

I spent some of my money, some on a pumpkin roll (homemade fresh for the hubby).

Gotta be good to him, he's in there trying to fish my favorite emerald earring out of the drain as I type ...

I bought some of my sis's close-out jewelry, and some of the cutest hand painted ornaments, Santa's face - with beautiful eyes, on a banana goard - so impressive.

I haven't had a call from my big sister for two days now ... don't want to call her if she's resting, but can't help but be very concerned.

Hope the Doctors have been successful in getting her husbands bleeding to stop, it's a scary thing ...


Closet clean out, Basement clearing and two bags in three days

Whatever motivated us to clean out closets and the basement ... we've discussed it and it's an underlying umphh from nowhere - a kick in the behind - what were we thinking? Now we both ache all over, but we have empty shelves, we are minus 2 book shelves (I mean two great big 7 shelf huge bookshelves, that held books and binders and pictures and trinkets on every single shelf....yep the junk and books are gone too!!

I sat down to knit started on Tuesday night and made one of the cutest purses I've made yet. Picture to follow --- it's a gift.

Then I made myself a little felted cell phone bag, it's very nice, probably more protective than the leather case it is currently in. Finished both in two evenings. WOW. I'm back to being creative, and the trailer is now empty (the one we filled with all the collective junk from the previous 16 years of living in this house). Today I'm packing up every piece of fabric and yarn and crafty stuff I don't do anymore and handing it over to my crafty sister tomorrow.

My etsy store closes for vacation tomorrow cause my stuff is taking a trip to an arts and crafts fair. ?If anything is left, I'll open back up my etsy store.


I sold 2 purses this week...and sold 21 out of 38 items on my ebay store. I shipped my little heart out and now I'm getting feedback on ebay. It's been productive, and now I can focus on 2 grandkids who have birthdays this month (one little guy turned 6 today) and Christmas ... which is always sweet.

I started to blog yesterday - but just couldn't - I was waiting all day for a call-back from my sister who is grabbing tiny little naps when she can while she waits by her hubby's bed for test results, and treatments. He's gravely ill. She called right when I started to blog - and I went straight to prayer - it wasn't good news, and we are all on pins and needles putting our faith in God our healer, and trusting God is in CONTROL ... because it doesn't seem like anything else is working.

This has been a tough couple of months (really the entire year) he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer on December 11, 2007.


OK I guess it's the 16 years we've lived here, but WHERE DID ALL THIS JUNK COME FROM?

We used to have a "no-use" rule, and a "seasonal" rule, and a "carry-in" rule in our house. We moved periodically, and needed to travel light. Now after 16 years in the same house, we've gotten pretty lax in our RULES!!

The no-use rule meant if we hadn't used it in a period of time - it went out with the trash.

The seasonal rule was if it hadn't been used, but was seasonal it could wait another season for the true test - then to the trash if not used.

The "carry-in" rule which never NEVER worked for us. If you're going to carry-in three bags of stuff then 3 bags of stuff needs to go back out the door ... in the near future. Well, so much for the best made plans at our house ... again, where did all this junk come from.

Today I went from a small wooden desk with 8 tiny drawers and a pencil drawer, to a small table out of an RV. No drawers, no computer stand, nothing.

This is my home office. A table. I emptied 9 shelves of books. I gave half.com a good heaping try (10 days - sold 2 books out of 40) and then I bagged them all up for goodwill.

Goodwill - here we come - bargains galore. Anyone need a 1970's pillow sewing book? Check out this 1980's paperback thesaurus. What about a package of unopened sharpened pencils I've had since 1995. I remember when I bought them, it was an event I planned that year. I'm certain if I had focused more on my eBay.com business I could have sold more, but I'm tired I tell ya! I don't want to list another ISBN number, or restack these books one more time.

I don't feel like going through the box that has all the contents from this desk that has been in this home office for 16 years...did I mention the antique marbles. Yep, back in the '70's the hubby was helping tear down an old farm house, for a side job, and he found a container of old marbles in one of the walls. Hmmm, collector's item...maybe, but for me, in this open container, I may have dropped them for the last time. What about these buckeyes? Where in the world did they come from? and this ancient box cutter. The rusty razon is pathetic. No wonder I'm tired, I cannot process this JUNK!

Well, I've closed the door on the office, tomorrow is a new day, and once the ole' paycheck comes in, it's new blinds, a cabinet with drawers (yep, I'm trying the drawer thing again), and one more book case to empty...I'm trying to get down from 4 to 2 bookcases. Whew. I need a tall glass of ice water, just rethinking my day makes me thirsty.

I think I need to knit now.

My knitting is in a funk! Nothing on my needles.

I have orders for items. I can't seem to get started. I have gifts I want to make and it's like my arms are too heavy, I do have a stiff neck, maybe that's part of it.

I just can't get the umphffff mustered up. This is so not me. Nothing on my needles. I made two sets of wristers this week, I don't like either pair, and I made some leg warmers that look like .....!!

I have a purse order, I start the base and prepare to work the sides, and tear it out. Bummed.

Today I'm walking away from yarn. I'm questioning my Etsy store...I'm cleaning out closets instead.

You can buy this poster.