Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hurry Up Monday!!

Finally, the holiday excitement is winding down.. it is safe to breathe once again - if only for another 205 days..

My bout with pneumonia has finally lightened up so that I can breathe somewhat normally again - so that is a definite plus!  It took 2 rounds of antibiotics to get things under control, which really surprised me as although I get sick often, usually a single 10-day round with amoxicillin and 'all becomes right with the World again'.


I hope that the holidays found everyone happy and full of love and hope for the coming year.  I know that I am looking forward to the new year.. well at the very least, January 4th 2010..
for this is the day in which the people are slotted to return to school.
Ugh.. I never knew children could argue so much!  The little one can even strike up a good argument about not arguing...
Although it's been so very long since I have written, I am still very behind the 8-ball on holiday tasks - (mostly due to my illness).  The gifts that were supposed to be mailed out the weekend of Dec 4th never made it to the post office and are still sitting by the front door awaiting a ride to postmaster.  
(All those who were to receive gifts, received an email explaining that I was not forgetful, just ill and couldn't get a ride to the post office to get out the packages and most received photos of their intended gifts - not the same, I know.. but what can you do?)
But of course, there was still the challenge of working up my daughter's Christmas combos.. the blanket and doll.  After seeing so many dolls leave the house for others, the people were feeling just a tad jilted at not having any made for them!
In November, I decided to change that - and add a blanket which I fell in love with upon first sight a few months prior from a Herschnerr's mailer.

Now, of course, MY people don't care about it being billed as a 'Christmas' item - but done up in Pink and Purple.. and they would pay close attention.
So that is exactly, what I did.. made this beautiful (and fancy) afghan for my beautiful (and not so fancy) children!
**Although, I must admit - I HATED this pattern.  Too much sewing!!!  The entire border is made separate and then sewn to the body of the afghan - very tedious and a very lengthy process - especially when you have only limited space.  But the end results were worth it...

But in addition to the blankets, they needed the dolls to go with.  Originally, I had worked up the original doll version (purple) but for the pink, I made the dress more like the afghan with a white pineapple 'under dress' and the pink lattice overlay. 
My hope is that 20 years from now, my beautiful daughters will still have their beautiful afghans and reflect on the cherished memories of childhood and find strength in those memories when their own lives present struggles or discouragement.

Finished up on Christmas eve.  LOL (talk about working right up to the wire huh?)
Then of course there is the whole 'Christmas Eve Tradition(s)' to get thru.
Well, each Christmas Eve since my daughters were born, we would end the night by reading T'was the Night Before Christmas.  As the kids got a little older, the exciting (and often very delicious) chore of making Santa's fresh Christmas Cookies mere hours before the big man's arrival was added to the tradition.
This year, since I was running late, there was also a 6 foot tree to decorate - so Daddy became very important part of this year's traditions..

While Daddy read T'was the Night with the girls, I was in the kitchen cleaning up the dinner dishes and making the dough for the sugar cookies.

Now Santa-Daddy doesn't particularly like "Sugar Cookies"; preferring to have a piping hot plate of Toll House instead... 
but  Toll House cookies are drop and as far as the people are concerned.. quite BORING.. and definitely NOT up to the Christmas caliber that the people come to expect when it centers around making gifts for the man who brings them the world under an evergreen tree.

So away they went, quick as a flash 
they sprinkled the sugars (a touch more than a dash)
okay, so who am I trying to kid?  
It is a no wonder the poor cookies do not buckle under the weight of colored sugars, gumdrops,licorice strings and various 'other' sweet goodies the people use to create their masterpieces.  Cookies with enough tooth rotting goodness to impress even the wildest of  Who's in Whoville and make the Grinch even Grinchier.  
The kind of cookies that could only be eaten by the sweetest of the sweet.. you know, like Santa himself, one of Santa's little helpers.. and of course, the cookie makers...

We then placed these wonderful creations on a plate and put them in the 'Tree Room' to await the Santa Seal of Approval... and then left to retire for the night (which only meant for me to frantically finish up a purple doll before trying to get a few hours of sleep).

A few minutes later, I had a frantic 9 year old - panting, near tears and positively fuming at my bedroom door..
"Momma, Hooch ate Santa's Cookies"

Apparently, Hooch - My daughter's 3 year old Bull Mastiff, wanted to play the role of Santa this year...
a drool stained plate and a few broken cookies, left us nothing to dread -
so replacements were placed, of course.. after Hooch went to bed..

:)

Happy New Year to all.
May the New Year treat you better than previous and find you and your family in good health - mind, spirit and body.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Getting Ready for the Sleigh

The first Christmas of any of my adopted out kitties, I always try to do a little something special for their first year away from me and Mum.
 

Last year, it was simple gift cards to Petco in a Christmas Card.  This year, I had intended to make replicas of Siamese Kitties and place them around Christmas Bulbs with scribed writing announcing the year..
... alas, there's always next year.

The important thing for me, is letting the adoptive parents know that I am still thinking of them and the precious bundle of fur they took home with them.  It has worked out well over the past years, and I've been able to watch my .. er um.. their furry children grow.


These were 2 of the gifts I bundled up on yesterday for their journey on Saturday.  Lord knows, the postal service needs all the time it can get during this season!

 


*Both of these patterns are from Elisabeth Doherty's published works : Amigurumi!: Super Happy Crochet Cute, which can be purchased on Amazon.com for as little as $7.00!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Relaxation w/ Ma & Pa Nipp

I so dislike when I wait 'til the last minute to get things done, not that I had much choice this year.  But things come up even during the best of times, so I have been working steadily to play catch-up to allow me to have all the home-made Christmas goodies ready in time for their sleigh.. er um.. truck ride(s) to their destinations.  

However, being under the gun and making almost 100 fish/mice, 3 doilies, 4 dolls and a handful of Xue Snowflakes and various flowers for handmade goodness to send/mail off, does tend to make one feel that my 'hobby' has been more like a chore lately.  Rather than a labor of love, which is obsessive. 
So with only about 3 more projects that need to be completed THIS week.. *hee hee* ... I felt it necessary to take a little break today and just do something completely fun and non-necessary.  (Yeah, I know, that makes so much sense.. yeah?)


But, YOU reap the benefits.

Several days ago, I came across and ornament kit which gave me inspiration for my own Chilly Christmas Ornament/Package Decorations.  
Please allow me to introduce you to Ma & Pa Nipp.

I am in the process of writing up the pattern and will place it in pdf form on the right hand side menu, when complete. Pattern is now available in pdf form.  I hope you enjoy this little Christmas present from Me to You and have great fun making and adapting for your Christmas needs.

Happy Holidays and The Best for the New Year! 




DOWNLOAD THE PDF

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Users may not redistribute, resell, and/or translate pattern into another language for reselling. Questions regarding sale of finished items is answered on this FiberDoodles by K4TT Blog, under the heading of EULA.
All patterns are released in good faith. Every effort has been made to ensure that all instructions are accurate and complete. FiberDoodles by K4TT cannot, however, be responsible for human error, typographical mistakes or variations in individual work. If you should find any errors that you feel need attention, please notify me.

All patterns released from FiberDoodles by K4TT are protected under Federal copyright laws. Reproduction/distribution, in part or in whole, is strictly prohibited unless specifically authorized. This includes, but is not limited to, any form of reproduction or distribution on or through the Internet, including posting, scanning, "Crochet-A-Longs" and/or eMail transmission. If you wish to share this pattern, please link to the website and/or page - DO NOT re-print or re-post to another website.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Update: Hookin' for Charity

I know that I've not been here in a while, however, it is for a very good reason. 
I am getting my Christmas hookin' done.  This is batch number 2.


 

Saturday, October 10, 2009

And so.. it begins...

I had planned so very much over the past month.
Things I wanted to make, things I wanted to design and things I wanted to .. well - just get done. Most of which sit, undone, unmade and unwritten.

As many of my friends already know, I have a compromised immune system due to some childhood issues. As a result, I get sick very easily and very often - especially during this time of year (the change).

And well, not much has changed over past years. No amount of hand-washing, counter-top sanitizing or orange juice drinking seems to help.

With that out of the way, along with some minor bruising from a recent IV and a whole slue of unanswered emails, unfinished objects and half written designs - I take this minute to update.

RE: the Lineman Doll and Michael Jackson Doll:
I've gotten over a dozen requests for one or the other over the past week... I am sorry to say that I do NOT have patterns written for either one. At the time of each project it was a passion to complete the item and I had no intentions of making either for sale or to distribute freely here on my blog.
I can offer only suggestions on how to make your own.

Use ANY basic doll pattern which you like the body and head for. Owlishly, ShadyCreations, and Pepika all have great doll bodies (depending on what size doll you are intending to make) Look at FEET, Head and BODY SHAPE (not all the little add ons like dresses, fruits or embellishments)

DO NOT follow doll instructions with regards to SIZE/Gauge - Colors to be used- ETC
Instead, use you imagination - a Line Worker, generally will wear a Jumpsuit (1 piece with a zippered front) Michael, well there are quite a few 'visual' clues which will show your intention of the doll.

Have a picture of what you'd like the doll to resemble once completed - IT DOES NOT HAVE TO MATCH EXACTLY!

It is important to remember, you are NOT attempting to make a mirrored image - you are merely making an artistic interpretation of someone/thing else.

For size, do not be afraid of small hooks and small yarns. Not everything needs to be completed in WW. There is baby yarn and sports yarns which work up very nicely for smaller projects and which you could probably get away with using a hook (metal) size 4, 5 or 6 without great difficulty (I generally use an 8 or 7 - but I am used to using small small hooks on yarn).
 
Also remember that with smaller projects, more detail is actually a downfall.
Keep it very simple and very basic to what is absolutely needed to make the distinction to who/what the item is.
(Ie. I could have attempted to add the logos to both the jumpsuit and hard had of the lineman, or the pinstriping in Michael's Smooth Criminal suit. it would have been overkill and taken away from the finished product.)

Take your time!!

This type of project... something as 'unfamiliar' as a Lineman or a Famous Person, is often done of love - that is what should be reflected in the project - and that is something that can't be written neatly into a pdf file, no matter how many instructional photos you include.

Tweezers are going to be one of your best buds in a small project!!! have them handy at all times - not only for stuffing, but for removing stuffing if needed, and the fine hairs of the stuffing that you can usually just brush away with larger projects.

DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED by smaller projects!!
Yes, they are smaller. Yes it puts a bit more strain on the wrists and the eyes...
but do not allow the thought of working smaller deter you - in many ways, it is easier than working a larger project!

Good luck!
and please let me see your finished items!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Monthly Spook

October happens to be one of my most favorite months of the year..  not just because of the Halloween - but because it marks the start of my favorite season.

It's not just 'Winter' and it's not just the 'Holidays' - it seems often that I just LIVE for October, November and December!!  The snow, the festivities, the chaos... *giggle*

This year is extra special, CreaMe created a brand new pattern for this Halloween - which many people are absolutely falling in love with!  Here is the one that I completed (tested) for her and just uploaded to all my online accounts..


I call her "Baby Boo" and I think she is just soooo precious!! She is available at CreaMe's etsy shop and on Ravelry.


I am still creating more for my own series, and hope to have them up for you soon - so please remember to check back often!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stray Little Kitty...

Oh, what unhappy twist of fate
Has brought you homeless to my gate?
The gate where once another stood
To beg for shelter, warmth, and food
For from that day I ceased to be
The master of my destiny.
While he, with purr and velvet paw
Became within my house the law.
He scratched the furniture and shed
And claimed the middle of my bed.
He ruled in arrogance and pride
And broke my heart the day he died.
So if you really think, oh Cat,
I'd willingly relive all that
Because you come forlorn and thin
Well...don't just stand there...Come on in!
Stray Cat by Francis Witham


All who know me, know of my passion for animals; cats in particular. 
Several weeks ago, before I got so boggled down with children and school and work and neighborhood dramatics; I worked up Rosemary Newman's (rosieok) 'Kooky Kitty Katz' for a local animal shelter and prepared the poem above on the finest card stock I had. 
I placed the poem, along with several pictures of my own precious felines with the Kooky Kitty and small brown envelopes for 'donations' on one of those 3-sectioned cardboard easels (that children often use for science-fair projects); outside a local convenient store (which a friend happens to own).

I wasn't sure exactly what would happen - and didn't really count on much. I live in a very snobby section of town (those who have, seem as if they could careless about those who have not, sort of place) and left it in the store owner's capable hands. My sole intention was to draw attention to the over population of animals in my area and, hopefully in these tough economic times, generate a little revenue by way of monetary donations to help the shelter with fund needed to care for these animals.



Well, apparently the response was amazing. The shelter pulled in a great deal of interest, donations as well as people's unneeded/slightly used cages, bedding and furniture (cat trees, scratching posts and the like).

I could not be happier!!  Sandy, the shelter's manager, has asked me to make several more 'kitties' (in various breeds) to place around the office as 'gifts' for larger donations.  ** Good thing I just purchased Jaravee's Siamese Kitties also - although there has never been a cat-pattern shortage in my house :)

The public-service side of me, wants to remind you; please help by donating to your local animal shelter(s) - whatever you can. Most shelters will tell you exactly what they need - kitty litter and cat foods as well as dog items are almost always on the list, even if you do not want to give a monetary donation.

Those seeking a companion, please visit your local shelters before going to a breeder. Most often, a shelter kitty is going to be even more valuable to a family than an animal you've payed hundreds of dollars for.


You can't put a price tag on the love and affection received from a rescued animal.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Just Another Rainy Sunday..


Wish it was Monday, cause that's my fun-day...
as if.. but Monday is the only word that rhymes with Sunday.. LOL
I was supposed to get out to the store today, but because of the rain and general 'yucky weather', we've postponed our trip until tomorrow after work and school..
Since I am running low on browns and skin tone yarns, I thought I would use up some of my 'Summer Stash' and test a pattern for my sister; who has an etsy shop: CreaMe
Well the rain has abated itself just long enough for me to sneak outside and get these photos of this little creature in my front yard - playing in the puddles of my uneven sidewalk.
Such a sweet little duckie..

Worked up in less than a day  (took me a couple of hours total - over 2 days) and so easy - but so beautiful!!
I am planning on using this for a Nappy Cake that I will be doing for my daughter's 3rd grade teacher, who is expecting this Spring.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

WOW! What a Day!!!

Oh what a day.. my feet were tired, my face was burned and my legs were throbbing with the wonder of how so many miles can be walked in circles!

Tuesday was the annual Canobie Lake Park trip!! Yeah!!
The people were excited - The Hub was excited - even I was a little excited!
(Okay, I was excited, but only AFTER we surpassed the morning rush around Boston!! I am a neRvOus WreCk in the car - God Love the Hub... his poor vehicle will be recuperating for the next month from nail marks embedded in the door handle.)

We got to the park around 11 am when they open (good thing) and did the whole loop first, as they were still opening rides and games were just coming online/setting up. We took the train from one side of the park to the other. . . which was relaxing but s l o o o w w w w er than molasses in a New England January.

This post is late, (as it is now Thursday and we went on Tuesday) because I was hoping that The Hub would upload his photos to the computer so I could pick some of those to post as well - but - The Hub never does what I *hope* he will do, only what he feels like doing at the time. I've got pictures on 3 separate pieces of equipment, the film camera, the digital camera and my cell phone. Needless to say, that MOST of my good photos of the People are on the film camera as I wanted to use up the role that been in there for almost a year!

The people are at that delicate stage of growth... 8 and 9 years old. Needless to say, they were having a time meeting the height requirements for most of the 'oh Mommy can we go on that' rides.
The oldest of the People is tall enough for the "big kid" rides - however - she's a BIG CHICKEN. Meanwhile, the youngest of the People, who is fearless, is about 2 inches too short to get on the 'big kid' rides.. so that didn't go over so well.


After some time, we were able to make the People happy with the selection of rides they could choose from. Although the youngest, OMG how she wanted on this ride called "StarBlaster"


Which could easily hold a title like "Short Drop/Sudden Stop" or "Heart Failure". For anyone who can't imagine this ride.. it takes you up so high in the air and then you just DROP.. free-fall for a period then kind of bungee bounce until the ride is over. Not for me... but the littlest People wanted it more than anything else in the park!

The 'kiddie alternative' bored them both to almost tears..

The 'chicken' and the 'daredevil' both said (almost in harmony) "Mommy, that was a BABY RIDE!!)
They then spent the next half hour on

which was actually a cute ride that went forwards- bouncing along as if on a wave in the ocean.. then backwards... up and down.. down and up.. bounce bounce bounce...

The People just kept getting off the ride, running back around to the line and getting back on. I've never seen them so intent on something!! Wish I could get them that fixated on cleaning their bedrooms..

UNfortunately, this would be the last ride they were able to get on..
as.. the People BROKE the park..
nah.. just kidding..

but at about 3:30 pm, the entire park and part of Salem, NH lost power!!!
People were just sitting around all over the place - bored, exhausted, heat-drained, losing their adrenaline rushes...
then over the loud-speaker came the news..

"Because of the uncertainty of when power will be restored, Canobie Lake Park will be closing for the day."

Ugh... UNhappy people returned to the car to sit in 45 mins of unorganized chaos to leave the parking lot.

I returned home and collapsed on the couch..
I just got up now.. okay.. kidding?

LOL

We did get a 'free day pass' to return, so who knows, maybe there will be another Canobie Lake Park day in the very near future!
I know the People will LOVE that!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened to Me...

on the way to blog yesterday...
People - well, okay, my Mother in particular; have always made claims that my home is a zoo.
Over the years, I've had skunks, possums, squirrels, birds, rabbits, dogs, cats, ferrets, rats, mice, cows, goats, chickens and horses... feel like I am forgetting something...
Oh yeah... and Oliver... a 3 foot long green snake that I forgot to keep an eye on and who... hmm...
let's just say my Mom spent the better part of 2 years opening drawers and cupboards very carefully. *grin*

So it should really have come as no surprise (to me or anyone who knows me) when I walked out back on yesterday to have a ciggie I would be the one to catch a glimpse of brown fur in the trees behind my house.

Naturally, being the fearless nature enthusiast... I went in for a closer look...

I rubbed my eyes and tried to adjust to the sunshine and looked again...

Dude!! There is a flippin' monkey in my tree!

Now, not having any experience with lions, and tigers and bears (oh my, that's another story huh?) ... and the closest circus training I've had is trying to wrangle 2 divas out the door and onto a waiting bus, 5 minutes after waking them ...
... it should be easy to see why having a chimpanzee in your backyard can be quite exciting... and perhaps even overwhelming..

I did what any woman over the age of 25 would do...
I screamed like a schoolgirl and ran for the house (and the safety of 2 inch sliding glass door)!!

I must have been quite the sight... that's all I can say.
A blur of smoke, hot pink and flesh was probably all this poor little guy witnessed. Enough to frighten even the fiercest of beasts.

At first, the little chimp, in a terrified frenzy, scampered higher into the tree to gain valuable vantage (and probably to decide if I was dangerous as well as crazy). Then, apparently after gauging that I was more intimidated by him than he of me... he hopped out of the tree and through the brush.


and closer...

and closer still...


Now friends, I am not ashamed to admit... my heart was racing... my palms were sweaty and my head was reeling!
I couldn't have really just seen what I thought I saw. Must be the menthols making my head light. (or, since it was early afternoon, I mixed up my afternoon ice-coffee with my evening cocktail and hadn't noticed... nah... couldn't have been that!)
Was there really a chimp in my backyard? In the "city"? by the ocean?


I mustered up all my strength (and courage) and slid the backdoor open about an inch..

Yup... only he was no longer in the trees.. or in the brush on the outskirts of my backyard..
he was now in my pumpkin patch (okay, so it's not a patch so much as a plant or two... but it was mere inches from my backdoor... and from me!)

I called for the dog..
nuttin.. (well, I suppose in the dog's defense.. it was probably more of a whisper than an actual call)


I "psst psst" for the cat..
he just rolled his eyes at me with that "what? deal with your own delusions - I'm busy" and went back to sleep...

I was on my own..
and I would have been fine...
IF he hadn't done what he was about to do...


he turned right to me.. looked at me ... winked... and then preceded to lecture me about the dangers of smoking.. then, in one of those Cat In The Hat Returns type moments, he turned tail and made a beeline for the brush line.
I haven't opened the slider since.


My deepest apologies to Paola of Delicious Crochet - I thought I had posted a link on the photos, but I just found an eMail asking me where to obtain this pattern. This pattern is her Chuck the Monkey pattern and you can purchase it either at her Delicious Crochet Website or from her Etsy Website. Paola has MANY wonderful crochet patterns for you to consider, not just the ones featured on my blog - sign up for her newsletter and get eMail notifications when she releases new ones!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Smooth Criminal has my Keys!!!




Not only do I keep Michael in my heart.. I keep him on my key-chain!

NO! I did NOT purchase this pattern and NO there is no pattern to either share or purchase.

This doll was a labor of love while listening to one of my all time favorite MJ songs.


Smooth Criminal!






Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hooking for Charity: Sweet Summer Fairy


Isn't she sweet?
She is the sweetest little summer 'charity' fairy... and, as you know, fairies grant wishes and make life magical.. can you spread the magic too?

This sweet little fairy will be given away (shipping included) by raffle for you being magical through a charitable contribution.

During these tough economical times, charities often find that contributions dwindle down to almost nothing. We become so focused on our own hardships, we sometimes completely forget about those who really need the most attention.
So, from now until the end of August, I will be accepting raffle applications for this sweet little doll. Your application must tell me which charity below you have donated to DURING THE MONTH(S) OF JULY or AUGUST 2009 and an email address to send you your raffle numbers.
The drawing will be held on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 and mailed out to you no later than Saturday, September 12th, 2009.


To win the doll, you must have the winning raffle numbers AND have donated to one of the charities listed below during the month of July and/or August (you must be able to show *proof* of your charitable contribution).


- Make-A-Wish Foundation
- Christian Foundation for Children and Aging
- Lupus Research Institute
- The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund

MORE PHOTOS CAN BE FOUND : HERE :

If you would like a chance to win this doll, please email me the following information:
- Your Name (this CAN be a screen name although to mail the actual doll, I will need a real name and address)
- Which charity you have donated to (remember you will have to prove that contribution has been made by you during this time-frame)
- An email address in which to correspond with you (I have no use for email addresses, even if I wanted to sell them, I wouldn't know to who.. so no worries! NO SPAM from me!)

Mail all this information to: FiberDoodles

** Sorry, due to problems with International Shipping that I have faced in the past, this raffle is only open to residents of the United States including Alaska and Hawaii

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Way You Make Me Feel....

Ha Ha! Gotcha..
you thought I was talking about HIM didn't you?


Well, this post has nothing to do with music and everything to do with *stuffing*. There is a fine art to stuffing your finished piece.
Stuff too lightly, and you will have a misshapen piece that looks like it's been attacked by the dog/cat/kids.
Stuff too firmly and you have something that is so hard, it's not *lovable* at all.


The trick is to find that balance in between.
For heads of the project it is 99.9% important to stuff firmly.
There are very few exceptions when this rule doesn't apply - however, in works such as
Yarn Arts by Kathleen Early, where you are actually sculpturing crochet; much work is done to create a detailed head that has definition and character. This definition will not show through with just a bare minimum stuff.
Even in simple amigurumi, you want to achieve that roundness and smoothness with your stuffing so it doesn't resemble something that was left aside the road.


It is important - although time consuming - to take small bits of stuffing at a time. This will make sure that all the little nooks-and-crannies get their fair share of stuffing.

Look, you spend hours holding a piece to work to completion, why skimp on the finality.


It is just as important to mold while stuffing. USE your hands as your guide! If making a round shape - the cup of your hand can help!


When it comes to the body, there isn't a set format.
For a 'dolly' which will be receiving love and cuddles from that special little girl or boy, you may want to stuff lighter so that there is a cuddle factor. This doesn't mean barely stuff - you want to still stuff firmly enough so that the body has some mass as well as shape.
However, you don't want to make a rock hard body. Palpitating as you work will help.
If you are stuffing a body for show, such as a thread bear or small doll which will be for display purposes only - you will want that rock hard body.

These factors need to be decided WHILE you are completing the project!!!
Objects which have a firm head and a lightly stuffed body, will need to have a smaller opening; otherwise, the stuffing will eventually transfer it's self to the less filled area.

Eg: Let's say you want to make a doll with a FIRM head, but you want a body that is cuddly. The pattern calls for you to end with a circle that has 12 open loops. (12 sc) f/o.


Reduce this by half using ONLY the inside loops of the remaining stitches.
In this manner, you close the opening considerably, but have the stitches needed - available to you to join to the body as the pattern dictates. Now you have a piece which will have a head that can remain firm and detailed, with a body that doesn't need all that hardness.

The extremities:
Again, the amount of stuffing used will depend on what your finished project will be used for.
A dolly who doesn't need to be able to stand on it's own can have, in theory, unstuffed legs/barely stuffed legs.
 
In my bears, which are used for display only, are stuffed very firmly!


So what can you use to stuff your pieces?

Well, as far as the stuffing itself, you can use almost anything that is soft and small. Bits of scrap yarn, plastic bags cut up, polyfil, plastic pellets, etc. Everyone has their favorites.

What it comes down to is what YOU feel most comfortable with.


How to use it?

Everything can be used to shovel in your polyfil from blunt pencils to chopsticks to surgical tweezers.
Again, it comes down to your comfort.

BOTTOM LINE:
Do not be CHEAP or FAST when stuffing a finished project.
You've always heard the phrase "...It's what's inside that counts."


Well, it REALLY applies here.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Boom Boom Pow


Happy 4th!
Nothing says "Independence" like blowing up the neighbors' backyard and hammering down a few cases of beer ...

This year, with the almost constant rain, I was delightfully surprised to have been greeted by the sun this morning..
although the clouds loomed over at times this afternoon.. the fireworks went off as planned at the local harbor.

Another year, another round of Boom Boom *Pow*..
-My daughter gets that one :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Fiber Tribute

The death of Michael Jackson has rattled me to my core....
Physically, my heart is aching over the loss of this man.

I had sort of walked away from Michael's music when I was in my late teens - not because of any "eccentricities" or the controversy of his life - I simply took interest in a different style of music- Heavy Metal.
I didn't even know about the accusations until the 2005 trial had begun - which I watched with the utmost devotion and literally screamed with joy when he was found "Not Guilty"...
...  "he'll be alright now.. he's got his kids, he's been vindicated - they'll just leave him alone and he can live out his life in peace."

and I sort of just drifted away again...
Then June 25th, 2009 at 2:26 p.m (PST).... which I didn't find out until WELL after the fact.. I think it was around 8 pm (EST) that night..but.. 

Michael was gone...

Since Friday the 26th; I've barely been able to keep a dry eye.  I lost a dear friend and a person who's always been close to my heart.

Listening to his music.. the pain, the frustration.. the message in the lyrics...

"I'm tired of bein' the victim of hate
You're rapin' me of my pride
Oh, for God's sake
I look to heaven to fulfill its prophecy...
Set me free"
They Don't Care About Us
-Michael Jackson

I began working on my own tribute to Michael and the legacy he left behind on Friday 26th... then frogged my first attempt and began a new on Tuesday the 31st

This is what I've gotten done thus far...



Smooth Criminal was the last video that I actively watched of Michael , the first time I said "goodbye" to him.



I actually cry as I work on it.. so it has been a slow process...  but one which I am hoping I can be proud of and does him justice.


The World has lost not only a talented musician, but a genuine icon of love, compassion and peace that transcended color, religion and cultural boundaries. 
Rest in Peace Michael.  My heart is heavy with the pain of your loss... my selfishness wishes you were still here - but at least you have been set free from your pain. 


Readers ask me often.. "don't you think he was..."
NO!  I absolutely do NOT think he was any sort of monster or molester.  I think he was an easy mark for liars and manipulators because he was so trusting (think I am foolish?  Do your own research - look at the history of the only 2 'people' who ever actually brought a case against him - GRIFTERS!).  

Monday, June 22, 2009

Nope.. NOT gonna say it!

I can easily say "Summer just aint my thing!"

In fact, I think aside from when I was very young, I don't think I've ever cherished the "summertime" and those things that most people associate with the season.


Tanning & the Beach:
Nope, I've never been big on wasting an afternoon slapping on oils and creams for that 1980's ever-so-popular *leathery George Hamilton skin* (and as we now know - possible skin cancer)..
as far as the beach.. while I definitely HAD the body for it... but swimming around in water with things unseen... umm... did you NOT see the movie JAWS?

Swimming:
Well, hell yeah I enjoy swimming.. but I don't need summertime for that.


Cookouts - Picnics - Day Trips:
Ugh... Bugs - Humidity - Sweat - Body Oder from passers-by..


*cringe*


But here we are mid-to-late June and I am still wearing a sweat jacket!

The past 4 days have been wet and dreary!! What one might expect in a late September or early October...

Definitely NOT June slowly plugging it's way into July!


Usually, this time of the year, I would have stuck the yarn in storage for the season and have my threads close at hand.


I think it's safe to say...
Dare I?


I kind of miss Summer!!


There, I said it.
I can't believe that the words actually escaped my thoughts.. but they did and it's on the loose now.


I guess that I miss summer so much, the dry - hot - hazy- humid days of Summer that I actually created a new pattern that reflects all the adjectives which adequately describe *Summer*




Family Pain(s) : A Cactus Family Papa supporting the family. Momma always on his back. And of course, the 2 littlest thorns who are always scrambling for top billing.

Materials Needed:
a HOOK (I used size 0 thread crochet hook)

YARN (I used colors: terracotta (RedHeart's 0256-Carrot), sand (Red Heart's 0334-Buff, cactus (RedHeart's 4361-Frosty Green Fleck) and scraps of pink for flower.)

Polyfil

Embroidery Floss or Yarn for detailing

Yarn Needle (for sewing)

I used Wiggle Eyes in 3 sizes, but you can embroider eyes if you choose.
YOUR IMAGINATION

On to the pattern:

Beginning from the top and working down to 'base'

Large Cactus (Dad):

In color of your choice and using either the magic circle or the ch 2, sc in 2nd ch from hook method..make 7 sc in 'ring'
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around = 14 sc

Rnd 3: (sc, Inc) around = 21 sc

Rnd 4: (2 sc, Inc) around = 28 sc

Rnd 5: (5 sc, Inc) around = 35 sc

Rnd 6: work round even = 35 sc

Rnd 7: sc in ea of first 9 sts, Inc, (sc in ea of next 10 sts, Inc) twice = 32 sc

Rnds 8 - 9: work rounds even = 32 sc ea round

Rnd 10: (6 sc, Dec) around = 28 sc

Rnds 11 - 12: work rounds even = 28 sc ea round

Rnd 13: (12 sc, Dec) twice = 26 sc

Rnds 14 - 16: work rounds even = 26 sc ea round

Rnd 17: (11 sc, Dec) twice = 24 sc

Rnds 18 - 20: work rounds even = 24 sc ea round

Rnd 21: (6 sc, Dec) three times = 21

Rnds 22 - 23: work rounds even = 21 sc ea round - changing to sand/dirt color at the end of this round.

Rnd 24: (Inc) around = 42 sc

Rnd 25: (2 hdc, Inc) around = 56 sts
Finish off leaving a long tail for sewing. FIRMLY stuff with Polyfil. (This will be part II of the main support structure, so it needs to be packed firmly with polyfil.)

Medium Cactus (Mom):

In color of your choice and using either the magic circle or the ch 2, sc in 2nd ch from hook method..make 6 sc in 'ring'

Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around = 12 sc

Rnd 3: (sc, Inc) around = 18 sc

Rnd 4: (2 sc, Inc) around = 24 sc

Rnd 5: work round even = 24 sc

Rnd 6: (10 sc, Dec) twice = 22 sc

Rnd 7: work round even = 22 sc

Rnd 8: (9 sc, Dec) twice = 20 sc

Rnd 9: work round even = 20 sc

Rnd 10: (8 sc, Dec) twice= 18 sc

Rnd 11: work round even = 18 sc

Rnd 12: (7 sc, Dec) twice = 16 sc

Rnd 13: work round even = 16 sc

Rnd 14: sc in ea of first 6 sc, Dec in ea of nxt 2 sts, sc in ea of the 6 remaining sc = 14 sc
Finish off and leave tail for sewing to *Dad* Stuff with Polyfil.

Small Cactus (Kid I):

In color of your choice and using either the magic circle or the ch 2, sc in 2nd ch from hook method..make 6 sc in 'ring'

Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around = 12 sc

Rnd 3: work round even = 12 sc

Rnd 4: sc in first 5 sts, Dec over next 2 sts, sc in ea of remaining 5 sts = 11 sc

Rnd 5: Dec over first 2 sts, sc in remaining 9 sts = 10 sc

Rnd 6: sc in first 4 sts, Dec over next 2 sts, sc in ea of remaining 4 sts = 9 sc

Rnd 7: work round even = 9 sc
Finish off and leave tail for sewing to *Mom* Stuff with Polyfil.

Smallest Cactus (Kid II):

In color of your choice and using either the magic circle or the ch 2, sc in 2nd ch from hook method..make 6 sc in 'ring'
Rnd 2: (sc, Inc) three times = 9 sc
Rnd 3: work round even = 9 sc
Rnd 4: Dec over first 2 sts, sc in ea of remaining 7 sts = 8 sc

Rnd 5: work round even = 8 sc
Finish off and leave tail for sewing to *Mom*


Terracotta Pot:

In color of your choice and using either the magic circle or the ch 2, sc in 2nd ch from hook method..make 8 sc in 'ring'
Rnd 2: (Inc) around = 16 sc

Rnd 3: (sc, Inc) around = 24 sc

Rnd 4: (2 sc, Inc) around = 32 sc

Rnd 5: in BLO, work round even = 32 sc

Rnds 6 - 7: work rounds even = 32 sc in ea round

Rnd 8: (7 sc, Inc) four times = 36 sc
Rnds 9 - 13: work rounds even = 36 sc ea round

Rnd 14: (8 sc, Inc) four times = 40 sc

Rnds 15 - 16: work rounds even = 40 sc ea round

Rnd 17: (9 sc, Inc) four times = 44 sc

Rnd 18: (10 sc, Inc) four times = 48 sc

Rnd 19: (7 sc, Inc) six times = 54 sc

Rnd 20: (sc in ea of next 26 sts, Inc) twice = 56 sc

Rnd 21: ch 2, DC in ea sts round, join with slst in the top of first DC (56 Dc) Fold Dc row down so it is flat against pot, ch 1 and working right to left (opening of the pot is towards you) slst around. Join with slst in first slst of this round. (this gives the pot lip a little more sturdiness). Leave long enough tail for sewing rim/lip to pot if desired; if not finish off leaving no tail.


Pot Drain/Base:

In color of your choice and using either the magic circle or the ch 2, sc in 2nd ch from hook method..make 8 sc in 'ring'

Rnd 2: (Inc) around = 16 sc

Rnd 3: (sc, Inc) around = 24 sc

Rnd 4: (2 sc, Inc) around = 32 sc

Rnd 5: (3 sc, Inc) around = 40 sc

Rnd 6: (4 sc, Inc) around = 48 sc

Rnd 7: in BLO, sc evenly around = 48 sc

Rnd 8: work round even = 48 sc

Rnd 9: slst in ea st around and finish off.


Add flowers, embellishments, etc to decorate your Cactus Family.


DOWNLOAD the PDF


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Friday, May 29, 2009

Just Doin' What I Do: Without a Net (No Coffee!)

I am finding it necessary to take frequent breaks between rounds of crocheting - which is the nicest way possible of saying..

I am a HARD-HEAD who does not listen to friends or medical professionals when they tell me to REST my wrist in order to allow the cyst to shrink.
Currently, I am working on several hookin' projects:
one to share with ya'll - you know... everyone loves em no matter how crappy they turn out to be... A FREEBIE


a semi-commissioned piece (which simply means that a very good friend asked me for a favor and who in the world would charge a friend?)
my attempt at a first *etsy sale* pattern


Ugh, designing (actually writing patterns down so that someone else can easily make what you've made) is frustrating as all HELL! I keep having to stop/start... start/stop/write.. I need to find my tape recorder!

AND an inspired piece from a previous blog entry.


Inspired by 203gow, I wanted to do a bonsai of my own for my living room. I didn't want to *copy* hers so I did a Google search on flowering bonsai and found my inspiration photo. As you can see from the photos, I still have a ways to go but it was actually very relaxing crocheting this piece thus far. The 'tree' kind of grew itself. I could not duplicate it even if someone offered to pay me highly. It's twists and turns and bends all seemed to put themselves in .. effortlessly.

Oh, yeah.. I am taking it easy... NOT
LOL

Anywho...
In addition to crocheting, I am going to be picking my floss back up and probably sticking myself in the finger more times than I will care to count as soon as my eBay purchase arrives in the mail.


I am sooo excited! But I just wanted everyone to know, I've not forgotten about anyone..
I am still around.. still plodding along... stay tuned for updates and goodies as I get time..
but just a warning.. today's a rough day.. NO COFFEE!!! I ran out of cream!! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa