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Friday, March 23, 2012

A Rare and Beautiful Early Spring!

This is crazy! I have daffodils blooming, my magnolia is about to burst into its pink and white splendor, and there are actually hostas up and unfolding! Unheard of. We don't call this place the "frozen north" for nothing! Spring has made a rare, early appearance here in Omaha. Today's high is supposed to be 72º and our normal highs would be mid 50's right now. 


I've been enjoying my little "nature walks" in the gardens, seeing who has shown up to play every day. Right about now is time to start the tomato plant and pepper seeds in flats. Guess I should've done that in January!


It's Spring at my "design station" right now, too (my desk!) It's covered with prototypes of Easter eggs I've been designing the last couple of days. I'm trying to decide which one is the winner to submit for my   article. I think the one with the bunny border will probably win out. Normally I don't gravitate toward the light pastel colors in the crochet thread department, but at Easter I make an exception. This project is going to incorporate pink, lavender, light blue, green, yellow and white! The colors look so pretty and cheerful. I'm using a new line of size 3 thread called "Bamboo Ice" from Aunt Lydia. The colors and feel are fabulous, but it is annoying to work with! The metallic thread running through it isn't bonded at all to the bamboo part, and it tries to separate constantly. Maybe I need a different hook. Oh well, lesson learned. If I survive it, it'll be pretty and feel wonderful... and I'll probably never work with it again! 






Our yard is so green. The furkids are having a ball playing outside, and want out constantly. I was up in the attic the other day searching for something and one of the girls found a huge stuffed monkey. After checking with the former owner - my daughter, I let them keep it to play with. Here's the video.. 



The other day I finally completed the design for my new Spiffer© floor duster/mop crochet permanent refill and got it published. You can get the info here. It's the companion piece to my Spiffer© duster that I've had out there for several years. People started requesting the mop recently, and I said to myself, "DUH!" I really like how it turned out, if I do say so myself.  Great timing, because I've been trying to raise about $200 to get Monty's teeth fixed.  Over halfway there now!


Well, it's time to get to work now! Hope it's warm and beautiful wherever you are. 



Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Space Between...





In our lives, like in great designs of any kind, the empty "white space" is what brings the important elements to life. That quiet, boring, rainy Tuesday spent trying to get a piece of crochet thread to turn into what you want makes for a happy success on Thursday when a new design comes to life, creating something where nothing existed before. Long boring days of eating the same thing over and over result in wearing a new size you've never worn before.  And most importantly for me, 12 months of surgeries and physical rehab resulted in a whole new LIFE. Right now, I feel like I'm living in the important elements now instead of the "white space" of waiting. It's pretty cool! I'm doing so many things I haven't done in years!

What pain looked like. At least Ladybug
Schnauzer was laying on top of my head to keep
me company!

On March 11, it will be one year since I had my first hip replacement. This is a day I could never have imagined when I was living with two hips that had no cartilage left, bone grating on bone, and pain unending of a quality I have never experienced, unrelieved for years on end with no hope in sight. I think March 11 will always be a special anniversary for me, because it celebrates the beginning of a new chance at living! In October of 2011, just when I was beginning to fully enjoy my new right hip, I slammed myself back to ground zero with another replacement, this time my left hip. I went from zipping around with a cane to inching through the house on a walker. I remember coming home from that surgery vividly, thinking "What have I DONE!" But as things always do, days turn into weeks and months and finally, a whole year... now.


Just a week after surgery in October 2011. Poor Ladybug
had gotten really sick a couple days before I went into
the surgery. Thankfully my daughter Cari took good
care of her while I was gone. Once I was home, we got
better together
.

Kinda happy looking, now – February, 2012
Although it made for a year full of many miseries, the recovery also gave me a whole lot of downtime to focus on what I COULD do – crocheting. Out of the past year came many new designs, from the "Different Rose" doily to the "Sparkly Cupcake Ornament" to "Sally's Dancing Angels"and the "Warm Mobius Scarf, along with many others.  And there's the new design soon to be released that I can't tell you about just yet! I'm grateful for the inspiration for these projects, I love and treasure them all. I can't describe what an honor it is to have someone say they enjoy making something I designed.


I'm very happy that my friend Heidi has done something very special for me! My double vision and focusing problems along with the stroke in my retina in 2009 have made it very difficult to transcribe things. I spent many years as a secretary and publications designer, and the idea that I can't transcribe my own notes is pretty frustrating. Heidi has graciously offered to transcribe all my notebooks filled with my handwritten crochet patterns! And that means something very special is going to happen in 2012! I will be publishing a book of all my crochet designs! We're working hard at it now, and I can't wait to get it done! It's one of those lifetime dream projects. So watch for the news - it's coming! Here are just a few designs that will be in the book.



One of the many Mobius scarves I made as Christmas gifts. Here it's
keeping miss Ladybug warm!
A pattern I'll probably never write up! I made fingerless
gloves for myself, made to exactly fit each hand. Tricky. But I
love 'em!

The Different Rose Mini Doily under construction

Sparkly Cupcake Beaded/Sequined Ornament

Sally's Dancing Angels Doily, before beading, about 16"



SueSu models her pretty sweater back in 2008.

A 3D Poinsettia flower done in a filet-like design.

Another kind of 3D Poinsettia

A whole suite of Poinsettia designs










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