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Thursday, December 20, 2012

I Believe The Magic Of Christmas Must Transcend Tragedy Somehow...

This year I was really "up" for the holidays! I was feeling pretty good, decorating early, planning lots of crochet projects... then my world came to a screeching halt when we lost my very dear 25 year old nephew Sean on December 3. It just totally rocked the earth off its center.

When I was packing for the trip to Kansas City, I tossed in a few balls of perle cotton and some silver thread, a size 8 crochet hook, thinking I might want to work on my annual snowflake during some downtime.  I also have been making birthstone angels out of gemstones and copper wire, so I put in a ziploc bag of copper wire in various colors, a bunch of amethyst beads I'd just received, several different crystals, and my round-nose pliers. Busy work.

While I was sitting at my sister's house after I arrived, I pulled out my angel supplies and decided to make an amethyst angel for Sean, since that was his birthstone. Before I knew it, I had made several as keepsakes for his parents and for my kids. It was a small gesture but something I could contribute at a time when you feel like there IS nothing you can do to help.

one of Sean's angels

Thank God for crafts and for crochet, which keeps me centered and allows me to think and keep my hands and mind busy even during the worst times.

After my week in Kansas City, I had a long drive home to reflect on how all of this would affect the way I spent the rest of the holidays. My sister and I had lost our mom on my daughter's birthday, the day after Christmas, three years ago. Despite that, we decided to continue to celebrate Christmas and of course my daughter's birthday.  Our mom would have kicked our butts if we didn't. There's a lyric from a Paula Cole song that kept running through my head that day, and it kind of fits how I feel now...

(From "Be Somebody" by Paula Cole)

"And oh my god what is this madness?
I will not let it kill my gladness
And oh my god what is this madness?
My joy inside will send this message"

"I want to be somebody
I want to make a difference
For we all are children of the mother
I want to be somebody
I want to make a difference
For we all are children of the father"

So... the night I arrived home, I had my own emotional thermonuclear meltdown... and then the next day, I threw myself into "Ho-Ho." I "psycho-cleaned," decorated, played Christmas music... and it felt healing.  I guess the way I will view the holidays from now on is that I will celebrate them FOR the ones I have lost, in their honor.

My little work area, which is too embarrassingly cluttered to photograph right now, is adrift with sparkling objects. My grand-puppy Macie, the 10 month old White German Shepherd, thinks they are all presents for her! She loves anything yarn, anything that sparkles, and the combination of sparkly yarn is just too much for her to resist! She has done a very good job of leaving the pretty Christmas tree alone and I'm very proud of her! She can't help it if now and then her 2-1/2 foot long huge tail sweeps off an ornament here and there.

I'm off now to put the final touches on my 2012 snowflake, my annual tradition. Here it is so far. In honor of my sister, it is called "Celia's December Rose Snowflake."

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Busy Designing Some Holiday Sparkle!

Around the holidays, my love for sparkle kicks into high gear! Whether it's decorating my home, the accessories I wear, or the crafts I make – they all have high sparkle factor!

I'm busy writing a tutorial on how to make my little "guardian angel" ornaments, which I make out of hand coiled copper wire and crystals. They are SO much fun and everyone loves them. I just found some amazing huge beads to use for the little angel heads and I can't wait to make some with them!

I've discovered my new "favorite" yarn, it's called Enchantment and it's in the Sensations line from JoAnn. It feels like the softest silk and is awesome to crochet with! It has a nice subtle sparkle that looks expensive, if you know what I mean – not gaudy, in other words. Just pretty. That's what my new crochet design that I'm working on is made with. What will it be? Hopefully if all goes well I'll be sharing the pattern in a couple of weeks.

I also think this yarn would make some beautiful doggie accessories for the furkids! If I have enough time, that design will be done and coming out just before Christmas. I promise you it will take no more than a couple of hours to crochet at most, so you'll have time to whip up one for your furkids! This yarn, by the way, also comes in silver and a neat hot pink, not pictured. I guess I'll have to pick up those colors too. I'm really bad about that – if I love a yarn, I have to have it in every color! I'm never sorry, though – it's wonderful to be able to go "yarn shopping" in my stash when I'm considering a new design.

Back in 2008, I designed this Poinsettia Fantasy Doily which always has a place of honor in my Christmas decorating. I will be including this pattern in my crochet pattern book, which is now hopefully going to get finished by early winter!

We are all in the midst of crocheting up wonderful gifts for our loved ones! Here's a free pattern your favorite guy might enjoy! It's a Men's Neckwarmer, super easy and fast to crochet. You can also read my article about it in SoCrafty Magazine here.

Just added a couple of new patterns to my for-sale pattern store! You can check them out here: My For-Sale Patterns At


Wishing you a happy week of crocheting all things beautiful!

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