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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Well, My World Blew Up Again...

which is why I haven't posted in awhile. I was diagnosed with Stage I Melanoma two weeks ago, and have been busy seeing doctors and having tests. Meanwhile, YES I have been crocheting, and it is saving my sanity as usual! Right now I'm designing a very happy project, a potholder and identical thread ornament done in the same pattern, just different size of thread/yarn. I think it will be fun, and I hope my exchange partner will enjoy it! I know my daughter will enjoy the one I'm making for her, as it is one of her favorite things.

I'm having surgery May 22 on my face. It's scary, but my wonderful plastic surgeon will be right there to do reconstruction and he promises me "back to normal." Without the offending birthmark which went bad and was removed, of course. So, that's that. Movin' on.

My little Ladybug Schnauzer, age 3, got very sick last week and we had to rush her to the vet with dehydration and tummy troubles... all from an ear and gum infection. She's getting her teeth done next week. The good news is, she's almost fully recovered minus a little weight loss - she's down to 9 pounds, about a couple pounds low for her. Mommy's working on getting her to regain that.

Ladybug Schnauzer
The other furkids, Scrappy and SueSue, are doing well. Scrap just had his dental done a couple weeks ago and is happy with his shiny teeth. Sue is going to go to the groomer for the first time next week. I've always groomed all my dogs but my husband is trying to convince me to take them in and save the work on myself. Hmm.

We celebrated my husband's birthday last weekend, here is a photo of all of us.

Left to right, my daughter's significant other Russell, my daughter Cari, Dad (back), me,
my son's fiance Janette, and my son John. 

I'm so happy that I was able to get out the other day on our first really nice day and do a little work on my gardens! There is so much to be done, but it's a start! I planted two little bushes, a Hydrangea and a Rhododendron, along with all of the tulip and hyacinth bulbs we enjoyed having bloom indoors this winter.

The Spring bulbs we started and bloomed indoors, now outdoors!

A work in progress... my front gardens and plants that I overwintered indoors. 
I've published a few new patterns, you can get the links to all of them here. There's a Stargazer Lily, done in Intarsia crochet; the Picket Fence Potholder done in Intarsia, a tutorial on Intarsia... check out the free patterns.

My recent articles with links to the above patterns in SoCrafty Magazine are here.

I hope all of you are having a wonderful Spring and crocheting something amazing!


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Designing On The Road!

Right now I'm snuggled in blankets with a hot cup of coffee on my sister's beautiful deck in Kansas City. I can imagine no exotic destination I'd rather be waking up to on earth; no sight more glorious than the gleam of the four bird feeders' glass catching the next door neighbor's floodlights. I'm home. It has been six weeks since I sat here last, on the day before I was to return to Omaha for knee replacement surgery the following day. It's a wonderful feeling to be back with that long nightmare in my rear view mirror. Even though I'm not fully recovered, I was strong enough to make the trip to be with my "girls" -my sister Celia and one of my best friends, Sally. Sally is very ill in the hospital this week and I needed to see her. Since my husband was driving down for a Golf Channel Tour tournament, I hopped aboard and came along. It's been a great weekend catching up. Last night it was so much fun to have dinner with our oldest, Ron Jr., his lovely wife Dee and our grandson, Nick.

Today we leave to return home to the four Schnauzers and whatever "normal life" is. I hope to stay awake for the drive and get more work done on Chelsea's Stargazer hair clip. Her birthday was a few days ago but as so often happens with me, inspiration for the perfect gift arrived a bit behind schedule.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Very Exciting Honor For Me Today! Just Have To Share!

WOW I am so excited! I have been written up as the Featured Designer at – check it out! This kinda sorta made my day:) It makes me so happy to share my patterns with the crochet world and this is a very nice honor.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Too Busy Crocheting To Write Lately! Here's What's New!

One evening recently I was playing with decorating a new potholder I had made for my potholder exchange partner. When I realized what I was doing, I put down my crocheting, turned to my husband and said "Oh my gosh – I think I just invented a whole new craft!" In the strictest sense, it is probably  more like a new embellishing technique using crochet chain stitches... as embroidery! I giggled and said "Hey, I'll just call it "CroBroidery!"

I completed my potholder and was really tickled with how it turned out!

My Picket Fence Potholder, Featuring CroBroidery
This week my new CroBroidery technique will be featured in SoCrafty Magazine online. Check it out! Also coming this week is my new Picket Fence Potholder free crochet pattern, which will be available at this link.

I guess necessity really is the mother of invention sometimes! When I was working on my previous potholder exchange, I was not able to climb the stairs to the attic where I keep my yarn stash. All I had downstairs were white and blue cotton yarns. While my yarns may be stashed upstairs, my thread stash is always close at hand! I thought to myself, "Hey - this thread is 100% cotton..." What if I were to stack a bunch of different crochet threads together, until they were like a rope of fibers equal in thickness to the white cotton yarn? I tried it, and was very pleased with the idea! I ended up using seven different crochet threads held together all at once. Here is what I came up with using this technique... You can see its article here.

Potholder In Multiple Threads

I recently finished a really fun project, a Design-Your-Own Spring Decoration. In the pattern, I give you flower motifs, leaf motifs, a doily center, and a mesh connecting pattern. The rest is then up to you – you can create fun things like a mini doily, a mini wreath, a Cross, a hanging strip decoration... or whatever else your imagination creates! You can see the article, free pattern and tutorial here

Motifs With Optional Doily Center

Motifs Arranged In Cross Pattern, To Be Connected With Mesh

Other than crocheting, I've been busy trying to recover from my February knee surgery. Had a few complications, it's been a struggle, and enough said about that! Things are starting to look up and hopefully within a few more weeks I'll be able to be out planting all these spring bulbs! We picked up on a good sale and bought lots of assorted spring bulb plants, while the snow was still covering the ground. I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed watching them grow and bloom on my dining room table the last few weeks! We definitely decided this is a "do-again." 

Well, back to work now... I need to finish another exchange potholder! Happy Spring, crochet yourself something beautiful! 

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