Friday, May 31, 2013

May stash busting.....

May was a really busy month for our family but I managed to crochet a little between errands. 
I have lots of partial skeins leftover from other projects so stash busting was the perfect way to use some of it up.  I admit that there are some days when I wish I had the time to sit down and create something lovely like a sweater but at this time in my life, little projects are easier to do....

Looking back, those little projects added up so I am happy... it was a good month to play with yarn!  Maybe I'll have time for something more interesting in June???  If not, I still have a ton of wire coat hangers that need covering!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

stash busting! crocheted wooden hangers

I am still working on covering wire coat hangers for my closet redo but wanted to do a few wooden ones too.  
I had two in my closet and bought a few more online.    They are expensive so I had to wait until I found some cheap'd think they were made of gold or something!

Even though it is easy, I thought I'd share the process because a new crocheter was intimidated.  

I used an "H" hook and RedHeart yarn from my stash.
Row 1: Chain enough to go around the thickest part of the hanger and then add 1.  Turn. 
(The reason you add 1 is because you are going to LOSE 1 when you start to single crochet in row 2)
Row 2: Single Crochet in 2nd chain from hook and continue to end. Chain 1, Turn.

Row 3- to the end.   Continue Row 2 until you have a strip of cloth that hangs off each end by about 1/2"...cut the yarn but leave a very long sewing tail...I left about 18" of yarn.

Fold the strip in half and find the center point.

Then slip the hook through the center point.

Starting with the sewing tail, thread your tail with a large blunt needle. 

Then starting with the tail, weave it through every other stitch to gather it up.  

Pull tight so it will close around the end of the hanger.

Sew the end closed and push the needle back down through the yarn to hide the knot. Pull the needle out close to the opening along the bottom of the hanger.

Now simply close the opening along the underside of the hanger, pulling it closed as you work.  I did a simple ladder stitch .

The ladder stitch hides your stitches...but you could whip stitch it closed just as easily.

Once you get to the other end, close it off like the first and then hide the tail along the underside of the hanger.  Since these get lots of wear and tear, I left a good 6 inches of yarn tucked away.  I didn't want any stray ends popping up.

Add a pretty flower and you are done!

These hangers work really well with light weight sweaters and boat neck type tops.

Monday, May 27, 2013

a walk about

Dean loves to take walks at night.    I don't like walking at night....just too creepy to go walking at 10 or 11 pm for an hour. But  the other day he decided to walk in the morning so I went with him.  I say a walk but it was more like a hike!  He likes to go fast for a little over 4 miles while I like to meander and chat!  I went with him but brought my phone and took a few photos along the way.......

These flowers are a few houses down from us.  The man who lives there has a large yard with an amazing veggie garden.  He always has plenty to share and is the nicest man.  I made him a mosaic last year as a thank you for his generosity...

these little wild things brightened up the walk once we left the neighborhood.....

I love toadstools and this one looks charming, tucked away.

In case you don't know, this is a crawfish hole.  I wonder if anyone is home....?

Crawfish are everywhere here....and their holes pop up a lot right after rain storms.  Sometimes you will see them scurrying back home.  Once they spot you, they put up their little claws and try to look tough.   I think they know they are on the dinner menu in these parts.

I saw several turtles on the edge of a pond but they hit the water before I could snap any photos of them.  Overall it was a lovely walk and warmed us up for a bit of yard work once we got home.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

one of the cool kids....

I am not a techie type person so when blogger changed the format, I was not happy because it meant that I had to learn new techie stuff that I didn't really care about.  So...I basically just kept doing the same things unless I ran into a problem posting, then I would go out and google it and come back to finish the post.

That being said, the other day I was searching for one of my own crochet tutorial/patterns for a friend so I went into my labels in blogger.  BTW, I hate the new label system...and the new color system for the fonts...blah, blah, blah.

ANYWAY, as I was skimming for the tutorial, I noticed this huge number to the right of the page.  I drifted down and noticed that the number was the amount of "views" that a particular post had received.  (no, I had never noticed it before...) The number was over 29,000.   I thought it was wrong because I don't get many comments.  I mean, how can you get THAT many views and not many comments, unless it is a cruddy post?  Then I saw what it was a realized it was correct.....and that I had that many views NOT because of my savvy writing skills or witty banter (ahem...) but because of pinterest.

My canape knife tutorial.  

To top it off, someone "out there" gave it a +1....okay.  I had to look that up too so off to google I go.  (I am so behind the times.)  Basically it says getting a plus one is a big deal. Sadly, I wouldn't even know how to give someone a "+1" if my life depended on it.

Okay, so I went back to the tutorial/pattern I was looking for so I could print it off... and guess what?  It had over 24,000 views.  It was for my  itty bitty kitty.  Who knew?

Considering most of my posts have something like 6 views, I thought this was pretty neat.   Wow, now I know how the cool kids feel.

Friday, May 24, 2013

just a handful....

Raphael's geranium looks lovely ....

as does Angel's wildflower garden...

When we lived in Texas, I had a very large plot just for my wildflowers....I can never seem to get enough of them.  I love how the more you cut them, the better they grow.   Lucky me, Dean agreed to extend this little garden so I will have even more this summer.

I cut a handful of blooms down around Angel for her "photo shoot" but I was happy to do it because I got a these to put in the house...

I love fresh flowers in the house........and those cut from your own little garden are extra special!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Enjoy the view

We've lived in our house now going on 7 years and it was a dead space when we moved in.  Sometimes I forget how truly pretty our yard is.  We are so used to it now that we overlook the beauty of what we have helped nurture along.  When we landscape, we always plant with purpose and choose what we know will come back yearly on it's own.  Work hard and reap the rewards.....

Each plant has a season and a beauty all it's own....

Sometimes people stop by to say how lovely our yard is and then ask how we "do it".  When we mention that we walk the yard, plan the shape, prep the soil and then "work" their eyes tend to glaze over!   But to us, it isn't a choice.  We are still young enough to work our own space and we really want to.  We enjoy doing the work and then are so satisfied when it all comes together....
Sometimes we move things 2 or 3 times to find the place it is happiest.  Live and learn, right?

Adding to the loveliness are all the little friends we have acquired over the years...

They are tucked, here and there....some in pots, some are pots.  Some are so degraded from age, they are part of the landscape, never to be removed. But all are special.  

Every now and then, you stumble across a surprise like Leo lounging with Bun-Bun.
I forget how he loves to hide here and accidentally interrupted his nap.  He lifted his head up for a moment, and then went back to dreamland.  I love how he prefers to stay in our yard instead of wandering.  He is a much happier cat now that he can go outside some.

At this point, our yard really is on auto pilot but most of the time, I still just see "what needs to be done" in the yard.  But some days, I just tell myself to shut up and enjoy the view!

Monday, May 20, 2013

stash bustin' bird wreath

I've had one skein of spring green chenille yarn sitting in my stash for years.  It was given to me in a swap but was too small to do anything with....until now.

It was the perfect backdrop for my little summer bird wreath.  

and the little bird seems right at home tucked in amongst the sunflowers.....

I felt it needed "more" and kept trying to add new elements.  But in the end, I decided to leave it alone because it looked sweet just the way it was.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pixie slippers...

I decided I needed to get going on Christmas projects for some wee people I know.  There is one little girl that reminds me of a little pixie.

That being said, I made these squares 

into these slippers!

which I had to try on...just for fun....even though they didn't really fit me.....toooo small.

If you want to make your own, you can find the layout instructions here.  I did NOT make a regular granny square though....I made these slippers using the Solid Granny Square Motif pattern.  
I just made the pom-poms around my fingers and attached them to the front with a bow.  They are just for decoration.

I think these will be precious for a little someone I know come Christmas morning!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Chilly dog.....

Mojo is always miserable when it gets hot so we shave him a couple times each summer......

Doesn't he look cute!?

Of course, sometimes he gets chilly and has to snuggle down......

Next time we get a boy dog that needs to be shaved we'll name him Willy so when we shave him we can call him "Chilly Willy!"

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

crochet hangers......

Many, many years ago, someone gave me a set of 3 crocheted hangers.  I don't remember who gave them to me or why but they are the best hangers ever.  Nothing ever falls off of them.  I've always thought I'd make more but never did....(I'm slow like that.)  

Until now.
I decided it was nuts not to make more and started on this little summer project to pretty up my closet.

There are tons of "patterns" out there but they are all basically just crocheting around hangers so if you can crochet, you can do it.  

I wanted mine a bit sturdier so I held 2 together before crocheting around them.   If you do this, just make sure your hangers match up in size/shape.
Some people skip the hook end but the ones I were given went to the end and have lasted all these year so I decided to follow suit.  To secure the tip, I slid the last stitch up, applied a teeny bit of E6000 and then slid the stitch back down and tapped the yarn together.  

I added a little picot trim at the bottom and a flower at the neck. (I found the cute little flower pattern via's blog here.)

By the end of the summer, I hope to have most of my mismatched hangers tossed and replaced with these pretty ones instead.

Monday, May 13, 2013

What a weekend!

This weekend went by in a flash.  I spent some time sewing new collars for the dogs and then I crocheted around wire hangers (more on that later...) and did mundane things like laundry.  But in between all that, I tried new recipes and had a surprise!

Saturday morning,  Dean and I were watching Pioneer Woman and decided to try her Olive Bread recipe.  
Oh. My. Goodness. it was good.  I love green olives but not black....but I am so glad I didn't change the recipe because it needed the blend.
Anyway, if you like olives and cheese you will love this bread so here is the link to the recipe.

Saturday night, Dean and the kids surprised me with dinner out at one of our favorite restaurants.  It is always good and we can laugh and visit without being afraid of being too loud.   As we were leaving to go, I let the dogs in and noticed THIS guy in the backyard and did a little jig!    

I named him Gimley the Giant Tortoise and promptly planted him with a pretty geranium.

Then late Saturday night we had company arrive,  so Sunday I made something I found on pinterest.  
Everyone at work was raving about it and since we had more to feed, I thought I'd try it.  Everyone liked it and voted it a "keeper" is the link.

I hope everyone had as wonderful a Mother's Day as I did!

Friday, May 10, 2013

little gardens....

It was no secret that I was not thrilled with our yard when we moved here.  Dean and I always had large yards with large veggie gardens and this yard just didn't give us the space we were used to. 

I fought against it at first,  but gradually I gave in and got creative and over the years, we've made it work.  
Now we only grow what we have room for and REALLY use all the time.  Fresh herbs, tomatoes, lettuces....things like that...although I would love to grow some onions and potatoes.......hmmmmmm.

For those who don't believe you can grow things successfully in herb garden tub is exploding!  It is growing so fast that I can't harvest it quick enough.  

FYI: It is filled half way up with empty water bottles and I think that is why it does so well.  Nothing ever gets root bound.

The basil, which always does well...and I use it constantly!  I started with 6 plants the first year and went to 4 plants a couple years ago.  This year I only planted 2 and I still have too much to use without harvesting as I go along.   I'm not complaining though, my basil butter and cubes are always good to have in the freezer.  

I have the entire length of the small veggie garden planted with fact you can't see the lettuce or arugula behind it because they have grown so tall!  Our tomatoes are happy though, they are a natural deterrent. 

Nasturtiums are also edible and have a peppery flavor...and their blooms are gorgeous!

We've had several salads with the lettuce and arugula already....if you've not had arugula, you are missing out.  It is peppery and nutty at the same time.  Just delicious and super easy to grow.

The mint is spreading out.  This year, I need to make Dean some mint jelly.....I don't actually care for it in food (I know, weird...) but I do harvest it for the bath tub.    If you've never tried mint in the tub after a long day, you really should!  It smells heavenly.

This year's addition......blueberry bushes!  We love them and since it doesn't look like we'll be leaving anytime soon, we planted some along our fence line.  

So, how does your garden grow?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

pretty and pink

I love the color pink.    Years ago, before I was married,  I painted my entire house pink.  I used Waverly fabrics and the entire house had this lovely, girly vibe.   
Thankfully, Dean is comfortable with his "manliness" so he really didn't care that he lived in a pink house for 6 years!
I don't have pink walls or pink flowery curtains anymore.  I don't have much pink in my wardrobe either.....but I am still drawn to the me, it is such a happy color.

With pink on the brain, I did a bit of crocheting over the weekend and made 2 more scarves for the "Pink Scarf Project."  (2 left to reach my goal!)

I got this pattern out of "Stitch n Bitch" Crochet.

same pink yarn, using a different pattern I found online at hook and press

Then Dean and I went to the garden center and found the orchids on sale!  
Well, we decided on these 2 lovelies for his May "Orchid of the Month" club gift.
This was one I felt we couldn't pass up...I love the speckles...somewhat like Cheetah spots.  I love pink and green together and this just worked with the rooster picture behind it.

But this one is Dean's favorite.  It is huge with 3 large sprays of flowers.  It takes up half the space on the piano!   I took several photos of it but the close ups show it off the best.

Pink is the perfect color for May, don't you think? 

Slow buds the pink dawn like a rose From out night's gray and cloudy sheath; Softly and still it grows and grows, Petal by petal, leaf by leaf." 
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