Saturday, December 10, 2016

Toadstool ornament happiness!

My annual Christmas ornament swap is done....all ornaments have been sent and received.

This year, the theme was toadstools and the ornaments did NOT fail to impress!   I love this group of artsy girls, we always have fun!  The only sad thing is that I forgot to take photos of
all the ornaments!   I was so busy packing them to ship, that it slipped my mind.

That being said, here is a small sampling of those I did get photos of:

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Annual Ornament Swap sign ups!

It is time for my annual Christmas ornament swap through my swap blog!  As always, this swap is for handcrafted ornaments. Any medium is allowed!  You don't have to be an artist to join in!  

This year the theme is "Holiday Toadstools." That means that somehow, somewhere, there needs to be a toadstool/mushroom incorporated into your ornaments.  

We are doing a "5 for 5"  swap.
What this means is that you will send me 5 of the same handmade ornament.  Then you will receive a variety of 5 ornaments back. 

Once you join, I'll send you an invite so you can post on the swap blog.
You do not have to have a blog or webpage to join.
The deadline to sign up is Oct. 28th. I am limiting participants to 20 this year.

To sign up, send me an email at valpowery(at)yahoo(dot)com with your name and blog or flickr link/info.  

This will be a USA only swap due to shipping.

The do's and don'ts:

Please DO create something you would love to receive and be sure to package your ornaments in a nice, 

re-usable box so I can mail your new ornaments back to you in it. 

Please DO NOT send any one dimensional tags as ornaments.  If you do paper crafts, you must have layers and glitter and gorgeousness.    Tags are great and I have a few lovely ones on my own tree but they were created as gift tags, not ornaments.  I just chose to USE them as ornaments because they were so nice.

Please DO take care when wrapping to make sure the ornaments are cushioned, etc.  We DO want all our ornaments to arrive in pristine condition!  

Please DO double/triple check your ornaments before shipping to me.  I had several 6-8 that needed fixing or replacing.  Some I replaced with ornaments that were actually sent to me as a gift.  I had to make more ornaments to replace the others with.  

Please DO NOT join if you are unable to commit to making something you would enjoy receiving in return.  

Shipping: Please send in $10.00 to cover the cost of sending ornaments back to you.  This will also cover tracking.   Please include a return address label already filled out.

Ship in time for me to receive them by Thanksgiving.  That way, I can get them in time to organize, repackage and mail them out by the first week of December.  

Sadly, I can't guarantee you getting an exchange box if your ornaments do not reach me in time.  (If that happens, I'll gladly return your own ornaments to you using the money you sent for shipping.)  
Shipping funds are important!  If you forget to include shipping, your ornaments can't be sent/returned until you have sent me the funds to send/return them to you.

If you finish your ornaments early, feel free to send them to me early so I can start organizing them.

If time gets away from you and you need to back out, no big deal, just drop me an email and I'll remove you from the list.  

Also, don't forget to grab the badge to put on your own blog to spread the word!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Stash busting!

I haven't been sewing AT ALL lately but today I made a couple collars for Osa.
She looks so cute in the LSU one!

Then I covered a little footstool for her. 

The steps I made a couple years ago finally died.....with the help of little  children using them too.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Crocheted ponchos.....

I am slowly trying to make my way back to blogging!  The last several months have been extremely busy but I think things will slow down a bit now.

I made a couple ponchos this year as Christmas gifts for my two nieces.  As you can see, the teal one is smaller....but both are for little girls.  I love ponchos, especially during the change of weather!

I crocheted both of these using "I Love This Yarn" because it is so soft!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Crocheted mouse coffee cozy

 This spring someone traded me some Starbucks for a coffee know I can't resist Starbucks!

She requested a mouse and some is how it turned out.

I didn't write a pattern this time.....

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Swap announcement

Time for my annual Halloween swap!  Check it out at

Hope to see you there!  

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mardi Gras Magic Ball Scarf

So AFTER Mardi Gras, I decided beads just didn't hack it.   The colors are great but they aren't very warm..... I wanted to make something fun to wear for Mardi Gras on those chilly outings.

I couldn't find any yarn I liked so I decided to make my own magic ball of yarn and crochet a scarf like the ones I've done before....including this one.

I started collecting yarn and then my friend said she wanted to play too.  She is knitting her's using the Lady Godiva pattern.  I won't have a photo for a long time as she isn't making it until right before next Mardi Gras.  I went ahead though and just crocheted mine.  It is FAB!

Now for details.  If you want to make your own, you need to do some research.  I wanted a nice warm scarf with a little heft to it.  So, I made my ball a bit like the Alp Oriental with some heavy yarns mixed in with lighter yarns.  I also bought a couple spools of skinny soft ribbon and one spool of beaded thread.  If I could do it again, I'd buy more of the beaded gives an amazing sheen to the area it is in.  Having a person to share the cost and yarn with is a good idea.  We went through our stash and saved a lot of money but I spent $40 bucks after it was all said and done.  Jeannine had great yarns so she didn't spend a penny. I keep my "leftover" stash low on might be able to make an entire magic ball without spending a cent.

Here is what I did:
*Go out and OVERBUY lots of yarn, ribbon, beaded thread, etc.  Save receipts you will be returning some.  You want thick and thin, basic and fantasy (eyelash is fantasy in my view), threadlike will offset super thick but make sure it won't get lost.  I used gold threads mixed with softer but heavier greens, etc.  You'll be in the yarn section a long time so plan on it!  I was approached 2 times by ladies who wanted me to teach them what I was doing.  One actually took notes!
*Take the supplies home and figure out which ones really work well together and put the rest back for returns.
*Weigh each ball or make note of what it says on the label. Since you are mixing and matching, this matters. Include ribbon, etc.
*Determine weight: I made a ball of 10 ounces.
*I held FOUR strands of yarn together.  All types.    The green eyelash was TOO much for me so after making the scarf, I went in and gave it a hair cut.  The purple and gold eyelash was perfect.
*CUT YOUR FRINGE before tying all your yarns together.  You want a good representation of all yarns and ribbons used.   I used a dvd case and went around it 20 times for each end.  Set aside in a baggie or safe place.

I decided to make each "cut" 4 arm lengths long. Then I just went through picking which yarns I wanted to hold together.   Ribbons and beaded thread were just added as I went along, to make it interesting.  I rolled as I went.  (NOTE, if you go along and don't like something, you can always snip that length out and swap it. )

***Once everything was done, I re rolled it starting from the end because I used my favorite yarns first.  (I hadn't noticed I did that.)  I wasn't really sure how thick I wanted to make it.  I'm glad I did it that way because I didn't make it as wide as planned.  Mine is about 7 inches wide.

To make, I used a P hook and chained until I felt it was long enough, (I'm short)  keeping in mind I was adding fringe. Then I worked a double half crochet throughout until it was wide enough.  When I finished, I added the fringe.

It was a very fun project and I'll be doing it again.  The prep work is easy to do.  Just pull stuff out, tie it together and go.  It is time consuming but I did it while watching a movie.

Monday, March 14, 2016

a little more knit.....and crochet

I'm slowly adding "catch up" posts to include some of the things I've made since January.....

This is a cowl I made for my sister in law.  She looks AMAZING in all those pretty Easter egg colors.  I use the Lady Godiva pattern and some dazzle yarn:

I made another arm knit cowl.  I found this lovely yarn "Encore Mega" for a steal in a fancy yarn shop in Destin.   The store tends to be incredibly expensive so when I found this for only 6 bucks a skein, I snatched up two.  It is so soft, like baby alpaca but does NOT shed like baby alpaca.  I'll be back for more.

I made another scarf for my sister Page.  She and I have the same coloring so when I come to town wearing something, she always wants one too.    It works out for me because she ALWAYS buys me some of that expensive yarn as a thank you.

Here it is.  The yarn is a magic ball called Alp Oriental.  I just double half crochet throughout.  

The only tricky part is the fringe.  The ball COMES with some fringe attached so you can see what yarns are included in the ball.  But you need to cut additional fringe before you get going so it isn't all cut from one length of yarn.  the beauty of this scarf is in the variety of textures and colors coming together.  The scarf looks good with EVERYTHING and is incredibly soft and cozy

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Still going strong

Our little salad garden has been amazing this winter. We have harvested many dinners out of our little plot. And it is still going strong.

red and green leaf lettuces are in this plot.....romaine is next to it.  I forgot to take a photo of it.

two types of arugula are in here....

a better shot of the red and green lettuce

I also grow green onions in my herb garden....I like them better than regular onions in a salad.

Speaking of which, they have been amazing.  And tasty....

I planted bell peppers 2 weeks ago and am planting tomatoes this weekend. 

I have been so pleased with our salad garden that when they were selling this at work, I had to buy it.....something for me to plan......poor Dean!

Image result for grow all you can eat in three square feet

Friday, March 11, 2016

Hook and a Book

another good read and another Christmas gift on the hook!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

catch up

I've been gone for awhile!  I was sick for the first time in YEARS.....and that combined with college tours....yada yada....the list goes on.  No one needs the gorey, boring details.  The good news is that I feel better and so I thought I'd do a quick post.  I'll do more this weekend....lots to catch up on!

Last week we had Seafood day at work.  I had NOTHING to wear so decided on an apron. Someone had given me an odd shaped cut of this lobster fabric.  I'd been saving it for years!  I used a portion for the pocket and put it on a new tea towel.  I used double ribbons for the waistband and ties.  I  whipped it up just in time for work....

Well, one of my partners in crime fell in love with it so I gave it to her at the end of the day.  I still had a little more fabric at home so I knew I could make one for myself.  I had some coordinating polka dot fabric in my stash and made this one over the weekend.

Side view of the pocket and sash:

It is a clothespin of my favorite styles.  I also backed it so I can reverse it if I want.
I used every smidge of fabric I had left!  In fact, I had to shave the size of the apron down by almost 2 inches....but that didn't hurt the look or functionality of the apron.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Walking Dead crochet coffee cozies

In anticipation of The Walking Dead season preview, I made a few coffee sleeves to help me through....

one for me...

and a few for some friends......

yep, I think we are ready!  I wonder how many other couples will be glued to their tv sets instead of going out?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Saga Ball

Kaela and Landon before the Saga Ball 
Almost done.....just one dance left before her high school career is over!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hook and a Book

Nothing like a good book to read when I need a break from crocheting.......

Monday, February 1, 2016

week in review....

All the green stuff in this amazing salad was from our garden....I planted red and green leaf lettuces, romaine and arugula...along with green onions.  It was SO good.  We had another one Sunday night...just added chicken to it.  

Kaela came home from school the other day needing a little hot cocoa and momma time.  It does my heart good that she still seeks me out.....

Getting a little snuggle time in while I knit.  She hates the camera.  As soon as you point it at her, she wakes up.....uncanny!

And trying desperately to get a little affection from Suki.  She misses Leo so much and is enamored of Suki....but she is just too bouncy for her.  Maybe when she gets a little older.

a little mantle and front door bling....

Looking forward to a little time off for Mardi Gras.........

Friday, January 29, 2016

Dog days...and nights!

It seems that I am forever busy of late......I had forgotten how much work young dogs are.   Mojo and Ginger were old and although not lethargic by any means, I now realize, they weren't very active.

They had routines and with 4 people living in the house, they had 16 hands to pet them and lots of additional people coming in and out playing with them.  It wasn't much work for me....

Dean works later now, Matt is in college and Kaela seems to be out of the house more than in it! We no longer have loads of kids coming in and out at random times, creating excitement.    So Osa falls to me, which I love, but I do feel guilty when she is full of energy and I'm exhausted.

This last week, the weather was so nice that I took her to the park after getting home from work. Three times.
It is a 25 minute drive but worth the effort as she gets so much more energy out than mere walking on a leash....

On Monday we met our first corgi at the particular park.   She was a fluffy one and fairly tall.

They hit it off right away and played for quite a while....until someone's tongue was slobbery....

Once we got home, Osa was content to sleep the rest of the day!

Later that evening, I began a Christmas present and she continued in her lullaby, snuggled up to me...

What a happy pooch!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Glasgow walkabout....

I thought it would be nice to share some photos Matt has sent to me via phone.    This first set was taken in and around his campus as he walked everywhere.   I don't really know much else...just thought they were lovely. 

Especially love this selfie as he was excited to finally be able to wear his "cold weather" clothing!

He went on a walking tour of Glasgow the first week there.  He sent me loads of photos but it most photos were taken from a distance using a cell phone so I just posted a few.

Now, THIS is a fountain y'all!  Yes, please!!!!

So far, this is my favorite...I love the green roof!

Oh, and a walking tour included pubs so here is his first "legal" beer.  Drinking age is 18 over there.  Lucky boy!

I asked him to go into a yarn store and get me some soft yarn.   He laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed....and.....then told me I'd have to come over and get THAT myself!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Artful cigar box

I love it when Kaela paints cigar boxes.....check this one out....the colors are even more vibrant in person but you get the idea.

Of course, I tried hard to steal it but she kept taking it back.......sigh.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

little catch up....

A little baby hat I whipped up and mailed off to Tennessee.

a FRESH strawberry cake in January?  Yep.....made it for Matthew right before he left for Scotland...

Osa trying hard to snuggle with Suki.....almost there.  She just wants "someone with fur" to sleep next to her!

A mural on Strathclyde's campus.  This made Matt feel right at home!

Matt out with new friends:

Beginning of the night....

End of the night.....

Nope, doesn't look like ANYONE had fun, does it?
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