Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve Thankful Thursday

What a great year 2009 has been and the Lord has blessed me and my family in so many ways.  I count as the greatest blessing good health to enjoy spending time with my family.   Going regularly to the gym, eating lots of fruits and vegetables has made a big difference.  The older we get and our body wears out, exercise is the best medicine.  I heard Kim, one of my Zumba instructors say, "Let's move and dance today while we can."


At 53, I'm thankful I'm able to get on the floor and play with my grandkids.  I have to say that playing with the grandkids is one way to get a good night's rest.  On my last visit, I noticed how tired I was at the end of the day, ready to go to bed around 9:30 pm.  You can get quite a work out around them.

More 2009 time on the floor.  It's been so much fun spending time with Taite and he melts my heart when he says, "Nana, I'm so happy you are here."  Taite who just turned 3 sure knows how to make a grandmother feel special. 

Just look at this beautiful boy, I'm so glad he's in my life.  Caleb turned 5 this past August.

By the shore of the Pamlico River in Washington, NC., Taite looks in wonder at the stumps poking out of the sand.

My grand kids got me an ornament this Christmas that says: "Who needs Santa when you have grandparents."  So sweet.  Caleb is eager to please and he let me take his picture after the church service modeling the Newsboy cap I made for him.  Taite on the other hand seemed to say: "I'm not doing what she wants me to do."  It's ok, his other sweet moments make up for his 3 year old attitude...LOL..

November delivered a great blessing.  Kevin came to visit and spent a total of 45 days with us.  I love this picture Andrea took of us during our stay at Big Mill Bed and Breakfast.

Kevin serves in the military and having him with us was an answer to prayer.  I'm thankful for God's faithfulness as he watches over him while he is away from us.

This is Andrea singing during the worship service at West End Baptist Church, were Travis, her husband is the Senior Pastor. I'm also thankful for her husband who preaches at this church and spreads the Gospel week after week. It's always so special to hear her sing and Travis preach to honor their Lord and Savior. This picture shows the baby she's be born in March 2010....More blessings on the way this coming New Year.

Many times this year, my husband Cliff has spent time in the kitchen cooking for me or the family.  I really appreciate him taking the initiative to cook when I'm tired at the end of the day.  I'm thankful for the many other ways he shows he cares.  He's always thinking how he can be a blessing to others.  One of the special things he has started doing for me before heading out to work during the cold mornings is to heat my old van with a space heater.  He cares about the little things, that was makes him so special.

Looking forward to 2010....


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Bat Who Came to Visit

Last night I came in from work and settled on my chair to crochet and watch TV.  I noticed Carla (my kitty) got close to the fireplace and stared as she usually does when there is an anole lizard.  That's what I thought she was looking at.  Then I heard a scratching noise and found it was a bat who came to visit not really but to stay as I found the next day.

Last night's picture, my first encounter with the bat.  Oh no, please go away.  We checked and he was breathing, despite it being so cold outside in the mid 20's last night.  So, I thought, surely it will freeze and in the morning there will be no more bat.

Here he is hanging upside down and with eyes shut, all settled and comfy.  This is what I'll see all winter when I sit in my living room to relax and watch tv.

Taite and Caleb who are fascinated by Batman will now be able to see what a real one looks like.
Interesting facts:

"A study by the University of Florida has shown less than one-half of 1 percent of all bats have rabies. It is more likely for a person to be bitten by an unvaccinated dog or cat."

"Bats are not a danger to people and are actually quite valuable. Very few carry rabies, and they help to control the insect population. They also help seed new plants and pollinate our crops!"  These facts taken from this site.


Monday, December 28, 2009

The Season of Magic

Enjoyed a wonderful Christmas in the company of Andrea, Travis, Caleb and Taite.  The weather in Williamston was wet, gray and cloudy but our spirits rejoiced and the magic surrounded us in so many ways.

This picture shows Andrea's living room and part of her dining room.  The picture was taken with my new Kodak which has the Panoramic feature.

Her Frazier tree was smaller than in past years, but still smelled wonderful.

Eventhough Caleb woke up sick with a fever, this did not keep him from opening his gifts.

Taite loves his Batcave and loved sharing one of his Batmans with me.

Caleb and Taite got to open one more gift the day after Christmas because they got a duplicate of the Batcave.  My gift to Taite was exchanged for the Dragon's Imaginext set.  It's just priceless to see them open gifts.

They can't see what is inside.

The day after Christmas was also a day for projects.  Cliff put together a shelve in the future nursery/studio room.  Andrea is in need of storage.

Spent a lot of time on the floor.  Taite loves his Fisher Price Geo Trax set.

Moments of rest like this helped me recover....


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Some of my Favorite Christmas Decorations this Year

This is an exquisite ornament, I'm sure to treasure for years to come.  The tag attached reads: I am an angel feather sent from up above to serve as a reminder of His most gracious love.  I'm from your guardian angel that God assigned to you, it fell out in her struggles as she protected you.  Each time you almost stumble, each time you nearly fall thank God and all His angels for answering your call.  I love this.  This ornament was give to me by Shelia.  Thank you Shelia, this is powerful.

A cleverly designed Rudolph decoration made by Shelia.  That soap bar it contains will never be used.

Cute Gingerbread Softie so sweet to look at.  Debbie picked this one for me and all the co-workers at the Library.

I picked this a store.  He stood out and begged me to come home.

I'm the proud owner of this AnnaLee ornament.  He sports a straw hat and the softest beard.  This is the only ornament that was not given to me this year.  He is just special.  It was given to me by Cliff's mom years ago.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thankful Thursday

A day off work is something to be thankful about, especially since I had so many unfinished crafting projects.

Mini Crochet Cloths contain a mini soap from Heidi's Handmades.

Crochet Snowmen Ornaments and Coasters

Finished Mini Cloth is ready

Sock Monkey Ipod Cozy is ready to be wrapped.  Sock Monkeys make me smile. 

Cell phone Sock Monkey Cozy.  This one was my first one.  The next one got bigger ears.

Pink Sock Monkey Cell Phone Cozy.  I think I like the button in cream to match the top.

The Snowmen Pins are also finished and ready to give away.  I was so glad I had wool on hand to make the scarves.  I had ordered it several months ago from Callida who sells it on Etsy.  Great selection and just right for this project.  You can find the instructions to make these on this post.  Snowmen are backed by card stock and are wrapped in a small cello bag.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quick and Easy Pin

There is still time for those last minute gifts.  I keep finding reasons to keep on crocheting.  When time is running out there is not better way to make something quick.

To make this snowman pin/ornament, all you need is white worsted weight yarn, black felt for the hat and wool for the scarf and leaves.  You can also just use felt for the leaves if you don't have any wool.  I just happened to have some.

Crochet the snowman face and neck.

I used the H hook

Round 1 - Make a loop, chain 1, 6sc inside the loop. Join with a slip stitch to the first sc

Round 2 - Ch 1, 2sc in ea sc, join with a slip stitch to the first sc. - 12 sc

Round 3 - Ch 1, 1sc in each sc, join with a slip stitch to the first sc. - 12 sc

To make the neck:

After slipping the stitch in round 3 continue working in the same direction.

Row 1 - Ch 1, work 3sc and turn - 3 sc

Row 2 - Ch 1, 1 sc in ea sc , fasten off - 3sc

Cut a small length of the wool the width of the neck, enough to wrap around the neck and make a knot. To secure the scarf, you may put a dab of glue on the back.  I use fabric glue. Make two french knot eyes.  For the nose, use one strand of orange cotton yarn and secure with knots in the back. Secure the two leaves to the snowman by making two or three french knots.  To hide those knots in the back, simply cut out a circle from felt and glue to the back.  If you want this snowman to be a pin, hot glue the pin on the back of the head.  If it will be an ornament, simply, glue a loop of your string of choice and sandwich between the snowman and the felt used to finished the back.  I think this should work.  I have not tried it yet.

You are done.

There are two ways to finish the edge around the hat.  The quicker way is to just do a running stitch.  The hat above was finished doing the blanket stitch.  This one takes a little longer and work to get the stitches even.

Additional notes.
For the Eye French knots you will need to use a sport weight yarn, and wrap only one loop.  For the berries on the leaves I used red Paton's Grace, but DMC floss would also work well.


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Amigurumi Tips

This Christmas season I'll be creating and designing mini gnomes. The gnomes I'm creating are Amigurumi Gnomes worked in single crochet.  I also like the idea of using the left over yarn from other items to make these.

The body minus legs and arms

Stitch markers are a necessity to mark the beginning or ending of each round.  I place a stitch marker on the last stitch of the round.

To join a different color yarn, after completing the last sc of the round, using the same color yarn (brown in my boot) do a yarn over and leave two loops, then draw the other color (red for my gnomes pants)through the two loops.

Hide the tails behind the single crochet stitches in the first round being worked with the second color, then using scissors cut the short end.

Stuff the leg as you go using polyester fiberfill.   Be careful not to overstuff.  Just a small amount is required.

Continue adding fiberfill; stop adding at least 3/4 an inch before getting to the top.  This is not too clear. What I'm trying to say is make sure you leave unstuffed about 3/4 of an inch.  This will help your creation sit on the bottom.

I thought it would be fun to name my creations, so here is Roywinkle.
Amigurumi Gnome