January 31, 2007

At long last

It is finally here! Well, almost anyway. Friday morning, I will pull out of my driveway and make a short drive to Chapel Hill, TN for my much-anticipated weekend retreat. I have been looking forward to going back for this since it was over last year. The thought of having an entire weekend completely devoted to crafting and spending fun time with other women just makes me giddy. I am organizing the event this year, which has been a lot of work, but so worth it. I have 29 women coming and many of them I've never met! I still have quite a bit to finish up before I leave on Friday.

I'll take lots of pictures so I can blog all about this when I get back. Have a wonderful weekend!!

January 14, 2007

*~Wish me luck~*

I am embarking on a new project that is somewhat ambitious, but far too cute to not try. I got so many amazing patterns for fun projects in this crochet magazine, this one, by far my favorite. I couldn't hold myself back any longer, so here I go.

bright cheery afghan

Is this not the cutest afghan ever? Seriously, I think I squeeled when I saw this picture. I really bought this magazine because they have a darling Santa (you know how much I love him) Suit pattern inside. I kept flipping through ooohing and aaahing at all the beautiful things I would like to make and then there it was, on the last page.

danee at my wedding, october 22, 2005
I loved the colors, so bright and cheery and thought this would be a perfect gift for my niece, Danee. She is nine, so it is becoming more and more difficult to buy things for her. She is getting a little too old for toys, and she likes to shop for her own clothes. Fortunately, she LOVES to read. So I have been buying The American Girl series of books for her. But, I like to give her something cute and girly that she will love too.

I have done some work so far. The yarn is so soft and I am very happy with what I have done so far. I'll post more photos once I finish. If it ends up not being too much work, I plan to make a double-size afghan for myself. :-)

Getting Organized

all rolled up and tied with a bow

I have been looking for a few years for a way to organize my crochet hooks. They sell small zipper or snap-closure cases just about anywhere that sells hooks, but they are not very cute. I recently picked up an incredible crochet magazine about a month ago and inside it, they had these really cute roll-up hook organizers. I took one look at it and said "I think I can make this myself."

open with hooks in place

I found some really cute coordinating fabric at JoAnn's. It is a duck cloth. They had polka dots and stripes - which is my favorite combination and it was 30% off - fabulous! I bought a yard of each so I could make a few extras to give to friends, etc. Last night, I came home around 9 and got started. I was pleasantly suprised at how easy it was to make. As you can see from the pics, it turned out great (at least I think so) and I can't wait to make more.

Do you crochet?
How do you keep your hooks organized?
Do you want instructions to make one yourself?

January 08, 2007

Happy Birthday, Friend!

Today, my dear friend Kristi is celebrating her 36th birthday! Since everyone seems to be into making lists these days, I thought it only fitting that I make a list about Kristi for her big day! Happy Birthday, Kristi!

36 Things I Like Most about Kristi

She is the friendliest person I know.
She is thoughtful.
She is a wonderful mother.
She taught me what it means to be a good neighbor.
She has a terrific blog.
She is uber creative.
She can sew anything – and beautifully.
She has a great eye for color and design.
She loves to share her ideas.
She is skilled at bringing people together.
She brings out the best in people.
She is inspiring.
She embraces the importance of traditions.
She has strong values.
She loves ribbon.
She is caring.
She makes friends in an instant.
She never ceases to amaze me.
She takes the time to fall in love with the city she lives in.
She is encouraging.
She is great about documenting life through photographs.
She is warm and open.
She appreciates life’s sweet little moments.
She has a strong faith.
She will cry when she reads this blog.
She teaches her girls how to be polite and respectful.
She is totally in love with her husband and wants the world to know.
She wants to share her experiences with all she knows.
She makes great chocolate chip cookies.
She makes me feel good about myself.
She organized Pink Christmas.
She loves paper.
She always finds the neatest things.
She has a terrific smile.
She introduced me to the world of blogging.
She is my friend.

January 04, 2007

Is Crafting Genetic?

As you can probably guess from the name of my blog - I have a thing for crafts - just about all crafts, too! I got some amazing handmade gifts (see below) from my Aunt Diane for Christmas and it got me thinking... could my love of crafting be genetic?

My mother and her sisters are all very crafty... Diane being the craftiest of all. She can knit anything you can possibly imagine. She is also great at sewing. She sends gorgeous handmade gifts every year for Christmas, which is no small feat. She starts her projects months in advance so she can have them finished and wrapped in time to ship around the country.

My maternal grandmother was also very crafty. She loved to knit and crochet. I was always amazed at how fast her hands could work. Many babies have been shielded from the cold by her blankets and afghans.

My paternal grandmother was an unbelievable seamstress. She didn't necessarily sew to make pretty things. She did it because she had to. Raising three boys alone as a single mother in the middle of the Great Depression, she had to sew to provide for her children. She never had an electric sewing machine, ever.

I have a love for all these same things (and many more as my husband would tell you). I am so thankful that I grew up in a family with such a love and appreciation for crafting. I have no doubt that Joann's and Michaels are thankful too - ha!

I got this great scarf for Christmas from my Aunt Diane. It is actually kind of a purple color. I love it. It is oh-so soft and I like the fuzzy texture. Very cool gift. This actually provided inspiration for a gift that I just made to send to someone very special. I was surprised how quick and easy these are to make.

Those who know me, know that I love Santas. My Christmas tree is decorated almost exclusively with Santa ornaments. I have Santa decorations for the entire house too. So when I opened this Christmas gift from my Aunt Diane, I was incredibly excited. This can be used as a table covering or a quilted wall hanging. This was the best kind of gift... completely unexpected and absolutely perfect for me. I can't wait to display it next year and for many more years to come.

**What was your favorite gift from Christmas '06?**

Favorite Things

The past month has been especially trying for our family. My mother-in-law had an accident in her home and has been confined to a wheelchair (and will be for at least another 12 weeks). The added responsibility of providing her care has been tough - especially for my husband. Our holidays were okay, but not great and we have both been feeling a little sorry for ourselves. Today I got an email from a close friend who has been struggling through a very tough situation for the past four years and this week, they were given some dreadful news. After hearing about it, I really started to think about all the great things I have in my life and that I should be more appreciative. I thought it would be fitting to share them with my fellow bloggers.

This beautiful fella has been such a blessing to me. Riley came into my life almost six years ago. My good friend Kristi and her daughter Annie Kate (who was just 2 at the time) went with me to pick him out. Riley loves to smile and cuddle. His favorite things are frisbee, riding in cars and bathtime!

Leroy was my husband's dog before we met - now he is ours. Although we had a rocky start, we are good pals now. Leroy is not quite three, so he loves to play - if only his big brother had a little more energy! His favorite things include chewing up paper, sleeping in a mountain of pillows and tormenting his brother.

My newest favorite thing is my neice Josie. She was also our family's Christmas miracle. She was adopted from Guatemala and came home on December 11. She is five months old and the most pleasant child I've ever met! She has a smile that will melt your heart. We never expected her to be here so soon, but we are certainly thankful for the blessing of her early arrival. It couldn't have come at a better time.

I have many more things that I am thankful for - my husband especially. Riley, Leroy and Josie have really pulled both Rich and I through the last few weeks. That is why I wanted you to meet them.