Monthly Archives: November 2012

I am very Thankful for Christmas Craft and lots of other stuff

Christmas Craft/Thanksgiving part deux. My life is incredibly good. I am truly blessed. The most important thing to me is my family. As long as everyone is ok, I’m ok. I fret, I worry, I implore the higher being that watches over us human fools to no avail when I think things are not going as they should in my fragile little world.

Life is indeed good even with the bumps that have lately popped up in my road. The people in my family that have been sick are all on the mend and back to work. I am thankful for both of these things.

The move at work is almost complete and going much smoother this week, so work life is settling down. Hubby only has 5 days left to retirement. I am so looking forward to having a house husband to leave our weekends free. We are happily moving on to the next phase of life. I am thankful he is able to retire while still young enough to enjoy life more because he has worked really hard to provide for our family for almost 40 years.

I am thankful for our extended family. Our house was full of laughter, fun and love the last two days while we celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday together. We ate good food, reminisced, and made this year’s Christmas Craft and shopped. I am thankful for each and every one of my family both near and far this holiday.

I’m making a new resolution that can’t wait for January. I will look at the bright side and will be thankful for big and little things. Especially remembering the little things because they make up my day to day life.

Here are some of the pictures of our Christmas Craft this year.

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Filed under Choose to be happy, family, Optomism

Thanksgiving=Christmas Craft

Quick, what do you think of when I say Thanksgiving? Turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, football, relatives, thankfulness, pilgrims, Indians (oh stop it, back when I was a kid no one even heard about PC and besides my grandma’s grandfather was a full blooded Indian) and everything else that has to do with a great (sorry if yours isn’t great) day of family fun and food.

Maybe you just think of Thanksgiving as Black Friday Eve. While I admit I am going to read those ads after the table is set and the house is filled with the wonderful smell of holiday food.

My first thought is Christmas Craft!!! About 15 years ago, we went to my Aunt’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. As the guys settled into comfy chairs to watch a bit of football, she pulled out a bunch of paints and plain glass Christmas ornaments. She was putting up a Christmas tree for the first time in years, and shades of Days of Our Lives (if you watch it you know every year they hand ornaments with each character’s name on it on a tree with lots of flashbacks) she didn’t have any ornaments.

We had the best time painting them with our names, snowmen, trees and all sorts of things to make the ornament different and fabulous. My one aunt had such a hard time getting hers “right” she kept wiping the white paint off of her blue ornament. The paint was partly dry so it left a white smear. She painted her name over it and called it a snow storm. Ah we are not only a crafty bunch, we share a crazy way of looking at life and a sense of humor that can’t be beat.

The next year, all the cousins started asking what the Christmas craft was going to be. A tradition was born. We’ve painted t-shirts, made snowmen out of tube socks (that was a hoot) and painted glass ornaments. Now each person takes his or her craft home for their tree, mantle or garbage can depending upon the outcome.

One year we made gingerbread houses out of pieces I’d baked the day before. That was lots of work for something that doesn’t last past one season. But it is more about the fun we have with each other than the finished product – which turns out adorable most of the time.

The craft is kept a mystery until Thanksgiving afternoon. Then the person in charge hauls out the clay, glue, fabric, ribbon, small clay pots, etc and picture of the craft. This year’s craft will hopefully include empty pop bottles, paint, fabric and maybe some googly eyes.

I found it on Pinterest, and it is adorable. Since we only have a few hours, prep needs to be done before Thanksgiving. I often spend more time in craft preparation than I do in food prep. Seriously, frying a turkey isn’t that hard, the rest of the stuff only takes a few hours at the most.

Anyway, I have to cut each pop bottle and glue two together with superglue. How hard can that be? Manicure scissors turned out to be the easiest thing to use because that plastic is tough to cut straight. So, that means 30 bottles (I’ve been begging my friends to save them for me at work) had to be cut. Then they needed to be glued together. That was the simple part. Super glue is the best for plastic and it was a snap. 

Now for the hard part. Each one had to be painted black. Have you ever tried to paint a smooth, slippery plastic bottle? Not good, not good at all. I had a spongy brush type thing and finally patted about 3 coats on on bottle, letting each layer dry. Seemed ok, at least it didn’t slide around like trying to brush it on, but as it dried it cracked.

So I asked my hubby to try spray paint. So far, the one he painted looks WAY better than the ones I tried to paint, I am hoping this will be the way to go.

So after the thanks have been said and the dishes have been done, we are going to haul out the crafts and have a few laughs. We always have so much fun it is really something I look forward to.

I don’t know how you spend your Thanksgiving, but I hope you are planning something you’ll enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours however you spend your day.

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Project Linus

Tomorrow I am going to Culture Stock to work on the dreaded snowflake afghan. When I was there the last time one of the gals was talking about working on a charitable project. Project Linus was brought up.

I was a member of an informal group of ladies that made handmade blankets of all types to donate to Project Linus. They distribute them to hospitals togive to children that come in with either emergencies or for surgeries to help comfort them. 

Here is what the link to Project Linus had to say:

ABOUT PROJECT LINUS

Project Linus is a non-profit organization, dedicated to “Providing Security Through Blankets,” for ill or traumatized children and teens. Inspired by a picture of a three-year-old cancer patient holding her security blanket, Project Linus was begun in 1995 by Karen Loucks. Nationally, Project Linus has donated more than 4,270,084 handmade blankets to help comfort children in need in hospitals, shelters, and hospices. Project Linus has 368 chapters in the United States. Project Linus was named after the adorable security blanket toting character from the Peanuts comic strip.”  http://www.projectlinus.org/

The Project Linus national website has a great listing of patterns for you to use, or you can use one of your own. The gals I used to meet with knit, crocheted and sewed blankets for the gal that organized the group to take to the local chapter to donate. After you complete your first blanket, you get an adorable Project Linus patch. I love working on blankets that might help comfort a child when he or she can’t understand what is happening and is sick and/or afraid.

I hope we chose this charity. I know there are a lot of very worthy causes for needy children, adults and pets. This one is close to my heart 🙂

tks to Google Docs for the Linus pics

 

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Filed under Charity, Crocheting, Knitting

Quick catch up post

I’m late with last week’s Work In Progress report, it is almost time for next weeks, so I’ll only bore you once with the details of what has been happening.

I still have 8 squares to complete for the afghan, but that is almost next on my list. All of the strips are completed so far, so it won’t take tons of time to complete it once the last squares are done. This week I plan to go to Culture Stock on Saturday morning and will take this project along.

The Helix Scarf for my daughter-in-law is almost done. As soon as I finish writing this, I hope to finish it. I’ll post a picture over the weekend. I got the yarn for a scarf I am going to get my girlfriend started on at work. She asked me to find a Harry Potter scarf pattern that was simple because her grandson asked her to knit him one for Christmas. Ravelry had a ton of Harry Potter scarves, but most of them were more complicated that she felt comfortable making. Then I found one that is knit in the round, which would have been perfect. Straight knitting, no fancy change of stitches, and the tube shape of knitting in the round would eliminate curling edges.

The problem was she didn’t want to work in the round. So we are going super simple. Half the stitches of the “tube” design, straight knitting to achieve a garter stitch fabric that won’t roll. The only challenge will be changing color every 20 to 22 rows. I think she can handle it so we are going for it.

 I ordered Knit Picks Brava worsted because it is durable, washable and soft. But I am a dope because I put the colors in my shopping bag, then printed out the colors so she could see them. She liked the pictures, so I promptly ordered 2 of each color. Forgetting the original order was hanging out in the inbox. So now I have enough for two scarves. I think I’ll make one for my oldest son as a joke. He is an avid reader and enjoyed the Harry Potter series and living in MD has seen a lot of snow the past few years.

So here is my plan of action. First on the agenda is the Helix Scarf, as a bit of entertainment, I will get my girlfriend going on her grandson’s gift. Then I am going to work on a couple of washcloths for my cutest little cousin who will be a year old right after the holidays. I’ve found a couple of cute patterns. One has a dog, one has a bunny, one has a kitten..you get the idea. All of them very quick and I already have the yarn. If I get busy I can do two of them in a week.

Then the snowflake afghan will be the last project that has to be done before Christmas. If by some crazy chance I have a little extra time I’ll work on the extra Harry Potter scarf. Since next week is Thanksgiving already (how did that happen so soon??) I am not very confident that will happen. Because we all know life can easily get in the way.

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Works In Progress – 2012 into 2013

My work in progress update is kind of early this weekend. I don’t have a lot of progress so I thought I’d just get on with it.

I still have nine squares to finish for the snowflake afghan and will get on that hopefully in a week or so. I want to finish the scarf for my daughter-in-law then will go back to it. I am half way done with the scarf. Check out my progress.

Because our kids were here today, I didn’t go down to Culture Stock this week. Next week I am going back to see the progress everyone has made. While we were there last week, my cousin was talking about the washcloth I made for her daughter last Christmas. She said she loved it, and it was her favorite. How can I not add a couple more to my list of Christmas knitting? They only take a couple of hours to make, so I should not have any trouble whipping them up before the holidays.

So for Christmas I will be finishing the scarf, snowflake afghan and washcloths. I should have plenty of time as long as life doesn’t get in the way. If I have a bit of extra time (stop laughing!!) I got a really cool pattern today for knit ribbons. Some of the gifts would look pretty cool with these – but I am not sure I’ll actually have time to do these. Just the thought of tying up those cute little washcloths in a pretty homemade bow sounds like a plan. We’ll see how this best laid plan works out.

That leaves a pair of socks, the alpaca hat and buffalo mittens undone for the year. I don’t feel horribly bad because I’ve made good progress on all the other goals I’ve set.

The biggest short coming (is that an oxymoron??) is my lack of progress on The Knitting Guild of America’s Master’s Program. I’ve completed three of the swatches, but am going to do them over again because I have different yarn to use. It hasn’t even been wound yet, but will be done between Christmas and New Year’s because I have a glorious 10 days off work.

So I am now getting my 2013 list of projects ready. The Master’s program, two baby afghans (prolific parents in our circles!), shawl for my girlfriend’s birthday in March and the three leftover projects from 2012 are on the pre-list list for now 🙂 And possibly learning how to work my awesome knitting machine that I got from my mom.

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Filed under Crocheting, Knitting, Uncategorized