Monday, December 26, 2005

Happy Holidays!

Wishing EVERYONE a happy holiday!

This past week has been EXHAUSTING with several doctor visits and tests for my baby boy. However, looks like he's going to be okay. Apparently, he has some sort of mild epilepsy that will be controlled with meds. He's started the medication without problems and we are able to go to Florida for our annual pilgramage to see family!

Today was especially exciting, because it was the first Christmas that we've all shared the same last name. I think this was especially meaningful for my oldest son who has always questioned the whole 'permanency' thing. Of course, Mimi was only 2 days old when she came to live with us, so she doesn't really know any better.

Santa is freakin' crazy. He kept my wife and me up way too late. Guess we will postpone our departure another day. Hopefully the kids will crash at some point so we can get some rest!

I know I've been lame on this blog recently, but I have lots of art and craft projects lined up for the new year!!! I'm definitely making a resolution of at least a weekly post when I get back (I actually do more arts/crafts stuff than I give myself credit for...).

Wishing you and yours an amazing holiday!!!!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Time flies. As usual, I'm impulsively skipping around from one thing to another. Now it is my poor hobby blog that is neglected. My therapist thinks I have adult ADD, now I also wonder...

I'm still on the verge of completing Elise's poncho, and just need to bite the bullet to finish. It is certainly cold enough to wear now!

Most of my crafty energies have been focused on my craft group at work. Recently made some kick-ass duct-tape wallets and some very sad snow-globes. Want to try to re-work the snow-globes so that they actually work...

No new crochet to photograph. I still haven't even gotten all of the candles out of my garage!

My new vow is to stop making vows related to arts and crafts.... Oh well. Tis the season to get lost in craziness!!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2005


I still haven't cleaned up from my candle party a few weeks ago. The joys of denial are great when you have an out-building...

I've been swamped with work schtuff. Big project almost finished! Also had my maw-in-law visiting for two weeks. Damn, I need a vacation!!!!

I've only done a little bit of hobbies here and there, but I'm finally close to completion with Elise's poncho. Jenny has already informed me that she will end up with it (which is fine). Jenny is also crushing on my felt bag which inspires me to attach the handles and get done with it.

Hopefully I will start posting more here again this week with pictures of all of my messes.

Oh yeah, I went to a quilt show yesterday and now have a new project that I want to try out...

Now, my priority projects are:
  1. Finish the wool poncho
  2. Clean up my candle mess
  3. add handles to my felt bag
  4. Make a psycho doll out of some great fabric I found
  5. Neck-tie tapestry (that's all I can say about that right now...)
  6. A couple more christmas stockings would be nice too...
  7. Felt scarf class coming up soon...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Here's a picture of Andy right before our trick-or-treating adventure. Mason and Mimi dressed up, but were too tired and grouchy to go with us (I'll try to get some pictures of them up later...).

I hosted a candle-making party with some friends last Friday. I'll try to post some pics of the candles (and the MESS) tomorrow. My advice... don't mix alcohol and hot wax (except in very specific circumstances and even then, in moderation...) ;)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Mimi's mini Martha poncho

I've been fondling the same yarn every time I go to Hobby Lobby. I finally committed myself to using it for a jumper for Mimi. When I went to pick it up, there was only one skein left (and my Hobby Lobby is not the best about restocking...).

Sooo... since I couldn't leave empty handed, I picked up some 'Yarn Bee' Italia yarn in colors that my wife likes to dress our two year old in. After I brought it home, the yarn told me that it wanted to grow up to be a poncho.

Although I have several friends who aren't so fond of Martha Stewart, I think she is pretty amazing. I searched the internet for a small version of Martha's freedom poncho. Although the pattern I found looked good, there were legions of errors in the text. No matter though. After I understood the basic concept, I just went with it, and feel that it turned out well. I'll be sure to post a picture later of Mimi wearing it.

BTW - Martha, in case you are reading this, feel free to drop me a line sometime, okay? ;)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Strange how happy it makes me to work on the poncho again. I was starting to stress that the Bartlett yarn would never come in to my LYS. But here it is, and the dye lot matches just fine. If you've never used Bartlett before, I highly recommend it. I'm sure I've said this before, but what's wrong with a little perseveration?: They don't wash all of the lanolin out of this yarn so even though it isn't the softest wool around, your hands feel great when working with it and it smells fantastic. You can order straight off of Bartlett's website.
Oh Elise, you may actually get your poncho before the cold weather hits!!!

Monday, October 17, 2005

hobby hell

I haven't found time to work on any projects recently. The only 'fix' I get is at work when I run my craft group for adults with mental illnesses. I love my job in that I get to be creative and try a lot of art projects (without spending my own money), but even those opportunities have gotten fewer and farther in between. There has been too much 'real' work that is squeezing out my discretionary time. I need to do something about that.

This past week, when I'm home, I'm either covered in kids or too zoned out to function past survival mode. I think part of it is the changing of seasons. Part of it is just mental exhaustion. I'm overdue for a real vacation... I think a month or two in Puerto Rico would fix me up...

You know, over the years, I've dabbled in sooooo many hobbies, that it surprises me when one actually sticks. No one thought I would stay with the crochet. Even though I neglect it for months at a time sometimes, I am always happy to find it again. I think one of the things I love about crochet is that I'm only limited by my own creativity and skill which is built on experience.

As for some hobbies on the back burner:
Sorry banjo. I was overjoyed with you and Dan still owes me 10 lessons to pay off the washer and dryer I gave him. I promise I will dust you off this winter and give Dan a call. Maybe I'll break out some bluegrass today to get me in the right mind-frame.
Sorry novel. I visited my first chapter this week. It is like we barely recognize each other anymore. I have so many stories in my head (at least one for each personality...) but I need to work on my original novel no matter how horrible it turns out.
Good news candle making supplies that I collected for a few years but never used: I'm having a few friends over for a candle making party in two weeks!
Oh my beloved hiking boots. You know you were more than a fleeting fancy. I love the great outdoors and love hiking (and dressing the part). However, with two toddlers (formerly two babies), I've felt somewhat homebound during my free time. However, I'm feeling the effects of being sedentary for TOOOOOOOO long and am in the process of making a plan to get out of this rut. I promise we still have a bright future together.
Oh dreams of woodworking... at least I didn't buy the equipment before flaking out...

Damn. I think it is time to win the lottery. I would be very happy to be a full-time hobbyist. Maybe instead of writing a novel, I should write the novel so that I can focus on fun (and buy more yarn).


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

weekend trip/knitting lesson

We had a nice trip up to Indiana Dunes State Park this past weekend. This was my first time visiting a 'great' lake, and I was amazed how much it reminded me of the gulf. It was too cold to swim, but a nice enough day to play in the sand. Can you see Chicago across the lake?

We stayed in a nice Inn in the town of Porter. Oh, how I miss the pool and hot tub! :(

I found a very interesting looking yarn shop in Valaprasio (sp?) on the way home, but of course it was closed on Sundays. Next time...

Thanks to Cathy who showed me how to cast-on and begin knitting today. Knitting feels very alien to me compared to crochet, but I think it will be fun to play with. I've got a lot of practicing to do before I feel comfortable. Guess I will start with the obligatory scarf...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Infatuation with stockings....

I'm about to jump out of my skin waiting for my Bartlett yarn to come in so that I can finish Elise's poncho. I need a few more skeins of 'Bark'. It has been well over a month since I ordered them. I want to support my LYS, but I'm close to ordering the rest on-line...

Since I couldn't work on the poncho, I swung by my local Hobby Lobby last night just to 'browse'. I became intrigued with some of the "Yarn Bee" brand yarns (Hobby Lobby's brand). I kept coming back to the "Infatuation" line. I know I've been singing my praises of wool recently, but this stuff (100% Nylon) feels like down! So browsing turned to buying when I realized this yarn that is normally $8.88/skein was marked down to less than $6/skein. This is a picture of the stocking I'm working on. I remember now why I shy away from such frilly yarn... it is sooooo hard to see the stitches. I'm feeling my way through it though.

Monday, October 03, 2005


I've wanted to try this stocking pattern for quite a while. Many of the patterns I've seen on line look too 'crafty, but I really liked this one.

I actually got it off of Bernat's site ( You have to join, but it is free and they have several free patterns. However, I used some Cascade 220 Peruvian wool yarn that I picked up at my LYS yesterday. I let my 7 y/o son pick out the colors. The photo isn't quite as purple dinosaur as the real stocking!

This is a larger stocking (probably around 20" long) and a fun pattern to work. I started last night and finished up this morning.

Monday, September 26, 2005

felted bag class

I made this bag in a class at 'Yarns Unlimited' yesterday. I am very excited about the result as my first felting project. We used the Scandinavian felting method and made the bags in one piece. Paula was a great teacher, and I look forward to experimenting much more on my own. Wool roving is a very different media than straight-up wool. The roving I was working with was very soft. I still don't know whether or not I'm going to add handles to this bag or just keep it as-is.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

updated pic of the ponch

The poncho as it stands right now. Where the hell is my 'bark' yarn???? I'm ready to finish this, add the fringe and move on!!!!

Friday, September 16, 2005

The poncho pattern

Here is the link and the picture to the pattern for the poncho I am making.
Elise already knows that she will have to strike this pose everytime I see her wearing the poncho.

project "progress"

I've been swamped with family, work and red cross stuff, but thought I would touch base about my projects to stay 'accountable'. I will take a photo soon of some of the stuff I am working on.

The poncho is coming along slowly but surely. I add a row when I get a chance. I am actually at a point now where I am waiting for my LYS to call me for when my 'bark' yarn is in.

I'm working on a scarf at work (when I get a chance in a craft group) that is black red-heart yarn and a nice thin eyelash yarn that I used in a previous project. The wool poncho has started to turn me into a bit of a yarn snob. (!) The acryllic just doesn't feel right anymore. The scarf is more of a fun stress-reliever than true goal-oriented project.

Oh, and, yeah, I thought I would include the above picture of Mason just because I can relate...

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Red Cross Training

A few days ago, I received an email from our Center's 'Emergency Services' manager pleading for volunteers to train for Red Cross Disaster Relief certification. I felt it was the perfect way to feel productive in helping with the Katrina disaster. I completed the first day today and then tomorrow I'm going to learn about setting up and running an emergency shelter; Sunday I'm spending the day learning about RC family services.
Next week we are actually expecting around 60 evacuees to set up in a shelter on Indiana University Campus. The Red Cross retrofitted a dormitory that the University was gutting for updates. I also signed up to be a member of a disaster alert team locally. This way I can assist with helping victims and workers involved in local 'after hours' disasters such as fires.
I feel really good about the decision to get involved with the Red Cross. It seems like a good match with the skills and experience I have gained at my job in mental health.
Anyway, it will probably be next week before an update (or a chance to think about hobbies....)

Hope everyone is safe and well.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

email from Sherry

My friend Sherry sent me this email after I sent her my blog address. I think it is pretty funny!:

I love you and appreciate your ability to tell the world that you love to crochet.

I'm not sure whether to take this at face value or as a silly note. Could go either way with Sherry. ;)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

giant puffballs

We all decided to spend the afternoon at a nearby park yesterday. As we were leaving, something caught my eye out in the grass. I was excited to find a group of giant puffball mushrooms. I ended up with a plastic grocery bag full!
This morning, I washed a couple of the fungi, sliced them, peeled them, seasoned them and then browned them in olive oil and butter. These large slices were about the consistency of fried tofu, and DELICIOUS! I ended up sharing the rest with a guy I used to work with. We both have spent many tireless hours in search of the perfect edible mushrooms in this area. We often wondered why we had never found the giant puffballs since they are a pretty common mushroom.

Nick is an amazing cook, so I'm sure he makes something special with his.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Katrina devestation

Last night, I finally allowed myself to watch footage of New Orleans and surrounding areas. Without even letting myself think too deeply about how I would react if I was in the same situation with my family, my anxiety still went sky high. Since then, I have seen a video clip of a completely staged interaction between our pathetic president and supposed to be 'random' citizens on the street and a picture on Yahoo of a woman wrapped up in an american flag blanket to stay dry from the rain. Would you like some fries with your propoganda today????
As horrifying as this disaster is, I'm hoping the following good can surface during this crisis:

1) Americans give up their state of being 'Bushwhacked' and realize that our president is a self-centered con (still more worried about 'looting' than suffering and dying...)
2) We (as Americans) see that the devestation in other countries that we see is REAL and can happen to us. We need to unify and help each other out in this world.
3) We each find a way, no matter how small, to help someone out in crisis. I know it is more symbolic than practical, but I MUST find a way to do something positive for the victims of the hurricane.

And so my rant is over. This is just the tip of the iceberg of my feelings, but I kind of intended to keep this blog light....

Give to the red cross.

Friday, September 02, 2005

past, present, future

Past: Today I came across a bag of yarn and several old, uncompleted projects. I've got to finish Andy's monkey (from last Winter), Mason's blanket (from 1.5 years ago) and let go of some ugly hats that I started before. I hope I can find enough cotton yarn in the right colors to complete Mason's blanket!!!!

Present: Still loving the poncho. I'm also working on a tapestry inspired by "Crochet Dude". Someone gave me a bag full of granny squares in different levels of completion. I'm bordering them all in black and trying to arrange them in an artful fashion.

Future: Okay, I'm taking this as a sign. One of my coworkers brought in a box FULL of brand new knitting needles. I ended up with four or five complete sets of sizes 3-9 needles and three different circular knitting needles. I've never knitted before, but I'm really curious to try. I'm also strongly considering taking a felting class at a local yarn store.

I'm doing a pretty piss-poor job of setting limits with myself. What happened to one project at a time?!? ;)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I don't get much "free" time to crochet, but I've been squeezing it in where I can. In my opinion, the poncho is coming along really well though. I can't say enough about how much I love the wool I'm working with!

picture for my profile

I'm having problems with my profile picture, so I'm just going to go ahead and link it to HERE.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Mimi's Birthday

So, yesterday was Mimi's second birthday. She got some new DVD's, a Dora the Explorer doll, a barnyard play set, another doll, some clothes and other schtuff. Of course, Mason feels just as entitled to all of the toys (and will have equal access since they share a bedroom and playroom). The joys of having toddlers 8 months apart...

Andy was quite wound up, but did well for a day that focused on someone other than himself.

I've gotten a few more rows completed on the poncho, but I'm starting to freak out because there just isn't enough yarn!!! Guess I have a good reason to go back to the yarn shop this week! ;)

Happy Birthday Mimi!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

This is my current crochet project. It is a poncho for my good friend Elise. I'm using two strands of some nice wool yarn that I got at "Yarns Unlimited" here in Bloomington and a "N" hook. This is going to be a very heavy poncho!!!