Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Greg Brady and Princess

When I was young, we didn’t go all out for Halloween. I remember the first time that I actually dressed up for Halloween; I was in about 6th grade. I had a lot of fun dressing up and trying to figure out my costume.

When my daughter was born, I loved planning her costume way in advance and would dress her up and take her out to the homes of friends and family. When she got a little older, she would get together with her friends, and they would walk around our neighborhood; we all knew each other, and it was good.

Then when Joshua was born, I had a full time job and didn’t really get into Halloween as much, but my daughter kept up the tradition of finding costumes for him. She would take him to the Goodwill, and they would create costumes from old clothes and have a ball.

I don't think Jennifer will never grow out of the dress up part. In the picture above, Joshua was supposed to be Greg Brady, and Jennifer was a princess. She still wants to dress up, but now she dresses her daughter up and continues the tradition of finding just the right costume for My Megan.

Tell me about your Halloween traditions.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Free Pattern Friday: Homey Pillows Crochet Pattern

Homey Pillows

When I saw this free Homey Pillows Crochet Pattern, I thought of using another sweater for the pillow part and cotton crochet yarn for the house. We’ll see what happens. I can’t wait to get started on it.

My Yarn Choices

Here’s what I’m going to use for mine. I can’t wait to hear what you are going to use. Have some fun with it. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wool Sweaters

Now that the weather is getting cooler, I’m thinking about sweaters and layers. I have to layer here in Wichita because it’s very cool in the mornings and by afternoon it’s quite warm. Anyway, I love to pick up sweaters at the second hand stores, and I especially like the wool ones. Since we don’t have really harsh of winters here (cross my fingers!), we don’t seem to have a lot of wool sweaters in the second hand stores or maybe Cass Carson has bought them all for her bags? Ha! Ha! Anyway when I find a wool sweater, I snatch it up. I found this one:

Wool Inserts

I noticed that while I was carrying it in the store, someone was following me. I looked up, and there was a lady standing there who asked me if I was going to buy the sweater, and I told her “yes” (that would be why I’m carrying it around the store with me, duh!). Then, she asked what I was going to do with it, and I told her I didn’t know for sure, but whatever it was, it was going to be cool. So far, I have used it for the inserts in the Free Pattern Friday Stitcher’s Companions and this:

Sweater Sleeve

Can you guess what this is?

Double Ended Hook Case

It’s a case for my crochet on the double hooks. These are so cool, but they needed a place to stay, so I cut the sleeve off of the sweater, seamed the end up, and put a tie at the top (or cuff) of the sweater sleeve. I love the colors of the sweater, and I love my little case.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Crochet Totes and Accessories

Crochet Totes and Accessories

Look at the new book I found called Crochet Totes and Accessories. It has crocheted bags of all kinds.

Lingerie Bag

This really caught my eye. You know I do need to replace my old clothespin apron with something a little more……crocheted. I think this lingerie bag could be just the right thing for a clothespin bag. I just love all of the funky designs and the way the book is laid out. It’s very vintage or anthropology like. Way to go Lean Maikon and Leisure Arts.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Joshua’s Surprise 18th Birthday Party

Surprised Joshua

Since Joshua was sick on his birthday, we decided to have a little surprise party for him on Sunday. I called one of his friends and got the phone numbers for some of his other friends, and my husband called all of them to arrange for them to come over on Sunday around 2:00. My husband thinks he’s so sneaky when he’s planning surprises. He wrote a large note and put it on the fridge saying, “Don’t plan on doing anything on Sunday afternoon.” Joshua is pretty perceptive and had an idea that something was going to happen, but he didn’t know quite what.

Joshua and Friends

Anyway, five of his friends arrived at the same time and two more arrived later.

Joshuas Cake

They stayed for a couple of hours, and we had cake and ice cream and sang "Happy Birthday" to him.


My mom and dad decided to come and join in the festivities, and I think they regretted it later, what with eight teenagers in the same house. Ha! Ha! I captured this cute little picture of Joshua and his grandma. She told the kids that he was one of her favorite grandsons. But since she is such a good grandma, she said she couldn’t play favorites because she has seven grandsons. I love this picture of my mother and Joshua.

Monday, October 26, 2009

First Day of Quilt Market

I had the booths that I wanted to visit all marked on my map. I had each booth highlighted and names beside them. Since we would only be at the market one day, we had to make the most of it. Everything was going fine until I came to my most favorite booth ever.

Michelle and Me

Michelle and Lori from “Dusty’s Vintage Linen and Buttons” are so much fun, and I spent entirely too much time in their booth. On the other side of the red buttons were turquoise and pink.

Fun Finds at Market

Here’s the buttons that I had to have, along with some trims that I found at another booth, and fabric from our Quilt Shop Tour.

Leisure Arts Ladies

Then I dropped by and visited with some more of my favorite people: Pam, Cheryl, and Susan from Leisure Arts. Their booth was very nice, and they were getting ready to do a book signing. I left there still trying to stay focused on visiting my highlighted booths.

Moda Booth

Then, we found this photo-op, and we couldn’t resist. Moda always does such a neat job with their booths.

Holly and Sandy

Next, we stumbled on to more friends from the Salt Lake City area. Holly and Sandy have a quilt shop in Jordan, Utah. I loved the paper dolls. They brought back memories of playing with paper dolls as a kid. Did any of you ever play with the paper dolls in the back of McCall’s magazine?

Drew and Me Houston

I was still trying to stay focused, and look who we ran into. It’s the Crochet Dude, Drew Emborsky. He was so kind to pose with me and allow me to blog about him. Has everyone seen his new books, published by Leisure Arts?

Mary Jane Butters and Me

Still on a mission to stay on track, I ran into another one of my favorite celebrities: Mary Jane Butters. She’s the Martha Stewart of everything "farm girl". She even has a monthly magazine Mary Jane’s Farm. I introduced myself to her and within five minutes, we were digging in my bag looking at my buttons from “Dusty’s Vintage Linen and Buttons”. Of course we also talked about crochet. I sent her over to Michelle’s booth and walked away. I told my sister and Steph that I had just met Mary Jane, and they asked if I got my picture with her and I said, NO, but I knew where I could find her. As you can see I did meet back up with her, and she was so gracious and posed for a picture with me. Mary Jane also has a fabric line with Andover Fabrics.

I got a little off track there and decided to try and catch up with where I needed to be next. I think I visited almost all the booths that I planned on visiting and some extra and all in all it was a great day of catching up with old and new friends.

Me Leaving the Convention Center

Our last stop was at the Simplicity Creative Groups booth, and I can’t wait to tell you all about what’s in the sacks. Stay tuned……

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Friday Schoolhouses

This was the first Quilt Market that Jackie and I had gone to that we actually got to go to the schoolhouse presentations. Schoolhouse consists of the designers or vendors showing a room full of shop owners what they have that’s new. It’s a little mini presentation of 15 or 30 minutes. Of course, you have to make sure you choose the people you want to see and then try and get from classroom to classroom in a huge crowd of people before the next one starts. I had my plan of attack all mapped out, and I took Steph with me.

Anna Maria Horner

I chose to sit in on Anna Maria Horner’s schoolhouse, and she has some really cool fabrics and patterns coming out.

Waiting on Amy Butler

This is a picture of us waiting for Amy Butler’s schoolhouse to start and right before my necklace broke. We were fortunate enough to meet Amy and her husband at Spring Market in Salt Lake City. We got to talk with her every day of the market, and she’s as sweet as she looks!

Amy Butler and Me

Amy’s always willing to allow me to take a picture with her, and I love all her new fabrics and patterns, especially her new line of vinyl.

Heather Bailey

Then, it was off to see Heather Bailey. I also love all her new projects and new fabric lines. She’s very nice, too.

Elizabeth and Pam

As we were leaving the convention center for the day, we met up with a couple of our favorite people: Elizabeth and Pam. We met them in Salt Lake City and have been friends ever since. We keep up with each other’s blogs.

Coming Soon! First day of Market....

Friday, October 23, 2009

Free Pattern Friday: Lovely Table Set Crochet Pattern

Lovely table set

I chose this Lovely Table Set crochet pattern because I’ve wanted to try crocheting with fabric strips.

Strips of Fabric

I’ve actually been saving up some strips of fabric, so that when I found a pattern I wanted to try out, I would have the strips already cut. Now, all I have to do is tie them together and start crocheting.

This pattern is small and looks like it will be easy and fast to do. I hope you have fun with it. How many of you have already tried to crochet with fabric? Tell me about what you’ve made with your strips of fabric.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

First Day in Houston

We left for Houston on Wednesday and drove all day. Arriving at our hotel just in time for dinner, and we chose to eat at this fantastic Chinese restaurant that we found last year. It was just two blocks from our hotel and within walking distance. I can’t remember the name, and I don’t know why I didn’t take pictures. Oh well, maybe next year. We knew the place was good because all the police officers eat there, and we felt a little safer because of it. Ha! Ha!

Jackie and I in Katy Texas

The next morning, we were scheduled for a Quilt Shop Bus Tour. Our first stop was Katy, Texas, and the quilt shop was in a cute cottage built in the 1930s or 40s. The kitchen was pink and blue, and it had stacks of fabric in built-in cabinets with glass fronts. Oh my gosh, it was so cute. But do you think I could’ve taken a picture? No. The bathroom was cool, too.

Jackies Patterns

The shop owner even carries two of Jackie’s patterns: “Britches and Bloomers” and the “Cute As a Button Baby Jacket”.

Jackie and Steph carrying Junk Bag

Jackie and Steph were carrying around Jackie’s newest pattern “The Junk Bag”. Of course, since Steph loves Bling, she made hers with all things that bling.

Crochet Lace in Window

Our second stop was in another town that I can’t remember the name of, but it was in a little strip of houses along the side of the road. I just loved the crocheted trim hanging in the windows.

Filet Crochet at the Cowboy Ranch

Our third stop was at a working cowboy ranch where we ate barbecue for lunch in a barn. We even got to take a tour of one of homes that had been built there in the early 1900s. There were lots of cool crochet pieces, but this one just caught my eye.

Watch for my future adventures in Houston coming soon………

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Turning 18

One Year Old

How did this happen? Joshua went from this one year old to first grade in just a flash.

First day of First Grade

Then, almost like overnight, he turned into this handsome young man of 18.

18 Year Old

Joshua turned 18 on October 13th, and he was sick the whole day. He could hardly get out of bed to eat. I felt so bad for him. I had taken a few days off after being at the Quilt Market and was able to nurse him back to good health. I remembered all the times when he was sick when he was just a baby and how my daughter and I would take turns rocking him and as soon as he found that he had a voice, he learned to hum himself to sleep. He listens to music to wake, while he’s reading, when he does homework, when he showers, and when he falls asleep. He breathes music. On his 18th birthday, he didn’t even listen to music. That’s how I knew he didn’t feel well since he doesn’t complain about what hurts him. Anyway, he’s feeling better with my nursing, some antibiotics, and Mucinex. We didn’t get to celebrate his birthday on Tuesday, but we’re planning a surprise party for him on Sunday, and it should be lots of fun.

Happy Belated Birthday, My Joshua!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Susan Bates or Boye?

I was wondering how many people prefer one brand of crochet hooks over the other? I was a Boye lover until I decided one day to use a Susan Bates hook on some yarn that seemed a little sticky and wanted to get hung up on my Boye hook. Well, now I’m confused and a little excited. The Susan Bates hook worked perfectly with that yarn. I talked to my friend Rosina, and she said that she prefers the Boye hooks, but also finds herself picking up a Susan Bates hook to use on certain yarns, and they have worked for her, too. (Rosina did warn me that certain hooks have a little bit different sizing to them, so if you start out on a project with a Susan Bates hook or a Boye hook, you should end with whichever one you started out with.) I have another friend that has gotten rid of all of her Boye hooks and prefers Susan Bates only now.

Susan Bates Hooks

I know you probably think I went overboard on the Susan Bates hooks, but Hobby Lobby had all their crochet and knitting accessories for 40% off this week, and I couldn’t resist picking up one in each size. Because you never know when another sticky and separating yarn will come along, and I think I’m going to have make another hook case just for the Susan Bates Hooks. What do you think? Please tell me what your preferences are and why.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Jackie’s Crochet Trimmed Quilt

Crochet Trimmed Quilt

You asked for it and look what my nieces spent part of their Sunday afternoon doing for me.

Baby Ava and Grammy

They took pictures of baby Ava (Jackie’s granddaughter and my great niece) and the crochet trimmed quilt that Grammy Jackie made for her. I know this had to be a challenge because Ava is now walking, and I’m sure she didn’t want to stay on anyone's lap that long.

Angie and Emilee

Thank you, Angie and Emilee for spending a portion of your Sunday taking pictures for the blog. (I know you needed a reason to take pictures of such a cute little baby!) Ha! Ha!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Free Pattern Friday: Holiday Potholders Crochet Patterns

Holiday Potholders Crochet Pattern

I know you probably think that it’s too early to start Christmas, but most crocheters that make their gifts have already started theirs by now. When I used to make all my gifts for Christmas, I started in July, and by Thanksgiving, I was done. Man, I was organized back then!

Anyway, I chose this Holiday Potholders crochet pattern for those of you who want some instant gratification after making that tablecloth, afghan, or sweater.

Holiday Potholders pattern

These were a lot of fun to make and very fast and easy. What do you think of my version above? These are my Christmas colors. Tell me what colors you would like to use.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Husband the Mole Chaser

Mole Chaser

This was my view from my chair the other Saturday. It brought back memories of the first time I saw Caddy Shack with Bill Murray chasing the gopher all over the golf course.

I remember growing up, my dad would set traps for moles and gophers and would catch a lot of them. But when I moved from my childhood home in the country into my own home in the city, I didn’t think the moles would come with me. I was wrong. I’ve lived in the same house for thirty years now, and the whole time we’ve lived here, we’ve had moles invade our yard. Does anyone else have this problem?

My husband decided he was going to be the exterminator of the moles. One day, I came home from work and found his van running with the garden hose stuck into the exhaust and the other end in the ground where the mole run was. I almost died laughing. This was only one of the things that he’s used to try to take care of the mole situation. He thinks that the new “Mole Chaser” method will be the ticket. I’m not so sure, but we’ve had a good laugh about it, and it’s a good thing my husband is such a good sport and patient man.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

First Doily I Ever Made

First Doily

When I decided I wanted to take up crochet again (29 years ago), I went to my mom’s house. I asked her if she had any books or thread that she wasn’t using. Being a good mom, she said, “Yes, and, by the way, here are a few doilies I started and just didn’t want to finish.” I started with the round one and then moved on to the oval one. My mom was smart in giving me those UFO’s so that I could try thread crochet before I went out and spent a lot of money on thread and hooks without knowing if I liked it or not. The doily is not perfect, but it was an experience that I won’t soon forget. With wrapping your thread around a tiny steel crochet hook like 8 or 9 times? I thought I would never finish it, but I kept at it and did finish it. It seemed like I couldn’t get enough of thread crochet.

Wheat Doily

The oval doily was a little more difficult, but it was fun once I figured out where I kept making my mistake, and I’ve made several of these out of size 10 and 20 thread. It’s called a “wheat doily”.

My mom knew how much fun I was having with it and ordered me a subscription to Magic Crochet. I loved the books and would try and complete at least one of each doily that was in the book before the next one would arrive. I miss Magic Crochet and wonder if anyone else misses it also? Thanks Mom for getting me hooked on crochet thread.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Update on Susan the Die Hard Knitter

Susan Crocheting

I visited the yarn shop last weekend and found that my friend Susan (who you might remember from an earlier blog) has started running the LYS on Saturday evening so the owner (Shelly) can go home and be with her family. Isn’t that so nice of Susan?

Anyway I was relaxing and visiting with some of my friends, and Susan had a break and decided to sit down and get some pointers from me on crochet while I was there. Since Susan was born in England, she learned to crochet with British terms. She wanted to know the names of the stitches as she was crocheting. I was glad to visit with her and explain the stitches to her. She was moving right along, and I went to talk to someone else. When I came back, she stopped and was looking at her scarf, and it was coming out smaller on one side. I told her she hadn’t finished out her rows, and I told her that she should rip it out.

Susan Ripping Out

She gladly showed me how she knew how to do that and started over again. Her goal is to practice enough to be able to make the cow purse that I showed in my earlier blog on “Another Saturday at Tamara’s”. I can’t wait to see what she’s up to now. I’ll keep you posted.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Joshua’s Button on his Shorts

Note to Me

This is the note that I found in the place where I crochet each morning.

Short Button

I know you’re going to tell me that I need to teach him how to sew the button on himself. But I can’t help it. I can’t resist doing nice things for such a handsome and funny young man named Joshua.

My Joshua

Besides that he said “love you” with a happy mouth and eyes, with the words “please, please”. He just makes me smile!!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Free Pattern Friday: Stitcher’s Companions Crochet Patterns

Stitchers Companion Crochet Pattern

I chose these Stitcher's Companions crochet patterns in case someone would like to make some of them up for Christmas gifts for your crafty friends.

Stitchers Companions pattern

My yarn of choice for my Stitcher's Companions (see above) was a size 3 cotton yarn that I had left over from “Tamara’s Tale” (my CGOA design contest piece). Of course, when I ran out of yarn while making it, I over ordered and have a quite a bit of it left over. So you’ll probably see lots of little things made from this yarn. I also chose to line my pincushion and needle case with part of a felted wool sweater, and I used a 1/2" strip of fabric for my ribbon inserts.

There are lots of different ways to use these patterns. Just have fun with them. I'd love to hear about your plans for “Stitcher’s Companions”.