Saturday, March 31, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday



ONE:  Religious Freedom is something that I treasure.  This week I blogged about the HHS Mandate and also about the Religious Freedom Rally that Catherine and I attended.  I do feel that this is an issue that all Americans should be concerned about--it isn't just a Catholic issue.

TWO:  I recently started a crochet project using crochet thread--which is a first for me.  The scarf is turning out to be quite lovely--if I do say so myself.  However, it is taking so long!  I actually began a baby blanket (with a thicker thread and bigger hook, of course) to feel like I was making progress on something.  I guess that I am just too impatient.

THREE:  Catherine has developed this adorable habit of "Cheers!"  I have no idea where she picked it up, but now whenever she is drinking and she spots someone else with a cup she goes over and clinks glasses.  It is so cute!

FOUR: I need to cull through my inbox.  There are quite a few messages piling up that "need attention".

FIVE:  Lent is almost over!

SIX:  One of the "learning time" activities that I do with Catherine every day is to go through a couple stacks of flashcards.  She is doing an excellent job of recognizing the pictures; when I ask her to find a particular one she generally is able to point it out.  One of the sets that  I got at the consignment sale is all insects--which she seems to like, but I actually find some of them kind of icky!  (Can you say cockroach?  Or earwig?  Or silverfish?)  Oh well, I guess if she likes bugs and such then she can be the one to get rid of them for me when she's a little older . . .

SEVEN:  I really am enjoying having a blog.  I am learning as I go--but I AM learning!  My little blog hit a big-for-me milestone this week.  I passed 10,000 page views (according to blogger).  Another cool milestone is that one of my crafty posts was featured on another blog!

PS: In other bloggy news, my first ever giveaway will be ending on April 2nd--so you should sign up if you haven't already!  ;-)

Check out more 7 Quick Takes here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Catherine is Taking on the Capitol!




After the Rally for Religious Freedom Catherine and I spent some time on the lawn in
 front of the United States Capitol.  It was a beautiful day!


The tulips were gorgeous! 


The Cherry Blossoms were breathtaking!

My little girl actually wanted to take a nap on a bed of Cherry Blossom petals.
However, there was too much activity, so she only laid down for about
thirty seconds before bouncing back up.





Religious Freedom Rally in Washington D.C. on March 23, 2012

This past Friday there were 143 rallies across the nation with a unified goal -- To Stand Up for Religious Freedom.  The most recent head count was over 60,000 concerned Americans.  Catherine and I are proud to be included in that number.  (I give a quick gloss why it's this is such an important issue here.)

We gathered in front of the Health and Human Services building on Independence Avenue, just down the street from the United States Capitol, around lunchtime.  At the beginning there were only a few hundred people, but the grand tally lies somewhere around 2,000.  I think that it is important to note that this number does not reflect the support given by those just passing by in a typical D.C. rush.  A couple of people were holding signs by the road that said "Honk for Religious Freedom" and other such sayings--all had a very clear point.  I was (pleasantly) amazed at how much honking occurred.  Catherine was not thrilled with being at the rally (it was nap-time) so we spent a great portion of it walking the perimeter, so we had a better opportunity than most to survey the crowd and the public's reception.

There were lots of women (like myself!) in attendance. 

Ditto, Lady. Ditto.

The center of the rally is past the edge of the photo on the left-hand side.  People made a giant circle all around the
speakers.  Due to the amount of people I never actually saw any of the speakers.  The air was cool, but the sun was hot
so many people pushed together in the shade of the building.

The outskirts of the rally--with a view of the Capitol Dome.

Yet another perspective of the crowd.  This time the center point is to the right-hand side.



Here are a few more links:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One Reason Why the HHS Mandate is Bad for ALL Americans

The HHS Mandate certainly has been in the spotlight lately.  The Catholic Church is doing what she can to fight it.

Many people mistakenly believe all the resistance to this mandate is due to the Catholic Church and her stance on contraception.  Now, I am a Catholic and I do stand with the Church.  However, even if I were an atheist or if I had zero objections to contraception I would still be siding with the Catholic Church on this one.  

Why?

Because this mandate clearly goes against the Freedom of Religion, which as an American I hold dear.  It is clearly trying to force a religious organization (the Catholic Church) to act in a manner opposed to its belief (paying for abortions/contraception).  This is a serious issue for all Americans, not just the Catholics.  


If you need a refresher, the First Amendment states:




Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .



But the President said there are exemptions, right?  So the Catholics are excluded if need be, right?  Yeah . . . The so called "exemptions" are so limited that Catholic schools, Catholic hospitals, Catholic charities, etc would be subject to participate.  Individuals in the general workforce would also be forced to comply with something in violation of their beliefs.  It isn't much of an exemption if most Catholics would still be forced to comply, is it?  In talking about this "exclusion" Charles Kadlek, contributor to Forbes, states: 
The insurance company will be required to offer the service, but will be forbidden from explicitly billing the Catholic organization for providing this benefit . . . the Church is still being forced to support what it believes are sinful acts. This “equitable solution” is simply an attempt to soften the blow of forcing the Catholic Church to accommodate the dictates of the . . . federal government.

My question to you is simple, how is my "being forced to support . . . sinful acts" not prohibiting my free exercise of religion?  Also it is worth noting that the above author also says:
I am not a Catholic, nor do I believe in the Church’s opposition to contraception. But I pray that the leadership of the Catholic Church will have the faith and courage to stand for its core beliefs and use all of its moral power and political influence to defeat the President’s edict. I pray they will reach out across the political spectrum to people of all faiths, agnostics and atheists in the name of religious freedom and individual liberty. By so doing, they, and the institution of the Catholic Church, will have my love and respect for the rest of my life.


My opposition to this mandate does not mean that I am trying to force other people to follow the my set of rules.  Richard W. Garnett recently had an article in USA TODAY, in which he made the following point:

The burdens on religious freedom and diversity imposed by the mandate have been obscured by several widespread mistakes and misconceptions. First, it is said by some that those who resist the mandate — the Catholic bishops make particularly appealing villains in this account — are trying to "impose their morality" on employees, or to "deny access" to items and services to which most people — indeed, many Catholics — have no objection. This charge is false. Religious institutions are not trying to control what their employees buy, use, or do in private; they are trying to avoid being conscripted by the government into paying for what they teach are immoral acts. It is the administration, and not the Catholic Church, that is imposing its values on the vulnerable and unpopular.


This is an important issue--for all Americans, no matter what their religious affiliation happens to be.  I am a Catholic American Woman, but I speak for men and women of all religions and non-religion.  




There is much at stake.






Stop the HHS Mandate--Sign the Petition




Further Food For Thought:
Six Things Everyone Should Know about the HHS Mandate

Timothy Dolan: HHS contraception mandate 'un-American'

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pot Holder Loom Weaving How To -- "Houndstooth"

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I've told you before how much I love making pot holders, so I decided to share the joy and show you how to make a Houndstooth pot holder.

One of my favorite patterns to make on my loom is this simple version of Houndstooth. I have also seen it referred to as a pinwheel.  Whatever you call it, this patterns looks classy and is super easy to make.

This pattern uses two colors--I am using pink and green.
Alternate two loops of green then two loops of pink across.

It can be helpful to hold up the loom and just focus on the sides.
Using the exact same pattern weave the loops though the first set--
two green and then two pink across.

Before finishing off the ends I like to flip the loom upside-down to make
sure that everything looks right.  If I don't like what I see at this point it is easy
to remove the loops and begin again.

The finished product!

UPDATE: I've had a couple people ask what loops I use.  I highly recommend these loops.  They are 100% cotton, extremely durable, and can be used to make functioning pieces.  


This post was a feature!
Check it out! 

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My entry into Strut Your Stuff sponsored by Appliances Online and the Bosch Washing Machines

A Crochet Basic: Granny Square Afghan

The Granny Square is one of the fundamental designs in crocheting.  Since I got back into crocheting I've been staying away from them--working on scarves, broaches, belts, and various other projects.  Way back when I made a few granny square blankets, but to my complete and utter frustration they weren't exactly what you'd call square.  The shape they most resembled was a butterfly.  Yeah, not exactly what one wants in a blanket.  They are nice to cozy up with, but don't present themselves as well as they should.

The biggest project (that I've completed) is a bed-sized afghan for my hubby.  It turned out fairly nicely--but still had quite a bit of the butterfly effect.

Well, now that I am back in the crocheting zone I decided to take a look at actual granny square patterns.  In the past I was working from a pattern given to me at a 4-H craft camp day.  Back then I was afraid of reading patterns so I worked primarily from oral instructions or pictures from library books.  What struck me immediately was that I had been using more chains between shells and in corners than any of the online patterns indicated.  (You have to check out this page of patterns--it's almost overwhelming and not in English, but there are so many cool things that I want to try!) Maybe the extra chains were helping to cause my "butterfly" shape?

With some of the yarn I picked up from Michael's I made this blue and cream afghan.  It could work as a baby blanket or a lap afghan.  I am pretty happy with how it turned out--it's a square!  I did cut down the number of chains--corners only had two and between each shell only had one.

It is a granny SQUARE!
There is the slightest bit of  "butterflying" but not much.
(By the way, it is very difficult in a small apartment to find a place to photgraph  an entire blanket laid flat.)

This is a close-up of the center of the afghan.  I do really like how the colors work together. 
For the edging I did two rows of single crochet all around.
The finished product!


Fine Craft Guild
I was featured!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

T.V. Medical Examiners--How Real Are They?

Two of the shows that I am currently working my way through--Body of Proof and Crossing Jordan--feature medical examiners.

So far I enjoy both shows--the characters are interesting, there are overarching themes, etc--but I have one major criticism: the medical examiner does EVERYONE's job.  It really seems that these shows make the ME out to be the lead detective, the interrogator, the one with the cuffs, the law, the judge, the jury, etc.  (Not to mention the various illegal activities that are performed in the name of finding the truth--breaking and entering, missing warrants, etc.)

Now, (obviously) I am not a medical examiner.  I have no intimate knowledge of what an ME's daily duties are.  I do very much appreciate the work that they do.  But are shows like these taking too much of a literary licence?  Does this belittle the actual work that they do perform?  Or, am I completely mistaken and they (to some degree) do perform everyone's job?

Do you know?

Thank you for reading my random topic of the day!  And please no spoilers--I hate knowing what happens beforehand! 

Wordless Wednesday (on Thursday)


Check out more of my precious girl:


PS: She put them on all by herself.  Mommy is so proud!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Liebster Award

I am honored to say that I received a blogging award!  Thank you to Sarah, over at All Things Blogs.


German word meaning "dearest or beloved"
The Liebster Award an award for bloggers, given by bloggers.  The special thing about this award is that it is just for an up and coming blog with 200 followers or less.  I certainly have less than 200 followers--and I appreciate each one of them--and I hope that I can be classifies as "up and coming"!  I certainly enjoy blogging and don't have any plans to stop anytime soon.




Now, for a quick pause for full disclosure--I did a bit of Googling (and Swagbucking) to see if I could find the origin of this award.  And I couldn't.  This leads me to believe that it is somewhat of scam or "blogging's answer to the chain letter" as Ruth put it.  Also, as Heck of a Guy points out, "The Award is of recent origin. If each winner required a month to re-reward the Liebster, after one year more than 89762301673555230720 blogs would be flashing the Liebster prize."  Yeah . . . However, I can find no fault in highlighting other blogs that I like who happen to have a smaller following. So I will continue.




Here are the rules for this award:


1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog
2. Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog
4.  Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed
5. Let them know they've been chosen by emailing/commenting on their blog.


I must admit, it took me a little while to come up with these five.  I read quite a few blogs--my Google Reader is chock full of them--but most of them have pushed past the 200 followers mark.  Most of those that haven't are the more personal blogs of friends and loved ones.  Here are five that I like that are at least close to the parameters of this "award":




A note to awardees--I will not be offended at all if you don't wish to continue this chain, err, present this award to others, but I decided to do it for fun--at the worst it's a little free publicity for you.


Siestas and Sewing
Cindy has some mad sewing skills.  I came across her looking through a crafty link party.  I love that she even makes her kids super cute swimsuits.  



If you read my blog at all you know I love to crochet--Kara's blog is a fun place for tips, inspiration, how to's, and a great place to party


Tiffany has a great list of pattern companies, a page of giveaways, besides being a talented seamstress--just check out this purse!



Schmitty's Soapbox
While Schmitty and I don't necessarily have the same taste in music and movies, we do have some overlaps and I am always curious to see what he has to say.  Besides, you have to love a guy that encourages you to watch The Princess Bride and simultaneously endorses heavy metal.  




For #5, I will mention two blogs by one blogger, Liz.  Frugally Blonde and the only one of its kind, Catholic Deals are both awesome resources for the budget conscientious.  Frugally Blonde is the blog that got me serious about couponing.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Shades of Green Belt


I found one lonely ball of this green variegated yarn in my local dollar store.  With a little over a hundred yards it had slightly limited potential.  But I thought it was a fun yarn and that I could do something cool with it!  While at Michael's with my sister earlier this month I picked up some simple D Rings (with a coupon, of course!).  When I got home and was putting away my new goodies I decided that the green yarn would make a perfect belt.



And a new project was born.



I really like this combination shell and v stitch pattern.  I first came across it in this book, but here is an online resource.  The yarn used for the belt is a much heavier weight than in either example.

I had some serious trial and error in the begging of making this belt.  I had never used D Rings before, and I completely forgot to leave them "wiggle room".  Luckily, I only had about ten inches or so done before I tested it.  (Basically, there was no way for the belt threaded through the rings to lay flat--certainly not an attractive look!)  Of course, it was super easy to unravel and start again.  The second time I used a larger crochet hook as a spacer.  That helped massively.



To make a similar belt:

1. Work 5 stitches around D Rings (AND A SPACER!).
2. Chain 1, turn.  Work row of single stitches.
3. Chain 3.  Make shell in first single crochet.  (Shell=2 double crochet, chain 1, 2 double crochet)  Skip 3 stitches, make shell in last stitch.
4. Chain 3.  Work shell into space on shell (the chain stitch portion).  Repeat with second shell.
5. Repeat step 4 until desired length.


Don't forget about my first ever giveaway

Check out these awesome parties!




My entry into Just Something I Whipped Up sponsored by Appliances Online and the Bosch Washing Machines

My entry into A Crafty Soiree sponsored by Appliances Online and the Bosch Washing Machines.

7 Quick Takes Friday (On Monday)


ONE: Is it summer already?  No?  It's just mid-March!?!?  I've worn shorts a couple of times this week.  And I even turned the AC on (more than once).


TWO:  March is filled with family birthdays: my brother-in-law, my Godson, a (couple) of cousin(s), and last--but certainly not least (to me, anyways!)--my hubby's!  (I feel like I might even be missing a couple of people's birthdays . . .  And, of course we have a backed up pile of gifts sitting in our apartment.)


THREE:  I was lucky to be able to attend the Catholic Consignment Sale in Ashburn, VA.  A good friend and I (and Catherine too!) made the trek out there for some good deals.  I am pretty happy with my haul!  Everything looks new or very gently used.  I got all of this for less than 25 bucks:
Stride Right gym shoes, 2 Old Navy swim suits, Old Navy yoga pants, skirt, and dress, a sweater from
Gymboree, sandals, pj's, flashcards, sippy cups, and a set of play dishes that Catherine
won't put down pretty much round out the trip.  



FOUR:  I've been crocheting a variety of flowers this week, but my big project is this baby blanket I started.  I love this yarn!  I am also really liking the stitch pattern with the color variation.




FIVE:  I miss treats from the break room at work.


SIX:  Catherine has just begun to have an opinion on what she wears.  Unfortunately, her favorite items of clothing seem to be her pajamas.  She may have worn them for an entire day or two this week . . .   The other day I picked out a shirt and here's how she matched it with bottoms:

Shirt, skirt, pants, and a (hair) scarf round out her stylish garb.
And she managed to snag my phone.



SEVEN:  In honor of St. Patrick's Day:
I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgment Day.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.
I bind to myself today
God's Power to guide me,
God's Might to uphold me,
God's Wisdom to teach me,
God's Eye to watch over me,
God's Ear to hear me,
God's Word to give me speech,
God's Hand to guide me,
God's Way to lie before me,
God's Shield to shelter me,
God's Host to secure me,
   Against the snares of demons,
   Against the seductions of vices,
   Against the lusts of nature,
   Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
      Whether far or near,
      Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort, [i.e., at home]
Christ in the chariot seat, [i.e., travelling by land]
Christ in the stern. [i.e., travelling by water]

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

Source 


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday -- Catherine and My "Vintage" Kitchen



While visiting my family in Kentucky we had to spend some quality time in the basement due to the tragic tornadoes just miles away.  Catherine took this opportunity to check out a lot of the toys from my childhood.  This Little Tykes Play Kitchen was one of my prides and joys.  It is not in pristine shape, but she loved it.  Someday I look forward to bringing this toy into my house--but not until we have more space.  A lot more space!


Check out more Wordless Wednesdays here

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Thumb Up for TSA & Thumb Down for US Airways

Any long distance traveling with a little one can be an adventure, air travel especially so!  There are so many points that are hard on a toddler--waiting is not their specialty and that's pretty much all that happens when flying on a plane!

Source: Tim Beach
From: www.freedigitalphotos.net
Waiting in line to check the carseat.

Waiting in line at security.

Waiting in line for trams to outlying terminals.

Waiting to board the plane.

Waiting to taxi.

Waiting to take off.

Waiting to depart the plane.

Waiting for valet bag.

Waiting for checked bag (carseat).

Catherine's previous flying experience was excellent--and Delta and the TSA played a pivotal part in that.  This trip was so-so.

Once again I scored a cheap deal on Orbitz.  However, this time we had a connecting flight instead of a direct flight; we were traveling from Baltimore (BWI) to Philadelphia (PHL) and then to Cincinnati (CVG). 

The security line was relatively short, and although we were in line briefly it moved quickly.  Our TSA screener at BWI was excellent.  He was both courteous and helpful.   Catherine was very hesitant to walk through the metal detector alone so we were able to walk through together.  He was also helpful in assisting me in getting my stuff out of the way of other travelers to keep the line running smoothly.  (It takes so much more time and effort to put on shoes, a coat, and throw a diaper bag over your shoulder with a toddler alternately hanging on for dear life and curiously peeking behind desks, screens, and other equipment!)

Source: Suphakit73
From: www.freedigitalphotos.net 
Our gate was way back in an almost deserted terminal.  Which was perfect for us!  Catherine and I could wander around without bothering anyone.   We passed time by going up one escalator and down another.  It was like a miniature amusement park ride!  I think only one or two people saw us doing this, and while they might have thought I was crazy I was very pleased to have such cheap and easy entertainment.

The gate agent made sure I had my yellow valet tag for my carry on before actually boarding.  I thought that was nice because it would have been a pain to get it while actively boarding.  There really are only so many things a mom can juggle at a time!  (I do love that the smaller commuter planes have this system of leaving a bag by the side of the plane--it is nice to not have to check something but also not have to worry about stuffing it under a seat or in an overhead bin.)

The flight to Philly was super short, so short that they don't even offer you a beverage.

When Catherine and I arrived in Philadelphia we found our gate and had some lunch.  We were only supposed to have about an hour before boarding our next plane.  I thought that would be perfect--we could have some food, I could change Catherine's diaper in the much larger airport bathrooms, and we would be able to stretch our legs for the flight to Cincinnati.  Everything was going very well, Catherine even made some friends with the other passengers waiting in the gate area.

Then it was past our original boarding time.

Then it was past our original departure time.

Finally, the gate agent came over to the podium (she didn't really stay near the gate) and said that she thinks the plane needed maintenance, but did not offer any definitive explanation or an indication of how long we would need to wait.

A short while later I got a flight update text from Orbitz with a new departure time--only an hour past the original time.  Then I got another text with a later time.  I received a third text with yet another time.  All of the texts came before the gate agent announced anything other than her one extremely vague statement. 

Finally the agent came back to the gate and announced that the plane had indeed needed maintenance, but that there was paperwork that still needed to be signed off on, and that even though we had a pilot we didn't have a flight attendant.  She gave a departure time that matched the first text I received.

That time came.

That time went.

We weren't on the plane.

We kept waiting.  People were becoming more and more disgruntled.  Catherine continued smiling and waving to everyone.  But she was starting to get a little cranky too.    

A new gate agent showed up.  Travelers were trying to switch to other flights.  People were starting to become unfriendly.

Then out of the blue they started boarding!

It took Catherine about twenty minutes to wind down once we were on the plane.  Eventually she fell asleep and slept until we landed.  I finally was able to relax and read my Kindle.  We walked towards the baggage area and met my parents and then picked up the carseat.

*********

Now, in no way is this a horror story.  We made it to our final destination only a little less than three hours late. Our carseat and all baggage arrived with us in the condition we checked it.  Everything was fine. Obviously, If the plane needed maintenance I certainly wanted it to be done well and was willing to wait for things to be thoroughly checked out and documented.  I am willing to endure some inconveniences for safety's sake.

However.

The was a stark difference between the two trips that Catherine and I made and it really boils down to customer care and service.

US Airways failed to communicate with its passengers.  We were left in the dark as to what was happening.  There were very few announcements.  (I got most of my information from the Orbitz texts.)  People didn't know if they needed to stay in the immediate area or if they could go to one of the restaurants and order a meal (or a drink).  The first gate agent was barely around.  Everything seemed unorganized and rather haphazard.  The gate agent didn't change the sign (with flight number, boarding time, and departure time) until just minutes before we boarded--and it ended up having the incorrect time anyways!  The pilot was the first and only person to mention and apologize for any inconvenience.

While it wasn't a terrible experience, it certainly was enough to make me give preference to non-US Airways flights in the future.




Monday, March 12, 2012

My First Giveaway! (NOW CLOSED)

That's right, I am hosting a giveaway!

It's nothing grandiose, but you could win this beautiful pair of earrings!





These super versatile earnings could be paired with either jeans or a nice black dress.  Wear them to your child's play date or a night on the town.


All you have to do to enter is follow this blog.  However, you must leave me a comment letting me know how you follow!  Please make sure that I have a way to contact you if you win--either leave your email in the comment or make sure your profile has a link to your email.

The winner will be picked at random on April 2nd and have 48 hours to respond to my email.  If I don't hear from the winner by that time a new winner will be drawn.

Crocheted Rose Brooch Pattern


Crocheted rose brooch pins can add feminine charm to just about anything!  Add them to a winter coat, or a sweater, or a blazer, or a handbag, or a headband, or a dress,  or . . . all kinds of things!

There are hundreds, even thousands of patterns out there for crocheted roses.  I scoured the internet and library books for one that worked best for me.  Eventually, I combined various techniques and ideas and came up with the following.  (Of course, since some of the differences are subtle it is kind of difficult to say it is completely original!)

*****

I've never tried to write out a pattern for anyone to understand but myself, so please let me know if something is unclear--or just wrong!

Here is what I do to make a crocheted rose brooch:

Step 4 -- This is how the back
should look when you twirl
the rose into shape.  It happens
fairly naturally.
  1. Chain 42.
  2. Double crochet in 4th chain from hook. Chain one. *Double crochet in next stitch. Chain one.* Repeat till end.
  3. Chain one.  Turn.  In the space *single crochet, chain one, 5 double crochet, chain one, single crochet*.  Between the * * makes one petal.  Single crochet in next space.  Alternate petals and single crochet until end.  Fasten off. 
  4. Twirl into rose shape.  (I like to fold the first two petals together and then wrap the remainder around.)
  5. Use needle and thread to secure.  (Make sure to catch all petals.  I tend to use the yarn tails to hold the basic shape first and then go back through with the needle and thread.  I want these to be very durable and secure!)
  6. For the backing:  Chain 5.  Slip stitch to make loop. 
  7. Ten single crochets in loop.  Slip stitch.
  8. Chain one.  Two single crochets in every stitch.  Fasten off.
  9. Sew brooch pin to backing.  
  10. Sew backing to rose.  
  11. Enjoy!


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Sunday, March 11, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday . . . errr, Sunday

Okay, so I am a little bit behind.  I was out of town visiting with my family in Kentucky.  It was a busy and fun filled trip.  I am sorry that I don't have pictures to share today.  



ONE:  We had a blast playing laser tag at Lazer Kraze!  And, believe it or not, I was the high scorer of the night so I won a free t-shirt!  It really was a fluke.  We went on night that was ten bucks from 6-9 and were able to play six games and for one game I was on fire.  I think that we will be going there again!


TWO: We attended an arena football game.  Go Cincinnati Commandos!  I've been to one before, but this time my hubby was also able to come.  It was great.  We even tailgated before the game.  My Dad, brother, and cousin are season ticket holders and always have a good time at the games.


THREE: Have you ever had fried cheese sticks?  If they come out of a box they DON'T count.  Oh my gosh.  If you are ever in Cincinnati you have to try Arthur's fried cheese.  It is award winning battered provolone pure deliciousness.  My family and uncle have gone there for years (and only order cheese, a basket of fries, and drinks).  It might be a heart attack on a plate, but it is totally worth it!


FOUR: There is more about the trip that I'd like to talk (a.k.a. blog!) about.  The Newport Aquarium and mine and Catherine's flying experience are two events that deserve a more in-depth post!


FIVE: My sister and I went to Michael's twice.  (Okay, I might have somewhat dragged her there . . . thanks, Sis!)  I miss having that store close by.  We live in a super-metropolitan area but there isn't one very near--and it takes forever to get there due to the never ending traffic.  I was super happy to find some nice yarn on clearance.  I was also happy to use a couple of those handy 40% off coupons for a couple of miscellaneous items I've been wanting.  I am a happy crafter.  (Now, if I would just hear back about that spring craft show . . . )


SIX: I've joined Pinterest.  I'm not totally loving it yet, but it seems that many bloggers highly endorse it--both as a fun thing and as a blogging tool.  So I guess that I will give it a shot!  If I decide that I don't like it I can always delete my account.  Feel free to check me out.


SEVEN: As fun as vacationing and visiting with family can be there is something nice about being home.  To be utterly non-eloquent, there is just something right about it.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Girlie and Graceful Crochet Ruffle Scarf Pattern


Here's a fun crocheted scarf that I designed on a whim.  At first I had wanted to make a fun crocheted twisty ruffle scarf like this one in my Etsy shop.  However, I didn't think that I had enough yarn.  (Twisty scarves use a surprising amount of yarn!)  But I really wanted something with a little bit of a ruffle AND I wanted it to be long.  I love long scarves.


So, this is what I came up with!  First I made a skinny scarf using double crochet just a tad shorter than I wanted.  I believe that both of the scarves pictured are less than 15 stitches wide.  Then I double crocheted all around the skinny scarf putting two stitches in every spaces.  I did a second row of double crochet all around alternating two stitches in one space, two stitches in one space, one stitch in one space.  It was finished off with a row of single crochet.  How's that for a super simple pattern?


This is an incredibly versatile basic pattern that I've done twice so far -- and I am sure that I am going to use it again!  The ruffle can be just barely there, or almost twisty all depending on how many stitches are done in the same space and the number of rows.  The main body can be super skinny or thick.   It could be a winter scarf using a heavier yarn or an all year round accessory using a lighter specialty yarn.  The possibilities are endless!


So what do you think?  Are you going to try to make a Girlie and Graceful Crochet Ruffle Scarf?  I'd love to hear about it if you do!


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