22 October 2018

Snowflake Monday

Seven-Pointers for My Parents' 50th Anniversary

Today's pattern is the second of my mom's gift collection I fell in love with after making the 7-point big brother. Some of the design concepts in this snowflake were echoed in other flakes throughout the 50-flake journey. Journey because I finished about 30 of the flakes during our drive to California to celebrate with my family.

Here's my portable snowflake factory, which I set up in each night in our hotel room, then put away each morning so the housekeeping staff wouldn't think it was the previous night's dinner in need of a trash can.








All but one family member was able to join in the Golden Anniversary celebration. I really love how today's pattern echoes a gathering!

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!


Finished Size: 4 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Gathering Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in ring, [ch 1, 3 dc in ring] 5 times; 1 hdc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 1 sp of Round.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), [1 dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 6, 1 dc in same sp] 5 times; 1 dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 3, 1 tr in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 6 sp of Round.

Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of tr directly below, [ch 10, 3 dc in next ch 6 sp, ch 3, 3 dc in same sp] 5 times; ch 10, 3 dc in next ch 6 sp, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 4: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc over post of dc directly below, [ch 8, 2 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, 2 dc in same sp] 5 times; ch 8, 2 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 5: Ch 12 (counts as 1 dc and [ch 10), 1 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, 1 dc in same sp] 5 times; ch 10, 1 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 12 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 6: 1 sc over post of dc directly below, [ch 6, 1 sc around all 3 chains from previous 3 Rounds, ch 3, 1 sc around all 3 ch again, ch 6, 1 sc in next ch 3 tip, ch 5, 1 sc in same sp] 5 times, omitting last sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch the snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.



20 October 2018

Lucky Sevens


What did I learn from ten days off social media and dramatically reduced news?

1. I missed my family.

2. I didn't miss the depression and sadness that often envelopes me when I read news.

3. I missed my blog and the blog community.

4. Just like every other day of the year, when my internet connection is not adequate or the sites I wish to visit are blocked, I had plenty of other things to do instead of spending time on the internet. It's become a way of life for me over the last five years, so that part didn't really change.

5. Most of the time I spent on my phone for the last 10 days was trying to duplicate photographed 7-point snowflakes in 6-point style, reading scriptures, and taking pictures. I get a weekly report now, after the last iPhone update, on Sunday nights giving me my average screen time. It will be most interesting to see the total tomorrow night because I think I was on the phone more than before my fast because I was reading scriptures (and General Conference talks) on my phone. I love the technology and ability to do that (or even read novels I've downloaded), no matter where I am or how bad my phone signal gets!!!

6. I still didn't get any sewing or quilting done, even though that was a goal.


If I ever do another social media fast, I probably will limit my news feeds again but not cut off methods of communicating with my family. I'm hoping I don't ever have to do another fast because one of the most important lessons I learned during the last 10 days is that I don't have to spend time grieving about the condition of the world.

A journalist at heart, I've been addicted to news feeds since I was a teenager. I set a goal to become a journalist when I was covering my first presidential election for my high school newspaper because I was so disgusted by the total vacuum of unbiased reporting, even back in the '70s. My teachers and later college professors had drilled into students the need to remain neutral, but none of the reporters I saw were doing that.

I fought journalism for a good 24 years, trying to make a difference and change what I could, without much real success at all. I finally abandoned the profession because it literally felt like a sinking ship. I still have newspaper ink coursing through my blood, but I do not miss the long hours, the negativity and the sensationalism.

I stopped watching most television in my early 20s because I didn't like most of what was being offered. I do not miss television at all.

And now, after this social media fast, I feel I can continue to pull back from the negativity and drama over which I have absolutely no control. The hunger to know everything that's going on every minute throughout the world is gone, although the craving still surfaces from time to time. During such bouts, I try to find a way to do something kind for someone else, and it's turning out to be the most wonderful substitute, equally addictive!

The other day, Lizard asked if I'm going to take snowflakes to Children's Hospital this year. I didn't get to last year because I couldn't crochet as much as I wanted, due to elbow pain caused by collapsed neck discs. I've been stashing flakes for kids all year long. When I told Lizard I plan to deliver a pizza box full of snowflakes around Thanksgiving, he asked if he can go, too, because he, too, wants to see the reaction of the staff when they open the box.

We don't get to see the kids' reactions, but the staff's reaction probably will send us to the moon and back, with plenty of enthusiasm to carry us all the way through the holidays.


Thank you to all those who hung in here at my blog, waiting for me to return, and leaving comments even though I was not reciprocating. It was refreshing to read all the comments last night and catch up on some of my favorite blogs. I learned my blog does not cause me depression or sadness (although inadequate internet access can still be a source of frustration), so I don't plan to take another break until the day I retire as a blogger.

There are days when I think 10 years is enough, and this is my 9th year. Most days, though, I can't imagine not blogging, although not having the pressure to come up with a new snowflake pattern every week sometimes seems like the ultimate vacation. I have about 10 months to decide, and being a woman, I could change my mind a million or seven times between now and then.


Of course, my blog hit the 7,000,000 mark while I was on my social media fast. Of course. Of course!!!!!!!

I noticed one day while looking for a snowflake pattern. I darn near missed the counter! I noticed all the nines four days before the actual rolling of the zeroes, and I calculated the magic moment would be about 1 or 2 p.m. Tuesday, October 16.

So, yes, I cheated. I set the tally-keeper to animated display (the only time during the entire 10 days I logged into Blogger), I took a few screen shots of my visitor total whenever I checked the weather (because, you know, it was just a couple more innocent clicks, and I didn't linger), and I peeked whenever I got a chance from about 11 a.m. Tuesday until 12:43 p.m. on the 16th. I got to see the number actually roll!!! That was awesome! What an adrenaline rush!

I was at work, where my website (and most anything fun on the internet) is blocked, so I was checking on my phone. It wasn't long before all my bosses and co-workers were looking over my shoulder so they could watch the tally climb, too. So the atmosphere was a bit festive, even though we had some severe limitations!

I think the coolest part of my newest collection of zeroes is that I just finished crocheting 50 7-point snowflakes for my parents for their Golden Anniversary, and 7,000,000 visitors to my blog just 10 days later is kind of like a crown of royalty!









18 October 2018

Jane and Emma

This makes me wish I could have stayed in Cedar City one more day so we could have seen the movie on opening night. I've asked for it to come to Colorado. You may request it in your state here.

16 October 2018

Hawaiian Dreams


Part One of Three

If it sounds too good to be true, beware. It probably comes with the power to muddle all kinds of things.

Miserable for many valid reasons and enduring yet another Christmas holiday season alone (back in 2003), I decided to attempt to boost my mood and self-confidence by giving the singles scene one more try. I attended a regional singles dance sponsored by my church. Alone.


It had been way too many years. Most of the music played was not something I can dance to, much less enjoy. Even though the event was designated for a target age group (30-45) and I fit nicely into that category, most attendees were far younger than me. Popular forms of socializing such as “speed mingling” didn’t particularly interest me. I preferred the outdated methods of “pick and choose” conversation partners and unlimited spontaneous dialogue without having to yell over noise confused with music. Fear crawled through my veins as I realized what this meant.

I was getting old!


I wanted to leave. But there was this tiny detail from which I just couldn’t walk away. Four roundtrips for two to Hawaii were to be given away. I had deposited my ticket in the fishbowl. It would serve me right if I walked out and my name was drawn.

The trips supposedly were donated by someone who allegedly had met their eternal companion through the church singles program and wanted to do something to improve participation and the chance for other singles to meet that special someone. Yes, all that legal disclosure language bugs me, too, but I wouldn’t want anyone to think my church is responsible for the hairballs we creative and benevolent beings sometimes spew.

The dance may not have been the romantic or even platonic breeding grounds I hoped, but I could hardly walk out without giving the free trip of a lifetime my best shot.


I attempted to politely ward off the advances of a boy – yes, a BOY – who insisted I would make the perfect girlfriend, while simultaneously dodging the white-haired Romeo who appeared to be chasing the Guinness record for most dances with strangers in two hours since the last singles dance I’d attended nearly a decade earlier. Yes, he was doing the same thing at that dance, too.

No one would allow me to be a wallflower, and yet I didn’t really want to dance with the group of 18 or so teenyboppers bouncing in the middle of the dance floor together to avoid “the vultures,” either. The refreshments were interesting. Not completely palpable, but full of intrigue.


Finally, it was time for the drawing. Ten minutes, and I’d be out of there. I could grin and bear ten more minutes.

Just as that hormone-charged boy still looking for a skateboard partner took a seat next to me, the first winner’s name was announced. I sat stunned for what seemed like 10 or 15 minutes, and the boy misinterpreted my response.

“I was thinking that since you like bikes so much, maybe we could go for a ride sometime,” he was saying. “Do you have a bike I can borrow? I don’t mind if it’s a girl’s bike. I sure hope you’re not one of those fanatics who likes to be on their bike all the time and rides 25 miles a week.”


I reached over to pat his hand, more to move it from my shoulder back to the table than an act of genuine affection.

“No, I’m the type who likes to do 50 miles a day,” I replied as I stood. “And that was my name they just called, so I have to go collect my airline tickets now. Thank you so much for keeping me company.”


Part Two will be published next week. Link won't work until the post is published.

15 October 2018

Snowflake Monday


When I first decided to try to finish 50 7-pointed snowflakes for my parents for their golden wedding anniversary, I used my snowflake directory to find patterns I thought might work up quickly without major adjustments.

After two or three bumpy bus and/or train rides before we headed to California, however, I decided, just like when I made my snowflake lamp, it might be easier to just make up new patterns. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to remember to intentionally make seven points instead of six when you are trying to finish 48 flakes in less than 10 days?!?

About every third flake I made for this project turned out well enough I thought I should make a six-pointed one with white thread so I could write the pattern when I have time.




I've been saving all the 7-point snowflakes I've accidentally made throughout the years for my mom. When I first came up with the idea for this project, I thought I'd have to make perhaps 20 snowflakes at most. Apparently, however, I had already given all but two to my mom for a previous Christmas. As a result, I had to crank out 48 seven-pointers in 10 days! (Snowflake number 50 was finished at 11:56 a.m. two days before our family celebration.) Needless to say, there were a few accidental six-pointers during the process! But we all know I will find good use for the proper snowflakes!!!

One of the seven-pointers is special because it contains a representation of each of my mom's seven kids – four boys and three girls – in birth order.


All of the flakes, with the exception of the gold ones, symbolic of the golden anniversary, and the white ones, which were to add variety, were made from my hand-dyed thread. I used azure and cornflower hues because blue is my mom's favorite color.

After the snowflakes were presented to my parents, my sweet Frozen-addicted four-year-old niece, who couldn't quite understand why we were having cake if it wasn't time for her October 16th birthday yet, announced she knew exactly what she would do with all those snowflakes.


Lucy's fort, featuring the quilt I made for her in 2015



inside Lucy's fort

I did not have time to string the snowflakes before I presented them to my parents. I thought my Lizard and I could string them after our family dinner. My mom, however, would not let them out of her sight! I think she's afraid Lucy might disappear with them, and she'll never see them again! She plans to string them herself in time for Christmas.

Lucy, meanwhile, asked if I would make five pink snowflakes for her birthday. Then 11-year-old nephew Eli asked me to make 12 blue and white snowflakes for his March birthday, and 10-year-old niece Layla asked if I would make 11 red snowflakes for her February birthday. Before Lizard and I arrived in California, my mother-in-law Jan asked if I'd make 80 snowflakes for her 80th birthday. At least she's giving me two years of advance notice to complete her snowflakes!!!

I needed to get Lucy's snowflakes in the mail as soon as I got home, and it's October, so I made four of the seven-pointers in pink while writing the six-point patterns. (Last week's Pineapple Temptation Snowflake was already made, so I decided Lucy would provide a good home for it.)


Today's pattern is the biggest of the 50 snowflakes. I changed up the 6-point version from the original because there were things about the prototype I would have changed, had I had time to frog and redo. This new and improved version is yet another snowflake that makes cute smaller flakes by finishing on each individual Round after the second Round and using favorite point combinations. I could have made all five of Lucy's flakes from this one pattern!!!


I have to share a cute Lucy story… The day after we arrived in Bakersfield, my mom asked if I'd like to go grocery shopping with her. I found a container of plain, un-iced cookies and a container of Halloween-hued frosting and sprinkles, and I couldn't resist. This would make such great photos! I bought them for my nieces, and we had a cookie-frosting party as soon as Lily and Layla got home from school. Those photos will appear on my Halloween Wordless Wednesday.

Lucy was anxious to eat her first cookie. She was licking her knife in between each frosting color! (I washed the knife each time so she could continue her artistic work without getting her slobber in the frosting.) When she finished decorating all her cookies, she wanted to eat them that very minute. I told her she had to eat her dinner first. Dinner that night included asparagus, which apparently is not her favorite food. She apparently doesn't like any vegetables except corn. I had to keep telling her she could eat a cookie after she finished eating her asparagus.

At one point, she gagged, and she had tears rolling down her cheeks. But she finished her dinner!!! Her parents and mine (her great grandparents) said I had worked a miracle and asked if I could feed her every night! Lucy has a very special place in my heart!


You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!


Finished Size: 8.5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Lucy's Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: [2 sc in ring, ch 3] 5 times; 2 sc in ring, ch 1, 1 dc in starting sc to form 6th ch 3 sp of Round. Don't pull magic ring too tight.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc over post of dc directly below, remove hook from loop and insert in 2nd ch of starting ch 2, insert hook back through loop of 4th dc and pull through ch loop (starting popcorn stitch made), * ch 5, 5 dc in next ch 5 sp, pull hook out of loop (dropped loop) and insert in top loop of 1st dc of this 5/dc group, insert in dropped loop, pull dropped loop through top loop of 1st dc (popcorn stitch made); repeat from * around 4 times; ch 2, 1 tr in starting popcorn to form 6th ch 5 sp of Round.


Round 3: 1 sc over post of tr directly below, * ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, ch 10, 1 sc in same sp; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, ch 4, 1 trtr in starting sc to form 6th ch 10 tip of Round.


Round 4: Ch 2, 2 dc over post of trtr directly below, * ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, ch 3, 3 dc in next ch 10 tip, ch 3, 3 dc in same sp; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, ch 3, 3 dc in next ch 10 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 point of Round.


Round 5: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), 1 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 8, sl st in 6th ch from hook, ch 2, in next ch 3 tip work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc, ch 5, 1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc); repeat from * around 4 times; ch 8, sl st in 6th ch from hook, ch 2, in next ch 3 tip work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc), ch 2, 1 tr in 2nd ch of starting ch 5 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.


Round 6: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), 1 dc over post of tr directly below, * 5 dc in next ch 6 loop, ch 13, 1 tr in 6th ch from hook, ch 1, sk 1 ch, 1 dc in next ch, ch 1, sk next ch, 1 hdc in next ch, ch 1, sk next ch, 1 sc in next ch, ch 1, 5 dc in same ch 6 loop (spoke made), in next ch 3 tip work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc, ** ch 5, 1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc; repeat from * around 5 times, ending **; ch 2, 1 tr in 2nd ch of starting ch 5 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.


Round 7: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 hdc and 1 sc over post of tr directly below, * ch 5, sk next ch 3 sp and next 5 dc, 1 sc in gap between 5 dc and base of spoke, working up spoke 1 dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 2 ch, 1 sc in next ch 1 sp, ch 7, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 4 ch, 1 sc in next ch 1 sp, ch 9, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 6 ch, in next ch 5 tip work (2 sc, 2 hdc, 2 dc, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook, 2 dc, 2 hdc, 2 sc), ch 8, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 6 ch, ch 1, working back down spoke 1 sc in next ch 1 sp, ch 6, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 4 ch, ch 1, 1 sc in next ch 1 sp, ch 4, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 2 ch, ch 1, 1 sc in next ch 1 sp, 1 sc in gap between base of spoke and next 5 dc, ch 5, in next ch 3 tip work (1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc, ch 3, ** 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 dc, 1 hdc, 1 sc; repeat from * around 5 times, ending **; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.


Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts.
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