01 January 2013

Project Blizzard

Frosting and Frosty
gifts handmade by my four-year-old neighbor

Welcome to 2013 and to my first winter smile collection of the entire year! This is my 1,000th published post! I didn't plan it this way at all!!!

almost there!!!


Last Project Blizzard, I accidentally forgot to include one very big November smile. When the weather is bad, The Lizard and I like to spend an hour or two in a bookstore. During an early November visit, I stumbled upon an extremely reasonably priced copy of Jean Leinhauser's "365 Crochet Stitches." I'd had it on my wishlist since... probably since electronic wishlists were invented.

Sadly, we lost Jean, the Crochet Queen, in 2011. Her OOP (out of print) books skyrocketed in price. I had no hope of ever landing the handy little daily crochet calendar I'd wanted so long.

I felt almost as if I was stealing from the bookstore when I checked out. How lucky for me the bookstore didn't know what a goldmine it had on its shelves for just $24.95!!!

A deal for me!

December had moments (and days) absent of smiles, didn't it? Sometimes the world can seem so dark, so lost, so hopeless. But goodness is out there. I had to look hard last month to find joy. My search was successful.

There were a few more absolutely brilliant sunrises.

Sunrise Inspiration

I was able to turn some of those sunrises into snowflake inspirations via a kaleidoscope photo editing program.

I want to crochet this.  But with white instead of black.

Who knew sunrises could be snowflakes?


quilt block inspiration

Our new lunchroom at work offers more daylight than I can soak up in one hour.

new lunchroom

kickin' back to crochet

lunchbreak snowflake

snowflake view

When my workgroup moved to a new floor, we all had to take home all personal stuff, then bring it back after we were done moving. While moving my tiny portable studio and first digital camera back to the office, I committed the unpardonable sin. The old dinosaur camera hit the pavement. Hard.

It's been a tank through ten hard years now, surviving several such accidental drops, including two total immersions. (Yes, I baptized my first digital camera. Twice. Although not intentionally either time. The electronic technology converted me, so only fair I returned the favor, right?)

This most recent bouncing spill, however, the camera body did not fare as well. Perhaps it's getting old, like me, and resenting what it gets put through. The Lizard carefully and skillfully applied a little duct tape (to the camera, not me), and presto! My little Fuji works again!

and it still works

Indian summer tricked some of my bulbs into growing again. And then winter returned. I moved five pots of greenery inside before they could freeze. No flowers yet, but the little babies are showing me every day how much they appreciate a nice warm house and a grow light.

Will they bloom???

We had never known the name of three plants The Lizard inherited from his father, until November when one of them began doing something we didn't know to expect and I published photos of the progress in a Wordless Wednesday. Marigold let us know these tropical treats are dwarf umbrella trees. And the little pinecone-looking formations turned into itsy bitsy firecracker-like flowers!

like firecrackers

tiny bursts of amazement

I've been asked once again to be an official photographer for the 2013 Youth Trek. !!!

a new day

The Lizard and I have been donating blood together for about seven years now. In December, we got to donate side by side for the first time ever.

love birds

I got behind in crocheting around one rock every week during the office move, but I've caught back up.

rock on

Most noteworthy this month, in my opinion, have been a pair of snowflake drives. The first, snowflakes for the family and small children of a needlecrafter who died suddenly after Thanksgiving, made me long for another drive after the world went dark December 14. Then three Ravelry members pointed me to the Connecticut PTSA's request for snowflakes for the new elementary school. (The PTSA now has enough snowflakes; they have a semi truck FULL!!!!!!!!!!)

Making snowflakes has always been a healing thing for me. Viewing snowflakes, the ones made by chilly temperatures, has always had a peaceful and calming effect on me, perhaps because I grew up in the desert and they were so rare. Sending snowflakes as gifts has always felt like a perfect way to send love across the miles to places I could not be.

I wait anxiously with hope that someone might share photos of the donated snowflakes that likely will completely cover the walls and ceilings of the new school. Perhaps some special snowflakes will be given to the families who lost someone.

Wouldn't it be cool if snowflakes became a new international symbol for love and friendship?!?

Snowflakes for Connecticut

NOTE: I had to close this post to comments due to the high number of comments being attempted by fake fans.


  1. Love this post! Beautiful pictures (as always).

    I love the idea that snowflakes are the symbol of love and friendship. How beautiful! :)

    I also love the idea that when those children go back to school they will know without a doubt that they are loved.
    We are so blessed to live in a country with people who are so thoughtful and caring. :)

    I love your snowflakes and whenever I see a crochet snowflake, I always think of you. :)

    Blessings and hugs always

    1. Thank you, Stitchy! Don't you wish we could see photos of those little kids when they walked into their snowy school today???

  2. Oh what great photos, love the windows for your work break time! A most merry and happy new year to you too!

    1. Thank you, Karen! Best of wishes to you in the coming year, too!

  3. Your 4 year old neighbor actually made that snowman and tree? Really? Wow. That is one talented little person! Second, I vote for the no. 2 Snowflake picture. And three... You don't know it, but snowflakes already ARE a symbol of love and friendship. At least to some. :) Happy New Year!

    1. Awwwwww. (Blushing) Thanks, Marigold!

      Yes, my little neighbor is one talented and active little girl. The first time she saw me pinning snowflakes, I was sure she would be doing the very same thing the next day! Although she did ask why I had "spider webs" under all my snowflakes! (snowflake template)

  4. Yes, that is a very talented 4-year-old. :)

    Congrats on 1000 posts! And that kaleidoscope snowflake is stunning. I hope you do crochet it someday, in any colour!

    The new lunchroom looks wonderful - it's so refreshing to the eyes to see natural daylight when you work under flourescent lighting. I like your sensible work shoes too.

    How nice that you and the Lizard got to donate blood together. Mr. M donates regularly but I am not allowed to any more. :(

    Happy New Year to both of you, and may it be full of blissful road miles and tangle-free crochet thread miles.

    1. Aw, Sue, is that because you lived out your European dream??? That's too bad. But how awesome that Mr. M can still donate.

      Best of wishes to you and Mr. M in the coming year, too!

  5. Happy New Year and congratulations on your 1000th post! Best wishes for a healthy and wonderful 2013! I am glad the duct tape can hold together your camera for now!

    1. Thanks, Marie! This was just the little camera I use at work, not the fancy schmancy one. But it's been a great little tank all these years. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when the power came on after the duct tape surgery!

  6. I read your blog for the first time today. When I got to the photo of you and the Lizard donating blood, i almost cried, I was so touched by your humanity. You must be an angel on Earth. I made the Mother's Day May 3 2010 flake for the Blizzard Project.
    Coincidentally, I noticed a craft store on Facebook that is using your photo of the Mother's Day flake as their Profile photo. I hope that they have permission to use the photo. The page is called "Crochet Creations by Cin".
    Thank you for all you do! XO Gail & Fog

    1. Thank you, Gail, and welcome!

      Thank you also for the head's-up about the photo. Initially I thought it might be her own snowflake she made from my pattern, which would have been completely acceptable, but you're right. She did take my photo, and it must have been before I began using watermarks (due to photo and content theft and plagiarism). Now, how to go about asking her to make her own snowflake and take her own photo...

  7. 1,000 posts!!! WOW ... congratulations and lucky for us. Looking forward to the next 1000! Such a joy t come here to visit. An international symbol ... yes, I think that's perfect for the snowflakes, especially yours! Happy New Year, blessings.

    1. Thank you, Glor! May all the blessings of the new year come your way, too!

  8. Fabulous 1000th. Are you at all curious if the duct tape could work on your back? Have a fabulous 2013.

    1. Thank you, Stratoz! Maybe I ought to try the duct tape on my back... ;)

  9. I was determined to see every sunrise in December. Then, I got pneumonia. I missed the only days that they were brilliant. What a bummer! At least I got to see your fabulous photo!

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