31 January 2018

Wordless Wednesday

30 January 2018

Amaryllis by Morning

I pulled my amaryllises out of the basement in September. They bloomed in late January. I guess this year I'll pull them out in August...

The white picotee made only two blossoms this year, while the red one made four. One day I came home from church to find the top-heavy red amaryllis toppled over! Just a day earlier, I had attempted once more to cross pollinate the white picotee by brushing some of its pollen over the stamen of one of the red flowers with a cotton swab. Now the red amaryllis pollen is spread all over the red petals!

I braced the pot up with full bottles of unopened apple juice and grape juice.

The four amaryllis seeds that sprouted last year are still going, although I can see why they say it takes years for the plant to flower from seeds.

The baby bulb I separated from the white picotee parent bulb also is reaching for the sky, but the bulb still isn't mature enough to make more than one big leaf.

To my surprise, both the red amaryllis and the white picotee are sending up second heads of blooms. Bonus flowers!

29 January 2018

Snowflake Monday

Today's snowflake is another pattern inspired by the glistening six-point buttons I couldn't resist picking up recently during a quilt batting shopping trip.

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: 2.5 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

Glacial Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc in ring, take loop off hook, insert hook through 2nd ch of starting ch 2 and replace loop on hook, pull loop through ch (popcorn stitch made), ch 3, * 5 dc in ring, take loop off hook, insert hook through top loop of 1st dc and replace loop on hook, pull loop through top of 1st dc (popcorn stitch made), ch 3; repeat from * 4 times; ch 1, 1 dc in top of starting popcorn st to form 6th ch 3 sp of Round; pull magic ring tight.
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 6, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 3, sl st in top of dc just made, ch 3, sl st in same ch as dc (small petal made), ch 3, sl st in next ch 3 sp, ch 9, sl st in 3rd ch from hook, 1 sc in next ch, 1 dc in each of next 3 ch, 1 sc in next ch (large petal made), ch 1, sl st in same ch 3 sp, sl st in 3rd ch from hook; repeat from * around 5 times; 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.

Just for the fun of it, I switched up the petals to see if I like this snowflake better with more height difference between the petals. What do you think???

25 January 2018

Odds and Ends

I tried, but I didn't get a quilt finished this week. It's layered, pin-basted and ready to go, but it hasn't found its way beneath the presser foot yet.

Feels sort of weird to not have another quilt finished, after last year's quilting high!!!

However, I have finished a few projects. The biggest finish of the week was winding all of my most recent batch of hand-dyed thread into balls. Whew! We had about eight more inches of snow on Sunday, the biggest storm of the season so far. It was SO tempting to snow dye again, but I decided I have enough thread to last for a while, and I shouldn't dye anymore until I finish up some of what I've already done.

I dyed new thread last spring before I found out I had to give the crochet hook a bit of a vacation because I needed more rainbow hues. I dyed thread again a couple of weeks ago because I had nearly run out of pink. I'm beginning to realize I need to cut back on the odd shades and dye only pinks, blues and rainbow colors! And I guess I need to come up with some ideas to use those odd colors...

I've been using up little bits of thread each day for a couple of months now. I'm very happy to be crocheting again, after several months of limited activity due to elbow and neck issues. I'm crocheting on the train almost every day again now, at least when I can get a seat. I've had to retrain myself not to hold whatever I'm working on so close to my face in order to see the stitches. I'm so happy to be able to crochet with thread and a tiny hook again! Almost pain-free!

Most of my thread, of course, goes to snowflakes.

Although I did make the solar system. The planets even glow in the dark.

I made the Great American eclipse, too! And yes, the earrings glow in the dark!

I bought some bead stones in April of 2016 with every intention of turning them into crocheted jewelry, featuring my hand-dyed thread. I finally made my first necklace last week!

For the past few years, I've sent amigurumi birthday card photos to all my friends and family. I sent the same photo to every single person on my list each year. Last year, one of my crocheting friends, probably bored with seeing the same photo every single time someone we both know celebrated a birthday, challenged me to pose my amigurumi differently for each birthday. I'm up to 57 new amigurumi photos so far. So everybody gets a different photo this year!

The cupcakes are the newest addition to the amigurumi collection. I made a new bear, too. This is the first bear I've crocheted since... Can't remember when I made the last one!

I also made a new bevy of hearts.

For most of last year, my motto was, "As soon as I finish five more quilts, I get to make something for me!" I didn't actually make something for me until I finished all the Christmas present and late Christmas present quilts, and then it finally was my turn. This cute jumper worked up in just a couple of hours, and I've already worn to to church and to work.

Call me the bag lady. I've made bean bags, corn bags, rice bags, and now a flax bag. I heard right before Christmas that flax makes a really good heating pad because it does not collect moisture. I used a cheap department store wash rag to test the theory, and I think there will be more flax bags in my future.

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