31 May 2018

Odds & Ends

I don't normally have time to participate in all the memes that go around, but one of the crochet groups I belong to recently had one I couldn't resist joining. Members posted collages showcasing their softy creations and a portrait of themselves. This was a fun way to show off some of my favorite critters over the years.

Anyone else having withdrawals like me???

This is the rainy May day view from my sewing machine. You can imagine what my kitchen and living room smell like when I open the window.

The rainy May day view from my sewing machine.

My triangle scrap pile has grown to project size, so it's time to start making squares. One of Missouri Star Quilt Company's daily deals featured a two-yard cut of Kona Silver, and that looked like the perfect starting point. Easy to match, too, if I end up needing more.

I cut the Kona into 3-inch strips, which I then sliced into triangles to match my scraps.

This was my first time ever chain-piecing.

This is resulting in yet another stack of triangle scraps - these ones so small, they won't be sewn into a project - but I do intend to use them.

I'm not entirely sure yet what the blocks will become, but I'm enjoying building prospective puzzles to explore ideas.

Last year I cut out several pairs of shorts in preparation for Ride the Rockies. I learned the pain in my elbow and neck would keep me off my bike and crochet hook throughout the summer, which created shorts-halting depression. I did finish a bunch of quilts in the interim, but the unfinished shorts hibernated all winter long.

Now we've gone - temperature-wise - from about January 120th to August 15th almost overnight. So it's time to finish and wear some new shorts. With pockets! The pattern didn't include hidden pockets, and I didn't care for the patch pockets, so I modified.

The first pair is made from leftover lizard-themed fabric I used for a western-themed dress back in about 1996. Those same leftovers have shown up in a lizard blouse and a lizard quilt or two, as well. I didn't have enough fabric for all four shorts panels, so I decided to go halfsies on the front panels. Vertical lines are slimming, right? Ha ha! I'll never have to look inside this pair of shorts to see which side is the front before I wear them.

The second pair is from my own snow-dyed fabric about four or five years ago. It was my second or third attempt at snow-dyeing, and I didn't achieve the affect I wanted, so the fabric has been tucked away, waiting for usefulness. I thought this pair would look good as cut-offs, with frayed edges, so I didn't hem the bottoms. The edges fray more every time I wash them. In about a year or so, I should have the desired affect.

Not every scrap has to become part of a quilt, right? How's this for tropical summer fun? I think these are my favorite shorts ever!

One more finish for the month of May... a trio of bandanas for the Birthday Boy!

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

29 May 2018

Everybody Gets a Bath!

I didn't get to put the indoor plants in the rain last year to give them a breath of fresh air and a chance to bathe due to neck and elbow pain. So I think "the children" really enjoyed this year's outing!

Crystalized Hoya... with the real camera

All the hippy kids got haircuts... They say you should trim your Christmas cactus to make them more bushy and less scraggly. The hoya got detangled. Dead leaves were removed from everything. Soil was freshened; dust was abolished.

They say you can root Christmas cactus cuttings if you cut them past the first two Y junctions. I had only one cutting that fit that description, and it was placed in a pot with new soil and plenty of water.

In an experiement to determine whether they will root, other long, straight cuttings were placed in re-purposed jars from the kitchen, such as empty spice and balsamic vinegar containers, which all make great vases this time of year when I like to bring in flowers from the garden.

Outdoor plants were loving the moisture, too.

Some of the garden has spilled over into the rocks, where nothing should be growing. I carefully dug up blossoming blue flax and California bluebells and planted them in the few open sections of soil in the garden. Fingers crossed the roots will keep sipping from their new homes and the stalks will keep producing.

This is the newest addition to my outdoor garden. When the wind blows, this cute mini bicycle keeps my little two-year-old neighbor in stitches.

28 May 2018

Snowflake Monday

I consider myself very fortunate that I was able to see the USS Arizona in Hawaii back in 2004. Structural damage has closed the memorial to the public indefinitely.

May we remember, even though the memorial is inaccessible.

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

Finished Size: 4.75 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread in two or more colors, optional six owl (or other desired) motifs, size 7 crochet hook, optional googly eyes, beads, felt or embroidery thread for eyes and if desired beak and talons, 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

Owl Motif Instructions (Make 6.)

Make magic ring.

Round 1: 6 sc in ring. Do not join on this or any Round for motif only. Pull magic ring tight.

Round 2: 2 sc in each sc around for a total of 12 sc.

Round 3: * 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next sc; repeat from * around 5 times for a total; of 18 sc.
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 4: 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next sc, to shape first ear, in next sc work 1 hdc, 1 dc, ch 2, sl st in top of dc, 1 dc and 1 hdc, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, to shape second ear, in next sc work 1 hdc, 1 dc, ch 2, sl st in top of dc, 1 dc and 1 hdc, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, [2 sc In next sc, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc] 2 times, 1 sc in next sc, sl st in next sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Honor Snowflake Instructions

With white or snowflake color,make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 17 dc in ring. Sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2. Don't pull magic ring too 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 3 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in same st, * sk next 2 dc), 3 dc in next dc, ch 3, 3 dc in same dc; repeat from * around 4 times; sk next 2 dc, 3 dc in same st as starting 2 dc; ch 1, 1 dc in 3rd ch of starting ch 3 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 3: (Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), 1 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 2, 1 sc in gap between next 2 dc/3 shells, ch 2, 3 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, 1 dc in same sp, ch 1, 2 sc in bottom middle of next owl (or desired) motif, ch 1, 1 dc in same ch 3 tip, ch 3, 1 dc in same sp; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 2, 1 sc in gap between next 2 dc/shells, ch 2, 1 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, 1 dc in same sp, ch 1, 2 sc in bottom middle of next owl (or desired) motif, ch 1, sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th tip with motif of Round; bind off. Weave in ends.

NOTE: This snowflake also may be made without motifs. Just work an extra 3 chains at each tip (for a total of 5) instead of attaching a motif.

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.
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