11 June 2021

Friday Fortius

08 June 2021

9 to 5

I recently returned to the office for the first time in 15 months.

I took my crochet bag but didn't have time to get into it. I didn't take public transportation. I drove. I had to take in a big box of stuff I couldn't have carried on the train. And I'm not quite sure how I feel yet about riding public transportation again. I guess I'm not quite ready for that.

It's pretty amazing how easy cleaning is when you haven't seen things for 15 months. If I didn't need it for 15 months, I can go without. I filled a recycle bin with accumulated junk mail, old paperwork and drawer contents. I wasn't the only one! There were recycle bins placed throughout the floor, and all of them were receiving unhealthy meal proportions!

Back in March of 2020, I thought I'd be working from home for two weeks. So I didn't bother to take my plants home. My little lemon tree (and the lemon seeds I started for co-workers) fried in the office heat of last summer. I think computer rooms were the only locations air conditioning was used to save energy and cut costs.

During our Safer at Home time, I started a new set of lemon seeds at home, and they are doing quite well now! They just got to go back outside for summer a few days ago!

I fully expected all my plants at work would be dead. One of my (essential) co-workers, who was allowed to begin going into the office a couple of hours once each week a full two months after the nightmare of 2020 began took pity on my one surviving plant. She has nursed it along for an entire year now. And this is what I found on my desk when I returned for the first time.

Friends are priceless.

I don't know that things will ever again be the way they were 16 months ago. Some things were good to lose. Other losses forced us to appreciate what we have. What we have now is better than what we had during the darkest parts of 2020.

07 June 2021

Snowflake Monday

I've always had this penchant for glow-in-the-dark. Always. I seriously mean always. I can remember being fascinated by fireflies when I was about 4 years old, even though I was a girly girl and hated bugs.

I was in love with the face on my dad's watch, which glowed in the dark.

When neon became popular, I think in the 70s, I was smitten. My neon paint set wasn't as awesome as anything that glowed, but I can remember many happy hours spent beneath a blacklight to try to make my painted doll furniture "glow". I even crafted a make-believe blacklight for my dollhouse, which my dad built for me in 1972.

Did you know wintergreen LifeSavers emit sparks of glow? Try chewing one in front of a mirror in a dark restroom. My grandkids LOVED learning this and testing the fact!

Ever since Elmer's introduced glow-in-the-dark glue (which was intended for making glow-in-the-dark slime), I've been crafting glow-in the dark snowflakes on almost a weekly basis. They make great gifts, and kids love them.

I recently decided I should look into glow-in-the-dark beads. What else to better embellish a snowflake?

I was shocked to learn there aren't many jewelry beads that glow. But there are glow-in-the-dark fishing beads!!!

When my first package (plain light-colored beads that glow in the standard pastel yellowy green) arrived, I immediately thought of one of the snowflakes on the shower curtain Lizard put up for me many years ago.

And that was the inspiration for today's flake.

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: 6 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, 18 beads (I used 8 mm glow-in-the-dark fishing beads), 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

Go Glow Snowflake Instructions

String 18 beads onto thread. Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 23 dc in ring, sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc and [ch 1), sk next dc, 1 dc in next dc, ch 1, sk next dc, 2 dc in next dc] 6 times, omitting last dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 3.
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 3: Ch 6 (counts as 1 dc and [ch 4), sk next ch 1 sp, 1 fptrtr around next dc, ch 2, catching bead in 2nd ch, sl st in 1st ch and in top of fptrtr, ch 4, sk next ch 1 sp, 1 dc between next 2 dc*, ch 3, catching bead in 3rd ch, ch 9, 1 tr in 7th ch from hook, ch 3, catching bead in 3rd ch, working back down spoke, sl st in next 2 ch and in top of tr, ch 6, sl st in same ch as tr, sl st in next 2 ch and in bead ch, ch 2, 1 dc between same *Round 2 dc stitches] 6 times, omitting last dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 6; 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.

03 June 2021

Turnabout

The bottom half of Lizard Toes is done, and the finished quilt is going to fit our bed! I'm pretty excited about that!

I'm sad about getting the entire second quarter quilted before noticing I'd put the backing on sideways. I had this design all worked out in my head. Now I have to come up with a different idea for the back. I hope whatever brews is as good as what I envisioned when I first began putting the back panels together.

Linking up with Alycia Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

01 June 2021

Bird Brain

After patiently waiting and watching out my window for about three weeks, I finally heard the tanagers and grosbeaks returned while we were attending a celebration of life with my in-laws. We were gone for five days, and I assumed the colorful winged favorites would be gone by the time I could watch for them again.

Within two hours of putting out two orange halves, I had 11 western tanagers and three Bullock's orioles feasting in my viewfinder!!!

31 May 2021

Snowflake Monday

It's Memorial Day, not New Year's Eve, but today's snowflake pattern reminds me of a nearing 100-year-tradition. Even though the world went crazy last year, the AdAmAn club climbed Pikes Peak to ring in 2021 with the annual December 31 fireworks.

I, unfortunately, was not able to watch and photograph 2020 going out with a bang, but AdAmAn celebrated its 99th year in a big way, shooting off 150 fireworks at 9 p.m. to celebrate the sesquicentennial anniversary of Colorado Springs before blowing off 2020 with another round of fireworks. I just love anything that thrived through last year's trauma.

Today's snowflake isn't anywhere near as grand. To create today's pattern, I added a few more rounds to my Vi and Belated Dino Egg patterns to replace a giant rock covering for my mother-in-law following a recent celebration of life in the family.

I initially covered a huge red river rock for my mother-in-law to display in front of her home in 2019. Her Jester Snowflake faded significantly in just the first few months, thanks to long hours of summer sun in the hot desert.

We did not get to visit my mother-in-law (or ANYONE!!!) at all last year, and I learned right after Mother's Day this year that the Jester Snowflake covering completely disintegrated during last year's record fire season. (My mother-in-law lives near where the third largest wildfire in Colorado's history occurred late last summer. She called us almost daily while Lizard was in the hospital to check on his progress and to update us on the ashes raining down on her yard.)

For our unplanned return to the desert, I didn't have access to my old patterns or even photos of them. I had been working on the Belated Dino Eggs for my grands (which, by the way, they LOVED!), so I made yet one more enlarged Winter Storm Vi Snowflake and just kept going until it was big enough to re-cover my mother-in-law's rock. (She's going to try putting her newly re-covered rock in a shadier spot this time around.) I fully intended to publish this newest adaptation of the pattern last week, but life gets in the way. This is the first opportunity I've had to write a pattern in what feels like an entire month.

Now I get to work up another identical rock covering (with different thread) so I can write the pattern and add another large rock to my own garden. I used the same thread for two more garden rocks for my own garden while we were visiting my in-laws, and they've been in my garden for two weeks now. I'm enjoying watching the colored threads fade with time.

When I first realized the store-bought thread I've been trying to use up (because I have so much of my own hand-dyed thread) would fade a lot faster in the garden than I anticipated, I wasn't sure I wanted to continue making colored snowflake rock coverings.

Now that I have visual proof the colored threads will eventually all be nearly the same color as the ecru rock coverings, I'm enjoying the hues' race with time and sunlight. It's fun to put another new rock in the garden every week to compare to the existing rocks and to photographically record the passage of color.

Plus, there's still that gigantic bonus of (eventually) using up all the store-bought thread!

I anticipate you will be able to enjoy this new adventure with me throughout our sunny months this year as I share photos if you tune in each Monday.

Oh, and I finally found some glow-in-the-dark beads!!! Fishing beads… Who'dathunk?!?

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes and/or rock coverings 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

SPECIAL STITCHES:

Popcorn Stitch (pc)

Work 5 dc in designated st, take loop off hook, insert hook through top loop of 1st dc and replace loop on hook, pull loop through top of 1st dc.

AdArOund Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: [Pc in ring, ch 3] 6 times, omitting last 2 ch of final repeat; 1 dc in top of starting pc to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and [ch 3), in next ch 3 sp work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc)] 5 times; ch 3, 1 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 5 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, [sk next ch 3 sp, in next ch 3 point work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc, * ch 5, 1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc), ch 3] 6 times, stopping * on final repeat, ch 2, 1 tr in 2nd ch of starting ch 5 to form 6th ch 5 point of Round.

Round 4 Snowflake: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc over post of tr directly below, [ch 5, in next ch 5 tip work (5 dc, ch 3, 5 dc)] 5 times; ch 5, 5 dc in next ch 5 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 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 5: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), 1 dc over post of dc directly below, [ch 3, sk next 5 dc and next 2 ch, in next ch work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc (V-stitch made)), ch 3, sk next 2 ch and next 5 dc, in next ch 3 tip work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc, * ch 5, 1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc)] 6 times, ending * on final repeat; ch 2, 1 tr in 2nd ch of starting ch 5 to form 6th ch 5 tip of Round.
NOTE: Binding off here makes a cute little flake.

Round 6: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3),1 dc over post of tr directly below, [ch 5, sk next 2 ch/3 sp, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5, sk next 2 ch/3 sp, in next ch 5 tip work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc, * ch 5, 1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc, ch 5)] 6 times, ending * on final repeat; ch 2, 1 tr in 2nd ch of starting ch 5 to form 6th ch 5 tip of Round.

Round 7: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc over post of tr directly below, [ch 10, in next ch 5 tip work (5 dc, ch 3, 5 dc)] 5 times; ch 10, 5 dc in next ch 5 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 8: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, [1 dc in each of next 5 dc, 1 dc in each of next 10 ch, 1 dc in each of next 5 dc, in next ch 3 tip work (3 dc, ch 6, sl st in 6th ch from hook, ch 10, sl st in same ch, ch 5, sl st in same ch (tri-picot made), 3 dc)] 6 times, omitting last 3 dc of final repeat; 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.

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