31 May 2023

Wordless Wednesday

30 May 2023

Pace Space

My home has been a jungle for more than a decade and a half now.

Well, at least, the living room was.

For several months, I've been conditioning myself to let go of most of my indoor plants to open up space for Lizard to walk. Our community garage sale was last month, and I bit the bullet. I collected nearly all the indoor plants, set them on the driveway and put out a "Free to Good Home Sign".

Preparing myself for months really helped. I kept telling myself I have two great outdoor gardens, one in the front yard, and one in the back. It's okay to have just outdoor gardens. I can keep a few plants (amaryllises and ONE indoor lavender!!!).

Letting go wasn't nearly as painful as I anticipated. I had some great experiences with pre-adoptive families, too. It was really fun to meet so many neighbors and to be able to teach them about caring for their individual plants. So many kids flocked by for my succulents in cute little pots!

All but seven of the plants were adopted that day, and most of the rest were gone by the end of the following week. I also eliminated all tripping hazards and unused furniture. Now, Lizard comments nearly every day how wonderful it is to have so much space to walk. It's almost like having a brand new home!

29 May 2023

Snowflake Monday

I was staring at a stack of CDs when I came up with today's pattern, which incorporates the final Eisheiligen name I plan to use for a while. The remaining unusued names don't sound as inspiring to me. Perhaps that's because we have finally encountered warm weather here...

Every once in a while, I'm still able, after all these years, to design a snowflake I really, really love. This is one of those! And to think, I designed it to cover a CD!

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: 4.5 inches from point to point for CD covering, 5.25 inches from point to point for modified standalone snowflake
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, 2 optional used and useless CDs, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, permanent glue for ornament, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener for snowflake, water, small container for soluble glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Ice Saint Snowflake Instructions (Make 2.)

NOTE: If you are using this pattern to cover a CD or 2-CD stack (my ornaments are 2-CD stacks), gauge is going to be somewhat important. If your stitches are larger than mine (or if you use a larger thread size and hook), your snowflake will be bigger than the CD. If your stitches are smaller/tighter than mine (or if you use a smaller thread size and hook), you will need extra rounds to fit the CD. My dcs are .25 inches tall, and my trs are .5 inches tall. Any snowflake you've made measuring 4.5 inches across from point to point should fit a CD.

Make magic ring.

Round 1: [Pc in ring, ch 3] 5 times; pc in ring, ch 1, 1 dc in top of first pc to form 6th ch 3 sp of Round. I intentionally left a big opening in the magic ring for this one so light can come through the center of the CD ornament. An optional large bead also could be glued in place here.

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

Rounds 3 and 4: Ch 12 (counts as 1 dc and [ch 10), in next ch 3 tip work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc)] 6 times, omitting last dc and last 2 ch of final repeat; 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 10 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 7 (counts as 1 dc and [ch 5), 1 sc around both next Round 3 and 4 ch 10 spaces, ch 3, 1 sc around same chains, ch 5, in next ch 3 tip work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc)] 6 times, omitting last dc and last 2 ch of final repeat; 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 7 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 6, First Snowflake: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), [in next ch 3 loop work (1 dtr, ch 3, 1 tr, ch 5, 1 dc, ch 7, 1 dc, ch 5, 1 tr, ch 3, 1 dtr), in next ch 3 point work (1 dc, ch 7, 1 dc)] 6 times, omitting last dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.

Round 6, Second Snowflake: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), [in next ch 3 loop work (1 dtr, ch 3, 1 tr, ch 5, 1 dc, ch 1, 1 sc in corresponding ch 7 loop of First Snowflake, ch 1, 1 dc, ch 5, 1 tr, ch 3, 1 dtr), in next ch 3 point work (1 dc, ch 1, 1 trtr in corresponding ch 3 point of First Snowflake, ch 1, 1 dc)] 6 times, inserting CD(s) after 4th repeat, then omitting last dc of final repeat and sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. KEEP READING BEFORE BINDING OFF!!! If you are planning to hang your CD ornament outside, a strand of sewing or crochet thread for hanging likely will not be strong enough to brave the elements (and may not be strong enough to hold the weight of 2 CDs). You may incorporate a ch 30 or so at the end before binding off to create a hanging loop (make the hanging loop big enough to fit over whatever you are going to hang the ornament from), or, you can glue on or sew on a ribbon loop for hanging. An optional store-bought wire ornament hanger could be used. I used a six-inch piece of black acrylic worsted yarn. That should be pretty darned weatherproof! If you choose to chain a hanging loop, do so, then bind off. Weave in ends.

Round 6, Standalone Snowflake: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), [in next ch 3 loop work (1 dtr, ch 3, 1 tr, ch 5, 1 dc, ch 7, 1 dc, ch 5, 1 tr, ch 3, 1 dtr), in next ch 3 point work (1 dc, ch 7, sl st in 3rd ch from hook and each of next 3 ch, ch 2, 1 dc)] 6 times, omitting last dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: For CD covering, carefully dab a tiny bit of glue over the center and finishing knot of each snowflake and gently massage in, quickly cleaning up with a cotton swab, or as I did, a drop of spit on my finger, any glue you accidentally get on a CD. After making a few of these, I decided it's easier to weatherproof the flake centers (and the finishing knot of the first snowflake) prior to joining and inserting CDs, just waiting a few minutes for glue to dry a bit before finishing up the ornament. Permanently attach desired hanging device if you didn't chain a hanging loop. Hang and step back to bask in the reflections the CD scatters!

For Standalone Snowflake, 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. 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

25 May 2023

Moving Melancholies

I've had a placemarker on my blog for today for a couple of weeks. My goal was to finish SOMETHING I could share today.

I secretly hoped to creatively patch my good pair of jeans because I experienced the biggest RRRRRRIP I've ever heard in any of my clothing as I was lifting one of the crates I've filled with files at the office where I make an appearance two or three hours a week. We are moving out off our 20-year location at the end of this month, and due to permitting delays, we can't move into the new space until July or August. So everyone is going virtual again for a while, and moving is NOT fun! But, we do get to wear jeans. Hence, new and unplanned built-in air conditioning.

I'm so lucky I was wearing a long, long T-shirt (actually one of Lizard's) that day.

I'd patched my other pair of jeans about a year or so ago, and I still have a few prepared hexagons I can use on the new rip so I can be decently covered if I have to go back in to the old office. I likely will not be able to wear jeans to the new office; we'll go back to our office/professional dress code once we get moved.

Alas, the move, medical appointments (check-ups for Lizard), gardening, flooding window well (yes, again!!!) and downsizing contents of our house (more on that in a future blog post) forced me to wear my old patched jeans to work this week. The newly ripped pair is still waiting for some TLC. The knees on this pair are still in remarkably awesome condition.

Even the inseams are perfectly soft but untorn.

I guess the goal now is to have the jeans finished in time for next week's tiny trip to the old office. But for now, the only thing I can claim finishing is my stack of purple "totes" provided by the moving company. I should have taken a photo!!! Here's one from our last move 11 years ago (onto a different floor in the same building), before our new file cabinets were installed. Kind of cool that I'm down to five boxes now, and purple, to boot. It's so awesome to have gone nearly completely paperless!

Here's my desk back in 2016. Now it's completely empty. Although I did have to unpack and hook up my computer all by myself for two hours' of use this week. All by myself! Amazing how we've each kind of become our own personal IT professional during lockdown!

For fiber satisfaction, I guess you'll have to enjoy the latest photo of my 2023 crochet temperature project instead. It does have a lot of purple in it these days!

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