Sunday, May 29, 2016

Small things...

I couldn't manage to finish Part 10 of my Mandala Madness this week, but hopefully next week I'll get this challenging round completed.  It appears to be a doozy!

With the knowledge that I wouldn't be able to post a progress picture of the Mandala Madness I set to work finishing a project for the Weekly & Washcloth CAL on Ravelry.   After looking at several tutorials on crocheting a simple wrap bracelet, I put this one together with some wooden and glass beads, some shell beads, and some fun dangles that were retrieved from no longer worn jewelry.

The anchor charm is new, but it works really well as a clasp hooked onto the old oval-shaped reclaimed jewelry part.  This isn't how I anticipated holding the bracelet together, but I like it!

And while I had my beads out I decided to finally make me some stitch markers.    I thought I had more earring parts, but with just two of the ones pictured below I could only put together two mushroom stitch markers.   I really need to get more earring wires at the earliest opportunity, 'cuz these mushroom stitch markers are begging for some buddies to hang with.

With plenty of lobster claw clasps, I was able to put together some other sets.  I think these funky beads make cute stitch markers:

And these mis-matched "jewels" make a fun eclectic set below, I think.  I don't know why, but they remind me of a tea table set with a varied assortment of china.  Is that weird?  I actually like that they're not matchy-matchy.

I'm probably way too enamored with my own handiwork, but I'm so very excited to finally have some cute stitch markers.  I have some plastic non-closing ones that are useful at times, but when I've needed something that closes I've resorted to paper clips or safety pins, or pulling an earring out of an ear to use in a pinch, even.  Don't laugh!  Okay...go ahead and laugh.  It's not that I don't value being enterprising and using what is readily available, but there's something to be said for using attractive tools.

And with these pretties at my disposal I will happily get back to work on my Mandala Madness and other projects.  To see what other Yoppers are up to, visit our thread this week on Ravelry.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Madness Continues...

Keeping my Year of Projects post really short this week, I give you Part 9 of my Mandala Madness.

The waviness of the edges is supposed to settle down with Part 10.  I have no idea how or why, but I've learned to trust the designer.  When she says something will happen, it tends to happen.  I tried to be proactive and measure this thing before posting, but I got a rough measurement of 43 inches across, which is the same measurement I got last week.  Hmmm....  Clearly, I'm going to have to wait 'till the waves are calm before I can manage to measure accurately.

And that's all from me on this beautiful fourth Sunday in May.  :)  Check out what other Yoppers are up to by visiting our Ravelry thread this week!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Springing into summer...

After a couple of projects that required some serious focus I'm enjoying crocheting this simple Corner to Corner Spring Into Summer Blanket using Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable yarn in the colorway, "Candied".  While I love doing this in a self-striping yarn I am choosing to cut the yarn in some places to remove some less than pretty colors.  So there's a fair amount of end weaving still.  But far less than if I was creating all those stripes from different skeins of yarn.  :)

And being in the mood again to clear out some excess STUFF, I recently checked out from my local library the book The Joy of Less by Francine Jay. At this stage in life I don't really expect to find anything new in a cleaning/decluttering/organizing book, but  every once in a while I find it motivating to read someone else's thoughts about living with less.  Time will tell how motivating this little book will be.  ;^)

Joining with Ginny's Yarn Along at Small Things


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Loving the lavender...

First up, week 8 of my Mandala Madness:

I admit - I love the light lavender!


And yippee skippee -- I finally finished the Diamond Stitch Baby Blanket, which ended up being too large for a baby blanket.   I'm thinking it's perfect for a young child, though.  Or maybe a large lap blanket for someone older?  This first picture shows just a little over half of the finished blanket - made with Deborah Norville's Everyday, yarn in the color, orchid (which, in my mind, translates to lavender :^).

While I love the diamond pattern for its simple elegance, I'm wondering if it needs something - like maybe some crocheted flower appliques - like in the bottom right-hand corner.   But if I do that, how many and what size?  Truthfully, I'm not sure I even want to do anything more, but I'm open to at least hearing ideas.  Please weigh in below if you have an opinion.

Finishing up the Diamond Stitch blanket I immediately began on the Spring Into Summer Blanket using Red Heart Boutique yarn in the the colorway Candied:

I've always thought the original of this blanket is pretty, so I decided while I'm in a small blanket kind of mood, now's a good time to make one.

To see what other Yoppers are up to visit our thread this week on Ravelry.  And consider joining us come the first Sunday in July for a new Year of Projects year.  Come check out the group and see if this sounds like fun.  We'd all love to see new folks join us!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mostly small things...

First up - Part 7 of my not-so-small Mandala Madness:

While I think it looks better in the picture than it does in real life, this last round kind of works for me with that splash of bright pink and bright green and going a little easier on the dark purple. So what's next?  Back to the pink and white for the next few rounds...

And looking for a smaller, lighter weight project I whipped up one of these Kaldred Bracelets:

This is an easy project - and easy to adapt to different weight threads and yarns.   While I added a clasp, it's unnecessary.  Even with cotton thread, this bracelet stretches just enough to ease this right over my hand.    
Saturday morning I attended an event called "Garden Celebration" here in our town (at the county fairgrounds).  There were vendors of all sorts selling a variety of things from antiques, soaps and essential oils, honey, outdoor furniture, crafty items, and of course plants.  There were several seminars throughout the day, and I chose to attend one about the need for establishing Monarch butterfly way stations between Mexico and Canada - for Monarchs to stop, mate, and lay their eggs on their annual migration north.  Long story short, I'm now contemplating where might be the perfect spot for planting Milkweed in our backyard.  Very interesting information shared in this seminar.

And, of course I bought a few plants - a Chocolate Cherry Tomato plant (the ripe tomatoes are supposed to be purple, and no, they won't taste like chocolate ;^), and a sweet red pepper plant along with various decorative plants to go with my flowers I'll be potting this week.  

My favorite purchase, though was this little felted bowl:

I have no clue what I'm going to put in it, but it is so adorable I decided I didn't care. I know I'll figure out some use for this pretty little bowl.   I want to give felting a try, but I'm not sure I can do it in my high efficiency washing machine that has no agitator.  So, until I do decide to try felting I'll just admire my little bowl and think about pretty colors I could blend together into a felted something. ;^)

To top off the day, on Saturday evening we visited with my husband's parents to wish my mother-in-law an early Happy Mother's Day. Since gardening is on my brain, I took her a pretty potted Dahlia plant.  It was a nice, quiet visit with just the parents-in-law and my sister-in-law.  And while we were there, we watched the Kentucky Derby. Evidently it's an annual tradition for my in-laws to watch the Kentucky Derby on TV.   In all the years I've lived within 2 hours of Louisville, Kentucky, I've never even been curious enough to watch this race on TV.  Now that I have seen it, I can only say... Wow - such a lot of hoopla over a race that lasts maybe two minutes?!?!  While I have to say I really don't get it, I will admit...  it was an exciting two minutes.  :^)

After a Mother's Day lunch today, the family decided at the last minute to go watch The Jungle Book movie.  Now, not being a big fan of talking animals, and understanding that most of the movie is computer generated I originally didn't have much interest in seeing this movie.  But when everyone said they'd like to go, and it being a rainy day, I decided it was as good a thing to do as anything.  OH MY!!!    What a good movie it is!   The CG is amazing.  Even knowing most of the movie was computer generated I had to keep reminding myself that the animals weren't real.  That the scenes were not real.  The voices were perfect, and the emotion shown in the animals' faces and movements made me a believer in CG.  Honestly, I felt like I could watch it again - just to be amazed all over again by the creativity of the computer artists.  Sigh.

And that wraps up the week.  While we've had a fair amount of rain and it's been chilly this weekend in Indiana, it has been a lovely Mothers' Day weekend.  

Come see what other Yoppers are up to, visit this week's thread on Ravelry.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May Day Mandala

On this beautiful first day of May, I offer this week's installment of my Mandala Madness:

I kind of like how Part 6 turned out.  Continuing with the blues and green makes this soften right up. But of course, thinking it's time to add back in the bright pink (it's actually called Shocking Pink) and purple, I'm already starting to worry it's going to go all gaudy again.  Seriously wishing I'd never used those colors to begin with.  Oh well, I bravely crochet on...


The only other crocheting that got any attention this week was my Diamond Stitch Baby Blanket:

It's about half way finished now, but progress seems slow.  For such an easy pattern, it has been ripped back an awful lot.  The concept of the pattern isn't hard at all, but it's very easy to lose track and make mistakes, I'm finding.

And that's all there is to mention on the crochet front.  To see what other Yoppers are up to, visit this week's thread on Ravelry.