This Week’s Top Ten List

This week we travel to the beautiful city of Baltimore, MD. My sister lives in Baltimore so it seems a good place to visit some of the local artisans and see what a little east coast flair!

Silver Hoops by Appleblossom86. I have actually purchased earrings on every trip I’ve made to Maryland. Funky earrings – one a pair of clocks and the other the most expensive earrings I own. I guess I like the stuff they do.

Crocodile Stitch Shawl by Bonitapatterns I don’t know what’s better, the shawl pattern or the fabric used to make it – both are stunning.

Tote bag by Bibi1990 – This is a cute tote bag – and you know a bag don’t even have to be cute for me to like it – but this one is!!

Spring Fling by Cat’s Soft Stitches – babies have to be stylish!

Ocean Breeze by Marian Ruth – Sometimes it’s the simple things that have the most elegance and this design in this color is simply elegant!

I am certified for another year as a Certified Lay Speaker. I learned a lot in the class and I am still thinking about it a few days later. We were in Evanston last night with the knitting group – six of us at Close Knit LYS. We thank them for staying open later for us. It’s a nice cozy space and they have a nice selection. If you’re in Evanston, they are on Davis street. In fact, they are on Davis Street even if you’re not in Evanston.

Burst Earrings by doxallodesigns – Did I mention how much I love earrings made in Maryland?

Turquoise Purse by An Original by Peggy – It was hard just picking one item from her shop but it’s the color that drew me in.

Stained Glass by terraza glass – again, it was hard to pick which one of the items to select. There’s some beautiful work there and I can see more than one in my house!

Asian Inspired Earrings by Love Salt – These are lovely. It’s not my fault there are so many good Baltimore jewelry artisans.

Felted Bath Balls by Raw Olive What a nifty idea to use left over yarn and then recycle after the original intended use. Goes from spa item to cat toy in just a matter of moments.

Baltimore is one of the those places where you can find vendors almost anywhere. I really like it for that aspect. It has many personalities and a great place to explore. If you can’t make it to the right side of the country then skipping through these shops might prove a great alternative.

I hope you have a good week! Don’t forget to take time out for crafting!

Blessings Everyday

This is the new collage of item’s I’ve made for the year. The last one had 24 photos and this one has 28 and if you don’t know how to use Picasa to make and alter photos, let me tell you it’s a nice, free tool to have.

The wonderful Melissa snapped at me Wednesday night because I had what I felt was a real dilemma. If i sell a set of 5 face scrubbies – which the marvelous Chantal loved – did I make five things or one? Miss Vicki and I were pursuing this question when from across the table came a “Oh God!” OK, so I gather she doesn’t think it’s an important thing. I believe the word ‘competitive’ was bandied about.

I cannot explain why I think it’s important but I do keep track of what I make over the year. So, I am going to count it as five different things because they are full projects and they didn’t form themselves.

I spent the past two Saturday mornings at Lay Speaker Academy and can I tell you what a wonderful class it was. This year I took Advanced Preaching taught my Rev. James Preston and the man was born to teach. He clearly enjoys it and gives instructive, constructive criticism that will go a long way to making us all better preachers.

There were great people in the class and there are some churches who are very lucky. Maurice and Audrey stand out to me because they had the best presence in the pulpit. Audrey is a new pastor at a church a couple of blocks from my house and I look forward to visiting the church again to see her in service.

Maurice and I were in class last year and we bonded again this year. He gave a sermon (we all did} which reminded me of my father. That doesn’t happen very often and I so wish to count him among my friends. Audrey, too. She’s a sweetheart and it’s impossible to have too many sweethearts in your life.

There was snow out there – imagine that in February – and I am ready for Spring. I am hoping to be here when Spring arrives. I am going to have to get a complete physical and I want to do that in the late season.

Tomorrow is a full day at church and some afternoon knitting in Evanston. In the meantime, I have to put together the sweater pieces which have been on the blocking board since yesterday and then decide what’s coming next. I am looking at the intarsia afghan look at me and I have a special order hat that needs a second draft – maybe I’ll work on those next…or not.

Hey, I’m competitive not decisive.

Here’s something I didn’t think I could do with granny squares:
I’ve done this cap twice now – once in the green seen here and I have one done in purples. It’s really a lot of fun. What am I saying – most everything we do in knit/crochet is fun.

Did I tell you the fabulous Melissa took up crochet a few months back and is well on the way to being a crochet fiend? I kid you not – her first real project was this vest thing which involved some intricate work. The wonderful Vickie is proud of us.

Yesterday, I finished six things. A scarf that the pattern said should take about four hours to crochet took about 2.5 and then I made six face scrubbies out of cotton just to see if I could read the picture I saw of them. They were fun to make so I kept going until there were five of them…then I went to bed because I didn’t think I could explain to Mr. Honey why staying up to crochet face scrubbies was different and somehow not as logical as the other reasons I stay up knitting and crocheting.

The date has been set for the Fourth Annual SIt and Knit – May 14. If you are in the Chicago area and want to sit on the veranda of a beautiful mansion in a park setting, then grab your needles and hooks and come on out. Miss Vickie will be heading up the project this year and it’s chemo caps for Loyola Hospital! I am hoping spring will be truly here by then. Last year, it was a little cold so we were in the dining room in the mansion instead of outside. It is so much better outside!

Tonight is knit group and once again we will be at the mall in the Food Court. I feel as if I haven’t seen them in a while even though it was just a few weeks ago. I think it’s because I was laid up. As much as I love just being able to veg and knit, the human contact thing is rather important. And even though I was in class on Saturday with a group of very inspirational people, sometimes you just need your homies around you.
I will be seeing my homies this evening and I will have my baby sweater project in tow – that’s right, I am going to cast on a baby sweater. I haven’t made one in – probably years. It’s for a small baby so I will have to have another project ready just in case I finish this one off before tonight. Though I don’t think I will.

Mr. Honey is hovering which means he wants to use my laptop with the faster connection than his dial-up. We have the same Internet provider and for just $5 more a month, his laptop can be upgraded but he doesn’t want that. Go figure.

This Week’s Top Ten List

So, last week’s Top Ten were folks who had not yet had a sale on Etsy and this week we are focusing on artisans from Akron, Ohio. Don’t try and understand it – just go with it!

Valentine Hearts Earrings by Decorate the Diva. They were made for me – she just didn’t know it when she did them!

Bow Head Warmer by Noodle Noggins – It’s a little retro-fresh and very cute. I can’t wear hats or headbands but this would look great on those who can!

Ice Skaters by Renie Britenbucher It was hard selecting which painting to include but the colors won out on this one!

Giraffe by Peachy Paws I love Giraffes! If they add a unicorn they will officially rock!

Owl Hat by Cozy Crafters I aspire to this level of cuteness!

So, I was so sick Saturday night and all through the day Sunday. I finally felt better at 4 in the afternoon. I was so bad Mr. Honey said I was crying in my sleep and I woke up with a headache and some serious nausea. I started to get a little scared when I got the chills but taking my temp it was only 95 which is low from my normal 96. I slept most of the day away after taking some pepto and aspirin.

The good news is I felt better Sunday evening and staying off my feet all day made my leg feel a great deal better and I was able to have a small workout Monday morning. Scary.

Now after that ray of sunshine, here are the final five!

Chubby Pitcher by NSpottery I love pottery. I tried my hand at it as a child and soon realized I had no talent for it whatsoever.

Dog Snood by Frogge Dog Shop – disturbing on so many levels.

Sexpot by JMNPottery – Put my last two comments together…

Fun at the Circus by Kye Bags – leave it to a tote bag to bring us back to normal. This one is fun!

Anouk Cowl by EStar Knits I LOVE this wrap and I can imagine it in all kinds of colors. It is simple and yet very classy and classic.

So there’s some kind of talent in Akron! If you know any Ohioans you can let them know they have a town featured! It was fun looking at the talent in another city…I may have to make this a regular thing!

Did you hear? My great state (and some say my city) is hosting 14 renegade senators. Goodness gracious!

Sum of All Parts

Depending on how you want to count, I have completed 26 – 33 items this year. It would be 26 if you counted a set as one item – I know there are 25 things shown here – I didn’t include one of the hand puppets – but are the golf club covers 3 items or 1?

I dragged my leg outside with the rest of me to take photos – the first seven were taken yesterday – overcast days are great for photography as I said. Overcast days, especially using a digital camera, will make colors run more true. On a sunny day, I wouldn’t get purple hats; I would get blue ones. That is a source of irritation for me. So, there’s a tip for photographers – use an overcast day to advantage in taking your photos.

I am fully aware I would not be able to produce so much,eh, produce if I had young’uns at home. Of course, if we had kids immediately they would be tweens and would be ignoring us now so perhaps I would have time. But the kid we did help raise is in her 30s and living on her own on the upper left coast so again, I have time. (We got her when she was in her teens – young enough for us to mess her up, get strangely attached and cry like rivers when she moved, and thank God we didn’t mess her up after all.)

I love this craft. As much as I turned my nose up at crocheting – which I learned first – I am glad to have picked it up. At least nine of the things I’ve done are crocheted. The joke is on me. Ha. They both help soothe me but in different ways – freaky. I would explain the difference here but I’m putting it in the book. (Hey Julie!!)

Right now the finished objects are occupying the chair and the top of Mr. Honey’s snow thrower box. I was asked to donate items to a school auction and I am trying to decide what items from last year I want to give them and that will free up the storage space for some of the new stuff. Incidentally, if you know of a school or other organization who needs items for a sale, raffle or auction, let me know and I will be more than happy to contribute. I have more than enough for any show and the shop and I don’t want to lose track of the giving component I started out with.

I hope your weekend is great! I will be limping off to Lay Academy training – I have to reluctantly admit to really hurting the limb. I walked half a block when we went out to breakfast this morning and I was looking for a vet to put me down. We’re supposed to have a little snow over the weekend and then pop right back to sunny – I hope you fare as well!

Yadda, Yadda, Yadda

I need a head with hair. I put slouch hats on a hairless head and it looks like something that would only fit Gigantor’s mama. It fits my head comfortably and I don’t have much more hair than this head here but it would still be useful to have one that has a mane for instances just like this.

Woke up this morning and there was very little pain (note how I phrased that) and I thought this would be the day to test out the leg with just a little workout. I really miss the feeling that a workout brings so I thought just easing back into couldn’t hurt.

I was wrong.

Not even 30 seconds into it and I was limping towards the easy chair. I relayed this info to Mr. Honey and he said something akin to my being a kook and it serving me right for not waiting. But exactly what would I be waiting for? I gave it a shot and didn’t push it past a reasonable point. I think that was the right thing to do and maybe tomorrow I will get to 40 seconds. I am willing to take the baby steps.

I have two more hats that came off the needles. Both crochet. Both slouches. And I still have some more pics to photograph. Today is a good day for photography. It is in the upper 50s and overcast. I should get to taking photos today though it is another thing I will not push too much because it means stairs. But there is a cute granny square hat I want you to see and some other hats and a two toned gray cowl.

I also continued work on the intarsia afghan bedspread. The first strip is all done and one square from the second. I have decided this will not be rushed. I am using gigantic bobbins which are a really good help. I fill it up and I always have some left over and I am making leaves for the falling leaves afghan bedspread. I now have 17 of the 200 plus I will need.
Do not mock- the journey of 1000 steps yadda, yadda, yadda…

Getting On

Here’s the first go round with the beret little Miss Vickie wanted. There’s actually another one I finished yesterday but didn’t photograph as of yet. (It’s on Mickey Mouse’s head.) I am going to take the pic just not today. There’s yet another hat on the hooks but that’s a grown up hat.


The leg is better still. I was really determined to workout today and when I woke up the first thing I felt was pain. Not a lot. Not overwhelming but just enough to let me know I am going to have to ease back into the workout routine. Bummer. I didn’t want to lose momentum. I would love to go out and take a walk but the truth is I think I would make it to the corner – three houses away – and scream for Mr. Honey to get the car. I’ve been trying to walk ‘regular’ and it hasn’t quite happened.


I haven’t had a sale this year. That’s another bummer. I have a lot of finished projects and I still need to have some more photos done so I am not blaming anyone but myself for the lack of sales. I need to put more items that my history shows will sell – my hats and afghans. At the same time, I have to prepare different items for shows that we do. With all the stress at trying to stay relevant and making this work, I would still rather deal with this than go back into corporate life. I’d rather make my own corporation. At least I know this stress is mine.

Those of us living in Chicago (and surrounding area) are watching the snow disappear. I actually see the ground. We are headed for the 40s and 50s in the temp and I am ready for Spring. I am also ready for the Cubs to announce their new radio color guy. My hope is that it will be either Mark Grace or Rick Sutcliff.

I want my leg to heal so I can get back to my normal laziness. This enforced laziness just doesn’t work for me.

This Week’s Top Ten List

I thought I would do something a little different for the Top Ten List. I pulled these items from shops on Etsy that have yet to have a sale. I remember what it was like waiting for my first sale and I didn’t know if anyone would be able to find my shop let alone buy anything so I went in search of folks who have yet to experience it – perhaps you will be the first for one of them!

Big Blue Pendant by I Fly the Circus. It’s unusual and cool. Every piece tells a story!
Leaf Earrings by Kim’s Vintage Design. Hard to choose between the earrings and the crochet hats she has on sales. In the end, earrings won because I can make the hat myself.
Dog Wedding Collar by Sunshine Critters. This gets kudos because the dog posed for the photos. A Doberman no less.
Berry Breakfast Tea by Sands Tea I LOVE breakfast tea and this looks like it smells and tastes good!
Randall by Ted E. Graham. Seriously, price is the only thing keeping this shop from scoring. If they could find an economical product to blend with the high end, they would be jumping from all the business.

So, the leg is getting better. I had every intention of working out today. I am bummed because I’ve worked out every day except the last three. One was a scheduled day off and these last two because the leg hurts. I came downstairs and took the stance to work out and my leg wanted to take itself off my body and hit me in the head. So maybe tomorrow.

In the meantime, I did finish the beret prototype Vicki wanted me to make and it came out cute. It’s too little for my head so probably right for her. I am not sure about the slouch factor. I will take a pic and show it to you later and hopefully I will be able to see how it fits her on Sunday and then make what she wants in the color she wants.

Whimsy by Patchwork and Pocket – because the love of tote bags never end.
Forever After by Sanders Pride – I don’t know. I just like it.
Beach Wedding Decoration by Beachy Wreaths – So unique. I wouldn’t have even thought of it!
Shadow Tree by SAllard Photography I love the strength and grace of the photo.
Hipster Brief by Emiliana Underwear – Don’t you want to track it to see who pays $30 for them?

There you have it! A little bit of this and a little bit of that. As always, I am blown away by the talent all around us. Take a tour of some or all of these shops and give some support to our small businesses and their owners!

Broken Things

Mr. Honey thinks I’ve broken my leg. Since I am walking on it, albeit in pain, I don’t think that’s the case. Falling down the stairs is no fun…but almost falling and putting your entire weight one leg while holding on to a railing with a big knitting bag on one arm and a digital camera in the other with a small child behind you is less fun than falling. If I had fallen I probably would not have hurt myself but chances are good I would have hurt the child and the camera – much, much worse.

Yes, I sacrificed myself for a child. This child: my friend, Victoria, who is wearing the hat I crocheted for her. The deal was I would make her the hat if she would then be the model for my kiddie hats. She has since put in her order for a complete hat wardrobe with a strong emphasis on a beret (red and orange)that has a great slouch in it. She also wants a matching scarf.

Ah, the young. They think fiber grows on trees.

She says the slouchy beret will ‘make all my friends jealous’ which, of course, is what you want your friends to feel. Heaven forbid such feelings should be saved for those we do not love.

I actually do not have a pattern for a child size beret with or without a great slouch – I do have a pen, paper and calculator and I have adjusted an adult size beret that I can make and see if it fits – not too concerned about the color right now just want to see if it works.

In the meantime, Mr. Honey has provided me with his walker from when he had his Sciatica
and i am hobbling along as best I can. I tried to workout and i am here to say that one shouldn’t try and do that when one has hurt their leg within the last 24 hours. Tomorrow will be soon enough to give it another shot. Luckily, the hands were not hurt in the process so the knitting can go on. I finished a gray on gray cowl that I started last night and I will get a photo of that as soon as I can manage it. I’m going to be perched in my chair for the better part of the day and so I should get a lot of things done.

Ibuprofen is a God send.

Contacts

I would go to sleep if it weren’t for the fact I’m wearing contacts – and it’s only 6 o’clock. I was up before 7 this morning because I had to go to a United Methodist Women training session – I was one of the trainers. I didn’t need to get up before 7 because a continental breakfast was being served at 8:30 and the real stuff started at 9 so I could have gotten up at 8 – but I wanted to make sure i did my workout.

You read that right – i wanted to make sure I got in my workout.

And I did. I did my workout, took my shower got dressed and went on the church and I still got there for the breakfast portion of the day – just barely. The important thing is I wasn’t late for the main event.

Now, I’ve been home for about 5 hours and I’ve nodded off I don’t know how many times. I haven’t knit much today. I did manage to make another leaf for the afghan but that’s about it. I did get in some crocheting during the morning when the featured speaker was speaking. It was very interesting but crocheting seemed to be a natural thing to do and I didn’t distract or disrupt her or anyone else.

i did manage to pick up a new book on the spiritual side of crochet called Contemplative Crochet. I will let you know what I think when I’ve read it. It is a book in the UMW Reading program so it actually counts towards being recognized for completing the reading program.

Yesterday, we met someone new at the knitting group get together. Her name is Bilvi and she is from Finland. Lovely lady; experienced knitter (did you know they teach knitting in school in Finland?) She has been in the US for a couple of months having married a man from Chicago. So, she’s new to marriage and new to the states and wanted to meet new folks. She’s funny and insightful and we voted right then and there to keep her – now if she votes to keep us we will see her at the Friday gatherings.

I am sore after the workout. I got through the first phase of muscle breakthrough but there are more muscles to go. Plus, I’ve worked out for 6 days straight. I don’t have a workout tomorrow so i can give the body a well earned break. I see a good night’s sleep in the near future and the weather is supposed to be really nice tomorrow so I also anticipate good things should I be blessed with a tomorrow.

I hope you have a great weekend.