YouTube Tuesday – Creative on the Cheap

I just found this YouTuber, and I am interested in seeing more of her when I get a chance. I did watch the following video, and I thought it worth sharing just because it did have some interesting tools in it.

As always, if you like what you see by the creative behind this video, Courtney, please hit Like and at least leave a comment even if you do/don’t Subscribe. Feedback is the Holy Grail for all of us who do this kind of thing.

Let me know what kind of tools you like to use and/or use the most for your crafting. I mainly use sewing needles and crochet hooks. I don’t have a single brand I use mostly, but I do prefer DMC Moline floss for my cross stitching projects.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

A Fresh New Year!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday season including ringing in the new year!! I was too busy with work and family to do any posting until today so I’m a bit late to bring in the new year with you. However, better a little late than never at all – right??

Let me begin by saying I am so very grateful for each and every one of you who read these posts of mine. I don’t mind if you don’t comment or anything, I’m still going to write regardless. Would I like more interaction? Of course, but I’m not going to push things. I will eventually write something you’ll want to respond to, and I’ll be happy to respond back. To those of you who do respond to certain posts, I thank you most warmly. I enjoy the feedback and the interaction with all of you.

So what’s in store for the new year? I think we all have lists of things we want to do, see, make, visit etc. I don’t have a travel list, but I do have a To Do and To Make list. In fact, I’ve already begun several, and I hope you’ll follow along on my journey through this year as I show off what I’m doing, discuss things I’m interested in and so much more.

Projects Begun:

  1. Mystery Sampler Stitch-A-Long called Changing Seasons by Fox and Rabbit(formerly Linen and Threads) – I had to order the Aida cloth because none of my local sources carry them that large. I have also joined the Facebook group for this project, and I’ll post the link when I discuss the project further with you on Saturday.
  2. The Land Baby by John Collier – I have seen this pattern for sale on Etsy and Ebay both. The Link I’m sharing is from a free site with the charts and thread list. I saved them as images and am going to use my Paint program to help me mark off what I’m doing.
  3. Crocheted Baby Blanket for a Co-worker – she’s due in March, and I offered to make her a blanket. I think every newborn should be gifted with a handmade blanket.
  4. Health Potion Twitch Stream Prop inspired by Dungeons and Dragons, the game – my son streams on Twitch, and I have an empty brandy bottle he wants me to turn into a “Health Potion” as a prop for his stream. It should be fun to make.
  5. Frederick the Literate puzzle – this is going to be a challenge, and it’s not exactly like the cross stitch project of the same name so that’s good. 🙂

I have a great deal more planned including the ongoing project called Golden Knave. I’ll keep you in the loop on all my projects, and I hope you will all share with me the projects you all have planned for this year as well.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!!

Personal Update: 12 Dec. 2021

Time sure is flying by. The year is coming to a close. Businesses are rushing to close out their financial records for the fiscal year with big sales and, for some, big profits. People are trying to get together with family and friends for the last holiday of the year and to ring in the new year as well. Stress walks hand in hand with happiness, anxiety with elation – it’s all part of the year’s end.

Personally, I’ve completed all the projects I wanted to get done this year and now, I am fully focused on Golden Knave. I know it won’t be published by the end of the year because of my increased hours at work as well as time spent with family, but I’m good with that. I am doing my utmost not to end this year stressed out and fatigued by it all. I want to start my new year right.

Golden Knave is having to be put back on the computer because I lost almost all of what I’d had, and I’ve learned my lesson about not having a back up. I know all about them, and I am usually very diligent about it. For some reason, the last few months, I’ve been pretty scatterbrained trying to do so much and remember so much while dealing with so much. Still, things are coming along better now, and I’ll be able to start sending things to my Beta readers again soon.

Health is steady. My blood count with my anemia is back on track. I am still not losing weight, but my measurements are slowly dropping. I have some muscle development in my upper arms and legs from everything I do at work so that’s nice to see. Sinus issues due to the erratic weather changes are an annoyance but nothing serious, thankfully. I got my health insurance cards from work so it’ll be easier to go see my GP – easier on my bank account.

Work is work. I am having to work longer hours to fill in for co-workers who are on vacation or helping out with inventory in another store. I’m not that thrilled about it because of my back condition. There was a very good reason why I applied for only part time work. I am going to be opening my own online bookstore in the coming year to try to get another income stream going. It’ll be a General Bookstore, and I’ll be selling new and used books as I can get them. I’ll let you know when things are going. I won’t be putting my name on the store for privacy reasons, and my son will be helping me with the store as he can.

Family is lovely. My son and his girlfriend just celebrated their 6 month anniversary together. He cooked her dinner and gave her a necklace which I thought was sweet of him. My gentleman friend and I have our third anniversary coming up in February. I am planning to move closer to him late next year if all goes well with work. I am not rushing to move in with him because I am leery of things falling apart once I do. I’ve been married three times, and they all ended in disaster. I am not wanting to go through that again right now. He’s very understanding of this and is willing to wait for me.

Mimi is doing just fine. She’s got sinus issues from the weather changes as well, but I’m keeping on top of it so she doesn’t get sick. Her having bronchitis earlier this year was rough on both of us, and it scared me I might lose her. Being a Maine Coon, she is prone to a heart condition that could kill her with no warning, and her being that bad sick had me scared sick her heart would give out. Luckily, she recovered, and we’re both happier.

Future plans are in the making. I actually have a list of things I want to make for the new year. In fact, I did this thing. A month ago, I went to Huntsville, Texas with my son, Joe, and I went there to meet with a lady I’d met via Facebook Marketplace. I bought:

I had to take the right side roof off to get it into my little car it’s so big. Once I start work on it, I’ll have better pictures to show. She only charged me $15 USD for it, and I have big plans for it. In fact, you won’t recognize it once I’m done with just the structural changes I’m going to make to it. Joe is going to help me with the structure part, and I’ll do all the inside work myself. What color do you think I should paint the outside? I’m thinking of doing it in white stone, but not sure. Any and all suggestions will be considered!

That’s all for this update. I hope it finds you and your families happy and healthy.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Stitching Saturday: Linen and Threads Mystery Stitch-A-Long is now complete

November’s Block

I had issues deciding which colors to use on which part, but I did that with all of them. LOL I almost didn’t finish this in November, I was down to the last day, but I did get it done!

As promised, as soon as the December’s design was finished I was going to show it to you so, here it is:

I’m not too crazy about the red heart dangle so I may remove it at some point and close in the bottom of the heart. I really agonized over the colors for this design because I didn’t want it to look like the blocks, and I’m not sure how well I actually did.

Still, here’s the overall completed project:

I like how it turned out so I am happy with it. I’ll be making this into a wall hanging in 2022 when I have time and funds to get the materials to finish it. I’ll be sharing it with you when I complete that part. For now, the MSAL is over.

I’m really looking forward to the next one! I hope it’s as fun and varied as this one was!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Free Pattern Friday: All My Projects Are Done!

Between longer hours at work and pushing to finish the commissions for a co-worker, I haven’t done much else. Still, it’s been worth it to see the smile on her face when I gave her the two baby blankets and the four remaining octopi she’d commissioned from me. She assures me the children these will be going to will love them and so will the mothers. I hope so, but I still had fun making them so it’s a win-win.

Baby Blankets

Baby Girl 33 by 20

I am so happy with how these two turned out! 🙂

Baby Octopi

She requested I make one smaller than the rest if possible so I used a smaller hook. I did put faces on them, I just forgot to take a picture before I gave them to her. These were fun and so easy to make!

I now have nothing else to make until the beginning of the year when I have several projects I want to make, for myself and for others. I’ll be sharing them with you as I work on them. 🙂

Let me know, please, what projects you’re working on and have just finished! I’d love to see them!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Stitching Saturday: MSAL Update and new project begun.

I didn’t post last week because I’ve been working on the Mystery Sampler Stitch-A-Long block for November when I had a chance. Between increased hours at work and having crochet orders to fill, I haven’t had much time to do any stitching.

Still, I finally finished the block, a very prettily designed one, and you’ll have to wait until next week to see it. I plan to post the final piece of the sampler as soon as it’s done in December rather than making you wait until the beginning of January.

I am hoping the next MSAL hosted by Linen and Threads will be interesting enough for me to work on in the coming new year. The other Stitch A Longs I’ve seen planned for the winter months and the coming new year haven’t been all that interesting to me so I won’t be doing them. I like things with variety in design not just color.

This was why this MSAL caught and has held my attention for this entire year. Based off Talavera pottery, each section has been different in design, and I was able to choose my own colors. Granted, I’ve used the same group of colors for each block, but that was to add some cohesion to the overall piece. The other non block elements are done in different colors, and the final section will also be done in different colors.

New Project

I’m doing a little kit I’ve had for a while and just never gotten around to making. This year, it’s getting done.

I don’t have a needle minder yet, but I will be getting one when I can. Suggestions on where to find interesting ones are greatly appreciated.

Next time, I’ll be discussing the project planned for 2022 which might just take me all year to do.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Free Pattern Friday: Baby Boy Blanket

I am still busy making octopi for a co-worker who has commissioned them. Of the 9 she asked me to make, I have one left. I’ve given her 5 so far, and I’ve got 4 left to give to her. When the last of the 4 are done, I’ll take a picture of them and post it so you can see how cute they all are. She chose the colors. Each one took less than one skein each to do. Most of the yarn used is cotton with 2 skeins being acrylic, and she bought all of them herself for me to use.

Currently, I am working on both blankets she’s also commissioned me to make : one for a 2 month old preemie girl and one for an 8 month old boy who is on the short side for his age though not a preemie.

Baby Boy Blanket

This blanket is going to be 32 inches by 36 when it’s complete. It’s being made using an F(3.25mm)hook and Lion Brand Mandala in the colorway called Nifflers which is a 3 weight yarn. The striping is natural to the yarn, and I’m wish the blue-green section could’ve been thinner. It’s looking like I may only need 2 cakes of this yarn with each cake being 590 yards, but we’ll see once it’s done.

The pattern is a very simple Corner to Corner aka C2C pattern, and you can find very good instructions from The Crochet Crowd.

I’m still working on the blanket for the little girl too, alternating between them as they use two different stitches and patterns.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and I’ll see you on the flipside. Don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Free Pattern Friday: Completed and Ongoing Projects

So, I’ve been quite busy crocheting. The ongoing projects are ones I’ve been commissioned to make, and the completed ones are some things I just happened to make while figuring out what else to make.

Finished Projects

The Block Shawl aka Call the Midwife Blanket

This pattern is the property of Patons and was created by a company they took over back around the 1980s. It’s actual name is The Block Shawl and was originally intended to be a shawl. It was used in a show called Call the Midwife as a baby blanket, and a fan of the show then reverse engineered the pattern when they couldn’t find anything close to it – it was out of print at the time -calling it the Call the Midwife Baby Blanket. They have since done due diligence in finding out the original owner of the pattern and its copyright which is now Patons.

I am linking to a page hosting the pattern as supporters of Patons and not the fan who reverse engineered the pattern as I believe in giving credit where it’s due. The above is a stroller blanket size of the original pattern, and if you’d like to make the actual Block Shawl or tweak it a bit to be baby blanket size here’s the link : The Block Shawl

The above is a gift bag I free handed. I needed something to put a pretty present in, and I wanted it to be as bespoke as the gift is.

Ongoing Projects

The below are all items I have been commissioned to make. I have been commissioned to do 9 of the octopi, and the client picked out all the colors. I don’t normally do embroidery on crochet so it’s a learning process. 🙂

For some reason the group picture didn’t fully show up, but the individuals look pretty good. I am by no means a professional photographer so pardon them not being perfect. They are all “asleep” as they are being given to babies for nap and bedtime.

Linen Stitch Baby Blanket

The colors and the pattern for this blanket were chosen by the same person who commissioned the octopi. This half finished blanket is for a 2 month old preemie girl. The yarn is Lion Brand Mandala Ombre in Serene. The color change is the result of working with the yarn as is. I didn’t try to stripe it or order it in any way. I showed this to my client, and she loves how it looks so I will continue with it. Here is the link to the pattern should you want to try this pattern yourself: Linen Stitch Blanket

I’ve been asked to make a blanket for an 8 month old preemie baby boy by the same client, but she’s only chosen the colors so far, not the pattern. I think she’s going for a star or starburst shape, but she hasn’t told me exactly what she wants. I’m hoping she’s going to let me know before I’m done with the above projects so I can get them done.

I have three shawl/scarves with pockets another person has commissioned me to do – they are deciding on the yarn as well as the yarn color right now so I have to wait to get started on them. The pattern for this project is not free – the client bought it for me. Even though it’s not free, I’ll still post pictures and the link – just in case.

So that’s it for this week. I should have all the octopi and the blanket done by next week. I should have another project almost finished by then as well – a little sachet I’m planning to make for my son’s girlfriend. 🙂 Fun stuff to look forward to!!!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Writing Wednesday: My Inspirations

I started writing when I was quite young – poetry mostly. I was good in English class and Reading, but I didn’t know enough to be able to write anything more than poetry in the beginning. In the 7th grade, one of my poems was published in the school year book which was a big deal to me back then.

I am a voracious reader when I have the time and the means. When I was much younger, I read a wide variety of genres and styles including Romance. I don’t care for Romance any longer, and the Supernatural/Paranormal Romance is just as bad. If I want to read porn, I’ll read porn and not porn pretending to be something else. There’s nothing wrong with sex in a story as long as it helps move the story along and as long as it leaves something to the reader’s imagination. I don’t need/want an explicit sex scene. Where’s the romance in that??

I am, and always have been, a big fan of Fantasy and Horror in their purer forms. Gothic Horror is now classed as Supernatural/Paranormal, but I still enjoy it as long as it’s well written. Violence is okay as long as it moves the story along, as long as it’s necessary for the story to develop. Even then, less is more since I can imagine far worse with fewer details. I love Psychological Horror where the writer lets you scare yourself with a few choice words and with fantastic anticipation building.

My favorite Fantasy author is J.R.R. Tolkien. I discovered him when I was about 10. I read Lord of the Rings and didn’t read the Hobbit until after I’d read the entire series. I was hooked on his style of writing. His use of words to create fantastic imagery was stirring. I cried during the thrilling scene where the Elves arrive in Helmsdeep just in time to aid the Humans they’d pledged to help so many years before. The final movie rendition of that scene was just as stirring, and I cried for the first time – the previous movie attempts had never moved me. Still, I wasn’t moved enough to begin writing. I just devoured every Fantasy novel I could get my hands on. Weis/Hickman’s DragonLance series as well as McCaffrey’s Pern series stuck with me the most of all of them.

When I was 13, almost 14, I discovered Stephen King. I’d already seen movies by some of the great film makers including Hitchcock, but none of them scared me like reading It for the very first time! Only Jaws came close to scaring me that much. Despite this fear, I kept reading King. I loved he didn’t tell me what I was supposed to be scared of, he just described the monster or built up the scene enough for me to scare myself. His use of imagery, smells, sounds, feelings, is still so vivid and evocative I thrill every time I pick up a new book of his. This said, not all of his books have scared me. Cujo made me sad for the dog. Desperation and Regulators disturbed me because they both had kids as the main focus of the stories. Rose Madder was close to being like a bad acid trip. He was, in the end, the catalyst that moved me to try my hand at writing.

I wanted to blend the two writing styles to create my own. I wanted to describe things with a minimal of words, letting the reader fill in the blanks as they would. I wanted to create vivid action scenes, develop well liked/hated characters who were believable, and I wanted to craft a story people would want to read.

My first three stories were lost over the years – my first was a post Vietnam war story, and the other two were Fantasy stories involving characters in Crimson Knight, the first novel I ever published. Those two stories were the beginning of my world of Padua. I have also written Supernatural Thrillers though my first one was considered a Gothic Horror two decades ago.

Others have had added some flavoring to my writing as well, but none have had the impact those two aforementioned had, and still have, on me and my writing.

What inspires you to do the things you love to do? It doesn’t have to be writing. It can be painting, music, poetry, crafting, whatever brings a smile to your lips and happiness to your heart. I’d love to hear about it!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Twitch/YouTube Tuesdays: Bentley House Minis and the Addams Family Go to Arizona!

This is actually belated news as Ara and her Addams Family Mansion headed to Arizona shortly before Halloween this year. The mansion is on display in a museum featuring miniatures, and it will be there for just over a year! Check out the vlog post below to find out more about this fabulous honor for Ara!

Ara has worked on this mansion for a very long time! If you’re interested in watching her on her journey making this awesome iconic house, check out the Addams Family Mansion Playlist!

I am so happy for her!! I did the virtual tour of the museum as well, and it’s something I’d love to see in person when I get a chance to go out that way!

Be sure to comment on at least the vlog video to let Ara know what you think! I know, from personal experience, she pays attention to all the comments, even ones left on old videos so if you like any of the Addams Family Mansion videos, be sure to let her know there as well!!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!