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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Unicorn Party Square Border





This is the border to my Unicorn Party Square baby blanket I made.  Feel free to make your own border if you want, but this is just the basic instruction of what I did.  I did NOT get these directions tested, nor will they completely work for everyone's blanket depending on how you sew your squares together, but they are easy enough that you should be able to fudge your way through.  I wanted it to be pretty simple so that if our stitch counts are off you can wing it a little. :)


11.  Join with standing hdc in any ch 1 corner, (hdc, ch 2, hdc) in same corner, *skip hidden stitch, hdc in remaning sc, (2hdc, ch 2, 2hdc in corner); repeat from * around and join with sl st to first hdc, FO.


22.   Join with standing hdc in any stitch, skip hidden st and hdc in each hdc putting (2 hdc,       ch 2, 2 hdc) in each corner, FO

33.    Same as round 2

44.      Join with standing hdc in any corner sp, (hdc, ch 2, 2 hdc) in same corner sp, BPdc in each stitch around (including the hidden stitches), (hdc, ch 2, 2 hdc) in each corner, join with sl st to first stitch and FO

55.      Join with standing hdc in any ch 2 corner sp, (hdc, ch 2, hdc) in same sp, skip hidden st (skip next st, 2 hdc in next st) until you get to the corner sp, (2 hdc, ch 2 2 hdc) in corner sp; repeat from * around and join with a sl st to first st-omitting the last (2 hdc, ch 2, 2 hdc), FO.

66.      Join with standing hdc in any corner spae (hdc, ch 2, 2 hdc) in same sp, *(skip 2 hdc, 2 hdc in between hdc groups) around until you get to the corner space, (2 hdc, ch 2, 2 hdc) in corner sp; repeat from * omitting last (2 hdc, ch 2, 2 hdc) and join with sl st to first st, FO

77.  Same as round 2
8
88.      Same as round 2
9
99.      *Sl st in corner sp, ch 3, 3 dc in same sp, skip hidden stitch and next stitch (sl st, ch 3, 3 dc in next st, skip next 2 sts) until you get to the corner then repeat from * join with sl st to first st and FO


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Driving Down My Highway Of Life


I have been deep in thought about parenting-both my fails and successes lately. I have been compiling a long list of my parental guidelines that I implemented over the years, mostly because my husband keeps telling me to write a book (as if anyone would care about anything I write! haha!). Now that the kids are older it is fun (sometimes) to reminisce about their youth and what they thought about it all.  As I write down something that I thought would be interesting to add to the book that will never come to pass I'll ask the kids what their thoughts and views are on the subject.

It was fitting that this popped into my memories today because it is the people of our past that make us who we are today. These can be positive or negative influences but they are influences nonetheless. It is how we deal with our past that truly makes us or breaks us. You can only control how you deal with situations-driving yourself to your own happily ever after, taking detours, small swerves, letting passengers in (kicking some out), and car repairs along the way.  As you drive down the highway of life you'll notice that the road you turned off of sometimes blurs into the distance.  It isn't that road of long ago you focus on, it is the one in front of you that demands your attention.  

This image is me on my wedding day.  I wore my grandmother's dress.  My mother wore it before me.  My grandmother died of breast cancer when I was still in high school.  I can still remember the tears squeezing out of my eyes in study hall when I was left alone to my thoughts.  She was only at my wedding in spirit, and I sure hope she is smiling down on me.  I almost didn't wear her dress, since it did not bring my mother's marriage very much luck.  I almost felt it was cursed, but I decided to take the risk..it was about that time in my life when I finally hopped into my driver's seat of my own life and I haven't looked back since.  It is such a freeing feeling, to know you have control over your own life.  The flowers (and other adornments) I wear in my hear every day represent that freedom.  I know people look at me funny when I wear that crap on my head in public.  They make ME happy, and I'm driving damnit!  

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

My Haunted Hangout

A few years ago, I was sitting in the room where we watch TV along with my rescue dog, Lola.  It is our hangout room and we spend most of our time there when we are in the house.  Lola jumped up from her bed, where she had been soundly sleeping, and sat in the middle of the room and stared at the wall.  She would wag her tail occasionally, but for the most part she just sat still and stared.  After a few minutes it started getting creepy, so I tried to get her attention.  She would not break her stare on the wall.  It was as if she didn't even hear me calling out to her.  I called louder and louder and she still didn't move.  I finally grabbed her and ran out of the room.

Since that day, Lola will not leave that room unless I tell her it is OK.  She stops at the edge of the room and waits patiently until someone coaxes her out telling her she can leave.  We jokingly say, "The ghosts are keeping her in the room,"  but it isn't really a joke, because we really believe the ghosts are keeping her in the room.

As if the ghosts in the room weren't enough I went and bought a haunted painting.  It was so pretty at the vintage store...and it spoke to me.  I couldn't leave it there.  I don't typically do a lot of 'frivolous shopping' but something told me I had to buy this painting.  So I did.  After my hubby hung it in the  haunted room, we realized it was haunted.

Hubby was watching TV underneath the haunted painting.  It is a very large painting, and heavy too. Unbeknownst to him, the painting slid down the wall and landed right beneath his head-AND HE DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE.  When I came in the room I asked him why on EARTH he left the painting laying precariously on the back of the couch like that-he turned around and was completely baffled how it could have happened without him knowing!  The strangest part of this is that my husband has no recollection of this.  My daughter and I cannot understand how he cannot remember as we discussed it at great length afterwards.

More recently I heard, what I thought, was my daughter talking on the phone from that room.  I ignored it and went on with my day.  She had been watching TV at the time in there.  She came out and said she had heard a noise, like the door closing, but the dog was in her bed and the door hadn't moved.  She sat back down, and as she watched TV again she felt cold slipping all over her.  She had to use three blankets and was still cold. 

I swear we aren't scared of this room at all.  Nothing has caused us to feel fear, quite the opposite.  I talk to them sometimes and tell them to go away or to please stop sometimes, but nothing feels frightening. Heck, I swear they helped guide my crochet hook with my latest pattern, A Haunted Hook:  Tessellating Stained Glass Afghan

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out: They Take Your Joy and Spit It Out.


I touched on this in my last blog post, I felt I needed to get all my thoughts on this topic out, as sometimes writing is the only way I can rid myself of things that float in my brain.  

I always knew how words can hurt.  I've been hurt by them many times in my life.  But I have come to feel that one small voice that is negative and or cruel  is like a black imaginary worm digging and weaving its way through your soul, brain and heart.  Even when you are desperately trying to stop the worm, telling it to go away and that it has no power because it is not real and does not belong to you-it is inside you becoming a part of you.  That is the way I can best describe the way these hurtful things make me feel.  Even someone that has a great support system and many more voices of encouragement and joy still feels the effect of these worms because the good words don't get inside your soul like the worms...those are just teeny tiny plugs, they can only fill the holes, and it may take hundreds of these kind words to fill up the holes of one nasty worm.


I live my life in such a way that I am happiest when I am making others happy. Maybe this is why words hurt me so much?  I am so envious of those that don't seem affected by negativity or criticism.  I have a hard time imagining how someone would take time out of their lives to make someone else feel like dirt.

When I was in Junior High I had a mean girl walk up to me as I was sitting at a desk.  She was just someone in my class, we'd never had any conversations or interactions.  She walked up to me and whispered in my ear, "We must...we must increase our bust..."  she continued with the whole song nice and quite and slow.  It was the epitome of meanness. There was nobody egging her on.  She wasn't recording it (this was long before cellphones haha!).  She just did it to be mean to me personally.  No witnesses except her and I.   That was so many years ago and I can still feel her breath in my ear.  I can feel the tears stinging my eyes.  I can see the rest of the class completely oblivious to what was going on.  It wasn't the words she said.  Lord knows I knew I was flat chested.  I also had a giant scar running down my chest from my open heart surgery just a few months before.  What really hurt was that this evil was in my world.

People ask me all the time why I crochet.  The simple answer is that it makes me happy.  Well, it is more than that.  My yarn and hook don't hurt me.  They only bring me joy, and I love it when they bring joy to others as well.  I'm filling wormholes ya'll.  I don't know if there is enough yarn in the world to fill my wormholes but I'm trying.  I'm really really trying.  Sometimes though, it just seems that there is never enough yarn.  I share my yarning world with the world because I hope it brings people happiness, not because I want to be famous or known. I much prefer to be a nobody-there is far less stress that way.  I am not a strong person.  I really am not.  How can someone be strong when their heart and soul is full of wormholes?

I can only continue to live my life throwing out as many compliments as I can.  A compliment is such an easy thing, and makes the giver just as happy as the receiver.  At least it should.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

A Haunted Hook: Tessellating Stained Glass Afghan


I have long struggled with religion in my life.  When I was younger
we went to church, just a regular little church-I was baptized,
confirmed and all that jazz. Our pastor wasn’t a very nice man-
he wasn’t mean either, but I always had a weird vibe from
him, like he would prefer I not be
there so I guess I always had a sour taste in my mouth
when it came to religion after that.  


I went through periods in my life when I was in some very dark
places and I knew that
there could not be a God.  Throughout the years I’d eventually
morphed into thinking,
“if there is there is if there isn’t there isn’t and any God I
believe in understands why
I don’t believe.”

One day, I had the opportunity to see two mediums that
worked in tandem.  It was through a friend of a friend and none
of the people attending knew
anything about me, so I felt this was the perfect opportunity to prove to
myself, once and for all, that all of this ‘otherworldly’ stuff was just nonsense.  
I can only say that my life changed forever that day. I definitely believe there
is another place for us to go when we leave these shells we call bodies. The
things these guys knew about me was beyond any explanation. They knew
things that nobody outside my family knew, and they even knew things
that I did not know at the time-I had to get verification from family once
I got home.  I know that sounds crazy, just as I always thought others sounded
crazy when they would say things like that. I gave them no clues or hints,
no body gestures or words. I only sat there and shook my head.


For weeks after that I could not shower without my bathing suit on.  I would tell the
spirits to leave the bathroom because I was convinced they are all around us all
of the time.  A great take away from that day was that we were informed
that when you dream about a loved one that really is them communicating with you
because our minds are more open to that when we are asleep.  


Ever since that day, probably ten years ago now, I’ve struggled with wanting to go to church, but not being
brave enough to step foot into one.  I am not sure why I am so hesitant and scared but I am. I do know that
I love the old-fashioned churches and their stained glass, I love the old school hymns, and the feel of the
hymnal.  I love hearing everyone sing along, even though not all the voices hit the right notes, to me, that is
peace.


I’ve always wanted to design a stained-glass style afghan.  I wanted to make it unique without being too
complicated. Ever since I started designing my own patterns, that has always been my ultimate goal, but
I was never really confident enough to even try.  I had it in my mind for so long that I just thought it would
always just be there with me, never really coming to fruition. One day, as I was waking up from a night’s
sleep, I was jolted with a vision of exactly how I wanted my stained-glass afghan to look.  It was in my head
as if it had always been there. It felt like a familiar friend. I didn’t even sketch it out, I just went about my
morning, went to boxing, took a shower, took my daughter to school, and then did my chores. All the while,
this afghan was still brightly shining in my mind.  Not like one of those dreams you have that seem so vivid
that you know you will never forget it, but then about five minutes after starting your day you can’t even
remember what you dreamt. I decided to let it play out. I sat down with my hook and yarn and this afghan
happened. I’ve never had a pattern come to me with such ease.  I am sure someone was helping me, although
I don’t know who it is. I can only hope that someday, I will find out who was guiding my mind and fingers and
that I can give them a big hug. I know that my house is haunted, well just one room is, we all can feel it, and
have seen evidence of it, of course that is the room I crochet it, so I wonder if it is the spirit of that room that
has helped me or maybe one of my own guiding spirits.  


I feel this afghan brings me just a little step closer to church.  I really hope that one day I can overcome my
fears and walk into that little church that is not too far from my house and just sit down on the pew, feel the
hymnal, and be at peace.   

The photographs I took of this afghan are supposed to represent the feeling of life after death….I’ve been
attempting to explain why I chose to use such morbidity to those that ask me, “WHY?”.  We all die.
That is one fact you can count on in life...that it will end. Maybe it will end badly and maybe it will end peacefully. However, I do believe that no matter how it ends, we are all going to a better place. What you do with your life whilst it exists is where we can go right or wrong and make differences-good or bad. I wanted to take some eye-catching photos, to prove to myself I could do it when I realized I couldn’t afford
a real photographer who could.  These images were taken by my 16 year old daughter who listened attentively
to my vision, applied her own artistic eye (and even applied my makeup) and then took the most stunning
photos even I could not have imagined. We had a fabulous time together in the woods with that camera,
our props and this lovely afghan. Of course, we both  love murder shows-I love to crochet in my
haunted room while watching Snapped. When our little photo shoot was over, I traipsed through
the woods with her and we practiced throwing knives. Because, after all, what else is a
girl to do when covered in leaves, fake blood, a black lacy dress and is
wearing the most fabulous hat in the world?

Link to my newest pattern
A Haunted Hook: Tessellating Stained Glass Afghan






footnote:  My joy in publishing this pattern has been crushed by the fact that these images have offended a few people.  I am deeply saddened by this fact, and part of me wants to remove them all but the other part of me is saying to hold firm to my vision and be strong.  I know not all art is for everyone, but my soul, joyous only a few hours before, is now clouded in sadness, confusion and indecision.  I apologize is you are offended, however, at this time, I am going to hold firm to my and my precious daughter's vision.  No ill intent was meant, quite the opposite, and because of that fact alone I am trying very hard to stand firm. 

I'd also like to add that my grammy, the one that taught me to crochet, HATES gore, sad movies and anything morbid.  So much so that she she stopped watching movies after the movie Billy Bud came out.  She said she hated that sad ending so much that she has never seen another movie that she thinks could possibly be sad, scary or gory since that one.  I have no idea how old that movie is, but I have only, in my life, seen her watch three movies in my life:  Sound of Music, The Music Man and The Wizard Of Oz.  Grammy loved my photos, and if she approves, then I can try to be at peace.  I'm just really fighting the urge to take down this pattern and all traces of it.  Now, personally, I think those flying monkeys are TERRIFYING-more so than a little blood on a hand, but I did some make up for a middle school play with flying monkeys so they can't be THAT bad, can they? ;)

Update:  One day after the initial publication and reactions.  All I can say is that I am deeply humbled and grateful for everyone that has extended their support to me and my daughter's work.  I am no sure how I can make you understand how truly uplifting it is to be a part of a community where people I never knew reach out to make sure that we keep our heads high, our spirits soaring and our faith in humanity in tact.  Truly.  I am completely flabbergasted that this silly old pattern and a low budget photo shoot has made me reflect upon so many things in such a short period of time.  I always knew how words can hurt...Even if it is only one small voice-that one little voice of criticism (or whatever it may be) is like a black imaginary worm digging its way through your soul, your brain and your heart.  Even when you are trying desperately to stop the worm, telling it to go away and telling the worm it has no power because it is not real and does not belong to you it still becomes a part of you.  That is the way I can best describe it. With everyone's support I have begun filling the worm holes and have found peace with this situation. When I was in junior high a very mean girl came up to me.  She whispered in my ear, "We must...we must...we must increase our bust.." she continued that terrible song into my ear.  It was such an act of pure meanness-I mean she wasn't doing it for anyone egging her on, no one else knew what she was doing except her and me.  What a terrible thing to do to someone.  She will always be inside my brain, that mean girl...I'm just so so happy that I have so many other happy thoughts to fill her worm holes.  I hope everyone in this world is able to also find ways to plug their worm holes....

I'm stumbling across comments on other public forums regarding me as being an 'offensive chick.'  I've also been told that I should just write murder stories.  Clearly, they only took the time to judge and not enlighten.  To those that I will never please I say nothing, as I have already apologized to those that do not like my photos and I'm pretty sure that there is nothing I can say to make them realize that this was meant to be a beautiful thing.   I have since deleted many of my photographs, and can only hope that these people that don't know what they are throwing rocks at find peace in their own lives to not worry about what other people are doing.  

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Deli Counter Woes

Yesterday I went to the Deli at Jewel. There weren't many people there, so I thought it was safe. The next half hour was a true test in my stamina, restraint and sanity.
First, it must have been a complete Cluster #$(* earlier in the day because there was a brand spanking new roll in the ticket dispenser, and they didn't even bother to close it back up or start the new roll...As I was attempting to figure out how he hell to get the number off some lady asked if I had my ticket (she shall be called Ticket Lady), I gave her a look and said, "No, I'm still trying to figure this stupid thing out." Ticket Lady literally nudged me away and grabbed two tickets and handed one to me-she was lucky she gave me the 00 or fists would have been thrown.
We were already on number 98, thank goodness, surely this won't take long at all! Now I can sit back and sort of people watch for a bit. Both the deli ladies were running on empty. They looked like soulless shells of humans that wanted nothing more than to go in the back and take a long nap. The way they moved those meat slicers was making me want to put my Drill Instructor pants on-"MOVE YOUR ARMS WOMEN, MEAT SLICING AIN'T FOR SISSIES! YOU WORK AT JEWEL? THE ONLY THING THAT WORKS AT JEWEL IS STEERS AND...." I'm sure that would have gone over well.
I think, when people realize there is a long line behind them, something inside them snaps. They realize they have power. They wield this power like a crazed dictator wields the nuke button. All of a sudden people were dong stupid stuff like, asking for 'one more this' and 'Oh ya, could I also get,' oooh let us not forget the ever terrifying, "do you have that one thing that' OMG!!!!
FINALLY my number is called, as I am jumping up and down like I've won the lotto-and not one of those stupid cheap ass scratch offs-I mean the multi-million lotto-I yell, "One pound of pepperoni thin sliced." Why does everyone else make the poor ladies walk all the way over to them so they can gently whisper their order? These are not some sort of top secret spy meats. As my lady is very slowly slicing my meat-OMG I've never seen anyone go so slow-I can imagine my boxing instructor saying, "SPEED ONE TWOS SPPEEEEDDDDD!!! EXTEND YOUR ARMS!!!!"
Now it is Ticket Lady's turn with the other snail behind the counter. Ticket Lady says to the snail, "After you change your gloves I want...." OMG if you want to see a snail go slower-order them to change their gloves. Actually, what IS slower than a snail? Is there anything? Maybe a snail lollygagging through quick sand.
Anyhow, during all of this my poor daughter was just sort of oozing into a pile of, "I hate you for making me come with you to Jewel." Of course the damn pepperoni was for HER stupid sandwiches that no one else eats. haha! I feel like I need a trophy for surviving this experience.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Valentine's Day: Nothing Is the Best Something

I realized that Valentine's Day is almost upon us...I turned to my husband and asked, "Are we doing the usual for Valentine's Day?" He got a weird look, as if he should know something but was drawing a blank and asked, "What's the usual?" Of course, the response was, "NOTHING."
Nothing is our usual for Valentine's Day. I like it that way. I don't like the idea of setting aside one day to show someone you love them. I love that I feel loved every single day. It may not be some grand gesture or amazing gifts, but the fact that he hasn't murdered me in my sleep (or wakefulness) has got to count for something, right?
I think nothing is the best gift you can give someone. It shows that you are confident in your relationship to not have to run out and stand in a herd of men who just got off work to fight for some crappy flowers that will be dead in a few days. It shows that you know that every day you are together is special and you don't need to make time for that one day so that all the other days are worth it. If all the other days are days of love and joy then there is no need for one day that is set aside for that. Actually, the more I think about this stupid holiday the more I hate it.
My guy lets me be me and actually does a pretty good job of pretending that he doesn't mind when I am me being me. Heck, sometimes he even encourages it!  This is so important to me because I feel like in my young years I was trying to be invisible.  It was easier than standing out.  There were different reasons for this-at home and at school, but this really left me feeling like a butterfly when I grew up and had kids.  I could finally be me, and my husband encourages this-I love him so much for this! 

This year, I will get him something really special for Valentine's Day. Nothing. I won't find some horrific way to make his life hell for one day. I can do that. It may be hard, but I'm determined to not annoy him for one full day. Because, after all, nothing is something.