Saturday, October 31, 2009

What can Brown do for you?

I received a very special UPS delivery today.

And the delivery guy was the cutest I've ever seen!

I even paid him for his services.

Who says UPS doesn't deliver on Saturdays?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Frugal Shopping & TONS of Pics!

We spent a very long and exhausting, but quite productive, afternoon in Springfield yesterday. After lunch at the Chinese buffet, we went to Goodwill where I scored ALL kinds of AWEsome finds!

First off I spotted this sweater. It's 85% wool so I'm going to try and felt it. I love its stripey goodness and can't wait to figure out what to create with it. But it will have to wait a while... we currently do not have a washing machine at home (we are working on remedying that) and our local laundromat does not have hot water. :(

Cyndi and I both spotted this adorable candle holder, but she was the first to grab it so it went home with her. I do have visiting rights though. :)

Spotting this Circle of Friends candle holder made me forget about the cutesy flowered one though. I've had my eye on one of these for the longest time. And now it's mine!

These are some things I picked up with my son in mind. He's very much into the celtic/medieval/dragon/sword kind of thing but without being kitschy. I gave him the cross right away, but the candleholder and basket I'll hold until Christmas. I could tell he really like the candleholer (the purple rectangular thing). He kept commenting on it but I told him I was keeping it. "It will be perfect in the living room," I said. I'm so evil! >:)

I also found some cool hand stamped stone coasters. The back of one of them is stamped and signed "Hand-stamped with love (C) Stamin' Up Tiffany". Thank you Tiffany, I just love them!

I just realized we got a lot of candle holders! Here is yet another one... A lantern to be exact. It holds a small tea light. I love the bright colors and the butterfly cutout.

I fell in LOVE with this bright orange martini style glass. Now I just need to buy a shelf to display it! LOL

Now on to the real reason we're all here... YARN! I bought 2 of each of the 4 stripes shown below. They are for the Mystery Project I mentioned in my last post. I don't know if I'm feelin' the Autumn Stripes though... It's a little too brown & drab for my taste. I may end up replacing that one with another bright one. BUT, I haven't given up on it just yet. It may look entirely different once it's worked up.

I did get more yarn than this at Hobby Lobby but I can't show it just yet as it's for a Secret Santa partner and I don't want to give away the secret. ;)

At Walmart I went a little crazy stocking up on the Red Heart. Our local store sells it at $2.59 a skein, but Springfield prices it at just $2 even! I guess because they have competition with all the other craft stores in town. Whatever the reason... I decided to stock up on some basics. White, Soft White, Black, Claret, Frosty Green, and Orchid. In total I walked away with 21 skeins. I was disappointed they only had 2 of the new RH colors. I was really hoping to grab some at the lower price. *sigh*

And last but not least, I just couldn't walk past the Halloween section without getting some yummies to fill the candy dish. :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

She's at it again...

I've said it before... I have crocheter's ADD. Yes, I am the Goddess of WIPs. I can't help myself. I'm easily distracted by pretty colors. :)

I thought I'd whip (was that a pun?) up a quick granny square the other day for my Multi Color Granny Square post. Then I liked the colors so much I decided I need to make an entire ghan in this colorway. So I have yet another Grannyghan on the hook!

This one will be for Cyndi to give her mother in law for Christmas. Kathy's favorite colors are green and purple, so she's going to love this one. It won't be a plain granny square afghan though. I'm playing around with joining smaller squares then bordering them to make a larger square. There will be a total of 6 large squares. I'll leave any further details a mystery for now... >:)

I haven't been working on the bright grannyghan lately. I'm still fretting over how to arrange the squares. *sigh* :(

We'll be going to Springfield today (Saturday) for some more yarn/holiday shopping. The last time we were at Hobby Lobby they had some new striped ILTY. I restrained myself at the time and only bought 3 skeins. I've been KICKING myself ever since. I found the PERfect project to use the stripes with. Not just one of the colorways... but 4 of them... all in the same project. Yes, it sounds ugly, but trust me... it will be totally AWEsome. I've even received Cyndi's approval, and trust me, that truly means something! :)

Then Sunday I plan to work on a join-as-you-go tutorial for traditional granny squares. I hope to have the tutorial finished sometime next week so be sure to look for that!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I have lots of happy things to report today...

First is a BIG WooHoo! Several weeks ago I finally figured out that I was essentially poisoning myself with the high volume of aspartame I was consuming. After "detoxing" I am so happy to report that I have been feeling very well since I gave up the fake stuff. No more feeling nauseous. No more feeling lethargic. No more just plain feeling like crap. Woohoo!

And an even BIGGER Woohoo for a new and amazing product I discovered. Sun Crystals. I had read a little about the Stevia plant when I was researching sugar alternatives. Then Melani told me about Sun Crystals, an all natural sweetener made from the Stevia plant. No chemicals! Woohoo!

It's a bit pricey at over $6.00 a box, BUT... It's WAY sweeter than aspartame. Where I used to need 6 packets to sweeten my HUGE Rt. 44 tea from Sonic, I only need 1 packet of the Sun Crystals. So in the end it's essentially the same price. Woohoo!

Yarn Update: Our local Walmart cut its craft section drastically this past spring when they did a remodel. As a result, the yarn selection here in town was cut by at least 50%, if not more. So when I recently started seeing clearance tags on several of the yarns they still carry I was feeling a little nervous. Several Red Heart colors, all of the Simply Soft Eco, a few of the Homespun colors, and some of the Vanna's Choice were all marked down. I was happy to get a good deal, especially on the Homespun, but it still worried me. Walmart is the ONLY yarn store within 50 miles! I wasn't looking forward to traveling an hour just to get the basics.

Well today I was happy to see the reason for all the clearance yarns. They were making room for new colors AND new yarns! WOOHOO!!! Cyndi and I spent a while drooling over the new yarns and the new colors of Red Heart. I bought 2 skeins of a gorgeous new (to me) RH green called Tea Leaf, and Cyndi bought some Cherry Cola. I could have bought SO much more yarn, especially the new BULKY yarn they have, but I am on a yarn diet for now. I still had fun looking and planning potential future projects though. :)

Pattern Update: I finally posted the Multi Color Granny Square pattern that I'm using for the grannyghan. I also updated my Solid Granny pattern. Something I've been meaning to do for AGES. It's basically a standard granny, the only real difference with mine is that I prefer not to turn after each row as many patterns do. Next on the agenda will be creating a tutorial showing the join as you go technique for the Granny Squares.

And now a sneak preview of what's to come...
I totally amazed myself and finished up November's square AND wrote the pattern this past Tuesday. So it will actually start on time next month! WOOHOO!

Multi Color Granny Square

Multi Color Granny Square

NOTE: Please realize that although I am not the designer of the common Granny Square and cannot claim copyright as such, I do however claim copyright on these instructions as written by me.

Finished size: 4 rows = 5 1/2 inches

Materials: Worsted Weight Yarn*: 2.5 yards color A, 5 yards color B, 7.5 yards color C, 10 yards color D; US size "I" hook; Tapestry needle for weaving in ends.

With color A ch 5, sl st in 5th ch from hook to form loop

Round 1: ch 3, [2 dc, ch 2, (3 dc, ch 2) 3 times] in loop, join with sl st in top of beg ch 3, fasten off.

Round 2: Join color B with sl st in any ch 2 sp, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in same sp, ch 1, * (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch 2 sp, ch 1, rep from * twice more, join with sl st in top of beg ch 3, fasten off.

Round 3: Join color C with sl st in any ch 2 sp, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in same sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, * (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch 2 sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, rep from * twice more, join with sl st in top of beg ch 3, fasten off.

Round 4: Join color D with sl st in any ch 2 sp, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in same sp, ch 1, (3 dc, ch 1) in each ch 1 sp across, * (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch 2 sp, ch 1, (3 dc, ch 1) in each ch 1 sp across, rep from * twice more, join with sl st in top of beg ch 3, fasten off, weave in ends.

*Yardage given is for a 4 round/4 color Granny Square. For a larger Granny Square , repeat round 4 until desired size. For yarn amount, increase yardage by 2.5 yd increments. i.e. Round 5 would use approx. 12.5 yds.

Pattern written by April Moreland
© 2009 All rights reserved

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fred's New Duds

Fred is still alive and doing fine. After his mega dose of Botanical Viagra (A.K.A. water) his leaves are nice and plump and shiny, much better than when I first brought him home. I know it hasn't been that long, but still, I'm very proud to report that he's quite healthy and happy looking, albeit a little naked. I'm thinking maybe I should crochet him a sweater for his bucket. I have some bright Noro waiting for a fun project and I think Fred is deserving of the honor.

He's perking up already! :)
Fred is looking quite spiffy in his new duds if I do say so. :)
I think he's smiling! :D

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Botanical Rescue

Walmart is starting to put thier Christmas merchandise out already. It comes as a shock every year when I begin to see ornaments, garland, stockings, wrapping paper, lights, and all the other seasonal goodies transforming the Lawn & Garden section into a Winter Wonderland.

I usually dread the shopping season but this year I was anxiously awaiting those first signs of the impending rush. You see, I've been wanting to make some crochet covered ornaments such as these for this year: Diamond Ball Cover and Christmas Ball Cover. So I readily snatched up a box of silver shatter resistant (A.K.A. plastic -- gotta think of Ben's curiosity for anything shiny) ornaments to cover in all that brightly colored size 10 thread I've been collecting over the past several months.

Admittedly, that was not my first seasonal purchase. I was in the local dollar shop a few weeks ago and snagged these cuties. I love their bright purple glittery-ness. They will look great hanging in my living room window. But not until the day after Thanksgiving. Anything earlier is just pushing the season, IMHO.

I've always had a brown thumb. It doesn't usually take long. Whether I forget to water, over water, or otherwise neglect, I can't seem to keep a houseplant alive for any length of time. But that's never stopped me from trying! My last attempt was a sad one. It was a plant that my aunt gave me after my cousin's funeral. I vowed to do my best to keep it alive, and I did well for a while. A few years in fact (a record for me!) Now don't get me wrong, all that time it was hanging on by a thread... but it was hanging on nonetheless. But with the move I guess it just couldn't hang on any longer. Sadly it has moved on to plant heaven.

Well tonight in Wally World, after choosing my shiny plastic orbs, I moved down the aisles to the last remaining traces of Lawn & Garden and found a sad sight. This poor little guy was looking so depressed. His soil was bone dry and rock hard. Neglected even more than I could do. So in an attempt to redeem myself, I adopted him and vowed once again to do my best to keep a thriving plant.

Fred, as I've since named him, was so thirsty he could barely drink. In the picture above you can see the soil over the top rim of the container. When I first watered him all he could do was float. :(

It's been a few hours since Fred arrived at his new home. His thirst is finally quenched. He soaked up all his water and has had another drink since. His leaves even seem to have perked up a bit. Maybe Fred will be the one...

I'm keeping my fingers crossed...