Saturday, January 24, 2015

From Mom's Sketchpad

Organizational work continues in my craft room.  I think I'm making progress then a pile of something falls over.  (Insert sad face). 

Mom mostly painted, but she did a great deal of sketching too.  She worked mostly in oils, but also dabbled in acrylics and watercolor as the fancy took her.

Here are a few of her sketches.  Not all are completed.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Cavalcade of Catalogs

Nothing like a good alliteration.  The catalogs have been pouring in.  I haven't ordered anything yet but SOON.   There are a few here I've never gotten before but I present them for your edification.
Note 1/24/15  There are a couple of new arrivals at the bottom, and I scanned in a few 2014 catalogs that I recommend, but haven't gotten a catalog this year from these sources :(

One catalog that is a real pleasure is using their 2013-2014 catalog again.  It is D. Landreth Seeds, billed as the oldest seed catalog company in the U.S.  The catalog is stunningly illustrated and is a grand history of seeds and plants and gardens in America.

     Vermont Bean company isn't a catalog I know but it does have some nice offerings.

This is Baker's Heirloom Seed Company.  Gorgeous photography of each plant, excellent growing information.  Heirloom seeds and other unusual seeds.

An old standby, I haven't ordered from them in a long while. 

Stokes Catalog is for home gardeners but I think small farms are more their audience.

More than tomatoes in this one! 
A wonderful selection of fruit trees and shrubs.
I ordered many seed catalogs last year and requested this one late. Luckily for me they sent the latest catalog so I can try them this year. They seem to be on many "best" and "favorite" seed company lists.
Last January in the midst of the Polar Vortex I ordered some trees and shrubs from Jung.  They all did well during the season.  We shall have to see how this milder (so far) winter treats them.
Another catalog I'm unfamiliar with is The Natural Gardening Company
I've ordered fall planted bulbs from McClure and Zimmerman and have been very pleased.
Always a favorite of mine, they are the only ones who offer many of the things they've developed themselves.
I haven't had this catalog before.  It fits in with the old timey heirloom seeds I was searching far and wide for last year.
I don't know this company at all either but here it tis.
Added 01/24/15
My favorite Bulb Growers!  Beautiful selections, knowledgeable growers.

Formerly a favorite for bulb size and quality, not to mention gorgeous offerings, Dutch Gardens seem to have been bought out by another company.
Last Years Catalogs!  Nothing new for me from these yet, but recommended.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Why Crochet?

I used to think I preferred Crochet over Knitting because one hook seemed easier to coordinate than two, and there seemed to be less counting.  As I've been working on these projects, I dug out all of my books with crochet directions and found some old project flyers mom had purchased. 

Ah, doilies, tablecloths, table runners, place mats, bedspreads... now that is what we're talking.

Mom always had some project going using delicate thread with complex patterns incomprehensible to me.

I think my grandmother (paternal, aka The Harridan) taught mom some of her early needlework and perhaps the lessons she learned from her helped her teach herself anything she wanted henceforth (to avoid further sessions) and made it difficult for mom to patiently teach others.

Watching mom create these beautiful crochet objects over the years made me want to learn crochet, I'm sure.  Visions of me working handily on projects has always been in the background.

Now, just to grasp the basics and away I go to mom level glory.  Tis to dream.

Just Start Over

I think there's a technical term for yanking out your stitches and starting from scratch when things go south.  I should familiarize myself with this word.

I prepped for the Half Double by watching a couple of YouTube videos.  This one showed and explained it so I felt I could begin.

Librariandoa has twelve beads rather than the required ten.  I figured I could work in the two extras somehow.

Made my chain of 34, check.
Added a row of single crochet on top of my chain check.
Get to the half double stitch, make one, check.
Go to make a second and it all goes kablooie.  Tried to back up a couple of times and suddenly my tidy end of the row had unravelled and I had to start all over. 

Try try again later.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Blog List Cheerily Updated

Ta da. I now have Books/Authors, Cooking/Baking, Gardening and Craft Blog sections. I cleverly delineated between them by adding nice images to lead the sections.

As always, I enjoy blogs with a nice conversational writing style accompanied as needed by charming pictures.  Just the sort of thing you find on DOA!  

Crochet: Half Double and I'm in Trouble

The next project in my book is a Friendship Bracelet using Half Double Crochet (which I don't know).

It weaves in beads to make it extra tricky.   I'm temporarily stalled while I search my in the process of reorganization craft room for a Tapestry Needle.  My beading is ready to go.  

Wish me luck!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Crochet for Bozos: Scrunchie

The second project in my book uses single crochet to attach yarn chains to a common, previously boring Scrunchie.

It was good practice mostly as I tried to keep a looser tension on the yarn (somehow I like to keep it in a sort of stranglehold).  I also hold the hook differently than the recommended "pencil" or "pinch" methods and I'm trying to change that because I'm not very efficient in my moves.

It didn't come out too badly.  I can't see myself wearing it, but I did get a volunteer to try it on.