Sunday, November 19, 2017

6teen - seventeen - 18

Thankful for my health. It's not always in the best shape, but I'm able to work enough to support and raise my family, which is more than a lot of people have.

Thankful for great deals, sales and coupons make my life, and lives of my family.

Thankful for good rain, and quiet fog. The weather that most people dread ease the chaos in my mind, and put my heart at peace.

Thirteen - 4teen - Fifteen

Thankful for Tough days as a mom, they remind me how wonderful the good days are.

Thankful for Omara's (or Baileys) when added to hot cocoa. It helps me unwind after one of the previously mentioned tough days.

Thankful for friends and family supporting my passions in crafting and writing.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Ten - Eleven - 12

Thankful for Great opportunity

Thankful for simplicity

Thankful for Coffee

Seven Eight Nine

Thankful for bad puns. "...because Seven Ate Nine....."

Thankful for local entertainment resources that offer annual memberships, like the Oregon Museum of Science.

Thankful for great friends who can help me unwind over dinner and crafting, even in the middle of their own hustle and bustle.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Four Five Six

I know I ramble on a lot about mental health, but it shows how important it is. I've been in a less than ideal place in my mind for years, and this year, after the persistent insistence of my husband, I took a "me vacation".

I stayed at a beautiful 14 room hotel called the Seaside Oceanfront Inn. While I was there, I asked about the history of the place.


The property started out as a family cabin on the beach with a set of duplexes on the back end of the property. In the 80's a fire destroyed the cabin, and rather than rebuild a family residence in the middle of a now fully developed hospitality-focused business area, they chose to rebuild it as a bed and breakfast.

Over the course of the build, the four-story building became more than it was originally supposed to be. The family divorced and sold the partially competed Inn to new owners. They completed the build and turned the lowest level into "Maggies on the Prom" and fine dining restaurant that overlooks the beach. Maggies is named after the new owner's cat, who used to visit customers on the promenade seating patio and socialize with hotel guests.

About four years ago, the owner sold the hotel section of the Inn to the current owners who have worked to update the rooms, and ensure the best customer service. I loved the room I stayed in (The Seaside Beach room) as it had a comfortable bed, a big jetted bathtub, a small refrigerator (perfect for leftovers from Maggies) and a coffee maker. The view is gorgeous, and a perfect place to drink a cup of coffee and chat with a friend (which I totally did!)

It's within walking distance to the downtown promenade corridor for shopping, food, and fun.

As it was November, it was raining for much of my trip, and blustery as you can expect on the oceanfront. The first night I fell asleep to the sounds of wind and rain on the windows, and surf breaking on the sand.

I woke to the sounds of gulls fighting over a dropped bagel on the walkway, and the sun shining through my window. I spent a significant amount of time sipping coffee and crocheting with the new beautiful yarns that I picked up at Coastal Yarns and nibbling on the salted caramel and white chocolate fudge I snagged at Schwieterts Candy Shop on my way into town.


The second day, I met a friend for coffee at Beach Day Coffee on the prom, but the wind cut through the small space so we walked back to the room and enjoyed the beach view without the beach wind!

On my last day, I spent the morning crocheting on the beach, taking in the salty breeze, and the sunshine, cold though it was.

I felt more restored and relaxed than I have in ages, as long as I can remember, to be honest.
Just trying it on for size...

The point of this post is to remind you that you need to take care of yourself in order to help take care of others. If you are the type of person who gives your everything to help those around you, you need to remember to refil your cup. This is something I struggle with every single day.

I am thankful for the opportunity to reset and refill my cup.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


My little thinker. He's most often found tinkering and does "independent play" well. This mister is my little engineer in the making. He's quiet (mostly) and thoughtful. And a joy every day.



My dear sweet first born. Pure and constant emotional depths. This little boy made me a mom and created a new person of me. I may find deep frustration in his behavior and attitude. But really, it's just because he's bullheaded like me.

I am thankful for him every day!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


My rock. The love of my life, and my tether to sanity. My anchor in the storm of life.

Image may contain: 1 person, beard

I love you!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

It's all about that slouch!

I've been making and selling hats for YEARS now, I've probably made at least a thousand hats, most my own pattern, or a significantly altered variation on a pattern I've seen online. The most significant change is that I HATE brim up hat patterns. They're cute and all, but I lose interest before I get to the top..... So I'll alter a pattern to be top down. Which is great, but I get bored with that too.

So I set out with the task of finding/creating a pattern that was consistent in size, easy to remember, and could be scaled to accommodate several different variances. And so I came up with my "slouch recipe".

This is a great pattern/recipe for showing off those lovely wonderful cake yarns without an odd seam down the back, or for lovely yarns that are variegated, and get lost with fancy stitches.

This hat was done with this pattern by a good friend of mine, Kirstin. She used I Love This Yarn in Dakota.

What you'll need:

Worsted (weight 4 or 5) yarn of your choice. (I can typically do 2 adult hats and 1 child hat with 1 skein of Red Heart with Love or Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn. Other yarns that work great are Charisma by Loops and Threads, and Lionbrand Heartland. )

J or 6mm Hook ( I use Amour, but have used normal hooks for most of my hooking career...)

Yarn needle (for weaving in ends in color changes, and at the end.)


Optional: Button, faux fur pompom, etc.


I'm going to include a size chart to help you decide on your sizes, I'm writing the pattern for an Adult size (because that's what I'm making for an order). I'll put * where you need to refer to the chart.

Also, you'll be working in continuous spirals, place a marker for the first 3 rounds, after that, it doesn't much matter.

If you finish a hat, and you find it doesn't fit adjust up or down 1 hook size to accommodate your tension.

Now, to begin!

Round 1) You can do ch 2, start in 2nd chain, or you can do Magic Circle, the choice is your preference. (Refer to chart for your size*) 3sc, 13hdc in the magic circle, place marker.

Round 2) 2hdc in each stitch to marker (32*)

Round 3) 2hdc in each stitch to market (64*)

At this point, you'll have a lumpy pancake looking thing. It's perfectly normal... think of it like the wobbly wiggly bit when you cinch up the top of a brim up hat. It's the gather point for all those stitches.

Round 4-? Fill with your choice of stitch. Straight hdc works well, criss-cross dc works great here, 3rd row or camel stitch. You can create a pretty convincing CC copycat hat be alternating FPDC and camel stitch every 3-4 rows. I'll outline my new favorite texture combo.

Inspired by the Alabaster Slouch from Croyden Crochet, and the Cookie Snob version of the CC hat here... I've created this beautiful combo.

Sample hat 
Round 4-7) Alabaster stitch: skip 1, *[sc, dc] in next stitch, skip 1* around for 3 rounds. (repeat from * to *) Note: on the 2nd round of Alabaster, you should be going into the sc from the last round, if it doesn't line up, fudge it, and skip an extra to hit the sc.

Round 8) hdc in each stitch around

Round 9-11) hdc in 3rd loop of each stitch (check out this crochet crowd video for tutorial)

Round 12) sc in 3rd loop of each stitch

Round 13-22) repeat rounds 4-12

Round 23-26) repeat rounds 4-7

Begin Brim

Sample: sc in back loops only round and round,  0for 1 inch.

You can do whatever style brim you'd like, it is totally up to you. I like sc because it's easy, many people prefer FPDC because it gives it a nice ribbed effect, others like to continue the pattern in 3rd loop stitch. If you choose the last option, size down one hook, to give it more rigidity and hold better on your head. 

Work brim round and round for 1-2 inches, your preference. Cut off leaving a tail about 6 inches long. tie off in your favorite way, and then weave your end in at least 2 different directions. I tend to zig-zag up and down the brim.

I'll be adding a brown faux fur pompom, and an accent button. They'll match a set of gloves I made from this pattern, back in July.

I don't mind at all if you sell things from this pattern, but DO NOT sell or distribute the pattern as your own. I spent quite a lot of time trying and testing, tweaking and editing the pattern for you.

Link back to my post, and share your blog/facebook images with me in the comments. Thank you!

OOh. Put it on Ravelry:

Friday, October 27, 2017

The small things

Today, I woke up early to do Kitty makeup for my 5 yr old. When I woke him up, he complained that the sun wasn't up so neither was he. At the mention of doing his kitty makeup, he was suddenly bright eyed and bushy tailed.

We got dressed and walked to the bus stop. It was early enough to still be dark. The leaves have fallen almost entirely off the trees, they've dried out and become crunchy underfoot, and the scent of them is strong in the nose. Even though my kiddos was excitedly pulling at my hand to go see his friends, I took a moment.

I stood int he chill, but not cold air, and inhaled the aroma of fall. I shuffled my feet and heard the scritch-scratch and crunch. I listened to the neighborhood waking up. I was content. The only thing that could have made it better was a cup of hot coffee in my hand.

I've not added photos to this post because I want to evoke the other senses with my experience, plus it was too dark to take photos...