Sunday, May 30, 2010

Crochet page

I just figures out that you can have individual pages (up to 10) on blogspot. So I have created a CROCHET LINKS page. This has all the links that were on the left side.  Look at the top of the page to navigate from this HOM page to the CROCHET LINKS page and back again.

I threw in a couple of pictures to make it not quite so dry as a list. Hope you can find something that will help you as you learn/re-learn to crochet.

Happy Hooking!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Street Art

If I were walking down the street and saw this, it would hold my attention for at least an hour.  Just looking at it and figuring out how it was all put together and how many pieces it was.  I wonder how many skeins of pink camo yarn it took?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

SB 1070

Friday, May 21, 2010

Last 9th Grade Concert

Last night was one of those poignant moments. It was the last band concert of the year. But it was also the last band concert for the 9th graders AND for the 8th graders. This is the last year that 9th grade will be at the Junior High’s. Next year, the 9th grade will be at the High Schools, and Junior High will only have 7th and 8th grade.

At the Concert & at the Awards assembly on Tuesday, it was especially poignant to me and Hubby. We have seen so much growth during the last 3 years. The teachers have commented on it, too.

The last 2 Band Concerts have been really fun. Mr. Murphy had them doing some “regular” pieces, but he also had them do some jazz pieces, and they did them well! In the March concert, My Murphy played his Sousaphone (made in the 1930’s) and they really rocked!

Last night, the last piece the band played was Santana’s “Evil Ways” and you should have seen Hubby (a drummer) smile & rock to it! It was so toe-tappin’ that you had to smile and join in. Espeacially at the drum riff at the end of the piece!!!  The piece rated a standing ovation, too.
We came home and had to listen to "Evil Ways" on the internet again.  It just made the band sound better because of how great they nailed it!
Of course, we got our usual ice cream from MacDonalds on the way home. It's become a tradition now and I think we have to continue it. One chocolate shake, one strawberry shake, one vanilla shake. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Awards Night

Last night was the 9th grade Awards Assembly. We got a letter that Dear Daughter would be getting an award at the assembly.

With Dad, before the assembly.

Last year, she got one for being the 8th Band Band Student of the Year so we weren’t sure what award she would be getting this year. So we did a lot of speculation. I am happy to say that my guess was right.

It was a really pleasant surprise. It was an award in MATHEMATICS!

Background: She has been in special ed math for years, but this year she was ready for Algebra, because of some really hard work by the Mrs. Wightman, the math teacher. I began the year with trepidation, but no so for DD! The class only had about 6 or 7 students who were really ready for Algebra and DD was the only girl. I was proud of that fact! But still wondered what the year would bring. Imagine my pleased surprise at the fact that she has maintained an A in Algebra all year!

So it’s understandable that I might think that the award would be in Math. But the fact that she is in a special ed math, made me wonder.

I should have guessed that she was doing really well, after the teacher told me, in December, she would be ready for Geometry next year.

So, onward! Geometry, here she comes!

On stage, waiting for 2 other students to get their plaques.
Dad, Mom, DD, Grandpa

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I have tried to make slippers before, but the result was not what I wanted.  I gave up that aspect of crocheting.  But it seems that something always happens to bring us full circle.

And so it did.  A cousin of mine had a little baby girl at the end of last year.  This little girl is full of special needs, which means she is also full of blessings.  They don't live near me, so I have only been able to see pictures of her.  She is so small and dainty.

I can't begin to explain the problems this little girl has, mostly because this particular problem is unique to ONE FAMILY in the world!  My cousin happened to marry into that family.  What are the odds?  Really--what are the odds?

So I gave in!
I made my first pair of Premie Baby Booties.

That's a quarter, by the way -- just for reference.  They are about 75 cents long!

I think they turned out pretty cute.  But I had to guess at the length of her feet, so I hope they fit.
They fit Dear Hubby's largest finger and 2 of mine.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lapghan for Fisher House

Here is a picture of some blocks I made after they were put together in a lapghan for Fisher House.  Makes me feel good to help anyone, but especially wounded soldiers.









At one time; ALL THIS YARN was part of an almost finished project.

Gabby's New Home

My brother's family got a hamster for Christmas.  Around that same time, I found a "Hamster Cave" pattern.  Of course I had to make it.  So I did it and finished it in January. 

I finally took it to them this week!   Everyone had to play with little Gabby. They told me she was soft & furry, but I let them have all the fun.

Gabby started exploring her new cave right away, which made me feel good! 
She even had to make sure that the roof was okay.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Lorenz Manifold

Math and I just did not get along when I was in school. I can no longer help Dear Daughter with her math because she is now in Algebra. So it’s really funny that I love to crochet mathematical pieces! I guess all knitting & crochet is mathematical, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the Hyperbolic crochet and the Lorenz Manifold.

Yeah, me too! I had no idea what it was, but it looked really cool. The original couple who crocheted it said it took them 85 hours of work. Well, so far, I estimate that I have put in about 20 hours. I skimmed the paper they wrote about it and stopped when I got to something that looked like a pattern. I began and failed, began again and failed again. Then I decided to do some internet searching about it. I found that the pattern actually began on page 22 and I had stopped at about page 10.

Needless to say that has been lots of “frogging” with this project (rip it, rip it).

I have found that I need to count the increases before beginning each round and use some kind of stitch marker to indicate where they will be for each individual round.

Remember that the first stitch for each round is 0, not 1, when creating the Lorenz.

Liquid Laundry Soap--My Own Brand

After making and using my own DRY laundry soap for about 6 months, it was finally time to try the LIQUID.   So about a week ago, after gathering a 5 gallon bucket and an empty liquid laundry soap container, I did it.

I actually thought that it would take a long time to melt the Fels-Naptha in water, but it went surprisingly fast. I had some kitchen jobs lined up to do while I stirred and melted the soap, but only got a couple of them done. My one mistake came when I didn’t plan how to get the 5 gallon bucket full of hot water. I filled it part way in the kitchen but not all the way—I wanted to be able to carry it outside to the laundry room. Then I used the backyard hose to finish filling the bucket. During an Arizona summer, this would probably be fine, but not in a nice cool April. Next time I’ll know to just carry a pot of boiling water out to the bucket.

This liquid has been wonderful as a spot remover as things are checked before washing and so far! It doesn’t leave any soap marks or residue on the clothes, which I got with the dry soap if I didn’t dissolve it completely before adding the clothes.

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that it turned out white. Nothing that went into it had any color.

I also added a few drops of Lavender Oil. Next time, I’ll add a lot more! I didn’t take into account that the 5 gallons would actually make 10 gallons! So the lavender smell is all but gone for this batch, but I still know it’s there somewhere.

The cost for this was so minimal, that it is really easy to share with neighbors when they run out!

This is the recipe I used and it can be found at

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value

4 Cups - hot tap water

1 Fels-Naptha soap bar

1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*

½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores laundry section. Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

Baby's First Teddy Bear

I love little projects that work up quickly AND have a real use. This little “Baby’s First Teddy” is one of those quickies. The pattern is found at the Velvet Pumpkin. ( )

Saturday, May 1, 2010

What to do with all those empty pill bottles

Since everyone in our house takes prescription medications, we end up with a lot of empty pill bottles! I take off the labels and just can’t throw all of them away. So I decided to share a few ideas for using empty pill bottles.

• Store your jewelry. Easy to keep separate and super easy to travel with.
• Store broken jewelry so all the pieces stay together until you can repair it.
• Store small amounts of candy for kids to carry around and feel like they have a “whole package”.
• Store needles so they don’t poke you. They go easily into any project carrying container.
• Create a small sewing kit to keep at work or school.
• Store coins so they don’t fall out into your purse and get lost.
• Store hair pins. Easy to find and use.
• Use them for a portable “sharps” container if you have diabetes.
• Quick rattle for a baby.
• Make great collection containers for children who like to collect things.

Since the sizes of the pill containers vary, there are so many things you can do with them!

If you need a few- I will share some.  Just ask!