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Almost March!   Leave a comment


I looked at the calendar today, shocked to find that March is knocking on my door. Where has the first quarter of my year gone?

It hasn’t been spent crocheting, that much I can say. I’m about 3/4 of the way finished with a baby blanket for a family member. Other than that, I’ve barely had time to glance at my hooks.

Work. The Day Job. That’s where my time went.

Many days I’ve been there 12-13 hours since the beginning of January. It’s time for us to go through our 5 year re-accreditation cycle. The vast majority of this work falls squarely within my job description. I love the work; don’t get me wrong. It’s time-consuming, though. My days often blend together without a clear sense of where I began this morning and where I leave off in the evening. Some days/weeks, I can’t be sure I’m even making progress.

I know I am, though…making progress, that is. I’ve managed to tick off a few items on my to-do list. A few in a list of well over  100 items. I’ve tried to refrain from counting how many there actually are.

So I pick up my hooks rarely these days & likely only to work on a few things for family here and there. I’m planning a short vacation in March and perhaps my hooks and I will become better acquainted then. Barring a busy hurricane season, I’ll get to visit my crochet again during the summer months. I have to make some warm wearables for the family before November. We’ll be going to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade – my daughter’s band is marching in the parade. I hear it’s bitingly cold at street level; cold and I not the best of friends.

What have you been crocheting lately? Or, are you like me, not able to pick up any of your hooks and yarn for all the other things going on in your life?

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Posted February 26, 2012 by sandrascrochetcrafts in Crochet Crafts

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Time to Focus on Next Steps   Leave a comment


I haven’t had much time to blog lately. This fall I have had more than my fair share of illness resulting in me stepping back from almost everything.

Yes, that means my crochet too.

It hasn’t been fun, but it is getting better now. I finally received more definitive information on why I have been so sick lately. While I don’t want to go into all the details, it comes down to me not doing a good job taking care of myself.

Imagine that.

Busy working mother with two teenage daughters and a 5th grade son who commutes 32 miles one way, tries to keep up with her freelance writing and find time to crochet for pleasure and business – what about that makes you think that I wouldn’t be devoting more attention to my personal health.

The first step I took about a month ago – I eliminated all carbonated drinks and caffeine from my diet. I knew that step would be the hardest. I confess to being a horrible Diet Coke junkie.

I’ve seen all the studies, helped with the school-related experiments about how bad sodas are for you – nothing helped. There was nothing, I thought, that would convince me to give up my addiction.

Until I sat down the day before my gastroenterology appointment and realized that there wasn’t a single day in the last three to four months when I could remember not feeling nauseous. I took stock of everything I was eating, drinking or taking as a medication. I knew if there was one thing I could do to take some control of my health, the Diet Coke was going to have to go.

Going cold turkey from just the taste of Diet Coke was harder than the caffeine crash I experienced for the next three days. I felt so bad. I flooded my body with water and the occasional sports drink to see if I could get the feeling to pass. The end result: I rehydrated my body and helped flush out all of the junk that carbonation, sugars and who knows what else is in those drinks completely out of my system.

I haven’t had indigestion since then. I haven’t felt nauseous. I can actually sit down and enjoy a meal instead of analyzing it to see what may or may not make me sick if I were to eat it. More importantly, I managed to take myself off of my reflux medication.

I think you can tell why I named this Next Steps.

It’s time to make another change. I have a fairly decent diet. Or at least I know the types of food that I should and should not eat. That part is so much easier for me than it is for most people. It seems that once I gave up my worst addiction, it is much easier to choose a healthier option or eat less at a meal.

Nope. Diet is easy. It’s the exercise I’m not looking forward to.

I absolutely DESPISE sweating! Ugh! The thought of it isn’t even appealing to me. I don’t think I can jump right into any type of exercise routine. My knees still hurt quite a bit since they haven’t been moving around too much in the last year or so. I’m not a fan of aerobics or anything like that.

I’m going to have to just walk. I know I can do it. When my oldest daughter was an infant, I used to walk 5-6 miles/day. I lost a ton of weight and felt so good about myself.

I’m going to work myself up to the first half mile. I am the world’s worst at finding reasons to procrastinate and not get the exercise into my routine. Yet, the “writing on the wall” from my doctor is pretty clear. My health and quality of life depends on it.

I know that in the beginning it’s going to take some time for me adjust and if I were to take up any type of serious crochet project, it would only be a distraction. So I’m planning to work on smaller projects or limit myself to crocheting after specific times of day. I’m still working out that detail – but I’m not going to let it derail me.

And stay tuned – every year I pray for a specific verse(s) from the Bible that the Lord wants to use in my life to help me continue my transformation from who I am now to who Jesus wants me to be. I feel like my prayer time is giving me direction toward a type of verse, yet I’m not convinced God has pointed out something in particular. So I’m still studying the Word and waiting for His perfect timing. And as soon as I find it, I’ll be posting it here.

In the meantime – Happy Crocheting – and Stay Healthy!

Projects When You Have to Work Late   Leave a comment


You know those nights you can’t break away from work on time? Those nights you thought you could leave and instead ended in working late? Yep, me too…

Yet, when I get home, I can’t wind down without picking up my hooks for even a moment.

Here is my short list (although I could add so much more to it) of what you can crochet when you have to work late or when you only have a short time to spare and still want to accomplish something.

1. Remember that afghan you promised someone several months ago? Finish two rows of it before hitting the sack. It gets finished one row at a time anyway, so why not?

2. Roses and other appliqués – short, sweet and easy to finish within a half hour’s time. Even if you don’t have a home for it right now, you can work these up and keep them on-hand for when you need that last minute finishing touch.

3. Wash cloths and potholders are an item that can be made fairly quick and are always a nice item for stocking stuffers, gift baskets, and teacher gifts at year-end. TIP: Crochet two pieces and sew together for a potholders with added protection from the heat.

4. Granny squares – who doesn’t have a stash of them! This was the first thing I learned to crochet and became my first blanket as my mother continued to pull out scrap yarn for me to use up. I make them in my spare time and always use an H hook and keep the same number of rows. This makes it easier to join them together when I’m ready. Most of the time, though, they occupy a drawer in my yarn dresser to wait for me to use them up!

5. Business card holders/small clutches are an easy, quick, and mostly mindless activity. I make mine with scrap yarn and just use a single crochet in row after row. When I get to the size I want, I fasten off and sew a third of it along the sides and fold. Instant success! By using single crochet, it creates a dense enough weave that lining isn’t a must to keep things from slipping through.

So next time you only have a few minutes, pull out your hook and get going. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you go from no time to crochet to that perfect gift for someone!

Happy Crocheting!

Time-lapse trifecta! Photog captures meteor, Milky way and Northern Lights   Leave a comment


Time-lapse trifecta! Photog captures meteor, Milky way and Northern Lights.

I don’t usually post much on here that isn’t crochet related, but this is an amazing photograph!

My father taught me about the love of photography as he continually sought out the perfect angle, exposure, lighting, etc. I love to take pictures myself; however, I am far from professional.

Check out this photo – you’ll be glad you did!

Fabulous Crafts (and even better prices) at Julia’s Crafts in Austin   1 comment


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Julia’s Crafts is tucked away in a historical neighborhood in Austin, Tx. We found it quite by accident. My co-worker was looking for a craft store near our hotel that wasn’t a chain store. A previous customer had listed it in a post on a website complete with the address and phone number. It’s about 9 blocks west of I-35 on Caesar Chavez. They’re aren’t online and don’t have a Facebook presence. They’re a small, neighborhood business with a friendly owner and all the basics you need for a quincinera or baby shower…I couldn’t spent all day in there! I spent roughly 1/3 of what I’d have spent at a chain store.

Posted October 9, 2011 by sandrascrochetcrafts in Crochet Crafts

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Fabulous Crafts (and even better prices) at Julia’s Crafts in Austin   Leave a comment


20111009-161400.jpg

Julia’s Crafts is tucked away in a historical neighborhood in Austin, Tx. We found it quite by accident. My co-worker was looking for a craft store near our hotel that wasn’t a chain store. A previous customer had listed it in a post on a website complete with the address and phone number. It’s about 9 blocks west of I-35 on Caesar Chavez. They’re aren’t online and don’t have a Facebook presence. They’re a small, neighborhood business with a friendly owner and all the basics you need for a quincinera or baby shower…I couldn’t spent all day in there! I spent roughly 1/3 of what I’d have spent at a chain store.

Posted October 9, 2011 by sandrascrochetcrafts in Crochet Crafts

Yarn Finds from Hill Country Weavers   Leave a comment


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Store is mentioned in a previous post – located in Austin, Tx. I’m headed back to Austin in November and plan to bring back some fabulous alpaca I almost couldn’t resist on this trip. 🙂

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