Monday, August 30, 2010

Cool Photo Effects Website

Thanks to another blogger's site that I follow (and I don't remember which one since I follow so many), I found out about this cool website that has a neat program where you can do some pretty cool photo effects with your pictures.
Remember the pictures I took of my granddaughter Peyton riding a horse at the fair?I made this picture with the website I found. Pretty cool isn't it?!?!

I made this one too :)

The website is:

They have all kinds of cool stuff you can use. I spent a good part of the afternoon playing around there, lol.
Go check it out and have some fun!

Sunday With The Family

Sunday was my son in law Gary's 50th birthday. Much of our family and many friends went to hang out with him and his wife Shawn to celebrate. They went camping at one of our local lakes and we all congregated there.
The hubby and I spent much of the past few days cooking because it was a potluck of sorts and we wanted to make sure there was plenty of food.
We raided our usually well stocked freezer and cupboards and ended up making baked chicken legs, baked a turkey and hubby boned it out. I made a big crock pot of chili and another crock pot full of green bean casserole (Susie Slop as my kids call it).
A bunch of us in the family are on restricted diets and/or trying to eat healthier, so I made some chocolate sugar free pudding, and sugar free jello with bananas.
Gary's daughter made the cake and Shawn bought sugar free ice cream so us diabetics could join in the sweet part of the celebration.
There was plenty of other food too so if anyone went home hungry it was their own fault.
Even though it turned out to be a pretty warm day (low 90's) with lots of sun (and no rain, yay) we had a decent breeze most of the day, so it wasn't too bad.
It was so nice to get out of the city and lap up the beautiful weather with so many friends and family.
I took my camera but kept forgetting to take pictures, duh!
I must confess I DID take more than a few pictures of my sweet little granddaughter Peyton. She's 10 months old now and growing like a weed.
So the only picture you get today are of Peyton :)

Sitting on G'pa Dan's lap watching Uncle Gary's birthday balloons floating in the breeze.


Ok, bored with the balloons. And maybe a little sleepy after eating lunch.

After G'pa Dan let me down, I decided to crawl up in this chair all by myself. Of course, I've got Dad trained to bring me a toy to play with and hang onto it for me :)

Ooooooh, pop! Hey Dad, can you catch this?


Even with all of the birthday preparation this weekend, I did make time to do some crocheting and got another Christmas present finished up. 
This hat and scarf set is for one of the guys. I haven't decided which one is getting it yet, but at least it's done and I can add it to the Christmas gift box.

I made this out of Red Heart camouflage yarn. I knew I didn't have enough of that to use just the camouflage, so I dug through the stash and found this brown yarn called Polished mahogany. The brand is Vonnel. Have any of you heard of that brand before? I haven't. I must have gotten it in one of my "great deal" boxes of yarn from Goodwill or DAV thrift store. Don't really remember. I suspect it's a vintage yarn, but it's in really nice condition and it worked well with the Red Heart. I only had one skein of it too, probably not enough to really make anything else by itself, so this worked out good.
Here's a closeup so you can get a better idea of how it looks. The brown is actually darker than it looks in the picture and goes good with the camouflage. Someday I'll figure out how to take better indoor pictures and get the colors to show up closer to what they actually are :)

Well, that's it for now. I sure enjoyed my weekend. How was yours?

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Graphic Design

Hey now, did you notice the new graphic at the top of my page here? 
(Can't hardly miss it can you, lol??) 
My grown daughter designed it for me :)  
I was telling her that I'd sure like to figure out something snazzier for the header on my blog and she said "let me see what I can come up with".
So, here it is!
She has a lot of experience designing graphic arts and I knew if I put a bug in her ear she could come up with something way better than I could. 
I'm really pleased with her design and I just had to brag about it.
She may not sew or crochet, but at least she got some kind of my "crafty" genes! Thanks so much Mindy, love it!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Backyard visitor

I was out in the backyard a little while ago and happened to catch something move out of the corner of my eye. Luckily, I had my camera out there and was able to get a picture.
It's a little blurry, here's a pic of one of our residence groundhogs under the pear tree having a snack. He didn't sit there very long after he spotted me so I was lucky to get the picture.

GTA Donations August 2010

August is the month that we do our sweater drive for GTA. I didn't get as many sweaters done as I would have liked due to the carpal tunnel, but every sweater helps. Plus, I don't crochet as fast as some of our other members do :) I swear, some of you must crochet in your sleep!!Anyhow, I also got a wild hair and decided that making some baby quilts would be fun too. We ALWAYS need blankets for the babies.
I'm going to show you my two quilts first, then on to the sweaters.

 This first quilt was started a long long time ago and got put away as an UFO (unfinished object). I originally had grand delusions of making a quilt for a full sized bed out of this. Uh huh. I rediscovered it a short while ago and thought I really should do something with it. Each square is fairly small, a better size for babies. After measuring it, I decided it was big enough for a baby quilt so there ya go! I had started this by digging through all my scrap fabric and used all kinds of colors, which I think made it pretty unique. Backed it with a pretty medium blue solid so it should make a nice quilt for a boy. 

This next quilt is a bunch of cute moose sleeping and being lazy. Something bright and different! I found the material at a garage sale for next to nothing. I'm thinking I paid a whole dollar for it. And I had the backing material in my stash.

Here is a close up of the mooses.

I just want to say that you know, you don't have to have a lot of money in order to be able to "pay it forward" and help out others less fortunate than yourself. My husband and I live on a fixed income of his pension, and if I can afford to help others, believe me, so can you! I get a lot of my yarn and fabric at Goodwill and DAV thrift stores and at garage sales. Plus, it doesn't hurt that I have my kids trained to give mom yarn, fabric, and craft store gift cards for my birthday, Mother's Day, Christmas, etc. :) Besides, I think that in their own way, they feel good helping mom cause in their indirect way, they are helping the babies too!
Ok, off of my soapbox now, and on to the sweaters!
We don't get as many sweaters for boys so I kind of decided to concentrate on them this time.
This one is made out of Lion brand Pound of Love.

This is a nubby tweed type of yarn. Don't remember which brand.

I'm thinking the body of this is Red Heart Super Saver with the arms made from Pound of Love. I didn't have enough of the brighter blue so just finished it off with a darker blue. I think it turned out pretty cute.

This one is for all of you Iowa Hawkeye fans out there! Baby sweaters can be something besides pastels all the time you know.
I remember that I got both of these yarns at DAV for something like $1.25 for both of them. Great deal!

Pastels are nice too, I just like doing brights most of the time. This is one of my exceptions. I didn't have a full skein of the multicolored pastel, so I just finished off the bottom with Blue Pound of Love and some white to finish the sleeves.The multicolored yarn was another Goodwill find.

This denim blue yarn was a Goodwill find. 

Isn't this a pretty darker mint green? I have my husband trained too, lol. He found a box of yarn with 8 skeins of yarn in it at Goodwill for $4.38 and bought it for me. This was in that box of yarn.

This is just a pretty multicolored yarn that reminds me of autumn colors.

Another of one of those partial skein sweaters. I had JUST enough for the body and finished it off with bright yellow sleeves and buttons to tie it all together.

This pretty pastel multicolor was in the Goodwill box of yarn.

Another partial skein sweater. I finished it up with Caron One Pound peach yarn for the sleeves, bottom, and edging. I really like the way this one turned out.

This was a bright reddish orange yarn I found at DAV for 75 cents!

I must have been on a partial skein roll this time :) The nubby turquoise and white came from a Goodwill find and I finished it off with Lion brand white Pound of Love.

Last but not least is my super bright yellow made from Red Heart yarn.

That's it for this time around. There are other quilts and sweaters in the making at this time, but that's for the next round of donations.
The next quest for me is the Christmas drive.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Great Suggestion!

A fellow blogger stopped by the other day and suggested I join her for her work in progress Wednesdays. I like that idea! So starting tomorrow, I will be posting some of my works in progress every Wednesday. Since I usually have numerous projects on the crochet hooks, or at the sewing machine, I shouldn’t have ANY problem coming up with a post every Wednesday, lol.
This is the gal that got me motivated to post on Wednesdays:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Baby Scrapghan Update

Slow but sure, I am progressing on the baby scrapghan. Row two is finished and whipped stitched to row one. Still digging through the stash to come up with enough colors for the different blocks. I want to make it without duplicating any of the colors. We will see. Have to take it slow with my crocheting for awhile. My carpal tunnel has been flaring up and so has the pinched ulnar nerve in my right arm. But I am determined to not give up! Will continue updating you as it progresses!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

God's Tiny Angels Blog Mention

One of the crochet blogs that I like to follow mentioned that she was posting links to websites for Charity Crochet Groups and writing a little blurb about that group.Well of course, I just HAD to ask her to post a link and mention God's Tiny Angels. She went and checked out the GTA website, posted a link, and even posted a link to Peggy and Jess's Baby Ripple Dress pattern. Pretty cool huh?
I figured the more we can spread the word about GTA across the web the better.
Who knows, maybe it will even help get more members so we can help more babies!
Go check it out:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Crochet Baby Block Scrapghan

I decided that I was going to clean out some of my smaller balls of yarn and ended up working on making a Baby Crocheted Block Scrapghan.
Since I've never written a tutorial of sorts before, please bear with me and if there is something that isn't clear feel free to send me a comment and I'll do my best to help you out.

After sorting through the stash, I decided that I was going to stay pretty much with brights and jewel toned colors for my blocks. And simply because I had lots and lots of it, I am using Red Heart Super Saver Aran for the border color.
You can use any colors that you chose, I just used what I had on hand.

Most of the yarn is Red Heart Super Saver with a few Caron One Pound thrown into the mix. I know these yarns are a little "stiff" and not as soft as many other yarns are. of the ladies in my God's Tiny Angel's group told me that if you put a half cup of vinegar in your rinse water, it will soften this yarn up. It really does work, and doesn't smell like vinegar after you dry it.

I am writing this with the assumption that you already know how to crochet and know the basic crochet stitches.
Stitches used in this pattern are chain, single crochet, double crochet, and whip stitch for sewing the panels together. All stitches are U.S. terminology.
Also, if the pictures look backwards to you, it is because I am left handed, so if you are right handed, just imagine the pictures flipped over, lol.

Ok, now to begin.
Row 1:Chain 25, then double crochet in the fourth chain from the hook. DC across for a total of 22 dc's. Ch2, turn.
Row 2-10: Dc across, ch 2, turn.
Row 11-12: Change to your border color and make 2 rows of dc's with a ch2, turn, at the end of each row.
Row 13-22:Change to your second color and continue in pattern as written above.

Basically, you make 10 rows of each color to make a square, then 2 rows of your border color. Each strip is made of 5 squares with 2 rows of border color after each one EXCEPT at the end of your last square, do NOT make 2 rows of border color. Instead, ch1, turn, sc across, 3 sc in corner, sc down the side, 3 sc in corner, sc across the bottom, 3 sc in corner, sc up the other side, slip stitch last stitch to the corner stitch.
Then, ch 2, dc in first stitch of your single crochets, then double crochet around with 3 dc's in each corner. Slip stitch at the end.
You now have your first "strip" of blocks done!

Using the yarns that I did, my "strip" measured approximately 31 1/2 inches long by 7 inches wide. If you want your strip longer, just do extra squares and border rows before you start to crochet around the strip with your border color. 

Pictures below should help show you what I did at each step.

This is my first color with the 6th row in process.

Here is the first block of 10 rows.

Here is where I am changing to my border color before I chain 2 at the end of my 10th row of block color.

Here is where I am working my first row of border color. As you can see, I crochet over my ends as I go so I won't have any ends that I will have to weave in later.

This is the end of the second row of my border color separating each color block.

Adding my second color block.

Working on the first row of my second color block.

Here is what my first strip of 5 blocks of color with border rows in between looks like. I was having trouble getting good color with my camera, but the yarns are actually much bolder than this picture shows.

Here is a closeup of the end of the strip, with the border crocheted around it.

I intend to make 4 rows of strips. Then I will whipstitch the rows together so that should give me an afghan about 31 1/2 inches long by 28 inches wide. 
Again if you want it wider, just make more strips!
Then I intend to do a row of sc around, then a row of dc around. Will see what size I have then. After that I will decide if I want to add more border to it.
I am working on this in between other projects. Will show updates as I go along. I usually having 2 or more projects going any any given time, so it might be a bit before you get to see the finished afghan.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Peyton At The Fair August 7, 2010

We had a fun morning at the Mississippi Valley Fair here in Davenport, Iowa on Saturday.
My daughter Mindy and I went to watch my son Frank and his wife Nichole's daughter Peyton show off her horse riding skill, such as it is.
Considering she is only a little over 9 months old :)
From my understanding, usually the kids riding are under age 14 and must ride alone, while someone leads the horse. Since Peyton is so young, the officials made an exception and allowed an adult to ride with her.
Basically, they just pretty much just allowed her to "show" for the fun of it.
As you can see by the first picture, she was having a good time up on the horsey.
She even got a ribbon!

I like this! I'm not scared at all!

Are we done yet??

Oooooh, shiny!

The shiney is closer.....maybe I can grab it!

Check out all my sparklies and my super cute little pink boots!
G'ma Sue bought the shirt (for next to nothing at Goodwill, since I'm gonna outgrow it in no time)and G'ma Lu sparkled it all up with her hot glue gun and rhinestones.
And my pigtails helped hold my hat on, even though I didn't leave it on very long.

Hey Dad, is Grandma about done taking pictures??

Ridin' around the arena so I can show off my cuteness :)

Waiting for them to hand out the ribbons.

All that just to get that??

Hey mom, can I get down now?

Ok, it's time to get off here and FEED ME!!

Oh yeah, isn't this lady riding with me pretty cute too?
(Almost as cute as me).

I've been really good with all this, now can I just get these hot clothes off?