Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dyeing for Fun

Yesterday I played with more yarn and thread dyeing.  I used four different types of yarn and threads with blue and green Tulip tie dye.  The results are mixed.

Here are before photos. On the left is white Aunt Lydia's #3 crochet cotton. On the right white DMC cotton floss.
 On the left is Sensations Kashmira 100% feltable wool and Aunt Lydia's #10 bamboo cotton crochet thread.  Both of the hanks are cream colored.
Here are the results. The #3 crochet thread and DMC floss took the dyes completely.  The bamboo cotton came out slightly variegated.  Blue/purple from the blue dye and green/yellow from the green dye.

The wool didn't take the dye very well.  I don't know if the results would be different if I left the dye on longer or "cooked" it.  But I am leaving for Phoenix tomorrow morning and I don't want to leave the yarn wet.  The color variations are stronger on the wool.  I still like the results and will probably crochet projects that can be felted.

Today is a "finish" minimal tasks around the house day.  Tomorrow morning we are flying to Phoenix for the long, hot weekend.

What are you up to today?

Sweet P

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stay-cation in Full Swing

I am on day 3 of my staycation and loving it!

On Sunday I cleaned out my pantry.  One and one-half bags of bad food later here is what it looks like now:
Now I am inspired to start baking again!

I started a new needlepoint project on Sunday. I cam across this tutorial to stitch a small zippered pouch.  So, I had to start it.  Here is my progress so far:

Last week I shared my white snowflakes and the cotton thread I dyed.  Last night I crocheted my first turquoise snowflake:
I love it!  The dye made the cotton thread stiffer than normal.  I imagine when I get around to starching the snowflake it won't take much starch.

Today I am home alone - all day!  I'm headed downstairs to work on a couple of paper projects.  Tonight my favorite TV shows have season premiers and I can't wait!

What are you up to this week?

Sweet P

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tie Dye Anyone?

Earlier I posted photos of crocheted snowflakes I made earlier this week.  The original design I used called for Teal crochet thread.  However, we don't carry any colored #3 crochet thread in our store, only white and beige.  I did a Google search for hand dyeing cotton yarn and found a link to Yarn Gear.  I decided to give dyeing a try.

I bought a bottle of turquoise dye and went to work.
I am thrilled with the results!
The thread is almost and ready to work with.  I can't wait!

I started a stay-cation last night.  I am home for the next five days and on Friday morning hubby and I are flying to Scottsdale for a long weekend.  My goal during this week is to tackle a few "burr in my side projects", both around the house and creative projects.  Stay tuned to see what I do get done.

Sweet P

How Do You Clean?

Do you have any unique ways you clean your home?  I admit I do.  I can only clean one area a day, otherwise my Muse gets cranky and my fibro kicks in.  I set a time limit for myself.  I turn on Jesus Christ Superstar and do as much cleaning as I can in the 1.6 hours it takes to play.  For me that means I can clean the kitchen/dining area or the living room or one bedroom or both bathrooms.  I have to clean in the morning after watching Good Morning America.  In other words, my day doesn't start until 9 am.

Yesterday I cranked the music and deep cleaned the kitchen.  Maybe I shouldn't say deep cleaned as I didn't wash the cupboards or clean out the fridge or clean the pantry.  Those projects I do best when hubby is around to help.  I started with the dirty dishes.  Then I moved counter clockwise around the kitchen to the stove, the outside of the fridge, around to the island, then to the coffee counter.  From there I moved over to Mr. E's little table area, the dining room table and then my desk.  Last was sweeping and mopping floors.  When JCS finished I was ready to sit down and relax.  The only task left to do was take the trash out which hubby did when he got home from work.

Earlier this week Karen at Sew Many Ways shared her Coffee Bar.  We don't have space for a coffee bar like she does.  Instead we have a coffee counter.  This counter is to the right of the kitchen sink.  This is what is looks like when it all nice and clean.  I'm often up and out the door before hubby gets out of bed so I will make the coffee and fill the thermos for him.  We have a slew of travel mugs and usually one or two of them are handy.  The teddy bear on the right was made by hubby's grandma.  We put him there awhile ago and he just seems to fit right in.  Where else can a bear make you smile except when you are pouring your morning coffee?

I keep our coffee in a drawer below the counter. We get our coffee from Boca Java. We've been getting our coffee from them for a long time. They have several roasts to choose from and the coffee beans are roasted to order so the coffee is always fresh.  You choose your delivery schedule.  I get seven bags and one free sample bag every 7 - 8 weeks.  It's a great way to get coffee.

It felt great to get one room cleaned before my stay-cation next week.  That means I will have more creative play time.

Do you have any special or unique ways you clean?

Sweet P

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Getting Organized . . . Maybe

I love to see photos of perfectly organized homes with everything in it place.  What I would love even more is to see those same homes three days later.  Do they still look the same?  I'm not sure.  Maybe, maybe not.

I've been a fan of Apartment Therapy for quite awhile.  Earlier this week they sent an email with the subject line: Getting Organized: The Big Picture.  The article is great and is full of the perfect tips for me in my quest to gain control over our home again.

I especially like the comment: "Before you buy one more thing for your home, just observe, for a week, how your home works."  I've been mulling over that comment and thinking how we operate in this house.  A few of my observations:

  • When he comes home hubby puts his briefcase next to the couch and his keys on the bar.
  • When I come home my work bag and purse get put on Mr. E's table in the dining room.
  • I'm awful at throwing away junk mail.  It usually gets left on the table for several days before getting put in the trash.  Since I walk by the dumpster from the mailbox to the house you would think I would immediately tear up the junk and throw it away.  Nope, not yet as a practice.
  • I am good at storing things where they used.  Toilet paper and bathroom cleaning products are in the bathroom.  Mr. E's arts and craft supplies are in a bookcase next to his table.
  • My creative materials can be found all over the house, not just in the studio.  In all fairness, the only materials not in the studio are most likely current projects.  Although I do tend to leave my crocheting and needlepoint on the fold-down table on the couch which is annoying to hubby.  Currently my book making supplies are on a table in the Man Cave and should be put away.
  •  I have a great new custom built storage area downstairs that isn't being used to it's best capabilities.  That's not good.  Especially since it's been there for a year.  I think that is where I need to start.  Don't you?

Sweet P

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Beef Soup for my Soul

With my apologies to the Chicken Soup for the Soul, I prefer Veggie Beef Soup for my soul.  I've been feeling out of sorts for the last several weeks.  Housecleaning needs to be done, actually a good, thorough fall cleaning needs to be done.  I haven't cooked a super good meal in a while.  And my mood is borderline cranky.

My Soul needs nourishment is two ways:

Taking Care of My Family
For me this means a clean, comfortable home.  I am by no means a perfect housekeeper, nor do I want to be.  But when the crumbs from last week's meals are still hiding under the kick boards of the kitchen counters and my husband's whisker trimmings from yesterday are still on the bathroom sink, I am not happy.  Recently I read about Handmade Home's Lazy Gal's Survivial Guide to Better Housekeeping.  I'm in!

My philosophy is a warm, comfortable home keeps my family happy.  Most of the housework is my responsibility as hubby travels extensively for work.  We are almost empty nesters.  I say almost because our adorable 3-yr-old grandson is here from late Sunday afternoon until Monday night every week and sometimes several other days a week. If you walk into our home you might think we have a child.  My biggest issue with keeping up with housework is I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in the spring and that has slowed me down considerably in the housework department.

Taking Care of Me
Beyond my physical needs, I need to feed my creative muse.  She is a strong muse and insists I spend time every day creating something, whether I spend time with yarn, threads, fabric or paper.  My studio is filled with projects I've been working on and not many of them are finished.  She does not demand finishing as much as I would like her to, but we have an understanding on that point.

This past summer she had me spending more money on materials than I would have liked to, but I have convinced her I have enough materials to keep me happy for quite a while.  Now it is time to hunker down and create!

So, what's next?
Over the weekend I decided to take five days off next week before hubby and I go to Scottsdale for a long weekend.  I need the time at home to restore sanity to our home and myself.  I'm not sure what I will do on those five days, although Mr. E will be here on Monday and he always brings a smile to my face.

To start the process I made a huge pot of Beef Veggie Soup, Cheddar Chive Biscuits and Apple Crisp for dinner on Monday night.  It was a yummy dinner and everyone loved it.

On Tuesday my Muse told me to start crocheting snowflakes.  I spent the afternoon trying a few patterns and wasn't happy with them.  I perused the patterns on and found a collection of patterns that are turning out well.

Here they are before being starched.
The only one I'm not happy with it the one in the upper right corner.

 Happy stitching!
Sweet P

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Belated Creat -a-versary to Me!

I celebrate little events in my life.  For example, besides our wedding anniversary, hubby and I celebrate the date of our first official date, December 31.  We also celebrate every 100 days of being married. On September 26 we will be married 4,100 days!

Therefore it is only natural to celebrate the day I started being creative again.  I say again because growing up my grandmother taught me to sew, crochet, needlepoint and bead work.  She was always making something.  When I was a young mom I didn't have the time to pursue creating.

On September 4, 2004 I began creating again.  I started with taking an on-line quilt class from Quilt University.  If you have never visited their site, you should.  The classes are interesting, the price is reasonable, and you will enjoy it.

I quilted until I got sick four years ago.  I was out of work for the summer and although I was still quilting, I wasn't getting as much enjoyment out of it.  I started sewing other projects and played a little bit with other mediums.  I left my old job and started working at a national fabric and craft store.  Me, oh my, my creativity was reborn with all the goodies available to me.

Soon after my grandson was born, I started crocheting again.  Then along came embroidery and needlepoint.  Papercrafting soon found a place in my studio as well.

Now I spend time creating every day.  I am a happy person when I can create.  A cranky person when I cannot create.  I even take crocheting with me when hubby and I go to the Deutsche Bank Golf Championship every Labor Day Weekend.  Yes, we are standing at the 5th green and in between groups I will crochet.

Belated Happy Create-a-versary to me!

What is your favorite kind of creating?

Sweet P

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Secret Santa Swap

I don't participate in many swaps.  There is one swap, however, I never miss.

I have joined this swap every year she has hosted it.  I am always delighted and surprised with the gifts I receive.

I have been lurking on my partner's blog and starting to think about what to make for her.  Are you my partner?  Who knows???

Sweet P

Starting Over

For many reasons I feel I should start this blog over.  Consider this my first post.

Hello, my name is Sweet P and I am creator.  What do I create?  Almost anything as long as it includes at least one of the following:
  • Fabric
  • Yarn
  • Floss
  • Needlepoint/Embroidery Threads
  • Paper
  • Or is an item a 3-year-old likes to use when doing arts and crafts
Today I played with paper and a little bit of fabric and made a book for me.

I used coffee bean paper for the front.
 A little bit of coffee themed ribbon for the closure
 And some fancy papers for the signature dividers

I suppose you may be wondering what am I going to write on these pages?  Well, I found this website and decided to do my own 30 Days of Lists.  I'm starting a little late, but I'm OK with that because that's how I roll with life.

Keep creating!
Sweet P