Thursday, 11 July 2019

Crocheted Flamingo Photo Shoot

I finally finished #9 on my list from Vanessa Mooncie's Crocheted Wild Animals book last week. This one took a little longer for a few reasons. 

First, I started this flamingo then put it aside to make a birthday gift for our great nephew. I wrote about that gift - the Bumblebee Lovey Blanket here if you missed it. 

Once I finished the little lovey blanket, I returned to the flamingo but then got stuck on the tail feathers. I ended up watching YouTube videos showing how to work the crocodile stitch, which is similar to yet not exactly the same as these tail feathers. After a few false starts, I was pleased to finally 'get' it, but by then, our daughter and her family had arrived from Boulder. 

All crochet was put aside for their visit last week. Luckily I squeezed in enough uninterrupted crochet time to finish this flamingo one night last week after work. It was the night they stayed over at the cottage. I hoped our daughter who just so happens to be a talented photographer would be able to fit in a proper photo shoot for this flamingo before going home. 

I am pleased to tell you it happened on Saturday after lunch while the kids were busy playing in the basement ... a Crocheted Flamingo Photo Shoot. These photos are fabulous. Our daughter sent me 44 all together. It was difficult to decide which ones to exclude. In the end, I selected 31 showing different poses in different places. I know that's a lot, but I love them ALL. Take a look and let me know what you think.  

This flamingo is a gift for a friend at work. Her daughter who loves all things flamingo was due to have a baby girl June 29. I figured this flamingo would make a perfect baby gift for her.  

I found out later that Piper was well on her way while these photos were being taken. Piper arrived Saturday, June 6 at 1:44 p.m. weighing 7 lbs 7 oz ... healthy and alert. Talk about Divine Timing!! How cool is that?! 

Thanks to our daughter for taking these photos ... truly a treasure.
To make this flamingo, I followed Vanessa's pattern as written except for substituting the suggested yarn. I used DK yarn in appropriate colours. If you're interested, I described the yarn in more detail in this post titled "More Yarn"

Here's the complete list of animals featured in the Crocheted Wild Animals book with the nine I've finished so far listed below. 

Finished:

  1. Owl
  2. Rabbit
  3. Frog
  4. Polar Bear
  5. Lion
  6. Fox
  7. Elephant
  8. Camel
  9. Flamingo
Not Finished Yet:
  • Deer
  • Monkey
  • Snake
  • Giraffe
  • Chameleon
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Saturday, 29 June 2019

Bumblebee Lovey Blanket

  
 
  
 
 
  
We were invited to our great nephew's First Bee-Day Party. A bee-themed birthday party was particularly appropriate as Beckett is an Old English name meaning beehive. It comes from the words "beo" and "cot" which literally mean "bee cottage".

In keeping with the "Bee-Day" party theme, I thought it might be fun to make a Bumblebee Lovey Blanket ... a different sort of project for me. I spent some time searching online to come up with a few ideas. 

I was happy to find images of filet crochet honeycomb blankets. A bumblebee suitably sized for little hands would look adorable on a crochet blanket with a subtle honeycomb pattern

With a little more searching, I was able to find free patterns for both the honeycomb design and a little bumblebee. 

I was so excited to start, I took a break from making animal #9 in the "Crocheted Wild Animals" book to make this Lovey Blanket. I started on a Sunday finishing just two days later ... such a fun little diversion. 

I love how this Bumblebee Lovey Blanket turned out ... a perfect Bee-Day gift for Beckett.


Here are the instructions with links to referenced patterns for those of you who might like to make a similar looking Bumblebee Lovey Blanket. 

To make the Lovey Blanket, I loosely followed instructions for a filet crochet honeycomb pattern called Nana's "Sweet as Can Bee" Baby Blanket found here on Ravelry.

To make the bumblebee for the Lovey Blanket, I followed this free pattern written by Kali at The Friendly Red Fox.

I attached the bumblebee to the blanket with a long strand of bone coloured yarn hiding the ends in the stitches of the blanket.

Materials Used:
Caron Simply Soft yarn (worsted weight, 100% acrylic, 6 oz)
partial ball bone (beige) - for blanket
partial ball gold - for bumblebee and blanket border
partial ball white - for blanket border and wings
partial ball black - for bumblebee
Hook size = 5.50 mm for the blanket
Hook size = 3.25 mm for the bee
Hook size = 4.00 mm for the wings
yarn needles to join pieces
Polyester Fiberfill for stuffing

For Blanket (reference pattern here):
Starting Chain = 41
Repeat rows 2 to 7 four times.
Border (6 rounds total):
- 3 rounds of moss stitch in white
- 1 round of moss stitch in gold
- 1 round of moss stitch in white
- Final round as per pattern in white.

Let me know in the comments bee-low if you have any questions. 

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Wednesday, 26 June 2019

#BadPoetryGreatShoes

My husband forwarded this email from Xero Shoes to me last night. 

"There once was a monkey named Fred
Who went to the market for bread
His wife was not pleased
As she preferred cheese
So he snagged her some @XeroShoes instead 
#BadPoetryGreatShoes

Are you the next Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, or Dr. Seuss?

Well, neither are we, but that doesn't stop us from writing some truly terrible poems.

Now, you can win a $100 www.XeroShoes.com gift card by submitting your own rhyming anti-masterpiece. 

How To Enter: 
  1. Upload a photo of your Xero Shoes to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram
  2. Craft a bad poem (it can be as short or as long as you'd like)
  3. Tag @XeroShoes and use the hashtag #BadPoetryGreatShoes
We will choose our favorite "Whack Walt Whitman" in two weeks.
The Bad Poetry contest runs through July 9th. Your job....make us giggle. Go forth, we believe in you." 

* * * * *

This was my reply to my husband copied to my Mom and our kids for accountability"Challenge accepted with Xero pleasure!!"

* * * * *

As some of you might already know, I love Dr. Seuss and rhyming. This was a fun challenge for me. I will be posting this poem and photo of me in my Xero sandals on Facebook as instructed. Wish me luck.
Xero Z-trail Sandals @XeroShoes
Have you heard the news?
I love them a lot.
The best shoes I’ve got.
I wear them on the town.
I wear them on the trail.
I wear them climbing up 
I wear them climbing down.
I wear them without fail.
I wear them all around.
I wear them when I rhyme.
I wear them all the time.
#BadPoetryGreatShoes

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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

More Yarn

So far, I have been using yarn from my stash as I work through Vanessa Mooncie's Crocheted Wild Animals book. It's a practical thing to do. 

I love making toys from scraps but decided to splurge and buy new yarn selecting colours more appropriate for my next "Wild Animal". 

I bought five - 50 g balls of Mary Maxim Ultra Mellowspun DK yarn (70% acrylic, 30% nylon); two each in melon and rose and one in black. I also bought one - 100 g ball of Mary Maxim Trendy Baby DK yarn (100% Antipilling Acrylic) in playful pink print.

This new yarn is super soft, "non-splitty" and easy to crochet with ... perfect for toys. I expect I have found a new favourite yarn for when my 'stash' just won't do. I'm almost finished #9 on my list with this new yarn. 

Can you guess what it is?

I will be sure to share photos when #9 is done. Wait for it coming soon.

Here's the complete list of animals featured in the Crocheted Wild Animals book with the eight I've finished so far listed below. 

Finished:
  1. Owl
  2. Rabbit
  3. Frog
  4. Polar Bear
  5. Lion
  6. Fox
  7. Elephant
  8. Camel

Not Finished Yet:
  • Deer
  • Monkey
  • Snake
  • Giraffe
  • Flamingo
  • Chameleon 
  
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Thursday, 20 June 2019

Our Father's Day

This year for Fathers' Day we celebrated with my husband's parents on Saturday starting with a delicious brunch at The Root Cellar
Afterwards, we took them to visit a few of our favourite local shops: The Bakers Dozen (B13)Wisdom Cafe and Tea ShopLondon Clay Art Centre Store and The Western Fair MarketIt was fun showing them where we like to go, who we like to see and what we like to do on a Saturday.

We also introduced them to Richard Thompson an artist at B13 where we had arranged to pick up another of his paintings. We love his work. The rich colours and fine details appeal to us. We especially love the message behind his most recent piece pictured below.

"Live like you are going to die tomorrow. Learn like you are going to live forever." An appropriate message supporting lifelong learning from a retired high school teacher and talented artist.
To celebrate Fathers' Day on Sunday, after a relaxing morning filled with crochet (me) and car detailing (my husband), we headed to Stratford to visit my Mom. She had been staying in Stratford for the past week or so to help out a friend who had knee replacement surgery.

We thought it would be nice to visit my Dad's family gravestone at Avondale Cemetery. Mom had arranged to have it cleaned and engraved adding Dad's and his brothers' names and dates on the back of the stone. 

The work had been done in the spring, but we had not yet made the trip to Stratford to see it. Father's Day seemed a good time to go. 

My husband took a photo of both the front and the back. I liked seeing my Dad commemorated along with his brothers on their family gravestone. 

Afterwards, we headed downtown to Balzac's for coffee/tea and a treat before finishing up with a stroll along the main street stopping in briefly at some of the more interesting shops. 
I wrote this obituary (names omitted) for my Dad over a year ago now.

"My Dad passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family on Friday, April 6th, 2018 in his 75th year. Dearly loved husband and father. Proud Grandpa and Great Grandpa (GG). Predeceased by his two younger brothers. He was born in Stratford, Ontario on April 10th, 1945, oldest son of the late William and Jean. My Dad was a generous and hardworking man. He will always be remembered for his love of family, friends and his great sense of humour. He cherished his immense circle of friends and remained connected to them from as far back as his childhood."

When Dad was dying, Mom and I sat by his side holding his hands. We told him he didn't have to worry, that we would be fine. He didn't have to hold on for us. At the very end, I asked him to send us messages through birds and butterflies just to let us know he was OK. He died knowing he was loved and would be greatly missed. 

This summer, our son is in Kenora fighting wildfires. On Fathers' Day he had been out chopping wood when he captured two things on video: a bald eagle in flight and butterflies with one stepping onto his hand. He shared the videos with us and my Mom that evening. 

I didn't really think anything of it until Mom reminded me of my final request to Dad. That memory brought happy tears to both of us. 

Thanks Dad for sending these messages through your Grandson. You are always in our hearts and never forgotten.
I love this poem written by Barb Hacking given to my Mom in a card after Dad passed ... such a beautiful message of hope.
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