September Update

Tuesday, September 26, 2023 0 No tags Permalink

Now that the month is nearly over, I figured it was time for a September Update. The soybean fields are turning gold. The gardens are ready to be put to bed for the year. The robins are gathering to make their trip south, and the other seasonal birds are long gone. The crab apples at Mom’s house have dropped, and stepping on them always reminds me of this scene:

In fact, why don’t we just jump straight to October. I made a hat for a project. Three days, followed the pattern, and this is the completed project:

I have a very small head. But the hat wouldn’t even fit me. I’m not sure it would fit Schlitzie either. Mom’s second knee replacement went well and she is recovering quickly. I had an awesome time with Kirsten, and we even got the carpet removed from Mom’s bedroom. The construction project started up in the lobby of the shelter, which made everyone mad. Does anyone even read this site any more?

October is a spooky month, and I have no creative outlet for it. I will put together some small packages for my pen pals at least.

Canine Carnival Craft Fair

Monday, August 28, 2023 0 No tags Permalink
Canine Carnival Craft Fair

The Canine Carnival Craft Fair at the shelter took place Saturday, August 26. This year, the second year of the event, we added a craft show. Mom and I had a little crochet booth. Mom did lots of craft fairs when I was young, but this was my first time selling anything.

Bob and I arrived at 6am to start setting up Mom’s booth. After that, we continued to work setting up the shelter tents for the kid crafts, face-painting, scavenger hunt, raffle and t-shirt sales, and more. Shevy did an amazing job with having everything prepared and organized.

Canine Carnival Craft Fair

So, the craft fair. We had been so busy crocheting items ahead of time, but it looked like a lot less when it was on the tables! I had a giant strawberry, medium strawberry, six strawberry keychains, eight mini froggies, 12 medium froggies and one large froggie, plus 30 hair scrunchies and one shawl. Mom had a couple of shawls, three purses, two hats, a large chicken, two cats, two octopuses, a cactus, a mini whale, four monkey cup holders, an assortment of other cup holders, a goblin and a mermaid. I had put a lot of work into setting up the booth with different levels and props (ferris wheel for froggies), but it didn’t match what I had in my mind. Oh well.

Canine Carnival Craft Fair
Canine Carnival Craft Fair

In the end, I sold the medium and the giant strawberry, a medium yellow frog, three scrunchies, and four strawberry keychains for a total of $80. Mom sold the smaller octopus, a cactus, both kitties, the goblin, a red monkey cup holder and four bells for a total of $84.

I’m not going to add in all of the booth hard costs like the tables, tent, table cloths and display items as we can use those again. I’ll have to add up how much yarn I spent. The booth cost was $25. I was pleased I sold some items, and I hope they hold up and folks are happy with their purchases. Mom and I have both gotten some asks for commissioned pieces after the show, which is nice. Over the next week, I’ll be putting up our leftover items on my Etsy account here.

I’m a little surprised the froggies and hair scrunchies didn’t do better. They are quite popular for YouTubers doing their own crochet craft markets. Not counting the fair day itself, or the prep to get the stuff organized for the tables, the crocheting took a fair amount of time and didn’t yield much money or sales in the end. I think it’s a fine hobby to have, and I’d probably do a fair again, but only as a hobby. I can’t see it really turning into a money-making side hustle adventure.

Heartland Yarn Adventure 2023 Day Two

Friday, August 11, 2023 0 No tags Permalink

For the Heartland Yarn Adventure 2023 Day Two, we set off for another set of local yarn shops (click here to read Day One). We started off in Chelsea, which is maybe the loveliest town in Michigan! First shop up was Artisan Knitworks. Love, love, love this shop!

Heartland Yarn Adventure 2023 Day Two

Artisan Knitworks has a collection of the most incredible buttons you’ve seen, and gorgeous yarn. It’s cozy and you just want to stay there. If you go, bring your crochet (or knitting) and sit for a spell!

Artisan Knitworks

If you can’t make it to Chelsea in person, check out their website and order online. Also, follow them on social media. You won’t regret it! I went crazy and bought two yarn hanks, one from Hanks Yarning Co which is dyed right there in Chelsea, and one from a company called Fyberspates (UK brand).

After Chelsea, we headed to Ann Arbor. Unfortunately for us, we chose a day that also held the farmer’s market and we couldn’t find a single parking space anywhere. After driving around for quite awhile, we gave up and headed to our final shop in Adrian.

heartland yarn adventure 2023 day two

Tink and the Frog has such a fantastic social media presence, I really wanted to go there. We parked and then had lunch at The Buzz Cafe before shopping. It was really tasty.

Tink and the Frog

It’s a really cute little store, and worth going if you are near Adrian! I again bought two hanks of yarn, one from Wonderland Yarns in the color of Cheshire Cat, and Malabrigo Rios yarn in the color Diana.

Road construction in Michigan has been horrendous this year, but Google Maps sent us on a country-road trip for the way home which was nice. We really enjoyed this year’s Heartland Yarn Adventure, and look forward to joining next year!

Heartland Yarn Adventure 2023

Friday, August 4, 2023 0 No tags Permalink

Mom and I joined the Heartland Yarn Adventure 2023, and had such a great time! We visited just four shops in Michigan during two days. It was a great opportunity to visit interesting towns, enjoy great meals and local restaurants, and support local yarn shops and fiber artists.

heartland yarn adventure 2023

We started our yarn adventure by picking up our passport at the Yarn Garden in Charlotte, Michigan. It had been many years since I had visited the Yarn Garden, and it was even better than I remember. Probably because the last time I visited, I wasn’t interested in crocheting and yarn! The Yarn Garden is the independent yarn shop of your dreams. It’s so cozy and feels familiar and like the place your soul is meant to wander.

Yarn Garden

They have gorgeous yarn, wonderful sample projects using the yarn, and the owners are the friendliest people ever. You should absolutely follow them on social media for great content regularly updated.

Yarn Garden

I wound up purchasing these adorable little cotton yarn cakes to make washcloths, and a beautiful hank of Manos del Uruguay – Alegria Grande yarn (buy your own from the Yarn Garden online here). Mom got a pattern book for amigurumi and yarn cakes to make a cat.

heartland yarn adventure 2023

Next up, we went to Woven Art in East Lansing. The folks there are so friendly! It’s a great shop if you’re not only interested in yarn, but in weaving.

Woven Art

Their logo is a cute little black squirrel! I purchased a second skein of Manos del Uruguay yarn, this time in Marla.

After shopping, we stopped at For Crepe Sake, where we had a delicious savory crepe and French strawberry soda for lunch. It was a great first day of shopping!
Come back to see Day 2.

Mid July

How quickly the summer is going! It’s already past mid July. We’ve finished our first two of three summer events for the shelter, attended the Battle Creek Garden Tour, and had a lovely visit with Aunt Suzie, Gail, and Sydney.

mid July

This year’s garden tour was amazing. This is our third year attending. It’s hard to pick which garden was my favorite. The weather was lovely, not too hot, with a glorious breeze. I think this year’s theme was whimsy. Each garden had a number of really fun little touches.

mid July

My garden at home is also entering its stride mid July. We are now starting to get some sungold cherry tomatoes and some green beans.

Aunt Suzie, Gail and Sydney came for a visit, and we had a great time. Lots of laughs, and we worked on crocheting! Sydney is learning and doing a great job. I continue to make progress on my items for the craft fair at the Canine Carnival in August. Hoping I can have quite a bit up for sale. I’ve been making leggy froggies in a rainbow of colors.

As I’m kind of going freehand with them, so far each one is a little different. Hopefully as I keep making them, I wind up with some kind of standardization. The green one was first and yellow second. I’m also making some little ones to put on the ferris wheel.

I have read a couple of books, and will do a summer reads short update soon. I’ve had a bad round of headaches this summer. Is it stress? Smoke from the wildfires? Who knows, but it’s wearing me down.

Fourth of July

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. I know, how fast is this summer going?! In June I did a garden update as well as a crochet update. We finally had a day of rain yesterday, and I need to get some more photos and a video as the garden is looking really great. We aren’t getting much veg as of yet; a couple of sugar snap peas, one sweet banana pepper, and some rainbow chard is all.

Fourth of July
Fourth of July
Fourth of July

I’ve been crocheting hair scrunchies for the upcoming booth at the Canine Carnival. I hope to have about 30 of them ready for it, plus some other various projects. I know it will come up sooner than I expect. The Strut for the Strays is already this weekend.

crochet hair scrunchie

It seems like I’ve booked myself into a too-busy July and August. It’s a bit stressful overall I think. I need to take extra time to relax after each extrovert event or meeting, so it doesn’t build up too much. I’m envisioning a world and a life where I’m not constantly doing extrovert things that deplete my energy. Mom is making dinner for the Fourth of July, complete with a strawberry rhubarb pie which is my favorite. It will be nice to spend some time with her and Fanny. I’ve had a little time to read as well lately, so later this month I might even have a summer reads update. Reading glasses seem to make the difference in being able to concentrate and not get a really bad headache.

Hope you are having a great summer so far.

Spring Crochet Projects

Wednesday, June 7, 2023 0 No tags Permalink

For whatever reason, since I started crocheting, I have posted my recent projects. I haven’t posted in awhile, so I thought it was time for a spring crochet projects update. I’ve done a little work on various things this spring, and will be doing a bit more in preparation for the Canine Carnival in August. Mom has a craft space at the event, and said she would sell anything I have ready. I have a small list of things I’d like to sell, including hair scrunchies, cat hats, pumpkins, and dish cloths. Pictured above is a baby blanket I crocheted for one of my Board members who is having her second baby. The theme of the nursery is space/NASA, with dark blue and gray-blue colors. It’s made using Caron Simply Soft, the usual for my baby blankets.

Next up is a comfort blanket for a loved one. This morning is very chilly for June, so I’m sure it is coming in handy. The picture doesn’t do the color justice. This is the first time I’ve used Brava Tweed yarn, in the color Heron. It’s gorgeous light blue with flecks in it. The yarn is my new favorite, an absolute delight to work with. Never splits, feels great on the hands, and is so soft when done. My favorite crochet hook for all blankets is the Crystalites Acrylic Crochet Hooks in the size L11. This one is a hdc stitch with a ruffle border.

One of my goals for this year was to learn Tunisian crochet. Mom gave me a set of hooks, and I watched Toni’s wonderful video on how to crochet. TL Yarn Crafts is my favorite source for crochet ideas and tutorials online. Toni is like your best friend. You will just love her immediately. The yarn is from Hedgehog Fibres in Ireland, and is 100% merino DK in the color Insomnia. HHF is lovely yarn, but super expensive. It is soft enough for me to wear this cowl when completed, and I normally can’t wear wool. It took one skein.

Finally, we have this shawl. It’s from a pattern called Sugarblush from Expression Fiber Arts. I think I may have told you my secret; I can’t read crochet patterns. But this one was written easily enough I could follow it and I’m looking forward to trying more of her patterns. Her yarn is gorgeous, too. But this yarn is from Hue Loco‘s Cozy Colorado collection in the color of Comfort. It’s 100% Merino as well, but a bit uncomfortable for me. I’m sure it would be fine for someone without a wool issue though as it feels quite soft in general. It does need to be blocked still. This took two skeins. I will be selling it at the craft fair.

For me, crochet is many things. It’s like a moving meditation. It just feels good to move your hands like that. It’s creative, picking the colors and pattern. It’s an art that has something useful as a result when complete. It’s an art that supports other artists, including fiber artists, dyers, and pattern makers. It’s a mental exercise, taking a single long piece of yarn and creating something more 3-D.

March Update

March Update Cass in a Hat

It’s mid-month already, and time for a March Update. I would have to look back at previous bullet journals, but I suspect that perhaps my feelings of ennui are normal for the time before the official start of spring. It doesn’t feel or look like spring yet. There’s still snow on the ground, with more on the way. It doesn’t even really feel like there is the promise of spring, and yet the calendar shows otherwise. There’s more grayness than sunshine, and everyone seems a bit unhappy. Another two weeks or a month, and everything will feel different.

I’ve been typing letters on the 1965 Olympia SM9. It is delightful to work on. I continue to struggle with creativity, but letter writing always feels good. I’m taking an online class on writing prose poetry. It is a four-week class. If you haven’t heard of prose poetry, check out Charles Simic’s work. Some of his poems are included in the bottom of that article. My Grandma wrote and enjoyed poetry. I wish I could discuss this class with her.

I’ve been crocheting a lot of infinity scarves. Nothing is selling on Etsy, but maybe they will sell at the craft booth for the Canine Carnival in August. I have two baby blankets and a special comfort blanket to make, with yarn due in today to get started.

January Blues

january blues

My goodness, the January blues are here and they’ve hit hard. We are down to the last week of the month. Yesterday we had a tiny bit of sunshine, and we really haven’t had much sun at all this winter, but today is a dump of snow. The polar vortex is on the way next week, and it will be super cold again. It always seems to correspond that the January blues happen and we have a bunch of sick or stressed cats at work. I am counting down the days until spring, and I know time is passing, but there’s nothing I’d rather do more than curl up in bed. Fortunately for everyone around me, I am somehow able to get up and remain a productive human being.

january blues

I haven’t managed to get my latest scarves up on Etsy. Maybe I can muster the energy this weekend? Since the start of the new year, I’ve finished four scarves or cowls and I’m working on a fifth. My next one after the one on the hook will be Tunisian crochet for sure. Mom got me some hooks for my birthday and I’m anxious to give it a try.

january blues zine making

The sun briefly came out for Mom’s birthday. We had lunch and made some zines. That’s right, I’m back on my zine making and zine collecting. I even forced a bunch of Girl Scouts to make zines.

Yesterday was also the Oscar Nomination ceremony. I’ve seen three of the ten nominees for best picture already, one of the documentary shorts (plus five on the short list that weren’t nominated), one of the animated shorts, and none of the international, feature documentary, or live-action documentary. I’m going to have to get busy.

Crochet Update

Thursday, December 15, 2022 0 No tags Permalink
crochet update

I have a big crochet update! I sold my first two items on Etsy! The boxes are all put together and include some stickers and individual packs of gummy bears. I hope I’ve done a nice enough job on the wrapping, and I get positive reviews. I’m quite nervous!

crochet update

I’ve been working on some rude dish towels, too. I ordered the printed towels off Etsy and have been crocheting toppers on them so they hang on the stove. I think it’s a good mix of old fashioned and rude. They are Christmas gifts for some coworkers who don’t mind profanity or other nastiness.

I’m really looking forward to getting the last of the gift projects done so I can get back to making some scarves for Etsy. I have so much yarn! I’m well behind on everything and starting to stress a little. I have all of my holiday greeting cards addressed, but writing them out is taking forever as I can only do a few on the weekends. I’m also well behind on the cards and letters at work, although I am caught up with Momo the Cat’s cards. I still have to put together all of the staff gifts and stuff for home as well. At least I should have the last of my packages mailed today and the ones for out of state have already been delivered.

Are you feeling the stress of the season? How do you cope with deadlines and still enjoying yourself?