Misc. March

misc. march butterfly

Even though I haven’t been feeling up to it, time does move on and so it’s time for a Misc. March post. Today is actually the first day of spring, but this week is very cold. Yesterday we had snow and likely will again throughout the week. Mom and I went to Meijer Gardens to see the butterfly exhibit a week ago (photo above) and it was lovely and warm in the greenhouses.

misc. march altered playing card

I’ve been spending some time collaging altered playing cards and making Artist Trading Cards again. There’s something about collaging that is therapeutic when you just…can’t even. It’s fiddly and relaxing, selecting colors, ripping things, cutting them, gluing them, and then coating the whole thing with mod podge. I’ve had some sales of my zines on my Etsy, and I’ve been enclosing a card in the mailing. Because why not? Also, what I am going to do with them when I’m done?

misc. march star trek zine

I did work on a zine that I had blocked out in February. I painted each half-page panel in gouache. It’s currently at the printer, as I kept trying to get it to copy right and I just couldn’t make it happen. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out, actually. Unless I get inspired though, that’s only one for the month out of two as a goal.

misc. march cup cozy

I crocheted eight cup cozies for the coffee pull for the upcoming May Whisker Mixer. This is a variegated yarn that striped so nicely and was delightful to work with. I could finish a cozy just about each evening.

Have you ever felt like you’ve died inside and you’re just waiting for your body to catch up already? See you in April.

Misc. Snowy Day Thoughts

Thursday, February 15, 2024 0 No tags Permalink
Misc. Snowy Day Thoughts

Time for some Misc. Snowy Day Thoughts as winter has returned with a rainy/snowy mix of misery.

I just used a little roller therapy thing that is supposed to help headaches. Now I smell like the sawdust used in elementary schools for puke. Also, I still have a headache.

Misc. Snowy Day Thoughts

I used the puke-sawdust-roller as I’m getting ready to have a colonoscopy next week and I can’t take my regular Aleve or ibuprofen. I’m all ready for the procedure prep. I have my Miralax, Ducolax, and two bottles of Gatorade (green and yellow, no reds or blues).

I recently had AI perform some avatar creations on photos from my phone. Every single image gave me a bright red nose and cheeks. Thanks, AI, for showing me that the world indeed only sees my rosacea. Fantastic for the old self-confidence.

I finished one SugarBlush Shawl with Arcane Fibre Works yarn (Just Breathe) and started another SugarBlush Shawl with Arcane Fibre Works yarn (Crashing Waves, pictured with Cass, above).

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and I did get little Valentine bags ready for all of the staff members. I try to always do that for Valentine’s Day and Halloween. I also sent out Twin Peaks Day gifts through the mail. I’m not doing InCoWriMo this year, but I’m behind on my letter writing so it seems I am doing InCoWriMo after all. We have 33 days until the official start of spring.

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.