Search This Blog

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Last Day for Joining Yarn Club!

If you want in on the Yarn Club, order before midnight EST tomorrow February 1st!  I'll need to shut down subscriptions then in order to know how many packages to prepare by mid-February, the first shipment.

Wow, hard to believe it's almost February!  Mom's vest is coming along nicely (one side done, now on the back panel) and I've got a couple of other projects in the works.  I actually broke out the sewing machine yesterday to come up with some linings for 2 crocheted handbags I just finished, but now, I think I need to hand sew them into place, so that still awaits.  Tonight, my plan is to add some tips to, then work on Mom's Vest while watching the Pro Bowl :-)

Today's Thought:  Food Rule # 56:  limit your snacks to unprocessed plant foods.  Thanks to my husband, he came up with a delicious and satisfying snack yesterday -- slices of green peppers with a little bit of cottage cheese and blueberries.  He seasoned each one with a little bit of pepper as well.   Mmmm, mmmmm!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Valentine's Day Crafts eBook

Yippee, so my simple red and pink crocheted hearts are featured in a Valentine's Day Crafts eBook that you can download for free at
The hearts work up really quickly, so you've still got plenty of time to make some by V-Day :-)

So, I am feeling a lot better thankfully, and I have to say, the sight of $$ hitting my PayPal account has definitely lifted my spirits!  My Scalloped Baby Hat Pattern and the hat itself sold within hours of my posting them.  I'm so happy when I can come up with a crochet pattern that people want to make (and buy, of course, but really, it's about more than that) or want me to make for them.  It's like, wow, I created something that others like and appreciate and hopefully got a happy moment from.  In many ways, that's what this is about for me -- spreading pretty and happy things into the world (hey, I give out a lot of free patterns too, so you know I'm keeping it real here).  I love looking on my Ravelry account and seeing the hearts that crocheters have given some of my projects.  Sorry if that sounds sappy, but come on, we need to hold on to all the pretty and happy things we can these days...  For you cynics out there, yes, I will freely admit that the ka-ching in my PayPal account is pretty and happy too ;-)

And, to that end, my wonderful blog readers, if you would like to purchase the Scalloped Baby Hat pattern too, I'm offering it at a 10% discount on the left panel of the blog.  After your purchase, I will email the pattern to you as a PDF document within 48 hours (probably even sooner!).  Thanks very much for reading and following MCG!

Today's Thought:  So, I have started to read Michael Pollan's Food Rules and really want to start following them as best as possible.  I think I will dedicate this part of the blog to that endeavor, sharing with you a food rule of the day and ways I'm trying to follow it.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Silver Lining

Well, I'm starting to feel better, though I'm still sooooo congested!  Oh well, at least I think I've lost some of my holiday weight (the silver lining!).  I'm hoping taking it easy for another few days will do the trick... 

Otherwise, not much to report.  I've gotten a few more tips up on the Lifetips site, so I think I'm on track to hit 101 within my self-imposed deadline.  Stay tuned!

Today's Thought:  If you haven't seen Food Inc. yet, see it!  Michael Pollan was on Oprah yesterday, talking about the movie and his new book Food Rules -- it's all quite eye opening, but knowledge is power!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


So, I'm home today, felled by the common cold.  I can't believe it, I dodged the swine flu after two people in my office got it, I scoffed at the 24-hour thing that went around afterwards, and now, I am wandering aimlessly around the house with a box of kleenex under my arm.  It's because I let my guard down.  I was keeping up a terrific pace last week, teaching twice, working on a big project at work, and going out with friends.  I let myself breathe a sigh of relief on Sunday that all was done, and whammo!

At least the splitting headache I had yesterday is gone.  I think the Zycam might be working, but we'll see ...  Now, I struggle with what, if anything, to do.  Part of me says, "take another hit of Nyquil and hit the sack"; the other part of me says, "do something productive."  I do have one work assignment that I should try to do, but that Nyquil hit is starting to look really good.

Today's Thought:  A plug for myself today -- I've got 82 tips up on and have challenged myself to get to 101 in 10 days.  Check in to see how I'm doing?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mom's Vest

Ok, I've had a set back, but I've also found the silver lining!  Seems when I get into a crocheting groove and pick up speed, I start to crochet more tightly.  So, the segment that started out 45 - 46 inches across was 42" by the time I got it to 9 1/2 inches tall!  Needless to say, I had to do some "frogging" back to about 4 1/2 inches tall.  No worries, as I got caught up on episodes of "Being Erica" last night, I'm back at 8 inches tall, and I posted 2 new tips on :-)

Today is going to have to be laundry, paperwork, and visiting day.  But, while I watch the political shows this morning, hopefully that last inch and a half will get done. 

Today's Thought:  Already having a hard time keeping your New Year's resolution to get efficient and organized?  You might want to check into the time management and to-do list organization templates that can be found at

Friday, January 22, 2010


So, I had been meaning to give some $$ to the cause, but for some reason, had been piddling around about it (I think probably having to do with being sure that I was giving to a legitimate fund and through a secure website).  Today, as I was checking into, I came across an interesting article about relief efforts and why people donate to them:

So, I get home tonight and turn on the tube, and the Help for Haiti Now telethon is on.  I start getting out my wallet and the story about the man who stood by his wife's work building for 6 days and begged rescuers to dig for her because he just felt she was still alive came on.  Turns out they found her and got her out!  They first dug a small hole and dropped in a camera -- they see her, and she says "whether I live or die, tell him I love him!" 

Ok, well that did it -- as tears are streaming down my face, I go running for the computer with credit card in hand!  Whew.

Well, now that that's done, I decided I'd better post this info in case others are looking for reassurance that it's safe to donate online.  I ended up going to because I figured that would be the most secure site.  Sure enough, you can use your PayPal account to donate, so no one ever sees your credit card information.  It was really easy and I printed out my receipt right away.  They are also supposed to send a receipt by email also.

Ok, back to the TV -- I hear Madonna coming on!

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Book Recommendation

But, first, an update on Mom's vest -- it's coming along!  I've really gotten into a groove with it, and right now, I'm on the straight body part of it, so not much thinking involved, whew ;-)  Stay tuned!

The book recommendation:  so, the other day, I had a Border Books coupon, so whenever I score one of their really good ones (meaning, at least 25% off), I head over to the crafts section to see what's new or what I haven't yet picked up (one of these days, I really need to do an inventory so that I won't rebuy the same book!).  I saw a book I've been wanting:  The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet by Margaret Hubert.  It's wonderful.  The pictures are really clear and well taken to show off the stitches and projects in there, plus she's added schematics as well.  And Ms. Hubert really has put some stitch patterns in there that I haven't seen in other books.  It's a great book for beginners too because she's got a lot of the basics laid out and clear, understandable instructions.  And, frankly, no offense to Borders, but even with the coupon, it's cheaper at Amazon!  So, here's the link, enjoy!

Today's Thought:  We had a coupon ('natch!), so we actually placed an order with Omaha Steaks!  I couldn't believe that it actually got here still frozen like a rock in its own cooler with dry ice.  We got a variety pack, and even though the marinade for the salmon was a little too salty, everything was really tasty and seemed quite good quality.  Now, of course, we are getting emails with special offers in them every day practically, but I think I will order from them again, the convenience and quality are worth it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

So Many Ideas, So Little Time!

Oh, have I got ideas!  Just thought of a poncho design that I'd love to be working on.  But, as you will recall, Mom's vest is numero uno project.  I have gotten a start on it.  I talked to her this morning about what kind of stitch pattern she wants (flowers, waves, bobbles, etc.), and she said "surprise me."  Great, that's helpful.  But, I gently probed more, and I think bobbles are going to be the way to go.  I'm using a varigated yarn, so I'm thinking the bobbles (they're small ones, not the big poofy ones) will highlight nicely the transitions in yarn shades.  Well, we'll see ...

Other than that, I've got three days ahead of me, during which I've got to systematically and methodically knock out some house cleaning and organizing, tons of paperwork, laundry, and Mom's vest.  Yikes, I'm getting tired just thinking about it.  Mmmm, maybe a nap is in order first ;-)

Today's Thought:  Stay tuned for this month's newsletter -- sign up to the left for emailings of blog posts and our once-a-month newsletter!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Amazon Affiliates

Mmmm, ok, so Amazon and Blogger are now in partnership.  I had set up an Amazon Affiliates account a while back so that, when I recommend crochet pattern books, etc., I could provide an easy link for you (and frankly get a cut!), but now, they've made it so easy to do, so I guess I'd better give it a try!

Actually, I am in the process of reading this great little guide to starting a crafts business, but the advice Meg Ilasco  gives is great for anyone just trying to get organized and motivated to explore new things in their lives.  The author interviews a number of people who now run successful design and craft businesses, and she sprinkles in her own wisdom and tips throughout.  For example, I really appreciated her debunking of "Craft Mythology," such as "All the great ideas have already been done and someone else can do it better than I ever could."

Anyway, check it out if you would like, but stay tuned for crochet book recommendations.

And, DeAnn, if you're reading this (and I know you are!), I will show you how to set it up, it's so cool!  I love techie talk :-)

Only a Few Days Left...

Prices go up on the Yarn Club for Crocheters on the 15th, so sign up now for your full or half membership!  Thanks to those of you who have already let us know that you're in; the rest of you, jump on the yarnie bandwagon :-)

I got my yarn shipment yesterday from Yarn Love and am looking forward to starting the little girl's sweater project.  But, first, I must start my mom's vest.  Thank goodness that's what she wants!  A few years ago (yes, years), she asked me to make her a sweater.  She had found a pattern that she liked, we went to the store to buy the yarn that she wanted, I crocheted all of the pieces (front, back, arms), and then, poof.  Nothing, nada, never finished.  I just have never been able to make myself put the pieces together!  Ayeeeee, I've lived in shame and guilt over this for a couple of years, though I discovered over the weekend that Mom forgot all about it!  I will redeem myself with the vest -- it is going to be my own design (so not too many pieces), I'll use the yarn that she's already picked out, and no arms to attach!  I really do think it was the fear of attaching arms that led to my downfall (because you know, if everything's not the right size, it's not going to fit together properly).  Anyway, now that I've confessed my past debacle and my redemption project, I'm hopeful this vest will get whipped out in no time.

Ok, speaking of starting a redemption project, that's tonight's task :-)

Today's Thought:  For great management tips and insights, check out and sign up for the daily tweets, they're great motivators!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Wow, it is COLD outside!  I scurried from home to metro to Mazza Gallerie and back to see "It's Complicated."  It was cute and funny at times, though not a raucous comedy as they make it look in the previews.  Meryl Streep looks great, and Alec Baldwin's holding up pretty well too, though Steve Martin definitely has had some work done.  Definitely a chic flick!

Crochet-wise, I'm overrun with ideas but just haven't started the execution yet.  I came up with a boy's hat pattern for FaveCrafts, (I'll post the link when it comes out) but am torn between working on the shrug I'm envisioning and the little girl's afghan project.  Dah!  I'll probably just try to get each of them started and see what happens (my friend and life coach (for lack of a better term) DeAnn says it's ok because it's probably my true preference according to the Myers-Briggs Personality Testing :-).  She gave me a stack of reading, which of course I've done none of (sorry DeAnn!), but I will next week.  It really is interesting to get insights into why and how you do the things that you do.

Alright, I hear the dinner bell, so off I go....

Today's Thought:  I don't care how well a hat is crocheted, it's just not warm enough for weather like this!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Just My Luck

Of course I misjudged how much yarn I would need for my newest design project -- another sweater for a little girl.  And, of course the yarn is now discontinued!  But, thanks to a wonderful yarn lover in Houston, TX (, I will hopefully be getting 4 more balls in short time!  She's a sole proprietor too, so I started to read her cool blog and thought I would pass it along, especially this posting on new FTC rules for bloggers ( that require that bloggers to disclose if they've received compensation to review or promote a product.

I'm in the clear because all of the "today's thoughts" really are just that -- my thoughts on something I've come across and thought was worth sharing.  I'm not getting compensated (nuts!), but if I do, I will be sure to let you know ;-)

Today's Thought:  Mmmm, loving my Culligan filtered hand-held shower head -- we have a lot of chlorine in our water here in D.C., and this shower head with replaceable filter removes all sorts of stuff from our water.  Of course my favorite filter shop has it at a great price

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Wow, 2010, here we are!

I had such a great day today, I hope it's a sign of how the year is going to go.  I went to Barnes & Noble and found "Inside Crochet", a crochet magazine from England!  I haven't had a chance to really pour through it yet, but one word of caution that I have to remind myself of -- the English use different crochet abbreviations for stitches than we do here in the US.  But, I'm still excited to see how crocheters in other countries approach projects and what they're focusing on in the UK.

I also had lunch with a friend of mine who's currently living in Germany.  I got him to agree to look for crochet magazines for me when he gets back there :-)

I also figured out how to add more "buttons" to the blog for Ravelry and Lifetips, but these were harder because I had to configure the HTML myself to match up the pictures and the website addresses -- I'm feeling like quite the techie ;-)  It really was fun in a way.  Maybe this is the first step in getting me to the point where I can actually tackle doing something with my main website, but let's not get ahead of ourselves, let me just bask in the glory of getting two buttons working right!!

Ok, I need to go get ready now for a private lesson that I've got scheduled for tomorrow morning.  Happy New Year to everyone again, and thanks for reading my blog!

Today's Thought seems to be very knitters-oriented, but they have an amazing palette of yarns, so might be worth checking out