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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Free Craft and Crochet eBooks

I'm so glad to be able to pass along two new and free ebooks from the FaveCrafts folks!  The first one has 17 popular crochet items that are easy enough for a beginner to make, like a fun little caplet, a bottoms up hat, and a really neat 8-point ripple afghan.  You can find the free and instant download at:

The second book will start to get you in the mood for the holidays.  This ebook has 7 fun craft projects for Christmas time.  I think I'm going to give the Christmas Card Saver a try!  Also included are the Felt and Wire Angel (pg. 5), the Christmas Candy Jar Labels (pg. 11), and a Wine Cork Wreath (pg. 19).  You can get this eBook free at:

Happy Crafting!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

One Really Cool Lady

I love the internet because it makes it possible to get in contact with really amazing and interesting people.  I got a Ravelry message the other day from Barbara Payne Shelton, asking if she could use my crochet bangle bracelet pattern to make jewelry to sell for charitable purposes.  She came up with a great adaptation to make a necklace as well.  After "talking" a bit by email, I was so happy to be able to help in this small way and thought that you all would enjoy hearing about Barbara's charitable endeavors on behalf of the MS Society.

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. I am the married mother of three adult children (all married to great people, lucky me) and two grandchildren. Although I have had a wonderful career as a teacher and college professor, being a grandmother is definitely the best job ever!

2) When did you start crocheting? My college roommate taught me as she learned it, over 40 years ago. Unfortunately, she is right handed and I am left handed, and we did not realize I was bringing around the thread the wrong way. My second project was a traditional ripple afghan and I discovered the problem when the ripples didn't ripple! I simply relearned it the correct way and the rest is history. Everyone I know has gotten crocheted gifts from me over the years. I learned to knit at age 8 and while I still do that, it isn't as rewarding for me as crocheting...
3) When did you get involved with this particular charitable project? I have several friends and two family members with MS so I do a lot of fund raising for the MS Society. I have done their 5K walks for some time, but 5 years ago I started doing an annual 31 mile walk. My husband and I have done six of those now, but since I do multiple events each year I had to find another way to raise money than just asking my friends--you can only do that so much!
4) How did you decide to combine these two interests? Last year I knitted over 150 scarves and sold those but since crocheting is my first love, I thought I would try doing something in crochet this year. Although I suspect that crocheted jewelry has a narrower market than scarves, since just about any woman can wear those. I saw Phyllis' pattern and got so excited about it that I began making them in earnest. I thought it would be neat to have a coordinating necklace, so I played around with adjusting the pattern. It needed some adjustment in order to hang right. I have a few which are long ones, but I liked the "choker" style best, so most of the necklaces are that style. The necklace is adjustable (so it fits over the wearer's head) by sliding two beads which secure the ends. The necklaces are in a variety of colors, including white, silver, gold, gold metallic, black, read, rust, brown and a few blue. I sell the sets for $15. I donate the yarn and contribute 100% of the proceeds to the National MS Society. If people pay by check I prefer that they make out their checks to the society, not to me. I want it to be clear that I am not making any money here!

5) Where can readers find out more? I don't have a blog or a website, but people can e-mail me directly at

 So, I really hope you'll consider contacting Barbara to purchase a necklace-bracelet set or contribute in some way!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shake, Rattle, and More Shake!

Well, there I was, sitting at my desk, wishing I didn't have to go to two meetings in the afternoon, and an earthquake hit!  Of course, at first, I didn't realize that's what it was ...  here in D.C., we tend to think first of more awful, manmade things happening.  So, it's all relative in many ways, "whew, thank goodness it was only an earthquake."  Now, I hear we've got a hurricane headed for the East Coast.  What next, locust?!  Oh, well, we got sent home, and I didn't have to go to my two meetings -- I promise next time I won't wish so hard :-)

In the event of an earthquake, go stand in a doorway until the shaking stops, then evacuate the building.  Of course, did I remember all this at the time?  Well, now I know, and here are a couple of other informative sites: and

And, the ShakeMap site is pretty cool too:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Seashells by the Seashore

Ah, so another wonderful vacation in Rehoboth Beach is over...  A bit too many clouds and rain this time around, but the weather was a great excuse to eat too much, watch too much tv, and work on a scarf for the Special Olympics.  The organization is seeking scarves for the upcoming games, and here is all the information about official colors to use, possible patterns to follow, and where to send, etc.  I'm hoping you all will take up the cause and post pix on my Facebook page!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


So, creating a "lens" on Squidoo has been on my to-do list for a while now, but I finally sat down and did it!  It's very user-friendly and is a great way to organize your sources and thoughts on a particular topic.  I'm gearing up to do some more filming of crochet segments, but I decided to capitalize on the video that I had already done for the beaded crochet bracelets.  I haven't quite figured out yet how the point system works (you get points for doing various tasks and accomplishing certain goals on the site), but I imagine all will become clear at some point :-)

Friday, August 5, 2011


There's just too little of it!  And I'm finding that the more I try to follow some scheduling or time management system, the more things get out of whack and the more stressed I get!  Though I do feel like I am getting the paperwork and bill paying aspects of life a bit more under control.  I recently read an article by Kacy Paide, who isn't really trying to push any particular product, she was just advising that you need to have a "catch-all" basket or place to put the critical mail and paperwork that needs to be addressed timely and set up a schedule for processing it.  Once I go through the mail, sort out the junk and recycle it, and identify the important stuff, I then go and just put it on top of my keyboard.  That way, I'm not tempted to do other, fun things on the internet first, I have to take care of those bills!  Kacy focuses on office organization (The Inspired Office is the name of her website), and she offers her services in the Washington DC area.  I haven't tried her services (yet), but her website and weekly email tips are helpful.  In fact, if I had more time, I'd be following her tips way more than I've had the chance to!