Saturday, May 9, 2020

Attitude Adjustment

Somewhat fretting over some mistakes I made in a crochet shawlette I created for Momma’s Mother’s Day gift, a friend asked me...

Have you ever heard of the Native American custom of purposely making a mistake in a blanket or other article, so as to not anger the gods with a "perfect" human-made thing?

This intrigued me to look it up and I discovered it is a common Navajo tradition. Their “imperfections” are purposeful because only God is perfect. Of course!

Rather than always seeking perfection, other cultures also have the same attitude. I like this.

One of the first major projects I ever worked on was a poncho for my sister’s Christmas gift. I think I might have been 14 or 15 at the time. I don’t really remember. It doesn’t matter. My aunt came in from Arkansas for a visit and I excitedly shared the half-finished project. Actually, I think I was almost through with it at the time. Well, she found a mistake way back near the beginning and began ripping it all out!!! I stood there absolutely stunned as she told me, “If you can’t do something right, don’t do it at all.”

Her voice continually plays in my head, until this morning.

From now on, as I’ve always done, I will do the best I can.
Maybe someday I will make the “purposeful” mistakes rather than the oops! But until then, I won’t be so hard on myself that it’s not “right” - not “perfect.”

Thank you, Gail!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Tweaking Face Masks - UPDATED

After researching and reading this and that, I’ve come up with the following method of making face masks:
Pipe Cleaner (8") (to bend over the nose and cup the cheeks)
Elastic - please, no larger than 1/4" wide for the sake of the ears! ACTUALLY 1/8" IS BEST - YOU CAN TRIM 1/4" TO 1/8" EASILY! Just like you can trim 1/2" wide elastic to 1/8"

Cut main fabric 9" x 16"
Cut from main fabric for facing 9" x 1.5" then cut in half to make 4.5" x 1.5"
Cut 2 pieces of elastic 7" long

With wrong side facing up on ironing board, fold both ends of large piece about ½" and press.

With right sides together, pin, then stitch along the pressed fold about 1.5" - reinforcing at the 1.5" mark. This will keep seam from coming apart when folks insert their coffee filter.

Press seam open.

Turn tube right side out.

Place opening near the top and press folds above and at the bottom.

Take to machine, open up and carefully stitch 1/4" from bottom fold (of the opening). I can only stitch a few stitches before I have to readjust, making sure I don’t catch extra fabric underneath!

Then take the tube and find the pressed top fold. Stitch through all layers to make a tube for the pipe cleaner.

Insert pipe cleaner. Leave at least 1 inch from the end. Use wire cutters and cut the pipe cleaner. Scoot the pipe cleaner down where both ends have about ½" of NO pipe cleaner! You do not want to stitch over the wire because it might just break a needle (or dull it)!

Take back to ironing board. Give the over all (now 9" x about 7.5") piece a good press.

Working on the ironing board, with the front facing up and the pipe cleaner tube is on top, make the first fold.

Press each fold as you go. You’ll have three nice folds about ½" deep.

Pin folds in place (I’ve drawn too much blood pinning the folds as I go!)

The last hanging down part, I pin underneath (backwards) for really the 4th fold, to cup underneath the chin better.

From the front, pin the elastic in place, making sure not to twist.

From the front, pin the facing in place on each end right sides together, wrapping the ends around to the back. *Stitch through all layers using 1/4" seam allowance (Double Check Where the Pipe Cleaner Is!!!!).

Double stitch over the elastic a couple of times to reinforce!

*Don’t forget to remove pins as you stitch, before stitching over them!!!

Take back to ironing board and press stitching to set. Pull out facing and press folded a rounds, then about 1/4" along the edge. Fold over, then stitch in the ditch.

Ta Da!!!

Monday, January 13, 2020

Crochet Techniques

This past Saturday I joined a group of lovely ladies that gather and work on various craft projects. Yes! We all brought our own projects and visited while working. It was also an opportunity to share or get help or advice on a project such as how to repair a tapestry edging, how to do a particular stitch, or how to scrapbook inside a journal bible.

I had a marvelous time - until I discovered my hearing aid was missing!

This was after having breakfast with Gail at Mi Casa, a local restaurant, then her showing me how to do a foundation chain and single crochet at once and then working for about an hour or so on Bud’s afghan! It was only then I went to adjust the aid and discovered it was not in my ear!!!!

Long story short... I was in a rush to leave the house. I had taken it out to brush my hair while Anna ~ the doberman ~ wanted to go outside one more time before I had to leave. In my haste, I left it on the table outside. The cats found it and thought they had a new chew toy.

Oh well.

Things happen.
Anyway... Gail went to a website that had a clear video of how to do this technique. It took me several times at home to master the Foundation Single Crochet stitch, but  I finally got the method and will use it the next time I start a project that may need to be increased to fit! I won't chain x number of times, then single crochet back, only to discover it's not long enough!

Since then I’ve looked further on the Moogly site and have found a bucket load of tutorials for right and left handed crocheters!

This morning I got some scrap yarn and learned another technique! I’ve always hated the hole a “chain 3 then turn” leaves in the work. If you are a crocheter, you know what that means! Check out the “Improved Chainless Starting Double Crochet” video (one for right handed, another for left handed). You’ll never go back!

Friday, January 3, 2020

Still Hooking

I hope everyone’s New Year is off to a great start!

Lanetta’s Creations is much more than sewing, quilting, etc. As I mentioned last time, I am working on a few creative endeavors!

It’s during the early morning, before morning chores begin, rather than working online jigsaw puzzles, I crochet a detailed pattern. Yes. Bud’s afghan is still a work in progress. It’s the project I work on at night, after supper, while watching television. It’s a “mindful” pattern. The repetitive stitches allows me to know what’s happening in the program we’re watching! Win-win!

My current project for the early morning is the Erigencia shawl by Silke Terhorst I found on Ravelry.

When Mother, Gail & I visited Hobby Lobby last week, I found the perfect yarn for it! I don’t know why they named it “Cloud Control” as it’s a pewter to me!

I’ve never before read a “chart” - the universal language! But because of a YouTube creator showing me/us how, I now wonder if I’ll ever be able to follow the written directions! This lady is amazing... all the way from Kenya she has over 83 THOUSAND followers... because she explains and demonstrates things very nicely! I highly recommend The Secret Yarnery!

I would not have been able to create the Mobius Shawl without the help of Youtuber Fiber Spider!  He was great and I finished the snow white shawl in time to wear it to a special dinner! It wasn’t long enough to suit me, but okay for that evening. I bought another skein and will add to it... someday!

Oh, and I came across some lovely shawl pins at the Crafty Flutterby Creations! So many to choose from, I can't decide!

Back to hooking before the sun comes up!



Sunday, December 22, 2019

Creative Endeavors

Winter arrived after ten o’clock last night making today the first full day of winter!!! We’ve experienced the shortest day of 2019 and now, beginning today, the days (therefore daylight) will get longer and longer! I know the chickens will love it even more than I do!

In my last post I mentioned I was Looking for the yellow while working through the sewing room mess. Well, just yesterday I found it - out in my She Shed! Now it’s too late, but I now know where it is! It’s too late for the project I wanted to create with it because I broke down and bought a kit with 20 little skeins of different colors. I’m not all that excited with the quality of the yarn, but it’s a learning process. 

I’m starting Round 6 (of at least 113!). I don’t work on it everyday - just here and there while sitting at my desk (to view the instructions via laptop).

Besides working on the Save, Donate, Burn stacks in the sewing room, I have accomplished some creative endeavors!

Thanks to my friend wearing a lovely shawl back early November, she shared with me the link to the pattern on Ravelry. Now I’m sharing the link with you! Simple Ruffles Shawl. The photo doesn't do the colors justice! I see green when I look at the real thing!

I used 2 1/2 skeins of Lion Brand Yarns - Ferris Wheel - Imaginary Gardens to make the shawl. Now I'm creating a headband with the leftovers!

The afghan I’m working on for Bud's Christmas gift (won't be done by this Christmas!) is coming along nicely. I worked on it for 2+ straight hours while watching Die Hard! After the Christmas Eve they have, it really makes one appreciate Christmas, even if a bit chaotic at times.

Again, the photo doesn't show its true colors. It's Premier Puzzle, Backgammon.

Here is the yarn from Amazon...

Big difference in the colors than what shows up in my photo! Wonder what's wrong with my phone?

The e-book I’m reading, Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff by Dana White, is hitting it on the nail. I love her humor and straightforwardness style of writing. She's a great motivator.

Last Thursday I actually took a truck load of clothes, household items, and miscellaneous goodies to the local mission! Goodness. It felt good! Can hardly wait to get another truck load ready!

It's time to bring in more Christmas decorations to organize. That reminds me... the 10 tubs we brought down from the attic the other day have been gone through and I filled up two trash bags of stuff not worth saving any longer! This is the first time since 1992 I have had all the decorations at one house! Yes!

I'm excited I'm getting stuff done while still completing creative endeavors! "It's a good thing" as Martha would say!

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Looking for the yellow

One never knows when you’ll learn about something new!

I love learning about new things... last night... I ventured out... I attended the L-M Garden Club meeting in Lometa.

I’m not fond of driving at night (or early morning) - the absolute darkness that the countryside brings then the occasional bright headlights - albeit few and far between - makes me nervous. And then it’s the deer, or raccoons, or armadillos, or skunks crossing the road.

Twice a skunk crossed in front of me. I did manage to avoid both encounters - one on my way to town, the other on my way home! Had I been "unfortunate" neither place would have wanted me to stay!

I know, I attended a “garden club” meeting and learned something new about crochet! A friend told me about the year long effort she made creating a “Sophie’s Universe” afghan. She explained how it starts out as a circle and each row around is basically a new stitch/technique - a circle that ends up becoming a square. Several times she said she learned so much while creating it. This intrigued me!

So this morning I did a bit of research...

Oh. My. Goodness.

I found exactly what Gail was talking about at Look at what I made!

Then I found It’s all in a Nutshell Crochet, a fabulous YouTube channel with tutorials on each step!

I downsized my yarn stash a few years ago. I've never regretted, and still don't, giving 99% of it to a friend...

Oh well. I think I saw a touch of yellow somewhere yesterday while working on the Save, Donate, Burn sacks tubs and boxes in the sewing room... I will keep looking for the yellow.

Thank you Gail!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

If you're looking for me...

Not long ago I created another blog, Facebook page, Instagram, and Youtube channel, all under the name of tscGardens. I should have done it back in January - when I started the “real” garden. But the thought didn’t enter my mind at the time because I had doubts anything would grow.

Thankfully, I proved myself wrong.

I’m still learning how to use Instagram and produce video clips. I get Facebook.

I haven’t yet fully organized my sewing room after combining 2 households into this one. (I'm too embarrassed to share a photo!) It’s a slow work in progress. I am working on it a little each day. It’s going to be hard, but I must downsize - considerably. But where/what to do with the “stuff” I’ve collected over the years? I hate to burn it all once the burn ban is lifted. I haven’t yet found a resource to donate fabric scraps and trims etc. I know full well when I get rid of something I’ll come up with the perfect use for it and it will be too late!

So be it. I must downsize.

At least I’m getting organized in other areas!

From now on,
... sewing/craft related articles here on Lanetta’s Creations.
... chicken related articles on Journey in the Yolk Yard (which I need to update - it’s been over a year!).
... gardening related articles on tscGardens.
And just created this morning:
... raising meat rabbits articles on The Rabbitry at tscGardens!

Someone once asked me, "Why do you blog?" The blogs are basically for me. It's my documentation, the written record of what is going on in my life. If someone else benefits from something I share, it's a good thing. It's also a learning process, checking goals, and a reminder of what I had hoped to accomplish at one time or another.

Sometimes it's been a kick start to get back on track when life's gotten in the way.

For me, it's a good thing.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Texas in August

I know it’s been a long time since my last post. It’s been a weird time for me. After smoking for 50+ years, it’s a new normal I’ve been working on finding since Easter Sunday!
So far. So good!
Anyway, I’m here now!

It’s hot.
Okay. I’ve stated the obvious.
It’s Texas. It’s mid August.
There. The “weather talk” is now out of the way.
Two tips I have:
Stay hydrated.
Stay cool.

My first ever garden is still green! The grass around it, not so green. The plants aren’t producing much, but they are hanging in there!

My focus has been to do my best to carry it through this heat - four more weeks.

The other day while watering, if I could carry a tune I would have sung this song in my garden:

Another tip I have... get up early! Before dawn! Get your body woke by sunrise. Then spend a few hours in the garden, or on nature walks. Simply get outside!

I begin watering soon after the sun brings enough light so I can watch where I’m putting my feet.
I also check for tomato horn worms.
I work on outside projects - in the shade - until late morning.
I plan the fall garden in the afternoons under the air conditioning.

That’s how I’m getting through August! What tips will you share that helps you get through these triple digits?

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Healthy Living

It is the last day of March. A library e-book is due back tomorrow. But I’m not FINISHED! I cannot check it back in until I write this partial review! There is so much information to absorb.

It took over two and a half months with it on hold before I could get it checked out to me. Life (i.e. sleep) got in the way to read it diligently! But, I decided a couple of days ago, it’s a keeper so it’s on its way to me via Amazon!

I’ve read more books this year already than the last 5 years combined! And, I’m not stopping! I’m loving the library e-books and my Kindle! This latest book is by Martha Stewart, Living the Good Long Life. I highly recommend this book, especially for those of us beyond 60 years young!

I’ve always admired Martha Stewart. She gives credit where credit is due. She alone did not write and compile information for this book. The acknowledgment section clearly details all the people involved making it happen. I appreciate the list of Resources that are general then chapter specific. Of course, the Notes for each citation within the chapters are as they should be and is, in itself, a great resource for further reference. Speaking of further reference, she/they also provide a list of Suggested Reading that I will have at my fingertips once the actual book arrives.

The mantra throughout the book!
The book is divided into two parts:

Part I   Healthy Living Today
    Healthy Eating
    Healthy Fitness
    Healthy Brain
    Healthy Outlook
    Healthy Living Every Day
    Healthy Looks
    Healthy Home

Part II  Healthy Living into Tomorrow
    Healthy Living into the Future
    Healthy Caring

Honestly, I rarely try Martha’s recipes. Out of her 77 (counting this one) books she’s written, between Momma & I, we have at least 30. Most of the recipes call for ingredients that either I’ve never heard of, cannot find locally, or are impracticable for this household - meaning Bud would not want to try! So I sort of skipped over the recipes. The information elsewhere was spot on!

HOWEVER, her fitness chapter gave me much inspiration! I know I need to as she suggests:

STAY active every day
INCREASE your endurance
MAINTAIN your flexibility
BUILD your balance
FOCUS on core strength
STRENGTHEN for stability
The balance and flexibility and strength... why am I wasting time listing the things I need to master... I need to work on them all!!

Oh, and the Healthy Brain chapter! I’m already practicing the tips she offers. For example, before if we needed more than two items from the grocery store I would have to make a written list. Nope. Not anymore. This is a prime example of “memory boosters” rather than giving in and writing it down I am now doing the “Rehearse and Resize” technique. But, oh so many other tips and techniques are listed for brain health.

Goodness. I could go on and on. I’m thrilled I made the decision to order this book. It will come in handy as a daily guide/reminder for healthy living thereby living the good long life!

P.S. I went on Amazon to get the link to share and read a great review of this book... the reviewer said it much better than I did - "Unlike any other book Martha Stewart has written"!

Let me know what you think of this book!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Take the Time!

In another lifetime I worked at a Texas Public Charter School. During that time, many amazing people came through the door to teach, guide, and help the wonderful yet disadvantaged kids. It was such a fabulous learning experience for me, and I’m still learning from that experience.

One especially hit home yesterday.

I learned yesterday, I missed out getting know an amazing person.

During lunch with some long time friends (two out-of-towners I haven’t seen in over 13 years - Wendy and her daughter Megan -  and one local - Dee that I haven’t made the time to simply visit with), a common denominator brought us together. The passing of Ann.

While working at the school, I didn’t know Ann, except to say hello. I only saw her occasionally as she worked on the other side of campus.

But after hearing Wendy speak of her, their long time friendship, even across the hundreds of miles and a time zone change, I so wish I had taken the time to know Ann myself. I so wish I had known first hand the gentle soul and generous spirit Ann brought to this worldly life. I am so grateful I had Wendy share a bit about Ann, and for that I am blessed.

Lesson learned: Take the time.

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