Spring Longing

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Happy Tuesday!

We are still in a deep freeze here in the part of the country. I am grateful for the beautiful sun, but the little ones and I are quite house-bound, as it is only 1ΒΊF. Brrrrr!

Still we are dreaming…longing…hoping for spring! It can’t be too far off…

So today we made…bunnies! And a few other spring creatures for our class treat later today.

I used two of my old standbys: the Wilton Buttercream Icing recipe
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and MARSHMALLOW fondant.
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I just love making fondant from an old half-bag of marshmallows with a couple tablespoons of water! Cheap, sweet, and it works up like play dough, perfect for little ones.

To cut the stickiness, we rub a little shortening on our hands, then dust with powdered sugar.

My sweet older girl wanted to make a bunny cake, so here he is:
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And all his little friends! Enjoy!
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Here’s hoping warmer
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weather is right around the corner!

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Granny Square LOVE

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I confess, the granny square fascinates me.

It is a slow-building affection that has been a long time coming, I think.
Blame Pinterest and all its wonderful, colorful images…thousands of gorgeous afghans in every color combination and square motif imaginable. I am undone.

I currently have several granny projects going. But first, a few don’ts. πŸ™‚

Don’t use your grannies in awkward clothing projects. There are a few cute patterns out there, but many are just plain frightening.
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If you like any of the above clothing, my sincere apologies. I confess to rather classic taste, myself. So much so, that while I have tried several variations of colors lately, I have discovered a simple golden rule for ensuring a gorgeous granny every time…are you ready? Ta da…

…make the final round of each square THE SAME COLOR.

You don’t have to, certainly…but I am telling you, it just makes the blanket better. More visually appealing. Whatever. Personally, I get tired of using that much of the same color…but the end result is worth it. Here are a few of my favorites:

Edging in white:
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Flowers, flowers, flowers…
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Love this daisy pattern? Free here:
http://tillietulip.blogspot.com/2012/06/to-beg-chain-ch-5-and-join-to-form.html
Or here:
http://colorncream.blogspot.nl/2013/09/flower-square-tutorial-iii.html
Jewel tones, triad and monochromatic:
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And some specialty squares…

The mitered granny:
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And Circle of Friends (I just love this!)–
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A little more about color:

I stumbled across a great color lesson recently, with fun visuals and helpful links, including a color combo and stripe generator!

Here is the blog:
http://www.craftyminx.com/2011/10/crochet-school-lesson-18-working-with-color.html
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And the online color tools:
http://www.biscuitsandjam.com/stripe_maker.php
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https://kuler.adobe.com/themes/mostpopular?time=30
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Sooo, all of this to say that perhaps you remember my scrapghan from a few weeks back?

I confess, I did NOT have the space or time to lay mine out this neatly…
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Nor this…
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Truthfully, I had my sweet daughter hand me random circles as I crocheted. πŸ™‚ She enjoyed snuggling…I think I have perfected crocheting while a child lays on my arm. Not so easy, but they are getting used to the back and forth motion!

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It is turning out much as I hoped. I am using a continuous join, but making strips of two rows each, so that I can arrange them at the end and avoid having similar colors too close together.

Update: two strips finished!
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I am looking forward to playing with the newly discovered internet color tools during my freetime later this week! Happy crocheting!

Polka Dot Giddy

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I hate painting walls. Can’t, actually, in the middle of winter. The odor would flush us out of doors. Too cold to open all the windows. And I love yellow. And teddy bears. So when the tiny fourth daughter made little noises about updating her “babyish” room, I turned a deaf ear.

Until I heard this word: polka dots.

She saw she had my attention…and pressed the advantage. Just a few, she wheedled. Maybe pink? And I thought, sure. Why not?

A plastic dinner plate and three $.98 bottles of acrylic later, we have fun color!

And the short people were delighted, especially when they were allowed to help. πŸ™‚
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Roughing them in…
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Daddy jumped in so I could whip up a batch of biscuits for supper.
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The expectancy in that sweet little face!
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And the moment of triumph! Finished!
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Bliss.

Four to Get Ready

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I read an article not long ago about four being the perfect number of children to have. I agree! A matched set, or two of each. The article reasoned that once a mother had four children, there were certain things she just had to let go. Therefore, in the face of non-possible perfection, the mother of four was more relaxed. True enough!

I could add a few things to that.

Four means there is always someone to play with.

Four means the parental spotlight spreads wide and becomes, by definition, muted. There is less pressure, on all six of us, to perform. As parents, as children, as people. I used to be uptight. Slightly perfectionist. Yeah, four kids took care of that.

Four means we get charged extra. For everything. Campsites, cars (must have six seats!), restaurants…it all costs more.

But I don’t mind. Really. For every night we don’t go out, there are laughs–and drama– to be had at home. And extra kisses, and homede birthday cards, and more I love you’s. There are plenty of people to help with chores. And to make the mess, of course. We never lack for something to do. Life isn’t boring…and it has so much value.

That’s why we had four, really. I thought about a dozen, then a half, but I just hated puking for nine months straight. And my husband was starting to get that deer-in-the-headlights look.

But we had four because we value life. More than money, more than career, more than anything. Because one says, I like my life the way it is. And two says, I like to be “normal.” Three says maybe that last one was a surprise, or a moment of weakness. πŸ™‚ Four though, four says I value family. I value you. At least, that’s what it says for me. It says I have hope.

Maybe when they bring me four husbands, and a dozen grandchildren, I’ll wish I stuck to one, or maybe two. I do worry about fitting them all around the dining room table, someday.

I never could have imagined this, my glorious precious home life, when I was one of the previous dozen girls I have been, just as surely the mother I am today cannot even dream of the days to come. They are beyond MY imagination.

I will enjoy the here and now.

It passes all too quickly.
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Art by Amy

Snow-Bound? Stash-busting!

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I went on a bit of a stash-busting frenzy yesterday…I am out of the yarn I need for current orders (I will be making that run after work tonight) and wanted something bright and cheery for the gray winter day. This was my scrap yarn box:
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Quite a sight!

I have long admired this pattern:
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And settled on this version as my current favorite:
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/flowers-in-the-snow

Finally had a chance to try it! And had enough scrappy colors to have a go…

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Sat down to watch a telly flick with my sweetie last night, and when I counted them out this morning I have nearly forty flowers! So much fun!

I’d like at least a hundred, but I have used up all my scrappy scraps at this time…

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I am so happy with how it turned out! Now I need even MORE yarn from the store, to make the fourth and final round in a uniform color. I think a nice clean, bright white.

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Happy hooking, and shopping at the yarn store. πŸ™‚

Sweet Something for the Sweet

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I have been working on a little something…it is a special order AND a challenge.

I do love to look at a picture and figure out the pattern myself.

So here is my version of the reversible heart ripple afghan… ta da!

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I like half-double crochet much better than double crochet, I confess, I have no idea why, but I love Angie’s ripple afghan, so I started with that and converted it to hdc.

Here is the link to her free ripple pattern:
ripples of happiness

And here is the link to the reversible sweetheart ripple on Ravelry:
sweetheart reversible ripple

I am glad my customer doesn’t need this by Valentine’s Day! I don’t think I would quite make it….

May your life be full of love this week and always!
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Mood-‘Ghan Crochet Along: Update

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Hello, a little peek at my progress! I have done pretty well at making a square at least every other day…
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I do confess, I have not sewn in a single end, oh, dear…

THIS square was in honor of my daughter’s curling match yesterday afternoon, they played well and I crocheted it in her school colors.
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Happy hooking! Next up, a little valentine sweetheart surprise for you.