Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Etsy Treasury Lists

I have had way more fun that I ever thought I would with my little Etsy shop the past few months. It's been interesting to see the things people like, and what sells. I have also enjoyed the social networking part of the Etsy experience. One feature I really like is the Treasury List. This is where anyone can chose 16 things they like (usually based on a theme) from different vendors and put the pictures together to share. I've had fun building Treasury Lists of my own, but I am especially excited when someone else features one of my items in a Treasury List. Here are some of the recent Treasury Lists that feature something from my shop:

Crochet Fashions features my crocheted lace cuffs. I love the dainty, lacy selections in this collection.
  Coffee with Cream features my set of coffee-colored crocheted washcloths.
My Room is Like a Bit of June features my sage-and-ecru set of crocheted washcloths. Doesn't this seem like a cozy room?
 A Dash of Sage also features my sage-and-ecru washcloths. Sage is currently one of my favorite colors.
I'm honored to be included in these beautiful Treasury Lists. What are some of your favorite finds on Etsy?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Messy Office

If we waited until we "had time" to do anything, I suspect we'd never get anything done, would we?

Earlier this week Lyle mentioned that he thought he'd like a corner desk for a change. His desk is in the family room and he thought it would be a better fit than the desk he was currently using. As it happens, he had been using the beautiful roll-top desk we bought for me several years ago. I had his corner desk in my office. We had traded desks soon after we moved into this house. I can't remember why. So when he started talking like that, I happily volunteered to trade back with him.

Now, in our family, Lyle is the one who likes to rearrange the furniture. I know, it's usually the wife-- but not me. Maybe I'm just too lazy. I don't know. In any case, when he decides to move things around he doesn't waste any time. So Tuesday evening we swapped desks. And now I have boxes of office clutter and files sitting all around me. What a mess!

Not only that, but I'm in the middle of a major work project that is due in less than 2 weeks... and then I'll be out-of-town for a few days. I'm hopeful that I can get it all put back together after that. Then I'll have to show you how nice my office looks with my pretty desk.

In the meantime, I probably won't be blogging much.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Love My Library

I'm blogging today about why "I Love My Library" over on the Sonlight blog. What's your favorite library resource? I'd love to know!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Winter Days

Winter has been late in making her appearance in Idaho this year. That hasn't hurt my feelings much at all. I like having four distinct seasons, but it is my opinion that they should each get exactly 3 months to abide with us! When Winter sneaks in well before the official end of Fall and then lingers around way past when the calendar says it's supposed to be Spring-- well, to put it kindly, she quite wears out her welcome. I hate to tell it on her, but that's what she usually does around here most years.
Not this year. For the past 3 weeks or so we enjoyed day after day of sunshine. Chilly sunshine, to be sure, but after all, it is January. I was happy to soak it in while it lasted. I knew Spring couldn't possibly be arriving this early. I was a little concerned that if we didn't get more snow we might be suffering from a drought come next summer. And much to the delight of the young fry (a la L.M. Montgomery) the snow has finally come.
I took the picture of our backyard  yesterday, and the one of the bistro table on our deck this morning. I expect it will be awhile before I'll be sitting out there for coffee again. The snow is still coming down and piling up even higher. The kids have been out romping in it until their cheeks are rosy and they are worn out...
...ready to come in and snuggle under a blankie with a good book on one's new Christmas Kindle.

We're enjoying the days!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Little Encourager

I keep meaning to tell you about The Little Encourager. It is a quarterly newsletter edited by a young friend of mine, aMandalin @ Eternity is Closer than You Think. Others on the staff include her sister, Emily the Industrious, and another friend, Kellie Falconer. (aMandalin and Kellie graduated with my daughter at our area homeschool graduation last spring.)

The girls have been producing The Little Encourager for several years and are trying to grow their readership. It includes inspirational articles for all ages and lots of fun activities for young people. The most recent edition is available for free online, to give you the opportunity to see what it's all about. Subscriptions are $12 per year and are available in print format or digitally. Information about subscribing is on page 2 of the current edition. Check it out!

Monday, January 16, 2012

To Be

I am… complex.
I want… to always stay in God's will.
I have… much more than I deserve.
I wish… Christians understood each other better.
I hate… uncertainty.
I miss… having a church home.
I fear… I dunno... fear itself?
I feel… content.
I hear… my fingers on the keyboard.
I smell… coffee.
I crave… nothing at the moment.
I search… for answers.
I wonder… what the future holds.
I regret… wasted time.
I love… because He first loved me.
I ache… because I can't do more.
I care… for my family.
I always… check my email.
I am not… extroverted.
I believe… I can trust God.
I dance… only when I'm being silly.
I sing… hymns that learned as a child.
I cry… sometimes.
I don’t always… reach out as much as I should.
I fight… for what's right.
I write… to express myself.
I never… have to do car maintenance. Thank you, sweetheart!
I listen… to audio books.
I need… to not worry so much.
I am happy… to spend time with Lyle.

This challenging writing prompt was provided by e-Mom @ Chrysalis as part of the Marriage Monday series. Today's topic is Celebrating Womanhood. I enjoyed thinking about the sentence starters on this list, but I found it harder than I expected. I'd love to read your list, so if you decide to participate please let me know!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Blogging and Friends

Now that the flurry of the holidays is over and the new year is upon us, I've been trying to get back into the habit of blogging again more regularly. Winter doesn't offer as much "scope for the imagination" as summertime, but it's a cozy time of year-- a good time to get caught up on indoor projects such as writing. I'm discovering, again, that writing takes discipline... and the hardest part is starting. It seems I can think of umpteen dozen things to "just check real quick" when I sit down at the computer, and before I know it a half hour (or more) has passed and I haven't even started. So I'm working on self-discipline in that area. Any tips?

I've noticed a few of  my "blogging buddies" are getting back on board again, too. I'm glad! That helps keep me motivated, too. Stop by and say, "Welcome back!" to:
I also want to give a shout-out to some of my faithful readers and fellow bloggers who have stuck with me during the weeks when I haven't been posting (or responding) as regularly as I should. I appreciate your comments! 
I suspect (and hope) there may be others still following along, but these are the ones who have commented recently.

Also, a warm "Hello!" to some new blogging friends who took the time to leave a comment recently:
I noticed the other day that, incredibly, I am coming up my 10-year "blogiversary"! I have tried just about every "social network" platform that has come along, and I've found that I just really prefer blogging. Maybe because it's because I have to use words to try to explain myself... and not just a sentence or two. Maybe it's because my blog feels like my "home"-- a place where I can invite my friends in for a visit, without feeling like I'm at some huge party where anyone could be eavesdropping on the conversation. I realize my blog is just as public as, say Facebook, but it just feels more personal somehow. What's your feeling?

Anyway, I think I need to plan something special to celebrate 10 years of blogging, don't you? I'm thinking a party with prizes at the very least. It will be the first week of March, so I hope you'll stick around.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Little Corner

I am blessed to have a whole room to myself in our home for my office and library. Since I work from home it's nice to have a cheerful, convenient place to attend to business. In the evenings I like to hang out with Lyle in the family room. Sometimes we watch a movie together or just talk. Even if he's busy on the computer, or watching ..:yawn:.. Tekzilla, or ..:even bigger yawn:.. football, I still like to be in the same room with him if he's home. That's when I do most of my crocheting.

Until recently my yarn and supplies weren't very well organized. Some were in the family room closet, others were in a bin in a crawl space under the stairs, or in a cupboard or drawer in my office or bedroom. Most of it (whatever I was currently working on, or had recently been working on) was in boxes or bags on the floor around my chair in the family room. It was a mess!

Then I had the brilliant idea to re-purpose this storage bin rack. I think it's really meant for toys. I had picked it up at a garage sale soon after we moved in this house. It was in a closet with miscellaneous craft supplies in it. I boxed up those supplies and moved the rack out into the family room right beside my chair.
Then I organized my yarn stash in it. Now I can see at a glance exactly what I have to work with, and what I need to re-stock. I also promised myself to keep my stash within the confines of this rack... so I need to work up what's there before adding more. I think I have enough to keep me busy for awhile, don't you?
I love my cozy corner! The afghan was given to me by my mother-in-law for Christmas many years ago. It was made by her mother. The rustic floor lamp with the little round table came from a garage sale last summer. I thought it fit our knotty-pine paneled family room perfectly.

I have my coffee and devotions there on winter mornings, and wind down at the end of the day with crocheting and quiet visits with my sweetheart.

It's a wonderful life!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter Crochet Projects

Between keeping my Etsy shop stocked and enjoying the wonderful new crochet pattern books I got for Christmas, I have been happily hooking away every spare moment for the past few weeks. I haven't forgotten about my 99 Little Doilies book, either, though I have set it aside for a time. I have no doubt I'll get back to it eventually. In the meantime, I thought you might like to see what I've been working on lately.
This cute Regency style "bonnet" was a quick-and-easy project. I was actually able to find the yarn the pattern called for-- an alpaca wool and acrylic blend. It is a little coarser than I expected, but the color is so rich... and the hat is super warm and comfortable. It was perfect for ice-skating. I got lots of compliments on it, even though it doesn't look nearly as cute on me as it does the model.
This dainty "lace mantelet" is my current major project. I didn't find the yarn the pattern called for. Instead, I'm using a blend of merino wool, rayon, and nylon that I am very happy with. It is very soft and will be warm, I think. As you can see, the pattern is worked up very similar to a doily, but with arm holes. Because the yarn is so fine, it  takes a long time to get around the edge the larger it gets. I had hoped to finish it in January, but I'm beginning to have my doubts.

For other crocheters who may be interested, my new books are:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Accidental Ice-Skates

Our family was invited to an ice-skating party on New Years' Eve by some friends who have a pond. Lyle and the girls had gone ice-skating once last winter at the public ice-skating rink in Spokane, but I hadn't been on a pair of skates since I was 18. And only a couple of times, on a pond, then. I am now a decidedly middle-aged matron and I had no plans to try ice-skating this year, though I did think it was lots of fun when I was younger.

Since this was a private pond setting we wouldn't have the opportunity to rent skates, so I started checking the thrift stores to see if I could find some used (inexpensive) skates that the kids could wear. At one store I found a pair in size 7 and a pair in size 9. I had been looking for sizes 7 and 8, but thought maybe the 9s would do for Laura (with an extra pair of socks or something). They were only $4 a pair, so I went ahead and got them. I brought them home and the girls were trying them on. That's when we realized that the size 9 pair was actually a men's size 9-- which makes them a women's size 11, which means they fit me! Ack! That meant I would just have to trying skating after all.

I remembered that the thrift store had one more pair of ice-skates, but I couldn't remember what size they were. Since Laura still needed skates we went back to look. The remaining pair was size 11. They were brown and black, so I assumed they were also men's skates, and Lyle wears a size 11, so I bought them for him. I was wrong again. Turns out they also fit me.I had accidentally bought myself two pairs of skates, when I actually didn't intend to buy any!

So, on New Year's Eve I sat on a log by the campfire and laced the skates on my feet. I gingerly clomped through the snow to the pond. That was the easy part because the blades cut into the snow. When I got to the pond my "noble knight" was waiting with a strong arm for me to lean on. The minute my feet hit the ice they slid right out in front of me and I ingloriously ended up smack on my backside.

Such a refined, elegant matron I am.

Lyle helped me to my feet, and I scuffed around the pond a few times never letting go of his arm. I'm sure I looked utterly ridiculous, but it was loads of fun.

Lyle wished he had had the opportunity to skate, so on January 2 we hit the thrift stores again looking for a pair of men's size 11 ice skates. We were able to find some, so we went skating again that night. That night I got brave enough to venture out by myself, but it was still very cautious, tiny slides. No swooping, graceful figure 8s or anything like that.

I hope the ice holds long enough for us to go at least one more time this winter. Maybe I can go a little faster the next time. I suppose there's always the public rink, but I like the pond better. At least it was my friends laughing with me, not strangers laughing at me.