Born in the Tundra of Minnesota, I have since become a bit of a Gypsy. Currently calling home base the hot sands of Arizona, I do still travel often. Whether the journey is a physical one, or one taken by reading a fantastic book it doesn't matter, the fun is always in the adventure. As always I am an eclectic person that likes a wide array of things and has many passions. Creating, advocating for animals and Mothering just to name a few.


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The Purple Booker







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Apr
08
Posted by

Not-shy

I long ago decided I was an introvert. I prefer small parties to large, I prefer my group of people to a room full of strangers and I would much rather curl up at home with a good book then go out and party down like many seem to enjoy doing. The problem is I want to be more social and meet new people, so I am constantly battling my own instinct to just curl up and keep to myself. It is not an easy battle and it has some footfalls and downsides that come along with it.

A case in point with my journey into trying to be more extroverted (my goal is for Ambivert ) is joining a local Knit Night. Once a week a group of gals (men allowed to I think..if they wish to come). I really enjoy Knit Night and I Have gone twice so far. Alas my natural introverted nature can sometimes bubble out in nervous energy when I get excited about a topic I will talk a bit louder then normal. That bit me in the but on my second outing for Knit Night, and I was asked if I could lower my voice by another group member. Now mind you it was done VERY politely and I take no offense whatever about being asked. I comment only because of my embarrassment on the issue. I apologized profusely and kept a very mindful watch on my tone and volume after that. It made things a little less enjoyable for me but that was not anyone’s fault. It is all part of me learning and trying to be more extroverted and make more friends. This seems like a pretty tight knit group and I do like the ladies in it. So I hope I can overcome my issues and make more friends.

While working on research on how I can help myself with this process I found an interesting article and blog of another introvert.

Here are his 10 Myths about Introverts.

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

I found this very interesting and I had to ask myself due to the last one, Am I trying to fix myself? The simple answer is no, I am not. I am simply trying to get myself some more friends that I can hang out with. I have friends all over the world via online and pen pals. Some are close, some are not but all of them are in the “friends” category, which is Great! I love it! However, I would like to make more friends in my local area. I would like to be able to sometimes go out and hang out with them. I have found it is easier for me to do this in ways like I have started doing now, a common interest group. At least going in you know you have one thing in common already!

So fingers crossed that my Knit Night continues to work. I really do enjoy it even if I have only been twice so far. I may take the step to see about finding a second one or a book club that reads books I enjoy. So far the two book clubs I have casually looked into have picked a bunch of dud books, lol. That is a whole different blog post though.

Howtocare
(just that secondary note on number 2. I know it wasn’t meant on purpose with my last get together)


Mar
30
Posted by

So my loyal readers know I am a happy hooker and love to spend as much time as I can doing crochet. My interest in crafts does not stop there of course and recently I have been looking into Rug Hooking. I remember my Grandma doing this when I was younger and she used traditional hooks. The downside is that if like me you have pain in your fingers, wrists, arms and of course shoulders traditional hooks for rug hooking can make the pain worse. Even scarier to think about is that you can do more damage. Since I have been going through round after round of testing to find out where my pain and in similar areas is coming from I wanted to do some research.

The bottom line, traditional rug hooks can cause pain, damage and even lead to arthritis. Ouch! Explains some things about places that hurt on my Grandma, I personally want to avoid these things but still make beautiful hook rugs. That is where the Danella came into my research.

Danella2

The Danella rug hooking tool makes the process safer, less painful and you can still make the kind of hooked rugs you want to make. Beautiful art does not have to be painful or lead to serious damage to your body. After looking around a little I also saw something that stood out to me, not only is the Danella safer then standard tools it is faster. Those who know me know that I like to move fast on a project when I can, I mean some of my friends call me meep meep when it comes to crochet. The Danella will allow me to do that with rug hooking as well. I thought that was fantastic.

Danella

Danella is a unique tool but already it has a solid following. More then that there is a great amount of information out there to help you use the tool. Just a couple of things that I found were a GREAT Youtube video that gives a tour of the home of Sussi Lunden and shows the stunning array of rugs she has made for her home with the Danella tool. Not only that but she gives a nice demonstration on how the tool should be used. It is a comprehensive video and I found it to be informative and work hand in hand with the book by Japanese writer Senda Eiko, everyone knows how I feel about books and self teaching too! This book is great and I feel with the video and the book in hand that I could be successful at my first outing in rug hooking and for me that is important.

When I go into a new craft I want to feel like I am going to be successful and safe with the craft. I mean you wouldn’t use power tools without the right kind of safety equipment right? So for me crafting is the same way I want to use the safest tool on the market and feel educated enough to use it. The Danella is that tool for me and Senda Eiko’s book is a great guide. I need a new rug over the Spanish tile here in Arizona anyways!


Jan
30
Posted by

I am doing three projects at once right now I think my crochet ADD has started in full. This blanket started out as an earthtone blanket for my Aunt. It still is of course but the more i put the colors together and watched as it went the more I noticed. I subconsciously seem to have created a woodland elf theme. I am really enjoying how it is coming out and the progress that it has taken. This pattern is also very fun to work. When I am finished I may make an attempt to write out my first pattern. I am not sure yet. So much to think about in 2015 so far so behold the Greenleaf blanket.

Greenleaffirstrow

Here we have the first row, doesn’t look like much but they never do when they first start out.

greenleafsecond

Ah now we can start to see the pattern more. 5 rows of the first color and starting on that first row of the next.

greenleafthird

It is fun watching the colors come together and I really like the third in this one.

greenleaffourth

Another green and you can really see what my first plan was. Descending shades of each color. Kind of like an Ombre but split up.

Greenleaffive

I was not sure how much I liked the 5th color at first but the more I did and the more it came together I decided it really wasn’t so bad.

greenleaf6

and last but not least the lightest green in the bunch.

I really am loving this design one thing I can say though is it overall uses more yarn then any of the others I have done so far except perhaps for the aligned cobble.


Sep
26
Posted by

justsoap

I have been thinking about doing new crafts lately. I have made melt and pour soaps before but I have never made cold process soaps and after a bit of research and knowing how much I have loved using handmade soap in the past, I want to make my own.

It should be a lot of fun and I have so many different recipes and ideas in my head. I think it would even be fun to put little cookie cut outs and such into the soaps. Not of cookies of course, of soap. I am going to have to do a bit more research, but so far it looks like something that is most certainly in my skill set. I used to get a lot of compliments for my tarts and candles and the good scents I used. I still get compliments for my incense. I may even go back to making some of the other bath and body products I used to make. Lotion, body mist, linen sprays that sort of stuff. Freedom from the negative person in my life has sparked my creative notions again and I am going to embrace it as much as I possibly can!

Oh, I am still crocheting up a storm as well, nothing to worry about THAT. 😉 I am even considering getting a loom set.


Jul
18
Posted by

Many of my friends are like me and love to go outside with their laptops. Of course the big problem

with most laptops is they have glossy screens and that can make it nearly impossible to see the screen in direct sunlight. A lot of people will tell you to sit in the shade or under an awning and while that helps it is not always possible nor does it fully enable you to see clearly. So what do you do? Well, it might not be pretty, but it works. You can make your own sun shade. Yes you can buy them but they run about 25 dollars so why not make one.

Might be a bit “ghetto” but here is the Instructable I followed.

steps13

– Materials needed: 3 paper bags (or less if you can do it). Scissors. Tape. Pen/Pencil.
– Gather your paper bags, open their bottoms, and lay them flat. See image 1.
– Align your laptop’s parallel edge (top or bottom) to the edge of a bag. Trace your laptop on the bag. See image 2.
– Cut approx. 1 inch (3cms) out from the tracing of your laptop, cutting through both sides of the bag. See image 3. (Call this piece, piece ONE.)

steps14

Step 2: Steps 4 – 6
– Tape-up the edges of piece ONE (extra “strength”). See image 1.
– Take piece ONE and align it with your laptop, as you see in image 2.
– Make a line on piece ONE that’s approx. 1 inch (3 cm) out from the parallel end of your laptop, as you see in image 2. DO NOT CUT ALONG THIS LINE. This will simply be used to measure and cut the other two pieces for your sunshade.
– Measure and cut the other two pieces for your sun shade (call these pieces, TWO-A and TWO-B). Once you’ve cut piece TWO-A, you can use it to measure and cut piece TWO-B (see image 3). Tape-up the edges of both TWO-A and TWO-B.


Jul
11
Posted by

Okay to go with the crafty and following some of the emails I got about my hooks yesterday I wanted to share why I have them like that and how to do your own. Since I started crocheting I do it a fair amount, along with everything else I do with my hands I need to think ergonomically. I found an instructable on how to make your own holders to make the grip more comfortable and easier on your wrists.

You see they do make ergonomic Hooks but a package of 10 is $65 dollars.

56524633

If I am going to spend that kind of money on hooks I am going to get the stunning rosewood set! I mean seriously.

rosewoodhookslrg

Or maybe Birch..

BritHooks

There are sites that offer just a special grip but they average around $10 or more each. I don’t think so nope. So make your own! All you need is a pack of pencil grips which you can find at dollar stores or walmart or target for cheap and some masking tape. That is all you need to make your hooks wrist friendly!

from the Instructable..

Wrap your hook handle with masking tape up to the thumb rest (the flat oval in the middle). Depending on the size of the hook you may need to wrap it only a few times or lots of times. I had to wrap my F and G hooks with a lot of tape to get them to the correct thickness in order to keep the comfort grips from sliding off while in use.

When you think you have enough masking tape, rip it and flatten it down. Test to see if it is thick enough by sliding one of the comfort grips on. If it slides on too easily you will need more tape. You want the grip to have some resistance so that it will stay on when the hook is in use. I used 2 comfort grips per hook so that the entire handle up to the thumb rest was covered.


Jun
27
Posted by

It is finally Friday! Of course that does not mean much when you have a schedule that goes right on through the weekend, but I can celebrate the day. Also I like Friday because it is Frigga day 😉 which makes me think of Loki. Anyways in Friday tradition we have some handmade goodies to show off.

I wonder what it could mean 😉

Outside

purpleblack


Jun
09
Posted by

cforc

While this is a Christian organization and I am not by any means Christian (Goddess loving Pagan folks) I fully support ANY organization that helps cancer patients. I will wave and support until the cows come home even better with crochet being the crochet fan that I am.

Crochet for Cancer

From their website in the About Us area:

Crochet for Cancer is a Christian volunteer based non-profit that donates handmade chemo caps to cancer centers for patients coping with hair loss.

I admit I am very new to crocheting. I started to learn in December, 2011 when I was visiting my mom in Indiana. She was so excited to show me some of her creations she had made. They were adorable crochet hats. You see, my mom had recently been diagnosed with uterine cancer and was beginning the treatment process and had started to lose her hair. Her doctor told us this would happen and thankfully we were prepared.

A month prior to her first treatment we had heard about a local non-profit called River Bend Cancer Services in South Bend, Indiana that donates new wigs to patients fighting cancer. They were wonderful! The lady at River Bend really took her time to talk with us, give us advice and answer our numerous questions. By the time the appointment was over my mom had a brand new beautiful wig PLUS three crocheted hats, a silk pillowcase, and a lap blanket donated by a Notre Dame student all at no cost to us. Wow! Really? I never knew a place like this existed. It was right then that I felt a tug from the Lord on my heart telling me to do something. But what? I didn’t really understand until my mom showed me the hats she had made just like the ones she received from River Bend. It was like a light bulb over my head and the Lord showing me what he meant. Give back… help someone else like we were helped. So began our journey making and donating hats, scarves and lap blankets to cancer patients.

God has blessed our ministry and it has grown by leaps and bounds inspiring ladies from around the world to donate caps to their local hospitals and oncology offices. Crochet for Cancer, Inc. was formed in February, 2012 and is a registered non-profit corporation which has now partnered with numerous cancer centers and founded several chapters throughout the US & Canada. We have answered God’s call and He has truly blessed us with a beautiful ministry helping men, women and children as they fight cancer.

In Memory of Pam Harshman
3/30/1949 – 3/5/2014

My Mom’s Journey: On October 9, 2011 my mom was diagnosed with stage 3a uterine cancer. She had a complete hysterectomy followed by several chemotherapy treatments.

My mom finished her chemo in May, 2012 followed by 31 rounds of radiation which she completed in late June, 2012.

On September 24, 2012 we received another set back. The doctors said her cancer had spread to her lung. She began another round of chemo on October 8, 2012 which did not work and the tumor grew. She started an intense round of chemo in January, 2013.

In June, 2013 the doctor broke the news that unfortunately the cancer was resistant to this round of chemo. She began a new chemo drug July, 2013.

September, 2013 after reviewing a scan, the doctor said the tumors were extremely resistant to medicine. My mom made the decision to continue with chemo.

In January, 2014 we received news that the tumors had spread to my mom’s brain and on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 12:05 pm EST she went home to be with the Lord. She fought a honorable battle and kept her faith till she took her very last breath.


May
23
Posted by

img_5479

This information for the campaign has been copied directly from Click for Babies. Colis is something that is often over looked and misunderstood by people. Lets support the cause.

Each and every day infants across North America are shaken and abused because the person caring for them became frustrated with their infant’s crying. Many times the abuse could have been prevented had the caregiver only known that early infant crying is a part of normal childhood development. This period of crying is known as the Period of PURPLE Crying (LINK TO PURPLE information on CLICK page).

CLICK for Babies is a North America initiative to help educate caregivers about normal infant crying, how to cope with crying and the dangers of reacting to crying in frustration by shaking or harming an infant.

Thank you for your support of this year’s CLICK for Babies Campaign. If you are dontating caps, please remember the cap giving guidelines.
2014 CLICK for Babies PURPLE CAP CRAFTING GUIDELINES

Thank you for paying close attention!

Parents select their favorite hat from the dozens that are on display in their birth centers. The most popular hats have common characteristics. These guidelines will increase the likelihood of YOUR hat going home with a family.

YARN: Hats that are either KNITTED or CROCHETED will need to be made with new, clean, SOFT-TO-THE-TOUCH and WASHABLE yarn.

“Value” yarns are sometimes scratchy and tend not to be selected by new parents. Test softness on your cheek if you’re unsure!

WARMTH: These hats keep babies’ head warm outdoors during the colder winter months. Smaller stitches result in a warmer hat. The large, loose stitches of circular loomed hats tend not to provide enough warmth.

SIZE: These hats will be worn by 1 or 2 day old infants. The average newborn head circumference is 14” (13”– 15”). If your hat fits snugly over a balloon blown to 14”around it will usually fit. Hats should be approximately 4-6“ high. Make adjustments when using yarn or needles of a different size than your pattern calls for.

COLOR: Hats need to be 50% or more of any shade of PURPLE (for the Period of PURPLE Crying).

SAFETY: Please help us keep babies safe from choking and strangulation risks:

PLEASE DO NOT ATTACH DECORATIONS: pom-poms, tassels, straps, bows, ribbons, buttons, etc.

STYLE: Please use EITHER: all Gender-Neutral (Unisex) styles and colors OR: an equal number of Girl-Friendly and Boy-Friendly styles and colors.
Please help us meet families’ requests for more “BOY-FRIENDLY” hats

Consider simpler patterns, darker purples, stripes of brown, gray, green, black.


May
09
Posted by

I am up to my eyeballs in projects of the King size blanket nature, but I really want to create one of these and I know Cubby will like it because ever since he was a little kitten he has loved kitty caves or kitty cubbies as we used to call them. Yes that is how he got his name. He was always in the cubbies.

I found the pattern and directions over at Eilen Tein...so think I can do it?

 

 

 

 

How to

Materials:

  • carpet yarn/weft or thick t-shirt yarn, little bit over 1kg (about 2,5 lb)
  • hook 8mm (the hook should be one number too small to make the basket as tight as possible)
  • a cat or two

Nest size: 37cm x 37cm wide and 20cm high
Entrance size: 15cm wide and 11cm high

Starting chain: 3 ch, 1 slip stitch to close the chain
1 rnd: 8 sc in starting chain
2 rnd: *2  sc in one  1 st* repeat the whole round  = 16
3 rnd: *1 sc, 2 sc in one st* repeat the whole round = 24
4 rnd: *2 sc,  2 sc in one st* repeat the whole round = 32
5 rnd: 1 sc in one st, repeat the whole round (= round without increase)
6 rnd: *2 sc, 2 sc in one st* repeat the whole round until there is 2 st left. Crochet 1 sc, 2 sc in one st = 43
7 rnd: 1 sc in one st, repeat the whole round
8 rnd: *2 sc, 2 sc in one st* repeat the whole round, crochet 1 sc = 57
9 rnd: 1 sc in one st, repeat the whole round
10 rnd: *2 sc, 2 sc in one st* repeat the whole round = 76
11 rnd: 1 sc in one st, repeat the whole round
12 rnd: *4 sc, 2 sc in one st* repeat the whole round, crochet 1 sc = 91
13-16 rnds: 1 sc in one st, repeat the whole round
17 rnd: *5 sc, 2 sc in one st* repeat the whole round, crochet 1 sc = 106
18 rnd: 1 sc in one st, repeat the whole round

entrance to the nest:
19 rnd: continue crocheting 1 sc in one st, about half round. Cut the yarn (leave a little tail for finish it) and skip 10 st. Continue the crocheting with single crochets.
20 rnd: continue crocheting: 1 sc in one st, until you are about 5 sc from the point where you cut the yarn last time. Now fasten off the last round’s yarn tail by pulling the yarn over the edge the so that when you do the last 5 sc, the tails stays inside the stitches. Then cut the yarn again, skip 10 st and start crocheting from the same point as you did last round (fasten off yarn tail again by leaving the tail inside the stitches).
21 – 25 rnds: continue, until the entrance is 7 rounds high.

NOTE!
Be sure that you start and finish the stitches exactly at the same point as you did last round, so that entrance doesn’t start widening.

26 rnd: in the eighth round continue crocheting 1sc in one st, then crochet 8 ch over the entrance. Continue 1 sc in one st until in the end of the round.
27 rnd: 1 sc in one st, repeat the whole round. Above the entrance, crochet 8 sc around the 8 chs.
28 – 30 rnds: 1 sc in one st, repeat the whole round
31 rnd: *4 sc, decrease by skipping 1 st* repeat the whole round
32 – 33 rnds: 1 sc in one st, repeat the whole round
34 rnd: *3 sc, decrease by skipping 1 st* repeat the whole round
35 rnd: 1 sc in one st, repeat the whole round
36 – 37 rnds: *3 sc, decrease by skipping 1 st* repeat the whole round
38 – 39 rnds: *2 sc, decrease by skipping 1 st* repeat the whole round
40 – 41 rnds: *1 sc, decrease by skipping 1 st* repeat the whole round

Cut the yarn (or if the hole is still too big, continue decreases by skipping one or two stitches). fasten off.

Finish the entrance:
Crochet single crochets around the entrance, do the stitches around of two rounds to make the entrance stronger.


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