December, 2021

The way you spend Christmas is far more important than how much.
– Henry David Thoreau

The impact of 2020 has caused so many changes in our lives; however, I have not allowed 2020 to keep me from enjoying December. Time with family and friends will look different this year, but we will still enjoy each other’s company online and socially distanced.
This month, I have been busy crocheting projects, making gifts, embroidering, and just having fun making stuff. I closed down shop last week, and started concentrating on cleaning up and reorganizing my workroom for next year. So far, I have purged three bins of fabric scraps and crumbs. It was a three step process for purging the contents of these bins. I emptied into donation bags. Then I dumped the contents of these bags on a table to view and access if I still wanted to keep any. The fabrics that caught my eye were put in another bag, for me to review more closely. I realized that even though these fabric pieces were still good, I just didn’t find any inspiration or joy in making anything with them. I replaced all the fabric in the bags and donated them to a thrift shop, where hopefully someone else can enjoy using them.
As part of my organizational plan, I have made some fabric nesting baskets and notebook journal pouches. I have also been crocheting amigurumi birds. I found tutorials by Meetang &Co.. She makes the cutest, small sized amigurumi. She provides English translations, and demonstrates step by step procedures. It was so much fun following her directions for making tiny birds. I made some red birds, blue birds, and a sparrow. I also made an elephant using the tutorial by Kittens and Crochet.
Some scraps and embroidery stitching were used in making some bird gift tags. In pulling out some of my bins, I rediscovered my supply of rubber stamps. These were used in decorating brown mailing paper to use as gift wrapping. I had forgotten how much I like to use rubber stamps, so I have added rubber stamping to my 2021 Projects List. I don’t yet know how or what I plan to do with the rubber stamps, but it will be fun finding out.
With some of my good-sized remnants, I made a few pouches. One was a zippered pouch to hold art supplies. This one is a gift. The other two were notebook pouches for my journals. I love the side-zipper that opens the back pouch. And there are three front pockets. The free pattern is by Debbie Shore. She has so many great tutorials. I adjusted the pattern to fit the size of my journals.
The last thing I did, before closing shop, was to prepare my materials and supplies for the Temperature Quilt I am planning to make in 2021. The idea came after I read a post by Mary, on Zippy Quilts. My friend, Joy, who works at the Mesquite Bean, helped me pull out fabric. I chose some fabric from their website, and Joy pulled other fabrics and sent me photos from which to choose. She is so good about helping me out. The pattern, by Canuck Quilter Design, recommends using solid colors. I chose to use a mixture of solid and patterned fabric. Since I live in Texas, the fabric will mostly be in the hot colors, so I wanted to add some patterns. Instead of using fabric swatches, I took photos and added them to a color key based on the template provided in the pattern package. It took two days to cut and organize the fabric. I also made a fabric bin to hold the background fabric that I cut for the quilt. I am looking forward to this year long project.

This will be my last post for the year.
In closing, I want to thank and share my appreciation to all my blogging friends. You are a valuable source of support and inspiration.
Have a safe and blessed holiday.

More Amigurumi

Only when you can be extremely pliable and soft can you be extremely hard and strong. – Zen Proverb

With the few days remaining until election, I am doing everything I can to just breathe, have hope, and stay sane.
It is so true, that the littlest of things can make one happy. Running across the amigurumi tutorials has save the day for me. This Japanese art form of knitting or crocheting small animals provides the outlet and positive energy I need at this time. Forming soft and pliable yarn into hand-sized animals makes me smile. There are so many tutorials, and I do appreciate how people are so generous in sharing their art.
I found an easy-to-follow tutorial for making a ratóncito, little mouse. My sister, Emma, created a cute ratóncito as a character in one of her Pig in A Wig book series. I think little mice are cute…although not in a house.
I rummaged through some of my craft bins, and some crochet rounds that my mother had made. There are over 90 of these tightly crafted circles. I am trying to think of how to make something with these rounds. The bin also contained a few balls of yarn that belonged to my mom. I pulled out a ball of mixed blue yarn, and started looking for some tutorials on how to make a bird. Stella’s Yarn Universe has a three part tutorial on making the cutest bird ever. The directions are clear and slow. I was doing pretty good with the bird until I got towards the end. The bird is supposed to be facing forward with a tail in the back. I realized that my bird no longer looked like the one in the tutorial. Once again, I had miscounted on the crochet stitches. Some of the yarn is very dark blue and it is difficult to see the stitches. I think that is where I counted incorrectly. My choices were to unravel all my work and start over; or revise the pattern by making up the rest of the pattern. I noticed that it would work out if I made the tail to go to the side, instead of the back. The tutorial gave directions for using crafting wire for making the legs. I did not have wire, so I made a nest instead. I had a fabric rope shallow bowl I had made for practice. I filled it up with yarn and thread pieces. There will be another attempt at making this bird as it is in the pattern. There is also a tutorial on making a tiny bird that I would like to try out.
Just for practice, I made a daisy granny square. Granny squares can be made while I am watching TV or visiting with the Meemaws. As for the amigurumi, I have to crochet along with the video tutorial. Some people list a written free pattern. However, reading a pattern is not something I do well.
If you are looking for something relaxing to do, I totally recommend crocheting amigurumi.