Diversions

Diversion: an activity that diverts the mind from tedious or serious concerns
(Definition by Oxford Languages)
So far, 2021 is not looking much better than 2020. Diversion is the name of the game for me right now, so I have been keeping busy making things. I will follow Tierney’s example and just post about things I am making, and not the endangered country we live in today.
Inchies
My interest in making inchies has been renewed ever since I came across a book my friend had given me.
Also, on Pinterest, I had seen some inchie books made from paper. I thought it would be fun to make one using fabric. With a bit of embroidery and fussy cutting, I made an inchie booklet.
Embroidery
I continue to draw and embroider things that come to mind. I made a 2021 Guide fabric book using the embroidered peacock, snail, and bee. I am also working on a Stitch a Day project. So far, I have embroidered a bird…shocking, right?
Felting
It is believed that the art of felting dates back to pre-historic times in Central Asia. Felting is something I have been wanting to learn, and I finally took the plunge. The feeling of shaping a wad of wool into little creatures such as a bird or elephant is so gratifying. After making the first bird, I thought I could work better without the leather finger tips for protection. I wanted to feel the wool in order to facilitate shaping. Wrong. While making the robin without the finger protection, I jabbed my index finger pretty badly. Those little barbs on the needle are a bit vicious. It took about two days for my finger to stop hurting. When I made the elephant, I focused a bit more than before. I used the finger tips about 50% of the time. My felt creatures are not as tight as they can be, but with a bit more practice, I think they will improve.
Crochet
On a blog site, Crocht, I found a free pattern for crocheting a basket. I liked the pattern, but I changed it just a bit. There was enough yarn for me to make two baskets. These baskets are firm, yet flexible. I use them to hold the materials and tools needed for ongoing projects. These small project baskets are placed next to my recliner and I work on projects as I watch TV.
Snow Day
On January 10, Central Texas had a Snow Day! It was the reprieve we needed during these dark days. I was so happy to see the photos of my grandchildren having fun playing in the snow. My sister, Emma, sent a photo of a snowman that she built. I did an interpretive Snow Dance, but was told to come in before I slipped on the ice. 🙂 To commemorate this special day, I made a Snowman tag. It was to be the first entry in the
52 Tags Challenge that I am doing. For the snowman, I had made my own tag. I realized that this would be a bit much, and make the challenge feel like work and not fun. So, I ordered some ready-made tags, as recommended. This tag challenge is a fun way to use up scraps, and a great way to celebrate the weeks in the year.
Quilting
I have two weeks of my temperature quilt sewn together. I did not include a photo of this in the video. So far, I like the way the January row is taking shape.
Every baby needs a dinosaur quilt, so I purchased the Elizabeth Hartman Dinosaur Sampler pattern. I have been studying the pattern for days now, and my puzzler hurts. My friend, Joy, from Mesquite Bean, helped me choose the online fabrics for the quilt. Today, I was questioning if I would even start. But speaking with Joy, gave me the confidence to cut as I go, and not all at once…as suggested in the pattern. It would be an organizational disaster to cut it all at once.
Journaling
One of my journals is an art journal, where I just doodle or sketch simple things. The drawing in the video tells the story of something that happened as I was on my morning walk. I was enjoying my usual walk, just thinking, enjoying the outside, and listening to the music in my head. Suddenly, a squirrel dashed out from behind a garbage can that was on the street for pick-up. I shouted, the squirrel squealed, and we both dashed away. I do not know who was more startled, me or the squirrel. This might end up being something I thread sketch.

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.



Mom

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.

Mark Twain

It has been many years since I have crocheted.
My mother and I used to spend time crocheting together. She was the one who taught me how to crochet. And I also relied on her showing me how to crochet a shawl, afghan, or other project, rather than me reading the pattern. Crocheting  was an activity we could do together, without me doing or saying something that would irritate her. 🙂
After a day of teaching, I would like to come home and crochet. I found the rhythm and repetition in crocheting to be very relaxing. I ended up over-doing it though, resulting in carpal tunnel. Because of this, I had not picked up crochet hooks again, until two years ago. I was so disappointed because I could not remember anything. Reading patterns and studying books I checked out from the library, did nothing to refresh my memory. I’m a visual and hands on learner, and I no longer have my mom to guide me through. I put the yarn and hooks away.
Recently, I started watching videos on crocheting. My first project was crocheting rock socks. I used small hooks and embroidery yarn. The hooks I ordered for this project are so much better than the old ones I had. They are more ergonomic and easier on the hand. This was the first time I crocheted anything with a small hook. I have two sets of hooks that range from 0.75mm to 10.5 mm.
Then, I got interested in projects made with t-shirt yarn. There are tutorials on how to make the skeins of yarn by cutting t-shirts. I might try this one day. For now, I purchased two different skeins. One arrived two days ago, and it was not as wide as I thought it would be. I followed a tutorial by Tuula Maaria. The project I chose for my first attempt was a small clutch pouch. I chose this because it is all single crochets and I wanted to start off slow. I increased the size of the pouch by adjusting the pattern. I used a 6.5 mm hook for this. I like the texture and the flexibility of the t-shirt yarn.
Crocheting this bag was a very relaxing and fun project. It reminded me of all the crocheting sessions I enjoyed with mom. I might have to give myself time before I start another crochet project. My hand is okay, but I do not want to set myself up for any trouble.
Mom taught me the basics of embroidery, but I could never sit down long enough to embroider. I used to think embroidery stitching was too slow of a process. Now, I enjoy sitting down and relaxing with a slow stitching project. As I was searching for ideas on Youtube tutorials, I saw some embroidery projects that used tulle for the fabric. I think this might be interesting to try out. There might be some tulle in one of my bins.
Mom would probably be fussing at me and telling me to settle down.
But, I think she would enjoy seeing me crocheting and embroidering.

Fabric Art and Doilies

Today’s Thought: No hay mal que por bien no venga.

When I was little, I used to watch my Tia Lupe crochet doilies with cotton thread and a small hook. I thought it was something cool for an old lady to do. Well, it’s official. I am an old lady who makes doilies! However, this is probably the only one I am going to make. I can’t believe that my Tia even crocheted table cloths with these tiny hooks. So much work!

After crocheting rock socks out of the cotton thread, I thought I would try making doilies. The tutorial by Kristines Crochet is excellent for beginners. I was able to make a doily in an afternoon, with breaks in between.

I spent the morning social distance celebrating with my friends at the Meemaw tree. I wore my special shirt to give them a laugh. The shirt says: I am 70 years old and flocking fabulous. One has to find humor in getting older.

What makes my birthday special for me is that I was born on my Mother’s birthday. I celebrated every birthday with her. I wanted to celebrate her in some way this week, so I made two quilt blocks. One block is inspired by the begonias in my mother’s garden. I could not enter her house without her asking if I had noticed her begonias. The second block is a fabric collage of a sparrow. Mom used to talk to the sparrows from her kitchen window. On my Sunday visits with mom, we would sit out on her patio so we could see the sparrows in her yard. Making these blocks was my way of celebrating with mom once more.

Today’s Thought is something my mother frequently said: No hay mal que por bien no venga.
It means that even if something may be bad, something good will come out of it.
That’s my hope.