Sunday, December 22, 2019

Always focus on the blessings!

"Always focus on the blessings" has pretty much become my tag line. Life has been difficult but we chose to keep our attention on the many blessings that are still all around us. So tonight we received an incredible blessing and we would like to share it with you that you too may be blessed. Kindness, thoughtfulness and love can have such a profound affect and this certainly did for us! So...without further ado....
Last week I was contacted by a Facebook fiber friend. She said she was destashing and would like to send some beads and things for Willow. For my non-fiber friends, destashing is something we do with our offices and studios quite frequently as we accumulate an abundance of supplies. Contrary to popular belief, yes, you CAN have too much. Ha, Ha. My friend asked for my address and said a package would be on the way. I thought this was so super sweet and I knew Willow would be thrilled. Then I got another message asking what her favorite color was. After I responded to that I was asked what characters she likes. Wait a minute! This is more than destashing. Ha, Ha. It really warmed my heart. 

After a long day of baking cookies, Shelby ran outside to get something and discovered a big package on our porch! On a Sunday no less! She brought it in and we all just plopped right down on the kitchen floor! Check out the super cute paw print paper!

Willow gave it all she had to get the paper off and get the box opened. Look at her face!

We flipped the lid open to reveal Frozen, Frozen, and more Frozen - one of Willow's very favorites, along with a TON of other wonderful treats!

She has been having the greatest time brushing Elsa's hair and accessorizing with all her hair bows.

I only ever knew of one other child that wore a sleep mask and that was Chelsea, Willow's mother! How would this person know that Willow loves these!!!

Elsa slippers that she put on immediately and they fit perfectly! Again, how would this person know that???

And then she pulled out the unicorn blanket that she also immediately put on!

Willow is one of the most grateful, appreciative children I have ever known. She gets so excited about everything and thanks people repeatedly. She was just thrilled with this little puzzle.

Books, stickers, puzzles, headphones, blankets, toys, a huge smile and an overflowing heart!

Now the really incredible twist to this story. I noticed the return address on the box was a different name than my friend uses on Facebook and I mentioned that to Shelby. A few minutes later I received a message from my friend that had originally contacted me about destashing to give me a heads up that she had shared our story with a friend of hers and that she had wanted to send something to Willow too. Oh my goodness! This package was from someone we don't know, have never met, have never spoken to. I am speechless. The very coolest thing is knowing there are people out there - friends, family, acquaintances, people we don't even know - that are thinking of us, praying for us, sending us love. That's amazing! We are so touched and so thankful and so blessed! Thank You!!!

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Most Special Kind of Crochet!

I have to be honest that I've always been just a little envious of the people that share the love of crochet with their families. So often you hear that someone learned to crochet from their grandmother or their mother. Having learned to crochet from my second grade teacher, I was the lone stitcher in my family. I knew that my great-grandmother had crocheted and while I did have her in my life briefly, she passed on when I was about 10 years old. When I had two daughters of my own, I thought for sure that I would finally be able to pass on my love of all things fibery but that was not to be either. Sigh.

Earlier this year, my mom showed me a tote box full of crochet items that my great-grandmother had made. I had no idea that these even existed and was so thrilled for the discovery. We didn't go through the items and only peeked at them through the clear box. I have no idea why. My mother said when she was gone that she wanted me to have them. Sadly, neither of us knew that would be just a few short months later.

So yesterday, I went through the box for the first time. It was an amazing experience to hold these pieces in my hands knowing that my great-grandmother had created them! They are beautiful works of art that are somewhere around a hundred years old! I am so thankful that my mother took care of them all these years but it's sad that they were tucked away in a box. I plan to block them and starch the gorgeous ruffles to put them on display to be enjoyed. Oh, and I think it's pretty obvious to see where I get my love of complexity!

And now....I would like to share them with you!



Friday, November 17, 2017

Cable Crochet Made Easy by Bonnie Barker book review

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing Bonnie Barker's new cable book which is nothing short of spectacular! If you have always loved cables, this is the book for you. If you've never done cables but always wanted to try, this is the book for you too! Not only is there a wide variety of beautiful designs but every single pattern includes a link to a video tutorial! Cable patterns can be wordy and confusing on paper so Bonnie will SHOW you how to create them! 

The book contains patterns for 2 hats, 4 scarves (including one that can be made larger as a shawl), a cowl and cuffs, 2 ponchos, a baby blanket, a throw with matching pillow, a bottle cover, mittens with a matching headband, a stole and a shrug. Like I said, something for everyone!

I had a difficult time deciding which pattern I wanted to try first but I ended up going with the Abigal Scarf. Even though I have been crocheting for hundreds of years, I learned 2 new stitches in this pattern which was really exciting for me. While working the Celtic Weave, there were a number of different ways I might have interpreted the instructions so it was extremely helpful to pop over to the video tutorial for Bonnie to show me exactly how the stitch was to be made. I love the versatility of this design. Different yarn weights with different sized hooks all create a marvelous new look and this is the pattern that includes instructions to keep going if you wish and turn your scarf into a shawl!

I love all the little personal touches in this book that show Bonnie's beautiful heart. All the glory is given to God from the first page to the last! This compilation was a labor of love that included Bonnie's husband, children and friends and in spite of all the hard work that clearly went into this book, you can see and feel that they had a wonderful time producing it together. 

If you can't wait to get your own copy of this amazing book, it is now available on Amazon. You can also visit Bonnie at Bonnie Bay Crochet to see more of her incredible creations!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Happy National Crochet Month 2016!

Welcome to my stop on The Crochet Express! I am so happy you are here! Big thank you to Crochetville for once again putting together this incredible blog tour in celebration of National Crochet Month. I'm sure you are just like me and celebrate crochet EVERY month but March is exceptionally special and it's so much fun to celebrate in a much bigger way!

I developed a new appreciation for things we often take for granted after I reclaimed my health almost 3 years ago and there are many things I never thought I would experience that I now celebrate. I had been sick for over 7 years and I am so thankful that I had my crochet with me but once I found healing, I just wanted to get up and MOVE all the time. The problem that presented would be less crochet time! Or would it?  I love to get creative and blend the various aspects of my life together for the best efficiency. So I didn't see any reason why I couldn't get up and get moving and take my crocheting with me! 

Just because I'm working on my legs doesn't mean there is any reason I can't still be using my hands to crochet, right? 

And so I challenge you to incorporate your crochet into all areas of your life! Especially something that gets your body moving and improves your health! We already know that crocheting is good for your health, now let's step it up to the next level! I know sometimes it can be hard to get and stay motivated so find a friend to keep you accountable and you do the same for them! And if you can't find a friend, make your own! ( excuses!) and so I give you "Workout Wendy" to motivate and inspire you. Plus, she is just really cute and I love making doll clothes. Please click on the link below to get the pattern which will be free for a limited time as a thank you for celebrating crochet with me! If you are ready to take charge of your life and you are ready to improve your health, lose some weight, gain a whole bunch of energy or if you are just ready to look and feel amazing, please send me a message! I would love to help you! You can also visit me at


Monday, February 29, 2016

Fair Isle Crochet by Brenda Bourg

What a thrill and an honor it is to be reviewing this wonderful book which is Brenda's very first! It is a spectacular book that has set the bar pretty high and will be a hard act to follow with any future books but if anyone can do it, Brenda can!

Before I tell you about all the fantastic things this book has to offer, let me give you a little background on how Brenda and I came to know each other. Brenda and I met online about 8 years ago when she contacted me on Ravelry about a design of mine that she had made. We got to chatting and a friendship was born. Brenda was just getting started in the industry as a professional and as a CGOA member she wanted to take advantage of our mentoring program. She asked me if I would be willing to be her mentor. Initially, I said "no". Not because I didn't want to but I had a lot going on and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to devote the necessary time. However, as I thought more about it, being a firm believer that people don't come into our lives by accident and God places them in our path for a reason, I told her on second thought I would love to be her mentor. The official mentoring program lasts 2 years and here we are 8 years later! We have both learned an awful lot more than we knew way back then and I have learned every bit as much from her as she has from me. It has gone far beyond mentoring to a truly wonderful friendship that I treasure.

So on to the book. It is incredible and I know you are going to love it! Brenda is extremely thorough and covers everything you could think of so even a beginner could create these projects. There are step-by-step photos for all the stitches which I found enormously helpful. I'm a very visual person so this was great!

Brenda includes sections with tips and hints, seaming, blocking, tension, changing colors and all that entails as well as helpful tools and choosing your own colors! She has provided everything you need to know to sit down and get started right away. The only thing that you are going to find extremely difficult is which project you would like to start with first!

My personal favorite is the Cora Sweater. This design just speaks to me! I love the colors and the complexity. I love the shape and the ribbing. I just really love everything about it!

I also adore the Annabel Bag! Is this not absolutely gorgeous?! 

There are lots of little projects if you're someone that likes instant gratification. Fingerless mitts, cowls, headbands and boot cuffs to name a few. 

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet, please enter our giveaway! And if you don't win, no can order a copy right here! Enjoy! I NEED THIS BOOK NOW!

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Sunday, February 7, 2016

We are so incredibly blessed!

When your heart is so touched by the kindness, generosity and insurmountable outpouring of love from others, how do you possibly put that into words? "Thank you" just doesn't even begin to cover what I would like to say to each of you. I have been at my computer for hours staring at a blank screen as this is by far the most difficult post I have ever written. There are so many things I want to say to all of you and yet, I just have no words. Part of me wants to get in my car and drive around the county, knocking on the front door of each and every one of you to hug you in person while another part of me just wants to wrap myself in my afghan and curl up on the couch never to leave.

For those of you that found your way to my blog that may not know my story, let me just briefly share. I have been involved in the crochet community and active with the Crochet Guild of America for many, many years. During that time I have had the privilege of meeting so many wonderful, beautiful people. It goes far beyond friendship and I have always referred to them as my crochet FAMILY. October 2015, we tragically lost our precious 22 year old daughter, Chelsea. Many in my crochet family knew Chelsea and had watched her grow up. She is the mother of our very special granddaughter, Willow, who is quite frequently seen on my Facebook page. My crochet family immediately banded together to do what they do best - create. And in doing so, they sent us a 27 pound box which if we had a scale that measured how much care and love was in it would have weighed thousands upon thousands of pounds.

And they didn't stop there! Also enclosed in our box of love was an album with a picture of Chelsea with her gorgeous smile that we miss so much, cards, letters, a perpetual membership in the Association of the Miraculous Medal, poems and a certificate stating that 200 trees are being planted in Chelsea's memory. Chelsea would have thought that was SO cool! And lastly, you just have to see these one-of-a-kind afghans by themselves. They are absolutely breathtaking. I am so grateful that even a master list was included for each blanket so we could know who lovingly created each block. We will treasure these always just as we will always treasure having each and every one of you in our lives. I love all of you so very much! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

George Tammy Shelby Little Willow And even one for Willow to grow into!