Category Archives: Family

Posts about family, events, holidays, etc..

Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween! Water Child decided not to dress, but is taking Fire Child out tonight for trick -o – treating!

I do not have a pattern for this yet, and am not sure if I will write it up (maybe I will), but here it is…

The “Flower Fairy!”

Top was crocheted (which I will eventually maybe write pattern for), in a size 3 thread using Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Cotton, and will be crocheted into a dress for underneath the tulle. Since I was crunched for time beginning this at the last minute (long story), I sewed a cream satin piece of fabric underneath into a skirt for her. What is nice, is that she can wear jeans underneath and be warm, and no one will know! The skirt, is tulle. Ribbon was purchased at the store.

Wings are also handmade. I used 16 gauge wire, but next time will go to a 14 gauge. Top wings have a knee-high sock, and bottom wings are made with a tulle covering, the darkest of the 3 colors used for the dress.

fairy-078I then spray painted the top wings, and then hot-glued flowers to the bottom wings. The flower wand is a flower I picked up on clearance. Using a 20 gauge wite, I wrapped a ribbon in a spiral encasing the wire around to secure it, leaving random ribbons dangling down.

It was a fun mom-and-me project. Since Fire Child loves, (really) loves loves loves flowers, this is the perfect costume for her!

Later tonight I will be putting a butterfly tatoo high near her temple, and then face paint part of her forehead and high cheek with glitter paint and spirals :)

Happy New Year!

Happy New year to everyone!!!

Cannot believe it- another year has gone by. I have never made New year’s Resolutions before. Not because I had not wanted to, but mostly because it alway seemed like the new year crept up without notice, and with my “all or nothing” mentality, I always felt resolutions had to be be made before the actual new year in essence for them to be executed on the very first day of the year!

Time now to disperse of my “all or nothing” way of going about things. That encompasses breaking my thought processes to what is habitual for me. But, what have I accomplished in 2008?

Stone Path Hat, Interweave Crochet - Winter 2007 issue

Stone Path Hat, Interweave Crochet - Winter 2007 issue

First, I was published. And though my first publication came out in the Winter of 2007 (Stone Path Hat, Interweave Crochet Winter 2007). I did not realize what was to come all in the subsequent year, what I would be learning, what I would accomplish. That hat was the bridge to my relationship with Interweave Crochet. Not only was the pattern a successful and popular one, but it told me, wow, I can do this, and then – wow, I REALLY want to do more!

Each issue thereafter contained a pattern of mine. The spring issue unfolded with my Bouquet Stole (Interweave Crochet Spring 2008), followed by Summer Daisy Sundress (Interweave Crochet Summer 2008), then with Oxford Town Tote (Interweave Crochet Fall 2008) and then lastly, my greatest achievement: The Dragongfly Shawl (Interweave Crochet Winter 2008).

Bouquet Stole, Interweave Crochet Spring 2008

Bouquet Stole, Interweave Crochet Spring 2008

Summer Daisy Sundress, Interweave Crochet Summer 2008

Summer Daisy Sundress, Interweave Crochet Summer 2008

Ocford Town Tote, Interweave Crochet Fall 2008

Ocford Town Tote, Interweave Crochet Fall 2008

Dragonfly Shawl, Interweave Crochet Winter 2008

Dragonfly Shawl, Interweave Crochet Winter 2008

I never thought I would be in so many issues, especially with never being formally published before. Though, I did have a few short stories and poems published as a teenager, those were definitely never included in my proposals to Interweave!

The editor, Kim Werker, saw something, and I can only be glad she did. The people at Interweave Crochet were so approachable, so incredible to work with. Never once did I feel self-conscious In fact, I was treated so well, it fueled me to challenge my skills – and thus born was the Dragonfly Shawl.

In addition to Interweave Press, soon a relationship was formed with DRG (Annie’s Attic, American School Of Needlework, House Of White Birches, Crochet! magazine, etc.) and Caron. My relationship with DRG began with a wonderful editor named Ann. Before I knew it, I was on the phone with her discussing book ideas when I thought of a new cabling technique. I did not know who to go to with any company, or even which company for that matter.

Hats, Scarves & Mittens For The Family

Hats, Scarves & Mittens For The Family, DRG 2008

I think I just went on a phone rampage with the sudden onset of this whole new world opening up to me…. Ann loved loved loved the new cables, and could not believed they were crocheted. Simultaneously, I was emailing with Caron, and just said basically, “My name is so and so, here is my site, do you take submissions?” A lady named Nancy said “Yes, your stuff is right up our alley!” Within a couple days, I had a box of yarn at my step and went to work on swatches. I sent in 4 designs thoughts, 3 of which were accepting with the 4th pending. (As far as I know they still have the 4th).

Lisa's New & Easy Cable Afghans & Throws

Lisa's New & Easy Cable Afghans & Throws

So, then I had 3 projects to work up for Caron, DRG said to me, “We do not want a book with hats, scarves and mittens with your technique. We want 2 book! One with afghans using your new technique, and another with hats scarves and mittens using the traditional cabling technique.”

So, a good portion of 2008 was deadlines slammed together, one after another… the first half I should say was the most busy, and could not believe all the work I had. More publications came after, and with more to come. I have an pattern coming out in Crochet! magazine in the spring at some point, as well as 2 patterns coming out in the next spring issue of Interweave.

Another new part of the industry opened up for me as well – tech editing. I began doing this tech editing this summer, and it has been another learning curve. I am enjoying it, and was shocked when asked to do some tech editing. I know I am pretty anal-retentive when it comes to my own patterns. So much that I tend to mull over a single instruction for hours – to the insane point of rewriting the same instruction in every form possible and then by process of elimination conclude which is the best insertion for the media intended… Yep, one of my neurotic perfectionist tendencies… Anyway, tech editing has really retrained my brain, well, not entirely, but has given me a different perspective in which to view things.

Seeing things from another point of view, and how people think about things and what makes sense to them is a real eye opener. Another thing that brings to the table is decision making.. well, before I get going too much on this (can be a post on its own), let’s get back to wrapping up 2008!

2008 also brought me my first PR! The local paper here did a write up on me, and my business at the Crochet Garden… The Macomb Journal article.

Macomb, Il icestorm

Macomb, Il icestorm

Speaking of news articles… What else did 2008 bring? It was the first time I had to stay in a shelter due to weather. Yes, on the 19th of December, my town was hit by an incredible ice storm. Here we are on the WGEM news. Somewhere on there too is a video of me and the kids in the Red Cross shelter, with my daughter handing out snacks to everyone…

Macomb, Il icestorm

Macomb, Il icestorm

2008 also brought my BIGGEST accomplishment ever, in my lifetime. Something I thought I would never, ever be able to do. Everyone has a little dirt secret, right? Soon I will be posting more about my trials with this. This may even be a shock to many, but I used to smoke. This is the year that I quit. It feels so wonderful, and I feel like a brand new person. At first it was quite surreal, but now reality has set in, and for the first time that I can remember, I call myself a non-smoker. I am no longer a slave to those horrid, nasty little life-controlling-sabotagers. Yeah. that is not a word, but I have now made it one :)

So what are some new resolutions for the new year? (These are NOT in any order of importance).

1. Blogging

First will be to blog MORE. I think it helps me in a way, and well, it is a lot of fun to share my trials as I design and continue on with my career. You can bet on seeing more blog entries!

2. Losing Weight

Yeah yeah, everyone always adds this to their list. I really am going to do it though. Since I have already quit smoking, and conquered that, I feel I can do anything. It is NOT that I do not believe big is beautiful, etc. But for me, I want to be thinner… Just like the time finally came for me to give up the smoking habit, the time has now come where I am ready and most importantly, WANT to lose weight. And at least I do not have to battle both quitting smoking and losing weight together. I REALLY want to run around the park with my daughter in the spring… I want to get one of those jogging strollers.. Not only do they look cool, they look fun! I wish my mom took me around in one of those.. haha.

Anyone in Macomb area need a workout buddy?? On my testing forum, we have a Healthy Living area.. Well, time for me to revisit that and give that a major jump start! Come by and join up at the forum if you wish to join us in our endeavor. It does not matter if you have 1 lb to lose, 100 lbs, or just want to get healthy. No need to test patterns or anything.. Fellow designers, everyone, join on in!!! I am also going to start up a quit smoking section in that forum. Anyway, register at the board, and give me a day to organize those forums and get them going. When you register, send me a PM letting me know you are interested in joining the Healthy Living forums!

3. Move

I know it sounds silly to put this down as a goal, but man, we need to move! Not only do we need more room, I think it will be better for a change, something different…

4. More Time For Myself

Though my career did take off, at least on the publishing aspect.. and many more patterns were added to the Crochet Garden website..Though I love what I do, and I would be lost without it, I need to spent my time more efficiently. Not cram everything I can into a specific time period.. But to realize there will be times of utter chaos with deadlines amassing to no end… It is those times, that I need to take a little bit of time out. Getting away, even if for that 20 minutes, I think will in all actuality create time, rather than zap it, it a round about sort of way. Little breaks will make me feel more charged and rested thus making my subsequent working time more efficient. My mind will work more effectively, thus getting more done in less time, therefore resulting in more time.

There are more, and in attempts to rid myself of that who-knows-who-made-the-rule everyone-must-make-resolutions-before-the-new-year, I am going to allow myself to make up some new resolutions in the coming days! I think my new motto for the year will be, “break more rules,” shhh, my teenage son musn’t know that!

Happy New Year! I leave you with some Christmas photos that bring smiles to my face :) (Clickable)

How To Make A Fork Flower

Here is something kind of neat, and great for young kids. I would say it would be suitable for 4-12 year olds. A 3 year old can have fun with help.

Fork Flower

I learned how to make “fork flowers” when I was in Brownies (like Girl Scouts). I think I was maybe about 5 or 6 years old. I have since taught my daughter how to make them and she loves it. Not only does she actually make something, it helps with her fine motor skills, dexterity, how to ask for help, color planning, creativity etc etc!

You can make a bouquet of flowers, use them as ribbon to decorate a gift, tie it around the wrist as a bracelet, cut them and glue them on to paper and other crafts, make fork flowers at a birthday party, have them as a classroom art project.. Mom can crochet a simple crochet headband, then weave the flowers onto it… Maybe I will add a pattern for that (will be free)!

Anyway, here is how you make your fork flower.


1. Fork (metal or plastic will do. Supervise young children so they do not go around running with forks!!)

2. 1 strand of yarn, 20 inches or as long as desired for the stem

3. Small amount of yarn for the actual flower.

For young children (3 and 4 year olds) I find that cotton yarn (like cotton-ease, or peaches & Cream) works nice. It does not “kink” up when twisting around, and does not split easily. In my example below, I am using Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in Plum and Pink.


Step 1: Take your stem strand, and lay it in the center of fork, making ends even (in my example, it is plum).

Step 2: Take your flower yarn and lay it in first groove of fork from front to back, leaving about 1 1/2 to 2 inches down the front. The long end that is now laying down the back of the first groove will be your weaving strand. The stem will not be used until the end, just leave it be there. Note: Left-handers may want to begin with weaving strand in last groove instead of first.

Step 3: Take your weaving strand around the side to the front of the first prong of fork. Weave it in and out around each prong in the grooves. Tip: Sometimes, it helps me when starting to hold the short piece with my thumb as in photo below.

Step 4: At end of first row of weaving, repeat Step 2 by bringing yarn back to front but around last prong instead. Weave in and out between the prongs in the grooves.

Step 5: Continue to weave around prongs of fork, bringing yarn back to front again when reaching the end of each row.

Step 6: Continue to weave until reaching maybe a couple of millimeters from top.

Step 7: At end, cut weaving strand about 1-2 inches from top of last row.

Step 8: Bring strand of stem that is in back to front positioned in center groove of fork. You will then tie these 2 stem strands together on this side of fork.

Step 9: Tie 2 stem strands together tightly. Young children may need you to do this for them. You will see the woven strands begin to scrunch down in center where you are tying. Do not knot this yet.

Step 10: Slowly slide flower off of fork keeping ties taut. (If it is a loose tie, the flower may unravel). As in photo below, it will not look so much like a flower yet, and may appear kind of flat.

Step 11: Once the flower is completely off the fork, pull stem strands tight and you will see the flower begin to take form. Tie once more to knot.

Step 12: With fingers, gently shape “petals” to cover stem portion that has been tied around flower, and to also “puff” the flower out. Trim to short ends of weaving strand.


If a young child has difficulty weaving between each prong, try just aiming for the center prong as follows:

If children do not grasp the actual weaving part, do not worry! Just let them go at their pace and speed and make their flower a work of art! It really does not have to be woven through perfectly. They can twist around once or twice on a prong, maybe for a few rows miss the last couple of prongs all together.. it will still look like a flower, and it will be made personally by them:

I hope you enjoyed this… If you would like more tutorials from little crafty things like this to crochet tutorials, please let me know!

Things these can be used for:

– Pins (add safety pin) and give to someone as gift / brooch

– Make stems extra long and use fork flower as bow on a present

– Hair bands

– Gift bag enclosure

– Bouquet for mom or grandma (or anyone)

– Get creative, use different colors throughout the flower portion

– Many many more uses!

Happy Thursday!

I kind of lapsed this last go around of blogging.. but I am trying- honest!! I really need to ditch that all or nothing mentality I have… I either have to blog a lot, or not blog at all… for some reason, there is just no in between! So, even if there is only one word, I should blog it… but then, may lose a few readers with a one word blog post. hah.

So.. some updates… I know people have been waiting for a pic of my son bald after the team shaved their heads… here it is… though they did leave like a fraction of a millimeter of hair on his head, and the beautiful color just accentuates it, it really truly was bald!

Ok first a racap…

Before: Here is a photo at a swim meet: (A beautiful strawberry blonde)

First the whole swim team stripped their hair of color… most ended up a white brassy blonde.. some pure a real white white.

OK then each kid colored their hair to a color of their liking (or to their parents’ disliking). My son went aqua: (I actually kind of like this! Maybe it is because it matches my blog.. Nah… my son is handsome anytime, and the aqua is really cool looking )


I think he looks great… and with all the muscle he has built, when he wears jeans and a t-shirt, he looks so healthy. I think he is going to keep up with swimming. Even though the season is ending, they start practice again everyday after spring break, then also in the fall, right before the winter meets begin.

His hair is growing back fast. hasn’t been that long, but it looks great, and his friends are all like, “mine is growing at a snail pace..” So, he announced his not going to cut his hair again, until it is shaved off next year at nest year’s regionals (eek.) I was always partial to the clean cut look, sometimes, long hair with style.. what can I do? He is expressing himself and finding himself.. I can maybe drop my little hints here and there… and see if they will be taken… or maybe hide a tape recorder under his pillow “I like short hair… I like short hair…” nah……………….. lol.

Ok, on a sad note, Skyler’s test results came back a while back… it was cancer again. However, and this may be a good thing, or rather, the lesser of 2 evils and me looking at this in the best possible light that I can despite the big C word. It was a different kind of cancer. The other one was a mammary carcinoma… this one was a sarcoma, basically, a skin cancer. I find it odd that both happen one right after the other.. maybe a coincidence.. maybe something in medial science we have not yet discovered some sort of linked chain reaction in specific situations where there are some undefined common factors.. not sure. But, if it were the same cancer, it would be a poorer prognosis.

It has been a while since the surgery.. and I tell you, she is really now acting like her old self.. cannot take her outside without her 90lb body trying to fly in the air after every motor vehicle passing, giving my joints a test of their true strength… Yesterday, she rolled all over the backyard, in the snow.. then would get up play with me, as if wrestling.. Her spunk is back.. you can see her just sitting there, and panting like dogs do, and I swear she is smiling. I do believe dogs smile… and she has been smiling so much! So now, I keep a close eye. Now that she has had cancer twice in such a short period, need to watch her like a hawk. So, this is both bad news and good news.. I have had a while to come to terms with my feelings on it, and at the sadness when I first heard that it was cancer.. but after it was absorbed, it lots of fun, tlc, and thinking on the bright side.. it is a different cancer- and her spirit and everyday demeanor is evidence that she really is feeling better and not in so much pain when she did have the cancer…

Ok, off to get some work done.. I can see it is going to be a productive day today.. I blogged!

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

This is just a little check in… I have been so super busy- but then that is the story of my life. Today I finish up my last project on my list for publication and mail it off. This weekend I will fine tune and check for any typos etc. in the pattern then email that off. It feels good to be wrapping all that up! In the meantime, my pattern testers have been busy testing patterns… I am hoping to have a launch soon! I do not have many yet, but would like to maybe work up a few more before launching, as well as wrap up all the ones I have in progress.

Skyler (my dog) is doing much better! The other day she was wrestling with a bone with me.. I would take it out of her mouth and toss it to her side, and she would go crazy getting it and giving it back to me… Her appetite is still good.. She really seems to be getting back to her old self.. I really hope this is the last of all this illness for her.. She is such a sweet dog.

On another note.. I have 2 weddings to go to this year! First is my sister’s which will be in June. ACK… that is so close.. only so much time to lose weight and turn myself into a bomb shell (hah). The next one is in September, for my cousin. I swear it seems like they have been dating for a decade! That second one though, I think it is in Pennsylvania? I will have to check the invite again.. It was kind of neat, I got a magnet stating the date time.. Good thing for me with how scatterbrained I am. Now let’s hope my daughter does not make it magically disappear, hehe. At least for that wedding I have more time to lose weight!

I actually have been losing. Since November, I have dropped 30 lbs. Though the past 4 weeks or so I have not lost any, but then I have not even been trying. But the good thing is that I have not gained any back. It will be nice if my body is making a new “set point.” Then when I start losing again, it will create a new “set point” of weight. Every single diet I have always lost, but then gained it all back plus 10 lbs. This diet however I have not gained anything back. This is the first diet I have lost the most with, and have not gained anything back, for the longest amount of time. Hopefully though by the end of the year, I reach my goal.. and then will really start turning heads! :) Maybe in the next post or 2 I will show you some before and some “present” photos!

Well, time to get this project packaged up and sent out, as well as get my taxes out (yipee they are done). Will write more soon :)

It’s Been A While…

I apologize profusely for not writing in such a long time. This past 6 months plus has been a hectic one of sorts.

Just before Christmas, my dog had surgery. She was diagnosed with mammary carcinoma. They removed the malignant tumor. She is getting better, but I see her energy is still somewhat zapped. But she does seem in much better spirits since the surgery. Hopefully she recovers and bounces back completely. The good thing is, she still sings, err howls with me, and still barks at anytime she senses someone near the house- poor mailman.

I adopted her from the shelter oh about 4 years ago. She was a german shepherd mix, sitting in the corner of her cage. The people kept steering me toward the little dogs, and ones that were in “good condition.” They said she had been very neglected and abused. She was thin and bones, but still a big dog (as shepherds are). Something kept drawing me to her. She was laden with fleas, sunken eyes. She had been found with another dog, that was injured, but the injured dog got away. The people there had left 9 days or so before, so they had been without food and water that entire time.

I went home and thought about all the dogs… And went back the next day. Her time was almost up, as I think 30 days was the limit. Each day, she would inch more towards me, when on the third day she walked up to me (inside the cage), and I could tell she was grinning. We just bonded… They had puppies there, cutest little things, and other nice looking dogs, but something about her.

I told them she was the one I wanted. So the next day home she came :) I taught her to sit and shake, and not to sit on the couch :) I learned quickly she would refuse to go potty if it were raining. I also learned quickly to let her see my hand coming when going to pet her, otherwise she would put her tail between her legs and crouch down. Soon, very soon she completely trusted me, and was the gentlest creature.

When I had my daughter, she was my second pair of eyes. Protective, always keeping a watchful eye… And as my daughter grew, she put up with the torment, having blankets being put on her, innocent pulling of the tail, ear-piercing screams…

This dog was definitely meant for us.. and I hope with all the TLC, that she will regain her strength. She still plays, and will wrestle with toys, and walk around the house with my daughter, but I can see she is low on energy. I have never seen any dogs go through this, so I have no idea how long it will take her to get her energy back, if she will.

Here she is, with my son shortly after the Christmas:

JT and Skyler

(Yes, I blurred out my messy yarn pile in the back, lol).

She does have her appetite back, and she likes her new food. I now have her on IAMS, which seems healthier than the Purina she was on. She loves it.

When I first took her in to the vet, and they said it was a tumor and most likely malignant, I called my mom. I couldn’t even get it out over the phone, but between the silence I finally did. It was over the holiday to be peppy and happy, but I knew I had to be for the kids to have a good holiday. It wasn’t though until I got back that I found out the pathology results. The tumor was malignant, mammary carcinoma. It was not caught early, but was not caught late either. And now I need to keep a careful eye for any reoccurring, or the other mammary glands being cancerous. Needless to say, Skyler gets lots, lots lots of tummy rubs :)

Luckily, the vet took half down, and said I could pay off the rest little by little each month, which was a great relief on a designer’s income. My dad also gave me a supportive ear, calling each day to see how she was doing. And my dad is the strong, unemotional military man… My mom has sent a zillion doggy treats and biscuits- enough I could take out stock in them…

What was really, really special..and made my jaw literally fall.. is that a couple weeks later, I received a check in the mail. In the upper left was a note “for vet.” To help out  for Skyler’s surgery- from my dad. I was in disbelief… I called him.. and he said “You work very hard and I know how tight money is for you, and mostly, I know what that dog means to you.” I will never forget those words.. coming from my dad, – he really knows me.

So, time for me to get back to work :) I will write more on everything else that has been going on… and some tidbits about the upcoming release.. maybe I will even blog again tonight!