Happy New Year!!!

I have quite a few resolutions to make in regard to this blog. I feel like I have been so remiss in the last few months.

1. Blog more regularly. My posts for November and December are the lowest they've been all year long.

2. Finish up that contest I started months ago. I have a whole pile of goodies ready to go and I just have to pick the winner.

3. Become a faithful reader again of all the other crafty and creative bloggers listed to the right.

4. Redesign the blog, along with the rest of Red Hen Studios, so I can have a more professional presentation.

5. Figure out how to improve the readership here -- specifically things like ping, digg, furl, reddit. trackback, squidoo. All of which I have notes about but have no idea what exactly they are, lol.

I hope you have a prosperous and creative New Year!


More of Hope's visit

Before school let out for winter break,
Hope, my youngest and I went to school
for the holiday concert and to visit the first grade classroom.

Mrs. W, the first grade teacher, invited us
to listen to a story at the end of the day.

Hope joined other stuffed friends
in the children's arms.

Before we left, my little man just had to share a drink
from the classic green water fountain
that is just his height. (She's wearing the hat I made her.)

That night, we drove to Albany
for my father-in-law's funeral the next day.
Since the weather forecast was so bad,
we stayed two nights in a hotel. Hope joined the fun!

And the pretend sleeping.

She got to play with a dozen cousins
all crammed into one hotel suite.
I don't know if she'd like a lot siblings
or if she was overwhelmed by it all!


Hope the traveling doll

We have a house guest for the holidays.
She arrived via the US Postal Service
from Canada one afternoon last week.

Her name is Hope.
She was made in North Carolina
by my Collage-mate Annette from Wool Creations.

I thought the boys wouldn't be too interested in her,
but they immediately took her out of the box,
checked out all the goodies in her suitcase
and dressed her in her pj's.

They then made her feel right at home
by including her in decorating the Christmas tree.

I don't think she knew she'd be
an actual decoration on the tree though.

Since this is a house of boys,
of course there is a train under the tree --
and Hope was sent for a ride.

Hope is traveling around the world and
will be raffled off at the end of her travels.

She's spending a few weeks with us
and has already gone to first grade
and visited with many of our cousins and friends.
She will be included in all our Christmas festivities
before visiting other families.

You can read more about Hope's travels
here on her very own blog.


Toddler and doll hats

This 4-piece set sold for Christmas, so I'm now working on more matching hats for dollies and their mommies (or daddies).

Added a scalloped edge and ribbon with dolls and carriages to these matching orange hats.

I now have a good stash of crocheted items, so my first goal after the holidays is to get them listed in my Etsy store. It's a little thin on handmade items right now.

I also plan on writing out and sharing directions for the hats I've concocted. I find them just as easy as crocheting straight lines now, as long as I don't get distracted from counting the stitches.


Not in the mood to decorate

This is all the Christmas decorating I've done so far. I'm just not in the mood.

It's my husband's grandmother's silver tinsel tree, covered in strands of cheap green Mardi Gras beads and vintage poinsettia lights.

The kids have since but a Nativity calendar next to it and are placing the little book ornaments from it on the tree each day.

They are home for a snow day today, maybe we'll carry some more of the decorations up from the basement.


Visiting the alpacas

My sister invited one of the boys and me to visit my nephew's girlfriend's parents' alpaca farm. We got to visit with the mamas and babies.

Instead of a pony (or chickens), I now want an alpaca for Christmas.

I settled on bringing home some yarn from Pedro, Minerva and Latte instead.

And little cria (baby) for my boy.

Many more photos over on Flickr.


The show's over

Had my last craft show of the season yesterday and it was a bust. I didn't even make enough to cover my table fee.

For those keeping track that makes one successful show and two not-so-successful shows.

While it is a nice way to spend the day away from the kids, meeting new people and other vendors, it gets frustrating to put so much time into making things and setting them out only to have to pack almost all of it up at the end of the day.

At least I had another successful Etsy day, so all wasn't lost.


Alchemy necktie scarves

I replied to a listing on Etsy's Alchemy from a woman
wanting something special done with her late dad's neckties.

She accepted my bid to make scarves from them.
She paired them up and here are the results.

She made some great combo choices
and I must say I love the finished pieces.

This will be great for Christmas...

... and this one almost stayed here with me, lol.


Caught up with the hats

Either I'm crocheting too much or not blogging quite enough.

I've had these hats to share with you for awhile now and finally got around to photographing them. I got tired of waiting for a sunny day, so I did the best I could with my less-than-willing models.

Using up bits of recycled wool, I made these two earflap hats while I was at the craft show a few weeks ago.

I was going to sell them but my middle boys claimed them as their own once they saw them.

These two pink hats were requested by my sister-in-law for her two daughters.

I can't wait to see them wearing them at Christmas!!!!!

I made 3 of these slouchy women-sized hats with rolled brims. Two in gray and one in the rusty orange. Done with a large hook and half-double stitches, they are much looser than I normally make but I like the results.

Thinking of adding a flower or pin or ribbon to jazz them up.

Or maybe they will be the first hats I line with fleece....