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Sunday, March 31, 2013

New Puppy!

Yay! New puppy!!

My lab and my cocker spaniel flew the coop about a year ago. They were habitual escape artists. We put concrete blocks and landscaping timbers along the bottom of our fence...they still got out. We put down special spike strips you drive into the ground that are designed to keep dogs from digging out, and they still got out. We chained them to a tree...the lab broke his collar. I tried a metal choke collar, but I was afraid he would hurt himself. Finally he busted out a slat in our privacy fence one morning while I was getting ready for work....And they never turned up. Tagged and microchipped and missing. I can only hope that they found some people who took them in

My daughter is a little older now and at 18 months already thinks she doesn't need me anymore. I was ready for a dog again.

I picked up this sweet little gal at the pound and so far she is incredible.

If you're thinking about a dog, go look your local shelter. Usually, you can also go to Click on it. Go ahead. Click now.

She's 2 years old. Originally adopted from the same shelter as a puppy and very recently abandoned.

So far, no accidents in the house (fingers crossed). I've only heard her bark a handful of times; none of those times were at the shelter. And she's been very good. She will let my little girl take toys away from her. Today, she dropped toys at my daughter's feet while they were playing fetch. And she can take treats from my daughter's hand without nipping her little fingers.

We need to work a little on jumping and staying off the furniture. But so far I am convinced we found exactly what we needed.

Now, we just need to work on a name........

Her shelter name was Cookie. I like Lucy, Roxie, Mabel & Rumba. My husband likes Olimpia (I would say Ollie) for a favorite sports team. Since he is not a dog person, but fortunately he loves his wife, we will probably end up with Olimpia. I'm willing to go with a name he likes in exchange for the dog I like, lol.

Ollie? What do you think?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

FREE PATTERN Bulky Crochet Striped Beanie - Wendi

Promised a free pattern, and here it is:


bulky (5) yarn

Color A

Color B

Crochet hook size K/6.5MM

Yarn needle

Alternate colors for each row.

Round 1: Beginning with Color A ch 2, work 8 hdc in 2nd ch from hook. Join with a slip stitch to 1st hdc.

Round 2: Ch 1, work 2 hdc in each stitch around. Join with a slip stitch to 1st hdc.

Round 3: Ch 1, 2 hdc in same space, hdc in next space, (2 hdc, hdc) around. Join with a slip stitch to 1st hdc.

Round 4: Ch 1, 2 hdc in same space, hdc in each of the next 2 spaces, (2 hdc, hdc, hdc) around. Join with a slip stitch to 1st hdc.

Round 5: Ch 1, 2 hdc in same space, hdc in each of the next 3 spaces, (2 hdc, hdc 3x) around. Join with a slip stitch to 1st hdc.

Round 6: Ch 1, 2 hdc in same space, hdc in each of the next 4 spaces, (2 hdc, hdc 4x) around. Join with a slip stitch to 1st hdc.

Round 7: Ch 1, 2 hdc in same space, hdc in each of the next 5 spaces, (2 hdc, hdc 5x) around. Join with a slip stitch to 1st hdc.

Rounds 8-16: Ch 1, hdc in same stitch and in each stitch around. Join with a slip stitch to 1st hdc. Switch to Color B at the end of Round 10.

Fasten off.

Use a yarn needle to weave in ends.

Monday, March 25, 2013

This is the life...

Ah, the glamorous life of an online shopkeeper...

Got off from my day job and my husband took my daughter to visit family. So I finally got my pictures done!

8 items
180 pictures
45 minutes
34 degrees

Cold, cold, coldcoldcold.

I'm so glad I finally got them done, though. It was worth the possible frostbite.

Now I am settling in to edit, eat Popeye's and watch Arrested Development.

I'll have a new free pattern posted here tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some unedited shots from today!

Mmmmmmmmm. Popeye's.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Infinity? Or just a circle?

So....I crochet. I love scarves, circle scarves and cowls. Kinda comes with the territory. One of my very best sellers is a cowl. It's good for me that they are trendy right now.

What I don't understand is how circle scarves are now all marketed as infinity scarves. In my mind, an infinity scarf is a mobius. Circle scarves are great, I love them. But not when they are called infinity scarves.

I know, I know. It's very nitpick-y of me. Maybe it's because I like things to be what they say they are. Maybe it's because the geeky me likes the idea of a mobius. Maybe it's because I spend an unhealthy amount of time on the internet looking at scarves. (Ok, so it's probably that.)

I think an infinity scarf is a mobius and a circle scarf is a circle. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

coming soon!

Got a big box of yarn today. Oh, I love saying that. I'm trying to be serious about doing the craft fair this year. I keep talking and talking about it. It's risky. Very expensive, with no guarantee I'll make my money back. Plus it's incredibly time-consuming trying to make enough inventory while still keeping up with my normal life.

For now I've just traded sleep for crochet, lol. I think that'll wear off soon though.

I owe it to myself to try though, I think.

I'd be a heck of a lot more efficient if I'd quit developing new patterns, but oh well. I like patterns.

I've got a new asymmetrical beanie, a helmet, a textured shell hood and a light-weight slouchy beanie ready to list as soon as I can get them photographed. Plus the one-piece moebius cowl I am working on as we speak! They'll be appearing on ravelry and etsy soon.

And I've got a free simple hdc beanie to list here as a free pattern and a couple of round dishcloths.

Well, I guess I'd better stop blogging and get down to the real work. Stay tuned!

Friday, March 15, 2013

My hopes

I love my daughter and cherish her as precious to me. There are two other young women in my life whom, though they may not believe it, I also care very deeply about. I think about my life when I was their age and all the things I wish for them. I have so many hopes and dreams for them. Mostly that they follow their own hopes and dreams and achieve at least some of them.

I hope that they are strong. I hope that they are honest and virtuous. I hope that they are authentic and don't let their behavior be too strongly influenced by what is "cool." I hope they are courageous enough to figure out what they want and go after it. I hope they are happy and always feel loved.

I have decided that on the TangledArts facebook page I will periodically (at least weekly) post quotes that I find meaningful. Things said by the famous and not-so-famous that I hope these wonderful girls, and any other wonderful people who stumble upon my page, will take to heart. Since the little one is only 18 months old, it'll be a while before she will care. But I hope one day she will care.

I will try not to be to trite or preachy or cheesy. I'm not usually one for mindless motivation. I want to be able to express myself using the words of people oh so much more eloquent and intelligent than me.

To start things off, today I posted a wonderful little observation from the beloved Captain Jack Sparrow:

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.

It's true, isn't it? Almost all the time. Problems come. It's a fact of life. Some times they come it little drips and sometimes they come in big floods that threaten to drown us. So, freak out for a moment, have a cry if you need one, and then face them. Face them head on without prevaricating or deceiving yourself. It never helps. See your problems for what they are and figure out what to do about it. Decide how to live with them, how to eliminate them or how to warp them into something you can live with.

My parents had 5 teenagers in the house at once. Five. And a preteen. We were moody, irritable and irritating. We complained incessantly and we never had fun. Fun was not cool. The only thing to do was to hate everything.

After a few excruciating family trips, they started giving us a new rule: everyone had to "be the fun." Including the parents. (My dad was well known for his complaining too). A magical thing happened. We had fun. Even when it was hot and we had to wait in line and we were hungry and we were expected to do "kid stuff." When we decided to have fun we have fun.

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. So change your attitude, decide what to do about the problem and do it!

I hope the girls will never let their attitude defeat them. They deserve better.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Laundry detergent the Tangled way

I know there are several other versions of this floating around, but I thought I'd go ahead and share mine.

So I had an interest in making my own laundry detergent. I like the idea of saving some money and I'm a DIY-er at heart. But here's the thing: it has to work at least as good as the cheap stuff I was using and it had to be easy to make. I have a full-time job, an Etsy shop and a Ravelry shop and a toddler and I can't spend a lot of time making detergent.

I gave it a shot and I am hooked! It's cheaper, easy, fast and I swear it gets my clothes cleaner than anything I have used. (Keep in mind, I usually only use the cheap stuff.) My mother and my grandmother have both started using my detergent recipe (at first it was probably just to shut me up) and they LOVE it. My grandmother agrees that it gets her clothes incredibly clean.

So here goes...

These are the ingredients:
Washing Soda (washing not baking)
laundry bar soap
scent crystals (optional)
You should be able to find all of these things on the laundry aisle. I usually use Fels Naptha instead of Zote. I like the scent of the Fels Naptha, but I got a really good deal on the Zote and it doesn't make a lot of difference. I also usually use Downy Scent Booster instead of Purex, but the Purex was much cheaper. I miss the lavender Downy smell, but the Purex was such a good price I couldn't pass it up. It still smells good, I just like lavender. If it wasn't for my husband, I probably wouldn't add anything for scent at all. It's not necessary. Without it my clothes are clean and they don't smell bad, the scent crystals just make it smell good. My husband doesn't really think things are clean unless they smell like cleaner.
First of all, grate the soap.
I just use my cheese grater with the smallest holes. Usually, I use the whole bar, but the Zote bar is so big I just used half and bagged the rest to use next time.

Next, add 2 cups of borax, 2 cups of washing soda & 2 cups of scent crystals.

 And stir. The thing about borax, well all these ingredients really, is you have to keep it dry. Really dry. When borax gets damp, it tends to clump. You can see in the pic below that my borax has clumped a little, but they are little clumps, so it's okay.

That's it!
I pour mine back into the scent crystals bottle. I do like the Purex bottle better than the Downy one. It's got a handy spout. They both have caps that are very handy for measuring the detergent and it's convenient for sitting by the washing machine. You can use any container you like as long as it's clean, dry and air-tight. My grandmother uses an old plastic snack mix tub. My grandmother also has a front-load washing matching and says this detergent looks great. She doesn't add it to the soap dispenser, but right into the barrel before she runs the water. I don't have any experience with front-loaders, though, so don't take my word for it.


 With this detergent, you only need to use 1/8 of a cup for large loads. I'm serious. Usually, I use less. When washing my husbands filthy sweaty work clothes, I use a little more. It doesn't look like you are using enough detergent until you get used to it. But think about it-how much of commercial detergent is filler. Besides that, who puts the lines on the measuring cup...the company who makes the detergent! So, the more you use gives more profit to....the company who makes the detergent!

This detergent is soap mixed with soap mixed with soap, so you don't need very much to clean a whole load. This batch of detergent will last my family of 3 for a little over 3 months. Really, I'm serious.

And the bonus is making this entire batch, including taking the photos and being periodically interrupted by my daughter, took less than 20 minutes.

I love it and I hope you love it too!