Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March is National Crochet Month

Tuesday, March 20, 2012,, Today is primary election day and I hope everyone is off to the polls, like me, to exercise your rights! March is also National Crochet Month.
Started in 1998 by the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA), it was first designated as "National Crochet Week" and was meant as a time for all of us crocheters to celebrate our love of the craft and treat ourselves to some special crochet activity, tool or just "me-time" to do what we love to do! The Craft Yarn Council and their various retailers were already celebrating National Craft Month in March, but we didn't believe that crochet was getting the attention it deserved. So, we hitched on to the them in March and celebrated crochet as an organization. At the Time Pam Oddi was the CGOA President and also the webmaster. As our organization grew and we wielded more influence, we expanded the celebration to a whole month. Shortly thereafter, organizations like the Craft Yarn Council jumped on board and influenced retailers like JoAnn and Michael's to begin celebration crochet as a marketing tooland as a special entity of its won. In 2007, National Crochet Month went International when a group of Ravelers on ravelry.com started NatCroMo. Each year, CGOA joins in NatCroMo as a sponsor and many, many volunteers (hopefully all CGOA members) make this a huge party all during the month.
How will YOU celebrate? I am celebrating all month long by appreciating that I am home and now have my full complement of supplies. In Mexico I enjoyed lots of crochet, but at times I was stopped in my tracks from finished a project because I had forgotten some vital material or other piece to the puzzle. I came home with quite a few WIPs! It feels good to finish them one by one. My freeform challenge project for the International Freeform Crochet Guild (INTFFCG) is grabbing lots of my attention. It is due to be finished April 1 and I am happy and excited about how it is turning out. It must remain a secret, though, until the full color photo book is published some time this summer. Stay tuned.... Also, on March 7, I began another celebration of crochet: Cro-Kween Designs, my fan page,
turned two-years-old on that day. we're having a virtual party for the group with delicious crocheted food and drinks plus games and prizes. Tonight we'll be having a live chat in the group's chat room. Please join us at 6PM central time here: Just click into the chat room and join in on the conversation! It is always both sad and happy to find a vacation ending, especially a relatively long one. We enjoyed one month in Mexico and are glad to be back home. Home is, after all, sweet! It takes a good deal of time to unpack, put things away and get re-organized and re-oriented to a different lifestyle than we lived that last month. But all is well and it is great to be home.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sweet Departures

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 As they say, "the closer to departing from vacation, the quicker the time flies." So it goes for us too. Tomorrow we leave and this week has been a flurry of both activity and anticipation. It all had to be fit in: the massage, that last manicure, gifts to take home, gifts to leave for friends here, crochet projects to finish and farewell lunches. Our taxi is coming at nine in the morning; not an unreasonable hour. So, the packing has started as well as the worry about overweight bags! As I wandered through my week, the following photos will describe what caught my eye and caught my fancy:
Ajijic's Resident Donkey
Chalk Drawing of Jesus for Tips on the Boardwalk at Chapala
Someone's in Love in Ajijic!
Bougainvilla Flowers gathered and Placed in a Heart Shape on the front Step of this House.
A Lady Selling Fruit Outside the Grocery Store
One Last Trip to the Crochet/Knit Group
The Familiar Face of the Gatekeeper. Her Corona Apron cracks me up!
One Last Sunday Brunch at Cafe Negro and we do love our black coffee!
I Saw This in a Gallery. So interestng!
Entryway to a Gallery: Tiles Embedded in Cement Home, Sweet, Home: We'll be there tomorrow with a different set of bells on!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Warm Sun & Exquisite Shadows

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 There is a reason that crocheted scarves are so popular. Not only are they colorful, textural, and stylish/fashionable,; but they are also a quick and simple way to warm the whole body in a hurry without the bulk of a long sleeve garment like a sweater! It is really kind of amazing how just a narrow piece of crochet fabric tied around the neck can influence the temperature in the rest of the body. I never get tired of making scarves! Here in our village of Ajijic, Jalisco, the altitude is 5,000 feet! The weather is often described as "paradise." So true.....the sun is hot, yet we have a cool, refreshing breeze to keep it comfortable. As far as dressing goes, we are constantly aware of the need to dress in layers. The air is cool first thing in the morning and I seek the spot where the sun first lights on my shoulders to read my book and drink my coffee. As the day goes on I follow the sun seeking half sun/ half shade, peeling off layers only to put them back on as the sun sets in the evening. As with anywhere, interesting shadows are created by the changing positions of the sun.
Mother Nature playing with light and shadows: it's art; it's lace! Why is it so special here? Upon my return to Chicago, I vow to be more aware of my environment, to not be in such a hurry and to appreciate the same kind of things (in their own Chicago-way) that I so admire here. I've been crocheting away madly here in Mexico. I move from sun to shadow; from project to project. The project I choose is based upon the amount of concentration, or lack thereof, needed at the time. For some reason I always think of this vacation time as special in that i bring along projects that have been languishing in the "frustrato" pile. (That's a new word I just made up)!I also bring along projects that have been dwelling in the "procrastination" space of my brain. It seems that time is a gift here; it is more relaxed with less interruptions (most days). It feels easier to tackle the challenges and it feels great to conquer them! This week our dear friend Sheila had a milestone birthday! We were delighted to attend her party yesterday given by the very creative Candace at Los Telares (the weavers) restaurant. The decorations were so well coordinated
and Sheila stood out against the pink in her lovely purple outfit.Unfortunately, I didn't get a good picture of here, but she is there in the middle and trust me, she looked great! Happy Birthday, Sheila and may the next decade be the best ever! Here's the gift I gave Sheila. It is just here colors. The set garnered oohs and ahhs from those who watched her open her gifts!
I don't seem to have a photo of the matching earrings. Sheila traveled to, of all places, Cleveland, OH in 200 where we met by chance at the CGOA conference. It was her love and enthusiasm for this quaint village of Ajijic that brought us here for the first time and we are grateful! She is an expert crocheter and knitter and just all-around artistic person who makes hadnmade paper books as well. She is always an inspiration to me when I am here. Crochet is our tie that binds! I don't know that I am "conquering" all that much here. A lot of planning goes into selecting which projects I will bring along and what materials I need. Inevitably, I forget an important element that allows me to complete a project. Or, I need something that is just not practical to bring along like a sewing machine! No worries, I do what I can and look forward to finishing everything when I get home. There will be flurry of activity then, and I will pull together the many UFOs (unfinished objects)to my great satisfaction. Here are some shots of what I have been able to accomplish since last week:
Barbie Doll dress: needs two snaps
"Root Beer Barrell" Earrings: need ear wires
Black & Blue Earrings: complete
Textural Tear Drops: I will find a coordinating yarn and turn them into a scarf...or something!