Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fall is in the Air

Thursday, September 30 ...and I am stoked!! Is it the crisp air and golden sunshine? Is it the premiere of all my favorite "must-see TV" shows: House, Glee, The Office, Thirty Rock and Grey's Anatomy? Is it the excitement in my LYS for crochet and my classes filling up? Is it the anticipation of dear s-i-l, Alice's visit next week and our late-night fiber talks? (She is a marvelous quilter and has a Masters in Quilt History)? Is it my long-anticipated appearance on Getting Loopy this week? Or is it just plain too much caffeine??

We our without internet until Oct. 6 thanks to an ATT-Snafu of the first kind! (Lonnnng story) so I started out making daily trips to Starbucks to check email. It's a comfortable community there. Are the emplyees paid more than minimum wage, because they seem really happy and polite? Or is it the caffeine they sniff all day? The wi-fi is FREE too, but I was spending a fortune on pumpkin-spice latess!

Lucky for us, dear neighbor and friend, Gerry, went on a vacation to Turkey yesterday and she graciously said we could use her wi-fi at her house for our daily checks! Thanks, Ger!

Anyway, my mind is popping with creative ideas and my Mac Rock Project is coming along nicely (due Oct. 1) I get real happy when an art project that I see in my head turns out like I envisioned. One never knows where the yarn/thread and/or the hook will lead us, but that is part of the exciting pathway that is creativity! I will explain and post pictures when it is done. I'll just tell you that it results from a combo-inspiration of our Mackinac Island trip this past Summer and the Blair Witch Project!

Chloe at the Pumpkin Patch:

There is some nostalgia in the Fall too as I bring out my Fall decor which I have downsized to minimal at best-only the best quality pumpkin theme for me. I also include my Day of the Dead shrine to our relatives who have died to remember them with fondness: Drexel and Dorothy (my parents-in-law) and my mother, also "Dorothy." I just happened to think this morning that I should also move the pics of our beloved pets, Sandy and Gizmo, to the shrine also. Will do! The Mexicans have such a positive attitude about life and life-thereafter. I have to say, I feel warmth and a smile comes to my face when I pass by the shrine in my living room and remember the wonderful times with these dearly departed family members, surrounded by the colors and textures of Mexico!

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Crochet Home

Monday, October 11, 2010
So much is going on in my "Fiber Community" that I decided to add on here. Tonight I will begin the 2nd session of tunisian crochet: Tutti Frutti Tunisian Baby cap. The numbers have leveled off; I only have two students. But that's okay; they are enthusiatic and have waited for this class to be offered on Monday.

I have also started a Tunisian Crochet-Along with Doris Chan's design: Tokyo Vest. Students can pay-as-you-go and we're meeting the first Sat. of Oct,Nov. and Dec. for them to check in with me and work out the kinks when they get stumped on the pattern.

Monday, September 20, 2010
I was not the first to discover Fuzzy Wuzzy Yarn Store in Arlington Heights, IL, but as soon as I heard about it in January, I got over there and introduced myself to Chris, the owner. I made it very clear to her from the beginning that I am a passionate crocheter and I would be interested in teaching crochet in her shop.

Obviously, by the name of her store, I could tell that she is running a crochet-friendly place! From the begnning, Chris was open to most anything I wanted to teach. Since someone was already teaching beginners and since I have pretty much taught my share of beginners, I offered an intermediate class which was a colorful sampler pillow done in Cascade 220 wonderful wool. I had just one student but that was okay because she was a wonderful student and great person. Pam, it turns out, started he charity Halos of Hope, which provides chemo caps for cancer victims. Long story short, I made some connections for her and she now is featured in a book piublished by DRG with Chemocap patterns in it (Chemo Caps & Wraps) A percentage of the profits goes to Halos of Hope! Just last week, Pam launched the book at Fuzzy Wuzzy and signed the books. It was a fun evening and great turn out from the crocheters.

I taught a successful bead-crochet class at Fuzzy Wuzzy and have repeated it and will be teaching it again this week! I love bead-crochet and I love seeing the students' faces light up when they get it and really take off and make lots of bracelets!

At the beginning of August I offered to run Crochet Connection every Tuesdy morning. The idea is to get crocheters into the store to crochet, chat and connect! Hopefully, with a little crochet talk, exposure to great yarn and patterns and some limited help from me, they will get enthused to take crochet classes Little by little we will build up the interest in crochet classes, hopefully, to both crocheters AND knitters! I have a "faithful three" attending each week and a few othrs whodrop in now and then. It is fun; I get some crocheting done and learn a few things myself!

Last week I taught the second of two sessions on Tunisian Crochet. The project was Tutti Frutti Tunisian Baby Cap and the design was used with permission from Angela Melara. Years ago, I took her class and learned the technique at the Chain Link Crochet Conference. More recently, I made the cap for granddaughter, Baby Chloe, and it does make an excellent baby gift. This turned out to be a very successful class wih eight, yes eight, students! Chris has been very happy about this and it is always a quandrey as to what will attract crocheters to the LYS! Apparently, the technique of Tunisian is different to most people and the look of entrelac knitting attracted many to want to learn.

I volunteerd to make several crochet swatches for Chris to hang with the various yarns and just finished another one in Kraemer Yarn done in tunisian crochet. It should catch the es of a few knitters. Chris had asked me to make a shop model for the store with Frog Tree 100% alpaca It' a kit and the jacket is called Origami I worked on it for two months and finally gave it to Chris last week. I talked about it last week and posted a pic, but here it is again. Chris is blocking it and then it will go on display.

You are beginning to get the picture about how I say Fuzzy Wuzzy is my home , right? It is comfortable and Chris is building a community of stitchers who are frequenting the store and engaging harmoniously in "fiber frenzy" there and hopefully making her business a success. I would say she is doing most everything right to succeed. I will miss that community when I am gone this winter to Mexico for three months, but I plan on bringing back new ideas and fresh prospective in the Spring!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Crochet Anonymous

Hey, Tuesday is the new Monday! I am on a crochet-high today; well, actually I have been for a couple of days. Is it the cool air that each year inspires us to think ahead to the holidays that always sneak up on us? Is it fall scents that inspire us to get busy making crocheted gift for those holidays. Is it just plain too much.

I had a great day at Crochet Connection today at the LYS (Fuzzy Wuzzy Yarns in Arl. Hts., IL) I turned in the Frog Hill Origami Jacket to Chris which I have been crocheting for her since the end of July. It is always such a good feeling to get something done, especially a very big project like this. Luckily, this summer we have had a lot of road trips, so this project helped those hours sail by while Alan happily drove.

Actually, Crochet Connection was Bi-Craftual today because two of the four of us were knitting and that is okay!Roz was so excited about starting her knit jacket that she could hardly stand it until the shop opened on Tuesday! I was able to help the other croheter get her granny square going and she was very grateful. It is amazing how just a little hands-on can guide the way and really make the day of the person who can now can proceed on her own. That feels good!

Cooking up a Halloween Headband for Chloe, excited about buying yarn to make her a dress and discovering fabulous yet simple neckwarmer-they've all got me excited and flying high.

I have been slowly gaining confidence about my video, Crochet Anonymous posed 4 weeks ago on YouTube. Actress daughter, Bethany, wholeheartedly approved of it AND of my acting skills. Older daughter, Nicole, liked it too. Chris told me thismorning that she and Jenny go quite a laugh out of it and there have been 847 hits on Youtube so far with many comments that all the other "hookers out there agree with me! Woolie Bullies, which inspired m to writemy own video has 37,000 or so hits in three years; I could hit that mark if the pace stays like it is. So, when Roz was talking about how her crochet and knitting is like other addictions except healhier, I eeked up my couraee and asked Chris to bring it up on her computer. My students all gathered around the counter and watched it. The woman who was quietly shopping in the background must ave wondered what we were up to, but my students really enjoyed it.

So, now with this new sense of confidence, I won't be so subtle anymore. I will post it right here (that is if I can figure out how) and it will be front and center for you to view. Fun; just having fun!

Friday, September 3, 2010

"Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire"

Friday, September 3, 2010
So much for my plan to blog every Monday! Oh well, here goes... It is a glorious day-33 years ago I gave birth to our first-born daughter. She has continued to bring joy to our lives to this day and has presented us with an incredible granddaughter named Chloe. She's a friend, she makes me laugh and she is a willing listener. Thank you, Nicole, for being you!

We were able to celebrate with Nicole this week when she came into town with Chloe to take her mother-in-law far a birthday celebration at Ravinia outdoor theatre to see Carrie Underwood. We got to take care of Chloe!

The time together was great and we treated Nicole and Bethany, younger daughter, to a Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise.

The day was perfect and we had a great time with dinner afterwards in Bethany's neigborhood at our favorite Turkish restaurant, "Istanbul."

My CGOA chapter, nicrochet, has an Annual Chapter Challenge in which we are given theme or a word and we are supposed to come up with something to interpret the theme in crochet.This year it was the simple word "Kitchen." My idea popped into my head in the shower (where most of my ideas come from): "Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire." I bought a frying pan at a re-sale shop and covered it with copper color art wire. then I created leaves in reds and oranges and also made an egg with google eyes that is escaping from the pan into the fire! It has somehig to do with how my year has played out and it ws fun and therapeutic to make.
The prizes are awarded by People's Choice" and I was pleased to be awarded Honorable Mention: Creative