Tag Archives: free

I’m still alive

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Hampton Twists Peaches & Creme

Hampton Twists Peaches & Creme

 

I’ve been sick for an insanely long time.  And now it is March, the time when the sun starts to come out and blind everyone that isn’t used to it – Migraine Season.  I have always loved this time of year because of the sunshine but the last several years I’ve been getting a lot of migraines during March.  It took a long time before one of my doctors figured out that it was the sun (bright light) triggering it.  I have my movie star sunglasses with polarized lenses that I always wear when I go out but somehow I still get migraines.  So, while the weather is warming up and it is a beautiful sun-shiny day, I am sitting inside with the drapes all drawn like a vampire.  I vant to suck yer blood ah ah ah ah!  Okay, not really.  I like things more well done than rare.

Anyway, I think I’ve been sick for a good two whole months at least.  That really sucks but the one thing that keeps me going is crafts.  I always knit or crochet something though I usually drop the more complicated projects and start something more simple.  For some reason I like something that requires me to count stitches when I don’t feel well or when I have a migraine.  If not I end up counting anyway.  It must be a distraction tactic.

Right now I’m making a reusable grocery bag I found FREE on this blog and on Ravelry.  I’m using the new “Twists” yarn by Peaches & Creme.  The color is called Hampton Twists and has burgundy, white, and neutral strands twisted together.   The effect is very cool but a bit difficult on the eyes when working on it.  I’m working the bottom of this bag which is done in a spiral of single crochet and my eyes just can’t seem to keep track of the stitches with all the stripes.  I think it will be cool though.

The pattern says to use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of each round but because of this crazy stripped yarn I’m using 4 stitch markers.  This would also be a great way for beginners to do this pattern.  The bottom is an oval spiral – so basically a rectangle with a half circle at each end.  The rectangle is 39 single crochets long and after rounding the corner you go back down and work 39 single crochet in the back side of the chain stitches.  So I marked the first and last stitch of the 39 stitches on both sides.  3 of my stitch markers are one color and the one that also marks the beginning of the next round is a different color.  This makes it easier to know when you get to those stitches that require increases.  You know exactly where they are because they are between the two markers on the short sides.  If you don’t mark them it can be difficult to know where those stitches actually begin and end.  The first time around I noticed my piece wasn’t looking quite right and I knew I had gotten mixed up somewhere.  So this is my 2nd attempt.

I found a sneaky little trick to crochet in my stitch markers since I find it a little fiddly getting mine to slip into these tight single crochet stitches.  They just aren’t stiff enough and they are rubbery so they want to stick to the cotton and refuse to go through.  They are the Boye ones that come in the cute little box.  I normally love them so it must be the cotton.  Anyway, when you get to the spot where you want to add the marker – just before that stitch – close the marker and then slide it on the back end of the crochet hook.  Then push it down and over the loop of yarn and then off the hook end (keeping the yarn on the hook).  That puts the marker around the part of the stitch that will end up being the top.  Then you just work the stitch like normal and it will already be in place.

I’m still working on the bottom but you can see my progress by clicking here.  I’ll take a picture once I get the bottom finished.

Crocheted angels and weight loss

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I haven’t been feeling well for a while.  Mostly I’ve been really tired and have very low energy but I keep trying to make my goals for losing weight.  I started using my stationary bike again and even though my goal is to make 10 minutes I sometimes don’t make it.  I still do what I can and once or twice I made it to 15 minutes without too much pain.  I have lost 6 lbs so far!  Last year I was stuck at this one place and I am now past it!  That right there makes me happy!  I weigh less than I ever did last year.  Not a lot less but any less is great!

I have to work really hard to watch my diet.  I’ve found that cutting back on carbs really helps but I also use a little protein supplement to make sure I get enough.  That is one thing I usually run low on.  I’m keeping my calories at 1200 and taking vitamins.  I’m using myfitnesspal.com along with the app for the iphone to track what I eat.

I also made a gift for a friend who is pregnant.  She lost her first baby at birth and I can’t imagine going through that.  My stomach was in knots just thinking about it.

Well in my dishcloth group we were learning about intarsia, which is a method of adding colors.  There was a knit pattern and a crochet pattern.  I did the knit cloth and I wanted to learn the technique for crochet as well.  I wasn’t loving the pattern though.   It just wasn’t something that I wanted for my kitchen so I thought I’d just have to make it for someone else.  Well, after I looked at the pattern I saw something else in it and decided to change the pattern.  The pattern was on graph paper so I changed the design by omitting some squares and embroidery designs and adding my own until it looked like a baby carriage.  I also got a piece of graph paper and scribbled in squares until I had a decent angel.  I made it a long rectangle with one design at each end and backed it with pre-shrunk flannel for a baby burp cloth.  It is made out of materials that are easy to wash and dry.  I was able to give it to my friend last night and she loved it.

 

Finished baby burp cloth with flannel lining

Finished baby burp cloth with flannel lining

I decided to link this post up to a linky party hosted by Creative Crafts Thursday at www.creativecraftsthursday.blogspot.com.

It’s a blog hop so click below to see the other blogs that are participating.

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Baby Face Care of Montagne Jeunesse Face Masque

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Last week I got my holiday Vox Box from Influenster full of complimentary products to try out.  I wrote about all the things that were in it here.  I love getting free stuff but especially things I can use to pamper myself.  Yesterday I decided to try the Montagne Jeunesse face Masque.  I got the Chocolate Face masque and it smelled so yummy.  It didn’t taste as good as it smelled though.  I was amazed at how soft it was.  It was like creamed silk!  My skin has been so dry since the winters in Alaska are so dry and this stuff instantly made my skin feel better.  There was plenty in the package and I think I can even use it a second time.

Montagne Jeunesse Chocolate masque The best part was scaring my son. He didn’t know what to think of my brown face. My nose started itching so that’s why I look like a scarecrow. I couldn’t resist scratching it.  The rest of my face felt fine though and I just relaxed and listened to music until it dried.  When I washed it off I was surprised at how easily it came off.  I’ve tried other different brands and different types of face masques and sometimes they can be difficult to clean off.  I just wet it with a towel and it softened right up and cleaned off quickly.  It didn’t stain my towel either.

The best part is how soft my skin feels.  My skin usually feels tight after washing but now it feels so soft and not dry or tight at all.  I was looking at their website and there are a bunch of different masques and other treatments.  I can’t wait to get more!  There is a masque for any kind of problem you might have.  There are masques for dry skin, oily skin, t-zone, help with break outs, shine control….etc.  Oh, and they even have special treats for your feet!

I love to have pedicures at home so this would be fun to try.

Oh and Montagne Jeunesse beauty treats are free of parabens, vegetarian approved and never tested on animals.  You can find them at Kroger/Fred Meyer, Walmart, Ulta, Walgreens, & CVS.  They are usually around $2 and like I said above, there was enough of the face masque that I could use it twice!

I’m so glad I got to try this for free.  I am so glad I learned about Influenster.  It is free to join but you have to be invited.  If you are interested just let me know and I can email you an invite.

Headliner News: The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!

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Here in Fairbanks Alaska it is warm, which is very strange.  Even though it is January and usually very cold, it is above freezing.  My youngest son was born in January in 1997 and it was 40 below zero.  His 16th birthday is this Saturday and it is so warm it is raining!!!!!!  I went to Walmart yesterday and the entry way is a wet mess with water raining down from the roof onto the sidewalks.  The tons of snow on the roof is melting.  When I was stopped at a red light I had to keep my wind-shield wipers going because the snow on the light signals was melting and raining on my car.  As the water falls and hits the cold roads it turns to ice and makes driving oh so fun.  Later in the day yesterday it started to rain (mixed with snow) and then it started to poor.  It rained like it was fair time or something.  They canceled school since the roads are such a mess.  People could ice skate to work!  They should make it official – “Ice skate to work day.”

Fairbanks schools to be closed Tuesday

Well while the snow outside was melting yesterday I crocheted some for inside.  I made this snowflake washcloth for my bathroom and it is so pretty!  I found the pattern on Ravelry.com and it is free.  The yarn I used is Lily Sugar’n Cream Tie dye Stripes.  I added an extra round to mine and changed the edging a bit.  I think it turned out really pretty!   At least I know my snowflake wont melt.

Made by DJCstitches

WordPress Daily Prompt: Ripped from the Headlines!  Click this link to read other blogger’s take on this prompt or to add your own!  

Learning Something New

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It is always fun to learn something new so I can add some more “tools” to my creative toolbox.  I recently joined a group on ravelry that makes dishcloths every month.  It’s called “Dishcloth Weekly Knitalong” but they do some crochetalonging too.  I really enjoy being a part of this group and even though they just make dish/wash cloths I’m always learning something new!  I especially love that they offer a cloth pattern to crochet and one to knit so I can choose what I want to do.  There are plenty of people to offer help when I get stuck also.

In December I made this really pretty “double diamond dishcloth” for a friend as a Christmas gift.  That was very challenging for me but I learned some new things and it turned out great!  Now they are working on Intarsia knitting or crochet.  They even posted videos to help us get the idea.  I’ve decided to do the knit cloth and then I already have a more difficult project to make next.   The knit cloth isn’t anything exciting but if I can learn to make it than my world of patterns will become so much larger!

This video is one that they posted to help us see how intarsia is done.

She uses bobbins to keep things neat and I don’t have any for yarn.  I decided to look online to see if I could find something as a free printable.  I found these really cute bobbins and printed them on card stock.  I decided to print mine on pale pink card stock and they look so cute.  I wanted them to be stronger though so I used some Elmer’s spray adhesive and stuck them to the side of a cereal box.  I think they will last quite a long time now!