You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Belated "Top Of The Morn To Ya"

Is there anything better than than the "spur of the moment" project to keep you on your toes?  Not for me there isn't. I love the distraction from real life and I can get lost in the challenge. It not only forces me to be creative It helps me use up some of my "on hand" supplies that I have acquired.( In this case yarn from my abundant stash.) I have always worked best with a deadline hanging over my head. It is the open ended expectations that beat me. Such was the case a few weeks ago when my daughter asked me at the last minute to make an Irish themed hat for my 19
month old grandson to wear in the school parade celebrating St. Patrick's day. Naturally I said yes and "got right to it". I dug through my bin of yarn scraps and found what I needed.  TaaaDaaa! Here he is Prince Drew, sporting his little leprechaun hat!  This project served us all indeed. A convenient solution for my daughter, a show stopper cuteness for my grandson for sure and the  JUMP START  I needed to get back "in the saddle" and continue chipping away  at the pile of half completed projects that I still have waiting!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine's Day Love

Recently, while going through some things in my basement I came across a bagful of lovely doilies that had been my grandmother’s. Some, I am told, were made by my grandmother herself and others crafted by her mother and aunt.   Either way they are very old and were offered to me when my grandmother died in 1994. I happily accepted them as I easily envisioned these vintage treasures framed or even made into pillows.  Of course I was certain I would get to the task eventually.  I love crocheted doilies; they remind me of giant snowflakes each one unique in their own right.  I imagined my ancestors using skill and patience as they created intricate designs and patterns. As a child I recall them decorating our home, often used as “dresser scarves “ in our bedrooms or on end tables in the living room. My mother placed them underneath lamps, bowls and ashtrays; their elegance dressing up an otherwise mundane living space. With Valentine’s Day approaching I knew it was time for me to put “ good intention into action”. Unfortunately the doilies were filthy; I hadn’t taken care of them and it showed. I started by soaking them in my old standby  Fels Naptha laundry soap and then blocked them back to shape.  Next I found the perfect piece of fabric and made the envelope style pillowcase. On the day before Valentine’s Day  I brought the elaborately wrapped pillow to my 87 year old mom’s house and presented it to her. Nothing could have prepared me for her reaction. Clearly she absolutely loved it. She remembered the doily well and it brought her back to times gone by.  We spent a good amount of time talking about her life and  the “good old days”. She shared her memories with me; some I had heard and some I had not but all were pleasant and heartfelt.
It was a
Wonderful Valentine's Day!
 A day of Love,

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Snow Day Cowl

Not far from my house there is an awesome second hand shop. Not only is it filled with unique and interesting items for sale at ridiculously low prices, it is non profit organization; all proceeds go to the local food pantry and the hot meals program serving those in need. Fortunately I have to pass by the store on my way to and from work so naturally I stop by when I can as the prices are just  too good to resist. I start by making a beeline to the yarn bin (why I don't know because God knows I won't live long enough to use the stash I already have). Then I make my way over to the furniture. Next stop jewelry, purses and accessories. I finish off at the book section.( If I ever go missing just look for me there.)
As luck would have it, about six months ago I "hit the jackpot". I scored 8 skeins of Cocotte Lainer du Nord wool yarn, all for only $5.00. This yarn retails for $8.25 per ball in stores, a whopping savings of $61.00. Cha Ching! The yarn was brand new with label and price tags intact. Of course I grabbed it. Once home I admired it, imagined the beautiful items I would make and then eventually like everything else I put it away for "safe keeping" and forgot about it. Well, thanks to the third New England Blizzard in as many weeks I have come down with a bad case of Cabin Fever. To keep from going stir crazy I went looking for a project and found one. Hence the

Snow Day Cowl.

The crochet pattern was easy and it worked up quick. I have to admit the yarn isn't really "my color".
Luckily I know someones who's it is. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Only Fools Rush In.......

Of all the projects I have attempted, the hat that I made for my daughter for Christmas was by far the most challenging. This was a new project, something I spotted on her Pinterest page. (Yes I am a Pinterest  stalker, always looking for great gift ideas.)  Anywhoo...How does this fit into  my "finally finishing" criteria of completing old projects you ask?
Well it does.... read on.
At first glance  I thought the hat pattern would work up quickly and I could easily "sneak" it in between the unfinished ones. That was not to be and  I soon found myself in a quandary. First off  I couldn't figure out the pattern. Partly because it was new to me but mostly because I tend to dive into things without reading the pattern through. Mostly though I tend to think I am smarter than the pattern writer. If  I have a problem understanding instructions, I  will often "chalk it up" to typos or other technical mistakes.  I know, I know.  Well, I probably knitted and re-knitted the blasted hat 10 times.  Now the old Jackie, out of sheer frustration,  would have stuffed this item in a bag and forgotten it forever or even "gasp" pitched it in the rubbish. The new and improved Jackie with the vow of combating procrastination, persevered.  At my "wits end" I finally sat down and read through the pattern line by line. There it was, as plain as the nose on my face. In the appendix, a short note  clearly explaining the intricate stitch pattern.
Here it is!
Finally Finished
and greatly appreciated by my daughter!