52 Weeks of Creation

Posted: January 4, 2013 in general

As I look back on the past year there are a few things that stand out to me. I have been so blessed this year. I have a steady full time job doing work that is fulfilling and I am passionate about. We have moved into our first home. Mr. Eclectic even got a promotion at his job. In total 2012 was a good year to be eclectic.

There was one thing I was missing though. I missed being creative. I got so busy with work, and moving, and family that I let my creative side take a back seat. There were few projects that I completed during this past year. This is something that I plan to rectify in 2013. I am going to challenge myself to finish and post about a different project each week. I know that this is going to be a challenge for me since deadlines are usually better when opposed from an outside source. But I defiantly plan to try. My first post should actually be up later tonight. Here is to a creative 2013!

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Week One

Posted: January 2, 2013 in 52 Weeks, crafts, Crochet
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I finally finished one!

I am so proud of myself right now. I have a bad habit of starting projects and never finishing them. A couple months ago I talked about all the crochet projects I had planned. Well it’s the beginning of a new year and I completed one project finally. I have a couple more that are almost done, but this one is a wrap.

Not only is it the first I’ve finished in a while, but it is also my first infinity scarf. When I first started seeing these I didn’t really like them. Then a friend lent me hers and I started seeing the draw. I think what I like best is the versatility. It can be worn in one loop or two, as a shawl, around your head and probably more I’ve yet to see.

infinity scarf 1 infinity scarf Here are a couple of shots of the finished product. Once I got the pattern down it didn’t take me very long to finish. I tried to simply make a regular scarf and join the ends but had two problems. The first was that I hadn’t bought enough yarn so it was too short for anything. The other problem was that I was working on it while doing other things and messed up my counts so the row lengths were widely different in some places.

So for take two I found a fairly easy pattern and tried to follow that.  I don’t know what happened there but it started off pretty small and just kept getting smaller. So the second attempt got scrapped.

For take three I tried winging it again and it actually worked. I’m putting the basic pattern below. It’s easy to alter for size, color, and yarn type. This is the first time I’ve written a pattern so please send any questions or suggestions to improve.

Row 1 chain 200 (or as many needed to achieve desired length. I wanted mine to be about 5ft long so I had the length to loop it.) Join chain together. Try to avoid twisting the chain.

Row 2 chain 4. Dch in second chain. Chain One. Repeat to end of round. Join with ss.

Row 3 change color. Chain 4. (Dch in second stitch. Chain 1.) Repeat till end of round. Join with ss

Row 4 change color. Chain 4. Dch chain 1 in second stitch. Repeat. Join

Row 5 Chain 5. (Trch chain one) in second stich. repeat till end of row and join with ss.

Row 6 Change colors and complete as row 4

Row 7 Repeat instructions for row 5

Row 8-12 Chain 5. (Trch chain one) in second stich till end of row. Join with ss.

Row 13-17 Change color. Chain 5. (Trch chain one) in second stich till end of row and join with ss.

Row 18 Change color. Chain 5. (Trch chain one) in second stich till end of row and join with ss.

Row 19 Chain 4 (Dch chain one) in second stich till end of row and join with ss.

Row 20 Change color. Chain 5. (Trch chain one) in second stich till end of row and join with ss.

Row 21 Chain 4 (Dch chain one) in second stich till end of row and join with ss.

Row 22 Change color. (Dch chain one) in second stich till end of row and join with ss.

Row 23 Change color. (Dch chain one) in second stich till end of row and join with ss.

Row 24 Change color. Sch till end of row and join with ss.

Sorry it has been so long since I posted. Things got a little out of control with the move and then the holidays. I promise to get back to posting now that things are calming down.

For the holidays I was trying to figure out what to get my sister. She is a full time RN, mother of 3 children under 12, responsible for caring fot her husbands grandmother, and power of attorney for our 70 year old father. Unfortunatly I couldn’t get here more time or a cleaning service. I did remember that sheliked scrapbooking. I know that is a pricey, time consuming, messey hobby that she just wadn’t able to get to much any more. So I did a little research and found one of the best digital scrapbooking programs out there. I also found a coupon. So my sister is now the happy owner of My Memories Suite. Once she has a chance to play around with it I’ll let you guys know how she likes it.

Happy Solstice!

Time away

Posted: October 24, 2012 in House, personal
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Hi here. Sorry  haven’t posted anything in a while. We finaly got the keys for our new home! I have spent the last 2 1/2 weeks painting, spackeling, sanding, and cleaning. Now I get to my favorite (note the sarcasm) part of the process, actually moving. There are definatly some things I learned through this process.
The first is is that wall color is your friend. Hubby and I were so sick of the white walls of dorms and apts that we didn’t want a single room to be white. I also learned how difficult it can be to decide a wall color with someone who is mostly color blind. We ended with a smokey blue bedroom, pumpkin butter guest room/office, and chocolate brown great room. I love it. It makes it feel like home and gives it a great spohisticated feeling. That all said, I’m not painting this place every again on my own. With walls that haven’t seen paint in 20 years requiring 2 coats and 13 foot cathedral ceilings there is a reason it took two weeks to finish. Next time we’re hiring someone else.
The second thing I learned quickly was that every homeowner who doesn’t feel like spending a fortune hiring a handyman twice a month should learn a few basics about spackle, drywall, basic plumbing, and such things. You should also have (and can use) some basic tools like screwdrivers, drill, hammer, tape measure, pliers, channel locks, sander, scraper, level.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone has to learn new things. It’s better to get help and do it right the first time then expend all time, energy, and money then do it all over again.
The other big thing I’m learning is that details make the space. Have a nice table is one thing. Add a runner, a couple of placemats, and a platter of pie pumpkins and you make a showplace.
I’ll be posting photos of our projects as we get them finished now that we got the internet back.

Birthday

Posted: October 2, 2012 in personal
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So today is my birthday. It had its ups and downs, but an ok day after all. I’m trying to decide on what my birthday treat to myself should be. I’m thinking some new canvasses and paint to create art for new (and so bare) walls. Or maybe a few nice frames to showcase my photography. What do you think? I’ll post a few of my photos later this week and the inspiration blogs for the artwork. Right now its time for bed.

Posted: September 30, 2012 in crafts
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I am so excited! We are getting the keys for our new home this weekend!  I can’t wait to start decorating and truly making it a home for the both of us. I saw this great tutorial http://www.livinglocurto.com/2011/11/wreath-craft/ on making a wreath using a grapevine wreath and paper napkins.  I made this quick little gem to grace out new front door.

I choose to let the white show to lighten up the colors. I also added the flowers off to the side for a little pizzaz. I can’t wait to put in on the front door of my first home!

One Year On

Posted: September 24, 2012 in general, personal
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One year ago today I was being primped and dressed to become a wife. Apparently my fantastic husband wanted to make it a tradition because he sent me to a spa for our anniversary. Even after one year of marriage, four of being together, and eight of being friends I still get giddy when I think about him. He is loving, romantic, funny, caring, and so much more. The future ahead looks wonderful with him by my side.
His anniversary gift from me was a roll top desk. He’s a writer and has always loved those old fashioned writring desks. I managed to find one on Craig’s list for only $35. My mother-in-law and I managed to clean it up and hide the few little wear marks with furniture markers. The roll top itself was starting to seperate from the pull bar. I fixed that with some e6000 jewlery glue I had on hand.I floored him when he saw it. Now he is helping figure out how to disguise the only real flaw. The previous owner tried to reattach the backing with a large screw and knocked off a 3″ chunk of wood in the back of where his legs go. We’re not sure which method would work best. We’re leaning towards wood putty.

Yarn mania

Posted: September 21, 2012 in crafts
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I’m not sure what it is about fall that makes me crave yarn. I’ve  been crocheting, especially granny squares, like made lately. I just bought $25 worth of yarn this morning. I’m making floor pillows, scarves for the whole family, and maybe even some toys just for giggles. I also found a fun pattern for wrist warmers.  I’ll post photos of the projects as I finish them. This is shaping up to be a really busy fall. I can’t wait!

Daily writing Prompt

Posted: September 20, 2012 in daily prompt
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I won’t be posting every writing prompt we do, but when we come across a good one I just have to share it.

Today’s prompt is…

Rewrite a fairy tale from the perspective of an outside character.

Kids, crochet, and granny squares

Posted: September 13, 2012 in crafts, kids
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It is intriguing to me that some things which were once necessary or highly valued are now nothing more than hobbies or eccentricities. I’m an after school teacher. Right now we’re doing a workshop about yarn and all the things you do with it. Yesterday we were talking about finger knitting. I brought in my knitting and crochet to show them as well. They thought it was cool. When we tried to finger knit I had boys and girls of multiple ages who were interested. I think that we need to at least introduce kids to these old-fashioned crafts to keep them alive and used. These are not a piece of the past I want to forget.
In honor of my students’ new skills I’m posting a link to probably the easiest to understand pattern for a granny square I have found.

http://crochet-mania.blogspot.com/2008/01/chain-4-join.html