365 Days Handmade

Making life a better place, one day at a time

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Week 51/52: Christmas Eve Eve


I was on the fence about continuing this blog.  Then I got an email that WordPress automatically renewed my account for another year.  My credit card’s been charged and I’m paid up, so what the hell, I might as well keep going.

I’ve still been crocheting and knitting, and I recently picked up cross stitch again.  The pattern for the font and Christmas balls that you see above are from Julie Jackson’s newest Subversive Cross Stitch book.  I also made the ornament below.

I’ve got a list of profanity-laced expressions that I’m planning to cross stitch and frame in the near future.  I’ll share them with you if I get inspired to take photos and post again.  In the meantime, hope you all have lovely plans for the holidays!



A Lesson from the Spider


This evening when I arrived home from work, I pulled into the driveway, got out of the car, and headed for the mailbox past our front yard, as I normally do every day when I get home from work.  The first thing I noticed was the beginning of a spiderweb on my angel trumpet plant.  The amazing thing about it, though, was the fact that the web apparently originated in the grapefruit tree, which is well over six, maybe seven feet away from the angel trumpet plant.

If you look carefully at the photo, you can probably spot from left to right the horizontal line of web that is the spider’s launching point.  It’s a really impressive feat, when you think about what it took for that little spider to jump from point A to point B and just start spinning.  Life is like that sometimes.  You see what you want and you go for it, instinctively and with intent.

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June Recap: Hipster Cities and Donuts

June was a busy month for me and Sean.  I went to work for a total of 12 days, and in that time I crammed in the same amount of work that I would normally get done in 16 days.  I took the rest of the time off to travel with Sean to Minneapolis, Seattle, and Portland, three cool cities where he was scheduled to do readings for the release of his newest book, a collection of short stories about authors and their metaphysical ukuleles.

There are two things that I like to do when I travel:  shop and eat.  I also like taking photos of my snacks and meals so that I can continue to visually enjoy them long after they’ve disappeared into my belly.  So while most people might have vacation photos of the beach, the mountains, sunsets, sunrises, and tourist landmarks that they visited on their travels, I have photos of restaurant meals and donuts.  (Actually, I do have photos of some cool old landmarks, but I’ll try not to bore you too much by not including all of them.)

We spent the first weekend of June in Minneapolis.


We ate brunch twice at Hell’s Kitchen and enjoyed donuts from Angel Food Bakery.




So many choices, so little time!  You can see why I’m going back to Minneapolis the next time I have a chance.

While driving through downtown, I saw this historic building and had to snap a photo for my fellow knitters who would appreciate this.  Oh, to think of the days when knitwear was still made in factories in the USA…


Two weeks later, we flew out to Seattle.


We stayed at a hotel near the Space Needle, walked all around downtown, ate a bunch of yummy food, and checked out Pike Place Market.  Where we purchased and ate more food.  Sean did a reading at Third Place Books, a really cool bookstore and neat community space.  I could have browsed there for hours.

The next day, we drove down to Portland.  Naturally, we had to check out Voodoo Donuts.


There were so many good choices that Sean and I decided to each pick two donuts…


and split each one in half.  Then we had a little donut party.


Throughout all this traveling and eating and donut-merrymaking, I didn’t get a whole lot done on my crocheted afghans.  I brought along a sock to knit, but I might as well have left it home because I only managed to finish a few rows on it.

Now that we’re back home and settled in again, though, I’ve started a few new projects.  I really wanted to make malasadas, which is a Portuguese donut and my all-time favorite kind, but Sean wouldn’t let me.  He didn’t think it was a good idea to have three dozen fresh donuts sitting around when it’s just the two of us.

I guess he has a point.  But darn, I could go for a donut right now.


Week 20/52: Ripples and Granny Squares

So last week I had the misfortune of being without a laptop because my motherboard died, and I had to take my PC to the repair shop.  I could have posted the week’s entry through my smartphone, but I was feeling like I didn’t really have anything interesting or new to share.  I was still crocheting, still making the stripey blanket and the granny stripe afghan.  I also made more progress on the Attic 24 Cottage Blanket.


In the middle of all this afghan-crocheting, I’d been wanting to make one out of granny squares.  The last one I made was this one, and it took me forever to finally weave in all the loose ends.  Anyway, it had been on my mind to crochet an afghan inspired by Zeens and Roger’s Crochet Circles in a Square Blanket.  So last weekend I started this:


I imagine it will make a very pretty blanket when it’s all done– if I ever finish…


Week 17/52: A Couple of Knitted Things

Two weeks ago, I started knitting a scarf and then a hand towel and then another scarf.  Then I went back to crocheting my afghans, and the knitted stuff got set aside.  I made more progress on the As We Go stripey blanket this week, but I’m feeling like it would be too boring and redundant to share more photos of that today.  So here are a couple of knitted things from my pile of WIPs.

A yet-to-be-blocked lace scarf in Noro yarn:


Moss stitch grid pattern hand towel in cotton/linen/viscose yarn from the stash:



Week 16/52: Afghans in Progress

So I’m back to my obsession with crocheting afghans.  I’ve been alternating between these two.  And I still have two others on the back burner, waiting to be finished.  There’s a part of my brain that’s encouraging me to start some granny squares, and I’m trying really hard to resist.  Plus, I’ve already got like a million yarn tails to weave in…