What moves you?

It’s a typical day.

Same old. Same nine-to-five routine. Same rush-hour headaches, same group of maniac drivers on the road… when… all of a sudden, my attention is gripped by the sight right in front of me—mother nature’s magnificent ink pots of ruby, magenta, russet and amber spilling to stain the deep blue of the sky—right there before my eyes, waiting patiently to be noticed. In awe, I detour away from the traffic to a quiet road, park my car, and sit in worship of such a perfect sight.


When I see something that moves me like this, I am compelled to stop and take notice… and write about it. Everything about a sunset—the amalgamation of colour, the serene sense of peace it represents, the powerful expanse, the pull of it—is all too special not to be noticed and revered.

Writers have an all-consuming need to translate what moves us into words. When we see something that stirs our feelings, we simply can’t keep quiet about it. If we see something that makes us happy, we must write about the source of our happiness. If we see something that makes us sad—oh woe is the story we’ll write. If we see something that makes us angry—well, let’s just say it’s wise not to mess with a writer because you just might find yourself the subject of a very spirited editorial in a newspaper or other venue. We don’t just see things, we feel them to the core. Which drives our need to write.
If you’ve been down with a case of writer’s block or caught in a mood rut, perhaps you need to rub your eyes and take a fresh look around. It’s all too easy to lose sight of the simple yet astonishing beauty blooming in front of our noses every day, when our sights are ever-focused instead on the hustle and bustle of daily life.

A fat black and yellow bumble bee darting into and out of a clump of blossoms; the metallic flecks that sparkle in an otherwise plain stone; a lone ripple on the calm face of a pond made by the paddling of a mallard duck and her babies; the bouncing pigtails of a little girl playing hopscotch; cream-puff clouds on a blueberry sky. So simple, so precious, so easy to miss.


How many sights do you pass by each day without taking notice—sights that have the power to move you?

Open your peepers. There are miracles everywhere.

Otis the cat meets Robo Fish

Little Spring Lamb

This sweet little lamb is a cuddly toy for little hands. The body is crocheted, the face and ears are cut from felt and sewn to the body, and the feet are tiny dollar store pompoms that are sewn on. The finished size of the toy is approx. 4-1/2” long.

MATERIALS:
Any thick and fuzzy white or off-white yarn
9 mm crochet hook
Stitch markers
A few handfuls of Fiberfill stuffing
A square of white crafting felt for face and ears
White thread and needle; black embroidery thread
4 tiny off-white pom poms for feet

BODY:
This is basically a ball crocheted in rounds. Using your white yarn and 9 mm hook:

Round 1: ch 4; sl st to make a ring; ch 1, 10 sc in ring (10 sc); use a stitch marker to mark your beginning sc from here on.

Round 2: 2 sc in each sc around (20 sc)

Rounds 3-9: sc in each sc around (20 sc). Next row begins decreasing.

Round 10: sc in each of first 2 sc; sc2tog; *sc in each of next 2 sc; sc2tog; rep from * around.

Round 11: sc in first sc, sc2tog; *sc in next, sc2tog; rep from * around.
Stuff with Fiberfill.

Round 12: Continue *sc in next, sc2tog* until closed. Sl st to secure. Chain a couple more times to create a little tail. Fasten off and weave in end.

HEAD & EARS:
Cut 2 pieces of felt in shape shown for the head (approx. 2-1/2” long) and cut 2 little circles of felt for the ears (each a little under an inch).

With wrong sides together (with most felt, either side is fine), either hand sew or use a machine to sew the two head pieces together (see photos). Turn right side out and stuff with Fibrefill. Using white thread and sewing needle, sew to body. It’s a little fiddly, so I went around twice with the needle and thread to make sure it was fastened securely.

Next, starting with the first ear, pinch one end, then run the thread through it a couple times to secure the “pinch”. Then sew to one side of the head as shown. Repeat with the other ear on the other side of the head.

HAIR:
Crochet an additional little puff of “hair” for the top of its head. With your 9 mm hook and same fuzzy yarn: ch 3, sc in second ch from hook, and in first ch. Fasten off and weave end into row. Use your fingers to puff it up a bit, then sew it down to the top of the head between the ears, where the head meets the body. (You could always make a Donald Trump comb-over instead, but I don’t think that’s fair to the poor little lamb! 🙂

FACE:
For the eyes, I sewed on two black seed beads. If you prefer to skip the beads, just make two French knots with the black embroidery thread instead.

Use the black embroidery thread to straight-stitch the nose and mouth, as shown in the picture.

FEET:
Sew the four pom poms on the bottom of body (see picture).

Happy #TRT – Tummy Rub Tuesday (Week 147) – Katzenworld

Click on the link and then scroll down to see Otis on his bed!

Source: Happy #TRT – Tummy Rub Tuesday (Week 147) – Katzenworld

Handsome Otis models an ice-cream sundae hat

He’s not particularly fond of ice-cream, but nevertheless, poor Otis found himself coerced into modelling my spool-knitted “ice-cream sundae hat.”
Much to Otis’s dismay, I recently felt an urge to try some spool knitting, or as we used to call it when we were kids, “corking.”

I can remember my best friend and I learning to cork using old wooden thread spools with four nails hammered into the tops of each. Today’s spool knitters are much fancier, not that the results are any better than what we got from those old wooden spools!I had a collection of bits and pieces of old yarn ends, so I corked a long cord, then wound it around and hand-sewed it together to create the “sundae.”
Next, I used some red yarn to make a pompom: the cherry on top.
It is Otis’s plea that I refrain from using him to model any more yarn fashions.

“Get this @#%$!!! hat OFF me!”

Otis likes to keep a close eye on Backyard Bunny

He has suggested that, instead, I consider using his good friend, Backyard Bunny, as my model—that is, if I am ever able to catch him!

Soft Green Spider Web Scarf/Shawl

This delicate scarf/shawl is made with a plush yarn that makes it surprisingly warm and there is a lot of length for wrapping around your shoulders on a cool summer evening.

Materials:

I lost the label for the yarn, but it’s a bulky plush. I’ve provided a photo so you can match it as closely as possible. I used a large ball (approx. 300 yds)

6.5 mm hook

Yarn needle for weaving in ends

Large pearl-look dollar-store beads

Beading needle and thread

PATTERN:

Chain 176.

Row 1: dc in 5th ch from hook (counts as dc, ch 2), 6 dc in same st, ch 2, sk 2 ch, dc in next ch, ch 10, sk 10 ch, dc in next ch, ch 2, sk 2 ch, *7 dc in next ch, ch 2, sk 2 ch, dc in next ch, ch 10, sk 10 ch, dc in next ch, ch 2, sk 2 ch; rep from* across, ending with 7 dc in next ch, ch 2, sk 2 ch, dc in 3rd ch of beg ch-5, turn.

Row 2: Ch 5, *7 dc in top of 4th dc of next 7-dc group, ch 2, sk 2 ch, dc in next dc, ch 10, sk 10 ch, dc in next dc, ch 2, sk 2 dc, rep from* across, ending with 7 dc in next ch, ch 2, sk 2 ch, dc in 3rd ch of beg ch-5, turn.

Repeat Row 2 until shawl is your desired depth. Mine measured a length of 80” x 15-1/2” deep.

Once finished, I neatened up both 15-1/2” ends with one row of sc.

TASSEL & PEARL FRINGE:

Next, I made tassels with pearl bead ends to attach to the last 7-dc group of the row, as shown in picture.

To make each tassel, I cut three 24” pieces of yarn; folded them in half; cut another piece of yarn about 10” long which I used to tied them together in the center of the fold with a knot; then kept winding that remaining piece of yarn into a knot until it because a round ball of a knot at the top of the fold where I made the first knot. Then I threaded the beading needle, stuck the needle in the bottom of the big round knot and brought the thread up through the top of the big knot, added a pearl bead so it sat on top of the big knot, then brought the needle up into the bottom of the last 7-dc group and stitched back and forth a few times to make sure the pearl and tassel were fixed securely in place. Then I knotted the thread and fastened off. I repeated this process along the bottom of the scarf/shawl, attaching pearls/tassels to the last 7-dc group of each row. I hope this makes sense. Refer to the photo (and my rough drawing below!) for visual description.

Otis—My little Paper Bag Prince

Why bother sleeping in the comfort of a bed
when you can snooze on paper bags?That’s my Otis.If it makes a crinkling noise,
then it’s the perfect place to curl up and relax.

Fruity coasters go perfectly with fruity drinks on the patio!

If you want to work on a quick, easy and fun project, this is ideal, and it’s also great for beginners. I found a lovely site with free patterns for Green Apple coasters, Watermelon coasters and Lemon coasters. All so cute!

You’ll find the patterns here, compliments of Christine Longe, at her Lakeview Cottage Kids website:

http://www.lakeviewcottagekids.com/2014/05/another-free-crochet-coaster-pattern.html

 

Random shit that pops into my mind for no good reason while I’m doing my daily exercise walk

“I think the problem with ISIS is that they’ve never learned how to chill out. Think how beneficial it would be if we shipped an army of yoga instructors over to their training camps in Afghanistan. I mean, why not?—They’re already wearing loose clothing, and their prayer position is almost identical to a yoga pose—why not just continue with some Downward Dogs and Warrior (excuse the pun) poses too?And while we’re at it, instead of fighter jets, the Western world could send over fleets of crop dusters loaded with weed. They could fly over the training camps and douse everyone in clouds of smoke. How much happier would our world be if all that rage and drive for vengeance was replaced with giggling fits and cravings for Doritos!”

 

Your luggage will stand out from the rest with these pretty crocheted flowers!

I made these cute flowers to attach to my luggage to make it more identifiable on the airport carousel. You could probably also use them as key rings, attach them to sneakers or jacket buttons, etc. Whatever your intentions, you’ll enjoy making them! They’re quick to make, and a good project for beginners.I found this great pattern for Travel Blooms at the wonderful Fiber Flux blog: http://www.fiberfluxblog.com/2013/06/free-crochet-patterntravel-blooms.html

To make mine, I used Bernat Handicrafter cotton in different colours, then sewed a little pearl in the center to embellish.

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