Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Bi-Coastal Heart

It's a beautiful sunny Saturday here in Connecticut today. I'm already wondering what the weather is going to be like today in San Carlos, CA. Why you ask. Well that is where half of my heart will be.  You see my daughter Jessika and her family live in San Carlos. It is hard being a Gram to two little granddaughters who live on the opposite coast....

This week was a difficult one for me.  You see my first born granddaughter, Piper, was born with the Terrifying Peanut Allergy. She always has to have an Epi Pen within reach.  Last year she decided she was "ready" to become a part of Stanford's Alliance for Food Allergy Reasearch's Peanut Study. It is a study in which children with the allegy wear a special "patch" applied to their back for a period of time. The hope is that by introducing the allergen itself in minimal portions each day the child might eventually become immune to it.  The importance of this is enormous. It means that the child will not have to be continually "on guard" against something that could KILL them. Yes KILL them.  It also takes away the "stigma" of being the odd one out, the one kid that has to have special treatment. No child wants to be "the different one".  Reaching these children at an early age can eliminate the fear and the treat of death. This program is amazing. This program is life-saving. Piper's parents know how lucky they are to have become a part of it.  They also realize just how brave their little girl is.  

After wearing a special "patch" for the last six months it was time to test for the results of it's effectiveness this past Wednesday.  That meant a long ride to Palo Alto early in the morning, checking into the clinic and eating bowl after bowl of "disgusting" pudding which may or may not have been laced with peanuts.  Can you even imagine that?  I mean at eight years old??? 

The last time Piper was tested she could only ingest 100 mil before symptoms of her alergy were evident....BUT this time she managed 1000mil. (Now that is a LOT of disgusting pudding!!).  But to her Mom, her Dad and all the other people who adore her it was RELIEF and pure JOY!!!

Needless to say I was anxious about the results but as a Gram I was focused on Piper's bravery and I couldn't wait until it was just plain over.  I thought I'd best put my time to a better use than wandering about the house.  I decided to make something special for Piper instead. I wanted it to be something special. I wanted her to be able to remember how special she was during that long day of "pudding eating".  

 Here is the result of my fidgety worry:

I do so hope she will love it. She loves bright happy colors and I tried to pick as many as I could find.
I love this special little girl with my bi-coastal heart....

Directions for Bag: Jolly Chunky Bag (on left side)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Rainy Rainy Rainy

Yep. It has been raining here for the past three days.

No sun but LOTS of crochet.

I might have mentioned before that I adore Attic24's blog by Lucy from the UK.  She is a marvel. It doesn't take much to make Lucy happy.....a flower, a blue sky, watching her three "littles" play and draw, a walk in the woods or along the river.  Her favorite past time is "hookie" though. Her color work is simply gorgeous - bright, happy, and most of all fun.

I loved her new pattern for the "Chunky" Tote:

I longed to make one. The only problem was that the yarn for the project was not available here in the US.  That is until I spotted it on ETSY from the Texas Yarn Farm. I was elated!!

I ordered it on Thursday last and received it on Monday.  It arrived all soft and squishy in a white plastic bag and fitted perfectly in our mailbox.  I couldn't get into the house fast enough.

Needless to say I couldn't wait to get started and I DIDN"T....the colors were so bright and cheerful.
I now have all the "bibs and bobs" completed: Main bag, two straps, eight flowers, and eight leaves.
All I have to do is assemble...and there seems to be enough yarn left to make my little CA grands a bag as well.  I'm planning to scale their's down a bit though.

Oh I love to crochet!!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

LIVE on TheCraftStar

Last night I was priviledged to be interviewed by the owner of a new sales venue called TheCraftStar.

I LOVE the site.  It is so welcoming and is totally Handmade...something my current selling site is
drifting away from.

If you would like to watch it here is the link:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Today is Sunny and Warm Tomorrow the Rains Come

I have to work outside today.

I need to be in the sunlight.

Yesterday was very very sad for me.

Today Facebook was filled with pictures of Easter Celebrations and families.

I wished I had one to post.  I didn't.  It made me happy and sad all at the same time.

Today I need to try to move on and find some hope for the future.

Cleaning up the yard always helps me refocus.

So...that is what today is about.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday Morning 2014

The birds woke me up this morning.

The first thing I did was to thank the Lord for waking me to another day and for guiding me safely through the night.

Today is Easter.  Easter used to be so special to me.

When I was a little girl Easter was all about New Beginnings. It was  Spring after all. The sun was warmer. Little Crocus' were blooming. The whole world seemed hopeful.

Some years my younger brother Alan (just 11 months younger) and I could look forward to something new to wear to church.  Church was our weekly chance to see other people. We lived in the country and rarely played with anyone other than ourselves.  After church we knew we would have a wonderful Easter dinner.  Dinner for us was as close to noon as possible.  Our evening meal was known as "Supper".

Flowers were always a huge part of Easter.  Corsages were given to Mothers and often even to little girls.  Our  church provided men and little boys with carnations for their lapels.  As I grew older being able to buy fabric for a new outfit was an enormous treasure. The one Easter I remember as being the best of all was during my freshman year of high school.  My Mom bought me some silk shantung floral pink fabric for a dress.   She also bought be some wool gabardine to make a light weight open coat.  That year I even purchased a beautiful pink hat with flowers that matched my dress.  Oh did I EVER feel like a fashion plate. Hazardville Methodist Church was my catwalk. I received SO many complements.  I loved complements.

Easter was such a special time.

Today there will be no church.  Today there will be no children or grandchildren.  All of my Easter decorations are packed away.  

Am I sad?  Yes.  I have literally been sad or bursting out with tears for a week now.  I used to start planning the next holiday as soon as the last one was over. The children would be coming...what more could I ask for.

No more.  Now I just have to accept that holidays are over for me.  There will be no hugs.  There will be no jumps for joy when Easter baskets are found.  There will be no filling of plastic eggs to be hidden on the backyard hill.

For me, Easter is about family.  My children now feel that "family" is themselves and their children.
That has broken my heart.  It makes me feel purposeless.  I grieve for what once was.

Acceptance is very difficult for me. I keep praying for grace.  Maybe as the years pass I will be able to accept that for me Easter will never be the holiday I so looked forward to.

Friday, April 18, 2014

It's Done!!

As you know I've been making two little Easter dresses for my California granddaughters.

The pattern I picked out - YES.... it was ME who chose it...was just adorable.  I mean the flounce in the front just screamed Natalie Bryna Levinson - oh so sassy.

I wanted both of the girls to have the same dress.  I wanted them to pick their favorite color though. So Miss Natalie's is Lime Green and Miss Piper's is HOT Pink.

I really really really thought (or maybe I just prayed) that the second dress would be a bit easier.  You know I would at least have done it already and I would have learned a thing or two.  NO WAY. For some reason the second dress (hot pink) was made of a fabric that must have been left over from making sails on a boat.  I mean the weave was so tight that each time my sewing machine needle pursed it, it almost "popped".  Then there was the fact that since it was princess styled there were three pieces to the front, four to the back and THEN it had to be lined with just as many pieces AGAIN.

Well...I 3am on Wednesday morning.  I mailed it later in the same day to get it to San Carlos by Friday so that my daughter could hem it.  I had already hemmed the lining (or slip) part.

It was so hard to "stuff" that dress into a box and put it in the hands of the USPS.

Here is the picture I took just before packaging it up:

The only thing  missing is the rose that will be sewn on the top of the flounce by Piper's Mom. I have to clean the more excuses.  Yuck.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ths SUN is Out and I'm Ready to ROLL!

Yes. Yes. The SUN is shining. It is going to be in the 60's today in Connecticut. I can hardly believe it!!

I'm just taking a moment or two to let you know what I am making today for my California granddaughters...

So instead of crocheting the main part..I am using fabric to match their dresses :

This is Nattie's Dress

and then crocheting the doilie to contrast.  I love to crochet. In this project I get to both sew and's a two-fer! they are in all their adorableness.

Natalie and Piper

I so wish I lived next door, or down the street or even in the SAME state!!!

OK now I have to get busy...can't just stay and visit today!

Until next time...

PS. The pattern for the purse is from‎