It’s a messy life

This past year I’ve been a part of our local MOPS group and was asked to give a little talk about my story. Since the theme of the year was ‘A Beautiful Mess’ I decided to talk about my issue with having messes around :). The following is what I came up with:

My name is Felicia and I come from a large family, I have six brothers and two sisters making nine of us in total. I’m right in the middle which seems like the best spot to me.

Growing up we had a lot of messes, I wouldn’t say our house was a messy house, but with that many people, well let’s just say you should have seen the shoe closet.

I liked cleaning up and organizing things and my mom loved that I did too. One time while mom was in town shopping, my sister and I took the biggest box we could find and we cleaned up and threw everything we thought was junk or unnecessary clutter in it and taped it shut. When she came home we told her what we had done and that she was not allowed to open it unless she missed something in her day and thought it was in there. Well she never missed anything, so in a month we threw it in the trash. She still asks what we put in there, and honestly we don’t even remember.

Well things have changed and now I’m a mom and I realize keeping a neat and nonmessy house is next to impossible. It’s very frustrating to me and often I feel like a failure as a wife, if by the end of the day my husband comes home and the toys are all over the floor, books are scattered everywhere, and the cupboards have lost their purpose because all the pans are being used as drums in the middle of the living room. I also realize I only have one little guy and this is going to get a lot worse. So in trying to find a way to look at it differently my husband encourages me in seeing the life in the mess. Sure everything is in the wrong spot and nothing seems to be being used for what it’s original purpose was, but that will come with teaching and wisdom over time. Right now all Jesse sees is joy in things to play with, discovering new shapes and putting things inside each other.

I realize more each day that the mess is where the life is, it’s filled with joy and learning. And not every day needs to be mayhem, but some days should be. And it makes my husband happy to see the mess when he gets home and Jesse sitting in the middle all pleased with how much work he’s done to make the room look like this. Over time hopefully I can teach him the joys of organizing it and putting it all back, but for now I need to see the mess and see it as life happening, right there in my living room. And putting the mess in that light, I can go to bed after parting a path through the toys and books and smile knowing it’ll get better, and messes are better then having nothing to clean up because there is no one to make the mess in the first place. I love my job as a mom and need to remember daily that messes are a symbol of beauty and life not failure.

Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox. (Proverbs 14:4 ESV)

If you or a friend are interested in joining this MOPS group please click on this link and you should find all the info you need - Redlands Community Church Grand Junction

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Another one . . . . And a free pattern.

Well this post is about another hat. One with a little more intricate detailing then the previous hats. It’s also about another baby Jones. We are expecting to welcome a new little Jones in the next month or so, which is very exciting, as well as scary. With our first little monkey we decided not to find out the gender before he was born, and we are doing the same with this baby Jones. So I needed to make a hat for this baby that can work for a boy or a girl. Because every baby needs to be welcomed with a hat, or ten, duh.

So I choose this teal cotton since it works for a boy and with a little embellishments and bling also works for a girl. Here are some pictures:

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Here is a link to the free pattern which is called the horseshoe lace cap.

The band of this hat is worked in the rib stitch, one purl one knit, but the knit stitch is worked in the back loop which gives the band a nice tight braided look. Here is a picture of what the rib stitch worked in the back loop looks like:

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This is what a normal rib stitch would look like:

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Now in case it’s a girl, I found this great tutorial on how to crochet triple layer flowers

I haven’t sewn the flower the hat yet, but plan to fix it with a big sparkly button in the center of the flower if it is a girl.

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Here is a picture of the top, with my little guy modelling it. The picture is a little dark, but it shows the details very well.

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So to conclude, if you would like to find out whether we had a boy or a girl, comment and come back to get details and pictures. Then be sure to bug me till I post pictures if it takes more then a month, and a half. :) >

The Mad Hatter

Well its been a long while since my last blog. Lets just say life has been very busy and the time I have managed to set aside for projects has been limited, so therefore blogging time has been even more so.

This project kind of jump started my knitting again since I hadn’t really started a new project after Jesse was born. I guess you could say my husband is my champion encourager since he bought me this pattern for Christmas and I couldn’t resist starting a hat right away.

Stash

Stash

Tiny Empress Set

Tiny Empress Set

So I dove into my stash and found this wonderful yarn that I had purchased with the gift certificate my husband gave me on our engagement treasure hunt.  I used five Double Pointed Needles size 5, and Cascade Cotton Yarn. I changed the yarn twice to add the nice little stripes. This wasn’t in the pattern but I thought plain yellow was too boring.

Halfway done.

Halfway done.

One thing to mention is that this hat is worked in the round and I learned very recently that to knit in the round is easier on your hands and muscles if you use Continental style knitting vs. English style. Now I didn’t know there were different ways to knit at all, but they are very different styles. English style uses the right hand and ‘throws the stitch’ over the end of the needle, while Continental style holds the thread in the left and ‘hooks’ the thread in a way similar to  crocheting. I was taught to knit the English style and had never tried the Continental, but this hat seemed the perfect sized project to learn Continental. I’ll admit it made me very frustrated to switch since I was very slow at knitting in the beginning and I just wanted to see the finished hat, but with perseverance I can now say I’m almost as fast at knitting Continental style. It really is a better style for knitting in the round but I still prefer English for straight needles.

For more detail on English click here, for more detail on Continental click here.

And here is a picture of the cutest model you’ll see, wearing the finished hat.

Hat Model

Hat Model

That was the first one, it came out rather big since I wanted it to be newborn sized so I went to Walmart and got more yarn (cause a knitter can NEVER have too much). I bought beautiful light pink, cause I’m optimistically hoping for a girl in April :). Here is a picture of the Crown of the pink hat, it came out much smaller then the yellow one. I used Size 2 needles on this hat.

Crown of Pink Hat

Crown of Pink Hat

Detail of Stitches

Detail of Stitches

By this time I was getting bored of solid colors so off to Hobby Lobby for more yarn, yes more. I made this little beauty for my nephew due in July. It is made with size 2 needles and a variegated yarn.

Little Beauty

Little Beauty

And followed it with this one, which I made using Size 3 circular needles instead of the double pointed ones.

Boy Hat

Boy Hat

So finally here is a picture of the yarn and needles used for each hat. And after all that work I got my copy of Vogue Knitting magazine in the mail and to my great delight they are featuring this exact pattern. So not only are these super fun to make, I can honestly say they are also ‘in Vogue’.

All hats and supplies

All hats and supplies

P.S. In Canada this hat would be referred to as a Toque, pronounced  tu-k.

Red Scarf For Christmas

After going through all the totes and boxes of various crafts, yarn and material this summer, I decided I have way too many unfinished projects. They are started with really good intentions but then that new pattern just screams to be made. So I put aside what I’m working on and start a new project only to realize a couple months later the first one isn’t done yet. So I made a pact with myself, for every two old projects I complete I can start one new one. That way its not just working on old projects all the time but eventually I should catch up, right? Well so far I have managed to complete four old projects (I think I might have started at least three new ones though, oops) I just have to post them now so you all can see the finished product.

This is a scarf I started last year around Christmas time. It was snowy and cold and I made the mistake of browsing the Hobby Lobby selection of new yarn. They had this amazing lace weight ruby red with sequins attached yarn. I needed it. It was perfect for this pattern which I got from the book ‘Knitted Lace Of Estonia’. It is a very good book, by the way, if you are interested in Knitting lace and comes with a DVD tutorial. So here are some pictures:

Cast on

Cast on

The cast on was a technique I had never tried but it wasn’t difficult to do. It started with a crochet chain of scrap yarn, you can see the grey I used. Then the lace yarn was picked up through the chain and cast on the needle. You can see this on the picture to the left a little better. After the desired number os stitches were cast on you just started to knit the pattern.

Lily of the Valley

The pattern was very pretty and it was called the Triinu Scarf. It is a variation on the Lily of the Valley pattern. As you can see it has little nupps in the center of the V’s. These are created by picking up seven stitches in a single stitch and then knitting all seven stitches into one on the opposite side. (the technique is a little tough at first but its not hard once you get the idea) If you have had trouble doing this one please comment and I can give you some tips on how I made it work for me.

Reverse cast on to finish lace edgingAfter completely knitting to the end of the pattern repeats and finishing with a lace edge, it was time to complete the matching lace edge on the bottom where the original cast on had started the scarf. This was so simple and something I will do again on any scarf.

The scrap thread was simply pulled back and the chain slowly undone to reveal the loop of the cast on stitches. As I was pulling the scrap thread out of its chain I picked up the loops with my needle and just like that had all the stitches cast on seamlessly. I then knitted the same lace edging as I had finished the other end with, and the scarf was complete. Below you can see the Lace edging drying  out after being blocked to make the points more prominent. And the final picture of the completed scarf.

Lace EdgingCompleted

It was completed just on time for Christmas this year and I gave it to my Mom. If you look closely you can see that this scarf is also featured in the banner/picture at the top of my blog.

Merry Christmas to all and A Blessed New Year. My new years resolution is to complete more half made projects ;-) and start a couple of new ones.

DIY Outdoor Lighted Christmas Trees

Tomato CagesIts the best time of year, Christmas is just around the corner and every one is bustling and hustling to get gifts for everyone on their lists. Its that time when we can’t get enough of the lights that are shining and lighting up the dark nights in patterns so bright. Its the time of year when hope and joy are evident all around us if we keep in mind the joy of the Great Light of the World who came to save us from the darkness.

Well, I wanted to decorate outside our house with lights too and especially wanted the little trees covered with lights. We looked at the local hardware store to see what they cost, and it was too much for my liking. So I got an idea, (HGTV is amazing) and decided to turn my tomato planters into lighted trees :-) Following are the photos of the transformation.

First turn the cages upside down and bend the ends to the center and tape the tops together.

Just wrap the cages with lights.

And Voila! Its pretty!

Wrapped Lightslights

Triplets for Christmas

Recently in Grand Junction a set of Triplet baby girls were born. They have two older sisters and the parents were greatly surprised at these new additions. Some good people in the Community decided to pitch in and help organize and gather up things for these new little ones. My Mom and I found out about it and decided to crochet the three quilts that follow. I had a bunch of yarn that wasn’t being used and since the colors were perfect we got started the minute we could.

Three quilts

Mom made the one on the left and in the middle and I did the one on the right. They are a granny square pattern, hounds tooth (my Mom loves this stitch, and I’ve never done it) and the zig zag pattern. Mom finished around them with a simple chain picot combination.

close up of stitches

Picture Frames DIY

When Dominic and I first moved into our house we didn’t have much since we had both moved from a long ways away. I wasn’t able to move the things I did own, til just recently because we had to import them from Canada. So in the meantime I really wanted to get some pictures on the walls, without breaking the bank, and here’s what I came up with.

Below see the frames I picked up at second hand stores for about $.99 each.

After taking the glass and backing out, I laid them flat, and using high gloss black spray paint from Home Depot, painted them in the back yard.

The end result was exactly what I had been imagining. I still haven’t put pictures in all of them yet. Also I would like to paint or have painted a large tree behind them on the wall as a sort of back drop. It would be from the floor to about shoulder height and just be painted in black hanging the pictures over it so it would look like the frames were hanging on it. But for now I’m really pleased with how these turned out. Also about a week after these were finished I found this Mirror at a second hand shop. The frame was bright red, but after an easy paint job, it looked brand new.