Thursday, June 24, 2010

Flip Flops

Of course all the youngsters and a few oldsters wear flip flops. And the trend now is to decorate them, which up to now I've resisted. I hate wearing them myself, but I decided that the granddaughter might like a pair. So today, after I picked her up for an overnight stay, we headed to Michael's. They had their flip flops for half price, and I got to thinking that, since I had a whole skein of that eyelash yarn (bought at some clearance sale somewhere), maybe I should make a pair for Gracie's best friend Sierra too.
I've seen these everywhere-every craft show has at least one vendor that sells a ton of them-but I wasn't too terribly sure how they went together. So, I just made a slip knot, joined it to the strap and started single crocheting from one side of the strap to the other, pushing the stitches back to make as tight a coverage as I could. I then cut the yarn and tied about a zillion knots so it wouldn't come apart with a five and a six year old's wear and tear.

Cute, huh? No, you won't find a rack of these in my craft show booth, that would probably be overkill, but it's nice to know just how easy they are.

Update: Granddaughter showed her treasures off to her neighborhood girlfriends and now they all want a pair. My DIL says I should go into the flip flop business after all! (Still don't think so)

Monday, June 21, 2010

More Booties

I've been knitting again. A customer has requested a larger bootie, so after she makes her choice, I'll probably put the other two in my Etsy shop. I might wait until after Wednesday-thinking of getting a booth at our little Farmer's Market.

I like the larger booties, I make them from knitting worsted instead of fingering yarn and they hold their shape much better.

I've been contemplating putting some kind of no-skid stuff on the soles, since they could be worn by a toddler. I'd love to hear opinions on that.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shop Update

I listed three colors of booties today, first a lovely multicolored:

Minty green:

And the ever-popular pink!

I am selling them for $15.00 a pair.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Big Boy

Sydney turned six today. Can't believe that he's six, done with Kindergarten, and ready for first grade. That kid is a kick in the pants! Smart as a whip and six going on 21.

Friday, June 11, 2010

And We Have Rugs

Way last winter I decided that my bathroom rugs were on their last legs, so I decided to crochet some rag rugs. I've been wanting to do that for years and figured it was time to get off my duff and just do it! The best thing to use, I discovered after cruising the Net, is old sheets. Heck, I have tons of old sheets! I'm sleeping on old sheets. Not really, I just upgraded the sheets for our bed thanks to an unbelievable clearance sale at Kmart.

The center was not made from sheets, but a very large piece of very cheap navy fabric from my stash that I was anxious to get rid of. Then I started culling sheets out of my closets.

The lighter green is from a queen size set from our bed, and the darker green is a twin sheet someone gave me. It was fitted so I had to cut off the elastic and square it up. All of my strips were made with a rotary cutter, and I cut them all 1". Then I went scrounging again and found a twin set the boys used to sleep on in a light blue print. I thought that would be enough but one of the things I learned doing rugs is more is not only better but essential! Now what?

I kind of dropped the project for a couple of months, but the other day I decided to give the bathroom rugs their last wash. No dryer, just a gentle cycle and lay flat to dry. I put them in and left for a few hours. When I got home my hubby showed me the rugs-nothing but a big pile of fuzz! They weren't even that old! I had to get busy again.

Hubs and I hit a couple of garage sales and I thought I was in business. But when I got home I realized the "new" sheets were in better shape than the ones I had on the daybed in the guest room, so I washed them and dug out my sheets. I filled an old laundry basket with sheets for future rug projects. I found, in the back, a queen set that isn't deep pocket and is fairly worn-kind of a blue/green/burgundy plaid. I didn't know how it would work but I think it's just fine. I discovered that I finished the center on the oval rug wrong and it's lopsided, but I decided I didn't have to be that fussy for my own bathroom. They sure look different with the different strips, don't they?

I did a single crochet, but I only made the stitches into the back loop of the previous row to give it dimension without making it too thick.

You probably notice a pattern here-blue/green/rose or burgundy. I love the color combination and can't make myself change it. My wardrobe yes, but my house is mostly these colors.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Purple Flowers

One of the pieces of fabric I bought in Mazatlan was a pre-smocked dress length for Gracie. I knew it had to have either pink or purple so I figured this orange with purple flowers would suit the Miss. All I had to do was sew up the back seam (which of course I sewed then serged for a clean finish), hem and add straps. The fabric store had decorative elastic strap that was supposed to go with the fabric, but I was in a hurry, there was a language barrier, and Judy wanted me to help her find dress fabric for her. I thought, "Of course I can find that back home." Not! I ended up with purple grosgrain ribbon which is fine, and in fact matches the yarn in the second part of my project.

I was browsing the Lion Brand website when I found this cute little cardi pattern. Of course, even though I'm more of a knitter than a crocheter, I had to give it a go. It was really simple and fast AND I just happened to have some purple yarn just the right color in my stash!

The pattern didn't show a closure, and I was supposed to do a slip stitch up the front, around the neck and down the other side. I decided I liked a single crochet better, and added a chain loop at the neck with a cute button so it would stay on better. I'm not a very tight crocheter, and wasn't very comfortable with the looser stitch I was getting, but I think it turned out OK. I did switch to a smaller hook when I got to the neckline to make it just a bit smaller.

Now Gracie has a summer church outfit with a cardi for the chilly Montana evenings.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

More Mazatlan

Our building directly faced the ocean this time. I slept on the Murphy bed in the living room and would open the patio doors just before bed so I could be gently lulled to sleep. Turns out it wasn't so gentle-we were right in the middle of high tide! Lovely, anyway.

Hunting for seashells.

On the city tour we met Rosemary, another owner at the resort. She is 85 years old and suffers from macular degeneration. It hasn't stopped her-she flew all the way from Florida to Mexico alone, with a plane change in LAX. She said all you have to do is ask and people are willing to help. She is a delightful lady!

Judy loved the cathedral-the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. I've seen it many times, but it never stops being a treat to see.

Irene was recovering from a tooth extraction so she missed going to the Fiesta Mexicana at El Cid. Previously we've always gone to the one at Playa Mazatlan, but they have discontinued it. Too bad, the food was unbelievable. El Cid's food was OK but nothing to write home about, but the show was extremely good. Several of the acts from Playa now perform at El Cid, including my favorite singer Oscar Gomez. Dang that guy has pipes! Cute, too. El Cid had a breathtaking Aztec ballet-very worth the price of the ticket.

On Thursday Irene was feeling better so we decided to ride the bus to Old Town. Halfway there this clown got on the bus. Turns out there was a clown parade on the Malecon. (Beachfront walk) Then two guys got on and immediately started playing guitar and singing. What fun!

After we browsed the big Mercado, bought fabric and had lunch at Panama, we grabbed a Pulmonia to go home. Turns out the local college had just graduated and was celebrating with a parade, complete with tiaras, formals, tuxes and decorated vehicles. A Hummer was decorated with Post-its-all over. The cab driver scooted around the parade, cutting BETWEEN the traffic and took a scenic route back to the resort, through side streets. We loved being able to see new parts of Mazatlan-where the REAL people lived. What a fun day!

Friday we took a tour into the Sierra Madres to a little town called Copala. On the way we saw a rocking chair factory, a bakery with a 400 year old wood fired oven, and a brick factory where they still make all the bricks by hand.

We ended the day in the restaurant at the resort, talking until the sun went down. We had many heart-to-hearts that evening. We are permanently bonded and want to make this a yearly trip.

L to R-Irene, Mickie, Judy, and I'm in the back. Sistahs forever!

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Most Fun Ever!

No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth-just trying to catch up and regroup after two trips with less than 24 hours in between.

The first trip-off to Mazatlan with "the girls." If I were to think about what was the best thing about this trip, it would be watching my youngest sister enjoy it. Judy has a few delays but is a sweet loving person and is a joy to have along. She started grinning when we boarded the plane in Billings, and nine days later when I dropped her at her apartment in Helena, the grin was still there. She promptly set down her bags, donned her "Mazatlan" hat and headed off to her afternoon tea date to share her trip with her friends.

We tried to show her the most fun activities of Mazatlan. We rode the "Pulmonia" whenever we could, and made sure Judy rode in front with the driver. She was thoroughly infatuated with the Mexican men and probably would have run off with any one of them!

We ate, laughed, walked, sunned, toured, dabbled our feet in the Pacific, and just tried to enjoy as much as possible. We caught as many sunsets and happy hours as possible. Judy decided that margaritas were tasty indeed. White wine went down pretty well, too!

The first thing you do, after catching happy hour, is line up and wait for the sunset.

Definitely worth the wait!

We toured the city, and ended up high on the side of the hills. We could see all of Mazatlan and the harbor from there. This is the harbor that receives shipment of the Korean-made cars that Mexicans drive, and from there are trucked all over the country.

There was a restaurant near the viewing area, and the owner came out with an iguana that hangs out there-iguanas seem to pick an area and stick to it, our resort has a couple. This iguana was the biggest I've seen, and the owner placed in a young British boy's arms.

He wasn't too fond of holding it. so Judy took it. She has been to Guatemala and had a lot of experience with Iguanas. She started talking to it and it licked her on the nose!

Hopefully I'll post more later-we're off to a concert tonight. I do have to say that I agree with my sister-in-law Irene: We've both been to Mazatlan several times, but this has to be the most fun trip ever!