Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Where the heck have I been?!? I'll start summarizing for you (mostly in pictures with LOTS of words).

I've been busy, and creative!

I've not managed to craft in the traditional sense of the word on a daily basis for a while now, but I'll try to recap.

Work, stress, arthritis have all managed to creep in and rob me of my crafting time.  Some are under my control, some have not been.  Let's start with the two tone hair:

My St. Baldrick's Foundation fundraising page  I am still collecting donations, BTW and would LOVE to hit $1,100!

For those who aren't familiar, St. Baldrick's Foundation is a non-profit whose goal is to raise money to help cure childhood cancer and improve the lives of those dealing with childhood cancer.

Right around  Feb. 25, 2014 my friend's 9 year old son joined up to donate his hair by having it shaved, and committed to raise $1,000 during the process.  How can you not be touched and motivated by that?  I was moved enough to also commit to raise $1,000 and have my hair shaved.  I had 34 days to do it.  And by golly, I did, and so did he!  (when I figured out I was shaving my hair which = I can do whatever I want, my boyfriend and I two-toned it!!)

For a few days after (before it started to grow back), I asked the girls at work to decorate my head for me.  Wearable art!

So, that was March 30th.  Spring didn't get here to Central New York until mid-May, so I made LOTS of hats:

The center & right pictures are the same pattern.

Link for the blue had w/ grey accent band

Pattern for the fall colored brim hat in the photo on the left

There's another one from the fuzzy multicolored yarn, but I can't find a picture of that.  I split between knit & crochet.

I also made what' called a diagonal baby blanket.  No, the picture isn't blurry, it's how the yarn made the blanket turn out.  It's the 1st thing I've ever knitted on the bias, and other than the fact that I don't like how the finished corner turned out, it's an ok pattern: diagonal baby blanket by Red Heart yarns

This was for a friend who was having her 2nd baby but didn't want to know the sex ahead of time.  I traded the time I spent making a cowl for a church friend for the extra yarn (she WAY overbought) in lieu of taking any money for my time.  I love bartering!

backing fabric: flannel print
My brother's also pregnant for his 4th child and his 1st & only son.  I told my mom I wanted to make the quilt, which I did and I am thrilled with not only how it turned out but how well received it was at the baby shower last Sunday.  I don't have a photo of the absolutely finished quilt, but basically I found a super cute flannel for the back and built the front with colors to match.

I also gave them a layette set I made about 15 years ago, with the thought that I may have another child which never did pan out so it was time to pass it along.
So, with all of this it does seem like I've been busy nearly every day, correct?  Well, I've also taken my shotgun out target shooting, which I consider crafting.  I am having an issue with some pretty pissy arthritis in my right (non-dominant) hand which has been significantly painful and has kept me from doing a ton of stuff that I would like to do, but I'm blogging through the pain.  Later this week I'll post what I did for Mother's Day.  My hand is literally almost bringing me to tears, but it's kept me from enough, and I will ice it shortly & brace it for the night.

Friday, April 4, 2014

One option for handling a disagreement with your point of view

I generally stay away from the political/politically correct atmosphere surrounding what is and/or should be considered marriage, family, love, caring, etc. because it is so often inflammatory and tends to short circuit common sense within some peoples' brains. I have to stand up and applaud the Honey Maid company (they make Teddy Grahams) and how they acknowledged the changing reality of humanity, and how they handled the backlash from those who disagree with their message. This is SO fantastically well played, I don't have words. They literally turned hate into love. Regardless of where your stance is, you should give credit for the loving tolerance this company has displayed, and consider making acceptance a part of your legacy.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

HUGE recap, HEAVY on pictures! Days 72-95, St. Baldrick's in the morning, and why I'm hat crazy!!!

Shaving my head to support research for a cure of childhood cancer = I should have done this sooner.

I'm shaving my hair = blue/purple!
This has been one busy winter.  We have stayed at my parents' house for two months, which was fantastic for many reasons, my favorite is because it's 5 minutes from work.  I brought all my crafting stuff with me with the intention of organizing it.

Spoiler alert:  Yep, that didn't happen.  Still, I had room to craft, and knowing I would have a shaved head in Central New York in March spurred my interest in hats.

I'm still working on the CAL crochet afghan from MooglyBlog.  I'm behind a few squares, but the CAL is beautifully spaced so I have LOTS of time to catch up.

So with all the ins and outs, ups and downs of this fricking absurd winter in Central New York, I somehow still was pliable enough to feel moved when my friend's 9 year old son signed up as a shavee for a St. Baldrick's event.  This little guy is special to me; I watched him being born.  He committed to raise $1,000 in just over 30 days, and had been growing his hair for months, so I felt compelled to join him.  As of this evening, I am about $35 short of my $1,000 goal, which isn't shabby at all.

Here are a few of the hats I've made.  The blue & grey one looks like a hammerhead shark. The fall color hat is made from a wool yarn I once felted a purse from, and I still have leftover yarn.

For the event in the morning, Rich just FaceTimed me from Jo-Ann Fabrics so we could be sure I had appropriate face paint for tomorrow.  I am shaving my head to honor Heather & Ashley as well as other people afflicted with cancer.  Tomorrow, I will wear Heather's name on my left cheek, and Ashley's name on my right.  And both of them, and many many more, in my heart.

Pictures of me sans hair and with new hats are pending.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Days 67 to 71: crafting for St. Baldrick's (I need a hat!!!)

I'm shaving my head to benefit research for childhood cancer!

my 'before' picture!
I have a very close friend whose 9 year old son has let his hair grow for several months so he can participate in a St. Baldrick’s event this March 30th.  When I saw he committed to raise $1,000 I thought if he could, then I could do.  So I signed up.
The first week I quipped about it, telling people I spend too much money on hair products, I want to see what my natural hair color is, things like that.
Towards the end of last week, the significance of what I’m doing has really found a place in my heart.
I have close friends & family who have had to say goodbye to children.  Some from cancer, some not from cancer.  Whatever the cause, I know how devastating a serious illness can be for a family, even if there is a happy ending.

 St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long, healthy lives.

If my shaving my head by choice helps those who lose their hair by chance, I am not the one making any sacrifice.  I am humbled, hopeful, and above all blessed to have been inspired by a young man and encouraged by God, who has giving me a resounding YES.
My goal is to raise $1,000 in 30 days.  I’m just over 10% there.  If you would like to help join the fight, I encourage you to donate by clicking on the title of this blog post; it will take you to my St. Baldrick’s participant page.  If you are not able to donate financially, I encourage you to find a way in your community to donate your time, your talent, and your heart to help others.  I am happy to say those who choose to help others get such blessings back it’s well worth it.
I would be completely untruthful if I said I'm not happy for a reason to knit and/or crochet a hat for myself.  It's still winter in Central New York, and today is the 21st anniversary of the Blizzard of '93.  We're forecast to receive up to 20 inches of snow in 24 hours.  Oh yeah, the snow is not gone.  Now, on to my favorite patterns!

I would love to know your favorite hat pattern.  I quite honestly welcome any and all donations to this effort.  And, if you feel the urge to knit or crochet something to donate to a local hospital, homeless shelter, or animal shelter I'm %100 behind you!!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Days 62 to 66: preparing for a weekend FULL of crafting with family and friends, with some fantastic causes to support!

stretchy bracelets for a great cause!
I have a great friend who teaches at the Crouse Hospital School of Nursing.  They regularly make trips to Guatemala through their Global Health Initiative program.  She came up with the idea of collecting the stretchy band bracelets to bring with her the next trip there.  This is her post from her brilliant Facebook event:

"While I was visiting my niece, she was working on these loom bracelets made out of stretchy bands. She had a ton of them made. I asked her what she was going to do with all of those and she said “I don’t know I just keep making them”. Then I had an idea, why don’t you give them to me and I can give them to the kids that come to our clinics in Guatemala. She was super excited about this and started making more. She asked a lot of questions about the kids we going to help. It made me so happy to see her energized by something, learning about the work that we are doing and thinking about others that have so little. I know you are saying stretchy bands how will this help the kids. The medication we give to the children to treat parasitic infections tastes awful, it’s very bitter! The bracelets will be used as reward for taking the medications, I know it’s a bribe but I am willing to bribe and beg so that these kids get the much needed medications in there sick tummies! 
As part of a team of faculty and students at Crouse Hospital College of Nursing each year we take a team to Guatemala to host six free medical clinics in rural villages. During these clinics we focus on primary health care, treatment of parasitic intestinal infections and vitamin replacement. The villages and places that we work in are very remote and the villages lack cleaning drinking water and sanitation. During our time in the country we treat over 1200 people. This year our team will be traveling June 3rd – June 13th and hosting six clinics. To learn more about our initiatives please visit Crouse Hospital College of Nursing Web site.
If you are interested in having us come teach or speak to your class or youth group we would love to! Just let me know.
We are also in need of pencils, flip flops and Over The Counter Medications. If you would like to donate to our mission information can be found on the Crouse Health Foundation Website, under global health initiatives.
Bracelets can be dropped off at 115 West Oneida St. Oswego NY 13126. A bin will be placed in the enclosed front porch! Or we can pick them up, message me and someone from the team will gladly come and get all donations. I will need to gather up the bracelets by at least May 19th so we can pack them! If you want to include a "made by" tag on your bracelets that would be great the kids are going to love to see that kids in the US are thinking of them and took time to make them something from there heart!
Peace and Love and much thanks – Carrie Kangah"

I have amazing friends, who recognize the power of giving, and that it comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

Starting tomorrow, my 10 year old niece and her 6 year old twin sisters will stay with me through Sunday evening.  Saturday we are having friends over (kids & adults) for a making jewelry party.  I have SO much stuff, it's insane! We will be making jewelry for ourselves, and the younger ones will have fun making stretchy bracelets for kids who don't have the luxury of making funky jewelry in their spare time.

There are more happy causes on the immediate horizion, but I think this post is good for now.  I have family & friends to prepare for!!!  Happy crafting!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

MASSIVE catch-up: Days 48 to 61!!!

It's Oscar Sunday!
Game on!

Rich and I have not seen any of the nominated pictures.  We're betting on mostly posture and gumption.  It's 9:45 p.m. and I'm up six to four, but there are about 15 awards to go.

So, where have I been the past two weeks?

At the orthopedist, mostly.  My wrist tendinitis has plagued me enough to sideline me from knitting or crocheting.  I've plotted and schemed for my brother's baby shower.  He's finally having his boy.  We love the girls, and his boy is an expected event (Gram's psychic reading four years ago) but we also are pitching in for a vasectomy for Christmas.

I'm still knitting the baby blanket.  I haven't started the 4th block for the Moogly Crochet-A-Long but judging by the pattern it won't take long.  I'm spending next weekend hosting as many friends who will show up for a jewelry making party.  I have more supplies than I have plans for.Thrilled to host friends & family!!