Thursday, April 28, 2011

Crochet Inspiration

Where do you find inspiration for your crochet projects?  There are so many wonderful online resources out there, especially with all the great blogs, Flickr photos, pattern sites, etc.  I'm always looking for inspiration in books, magazines, nature, flowers, art, fashion, home decor, even my children.

I was recently flipping through some issues of my Canadian House and Home magazine and they are filled with great photos and ideas for home decor and crochet inspiration:

I love these cable sytle baskets:

The circular motifs on these pillows can easily be translated to a cute crochet pillow:

 I've always been a big fan of framing fabric or paper...I love this framed doily:

Who can't reisit the romantic feel of this garden:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

What are you reading?

Recently I discovered this great book site called Goodreads, where you can keep track of all the books you've read, or intend to read.  You can also read and write reviews on books, recommend books and join book clubs.  They have a little widgety thing that you can add to your blog...mine is on the sidebar.  I thought this was so cool, especially if you're into reading, or if you just want to get back into reading. 

Goodreads also lists non-fiction books, so I was able to find some of the crochet books that I've been fortunate enough to purchase over the past few years.  In the future, I plan to post reviews of those books on my blog and on my Goodreads, look for that over the summer.

In the meantime, I am reading Secret Daughter, by Shilpi Somaya Gowda.  This book has been everywhere recently...the author is Canadian, and the story is set in both India and the U.S.  Without getting too much into the story, a young Indian woman gives birth to a female and is forced to give up her daughter into a orphanage.  The story follows the little girl as she grows up and the mother who gave her up.  So far, Secret Daughter has been an enjoyable read.

I'd love to hear what others are reading these days.  Especially with the summer approaching, I'm always looking for new books to read, even though my to read list is quite long.  Well, bye for now...we're off for more Easter celebrating this weekend.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Craft store run...

Hello out there was everyone's weekend?  We had some horrible weather here...cold and rainy on Sat., and on Sun., we woke up to SNOW!  The snow didn't hang around all day, but we had everything from snow flurries, to rain, to sun and even hail.

To beat our weather blues, on Sat. we went to the craft store...the girls love browsing all the stuff for kids and I always enjoy browsing the yarn section, of course.  I was intending to pick up one skein of yarn for a project (more on that later), but once I saw all the yarn on sale, I simply couldn't resist a few more skeins of sale yarn!

The girls picked up these cute little paper lanterns...and decorated them with these pretty little felt butterflies:

I picked up some black yarn for a special request, custom order for a family member...I'll be sure to post the final outcome, and perhaps even (dare I say), my first tutorial.
In addition, I couldn't resist this beautiful organic cotton yarn.  They were on clearance, so I was able to snatch them up for $5 off the regular price! There were only 3 left, so naturally, I hoarded all 3 for myself.  Not sure what to make with them, but I was thinking they'd make a nice scarf.  I just love the colours:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Unfinished Business...

Hello friends...I've been trying to complete some projects that I'd had started some time ago, then abandoned them for something else.  Do you ever find that once you start something, about part way through in your mind your on to the next project?  Sometimes I get so excited about the next idea, that I completely drop what I'm working on.  Although I try not to have too many things on the go, sometimes it's nice to go back and rediscover what was interesting about those W.I.P.'s.

I finally got around to finishing what started out as one potholder and dishcloth set, and added another potholder, to finish up some of my stash.

How many projects do you typically have on the go??  Are there any that simply never get done?  Do you frog your work often and restart on something completely new??  Or, are you a one project at a time worker.  Love to hear your comments...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring may have spurng, but so have my allergies!

Hello friends...As beautiful as spring is, when everything is in bloom, how many of you out there suffer from allergies?  It seems like such a cruel joke that Mother Nature has bestowed all her beauty upon us, but for many of us, it comes with incredible suffering. 

I don't know about you, but isn't it always those of us who love the fresh air, suffer the most?  You'd think I'd learn, but as soon as spring is in the air, the windows fly open, the patio door is open to the max. so I can 'air' the house out...and replace it with dreaded pollen!  I also love, love, love to hang my laundry out on the line.  Not only is it great for the environment, saves us on electrical bills, but nothing compares to the fresh scent of line dried clothes...especially sheets!  Big NO NO for allergies sufferers.
Here are some of my tips and tricks for getting through allergy season naturally:

  • Do not hang the laundry out doors
Although this is tough, fortunately I only suffer in the spring, so I don't miss out on an entire summer of line drying.

  • Nasal Irrigation (using a Netti Pot...see above picture)
This is an interesting one...for several years I had been aware of  'cleaning out your nose' with a saline solution, but was soooooooo creeped out and afraid of it.  When I finally worked up the courage to give it a try (after watching several videos on You Tube), I can honestly say, that it has made a huge difference for me.  At the worst times, I will do this twice a day.

  • Homeopathic medicine
This is something new I'm trying out this far it actually seems to be working.  I'm still a little sceptical, as the season is early, so the true verdict is still out on this one...I'll keep you posted.

  • Wash hair and clothing regularly - I'm not big on washing my hair everyday, so I'm not doing this one yet...I also have pretty short hair, so I think less pollen gets trapped in my locks.

  • Put a fresh pillow case on each night - this is easy and effective.

  • Close those windows and doors - not ready to give this up yet!  I try to do all of the above so that I can enjoy the fresh air.

Having said all that, when all else fails, my fall back is good old Claratin. Hopefully, I won't need it this year, but we'll see how it goes.

I'd love to hear how you allergy sufferers out there cope...any tips or tricks to share?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Around The Garden...Mid-April

Hello there...Spring has finally seemed to arrive here in Toronto, and there is evidence all around.  With the buds on the trees (contributing to my allergies), to some of my perennial herbs beginning to come back.  It's all very exciting...take a look:

Pretty little purple flowers popping up in my front yard...not sure what they are; I don't remember planting these bulbs last fall, but they do look gorgeous!

My hens and girls love these!

My chives...these are usually there all winter.

And, my oregano...smells so fragrant.

Do check back in the coming weeks, as I plan to keep posting new picks as more fun stuff pops up!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Om of Crochet

Hello everyone...I went to a great yoga workshop last weekend and after the class, some of us ladies got to talking about why we love yoga so much.  Of course, there are may physical benefits to practicing yoga (no matter what style), such as stretching and strengthing of the muscles.  It can do wonders for back pain, stiff neck and shoulders, bad knees...the list could go on and on.  Yoga is also great for stress, another widely agreed upon reason by the group for attending classes. 

Personally, since my very first yoga class, I have treasured how it brings focus to my mind.  I literally do not think about anything else, other than what I'm doing in the class in each moment that passes by.  Many people love yoga for it's meditative frees the monkey-mind, if not temporarily.  I find doing crochet also to be extremely meditative.  There is something about crochet that is so soothing for the mind.  Not to mention, that I totally get a kick out of creating something, anything.  I think we as humans crave creativity and being able to focus.  We have so many distractions these days, it's nice to sit quietly and concentrate on just one thing.

I'd love to hear why you enjoy doing crochet, or why you practice yoga, or whatever it is that helps you to slow things down a bit.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Flower Garland

Hello there...I hope you are having a fantastic day!  I made these cute little flowers some time ago, not knowing what I would use them for.  So, I thought I'd try my hand at a garland. There are so many beautiful garlands floating about out there in Flickr land.  I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.  Have a look...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Flickr Favs

Hello there are some of my Flickr Favs. of late.  I'm consistently blown away by all the beautiful crochet creations on Flickr.  There is no shortage of inspiration; hope you enjoy...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring Has Sprung, At Least Indoors...

Hello there, spring has finally sprung, at least it has indoors in my home. It's been a pretty cold and snowy month of March in my corner of Canada...(Toronto). Let's hope all the snow melts this weekend and we can look forward to some tulips popping up in the garden. For now, we'll have to enjoy these lovely tulips indoors. Hope your weekend brings lots of springy warmth and sunshine.