Wednesday, January 21, 2015

FEEE-VAAAHH!! - Spring Fever! Cabin Fever! Gold Fever!

Eureka Gold Panning
Fine gold in black sands - photo by Robert Way 

Eureka Gold Panning
That's me!
I   GOT   FEEE-VAHH!    <ROFL> Okay, so, I get it.. it's mid-January.. it's cold outside. Spring is still officially two months away. Spending too much time indoors can lead to a myriad of bad habits, including (but not limited to):

  1. Watching too much TV - which leads to #2
  2. Sitting and snacking - which can lead to #3
  3. Oversleeping (if your days are flexible as mine are)
  4. Spending too much time on social media sites
  5. Watching infomercials on late night TV and social media
  6. Overeating... 
  7. Depriving self of sunshine (when available... because, baby it's cold outside!)
  8. Snacking... oh, I said that already!
Well, you can probably think of at least a few more... but what I wanted to tell you is.. with all that TV and social media I was watching too much of... I stumbled on some gold panning videos! Now I got the GOLD FEVER again! LOL - FOR REAL !!!
Classifier gold panning by Heidi Edwards
Tying hardware cloth to classifier to reduce
pebbles in working bucket
 I am psyched up and ready to jump in the creek! I got a pair of waders for Christmas! They're pink! With neoprene booties and they come up over my chest, WITH a bib pocket! (I know, right?!) and I have put hardware cloth over my classifier to double it's efficiency... AND I even have new knee protectors for those slate beds I can't get comfortable on! I AM READY! Who's with me?! ... what? oh, the water is too cold for you? It makes your hands hurt? Get some gloves with liners! Keep a hand warmer pack in your carry sack so you can warm them up between buckets. 
Mini-sluice photo by Heidi Edwards
My prezzie from-me-to-me
J-C AmY sluice box 

See, I figure.. all I gotta do is.... classify some stream sediment into a bucket. I can rent (or borrow?) a simple sluice box from a prospecting friend. Run the bucket, clean up, and bring the cons (concentrated material) home for later (a warmer afternoon, or the mini-sluice at the kitchen sink... whichever!) That nifty mini-sluice here is a present I bought for myself last fall. You can find this J-C AmY sluice box  and more models at  

I promise to show you pictures ... but in the meanwhile, it's dark outside... so, I'll have to get back to crocheting until sunrise... ooooh! this is going to be a good week! I just know it! 
I hope my posts make you smile! 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fall is in the air.. AGAIN!! Wow how time does fly!

My Cheap Hobbies
October 6, 2014

Summer ended rather suddenly here in the South. Athens, Georgia, a bit southwest of here, set a record low temperature two nights ago. I had to win a coin toss with my dad last night to block him from turning the heat on (I told him to add a blanket to his bed). I think this "Global Warming" trend is going to freeze us all! LOL

On the upside, fall is back-to-school time and shoppers start thinking about the holidays ahead. Halloween is only a few weeks away, and the stores are loaded with costumes, candies and every facial expression imaginable on artificial pumpkins! So, what's a crafter to do? Make my own Halloween accessories, of course! There are many free patterns available for everything with skulls on them - slippers, gloves, mittens, hats, scarves, shawls (some really pretty ones!), table runners, doilies, and even cup cozies! Skulls not your thing? Mine either, but pumpkins are nice.. hats, scarves.. well, you get the gist!

Baby Pumpkin Hat
in My Little Crochet Shop
Baby Pumpkin Hat
in My Little Crochet Shop
Here is my first Baby Pumpkin Hat - I reworked a pattern I found so the ribs were more straight than the original design (the pumpkins in my garden don't swirl, so I wanted to downplay that feature).  < Baby Pumpkin Hat >

The tendril is simply a chain of 18, with 3 single crochets in each chain to create the swirl. I slipped the last 3 chains so it is straight near the stem. The leaf and stem are tied on (I sewed the leaf in 3 places so it won't flop around).
The leaf pattern I found here: Hawthorn + Rosehip: Red Currant Afghan Square Pattern

Baby Santa Hat
in My Little Crochet Shop 
With Christmas right around the corner,  I want to get a head start this season... I have already started on Baby Santa Hats! These were a hit in My Little Crochet Shop last year, and I was selling them as fast as I could make them!   "head start" : hats.. LOL ...sorry, I couldn't resist!

With a little yarn and a free pattern, you can create something special for those on your holiday gift-shopping list without emptying your piggy bank! Here are some sites I use to find free patterns, inspiration, and how-to-crochet:

 I would love to see what you are creating! Feel free to share below (please keep it clean... my young nieces like to read my page! Thanks!)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Princess Socks RULE!

Okay, these aren't Princess Socks.. but summertime's calling me!

Ah, the joys of summer! Around here, the weather is still warm and pleasant.. even today, the 3rd of June! If global warming means milder summers, I'm in! (it also means less snow in winter... I'M IN!!) Grab your flip-flops and head for the shore! And when you need something a little more "appropriate" for dinner attire, you can fancy your little girls' feet in PRINCESS SOCKS!! um... what? I didn't show you? Here are the newest ones I made this week:
Princess Socks in My Little Crochet Shop

This lovely pair with orange and blue is sure to be a fast favorite (if your favorite team's colors are blue and orange!) ..
Princess Socks in My Little Crochet Shop
OR if you are more of a lucky-clover ...

I didn't leave out the little sisters of the bunch! I made these precious pastels for little feet:
Princess Socks in My Little Crochet Shop
My nieces just LOVE these unique socks!

I recently started back to "Saturdays in Saxapahaw" at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw, NC. A local farmers' market and craft market with live music, food, "homemade waterslide", lots of fun! Here's their website for more info:

Maybe I'll see you there?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

One Ball Crochet! Who Knew!

New items in My Little Crochet Shop on

Wow! I don't know how I didn't think of this before! Glad I realized it in time for gift-making frenzy late in the year! One ball crochet projects! It is amazing! No color-lot frustration, no "oh, I need one more ball of yarn for that" ... just "here you go!" I was the star of Christmas (again!) <sly grin>

Actually, my sister found a one-ball scarf pattern on the RedHeart Boutique yarn "Sashay" and decided to try it. If it was not too much trouble, she would make several for gifts. It must have been fairly simple, as she completed two within a week even with painting and packing in preparations to move! So, when I returned home, I decided to give it a go. Wow! Ok, this is technically a knitting project, but it is SOOOO simple! And, the resulting scarf is FAB-YOU-LUSH! One tip for you: different styles of "Sashay" have different ball lengths, so the scarves are different lengths if you finish to the end of the ball. For example: "Sashay sequins" (very fancy! has  sparkly sequins along the decorated edge) is only 20 yds per 100g, but the original Sashay (no special name) "Sashay metallic" are 30 yds per 100g!
 The "sequins" makes a scarf approximately 5 ft long (when I make it... depending on your stitch spacing, your scarf may be different). My finished teal scarf is shown above. The ivory scarf at left is 6 ft long from "Sashay Sparkle" (35 yds per 100g). 

If I had been paying attention to this, I could have stopped when I was at the length of the other scarves...but, I kept on to the end of the ball...

So... another is fingerless mittens (fingerless gloves)! I messed around with some previously used patterns. I didn't particularly like how the mittens fit. They were too short on my wrist, too open at the fingers (too much cold air gets in and they are floppy at the pinky), and the thumbs are not well insulated. Wow! That is a list of complaints! I had to devise my own pattern to make snug mittens that are long enough for tall people (with longer bones) and protects the thumb. Ta-Dah! I bring you... my one ball fingerless mittens!
New fingerless gloves
Well... usually one ball.. I honestly don't know what happens! I am using LionBrand HometownUSA yarn in solid colors (81 yds per 5 oz - multicolor are 64 yds per 4oz, so I know to use 2 balls there)... and I use the same J/10-hook (6.00mm).. and the same pattern, carefully counting stitches and rows.. and sometimes, I have a little yarn left over (less than 3 yds) and sometimes I am a couple yards short! I don't think changes in yarn tension can account for this much difference. I must be doing something that adds yarn.. maybe I slip to join rounds where I previously crocheted in the round? One mitten is 18 rows, so that doesn't quite add up to a few yards? I just don't know.
Not to worry, remember those extra yards from some mittens? I use them to put a stripe in the short ones. Now, that is smart! And the multicolor yarn that I need 2 balls give back enough to make cuffs for a new pair. All is well that ends well! - Happy New Year! May you enjoy good health, fabulous wealth, and great friends!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Did you look for comets last night?

Image courtesy of

I could simply copy and paste my whole blog entry from "my other blog" : 4000 Days (, but I do not want to rob you of the opportunity of discovering other posts you might enjoy!

Here is my post from yesterday (11 November 2013) about comet hunting and backyard astronomy: There are four comets visible with binoculars in the early morning just before dawn for the next several days: Comet Lovejoy (C2013/R1), comet LINEAR X1, comet ISON, comet 2p/Encke.

I am sad to report to you that I did not wake before daybreak this morning, and I did not check my directions... but, "they look good on paper..." =)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Summer Recap

Where to start? This summer has gone by so quickly! Time really does fly when you are having fun! Here are some of the cheap hobbies I took advantage of this summer. I am ready for cooler days and less humid nights! 

My Charity Pals are gaining some friends in My Little Crochet Shop! I have the yarn and stuffing to make A LOT more, I just need to get busy!

I took my crochet crafts to the Saturdays at Saxapahaw outdoor festival several of the Saturdays. If afternoon thunderstorms popped up, I opted to stay home.. even if the storm may not reach the festival, I wasn't taking any chances!
My spread at the local craft fair

Chalk art

Chalk art was a staple activity when babysitting. "Chalk is cheap," and creativity is limitless! We even tried to chalk our hair! (pastel chalks work better... they are brighter!)

Swatting tennis balls at the park
is fun exercise!

Tennis anyone? While I have never played the sport, and have no clue how to keep score, it is exciting to connect with the ball and watch my opponent go scrambling after it! Not to worry, I chased my fair share of runaway balls!

Free exhibit at the local Arts Council!
The Art of the Brick is a free exhibit of Lego sculptures by Nathan Sawaya. Graham Arts Council included an activity tent where youngsters can play and discover new ways to assemble cool inventions.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New items in Shop

Amigurumi Pal - each one unique-ish

I have started making Amigurumi Pals for My Little Crochet Shop. My idea is to donate proceeds from Pal sales to my local food pantry. After learning how many children rely on free school lunches for their ONE MEAL A DAY, I want to do something to help. A local church has started a multi-stream food drive and fundraising campaign to raise awareness of hunger in our communities and offer meals to needy families, especially those with children.

My nephew has started making Para-cord bracelets and key-fobs to earn money for his college fund. He just turned 16, so the college fund may be preempted by a 'car fund.' Either way, he is working generate income for himself while learning the ropes of time management and a good work ethic. During the warm months, he also mows grass for a few neighbors.

I've started taking my wares out to a local craft fair/farmers' market on Saturdays. My cousin makes wire-wrapped jewelry, and set me up with him at the market. I am making a lot of contacts.

That's the news. Thanks for checking in! =)