Doily Snowflakes

ScannedImageOne of the saddest things is walking into a thrift store and finding a crochet item. Some feel it is a great find, but I have to say, it leaves me a little disheartened to see all this hard, handmade work, mixed in with second clothes, puzzles that may be missing pieces, and worn toys. So how about a second life for some items.

Doilies are items that I do not usually make for myself. I long discovered that the length of time it takes to make a doily is about the same it takes for me to make an afghan, and I feel like I can see greater process in working an afghan. So when I see doilies I make sure and give them a new purpose.

Snowflake Doilies

Just above my office bulletin board, right beside my banner of encouragement, are 2 “snowflake dollies”.

Now I do not actually have them placed on tables or adorning my dining area, but I get a little creative. One of my favorites is Snowflakes.

I have found that doilies make a great decoration for winter, I actually keep a few up in my office area year round. It is a simple enough process.

A mixture of white glue and water usually does the job of stiffening a doily. Typically you create a mixture of equal parts white glue and water, however if you want only a little stiffness (basically just making things a bit firmer) add more water, and if you want things even more firm decrease the water. Now dip the doily in the solution ensuring that it is completely covered in the mixture. Remove any solution excess so that there is no liquid puddling. Place the doily on either a piece of wax paper, aluminum foil, or other non-stick surface, and block the doily. Make sure that it is placed in the manner you wish for its final appearance and let dry.

Now simply tack you snowflake up in the window or wall, a mirror or frame. I find this as a great way to highlight the beautiful art and craftsmanship that has gone into its creation without relegating these pieces of art to a drawer.

Coiled Crochet! Keeping it Neat

ScannedImageI am beginning to see crochet possibilities everywhere in my home. It seems to be a “go to” solution for even the simplest of inconveniences.


Coiled my charger with crochet, saving space and now I have a pad for my phone to rest on.

The other day I was cleaning and getting discouraged by all the cords for various electronics that look like tangles nests for spiders around my house. They do tend to group together, I mean if it is with entertainment area, there are several cords almost all grouped in the same area, creating what looks to me like an unruly pile. I know that there are contraptions I can purchase that are supposed to keep these neat and orderly, but I feel like crochet and fulfill my need and give me an added bonus.

I began with my cell phone charger. The cord is longer then I need it to be, in the area that I charge at, so I began to coil.

I started by crocheting over the cord, then creating a loop and still crocheting over the cord I began working in the beginning stitches, essentially I am crocheting in the round, in a spiral method, while working over the cord. I left the charging end free, and continued until the cord was a more desirable length. The added bonus to this is that now I have a little resting pad for my phone as it charges!

I can easily see this working within many areas of my home. That table lamp, the computer, the printer, the possibilities are endless, and then each get can rest on a pad and give a little extra safe guard to my furniture getting scuffed.

It is easy enough to get more length from the cord when needed, I simply unravel the crochet and the cord is in perfect shape. So now I hope I am on to a more neat and orderly dwelling.

Crochet Knees

ScannedImageIf you have read my blog for a while you may have realized that I am a little, let’s see, what’s the word…ah yes, thrifty. So in the spirit of thirstiness, I have been attempting to get some more life out of blue jeans my children run wild in.


One knee mended, one more to go. Crochet patches tend to have more stretch

I am not sure if something has changed in the manufacturing over time, but the knees on their pants tend to split open in a relatively short period of time. Maybe it is the tree climbing, the running, or the playing in dirt that my kids still do within our rural lifestyle, but it seems that they are hard on their clothes. So of course that means that we have “good” clothes and “play” clothes. However when the knees get bad enough that they can stick a leg threw, I find a way to mend them to get a little more time out of them.

Sure I could cut them and make them shorts, but trust me they have an abundance of those. I have used fabric patches, but they do not tend to last as long as I would like, tearing out and just becoming flaps over the open knees. So I have taken to making my own, with crochet.

I crochet a few motifs, different shapes like flowers, and different colors. My kids enjoy coming up with ideas for me to crochet into patches, and the stitches seem to allow the fabric to stretch more and thus do not wear out as quickly as the fabric patches. I then pin them in place and reluctantly sew. I say reluctantly as sewing is not my number one favorite skill, but at least this way I get to enjoy some crochet in the chore.

I keep telling them that it is a new fashion statement, who knows maybe it will be. I just really hope that they are not tearing out the knees so that they can keep up with this “new” fashion.

Crazy Afghans

ScannedImageMy 9 year old daughter has taken up sewing, and recently I showed her how to make a crazy quilt by simply putting scrap fabrics together and sewing them upon each other and stitching them together. This gave me an idea, could you create a crazy afghan?

So I have begun grabbing swatches from my stack. I have quite a pile of swatches, as essentially my work as a designer requires me to understand what the yarn will do, and create new ideas with it, so I make a lot of different sized crochet fabric pieces. They are not all square, but most at least have a couple of straight edges. I just started to single crochet the pieces together, and have found that it is quite therapeutic, and relaxing. I am not worried about creating something perfectly square, I can always add stitches to uneven areas to make it more usable, and adding an edging on anything makes it looks like you intended to it.


Random swatches coming together

I don’t know where this afghan will end up. Maybe I will add it to my automobile “emergency kit”, this is a “kit” that I have modified over the years and it is not for your typical emergencies, it is for those last minute opportunities. Having a throw in the car makes it easy to stay warm when someone else in the vehicle likes the air conditioning colder then I prefer. It is a pillow for long road trips, as well as being perfect for a spur of the moment picnic. It also has practical use, living in a region that can get a sudden mountain snow storm, you may be stuck in your car at some point was you await safer driving conditions.

I have been finding this project more enjoyable then I thought I would and may have to create a crazy handbag in the same fashion…oh, the ideas….

Crochet & Bead, Light Enhancement

ScannedImageA few years back my husband put together some bent iron and a couple of chains creating a “chandelier” of sorts. I was grateful for his effort, but needed to add some extra embellishments. I thought as the season changes to one in which we begin enjoying the great outdoors later in the hours of the day, that I would share how I took a couple of ideas and now enjoy the outdoors after the sunset.


A crochet chain of bead adorns my extra porch light.

Crochet helped me once again in repurposing my new make shift light source. After painting the metal white, I felt that it needed something more. I had been playing with beads and jewelry wire, creating choker necklaces, and as it happened it became an inspiration. I strung several colors of beads on a long spool of wire and then simply began to create a crochet chain. I stretched the stitch after it was made, causing the wire to collapse more around the bead, this chain now adorns the metal by draping between the cross sections, and I created an additional chain of beads to weave through the chain that it is suspended from. It added just enough color and whimsy. So complete the project I added a few votive candles and holders, and now I have a beautiful art piece that graces the seating area of my back porch. It is nice to spend a quite spring evening outside by this soft light that has just a little something extra, brought together with crochet.

I have often considered creating more of these beaded chains, for adornment in other places, maybe I will have to create one to drape from my daughter bedroom window. Various beads can offer different effects and looks, but I think I like the color of these glass beads that allow the light through they almost have a glow about them.