Monday, April 30, 2012

April showers bring kitchen delights!

Gotcha thinkin', don't I?! Well, we all know that rainwater produces great grass...but you also need the right amount of compost and sunshine to get the perfect flowers, fruits and veggies from your garden. Your windowsill, in the the perfect place to start in the spring! Well, mine is facing south, to a sea of alfalfa and dandelions at the's so very pretty to look at, I want it to last forever!

That's why I love to enhance what's on the outside, and bring it indoors...throughout my it a refreshing feeling, that stays with you....even after the spring is gone to full bloom of summer. That's where I love to surround myself with my yarn...especially in areas that I find I need help in staying focused on the chore at, 'washing dishes'! If I make it a fun and fanciful area of interest, I'm more attracted to that a butterfly to catch more bees with honey! Get my drift here?, what are you holdin' out for? Get crochetin' up some fun in the sun for yourself to enjoy everyday!
Here's a quick little pattern for you to do up in a jiffy...any left over cotton will do...along with a G or an H hook; use what ya own, or what ya like to use!

"Loops of Love Knots!"

Start with ch 32...then, make a dc in 2nd ch from last, and dc across; 30dc in first row made.
Then, ch 4 and turn, sk 1st st, sc in 2nd st, *ch3, sk st, sc*, repeat across to end of the row.
Ch 3, turn, 2 dc in loop made from previous row (this creates a "V" stitch in your loop), and 2 dc in each loop across,til the end of the row.

Repeat the first two rows til you get to 19 rows,  and then...

for the last row (20), ch3, turn, dc in first st, and dc in every st across thereafter, til the end of the row. Tie off, and weave in your ends.

Your newest washcloth, can now be used in the kitchen, bath or ANY cleaning (dusting) area you choose to use them...they wash up beautiful in your everyday regular laundry, and they last forever!
And...They make great gifts everyone ya know!
Make it longer, bigger or's your pattern to adapt to whatever job you need to do! Have fun with it...because 'any job worth doing, should be done with a joyful heart'! And, when it comes from your hand (made by you), your more likely to enjoy the work at hand (done by you)!
It's all in the act of living, that we come Alive in all that we do...and being self-disciplined to get it done! We need encouragement from every resource we can get it from...even a dishcloth, in my book! So, I look at everything that God gives me, as a tool to use for my good and the good of others...which, in this case...would be my health and my families well-being! Praise God for the gift of handmade and all things crochet, in this case!

It is then, that I am able to remember, when I am getting ready to avoid doing a chore I don't have great feelings for...that I evoke the word of God into my undesirable list of to-dos! I set my mind on exercising that awesome  "spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline" from 2 Timothy 1:7; that I will be able to squelch negative emotions from my tasks at hand, put aside my feelings for my dislike of doing the dishes (that are everywhere on my counter), and allow Jesus to be my kitchen sidekick (my integrating force, if you will) while enabling me then to begin washing with joy, instead of discord and distaste. Oh, and by the way, I do have a dishwasher...but I don't even like to load and unload it; I'd still rather wash by is way more gratifying in the end...a job well done, I think...when it's done, that is! I know, somedays, I need to laugh at my own brings me back to my senses...that God really does know His child best! Yep, the creative procrastinator...that's me!

Last day of April...showers!

Well, it's the last day of the month...this year is just flying by! Unbelievable! The grass is so green, the flowers are up, and the birds are nesting already! And, it's ONLY APRIL! That's unusual for this neck of the woods....we never get our garden in before the last weekend of May, and as late as the 2nd week of June! So...this is a different kind of year for us all the way around. Too, I'm trying to make some commitments to our household this year...saving time and money with the things I can, without sacrificing everything! I love the homesteading concept; it's very true to my heart! I want to do my part to help others understand God's plan for our everyday live according to His plan...not ours! It's hard to step out and trust Him with everything I have...including the bills! I've always tried to work hard to get ahead...but, it gets me no where when I don't include Him in what I'm trying to do.
So, today I am 'praying it forward'! And shedding a few tears...or in this case...'April showers', that will bring May flowers...praise God for that!

I recently attended a "DIVA" retreat at our church in Manitowoc...Faith Church. It was both eye opening and affirming to me; that I was indeed going in the right direction, and needed to relinquish all control...not just the part I thought was doable. God wants ALL of me...not just PART of me! The first thing that caught my attention, was when you were asked if you thought you were a DIVA. I wasn't sure how to answer that; until the end of that day. And I was happy to say, "YES"....I am a DIVA!
D = Daughter of Christ
I = Imitator of Christ
V = Victoriuos in Christ
A = Alive in Christ
Ephesians 3:15 Being His Daughter IS KNOWING who you are in Christ.
Ephesians 5:1-2 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are (I am) God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do GOOD WORKS, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2: 4-5 But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us ALIVE with Christeven when we were dead in transgressions- it is by GRACE that you HAVE BEEN SAVED.
In all of this, we were asked to write down some habits/distractions that pull you away from a full and abiding walk with Christ. And as well, we were asked to make a list of one-word evidences that you are ALIVE in Christ. If you feel compelled to answer any of these questions, I urge you to do so! You can't be afraid to step out, step up and allow your life to grow and flourish into a whole new creation, that is the YOU, you are meant to BE! Give it up to God...what ever it is that you're holding back from or onto...
and then, Go ahead, and repeat this prayer after me...."This is Your day, Lord. I am your workmanship. There are people today that will cross my path and there is something I will need to do to reflect your love. I am going to live for You. Direct my path. You are my righteousness." Now...say this every morning...and know, that you are LOVED! And you WILL MAKE IT, today!
Let it all hang out, are a DIVA! And don't you forget it!
Be not afraid...walk in love...and know that you were created for such a day as this! And BE the DIVA you were BORN TO and every day!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The New "Kitchen Cotton"!

WOW! I can't wait to give this a try...the newest cotton yarn on the market! Kitchen Cotton from Lion Brand Yarn...check out this little video they posted on their site for the skinny on this new cool retro colored yarn choices for all your up coming summer fun projects!

And....It's in 14 different colors to choose from! Get in there, and like em' on facebook for even more monthly savings! Free Patterns, too...I'm there!

Inspiration Hour is in the wash...literally!

Have you ever been there? You know, when you're in the middle of something, and the lightbulb goes off?! It usually happens to me when I'm driving down the road or I'm in the! Trust me, when I tell you how hard it is to get to a pen and paper when you're all lathered up! And so the story guessed it...SOAP!

Remember years ago, when you were a kid (now, that is, if you're as old as me!) and if you're not...well, GOOGLE IT! I know you'll find one of these in some vintage shop somewhere in the world..."Soap on a Rope"! It used to be really funny at Christmas time...everyone got one as a gift! Then, over time...liquid soap emerged and everyone got washed up with their scrubby somethin' or other. That was fantastic, until I had children! The first couple of years was okay...I washed them; now, they wash themselves...with about 100 ounces of soap (that's like the whole container in one shower!), if you get my meaning here! It's not really funny...but, then...we can laugh about it after the fact...until, THE NEXT TIME!

So, then you have to factor in the costs of all this soap X 4 people living in our house using it every day! It is getting ridulous...just about as bad as the toothpaste that gets spit in the sink before anyone actually brushes their teeth with it! Some days, as a mom...I feel doomed to product injustice here!

This past Christmas, my sister sent us some specialty made soaps! I was thrilled, but then...the trick to make them last was heavy on my mind...because a bar of soap in my childrens' hands becomes a pools delight, and quickly melts away in a tub of trucks, barbies and whatever else they drag in there with them!

The search was on...what could I make to preserve the soap, and still get the 'dirty' job done? Hence, the newest design in 'Soap Coats' was born!
I started with a little bit of Lily's Sugar n' Cream 100% USA Grown Cotton ("Over the Rainbow), a 'G' hook and a dream....
then, a half our later...
the "Shelley's Son-Washed Soap Coat" came to BE!
I couldn't have made it better if I had tried...I was elated! I shared it with my sister, who gifted the soap to us in the beginning. Now, this is where the story gets even better....she says, 'you need to share this pattern with me!'...which, I am very happy to do! So, for all of you...who are interested in saving a little soap and money in your growing household....I posted the pattern for you to try as well! If you do give it a whirl, please post for us all to see...and help keep the inspiration going! Anyone wishing to use this pattern, please be kind, and give me the credit...and don't sell it online.

And, if you're interested in finding out more about Shelley's awesome Organic Handmade Soaps, please feel free to contact her at: Shelley's Son-Washed Soaps;
And I love that she dedicates her bars to our Lord and Savior, in all that she makes for your usage...she shares: Psalm 51:76 "Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."

These 'Soap Coats' can be purchase at my etsy site as well (Coming SOON)! Ask how you can order 'more for less'! They will also hold a traditional bar of Dove soap, as well.


Son-Washed Soap Coat Pattern: 

Begin, by using your 'G' hook to ch 10, then sc back 9sts, and add 1 sc in the same st, then keep turning to cross other side of ch just made, while continuing to sc 9 more sts, adding 1 additional sc in this last st made. =  you will have 20sts in this 1st round made.
(*You will need to use a stitch marker to indicate where your rnds start and stop...because these are continuous rounds!)

Now, for RND 2: sc in next 8 sts, inc 2sc in next 2 sts, then sc in next 8 sts, and inc 2sc in next 2 sts to end of rnd = you will now have 24 sts at the end of this 2nd rnd.

Next, for RND 3: sc in next 9 sts, inc 2sc in next 3sts, then sc in the next 9 sts, and inc 2sc in next 3 sts to end of rnd = you will now have 30 sts at the end of this 3rd rnd.

Starting in RND 4 and continuing around to RND 18, you will continue to sc around, 30sts ea rnd, remembering to keep moving your stitch marker up each round you make.

RND 19: ch 3, sc in next st, and then sc around to st 15; ch 12 (begin to create the puff st in the last ch made *dc 5 times in same st, dropping last st, go back to beginning dc made, and pull yarn through from first st to last st, then sc once (puff st. made); then, sc 11 times back down the same ch made and sc in original st started at, then sc the next 14 sts around, sl st in 15th st, and sc 3 times into the first ch 3 made; sl st in next 2 st and tie off.

Now, take your yarn needle, and weave in your ends; Insert your soap into it's new 'coat' and get washin'! 
**Tip: The puff st. will act as your button through the lil' hole you made on the other side...this all holds in your soap, so it doesn't slide on out! If you find that it's not big enough use 6dc to make your completed puff, instead of 5dc.)
And if you're still confused...hopefully your not, lol! Please feel free to email me for further instruction...  Thanks!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Devine Inspiration is Creativity!

I am so excited to share in God's word with you all today! Furthermore, I am encouraged by all the different interpretations of His word as well!
Take Proverbs 12:14 for instance..."From the fruit of his words a man shall be satisfied with good, and the work of a man's hands shall come back to him [as a harvest]."
This is probably my favorite version...because it's exactly how I feel when I'm sitting behind a skein of yarn, with my hook in hand! It's the greatest feeling, when I can put a face to my efforts before me...knowing that God's love is ultimately going through these stitches to touch the recipient of the final project at hand here.

I think anyone can sit around having a bad day, but when we choose to make our day more productive and creative...we are choosing to have a 'good day'! We can raise up above pain and debilitating thoughts, to meet God in the Garden...rising up from our afflictions, to the very expectations He has for us to be inline with His Word. Why wouldn't you want to speak it into everything you do...and as well, wrap yourself up in a beautiful shawl, made just for you?!

God loves us into completion, just like the stitches in that project you hold before you. We start out with a pattern, the right yarn and hook...then, we find time to begin stitching it together until it's all done. God does exactly the same thing...from birth we were knitted and formed together in His image...with just the right kind of love that makes us, us...and everyday He waits to see how we'll turn out.

Have you ever gotten overwhelmed with your pattern, and just given up...only to put it aside for another day? Me too! Sometimes years will go by, and I'll find it, only to pick it back up where I've left off...but, now...I'm wiser. I've learned a little, from listening more, watching more, allowing myself to be more patient...and guess what? God never left us in all that time either...He's still there, waiting for us to pick back up where we left off with Him to! He loves to fact, He's the Master of Patience! He never gets tired of waiting for us to come bak to Him...infact, He glorifies in our return! Have you ever been so excited to finish a project, that you couldn't wait to share it with someone....everyone?! Well, that's God, times a zillion...when we only whisper His name! It makes me giddy, just to think of it! Like a little girl, who's looking to her Father for approval at every turn I make. What a good feeling it BE LOVED BY HIM! Into....creative COMPLETION!
That awesome feeling then, just catipults me forward with every project I make; Every color I choose; Every person I choose to make a homemade gift for! Why would we choose any other way to say "I Love You, too"!, then when we gift another from the heart?! There is no creative medium that God did not create...HE IS...The CREATOR! And, WE ARE the most important creation He ever made....why wouldn't we honor and cherish each other in just that special way...from our heart, through our God, who blesses it all in return.

My daughter and son love to make homemade cards for everyone, and I save everyone they ever made! From birthdays, to Mother's day...and every special day in between, there's always room for one more gift from a creative spirit...He made us to do just that! Give from the heart...HOMEMADE is a DEVINE, that no words but God's Word can deliver! 
Thanks be to God for ART, because it is ALIVE through our Lord and Savior...the one that makes it all possible! Every color tells a story, and the rainbow is our promise of continuation in LIFE & could you ever look at color any other way...except that of celebration and inspiration? When I see a vast array of colorful yarn...I see people I want to bless with a hat, or a scarf...something to warm them and keep them safe from evil that threatens to plague them in the icky weather months. So, then...with hooks in every bag I own, I am armed with the Word of go forth and witness to another, about how He inspires me to think of their needs first! Knowing then, that [my harvest] awaits me, in the days to come!

Praise the Lord, how I a good project! And that's again, why I am here now, to encourage you to do the same...
Let's all "Get Hooked" on Crochet & Praise for God's gift of "home-made", that we might be able to continue spreading His beautiful, stitch at a time!