I am a 30-something mom of three and wife of more than 11 years. I work nights doing data entry from home and attend college part time to get a degree in special education. I stay home during the day with my youngest son and my older son and daughter are twins in 1st grade. Please use a direct link if you want to include my items on your site. You may do what you want with the items you make from my free stuff with the exception of selling them on Etsy. I have an Etsy shop and don't want to compete with my own designs. I welcome comments and questions. Find me on Facebook for your chance to win Freebies!

The 12 Steps of Yarn Addiction

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I am a member of OA so am in no way making fun of 12 Step Programs, they really do work when you work them but I am feeling the pull of yarn today so had to post this.

The Yarn Addict

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A friend send me this PSA and I feel obligated to share it:

Public Service Announcement:

Yarn Pheromones

A recent study has indicated that yarns give off certain pheromones that hypnotize susceptible men and women causing them to purchase ungodly amounts of yarn. When stored in large quantities in enclosed spaces, the pheromones in the yarn causes memory loss and induce the gathering syndrome, similar to the one squirrels have before the onset of winter. 

Sound tests have also revealed that these yarns emit a very high-pitched sound heard only by a select few, known as stitchers. When played backward, the sounds are heard as chants...'Buy me! Knit me! Crochet me!' Furthermore, pheromones seem to cause a pathological need to secret the yarn purchases away when one takes them home and blend them into the existing stash. When asked by a significant other if the yarn is new, the reply is, "oh, I've had it for a while!"

In order to overcome the so-called feeding frenzy effect that these yarns cause, one must wear a face mask when entering a storage facility or craft store, and use ear plugs to avoid being pulled into the hypnotic grip. It is also beneficial to enter these facilities without the presence of cash or credit cards.

Sadly, the addictive qualities of this compulsive behavior are cumulative, and are ameliorated only by the purchase of more and more and more yarn.
No cure is known at this time.

As a person who has recently "reduced" my yarn stash to one large Rubbermaid (tm) Bin and a two drawer end table I could totally relate to this email.  Oh, I forgot the shopping bag full of yarn stashed in the corner and the project in my school bag.  I do have two skeins sitting in the back of my car "for emergencies" as well.  Then there is the other large tub of finished projects that I need to get listed on Etsy.  Uh.....yes, I have a problem.

I am happy to say that I have recently passed my yarn addiction on to my husband who has taught himself to knit using videos on YouTube.   He is about halfway through a "Dr. Who" Scarf and is working on another project for a friend.  He keeps saying things like "damn you" to me as we walk past the yarn departments at Wal-Mart and Michael's.   (insert evil laugh)

Tales of a potty training momma

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I have three kiddos.  They are as different in personality from each other as is possible.  My boy girl twins are a couple of months beyond their 6th birthday.  Potty training for them couldn't have been more different.  At 28 months my daughter decided she wanted to use the potty.  She spent most of that summer running around half naked and by fall she was wearing a pullup to bed and daytime trained 100%.  Her twin brother didn't even consider using a toilet until he was almost 4 and it took lots of bribes, incentives and coercion to make it happen at all.  After a few months he was perfectly willing to pee on the potty but wouldn't have anything to do with using it to poop.  He was almost five before that happened regularly.  To be fair he had some food sensitivities and we battled with chronic constipation but mostly it was just his personality.

I thought it was mostly a boy/girl difference so when our youngest began creeping up on 2 years old I didn't think much about potty training.  I figured it would be a while before he was at all interested but I was determined not to let any window of opportunity pass me by like I did with his big brother.

Well, one evening about 6 weeks ago the twins were playing in the tub together and Chance wanted to get in too.  The minute his toe touched the water he started tinkling.  I told him to stop and he did....much to my amazement.  I stood him in front of the toilet standing on my feet so he was tall enough and he peed in the potty.  The next day we went out and bought underwear.   I was determined to do this without disposable training pants as I truly felt that they aided and abetted Christian's desire to NEVER potty train.  We tried all in one training pants, we tried underpants with plastic liners over the top, nothing kept him from leaking when he peed.  This child drinks a ton and there just wasn't enough absorbency.    I made a decision to do bottomless potty training even though it was winter and our hard floors tend to be cold, especially in the mornings.  I figured he communicated well enough to let me know if he was too cold.  We decided that he would be naked or in underpants at home and in disposable training pants when we left the house for the first couple of weeks.  It worked out great.   He then moved to underwear when we left the house.  Six weeks later he is almost completely accident free only wearing training pants when he is sleeping.  I figure with as many fluids as this little man drinks it will be a while before he is consistently dry, even at naptime.  Sleep time in not something I am worried about.  I figure we went from using about 160 diapers a month to using 30-40 pairs of training pants.  Big time savings.  Often he wakes up dry from nap and can wear the same ones to bed at night.

We bought a very basic potty.  It is a little frog.  It doesn't have any gadgets, it doesn't make noises, it doesn't light up.  The best part of the potty is he sits on it and gets down to business instead of playing with gadgets.  He will pee and poop on the potty if he is out of the house or if he is playing upstairs.  He doesn't like standing on a footstool because it doesn't feel secure to him and his is only an inch or two short for all but handicap toilets so he stands on my feet or daddy's feet.  If we hold his hands he will use a regular toilet seat to poop as well.  It is an amazing sense of freedom.

The point of this post is to share the interesting things you are willing to do when your toddler is successfully potty training.   About two weeks into this quest Chance and I left early to get the big kids from school.  We went for a walk.  While I was pushing the stroller the the cemetery that neighbors the school (no joke) Chance looked at me and with urgency in his voice said "Mommy go pee!"   At this point we were about 3 blocks from home, only a block from school but you have to show ID and sign in when walking in their door and he wasn't good at holding yet.  I looked around in a bit of a panic, coming to the realization that if I let him pee himself then we would most likely have a setback in addition to the need to clean the stroller.  I spotted the old oak tree in the northwest corner of the cemetery.  No one was around, plots were spaced a distance away and I, with no hesitation at all, pulled my little man out of the stroller stood him on my feet and told him to pee on the tree.   Much to my amazement he did exactly that.   I knew we were on the road to success.

So today, we spent the day on the great Mickey and Minnie Mouse quest.  My parents took us to Walt Disney World in November and every since Chance has been Mickey obsessed.  Just this week he decided that Mickey and Minnie are indeed a pair and has been asking for a "Mimmie".   My mom took pity on him this morning and decided that he needed a Minnie Mouse.   We left the house and headed to Wal-mart first not a Mickey and Minnie in the place.  Off to Target we go to be disappointed yet again.  Babies 'r Us failed us as well.  We took a break and at lunch at Mimi's cafe  (we were on a Mimmie quest after all) and then headed to Toys 'r Us because BRU assured us that TRU carried the plush dolls.  However, when we arrived there were none to be found.  

Geographically we were now across the street from THE MALL (evil music plays in the background).  At this point Chance was just wiped from being out and about and it was quickly approaching nap time so my mom stayed in the car with him and I ran inside to the Disney Store.  Finally!  PAYDIRT!   Ten minutes later I trotted out to the car triumphant with nine inch Mickey and Minnie in hand.   Fifteen minutes after we got on the road to home (a thirty minute drive) he gave it up and crashed.  When we arrived at Grandy and Poppy's house I carefully unbuckled his carseat, slid his limbs free and lifted him out of the car.  I took one step toward the house, the wind kicked up and Chance woke up crying.  This is not a child who wakes up happy.  He looked at me and said "go home". So we headed to my car, when he said "go pee", I turned to take him in the house and he cried "go home".  My parents live out in the country so I looked at the boy and and asked him "do you want to pee here?"  His reply was a resounding "yes".   We dropped his drawers and he proceeded to pee on the tire of my car!    There are moments in parenting when you just don't push the buttons of a tired two-year-old.  

So, for today those are our Adventures in Potty Training.   I am sure that I will have more interesting tales before the spring and summer are out.

And for good measure here is daddy's favorite potty training moment.  He was so proud to see his youngest "reading" on the throne.

Of course the marker tattoos are home done thanks to the 6-year-old twins 


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When entering the world of digital scrapbooking you just can't be aware of all the goodies that are out there.  There are so many artists and designers who offer freebies on their blogs.  I am working on my very first scrapbooking kit right now.  Could you possibly imagine that it might be crochet themed?  LOL.   I am having a lot of fun getting backgrounds together using photographs.   I am also trying to learn how to use the tools in my design program.

As the wife of a graphic designer I didn't want to settle for a ready made scrapbooking program.  Instead we opted to get Photoshop Elements 8  (the newest version available at the time).  It was a fantastic investment.  Although my husband laments regularly that we don't have a full Photoshop version for his Mac he agrees that Elements is perfect for my needs.

I have been crazy busy with hat orders the past couple of weeks.  Not a complaint but an explanation for my absence on my blogs.  I should have a large order finished tonight and will get to the next one tomorrow.

While I am learning some of my favorite sites are:

Scrap Girls
Shabby Princess
Craft Crave (list of freebies)

There are so many others that I have run across in the past year or so.  I will try to share when I come across them.

Just a couple of my more recent pages.  Nothing too elaborate yet, like I said I am still learning.

Branching Out

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Just wanting to warn you all that things are getting ready to change...for the better I hope.  I will continue to keep my weight loss blog separate but am going to start writing more about my other creative outlets and life in general.  In addition to crochet I spend a lot of time doing digital scrapbooking.  I am far from a pro at this and am just really beginning to learn the good parts of using Photo Shop Elements to design my pages but can't wait to share what I do know.  I also hope to share some free designs as well.

For today my adventure was cutting my own hair.   What was I thinking you say?  My reasoning was this, first we are completely broke so shelling out $20 or more for a hair cut simply wasn't an option.  Second, every time I let a beautician touch my hair they manage to do the exact opposite of what I tell them I want.  Third, my super long very thick hair has begun giving me headaches and after a while even dinks at my neck and shoulders.

So, my mom has been telling me for years about layering your own hair by putting it into a ponytail and cutting the ponytail off.  Well, that wasn't enough information for me to go on when considering such a drastic move so I began to research.

I found this blog Pony Tail Hair Cut and followed her easy instructions.  I couldn't be more pleased.  I didn't lose any length off of my hair (which my two year old loves to play with) but I got lots and lots of weight off of it.  I cut a ponytail that was just a tiny bit over 11 inches off of my head.  So here are my before pics, I forgot to take some just before.  The one in the hat is from last week.  My hair was basically all one length with a tiny bit of tapering in the front.  The ones with the baby are from this afternoon.  When he gets up from nap he sits with me and plays with my hair for a while. 

Here are the after pictures.  I was very happy with the results.  Keep in mind that these are freshly showered and blown dry pics.  I haven't done a bit of styling yet.  Don't forget the face is make-up free and I was taking a picture of myself which explains the odd angle...I have NO explanation for the odd expression though.

In protest

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Of sleeveless Easter Dresses?  This year should be better than most since Easter falls a little later than usual but those darn egg hunts are always so early in the morning.  My poor daughter invariably freezes her little arms off or we are desperately running around trying to find her a jacket and she ends up in something that just doesn't show off her Easter prettiness to advantage.   This year I decided (finally) to rectify the situation.

The pattern to the pink shrug is available on Etsy.

V-Stitch Shrug

V-Stitch =   (dc, ch1, dc ) in same chain or space

Pattern can be adjusted to any size by adding multiples doing multiples of 3 + 5.

Any weight of yarn can be used but I prefer a light worsted weight yarn (4) like Caron Simply Soft.  This shrug is so comfy and versatile.   Super easy pattern to follow.
I used about 1 1/2 skeins of Simply Soft for this shrug.  I used an I hook but crochet tightly so if you crochet more loosely you might use an H hook.

The sweater in the picture is a size 6/7.

 I am writing the directions out that I used exactly.  Again, this is easy to adjust.  You merely make a chain long enough to stretch from your desired sleeve length on one arm to the same spot on the other.  Arms out like a T.  

Chain 164

Row 1.  Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each across
Row 2.  Chain 5, turn, (dc, ch1, dc) in  3rd sc (first V-stitch made), *skip next 2 sc, V-stitch in next sc,* repeat from * to * across, dc in last SC.
Row 3-5.  Chain 3 (counts as dc) turn, *V-stitch in ch 1 space of V-stitch in previous row*, repeat across.  Dc in last DC.
Row 6.  Ch 1, turn.  Sc in each dc and ch 1 sp across
Row 7.  Ch 1, turn.  Sc in each sc across.
Repeat rows 2-7 until desired length.  (4 times total for size 6/7).  Fasten off.

Fold last row to meet starting row with right sides folded to the inside.

Make sure corners are matched.  Join yarn through both loops at right corner and ch 1, sc through both layers in each sc across about ¼ of work.  For me that was 45 sc.  Fasten off.   Now flip work so you repeat the same thing from the opposite corner.  Fasten off.

Turn sleeves right side out.  Top and bottom match right now and it doesn’t matter which you join in. 

Round 1.  Join yarn about halfway between the two sleeves at edge.  SC around entire edge.  Join. 
Round  2*.  Chain 3, dc in same as join, *dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next*, repeat from * to * around.  Join.  Repeat until ruffled edge is desired length.  It only took me 2 rounds for the look in the photograph.

Sleeve edge

Join to back of sleeve edge.
Round 1.  SC evenly around sleeve edge (36 sc for size 6/7)
Round 2-4.  Ch 1, sc in same, sc in each stitch around (repeat 2 times or until desired length of cuff is reached).  Fasten off.

Repeat for other sleeve.

Weave in all ends.

I haven't tested this pattern yet so please let me know if there are any mistakes or if you need clarification.