Catching Up

Just stopping by to let you know that I'm here, just super busy at work.  I have to craft more things since I put almost everything I've made for this season in my shop already.  Some other things need more work.  So here are the highlights:

  • I don't know if blocking won't salvage some pieces, but that lapghan still isn't right.  It's still a bit warped and I don't know what else to do.  For some reason those mitered squares do that when I make them.
  • I'm working on a man's scarf.  It's a very rich shade of brown, but the official color is called "Coffee Fleck".
  • I have 4 orders from people on my job!  
  • Someone on Ravelry asked permission to post my coin purse on the pattern page (Rav link).  

Well, that's about it for now.  Gotta wind down, pack a lunch for tomorrow's field trip, and make brownies for a family across the street from our church.  

Birthday Surprises


Today was a long, but special day because I celebrated my 33rd birthday. At work, the kids sang the "Happy Birthday" song, per the instructions of the music teacher in her absence. They were almost all on key. :-) One student left a bag on my desk with an orange soda and a little cake along with a note in his handwriting wishing me happy birthday. And another kid drew a picture of Tweety Bird, also with birthday wishes.

When I got home, I immediately opened up my birthday present from Alhana, all the way from Spain. I had it for 3 days but wanted to open it only on today. She sent me lots of wonderful things. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

14 years ago I walked into a salon and said, "Cut it off," and I walked out a few minutes later with about 1 1/2 inches of hair. I was 19. Today I basically did the same thing. The hairstylist asked, "Are you sure?" My response was, "Do it now before I change my mind." So all of the perm is officially gone and I will restart this process of learning my own natural hair again. The last journey lasted me 10 years. We'll see where this one leads me.

So, after what is referred to in the natural hair world as "The Big Chop" (TBC), I went out to dinner with some friends of mine. We celebrated their 5 year anniversary and my birthday at a Japanese restaurant. The food was delicious! Ok, you know I took pictures.

Steak and lobster (not mine)

What was left of filet mignon and chicken (not mine)

Chicken and shrimp (mine) - there's still enough for many days!

So, like I said, this was a really long day but such a wonderful day. I am thankful to God for life, family, and wonderful friends both near and far.

Maravilloso Dios/Marvelous God

Gracías a mi amiga, CT por introducir esta canción a mí. Es una canción muy hermosa.
Thanks to my friend, CT for introducing this song to me. It's a beautiful song.

Mission Accomplished!


Hey Everybody,

Thanks for the feedback on rethinking my goal. I appreciate it. I thought I was going to run out of things to list because I haven't crocheted anything for sales in the last week or so, but thankfully I had a couple of more items in the FO container. :-)

This has been a busy night between getting the plumbing on my kitchen sink done (yah!) - and yes the plumber did the work, prepping for the new do - I'll be free soon!, watching the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy - it was good and long, getting ready for work - progress reports go out and tomorrow's a short day due to Homecoming, and of course listing items.

And now I can say, there are officially 33 items listed according to EST (Eastern Standard Time) on 9-25-09. I'll post pics later.

Good nite!

Lots and Lots of Pins

The other day I went to Walmart to purchase some sewing notions - this was before the mishap with the sewing machine. There isn't much to choose from since all the Walmarts in my area have gotten rid of their sewing and much of their craft department. They basically sell yarn, and some don't even do that. Anyways, to my surprise, they had some of their cutting mats on clearance. Yes! I was able to buy the last two 23"x23" cutting mats for $5 a piece. (Now I can finally use those rotary cutters someone gave me - when I get a ruler.)

I also purchased these long flower pins. I saw someone blocking some knitted squares with those and I thought they were so cute.

I am now blocking the Coastal Granny Lapghan that I made earlier this year. I have never blocked something using this method before. I usually try and use the steam on my iron. Here's to new things. Hope this comes out right. (I love that variegated yarn.)

* The cutting mats are covered with a towel because I ran out of room on the paper cutting board.

Rethinking My Goal

Ok, so my goal was to post 33 items by my birthday. I didn't consider that purchases might be made while I was busy meeting my goal. Probably because I didn't really have any sells at the time. So what do you think? Should my goal be to have posted 33 items regardless of sells OR to have 33 items up on that special day? My inquiring mind wants to know.

And while you're giving me your feedback, I will be happily wrapping the chunky taupe hat that was purchased today! :-D


For S-A-L-E!

Last night I had trouble going to sleep, so I got up and decided to post another item. Then it was back to bed until the alarm clock went off.

This evening I decided to post a couple of hats I had made from a pattern that I won't use anymore because the final product wasn't like what the pattern suggested. When I see the words "head hugger" I think, "this hat will actually hug my head - like a beanie". Well, this pattern wasn't written that way. I tried it three times varying stitches to see if it was my error, but nope, it's just the way that pattern is. So, I decided to mark these hats down to $5 as they were tester hats. They're still great hats.

Here is what I listed. Now I have 30 items up in my shop!

The "Frosty Green Fleck Waffle Print" Scarf
The "Chunky Taupe Head Hugger" Hat
The "Hunter Green Head Hugger" Hats - I made two of these.
And 3 more to go...



There are some things I like to crochet and there are other things I'd like to sew. I've recently come to realize that although I love the market-style bags that others crochet so well, I would much rather sew them, so that is what I set out to do.

A few years ago, I made myself a bag out of an ethnic print upholstery fabric and lined it with black linen. Why? It was what I had in the house. (You know when I get trapped in, I must find something to craft, so I did.) Once my cousin gave out those red pins for Christmas - the ones that mean that money was donated to help the "AIDS in Africa" effort. That was the pin I used on this bag I made and I received lots of compliments. Recently I decided to make more of these bags, but in different fabrics.

I was all set yesterday, had my denim outer material cut out and the lining too. I was working on the pocket when....POP! That was the sound of my sewing needle hitting the pin that held the pocket in place. After replacing the needle with a spare (not even the same one), my bobbin was acting weird. Today I got to the Singer repair shop right before closing to find out bobbin timing was off and I would have to wait to this weekend at the earliest to get my machine back!!!! So, there goes my bags.

Back to crocheting? No, I've decided that the needle breaking was just a sign that I need to tidy up loose ends around here, do things that I've been neglecting to do, and upload items that have already been made. Remember, I've got to meet my deadline.

With that being said, today I listed 3 notecard collections (sets of 8) and a single notecard. All are my own photography prints. I've got something in mind for each season, but I'm playing around with presentation ideas.

27 down, 6 more to go.

Yay! - A Sell!

I stepped away from my computer for a bit and when I came back, I was delighted to see that I got a sell! It was the taupe and white two-tone hat that I posted yesterday. I'm all smiles right now. :-D

Image source:

Only 7 More To Go

Today I posted another matching set in my shop. It's a toboggan and scarf set.

Due to the use of chunky yarn, this set will sure to keep one's head and neck nice and cozy! Even Misty agrees! Now I only have to post 7 more items. :-)

Today I'm going to the neighboring county to a store called Not Just Linens. It's a wholesale fabric store that sells mostly upholstery material. I've got something in mind, but you'll have to be patient. hee hee hee


After I finally got home from work today, I went over to a coworker's house and helped her paint a room in her house yellow. :-) Then, my friends invited me to pick up some empanadas that they had just cooked. They were filled with cheese. Yum Yum. They also gave me some delicious soup. So, thankfully I did not have to cook this day because I'm pooped.

I finally was able to post a few more items to the shop just now. So the countdown to 33 is officially on!

I have still been working on my knitting project too. It's a fringed scarf, but I have a ways to go. The yarn popped and so I now have two pieces hanging out the side, but I plan to weave them in when I'm done. We'll see how this thing turns out. :-)

Have a great weekend!

Sometimes It's In the Small Stuff

I just wanted to share some of the small things in life that mean a lot:

One of my students gave me this crocheted butterfly today. Her mom sent it to me. :-)

Then two girls gave me some candies from Mexico. They have chili powder on the outside and mango flavors on the inside. I can't wait to try them out. Sounds like an interesting combination...

One of the girls who runs the gym I attend got married Labor Day weekend. She left wedding favors for us gym ladies. She made them herself. See, you don't have to break the bank for your wedding and everything doesn't have to be commercial if you don't want it to be.

Ahh, I finally found my liquid vitamin. I just have to remember to take it daily. More power! More energy! Work more at work, more crafting at home, eh?

Hope you all had a great day today!

Because You Inquired

The Southwestern Black Bean Soup was delicious, especially accompanied by a slice of Texas Toast garlic bread! Click here for the original recipe for this soup and my modifications for this time. Wish you could all come over!

And, ok, Alhana, I won't be defeated. I have set my mind to finish this project. I plan to knit a specified amount of inches each day so that I don't feel overwhelmed. My crochet hooks have temporarily been laid aside. I plan to pick it up for a small project or two, but not right now.

Soup's On

I am so glad that I cooked the Southwestern Black Bean Soup last night because my schedule today has been really long. Now I don't have to worry about preparing dinner before church tonight. The only thing I did after work was to cook a piece of garlic bread. I love the Texas Toast style garlic bread. Then again, I love garlic so it could have been spread on any type of bread!

Here's the original recipe for the soup. As always, I'll tell you my modifications at the end. Don't you love how I do that? :-)

Southwestern Black Bean Soup
1 c onion; chopped (1 large)
4 ea clove garlic; finely chopped
2 T vegetable oil
1 lb black beans; dried
2 c ham; smoked, cooked, cubed
6 c chicken broth
2 T red chiles, ground
2 T cilantro; fresh, snipped
1 T oregano leaves; dried
2 t cumin; ground
28 oz. whole tomatoes, undrained
1 ea chipotle chile (in adobo sauce)

Cook and stir onion and garlic in oi in a 4-qt pot until onion is tender. Stir in remaining ingredients; heat to boiling. Boil 2 minutes; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until beans are tender. Serve with sour cream.

*My motto: Use what you have! That being said, here are my modifications for this time: I used a can of black beans and a can of kidney beans, both rinsed off. I didn't use the chopped ham, but I had a few ham trimmings that I added. I probably used half as much broth because I didn't want the soup too soupy. You'll have to judge for yourself. Also this time, I didn't use the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce because my future dinner guests don't like too many spices like that. Instead I used a panca pepper sauce that is similar to adobo sauce, but more mild and I added more cumin. So in essence, with these modifications, this soup was flavorful but not spicy.

On an average day, I would love to make this dish with that chipotle especially because it's such a good, smokey flavor. With that, the sour cream makes a great addition on top. Since I didn't use that pepper, I added shredded cheese on top of my soup and it was delicious!

An Eventful Evening

This is my favorite season and it's also my favorite time of year to cook. I love warm, hearty meals and the smell of spices throughout the house. I wish you could scratch and sniff this screen to smell the flavors tonight.

At work, I read the children two recipes and I told them to vote on which one I should make. They chose the Southwestern Black Bean Soup, so that's what I made tonight. It's for tomorrow. Oh, that cumin is glorious - it's one of my favorite spices because of the smokey flavor. I'll let you get a sneak peek inside my pot.

Remembering earlier that I told you that I was going to cook a curry chicken meal, I wanted to let you know that I did in fact do that. That meal was started Sunday night in the crock pot. You can view the recipes here on my other blog.

Now that those things are finished, I want to relax some before bedtime and work on a knitting project. Yes, I said it, a knitting project. I started it a couple of days ago but had to frog it 3 times, partly because of my clumsiness with these needles and partly because of the yarn I chose. But, I will not be defeated.

I try so hard to focus, separating my craft world from my work world - in my head, but what should happen today? My mom drops by and gives me a knitting book she found for 50 cents somewhere. She volunteers at my job to let children read to her in the mornings so she brought that by while she was there. I rammed it into my purse so I wouldn't look at it until later. Such will power....

Well, happy crafting!

Let's Eat, Mon!


I won't lie. I am thankful for every season of the year that I get to experience, but I must admit that fall/autumn is my most favorite time of year. Even though my schedule may be hectic at times, I can still feel the pace slowing down around me....and that's one of the things I like.

During this season and the winter season is when I like to cook the most. I love warm, hearty meals that make you feel at home. During this season I get excited to cook.

On Sunday evening, I decided to break out the crock pot. My brother makes a curry chicken that I absolutely adore, and it's made in the crock pot. As I don't like to leave appliances on when I am not at home, I use my crock pot at night so that the food is ready before leaving for work.

So, Sunday evening, I prepared a curry chicken dish. Then, on Monday after work, I prepared rice'n peas (courtesy of G. Garvin - of course I had to tweak it just a little).

My Brother's Caribbean Curry Chicken in the Crockpot

3 lbs of chicken (cut up) - preferably legs or thighs or both
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons of Jamaican style curry powder
1/2 cup Anntony's Caribbean All-Purpose Sauce
2 cups of water

Add all of the ingredients to the crock pot. Cook on low for 5-7 hours.

* My notes: I will make some adjustments to this dish. I used a little less than 3 lbs of chicken so I needed less water. This is the curry powder I used. One day I'll try the hot version that my aunt sent down to me from New York. Anntony's Sauce is the best! I like this dish cooked to the point where the meat falls off the bone.

G. Garvin's Coconut Rice and Beans (a.k.a. "rice 'n peas")

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 scallions, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
1 1/2 cups white rice
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
2 cups canned red kidney beans
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper

1. Heat olive oil in pot. Add scallion, garlic, and shallot; sauté for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add rice and stir to coat. Add chicken stock and coconut milk; bring to a boil. Stir in thyme and seasoned salt. Reduce heat.

2. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until rice is nearly tender. Add beans and butter. Return to a simmer. Continue cooking for 5-10 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Before serving, remove thyme sprigs, stir rice and adjust flavor with salt and pepper.

* My notes: I didn't use scallions or shallots - I used a Peruvian onion (It's like a white onion or a Vidalia because it's not as pungent). I used basmati rice which doesn't take as long to cook so I added the beans in with the coconut milk. I also used the whole can of coconut milk and balanced out the chicken stock. I used ground thyme as well.

If you're interested, please check out G. Garvin's book: Turn Up the Heat. It's an amazing cookbook!

I had the opportunity to share this meal with some friends and they enjoyed it. We are now on a "swapping meals" routine. They cook some things from Peru and I taste. I cook other things from around the world and they taste. I just have to remember not to put too many hot spices - they don't like the hot, hot spices. :-)

What's on the stove tonight: Southwestern Black Bean Soup. Stay tuned!

33 by 33

So, what does that mean? In just a matter of days I will be 33 years old. My goal is to have 33 items posted in my shop by age 33. I'm not concerned about sales right now; I'm just finding joy in uploading finished objects. The sales will come in due time.

Today I'm listing a walnut brown neckwamer made of organic cotton yarn. It is sooo soft!

Misty wouldn't cooperate earlier when I tried photographing her on the white background. I let her think she won by photographing her against the black. What she will now realize is that I still have the option of choosing her neckwarmer laid flat on white. ;-)

I'm going to edit one of my listings and put a sample of me wearing one of the beanies. It's the one I originally was going to sell, but after I listed it, I liked it so much that I chose it for myself and then made another one for the shop.

Notice, I'm still wearing the braids, so for all of you curious about the new do, you'll just have to wait. Truth be told, I don't know what I'll have until the braids come out. Going natural is a learning experience every day! This time though, I'll be more educated about it.

Yes, Another Neckwarmer

This is one you've seen before as it is the first neckwarmer I made, but I couldn't get a photograph that suited me, so I finally decided to change the background to black. Now I'm satisfied with the photograph enough to post the item in my shop.

This afternoon, I was able to photograph the remaining items I had pulled out to list in the shop this week. You'll see those in the near future.

On a side: This is my favorite season of the year! This time of year is when I really enjoy cooking warm, hearty meals. Tonight I decided to go Caribbean so I'm making my brother's famous curry chicken in a crock pot. So, I expect to wake up to the glorious fragrance of curry chicken. After work I'll do the rice 'n peas using coconut milk.

Aqua Wool and Silk Neckwarmer

Just popping in to let you know that at some point I made a neckwarmer to match the aqua wool and silk blend beanie hat. I was just getting around to photographing it today. :-)

6 Random Things

A long time ago, Kar invited me to post 6 random things about myself. Then some time ago, Alhana responded to the same request. Her response reminded me that I needed to do the same. Then I wondered, what could I post? After some thought, here are my 6 random things about myself:
  1. In a short while from now, I will be sporting my natural hair, in its natural state...for the second time (not including my baby years).
  2. This year was the first year that I could swallow a pill...and it still has to be very small.
  3. I don't own a pair of white shoes (not including sneakers). White shoes make my feet look weird.
  4. I don't wear makeup, unless you count Vaseline. lol
  5. I am willing to try any food at least once. You never know; it just might be good.
  6. and what others consider the biggie: I don't "date" ("dating" being defined as "casual dating"/ going out with whomever because he asked or you asked him). My Boaz will just have to find me. Until then, voulez-vous crochet avec moi? :-)
Have a great weekend!

The "Me Bag"

Hello all,

The students have arrived back to school and I am still trying to adjust to the new schedule for me. No more late night crochetings! :-) It is my desire to organize myself and to be disciplined enough so that I can finish as much school work on my job so that I can devote more "me time" at home. Does that make sense?

On the first day of school I always assign this project called a "Me Bag." I give each student a brown paper lunch bag. Their homework assignment is to redesign the bag so that it represents them. They can cut things on the bag, add things to the bag, color it, whatever. Then they must place three items inside the bag that tell more about them. On the next day, they present those things to the class. Much like "Show and Tell."

I always present first. First I pulled out an empty bag of Ti Kuan Yin green tea that was imported from China - a friend gave it to me. It is one of my favorite teas (although I can't find that brand here in the U.S.). I explained to the children about my love for teas. Then I pulled out a new bottle of Hot Jamaican Curry Powder manufactured by Blue Mountain company in NY. My aunt sent that down to me as it is nearly impossible to find real Jamaican spices here as well. Again, I explained to the children my love for spices and ethnic dishes. Finally, I pulled a skein of yarn with an unfinished beanie hat attached. Mouths went open. "Wow!" they exclaimed. "Did you make that?" they asked. Then I proceeded to show them a few stitches while I explained my love for crafting. You could hear a pin drop and you could feel the stares of little eyes on you all at once. Their attention was captivated and then I wondered, How will I use that for motivation purposes this year? What is it about an aluminum hook and yarn that brings such a silence; that holds children captive?

Trust me, the wheels in my head are turning as I think about such things this year. In the meantime, I will continue crafting and teaching; crafting and teaching. And yes, I do have a few items to share with you.

Until then,

Teal Paints Neckwarmer


Maybe I needed to make one of these for myself a little earlier. I'm back to work and my sinuses are acting crazy already. Nevertheless, I made another neckwarmer. This time in a teal variegated yarn.

I intend on making another one of these for the shop in the remaining aqua silk/wool blend yarn. That way the hat that I already made will have a match. Then I will work on the ones I mentioned earlier for the football games. And of course, I will make one for myself. I just have to see what yarn I will use from my stash. Then I most likely will retire this pattern and start on a different style. I'm thinking one with buttons.

My goal is to try "enough" crochet patterns and make "enough" crocheted items so that I can concentrate on practicing knitting without the constant crocheting commercial breaks. Yeah, we'll see how that really turns out.

Until then!