Pillow Cover

With the advent of summer in full swing I find myself super busy. We have birthdays every month right now plus Father’s Day. The doctor appointments I wish would just be forgotten about but I’m told they’re necessary. Somewhere in there is a vacation; though I’ve been so busy I’m not sure when it happened.

As a result of the summer rush around here I have a long list of projects that I had planned to do but never got around to. I finally marked off at least one!

… It’s been on the back burner for months sadly and it wasn’t even very hard.

A few years ago my mom and step-dad went on a cruise and brought me a back a beautiful blue silk dress. At the time it was way too big so I had it altered. Now, however, it’s too small and I have no idea if I’d even fit into it again. My plan was to use the fabric for a pillow.

This way I get to enjoy the fabric and pattern without the guilt of having to get rid of the dress. Besides I love reusing things. 😉

CSC_0004It might not match my tan sofa but I don’t mind. I love that fabric! I’m making sure to save the scraps for a few other projects I have on back burner.

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Copyright Infringement?

Punishable Deed Copyright LogoRecently Smashwords joined up with Scribd. Scribd then offered all the Smashword authors a chance to get a year free subscription. As an avid reader I jumped at the opportunity. I could use it for leisure and homeschooling. I’d already considered joining Oyster when Smashwords worked their deal with them.

One of the first things I did was look up books on crochet that I don’t own but would like to read; Creepy Cute Crochet, Curvy Girl Crochet, along with a few others.

Then I noticed something odd. I found four copies of Creepy Cute; all of them scanned.

This made me nervous. Scans are a tricky business. You literally take a work and scan it then post it to a website. Some countries, authors, allow this others don’t. Not only did Scribd have four of them but they were all done differently; ranging from tiny text you had to zoom in on to improperly scanned pages that were shadowed.

To me this is a copyright infringement; and if you ever see any of my books presented in such a way inform me immediately. I had seen an issue of Curvy Girl done is such a way on Issuu but I was surprised by Scribd. It states it takes copyright seriously … but yet it has four copies of Creepy Cute.

Their site claims that members can upload their own works and public domain items. Yet Creepy Cute isn’t public domain it’s published by Quirk Books. No one involved with it’s production is getting royalties for the four copies Scribd is allowing.

I ended up email them about it. I had seen full issues of Crochet Today! and Crochet! Magazine as well. I asked them how they monitor the issue. I was concerned that if they allow this to pass what else are they not monitoring.

It took me over twenty minutes to find a link to contact them about it. Oh, I found the link that I can complain if it’s MY work that’s been copyrighted. I couldn’t find however anything that allowed me to report scans.

A few days after I emailed them I got a response. I really wish I had saved it but I deleted it I was so disgusted. It basically said that if my work had been copyrighted file this complaint form (keeping in mind they’re using US copyright laws and the laws of my country might differ). If however I found anyone else’s work copyrighted kindly go away.

Go away. They didn’t want to hear it unless it was from an angry author. In my opinion scans should never be allowed without an author or publishers permission. Case in point Ruiko Takahasi allowed scanlations for many years before changing her mind.

Scans prevent royalties from being generated to both the author and publisher. In some cases this is allowed in the hope that it increases recognition and sales in other areas. But how does Scribd know who allows it and who does it? Are they and those like them hiding behind a ‘we didn’t publish it a member did’ mentality?

I can assure you that I’d sue not only the person who illegally published my work but also the site that allowed it. Sites like Fanfiction.net keep track of what authors allow fanfiction and promptly remove any fanfiction that violates that. Does Scribd and Issuu do the same?

It seems like a risky business allowing any scans. I for one am wary and will be keeping a lookout for violations on my works. Other than that it seems that in this technological age there’s naught else you can do.

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Clones Knot Barefoot Sandals

Ah, barefoot sandals. They let you go barefoot while adding a touch of class. Okay, so they just dress up your feet a bit. These were more an experiment than a serious attempt but they came out well.

Barefoot Sandles

Yarn: Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Thread size 10

Hook: 1.5mm

Gauge: not essential

Sizes: The directions are for a size 8 women’s foot. To make longer or smaller keep working row 1 until you can wrap it 3/4 around your ankle. This will allow you to button it and to keep it snug but not too tight.

Special Stitch: Clones Knot. CK. You can find a video here. I’ll also give you a quick run through. After chaining your last chain slide your loop onto the neck of your hook. Hook your thread around the neck from underneath then twist your hook all the way around 360. Hook the thread again by going over the thread so your back in front of it then hook the thread by going under. Twist another 360. Do this 10 times total. Once you have 10 loops on carefully hook your thread as if making a stitch pulling the chain through the loops you made. Make one chain. Gently push up your knot to lock it then ss into the last chain made before the knot. Continue as directed in the pattern.

Pattern: Make 2

Row 1: Ch 20, ss into 1st ch, making the toe loop. Ch 45 more.

Row 2: DC into the 3rd ch, DC 21, (22DC). *Ch 3, sk 1, sc* (repeat till toe loop)

Row 3: ch 2, *Sc in middle ch of ch 3 loop made on last row. Ch 1, ck, ch 1, Sc in middle ch of next loop, ch 3* repeat till end of loops. Do not crochet into DC!

Row 4: *ch 3, Sc in middle of loop (behind the ck where appropriate) ch 3, Sc in middle of next loop*, stop repeat at last ck

Row 5-end: Repeat patterns for rows 4 and 5 until you only have 1 loop remaining.

Bind off.

Attach a button if desired. I got lazy and found out by accident that the ck makes a decent button if you slip them between the Dc of the 1st row.

*NOTE: Changes to this pattern have been made to hopefully make it clearer. If you have any question please do not hesitate to ask. 7/14/15

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Hand Crochet Cowls

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of Arm Knitting but I suck at knitting. I can do simple things and arm knitting is beyond me. I end up in a tangled mess of yarn. I am good at knotting yarn!

I’ve done finger crochet before but then I realized that there’s no reason why I can’t hand crochet. I even had the perfect yarn for it!

Novelty yarn often is a pain to work with; eyelash, pompom, fun fur just to name a few. While they look great they can be mindbogglingly frustrating.

At first I hit on the idea to finger crochet it. My fingers would make a nice large hook to work with. This however still didn’t work out. I found that the material was just too dense and had no drape. I might as well be crocheting a cardboard box!

That’s when I decided to try using my hand like in arm knitting.

It was a resounding success!

The fabric has drape and showcases the highlight of the yarn; the novelty effect it has. Thanks to a super talented photographer friend I even have pictures worthy of my mad creations.


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“New” Area Rug

My area rug is ancient. It’s nearly 10 years old. It’s also really functional. I bought an outdoor/indoor rug that I’ve used to the point that some of the bamboo slats recently broke off. I wasn’t however ready to toss it. Other than being so dirty nothing will get the wood clean short of sanding it and re-staining it was fine.

I started looking around Pinterest for ideas to make a new area rug or to renew my old one. Area rugs are insanely expensive for such a small scrap of fabric! Don’t get me started on the health hazards of regular carpet! Anyway, eventually I found a pin to here. It’s instructions on how to make your custom sized rug out of rubber matting.

The problem with this was that the rubber matting isn’t sold in the width I needed for an area rug under my dinning table. So I got to thinking; Why couldn’t I use the same principles in the tutorial for my current rug? Answer: There is no reason why not! Then began my hunt for fabric wide enough for my rug which measured 60″ x 95″. I’d need something roughly 62″ so I could cover the whole thing.

That’s when I realized that fabric generally didn’t come in anything wider than 54″. I was pissed to say the least. Eventually I did find fabric in a verity of widths. Part of the problem was is that a lot of fabric sites don’t allow you to search effectively by widths.

Fast forward and I received my fabric after harrowing issues with the company I chose. The directions are very near similar to the above link.

For this I chose to sew the edges of the fabric since I wasn’t covering entire rug. I also omitted the polyurethane since bought a water resistant fabric. Other than I followed the directions on the link above.

I started off with this and ended up after about thirty minutes of intense workout with this.

I now need to reupholster my chairs to match better; but that’ll come after I take them apart and fix the joints and re-stain them.

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Lavender Potatoes

I can’t keep these on the table!

A while back I bought some lavender with the vague idea that you can cook with it. I had thought I already posted this recipe but I can’t find it.

Of course, as with most of my ideas I had to figure out how to make it happen. I’m great at vague, general ideas, not too good at making them into reality.

I ended up researching lavender. Apparently if rosemary tastes good in a dish lavender is a pretty good sub. So I decided that since I use rosemary in potatoes why not lavender?

Lavender has a more mild flavor than rosemary. It’s also delicious!

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Take two red potatoes and cube them. (I leave the skins on)
  • Take a baking sheet and slop some olive oil on it.
  • Toss the potatoes onto the pan and sprinkle some kosher salt on them.
  • Sprinkle on some lavender leaves. If picking your own don’t use the brown stem just the leaves! (I use about 5 per potato)
  • Bake for an hour or until tender
  • Let rest for 5 minutes. (During this time scoop some onto your plate before anyone else gets them!)Lavander Potatoes

This is a great recipe for your budding chef to help you with.

I’ve also started cooking my steak with a couple leaves of lavender while frying it in a pan. SO good!


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A Gold and Brown Basket

A while back I broke my canvas basket. It was one of those that had a metal frame on top and some rods along the side. I had taken the basket off the frame and attempted to wash it after managing to dump several essential oils on it during a move. The thing stunk! In the process of washing it I ruined it. So I’ve been hanging on to the frame and rods with the vague idea that I’d use them for something. Months later that day has come!

If you don’t have random bits of canvas basket frame don’t worry. Just omit that part.

Yarn: Bernat Super Value (yarn A) and some scrap yarn (yarn B)

Note: when choosing scrap yarn try for something of similar weight and enough of it to complete project.

Hook: 5mm

Gauge: 8row x 15 sts

The basket will only have three stripes! Two stripes are the same size and one a row shorter. If you want to firm the bottom up you can place a piece of plastic or cardboard on the bottom.

Carry the yarn along as you go. The following method will make it invisible on the right side. (DC with non working yarn dropped, DC with non working yarn held along bottom, alternate every st in this fashion)


Row 1: Start a FDC of 40 sts

Row 2: Ch 2, ( counts as 1st DC here and throughout) DC across (40 DC)

Row 3 – 24: Repeat row 2


Row 25: ch 2, 2 DC into same st, DC across, 3DC into last st, DC down side, 3DC in corner st, DC across, 3 DC in last DC, DC down remaining side, SS into ch 2 (136 sts)

Row 26: ch 2,  DC 71, join B, DC 10 sts, resume with A, DC 29, 10 DC in B, 16 DC in A, SS into ch 2

Row 27: ch 2, DC 42, 10 DC in B, 20 DC in A, 10 DC in B, 29 DC in A, 10 DC in B, finish row in A, SS into ch 2

Row 28 – 40: DC in A till 1 st past start of B, 10 DC in B, resume in A till 1 st past start of B, continue in this pattern. (moving that start of B yarn over by one st will create the diagonal stripe)

Row 41: Continue in previous pattern but finish round in B

Row 42: DC in every st in yarn B

Row 43: DC 14, ch 13, sk 13, DC 58, ch 13, sk 13, DC 38

Row 44 – 45: DC in all

Bind off


Assuming you’re odd like me and save anything you might re-purpose here are the directions for the frame.

Fold the top of the basket around the frame and SC the DC into the sides of the basket  on the wrong side. This will trap the frame into place. Be careful not to SC the handles closed!

Take the rods and thread them through the carry along yarn along the edges.

Add cardboard or plastic to bottom if desired. This one is shown without bottom.


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Nate Art

Yet more pottery done by my kid. He even figured out the pottery wheel this time!

I’m told it’s a dragon.

Apparently the dragon lives in the above bowl.


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An Apple A Day

I decided to try my hand an amigurumi. Why? Because, is all you’re getting for now. I don’t know if I can do what I want and until I manage it I’ll remain mum.

I needed something easy enough that I’d succeed but with a firm grasp of method so I could modify it. I have a picture in my head and I’m not sure how to make it reality… hm, seems a lot like how I write. Oh, well!

I found this pattern on Lion Brand and it worked out well.

This is a pretty good first attempt. It also brings me one step closer to my experiment being a success! Now to find some books with pictures of real life subjects. Mwahahaha!

No, it’s not a strawberry on steroids! I just didn’t have brown yarn for a stem.

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Hand Sanitizer Cozy

I don’t know about you but I never seem to be able to find my hand sanitizer at the bottom of my purse. It doesn’t matter how small the purse is it’s lost in the black depths therein. I know you can buy those little rubber things that they slip into but they don’t match my purses.

What? Don’t you worry about your accessories matching your accessories?

Er, anyway I decided to simply make one with scrap yarn.

Yarn: Scrap

Hook: appropriate for yarn

Gauge: not essential

Note: Depending on yarn and the size of the bottle you may need to make more or less stitches to achieve a snug fit.


Ch 5

Row 1: Dc into 2nd ch, Dc across (4 DC)

Row 2: 2Dc into the same ch as your last DC (you will be working in the back loops of the foundation ch) DC across, 2DC in last ch, ss into 1st Dc (10 DC)

Round 3: ch 2, DC across (10 DC)

Round 4 – 6: repeat round 3

Row 7: ch 2, DC 4 (5 DC)

Row 8- end: repeat row 7 until desired length

Bind off

Sew on a button small enough to slip through 2 DC but big enough to hold secure. Button to the handle of your purse or backpack!


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