Isle of Palms Tote Bag

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For Momma’s third annual trip to the Isle of Palms she commissioned me to crochet a large tote bag for her to take along. We looked at several different crochet patterns and finally decided on something quite close to Attic 24’s Jolly Chunky Bag.  I used chunkier acrylic yarn, a larger needle and added a few different stitches but basically the same pattern idea. We both think it finished up quite nicely!

 

 

 

Strawberry Poncho and Snowflakes ~

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Crochet Strawberry Poncho

Three days prior to our recent east coast snowstorm I began to crochet a poncho.  Having never tried one before I had been searching a long time for patterns that interested me.  I found an amazingly talented crocheter Nadia Fuad on the blog Yarnutopia.  Nadia is a beautiful young woman who not only has the easily understandable free written poncho pattern on her blog, she has a video of step by step instructions.  Videos and YouTube are so helpful to me when working on something new or learning new stitches.  She actually has tons of crochet patterns written out on her blog with individual videos of instructions on her own YouTube Channel.  I have already picked out several more and placed them on my “want to make” list.  I do so love lists, especially fun ones!

Nadia’s pattern is the Pizzazz Poncho crocheted up with multiple individual rows of colors while I chose to use one type of variegated yarn by Loops & Threads Impeccable in the color of Holland.  NOW, this is 100% acrylic yarn.  My very favourite for my projects is either 100% cotton or 100% wool, but I simply could not pass up the springtime colors that this yarn was lending to my winter project.

The entire body of my poncho took two full skeins, approximately 536 yards.  Another change I made was in the collar.  Nadia crochets the neck of the Pizzazz Poncho to be straight across in the back and V-neck in the front.  I chose not to make additional necking and to simply trim the existing neckline and poncho border in two rows of singe crochet, using Impeccable in Grass.  Since I didn’t differentiate between the front and back with the neckline, I added a little Grass green bobble to the point in the front.

Crochet Strawberry Poncho

With the children playing in the falling snow, I sat snuggly inside with a warm cup of coffee finishing my poncho. I stepped outside just long enough to photograph my very colorful brand new handmade poncho against a snow-covered background.

My Liveygirl arrived in the snow just in time for me to finish and give her a snow day gift.  Her first thought was, “Oh, a Strawberry Poncho!”, so that’s exactly what I called it.

Crochet Snowflake

Lastly, in honor of the snow I couldn’t resist a small crocheted snowflake with this easy pattern from Flower Girl Cottage. Have you ever crocheted a poncho? What is your favourite poncho pattern?

Pinkie~

National Hat Day ~

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Green Sun Hat

Hats are wonderful for rainy days, bad hair days, gym days, and early morning soccer games.  In bygone eras ladies were expected to wear hats (and gloves) or they weren’t considered dressed for society.  I love hats and that era and think women look so lovely wearing them all dressed up in their finery, but my favourite type of hats are of course my crochet hats!

Multi Beanie

In honor of National Hat Day I thought I would take them all out of their wrappings and see just how many crochet hats I do have.  It was a fun mini task and along the way I found a few that had seen better days so out they go.

Green White Beanie

Are you a hat wearer? Are you a hat collector? Do you have too many hats hanging around? Today is an awesome day to sort through them and pick the ones that you really love to wear, and the ones you don’t.

Earth tone Beanie

Do something for yourself & toss out any hats you no longer wear or like the style of.

Bobbl Beanie

~ I would love to know how many hats you have in your closet & how many you decided to donate or toss, please share in the comments section below. Thanks!

Jennifer

A Day for Bay~

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~Originally written August 24, 2014.SONY DSC

Summer vacation is nearly over, we’re down to just a few days even though the heat will linger for months to come. Meet and greet with the new teacher was this week and what a beautiful and young woman the new teacher is.  She looked as if to be beaming with fun and inspiration for children and learning. Very excited about that!

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Tuesday will mark the first day of 5th grade and the last of my three Huckleberries to begin their last year in elementary ~ grammar school.  The door to middle school is just a single year away and one that I am not ready to open for the last time.  Maybe it is a Mommy-myth but it seems that as long as your babies are in Grammar School, they are still your little people.

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Making memories with each of my Huckleberries along their way in life has always been something we have tried to do; Special Days to commemorate the beginning or end of a life event such as the beginning or end of a school year, family birthdays, or just a special day just because one was needed.

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We had a Bailey Special Day yesterday for the beginning of school and because we all needed one. We began with breakfast at Goody Goody Omelet House, a quaint little diner that serves you – , diner type food.  I have only ever seen two of their waitresses and they look as if they have been there since the establishment opened in 1977. They fit right in.Goody Goody

Bailey was so excited about his day’s adventure that he could hardly eat! He still has the innocence and excitement of a 10 year old little boy, and I love that about him~

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Next we ventured down to the Riverwalk ~ Chandler’s Wharf of downtown Wilmington with a little sightseeing and a jaunt by the river’s edge with our main attraction being the Cape Fear Serpentarium.  Yes, snakes and other reptiles were on the menu for the day.  We were all excited even me.  I secretly love to watch snakes, in person or in movies, just don’t ask me to hold one.

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The heat seamed immense with just a little breeze now and then but it was nice being by the water’s edge.  So many small shops line the Riverwalk in the original mercantile buildings and warehouses. It was all so pretty and colorful!

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  Making our way to Orange Street we entered the most spectacularly clean reptile house that I have ever seen! No kidding, the exhibits and habitats were cleaner than some restaurants I have eaten in.  The reptiles looked happy.  Not seemed happy, but actually looked happy and their skins were the most vibrant of colors, just as clean and pretty as their habitats.

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Bailey had a blast which was the point of the day.  Little boys need to allowed to be little boys and do little boy things while they’re still young enough to have family fun.  I’m glad I have my memories of outings and such because my little huckleberries grow up too fast.

~ I would love some fresh and new ideas on great ways to spend special time with children. Please share some of your memories and ideas in the comments section below. Thanks!

Jennifer

Tooting Your Own Horn ~

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Today is my birthday! So happy birthday to me, corny huh? Well, we have to take joy in the simple pleasures in life, like giving ourselves a pat on the back, or wishing ourselves happy birthday.  It’s ok to do and we don’t do it enough. Today I will be happy and stress free! My to do list for today is below; simple yet pleasing and we should all do more self pleasing and indulging in the things that make us happy and helps us to have a lovely day~

  1. Crochet
  2. Photograph anything
  3. Go for a walk ~ no. 2 & 3 are a pair
  4. Read from a book on the shelf
  5. Enjoy my coffee and ice milk ~ no. 4 & 5 are a pair
  6. Play with Huckleberry 3
  7. Eat cake!
  8. Declutter something ~ because it makes me happy
  9. Smile all day ~ harder than you would think
  10. Blog

~ Be inspiring to others, I would love to hear what you did for yourself on your birthday to brighten your day, please share below. Thanks! Jennifer

Afternoon with the Wilsons~

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Those Eyes!  Split Rail

Almost every photo shoot is different, has aspects like no other and can be full of surprises. A few Sundays ago I spent the afternoon with the Wilson Family, Momma and three boys. Having two boys of similar ages I have only respect for a Mother of three lads. Boys in all the glorious tales of snakes and snails are wonderful!  Little boys are real, fun-loving, honest to the best of their ability to be so, happy and full of mischief and curiosity. The Wilson Boys were all of these~

Rustic Colors  Sooty Stone Stoop

With a last-minute change of location and about five minutes of rethinking the brilliant idea transitioned the session from being inside to eighty-five percent outside for shooting. Natural light, natural settings, absolutely perfect. Meeting at the rustic and primitive location the boys abound from the car all smiles and full of questions ranging from why we were there and what was in that box and, did you know we were going to be here, and, etc. We began very casually~ as soon as they were away from anything resembling this century I began photographing~

Stone Stoop Family  Sooty Portrait

My personal type of photography is natural and comfortable with a feeling of being at ease. My goal is to capture the client in their element, being themselves, without them even realizing it. Rarely does a photo shoot occur without some portion of “classically posed” shots; but the rest I like to just have fun with.

Picture This  Stone Stoop Two

The reaction from the client is one of enjoyment. If clients are comfortable with you they will lose that slight, self conscious edge that a lot of people have from being photographed and the outcome will be lively and spontaneous photographs reflecting the true beauty of the individuals on the other side of the lens~

 Rock Chimney Portrait  Stone Stoop Sooty

We moved around the spacious and uncrowded venue with laughs and conversation. If two boys jaunted around for a bit I concentrated on individual shots or pictures with less than the whole group together. Mom would reign them back in for the next family picture, in a slightly different spot, then they would bounce around a little more.

  Primitive Garden Portrait  Primitive Garden Hues

It made the session stress free for all. When taking photographs in this manner, with so much movement one can’t help but to have some nonconforming poses and not so perfect smiles, but isn’t it these photographs that what makes the memories?  I believe so~

Sooty  Happy Holidays

I inevitably take too many pictures, but that always enables me to pick and choose. Many times the same shot is taken within just seconds of the previous creating the most sincere faces, smiles, postures, laughs, raised eyebrows, and so much more.

Grassland  Sooty Alabaster

I had a marvelous time with the Wilson Family. Thank you for sharing your time with me and giving me the opportunity to help you make some memories~

Cluck Cluck

** This post was originally written in 12/2011.  In the conversion from a “Page” to a regular “Post” it has the appearance of being a brand new post. ~Pinkie

Longhorns & Gray Squirrels

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Flower Children

Lonestars and Tarheels, longhorns and gray squirrels, regardless of the many differences between Texas and North Carolina, the biggest for me is that Texas is my sister’s home state.

Mom and GirlsGmom and Two

I don’t really know how she landed there but she has always been the Merry Wanderer while I have kept my tar heels firmly planted around what was familiar to me.

Bridge PortraitArm in Arm

Due to the physical distance between us and children and schedules and life in general she doesn’t make it home for visits very often.

Sooty Alabaster

To our mother’s jubilant surprise, my sister decided to pack up all three children, the youngest never held by our mother, and make the long trek to North Carolina for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Grandsons Minus OneBridge Portrait

When I say jubilant, that may be an understatement; our mother was so excited she could hardly wait to hug and kiss those grand-babies and get her hands on the newest edition to her brood of grandchildren.

     Flower ChildNow Who's Taller

This baby made six grandchildren for my mother.  Also making this visit wonderfully special, our Mamaw now 82 would have another chance to visit with long distance great-grandchildren.

Chapel    Bridge Portrait

Sooty Alabaster    Lamp Lad

Added benefit is that three of our children are within very close ages of each other and it was extremely fun for them to get to know one another again and have some play time.

Winning the Game    Two Boys

I knew Momma was going to want pictures, so we set the place and gathered the children and set off for an informal, impromptu photo session.

The BroodStone Garden

MuscratsBeauty

One semi-formal place and one very casual one were chosen for the photos to be taken and the rest is in the pictures.

Horsing Around

It was wonderful to have her home again and to see our Momma and Mamaw so happy.

  Checker GameFlower Garden

Thank you Elana for all the fuss and trouble you went through to make this Thanksgiving especially memorable for us all.      Coo~Coo

** This post was originally written in 12/2011 but in the conversion from a “Page” to a regular “Post” it has the appearance of being a brand new post. ~Pinkie

Simple Pictures are Best ~

  HouseThoughtful American

To combine my affection for reading and photography, I felt that Simple Pictures are Best would be the best name for my photography.  To take you back in time just a bit, which will also tell my age, as a small child I devotedly watched the television show “Captain Kangaroo”  Sadly, I have yet to find where you can view full length re-runs but it left a lasting impression on me.

  AshGirl

On each show, Captain Kangaroo would sit in his rocking chair and read a book.  This is the first place I ever heard the book, “Simple Pictures are Best” by Nancy Willard.  In a nutshell, a couple wants a photographer to take their picture, but can’t seem to make up their minds of what they want in the picture with them.  In the end the very frustrated photographer snaps a shot of the couple with almost everything they own.

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Back to today, when I take pictures, I feel exactly like the photographer from Nancy Willard’s book, that simple pictures ARE best.  Sometimes you need a prop and sometimes you need some jazz but for the most part, simple pictures are best, and that is exactly how I take them.  All photographs don’t necessarily have to be prim and proper, it is fun to throw a little crazy in there too.  Sometimes, it is the ones where I say, “be silly”, that the true nature of especially children is captured, are the most memorable and bring the biggest smiles.

Wilcox Library Fire Truck

I have a passion for black and whites; I call these Sooty Alabasters, because they seem to give any photograph a timeless effect.  Based on the background and the way your subject is dressed, a Sooty Alabaster photograph could have been taken today or 82 years ago.  On the contrary, in the right setting Color photographs which I call Hues, can be as brilliant, just as breathtaking and beautiful.

Little Miner Linville, NC

I am a freelance photographer by nature; plainly put, it is something that just comes naturally to me and that I do because it makes me happy!  I am rarely without camera in tow and possess an appreciation for beauty inside and out and enjoy expressing myself behind a camera.  I do my best work in comfortable natural settings, rather than in a studio with plain blue and black backdrops with trees painted on them.  Real and natural is how the image comes through if that is how it is taken.

   Linville Falls

I create my photo shoots in many locations and for any occasion; in your home or in your yard, maybe you like your treehouse so much that you want photos taken there! Local parks, back road trails and areas of interest*, or anywhere of your choosing make wonderful backdrops.  I do not limit the number of people in your photos or how many times you want to change your clothes for a different look.  I am there to take your photographs for you.

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** This post was originally written in 11/2011 but in the conversion from a “Page” to a regular “Post” it has the appearance of being a brand new post. ~Pinkie

Colorful Tin Cover ~

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Tin of Yarn

How many times have you discarded, (hopefully recycled) a tuna or chicken tin? If you eat a lot of tuna then probably a lot of them.  Hold on to the next one and dress it up a bit.  These little things are the best for sorting little whatnots that you have lying around in a cluttered drawer.  The tin itself can be used plain as it is or you can make it prettier!

This makes a wonderful craft for you and your children. For yours and your children’s safety, please follow the first six steps completely then have a go at whatever type of decoration you feel inclined to give it.

  1. Empty the contents of the tin.
  2. Wash the tin with warm soapy water, rinse and dry.
  3. Important: Ensure that the cut edge has no hanging pieces of metal. Any remnants of the top of the can from where it was cut off, can cut your fingers and cause serious issues. I would not recommend running your bare finger along the inside rim.
  4. Take a paper towel, napkin, Q tip, cotton ball or other fiber source and gently wipe along the inside of the rim; going both ways around. If the cotton doesn’t catch anywhere on the can then you have probably removed the hanging edge. For good measure, take a double look anyway.
  5. If you see any hanging remnants, take your can opener and remove the metal piece or mash it flat.
  6. *No Pull Top cans as this sharp edge cannot be removed.
  7. Decorate the tin and have some fun!

I have painted the tin with paints.  I have glued cloth material or paper to them. You can wrap them with twine, gluing a little as you go but my favourite way to decorate is with a crocheted tin cover. If working with a small tin then it takes very little yarn and is a great stash buster!

There are very detailed step by step instructions on one of my favourite UK  blogs Attic 24 as Lucy shows you exactly how to make one.  She is so good about her instructions and always informs the reader / crocheter the difference between her UK stitches and what the US stitch conversion is.

The crochet tin covers are quick to whip together and can be embellished with buttons, beads and flowers.  I crocheted a small round disc for the inside of my tin as it is for paperclips and I didn’t want to hear them clanking around every time I placed one in or took one out. It makes a great buffer as well if you are using the can to hold something you don’t want scratched and of course the are wonderful for little stashes of left over yarn!

Any type of metal can may be used as long as it is not a “pull top” can, it just might take a little more medium to cover.  I especially like bean cans that have the pretty white enamel coating on the inside.

Make a project of it or just a fun thing to do with the kiddies on a rainy day. I would love to see some of your finished designs!

Pinkie~

Britt’s Donuts~

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Today  is the day, Bailey is extremely excited! He woke up this morning with sugar on his mind already planning his after school activities.  Being Friday is great all to itself but add the season opening of Britt’s Donuts in Carolina Beach and you have something to really look forward to.

When we moved to this seaside community my daughter and her friend introduced us to a new kind of doughnut and it came in a white paper sack instead of a green and white box. On the Carolina Beach Boardwalk is a little locally owned shop that sells plain ole doughnuts that are anything but plain! These sugary confections melt in your mouth.  The line can stretch all the way down and around the other shops as tourists and locals alike wait for their turn.

You can purchase just one but you won’t want to.  All along the boardwalk people walk around with white paper sacks and in them are dozens by dozens of the famous Britt’s Donuts!

Last year after waiting our turn and finally enjoying the white bag goodie a seagull swooped down and stole Olivia’s Britt’s Donut right out of her hand, while she was in process of eating it!  You see they’re too good to feed to the gulls!

And TODAY is the day, the grand season opening of Britt’s.  While I am working away, Dave and Bay will surely have their place in line to taste those goodies, and if I’m lucky they will save one for me!

The Carolina Beach Boardwalk and walk to shops come to life during the spring and are hopping all summer long so if you’re in our neck of the woods stop by and enjoy some Britt’s!

Pinkie ~