Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Elliot's Batman Doll

So I might not want to call it a "doll" in front of my five year old nephew, maybe we'll go with action figure... anyway, my nephew is having had a birthday and although I live too far away to go to his party, I had a great time making this for him.  I know he is big time into action figures and I hope Batman is one of them.

This is the same pattern I used for Sophia's Doll in a previous post.  Faceless Doll Pattern  The differences are obvious.  I changed colors quite a bit to achieve the masked face and the batman logo.  I chose white eyes because that's what I saw in the cartoon drawings.  I connected the eyes together inside the head because I wanted them to "sink in" a bit and give the illusion of a nose.

 Because the doll is worked in rounds, the batman logo slants a little.  It has irritated me to no end, but ultimately, I realize that Elliot isn't going to be as critical as I am.  Here is the graph I used to do the logo.  A tip for changing colors smoothly.  Leave the last single crochet unfinished and finish it using the new yarn.  So you will have two loops on your hook when you join your new color, pull through the new color to finish the previous single crochet.  This gives a much cleaner look in my opinion.

Batman wears underoos.

By this point I had attempted twice to make a really cool cape using nylon crochet thread... but I didn't like how it was turning out.  So I'm going to do the fabric thing instead.

Being the thrifty person that I am... I went to good will to find just the right material.  I found a great skirt that draped exactly how I envisioned and used it as the cape.

A seamstress I am not and I pretty much "winged" the cape.  I won't even go into detail as to what I did, because quite frankly, I'm not sure how I did it.  I attached the cape using snaps that I sewed in by hand.  I wanted Elliot to have the option of removing the cape if he wanted.

I can't tell you how much joy these two pictures bring to me.  I don't get the luxury of being in my nephew's life on a daily basis.  He lives very far away from me and so it is that much more important that the gifts I give him (and his sister) reflect the love I have for them.  It may be a bit cliche to have an Aunt Sallie in Iowa who makes you homemade gifts for your birthday, but they are as much for me as they are for him.
Happy Birthday Elliot!!

Even Superheroes need their naps.
Thanks for the pictures Addie!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fisherman's Blanket

So, Walmart had a yarn sale.  Before you get all glassy-eyed, my knitting and crocheting cronies... this is not a good thing.  They were having the sale because they were reducing the yarn section of the store by TWO THIRDS.  Making way for fabric or some such nonsense.

 (Yes, I realize this is a wonderful thing for those of you who sew... but I'm sulking, so we'll go with it being a bad thing.)

Notice there is no Aspen tweed here...
This is a photo of my SECOND trip...
I know, it's a sickness.
But I'll die happy! : D
... Where was I?  Oh yes, so, yarn sale... I bought pretty much all the super bulky yarn they had left because it was a dollar a skein.  Not a bad deal, but I've never really had much success with bulky yarn.

So I searched through Ravelry's site for patterns using bulky yarn.  Can I just say what a wonderful thing is?  Seriously, a wealth of information and ideas... but I digress. Yarn sale-- Of the yarn I bought, 8 skeins were Lion Brand Hometown Aspen Tweed.

I found a wonderful blanket pattern and set to work.  I did have to order three more skeins to finish the blanket, but thanks to the site to store option on, I got that yarn in just a couple of days.

Here is the pattern I used:

5 1/2 hour Throw from Lion Brand 
And darned if it didn't just take under 6 hours to make.

Here's a trick for the tassels.  Find a piece of cardboard that measures 11" and wrap your yarn around it in a single layer, then cut the yarn at the same end that you began so you have yarn pieces that measure 22" long.

Here, pictures make more sense to me too:

Sturdy Cardboard 11 inches long

Wrap in a single layer.

Wrap yarn LOOSELY
around cardboard.

Cut the yarn at the same end
that you started wrapping.

    Now, certainly you will want to wrap it several more times than I did in the picture.  I just did these as an example.  I used five strands for each tassel, folded in half and looped through the end of the blanket.

Yesterday, I got a call from a local business man who happened across my card at the coffee shop that sells my cozies.  He was collecting items for a silent auction to benefit our Showboat Theater.  Now, the Showboat is a favorite place of mine, so it was an easy yes from me.  And with the river-type theme, how could I not donate this wonderful Fisherman's Blanket??  So look for it to go up for auction this coming August. (2013) :)

 If you like my stuff... be sure to like my facebook page :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Christian Life is a Difficult Life.

The Christian life is a Difficult Life.

Wow, I guess that sort of statement won't bring in the crowds will it?  But it is truth.  If we read the Words of Christ, we see that it shouldn't be a shock that our life will be one of suffering.  He says it very plainly.  I doubt many of us truly suffer though.  We love our comfort and because of this we often "soften" God's Word to fit our desires.  We paint a lovely picture of the Christian life to attract others.

 But when we soak ourselves in the truth of Scripture, it is inevitable that we begin to see the dryness of this world, the decay of sin on God's good creation... on us .  As the Holy Spirit reveals God's Word to our minds and hearts, we are no longer blind to our sin, and it causes us to weep in repentance... but this sorrow is a good sorrow. It is a truthful sorrow.  We share in God's sorrow for what has become of His creation.  And if that were the end, how tragic it would be.  But even as we share in the death of Christ... the result of our sin, we share in His resurrection.  Our hope isn't that this life will bring us anything good... our Hope is that Christ is coming again and will raise us up with Him, restoring all that sin has lain to waste.  The trees, the animals, the whole earth will be restored to "good"... and we too, will be restored; back to what is good, and sin will be no more.  This is our joy amidst the sorrow.  We see our sin, but we behold our Savior.  The Christian life is difficult, but it is full of joy; "sorrow and joy intertwined".

Josh Garrels is an artist whose music and lyrics are deep and thoughtful.  He speaks to the suffering of the Christian life in a way that is rare among "Christian Contemporary Music" (blah).  Here are a few of his lyrics, some of which are straight from Scripture:

When we were young 
We walked where we wanted to 
Life was ours 

And now we've grown old 
We go where we’re told 
The Lord’s Spirit calls 

He’s singing 
Follow my road to sorrow and joy 
Be intertwined 

And find 
All things are under my wings 
And rise 
Given time 

Oh my 
Brother sun, sister moon 
All children of light 

Fly around the world 
Let the glory be unfurled 
All things are made new 

We’re marching on 
To a spirit song 
That no man can cage 

In lands of dead wood 
That reject the good 
From our own Father’s hands 

But we run free 
And weep gracefully 
In a world 
Dark and cold 

Hold on 
All you 
Who wait by the blue shores 
For Him 

To part the water 
Desert Father 
Show us a new way 

The impossible dream 
Through the deep and the unseen 
Carry us home