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Archive for the ‘crochet’ Category

Tea cup pincushion by Wandering Lydia

Wandering Lydia is a fellow member on the Etsy Recyclers Guild Team. Jody, the artist behind Wandering Lydia, creates amazing wool hats, mushroom gardens, and felt pins.  Each item is handmade from recycled felted sweater wool.  She purchases the sweaters from charitable thrift shops.  In doing this, Jody:

– supports the thrift shops’ work
– keeps the wool in use and out of a landfill.

After she purchases the sweaters, she cleans, felts, and sometimes over-dyes them.  At that point, she can begin creating. 

Jody’s work is unique, creative…and quite inspiring!  Take a look at this beautiful hat:

Felted hat by Wandering Lydia

She says about the hat is a great way to keep: “…warm and cozy in this exotic magenta and black designer wool hat made from upcycled felted sweaters. I was saving the carved vintage button for a really special hat and this is it.”

What caught my eye initially about Wandering Lydia was the tea cup at the top of the page.  Because I do a lot of sewing and embroidery, I enjoy having a variety of pincushions.  I thought the pincushion Jody is offering in her shop would be such a beautiful item to use while doing handiwork. 

She said the “pastel pink mushroom garden is accented with hand crocheted blossoms”  and that usually she doesn’t  “find the matching saucer with these cups so this was a lucky find.”
Set of six red and white mushroom ornaments

To see more of Jody’s work, take a look at her Flickr page. When I went to visit her there, I discovered a series of beautiful felted pins like this snowflake one:

snowflake pin
Felted snowflake pin by Wandering Lydia

Want to see more? Go to Wandering Lydia’s blog.  It was there that I read a post about how Jody’s hats were featured in a magazine.

Two of Wandering Lydia’s hats in the
May/June issue of Belle Armoire’s Salon

It was a pleasure looking at Wandering Lydia’s shop on Etsy this morning, and seeing items made by one the many creative people on the Etsy Recyclers Guild Team.

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– To have some extra time to get caught up on projects I’ve wanted to do – personal and for my shop.

– A friend of the family who listed and offered support.

– Healthcare professionals who provide a meaningful and supportive place for my dad to attend twice a week.

– Hearing enthusiasm and happiness in my dad’s voice after attending the day care program (Tuesday was his first day).

– Spending time with my daughters learning about ocean life (part of homeschool science lessons) and some very interesting fish that live in the deep sea.

– Having enough food to make meals for the entire week.

– Enjoying a variety of books from the library.

– Spending time with my parents on my dad’s birthday.

– Being able to help my mom get errands done that she’s wanted to do.

– Finding a colorful and fragrant bouquet of flowers to give to my dad on his birthday; and seeing how excited they were to have fresh flowers on their table.

– Finding a picture of my grandma, my uncles, and mom from 1982.

– Seeing the snow sparkle.

– Seeing the variety of birds at the feeders – especially the flock of cardinals whose color is so vivid against the white snow.

– Watching a tiny vole peek out of the snow under the birdfeeder and collect seeds that had fallen.

– Seeing the squirrel navigate through snow tunnels in the front yard, and watching it pop up in different places.

– Having the skill to sew quilts and pillows.

– Warm, hand-crocheted blankets that I made from wool from my sheep or that my Grandma Olive made before I was born.

– Daughters who enjoy spending outdoors during the winter – exploring the pastures, sledding, making snow forts, and ice skating.

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The focus of Day 3 of the No Impact Week Experiment is to examine the transportation that one uses. When I use to live in Minneapolis and San Francisco, I would use public transportation since it was convenient, cost-effective, and helped the environment.
I particularly liked San Francisco’s system which is referred to as Muni. Founded in 1912, Muni is one of America’s oldest public transit agencies and today carries over 200 million customers per year. Muni provides transit service within the city and county of San Francisco 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Muni operates approximately 80 routes throughout San Francisco with stops within 2 blocks of 90% of all residences in the city. Operating historic streetcars, modern light rail vehicles, diesel buses, alternative fuel vehicles, electric trolley coaches, and the world famous cable cars, Muni’s fleet is among the most diverse in the world.

Currently, the closest public transportation is about 13 miles away from home.  There’s a bus service that began a couple of years ago that connects residents to the downtown areas.  It departs in the morning and arrives back in the afternoon (after work).  I haven’t used the bus service yet since I don’t work in the city. 

When I did work in the city many years ago, I used a vanpool which was great.  I woke up early and drove about 14 miles to the nearest city where the pickup point was located.  A driver picked up the riders and we drove together downtown.  In the afternoon, the van picked me up right outside my office and drove me back.  There were many days that I was so thankful that I wasn’t the one driving in the snow or ice. 

Now, I’m at home the majority of the time homeschooling my daughters.  My business, Harvest Moon by Hand, is located at home so I don’t have to commute.  This saves money and environmental resources. 

Sophia Riding Her Bike
Sophia riding her old bike in the front yard.  She now has a small women’s bike (which should last through high school).  I have a women’s bike with an attached tandem bike for Olivia.

In May 2010, my daughters and I got bicycles with the hope that we could do some of our errands and spend some of our recreational time biking.  We ended up going on many bike rides, but all were recreational. 

We had hoped to bike to the Post Office, chiropractor, and local supermarket for a treat (about 2 1/2 miles away from home), but haven’t figured out a relatively safe route for us to go.  The main road to get there does not have a bike path (it is a County Road with vehicles moving at least 55 mph). It is a bit unnerving to have cars and trucks speed by…especially with two children under the age of 10 years old. 

Bicycle Wheel Decoration
Crocheted bike wheel cover.  This was in a museum in Pella, Iowa.
So, at this point, I use a car.  However, there are many days each week where we don’t need to leave the house.  Some ways that we try to conserve environmental resources given that our home is far from public transporation are:
Combining Errands
When I take the girls to a homeschool co-op on Mondays, I try to do all the errands for the week.  This saves a lot of time, gasoline, and wear-and-tear on the car.  I try to shop only twice a month at the grocery store, so that I’m not spending all my time at the grocery store each Monday.  Rather, I can accomplish a variety of errands and use my time wisely.
“An extra 100 pounds in the trunk
cuts a typical vehicle‘s fuel economy by up to 2%.
You can save up to 12 gallons of gasoline per year – almost $30 –
by removing an extra 100 pounds of unneeded items from the trunk.”
Removing Unncessary Items from the Car
The above fact how excess weight in the trunk affects a car’s fuel consumption prompted me to clean out the car.  The car didn’t have 100 pounds of items in it, however it was good to take out the items that were not being used. 
With winter, some items need to go back into the car – like wool blankets, ice melt, and window scrapers.  It’s good to have these items on hand and to be prepared…especially with the cold weather. 
I’m looking forward to less than 90 days from now when warmer weather appears and there will be no need for window scrapers and wool blankets! 
Open Blossom with 5 Buds
One of the signs of spring…blossoms on the apple tree in the backyard.

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Crocheted Dishcloth
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann

One of the teams I belong to on Etsy had a monthly challenge of learning a new skill. For February, it was learning to crochet.

Finally got around to taking a picture of a dishcloth I made using a new stitch. I enjoyed learning something new.

The dishcloth is made from cotton yarn. Although it is all-natural, I think a softer yarn (e.g., bamboo) would have been a bit more comfortable to use for washing one’s face. This would be good to use for scrubbing hands or washing dishes.

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I crocheted this shawl for my mom since she is always cold. She can wear it around her shoulders when she’s sitting up and moving around.

It also is long enough that she can put it over herself and use as a blanket. The yarn is incredibly soft and warm.

The shawl is 125 chains long using a size K crochet hook. I double crocheted the shawl until it was wide enough to go from my shoulders to mid-back.

The fringe is knotted in every other chain along the length and sides of the shawl. I did not fringe the top (along the neckline).

The shawl took 5 skeins of Angel Hair yarn.

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