Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The doily prom dress

UGH! Has it really been 3 years since I wrote in my blog?  How on earth can I catch you all up to speed?  OH...I know! You can visit my Facebook, now that it has been "Timelined" and my Facebook at can tell you everything that I could have and should have included in my Blog, but didn't.   While you are at it, please visit my crochet page too
And since we have that out of the way I can move on to current business.....

This (photo above) was my labor of love last year for my niece Cora Williams.  It was her prom dress.  My sister, Liesel made the dress underneath, she sewed the doilies around the bodice and from the waist down I joined them together.  The whole project was so much fun to make!  I made 85 doilies but I think we only used about 77.  I enjoyed posting my "Daily Doily" on Facebook.    When it came time to joining the doilies, that was actually the best part.  I had fun 'free forming' to close the gaps.  For example if I had a gap like the one shown below (left) I would make a little flower or doily (right) and add it in.
Voila!  As you can see my photographer Eryn from Relish Photography is absolutely amazing and captured the colors and beauty of this dress that defies imagination!   The photo went a little viral for awhile and got a lot of views and shares!  I told everybody the same thing, "If you can make a doily, you can make this dress."  I was really surprised by the comments that people made about laying in the sand and water with it..... the dress washed up so beautifully that Cora was able to wear it to my parents 60th wedding anniversary.  You can see her on the far right.  The rest of the people in the photo are all my nieces and nephews and 5 of my children. (Mom and Dad in the middle)

I was absolutely thrilled on my birthday (Aug. 16th) when Liesel gave me a large photo of Cora wearing the dress (the one of her jumping).  I had it framed and it makes me smile every time I see it.

I am gearing up to attend my first Knit/Crochet show in Reno this Friday.  I have recruited a friend of mine, to go with me.  I am super excited and I'm sure I will write a Blog post all about it when I get a moment. In the meantime, please feel free to leave me a comment so I know you've been here!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Where DO you find the time?

Now that you know a little bit about my family (see "Just Jump Right In") I can tell you a little bit about myself and what I do besides crochet. I have been very blessed because I have been allowed to be primarily a "Stay at Home Mom" or as I like to call it a "Professional Parent". I have worked seasonal jobs here and there and part time jobs here and there, but I like being a Mom. In fact, when it came time to choose careers in high school, or college I could really only envision myself doing 2 things, being a mom and being a teacher.

Hmmmm...interesting phenomenon.....I have just erased 3 different paragraphs, in each paragraph I am writing about everybody else but me. Let me try this again.......

Currently, I work about 3 hours a day at Pax Amicus Castle Theater I work in the box office answering phones, taking ticket orders and do any other little tasks that need to be done. I couldn't ask for a better job or better people to work for! Currently the professional actors (and actresses) are working on "Tales of Edgar Allan Poe" a dark performance that they put on every year for hundreds of different schools. It is an AMAZING show written and directed by Stan Barber.

Pax is also working on "School House Rock Live Jr." Directed by yours truly. This is the 5th play that I have directed at the castle, it is a "Generation Next" production, which means that it is performed by kids age 11-18. Last year I directed "Disney's Aladdin Jr." and I had a wonderful cast of 28ish kids. Here is a fun little clip from that show It is always such a joy to direct and work with these talented kids! I am eager to see what my "School House Rock" kids do in 2 weeks when we open.

A couple of weeks ago I had a very dear friend who heads up a group called "F.A.I.T.H Center" Fine Arts in The Home call me and ask if I could help out by teaching a drama class.....or 4 drama classes. So grinning from ear to ear, I jumped at the chance. that fun! Great kids, great fun and sometimes I feel like I learn more then they do (Ssshhh....don't tell the kids that) I am convinced that is a true statement with almost any teaching job.
So, maybe at this point you are asking, so besides directing, teaching and working part time at a box office, what else do you do? Well, 3 years ago I got my real estate license. If you are into reading head lines, listening to new teasers or even breathing, then you know that today's real estate Market is not a great place to be. I won't stay on this topic too long, suffice it to say that I think I would be a really terrific agent if things were better, but in my experience, the highs and lows and the expectations and let downs were just a little to draining for me. My husband (bless his heart) has seen me cry, scream, kick, pout, sulk, mope and sob more in my real estate career then in our 9 years of marriage. Although I am still working for Prudential New Jersey Properties at some point I will put my license to referral agent status, until the market gets a little better. Feel free to contact me with any of your real estate needs after that!!

I would love to sit here and add "I am training for a Triathlon" on my resume as well, but I am still only toying with the idea, until I can 'beef up' my swim and find the time to do it right. My husband just finished his 3rd Tri and he has kind of inspired me to swim, bike and run and hopefully someday (maybe 2010) enter a tri. I have to confess, of all the things that I do, taking time to swim, bike or run is the most challenging and time consuming. But I have come a long way on my can read all about that on another Blog that I started at I think I only have 2 entries in it, but you'll get the general idea of what I am hoping to do. And after my play closes, I think I can start my intense training again. Although I have been asked to return in "It's a Wonderful Life" as Mary-Hatch Bailey. Acting does not take as much time or energy as directing.

I think that's it, and most people that know me and know of my busy schedule, the first thing they say to me is "Where do you find the time to crochet!!??" I believe it was an Amway sales rep who once told me "You find time to do the things you love" Well, I don't know if that can ever be the case with Amway, but it certainly is the case for my crocheting. I take my projects with me to cheerleading practice, soccer games, dental appointments, doctor appointments, ortho appointments, car tune up appointments, long car rides, Family quadding trips and I have even been known to take my crochet to the movies and church. (usually only when I am working on a timeline) For the past 10 months or so I have been meeting with a group on Wednesdays when I can make it, at Panera. I know that doesn't sound like much fun to many people, but I get all giddy inside just thinking about crocheting at Panera with a steamy hot cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll on the table in front of me. Who needs therapy when you have that!! The place that I crochet the most? Well, that would be what I call my "Crochet Corner" pictured here (ideally I would be sitting in this picture a serene smile on my face with crochet hook in hand, but my family tends to clear the room very quickly as if they are under attack when I bring out my camera, so there was nobody to snap a photo)

You can see the hat I finished last night on the arm of the sofa, and the hat I am currently working on in the seat of the sofa. I am hoping to have these uploaded on my etsy site tomorrow, but play props have to come first. I have an Elvis costume I have to create and about 20 other prop items I need to round up.

Sometimes when I am in a conversation and I mention (not brag!) but just mention some of the things I do or have done, more times then I can count somebody suggests " should write a book!" and although it seems sort of appealing, my first thought is 'Where would I find the time??!!'

Monday, September 28, 2009

Just Jump Right In........

Knowing where to start in a blog is one of the most difficult things for me to do. I over think.....What if nobody reads it? What if everybody reads it? What if I come off sounding like a jerk? What if I come off sounding dumb? What if, what if,what if........ So this morning while I have 1.2 hours to spare I thought I would try and do a quick blog entry. If you've read my profile you know my life pretty much revolves around my hobby, CROCHET! From the time I was 9 years old. So, this little blog, although it will have little scraps of information about me and my family and my very busy life, you will hear primarily about my hobby, that I am trying to turn into a successfully business. (Like every hobby enthusiast!)
Because I will be rambling all over the place with this blog I wanted to give you a quick introduction to my family because I'm sure their names will crop up in here from time to time and I don't want you to be left in the dark.

In January of '99 when I was 32 years old, I lost my husband of 11 years to a mono genetic form of Diabetes called MODY 3. Our children at the time of his passing were 11, 8, 6 and 2. He passed away not knowing that he had a genetic form of diabetes because it had only recently been discovered. (more on MODY later).
After my husband passed away, my best friend hooked me up to the Internet and suggested that it would be good therapy. One of the first things I did, was do a search for old high school friends/crushes. I found Ed Ponte's e-mail address (I had a huge crush on him half of my high school life) and I e-mailed him. After learning that he had an 8 year old son and had been divorced for about 7 years, he lived in New Jersey (I lived in California) we exchanged e-mails 3 or 4 times. He lost my e-mail address and about 5 months later I received a phone call out of the blue. He was vacationing in California and wanted to know if I wanted to meet with him (and bring the kids) and go swimming at his Dad's ranch. We met at a local pizza place, and when I stepped out of my car and he stepped out of his car, birds sang*fireworks blazed*violins played* It was as close to love at first sight as it can be. He still insists that if I had not been holding my 2 year old son at the time he would have given me a hug I would never forget!! We were married exactly one year to the day later on August 5, 2000. (He proposed to me on Y2K)
So here we are fast forward 9 years later. Back in 2002 we added another child to our family. But since I am trying to keep this in age order I will talk about her later.

As I write this blog my oldest daughter, Marissa is 22. She lives in California and she made me a grandma in November of 2007. I am fortunate enough to see them about twice a year and my next visit with them will be in about 3 weeks.

My step son, Justin is 20 and currently attending a college in NJ. He is studying Business and he also works. We see him once or twice a month and we have been very blessed because our children get along so well together. This is a picture of Justin and my husband, Ed and his dad in the middle. It was taken a couple of years ago, but they are all still just as good looking :-)

Thomas is also 20 and he is the reason my blog post has a time limit today. I have to take him to the Air Force recruiter to try and get him launched into the service. (his choice!) He is a fantastic construction worker/handyman/jack of all trades! This weekend he put shelves up in our garage, big beautiful shelves that will help me keep my tubs of yarn organized! I actually found it comical that this project really did revolve around my tubs of yarn and crafts. I caught Thomas and his brother Lance, (the skinny one in the hat and blue shirt, the other kid is Jimmy, our neighbor and my youngest son's best friend) discussing how many tubs of "mom's crap" would fit on each shelf. Gotta love those boys!
After I learned about MODY I had my 4 children tested and my 2nd son, Lance tested positive for the same mono genetic diabetes that took my husbands life. Lance was 12 when he was diagnosed. He is currently 17 years old and in his final year of high school. He attends a vocational school and has been studying welding for 2 years. His diabetes has not really affected him at this point (as MODY 3 is a progressive form of diabetes), His eating habits have changed somewhat, but he is not on any pills or medication. He stands at 6'1" (the same height as his father) and weighs about 130.....skinny as a rail. He loves to bike, skateboard, ride quads and as I mentioned before, welding

The youngest of my sons is Collin, who is going to be 13 in about 5 more days. He is a skateboarder also but his passion is video games (I cringe when I say that) Yes, he was introduced to video games early in life and has remained a loyal fan to them. He gets outside and skates and bikes and plays sports regularly, so I'm not too worried about his heart health, but sometimes our only topic of discussion with him at the dinner table revolves around video games, the latest and greatest and how to beat what level etc....
But what a great kid he is! Now, I have to tell you that he is my "Alpaca Hat" model boy on my website And although he looks mad in most of the photos, I just told him he did not have to smile (he had just gotten his braces put on) and I also thought that a "too cool to smile" photo worked for one of these hats.

And finally, as I mentioned above, my youngest was born in 2002. She is currently 7 years old, and what a blessing she was and still is! I have called her the glue that holds everyone together, maybe not so much now that the boys are teens, but they have always doted on her and she has been a delight to all. Her name is Isabelle and below is a baby photo (to show you the christening gown I made for her) as well as a current photo. (wearing a hat I crocheted)

Having Isabelle has been such a boost to my crochet life! She'll actually wear the things I make and likes them! (not so much my teenage boys)
That is my little family in a nutshell, and I think I have gone on long enough with my first introductory blog post. Till next time...............