Friday, December 31, 2010

The Main Reason I Haven't Been Blogging....

These handsome young men keep me very busy! But I'm thankful and grateful to be their mom! (It only took 69 photos to make this card.....sigh....some people -- DS4! -- were not in the mood for group photos.)

To catch up, here's the finished Pikachu hat:

and the completed Domo hat:

And for good measure, here's a beret I made for a 15-year-old friend with a piggy pin. (She raises pigs, and according to her, the best people are pig people!)

Been working on a lot of hats/beanies lately. Right now I'm working on a dozen to donate to a homeless shelter for pregnant women/mothers here in San Antonio. Gotta keep those little babies warm.
So we say good-bye to 2010 and hello to 2011! I'm hoping that 2011 brings health, happiness, prosperity and love to all! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Baseball and Why It's So Awesome

I grew up the third daughter of a man who loves sports (football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer...), and to say that it rubbed off on me is an understatement. I have memories of running outside on Saturday afternoons to update my dad, who was doing yardwork, on the score of the Saturday afternoon baseball game. When. I. Was. Four.

And the Saturday afternoon baseball game was the only game on television. (Some of you may not realize how hard it was to follow your team back then, before cable and satellite tv, especially if your favorite team was in a different state. We had to make do with reading the box scores in the next day's newspaper. I know. Crazy.) I sometimes think that my father moved us to the Dallas area after retiring from the Air Force, just so he could listen to the Rangers game on the radio every night.

Without a doubt, baseball is my favorite sport. Maybe because I played it myself growing up (not softball, although that's okay too). I practically lived in my Twins cap. First thing I put on in the morning; last thing I took off at night. I remember early one Saturday morning a neighbor came over. I was wearing pajamas, my robe, and my cap. He said, "You really do wear that all of the time." Yup. Sure did.

I still have my cap. The yellow T has faded, the elastic is worn, and it's a pretty sad sight. But I know it's mine (my sisters played on the same team) because it still has my name on the inside.

Here's why baseball is my favorite sport:
  1. No better way to spend an afternoon than at a ballpark with a beer and a hotdog.

  2. The sound of a baseball hitting a wooden! bat on the sweet spot and knowing the ball is a homerun.

  3. Watching that homerun leave the yard in person is an awesome sight.

  4. There's no clock in baseball -- a game is 9 innings long and can last 2 hours or 4 hours.

  5. It's all about the numbers -- 9 players play 9 innings; 3 strikes and you're out; 4 balls and you get first base; 3 outs and the other team gets to bat.

  6. Every player can be referred to, numerically, three different ways: their uniform number, their place in the batting order, and their position on the field. So Josh Hamilton, wearing uniform #32, bats 4th, and plays centerfield (8). See, it is all about the numbers.

  7. Baseball's been played since the 1870s. My grandfather, who was born in 1899, played baseball.

  8. The managers and coaches wear the same uniform as the players.

  9. The uniform includes a belt which, when you think about it, looks oddly formal.

  10. "SALTALAMACCHIA" makes a rainbow when it's on the back of a uniform. And that makes me smile every time.

  11. You never know what you'll see during a game -- a perfect game, a triple play, a walk-off hit-by-pitch courtesy of Mariano Rivera.

  12. Every ballpark is different. There's the Green Monster in Boston, the flagpole hill in Houston, the ivy in Chicago, and McCovey's Cove in San Francisco.

  13. Somewhere, for every single major league game that has ever been played, there is a scoresheet. By studying the scoresheet, you can read exactly what happened to each batter as he came up to face the pitcher.

  14. It took 50 years but the Texas Rangers have finally, finally, made it to the World Series.

  15. And they beat the Yankees to win the American League pennant!

This is dedicated to my father, my grandfather, and every die-hard Texas Rangers fan who waited 50 years. And I hereby predict that Josh Hamilton will hit 2 homeruns into McCovey's Cove. At least.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Project Update

I made mittens to match the Sock Monkey hat and shipped both the hat and the mittens last week. Here's the complete set:

I'm working on a Pikachu hat for DS4's Halloween costume. The face parts just need to be added to the beanie part. I think it'll be great!

My two youngest sons received an invitation to celebrate the third birthday of a distant cousin, so I made a little beanie as a gift. I love the colors!

A couple of weeks ago, 2 friends and I took our children (12 of them!) to a pumpkin patch in Medina, Texas. Despite a few raindrops, it was a beautiful fall day in the Hill Country, and everyone had a great time!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Quick Update and a BOGO Sale!

Well, the sock monkey hat is complete and just about ready to ship to a sweet girl for her Halloween costume:

And I've started a hat for DS4's costume. He'll be Pikachu, the ubiquitous yellow pokemon mouse. Somewhere around here, we have a face mask for the costume, but I know he won't wear it (plus, it's a safety issue .) So I'm making him a Pikachu hat! Hope it turns out as well as the sock monkey hat!

DS1 had his first high school performances this past weekend. He did a super job! And he was invited to attend the Texas Thespian Festival in Corpus Christi in November!! He's beyond excited!

Today is First Monday, and I'm having a BOGO 50% off sale at The Lavender Lizard and at The Lavender Ladybug! Please stop by! Other ETC shops and their sales info are listed in this Etsy forum thread.

Happy First Monday!

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Poor Neglected Blog

Every day that I don't blog, I feel guilty. Lately, I've been feeling guilty a lot. :)

I have been busy shuttling boys back and forth to school and such. They're at 3 different campuses this year, and DS1 has parts in both the theatre and musical productions at his high school, so I'll play taxi mom for the near future. But I don't really mind -- I love to see DS1 on stage. He told me the other day that I didn't have to see all of the productions that he's in. I don't? Oh, yes I do. Wild horses couldn't make me miss him on stage!

I have also been busy with hooks and yarn, as always. Here's a sneak peek at an upcoming project:

Can't guess what it is? If you're a fan of The Lavender Lizard on Facebook, you may already know that it's the start of a sock monkey hat for a Halloween costume for a dear friend's daughter. I'll post the finished photos soon.

Speaking of hats, you may remember that I created three beanies for my cousin Meri, the photographer. She used one of the beanies in a photo shoot with a newborn baby girl about a week ago. Here's one of the photos she shared with me:
This baby is just gorgeous, and Meri has captured such a special moment! I'm honored to be a small part of this beautiful memory. (Photo courtesy of MeriBella Photography.)

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Latest Projects, Cont.

Well, we all managed to survive the first week of school (and for me, the first time my sons were all at different campuses -- nervewracking!). I had very little time for crocheting this past week, but I realized it's been months since I blogged about my latest projects.

I'm working on a blanket for a special little girl. (Shhhhh - it's a surprise.) It's made in a waddle stitch (single crochet, chain 1, double crochet) pattern in alternating stripes of solid Orchid and a variegated yarn called Melonberry. Both colors are Red Heart Super Saver. I'm in love with the Melonberry palette: shades of pink, lavender, yellow, tan, and orange. Trust me, the picture does not do it justice! I think I'll be using Melonberry for something else real soon!

I'm working on a smaller blanket for a baby boy due to appear in October. It's a green and ivory striped blanket made with Eco-Ways from Red Heart. This is the first time I've used Eco-Ways, which is 30% polyester made from recycled plastic. So my green blanket is actually "green" too!
How cool is that!

I had an opportunity to create a custom beanie for a 4-year-old boy recently too. This was the photo his mom posted:

I guess he likes it! When I sent the beanie I included two angel ornaments:

The reason why is best told in Connie's words.

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of School 2010

Woke up way too early wondering how summer flew by soooo fast! It's the first day of school today, and the boys are all at different campuses (for the first time ever). Sigh...
DS1 starts high school today (!) at the best magnet school in town; DS2 is in 8th grade, ruling the roost at the best middle school in the district; and DS3 starts 4th grade with his 2 besties in the same class (pray for his teacher). So now it's just me and DS4, the baby, who is spending his last year at home, before tackling kinder next year. He's just handed me the Wii Fit Plus; I wonder what he's trying to tell me.
On a happier note, I treated myself to a slew of new sharpies while shopping for school supplies. I think I'll doodle until dismissal.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I Made a Rug!

I've been thinking about this project for months, and I finally took a day to sit down and make it. Back in the spring, my DH painted our bathroom and redid the flooring. It turned out great! But the wall color didn't look so hot with our Texas flag shower curtain, which truthfully, after 8 years, I was getting tired of anyway.

I bought a new shower curtain with soothing stripes in aqua, blue, and purple. I love the way it looked with the soft blue walls. It brightened up the whole room! Then I realized why I loved the colors of the stripes so much -- I had a collection of yarn in the same colors!

So then I decided to crochet a striped rug for the bathroom. To make it nice and thick and durable, I used three strands held together of Lion Brand Cotton-Ease yarn and a size P hook. The great thing about this technique is that your project will work up quickly (once your hands get used to holding this much yarn!). Then I chose three of the colors and combined them for the border.

Our bathroom is kind of long, so I'm thinking of making a second rug. Just gotta find a day to sit down and crochet it!

Monday, August 2, 2010

First Monday is Back!

After a six month hiatus, the First Monday sale from Etsy Texas Crafters is back, just in time for Back to School!

I have taken over as coordinator for First Monday, and I'm so excited to do this for such a great team! Join us here to see the complete listing of shops and specials.

Today you can save 25% at both The Lavender Lizard and at The Lavender Ladybug! Please wait for a revised PayPal or RME invoice, or I can refund the difference as soon as possible.

Happy First Monday!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Projects for My Primas

I can't believe that it's already late-July.....where has my summer gone?

I've been keeping busy with the boys. We've been swimming with friends and out to the ranch (new kittens!) and to the zoo and the movies. Today we headed to the library for more summer reading.

I've also been busy with projects! During the cousin reunion, my cousin Meri asked me to crochet newborn beanies for her photography business. I made 3 slightly different versions in hot pink and black:
plus 4 flower pins to accent them:

My cousin Josie asked me to crochet a poncho for a gift for a 6-year-old girl. I just finished it in beautiful neapolitan colors of pink and brown (plus another flower pin) and will be mailing it to Albuquerque this week.

Speaking of summer, I've also been working on a special order from The Lavender Lizard. One customer asked me to make a baseball-themed tape measure. I love the way it turned out! This will be available on Etsy, and it's also inspired a couple of new designs that I hope to make and list soon. Stay tuned!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Girls Weekend!

I just spent 3 fun-filled days in San Antonio with 8 of the most loving, creative, fun, and wonderful women I know -- my sisters and my cousins, the Gonzales Girls!

One flew in from California, and her sister flew in from New Mexico. Four came down from the Dallas-Fort Worth area (one of those by way of Mexico -- long story...). One drove up from Brownsville, and the other one drove down from Austin. I'm so blessed that they are my family and also my friends!

Here are the 9 of us in birth order from left to right (I'm the fourth one from the left):

This photograph is courtesy of MeriBella Photography (Gonzales Girl #8), which leads me to a collaboration that I am thrilled to share!

My cousin Meri asked me to create a cocoon/wrap for her to use when taking photographs of newborns. Here's the image she created with the wrap I made for her:

During our reunion this weekend, Meri and I discussed more newborn items/props. I can't wait to create these, and share them with her and with you. More information on MeriBella Photography, based in Brownsville, Texas, is available on the website or the Facebook page!

Reminder: the giveaway for the set of lip balm holders will end on July 1. Please read the last blog entry (I'm Published!) for ways to enter the giveaway. Good luck!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm Published!

Well, sort's not the Great American Novel but it's a good start! One of my goals for 2010 was to be published, and it's finally happened, not once, but twice!

The first is a book called Craft Corps by Vickie Howell. It's full of inspriring interviews with famous "crafters". I'm on page 39 (Ds1's favorite number) with a crafty story about making Christmas ornaments for the boys every year.

Thanks for including my story, Vickie!

The second publication just came to me in the mail today. It's the July 2010 issue of the British magazine titled Knitting, and it's about, well, knitting. It has beautiful patterns, yarn and book reviews and makes me wish I could coordinate using 2 knitting needles. (I'm all thumbs when it comes to knitting!) My neapolitan stripe scarf was chosen for their inspiration page! Plus I'm on page 11 -- my lucky number! So exciting!

Thank you Emma, for choosing my scarf!

To celebate reaching this goal, I'll give away a set of the ice cream-inspired (what else?) lip balm holders shown here (a $15 value):

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this blog post telling me what inspires you. You can earn additional entries for the giveaway by following my blog, becoming a fan of The Lavender Lizard on Facebook (click on "like), or following @lavenderlizard on Twitter. One person will be randomly chosen to receive the lip balm holders on July 1. Good luck!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The End of the School Year!

I finally got around to downloading the photos from the end of the school year. Next year will be monumental in that all 4 boys will be in 4 different places (high school, middle school, elementary school, and the baby at home). Wish me luck!

Sadly, one of our favorite teachers EVER retired this year. To celebrate her retirement, I cross-stitched and framed a quote from Albert Einstein, her hero.

It reads: " Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."

Here's Mrs. K with the boys in her very empty classroom (except DS4, who of course, wouldn't cooperate). Mrs. K taught GT and had DS1 and DS2 for four years each in elementary school. She's a superb teacher and a great friend, and she will be missed!

Over at the middle school, the PTA hosted an end-of-the-year breakfast for the staff. I made a market bag and two scarves in school colors that were given away as door prizes.

Time to enjoy the summer break!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Latest Projects

I'm happy to report that I have completed another afghan in the long-running and ever-growing list of blankets for the primos!

Plus the next one for the primos is almost complete; just 10 more rows to go.

In the meantime, I have started a baby blanket for a dear friend who is due in November (yay for Scorpios!). It's made with super-soft, super-plushy Buttercup yarn by Red Heart. I chose the white-multi color since I'm not sure of the baby's gender yet.

I also made a flower scarf for a gift using 2 colors of Loops and Threads (Michaels own brand) Impeccable Yarn, an ombre called Holland and a solid named Soft Fern:

And I liked the combo so much (reminds me of a fruit salad) I made a long, skinny scarf that will be listed at The Lavender Lizard.