Procrastination

No I am Not a procrastinator, I am not, I am not. LOL Really I have not had any extra time to spend with this blog until today. I have been sooooo busy with the garden, and the work to prepare VBS at our church. We are half-way through with VBS and it has been a blast so far. Have I mentioned the heat wave. That is also an obstacle in the course of living in the south. Record- breaking heat for July and still continuing to I can take higher temps if the humidity is a bit lower. You all would say that I am a die-hard crocheter, because I have been taking some of my work with me. I have made daisies, wildflowers, and cacti for our snack shack for VBS. Because of so many commitments I have had to lay aside the baby blanket I was making, as well as all the practice of newer techniques. That makes me sad, but there are only so many hours in a days.  😛 Maybe the rest of week will be a little slower and then I can play catch-up. I hope that your projects are going well. By the way, in some pattern research, I have found a stitch pattern called the Alligator Stitch. The admission must be made, it does sound intriguing! I have to study up on that. Have any of you ever tried it? If so please let me know in the comments. Don’t worry, be crafty!! Jama

Wildflowers

Since I have been very busy this week with preparing for VBS at our church, I have neglected posting anything. Sorry. I have started making flowers and cactus pots with thread. I have just in the last two months started getting into thread and floss crochet. By nature I am a visual person, meaning if it does not look right at first I frog it and redo, frog, redo. To me when I first start a thread crochet project (any thread project) it never looks like the picture in the pattern or even like the design in my head. I have learned just to keep with it because it takes me a little longer to see that the outcome is not going to be a piece of junk. LOL Patience, that is what I have learned with it! More to come of my wildflowers and cacti!! Until then, don’t worry be crafty!! 😀

 

Teach me, teach me

Often I am reminded of my baby sister,who at the time was all of three years old, sitting on the desk of our home-school instructor named, Mom. 😀 She would get up in Mom’s face and ever so sweetly but firmly say, “Teach me, teach me”.  Aww, if only we all could have that kind of outlook that brings out such sincerity. Somehow as we get older, we often feel like we have to fake our way through knowing something that we may have never even heard of before. For reasons that are not always in our conscious minds. Nobody likes to think that they are not smart enough, over looked, ridiculed for not knowing  how to do something that they don’t, etc. I know from personal experience that there is not one person out there that likes to be talked down to because they do not know how to do something. That spans across the board, from academia to crafts and all in between!  As my goal is to help share knowledge of how to crochet {ie left-handed} and if I don’t know I will try my best to learn!! When you stop learning, you stop growing, and when you stop growing life becomes dull! One of my personal goals is to set up a all left handed manual for how to crochet, my style.  🙂 Feel free to ask any of your crocheting questions! I would love to hear from you! Just remember no question is too simple!!

One of my friends asked me how to get the tension right when crocheting left-handed I told her I would post pictures of how I hold the yarn I am working from.

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Jama's way to get the tention right 😉
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the pinky wrap

I tried to post a video, but i can not at this time get the video to post to here, but I have it on my Facebook page, if you are interested. Until next time, stay hooked on happiness!!! Jama

Music or TV

Conducting my own survey today. Do you listen to music or the TV when crocheting? Or does it depend on your mood?? For me, I’ll be the first to admit, it depends on my mood. Also where I am at in my project. When I need to concentrate more on a difficult piece, music helps. When I am doing a self-repeating pattern, once started I listen/watch TV while working. So what are some of your favorite things to watch and listen too? Here’s what I am  playing;

MP3 list: Backstreet Boys, Glenn Miller, the Carpenters, Queen, and Absolute Modern Worship

TV: any 80’s movie, Murder She Wrote, Perry Mason movies, Downton Abby, Despicable Me, Finding Nemo {those colors still inspire me}, and my all time favorite, Home Improvement! Let me know some of yours in the comments, please!

This is a baby blanket that was my first Bavarian Crochet piece. I made it for my cousin’s baby girl. 🙂 Time is short today, so I have to stop writing. Stay hooked on happiness! Jama

Time

Do you ever feel as if there should be more hours in the day? Agh… I have not had alot of time to get much done on my projects, for about a week now. Life, it is full of wonderful surprises, heart breaking moments and in-between ups and downs. The past few weeks have been filled with such moments. We have had cookouts, seen family we haven’t seen in years, welcomed new members to our family and had to say good-buy to one. There has also been garden work, and you have not eaten until you have had fresh summer veggies!! 🙂 There are no complaints since I love that kind of stuff! Yes I even make jelly. Hard to say that about most people my age. Anyway I have been thinking allot about one side of the family that I know nothing about. I got to talking to my great aunt and even she could not tell me names of her grandparents. That makes me sad and left me searching that much harder. What makes the fabric of Jama? When you come from a southern family you never expect to not know who you come from. It left me shaking my head  wondering how things like simple family history can slip through the cracks of time and somehow get forgotten. But it the fault lies on no one particular person. It just happens! I hope to find out that somewhere along the way they were a crafty people. 🙂 I know that there are several branches in my family that the creativity gene was passed down.

I almost have completed this baby blanket… have been working on it (off and on) about 3 1/2 weeks.

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Granny Square baby blanket blue/yellow

Thanks for reading! Until next time stay hooked on happiness! Jama

Great start

14 views for the first blog on Wednesday. WOW!!! Of course I never expected it would be that many so far. To say the least I am one happy girl! Thanks to all who read! 🙂

Yesterday I met a lady who loves to craft about as much as I do. It was a real treat to talk with her about various things she has done. She also uses her talent to give back to the communtiy by making hats to give to cancer patients around the state. Wonderful work you do, God bless you my friend!

I always have, what I call a no-brainer project to take along pretty much where-ever I go. Something to keep my hands busy, yet I do not have to keep close count of stitches. That sounds great right? But I love to spice it up when I have nothing around to distract me. The picture below is a blanket I made for a friend. If you need to know one thing about me, it would be that I LOVE nautical things!!!! I bought the July/August 2008 issue of Crochet Today knowing that it was full to the brim of great “beachy” theme ideas. Needless to say i have worn that book out and have to buy another one!!!! That is if I can still order one for Crochet Today! It took somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 1/2 – 3 months( I was slow moving back then). lol Well that is all I have time for now. Don’t worry, be crafty!! Jama

A new day, and a new technique

There is always room for improvement. That is true for everything and applies to pretty much everyone. It is also the way to look at your craftiness! Right now I am working on going through a book called 280 Crochet Shell Patterns by Darla Sims. Just starting from the first pattern and working through to the end. Who knew that making 6 inch swatches would trigger of more ideas of designs and patterns. It has been a wonderful tool for improving the way I make shells with various stitches.

A few months ago, I ordered a book from Annie’s Attic. Knit one, purl 2 in crochet by Bendy Carter. I have been studying over it and can’t wait to try the techniques out. Strangely I got an email from Leisure Arts and they are introducing a product/technique coined the “Knook”. Very similar to each other, yet the knook uses a cord to hold stitches in place. I am planning on trying both, so I will keep you informed! 🙂

Watch for more pictures of my finished and in-process projects in the next few days. Until then remember “Happiness is crocheting with no strings attached”~ Jama Stallings Currin 

Another day, another yarn

To kind of catch everyone up on the rest of my story,this past  January I started taking a crochet/knitting class. (No I don’t knit, yet, anyway!) What a wonderful group of ladies that get together at the local community college and work on learning new stitches, patterns, learning how to design, among finding a common thread, if you will, of enjoyment. When I went into this class, I had no idea what to really expect or what would happen. I have gained so much knowledge and confidence in the ability that God has given me, that I fall more in love with crocheting everyday. I am taking the summer off from class, but I truly can not wait to start again in September. Not that I want time to get away too quickly, mind you. It is funny, now that I have been a group setting with other crocheters, I find my projects that used to take months, only take a few weeks at the most. 🙂 I am the youngest in the class, and I am reminded of that often by them. LOL I think they all like the fact that there is hope that textile art will not die out. I believe that crochet really is like a catalyst in conversation when in public. I have been the DRs office and had people not only watch whatever project I was on, but ask questions on how to, and tell me about how their Grandma used to do that. To those who know me, I am not an outgoing, never-met-a-stranger kinda person, so I love it when conversations spark because of a “simple” thing like crocheting.

I must admit that books are an other passion of mine. {So what if I have collected over 600 cookbooks!} 😉 I have been adding crochet books  to my bookshelves lately. My personal favorite right now is Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Crochet Stitches. Talk about sparking ideas!! What are some of your favorite and most helpful crochet resources???? ?Just leave a comment.

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Afghan hook, size I; double-ended hook size G; regular hook size G

Keep crafting until next time! Jama

Left-hook

How does one start down the road from hobby to passion of life? Well, with me it all began with a Christmas gift from my Grandma. I was about 10 or 11 and when I opened those three aluminum sticks, made for crochet. Of course I had NO clue how to use them. There were obstacles that stood in my way.. 1) being so young I did not have the patience, 2) after asking around in my family there was no one who could/would show me how. Being home-schooled, I had been taught from an early age if I found something that interested me, to study up on  it. Hey, Benjamin Franklin was a home-schooled genius! So lead me to the craft books from the 1970’s, that my parents had acquired from the discard pile at the local library. I would try to read about it, but they all were written for this right handed world. So off on my journey, I continued to make chains, pull them out, get frustrated, put it all away for 6 months, repeat. After about 3 years of this pattern of just trying to figure how to crochet and my mother’s saying : I’m not sure that is right! I finally got it. Then my mother says “Thank you Jesus” when I showed her  how my once uneven squares turned into more equally spaced stitches.  So that is the beginning of my creativity learning. More to come from this story, pictures, and updates on my designs and projects. Until then, Happy crafting!!