Hostess gifts and family

It seems I didn’t do the “publish on a certain date” thing right so a lot of my blogs didn’t get posted.  I will be releasing them in what may seem like a flurry of thoughts.  Please excuse.

One of the things I try to do is take a hostess gift when I visit.  My sister was so gracious in opening her home to us that I just had to make her something special.  The result? – a granny square/quilted hot pad set made for her specific kitchen hues.  I have the pattern on my craftsy site here: .

This is so easy to do and you can also use a pre-made hot pad to make it even easier.  My sister loved them and put them to use right away.  So if you are looking for a great hostess gift please check out the link above.

With the wedding just a days away, the sister fun has just begun.  Stay tuned!Diannes hot patd

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15 hour drive

We had all the bags packed and the car loaded as we left at dark-thirty. I had my pillow and light throw ready for my travel therapy.  With my son driving us in his 2-door, low to the road, 260 AC car I opted to sleep most of the day.  It was better for us all that way.  You may be wondering what  260AC is.  A hole was discovered in the air conditioning unit when we went to have it checked for the trip thinking we only needed some more Freon.  There was no time to get repair parts so for cooling we rolled down the 2 windows and went over 60 mph to get the air flowing and that was how we rolled on down the road!

God was so very generous to us though as we had cloudy conditions and a few rain sprinkles all along the way and with Trev at the wheel we were definitely supplied with enough cooling air for the trip. He was so happy to enter TX with the speed limits he liked. I just sat back & enjoyed the view.  So much had changed since our last trip but I knew we were in the lone star state when I spotted the bluebonnets.

It was so nice to arrive at my sister’s house before dark (gotta love those summer daylight saving times); and it was a relief to get out of the car.  15 hours is a long time but I would do it all again to see my sisters – and to go to my grand nephew’s wedding.

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Soap Sack Loofah

Are you looking for a quick gift?  This little soap sack loofah is great!  It works up fast and DSCF2177is easy to do.  I made some for some of my girlfriends for Mother’s Day.  And using a 2 ply cotton you can make small baby gifts.  They are soft and so easy to use bathing a small one.  For the pattern, shop my Craftsy store.

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3 a.m. Wake-up Call

The save the date for the wedding was Good Friday and all the sisters were invited.  We started early determining if it was possible we could all make it for this momentous occasion.  Our big sister’s grandson was getting married – the first of the “grands”! It took a lot of planning and saving and in the end it was agreed; we would all be in attendance. A last minute scheduling of training made it impossible for my husband to attend with me so my son stepped up and offered to drive me – a 15 hour trip; all in one day.  This was going to be an adventure.

Knowing I was to occupy my son’s small, 2door, sports car for 900 minutes put me to rearranging activities I had planned for the drive.  The wedding gift I started expecting to finish during the drive now had to be completed ahead of departure. While my son is an awesome driver, I acknowledge the fact that I am somewhat less of an awesome traveler.  Reading was definitely out and crocheting would have to be limited to larger yarns and hooks – not the small size 6 steel hook and size 10 thread called for in the pattern.  The gift I chose was a hot pad.  For 2 days I was in a crochet frenzy determined to finish. The free pattern can be found here: .  Pictures of the completed present are on my Facebook page MGNinaLee.

With the gift done and clothes carefully chosen and packed into suitcases I began to load the car. As I tracked back and forth from the driveway to the house I was reminded that sometimes our plans change and being able to adjust and bend with the circumstances is required. It wasn’t the way I chose but that is the way life is sometimes.  We plan and organize for one situation and end up going in a different direction.  I have a saying “Want to make God laugh?  Tell him your plans”.  What I have learned is God is always able to enable us to do whatever He has planned for us to do.  And that is a great comfort as I set my alarm clock for 3 a.m.

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Change Is In The Wind

One of my friends posted this quote to Twitter:  ”Smell that? It’s opportunity! Go get it! ” .  I didn’t know just how much this would affect me in the coming months.  At the time she wrote this many months ago, our family was just entering into a “what now” season.  Our eldest had just moved into his own apartment and I sent one half of my household items with him.  My husband was implementing a big project at work and I was trying to define what audience I wanted to reach with my passion for all things thread (crochet thread, tatting thread, embroidery thread, yarn, etc.).  Everything was going fine – famous last words.

The memo came down that once again there would be no raises at work and jobs were being “redefined”. Then one of my best friends needed help that would take me away from home for a while. After prayer and family discussions it was decided that I would offer whatever help was needed by my friend and different work options were to be pursued.   “I know the plans I have for you” was the Bible verse I leaned on heavily.  My husband began consulting which meant travel and I was in a climate where “hot & humid” were the norm.  None the less, I enjoyed it.

Again, we sought direction and guidance for our lives.  We added “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” to our devotional list.  Change is hard but that does not stop it from happening.  I enjoy my constant schedule and that was now in an uproar.  My new normal was to be prepared for anything.  After my time of service to my friend was completed my family had another meeting to try and sort a path for this time in our lives.  After many interviews and job offers, my husband chose to try coastal living for a time and change once again has hit us.  While he has taken a small apartment close to work (well, relatively close) I am trying to sort 25 years of living in this house down to a manageable mess.  Even dividing the remaining household items ( the half left after providing the afore mentioned eldest) to my husband so he could set up his own housekeeping has left me with more than ample materials with which to have an enormous garage sale.

On top of all this I get an announcement of “Save the Date” from my first great-nephew for his wedding.  Of course this means road trip!  And what tales there will be to share. Now back to sorting and cleaning and praying.  A lot of praying. . .  with just a bit of crochet thrown in.

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Yes, it has been a few months since my last posting. I apologize but I am not sorry. There have been a lot of new opportunities in our family for growth and change and the ride through this season of our lives continues to be wild and exciting and hectic! One week I traveled through 5 states adding thousands of miles to the odometer and visiting with friends and family along the way. It helped my hotel bonus points also.
I look forward to sharing all these adventures with you so stay tuned. Next up – West verses East coast living.
I am praying you have a blessed day full of fun (and for me that means playing with thread in any form; yarn, floss, wool, etc.)

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O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

DSCF1940A friend showed me a Christmas trees she was making from an idea she saw on-line that was in Russian.  Since she didn’t have a complete pattern I accepted the challenge to come up with an English version and while I was at it I decided to play around and come up with two different ones!

DSCF1952The first one is comprised of branches made of single crochets worked along an extension off the main chain.  The second is worked with slip stitches.

You start with a chain of 131 stitches and work a single crochet in each chain for the the base.  Then along this base you work branches in groups of 10 starting with 6 chains off the main base and working single crochets back down to the beginning.  Secure this with a slip stitch into the 1st single crochet. Move to the next single crochet and repeat.  After these 10 branches are constructed work on the next 10 branches increasing the length of the branch by 1 stitch in each group until the end.  The tree will curl because of all the stitches worked in it. Now wrap the tree around either a dowel stick or a stiff wire gluing it in place;  Insert into a base of your choosing.  I used a wooden block drilled with a hole to fit the dowel.

Here is a picture of the one I made and decorated for my eldest’s apartmentDSCF1957.

I have a more detailed pattern you can purchase on Craftsy.



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Candy Corn Day October 30th

DSCF190930 degrees when I awoke this morning and it is national Candy Corn day.  What better way to start than with a warm cup of coffee! To keep it warm on this brisk morning and in celebration of national Candy Corn day I decided to design a couple of cup cozies.

Here is the free pattern on craftsy for the plain one  DSCF1865:

For the ripple pattern check here:


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Broomstick Lace Wristlet

DSCF1830As the weather is turning cooler here in Tennessee, my thoughts are turning to warm accessories to help avert the chill in the air while still maintaining my “cool”.  That means adding a little warmth in the layering but not too much and not all the time!

DSCF1832These wristlets are great for that: bigger than a bracelet but not too overpowering. I don’t need the gloves just yet;  just a little something to ward off the crisp morning air.  These can be knit or crocheted and work up very fast.

Find the pattern here:

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Button Bracelet

I have had so many friends post to my facebook page all the crochet button flowers and tonight I was asked if I could make a brief tutorial overview for a crochet button bracelet.  I am happy to oblige.bracelet

In this project I used special crochet thread with a metal color wound in to give it a bright sheen.  To begin make a slip knot and put the hook through the loop.  Next, insert the hook into the button hole.   Draw up a loop and complete for a single crochet (sc).  Work 2 sc in each of the top 2 holes of the button and continued working the same pattern in each of the buttons. around last button For the end button, work 2 sc in each of the 4 holes.  Proceed back down the row of buttons using the same pattern of 2 sc in each of the remaining 2 holes joining with a slip stitch into the top of the first sc.second row

The second row is worked with 2 half double crochet stitches (hdc) between each sc.  Join with a sl st to the beginning hdc .edge row finished

Edging on the bracelet is just a sc between the 2 hdc stitches separated with 2 chain stitches.  Join with a slip stitch.  Fasten off and weave in ends.  Add a magnetic closure and you are done!

You can find the full pattern for sale here:

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