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Old Year and New Year 2018

If you prefer my crochet posts, then you should stop reading right about now- this blog post is about the Old Year and New Year 2018. The Old Year and New Year-2018 a stark contrast, one has the pages all scribbled on and the 2018 is sitting fresh and clean waiting for the pen to make the first mark. I thought I was going to reminisce and set some goals but I have decided to write what I am thankful for on this last day of the year. Maybe it will set the theme of thankfulness for 2018. There are so many blessings that just pass us by without any acknowledgement or even just a passing nod. The Old Year and New Year 2018; how many days rushing around being busy or overloaded last year and how many will be similar in the new year.

I try every year to plan out the year to be calm and orderly. I used to think that I was just unorganized and that if I paid better attention I would travel a straighter path and the plans I make for the coming year would happen. The years have added a smidge of grace to this as I now know that there is NO WAY to plan for the future and have 100% of what you plan actually happen.

When I started writing this I thought a list of everything accomplished would be the thing for this post. There really isn’t the a person  alive really that interested in what has happened this year, besides family. So, no brag board. No giant list of everything good and bad that has happened.

Just a smattering of photos of what was the best.

Old Year and New Year 2018 These little people that call me Grandma! What an incredible blessing that they are in our lives.

Old Year and New Year 2018 The ability to have good medical care where and when you need it. The family that has baby sat me for 6 + weeks while I have healed. It gave me the opportunity to sit and think about the future. Lay some plans and spend time thinking. I rather like taking all of December off from the business and crocheting. My hands thank me and the creativity is starting to generate more ideas.

4 distinct seasons and dogs that think I am the world’s best human, the ability to see every color in the rainbow.

The opportunity to take time off and spend family time, to be there when I am needed and free to crochet whenever I want.

 

The New Year 2018

Studio Goals

Here is the to do list for the coming year. This is all subject to change.

  • 2 full sized afghan patterns
  • At least 3 blog posts a month, averaged out over the year.
  • 12 patterns – 1 a month or something like this
  • Seasonal decor
  • Hats,
  • More Baby patterns
  • Some patterns for kids, toys and things… or something like this.
  • A book or two… we will see.
  • Increase the free patterns
  • Start up the You Tube videos again.

Personal Goals

  • Be more intentional about faith and exercise.
  • Declutter 3 specific rooms/storage in the house- you know- the rooms filled with junk. I am sure you have one too! If you don’t, send me some tips about living clutter free.
  • Cook at home more and in advance
  • Garden a little bit.
  • Take a trip without kids
  • Vacation with the kids

That is a great list and I know that it will be a good thing to get even ½ of it done!

What is on your list this New Year? Leave a comment and let me know.

Talk to you later,

Karen

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Temperature Afghan

Temperature afghans-if you have crocheted any length of time at all, then you have seen them all over the internet, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram at the first of the new year for the last several years. If you do a search for Temperature Afghan you will probably come across a variation of this photo.  This afghan wasn’t created primarily to be a temperature afghan, though someone on the internet did use this photo to portray one.

Temperature Afghan Tips

 

Temperature Afghan Tips

What is a temperature afghan?

It is an afghan crocheted one row a day with the color related to the temperature of that day. Blues and Purples for cold weather and yellows/oranges/reds for warmer temps. Greens for the middle temps. When completed there is a visual representation of the year’s daily temperature and 365 rows of beautiful afghan.

Problems with a temperature afghan?

  • They can be huge! 365 rows of huge crochet blanket.
  • It is a long commitment. You must know that you will stick with a project for every day of the year (not my thing.)
  • They can be ugly if your regional temperatures zoom up and down like ours in Oklahoma where it can be 80 degrees F one day and below zero the next.
  • It can be boring.

The answer to fixing the boring part and huge commitment is to crochet last year’s temperatures. Find the temperatures for last year on the internet. Print them out and then you can sit down and crochet the whole thing in several weeks! Which is what I would do if I were going to crochet one.

How can you adjust the temperature afghan to fit your crocheting style?

There are so many ways that you can use to crochet a smaller version.

  • It could be the temperatures for the month a baby was born or your birthday month.
  • A scarf illustrating the temperatures for 3 winter months.
  • It could be a granny square blanket with 2 or 3 daily temperatures.
  • Crochet a special year to memorialize someone’s life.

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Life is Fun

Right now, life is fun. I am figuring out how to get around and do daily living activities while not putting any weight on my right foot. Which means that I am not getting around much at all.

 

Before Christmas

I spent my time crocheting these dino hats for the Grandkids and then also finishing up their sequined Christmas Stockings. Which did need me to be down and immobile for several weeks to get them finished. Sometimes I go without the boot when I am sitting around but it doesn’t mean that I am walking on it yet! I am still following the Doctor’s orders

  Temperature Afghan Tips                             Temperature Afghan Tips

 

Temperature Afghan Tips                          Temperature Afghan Tips                     Temperature Afghan Tips

The looked cute on the grandkids with the dino tails to match. The dyno hats crocheted up quickly and are fun to make.

Temperature Afghan Tips

The tails are wonderful and were created by www.etsy.com/shop/kidhub. She did a great job and I was able to custom order the colors to match yarn that I already had on hand.

Beautiful Moments

There have been (what deceptively looks like) beautiful moments like this.

Temperature Afghan Tips

Where it looks like I spent all day snuggled under a crochet afghan drinking yummy hot drinks. When I got about 3 micro seconds of this bliss before I spilled the coffee in my lap. Which goes to show that photos do not often tell the whole story.

    Temperature Afghan Tips

The second photo above makes it look like I am incredibly organized, and  getting some work done. I am not sure about the quality of my work due to the pain meds I was taking at the time. It is time to go back and review my work. We have had a downturn in the weather this week and we went from shorts weather to a dusting of snow before Christmas and it is now brrr cold with a bit of ice due on Saturday.

Temperature Afghan Tips

It was beautiful, and I bribed a child to go out and take some snow photos for me.

Temperature Afghan Tips I also got in my pre-Christmas yarn order that I forced myself not to open until the hats and stockings were finished. Sometimes I need a big carrot to get the job finished. This is always fun and if the colors seem odd, I was filling in some missing colors from Yarntopia. I did miss some vital colors that will have to go in another order.

 

After Christmas

Since Christmas, I have been doing a ton of organizing paperwork, thinking, planning and talking with friends. I haven’t had this much sit down or chat time in months.  I just move too fast and jump from one thing to another without stopping to force myself to slow down and do nothing. It is good to be able to sit and think but it also means a certain amount of boredom has set in. Binge watching tv is now done and over, I have seen all I want to see on Netflix or Amazon.  So, I have moved on to business planning and thinking about coming new year.

Temperature Afghan Tips

So now you are caught up with where I am and what is going on at Chocolate Dog Studio. Things are good, and the foot is healing as quickly as can be expected. I am thrilled at the thought of a New Year and the new crochet projects ahead of me.

 

Talk to you later,

Karen

P.S. I hope that your Holidays have been wonderful and relaxing. I would love to know what is going to be on your list of crochet projects to do this year?

 

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Christmas Countdown and the Holiday Sale

Here we are in full on  Christmas countdown mode and gearing up for the Holiday Sale. The days are shorter and filled with activities.  Music events, church, children’s programs in addition to work and living life.

It is always a rush to get the perfect gift for each and every person on our gift list. It is such a struggle to make sure that no one is forgotten or left out.

 

The Holiday Sale

There are some good sales happening at the Etsy Shop and also here on the blog in the next four weeks. This is the first 25% off any $20 or more purchase.  Everything handmade is on sale in the Etsy shop including the afghans. The patterns are on sale here and the Etsy shop. Take your pick and finish out your shopping! The last guaranteed Christmas arrival shipping day is the 16th of December.

Christmas Countdown and the Holiday Sale

 

Recovery

I am recovering nicely and spent more than half the day sitting up and taking care of this and that computer chore.  I am feeling better and can’t wait to get downstairs and see the Christmas tree. It has been 2 weeks since I have navigated the stairs. Crutches and stairs with a half turn in them plus pain meds have worked to keep me upstairs. Tomorrow is the day that I finally will see the downstairs. I knew it had a been a long two weeks in bed (mostly) when one of the kids saw me sitting in the chair and said “Oh, you are sitting in a chair!” like it was some really strange event to see me anywhere but bed.  Everyone has been incredibly kind and helpful even when I am less than my best.

 Christmas Countdown and the Holiday Sale

Crochet

I have had one little Grandchild visit in the past two weeks . He spent the time talking about Grandma’s big booboo (the boot instead of a cast.) I am  missing those little people desperately. I have not been up to seeing them but we do have a cookie decorating event coming up soon. So, I will get to see them then. I have had the crochet hook out after I finished up this sequined stocking that I had promised.

Christmas Countdown and the Holiday Sale

I am starting work on some Dinosaur hats as a little grandkids Christmas gift. They are receiving dinosaur tails for their Christmas gift from Grandma and Grandpa.

Christmas Countdown and the Holiday Sale

The tails velcro on and were custom made by the Etsy Shop- Kid Hub. Jennifer did a great job and everyone loves them. The hats are a fun add on to the tails and can be worn to pre-school even if the tails can’t. Imagination stretching gifts are my favorite gift to give.

Kid Hub

 

Dinosaur Dragon Tail Birthday Costume Halloween outfit Gift idea Party Favor christmas gift idea

Talk to you later,

Karen

P.S. What are you shopping for this year? Are you crocheting any gifts? How is your Christmas Countdown going?

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Black Friday and Beyond

Black Friday and Beyond

There is so much that is happening in the next 10 days; surgery, Black Friday and beyond.  I really wanted to do the Christmas shopping season up big this year, however, surgery is looming for me and I am only offering sales in the Etsy shop. Thanksgiving weekend has different sales almost every day in the Etsy shop. Please come back frequently to shop for patterns. If it isn’t on sale the first day you look it probably will be the next day!

Ready to Wear and Afghans

Any ready to wear or afghans need to be bought this week. They need to be wrapped prior to surgery so that they get shipped out quickly.

Happy Thanksgiving

May you have a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. May your Christmas be merry and bright.

 

Black Friday and Beyond

We were driving past this sunset on our way to church Sunday night. The leaves and bright sunshine just called for a photograph. It is blurred and imperfect but that is so much like our lives these days. Beauty that is blurred and imperfect. I’ve been looking for the beauty in life everyday, as life has been a little tougher around the edges lately. This sunset just made me thankful for life and family. Beauty no matter how blurred is still beauty. It still brings a deep and abiding peace as it reminds me who is in charge of life.

 

Talk to you later,

Karen

P.S. The surgery is clean up work on a foot that doesn’t work properly and will leave me crutch bound for all of the Christmas season. I’ll pop in once in awhile closer to Christmas. See you then. You will see me more on Instagram as I crochet tons while I am recovering from surgery. Look for new patterns in the January and February.