Crochet Projects

I am working on several different crochet projects this month. I have three in progress; a custom granny square and two new stripe afghans. There are also 3-4 projects in what I call the incubator.

The incubator is a blending of several things; a secret pinterest board of ideas, yarn in yarntopia, and visual ideas that persist in running through my mind over and over again. Sometimes the ideas make it to the sketchbook or a yarn order.

The flower blanket you have been seeing updates on through Instagram. It is just a huge project. I feel like I am eating an elephant, one little bite at a time. I know it will be completed soon but it feels like climbing up a mountain on a slippery ice. It just keeps dragging on and on with no end in sight. I really wish I was at the joining stage. Truthfully, I’m not. I was just setting them out to verify how many squares I really needed. Crochet Projects; ChocolateDogStudio, Granny square flowers


I have been continuing to read the books on my list. I have been completing the exercises as I go and I think I am making progress. Breaking Busy has been reminding me to not overcommit to activities. Frankly, it has been hard as my life is in a shift of priorities. It appears that we are shifting from parenting to coaching to support staff, and from being friends with parents to keeping an eye on things for them a little bit more. Mom calls it the sandwich generation. I know she is right as sometimes I feel pretty squashed.Today, I am tired, deeply exhausted that tends to go with the fibromyalgia has set in. The weekend was full of family, fun and plain hard work. The results are amazing and today’s exhaustion is worth it.

The weather is gloomy and chilly today, which makes me want to snuggle under a blanket with a cup of coffee. I just need a  day of quiet, crochet and dinner in the crock pot. So, I am off to get dinner started so I can sit and crochet the rest of the day guilt free. The laundry is going so I feel pretty productive even if I am not working very hard.

Talk to you later,




Scalloped blanket is finished

I have finally finished this beautiful afghan that I have named the scalloped blanket. I use this beautiful yarn that comes in so many different colors.

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Aren’t they gorgeous? I decided to write the tutorial and share it with you but it is still in the process.

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This close up of the different colors in the yarn makes it a beautiful addition to your home.


It is a truly wonderful blanket full of texture. The design  and pattern are very simple and the yarn is easy to work with. I think this is a step up from a basic beginner blanket. I can’t wait to share the instructions with you.IMG_9035

The colors look different in different lights. Reds, blues and grays can be so hard to photograph. There is tan and browns in the blanket as well.


I was hoping to have this tutorial written by now. Things have been busy at home. Our oldest dear daughter graduated from college this past weekend. We had tons of work to do getting her things loaded up into the cars and then attending the lovely graduation ceremony. Celebrating this wonderful accomplishment was an honor. Then there was a super fast loading of her stuff and the 5+ hour drive home in three different cars. It was a long drive but incredibly worth it. We are very proud of her. She worked incredibly hard and is now ready to start the next chapter in her life!

You can see why writing the crochet pattern just didn’t happen this past week.

talk to you later,



The Planked Ceiling

Here we are painting the planked ceiling in the kitchen! What a job planking the ceiling has turned out to be. ”

Plank the ceiling”! we said

“Great idea”

“How hard can it be?

You know when you have there three sentences in one paragraph combined with home improvement that you just really need to take a step back and slow way down. This has turned out to be a huge, massive project. I am sure that everyone else (family and friends) are now nodding their heads thinking “I told you so!”  We started the week before Christmas and we are almost to the point where we are ready to add trim!  Here are some photos of the project as we have had different check points in the project. Understand that we are not huge DIY’s. we are just ordinary people with average skills.

The Planked Ceiling, ChocolateDogStudio DIY

It started with changing out the lights in the kitchen. We changed from fluorescent to LED lights and have truly had a huge savings in our electric bill.

The Planked Ceiling, ChocolateDogStudio DIY

Starting the planking. At this point we are halfway through and we really like how it looks.

The Planked Ceiling, ChocolateDogStudio DIY

Looking in toward the kitchen. It looks nice and clean.

The Planked Ceiling, ChocolateDogStudio DIY

Starting the paint job.

Today we are finishing the paint job and then all that will be left is the trim. Which we will paint before we apply it.

The Planked Ceiling, ChocolateDogStudio DIY

It is waiting on the second coat but it looks really nice. I can’t wait for it to be finished. We have had massive help from our sons and then our daughter’s friend also helped tremendously. It has been a great bonding experience but it is one that we are ready to enjoy and not work on or think about!

Talk to you later,



Look for the Ducks

Yesterday was such a normal day. I always look for the ducks as I was driving to an early morning appointment.  Driving through our neighborhood is a bit of adventure between drivers that go too fast, tight curves and wandering wildlife. The ducks tend to walk around on the road from time to time. I have been having a rough couple of weeks with migraines and just not feeling good. Stress has been overwhelming the past several weeks.  I reverted back to a habit I have had for years when I am stressed, I was looking for beauty. Now ducks aren’t usually considered the most beautiful in the bird world, but these ducks always look peaceful swimming on their pond.

Look for the Ducks, ChocolateDogStudio, dealing with stress, getting out of your comfort zone


So, I was looking for beauty yesterday, as I get stressed driving in rush hour traffic. I was also looking for the ducks. There are ducks in a pond in a neighbor’s yard. The ducks always bring a smile as they go about being ducks in a pond. They do what ducks do, waddle, quack, swim and get in the road.

Yesterday, however I saw a duck doing something I have never seen before and I am sure I will never see again. There is a chain link fence surrounding this pond as it is in a neighborhood and ponds need fences to keep kids out of them. There was a duck standing on the top of the chain link fence. Just standing there. I fully expected to hear her quack “Aflack”. Mrs Mallard was standing there watching all the other ducks in the pond swimming around in a mass eating breakfast. I almost stopped to see if I could take a photo of her but I would have been late. I don’t know what made the duck decide to take the risk of standing on the top of the chain link fence. I do know that the duck seem extremely satisfied with attaining her goal. She was standing most carefully with her large orange webbed feet planted just so on top of that chain link fence.

She came to mind as I drove about my errands, met my Mom for her emergency visit for her eyes, talked with my husband on our date. I was able to share the fun of the duck on the fence with my Mom as she was stressed about her eye appointment. (It was good news.) It really made her laugh and decreased our stress immediately. I shared with my husband about the duck as we talked about our day. It also made him laugh.  There are several messages I found while pondering the duck on the fence all day.

Look for the Ducks, ChocolateDogStudio, dealing with stress, getting out of your comfort zone

  • Do not be afraid to get out of the water and do something different!
  • You can be a duck and still do something special!
  • Good things still happen when you are struggling. They are still there! Look for the ducks!

I may never see another duck on a chain link fence but I will never, ever forget this one!

Look for the Ducks, ChocolateDogStudio, dealing with stress, getting out of your comfort zone

Look for the Ducks, ChocolateDogStudio, dealing with stress, getting out of your comfort zone

Have you ever seen a duck perching on a fence or tree? Are you thinking about getting out of the water and doing something different?

Talk to you later,


P.S. The irises are from my front garden. I will be planting some other colors this week. I know it is the wrong time of year but I always forget to plant them at the right time of year.

Also these photos are not photos of the ducks at my neighbors. Also I am not a duck expert this might be a duck that actually does perch in trees!