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After Christmas 2018


The after Christmas lull has hit the house. Times of reflection and general grumpiness seems to be the rule rather than the exception. Too much Christmas food after months of eating lighter just doesn’t seem to sit well with me anymore. Nothing a couple of days of lighter eating won’t fix. Crocheting has been happening here and some baby blankets are in the works to restock the shop. A blue granny square blanket and also a pink one are the favorite color combinations so far. It would be nice to finish something before more family comes in on Saturday.

The newest blue baby blanket in the works.


There has been tons of painting going on. It has been incredibly fun to get so much painting done. The work has stacked up with the possibilities of a couple of custom orders in January. I am working hard to get the current work completed and out of the studio. The paint studio will most likely be moving back downstairs. The items getting painted just keep getting bigger and it is harder to navigate the stairs with them. Also paint, yarn and fabric just don’t mix well in small spaces. The paint seems to jump off the paint brush at bad times and it makes me nervous to have it around so much paint. I did manage to finish up the boys Christmas quilts. There were three quilts given out to the grandkids on Christmas eve. It was wonderful to have that big project out of my project line. They had been sitting around for two years waiting to get finished.

Talk to you later,


I hope that you and yours have had a wonderful holiday season. That it is filled with family, fun and the quiet time that you need.

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Christmas Chains, Yarn and Crochet

Christmas chains, yarn and crochet; there isn’t much painting this week. The studio is full of soft goods right now, quilts for small grandkids, yarn from Black Friday shopping, products to ship and projects to finish. Are you ready for a small breather in your hectic schedule? I know that we are. Some time off doing what we love, maybe a little home repair, a little deep cleaning, a ton of family time, church time and time to reflect. Like you, we live a rather normal life; well, as normal as it can get. Family time has been a little more intense the past several months. It is good to see that some crochet is starting to happen again. It fills a deep need to create and is more portable than painting and it keeps me balanced.

Yarn Shopping

Crochet has been filling my time more since Black Friday shopping. My crochet momentum is back, finally! The family knew when the soft squishy packages started arriving that Black Friday shopping had been a serious occupation for the Studio. Good thing that some of these projects have used up a little of the yarn. Hopefully, the projects planned for the yarn will work up quickly and fill the Etsy shop. A few photos of the beautiful colors soon to be coming your way with new patterns (hopefully) or remakes of older patterns in new colors.

Christmas Chains

Christmas Chains

Christmas Chains


Here is a little of what I have been working on these days.

Christmas Chains

The Baby Hexi which seemed to take all summer.

Christmas Chains

A new take on the Ruby Red with Lion Brand Landscapes “Twilight” just to give folks another viewpoint of the Ruby Red in colors other than pink/red.

I also worked on a cute crocheted paper chain style garland for the Christmas tree. Super simple to crochet. I used all of the silvery yarn on hand and created two separate chains. The instructions are included below.  Here they are in process. These chains were fairly quick and I crocheted a bunch in one color and then joined them with the other color. Super fast and easy, great for beginners or children for learning to crochet. Also great for using up small bits of scrap yarn!

Christmas Chains

Here they are on the tree.

Christmas Chains

A few more more links will be added when there is a little more time. They were crocheted out of silvery grey and red Stylecraft Special DK but they would be beautiful out of bright cotton yarns or all white, even tropical colors would be beautiful. Crochet them any color and it will still add a fun look to your Christmas tree.

Christmas Chains Garland Pattern


  • DK weight yarn in Red and silvery grey,
  • Size G crochet hook
  • Scissors
  • Large eye needle for sewing links.


Chain 25,

First row: HDC in the third chain from hook and HDC across the chain, keeping the chain untwisted.

Second row: chain 2 HDC in each stitch across the the previous row. Tie off and cut with a long tail.

Sew one end to the other using whip stitch.

Finished one chain. Continue creating links being sure when sewing to link the chains together to create a Christmas Garland.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year everyone. All online shops are open this year for the next several  weeks. We have family visiting and hubs in off work for weeks between December 17 and January 1st. Should you need any help on any crocheting or orders, please bear this in mind. I will be stopping by to check on things but not as often. The last day to order from Etsy and Amazon for Christmas delivery is Tuesday Dec. 11th.

Merry Christmas and Talk to you later,


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A few Tools and the Blue Monday Scarf

Today we will learn a few tips and tricks that help me with my crocheting. They are in my tool bag. It has been awhile since you have seen my tool bag.  There are a few new ones since then.

My Newest Crochet tools

The Handy Dandy fringe board

This is quite simply a floor laminate sample from my neighborhood flooring store. I bought mine at Lowes. Originally, we bought it to check out new flooring for one of our rooms but it was hijacked into the tool bag.

Here it is in all its humble glory. It replaces the paperback book that was being used.

A few Tools and the Blue Monday ScarfA few Tools and the Blue Monday Scarf

See the grooves at either end. You can cut a long 8″ fringe or a cut it at both ends and have a shorter 4″ fringe. The scissors fit in the grooves at either end. It makes fringe making so easy.A few Tools and the Blue Monday Scarf


The  Clover Pom pom  makers

These tools are bought and are available online or in the craft shops. I purchased mine at Michael’s. They are the Clover pom-pom makers in two different sizes.

These are great and so easy to use. If you are going to make several pom poms then they are worth your money. They come two to the package. The smallest size pom pom maker is in the crochet tool bag and not in the photo. (FYI I am not being paid for this endorsement of Clover products. There are other pom pom makers out there that may be better, study up and get the best for you.).A few Tools and the Blue Monday Scarf A few Tools and the Blue Monday Scarf There are instructions on the back and then you wind the yarn around the little

wings, fold it all together and then cut the yarn and tie off the pom pom so that it doesn’t come apart.
A few Tools and the Blue Monday Scarf

The tool bag

The tool bag is essential to keep all these little bits and pieces corralled. A zipper pouch works great, a pencil bag would also work. Here is my tool bag. It has grown over the years but it helps keep the crochet hooks, a pen, my large eye needle and everything else altogether in one place. A few Tools and the Blue Monday Scarf A few Tools and the Blue Monday Scarf

The Blue Monday Scarf

Here is the Blue Monday scarf. Why is it named blue Monday? It was started on one of “those” Mondays, when nothing was going right. Crocheting this scarf was such a joy. The rows added up quickly. Yarn was being used that would some day make someone very happy as opposed to it sitting in my yarn stash gathering dust and adding guilt. Looking at the changes in the colors and how it was so bright and beautiful that I just couldn’t helping smiling and it just changed the whole day. This is why it is named Blue Monday, it can help you overcome the Monday blues!

A few Tips and Tricks and the Blue Monday Scarf

The luscious fringe and rich vibrant colors just make a beautiful scarf. The best part is that it doesn’t take that much yarn if you choose to buy yarn just for this project. Though, there are plenty of beautiful yarns out there that would also crochet into your own version of Blue Monday. It is ready to go and in the  Etsy shop and the Studio Shop.

The background

While there doesn’t seem to be much happening here on the blog these days. Quite a bit has been happening in the background and under the surface. I took an online course or two. I’ve been busy uploading all of the photos from the beginning of Chocolate Dog Studio to a new photo manager, sorting and attempting to make them more manageable.A new computer just made this necessary and I couldn’t put it off any more. Home repairs have been huge in the past 6 weeks. A water leak has morphed into this huge now we have to fix this and then that. Also another repair has shown that some major home repairs are on our plate for the coming weeks. Life has been running fast around here.

This has also been a time of planning and thinking about the future and what it holds. Hopefully, there will be some new crochet coming up soon if I get a chance to sit down.

Take care,