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Organizing New Ideas for Future Crochet Projects

Organizing New Ideas

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Sometimes, when you get new ideas for future crochet projects, you aren’t ready to start working on them right away. You need time to think about them — to refine and perfect them — until you’re ready to begin the project. So, how do you keep those new ideas stored and organized until you are ready to start working on them? I have several things which I do that help me keep new ideas in mind.

1. Take a Photo with My Phone

I will take pictures of things that  inspire me or trigger ideas in my mind. My phone is usually always with me and a photo is worth 1,000 words. The thin and thick stripes in this wrapping paper would make a great crochet blanket, scarf or sweater.

Inspirational stripes

And here’s an example of a striped fabric that caught my eye. I like the colors in this, although they do seem a bit dark. The widths of the various stripes and the color sequence would lend themselves easily to being repeated in an afghan.

Fabric inspires new ideas

This blanket was inspired by the yarns within it since they inspired me to see the Autumn landscape of Oklahoma: the browns of the plowed fields; the golds and rusts of the trees; the blue from the sky and lakes; and the green of the old dried grasses in the pastures.

Inspired by nature

2. Pin It to My Secret Pinterest Inspiration Board

Yes, I do have several secret boards. (Doesn’t everyone?) If it is online, I will pin it to my secret inspiration board which no one else has access to. When you choose to create something based on what someone else has created, you need to be very careful about claiming too much of their work as your own. You can use it as a springboard to a new idea, but downright copying and passing it off as yours is piracy.  While I do have a secret Pinterest board, it isn’t filled with just other’s work — it has photos of color mood boards, stitches that I want to try, and other things that I think will make beautiful projects.

3. Go “Old School” (Paper and Pencil) and Write the New Ideas Down

(Affiliate links are included for the products I use. I will receive a small percentage of any item you purchase, but it will not affect your pricing.)

Often, I will draw out new ideas or write them down. I find this method increasingly hard to manage, though, as papers tend to get shuffled and lost. Here’s an example of a couple of my composition books (which I love!) full of ideas and crochet patterns.

Storing new ideas

I also love the post-it note brand of tabs and file folder labels.  I use them to mark the beginning of each pattern or idea that I put in the composition book. It helps keep the patterns organized and easy to find.

Keeping track of new ideas

Another thing I use all the time is a legal pad and clipboard. I write the pattern and notes furiously and then flip the pages. You can even see the paper sometimes in the background of my photos. Nearly every pattern I write has its beginnings on paper in some form. I always try to date and take progress photos as I work. This helps me keep track of how I put it together as well as document my thought processes. This all translates to detailed patterns, with photos, for you!

organizing new ideas

4. Pin It to a Real Life Bulletin Board or Magnet Board

saving new ideas
Check out more cool bulletin boards here:

Sometimes I’ll see a photo in a magazine I own, or maybe the  colors in fabric or yarn in my stash will catch my eye. When that happens, I will actually pin the photo or the materials to a bulletin board. I haven’t been doing this as often as I have been taping them into the composition book. The book is working better for me at this time, since I don’t have a dedicated working space. I often find myself in my chair, at the dining table…basically, working all over the house.

How Do You Save Your New Ideas?

Now that you’ve read about the methods that I am using right now, I’d love to know what you do to keep your ideas organized. Leave a comment below to start the conversation!
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Talk to you later,


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Beautiful Ruby Red Afghan Pattern

I have just listed my Ruby Red Afghan pattern for sale in my Etsy and Craftsy stores. I have included the supplies and skills list you need to be able to complete it. This afghan pattern is a step up for beginners. The yarn is a lovely wool blend but can be difficult to frog (or take out) as the fibers can mat together. Even with that challenge, it is a beautiful, soft and warm blanket. It is a good “first jump” into specialty yarns.

Ruby Red Afghan Pattern, www.chocolatedogstudio

Ruby Red Afghan Pattern, www.chocolatedogstudio

Ruby Red Afghan Pattern, www.chocolatedogstudio

Ruby Red Afghan Pattern, www.chocolatedogstudio

Ruby Red Afghan Pattern

It is crocheted and photographed in this lovely red yarn but you can choose from any of the yarn colors which this yarn comes in to make yours unique. There are so many different choices; from icy blues and greens to purples and yellows. Just…so many choices! I know you will find the perfect color combination to fit your personality.

Ruby Red Afghan Pattern, www.chocolatedogstudio

Warm, soft and wooly, it makes a great lightweight blanket with all the warmth of wool. The yarn for this blanket is usually easy to find.

What I’ve Been Up To

October seems to be when I gear up for Christmas and begin creating any handmade gifts that I might want to give to bless friends and family. This blanket is a wonderful gift to give or receive. Spare time is always at a premium during these months and this year is no exception. My goal is to get some new patterns up in the shops soon, so keep dropping in (at the Etsy store and Craftsy store) to look around. (And don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter! Doing so will keep you up-to-date on patterns, finished products, and all that I’ve been up to in life.) I am also concentrating on my giveaway for November. I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Talk to you later,


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Yikes! Stripes, Ta-dah!

I love the Yikes! Stripes crochet blanket. The masculine colors and simple stripes make it ideal for the man in your life, while the easy pattern makes it fun and quick to crochet. This blanket only took me about two weeks to whip up, working in the evenings. The striping pattern reminds me of team colors and scarves. This blanket is longer than usual to be a bit more man-sized and perfect for a bed or using in a recliner.

It started like this.

Yikes! Stripes Ta Dah!


Little bits of yarn

to check the

striping pattern.




Yikes! Stripes Ta Dah!


I have always liked

blue and cream.





Yikes! Stripes Ta Dah!


More color


were checked

until I felt it

was just right.


Then it evolved into this

lovely striping pattern, marching along

row after row.

Yikes! Stripes Ta Dah! Chocolatedogstudio.comHere it is in all of its glory.

Yikes! Stripes Ta Dah!

It  is the perfect size to fit over someone lying in a recliner. The length is a generous 80+ inches, and the width is 43 1/2 inches.

Yikes! Stripes Ta Dah!

Yikes! Stripes

The Yikes! Stripes blanket is available in my Etsy and Handmade at Amazon shops, and the pattern will release next week. (Choose the colors of some of your sports fan’s favorite teams and you’ll win for sure!)

Yikes! Stripes Ta Dah!

School Colors

The Yikes! Stripes afghan reminds me of the first days of school and how so many students wear school sweaters or team scarves to show support for the home team. We take our high school and college sports teams pretty seriously in this area. What about you? Do you have a favorite team or school?

School has already started in Oklahoma, and I’m seeing lots of people in the northern part of the country posting on Facebook about their school starting today. I hope that you and yours have a wonderful time at school this year. Thoughts of new notebooks and textbooks, rekindled friendships, and the feel of a sharp, new #2 pencil gliding across a page of paper are dancing in my head. I can hear the laughter that happens at lunch and see the kids having fun on the playground in my mind.

We have already started our homeschool courses. 2016-08-031Our dining table is overrun with school books, supplies and (of course) yarn, scissors, crochet hooks, and even more paper. I found myself running late one morning this week, and my spot on the table looked like this.

I would like to say it doesn’t look like this very much, but I hate to lie. It looks like this most mornings; coffee, something quick to eat for breakfast, and colorful piles of yarn.

I am in the middle of grading math and writing patterns, checking dentist appointments for my family, and driving Mom from time to time. Life feels too short, and the to-do list feels too long. I am learning to be content once again; that in my weakness and incapability God is my strength. I do it all for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, then I am strong. It is seeming to take me most of my life to learn this truth.

Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

How about you? Leave a comment to let me know how the beginning of school is going for you. What are your school colors? Who do you cheer for? Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter, too!

Talk to you later,

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How to Fix a Floral Wreath Form

There days when I wonder why I do certain things. This week was one of them. I bought a lovely styrofoam wreath form at the store this week. It was in one piece and not broken. I made a point of not buying a wreath that was broken. I wanted a nice whole wreath without having to worry about glue and putting it back together. Well, things happened and this was the result.

There are affiliate links included in this post and I will receive a small percentage of any sale.

How to Fix a Floral Wreath Form, Fix a floral foam wreath

It broke in almost four equal pieces! I did what I was NOT going to do which is show you how to glue this wreath form back together.


  • Bamboo Skewers
  • tacky glue
  • wreath form
  • Some form of non-stick surface (I used my cutting mat but I have to say it isn’t a non-stick surface and I had to peel the glue off of it when I was finished.)

How to Fix a Floral Wreath Form, Fix a floral foam wreath

Lay the wreath out and figure out which parts go together. Be gentle and don’t grind the edges together.How to Fix a Floral Wreath Form, Fix a floral foam wreath

Break the bamboo skewers in half and use just the pointy end. Slather tacky glue on one edge of the wreath form. Take a bamboo skewer and push it into the wreath form at an angle on the outside so that it pins the two edges together. Break the bamboo skewer off right at the surface of the wreath. Then do the same to the other half of the wreath. You will leave these skewer bits in the wreath.

How to Fix a Floral Wreath Form, Fix a floral foam wreath

Walk away and do not try to glue the other half of the wreath together until the next day. The glue needs to dry and it does take almost 24 hours. Glue the two halves together and you are set. I am not sure how it would stand up to floral arranging but it worked perfectly for my needs. Which I will be sharing with you tomorrow!

How to Fix a Floral Wreath Form, Fix a floral foam wreath

The week has been busy with one child at camp and the weather has been hot and humid here. We have had several weather advisory days about the heat. I am glad that the weekend is here and we are celebrating Father’s Day this week. The summer is speeding by and I am not sure that I getting everything finished that I want finished. How are things at your house? Are you busy, on vacation  or having fun. I have been trying to change some eating habits and I keep finding myself out of sorts at dinner time. It is difficult figuring out what to cook and feed everyone. The heat is also tending to keep me out of the kitchen.

Talk to you later,