Saturday, November 23, 2013

I'm grateful for...

This week four of +Create With Joy  A month of gratitude challenge.  Yesterday theme was We give thanks.  You are  encouraged  to list all the things your thankful for.  I could list a myriad of things. The typical home, family, and friends.  For me it comes down to one my dear Hubs!

Twenty eight years ago today we married.  That's why I'm grateful.  Someone saw an imperfect person and fell in love.  Together we have been through the ups and downs of life.  Hubs has seen me at my worst, best and everything in between. He loves me anyway.  I love him it's that simple.

This video from StoryCorps sums up how I feel...


Two people coming together facing life's challenges. Loving each other along the way.

That's what I'm grateful for...

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rangle the Reindeer my first aNnMaDe design.

Here's Rangle my first crochet pattern.  I came up with the design from looking at Christmas ornaments and thought I could make some of them in crochet.  Crocheting him was easy, writing the step by step instructions was hard. It took a month for me to complete him. I made changes to my original concept as Rangle was taking shape. This took some time.  I kept at it and this is how he turned out.

Rangle the Reindeer pattern

Materials needed:
Yarn Small amount in these colors           1-sparkle red pom-poms  
light brown (mc)                                         2-jingle bells
dark brown (cc)                                          1-piece of poly quilt batting
black - for embroidering  face                     glue
2-large google eyes                                    brown pipe cleaner                     
sewing needle                                            nylon thread
2-small black pom-poms                             size g crochet hook

Stitches (st)
slip stitch (sl st)                                            half double crochet (hdc)
single crochet (sc)                                       treble (tr)
double crochet (dc)                                      chain (ch)

Chain 3 counts as 1st dc.
join rounds

Muzzle-(make 2)
With light brown (mc)
Rd-1  Chain 4  11 dc in 4th chain from hook.  (12 dc)
Rd-2  Ch 3 (counts as 1st dc now and throughout)  Dc in same stitch as  joining.
         2 dc in each st around. Join with sl st to beg dc.  (24 dc)
Rd-3  Ch 3, 1 dc in same stitch as joining. *1 dc in next st, 2 dc next st.* *Repeat around.
         Join with sl st to beg ch 3. (36 dc)  Fasten off
Repeat rnds 1-3 for 2nd circle.

Finishing muzzle
With right side facing attach dark brown (cc) with sl st
ch-1 and sl st around (in top lps) of one muzzle circle.
Join with sl st. Fasten off.  Referring to picture using black yarn sew mouth on muzzle..
With wrong sides together slip stitch muzzle circles together with light brown.  Fasten off.

Head (make 2)
With light brown repeat Round 1 & 2 of muzzle.
Rd-3  Ch 3, dc in same st as joining,  2 dc in next dc and in each st around. Join with sl st to beg dc.  (48 dc)
Rd-4  Ch 3, dc in same st as joining. *1 dc in next st, 2 dc in next st.* Repeat around .
         Fasten off ( 72 dc).
Repeat rounds 1-4 for 2nd circle.

Finishing Head

With right side facing you attach dark brown (cc) with slip st.

Ch-1 and sl st around ( in top lps) of one head circle. Join with sl st.

Fasten off. Set both circles aside to finish later.

Ears (make 4)
Ch 15 with light brown (mc)
*1 sc in 2 ch from hook, sc in next ch, hdc in next 2 ch, dc  in next 2 ch, tr in next  2 ch,  dc in
next 2 ch, hdc in next 2 ch, sc in 2 ch .*  **Do not turn**. Ch-1  Repeat pattern along unworked
loops of foundation ch.  Sl st to beg sc. Ch-1 ** do not turn**   Repeat pattern on one side only. Sl st to fasten off.  Repeat pattern for remaining ears.

Finishing ears
With dark brown (cc) sl st evenly around two of the ears.
With wrong sides facing sl st 2 earpieces together using light brown yarn. 1 with dark brown stitching and  one w/o. Repeat for last two earpieces. Set aside.

Antlers (make 2)
Cut brown pipe cleaner in half. With dark brown (cc) attach to one pipe cleaner half with sc.
Sc evenly across. (I bent the end of the pipe cleaner slightly so yarn would not slip off)
Ch-1 *do not turn* Sc evenly across backside of foundation ch sl st to beginning sc. Fasten off. Repeat for remaining pipe cleaner. To finish sew one jingle bell to each antler.  Shape in form of candy cane.

Refer to picture. Sew muzzle to right side of face circle.  Center it about ½ up of face circle. Place eyes on circle to get an idea on where you want brow to be placed.  With black sew on brows using a backstitch.
Using 2nd face circle as a guide. Cut a piece of quilt batting slightly smaller than circle.

Pin quilt batting, ears and antlers to wrong side of second face circle. Sew around with light brown yarn. Fasten off.

Pin wrong sides of face together. Matching up main face circle. Sew with whip stitch. Except
when come you come upon ears and antlers.  I used a straight stitch. Fasten off . Weave in any loose ends. Referring to picture glue eyes in place. Glue red pom-pom on muzzle for nose. Glue small black pom-poms on corners of mouth . Attach yarn at top of head for hanging.
 Rangle in pieces...

Muzzle one piece w/slip stitch, one w/o
Muzzle sewn together and mouth embroider on.
Head 2 pieces, one piece w/slip stitch
Set head circles aside to finish later.
 Make four earpieces, slip stitch with dark brown around two, than sew to the pieces w/o the slip stitch. Completed ears shown in picture.
Antlers with jingle bells sewn on.
Sew muzzle to right side of face circle
Place eyes on face to give you idea on where to embroider the eyebrows. I placed a straight pin to
mark the spot.  embroider with black using the back stitch.
Pin batting, antlers and ears to wrong side of second head circle.
Sew to circle using light brown yarn.
Pin wrong sides of face together, matching up the main face circle.
Sew with whip stitch using light brown yarn. Except when you come to the ears and antlers I used a straight stitch. 
Referring to main photo glue on eyes and pom-poms.
Sew in any loose ends and attach a string on top for hanging.
I hope you enjoy crocheting him. 
I hold all rights to this pattern.   You may make a copy for your personal use. .  You may share the pattern link on your personnel blog or Facebook . 
You can  sell items you crochet from this pattern at your local craft fairs, church bazars etc. Please credit me as the designer (aNnMaDe design).  This is a free pattern and I would like folks to have fun making him. 
Don't sell or share the pattern or items made from it at on-line shops.
I'm so excited !
My first pattern finished.
Wow! Please share with me what you think.
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Saturday, November 16, 2013

John 3:16-Gratitude Week III

This is the third week of the month long focus on gratitude from +Create With Joy . This weeks  
challenge is favorite quotes. Can be on anything that speaks to you. A Bible verse, something from a favorite author or whatever strikes your fancy.

I choose a bible verse that I often quotes to folks.  It's why I'm a Christian. It does not speak directly to gratitude. It demonstrates why I'm am so grateful to God.  Gods so loved me (Ann) that he gave his only Son ( Jesus).  Wow! It's so awesome that I 'm loved so much! 

 This gift is even more special because I know what it is like to lose a child. For God to give what is so precious to Him so I can have eternal life is mind blowing


 The greatest gift given to me and for anyone who chooses to believe.  It's  amazing love.  I'm eternally grateful for receiving it.   A gift for all of us.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Week II-Gratitude


This is the second week of the month long theme Gratitude from +Create With Joy .  The focus this week is on Gratitude journals.  We are asked to give our responses to these three questions

  • Do you currently keep a Gratitude Journal?
  • If you’d like to start one but haven’t – what’s stopping you?
  • Are there any tips or resources you’d like to share to help others get started?

  • I don't write a Gratitude Journal.  I have journal for recipes.  One for crochet patterns.  I've even kept a devotional and prayer journal.  A gratitude journal does not cross my mind.  It's not that I'm not grateful.  I recognize daily all of my blessings.  Everyday I wakeup and the sun shines.  The feel of a warm snuggle from one of my pups.  Being married to hubs who loves me even when at times I'm not so lovable.  The list goes on and on.  I just don't write it down.

    If you want to start keeping a journal here's a suggestion.  Keep it simple.  Don't stress if you miss a day.  Get a calendar with spaces where you can jot a line or two down.  Start with January.  At the end of each day write down on the calendar your gratitude observations.   When the year ends you will have a gratitude journal with pictures!


    Wednesday, November 6, 2013

    Wordless Wedesday-Churches

    I love visiting churches.  From the simple construction and plain white to the large ornate buildings. Learning about the history of the buildings has become a hobby. Today I'm sharing a picture from my home.

    This church began as a Bank in 1840. It failed seven years later.  It was purchased and became the church home.  Many of the parishioners  were from Nova Scotia seeking religious freedom.
    Today's it Our Lady Star of the Sea Chapel.  The chapel is open for Mass on the first Friday of the Month.  It is also open for Easter Service, Christmas Eve Mass, Weddings, baptisms and tours.


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    @Create with Joy

    Friday, November 1, 2013

    A Month of Gratitude

    Today I'm taking up the challenge from +Create With Joy . It will be a month long theme on Gratitude   Every Friday there be a prompt to blog about.
     Today's is what are you most grateful for at this moment in your life?
    I having  a hard time with this.  You see two years ago my brother David passed away at age 50. It was sudden and unexpected.  My brother and I were not on the best of terms. 
    At this moment I'm grateful that I was able to be with him during his final week of  life.  I saw Gods hand in everything.  There were folks that helped me cope with his death. I'm grateful for the scripture I read to him, I believe it gave us both peace. I think most of all I'm grateful for the memories I have of him.
    My favorite Psalm
    The Lord Is My Fortress
     Live under the protection
    of God Most High
    and stay in the shadow
    of God All-Powerful.
    Then you will say to the Lord, “You are my fortress,
    my place of safety;
    you are my God,
    and I trust you.”
    The Lord will keep you safe from secret traps
    and deadly diseases.
     He will spread his wings over you
    and keep you secure.
    His faithfulness is like
    a shield or a city wall. t
     You won’t need to worry about dangers at night
    or arrows during the day.
     And you won’t fear diseases that strike in the dark
    or sudden disaster at noon.
     You will not be harmed, though thousands fall
    all around you.
     And with your own eyes you will see the punishment
    of the wicked.
     The Lord Most High is your fortress.
    Run to him for safety,
      and no terrible disasters will strike you
    or your home.
      God will command his angels to protect you
    wherever you go.
     They will carry you in their arms,
    and you won’t hurt your feet
    on the stones.
     You will overpower the strongest lions
    and the most deadly snakes.
      The Lord says, “If you love me
    and truly know who I am,
    I will rescue you
    and keep you safe.  
     When you are in trouble, call out to me.
    I will answer and be there
    to protect and honor you.
     You will live a long life and see my saving power.”
    Psalm 91 
    In memory of David Alan  March 28 1961-November 1, 2011. He is resting in the Shelter of the Almighty.

    Thursday, October 31, 2013

    October in Review Wordless Wedesday.

    So it's not Wednesday. It is the last day of October and that close enough for me. The pictures that I'm sharing are from some of the  happenings around my little neck of the woods.

    First my fall mantle.  Arranged by an amateur designer (that would be me) made up of Thrift Store finds, stuff from the Dollar Store and items handed down to me by family!


    Next are scenes from the Rock Shrimp Festival


    The Arts and Crafts Fair.

    In my home town we have a scarecrow stroll. Business's, Churches, Civic groups and individuals decorate a scarecrow and place them in the median    It's the South's version of celebrating the seasons changing.

     Last but not least my Churches trunk or treat gathering!
    This is October in my home town!

    Wednesday, October 30, 2013

    Rockin the Crock Pot Recipe! Mex-Summer Squash Pork Chops

    I've been AWOL from blogging.  I have arthritis in my hands and the pain gets to much. I take breaks from the activities that cause the most discomfort, which is just about everything.  So I pace myself and decide which is more important to do. Take lots of breaks and  care for my hands. 

    I have recipes to share. Most are written down on scraps of paper and piled on the desk waiting to be written in the blog.

    The one I'm sharing today came on day that I did not want to fuss about dinner.  I was not in the mood to chop, dice or measure anything. So I searched my cupboards and refrigerator and came up with these ingredients. Three to be exact. The only thing I had to slice was the zucchini.

    The Ingredients


    I simply layered pork chops and salsa them placed summer squash on top.  Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  This was perfect for my 2 QT Crock-Pot aaand....

    Ta-Da dinner complete!

    Ok well photography is not by strong suit but dinner tasted better then it looks!  The chops were mildly seasoned and the squash picked up on some of the flavors.  I had served it with a southwestern quinoa brown rice mix. It was easily prepared in the microwave. 

    Here is the recipe for a simple dinner when you don't feel like fussin.

    Crockpot Mex-Summer Squash Pork Chops

    1 ¼ Boneless Pork chops (about 4)
    Salsa-any variety
    Zucchini and yellow squash sliced. 2 of each or any combination.
    Place ¼ cup of Salsa in bottom of a 2 Qt Crock Pot.
    Add 1 pork chop than some more salsa.
    Repeat with remaining pork chops ending with salsa.
    Add Squash. Cover and cook on low from 4-6 hrs. or until juices run
    clear on the pork chops.
    Serves 4
    I prepared this on a Saturday and had leftovers.  Its was turned into a taco salad for our Sunday after church meal. Easy peasy!

    All I used was a salad in a bag mix (southwestern style) that had the dressing etc. Diced up the pork chop added the squash and rice mixture and had a main dish salad.  Two meals from one crock-pot.
    Now that's easy!
    This is life as I cook it!

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    Friday, October 18, 2013

    Five on Friday ...

     Trying something new this Friday.  Listing any five things.
    1. Fall is here.  Its still warm in the South but I like planting the fall flowers.
    Mr. & Mrs. Scarecrow
    2. I enjoy having my neighbor animals visit my yard...

    3.Office/Craft Studio is complete... 
    4. My Fall Wreath is finished! Woo Hoo....

    5. Thinking about what to create next...
          picture by Fiona Childs 
    These are my five things....

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    Crocheted Fall Wreath

    I just completed my first seasonal project for my home.  It's a pattern from +Red Heart Autumn Fall Wreath.  I used yarn from my stash so only thing purchased was a Styrofoam wreath.  The pattern calls  for straw (didn't read the pattern all the way thru)  but the Styrofoam worked well.  The pattern was easy enough to crochet. An advance beginner could complete it.  Stitches used were slip stitch, single  and double crochet. With some simple shaping techniques  you will have a wonderful wreath.

    My material list:
    14 inch Styrofoam wreath.
    Yarn from my stash (fall colors)
    straight pins

    The first step is to wrap the foam wreath with yarn.  It was wrapped with two strands of yarn rolled into one ball.  Dark brown and Red Hearts Fiesta in rust was used.  I secured it with straight pins and used fray check on the ends of the yarn.

    I crocheted the leaves and other components.  Straight pins were used to secure them to the wreath.
    Here is the finished product.

    It was quick and easy to finish. Great for using up leftover yarn. Plus the leaves could be used in other craft projects. Here is the link to the free pattern
    This is crochet as I know it
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    Glitter, Glue and Paint

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

    Rascal and the Fly! Wordless Wednesday...

    Rascal loves to chase flies or any buzzing creature with wings.  This picture from Off the Leash Cartoons was posted on their Facebook page today.
    It reminds me of my dog Rascals relentless determination on catching that pesky house fly. 
    In the picture below she is barking at the flying insects outside of the window. She wants so badly to catch one.


    She puts a smile on my face!
    This is my life with Rascal


    Wordless Wednesday Hop
    Amanda’s Books and More

    Tuesday, October 15, 2013

    Something random...

    I'm doing some catch up blogging.  I took a break and spent the weekend with Hubs just being together.  

    So todays post is about something random which is inspired by +Create With Joy Friendship Friday. I know it's Tuesday but I like the idea of sharing something random. Create for Joy suggests a movie, book, song, recipe anything random you want to share. For my randomness I'm sharing this photo.

    It 's my not quite Martha Stewart attempt at flower arrangement

    The roses and zinnias come from my garden. It was the first time I cut flowers to bring inside my home.  I told a friend that I felt like Martha Stewart.  Picking out the perfect bloom to become part of the bouquet.  A bouquet I grew.  It was the first time I grew Hybrid Tea roses. They were so fragrant.
    and bushes were full of flowers. It would be nice to bring the outdoors in so I gathered a basket and made my selections.  They had to be trimmed and placed in a vase.  There was a lot of arranging and rearranging but I got the job done. It made for a pretty centerpiece for the dining room table.  To think all I had to do is step out into my garden.  It's a good thing!

    This is Life as I know it