HANDMADE/HOMEMADE

I am a member of Ravelry, a knit and crochet community of over 4 million members worldwide.  One can keep track of their projects, find patterns, join a community forum of like minded folks.

I am seeing a lot of posts about handmade/homemade items given as gifts being unappreciated by others.

Folks, listen up.

First of all, that hand crocheted or hand knitted item took hours to make.  Evidently, the person who made it thought you were deserving of their time and skills.

Second, this is SKILLED labor.  Try getting your car repaired without paying for the labor.  You will be laughed out of there pretty darn quick.  And this person felt you were deserving of this skilled labor at no charge.

Third, it is NOT cheap.  It seems a lot of folks think others make gifts because it is cheaper than buying them.  That is so NOT the case.  The yarn for that hand crocheted or hand knitted item cost more than the same, mass produced item found in a local boutique.

Fourth, the item your received is unique.  Most likely it is one of a kind and you won’t see a kazillion others like it.

So the next time you receive a handmade/homemade crocheted or knitted gift,  ohhhhh and ahhhhh a lot!  And treat the gift as a priceless artifact and  I guarantee you will remain on the crochet/knit worthy list for a long time.

DDmh cmd a SS11a Devons mits 003a FP5a msd10a CTS5a

Pensacola Is In the News

We had some horrendous rain this past week. Flash flooding did a lot of damage to this area, more so than some hurricanes have done in the past. Thankfully, I live in a high ground area. We did not lose power or have the flooding here in my area that was so pronounced in other areas. I will post some pictures of areas badly hit.

Scenic Hwy

9th Avenue

Airport Blvd

Downtown

The county jail also suffered a gas explosion and several were hurt in that incident. No pictures available of that accident.

The washed away roads, downed power lines, etc. have caused some major damage and problems in this area. Some folks have lost their homes, belongings and pets.

Traffic has been adversely affected. Re-routing of major north/south traffic has been a nightmare. Locals are finding unique ways to get from one location to another.

But life goes on.

FV2 Is an Addictive, Money Sucking Habit

Do any of you play Farmville 2? I used to play until recently. I decided to quit playing the game. That in itself is hard to do as it is a very addicting game. But I found that all it did was keep me in a state of frustration. Why? I’ll tell you.

Initially, when you start playing the creators of the game gently ease you into the planting, harvesting and selling of crops. When you reach a certain level, they begin adding “quests” for you to complete to get this or that animal or farm equipment piece. You are eased into buying Farm Bucks so that you can complete a certain quest or obtain a particular animal or piece of equipment.

Before you know it the “quests” become more and more difficult, urging you to buy more and more Farm Bucks just to skip the difficult parts of the quests or to complete one quest and move on to the next. If you do not pay attention to what is happening, you will spend hundreds of dollars on this game.

But this is the plan of its creators. They want your money, your hard earned money and they know all the tricks to getting it.

They are comparable to drug dealers or gambling houses. They suck you in gradually, until you are hooked. Then they offer more and more addictive items to suck you dry of your time and money.

My advice and I speak as one who knows is STOP!!!! Begin with just one day. Don’t visit FV2 for one day. Then try not visiting for another day. Continue doing this. Say to yourself, “I don’t need to play FV2 today.” Before you realize it, you will have broken the hold they have on you. And you will have extra money in YOUR pocket, not theirs.

FV2a

How to Care for Handknit Wool Items

Christmas is just a couple of days away. Perhaps your sister-in-law, or mother-in-law, granny, mom or aunt thought you were special enough to knit/crochet something for this year.

First, let me say handmade/homemade is NOT cheap. Your relatives/friends are not trying to slide by on the cheap side by knitting/crocheting gifts. A skein of yarn, whether it is acrylic or Merino wool, can cost from $6 to $50+++ per skein and it will take at least 2 skeins to make a gift. Now add in the time spent to create said items and multiply by at least minimum wage. There, got it? Not cheap, is it.

Now, that being said, lets get to the care of said knitted/crocheted item. If it is acrylic, more than likely it is machine washable and dryable. Great for kids’ items.

If it is wool, or any other natural fiber, care is a little more involved. Most will involve washing by hand. This does not mean you take the item and scrub it against an old washboard. That will just cause the item to felt and shrink enough to fit your youngest child. What that means is to SOAK the item in warm, soapy water. Then rinse in cool water. Gently squeeze the water out. Roll item in a towel to remove more water. Then lay the item on a flat surface, shaping as you go, and allow the item to dry. This will take a day or two.

Granted this is a little time consuming, especially in our society where most folks want instant gratification. But keep in mind your relative/friend felt that you were knit/crochet worthy and felt in their hearts that you would take care of the item that took them hours to create.

I can guarantee you if you don’t take care of said item, you will be OFF their knit/crochet worthy list.

Merry Christmas!

cmd a

SS11a

gcm 1

DIY….Extracts!

Most folks don’t think about extracts unless they are baking something. And if you’re out, you just run down to your local grocers and buy some. You pick up that cute little bottle of extract made by that well known spice company for about $3 to $4 per bottle. Or, if you’re into organic, you pick the one that is $11 or more $ per bottle.

But have you REALLY looked at how much you are getting for your money? I mean REALLY looked! ONE OUNCE! Let’s look at it differently. Most recipes call for 1 teaspoon of extract per batch. You are getting only 6 teaspoons for that ounce of extract that you paid anywhere from $3 to $11+++ for.

Why are you doing that when you can make it yourself??

First you need Vodka or Bourbon or other liquor that is at least 40% alcohol. Not top shelf, just the cheap stuff. A liter bottle may cost you $10 to $15 dollars. You will need 5 grade B chopped Vanilla beans(about $0.45 each, less if bought in bulk), or the zest of 1 lemon + a Tablespoon of sugar, or the zest of an orange, a handful of chopped raw almonds, etc. per Cup of liquor. Use some Mason jars and pour your liquor into the jar. Add your Vanilla beans or lemon zest or almonds, etc. For the next 2 months, give that jar(s) a shake daily. After 2 months or longer if you wish, you have your extract of choice. Just filter it through a coffee filter or cheesecloth to remove the solid particles and pour into jars (decorative if you wish) and store in a dark place.

Lets do some more math. You initial outlay will be anywhere from $25-$35 dollars for about 4.25 cups of extract or about $1 per ounce. That is, if you are using a liter bottle of liquor. So that liter bottle will make 33.8 ounces of extract. Multiply the 33 x $3 = $99 or 33 x $11 = $363. Now subtract your total cost to make that same amount, you will be saving $65 to $300+.

And it makes great gifts for that person you know who loves to bake.

vanilla-beans

Poem About a Veteran

This poem was sent to me in an email. I don’t know who wrote it, but it is worth reading.

He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.

And ‘tho sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.

But we’ll hear his tales no longer,
For ol’ Joe has passed away,
And the world’s a little poorer
For a Veteran died today.

He won’t be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won’t note his passing,
‘Tho a Veteran died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young,
But the passing of a Veteran
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?

The politician’s stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Veteran,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.

It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever-waffling stand?

Or would you want a Veteran
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Veteran,
Who would fight until the end.

He was just a common Veteran,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his likes again.
For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Veteran’s part,
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor
While he’s here to hear the praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage
At the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline
In the paper that might say:
“OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
A VETERAN DIED TODAY.”

Veterans-Day 2012