Friday, December 30, 2011

Holiday Season Crochet Marathon Part 2: The Loving Hugs Newborn Booties

My last post about crochet was the marathon of the Fingerless Gloves. I promised to post the Loving Hugs Newborn Booties next so, as promised, here it is... the making of a pair of booties especially for the baby of my officemate, Julie.  See the invitation personally made by Lee.
When we first planned about having a shower party, I immediately thought of making a pair of socks as gift. (Actually, I've been thinking of crocheting a pair of socks for months now. The desire came about the moment I signed up in Make Socks, a group initiated by Cheryl Isenberg in Stitchtalk, a sewing community. I joined the group hoping to be able to make at least a pair so that I could share it, but the project just brewed in my mind and has never materialized.) "Now is the time," I said to myself. I just thought crocheting a pair of socks would be a perfect gift for a baby shower. 

So the first thing I did was to look for a pattern as I had none in my files. I had only a few days left before the date so I didn't have much choice left but to look for a simple, easy-to-follow pattern that I could finish in a jiffy. While browsing over some patterns from the Internet, I came upon the Loving Hugs Newborn Booties by Darcy Richardson

I liked the pattern at first glance because it really looked easy to make. Going through the instructions confirmed my first impression and I was not mistaken. It was so reader -friendly and very easy to follow. 

See the making of my own version of it. I used yellow yarn because 'twas too late for me to realize I didn't have enough pink yarn in my stash. We already knew Julie is going to have a baby girl so I planned to crochet a pair of pink booties. But then I couldn't delay the making for another day just to buy pink yarn. I wouldn't have finished on time for the shower party. So, yellow it was.

  True enough, I was able to finish the booties in two nights while watching my favorite TV soap drama 
before going to bed. Here it is, the finished project...

This is Julie with all the gifts we showered her. She is expected to give birth to a baby girl anytime now.

It looks like Julie liked the booties! Nice color?

 As I crocheted these booties, I also became excited at the thought of giving friends labors of love such as samples of my favorite recipes or crocheted works as gifts this year. Couldn't wait to see what will come out of my crochet hook this holiday season. You may post your guess at the comment box below. Whoever gets it right will be featured in my next crochet marathon so please tell something about yourself before you post your guess.

Meanwhile, have a craftsy New Year's Eve! :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

El Baile en Mi Cusina: The Christmas Eve Show

What's up on Christmas Eve?  Well, my migraine had its toll on me. But good thing I was able to make reservations the previous night  thru text messages for my fish, chicken and veggie purchases from my favorite market vendors.  Surprisingly, there were still a lot on display at 10 o'clock in the morning!  I was able to take home salmon belly, boneless bangus, cream dowry, chicken lollipops and breast fillet, and veggies, of course. But those wouldn't have been complete without fruits so I got persimmon, pear, apple and honey melon. And the leche flan, of course, I almost forgot to mention! 

And so the kitchen ballroom dance began… Maestro, music please...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Season Crochet Marathon: Part 1

Hello! It's been exactly two weeks since my last post. It's Christmas season and everybody is just too busy with gifts and gift-giving! While holiday shopping seems to be the only thing that matters for many this season, I ventured into a holiday crochet marathon which started more than a week ago.  I began the marathon by browsing over the patterns from my crochet files and the Internet. Since both Christmas and New Year's Day fall on weekends this year, we don't have extra days for vacation. No extended days off from work. That means less time for my crochet projects. :(

Oh, how I miss my crochet hook after several months! For this year I thought of choosing easy-to-finish projects to be given as gifts for my friends. Last year, I gave away some USB / MP3 holders made by Ana Cristina, my younger daughter. (I have featured her works in my previous post.)

But before I embark on my intended crochet give a ways, I already started running the marathon and finished three lapses last week using these patterns--- the Loving Hugs Newborn Booties by Darcy Richardson, The Lacy Fingerless Gloves by Christie Pruitt and Coffee Time by Debra Arch. For this post, I'd like to talk about the Lacy Fingerless Gloves I made.
The idea of crocheting a pair of gloves came about when my nursing colleagues decided to go "Rockin' and Rollin' 50s" as the theme of our Christmas party this year. Most of us had in mind the Audrey Hepburn or retro fashion, hairstyle and make-up. I bought a blue straight dress but at the last minute decided to wear my old brown plain pencil-cut dress. I was thinking of wearing a pair of gloves that would have enhanced my attire. However, since I didn't have the luxury of time to scout for one, I thought that the easiest alternative for me was to make my own. I have seen patterns of crocheted gloves from my electronic files but I also had to search the Net for more patterns to choose from. These were the designs I liked…
Harlequin Mitts by Shirley MacDonald
 Color of Christmas and nice design, don't you think so? But here's another pretty option.... and my favorite color too!
Daisy Daisy by Sue B. Balcom
Here's another one I like because it looks so elegant. I didn't choose this though because I had no time searching for buttons.
Lacy Wristers by Kaity Harding.
 And another one which I thought would match the blue dress I mentioned earlier, remember? But then, I changed my mind.
Crochet Openwork Handwarmers by creative yarn
 It took me quite some time to decide which among the patterns to choose. If you were in my shoes, which one would you have chosen? But wait, here's another one... the Lacy Fingerless Gloves. This became my best choice because it was simply a perfect match to my plain brown pencil-cut dress which I accessorized using a beige belt and headband and a white pearl necklace.

The Lacy Fingerless Gloves by Christie Pruitt 
 See the making of my own version of the Lacy Fingerless Gloves in a picture collage
and how I looked with it on during our Christmas Party.

Coming up next...the Loving Hugs Newborn Booties. Have a craftsy holiday season to all!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Whose responsibility?

   "You are responsible for what others think of you." Can't remember where I first heard this quote--- from the preaching of a former Pastor, a Sunday School teacher or a former college professor? I couldn't recall anymore. :(
     But the truth in this statement has since then reverberated in my mind. Is this dress too revealing? (Haha! As if there's anything to reveal afterall! :) ) What if I say or do this? Not that I fear what others might think of me for being the real me. I simply mean that it (the quote) should make us more cautious lest we be a stumbling block and others be offended by our actions. By actions I mean anything we say or do. When we get surprised, are amazed or in awe of something, we often utter words we don't really mean. Unknowingly we may actually be blaspheming the name of God with our expressions on those unguarded moments. The way we dress, our facial expressions, places we go to… virtually anything that would allow others to harbor unpleasant thoughts about us and doubt our Christianity.

     As a mother, I would often remind (hmmm… "nag" is more accurate, I confess) my daughters on how they dress---especially on wearing of short shorts, miniskirts and plunging necklines. Oh yes, call me "old fashioned", I'm not ashamed to admit it. But being remiss on my responsibility of teaching modesty as a value is one thing I would far from desire. Oh yes, indeed, how difficult it is to strike a balance between being fashionable and modest in this modern world!

     How we grow our hair, the kind of dress we wear most often speak of the inner recesses of our hearts. It is true that there are no hard and fast rules on these areas in God's written Word and that being the case, we need to apply our individual soul liberty. This liberty usually comes into play in areas which the Bible does not address directly. Let's be careful not to misuse this doctrine when as believers we do not show much concern about our testimonies especially when we seem to care less about what others think of us such that we become poor examples or stumbling blocks especially for our weak brothers and sisters. Let's be reminded on what Paul had to say in Rom 14:21 about how we should do nothing that would cause a weaker believer to stumble or be offended.  Let us be responsible in practicing this liberty in a quiet, respectful and non-offensive way. Common examples of activities where this liberty often becomes an issue are going to movies, watching TV, playing cards, dancing, choice of music and style of dress, among many others.

     I remember a preacher who once gave the following self-check questions. When you are at the crossroads of making a decision whether or not to do a certain thing, see if these would be of help to you:
     Will this bring glory to God?
     Will God be pleased if I do this?
     Will brothers and sisters be edified?
     Will it cause others to stumble?

     Now back to the quote--- "You are responsible for what others think of you"…  Doesn't it ring a bell at all? "I am responsible for my rose."

     Do you remember who said that? Well yes, it's the Little Prince! I find it very  interesting that the Little Prince himself made a big deal talking about his responsibility to his rose. More so that "love and responsibility for one another" is the central theme of his story. Very relevant, don't you think?                               
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Exploring the art of photo editing

     Hello everyone! Nice to stay home on a Wednesday (that's yesterday, a national holiday in the Philippines in commemoration of the birth of Andres Bonifacio, one of our national heroes). Yesterday, while browsing the Net, I incidentally explored the art of photo editing using free online photo editors. I have been so used to edit photos and do picture collage using Picasa but today I had a chance to use piZap, FotoFlexer, Photo Frames, Phixr and Paint.NET.
     After taking on the challenge, here are some of my creations...