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  • Enchanted Makeovers Do Happen

    Update! Here’s a nice bit of news to add cheer to the holiday season. Back in August, I blogged about how Leisure Arts sent some books, notions, and fabric to help out a group called Enchanted Makeovers with the renovation of a women’s shelter and the creation of a sewing room for the shelter.

    To get a look at the incredible results (for example, 10 quilters worked together to make 30 bed quilts for the center), click on over to designer Pat Sloan’s blog. She’s got the whole story and lots of pictures. There’s been a whole lot of quilting and making over going on!

  • The Lights of Leisure: Santa Trees

    Every year, Leisure Arts partners with one of our local schools and does Santa Trees for needy families.

    Here they are filled with Santas waiting to be adopted by Leisure employees!

    Looks like the Santas have all been taken shopping! Soon there’ll be presents under the trees…

  • Sometimes We All Need A Hug

    Happy Sunday Readers! I’m sending you all a big hug today in the form of The Crochet Dude Drew Emborsky’s new pattern book—Hug It Out!

    Drew became known as The Crochet Dude while working with a charity group after the passing of his mother. He says, “The motion of working with yarn was the therapy I needed, easing my grief. Truly, if you want to find comfort, give comfort to someone else!” As a result, he created the 9 crochet designs in Hug It Out to give crocheters the opportunity to help others in their time of need.

    I carried Hug It Out home with me this weekend because I couldn’t resist Drew’s Baby Hat pattern.

    With The Cat’s supervision, I started it this morning. I ought to be able to whip up multiples of these darling little hats (in 6 sizes) as part of my charity hat donations.

    Check out the other projects in Hug It Out:

    Mobius Cowl

    Chemo Caps

    Baby Comfort Afghan

    Kennel Blanket


    Prayer Shawl

    Comfort Teddy

    Drawstring Bags

    And here’s your December Challenge from me: Help someone in need during this holiday season by sending out a few crocheted (or knitted or knooked) hugs of your own!

    (And a special thanks goes out to Drew for creating just the kind of projects I needed exactly when I needed them!)

  • Happy Thanksgiving!

    Hope all of you are having a fabulous Thanksgiving Day! I’m up early baking…cornbread for dressing and two pies while everyone except The Cat sleeps in, so I thought I’d catch you up on my charity crocheting and my newest auction finds.

    I finished the Basket Weave hat from Noggins & Necks (which I just discovered is currently out of stock on the Leisure Arts website. Rest assured, more should be arriving soon from the printer!). I almost want to keep this hat for myself—it’s so wonderfully Thanksgivingy!

    Hoping to get some crochet time in today! I’ve started crocheting a new hat, also from Noggins & Necks

    …the 2-Stitch Hat. I’m really liking crocheting all of these hats in the round, and this is another one.

    Here’s a peek at my most recent treasures from the auction—some button hooks, eyewash cups, lots more salt and pepper shakers, some more Swanky Swigs, and some cobalt blue Shirley Temple emblazoned depression glass pieces. Oh, and there’s a green Sunflower pattern depression glass cake plate under the shakers in the back...I may dig it out and use it with Thanksgiving dinner.

    Got any ideas for displaying button hooks? I’m thinking about some sort of shadow box something…

    Check out my Shawnee Pottery winking owl shakers! Fun, fun, fun…

    I think these Tappan chef shakers might be my favorite find! They’re probably from the 1950s and darn cute!

    Anyway, gotta go…smells like something’s getting ready to come out of the oven. Gather your family and friends around you and have a marvelous day!

  • Mad About Hats!

    I’m still madly crocheting away on my hats for charity! Remember that little blue baby hat from Teach a Group of Kids to Crochet (that mysteriously disappeared)? Well, it reappeared from under the front seat of the car, and it’s done!

    Also just finished Shibaguyz—Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby’s Chinese Acrobat hat from Heady Affairs! Very fun! So cool, in fact, teenagers at my house are trying to talk me out of giving it away! Evidently, there will be more Chinese Acrobat hat crocheting in my future…

    But not yet…My next crocheted hat is coming to you from Bonnie Barker’s Noggins & Necks—made with a little tangerine mist Vanna yarn.

    I’m using this Basket Weave pattern. (You might remember that I made the scarf to this set in a different color awhile back, supposedly for myself…)

    This morning with my coffee, I tackled the first four rounds on the Basket Weave hat and made a happy discovery! Those rounds turn into the neatest little flower. I may have to make more to pin on stuff! Anyway, I’m really pleased with this pattern so far…I think this hat’s just going to fly off my hook!

    What sort of creativity are you up to on this lovely Fall Saturday morning?

  • Get Inspired to Help Others!

    {We’ve got a guest blogger today! Leisure Arts in-house designer Anne spent an evening with the ladies in her church prayer shawl guild and thought our Everyday Life at Leisure readers might be inspired by what this group has accomplished!}

    The Trinity United Methodist Church Prayer Shawl Guild

    The Trinity United Methodist Church Prayer Shawl Guild Members

    I had a wonderful time visiting with the ladies from the Trinity United Methodist Church Prayer Shawl Guild. This ministry started in October of 2009 with about 14 members. The group has added a few and lost a few in the past three years, so the number of members stays pretty much the same, but with some different faces.

    Barbara Steeley

    Barbara Steeley, the Guild President said, “This is a place to come together, all of us want to be here.” The guild meets at the church every Wednesday evening for knitting or crocheting, fellowship, and prayer time. They have a large folder of scripture and suggested prayers to use as they create their shawls, “which we do…and we visit a lot, too.” They also knit or crochet at home. The group has different skill levels stitching together for this very special ministry. “So some of the shawls go super fast, and others have taken up to a year,” Barbara added.

    Beautiful shawls ready to be distributed!

    The ministry offers shawls at the Pastor’s discretion for illness, death in family, health or personal issues, and the gifts are not limited to the members of the congregation. The shawls all are about 2-3 ft. wide and 6 ft. long. All of them have fringe, but the pattern and yarn choice are up to the individual stitchers. Most of the ones I saw tonight where straight knit because—“they work up faster.”

    Each shawl has a wooden cross and a Trinity Prayer Shawl Ministry label stitched at a corner.

    The group has expanded its ministry to include baby blankets for gifting at baptisms and scarves for graduating seniors.

    Alice Browning all wrapped up in a finished shawl.

    The shawls, blankets, and scarves are to represent—“God’s love wrapped around you,” and to let the recipients know that the congregation is praying for them. Each item is blessed at the alter before being given. At this time, the guild has given out approximately 50 stitched pieces.

    Ruth Vanderin shares her contribution to Scarves for the Special Olympics.

    This year the guild has also joined in the national Scarves for the Special Olympics 2012 Winter Games. Each scarf will be given out at the event in Springdale, Arkansas, in February of 2012. The scarves represent Unity, Support, Compassion, and Empowerment. These scarves are 6" x 56-60", stitched in red and blue. (The Special Olympics organization has specifics available on their website, just in case you might be interested in stitching one or two for the event.)

    The guild’s busy hands have been hard at work this year!

    One of the scriptures I noticed the ladies using as they stitched (and that I love) is Psalms 139:13. Check it out.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share!


    {If you’d like to start your own charity knitting or crochet guild group, check out these pattern books to get started: Knit Along with Debbie Macomber: A Charity Guide for Knitters, The Prayer Shawl Ministry, The Prayer Shawl Ministry Volume 2, Crochet Prayer Shawls, Knit Prayer Shawls, Knit Along with Debbie Macomber: Friendship Shawls, and Vanna’s Choice Heartfelt Gifts. Plus, stay turned! The Crochet Dude—Drew Emborsky’s got a new book coming soon that will be a must have for every crocheter who stitches for those in need!}

  • More Crocheted Hats…

    My charity hat crocheting continues! I’ve finished the Cabled Tam from Drew Emborsky’s In All Caps! Very cute and very thick and warm!

    Now, I’m going from The Crochet Dude to the Shibaguyz! Specifically, I’ve grabbed a couple of skeins of Lion Brand Vanna dusty purple yarn, and I’m trying my hand at The Chinese Acrobat Hat from Shibaguyz Designz Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby’s wonderfully fun pattern book—Heady Affairs.

    I’ve made it through the rows of the ribbing. Now, I’m ready to tackle the rounds of Front Post and Back Post Double Crochets that make up the body of this way cool hat!

    Hope you’re having a peaceful Sunday! We’re off to a library book sale where the youngest child is volunteering as a worker. (I’m sure to come with lots of wonderful reading material to add to my stash!)

  • Hat Crocheting Continues…

    Hope you’re having a grand Sunday! I’m still crocheting hats for charity. Remember the little hat kits I put together for myself from a pattern in Kay Meadors’ Teach a Group of Kids to Crochet so I could crochet brainlessly anywhere?

    I finished all but one of them! These starter kits were one of the best ideas I’ve had in awhile—perfect for picking up and putting down!

    This is the one I haven’t finished—’cause I’ve put it somewhere safe…somewhere I could find it when I wanted it…but now I can’t remember just where that is…

    So instead, I’m using purple yarn (I think it’s Lion Brand Vanna) and working on a hat from The Crochet Dude Drew Emborsky’s great little book—In All Caps. (I love the size of this book. It fits right in my take-it-with-me bag!)

    I’m crocheting Drew’s Cabled Tam which features Back Post and Front Post Double Crochets plus, obviously, Cables. It’s rated Easy and worked in the round. I’m having to pay attention to what I’m doing, so it’s not a TV watching pattern, but rather a—the family’s still asleep, weekend kind of project. Perfect for today! I like what I’ve accomplished so far!

  • Leisure Arts Races For The Cure

    October 22, 2011! It’s race day in Arkansas! Check out our Leisure Arts participants in today’s Susan G. Komen Arkansas Race for the Cure! Go Girls! Go!

    Would you like to know more about the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure? Visit the Susan G. Komen About Us page.

  • Still Crocheting Hats…

    Happy Saturday Everybody! The Cat and I are communing over coffee, and I’m still working on the hats that I’m crocheting to donate to the Knitting for Noggins program at our local children’s hospital.

    I finished my Eco Green Hat from Lisa Gentry’s Celebrity Slouchy Beanies to Crochet! (My oldest daughter is coveting it...)

    And I finished this little pink infant hat from Kay Meador’s Teach A Group of Kids to Crochet. It’s another really simple pattern that I can work on anywhere…

    …which resulted in this!

    I made myself a bunch of little easy-to-tote hat kits. While I was home by myself the other day with no one to confuse my counting, I crocheted my way through the increase rounds on each one until a reached the round to start making the body of the hat. From there on, it’s smooth sailing! I’m just working single crochets in a circle, and I can do that wherever I end up waiting on whatever I end up waiting on…

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