Friday, December 1, 2023

Can It Be December


 And the days keep rushing by. It's hello December.  I still have to take down the Halloween wreath but the Christmas tree is already up.  All the decorating was done by my son and Jakey.  The tree comes with lights and Jakey decided it needed a star on top and Jack Skellington hanging from a branch..  I laugh every time I see it.

Meanwhile, the live tree in a pot I bought last year is looking pretty sad.  It got pushed in with some plants and didn't get enough water until recently.  There are lots of brown needles with only a fluff of fresh new ones on top.  I will see what I can do to salvage it.  It made me think of writing a children's story about a sad little Christmas tree that gets a second chance.

I planted some pansies in a pot near it and I hope it cheers up the little pine.

I have been spending my yarn time making hearts for the project in KNOT DEAD, AGAIN.  Because Casey is expecting  inexperienced yarn crafters and she wants them to be able to finish the project during the weekend retreat, I came up with something I thought would be easy and quick.  It's basically a garland with hearts.  The book takes place in January and the next holiday is Valentine's Day.  It seemed simple enough until I started making the hearts from different patterns, in different yarn and in different sizes.  So many choices.  Last night I finally decided on the size and the yarn.  Now I'm going to see what happens when I starch them.

Then there's the thing that holds them together and hangs them across a fireplace or wall.  I don't know what it's called.  I am planning to use a long string of chain stitches. Is it the string?  The strand?  I tried looking online to see what other people call it, but so far haven't found it named.

Meanwhile, I'm still working on the rewrite.  I was given extra time and am glad not to feel so pressured.  The paperback edition of SENTENCED TO DEATH was released a few days ago.  It takes place in Chicago and Veronica is putting together copy for a house and garden tour.  I used mostly interiors that I was familiar with and was able to refresh my memory thanks to sites like Zillow.  It gave me an eerie feeling to see one of the houses in particular where I had spent a lot of time when I was a kid.  As I looked at the photos of the interior, I had memories of moments spent in that spot and even the scent of the place.  Is there still some vibe left behind?  

It makes me want to write a time travel story.


Patty Jenkins said...

Good morning -- This year has flown by, for sure. I don't put up a tree anymore -- just wreaths, some snowman and Santa figures, several holiday pillows and towels. One Christmas, years ago, we had a Norfolk Island pine tree, which has evenly spaced branches. I tied gold and green balls into clusters, from tiny balls to large ones and covered every inch of the tree, including up and down the trunk. I used 144 dozen balls!! It was a thing of beauty -- my arms were so sore I didn't think they'd ever work properly again!! Another year, we got a really pathetic-looking tree -- decided it needed a good home -- and made crocheted snowflakes for it. Looked sweet.

How about calling the "thing" the hearts hang from a strand of string? When I made the snowflakes I used liquid starch to stiffen them -- don't know if that's available anymore. Oh, the awful days of having to iron starched white shirts for my husband!! I haven't used an iron in ages -- wash and wear for me!!

I'm loving that Red Heart "Stripes" yarn -- one afghan finished and another started. It's great to get such a variety of color without having yarn ends to weave in -- I'm all for convenience!!

I'm seeing the "Cold-Eze" commercial again, the one with a woman wearing a flower-embellished blouse that I'm sure Adele would love. The blouse flowers are fabric but Adele could easily crochet them!!

Have fun with your crocheted hearts -- I'm looking forward to seeing them.

Patty Jenkins said...

Me, again. You have your heart pattern but I just discovered a site called that has 10 different heart patterns -- all sizes.


Betty Hechtman said...

Patty, I bet those snowflakes really dressed up that tree. Thanks for the suggestion. They do still make liquid starch. I have that and a can of spray starch. I agree about self striping yarn. I think everybody dreads all the weaving in. It seems like no matter what I do, there is always a little end showing. I will look for that commercial. I will check out that site for the hearts.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Yes, welcome to December--and to your paperback edition of SENTENCED TO DEATH. How fun that you could see the sites you wanted to on Zillow, including a place you spent time as a kid. And my first published novels were time travel romances--definitely fun to write! Give it a try...

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, hard to believe this year is almost over. It would be fun to write a time travel romance. Maybe next year.

Patty Jenkins said...

It's me, again!! I made the #6 Love Heart from the Cilla Crochets website -- quick, easy and cute. I made the stuffed version because I plan to hang several of them from a wreath on my front door -- my decorations are mostly in blues and whites so I'm making three blue and two white to go on a green wreath.

Betty Hechtman said...

Patty, I looked at the website. The stuffed heart should be lovely on your wreath.