Tipsy Scribbles: More Tipsy Knitting

More Tipsy Knitting

 

The ocean baby blanket and knit octopus from last week was a success. I also included mesh laundry bags to wash the blanket and toy in, but those are good for almost everything.  I printed my out my own care instructions using the symbols on the yarn label and tied it around the project using twine. Feel free to use this label for your own projects and handmade gifts or use it as a guide for making your own label.

Cotton yarn hand knit/crochet garment laundry instructions label - handmade gifts

 

This week I’m working on two more blankets using the ten stitch blanket pattern on Ravelry. The pattern is available for free, but the creator, Frankie Brown, insists that anyone who likes the pattern donate to the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation. I have already made my donation and will probably make more donations in the future for her other patterns. There is also a very helpful YouTube video on this pattern by VeryPink Knits.

The first blanket is being made with a beige acrylic yarn on size 5mm DPN (double pointed needles). I have no idea what brand or exact color this yarn is, or if it is a pure acrylic or an acrylic blend. This was yarn I had bought and stashed away, but it is softer than most acrylics, which is why I chose it for the baby blanket. Cotton or soft acrylic or acrylic blend yarns are best for baby blankets. They are durable, soft, and washable (the true winning feature).

Ten Stitch Blanket in beige
Ten Stitch Blanket in beige

 

The next blanket is being made with a mint green shimmer texture acrylic yarn with size 4mm DPN. I do believe this yarn was on sale when it was bought, so the chances of finding more are slim to none. It’s possible it is a baby yarn, the yarns that have “baby” printed somewhere on the label, but what brand I’m not sure. This yarn type is not the easiest for this pattern. It is difficult to find the place to attach the rows because the yarn is so textured, but it is also very difficult to see any mistakes in the pattern (I must have missed a stitch because there is a big hole in my corner).

Ten Stitch Blanket in mint green
Ten Stitch Blanket in mint green

 

I felt bad for not having any artwork in the past two weeks so I whipped up a little watercolor jellyfish called So Jelly. My friends Sara says “so jelly” all the time and “so jealous” is never my first thought. I’m not as cool and hip as her! I love you Sara!

So Jelly - watercolor on paper - Tipsy Scribbles - A picture says a thousand words when wine loosens the tongue.
So Jelly

 

“Knitters use knitting to value-add to the world.” –  Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

 

More from Holloway’s Hideaway!

Saving Time – A Flash Fiction

Writing Prompts – Romance

Red Herring – A Flash Fiction

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Tipsy Scribbles: Tipsy Knitting

Tipsy Knitting

 

Last week I had mentioned the baby blankets I had begun to knit for my expectant cousins. As one baby shower nears, my anxiety grows. The first blanket was inspired by a crochet sea turtle blanket my friend Elizabeth had shown me. I cannot crochet. I have tried and tried and tried and maybe someday I will try again, but today is not that day. I found a ripple lace knit pattern alternative for the crochet blanket and tweaked it a tad. I added two extra rows between each “wave” and the “beach” is the stockinette without the wave patterns. I also mathed and found that each wave is composed of 18 stitches. If you account for the bordering stitch (6 stitches on each side, 12 stitches total) you can reduce or enlarge the pattern without cutting off a wave mid-pattern. I reduced my pattern to 102 stitches, using I Love This Cotton brand yarn and US size 9 bamboo circular needles. I did not measure my guage, but the blanket ended up being about 27 inches by 27 inches square. When you start this pattern, and if you want the ocean and beach effect, start with the dark ocean color. The colors I used are 95 Antique Cream for the sand, 6 White for the foam, 68 Aqua for the shallow water, and 98 Bright Teal for the deep water. If I ever redo this style, I think I want to add another color between the dark and light ocean color to help with the gradient effect.

Beach Waves Baby Security Blanket
Beach Waves Baby Security Blanket

 

The sea shell was fairly easy. The instructions were very straight forward. There were some things in the pattern I checked YouTube for a quick tutorial. I would say this would be for a skilled beginner, already knowing the basic stitches. I used a size 2mm bamboo needle (and it didn’t snap, but I was holding my breath!) and the I Love This Cotton brand yarn in 6 White.

White Knit Shell
White Knit Shell

 

I could not find I small baby sea turtle knit pattern that really impressed me. I will say this, there are so many adorable crochet patterns for them! Unfortunately I had to opt out for the cute sea turtles, and instead decided to make an octopus. One of my other favorite sea creatures! This was the only knit octopus pattern I could find that did not require double pointed needles. I did not like the tentacle design and went for the curly look instead. The original pattern for the curly I-cord called for 3 stitches but I bulked mine up to 5 stitches, keeping the slip stitch in the middle on stitch 3. I used 306 Dark Denim I Love This Cotton brand yarn and size 3mm bamboo needles. I used the same for the head pattern as well. When this is finished, I am going to give it stitched eyes, rather than plastic to be on the safe side.

Knit Octopus Navy Blue
Knit Octopus Navy Blue

 

This is all for now. I will add a photo of the finished product to one of my upcoming Tipsy Scribbles. Until then, keep knitting and cheers to creativity!

 

“A baby is born with a need to be loved – and never outgrows it.” – Frank A. Clark

 

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Fantasy Writing Prompts: Easter 2017

Fantasy Writing Prompts: Easter

It’s Easter weekend! A three day weekend filled with family, friends, and fantasy for Les and me. So we took some of the Easter traditions and put a fantasy spin on them for this week’s writing prompts!

I’m still determined to complete the Brix and Gregor draft by the end of the month. We’re at the halfway mark of the month and there are ten chapters remaining. I may have to postpone the next Saving Time for a week to really focus on ending the first draft. I’ll make the announcement by Tuesday if I decide to postpone.

Happy Easter and Happy Writing!

Fantasy Writing Prompts-Easter2017-Let the dragon egg hunt begin!
“Let the dragon egg hunt begin!”
Fantasy Writing Prompts-Easter2017-Once a year, the rarely seen Jackalope will venture out to lay its multicolored eggs.
Once a year, the rarely seen Jackalope will venture out to lay its multicolored eggs.
Fantasy Writing Prompts-Easter2017-The children raised their weapons to slay the invading swarm of bloodthirsty bunnies.
The children raised their weapons to slay the invading swarm of bloodthirsty bunnies.

 

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The Survivor – A Flash Fiction

Tipsy Scribbles: Coloring Pages

Three Day Weekend Comic

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Saving Time: Part 7 TGIF

Need to start from the beginning?

Re-read last week’s!

Saving Time - A Flash Fiction - READ FREE

It’s finally Friday!

That had been everyone’s mood today. No one did much of anything except the occasional shuffling of random objects from one spot to the next to appear busy. They were riding out the clock, keeping an eye on the time while doing as little as they could without getting reprimanded.

I, on the other hand, sorted my papers at a fold-up table in a dark and dusty corner behind Darlene’s desk. Blue Tie had found the table shoved in a long forgotten supply closet. I had to sweep off the cob webs before he would touch the damned thing. A wobbly table was better than sitting in the floor.

The door bell chimed and I didn’t bother turning around, thinking Darlene would do her job, for once.

“Excuse me, I need change for this,” called a woman’s voice. I looked back to see a frazzled mother of three: an infant strapped in a harness to her front, a toddler perched on her hip, and another child clinging to her leg. She smelled strongly of baby powder and dirty diapers, and a red sucker was glued to her pants with sugary spit.

She waved a crisp one hundred dollar bill in front of her. Darlene never acknowledged the woman and vise versa. I crossed over to her and took the bill.

“Darlene, I need change for this–”

Darlene hit a button on her keyboard and a money drawer popped out from under the counter, ramming into my knee caps. I pulled out five twenty-dollar bills and held them out to the woman.

“What good does this do me?” she spat. The woman looked at the twenties like they had been fished from a toilet bowl. “I need money for the quarter machines. Are you stupid? You’re job is not that hard.” Two of the three children began to cry while the third suddenly started running in circles.

After counting out her one hundred dollars worth of quarters, she slammed her hand onto the counter. “How dare you try to steal my babies’ money! I saw you put that money in your pocket!”

Before I could defend myself, a coworker –the petite girl with the foul mouth– marched in to join the drama-fueled screaming match. Darlene pulled her phone out from between a sweaty fat roll and began filming the entire show.

I just want to go home. I walked away to return to my monotonous work.

The door chimed again, barely audible over the commotion, and Mr. Acetone walked in. His face immediately stretched into a ferocious smile and his eyes grew wide. The man looked as if he had just won the lottery. He scanned both women up and down several times as he approached the counter beside them.

“Excuse me ladies, how are we today?” He didn’t seem to notice he was being ignored by everyone present. He walked around to the mother, almost colliding with her child still twirling in circles. “That is a lovely perfume you’re wearing, ma’am.”

“Thanks,” she said without looking at him. “I’m a little busy at the moment,” then continued with her shouting, that had dissolved into nonsensical blather.

I glanced at the time on Darlene’s computer. Our shift ended in five minutes. I wasn’t planning on staying to see if this drama-fest ever resolved, so I pretended to sort papers when the door chimed again.

“Give me all the money!” a muffled voice bellowed.

A man in a ski mask had a gun held in his outstretched hand, pointing it snakingly at the mob of dysfunctional adults. The twirling child peeled his sucker off his mother’s pants and gave it to the robber.

The door chimed, again. A male police officer, who appeared to be thirteen months pregnant, walked in. He held a large doughnut box in one hand and a pizza box in the other. He didn’t seem to be in a rush. “What’s all this about?” he asked the group, powdered sugar cascading from his neatly trimmed mustache.

Never taking his attention from the women, Mr. Acetone took a hundred dollar bill from his pocket and handed it to the robber. “So, about those drinks, ladies? I’m buying.”

Offering a smirk to the police officer, the robber pocketed the money and shoved his gun down his pants.

“Sorry to interrupt.” The police officer belched. “I’m here for the weekly pick-up. Everything ready to go?”

“It’s probably in the back,” Mr. Acetone said. “Look for the fella with the tie.”

The officer offered the group, robber included, his left over pizza and doughnuts before departing.

I declined as politely as I could and looked at the time. On the dot. “Mr. Acetone, can I go?” But I didn’t wait for an answer.

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The Book – A Flash Fiction

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Tipsy Scribbles: Prayer

Prayer

 

Sorry about last week’s lack of Tipsy. I have once again swamped myself with projects. Women know there is a certain point in our monthly cycle where we feel like we can do anything and everything. It may be called “nesting” but we’re not building nests. We’re building a tower of projects that will eventually crush us with the unbearable pressure of our own anxiety. Right this instant, I am juggling six projects: three baby blankets, two art commissions, and one art project for myself.

Early this month – or the end of last month, it’s all starting to run together – I found out three of my cousins were expecting! Two of which are expecting their second child. The third is actually my cousin’s wife, and this is her first child. Her blanket will be a knit version of the baby sea turtle blanket. I’ll elaborate on that project later, providing links to patterns and sharing any tweaking of my own. The other two blankets will be the ten stitch blanket. Again, I will share all the links to the blanket patterns later, possibly next week.

Before I had started all of this, I had decided to attempt my first person pastel. So far my subjects have been scenery or animals. It is not complete, I have had to put this on hold until I can manage to get everything else finished. This is my own project and it has no deadline. I will admit this: the most difficult challenge is replicating skin tones. It is a challenge that is frustrating and addictive, which means this will more than likely not be my last human pastel. I have censured this picture for all our viewers.

Prayer - censured version - 8x10 chalk pastel on paper - Tipsy Scribbles - A picture says a thousand words when wine loosens the tongue.
Prayer (censured)

 

“Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.” — Mahatma Gandhi

 

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Saving Time: Day 1

Writing Prompts: Romance

Red Herring: Part 1

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Romance Writing Prompts: April 2017

Romance Writing Prompts

We’re back this week! And we are offering four new romantic writing prompts for your inspiration. It’s time to write your very own love story or add a romantic subplot to an ongoing story! Don’t forget to share your stories and artwork with us!

I have set myself the goal of finishing the Brix and Gregor first draft by the end of this month. I have eleven chapters remaining at the time of typing this. The story is going to need a lot of work. My excitement over the project has certainly waxed and waned to dramatic extremes. Once the draft is complete however, I plan to take a couple of weeks away from it before trying to make it readable. In that time, I will begin drafting a new story for Detective Peirson.

Romance Writing Prompts-Apr2017-Their love forbidden, they lived side by side as victims of a cruel fate.
Their love forbidden, they lived side by side as victims of a cruel fate.
Romance Writing Prompts-Apr2017-Her lips were petals of flame against the icy fingers of her lost love.
Her lips were petals of flame against the icy fingers of her lost love.
Romance Writing Prompts-Apr2017-He knew this was only a spell but the damage had been done; he was in love.
He knew this was only a spell but the damage had been done; he was in love.
Romance Writing Prompts-Apr2017-This love was so pure it would smolder within their hearts for all eternity.
This love was so pure it would smolder within their hearts for all eternity.

 

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Saving Time: Part 6 Human Resources

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Re-read last week’s!

Saving Time - A Flash Fiction - READ FREE

I walked with determination to the Human Resources building. Something about what the kid said yesterday morning had left me feeling uneasy. Surely no robots were going to harm Sharron, but the kid seemed very scared regardless.

Finding the location of the HR department was excruciatingly difficult, which did not help relieve my “funny feeling”. When I had asked Darlene for directions, she replied, “It is not available at this time,” in a monotone voice, void of any emotion.

Luckily, my access to mass amounts of paperwork paid off. A fax from the HR department was tucked into one of my stacks. It simply read “5318008” with a header of an address at the top of the page. Located four blocks down the road in an old boutique once named Toot-A-Lou, the store had only been operational for a week before being bought out by Saving Time.

The sign on the door, like the other building, had a hand-written sign reading “Human Resources and Complaint Management” taped over Toot-A-Lou. The notice of pending eviction was still taped to the door, signed with two flourished letters: JA.

I pushed the door open and was immediately greeted by gunshots. I jumped back, wide-eyed, looking for a robbery only to see a violent video game being played on a large screen mounted to the far wall. Behind the front desk, the back of a leather chair was facing toward the door. I could see a pair of sneakers propped on the desk.

The chair’s occupant called out, “Hold on, I need two more kills.”

“This is kinda important,” I said. “Do you think you could pause it?”

“For Christ’s sake!” he yelled out. “You can’t pause an online game. I said two kills.” He laughed then raised his hands, one of them holding a controller, in a victorious fashion.  He threw the controller down and spun the chair around. “Now, what is it–,” he started to snarl but stopped. His entire demeanor flipped, “Well, hello, beautiful,” he said with a toothy grin. “What can I do for you today? Or tonight?” and gave me a wink with sparkling blue eyes.

I forced my own eyes not to roll upward with repulsion, “I need to speak with HR about something that happened yesterday.”

He completely ignored every word I had just spoke. “You know what ‘HR’ stands for? Hot and ready.”

Don’t throw up. “I need to report–”

“An all you can eat buffet?” He waved his hands over his upper body, “Open 24/7.”

Good god, I need a  human resources to report the human resources!

He motioned to one of the chairs in front of his desk. “Have a seat, babe. Tell me all about this ‘report’.”

I remained near the front door, wondering why this kid seemed so familiar. “You’re human resources?”

“Uh, yeah. Dad said something about managing all the complaints or whatever,” he said, air quoting all the work-related words.

“Dad?” I asked. The smile, the eyes, the cringe-worthy pickup lines all added up to one thing.

“Jack Jr.” He looked around his cluttered desk and placed a wooden name plate on the edge of his desk with pride. Engraved on the metal plate: Jack Acetone Jr., HRR.

“Are you even old enough to work?” He certainly didn’t look like it.

His smile faded, but only just, “I’m sixteen, baby. I’m old enough.”  Then the family smile returned.

“I think I’m gonna go thank you bye!” I scrambled for the doorknob.

“Wait,” he called out and jumped over his desk after me.

I was already heading to my car to get my cell phone. I got in and locked the car doors behind me. I fished around in my glove compartment for that business card the weird girl had given me and keyed in the number.

The line rang three times before a foreign voice answered, “Ciao. Cos’è?”

“It’s Bobby, I work at Saving Time,” I replied, not understanding what he had said. “This girl gave me your number for HR–”

“Ah, English,” he said, the Italian accent still thick. “This Conscience Cleaners. We make mess disappear! Who the problem?”

 

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Premade D&D Character: Elf Wizard

Brix – A Flash Fiction

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Saving Time: Part 5 Babysitter

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Read Part 4 here!

Saving Time - A Flash Fiction - READ FREE

“Mr. Acetone!” Blue Tie gasped in surprise as he came through the makeshift doorway at a jog. He was holding a lanky child out like it was an explosive, feet dangling. “I wasn’t expecting you.”

“I told you he was coming,” Darlene said, agitated.

“So soon,” Blue Tie stammered, as if it were the end of his previous sentence. He pushed the child at me and dusted his hands, like the child was filthy even though it was not. “To what do we owe the pleasure of your visit?”

I sat the child down in front of me. He was heavier than he looked. The child starred at me in silence. “What?” I asked the kid, then Blue Tie, “What?”

“Who brought their baby to work?” Mr. Acetone yelled and waited for a response, even though the other workers were out of earshot.

“I’m six!” the child yelled back, loud and proud. “Where’s my mommy?”

“That’s Sharron’s son,” Blue Tie said, as if that should answer any and all questions.

“Does this kind of thing happen often?” Mr. Acetone asked Blue Tie and ignoring the child.

“Only on Tuesdays and Fridays. And sometimes Wednesdays, or Thursdays. But never Monday.” Blue tied managed to shake his head vertically and horizontally within seconds of each other. He looked like a bobble head traveling down a back road on the dash of a suspensionless vehicle.

“Let’s have a word with Sharron, shall we?” Mr. Acetone strode towards the clock factory with Blue Tie scurrying in his wake.

The little boy squinted at me. “Are you one of them?” he asked and pointed a tiny finger at Darlene.

Darlene’s chair squealed in protest as she turned to look at us. “He has toys in the break room,” she said. Her eyes lingered on the child. He grabbed my leg and hid behind me, using me as a shield against her gaze.

I picked him up and adjusted him onto my hip. He was too big to be held like this. “We’ll go find you some toys,” I said. I took him through the back of the bank through a maze of hallways.

“Over there,” he pointed towards a door to my right.

“Do you wanna walk?” I asked. He just shook his head. Of course you don’t.

I could hear talking, including a string of swearing, coming from various rooms as we moved through the hallways. The kid maintained a tight grip around my neck, pulling out some of my hairs.

“They’re scary,” he whispered loudly into my ear. I could feel his spit spraying the side of my face.

“Yeah, I know, they scare the crap out of me, too. It’s like an asylum ran by the patients.”

“That’s a bad word,” he whispered again, but not directly into my ear. “What’s a eyeslam?”

I couldn’t help but laugh. “I’m sorry. An a-sy-lum. It’s a hospital for…” I searched for the right word.

“Robots?” he whispered again.

I looked puzzled. That was not even close to the word I was looking for.  He pushed himself from my arms as we entered the break room. He ran over to a toy chest in the corner and rummaged around for a moment. Finally he emerged from the toy box with a half-transformed Transformer clutched tightly to his chest. He crossed the room and held it out to me.

He pointed to a strip of plastic painted blue on the toy’s chest, “Robots. In the ah-size-em.”

I could hear footsteps coming down the hallway towards us. He heard them too and clutched the broken toy close to him while burying his face in my armpit.

“I know it’s a lot to think about,” Mr. Acetone was saying, “but you know what they say about promotions.”

Mr. Acetone, Blue Tie, and Sharron entered the break room.

“There’s the little guy!” Blue Tie burst in with what he likely thought was a playful voice. The kid and I both jolted in our seat. “And our little organizer,” Blue Tie exclaimed upon noticing me. He turned to Mr. Acetone. “Bobby is the one I was telling you about.”

An inappropriate rap song sounded from Mr. Acetone’s back pocket before he had a chance to comment. “I have to take this,” he said, looking at the large screen. “I’ll be back later, Sharron, to talk about that promotion.”

The child ran to his mother. She looked nervously at me. “Thank you for watching him.” Her eyes drifted towards Blue Tie, who had thrown the transformer toy into the garbage, rather than the toy chest. She whispered in her son’s ear then asked, “Do you want to say ‘thank you’ to Bobby?”

The boy got down and ran over to me, pulling my neck to his face. I leaned down to give him a hug when he whispered into my ear. His tight-lipped words were difficult to understand, “Don’t let the robots take my mommy.”

Continue Reading!

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Tipsy Scribbles: Coloring Pages

Coloring Pages

 

This week is Spring break for some schools, or at least it is for a local school here. Since the education system and the work force can’t seem to get on the same page, babysitters are required during times like these. Although my crafting plate is overflowing, which is mostly my fault, I had to bring my artwork with me to babysit. Obviously, I’m not going to bring paint and pastels, because they’re not kid friendly (sometimes they’re not friendly with me either, but oh well). I also wanted to include my niece in the process, so I asked her opinion on some coloring pages.

I used Draw So Cute’s video tutorials on YouTube and created these four coloring pages. Note: these images belong to Draw So Cute, all credit belongs to Wennie. For the less artistically inclined parents or guardians, Draw So Cute’s original, and printable, coloring pages can be found here:

http://www.drawsocute.com/draw_so_cute_coloring_pages/

 

Draw So Cute Beauty Queen - Tipsy Scribbles - A picture says a thousand words when wine loosens the tongue.
Draw So Cute Beauty Queen
Draw So Cute Cheerleader - Tipsy Scribbles - A picture says a thousand words when wine loosens the tongue.
Draw So Cute Cheerleader
Draw So Cute Gymnast - Tipsy Scribbles - A picture says a thousand words when wine loosens the tongue.
Draw So Cute Gymnast
Draw So Cute Zombie Boy - Tipsy Scribbles - A picture says a thousand words when wine loosens the tongue.
Draw So Cute Zombie Boy

 

“Kids. You gotta love them. I adore children. A little salt, a squeeze of lemon–perfect.”
Jim Butcher, Storm Front

 

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Kids Writing Prompts: March 2017

Kids Writing Prompts

I feel as if I constantly repeat myself on these intro paragraphs. There’s only so many ways to set up our weekly prompts I suppose. This week’s writing prompts are for the younger audience, or at least the young at heart. Don’t forget to share your stories and artwork with us on Facebook and Twitter!

I wrote two chapters in the fantasy draft yesterday. Yes, the one about Brix and Gregor. My confidence in the project is waning, but I’m about halfway through my projected outline. That evil little voice of doubt is awfully loud lately. Pen to paper, however. I must write through the doubts. The chaos of the first draft can always be stitched together later. As you can imagine, Brix isn’t following the draft outline very well. She has a will all her own.

Kids Writing Prompts-Mar2017-The ginger cat introduced himself to the lost child.
The ginger cat introduced himself to the lost child.
Kids Writing Prompts-Mar2017-After several crashing attempts, the cardboard box began to fly.
After several crashing attempts, the cardboard box began to fly.
Kids Writing Prompts-Mar2017-This time the moon was following him home.
This time the moon was following him home.

 

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