Yarn Along:: Ducks Done, Affordable Halloween Decorations & a Winner

The other night I was dancing to The Mashed Potato while draining potatoes into the sink.  Like a predictable sitcom, I twisted and belted the chorus as the last potato hit the colander.  Then, steam and starchy water burned my left hand badly.
I grabbed a cold PBR from the fridge, said a few bad-choice words before ripping a stem off our aloe plant.  I thought if I liked beer, or drank beer, it would have been a great time to chug one.  Instead, I rolled the silver can over blisters, poured aloe on red skin and like a prayer answered, Luke walked through the door holding a king-sized Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.  Hours passed, and I was finally able to move my hand enough to put some eyeballs on a few knitted ducks.

Olive June requested a knitty mama duckie and a baby duckie for her almost-here third birthday.  [This pattern] from Ravelry was great, although I’d recommend lengthening the baby duck body a bit with a few more straight stitch rows.

I’m excited for her to open them on her birthday morning and add them to her every-growing duck/bird stuffed-y collection.
The recent rains and grey foggy mornings have made my joints feel a bit stiff, a bit achy.  Maybe this is something every knitter feels as seasons change and week after week has a lot of downtime knittime?  I’ve been rubbing arnica cream on my hands before bed, but would love to know another trick for stiff fingers, sore wrists.
Exactly five years ago today, we put an offer in on this island house we call home.  The move was sudden, necessary and remains to be everything we were looking for when we signed the papers.  We came following a lesson learned from a good friend who was killed in Iraq:  Life is short and tomorrow is too long away to wait to for changes necessary in happiness.  We loved our last house and the friends we made on the prairie of another island, but our Victorian house project and Luke’s long, windy-outage hours weren’t the best ways to be in this beautiful life.
As a gift to our home with such a historic story to tell [another time, I promise], I decorated for my favorite holiday.  Simple, low-cost and quick touches have put us in spirit and, to my surprise, have made the girls call our house, Halloween Town.
1.  $2 brown wicker wreath from the thrift store, bow from the $1 decoration bin and black spray paint:
2.  Three for $5 white gourds and a box of Sharpies made each girl very, very happy for table’s centerpiece art:
3.  Six yards of orange and black oilcloth and sewing machine’s zigzag stitch created fun and festive house banners.  And, I sure married the right guy because after ten a few nights ago Luke helped me with this project, knowing I’ve been carrying these rolls of oilcloth around for a long time:
5.  It always feel like an applause is needed whenever I make something I pin on Pinterest.

I’ve loved seeing how melted crayons make a drippy and cool look.  I had to glue the crayons in place because as soon as I turned the dryer on, the peeled and broken shards of orange and black crayon went everywhere.  When I turned the dryer on next, the bubbling crayola wax shot everywhere creating crayon freckles on my jeans.  So, I went out to the front porch, held aluminum foil around the perimeter and the kids laughed as the colors started to drip down.  I must have misread the directions since my stripes of color aren’t uniform but instead lumpy squirts of color.  The kids love it on our porch railing, but all I can think of is how it looks nothing like it did in the picture.  Isn’t that so often the case?!
4.  $2 cobwebs:


5.  And in saving the best item for last, an incredibly talented island mama pal came by in the Spring with a Just Because table runner gift that was absolutely perfect made from Halloween fabric.  She’s amazing.
She’s not only a quilter with a Sewing in the Dark label, but she’s the new marketing director for this island-grown online magazine Bon Bon Break.  Love this so much I want to use it all year.
I love [this island] most.  The one room school house, k-8, is off-grid and the only school house in the lower 48 without running water and electricity.  It’s within our school district and I just love it to pieces.  It currently looks as if it might have to close next year since the older sister of the sibling pair will need to go off-island for high school.  I want to see a new family move there so badly and might even take out an ad.  We’ll have to see how things play out. I want our girls to go there.  If only {sigh}.
I normally don’t gravitate towards regional non-fiction, but this book is amazing.  Last night, I fell asleep dreaming of Florence Chevalier leaving her lumber husband, running away on the mail boat to Roche in 1914 with three of her four children.  Her lonely husband and the remaining fourth child, a “social misfit,” soon welcomed a mail order bride from Texas named Omelia, who died of TB four years after their marriage.  I woke thinking of the mail boat, all that it brought and took from the island.  Yes, I love this book and want to read one about each of the 172 islands of The San Juans.
Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and emailed about camera straps.  Yes, I will have more available for purchase this coming holiday season.  Details soon.
Congratulations, to #3, such a great number, Clover!  The infamous Random Generator has chosen you.  Please send me your contact information..

Tracey said…
You know, it’s really a joy to visit here, to see photos of those beautiful girls and read your words, you are really awesome.
Thank you so much for the mitt pattern, I am going to cast on a pair for the little blondie here.
The camera strap is lovely and I would love to be entered in your giveaway.

What’s in your basket, on your needles, and what are you loving right now?
joining Ginny for yarn along.


  • karen says:

    Hmmm, never thought to melt crayons on a pumpkin but it looks great after all of your attempts. And just think you now own a pair of splatter jeans. Please be careful dancing and singing and draining potatoes!!!

  • love your decorations! but yes, the melty crayon art on the pumpkin…love it to bits.

    and congrats tracey, a bit of well-deserved happiness 🙂

  • Yay for bunting and applauding you on the Pinterest making – need to stop going there as it makes my making list longer and longer!

  • MJ says:

    Awesome decorations…and photos!! Congrats to Tracey, a deserving winner :), and I love reading about your island and your adventures there. It seems that you are part of such a wonderful community–I do relate to just picking up and following a risky whim–a dream

    “Life is short and tomorrow is too long away to wait to for changes necessary in happiness.” Yes :).

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