Monthly Archives: May 2019

5-12-2019: Free Picot Stitch Crochet Tutorial; New Candle Making Book; A Brilliant Writer You Should Know About; More

Hello friends! How are y’all doing today? What’s new with you? Happy Mother’s Day to those of you who are mamas. 🙂

I have been writing articles, updating old pages on my websites and writing new ones. Here are a few more of the details about what I’ve been up to:

Free Picot Stitch Crochet Tutorial

How to Crochet Picot Stitch -- Free Picot Stitch Tutorial

How to Crochet Picot Stitch — Free Picot Stitch Tutorial

This isn’t a brand new tutorial — but at the time I originally wrote it, I somehow forgot to blog about it. (I did tell my newsletter subscribers about it.) If you missed seeing it the first time around, I hope you’ll enjoy it now.

A Lovely Candle Making Instruction Book Featuring EASY Projects for Beginners

Candle Making Basics, Published by Stackpole Books

Candle Making Basics, Published by Stackpole Books

My friend Mari makes the most amazing scented candles. It took a long time for her to learn how to do it, and she once confessed to me that there are bunches of pitfalls that can derail the process of candle making. She got really good at it, but she invested a massive amount of time into the learning process before she did.

I’m pretty fearless when it comes to crafts, but I have to admit that I’ve been scared of candle making. When it comes to crochet and knitting, we’re talking pretty low stakes. Every once in awhile I accidentally jab myself with a tapestry needle or something, but there are no major hazards involved.

It’s different with candle making. Some of the possible hazards include burning yourself and squirting hot liquid wax in your eyes. Yikes.

But, there’s a lovely new candle making book I found that has put me at ease enough that I am now interested in giving candle making a try. It’s called Candle Making Basics. Eric Ebeling is the author, and Stackpole Books is the publisher. I reviewed the book for The short version of my review: I definitely recommend this book.

A Brilliant Writer You Need to Know About

Yesterday, my one and only major accomplishment for the day was reading just about every article posted at Greg Satell’s website.

I didn’t set out to do that. As I was researching an article I have to write, I found one of the pieces he wrote for In a world full of fluff articles that aren’t worth reading, Greg’s writing stood out as being substantial and filled with important insights that would be easy to miss otherwise.

So I kept reading. One article led to the next and the next and the next. I didn’t get my own article finished (or even started — I moved it to my to do list for today) but I do feel like I understand the world a little bit better as a result of the time I spent reading Greg’s archives.

Most of the time, when I get sucked into an article reading vortex like that, I end up getting mad at myself for not finishing the actual to-do-list item I’m working on. But this time, I feel that it was time well spent — even knowing that I have to hustle harder today to make up for it.

Still on My To Do List for Today…

…aside from the usual articles I inevitably have to finish, is my balcony gardening project. Out of about one zillion strawberry seeds I attempted to start last month, only 3 germinated — and they somehow all germinated in the same coconut coir pellet. Phooey. I think the probability of that happening would be just about zero outside of user error. Like, maybe I watered that one pellet more than the others, or something.

I have a few more seeds left. So, I am going to try again. Wish me luck with that.

That’s it for now. Here’s wishing you a lovely day filled with happiness, chocolates, kittens, bunnies, crochet, knitting and / or whatever else your favorite things are.



5-8-2019: Visiting Family; Crochet Lace; New Pineapple Passion Crochet Book; More

The Narrows and the Virgin River at Zion National Park -- Photo courtesy of Karan Chawla at

The Narrows and the Virgin River at Zion National Park — Photo courtesy of Karan Chawla at

Hi there! Welcome! Thanks for dropping by. I hope you’re enjoying a lovely, productive and creative day.

I’m having an eventful week so far. This past weekend, my in-laws came to Utah for a visit with us. That was soooo much fun, especially for our daughter, because Grandma spent most of the trip playing with her.

We last saw my in-laws about 7 months ago when we went back to California for a mostly-business trip that also included a limited amount of socializing. At the time, Mike’s parents were busy with some important business of their own, so we didn’t get to spend much time with them then.

One of the highlights of this past weekend was a trip to Zion National Park, which I will hopefully write about in more detail in the future. The best part about it: The park staff really does an outstanding job of making the park as accessible as possible to everyone. I loved that!

There’s nothing like travel to renew my spirits and inspire my creativity. Now I’m back home, and I’m feeling energized and motivated to get back to work. I have a couple of ghostwriting articles at the top of my to do list. I’ve also been updating some of my own web pages and adding new ones. Here are a few of the things I’ve been working on:

Pineapple Passion, a Brand New Crochet Pattern Book by Karen Whooley

Pineapple Passion crochet pattern book by Karen Whooley, published by Occhi Blu Press

Pineapple Passion crochet pattern book by Karen Whooley, published by Occhi Blu Press

I’ve been a big fan of Karen Whooley’s since, I think, 2010, when I reviewed her amazing book called Fair Isle to Crochet (a book I still highly recommend if you’d like to crochet colorful blankets for anyone in your family).

Karen has just released a brand new and totally different sort of crochet pattern book. This one focuses entirely on wearable crochet lace projects that all incorporate updated versions of the classic crochet pineapple motif pattern. It’s a lovely concept for a pattern book — and I think Karen was the ideal designer to bring it to fruition. She has an eye for taking things that can seem complex, and distilling them down to the ultra-simple essentials you need to understand (without cluttering the book’s pages with any of the extra stuff that could trip you up or confuse you).

One of the most helpful things about the book: It includes symbol crochet charts in addition to written-out text instructions.

If this sounds like a book that would be of interest to you, I invite you to find more information about it in my detailed book review of Pineapple Passion..

My Picks for the Best Crochet Lace Pattern Books

Pineapple Passion has reminded me how much I adore crocheting lace. I love the dainty look of it — and I love how well it tends to drape and flow.

I also love how fast crochet lace typically works up. Often, crochet lace stitch patterns incorporate bunches of chain stitches, and chain stitches tend to work up fast. I suppose that makes sense. It’s quicker to make “lace holes” than it is to make solid crocheted fabric.

But, sometimes, the zippy-quick lacy stitch patterns are offset a bit if you use thin, fine yarns to work them with. Those fine yarns just take some extra time and attention to crochet with, and they can be a bit fiddly. But, since you also tend to get a more spectacular project when you crochet with finer yarns, I think that’s an excellent tradeoff overall.

Anyway, I bring all this up because I have been going through my entire collection of crochet pattern books and pulling out all my picks for the best crochet lace pattern books that are currently available. No, I don’t own every last crochet lace pattern book ever published, but I do have quite a few of them. So, if you enjoy crocheting lace too, I invite you to check out my page on the topic at

No Walk Today Because…It’s SNOWING!

In other news, would you believe it is currently snowing in Brian Head? Yep. I thought we were finished with snow, but this morning we woke up to a few more inches — and it’s been flurrying on and off all day. According to the Utah ski resort weather forecast, it looks like some of the other ski resorts like Park City are likely to have thunderstorms.

Our little family tries to take a walk together every day, but today the walk is officially canceled. Bummer.

That’s all for now.