We are TwoLuLa! Welcome to our journey of creative discovery!

Friday, December 28, 2012


Christmas Day has come and gone.  The two weeks leading up to the big day came with challenges that I will spare you the details.  The best of the celebrations began on Sunday at Cynthia and family's annual "Christmas Eve Squared" party.  Friends that are more like family now all gather and bring food to share and celebrate the coming birthday.  Cynthia and Bob did a fabulous job decorating their lovely home for the holidays (she needs to post pictures).  We talked and laughed and told stories.  I so very much enjoyed myself and felt genuinely happy - which is the best gift. 

Christmas Eve I attended the later worship service at my church with my daughters and various family members.  We were treated to a brass quartet pre-service concert of classic Christmas tunes.  I love singing all the hymns of Christmas.  My congregation is filled with really good singers and since we are Lutheran, we sing a lot.  The choir sang beautifully.  For our final two hymns we "go dark" and all hold a lit candle to light our way and our music while we sing.  I loved all of it.

Christmas Day we went to my sister Janet and her husband Jim's house.  Sixteen of us gathered there.  We each brought a part of the meal and our gifts to give each other.  What a wonderful time we all enjoyed!

I hope you all had a wonderful celebration of family and friends this year too!

Peace On Earth,  Good Will to All! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It is 12-12-12 !!!

This is certainly a busy time of year for everyone.  It is also the time of year when I begin to think about the things I want to do better next year.  One of them is keeping up with this blog.  TwoLuLa has been a wonderful outlet for Cynthia and I to think about the creativity in our lives and post progress.  Yet here it sits, unattended. 

I have survived my big craft show.  Sold adequately but nothing to quit my day job over. One show a year does not a business make either.   I know I have much more work to make a business like this succeed, so I am not giving up yet.

Last weekend, my hubby and I and my sister Janet and her hubby went to Cape May for the weekend.  We toured the Victorian homes for their holiday tour.  Such a fabulous weekend!

The Thursday we arrived was sunny.  So we walked the block to the beach and by the time we got there it was cloudy and drizzly.  The sky remained this color for the remainder of the weekend.

In case you are wondering, the beaches south of Atlantic City did not sustain the severe damage the the rest of the beaches from A.C. up did.  The beaches that are the ones my daughters frequent are devastated.  Streets are sand covered.  Boardwalks are gone.  Ordinary people lost their homes (not the second homes you think about, but their primary residences.)  Beaches are eroded.  Much reconstructing is needed and it will never be the same. 

While Cape May did have some flooding, for the most part, it looked untouched.

Doilies purchased at an antiques mart.

We frequented this small shopping district and it's beautiful stores.  I even did some Christmas shopping.
By far the favorite was walking past the fudge store and the ladies giving free samples.

These are a few of the beautiful Victorian homes that make this beach resort so fabulous.  Did you know that Cape May is the United States first beach resort town?

We stayed at the Carroll Villa Hotel.  It is an old Victorian hotel.

Walking for the Holiday lights tour took us in and past many beautiful old homes.  Below are just a few we passed.

 On our last day we drove to Sunset Beach and the weather did not cooperate.  Still, my sister and I braved the chilly weather to walk to the water's edge and collect memories from the sand.  This is the beach known for its "Cape May Diamonds" which are stones tumbled by the surf to be clear as diamonds.  We did find a few as well as some beautifully colored stones.  I am thinking about crocheting around some of these stones and turning them into necklaces. 
That out in the water on Sunset Beach is a sunken concrete ship.  Yes, it did float at one time.

So we collected our "Cape May Diamonds" until the temperatures got to us and rain drops influenced us back into the car.  All in all we had a fabulous weekend and plan to return again next year.  Or perhaps pick a new destination to experience.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Count Down Begins!

No, not Christmas... not yet.  A big craft show that I signed up a year ago to participate in and am frankly frightened that it is only eleven days away.  This is one of those shows that draws hundreds or thousands of people.  Some years they buy.  Some years they look.  I was doing so well the first half of the year creating items to sell.  Then summer hit with vacation and I must have fallen asleep along the way.  Now it feels like no matter how hard I work, I won't have enough product to sell or variety or the stuff people want to buy.  And it feels like an investment in this show of $75 for this table.  I need to at least sell that and a bit more to make sitting for a day worth while. 

And my nephew Kyle told me that we are all experiencing "hurricane brain".  Since losing a week or more of power and adding to that shock and depression for all the losses so many people suffered in our state and neighboring New York.  Lives, homes, cars, all of it and an extensive amount of recovery needed to rebuild.  Knowing it will never be the same again. 

Back to the show... both of my sisters have tables too.  Ruth is by far probably the most prepared for this.  Janet works too much overtime to feel prepared for it.  And I am in the middle.   Always seem to be (I am the middle child after all). 

I have done a handful of shows over the years.  I don't feel like I know what I am doing yet.  Any advice?  I would love to hear some!

Oh, and in eleven days I will begin the next countdown to Christmas!!!

Peace to you and yours,


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Well, after 8 days without, our electricity came back on last night.  We had no lights and no heat, but our gas hot water heater provided us with lovely hot showers and water to wash in.  And I was able to cook on our gas stovetop. So, all in all, it was not a terrible experience for us.  Our home was not damaged, unlike so many others during the storm. So much of the Jersey shore and Long Island are so horribly devastated.  School here was closed for an entire week. My nieces' schools on Long Island will not open until next week because the damage was so severe.

Thankfully, my family was all together and safe and happy, just a bit cold at times.  I actually enjoyed the peaceful silence of a house without a furnace running and without TV! And the stars at night!  Wow! Other than when we are camping in the woods, we never get to experience true darkness.  How bright the moon and stars appeared!

Now New Jersey is being hit with a snow storm.  It is night time now and I can't wait to see the yard in the morning light.  All family members are off the road, safely home or at school.  I pray for those who must still travel tonight because the roads are bad.  And I pray for the many thousands who still have no electricity or means to keep warm.

Here's hoping you are safe and warm,


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The "frankenstorm"

Cynthia and I are both without power in New Jersey.  I feel lucky compared to some parts of this state.  Our shore line took extensive damage.  This storm affected some communities horribly and others it barely touched.  My daughter Jocelyn is in New York City without power on the eleventh floor.  My daughter Emily is in Boston and her apartment roof began leaking tremendously coming in through their lights. I thought she would suffer the least!

 Trees and power lines are down all over.  I am operating from my husband's wireless until my computer battery dies. 

I hope all of you affected by hurricane Sandy are fairing well and getting through the clean up.  My prayers go out for healing of community and lives post Sandy. 

Be well.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Finish it Friday!!!

Hello.  My name is mitten.  I am lovely and gray and I was made for a beautiful young lady named Eva.  But I have not been able to warm Eva's graceful hands because somebody lost me and never sewed my loose ends in. 

Hi.  My name is blanket.  I have many lovely colors and have had my picture taken for this blog many times.  I am a gift intended for a delightful young man named Daniel.  Sadly, I still need a few more rows before my maker is finished with me.  And I need all those ends sewn in.  I hope to keep my young man warm someday soon.

Hey there!  I am a blanket, purples and greens.  In a cold dark basement waiting for the other half of me to be finished for that new living room sofa, that is no longer a new sofa, for when Jocelyn and Emily watch TV and need extra warmth.  Oh why have I been forgotten?

Goo Goo Gaa Gaa.  I am a baby dress.  I can't adorn that sweet baby girl Olivia until someone adds my sleeves!

Well, hello!  I bet I am close to being done.  I am an exciting multicolored pillow.  I am ready to go to college with Olivia!  Finish me!  Finish me!!

Look at me!  Look at me!  I am a sweater for Emily.  I was finished.  And then determined to be too big so I need some of me to be pulled out and re-fitted.  I am in a dark box with my pattern waiting for discovery and those diet taking steps that will make Emily chic.

Move over all you crocheted projects.  I am a painting.  The one that started this whole creativity blog thing and I am not done either!  Look back to the first beginning posts and you will find me.  Unfinished.  Seems it is what we all have in common.  We shouldn't knock these two ladies too much.  They have finished many projects as well.  But come on now, 

                                    FINISH ME TOO!!!

With love from,
      All of your U.F.O.s

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Baby items are so much fun to make!

I have finished two of the gifts I need to make. I third is in progress (I will photograph later).
The first is the sweater I made for one-year-old David.

The second is a shower gift for a friend having a baby girl.  This is the first baby dress I have ever made.  I am so happy with the result!

 Makes a full circle!

So two gifts down, four to go.  Then I must start thinking about Christmas gifts!!!


Monday, October 15, 2012

One more thing...

I am loving all the inspiring baby items people are posting on our "baby love" link party!


I am learning just how addictive Pinterest is and I am hooked!  I sit down to see what has found it's way from and to me and hours later I am still marveling at the crochet talent out there.  It all started when Cynthia and I were wondering if anybody ever looked at this blog (or rather retired TwoLuLa with the broken friends gadget) and she noticed that googling us, a photo of my crayon blanket had been "pinned" on Pinterest.  What?  What is this Pinterest? Where did that photo go?  Then Cynthia said she became a member on Pinterest and I was more intrigued.  So last week, I logged into Pinterest. Now I find that people around the globe are following me.  How awesome is that?  Now if they would visit TwoLuLa2.blogspot.com I think Cynthia and I would be on cloud nine.


PS.  Cynthia, on your last post about unfinished projects, I did not mean to make you feel bad and for that I am sorry (unless it urges you to finish Daniel's blanket).  I know how easy it is to drop something and start something new then forget about the dropped something.  I have an afghan for myself half finished in my basement and more that I have long since forgotten about.  The one thing I adore about you is your excitement to try new crochet projects.  As long as something gets finished along the way - and you have done this in with a tea cosy, mug cosy, wool-eater table topper, several baby blankets, and more - so forgive my careless comment that made you feel bad.  Just enjoy the power of the hook and create.  After all, this is why we started this blog - to encourage our creativity!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Will I Ever Finish it? Friday

Will I Ever Finish it? Friday

Carol made a comment to me the other day about not finishing my crochet  projects.  Could this be true? Well, there's the blanket I have been making for Daniel, striped and colorful with an assortment of different stitches, the ziggy pillow I am making for Olivia's dorm room, a tea cup cosy I am making just for fun which still needs its ends sewn it, squares for a charity blanket at church which need to be sewn together and edged, and….

Hmmm, maybe she has a point.  So I decided to start a Will I Ever Finish It? Friday post. Maybe having to dig these unfinished projects up, visit with them for a while as I photograph them and write about them, will get me moving on actually finishing them!

Am I alone in this?  Please tell me about your unfinished work so I can feel I bit encouraged and better.

Here's my first Will I Ever Finish it? Friday post:

Carol came over for a visit the other day.  As seems to be an emerging pattern, our time to sit, visit, drink tea, talk over life  and be creative was cut short. This time a massive traffic jam caused by an accident (very sadly fatal for the truck driver involved) delayed Carol in her trip to my house.  Then I needed to make an emergency art supplies delivery to my daughter at college, and another trip to pick my son up from cross country practice.  But we did manage to squeeze in a very quick cup of tea and a lovely lunch with dear friend Liz and her daughter Anna.

During our short visit we talked about possible baby gifts we could make for some soon-to-be-here babies.  We ventured down into my basement and I  pulled out two baby blankets I have never finished.  One is a pieced log cabin quilt (I'll post a photo of it later).  All the blocks have been made, more or less, but it needs to be assembled, a border added and quilted.  Enough time to finish it before the first baby arrives?  Not sure, not sure.

This is the second blanket:

I started it quite some time ago.  Quite, quite some time ago.  It is from a pattern in an old Leisure Arts leaflet, "Make One For Baby".  I loved the colors and the texture!  Wonderful!

It uses a combination of half double crochet, long double crochet and front post stitches.

 So why, with so much love going on for this blanket, did I stop working on it?  Well, as the blanket grew, row by row, the entire thing started to go askew.  It was very quickly losing its rectangular shape.   If I laid it out on the table with the bottom and one side lined up with the table edges, the opposite side was going off at an unpleasant angle!  My photos don't show this, but thats the beauty of cropping.

I remember, at the time, asking Carol, my crochet expert, to help me figure out what was happening.  She was baffled.  We asked Carol's crochet expert, her mom Muriel, and even Muriel was at a loss to figure out what I was doing wrong.

So, with much frustration and discouragement, the unfinished blanket was assigned to a basket somewhere down in the basement. And there it has lived for the last few years.

Carol and I studied it anew this week.  I had hoped that with a few more years of crochet experience we would have diagnosed its ailment.  No such luck.

So the question now is, do I pick it up again, finish it and hope that the powers of blocking will make it at least presentable?  I assume the baby will not have a ruler handy to assess the squareness of my blanket.

Or do I rip, rip, rip and start it again in hopes of a different result?

Or, as Carol suggested, do I take what I have and make it into something else, like a pillow?

Either way, on this Friday, I have to ask, Will I Ever Finish It?

 While you're here please visit out Baby Love Link Party and add a link to a baby item you have finished or are working on.

Happy Creating!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Baby Love Link Party

Carol and I seem to be surrounded by a bit of a baby boom! To date, Carol and I each have two gifts to make for soon-to-be-here babies.  Carol also is going to make a gift for a sweet 3 month old girl.   She  just completed an adorable crocheted sweater for a one-year old boy  (and I hope she took lots of photos to share with us!).

So, as we are awash in baby love, we thought it would be fun to invite all of you to share the baby gifts you have made, or are in the process of making.   We invite you to add your work to the collection, share your creativity with all of us and get inspired yourself by visiting other contributor's posts!

Basket Weave Baby Blankets

     I have been  thinking about possible gifts  I can crochet  for two soon-to-be-here babies.  This has caused me to try and remember what baby items I have already made and gifted.  The very first blanket I ever crocheted (and finished) was a pink, blue and white zig-zag baby blanket.  I remember I bought it as a kit and  diligently followed the instructions.  What a feeling of accomplishment when I finished!  Sadly, it being before the time of digital cameras, I don't think I ever took a photo of it. I can't even remember who I gave it to.  Oh well!  I hope it was used well and often!

Before my first child was born I started knitting a very basic baby sweater for her. I completed the front and probably about 3 rows of the back.  No sleeves. Three children later and it still sits unfinished in one of my yarn boxes.  Perhaps one day, far, far away, I will get it finished for a future grandchild.  Or maybe I should use it as a dishrag now!

When I was pregnant with my last child, my son, I decided that I wanted to crochet his Baptismal gown.  I found a pattern for a beautiful gown, bought the white cotton thread (yes, thread) and began.  The pattern started with the edging around the bottom of the skirt and worked its way up from there. Well, need I say that his gown never got any farther than that edging? What was I thinking to take on such a monumental project while pregnant with two little ones already at home? Something else for the grandchildren?

I actually did complete, and photograph, these two baby blankets.  Both are done in a basket weave pattern which I love.

I am feeling like I want to crochet another baby blanket, in a different pattern, and with a much brighter color scheme.  Time to do some thinking and get inspired.

Can you help get my creative juices going?  Carol and I have started our first link party  and its all about Baby projects.  It's called Baby Love Link Party.   We invite you to add your work to the collection, share your creativity with all of us and get inspired yourself by visiting other contributor's posts!  Please help us spread the invitation by grabbing the Baby Love button in the sidebar and adding it to your post!

Happy creating!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pillow Talk


Two weeks ago I started making a pillow for my daughter's dorm room. I chose the colors based upon the colors in the quilt we had already bought for her.

I was intrigued by the stitch pattern of this blanket  bought at the flea market a couple of months back (click here to see more photos of it).  I have seen blankets with this pattern before but couldn't find instructions in any of my books, and was being a bit dense as to figuring it out myself.  Luckily Carol found the stitch pattern in one of her crochet magazines.

The flea market blanket works two (or four) rows in the same color and then changes.  My pillow top is a bit different in that it changes color each row.  Its interesting to see the difference this makes in the overall look.

The pillow top is worked in diagonal rows, starting at one corner and increasing each row until the centerline is reached.  Then each row is decreased until the opposite corner is reached.

I began work on the pillow while on a car trip with the family. I gave my daughter, in the backseat, all 5 skeins of colors.  She randomly (or not, as was her choice) threw me a color when it was time for the next row.  Once all five colors were used I threw them all back to her and we started again.  She decided to make the pillow top symmetric about the center diagonal.

Here is the top, minus another round of black order.  I still have to sew in all the loose ends (my very least favorite thing to do, and hence always left to the very last).

Olivia likes how it turned out. Though, I have to confess, I am not exactly head-over-heeels in love with it.  I'm not sure why, maybe its just a bit too busy or random for my eye. Sometimes I look at it and love it.  Sometimes not.

So...I decided to make another pillow top with the same colors. This time I wanted larger bands of color. I decided to use a wavy pattern.

To add some texture, I worked the right side in the back loop only and the wrong side in the front loop only.

I still need to add a border, and of course, sew in the loose ends!

 I've decided to attach the pillow tops together to make a reversible pillow.  Olivia can decide which side to show depending on how she's feeling.   I'll show you the final pillow as soon as it is done.



Monday, September 10, 2012

Busy, busy, busy

Have you been busy?  I know I have.  Summer seemed to race by (when it wasn't roasting me).  Mine was busy for many reasons, but my favorite reason was to finish crochet projects.  Remember that blanket I photographed last March?  The one I was making for Joanie?  Well after a few false starts and pattern adjustments, this is the blanket:
Joanie's blanket

rounds and rounds of double crochet

It took me forever to do this blanket!  I am not completely happy with the finished project because I noticed a mistake made too early to change it.  I am hoping it will please my eleven-year-old niece anyway. 

Then I began my next project which went faster.  Much much faster.  I completed this in two weeks!!  I promised a blanket to Cynthia's daughter Olivia for her high school graduation and wanted it done before she moved on campus.  Well, I was a week late, but she is now the owner of the "crayon blanket".  What color blanket do you give an artist?  Olivia had four colors that she recommended and I found those, but for some reason, it just needed more color.  So I explored my "stash" (aka, my personal store) and added more colors.

Here it is:

I played with stitches so that each color change was a stitch change too.  It is not ROYGBIV (for all the artists out there), but it is a variation of each color without being in rainbow order.  


Waldo got into the middle of things while I was photographing the blanket. (I did wash it before delivering it.)

Olivia, I really hope you like it!  Have a wonderful college experience!  Become that fine tuned artist you hope to become.  You are so very talented already it should be a piece of cake, right?

My next projects will be a plethora of baby things.  I know two women having babies this winter and one that had hers over the summer.  And a one year old that I want to make something special to wear.  I am planning to make two blankets for 6 month old and 4 year old boys.  I am also involved in sewing handbags and other things getting ready for some fall craft shows (and hoping for a little cash to fee my yarn habit :o)  And then there are all those squares we are still sewing together for our church's stitches group to donate.

Peace to you all!