Mod Floral Mania

Mod Floral Mandalas at Polka Dot Cottage

I thought you might like a sneak peek at what is currently keeping me busy: Mod Floral Mandalas! A new 3-in-1 crochet pattern based on the Mod Floral Blanket pattern.

I’m finished with the crochet work (not that it feels much like work, mind you) and now I need to spend some time turning my scribbled hand-written pattern notes into something that actual people can read.

I also need to have another photo shoot or two, because I’m unhappy with the way my “glamour shots” came out. There’s just not enough light in this house!

Once that is finished, though, the crochet pattern will be available in the shop. Yay!

But wait, there’s more 😜

I’ll be posting an excerpt from the ebook here. Would you like the Mini Mod Floral Mandala pattern? Boom! It’s yours.

And how about a chance to win that mini mandala? And the two coasters? Sure! Why not?

Check back here sometime in the next week, where I’ll be announcing the new pattern in the shop, sharing the excerpt, and letting you know how you can win the mini+coasters. Double Yay!

 

TWiP: Mod Floral Taxes

This Week in Pictures (TWiP) at Polka Dot Cottage

I neglected this poor blog this week. This is what happens when you are up to your eyeballs in spreadsheets and an unfinished crochet project. I feel like it’s pretty much been flowers and taxes around here lately (which is half nice…).

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot with my DSLR for Project 365 (one image each day for all of 2016), plus some phone snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday


365: 2016 100/366 – It’s hard to believe we are already 100 days into 2016! Wow. Anyway, it’s Saturday morning, and I’m filtering the cold-brew concentrate. Microwaved cold-brew is not as good-tasting as fresh-brewed, but it’s a lot less aromatic, which is a Good Thing when you live with someone who gags at the smell of coffee brewing. I don’t mind sacrificing a little bit of flavor if it means I can have my morning coffee on the weekends without bothering him πŸ™‚

Instagram: Good Morning, Instagram 😊. My creative challenge for this weekend: to design a mandala adapted from my Mod Floral Blanket pattern. I’ve been thinking about this for days – so eager to get started! #pdc

Instagram: It’s a shame I can’t #crochet all day. I’ll have to stop here for now. Not a bad start to my new #pdcmodfloralmandala design, though! More later 😊 #pdc

Instagram: Oh! BTW, I finished Mom’s #marvelousmyriadmandala last night. Almost forgot to #showandtell πŸ˜‰

Sunday

Instagram: I crocheted until it was about a foot wide yesterday, didn’t like it, and ripped all the way back to the main flower. I’m liking this stitch pattern better (so far) but time will tell whether or not it stays πŸ˜‰ #pdc #pdcmodfloralmandala

365: 2016 101/366 – This weekend has been all about alternating: calculating expenses for tax purposes, designing a new crochet pattern for my shop, helping the 7th grader with an algebra project, expenses, crochet, algebra, expenses, crochet…

Instagram: Hanging out with my 13-year-old: pattern design for me, algebra for him. πŸ’™

Monday

Instagram: Good morning, Instagram ☺ I think I’m in love with this color scheme. I’m tempted to spend all morning in bed with my #coffeeandcrochet, maybe watch last night’s #grantchester or something, but I’m going to do the responsible thing and chip away at those taxes. And then do some laundry. And food shopping. Sigh. #pdc #pdcmodfloralmandala

Instagram: Let’s do this thing. #taxes

365: 2016 102/366 – I bought these salted pumpkin seeds to replace my favorite too-carby snack of pretzels, but holy cow are they salty! I consider myself a salt lover, but these were too much even for me.

Tuesday

365: 2016 103/366 – I had a cone of this cotton yarn, and it’s no longer available. I was wishing I still had some left, when I realized that I made a whole vest out of the stuff, and I never ever wear it. So, vest duly unraveled. This ball is gigantic. It’s a good 6 inches across!

Wednesday

Instagram: I’m thinking maybe 5 more rounds before I call it finished ☺ #pdc #pdcmodfloralmandala

365: 2016 104/366 – I had a clean living room, and Trader Joe’s had flowers. It was fate.

Thursday

365: 2016 105/366 – Every year I admit to being an underachiever when it comes to tracking monthly expenses in my budget spreadsheet, but what I usually neglect to mention is that I also have a nasty habit of letting the unsorted mail pile up. This is why tax time is such a joy for me. Sigh. So I dealt with that whole pile this morning (yay!) but I still can’t find my 1098 mortgage interest form (boo!).

Instagram: I’ve had kind of an annoying day, but I’m hoping this little treat will turn it around: Mandarin lime soda and maraschino cherries with a couple of almond biscotti. πŸΉπŸ’β€

Friday

365: 2016 106/366 – I couldn’t figure out how to take a picture that captured my afternoon: several hours of cranked-up music and getting stuff done. So instead, I shot these flowers, because they’re still in nice shape and they won’t be forever πŸ™‚

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on FlickrΒ and/or Instagram.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

SAME WEEK PREVIOUS YEARS (2015)

This Week in Pictures

TWiP: Three mandalas, two weeds, and a bishop

This Week in Pictures (TWiP) at Polka Dot Cottage

I’ve spent a lot of time at my computer recently, and I feel like I need to put it away for a while and do something with my hands (other than type). I’m going to let the pictures do the talking today πŸ™‚

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot with my DSLR for Project 365 (one image each day for all of 2016), plus some phone snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

Instagram: Good afternoon! Progress continues on my #starrystarrynightmandala. This may be the final round. Unless it’s too small for the table after blocking. Then there will be 3 more 😊

365: 2016 93/366 – Why yes, that *is* a damp crochet mandala draped over a golf club in my favorite living room chair. (Seems perfectly normal to me…)

Sunday

Instagram: Good Morning! The wind whipping around my corner of New Jersey is making me antsy. After being awake for two hours, I finally gave in and got out of bed. There’s just no sleeping through it for me. My #starrystarrynightmandala is finished and has taken its place on the coffee table along with a couple of #vintagecoasters I made last night. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but I think it’s growing on me, especially with the smaller accent pieces nearby.

365: 2016 94/366 – As I was making my new table mat, I kept thinking the colors might be too light for the room, but it turns out I like it, especially with my usual table stuff arranged on top of it. Strangely, though, I keep expecting it to say POW! or BAM! in the center πŸ˜€

Monday

Instagram: Good Morning, Instagram! It seems I’ve started another #crochetmandala and it’s lacy enough that progress has been super fast. This is the #marvelousmyriadmandala from #mandalastocrochet ☺

365: 2016 95/366 – My little one is 13 now. That makes two teenagers in this house. I’m not sure I’m ready for this πŸ˜‰

Tuesday

Instagram: My #marvelousmyriadmandala is complete 😊. I want to make more, but I don’t think I have any place to put another one!

Instagram: This room. Sometimes a dining room, sometimes an art studio… It’s time to put away the #polymerclay and assorted other supplies that have collected in there for the last 5 months and get my nice company-friendly room back.

365: 2016 96/366 – Aidan’s Confirmation. Here he is with his sponsor (my Dad) and Bishop Serratelli. [Taken at our church.]

Wednesday

Instagram: We’ve had several family celebrations in the past week, and now that the hubub has died down, I’m free to get started on the taxes. Though what I really want to do is get started on my next #crochetmandala. I’m making another #marvelousmyriadmandala for my mom in these colors she picked out last night. I will start the taxes today, but maybe just a few rounds of #crochet before I do… πŸ˜‰

Instagram: I look suspiciously like someone who is sipping a @frappuccino and crocheting instead of someone who is dutifully doing her taxes… [Taken at Starbucks.]

365: 2016 97/366 – My son is taking a photography class in school as an elective. He really does not like it at all, and last night he was grumbling about an assignment to photograph a flower, and I was trying to give him some ideas. In the end, he didn’t take any of my suggestions, but *I* took one of them. It’s the classic “hands with chipped nail polish holding a dandelion” pose πŸ˜€

Thursday

Instagram: It would seem that Mom’s mandala and I are at an impasse. #needmoreyarn

365: 2016 98/366 – I’m having a little prioritization with my breakfast this morning. Guess which task I would most like to be doing, and which task I most HAVE to be doing…

Instagram: I only need one ball. I only need one ball. I only need one ball… #thingsitellmyself #yarnshopping [Taken at A.C. Moore.]

Instagram: And suddenly the weather is insane. Not sure where all of this wind and rain came from… #njwx [Taken at A.C. Moore.]

Friday

365: 2016 99/366 – Don’t let these pretty little flowers fool you into thinking it’s actually spring. There’s snow in the forecast for tomorrow. What a weird season we’ve been having.

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on FlickrΒ and/or Instagram.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

SAME WEEK PREVIOUS YEARS (2015)

This Week in Pictures

Mandala Madness

2016 58/366

I’ve been a little crazy for mandalas recently. I made my first one over a year ago adapting a pattern I found free online (more on that here), and I’ve loved that little table topper. I still find myself featuring it in my Instagram photos, and in fact, the last time I shared it, I followed the #crochetmandala hashtag, and got sucked in to a world of beautiful circles. I knew I’d need to hook up a few more for myself.

In my travels I came across Haafner Linssen’s Instagram feed. I loved her aesthetic and saw that she’d had a book recently published. Perfect! Within a few days, Mandalas to Crochet was in my hot little hands, and the Starry Starry Night Mandala was on my hook.

2016 94/366

Starry Starry Night Mandala

Before this, I’d been using my first Project::Granny Square piece in the living room. It has sentimental value, and it practically matches the rug, but I was ready for a change.

Encouraged by how quickly Starry Starry Night came together, I picked another design for the dining room: Marvelous Myriad.

Marvelous Myriad Mandala

Marvelous Myriad Mandala

This one is eventually going on top of a piece of furniture we don’t own yet, but in the meantime, I really like the way it looks on top of my table runner.

I love making these mandalas, and I love looking at them around the house.

This has led to Neil asking, “how many more of these things do we need?” He’s not a huge fan of the doily look, no matter how colorful and modern they may be. That, in turn, has led to my next one being made as a gift so that it doesn’t have to live here. I’m doing another Marvelous Myriad for my mother, in colors she chose, but it’s not finished yet.

I think these motifs appeal to me because there are so many different stitch patterns in a single design. There’s very little chance to get bored, because each round is different than the last.

I fell asleep last night thinking about another mandala: one I could design myself. It would be based on my Mod Floral Blanket design, featuring the flower in the center, a lot of white in the background, and some colorful stripes here and there.

I really hope I’ll have a chance to work on that idea this weekend. I’m supposed to be doing Taxes-related work (which I really must do) and I have a Saturday afternoon date with Eamonn to help him with an algebra project (which I’m perfectly happy to do – I love algebra). I’m not sure how much crochet time that leaves me, but I will squeeze it in somewhere!

TWiP: Crochet Spring Break

This Week in Pictures (TWiP) at Polka Dot Cottage

I’m very late with this post today. I usually do it on Friday nights, but this week I had a date with my husband, and I didn’t think he’d want to be stood up on our 21st anniversary so that I could get a blog post out in time πŸ˜‰

This week was plenty busy and plenty relaxing all at the same time. We had Easter with my in-laws, a walking/shopping trip through Princeton with my parents, the aforementioned anniversary, and in the downtime lots of crochet. I went a little overboard maybe with the in-progress crochet instagramming this week, so be prepared for a lot of pictures!

Speaning of crochet, I think I know how I’m going to spend the rest of my Saturday afternoon… I have a coffee-table-size mandala to complete!

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot with my DSLR for Project 365 (one image each day for all of 2016), plus some phone snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

365: 2016 86/366 – The grass is starting to turn from brown to green, and I’ve seen a handful of new flowers in the yard today. It’s a great day for a new mp3 cd for the car!

Sunday

Instagram: I’m in the rare mood to bake. I’m thinking cherry cupcakes. I’m going to go take my shower and see if the feeling passes πŸ’ πŸ˜†

Instagram: I took the easy way out. Pre-made #immaculatebaking sugar cookie dough just seemed more my speed than cherry cupcakes today. I would still like the cherry stuff, so if someone wants to bake some and send a few to me, I wouldn’t refuse πŸ˜†πŸ’

365: 2016 87/366 – As of Easter Sunday, I think Aidan has introduced the GeoGuess app to our entire family. This time when the game set him down somewhere in Ireland, it was handy to have a couple of experts in the room πŸ™‚ [Taken with my phone at Neil’s parents’ house.]

Monday

Instagram: I’ve decided that my most complicated decision this morning will be #grantchester or #mrselfridge?

Instagram: These Instagram changes coming up? Not a huge deal. If you enjoy someone’s images, engage with them: leave comments and ❀s. The new algorithm will make sure you see plenty of that person’s images in the future. And if you just can’t leave it to chance? Use that three-dot menu to the right of a person’s name to get phone notifications whenever they post. #dontpanic 😊

365: 2016 88/366 – I’m a little embarassed to tell you how much of my Monday has been spent in this room, hanging out on the bed, sipping warm drinks and crocheting…

Tuesday

365: 2016 89/366 – After yesterday, I knew I had to be at least a little bit productive. I vacuumed and broke down the enormous pile of cardboard boxes that were next to the front door. I feel better now!

Instagram: My favorite weekend lunch, and I’m having it on a Tuesday because I earned it getting stuff done today: Tuna on a (very light) everything bagel from #obagel. They make the best bagels ever 😊 #obagelfamily #tuesdayafternoon #lunch #bagelsandwich

Instagram: My brain has moved on to the next project already, so my fingers had better hurry up and finish this one!

Wednesday

365: 2016 90/366 – What a gorgeous day for a road trip! Aidan, my parents, and I spent it walking around downtown Princeton. [Taken in Princeton, NJ.]

Instagram: Spring has definitely sprung. It was a lovely day for wandering around Princeton 🌷 #latergram [Taken in Princeton, NJ.]

Instagram: It’s done! #grannysquaresampler

Thursday

Instagram: Good morning! So thrilled by all of the love on my last post. Thank you 😊 On to my next project! The coffee table in the living room needs a little something new… #starrystarrynightmandala #mandalastocrochet #byhaafner

365: 2016 91/366 – The Granny Square Sampler is complete, and now living in the back seat of the car where it belongs. Yay! Blogged: www.lisaclarke.net/2016/03/31/granny-square-sampler-compl…

Friday

Instagram: Good morning, Instagram! I made some progress on my #starrystarrynightmandala yesterday. It’s a warm #fridaymorning in New Jersey. I’m enjoying my breakfast by an open window. I hope it’s nice where you are, too. Happy April!

365: 2016 92/366 – We spent an awful lot of our anniversary sitting in the car waiting for the heavy rain to pause enough for us to run into one place or another. We usually get Indian food, but we did that last week, so for this anniversary (our 21st) we went Mexican instead.[Taken with my phone in the Casa Maya parking lot.]

Instagram: On an anniversary adventure with @clarkesworld πŸ’‘ It is POURING in NJ. We waited in the car for 15 minutes before there was enough of a lull to run for the door of the restaurant! Now we wait for a seat… [Taken at Casa Maya.]

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on FlickrΒ and/or Instagram.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

SAME WEEK PREVIOUS YEARS (2009, 2015)

13-2009 This Week in Pictures