~ Mom by Day ~
There’s no real surprise here. It’s May, so since the title of my blog is, “Mother by Day. Graphic Designer by Night,” it only seems natural for me to highlight this month’s blog around Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you beautiful, sacrificing, loving moms out there of all ages and seasons! “Once a mother, always a mother,” they say, and from that thought I will segue into honoring MY MOM.
I think the most significant and important thing I can say about my mom is that she always put her children first before herself. Shortly after I was born, she was diagnosed with a chronic illness that left her drained of energy most of my youth. However, that didn’t stop her from giving every ounce of her energy to myself and my sister. She shared memories with me of being a young mother, too tired to do anything but lay down on the couch. Yet, even still, she would interact and play with me while I sat with toys on the ground.
As my sister and I grew up, she always found ways to be enthusiastically involved in our lives. She even managed to step in and coach my grade school cheerleading squad when no one else could. God must have given her an extra burst of energy for that season. The best part was she actually never had any cheerleading experience herself. We just needed a grownup to supervise and lead us so she stepped up. Ironically, I know parents today, who, even though are very healthy, would never volunteer for a position of an activity they had no experience with because of the high perfectionism expectations of our culture. I’m so grateful that this did not deter my mom back then as she gave me and my classmates her gift of energy that was so small to begin with.
My mom loved to play with us. Here we’re celebrating New Years by tossing confetti curls.
My mom with The Babes and newborn baby Ding Ding at an Easter egg hunt.
If I were to rank what was most important in my mom’s life, without a doubt, it would be first, God and second, family. Now the third ranking could have some debate, but one of the certain contenders would be loons.
Since age 6 my parents have been taking me camping up north to Crystal Lake near Minocqua, Wisconsin, and my mom is the avid loon watcher. She’s the one that will get out of her cozy sleeping bag at 5:00 in the morning when she hears them fly overhead just to take a peep and hopefully snap a picture.
So as we celebrated her 70th birthday this fall I wanted to make her something extra special. I started really enjoying amigurumi, a type of crochet pattern that creates stuffed animals. I wasn’t finding any luck with the loon patterns I found online, so with some research and trial and error, I created this pattern for myself, which I am happy to share with you here for free. If you happen to try this pattern, I would only ask that you comment on this post and tell me how you like it. I’m sure there’s some things I can tweak as I haven’t made it 100 times to test it. So if you comment I can make it a working improvement pattern as well. Feel free to also ask me questions on it.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY MOM! I LOVE YOU!
My mom playing with her birthday gifts. The kids made her a special handprint t-shirt she wears all the time.
Loon in Water – Free Amigurumi Pattern
Row 1. Magic circle 5 sc crochets
Row 2. Increase in each sc ….10
Row 3. sc, increase ….15
Row 4. 2sc, Inc … 20
Row 5 & 6. sc around …20
Row 7-8. sc, 5 Sl St, 14 Sc….20
Row 9. Hdc, 5 Sl St, 14 Hdc….20
Row 10. Dc, 5 Sl St, 14 Dc….20
Row 11. Hdc, 5 Sl St, 14 Hdc….20
Row l2. Hdc, 5 Sl St, (4 Hdc, Dec)2x, 4Hdc ….18
Row 13. Dc, 5 Sl St, 14 Dc….18
Row 14. Skip first st and SlSt in next 5 stitches, Skip st and 2Sc, inc,3 Sc, inc, 2Sc ….18
Row 15. Skip first st and SlSt in next 4 stitches, Skip st and 2Sc, inc,3 Sc, inc, 3Sc, (skip last stitch) ….17
Row 16. Skip first st and 3 SlSt in next sts , Skip st and SC, Hdc, 7DC, Hdc, Sc ….14
Row 17. 2 Inc in next 2 st, 2 Dc in next 2 stitches, Skip one st and SlSt in next st.(trying to even out bottom of neck here so it’s flat. 2Sc in next st, Sc, 5 SlSt to r end. Now we are trying to curb the neck backward.
Row 18. 2Sc in 1st St, Skip st, Sc in next st, skip next st and SC, 7Sc….12
Row 19. Skip first st, 7 Sc, 5 Slst….13
Row 20. (Inc, Sc) 5x, 3 SlSt…18
Row 21. (Inc, 2 Sc) 4x, 3 SlSt… 23
Row 22. (Inc, 3 Sc) 5x, 3 SlSt… 28
Row 23. (Inc, 4 Sc) Change color to white keeping black thread attached and inside/under white yarn to switch back later.(Inc, 4 Sc) 3x, change to black (Inc, 4 Sc)3SlSt
Row 24. Inc 5x, change to white, 21 Sc, change to black, Inc 6x, 2Sc in SlSt….45
Row 25. 4Dbl, 2Dbl in next St, 2Hdc, 4Sc, change to white, (3Sc, Dec)x4, 2Sc, change to black, 4Sc, 2Hdc, 2Dbl in next St, 6Dbl …47
Row 28 is building out the back of the bird. Skip the first stitch and 6 SlSt in the next St, 1 Dbl to even out the line. Chain 2
Row 29. 15 Dbl Chain 2 …16
Row 30. 15 Dbl Chain 2 …16
Row 31. 1 Dbl, Dec, across the row Chain 2 …14
Row 32. 1 Dbl, Dec, across the row Chain 2 …12
Row 32. 1 Dbl, Dec, across the row Chain 2 …9
Row 33. Row 32. 1 Dbl, Dec, across the row Chain 2 …7
Row 32. 1 Dbl, Dec, across the row Chain 2 … 5
Row 33. Sc, Hdc, Dbl, Ch2, Dbl, Hdc, S
Sc around loon in black
I did not close off the bottom, but left it open to sew directly onto the lake. This helps it give the look more that it is in the water.
(make 2 and stitch and stuff together. Pinch loon head and attach break)
Chain 11, Dc into second from the end and three more Dc, 3 Hdc, 3Sc chain 7 and SlSt in 5th st from end. 3SlSt, Then crochet back on the other side of the original chain. 3Sc, 3 Hdc, 3Dbl
(make 2 and attach to body after it’s stuffed)
Row 1. Ch 18
Row 2. Hdc in 2nd St, 15Hdc…16
Row 3. SlSt in 1st St, 14 Hdc…15
Row 4. Ch2, 11Hdc, SlSt…12
Row 5. Ch2, SlSt, 10Hdc …11
(at the end of the row SC back to the beginning going around the 2 corners with increases) Inc,3Sc,Inc
Organic Lake Shape
use larger needle
Row 1. Ch 23
Row 2. 3Dbl in 2nd St from end, 22Dbl, 5Dbl in last St moving to other side of chain, 19Dbl
Row 3. 6 Dbl in first St, 23 Dbl to the end of the side, Inc in the next 3 St going around the curve, 3 St in last St of the curve, 22Dbl
Row 4. 6 Dbl Inc going around the curve, 23 Dbl, 8 Dbl Inc going around the curve, 23Dbl, 10 Dbl Inc going strong the curve, 25 Dbl, SlSt to end
Row 5. Ch 1, moving backward around the oval make 22 Dbl, then SlSt.
Row 6. Ch 1, 10 Dbl, SlSt in last St, skip one St, 6 Dbl in next St, skip St and SlSt in next St, 2SlSt.
Row 7. Ch 2, 4Dbl, 4 Inc Dbl, Hdc, Sc, SlSt.
Row 1. Ch6, Dbl in 2nd St back, SlSt, 2Dbl, keep going around with 5Dbl in first St, Hdc
Final steps, sew all pieces together and send me a picture of how yours turned out!
~ Graphic Designer By Night ~
The spring weather is turning everyone’s desire to get outside into the fresh air. For many, golf is the best way to fulfill that long awaited itch. This is an important anticipation for one of my first and longest lasting clients is Midwest Golfing Magazine.
I not only have them to thank for my much better appreciation of the game as I have been designing their magazine as their art director since Fall 2008, but also for being such a talented, dependable and organized team to work with.
I first began working with them right after I became a mom – And I mean right after I became a mom. As a brand new mom without knowing at all what I was doing, I had planned to give myself a one-month maternity leave. Well with only several days after getting home from the hospital, Kevin called to see how The Babes and I were doing, congratulate me and then continue to ask when I can start working on our first project for the Mad City Men’s Expo? I was in shock at his request. I must have still been on hospital mode where the nurses did everything to make me comfortable. So besides attending to my newborn’s every need with round-the-clock feedings and such, I wasn’t back to doing things for other people just yet with The Babe’s being hardly a week old. Still, I was relatively new to the freelance world and wanted to keep my clients happy so I gave it a try and made an exception for Kevin. 🙂
I quickly learned to resourceful and multi-task – an essential skill of any mom. I put The Babes in my baby wrap, bouncing her to go to sleep while I typed away on my laptop at my barstool kitchen countertop. This is when I thought caring for a newborn baby was so hard so I was pretty proud how I really dove head first into the work-from-home mom position. I guess I am still proud of myself looking back, but I also realize how easy the newborn stage is compared to the many that come later. (And I can still say that even though The Babe’s didn’t sleep through the night until nine months old!)
Looking back, that was the best decision I made getting right on top of that project because the team at Midwest Golfing Magazine turned out to be one of my best understanding clients of my juggling work and family. To this day, we’ve published 47 magazines together, produced marketing materials for annual trade shows since 2008 in Madison and Milwaukee and plenty more in between. Thank you Jay, Glen, Kevin, Deb and everyone else I have worked with directly or indirectly at Midwest Golfing Magazine. Here’s to many more years of great teamwork and successful business.
~ Reading Nook ~
I have a new found love of reading thanks to my kids that I shared in an earlier post. What I’ve discovered is I get a thrill from learning something new and how it fosters creative thinking. No matter what your status or season in life, creative thinking skills keep our brains healthy. Here is this issue’s book recommendation to surprise you and help you grow. If you’ve already read it, please post me a message and tell me what you thought of it! Good or Bad 🙂
From somewhere in my childhood I remember my mom sharing how much she loved this book when she read it as a girl. So when I became hooked on children books and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi adapted and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney was recommended, I knew I had to get that one to share with my mom and my kids. After checking it out from the library, we all went to Grandma’s where I read it out loud to everyone. All listening were glued to the pictures and story as I read out loud, especially Ding Ding. As I shared last blog, he loves animals, especially the slightly less common ones so he was enthralled learning about this mongoose. It’s a classic tale re-told with beautiful watercolor illustrations. And if you like the illustrator’s artistic style as much as we did, you also have to check out some of his other fables like the wordless books The Lion and the Mouse and The Tortoise and the Hare.