Monday, July 16, 2018

Crocheted Cotton Infinity Scarves

Before I left Arizona for my summer in Wyoming I got some new scarves listed in my shop CozyAtoZ.etsy.com. These can all be found in the Infinity Scarves section. All of these crocheted warm weather accessories are made with 100% cotton crochet thread except the white which is made with a soft polyester thread. The cotton thread softens over time and wears like iron. One of these scarves will brighten your wardrobe and your day.


All scarves pictured in the shop are made and ready to ship. I also want you to know that any order over $25 ships free to anywhere in the US.


Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A Summer Project

My life for the last couple years has meant going back and forth between Arizona and Wyoming. Currently I am in Wyoming for the summer and looking forward to spending time with grandkids and on the boat on Jackson Lake.

Being here in Jackson, away from my studio set up and supplies left in Arizona I wondered what I would do to keep my hands busy on long summer evenings. Actually my mother ended up helping me out with that.

More than 30 years ago I started a Cathedral Window Quilt. I was going to use up bits of fabric from the clothes I sewed back then for my children and myself. The barely started quilt ended up being left behind at my mother's house when we moved from San Diego to Salt Lake City. My daughter brought the quilt to me after a visit to grandma's house earlier this year.

My instructions are on a photocopied page from a magazine but you can now find a how to at Instructables.com.

Below is a glimpse of what I have so far. These blocks we already done. In the basket the whole project came in there are probably enough muslin squares cut to make a quilt. For the small patches that go in the "windows" I have about 75 different fabrics cut into small squares. You will probably notice that I sewed a lot of gingham back in the day.


I like putting the patches in groups of four. If you ever make one of these you could make each window different. As the blocks get joined a new places to put more patches will get created. This quilt gets its layers from folded fabric rather than batting. It is also all done with hand sewing so if that idea soothes you like it does to me, this is a quilt that you may want to make. 

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Next Finished Book of Books

Another volume read and ready to be passed on to a thrift shop. 

Most of the stories in this volume from 2001 aren't ones I would normally seek out to buy or borrow from a library. I don't regret the time reading them however because I feel no time with a book is ever wasted and I felt like each one expanded my knowledge of the world in some way.
  • In Harm's Way by Doug Stanton
  • Keep It Simple Stupid by Judge Judy Sheindlin
  • The Russian Word For Snow by Janis Cooke Newman
  • Special Agent by Candice DeLong
  • Down The Highway by Howard Sounes



Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Etsy Turns 13

Through highs and lows, good times and bad Etsy has managed to become a teenager. I remember reading about the site on blogs in 2005 and was so thrilled someone had made something for crafty people.

To celebrate rather than have cake I am having a sale. Although I offer free shipping for orders over $25 the idea of a percent off sale is new to me. I thought about what I should offer and came up with 40% off. I wanted to make an offer that makes it worthwhile for folks to come by my shop and look.

This all ends on Friday and I wouldn't want you to miss out. I will not be offering such a steep markdown again this year. You can shop for dishcloths, headbands, market bags, hats and potholders at CozyAtoZ.etsy.com.


Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Market Bags Available Now

A recently added section in my shop, CozyAtoZ.etsy.com, is a group of hand crocheted market bags. I have had and made this pattern for a very long time, maybe 30 years or more. These handy bags have a lot of stretch which makes them very useful. 

  • You could load these string bags up with goodies from your local farmer's market. 
  • You could use this bag at the beach to hold your sunscreen and towel. 
  • Another use would be to transport books between home and the library. 
  • These crocheted shopping bags would even come in handy during your regular grocery shopping trip. 


Hand crocheted in 100% cotton your new shopping bag be machine washed and dried. When not stretched out they don't take up much room making them easy to carry and keep handy in a purse of backpack. 

Consider cradling your kale in something pretty!


Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Liberty Market, Gilbert Arizona

I had a chance to go to lunch at Liberty Market in Gilbert, Arizona last week. This was my first visit to this restaurant but will certainly not be my last. The atmosphere is casual but the food is not. The menu has a lot of items that I look forward to trying on future visits. If you are curious you can find menus here.

 For my first visit I had the Picnic Sandwich and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad. Both were delicious! The people I went to lunch with have eaten at Liberty Market before and already know their favorite dishes. They ordered the Hollywood Cobb Salad and Minestrone Soup. From the looks of the crisp green salad I will definitely be giving salad a try, oh and breakfast and dinner sometime too.

If you want to see the latest from this great eatery you can check out the website for menus and information on weekly specials. These folks are on social media too with mouthwatering posts on Instagram and Twitter.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Out Back

In our backyard in Arizona we have planted a bush known as Mexican Bird Of Paradise. They are starting to bloom now. Looking out the patio door to see the bright flowers and lacey green leaves makes me smile. I do hope you found something to smile about today too.


Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Time Life Book Digest 1990

I finished another book last night. This is another volume of best sellers at the time by Time Life rather than Reader's Digest this time. Loved all these stories and maybe you will too.


  • The Longest Tunnel by Alan Burgess- Many of you may know of this story through the movie "the Great Escape" but it is worth checking out this book too. 
  • Bitter Sweet by LaVyrle Spencer- A story of parting after high school and coming back together later in life. Of course there is more to it than that but wouldn't want to spoil it for you.
  • The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille- A fascinating look into east coast wealth, lawyers and the mafia.
  • The Burden of Proof by Scott Turow- Chasing family secrets after the death of his wife in a search to understand drives this great story.
The links in this post are Amazon affiliate links. If you chose to click and make a purchase I get a few pennies at no cost to you.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Yellow and White Wool Eater

More yarn out of my stash and made into something useful. This time I have a lot of yellow and white baby yarn. These aren't really colors modern moms like so I decided to use it up. I chose the Wool Eater, also know as Catherine's Wheel stitch pattern. It has made a small lightweight nap blanket to keep on the couch in the living room which is a perfect spot for a quick nap.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!



Tuesday, May 22, 2018

No more shoelaces

I start each morning with walking my 10000 steps as recommended by FitBit. If I miss a day it really feels strange. At my regular pace it takes less than two hours. Since I live in a two story house I am able to get about 10 sets of stairs done at the same time. It may sound strange but I do all this walking in my house. I am currently in Arizona and it is getting warm already. I can pace through the rooms in my house in a temperature controlled place and get it all done in my pajamas.

I do put shoes on rather than doing all this walking barefoot. I have found my feet and legs feel better throughout the day with the support from wearing shoes. And this brings on the reason for today's post. Shoelaces or rather finding a good replacement for them.

Shoelaces can be too tight or too loose. They can come undone and need to be tied again. After walking for awhile if your feet swell shoelaces may need to be adjusted for continued comfort. I found on Amazon the silicon replacements you see here. I got a three pack of white, gray and black. Each color comes with more that most shoes need but would allow for sizing to customize how they fit for you and your shoes. If you do a search for these on Amazon you can find all kinds of package combinations for single pairs to up to six and all kinds of colors if you find my choices boring.


I have used these for the past week in two pairs of my walking shoes and love them. I went from ties to slip ons. The no tie laces hold without being too tight or too loose. If you are a walker of a runner you may want to consider these for yourself.


Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

The ad below is an affiliate link. Making a purchase would give me a small commision at no cost to you.


Friday, May 18, 2018

Shop News "CozyAtoZ" on Etsy

I spent time this week getting all my finished hot pads listed. BTW, just wondering, do you call them hot pads or potholders? For no apparent reason I use both names with no favoring one name over the other.

These hot pads are real kitchen tools that can last for years. I used a smaller than normal crochet hook so the created fabric would be thick, dense and strong. The final stitching makes these double layered and closes up the potholder and I added a hanging loop for convenience. 

Made from 100% cotton these won't melt like those made with acrylic yarns. Of course they can be burnt if kept to close to flame or electric cook top elements. With the double layer these could also be used as a trivet to protect counters and table tops from hot pots or pans.

Two sizes are in the shop right now. The smaller ones are about 6 inches square and would be great for anyone. If you have larger hands or plan on using them often under larger pots you may find the larger size of 8 x 6 inches to be what you need in your kitchen.


While you would certainly consider using these in your own kitchen like I do, they also make great housewarming or bridal shower gifts or something for your favorite cook.


I love making and using these potholders using a vintage pattern that I have lost somewhere in my piles of patterns. I plan on making more in other colors so it's a good thing I have the instructions memorized.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Mother's Day Gift

I did it. I headed off the flowers by choosing a gift for myself. No regrets either.

By the way did you have a great Mother's Day? Mine was quiet but good. I heard from my kids on Sunday and talked to my own mother on Saturday.

Now the gift I got myself was something I have been thinking about for awhile. I got some metal mesh bands for my fitbit. I have the Charge 2 version and these work perfectly. I can also tell you after wearing them for a few days that they feel better against my skin that the plastic bands that fitbits come with. The magnet that secures the band is infinitely adjustable and strong enough to not come undone. You can find them in lots of colors and for me I chose silver and champagne gold. The bands came in a box and inside the box each band had a protective plastic sleeve. I am so happy I got these!


Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Affiliate Link below if you are interested. I would get a small commission if you purchase that won't change the price you pay.




Thursday, May 10, 2018

Flowers As Gifts, Yes or No?


Beautiful, aren't they? For Valentine's Day and Easter my husband sent me flowers. They are lovely but if asked I might have made other choices or given him a few ideas. Christmas seems to go much the same. He says get yourself something and I think that's not quite right either. If I order or shop for a gift myself for myself that doesn't feel as if it actually is a gift. I guess I should be pleased he remembered the day. With Mother's Day coming up I wonder what color the flowers will be. 

I worked with someone who got flowers and she told her husband she didn't like them because they died. She realized after many years of marriage and strange gifts that she might have prefered flowers after all.

I have asked for things to decorate the house and was told those aren't appropriate. The ideas I gave needed to be personal but they didn't realize my home is personal to me.

The flowers come. Most of the time they smell wonderful. All of the time they look beautiful. I will say thank you and take pictures. Then I will have a new vase to keep for dust collecting or give away.

So today the question is do you like to get flowers as a gift? Would you prefer other things or are you at that time in life when there is really nothing more you want?


Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Special Offer FromCozyAtoZ.Etsy.com

I like getting deals and I bet you do too. I wanted to give customers a chance to get a deal from me that I could afford to give for a long time. So here it is -




I am working on getting more items in the shop. With the help of Ott Lights and FotoFuze I feel like I am finally getting there, for photography at least. Next is to stop worrying about great descriptions and tags and get comfortable with getting more done. Anyone else struggle with procrastination fueled by wanting to be perfect though logically you know nothing ever is?

Anyway spend $25 and it all ships free to the US.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!
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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Reader's Digest Volume 5 2002 Nonfiction

As the title says I finished another book. This time it is a Today's Best Nonfiction edition from 2002. This book had the condensed versions of 5 very different and interesting stories.



  • 3000 Degrees by Sean Flynn
  • Cancer Schmancer by Fran Drescher
  • A Dog Year by John Katz
  • Riding the Bus With My Sister by Rachel Simon
  • The Children on Willesden Lane by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen
All of these books were interesting but the one that I stayed up a bit longer to read a bit more each night was The Children of Willesden Lane. The main character is Lisa Jura who, with many other children, was sent to England from occupied Europe during WWII to save their lives. War and survival, hard family choices, coming of age, a career as a pianist, reunification, and more all in this story. If you like history from this time period you will want to find a copy of this book.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Still Decaffeinated with Tattle Tea

Last post I talked about the coffee I bought from Coffee Bean Direct. Today I am going to share about what I got from Tattle Tea which is, I guess, what you would call a sister company.

I first ordered my loose leaf teas from the coffee company and then the two business were split apart. For convenience you can order from both places and have one bill and one shipment. The combination of coffee ordered and tea ordered together apply to the $50 required for free shipping.

Tattle Tea has some of the best prices I have ever found anywhere for good quality loose leaf teas. You can order in packages from 5 oz. to 5lbs. Of course the larger the package the lower the price is per ounce. In the caffeinated section of the site I have bought Nilgiri black tea, Earl Grey black tea, Sencha green tea and lemon and ginger green tea. I can highly recommend all of them!

Decaf Raspberry Black Tea
Going without caffeine I wanted something a bit special and indulgent. To see if I could make this whole idea work I started small ( 5 oz. ) and got three flavors, apricot black tea, raspberry black tea and orange and spice black tea. I have brewed a pitcher of all three and tried each of them both hot and iced. Picking a favorite was not hard, the raspberry flavor will definitely be ordered again and in a larger size. The orange and spice tea will be perfect for cool winter days. The apricot was good as well. All the teas have real pieces of fruits as well as natural and artificial flavors. Just opening the packages and smelling the scents was a treat. Brewing a pot made the whole kitchen smell good.

I look forward to working my way through all the choices available in green, herbals, more blacks and rooibos teas and will keep you posted. By the way this is a personal, not sponsored, recommendation. Just wanted you all to know about a great company and a great product.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Going Decaffeinated

Coffee Bean Direct Breakfast BlendOne of my goals this year is eliminating caffeine from my system. I discovered as a post menopausal woman that caffeine can stress the bladder and be a part of the reasons old ladies, ahem, leak. I reduced my intake of caffeine to one serving in the morning starting in January. Before this I sipped caffeinated drinks nearly all day, starting with coffee in the morning and changing to tea later in the day. I did notice right away that overwhelming urges to get to a bathroom NOW stopped. I feel more confident and in control. This was even though I was drinking plenty of liquid, meaning water because I like to have something to sip close by throughout the day. I am now into the first week of no caffeine at all and feel great and am pleased with myself for making this decision.

I do love the flavors of coffee and tea however and I have no intention of missing out on those and water only all day is kind of boring. Ordering whole beans from Coffee Bean Direct allow me to have my favorite flavors and even discover some new ones. I am also not limited by time of day and that is a nice plus. I started my decaf coffee trial with a Breakfast Blend described in the following way on the Coffee Bean Direct website.
Some of us just cannot handle the caffeine, no matter what the time of day! This blend offers the delicious flavor of our traditional Breakfast Blend, without the caffeine many of us need to learn to live without. This medium-bodied blend of light and dark beans has just a hint of acidity and tartness. Ideal as a morning cup, it has a smooth and subdued flavor that stands up well to cream and sugar.
The first time around I used our coffee maker and was very pleased. Having a hot cup of coffee is how I like to start my day. I sit and sip while I read blogs and news on Feedly or browse Instagram to see what my family is up to or just finish waking up and before I start exercising. I do want to try this coffee as a cold brew as well. Over the years I have experimented with cold brew coffee, almond milk and sugar free Torani flavorings. Warm summer months are coming soon and I love iced coffee as a treat.

Coffee Bean Direct is a personal favorite of mine. This post is my own uncompensated endorsement. They are a great company with excellent service, carefully roasted coffees from all over the world, pricing that I find reasonable and prompt shipping which is free if you spend $50 dollars or more. They even take the time to educate you with their packaging. Tips you want to take advantage of so that the product they send you is the best it can be when you use it.

To learn more you can start with the About Page on CoffeeBeanDirect.com. Of course these days all companies have a social media presence and here is where you can find my favorite coffee roasters, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.


I'll be back soon to tell you about the tea I ordered. So good!
Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Monday, April 16, 2018

CozyAtoZ on Etsy

Spring Floral HeadbandBlue Headband with tiesBlue Paisley HeadbandBrown Calico HeadbandWhen I first opened an account on Etsy in the olden days of 2006 I used the name Cozy and it served me well. It was short and easy to type and remember. It was a generic word that fit my vision and goals and that still works for me today. I really do want to make the world a cozier place.

Black Headband with Crocheted Lace TrimPastel Plaid HeadbandOver time as new websites and new accounts came along the name Cozy was sometimes not available so I started using CozyAtoZ. That is the user name I use for Twitter and Pinterest. During those days I was on Artfire, Etsy and Zibbet so being Cozy at all places from A to Z fit. So in getting all things matching I changed my Etsy shop name to CozyAtoZ recently and having the same username in more places make me happy.

Purple Crochet HeadbandTurquoise and Brown Hair AccessoriesThe shop closed last year for awhile and is reopening this spring. The first items are in the shop with more to come. In the meantime I am seeing how long I can offer free domestic shipping and if it might make a difference in how often my creations get to go to other people to use and get cozy.


Eight of the the headbands in the shop so far have a fabric middle that was hemstitched. This is a process that puts holes on fabric so that an edge can be crocheted. The crocheted trim and ties gives these headbands a soft look that you aren't likely to find anywhere else but in my shop.

Red Knit HeadbandThere is also a red knit headband in the shop. The design is my own. I just love the red color. This headband will be very comfortable to wear because it is very stretchy. With ties you can personalize your fit.


Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Smiling Today

I am. I am smiling today. Looking out my window I see a Palo Verde tree covered in bright yellow blossoms. How could anyone not smile at a sight like that.

I hope you find something to smile about today too.


Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Five Fabulous Pieces of Art

I was going through my Etsy favorites this morning to find some things to share. I tweeted and pinned a few items from different shops but I wanted to share more from one shop in particular. I love the watercolor art from the shop Geninne. The one woman art show is based in Santa Fe NM and has been on Etsy for about 10 years. She has had thousands of sales and thousands of wonderful reviews. You only need a quick browse in the shop to see why. If you are in the mood for a new piece of art for your home the hard part will be choosing.


If you want to know more about the artist Geninne Zllatkis she blogs at Geninne's Art Blog and has a beautiful instagram feed too.

Guilty of a silly mistake today. If you know what it is leave me a comment.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Another Reader's Digest Condensed Book

Just finished another of my gifted books. As I finish these I have been considering what to do with them. One thought is to pass them on to a thrift store. Another idea I have been considering is to offer them for a bit more that postage and packaging on Ebay. I would be an absolute beginner on Ebay but it might be fun. Any thoughts or tips from more experienced Ebay sellers?

This volume has 5 stories in it and they are all nonfiction.

  • Public Enemies by John Walsh. This book covered a few of the cases shown in the TV show America's Most Wanted. The behind the scenes look at the crew that makes that show happen was interesting.
  • Diana's Boys by Christopher Andersen. I have no way to know how true any of this book is. The author describes the lives of Diana's boys, William and Harry, and how they were effected by two very major events. Those events were the divorce of their parents and the death of their mother. Of course much has happened to these young men since this book was written in 2001.
  • No Finish Line by Marla Runyan. Marla was the first legally blind athlete to compete in the Olympic games. Marla's story including some highs and many lows was inspiring.
  • An American Insurrection by William Doyle. More that I ever knew about the struggle to integrate the university in Oxford Mississippi by James Meredith and the Kennedy adminstration. 
  • Hits Below the Beltway by Dave Barry. First published in 2001 so much of what Mr. Barry pokes fun at in Washington is still happening or not as the case may be. Hilarious read!


Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Finishing Feels Good

Finishing feels almost as good as starting a new project, for me anyway. This afghan was started the week Jim was in the hospital and was finally finished yesterday. The long slog through the middle was tough but I have a new couch this needed to be on and so I continued a row or two an evening. It has been washed now too and I actually took a short nap under it yesterday afternoon. 

The pattern, which I change from lots of stripes to big blocks of color, came from the blog Clementine Knits and the pattern's name is Chevron Gradient Afghan.


In other random and barely useful news I change my Etsy shop name from plain jane Cozy to CozyAtoZ. This change means my blog, pinterest and twitter accounts as well as the newly renamed shop all use CozyAtoZ. I like it when things match.

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

March for Our Lives and a Resolution

I don't know how many of you may have watched coverage of the Washington DC event March for Our Lives yesterday but I saw some of it. Since I am a cord cutter I found my live stream on Twitter. I didn't get to see all of it since I was a bit late to the party. What I had a chance to see was inspiring, the music, the speeches, the messages, the 6+ minutes of silence, the young children and teens too.

I am confessing to some guilt as well. Why? Let me see if I can clarify for you and myself. Do you remember a saying that goes something like "If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem?" I do and if you do that's good and if it is new to you maybe you will find it useful. Anyway I figured out that by not voting on an issue I find important over these last many years makes me part of the problem. I believe that on a national, not state or local, we need to improve our gun laws. I have voted twice in my life, once at 18 and in 2008 for Barack Obama. All the other times I just figured the country would move along, taking care of what needed to be done and my vote wouldn't really matter.  My guilt comes from not making my stand with at the very least a simple vote. It does matter.

It matters because if more people like me voted maybe we wouldn't have our chaotic commander in chief. It matters because maybe the assault weapons ban of the 90's would have been strengthened rather that allowed to expire in 2004. It matters because maybe a healthcare system that was working for so many could have been improved rather that gutted. Even if a majority on a given issue doesn't agree with me my vote means I have a voice at the table. At the table is where compromise and progress can take place.

You can't complain if you don't vote. One of the speakers yesterday said it is time to REV up. Let's do this!

Register
Educate
Vote

Back with more again soon. Take care and stay cozy!


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