craft verb \'kraft\ to create with care, skill and intention

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pleasant Surprises & A Giveaway!!!!!

A while back, I asked my Facebook friends to share with me how they go about making giving real and important to their children. My aunt shared something with me that really made me think about the idea of giving in a new and interesting way. She said that she thinks it is important to teach kids about the giving of appreciation. She claimed that being appreciative makes a person more generous and I think she makes a very good point. She inspired me to think about some of the people I appreciate, which led to the realization that those people probably have no idea how much I appreciate them. Well, that just won't do! I sat down and made a list of a few women who make my world a better place. Then I got to work.

I made up some cotton washcloths (instructions below). On a funny note, this started out as a stash-busting activity with some colorful cotton yarn I found buried in my yarn pile - but I had so much fun with it that I ended up buying, like, 10 more skeins. Oh well, you know what they say about good intentions. I'm pairing it with a bar of my homemade soap. This soap turned out to be my favorite batch of soap that I have ever made. The Hubs even likes it. It is super conditioning with avocado oil and cocoa butter with a light spicy citrus scent. The soap is all-natural and scented with essential oils. Finally, I'm topping it off with a handmade card expressing exactly what I appreciate about that person. Each recipient will find this pleasant little surprise on her doorstep!

Clearly I am a huge dork and a crafting freak. You don't have to be as big a dork as I am to show someone how much you appreciate them. Send them a card (store-bought is perfectly acceptable), send them an email, pick out a small gift, or enter my giveaway. Say what? That's right! I'm having a giveaway!

To enter the giveaway, simply comment on this post by telling me about someone you appreciate and something you appreciate about them. I will choose a winner at random - likely some hi-tech method like having one of my kids draw names from a hat or something. So what do you get if you win? To show my appreciation to you for taking the time to read and comment on my blog, you will win one of the washcloth and soap combos. But wait! I will also send you a second washcloth and soap combo, along with a handmade card, for you to give to that special someone you appreciate. Fun!

Here's what you can win!

Just remember, it really is the thought that counts. Think of all of the junk mail and bills you get in your mailbox and email inbox. Now imagine finding a lovely note of appreciation tucked in there. Wouldn't that make your day? Pick ten people, five people, three people, one person - whatever you want to do - and show them a little appreciation. You will make their world a better place. (Plus you'll feel all warm and fuzzy inside!)

Here's the washcloth pattern I used. A disclaimer: Crochet is not my strong point. It's fun. I enjoy it. I am not the best crochet-pattern-writer in the world. I'm okay with that.
  1. Pick out a cheery worsted-weight cotton yarn and an appropriately-sized hook. I'm using a size "G." Guage is not super important here, so use what feels comfortable to you.
  2. Chain 28.
  3. Double crochet in the 4th chain from the hook and then DC in each chain across.
  4. Chain 3 (turning chain), turn, DC through the back loop in each DC across.
  5. Repeat step 4 until you have completed ten rows.
  6. Make 3 single crochets in a single space to form a corner. SC all the way around the cloth, working 3 SC at each corner.
  7. When you return to the first corner, slip stitch to join. Cut your yarn and draw the tail through the loop on the hook. Weave in ends.
  8. Voila!
This is a really basic cloth, no fancy decorative stitches. It is an appropriate project for someone who has never done crochet before. You can find easy instructions to learn how to crochet here.
Remember to comment about someone you appreciate so you will be entered in the giveaway! Be sure I have some way to contact you if you win. Drawing at noon on Monday, February 14th. Tell your friends so they can enter too!

P.S. I've gotten a couple of notes about comments being temperamental. If you have any trouble leaving a comment, just email me at and I will enter you in the drawing :-)


Alex said...

Who do I appreciate? My #1 best friend... my husband of 35+ years. I am recuperating from recent shoulder surgery and he is the best caregiver in the world! Currently unemployed :-( he has made sure I take my medicine, do my exercises, helped me wash, dress, get comfortable, and made sure the bed warmer is heated up (microwavable corn bag) and the humidifier is full. He has cooked, cleaned, shoveled, and shopped. I love him!

B Crump said...

I most appreciate your husband, Jeffy. As a model of manliness and all things macho, my appreciation for him runs along the lines of my love for beer, rustic cowboy wear, and grotesquely obnoxious monster trucks rallies.

Brooke said...

Alex - He certainly sounds like a keeper! Wishing you a speedy recovery!
B Crump - As I know how much you love beer, I will pass along this high praise :)
Also, I guess comments were a little wonky earlier, so Lise D and Cindy G were unable to comment, but will be entered in the drawing. Thanks all!

SarahinOK said...

Ooh- ooh... Can I enter too??? I'll give them both away. It just happens that my kiddo has 2 teachers... :) So, I'll pass them on to those fab ladies. :)

Brooke said...

Sarah - consider yourself entered!

Brooke said...

On behalf of Libbi B. -
I appreciate my teaching neighbor, Susan G. Awesome teacher, friend, and neighbor. She appreciates our differences and because of it we make a great team! She borrows my artistic ability and always repays with a more boring task I don't like to do! She has definitely made me a better person, a better friend, and a better teacher!

Thanks Libbi!

Brooke said...

Lavon was unable to post a comment, but she's now entered in the giveaway!

cscarter said...

I appreciate a wonderful, thoughtful family....especially, my one-and-only daughter-in-law. I love how you share your talents. Great site!!

Brooke said...

cscarter - Thank you! I am so blessed to be part of your wonderful family! I love you guys!

Anonymous said...

Hi Brooke~
short of sounding sappy...I relaly appreciate my husband. He has overcome so much in our 20yrs together. He has faught addictions and anxiety. He really has changed his life around for the better for me and our 5 kids. Its hard to see someoneyou love struggle w/ addictions and you can't help them until they want to be helped. I am so happy I stuck around, forgave him 7X70, and fell in love again w/ my best friend( i'm all teary now :)
Lise D

Brooke said...

Lise - I don't think that's sappy at all! What an awesome testament to your love and faith. Thank you for sharing your story!

Brooke's mom said...

I have a long list of people I am so grateful to have in my life. Of course there’s my husband, sensitive, sweet, creative and brainy. He’s not much for small talk so I’ve learned to listen closely when he speaks up as it is almost always quite insightful or very clever. As you’ve probably already guessed by her blog, I have a most remarkable daughter. She sets the bar extremely high for herself and in a very inspiring way, challenges the rest of us to do the same. Her heart is bigger than the universe and she lives the golden rule. Then there’s my son. A quiet and gentle soul with an adventurous spirit. There’s not a mountain he can’t climb and without even knowing it, he challenges me to do the same. He always takes the high road, even when it hurts. My grandchildren are also on the list. As cliché-ish as it sounds they really do help keep this old woman young (er). They remind me how important it is to play and be silly and not be so full of myself. Finally, many friends make the list but I’d hate to be accused of padding the contest so I’ll mention just one - my best friend of 43 years. She is totally transparent, fiercely loyal and intensely committed to social causes which she pursues professionally and personally. She could have been wealthy but she chose to save the world instead. All these wonderful people and more enrich my life everyday. I learn from them everyday. All of them love with no strings attached. All of them make this world a better place. All of them make my world a better place.

SarahinOK said...

Was thinking about you- and realized that I never put WHY I'm grateful for A's teachers: They are the most patient women I know! They have 2 classes worth of kids all together in one room. 48 total! AHHH! It amazes me, each time I'm there- at their calm, their wisdom and creative methods, etc... Anyway- I'm grateful for a lot of things- but when thinking of who I'd give fun stuff to, I thought of them.

Hope you had a good weekend!

Brooke said...

Oh my gosh! Am I spoiled rotten or WHAT?! Thanks Mama! MmmWaa - smoochies :)

Sarah - aren't teachers amazing?! And I know you're grateful for a lot of things because I read your latest blog post ( and it rocks!