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Welcome Friends! Please be patient while I add more info. I have SO much to share with you. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Southern Fried Catfish

Southern Fried Catfish Nuggets cooked in Peanut Oil

I fixed catfish for dinner tonight (or as we said in the south "supper") and thought I'd post my recipe on my blog so my kids have access to my favorites after I'm gone someday. I have many more of my favorites to post but it's just getting the time to do it. Even though I like catfish fillets, I prefer the catfish nuggets, because the pieces are smaller, which makes them crispier when cooked. Plus you'll be glad to know if you're on a budget, they are about half the price of the fillets. At Kroger they are $2.99 a lb as opposed to $6.99 you'd have to pay for the fillets.

When I was growing up in the deep south, I did not like catfish because it tasted muddy to me. That was because they swim on the bottom of muddy ponds and rivers. But when people started raising catfish in channels with fresh water, that changed everything. "Channel Cat", as its called now, is so much better tasting! It's fabulous and people laugh at me because I say I like catfish because it doesn't taste like fish!

One of the secrets to making this recipe tasty and crispy is using peanut oil. You can use any oil you like and others are less expensive, but I think its worth the price to make the catfish extra special. Peanut oil is allowed on the Paleo Diet, and is pretty healthy. I used to use only salt and pepper, flour and cornmeal when I cooked catfish and I love it that way, but now I use a few more spices and I think it's better.

I almost always make Cole Slaw (will post my recipe soon) with fried fish along with a vegetable and another side dish. Tonight I fixed Southern Summer Squash Casserole and a big fruit salad. Of course I fixed sweet iced tea to go along with this meal. The squash casserole is one of my favorites and similar to one I used to fix but lost the recipe. I halved the squash amount (1 and 1/2 lbs instead of 3 lbs) but did not change the other ingredients. I added more Vidalia onion than it calls for.  I cooked the casserole for 50 minutes at 350°.
I hope you enjoy my catfish recipe and the squash too!

                                             Southern Fried Catfish
                                                   (I usually double this recioe)

1 1/2  lbs Catfish Nuggets or Catfish Fillets
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon Sweet Paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 eggs
Peanut Oil

Mix the cornmeal flour, spices, salt and pepper together. You may want to use more. If you taste the dry mixture it will taste like there's enough or maybe too much, but after frying the fish, you will not taste the spices as much. That's why I say you may want to add more. Just experiment.  Using more cornmeal than flour is what helps to make it crispy. The flour helps hold everything together.

Next, beat the eggs into a bowl and add a little milk, stirring till blended. Then dip each piece of fish into the eggs, let drain, then put it into the flour misture, pressing the dry mixture to the fish. It will be better if you do this step before you heat the oil in the pan. Not doing this first will cause stress trying to keep up with the frying fish while you coat the rest of the fish.

Heat about 1/4" - 1/2" of oil into a large frying pan (medium hi heat) till hot. The oil will be ready when you sprinkle a tiny bit of flour in the hot oil and it sizzles. When the oil is hot enough, fry the fish on the first side till brown, then turn each piece over to fry the other side. It doesn't take real long, but I like my fish extra crispy, as you can see in my photo.

As the fish gets done, drain on an oven safe flat cookie sheet that has been lined with paper towels. Keep the fish in a warm oven as the other pieces are cooking.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Baja Beef - Mexican Layered Dish

Baja Beef
I asked someone before if they knew where Baja was and they said California but I didn't know the connection with Mexico. Then a friend on facebook said The Baja Pennisula is part of Mexico...although it juts off south of California...and the j is pronounced h in Spanish.

I've been fixing this for 24 years and all this time I thought Baja was an Indian term or town. It makes much more sense to me now that it's a Mexican dish. All this time I've been confused because I thought "why would anyone give a Mexican dish an Indian name?" Haha 

Sorry I don't have a better picture, but you will see in the ingredient section this is a layered Mexican dish. I know it looks like any other typical Mexican layered dish, but this is different and much tastier.  

Someone said this looks like  Frito Pie, but it's not like just any frito pie. The typical recipe has taco seasoning in it mixed with ground beef and I'm not crazy about that. The sauce to this Baja Beef is what makes it more special and I hope you think so too. Enjoy!

Baja Beef  - serves 5 - 6

1 - 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 - 8 Oz can tomato sauce
1 - 6 Oz can tomato paste
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt

Brown meat, garlic and onions. Drain. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, and 2 cans water. Add spices. Simmer 30 - 50 minutes. 

To Serve on each Individual Plate:
Place regular Fritos on plate. Add meat mixture. Then add any or all of these: 
Green onions, chopped
Black olives, sliced
Avocados, cubed
Tomatoes, chopped 
Lettuce, shredded
Grated cheese
Sour cream

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Romanian Meatball Soup - Ciorba de Perisoare

Romanian Meatball Soup
This is a simple but delicious soup. As some of you know, my daughter, Jamie, married Virgil Vaduva, a Romanian who she met while he was attending college in Ohio. They were married about 16 years ago. Her older brother, Brian, had been writing Virgil's younger sister, Anca, who was still in Romania. Well, they fell in love and Brian took a trip to meet her in person. They eventually got married and of course are living here in Ohio too. A few years later their parents and 2 younger sisters were able to get their visas and so the whole family is here now. This was a real dream come true for the family, as it took many years for this to happen. The 2 couples have 6 kids between them and they are the most wonderful, sweet, grandchildren!

This soup recipe is one of their family favorites. Of course, I know I can't make it as good as Anca or her mom, Maria, does but it's still delicious.


1 lb ground pork (you can mix this with ground beef or ground chicken if you like, but I used all pork - not sausage)
1 egg
1 Tb oil for sautéing vegetables
1/2 cup carrots (chopped in very small pieces)
1/2 cup red sweet peppers (chopped in small pieces about 1/4")
1/2 cup onions (chopped in small pieces)
1/2 cup chopped celery (this was not in Anca's recipe, so I haven't used it, but celery is an ingredient in several Romanian soup recipes I found on Pinterest)
7 - 10 cans (15 oz) chicken broth or 12-15 cups water with chicken bullion added ( or you may not need that much broth - I like a lot)
1 6oz can tomato sauce
1/2 - 2/3 cup dry rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley (fresh or dried)

Chop veggies and place in large pot with hot oil that has been heated. Saute for about 5 minutes in oil. While veggies are cooking, mix ground meat with 1 egg and sat snd pepper to taste. Roll into small meatballs, about 1" in diameter. Set aside.
Note: or if you'd like you can roll the meat into meatballs as you are adding them to the broth. I believe this is what my daughter in law does.

Add chicken broth (or water and bullion) to vegetables and bring to a boil. Add uncooked rice and as soon as it comes to a boil again, add the meatballs.
Note: I let the rice cook for 5 mniutes, then added the meatballs. Do not do this because the rice will end up being too mushy by the time the soup is done. So add the meatballs right after you put the rice in the pot.
Next, after you've put the meatballs in, add the can of tomato sauce. Let this all heat through and it's done! Don't cook it too long like I did or your rice with get mushy. Add fresh or dried parsley at the end if you'd like.
Note: I doubled this recipe and did not have 2 cans of tomato, so I used 1 can tomato sauce and 1 can tomato paste. You have to make sure the tomato paste is desolved before serving though. Keep stirring, because it takes a while. This doesn't happen with the tomato sauce.
I did not have to add any additional salt and pepper because of the chicken broth, but you may need to do that, depending on how salty you like it. My Romanian friend,

Buy Vegeta on AMAZON here
Maria Vaduva, who's daughter and son married my son and daughter, gave me some kind of Romanian seasoning, called Vegeta, and I'm sorry but I don't know what there is her in the states to compare it to. I haven't always used this seasoning in the soup, so you don't have to have it. If I find out there is a substitute for it here in the states I'll post it here.

Enjoy the soup! I'd love to hear what you think of this recipe!

Here's another version of this Romsnian soup I found on Pinterest.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Cold Weather Crochet by Marlaina Bird Book Review

Cold Weather Crochet by MarlaIna Bird
I love winter and was immediately drawn to the front cover of this book, full of cozy crochet garments and accessories. Oh yeah, and some afghans to snuggle up with too! For 35 years before I became a professional designer, I mostly worked on crochet during the winter months, because being indoors most of the time drew me to working on those warm accessories I made as gifts. After becoming a designer, I began working every day of the year on projects since it was a big part of my income.

But this cozy looking cover with the warm hooded scarf, white background and soft lights brought me back to those magical days of big snowflakes falling while gazing out the window. As an adult I moved from the deep south to northeastern Ohio, known as the “snow belt”, and even though I live in southern Ohio now, we get plenty of snow. People don't understand why I love snow so much especially growing up in the deep south. I love cuddling up on the couch with a warm afghan, and hot chocolate, sitting in front of the fire with loved ones. Winter was also the time I'd get together with a group of ladies once a month on a cold day, to visit, eat lunch and crochet. The older women helped the younger women, not only with our crochet, but giving us much needed advice on being a young wife and mother. I give those women, who've already passed on, much of the credit for me becoming a designer.

Sorry I got on a nostalgia trip, but those are the thoughts that affected me while browsing through this book. Marly has so cleverly come up with such an interesting variety here. These is something for everyone to keep them busy for years to come. Read more about Marly, her YouTube Podcast, and other books at the bottom of this post.

Thrummed Slippers - Slipper is inside out at right
My favorite project in the whole book and what immediately got me excited were the cute, quirky Thrummed Slippers. I love anything that's multicolored, not to mention they remind me of gumballs, a favorite childhood memory. I actually like the slippers best when they are turned inside out!

Another favorite is the green Cabled Shawl, not only because I love textured cable stitches but because green is one of my favorite colors.

Cabled Shawl

If you've never made cables before, I believe  this would be a good one to learn on.

The Favorite Socks look so comfy and are calling out to me even though I don't have time to make them right now.

The Hooded Scarf reminds me of a fantasy world and maybe that's why they chose the magical font for the titles. Very unique.

I'm happy Marly added the Lace Motif Wrap simply because I love lace!

Another thing you don't see much in books are men's items. You'll find 2 hats for your hubby or boyfriend.

African Flower Afghan
The colorful African Flower Afghsn is beautiful and I just love the colors.

Other perks of this book that Marly and Interweave have put together are:

1. Plenty of beautiful pictures
2. Much needed stitch charts and schematics
3. Instructions for hats include sizes sm, med and lg (up to xl on slippers)
4. Extra notes with each pattern
5. Variety of yarn weights from # 1 (fine) - bulky
6. Variety of stitch patterns - cables, shells, open lace,  lose stitch projects and lots of color!

More projects!

Hat and Chevron Cowl
Lace Motif Wrap
New Favorite Socks

A Little About Marly Bird

My Ravelry username is MarlyBird and my website is marlybird.com
Marlaina “Marly” Bird fled the world of financial services to launch her Yarn Thing podcast and hasn’t looked back since. To Marly, a bi-craftsy girl who both knits and crochets, the yarn is the star, not how you work with it.
She’s the co-author of Curvy Crochet (Leisure Arts, 2011), I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Entrelac (Leisure Arts, 2014), and Knitting for Dummies 3rd ed.(Wiley, 2013). Marly is also creative director for Bijou Basin Ranch Yarns and you’ve seen her designs in Love of Knitting, Love of Crochet, Knitter’s, Knit Simple, Interweave Crochet, Knitscene, Inside Crochet, Wild Fiber and Petite Purls, and in many collaboration knitting and crochet books. In her spare time she raises three kids with her husband in suburban Denver.
Marly has 3 classes available on Craftsy.com-- Curvy CrochetCurvy KnitsMittens & Gloves Galore.
I guess the one typical thing for me is every Tuesday at 10am I do the live podcast. It can be found atwww.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing or on my website www.MarlyBird.com

Monday, March 7, 2016

Crochetville's 2016 National Crochet Month Designer and Yarn Shop Blog Tour

It's here! Today, March 8, is your next stop on the blog tour! I hope you've been following it to find all about your favorite designers, and yarn shops. If so, you've also been able to enter drawings for GIVEAWAYS and access to free patterns.

UPDATE on GIVEAWY and FREE PATTERN - The deadline to enter the drawing for the book is Monday, March 21. That is also the deadline to make a comment to receive a free pattern. I will try to send the patterns as soon as possible, by the end of the tour. I've been waiting on the individual patterns from the oublisher, but they are in a transition and so I may send my original pattern on the Little Black Dress. I have the sweater pattern too. Please leave your email in the comment, so I can send the pattern. If you do not want to do this, please contact me privately. Thanks for being patient!

As I promised, in celebrating National Crochet Month,  I am doing a GIVEAWAY for my newest book, Colorful Crochet Lace.
Win this Book!
You can enter by making a comment and stating you
want to be entered. Please leave your info on how I can contact you, such as your Ravelry ID, Facebook name or your email. If you have already bought the book I want to personally thank each and every one of you for supporting me and my designing. You don't know how much you mean to me! If you love the book please leave a review on Amazon or the Interweave website. Every review counts and I can't thank you enough for the mostly 5* reviews! If you are hearing about this book for the first time you can go to my designer friend, Natalia's Outstanding Crochet blog  to read her review of the book and see the projects on the inside.

The next thing I promised you in celebrating National Crochet Month is a free pattern. Normally, in the past, I have offered something small, like the socks last year or another accessory other years.

1st Choice for your FREE Pattern - Little Black Dress - Beginner Level!
The Little Black Dress is flattering on any size or shape. Since the beginning chain is at the side, the rows are vertical, meaning that if your gauge is off or you feel like you made the wrong size, all you have to do is add or delete rows to get a perfect custom fit! You can't go wrong with my signature Graduated Stitch Method of making garments! 100's of people have written me saying they made their first garment with this easy method (from Crochet That Fits) and they are thrilled how easy it was and how perfect their garment fits. Some of these people have been crocheting for 30 or 40 years and only made afghans and scarves before! This is the whole reason I created this method! If you've made my "Cap Sleeve Top" that was offered as a free pattern when I appeared on the Knit and Crochet Now TV show, I just want you all to know the black dress is made very similar to that.

This year I wanted to offer something a little more special. I have never done this before and got permission from the publisher. I had the delima of either offering the Little Black Dress on the front of Crochet That Fits or the Ivory Shells Sweater on the front ofPositively Crochet. Since I couldn't decide on which one, I had the idea to give you a choice of which pattern you want for free. I will only be offering the pattern for 1 week after this blog post, which will be through March 14. I realize many of you have both books so that wouldn't be a good deal for you, so if you already have those patterns please let me know, and I'll try to come up with a different free pattern. Leave a comment letting me know which pattern you want and I will send it to you by pdf through email. 

2nd Choice for your free pattern - Ivory Shells Sweater

 Ivory colored sweater at right was made with Berroco Softwist (# 4) yarn (no longer available), and blue sweater at let was worked with Caron Simply Soft, also a # 4, but in my opinion works up smaller than a # 4. Both of these sweaters were made in size small and both girls are about a size 2. If you decide to use Simply Soft (# 4) you may need to go up one size in the pattern. A much larger hook was used with the Simply Soft, so make note of that in the pattern. 

Ways you can find me on the Web
(please look me up so we can connect!)

Thanks for stopping by! 
I want to thank Amy Shelton and Donna Hulka for putting this altogether. I know they've worked all year on making it an even bigger and better blog tour.
Go to this link to see the whole schedule of designers and yarn shops featured:

If the designers name is not clickable, just put their name in the search space at the top of the Crochetville.com post to obtain easy access to the post featuring them!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Top Fashion Trends - Spring 2016

If youve been following me for a while you already know that I am obsessed with following fashion trends. This is the biggest reason I prefer to design trendy crochet garments and accessories, because I've always been into fashion, long before it ever entered my mind to become a professional designer. Below are a few of the newest trends for Spring, Summer and Fall 2016 and being a feminine gal,  I love it!
1. Ruffles- Huge  celebrities and models have been wearing these dresses for a party or any event. They are everywhere and off the shoulder styles, long or short,  seem to be making a big impact. I love, love ruffles and they are so feminine!
Ruffles- http://funtard.com/fashion/14-upcoming-fashion-trends-of-2016-for-women/
2. Gingham:  One of the most popular trends on the runway, gingham is everywhere as well. Some are bold colors with a blend of floral print and you can find so many varieties to pick from. I remember gingham being a huge trend when I was in the 9th grade. I lived in Mississippi at the time and had a whole outfit (top and pants), made from blue snd white gingham. I think one of my sisters had the same outfit in pink. Choose a Gingham style to look chic this spring!
3. The Late 70's - This is my favorite fashion era ever and it's all about what the boho look of today is. Continuing in fashion again are the long maxi dresses, wide brim hats and fringe. Some would call the new 70's look Hippie Chic or Boho Chic with a little touch of gypsy in the mix! Some would even call it the Gunne Sax era. I remember those beautiful feminie dresses well! I got married in the 70's and my bridesmaids had the wide brimmed hats with long flowered dresses! Now if I can only find a picture to show you. 

4. Distressed Jeans: Distressed jeans, also known as ripped jeans, are considered as the most genuine pick of most of the young ladies of all shapes and size. Of course this is nothing new, but this trend is still going strong according to the experts.

5. Lower Leg Strapped Shoes or Sandals -  To some people their shoe are just as importsnt or even more importsnt than their clothing.  Lower leg straps (or ankle straps) are still extremely popular. I love wearing these and still have some from when they were hot before.  I think they look great in spring or summer and they really do make me feel feminine. They can make you really look in Vogue!
6. Midi skirts - Although maxi skirts and dresses are still popular (especially with the bohouse look), the midi skirt, known as a "tea length" is among some of the hottest looks for spring 2016. 
7. Dark Romanticism - Lace, ruffles ribbons, and more lace are here to stay! Love it! Why do you think I wanted to write a book on Colorful Lace Crochet garments? Some of the lace colors are going to get dark this year though.

8. The 60's - the 60's style brings fun, bold graphics, boxy silhouettes, lots of brocade fabrics and a touch of retro here and there. The "Twiggy" look. Some younger women reading my blog may not have ever heard of Twiggy! Remember her HUGE eyes? 
Fab 1960's - Twiggy, Top Left

This is from 2013, but the 60's style is still hot in 2016 -  http://thefashiontag.com/2013/03/26/60s-trend-styles-2013-spring/

9. Think PinkPantone came out and declared rose quartz as one of the colors of the year. Spring and summer styles might see paler pinks, but the fall pinks will be in richer hues like hot pink, fuschia, raspberry and magenta. I love the darker colors. I bet this includes plum too, which is one of my favorite colors! 

10. Off the Shoulder Tops and Dresses - So feminine!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Review of Broomstick Lace Crochet + Giveaway!

Designer and Author Donna Wolfe proudly showing her book!
See my interview with Donna and info on the GIVEAWAY at the end of this post.
The first thing that caught my eye when I saw this book were the pretty colors on the cover. I'm intrigued by the book because I've never seen a crochet book based solely on Broomstick Lace. I have a collection of over 300 crochet books and magazines, which includes vintage as well as modern contemporary books. I learned to do broomstick lace many years ago but all I ever made with this easy to do unique method was a scarf so its great to have a whole book of projects! You'll love it!

Donna has come up with at 20 different projects including accessories, a skirt, little girls ballerina dress and a darling baby outfit. I would say the skill level on most of these are easy enough for a beginner but others will be challenging enough if you've been crocheting for many years!

Patterns for these projects include how to make an infinity scarf, a pillow cover, boot cuffs, tote bag, baby sweater, baby hat and booties to match, an evening bag, a cell phone case, a skirt (or swimsuit cover), a wide headband, a lacy wrap/scarf, fingerless gloves, a hoodie scarf, a dishcloth (or hot pad), a ballerina dress for a child, a blanket, a triangle kerchief scarf, a slouchy hat and a valance curtain. Each project can be adapted to custom fit a larger size such as the cell phone case being made larger to fit a tablet or laptop cover, a larger or smaller tote bag or a longer, wider scarf made into a wrap.

All the projects are unique but I think my favorite is the pink baby sweater, hat and bootie set shown above. It is just adorable and one of the cutest baby pictures I've ever seen! I also love the triangle kerchief scarf at right. Most items I've seen over the years are made from squares or rectangles and this is unique in that it is a triangle. You could easily make it into a larger triangle shawl or make 2 of them to form a poncho shape which would be seamed at the shoulder. I designed a triangular poncho in a book I did in 2005 this exact way. It's 2 large triangles with the lover's knot stitch sewn together to make the poncho. You can make a short or long poncho this way.

The patterns are written so that they are easy enough for anyone to understand and there are numerous, colorful “how to” photos with detailed instructions for anyone learning this for the first time. If you've dabbled in broomstick lace in the past, you probably already know the story of how it got started by using a broomstick to form the stitches, but in today's times, most people would use a very large knitting needle and a crochet hook for this craft, as Donna shows in the book. 

I think Broomstick Lace would be the perfect craft to get a young girl started on. Just think of all the fun and bonding you can have with your daughter or granddaughter. And if you're a crochet instructor, this is a great way to get others introduced to crochet.

The author, Donna Wolfe, has come up with a book that I think will be around for years! She's been able to fill a void in the crochet community with her ideas and patterns. Well done and good luck on the success of this unique book!

To see all the projects go to Donna's website here: 
Other Free Patterns here:

Interview with Donna

1. Mary Jane - How long have you been crocheting and how did you get into designing professionally?
Donna - I have been crocheting since I was 5 years old, which would make that about 37 years. My grandmother insisted I learn to knit, crochet, sew, embroider, quilt, bake, cook, garden, and do many other hands-on things at a very young age. In her world, crochet wasn't really viewed as a fancy art form per se. Instead, it was a very useful skill everyone should know early on so you can make hats, scarves, blankets and baby booties for friends and family.

2. Mary Jane -  What are your favorite items to design and what is your all time favorite?
Donna - I started designing on a  professional basis around 2000. At that time the Internet was becoming more photo-intensive, as opposed to the text-based service most of us used since the late 80's, and I began displaying my work online. As you well know, when people see something they like online, the first question they ask is, "Where can I find the pattern?" My initial pattern writing was actually quite complex - I enjoyed the intricate lace patterns that took 25 rows just to complete one motif. However I soon realized not everyone is accustomed to working with size 5 crochet thread and directions that take up 10 pages. Instead I focused on creating patterns that are relatively easy and quick to make, yet have an interesting visual flair to them. And these types of written patterns are much easier to film for my YouTube videos. YouTube tutorial videos open up the world of crochet to many more people, most especially the younger generation.
Mary Jane - I completely agree Donna, that if we want to be successful as a designer we need to design patterns that are in demand!

Donna - My favorite type of items to design are those that are very meaningful to people. I designed an awareness ribbon scarf that can be made in any color (e.g. pink for breast cancer, yellow for our troops). The positive feedback and photos I receive from people wearing their pink ribbon scarf for breast cancer, or purple for pancreatic cancer, or lime green for lymphoma is truly amazing. I also like to design items for children for the holidays. There is nothing cuter than a crocheted Santa hat on a newborn baby. And these types of crochet items are guaranteed to be treasured by the recipient for years to come.

Adorable Free Patterns - Click Here
3. Mary Jane - I read book about how your grandmother taught you to do hairpin lace. Is this your favorite technique or do you have other favorite stitches too?

Donna - As far as stitches, I have a love/hate relationship with the half-double crochet stitch. You will find that I use it quite often in my patterns, especially when I need to fill an area with stitches rather quickly. It creates a nicer, softer drape than the tighter single crochet stitch, yet it doesn't create the large spaces and holes like the double crochet stitch. But for some reason I have a heck of a time actually crocheting it! And yet I continue to use it in my patterns, because it's one of the nicest stitches, visually speaking.

As far as techniques, one of the common denominators you will find in my early YouTube videos is I demonstrated all of the more unique crochet techniques, including broomstick lace, hairpin lace, solomon/love knot, tunisian crochet, etc. I don't have a favorite technique, but tunisian crochet interests me the most. The stitch variations, many of which look like knitting, and visual effects you can create with tunisian (like picture blankets) is just mind-boggling. I really need to design more patterns using tunisian crochet.

4. Mary Jane - What are your interests other than designing? Hobbies, talents, collections?

Donna - If you were to poll 100 of my Facebook friends, 90 of them know me as a fiber artist. However I have spent almost 25 years in the IT/computer world. My main occupation is a business consultant specializing in the tech industry, and I also teach IT-related courses at colleges. This background sure has helped with using photography and video editing software, designing my website, and using all the social media outlets to promote my work.

5. Mary Jane -  How do you manage your designing career and deadlines with a family? I
More Free Patterns!
didn't start designing till my kids were grown and on their on and I 

know it would have been difficult for me back then.

Donna - I am very fortunate to have a lot of help with my kids, with a huge portion of the credit going to my parents. It also helps that I am a late-night owl, and can get more work done between the nice quiet hours of 10pm and 1am than most office people do during their not-so-quiet 8am to 5pm workday.
Mary Jane - We must be kindred spirits Donna! I also do my best work in the evening! It's amazing how much more I can get done when everyone else is asleep!

6. Mary Jane - What is your proudest accomplishment in your career?

Donna- In my fiber-art career, achieving over 7 million views on my "Basic Crochet" video on YouTube definitely made me smile. Good thing I paid close attention to all the chains and single crochet stitches Gram had me make. It's too bad my grandmother isn't alive today to see the impact she has had on so many people around the world.
Mary Jane - Wow! I am amazed at that! I know your gram would be so proud of you! 

7. Mary Jane - What is your next crochet venture? What are you working on?

Donna - Right now I am focusing on designing more free patterns and making corresponding YouTube tutorial videos based upon the requests I have received from current viewers. I have over 120 items on the request list. That should keep me busy for quite some time!
Mary Jane - I'd say so! Thank you Donna, for a very interesting interview and especially for your beautiful book! I'm so happy I found you and hope this post helps to spread the news!

See some videos with Donna below!

Marie from Underground Crafter runs a podcast show, so I did a Broomstick Lace podcast for her online article:  http://undergroundcrafter.com/blog/2016/01/12/guest-post-donna-wolfe-tells-all-about-broomstick-lace-and-her-new-book-broomstick-lace-crochet/

My editor at Stackpole asked me do a YouTube video on the Broomstick Lace book, which they give to their distributors to link to and such:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJX9gA6h9dA

                               BROOMSTICK LACE CROCHET GIVEAWAY!
To have a chance to win this book in this GIVEAWAY, all you have to do is leave a comment saying you'd like to be entered. I will leave this contest open for 2 weeks from today and then I'll choose a winner. Please leave your info because when I've done a giveaway in the past, I could not contact the winner because she didn't leave her info. I had to chose another person, and that's what I'll do here if I'm not able to contact you.