Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Yarn Dog

Last Friday I was in a cast on mood so I grabbed a ball of stash yarn, found a pattern that would serve as a shawl or a table runner, and started to hand wind the yarn. Now, I have a ball winder and swift but every now and then I find it fun to roll the yarn by hand. I find it especially enjoyable when the yarn is various colors because you get to enjoy the beauty while you wind it.

Now...I joined a gym which means that I get out of the house most days of the week now. My littlest dog HATES this new habit. When I get home she is glued to me...no...matter...what. So, she curled up in my lap and didn't move while I balled up the 400 yards of yarn.




Then, there was the day that I was working on my computer and she got in this position....


Bliss...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Crocheted Bracelets: Free Pattern!

Last week my SIL sent me a picture of a crocheted bracelet that she liked. SO simple, yet so cute. In fact, here is the little pattern I worked up:


  1. Select your yarn. (I used a worsted for the grey one and a fingering weight held doubled for the teal one.)
  2. Play around chaining with different hook sizes until you find one that works well with your yarn and provides a very even and non-loose chain. (I used an F hook for both of the bracelets pictured here).
  3. Start with a slip knot and chain as long as you want. (Most of the ones I have seen in stores go around your wrist anywhere from 6 to 11 times.)
  4. When the chain is the length you desire, join it to the beginning chain with a slip stitch. (Be careful not to have a twist in the chain. Although, you will twist it all around when wearing it, so it isn't a huge deal.)
  5. Sew on a decorative button over the join area. 
  6. Wrap around your wrist and enjoy. You can use the button to criss cross and hold the twists. Some wraps will show the front and some the back. FUN!


Total time was about 15 minutes (with most of that being sewing the button). It is a GREAT project for leftover bits of yarn and that odd button. You can also make lots of them and stack them in the spring and summer for a fun and flirty look.





Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hank

We were in the Cincy on Valentine's Day and I took the chance to visit Hank, which was recommended by a knitter friend. What a cute shop! I just loved their sign and made Patrick take a picture for the blog. A highly organized and friendly shop welcomed us in from the bustling street. All the yarn is organized by weight from thin to thick. They stocked a nice mixture of the good old standards you always need and some pretty painted yarns and new stock.



I grabbed a few balls of this yarn from Rowan, which is a nice spring/summer yarn. I have a little design in mind that I am hoping will materialize over the next few weeks.



If you are in the Hyde Park area of Cincy, it is a must stop for knitters and crocheters. The ladies were working and knitting at the table and were all very nice. It was good to catch a little knitter chat on a rainy day.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Door Decor

Pinterest and hot glue projects go hand in hand! I found a cute idea for a St. Patrick's Day door clover and had to make one. The original project called for green felt, but I went for the sparkle, of course!!!!


Three 6-inch foam hearts and a form "stick."


A little green ribbon for the top to hang...


Lots of hot glue...


A yard of fabric and I cut it free hand about two inches wide.

I'm lazy about pinning, so I ruffled it and glued it as I went along. Total project took about 2 episodes of Sons of Anarchy. I chuckled because the episodes were when they were in Ireland. 

It is a fun little thing to have on the front door for a month. A bridge between the Valentine's hanger and the summer one. What hot glue projects have you done? Do you make door wreaths? I think I might have to search for an Easter one next!!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What Valentine's Day Means Now

I used to hate Valentine's Day. With. A. Passion. It was a reminder each year that you were single. Now that I'm older, I wonder why I didn't really understand that it is about celebrating love of all kinds. It is funny that now that I am not single I appreciate the other loves you have in your day.

This year we traveled south to sit with a friend as a show of support. Said friends repeatedly gave us an out so that we could enjoy a traditional Valentine's Day, but it seemed to me that being there for a friend was a great way to spend a day about love and relationships. It made me want to do something with a friend or family member in future years as part of the celebrations. Of course, we also came home to have our own gift exchange and dinner. A great way to end the day.


I asked for mini terrariums for Valentine's Day. This one is with dirt and succulents. 
A few rocks and moss tossed in for extra texture and color. 


It sits on the shelf next to Riley's downstairs bed. He puts his little head in that direction and stares at it until he drifts off to sleep. So cute!


This little one is an air plant with sand and shells.

I hope you had a day filled with love and friendship!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day, Little Science Man...

This year for Valentine's Day I had hopes of making something for each of the nephews and E. Well, best laid plans. I've been battling daily migraines from the spring-like weather and they put a real damper on the creativity and patience. So, I managed to create the car mat for R, but the hat and leg warmer combo for E fell through. I didn't like the yarn I selected, I didn't like the pattern, I didn't like anything about them after I got them going. So, I went girl shopping with Katie, instead. We enjoyed going down the pink girl section WAY too much. (On a side note, it was very funny to hear us discussing A's gift. Doug and Patrick have trained us very well about the "best" super heros and villans and who just "sucks" and they never liked.)

Anyway, that left J and he spends lots of time with his mommy doing creative things, so I turned to Etsy for his gift. I was super excited to find a little science kit he can do with mom and dad while little sister is sleeping or with the other parent. The kit comes complete with a journal for them to record their findings (so cute!). He can see what is magnetic and what is not, try to put water in the spots with a dropper, track the weather with the stickers showing different clouds/sun/rain/etc, figure out what sinks or floats, and on and on. Such a cute idea that I only wish I lived closer so I could do some of the experiments with him!


The kit is for sale on Etsy from TimeforTots.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Terrariums

So my plant obsession and goal for 2012 is continuing on in full force. So far, so good. With a few hiccups here and there, most of our new inhabitants are doing well. I discovered that my allergies do not take kindly to the paper whites. If only I found this out before buying the second round of bulbs, but at least they are dirt cheap. I have figured out who likes watered through and who like water from the saucer bowl. And, I have even gotten PK excited about the plants.

Last week he was gone on a business trip and I stopped into our nursery and picked up a plant that he really liked the last time we went there. It is a ponytail palm and it is sitting in his office now so he can enjoy it throughout the day.

I, of course, had to rescue one of the save me plants in the back (a little jade plant) and didn't like the pot options. When PK got back and realized this, he suggested we try another nursery. Then, I found out that he really wanted to go because it had a terrarium bar. (I had suggested a terrarium as a Valentine's day option instead of normal flowers and he had been looking at them and become intrigued.) Off we went and it was so much fun! He went for an asian theme and I went for sand and succulents. I think they really show off our personalities so much.


Mine also has an air plant in it. Aren't these cool!?! No soil, just air!!! You mist them instead of watering them like a traditional plant.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Felted Mat for R

When we visited my youngest nephew on Christmas day, he was obsessed with toy cars. It reminded me so much of how his dad used to play when he was little. Off in his own imagination, making little car noises, and rolling the cars along any surface he could reach. Nicki mentioned that she wanted to get him a car mat and I volunteered to make him one. I had been looking at them on Pinterest and a friend had made a small one for her little boy. Off I went to Hobby Lobby to buy felt and glue sticks.


The overview: I used 2 yards of dark green felt and lots of little sheets of colored felt papers.


I wanted to customize it to R, so I put the school he lives behind and his house. I tried to re-create poor Hank, the dog, but he looks more like a fat bunny!


A track around some water with some standard city buildings along the way, complete with a parking lot.


Grandma's house at the end of the road...


A little construction zone to play with bulldozers...


Aunt Gina and Uncle Patrick's house with our IU flag out front!


I hope that he gets many hours of play out of it. If you plan on making one, here are a few suggestions:

1. I free-hand cut all of the pieces. I thought it made it more child-like.
2. Get lots of BRIGHT colors to use for the houses and such.
3. Lay out all the pieces first and then glue down.
4. I used low temp glue so I didn't burn my fingers, well, not as bad as with the high temp!
5. Be creative and involve a guy. Patrick was very involved in this project. He would walk by and say, "It needs a ... or maybe do the road over here..."

So, for Valentine's Day 2012, this is my "hug in the mail" to R. Love you!!!