Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Elsa and Anna Hats





I had so much fun making these hats!
Now, unfortunately I didn't come up with the patterns and they weren't free, BUT they were a pretty good value and I would recommend them because they work up pretty quick!!

The listing for the FINISHED HATS is here.

The listing for the PATTERNS is here. 
*One quick note on the Elsa pattern, it is called for to thread your bead on the yarn when making the crown, I found it much easier to thread it onto the pipe cleaner instead*

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Crochet Pacifier Clips

 
I first started making pacifier clips after my first daughter was born over 4 (sniff sniff) years ago. Little did I know at the time that she would want absolutely nothing to do with the pacifier and so all the pretty paci clips I made went to waste. Then I decided to sell them and that's when I first joined Etsy. There are so many types of ribbon out there that I was overjoyed with the possibilities. As much as I like how they look I was always turned off by the Velcro and was looking for a better solution.




So now that I can crochet better I looked into patterns for pacifier clips. There are a bunch! most of them are pretty basic and I like that, that means I can change them! The first one I did was a plain off white in 100% cotton (because hello, drool) and instead of Velcro or snaps I decided to do a chain loop at the end. This way I think it is more secure and you don't have to worry about ends fraying or glue coming off the Velcro. (if you want to use Velcro and don't suck at sewing like I do that's of course an option. but although I have a sewing machine, i'm terrible at it so I stick to no-sew options)

So here in this post is a quick crochet pacifier clip pattern!
*Please do not sell this pattern, but feel free to sell any items made from it, just please link back to me.*

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Crochet Amigurumi Robot

 
This little guy (and girl) has been one of my absolute favorite things to make. I am always looking for a new project so when I discovered the bi-monthly club kit from Freshstitches I couldn't wait to join and get my first project.

What's the kit club? Well, every other month you get the yarn, pattern and any embelishments needed for your amigurumi project. It is lots of fun and I highly recommend it. Stacey- the owner and designer/creator at freshstitches is very involved with the crocheters in her Ravelry group and if you have any questions about anything she is very willing to answer them. I also enjoy seeing everyone's different variations.

I had a lot of fun doing this project, and (for now at least) the pattern is only available to club members. But I am stoked to try the next one (I have to wait a whole month now!)

I will be listing this guy up for sale in my Etsy shop for anyone who wants one!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Taking better photos for your blog


Taking better pictures has always been a challenge for me. I bought myself a Light Box years ago and when I got it I didn't really understand how to use it properly. I still have a slight learning curve (i.e. I suck at taking pictures) but I think I'm starting to get better.
I set up a picture taking station in my craft room which consists of a small foldable table (I like it because I can adjust the height) my light box (for small items) and numerous fabric backdrops ready to go. I have them clipped in binder clips and hung on command hooks. this comes in handy for the bigger projects that can't use the light box. *although I still use the lights.

This is what that looks like...pardon the mess.

If you click on the picture you can see where I labled all of the parts. Now, from this setup, I was able to get this photo.
not bad right?
 
And here is my light box set up
 
The key is to keep trying. Experiment with different things. Maybe you have a perfect spot in your yard, (nothing is better than natural light, IMO) Keep playing around until you are seeing what you love show in your photos. Let your work shine! Aside from making the project itself I get just as much joy when I can capture it's beauty in a good quality photograph.**
 
I am in no way saying that I am a pro photographer, far from it. This is just a very small, IMO easy way to get started with taking better photos. 
 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Crochet Baby Cocoon

I got this simple pattern from Ravelry and changed it up a bit. I just love how it came out and can't wait to make more colors.










Making baby photo props has become one of my go-to projects when I'm looking for something quick. A cocoon like this one takes about 2 hours, less if you use a bigger hook. You could also tighten this up and use a smaller hook to create more of a basket effect. I love the white but I am looking to try it in a brown.

I was lucky again to have my work photographed by the very talented Laurie Brandt at Laurie Brandt Photography. She is amazing!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Huggy Bear Amigurumi Pattern

 
After taking a pretty awesome Craftsy class and lots of practice I have finally finished my first Amigurumi pattern! It was easier than I thought, and while it's not perfect I'm pretty proud of this little bear and my 4 year old is the proud owner of the very first one.
So here it is, the Huggy Bear Amigurimi pattern. It is free, and available for download here.
 
 If you make one of these little guys (or girls) I'd love to see pictures.




Thursday, April 10, 2014

Amigurumi Olws

I saw this owl on FreshStitches and instantly fell in love. "Nelson" is his name and I just love owls and have incorporated them into my daughter's nursery and also, they're just too cute so I can't resist. Up until now I have kept it pretty basic with my amigurumi skills, I made these owls before my daughter was born and I still love them, but to have another pattern in my arsenal is awesome. Now, the pattern is $5.00 but it is so worth it. This pattern looks intimidating but is also very do-able. The pattern has lots of help and pictures so if you do get stuck it's no big deal to get out of a jam.

Here are a few "Nelsons" that I have made so far!



 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Diaper Cover Sets

Diaper cover sets are becoming one of my favorite things to make for a couple of reasons.
#1 They're pretty quick, I can whip up a set in a couple of hours including sewing (which is the worst part of any crochet/knit project IMO)
#2 You don't get much cuter than a baby butt in a homemade diaper cover.

The first diaper cover set I made was for my Mickey Mouse Crochet Set (the patterns I used are included in that link- and yes- they're FREE!)









Since then I've made quite a few sets and this past weekend I finished some of my favorites yet. It goes to show that you can take the same pattern (in this case the diaper cover) and re-work it to suit whatever project you have in mind.
I tweaked the pattern slightly but I pretty much stayed true to the original. Adding embellishments is the quickest way to change up any pattern.
Here are some of the sets I've made recently: (some of these are for sale in my Etsy shop ^^)



 


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Avengers...do your chores!

 


I didn't forget about the boys!!
Here is the Avengers version of my behavior chart! Free to download here

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hello Kitty Printable Behavior Chart





I have a four year old, and sometimes she needs a little motivation. I saw some behavior charts online but since she's obsessed with Hello Kitty I thought that I would whip this up to put on her door.
My plan is to laminate it and use a dry erase marker so that I only need one copy and it can stay on her door with a command strip.

**** If you have already downloaded this, you can now download the new version with customizable fields****

Get the new version here!

Enjoy!









Monday, March 3, 2014

Zig Zag Ombre Cowl

This cowl pattern is adapted from a free pattern I saw on RAKJ Patterns. Instead of making an entire scarf, I just stopped after 6 repeats of the pattern, and sewed up the seam. *UPDATED with better pictures. 5/22/14*







Now, because of all the color changes it does take awhile to finish, but I think it's worth it. I love the colors. For this cowl I used Bernat's Vickie Howell Sheep(ish) yarn in Tealish, Turquoiseish, and Robin Eggish. This created a beautiful Ombre effect. There are a few colorways in this yarn that would make a beautiful ombre look.
If you do not want to deal with the color changes it would also just make a pretty texture effect. I do love the original pattern but this was a fun way to change it up and still get the look I was going for.
The lesson here is,don't be afraid to experiment with existing patterns and make them your own!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Quick Time Out for: Nerium International


A very good friend of mine, Elisa has embarked on a new journey in her life. She has become an independent brand partner for Nerium International. What? Never heard of it? Well, I hadn't either until she told me about it and while I haven't tried the products (yet!) I'm intrigued. If you have heard about it then you know just how great Neurium is , the company has a stellar reputation for being so young (Launched in 2011).  Their products have been featured on many news and print outlets.
What I found most fascinating are the Before and After photos. They are just amazing.
Please check out and like my friend Elisa's Facebook Page and whether you need some products or are thinking of becoming a brand partner for yourself, it's worth the few minutes of your time to look into a wonderful line of products and a wonderful company.

Back to your regularly scheduled crafting-and don't forget our giveaway!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Giveaway!

It's that time for another giveaway! I am a little frustrated with Facebook, in that a lot of my posts are not being seen by my readers and they want me to pay for my posts to be seen. So, if you happen to already be a fan of my page on Facebook, please make sure that you check the option to "see in my newsfeed"

With that said, on to the giveaway!


Now that we've reached 800 fans (I know, right!?) I wanted to do something special for you guys.

^^^ The giveaway info is up above! ^^^

It lasts for one week starting tomorrow 2-25 and runs until 3-4. Good luck!!

Update!!!
We've now reached over 1,000 fans and I've also decided to add another prize for the winner to choose from.
Our 4 choices now are:
-A Photography Prop ( a baby cocoon/nest or hat)
-A Crochet Cowl- choose from one of the styles from my Etsy shop
-A "Nelson" the Owl Amigurimi, colors/details winner's choice also...I haven't decided yet if I am going to start selling these so if you want one, enter the giveaway!
"Nelson"
-A choice between a Baby Stats or Wedding custom Subway Art digital file. (all examples of these are on my Etsy shop as well)

Winner will be posted here and on FB/Twitter so be sure to check it out!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Easy Apple Jell-O Poke Cake



 
 
This cake is one of my favorites to do in a pinch. The best part is the combinations are literally endless. But the main staples are a box of cake mix, a box of instant pudding mix and a packet of dream whip.
Normally I do a chocolate cake with some kind of berry Jell-O, but this time I saw the Jolly Rancher Apple Jell-O and thought I'd give it a try. Next time I will probably add some caramel syrup to the pudding/frosting to make it a caramel apple cake.
This cake is super easy to make, made even easier by using the throw-away pans.
Tip: I make this cake the night before it's needed, just to make sure it's nice and cold/set. If you're in a hurry though, you can do it about 5 hours ahead of time.


Step 1: prepare cake mix as usual, you don't need to grease the pan. 35 minutes at 350 in my oven and it's perfect. When the cake is almost done baking, prepare your Jell-O. I use the smaller box, but if you have a big box, go for it, it'll just make the cake more Jell-O-y.









Jell-O is ready to go!
 Step 2: As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, go nuts and poke a bunch of holes in it.
Then pour on your Jell-O, cover it and stick it right in the fridge



 

Step 3: The Frosting- These directions are also on the back of the Dream Whip box- With an electric mixer, combine 1 packet of instant pudding mix (4 serving size), 1 packet of Dream Whip and 1.5 cups of cold milk. Mix on high until stiff peaks form (if you're using skim milk this might take awhile) That's your frosting, it's that easy. Keep in mind, this cake needs to stay refrigerated, so only take it out when you're ready to serve. Enjoy!!
 
 


Some flavor combos:
Vanilla cake - Orange Jell-O , vanilla frosting w/orange rind it takes like a Creamsicle
Chocolate cake- Raspberry Jell-O, chocolate frosting
Vanilla cake- Lemon Jell-O, vanilla frosting
Chocolate cake- Cherry Jell-O, chocolate frosting - a family favorite!

One thing I've been wanting to try but haven't yet is to layer the Jell-O. If someone wants to try this let me know how it comes out!

*You could also make an adult version and instead of the cold water in the Jell-O add some Vodka for a Jell-O shot cake! *

Friday, January 3, 2014

Easy Broccoli and Cheese Casserole

 
 
 
I made this for Thanksgiving and again for Christmas and I had to share. It's so yummy, and quick, and super easy. It's fattening as all hell but oh well, it's that damn good.
Now, I did this in a 9x13 pan because we have a large family but if you want to cut the ingredients in half you can and it will fit nicely into an 8x8. Also a nice variation is to add cauliflower. It is so good.

Ingredients:
2 Bags frozen broccoli - the steam-able ones work great.
1 Cup Mayo
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
 Velveeta - I use about 4 oz, softened
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 packet Shake N Bake seasoning mix -chicken or extra crunchy varieties work well.

Preheat oven to 350, lightly grease pan.
Steam broccoli in microwave, drain. then combine with mayo, soup, shredded cheese and about 1/2 of the shake n bake packet. melt Velveeta in microwave until it is soft and combine with other ingredients. Top with more of the shake n bake crumbs. Bake for 45 minutes or until cheese is brown and it is bubbly.

Seriously, one of the best recipes for broccoli casserole I've ever had.

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