Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Crochet Pumpkin Hats

Tis the season for Pumpkins, ghosts and black cats!

I have always loved Halloween. For me there are no evil connotations. I am all about fun. Cute kiddos in darling costumes. 

Unfortunately, we live in a rural area, so we do not receive Trick or Treaters. The fun I had making my son's costumes every year and taking around neighborhoods in the Phoenix area. Those days are long gone.

Now I concentrate on creating fun items for little ones and adults alike! The past month or so, I had been crocheting ghostie earflap hats and black cat and pumpkin hats.



The finished hats are in my Etsy Shop -
The newborn to three months size is available here.
And the adult 21" size is here.

The pumpkin hats have been very popular. They're fairly easy to crochet. Here a link to the free pattern via FaveCrafts http://www.favecrafts.com/Halloween-Crafts/Baby-Pumpkin-Crochet-Beanie.

I thought the newborn looked a little small, so in my hats I increased the number of stitches per row and did 25 rows. For adult hats, I started with 31 chains and 29 hdc per row and 40 rows. I also chose to do two additional rows of green at the top.

I have several sized listed in my Etsy shop. I have plans to try editing the listings, once Halloween is over, to reflect that these would be something fun to wear throughout the Fall season. Until I have an idea of whether they'll remain popular, I will likely discontinue crocheting the pumpkin hats after Hallowing.

This will be our first year of owning a black cat! Friday the 13th went very well. Slick does have about 15 white hairs on his chest and two long white strands of hair in each ear. So far, he hasn't been too much bad luck! Chewed wires on the pellet stove, which we were able to repair without too much trouble...

Monday, May 12, 2014

I Had To Give Up On The Bridal Gown

I am one who does not like to give up on a project. Once I start something, I will rarely throw in the towel. This Barbie Bridal gown has given me so much grief! And all the medical issues (stress) got the best of me.

 I began stringing the 1,200+ beads onto the crochet thread. I can't see them clearly enough and my fingers aren't as nimble with these things anymore. Reading glassed helped a little, but there was no hope for the fingers becoming more agile!

So, I finally contacted the customer and told her I simply couldn't continue on this project. No money was exchanged, so I don't need to refund anything.

The gown, the beads and supplies will be packed safely away, where I can possibly try to get back after it and someday surprise my friend (yes she is a repeat customer who has become like a friend) with the gown of her dreams.

I beat myself up over not being able to continue. She understands, but I can tell she was very disappointed.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Handmade Birdbaths - I finally made one!

I've been wanting to make a birdbath for a long time. I was using a frying pan that was set on top of a wooden box.

I found some tutorials and ideas and got started on one this morning! And this is the result!

I used a 5 gallon plastic bucket, acrylic paints, mod podge and the frying pan.

To read more about this handmade birdbath, with step by step instructions of how I did it, please visit my 3 part series here, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. (3 isn't finished and published just yet!).

I am so pleased with how this turned out. I need a little garden gnome to stand beside his house!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Custom Crochet Order - Barbie Blushing Bride Gown Part 1

I have been working on this crocheted Barbie gown for quite some time now. It's been difficult to count the stitches with all the distractions around the house.

I've had to lock myself in the studio to get anything done. Last night I got 261 4mm beads strung and have just started the ruffle at the bottom of the gown.

I have an article posted at Bubblews about part 1! The basic dress is done! You can read it here.


I should have another update once I get started on the train and get the ribbon roses glued onto the dress.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Crafting on Hold- Installing Laminate Flooring

Just as I signed up for a doll designing class (thankfully this was a download so can go at my own pace), we finally decided it was time to think about installing laminate flooring.

With no prior experience in carpet removal or laminate flooring, we went shopping to find what we liked. The plan was to install in the studio, Lil Bub's room and the living room. What I didn't know, was that R is so dedicated to this now, that we are running full steam ahead, dishes, laundry, crafting be darned!

We started on the studio on Saturday. I got all my supplies, dolls and stuff packed and stored in Lil Bub's room. Then we all struggled to get the sleeper sofa out. I have no idea how the people who furnished the house got it in there. It was a total PITA! And won't be going back in.

The carpet removal had us stumped. So I thought I would go in the living room and look at what is under the carpet where the original installers screwed up. No problem just grab and pull! The carpet came off the strips (I call it tack strip but that isn't right, but whatever) easy peasy! Next was the padding. It came up easily as well, but it was stapled down. We spent about 2 hours removing the tack strips and staples.

Installing the laminate flooring was scary at first. But it soon became a simple matter of laying them down and making sure the planks snapped together (engage) prior to hammering them tight. The end pieces were frustrating and required what I call the happy hammer helper. Again I have no idea what it's called. It came in a kit with a hammer block.

On Sunday, we finished the studio and put the molding strips on. Looks really nice. The pics below are prior to the molding. I then started bringing things in. There's now room for the stationary bike!






I don't remember having Monday off, but anyway, I cleared out Lil Bub's room Tuesday morning and R helped with disassembling the bed. We got 98% of it done, molding laid along the back wall and sides and brought the bed back in. We'll finish this room this morning and the boys will go in to town and pick up what we'll need for the living room.

I'll be clearing out the entertainment center and moving what I can. R's plans for this room is to move the pellet stove out about 4 feet, lay the laminate, and slide the stove back. That sucker weighs 200lbs not counting the 40# of pellets in the hopper.

Oh, for the chance to sew for even 30 minutes would be heavenly!



Thursday, April 04, 2013

Stuffy nose season

Oh, the misery of allergies!

I only suffer through this time of year. Mid March through the end of April mostly. When the juniper trees start doing their thing. We enjoy calling them the poofing trees. I had one teacher down at the school tell me that I am suffering from poofing tree syndrome.

I looked at her with raised eyebrows. Poofy trees, you say? Yes indeed. So naturally curiosity got the better of me. One nice April morning in 2004, I set my lawn chair in the yard near a juniper. Not too close, but close enough to be able to see these so called "poofs".

Lo and behold. A small breeze picked up. Then a small gust and magic happens! Those silly trees really do poof. A cloud of white appears off the branches! And every year in early Spring, my eyes swell up and the beezer stuffs up and I try claritin (or the generic) assisted by benadryl to combat the symptoms.

I'll try to find a photo with a juniper somewhere that I can crop and add to the post.

I had so much fun making a video yesterday, that I thought about doing a real time audio video about granny squares for YouTube. 51,000+ views and so many complaining that I need to do this real time. Well, not right now with my nose so stuffed.

Not even going to go out and work on the garden. Instead I plan to do some sewing.

I did a tight fitting gown for Barbie, but it ended up a tad too tight fitting. So I think I will give it another go with a bit more fabric. I suspect the zigzag stitch I did took up more of the seam allowance than I thought it would. I might try putting some no sew on the edges. Or do the zigzagging afterwards. 


Sunday, March 24, 2013

2013 off to a hectic, stressful start

What a whirlwind the first three months of 2013 has been for us.

On January 28th, we were headed down to Phoenix for a doctor's appointment. Got 9 miles out of town and hit a slick, icy spot in the highway and slid off the road. The car rolled 2.25 times. No broken bones, not a lot of blood. We were all three alright. Minor aches and pains. Two ambulance rides.

Naturally we had the wrong insurance coverage, so were stuck with having to get a small personal loan to buy another car. Craigs list sucks big time. 4 times we make arrangements to go down to Phoenix to look at cars through private sellers. All 4 times, either wrong directions and they won't answer to give correct directions, or no answer period.

Finally found a car, but finding different things wrong or needing repairs. Not a real big deal, we'll just do one repair at a time.

In the mean time, neither insurance (medical or auto) are wanting to pay the bills. They point at each other, and we're getting threatening letters from hospital, ambulance, radiologist, who knows who else.

It's been difficult to concentrate on getting any crafting done. Then I started too soon after the accident, and my hand wasn't healing well. Doctor put me on a mandatory 1 week vacation from any sewing, knitting and crocheting (and horse hoof trimming, too). That vacation about drove me insane.

Once vacation was over, I promptly crocheted a little sunsuit for the 5 inch Berenguer Doll. And then needed to create a bassinet for her. Hubby is disgusted that this baby needs to model both boy and girl clothing, so has granted me permission to shop for another!






Feeling better and ready to get back to crafting! I think sewing will help with relaxing and not stressing over this stuff. Today I am working on getting the studio straightened up. It is a fun chore for me. It's exciting when I can begin making my room a mess again!

We bought two geckos last weekend. They are a lot of fun. Had a wild caught one while living in the Phoenix area. This time we decided on leopard geckos from a pet shop. The male is named Boss Hog and the female is Lulu.