Friday, June 29, 2012

Sum Sum Summer Time!

Helping Mom water the potted plants...

Time for team work!

Loving the camera!


Daddy planting some grass seed.

Tony playing peek-a-boo with Mommy.

Where's Tony?!


Hey! Why are you taking my picture?!


Hiding behind Mommy (see the tiny hands?).


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Leftover Fabric from Parker's Suprise...

Upon completing Parker's baby blanket, I had about 1/2 yard of lovely soft velveteen fabric couldn't let it go to waste. After some debateing I decided to try my hand at making a "taggie" blanket.

Of corse I did not just want to make a little blankie, I had to make it a little extra special! I took 1/4" ribbon and pinned it on to spell out Parker's name.

Then I made a running stitch (by hand) aver the ribbon, like so...

When I finished with the stitching, I was really happy with the results... here is a picture of the pre-stitched full name. You can see all the colorful pins poking out!

Next, I addeed some ribbon around the edge (yes, I had to do so in a pattern-it is the teacher in me coming through). At first I was just going to use the light pink polkadot and the dark pink sattin (left over from edging Parker's blanket), but I was not satisfied with the look of it, So I searched through my sewing basket and found some dark pink fabric with white polka dots, sewed it up, and cut it like the ribbon.

I pinned all the ribbon to the right facing part of the fabric, then pinned the two right facing pieces together. I sewed around the edge to the last few inches.

I turned it right-side out and stitched up the last few inches.

Absolutely lovely! I forsee myself making more of these in the future!

Here is a picture of Sami holding the tiny baby Parker! So cute!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Parker's Suprise!

Friends of ours just had a lovely addition to the family! Their daughter, Parker. Upon seeing her photo for the first time, I knew exactly what I wanted to make for her...
Isn't that fabric lovely?! So pink and perfect fro a new little girl!

Here is another view.

I stitched around about 15 of the water lilys with a chain stitch and a simple seed stitch for the staimen.

Upon realizing that my machine does not have any really pretty stitches for the border, I went with a zigzag stitch and a simple running stitch along the very edge.

Here is the front of the finished blanket.

A picture of the back of the blanket. Notice the little bitty feet? Sami had to inspect my work...

Of corse she wanted to madel it too!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hor Dourves Anyone?

So, we were having a little get together and I needed a quick and easy appetiser to please the girlfriends... Of course I wanted them to be pretty too. I think it is the aspiring caterer in me. ;)

The first dish I made was very quick and easy as well as healthy and delicious! It doesn't get any better than that! Here are my mini fruit kabobs:
Isn't that plate lovely?! I saw in the shop and could not resist. So bright and yellow! I also had to pick up a green, a red, and a blue one.

So, back to the kabobs... First wash and slice some strawberries into bite sixe pieces:
 Looks delicious already!

Next, slice some bananas (I used three) and place into lemon lime soda pop (this will keep them looking fresh without changing the natural flavor-you can use diet soda pop if you are worried about the extra sugar). 
Some bananas resting in the soda pop.

 Delicious, plump blueberries! Rinse these off and they are ready to go!
Finally, just take some round tooth picks and place one blueberry, a banana slice, a strawberry slice and a second blueberry(the blueberries will help to keep the other fruits from sliding off the tooth pick) onto the tooth pick. That is it! Cover and refridgerate until you are ready to serve these. I reccomend making these the day of your get together.

I do not know about your house, but it would not be a party without meat, cheese, and crackers!
This appetiser is also easy. Simply slice your summer sausage thinly and cut each round into thirds (you can use halves or quarters, but they are harder to fan out around the plate). Place the meat around the edge of your plate. Slice the cheese into squares (I used sharp cheddar ans colby jack as these are favorites at my house). Simply fan out the cheeses around the inside of your meat and the tray is ready to present!

Well, what would a party be without some sweets?! In this case cookies. I made chocolate chip pecan (can you tell they have already started to disappear?) and coconut macroons. YUM!

Really, it does not matter what you serve as long as you have fun setting it up. Hope these ideas help at your next party. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Crafty Storage Solution

I am always looking for a way to upcycle items, so when I came across an idea similar to this, I had to give it a try (with my own spin on it, of course)! Sorry, but I do not remember where the original idea came of my parenting magazines, I think.
Anyway, here is what you need:
# of small cans (I used mandarin orange cans) you desire to make amount of storage containers you will need.
Electrical tape to place along the top edge of the can-you could also use duct tape
Colored duck tape (we chose the paint splatter design)
Round craft magnets-3 per can
Hot glue gun and glue sticks (not pictured)

Place the duct tape around the can (it took two pieces to cover my cans) and carefully fold any extra tap over the bottom edge of the can.

 Using the hot glue gun, glue three magnets onto the back of the can (this part is a little tricky as you want them to lay flat against your magnetic surface-don't worry though, the hot glue can be peeled off with a little bit of work so you can try again).

These hands hold quite a bit of crafting supplies and can make for easy access for little hands when placed low on a magnetic surface. I used the side of the filing cabinet in my office area.

Anyone feeling crafty?
Couldn't you just see these filled with all sorts of crochet hooks, knitting needles, needles, pins, stitch markers...I could go on and on. They would have to be placed up a bit higher so as not to be easy access to little curious hands! Hmmm....I think I may need to go eat some mandarin oranges! 

If you have a question, please leave a comment. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A New Technique and A New Pillow

I have been crocheting since I was around twelve years old. My wonderful Aunt Twyla taught me how to crochet a granny square and I have been in love ever since! Since then, I have learned how to read all of the stitches and have not found a stitch pattern I cannot learn. So, needless to say, I am always up for a challenge.
I attempted to learn to knit and took a couple of classes at one of the near by community colleges, and although it is intriguing and fun, getting beyond the basic knit one purl one is rather difficult with two little ones trying to help. Mostly, the pointy needles make me a bit nervous with my little man climbing in and out of my lap the whole time. That does not mean I am giving up, just delaying progress.
So, the search continues... I came accross the squiggly crochet technique a few years ago, and even bought a booklet on it. At the time I was pregnant with my son and could not make heads or tails of it (Mommy brain! LOL) A few days ago, I decided it was time to try again.

Here is the result...
I consider it a sucess!

Not to be left out, Sami had to have a turn in front of the camera! She is standing on my pillow actually; just to make sure I would not be able to ignore her pleas of "My turn! My turn!"
Isn't she making a 'lovely' face for the camera! I think this photo will have to be added to her 'photos to show at graduation' album.

 For the back of my pillow, I used a granny square. It somehow seemed appropriate. :)

 I think it looks nice in the living room nestled on the couch amongst the handmade toys.
The snake behind it was made by my dear friend over at Kashi's Corner. If you have not visited her blog before, you should! Tony still loves his snake Kashi.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Something Old and Something New: Up-Cycling at its Best

On a visit to a lovely little craft store (that I do not get the chance to visit often as it really is out of my way...) my little girl picked up some lovely, soft, bulky yarn that she has asked me to make her a pillow and a blanket out of for some time. The first few times I headed her off with other (read less expensive and easier to work with) yarn, but as this was yet another request, I caved. That and they were having a wonderful half off sale!
Upon the completion of the pillow, I realized that I did not have a coordinating fabric to make a pillow insert with. So, not wanting to go out, I immediately started thinking of items I had that we no longer used and might work. At first I was going to use some recieving blankets, but as I was debating which ones had a subtle enough pattern that it would not ruin the look of the large granny square pillow I made, I saw a lovely light pink crib sheet. Perfect! My little girl is now in a full bed and I know it does not matter if my son has pink sheets on his bed, I just cannot bring myself to do it, so it was a perfect up-cycle!

 Here is the crib sheet layed out before my modifications...

Not wanting to attemt with battling the elastic, and being a good little up-cycler, I first snipped a hole in the corner and pulled the elastic out. There is quite a bit of elastic in a crib sheetand it was still in excellent shape! Hmmm...I wonder what this will become (for now it is nestled in my sewing box).

Next I cut the four corners along the seem lines so I could lay the fabric (somewhat) flat. I know, I could have torn the stitches out, but for the sake of my sanity and patience, I just cut it!

 At this point, Tony came into the room to inspect my work (notice the large ball of playdough in his hand-my attempt to keep the children occupied while I worked). He proceeded to dance around on the fabric! I guess that is another idea for a piece of fabric...a stage!

 I then cut out two large squares (slightly bigger than my crochet pillow) and sewed then together, all but the last 5-6 inches. I placed the empty form into my crochet pillow and proceeded to stuff it with fiberfil.

 With a simple blanket stitch and some quilter's thread, the form was closed.

I did a qick crochet stitch to close up the crochet pillow, was approved by my best critics...the kids! You can see a bit of Tony in this picture. He loves the feel of the pillow!

It really did turn out rather lovely. Perhaps an afternoon nap is in my future...hmmm.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Crochet Families Newest Editions

My daughter has been begging me to make her a crochet doll for quite awhile. One problem...I could not find a pattern that I liked and did not have the time/desire to create one of my own. Then I came accross this one ( and with a few modifications it was perfect.


I changed the face a bit... added ears and a nose. My daughter wanted button eyes, so I used the solid ones as (I can't explain it) the ones with the cross stitching kinda freak me out when they are used for eyes!

Here is the back of the hair. I cut A LOT of 12" strands of yarn, then starting at the crown, and using my crochet hook, I attached them (following the round) with a slip knot.

 Right near the completion of the first doll (for my daughter), problem number two arose... my son did not want to leave it alone. He kept sneaking it away from my daughter and carrying it around the house saying, "Baby!" Whenever she got near him (in an attempt to get it back) he would holler "No! Mine!" So... here we go again with the modifications. Issue number one with doll number two was the hair... solution=eyelash yarn.

He turned out really cute! I decided against using buttons for the dolls eys n this one as the first thing my littlee guy tried to do was pull the button eyes off of his sister's I got out the felt and got to work!  I am really proud of the way he turned out! I also used felt for the mouth as I wanted a more boyish looking mouth.

 Apparently felt is rather addictive...I just had to make a felt aplique for the little crochet 'T-shirt'. What better than a car for my little boy who loves little cars! After I completed it I realized I would soon be investing in more felt for more apliques for my crochet works in the future!

 I just had to share a close-up of his little shoes! So adorable!

Here is my little guy holding his baby! He is giving him a hug. So cute!

 My little girl loves hers too! She was snuggling with it in my chair while watching Curious George.