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Renewed inspiration

Every once and a while we lose sight of our path in life. We are humming along “la la la” minding our own business and look down only to find the path we had assumed we would still be on is no where to be found. A quick turn to the left and then the right still leaves us bewildered as we struggle to see where we went awry. Life is funny that way, we are chugging along and then boom!!!!! we are on our assess wondering which way is up. Recently this has been my life, between adulting, being a mom, and trying to do renos around the house I slowly started to lose sight of my path. My path had become covered in baby food, poo, dirt, negative energy, I mean you name it and it was probably somewhere on my now unrecognizable path. Sometimes we are meant to take the road less travelled and maybe that’s why life interferes but every now and again it is our own doing that leaves us astray. Between my daily routine and daily fixing around the house I put down my hook in order to get things taken care of. Whenever this happens, as it often does, I start to lose that creative energy. I love being creative especially for self care purposes, it makes me feel whole and restored. I didn’t know how lost I really was until our recent trip to Vancouver;

The combined smells of the ocean, the soil and the delicious foods flooding the streets brought me back to life! It was exactly what I never knew I needed at that moment in time. I needed to feel alive and inspired.

Vancouver will always feel like home to me and be very close to my heart for it was the place that truly inspired me to start crocheting and expressing myself creatively. When we first moved there five years ago I thought I was on top of the world, I was so excited for this new adventure. It didn’t take too long for life to knock me over and laugh it’s evil laugh “bahahahah”, the excitement had been wiped away and I was left wondering what the hell I was doing in this unknown city. I was stuck at a job I hated and I felt so alone. I eventually found the courage to do something I had never done before which was up and quit a job before I had found a new one but I did it and it felt gooooodddd!!!!! Though after my last pay cheque dwindled away and the reality of the job market sunk in I wasn’t feeling as good but I had no regrets. I was at my lowest moment in life, jobless in a new city and feeling even more alone than ever. I’m not sure where I got the initial idea from but one day I decided I needed to try something new…..something soft and snuggly….I walked around Micheals with my last few bucks in hand and found the yarn isle. It was like it was calling my name, like Golome to the ring, I found myself petting all the yarn saying “my precious”. Okay, maybe not that creepy but I was in love and I knew I had to make all the things.

From then on I was hooked. I found that I got a lot of my inspiration from nature, especially when we would get lost in the forest. I loved the colours, the smells, the dampness and the feeling of being so small is something that was so wonderfully mysterious and bigger than myself. I was so happy with my new found creative outlet as it would allow me to create some warm cozy goodness for my loved ones at Christmas. By the time I knew it I had landed a great job, had started a blog and was creating all day every day. My circle of friends had grown and I was finally feeling at home in a place I so desperately wanted to be part of. Not only did the city accept me but it brought out the best in me. Through being on an unknown and messy path I had found so much more than I would have if I would have stayed on the one laid out in front of me, you know that clean one that is safe and never changes. It was comfortable but I was only existing and not truly living until I had been thrown from my safely net to my new found path. Being back in Vancouver this past week has got me feeling all kinds of inspired and I feel like me again and ready to put time aside to create.

Life can get messy but we need to set time aside each day to feed our souls, whatever it might be, find it and remember it when you are feeling lost. Hold it close to light the way back home because we all get a little lost every once and a while.

I have to share this picture and for those who have read my “about me” page and for those who know me personally, you know that our son Oliver was born in this beautiful city. We had the pleasure of touring around with him and I have to say my new favourite part of visiting our second home was seeing it through his eyes;

 

 

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Think spring

I’m not sure where you are located on the map but if you are close to the prairies you will have felt my pain this week. On Monday morning the snow graced us yet again with her presence. Like that clingy friend who just won’t go no matter how direct you are, oh and better yet this time she brought her friends; windy, cold and cloudy. Ugh, it’s been a long week trying to stay positive but try as I might it always takes me back a couple steps when we get our clingy friend in the spring. Unfortunately, it’s not that uncommon to get snow this late in the game and yes being a prairie girl I should be used to it by now but I don’t think I ever will. That’s why when the weather gets me down I need to find my happy place, that being cozy on the couch with a ball of yarn. I decided to make my own friends to fight back against the snow and her gang, meet; cactus, succulent and flower cactus (okay not original but I am still recovering from the white out).

Thankfully as I write this the snow has melted leaving only a few patches of white as evidence that she was just here. Her friends got the memo as well and left so it’s blue skies and sun all around. It truly does make a difference when the sun is shining and you can once again dance the happy dance while you daydream about all the spring things you can’t wait to do. Having my new friends also helped me get my groove back, I just love them and all their tiny goodness.

So you might be wondering how you too can create some friends of your own, well don’t you fret because I’m about to share all the things. Lets start with friend number 1, Cactus;

I found an easy to follow pattern on Pinterest from a site called la casa de crafts (on my crochet Pinterest board). The pattern, as stated above, is simple and easy to follow. The only thing it didn’t provide was the brown base, aka dirt, so if you are looking for that part it can be found with my second friend, succulent;

5 Little Monsters is where I found this awesome pattern. I know you aren’t supposed to say it out loud but this is by far my favourite friend 😉 The blog post shows some really great variations as well it provides a pattern for the the dirt, so you can add that extra touch. I made an extra dirt patch and gave it to my third friend, flower cactus;

This cactus is fun to make as it allows you to add a splash of colour. I love greenery as I am sure you all know but I also love putting flowers on things! I have a matching one that sits on my night stand, it’s the perfect house plant as you never have to give it anything but your admiration. I posted a pattern for this crochet cactus a while back so if you haven’t yet checked it out now is the time. I wrote it myself so if you are struggling or have any questions please let me know (my email is along the side).

So there you have it folks, another great way to fight through some of life’s set backs while creating some beauty with your own two hands.

For some added fun you can mix things up and paint the ceramic pots in a simple white or add a splash of colour. I painted two of mine, one white as you can see and the other white with a hint of green. I have to say it was relaxing to paint for a change and I can’t wait to paint a few more. If you aren’t a hooker and you are in need of some new friends then check out my Etsy shop, BBCraftlandia, as all three are on there and looking for some TLC.

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I say a hip hop….

I’ve been dying to try this jersey style yarn for a while now. I finally got around to picking some up but then it came to deciding what to make. One simply can’t waste good yarn so there it sat for a few weeks as I pondered and dreamed. Then one day the perfect idea hippity hopped into my brain. Yup, it was settled, I was going to attempt to crochet an Easter bunny basket for my baby boy.

I eagerly got on Pinterest and pinned my fav patterns, the only problem being I was using a different weight and style of yarn then recommended by most of the patterns so it would take some patience and thinking to make it work. After several different attempts with different hooks and patterns I finally found one that would fit which I will now share with you. I used the following Easter Bunny Basket Pattern (you can also follow my crochet board on Pinterest) but I changed a few things along the way which I will explain as we go so you too can create this hippity hoppity bunny basket.

To start with I used hook size 8mm instead of the recommended 5mm hook as the yarn I was using was much thicker than what the pattern called for. With my hook in hand I began to follow the pattern starting with the base. I only made one base not two, with the thicker yarn you shouldn’t need to make two bases for the basket. The yarn should be strong enough to hold all their goodies but do what works best for you. I followed the pattern until round 7, I stopped here as the base of my basket was around 9″ which I thought was big enough.

I then moved to the next section of the pattern, the body. Instead of following round 1 (1 sc around) I 1 sc only in the back loop to give the basket a nice edge. I followed round 2 through round 10 but stopped after that. The pattern suggests you go until round 13 but I felt I had enough height in my basket to stop after round 10. The great part of working with thicker yarn is that it tends to builds quickly and really holds its shape.

Are you still with me? If it’s not making sense please send me an email and I will be happy to help. I was really impressed with the jersey yarn and would highly recommend it. It makes a beautiful basket and could be left as is, if it wasn’t for the Easter bunny coming I would have done just that.

Next up are the handles, I opted to only make one handle. Instead of finishing off your yarn at round 10 keep the hook in and proceeded to stitch 3 HDC, turn and do 3 HDC. Continue going back and forth (3 HDC each way) until you get a long enough handle for the basket.

Once you get the length you prefer you can attach it directly across to the other side of the basket using a SS. Then you can finish off the ends and start on the bunny ears. For the ears I followed the pattern and they turned out perfectly. You can attach them once you are done with a SS at the top. I used yarn for the eyes instead of the buttons as I didn’t want my little to try and put them in his mouth. I added a cute yarn nose to match using Charisma Loops and Threads for both.

For the bunny cheeks I followed the pattern with the same yarn, Charisma Loops and Threads, but stopped after round 1. The yarn is a bit thicker then what’s suggested so I found them to be the ideal size after just 1 round.

I was really happy with how it was coming together thus far but something was missing….something fluffy. I decided I needed to add a squishy tail because what’s a bunny without the cute poof. I made a pompom for the tail and here are the end results.

So there you have it folks, a hip hoppity bunny basket. I hope ya’ll have just as much fun making it as I did. You can even add in a cute bowtie or bow, really anything to make it your own and special for your littles.

Happy Easter friends 🙂

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You are 1

They say when you have a baby that time will no longer move at the same speed, that it will start to quicken its pace and before you know it your newborn baby will be turning 5 and heading out the door to their first day of kindergarten. I remember rolling my eyes when I would hear other moms tell me this and think “yes, I know time will move fast just let me know enjoy this and stop telling me how fast it’s going to go by”. Looking back I see it less as an annoyance and more of a warning, a warning to hold them as long as you can, enjoy every struggle and every snuggle. For it’s true, before you know it time will escape you and your newborn baby will be 1. It still amazes me that a year has passed since I got to experience the greatest moment of my life, that moment being when I got to hold my beautiful baby boy for the first time. It was an incredible feeling that I can still feel every time he looks at me and grabs onto my shirt. That’s the first thing he did when the doctor gave him to me, he grabbed onto my robe and held on tight. In that moment I think I felt every human emotion possible, I was scared, excited, happy beyond words, relieved and again scared but as soon as I felt his grip I knew everything was going to be okay and all those emotions turned into pure love. I am now one of those annoying moms that will tell all the other new moms to hold them as long as you can, enjoy every snuggle and every struggle because the struggles will change and the snuggles will fade as they grow so quickly in front of your eyes. It’s honestly unbelievable how fast it all goes, just as soon as you think you have caught up to them they are already onto something new.

Before I had my son time just moved at a different pace, I think because I set the tone of how fast I wanted things to move plus I was way more awake during it so I could remember a lot more. It’s amazing how somebody so small can completely change how you see and feel about everything in your life, your whole perspective on life changes. On March 23, 2016 at 9:47am my life changed for the better and one year from that date I can honestly say it has only gotten better even though time has escaped me.

Here we are one year later, you are 1, my baby boy and I can’t imagine life without you. You have taught me how to truly love, to be patient, to live in the moment and to appreciate every day for every day being your mom is the greatest gift. I never knew how badly I wanted to be your mom until I first held you in my arms, you grabbed on tight as if to say you weren’t going to let go and I gripped back just as tightly to let you know I wouldn’t either. You are such a gentle, kind soul who loves to laugh, fittingly your middle name means “the one who laughs” and it couldn’t be more true. You dance to every musical beat you hear and Sesame Street is your jam. You truly are our greatest adventure and I look forward to making many more wonderful memories as we go along this journey together. I will love you always and forever my little beautiful boy who is now 1.

I chose to make you a gift from my heart and one that will keep you warm and cozy. If you should ever miss your mom you can give your sweater a squeeze and I hope you feel it squeeze right back as it’s made with these two hands that love you so.

*Pattern by Thevelvetacron

*Buttons purchased from Brickbubble

Just when I think you can’t get any cuter I see you in this sweater and my heart melts. I wish so many good things for you my beautiful boy but if I can just speak of a few it would be that I hope you always know how loved you are and that no matter what life throws your way you will know that I will be there holding your hand saying proudly “you got this”. Love mom.

*Photos taken by David Evanochko

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DIY: Floral Wall Hanging

Hello friends, I hope ya’ll are having a fabulous week. Not having a great start to the week? Still feeling those winter blues? Will spring ever come? Whatever it is that is bringing you down I have the cure for you in the form of some good old fashion crafting. Getting your craft on might just be the fix you need, so take off those grumpy pants and put on your creative ones because I am going to share some tips on how to make your very own floral wall hanging. For those who would like the fix but don’t want to do the work you can head on over to my Etsy shop, BBCraftlandia, as I have a few for sale.

Materials needed;

  • ribbon
  • metal hoop (same kind used for making dream catchers)
  • greenery
  • flowers/decor
  • floral tape
  • hot glue gun
  • floral wire cutters
  • scissors

Lets begin with the most tedious step which is attaching the greenery to the hoop using the floral tape.

Using the wire cutters, cut two long strands of the greenery that you are wanting as the base of the hoop. You want both pieces to be similar in size as they will be laying on either side of the hoop. Once you have them cut take the pieces and lay them on opposite sides of the hoop ensuring they are where you want them to be as you will be attaching them to the hoop using the floral tape. Take the floral tape and start to wrap it around the hoop to secure the greenery in place. I find it easier to cut a long piece of the floral tape instead of leaving it attached to the spool.

It can get frustrating as the hoop may slide and the greenery may shift while attaching the tape, just breath and be patient as you go. Remember that once this part is over it’s smooth sailing, this is by far the hardest part. Also, don’t worry if the tape is visible as this will eventually by covered. Continue working the floral tape all the way around, once you have attached the greenery you can cut the floral tape and use some hot glue to ensure it stays attached (I usually do this in two separate pieces and not one long continuous one).

Okay so now that the hard part is over you can relax and have some fun with these next few steps. If the greenery isn’t laying exactly how you would like (for example poking out in some spots instead of flowing with the shape of the hoop) don’t stress as this can be fixed once you attach some additional greenery and decor. The next step I like to do is to attach the ribbon.

Cut the ribbon in as many or as few pieces as you would like and at the desired length. For mine I chose to do four pieces around 6′ in length. I like to put the ribbon down the middle but again depending on how you attach the greenery you can add the ribbon wherever you would like or don’t add any at all, you can really play around with it and make it your own. The picture above shows how to attach the ribbon, simply pull the ends through the loop to attach the ribbon to the hoop.

Okay, things are looking good and the hard part is definitely over, now it’s time to fill in the rest with some greenery and decor. I added some additional greenery to fill in and cover the floral tape. Once things were filled in and flowing better I added some crochet flowers. I chose to make some crochet flowers instead of felt ones as I wanted to match the texture of the ribbon.

There you have it, your very own floral wall hanging! I am so proud of you and I hope it adds a little pep in your step this week and every week. It may be miserable outside but it doesn’t mean you need to carry it inside with you. Add a little sunshine in the form of crafting, it’s guaranteed to make your day a lot brighter 🙂

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Slow moving

Part of my goal this year was to learn the art of macrame which I will admit has been slow moving. If any of you have given this a try you know what I mean when I say it’s challenging. Yes, it’s essentially tying knots but knowing when and where to put a specific knot is key. There is a lot of strategy and planning when it comes to macrame. I have been playing around with different ideas, part of which led me to this next crafting project….

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I bought some dream catcher rings with the hopes of using it for my macrame projects but I got a brilliant idea as I threw one across the room in frustration, like I said my macrame skills have been slow going. As it laid there I got to thinking of how I could incorporate some pretty flowers and then from there magic happened. I quickly got to work, maybe out of relief from taking a break from all the knots, whatever it was that was keeping me going was wondrous. It’s the same feeling you get when you have been staring at a math problem wondering how the f@#& you solve x and also wondering when in life you will ever need to solve x! Then it all begins to become so clear, duh!! How did you not see it before?! You gleefully start writing as swiftly as your hands will go all while shaking your head in disbelief that you had been so blind. Ahhhh, the moment it all comes together is a glorious one!  That’s how I felt with this project, in an instance it all just seemed to click and come together so effortlessly. I stepped back and looked at my perfectly solved equation for x…..well in my case x=flower power.

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I am so happy with how this came together even if it started out in a dark place. Sometimes we need to move slowly to get to where we need to be. We fight it, don’t understand why but in the end it all works out the way it’s supposed to. Don’t get me wrong though I haven’t given up tying those knots 😉

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*You can find this as well as other floral creations I have made on my Etsy shop BBCraftlandia*

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Yellow is the colour

You ever start making something, paying close attention to every detail and step in a new pattern, and think to yourself “this is never going to turn out like the picture”. This thought was going through my head like a broken record even before I started this next project. I hadn’t even attempted the pattern but had already begun to accept defeat, for some reason I just couldn’t envision it. I decided to push away the doubt and pick up my hook…..but the thoughts slowly crept back in. I began to feel even more frustrated as I was making it for a special little girl who was turning 3. Grrrr, but I powered on and just trusted that the pattern wouldn’t leave me astray.

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In case you are wondering what I am trying to make and for whom well that comes next. I have bought a few patterns from The Velvet Acron and I should know from previous experience that they always turn out as beautiful as the pictures in the pattern. They are very well written and I am always impressed with the end results but with anything new there is always doubt and when it is a birthday gift for your niece there is added pressure. First of all I needed to get the right colour and yellow it is. Most people who have been in contact with any 2 going on 3 year old know that they begin to get their own distinct personality which includes likes/dislikes. With this in mind I made a point of making sure I got the colour right because ruining my nieces birthday is not on my list of “to do’s”. The colour of choice was yellow, in fact she loves yellow everything!!! With the colour being on point the rest was up to my fingers and hands to make sure I could crochet an Aura Pullover sweater. Seriously if you haven’t checked out her Etsy shop yet you need to, take a break right now and go take a peek, I’ll wait.

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So on I went, self doubt in tow, and I came to the part that I was just not able to envision. That part being the neck opening, for some reason I just couldn’t envision it. Thinking back it was so plainly obvious and simple but at the time I just wasn’t there. It still amazes me how a ball of yarn can turn into something like this…..if you haven’t started hooking yet what are you waiting for?! It’s truly amazing what you are capable of making. Next up was to finish the cowl like neck opening.

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The bottom photo is how you work the rows all the way around. I’m not going to lie, I did run out of yarn and couldn’t make it as long as the pattern advised but I think once it’s folded down it still looks pretty darn cute. I ordered the yarn online because I couldn’t find any yellow yarn in the right weight at my local stores and as you already know it HAD to be yellow. So I just accepted defeat when I ran out and made the best of it. I still think it came out on point and way cuter than I initially imagined.

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Okay there was one other set back and that was the button choice. I left things too late and didn’t have time to order from my go to button shop, brickbubble, so I had to search high and low at the local stores and this was the best I could come up with. I really wanted a nice earthy toned button but hey sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. Things were turning out so wonderfully that I knew no matter what colour the buttons were it wasn’t going to ruin the overall look of the pull over…..so here goes……the final project…..what we have all been waiting for….

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Oh wait I forgot one last step before the final reveal,attaching one of my BBCraftlandia custom tag 🙂 Also bought from brickbubble. Okay no more foolin, here she be;

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I am so in love with the final product and I hope she is too! At the very least it’s yellow and when you are 2 going on 3 thats all that matters 😉