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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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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 😉

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Part 2: Frosty the Snowman

“Oh, Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul
With a corncob pipe and a button nose
And two eyes made out of coal”

This is the song that was dancing through my head as I eagerly hooked up a storm with this next project. Tis the season and this year I wanted to try my hand at some crochet ornaments while keeping in theme.

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I picked up this book last year and so far the patterns I have attempted have turned out great! Nothing worse than following a pattern that doesn’t have the same results as the finished product shown. If you are looking to get your jolly hook on this season I highly recommend this book. It has everything from stockings, to reindeer baskets, to cozy toques and scarves. I chose to make Frosty himself;

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I wasn’t crazy about the colour choice for the toque and scarf so I went with traditional red and green yarn. I bundled up my yarn in my new yarn basket made by a talented friend;

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You can find her lovely work on Instagram under pammie_sunshine. This basket is the perfect way to keep the projects I’m working on organised and at the ready. As stated above, the pattern was easy to follow and had very clear instructions so I didn’t need to change much besides my colour of yarn. The only other change I made was using some fun squeeshy fluffs instead of the black buttons;

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I had these left over from a kit I had bought at Michaels. It had some googly eyes, piping and lots of fluffs, which also means hours of fun if you have littles at home who like to craft. After finishing my first frosty I decided I wanted to make a few and use them as garland to hang on the tree;

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I am very pleased with how they turned out and I can’t wait to string this on the tree as I dance my pants off to a little Boney M. Other ideas I had; use them as decor in a wreath or centre piece, attach them to gifts, or attach them to bottles of cheer for hostess gifts. Lots of options to spread a little love and joy this holiday season. I mean how can you not smile a little when you see these faces;

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“Oh
Frosty the snowman
Was alive as he could be
And the kids all say he could laugh
And play just the same as you and me”

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*Make sure you are following my blog to receive a special promo code that can be used on my Etsy shop, BBCraftlandia, for one day only on Cyber Monday (Nov. 28/16)*

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Prairie Pom Crochet Pattern

Today it’s all about the pom, the prairie pom to be exact. It’s one of my newest crochet creations and it’s available on my Etsy store, BBCraftlandia.

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I love the textured look of this toque and the playful pom pom. I want to share with you how I hooked this up so you too can create one of these beauties. Let’s get right to it.

Materials:

  • 5.5mm crochet hook
  • 1 skein of Lions Brand Heartland yarn
  • Faux fir pom pom (I bought mine from Petalle Creations). You an also use a pom pom made from yarn if you prefer

Stitches Used:

  • Single crochet (sc)
  • Double crochet (dc)
  • Slip stitch (sl)
  • Chain stitch (ch)

Ch 10

Round 1: Sc in second stitch from hook, front loop only, continue to the end ch 1 and turn
Round 2: Sc in each stitch, front loop only, continue to the end ch 1 and turn
Round 3: *Repeat rnd 2 until you reach desired length (you can use your own head for measurement). At the end of this round you should have a long band that will work as the base of the crochet toque.
Round 4: SL two ends together. This will form a circle and the base of your toque.
Round 5: Ch 1, Sc evenly around the base of the toque. Use a stitch marker to keep track of where you started the first stitch. Once you get around to the marker do not Sl to beginning Sc.

Round 6: *Sc, dc* around. Alternate between the two stitches all the way around. Do not Sc and Dc in the same stitch, you should be alternating between the two all the way around until you get back to the stitch marker.

Round 7: *Repeat Rounds 6 until desired height/slouchiness is achieved.  I went until it measured approximately 12″ in length (not including pom pom).

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Fasten off and leave a long tail. This will be used to sinch in the top of the toque so leave a long tail in order to achieve this. Take a daring needle and attach it to the the tail end of the yarn. From here, run it under the stitching along the top.

Keep going until you reach where you started (you should still have the stitch marker in place). Once all the way around, pull the yarn tightly until it closes in and there is only a small hole at the top of the toque. If the hole is larger than you would like you can use the daring needle to sew the hole closed. Once you are finished you can tie a knot and weave in the ends.

Add faux fur pom pom or a yarn one.

Finished dimensions: 14″ in height (including pom pom) and should stretch to fit approx. 21-24″ around

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There you have it. I hope this pattern is a clear guide in helping you to make your very own Prairie Pom. Please feel free to email me or comment below if you have any questions and I will be happy to assist you. No worries if you aren’t a hooker, I have this item in a variety of colours available on my shop (see link above). Happy Crafting 🙂

*This pattern is an original pattern by BBNicks, please do not claim this pattern as your own. You are more that welcome to share this pattern and link to my blog but please do not reprint it on your site. Please DO NOT sell the pattern or distribute it. You may sell products made from this pattern but please clearly credit the design to me, BBCraftlandia by BBNicks, and provide a link to my blog http://www.bbnicks.wordpress.com.  Permission is NOT granted for mass production or factory manufacturing of any kind.  Thank you for being respectful*

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Days like these

Most of my days are spent with the coolest little guy. He is cute, adorable, has a smile that would melt anyone’s heart and is just the best human ever! We chill out on Sesame Street, we talk in our own secret language and we laugh at the fart noises he makes with his mouth. Yup, my little Oliver is my kind of peoples……until he isn’t. Some days I look at him and wonder where my chill little dude went. This not so cool dude is grumpy, cries no matter what I do and could give zero shits about what Ernie and Bert are up to, ughhhh, these are the longest days of life. It was on one of these not so good days that I was inspired to make him something cozy.

Our day started out pretty rad and then quickly went down a path of no sleep, screaming and pouty faces. I’m talking the kind of day you can’t even take a two second break to pee because the little cutie becomes the most demanding human ever and screams if you leave the room, my fellow parents know whats up! On days like these I call him my Joey as he can be found strapped to me in his carrier. Like a mama kangaroo I carry my baby around all day every damn day! It’s exhausting but it’s all part of the mom life, oh the things we do to get some peace and quiet. I’ll never forget the first time I put him in his carrier, the top right shows his legit sassy “mom this won’t work” face;


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As you can see he was not a believer in the magic of the carrier but within five minutes he became one. Sleeping baby equals a happy mom as you can tell by my permanent grin. If I was to recommend anything to new parents this would be it, get a carrier so on days like this you can at least have two hands and some sanity. I have heard that some babies don’t like the carrier and for those moms I am sorry, but if they like em put em in.

Getting back to the day at hand, my Joey strapped in tight and finally resting, I decided to pick up the hook and make him something cozy. I picked up my favourite skein of yarn and was quickly inspired.

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I went with what I know best and that is the slouch. I decided it was time I crocheted my little one a slouchy toque of his own for the cold winter that is sure to come. I didn’t really follow a pattern but I used a similar technique as shown on a awesome crochet blog called All About Ami. I just changed the measurements to fit his tiny head. To start with I Ch stitched until it measured about 35 cm, I wanted it a bit longer so I could have the option of folding it. From there I followed the pattern but only went until it fit snug around his head, about 17-19 cm. I added a pom pom to compliment the slouch and I was done. I did almost all of this while he slept in his carrier. It amazes me how a bad situation can be turned into a productive and positive one.

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It warms my heart to see him all cozy in something I made on one of our not so good days, because when I look back those days aren’t really that bad after all 🙂