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A Pleasant Surprise

Hello friends, it has been a while! Life with a two year old has had me on a roller coaster these past few months, that along with summer vacation and renovations. I have had my hands full but I have been missing keeping you all in the loop with my crafting adventures. I hope you missed me too 🙂 There are so many things I want to share with you but I will pick one for now and work from there. Okay, here goes…..

Summer time, we all love it, need it and crave it. We start to shed those winter layers and bask in the glory of long, hot days. With this comes the shredding of responsibilities and motivation. It’s like Jack Frost had us all being adults and on our toes. Then the Sun shows up and we all start listening to EDM and fist pumping. Screw being responsible, I just want to lay here in the sun. One thing that always seems to get put aside is my crochet hook. I’m like a teenager when I talk to my hook, all like, “noooooo I don’t wannnnaaaaaaa”!! I find it so hard to keep on hooking in the summer months and every season I always throw it to the side and run carefree in the hot sun only to regret it come the end of August, as I have very little fall inventory/new cozy goodies to share with you all 😦 This year I said no! There must be a way to keep motivated and inspired while also partying with the sun. My thoughtful partner in crime was listening and got me the best Mother’s Day gift. He enrolled me in Happy Yarn Mail for the summer months and it has been awesome so far. Okay, I have only received two packages but it has definitely kept me hookin these past few months. Basically each month you are enrolled, they mail you a pattern and the yarn to make it with.

I was eager waiting for the first package to arrive, it felt like a first date. What would it look like? Would it be fun? Would it be something I would want to make again? You know all the normal thoughts a person has while waiting on some yarn mail to come 😉 It finally came and I got to say I was a little sad. The pattern was for a market bag which I had made before and didn’t really enjoy sigh I was disappointed. It sat for a few weeks and I pouted about having to make it, it felt like it was going to be so much work and would I even like it? Ugh, eventually Dave asked how my project was going and the guilt made me decide to at least give it a try.

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The first thing I had to make were granny squares. I had never made them before so I was even more discouraged from attempting this new pattern. I pushed through and made my first square, it felt good, surprisingly good! Then I read the next step which said I had to make 12 more squares……ya not impressed ugh but I had started so I had to finish. The more I hooked the better I got and I slowly started to feel inspired and motivated. Like I couldn’t wait until my monster, aka two year old, went for his nap so I could listen to my fav podcast and work away.

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It was all starting to come together so beautifully. I was so excited to show Dave my progress and also share how much I was loving it.  I could see the relief in his eyes, probably more so that he wouldn’t have to hear me complain about how hard it was going to be!

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I had made great strides within a couple of weeks and was nearing completion of my beautiful bag. The last few steps required patience to stitch each square to the next to form the shape of the bag. I used stitch markers to hold the squares in place as I worked away.

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Alas, all good things come to an end and I had finished my market bag. I was proud, I had attempted and gave it my all. It really did keep me motivated this summer and I can’t wait to show you all what I have been working on for the fall. Eeekkkk!!! So excited.

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I am currently working on my second project from Happy Yarn Mail, again it’s not something I would normally make but I’m not letting that stop me from starting this time. I was so pleasantly surprised as both patterns so far are not something I would ever pick to make and I think that’s what I like best about the gift. It keeps me challenged and I get to try new things which has led to some new ideas for other crochet creations I have started. The only complaint I was going to say I had was that the pattern didn’t give enough details/pictures but when I re-read the pattern I realised it comes with a link to a video tutorial, ugh I need to learn to read a pattern fully before I start. Oh wells, I know for the next one. Happy Crafting!!

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Making time for those wants instead of those have to’s

I try to make my little one something handmade often but as is life, sometimes what you intend to do can get lost amongst the things you have to do. I decided to take a break from all of those “have to’s” in order to make my Oliver one of the many things on my list of stuff to make for him. I had previously pinned a crochet pattern  for the sweetest crochet moccasins on my Pinterst Crochet Board, I am guessing before I even had a little one, with the good intentions of making a pair. I am happy to announce that alas I have hooked up a pair.

(My little model hehe)

Projects such as these don’t take long in terms of time but there is the tedious task of stitching them together. Confession, I generally don’t like making an item that is a pair. I find it hard to make two the same, I have no idea why. I follow the same pattern, the exact same way, but in the end I always end up obsessing over the subtle differences between the two. I am sure no one else can see it but I can and it drives me crazy!!

Either way, this crochet pattern was really easy to follow and is a great starter for beginners. Maybe you are in need of a mommy project yourself or maybe you have a little in your life who could use these cozy moccasins to keep their toes toasty and stylish? Whatever the reasons, this is a great project.

I love the fringe along the back of the slipper, lots of fun to make and really gives it that moccasin feel. There are only a few stitches used in this pattern so don’t let the fringe scare you, once you get down the main stitches they will come easily. The pattern itself is very detailed and has lots of great pictures to guide you along the way.

I recommend using stitch markers to hold everything in place when it comes time to sewing the pieces together. It saves a lot of re-doing if you aren’t sewing things evenly, I may have learned this the hard way a few times myself. No matter how small the project, just pin it!

Okay, another confession. I might have waited a little too long to crochet these slippers as my son is in size 5 and the biggest this pattern makes is a 3-4. There is some give in them but I wanted to make sure they would fit him in the end, so I changed a few things in case you find yourself in the same predicament.

The first thing I did was use a larger hook size then what was called for in the pattern, this was again to ensure the slippers would fit a bit larger. I used a 4mm size hook. The next thing I changed was the bottom of the shoe, I added a few extra rows in order to get the size I needed. I believe the pattern for the bottom of the shoe finishes at row 18 but I added a couple extra rows and ended at 20 which got me to the size I needed. Now that I have got you all excited to make your own you can find the pattern here

I think they turned out so beautifully and they are so Oliver. I put them on him and couldn’t get them off, he just wanted to run around in his new moccasins. My heart is happy every time I stop and take the time to make him all the things. Every handmade gift comes from the heart, and he has mine 🙂

Happy crafting friends!

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Crochet Easter Eggs

Tis’ the season for that cute little bunny to hop hop hop it’s way into our homes while leaving a trail of treats for all to find. It’s hard to believe that spring is officially here. I don’t know where you are on the map but here in the Prairies we are still drowning in snow 😦 It’s not a lot of fun and so hard to stay positive when all you want to see is that green grass poking through the white stuff to give some hope that spring is actually here. The good thing? Another excuse to indulge in some yummy treats before we have to start the dreaded chore of spring cleaning. So lets eat while we can and go on the hunt to find all the goodies that bunny will leave behind.

If you come across any eggs that look like these guys then please refrain from eating. They are pretty cute but not eligible to be part of our guilt free eating, unless you like eating yarn and in that case you got issues 😉 I made these beauties to get those spring vibes flowing through me and through my home. These crochet eggs are a delight to make, I felt like a kid again playing with different colour combos and patterns.

These little eggs are so much fun and will be sure to cure those snowy day blues, rest assured it will feel like spring soon enough! This pattern can be found here.

I made one modification which I want to mention. I did not have the right size of hook as per the pattern so I used the smallest one I had which was a 3mm. With this in mind, I only inc x 3 for step #2. I wanted to make mention in case you find yourself in the same predicament.

I also want to share a good tip I once received when switching between colours. It can be difficult to make it look seamless but what I found helped was, when you are wanting to make a colour change take the colour you are currently working with (colour A) and insert it through the next stitch as you normally would, yarn over and pull through, then take colour B (the colour you are wanting to switch to) and yarn over. Continue with the stitch you were in progress of completing. From there you will be working with the new colour and can continue on. I found this to be the best practice when wanting to make the switch as unnoticeable as possible.

It’s time to hop hop hop on over to your yarn stash and get started! Happy Easter Friends 🙂

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Hook a little love

A child can drastically change your world once they enter it. I couldn’t have foreseen it changing the way we celebrated or didn’t celebrate the holidays. Previously, the only holidays I would decorated for were Halloween and Christmas but this kid has me decorating for all of them. I was so surprised at how excited he was when he seen the Halloween decorations this past October. He was just over a year and a half but nothing got past him. He smiled in delight at each pumpkin and ghost that was hung up. He also had to show everyone who came over all the things. His favourite by far were the stick on decals placed festively on the mirrors, oh did he ever love them. As a parent, there isn’t much you wouldn’t do to see that smile and to make your kid happy. So here I am, heart in hand and decorating for Valentine’s Day. I’m not one for Valentine’s Day but my world is different now. I do it all for him and if sticking hearts all over the house makes him giddy with joy then bring it on.

Our heart decals didn’t seem like enough, something was missing. Then it hit me, we needed a little yarn to complete our celebration of love. I thought it best to hook a little love into our Valentine’s decor and remembered a pattern from one of my crochet books.

This is one of the first crochet books I bought and still by far my favourite. The patterns are well written and easy to follow. Plus the finished product almost always turns out identical to the pictures which is an added bonus!

I was on a quest to create the cutest crochet hearts for my little guy, like I said anything to see that smile. I never thought I would be crocheting hearts for Valentine’s Day but after having made this beauty I wish I would have done it sooner. It is so dainty and sweet. You could get away with hanging it up all year round.

The book has patterns for both small and large sized hearts which is perfect for adding some dimension into the garland. I went with pink yarn for the small hearts and red yarn for the large ones.

I measured out the width of the window I was wanting to hang my finished garland from to get an idea about how many hearts I would need to hook, as well as the length of the garland itself. I used white yarn for the base of the garland and did a chain stitch all the way along until I got to the desired length.

I am feeling all the love and it reminds me that we need to show love all year round, not just once a year. Every day can be love day if we all show some kindness.

How can you not feel all the feels when you see this beauty hanging in the window?! Add to that a little finger pointing eagerly with the biggest smile of life and I am in heaven 🙂

 

It is the perfect compliment to the heart decals and most importantly it is kid approved. What are you waiting for?! Get out there and hook up some love. Happy Love Day!!

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Give Thanks

I am still in amazement by how quickly this year has flown by. I think I have said it before but I will say it again, having a kid really gives time new meaning. You can see it go by as you watch your child grow, month after month and year after year. There are moments I want to bottle up forever and wish I could halt time so I could stay in the moment even longer. It’s a good reminder to enjoy the little things. I say this as I sit amongst a messy house because I took some extra time to laugh a little longer with my Oliver. These moments are precious and they won’t last forever. There will come a day I won’t be as funny and tickle time will become a thing of the past so the dishes can wait as we laugh and play a little longer today.

Days like today make me so thankful for the life I have and for my family. With Thanksgiving quickly ahead, if you are Canadian that is, tis the season to stop and give extra thanks. The best way to celebrate, in my opinion, is through sharing food with those you love. I am excited for this time of year once again, we can sit around and share stories of our favourite memories, share good food and make new favourite memories. I feel all warm and fuzzy just thinking about how much I love the holidays, this one especially. The weather is getting colder which also means more inspiration for making all the cozy things. It was these feelings that got me motivated to make this next crochet creation.

I am in love with my little pumpkin patch, they are so much fun to make. Don’t be fooled, if you can crochet in the round then you got this! Give it a try, you won’t regret it. These beauties are the perfect decor to add to the table centrepiece this Thanksgiving. I found the pattern on Pinterest and the best part is that they provide a pattern for two different sizes.

I decided to make two pumpkins in two different sizes. I also opted to make a white pumpkin just for something different.

I love how they turned out and have received lots of compliments. These beauties are also perfect to have out during Halloween as well. You could use some felt and make it a Jack o Lantern, so many creative possibilities.

I may have a couple of these pumpkins at my next craft show on October 14th at W.H. Ford school so if you are in the area come by and say hi! Oh and another thing I am thankful for, you! Thanks for taking a read and following my blog. You all make my heart full of thanks!

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A rug for a bug

I can’t tell you how long I have had this yarn laying around. It has sat so patiently in my yarn stash just waiting to be picked. I bought it with good intentions months ago and as life goes I found myself not having enough time. That’s the thing with hooking, you go into a store and find so many wonderful yarns and ideas come flooding in making your soul smile. You cave and decided okay what’s a few more going to hurt? Plus, I don’t have one like this and I need it….. not sure for what but I just do! You excitedly take it home and then it sits, the longer it does the more it looses the twinkle it once had. The inspiration quickly fades.

I have never worked with such chunky yarn before but I was in love. Plus I had purchased a jumbo sized hook months prior and it had been waiting for this size of yarn. I had originally bought this yarn with the intention of making my little Oliver a rug for his room. He likes to sit by his stuffies and look at his books. I thought a rug would be the perfect accent to complete his reading corner.

I found a very helpful pattern on pinterest. The pattern provided some of the basics on how to crochet a rug, as well as different variations depending on what stitch you wanted to use. It also gave some really good pointers such as, did you know if you are hooking away and your rug starts to curl up you just have to add an extra stitch or two to make it lay flat?! I love helpful tips like this! The pattern had this and a few other helpful pointers that will come in handy should you choose to make yourself a rug.

I worked on this rug while my little bug slept, above is my work station. Gone are the days of an organised craft room and here are the days of crafting anywhere you can, while you can. I was quickly interrupted but I didn’t mind 🙂

The great thing about using a jumbo crochet hook is that it makes for a quick project. I was able to complete this rug all in one day, which made me wonder why I didn’t just get it done from the start, sigh oh wells! The important thing is that I was able to put this beautiful yarn to good use.

It’s perfect for little toes and little bums to sit on while they read or snuggle with their favourite stuffy.

A basket full of love, most of them crocheted for my little guy. My heart is a flutter every time he snuggles one of my creations or sits on the squishy rug I made for him. This is a great project for any level and a perfect way to add a little handmade love to your home. Keep crafting 🙂

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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.