Tuesday, June 25, 2013

This Won't Take Long, Will It?

The answer to that in the Home Depot ad about the flower tower is:  No, it won't take long.  My husband doesn't accept that answer.  My niece made a flower tower for her mother for Mother's Day.  My husband looked at it and decided he would make one for me.  This is it.

He put red, white and blue petunias in it.  It needs to fill out a little more.  There are a few blank spots in it.  If we ever made another one, I think we might go with ground cover type flowers and put them a little closer together.  But since my husband says he will never make another one I guess I don't have to worry about what flowers to use.  It was very nice of him to make this one.

I got a cortizone shot in my wrist and thankfully most of the pain is gone and I am trying to do some crocheting.  I finished the cupcake pot holders that I was working on.  Here is a picture of them.

What do you think?  Do they look enough like cupcakes?

I am now working on a ruffled scarf for my sister-in-law.  I will post it when I am finished.  I am trying to decide what to work on next.  I have several unfinished projects that need completing.  There is also a pair of patriotic baby booties I want to try.  I have the yarn for a baby afghan and I want to try making a baby dress.  What will it be?  Decisions, decisions! 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Crocheting

I've been MIA for quite a while.  One of the reasons is that I've done very little crocheting since January.  I hurt my arm and I wasn't able to do much crocheting. Therefore I don't have much to talk about and nothing to brag about.  I have so many things I want to crochet but I can't.  The arm is getting better so I can crochet a little now but only for short periods.  I have only crocheted two baby afghans for a charity project, four hanging towels, four dishcloths, four pot holders since January.  Pathetic, isn't it?
This set if for Halloween and is for sale in our Etsy store.

This set is for Halloween and is for sale in our Etsy store.  I think my Jack o'lanterns are kind of cute..

This set is for Thanksgiving and is for sale in our Etsy store.  Does my pot holder look like a turkey?

This set is for Thanksgiving and is for sale in our Etsy shop.  The dishcloth and pot holder are supposed to be pumpkin pies.

I am in the process of making a set of pot holders shaped like cupcakes for a friend of mine.  Hopefully I can get back into some larger projects soon.  I am in withdrawal here!  I need that hook in my hand.  At least I can still read as much as I want.

Monday, May 13, 2013

WIP ~ Scrap Heart Blanket and Grapevine Basket

by Kelly

I've been so interested in the garden blooming around me that I haven't done much crafting lately. But with all that grapevine all around, I've been inspired again. After making about six simple wreaths, I decided to branch out into something more challenging - basket making.

I've never made a basket in my life, but the all mighty Internet showed me the way. It actually doesn't seem too hard, if you know who to weave things together. I'm flashing back to Kindergarten, where I learned basic weaving techniques with large pieces of green and white construction paper. I wonder whatever happened to that 'basket' I made back then? I fear my mom might still have it, tucked away somewhere. Moms are like that.

While I'm learning how to weave grapevine baskets, I've also gone back to a crochet blanket pattern that I've been eyeing for some time.

It's called the Rainbow and Hearts Blanket, and the free pattern is here. The hardest part is hiding the stray ends around the hearts, but Bethany is happy to share her technique in the pattern. Thanks, so much, Bethany!

But even with all this crafting going on, I still have some gardening on the agenda. For example, I have to go weed my own garden, although that might have to wait until tomorrow. Today is lawn mowing day. Since we have almost two acres here, that's no light chore. My husband and I are currently tag teaming it around our work schedules.

I think I enjoy it more than he does. There are any number of flowers that I can admire in passing, but he doesn't have a computer or radio attached to the mower.

Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that possibility...

Friday, May 10, 2013

When Life Hands you Grapevine

by Kelly

One of the things I like about this garden is the sheer photogenic quality of it. No matter where I look, there is something interesting or unique. The best part is, I think a lot of this is accidental. It doesn't have that overly orchestrated feel of a garden that was plotted out on paper before planting.

Did I mention we have grapevines? Well grapevines have to be pruned every year. The end result of that is better grapes...and a ton of grapevine, perfect for baskets, wreaths and other crafty purposes.

What you see here, piled up on the picnic table, is only a small fraction of the amount I have available.

I need to add a little to those wreaths, but I kind of got distracted by some other possibilities:

via Makeitandloveit

via FabyouBliss
And the best part is, I have SO MUCH grapevine that it doesn't matter if I make some mistakes along the way. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Flower Pictures and Craft Links

by Kelly

Sorry for the delay in posting - we were experiencing technical difficulties.
As in the pictures wouldn't go into Blogger for some reason. And yeah, I could have done a text only post, but what fun would that be? I love playing with our camera.

Thinking of spring but don't have flowers yet? Check out the amazing pop-up cards I stumbled across on Extreme Cards and Papercrafting.

Window box cards

Make a pop-up card for someone. Or just for yourself! Don't worry, it might look intimidating, but she offers free lessons and how-to's on her blog.

For butterfly pop-ups, check here and here.

If anyone can identify the bush in that picture above, please let me know in the comments. This grows out by my mom's house, and I want one for my garden. The flowers don't have any scent, and grow in small clusters. The leaves are oval and alternate, and red berries show up in the fall. I thought it might be a chokeberry, but the stamens on the bush above are yellow, not red. Maybe it's a cultivar? But the flowers of the chokeberry aren't shaped quite right either...

Speaking of flowers you can't identify, check out these that my husband surprised me with:

I love them! And he even took the trouble to arrange them in a perfect rainbow. That's my guy - a perfectionist artist even when he's putting flowers in a vase. I usually just cut the stems and shove them in the water. If I'm feeling especially inspired, I'll make sure all the tall ones are in the center.

Anyway, I'm off to do some lawn-mowing, weeding and other gardening type stuff. Yay for spring!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Spring Flowers

by Kelly

I'm going to resume work on the failed sweater project that I put aside for a while. Hopefully it will be done in time for next winter.

Meanwhile, I took a walk in my borrowed garden and thought I'd share some pictures.

Spring has sprung. For some reason, that last picture reminds me of canned Del Monte fruit cocktail - you know the kind with pears, peaches, and one lonely pink cherry floating in the mix. I remember once when I was a kid, we got a can with two cherries in it, and we thought that whoever was in charge of doling out cherries at the Del Monte factory had slipped up and probably lost their job because of it.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Recently Completed Projects Update

I have been a busy bee lately and not all due to the fun times of working on crochet projects.  However, I have finally managed to squeeze out some time to post pictures of the projects that I've completed.

The first two are baby blankets for my sisters-in-law.  Both of them became pregnant around the same time and delivered just a month apart.  So I had to whip something up.

This one is one of my favorites.  My sister-in-law obviously had a girl and she loves dragonflies.  She is such a girly-girl that I thought to spring for the fur trim to make it look that much more special.  I think it turned out great and I actually had a lot of fun working with the fur for the first time.  I might try it again on a scarf or hat next time.

The next is for my other sister-in-law who had her second boy.  She's more simple and classic so I thought this pattern would look great for her with a little bit of shine to make it special.

Now the only problem is trying to find the time and money to mail these off to Australia.  :P

This next blanket is another baby blanket and it's the semi-finished result of my first attempt at the Jacquar practice of inserting color into a pattern. I say semi-finished because the downside of this effect is that you have all these strings in the back.  I weaved the ends in but there's still dragged strings from the work itself.  So I added about a half an inch of sc to the edge of the blanked and I'm going to try to sew some fabric around the border so that the back is covered.  Since the only time I've ever attempted to use a sewing machine was in high school home ec class when I had to make a flour baby out of a t-shirt and a sack of flour then I decided to wait until my mom came to visit next week before attempting to finish this one.  I'll let you know how it turns out.  :)

My last project was actually a commissioned project.  One of my mom friends is about to deliver and she was asking around about whether anyone would be able to make a hat she saw on Etsy but for cheaper.  I told her I could do it and would do it for $5 less than the listing price.  Below is what I came up with.  And the great thing about this is that one of her friends saw it and asked that I make her a girl version with a flower as well.  So I'm currently working on this one and will provide pictures....eventually.  :)

I hope you enjoyed the peek into my life as the crochet guru.  :)

Not Quite May Flowers

by Kelly

Any day now, I'm expecting the above cherry tree to break out into beautiful, fragrant white flowers. While I'm waiting, I've been poking about in this borrowed garden of mine, looking for treasure. I've found any number of surprising things, and also some flowers:

Spring Beauty Wildflower?

Muscari / Grape Hyacinth

I really enjoy wandering about in the yard in the spring, dreaming of what summer can bring. It reminds me of when I was a very little girl, walking in 'the woods', (which was actually a vacant lot nearby where a house had burned down twenty years before) and picking a huge bouquet of violets. Helpful tip - violets only last about two days in a glass of water.

There are any number of plants that may be flowers that I can't identify yet. And of course, there is the unique and beautiful (if hardly rare) Taraxacum officianale, bursting forth with tiny sun yellow flowers:

Taraxacum officinale
Poor, much maligned dandelion. I don't think that all the poison and mowing in the world will ever eliminate you completely.

Single orchids that only bloom once in their lives (despite much pampering) sell for $30.00 a shot, while you bloom year round in the very worst conditions.

Maybe you try too hard?

Friday, April 19, 2013


by Kelly

I think it's fair to say that the drought is over. This is what spring is supposed to be around here - tons of rain, which leads to foggy mornings and what the weathermen always refer to as 'localized flooding'.  The annual crop of soggy basement carpeting and furniture has just appeared on the curbs. Oh, and nearly freezing temperatures. Yes, Illinois is glorious in the spring.

Looks like I planted my flower seeds at just the right time. The packages did say "water frequently in the first two weeks". Hey, no problem...I'll get right on that.

So in honor of the localized flooding, I'm starting one more baby blanket for Dawn's charity drive, this one in all the lovely shades of blue that I have on hand in my scrap basket:

Sorry for the gloomy picture, but it is raining here again. That's okay, though - I love rainy days curled up in front of a warm Internet connection. Maybe I'll do a quick search for new crochet and knitting projects to try...that will only take a few minutes....

Monday, April 15, 2013

Signs of Spring

by Kelly

Spring is finally here, and I can't wait to get started.

I have also finished one scrap busting baby blanket, in the colors of early spring:

I used this great free pattern for the blanket itself, then I just added a single crochet border around the whole thing, did another row of triple crochet, and finished it off with a simple shell stitch.

It turned out pretty well, although my initial reservation when I started this project still stands - the rows of yellow alternating with white are not the best color combination for this pattern, since the blanket looks like it's made of sweet corn. So if you do decide to make a blanket with this pattern, you might want to consider choosing other colors. Just saying.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Blanket Edgings

by Kelly

While I was looking for a neat edging for this blanket that I've just finished, I turned, of course, to the Internet, and discovered several beautiful things on Pintrest. The trouble with Pintrest, of course, is that once you've seen the breathtaking photo and decided that you MUST make that blanket / scarf / pillowcover / impossibly difficult cardigan, you have to find the pattern. And finding the pattern may lead you down many obscure Internet pathways, where you will discover even more beautiful things that you absolutely MUST make, right away, if only you could find the pattern.

You see where I'm going here.

An additional problem with Pintrest is that photos break the language barrier. This means that the blogs or sites those photos are from could be written by anyone in the world, with the result that the patterns may be in Dutch (or is that Danish?), Italian, German, Chinese, or possibly something even more obscure. And running these patterns through a translator program is usually an exercise in futility. Trust me on this one.

But here is one of the images anyway, with a link to where I found the pattern. And if you do manage to make one of these, please drop me a line with the pattern you used and save me a lot of hair pulling. Thanks!

via CharAmi

Meanwhile, I'm going to add a shell stitch edging and call it a day. I've wasted enough time on the computer today.

Now, should I continue in the white yarn, for a lacy look, or switch to yellow again?

Monday, April 8, 2013


by Kelly

Today we're going to interrupt our normally scheduled crafting posts to talk about Science!, mostly because I haven't made much photogenic progress on the baby blanket, except for making it quite a bit larger.

Meet the newest member of our extended outdoor family:

The interesting and sciencey thing about this little guy is that he's a red squirrel, but all the other squirrels in the neighborhood are grey. I always thought that red and grey squirrels were separate species. So is there a new family of red squirrels nearby? Or will this baby get grey fur when he's older? Is the gene that gives squirrels red fur a recessive trait that just pops up once in a while? Am I the only one who finds this stuff interesting? I know our cat is interested in squirrels, but I think his fascination is a little less abstract than mine.

Oh, and there's another sciencey thing we've done lately - we bought a Fallout Shelter sign from American Science and Surplus. It was actually an afterthought, because the thing about AS&S is that your order has to total a certain amount or they won't ship. Since most things in the catalog are $5 or under, this can sometimes be a challenge, and we often have to pass the catalog back and forth between us for a while before we can come up with enough stuff so they will ship the few things that we actually want/need. And so now we have a Fallout Shelter sign. What on Earth will we do with it?? Time will tell....

Oh, and as for the other item in that picture above, that's the free gift you will receive if you can identify the April Fool's Day item in their printed catalog. Hint: the fake item isn't this one.

What will we do with a Hurry-Up Hamster? We have even less use for this free item than the one we got last year, which was a semi-functional chocolate bar shaped calculator. We tried to give the hamster to our cat, but when it was squeaking and running around on the floor, he minced around it warily, much like a bomb tech investigating an abandoned piece of luggage at an airport waiting area.

I suppose I'll just toss it in the large basket of other unloved cat toys. Unless I sell it on Ebay. I've managed to sell some surprising things on Ebay, so that might just be worth a shot.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Baby Blanket Progress and Inspiration

by Kelly

Work on the baby blanket continues...

As you can see, it's crocheted. I'm a little bummed on knitting right now, after my recent knit sweater fail. For anyone interested in making a similar blanket, I'm using the Easy Woven Baby Blanket pattern, found here.

Meanwhile, I found this great free pattern for a baby blanket with embroidery.

Imagine that in pink or blue with darker pink or blue animals. Awww!

Monday, April 1, 2013


by Kelly

I've put the sweater aside for another week, since it appears I'm going to have to reknit the sleeves.  Instead, I'm working on a baby blanket for a local charity.

If you are doing something similar and need some inspiration, look no further than the eye candy on this Pintrest page. If only I had yarn enough and time...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Happiness

by Kelly

I had a difficult day yesterday, but there was a little glimpse of happiness when this little guy came to visit us. The bluebird of happiness seems a little grumpy. I don't blame him much at all - spring is here, and yet we keep getting snow.


I'm going to go put food outside for the grumpy, cold birds. That groundhog has a lot to answer for.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...