Monday, December 9, 2013

Barbie's Crocheted basket

My best friend requested that I crochet her a lavender basket for her daughter's Barbie stuff.  If Barbie lives in your home, then you understand what a load of crap she has. I came up with this (which, by the way, can be used for anything, not just Barbie). I am considering making myself one to control the various craft projects that end up in the floor beside my bed.
I started by having my husband cut me a board into a circle with holes drilled around it. He used a 1 inch wood of some type(I have no idea what it was). It was a little funny looking (He makes a much better nurse, than he does a carpenter).
I painted the bottom white and the top purple with cheap apple barrel craft paints. (I love that stuff.)

I cut strips of fabric (approximately one inch) from an old sheet. I threaded them on a yarn needle and whip stitched them threw the drilled holes all the way around the board.

Next, I used a large size N crochet hook and double crocheted all the way around into the stitches I had just made. (this part was not easy, make sure you don't make your stitches to tight or else you can't get your hook under them. Some of mine were to tight so I had to slide the material under with the yarn needle.) I continued to crochet in the round until I had my desired height. 
I added a row of fluffy purple yarn to the top row with just a single crochet around.

This made for a very heavy sturdy basket. Next time I think I will try and use a heavy cardboard base, or perhaps a thinner wood.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Knitting a Camel to save my soul

Will learning to knit a camel save your eternal soul? it will not, but don't let that stop you.

I was raised Methodist. I grew up right next door to the church, and my Mother was very involved in the goings on of the daily church activities, especially the youth.  For whatever reason, I was never baptized. (I questioned my Mother about this one day and she says, "You weren't??? oh, no I guess you weren't, that was your sister that was baptized there, wasn't it?  Not sure how this slipped her mind??) Once I grew up and moved out of the house, I stopped going to church. There wasn't really a reason, I was just to lazy to get up and go. Over the years, various things happened and my Mother started attending a new church a few blocks away. She loved her church and invited me to come (more than once!). I ,of course, did not go. I grew up, got married and had beautiful baby girls.  When my daughter was about 5 years old, she was playing with my Mother's nativity scene (she has about 40 sets).  She didn't know who any of the people were......This hit me hard. I loved the good Christian upbringing that I had been given and I knew I wanted to pass that on to my girls.
That was several years ago....
If I should die today, I know where I am going.
A few years ago, I decided it was time. I accepted that I was a sinner and that Jesus Christ died to save me from those sins and I was baptized. (It really is that simple) Not long after that, My husband and my Step-daughter were both baptized on the same day.  This past year, I got to watch as my husband baptized our now 8 year old daughter.
Just this week, my girls helped my mother get out and arrange her gazillion sets of the nativity. I am quite confident that my girls now know, not only who these people are, but why we are celebrating Christmas.
The Christmas after I joined the Church, I decided to knit my Mother a nativity. I managed to finish a Virgin Mary that year. The next year I made a baby Jesus, and last year a Joseph.
Today, I am in the process of knitting a camel.  Knitting a camel won't save my soul. It has already been saved.  But every time I set out to knit a part of my Mother's nativity, it reminds me of  Jesus... of how my family was lost, but now we are found.... of why we celebrate this time of year... of how much stuff I will one day have to clean out of my mother's house.
I may never be finished with the knitted nativity set, just because I love the feeling I get when I design a new piece.
I should have the pattern for this little guy finished this week....or at least before Christmas. I will post it as soon as I am finished.  So maybe someone else out there can knit a nativity and consider what Jesus has done for them.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Finally...Mostly....Good enough for now!

We have finally moved our girls upstairs to their new bedroom. Hurray! I have been waiting for this day for quite some time (with slight misgivings at having my little ones on a separate floor). When I first had the idea for their new bedroom, I sketched it out like I was a professional woodworker/architect. I am neither, but boy do I think I am cool, now that what I sketched has actually come to life!
Here was my sketch, (please don't laugh)

Here was the bedroom before
We had already torn down all the plaster. Apparently I forgot to take a "before we started demo" picture
 a link to my previous post about the room when we started

Here is the bedroom now (well, not this very moment, because Barbie has moved in and you don't want to see that, she is a total mess)
Her cat assumes the first shelf is a cat bed!

The couldn't agree on what color to paint the new room, so I let them each chose their own side color. The both picked their favorite colors (purple and orange), so they sort of look like big L.A. Lakers fans, but, oh well, they love it!
I even painted the ceiling fan half and half

I always thought having a huge attic was sort of a wasted space, much to my Father's dismay (He owns an Insulation company, so attics are his thing!)
Building their beds into the walls have given my girls a huge amount of play area in the room. Even though we still need to finish some trim around the beds and some in the baseboard area, I moved them in anyway. It was so worth it when two days later, my 8 year old, says, "Mom, thanks for finishing my new room. I love it."
(attempting to discretely wipe tears from my eyes) "You are welcome sweetheart, I am glad you love it" 
So, let this be a lesson. If you have a crafty thought....something that could make your house/life better....go for it. Don't assume that since you aren't a carpenter/plumber/race car driver/president of the United States that you can't do it.  Anyone can do Anything they set their mind to. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Knit Girl Scout dish cloth

I have been a Girl Scout Leader for several years now.  I have done internet searches before for crochet and knit patterns for Girl Scouts and I never find much. This of course inspired me to create a dishcloth with the Girl Scout logo. My husband didn't realize what it was upon first glance, but if your brain thinks Girl Scout Green like mine does, then I'm sure you recognized it right away!
So here it is, the first knit patterned to be shared on my blog. (the first of many, I hope!

Knit Girl Scout Dish Cloth

I used size 7 or 4.5mm knitting needles (but I knit really tight)
size isn't really an issue in a dish cloth, Mine turned out to be 7 inches x 7 1/2 inches. If you prefer your to be bigger or smaller than that, then just use a bigger or smaller needle sizes.
 I used Sugar 'N Cream cotton yarn in Mod Green, but any cotton yarn would do just fine

Cast on 35 stitches
row 1: Knit across
row 2: Knit across
row 3: Knit across
row 4: Knit across
row 5: K5, P25, K5
row 6: Knit across
row 7: K5, P25, K5
row 8: K15, P4, K16
row 9: K5, P11, K4, P10, K5
row 10: K13, P7, K15
row 11: K5, P10, K7, P8, K5
row 12: K12, P9, K14
row 13: K5, P9, K9, P7, K5
row 14: K11, P10, K14
row 15: K5, P9, K10, P6, K5
row 16: K11, P13, K11
row 17: K5, P6, K13, P6, K5
row 18: K11, P15, K9
row 19: K5, P4, K15, P6, K5
row 20: K8, P2, K2, P15, K8
row 21: K5, P3, K15, P2, K2, P3, K5
row 22: K8, P3, K4, P13, K7
row 23: K5, P2, K13, P4, K3, P3, K5
row 24: K6, P1, K3, P4, K4, P10, K7
row 25: K5, P2, K10, P4, K4, P3, K1, P1, K5
row 26: K6, P3, K3, P5, K4, P7, K7
row 27: K5, P2, K7, P4, K5, P3, K3, P1, K5
row 28: K6, P4, K5, P3, K4, P6, K7
row 29: K5, P2, K6, P4, K3, P5, K4, P1, K5
row 30: K8, P4, K4, P11, K8
row 31: K5, P3, K11, P4, K4, P3, K5
row 32: K10, P4, K3, P9, K9
row 33: K5, P4, K9, P3, K4, P5, K5
row 34: K11, P4, K5, P4, K11
row 35: K5, P6, K4, P5, K4, P6, K5
row 36: K11, P6, K18
row 37: K5, P13, K6, P6, K5
row 38: K12, P8, K15
row 39: K5, P10, K8, P7, K5
row 40: K13, P7, K15
row 41: K5, P10, K7, P8, K5
row 42: K15, P4, K16
row 43: K5, P11, K4, P10, K5
row 44: knit across
row 45: K5, P25, K5
row 46: knit across
row 47: knit across
row 48: knit across
row 49: knit across
row 50: knit across
cast off
weave in loose ends and you are finished!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sigma - Sigma - Sigma Rug

I designed this rug as a present for my baby sister. She is no longer a baby, she will be 19 next month (gasp). She is turning into an awesome lady. This fall she starts her second year in college and will be living in a sorority house. Last year she became a proud member of the Sigma Sigma Sigma, or Tri-Sigs as they are called.
So here it is:
I originally thought I would make it all hot pink with purple letters, but I quickly realized that I didn't have enough hot pink material and didn't want to go buy more, so I went with hot pink, light pink, and white.
The entire rug is made up of double crochets. I drew a graph of the sigmas before I started.
It looked like this:
I started at the left side of the graph and worked my way across.  The rug was 36 double crochets across, I started by chaining 38 and double crocheting in 4th chain from the hook. (chain 3 counts as a double crochet. Double crochet across and chain 3 and turn for each row.

 For the first Sigma, I carried some of the colors across, but I realized that didn't look quite as neat as it should. Carrying colors with yarn works out pretty well, but carrying colors with material does not.  So for the next two Sigmas, I changed colors each time. I didn't link all my material into a roll before I started like I usually do, I just worked from a bag of strips, that way I could cut off and link in a new color whenever I needed one, which I realize is a lot of work when you get to the middle and you have to switch after one single stitch, but it looks so much smoother.

 After finishing all 32 rows, my finished rug measured 19 inches across and 27 inches long (not including fringe).
I tied some purple fringe on the ends of mine (per my sister's request), and that really made it adorable.
So since this project worked out so well, I am now wondering what other designs I could crochet into a rug. The possibilities are endless!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Watermelon Rag Rug

Watermelon Rag Rug

Sorry for the terrible picture. My husband got a new camera to take on a mission trip to guatemala, so I thought I would use it. I now know that my phone takes better pictures than that crappy little thing.

While my husband was in Guatemala, setting up and working in a free medical clinic for a week, I took our little girls and went to visit my sister in southern Indiana.  My sister and her husband have 9 beautiful, healthy, happy children (and one on the way).  That is pretty unheard of these days, but it works for them, and we love spending time there.
I have been working on a lot of rag rugs lately, mainly because my mother keeps giving me bags of fabric that she has already cut into strips for me.  She made A TON of little pillow case dresses to send with the group going to Guatemala, and so all of the scraps of fabric she had left over she would send my way.
While in Indiana, I found inspiration everywhere. I came home with so many ideas. The following pattern is the first one I finished.

NOTE: when working with rag strips, sometimes you will need to add or decrease a stitch or two here and there to get your rug to lay flat properly. It all depends on how wide you cut your fabric and what type of fabric you are using. also it may depend on how tight or loose you crochet.

Watermelon Rag Rug

Hook size N/10mm

dc = double crochet
rnd = round
ch = chain
st = stitch
I wrote this pattern in rounds, but since it is only a half circle rug, you will be turning, each (round) as I have referred to them is actually just a half round or row.

with bright pink fabric
chain 4, join with a slip stitch to form a ring
round 1: chain 3, 7 double crochets in the ring
rnd 2: chain 3, turn, (working in front loops only) 2 double crochets in each space (your chain 3 will count as your first double crochet)
rnd 3: chain 3, turn, (working in back loops only) , dc in first st, 2 dc in the next st, 1 dc in next st,
with black fabric 2 dc in next st
with pink 1 dc in st, 2 dc in st, 1 dc in st
with black fabric 2 dc in next st
with pink 1 dc in st, 2 dc in st, 1 dc in st
with black 2 dc in next st
with pink, 1 dc in st, 2 dc in st, 1 dc in st, 1 dc in st
rnd 4: with pink, ch 3, turn, (working in front loops only) *dc in each of first 3 stitches, 2 dc in next st*, repeat from * around
rnd 5: with pink, ch 3, turn (working in back loops only) 1 dc in each of next 3 st
with black 2 dc in next st
with pink 1 dc in each of next 4 st, 2 dc in next st,
with black 1 dc in each of next 2 st
with pink 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 2 dc in next st
with black 1 dc in each of next 2 st
with pink 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 2 dc in next st, 1 dc in each of next 2 st
with black 1 dc in each of next 2 st
with pink 2 dc in each of last 2 spaces
rnd 6: with pink, chain 3, turn (working in front loops only) dc in each st around
rnd 7: with pink, chain 3, turn (working in back loops only) 1 dc in each of next 6 st, 2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next st
with black 1 dc in each of next 2 st
with pink 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 2 dc in next st, 1 dc in each of next 2 st,
with black 1 dc in each of next 2 st
with pink 1 dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, 1 dc in each of next 4 st,
with black 1dc in each of next 2 st
with pink 1dc in same st as last black dc, 1 dc in each of next 5 st, 2 dc in next st, 1 dc in each of last 2 st
rnd 8: with pink chain 3, turn (working in front loops only)
dc in first 7 st, 2 dc in next st, *dc in each of next 6 st, 2 dc in next st* repeat from the * around
rnd 9: with pink chain 3, turn (working in back loops only)
*1 dc in each of 7 st, 2 dc in next st* repeat from * around
rnd 10:with pink chain 3, turn, (working in front loops only)
*1 dc in each of 8 st, 2 dc in next st* repeat from * around
rnd 11: with a lighter shade of pink, ch 3, turn, (working in back loops only)
*1 dc in each of 5 st, 2 dc in next st* repeat from * around
rnd 12: with ligher pink, ch 3, turn (working in front loops only)
* 1dc in each of 6 st, 2 dc in next st * repeat from the * around
rnd 13: with a light green, chain 3, turn (working in back loops only)
*1 dc in each of 7 st, 2 dc in next st* repeat from the * around
rnd 14: with a darker green, ch 3, turn (working in front loops only)
*1 dc in each of 8 st, 2 dc in next st* repeat from the * around
rnd 15: with dark green, ch 3, turn, (working in back loops only)
*1 dc in each of 9 st, 2 dc in next st* repeat from the * around

weave in any loose fabric strips and you are finished!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My plans!

When we first moved into our house 4 1/2 years ago, Our youngest daughter was about 4 or 5 weeks old. We decided that we would store anything that wasn't necessary to daily life in a bedroom upstairs that we weren't using, until I was able to organized and arrange stuff. We knew that we would remodel the room for our daughter, someday.
Last summer we decided that someday was now. We are still not finished. Probably if we were a normal family who just wanted the old paneling (this room was once a gun display room) and plaster removed and new drywall up, we would be finished by now, but that isn't my style.
We decided that our two younger girls would be sharing the bedroom, so in order to make more space, I decided to have the beds framed into the walls.
I drew up plans and everything. I have been drawing plans for houses since I was a child, mostly they included rooms for my pool and in-house McDonalds. I would proceed to give these plans to my father and tell him that when I was old enough he had to build them for me.  So that fact that the plans for this room are actually being carried out is quite a MAJOR accomplishment for me.
The room is still a far cry from being finished. We have only been working on it in our spare time, which is almost never, but I am already so excited to share it with you.

You are probably thinking wow, what a mess, but just wait till you see the finished product. I hope it comes sooner than later!!!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

D's Sunflower Rag Rug

    Twice a month a group of awesome ladies gather at my local Library to crochet, knit, exchange patterns, and most importantly....share stories. I consider this time to be my free therapy.  I love these ladies! We are from all different ages and walks of life, but we all love to create things with yarn.
    Last time we met, I had no choice but to take my little girls with me. Don't get me wrong here, I love my girls and I love my time with them, but Mommy needs her break time!!!
   Usually to begin these very informal meetings, everyone shows off what they have been working on. My friend Delyn had been making Minion hats (based on the movie despicable me.) My girls love that movie, and so Zayda immediately put on a hat and claimed it as her own. Being the generous friend that she is, Delyn insisted that she could have it and wouldn't give me a real answer about how much money she intended to sell them for.  So at about 11:30 PM, while I was laying in bed not sleeping because my brain doesn't want to quit for the night, I decided to make something for Delyn in return. I remembered that she loves sunflowers, and since I have been making so many rag rugs lately, Boom....and Idea.....So here it is!

Sunflower Rag Rug Pattern

I used a  crochet hook size N 15/10mm

If you haven't worked with rags to crochet before, see my post about preparing them HERE!

with brown rags, chain 4, slip stitch in 1st chain you made to form a ring.

round 1: chain 3, make 11 double crochets into ring, slip stitch in top of chain 3 to join.
round 2: Chain 3, make 2 double crochets in each space around, working in back loop only, slip stitch in top of chain 3 to join
round3: chain 3, * double crochet in first space, 2 double crochets in next space (all only in back loops)*, repeat from the * all the way around, slip stitch in top chain to join.
round 4: chain 3, *double crochet in first space, double crochet in next space, 2 double crochets in next space (all in back loops only)*, repeat from the * around, slip stitch in top chain to join.
round 5: Switch to yellow rags
chain 3, * one double crochet in each of first three spaces, two double crochets in next space (all in back loop only)* , repeat from * around, slip stitch in top chain to join.
round 6: chain 6, single crochet in first space, * chain 6, skip a space, single crochet in next space*, repeat from * around,  join with a slip stitch to 1st chain.
round 7: slip stitch your way to the top of the 1st chain 6 space, *chain 2, single crochet in the next chain 6 spot* , repeat from the * around, join with slip stitch.
round 8: chain 3, *2 double crochets in chain 2 space, 2 double crochets in single crochet space, 2 double crochets in chain 2 space, 1 double crochet in single crochet space* repeat from the * around, slip stitch to join
round 9: chain 6, single crochet in 1st space, *chain 6, skip a space and single crochet in next space*, repeat from the * around, slip stitch to join.
round 10: slip stitch your way to the top of the chain 6 space, * chain 2, single crochet in the next chain 6 space*, repeat from the * around, slip stitch to join.
round 11: *chain 4, single crochet in the single crochet space*, repeat from the * around, slip stitch to join.
weave in loose ends and you're done!
My finished rug measured about 22 inches across, if you want a bigger rug, just add more rounds.
Kitty approved!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Am I doing things the WRITE way?

We homeschool.......
Whenever we speak this line to anyone, it always starts a conversation. Some people are strongly against it and some people give us praise and ask questions about how they can go about doing it themselves.  We have a million and one reasons why we homeschool our little girls instead of sending them to the public school (which by the way is a great school), but I won't get into that just now.
I am always very critical of myself. Homeschooling can bring this out full force. I don't always have the best grammar  and I wasn't ever a straight A student myself. So how do I have the skills to teach my children?
This is a question that I ask myself quite a bit. I still don't have the answer. I hope and pray that God guides me in the right direction, but how do I know?
It is the little things that tell me, for example:
My Eight year old loves the Disney movie Brave and one day she came up with this contraption all on her own.

In case you haven't seen the movie, the main character (Merida) is an amazing archer. My daughter really wants a bow and arrow, but for the time being she is happy to use her home made one.

It is made from a foam sword (which was already starting to break and duct taped back together), the elastic waist band from her father's boxer shorts, and the arrow is a half a pool noodle.  Believe it or not, it actually shoots pretty well.

Yesterday, my little sister came to visit and my eight year old shared a book with her that she had been writing. I was unaware of this book. She likes to be very secretive about things she is writing or drawing until they are completely finished, but she frequently shares her secrets with her aunt because they are very close at heart!  My sister came to me and said," have you read this book? It is really impressive, several chapters done already, a title and everything!" I was pretty excited, but I kept it to myself. I can't wait until she brings me the finished product.

I will probably always question myself about whether or not I am doing a good job with educating my children. I guess I won't know for sure until they are adults, but until then, I am satisfied by their little sparks of creativity.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Girl Scout Cupcakes

When I was a child, I was a Girl Scout and we held an annual Father/Daughter Banquet. I still have a picture of my father, my sister, and I at this event. I wish I could include it in this post, but at this current time I can't find it.(If you could see my house right now, you would understand)
When I started leading my daughter's troop three years ago, I knew this was something we had to do. So, last month I was the chairmen of an area Girl Scout He & Me dance. He & Me is the new correct way to say Father/Daughter, since sadly many girls don't have a father around, and we don't want to leave anyone out. We hired a D.J. to come and play music for us and decorated our local community center. Towards the end of the night we drew a name from a hat and crowned one little Girl Scout the Princess of the ball. They all had a wonderful evening with their dads (uncles, grandpas, etc.)

I decided to make cupcakes for the dance, and of course I like to be a little fancy with my food. I had watched an episode of D.C. Cupcakes were they used a grid to decorate the cupcakes like a picture of the entire world. Each square of the grid equals one cupcake and together all the cupcakes form a picture.
I printed out the Girl Scout logo from my computer and drew a graph across it so that I had 120 squares since I wanted to make 120 cupcakes for the night.
I made the cupcakes at home and iced them all in white (well mostly all of them, I left a few plain because I knew they would need to be all green anyway).
I took the cupcakes to the dance early that day while I was decorating. I went ahead and placed them on the table where they would stay and decorated them there. (I had no way of transporting them in the correct order since there were so many)
I just looked at my grid and piped the green icing on each cupcake according to it's square on the picture. It was pretty easy!
The final product before it was enjoyed my 44 girls and their guests!

Let them Eat Cake!

 Once upon a time, long ago before I gave birth to my own children, I loved to make fancy cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, and pretty much anything sweet. I made some really adorable birthday cakes for my little sister and many of my nieces and nephews.  Now that I have my own children, carving out the time for such things doesn't always happen. It seems like when you are trying to plan the entire party and clean your whole house, making a fancy cake takes a back seat.
Poor Maggie Just got a cake with toys stuck in it! She was happy, so that's all that really matters!

 The last couple of years on my daughter Zayda's birthdays I have used a butter cream transfer technique. I have found this technique to be very fast and easy. It hasn't produced the most perfect images for me, but my kids don't seem to care about perfection, so it worked for us.
Last year was Rapunzel from the movie Tangled

This year was a ballerina

I took a coloring page that I had printed from a free online web site ( is a good place).
I laid the page on a flat cookie sheet and then covered it with clear cling wrap (seran wrap).
I piped the image onto the cling wrap, starting with the black outlines first and then filling in the other colors. I placed the whole cookie sheet in the freezer for at least a few hours.
I went ahead and made a regular cake and iced it flat. After the image was good and frozen, I took it out of the freezer and flipped in onto the cake and peeled off the cling wrap.
This would probably work a lot better with a simple image and not a human face, but leave it to my children to ask for something difficult.
A few years ago, Zayda had what I thought was a pretty strange request, but it turned out cute
I just started with a couple regular 13x9 cakes, cut them into letters, and iced them with buttercream icing.
It wasn't fabulous, but it was a big hit with my little diva!!
I like to make a cake just for the birthday girl (or boy) and cupcakes for everyone else. Having a cake all to themselves makes the day even more special.
Just a note: wilton spray icing color is great if you are going for nice looks, but in my daughter's opinion ( and the opinion of most of my Girl Scout Troop), it tastes terrible (very chemical taste). So if you chose to use it, don't use to much if someone is going to be judging the taste of your creation!

Friday, May 31, 2013

shout out :)

I grew up two steps behind my sister. She is awesome. She is a South paw, so her brain  has the capacity for a lot more literal nonsense than most of us can fathom. Luckily my parents were aware of this and didn't expect me to be on her academic level. Unfortunately, I can not say the same for all of our teachers in school. After having my, towing the line of geniusness sister, I guess they expected me to measure up to her smarts. But I don't, and that is o.k. with me. I stopped measuring a long time ago (in more ways than one, I don't even want to know what my waist size is). So if you are looking for a blog that blows you away with its literary ability and what not.....
Not a bad picture, considering it was taken by a six year old!

I love her and she is awesomely crafty too!
I can't even measure up to her hair length! :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

No more burnt pots in the back yard!!

If you know me personally, Then you probably already know that I am forgetful.  O.k. in all honesty....I am a complete SPAZ.

I love sweet tea. My mother always makes fresh tea every day, so that is what I grew up drinking. I like to brew mine in a pot over the stove, however, I am REALLY bad about forgetting that I put a pot of water on to boil. Eventually I smell the horrible stink of smoking burning metal pan, but at that point, I don't want to leave the stink in my kitchen, so I toss it into the grass in the backyard. I do eventually go retrieve the scorched pan and throw it away (O.K. husband does this for me).
I used to use metal tea kettles, but after I burned three in less than 6 months, my husband wouldn't allow me to buy any more.
So, anyway, here is my new solution to my spazzyness (yes, that is a new word that I just made up).
I now use my Keuhrig to heat the water.
I just ran the water through, without a k-cup, into a glass with tea bags in it. Let it sit for awhile and mixed it into sugar and water in the tea pitcher!
My mother used to use her coffee pot to make tea in, however, once in awhile she would make coffee in it for a guest and then our tea tasted like a coffee for several days. This does not happen with my Keuhrig! Yeah! Finally no more burnt pots littering my back yard, my coffee tastes like coffee, and my tea tastes like tea ;)

Friday, May 24, 2013

The shirt off his back

My husband loves to shop more than any straight man that I have ever met in my life. This is not a bad thing! We love to go on shopping trips together and if we had more money we would do it a lot more often. As I mentioned before in the famous UNDERWEAR post, He has clothing issues. He can't stand to wear socks, underwear, or t-shirts very many times without buying new. I on the other hand am a bit of a slob. I am currently wearing his sock cast offs, jeans with a hole in the thigh, and a t-shirt sporting the Bible school theme from three summers ago(In my defense, I am just at home with my girls, and they don't judge me based on my clothes).
So, anyway, my mans clothing quirks seem to work out great for my crafts. He is a nurse at our local Emergency Room hospital, so he wears scrubs all the time. He insists on wearing white t-shirts under his scrubs so his manly chest hair doesn't hang out, which is a good thing because nobody wants a nurse who looks like he just came from the 1985 cast of Magnum P.I. Like most of his clothes, he won't wear them very many times before he says they aren't as white as the day he bought them, and therefore clearly unwearable.
I happened to have an idea for a star shaped rag rug, so I cut up some of his white shirts, found some red and blue scrap material from my mother's giant hoard and here is the result:

I started out using a pattern for a star shaped afghan, but that didn't seem to want to lay flat nicely as a rug. I changed it up a bit after a few rounds.

If I would have been thinking clearly (which almost never happens), then I would have written out my own pattern. I am going to try and work one out soon.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Forget Easter Eggs, this year we dyed Easter dresses!

I'm a little behind, but better late than never, right?
Like a lot of church going people, Our family has always had the tradition of new dresses on Easter Sunday.  This year my little girls (they just turned 4 years and 8 years, bless these non-teenage years!) wanted their favorite colors of dresses. Although orange seems to be a trending color right now, I couldn't find anything that cute in my price range. I will admit, my price range is pretty low since I am a stay-at-home-Mom and I'm just really cheap anyway! I found a couple of cream colored dresses at Target (I love that place!) that were on sale for $12.99 a piece.

Cream.....very pretty, but very boring. We really are NOT boring people. When I say WE, I really mean myself and my girls, because my husband would be more than happy to go with the boring crowd any day. I love him with all my heart, but he is a white wall, white ceiling kind of guy, so sometimes he freaks out a little about my choices.
I went to walmart and purchased bottles of Rit dye (purple & orange, I can't remember their offical color names). They weren't expensive, about $3.00 a piece.
I followed the "dye in your washing machine" directions. I just left the lid open on my washing machine for quite awhile so it could soak without spinning around ( I have an older washing machine, so I don't know how that would work out with some of the new machines.)
FYI: some types of fabrics dye better if you add salt to the dye bath, so be sure you read the directions on the bottle and be prepared to add about 1/2 to a full cup of salt.
The dresses turned out perfect. the only part that didn't dye was the thread, but they still looked great!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Crocheted Volleyball pattern

I made a crocheted volleyball last year for a Volleyball game that our local Middle School was hosting. The game was a fundraiser for cancer (relay for Life, I think, maybe).
All the girls loved it. Unfortunately, like a lot of my projects, I didn't write down how I made it. Mostly I like to just sit down and make something, no pattern, no preparation, Just Do It.
I was doing a lot of experimenting with Tunisian crochet at the time. I remember loving the look, but hating the work it took to get done. So this year, I decided to make a new one and make a pattern. It turned out just a fuzz bigger than an actual volleyball size, but I still love it.

I used a size J hook. I didn't pay to much attention to gauge. If you are wanting to get the exact size of an official volleyball, then you might want to use a size or two smaller hook. 
I used white, navy, and grey yarn. This happens to be the colors of my step-daughter's school (I homeschool my little girls but if I didn't, this would be their school colors too). The middle school volleyball coach happens to be a good friend of mine (and an all-around awesome lady), so this ball is for the South Central Lady Falcons!

Crochet Volleyball pattern

Crochet hook size J
With white, chain 27
Double crochet in 3rd chain from hook, and continue to double crochet in each stitch across.
Row 2:  Chain 2, turn, double crochet in each stitch across
Row 3:  Chain 2, turn, double crochet in each stitch across
Break  yarn and finish off.
Turn strip upside down and slip stitch in bottom beginning chain. Single crochet in each stitch across and break yarn and finish off.

With Gray, slip stitch to join (on either end of the white strip)
Chain 2, double crochet in each stitch across.
Row 2: chain 2, turn, double crochet 2 together, double crochet across the row until you have 2 spaces left, double crochet2 together.
Break  off yarn (be sure to leave a long tail of yarn to stitch with)

Row 3: repeat row 2
With Navy, repeat what you did with the Gray, only on the other side of the white strip.
Make 6 of these sections and then sew them together with a yarn needle.

 Make sure you sew them facing opposite directions like a real volleyball.
I stuffed the ball with some fiberfill before I sewed up the last section. I was afraid that the fiberfill might poke through between the crochets, so I put some quilt batting around the inside (so of lining the ball). It ended up being a nice soft squishy ball. If you want a harder more bouncyish ball, you might try sewing your sections over a cheap kids rubber ball. the only downside to that would be that if your ball looses air or pops, then you are going to have to take the whole thing apart to replace it.

Well, I am off to make another one of these in the opposing teams colors!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

underwear? under where?

I finished up my bathroom rug this evening. I ended up using 15 pairs of boxer shorts, and that wasn't quite enough. The last row on each side was finished out in some cotton material my mother gave me. It was black with a blue flame (seemed appropriate with the underwear)
 I didn't use a pattern for this rug. I just made a chain until it was as wide as I wanted. Then I double crocheted across in each row(chaining two to turn) until I got my desired length. This rug is fairly small, because I don't have a very large space for it. My bathroom is, well, terrible. It just isn't set up well. I can't wait to remodel it, but for now that is last on my list.

Next up, my lovely husband (I really do love him!), volunteered me to make 300 little cloth purses for a mission trip he is going on with our church this summer. Also, I have an awesome pattern i am working up for a little something I will be donating to a charity in March! Oh, and I promise it will be made from new yarn, and not something I unraveled from my husbands wardrobe!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Right hand on Thin Mint

I have been a Girl Scout leader for three years now. I love it. When my daughter was going into kindergarten, (we homeschool) I called the local council to ask who the local leader was. They responded with "we don't currently have one, would you like to become one?"
I thought about this for a whole 30 seconds and said "Sure, why not?"
I figured this would be a good way for Zayda to make friends.  I think I have made just as many lifelong friends (if not more) than she has. It has been awesome so far.
In case you aren't aware.....IT'S GIRL SCOUT COOKIE TIME!!!!
This past week, we had a meeting with our troop and I needed some activities for them. Something fun that would fit into our cookie theme of the night.
I came up with this:
Cookie Twister

My daughter and I cut out pictures of the four most popular cookies from our family guide (and 3 more extra family guides I happen to have). In case you are not a Girl Scout, the family guide is a little booklet they send home with the girls that explains the cookie sales and prizes they can earn for selling.  Since I am way to cheap to print out big pictures of cookies, i drew them out on printer paper and Zayda colored them and cut them out. We then taped them to our good old traditional Twister mat and BAABAM...... GIRL SCOUT COOKIE TWISTER!
My troop had a fun time. Since they all wanted to play at once, we had about 10 little girls on the mat at the same time. It didn't last long before one girl fell and they all went down like the playing cards in Alice In Wonderland.  It was quite comical, to bad I didn't video tape it!
I think this concept could work for a lot of different things.
I'm thinking:     Youth Group: "put your right hand on Virgin Mary and your left foot on Baby Jesus"
                         Easter party: "Left hand bunny and right foot colored egg"
                      bachelor party: "right hand glass of beer and left foot naked lady"
                    Kid's themed birthday(such as mermaid): "right hand seashell and left foot fish"
The possibilities are endless, so drag out your old twister and have fun!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Continental Divide

I hate top sheets. It is the feel. They are so cold and not snuggley. I usually use a flannel top sheet because I can tell myself it is more of a really light blanket...yes...that's it...a blanket.
A few nights ago, we got ready to go to bed and I realized the sheets were in the washing machine. (My three year old got grape jelly on them. Don't ask how this happened.) So, since I was to lazy to dig out another flannel, my husband grabs the top of the stack to throw on the bed, which happens to be a regular sheet. Did I mention I HATE regular top sheets. So this was how the conversation went:
I said, " I hate top sheets like that"
Gary: "Well I don't like NOT having a top sheet"
Me: "Maybe I should just cut the sheets down the middle and make my half flannel and your half regular?"
Gary (giving me a look) "Whatever"
I knew the look.  We have been married for almost 9 years. It was the "you are just stupid enough to do something like that aren't you" look. So since he followed this look up with "whatever", I figured it was a go.
So, this morning, after my husband went to work, I sewed the sheets together.
His side is white with a bit of colored stripe (which now that I look close, you can see that I didn't sew it very straight). My side is a nice fuzzy sheep flannel. I love sheep.
It's not that I am trying to keep my husband off my side of the bed. He is MORE than welcome to visit. I just love a good compromise.
Oh, I almost forgot, I will be cutting up the extra part that I cut off, to use for crocheting rugs! I NEVER throw anything away!