Tag Archive | Gift

Have Yourself Some Merry Little Christmas Crafting.

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…

EXCEPT for the crazy crocheter with visions of grandeur still frantically crocheting her Christmas mouse!

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I told myself NO CHRISTMAS PROJECTS this year, despite all the wonderful ideas and patterns there are to read about in the blogosphere and on Ravelry for Christmas crafters.

But, right around Thanksgiving the Christmas crafting bug bit me and I decided that just one little, teeny, tiny, project that could be easily completed before Christmas came and went would be ok to make.

This project needed to be something small and simple that could be made with minimal stress and time. As I looked at my patterns and some ideas on line, I found this pattern for some amigurumi Christmas light bulbs and picked it to be my one and only Christmas crafting project for this year.

The pattern for these Christmas light bulbs is very simple and it only took a couple of Christmas movies for me to have 10 bulbs, 2 of each color, crocheted up. It took a few more Christmas movies to stuff the 10 bulbs, and then I had to stop watching movies altogether so that I could concentrate on the details of these Christmas bulbs. The devil is always in the details isn’t it?

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It took just a few minutes to stitch the tops of the Christmas bulbs closed once they were stuffed. I decided to use googly eyes instead of safety eyes, so, with the husbands help, it only took a few more minutes to glue the eyes on to each bulb. But now the long process of giving each bulb a smile and a personality started.

I tried big smiles, small smiles, v-shaped smiles, rounded smiles, and crazy zig-zag smiles but nothing looked good to me. I finally decided on smaller v-shaped smiles. I was using black yarn to make the smiles but the black yarn was not showing up well on the darker color bulbs so I tried white yarn instead. That looked awful, so I switched to some silver color yarn. After much trial and error, I completed the 10 smiles on the Christmas bulbs.

Now, what should I do with 10 Christmas crocheted amigurumi light bulbs? I could chain them together into a string of lights to make one Christmas decoration. Or I could put a bulb on a long piece of string or yarn and make it a necklace for all my friends and coworkers, but who wants a silly Christmas light bulb necklace? At last, I decided to make them up as Christmas tree ornaments.

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I dug through the closet and found some silver and gold metallic cording to make loops to hang these Christmas light bulb ornaments. I carefully cut even lengths of the cording, and threaded the cording through the top of each bulb. I knotted the cording, planning to twist the cording around and then hide the knot in the top of the bulb but this did not work.

The knots in the cording were too big to pull into the stuffing at the top of the bulbs. In hind sight, if I had stuffed the tops of the bulbs less, this would have worked, but I stuffed the tops good and plenty so hiding the knots in the top was not an option. I tried using yarn instead of the cording but that did not look as good. The silver and gold cording added an elegant Christmas touch to the bulbs. So, after much debate, I decided to just leave the knot at the top of the cording so it was still visible.

This was a great idea and a simple solution except that the bare ends of the cording knots frayed like crazy. I wanted the ends of the knots trimmed close but then the cording would fray and the knot would come untied. Flustered, I turned to the husband who said one word.

GLUE!

So thank heavens for clear drying glue. So, after carefully knotting and trimming the cording ends, I doused the knots and ends in glue to seal the cording, stop the fraying and keep the knot tied. After much patience with the knotting, cutting and glueing, the glue dried clear and the Christmas light bulb ornaments were done.

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At first, I did not like what I had made and I thought seriously about tossing the bulbs into the garbage can. But after they sat on the cutting table for a little while, their silliness grew on me and I now think that they are very cute silly little Christmas light bulb ornaments that my friends and family will be more than willing to hang them on their Christmas trees this year.

Until next time, Crochet forth and Christmas craft on!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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DSCN0801I just love to do Christmas crafting. The idea of making that something special for that special someone really gets me in the Christmas mood and gets my creativity flowing. I love baking holiday cookies, crafting that new ornament for the tree, or sewing that perfect gift. Unfortunately, my hopes, dreams, and ideas are usually bigger than the holiday season, and I never get everything done that I want to, but over the years I have learned to not let that ruin my holiday fun. This year was no exception. I was able to do some holiday crafting, not as much as I would have like to, but some and I am thankful for that.

Each Christmas season, my work has an auction for the Relay for Life cancer event and asks for donations. This year I decided that my Christmas crafting would be to make something to donate. I wanted to make something small that people would not mind spending a dollar or two on. So, when I found some fun snowflake patterns on ravelry, I knew that was what I wanted to make and donate.

DSCN0776The problem with that was that I don’t crochet with thread so don’t have any in my stash, or have any good small sized hooks to crochet with. So I wondered what the snowflakes would look like made out of 4-ply acrylic Red Heart yarn and my favorite size G hook instead? Let’s find out! And the answer is they turn out just great! I had a great time crocheting the snowflakes and changing up the pattern each time so that each flake was just a little different just like real snowflakes. When they were finished though, they were kind of boring. I needed to spice them up.

DSCN0780To do that I found a pattern for a star shape in a scarf pattern I had. That would work to spice up the snowflakes, but what color should I make them in? I started out with a light blue. What about dark blue? Oh, maybe black? No, silver! How about this blue variegated? It is Christmas, so why not some red and green too? I started making stars from all of the colors to see what I liked best and found that I liked them all. Some colors I liked a little more than others, and some colors the husband liked better than others, but all the star looked great with the snowflakes. I had to modify the star pattern a little and use a size H hook to get the larger sized star that I needed to match the snowflakes size.

DSCN0792I thought about stiffening the snowflakes, but I decided not to. Because of the yarn I used, they were already stiff enough. I did block the snowflakes and stars with water to help them lay even and flat. When I started to glue the snowflakes to the stars, the husband said they needed to be spiced up even more, so he helped me use spray adhesive to glue blue and silver glitter to the snowflakes before I used some tacky glue to attach the flakes to the stars.

DSCN0809And now my Christmas snowflakes were complete! With the changes to the snowflake pattern and the different colors of the stars, and the glitter, no two snowflakes are the same just like real snowflakes. These snowflakes were fun to make and turned out great. I hope they will make someone’s Christmas I little bit merrier and make a little money for the Relay for Life event.

In the meanwhile, while watching Christmas movies, I crocheted this little reindeer. I call him Rudy. He has the tiniest body for his big head but he is so cute! He was a fun and quick crochet and will accompany the snowflakes to the auction. Hopefully someone will get a kick out of a tiny crocheted reindeer with a big red nose!

Until next time, crochet forth and Christmas craft on!

What’s Love got to do with it?

P1040320My husband is the best husband in the whole world! And I’m pretty sure he really does love me for some reason! And he did something the other day just out of the blue, for no apparent reason at all other than out of love.

The other day, the husband had some shopping to do at Walmart. As he passed by the fabric and craft department, he saw a bin of yarn. A skein of variegated yarn in the bin caught his eye. He liked the color and did not remember this particular P1040322variegated  color being in my yarn stash, so he purchased the skein of yarn for me. He thought I would like the color and that I would want to use it for one of my amigurumi’s, like a turtle or a jellyfish. He was spot on.

When he gave me the yarn, I was so surprised. I know that he only tolerates my fabric and yarn stashes because I love fabric and yarn so much. But I was surprised that he would even give the bin of yarn a second look, no less find and buy a skien from that bin for me that he thought I would like and need. How sweet of him to P1040324be thinking of me, and to know me so well. This was a fabulous gift to receive from him and a wonderful thought on his part. He could not have bought anything else that I would have liked or will enjoy more.

I already have plans to use this special yarn in an up coming project. It will be fun and I think you will like it.

Until next time, crochet forth and crochet on!

Denver Broncos Number One Fan

Well not me personally, but most of my family seem to be big fans of the Denver Broncos. I don’t really have any particular sports teams that I root for and I’ve never been a big professional sports fan.broncos2

P1030923My dad though is a huge Denver Broncos fan, and he fights a constant battle during the summer trying to keep the squirrels from eating everything in his garden. And  because I just love to tease him about them doing it, I decided to make him this one of a kind, custom made in team colors of orange and blue, Number One Denver Broncos Fan Squirrel with a matching foam finger.

The squirrel pattern that I used for it is a free one that I got from the Red Heart yarn website. I used a 4mm G hook with Red Heart mocha, aran, orange and blue colors.P1030929

It crocheted up very nicely even though I was concerned that the arms and legs were going to be too small. But once I started to assemble the pieces it all looked the way the pattern showed it should. Also when I crocheted his tail according to the pattern it seemed to be too small to me, so I made it about 10 rows taller than the pattern showed and about 6 sc wider. I also used one of my large round sewing weights to go in the very bottom part of the squirrel to weight him down somewhat. I figured with his very large tail he would fall over or be wobbly without some extra weight to keep him upright. And I was correct. Once I attached the tail he would have fallen over very quickly without the extra weight. And I changed the design of the hat shown in the pattern from a santa or elf shaped pointy hat to a more rounded stocking cap design.

IMG_0027I used the felting fuzzy brush technique that I recently learned to do on a previous blog post on his tail and it turned out great too! It looks very puffy and fuzzy just like a real squirrels does.

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In the end I think he turned out great and I hope my dad likes him!

Go Broncos!

And good luck in winning this year at Super Bowl XLVIII!

Three Spooks

P1030668Bad news! Due to a schedule change at work, it looks like I am going to have to work on Halloween night this year. Major bummer man! I won’t be alone though, I will have three coworkers working with me too. Horror of horrors! So I decided that rather than being too bummed out about working, I would still have a great holiday and that I would make a little something fun for my coworkers since they had to work too.

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I picked these fun Halloween dolls to crochet up for my Halloween coworkers as gifts. The pattern included all three dolls. I did not want to make the same doll three times so I decided to make them each a different doll from this pattern. The three dolls, the Pumpkin Head, The Lil’ Devil, and the Skeleton all have the same P1030713basic parts for each doll then there are some adjustments to the parts make each doll unique. After making the first doll, the second doll came together quickly with the last one taking even less time to make. The arms and legs were the same for all the dolls and it only took making a couple of arms and legs before I had the pattern done and they worked up very easily from there. I stitched the arms and legs to the bodies before I stuffed the bodies. On the first doll, I inserted the legs into the body and make a knot inside the body. This did not work. The leg P1030704was not secure and the knot could be pulled out too easily. I then tried make the knot bigger with still no luck in securing the legs. Finally I figured out that I needed to stitch the leg to the body and then knot the leg. This secured the legs and made them so they could not be pulled off of the body. After that the attachment of arms and legs went quickly.

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The part that took the longest on these three dolls was in the details, but it was the most fun part too. Their little bow ties worked up easily and turned out so cute. I really like the little bows ties on the dolls. The pattern was easy to follow to make the hat for the skeleton, the cap for the devil and the leaves and stem for the pumpkin. It just took time to crochet and stitch on these parts. But, not as much time as the P1030724smiles, eyebrows, and bones took to add to the dolls. I spent a fair amount of time giving each doll its details. I wanted a mischievous devil and not an evil devil. I wanted the pumpkin to have a crazy smile but not too crazy, and I wanted the skeleton’s bones to be even. Even though this was time consuming, it is these details that makes these dolls so dang cute.

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I am very pleased with the end result of each of the dolls and I really had a great time making them and would love to make more of them. I am going to use these dolls in my Halloween diorama this year before I give them away on Halloween night. I hope my coworkers like them. I sure do.

Bugs and Bunnies and Hearts, oh my!

P1030086Happy Valentines Day!

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I wonder what I should get for my valentine this year? A card? Perhaps some candy? How about a love bug or a love bunny?

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While I was surfing on Ravelry.com recently, I found several fun patterns for Valentine’s Day and so I decided to try a couple of them out. The first was a bunny pattern. It looked just like a giant gummy bear bunny! In PINK no less! The picture on the pattern was so cute, I knew that this might be a possible gift for my valentine. And so I promptly ignored the instructions on the pattern as to the size of hook and yarn that I should use, and instead I picked up my size G hook and Red Heart yarn and started to crochet it. I have done this before and the project has turned out just fine if not great, I thought to myself as I P1030084was remembering my previous project of escargot the snail. Well, this time I was not to be so lucky. As I crocheted, the bunny just kept getting bigger and bigger. All of the cuteness was draining from the bunny with each stitch I took, but still I continued to crochet it anyway. When the 4 pieces of the bunny were all crocheted up, I did not like the size it had turned out at all. I debated about not spending the time or stuffing to stitch him together, but I decided to continue on hoping that after being stuffed and stitched some of the cuteness would return. But it didn’t. I then stitched in the bunnies face in black yarn, but it looked so harsh on the pink that I took it out and stitched it again in brown. Compared to the picture, this bunny was just not the cute little love bunny I wanted to give to my valentine. I debated about making another bunny with the correct size of hook and yarn that the pattern called for, but I was tired of the pattern already and I just wanted to move on.

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P1030087With that decision past me, I decided to give the love bug pattern I had found along with the bunny a try next. It called for a size G hook and red and pink yarn and that is what I already had handy, so I was all set. It’s four parts crocheted up quickly. I thought I would have a problem with the heart wings but they were quite easy to make. I could tell as soon as the parts were crocheted that this little love bug was going to be just as cute as the picture had shown it, and it would be a fine gift for my valentine. The details of the bugs details with the pipe cleaner antennas and the placement of the heart wings, took some time to decide on, but were well worth the time and it turned out very cute. Once my first love bug was done, I thought it was just adorable and so fun to make that I decided to make another. For the second one I used a size F hook and different colors, just to see what I got. The results were just as cute as the first. The size of the hook used did not seem to make much of a difference. And it was fun to make the pattern again. Because the detail decisions had already been made on the first bug, the second love bug in white, worked up very quickly. I did not crochet the stripes in the white love bugs body as I had the first one, and when he was done, he was so white that I went ahead and added the dashed lines of red to his body. I like the look of it and it breaks up the solid white body nicely.

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P1020879I wanted both the bunny and the bugs to stand up by themselves so I added some pony beads to the bottom of their bodies to give them some bottom weight before I stuffed them. The bunny was going to need a lot of beads for weight to stand up, so I made a little pouch first to hold the beads together in the bottom and to hide the color of the beads. I did not really worry about matching the size of the bottom too closely or how round or neat the pouch looked since no one would ever see it but me, so the pouch was simple and quick to make. And it worked out great! Because the pouch of beads worked so well in the bunny, I made another pouch for the beads in the pink bug too. It worked just as well as the bunny’s pouch had. On the white bug though I just added the beads to the bottom of the bug without a pouch. There is only about 10 beads in the bottom of the bugs so I wanted to see if it made a difference, pouch or no pouch. I also had white colored beads so I did not have to worry about the color of them showing through the yarn on the white bug. I don’t really see much difference between the two bugs as far as the weight goes. This has led me to concluded that if the amigurumi is small, it doesn’t matter if the weights are in a pouch or not, but I believe that the bunny due to its larger size is better off with its beads in a pouch so they stay in place in it’s bottom.

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And now that  my gifts are all ready for my valentines this year, will you, will you be mine?

 

Happy Halloween 2012!


Happy Halloween everyone! I have been busy making some fun crocheted amigurumi creatures, monsters, spiders and ghosts to give away this year to friends at the many Halloween parties we go to every year.

My husband was nice enough  to create a little diorama type of display for me of some of them, so I could post a picture here on my blog before they all disappear.

I hope you like them! I sure enjoyed making them. Stay safe! And don’t eat too much candy!