Tag Archive | Holiday

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!

2015 Christmas Card Picture

 

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!

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Who’s the Ghostest with the Mostest? Candy Filled Ghosts For Halloween!

Halloween Ghosts 2015 - 6 Red-ANIMATION

Look who’s giving out the Halloween candy this year! It is these cute Halloween crocheted ghosts and friends. These crocheted ghosts have their cups filled with Halloween candy ready for the trick or treaters to come a knocking.

I love Halloween time, the candy, the costumes, the fall weather, but especially the Halloween crafting. Whether its baking monster cookies, making a big pot of harvest squash or pumpkin soup, sewing up a cool new spooky costume or crocheting up a spooky ghost or two, I love this time of year for crafting.

So, it was not hard when I found this fun crocheted ghost candy container pattern from Twinkie Chan, to set my current amigurumi projects aside, and make several of these ghosts instead.

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The pattern for these ghost candy containers is quite simple. A ghost shape is crocheted and placed on top of a candy filled yogurt cup. The only bummer part of these ghosts is that I had to eat yogurt to get the containers. So, after I ate a yogurt, I throughly washed and dried the empty yogurt cup and then I got to crocheting!

I followed the pattern for the first ghost and he came out with a flat head. I did not like the flat head, so on the rest of the ghosts that I made, I added two extra rounds, one after the third round and one after the fourth round, to make a more rounded head. I also followed the pattern for the ruffle at the bottom of the first ghost, but after that I let my imagination go wild and picked a different ruffle design and flare for the other ghosts. So, the rest of the ghosts that I made had differing ruffles and flares or no ruffle or flare at all.

DSCN3554When it came time for faces, the husband offered to help, and I willingly accepted his help. (I am so thankful that the husband does not mind helping me with my crafting projects.) The husband first printed me out some ghostly faces to be used as templates and we cut them out of black felt. I knew I wanted a evil face for the first flat headed ghost but the other faces were completely at random, except for the ghost with no ruffle.

The husband had the brilliant idea of making that ghost a Charlie Brown ghost. So, after cutting many ovals from the black felt, the ovals were glued on randomly to copy Charlie Brown’s ghost costume from the show, It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Of course, this ghost is now my favorite of the bunch since I am a huge Peanuts Gang fan!

DSCN3611I placed my crocheted ghosts with their black felt faces on their yogurt cups and declared them done, but the husband had other thoughts. One day while I was at work, he removed the yogurt cups and gave them a spooky coat of paint. He let his imagination run wild as he painted one of the cups with both orange and black paint, and added a face to another orange cup so it matched its ghost cover. It was a real surprise when I got home from work so see the painted cups which made these ghosts even more Halloween spirited.

The ghosts are now done and filled with candy, waiting to be treats for friends and family on All Hallows Eve. But, I wasn’t done Halloween crafting just yet. When I came across the ghost candy container pattern, I also came across this pattern for a candy corn rat. The pattern looked like fun, so I got crocheting right away. This rat was easy to crochet and stitch together and soon enough, Cornrat, the candy corn colored rat, was ready to help the ghosts pass out the Halloween candy this year.

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But wait, I was not done yet! I still needed a few other small ghosts to give away as gifts. So I found this fun tiny pocket pal ornament ghost pattern and it was just the right size and shape that I was looking for. This little ghost took about an hour to make from start to finish so I made two. I added an extra row to the top of the second ghost just to see if I liked a rounder head, but I don’t think the more rounded head added anything to this little ghosts cuteness.

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These little ghosts were a quick make and turned out great. I wanted one of the ghosts that I was giving away to be a girl, so on the way to deliver the ghost, I picked up some pink fabric paint and gave the little ghost some little pink cheeks. The recipient of the little girl ghost liked the ghost and its pink cheeks and thought it was really cute.
Halloween snuck up on me this year since my Summer was so crazy, so I did not do as much crafting as I usually do for this holiday, but what I did do was lots of fun. I had a great time making these Halloween projects and especially enjoyed the husbands help with them. I can’t wait for next year to do some more Halloween crafting.

Until then, Halloween Craft forth, and Holiday on!

Halloween 2015 Complete Ghosts 2-ANIMATION

Down, down into the briny deep we go! Where we will stop, nobody knows!

ARRpostcardRR!

Ahoy thar’ Me Matey’s!

Please be forgiven me for it be International Talk Like a Pirate Day and I’ve nothin’ ta say to ya robbers, scoundrels and thieves that be reading’ this here parchment of a declaration!

Bfootonchestsut please be enjoying’ yer day off from the netherworld as tomorrow I may have something’ more ta say to ye!

So off with the lot of ya. And be stayin’ out of trouble on this pirates bounty of a holiday or ya will be forced to walk the plank, the whole lot of ya!

Yo ho yo ho a pirates life for me! I’ll be off to findin’ me some RUM for to quench my ever lovin’ thirst!

Many landlubbers be offering’ FREE BOOTY on this day! Check out Long John Silvers Fish and Chips and Krispy Kreme Rings of Joy (Doughnuts). They be offering’ up FREE GRUB today!

Enjoy this here pirate video from the two pirate scalliwags that started it all!

Here be a great humorous tutorial in How to Speak Like a Pirate (PROPERLY)

So ye have decided that ye want to be a pirate have you? This here video be the one ya be searching’ for!

Here be a list of some great pirate moving pictures ya be wanting’ to watch!

And enjoy these other small bites of humor while ye be at it! ARRRR!

Dave Berry’s 24 hour Pirate Blog was the best! Ya be findin’ it here!

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pirate-day

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!

Halloween Time

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IMG_0012P1040200Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year. I enjoy the decorations, the costumes and the candy. Each year, I like to make some new Halloween amigurumi’s. This year I made two, a devil and a ghost.

I found the devil’s pattern on Ravelry. I like the pattern, but I loved the devil one crocheter had made from a red and black variegated yarn. I knew this had to be one of my Halloween amigurumi projects for this year. My sources for purchasing yarn are limited, but I kept an eye out for some red and black variegated yarn.

While in Joann’s one time, I came across the Red Heart Team Spirit yarns and there was a red and black variegated skein. It did not really look like the yarn from the other devil that I had seen but it was the best that I had found so far. So I purchased a skein of it and I got started stitching it up.

IMG_0018IMG_0020The pattern for this devil is well written and crocheting the parts was fun to make. Unfortunately, the Red Heart Team Spirit yarn is not really a true variegated yarn. It is a long section of red then a long section of black and so on. So this did not give me the look I wanted, but the pieces of the devil were turning out cute anyway, so I kept crocheting.

I could have saved the money spent on this speciality yarn though and just used separate red and black yarns for a similar look. The devil stitched together nicely and his tail turned out very cute. I like the heart shaped point at the end. I also really like his folded arms, one of the features that attracted me to the pattern.

All in all, this devil turned out quite cute and is a fun addition for Halloween.

DSCN0514DSCN0516The next Halloween amigurumi I made was a ghost. What enticed me about this pattern was the bottom of the ghost.

As you crochet the bottom of the ghost, you decrease on one side of the round and increase on the other side of the same round. When it is time to stuff the ghost, part of the bottom is already crocheted together, so there is less to be stitched closed.

With the increasing and decreasing on this ghost, I was having difficulty keeping track of which round I was on while crocheting. I had to keep counting the rounds from the head down. This was a pain and it was taking a lot of time away from the crocheting. I finally wrote the rounds I had left to crochet on a post it note, and marked them off as I stitched each round. This worked great. I will remember this trick if I have a counting problem again on other amigurumi’s.

DSCN0521DSCN0520I did not add safety eyes to this ghost as I crocheted it. My intention was to use wiggle eyes when it was done, but when it came time to attach them, they just did not look good. This lead me to use some felt eyes.

After trying several variations, I decided on the three layer black and white eyes that I made. I tried a yarn smile on the ghost but that did not look good either so I tried a frown, then a jagged line. Nothing looked good. As I debated over the design of the mouth, I dropped one of the felt pieces I had been cutting for the eyes onto the ghost and the black “boo” shaped mouth came to life.

This round felt mouth was perfect fit for this ghost.

While making this pattern I had my doubts along the way, especially with the eyes and mouth, that this guy would turn out ok. Not only did he turn out ok but he turned out great. I think he is fun and ready to do some scaring on Halloween.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Until next time, Crochet forth and get your scare on…

ItsHalloween

What to Wear to America’s Birthday Party

DSCN0103I found this fun sun top pattern on the internet. It looked just right for summer outings, so I decided that I wanted to make one for each for my co-workers tween daughters. This top is made as a front and back square, sewn into a tube. Elastic is sewn to the top to gather the tube to fit the body, and then shoulder ties are added to help keep the top on. Simple enough. The only measurement needed to make this top is an accurate chest measurement. I reached for this Stars and Stripes cotton print that has been hiding in the stash for as long as I can remember. And I hoped that this would give the girls something fun to wear on the 4th of July.

DSCN0099I cut out 4 squares of fabric, 23 inches by 28 inches, for the two tops and 8 strips, 4 for each top, for the shoulder ties. The first step was to sew the side seams. Normally, I would have just serged the side seams to finish them up but the pattern called for french seams. I have read about french seams and seen videos for sewing them but I had never done a french seam. And I figured that I might as well learn something new while making these tops, so I sewed 4 french seams  The french seams were very easy to make and leave a beautiful clean finish to the seams. In fact, you hardly notice there are side seams with the french seam technique.

Next came the shoulder ties. These were not difficult to make, just time consuming. There was a lot of ironing to make these ties. I folded the strips I had cut like bias tape by folding the edges to the middle and then folding the strip in half, then tucking the raw edges into the fold.  Next I edge stitched down each tie. I learned a lot about folding the edges, ironing the edges and edge stitching by the time I had made 8 ties.

DSCN0102I next stitched a 1 inch hem at one end of the tube and a 1.5 inch hem on the other. I added the ties to the larger hem as I stitched it and I placed the ties 8 inches from the side seam. I made a tab and placed it under the hem at the center back as a tag, and also to tell me which top was for which girls since their measurements are just a little bit different.  I also left an opening for the elastic in this hem. I then stitched down the middle of the larger hem to make a casing for the elastic. This left a nice ruffle at the top. This ruffle is very cute and adds a nice touch at the top of the elastic. I cut the elastic to the chest measurements that the girl’s mom had given me plus one inch. I did not want the elastic so tight so that it cut into their chest when wearing the top. I also wanted the elastic just big enough to the make the gathers and hold the tube to their body. Lastly I pulled the elastic and then finished it off to complete the top.

DSCN0096Upon completing the tops, I put one of the tops on a hanger to take pictures before giving the tops to the girls. It look terrible on the hanger. The ties looked too close to the center front and the tube looked like just that, a tube. I was very disappointed. I could only hope the tops would look better on the girls than they did on the hanger. Luckily, they did. The girls looked very cute in their summer tops, and they seemed to like them. The tops seemed a little long and I told the girls that I would shorten them, but they both said they liked the length. The smaller girl mentioned that her elastic seemed tight. I told her that was an easy fix and had her try on her sister’s top. She said that the larger size was a better fit. This really was an easy fix. I just unpicked where I had closed the elastic, removed the smaller piece of elastic, pulled in a longer piece and stitched it back up again. At work, their mom said the fit was great and they were already wearing their tops before the 4th of July. I was excited to hear that.  I hope they will wear and enjoy their tops all summer long.

Until next time…

Happy American Independence Day and Sew forth and Celebrate On!

George And The Alien

sewing cartoonRemember back when my hobby was mostly about sewing and I used to post wonderful blog posts about all the fun stuff that I had recently sewn up?

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Yes, I do too.

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But it seemed as though my sewing mojo had left me over the holidays. I am not sure where my sewing mojo had went to. Perhaps it went to see some creative relatives, or visit some friends for the holidays or something like that. But I do know that it was definitely gone and that I had no desire to sew anything, no desire start any new projects and especially no desire to finish any previously started projects. I did not even want to sew that last minute Christmas gift that I see every year and think that I can quickly get made up in time. The fabric stash all sat nestled quietly in its boxes, hidden away in a winter slumber. My cutting table sat empty of all fabric and patterns and my sewing machines just rested in silence, waiting patiently to be turned back on again. Luckily now that the holidays are over, my sewing mojo seems to have returned and I am excited that it has found its way home. Its time to start sewing again!

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P1030564Months ago, I altered the husbands shirt pattern and made one new shirt from the altered pattern, the purple and black striped soccer shirt with a Snoopy embroidered on it. The fit of the shirt was good and the husband has wore the shirt several times now and has had no complaints about the alterations that I made. Because wearability depends on so many factors, the fabric, how it was cut, how it was sewn together, etc., I did not want to say that my alterations to his pattern were correct until I made a couple of more shirts from this current pattern and they were wear tested to be sure of the fit.

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P1030567So, this project started with a trip to the stash where I retrieved two pieces of fabric. I picked a green knit and a brownish pique. The fabrics were different enough from each other in stretch and feel, that I thought they would give some variation as I tried out the altered pattern. I asked the husband which one he liked the least and he picked the green knit, so I started with it first. The green knit was easy to work with. It was quickly cut out and sewed up nicely. The most difficult part of working with this green knit was in picking what design to embroider on the shirt. After wasting way too much time looking at designs, the UFO and Alien cow abduction design was picked and stitched to the shirt. And it turned out great!

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After finishing the shirt, the husband wore it once and asked that I take a little of the blousey feel out of the back and shorten the shirt a bit. This green P1030560knit has quite a bit of stretch so I hesitated on taking anything out of the back on the pattern. If I took it out of the back of the pattern, then the next shirt could it be too tight with a less stretchy fabric. This back problem was not there with the Snoopy shirt so maybe I stretched this green knit fabric too much when I cut it out. Shortening the length was no problem. That was an easy fix, and yes it was a needed fix, so I did alter the pattern by shortening it a small amount. I cut off the hems I had made on this shirt to shorten the length and re-hemmed it, but doing this took out most of the side slits that I had put in. I thought that this might make sitting a problem while wearing this shirt, but the shirt is large enough that it did not seem to make much difference.

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P1030562One day at work, my coworker was telling stories of how much her 3 year old grandson loves Curious George. I thought of the husband’s shirt scraps of the green knit sitting on the cutting table and decided this little guy needed a shirt with Curious George embroidered on it. I used my pattern for a cut out tab front shirt and made a size 4 so there was a little grow room in it. Just like the husbands shirt, the green knit was fun to work with. The stretch of the green knit caused me a little bit of an issue when embroidering the large Curious George design on the small shirt but it all worked out. I used some of the web interfacing on the back of the design to help keep it flat after laundering and to make the design smoother on the back so it wouldn’t be itchy or scratchy. I gave the shirt to my coworker and P1030556the little guy’s mom took a picture of him in his shirt. He was very cute in his shirt and the fit looked good. The word is that he likes to wear the shirt everywhere. I just love to sew for kids.

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With the return of my sewing mojo, I have had a great time sewing! And I am ready to start my next project, but what will that be? I had better pick soon to keep my sewing mojo here and happy.