Monday, April 29, 2013

My baby blanket

The other day my mom was doing some laundry and she tossed me this yellow crocheted blanket (you can't see but it had sparkles in the yarn). I asked her where it came from and she said that my grandma had made it when I was a baby. I don't remember seeing it before and I was instantly excited to have it in my hands. 

My grandma, Grandma Bev, and I were very close. She passed away about 9 years ago and it was really hard for me. Some of the best times growing up was being with my grandparents. She passed after my grandpa so that time of my life was officially over when she was gone. 
Grandpa Jim and Grandma Bev
I knew that she crocheted but she wasn't able to do it as she got older so I never saw her do it. I have really enjoyed learning to crochet over the past year or so. Holding this made me feel so close to her all over again. I can't stop starring at it and I never want to let it go. I am excited to have something really special from her that is new to me.

Do you have anything special keepsakes?
Jess 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What I'm working on

I actually haven't worked on this crocheted blanket for a while. I finished it a couple months ago but it was a baby gift for a friend so I had to wait to show it. I don't know the first thing about babies or what to get for them. I do know, however, that they always need blankets. I still love my baby blankets and have them tucked away for safe keeping. I found the pattern here through Pinterest. 


It was a really easy and fun project to do. The original pattern made the blanket really small, so I doubled the width and used 3 balls of the pink yarn. I was worried that the blanket was going too stiff but when it was all done and I washed it it came out super soft and cuddly. 
I also made up some little booties.
These were also really fast to make. I finished them both in an evening. I couldn't believe how little they were and they were actually for a person. I had a lot of fun working on these projects and I'm so glad that my friend loved them too.

Are you working on any fun projects?
Jess


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tulip festival

Last week my friend Loni, her daughter Bella, and I decided to go up to the Tulip Festival. It's a yearly festival when all the flowers bloom and people can go walk the fields and buy flowers super cheap.There are huge fields of rows and rows of flowers. We were hoping that the weather would hold out but it didn't and right when we got there it started pouring. But we had a lot of fun anyway.
We stopped for lunch and Loni snapped this of me and Bella in front of a little cafe.
On the way there we stopped and found this bad ass tree house. I want one!
The tulip fields 
Loni and Bella bundled up in the rain

Even though it poured all day, it was still a lot of fun to get outside and see some pretty flowers with awesome company!
Jess



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Last month I signed up for a swap through Chaotic Goddess Swaps hosted by Tami's Eclectic Corner. I love the idea of swaps because I get the chance to get to know someone that otherwise I would never meet. I got partnered up with Heather from Utah. It was fun to e-mail back and forth and learn about her and her family. 
I totally forgot to take a picture of her package that I sent. She loves to sew and stitch like I do, so I sent her some pretty floss, a quilt pattern, and some quilt labels. The pin cushion that I made here was for her. I found some pretty earrings, nail polish, and some lip balm. I was so happy to hear that she loved it. It always makes me nervous buying gifts for other people, especially one that I don't know very personally.

It's been really hectic with school lately so I was super excited to get her package. And it was just what I needed. 
Circus peanuts are one of my favorites. Everyone I have ever met hates them, but I can't help but love them. I'm not even sure what exactly they are. Along with other snacks and a box of tea, and a really pretty roll of red cotton (which I am going to make some washcloths for my boyfriends new apartment) I got a great book of vintage kitchen linens. I have had it on my wish list for a while and she sent it to me. Once I get a change to read through it I'll write a little review of it.

It was really fun to get to know Heather and I hope that we keep in touch. I'm excited to sign up for another swap to meet someone new as well.

Do you like to sign up for swaps?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Crochet bow brooch tutorial

I am in love with brooches. I love picking out which pin I want to add to give my outfit a little something extra. I wanted to make a crochet bow but I couldn't find anything that I really liked. They were either too big or too bulky looking. I wanted mine to have a little more shape to it. So I decided to just figure out one for myself and thought that I would share it with you. It is a really fast project and is good if you have a little yarn leftover from another project (which I have a lot). It's my first pattern so be gentle with me. :) I would love feedback if there is room for improvement. 

Crochet bow brooch
What you'll need:
Worsted weight yarn (or whatever you have, I just happened to have worsted weight laying around)
Size F/3.75 mm hook
Pin back (I found a pack at Hobby Lobby for cheap)
 Yarn needle
Pair of scissors

Pattern
Chain 25
Row 1
*1 sc in 2nd chain from the hook,
1 hdc in next chain,
1 dc in next 2 chains,
1 hdc in next chain,
1 sc in next chain*
Repeat * until end of chain-24 stitches
Chain 1 and turn
Row 2
Repeat Row 1 starting in first stitch from the hook

Repeat pattern for a total of 4 rows (or however many rows for how big you want your bow.) and fasten off.
This is what it will look like after the 4 rows.
Fold the bow in half and sew ends together. 
Back side
Front side
Wrap the ends around the middle part tightly to help cinch the middle. You might have to play with it a little to get both sides even.


Middle part
Chain 8
Sc in each chain across
Fasten off but don’t weave in the ends yet.
Wrap the middle part around the thinner part of the bow and sew ends together. Then weave in ends.

Slip the pin back under the middle part and voila you are done!
Now wear your new bow brooch loud and proud!
I hope that you enjoyed my little project. If you decided to make some I would love to see them!
Jess





Friday, April 5, 2013

TGIF!

I am so glad that this week is over. The first week of the new quarter always freaks me out. I have a little meltdown the day before the first day. I get so anxious about the impending classes. I always thing that they are going to be too hard and I won't be able to get through. 
source unknown

I worry about all the other students, what they will be like. Is it going to be a big class or a small one? What is the instructor like? What if the expectations or the workload is too high? Talking to people I don't know always makes my heart race a little an my palms sweat. Having to do an intro about myself nearly kills me, so I had to laugh when my friend sent me this cat picture a few days ago.

After the first week though I start to calm down. I've gotten a better feel for my instructors, the classmates, and the course requirements. Luckily this quarter I have my lab partner from chemistry in my nutrition class and I have my previous teacher, that I love, for math. Little bits of something familiar always helps ease the anxious nerves. 
I found this on Pinterest a couple days ago and I really liked it.
I need to remember that with school I need to just keep moving along. It isn't going to last forever so if I keep plugging away I'll eventually make it through. Sometimes when I get really frustrated and worked up I need to remember to take a break, take some deep breaths, and have a cup of tea (or a really stiff drink, depending on the level of frustration, ha).

I think that's why I gravitated toward crafting. It's something that I really enjoy, and that I know that whatever project I am working on I can accomplish it, eventually. It's a little boost to my self confidence. 
It's something that takes my focus away from what is upsetting me and gears it towards something that makes me happy. If I didn't have something to get rid of my nervous energy I would probably explode. Since embroidery, knitting, and crochet take some time to finish, it gives me something to look forward to at the end of the day to wind down. 
This quarter will fly by just like the quarters before, I hope anyway.
Jess



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What I'm working on

I feel like I've been a crocheting fool these days. I finished 2 projects in the last couple days. I suppose it was a mad dash with my free time quickly disappearing with the new quarter starting. A couple weeks ago I started this pillow to sit on while I'm doing homework. I reviewed the book here where I got this pattern from. I was SO excited to finish my pillow! I really like how it turned out.
I found this pincushion on Pinterest and decided to make it as a gift. It was a really quick project. I think it would make a good gift for someone who sews. I used the same colors I used for the pillow because I had some yarn left over. 

I've been wanting to get some more knitting practice in so I think that I am going to make Blue some of these knitted catnip bunnies. 
The pattern looks pretty do-able and a fairly small project that (hopefully) won't take me forever. Although I feel a little bit like and enabler because Blue is a complete stoner and I'm not sure I should be feeding his habits. But these are too cute to not pass up. 

What projects are you working on?
Jess