Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Crochet Book Mark and Grannies

Today was the last day of school for us, so I'm headed outside for a fierce game of street hockey.  But before I run, here are a couple more granny squares I hooked up over the weekend. 

Hint of Spring by Sally Ives {pattern here}

Large Flower Potholder by Drops Design {pattern here}

I came across this fantastic pattern for a crochet strap--endless possibilities with this one.  I immediately thought of a bookmark so whipped this up:

Happy first day of summer!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Some Thank You's

Just a quick share of some of the thank you's I've been making for teachers.

based on this Mojo Monday Sketch

close-up of another card based on this same design

Some tags

To go on the pen gifts

Sorry for the rushed post.  Need to go get the kiddos ready for school!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Square-A-Day: The final 3!

I know it's mid-June, but I'm on my own creative calendar with these crochet squares: the deadline-free, do-it-for-fun kind of calendar.  So here we go with the FINAL THREE!!  Yippee!

Day 28:
So this is anything but a peace sign.  I simply followed the stitch pattern and ignored the color changes.  It took me a few tries, but I figured out JudyK's RVS (reverse v-stitch).  I really like how that formed the corners of the square, but now that I am looking at my square I'm noticing an error.  Can you see it?  I knew it was a bit off, but I was rushing to get it finished to include in this post.
Peace Sign by Judy K {pattern here}

 Day 29:
 This was one of my faves.  I love the scallop edges and the dimension.  And I learned the proper way of doing a BP double and single crochet!
Yarn Clouds by Amelia Beebe {pattern here}

 And a look at the beautiful texture:

Day 30:
 Of course I loved this one--it's a flower.  This one was deceptively easy and was simple to convert to the smaller size.   I especially love the hexagon center and the texture created on the base of the block (green on mine).
Kaleidoscope Blossom by Chris Simon {pattern here}

The Crochet-A-Long is over but my blanket is not big enough for a real blanket.  My goal is to make it about twin-bed sized.  I'm a little more than halfway there.  So I've searched through Ravelry and fave'd some of the squares I'll be making in the coming months.  This project has no deadline (it's a present for myself), which may not be a good thing.  I'm going to shoot for winter so I 'll have something to snuggle up under while cozying up with a good book and some cocoa.  

Here's the first block I've completed:
Popcorn Parade by Melinda Miller {pattern here}
Sorry for the totally messed-up photo.  The block is not this crooked in real life, honest!

Thanks so much for checking out my blocks during this C-A-L.  I had tons of fun.  And a huge thanks to Melissa for organizing it all for us!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Flower Topped Pens

It's that time of year for us: what to give the teachers and staff that spend more waking hours of the day with our children than we do?  This year's gift is flower-topped pens (thanks Alison for this great idea!).  It really is a quick project once you've worked out the kinks (Kayla, don't laugh!--Kayla and I worked on these the other night and had a few choice words come flying out of our mouths...okay maybe it was just my mouth.)

The {photo-less} How To:
  1. Remove the end cap from the pen (opposite the pen nib).  We learned the hard way that the manufacturers now bond this cap to the pens as they pose a choking hazard.  So we (read: Kayla's smart engineering husband) fastened a little fix for this: use a chopped off piece of the heavy duty wire found inside the flower stem to blast through the underside of the cap (okay, I'm realizing I'm going to need to do photos for this tute).  You could also use a pointed metal barbeque skewer here.  This was really a very gratifying step in the process.
  2. OK, so you've removed the end cap, now to prep the flower.  Chop off enough of the stem so that it's shorter than the length of the pen barrel.  Strip off the plastic (and in our case, fuzzy) coating from the stem to reveal the wire.  You may be able to skip this step if your flower stem is skinny enough to fit inside the pen barrel.
  3. Place a dollop of hot glue on the hole you created in step one, and carefully, ever so carefully, slip the wire stem into the barrel of the pen making sure you don't jab the wire into the actual pen tube causing ink to come pouring out (trust us!)
  4. Almost done; see how easy?  Now for the part that had us banging our heads against the craft table: covering the unsightly pen barrel.  We planned to use regular green florist tape, but once we wrapped a pen up in that wretched stuff we knew that NO ONE would want to touch our pens. Ever.  They were coated with yucky stickiness that transferred to your hands and made you want to bathe in Goo Gone.  What to do, what to do?  Google how to remove sticky from florist tape: tried it all to no avail. Ribbon?  How to glue on.  Crepe paper?  Too flimsy.  Spray paint?  Would chip.  Green electrical tape?  Too glossy.  And then like a green light bulb lighting up inside her head, Kayla, my trusty crafting partner, called out "Frog Tape!"  
This, my friends, is the answer to all your pen-barrel-covering, stem-creating, flower-tipped-pen making problems.  Forget painting, this company needs to re-market this stuff for crafts.  We found a lot of unhappy sticky-stemmed makers in our searches online.  None of them mentioned this tape, but I am here to tell you it is perfect.  Okay, back to step 5.
    5.  Place this God-sent green tape of perfection (available at the hardware store, did I already say that?)
         at a 45 degree angle on the barrel under the flower.  Wrap tightly around the barrel until you get to the
         tip. Snip off, and then use additional pieces of tape to cover up the angles at the two ends.  Voila!  A
         perfectly pretty pen.

Hope you go whip up a bouquet of these!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kit Projects from Scrapbook Heaven (photo-filled post!)

I have been working with these beauties:

for the past couple of weeks (in between hacking coughs and sneezing marathons from spring allergies that may have gotten a bit out of hand--but I'm back now, almost to normal, whatever that is).   

Here's what I have made so far, though I'm still working on more because these kits are so loaded.

From the May Elite:
Banners, birdies, and baby clothes all in one paper?  Just adore this Dear Lizzy line!
 And that's little me up there.  I swear, if they still made this wallpaper, I would hang it in my laundry room.
a close-up of the cluster embellies
Always have to put a butterfly on layouts of myself, don't know why really, it's just my thing.

Just love how all these papers coordinate so well together (an almost monochromatic LO)
 Another one of my childhood pics--this is me on my 2nd birthday sporting a crafty little apron--who would've guessed?!
And some close-ups cuz I like them!

Created this LO from the sketch from our summer crop going on now--more on that at the bottom of this post.
 My little guy with his "almost broken" collar bone.

How cute are these papers?  Eeek!
 Went a little whimsical on this one.  I've wanted to do a stitched block border for a while, and these papers seemed like the perfect ones to use. 

And a little card: this was actually the first project I created with the kit.  It's always so freeing to hack into brand new paper.  Kind of gets you over all those inhibitions.
 From the June Elite:
Another sketch from the summer crop (this one will be posted later this summer, so you're getting a little sneak!)
  My crazy rocker boys.

Could these papers be any more perfect for these pics?!
Oh, and speaking of crazy dudes, that would be my middle up there.

I hope my title is readable to people other than me: 2 cool 4 school
 And I'm 2 corny 4 my own good!
Who says boy pages can't have flowers? Not me, nope definitely not me.
This paper came just like this--I simply stitched on some buttons, matted the photos on a border punched mat, trimmed with ribbon, and added a sticker title--so easy!
  I often forget to snap photos of my boys with other family members.  So glad I got these precious shots of Maddox and his Auntie.

Another crop sketch card--this one posts this week at Scrapbook Heaven
 A card for Dad.

From the June Petite:
A quick 15 minute page.
Tried too hard with that bunting.
 I had some high hopes for this one, and it just didn't turn out the way I had envisioned.  Some pages are like that.

Doesn't book print make everything look better?  I think it does.
 I took this photo for fun on Valentine's day.  Never thinking I would scrapbook it.  But it was perfect, and I will jot down my favorite books on the pull out tag.

Well, there you have it.  I'm tired from typing so much (and it probably shows in what I just wrote).  

So about that crop:  Scrapbook Heaven is having a summer-long crop for the next 12 weeks (week one of the 12 just passed).  Sketches on Monday, Color Combos on Wednesday, and challenges on Friday.  Bonus weekends once a month, along with monthly stash lists and title/quote lists.  Play along for points and be entered to win some great prizes.  Stop by the forum and check it out.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Square-a-Day: 23 through 26 {and a work in progress}

May is over, June is here and I am nearly done with my squares.  Some of these last ones hung me up as I tried to resize them. Here we go:

Versailles by Melinda Miller {pattern here}
 It's hard to pick a favorite, but this one is definitely in the running.  I just love the way it came out: the sun burst inside the circle and the shell border.  Not sure how much I'll be loving those shells when it comes time to  join this square to the blanket. 

Bright and Cheery by Dayna Audirsch {pattern here}
This was a fun square that worked up quickly.

Birthday Flower by Chris Simon {pattern here}
This one took a bit of finagling to resize.  This is another one for my list of squares to make in 12" size.

Blooming Lace by Melinda Miller {pattern here}
 I think I said it before, but I really love Melinda's patterns.  I'm sad that this one didn't have room for the beautiful lace.  Another one to make 12".

I'll leave this post with a work in progress shot:
Granny's More Complex Star by Tiggerbee  {pattern here}
This is day 27, a beautiful square, but I'm trying to decide what to do: do I follow the pattern and end up with a square too big for my blanket, or do I try to turn this hexagon into a square...hmmm.  This crochet business is not as easy as it looks!