Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Star Pincushion

So, I told you I had a slight obsession with pincushions :) Well, this is one of my favorite patterns. It's pretty and you can use your favorite scraps. You can find the free pattern HERE.

I didn't use the paper squares when putting it together. I've gotta be honest, I'm not a quilter so I have absolutely no idea how to use the paper squares, or what they're for. Maybe someone could enlighten me :)

If you make one, post pictures. I'd love to see what fabric combinations and buttons everyone uses.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Correction :)

Hi everyone!
Marisa from Omiyage contacted me, and I was wrong. They DO ship to the US, and most of the time it's only a flat rate of $5 for shipping. How sweet is that? So head on over and buy some of their lovely products, I know I want to!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Service Sunday

There are a lot of great service organizations out there that do really wonderful things, but today I want to talk about giving service that directly impacts the community in which you live.

There are many ways to go about giving service in your community, but one really easy way to give is through your local hospital(s). It's especially easy if you live in a bigger city because your hospital should have a website that has a whole page devoted to ways you can help. If you're having trouble finding information on a hospital website, trying searching for "foundation". And if all else fails, or your local hospital doesn't have a website, give them a call. They'll be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

Every hospital has different needs and guidelines, so be sure to check with them before you proceed. My hospital accepts monetary donations, toys, baby items, burial gowns for infants, along with a variety of other things.

Donating to your local hospital can be so rewarding. You can even get your kids involved by having them pick out toys to donate and letting them come with you when you go to drop them off.

In addition to hospitals, there are various other ways to give service in your city including homeless shelters, community agencies, schools, and literacy programs. If you look hard enough, I'm sure you'll find a way that you can give.

Happy Sunday, everyone!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Favorite Things Friday

Well, it's Friday again, so here are some more of my favorite things:

(Image via Aunt Peaches)

These gorgeous roses are made from coffee filters. Can you believe it? They're the most realistic looking paper flowers I've ever seen, and don't you just love the color combinations she used? For the tutorial, click HERE.

(Image via Joann)

This pillow is so pretty, and an easy way to liven up a room. You can check out the how-to HERE.

(Image via Petite Purls)

These knit softies are adorable. I'll definitely have to try my hand at these. Pattern HERE.

(Image via A Quilt Is Nice)

This quilt is so, so fun. She made it using 3 inch squares. For the quilt top, she literally put all of the squares into a bag and drew them out at random. To finish it, she did some simple machine quilting (just straight lines about 1/4" from each seam). I love the results. You can get all the info on this quilt HERE.

(Image via Envirosax)

How cool are these reusable grocery sacks from Envirosax? I'll admit it, they're a little pricey, but for something that you'll only have to buy once and use all the time, it's not that bad ;) Once we have an income, I'm saving up for these. I like to be green when I can, and this is a fashionable way to do it...what's not to like? :) You can find them HERE.

(Image via Infinity Shoes)

And these boots. Oh, these boots!! Would love these :) They're by Miz Mooz. You can find them HERE.

Seriously, if you have any favorites, do share!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Twirly Scarf

I love the feminine lines of this crocheted scarf. It's perfect for Fall because it adds texture, interest and layers to your outfit, but it's not bulky enough to make you too hot.

You can crochet your own, too. I made it from a free pattern from Lion Brand Yarn. You can find it HERE. If you're not a member of the site, they'll ask you to join. It's free.

I used Vanna's choice, and added a rosette pin. I made the rosette the same way as the scarf, but instead of a foundation chain of 141, I started with a foundation chain of 17. I put the rose on a pin so that I could take it off if I wanted, and also so that I could re-position it as needed.

It's a great "stash-buster" project, and it's quick and easy.

If you make one, I'd love to see pictures!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Service Sunday

(Image via Blankets for Deployed Daddies)

Hi all! I'm taking the time today to tell you about a great organization called Blankets for Deployed Daddies.
There are many, many young military families. And a lot of times, babies are born into these families while the dad is deployed, or he is deployed soon after the birth. Since babies rely on their sense of smell to recognize their parents, Blankets for Deployed Daddies has harnessed this power, and developed a pattern for a knit blanket that maximizes its ability to trap scent (you can download it for free). They ask for volunteers to knit the blankets, and if you're strapped for cash, they'll send you the yarn to use.
Deployed dads sleep with the blanket in their pillowcase and then send it home in a ziplock bag (to keep the scent uncontaminated and fresh). The babies then sleep and play with the blankets, all the while, getting to know their dad through his unique scent. The blankets can hold the scent for three months before needing a "re-charge". Amazing, isn't it?
The scented blanket really helps the babies to bond with their dads when they finally do get to meet since they can recognize him by his smell.
The blankets also provide comfort to a baby/child for years to come, especially each time their dad is deployed.
Blankets for Deployed Daddies are a little particular about some things (the type of yarn, the pattern you use, etc.) so you can find out more about them HERE.
I really encourage each of you to look into this organization. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for these families when a baby is born while the dad is deployed. Having and using one of these blankets is one way that the whole family can feel more connected during that special time.
The sacrifice of our military families is TREMENDOUS, and this is one way that we can serve them and support them. They give us so much.
If you're interested, please check them out.

I'll be posting service oppurtunities every Sunday, so be sure to check back every week.
Have a wonderful Sunday :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Favorite Things Friday

So, I know I probably spend waaaaaay too much time online, but when I come across such great things like what I have listed below, I feel like I can justify it, especially when I share it with all of you. That makes it like service, right? ;)

I've had this pattern from Amy Butler in my stash for awhile, and I'm itching to get started on it. I think these pillows are full of whimsy and fun, and could really liven up a space. You can buy the pattern HERE.

I'm loving these elephant pincushions from Heather Bailey. I have a slight obsession with pincushions, and I think I might have to make a few of these, too. You can find the pattern HERE.

(Image via Omiyage)
I totally ♥ these paper japanese doll bookmarks/whatever you want them to be. I'm always on the look out for pretty bookmarks, and these fit the bill nicely. You can find the tutorial HERE. You should also check out their whole blog HERE, and their shop HERE. Their shop is full of really, really lovely things. They're based in Canada, and for right now, only ship within Canada...except they mention that if you live outside of Canada and really truly can't live without something you see in their shop, contact them, and they'll figure out shipping.

(Image via The Yvestown Blog)
This pillow rocks. You can find a basic how-to HERE. Though, you have to be somewhat familiar with crochet, as it's not a step-by-step pattern.

(Image via yarnlovertn)
I can totally see myself wearing this in the coming months. Stay warm, and look cute - it's a win-win :) You can find the pattern HERE. You can also feel good about your purchase because she donates 10% of all proceeds to LDS Humanitarian Services.

(Image via Design Sponge)
Another one of my obsessions is reading. James (my husband/best friend) shares this obsession and we dream of having a bookcase full of beautifully bound editions of our favorite books. I've been eyeing this line of books by Penguin Classics for quite some time now. You can find them HERE.

(Image via IKEA)
My mom actually told me about about this pendant lamp. She saw it in a magazine, and thought it would be something I'd like. And I do!! I can't wait to have a house to hang this in. You can find it HERE.

(Image via Chadwicks)
And last, but not least, I'm all over this shirt. It's the perfect blend of comfort and femininity. I love Chadwicks. They have a killer clearance section, though their normal prices are usually pretty fair, too. I bought one of my all-time favorite, I'll-cry-when-it-wears-out skirts on clearance from their website a couple of years ago. You should check them out. You can find the shirt HERE.

Well, that's all for this week. I'll have more favorites next Friday, and the Friday after that, and the Friday after that...

If you have any favorites, do share!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Christmas Advent Calendar

(Picture from A Feathered Nest)

Today, I'm sharing a link with you for making a super adorable advent calendar. It comes from Abby of A Feathered Nest. I love advent calendars. I think establishing traditions is really important, and this is one that the whole family will love. And, when you're done making it, you'll have created this amazing heirloom, and who doesn't love that? Anyways, I've been dying to do this project since I first saw it a year ago. I'm posting it now because it's a rather large undertaking, and if you want to make one of your own in time for December, you'll probably have to start like NOW. So, all of you please pray that my husband will find a job this week so that I can start on mine, too :)

You can find all the instructions HERE. You'll have to scroll all the way down for the first post, and then work your way up. It's pretty self-explanatory, but all the pictures along the way are sure helpful.

If you make one, I'd love to see pictures of the finished project. I'll be sharing pictures of mine, too - assuming I get to make one this year. :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Long Tail Stripey Hat Pattern, As Promised

Materials Needed:

2 Colors of Worsted Weight Yarn – Color A and Color B ( I used Vanna’s Choice)

Size H Crochet Hook

Note: ch 2 counts as first stitch

Size: 12-24 months. I didn't write it into the pattern, but you can make the hat bigger by adding more sts in RNDS 3 and 4 of the hat and a couple of more rounds after RND 12. You can make it smaller by adding less sts in RNDS 3 and 4, and omitting RNDS 7-8, and possibly RND12 to make it shorter. You can also adjust the length of the tail to suit your needs.


With color A and H hook, ch6. Slst to form circle.

RND 1: 12 hdc’s in circle. Slst to join.

RND 2: Ch2. Hdc in each st around to end. Slst to join.

Switch to color B without fastening off color A. Just be sure to keep the color A yarn on the inside of the tube, and out of the way.

RND 3: Ch2. Hdc in each st around to end. Slst to join.

RND 4: Ch2. Hdc in each st around to end. Slst to join.

Switch back to color A without fastening off color B. Remembering to keep the color B yarn on the inside of the tube, and out of the way.

Continue crocheting tube. Alternate between color A and color B every two rounds. Each round should have 12 hdc’s. Crochet until you have 16 stripes (8 of each color), ending with two rounds of color B. Do not fasten off. Switch to color A.

Begin hat:

RND 1: Ch2. Hdc in same st as joining, 2 hdc’s in each stitch around to end. Slst to join.

RND 2: Ch2. 1 hdc in same st as joining. *1hdc in next st, 2hdc’s in next st,* repeat from * around. Slst to join. Switch to color B.

RND 3: Ch2. *2 hdc in next st, 1 hdc in each of next two sts,* repeat from * around. Sl st to join.

RND 4: Ch 2. 2hdc in next st, 1hdc in each of the next four sts,* repeat from * around. Sl st to join. Switch to color A.

RNDS 5-6: Ch 2. Hdc in each st around to end. Slst to join. Switch to color B.

RNDS 7-8: Ch2. Hdc in each st around to end. Slst to join. Switch to color A.

RND 9: Ch2. Hdc in each st around to end. Slst to join.

RND 10: Ch2. Hdc in each st around, and at the same time, decrease 10 sts evenly spaced around (about every 4-5 sts). Slst to join. Switch to color B.

RND 11: Ch2. Hdc in each st around, and at the same time, decrease 5sts evenly spaced around (about every 8 sts, or so). Slst to join.

RND 12: Ch2. Hdc in each st around to end. Slst to join. Switch to color A.

RNDS 13-15: Ch1. Sc in each st around to end. Slst to join. Switch to color B.

RND 16: Ch1. Sc in each st around to end. Slst to join. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Make a pom pom and attach to the end of the tail. A tutorial on how to make a pom pom can be found HERE.


ch: chain

slst: slip stitch

sc: single crochet

hdc: half double crochet

decrease (dec): single crochet – {Insert hook into next st, yarn over hook (yo), draw a loop through} twice, yo, draw through all three loops on hook.

half double crochet – {yo, insert hook into next st, yo, draw a loop through, yo, draw through first two loops} twice, yo, draw through all three loops on hook.

And there you have it. Let me know if you have any questions, or if there are any mistakes. :) Please feel free to make as many hats as you wish for your own personal use, or to sell. I only ask that you not sell this pattern in any form. Thanks!!