Busy Busy Busy.. And a Spring time wreath

I don’t know if you could tell or not, but I’ve been busy lately.  Graduate school isn’t fun when the end of the semester comes rolling along.  While working on major projects and trying to keep my 4.0 GPA (let’s see how long that lasts..) I’ve been crafting in between reading, reading, and more reading.  I’ve got a lot to share, but I’ll spread everything out so your brains don’t explode with amazingness.  HA.

Anyway, for the last year or so I’ve been seeing a lot of these fun and simple wreaths all over Craftgawker and Pintrest.  I’ve been wanting to make one myself but never got around to it.

FINALLY I DID.

It turned out supah cute and looks lovely against our red front door.  My yarn stash is getting put to good use other than being knotted by a crochet hook.

Since I haven’t posted in a long time, I have LOTSSS to share. But that’s it for now.. Preview for coming attractions: 2 afghans I’m working on, an accessory for my camera, and finding inspiration from a baby book. Stay tuned!

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I Feel Special

Oh my! I have a loyal follower! And he nominated me for an award!

I have to admit I blushed a little and it put a smile on my face when I saw my name under his nominations =) This fantastic guy is Mr. Raynor over at The Shy Lion.  I follow his blog as well and he always has something fascinating to say. So thank you, Raynor!!

As per the terms of this Versatile Blogger Award, I have a few rules to follow..

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

Not quite the one to always follow in order, and in no particular order of intrigue, first here are seven things aboot myself!

  1. I have lived in the same house all of my 24 years, and have never called any other place than Chicago home.
  2. I shaved my head once! (It was for a good cause; not teenage rebellion)
  3. I buy and hoard classic paperbacks with every intention to read them, but I don’t know when I’ll get around to cracking most of them open
  4. I’m nerdily excited about being on the front lines for literacy as soon as I’m done with my Masters Degree in Library Science and become a school librarian
  5. I’ve always wanted to become a professional photographer, but chose not to go to school for it because I know I would lose some passion
  6. I spend way too much time at the beach, on the boat and in the sun during the summer, and tan lines are my biggest pet peeve
  7. and finally, My absolute biggest, most consuming fear is to lose a limb or any part of my body.. weird?

And now, this is going to be the hardest bit because I’m not sure that I follow 15 bloggers..But shhh I listed 16! But 16 of my favorite blogs, those who are loyal to my blog and blogs I’ve found helpful in the past are as follows (and in no particular order..)

Okay, so that wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.  There are so many great blogs and creative minds broadcasting out there and I wish I had more hours to dedicate to following them more often.  But that is a list everyone should browse because there is a lot of amazing content there! Keep this going, don’t keep this going, I don’t caaare.. I just felt honored that I was mentioned so I wanted to make someone else feel supah special too.

ANYWHOOOO, I’ve been very busy lately! Granny square baby afghan, planning another baby afghan, more amigurumi, Easter/Spring decorations.. So much to update you on! But I’ll save it for another day.

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uhmeeguhroomee

I promise I know how to spell. This post is about amigurumi! For the last year I’ve been seeing these cute crochet and knit animals and things with little faces like carrots, cupcakes, acorns, you name it.  I wanted to make them so baaad! I finally gave it a go with an adorable pattern I found for peas in a pod which I posted about back around Christmas. I made them for my pseudo-sister Jessica as a gift (it took everything in me to part with them..)  Since then I’ve made two more attempts at little amigurumi guys and I have to say, I was pretty successful. Toot toot (me tooting my own horn).

I made a pig for my gramma for Valentine’s Day; she’s obsessed with oinkers.  I couldn’t find the perfect pattern so I based one off of this pig from Lion Brand and tweaked it to my liking. Since posting the picture on my Facebook I had a few more requests for the pig! Someone also asked if I could make a bunny so I used this pattern from Lion Brand which resulted in a wittle wabbit. Next project: an owl.  I can’t wait to get started on a little hooter for my friend’s baby =) So here are a few pictures of the little guys… That amazing backdrop is a huge piece of fabric I found at an antique store for only $2.50 btw!

It’s very tedious to make each individual part then sew it on, and they take a little more time to make than I had expected, but they’re so cute that it’s totally worth it.  Stay tuned for future cuteness!

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P.S.

It’s St. Patrick’s Day! I made cupcakes! ..I wish I could actually send you one through the computer, but you can take my word for it that it tastes delicious. Happy Patty’s day to my fellow Irish folk!

“Should we talk about the weather?”

I’m more than happy to say that it’s been a very mild winter here in Chicago, and the Midwest for that matter.  When usually we’ll have nipping winds and mounds of snow we had balmy and miserably rainy days as well as temperate sunny ones.  But hey, I didn’t care.  Other than being able to wear cute scarves and sweaters, I hate hate hate winter and live for Spring and Summer! I was happier than a pig in shit when I was able to rock some colorful tights, cut off jean shorts and a cute sweater or cardigan in the middle of Winter.  We really only had two significant snow falls and I completely missed the second one when I was in Nashville.  We flew home into a rainy Chicago to find that every inch of it had melted away! Huzzah!

Even though it’s been a warm one, this winter was very lucrative for me. I’ve had tons of crochet orders — hats, beards, headbands, leg warmers.. — so the temperate weather didn’t affect my little business at all which I’m very happy about. Everyone has been super supportive and more than awesome when making purchases from me and I can’t be more thankful! But now that it’s really starting to warm up I’m trying to find some inspiration for banging out a bunch of little projects like amigurumi items and little things I can sell when the weather turns chilly once again. But for now I’ve got 2 baby blankets and some little projects on my agenda. But today I’ll take a break from it =)

The last couple of days have been in the 70’s (very strange for March!) and we’re expecting the rest of the week to be the same.  Now that Daylight Savings Time happened on Saturday night, the days are getting longer, the sun is changing angles in the sky and I’m waking up to the chirping of birds.  Right now it’s 5:15pm and still sunny! Today I sat in the sunshine with a book and couldn’t have been happier in life. I even added to my sunburn I got on Sunday! My sad, winter-pasty legs have acquired a little bit of a pinkish hue =) Ganja even came scratching at the door from the inside wanting to soak up some rays. Me-yow. Good things are happening.

A nice, quick read – biography of Janis Joplin

Ganja baby with her irresistible kitteh smile

Honestly this weather couldn’t have come at a better time because I’m starting to burn out from repetitive crochet projects.  I’ve made too many hats in the last 3 months! Hopefully the warmth keeps up and we don’t get any unexpected, late Winter snows like a few years ago (5 inches in late April of 2009!) I need to start getting my tan on and soaking in some Vitamin D. So, let’s talk about the weather. How’s everything in your neck of the woods?

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Wet blanket

So last winter, I think in January 2011, I was feeling pretty confident in my mad crochet abilitiez, so I decided to start an afghan. Who was I kidding? I was inspired by older movies from the 80’s or early 90’s. You know the films, where there’s an old, ugly blanket neatly folded over the back of the sofa. Take Roseanne, for instance. Green couch with a granny square blanket laying over the back.  I LOVE THAT BLANKET. So I started dreaming of making myself the ugliest crochet blanket I could.  And so it began. I chose three colors for this gem: sky blue, black, and some confetti color I found in the Red Heart brand. Hey, if you’re going to make a big blanket you’re going to opt for the cheap stuff, right? Then I shopped around for the perfect pattern and decided on the larksfoot stitch. I used this same stitch for a baby blanket I made prior to starting this.  I like how the “claw” part of it digs down into the previous color and sort of.. pops. I just think it looks really cool so I went with it.

I started my blanket and may have gotten a little overambitious. After a few rows I realized it was a little bigger than I anticipated.. and I was working the width. The width is a little over 7 ft. Meaning the height will be about 9ft. But hey, go big or go home, right?!

Unfortunately, I only finished 24 rows, meaning it’s about 1/8 of the way finished. I chalk it up to the fact that at that point I was really getting into taking orders from people wanting hats and things so I focused more of my time on making a few extra dollars and, in the end, the blanket was folded up and thrown into my closet. Doesn’t this happen to every crochet hooker?

But fear not, for the blanket is revived! The other day I was clearing out some of my hoard of hoodies (no shame in admitting that I had 54 hoodies folded on a shelf in my closet.. don’t ask) and I noticed a sad heap of technicolor staring at me saying “You’ve forgotten me, haven’t you…?” After some denial, I finally picked up my blanket and declared that I would finish it. Despite my large list of orders I need to fill, I will get this thing done. It will no longer be a wet blanket, but one of the coolest, ugliest afghans around. Maybe not, but I will cherish it forever =). Actually I love the colors I picked for it and the more I look at it the more excited I get about finishing it. I like to think that one day it will be a family heirloom.. HA!

Here are some pictures of my blanket:

That’s my ‘squatch blimpus in the background

The unfinished edges. At this point I wasn’t familiar with the whole sew it in while you work concept.

Eww my little piggies!

So that’s my ongoing project I’ll hopefully finish sometime in the near future! How do you feel about my colors? Do you have a big project you can’t seem to finish?

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What I’ve Been Doing Lately

Since my last post about the beard hats, I’ve been obnoxiously busy with school work and crochet orders, but I’m not complaining. I love hearing feedback about all of the items I make and it makes me smile when someone loves something so much they want one for their own! So I want to take a second to say thank you to everyone who has been kind enough to place an order and bump up my “business.”

I don’t really have anything super exciting to post about, but I do want to show off share the lovely things I’ve been creating lately aaaand brag about my new crochet hooks my friend Nick was so generous to buy me as a Christmas gift (they took forever to come through the mail!) So here’s what I’ve been up to:

My grandma bought me some fun beads that look like berries — Can’t wait to find a cute project for these!

I’ve been dealing with an adorable nuisance while cranking out lots of ginger colored beards for the upcoming South Side Irish Parade here in Chicago

Had a few orders for the “Boho” style headband I posted about a while ago.

Started making and mass producing a new coffee mug cozy that can also be used for travel mugs. I’m obsessed with these little guys!

Finally finished my first attempt at leg warmers. I’d say they were a success! A friend of mine showed me a picture she found on Pintrest (I wish I could link it but I have no idea where she found it!) and asked if I could recreate them. I may just make a pair for myself…

Aaaaaand finally, my new obsession – my new bamboo crochet hooks! Nick bought them for me for Christmas and they finally came in the mail from Singapore. I never knew what was the big deal about bamboo hooks. But, they’re super soft and light weight compared to the metal hooks I’ve been using, and they just feel really nice to work with. Thank you, Nick!

So that’s about it… School work, insane amounts of reading, fulfilling crochet orders, and filling the left over time with friends. What have you been filling up your time with lately??

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I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay…

I could only wish to take credit for the infamous beard hats which have been floating around in magazines and websites like SnorgTees.com. About a year and a half ago, a friend sent me a picture of a beard hat and asked if I could replicate it. First I laughed my ass off at the concept of a hat with a connecting crocheted beard and proceeded to tell her “ABSOLUTELY.” I got really excited as I tend to do when I get new ideas, and got cracking on it. I did good.

The result:

Fantastic. BUT after making this style for a long time, I found there were a few things I needed to work out.. 1) The beard is completely attached to the hat and, if you have a big head, it’s not so easy to slip on and off without squeezing the ever lasting life out of your skull and 2) it was just a simple mustache portion that hung straight across. It needed a little more pizazz.. a mustache worthy of the British spelling “moustache.”

After some trial and error, I finally recently came up with a new beard! This time, I added a fancy moustachio AND figured if I only attached the beard to the hat at one end I could sew a button on the inside of the hat at the other end, making it much easier to take on and off. Evolution, people.

But it gets better. What can be better than a full face of lumberjack, you ask? I made it detachable.

VOILA! Presto cabob, I grew a beard-o:

“Cheers, mates!”

Right now I’m making and selling the beard hats as 2 separate pieces (Interested in making a purchase? Send me an email! We’ll talk) so I’ll see how that works out. Maybe if I feel like sharing my tricks of the trade I’ll make a post sharing a pattern on how to make these bad boys! But for now, I’ll share some photos of the famous beards slutting their way around Nashville, TN.  Everyone looks handsome in a beard!

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Knitting Hooker!

Fantastic news! Regarding my previous post, I have officially become a “knitting hooker.”  If you haven’t been following me (=O for shame!!) I received a request from my friend Jessica to make an adorable bohemian style headband last week.  First I was going to crochet it, but being that I’ve been wanting to actually make a knit project I found this the perfect opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone.  The pattern seemed easy enough and I’ve had the basics of knitting down pat for some time, but I could just never get over that hump of following through with a project. Finally, I sat down and (…6 hours later) came out with a gray headband.  As adorable as it is, I don’t think I will  be knitting another one for some time.. I think I’ll stick with being a crochet hooker and a small time knitter for those special projects on which I don’t mind spending my precious, precious time.

Drum roll, pleaaase…..

TA DA! And as an added bonus, a headband I whipped up inspired by vintage headscarf-ware.

I’ve already crocheted two headbands like this and they look just as cute as the knit version; they just take about 5 hours less to make! I love the style and they do a dandy job of keeping the ears cozy. Jessica loves hers and reported that it bore the Chicago Winter just beautifully!

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Knitting Hooker?

One of my resolutions for 2012 involves trying new things and expanding my horizons.  What better way to get started on this than to teach myself how to knit? I’ve had knitting needles sitting with my craft stuff for a long time and actually learned the basics of knitting over a year ago, but I never kept it up.  A few weeks ago I picked up the knitting needles and dug my heels in, deciding to stick with it. Using youtube videos, I actually got the knit and pearl stitches down pat! The process is veeeerrrryyyyy slow and sometimes I get frustrated after only a few rows because I feel like it takes FOREVER to knit something, but I’m grinning and baring it. I bought double pointed and circular knitting needles so now I feel obligated to learn!

So in order to actually feel productive I’m working on an easy and super adorable beginner project I found at Elisa McLaughlin Designs.

My friend Jessica asked me to make her a headband so I decided to knit it like the pattern says, rather than crochet it! Wish me luck… Progress and photos will be shared =)

How will you be following through with your new year resolutions in 2012?

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Regarding the Support of Family and Friends..

Hello, all! The new year is finally here and I am sad to say I’ve neglected this once again for a few weeks. The holiday seasons have been hectic with fulfilling orders and making gifts so I haven’t been able to find the time to come up with any good blog posts.  However, this being my first post of the year, I want to stray from the typical new year resolutions and make it extra special by acknowledging the people who matter the most…  I know Thanksgiving is long past, but I want to dedicate this post to saying thank you to all of the awesome friends and family who have been supporting my hobby throughout the season and giving me new inspiration to try new patterns and ideas. Being a full time grad student in Library school is getting very time consuming with all of the reading and whatnot, so I absolutely am humbled that I am able to support myself with my two hobbies: photography and crochet. All of the awesome people who are purchasing my handmade goodies as well as spreading the word about my business are more than wonderful and I couldn’t be more appreciative of your business. It gets crazy sometimes and my hands and wrists do get sore, but it’s all worth it to see my yarn creations light up the people in my life. Thank you, and keep the support coming, friends!

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