Gateway Craft

Way back when, I used to go outside of the house.  In fact, here is photographic evidence of some of my good ol’ glory days:

sorority date party

30th birthday limo ride

super fun bride

hosting what was once an annual Halloween party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nowadays I spend time making stockings for cats.

Yes, cats.

stockings

for cats

My buddy Sylvia is mommy to two little lovey cats Mia and Marmalade.  Since they were adopted by her this calendar year, they were in need of Christmas stockings for the upcoming festivities.

I know you're tempted to try the free "dandy dishcloth" pattern...

While you would think that I found my cat-stocking pattern on one of my favorite shows: knitting daily or knit and crochet now… surprisingly I did not.

My inspiration was instead the cat paws Christmas stocking pattern from the redheart website:

 

 

 

It’s a really simple pattern that went together quickly.  If you have nowhere to go, like myself, I would highly recommend it for your furry friends.  Here are my furry friends:

Mia is a girly cat who is playful, sociable, and sweet.  Her mother originally said that her favorite color was pink, but then decided that Mia is a USC fan (yuck!) and liked red instead.  Here is her stocking in a blend of girly pink and traitor red:

crochet cat stocking

Marmalade: Marmy initially looked like she was going to be the sweet one, but her sassy side came through pretty quickly.  She’s a cat that gets what she wants and doesn’t take prisoners.  Her mom said that Marmalade’s favorite color was “diva gold”, like the flecks of fur by her eyes.  Here is the stocking I came up with for Marmy:

crochet cat stocking

And some nitty-gritty construction details:

To make the cuff, I turned the stocking inside out and cast on a stockinette stitch to the edge.  I made about 18 rows in the round, then purled 4 rows.   Once finished, I turned it right side out and folded down the cuff.

The bow is a wonderful and amazingly simple crochet pattern found here.  I just sewed them on to the sides of the stockings.  I HIGHLY recommend it as your go-to bow pattern!

For Mia’s name, I free-handed a chain stitch in cursive.  The “i” is supposed to be a little heart, even though it looks like a misplaced umlaut.

Marmalade’s name (even “Marmy”) is way too long to chain stitch so I had to come up with a different plan.  Using a high end purse’s logo plate as my inspiration, I created a “name plate” out of plastic canvas and then sewed it onto the stocking.

ROAWR!!

Penny thought that they made excellent cat play paws, which isn’t a bad idea, actually…

In the end, I was pleased with how the stockings came out, although a little worried that my crafting has now gone to the depths of animal accessories… I hope these aren’t a gateway to even dorkier weekend endeavors.

Why you're looking fine, feline...

Friday night crafting club anyone?

I'm wanna rock and roll all night, and crochet every day..

Posted in Crochet, Knitting | 1 Comment

Sleepless in the castle

 

Little Riley had a 6th birthday party.  Seeing how cute and sweet she is now, I almost feel guilty for repeatedly and thoroughly describing the horrors of infant-rearing to her father prior to her birth.  I guess I thought it was something he needed to know.  Over and over.  And over.  And over again.

so cute but sadly, not a castle

 

It was a “princess party” so I wanted to somehow make a castle out of this great free house pattern I found online.  My original plan was to make the walls of the house the castle with the roof section as the sky.

cute and a castle

 

 

Then I decided that a house shape was too recognizable to pass that idea off and instead decided to modify this pattern on Etsy:

 

After a frenzied bout on Pinterest, the mania set in….thoughts of of crown molding, wallpaper, curtains, portraits, tassels, trees, grass, dolls, unicorns, furniture, totes…..oh the possibilities!

But unfortunately, work.  I have to go to work.  And sleep.  Sleep is necessary.

I wanted to make a girly castle with some cute stuff on the walls.  My personal goal was to purchase ONLY the plastic inserts for the castle since buying even more stuff=grumpy husband.

Using math that took longer than it should have given that I’m an adult, I changed the pattern to a one-piece and added a chair rail to look like a princess’s bedroom.  I went with some pinks in my fabric stash:

 I decided to do the outside of the castle in dark pink as well.  I added some purple stones…well, because I had purple felt.  The windows were black felt.  Both were stuck on with wonder-under and reinforced with a pick-stitch.

I used interfacing for the fabric and then lined each piece with felt.  As a result, my castle ended up a lot more pillow-y than the original pattern.

 

For the walls, I sewed the white and pink sections together and hand stitched a bias-strip “chair railing” over the top of the seam.

 

On the inside I made little windows (black on the outside of the castle and blue on the inside) with curtains.  I thought about embroidering little birds, or a sun, clouds, or a tree or something in the window, but decided the curtains covered too much of the window to make the effect worthwhile.  The center of the piece of yarn tie is sewn to the side of the window so the curtains can be let down or tied back. 

A little decorative shield over the door:

 

Finally,  a hanging “framed” portrait of the birthday girl.  To make it, I stalking-ly downloaded a picture from her dad’s Facebook profile and printed it on printable fabric (which is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!).  I then wonder-undered it to a piece of felt to give it a little more heft and pop.  I used a tapestry needle to poke holes around the edge of the “portrait” and then used these to insert the crochet edge.  I don’t remember exactly what stitches I used, I just messed around until I got a “frame-y” look that I liked.

 For the Princess Riley doll, I used this free pattern on Ravelry.  For her hair I made a hair cap as outlined in the book AmiguruME by Allison Hoffman (which I highly, highly, highly  recommend by the way).

Announcing Princess Riley Belle!!

I found this on someecards. Apparently there are others who suffer the same addiction as me. Who knew?

 

I made Princess Riley out of yarn from my secret yarn stash.  It’s in the trunk of my car.  Yes, I drive my yarn stash around town so my husband won’t know exactly how much yarn I have.  I think I may have a crafting problem.

 

Me when my pieces don't line up

 

 

 

 

 

And back to the castle… I basted on the felt pieces  and pinned everything together.  Thankfully, I remembered to make the inside and outside pieces mirror images of each other since they were not reversible.  I added (and reinforced) some ribbon onto the side panels when sewing so that the castle could be tied together when closed.  I didn’t have any Velcro on hand and ended up liking the effect in the end.

Must. Craft. Faster.

 

The morning of the party I stitched everything together-a couple of times for reinforcement-just in case.With all that fabric, felt, and tight corners, clipping was my best friend.   After some intense turning and castle abuse by bodkin, I inserted the plastic panels (the kind you use for latch hooking-like in one of the free house tutorials) and compartmentalized each section using my sewing machine.  For the bottom, I just turned the fabric in and hand stitched (more accurately called the cram the pieces together and use a “hurry, the party is in an hour” stitch).

 

And here are some photos of everything all together:

closed toy castle door

toy castle vine

toy castle

In the end, I was very happy to be able to pull everything off using what I have on hand.  I guess that means I’ll have to stock up on craft supplies so I can tell my husband that I won’t have to go to the craft store ever again.  See how that works?

Posted in Crochet, Sewing | 2 Comments

We’re all pirate ponies in the end

 

Ack! I must have you!

 

One late night of surfing the internet, my path crossed with this beauty on ravelry crocheted by “bookworm20x”.  It was at that moment that I knew that it was my destiny to make four different “My Little Ponies”, one for each of my daughters and nieces.

Squee!!!

 

 

Apparently, “My Little Pony” is back in action all resuscitated from the 1980′s.  Just like me, she’s had quite the makeover since then.

The 80's were rough for us all...

 

 

 

Then: Madame Frump

Now: Va Va Voom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like the  inspiration pony, I decided to use the free Hermione the Unicorn pattern listed on ravelry and fancy up the eyes and hair.  I felt like a total weirdo the day I went to the fabric store for the sole purpose of buying felt for pony eyes.  It was then that the woman in front of me in line announced that her $100 dollar fabric purchase was to make a coat for her friend’s show dog.  Yes, surprisingly, even clutching my printout of an assortment of pony eyeballs, I was the most normal one in the store that day.

After lots of eyeball sewing, crocheting, and some stuffing, here is how they all turned out.

TWILIGHT SPARKLE

amigurumi crochet twilight sparkle

 APPLE JACK

amigurumi crochet apple jack

amigurumi crochet apple jack

PINKIE PIE

amigurumi crochet pinkie pieRARITY

amigurumi crochet rarityAND  THEIR CUTIE MARKS!!

amigurumi crochet cutie marks

                                                                                                                                                                                        They were loved so much that last I heard, Pinkie Pie’s eyeball was chewed off by my baby niece Ava.  Next craft: pony eye patches.

Posted in Crochet | 2 Comments

The Devil Loves Tulle

Sung to the tune of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?"

 

Penny turned 4 last weekend.  Along with every other girl in America, the child has  a “Frozen” obsession.  On her birthday list this year were: “Frozen dress”, “Frozen cape”, “Frozen cake”, “Frozen party”, “Frozen hair”, and…

 

Frozen kitty“.

WTF?!? Frozen kitty??

In an effort to avoid abuse to animals, I decided to instead take a stab at the “Frozen dress” and “Frozen hair” portion of her request list.

There are A LOT of online resources with tips on how to make an Elsa dress.  The problem with her dress is that unlike Snow White, Alice, and Sleeping Beauty that have a unique color combination, Elsa is pretty much just blue.  It’s also a very curve-hugging dress that is challenging to translate into a child’s costume.

Totally OK

NOT OK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I finally decided to princess-ify the bottom half of the dress and make it huge using Simplicity 2463.  I went looking for the most glittery blue fabric that I could find at my favorite place.  The woman cutting the fabric commented that they have been selling A LOT of blue fabric lately for “Frozen” dresses.  I guess there are other family members being held hostage by their mini terrorists…I mean children.

 

This skirt is smuggling SO MUCH TULLE!!!!  I subsequently spent my week of Spring Break trying to dominate a pile of mesh.  I imagine that in hell there is a sort of a sweatshop where the devil forces everyone to sew tulle for an eternity while sitting at the McDonald’s play place….on a Friday evening at 5:00.  McDonald’s doesn’t sell alcohol, btw.

<=  I couldn’t even numb the pain with wine out of fear that I would end the day looking like this.

I was thinking of adding long sleeves to the dress, but instead reinforced the top with multiple layers of fabric since my first attempt at the bodice ripped miserably under the weight of everything.

Then, on to the hair… I found this great tutorial for making a yarn wig-so quickly and EASILY.  Unfortunately, it really does need the two braids to maintain balance on the head.  I might try the beanie with hair method someday instead.

I crocheted some snowflakes out of turquoise embroidery floss using the patterns: here and here.

 

 

It’s the thought that counts…poor Penny is now waking around with “Elsa hair” that looks like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s how the dress turned out in the end.  We took Penny to Disneyland on her birthday where she cavorted among the army of mini-Elsas who are in process of taking over the world.

homemade sewn elsa dress frozenhomemade sewn elsa dress frozenhomemade sewn elsa dress frozenhomemade sewn elsa dress frozen

A very airbrushed picture of the entire family:

And finally, the best part of any celebration…CAKE!!!!

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Nope, “windy city” is not just a cute nickname

Every year I run away from home and escape my nutty family and crazy job participate in valuable professional development at the annual American Speech Hearing and Language Association (ASHA) conference. This year the convention location was Chicago. My colleague and I usually submit to present at the conference so that we can stroke our egos by telling everyone that we are “national presenters” share our insights with fellow speech pathologists. We were assigned a poster presentation this time around so of course this justified a trip to Chicago.

Must. Finish. Sewing.

 

Because I don’ t get out much, I’ve been planning and/or obsessing over my Chicago-wear sewing projects since last spring I’m so busy with life, I haven’t even had time to think about a winter wardrobe. In reality, there have been a lot of sewing plans and limited execution. Here are some of the projects I managed to scrape together before 1:30am prior to departure.

I’d been coveting the Butterick 5824 pattern for a while.

(Too bad I can’t sew myself that rocking Dita Von Teese hair and makeup too!)

I ended up buying some navy wool flannel and a crepe de chine from Fabric Mart. The coat was a pretty basic sew that I would recommend to anyone who would like a coat that wears like a dress. The only change I made was using a horsehair braid for the hem because I was feeling too lazy to cut out and iron bias strip pieces of interfacing I wanted some extra flair to the skirt. Here’s how mine turned out:

Butterick 5824 wool flannel coat

 

The lining ended up kind of looking like a crayon box threw up inside my coat. The good news is that I will never have to wear it inside out.

Sorry about the coat ma'am, it was a rough night...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had also been ogling this Butterick 5813 pattern for quite some time now.

 

I made mine out of a blue gabardine from, again, Fabric Mart Fabrics

 

 

Here’s me peacocking around working our poster session:

our jackets were light green and brown when we left...

 

CHICAGO IS COLD AND WINDY!!!! On our first night we braved walking in the freezing cold (it was actually below 32 degrees and not just an expression for once) to eat a delicious deep dish pizza dinner. My poor colleague was regaled with a continuous stream of pathetic whimpering and repeated “its colds” followed by a pizza-gasm at Lou Malnati’s.  During our trip, the weather warmed up followed by RAIN.  We managed to board our airplane home only about an hour before the storm caused an evacuation of Soldier Field.

 

 

At the same time, experiencing an actual fall was so amazing! I got to see naked trees, berry-covered branches, and about died of excitement when I saw a squirrel who was mid-transition into winter camouflage.  I’m used to seeing this stuff hanging in a mall and made out of plastic.  In addition, the public transportation was clean and efficient and most people were very friendly.  The sights and tastes of Chicago were beautiful and definitely worth braving the cold!

I <3 fall!

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Turtles for the Peachick

Yeah Baby!

 

<= My friend Paulina (“the peacock“) is having a baby!!!  Babies always warrant fun crafts, multiple trips to Hobby Lobby, and laying on the couch crocheting.

Flashing back to Paulina’s bridal shower last summer…

Over a couple of mimosas we played that game where guests are asked questions about the bride and groom.  I was on a winning streak that came to a screeching halt after this question: “What is the couple’s favorite animal ‘as a couple‘?”  My inner monologue went from “I’m soooo awesome” to something like this:

 

I'm going to go ahead and guess yours is cat. Yeah.

“Favorite animal as a couple?  Who the heck has a favorite animal as a couple? Is my marriage incomplete because my husband and I have never had this conversation? Cat? Dog? Komodo Dragon? Aaaahhhh, I’m going to break my winning streak!  Can’t we just move on to the part where we have to make wedding dresses out of toilet paper?”

 

Sea turtle.  The answer was sea turtle.  

We were supposed to know this because the couple ‘fell in love’ in Hawaii.  I then filed this tidbit of information away in my “useless information that no one really cares about but I incessantly impart to others anyway and that’s why no one wants to be my friend” brain-file.  There the sea turtle joined up with my 6th grade crush’s home telephone number, obscure Simpsons trivia from the mid 1990s, and the lyrics to the opening of the Heathcliff cartoon show- in Spanish.

646-XXXX

Isidoro es genial. Es el rey de la ciudad. Nadie lo puede igualar. Tiene clase de verdad.

all syrup super squishee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we made toilet paper wedding dresses.  My team won, by the way, which I’m happy to report after my disastrous performance on the questions portion of the bridal shower.  It must have been the “pomegranate juice freshly squeezed from seeds fished out of our drinks” flower accent that gave us the competitive edge.

Anyway…flash forward 1-year and it’s baby shower time and Paulina and her husband love turtles (…’as a couple’).  I thought I’d make up some sort of crochet sea turtle blanket for their little-lady baby.  Here were some of my initial inspirations:

 

car blanket source             rainbow blanket source     water blanket source

 

I decided on a chevron-wave effect to simulate water

 

And some turtle ideas:

source                                       source                                      source

 

 

 

 

 

<= I wanted to capture the idea of baby turtles running into the ocean (minus the hoard of attacking seagulls). 

Nobody likes me. Everybody hates me. Why don't I eat some worms?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


These were some of my quick sketches:

both my kids and husband voted for this one

nope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I broke down and decided to not be a total cheapo and purchased the turtle pattern on ravelry since I loved their little sea-turtley fins and patterned shell.

 

I generally followed this free pattern here to make the chevron waves.

 

 

I got totally stumped at the surf portion of the blanket.  After torturing some highly critical/ brutally honest co-workers with rapid-fire questions about how to proceed with the “turtle blanket” followed by lots of crazed ripping-out and re-crocheting, I decided to make two rows of white, start the sand color through the back loops of the white layer, and continue the white layer in the front loops.  I added intermittent bobble stitches at the end of the floating white layer in attempt to give it a foamy look.

 

Here’s how it all came together:

 sea turtle crochet ocean baby blanket

sea turtle crochet ocean baby blanketsea turtle crochet ocean baby blanketsea turtle crochet ocean baby blanket

I remember the scene looking something like this...

(flashback alert) At the beginning of my career I once taught a summer school kindergarten class for students with severe language delays.  One day I read the students a book about sea turtles as part of an ocean unit.  When I was done, one little guy looked super sad and asked “where mom?“.  Being the incessant imparter of facts no one wants to hear, I nonchalantly said “They never see their moms.  The ocean is sooo big!  They just swim away“.  Then this little kiddo that hardly ever talked started sobbing and screaming “NO MOM!!!!!!  NO MOM!!!!!” and I was like “well, he’s lucky he didn’t get eaten by a gull, a dog, or a big fish like most of his brothers and sisters”.

Yeah.  My brutally honest co-workers advised me to NOT tell that story at the baby shower.

 

Soooo….I decided to make it very clear that the baby-Paulina sea turtle made it safely to the ocean:

See?  She’s pink! And she’s almost to the medium blue water section…

 

In the end, I gave myself super bonus kudos when it was stated that the baby would be given a Hawaiian name (SCORE!)  My ego then went on to be quickly deflated again when I lost the sculpt-a-baby-out-of-bubble gum game to someone who actually made a full head of girly hair for their gum-baby…. Toilet paper baby clothes competition anyone?

Posted in Crochet | 18 Comments

Comatose Crochet

Sometimes I get lazy.  Really lazy.  Really, really lazy.  Sometimes I’m too lazy to sit up to sew…that’s when I knit.  Sometimes I get too lazy to move both arms to knit…and that’s when I crochet.

I’ve been doing a lot of laying around….I mean… CROCHETING lately.

“Oh, You’re having a birthday?!?  A baby you say?!?  I must lay on the couch for hours and crochet you something.  What children?  You say you want to eat again?  Didn’t I feed you two yesterday?  Darned kids.”

 

Project #1-A Gift for Maria: You were supposed to say “pink bunny”

Maria was celebrating her 5th birthday so I sent her mother the text “What is Maria’s favorite color and animal?” thinking I would crochet her a customized stuffy.

Her answer back was: “rainbow unicorn. LOL”

Wow, ok.  I went searching on the Ravelry website and found this great free pattern!

Hermione

 

…and it’s called “Hermione”…Hermione….just like ME!!!…wait…I mean that girl from Harry Potter:

 

 

 

 

 

It’s easy to see how I often get myself and Hermione confused- the resemblance is striking…with the exception that we look nothing alike and give or take about 25 years.

“You look so much like Hermione Granger” said no one to me ever.  :(

Any-hoo…back on the topic of rainbow unicorns.  I thought maybe I could do the mane in rainbow colors and maybe something rainbow-y with the bottom of the feet:

Here were my initial attempts at rainbow feet.  I thought a few looked too Rastafari while others looked too “nipple-y”.  (Probably not the effect Maria was hoping for…)

I liked the half-rainbow foot and decided to do it with a sky blue background.  After many hours of unicorn abuse via hook and needle, here is how it everything came together:

amigurumi crochet rainbow unicorn

amigurumi crochet rainbow unicorn

amigurumi crochet rainbow unicornamigurumi crochet rainbow unicorn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out my rainbow feet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project #2-Birthday Present for Maddie: If you don’t like octopuses, you could tell everyone it’s the blue ghost from PacMan 

I have had it in my head to make myself this chicken purse (or “cluck clutch“).  For some strange reason, I just think it would be so funny/ awesome to walk around with a chicken in my armpit, and then whip my wallet out of its belly at the local In-N-Out to pay for my lunch (I dream big, I know…).

 

 

My fashion-forward friend/ co-worker’s opinion, however, was that a chicken purse would definitely not fit in with the “sexy librarian” look I’ve been working so hard to cultivate.  I disagree with her-chickens clearly love books, see?  =>

 

From Amigurumi on the Go

The girls were invited to Maddie’s 5th birthday party and I thought it would be hilarious to make her a “cluck clutch” with eggs inside.  After giving it some thought, and deciding that maybe her parents wouldn’t appreciate me giving their daughter a present that poops, I decided to check out the offerings in this book and thought the octopus bag was cute.  I had some dark and light blue yarn on hand and this is how my version turned out:

ana paula rimoli amigurumi crochet octopus backpack
I wanted to add a little flair to the bag like a fancy-pants purse, so I added an initial-fish pull-tab to the back zipper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project #3-Birthday Present for Boss: Your caffeine withdrawal has been harder for us than it has been for you, TRUST me

Yes

No

What do you gift the man with a Mountain Dew addiction who gives up caffeine until he finishes his hike up Mount Whitney this summer?  A Superman soda cozy/koozie for his hillbilly-fuel induced high on the way down, of course!

crochet drink cozy koozie superman

 

I used this free pattern found on Ravelry.com as a springboard.

 

 

 

The changes I made were:

  • Superman colors
  • adding a circular bottom to support the can
  • smaller yarn/ embroidery for the crest
  • a satin cape!

 

 

 

Project #4-Your mother is one of the cutest pregnant women I’ve ever seen and I hate her for it.  But really, she’s a super-nice person and I’m just jealous.

One of my fellow school psychologists is having a baby girl.  Since her shower theme was “ballerina”, I made her a pink and white chevron blanket inspired by this post.  It is a super quick crochet, I am very pleased with how it turned out, and I highly recommend the pattern (which was awesomely free by the way!).  Now I want one for myself, but my husband says that we already have enough blankets in the house.  Well, poop on him and I hope he has a cold summer this year.

chevron crochet baby blanket pink white

 

Project #5-Penny’s breakfast musings

This morning, while feasting on her Coco Puffs and philosophizing on the meaning of life, Penny asked “you make me a tiara?”  I decided to try this free pattern found on Ravelry to make crowns for Josie and Penny.  Then I forced them to wear it and take pictures in the backyard against their will.  I’m the funnest mom ever.

crochet crown tiara

 

 

And in case you were wondering, yes my weird child wears a flamenco dress as clothing.  I made her take off the inner-tube around her waist for the picture though.

 

 

Project #6-and in store for the near future…

 

Summer vacation is coming soon!!!

 

 

My sewing machine broke this week.

 

I’m lost on a roller coaster of emotions….I guess I could get off the couch and find a sewing machine repair shop.  Or I could stay where I am and crochet myself a hankie to cry into instead…

Not made by me...yet

 

 

Perfect!  (Free pattern found here)

 

Posted in Crochet, Harry Potter Obsession | 7 Comments

Going Lala-Loopy

Our little Penny turned 3 years old this Saturday.  She’s such a good sport for being so willing to be a part of our family….

Mr. Penelope

Got ya!

How you doin?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For once, instead of tormenting the poor child, we decided to invite her friends over for a birthday party.  Penny’s choice was a Lalaloopsy theme.

After grieving the fact that she didn’t ask for a Harry Potter themed party (I’ve majorly failed her as a parent…), I decided to start by crocheting Lalaloopsy hats as party favors for the girls.  After searching the internet for ideas, these were some of my favorite inspirations:

 

I found these adorable hats on this website here.  I really liked the mixture of crochet and sewing (especially for the cheeks), and the super boingy hair curls.

 

 

I also loved the hats featured here and here on the Happiness is Homegrown website.  Pretty much EVERYTHING this blogger has created is adorable!

I decided to pilfer … I mean honor the beautiful work of the multitude of crafters that have gone before me….  by creating a similar version of this hat.  Here is mine.

Lalaloopsy crochet hat Toffee Cocoa Cuddles

Lalaloopsy crochet hat Toffee Cocoa Cuddles

Lalaloopsy crochet hat Toffee Cocoa Cuddles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lalaloopsy crochet hat Toffee Cocoa Cuddles

To make the beanies, I used this free pattern from Ravelry as the base (child size) with the following changes:

-rows 1-12 done in the hair color

-change rows 10-12 as follows* (for the little divot in the bangs) :

*20 hdc, 6 dc, 1 sc, 1 slip stitch, 1 sc, 6 dc, finish row in hdc

-Row 13: change to flesh colored yarn, crochet through back loop only

-Row 14-19: continue pattern in hdc then bind off

For the curls, I chained 6 stitches, turned, skipped one, and did 5 hdc in each chain

Sew 5 curls onto each side of the hat.

I used 1-1/2 inch buttons for the eyes, felt for the cheeks, and yarn for the mouth.  I found a fantastic bow tutorial here that I highly recommend.  Also, in the hat-making process I discovered this great tidbit for jogless color changes when crocheting in the round for all you OCD types out there like myself.

I then saw these mice/ rabbits that some kiddie Lalaloopsy partiers had hand sewn and stuffed.

 

 

 

 

 

I thought the kids should sew Toffee Cocoa’s dog to match their party-favor hat:

After many, many frustrating and ugly failed design attempts, this is how it finally turned out.

toffee cocoa cuddles puppy dog

To make the puppy, I went onto the Lalaloopsy website and printed out a copy of him as a template.  I used felt and cut the front half with ears and the back half without.  Since my kids have a weird addiction to “fluffies” (it’s like kiddy catnip to my very strange children), I decided that I would pre-stuff the pups so they wouldn’t start acting weird at the party.  I sewed on the eyes and nose and decided to stamp the cheeks because I got tired of sewing.  The head “fluffies” are contained by a zigzag stitch, and the body is stuffed and hand sewn.  Thank goodness for the crochet scarf, which not only serves as a design element, but holds up the heavy and overly-floppy head.  I punched the holes in the head using one of those tools that attaches snap-buttons and eyelets.  At the party the kids sewed around the head using yarn and plastic needles.

I then saw this adorable photo wall on the time-bandit called Pinterest.

I really wanted one…the 0nly problem was, I can’t paint or draw.  I decided to try something similar in felt.  A lot of lot of felt…..

 

I think my husband felt sorry for me when he found me one night sitting maniacally in the middle of felt mountain.  He kindly advised me to draw grids on the picture and increase the scale accordingly.  After remembering how to effectively do math that involves letters, this is how the photo wall turned out:

lalaloosy felt photo backdrop

 This is the point in time when I lost my mind….  and started making Lalaloopsy wig-hats as “props”:

Lalaloopsy Cinder Slippers crochet hat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Cinder Slippers

 

Lalaloopsy Mittens Fluff n' Stuff crochet hat

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mittens Fluff N’ Stuff

 

 

lalaloopsy crumb sugar cookie crochet hat

 

 

 

Crumbs Sugar Cookie

 

Lalaloopsy pix e. flutters crochet hat

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pix E. Flutters

 

 

lalaloopsy backdrop

 

Josie got in on the action too and set to drawing Lalaloopsy characters as party decorations.  I used these to adorn a backdrop for the food table:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josie was also in charge of putting up streamers:

That chunk of streamer really spruces up the fireplace quite nicely...

 

 

 

 

 

A great tutorial on sewing streamers together can be found here (via my buddy the felt mouse).

All in all, I think the party was a success as measured by the fact that no one cried (including me).    I hope that Penny will remember her party fondly and on her way to 4 I’ll work on brainwashing her to appreciate the finer things in life.  That way, maybe I can realize my dream of someday playing….

 

 

Pin the scar on Harry Potter (OMG HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?!) found here.  Do I dare to dream???….

Posted in Crochet, Sewing | 4 Comments

The Hot Water Whale

Wilbur Whale

I wanted to make a belated Christmas present for my best friend’s (super-adorable, handsome, sweet) little baby Milo.  Since his nursery theme is “whales”, I thought I might have a go at this Lucinda Guy whale pattern =>

I decided to first ask my husband his opinion on whether or not I should make it for Milo.  This is how I remember our conversation happening:

  • Me: Is this cute? (showing picture)
  • Husband: Yes.
  • Me: Should I make it for baby Milo?
  • Husband: Yes
I decided to go for it.

Apparently this is how my husband remembers the exact same conversation:

  • Me: Does this look like a hot water bottle? (showing picture)
  • Husband: Yes
  • Me: Do you like nachos?
  • Husband: Yes

We're whalers on the Moon, we carry a harpoon. But there ain't no whales so we tell tall tales and sing our whaling tune.

 

Mid-construction I changed the whale’s embroidery from “harpooned-whale-red” to “sea-weedy” green.

My brain keeps telling me that at this point you would all enjoy this extremely obscure  Futurama reference.

(My brain says “you’re welcome” BTW.)

 

In the end my husband was wrong.  The whale stuffy ended up looking nothing at all like a hot water bottle…  see???

eye

Because clearly, hot water bottles don’t  have eyes.

no eye

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I mean, really?  How ridiculous would this look?

 

 

So baby Milo, I hope you enjoy your super cetacean-y, marine-mammal-ly, and not at all hot water bottle-ly WHALE.  <3

Posted in Crochet | 2 Comments

Cat-eyePad cover

Don't get fresh with me Rooty Tooty!

 

My friend/ coworker Sylvia had a birthday this week (55!) making her eligible to order more budget-friendly options off the senior menu at our local IHOP.

 

 

 

I once showed Sylvia a picture of this cat iPad cover available for sale on Etsy.  In her aged state, she somehow got it into her head that this was a free downloadable pattern (Nope.  It’s $78 made to order) and has been pestering me since Christmas to make her the “cat iPad cover”.  Well, I simply can’t say “no” to a senior citizen, so this January, Sylvia got her wish.

 

Wasn't I a good enough servant to you?

 

In her day to day life as our school’s speech and language pathologist, Sylvia uses her district-issued iPad quite frequently.  At this point, she was looking to upgrade from…..wrapping it in saran wrap.

 

 

 

While I really do love the cat iPad cover above, I wanted to make something that looked less……. like it wants kick your butt and eat you.  Instead I wanted something modern, but with a 50′s flair (a nod to her birth generation).  I decided to make this great envelope iPad cover listed here on tipnut.  Here were some of the additional inspirations I found on pinterest:

 

 

 

 

 

<= I LOVE the cat’s blue eye shadow!!!!

I soo want to wear some!

(What? It was HALLOWEEN…I hope.)

 

 Ok, maybe not.

 

Sylvia said that her favorite colors were purple and “peacock colors”.  Because I don’t want my husband to have a valid reason to divorce me over my “fabric addiction”, the challenge became how to make this darned thing without setting foot in a fabric store.

Here were some of my initial ideas:

a little too dowdy...

a little better, but kind of...limbless

 

 

 

 

 

that's it!/ front and back

starburst inspiration from this fine china

 

 

 

 

 

 

After digging manically through the stash, I chose a jean for the outside, a purple sateen for the lining, and a light brown felt for the cat.

 

I'm going to eat your soul....

 

 

I then set to work ….

 

 

(Segoe Script)

 

My heart dropped a little when I realized that the script embroidery + jean fabric reminded me forcefully of Guess! jeans in the 80′s.

 

I then figured that since my goal was modern+50′s…. if you take the mean of 2013 and 1958 you get 1985.5.  There you go.  See?  Math explains everything.

 

Flash forward through many OCD-filled hours…and here’s the final product:

cat iPad cover envelope

front

 

cat iPad cover envelope

back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I added an empty head under the velcro so she wouldn’t look decapitated (or would it be de-cat-itated?) when the envelope was opened.

All the cool cats are wearing mid-back bows

And finally, here is Sylvia with her fancy new iPad cover.  Goodbye saran wrap!

iPad cat cover envelope

(This was the only part of our classroom that was sort of picked up.)  No time to clean though….we’re off for a frugal birthday lunch at the IHOP!  (After our very hard, super laborious morning of work, that is).

Posted in Sewing | 1 Comment