Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Hookers' Club

Meet my friend Amanda.  She and I have started our own Hookers' Club.  At least that's what my husband calls us.  We call our meetings craft dates.  Less room for misinterpretation that way.  Anyway, on Saturday we got out our crochet hooks and spent the afternoon making heart garlands for Valentines Day.  I don't remember where I saw the idea first, but I found an excellent how-to video at Little Birdie Secrets.  This was perfect since I'm a novice "hooker" and this was Amanda's first time!  {Insert joke here.}

 We pooled all of our yarn and made lots and lots of hearts!  I especially love the larger hearts made from chunky yarn.
 After crocheting all the hearts I did a google image search to see how other women strung them on their garlands.  I found a few different ways to do it.  I also found some larger, multi-color hearts that I loved.  Don't you just hate finding great ideas at the end of a project?  {sigh}

Here is my finished simple heart garland.
I threaded my hearts on a long chain of color changing yarn.  I'm quite pleased with how it turned out!

Now for a challenge.  I'm using what I know about crocheting to add different colors to make another garland with bigger hearts.  I'm sure there is a great tutorial out there somewhere, but I don't like to read directions if I don't have to.  
For the first heart (above right) I followed the original heart directions from Little Birdie Secrets.  Then instead of fastening off I changed yarn and did an additional round of DC, adding extra DC stitches around the top curves and bottom point to keep the fullness and shape.  Not bad.  Knowing I could do better I made another basic heart.  This time, using the same multicolor yarn I added a second and third round of SC stitches.  Again, I added a few SC stitches around the top curves and bottom point.  For the forth round I changed colors and SC all the way around.  Round five I did TR stitches on top (as picture below shows) then DC down to the point.  When I got to the point I did one CH, TR, CH (just like the point of the small heart) and then mirrored what I did up the other side.  Does that make sense? 

The third heart (below center) is just another modification to add variation to my second garland.
I wrote the directions as I went this time.
Start with a simple heart.
2nd round- SC around, increase/add 1SC at top curves, 3SC at bottom point
3rd round- ch 3, TR 3, 2TR in next stitch, DC 5, ch 1, TR 1, ch 1, DC 5, 2TR in next stitch, TR 3, ch 2, sl st, fasten off

Repeat any or all of the above, string together, and garland two is complete!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

DIY ABC Blocks

The other day Monkey and I were building with our small collection of wood blocks.  I remembered the pile of scrap wood in the garage and started thinking about how much fun some new blocks would be!  I found a bunch of left over 2x2s and decided ABC blocks were the way to go (the teacher inside me couldn't resist).  I cleared some room and started cutting and sanding!
 My blocks are far from perfect but my 3 year old doesn't care!
 I used paint pens to write letters (capital on one side and lowercase on another).  I made the whole alphabet and extra letters as needed so I can spell both girls' names.
 A little Mod Podge and scrapbook paper added a birdie puzzle to another side.
More scrapbook paper and a coat of glaze spray and I'm done!
I even saved a few blocks for the girls to paint.  But that's for another day...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pillow Party!

Today I came across a tutorial for ruffle pillows on Tatertots and Jello. They remind me of floor pillows I made for my girls a few months ago.  They were super simple and the girls love them!

Have a cozy evening!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Place to Pretend

A few posts ago I mentioned the shelf I hung for Christmas stockings.  Here is a post-Christmas update.  The middle picture is one of my all time favorites.  Its my grandparents' wedding picture.

You may have noticed all of the empty space under the stockings in the original post.  It didn't take long to fill it up!  My husband dug an old table out of the shed and cut down the legs.  I gave it a thick layer of paint and it was ready to go.  Then I found cute children's DIY furniture patterns at  My mom and I joined forces and built the doll high chair to surprise my little Beanie for Christmas.
 Next I found plans for the kid's storage chair and my husband graciously whipped up a couple.  He's so sweet!  They have already been well played with!  Can you see why I've hidden all the markers?
Now my girls have a place in the family room to play and I have something pretty to look at.  Win-win. 

A Feathery Problem and Solution

My husband has to work today so I thought I would surprise him with a little something and try to solve a feathery problem in the kitchen.  He often prepares food for his birds over the trash can next to the sink.  I think the picture says it all.

 A fat tin can will be perfect for those meat scissors, and a falcon silhouette is the prefect way to keep them separated from our other scissors.
 I covered the whole area with tape and traced my falcon design.
 I cut the design and carefully peeled it off.
 A quick hit of black spray paint...
 And the tin is finished!  Yuck factor gone!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Welcome to my new blog!

I never thought I had enough to say to start my own blog, yet I keep thinking of all the fun projects I could share with the internet world!  Most of my ideas have come from other blogs, after all.  So here I go!

The cold weather has kept me inside lately so I've been keeping busy with some projects around the house.  I'm trying to be more organized.  Doesn't seem to be working.  Oh well.

Here are some pictures of my recent projects.

Hand-me-down step stool re-do.

We don't have a fireplace so I moved a bookcase, stained a shelf from Hobby Lobby to match the other furniture, and hung our stockings with care.  I call it my faux mantle.  :)  More on this later...

My daughters LOVE crafts and coloring and need a place to hang artwork other than the fridge.  [where did all my magnets go anyway?]  We have the perfect spot in the dining room for these clothespin display boards!  The best part of this project?  I didn't have to buy a thing!

This one isn't a project but this picture of my little Bean was so cute that I had to include it anyway.  She just loves it when daddy brings home birds!