Friday, July 23, 2010

Somebody stop me!

Do you think I have enough cotton dish cloths? Since my last post, I have made a ton more and just keep going. My Mom jumped on the band wagon and made a circular one, which is adorable and keeps from boredom setting in on the standard square ones! I had her teach me the pattern in the parking at the golf course yesterday! Yes, we are obsessed crafters!!! I get that from her!

Here is my current stack - crazy huh?

Half the fun is switching out the color and trying new combinations. These will make great little "filler" gifts throughout the year. Just grab two that go together and wrap them with a pretty ribbon and.....instant gift! Put them in a cute gift basket with other kitchen items or a coffee mug with coffee, tea, and honey! Adorable and VERY easy to make!

Here is the circular one that my Mom taught me. It crochets up just as quickly as the square ones and has a much cuter look. I think this might be my new favorite!!

I also wanted to make use of the little pieces of cotton left over that wasn't enough to make anything with. So I decided to try making your standard granny square to use up the scraps. I like this as well!!! A good crafter NEVER wastes the end of the skein.

Anyone interested in trying to make their own dish cloths, there are tons of free patterns online. There is also a great site called Ravelry that is the best thing that has happened to me on the computer. It is a knitting and crochet community where you can find tons of patterns, both for sale and free. After you register, you can add photos of your projects, get tips on yarn, share ideas and just share your passion with others. I have met many wonderful online friends through Ravelry. You must check it out!!!!!
Happy Friday!!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's gettin' there!

After a long summer of rain, then heat, we are finally getting the pool and deck completed. At least we have been able to use the pool during the construction of the deck as a good part of it is already there and attached to the back of the house. It is just a matter of extending the deck around the pool so that we can put a slide in for the kids. Even without the railings up, I love the size of it and how much room it gives us when we have the family over to swim. And since Addie has become our little fish this summer, she is going to love it!

As you can tell from the pictures, we have alot of yard and even more trees! Unfortunately there is a small creek/run-off area just a short distance from the back of our house which really has hindered us in using much of our back yard. And the trees are just too beautiful to take any down. So building the deck off the house and extending it out with the pool was a perfect solution to using our back yard. We have a small bridge that goes over the run-off area so at some point when the grandkids get a bit bigger, we can make a nice swingset and play area for them on the back part of the yard. But until then, I'm going to enjoy my deck and pool!!

We decided to leave this tree up at the back side of the deck to give us a bit more shade at the end of the day. It will be a perfect spot for a chair or two.

Next step...railings!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Baby Boy Hats!

As I mentioned in my last post, I was asked to make a few baby hats to be given as a shower gift for a baby boy being born in November. I finished two so far and forgot how fun and easy baby hats are to make. I always try taking photos of my hats so that they reflect how cute they really are. But the pictures just don't cut it. They need a cute, round baby head to be put on.

Sooo....guess who I know who has the cutest, roundest, most adorable head in the world? That would be my grandson Blake! He made a fabulous model and looked darling in the hats. I'm thinking he may need his own set of hats this winter! Wouldn't you agree?

I think my next hat will have a Christmas theme!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A little of this...A little of that!

I've had a busy couple of weeks...ALL very good though! We have successfully gotten Meagan and Ryan into their new home! Yeah! It's a bit of a drive but not a bad drive. Of course anyone who lives in the Chicago area knows that there are only two seasons - winter and CONSTRUCTION! And it doesn't help that the operators are on strike so all of the roads are partially done. I guess this means that the road construction will not be done by November, which is when they promised. So guess what comes after November? WINTER - the other season! Oh well, what ya gonna do? It felt good to be able to help them out! And I LOVE their house and the neighborhood they moved to! Very, very nice! So, in between moving Ryan and Meagan and spending time with the grandbabies, I did squeeze in some random projects! I've done some crocheting, knitting and wool felt when I've had a chance to sit down!

Here are the cute dish clothes that I have been making. They crochet up very quickly and make great gifts. They're a fun little project to take with when you need something mindless and quick to work on! They are just double crochets and are made in cotton so they are great for doing dishes. And when they get worn out and ugly, just throw them in your bag of cleaning rags and us them more. Perfect. You can pick up the Sugar and Cream or Peaches and Cream Cotton Yarn at any craft store and Walmart. It's super cheap and they make really cute little gifts. I used an "I" hook and chained 26 stitches. You just do double crochets until it looks square. There are tons of patterns for dish clothes but these are just very simple and fast!

My son-in-law's cousin asked if I could knit some baby boy hats for her to give as a shower gift to a little boy due in November. I love knitting baby hats so I jumped at the chance to make up some really cute ones. Of course there are tons more patterns for little girls but I think she will like the ones I am making. Here is the first one I finished. I did it in stockinette on circular needles but every time you make a color change, you do a row of purl to give it the ridge in it and some interest in the pattern. And since the baby is due before the holidays, I thought I would make a stocking cap in red and white stripe so he has a hat to wear for the holidays.

As you all know, I love wool felt. But half the problem is getting it ready to stitch. That to me is more work than actually stitching it. Here is my next wool felt project. It's from a book called Summer Gatherings and it is a beautiful Welcome banner. The preparation is alot but I can't wait to get it all pressed down and ready to go. More photos will follow as I get the pieces cut and fused to the background. If you love wool felt, you must check out the Primitive Gatherings website. This book was written by the owner and they are located in Wisconsin. I have a trip planned there next month!!! Fabulous stuff!

This is the pattern in the book that I have to trace onto Seam a Seam 2 and then fuse to a background.

These are the pieces traced and fused . Next step is to cut them out!

Here is one flower cut out and ready to be fused to the background.

I wondered what I had done all week but after typing this, I think I did alot!!! And because my post is titled "A little of this...a little of that" I thought I would end with pictures of my beautiful Rose of Sharon bushes (Apple Pie Gal's request). They started out as little tiny sprigs that someone from work gave to me. And this is what they have grown up to be! The white one is where mama bird and her babies live right outside my office window!

I hope everyone has a great, productive week!!! Off to do another hat!!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

We have babies!

Remember my post from a couple weeks ago when I was marveling at how I watched a bird outside my window building her nest? Well, today I opened up my blinds and was able to snap a picture of the new additions!!! You can see a couple of them with their little mouths open, waiting for Mom to bring them some food! They are so cute. I am so happy that that have a great home to live in. Mommie bird picked a great spot for these little ones. She found my beautiful Rose of Sharon that is somewhat protected under the overhang of our porch. I just love watching them raise their little heads watching for their mommie to return!!!

Now I can't wait to see them grow and take off on their own. Isn't that the role of a Mom? To give your babies the wings to fly on their own? Aww, I think I have a tear in my eye as I think about raising my three little babies and watching them grow into wonderful adults with great spouses in their lives. I wonder if this Mamma birdie is as proud of her babies as I am of mine?