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11  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Paper Flower Hats on: January 03, 2011 01:09:06 PM
I threw a bridal shower for a friend last summer and just found the photos!  I made some tissue paper flower decorations for the appetizer table and as the day progressed we decided that they'd make pretty good hats!  We secured them with bobby pins and went out on the town!  We got a lot of looks and compliments!  All in all it was a fun time!

The flower pouf directions are from martha stewart's craft encyclopedia.

12  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Modern Doll House on: January 02, 2011 06:55:39 PM
My husband and I created this modern doll house for our son during the summer (i know, very late posting!).  I made all the furniture and my husband did the house.  We wanted something that was multi-functional in case our son got tired of play with a dollhouse.  

This has been used as an airport, parking garage, star wars rebel base, even a stool and table for snacks!  

We first got the idea of a modern, open house from madebyjoel.com

Here is a link to his house:

Yeah we're pretty proud of it!  Let me know what you think!

the bedroom

the living room

happy birthday boy with his new house! note the pole dancing doll in the background (thanks hubby!)  Smiley

13  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Dino Play Mat- with Tutorial on: December 24, 2010 08:16:21 AM
I recently made this awesome dinosaur play mat for my son's christmas present!  He's going to LOVE it!!

I took some photos and my older son and his friend got to play with it a bit!  Now of course they want one!  If you too, want one, I've written up a full tutorial.  I'll share it here, and if you need more information you can always read the full post here:


there are more step by step photos there, as i didn't want to overload this post with them!  The full step by step tutorial is bat the end of this post!! Smiley


two sheets of green felt(for the base)
one sheet of tan or brown felt(for the cave and rocks)
one sheet of blue felt(for the river)
scraps of dark brown felt(for the tree trunks)
scraps of dark green felt(for the leaves)
scraps of bright coloured felt(for the fish)
bias tape or ribbon (for securing your rolled mat)
a straw or pencil
sewing machine

Step 1:  Cut out a large circle (doesn't have to be perfect!) from your tan felt.  Cut a small "U" shape for the entrance of the cave.  Cut a few small circles for rocks.

 Step 2:  Pin the larger circle (cave) onto your base.  Just use one sheet of green for the base.  The other one will be used near the end!  As you are pinning, pinch the circle so that it stands up to form a cave, see photo below.  Do the same with the rock circles.

Step 3: Using tan thread, sew around the edge of your cave.  Start and one side of the entrance, and end at the other!   For the rocks, sew most of the way around, then stuff with a tiny piece of scrap felt so they keep their shape, then sew the rest of the way around the rock.

Step 4: Cut out your river so that it bends here and there.  Make sure it reaches from one end of your base to the other.  next cut your pond out in any shape you desire!  Also cut out a few small fish to be added to your river and pond.

Step 5: Sew on your river using white or blue thread.  Start by sewing down one side, then turn and make rows until you come the the other side.  Hold the fish in place as your machine can push and bunch them as they are tiny!  As long as there is one good row of stitches over a fish, it will stay put.

Next sew the pond.  You can start at the outer edge and turn your work in a circle to form a pattern.   End in the centre.

Step 6: Cut out three rectangles approx. 2" wide and 4" tall of the dark brown felt for your tree trunks.  Then using your dark green cut out different leaf shapes .... you can get creative here!  Place the leaves at the top of the tree trunks and sew along top with a dark thread to secure leaves in place.

Step 7: Fold tree trunks, with attached leaves, in half and sew from top to bottom, leaving a 1/2" un-sewn bit at the end.  On the opposite side of the seam, clip 1/2"  up to match un-sewn part of seam.  At this point you can turn your trees so the seam is on the inside, or just leave it as is.

Step 8: Pull the two tabs that you have created at the bottom of the tree to form a base.  Pin in place.  using a straw or pencil poke down the tree trunk so that it's smooth and rounded.  When you pin make sure to pull the tabs forming the base as far apart as possible so that the tree stands freely.  You may need to re pin after sticking your straw or pencil in the trunk.  Sew around the base of each tree using a dark thread.

If your trees still don't stand cut a straw to the hieght of your tree and place in in the trunk.  You may want to hand sew the top shut so the straw does not get pulled out fall out!

Step 9: Using your second sheet of green sew on a length of bias tape or ribbon right in the centre of the sheet of felt.  Sew another piece of ribbon or bias tape onto one end (the narrower end), centring it.  Now  pin your cave/river/ tree piece to your ribbon/bias tap piece.  Make sure the ribbon in the centre is facing out and that all your cave/trees/river are also facing out as you won't be turning your work.  Sew a topstitch seam all around the perimeter.  Your done!

14  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Advent Cones on: December 06, 2010 10:14:05 AM

I made these advent cones for my boys a little while ago!  I used some old scrpbooking paper and a cone template from online.  They are held onto the yarn by paper clips.  I had these cute little mini cloths pegs, but alas they've gone missing!

Oh and they were recently featured on Ohdeedoh!


15  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Yoda Hat (lots of pics) NOW WITH TUTORIAL!! on: October 05, 2010 09:35:31 PM
My four year old son decided that he wanted to be Yoda for halloween.  I took about two days to whip up this hat for him.  He really wanted the eyes on there.  I was just going to do the ears and hair, but he begged me for the eyes!  It was fairly easy to do and I think it turned out well. Though I now want to keep going and make it a full Yoda face ..... though the poor kid couldn't see then.  Maybe after halloween i'll add the rest of the face!

and finally me modelling the hat .... don't laugh!

okay I added more, my youngest son wearing his brother's costume:


Just a warning:  this is NOT a complete pattern.  If you havent crocheted, especially in the round, then maybe this shouldnt be your first project!  Anyways here it is!

Main hat (worked in rnds):

Ch 2
7 sc in second sc from hook
14sc in next rnd
21 sc in next rnd
35 sc in next rnd
42 sc in next rnd
49 sc in next rnd
56 sc in next rnd
56 sc in next rnd
70 sc in next rnd
74 sc in next rnd
(you may need to keep adding sts for a few rnds if your head is bigger than a four year olds . His is 19)
work evenly until the hat bottom reaches the widest part of your head.

Dec 4 st per round, but always in the same section (this section becomes the front).
Do this for four or five rnds, or until the hat fits your head snuggly.

Do a few (5 or 10 or in between cant remember) rnds of hdc to form the band where you will attach the eyes.

Slst to last st of previous rnd and tie off.  

Now your hat is done.  When you put it on, the puffy part should be in the front.  Use the extra fabric in the front to for wrinkles.  Simply pinch little bits together going lengthwise from the forehead to the crown.  Sew these together with the same color yarn you used for the hat.   I think I started with the middle wrinkle and worked outwards.  Its best to do this when the hat is on your head to make sure you dont pinch the hat too much, thus making it too small.

Ears (NOT worked in rnds):

Ch 21
Row 1: sc in second ch from hook and in every ch to the end.   (20 sc) Ch 1, turn
Row 2-4: sc in sc from previous, working evenly. (20 sc) ch 1, turn
Row 5: dec over the first two sts and the last two sts, working evenly in between( 18 sc) ch 1, turn
Row 6: dec over the first two sts and the last two sts, working evenly in between( 16 sc) ch 1, turn
Row 7dec over the first two sts and the last two sts, working evenly in between( 14 sc) ch 1, turn
Row 8: dec over the first two sts and the last two sts, working evenly in between( 12sc) ch 1, turn
Row 9: work evenly (12 sc) ch 1, turn
Row 10: dec over the first two sts and the last two sts, working evenly in between( 10sc) ch 1, turn
Row 11: work evenly (10 sc) ch 1, turn
Row 12: dec over the first two sts and the last two sts, working evenly in between( 8sc) ch 1, turn
Row 13: work evenly (8 sc) ch 1, turn
Row 14: dec over the first two sts and the last two sts, working evenly in between( 6sc) ch 1, turn
Row 15: work evenly (6 sc) ch 1 turn
Row 16: dec once in the middle of row (5 sc) ch 1 turn
Row 17: work evenly (5 sc) ch 1 turn
Row 18: dec once in the middle of row (4 sc) ch 1 turn
Row 19: work evenly (4 sc) ch 1 turn
Row 20: dec once in the middle of row (3sc) ch 1 turn
Row 21: work evenly (3sc)
Row 22: dec once in the middle of row (2 sc) ch 1 turn
Row 23: work evenly (2 sc) ch 1, turn
Row 24: dec once ( 1 sc), then one picot in end and tie off.

All around the outside do reverse sc to for the ridge for the outer ear.
Fold in half and sew near the bottom of the hat, on either side of wrinkly forehead.

Eyes (worked in rnds):
Ch 2
5 sc in second ch from hook
10 sc in enxt rnd
15 sc in next rnd
20 sc in next rnd
20 sc in next rnd
20 sc in next rnd
20 sc in next rnd.
Slst to last st of previous rnd, tie off
Use safety eyes or anything else you want.  Attach now.  Place eyes an inch or so apart and the front of hat.  Sew of the was around, stuff and sew rest of the way.

Eye brow/upper eyelid (NOT worked in rnds):
Ch 31 ( add more ch if you need it longer)
Row 1: sc in second ch from hook and each ch afterwards (30sc) ch 1, turn
Row 2: 2 sc in first and last st of row, working evenly in between (  32sc) ch 1 turn
Row 3: 2 sc in first and last st of row, working evenly in between (34 sc) ch 1 turn
Row 4 and 5: work evenly (34 sc) ch 1 turn
Row 6: dec once on each end of row, working evenly in between (32 sc) ch 1 turn
Row 7: : dec once on each end of row, working evenly in between (30 sc) tie off

Fold in half and starting in the center, bottom edge sew with a whip stitch, contouring around eye just above pupil to form upper eye lid.  Bunch up a bit in the center and end to form more wrinkles.  Now sew upper edge making sure its bunched in the middle, to form brow line.  Sew all the way around brow and tie off.

Lower eye lids ( NOT worked in rnds):
Ch 17
Row 1: sc in second ch from hook and every one after that (16 sc) ch 1 turn
Row 2: dec once on each end of row, working evenly in between (14 sc) ch 1 turn
Row 3: dec once on each end of row, working evenly in between (12 sc) ch 1 turn
Row 4: dec once on each end of row, working evenly in between (10 sc) ch 1 turn
Row 5: dec once on each end of row, working evenly in between (8 sc) ch 1 turn
Row 6: dec once on each end of row, working evenly in between (6 sc) tie off.

Sew the widest part (row 1) contouring the eyeball, just under the pupil, making sure corners touch brow/upper eyelid section.  Once youve sewn the widest part to the eyeball, push up the narrow part around the edge of  the outer eyeball to make the lower lid puff out a bit.  If there is extra fabric on either side of eye ball, just bunch it up into wrinkles.

Now that you are finished the crochet part, just glue on some poly stuffing around yoda hat and pull, to form wispy hair!  Ta da!

Sorry if this is confusing .. I mostly did this freeform so cant remember exactly how it went!  Hope you find this helpful!
16  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Roasted Yam and Chard Tacos Recipe on: April 30, 2010 09:21:54 AM
I recently started getting a local organic produce delivery and was a bit stumped to find chard in my bin ...... I've never had a liking for green leafy things!  Anyhow I did some searching and found a few good ideas.  Since I also got yams in the bin, i thought i'd combine the two, and so these tacos were born!


two or three yams, peeled
olive oil
a few chard leaves
garlic clove
one very small red onion
chili powder
black beans
corn tortillas
sour cream (optional)

Cut up yams into 1/2" chunks. Spread on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, stir around and bake for another 15 minutes or until they are roasted.

Meanwhile separate chard leaves from stems, rinse, dry and chop. Mince one garlic clove and dice red onion. Saut onion and garlic for a few minutes, then add chard and a few splashes of vegetable broth. Mix 1/2 a cup of vegetable broth with a tbsp of cumin and a tbsp of chili powder. Pour this over the cooking chard and add a few handfuls of black beans. I used canned today. Saut until most moisture is cooked off.

When yams done. Separate some and mash then a bit. Stir mashed yams into chard mixture and cook for a few more minutes. While cooking this, put a splatter screen over the frying pan and plop some corn tacos on. Cover with a lid and steam for 30 seconds a side. Repeat, until all your tortillas are steamed. Every once and a while, stir the mixture underneath to make sure it's not sticking!. Throw the steamed tortillas on the table, scoop the chard mix in a bowl, and mix with the non mashed yams. Set the bowl on the table and you are ready to eat!

Maybe add some sour cream if you desire! Ta da!!

You can see the full post on my blog:

17  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Shawl Collar Sweater on: April 12, 2010 10:37:24 AM
I have been wanting to make a sweater for my son for a long time.  I tried to get it finished for his first birthday and nearly made it on time!  I used baby baby bamboo DK and it was really a treat to work with.  It drapes so well, something I have had trouble with doing crochet! Anyways i made the pattern up, after seeing a knit version of the sweater.  I have written a pattern of sorts on my blog.  I didn't write it down as i went, so it's a bit vague at some points ..... sorry!  anyways here is the sweater!  I just love it and so does my little man!

Here is the link to the pattern post:

18  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / First Project on: March 21, 2010 03:38:26 PM
i need to learn how to knit!  i crochet like crazy, but i just can't ignore the amazing world of knitting anymore!

i've knit a couple of dishclothes so i know very very basic stuff, so now what?

I'd like to knit a sweater!  a nice easy tight fitting sweater!  So my question is, pattern?

I would like to find a fairly easy, FREE pattern.  No cables, but a few different details is cool.  I like the Silken Scabbard pattern from Stitch Diva but without the cables

any suggestions?  thanks!!
19  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Giant Granny Square Afghan on: February 28, 2010 08:58:46 PM
I made this afghan for a friend of mine!  Since I was planning on starting it around the olympics, I decided to enter it in the 2010 Ravelympics.  I was happy to actually complete it in time!  I think it turned out great.  I did a simple granny square using super bulky sheep's yarn on a 10mm hook.  In total there are 25 squares and a single crochet stitch around the perimeter.  It's very heavy, but super soft!

More about the project on ravelry!

20  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Baby Jingles Ball - lots of photos on: February 21, 2010 08:20:22 PM
I recently bought some amazing 100% natural sheeps wool yarn and fell in love with it!  I decided to make a blanket for my husband as the wool is super bulky and he loves thick, heavy blankets.  The project was taking too long and I get bored, so I started making these plush balls for my sons.  I've made several styles and sizes, and they are so much fun!  I put a few jingle bells inside.  I have even had a few requests from friends for some.  The yarn is not dyed, the color of the yarn is the color of the sheep, so they are very safe!  The boys love to toss them around the house, especially as we don't get outside as much this time of year!  Hope you like them!

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