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1  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / CHALLENGE 126 ENTRIES / Candy overload house on: January 08, 2019 08:49:45 AM
I always say that I loooooove making gingerbread houses until I start... My impatience is tested waiting for the "glue" to dry. We raided the dollar tree for candy goodies and went to town!

I should also mention that SOMEONE ate all the candies off the house and SOMEONE barfed all over the kitchen. But she shall remain nameless*

*her name is Chase
2  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Kindle Fire tablet pouch-with pattern on: December 27, 2018 05:47:59 AM
Were you a good little boy or girl and got a tablet for Christmas?  I WAS!  My hubs said he was tired of me (and my old eyes) having to read on my phone all the time so he bought me a Kindle Fire tablet*
Clumsy behind me thought it would be best if I crocheted a lil pouch for her to slide into to help prevent accidents.  The finished pouch measures about 7 1/2" X 10".  I think it will also accommodate and IPad mini

H crochet hook
small amount of yarn (I had a partially used skein and came no where close to running out, half a skein will be plenty)  I also just used acrylic medium weight size 4 yarn
1" button
Tapestry needle

Special stitch-3DC Cluster
(all done in the same stitch) YO, insert hook, YO, draw up loop, *YO, pull thru 2 stitches* 3 times, YO and pull thru all 4 stitches on hook

To begin, ch 22
Round 1: 2 sc in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in next 19 ch, 2 sc in last ch (now you will begin working in the round), sc in remaining 21 ch (along the unworked spine ofchains), join with sl st into first sc  (44 stitches)
Round 2: Ch 2 (this is the first DC of the 3DC cluster), YO, insert hook, YO, draw up loop, *YO, pull thru 2 stitches* 2 times, YO and pull thru all remaining stitches on hook, *sk 1, 3DC cluster in next st*, repeat for remaining stitches. Join with sl st into top of previous round (22 clusters)
Round 3: Ch 2 (this is the first DC of the 3DC cluster), YO, insert hook, YO, draw up loop, *YO, pull thru 2 stitches* 2 times, YO and pull thru all remaining stitches on hook, 3DC cluster in top of cluster stitch from previous round, repeat for remaining stitches.  Join with sl st into top of previous round (22 clusters)
Round 4-15: Repeat Round 3
Round 16: ch1, sc in same st, 2 sc in each stitch around (44 stitches)
Round 17: ch 1, 1 sc in each stitch until you get to the middle of the back (almost all the way around the row) when you are centered, ch 10, sc in next stitch (this creates the button loop), then finish single crocheting around.  Join with sl st.  Cut yarn and weave in ends with tapestry needle
Sew button with scrap piece of yarn on front center and voila!  One complete kindle case!  
Took me about an hour to finish one, I was laying in bed watching basketball so I wasn't cranking it out, very relaxed Smiley


*He also bought me Hamilton tickets!
3  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Ungrateful Gift Recipient on: December 26, 2018 08:33:29 AM

Maybe ungrateful isn't the word I was looking for.  Here goes...
It started very simply with the Grinch Scarf I posted, originally saved on my Facebook as a marker for myself.  I did not share it on Facebook and write "OK, who wants one???" but guess what?  The requests started flooding in.  I didn't answer anyone (even though so many people NNNEEEEEDDDEDDD one). 
I made one for myself for my Christmas party and was so stoked to wear it. 

#1-A former co-worker (we still work for the same company but I switched departments) cornered me and said how she absolutely needed this scarf because she volunteers at the children's hospital and what a hoot this would be and could I please PlEaSe PLEASE make her one?  I agreed and gave her the one I had made for myself.  Still with plenty of time to make another one for myself before my Christmas party

#2-My cousin (who I haven't seen in about 10 years) calls my mom and asks for my phone number.  Aww how sweet, she wants to reconnect!  NOPE, she texted me and begged me to make one for this lady at her church who has taken her and her husband under her wing and she has cancer and is precious, blah, blah, blah.  Can I pretty pretty please make one for her in time for Christmas (and mail it to her).  Fine, she offers to pay me for the yarn but I said Nah it's cool, make a donation to Toys For Tots (I already had the supplies and it's Christmas, yada, yada, yada).  She is so excited and purchases a toy and drops it in the bin.  Hooray!  As I'm cranking out another scarf the same cousin texts me and says she showed her co-worker and she needs one for her granddaughter and can I crank out another scarf (because they're so easy to make and I just do it while I'm watching TV) and that she will also make a donation to Toys For Tots.  What am I going to say?? No?? have a child go without a Christmas present because I'm being bratty???  So I agree, it's the Christmas spirit, this is what Christmas is all about, you know the drill.  Scarf #2 and 3 go out and make it to their recipients and hooray everyone's happy.  She lets me know when the package arrives and requests one more scarf for Christmas 2019 (now I'm feeling like the Grinch over these dang things)

#3-I've had 2 other former co-workers that co-worker #1 showed the scarf to that have requested one.  I can't charge them because I didn't charge #1 but I am really sick of these dang scarves.  I told them for Christmas 2019, let's just hope they don't hold me to it.

Everyone's happy-except me (the Grinch)

It's the day before my party, I'm out of yarn, pooped from making 3 scarves in about 6 days and don't want to go get anymore of that putrid green yarn.  No scarf for me.  Not a big deal
EXCEPT, the co-worker I gave the original scarf to now needs newborn hats for the Christmas season because the nurses at the hospital she volunteers at loved the scarf and are in demand of Christmas-y type newborn hats.  Again, do I say no?  NO, of course not!  It's newborns.  So I spend an entire Sunday crocheting 10 hats (out of my stash) for the littles to bring to work Monday. 

Am I the one being unreasonable and bratty??  It's sure beginning to look that way but the point of my RANT is: Does anyone else feel this was about sharing things you make (or want to make) on social media?  I'm almost to the point where I just flat out say no.  I don't ever want to be un-accommodating but at what point is enough enough? 

Sorry for the long post I just feel that people have the mindset that
#1-handmade things are easy to do
#2-I do it in my spare time so why not make more (BTW, the scarves take about 6 hours each to complete)
#3-craft supplies are free

If you've made it this far, thanks for hearing me out, I needed a sympathetic ear

Yours truly,
The Grinch

P.S.  I think I'm going to start sewing these onto my gifts

4  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Christmas cookies-with recipes on: December 19, 2018 07:14:54 AM
Glad tidings to you all!
I am notorious for not being able to sleep, not insomnia per se but an overactive mind so sleep eludes me.  Baking to the rescue!  I had tons of mismatched baking goods in the pantry so I decided to make a goodie box for my work peeps.
There are 4 varieties of goodies (recipes in order from left to right)

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
This is hands down the easiest cookie recipe ever
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Any boxed cake mix (I used Devil's Food)
2 eggs
1/2 cup of oil
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Mix all ingredients together and roll into 2 inch balls, then roll cookies in powdered sugar (gives it the crinkly look), place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  The powdered sugar is optional if you don't want crinklies.
Bake for 8 minutes

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Fair warning: This recipe makes a TON of cookies (around 75 or so) so it can easily be halved, just use 1 tbsp. of milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar for decoration
2 (9 ounce) bags milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped
Cream together the shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, and 1 cup white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and stir in the milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture until well blended. Shape tablespoonfuls of dough into balls, and roll in remaining white sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from oven, and immediately press a chocolate kiss into each cookie. Allow to cool completely; the kiss will harden as it cools.

Peppermint Crackers
28 Ritz crackers
1-12 oz. bag of chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate mini chips)
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 tsp. shortening
Melt chocolate chips and shortening in microwave in 30 second intervals.  Stir in peppermint extract.  Dip Ritz crackers in chocolate mixture and allow to cool on parchment lined cookie sheet.  Pop them in the freezer if you're impatient like me and can't wait for them to set

Peanut Butter Balls (white chocolate and milk chocolate coated)
1 cup creamy peanut butter (not low fat or natural, good ole Jif or Skippy are my faves)
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter (NOT MELTED)
1-16oz. box of powdered sugar (also equates to 4 cups if you buy it in bulk like me)
1 tsp. vanilla
1-16 oz. package chocolate (or white chocolate) almond bark (I prefer almond bark because it sets up fast and tastes delicious)
Cream peanut butter and butter by hand or with electric mixer til smooth, add powdered sugar and vanilla and mix til combined (you'll get a good workout and can skip arm day)
Line baking sheet with foil, roll mixture into 1 inch balls, I use a melon baller to dish out my peanut butter mixture, makes for a more even size.  Place on foil lined baking sheet and pop in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Melt almond bark in microwave in 30 second intervals, I melt mine in a measuring cup, makes the dipping process MUCH easier.  When melted dip naked balls (!) in chocolate with fork, raking fork on side of measuring cup to remove excess.  Place bake on same foil lined sheet and let set.  Again, use the freezer if you need them in a hurry
5  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Crochet christmas ornaments on: December 08, 2018 07:42:05 PM
I've had christmas buttons for years and NEVER knew what to do with them! Then along came this pattern amd my years of hoarding were justified!
6  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Grinch Scarf on: December 01, 2018 04:20:00 PM
What a great Christmas/White Elephant present!

7  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Star Gazed Hooded Cowl on: November 18, 2018 05:56:03 PM
Q: what do you do when you finish a project?
A: stare at it until I hate it
I found this pattern and thought my no neck self could pull off a hooded cowl. I've never been so wrong in my life
8  CROCHET / Crochetalongs / 7 Days of Scarfie Crochet Along-sponsored by left in knots on: November 13, 2018 06:03:38 AM
Just curious if anyone was doing the 7 day scarfie crochet along sponsored by
I was thinking of joining, it's only 5 skeins of Lion Brand Scarfie yarn which is on sale at Joann's now for $4.99 each
7 patterns over 7 days starting November 23rd

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
9  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Thanksgiving / Oh, Thanksgiving I still love ya! on: November 12, 2018 05:13:59 AM
I LOVE Thanksgiving and feel it gets pushed aside with everyone rushing into Christmas, but not in my house!
I wanted an easy pattern with an easy repeat so I could get the rhythm down so I made this table runner.  The pattern is super simple:
with H hook, ch 40
Row 1: DC in 3rd ch from hook and each ch to end (38 st), turn
Row 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc) DC in 3, *ch2, sk2, DC in 3* repeat to end (creates 7 ch2 spaces and 8 clusters of 3 DC), turn
Row 3: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc) DC in 3, *2DC in each ch2 space, DC in 3* repeat to end (38 st), turn
repeat rows 2 & 3 until desired length (end on row 2)
Voila!  Done!
I used 1 skein of Red Heart in Fall (it was $2.97 at WalMart so even if I didn't get the pattern I wasn't out a huge amount of money)
Thinking about making placemats just a tad wider to match (if you do go wider just increase your starting chains by multiples of 5

10  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 125 ENTRIES / Meep Meep Wocka Wocka-Beaker and Fozzy on: November 02, 2018 11:54:47 AM
Its time to play the music, its time to light the lights, its time to get things started on the Muppet Show tonight
For Halloween this year I decided to channel my inner Muppet of Beaker.  I relate to Beaker on many levels, were both tall, were both accident prone, and we both speak in gibberish

I found a picture on Pinterest as my inspiration and got to work.  I started with a poster board, yard of peach felt, 2 felt squares (orange and red), 2 styrofoam balls (for the eyes) and 1 sponge (for the nose).  I also found a fur boutique on etsy for the custom cut of orange hair fur.  Fun fact, the circumference of my head is the same as the circumference of a poster board!
Construction was pretty simple, the size of the mouth was really the only thing I was concerned about, the rest of it came together very quickly (made one Sunday afternoon while the hubs watched football)

The "Flat" head (kinda scary)

All rolled up:

I raided the Goodwill for a lab coat ($4) and a plaid button down ($2) and had the pants and shoes already in my closet.

I tried everything short of water boarding to get someone in my family to be Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and all the party poopers said a firm NO.  No worries, I have a dog that aims to please so I recruited him to be my sidekick-Fozzy.  Not sure that Fozzy and Beeker ever shared screen time though
Oh look they did!

My loyal hound, Cooper, was the perfect muse for my Fozzy, complete with curly hair and impeccable comedic timing.  I found the scarf material at JoAnns and simply cut around it with pinking shears, and then I crocheted him a simple pork pie hat.  I started with a circle, then built up the sides and made a curled brim and added ears.  No pattern, all made in 1 continuous piece.  Easy peasy.  Wocka wocka!

the cutest kid in all the land:

I hope you enjoy my costume(s) as much as I do!

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