Archive | January, 2013

and I’m still crocheting the hat….

31 Jan

I had hoped to be done with this project by Christmas.  I started working on this hat on my way to Portland.  It is a free pattern on Ravelry, which is a great resource for projects- both crocheting and knitting.  I settled on this one somewhere over the Western United States with a cocktail.  I love vacations. Ah, temperate green Portland how I miss you.


But if I lived in Portland I probably wouldn’t spend so much time crocheting and sewing in the winter. I’d be outside enjoying it instead of cozied up indoors finding ways to while away these frigid Minnesota days.  Even still I haven’t been crocheting as much as I’d like. Two weeks ago I had planned for this hat to be complete for today’s post, but a nasty cold, prepping Fred’s condo for sale and several episodes of “frogging”  waylaid my plans. Did you know “frogging” was the term used for ripping out stitches?  Gina mentioned it when I undid many rows of stitches in front of her a few weeks ago so I did a little research. It’s also called tinking (tink = knit backwards).  It’s pretty easy to keep it under control when crocheting, but here is a detailed explanation of how to frog or tink your knitting project. Part of me hates pulling apart all of those stitches, but I must say there is something fun about pulling on a single thread and watching it quickly come unraveled. Also, frogs are my favorite animal.hat

This is a hat that was meant for Fred for Christmas in his favorite color, orange. It is a lovely wool blend.  It’s  the first hat I’ve worked on that isn’t crocheted in a circle (hence all of the frogging).  I figure a public pledge like Gina’s can only help this hat’s plight in my crochet bag.  I promise to have this complete by the last day of Winter.


Yarn Wreath: Valentine’s Edition

29 Jan

Valentine’s day is just around the corner, so it’s time to update my seasonal yarn wreath project!  If you didn’t see them before, you can check out my Autumn and Christmas version from previous posts. I had created the neutral yarn wreath in the fall, with the intention of being able to change out a seasonal embellishment.  I decided to try out some no-sew fabric flowers this time around, so I picked up some felt sheets and fabric fat quarters in Valentine’s colors.


I based my flowers off of this online tutorial from Ruffles and Stuff.  I wanted to make my flowers pretty big to switch it up from the smaller scale decor I used in my previous versions, so I used the top of a large water tumbler as my circle guide (it’s about 4″  in diameter).  I first traced it onto the piece of card stock that was in with the fat quarter, and then used that as my pattern on the fabric. I made 8 circles for each flower.


The next step is to fold the flower in half twice, so you have a quarter of the round, and then snip off the center point.

Center snip

I cut a smaller circle (freestyle) out of some scrap felt to use as my flower base.  Then I used my trusty glue gun to glue the piece in the center.  Snipping the center point of the folded circle allows for all edges of the folded piece to glue down into place.

Glue to Base

Once I had 4 folded circles glued down, I added another layer with the remaining 4 circles of fabric.

8 circles

I found some buttons in my button stash, and glued a button down into the center.


This was pretty quick and easy, so I completed three flowers in no time.  I imagine these flowers could also be used to make a cute headband, hair clip, or sweater pin. Plus, if you have lots of fabric scraps around, this is a great way to use them up!

To finish my wreath embellishment, I thought I’d also incorporate some hearts.  I cut a simple heart out of paper and traced it onto the pink felt I had.


I placed the flowers and felt hearts onto a white felt base for the wreath, and used my glue gun to attach each piece to the base.


Once everything was glued on, I trimmed up the felt base so it was out of view.  To attach the flower piece to the wreath, I used the same method I did for the previous versions – I fastened the piece into place by weaving a piece of yarn through the flowers and around the wreath in about four different places, and tied it in the back.  This made for a very easy way to remove the other piece.  You can see this in more detail here, along with how I created the yarn wreath.

Final Wreath1

I honestly was in a bit of time crunch when I tackled this project, so I whipped this up pretty quickly – but I have to say, I think it might be my favorite one so far.  I think the light and bright colors are a nice change from the previous two seasons.  I’m looking forward to creating another bright version for spring and maybe even one for St. Patty’s Day!

I’m linked up to:


24 Jan


We’re all smiles because we hit 50+ posts at The Craftery MN!  Thanks for all the great comments on the blog, on our facebook page and especially to those of you who have shared your appreciation with us in person!  We love having a place to share our projects with you.

What do you want to see from us next? While we’ve both got big years ahead of us – one of us having a baby and the other one planning a wedding- we’d love to hear what you want to see more of (or less of) here at The Craftery.

Thanks again for joining us- there is much more to come!

Debi’s Baby Shower

22 Jan

Since we hand crafted a few pieces of the baby shower I thought we could share that with you as well. Here is radiant mama-to-be Debi sitting below another round of pennants I made for this baby shower.  In last minute haste I crafted this one with scraps of extra fabric, paper and a marker. It shows a matching pennant with the simple words printed “congratulations.”


Gina picked up a bundle of fresh flowers and had them so lovingly decorated around her house.  Here you can see them with the cds Krista, our other co-host, put together. We requested that each of the Park Girls suggest their favorite children’s song or lullabye. We made cds of each song.  Fred, the microsoft word wizard used an image from a t-shirt we had made WAY back in college for the front of our Park Girls Lullabies cd. Cute, huh?


Gina had more flowers in  the kitchen where first feasted on a delicious taco bar and then wandered over towards dessert.


You can see in the background some great pinwheels that Gina made with paper and scraps of fabric I had leftover from the pennants. The pinwheels also hid the pennant ends in the living room where we hung them with blue painters tape!

The dessert you see above is this amazing pumpkin fluff with gingersnaps and graham crackers to dip!

IMG_0763I was definitely feeling fall. In addition to pumpkin fluff I made this Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake. Along with the cheery mints, I think this looked quite festive!

Now that Gina is expecting it is good to review this as we plan to throw her a shower in a few short months! Do you have any favorite baby shower activities or foods you like to serve?

Nursery Room Art

17 Jan

Gina, another friend Krista, and I hosted a baby shower back in November (or was it October!?!) for our dear friend Debi.  She was due right before Christmas with a little one, but the gender was to be a surprise.  Debi asked us to reign in the creative minds of the “Park Girls” (the name we call ourselves-we all met our freshman year of college when D was our Resident Assistant) to create some art for the nursery.  She mentioned maps and we started pinning up a storm.  This photo on Pinterest became our inspiration. Now that her little girl Audra has made her appearance we thought it time to post about the Park Girls nursery art.

Gina found silhouettes of animals on the internet which she printed off. We cut these out and then began tracing them onto maps. Not just any maps, oh no! Gina had contacted Debi’s hubby to find out the places special to them so we made sure to have those printed off for use. We had a U.S.Road Atlas on hand as well.


Some of the animals were more complicated than others. Our friend Anne, above,  made a beautiful but complicated Dolphin using several different maps.


Gina’s hippo utilized two different maps. If you look closely you can see the North Shore of Minnesota!


We mounted each of the animals on white cardstock cut to size for some cheap IKEA frames (free to us since they were left overs from a project my mom never completed and handed over to me). We weren’t sure if Debi would like the wood look, so our offer still stands to paint them as she wishes.

Here they are all complete!


Aren’t they spectacular?  Because I can’t get enough of them I’ll give you close ups of each one we made at the shower that you haven’t seen above.












This last big guy, the elephant, was one of two that I made. I had to hold myself back from sneaking him out of the stack to find his way home with me!

On my needles…

15 Jan

Here’s what’s on my knitting needles these days.


It’s a herringbone patterned cowl. The free pattern is available at The Purl Bee.

I think this is such a pretty stitch, and this is probably the most luxurious yarn I’ve knitted to date.    It’s Baby Alpaca and it is SOOOO SOFT!

Ok, I have to admit that this has been on this set of knitting needles for a long time – We’re probably pushing 10 months (most of which, lying dormant)…so this is my attempt to revive and finish this project so I can enjoy it’s super soft herringbone goodness before winter’s end.

Accountability statement: I will finish the herringbone project before this baby is born. (Yikes, I also need to get some knitting done for this baby!)  I can do it! That’s what statements on the internet can do for a person.

What’s everyone working on? Or reviving?

Lunchbox Dollhouse

10 Jan

This was one of those projects that took weeks to come together, but was fun nearly every step along the way.  As the daughter of a high-school coach, my three year old niece gets brought along to games weekly for which she shows little to no interest at this age.  She plays with her “babies” for hours on end and I thought this might be a simpler way for her to bring babies and play house than dragging a bag full of dolls with her.

I started with a small purple metal lunchbox I found at my favorite Salvation Army store for  just a few dollars.  I went through my stash of scrap-booking paper and found a wood grained piece for the floor and bright colorful stripe for the wallpaper on the walls.  I traced the paper and cut out pieces so that it fit for the floor, and for the walls.  To adhere it to walls I laid a piece of cardboard in the snow, just outside the back door. On these I laid the pieces of paper upside down (one at a time) and gave them a quick spray with 3M Super 77 adhesive. I then quickly brought each piece and the super 77 in and adhered them to the lunchbox. Here in frosty MN when you don’t have a heated garage space, using aerosol adhesives can get tricky. The spray worked better than I expected. You can see the floor and the walls in the photo below.

Since it was the holidays, I wanted to give the dollhouse some festive decorations.  I found the holiday lights in the scrapbooking section on sale for about $2.00.   I then found an old magnet and applied some of the left over wall paper to the magnet with super 77.  I cut it into small pieces then used a piece of tape to adhere the lights every few inches to the magnets.  They will now stick to the wallpaper and ceiling allowing holiday lights to hang, but also blend in to the paper. I also cut out the shape of Christmas tree on a piece of felt and attached the lights to the front and the magnets to the back with a dab of hot glue.


Every house needs some family photos framed and hanging on the walls, right?  I took photos of my nieces family, minimized them, put a black frame around them and then printed them in color. For fun I also found an image of a television, Candyland, some books and images of plates of food.  I then used the super 77 to adhere them to an old magnet (reuse!) and cut them out with a scissor.

photos on magnet with edits

I also found a table and bed at the Dollar Tree for $1.00 each along with some small figurines that could call the doll house home.


I removed the existing bedding on the bed and painted them both with an acrylic paint in a bright pink sure to impress my niece.  I took fabric and made a small pillow, sheet and blanket. In fact the fabric was the extra hem left over from my bridesmaids dress I wore in my niece’s parents’ wedding nearly ten years ago!


In the photo below you have a clearer view of the floor, and the dollhouse decorated.


For the finishing touch I used my Cricut and cut out my niece’s name with Vinyl to adhere to the outside.  I also gave her extra magnets if she’d like to decorate the lunch box herself.


Here is another view of the inside with the books and food and game on the table.


IMG_1244It was definitely a hit!  I hear she has used it quite a few times already!

I’m linking up to: