Crochet Pattern Designing

Last year, I released my first ever crochet pattern on Ravelry.com! (In case you don’t know, it’s a member only site for crochet and knitting patterns. So, you must sign-up with them in order to browse their collection.) It’s something that I have been wanting to do for awhile but I have never actually finished one. It was part of my “doing something for myself” thing that I am trying to do every day.

Actually, a couple of years ago I was in a creative link group where we had to decorate a Target $1 tree and post how we did it while including the links to the pages of the other people in the challenge. It was pretty fun! For mine I created a crochet cover for the bottom of the tree. It was a pretty easy pattern . That is where I started thinking about over things that I could make/design.

The two that I have created and put on Ravelry, are both mug hugs (something that you wrap around your mug so that it stays warm and doesn’t burn your hands). The first one was a free pattern and the other was a paid pattern. I’ve had a bunch of people download the free pattern which is pretty exciting. I hope to be able to get more people to purchase the pattern as I upload more things that I design. I know that it will be a slow process. But I have faith that they will do good.

My first pattern is called the Simply Sweet Mug Hug. It’s a simple design that just uses the Single Crochet Stitch and Chains. It’s very basic but quick to work up. You can easily complete this while watching your favorite afternoon show or waiting for dinner to cook in a crock-pot!

You can tell that this was my first design because the image isn’t that favorable. I wish that I had taken better photos of it to use for advertising purposes! Maybe I will redo that in the somewhat near future…

My latest one is called the Mossy Love Mug Hug. This one features the moss stitch which is still a basic stitch and easy to work up. It works great with variegated yarns because of the texture of the stitch. That is why I used this yarn by Red Heart.

I created both of them to be used as stash busting projects so, that left over yarn, from that blanket you made three months ago, doesn’t go to waste! Because we all know how much extra yarn we have to hold onto because we don’t want to waste it.

You can follow the links to find them on Ravelry.com (you will need an account to view them).

Simply Sweet Mug Hug

Mossy Love Mug Hug

Please keep an eye out for more patterns, as I have been dreaming up a lot of new designs. I just have to get the time to sit down and work them up!

New Year… New Project!

I’m trying something new this year. I want to make it a habit to do something for me at least 20 minutes a day. I believe this will help with my stress and anxiety issues that I have been experiencing lately. So, to keep track of my progress I have been jotting my personal activities down in my day planner.

Yes, I do still keep a day planner. It helps me keep track of my many, many things that I have going on. Incase you are wondering, my favorite day planner is made by a company called Orange Circle Studio. They have 5 slots plus the main slot for each day and the whole week is payed out in front of you when you have it open. This calendar is perfect for my family since we have 5 members. Each one gets their own slot!

Anyways, back to my original topic! I’ve been working on a blanket but decided to put it down to work on something special for my Sister-in-Law and her Husband since they are expecting their first little one soon! I can’t tell you exactly what it is at this time because it’s a secret! But I can show you a little preview of the first two rows! No colors either because it could give it away!

Sneak Peak at a little gift that I am making for my Sister-in-Law and her Husband!

Nightmare Before Christmas inspired man eating plant wreath

Everyone in this house just LOVES Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. Everything from it’s stop-motion to it’s characters and story are just amazing! Even Miss M and Miss S fell in love with the book, movie and ride at Disneyland. I will be honest I was a little worried how a 4 year old and a 2.5 year old were going to handle the movie due to it’s darker tones. But I think that the way that my husband and I slowly introduced the story to them, they were able to handle it very well.

I have been wanting to make one of these wreaths for awhile but kept it on the back burner until I felt that they wouldn’t be scared of it. So, with their new found love of the movie I decided to put my creation to work this year!

So, lets get on with my Nightmare Before Christmas wreath, shall we?!

Supplies:

  • Wreath
  • Red ribbon for the bow (I used a wired ribbon so you can shape it how you want)
  • Sprigs of red berries
  • White foam sheet for the teeth
  • White modeling clay for the eyes (I used Crayola’s Model Magic)
  • Black Marker or Paint (to put the dots on the eyes)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors

Step 1: The first thing I did was fluff my wreath. They always come a little matted and blah.

Step 2: Put white paper behind the wreath and draw out the teeth.

Step 3: Cut the paper teeth out and trace them onto the white foam.

Step 4: Cut the foam teeth out carefully. Don’t worry about the straight edges too much because you will probably shape them a little bit more while you are putting them on the wreath.

Step 5: Make ribbon bow to the size that you want it and tie it onto the lower part of the wreath. I used a red pipe cleaner to attach the bow to the wreath. This will allow you to reposition the bow once you get all the rest of the stuff on it (I ended up moving it lower once I put the teeth on).

Step 6: Flip wreath over and glue teeth onto the underside of the wreath. I had to cut pieces of foam off in order to fit them onto the wreath nicely due to the framing.

Step 7: Turn the wreath back over the correct way and re-fluff the branches and bow if needed.

Step 8: Form the eyes using the modeling clay and dry using the required method. The modeling clay that I used just had to be left out over night to be hardened enough to the touch. This allowed it to be glued onto the wreath perfectly. It will continue to harden for the next 72 hours.

Step 9: Pull berries off of sprigs to glue randomly on wreath. Glue eyes (when dry) to the wreath. Make sure you position them so that they look angry so, slightly downward in the inside.

Step 10: Draw/paint the dots for the eyes very carefully so that they are even.

Then wallah you are done! Go and hang that bad boy on your door! I am sure it will be a conversation starter when someone comes to your door. Plus, in the story Jack Skellington finds Christmas Town the day after Halloween (my favorite holiday) and starts planning his take over of Christmas shortly after. So, I take that as I can have this wreath up from November 1st until the end of December! One wreath for two months, hells yeah!

Beach Sand Capsules

Living in Southern California, we go to a lot of beaches. I thought that it would be a cute idea to come up with a way to show which beaches that our family has played at. It took awhile to find the right kind of glass containers that I wanted to use to hold the sand. I didn’t want them to be too big but at the same time I wanted the to be big enough to hold shells that we find at the beach as well. That way the containers will be different and have their own personality to them.

When I was out with some friends we checked out The World Market. It was my first time in there… let me just tell you it’s a dangerous place! So many nice things in that store! Any who… while I was in there I just happen to come across these cute little glass spice containers. As you can see they fit everything perfectly! You can find them here: Stainless Steel Lidded Spice Jars

I just happen to have some sand from a new beach that we visited recently so, I will show you all how I put it all together!

The first thing I did was get some clear labels, from any store that has an office section, and wrote the name of the beach on it. I wanted to do this first so that I didn’t have to worry about left over sand getting stuck to the sticky side of the label.

Next you will want to take the lid off the container (mind had a plastic shaker top that I also had to remove, yours might not have them depending on what you decide to use).

Now you are ready to pour in your beach sand that you collected. I would suggest letting the sand dry because it’s easier to work with that way. You could try to add it in when it’s wet but I can’t guarantee that the sand will stay wet.

When you have the amount of sand that you want in your container (I’ll be getting more sand to add to mine when I go to that beach again… I’m not really happy with the amount of sand in it right now) you can add any shells, sea glass or anything else that you found on the beach and want to save).

The only thing that is left is to put the lid on and slap the label on!

Now I just have to collect some sand from the other beaches that we have gone to so we have the full set!

Retro Headband

My daughters got invited to a Birthday party for a friend over the summer. We went shopping for her present from the girls but I just had to make her something a little more personal and from the heart. It took me a while to figure out what it was that I wanted to do. Either something crocheted or something sewn. Around that same time, I got a newsletter from Create Kids Couture with a cute little free pattern in it…. a Retro Headband! I knew that it would be the perfect little thing for her!

After getting some color preferences from her Mom, I decided to make it double sided so that it would be a little more versatile. I also wanted to make two bows to go with it so that there would even more ways to wear it!

This pattern was the first one that I have ever done in this style. I am used to doing the Tissue Paper patterns that I was taught on. To be honest I was a little worried about it since you have to print it out with your printer. But as long as  you make sure that you print the file at 100% and not fitted to the page you are fine. That’s the way that I always print anyways so I didn’t really have anything to worry about.

Once I had all the pieces cut the assembly was really easy. CKC writes out their patterns perfectly and in great detail.

Needless to say it was a big hit and she looked adorable in her new headband! I can’t wait to make more and it totally got me hooked on Create Kids Couture patterns! I have a few things waiting in the works as we speak. So, be sure to come back and check for more items sewn using their patterns!

Here are a few pictures of my finished piece!

 

 

 

Make sure you check out their website as well as their facebook! They have some great patterns for all sizes and genders!

Website: http://www.createkidscouture.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/createkidscouture

 

Pattern Test for Melody’s Makings – 01

I am happy to share this pattern test with you all. It’s for a designer that I know that I have mentioned before but haven’t I haven’t shared a pattern test with you all yet. So, here is the first one for my friend Melody and Melody’s Makings! I have done pattern tests for her before and I have also done a couple of her Create-a-Longs that she hosts. She is a designer that does both crochet and knit. She has an awesome How-to-Knitting series on her blog that I have been following and plan on sharing my creation with with you soon so, keep your eyes out for this soon!

Anyways when she posted that she needed some testers for this little hat, I just had to do it! It’s so adorable with it’s puff balls and the diamond pattern going around the crown of the hat. I don’t usually do pieces that have that kind of detail on them, so this was a fun thing for me.

One thing that I love about her patterns is that she does a crochet and a knit version for a lot of her patterns! When I was first introduced to her work she had a larger portion of knitted patterns then crochet. At that time I hadn’t even picked up a set of knitting needles but it didn’t stop me from getting some of her knitting patterns.

Then when she revamped her website and added her How-to Knit series on her blog I was really excited! I have been working with that series and can’t wait to test/work on one of her knitted patterns!

Make sure to check out all of her awesome stuff on the following sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelodysMakings

Website: http://melodys-makings.com/

Website – Crochet: http://melodys-makings.com/shop/double-puff-earflap-hat-crochet-pattern/
Website – Knit: http://melodys-makings.com/shop/double-puff-earflap-hat-knit-pattern/

Ravelry – Crochet: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/double-puff-earflap-hat-crochet-pattern
Ravelry – Knit: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/double-puff-earflap-hat-knit-pattern

Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter if you haven’t already! As a bonus to getting her awesome emails you will also get some pretty fun patterns for Free!

 

Pattern Test for Sweet Potato 3 Patterns – 02

I have another pattern test to share with you from Sweet Potato 3 today! This time I got the pleasure of testing a cute little boy applique pattern. Big change from the last one that I did, the Reversible Swaddle Pod. I really haven’t worked with appliques before so it was kind of fun to make all of the parts and then put them all together to get the final result. This set comes with a bunch of different choices to create for your transportation loving little one! And since it is an applique you can put them on virtually anything! Christine does include a hat pattern (which is what I used) at the end of the applique pattern but you don’t have to use it for your project. You could even make a whole set of construction vehicles and create a construction scene on a blanket, how fun would that be?!

There are a total of 9 different vehicles that you can choose from in this set. I choose to test the train for her. I don’t happen to have any boys but my girls LOVE trains! So, my little Peanut was super excited to try it on and model it for me. I wish that I had used a little darker blue for the main train color because it’s a little hard to see in some lighting but she still loves it.

Find this pattern by following the links below:

Reversible Swaddle Pod – Photo Prop – Crochet Pattern

Etsy: Boy Applique Set
Craftsy: Boy Applique/Embellishment Set
Ravelry: All Boy Applique Set

Also, if you want to check out her fan page and blog feel free to check out these links and tell her I sent you!

Facebook Fan Page – Sweet Potato 3 Patterns
Blog – My Sweet Potato 3

Learning to knit one step at a time with Melody’s Makings

I have been crocheting since my Mom taught me at the age of 10. I wasn’t that great at it in the beginning but every time that I took it up again (took a few years off from it here and there) I just got better and better at. When I was first learning I was just making simple single and double crochet blankets. I have way surpassed that now.

I have thought about taking up how to knit numerous times over the past few years. But I just couldn’t seem to find a good teacher (book or video) that I was comfortable learning from and showed signs of progress. That has all changed since Melody but up her first How-to Video.

Let me give you a little back story on how I can across her wonderful patterns. Back when we first moved to California I didn’t really have much to do. All of our stuff was on a moving truck going across country. I was 8 months pregnant and had a 18 month old daughter chillin’ with me at our little temp apartment. One day I packed her up in the van and decided to get some supplies to make the baby a blanket to help pass the time. After that I moved onto many other things; hats, scarves, cowls, photo props… you name it I was making it! About a year later I joined a giveaway that had a bunch of pattern designers that were participating. So, I figured why not enter…. sure enough I won a pattern pack for  Melody’s Makings. When looking at her site I noticed that she had many more knitting patterns then crochet so I picked all of the crochet ones and then a couple of the easier knitting ones (just in case I learned). I then liked her fan page and followed her blog. Since then I have done a bunch of pattern tests for her and have chatted with her over the internet.

When she posted that she was going to be putting up a How-to-Knit series up on her site I was super excited! I just knew from working with her crochet patterns that I was going to like her tutorials. Boy, was I wrong… I LOVED them!

The first two videos that she posted: Beginning with the Basics & How to Cast On, had me hooked! Her method of casting on was so easy and related to me since I am originally a crocheter and she taught how to do it with a crochet hook! Awesome right?!20140722-154659-56819813.jpg

Well, I have recently passed her Tutorial on The Knit Stitch and lets just say that I have mastered that as well!20140722-154523-56723573.jpg

I tried to move onto her next Tutorial which was The Purl Stitch but for some reason that one seems to keep eluding me. I chatted with her a little bit about it tonight and she offered to help me with it over the phone! How awesome is that! She is going way beyond any of the How To Videos or Books that I have found in the past that’s for sure!

I really can’t wait to get past the hiccup that is the purl stitch so that I can get into making stuff with this new found knowledge! Oh and did I mention that she doesn’t just teach you how to do a scarf or a swatch? She teaches you how to make one of her patterns! So she has you putting your newly acquired skills to use right away. I find this a good way to keep it in your mind and keep you working with it!

She just started writing up some awesome business advice for anyone that is in the crafting field too! But that will be in another post!

Here is all of Melody’s information so please: Like, Share, Sign-up and Follow!

Melody’s Makings
Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/MelodysMakings
Website: http://melodys-makings.com/

 

 

 

Pattern Test for Sweet Potato 3 Patterns – 01

This is by far not my first pattern test that I have done for Sweet Potato 3 but apparently it is the first one that I have put up on my blog! This pattern test was to make something that I really haven’t made before. Something that I have been wanting to make but I just never got around to making one. So, I was glad when she sent the email asking if I wanted to test this Swaddle Pod!

First thing first, this pattern is reversible (which is also my first time making a reversible item)! Both sides have a fun texture to them. One side has a nice raised strip pattern to it and the other looks like it is nicely woven. When I was done with the test, she asked which side I preferred. I told her the raised strip side because I haven’t really made anything with that kind of texture to it, but the more I looked at it the harder it was for me to decide which side I liked more. I feel that with the reversibility, this prop has endless possibilities for newborn photographers.

I actually sent mine out to my friend Shannon Mulligan who is a photographer on the east coast and can’t wait to see what she does with it! I will be sure to share with you when I get the photos so stay tuned!

You can use it by itself or you can pair it with a cute headband or hat. You can make it multicolored or a solid color. The tie can be crocheted or you can use a ribbon for a softer look! Just think of the things that you can do with this!

Did I mention that this pattern was super fast to make too?! You could easily make one in a day and have a photographer photograph it on a cute little model the very next day!

Find this pattern by following the links below:

Reversible Swaddle Pod – Photo Prop – Crochet Pattern

Etsy: Pattern Reversible Swaddle Pod – Photo Prop – Crochet
Craftsy: Reversible Swaddle Pod – Newborn Pattern
Ravelry: Reversible Swaddle Pod

Also, if you want to check out her fan page and blog feel free to check out these links and tell her I sent you!

Facebook Fan Page – Sweet Potato 3 Patterns
Blog – My Sweet Potato 3

Tutorial – Decorative Letter Plaque

So, my dear friend Loren over at Pandora’s Craft Box just recently had a birthday. So, of course I had to make something crafty for her. It took awhile to decide what exactly I was going to make her… I was thinking a crochet project… No, I’ve been doing too many crochet gifts lately. Hmm what should I make her, something a little out of my normal box of tricks. As I was going through my supplies I thought of making something personal for her, a decorative letter plaque!

I decided to take this fun new creative trip with you, my readers, with a wonderful new tutorial! Lets start working up our project!

Supplies you will need:
1. Wooden Embroidery Hoop (I used an 8inch round hoop but you can choose whatever size you want)
2. Fabric in your color choice (I picked a nice deep purple, her favorite color)
3. Lace for the trim
4. Hot Glue Gun to put everything together
5. Coordinating Thread and Needle
6. Felt or other decorative elements that you want to use.

Now that we have all of our stuff together, lets get down to business!

Step One:
The first thing that you want to do is iron your fabric that you will be putting in your embroidery hoop. Yes, the hoop will tighten and pull the fabric when you put it in but you still might see fold lines if there are any real solid creases in the fabric. Once you got it nice and flat you can place it over the inside hoop and place the outer hoop over it. I would suggest having at least one inch of fabric sticking out of all sides of the hoop. This will allow you to glue the fabric to the underneath to keep the tightness. You might need to pull on the fabric a little while you tighten tho screw on the top of the hoop, you want it nice a snug to support the decorations that you will be putting on it.

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Step Two:
Now that you have your fabric pulled nice and tight you want to start gluing the fabric to the hoop. So, turn your hoop over and put a 1 – 1 1/2 inch line of glue on the edge of the hoop and pull the fabric tightly over it. Then move onto the next section. I say to do it in a small increment like that because you don’t want the glue drying before you can get the fabric on it. Once you get all the way around I would suggest gluing the fabric to the inside edge of the hoop as well. This will just add some more strength to it. After you get your fabric all glued to your hoop you are ready to trim the access fabric off of your project.

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Now that the fabric is all trimmed you can glue (using the same method as gluing the fabric) the lace to the hoop. I would suggest starting behind the screw part of the hoop so that the seam is behind it. That way it wont be as noticeable when it’s hanging up.

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Step Three:
Since I made this for Loren cutting out the L in felt was pretty easy. I would suggest drawing out a more complex letter and using it for a pattern. Since Loren loves the color purple I grabbed a lighter purple then the fabric that I just glued onto the embroidery hoop. After you have your letter all cut out, pin it onto your fabric to make sure that it stays nice and straight when you hang it up on the wall. You can also glue it onto the fabric if you are not comfortable with hand sewing it onto the fabric. I choose to use a gray color to contrast it a little because I wanted the stitches to be noticeable on the felt.

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Step Four:
Now you can choose to leave it that way or you can decorate it some more! Of course that is what I decided to do! Hehehe I sat there just looking at it for awhile, trying to figure out just what to add to it. That is when I decided to make a felt flower (in a darker purple then the fabric) with gray leaves (with dark purple stitching) and pearls on the inside of the flower. Just the right amount of decoration to compliment the first letter of her name.

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This project is so simple, fun and creative that you can choose to decorate it anyway that you want! Maybe with buttons, other fabric elements, stitching just about anything that you can think of! So, go out there and get yourself an embroidery hoop and get your crafting on! Don’t forget to share your projects with me!