Thursday, June 28, 2012

Balancing Act

  How do you balance your time between work/blog/home/crafts/kids?  I love making new things, experimenting with sewing and jewelry and of course I love crocheting. I also have a full time job, full time children, and don't forget hubby. On top of all that I like to stay fit, try to keep up with my blog, and new technologies. It's hard work and a lot of times I have to sacrifice what I want to do with what I need to do. It's life. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying..

  Do you do anything special, or have a way of doing things to make time for your crafts or hobbies?

Sunday, June 24, 2012


   Ok, don't laugh at my amateur sewing job.  I am well aware that I have tons of learning to do in that department. I think it turned out way better in my mind. I should probably take a class sometime.Well, on to the project.

  I took this thrift store shirt and made some alterations. 

My Image My Image
First I chopped off the sleeves and made the shirt a little more fitted. 

Then I added crochet, of course. This is an applique that I wrote about in another blog post. I just pinned it where I liked then hand sewed it in place. 

I carefully cut out the fabric from behind the crochet.

This shirt is for my daughter, so instead of leaving the open back, I added a contrasting color to the inside. Conveniently, I had a sample swatch of stretch cotton jersey in the exact size that I needed. Not the prettiest stitches, but they do the job. I had to make sure to stay behind the crochet so the stitches weren't visible on the other side. 

And the final piece. 
My Image My Image

Thursday, June 21, 2012


   I read an article that said that age 33 is the happiest age of people's lives. According to a survey that was done, over 70% of people over 40 chose that age as their happiest.  Well today marks the first day of my happiest year. We shall see. I did enjoy my cookies and cream, ice cream cake (in the pic) with my family after dinner this evening. Do I need to set goals and plan, or just go with the flow? I'm a "go with the flow" kind of girl. The article ends with a quote from a psychologist named Donna Dawson who says, "The age of 33 is enough time to have shaken off childhood naivete and the wild scheming of teen-aged years without losing the energy and enthusiasm of youth."  It sounds like a good age. I'll make the most of it. At what age would you say you were the happiest? 

   By the way, happy birthday to all the Geminis out there!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Jamrock Earrings

  As I was making my latest rasta tam, I started playing with the yarn to see if I could make the flag in different sizes for other accessories. I was trying to come up with a different way of making the "x" with the yellow yarn. On the hat I made it with a single crochet, stitching the two colors together with the yellow. This time I made a whip stitch using a needle. I used a size E crochet hook for the green and black. I came up with these cute earrings. They are a great accessory to go along with the tam.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Jamaican Rasta Tam

   I crocheted this special Jamaican tam for a customer. She wanted it in the colors of the Jamaican flag with the "flag" in the back. She saw a previous hat that I made like this, but she didn't want it to be mesh like the other one. This tam also has a drawstring closure around the crown for a perfect fit. This is how it turned out. I really like it. She is going to wear it at a reggae festival in July. Sounds like fun times, ya mon!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Show -N- Tell

  Michelle did a lovely job on her first crochet hat projects! I'm happy that she chose my pattern. She made these floppy sun hats for her daughters and plans to make one for herself. She said she completed one hat in one day and the pattern was "easy peasy!" Thank you for sending the pics, Michelle.

 I love seeing finished products from my patterns. If you want to be featured on my blog with your finished items, just shoot me an email. If you don't want to be featured but still want to send me pics, that's great too! Just let me know in the email if you want me to post your pics or not.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

New Rasta Hat

  I whipped up a new rasta hat. It was made with a size L hook and hdc stitches. It ties around the crown for a perfect fit. Just pull and tie. This will be going in my online store for sale.

  How do you like my new model? Her name is Marianna and I got her from the online Goodwill auction. There was only one other person who bid against me so I got her for a really good price. They have so many different items like yarn, jewelry, and antiques.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Retirement Gift

  My mom just retired from Hershey, the chocolate factory. She has been slaving over your chocolate for years and she is finally free! Just kidding, but she has been working there for a long time and is happy to be retired. I could not come up with a good retirement gift. A perfect one would have been a trip to Hawaii, but I don't have that kind of money so that's not an option. I was thinking of getting her a tablet, but my parents don't have WiFi in their house, so that would be worthless. I thought of a Kindle, but she doesn't do much reading. Some Zumba DVDs would have been good, but she beat me to it and bought it herself! She likes gardening, but she has everything she needs for that. So, I decided to make her a custom tee shirt.  I wanted to incorporate Hershey in there somehow, so I came up with this:
   Simple and to the point. I probably should have used a black shirt. I used iron-on letters, and for the picture of the "kiss" I used an iron-on transfer sheet. You just print a picture (or you can make your own art with markers or crayons) onto the sheet and iron it to the T-shirt, following the directions of course. I messed up a couple "kisses" by not following directions correctly. 
 Good thing I tested it out on another shirt first. I don't know if you can tell that they are messed up a little, but it doesn't look too bad. I used some of my leftover letters and you can guess who I'm giving this one to. My daughter will probably wear it tomorrow. Ha. I'm glad she likes my creations.

   Can you give me any other ideas for a retirement gift?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Show -N- Tell

  Here is Sari's Floppy Sun Hat all the way from Finland. Everyone seems to be using multicolored yarn. Maybe I should try that too! I love the pinks. Thanks for the pic, Sari, great job!

Sari's Floppy

  I love seeing finished products from my patterns. If you want to be featured on my blog with your finished items, just shoot me an email. If you don't want to be featured but still want to send me pics, that's great too! Just let me know in the email if you want me to post your pics or not.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Crochet at Victoria Secret

  I was looking through this Victoria Secret catalog that I got in the mail today and guess what I found? Oh yes, it's crochet! So do they have people who actually crochet these designs or is there some kind of crochet machine that I don't know about? They are beautiful. My favorite is the brown maxi dress at the bottom. Just in case anyone wanted to get me an early birthday present, I wear size small. ;) just kidding.. I would love to find the patterns. You can get these dresses online at Victoria Secret's website.

Crochet Maxi Dress at Victoria Secret
The Crochet Sun Dress at Victoria Secret
Crochet Racerback Dress at Victoria Secret
Cotton Crochet Maxi Dress at Victoria Secret

Flower Hair Clip

Flower Power

  These flowers are too cute not to share. The free crochet pattern is called Ecliptic Crochet Flower by Teresa Richardson and is found here. If the written pattern is hard to follow, her video tutorial will clear things up. I found this pattern a long time ago and used it to applique a bag that I made as a gift. There has been countless times that I've found myself on Teresa's blog or YouTube channel. She is a great teacher and she knows a lot. I love that she shares all her knowledge for free. Thank you, Teresa!
  I made these flowers with colors that are not usually flower colors, like the green and black. I think they look funky. I'll have to dig in my stash and see what other combinations I can make. I really like the neon and brighter colors.
  My daughter chose the colors for this one and wanted it to be a hair clip. I added some bling with some small rhinestones that I had. I used a dab of fabric glue to keep them on the flower. Then I added the hair clip to the back of the flower with hot glue.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Plarn Floppy

  When I first started crocheting as an adult, my choice of materials were whatever was the cheapest or my favorite: free. I wasn't very good, and wasn't sure how long I would stay interested in this craft. I liked using plarn because it was free and I liked the idea of making something useful out of "trash". If you don't know what plarn is, it is made from plastic bags that you would get from the store. You cut them up and make them into yarn, hence the name plarn, plastic-yarn. There are lots of tutorials on how to make plarn all over YouTube.

  I was mostly making cute bags that in turn were more sturdy than just a regular plastic bag. I actually sold a few of the bags. I don't have pictures because that was way before this blog started. I graduated from plarn and now I have a huge yarn stash. It's mostly acrylic and cotton, but one day I will move on to the fancier yarns. Maybe I can say I'm an expert by then. Hmm, I'm still learning, and I'll probably still be learning then too. I like to keep an open mind. Yarn is definitely easier to work with than the plastic.

  Here is a floppy made from plarn. I used brown grocery bags from Giant. I like the specks of purple scattered throughout. It's a little small and would probably be hot, but at least it's cute. I guess I still need to work on the prototype.

Have you ever used plarn?