Crochet Hanging Basket Gift

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Crochet Plant Hanger-TitleI have been diligently trying to use up the yarn hoard I currently own.  This beautiful hanging basket was crocheted out of a yarn called Red Heart Cordial.

I used a pattern from Vicki Howell’s website: Planter Happy: Crochet Planter Hanger.  She uses a t-shirt yarn, but the pattern worked up exactly the same for the 10″ pot I purchased. IMG_5136

This particular hanger and plant was given to a charity, and I attached a hook, 1-inch size eyelet and a tag I made up with my Max Stamp Pegz stamps.

I used a few cut and rooted pieces of my ever growing Golden Pothos plant in a separate pot, just in case the person who gets the gift wants to use the hanger for another plant.

The pattern is relatively easy, and I would rate it for a beginner.  I used a size N hook for the yarn I used.

IMG_5148IMG_5156 IMG_5158As you can see from the photos, the hanger looks like it’s small, but it stretches significantly while it’s hanging.

I ended up using two balls of the yarn as ran out of the yarn while crocheting the hanging portions. I believe this project can be done with one ball, but I hope you have two handy just in case.

As this yarn is made out of nylon as well as other synthetic material, I burned the ends of the cords to finish them off.

IMG_6796 IMG_6809This plant was one of my creations for the YBC Golf Tournament.  I hope to add more photos of the other things my husband and I donated.



Peanut Butter Cup Pie – Pinterest Win!

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Peanut Butter PieIn the spirit of #FoodieFriday, I wanted to share my success with a delicious recipe I found on Pinterest.

I have a slight addiction to peanut butter and chocolate, and this pie does not disappoint that combo.  I have a board on Pinterest titled “Peanut Butter is my Favorite” that just scratches the surface on what I dream about eating with peanut butter on it.

I have officially promised myself that I will make this pie every time I run 13.1 miles.  I’ve done it twice now, so unless I intend on never eating this pie again, I’m going to have to get on a regular training plan to run that distance at least once a quarter right? (Heh.)

Anyway, this smooth and creamy, but yet thick and rich slice of deliciousness did not disappoint, and I got the original recipe from a Pinterest link.

IMG_7336[1]The recipe was written by Handle the Heat, and her pictures are amazing throughout her site as well as for this recipe!

The first time I ran a half marathon distance was March 16, 2016, as a “practice run” for the half marathon race I ran two weeks later on April 2, 2016.  I blogged about my experience running the race here: Bucket List Check: Half Marathon before the age of 40.

I had made the pie for “pie day” or March 14, 2016, and it held up well through March 16, 2016 when I brought it to my co-workers to enjoy the remains after I ran my first 13.1 miles.IMG_7337[1]

I also used this pie for my Instagram post and entered my photo in a contest for my pie day virtual run.

This recipe was a total win and I love the fact that I “almost” had everything in my pantry.  I made the crust by scratch as in the recipe, but I could easily see how purchasing a chocolate crust would cut about 20-minutes off of making the pie and still be delicious.

Anyway, if you make the pie, be sure to give Handle the Heat a shout out by including a photo on Instagram with the hashtag: #HandleTheHeat.

The recipe is here: Peanut Butter Pie by Handle the Heat.

Enjoy the day and I love a good Pinterest win!

Make Memorable. Create a photo gift.



Bucket List Check – Half Marathon Before 40

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DeAndrasCrafts finishes her halfUp until recently, I hadn’t had a bucket list.

Like, up to ~ last year ~ recently.

I knew I wanted to accomplish things, and many of those things had consisted of items most female Americans want like purchasing a house, marrying a great man, and having children.

But to say that I knew “what else” I wanted to do with my life ~ those moments of clarity didn’t come until my mother got really sick.  (Feel free to read the “Bucket List” post.  That’ll tell you more.)

But I digress.

I checked off one of my bucket list items recently and that was to run a half marathon before I turned 40-years old.

Done. DeAndrasCrafts Finished

Checked.

What’s next, right?


Well, let me tell you, if you haven’t read this blog before and you don’t know me personally, I’ve been training for running this race for 12-weeks. Feel free to read up on my running plan here: January Run Goal Update.

I’ve been waking up early to get run time in.  {See the hastag: #DsHalfMarathon on Instagram for my training progress in photos.}

I’ve been seemingly (at least it felt like I was) putting off everything else until I got this race done.  Blog posts, namely….

And now….

Now I’m writing a blog post to remind myself what I had to do to get this far.

I guess this blog post should be titled

Things people never tell you when you prepare to run a half marathon.

1. Be in the phase of learning again.

This is one of those things that is very telling of how you understand life.  It doesn’t matter how you learn, i.e. reading/writing (visual), audiotory, or tactile, “learning” the ins and outs about running is key to running and enjoying it.  Without learning about it, you may hit the wall hard, and not be able to recover from it.  Just remember this: If you don’t like something about it and don’t learn what to do to change it, there’s nothing that can help you.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

I spent the past 12-weeks teaching myself how to endure over 2-1/2 hours of running. Of how to eat.  Of how to step on my feet as I run.  I even had a time where I ran for the first time for 13.1 miles, just to get a feel for how it was going to be.

2.  Learn to wake up really early.

The moon is 'setting' on one of my early morning runs.

The moon is ‘setting’ on one of my early morning runs.

Whether you like it or not, running in the morning is way better than running at night.  Unless you don’t have a full-time job (I do) and can run during the day (I cannot) then running in the morning was so much easier than I anticipated.  I’ve done it both ways and learning to run in the morning is not only extremely efficient, but gets my day started, almost before I’ve truly woken up.

3.  Learn to go to the bathroom, really early.

This is something no-one may ever tell you.  It’s not “taboo” per-se, but nobody likes to talk about it either.  Being in the middle of a “long” run and having to go to the bathroom, like REALLY GO TO THE BATHROOM, is not only horrible, but could have been a deal breaker for me.  I mean like, I could have been traumatized by results of having to go number 2 if I didn’t learn how to do this.

4.  Your toes will look hideous.

Here are my bandaged up feet before the half marathon. Definitely something nobody told me about before I trained for a half.

Here are my bandaged up feet before the half marathon. Definitely something nobody told me about before I trained for a half.

Again, not something people normally share with you when you’re a runner.  I love me some pedicures, but after I began running, pedicures became a true necessity.  To pamper my feet and give myself some grace when it came to comfortable shoes was very new to me.  Flip flops now hurt to wear.  My callouses are starting to be noticeable.  I’ve given up “cute feet” for runners feet, and I’m okay with it.

5.  You may or may not lose weight.

I’m still working on this one.  Before I began training for the half marathon, I was running up to 6 miles and losing weight pretty steadily, about a 1/4-pound every week.  When I started doing my high mileage runs (7-miles or more at one time), I had to eat more (see the learning comment above) and I gained about three pounds back.  Mentally, this was difficult to take in at first.  I really wanted to see my high–mileage runs be a benefit to my weight loss, but that just wasn’t the case for me, and again, that’s okay.  I finished a half marathon and will be working on getting into a smaller size in the future.

6.  The mental game is real.

IMG_7184[1]Oh my goodness can I attest to this.

No one ever told me how hard it would be to convince my brain that I could push through the 9th-mile, let alone the 11th.  The best way to describe this (for me) was at the first half marathon race I ran, I hit the wall at mile nine.  You can see my splits and just know that my mind told my body I couldn’t do it anymore.  I wanted to quit.  I wanted to stop running and just walk.  I did stop running and just walk several times in the last four miles.  But I still finished, and will be working on getting under two and half hours for the next one….

7.  Finishing a half marathon is much like having a baby.

In my humble opinion, of course, this is probably the best way to describe running a half marathon and here’s why: I’m not sure I want to do it again. 

I got my moment of glory after I finished the race.

I “gave birth” (if you will) to my goal and not only were my expectations met, but they were exceeded by the challenge I was looking for and the pride that I wanted to feel after it was all done.

I’m not quite looking forward to the next one, yet.  (You probably understand this if you have at least one child.)  I’ve done it, and I’m not ready to commit to training for another half marathon.  I haven’t signed up for one, yet, and I haven’t really said that I want to do it again, yet.

I’ll be nursing my love of running for exercise for a while and maybe in the future consider “going for another one” – another half marathon, that is.

I’m sure I could add at least five more things to this list.  But, I’ll spare you the crazy and just let you know that I am so glad I did it!

I’m on day two of recovery and have a short run scheduled for myself tomorrow.  I need to learn to stretch better prior to and after a long run.

This "One Tough Mother" medal is also a wine cork! How cool is that! Click on the link to find out how you can get one!

This “One Tough Mother” medal is also a wine cork! How cool is that! Click on the link to find out how you can get one!

My next virtual race scheduled for late April is the One Tough Mother Run by Virtual Strides.  I’m dedicating this mother’s day themed virtual race to my mom.  I know she would be so proud of me!

I just signed up for another virtual 10K (6.25 miles) race today for the end of May.  Sheesh.  Who am I and what have I done with the old D’Andra?

Thanks for reading!
Virtual Strides


Making Prizes & Gift Baskets to Raise Money for Camp

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One of my more underused talents is crocheting.

I say “underused” because I found myself this year realizing that I don’t donate enough of my creations to further society, as I counted up the amount of hats I made last year that were all for me and my children, and was almost disgusted with myself.  It seems silly as I type it out, but it was quite the revelation that I came to this year that I don’t donate items and I even know why.

If I had to guess “why” – I have an overwhelming sense that my item won’t be ‘loved’ or that the individual who receives it won’t know how long it took to make, or won’t appreciate the work.

In other words, I’m concerned about myself.

Psh.  What am I thinking?

I have begun using up small amounts of yarn to create Peyton Hearts, as I describe in a blog post titled On My Hook – Peyton’s Heart Project.

I’m also telling myself that I don’t care what happens to my items, as I’m using a Lord given talent to get rid of my yarn hoard, and without any of my own doing, I hope that the things I create are going to further the kingdom in some way.

So – I’m tasking my self this year to make 12-crocheted items, and gift 12-homemade things, as part of My Year of Twelves goals, and in that task, I am willing to cross-over the crocheted items, if they are given as gifts.

This post is about the items I intend on making for giving to a non-profit camp that my husband and I are involved with.  They have a yearly golf tournament and asked members of the board (which includes my husband) to give prizes, gift cards, or other donated items as giveaways for the golfers and attendees.

Now, my husband and I don’t golf.  I will admit, I have a certain perception of what a ‘golfer’ at one of these functions will probably look like.

But, when my husband suggested that his wife crochet a few items, the other board members (about nine in all) were all for me creating and preparing items for the March tournament date.

So here’s my plan on what I will be making for the give-aways for this charity.

Coffee Gift Basket – Two coffee cozies and cups and two 1/2-pound bags of home-roasted coffee.

Whirly Pop Roasted CoffeeMy husband roasts our own coffee at home occasionally, and it can be a labor of love to roast the coffee beans.

I made up my new go-to pattern for the simple coffee cozies and bought two $2 re-usable cups from Starbucks to put them around.  I’ll try to post the coffee cozy pattern on an separate post.

Plant and Crocheted Plant Hanger Gift-Hanging Basket

The plant is one that I rooted from my existing Golden Pothos.  I’m also thinking about including the device/components that could hang the plant, but I haven’t decided that yet.  Not including the yarn cost, this one cost us $15 for the 10″pot.

The yarn is called Red heart Cordial.  I ordered it from the JoAnn’s website last year and have yet to do the hangers I planned making from it.

The pattern is from Vicki Howell’s blog.  She uses t-shirt yarn, but I found this cordial-type yarn works up beautifully and is just as strong and stretchy.  Again, if I have time, I’ll post the photos to make this quick gift.

A Couple Crocheted Hats

The pattern I used to create the pink hat (already made) is from here: Girl on Fire Beanie by Wichecrafts.

If I have time, the hat I want to create will be similar to this: Koala Earflap Hat.  I have the yarn type to make this hat, but I’m unsure at the moment if I’m willing to pay the $5 for the pattern, or come up with one myself that is similar.  I think it would make a great giveaway gift to the grandparent of a little one….

Scrubby & Dishcloths

Gift-Flower ScrubberI know, I know – I kind of think they’re cheesy too but they’re trendy right now.  REALLY!  And who doesn’t need dishcloths and a cute scrubber.  I made the flower pattern up in my head for the scrubber, and I’m sure free dishcloth patterns are plentiful over at Free Crochet Patterns.  I already have the cotton yarn, so it’s just a matter of making them!

If I really want to get creative, maybe I’ll include an apron for the soap bottle too!

I know there are ten-million other things I could create from yarn.  These are things that I think are both cool to get and for the most part, useful.

Hopefully they will be appreciated…but that’s not why I’m making them now!

Have a great week!  I’ll keep you posted on what gets finished.



Virtual Race Running – My New Favorite Thing

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Virtual Race RunningIn 2015, I ran my first virtual race.

I joined last years virtual race to give myself motivation for running a bit faster and to have a purpose (other than the general exercise of course) to hit a five-kilometer (5K) or 3.11 mile distance.  I got my very first medal, and there was a small portion of my entry fee that went toward a charity called “Girls on the Run.” My first Medal 112115

That virtual race was through an organization called Run the Edge.

After that virtual race, I found out about online running communities, virtual challenges, virtual running partners – you name it; if you don’t want to get to know someone but want to have a committed running partner, he or she is out there for you!  You just have to find that special person….

Anyway, as I write this post, I am training to run my body for 13.1 miles, or what is better known as a half-marathon.  I have never run one before, and I’m doing it to cross it off my bucket list.

You can see my general training plan here: January 2016 Run Goal Update.

I’m getting all the wonderful health benefits that comes with a complete and total lifestyle change, and I hope to keep it up well into the years of when my growing children leave the house.

Virtual races have become an important part of my “not getting bored” with racing plan.

I have chosen a 12-week preparation plan, which includes running four times a week, for a minimum distance of 3 miles, and other mileage ranging from 5 miles, 6 miles to the eventual 11 miles.  I’ve enjoyed the plan immensely and it appears to be working, but the chance to earn a medal for all these times I’m running for “training purposes” has been an extra bonus that has motivated me in a way I can’t explain – it’s just that much more fun.

This past month, this was a popular topic in a Facebook running group I’m in, and I’m writing this post primarily for my future self, and anyone else that stumbles upon it looking up places and links for Virtual Races.

Here are the sites I have verified (as of the date of this blog post) that have virtual races one can sign up for, pay the entry fee and get options sent to he or she, such as shirts, medals, or miscellaneous race bling.

Run the Edge: This is the virtual site that started it all for me.  In November of 2015, I paid for my first medal for the “Hug a Runner” challenge and some of the fee went toward a program called Girls on the Run.  This year, I joined the 2016 miles in 2016 virtual race, as a husband and wife team with the love of my life.  I’m looking forward to doing their “Selfie Challenge” in the summer, as I’m one of those runners that loves to takes selfies on my runs.

Fit Fam: I signed up for the PI day 5K challenge.  Some of the fees benefit STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education and I’m hoping to eat a slice of pie the same day I do this run.  On purpose, of course.

Make Yes Happen: Available Virtual Races include the Race to Oz, Escape the Shire-Journey through Middle Earth and Black Friday Half.

Running on the Wall: They have a Virtual Race part of their website, but they also sell a significant amount of runner swag and bling, and great gifts for runners.

Piece by Piece Virtual Run Medal

This is the medal for the Virtual Strides website “Piece by Piece” race, benefiting the Autism Speaks organization.

Virtual Strides: Like the “Make Yes Happen” website above, this site gives money to charity with the fees collected.  There is a “Piece by Piece” virtual run in early February with a chance to win a $50 gift card to the site, and the charity benefited is Autism Speaks.

US Road Running: This site has a “Boston Strong” medal that I’m interested in getting for a 5K, 10K or a half.

Gone for a Run: This is where I signed up for my “I Love 2 Run” virtual race in February.

Hogwarts Running Club: If you love the Harry Potter Series, like REALLY, REALLY LOVE the series, this is the club for you.  The virtual races and the medals are all associated with Harry Potter themes, and I may sign up for a race just to say I’ve done one.

Will Run for Bling: And Charity….  This site currently has a couple races that are available, and has past events that I hope they do again this year, especially the Galaxy Run and the Run Now, Wine Later Race.  Both of those are right up my alley!

Here’s a ton more that I verified the links for, but didn’t even scratch the surface on checking out the medals/bling/charities.  I guess that’ll be for a later date….

Love 2 Run Swag 2016My next virtual race is for Valentine’s Day, called the “I Love 2 Run” race, and it’s only 2.14 miles.  I plan on incorporating the distance into one of my scheduled runs for the week.

You don’t have to run with other people to get medals.  This was a great start for me.  I didn’t feel the pressure of running with other people in a race that I wasn’t sure if I was even going to finish.  With virtual races, I feel all the joy of finishing purpose-filled runs, with some of the fee going to various charities, and I have something to show for all the running time I’m investing in my life.

I hope this post encourages you to get started on any sort of exercising. Even walking counts for many of these challenges.  Just getting the time/mileage in is the important part.

Blessings to you this week!


On My Hook – Peyton’s Heart Project

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As it is February, I am going to show you a little heart that I’ve been busy crocheting for several months now.

I can complete a heart in a matter of five minutes or so and the amount of yarn used is perfect for that leftover yarn that ends up in a small ball you don’t know what to do with.  Hopefully now, you can make some of these charity hearts.

Peyton Heart ProjectSeemingly on accident, and I don’t believe in coincidence, I stumbled across a small crocheted heart pattern.  That pattern led me to find out about the Peyton Heart Project.

From The Peyton Heart Project’s website:

Their goal is to raise awareness about suicide and bullying. They also have a mission to help end the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

The project is named after Peyton James, a 13-year-old boy who, in the fall of 2014, died by suicide after years of being bullied. We know far too well what the negative effects of bullying are on a child and how difficult it can be to believe that it will ever get better. Far too often, bullying leads to depression, self-harm and even suicide.

Essentially, caring, anonymous people around the world make small hearts through their talents and gifts from yarn, and disperse them around their communities.

I am one of those crafters/crocheters.  The bits and pieces of left over yarn from projects are now being used to make these little hearts, as well as skeins of yarn that don’t have a named project for.

I am no different than any-other-crocheter, but unlike some, I do appreciate my anonymity.  I create these hearts and place them on running trails, at coffee shops, restaurants, grocery stores and craft stores alike in the city I live in.

People need to know that they are loved.

I believe people need to know that there is something greater than themselves and perhaps, in a small way, when one of these little hearts is found, the recipient feels that love that he or she might be longing for.

I may never know who they are – but I hope that a little small act of kindness and love will brighten his or her day and let them know that they have so much to live for.

The Peyton Heart Website has all the info for the tags and links to patterns. Peyton Heart Tags

The pattern I’m using is from the Ravelry pattern I stumbled upon, originally found on The Painted Hinge.

You can see my hearts on Ravelry as well.


Gauge is not necessarily important.  I use a size H hook to make my hearts but I tend to be a loose-stitch crocheter.

The Painted Hinge website has the pattern so please look at her website or the Ravelry links listed above.

Here are a few photos from my work, and I add the prepped tags after the hearts are complete.

The center of the heart pattern prior to slip stitching to the top of the first ch 3.

The center of the heart pattern prior to slip stitching to the top of the first ch 3.

 

This the crocheted heart half-way through the pattern.

This the crocheted heart half-way through the pattern.

The heart is ~almost~ complete here.

The heart is ~almost~ complete here.

I’ve explained suicide to my 10-year old and 6 -year old, and both of them are on board with spreading hearts in our community.

As I look forward to Valentines Day with my family, I am thankfully and graciously remembering how blessed I am to just have them here with me.

Thanks for reading and please be a part of the solution.

Name for Blog Posts


Chocolate Bar Destiny Themed Valentines

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Destiny Valentines TutorialMy oldest son wanted to have Destiny themed Valentines this year (second year in a row) but specifically wanted to include the Oryx character.

As Valentines Day is seriously overrated for boys in 4th grade in my opinion, I told him “sure” and we went to work.

We found the two photos used for this candy bar wrap here:

Liveblog: Destiny’s ‘The Taken King’ Court of Oryx Reveal Stream

and the Destiny logo can be found here.

Destiny Valentines PhotoI used excel as the program of choice to add words and print out the photos.  I was able to fit two sets of candy bar wrappers on one page, and I had to print with ‘narrow margins’ to get the photos the largest size possible.

Here you can see the two sets of candy wrappers printed on one page. My son is cutting them out.

Here you can see the two sets of candy wrappers printed on one page. My son is cutting them out.

 

 

The photo was also extremely dark, so I had to use a really good printer to get the prints to come out correctly, and I would also recommend changing the color of the words, as the color really blended into the photo, which was the look my son was going for.

I haven’t been successful with attaching pdf files to this blog, but here it is if you want to download it and print it on your own.  The only thing I ask is that if you mention it on social media or another blog, please give me credit by linking it back to here. =)

Oryx Valentines-Final

My son is using my Fiskars Trimmer to cut the white card stock paper I printed the candy wrappers on, and used Scotch Scrapbooker’s Glue because I couldn’t put my hands on a glue stick quickly.  Believe me, I would rather him use a simple glue stick, but I had to go to the store to buy more after taking these photos!

Have your child write the name on the candy wrapper Valentine prior to bending and gluing it together.

Have your child write the name on the candy wrapper Valentine prior to bending and gluing it together.

Fold the candy wrapper at the white lines prior to gluing it around the candy bar.

Fold the candy wrapper at the white lines prior to gluing it around the candy bar.

Wrap the folded candy wrapper around the candy bar of choice prior to gluing it together. We find that it keeps the wrapper on the bar longer-to make it to the Valentine's party.

Wrap the folded candy wrapper around the candy bar of choice prior to gluing it together. We find that it keeps the wrapper on the bar longer-to make it to the Valentine’s party.

I think the best thing about this Valentine is that my son is happy with it.  Many times I think I ‘force’ him to do things for class, and this type of Valentine is EXACTLY what he wanted, so he’s really not complaining about “having to do something” he doesn’t really want to do.  All the boys and girls get exactly the same thing, and yet no body has any hurt feelings that he or she doesn’t get something cool.

I hope this post helps someone!  Have a great Valentine’s week coming up and may you be blessed this week!

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Picture Perfect Valentines

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My youngest son's Valentine's for his class....

My youngest son’s Valentines for his class….

My daughter and my youngest son both wanted specific type of Valentines for their friends at school.

Being the crafty mommy that I am, I used a program called Pixlr and found photos online to use for her and his Valentines this year, and so far, it has been a huge success!

Similar to an Instructable I published here, I used photos I found online to write words on, print out at my local Walgreens Print shop, had my children sign their names to the cards, stick on a candy on it and “Whew!” All done.

I got the BB-8 with Kylo Ren photo from here: Game Informer dot com site.

My daughter wanted to make separate cards for the boys and girls.

We got the Monster High photo here: Oh My Fiesta in English – Monster High Link

The Minion photo came from the same website, but at this link: Oh My Fiesta in English – Minion Link

Again, I use a free program called Pixlr to add words to the photos, but it can also be done on Microsoft PowerPoint, and even in most standard Paint programs.  Pixlr allows you to add all kinds of other enhancements if you need a program to make memes and such….

Monster High Valentine Minion Valentine BB-8 Valentine

Here are my full-resolution cards for your use, and the only thing I ask is to give me credit on your website if you use them.  I printed them into a 4 x 6 version from our local Walgreens Photo Center, so the cost was minimal for my daughter’s 30-person class and my son’s 15-child class.

My children are usually good sports about signing the cards.

TFA Valentine-writing nameMy youngest son is turning five, so he was unable to use the hole punch without my help lining it up, but my six year old daughter was able to do that part by herself.

Minion Valentine-hole punchingThe only other thing we did was place one of the Cherry Tootsie Pops on each card, and for the BB-8 ones, my son placed a piece of tape on the back of the card to tape the stick down.

TFA Valentine-adding a lollipopAfter placing the lollipops, the envelope stuffing seemed to take the longest time, and of course, was the most boring.  Because all the cards are the same, I placed the cards into Ziploc bags labeled boy and girl for my daughter.

MH Valentine-Lollipop addedHomemade Valentines can still look cool and be special with just a little work.  And now that my children are old enough, I don’t hardly have to do any of the work!

Thanks for reading.  I hope I can get my oldest son’s Valentines up for everyone to see and use.



Heart Wreath with Felt Flowers

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Heart WreathValentine’s Day is around the corner!

My children and I have been busy getting ready for the holiday to make it both special – and cool.

This first project for Valentines Day is all for me, and it’s been sitting in my craft stash for at least two years….

My latest creation is once again, not by my own idea, but utilizing a crochet pattern and flower patterns I found off of Ravelry.  The wreath pattern I fell in love with is called Ruffle Wreath, by Kit’s Crafts Blog.  Thank you for your links and inspiration!

Materials Used

1Heart WreathIn an effort to use things I’ve already had in my home, I didn’t spend an extra dime on this project.  <BONUS!>

So – The pattern to create the first round for the wreath is the most difficult.

You can find the pattern here: Simple Statement Wreath by Good Knits.

I used TWO STRANDS of yarn for this and the first part of her pattern is what is really used to get around the heart.

3Heart WreathYou can see that the point on the bottom of the heart really doesn’t get covered up, until I purposely glued yarn to it after I was done crocheting.

The ruffle part of the pattern comes from here:

Ruffle Wreath by Kit’s Crafts

There are three rounds to this pattern, and I have a photo for each finished round below.

This is the end of the initial row, of getting the yarn around the heart wreath.

This is the end of the single crochet row, the first round of the ruffle pattern.

This is the end of the first round (Round 1) of the "Ruffle Pattern" by Kit's Crafts.

This is the end of the second round (Round 2) of the “Ruffle Pattern” by Kit’s Crafts.

This is the end of the third round of the pattern, the ruffle row.

This is the end of the third round of the pattern, the ruffle row.

After the crocheting is complete, I made some felt flowers to accent the wreath.

The rosettes were made from Little Things Bring Smiles blog.

Using a CD, I cut a circle from the piece of felt, and then cut a spiral into it. Starting from the center of a spiral with a bit of glue, I wound the felt up to make a rosette.

Using a CD, I cut a circle from the piece of felt, and then cut a spiral into it. Starting from the center of a spiral with a bit of glue, I wound the felt up to make a rosette.

Flowers2a Rosette

My first rosette.

Flowers 3 Small Rosett

This is a smaller rosette made with the outside ring left from the original felt circle.

Flowers - Rosettes together

Here are all three rosettes together.

The next flower I made is called the “S flower”and it had directions from The Fickle Pickle Blog.

I traced six circles from the bottom of a mug with about a 2″ diameter circle onto the felt.

S Flower Circles2Each circle gets glued as shown below, by first folding in half, adding glue and folding in about a third, turn the piece over as shown in step 4, and adding more glue before folding the last third of the felt “S” as shown in step 6.

Making an "S Flower." I ended up only using five of the “S” shapes to create my flower, gluing the pieces to a seventh circle and adding a pink button to the center of the flower at the end.

S-Flower Glue S Flower TogetherThe final type of flower I used on this piece had directions on the Kit’s Craft’s Blog.  She calls it an 8-petal flower.

8-petal flowerEssentially, I took eight (8) felt circles and sewed the folded tips of them together.  If I were to do it again, I would sew the button onto the flower PRIOR to gluing the felt circle on the bottom.

8-petal flower-buttonThe glue obviously (but not at the time) made it difficult to sew the button through all the layers of the flower and the circle on the bottom.

I could have easily just glued the button to the felt flower I suppose, but oh well!  So many ways to do it.

I struggled with the “leaves.” I really wanted to use existing materials, so I tried various colors of pink and grey yarn to make the small pom poms and nothing looked good.

I looked at the original post on Kit’s Crafts blog and she had a beautiful color of olive green for her felt leaves.  I wanted to use pom poms, so I made olive green pom poms and as soon as I made one, I knew I had to make the five I wanted to place on the wreath.

My mother in law helped arrange the flowers and the pom poms on the wreath and I was finally able to glue all the pieces down.

Here is the arrangement of flowers before the pom poms were glued down.

Here is the arrangement of flowers before the pom poms were glued down.

10Heart WreathAnother project done!  Here’s the link on Ravelry.  Let’s be friends there too!  Thanks for reading this.

Tune in for the Valentines I did with and for the kiddos!


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January 2016 Run Goal Update

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January Goals-RunningRunning in January in Central California when you’re not used to cold can be challenging.

I can’t wear a complete head-covering over my nose because I usually run with my glasses and they fog up while I breathe.

But oh well.  I still make it work and I’m trying to train for my first half marathon that’s occurring in April.

I downloaded a twelve week running plan that I’m currently trying to stay on track with.  I got it off of Pinterest from a post from Livy Loves to Run. January Goals-Run Plan

I also printed out a few calendar pages to write my actual running miles onto.  It feels very satisfying to see my progress and my capabilities on a written sheet.

Many times after I run, I still can’t believe I ran that far.

Yes, I did it, and yes, I was there and my legs might be sore, but until I put the number on the paper, something inside my head finally convinces myself that I actually ran those miles.

The fourth week of the schedule started for me on January 30th, when I ran 9-miles.

So how did I do?

The overall goal was to run at least 12-miles each week.

January Running CalendarFrom my personal calendar, I wrote down the total miles run per day.  I ran at least four times a week and did some cross-training on at least one day a week.

My running totals:

  • Week of January 3: 11 miles
  • Week of January 10: 19.65 miles
  • Week of January 17: 20.75 miles
  • Week of January 24: 30.5 miles

My longest one day run this past month was 9 miles.

My personal total amount of miles run for the month was 85.1 miles.  That’s just running and keeping track of it as shown in the calendar above.

I’ve been walking with a co-worker on a regular basis during the week days at work and trying to take the stairs some.  I have seven flights to climb to the floor I work on so it’s quite a workout just to do it once.

January Goals-Run w-my loveAnd lastly, my husband and I passed the 100-mile run/walk marked on January 12th for our “team” that we are attempting to run/walk 2016 miles in 2016.

I ran and walked a total of 165 miles this month and passed my own 100-mile run/walk mark on January 20th.

It’s amazing what one can do when one is focused, intentional and trying!

My prayer for you is that you will be inspired.

Be reminded that you can do anything through the Lord.

Anything.

Have a great week and get out there!


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