D’s August to August Reads – 2018

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Ahhhhh reading.

The simple pleasure I don’t get to do very often anymore because of life, but the choices I make to replace reading are certainly my priorities, such as being a mommy to the growing kids I’ve been blessed with.

There is a time for everything, as the saying goes. 🙂

Well into my third year of having this blog, I’ve written posts before with the tag of “book.”

Here it is, January 2019 and I’m starting up my blog again (if I have the time.)

I started this blog so my children could learn more about me, maybe make a little money on the side, and most certainly, do some writing other than my day-job-Engineering-info writing.

I bring you my first D’s August to August reads list, mostly just notes I put on Instagram of all the books I read between August 2017 and August 2018.

As I write this, I’ve started the next year, and we’ll see how that goes….

Book #1 – finished September 8, 2017: “The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Decoded,” by Jim Ottavani.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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9.8.17 I haven’t been very good about keeping track of my book count like others on Instagram, so I’ve decided to use my birthday as the starting point for a year’s worth of tracking to see how many books I can read in a year. This is book No. 1, ‘The Imitation Game – Alan Turning Decoded’ by Jim Ottaviani, and illustrated by Leland Purvis. 📚 I opened up a package on my desk a couple weeks ago with this book inside. I flipped through it and realized it was in an illustrated format, like a comic book. At first, as I watched the movie sometime this year, I wasn’t really interested in reading it, but within the last week or so, I began reading it and couldn’t put it down. I think my visual-learning brain got so much more out of it than just reading a book with words, that I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would. Alan Turing was a brilliant mathematician to is credited with coming up with the basis for computers. There were a few words I had to look up like morphogenesis and some I knew the reference for, such as the Fibonacci sequence. As his homosexuality was such a significant part of his story, the book covered it tastefully and I could see the sadness and social anxiety with the illustrations, in a way that made more sense to me than just reading it. I recommend this book as a 4/5 as it might be too simple and not at the depth of language for some in the comic style format. #emptybookshelf #DsReads Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2gPKo0x

 

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The next three books I posted about were as follows:

#2: Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

#3: My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

#4: The Witches by Roald Dahl

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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10.29.17 For the sake of record keeping, I’m posting books 2, 3 and 4 that I’ve read (or completed reading) this year, starting the year at my birthday in August. 📚 Book 2: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was completed on 9-19-17. My oldest son (age 11) and I started this book in May and by far it has been the book that was SO MUCH better than the movie. It was also SO DIFFERENT. Little things like Cho being given the serum to make her tell the truth made the movie almost cringe-worthy and sad, but reading the book and it NOT being Cho to rat them out was so-much-better for the story (just as an example.) 📚 Book 3 is “My Father’s Dragon” by Ruth Stiles Gannet, finished 9-20-17. A quick read, this was a book we read as a family and I think with the 15-minutes of reading time here and there it took us less than three weeks to read entirely. The younger two really loved the story of a young boy wanting to help the dragon no matter what the cost was. 📚 Book 4 we finished tonight: The Witches by Roald Dahl. With typical Roald Dahl style, this book was weird, but kept us all looking forward to the next chapter. It was our family-time book and we started the book on October 1 with the intent on finishing it before Halloween. My husband commented that there was a lot of yelling characters in this book, which I try to give animation to while I read the parts. 🎃 👻 I promise that I personally read non-fiction books too, and look forward to completing the book I’m reading now called “Do Over” by Jon Acuff. • You can purchase any of these books on Amazon or find anything else you need of course: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-2301412

 

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 The next book completed was Holes (Holes Series) by Louis Sachar.  My youngest son LOVED this book.  I don’t know why….

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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11.25.17 Book No. 5 – Holes by Louis Sachar 📚 My youngest son (6-3/4 years old) watched this movie with the family early this year. For some reason, when I told him that the movie was based on a book, he asked me, “Can I read that book?” I bought it for him and I think I started reading it to him late August. We finished the last couple chapters tonight and now he wants the next one in the series. For the record: He wants you to know that there is 233 pages. ❤️ It was a fantastic book that kept my attention as well as his, and we got to talk about bullies, good and bad kids, and bad grown-ups along the way. #ReadWithYourKids #SmarterThanWeThink

 

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 Books number 6 and 7 were continuations of two different series we started this year.

 Book #6: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) by J.K. Rowling

Book #7: Elmer and the Dragon (My Father’s Dragon) by Ruth Stiles Gannett

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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Books number 6 & 7 in my August to August Year of Reads: Number 6 was literally Book Number 6 of the Harry Potter series – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Read with my 12-year old, this book solidified my thoughts that Snape seems so evil. If it weren’t for already have watched the movies, I don’t think I would think of Snape as have having a shred of good in him. Oh and the detail of the Horcrux’s is explained so much better in this book than the movie portrayed to me, even though I’ve seen the movies probably over five times each. ✅ Book number 7 read this year is the second in a series of relatively short books about Elmer and the Dragon, by Ruth Stiles Gannett. These books keep the two younger ones entertained, and I enjoy the imagination it takes to picture the scenes of canaries talking, singing and dancing. We are looking forward to the next book about the Dragons of Blueland. #DsReadsAug2Aug

 

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 I posted about books number 6 &7 on Christmas day 2017.  Sheesh.  Tells you what was important at the time I guess.

Book #8: Pride and Prejudice: The Graphic Novel (Campfire Graphic Novels) illustrated by Marvel.  See the Instagram post below for my notes, but I loved this book.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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12.26.17 Book No. 8 – Backstory: My mom’s favorite book of all time was Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen. I tried reading that book at least three times growing up, but I don’t remember getting past the first third of the book. It was never the kind of book I could get into much to my mother’s chagrin. 👏🏼 Fast forward to a short time ago (a few weeks maybe): An Instagram friend posted that she found this graphic novel-style book and I was like “Wha??? They made this book into a graphic novel?” 👍🏼 So today, I literally had a few hours to kill (that’s another story) and finished this book. It re-emphasized my affection for graphic novels, and made me get through a story that I would have otherwise never been able to enjoy. Sorry friends who love Jane Austen but I just can’t get into books that are exclusively about drama over relationships. I know it’s supposed to be about the “time frame” and “that’s just what people did back then” but none of that stuff interests me if it’s not in the fantasy world of sci-fi. The artwork in this book was phenomenal though and I’m so glad I didn’t have to push through a 250-page book of young-women and teenage angst of just words. Whew. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I got through it though for my mom. And now I totally get why she liked it so much. She loved reading about relationship drama and young-women angst. Oh and especially how people treated each other because of their ‘status’ in the world. 💪🏼💜🎁 #ForMyMom #DsReads #AugToAugReads

 

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In January I posted about books I read a while back, but still in the time frame of August to August.

Book #9:Bloodline (Star Wars) by Claudia Gray

Book #10:Shredderman: Attack of the Tagger by Wendelin Van Draanan

Book #11:Do Over Hardcover – 24 May 2015 by Acuff (Author), Jon (Author) by John Acuff

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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Posting for the memories: Books number 9, 10, & 11. I finished Bloodline by Claudia Gray in early November but never posted about it. An excellent Star Wars Book in the new cannon, it’s like I needed this book to feel closer to this new Star Wars universe, post George Lucas. It takes place sometime before the Force Awakens, and still has Han Solo which is exactly what I wanted post watching the Force Awakens. 👏🏼👌🏼 Book number 10 I finished last night with my youngest, the second book in the Shedderman series. Although this book is about 10-years behind today’s technology, it was a great read with my oldest when he was 6 years old, and it’s been just as good with my youngest. He can’t wait to get to the third book in the series. Book number 11 I finished tonight. It’s called “Do Over” by Jon Acuff. It’s meant to be a book for a Career Jump or for anyone who would like to learn about how to build up his or her career and move forward with a literal “Do Over” in life. I’m not fond of his style of sarcasm and wit in his writing, but I do enjoy his honesty. He talks about his personal Do Overs, including the good and messy-life and the mistakes he’s made, which really help me to appreciate the books he writes. #DsReads #AugToAug

 

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Book #12: Shredderman: Meet the Gecko by Wendelin Van Draanan

Book #13: The Borrowers Afloat by Mary Norton

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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1.18.18 Books number 12 & 13: The third installment of the Shredderman series, my youngest son and I finished this book on Monday and we immediately got into book number 4. I think this was his favorite book yet. We got through it so fast! The 13th book read from my August to August year is the “Borrowers – Afloat” by Mary Norton. This is the second time reading this series, but the first with my daughter. Just like my oldest son, the interest is difficult to decipher for her because it’s just not a book she would have chosen herself. But, she asks me about words she doesn’t know, and she noticed tonight that it was hard for her to read the words in the order that the characters say them in. She asked me why they spoke that way, and I told her it’s because they [many of the characters] couldn’t read so they don’t know how to say things in the right order…. ☺️ #DsReads #AugToAugReads

 

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In March 2018, I posted the following Instagram post on the next three books.

Book #14: The Dragons of Blueland (My Father’s Dragon) by Ruth Stiles Gannett

Book #15: Shredderman: Enemy Spy by Wendelin Van Draanan

Book #16: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) by J.K. Rowling

 

Book #17 is the The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Harry Potter) by J.K. Rowling.

Book # 18 was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, which none of us really liked BTW.
Book #19: The Borrowers Aloft by Mary Norton

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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4.18.18 These are books 17-19 for my August to August record of how many books I read in a year. Not pictured: No. 17, The Tales of Beetle the Bard by JK Rowling finished in about a week – because it was so good. Book no. 18 is a classic, but was not entertaining for my family – Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Right from the start of reading this book as a family book, (7, 8, and 12) the kids and I were not able to handle the weirdness of it all. As soon as we were done reading it this evening though, we were ready to watch the Disney movie classic to reset our brains on the love of the film. That may be a weekend thing. Book no. 19 also ended today and that was the Borrowers Afloat by Mary Norton. I read this with my oldest when he was around 8 and tonight I finished it with my daughter (who is also 8!) Only one more to go in that series with her and it’s been great to talk about big words and how some folks don’t learn as much as others do when they can’t read and write. I’m looking forward to finishing a different book this week with my youngest too! 📚 #DsAugustToAugustReads #ReadToYourKids #ILoveBooks #RaisingReaders

 

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 I started a new series with my youngest called the Far Flung series.  He and I read the first of the three books, Book #20, called Fergus Crane (Far-Flung Adventures by Paul Stewart

 

Book #21: by Christopher Paolini

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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5.26.18 Book No. 21 of #DsAugustToAugustReads – Forty days after we started it, we finished the first book of the #InheritanceCycle. Can’t wait to start the next one. #ReadWithYourKids #KeepingTrack

 

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The last and what appears to be the final book of the year was #22 finished with the youngest: 

As it’s January 2019 when this post got published, I started keeping track again for all the books I read, both for myself and with my children.

Please feel free to follow me on Instagram, and I hope you get in few good reads this year too!


Five Years in the Making: My Amish Print Afghan

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Amish Print Afghan - Five Years in the MakingAccountability.

That’s how I was able to complete this afghan (or blanket if you need to hear that word instead) after it sat in my garage for the past five years.

How do I know it’s been five years?

I don’t.  I don’t know how long it’s been sitting around.

What I did know was that I got the pretty bag the squares sat in at least five years ago.  (I have a thing for purses and bags so that’s more memorable.)

For all I recall this project was started 10-years ago and I put it in the pretty bag five years ago.

The point is, THAT IT DOESN’T MATTER.

It’s done.

One less unfinished project in my garage and more yarn used up from my yarn hoard.

How did I do it?

I joined a Facebook group ~ a small one, but convenient nonetheless ~ that exclusively discusses and allows creators like myself to be honest with our WIP’s (works in progress) and struggles of completing projects.

I counted many of my Unfinished Objects (UFO’s) on a previous blog post, and this was one of them.  Out of the six projects listed in that post, two of them are now complete.  <Whoop, whoop!> 😉

Here’s the link to pattern if you came for that: Amish Print Afghan

The Free Patterns Website is under the blanket (see what I did there) of Annie’s.  Shown below are some photos of my work-in-progress.  I am most proud of the fact that after sitting in my garage for at least the past five years, I completed the blanket in about 5-weeks.

Be warned!

There is the exact same pattern for sale on Craftsy for $2 AND THAT’S NOT RIGHT!  I wish people wouldn’t do that when the pattern is clearly free on Free Patterns.com

Have a creative, crafty & crochet-love Wednesday friends.


Color nature with Copic markers!


These are the squares I had in a bag in the garage before working on this crochet project over the course of 5-weeks to finish it.

These are the squares I had in a bag in the garage before working on this crochet project over the course of 5-weeks to finish it.

This is a close up of the square for the Amish Afghan pattern. What I liked the best was the use of so many colors.

This is a close up of the square for the Amish Afghan pattern. What I liked the best was the use of so many colors.

I took this photo after the first week of trying REALLY HARD to work on completing this blanket. I gave myself a timeline of completing a row of squares each week.

I took this photo after the first week of trying REALLY HARD to work on completing this blanket. I gave myself a timeline of completing a row of squares each week.

the beginning square process

I would work on three to four squares at a time during lunch and break times at work. I would complete a row of color on all the current squares, before moving on.

All those square had to be joined somehow and all those colors have to have ends weaved in.

All those squares had to be joined somehow and all those colors have to have ends weaved in.

The Amish blanket really tested my patience. I believe this was done around week 4, and what really got to me mentally was trying to convince myself to sew all the squares together. I ended up staying up one night and finishing it.

The Amish blanket really tested my patience. I believe this was done around week 4, and what really got to me mentally was trying to convince myself to sew all the squares together. I ended up staying up one night and finishing it.

Here is the Amish squares all sewn together and ready for the edging.

Here is the Amish squares all sewn together and ready for the edging.

Here are my hands crocheting the edging around the Amish Print Afghan (blanket.)

Here are my hands crocheting the edging around the Amish Print Afghan (blanket.)

I am so in love with the colors of this blanket. I used many different types of yarn from my yarn stash so the colors are similar in many instances, but not the same.

I am so in love with the colors of this blanket. I used many different types of yarn from my yarn stash so the colors are similar in many instances, but not the same.

The edging is definitely a compliment to the blanket itself. I'm so glad it's complete, and now, to decide what to do with it!

The edging is definitely a compliment to the blanket itself. I’m so glad it’s complete, and now, to decide what to do with it!

Crochet Patterns & Supplies at Annie’s


10 Character Coffee Cozy Patterns I’m Obsessed With

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Coffee Cozy Front In a previous blog post, I mentioned that I was making coffee cozies for a giveaway for one of our favorite camps we attend yearly.

Well, I also promised a pattern, which I really haven’t written down, but as always, intend to someday!

In the mean time, I wanted to showcase ten Character Coffee Cozy patterns I hope to make someday because of cuteness and because I can.  You know, that kind of thing.

I crochet (not knit!) so keep that in mind as you peruse this list. 

I am so obsessed with coffee cozies!  It has to be the simplicity of them but the overall cuteness of just having something handmade around something so important, like coffee.  (Hee hee….)

In all cases, I’ve put links to the patterns and given credit to the makers.  Please do not claim these patterns are your own and even better, if you make them, link up to Ravelry where I found them to show off YOUR amazing work.


Hello Kitty by Fancy That Notion

Hello Kitty free Coffee Cozy PatternShow off your work on Ravelry

SpongeBob Mug Cozy by Abandoned Llama SpongeBob Coffee Mug Cozy

Mickey Inspired Coffee Cozy by Wild and Wanderful

Mickey Mouse CozyShow off your work on Ravelry

Turtle Power Mug Cozy by Schmutzerella’s Crafts

turtle powerShow off your work on Ravelry

Owl Coffee Cozy by My Creative Nook

OwlCozy1Show off your work on Ravelry

Online Crochet Class

Sock Monkey Inspired Coffee Cozy by Yarnspirations

monkeys_mediumShow off your work on Ravelry

One for the latest craze: Poke’ Ball Coffee Cup Cozy Pattern by The Enchanted Lady Bug pokemon-pokeball-cozy-1

The Enchanted Lady Bug Blog is a must follow if you love Coffee Cozies like I do!  Make sure you check out her website where she has a Princess Leia Coffee Cozy and a Monster’s Inc. “Mike” Coffee Cozy.

Share your work on Ravelry

Minion Coffee Cozy Pattern by Weekend Pursuits

Minion from Weekend PursuitsShow off your work on Ravelry

 And then –  there are two more patterns that are not free, or are not available….

<Insert audience saying: “AWWWWWWE.”>

This adorable Angry Birds Coffee Cozy is just too perfect for certain people in my life.  I couldn’t find the pattern anywhere, and found the photo on Pinterest. full_2_18562_AngryBirdsCoffeeCozy_1

Have you seen The Angry Birds Movie yet?  I took my children to it and was surprisingly satisfied with it’s entertainment!

And finally, I absolutely love this (Jack Skellington themed) Nightmare Skull Coffee Cozy by Aunt Janet’s Designs on Craftsy.  It’s for sale for $4.99, and is truly a work of art.

Nightmare Skull Pattern for Sale

As always, I hope that this post gives you inspiration and please come follow my Coffee Cozy Obsession Board on Pinterest! If you found this post, I’m going to jump out on a limb and say that you like coffee cozies too, right? 😉

Have a great week filled with coffee and cute things!




Coffee Themed Basket & Other Donations for Camp

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Coffee Themed Gift BasketA few blog posts ago, I posted about making prizes & gift baskets for camp.

The golfing fundraiser was a success, apparently bringing in about $2000 for the camp after expenses.

My husband home-roasted coffee and I created these coffee cozies for our donation to the cause.

I found the basket at a second hand store, and we calculated the entire expense to us at about $15.  Not too shabby considering we could probably sell a basket like this for about $40.

I’ll be posting a future blog post for the coffee cozy pattern I used, but for now, I’ll just link you to Ravelry, where any number of amazing coffee cup patterns can be found: Coffee Cozy search on Ravelry.

I stitched a simple golf club and ball on the green-colored cotton yarn, and a simple white heart on the red cozy.  There are also French knots on the golf ball to create the textured look.

Golf Club Coffee CozyStitched Heart on Red Coffee Cozy

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I made up the patterns for the golf club and golf ball, I hope that this post inspires you to add embellishments to your crocheted coffee cozies!

Golf Club & Ball Coffee Cozy

The Starbucks re-useable cups were $2 each, and have made a great gift for teachers who love coffee.  I’ve given several of them away to our favorite teachers.

I also hand-stamped the coffee bags.  My hubby picked the bags up from Amazon, and we’ve been using them to give 1/2-pound bags of home-roasted coffee away as he roasts it.


StarbucksStore.com

One more thing I want to show off is the cute little hat I donated to the charities “for sale” table that they have up at events.  Its’ a beanie with ears.  I used a simple hat pattern from Ravelry, and stamped up a cute little tag to go with it using my Mason Row click stamps.

Cute Beanie with Ears



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.



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.



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.

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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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