Shabby Chic Baby Mobile

I’ve finally been able to finish Baby Echo’s sleeping area with this awesome Shabby Chic Baby Mobile:

Echo's Shabby Chic Baby Mobile

Browsing through Pinterest, I came across Audra’s tutorial for the Shabby Chic Nursery Chandelier on her blog The Kurtz Corner. I knew right away I had to make my own and will be forever grateful to Audra for inspiring a new love of all things girly and lacy!!

This is by far one of my favorite projects, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. It’s actually been awhile since I’ve had so much fun crafting something new.

The top portion was made with lots of lace, trim, pearls, beads, chains, and crochet embellishments.  I didn’t have any embroidery hoops to attach everything to and made my base hoops out of recycled material: metal hoops, cereal boxes, and a glue gun.

Echo's Shabby Chic Baby Mobile

The bottom portion is actually removable and is strung together using chain and a lobster clasp (to attach to the top portion).  I used a Styrofoam ball, silk flowers, pearl beads, and a glue gun for the flower sphere. I was also able to put to good use some beads I found on Etsy.

Echo's Shabby Chic Baby Mobile

Once Baby Echo is a little older, a trip to Vancouver, BC is highly necessary. There is a discount fabric and notion shop downtown that will supply me with the necessary material to begin crafting Shabby Chic items. Even more exciting will be the development of my studio, once Panther Jones and I are able to find our cozy home.  There is a Re-store not far from where we currently live that will offer all sorts of items to be refurbished into stunning home decor!

Thank you Audra for the inspiration!!

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‘O-My’ Crochet Baby Owl Hats (with links to free patterns)

Well, today is the day that our baby girl is due, and we are so hoping that she decides to arrive today and not some later date! I have enjoyed the ups and downs of pregnancy but am ready to move on to the next stage of motherhood.  I am apprehensive about the delivery but can hardly wait to see her daddy’s face when he sees her for the first time and am anxiously awaiting the transformation that will come to both us with the love we get to shower upon her.  That being said… I need to keep myself busy while waiting for this magical experience to arrive!

Having never tried crocheting hats and wanting her to have a few to keep her head warm, I’ve been experimenting with different patterns.  I have a few that I’m waiting for her to model before posting but thought I’d share these Owl hats I’ve made as gifts:

The first pattern I experimented with is called Hoot the Owl Newborn Crochet Hat from the blog Being Spiffy. I’m happy with how the hat turned out:

'O-My' Crochet Baby Owl Hat

The designer of this pattern was incredibly helpful when I emailed her for help, getting back to me almost instantly. She’s also cool if you sell items made from her patterns as long as you link back to her blog.  I’m going to try her super cute (and free) Honey Badger Earflap Beanie Crochet Pattern next.  Much gratitude for her generous creativity!

The second pattern I tried is from Sarah’s Repeat Crafter Me.

'O-My' Crochet Baby Owl Hat

Sarah is a super creative crafter who offers all of her patterns for free and allows items made to be sold with a link back to her blog. I am presently in the process of completing her Polar Bear Hat and am so far loving the cuteness of this simple design. If you haven’t already, I seriously recommend checking out her blog and the many free patterns that she so generously shares.

O-My Sherbert Baby Blanket

O-My Sherbert Baby Blanket I started this simple little baby blanket over a year ago and hated the color so much I threw it in the closet and forgot about it.  I think, to be honest, I was also bored with the repetition of a simple small shell stitch. Cleaning out my closets last week led me to rediscover this little gem and reconsider its usefulness.

Upon closer inspection, I came to realize that it would be a perfect gift for a young woman I shared part of my pregnancy with when I was still working. Each day, I admired her courage to face teenage pregnancy with dignity and commitment to improving her life for the sake of her daughter. I also deeply respected her friends for the support and encouragement they gave her to courageously face the stigma that comes with being a pregnant teenager.  I look forward to taking our daughter’s for walks in the park and sharing the journey of motherhood together.

All that was left to do for this blanket was finish the border, and it was easy when I woke up to a day like this:

The Gloom of a Snowy Day

Living on Vancouver Island, on the West Coast of British Columbia, we’re unaccustomed to snow at this time of year. Instead of complaining, I decided today was an opportunity to not feel guilty about going for my daily walk, tuck in with some tea and meatloaf sandwiches, and get crafty. I think the baby’s been enjoying the down time, as she’s been kicking around like crazy!

Even though I still don’t like the colors I used in this blanket (fluorescent color has never been my thing), I am pleased with how it turned out:

O-My Sherbert Baby Blanket

O-My sherbert Baby Blanket

Now it’s time to finish the Owl hats!

O-My Granny Baby Blanket

O-My Granny Baby BlanketMy baby girl is due next Friday, and I have been crocheting and crafting up a storm.  So far, this is the only project I have photographed.  I am tired ALL the time and don’t think I’ve ever felt such pain and discomfort in my lower back and hips.  Despite the discomfort, I am happily focused inward, meditating in preparation for a natural delivery.

I continue to walk daily and ensure that I keep my physical activity within a level my body can handle.  In quiet and inactive moments (which are becoming more frequent), I’ve been keeping my hands busy by stash-busting through yarn I no longer have use for.  My intention is to create gifts for the women at work who are all due within a couple of days to months as myself.

This blanket was both quick and easy.  I used a free pattern by Daisy Cottage Designs and modified the border with a simple (sc, ch3, sc) in every other stitch.  I was able to use up 3 balls of Loops & Threads “Snuggly Wuggly” I’ve had kicking around for a couple of years with a 5mm crochet hook.  It’s not a go-to yarn choice, but I do like that it can be machine washed and dried.

O-My Granny Baby Blanket

I’m excited to share some of my other projects (which are not all crocheted) as well as a co-sleeper/bassinet my most awesome dad made.  I just have to finish setting everything up and will have some pics and tutorials up soon.

Free Crochet Pattern: V Stitch Puffs Buttoned Cowl

V Stitch Puffs Buttoned Cowl - Free PatternIt’s been forever since I last posted!  To be honest, I just wasn’t feeling creative and hadn’t crocheted or crafted in ages.  I lamented this lack of creative energy to my Gramz, and she said it was because my body was preoccupied with creating a baby.  A month into my second trimester, though, finds me full of energy and wanting to use my hands again.

My first project is the “V stitch Puffs Buttoned Cowl.”  It is inspired by cooler weather and experimentation with different stitches I’ve been learning from “The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet.”  I love the chunky and simple texture of  the ‘V Stitch Puffs’ and thought it would make a nice unisex cowl.

From beginning to end, this project took just over an hour to complete, making it perfect for holiday giving.  I’ve already started a second cowl using a different weight yarn and hook size.  For anyone wanting to make their own, I’ve included the very easy pattern I created.

   

Materials:

(1 ball) Lion Brand Thick and Quick (Super Bulky) in Oatmeal

10mm Crochet Hook

2 large buttons (I used 1.5 inch buttons)

Stitches Used: (US Terminology)

ch – chain

sc- single crochet

dc – double crochet

puff st – puff stitch

Pattern:

Puff Stitch [Yo hook, draw up a loop in designated stitch] x3, yo through all 7 loops on hook

Ch 47 (see Pattern Notes below)

Foundation Row: [puff st, ch 2, puff st] in 6th ch from hook, *ch 1, skip 2 ch, [puff st, ch 2, puff st] in next ch, rep from * across to within last 2 ch, ch 1, skip next ch, 1 dc in last ch, turn.

Row 1: Ch1 (counts as first sc), sc in next ch-1space, * 3 sc in the ch-2 space, 1 sc in next ch-1 space, rep from * across, sc in top of the turn ch, turn.

Row 2: Ch 4 (counts as dc, ch 1), skip first 3 sc, [puff st, ch 2, puff st] in next sc, *ch 1, skip 3 sc, [puff st, ch 2, puff st] in next sc, rep from * across to within last 3 sts, ch1, skip 2 sc, dc in top of turning ch, turn.

[Repeat rows 1 and 2] 4 more times.  Tie off and weave in ends.

Try the cowl on and decide where you want to add your buttons.  I sewed mine onto each corner of one end of the cowl.

Pattern Notes:

The cowl pictured (above) ended up being a little bigger than I had planned (27 inches), so it didn’t fit me very well but fit Panther Jones just fine.  To make a smaller cowl (pictured below), I decreased the number of starting chains to 41, making the finished cowl 23.5 inches in length.  This fit me perfectly!  When deciding what size to make your own cowl, make sure that you Ch a multiple of 3 and then add 2 more.

Free Pattern - V Stitch Puffs Buttoned Cowl

V Stitch Puffs Buttoned Cowl - Free Pattern

Woolhogs ‘June Made It Challenge’ Voter’s Choice Award

voters-choice-copy

I should have written this post a little sooner than today but have been quite ill since returning from my Gramma’s.  I’m only just starting to feel myself again.

I want to start by expressing my deepest gratitude to Maryanne at Woolhogs for running the monthly Made It Challenge.  I only just started entering my work in her contest last month, and it has increased my confidence in my work exponentially.  Maryanne is an amazing and loving person who continually finds the time to express positivity and love towards others, and I’ve come to appreciate her greatly.  Thank you for being so inspiring!

As for the other participants, I’m continually blown away by their creations.  June saw 22 people enter their work and each entry was exquisite.  When the voting commenced, my mom got excited and sent out a Facebook request to her contacts to vote on my work, helping me win this months contest.  Thank you, Mom!! Even though I’ve been told not to feel guilty, I still do and want to pay a small tribute to the runner’s up.

The first in from millieonherworld.  Her Balloon Animals are adorable and come with  an original pattern. I haven’t tried Amigurumi yet, but these little guys make me want to try! Thank you Millie for generously sharing the pattern!

The second is from littlepoppits.   Her Flower Power Bag is super cute and inspires me to try some of the ideas I’ve been collecting for my own crocheted bag.

As I’m preparing for a trip to Jamaica later this month, I don’t think I’ll be entering this month’s contest.  I will, if I can find a proper wi-fi signal, check in and vote to support this month’s participants.  If you have time, the entries have already started rolling in, and you can check them out on woolhogs ‘ Making it in JULY!’ post.

Good luck to everyone!!

Circle of Roses Lamp

Circle of Roses Lamp by Aviena

This was a super easy project that was made to match my Happy Times Baby Blanket.  I used the same flower patterns that I linked to in my Mobile in the Making post and glued them around the bottom.  I’d thought of hand sewing them but I wasn’t sure how the lamp shade would hold up having so many holes poked into it.  I’m pleased with the finished project and am already trying to decide what kind of lamps I can embellish for my own home!

I’ve still got a little leftover yarn and am thinking of making a simple yarn bunting.  We’ll see if I have time today before a very long drive to my most awesome Gramma’s tomorrow.

Circle of Roses Lamp by Aviena

Cirlce of Roses Lamp by Aviena

“Happy Times” Baby Blanket

Baby Blanket by Aviena

OMG! I’m finally finished my niece’s blanket.  I love how it turned out.  The color scheme was inspired by Virginia Woolf’s essay “Modern Fiction.” In it she discusses the need to revolutionize writing – a process that requires the writer to capture a more accurate reflection of the transitory nature of life and thought.  While I am in no way attempting to revolutionize color theory, I do appreciate Woolf’s comment that sometimes “we have to let the atoms fall where they may.”  This small snippet of her argument was enough to encourage me to break free from my need to plan my color pattern.  Instead, I let the colors fall where they pleased.

As for the pattern (“Happy Times), I found it in Crochet World’s ‘Easy Afghans’ (fall 2012).  It was beyond easy, more than a little boring, and took me forever to finish.  Despite this, the blanket has the most glorious texture for little hands to explore, and I can see myself using the basic pattern again for smaller projects.

Baby Blanket by Aviena

The long edges of the blanket are bordered by a small row of picot stitches:

Baby Blanket by Aviena

Baby Blanket by Aviena

Tomorrow, I’ll have pictures of the matching lamp!

Crafty Procastinator

I finished the blanket I was working on for my new niece a couple of days ago but can’t seem to find the inspiration to photograph it.  In the meantime, I’ve started experimenting with artist trading cards (ATCs). Here’s my first one:

Owl ATC

I made it for my first mail exchange on Swap Bot.  I was introduced to this community through the blog Pretty Little Things In a Box.  I’d been intrigued by the posts where *Wisher* shared her recent treasures that had arrived in the mail and did some investigating.  I’m a little nervous about being a part of the community.  Some of the swappers seem a little catty about “flakers.” Personally, I’m just happy to create and let g0 and can’t see my day being ruined if I don’t get something back.  Despite this concern, there are too many reasons for me to benefit from this experience for me to pass it up.

I’m a lot excited to receive little treasures and make creative connections from across the globe.  My Gramz and I used to mail things to each other all the time when I was little.  Often, I would find some treasure to make her and couldn’t wait to decorate the package and send it along.  I loved what she sent me but enjoyed giving to her so much more. Being a part of this community, and getting just as excited to give to strangers, provides a most excellent opportunity to continue enhancing my creative self through the focused practice of giving.

For this ATC, I looked through my recipients profile and noticed that she likes books, owls, warm colors, and hearts.  So, I used a page from a very old book on Owls, some Clip Art, moss, a button, some trim, and a little bit of yarn to compose this piece.  I have no idea how to mail it yet and will work on that over the weekend!

Photos of my blanket coming soon!

What to Give….??

Yarn

One of my favorite activities has always been gift-giving.  I know that the perfect something is out there for the person I want to surprise, and I patiently scavenge until I find it.  Sometimes I buy the gift. More often lately, I’ve been making them.  I’m never sure if this is appropriate, as I know some people find handmade gifts offensive.  The thing is, I’m finding it harder and harder to find the right store bought item…

I’ve been thinking lately about when I began to disconnect from highly commercialized products.  While I can’t pinpoint a timeline, I can say with certainty that I no longer feel ethical supporting many of the corporations that sell a lot of the product people seem to like (or expect).  Their products feel plastic and the story behind how the products were created casts a pretty dark shadow over an act of giving.  So.  I find myself in a dilemma, especially as our niece was born yesterday.

I’ve been struggling for months to determine an appropriate gift.  I wanted to make something but wasn’t sure if they would be offended.  I searched and searched with no luck and time was running short.  I decided to re-examine Kahlil Gibran’s passage from The Prophet “On Giving.” In it I was reminded that “it is when you give of yourself that you truly give” and realized I’d been going about this whole process in the wrong way.

Basically, I needed to give from my heart.  The only way I could do this was to make a gift that I would have liked to make for my own baby, if I had been able to carry him or her to term.  I started by selecting some vintage postcard images on Etsy and used them to create a color palette (look at picture above) for a blanket, a lamp, some bunting, and a couple of crocheted picture frames.

I was hoping to be finished the blanket today but need more yarn. So, I’m going to get started on a design for the lamp.  Pictures will be posted soon!