Saturday, December 21, 2013

Puff Stitch Slouch Hat

Having a full time job takes some getting used to. It has definitely slowed me down as far as crafting is concerned. I know there are many of you out there doing both, so kudos to all of you creative thinkers out there! YOU GO LADIES and GENTS!

So... I'm pretty late getting my Christmas cards out this year. Since I stopped selling rubber stamps a few years ago, I haven't made a whole lot of cards.  For the past few years, we've sent store bought cards to most of my friends and family (The horror, I know).  I get a Christmas card annually from the mother of my high school best friend. She always makes sure to tell me how much she loves my handmade cards in her card to me, so naturally, she continues to get a handmade card from me. She might be the only one to get a handmade card, and for now, I'm okay with that.

My inspiration for this year's card came from Pinterest (I love Pinterest) from Megan who's card is linked to her blog at I thought it was quite lovely. It also helps that I just so happen to own this stamp set, although truthfully, I didn't know it at the time I posted it on my board.  I'm pretty sure I'm not allowed to cut and paste her card here so if you want to see the original, please visit her page.

Here's my version using what I already had in stock.

The great thing about Stampers is that they CASE (Copy And Steal Everything). It really isn't considered stealing because Stampers love to share their great ideas to help out other Stampers who might be having a creative block. To have your card CASEd is indeed a very sincere form of flattery. So THANK YOU Megan for the inspiration. I enjoyed your card very much and hope that some people enjoy mine too. I love something shiny in all of my cards. I use glitter regularly to make cards sparkley-shiney-blinged-out awesome but this card wouldn't look right with glitter. I chose to let the cardstock shine on its own and just added some shiny gold cord. I wish I could tell you all the vendors I used and they would pay me in free merchandise to continue making cards showcasing their wares, but honestly don't remember who they are. All I do know is I used Pennant Parade and Christmas Punch from Stampin' Up! but the rest is but a sad forgotten memory in the recesses of my brain somewhere.

For you crocheters out there, I got this free pattern at Olivia's blog (another free sharer) at I made this lovely slouch hat for my son. THANK YOU Olivia! He has gotten many compliments on it, as have I. My first time using the the puffy stitch, so I went to youtube and looked it up. I can't remember which tutorial I used, but there are many! Puffy Stitch uses a lot of yarn, but it looks pretty awesome if you ask me and my daughter agreed so she asked me to make her one too. Hers is a little more slouchy. I put 3 cans of soup in both their hats, grabbed them above the band and swung them around to stretch out. I must have swung hers longer.

Puffy Stitch Slouch Hat

I modified Olivia's pattern just a wee bit and added the Puffy Stitch instructions as well. Hope you can follow and enjoy this pattern! I used a size H hook.

                                ***In SC into TOP loop only***
Chain 11; turn and SC into ST 9 to end of row (8 more across for 10 total); CH 2
R65 Repeat to 22" (loosely stitched 65 rows).
Fold over and stitch 2 sides together at short seam to create a band
Slip a stitch into a chain on the seam. SC around the band joining last ST; CH 1
R2 Y/O (2 on hook), insert into next ST, pull through (3 on hook)
Y/O (4 on hook), insert into SAME ST, pull through (5 on hook)
Y/O (6 on hook), insert into SAME ST, pull through (7 on hook)
Y/O (8 on hook), pull through all 7 loops; CH 1 to finish
SKIP A STITCH and repeat around joining last ST to TOP of first PUFF; CH 1
Slip stitch into the first HOLE. Insert your hook back into the hole and
Y/O (2 on hook), insert into SAME ST, pull through (3 on hook)
Y/O (4 on hook), insert into SAME ST, pull through (5 on hook)
Y/O (6 on hook), insert into SAME ST, pull through (7 on hook)
Y/O (8 on hook), pull through all 7 loops; CH 1 to finish
Y/O (2 on hook), insert into NEXT HOLE and repeat around joining last ST; CH 1
Repeat for 20 rows total (your puff stitches are staggered)

To close the hat, turn inside out. Leave a very long tail, pulling through inside of hat. Insert needle to the hole directly across from the hole you are in, pulling tight. Repeat all the way around until you've synched the hat closed. Tie off and weave in ends.

Don't forget to stretch out the hat with soup cans but mind the band!

Happy Creating! And Have a Merry Christmas or Happy whatever you celebrate!

XO -

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Repurposed Magnet Ads

My apologies for the very long delay between posts! I went from working zero hours a week to becoming gainfully employed (Thank God!) and working full time with a crazy commute. I've managed to crochet a lovely slouch hat and a pair of fingerless gloves by free pattern and decided to create a scarf to go with them. Not quite finished so that will be a future post.

Then Thanksgiving came! I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday and their families and friends. I for one  boycott Thanksgiving day shopping. Of course, I boycott Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and generally avoid shopping as long as I can.  I've heard "People who work retail need the hours.", but I know people who work retail, and not a single one of them would rather work than stay home with their families during a holiday. And having worked retail myself not so long ago, to those people who attempt to advocate for retail associates while never having done it themselves,  I say walk a mile in their shoes - try working retail for minimum wage on a holiday with crazy, often rude and demanding customers and tell me what you think about needing hours then. NOT. But I digress. Oops. 

One of our Thanksgiving Family Celebration Contributions

Everything tastes better dipped in chocolate! I got a Baby Cakes Chocolatier while I worked retail, using my minimum wage salary and 15% employee discount. A Baby Cakes Chocolatier is basically a miniature crock pot. Add your chocolate chips to the ceramic bowl, microwave for one minute at 60-70% and stir. Repeat as needed. Then plop your ceramic bowl into your BCC, plug it in and it keeps your chocolate melted without it getting clumpy. Dip to your heart's content! Dipping has never been easier, with my exception of cake balls. I tried once and never, ever, ever want to try again (please sing that like Taylor Swift). I purchased two large containers of strawberries, washed and dried them but after dipping them I still had leftover chocolate. What to dip? First, my boys dipped one piece of bacon - as the rest was used in another recipe... and they LOVED it. The rest went to cookies. Clean the pot and start over with white chocolate. Repeat, down to dipping cookies in what was leftover. YUM.

Then, we had friends over to watch the hockey game #LoseSomeTeeth. Their daughter surprised us with a lovely painting of Blitzen, Rudolph, and Dancer. I love this. I told her I would bring it out every Christmas to decorate. She said, "That's what Mommy said you would do!" Then gave her a big ol' Rolly Hug. Er, er er (SQUEEZE)!

My newest Christmas decoration!

All the while I have been thinking I must get back to the blog! Moving in at work is a daunting task. I've been tasked with getting rid of clutter and reorganizing, and learning my new job while documenting everything.  If only I could blog while I commute. What I can do while I commute is think about what crafty thing to make. Here is what I came up with. Every year, we are bombarded with a fresh batch of yellow phone books. Though I miss the days of one book (these days I get about four), I do like that each comes with a magnetic ad conveniently attached to the front. I save them all, but to my knowledge, I've never used them to call a vendor.

Tom Lewis does care.  I like his magnet. Thank you Tom.

I printed photos and generously applied adhesive to the magnet, making sure to get the corners and edges nice and sticky. I just used a glue stick and they are holding up quiet nicely. Mod Podge would work nicely here too, both as adhesive and sealant. Just don't over do it, as you can warp the magnet, rendering it useless as a magnet. Next, line up the photo and rub hard to ensure a good seal.  Then use a handy-dandy photo trimmer to trim away the excess. My handy-dandy photo trimmer nicely sliced through the magnet as well, so your picture doesn't have to be the same size as the magnet. Finish by sealing it with a clear acrylic spray or a coat of Mod Podge. Ta-da! Thanks Yellow Phone Book Companies and business that paid for the magnet ad!

After the Warrior Dash picture, magnetized. 

The finished project clinging to a metal door.

What creative ways do you repurpose your magnet ads? If you haven't thought about it, I hope you try this quick and easy craft.

XO <3,

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sharing For the Love

I've enjoyed crafting and creating fun things for many years. I started after a friend suggested that I look into scrapbooking (oddly enough, she is not a scrapbooker), and I became a CM Consultant. I really enjoy making pages, but the perfectionist in me makes the creative process both rewarding and painful at the same time. I love that scrapbookers love to share their pages to help inspire others or just outright encourage people to copy their work.

From there I progressed to rubber stamping and tried my hand at being an SU! Demonstrator making hand stamped greeting cards and other paper crafts. Ladies who stamp love to share and copy too.

I found that paper punches filled my OCD need to have perfect cuts and I absolutely LOVE them.  This little guy is a candy holder. I made a whole line of Halloween candy holders but Batty is my favorite.

I started making altered chipboard magnetic names and had quite a few orders, but found that my creativity was blocked - partially again because of my OCD need to have perfect lines. Here is my last and my favorite.

Still another friend taught me to crochet. While I enjoy crocheting very much, it does NOT meet my OCD needs, which I think is a good thing, to teach me that perfection is my own prison. My first project was a blanket. It took me about 5 restarts, if not more, and it's a patchwork of odd black and yellow squares and rectangles that don't quite meet up correctly. Still I persevered and kept at it and now, I'm not half bad.  I found many free patterns online, including YouTube tutorials from Clare http://www.bobwilson123.or and Kris Hopper I am ever so grateful to these ladies for sharing their love of crochet without asking for a penny. I am actually quite annoyed with people who charge for patterns instead of charging non-crocheters for the finished product. Then, a friend started a wonderful blog She is amazingly creative and loves to share! And I think she's hung out with me in my OCD prison too. Finally, while surfing for ideas online, I found a cute turtle. I was disappointed that it was a pay pattern, but decided I would try to find a way to make it myself. Happily, I found a free pattern for a granny stitch pattern that could be used as a turtle shell. I made it (wrong I might add, but that made it perfect - now if I could only figure out how I did it wrong so I can incorporate it into my pattern) and was thrilled. Took a picture of it and uploaded it to Pinterest.

Then someone liked it and asked me if I had a pattern she could buy! WHAT? BUY? No way. If I can figure out the shell, she's getting it for free. Sorry $4PatternCrocheters. I choose to PAY IT FORWARD as thanks to all the lovely ladies out there who shared their wonderful creations for free. Stay tuned!