Thursday, November 29, 2007

I'm on my deathbed

Ok, well not really, but it sure feels like it. I have some horrid respiratory infection, and it is wearing me out. I'm so tired, and I feel like I'm drowning. So I went to the doctor yesterday and hopefully within the next 24 hours my antibiotics will kick in gear and wipe this thing out. And then I can get back into the tutorial making again. So until then I'm going to disappear for a few days.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Thirteenth Tale

Do you love a good gothic mystery? This is The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. And oh my god it's good!! I had read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights in high school, but it wasn't until now that I have realized how much I love a gothic mystery. I could not put this book down and when I had to, it kept calling me back. I was a little skeptical I would enjoy it, but the synopsis and reviews made it sound very enticing, and truly I could not leave this book alone. It took about 5 days for me to finish it and that was only because I had force myself to quit reading it. It was so easy to fall completely into the story and forget the world around, I love it when I can get into a book that quickly. This book is definitely written for the book lover, and if you love Jane Eyre, this is right up your alley. It's about ghosts and secrets. This is the kind of book you want to snuggle up with a big quilt and a hot cup of cocoa on a rainy day and just read and read.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mini Hat Crochet Pattern

As I said before, I crochet faster than knitting, so I decided to crochet my advent calendar. This is the hat pattern I created for my mini hats for the hat and mitten advent calendar. Also, I have created my own version of crochet ribbing. I had posted a link earlier to a tutorial on crochet ribbing, but I just wanted to point out my ribbing is a little different. I love crochet ribbing, a couple years ago I had no idea you could rib with crochet stitches, I thought that was a knitting thing only, and I was so excited to crochet wool Longies for my son when he was in cloth diapers and discover a technique for ribbing at the waist and legs.

I haven't written very many crochet patterns, so I put abbreviations further down in after the pattern. If something doesn't make sense, let me know.

The pen in the picture is to show size of the hat.

Mini Hats:

Sport weight yarn
B-E size crochet hook

Hat Ribbing:
Color #1:
Row #1 - ch 5, skip 1st ch, then sc in 4 chs, ch 1 and turn
Row #2-#14 - sk ch, then sc in back loop only 4 st, ch 1 and turn
Row #15 - sk ch, then sc in back loop only 4 st
- line up Row #1 and Row #15 and sl st together to form a ring.

Hat Body:
Color #2
Row #1 - Take hat band and sc all the way around, then sl st
Row #2 - dc and inc every stitch to double the stitches, then sl st
Ro2 #3-#5 - dc, every 3rd st dec, sl st

Pom pom - here is a great tutorial on making a pom pom using your fingers. This is the way I make them, but she says wrap the yarn 75 times; however, for these little ones, I only wrap the yarn about 40-50 times.

Sew pompom on with needle and thread.

ch - chain
sc - single crochet
sk - skip
sl st - slip stitch
dc - double crochet
st - stich
inc - increase
dec - decrease

I will be turning this into one of my downloadable tutorials in a few days.

P.S. This is NOT my big surprise tutorial. And to give you a hint on that one - it will be sewing something for baby. Now I'm off to go write that one up.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I feel like a 5 yr old...

who's been told a secret and then told she can't tell anyone. So I'm bursting with excitement! I have the coolest tutorial coming! I made "the thing" last night so I'm writing up the tutorial today between crocheting my little advent calendar -- which by the way, I'm working on the hats right now and I decided to create my own pattern for the mini hats. I scratched it down quickly as I was crocheting the first one, so after I finish working tonight I will come back here and write out the pattern correctly. It uses crochet ribbing for the band of the hat. If you don't know how to do crochet ribbing - click here - for a tutorial.

I have blog stats that I view ever so often just to see what people are looking for when they happen upon my little blog, and I noticed a particular set of key words (and if I tell you now what those words are, you'd know what the THING is, so I can't yet) and those key words come up a lot, which surprised me as I'd never looked for them before. So I investigated and decided to create a tutorial for this particular "thing". I think it's going to be a big hit as my SIL was jumping for joy when she went with me to JoAnn's last night when I picked up the supplies.

I think pigs are flying or hell just froze over because she actually wanted to go somewhere with me. Can you believe it? She usually hates me. But she has mellowed or something. My brother and SIL, who usually exclude us from everything actually asked my mom to have a "big family party". So yesterday my mom had a big "after thanksgiving" party...technically it is for my dad's b-day but they don't want presents, so they call it After Thanksgiving Fiesta with mexican food. And lots of friends and family came and I was a nervous wreck because let's face it, I hate large groups of people. Yep, two things scare the hell out of me, parties and garage sales (seriously I panic and run when people drive up to the garage sale, weird I know, but thank goodness for my husband the official garage sale seller).

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Who's up for Sushi...or maybe cupcakes?

So in looking for those mini hats and mittens I happened upon some stuff I had to share. First it was crochet cupcakes and sushi which led me somehow into Rice Krispie treats with fruit rollups that were made into sushi, so I thought I'd share all this fun stuff. And you have to check out this cool Etsy shop - Needle Noodles - they have the coolest crochet patterns.

Sushi and Cupcake Crochet - These are so cute, I just had to share.
Sushi and cupcake ornaments

Needle Noodles - cute Esty shop that sells patterns for all kinds of crochet food and stuff - veggies, sushi, fighters, jellyfish, etc.

Sushi Rice Krispie Treats
Recipe #1
Recipe #2
Recipe #3

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Patterns for the Advent Calendar

Since I crochet a lot faster than I knit, I'm doing the Garnet Hill hat and mitten advent calendar with crochet and thought I'd share the patterns I found to make it:

Mini Mittens

Mini Santa Hat

The cutest advent calendar EVER

I just love advent calendars. I loved them as a kid and I love putting little surprises in the pockets for my kids. But when I got the new Garnet Hill catalog the other day, I found the cutest one EVER. Isn't it adorable? Those little hats and mittens are just so cute. I love, love, love, love it! ...except for the price. My husband would kill me if I paid $68 for one. So, I'm going to make it, hopefully by Dec 1st.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

And even more fun uses for a curtain rod

So...I happened upon this picture of another scrapbooking use for a curtain rod. Sheesh, I wish this house would sell so I could have a crafting room again. But isn't that cute too? I just had to share! Love it!

FYI...I'm working on a couple of new tutorials, hope to have it up this week as I actually have nothing to do for school work. I've passed my 2nd module and am waiting for the final to be graded and the books to be mailed to me for the next module, so I actually have FREE time and don't have to feel guilty for it, lol.

Antique shopping

Do you love to shop for antiques? I do. But it's kinda hard with a 3 yr old bulldozer, lol. Anyway, if you live in the Dallas area, I suggest you go over to this place. You can spend a couple of hours shopping. Alston's Old Home Place They are in downtown Garland (which has a couple of other cute antique stores as well). I recently discovered it while looking for a shabby chic style desk for Ms Em's room. Ok, ok, well I admit I found this place because of my obsession with craiglist, lol. I need a 12 step program for craigslist, but I'm stilling trying to find Mr E a bedroom set that doesn't cost arm and a leg. I had found it but darn it if someone else got to it before me, lol.

Anyway, there's an adorable little article on Alton's website about the lady that owns it, the guy Richard is her son, I think, and he's very nice. He's the one always there when we come by. It's only open Thurs-Sat. Tons of stuf to look at. And if you need a headboard for a bed, that's your place to go.

But if you see something there you like, make sure you get it and don't wait. There were these two gorgeous cabinets that looked like they had been card catalogs from a library. I don't know, could been apothecary cabinets or something. They were only $10/piece with all those cute little drawers. Well we didn't buy them last weekend because we didn't think there would be room in the car for a desk and those, so we decided to go back this past Friday to get them, and they had sold the day before. I could have cried. But oh and learn.

Other uses for curtain rods and ideas for Xmas gifts

Is this not totally cute? I love it! And I'm stealing it, lol! I have a big wall in my living room that just has been screaming at me it "needs" something, and this is it. So Tuesday when I am sans chidlren, I'm going to find the perfect curtain rods for my living and Ms Em's bedroom -- as this will so cool above her bed.

And if you are interested in doing it, you can read up about it here: Curtain Rod Scrapbooking Thing
She used drapery clips to atttach the pages and she keeps the scrapbook pages in pagebook protectors.

Oh and BTW if you know where to get vintage reproduction ads that are printable as well as old antique bathroom/beauty product boxes, can you post on my comments? I'm decorating my dressing room. It came with this hideous pink striped wallpaper and I decided to work with it instead of ripping it down and create more work, lol. So I'm doing a vintage thing in it. Have you ever seen the bathrooms from Buca di Beppo's? Great family style italian place, but I love their bathrooms (ok...well I don't really want naked women pics in my dressing room, but I love the vintage stuff they have in it.)

I picked this magazine up last night. It's from Better Homes and Garden's, Quilts and More - it's a quarterly magazine I think. Anyway, it has the cutests mommy and me apron made from tea towels, so easy to make for Xmas gifts. And as I am a major bag addict, it has a cute bag, checkbook cover, and wallet to make. Oh and so much more, a skirt, adorable quilts (I'm going to make the one called On the Fly, and stockings, and I could go on and on...) So go get it! I picked mine up at Wallyworld.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I heart craigslist

So I wrote earlier about my current obsession with Craigslist. I'm crazy, I actually check the furniture posts several times a day (looking for the perfect furniture for Mr. E). But I got that beautiful bedroom set in white for Ms Em, it's perfect and very shabby chic -- for only $140. Headboard, dresser, giant mirror, and nightstand. I'm so excited! Dh is going to do a couple of touch ups to the dresser and I hope to have it all in her room by the weekend and can share a picture. I didn't think we were going to get it as the lady said someone else was coming to look at it the day before, but they never showed up.

But I've been thinking someone needs to create a blog for "what the hell was that person thinking" for pictures gleaned off of craigslist. Some of it is just scary.

And to make this sewing related, I'm working on a new tutorial for a circle skirt. They are so easy to make! I hope to have it up next week unless some unforeseen thing happens, which usually does, lol.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Tunnel House

Okay this is just neat. And it's in Houston, so I could actually visit this.

I've been looking at ways to spruce up the house, so that's how I came across the tunnel house website.

I'm having a giganto garage sale next weekend, trying to declutter before we try doing FSBO with our house. I'm hoping that being able to cut out the realtor and lower the price a whole lotta, might sell it. It feels a little better when people come look and say our house is #1 on their list...if they can sell theirs. at least I hope that it's not some hideous beast, lol.

You know you see those "sell my house" shows on TV and the buyers are always looking at the furniture (which I'm thinking why? it's not going to be there when you move in, duh?!) so I've been trying to frugally find new furniture lately for different areas of the house to make it look like model house perfect (if you can do that with 3 bulldozers), especially Ms Em's room.

She's moving into the "tween" age and disney princesses just aren't her thing anymore, lol. Is that not weird??? I was playing with cabbage patch kids and barbies and dollhouses until I was at least 12 or 13. I still love dollhouses. My dad made mine and it was red and had wallpaper and carpets and I picked out miniature stuff for it all the time. So I clened out her room for the garage sale and changed her curtains and new bedding and moved out an ugly pink armoire that basically held junk and her room looks HUGE now. Now if we could just get furniture that all matches in there, lol.

But I I'm currently obsessed with Craigslist. Oh my gosh, you can find just about anything on there (seriously, you can find free fabric on there too!) Last week I got a cute french provencial style dresser and nightstand for $65 total! It's very shabby chic. It was going to be Em's, but I'm currently trying to get Ms Em the perfect bedroom set for $150. I'm crossing my fingers! It's girlie and white and real wood and it has a headboard, dresser, mirror, and nightstand. And I'm also trying to find Mr E a new bedroom set, he's still got the toddler stuff, which is okay since he's only 3, but I want to get him a "big boy" set soon. He's begging for a bunk bed...which ain't gonna happen...because it will mean a broken arm in the first week, I just know it.

Anyway, the other cool website I found while looking for ways to turn furniture into other things was this one - - she has lots of neat ideas, especially if you're into that shabby chic look.