Friday, November 26, 2010

My button collection has recently gotten a fantastic upgrade thanks to the amazingly creative and talented folks who design the contents of the dollar bins at Michael's Craft Store.  

Just look at these adorable darlings all lined up in a row!

Not only are these containers super cute.... 
... but they are re-fillable, too!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Never thought a crochet bib...

... could be this cute!

Click here for the pattern. 
For best durability, make with a cotton yarn. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

What compares to the joys of a new journal? 

There are so many possibilities represented 
by this currently unfilled tome. 

What delights will fill these pages? 
What challenges will be overcome?

What sorrows will be mourned? 
What personal revelations will be illuminated?

When a heart reflects in honest sincerity,
 the pen flows swiftly with a healing virtue. 

(This journal is from Amy Butler. I bought it The Reader's Garden - a lovely bookstore nestled along the charming Main Street shoppes in her hometown of Granville, Ohio. I cannot wait to start recording the next season of my life within its pages!). 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Vintage Vignette

In this economy, it is really not practical to run out and scour the stores for a new item to brighten up my living spaces. My budget must go to a whole slew of other necessities (like student loans, a new washing machine, and life in general *sigh*). But I when I stop to really think about it, I find that I am grateful for the challenge this season has gifted to me, because I have been forced to look at my current possessions with new eyes. 

And in so doing, I have created novel vignettes that are out of my normal realm of decorating.  The quirky-fun side of my personality has had more opportunity to come out and play. This exercise in frugality has also opened my eyes to the ever growing possibility of what art can be. Items from my every day existence, for example. The cameo above, my mother discovered years ago at one of my favorite local antique malls. She then presented it to me for my birthday.  I have long treasured this as one of my favorite vintage pieces. 

I thought to myself the other day, why keep such a gem relegated to hiding among my pin stash when it can be showcased alongside other meaningful pieces from my past? Every time I pass this vintage vignette, a happy memory tugs at the corner of my heart and I am once again grateful for this learned art of frugality. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

A project for my dear friend, Heather.

I have known Heather for all but the first 6 weeks of my life (and that was only because she had not yet made her grand entrance into this world).  Our photo albums contain a wide variety of pictures chronicling our life-long friendship.  One of my favorites is of both our diapered bottoms as we stared over the couch and out the window to the wide blue yonder. Baby pictures were followed by a steady stream of birthday parties and cheesy grins, trick-or-treating and the awkward teenage years (something we can both laugh over now). Four years ago, I had the honor of being a bridesmaid in her wedding and now she will be in mine this coming July (I cannot wait! Less than 8 months to go now).
Heather  is a wonderfully creative full-time mommy to two adorable children. For just over a year now, she has been putting her creative talents to good use by selling fun and fabulous accessories for women and children. Just this past week, she opened an Etsy shop ~ Maddie Dree Boutique. I am so excited for my friend as she takes this next exhilarating step in her entrepreneurial journey!

Heather recently sent me a picture via text of an adorable, tiny crochet motif in navy and pale blue that she needed replicated for a project she is working on. Since she is helping me create the tutus for my flower girl fairies, we decided to do a trade ~ tutu assistance for crochet motifs. I am so blessed to have such a cool and crafty friend to work with! 

I can usually dissect projects and have a fair amount of aptitude for recreating when I can handle the piece in person. So I was understandably pleased with myself for being able to tackle this with only a small picture to navigate by. (I was also thrilled when she gave me choice of color combination. I had this rich pink and green combo in my stash that I had been itching to use for something as fantastic as this!) 

The road to completion was not always pretty. Note the first picture of this post. I originally made the motif waaaay too large and had to drastically reduce the size and type of stitch I used for each round. 

But after just two evenings' time, I was able to not only construct a very similar pattern, but also make a set of 10 lovely motifs per Heather's request. I relished tying them up with wax paper and spare yarn. Adding extra touches to a finished project brings such deep satisfaction. (Enter: happy hum in my heart).  I cannot wait to see what cute new use Heather has in mind for these adorable darlings! 

~ Recreated Motif Pattern ~

1) Chain 3 and join with slip stitch (I used an F hook) 

2) 12 single crochet in ring

3) Half-double crochet in tops of each single crochet from previous round

4) Slip stitch in front loops of each hdc from previous round dropping hook down as a spike into the base of previous round on every 3rd slip stitch

5) Slip stich in backloops of previous round 

* Each round's text was color coded to replicate the colors I used for that round. I used gold in place of the euchre for the spike round. 

** To make the larger motif, change the half double crochets of round 3 to double crochets and all slip stitch rows to single crochets. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hard to believe...

... a whole week has gone by since my last post! Life has been zipping by at an extraordinarily speedy pace. I am vowing to use this coming long weekend to reconnect with all the family and friends who keep me moored to what truly matters in life. 

May each of you find something to bring you joy and comfort this week.