Sunday, March 22, 2015

Crochet: Spring Necklaces

On my last day of Spring Break, I wanted to work through a quick spring project.

Something fast.

Something easy.

Something that I could wear in the classroom this week to ease the shock of the plunge back into kindergarten-land.

Teachers understand this.

Searching for necklace tutorials, I came across this set posted by Tip Junkie, and stopped scrolling when I found:

The free pdf pattern is here (wish the author's name was included, I'd love to credit her).

Not having the same size crochet hook, I used an "I" and chained all of my links loosely to make a longer necklace.  Friends and I discovered some fun yarn on sale a few weekends ago when we visited the West Bottoms in Kansas City, and this was the perfect opportunity to use it.

 I don't usually crochet at my desk, but my feet were trapped, so I stayed put:

The necklaces worked up quickly, and it was fun finding bright embellishments to add to the pastel and green chains I made:

These will certainly add a ~pop~ of color to my outfits this week!


Heidi Bears shares a great crochet rose tutorial here.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring has Sprung

Spring has sprung, indoors at least.  My break from school is winding down, so it was time to find the bottle brush decorations, eggs, and bunnies, bunnies, bunnies:

I'm a mishmash collector, and therefore a mishmash decorator.  "Eclectic" is the fancy word for "mishmash," correct?

For example: European tole platter, cream bunnies, slightly tarnished silver bowl, a copper wall tile, and photos from my eldest.  Works for me.  Maybe I'll polish the silver this weekend.

These fellas stand guard at the kitchen island on a cake plate.  Bunnies ~everywhere~, I tell you.

I usually hang spring bunting throughout the house, across the mantle and windows, but a certain non-bunny that resides in our house has developed a thing for paper and ribbon.

Turns out he finds ~crinkly~ items, like seed packets, m-o-s-t interesting:

... as well as ALL things fluffy, like the remnants of a white boa I used to trim a t-shirt (I was a Star Bellied Snitch) for Dr. Seuss' birthday:

Scattered seeds and boa fluff count as spring decor, right?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Heart to Heart Swap 2015 Tutorial: My Ornament

If you stopped by yesterday, you saw the treasures I received as a participant (again!) in this year's Heart to Heart Swap, hosted by Sarah.  She made the beautiful butterfly ornament (tutorial found here), but I kept the ornament ~I~ created under wraps until today, so I could show you how I made it.

Here's what you'll need:

Yarn (white, blue, pink).  Gray polar fleece (felt would work).  Lace scraps.  Grosgrain ribbon (pink with red "stitch" detail). Craft mini flowers (wired with ends wrapped). Hanging hook.  Hot glue.  Crochet hook (size I).  Sewing or upholstery needle.

I crocheted a bazillion little pink hearts three or four years ago, adding them to a pile of valentine what-nots that remained untouched for... ~three or four years~.   They appreciated seeing the light of day again!  Unable to find the original pattern online, I found a great tutorial by Olivia at Hopeful Honey that you can use to make your own hearts.

For the baby blue backing, I quickly whipped through the following for each of the ornaments:

Chain 17
DC in 4th chain from hook
DC in remaining chains (you should have 15 stitches in all across):

Chain 3, turn, then DC across again for 15 stitches (I didn't crochet into the previous DCs but in the space between them):

Complete the row, making sure you have 15 stitches across.  Chain 3, turn, and repeat DCs between stitches, until you've created 6 rows in all:

Ending with blue, tie on your white to the end of the row, and add 4 SC to the corner (there's only 2 in the photo), working down a SHORT side of the blue rectangle first:

I put 3 SCs in each hole across the short side, tucking in/crocheting over the loose end of white from where I'd originally tied on (see the end sticking out?):

When I reached the second corner of the short side, I used 5 SC to help curve around so I could work on a long side.  I put 2 SCs between each blue DC stitch:

After making my way around the long side, I put 5 SCs in the corner, worked up the short side with 3 SCs in each "hole" or space created by the blue DCs, put 5 SCs in the next corner, and again put 2 SCs between each DC blue stitch on the long side of the rectangle. 

See that itty bitty stitch of blue?  I crocheted 1 SC into the first corner (making a total of 5 SCs) to cover it up and close the white trim.  I tied off the white yarn, and then found a needle through which I could thread it:

Away goes the tail-end of the yarn!

Next, I cut a 4 X 4 inch piece of gray polar fleece, though felt or a heavier fabric certainly would have worked too:

I folded the fleece in half and cut a simple heart out:

I loved the mix of nubby yarn and super soft fleece textures!  While the fleece could have been sewn onto the blue yarn, I wasn't in the mood to sew.  Hello glue gun!

Add a strip of leftover lace or trim:

Slide a pick of flowers through the center of a crocheted heart:

... and trim the back, gently bending the remaining taped wires or "stub" down flat against the back of the heart.  Use hot glue to not only hold "stub" in place, but to affix pink heart onto lace and fleece heart:

I cut a length of grosgrain ribbon that was a bit longer than the rectangle, cutting a dove's' tail in to both ends:

Then I wove the ribbon through the holes at the top (short end) of the rectangle, over under, over under, over under:

Finally, I tucked a hanging hook through crocheted stitches around the center of the top short side of the rectangle.  The ornament on the left is finished (see how all of the edges are laying flat?).  Use hot glue under edges of the pink heart if needed to keep it from curling up and inward.

I do hope my creation brings a smile to all of the swap participants' faces when they open it!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

~Squealing Like a Little Girl~

... and can you blame me?

This box, t-h-i-s box, is one I look forward to receiving every February, and with good reason: there's always Heart to Heart Swappy Goodness inside!

I love opening all of the envelopes, cellophane, and tissue paper wrapping to reveal the treasures inside:

A miniature gumball machine and dimensional map hearts...

Love banner mounted on (and originally wrapped around) a spool (look at all of the fabrics and embellishments!)...

Matchbox miniature in sweet pastels...

Literally a "flying heart" ornament!

This layered ornament reminds me of the one ~I~ contributed to the swap.  So nice to see a touch of ~crochet~ (hinty hint-hint).

Buttons and stitching are a lovely combination...

Valentine flash cards appeal to my inner teacher.  Wait a minute... I'm REALLY a teacher...

When pigs fly!  Another reason to ~squeal~.

Paper textures and eyelet...

Whooo loves you?

... and another quick peek at the gumball miniature!

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, dearest Heart to Heart Swappers, and thank you to Super Sarah over at Makin' Projiks for helping all of us share the love and our creative talents with other crafty valentines!


Check back for tomorrow's post to see the ornament I created for this year's swap!