Sunday, December 21, 2014

Baby Girl Blanket in Progress

Greetings friends,

Christmas has come too quickly for me this year. I am a big Christmas person, I LOVE Christmas. I start listening to Christmas music at work in early fall...OK maaaaybe I have also been known to listen to it throughout the year...

Since I went into labor early, I wasn't able to prepare as well as I wanted to, but I am looking forward to having a nice Christmas with our newest addition. Even though Teagan is too little to know what is going on, having her here is extra special, and seeing the love my two year old has for her is even more special. One thing I want to have done before Christmas is Teagan's blank-y. I wanted to make her blanket with purples, but I was really having trouble finding yarn in purples that I liked. You may remember Lauren's blanket has daisies with a pink background, and she carries it around with her everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE!

One of the problems with Lauren's blanket is that I used two different kinds of yarn. The pink and yellow is Stitch 'N Bitch Washable Wool and the white is Vanna's  Choice. The washable wool isn't meant to be washed quite as much as we have to wash her blanket so two years later it isn't the best looking - it felted on the pink parts.

After searching different yarn stores, I decided to use pink and purple colors from Vanna's Choice since it is my go-to yarn.

Right now I have two of the colors complete as I will be making the blanket with 16 circles. Each circle will be finished off into a square with a white border for a 4 by 4 square blanket.

Circle of Friends Pink Circles
I had just enough yarn in one skein to make all four circles!!! The  last time I made this blanket for a boy, I stopped at row 5 with the colored circle and began row 6 in the white square border color. I accidentally did row 6 on my first three circles so I decided to just go with it on all of them.

My two year old fell asleep early tonight so I am finally going to be able to get some crocheting in to end the weekend. So I am off to crochet by the fire and eat some choclate. Tis the season...

Staying Warm by the Fireplace
We do not get a lot of cool/cold days or nights here so when we do, I love snuggling up on the couch with my yarn and hook and a nice little fire. .

xo Susan

Friday, December 12, 2014

Elmo Rocking Chair DIY

Good Morning Lovelies,

When I woke up this morning it was chilly enough that I did not want to get out from under the blanket, which does not happen very many days a year here in southwest Florida. My two year old Lauren was in my face saying "HI" so I couldn't really delay it any longer. But, Lauren was able to sit in her new Elmo rocking chair to eat her breakfast this morning!

I finished the DIY rocking chair project and added Elmo since Lauren is REALLY into Elmo right now. She was super pumped to have Elmo on her little chair.
DIY Rocking Chair Re-Do
I learned that I am not a good spray painter. Well I guess I already knew I wasn't good at spray painting but I continue to keep trying anyways. My problem is even after shaking the can for the amount of time it says on the can, the spray paint still comes out with bumps on it - sort of chunky even.

Luckily, I was able to get it going and make the chair look lovely. I also wasn't going to worry too much about any imperfections because with a toddler using it every day, and another who will follow, the chair is going to get some marks on it. When Lauren decides she isn't into Elmo anymore, I can paint over the Elmo head with Minnie Mouse or whatever new thing she is into at the time.

Here is what I did:

  • Two cans of Heirloom White Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch from Home Depot 
  • Red with white polka dot ribbon from Michaels (use a 50% off coupon)
  • Martha Stewart's Satin All Surface Craft Paint for the Red, Orange, and Black to paint Elmo. I bought this set but I bought it at Michaels using a 50% off coupon, sometimes they even have 55% off coupons. I bought the set of 10 so I have colors for other projects too. The set was only $19.99 at Michaels so with the coupon I paid $9.99 for 10 colors
  • Sand paper (optional)
  1. I had to take apart the chair and tighten all the screws. After putting it back together, I wiped it down with Clorox Wipes to get all of the dirt and marks off of it and then let it dry.
  2. Sprayed the first coat of spray paint using the Heirloom White paint. You may only need one can if you are a proficient spray painter. (remember, I am NOT)
  3. I followed the directions on the can and let it dry before putting on the second coat. 
  4. Google searched Elmo and printed off a black and white outline of Elmo's face from Google Images. Like this one. 
  5. I put the paper up on a window (I used our sliding door but any window will do) and I traced the image using a sharp pencil.
  6. Then I put the paper with the traced side placed where I wanted the image on the rocking chair and traced the lines I could see from my pencil. This will create a faint image of Elmo on the white. 
  7. Remove the paper and sketch by hand any of the areas that did not get traced. Note: If you are good at drawing, you can skip steps 5-7 and just draw it free hand on the chair. I am a decent drawer, but I don't like when something looks sort of like Elmo but not really, so I went with tracing some parts. 
  8. Faint Image of Elmo on the back of the chair
  9. I also added two bows to the top of the chair to make it girly. I used my hot glue gun to make the bows and secure them to the chair. So far they have not fallen off.
  10. Then I started painting. This part is a little annoying since you have to lean over to paint that part of the chair after you already have to lean over the same way to trace the image. Luckily it isn't a lot of painting so your back will not hurt too bad.

  11. I bought finishing spray but didn't spray it on yet. I am not sure if I will. The paint really looks great and I am glad I bought the 10 color set because this was the second time I used them. 

Finished Elmo Rocking Chair
I was really happy with how it turned out. It is really hard to paint the black lines for outlining Elmo's eyes but if you do not look too closely, I think it came out really well! If you are an experienced painter, that part would probably be very easy for you.

Happy Friday!

xo Susan

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Cards Ordered!


I finally ordered our Christmas cards this morning. See, I did get our family photos taking in October so I could have the digital images back and design and order our cards so I would have them ready to go in the beginning of December. Baby girl #2 was due December 12. Her sister was three days late, so I was not going to hold out and hope for family of four photos because it just wouldn't be feasible to get them in time to send out before Christmas.

A month ago I designed three different cards and wanted to run them by my hubby to see which one he liked the best. Time slipped away and I missed the 50% off promo, which I knew would be back before Christmas. I had a feeling as soon as I ordered them, the next day the 50% off promo would run again so I waited. While I was waiting our beautiful baby was born. I couldn't order our cards without including our perfect little new pumpkin.

Granny Square Baby Blanket with Newborn

Well, I was reminded this morning that today is the last day for 50% off and so I finally took a few photos of Teagan to add to the card. Her official new born photo shoot is later this week. Above is a photo of her with a large granny square I made while pregnant with my older daughter. You see, the day before Teagan was born I started her baby blanket. It is still in progress.

I made a baby blanket a few years ago using the circle of friends pattern and really liked it. After pondering for months about the pattern I would use for Teagan's blanket, I decided to use Circle of Friends.

Circle of Friends for Baby Blanket

Circle of Friends Baby Blanket in the making

I am still deciding on the exact colors to use. I am not sure if the yellow will make it in there. Luckily, I have a friend with a baby on the way that I can use the yellow circle for if I decide not to use yellow in Teagan's. I am using Vanna's Choice yarn by Lion Brand. Since my crochet hiatus, I see that Vanna's Baby line is almost non-existent, many of the colors are now part of the regular Vanna's Choice. I am going to check A.C. Moore sometime this week to see if I can get some more of the old Vanna Baby colors.

Happy Hooking!

xo Susan

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Toddler Rocking Chair Re-do

Hello Lovelies,

We are having a cloudy and humid Sunday here, perfect for napping babies and toddlers and mommy crochet and photo snapping time. Over the last few days we have had a new crew of big birds in our backyard, it must be good fish hunting in the pond behind our house because every time I look out, I see another one with a fish in its mouth.

Florida birds eating some fish

Florida birds

We typically have one or two blue herons that hang around, but these big white ones are not year round regulars. Now that you saw a glimpse of what is happening outside, I will show you what I was working on "inside".

My two year old Lauren loves our neighbor's little rocking chair so I have been wanting to get her a little rocking chair but didn't want to spend $40 or $50 dollars on one. When someone posted a little rocking chair on my local Buy/Sell/Trade facebook group, I snatched one up for $5. It was in rougher shape than I thought. I ended up having to take it apart and tighten all of the screws because it was quite shaky.

The chair originally had a Hello Kitty decal on the seat back. I immediately started peeling it off before thinking about taking a "Before" photo so this is the chair minus the Hello Kitty decal sticker. I am going to start with spray painting it a shade of white!

xo Susan

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Crafty Things

Hello Friends,

I am currently on maternity leave with our second adorable baby girl and I don't know if it is the scent in the air, or the coziness of her little blanky, or finally having some time to stop and think, but it just makes me want to blog!

The temperature has finally dropped a little here in southwest FL and it reminds me of when I started this blog back in February of 2011. When I lived up north I would say it is the scent of Spring in the air, but since our seasons here are hot, HOT, and HOT we do not really experience that scent in springtime instead we have it in the winter.

Over the last few months I have been crocheting but I have also been working on other crafty things that I want to share with you too. Rather than start a new blog, I want to add to my crochet garden!

Be on the lookout for my crafty creations!

xo Susan

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Crochet 15 minutes a day...

Hello Friends,

I have been missing from blog land for waaaaay too long. I have also been missing crocheting for way too long. I had a baby 22 months ago and have had very little time to crochet since then. We are expecting baby #2 and I am determine to crochet for 15 minutes a day 5 days a week to try to get back to some happy hooking time.

I have many WIPs stashed away and an embarrassing yarn stash patiently waiting for my return. I am happy to say, I am back at it and the first WIP I want to finish is the English Meadow blanket. You may remember when I started this blanket... well if you have a really good memory. It was February of 2011! Here was my first post about it and my initial inspiration in the color selection.

I have been able to do 14 more rows since picking it back up and have been very happy with the progress so far. 

Granny stripe

Granny stripe - beach

Granny stripe - beach

Granny stripe - beach

Granny stripe - beach
 I have about three hours worth of crocheting left to finish the number of rows I want for the length and then I need to do a small border. Hopefully I can finish this one and start making a new baby blanket... 

More soon, 

Susan xoxo