Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lunch Bags made from Capri-sun Pouches (not a crochet project - gasp!)

Our family made goals for the summer. We wanted to stay busy in productive, fun ways during the long summer days and I longed for fewer "I'm bored" comments from my three kids during these months! Not to mention the feeling of pride when we look back and see what we've accomplished! We adopted a loose schedule that we personalized and set up a specific time during the day to work on our "goals." The kids made lists of their goals including reading enough to get prizes for the library's reading program, making a movie, baking cookies, learn favorite songs on the piano, etc. I found myself making a list alongside them which included several crochet projects, updating the scrapbook, and having the kids drink capri suns at lunch. Here's why:

14 capri suns per bag x 3 bags = a full summer of drinking capri suns (roaring waters only have 30 calories, so that's mostly what I purchased, even though the "juicy" ones are more colorful)

I found the idea and pattern for these lunch bags here and thought they were pretty darn cute for a reduce/reuse/recycle project. Not to mention they actually needed new lunch bags for the school year. It's pretty great to get something useful for very little extra cost than the drink pouches (which we used for picnic lunches throughout the summer anyway).

Now that the project is complete (yay for reaching a goal!) I laugh to see that I have trained the kids to not throw away their little drink pouches when cleaning up their lunchtime mess...anyone need a pouch? :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lil' Apple Pot

It is mid-August, the time of year the mommies and daddies are thinking back-to-school thoughts while the kiddies are treasuring the precious few days they have left of summer vacation. I admit that the seeds of school-y thoughts have indeed drifted down and found purchase in my mind and I can practically smell the chalk and erasers from the classrooms of my youth (does the same nostalgia come from dry erase boards?). I can nearly feel the weight of a backpack full of books and my new supplies up on my shoulders and almost taste the crisp morning air as I wait for the big yellow school bus. As I these thoughts continue to grow roots I find my eyes are drawn towards all things with primary colors: folders in glossy red, rulers painted yellow, and notebooks in brilliant blue! What a great time of year!

It is in this vein that I post my adaptation of Ana Paula's Amigurumi Apple Pattern.
 I call it: Lil' Apple Pot...

A fun little pot for rainbows of coloring crayons! 

Also, a perfect home for our Lil' Garden Friend...

I think Lil' Caterpillar and Lil' Apple Pot might just sneak her way into a backpack 
on the first day of school ^_^

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Flowers in her hair

I finally grew my hair out long enough to donate it to Locks of Love! It was so great to ship off my 10 inches of hair knowing it'll go to a great cause. Last time I was able to donate I got a cute little bob and all was well. This time, however, either the length requirement got longer, or my hair didn't grow as much as I thought it had because a cute little bob wasn't in the cards for me. I got a pixie cut. My awesome hair dresser let me know that it would look great on me and that I would be in good company since at the time Emma Watson debuted her recent pixie cut. So it was off with my hair!

It was a shocking first moment for my family to see mommy with such a drastic change. I got comments like "Mommy Bieber" and "Man Mom." I wasn't thrilled with the comments, but endured it as my friends supported my efforts and said I looked great. However, it wasn't like it was going to grow back in a week, or even a month, so I decided to whip up some hair doodads for a feminine touch. 

double flower barrette with button center

blue is a staple in my wardrobe

the kids' school colors for when I sport my spirit wear

Next I'm going to be bolder and make some that are quite a bit bigger and splashier! For now a simple touch of color will do :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Garden Friend

I found this lil' caterpillar crawling through our garden this morning...

crawling around...

chomping on lettuce...

stopping to smell the flowers...

grabbing a cool drink from the watering can...

helping to water the grass...


Lil' Caterpillar from Ana Paula Rimoli's book Amigurumi Two!  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Marcel the Shell (with shoes on): Crochet Version!

Yep. the Eyes Have It

If you've been following along and read my W.I.P. on Marcel (check out this post with the "before" pictures here) then you'll be pleased to know that I finally decided and went with the googley eye! I am sure there could be many different versions of crochet Marcel, but here's just ONE of the ways you could go about getting your very own

Marcel the Shell (with Shoes on): Crochet Version!

You will need:
E hook
G hook
WW soft brown yarn
WW white yarn
WW pink yarn
WW seaweed green yarn
1" googley eye
Brown & white felt
yarn needle/embroidery needle

Using soft brown yarn and Hook Size E
Begin by working in the round...
Magic Circle (6)
R1: *sc 1, 2 sc in next st* around (9)
R2: dhc around (9)
R3: 2 sc in ea st around in front loops only (18)
R4: dhc around (18)
R5: *sc 5, 2 sc in next st* around in front loops only (21)
R6: dhc around (21)
R7: *sc 5, dec 1* around in front loops only (18)
R8: *2dhc in next st* 8 times, *1dhc, 2dhc in next st* 5 times (31)
R9: dhc around (31)
R10: dhc around (31)
R11: dhc around (31)
R12: dhc around (31)
R13: sc around in front loops only (31)
R14: *5 sc, dec 1* around (24)
here you will start working in rows and shaping the googley eye hole...
R15: dhc 18, ch 10, sl st to first dhc of this row (you should sk 6 st when you do this)
R16: 1 sc into next st and sc across chain row, 1 sc into next st, turn, ch 1
R17: sc across chain row, 1 sc into next st, turn, ch 1
R18:  sc across chain row, 1 sc into next st, turn, ch 1
R19: sc across chain row, 2 sc down shell side, turn, ch 1
R20: sc across chain row decreasing twice evenly, 1 sc down shell side, turn, ch 1
R21: sc across chain row decreasing once in the middle, 2 sc down shell side, turn (do not ch 1)
R22: sc across chain row decreasing once, 1 sc on side of shell
Connect chain row to the shell by matching stitches between the two rows
(you may need to sc2tog once or twice)

front of shell

back of shell

SHOES (make 2):
Start using White and have Pink at the ready, Hook Size E
Work in rows...
Ch 5
R1: sc across (4), turn, ch 2
R2: sc across (5), turn, ch 2
R3: sc across (6), turn, ch 1
R4-R7: sc across, (6), turn, ch 1

Start working in the round...
R8: sl st around (23)
R9: sl st in front loops only (23) sl st into first st on this round. F.O.
Starting 1/2 way on one of the longest sides of shoes, attach pink
R10: 10 sc,  drop pink and join white , 13 sc (23)
R11: (p/u pink) 1 sc, dec, 4 sc, dec, 1 sc, ( p/u white ) 2 sc, dec, 2 sc, dec, 2 sc, dec, 1 sc (18)
R12: (p/u pink), dec four times, (cut pink and leave tail inside shoe, p/u white ), 2 sc, dec, 2 sc, dec, 2 sc (12)
R13: 12 sc (12)
F.O. &  Stuff

Using Green and Hook size G
Working in the round...
Magic Circle (6)
R1: 2 sc in each st around (12)
R2: 12 dhc around (12)
F.O. tightly to cup the circle.
Glue 1" googley eye into the eye cup.


Stuff Shell firmly through eye hole, adjusting firmness with the shape of the shell

Using a good embroidery thread or matching yarn, sew shoes onto the underside of shell

Using a good embroidery thread or matching yarn, sew green eye cup in the hole of the shell

Cut out Dark Brown and Off-White felt in the shape of Marcel's mouth/teeth and sew in place on shell

Grab a few yarn scraps and tie together with embroidery thread to give Marcel a doggie :)
"My one regret in life is that I will never have a dog, but sometimes
I take a hair and tie it to a piece of lint and drag it around"
~Marcel the Shell (with shoes on)