Wednesday, 22 November 2017

A Rainbow Purse to Brighten Your Day

When the weather is grey and dull, and when it is pitch black outside by 5:00 pm, I turn to my yarn basket to revel in some color and to brighten my day.

Today I am excited to show you a little colorful project that I made completely on a whim with no real purpose in mind other than to fulfill my need to make something pretty and colorful: a rainbow drawstring purse
Mission accomplished - this bag is so pretty and obviously colorful.

I found the pattern for this bag among my old pattern stash and used my collection of cotton yarns to work it up. Luckily the blog from which I printed the pattern many years ago is still up and running and on revisiting it now I was happy to find a gorgeous space full of crochet inspiration. There are a few other patterns there that I would love to make and I have added them to my list. I love having a running list of "crochet projects to make" and being continually inspired to add to the list. Having an overabundance of crafty projects and ideas is never a bad thing.

When it came to choosing colors for my bag, I took a completely random approach. I quite like how it turned out, though if I were to make this bag again, I would like to try a more planned color palate, just to see how that would look. This is a small enough project, that experimenting with colors is quite possible.

I've been crocheting a lot lately, in every spare moment I have, and I am more in love with this craft than ever. I have an absolutely amazing project in the works, as well as a few Christmas bits..I can't wait to show you. Until then, happy crafting friends.....

Pattern: Rainbow Purse 
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton - so many colors
Colorful: 100%
Pretty: 100%
Fun to Make: 100%

Sunday, 19 November 2017

47/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

My girls and I in the kitchen, all wearing aprons, and making dinner together.

I love the moment captured here: an ordinary Saturday night in November (hence the darkness), good food on the stove, funny comments and questions from my favorite girls, Bridget stirring the sauce, Claire adding the spices...a simple and happy evening.

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

46/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Bridget: Looking stylish and fab (your word, not mine) in your new outfit; I love the necklace. (And at the risk of sounding like a complete and utter cliche, why do you suddenly look so grown up?)

Claire: This week you got to bring home Brooke and her friends from Brownies. You were so happy and excited and there was some serious doll playing going on.

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

P.S. I miss the summer when it was still warm and sunny at 4:30 in the afternoon; we were all freezing cold and chasing the last bits of natural light to get these photos...

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Spot the Ladybug

Naming a ladybug "Spot" seems a little cliche, but it works so I am going with it.
The pattern for this guy is from Lion Brand. Years ago when I was enthusiastically getting back into crochet, and especially excited about making amigurumi,  I printed off the pattern and added it to my stash. I never made him and then a few weeks ago, while cleaning up my patterns, I decided it was now or never.

Making all the pieces was simple enough, but sewing everything together - including six legs and six spots - was not much fun. It took hours and reminded me of mending, my most hated chore ever. To make the experience a little more enjoyable/tolerable I listened to the long list of podcasts that I had gotten behind on, sipped coffee....and by the end of the afternoon I had learned a great deal (I love podcasts) and I had this sweet little ladybug.

(I'll be honest though, next time I come across an amigurumi pattern with lots of tiny pieces to sew together and am tempted to make it, I may think twice...)
I really have no use for Spot, or any of the other amigurumi that I have made, but I get so much joy and happiness from making them that I keep on going, making critter after critter. I have quite a few stashed away around my house and am beginning to wonder what on earth I should do with them all. The girls don't play with them - they mostly exclaim when a new animal is made and then move on to other things - and I am left with an enormous heap of crocheted toys. What to do? The struggle is real my friends, nothing critical by any means, but something I am thinking about......

Pattern: Amigurumi Lady Bug
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in Red, Lily Sugar and Cream in Black

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

A Summer Blanket Ta-dah (in the Fall)

I've finished my Summer Blanket (named as such simply because I began working on it in the summer). And I've finished it at the perfect time too, as autumn has truly arrived. While I have often reserved blanket making for the colder months, when you think about it, making a blanket in the summer is the perfect situation; working away all summer and finishing in the fall means you will be completely prepared with a new blanket to cuddle under when the temperatures drop.

To say I am pleased with how my blanket turned out would be an understatement - I really love it. The colors, the softness of the yarn, the edging that just finished it off perfectly - it is a favorite project of mine for sure.

It was an enjoyable project to work on as well - I loved making it as much as I love the final product. Every evening, after the girls were in bed, I would settle into in my corner of the sofa, prop up my feet and crochet a few rows. It was both calming and therapeutic and a moment that I looked forward to everyday; thank goodness for crochet and its restorative benefits, I can not count the number of times I have thought that, or proclaimed it aloud.

My blanket currently lives in our bedroom, either in my crochet corner or draped over the edge of the bed where it can easily be pulled on top of my legs when I am crocheting or reading.

But the story does not end there. One evening I was sitting on the sofa with my yarn basket at my feet, leftover bits of yarn from my blanket inside, when I was inspired to make a mandala. Following Lucy's brilliant and simple mandala pattern, one mandala was made, and then another, and then another....I stopped at four for fear that I was becoming a little obsessed. My favorite thing about making mandalas is trying different color orders and combinations. I mean look at these four and how different they all look while they are all made with the same yarns....
Ahh, things have been quite wonderful around here on the yarn front. Lots of time creating and lots of beautiful projects. I am a happy yarn lady....

Blanket Pattern: Happy in Red Diamond Stitch Blanket
Edging Pattern: Happy in Red Granny Stripe Edging
Mandala Pattern: Attic 24 Mandala Wheel 
Yarn: Deramores Studio DK in Pearl, Mustard, Blush, Topaz, Indigo

I'm joining in with the Winter Project Link Party over at Thistlebear. 

Monday, 6 November 2017

45/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Bridget: loving being ten and in grade six, loving school, loving synchronized swimming, loving your red jeans, loving singing in the choir.....just loving life!

Claire: carrying on a family tradition - wearing the dirndel that Oma, myself, and Bridget wore before you.

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

44/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Claire: The Snow Queen

Bridget: American Girl Doll, Grace

Halloween was fantastic this year. Claire was delighted to be the Snow Queen and Bridget created her own costume - Grace, her favorite American Girl Doll. After hours of trick-or-treating both girls burst through the door with rosy cheeks, wind blown hair, tired eyes....and an enormous load of candy (so much candy!!!).

Much fun was had....and plans for next years' costumes and trick-or-treating strategies are already being discussed.

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

43/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

We spent Saturday exploring the forest at Hilton Falls: climbing rocks, walking along leaf covered paths, and feeding the birds right from our hands. The weather was perfect - warm and sunny with just a slight breeze - the perfect fall day.

Bridget was intent on climbing over every rock we saw, while Claire could have fed the birds for hours....

Time in the forest can be so therapeutic; the perfect thing to help you breathe deeply and reset.

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Knitting with Oma

The first time I tried to learn how to knit I was using knobby and feathery yarn (two strands held together), I couldn't see my stitches, the yarn kept splitting, and in the end I was all tense, I had a cramp in my hand, and I was sweating like I was running a marathon. I did not have an enjoyable time and my work was an absolute mess, good only for the trash.

After such a frustrating experience I didn't think I'd pick up knitting needles again, that is until a few weekends ago when my Oma insisted on teaching me how to knit.....speaking to me in German for most of the time. It was an interesting afternoon for sure, but surprisingly I was able to follow what she was saying and have learned a few of the basics (all those years of German School definitely came in very handy).
I've made a few mistakes here and there, my tension is uneven, the edges are a little wonky, and I've dropped a stitch or five...but all things considered, I think it is looking pretty good.
I'm enjoying knitting and am excited to see where this leads.....could this be the beginning of a new yarn craft adventure???

Special thanks to my husband for picking up the camera and taking these pictures, capturing a very special moment indeed.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

42/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

Bridget: Happy Mail - new Star Wars stamps for your collection! (Thanks, Opa)

Claire: ready for the Brownies Enrollment Ceremony where you got to be a helper and welcome all the new girls to your unit. You were so excited, and a little nervous (as usual).

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Rustic Pumpkins

Autumn means pumpkins and when I saw the pattern for these rustic pumpkins over on Meg's blog, I knew I had to make some.
So simple and quick to work up (they are made holding two stands of yarn together), they are the perfect addition to my fall decor. Not that I decorate a lot for fall, but it is nice to add a few seasonal touches here and there.
The stem of the pumpkins is actually just a piece of a stick cut to size and hot-glued to the top - very rustic indeed. And to increase the rustic factor even more, I tied some jute around the stem.
While orange pumpkins lend themselves well to Thanksgiving and autumn decor, I think this pumpkin in black would be great as a Halloween decoration.

Yarn: Red Heart Soft
Pattern: Megmade with Love
Are these necessary in your life: Yes, make one now.

(My hubby had a great time playing around and being creative with the camera to get these amazing shots. Thanks, hon.)

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

A Kerchief Scarf for Claire

I'm in a season right now where I am doing a lot of waiting at lessons for the girls. I don't mind at all - it is wonderful to see them learning new things and they are both thriving - but at the same time I am trying to be intentional with this time I have and make it productive for me as well. To that end I have been working on simple crochet projects that are manageable to carry around and that can be picked up and put down easily- basically projects that require minimal concentration.

Lessons have been up and running for a few weeks now, and today I am excited to show you the first thing I made during my "waiting time" (which I am also referring to as my scheduled crochet time): the Caron Cakes Kerchief Scarf:
Aren't Caron Cakes (and all the other yarn cakes like them) the most adorable things? Gosh, I like them a lot. I actually bought this Caron Cake (Funfetti) for Claire for Christmas thinking that she could make this scarf, but after looking at the pattern more carefully, I realized that it was a little too advanced for her, so I made it instead.

It was a great project - meeting all of my "minimal concentration" requirements.

And of course Claire Bear loves her new scarf which she may be able to wear soon now that the weather is a bit more fall-like.
I'm currently on the hunt for other simple, easy patterns and have even made a little visit to the yarn store to make sure I am well stocked for the next few months. I mean, if I'm going to be in the bleachers or in a chair waiting, I may as well be making something (seems a better use of my time than playing on my phone).

I'm joining in with the Winter Project Link Party over at Thistlebear. 

Monday, 9 October 2017

41/52

;
"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

"Girls, what are your favorite things going on in your lives right now?"

Bridget: making American Girl Doll crafts, synchronized swimming, Girl Guides, swimming lessons, doing announcements at school, lunch room helping, reading, drawing.....

Claire: piano lessons, Brownies, making American Girl Doll crafts, swimming lessons, being in grade three, doing puzzles, reading, spending time with my family.....

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

40/52

"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2017."

On Thursday afternoon you girls headed out into the yard, got the rakes out of the shed, and began raking the leaves. It wasn't long before there was a huge pile in the middle of the yard, and not long before I heard screaming and giggling and saw leaves being tossed into the air. Playing in the leaf pile is one of your favorite things to do: jumping in the pile, throwing leaves at each other, burying yourselves....it is a treasured autumn tradition and "so much fun".

Inspired by The 52 Week Project at Practicing Simplicity.