Saturday, August 30, 2014

Happy Harvest Corn Art


Fall is just around the corner and as I pull out my fall decor from storage, I thought it was time to add a new piece! Nothing screams Fall like an ear of corn and this corn art is made from dried corn kernels, adding a fun 3-dimensional texture. This is a great project for kids as well as adults. If crafting with kids you could let them use elmer's glue to paste the kernels onto a piece of construction paper, or you can use a hot glue gun like I did to create a piece of framed art for your home.


Materials:
- 8x10 frame (or whatever size you want)
- Burlap
- Green felt
- Dried Corn Kernels
- Thickers (thick stickers...used for scrapbooking) I used THESE ONES
- Hot glue gun
- Mod Podge

Mod Podge the burlap to the back (cardboard) part of your frame (remove glass). Cut corn leaves from felt and start placing your kernels down. When you have them situated the way you want, start hot-gluing them down.

When finished, you can go over the top of the kernels with mod podge to seal it.


Place your sticker letters at the bottom to spell out "Happy Harvest" or "Happy Fall." You can hot glue the letters down for extra reinforcement. 


Display your new artwork on your mantel, wall, or buffet table! 


Friday, August 29, 2014

How to Create a Hidden Seam on Crochet Hats



Here is a quick tip on how to create a virtually hidden seam on crochet hats! If you struggle with uneven seams or gaping holes in the back of your hat, you will want to try this technique. It works by skipping over your chain stitches at the begging of the round, joining to your first stitch made, and then starting your next round in the same stitch as your chains stitches. This allows the chains to become "filler" stitches and keeps your seam from having large holes like in the orange hat below. This technique does work best with double crochet stitches but can be applied to any other types of stitches your pattern calls for.


Here is a short video tutorial on how to create the hidden seam:




And for those who prefer pictures here is a photo tutorial (as previously seen on my Owl Hats):

No matter the pattern you are working from, always join to the first DC (or whatever stitch the pattern calls for),
NOT your chain 2.

Now start your next round in the same stitch as your chain 2

Pretty simple, right?! If you are following my patterns, this is how you should be joining and starting your rounds!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Be Kind Yarn Bomb


"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." -Leo Buscaglia

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all heard something positive and uplifting each day. If we spent our energy building each other up instead of breaking each other down? We just might be able to change the world one random act of kindness at a time!

There is a path to a nature park just steps away from our house. I was inspired to do a simple yarn bomb around one of the trees at the opening of the trail that reads "Be Kind." I hope it is a reminder to all who walk this path. Especially the teenagers who frequent these woods to cause mischief :(

What if all of us yarn bombed something in our neighborhood (maybe a light post, tree, mailbox....that is legal, right?) And we all stitched on a positive affirmation, and uplifting quote, or an encouraging word. I don't know about you, but this would make me so happy to see :) "Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Plato

For this particular yarn bomb I chained 31, SC in second chain from hook and down chain (30 SC) and continued to SC rows until it measured 20 inches long (which was the width around the particular tree I chose).

I used a print out of the words "be kind" and used it as a template to stitch on the words. With a large sewing needle I was able to poke through the paper and the crocheted strip. When I was done, I tore away the paper.




When finished, use your tapestry needle to stitch the piece around the tree or onto whatever you are yarn bombing.


Since this is practically in my backyard, I do plan on checking on it from time to time. Making sure it hasn't come loose or becomes a hazard to wildlife.



"A warm smile is the universal language of kindness."

I also have to take this time to show off this kindness t-shirt that I just bought from Mindy Mae's Market (designed by Ashley Cooper Design). I absolutely adore it and thought you would too! You can purchase it HERE.



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Crochet Ninja Turtle Hat Pattern


Cowabunga, Dude! Time to crochet a Ninja Turtle hat! This is a basic crochet hat pattern with felt embellishments for the face and mask. I like the way the classic TMNT faces look. Much more kid friendly in my opinion:) And using felt instead of crochet embellishments gives much more detail to the face, and a closer replica of the cartoon character. So how do you wash this hat? Answer: you don't. This hats make a good costume for Halloween or for dress up play. If you prefer crochet embellishments see end of post for links to other free TMNT crochet patterns. 

Materials:
- Green Worsted Weight Yarn. I used Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in Fern Green. I am told Red Heart Soft in Guacamole is a great match as well!
- Size H Crochet Hook
- Tapestry Needle (a smaller/sharper one works best)
- Felt in character colors (orange, blue, red, or purple), plus white, black and pink/red for eyes and mouth.
- Downloadable free PDF templates
- Black Sharpie
- Hot Glue Gun

Abbreviations:
Magic Ring Tutorial
SC = Single Crochet
DC = Double Crochet

Basic Hat Pattern:

Size: 0-3 Months
Magic ring, 11 DC in magic ring, join to first DC, chain 2
Round 2: 2 DC in each around, join, chain 2 (22 DC)
Round 3: 2 DC in first, DC in next, repeat around, join, chain 2 (33 DC)
Round 4: 2 DC in first, DC in next 2, repeat around, join, chain 2 (44 DC)
Round 5-10: DC in each around, join, chain 2 (44 DC)
Change color to black
Round 11: SC in each around, join, fasten off, weave in ends (44 SC)

Size: 3-6 Months
Magic ring, 11 DC in magic ring, join to first DC, chain 2
Round 2: 2 DC in each around, join, chain 2 (22 DC)
Round 3: 2 DC in first, DC in next, repeat around, join, chain 2 (33 DC)
Round 4: 2 DC in first, DC in next 2, repeat around, join, chain 2 (44 DC)
Round 5: 2 DC in first, DC in next 10, repeat around, join, chain 2 (48 DC)
Round 6-11: DC in each around, join, chain 2 (48 DC)
Round 12: SC in each around, join, fasten off, weave in ends (48 SC)


Size: 6-9 Months
Magic ring, 11 DC in magic ring, join to first DC, chain 2
Round 2: 2 DC in each around, join, chain 2 (22 DC)
Round 3: 2 DC in first, DC in next, repeat around, join, chain 2 (33 DC)
Round 4: 2 DC in first, DC in next 2, repeat around, join, chain 2 (44 DC)
Round 5: 2 DC in first, DC in next 10, repeat around, join, chain 2 (48 DC)
Round 6: 2 DC in first, DC in next 11, join, chain 2 (52 DC)
Round 7-12: DC in each around, join, chain 2 (52 DC)
Round 13: SC in each around, join, fasten off, weave in ends (52 SC)

Size: 9-12 Months (Should fit up to about 16 months)
Magic ring, 11 DC in magic ring, join to first DC, chain 2
Round 2: 2 DC in each around, join, chain 2 (22 DC)
Round 3: 2 DC in first, DC in next, repeat around, join, chain 2 (33 DC)
Round 4: 2 DC in first, DC in next 2, repeat around, join, chain 2 (44 DC)
Round 5: 2 DC in first, DC in next 10, repeat around, join, chain 2 (48 DC)
Round 6: 2 DC in first, DC in next 11, join, chain 2 (52 DC)
Round 7: 2 DC in first, DC in next 12, join, chain 2 (56 DC)
Round 8-13: DC in each around, join, chain 2 (56 DC)
Round 14: SC in each around, join, fasten off, weave in ends (56 SC)

Size: Toddler/Preschooler
Magic ring, 11 DC in magic ring, join to first DC, chain 2
Round 2: 2 DC in each around, join, chain 2 (22 DC)
Round 3: 2 DC in first, DC in next, repeat around, join, chain 2 (33 DC)
Round 4: 2 DC in first, DC in next 2, repeat around, join, chain 2 (44 DC) 
Round 5: 2 DC in first, DC in next 10, repeat around, join, chain 2 (48 DC)
Round 6: 2 DC in first, DC in next 11, join, chain 2 (52 DC)
Round 7: 2 DC in first, DC in next 12, join, chain 2 (56 DC)
Round 8: 2 DC in first, DC in next 13, join, chain 2 (60 DC)
Round 9-14: DC in each around, join, chain 2 (60 DC)
Round 15: SC in each around, join, fasten off, weave in ends (60 SC)

Size: Child 
Magic ring, 11 DC in magic ring, join to first DC, chain 2
Round 2: 2 DC in each around, join, chain 2 (22 DC)
Round 3: 2 DC in first, DC in next, repeat around, join, chain 2 (33 DC)
Round 4: 2 DC in first, DC in next 2, repeat around, join, chain 2 (44 DC) 
Round 5: 2 DC in first, DC in next 10, repeat around, join, chain 2 (48 DC)
Round 6: 2 DC in first, DC in next 11, join, chain 2 (52 DC)
Round 7: 2 DC in first, DC in next 12, join, chain 2 (56 DC)
Round 8: 2 DC in first, DC in next 13, join, chain 2 (60 DC)
Round 9: 2 DC in first, DC in next 14, join, chain 2 (64 DC)
Round 10-15: DC in each around, join, chain 2 (64 DC)
Round 16: SC in each around, join, fasten off, weave in ends (64 SC)

Size: Teen/Adult 
Magic ring, 11 DC in magic ring, join to first DC, chain 2
Round 2: 2 DC in each around, join, chain 2 (22 DC)
Round 3: 2 DC in first, DC in next, repeat around, join, chain 2 (33 DC)
Round 4: 2 DC in first, DC in next 2, repeat around, join, chain 2 (44 DC) 
Round 5: 2 DC in first, DC in next 10, repeat around, join, chain 2 (48 DC)
Round 6: 2 DC in first, DC in next 11, join, chain 2 (52 DC)
Round 7: 2 DC in first, DC in next 12, join, chain 2 (56 DC)
Round 8: 2 DC in first, DC in next 13, join, chain 2 (60 DC)
Round 9: 2 DC in first, DC in next 14, join, chain 2 (64 DC)
Round 10: 2 DC in first, DC in next 15, join, chain 2 (68 DC)
Round 11-16: DC in each around, join, chain 2 (68 DC)
Round 17: SC in each around, join, fasten off, weave in ends (68 SC)

Now you will need to download the Mask/Mouth printable and use them as a template to cut your felt. I recommend cutting the paper pieces and tracing them onto the felt first with a black marker. Then cut your felt. 

CLICK HERE to Download the Mask/Eyes Printable

CLICK HERE to Download the Mouth Printable


The templates print out on standard 8.5 x 11 paper. You have two sizes for the Mask and a couple different sizes for the mouth. Go with what fits on the front of your hat best. With the larger hats (Sizes Child-Adult) you may want to make the mask longer. But since you can't print it out any larger here is what you want to do...


Cut your mask template as you see above. When you trace, just continue the line over the empty spaces. Once you have traced your mask, then cut out the eyes and eyeballs and trace/cut them. If you want to add the little white dot to the eyeball, I used a hole punch to get a small felt dot. 


With your black sharpie, draw a black border around the edges of the mask and white eyes. Be sure to include the detail of the eyebrows and the mask ties. BEFORE you hot glue the eyes on, you will want to sew the mask onto your hat. Using embroidery thread or 2-ply yarn (I separated my 4-ply worsted weight yarn) and your tapestry needle, stitch the mask onto the hat. You do not need to sew the mask "ties" on. The mask only sews to the front of the hat and does not reach around the entire circumference. The one in the photo did wrap around the right edge slightly. After your the mask is sewn on, then hot glue the eyes and eyeballs. See how the eyes are actually glued over your mask stitches on the bottom. Same goes for the mouth. First stitch on your mouth and then glue the tongue over it.




Here is big brother modeling the hat first ...

but then little brother claimed it and wore it with his Michaelangelo PJ's the ENTIRE day! It's totally OK to wear jammies all day long when you are this cute :)

The pajamas in the picture were hand-me-downs but you can find similar ones on Amazon (aff links):


Now for all you followers who aren't fans of felt, here are some completely crochet TMNT patterns:




*** You may make and sell products from my patterns but if you do I ask that you link back to my post. Please do not copy and post this pattern and claim it as your own. Please do not re-publish photos as your own.***

Want more free patterns? Keep in touch on my Repeat Crafter Me Facebook Page for new pattern sneak peeks and when they will be available on my blog! And feel free to post pictures of your finished hats and/or links to your shops on my Facebook wall so all can see.

Be sure to also follow me on my new Repeat Crafter Me INSTAGRAM account!



Monday, August 25, 2014

Crochet Emergency


I've seen a couple super cute and clever "In Case of Emergency" crafts. Like THIS S'mores one or THIS M&M's one. But then I came across THIS one for knitters and new immediately that a crochet version was a must! It's very simple to put together and would make a great gift or a fun way to stash and display your yarn - the perfect craft room decor! Mine is currently sitting in the hall outside of my craft room (aka the laundry room) :)

You will need a shadow box frame. I used a large 8.25 x 26.5 x 3.25 inch frame (THIS ONE from Michaels... get your coupons out!) that is used mostly for memorial flags, medals, and badges.


First place in some crochet supplies like an extra crochet hook, small scissors, stitch markers, and tapestry needles. Then place yarn balls or skeins of yarn on top. This box fits a skein of Lion Brand Vanna's Choice yarn perfectly if put in horizontally. But I decided to put a variety of colorful yarn balls in instead. If you are giving this as a gift, a new skein of yarn might be the way to go.


I used white alphabet stickers (THESE ONES) on top of the glass to spell out "IN CASE OF CROCHET EMERGENCY BREAK GLASS." You could also use etching cream or if you have a Cricut or Silhouette this would be a great vinyl project. I used a piece of painters tape to try and get my letters on an even line. Mine aren't perfect but that's ok.


I hung it using command strips which worked great and they won't damage my wall!



I might just end up breaking the glass (or opening up the back) at some point :) Why is it that I'm never able to find my hook, tapestry needle, or the right color when I need it?! 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Plastic Bottle Pig Stool


Yesterday I came across THIS udderly adorable cow footstool and new immediately that I wanted to make a pink piggy version for my daughter. I may or may not have stayed up until midnight sprawled out with craft supplies on my laundry room floor putting this thing together :) I love that is made from recycled plastic bottles. I can see a whole farm of stool animals!

Materials:
- 7 plastic bottles
- Packing tape
- 1 yard of Fabric
- Cardboard circle
- Poly-fil stuffing
- I piece of light pink felt + a small piece of scrap felt for nostrils
- Hot glue gun
- 1 pipe cleaner for tail
- 2 black buttons for eyes
- Black acrylic paint for hoofs
Optional: Sand to fill the bottles and makes them heavier.

Tape together your plastic bottles in a circle. 6 around the outside and one in the middle. Tape over the top and around all edges.

Then lets make the seat cushion. Cut a circle from cardboard that will fit on the top. I used an empty diaper box and an embroidery hoop to trace my circle. 

Lay down a piece of your fabric, put polyfil under the cardboard circle and then wrap your fabric over the cardboard. Tape closed.


Now take a long strip of fabric and hot glue it around your bottles.


Make sure your fabric wraps over the top and tape it down. Then hot glue your seat cushion to the top.

Now add the felt face and button eyes! Paint the bottle caps black (optional).



Don't forget the pipe cleaner tail!






Thursday, August 21, 2014

Crock Pot Chocolate Fondue



I have no idea why I didn't think of this until now! Crock Pot Fondue is so easy. Just 3 ingredients and you have the perfect dessert or party dish. Keep in plugged in to the keep the chocolate warm and melty. Dip fresh fruit (strawberries, grapes, apple, pineapple, banana, etc), graham crackers, pound cake, preztels, cookies, marshmallows, or how about bacon?!

You will want to make this in a small 1.5 quart crock pot. If you don't have a small crock pot, you could put a pyrex bowl inside of a larger crock pot.


Ingredients:
- 1.5 cups milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional ingredients:
- a pinch of salt
- liqueur (orange, coffee, hazelnut flavors)

Directions:
1. Put everything in crock pot and cook on low for a little over 1 hour.
2. Stir and start dipping!



I didn't have fondue forks so we just used skewers. A fun treat for the boys!