Friday, September 28, 2012

Pumpkin Topiaries



I have to start out by saying that this was seriously one of the easiest craft projects I have ever done! And don't they look so nice and festive!? As long as you are able to find the right materials, these pumpkin topiaries are a cinch to put together.

Here are the materials:
- 6 craft pumpkins (2 small, 2 medium, and 2 large). I bought mine at Michaels but later noticed they are slightly cheaper at Target. If you are a thrifty shopper, I am sure you could find them even cheaper!
- 1 package of moss (found at craft stores)
- Berry garland (found at Michaels)
- 2 pots/planters/urns. I found mine at Tuesday Morning for $14.99 and they weren't one-of-a-kind! They have a huge inventory of these planters for the season!

With a box cutter or knife, cut a hole in the bottom of the medium and small pumpkins. This hole should be just large enough so the stem of the pumpkin it sits on fits inside. Use a thick ring of hot glue to help hold the stem inside the hole.


Now set your 3-tiered pumpkins in your planters and stuff the moss around the base so it everything is nice and snug.

Lastly, wrap the berry garland around the two sections of the pumpkins. My berry garland had wire going through it so I was able to cut it the right length and then just twist the ends together. 



Literally this project took me about 15 minutes! And they have been on my porch for over a week an haven't fallen over or fallen apart (not that I'm expecting them to!) :)


I'm loving this time of year!



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Half Birthday Celebration



Some may think it's silly, but I love celebrating half birthdays! Mainly because there is no pressure. You don't have to throw a big party and worry about who to invite and who will show up, come up with a theme, make favor bags, decorate, etc. On your half birthday you can just do something low key and stress-free! And especially when you have little ones, every 6 months is a milestone. They change so quickly and this is a great way to celebrate their growth and change. It's also a great excuse to have cake :)

My boys turned 1 1/2 and 3 1/2 this week (their birthdays are 3 days apart!). So I we had a little evening celebration that started off with a half birthday dinner.

They each had a half of a half pound hamburger! Yum!


After dinner came the cake. You must have a half birthday cake on your half birthday! A half birthday cake is literally a half of a cake! This year I decorated their cake with a banner I made using scrapbook paper. Everything was cut using my Cricut, strung with baker's twine and attached to skewers. The actual cake didn't turn out exactly as I had imagined but thats ok, it still tasted good.


We lit 1 1/2 and 3 1/2 candles and sang "Half-ty" Birthday instead of Happy Birthday. We also told the boys that when someone asks how old they are they can now tell them "One and a Half" and "Three and a Half." 


Next the boys opened their half birthday presents. Little Brother got a HALF dozen play eggs by Small World Express and Big Brother got Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Cutting Fruit Crate so he can practice cutting each fruit in HALF! They also got a half-birthday book: Poppo's Half-Birthday Wish!




Do you celebrate half birthdays? If so, what are your half birthday traditions?!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Burlap Fall Wreath


I know a lot of you are fans of my Crocheted Fall Wreath, but something about it was rubbing me the wrong way. I think it was the turquoise yarn. I was trying to convince myself that I liked it, but it just didn't mesh well. So I have been thinking about making a new wreath and became inspired by my Yarn Wrapped Letters for Fall. I decided to make a coordinating piece for the front door!

This was actually pretty easy to put together. Here are the materials:


-16" Styrofoam wreath
- Roll of Burlap Banner (purchased at Michaels)
- Hemp Twine
- Berry Garland (also purchased at Michaels)
- Yarn
- Felt in fall colors

First I wrapped the styrofoam wreath with the roll of burlap. I added a dab of hot glue to seal down the first piece and then was able to tightly wrap the burlap around the rest of the wreath with very little glue.

Then I started on the rosettes and leaves. I provide a tutorial for both of those over at my post for my Yarn Wrapped Letters for Fall.

When I had everything laid out and positioned the way I liked it, I started to hot glue the pieces onto the wreath. The berry garland was made up of bendable wire which made it easy to just poke right through the burlap and styrofoam.


Next I made the pennant banner. An easy way to make nice pennant triangles from felt is to just cut a straight line down the corner of the felt sheet, then cut the top at a slight angle.


I hot glued the the hemp twine in the shape of "fall" letters and then glued each felt pennant onto a piece of burlap. Then glued it to a long strand of twine.


Now it was ready to hang!




Do you love it as much as I do?! Stay tuned to for more fall decor on the blog this week!

Monday, September 24, 2012

PomPom Pumpkins Guest Post at Bonbon Break


I am excited to be guest posting in this weeks issue of Bonbon Break! If you aren't familiar with Bonbon Break, it is an online weekly magazine where you can read great posts from a variety of bloggers. Kathy and Val (the bloggers, moms, and creators of Bonbon Break), cleverly split their website into 7 rooms: the Front Porch, Kitchen, Family Room, Bedroom, Playroom, Mom Cave, and Backyard. In each area you will find ideas, crafts, recipes, and more that relate to each space.

This week I am sharing an easy kid craft for fall: PomPom Pumpkins! And with a little glue and some felt shapes, you can turn your pumpkins into Jack-o-laterns. These are a great activity for kids and the perfect decoration for your home or classroom. So head over to the Bonbon Break Playroom and see how to make these cute little pumpkins!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Crochet Owl Hat Pattern in Newborn-Adult Sizes




By popular demand, I am happy to present the crochet pattern for larger owl hats! But first, lets go over a couple of frequently asked questions. 

Q: What is a Magic Ring?
A: I like to start all my hats with a magic ring. The magic ring can take some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it really is a great way to start crocheting in rounds. HERE is wonderful explanation on how to make a magic ring by my friend Kara from Petals to Picots. She gives you pictures and a video tutorial!

Q: Where do I start my rounds?
A: Always start your round in the same stitch as your chain 2. This will help hide the seam.
I will let this picture do the explaining.




Q: Where do I join my rounds?
A: Always join to first DC, NOT your chain 2. This will also help hide the seam.


Now for the long awaited patterns!





Supplies:
• Vanna's Choice® Lion Brand medium worsted weight yarn (I use Barley and an accent color such as pink, green, purple, turquoise)
• Crochet hook size H-8 (5.0 mm)
• Tapestry needle for weaving in ends
• Two 3/4" black button for eyes

Abbreviations:

ch - chain
sl st- slip stitch
SC - Single Crochet
DC - Double Crochet
HDC - Half Double Crochet
HDC Decrease - Half Double Crochet Decrease
TC - Triple Crochet

Gauge:
4" across = 14 double crochet stitches
4" height = 8 rows of double crochets



Size: Newborn is available HERE

Note: I have simplified this pattern since writing the newborn size so you may notice the larger sizes start differently and have a different stitch count but in the end they will look the same.

Size: 3-6 Months
Magic Ring, Chain 2, 9 DC in magic ring, join to first DC, ch 2
Round 2: 2 DC in each around, join to first DC, ch 2 (18 DC)
Round 3: 2 DC, DC in next, repeat around, join, ch 2 (27 DC)
Round 4: 2 DC, DC in next 2, repeat around, join, ch 2 (36 DC)
Round 5: 2 DC, DC in next 3, repeat around, join, ch 2 (45 DC)
Round 6: DC around (45 DC)
Change color, join and ch 2
Round 7-10: DC around (45 DC)
do not fasten off, begin on first earflap as written below for this size

Size: 6-12 Months:
Magic Ring, Chain 2, 9 DC in magic ring, join to first DC, ch 2
Round 2: 2 DC in each around, join to first DC, ch 2 (18 DC)
Round 3: 2 DC, DC in next, repeat around, join, ch 2 (27 DC)
Round 4: 2 DC, DC in next 2, repeat around, join, ch 2 (36 DC)
Round 5: 2 DC, DC in next 3, repeat around, join, ch 2 (45 DC)
Round 6: 2 DC, DC in next 8, repeat around, join, ch 2 (50 DC)
Round 7: DC around (50 DC)
Change Color, join and ch 2
Round 8-11: DC around (50 DC)
do not fasten off, begin on first earflap as written below for this size

Size: Toddler/Preschooler
Magic Ring, Chain 2, 9 DC in magic ring, join to first DC, ch 2
Round 2: 2 DC in each around, join to first DC, ch 2 (18 DC)
Round 3: 2 DC, DC in next, repeat around, join, ch 2 (27 DC) 
Round 4: 2 DC, DC in next 2, repeat around, join, ch 2 (36 DC)
Round 5: 2 DC, DC in next 3, repeat around, join, ch 2 (45 DC)
Round 6: 2 DC, DC in next 4, repeat around, join, ch 2 (54 DC)
Round 7: DC around (54 DC)
Change color, join and ch 2
Round 8-12: DC around (54 DC) do not fasten off, begin on first earflap as written below for this size

Size: Child
Magic Ring, Chain 2, 9 DC in magic ring, join to first DC, ch 2
Round 2: 2 DC in each around, join to first DC, ch 2 (18 DC)
Round 3: 2 DC in first stitch, DC in next, repeat around, join, ch 2 (27 DC) 
Round 4: 2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 2, repeat around, join, ch 2 (36 DC)
Round 5: 2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 3, repeat around, join, ch 2 (45 DC)
Round 6: 2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 4, repeat around, join, ch 2 (54 DC)
Round 7: DC around (54 DC) 
Round 8: 2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 8, repeat around (60 DC)
Change color, join and ch 2
Round 9-13: DC around (60 DC)
do not fasten off, begin on first earflap as written below for this size

Size: Teen/Adult
Magic Ring, Chain 2, 9 DC in magic ring, join to first DC, ch 2
Round 2: 2 DC in each around, join to first DC, ch 2 (18 DC)
Round 3: 2 DC in first stitch, DC in next, repeat around, join, ch 2 (27 DC)
Round 4: 2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 2, repeat around, join, ch 2 (36 DC)
Round 5: 2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 3, repeat around, join, ch 2 (45 DC)
Round 6: 2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 4, repeat around, join, ch 2 (54 DC)
Round 7: DC around (54 DC)
Round 8: 2 Dc in first stitch, DC in next 8, repeat around, join, ch 2 (60 DC)
Round 9: 2 DC, DC in next 29, repeat around (62 DC)
Change color, join and ch 2
Round 10-14: DC around (62 DC)
do not fasten off, begin on first earflap

Size: Large Adult
Magic Ring, Chain 2, 9 DC in magic ring, join to first DC, ch 2
Round 2: 2 DC in each around, join to first DC, ch 2 (18 DC)
Round 3: 2 DC in first stitch, DC in next, repeat around, join, ch 2 (27 DC)
Round 4: 2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 2, repeat around, join, ch 2 (36 DC)
Round 5: 2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 3, repeat around, join, ch 2 (45 DC)
Round 6: 2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 4, repeat around, join, ch 2 (54 DC)
Round 7: DC around (54 DC)
Round 8: 2 Dc in first stitch, DC in next 8, repeat around, join, ch 2 (60 DC)
Round 9: 2 DC, DC in next 9, repeat around (66 DC)
Change color, join and ch 2
Round 10-15: DC around (66 DC)
do not fasten off, begin on first earflap

*************
Earflaps for 3-6 month, 6-12 month, Toddler/Preschooler:
Earflap 1:
Row 1: Chain 2, HDC 10, chain 2, turn
Row 2: HDC decrease, HDC in next 6, HDC decrease chain 2, turn
Row 3: HDC across, chain 2, turn (8 HDC)
Row 4: HDC decrease, HDC in next 4, HDC decrease, chain 2, turn
Row 5: HDC across, chain 2, turn (6 HDC)
Row 6: HDC decrease, HDC in next 2, HDC decrease, chain 2, turn
Row 7: 2 HDC decreases, chain 2, turn
Row 8: HDC decrease, fasten off leaving long tail.

Earflap 2:
Leaving 15 stitches along the front for 3-6 month, 18 stitches along the front for 6-12 month, and 20 stitches along the front for Toddler/Preschooler ...
Row 1: Chain 2, HDC 10, chain 2, turn
Row 2: HDC decrease, HDC in next 6, HDC decrease, chain 2, turn
Row 3: HDC across, chain 2, turn (8 HDC)
Row 4: HDC decrease, HDC in next 4, HDC decrease, chain 2, turn
Row 5: HDC across, chain 2, turn (6 HDC)
Row 6: HDC decrease, HDC in next 2, HDC decrease, chain 2, turn
Row 7: 2 HDC decreases, chain 2, turn
Row 8: HDC decrease, chain 1, turn
Continue to SC around the entire hat. Join to first SC and fasten off, leaving long tail.

*************
Earflaps for Child and Teen/Adult:

Earflap 1:
Row 1: Chain 2, HDC 12, chain 2, turn
Row 2: HDC decrease, HDC in next 8, HDC decrease, chain 2, turn
Row 3: HDC across, chain 2, turn (10 HDC)
Row 4: HDC decrease, HDC in next 6, HDC decrease, chain 2, turn
Row 5: HDC across, chain 2, turn (8 HDC)
Row 6: HDC decrease, HDC in next 4, HDC decrease, chain 2, turn
Row 7: HDC across, chain 2, turn (6 HDC)
Row 8: HDC decrease, HDC in next 2, HDC decrease, chain 2, turn
Row 9: 2 HDC decreases, chain 2, turn
Row 10: HDC decrease, fasten off leaving long tail.

Earflap 2:
Leaving 23 stitches along the front for child size hat, 25 stitches along the front for adult size hat...
Row 1: Chain 2, HDC 12, chain 2, turn
Row 2: HDC decrease, HDC in next 8, HDC decrease, chain 2, turn
Row 3: HDC across, chain 2, turn (10 HDC)
Row 4: HDC decrease, HDC in next 6, HDC decrease, chain 2, turn
Row 5: HDC across, chain 2, turn (8 HDC)
Row 6: HDC decrease, HDC in next 4, HDC decrease, chain 2, turn
Row 7: HDC across, chain 2, turn (6 HDC)
Row 8: HDC decrease, HDC in next 2, HDC decrease, chain 2, turn
Row 9: 2 HDC decreases, chain 2, turn
Row 10: HDC decrease, chain 1, turn
Continue to SC around the entire hat. Join to first SC and fasten off, leaving long tail.

*************
Eyes (Make 2):
In first color (this is your accent color):
Magic Ring, Chain 2
Round 1: 10 DC in magic ring, Change color to white before joining to first DC, chain 2 (10)
Round 2: 2 DC in same stitch and in each stitch around, join, chain 1 (20)
Round 3: SC in same stitch, 2 SC in next, *SC, 2 SC in next, repeat from * around, join to first sc, fasten off leaving long tail to sew on (30) After sewing crocheted eyes on, sew 3/4" black button in the center for the eyeballs

*************
Nose: 
Small nose:
Chain 5
Slip stitch in 2nd chain from hook, SC, HDC, DC, fasten off leaving long tail to sew on
Medium nose:
Chain 6
Slip stitch in 2nd chain from hook, SC, HDC, DC, DC, fasten off leaving long tail to sew on
Large nose:
Chain 7
Slip stitch in 2nd chain from hook, SC, HDC, DC, DC, TC fasten off leaving long tail to sew on

*************
Ears:
Cut two strands of 12 inch long pieces of yarn in each color (6 strands total).
Loop through 2 DC's in the crease of the 3rd round.
Knot and trim to approx 1"

*************
Braided Tails:
Cut three 1 yard strands of each color (9 strands total).
Pass through last space in earflap. You should now have 18 strands to braid with.
Make knot and braid approx 5.5 inches long, knot, trim ends.


Download a PDF version of this pattern HERE
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 I would love for you to share the owl hats you create from this pattern on my Facebook wall! Feel free to stop by, say hi, and post a photo :) 

*** 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.***

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Yarn Wrapped Letters for Fall




I was shopping at Paper Source the other week and came across these cute little cardboard letters. I immediately had visions of mod podging them with scrapbook paper to create something along the lines of what Artsy Fartsy Mama did with her adorable monster letters.


So I set to work. And ended up with this:


I hated it. It looks tacky and cheap. I didn't like the paint or the paper and this definitely isn't something I was going to display in my house. So I asked a couple of my crafty blogger friends how I could spice this up and make it better. Someone suggested using burlap... and thats when my creative juices started to flow!

First order of business was to cover up the hideous paint and paper. You know how much I love yarn, and I had the perfect fall colors by Vanna's Choice on hand. So I got out my hot glue gun and started wrapping the letters in yarn. It helps to hot glue the first couple rows down and then you can start wrapping a couple rows and hot gluing here or there or when needed.


Next, I used felt and burlap to create leaves, rosettes and an acorn embellishment.

I cut leaf shapes out of felt and stitched around the edges with yarn and a tapestry needle. I cut a piece of burlap in a leaf shape that was slightly larger than the felt leaf and hot glued the two together.

To make the rosettes I cute a 2 inch circle out of felt (don't worry if the circle isn't perfect). Then cut it into a spiral. Roll up the spiral felt and use a dab of hot glue here and there to help it all stick together.


Hot glue all embellishments onto the letters (yes this project takes a lot of hot glue!)


Here are some up close views of the embellishments
Since the letters have yarn on the bottom, they don't stand up so well on their own. I thought it would be cute to frame them and that would also give me the option of hanging them or just leaning them on a mantel (or table). I lucked out and found these 8x10 rust colored wood frames at the Dollar Store! When I saw them, I knew they were PERFECT! I took the glass out and mod podged burlap directly onto the backing. Then I warmed up my hot glue gun one more time and glue the letters in the center of each frame.


I went from hating my Fall letters, to absolutely LOVING them! Even my husband commented on how nice they look! I think this was the perfect project to welcome the first day of fall :)


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Crochet Santa Hat and Diaper Cover


Even though this isn't my own pattern, I just had to share this adorable crochet Santa hat and matching diaper cover I made as a custom order this week!

I think the key to this cuteness is having the right yarn. I used Vanna's Choice in Scarlet and Bernat Pipsqueak in Whitey White 



The Bernat yarn is absolutely PERFECT for the white parts and I love how it is ultra soft. It would make a great gift and a cozy hat for little Christmas baby.



I followed the Crochet Santa Hat Pattern from Girl In Air. She provides a pattern for newborn - adult sizes! The only thing you have to figure out is how long to make the hat since she doesn't provide a total number of rounds. For the newborn hat (pictured), I made approx 40 rounds in red and 5 rounds in white. You want to make sure you leave a long part on the top so it flops over when being worn.

 
The Free Diaper Cover Pattern is from Crochet A Flowers. I followed the directions exactly, using red for the diaper cover and the white Bernat yarn around the edges. Finishing it with a black button in the middle.

It's not too early to start crocheting for the holidays! This would make a great gift for all ages!



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Crochet Tool Organization with the Jordana Paige Tool Butler


I have been agonizing about where and how to store my crochet tools for quite some time. Not only did I need to organize, but I also wanted to be sure my hooks, needles and scissors were in a safe place, away from my toddler and preschooler. Keeping them in a ziploc bag on my nightstand or buried in my yarn basket by the bed was not going to work anymore.


So you can imagine my excitement when I received a Jordana Paige Tool Butler in the mail! Not only is it stylish and made of gorgeous leather, but it also has all the pockets and compartments I needed to hold EVERYTHING! 


When you open it up you will find six flat pockets and a mesh pocket that that zips closed. Flip that over and you will find four accordion pockets that also zip closed. This is a crocheter and knitters dream come true!

I used the six flat pockets to hold all my hooks. The wider pockets hold my larger hooks, my Sharp Crocket Hook and some tapestry needles. The narrower pockets hold my smaller hooks, measuring tape, my favorite hooks (the H hook), and pens for writing down new patterns as they pop into my head :) The mesh pocket holds my sharp sewing scissors and the rest of my tapestry needles. The clear pocket came with an inventory chart but I thought it was a great place for my business cards.


The zippered accordion pockets holds other necessities. You guys now how much I love embellishing my crochet hats with buttons, so I had to dedicate one pocket to all my buttons :) Each pocket has place for a label which makes sorting and finding my materials easy and convenient!


The other pocket holds things like embroidery thread, my pom pom maker, stitch markers, safety eyes, zippers, tags and other small items that never had a place but that I use on a consistent basis.



There are spaces between the pockets which are perfect for print outs of the patterns I am currently working on. Now they aren't getting crinkled or out of order!


You know what else I love about the Jordana Paige Tool Butler? I can easily switch out the materials to accommodate my craft supplies! Now I can take my crafts with me when we are traveling, in waiting rooms, or on our way to visit grandma and grandpa. The front pockets are perfect for paint brushes, colored pencils, pipe cleaners, safety scissors for my boys, and still room left for a couple crochet hooks.


The zippered pockets are great for felt and foam sheets, tape, glue sticks, glitter pens, crayons for my boys, and of course I always need my small glue gun!


If you are a crocheter, knitter or crafter who is looking for a storage solution, the Jordana Paige Tool Butler is a great compact case that will have your supplies organized in no time! Now that I'm not running around the house looking for scissors or searching for the right size needle to weave in ends, I am able to finish my crochet orders faster than ever and more efficiently. And most importantly, I don't have to worry about my 1 year old and 3 year old getting their hands on sharp needles or running around with my hooks. 

If you are interested in purchasing a Jordana Paige Tool Butler or want more information, go to www.JordanaPaige.com. While you are there you will want to check out her fabulous knitting bags and other yarn storage solutions!