Category Archives: Craftiness

Sweet Homemade Valentines

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Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that sneaks up on me every year. I somehow manage to block out the displays of pink and red everywhere I go, I pay no mind to the hearts and roses that are on every retail display for miles around. And every single year, a few days before the big V-Day, I suddenly realize that it’s just around the corner. This year it was even further off my radar – I spent the better part of the last half of January as well as the first few days of February in the Alberta Childrens’ Hospital with my little girl, and it didn’t even occur to me that she’d need to bring valentines to school for her classmates until I met with her teacher on Wednesday to discuss her return to the classroom.

Eliza, being the sweet girl she is, insisted on making her valentines this year. Cue panic – my great idea had been to buy something and have her write her name on them, but she would have none of it. I searched for simple ideas that we could make without much fuss, that didn’t involve some kind of treat as we aren’t allowed to send food products to school because of allergy concerns. I came up with a shortlist of a few designs, and she picked the final one. She picked these sweet valentines from The Late Afternoon, so I used them as my inspiration for the cards she and I made today.

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I love them. They were simple to make with the help of a 5 year old, and went together quickly – the perfect last-minute valentines. I adapted the original design to do away with the brad and the sliding layer, opting for a double-sided card instead. For the cardmakers amongst my readers, the recipe and specifics are below.

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Paper: Recollections red cardstock, Staples white cardstock, K & Company Valentine Die-Cut Cardmaking Pad
Ink: Stampin’ Up Real Red
Stamps: Stampin’ Up Pictograms
Other: Silhouette Digital Cutter (for the 3.3″ & 3″ circles), EKSuccess 3″ scallop circle punch, Stampin’ Up Heart to Heart punch, Cotton Candy Stickles

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Pretty Little Purse

Wow, have I really ignored my blog for nearly a month? Yikes. More on that later… first, I wanted to share something totally cute.

Every year a mom’s community I’m in does a Secret Santa swap for the kids of the members. This year, I drew my totally awesome friend Tyla (who occasionally guest-posts here!), and I just knew I had to make something fun and cute for her daughters. I sewed up a pair of super-sweet owl stuffies for them, but then decided to bust out my crochet hooks and see what else I could come up with. After some digging through pattern books for inspiration, I came up with this:

Isn’t it cute? I love it. It’s not a complicated pattern at all – it’s essentially two squares and a strap, crocheted with two strands of yarn at once, with a flower on it. The official pattern is from Cute Crochet for Tiny Tots, but I didn’t follow the instructions exactly. I just worked it to the approximate size and length I wanted in single crochet, and then slip-stitched it all together. You could easily make this work without a pattern by just playing with two skeins of worsted yarn, a larger hook (the pattern calls for H, but I think I used an I), and your favourite crocheted flower.

Isn’t that just the perfect accessory for a little one who likes to dress up? It’s just the right size to stash a little tube of sparkly lip gloss and whatever other trinkets little girls like to carry in their play purses. I love it, and I kind of want to make an adult-sized one for me!

A Simple Scarf

Ever find yourself in a pickle, thinking you’ve purchased a gift for someone when you actually haven’t? My husband and I often buy gifts well in advance of birthdays and holidays, usually when we find a particularly fantastic sale. We stash things in boxes in the Man Cave or the storage room, and periodically pull it out as occasions approach, and see what we have, and what we still need to get. As luck would have it, I procrastinated on Christmas shopping big time for our families. I knew we had some things in the gift stash, but I didn’t bother to check. We finished our shopping with just days to spare before the mailing deadline, and I set to wrapping and packaging on what was likely the very last day that we could ship parcels and not pay ridiculous fees for express service.

And then it hit me. I forgot a gift, and this error would surely be noticed. My husband was at work with the car. There was nothing in the gift stash that would work. My first thought was that I should call my husband and get him to snag an appropriate gift card on his way home from work, but that didn’t really seem like the most thoughtful way to go. That left only one possibility: make something. I had just a couple of hours to get this gift finished, too, so I knew just what I had to do.

This scarf was born out of necessity, and my great love of giant crochet hooks. I have a few jumbo-hook projects on my Pinterest boards, and most of them used 2 or more strands of yarn at the same time. Because of my severe time limitation, I knew simplicity would be key, so I chose a pair of yarns with an interesting colourway and relied on their watercolour hues for subtle detail instead of getting fancy with my stitching. I grabbed two skeins of Lion Brand Homespun yarn, and set to work. I’m not entirely sure what the colourways are on the yarns I had, I believe one is Tudor, but I’m not sure about the other. I don’t think they were the same, but they were similar enough that I think they worked well together. I decided to just wing it and stick with simple stitches, and measured as I went. I knew I was done when the scarf was long enough for me to wrap nicely around my neck! I measured it so I’d have something to share, but obviously this is something that you can change as you see fit.

So, without further ado, here it is, the Super Simple Scarf!

Super Simple Scarf

Materials:
Q hook (15-16mm)
2 skeins (6oz/170g, 185yd/169m) Lion Brand Homespun (or other chunky) yarn in the same or coordinating colourways
Large-eyed needle for weaving in ends

ch = chain
dc = double crochet

Working with two strands, ch until the scarf reaches the width you’d like it to be, plus 3. (For my scarf, I wanted it to be 10 stitches, so I ch’d 13 across.) Turn.

Row 1: dc in 4th ch from hook. Repeat in each following ch. When you get to the end, ch 3. (For my scarf, it was 10 dcs plus the chains). Turn.
Rows 2+: Repeat row 1 until your scarf is the desired length. Fasten off and weave in ends. (For mine, it was about 35 rows).

See? Simple. You can make this scarf as wide or as narrow, as long or as short as you’d like. My finished scarf was about 8×60″, perfect for a nice big knot at your throat, or to wrap around your neck a couple times. And the Homespun yarn is super-duper soft, perfect for keeping warm in our frigid Alberta winters!

As for the giftee, I’m not sure if she liked it or not, as I haven’t heard from her. But I have two more skeins of Homespun in my stash, so I might just have to make one for myself.

Did you make any gifts this holiday season?

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