Baby Dragon Rattle – finally!

Well here it is…finally…if it took me much longer to finish it would not have been ready for the baby shower on Saturday!  I have been busy, really I have, just not with things anyone wants to hear about, like mucking out the ducks and chickens cages and my normal, everyday life.  So I’ve had this Baby Dragon Rattle pattern saved for a quite a while now and knew, one day, I would get to try it out….someone I knew was bound to get pregnant during this long, cold Winter!  I decided to go with Spring Green (0672) for the body and Paddy Green (0368) for all the spikes, both yarns are Red Heart, Super Saver acrylic.   I used a 3.25mm/D/10 sized crochet hook.  I thought since we are expecting a little baby boy, green would work nicely.  Here are some shots of how my version of  Baby Dragon Rattle turned out.


I’m pretty happy with how my dragon rattle turned out.  It took patience to attach all the spikes but they fell into place and the pattern was easy to follow and worked up nicely. The pattern’s creator, Kristi of Sidrun, also included helpful hints and photos, very nice. 🙂

You may ask; why does he look so different from the originals in the pattern?  Well that is because I could not follow the directions precisely.  I didn’t have a “Kinder Surprise plastic egg” as called for in the materials list, in fact, I do not even know what that is but I had an idea of my own to try.  A while back when my husband was taking his daily medication, the sound his bottles made reminded me of a baby rattle, so I’ve been saving his empties for just such an occasion!!  The pill bottles have locking, child-proof lids so I figured that is a safety feature, right?  I peeled off the label and put some beads inside and wrapped the bottle in Duck Tape and voilà a safe, somewhat waterproof center for a crocheted baby rattle!


It worked perfectly with this pattern’s body circumference, however I did have to add four rows to the body section at Row 14 making my dragon a bit taller than the pattern originals.  Since my dragon was so tall, I rearranged the spikes to run straight down starting from his head, giving me an extra spike to add to his back.  All-in-all this pattern worked up quickly, it was just my distracted life that made it take so long!   I plan on making another one of these babies in blue for another new baby, so many baby boys lately!

Until next time, have a great day and happy hooking!


Flock update

My, my how the chicks and ducks have grown in such a short while. They are around 4-5 weeks now and are growing like weeds. I keep hoping the snow will melt so we can get their outdoor coop set up, but no such luck yet as we just were dumped on again! However, today the temperature is reading 50 degrees F (10 C) outside so hopefully we are in for warmer days now.

We decided having the chicks and ducks together was not a good idea anymore, the ducks are like little T-Rex’s and tower over the chicks and they are quite a bit messier! So separation time was neigh! During the set up of the new duck residence we let Agatha and Bert take a practice swim and boy did they enjoy that!





Those two really enjoyed their little wading time and I think we will be letting them do that a little more now that they are getting bigger.

The chicks are feathering nicely and seem to enjoy are company once they get past being spooked! They are having little chicken fights now, apparently establishing a pecking order. They are not cute fluff balls anymore, but they are still adorable in a sparsely feathered way.


All-in-all our flock is healthy and happy. Growing a bit big and stinky for the basement but alas this is the U.P. and you just have to roll with the weather Mother Nature decides to send us. Here is my back yard yesterday, all snow covered (see my chair swing all buried down there?), at least it was sunny and warm-ish.

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Well my crochet project is taking shape and maybe I will have pictures for next time, I keep getting distracted by cleaning up after birds and what not! What I’m making is a baby shower present and I should have completed this already if not for distractions, maybe I should change my blog name to Laura B Getting Distracted? The project is this Baby Dragon and I should finish it up shortly if I remain focused! Until next time have a great day and happy hooking!

A Beautiful Spring Day

So after an extremely long winter, it seems the weather is finally starting to break.  This weekend I’ve seen more sunshine than I have in a very long time.  My husband wanted to check his traps and invited me along to enjoy the beautiful day.  We hopped on the sleds and headed out into the sunshine.  These pictures were taken with my phone, so they aren’t showing the spectacular beauty of this day.


My husband, Paul, striking a pose!


Riding on the frozen river.


What a nice surprise,  rabbit!


Me, waiting for Paul to check the last trap.

The traps didn’t produce more than the one rabbit, and since it was in a tree, it was an unexpected catch to boot!  It was a fantastic day to get out and enjoy the beginnings of Spring.  I hear there is a winter storm heading our way, so I guess it’s not quite over yet, but we got our first melt so it’s a start. 

I made a rabbit stew for Sunday dinner.  I should have taken a picture of the stew (I will get better at this blogging, I hope) it was fantastic with yummy dumplings on top.  The only difference I will do next time is make it in the slow cooker, the rabbit was too chewy with the shorter cooking time.  Something to remember for the next time!  I was impressed I was able to feed five people on one rabbit, most times you want at least two.  The stew was chock full of potatoes, carrots, celery and dumplings that it was a veritable feast. My husband had caught a fish, while ice fishing on Friday, so he cooked that up just in case there wasn’t enough, but really we didn’t need it for dinner and snacked on that later.

As far as crocheting goes, there was a bit of a mishap with my latest project.  While my husband was vacuuming he accidentally sucked my work and half the skein of yarn up!  Oh what a mess that was that was!  But it was extremely funny hearing him vacuuming along and then screaming “Help…..Laura!”  I think he thought I would be upset but, really, how could I be…he was vacuuming!

So I will get back to work on that project and get a post on that as I am trying something new.  Until then, have a great day and happy hooking!

Spring Babies

Over the evening we got what is hopefully our last snow storm of the season!  It was annoyingly beautiful this morning with snow clinging to all the trees limbs.  This winter seems relentless, but I know it will eventually come to an end….unless this is the start of the new ice age! PLEASE NO!   I have been trying to get myself into a more Springy mood so when I went into town to shop I stopped by the Tractor Supply store to look at Spring’s new arrivals.  The peeps and ducklings are so adorable and can always make me smile!  This year my husband finally agreed that raising our own chickens would be a good idea.  So we picked out some babies and went home with a small flock of six chicks and two ducklings!

They are kept under heat lamps so every picture came out red.  So I decided to take some black and whites instead.  So here is our little flock of Spring cuteness! Image


We’ve named the ducks Bert and Agatha, but since it’s harder to tell the chicks apart they remain nameless for now.  This undertaking will be a lot of work but I do look forward to eventually having fresh eggs daily.  The coop will be brought in once the snow melts.  It’s a second hand coop so I’m sure it will need some work, but I had intended on having to build one so this is a much better alternative.  I can’t wait to get that cleaned and set up for them.  Right now they are living quite comfortably in a pen in my basement torturing the cats and dogs with their peeping and pecking at them through the openings.  Once they get a little bigger I will integrate them more with the household pets to ensure that everyone gets along nicely.

I haven’t crocheted much more than an Easter egg or two this week which is really rather fitting since we now have chickens!  I have a couple projects that I need to do for an upcoming baby shower so I will be back at it now!  Until next time, Have a Great Day and Happy Hooking!



Not much going on here

This week has been uneventful. I feel I am getting cabin fever and really need a dose of Springy weather so I can get out in it! I heard from my daughter and she surfed the California waves! I’m so happy she is getting out to do some things she will remember forever. Unfortunately it’s a much nicer climate and I fear she won’t ever want to come back here. 😦

Anyway this is what I ended up making this week. Some dishcloths for my friend who really loves the homemade type more than the store bought.



Another little thing I made was intended to be a toothpick holder but I thought it didn’t look as nice with the toothpicks in it! It will work nicely as a pin cushion though.

Well at least it makes me think of warmer places and I like that!

My friend will be arriving in just a few minutes we are refreshing our minds by watching the last season of our show. The new season starts next week and we are just getting in the right mindset for it!

I hope everyone is having a glorious day and until next time, happy hooking!

Crocheting while I impatiently wait for Spring

While it’s nice to see photos of Springtime sunshine and flowers, I am getting rather impatient for it to hit here!  If things don’t turn soon I may be forced to relocate to a warmer climate just to spare my sanity, it has been an extremely long and cold winter.  At least today I was warmed up with a corned beef and cabbage lunch in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Mmmm what a warming comfort food!


No more snow please!

The above photo was taken just a couple nights ago when I was so discouraged to see it snowing yet again! I snapped this shot when my little dog, Loki, was dashing for the door.  We had a nice warm up for two days and then right back to freezing!  It seems relentless this year.  So with being bundled up inside, I was able to get a couple little things crocheted.

I tried my hand at crocheting a Minecraft Creeper key chain for my nephew.  I have never tried a square before, so I looked to the Internet for inspiration and found a few sites to get tips, this is the end result, which could have been a whole lot better had I used something to reinforce the walls.  My son tells me that Creepers are pillars and I’ve managed to do just a head, but an entire body would be entirely too big for a key chain!  This site has a full pattern to follow if you are interested in making a Minecraft Creeper.  Mine did not turn out quite as nice but here it is all the same:


Minecraft Creeper

I was unsure what to make my niece and my daughter suggested “any cute animal” as girls love cute things!  So I thought what’s cuter than pandas or baby seals?  Not much I tell you!  So I tried both.


Panda Front


Panda back

This Panda is based on this pattern but mine came out differently due to the thicker yarn weight.  Still cute though.


Baby Seal’s face


Side view

The seal I just whipped up from looking at photos, however in retrospect I would have chosen to do it all in single crochet instead of double.  I just wanted to try something done with double crochet but I did not like decreasing in DC as it left such a gap.  Turns out I should have looked up decreasing in double crochet instead of assuming it was done the same as single crochet!  Oh well crocheting is a learning experience, right?!  So this baby seal will be a keeper added to my growing basket of misfit toys! I guess my niece will be getting a panda!

Right now I’m working on some dish cloths as a friend asked for a new one, she loves the one I gave her for Christmas and uses it all the time.  It’s so nice to know you can make a gift for someone that is useful and appreciated! 🙂

Enjoy your sunshine (if you are getting it) and hopefully some is heading my way!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!  Until next time, Happy Hooking and Have a Great Day!

Allergies and a lack of inspiration….

Not so busy this week. I’ve been fighting what I thought to be a cold/flu and it turns out seasonal allergies have wreaked havoc on my head. I’ve been put on steroids and allergy medication for a time to help relieve me. I really thought the snow would have to be gone for it to be allergies. Not a thing is budding, blooming or even thinking about turning green yet! Oh well, I just want my head to stop feeling like a weird leaky bubble that’s ready to pop and get back to doing more productive things.

My niece and nephew from Florida will be visiting soon so I’m trying to crochet up something for them. Alas it has not gone well. I’ve been working on a couple different ideas and don’t like how either of those are turning out.  These two are teenagers and a little harder to figure out than small children. Maybe since it is still literally freezing here and they are used to a warmer climate, I should make them both hats? Although not much use when they get home, it could work out for their visit. Oh crud, that’s what my mother-in-law makes (hats) and I am fairly positive she is already working on something like that for them, now that I think about it. Drats!

What to do? Any ideas? Maybe it’s my foggy head, but I’m finding it hard to come up with a teen friendly idea.

Granny Square Afghan

I started on Granny Squares several months ago and then set it aside when my interest turned to Amigurumi. Well now that I found myself without a project, well for a purpose anyway, I decided to revisit the squares.

My intention is to make a Granny Square Afghan as I have never completed an afghan, I’ve started several but always ended up with new scarves!  My daughter and I had chosen the five basic colors;  Red Heart yarn in colors:  Medium Thyme 0406, Cornmeal 0320, Soft White 0316, Lavender 0358 and Delft Blue 0885.  We both liked each individual color and thought they would also look nice together.

So I started making basic granny squares, changing colors on every round.  As this is my first attempts at granny squares and (at that time) my first changing colorsI I was completely thrilled at how well it was going!  I had worked up what felt like a bunch of squares when I was distracted by Amigurumi projects.


Squares without connecting color

A few months pass….

Looking back at my squares I was surprised to see I hadn’t really completed that many….hmmm, it sure felt like more when I was making them!!  I figured I better concentrate on finding a complimentary yarn color to bring all this squares together.  In my mind’s eye I saw a brick, burgundy or some shade of dark red.    Off to the store I went but no matter what shade of red I brought home, not one looked quite right with the squares!  I thought, maybe red isn’t going to be the right hue, so I brought home blues and browns and even greys…no good, no good at all!!  Well aside from my growing collection of yarn that is!!   Will I ever find the right color?  I decided to put it out of my head and just work up more squares.  Then,  just like that, in the same store I always go to, there it was Red Heart Claret 0378…I took it home and it was absolutely perfect!!  I felt it complimented all the other colors nicely, it’s just what I had pictured in my head!


It looks so much better in person, I need better lighting!

I am about twenty-five squares in and I ran out of the new Claret color and wouldn’t you know it, there was none in stock!!  I fount it online and am having it shipped so what should I do until it arrives?

Well everything I’ve read says that blocking will make the whole process of connecting the squares easier.  So I better get to it!  With discount coupon in hand, I was off to Joann’s for a June Tailor Quilter’s Cut’N Press II Board. Another blogger suggested this board as the ruled lines make it easy to block on. So I purchased the board and started blocking my first squares. Since the board could only hold two squares at a time, I took another blogger’s advice and drew ruled lines onto my ironing board and blocked on that as well. This worked well and I was able to block out six squares at a time.  In retrospect, I could have saved money and not purchased the board, but I like I do like it and believe I will put it to other good uses in the future!  (Plus I nabbed it for half off! Gotta love coupons!)  I used my handheld steamer to steam the acrylic yarn and left them overnight.

Blocked on left, unblocked on right

Blocked on left, unblocked on right

Wow, what a difference! I mean I knew what to expect from reading other blogs and tutorials, but still I half expected them to bounce back to the original shape after removing the pins…NOPE, they stayed perfectly square…  Blocking is definitely worth the effort!  The way I hear it, the blocked squares stay square even after washing and drying, I wonder?  Maybe I should test…or am I just being a Debbie-doubter?   Maybe someone out there can answer that for me and save me from testing.

I just received a notification that my package of Claret yarn will be arriving shortly, so I’m off to get started on more squares.  Until next time, Have a Great Day and Happy Hooking!

Projects with no other purpose than to please me!

I started creating amigurumi to make my nieces and nephews happy and to fill birthday present “orders”. What do you make when you have no one in mind to make something for but still all the drive to crochet? Anything your little heart desires, that’s what! 

Here are a few items I made just for me!

Those cute little dolls that Vanja, of AmigurumiBB, makes are just too adorable!  I think they are all great so I just had to make one!  It was hard to pick just one, so I will probably make one of the other doll types in the near future!

If interested in making a doll like the one below, you can download a PDF of the pattern by clicking this link:  Little Karla Girl


Little Karla Girl

The hat that I made in this pattern also fit my daughter’s dog perfectly, so I had to share a picture of the cuteness!


Benji looking pretty in the Little Karla Girl hat!

I also love flowers and miss Spring!  So I found a lovely Spring flower on Craftsy by Josephine Wu of A Morning Cup of Jo Creations. If interested in making this pattern you can go here:

Here is how mine turned out ( sorry the picture is a little blurry):


Oh Spring where are you?

Last, but certainly not least, there is LSP!  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I enjoy Adventure Time, and my favorite character is LSP (Lumpy Space Princess) so it made sense to me to make her just for fun.  I will be making her again as I am not completely happy with the end result, I just feel she needs some tweaking.  Maybe I am too critical but she is not quite right, something is up with her arm area roundness. Anyway, here is my first attempt with the lumpy lady!:


Lumpy Space Princess (LSP)

I enjoyed making all of these things, even if they have no other purpose than to make me smile!

Until next time, Have a Great Day and Happy Hooking!

What to do with all those balls of leftover yarn?

My friend, an avid afghan & scarf creator, has more yarn than any one person has a right to own!  I feel like I’ve entered yarn heaven every time I look through her stores.  She normally makes an afghan or scarf and hoards the leftover ends to make a “scrap afghan or scarf” once she has collected enough ends.  These scrap creations always turn out uniquely beautiful even if the name sounds like something you save for the dog!  Some of her leftover ends, though, are even too small for incorporating into these projects; that’s where I come in!

My friend gave me a handful of these small yarn balls and here are some little things that I made with them.


Shorty the Snake, Teddy and Legless (the frog)

In return for sharing, I made my friend this cute little Ladybug as these are her favorite, little creatures.



This rarely used mug (with an outdated, unwanted photo) was able to become re-purposed by adding a cozy sweater to hide the unsightly photo!  Now it’s a sweet tool holder for me!  YAY!


All of the above were created using no patterns (which is probably obvious!) but I feel I’m doing pretty good to end up with a finished product that actually resembles the object I was going for!

This morning was -26 degrees F (or -32 C), so it is still very, very frigid here and only part way through winter. 😦  Boo!  I am so ready to be warm again!  So I will be back to work on my granny square afghan!   Have a great day and happy hooking!