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.

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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!

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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!
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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.

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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!

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.

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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.

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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!

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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:

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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.

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Panda Front

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Panda back

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

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Baby Seal’s face

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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!

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

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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!

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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: http://www.craftsy.com/user/476288?_ct=fhezusj-tujqyb-kiuh-fhevybu-dqcu

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

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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!:

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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.

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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.

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Ladybug

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!

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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!

It’s Adventure Time!

You may or may not be familiar with the cartoon Adventure Time; a cartoon set in the post apocalyptic future. This weird show has become a favorite of mine when my daughter watches cartoons in the living room. It’s has a lot of quirky, lovable characters but would not be a show I would allow young viewers to watch. It’s not “bad” just I think young minds should have entertainment with more “substance”. But if you want to watch something off the wall and somewhat weird and funny, this could be a show for you. My daughter will be turning twenty three in a couple weeks and with her disabilities will always live with me. She collects all sorts of characters from cartoons and she really likes this show and its goofy cast of characters. Jake is a dog and is best friends with Finn the human which are the main two characters and I made Jake for Ashli’s birthday (but I couldn’t wait and gave it to her early anyway!). I have the pattern I created available for free if you are interested, but be warned I am not a pattern maker, just trying my hand at it.

Here is Jake!

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Jake is a funny, talking dog that has the power to change shape and stretch, so he could be made a number of ways. This is his “normal” form.

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This project worked up quickly and easily as you can see there isn’t much difficult about his shape!

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Ashli loves her Jake and looks forward to all my projects being completed, I think she is my biggest fan!

I have plans to make my favorite character from Adventure Time, LSP (Lumpy Space Princess) and I’ll probably make Finn so Jake won’t be lonely! So check back for new Adventure Time characters!

The Day After Valentine’s Day

Well I made it through this Valentine’s day, whew! This year it was a hectic time, to say the least. We planned a bake sale to help raise money to bring my daughter home on break from AmeriCorps on the sweetest day of the year! All day on February 13th, I baked and then baked some more! I made 15 dozen sugar and oatmeal raisin cookies, seven devil’s food and yellow and cheese cakes, seven loaves of orange-cranberry bread and a slew of chocolate covered pretzel rods! Not to mention I made a batch of Rice Krispie treats just for my family to eat! Needless to say I was wiped out!! I forgot to take pictures of the cookies, but I did take these:


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The cakes were made from recipies from my Better Homes, New Cook Book. I’ve made these recipes a hundred times over the years and they always turn out great.

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The pretzel rods were the relaxing thing I did before going to bed. Just rods rolled in almond bark and the sprinkles or nuts, super easy!

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I really wish I had two ovens! I tested the bread as I never tried this recipe before, I tweaked it a little to accommodate my available ingredients and it turned out wonderfully! http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cranberry-orange-bread-4/. The tweaks I did, did not affect the ingredient list, I just didn’t have fresh or frozen cranberries. I soaked dried cranberries overnight and added crushed mandarin oranges to compensate for any moisture loss due to that change. I also drizzled a few lines of icing on top and the bread was really delicious.

The last thing I added to the bake sale fodder were these adorable little crocheted amigurumi hearts. They worked up quickly and easily and over the last week I made hearts before going to bed. I now have to find a new project just because my routine is all out of whack with no hearts to make!

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I added keyrings to them upon request and they became Valentine gifts for lots of people. The large red one, I made for my daughter and she loved it.

Small heart pattern: http://www.pepika.com/free-patterns/crochet-heart.html

Large heart pattern: http://mygurumi.blogspot.com/2009/02/pop-heart-pattern.html

On top of all of this going on, it was Homecoming and my son was on court in the running for King. Although he didn’t get crowned he is every bit a king to me! What a busy, busy couple days. Tonight will be more relaxing, I will see my son off to the Homecoming dance and finally get to go out for a romantic dinner with my hubby!

A Dragon’s Tale…

So another birthday is coming up and I got a good advanced start on this one, I am done and still have a month to go to gift it!  Yay me!  Anyway I was informed by her father that she was an avid Toothless fan, the dragon from”How to Train Your Dragon” ( a DreamWorks Animation ).  So I was happy to find this pattern:  Toothless   It is a clearly written and easy to follow pattern.

I did run into several problems with the making of this little guy however, but it was not due to anything but my own inexperience.  Let me tell you one thing I learned right away with this project….I do not like black yarn!  Possibly it’s my eyes but I had a really hard time distinguishing sewn yarn from stitches. You may wonder why this was even an issue and I answer that curiosity with the first thing I did was sew the head on backwards and had to remove it!!  NOT FUN!  It seriously took me forty minutes to decapitate it then reattach it to the body correctly!  So, word of warning, be very sure which side of your head is the face side before sewing it onto the body!!  Probably common sense there but this was a sort of odd shaped head. I think if I ever make this pattern again, I will put a stitch marker in at the row 12 increases as this is the section that builds up the “nose area”…then I will be sure not to make that mistake again!  So I not only removed his head but also both back legs because he wouldn’t sit up proper and the horns and ears fought with me at every turn!  So they too got removed and replaced a few times, you would think I would have learned to pin them or something…no, not me!  I’m stubborn like that!  Oh well, he is done now and I am glad that it turned out well!

Another thing I learned about black yarn, that I didn’t really care for, is that you can see the white stuffing. It would be nice to have black stuffing for this guy so those little white curly cues wouldn’t show up everywhere, I find them very noticeable and annoying! So before taking pictures I went over him with sticky rollers and tweezers… whew!

IMG_0096   His eyes are greener than they look in these photos.

IMG_0095 Turn to the right!

IMG_0091  Turn to the left!

IMG_0092  Back view to show the wings and tail fins.

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I do have a menagerie of various colored furry pets which unfortunately showed all their furry contributions to the project as well! I don’t think I could ever give my Amigurumi to a person with pet allergies!  Thankfully the sticky rollers removed that pretty well also! After all is said and done, this guy turned out really cute, albeit frustrating at times. I do believe he will be thoroughly enjoyed all the same when I give him to my niece.

When you say you need nothing, you get nothing you need.

How many times are you asked what you would like for a gift? Whether it’s birthday or something else some people always like to answer with “I don’t need anything.” I didn’t ask what you needed… UGH. That answer is absolutely no help at all to the gift giver who was obviously trying to get the easy answer to solve the gift giving dilemma in the first place! My mother-in-law just happens to be one of those people that never “need” anything. So there I was a week after her birthday still trying to discover just what she really would like to receive… Tick, tock, tick, tock.. I got nothing…..that is why I asked in the first place!

So now enters my new interest in crocheting amigurumi dolls, she crotchets too, but she makes hats, that is TOTALLY different, right?! Sure it is. 👍 So now, what little snuggly thing could I make for mom? Well she does likes frogs, I haven’t crocheted a frog, she admittedly doesn’t need anything AND….no one needs a frog….perfect! Now we have something! After searching, this Tree Frog is the pattern I selected.

I found this pattern very easy to follow and the only alteration I made was to the eyes. I did not have eyes as large as those used by this blogger (Roman Sock) so I built up an eyeball in red and seated my brown safety eye in the middle, it worked out quite nicely, I think.

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He came out really cute, and I love the bendy pipe cleaner legs!

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Mom enjoyed her frog and after I boxed it it occurred to me that I could have put suction cups or magnets on his feet for hanging in windows or on refrigerator! I wish I had thought of that sooner! But I finally got it gift boxed, so I was done!! Next year I will be ready, mom will have crocheted frogs everywhere!

Better watch out butterfly!

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