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!

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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!

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.

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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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My son’s challenge

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Well with me making all these cute little guys, my son thought he would challenge me with a larger project request. And in larger I mean very rotund! He requested that I make a King Slime from a video game called Dragon Quest. Not being gamer myself, I headed to the Internet to find out … Continue reading