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.

Nieces and Nephews equals more projects!

My niece and nephew (twins) had asked me to make their big brother the Kirby, which is what got me learning about amigurumi. Once they saw the Kirby they wanted something for themselves as well. My nephew wanted a Prince Fluff, part of the Kirby Yarn World game characters. One I looked up his image I found he was exactly a blue Kirby with a crown and different facial features, no problem! I decided to try a smaller hook just to see what different hooks did to the overall size of the finished product using the same weight yarn.

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Here is the finished Prince Fluff using the same pattern I used for Kirby, just adding the crown.

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Here you can see a big size difference. Kirby was made with my then only crochet hook the H/8-5mm. I now have a variety of hooks and chose the F/5-3.75mm for Prince Fluff. My brother-in-law sent me the photo with the two together and it definitely looks like Kirby gets lots of hugs!

My niece wanted a Princess Peach or a bat in pink or black. Looking up patterns for the princess, I was convinced I’d have to have more experience and possibly come up with my own pattern. So I went with a very basic ball-bat. I had already had a pink ball that I made and it had brown eyes…why did I have this already, you may ask? I told you I was addicted, I just keep making balls! And some balls get faces. 😃. Well I didn’t have any more matching pink so I went with charcoal for the bat’s ears and wings.

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This is a wee little bat! But I find it very adorable right down to the button nose! I made the wings sans pattern..you could say, I just winged it!. I opted to sew the wings around a pipe cleaner fed through the bat head so it’s wings can be posed.

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Another niece and nephew’s birthdays came around and I thought I could whip up a little something they’d like. My nice is a Hello Kitty fan and I opted to try my hand at one of those. There are tons of patterns and options for this famous kitten but I figured I’d refer to some but try it mostly on my own. This is what I ended up with:

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Hello Kitty was given to my niece who will cherish her “to go” sized friend!

My nephew loves super heroes and although he loves Captain America best, the Hulk is right up there and I didn’t think I was quiet ready for all the color changes involved in making the good captain. I found a pattern for the hulk that look acceptable to me and I made only minor alterations in following it. Here is the pattern I used: The Hook Monster

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This is my Hulk prior to getting a mouth and a haircut! I was tempted to leave him a long haired “Hulk Jr”!

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The mouth was difficult as I tried many colors and shapes but finally settled on this flatline mouth, boring but acceptable to me. His haircut really shows off his angry eyes! I am satisfied with him now and will be wrapping him up to present to my nephew this weekend!

My Firsts for Amigurumi

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Once my eyes were opened to the world of amigurumi, I must say I’ve been a hooking fool! My dogs could not find their toy and I knew of a spare squeaker laying around the junk drawer, so I whipped them up a squeaky ball in no time! Max and Loki waiting for their new … Continue reading

Crocheting

My Grandmom taught me to crochet a basic chain when I was about 8.  She did not give me a hook to use or teach me anything more than that one technique, most probably due to my short attention span!  Over the years I have tried my hand at crochet several times, always setting my sights on making an afghan.  At the completion of each afghan I had a lovely scarf to wear; Life and young children to chase had not improved my attention span for crochet projects in 20 years!!

Fast forward many years, my nest is now emptying and I have much more time available for me so I turned to crochet once again.  I figured I better start small this go around and in no time at all dishcloths and coasters were flying off my hook!  From October to December I created small masterpieces (in my own mind) to give as handmade gifts to friends and relatives, I felt very accomplished.  One day my niece and nephews were visiting, the twins requested that I make a Kirby for their older brother.  I thought it was sweet that they didn’t ask for themselves, so I set out to find a way to make one on the Internet.  Now the world of Amigurumi is exposed to me; an enormous variety of small, crocheted dolls!  It seems the possibilities are endless, there are animals, robots, cartoon characters, etc, etc, etc. and everything is crocheted and a small job, well some are bigger, but most are mini, definitely smaller than an afghan!

These small dolls are so adorable, I just can’t stop!  I THINK I AM HOOKED!!!

Here is the Kirby I made following the pattern found at Nerdigurumi’s site http://nerdigurumi.com/tag/kirby

Kirby

Kirby