Uncategorized

The Parker House – part one

When we bought our home a year ago I imagined living in it forever. I believed everything we could ever want could be added, updated and bedazzled in this house. Sadly, life intervened. The mister got a great new job on the other side of Denver and so, we are leaving our first home.

Almost every room has a Pinterest project or two so I thought I’d share my home with you – with links to the tutorials.

Exterior

6277 Old Divide Trail Parker-large-001-1-Exterior Front-1500x999-72dpiThe trim on our house was originally an awful shade of brown. One of our neighbors called it the poop and pee house. The new color is BM Baby Seal Black – it’s actually an odd blue-purple on our south facing house.

6277 Old Divide Trail Parker-large-003-10-Exterior Front Entry-1500x1000-72dpiWe pulled up the fancy weeds in the planters and replaced them with bluebell flowers and dogwood bushes. The wreath was a ladies night project. It’s looks pretty good considering the two big bottles of moscato we shared while crafting.

6277 Old Divide Trail Parker-large-004-3-Front Patio-1500x1000-72dpiI found this bench in pretty bad condition (ok, it was in the trash). It took me over a year to remove the avocado paint – mostly because I was lazy. I replaced the slats on the seat and used my boyfriend, the Graco paint sprayer. The paint is a 75/25 combination of BEHR classic silver and the BM Baby Seal Black.

Just inside is our front room. It’s a HUGE impractical space but one of my favorite rooms – thanks to Pinterest.

It’s a long and narrow layout. I read somewhere that rooms need clear definition; so, I divided it into two spaces – a study and a sitting room.

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The planter on the table is from Home Depot. I can’t remember the name of the paint but it’s BM. I love them! They are a cheap and easy way to update your decor. I have three of them in different colors throughout the house. The mirrors are from Target. I got them on clearance for like $5.

I painted the leaning bookshelves and entry table with a custom BM color. It was color matched to our coffee table (in another room) and it’s used throughout the house. It’s truly the best white ever. If you are interested in the formula let me know

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The stain is Minwax Weathered Oak and the paint color is a mix of about 6 colors. Primarily, BEHR Smokey Slate. I would paint everything in my house this color if I could. The chairs were another Varage Sale purchase. I reupholstered the chairs with fabric I found on clearance at Joanns and used the same paint and stain as the round table. I reupholstered the chairs with fabric I found a few years ago on clearance at Joanns and used the same paint and stain as the round table. The pillows are from Etsy.

I even searched pinterest for tips on how to arrange stuff on a bookshelf.

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According to the floor plan this nook is our dining room. But I made it into a sitting room. The curtains are from Ikea. I searched for tips on hanging them. Sitting in the window is a family established sign. Inspired by this tutorial (with a few changes).

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The ottoman was from a old living room set – I reupholstered it with tips from this tutorial and fabric from Hobby Lobby. The couch and chairs are from Ikea. (Yes, I got them on craigslist). The photography art (purchased from Etsy) is a extreme close up of the sun reflecting off the ocean.

Before Pics

The poop and pee house
The poop and pee house
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I also bought the round table from VarageSale for $20.
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Both chairs were a $40 Varage Sale purchase.
Front Room
Study. The light, in addition to all of the brass in the house, was spray painted silver.
Front Room 1
Sitting room/dining room. We removed the hideous brass light.
holiday · home decor

Snowballs!

Snowballs!Snowballs!I love Christmas – especially when it comes to crafting. My holiday board is bursting with projects I want to do. The inspiration for my Snowballs was one of the first projects I pinned when I joined Pinterest over a year ago. Sadly when I actually clicked on it, I discovered it was just an image so I had to do some improvising.

One thing I want to mention..er.. gloat about is that every single thing I used for this project I had in my craft room. It was the best feeling! A year ago I would have had to make fiftyeleven trips to Michaels. I feel like a pro!

Anyway, I bought the foam balls from the Dollar stores about a year ago…Snowballs!

I used a black sharpie to dot the eyes…DSC00732

Added a cheery smile…Snowballs!

Used a little dab of kids acryllic paint in orange for a carrot nose.Snowballs!

Added some red paint for frosty red cheeks. It took me a while to perfect this. I used my thumb and a wet paper towel and a dry paint brush. Dab your thumb in the paint, blot it a few times on the wet paper towel and then tap tap tap on your snow ball like so. I also used a dry paint brush to sort of smudge it around a bit.Snowballs!

repeat repeat repeatSnowballs!

I used some old hemp yarn for the bows and attached with a glue gun. I glued the ribbon to the foam and then tied it in a bow. It was pretty annoying/tricky to do. Unfortunately, my Cali girl roots peeked out and I like totally forgot to take a picture of this step. oops 😦

Once the snowballs dried, I tossed them into a vase! and by “tossed” I  mean obsessively spent several minutes arranging them so they all faced the right way 🙂Snowballs!

 

home decor · knit/crochet

A Little Birdie Told Me

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This is a free pattern found here DSC00054-Edited

The pattern is pretty easy if you have intermediate knitting skills so this is going to be a relatively short blog. I followed the knitting pattern. However, I did alter the next few steps a bit.DSC00057-Edited

Sew your birdie’s head and back closed using the mattress stitch. DSC00063-EditedStuff it full of fluff and sew up it’s bum.DSC00066-Edited

Once you’ve finished stuffing and sewing your birdie closed, use the leftover yarn to make the hanging thread. Just thread the yarn through the bird and make a tiny knot – be sure to leave a big loop. Don’t worry about making them all the same length. The varying lengths give them character. little birdie told me

I did add eye’s.. but it looks a little creepy. However, If you like them…DSC00060-Edited

I loved making these and love how they look hanging in my bedroom window. I also stuffed a few with potpourri and hung them around the house.
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Uncategorized

Something Fishy Baby Blanket

 

School of Fish Baby Blanket DSC00028IMG_0326This baby blanket was made for Tara and her new son. I knew I wanted to make something artistic like the cherry blossom blanket I had made last year. The first thing I needed was a blanket “base”. I decided to use a pattern, so I searched for several months (and tried several patterns) until I found this pattern on Ravelry. Next I searched for colors and a theme. Although the name of the pattern is “sprinkled flowers”, it looked more like sea shells to me. I think that’s what directed me to a nautical theme and I thought fish swimming on the blanket would be fun and different.


Blanket

This is not a free pattern, so I won’t go to far into detail but I did make some changes. I used 10 skeins (1090 yards) of Knit Picks Comfy Worsted yarn in Seafoam instead of the DK weight yarn called for in the pattern and I chained 175 to get a significantly larger blanket. I used a G size hook to keep the stitches tight. I also crocheted into the back stitch which is what gives the line across each row. The pattern does not provide this instruction, but the pattern author suggested this tip via email and I really liked how it looked.School of Fish Baby Blanket Trim
I think this is one of the best parts of the blanket. I love how it looks and think it makes the blanket unique. I used 1 skein of Knit Picks Comfy Worsted in Ivory and about 1/2 of a skein of Knit Picks Shine Sport in Willow.School of Fish Baby Blanket I did find the spike clusters a little tricky to make. There was only one video tutorial on YouTube, but it was not the same type of cluster, so I just practiced for a few hours until I managed to get the tension right and poof! kick ass spike clusters all around!

School of Fish Baby Blanket Fish
I made a bunch of fish. I used this pattern and my old favorite DMC embroidery thread because it comes in 500,000 colors (slight exaggeration). I folded the thread in thirds and made a ton of fish in a ton of colors.

School of Fish Baby Blanket

Arranging the Fish
They say that you are your own worst critic and I am almost abusive. I doubt everything I make. I take apart completed projects because I missed one stitch. I second guess colors I’ve chosen and when I make something that isn’t from a pattern I become convinced that it’s wrong and ugly.

Too random?School of Fish Baby Blanket

So I asked for advice when I started arranging the fish and I got a different opinion from everyone I asked.

Too uniform?School of Fish Baby Blanket

Finally, I went to one person in my knitting group and through a series of emails and pictures we managed to come up with something that I was pleased with long enough to start sewing it down. Unfortunately, it required more fish and more pinning.

Just right!School of Fish Baby Blanket

 

Sewing
Sewing the flowers onto the Cherry Blossom Blanket took 8 weeks of 10 hour days, so I was prepared for a repeat of that. In preparation for this project, I even considered moving the dining room table into the living room so I could watch TV while working on it. However, It only took me three days to finish this. I still can’t quite believe how fast I finished it. I’m definetely motivated to make another one, just have to pick a theme!

 

 

**My husband and I are adopting and I’m crafting for donations! if you are interested in this blanket or have a custom order please contact me.

gift · knit/crochet · Uncategorized

Sweet Wedding Shawl

IMG_2468
IMG_2472My husband’s stepsister, Joella Sweet is getting married in October. Although I have never met her, I am very fond of her and I wanted to make her something special to wear during her wedding. I thought a lace shawl would be perfect.

This is my first lace shawl pattern. Although I am happy with the finished product, I did find this pattern difficult to understand and very frustrating. If you decide to knit this and aren’t an experienced lace/shawl knitter, be prepared for some challenges. It took me a long time to get into the rhythm of it. If it wasn’t for the tips offered by my super-fantastic knitting group I don’t know if I would have finished it.IMG_2431

If you are new to lace knitting, I recommend that you learn how to use a lifeline. If you use ADDI click needles, they sell a lifeline tool. However, if you want a free and handy substitute you can just use a different color yarn and big needle to thread it through your stitches. There are videos on youtube that will show how to do this if you don’t have a helpful knitting group. I STRONGLY recommend that you use a lifeline when knitting shawls. All those YO’s and K2TOG are impossible to save if you drop a stitch.

That yarn is from KnittedWit, an Etsy seller. I am a big fan of Etsy and handmade products. I was excited to buy this yarn from a “real person”.
I loved this yarn and I recommend that you check out her shop. She takes custom orders and is very easy to work with.
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This wasn’t a free pattern so I won’t go too far into detail about the knitting. It’s knit top down and then the border is knit left to right with a tiny bit of short rows. When it’s finished it should look like this…IMG_2438

Weave in the loose ends. In theory you shouldn’t have many because this shawl can be knit with one skein of yarn, but I had a few mishaps including a time when I almost vacuumed the half finished shawl and snapped the yarn. I use a tiny crochet hook and a big yarn needle for weaving ends.IMG_2439

Give the shawl a soak rinse and block the shawl. This step amazes me. The shawl instantly grew to about three times its size. I used a ruler to make sure I wasn’t stretching one side too far and I gave the bottom a bit of a point but other than that I didn’t get too fancy. IMG_2458

I was a little alarmed by how green the water turned from the yarn. I believe it’s because the yarn was hand dyed. I rinsed the shawl twice until the water ran clear. Hopefully, this will ensure the shawl doesn’t bleed on the wedding dress. Also the shawl color didn’t fade at all. If anything the bath seemed to make the color pop more. I really love how beautiful this yarn knits up!IMG_2443

I am excited to mail this out to Joella. Even if she decides not to wear it down the aisle, I think she will get plenty of use out of it.IMG_2453

Uncategorized

Kitty Grass

DIY Cat GrassDIY Cat GrassMy cat Murphy eats every living plant that comes into the house and then promptly vomits it up. When I heard that it was possible to grow your own cat grass and that it’s easier to for a cat to digest, I knew this was just the project for a girl like me and a cat like Murphy. First I had to make the planter fancy. The entire process takes about a week.

Cat grass is made from hard organic wheat seeds, I purchased mine from Amazon.com. The smallest quantity available was 5 pounds but it was only 12 dollars. I only used about 1 1/2 cups of pre sprouted seads for this project so it’s going to last forever (you need enough seeds to cover the planter).DIY Cat Grass

First, you need to pre-sprout the seeds. To do this you need to rinse the seeds in cool water. Drain and repeat every 12 hours until the seeds sprout. You know they have sprouted when they start to look a bit maggoty (read – disgusting). DIY Cat Grass

Plant the seeds. DIY Cat Grass

Watch seeds grow. DIY Cat Grass

Cat sniffs grass. (day three)DIY Cat Grass

Cat eats grass. (end of week 1)DIY Cat Grass

Uncategorized

Easter Bunny Hat

IMG_2312FinalThis hat was originally supposed to be for my niece. However, I wasn’t truly happy with it. Although I consider myself to be a pretty experienced knitter, Anything that includes sewing seems to defeat me, so I decided to pack it away and try again next year.

I followed a Baby Bunny Hat pattern I found on Ravelry. I did make some slight changes to the pattern but the basics were the same.

Modifications

Size
Although my niece is only three months old, I did make the 9-12 month size hat. I found that the 3-6 month size was very very tiny, I also used a smaller needle size (8us) than the pattern called for. My husband was very kind to model the small hat size. IMG_2295

Yarn
I used Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton in Bone for the hat, and Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends in Peony for the ears. I was really dispapointed by how breakable the Organic Cotton was. I’ve never had yarn break while weaving in the ends or just simply by pulling on the drawstring to close the hat. Blue Sky Alpacas is one of my favorite brands, and it looked really cute when the hat was finished, so I hope this was just a wonky skein.IMG_2296_med

Decrease stitch
The pattern calls for the K2og decrease. I prefer the improved SSK decrease as it tends to be tighter and leaves almost no gaps. The improved SSK is as follows. Slip as if to knit. Slip as if to purl. Hold the yarn as if to purl and pull the two stitches over the yarn.

Ears
I wasted an entire night trying to figure out how to twist the two colors of yarn but managed to get the hang of it after a good nights sleep – only to waste the entire next day sewing the ears to the hat. I thought the pattern ears looked a little too cat like (after making them about fifty eleven times). So I made a few edits, which I wrote down in case anyone is interested.IMG_2302

Modified Ear Pattern
Cast on 12 stitches using the Organic Cotton Stone Yarn and 10 stitches using the Alpaca Natural Blends Peony Yarn. I continued the Knit/Purl repeats 3 more times until I had 16 rows. I changed the decrease row slightly.
Decrease row: With ModSSK, knit to last 2 sts of rabbit fur yarn, MODSSK, with inner ear fluff yarn
Purl
Knit
Purl
Continue to repeat this until you have 1 pink stitch and 2 cream stitches on your needle. Break Bone yarn and pull through both stitches. Use Peony yarn to sew through the ear pieces together.

Sewing…ugh
You’ll remember the ongoing theme of my blog…my wretched sewing skills. The cool thing about knitting with two colors is that you are essentially “seaming” one side of the ears together as you knit so you only have to sew one side closed. I just wish there was a pattern where the whole hat was all one piece because crooked ears has been a constant black cloud hovering over me since I started this project.IMG_2300

In case you are wondering my child size head manaquin was made with a lotion bottle and a ball of yarn.IMG_2315

The pattern says sew the ear bottoms together… (no, this picture isn’t blurry, that’s just the illusion caused by my horrid sewing skills)IMG_2308

…and then sew them to the hat in a triangle. I tried that – at first. But then I had to sort of move them here and there to keep them even and then move them a little more to keep them erect on the hat. They say you are your own worst critic, meh.

I even tried to distract the eye with bows. But, I just didn’t have confidence in my sewing skills to send this out into the world. Some day little niece.