Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summertime Crochet

I never thought I'd break a sweat while crocheting, but that's exactly what happened while I was working on this project.

It had nothing to do with the crocheting itself - this was not a particularly difficult or stressful project in the least.  It was actually quite easy and enjoyable!  It's just that it was 90+ degrees outside and even though I was sitting in the shade, the slightest crochet-related movements caused me to break out in a sweat.  We Western Washingtonians are not used to such heat!

The fruits (or shall I say melons?) of my summer labor:

A watermelon potholder and trivet.  I found free patterns for these (and also a citrus version) at The Purl Bee.  This was my first experience working with 100% cotton yarn and doubled-up yarn (makes it extra thick, I guess) and everything went off without a hitch!  I love the bright, summery colors!

By the way, this is how Susannah spends her hot summer days while Mom is crocheting in the shade:

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Little Birdie Place Setting

I've been wanting to try my hand at placemat-making for quite some time now.  Why is it that the simplest of projects seem to take me forever to finally get around to doing?  This really was a simple project, too.  I needed a last minute birthday gift for a fun-loving little 4 year old who lives on an alpaca ranch.  I don't know how her place of residence comes into play.  I just think it's cool that she's got alpacas roaming around (and some other critters, too).  Anyhow, this is what Susannah and I came up with:

I knew I didn't want to purchase any new fabric so Susannah and I just started shopping around for children's plastic dishes.  Our first and last stop was Target where Susannah was quite certain that this bird/flower set was perfect.  I heartily agreed, so in the cart they went!  It was easy to find some coordinating fabric in my stash and it felt great to use some of it up (thus making space for NEW fabric!). 

I appliqued a little bird onto the front, mainly for decoration, but you can also tuck your silverware in there....just for fun.

Oh, and it's probably very important for you to know that the back is a pinkish color that matches the dishes almost perfectly!

Overall, I'm very happy with how it turned out and I'm anxious to make more - perhaps some to keep this time! 

PonyTails and FishScales    Photobucket

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Bee Hive Pincushion For Grandma

I do so enjoy a good bee motif and I'm sure there are a lot of good puns to go along with it, but I fear that I have no time for such frivolities right now.  I finished up this pincushion for my grandma's birthday (she's 77 years old!) and must hastily post about it before heading off to jury duty.  Blech!  I tried to be as inconspicuous as possible during the selection process, but to no avail.  Ah, well.  Civic duty, I guess.

I stumbled across the book "Pretty Little Pincushions" at the library quite awhile ago and have been waiting for an excuse to try my hand at one of the many, many cute ideas in there.  I considered letting Susannah choose which pincushion to create (the book is full of pictures and simple instructions) but I really wanted to do the bee hive.  Like I said earlier, I have a thing for bees.  My first tattoo was a bumble bee.

We found the perfect little bee buttons at the craft store and used a bit of glue to turn them into pins for the bee hive.  They're my favorite part!  I think that's all the time I have today, folks.  If you don't hear from me for awhile it's because the trial is taking forever and I'm tucked away in some claustrophobic jury room or a windowless court room with 11 of my peers. 

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Red, White, Blue, and Tardy.

These were completed by Independence Day, but I'm just now getting around to blogging about them.  So, Happy 12th of July!

It goes nicely with the monkey hook, don't you think?
This project was based on July's issue of Family Fun.  I usually find some great ideas in that publication but don't always have a chance to try them all before they become seasonally inappropriate.  (I have a file folder full of ripped out pages of projects that I want to do the next time the holiday or season rolls around.)  So when I saw this bunting-inspired paper wreath I wanted to get started right away so it would be done in time.  That's why I chose to use scrapbooking paper (which I had on hand) because getting out to buy appropriately-colored cardstock would've taken valuable time - and the Fourth of July clock was ticking!

It was fairly simple to complete.  Basically, secure some paper into cone shapes and glue them to a small circle of cardboard.  Then slap a circle and a star in the center.  Use the link in the previous paragraph if you want more detailed instructions.  You could even change up the colors to make this an appropriate craft for any season. 

I had some leftover cones so I assembled this:

Puts one in mind of an Indian headdress, doesn't it?  Or maybe a turkey.  See?  You could easily transform this craft into a Thanksgiving slash harvest slash Fall craft!  How's that for thinking outside the box (or cone as the case may be)?

In other Fourth of July news, Susannah loved her bandana whale shirts and is still wearing them with pride. 

This is the year that my blueberry bushes finally decided to bear fruit!

   Reviews and Giveaways

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Make Like A Sheep GIVEAWAY!

Yeah, I know.  The use of sheep to describe someone's status as a follower has negative connotations - but sheep are so darn cute!  So, I'm goin' with a sheep theme for my "Hay, I Reached 100 Followers" giveaway.

This is an exciting day for me!  (Okay, Wednesday the 23rd was the actual day that followers of Fowl Single File tallied 100.  It just took me awhile to extract myself from the garden/backyard and get busy in my craft room - I'm so baaaad about that when the weather's nice.)  At any rate, 100 is a LOT of followers and this giveaway is an opportunity for me to express how much I appreciate ewe guys.  So here's what one lucky follower can win:

Five cute sheep magnets and a little sheep pouch!  I've explained the theme of sheep already and I decided to go with magnets because they're universally practical and cute at the same time.  The pouch was an afterthought, though.  The magnets by themselves just seemed kinda stingy and lame.  I realize that they don't really go together.  How many times have you said to yourself, "Gee.  I wish I had a coordinating pouch in which to store all my magnets."  Probably never. 

Now on to the details and more photos.  The sheep pouch was made using this super-handy Perfect Box Pouch Tutorial from Indie House.  It had to fit the theme, of course, so I appliqued a little sheep on the side.  I know.  Shear genious, right?

The finished dimensions are roughly 2 inches tall, 5 inches wide, and 3 inches deep.  Okay. That's probably enough pouch information.  I won't ram  any more details about that down your throat.  Let's move on to the magnets (and I promise I'll be brief).

Five sheep magnets in green.  These little guys are a combination of fabric, eco felt, ebroidery floss, glue, fusible web, and magnets.  Here they are posing on my fridge.  I tried to give them different facial expressions.  I think the one on the bottom left looks a little sinister, though.  I guess he's the literal "black sheep of the family."

Did I mention that they can do tricks?  They're a fairly acrobatic breed.

Alright.  If you're on the west coast like I am I'll wrap this up because it's probably getting to be pasture bedtime.  Here's how to enter.

1.  I'll close the giveaway at 6:30am (PST) on Friday, July 9th. 
2.  I'll use a random number generator to determine the winner.
3.  I wool notify the winner via email, so make sure that's available to me either through your blog or your Blogger profile or leave it in your comment.
4.  I will ship internationally, so everyone's welcome to participate.
5.  To enter, leave one comment on this post.  It can be anything but if you'd like, please leave any suggestions for what you'd like to see more of on my blog or what you like best about my posts...don't be sheepish.  Tell me what you really think.

I'm gonna make like a sheep and get the flock outta here now so folks can start entering the giveaway!  By the way, the official pun count for this post is 9.  Did you find them all?

[Note added 7/9/2010: Find out who won the sheep.]

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