Friday, April 18, 2014

April Feature: Easter Garland

Okay, so I think garlands are super cute and a really simple decoration that can go anywhere! Here is a round up of some of my favorite Easter garlands across the internet!

Easter Spring flowers

Easter Eggs

Easter Bunny

This one didn't have a free pattern, so I found one you can use to make a similar garland:

Easter Peeps

This one ALSO didn't have a free pattern, so I found one you can use to make a similar garland:
Or one from my blog

Monday, March 31, 2014

10 ways to decorate (hide) a tree stump in your yard

I was doing yard work and I was trying to think of some ways to avoid getting rid of a certain tree stump in our front yard. Tree stumps are one of the harder features to remove from a yard. They take a lot of money and effort to remove completely. So I have decided for this month's feature to collect 10 different ideas for how to decorate (or hide) a tree stump. Enjoy!

1. Use the stump as a planter

2. Grow climbing plants up the stump to hide it

3. Carve a decorative centerpiece

4. Carve it into a CHAIR

5. Turn it into a fairy garden

6. Use it as a base for a bird bath


7. Or as a base for any d├ęcor (Video)

8. Chess/ Checkers, anyone?

9. Modern Tree Stump Table

10. Hide it with a raised bed (See tutorial for before and after photos)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Birth of a Crochet Pattern

Ever wonder how people come up with crochet patterns? What exactly is the process? How long does it take? Well, here is one designer's attempt to answer those questions. I have been writing patterns for over two years now, and I simply love to crochet and share my creations with everyone!

Here's the process I go through to make patterns available to you:

Something sparks an interest, whether it is finding something on Pinterest, seeing someone wear something, catalogs, TV, etc.
I will look around on the internet to see if there is already an existing pattern. I glean from similar patterns, search through my books of crochet stitches to figure out which stitches work for my idea. Be careful that your pattern doesn't infringe on any copyright like for trademarked characters (Disney, Pixar, etc.)
I will try out my initial idea and see if I can translate it directly to crochet. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, depending on the complexity of the stitches being used. I will write down what I did and make changes as I evolve the pattern and create a "final product". The image above shows my experimentation to create the Peacock Feather Applique free pattern
Rough draft
Then I type up a rough draft of the pattern. I check it for errors and make sure it seems clear enough.
Self-test pattern
I test the rough draft pattern myself first. I want to be sure it produces exactly the same results every time. I make sure the stitch counts are correct and that all the numbers add up and the text is clear.
Take photos
Since I already have a few sample products, I choose the best ones and take photographs. I've learned that the best way to take photos is with natural light and a simple background.
Write up final pattern
I make any last minute revisions to the pattern, add the photographs and finalize the pattern.
External Pattern Testers
I request some pattern testers from various boards on and I try to get 2-3 people to test the pattern for clarity and accuracy (and type-o's).
I will review recommended revisions by the pattern testers and make any final revisions to my pattern.
Then I start to do the happy dance because everything is just about ready! I transfer the pattern onto Blogger and pick a day/time to post the pattern.
After posting, I'll make a post on my Facebook account to let my friends know I've added a new FREE PATTERN! I'll post some pictures onto Pinterest, and then add the pattern to Ravelry. This is just about all the "advertising" I do. My awesome patterns make it irresistible to share and I will watch over the next week as my blog visitors increase due to the interest in my new pattern!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February Feature: Dishcloths

I really love to see beautiful and unique dishcloths. I know it is something really simple but I really despise a basic single crochet/double crochet dishcloth. I love the look and feel of different stitches making themselves useful around the house. Here are some of my favorites:
Dishcloth from

I cannot get over the colors here. I love the bright, happy colors and texture!
Starburst dishcloth by Sarah Cook
That starburst pattern makes for a great texture for cleaning, and fun to look at to count how many stars you see!
Crunch Stitch Crochet Dishcloth by Petals to Picots
This dishcloth is one of my favorites! I love the deeply patterned texture. I also love the other dishcloth patterns also available on that site.
So.... I hope you will reach out and find a neat textured dishcloth pattern and toss out the plain ol' single or double crochet stitch dishcloths. I gave a few options for you to try out, so get crocheting! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Peacock Feather Applique - Free Pattern

I love the colors in the peacock feather. I have had this idea to come up with a peacock feather pattern for a LONG time... at least 6 months. After our move and things finally settling down, I was able to sit down and come up with the pattern. I had to make MANY different versions before I was satisfied with the accuracy and neatness of the pattern. I hope you LOVE it!

Worsted Weight yarn in 4 colors (I used Caron Simply Soft: A=Passion, B=Blue Mint, C=Bone, D=Pistachio)
Size H Hook
Yarn Needle

Using H hook and materials listed feather should be about 4” tall and 3” wide.

Special Stitches:

Round 1: WITH COLOR A: In magic loop, ch 3(counts as dc) and dc 8 (9 dc total), CHANGE TO COLOR B and dc 3 more times in magic loop. Pull tail tight to close loop.
Round 2: Continuing with COLOR B, immediately sc in top of ch 3 of color A. Then 2 sc in next ch, 1 sc in next, 2 sc in next, 3 hdc in next, 2 sc in next, 1 sc in next, 2 sc in next, 1 sc in next, sl st to join and fasten off.
Round 3: Attach COLOR C to same ch-sp (corner of colors A and B), ch 1 and sc in same st, sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next, sc in next, hdc in next 2 sts, 2 hdc in next, dc in next, 2 dc in next, 2 tr in next 2 sts, 2 dc in next, dc in next, 2 hdc in next, hdc in next 2 sts, sc in next, sc in same ch as first sc, sl st to join and fasten off.
Round 4: Attach COLOR D to same ch-sp, ch 1 and sc in same st, sc in next 5 sts, 2 sc in next, hdc in next 6 sts, 2 hdc in next, 2 dc in next, 3-picot, 2 dc in next, 2 hdc in next, hdc in next 6 sts, 2 sc in next, sc in last 3 sts, sl st to join. Fasten off.
Make a whole bunch and sew them together to make amazing gifts. Post links in the comments of things you've made, I want to see!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Cleaning Carpets

Here is the key to cheap and easy carpet cleaning: ELBOW GREASE!

Seriously, I rented a carpet cleaner for $30 hoping it would do a decent job with ease. Let me tell you, my fingers hurt and came close to blistering from having to hold the trigger down the ENTIRE TIME, and moving the machine around is a work out.

Worst part: it didn't do a good job!

The photo above was my carpet in our rental apartment after living there a year. It was brand new when we moved in. They were thrashed from my 3 children who always had to eat the messiest food on the carpet. Here's my method from getting carpets cleaned:
  • Bowl
  • Hot water
  • Dish soap
  • Scrub brush
  • White towel (I don't know if colored towels will spread their colors onto carpet)

1. Locate test subject. (Nasty stain that occurred sometime in the last few months)
2. Fill bowl with HOT water, add a small squirt of dish soap (Seriously, like one small squirt per 2 cups water).
3. Scrub stained area up and down, then side to side.
4. Use towel to scrub off excess moisture
5. Allow spot to dry. Admire the results. Resist urge to clean entire carpet.  
Seriously. The hardest part of this method, besides some simple scrubbing, is keeping enough white towels in stock to do the entire floor at once. I had to do the living room floor in 4 days.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January Feature: Snowmen

This year I am starting a new post series on my blog. I want to feature, each month, a few crochet patterns that match a theme I've chosen. This month's theme, is SNOW! I live in the San Diego area, and let me tell you, there is NO snow here. In fact, the heat has me slightly missing snowy landscapes.

One of my favorite things about snow is being able to make snowmen! Enjoy these super duper cute snowmen patterns I've located and love!

By Brian Sauls of BBQ Crochets
By Doni Speigle of Whiskers and Wool
Now go ahead and make some!
Disclaimer: I have received no compensation for posting this entry neither for featuring these specific patterns. I just like them. Enjoy.


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