Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why does there have to be 6 ponies?

I needed something to make, simple, quick that was not an owl hat.  

So I stumbled across this pattern and thought...great, I could whip up a few My Little Ponies for my girls and it should be easy to do while listening to lectures, since school started back up this week. 


1.  The pattern is really complicated and requires checking it often.
2.  My body ended up being a misshapen mess that was not remotely horse-like, so I had to improvise.
3.  Improvising a pattern means I have to think while crocheting.  A lot.
4.  There are 6 of these in the new My Little Pony:  Friendship is Magic series that my daughters are in love with.
5.   In no way can I make 1 or 2 ponies.  I must make all 6.   
6.  Each pony has a very intricate Cutie Mark on their haunch and I suck at embroidery.
7.  My daughters have already, very vocally, divvied up who gets what pony and are harassing me by the hour as to my progress on completing the project.

My kingdom for a time machine!

But here is Rainbow Dash.

Complete with Cutie Mark and wings.

Who has been played with non stop (and slept with) since her completion, approximately 48 hrs ago. 

Why yes, my child *is* playing in a giant pile of polyfil stuffing.  Is that a problem?
Off to go sew on Apple Jack's cutie mark.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I am woman, hear me drill!

While I crank out owl hats by the uh...quarter dozen, I have been busying myself with Pinterest recipes (Homemade Reeses PB eggs FTW!) and organizing/craft projects. 

As soon as I saw this, I knew I *needed* these.   I am so innundated with school papers and keeping up with who has what on which day at what school is making me crazy.  If I cluttered up my family calendar with every "Crazy Hat Day" and "Picture Day", then I would start getting twitchy just looking at it.    Which sort of defeats the purpose of a big, highly-visible family calendar in the first place.

But while I appreciate the original blogger's entrepreneurship, I could not justify $35 + $10 shipping for each of the 16x20 prints.   Figuring I would bust out the scissors and cut & paste (the old fashioned way, baby!) the posters together, I asked some friends for advice.   In 15 mins, while nursing her baby, a friend tooled around in Photoshop and whipped up a version that looks 100% better than what I could have scrapped together.   At $5.99/ea to print at Costco, plus 3 $1 hooks from the Target Dollar Spot and 3 repurposed frames from the basement, I now have my splendiferous School/Backpack/Schedule/Homework/Calendar/Rehearsal Organization Station for under $23!

It's in the dining room, becauase we really only use that room for three things...

1.   Poker
2.  Christmas
3.  Storing crap like backpacks and homework folders. 
Each kid got to choose a picture and write their name.
Little Bit doesn't have homework, so I decided to show off her preschool work.

Next up is a felt board that I threw together, not from any particular pin, but just from the creative juices that are flowing when one completes projects and realizes...hey I can do this!  Plus I found an old cork board in the basement while looking for 16x20 frames.  

I glued the felt to the My Little Ponies I printed, but we used a stapler for the extra pieces the girls made.  No dry time and they work just as well.  Once these paper pieces get destroyed, we will make more.  

This free project has turned into hours of playtime in the last 2 days for my girls.  I think next year's Christmas shopping may all be done at Michaels.   OK, maybe I am dreaming...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

At least it only cost me $1

Yet again, I am struck by the curse of "That looks so simple!  I can totally make that!  It's even kid-friendly!" of that evil site Pinterest.   

I mean, there arent even any words!  How easy is that???
My first mistake was assigning the line drawing to a 6yr old.   Scratch that, my first mistake was using Sharpie, so her squiggly lines were permanent.    Use chalk.  

I think mistake #...where were we at in the count?   3?  Was to use cheap felt squares.  The 3/$1 jobbers at the craft store.   They tend to flop and flip and squish.  The ones in the picture look thicker, but then again, thicker felt may have made this a less kid-friendly project.

As it is, she was irritated that she couldnt cut the felt all the way through.

She was irritated that the hearts were flipping around.

So she left and I encouraged the younger one to join me in this SUPER FUN CRAFT PROJECT!

She threaded approximately 6 beads before she left to go play with her sister and I was alone with this heaping pile of felt and yarn.

Which I finished off so lovingly and hung it so lovingly by the hearth...only to have half the hearts flop upside down. 

Oh and the 6yr old told me it was too early for Valentine's Day decorations anyway.

The law of averages would hold that if I do enough craft projects off Pinterest, I'll eventually knock one out of the ballpark, right?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Hat Factory

Oh my goodness, I have been overrun by owls.   Owl hats are just about the cutest thing EVAH! and I happened upon a pattern that I just love.  It's so simple, fast, easy to work on brainlessly, allows for enough creativity to keep me interested and is just plain CUTE!  Did I mention it's cute? 

It all started on my quest for a cute baby hat.   For a boy, which I found this cute chunky blue, orange and green yarn...that turned out to be very pink & purply inside. 

And made this really, girly hat:

Which I promptly passed onto my 3 yr old, so now both girls have Owl Hats.  Note how much cuter the square-ish pattern is.   I love how it creates the ear/feather tufts.

So then I went to creating some boy boyish designs, experimenting with trim, eyes and beaks.

Mustn't leave out the girls.

And I've even made an adult sized version, but I ran out of yarn, so that one is currently an UFO.  

Yeah, I'm officially the crazy Owl lady.   My daughter has dubbed my new business The Hat Factory and is imploring me to sell hats at a craft fair.  If I find something cheap enough, I may do it.   Or I may decide that I am ready to move on from Owl Hats and never make one again.   

Oh, and I did make a fun beard hat in the middle of my owl frenzy for my friend's son.   

Friday, January 13, 2012

How hard can it be to smear glue?

It's not crochet, but I figure its within the rules to post about other random craft projects that catch my wandering brain's fancy and pull me away from the Hat Factory I am currently running right now. 

I keep seeing projects with Mod Podge on Pinterest and the idea of Mod Podg-ing some paper to a canvas has appeal to me because its...uuh....simple?   No talent in actually creating something that looks good onto the canvas is required.   Cut & smear.   Got it!

Mod Podge was $8 for the small jar at Michaels.   But alas, according to this blogger, you can make your own out of water + Elmers Glue.    I dont know about you, but I seem to have a problem keeping glue flowing around here.   After one application of Elmers glue to a kid's project, the bottle is hopelessly clogged and the whining begins.    Glue sticks arent much better, they dry up on us after about 1-2 uses.   But this blog is not about my adhesive related challenges, but more to explain why I had 3 half full bottles of Elmers Glue lying around. 

Those, plus a canvas my son "ruined" in a painting-while-manic state, plus a Santa pic and some scrapbook paper.   Prepare for the amazing...

Paint the edges black, smear on the homemade mod-podge...ok, that looks crappy, I think the pic needs a border.  Hey, what about this Merry Christmas paper I have?  I can add that to cover some of the edges on my border.   Why is there black paint on my red paper.   Oh crap, I didnt let the paint dry and now its all over my hands.   How much of this glue crap do i use? My red paper is too big, maybe I can trim it with a knife.

Ok, so maybe *some* talent is required.  But the plus side is that I can hide this away with the Christmas stuff and only laugh at my Mod Podge failure once a year.  

Eh, I've seen worse.  And the cute kids kind of redeem the picture, right?

(Note for future Mod Podge related crafting...actual pictures dont take to the glue-goo very well.  I want to make a wedding canvas, so I will scan & print a wedding pic first, onto regular paper.   We'll see how that goes.)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A New Year's Crochet-olution

I like to crochet.  My kids are pretty full up on blankets, hats and crocheted toys.  I don't have the time or inclination to sell my crap on etsy or in person, with school & family demands.  Plus I'd have to deal with (shudder) customers.   What is a gal to do?

I have decided to do 52 ROAC (Random Acts of Crochet) for the year.   Hopefully I will be able to keep up with 1 per week.   But even if I end the year with a paltry 17 or something, at least I gave away 17 things to hopefully happy recipients.    I hope to do some bigger projects like charity squares or NICU hats, but also just random things I make for people for no good reason.    I also love the idea I read somewhere of wearing something handmade in public and the first person who compliments it, gets it.   Probably not a hat, but maybe a scarf or shawl.  

So for this first one, I made an owl because the pattern just looked really fun & cool.    One of my online (AKA "Imaginary") friends seemed to like the pattern when I posted it, so it's hers if she wants it.     She's one of those people who, without really knowing it, inspired me to go back to school and always has wise council for the folks our little corner of the internet.   

ROAC #1:  Funky Owl!  

I also made him a little buddy who may or may not end up as a cat toy. This size would make a good Xmas ornament, but not in pink.