Thursday, September 22, 2011


My nephew, Mackay, was born this summer.  He is so cuddly and adorable!  I felt a special bond with him right away, and I am definitely his favorite aunt.  Well, that's what I'm telling myself (don't rain on my parade!).  Anyway, I wanted to spoil him rotten, and I found a bunch of cute projects I wanted to try, so he was my guinea pig!  Here we go:

First, I found a great crochet pattern for this toy.  I love crocheting small things (if you didn't notice) because you get that sense of accomplishment so quickly!  Because it uses just a small amount of yarn, I got to use leftover Cotton-Ease, so it's sooo soft!  Love it!

I am in love with tie onesies.  We had one for Dylan when he was a baby that we got from Deseret Book and paid like $15 for it!  It was so worth it, but being able to homemake them is way better!  I found this pattern for the tie, and ended up making it one inch shorter than the 2T size for my 3-9 months onesie.  $2 for the onesie and like $2.50 for the 1/4 yard of fabric that I used a tiny chunk of.  Awesome.  I also had some cute dino fabric, so I cut out the coolest dinosaur on it, and made another onesie!

So I found these tutorials from Lil Blue Boo on making customized name plaques.  I wanted to make one sooo bad, but realized after I started that I pretty much suck at art.  So, plan B was to grab some little wood letters and animals and just paint and glue them on (the elephant and tree were already painted/decorated=even better!).  I also did copy LBB's idea of mod podging some scrapbook paper "grass" onto the plaque to give it a little more texture.  Very fun!  This was my kids' favorite of the Mackay gifts.

Okay, now for my favorite.  I found this tutorial for T-shirts from MADE (probably my favorite crafty blog EVER).  Dana makes it look so easy, which it kind of is.  I think it would be way easier with a larger size (like she does a 2T), but the baby size was tough to work with on my sewing machine, especially the tiny little sleeves.  Mackay's nickname while in the womb was Beaker, so I Googled the word beaker and found this image.  My brother-in-law was so kind to inform me that there isn't actually a beaker on the image, but rather a test tube and a graduated cylinder (thanks SO much, Tony). I didn't care, because I thought it was cool looking.  So I stuck the picture on PowerPoint, and typed out the word "BEAKER".  Then I printed it, traced it onto freezer paper, used an exacto knife to cut the image out, ironed it onto the finished T-shirt, and painted it with orange fabric paint.  There are a bunch of freezer paper screen printing tutorials out there, so I will spare you, but while you're looking at MADE for the T-shirt tutorial, she has one for this, too!  Check out those cute little goldfish pants!  Love her. 

Anyway, I absolutely adore my sweet little Mackay!  And I get to see him and my newest nephew Charlie, born at the end of July, this weekend!  Yay for getting my baby fix!  Charlie spoiling post to follow soon!

P.S. Thanks to Maegen for taking pictures of Mackay's stuff for me!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Big changes!

Wow! I can't believe the summer is gone and I haven't done a blog post in almost 2 months. It's been a very busy summer with two new nephews born and a niece coming in October. I've been working hard on spoiling my nephews and can't wait to meet the newest born just a couple of weeks ago.
Aside from having a crazy busy summer, we have a lot of exciting things happening this fall in our family. Sweet Miss Sydney is starting KINDERGARTEN. What?! I still thought she was a wee babe. I am going to absolutely LOSE IT on her first day. She got into the new French Dual Immersion program at our elementary school, and I am way proud and excited for that. She is also starting ballet in September. Dylan is going to go back to swimming lessons to continue to work towards participating in swim team at our local rec center. And my husband is starting EMT training next week. Holy holy holy.
With Sydney starting school, I have decided to (re)start school, too! I went for one year before I got married 8 years ago. My goal was to earn a Music Ed. degree and become a high school choir director. I totally wish I could do that. But, having a family and being a Music major don't really mesh. There are tons of required things outside of class - participation in an ensemble (sometimes two), private instrument lessons, and attending all school concerts. I know there are a lot of wives/moms that can pull that stuff off, but I'd rather see my kids after school. So I'm going to work on my second choice, which I've actually gone back and forth on with music for a long time - Nursing! I am SO excited to be going back to school! I got one of my books in the mail on Saturday, and I've already read two chapters - and it's a TEXTBOOK. I'm a nerd. And so happy!
As you can tell, another thing that has changed is my blog. I am way inspired by awesome blogs like delia creates, MADE, and no big dill. Their simple, streamlined looks make me happy, so I'm a little bit of a copycat. But I'm cool with that.
Anyway, I'm excited for our new adventures, and I promise that I will have a completed project to share soon. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Craft Hope Bracelets

I found this AMAZING website called Craft Hope. They coordinate different charity projects, and I was really excited to participate in their latest. Here's a link to the project I did. I'm anxious to see what the next one is. I got Dylan and Sydney involved, and I know it was a great way for them to start learning about helping others.
I made a couple of friendship bracelets with embroidery floss using Sydney's Christmas present from her grandma (an awesome friendship bracelet kit)! Dylan and Sydney made a bunch of bracelets with pony beads and nylon floss. Sydney picked out the bag of pony beads - she chose the glow-in-the-dark beads so - get this - "the orphans won't be scared of the dark". Oh. My. I totally choked up right in the middle of Walmart when she said that. Love her. I know they had fun, and like I said, I am SO looking forward to the next Craft Hope project! Yay!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Last Day of School!

Today is Dylan's last day of first grade! I can't believe how old I feel. We have been (in my opinion) a high maintenance family this year for Dylan's teacher. Absences for a pretty serious ER visit and a week-long funeral trip. Coming in late/leaving early for dental work several times. Hiding daily work in his desk til the last month of school, when the teacher finally noticed. Oldest child syndrome for husband and I - constantly questioning whether he is doing okay. Ah, good times. So we felt like she deserved a little treat:
I used a big can of pineapple that had a pop tab lid, opened the BOTTOM of the can with a can opener, emptied the fruit, washed and dried the can, filled with candy (I did my faves - Reeses PB cups and fun size 3 Musketeers, Twix, Milky Way, and Snickers), hot glued the bottom back on, wrapped in pretty paper, made a pun-ny little note, and made the pull tab ribbon. I did everything in about 20 minutes. Nice!
Dylan was super excited to take his gift to Mrs. B. Congrats, little man!
P.S. His hair will be cut this weekend.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blankie for a Gift...Not!

I found this pattern from Lion Brand, and I was way excited to try it out. I used Lion Brand Cotton-Ease yarn (which, as I've mentioned before, is awesome!). I loved the way the blanket turned out. The only issue I had was with the little zigzag stitching to connect the different colored strips. If I did this blanket again, I would just switch colors and continue that way, instead of making each strip separately, and connecting them together.
Now, when I first started making this blanket, I was doing so for one of my new nephews that will be born this summer. But I kind of fell in love with it, and so I decided to keep it for my own soon-to-be (hopefully) new baby! Sorry nephews! You are getting cool stuff from me anyway, so no worries!
This is a great, lightweight blanket. Because of the different colored stripes, it would be awesome for a boy or a girl, and you can of course change the colors to match your own scheme. I love that!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Never enough time! (Warning: LONG-WINDEDNESS AHEAD)

So I often (often meaning like one or two times total) get asked how I am able to do everything I do. I mean, I don't feel like I do any more than any other mother (probably a lot less in reality), but I honestly do have a lot on my plate. Maybe next week I'll say I have a super easy, cushy life with not too much to do, but after pulling an all-nighter for work last night, I am definitely not saying that today. 1. I work from home, which is a GIGANTIC blessing that I will never deny was divine intervention. Never. For the most part, it's not too bad. But I do have deadlines, and when I choose another part of my life over work (which, in all honesty, is more often than not), I have to make up for it in the form of lack of sleep. 2. Until a couple weeks ago, I taught preschool once a week. I don't have to worry about that anymore, but I do have a first-grader who needs help every day with his homework. I also know that as my kids get bigger, I will have more and more responsibilities in regards to their schoolwork and after-school activities, etc. 3. Being at home while the husband is at work 40 hours per week puts the majority of the housework on me. This most definitely is the absolute bottom of my priority list. Always. Laundry RARELY gets folded. And by rarely, I mean never. Really. I suck. I have gotten better at everything else - like, I wash the dishes every day now! Anyway, I didn't mean to ramble on and on and on (and ON), but I don't want people to think I have all this time to do everything I want. I just pick and choose different things each day, and the next day, I have to make up for what I chose not to do the day before.
With ALL that said, here're a couple of new flower-ish things I've done:
I used a doily pattern for the brown one, and just stopped when I felt like it looked how I liked. I might sew this on a onesie or little T-shirt. I found another tute on YouTube for the reddish one, but for some reason, my blog doesn't want to let me link stuff. So see the bottom of this post for the links to the doily pattern, a cute doily onesie, and the flower tutorial.
Husband's bro is coming to stay with us for a week this Saturday (excited!), and I will be sending the red one home with him for his beautiful wife! She asked me to make a flower for her a couple of months ago, and I finally made it. Sorry, Melissa! I love you. I sewed a safety pin on to the back, so it can be used on a hat, jacket, dress, whatever!
Thanks for sticking with me for the long-windedness (I get it from my mother). :D

Monday, May 9, 2011


My first born came into our little family 7 years ago! I can't believe how much he has changed my life, and all for the better! Funds are a little low this year, so we couldn't have a party, but we did have a mini-party with just us, Aunt Kirsten, and Grandma and Grandpa via Skype! It was pretty awesome.
Firstly, Dylan's birthday is May 6th, and I got paid on May 5th. So, I had a limited amount of time to purchase gifts. Luckily, Sydney and I were able to go to Target while he was at school on Friday, and got everything we needed in one trip (rare)! Oh, wait. I didn't have any wrapping paper. I figured that out exactly 30 minutes before it was time to open presents. No time to go get any, so I had to make do with what I had. I also forgot wrapping paper for Sydney's birthday this year, and ended up "wrapping" her presents in the Target bags they were purchased in. I am the worst mother. Well, Dylan mentioned that fiasco, and hinted that he would not be happy if he had grocery bag-wrapped presents, so I had to think of something else. The last time I was using my allowance at the fabric store, for some reason I decided to get a big bunch of felt sheets. So I had those laying around, as well as some random big pack of tissue paper (I know, no wrapping paper, but a whole unopened pack of white tissue paper, right?). And I always have yarn, of course. So...
I love accidental successes! I used a Sharpie marker to draw simple block letters on my felt sheets and cut them out. Then I wrapped each present in about 5 sheets of tissue paper (so it wasn't completely see-through), tied white yarn around the package, and tied my little felt letter to the top. Dylan LOVED his wrapping paper. I brought down the pile of presents before we had dinner (mostly for incentive to eat dinner quickly), and Dylan insisted on laying the gifts out on the floor in the correct order before we ate. Then he just looked at them for a minute. I was so happy!
The 'A' was my fave.
After dinner, opening presents, and the Skype party, we had these awesome little treats. Dylan wanted me to make these for his entire school class, and I was reluctantly willing. Then after purchasing all the things I needed, I double-checked with the teacher, and she said we could only bring store-bought treats. Oh,, darn! So I ended up making them for just us (and only having to make six instead of 24). They turned out SO incredibly amazing! They really weren't that hard, and they were super cute and delicious! Here's the recipe:
I love it when things don't work out how you expected, but end up way better!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


One of my dearest friends (who I only met 2 years ago - one of the reasons I know we made the right decision in moving to Utah), Kristi, is having her 3rd baby girl in just a couple of weeks! Until last week, Sydney had been attending her preschool, and I had been co-teaching there once a week for the last 2 years. It was kind of a relief to be done with that big committment, but very sad because I wouldn't be seeing those 12 amazing 4/5-year-olds and Kristi every week anymore. So I cried - A LOT - and made a baby present!
I used this pattern for the hat, and this one for the booties. I used my favorite crochet flowers on the booties, and modified a pattern for a lace pillow with 3D flowers out of this book for the flower on the hat (you can see the light pink lace pillow on the front cover of the book). "Modified" is a strong word, as it implies some sort of skill, since I just crocheted the flower section and stopped before the lace in the pattern.
I also found some really cute fairy print fabric at Jo-Ann's, and used some Heat n' Bond and a tight zigzag stitch to applique one fairy onto a onesie. So sweet and homemade!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Here're the classic "Kids at the church in their Easter clothes" pics. Dylan wore his shirt from Jana's wedding with some khakis from Gap, and Sydney got a new dress that I MADE! I could not believe that I actually made a dress. And how easy it was! I participated in this multi-part sew-along, which was way fun and helped me learn a lot! Just don't look too closely at my stitching ;). I also used this tutorial (again!) to make a matching little purse. So adorable! Notice the little crochet flower addition as well. Yay!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easiest Cinnamon Rolls EVER!

I wanted to make some cinnamon pull-apart bread today, so I made my dough...and it didn't rise. Sad. I suck. Luckily, I had some crescent roll dough in the fridge, and it saved the day!

Aren't they beautiful?

SO GOOD. And easy!
Make the crescents according to the packaging, but before you roll the dough triangles, brush each one with melted butter, then sprinkle on some cinnamon and sugar mixture (I made 1 cup sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon, but I had tons left). Then roll and bake, and right after they come out, dribble some powdered sugar glaze on (probably about a cup of powdered sugar and a few tablespoons of milk - add a little milk at a time to the sugar til it is as thin as you want it). Ridiculous how easy it is, and how gorgeous they are!

Kid approved!

Messy face = delicious! :D

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I am WAY (too) excited about knitting! I've attempted to knit in the past, and I always seemed to have a hard time getting going. I think my biggest problem with both knitting and crocheting is that I don't want to do beginner projects. I really want to be able to do crazy fancy stuff, but I just don't know how. Enter YouTube. Thanks to many, many awesome tutorials, as well as this free pattern (again with the Lion Brand), I successfully created my first knitted project! It only took me all 4 sessions of General Conference to finish (that might sound like a lot of time, but I thought of it as a good thing). What's cool about this pattern is that it helped me to learn a bunch of basic knitting techniques that I will need for many other projects. K1P1 ribbing, Stockinette stitch (specifically the purl stitch), k2tog, p2tog, and even changing colors (click on each technique for the YouTube video I used to learn it)! Oh, and I used Lion Brand Cotton-Ease yarn, which I am completely in love with. Yay yay yay!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Random Camo Thingee

Our 7-month-old German Shorthaired Pointer, Baylee, is starting obedience training. All I have to say about that is WHAT TOOK SO LONG?! She. Is. Insane. So her first day is today, and I am way excited. One of the things on the list of stuff we need to bring is a bunch of small treats for positive reinforcement. My husband wanted to have a treat bag that he could attach to his belt to keep his hands free. So, we did some research, and found some little treat bags for $25 a piece. WHAT!? Since I'm being all sewing-awesome right now, I said, "I can totally whip something up!" And here is the result:

Not too shabby if I do say so myself (and I totally do). I used this tutorial (same one I've used before), and an old pair of the husband's hunting pants, and made a little treat bag with belt straps for FREE. Zero dollars. The pants had both the camo material, as well as some nylon, which I used for the lining, AND the nylon straps. Score! I even used a seam ripper to salvage the zipper fly. I also got to burn the nylon straps, which was so exciting. I am awesome. And humble.

Here it is all full of yummies for the puppy dog. Yay!

Holy Busy Wedding Crap, err Stuff (Batman)!

So. My husband's little sister got married this last Saturday (the 26th), and I put WAY too much on myself for the wedding. Most of it was my own insanity, so I have no room to complain. But it was fun doing a few cute things! Also, it was kind of nice to use the sewing machine for the first time in quite a while, as well as pretending I'm good at baking things.

1. Cake balls. SO delicious. SO adorable. SO TIME CONSUMING. I made 250 cake balls last week. I took no pictures because I had no love for the little buggers by the end of the week. I didn't even eat any at the wedding. The end. P.S. I might do them again, but NOT in batches of 250. No.

2. Sister gifts. Since the little kids always get matching dresses/shirts & ties, and the men usually wear tuxes (or in this case, matching shirts & ties), the sisters kind of get left out. I was not having it this wedding! I have 5 sister-in-laws (all of whom I completely and totally adore), and I wanted them to feel special, too. So I made matching plastic flower rings from supplies I got off of Etsy and clutches using this amazing tutorial (AMAZING) for all of them. Then I attached one ring to each clutch, and a cute little note using a big safety pin. So fun, and it made me so happy to see the other girls wearing their rings and using their clutches during the wedding day! P.S. The wedding colors were a purple/plum color and burnt orange - hence the fabric I used for the clutches.

P.P.S. I just re-fell in love with my sewing machine, and am having tons of fun sewing stuff right now. So, this blog might turn into an everything crafty blog instead of just a knit/crochet blog. Thanks for your patience with my craziness.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Baby Present #1!

I'm so excited to be able to start posting my baby gifts! My husband's best friend's baby was born on Thursday, and we went to the hospital to see the sweet little boy! They don't have a name for him yet, but they are debating between Benjamin and Abraham. I say the former, so I will call him Ben for now! Yay!

I found this pattern (again, from Lion Brand, which, I probably love a little too much). I used Caron Simply Soft instead of Lion Brand Wool-Ease, because I wanted the toy to be a little softer for a sweet baby! I thought it turned out super cute and adorable. My faces still have a bit to go before they look really good, but practice makes perfect! This is a great toy for church (or Mommy's quiet time) because it doesn't make any noise - BONUS!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I made these little cuties as a Halloween present for my VT sisters in October. I stuck them in a baggie with some candy and a little scrapbook-ish To/From label. They were my first try with Amigurumi crochet, and they were all from the same pattern (yikes!). You can find it for free on Lion Brand's website (I think you have to sign up for their free membership to get it, but there are HUNDREDS of free patterns, so it's cool). The little round one was the last one I did, and I think I finally figured out how to make the embroidery face actually look decent. Isn't it fun to look back at how horrible you were when you first started a hobby? It's awesome.

Friday, February 4, 2011


I have a lot of projects that I've been working on (some are even finished!). Unfortunately, they are all baby presents, and I cannot reveal them until after said babies are born (or at least until I give them to the mommies). So...I thought I would go through some of the stuff I've done in the past few months. Enter Scarfy. Sydney likes to name everything [the item's actual name] with a "y" at the end. Giraffey, Beary, Kangarooey, Cowey, Scarfy. This scarf was one of the first things I made, and I don't love it, but Sydney sure does. It was going to be a single crocheted blanket/throw/something similar, but I got two rows of stripes done and was bored. So I said, "it shall be a scarf!" and scarf it became. It's really long, but perfect for how Sydney likes to wear it. I was going to edge it with some ruffles/shells/something girly, but, again, boredom took over, and instead, it has a single crochet border with tassles. Which, I think, is why it rolls all up. Lame. But it was good practice, and showed me that I didn't want to single crochet with worsted weight yarn an entire blanket. No.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Getting Organized

So, I'm starting quite a little collection of yarn. I'm sure most of you that have more than 4 months worth of yarn piling up will laugh at my naivety, but it seems like a lot to me. I made a scarf for a Christmas present, and halfway through, I ran out of yarn. I hadn't saved the wrapper from the yarn skein, of course, and so I had a little bit of a nervous breakdown. I had to take a little piece of yarn to the store and hold it up to all of the possible candidates. It was annoying, and nerve-racking. So, wanting to avoid that in the future, I started a little wrapper collection. I took the wrappers off of all my yarn, cut a six-inch piece of yarn and stapled it to the corresponding wrapper. Then I stuck them all in a baggie and, ta-da! Organized yarn wrappers in case I need a new skein of exactly the same kind of yarn - like, if I'm making something more than 1 foot square. Duh.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Library = Free Patterns!

I have begun to spend waaaayyyy too much time looking for free patterns online. So the other day when I was at the library, I looked at the collection of crochet books available. I didn't want a "Learn to Crochet" book with scarves and afghans and such, but something with REAL patterns. I found a few that I was interested in and I wanted to quickly review my findings! And go:

I wanted to find some good patterns that my husband might possibly, maybe, kind of tolerate. This book looked like the ticket! Well, he laughed and laughed at every single (EVERY SINGLE) pattern in the book. I have to admit, most of the models really do look like they are wearing their wife's sweater. I actually might make a couple of these for myself, they look so pretty.

Almost the exclusive reason I wanted to learn to knit was to make socks. I LOVE SOCKS! Love. While these are not knit patterns, there are a couple that pretend to be kind of like knit socks with small, tight stitches and skinny yarn. I'm interested in those patterns, not really the big and chunky socks. Also, there are a couple quite disturbing pictures of feet that I don't like (think "toe socks" and you can imagine what I'm talking about). Creepy!

I'm not impressed with the patterns in this book. I am not quite plus size, but I thought I could find a cute sweater pattern that was longer and I could alter it a bit. Well, most of the patterns are a little too froofy for me. If you like lace and embellishments, this book has some great ideas.

This book is great! It has a pretty good variety of patterns - sweaters, jewelry, baby, home, etc. But the best part is that it gives you an estimate of how long each project will take, and it appears that there are none that take more than a total of 30 hours to complete. Nice! I get bored very easily with one long project, so I will most definitely use some of these patterns.

Friday, January 21, 2011


My sister-in-law Maegen (LOVE her!) is a pretty great knitter. She actually inspired me to really start doing yarnish things. Well, she had a little hat with a hole in it that she was trying to fix, and she decided she would probably just have to cover the hole up with something. I suggested a crochet flower, and she, of course, loved my genius idea! So I proceeded to show her (which I was very excited about, since she is amazing, and I am totally not) an easy flower pattern that I had found. Later, she told me she couldn't use that pattern because it was basically junk. When I had done some flowers with it, I used a chunky yarn, but when she had tried with smaller yarn, the flower turned out holey and dumb-looking. Determined to fix this horrible suggestion, I went hunting for a better flower pattern. I found this tutorial and whipped up a handful of these cute little flowers in about half an hour. I sewed one on a hair clip, and my 4-year-old daughter loves them! Adorable!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Life's a ball!

Today I discovered the marvelousness of yarn balls. I know, totally dumb and elementary stuff, but I really hadn't thought about it. I started out using Lion Brand yarn, which is skeined (skeined?) in such a way that you can't pull out the end from the middle of the skein (at least not easily - I have yet to figure out a way, so I say it doesn't exist). So while working on a project, your skein rolls around all over, tension is randomly messed up, etc., etc. Since it was the first type of yarn that I used, I didn't realize that it was so annoying until I got some Caron yarn, with a very easy to pull, middle-of-the-skein end of yarn. Love it. Going back to Lion Brand is frustrating to say the least. So...yarn ball. I rolled a bunch of my Lion Brand and they look so nice and pretty (and now easy to crochet with)! My fat brown speckly yarn is so luscious, right?

...I said banana?

I started crocheting/attempting to knit a few months ago and have become totally immersed in it. Totally. Completely. I have made several gifts and other fun stuff since I really started in about October 2010, and I love it! I've been looking at a bunch of others' yarnish blogs, and I wanted to join the club. I am going to try to show all of my projects from beginning to end as well as some helpful tips for beginners (which is actually me, so mostly it will be things I just found out about!). I hope it is fun and educational for everyone. Here goes nothing!