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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

End of an Era...

I've really been struggling lately trying to define who I am without my knitting. I know that might sound silly, but for the last several years, my knitting patterns and my passion for felting, designing and teaching has brought me so much joy and purpose. Don't get me wrong, I am and always will be a wife and a mother first, and I love that, but my ability to create is really at the core of who I am, and I implement it in every area of my life, including with my family. Knitting especially has always been my favorite creative outlet.

I developed tendinitis a few years ago in both of my arms, and at first it just meant that I had to take intermittent breaks from knitting or crochet, but it has now developed into something quite crippling for me. Carrying a baby, chopping vegetables, opening a jar of Peanut Butter, and lots of other simple tasks have become really hard and painful for me. I tried to knit a little doll sweater the other day fooling myself into thinking I could do it, only to discover that after only a few tiny rows I was in so much pain that I literally had to just sit there and hold my burning arms and try not to cry.

I have other hobbies and interests, but this is something I've been doing non-stop since I was eight years old and it is a big part of me. Nothing else quite seems to fill that void. Maybe you can't relate, maybe you can, but that's what I'm going through.

So today I was going through my little depleting bin of slippers I've made, trying to find a gift to send to my cousin for his new baby, and I was a little overcome at the thought of seeing these little slippers leave. They represent an era for me, one that I love so much, and that I am trying to accept is coming to a close. I love giving homemade gifts and the joy that comes with giving them, and felted slippers are my favorite gift to give. It will be sad for me when my little bin is empty...

Friday, January 6, 2017

A little New Years Wood Art...

Wow, another new year!  Time flies when you're having fun!  I don't know if I'm ever gonna get this blog thing down, but I wish I could because I've got so many cool things I want to share!!!  December was like a trance of projects for me.  We did a homemade Christmas this year, so Jordan, the kids and myself have been busy little elves getting everything done.  It was a ton of fun and I will be posting pictures soon!  In preparation for our homemade Christmas, Jord and I took a little trip to Maui, which was the perfect little calm before our crazy December storm ;) Posts will be coming with our trip pics too...but in the's a little sneak peak at my current work in progress...

My brother in law gave me these three super sweet planks of wood a while back that he had sitting around in his shop.  I've had a few ideas brewing up in my mind for a while, but was having a hard time pulling the trigger and starting this project because I didn't want to ruin such beautiful wood!  I love love LOVE that there's bark still on these, and my front room has a few bare walls that need filling.  My theme in said front room is "Aztec chic"...with a little bit of rustic charm.  Not a real theme you say?!?  Well, then I'm a pioneer I guess, but I like it ;) Anywho, I finally worked up the courage to go down to the hardware store and buy some stain today (English Chestnut by Minwax).  I took a deep breath and stained the wood!  SOOO glad I did.  I like it even better than before (which I guess is the point, so good job me).  Anyways, I sketched out a feather last night that I'm going to hand paint on as soon as the stain is dry, and then voila, we'll hang er' up!  Yay!!!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Polly Headband Release!

Well it's official!  After over 3 years in the works, my Polly Headband Knitting Pattern has finally been released!!!  I can't even express to you how excited I am!  To purchase the pattern or find out more, click on this LINK to the pattern page on my website :)


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Coming Soon ~ Polly Headband Knitting Pattern!

I'm excited to let you know that after more than 3 years of working on my Polly Headband, it is finally ready for testing!  Find more info by following the links to my website!  Yay for this headband!!!  I'm so excited!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Fergus the Frog Crochet Pattern is HERE!!!

Fergus the Frog Crochet Pattern is officially here and up for sale for only $5.95!
I had some awesome feedback and suggestions from 5 great pattern testers over the last couple of weeks, and the pattern has come out better than I expected because of them {Thanks Ladies}!  The overall feedback was that he is super fun to work up (which I would agree with), and I'm very excited to add him to my little pattern repertoire.  If you're interested in learning more about Mr. Fergus, you can find more details on my website by clicking pretty much any of the highlighted links in this post or the picture below :)  He's a pretty fun project to keep, or give away as a gift with St. Patrick's Day coming up!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

2 NEW Freebies ~ School Girl Dress Sewing Pattern Tutorial

So I've been spending a lot of time on my Dollies lately, wanting to come up with a couple little patterns for you all to try for your own little make-under dolls.

So far, I've come up with a cute little collared dress, the School Girl Dress Pattern, which is available here as a free download!  I'll also be posting the matching knitted cardigan, the School Girl Cardigan Knitting Pattern shown in the pictures, which is available now on my official website.  This cute little cardigan is quick and simple, and is the perfect accessory for your little dresses!  Click the link to the Cardigan to access another free download, because c'mon, I just love you guys so much!  I've made 3 dresses and 4 cardigans over the last couple of days, and I'm hooked!  They're so much fun!

Meet my 3 newest little models: Rebecca (top), Violet (middle), and Anna (bottom).  I'll post some before and after photos in the next couple of days so you can see their transformations.  They've been super fun!

And, without further ado, here's a little dress tutorial to go along with the pattern.

First off, download and print the pattern pieces from one of the above links, and cut them all out.

Next, use each pattern piece to cut out your corresponding fabric pieces (I used quilting cotton for my dresses).  You should now have 2 collar pieces, 1 bodice piece, and 1 skirt piece, that will look something like this...

Just a hint before I continue, I did very small seams throughout.  As small and teeny tiny as you can fold, iron and seam, that's the width of seam that will turn out the best.  There's no 1/4" seams in this pattern, just as little and tiny as I you can manage while still obviously making sure it is secure and there are no holes.  I also keep my iron out and iron down each seam I sew as I go.

With right sides together, sew 3 sides of collar together (the 2 short end edges and the outside edge).

Turn the collar right side out and iron.  

Iron down and hem back edges of the bodice, as shown below.  If you can manage doing some teeny tiny little seams, doing a double hem on these edges would give it a nicer finish (I thought of this later, so this picture shows a single hem, but I will do a double hem in the future.

 Pin and sew unseen edge of collar onto the bodice, with the right side of the collar facing the wrong side of the bodice.

Fold over collar to the right side and iron flat.

Create a tiny double hem for the sleeves, by folding and ironing the curved out part of the bodice where the arms will be (not down the entire outside edges, but just along the curved part until the edges straighten out).  Hopefully that made sense...if not, refer to the picture.

Your finished sleeve seems should look something like this...

Fold bodice in half, with right sides facing each other.  Pin in place and sew from the armpits down to the waistline.

Fold back to the right side, and iron flat.

Iron down and double hem both short edges and one long edge of the skirt.

 Do a loose basting stitch along the top edge of skirt (the only edge that is not yet hemmed).

Pull on ends of thread from the basting stitch to cinch the dress in, making the width of the skirt even with the bottom width of the bodice.

Pin in place and sew.

Top stitch across the bottom of the bodice for a nice finished join.

Pin Dress together with right sides facing, and sew dress closed from slightly below the waist seam down to the bottom of the dress.

The dress should now look something like this...

Cut a 2" length of velcro (9mm in width), then cut both sides vertically in half, creating 4 pieces (4.5mm each in width).

This will be enough for two dresses, so set one set aside for a later project.

Pin one side of the velcro to the inside edge of the dress, and the other side of the velcro to the outside edge of the dress on the opposite side of the back opening.

Note: Pinning the pieces overtop the collar will prevent the collar from flipping up, so I recommend you sew the collar down along with the velcro.

Sew around all four edges of the velcro pieces.

The back of the dress should now look like this...

And tada!  Your dolly is all styled and ready to go.  Now you just need to give her a nice, tasteful make-under to un-Bratify her :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

All things NEW...

So lots has happened as of late!  I am expanding somewhat, and have started releasing crochet patterns along with my knitting patterns.  The reason for this is that I have tendonitis in my wrists, and I've found crochet to be a little easier on them.  However, having said that, I don't plan on being finished with the knitting patterns, just hoping that going back between the two will be a little easier on me.  I currently have one crochet pattern available, Groundhog Gary, which is on sale as the Pattern of the month for the month of February right now on my new website for only $5.95!  If you haven't had a chance to check out / bookmark the new site, please come have a look!  I'm pretty excited about it!

I'm currently in the process of having a second crochet pattern tested which has been super fun to make, Fergus the Frog, and you can find out more about Fergus as well as see more photos of him on the website as well!  He should be ready for release by mid-February.

On a personal note, I am now 22 weeks pregnant with baby #5 (due June 9th), which blows my mind every day!  I'm feeling really good, other than being totally exhausted, which is to be expected with 4 little kids running around regardless of being pregnant or not.  Being tired is just my normal, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  We just had our big ultrasound, but decided to leave the gender of the baby a surprise :)  I'm planning on having another home birth, like last time, and I'm excited about that, but it does give me comfort that if need be, we only live 2 blocks away from the hospital ;)

I've been doing Zumba twice a week, which has been progressively getting tougher every time I go, and as of this week, I've started doing Piyo (Pilates/Yoga) every morning.  As I sit here typing, my butt muscles are in tons of pain, as is every other muscle in my body...(sigh).  I have a huge fear of scary labours (because of labour #3) and always feel a need to stay in shape while I'm pregnant so I can rock my labour when the time comes, but man, exercising is not an easy task, especially at 5:30am, which is the only time I have to do it!

Speaking of trying to stay in shape, it's hard to feel like I am even doing so when I'm pregnant, no matter what I do.  People are funny.  I have someone that I don't know ask me randomly at least once a day if I'm "due any day now".  When I respond that I'm only halfway, they always ask if I'm having twins..."Nope, I'm just huge, thanks!"  Anyway, life is generally a wonderful thing.  I honestly love people.  I don't mind the ignorant questions anymore, because hey, I'm kind of enormous and I can't really blame them for wondering.  Most of the time they are people that clearly have not had kids or been pregnant, so they honestly don't know.   Plus they probably (hopefully) feel silly afterwards for asking in the first place, so that thought always gives me some comfort.  This is my 5th baby (and technically my 7th pregnancy), so I think I'm supposed to be huge, right???