Exciting times in the Northeast

So clearly, I’ve been a busy lady. Summer has been amazing. We’ve had all the typical ups and downs: the headaches of house projects, and the satisfaction of seeing some of them completed. The anticipation of the little one’s 2nd birthday, and the its bittersweet passing. The nerve-wrecking job search, and the satisfaction of finding a truly wonderful job (YAY!).

So, I’ve been playing catch up in more ways than one. And now the upcoming changing of the seasons has me invigorated. After all, there no more waiting for the return of the pumpkin spice latte, because folks, it’s HERE!

What else makes me happy? Fast and thoughtful gifts. I love to give them. So, I whipped this one up for my friend who just became a first-time homeowner! It makes me smile and I hope it will do the same for her! I made some sunny yellow and cream colored cotton dishcloths:

Simple double crochet (DC) dishcloth with single crochet (SC) edge

And paired them with a happy flower dish scrubbie and lemon-scented handsoap and lotion in a little ceramic caddy.

Completed Housewarming gift!

I love how it came out and the best part was this was so quick to make! I believe I may see more of these in my future. How do you like it??

 

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Wedding Shawl

I mentioned in my last post about the recent family wedding we attended. I’m still in love with every detail of this wedding and will share some of them here! First though, the yarny goodness portion!! I decided nearly immediately when I heard the wedding news, that this very special bride required a very special gift that I wanted to make myself. Enter, the crocheted South Bay Shawlette. This easy to follow pattern works up like a dream in Kidsilk Haze yarn. I added a final row of single crochet stitches in spaces, with a chain 1 with bead stitch over each stitch in the previous row. It was my first time using beads in a project and it was quite easy and made such a difference!!

Close up of the Swarovski beaded edge and shawl pin

Now, as promised, here are a few select images from the wedding day!!

BIG NOTE WITH FLASHY AND SPARKLING LIGHTS: The following are all pictures from April+Paul Photography and these two are GREAT! Talk about fun!!

First lookhttp://aprilandpaul.com/
First look
http://aprilandpaul.com/

I’m so honored the bride wore her shawl for her and the groom’s “first look” pictures (above)! It went perfectly with her dress, hooray!

Next, some fun photos from the day!First, I have to show off my baby girl, who played the role of flower fairy!! The bride made her little dress and tutu, which were a big hit!

http://aprilandpaul.com/
http://aprilandpaul.com/

Unfortunately, Elena couldn’t quite make it through the ceremony and fell asleep on her Daddy. He was an usher and is wearing the men’s chosen attire, colored button-down shirts with suspenders and bowtie, what fun!!

http://aprilandpaul.com/
http://aprilandpaul.com/

This bride is A-MA-ZING and MADE these dressing gowns for each of her bridesmaids! She chose fabric for each that represented them or was their style and then made a kimono-style dressing gown, complete with matching boxer shorts! Showing off these gowns made for one of my fav pics of the day…..

Team Bride!http://aprilandpaul.com/
Team Bride!
http://aprilandpaul.com/

This picture is only here because I LOVE to watch DC Cupcakes and was super excited when these little puppies arrived! The bride has a friend that works there, oh lucky us!

DC Cupcake yum-yums!!http://aprilandpaul.com/
DC Cupcake yum-yums!!
http://aprilandpaul.com/

The simple elegance of this wedding made it so special. Below is the ceremony site. See those penants hanging on the front porch? Yep, made by the mother of the bride! The ribbon swag over the door and quilted pinwheels flanking the door? ALL Handmade.

Ceremony setuphttp://aprilandpaul.com/
Ceremony setup
http://aprilandpaul.com

The reception decor carried on the simple pleasures garden party feel.

Reception decorhttp://aprilandpaul.com/
Reception decor
http://aprilandpaul.com/

Even the wedding favors were all homemade goodness, watermelon and grapefruit jam made by the mother and sister of the groom:

We be jammin.http://aprilandpaul.com/
We be jammin.
http://aprilandpaul.com/

Overall, this was definitely a day we will not soon forget. Love to all my family, we miss you!

The Bride and Me:)http://aprilandpaul.com/
The Bride and I 🙂
http://aprilandpaul.com/

 

Flowers in bloom

Happy Spring! Boy have I been waiting for winter to end! So what did I do today? Spent my first spring morning shoveling snow and slush. What? Yes, spring is off to a slow start here in New England….

But I do still have some beautiful spring flowers to share! I recently had the honor of standing in my dear cousin’s wedding as matron of honor, and let me tell you, this wedding was everything a spring Southern wedding should be. It was fun, it was a gorgeous WARM day, and it was full of friends, family, food and homemade details that made me (and everyone else) smile. I was privileged to contribute to a few of these details! I share with you today, flower corsages!!

The bride provided lovely yarn in the wedding’s spring garden colors:

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After some quick pattern and inspiration searches, I modified a rosette pattern to crochet these:

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And here are some close-up shots. To dress them up a bit, I added a single clear ‘crystal’ bead to the center of each rosette.

IMG_1104 IMG_1103

This too large for corsage prototype turned into it’s own pin, which I used as decor on the bride’s wedding present:

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I have to say I am just tickled at how these turned out!

Birthday Bunting Poll!

Help me decide!! Check out the beginnings of the crocheted party bunting I’m making here and let me know what you think!!!

Birthday Bunting

What to do on a Saturday when you don’t feel so hot? Sit and think of things you can do and make. Then go to the store to buy whatever you need for whatever you thought of. Recently I came across a crochet pattern for Granny Triangles. I’ve made tons of Granny Squares, but triangles? New to me! Since penant-style bunting is all the rage these days, I think it’s time I try my hand at it, the crochet way. My master plan is to make crochet triangles to use as bunting for Ellie’s 1st Birthday party. Then after the party, I can assemble them into a keepsake blanket for her. I am hugely sentimental, so I think this is brilliant.

Even feeling crummy, I had to start this immediately. My motivation was partly (mostly) a 25% off coupon for the craft store that expired today. I took a small printout of the plates from the Birthday theme I’ve picked and got some good old sturdy Red Heart yarn in the appropriate bright happy colors.

I love that these triangles go FAST! This gives me hope that I’ll finish well before the birthday party rolls around in a few months.

Once I get a handful of triangles made, I plan to graph out a design for the throw. That’s all for now! Oh, those cupcakes I was working on last time….YUM. My co-workers loved them. I use the Southern Living Pink Lemonade cake recipe from the recent issue.

Sometimes, there’s no time…

This week, I spied with my little eye, a blog post that made me envious! It was the crochet hook clutch tutorial at Little Birdie Secrets! It made me want to whip out the sewing machine! My crochet hooks are scattered about…..in a project bag here, in my knitting bag there, etc etc. I keep most of them together in a really full pencil case, but it’s tough. This clutch would be perfect! I dreamed of lining up my hooks (in order of size of course!) and enjoying the peace of mind of knowing exactly where each one was, snug in its own little pocket!

Unfortunately, in my disaster of a house there is no room to dig out the sewing machine and I have many more home projects of higher priority. Still….this is an organizational tool! I NEED it to help with my mission of getting organized this year! A place for everything and everything in its place and all that!

Enter one of my fav websites, Etsy. I thought, if I don’t have time to make this for myself, I can support a homemaker. Certainly people make these kinds of things all the time! After one quick search I found so many variations on the basic crochet hook organizer it could make your head spin! I was extra happy when I found one I really liked and saw that the seller is local to me in New England! YAY for supporting local small business! Now this little puppy is on its snowy short trek to me:

I was so impressed with the quality of the items, I also ordered a business card holder for my new snazzy business cards that just arrived last week:

I can’t wait for it all to arrive! So, the moral to this story? Many thanks to all the writers of the wonderfully detailed DIY tutorials out there! But if you just don’t have the time or skill necessary to finish the task, that doesn’t mean you can’t have what you want! With the economy the way it is these days, take pride in supporting a local/small business!

The big purge update: our purging and organizing is still underway folks! While I don’t have any completed projects to share yet, I can definitely say there is some exciting progress in the works!!

Hello there Oktober

Pumpkins, ghosts and witches, oh my! Living just minutes away from Witch City means you’re never bored and you get a big heads up when Halloween rolls around! October is considered its own season around here and the decor is popping up all over the place. I’ve even seen a few leaves falling and I just got word today that the Connors Maize Maze (this year styled after Clint Eastwood. Not kidding! Click the link!) is opening up. All this can only mean one thing OCTOBER IS NEAR!!!!

I’ve been extra absent lately and that is because of the preparation, whirlwind tour and recovery from my fabulous vacation to Germany!! While pictures are forthcoming from my photographer hubby (don’t worry Facebook friends, I promise they will appear one day!) I did manage to snag a few, BWA-HA-HA! Hence the title of this post, refering to Oktoberfest!!!

Did you know:

  • Oktoberfest is the world’s largest fair?
  • The celebration is watched over by the statue of Bavaria?
  • Oktoberfest is an anniversary celebration?

I sure didn’t, at least not until I went! And this year is extra special because it’s the 200th anniversary of the marraige of Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen (namesake of the Theresienwiese festival grounds). Well there you have it.

It just so happened that DH and I were in Munich for one last hurrah (after visiting the Bavarian Alps and Prague!) before our flight back to the US. It also just so happened to be the opening day of Oktoberfest! What luck?!

View from the ferris wheel
One of the gorgeus horse-drawn beer wagons
Enjoying a coffee at the end of the day
Terry had one too 🙂

And, of course I couldn’t go on vacation without a travel yarn project! This time I packed up some crochet hooks (they tend to get through the airports a tad easier than the pointy metal sticks knitting needles) and worked on a cardigan:

The sleeves are being a pain, so I’m currently considering making this more of a vest. It is asymmetrical (I’m sure you noticed….) and I plan to attach a pair of ties at the top. I’ll also be adding more edging to the front because right now it doesn’t close (size small = 36-in bust my booty! I totally should have made a medium, or even a large for a big floppy sweater, but alas, we’ll go for mini-cropped cardi).

I’ve also been working on my handmade item for the tea/coffee swap I’m currently participating in. For that I embroidered these flour sack towels and embellished them with vintage plastic buttons. LOVE how they came out!

So that is the update here! Hopefully now that things have settled down again you’ll hear from me a little more often!!!