Friday, December 21, 2012

20 Minute Christmas Card Ornaments

I was looking for a quick and easy crochet pattern to make up some little gifts to give to my friends, co-workers and family last weekend. While on Ravelry I came across this pattern: Crochet-Christmas-Card-Ornament The pattern looked easy, and better than that, quick to make up!

Mike and I drove down to the local dollar store and picked up four packages of cute Christmas cards. I had some scrap cotton yarn (Lily Sugar n' Cream) leftover from other projects. So the whole project cost me around $4 to $8 dollars if you include the cost of the yarn I used. Nice to have an inexpensive option for homemade Christmas gifts!

The original pattern is pretty good, but I have some suggestions you might want to consider if you make some of these up. I usually cut the card in half, and used half for the front of the ornament, then flipped the second piece over and used it for the back of the card. If I wanted to make a larger ornament I just used two card fronts of the same card and put them back to back.
  • I used a size G hook instead of an I hook to make it easier to get the hook through hole punches.
  • For the square/rectangle ornaments you will want to round the corners to create a smooth edge.
  • For the square/rectangle ornaments I did 3 sets of sc, ch in each corner instead of 2 sets as suggested in the pattern. When I used only 2 sets the edging curled in and created a frame like effect, which was neat, but not what I was going for.
  • On the oval/circle ornaments you may need to use 2 ch between each sc to avoid the edges curling. It probably depends on how close you put your hole punches together, and what size hook you use.
  • If you do a 2nd round of edging, I really like the effect of doing a stitch (hdc or dc, your choice), ch, skip a stitch and repeat.

Happy Crafting and Merry Christmas! I hope your families and friends enjoy all of your homemade goodies.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Big Sur Mini Vacation

My sis and I took our awesome mom on a belated birthday trip to the coast. On the way we stopped in Monterey, drove the 17 Mile Drive (worth the $10 road toll!), and explored the mighty Big Sur coast.

It had been awhile since my last trip to the beach, maybe since May. I always forget how much I love the ocean until I see it again!

The waves almost got us a couple times at Pebble Beach!

My mom got a huge kick out of getting to see the famed Pebble Beach Golf Course, and of course the beach that the golf course was named after too.
Dried seaweed ball at Pebble Beach. 

We had lots of good food. I think the favorite all around was the freshly made Pumpkin Cheesecake we had at Redwood Grill in Big Sur. It was so good, we had to go back the next day for a second slice before driving home! We also enjoyed a late lunch at Nepenthe Cafe. The view from the cafe guarantee's that you won't complain about the food being slightly over priced.

View from our table at Nepenthe Cafe
 It was so nice to spend some real quality time with both my mom and sister.

Left: My mom Center: Me Right: Sissy

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Candy Corn Bunting - Crochet Pattern

Candy corn is my absolute favorite Halloween candy and has been since I was a kid. It was my momma's birthday today and I thought I would make her up a new bunting to decorate her fireplace mantle for the month of October. Here is the pattern that I created for it. Let me know if you make one and if you liked it!

Candy Corn Bunting Crochet Pattern

Supplies Needed:
Yarn - Sugar n'Cream (worsted weight) in Orange, Yellow, and White
Size H crochet hook
Tapestry needle for weaving in yarn ends
Stitches Used:
CH – Chain
SC – Single Crochet
SC2TOG - Single Crochet Two Together (or decrease)
DC – Double Crochet

Pattern - Candy Corn: Make as many individual candy corn as you like, I did seven candy corns.

CH 21 in Orange yarn
Row 1 - SC in 2nd CH from hook, SC across. CH 1, turn. (20 SC)
Row 2 - Insert hook into first SC from Row 1, pull up loop, insert hook into second SC from Row 1, pull up loop (should be three loops on hook now), yarn over and pull through all three loops - SC2TOG made, 16 SC, SC2TOG. CH 1, turn (18 SC)
Row 3 - SC across. CH 1, turn (18 SC)
Row 4 - SC2TOG, 14 SC, SC2TOG. CH 1, turn (16 SC)
Row 5 - SC across. CH 1, turn (16 SC)
Row 6 - SC2TOG, 12 SC, SC2TOG. CH 1, turn (14 SC)
Row 7 - SC across, changing color to Yellow yarn during yarn over of last SC. CH 1, turn (14 SC)
Row 8 - SC2TOG, 10 SC, SC2TOG. CH 1, turn (12 SC)
Row 9 - SC across. CH 1, turn (12 SC)
Row 10 - SC2TOG, 8 SC, SC2TOG. CH 1, turn (10 SC)
Row 11 - SC across. CH 1, turn (10 SC)
Row 12 - SC2TOG, 6 SC, SC2TOG. CH 1, turn (8 SC)
Row 13 - SC across, changing color to White yarn during yarn over of last SC. CH 1, turn (8 SC)
Row 14 - SC2TOG, 4 SC, SC2TOG. CH 1, turn (6 SC)
Row 15 - SC across. CH 1, turn (6 SC)
Row 16 - SC across. CH 1, turn (6 SC)
Row 17 - SC2TOG, 2 SC, SC2TOG. CH 1, turn (4 SC)
Row 18 - SC across. CH 1, turn (4 SC)
Row 19 - 2 SC2TOG. CH 1, turn (2 SC)
Row 20 - SC2TOG. (1 SC)
Weave in ends with tapestry needle.

Pattern - Bunting:

CH 40 in Orange yarn. *SC in top right corner of candy corn, CH 20 to 22 (depending on how big you want the gap between the string and the candy corn), SC in top left corner of the candy corn. CH 15.* Repeat from * to * as many times necessary to attach all individual candy corns. CH 41. SC in second CH from hook. SC across all CH's making sure to not twist the chain while crocheting across (Untwist if necessary to keep SC's lined up neatly). Weave in ends.  

Pattern by: Amanda Sanders @
Feel free to use this pattern to create gifts or sell as merchandise, but please give credit where credit is due. Links back to my blog would be greatly appreciated. - Hooking on Hump Day - Creative Friday

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Summer's End

This summer has flown by! It has been almost 4 months since I wrote a blog post and I figured I should do one today. Our summer was filled with so many fun and exciting things. We finished up making our chicken coop and enclosure for our chicks.

My lovely hubby Mike scaled down a plan from book The Art of the Chicken Coop by Chris Gleason for our coop. I think it turned out wonderful. We made the enclosure a 8' square with chicken wire enclosing it on all sides. There is plenty of room in there for our cute chickens.

I love the ramp that leads up into the coop. We had a brooder light inside the coop at first to keep them warm at night, but took it out once they got more feathers!

Unfortunately, my little chicken turned out too be a little rooster. Pixie went to live with my sister out in the country where roosters are welcome.

He didn't last there too long due to an animal attack one night. My poor little Pixie. We are hoping to get another hen sometime soon to fill the hole in our little flock that his passing left.

Our "flying saucer" squash, as we call them, grew wonderfully in our garden this summer. Lexie Lou found a new favorite veggie, as we cooked these up in a variety of ways. I think sauteed in olive oil with zucchini was the tastiest.

We planted a new nectarine tree in our front yard last fall. I was waiting hopefully to see if it would live. We have lost several fruit trees the first year we planted them. Good news for us, it lived! Yippee :) Here are the first little fruits it presented us with. They were very tiny, about 1" across, but oh so delicious.

We ended up with around 15-20 baby nectarines but the wind and birds got to a few of them before we did. I'm usually a peach girl, but these nectarines might just make me change my mind.

Out of the three packets of sunflower seeds that my daughter Lexie and I planted, we lucked out with 6 good sized sunflowers this summer. There were also a couple mini sunflowers that looked more like daisies.

Here is a picture of Zoie holding Colbert, with Fluffaz showing off her pretty wings. I love the expression on Zoie's face as she tries to smile, but is worried that she might get attacked at the same time. Fluffaz is the brashest of our three hens and always the first to come up and peck you.

I hope your summer was as exciting and filled with love and joy as ours was.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Chicken Update

Our little chickens are growing up fast! We've had them for just over a month now and they have more than doubled in size. Fluffaz and Pixie are the biggest by far, and look very similar. The major difference is that Pixie has a bigger comb that has turned red. Fluffaz also has bluish legs and feet, while Pixie's are still a tan color.

Here is a picture taken of them all on Mike's arm April 17th.

L to R: Rocky, Pixie, Colbert, Fluffaz
And a picture of them on my arm on May 5th. What a size difference!
L to R: Rocky, Fluffaz, Colbert, Pixie

Here they all are roosting on my arm. They get pretty heavy after holding them up for a bit! They are all used to being handled by us, and will come over and hop onto our legs, climb up on our arms, to hang out.

Colbert (above) is starting to get quite the attitude. She loves to start flying and land one the other chickens backs, startling them. I'm not sure why but I think she is saying that she shouldn't be messed with even though she is going to be the smallest of the chickens.

We have upgraded the size of their brooder once already, but they are almost too big for it. Mike has been working on finishing up the chicken coop, and we bought some material to start making their enclosure this weekend. Hopefully we can get them moved into their new home soon!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Dice Gamer Bag

Here is a project for your favorite gamer. Do they have tons of dice and game markers lying about with no cool way to hold them? Make them this easy bag, and they will be happy! I made this one for my hubby’s birthday.

Supplies Needed:
½ skein Bulky yarn – I used Lamb’s Pride
Size J (6.00 mm) crochet hook
Tapestry needle for weaving in yarn ends
Stitch Marker

Size:  4 ½” Wide by 7” tall

Stitches Used:
CH – Chain
SC – Single Chain
HDC – Half Double Crochet

This pattern is worked in the round. This technique removes the need to sew seams, and makes the edges neater. Do not join rounds. This pattern could be easily adjusted larger or smaller by changing the starting number of chains and the number of rounds worked.

CH 15
Round 1: HDC in 2nd chain from the hook. HDC in next 13 CH. Continue to HDC in remaining loops on opposite side of the chain. DO NOT join with slip stitch. (28 stitches total)
Round 2: Work 1 HDC in first HDC of round one, insert stitch marker to mark new round. Continue to work 1 HDC in each HDC around. The edges will start to curve up to form the bag. (28 stitches)
Round 3 to 17: Work 1 HDC in first HDC of previous round, move stitch marker to this stitch to mark new round. Continue to work 1 HDC in each HDC around.
Round 18: Work 1 HDC in first HDC of previous round, CH 1, skip 1 HDC space, HDC in next HDC, CH 1 and continue this around
Round 19: Work 1 SC in each stitch around. Join with slip stitch to first HDC of round 18. Fasten off, weave in ends with tapestry needle. (28 stitches)
Drawstring Cord: CH 70, fasten off, weave in ends with tapestry needle. Weave the cord through the spaces left in round 18, starting near the middle of the bag and ending in the hole next to it. Adjust cord so equal lengths show on each side, pull tight and tie bow.

Pattern by: Amanda Sanders @
Feel free to use this pattern as you desire, but please give credit where credit is due. Links back to my blog would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Baby Chicks Have Arrived!

We have been thinking about getting chickens for quite awhile at our house. Zoie and Lexie love the idea of having more pets, What kid doesn't? So our new baby chicks have been added to our household petting zoo. We each picked out one chick from the local feed store.

Introducing my chicken - Pixie the Maran chicken - 1 week 2 days old

Maran chickens are a heavy chicken that produces large dark terra cotta colored eggs. They are an active chicken. When we got little Pixie home, her vent was all shut up with dried poo, and we had to clean it. I'm hoping that she will recover from that and be a nice healthy gal.

Introducing Zoie's chicky - Rocky the Jersey Giant chicken - 2 days old

Jersey Giant chickens are an extra large chicken that get to be over 10 pounds heavy! They produce extra-large brown eggs, and are a calm and docile chicken. So even though Rocky will be huge, she should be a sweetie. She is the probably the cutest, as she is only 2 days old and really just a tiny ball of fluff right now.

Introducing Lexie's chick - Fluffaz the Barred Rock chicken - Probably around 3 weeks old

Barred/Plymouth Rock chickens are another heavy chicken, this type makes large brown eggs. They are also docile, so it's a good choice for my somewhat easily spooked Lexie. Fluffaz is starting to get her comb and is more active and larger than they other birds currently so that is why we think she is two to three weeks old.

Introducing Mike's chicky - Vanna Colbert the Ameraucana chicken - 1 week 2 days old

Ameraucana chickens are a medium sized chicken. They produce Easter eggs! That is medium to large sized green, blue and sometimes pink eggs. How awesome is that? They also get a beard and puffed cheeks called a muff. Vanna Colbert is a sweet little thing now and should stay so as she grows up.

The little chicks make such cute noises in their little brooder that we made up for them. I can't wait to watch them grow up. Welcome to our household little chicks!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Scallop-Edged Button Cowl Crochet Pattern

I am very excited to share my first ever crochet pattern! My sister bought me some great handspun Merino wool called Wheat Fields from as a gift and I couldn't find the perfect crochet pattern that would show it off best. Feeling rather frustrated, I pulled out a crochet stitch book, and started playing around. This is what I turned up with after a few different failed combo's.

Scallop Edged Button Cowl Pattern


Stitches Used:
CH – Chain
SC – Single Crochet
TC – Treble Crochet

Materials Needed:
125 Yards of Bulky Yarn, Approximately 4 ounces
(I used Merino Handspun by Hampton Artistic Yarns)
Size N 9.0mm Crochet Hook
Tapestry Needle for Weaving Yarn Ends
1 Large Button

CH 18
Row 1: SC in second chain from hook, *SC in each CH to end*, CH 4, turn
Row 2: TC in back loop only of each SC across, CH 1, turn
Row 3: SC in back loop only of each TC across, CH 4, turn
Row 4 - 43: Continue to alternate Row 2 and Row 3 until piece reaches desired length (or you run out of yarn!)
Weave in yarn ends, making sure to double back at last once
Attach button to the cowl in desired place, wrap it around your neck and enjoy!

Pattern by: Amanda Sanders @
Feel free to use this pattern as you desire, but please give credit where credit is due. Links back to my blog would be greatly appreciated for any future posting online or in print.

If you make one, can you please let me know and tell me what you think? Also, if you have any questions ask me and I will see if I can help. Thanks and I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Freezer Strawberry Jam

My friend Terri Biondi gave me an awesome Christmas present of some freezer jam containers, freezer pectin, and removable jar labels. I was feeling guilty about not using any of these supplies, until I found an awesome buy on three-packs of strawberries at a store. Perfect I thought! Just the thing to use in making some jam.

I followed the No-Cook Strawberry Jam recipe that came on the Ball Freezer Jars package.
  1. First I had to wash and cut up the strawberries.

2.  Then I mashed them using a potato masher.

3.  After adding in the instant pectin, I ladled the fresh jam into sterilized jars and sealed them up. 

Yum! It turned out so delicious. I think I'll be trying some more fresh freezer jams this summer. Maybe I'll do nectarine or peach.