A smile is the universal welcome. -- Max Eastman
The history of the wreath dates back to Ancient Greco-Roman times the first being worn as a crown. They were worn to represent rank, status and achievements. While these original wreaths were made of ribbon or fine metals, bay laurel branches were later fashioned into the shape of a circle. Laurel was associated with the Greek God Apollo and became symbolic of victory and therefore the winning athletes in the original Olympic Games wore laurel wreaths.
I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.
For me they are the role model for being alive. --- Gilda Radner
Toony loves to play. When we first adopted her from the Humane Society, she was nervous and chewed through all our other dogs toys in quick order until she got to what we call the mop which is essentially just a rope with knots on either end.
My little dog — a heartbeat at my feet. ~Edith Wharton
I love my dogs. They protect me, watch over me, and provide endless amount of joy and amusement. Their favorite perch in the house is in the bench window seat of my studio on the second floor of our house. They love to watch all the action on the street, barking their warning of approaching dogs and humans. The bench seat was getting a bit torn up by their claws, so I need to add some protection and with my ever growing stash of t shirts, I decided to upcycle them into t-shirt yarn that I could crochet into a rag rag. I wanted the rug to be substantial, machine washable and yet a soft spot for my dogs to hang out. As you can see above, Josie loves her new spot. Miss Toony was jealous and decided to move in on Josie's territory. Missing from the pic was their ensuing dog spat of snarling and snapping at each other. Josie wanted the rug to herself.
Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love. ~Albert Einstein
I love Valentine's Day. It is my favorite holiday. What's not to love about pink, red, lace, chocolate and smooches???
Here are a small selection of fun Valentine Crafts from the design team for Smoothfoam.
When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky. ~Buddha
I love rainbows. Aren't our children the treasure at the end of the rainbow? I love to knit with highly saturated colors and what better way to do that then to knit a youngster a rainbow hat to keep them warm on winter days. The hat is sized at 18" circumference to fit a 7-8 year old. Children at this age frequently draw rainbows in art class, so give them one to wear.
Knitting not only relaxes me, it also bring a feeling of being at home. -- Magdalena Neuner
I have been knitting for 33 years now, once worked for a yarn company, owned a yarn shop, so I am a bit jaded when it comes to new knitting products, but I tell you I bought myself a zippy loom and have fallen in love with it. It's a sturdy plastic loom with 4 pegs, but you can buy more to make a longer board or to create a frame with it, so you may easily knit extra bulky hats and afghans.
In the time it took me to watch one episode of Perry Mason (1 hour), I had knit a scarf that was 130" x 4". I cast off and stitched the ends together so it made an infinity scarf, which as you can see is really quite flashy fab. Perfect to wear over a t-shirt with a jean jacket for date night.
The key to this scarf is drape. You want to work with bulky yarns that are lightweight such as a traditional "eye-lash " yarn carried with an acrylic. Bulky wools wools won't have the same drape.
You will need:
1 Knitting Board zippy Loom
The directions for casting on, knitting and casting off are included n the kit and are exactly what I did. They are straight forward and simple. To see how to videos and to find other cute quick patterns for the zippy loom.
If your children have learned to finger knit, then move them forward with knitting using the zippy loom. Be warned, you will go through quite a bit of yarn, so ask friends if they have nay left over bits in their stash that you may use. Get several boards and make afghans to donate to your local hospital or senior center. These warm gifts if knit in acrylic, for ease of washing, will be an appreciated gift.
Our hearts are lamps for ever burning... -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I designed this hat in honor of the American Hearts Association's "Little Hats, Big Hearts" campaign to bring national attention to Congenital Heart Defects. Make one for a loved little one, make one to give. These are simple and quick to make. A fun Sunday afternoon project. This is sized for a 16" diameter hat, 6-12 months old.
To get started you will need
2 skeins of Lion Brand Vanna's Choice acrylic yarn, 1 each of Red and White.
Size G crochet hook
Ruler or tape measure
locking stitch marker
Guage: 4 sts and 2.5 rows to the inch.
Stitches you will need to know: Double-crochet, single crochet, slip stitch
Start with a magic circle. But rather than use single crochet stitches. Chain 2 and Double crochet 12 sititches into the circle. Once finished, tighten the circle. This closes it firmly at the top.
Round 1: Add a stitch marker, Ch2,1 dc in the same place, 2Dc into each stitch. Slip stitch the last stitch to the fi=the top of the chain-2 for a total count of 24. Move stitch marker to beginning of next round.
Round 2: Ch2, *2 double crochet in next stitch, 1 double crochet in next stitch.* Repeat from *to* , slip stitch last stitch to top of chain-2 for a total of 36 stitches. Move stitch marker to beginning of next round
Round 3: Ch2, Chain 2, 1 double crochet in the same place, 2 double crochet in each of the next 2 stitches, slip stitch last stitch to top of chain 2 for a total count of 48 stitches. Move stitch marker to beginning of next round.
Round 4: Ch2, Chain 2, 1 double crochet in the same space, 3 double crochet in each of the next 3 stitches, slip stitch last stitch to top of chain 2 for a total count of 60 stitches. The circle should be 5" in diameter.
Ch2, 1 dc into into the same space. 1dc into each stitch fro the entire round, end with a a slip stitch into the top of the Cha2. Repeat this round until the hat measure 7- 8 inches. At the 6th inch, switch to white and work for 1 inch in white to add a bold horizontal stripe.
Scallop Edge: *Skip 1st, 1sc in next st, skip next st, 5 DC in next st.* Repeat from * to .* End wth a slip stitch to the the first single crochet.
Heart Embellishment: Use white to match white stripe.
Chain 4. Work 3 tr (triple crochet) into first ch(center), 3 dc into the same space (center)., ch 1, 1 tr into center, ch 1, 3 dc into center, 3 tr into center. Ch 3, sl st into center and fasten off. Use tails to sew heart to the hat.
Sew in all tails.
Download Our hearts are lamps for ever burning - Excuse the crazy title to this file, but it is a PDF of this pattern for you to download and print. Happy Crochet!
We can tell our values by looking at our checkbook stubs. ~Gloria Steinem
2014 was not my year. I had a stroke, heart attack, cancer and needed an emergency blood transfusion. I racked up a ton of medical debt despite having health insurance. I can't change the situation, I can just learn to live with it. I received some financial aid from the Hospital, but not nearly enough. My initial reaction to the debt was to get back to work full time as soon as I could. I think that is a normal reaction for most folks when faced with large medical debt. I was back working 40 hours a week between two part time jobs, but soon enough I realized that my body wasn't ready. I still needed naps throughout the day. I had to take my health seriously, which meant having the flexibility to take naps when needed and to go to the gym on a regular basis. What 2014 taught me was that my life is short and good health is not to be taken for granted, you must work to maintain it. First I left one job, but then realized in December that I needed to leave my second job. At first I though of myself as unemployed, but that is the wrong attitutde. I am a freelance designer, full-time blogger, content marketer, teacher and artist. I am actually now busier than ever, but have the flexibility I need. I know this would make many people freak with anxiety, but I am having a good time. I know I could sell my car and wipe out much of my debt, but honestly, I really like my car and don't want to sell it. I'd rather do what I am doing and live as frugally as possible off of my savings while I build up my business.
Despite my mountain of debt, I have other financial goals, like taking a vacation. I haven't had a vacation in 3 years, so I figure I am due to have one. That means saving what bits at the end of the day, week and month that I can. In comes the Piggy Bank or Coin Box! I was at a vintage antiques store, and saw many cute ones, but then figured, you are on a frugal budget girl, do you want that vacation?! If so, then make your own piggy bank! So like any self respecting crafter, I took stock of my craft supplies and then looked on Pinterest for inspiration. Here are a few of the pins I found. I really loved the Perler bead coin box. It is so customizable, so yesterday I set out to make myself one. I had a small stash of red, white and grey perler beads. Perfect for a Valentine themed box! Okay, cool. Well, uh, I will admit that this is a rather time consuming and slightly fussy project. I thought I could bang it out in a few hours. But it actually took me the better part of an afternoon.
Parts of it snapped together perfectly while other bits are still slightly wobbly. I like my crafts to be perfect! So I fiddled and faded with it until I got it to click together. Still not totally satisfied. But I posted my charts further below and go to the Pinterest file to find the original pattern, as it has clear directions on how to create the dovetail joints.
Frugal living simply means living fully on less. Less money, less stuff. To me it means fun challenge and less stuff to dust and care for. I will be bringing you more frugal living blog posts throughout the year with an emphasis on knitting, stitching and upcycle / recycle crafts.
PS: use your craft store coupons to get the best deals on perler beads or look for them the next time you are at Ikea. They sell them for less in large bottles over in the kids section.
Babies are such a nice way to start people. ~Don Herrold
I thought I'd start this new year off with a new baby hat pattern. This sweet and simple to make crochet beanie fits a 6-12 month old and has a 16" circumference. A sweet Dahlia flower is crocheted rght into the hat.
This is a beginner's level of crochet. You need to to know the magic circle method of beginning and how to crochet a circle.
Your will Need:
1 skein each of Lion's brand Baby Wool (medium worsted/ 4) , pale pink(color A), ceam (color B) and a rose pink (Color C).
Crochet hook F ( or size to obtain gauge).
Gauge: 4 sts and 2.5 rows to the inch.
Stitches you will need to know: Double-crochet, single crochet, slip stitch
With Color A:
Start with a magic circle. But rather than suse single crochet stitches. Chain 2 and Double crochet 12 sititches into the circle. Once finished, tighten the circle. This closes it firmly at the top.
Round 1: Ch2,1 dc in the same place, 2Dc into each stitch. Slip stitch the last stitch to the fi=the top of the chain-2 for a total count of 24
Round 2: Ch2, *2 double crochet in next stitch, 1 double crochet in next stitch.* Repeat from *to* , slip stitch last stitch to top of chain-2 for a total of 36 stitches.
Round 3: Ch2, Chain 2, 1 double crochet in the same place, *1 double crochet in each of the next 2 stitches, 2 double crochet in next stitch.* Repeat from * to *, slip stitch last stitch to top of chain 2 for a total count of 48 stitches.
HINT: If your circle is not remaining flat. Tighten the magic circle or loosen it up a bit, either way may provide the necessary tension to flatten the circle. If this doesn't work, try using a different sized hook.
Round 4: Start with color B, Single crochet into next stitch, skip a stitch, 5 DC into next stitch, skip a stitch, * single crochet into the next stitch. Repeat from * to *. End with a slip stitch into the first single crochet.
Round 5: Switch to Color C:1HDC into first stitch, 1SC into next three stitches, 1 hdc into the next stitch and 1 DC into the next two. Repeat from * to *. Complete round with a slip stitch to the first single crochet. What you have essentially done is fill infall the spaces around the petals, so you ghould be looking at a flat circle again.
Round 6: Ch2, 1 dc into into the same space. 1dc into each stitch fro the entire round, end with a a slip stitch into the top of the Cha2. Repeat this round until the hat measure 7- 8 inches. Fasten off.
Weave in all tails.
This beanie is easy to adapt to a larger or smaller size. The petal count will be different, but simply star petal after Round 2 for a 0-6 months old hat or add a Round 5 of just pale pink to make it a toddler sized hat.