Photo of the Week

I'm having so much fun with the zoom on my new camera.  If you can zoom in to the right spot where there is a little green, it doesn't seem like the photo was taken in the winter when almost everything is brown.

I take the green around me for granted in the summer, but in the winter I find myself looking for even the tiniest amount of green to latch onto and be happy about.  Green means life and life is a happy thing!

Butterfly Notebook

I'm sensing a butterfly theme here this week... it's a coincidence really.  I just happened to have a bunch of small paper butterflies from my butterflies on the wall project and I also just happened to have a small journal my husband got from work.  He didn't want it, so he agreed to let me make it girly :)

What would I do without fun scrapbook paper and modge podge?!  I might just shrivel up and die because you can do so many things with it.  It would be such a shame if such things did not exist.

New Butterfly

I finished another butterfly painting, making three of them in all!  I'm still planning to paint more.  They look good as a series and they are fun to paint :) 

I just listed this one in my Etsy Shop along with the others.... click here to see them all. 

If no one ends up buying them, I'll be giving them away as gifts or hanging them up in my own home (hopefully). We are in the process of looking for our first home at the moment and it's a crazy, exciting, and stressful process.  But I can't wait to finally have our own space to decorate and customize as we please!

Photo of the Week

I had a little photo shoot with my Valentine's flowers... aren't they pretty?!    I love the look of flower petals with sun shining through them :)

Hometown Landscape in Oils

Last weekend I got out my oil paints for the first time in months.  I was almost scared that I had forgotten how to paint in oils, but once I got going, it came back to me quickly. Thank goodness!

This is my second version of the pond I grew up around in rural Arizona.  I can't decide if I like the watercolor or the oil version better.

Which do you like best?

Shell Stitch Crochet Hat- Free Pattern

A Happy Valentines Day to all!  I hope you are feeling loved and showing some love today :)

To celebrate, I'm sharing a little something I've been working on for almost a month now-  a crochet hat pattern!

This is my first official pattern, so I had to make three hats times to make sure I had it written correctly.  But now it's finished and I'm sharing it with all you crocheters out there for free!  

Womens Crochet Flower Hat

Shell Flower Hat Pattern
This pattern is for non-profit and personal use only.  Please do not redistribute or sell this pattern as your own.

Size: Woman’s medium 20 inch
(stretches 2 inches).

Worsted Weight Yarn
Size US H (5.0 mm) crochet hook
Yarn needle

ch= chain
dc= double crochet
st= stitch
sl st = slip stitch

sc= single crochet

·         Beginning ch 2 counts as a dc.
·         Rounds 8,10,12 are worked with the ch 2 and 2 dc as the beginning of the first shell.  The final 2 dc are worked in the sl st of the previous row to complete the first shell.
·         At the end of row 6, the diameter of your hat should be approx. 7 ½ in.
·         The length of the finished hat should be about 7 ½ inch as well.

Round 1: Ch 3, 12 dc in 3rd chain from hook. Join with sl st to 1st dc. [ 12 dc ]

Round 2: Ch 2, 1 dc in same st as join, 2dc in each st around. Join with sl st to 1st dc.   [ 24 dc ]

Round 3: Ch 2, 1 dc in same st as join. * 2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next st. Repeat from * around. Ending with 2dc in last st.  Join with sl st to 1st dc. [ 36 dc ]

Round 4: Ch 2, 1 dc in same st as join. * 2dc in next st, 1 dc in next 2 sts. Repeat from *around. Ending with 2 dc in last st. Join with sl st in 1st dc. [ 48 dc ]

Round 5: Ch 2, 2 dc in same st as join. * 1 dc in next 3 sts, 2 dc in next st. Repeat from *around.  Ending with 1 dc in last 2 sts.  Join with a sl st in 1st dc.
[ 60 dc ].

For Rounds 6-12, join at ch 2 instead of 1st dc.

Round 6: Ch 2, 1dc in same st as join.  1 dc in each st around.  Join with sl st to top of ch 2. [ 60 dc ]

Round 7: Ch 2, skip 2 sts, 5 dc in next st. * Skip 2 sts, 1 dc in next st. Skip 2 sts, 5 dc in next st. Repeat from * around, sl st in top of ch 2.

Round 8: Ch 2, 2 dc in same stitch as join.  Skip 2 sts, dc in next st, skip 2 sts. *5 dc in next st, skip 2 sts, dc in next st, skip 2 sts. Repeat from * around.  End with 2 dc in the sl st of the previous row (to complete the 1st shell).  Join with sl st to top of  ch 2.

Round 9-12:  Repeat Rounds 7 & 8, alternating

Rounds 13, 14 & 15: Ch 1, sc in same st as join.  Sc in each st around. Sl st  in top of first sc. [60 sc ]

Fasten off and weave in loose ends.

Use an H Hook

Ch 5, sl st to 1st ch to form ring.

1st Layer
Rnd 1:  Ch 7 (counts as dc, ch-4 sp), [ 2dc in ring, ch 4] 5 times, dc in ring, sl st in 3rd ch of beg. Ch 7, do not turn -12dc.
Rnd 2:  [Sl st, sc, hdc, 4dc, hdc, sc, sl st] in each ch-sp around- 30dc.

2nd Layer
Rnd 1:  ch 1, [sc around 1st dc post from round 1, ch 3], repeat around 1st dc of remaining dc sets around, sl st in 1st sc.   – 6 ch 3 spaces
Rnd 2: [sc, hdc, 3dc, hdc, sc] in each space. Sl st in 1st sc. -18dc

Fasten off.  Weave in ends.

Happy Crocheting!  And, as a note, please do not use my pattern to make items to sell and Please do not redistribute or sell this pattern as your own. Thanks :)

Photo of the Week

This is what happens when my son get's his play dough out and I get my camera :)

Wishing you all a Happy Valentine's Day tomorrow! 

A Look at my Sketchbook

I took a little trip to the park at Daybreak last week with my son and got a little sketching in while he was playing!  Drawing outside really makes me happy :)

Starched Yarn Hearts

Starched Yarn Valentines Hearts

I decided to try out a new craft idea I discovered at the Disney Family Fun website..... Starched Yarn Hearts!   I thought my three-year-old would want to help me make these, but alas, he was more interested in playing with water in the sink.  Kids are funny that way!

I think they turned out ok in the end, but man, this was a HUGE mess to make.  The instructions basically involve combining cornstarch and water, dipping pieces of string in the starch and shaping them into hearts using a cookie cutter.  Great concept, but the starch stuff was incredibly messy and once it cooled, it turned into huge globs.  At that point it was pretty hard to get the string saturated. 

So, if you want to try this one out, consider yourself warned.. It's Messy!  I also had to adjust the cornstarch/ water ratio.  I used 1 1/2 cups of water for 1/4 cup of cornstarch.  I've heard of others using fabric stiffener or even Elmer's glue.  Those probably work better.

Starched Yarn Valentines Hearts

I let the hearts dry for a good 24 hrs on some parchment paper and then strung them up for some simple Valentine's decor for my apartment.  I actually had more fun photographing them than making them- hehe!

Valentine's Craft: Starched Yarn Hearts
Valentine's Craft: Starched Yarn Hearts

Photo of the Week

“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”  -Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Valentine Goodies: Bookmarks

I've had all these left over scraps of watercolor paper laying around and up until last night, I had no idea what to do with them.  But, being the saver of junk that I am, I kept those lovely little papers knowing they would come in handy one day..... and they did!   Take a look....

......bookmarks made with stamps, colored pencil, colored paper, and ink on watercolor paper!  I even laminated them using packing tape. 

 I know that good old fashioned bookmarks may be becoming extinct since the birth of e-readers and tablets, but I still like them.  I use my husband's kindle every once in a while, but I  will never give up reading physical books and using physical bookmarks.  There's something satisfying about handling an actual book and turning actual pages.