Photo of the Week

Happy New Years Eve!

It was snowy and cold all week long, so when the sun managed to peek out for a few minutes I got a shot of the ice cycles on my house :)

I'm kind of glad to see the end of this year.  It was a big, busy, and stressful year for us.  We bought our first home and handled the many home-repair projects that came our way.  It was stressful, but also good.  But the reason why I'm the most ready to start a new year is to see if this will finally be the year that I get a handle on the migraines so I can live my life again.  Last year was better for the migraines, but not as good as I had hoped.  I'm now trying to get off medication, (as torturous as it is), to see how I'll do.  So this is to 2013... may it be less full of migraines and more full of fun!

Christmas Paintings

Now that Christmas presents have been opened, it's safe to post these paintings I made for my sister.

Another Japanese Quince and....

A custom watercolor portrait of the cute couple!  

I have a tutorial HERE, if you want to try your hand at making your own portraits, but I am also considering offering to make custom watercolor portraits through my Etsy shop.  What do you think?  Would anyone go for these?

The Old Broken Down Bus

Hey there! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  Probably a lot of you are still partying and hanging out with family.  I would be too if my hubby didn't have to go back to work! It's just me and the little guy hanging out today.  At least we've got a new game of monopoly and more candy than we know what to do with to keep us occupied :)

So, I came across this little beauty while driving around my home town last spring.  It must have been in the junk yard for for-ev-er, but it had some awesome colors and rusting going on.  I snapped a quick photo because I knew I had to paint it one day... and that day has arrived.

Here's my watercolor illustration version of the old broken down bus.

Who says junk yards can't be beautiful?

Free Shell Infinity Scarf Pattern

Shell Stitch Crochet Infinity Scarf

It's here!  A little early Christmas present for you... the Free Shell Infinity Scarf Pattern! 
Shell Stitch Crochet Infinity Scarf
Shell Stitch Crochet Infinity Scarf

Materials:          Worsted Weight Yarn: I used  Red Heart Super Saver Medium (4) Yarn                                                                                   
                           Size  I/9– 5.50 MM Hook
                           Yarn Needle

Abbreviations:   sc= single crochet
                            dc= double crochet

Row 1:  Chain 20,  sc in second chain from hook, *skip 2 chain 5 dc in next chain, skip 2 chain, sc in next chain.  Repeat from * 2 more times. Turn.  (3 shells)

Row 2:  Chain 3, 2 dc in first sc, *skip 2 dc, sc in next dc, skip 2 dc, 5 dc in next sc.  Repeat from * 1 more time, then skip 2 dc, sc in next  dc, skip 2 dc, 3 dc in last sc. Turn. (2 full shells, and 2 1/2 shells)

Row 3: Chain 1, sc in first dc, *skip 2 dc, 5 dc in next sc, skip 2 dc, sc in next dc. Repeat from * 2 times more.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 (turning each row) until you make 94 rows or until your scarf is 52 inches long.  Fasten off, leaving a long tail end. Using your yarn needle and the long tail end, stitch the two ends together with a whip stitch. 
Fasten off and weave in ends.

Merry Christmas and happy crocheting!

Photos of the Week

Winter is challenging for me.  I don't like too much snow or cold.  And it's hard to find anything green to take photos of.  I have to really search for it.  But it's good in a way.  I find beauty in things I would otherwise take for granted.... like the moss growing on my cherry tree.   It caught my eye while playing outside in the snow with my son.  The warm sunlight was melting the snow on the tree and bringing out the vibrant colors of the moss.  I had to capture it.... and so I did :)

In the Works

I've been working on a few crochet items and I have a new free pattern in the works.  Yay!

First is another shell stitch hat,  I've  already posted a free pattern for this one.

Next is a shell infinity scarf.  Stay tuned for the free pattern.  It's coming soon!

Another Use for Junk Mail

Making Junk Mail Paper Snowflakes for Holiday Decor

I recently discovered something to make with junk mail... snowflakes!  That's what I did over the weekend.  It feels good to make something beautiful of all that extra paper that would otherwise be thrown away!

Many thanks to Michelle of Michelle Made Me for the idea and the awesome tutorial.  I had completely forgotten how to make snowflakes.  So this tutorial is appreciated :)

Making Junk Mail Paper Snowflakes for Holiday Decor

The snowflakes are now taped to my windows.  The colors really show when the sun shines through them.   I could look at them all day!  

Making Junk Mail Paper Snowflakes for Holiday Decor
Making Junk Mail Paper Snowflakes for Holiday Decor

Frosted Twig Holiday Bouquet Tutorial

DIY Frosted Twig Holiday Bouquet
DIY Frosted Twig Holiday Bouquet

Two tutorials in one week.... that's right! I'm on a roll here.  Frosting stuff with Epsom salts is slightly addicting.  I couldn't just frost pine cones and leave it at that.  I had to try it out on some twigs too.  Turns out they look lovely as a bouquet on my kitchen table :)

Please enjoy this simple tutorial for making a frosted twig bouquet:

Twigs: washed and dried
Spray Paint ( I used Krylon Metallic Gold spray paint)
Elmer's Glue
Epsom Salt

Step 1: Lay out your twigs and spray paint them all over.  Let dry.
DIY Frosted Twig Holiday BouquetGolden Painted Twigs

 Step 2:  Apply glue to the areas of the twig that you want "frosted".  I left the bottoms plain because they were going in a vase anyway.

Step 3:  Immediately sprinkle Epsom salts over the glued parts of your twigs.  It's best to do this over a large pan as it is quite messy :)

Gluing Epsom Salts to Twigs

Step 4:  Let the salt dry on the twigs and then place them in a vase to enjoy!

Golden Frosted Holiday Twig Decor
DIY Frosted Twig Holiday Bouquet
Golden Frosted Holiday Twig Decor

Frosted Holiday Pine Cones Tutorial

Frosted Holiday Pine Cone Tutorial

I saw these lovely acorns on Carolyn's Homework and was so inspired I decided to try out the same technique on pine cones.  Thank goodness I had tons left over from last year!

Here's how I made them:

Pine Cones
Spray Paint
Acrylic Craft Paint
Foam Brush
Modge Podge, or Elmer's Glue
Epsom Salt

Step 1:  Wash and dry your pine cones. You can even bake them in the oven to make sure they're really clean :)

Step 2: Give the pine cones a coat of spray paint in the color of your choice.  Let dry.

Step 3: Lightly brush various colors of acrylic craft paint onto the tips of the pine cones and let dry.
 (This is optional. The pine cones still look great without this step, but this gives them a little extra something.)

Spray Painted Pine Cones
Blue Pine Cone

Step 4:  Brush on some Modge Podge or Elmer's Glue onto the tips and bottom of the pine cone.  

Step 5:  Immediately roll the modge-podged pine cone in a bowl of Epsom Salt to "frost" the edges.
Epsom Salt Frosted Fine Cones

Step 6:  Let the modge podge and salts dry on the pine cone.  Gently shake the pine cones to remove loose salt.
Epsom Salt Frosted Fine Cones

Now that I've made all these little beauties, I'm trying to figure out how best to use them.  A wreath maybe?  These can be messy so I'm not sure. I may just leave some out in a nice bowl on the table instead :)
Painted and Frosted Pine Cones
Painted and Frosted Pine Cones