Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Despicable Me costumes

This year my girls wanted to do a group costume and this is what they came up with.

Meet Gru's girls.

Edith, Agnes, and Margo from Despicable Me

Love how it all came together.

Plaid skirt--we made this.
Thrifted jacket and white shirt
Add a graphic tee over top--she already had this
Bought dollar store wire frame readers and popped the lenses out.
Tennis shoes and socks
Hair back in a low ponytail.

We went with the Ninja version for ease of costuming
Black t-shirt and pants.
Nunchucks ($1 at the dollar store)
Pink striped stocking cap--knitted this up, winging it as we went but turned out great. Based on this pattern.
If you didn't have long blonde hair like my daughter you could easily throw a blonde wig on under the hat.

The unicorn is what makes it.
We found ours amazingly enough at the thrift store for $3.
Short overalls also thrift store purchase.
Yellow t-shirt w/ red stripes.  Made ours by painting the stripes onto a Michael's bought tee.
Ponytail on top of your head.  Later on we sprayed her hair black, but it wasn't for this picture.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Stretch Lace Skirt

I made this skirt for my second daughter.
She wanted a cream lace skirt.

This one is super easy.
T-shirt fabric with a stretch lace overlay and elastic waist.
Can't get much easier than that.


  • McCall's 6654--LOVE this pattern.  Lots of options for easy knit skirts--pencil or a-line and lots of different lengths.  View A/B option to get knee length.
  • Thrifted cream knit sheet
  • 1 yd. stretch lace--about $6/yd.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Crochet bar stool cover for a Friday Finds

My birthday was this week and really I need nothing---except some time and someone to buy our house.

I did ask my oldest daughter if she would be willing to make something for me for my birthday--as a test of the pattern and style.
Crochet stool cover out of knit fabric: Super clever idea to change the look of typical bar stools!
I saw this on Pinterest and knew she could do this for me.
I wanted to see if I would like it as much as I thought I would.

I cut the fabric yarn and she crocheted it.  Literally it probably only took her about a 1/2 hour total from start to finish.  Those are really large single crochet stitches--9 rounds is all you make.

We are super happy with how it turned out.

Much softer on the seat than straight wood.

I have enough fabric for another one and then I am thinking of what other color to choose--royal blue--or each stool a different color all together.  I have 4 stools, 2 short and 2 taller.  3 of them I got free off Craigslist and the other one for $1.99 at the thrift store = 50 cents apiece.  I am also debating on whether or not to paint the stools white and then have the colored cover.

They don't have a place in my current house, but I have plans for the future house, which amazingly is still available for sale.  I tell my husband that it is my house---just waiting for me.  However, all this house business is about to kill me....I just want my house sold.

  • Pattern instructions found here.
  • How to cut the fabric yarn here.  I thought that 2 1/2 yards of cut fabric sounded excessive, but really you do need that much to make this cover.
  • Green knit from the stash--about 6 yards that I bought at the thrift store for probably about $4.
  • Crochet hook Q--I went and bought one specifically for this project.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

First crochet project--the striped afghan

My #2 daughter (15 yrs. old) wanted to try her hand at a knitting or crochet project to fulfill a requirement for her Young Woman personal progress.  She decided that she wanted to make an afghan for one of her value projects. My mother makes afghans: usually for baby gifts, graduations, or weddings.  At times she will use up her extra yarn and make random striped ones and then gift them to a local charity for their needs.

I think the M. must've got the idea from her.

So for Christmas last year Santa gave her all the yarn she needed to make herself a striped afghan in the colors she wanted. She and Mrs. Claus had conversed about that beforehand.  She started working on it and at first was quite frustrated with the experience.  She is a bit of an A-type person so it doesn't make her too happy when it doesn't work out perfectly right away.  Nothing like picking a large project to complete for your first EVER project.

However, she persevered and it came more natural to her as time went on.

She would go in spurts with her crocheting and finally in August she finished her project.

Here she is sometime in March and in the middle of the project.

All completed.  She designed the striping herself and is thrilled with the end result.
I am happy she stuck to it and met her goal.

  • Finished dimensions 67 inches by 74 inches
  • Red Heart Super Saver yarn (7 oz skein) in White, Pumpkin--which is neon orange in my book, and Shocking Pink.  We think we remember having 4 skeins of each color.  For the white we may have only needed 3--guessing, 'cause we really can't remember.
  • Crochet hook size--guessing a G. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Finds

Here are a couple of my finds over the last couple of weeks.

After driving by this LARGE dumpster in front of a house at least 2 times in a couple days I decided to stop for this pair of chairs I could see the legs sticking out.  The dumpster was completely full of all sorts of stuff, mostly household stuff, but I just wanted the chairs.

I knocked on the door of the house more than a few times, but no one answered. Since it was in the dumpster I just took it.

Turned out it was only one chair---at least where I could get to.
The other legs belonged to the pedestal portion of a table.
No table top that I could see.

The chair is cool, and so was the pedestal, but I didn't want to think about figuring that part out.
I just took the chair.

Then a different week on a different street and after passing by a freebie pile in someone's front yard about 3 times in a couple days I decided to rescue a hexagon side table with a glass top.

I think I will put a wood piece on the bottom to make another shelf.  There might have been another glass piece there on the bottom, but it is now gone.  I may replace the glass top with wood too, but not sure just yet.  Here is an upcycle option I saw on Pinterest.

Last week hubby asked me if I went to the thrift store every day.
"No, just Tuesdays and Fridays on their 25% off days."
"Oh", he says, "it just seems like you go every day."
Maybe, but really I don't.

Funny thing about him though, the very next day he comes home and says to me, "Do you want a cedar chest?  There is one just around the block with a FREE sign on it."
I grabbed my shoes and off we went.
Now we have another cedar chest--hubby plans to give it to our daughter, which is certainly fine with me.

She was excited about it once she saw it after work and then they were doing some research on it and it turns out it is a Lane cedar lined chest that was made in July 1942--we know this from the serial number underneath.

It still has original paperwork inside attached to the lid--dated Jan. 1944. And the inside looks brand new.

Other than some glass water marks on the top and a slight crack on the inside drawer which can be easily glued together it really is in great shape, especially as old as it is.  Hubby says he doesn't think the owners knew what they had.  Probably not, but that's fine.  We'll take good care of it.

Just wish I knew some of its history.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

No more braces!!

This doesn't especially have anything to do with being creative, but we are celebrating the day as my daughter got her braces off this morning.

She looks gorgeous!!
I think she'll be smiling like this for some time.

We should all be smiling like this.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fall has arrived

After 3 straight days of 80 degree weather last week here in Minnesota, it appears that Fall has decided to make an appearance--and stay.  This week we are in the 60's and 40's in the morning at the bus stop.  Yep, that's Fall.

Usually I adore the Fall season.
Sleeping with the windows open.
Not needing the A/C or the furnace.
My birthday is less than 2 weeks away.
The cooler weather makes me happy.
The kids get creative and excited about Halloween costumes.
More firepit evenings.

This year it is going to be difficult.
Selling a house is not fun.
And when it doesn't sell in the time frame you would like it is even more less fun.

All my Fall decorations are in the back of the POD sitting in my driveway.

Somewhere WAY, WAY, WAY back there.
I'm pretty sure the Fall bins are up against the back wall of the POD.
That means about 6 layers back--top to bottom.
And unfortunately PODs don't come with both a front and a back door.

So the only decorations I have are these 2 ceramic pumpkins.

I only have these because when we went to visit my parents in August my mom decided to clean out her Fall and Winter bins and she was getting rid of these two.  I figured I could use them somewhere.

I actually looked at the thrift store today to see if I could find something inexpensive to decorate with.  I really don't want to buy new stuff, because I have stuff.  Not a lot, but I have stuff.

So maybe I'll go take a walk and find some fun weeds to cut and put in a container.
That might work.

Stay tuned for Christmas...if our house still hasn't sold by then it will be even more interesting.  The Christmas bins are right next to the Fall bins.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dandelion Jeans

When talking about "jeans" for daughter #3 we use that word loosely.  She will NOT wear store bought jeans--zip up the front, scratchy on the waist, unable to move, too much bulk in crotch region kind of jeans. That is her description of why she doesn't like them.  She will however wear denim pants that I make for her--i.e. loose fitting, elastic waist, and no butt pocket.

Recently she informed me that she didn't have any long pants for school.  Yeah, it has been a rough couple months around here.   I had bought her shorts for gym class--first year of middle school and all, but they were a bit big in the waist.  I knew that I wouldn't be able to buy her pants that were long enough but skinny enough to fit her body.  So I pulled a couple pieces of denim and chambray that I could find and cut out 4 pairs of pants.  I then tried to make them all a little bit different from each other so that people wouldn't think she was wearing the same pair of pants over and over and over and over again.

On the dark denim I asked her if I could do a little embroidery design.
She agreed.
I only did it on one leg because I didn't think I could duplicate it well enough on the second leg.  And really I was just winging it on the design and idea.  Maybe if I had a white washable fabric marker/pencil I could outline it and do it but she was fine with just one leg fancied up.

  • Thrifted fabric--about $3 for 3 yds. or more.  I got 2 pairs of pants out of the dark denim and 2 pants and a skirt out of the chambray piece.
  • McCalls 5135 and lengthened the pants a bunch.  The pattern is out of print.M5135
  • Used heavy thread (I think quilting thread) for the dandelion detailing.  I had practiced with regular thread and didn't think it stood out enough.

Double Knotted Lattice Cabled Scarf

I made this scarf for one of my nieces for college.
This is the last one for the 3 that just graduated this year.

She is currently attending BYU-Idaho, where it gets awfully chilly.
Last week I happened to see that they already had had their first FREEZE advisory for the overnight.

  • Pattern found here.
  • 2 skeins Red Heart Soft in Navy. (The color is a little off in the pictures she sent me.)
Beautiful free knitting pattern from Ravelry. Double Knotted Cable Scarf

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Another cable scarf

I made this scarf for my niece who is a freshman at the University of Nebraksa--go Huskers!!! ( our mom and youngest brother are hardcore Husker fans)
She needed some cold weather team spirit gear.
This ought to fill the bill.

Cast on 46 w/ size 8 needles

Row 1: K1, p1, k1, k12, p2, k12, p2, k12,  k1, p1, k1
Row 2: K1, p1, k1, p12, k2, p12, k2, p12, k1, p1, k1
Row 3: repeat row 1
Row 4: repeat row 2
Row 5: K1, p1, k1,  k4, C8B, p2, k4 C8B, p2, k4, C8B, k1, p1, k1
Row 6: repeat row 2
Row 7: repeat row 1
Row 8: repeat row 2
Row 9: repeat row 1
Row 10: repeat row 2
Row 11: K1, p1, k1, C8F, k4, p2, C8F, k4, p2, C8F, k4, k1, p1, k1
Row 12: repeat row 2

Continue repeating rows 1-12 until desired length and then cast off.

  • Original pattern inspiration here.  I modified it some--adding a side border as well as lengthened out the distance between cables.
  • 2 skeins Red Heart Soft in Wine (I prefer a blue/red over an orange/red most of the time).  And my niece has similar coloring to my #2 daughter here)
  • Finished dimensions:  oops!! forgot to take them before I packaged it up to send.  About 6 inches wide and probably close to 70 inches as you can wrap it around your neck once.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Londinium Scarf

I had thoughts of giving this scarf away as a gift, until I was into it awhile.
This pattern is rather intense and I decided someone else may not appreciate the effort it took to make it.  So the girls and I will share it.

It ended up being quite thick and cozy.

  • Pattern from Smariek Knits--Londinium Scarf.  If you like intense amounts of cables this site has lots of free patterns.
  • I eliminated 1 column of cables from the original pattern as I wasn't sure I wanted it that wide and I also wasn't sure I could make it as long as I wanted with only 2 skeins if I kept the original width.
  • 2 skeins Red Heart Soft in Turquoise.
  • Finished dimensions 5 inches by 74 inches.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Boyfriend Scarf Version #2

I've made this pattern once before, earlier in the year.  Then daughter #2 decided she'd like one and so this is hers.  I've had it done for awhile, just didn't get around to taking pics, and then it was Summer, and then we got going selling our house.  The list goes on.

However, the weather here is now turning cooler and so I thought I'd post these scarves I've made.

Daughter #1 doing the modeling.

This is a super easy cable pattern.  Great for beginning cablers I think.


  • Pattern found online here or in the book "Chic Knits" by Phuong My Ly, pg. 59.
  • 2 skeins Red Heart Soft in Tangerine.
  • Finished dimensions 7 inches by 76 inches.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Rambling Cable Design Scarf

This may be my favorite cable knit pattern of all time.
Because you don't have to think, count, or keep track of anything.
You just place a cable wherever you feel like it, whenever you want.
The whole time I was working on this scarf I kept thinking that this is a great pattern to learn how to make cables, because really you just make them when you feel like and you're not going to screw up any pattern or design.

Rambling - cable knit scarf... just put the cables whenever and wherever you feel like for a rambling improv cabled scarf.  Great idea!
Picture source here

Make them as big or as little as you like and as often as you'd like.

My oldest daughter is a little random herself.
So this design was right up her alley.
It was a toss up between this design and this pattern.

My version for my daughter.

  • Pattern here or here.
  • I added more edge border on mine---5 stitch seed stitch on each side of the cable rows.  Cast on accordingly.
  • 2 skeins Red Heart Soft yarn in Teal
  • Size 9 circular needles.
  • Finished dimensions 6 1/2 inches by 76 inches.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Double Cable Scarf

My oldest daughter and her BFF are heading to BYU-Idaho in January.
It is located in Rexburg, ID--nicknamed "Iceburg".
No kidding!

I went there myself back in the day and there was snow on the ground from October to April---straight.
No melting and 6 ft. drifts near my apartment.
Even though they are both Minnesota girls and used to cold weather they are going to need some warm gear.

Double Cable Scarf | Flickr - Going to make this one for daughter's best friend for graduation--eggplant color.  So scrumpious!
Source here

I made this scarf for BFF as her going to college present.
She LOVES purple and this color is just gorgeous!

  • Finished dimensions 7 inches by 72 inches.
  • Pattern from Vogue Knitting on the Go: Cables, pg, 26-29.  
  • 2 skeins Red Heart Soft in Grape
  • Amazingly I didn't make any changes to the pattern.  I did, however, rewrite the abbreviations somewhat so I could read it easier.  That is the one thing about cables, it seems there are a number of abbreviations that can be used for the same stitch.  i.e. 4-st RC is the same as CB2

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Finds

A couple weeks ago I had my #2 daughter with me and we stopped at the thrift store to browse around. This is NOT one of her favorite things to do.  But she will go with me from time to time.

I go enough that I have my "routine" of where I look and which aisles, etc.

First up is furniture.
On this particular day we saw this beautiful desk with some fabulous scrolling and cabriole legs and even a cute bench to go with.
Just no price tag.
That always scares me.
I figured they would probably mark it at $50 or $100 because it was in really nice shape.

We walked around and checked out the rest of my spots and then came back and there was the desk still sitting there.  I made her stand by the desk while I found someone.

I asked one of the workers if they knew how much it was and when they couldn't find a price tag either they called someone else over, who left to go get a price.

Lo and behold I about died when he slapped on the tag and it was $29.99!!!!

That meant it was only going to be $22.50 because it was 25% off day.

We bought it and while I was waiting for someone to write up the slip a different worker came to ask if we were getting it because someone else had been asking about it.

Yes, we are buying it.
Daughter #2 decided she should have it for her new room in the new house that we still don't have yet.
I agreed she could have it.

Isn't it cool?!
No broken drawers.
No missing scroll work.

Great feet.
And a bench to go with.

That cushion will be super easy to change out. We'll have to be on the hunt for a fun piece of fabric.

We are thinking of leaving the top of the desk dark wood and then painting the rest a cream color and distressing it a bit.

There's my one big happy find for this week.
I am trying to do other things besides accumulate things.
I better get back to my sewing machine.
Enjoy your weekend.
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