Category Archives: Crafty

Headbands & Flowers, or Having daughters is so much fun!

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This post is actually about my most recent crochet projects, but since I was able to do them for my own daughters, & the projects are uber cute & feminine, they just remind me again how much I love having girls!

I’m certainly not knockin’ the boys. Quite frankly, I’m terrified to ever have any. hahaha With both girls, I was hoping for boys, but God knew my nerves probably couldn’t handle it. If God ever blesses me with a boy, I’m not sure who the joke will be on.

Anyway.

I haven’t worked on anything crochet in a few weeks, but here are some super fun, super easy, super cute head accoutrements that any little girl can be proud to wear. You might say, these projects are super.

First, since I crocheted the beanie for my toddler, I had to make something for my little baby to also show off her cutey style. I searched far & wide on Ravelry, & settled on Audrey’s Easy Baby Headband!

Yeah, I know…super cute, right?

The pattern for both headband & flower are included together, & both are perfect for a beginner. Thank you, Audrey!!!

This was easy to crochet & didn’t take a lot of time. The pattern is for babies, but I think it’d be really easy to add some stitches to make it longer for the toddler.

Two patterns combine for cuteness overload.

What you probably can’t tell is that the flower is all one piece. I was really intimidated to try it, but Audrey provided easy instructions that I was able to follow with minimal trouble. This was my first flower ever, & I’m addicted. I want to put flowers on everything!!!

So I am.

Remember I said I crocheted & attached a flower to the toddler’s beanie? Well, I did say it, & I promised a picture & a link.

My toddler LOVES it when Mommy crochets for her.

Again, I found the flower pattern on Ravelry while browsing. Thanks to Megan for this super cute flower & easy pattern! There are actually 10 flower patterns there, but the one above is the first pattern, Seven Pointed Leaf Blossom. I didn’t have a button with which to attach it to the beanie, so I just did a whipstitch, like the one on the headband. I also really loved Megan’s headband, but since it’s a for-purchase pattern, I’ll probably never do it. Who knows, though.

If you’re a beginner, like me, these patterns are great for practicing stitches & branching into new territory while reading a pattern. They’re challenging without being overwhelming. I’m planning on making another headband for a friend who’s having her first daughter. Hmmm…maybe purple?

So there you go. If I can do it, you totally can do it. Enjoy my baby’s stylish cuteness on your way out!

Behold! Uber, feminine, baby cuteness.

Easy Peasy Crochet Beanies

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I completed another project (actually a few more), so I’m gonna show off my second project.

This using-videos-to-learn-to-crochet thing is genius!

Check out this video on YouTube to get started on your very own crochet beanie:

Bobwilson123 has tons of great, easy-to-follow crochet videos that will help you make some cool projects while learning different techniques. So head over to YouTube to thank her & give some love.

Thank you, Clare, for your awesome videos!!! For more of Clare, check out her blog.

So for my second project (right after the lovely dishcloth we admired previously), I tackled this video with Clare to make a fun beanie for my toddler.

It went surprisingly well!

Clare is very clear & takes her time as she takes you step-by-step through the process. I simply paused the video if she started to move on to another row before I was ready.

In this video, I learned to double crochet, increase, & use a marker, among other things. And I got a cute hat out of it!

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

And, of course, the toddler was pleased beyond words.

The toddler was so pleased that Mommy made her a hat. It was my pleasure. :-)

I’ve since crocheted a flower & attached it to the hat. It’s very cute & easy to do. I’ll add a pic of it later, along with the link for the pattern.

Also, if you’re really loving the crochet thing, go check out Ravelry. It’s a hooker’s dream. hehehe

The Pressures of…Pinterest?

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What did breastfeeding women do before Pinterest?

I admit it. I sit in front of my computer while nursing my newest addition & gleefully click away on what I like to call “the happiest place on the interwebs.”

My newest addition. Pretty cute, huh?

Now I know that everyone says breastfeeding time should be spent bonding with Baby, but perhaps they had babies who actually looked at them while sucking the life from their chests.

I do not.

Neither of my children ever looked at me. Not once. So I busy myself with other aimless pursuits, like Pinterest. And I’m totally ok with that.

Recently a blog post  has been circulating Facebook about the pressures moms face these days from the internet, namely Pinterest and blogs. Pressure to complete crafts and projects. Pressure to do and be some superwoman who sews all her children’s clothes and makes fun, interesting, healthy snacks (no goldfish for you!) and does creative crafts with her kids that both teach & entertain and decorates her house with old toilet paper rolls & shipping pallets and maintains a girlish figure in designer clothes.

Click the pic to go to the blog post how-to at http://matsutakeblog.blogspot.com.

And I get the point of the blog. I really do. Because we’ve all felt the pressure, and it’s easy to sometimes forget the most important thing we can do as mothers is make our children feel seen, loved, cherished, and important.

BUT…

I can’t help but feel that Pinterest (along with most things on the Internet) got a bit of a bad rap.

Maybe I’m being a bit sensitive,,,it’s been known to happen…but I don’t think so.

Because I think moms were feeling the pressure long before Pinterest or Facebook or blogs ever came along. The pressure was there before the parenting magazines were arriving in our mailboxes. Women in the ’50s felt the pressure so much, they took drugs to be the wives and mothers they felt they should be.

Check out http://ramblingasusual.blogspot.com for this & other posts. BTW, I’m totally doing this in my laundry room.

I think the real issue comes down to our hearts. The state of our hearts.

When we can accept that not being perfect is ok, that completing countless projects & crafts doesn’t make us better mothers or people, and that love isn’t measured by toilet paper rolls turned into stunning works of decorative art, then we can let the pressure roll off our shoulders and simply enjoy the wonders of motherhood.

Go to http://ivaalex.blogspot.com to get the how-to on this lovely TP roll wreath.

I know that my pride & insecurities can result in comparing myself to other moms and me wanting to measure up to the expectations we all feel. But when I step back and simply look at my children, I realize that they are happy, they feel safe & secure, and they just want to spend time with me, doing what I do (good or bad, so I’ve got to watch it).

It’s when I shake off the expectations that then I can be the mother of MY children. Because my children are different than all the other children out there. My children need different things. They learn in different ways. They enjoy different activities. They are unique individuals whom I know better than anyone else does.

You see, I don’t have to do everything the other moms are doing. I just have to do the things my children need and respond to.

While Pinteresting, I just might stumble across something that I want to bring into real life…and then I can. Or I might find instructions for a project I’ve been wanting to do but wasn’t sure how. Or I might find a recipe that actually fits into my limited skills and is tasty & healthy to boot. Or I might find an image that fills my heart with peace or a quote or verse that soothes my restless spirit.

Click the link to check out http://tinywhitedaisies.tumblr.com.

Or I might just spend 20 minutes (while my child refuses to acknowledge me beyond my breasts) enjoying pretty pictures. Score!

And actually, I have made a few of the recipes I’ve found on Pinterest. It made me feel good to give my family something new and made me feel encouraged to have a new meal in my box of tricks. (I’ll post some reviews with links later.) However, I feel no guilt about the plethora of other recipes I’ve pinned and haven’t tried.

My point is, whether we Pinterest or not, none of us need be slaves to the pressures of society or blogs or how our moms did things or whatever. We can’t do anything about what those around us say or expect.

But we CAN each study our own hearts and identify the unreal expectations we place on ourselves. Really, isn’t the pressure we feel just a result of our own internal monologue pointing out when we haven’t been the wife, mother or woman WE think we should be?


Maybe I’m all wet. Maybe none of this really applies to anyone else. But I know it’s true for me.

I’m learning that I don’t have to be perfect. There is room for improvement, always, and I try to consider those things honestly. But I’m confident that none of those things will be repaired or improved by a new craft, outfit or dinner. Those things are temporary and fleeting.

You know what’s permanent? The fact that God determined that I am the best mother for my children. He decided that I was exactly what they need, and He will give me what I need to fulfill my role. Pinterest can’t do that.

Found this on Pinterest, uploaded by user, & it makes me feel good. Would love to give credit!

So I’ll continue to enjoy my Pinteresting and the creativity of others. I will continue to happily pin all the meals I’ll never make and all the crafts I’ll never craft and all the clothes I’ll never wear and all the vacation destinations I’ll never visit, and I will smile all the while. Because who knows?

Life is full of surprises.

You can follow me on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/MommyLearns/.

Potholders & Beanies & Baby Booties

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I decided it’s time to learn to crochet, so last week I hopped on YouTube & found me some video tutorials.

I’ve done cross stitch since I was in 4th grade (I’m not saying how many decades that is, so don’t ask). It’s nice to think that plays into my ability to pick up on other hand crafts, but who knows?

Regardless, I found an awesome 2-part video tutorial:

 

Obviously, I had nothing to do with making this video, so please go by YouTube & watch it, like it, & comment on it there, because Donna (www.naztazia.com) did an absolutely fabulous job with this.

Thanks, Donna!

By working along with the video above, I was able to crochet a potholder in about 2 hours. Considering I’ve not crocheted since the one (& only) time my grandma tried (& failed) to teach me during a long RV ride cross country one summer (many, many moons ago), I was pretty impressed.

The Dishcloth...or Washcloth...or Something

Snicker if you must, but I'm pretty proud of this thing.

So there you have it. Proof.

I have learned to tie a slip knot, chain a row, single crochet 20 rows (I think), tie off, & weave the leftover threads into my work (I did that after I took this pic).

So if you’ve been tempted to try crochet or tried at one point & quit, the above video is a great intro to the craft.

I just did this Saturday night (yes, this is what I do on Saturday nights now), & Sunday, I started an adorable beanie for my toddler! I actually finished it early Monday morning, & the toddler loves it! I’ll blog about it later.

I’m currently trying my hand at some baby booties. That might take me a bit longer, but I’ll let you know when it’s done.

So, no more excuses. Go find that H hook & some pretty yarn, & sit down with a cup of tea & this tutorial.

Good times.