Thursday, February 28

Crochet-Along: Hey Cupcake

There were three patterns to choose from for The Curious Pug's February Crochet-Along: a cupcake, an envelope, and a "danish heart." I initially chose to make the danish heart, but after seeing how cute everyone's cupcakes turned out, I had to give that a try too! 
I whipped up this little cupcake last night in less than two hours, easy. I had read that using different types of yarn made matching up the base with the "frosting" tricky, but what can I say? I'm a rebel. I used Lily Sugar n' Cream yarn in Natural Ombre for the base, and Loops & Threads Impeccable in Aqua for the frosting. While both are medium weight yarns, they worked up differently in terms of thickness. 
Because I can't leave well enough alone, I altered the pattern a bit. At round 8, rather than during a third row of 30 sts, I increased to 36 {*sc in next 4 sts, 2 sc in next st* around}, then again to 40 in round 9 {*sc in next 8 sts, 2 sc in next st* around}. Then, for the scallop, rather than 5 dc, I did 5 hdc. The double crochet was a bit too much for me.
I love Erica's super cute cupcake with bugle beads for sprinkles, and Alycia added an adorable "cherry!" Unfortunately  I didn't have any cute beads for sprinkles, so I embroidered some simple sprinkles on top with contrasting yarn, aww. Looks good enough to eat, right? But I mean, don't. Because it's full of stuffing... I'll be back tomorrow with photos and details on my danish heart project, too!
let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // rss

Wednesday, February 27

Seven Goals

Would you believe me if I told you I'd been "planning" this post since the new year? Because, I mean... I realize that it's a little late.

I like lists. I like numbers. I like lists with numbers that seem "significant"... So I wanted to make a list of "13 Goals for 2013." But truth be told, I couldn't think of 13 whole goals. So I just stopped at seven, and still, Scotty has been critiquing my goal "quality." He says that finishing college shouldn't be on my list, but I argue that that is like, an ultimate goal... So WHATEVER BOYFRIEND. ;)
  1. Finish College -- GRADUATING IN DECEMBER!
  2. Finish my half-finished projects -- I have way too many... 
  3. Decorate fully & intentionally -- I've pretty much given up on my current apartment and accepted it for what it is, but when I move this summer, I want to go about decorating in a much more intentional way. 
  4. Learn at least six new skills -- I've got some things in mind that I've been wanting to try for a while, and I'm excited to actually do it. (knitting, anyone?)
  5. Develop a real "line" of products for my Etsy shop -- I make a lot of stuff, but again, I want to increase the intentionality in my product design.
  6. Make {and actually go to} appointments for things -- This one may be a little weird, and in fact it may make you think I'm  a weirdo who must be in some sorry state of being, but I never go to appointments like doctor check-ups, dental cleanings, the chiropractor, hairstylists... I make appointments, and then forget about them. Or I don't have dental insurance, and don't want to shell out a bunch of money to have a hygienist tell me I'm brushing successfully... But regardless, I am long over due for such appointments, and am going to attend them all this year!! 
  7. Improve my health in such a way that I feel comfortable and confident in calling myself a healthy person -- I have spent too much time worrying about numbers on the scale and on my clothing labels, and am ready to just feel better about my health overall. Can I get an amen?!
I think these are pretty accomplishable and relatively simple goals. What are your goals for the year? Or even just a goal for right now? 
let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // rss

Saturday, February 23

Granny Blanket Work-in-Progress

 After my post about all those beautiful granny square projects out there, I decided to take a good look at my blanket project that I had mentioned. This is all my progress so far. I started this blanket the first time I watched Veronica Mars on Netflix (I've watched the whole series at least twice since then!). I think I had just gotten my tonsils out, or maybe my wisdom teeth. Whichever. Regardless, I haven't worked on it since, save a square or two here and there.

I'm using the "join-as-you-go" method, which is fantastic for two reasons. For one, it means that I won't end up with a giant basket of squares needing to be assembled just when I finally think I'm done. It also means that I get to actually see my progress as I work which makes me feel like I'm really building a blanket piece by piece. 

A week or so ago, boyfriend saw a loose end poking out of one of the square and he CUT IT OFF. Now the square is unraveling, ha! Oops. Silly boyfriend. He is now under strict instructions to keep all scissors away from my yarn. ;) Ever happened to you? 

Obviously it's multicolored, and there really isn't a color scheme. I'm using Vana's Choice by Lion Brand, which used to be practically all I'd crochet with. I love how soft it is, and the slightly muted tones work well together. It's admitedly a lot of color, so I'm not sure how big it can really be without getting overwhelming. Right now, I tend to drape it over chair backs for a pop of color and maybe a little cushioning. I kind of love it. ;) 

What do you think of my tiny "blanket?" Are you working on any big projects right now? I'd love to see! 
let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // rss

Thursday, February 21

Craft Envy: Granny Squares

1 // 2 // 3 // 4
It's amazing how much your tastes change as time passes, am I right? I used to hate granny square crochet... Then I liked it for a hot second. Then I got over it again. And now I'm obsessed. I actually started a crochet afghan made from granny hexagons a few years ago, and have made very little progress. Oops.

In addition to finishing that blanket (someday), I'd really like to try new granny patterns, and maybe a granny square pillow, aww! All these grannies are totally inspiring me right now. I love the colors and the patterns.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Have you made a granny square project? How do you feel about granny patterns?

P.S. I just recently signed up on Ravelry & am loving it! If you knit or crochet, you should totally join, and if you're already a member, look me up! I'm loving looking at everyone's projects and sharing my own. :))
let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // rss

Saturday, February 16

Snapshots ♥

I like Love Day. I was sort of sicky during the day, but dolled myself up for a nice night out with my man. We went to a "hot tub garden," which admittedly sounds like it could be sketchy, but it was actually really nice! You get a private room with a little dressing area and shower. It was fun to do something different, and few things are more relaxing than a nice hot tub soak. Afterward we went to a BBQ place in downtown Ann Arbor and I ate delicious brisket, mmm... This is the first year that we went out for Valentine's; typically we just cook for each other and cozy up on the couch. It was a nice change of pace. :)
Scotty made me a board game! How cute is that?! "The Game of Love"... Maybe I'll do a full post on it a some point, but seriously... How sweet? Love him. ♥

PHOTOS: flowers from Scott // sweet cards ("Nice C*ck" from JulieAnnArt) // crochet heart garland // DIY board game from boyfriend // wooden flower bouquet
let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // rss

Friday, February 15

Book of Love Lists // Free Printable

I am an accidental procrastinator. I always have the best intentions of not only finishing something on time, but of starting something way in advance and finishing with time to spare. Does that ever actually happen? No. Hardly ever. Okay, never.

I had this idea for Scotty's Valentine's gift months ago. Months, people. And when did I finally actually start putting pen to paper? Three days ago. Oops!

Scotty loves lists. List making is a self-proclaimed "hobby" of his. And I mean, I love a good list myself; chances are if it isn't going on a to-do list somewhere, it doesn't have a prayer of being remembered let alone accomplished. We have even filled out a few "couples" list-type books like All About Us and more recently, The Activity Book for Couples. We haven't made it through the latter yet, but they're fun to have lying around. It's always funny, and sometimes dangerous (!), to see how your partner answers different questions. So I thought to myself... Why not make up a simple love book for Scott & I? Awww... ;)

I made up all the "categories," obviously, and I'm sure some are a little weird ("favorite people," maybe?) but they're all derived from our relationship in some way. I always tell him he's my favorite person. ;)

I've provided the link below for a printable of the pages so you could make your own book! 

**Warning: Some pages are a little risqué!** I have it set up to be printed back-to-back, stacked, and folded all together. You want to print front and back as follows: 1&2, 3&4, 5&6, 7&8, 9&10, 11&12, 13&14. Stack them with page 1 facing down, on the bottom, up through page 14 facing up on top. Then fold in half so that the right side of page 1 (the cover) is the first page. I printed on cardstock and folded each page individually so that the cardstock would fold cleanly.

For my cover, I cut a piece of polka dot 12"x12" piece of scrapbook paper down to 8.5"x11.5". I also cut a piece of pink 12"x12" paper to the same size. I then stuck the two together with a tape runner and folded it in half for my cover.

Using a sharp needle, I poked 6 holes through the pages along the middle (.75" and 1.75" from each edge, and .5" on either side of the center). Poke through all the pages and through the cover. I went from the inside pages out. (you can see this in the above photo)

Thread your needle with some pretty embroidery floss and knot the end. Sew through the outside (the cover) into the first hole, down through the second, up through the third, and so on. Repeat until you feel the binding is sturdy. I did three passes. Knot the thread on the outside of the cover when you're done.

To finish the cover, I covered the spine in washi tape to hide the embroidery floss, cut a heart out of the same pink paper (freehand), and our initials (M + S) out of white cardstock (freehand). I stuck it all to the front with the tape runner! :)

Obviously this is a day late for Valentine's Day, but this would make a cute, heartfelt gift for an anniversary... a birthday... Whatever you'd like! If you tackle this project, I'd love to see!
let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // rss

Tuesday, February 12

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Mug Cake

Have youuu... heard of mug cakes? Chances are you have, unless you don't have a Pinterest or you live under a rock (which is really the same thing). 

Now maybe you have doubts about these miracle cakes, but I assue you, these are THE ANSWER to being a female... If you know what I mean. All those crazy and sudden chocolate cravings? THESE WILL CURE YOU! In 1 minute!

I realize that the above photo may not be particularly delicious looking, but I assure you that it will not disappoint. 

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Mug Cake
Recipe adapted from Budget Bytes

Stuff You'll Need:
2 T flour
2 t cocoa powder
1/4 t baking powder
pinch of salt
2 t honey
1 T coconut oil
1 T plain fat free greek yogurt
1 T water
a dollop of peanut butter
(optional: chocolate chips)

"Whisk" together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a microwave-safe mug with a fork. Add honey, oil, yogurt, and water. Mix to combine. If you'd like, toss in a few chocolate chips. Drop in a dollop of peanut butter in the center (try and push it into the batter). Microwave on high for 1 minute & ENJOY.

I loooooove being able to whip up a little mug of chocolatey cakey goodness when one of those cravings strikes... Have you tried mug cakes before?
let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // rss

Monday, February 11

DIY Crochet Heart Garland

Why isn't Valentine's Day just called "Love Day?" I think Love Day sounds a lot cuter, myself. I've admittedly been calling it Love Day for a few weeks... I like it better. ;)

This is another little "Love Day" beauty I've been dreaming of for a little while. It was a bit time consuming, but super easy, especially once you get on a roll with the hearts.

Stuff You'll Need:
4 different shades of 100% cotton yarn, size G crochet hook, a yarn needle, fishing line

I tried out a number of different heart patterns before I landed on this one. I used the pattern suggested by by Meredith over at One Sheepish Girl. The pattern was super simple, and I love that it was only one row of crochet rather than several (whatta time saver). 

I used Lily's Sugar & Cream yarn with a G hook. I love how the cotton yarn holds up and doesn't get all fuzzy... I made 50 hearts total, 12 in each of the multi-colored yarns and 14 in the hot pink solid. Once you've made a zillion hearts, grab your fishing line and your yarn needle. One by one, string your hearts onto the fishing line; you want to go through the top part of the hearts so that they hang well (you can see the fishing line in the hot pink heart two photos up). You can space them as you'd like... I pushed mine right up against each other. I did two strands of garland, one with 21 hearts and the other with 29. Then just tape them up!

I may make some more or use these for "Share Your Heart" yarn-bombing day! Have you ever yarn-bombed? :)

let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // bloglovin // rss

Saturday, February 9

Bouncing Forever

GUYS, have you heard of indoor trampoline parks?? Well Scotty and I found out that there was one near my apartment, and when there was a GROUPON for an hour of BOUNCE TIME, we had to buy some.

We went with a few of our friends, and it was soooo fun. I mean, it was also really sweaty, but mostly it was fun. Also, a crazy good cardio workout. If you like trampolines, foam pits, and bouncing forever, you have got to check these out. They have trampolines going up the walls.

Above is my a photo of my feet in their super-stylish trampoline shoes and another photo of my cute boyfriend waiting for our "bounce time," awww. :)
let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // rss

Friday, February 8

Two Tickets to PARADISE

This is what my world looks like right now. A lot of snow. A lot of ice. A lot of numb fingers and toes from these frigid temperatures. And I am so tired of scraping ice off my car every morning. Don't get me wrong, I think snow is really pretty, but I have officially got the winter blues. 

Which is why I am especially excited about...THE TRIP TO HAWAII I JUST BOOKED!! Of course I'm going in April, and winter will (hopefully) be a thing of the past by then... But still, HAWAII. 

One of my best and oldest friends is in the coast guard and is currently stationed in Honolulu. I've been dreaming of flying out there for months and when I found crazy-low fares for the week I happen to have off school, I couldn't resist! One of our mutual friends is going with me, and I cannot wait to bum around the beach and hang out in karaoke bars with my favorite singing-sailor man. Cheap round-trip tickets & free lodging in paradise? I am beyond excited...

Are you suffering through the snow too? Any warm-weather vacations planned for you? :)
let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // rss

Thursday, February 7

Crochet Heart Pillow

Valentine's Day has me all cutesy and lovesick for pink and red and hearts and arrows. Tell me you feel the same way so I feel a little more normal.

I've never crocheted a pillow before, but I dreamt this beauty up a few weeks ago. I had been wanting to make little stuffed hearts for a while, and thought, "why not make a big one?!"

Stuff you'll need:
worsted weight yarn in 2 colors (white & red) // bulky weight yarn (light pink) // size 3 thread (dark pink) // size N crochet hook // scissors // yarn needle // polyester fiberfill stuffing
**I used Loops & Threads Impeccable in red and white, and Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in light pink (the skein pictured above is darker than what I used). The thread did not show up nearly as much as I'd hoped and could easily be omitted.**

*Note: I have posted an updated version of this pattern, including process photos, here.*

You will be working with all of the yarn at once to achieve the marbled look. Plus, it works up really quickly which is nice... I finished this pillow during a few episodes of New Girl.

Holding all 4 strands of yarn, begin with the magic ring technique.
Rnd 1 - 7 dc = 7 st, join
Rnd 2 - ch 2 [does not count as a stitch], 2 dc in same st, 2 dc in each dc around = 14 st, join
Rnd 3 - ch 2, dc in same st, 2 dc in next st, *dc, 2 dc* repeat around = 21 st, join
Rnd 4 - ch 2, dc in same st, dc in each st around = 21 st, join
Rnd 5 - ch 2, dc in same st, dc in next 5 st, 2 dc in next st, *dc in next 6 st, 2 dc in next st* repeat around = 24 st, join. Fasten off.

Now repeat above for a second "hump" to your heart, but do not fasten off! You will use the joining tubes technique to crochet the two humps together. Now, I swear I learned this technique on the internet but I cannot find a video anywhere at the moment... I will do my best to explain and perhaps I will put a video together of my own sometime.

Working with your second "hump," continue a 6th round of 24 dcs, but do not join. When you reach the end of your round, put a second dc in the last st (for a total of 25 sts so far). Now pick up your first hump, slip stitch into one of the sts, and continue dcs around (1 dc in each st around). When you reach the end, put a second dc in the last st of the first hump, for a grand total of 50 sts. Join the last st on your first hump to the first st on your second hump, and the crochet work should be continuous around.

Rnd 7 - ch 2, dc in same st, dc in next 7 sts, dc2tog in next 2 sts, *dc in next 8 sts, dc2tog in next 2 sts* repeat around = 45 sts
Rnd 8 - ch 2, dc in same st, dc in next 2 sts, dc2tog in next 2 sts, *dc in next 3 sts, dc2tog in next 2 sts* repeat around = 36 sts
Rnd 9 - ch 2, dc in same st, dc in next 3 sts, dc2tog in next 2 sts, *dc in next 4 sts, dc2tog in next 2 sts* repeat around = 30 sts
Rnd 10 - ch 2, de in same st, dc in next 3 sts, dc2tog in next 2 sts, *dc in next 4 sts, dc2tog in next 2 sts* repeat around = 25 sts
Rnd 11 - ch 2, dc in same st, dc in next 2 sts, dc2tog in next 2 sts, *dc in next 3 sts, dc2tog in next 2 sts* repeat around = 20 sts
**begin stuffing heart with polyester fiberfill**
Rnd 12 - ch 2, dc in same st, dc in next st, dc2tog in next 2 sts, *dc in next 2 sts, dc2tog in next 2 sts* repeat around = 15 sts
Rnd 13 - ch 2, dc in same st, dc2tog in next 2 sts, *dc, dc2tog* repeat around = 10 sts
**add more fiberfil as needed before finishing**
Rnd 14 - ch 2, dc2tog around = 5 sts, finish off leaving a long tail.

Using a yarn needle, weave yarn tail into work securely.

Have you made any Valentine's decor lately? ♥
let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // rss
Pin It button on image hover