Thursday, June 19

Around Here // June 2014

Life is weird lately. I got home from my BIG, EPIC TRIP almost a month ago now, which is nuts. I still feel like I'm readjusting to normalcy. Life tasks like cooking, cleaning, and washing dishes seem especially tiresome, and all I want to do is seek out small adventures. On the one hand, it feels like summer is this magical time when all my friends are home and want to play, while on the other hand it feels like adulthood is gaining on me fast. I've been feeling some serious financial stresses this month, and I've been avoiding them like my life depends on it... Which is dumb, because in fact my life partially depends on FACING those stresses, right? Oops. 

I want to tell you all about my trip. I want to answer questions like how I managed to snag 8 plane tickets and 4 bus tickets for about $1.2k and how I packed for a 6.5 week trip to varying climates with a tiny carry-on. I want to craft exciting things and revamp my lifestyle so that I am more fulfilled on a daily basis. I want to do all those things, but mostly I'm just overwhelmed by all those things. I read this post about balance at The Thinking Closet today, and remembered how insightful Lauren is -- I totally relate to the challenges she talks about. Right now, I need to catch my breath. 

More than anything, I think I'm in denial about my own feelings, and I'm desperately afraid of the future. I'm finding my day job miserably boring, I know I need to spread my wings and job-hunt, and I have the reality of student loans breathing down my neck. It's a stressful time. To avoid those stresses, I've been socializing a lot, spending time in the sunshine and generally ignoring them altogether. Maybe not the wisest choice, but I'm working on it. Sometimes, it's hard not to think that growing up is overrated. 

How do you deal with stresses? Gimmie yo insights! Please? 

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Sunday, May 4

Guest Post: Daisy Garland Crochet Pattern

Alright, alright... I'm writing you from Denver today. Since I last posted, I visited both LA and Vegas, and now here I am in Colorado, drinking in the mountainous views and open spaces. LA and Vegas were both pretty whirlwind-y and unfortunately I just haven't been able to post here or on my Instagram as much as I'd hoped. I just think that all too often, pinning yourself behind a camera/phone really detracts from your actual experience of a place or thing. 

This post is extra special because it comes to you from one of my favorite crocheters & bloggy friends, Tanya! Tanya is amazing and wonderful and takes the loveliest photos and crafts the cutest projects. JUST LOOK AT THIS GARLAND. You know how I feel about garlands right? Cause like, I can't get enough of them. I want to string them everywhere for every occasion and also no occasion at all. Enjoy! 


Hey everyone! It’s Tanya from Little Things Blogged! I am so excited to be sharing a totally spring pattern with you today! When Monica got in touch with me I was so thrilled and immediately decided to crochet a daisy garland! After all spring is all about flowers!:)

You will need:
  • Yellow, white & red 100% cotton yarn ( I used Catania)
  • 4 mm (G) crochet hook
To make the daisies (make 5):
Using 4 mm (G) crochet hook and yellow yarn:
Ch6 sl st to form a ring
R1: 12 sc in ring, join to first sc with sl st
Change to white yarn
R2: 1 ch, * 1 sc, in first sc of previous round, 15 ch, join with sl st to base of sc* repeat from * to *11 more times. (12 petals in total)
Fasten off.

To make the red flowers (make 2):
Using 4 mm (G) crochet hook and red yarn:
Ch6 sl st to form a ring
R1: *ch 3(counts as first dc), dc in ring, ch 3 sl st in ring,* repeat from * to * 5 more times to form petals (6 petals in total)
Fasten off.

To make the yellow/red flowers (make 4):
Using 4 mm (G) crochet hook and red yarn:
Repeat the red flower pattern but change color for petals
Fasten off.

To make the yellow bows (make 4):
Using 4 mm (G) crochet hook and yellow yarn:
Ch 32 and sl st to first ch to form a ring.
R1: ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next st, hdc in next two sts, 2 dc in next two sts, 3 dc in next st (forms the first corner) dc in next 2 sts, 3 dc in next st ( next corner), dc in next 2 sts, hdc in next two sts, sc in next 4 sts, hdc in next two sts, dc in next 2 sts, 3 dc in next st ( next corner), dc in next 2 sts, 3 dc in next st (next corner), dc in next 2 sts, hdc in next two sts.
Fasten off and tie center together using yellow yarn.
For bow tie:
Ch 20 + 3 (counts as first dc)
Dc in next two sts, hdc in next 2 sts, sc in next 10 sts, hdc in next 2 sts, dc in next 3 sts
Fasten off.
Attach to center of basic bow body by tying a knot with yellow yarn.

To make the garland:
You will always ch 25 in between the flowers and bows.
The sequence is: bow, daisy, yellow/red flower, daisy, yellow/red flower, bow, red flower, daisy (this is the center daisy of your garland). Repeat by following the exact sequence reversely.
Fasten off and admire your garland!

Thanks for having me and happy crocheting!:)

------ cute, right?! I'm obsessed with those daisies, and can't wait to whip some up once I get my hook back in hand! I'm off for more mountain climbing, but y'all enjoy this pattern, and be sure to swing by Tanya's blog Instagram feed for more uber cute crochet goodness!

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Saturday, April 26

Washi Tape Heart Pins

You guys, I am looking SOOO hip right now as I type this. I am actively upping my hipster cred. I'm sitting in a Starbucks in Seattle, sipping a latte, typing on my iPad, wearing a leather jacket... My trip is still going well. Hawaii was beautiful and wonderful and now I want to live there for a brief time. Just until the island fever gets me, or I grow tired of the never-changing weather. Seattle is also gorgeous so far, and I've decided that I need to live somewhere mountainous. 

This is a craft I actually did quite a while ago, when I helped a friend with a baby shower board. I actually made these little hearts really quickly and kind of on a whim, but I'm really happy with how they turned out. So friggin' cute. Check out the details on ThinkCrafts, and leave some love over there. I check for comments on my posts there, really! 

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Sunday, April 13

March Maven Box Reveiw

Yes, this is a review from March. Yes, it's well into April at this point. Time just keeps getting away from me, okay? ;) I'm officially a week into my trip, but it feels like I've been gone forever... I really don't consider myself a "needy" kind of girlfriend, and I really didn't think that not seeing boyfriend for 3+ weeks would be THAT hard, but holy crap, I am feeling so needy. It's not as bad when I'm out with friends or keeping busy, but sleeping alone is so sad! I hate it, and I'm officially that needy girl... I put a countdown on my phone for when we reunite in Vegas -- ha!  

I'm typing this on part one of my flight(s) to Hawaii (we have a layover in Seattle), and I'm hoping that I miss boyfriend less when I'm soaking up the Hawaiian sun and sipping an endless stream of mai tais. On a semi-related note, I got a spray tan yesterday to avoid being the palest person on Oahu, and now my hands are orange. Cuuuute... ;)

But let's talk about my latest obsession, Julep Maven, for a minute. I wrote up a post a while ago giving the run down of the whole Maven program, how amazing it is to get new, exclusive nail polishes in the mail each month, and how much I love the products. Now I want to show you one of my latest boxes: the March Maven box. The month's collection centered on bright, spring time shades and new lip products to smooth and soften your winter-ravaged pout. Yet again I couldn't decided which style to chose, so I ordered the "ultimate upgrade," which included all 9 new polishes, the luxe lip gloss, and the lip scrub. I also added on Julep's other two new shades: Tania and Rae. 

I will say, that while I really do love all the colors, it felt a touch early for a spring palette up in Michigan. Michigan is only now seeing a little warmth and sunshine, so painting my nails bright, poppy colors felt strange at the beginning of March. I was surprised that one of my favorite colors from the collection was Soraphine, a sheer white polish. I used it as a base and top coat for a pastel tips mani that I shared on my Instagram a while back. (Speaking of which, I am obsessed with Instagram; are we friends?!) I also love Tania, the "mermaid teal glitter," and Rae, one of the "colors of the year." 

I'm looking forward to getting more wear out of the polishes this summer, and the lip scrub is okay, but the real rock star of this box is the luxe lip gloss... This stuff is AMAZING. It's made with pumpkin oil and all kinds of other good-for-your-lips stuff, is a perfectly subtle shade of peachy-nude, has a metal tip applicator that cools as it applies, and most importantly, makes your lips feel like buttah'. I'm telling you, if your lips get dry or rough, you need this balm/gloss in your arsenal! It is the one lip product I opted to include in my 1-quart bag of liquids for my trip. 

I'm still obsessed with Julep Maven. I still tell all my friends about it. My collection is getting ridiculous. 

Get a free box when you sign up to be a Maven here --> Sign Up! <-- and="" at="" checkout.="" code="" enter="" nbsp="" p="">

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Monday, April 7

Ombre Chevron Embroidery

I'm posting this from Chicago, the first leg of my big giant trip. It hasn't really set in yet that this is it, I'm on my trip. I'm catching a bus to St. Louis in just over an hour where I'll be visiting some family I haven't seen in ages. The good news is that my first bus here was nowhere near sketchty, which is what I had feared. Two lessons I've learned so far: for jeans to be truly mutli-purpose they must be a good, unfaded dark wash, and that to secure a good, non-motion-sickness-inducing seat on the bus, you must show up plenty early. 

Anyway, a while back, I posted a chevron embroidery project I stitched up, and I'm still pretty smitten with how it turned out. I bought the pattern on Etsy and switched up the thread colors, and then it sat on a shelf for months because I wanted to "finish" the back and never bothered to look up how. Do you ever do that to your projects? Neglect them because you're waiting to make them "perfect?"

Regardless, that cross-stich project gave me the stitchin' bug, and as with most projects I wanted to come up with my own version. I did some searching and ended up downloading the "StitchSketchLE" app on my iPad and messing around with designs. I wanted something simple, because I'm a simple kind of girl, but you can also use a stylus pen to freehand draw something! You can save and email the pattern file to yourself for printing, and then voila, you've got an original cross-stitch design! 

So I used three shades of green thread, though the difference between the last two does not look terribly obvious in these photos. I also gave up on "finishing" the hoops and just cut the cloth in a sloppy circle and called it good. I'm trying to really embrace imperfections. Tell me I'm not alone in that struggle... Do you have a hard time calling a project "finished?"

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Sunday, March 23

By Bus & By Plane: My Cross-Country Trip

I have been dreaming of a cross-country road trip since before I enrolled in driver's ed classes at age 14. I LOVE road trips, and while I have not taken nearly as many as I would have liked thus far, I am forever trying to talk friends and family members into lengthy drives to far off cities. They usually turn me down. 

As my college graduation drew nearer and nearer this past fall, I decided that this was my chance. Butttt, then the practicality of taking such a trip solo seemed questionable, and both my mother and my boyfriend were pretty concerned about the potential risks. So I reluctantly started looking at bus and plane tickets, and was pleasantly surprised at how reasonable the prices were! I made a list of all the cities my friends and family have dispersed to over the last few years, and drew up an itinerary! 

I'm hitting 12 cities in 9 states over about 6.5 weeks. Epic, right?! I'm leaving in less than TWO WEEKS! Ah! I'm starting with a bus to Chicago, then another bus to St. Louis to visit some family. Then I'm taking a bus back to Chicago and my bestie is flying to Honolulu with me! The top group of photos in this post are from my trip to Hawaii last year. I'm counting myself as very lucky to have a best pal stationed in paradise for three years -- can't beat free lodging on a beautiful island! 

From Hawaii I'm flying to Seattle to visit a friend from college, then LA to see a friend from high school. From LA, I'm meeting boyfriend in Vegas for a few days, before we both fly to Denver. From Denver, I'm going to Dallas, taking a bus to Austin, visiting San Antonio, and ending my Texas tour in Houston. The second group of photos here is from a host of past Texas trips I've taken -- a number of my Michigan-relatives have moved to Texas these past few years. From Houston, I'm flying to Jacksonville to see an old college roommate, and then I'm heading home! 

I'm looking at this trip as an opportunity to grow and breathe and explore. I'd like to come back with new perspectives, a better sense of self, and a fresh take on old dreams. I'm excited about the adventure and a little apprehensive about the challenges (money, being away from my boyfriend, general travel anxieties). I'm determined to travel light, nothing but a carry-on and my JoTotes camera bag. 

Planning outfits that will work in both Hawaii and Seattle, and that can go from day to night, has been another challenge in itself. Any pointers for packing or planning or traveling would be appreciated!! 

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Friday, March 14

Crochet Shamrocks

Good news friends. I am 100% healed from my cold-of-death, woot! Now March is halfway over and I have no idea where the days have gone. I'm gearing up for a big trip that I haven't even told you about yet, but more on that later. Right now I want to show you these shamrocks I made from some crochet hearts. Look how cute! And super simple. Check out the full tutorial on the Think Crafts blog and leave some love! 

My birthday is in less than a week. The big 2-4. I'll have to accept that I'm officially in my mid-twenties... MID-twenties. I've been having a lot of dreams that I'm back in high school lately. What does that mean?? Like, I'll wake up and forget that college even happened. Weird, right? I wonder what it means... 

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Thursday, March 6

Crazy Easy Circle Garland

I don't know about you, but I am so over winter weather it's not even funny. This has been one brutal season here in the mitten state, and I have had more cold and flu bugs than I care to recall. Currently, I'm hold up with my worst cold yet, caught in the midst of a "cleanse" I was doing, that I'm now convinced just weakened my system for this monster of a virus. How's that for a run-on sentence? Have you ever done a cleanse? It was awful and I don't recommend it, hah. I quit on "bananas and milk" day because I was miserable enough with this cold -- too miserable to also be starving. And who wants to drink MILK when they're all sick and phlegmy? Gross. And sorry if that's TMI. 

Anyway, let's talk parties. This is my go to, super simple, crazy easy DIY party decor. It works up insanely quickly, uses scraps and supplies on hand, is easily customizable, and it makes a LOT. Of course, if you saw my post about boyfriend's beer + bacon birthday party, you know that's what I made this particular garland for. My brother thought that I had hand stitched each circle onto the garland, HA! As if I have that kind of patience. Or skill. 

All you need is a circle punch (this design by Fiskars is AWESOME), patterned paper (I used scraps), and a sewing machine. Simply punch a whole buncha circles and feed them into your sewing machine one by one. As soon as one is stitched through, thread in the next. If you wait too long between circles, the threads may tangle and break -- it may take some trial and error to get it down. Be sure to backstitch the first and last circles on your garland to secure the thread. Some tips: Be careful of letting one strand of garland get too long, as it could get tough to manage. Use double-sided paper if you can (you can see barcodes on some of my circles above, oops). 

Easy peasy right? Now if anyone has any quick tips to kick colds, I am begging you to share. Seriously. This congestion is killin' me, y'all. 

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Thursday, February 27

Beer + Bacon Party: A Manly 30th Birthday

YOU GUYS, my boyfriend turned the big 3-0 this past Tuesday. THE BIG 3-0! Now, I'm nowhere near 30 myself, but I mean, it's a pretty big deal right? Quite the milestone. I haven't talked about my boyfriend too much on the blog here, but he's definitely the introvert to my extrovert. I wasn't positive that he'd be stoked about a surprise party thrown in his honor, but I dig birthdays. Your birthday is the one day a year where the people who love you get to celebrate the fact that you were born, the very fact that you exist. Maybe that sounds dramatic, but that's how I've always felt about birthdays. And a surprise party thrown for you is like the epitome of saying, "Hey, we love you a ton and are super glad you're on the planet!" I think that everyone should be celebrated with a surprise party at some point in their lives... So after a lot of hemming and hawing, I finally decided to throw one together with a mere three weeks to plan. Classic me. 

After finally deciding to actually throw a party, I had to come up with the first pieces: a location and a theme. I landed on my mom's house because it's nearby, free, and I could decorate in secret to my heart's content. I did some searching for things like "dude party," "manly 30th birthday," etc. before settling on a Beer + Bacon theme! At the beginning of the year, boyfriend made it his new year's resolution to try more beer (way more fun than "lose 10 pounds," right?) so I thought that a beer tasting would be perfect! And like, name a manlier food that goes better with beer than bacon.

Overall the party was certainly a success. Not all of our friends were able to attend, of course, but all who did spent hours laughing and drinking with us; what more can you ask for? We had a photo booth, goodie bags, tons of food, boatloads of beer, and most importantly, boyfriend was completely surprised! Though his tendency to avoid the spotlight had him overwhelmed at first, he really enjoyed himself and has been filled with appreciation ever since. He's the sweetest.

I'm hoping to follow this post with a short series on the party prep (food, decor, photo booth, etc.) so stay tuned for that. What are you most interested in hearing about?

A teaser: I baked, fried, and candied 7 pounds of bacon for the big event, and had wayyy more than enough food. I've been trying to pawn off bacon goodies on friends, family, and coworkers ever since. Maple bacon donuts, anyone? 

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Tuesday, February 18

Julep Maven Box: A Review + Link for a FREE box!

Right before Christmas, one of my cousins sent me an invitation to the Julep Maven subscription box. At first I thought, "A nail polish and beauty box? I never paint my nails and rarely bother with more than some powder and mascara. Nexxxxt!" Buttt, the first box was free and the website hooked me with their cute "which style are you" quiz, so I signed up to get a box thinking that I'd cancel after that free one. As you can probably tell by that first photo, I didn't cancel. Since the end of December, I have amassed a collection of 20 polishes.

I am seriously addicted, girls. If you follow me on Instagram, a.k.a. the only social media I actually use, you are well aware that in addition to my crochet projects, I now post a bunch of manicure photos. I can't get enough. I have gone from a plain jane girl with naked nails to a polish princess desperate to perfect the ombre mani. I blame my post-grad lifestyle of free evenings on the couch uninfringed by homework and research papers. I also blame all the pretty polishes, amazing deals, and fun contests that Julep keeps dangling in front of me. Seriously, this start-up rules. 

I should note that this review is 100% unsolicited. I have purchased all my own products, and Julep probably has no idea who I am (though the first Julep mani pic I posted did end up in one of their banner ads, hayy-ayyy!). That said: Dear Julep, If y'all want to send me some swag to gush over, be my guest. ;) But really readers, I just wanted to tell you girls how kick ass this box is. 

So Julep itself is a start-up beauty company based in Seattle, Washington. From what I understand, they started out with nail parlors featuring their own polish line and have since expanded to makeup and skincare products as well. Read more about their history and philosophy (that beauty is about connection, not competition) on their about page. You can purchase their products on their website without joining the Maven program I keep talking about, but lemme tell ya, the Maven program is where all the fun is. 

By joining Julep Maven, you can buy all their products at discounted rates plus free shipping, you get monthly boxes filled with polishes and/or beauty products for $20/month, you get exclusive early access to the new products in those boxes, and you can rack up points for those monthly Maven boxes that you later cash in for future boxes!

If you haven't heard of Julep Maven (I hadn't), you have probably at least heard of BirchBox or the Ipsy Bag, right? Both are beauty subscription boxes that ship out monthly and feature an assortment of makeup, beauty, and/or lifestyle items for stylish gals. I've never been all that interested in those boxes personally, because for one, you don't know what's coming before hand, and for two, I don't really need or want little samples of lotion or blush in a random shade. 

What I love about the Julep Maven program is that you can not only see what is coming in your box, you can also switch to a different set of products and colors, add products at a major discount, or skip the month altogether if you'd like. It's much more custom and you don't end up paying for things you don't want or need. 

All that said, I am not addicted simply because it's fun to get things in the mail -- all the products I've received so far have been stellar. The polish is high quality, lasts for days without chipping, peeling, or rubbing off, and the colors, shades, and finishes are all phenomenal. In addition to the polishes, I've also received a skin serum, some moisturizing products, creme eyeshadows, and an ink eyeliner, all of which I have been incredibly pleased with. 

So let's talk nitty-gritty: There are five style profiles (Classic with a Twist, Boho Glam, Bombshell, It Girl, and Modern Beauty). Each style profile has a different set of products each month. During the "Maven Reveal Window," you can see all the products coming out and pick whichever set you'd like. The boxes start at $20 and contain at least $40 worth of product, guaranteed. 

Classic with a Twist, Boho Glam, and Bombshell all contain 2 new full sized polishes and one full sized beauty product; It Girl contains 3 new full sized polishes; and Modern Beauty contains 2 full sized beauty products. Even better, if you want the Modern Beauty box, for example, but love one of the month's new polishes, you can add it to your box on the cheap! And if you're not into the month's products or are trying to save some money, you can just skip the month! Buying the box and adding upgrades earn you points (or "Jules") that you can later redeem for a free Maven box. You also get points for referring friends! You can read the FAQs for more details. 

Have I sold you yet? If you're into free things and pretty products, use this link to get a FREE box and enter code "MAVENBFF" at checkout (you just pay $4 shipping!). If you aren't smitten with the box, you can cancel after that! If you are into it, I'm sorry and you're welcome. ;) 

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Thursday, February 13

Pillow Box Valentine's

I was wandering the aisles of Meijer last night, doing some late night grocery shopping while boyfriend impatiently pushed the cart alongside me, when I spotted the giant display of kiddie Valentine packs. I know I'm not the only one who misses picking out some uber cheesy Valentine kit featuring your favorite Disney character, AM I RIGHT? Of course, weirdo child that I was, I started DIYing Valentine's for my classmates around the sixth grade. Oh, to be twelve and have nothing but time for crafts... 

Now that I'm an adult (and by "adult," I mean that I have to pay bills, do my own laundry, and feed myself somehow, not that I'm like, responsible or that I have life figured out or that I've mastered time management) it seems like I have to scrape precious moments from each week to use for crafting. As a result, I always dream up projects that have inherent deadlines (like holidays) and don't actually make them, ever. Sorry family and friends, but let's be honest: As crafty and adorable as you think I am, you have not received a timely, cutesy gift like a Valentine from me in yearsss... THAT CHANGES NOW. 

As you may know, I made a bunch of these mini crochet hearts while developing a pattern for y'all. Then I remembered these cute pillow boxes I found in the Target dollar section a couple months ago and hatched a plan for some DIY Valentine's. If you, like me, have a handful of crochet hearts laying around now, or if you feel like whipping some up real quick, you can tie them onto some pretty boxes filled with chocolates. If you are more normal than I am and don't have a random stockpile of crochet hearts, you could easily cut some out of some cardstock, punch a hole the heart sides, and tie them on that way! 

I stuffed my pillow boxes with surprisingly tasty Hershey's Raspberry Hugs, tiny crochet hearts (get details in my old Crochet Heart Garland post), and sequins for a touch of pretty. I taped the ends with solid and glitter washi tape, and then wrapped each box with a length of sparkly thread (I used Vana's Choice Glamour yarn). On the final pass of the thread, I used a yarn needle to pass each end of the thread through the heart from side to side, tying the thread ends at the back. 

Are you DIYing any Valentine's this year? Tell me about that, friends. 

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Monday, February 10

Mini Crochet Heart Pattern

Everything's cuter in miniature, right? My crochet heart pillow had me longing for a mini version. It took some playing, as you well know if you follow me on Instagram, but I finally nailed down a pattern for y'all. A number of you mentioned that you had tried to make small hearts but were unsuccessful, so before I get into the pattern, let's talk about the basics of making a crochet heart... 

If you've made a heart pillow from my pattern, this will likely sound familiar to you. You are essentially making two "humps" that you will join by completing a continuous round of stitches on both humps as if they were one piece. From there you will start your gradual decreases. That step requires some math... Here is how you can figure out the math ahead of time: the max number of stitches in each hump x 2, then plus 2 will give you the number of stitches in the first joined row. To figure out your decreases, you will need to think about the multiples of that number. For example, if each hump has 12 stitches, your first joined row will be (12x2) + 2 = 26. 26 is an awkward number to start with, with only 2 and 13 as it's divisors. To get down to an easier number (like 24, for example), you'll need to get rid of 2 stitches. To get rid of 2 stitches, you'll need to do 2 single (or double) crochet decreases. To figure out that math, you'll divide the number you want, 24, by the number of decreases you need, 2, for a total of 12. This means that you will do 11 stitches followed by 1 decrease, and 11 more stitches followed by 1 decrease for a total of 24. A number like 24 is easier to work with, because it has plenty of divisors (2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12). You can then decrease gradually by multiples of 4, for example, using the same formula. Each row would have 4 less stitches, meaning each row would contain 4 decreases. 

Okay, okay. I apologize for all that mumbo jumbo if you weren't interested. A good friend once told me that she tried to learn crochet, but it was secretly so mathy... I laughed, but she's totally right. Crochet like this definitely requires a brush-up on your multiplication and addition skills, right? 

All that said, I made up most of the hearts pictured here on the fly, using all those mathy basics. I did, however, write up a concrete pattern for you to follow if you don't feel like calculating your stitches. ;) 

Stuff You'll Need: 
medium weight cotton yarn (I used Sugar & Cream), size H crochet hook, yarn needle, scissors, fiberfill (optional)

*Note, I am using US crochet terms. 

Abbreviations: st = stitch, sc = single crochet, slpst = slip stitch, invdec = invisible decrease

*If you aren't familiar with the invisible decrease, you can easily substitute with a regular decrease/2 single crochets together.

This pattern is worked in continuous rounds without joining or turning. 
Rnd 1 - Make a magic ring, 5 sc in ring, pull ring tight and sew closed = 5 sc
Rnd 2 - 2 sc in each st around = 10 sc
Rnd 3 - 1 sc in each st around = 10 sc
Rnd 4 - *4 sc, 2 sc in next st,* rep from * around = 12 sc

With your first hump, cut your yarn as shown above and thread your yarn needle. Insert your needle through the next st, then back through the current st. Leave the tail for sewing later. 

Make a second hump (rounds 1 - 4), but do not cut the yarn. Instead you will begin round 5 in the first st of round 4 on the first hump. See the photos for details. 

Rnd 5 - sc in first st of rnd 4 on first hump, sc around first hump, sc again in first st of rnd, sc in same st as final st of rnd 4 on second hump, sc around second hump = 26 sc
Rnd 6 - *11 sc, invdec* repeat from * around = 24 sc

Use yarn tail from first hump to sew hole between humps together. Tie off and weave in end.

Rnd 7 - *6 sc, invdec* repeat from * around = 21 sc
Rnd 8 - *5 sc, invdec* repeat from * around = 18 sc
Rnd 9 - *4 sc, invdec* repeat from * around = 15 sc
Rnd 10 - *sc, invdec* repeat from * around = 10 sc
Rnd 11 - invdec around, fasten off without joining = 5 sc

Use yarn tail to sew end closed.

Like I said, I mostly made up these hearts as I went along, and you can easily tweak it to your liking. I went back and forth with the humps, some have 4 rounds while others have 5. For a deeper "v" in the center, add a fifth round with 12 stitches. You can also stuff the hearts if you like, though I personally like how they look unstuffed. If you'd like to stuff them, add fiberfill after round 9 or 10 at the latest. You can also use a G hook instead of an H for tighter stitches -- the white, pink (not purple), and orange heart is worked with a G hook. 

Wouldn't these make the sweetest little Valentine's? Little handmade, crochet hearts with a sweet note attached? What do you think, friends? Will you be hooking up some little hearts this week? 

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