Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

I finished my Valentine's decor this weekend. I love it! Super simple, inspired by this blog and a throw pillow I saw in Better Homes and Gardens magazine this month.

"This one is my favorite, Mommy."

even the back of the bunting is pretty!

I still have tons of leftover fabric, so I'm sure you'll be seeing some more of these adorable prints popping up in future projects.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

toddler proof door knob cover

I'm sharing my most useful crochet pattern today! If you have been to my house, you've seen our yarny doorknob covers. We much prefer them to the plastic ones you can buy in the baby safety section of BabiesRUs, Target, etc. I practically guarantee that no child under the age of three will be able to defeat these. If your kiddo is older than that, it depends on your child's ingenuity. My tall, strong, destructive 3.5 year old is helpless against the crocheted doorknob cover. He can crack the plastic ones off doors in no time flat. Try it!
supplies needed:
small amount of worsted weight yarn (I usually grab some random acrylic from my stash)
size H crochet hook
yarn needle

row 1: ch3, 12 dc in 3rd chain from hook, join with sl st in first dc, ch 2, turn (12 stitches)
row 2: 2 dc in each stitch around, join, ch 2, turn (24 stitches)
row 3: *2 dc in first stitch, 1 dc in second stitch* repeat *to* around, join, ch 2, turn (36 stitches)
rows 4-5: 1 dc in each stitch around, join, ch 2, turn (36 stitches)
row 6: decrease to 18 stitches by dc2tog all the way around , join, ch 2, turn (18 stitches)
row 7-8: 1 dc in each stitch around, join, fasten off yarn, weave in ends. (18 stitches)

cut a length of yarn about 12 inches long and weave it in and out through the stitches of row 7. stick it on a doorknob and tie a TIGHT knot in the length of yarn. trim yarn ends, and voila!

Your doorknob cover will fit loosely on the doorknob. That's the idea. A toddler does not have the strength to squeeze the cover against the doorknob hard enough to create enough friction to get it to turn--that's why they work!

If you try it, let me know! I'd love to know how the pattern worked out for you.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


This morning while I was home from church with sick baby men, I spent some time cutting out felt faces for Gunny #1 and Gunny #2. The boy Gunny is an almost exact replica of Cheri's at I am Momma, Hear me Roar. He will be staying with us. My friend Elizabeth is getting Gunny #2. I bet those girls of hers will provide plenty of yummy un-picked-up-toys for her to eat.
Instead of sewing a pillow case-like pouch for Gunny like Cheri did, I used thrifted men's shirts. They automatically fit a hanger perfectly, and made less sewing for me! I used spray adhesive to attach the girly Gunny parts on the back of the pink shirt, but wasn't thrilled with the results, so I took the time to sew the boy Gunny pieces on his shirt. I turned the Gunnys inside out, serged off the arms and shirt tail, flipped them back right side out, and voila! Gunny!

Here my darling daughter demonstrates just how it is that Gunny eats toys. The shirt's buttons can be unbuttoned on the back side to retrieve toys that are ready to be returned, or to insert larger than mouth-sized bites.

Can't wait to see how well Gunny works in our home, and in Elizabeth's!

This would be a great no-sew project for those of you who don't sew but still want a Gunny. Grab a shirt from your husband's closet, turn it inside out, tie a knot at the top of each arm, use some iron-on hem tape to close up the bottom, turn that puppy right side out and glue on a felt face! Easy peasy!


I fell in love with this pillow as soon as I saw it on Made. I had admired that striped yellow Ikea fabric but had never bought any due to lack of project inspiration for it. Thanks, Dana! I grabbed a yard, made this little yellow beauty, and threw it in the rocking chair. Helps with the January blahs to have such a sunny new throw pillow.

For those of you who are facebook friends and remember my comment last week about loathing geometry, it was this pillow's fault. In order to change a striped fabric to a chevron pattern, you have to cut strips of the stripe with precise 45* angles. Painful, even with a rotary cutter. Well, at least this non-math girl found it painful.

This is also the project that prompted my facebook complaint about my husband saying one of my craft projects-in-progress was going to give him a headache. Good news, though! He said that the finished product is "not that bad". LOL I'll take it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

THE roman shade

Seriously, I'm not sure when exactly I started this project. At least eight months ago, maybe as much as a year. Pathetic. This baby sat in the UFO (unfinished object) pile for so long I wasn't even sure I'd still like it if I got around to finsihing it. Good news! I do! I love it!

This is curtain recycling project. I made the roman shade from the curtain panels that I bought at Target years ago and that used to hang on this very same window. When I moved my bed to underneath that window late in my pregnancy (the only furniture arrangement that would accommodate the co-sleeper) I could no longer have long paneled curtains. Eventually, after pouting about having no window treatment and missing my pretty red linen paisley curtains, it occurred to me to re-make them. I'm so glad I didn't get rid of them! That is SO not like me.

So, ta-da! I finished that darned roman shade. And it only took a year. Ish.

oh, and yes. I know that I should take a picture where you can see the whole wall, including the bed. But that would require me to make my bed and tidy up the nightstands. Frankly, I'm just too lazy.

yarny Chucks

for my super cool friends Phil and Cynthia's newbie. Welcome to the world, Noah Coffman!

yarn is Hobby Lobby's I Love this Cotton. Pattern is a freebie from Ravelry called "crochet baby converse" designed by Suzanne Resaul. Cute little pattern, worked up nicely. Might give these another go for baby Dammel.

operation Dollhouse

When I was five years old, my daddy built me a mammoth dollhouse. I loved it, and was thrilled to learn that it had survived the years in my mom's shed. We loaded it up and brought it home when we were there for Christmas. This spring's project is dollhouse renovation!

Here is a (nearly) before picture. The only thing I did before I remembered to document the "before" was to rip the wallpaper off of a few walls.

I sort of propped the peeled off wallpaper up against the walls I removed it from, so you can imagine what a true "before" would have looked like.
As it stands in my garage right now, demo is complete. I removed the wallpaper and all of the door and window framing. Too many pieces of framing had fallen off and gone missing, so I get to start over and re-frame.

Order of events for the rest of the process:
  • all over sanding
  • a coat of polyurethane on the floors and baseboards
  • cut, paint, and glue on window and door framing
  • prime and paint all walls and exterior, using mostly leftover paint from rooms in my house
  • and (the part I'm most looking forward to) DECORATING!

I have all of my furniture from childhood, as well. Much of it is in disrepair and will need to be replaced, but the living room and bedrooms are in great shape and super adorable. I plan to make bedding and curtains and all the trimmings.

By kiddos' birthdays (mid-June), this house will be ready for this little family to move in and enjoy some play time.

I'll keep you posted as I make progress!