The Battle of the Bunny

About a year ago, just before Pretty was born, I was using a pattern from my favorite crochet book to make a car seat blanket for her. The book was on the floor and Hero started looking at the pictures. When he found the bunny stuffed animal he looked at me all cute-like and asked, "Can you make a bunny for me, please?"

How can you say no to that?! It was the first time he had ever asked me to make him something. So I dropped the blanket and went to work on this bunny!

Now, I know what you are thinking. "What's up with his eyes?" and "That doesn't look much like the picture."

I have a first edition of the Happy Hooker book and as such, it has a few typos. I didn't look up the corrections they have listed online until after the head was finished and didn't look quite right. By then, I didn't think it worth it to start over. Oh well. Hero was still thrilled with it!

A few months later, Hero found the bunny at the bottom of his stuffed animal bucket and told me it needed eyes. When I pointed to the buttons, he told me those were cheeks. So I snipped off the buttons and moved them.

And that's when the trouble started. Pretty noticed the cute bunny and claimed it as her own. Not just in a casual way, but the attached-favorite-special-toy kind of way. She sleeps with it, carries it around, and if someone else (Hero) is holding it, she drops everything to retrieve it.

For a few months, Hero didn't really care. But last week, he started getting upset that the bunny was his. Technically, he was right, but Pretty was attached. I decided it was easier to make a new one for Hero than try to convince Pretty to take a new one. After all, Hero would probably move on from it in a week anyway, right? So I told Hero that the bunny was Pretty's and he could get a brand new one. He picked the bear this time, helped decide the colors from my yarn stash, and the bear was born.

Pretty had a hard time with me taking these pictures. Here she is reminding me that the bunny is hers.

I tried to do the corrections this time, but didn't have the right sized hook, so I just did with what I had. I think it looks more like a mouse. Opinions?

Hero picked the eyes out himself. I was going to go with flat black ones, but I'm glad he stuck to his guns about these ones. I really like the texture and how they add to the homemade feel of the bear/mouse.

Hero was pretty happy when it was finished.

 "Take a picture of me sleeping."

Of course, two days later, he doesn't much care about it anymore, but at least the arguing over the bunny has stopped.


A New Baby.

No. Not for me.

I think, aside from holding your own new little one, holding the brand new baby of someone you love is the best. In this case, it is my sister Audrey's newest baby boy.

Pretty checkin' out the boy taking her "baby-of-the-family" title.

About a week before he was born, my sister was up to her elbows in her Before-the-Baby-Comes To-Do list. I offered to help with whatever she wanted, but all she wanted was a crocheted hat to take the then-gender-unknown child home from the hospital in. I made one boy and one girl hat. The girl hat was my own design (I'll get a picture and pattern together for you soon). But it was this little newsie hat that was needed when baby boy Graham appeared.

*taken by his Mommy. Doesn't he look like a doll?

*taken by his Mommy

Audrey put the hat on him for the ride home, and for these pictures, but told me that the hat is just bit snug. So while the pattern says for newborn, average sized Graham found it a bit small. Maybe it's premie/newborn sized. Because this hat is so adorable, Audrey (and her hubby) requested a slightly larger size to wear now through the crazy "Utah Spring" weather (which is not to be confused with actual Spring). I increased the hat by 5 stitches in the 4th row to make it just over an inch bigger around. Everything else is the same.

Well, except for the contrasting strap. I could say I did it to make it easier for them to tell the two hats apart. Or to match the blanket. But really, I ran out of the dark green yarn! (and I just realized that I didn't do the bottom border either...oops... would that look weird in the light green?)

The blanket is from this pattern here. It's a bit bigger than I would normally make crochet blankets, being crib sized instead of car seat friendly small. But this pattern was so pretty, I fell in love! 

Check out this border detail. An easy and great pattern.

 I love to crochet, and I'm always happy when I'm making gift for sweet little babies! Welcome to the world, Graham. We are happy to have you!

*taken by his Mommy


What could be cuter than tiny silver* earrings?

I have always loved is earrings. And I know it's silly, but as soon as I found out I was pregnant with a girl, one of the first questions I thought to myself was when I was going to let my daughter pierce her ears? I have had my ears pierced since I was 18 months (or so I am told); but whenever I would see a baby with their ears pierced I would think that it looked odd. So I had determined I wouldn't pierce my daughter's ears until she asked for it.

But then I saw this post featuring this adorable girl on Kitchen Corners. I have to admit, I'm not much of a cook. I can cook, but I don't love it like some do. I mainly read this blog because I love Da's writing and her beautiful children. (boy I hope that doesn't sound creepy!) Anyway. . . I noticed that Da's daughter had earrings, and that I liked them. And suddenly, I was considering it for Pretty much earlier than I thought I would! After months of thought and debate, I did it. My sweet little Pretty has pierced ears!

And I love it.

*edited to add: the earrings are not silver, but 14K white gold. I understand the risk of allergies to nickel, that is why I went with the gold.


The Monsters Are Coming!


I made these little monsters for my sister's kids. She just had baby number 5, and since I was making gifts for the baby, I decided to make something for the existing monsters in her life.

Levi front and fun colors and prints made these monsters more silly than scary.

How can you not love these faces? Isn't that the way with all the "monsters" in our lives?

I'm working on making up a pattern for these little guys. More to come!


A Fondant First

Alright. First off. I want to apologize for not posting at all regularly since returning from Taiwan. I have been sewing and crocheting, but all the things I'm working on are all still being worked on, or they were so small that I didn't take pictures of them to share. Sorry about that. But here's good news, I have a fun post today. And I'm finishing up a project in the next few days. Bear with me. I promise to try and pick the pace up a bit!


Guess what I did?! I made a fondant cake all by myself!! (chest puffed with *humble* pride!) Pretty turned one last week, so it was the perfect excuse to finally try what I have wanted to for years. To really work with fondant and make a pretty cake.

What finally pushed me into action was discovering Make It Love It's Make-a-Cake Series. The tutorials made it seem so easy. Time consuming, yes, but doable. So I went to the store and bought myself some new toys.

1. Wilton rolling mat. 2. Rolling pin with thickness rings. 3. normal metal ruler. 4. special frosting spatula. 5. flower cut outs. 6. pre-mixed gum paste. 7. fondant smoother.

Made a huge mess.

not pictured is the large amount of cornstarch on my pants and shirt...

Which eventually resulted in this display.

I made a "dive cake" for Pretty to enjoy (and cupcakes with the extra batter). Turns out she's a bit prissy and wouldn't even touch it! Jake put a bit of the frosting on her tongue to entice her; instead, she made a face and tried to grab the frosting out of her mouth and fling it away. She would rather eat a bell pepper than anything sweet. So, sadly, after the party, this cake looked the same. No awesome messy baby pictures for her.

The loops of the bow were made from gum paste the flowers and the one from fondant.

But the main part of my work was on the big cake. I love the way it turned out, but I also know that there is a lot of room for improvement. I learned a whole lot during this process.

First: When she said that it's a good idea to make stuff ahead of time, she wasn't kidding. I did make the cakes before hand (using her tips and they turned out AWESOME. So moist!). But I waited until right before I needed it to mix up the fondant. And while I'm talking about it, making fondant was a very satisfying experience! When else do you get to smear your counter with Crisco on purpose and play with melted marshmallows and powdered sugar?! But let me tell you, my abs are sore from the kneading!! A bit beside the point of, I should have made this the day before.

Second:  The recipe makes a lot of fondant! And you don't need very much because it should be rolled thin. I rolled mine way too thick for both the main cake covering and the cut outs. I might try to half the recipe next time. I had so much left over, with no purpose, that ended up in the trash.

Third: The gum paste was awesome to work with! I loved it. It is important to have the Crisco sitting right there to help you keep it pliable. It does dry out pretty quickly. It also doesn't taste very good, even though my niece gobbled up the curls one by one!

Fourth: I know I need to work on getting the cornstarch off the gum paste and fondant for a cleaner prettier look. But I ran out of time and wasn't sure how to go about it when it didn't just brush off. (any suggestions?)

Fifth: I probably should have read the instructions a bit more carefully before going to the store. I didn't realize I would need white chocolate chips to secure the flowers to the sticks. I ended up using green candy melts I had on hand. They worked great, but it was a bit messy looking.

In the end, I loved it! I will definitely try it again, with all my new knowledge. And I will also use the tutorials I found at Make It and Love It, because they were awesome! The family party was a hit, and how could you not love to be celebrating such an adorable little girl?!


I want to win. I DESERVE it.

All right. I have just spent longer than a mommy should looking for a current giveaway of the awesome Silhouette SD Machine. I want one so badly! I finally found one and can get a solid 10 entries for blogging about it. So, I'm sorry you have to deal with this, but at the same time, maybe you should thank me. You can head over here to The Bragging Mommy and enter to win, too. As mean as it sounds, I hope you don't, because then I'll have a bit better chance. Pick me random number generator! Make my little crafting dreams come true!


Sock Animals - Taiwan Style

For part of our trip, we traveled down to Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan where my Mother-in-law is from. We were lucky to be there during the Lantern Festival.

The lanterns are made by elementary, jr. high and high school aged kids. They are wire frames with fabric stretched over top and lights inside. They were pretty awesome.

I loved this sewing one, with her basket of yarn in front.

There were even some motorized ones, like this ferris wheel Hero and his Ye Ye are checking out.

But the thing that really caught my attention was this booth of sock animals! She gave me her card, but I don't know her name because most of it is in Chinese, but there was a web address in English, here. She designs and makes all the animals herself!

Notice the multi-colored monkeys, the rabbits, frogs, giraffes, clown and cats.

The zebras and the elephants.

The alligator!!

I thought I was so cool for making up my own cow. . . and now that seems pretty insignificant. I stood drooling over the table for 20 minutes before selecting these two darlings to come home with me (for more money than should be spent on such a toy).

I haven't chosen names for them yet, but I will name them.

I love the beading and buttons she used.

I may seem mean and selfish, but this is as close to playing with these animals as Hero (or Pretty) will ever get. These are mine.

There was also a second booth of animals. I loved how she created arms out of the main sock by pinching and sewing a groove into the body (look at the bunny and the cat hanging on the front).

I really need to up my sock animal game. These are just amazing!