Making things pretty ( and I’m such a slacker! )

Ugh! It’s so hot here lately. No I’m sorry, hot isnt the right word, humid is what we get. You go outside and it it feels like you’re swimming!! It makes me so lazy, I don’t want to crochet, let alone even move.
However, at the same time, I feel like I need to do something. So I decided on the least amount of work possible in a crafty project and dyed some old lace curtains. I used food coloring and coffee, because let’s be honest if I don’t have to leave my air conditioner, I’m not going to!! Plus I like the old faded out colors.

All I did was add a bit of food coloring to water for two and then strong brewed coffee for the third. Pre wet the curtains and let them soak as long as you like.


I didn’t rinse them, my use for them is to place under my plants so I’m not concerned with washing at any point. I reccomend letting them dry, then rinsing in the sink before washing. Doing it in this order will give them a chance to really “stain” the fabric.


Look how pretty they look hanging out!!

Thats yellow on the left, red/blue combo in the center and coffee to the right. I have a pile more sitting in a bin, looks like I’ll be doing a bit more dyeing in the future.


Up-cycle Journals 

I tend to come up with a lot of my crochet ideas as I lie in bed. I said to my mister a few nights ago that I should keep a notebook or journal next to the bed, he agreed, and the next day I set about finding one in my house. I knew we had one somewhere, I live with an artist for goodness sake, there had to be an unused book lying around! Well, turns out we had a ton, all used to some degree or another…. “mom, you live with two people who draw and paint all the time. Of course we’ve used them all.” Silly me….   Not wanting to spend any money ( surprise! ) or give up, I dove head first into the teenagers closet. Brave or stupid, your choice, it was worth it! I found one!! She completely forgot about it, must have been a gift YEARS ago and gave me the go ahead to “do what you do” as she turned up the music and dipped her brush into a pile of paint. ( I don’t get painters… ) So here we go, how to turn a boring old notebook/journal into something pretty!

Up cycled Journal:

* Old journal ( as you can see, this started as a Twilight abomination! )

* Some fabric

* Scissors

* Glue

* Pencil

* Iron ( optional )

Step one: place journal open on the backside of fabric about 1 1/2 inches from bottom. Fold over the front cover:  

Step two: shut the front cover and measure about 1 1/2 inch on the side of the shut book, and the same at the top. Cut out the square:

Step three: fold down the top and bottom to fit the length of your book. This is where the iron can come in, ironing them will help keep them folded neatly, but is not necessary.  

Step four: we are working on the back now. Spread a small amount of glue on the back cover and inside edge of back cover: ( not too much glue or it gets gooey! )

Step five: fold the back cover edge over pushing firmly onto the glue:  

Step six: repeat step four on the front:

Step seven: fold the front edge over as you shut the book. If you try to glue in place and then shut, it will be too tight. Make any adjustments to cover placement while the glue is still wet. Place something heavy on top and let dry. 

So much better looking now! And because she loves me, my daughter has allowed me to use a few pages of her journal for examples/ideas for you! She uses hers as a combination journal, sketchbook, scrap/smash book.


Chihiro ( free pattern )

My favorite Studio Ghibli movie, Spirited Away!! I can watch this movie over and over and still not be bored by it. So here’s the newest in the Studio Ghibli series: Chihiro. Or to be proper, based on her outfit let’s call her Sen!


G hook
Skin tone yarn
Any color yarn for clothing
Brown yarn for hair
Small amount of white yarn and a dark red yarn
Poly fil stuffing
Yarn needle
Safety eyes or black embroidery floss


sc – single crochet

ch – chain

hk – hook

inc – increase

dec – decrease

slp st – slip stitch
F/O – fasten off


Ch 2
1. 6sc in 2nd ch from hk – 6
2. 2sc in each st around -12
3. ( sc, inc )6x – 18
4. ( sc 2, inc )6x – 24
5. ( sc 3, inc )6x – 30
6 – 14. sc around – 30 each row

  • Start stuffing
  • If using safety eyes, attach now

15. ( sc 3, dec )6x – 24
16. ( sc 2, dec )6x – 18
17. ( sc, dec )6x – 12
18. dec 6
F/O, sew shut, weave in ends.


The body will start at the feet and go up.

Feet/legs: ( make two )

Starting in skin tone:
Start with a magic circle
1. 4sc in magic circle – 4
2. 2sc in each st around – 8
3 – 5. sc around – 8 each row
6. sc, ch 3, skp next 2 sts, sc 5 – 9
7. dec 5, F/O, sew heel shut. Lightly stuff foot.

  • slp st into ch, sc front loops only around – 7
  • Stuff the leg as you go.

8 – 14. sc around – 7 each row
15. sc 2, inc, sc 2, dec – 7
16 – 17. sc around – 7 each row

  • switch to clothing color

18. 2sc in each st around in front loops only – 14
19. ( sc 2, inc )7x – 21
20 – 21. sc around – 21 each row
22. ( sc 5, dec )3x – 18
23. sc around – 18
24. ( sc 4, dec )3x – 15
25. sc around – 15
F/O, weave in ends.

  • Line up legs side by side and crochet the top together using 2 sts.
  • Slide the hook through the top of both legs, yarn over the hk, pull through both legs, crochet as usual.


  • Now we’re going to crochet around both legs to start the body:


1. Crochet around both legs, you should have 27 total, increase or decrease if needed to get that number – 27
2 – 4. sc around – 27 each row

5. sc around in back loops only – 27
6. ( sc 3, inc )9x in front loops only – 36
7. ( sc 4, dec )6x – 30
8. sc around – 30

  • Begin stuffing here

    9. ( sc 3, dec )6x – 24
    10 – 11. sc around – 24 each row
    12. ( sc 2, dec )6x – 18
    13 – 14. sc around – 18 each row
    15. ( sc 2, dec )3x – 15

    • Switch to skin tone

    16. ( sc, dec )5x, in back loops only – 10
    17. dec 5 – 5 Sew remaining shut.

    • F/O, leave long tail for sewing.
    • Slp st with clothes color into the front loops of row #16, sc around. ( collar made )
    • Placing the doll on her side, try to slp st into the direct middle of row #5 front loops:


    1. sc across the front loops – 13 ( your number may not be the same. You want to cover the front of her legs )
    2. ch 1, turn, sc across – 13
    3 – 8. ch 1, turn, so across – 13 each row
    F/O, weave in all ends.

    Arms: make two

    Starting in skin tone, ch 2
    1. 6sc in second ch from hk – 6
    2 – 3. sc around – 6 each row
    4. insert hk through next st, yarn over, pull through, two loops on hk
    Yarn over hk, insert through same st, yarn over, pull through, four loops on hk
    Yarn over hk, pull through all four loops.
    Sc 5
    5 – 11. sc around – 6 each row

    • switch to clothing color.
    • Begin stuffing now.

    12. 2sc in each st around in front loops only – 12
    13 – 14. sc around -12 each row
    15. ( sc, dec ) 4x – 8
    16. ( sc, inc )4x – 12
    17 – 19. sc around – 12
    20. ( sc 4, dec )2x – 10
    21. sc around – 10
    22. dec 6, F/O, sew shut.
    Leave long tail for sewing.

    Ears: make two

    Ch 3
    1. Starting in second ch from hk, 2sc in each st
    F/O, leave tail for sewing.

    Ch 30, F/O, sew onto waist

    White sash:

    Ch 85, fasten off.

    Assembly order:

    1. Embroider on eyes if not using safety eyes
    2. Sew on ears
    3. Sew head firmly to body
    4. Sew on arms
    5. Sew belt to waistline
    6. Attach sash
    7. Add hair


    Fishing and crafting

    Spring has finally decided to grace us with its presence!! Which of course means fishing season has started. I’m not a “fisherman” but my mister is big time. He loves to just sit on the side of a river and catch and release, he could do it all day. Because I love that man, I do try to go with him, which means hours of open craft time!!  


    I don’t like to bring my crochet, it’s a little difficult to keep yarn clean while sitting on the ground in the woods, so last year I started this project. It’s an old grocery store basket that I’m simply weaving hemp onto to. Had the basket, had the hemp ( throwback to my high school days I swear ) and had the time. Easy to transport around the woods and easy to start/stop in random places. It’s rather relaxing in my opinion. I don’t think, just weave and listen to the water as he fishes a few feet away.

    I’m thinking ( no, I’m going to ) make him draw on the blank square to gussy it up some more and then line the bottom with those rubber cabinets liners. It’s going to be perfect for farmers markets, flea markets, and tag sales! Just going to pop it in my car and leave it there, matches my little red Volkswagen perfectly!!

    Here’s what the sides look like finished and the front is almost done 😃 


    And here’s the reason I’m sitting in the middle of the woods next to a river: 


    Love that guy! 😍

    So ladies, if you’re looking for something to keep you busy while “hanging” out together, I say give it a try.

    The Super Slouchy Beanie (free pattern)


    Here’s the hat I made to go with the mittens! Again, this is a quick and easy pattern. All you need are basic crochet skills and a few hours.
    This hat, like the mittens, was made a little snug on purpose, the more you wear it, the loser and more relaxed it becomes, without losing its fit and becoming overly stretched like most crochet projects.

    Super Slouch hat:

    Worsted weight yarn, I used red heart super saver solid


    * ch – chain
    * hk – hook
    * slp st – slip stitch
    * hdc – half double crochet
    * dc – double crochet
    * inc – increase (two dc in same stitch)
    * dec – decrease (crochet 2 stitches together)
    * bl – back loops


    * end each row by slip stitching into the top of the first ch
    * Starting from row 2, crochet in bl only on every row, unless otherwise noted.

    Ch 4
    1. dc 12 into 4th ch from hk – 12
    2. ch 2, 2dc in each st around – 24
    3. ch 2, ( dc, inc ) around – 36
    4. ch 2, ( dc 2, inc ) around – 48
    5. ch 2, ( dc 3, inc ) around – 60
    6. ch2, dc around – 60
    7. ch 2, ( dc 4, inc ) around – 72
    8. ch 2, dc around – 72
    9 – 22. repeat row 8 – 72 (each row)
    23. sc 10, dec ) 6x – 66
    24. ch 1, hdc around in both loops – 66
    25. hdc in bl only around -66

    *For rows 25 and on: When crocheting a hdc you will notice it has three loops ( look at the row directly from the top ) make sure you use the furthest one back, this is what gives you the lifted ribbing.


    * continue row 25 in bl only around until your brim is as thick as you’d like, mine was done 6 times ( so my hat has a total of 31 rows ), finish off with one row of sc. F/O weave in ends.
    * Add a cute little tag if you’d like. I used ribbon I picked up at Michaels, just cut a small piece, fold over the edge and sew into place. Just love the snowflakes!
    * The hat may seem slightly snug, remember that crocheted items do stretch.

    Now you have a set!!