11/29/2011

Crochet Star Pattern


These sweet little stars are perfect little ornaments to give as gift sets. They work up quick! Leave a loop to hang on a tree or could also stich the corners together to form a garland!

What you'll need:
H/8-5.00mm hook, darning needle, small amounts of worsted weight yarn. I used Red Heart Holiday in green/silver, aran/gold, and red/silver.

This yarn has a nice little sparkle to it!


Abbreviations:
Ch- chain, DC - double crochet, SC - single crochet and slst - slip stich

Pattern:
Ch 5, slst to form a ring.
Round 1: Ch 3, 2 DC onto ring, *Ch3, 3 DC. Repeat from * 3 more times, Ch 3, slst into 3rd chain 1st Ch 3. (5 sets of DC clusters, 5 Ch 3 sections around ring)



Round 2: Ch 3, turn, 2 DC onto Ch 3 space from previous round, Ch3, 3 DC on same Ch 3 space, *skip DC, SC on middle DC of Round 1 cluster, skip DC, 3 DC, Ch 3, 3 Dc on next Round 1 Ch3 space. Repeat from * 4 more times. To end Round 2, skip DC and put hook through next Dc, then slide hook through the 3rd Ch on first Ch 3, and complete a SC (yarn over, pull through both DC on hook, yarn over and pull through last two loops on hook).


Fasten off. Weave in ends or leave a loop to hang as an ornament.





And for those who do not crochet, you can purchase a set of three at my etsy shop!

*This is my first attempt at writing a crochet pattern. Please let me know if you find something difficult to understand or a problem with the pattern!

Thank you,
Brooke

11/28/2011

Afterschool Hot Chocolate

Our weekend was pretty unexciting. We stayed home, made food, watched movies, played, and that was about it. I loved it. I like being home. Especially since I am still feeling a little under the weather.

It is a blustery dark day here. So, when gavin got hot from preschool, I decided that it was chilly enough for hot chocolate! He was more than thrilled with that.



I don't do anything super fancy when I make hot chocolate. I use Swiss Miss packets but I swap out the water for milk. This time, I had some left over half and half from the pumpkin pie I made for Thanksgiving, so I used that too. It made the hot chocolate dreamily creamy.


I have these cute butterfly mugs that are a little smaller than an average mug. I picked them up at a garage sale a long time ago for a quarter a piece.


They are perfect for Gavin's hot chocolate or apple cider. He still prefers a straw.


We are out of mini marshmallows but had those huge roaster marshmallows leftover from our canoe trip. I snipped them with the scissors to fit into his cup.


Mama likes hers with whipped cream. Yum.
Perfect for a cold dreary day.

What is your cold day comfort? I'd love for you to comment!

11/27/2011

Chin up, Buttercup.

There are always times in our lives when we start to feel discouraged. Sometimes I have been gulity of curling up with that feeling and telling myself "what is the use?", tossing in the towel and giving up. I have had a lot of stumbles in my life. A bad decision here and a worse decision there. Bad decisions happen but so do good ones. It is the bad decisions that make the good ones even great. So I keep trying.


inspiration

Sometimes it feels like the only one who believes in me is me. It makes for a lonely road when the only encouragement you hear is in your head. Those icy fingers of giving up tickling my neck while I wait for some sort of justification.

I have to remind myself....


pintrest

I have to keep going. I have to keep trying. Even if it feels like no one reads my blog or likes what I make. I still want to keep writing. I will always make things.


pintrest

If I don't believe in myself, I have lost everything. I have to fight through the tough spots when things feel useless. I have to prove to others that what I am doing is not pointless. That if it is only because I enjoy it that will be point enough.

Love,
Brooke

11/26/2011

Crochet Star Holiday Ornaments



I am feeling that holiday spirit creeping in! I have always wanted to make some crochet ornaments so this morning I brought out some pretty yarn I bought last Christmas season and gave it a try. I think they are really cute.






I decided to go ahead and list a set of them in my etsy shop if someone wanted them for their tree. You can purchase a set of 3 for $12!

I think next, I might try to make a garland of stars.

11/25/2011

Holiday shoppers, start your engines!

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and is recovering quickly from their turkey hangovers. Gavin and I had pumpkin pie with extra whipped cream for breakfast. Delicious. We managed to save the last sliver of my fabulous pumpkin pie for Daddy.
The pies were a hit, by the way. The pecan didn't stand a chance. My mom had the first piece gone about 15 minutes after we walked through the door.

Today, is the infamous Black Friday. I am not a Black Friday shopper. For one, I am stuck fighting a cold and had to take my NyQuil last night. Secondly, I prefer to make things for people. Also, I would much rather do my shopping online and have it all delivered to my front door while I am comfy in my pjs playing with Gavin.




Have you seen the television adds by American Express for Small Business Saturday?


It is a fabulous idea. While I do not have a physical store people can walk into, I do have a little online shop to visit. From my own personal experience, there is something wonderful that happens when someone makes a purchase from you. There is a great sense of pride and accomplishment. It makes you want to make more things to make more people smile. There is a feeling of satisfaction and success in each sale no matter how small or large.



This afternoon, I listed a couple new beautiful scarves in my etsy shop. I hope you check them out and poke around.


purple scarf
I love this yarn I have been working with. The colors are so pretty and the texture is so soft and snugly. These circle scarves are so cozy and comforting.


black, purple, & aqua scarf

I have marked all my jewelry down to $3! Yep, you heard me, $3. Only, one dollar shipping on all jewelry too. Lets say you pick a bracelet & two pairs of earrings. Shipping is still only $1 for all of it. I will ship all orders made this weekend out on Monday! I hope you go take a little peruse you and find something you like. Maybe even love. I love it all.

Happy shopping all!

11/23/2011

Me oh my, I love pie!

The pies are ready!

I kind of hate trying new recipes out on Thanksgiving. I had a pumpkin pecan disaster like 8 years ago that everyone tried to smile and eat. It was sweet of them to try but I knew it was awful. So I am hoping these are better!





Waiting on the pumpkin apple muffins then off to Grandmas we go!
Happy Thanksgiving!

11/22/2011

Preparing for Thanksgiving!



I am happily planning my shopping list for the store tonight. This year I am making the pecan pie and pumpkin pie to add to the Thanksgiving spread. I have never made either so I am a tiny bit nervous. I've done my research and settled on recipes from two of my food idols. I will be making Paula Dean's traditional pumpkin pie & The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond's pecan pie. I will post pictures of the results sometime tomorrow.

I am also making pumpkin apple muffins for Thanksgiving morning breakfast. What I love about Thanksgiving is spending time preparing food with my family. What do you love about Thanksgiving? What are your favorite dishes?

11/21/2011

Weekend Review: Baby bliss & the big green monster



This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending an adorable animal print baby shower for about the cutest and sweetest pregnant girl ever. I made little Keaton a nice big green afghan to snuggle with.


I also had the pleasure of making the super cute shower invitations. The shower was perfect, the food was fabulous, and the cake yummy.


I was inspired by Goodknits Big Red.


My first time doing a crab stitch border. Love it!

Other than that, Gavin fought a fever all weekend and we had a birthday dinner for my mom and Gavin. Some yummy homemade food and my fabulous cupcakes. I think they enjoy sharing a birthday party.

11/19/2011

happy little hankie



I have a friend that I love so much she feels like family. We love like family, we fight like family. It is like she was supposed to be my sister and the stork got confused.

Me and Em 2005

So when she told me she was getting married in two week on 11-11-11 I was so excited for her. This girl deserves her happy everafter and found the perfect man to share it with. The ceremony was an intimate family only affair that was adorably romantic.

Instantly, I had to think of the perfect gift for her. Not enough time for an afghan, my usual go to wedding gift. What to do? What to do?

A sweet little hankie with a crochet border seemed the perfect gift for my sweet friend to carry on her wedding day. It would be like I was there to dry her happy tears even though I couldn't be.

I set out to find a ladies hankie to crochet a border to without avail. Men's hankerchiefs are everywhere. I have cut apart a mens hankie to make a smaller women's hankie before. I started to feel discouraged until I had one of those "Aha!" moments. A hankie is just a square of fabric! I have oodles of different fabrics. With a little inspiration from this perfect Lace Trim Hanky tutorial at Craft Passion.

I settled on a perky pink polka dot fabric, bright pink crochet trim with green embroidery in her new initials.






I think she loved it. Success!

I just adore it. I was thinking I may need a sweet set of hankies of my own.

11/18/2011

Liberty Coffee, Ice Cream & Cheese Shops

I visted my hometown, Vandalia, IL, last week. There are a series of new shops that have opened downtown. A fabric store, a wood working shop, a scrapbook store, and a "we sell your stuff on ebay" kind of store. My mom and I visited my favorite kind of shop, one that sells food. We checked out the lunch menu at Liberty Coffee, Ice Cream and Cheese.








They sell a large variety of jams, jellies, preserves, candies, jarred this and that.




Mmmmm...cheese. Lots of delicious cheese.


My little ham had a hot dog.


I let my mom have the last bowl of french onion soup. I am such a generous daughter.


I had some clam chowder. It was pretty good. I wish the bread bowl was more like the chewy sourdough variety I have grown to love from the bread chain restaraunt I have been eating for years. It was still good though.

We will have to come back for some coffee. It smelled yummy and they had a wide variety of flavored coffees. They also have a drive through which is nice when you are in a hurry (or in your pajamas). I need to buy some apple butter! It is definitely worth mor investigation! I have one suggestion for them: SPECIALTY GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES!

11/17/2011

Weekend Review: Where have I been? part 1

I haven taken this whole week off from blogging. I was so completely sick it isn't funny. Then, immediately following getting well, I had a five year old birthday to celebrate! So it has been a busy week since I last posted.

Here is the run down:

Sadly, at the end of last week, I had to pay my respects to another one of my close friend's fathers who had passed away. He was a great father and loving, proud grandfather to her son. It was an unexpected death which makes it tough. He was from South Carolina and belonged to and organization called The Sons of the Confederate Vetrans (I think.) There was a whole ceremony to celebrate his heritage. They were dressed in Confederate uniforms and did a gun salute. They even brought soil from his great grandfather's (who fought and died in the Civil War) home state to bury with him. What was so interesting is that this probably doesn't happen very often in Illinois. While it was a sad situation it was interesting to be a part of laying someone like him to rest.

On a happier note, my best friend married her sweetheart on 11-11-11 at 11am. They sprung this on us a couple weekends ago. Sometimes when it is time to get married you just got to go do it! So they pull together a sweet wedding. They kept it intimate celebrating with just there family. I think that makes it very personal it is adorably romantic. I am so unbelievably happy for them. She and I have been friends since we were five years old. She is like family to me and she deserves a long and happy marriage! I made her a hanky to carry on her wedding for all those happy tears. I"ll post more detail on that later.





There is much more to share but I think I will spread out the fun.