Button-spiration

crochet buttons

Here’s a fun combination of two things I love. Buttons & crochet. Actually, crochet buttons. Nifty, eh? I could see spending an evening making up a bunch of these… for something. Maybe put some on a few cuff bracelets, or make some new button hair clips. Not sure I would actually use them as functional buttons, but more just for embellishment.

There are quite a few tutorials out there for making these. This one from Salt for the Spirit, incorporates a plastic ring to form thicker, more rounded buttons. There is also a super simple crochet button tutorial on Mr. Micawber’s Reciper for Happiness blog. Quick Tip has some simple patterned buttons. Jenny Doh has examples of some crochet buttons she made from hemp yarn & used to decorate a pair of ballet flats. There’s also instructions on Mademoiselle Chaos for crocheting around buttons, giving them a bit of a facelift. I think you’re starting to get the picture. Lots of options to choose from.

Happy crocheting!

crochet covered buttons

Forest adventure

Sammy and I spent the past five days out at the family cabin, while drywall and cabinets were going up in the kitchen. It was just little man and I on our own and it felt like quite the adventure. There was sun, clouds, a bit of rain, crazy squirrels, hummingbirds buzzing by, lots of wagon rides, warm fires in the early morning, naps snuggled together, smokies & hot dogs, and mama’s beer & crochet time on the deck after Sam went to bed. And let’s be honest, there was also plenty of frustration, crying, tears, tantrums, and mama losing her patience (and not feeling great about that). There was also no internet or cell service. But we survived. We more than survived. I’m tired and my patience is thin, but we had some good adventures, my little man & I.

Breakfast view at the cabin
Breakfast view at the cabin
Sam sticking out tongue
That's my goofy monkey!
Sam and the sprinkler
Sam recently discovered the fun of sprinklers
Sam filling water bucket
So serious about his bucket filling duties
Sam filling bucket with water
Maybe not THAT serious!
Sam diggin in pinecones
Digging in a pile of pinecone bits (aka leftover squirrel food)
Sam's rubber boots
Sporting his new rubber boots, perfect for forest adventures
Sam collecting pebbles
Collecting pebbles
Sam in the wagon
Forest adventures make little boys tired
Sunset at the cabin
Quiet evening on the back deck
Crocheting on the back deck
The perfect evening

*And special thanks to my hubby & dad who spent so many days toiling over the kitchen (tackling drywall)! And thanks to our wonderful friends who came over to lend a hand too! There’s still lots of work left, but it’s starting to resemble a kitchen again.*

It’s the small things

It truly is the small things that are getting me through all the chaos of the kitchen renos, the whining baby, the messy house, the lack of routine. Here’s my list of small things that bring a smile to my face:

Chocolate dipped strawberry bouquet
Mother's Day bouquet of chocolate dipped strawberries
Toy guitar
Listening to Sam strum his guitar and sing to himself
Pink mums
Pretty flowers from my mama
Granny square blanket
A scap granny square blanket that keeps getting bigger each day
Beer and chocolate
Beer and chocolate after baby boys goes to bed
Square card reader
My mobile credit card reader finally arriving in the mail

In progress

Feels like there is a lot “in progress” in our life right now. Here’s a snapshot of a few of the things that are keeping us busy these days and in coming weeks too (couldn’t quite capture Sam’s first molar that has decided to come in, but that is also a pretty big deal & still “in progress” too):

Broccoli under cold frames
Broccoli growing under cold frames in the garden
Upcycled collar by Bubblegum Sass
Experimenting with new product designs
Scrap yarn granny square blanket by Bubblegum Sass
Granny square blanket made entirely of scrap yarn

Kitchen Renos
Major kitchen renos begin

Old black and white checkered floor
A little surprise discovered as we replace multiple layers of old flooring throughout the kitchen, dining room, and hallway

One Moment

(One moment in a busy week, captured in a photograph. Time to slow down, reflect, give thanks, and enjoy.)

Baby crochetCrochet
Leisure
Crafting
Granny square
Relaxation
Books
Crochet hook
Yarn
Hobbies
Projects
One person
Baby boy
Lower half
Bare feet
Summer
*Finally a bit of craft time to save my sanity*

Spring Pinterest Par-tay

Over a month ago now (almost two…seriously behind on posts) I had the honor of hosting a Pinterst party. I was so excited for it! Gave me something awesome to look forward to. It was also a great excuse to scour Pinterest for new recipes & party ideas. The theme for the party was “spring”, so I decided to go with lemon flavored treats, fresh fruit and flowers. Here’s what I put together:

Chewy Lemon CookiesChewy lemon snowdrop cookies

Flower cookies with brush embroidery

Flower cookies with a no-egg-white royal icing and brush embroidery (a very amateur attempt at cookie decorating… need more practice)

Flower pot fruit cups

Flower pot fruit cups with button toothpicks, my own invention, inspired from ideas found here.

Lemon Feta Dip

Lemon feta dip, so tasty on crispy crackers and I’m sure would work well as a dip for veggies too.

As with previous Pinterest parties, guests brought a craft project along to work on. Keeping with the “Spring” theme, I made Sam’s roller derby onesie in preparation for the season opener.

Sarah's Derby Onesie

Christine was using her knifty knitter to work on a pretty purple scarf.

Christine's Knitting Loom

Ellen was crocheting a lovely, and oh-so-fine, spring scarf. Her patience with that particular project is amazing! That wool and I would have parted ways long ago.

Ellen's Crochet Scarf

After finishing up a couple more tag blankets, Shauna began braided together strips of fabric to make a necklace or headband or both. So muh fun! And the colours were so springy! Probably inspired by this.

Shauna's Braided Headband

And Jan was working on this lovely spring wreath made from a foam wreath form, yarn and felt flowers (which she also made). Jan has an entire Pinterest board dedicated to wreaths!

Jan's Yarn Wreath

That was our night of craftiness. A good time indeed! And now it’s almost time to start planning the next Pinterest Party. (One day I’ll catch up on posts. Probably. Eventually.)

Making new friends

Someone has been busy making new friends, from the comfort of his crib. Sam was given this amazing crochet mobile by my friend Kalen of Minibytes. She’s been mentioned on this blog lots, seeing as she has been my oh-so-wonderful boothmate at some monumental craft shows (aka Make It). I was delighted to see this special mobile get hung in the nursery (my apologies on the dark photos these days… every time I get a chance to drag the camera out, it’s overcast & gloomy).

Sam and his mobile
Sam talking to his new friends

The mobile is all done in crochet. Kalen used her Minibytes critters (owl, bunny, mouse, and fox) and added some clouds & stars. The critters just Velcro onto the strands, so we can remove them for some supervised play time or even change them out with different animals. Sam has really been enjoying it! He can entertain himself in his crib for little stretches of time while mama does things around the house. The giggles and talking he does in there is just adorable. I’m so glad he likes his new friends! And who wouldn’t love those cute critters?! Thanks again, Kalen! If you’re interested in your own crochet mobile, she has a couple versions for sale in her Etsy shop.

Crochet mobile
Crochet mobile made by Kalen of Minibytes

Crochet mobile detail

So he grows

When we discovered that we would be having a January baby, I knew that I would need to make some super cozy things to keep baby warm in our Canadian winter. Here was one item that I made. A toque. Some call it a knit hat, but here in Canada, it’s a toque.

I made this toque from a pattern purchased on Etsy, from a shop which also sells one of my fav crochet baby sweater patterns. The toque pattern is called Thinking of Autumn by Vita of Mon Petit Violon. It is made with 100% alpaca yarn from SandnesGarn. There are hundreds of crochet hat patterns for babies out there, but this one really appealed to me because of the ear flaps. If it was going to be -35 Celcius outside than protecting those precious baby ears and cheeks seemed very important. I made a slight addition to the toque (don’t I always do this sort of thing?) by lining it with Polartec 200 weight fleece. Even lined the ear flaps. The result was a super warm toque for baby boy. The downside, the lining took away a lot of the stretch of the hat, so it only fit Sam for the first month. It did, however, serve its purpose… the day we brought Sam home from the hospital, was one of the coldest days of this winter.

I started working an another one of these toques in a larger size. In fact, it was the first craft project I started once I got out of the hospital. All the pieces are made, it just needs to be assembled. It should last Sam into the spring (when we frequently see big dumps of wet snow).

Sam's toque
Almost outgrown his toque here

Not quite socks

About a year ago, I discovered the joy of making crochet baby sweaters from sock yarn. Sock yarn, in general, is easy to wash, comes in such lovely variegated colours and seems like the perfect weight for little ones (while still being cozy for Canadian winters). Now, I of course, break all sorts of “rules” for crochet patterns. Most of the baby sweater patterns I use call for a thicker weight of yarn, but by using sock yarn (super fine, #1) I’m able to make the sweaters small enough for newborns (0-3 months). Or so I hope. I’ll let you know how they fit soon enough. I can’t help but experiment! I’ve done some slightly larger ones as well. All in all, I’ve probably completed at least six using different patterns. Here are two I made especially for our own little babe, using a pattern from the book Natural Crochet for Babies & Toddlers by Tina Barrett. It’s the “Matinee Jacket” with my own personal twist… I change up the top part of sweater so that it buttons on the side instead of straight down the middle. A slightly more modern look, I think. Anyway, there are sure to be a dozen more sweaters made over the coming years as our little one grows and I’ll continue to experiment with different yarns and patterns, breaking some of the “rules” as I go.

Crochet baby sweater
Crochet rainbow baby sweater

P.S – Turns out these little sweaters work great for Sam. The sleeves are a bit long, but they help to keep his little adorable hands warm during our quick ventures out into -30C. He wore the blue one home from the hospital:

Sam in his sweater

Baby’s hideaway

So here we are, only one sleep away from welcoming baby. Can you believe it?! The time has really flown by. Lots of things didn’t get finished and will just have to wait for another time. I’m okay with that. We’ll take this all in stride, like we have all the other things that have come our way. That’s not to say that I’m not freaked out about how to keep an infant alive, though. I just mean that we’ll figure out how to fit things into our new life, find a new way of walking through each day and moment. I’m embracing the change that is coming our way.

Here’s a little tour of the nursery that has been slowly coming together over the past several weeks, as different bits of furniture arrived. The walls are looking a tad bare, but rest assured, there are plans in the works for getting it more cozy.

Nursery
A comfy glider chair (courtesy of mom) and pretty new dresser with change table on top
Nursery
Sweet crib (Toys 'R Us) and bookshelf (Ikea)
Nursery birds
Cute crochet birdies
Nursery
Closet, diaper pail & hamper ready for use
Closet knobs
Pretty knobs for the closet, purchased at Anthropologie

A couple of notes… the crib sheet, which you can’t see too great in these photos, is adorable! Just take my word for it. I purchased it from a fellow Etsy Alberta teamie, Jaimie, who runs Parker & Posie. Thanks so much Jaimie!

And as for those wondering about the little crochet birdie family, I made them up over a year ago, using a tutorial by Attic 24. I simplified things a bit (as I tend to do) by just cutting the wings and beaks out of felt, instead of crocheting them. They have little buttons for eyes and feet and they hang from a ribbon. I made two sets of these birdies at the time, but the other set has four birds… maybe one day in the future we can upgrade to that, but for now, the number three suits our little family.

Those knobs on the closet doors are a big deal (to me, anyway). Since the day we moved into this house, those door have been without knobs. Who knows where the previous owners put the original knobs! It didn’t matter much for a couple of years, because this room was the office and the closet didn’t see much action. But as we started converting this room into the nursery, it became more and more important to me to have, not just proper knobs, but unique knobs. We finally made our way down to Anthropologie last week and quickly found several beautiful options. We decided on two of similar design, but each is a different colour. Keepin’ it quirky in the nursery!

Well, I guess that’s it… in less than 24 hours we will (hopefully) be snuggling with our new baby and embarking on a wonderful journey. I’ll introduce the little one on the blog, as soon as I am able. I am prepared to be very patient with myself as I recover from the c-section and learn to care for baby. *If I get a chance today, I hope to prep some pre-scheduled posts for you to continue reading while we are consumed by our new life.*