Friday, March 30, 2012

Crocheted Cranky Pig

There is a man in my life who is currently infatuated with Angry Birds. This man happens to be all of 5 years old.  So, in honor of his recent birthday I created some special gifts for him, but I've been asked to call them "Mad Birds". These are done amigurumi style - which is a Japanese crochet meaning "in the round". Basically, you crochet continuously without joining each round.  
When I decided to do these, I didn't even bother to look for a pattern because I'm cheap creative like that.  To begin, I found a picture online.
Then I just started crocheting, but this time I remembered to write down the pattern as I went along. I typically forget to do that. Oops.

Voila, here is my artistic interpretation of the pig for you. Please note that this pattern has not been tested by anyone, so if you want to try it out I would love to hear back from you.

Cranky Pig

  • Size ‘G’ hook
  • 4-ply worsted weight yarn in green.  I used some leftover Red Heart Kids in Lime – approximately 1 ounce. For the snout, I had some leftover Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in Seaspray Mist.  Just select two similar shades of green. 
  • White and Black craft felt – small amount
  • Fiberfill stuffing – small amount
  • Sewing needle and thread

Exact gauge is not essential to this project.

sc2tog (sc decrease) Insert hook into st and draw up a loop. Insert hook into next st and draw up a loop. Yarn over, draw through all 3 loops on hook – 1 st decreased.
Work in continuous rnds; do not join or turn unless otherwise instructed.

Rnd 1: Make magic circle and work 6 sc; place a marker to indicate beg of round; move marker up as each round is completed.
Rnd 2: Work 2 sc in each st around – 12 sts.
Rnd 3: *sc in next st; 2 sc in next st* rep between * around – 18 sts.
Rnd 4: *sc in next 2 st; 2 sc in next st* rep between * around – 24 sts.
Rnd 5: *sc in next 3 st; 2 sc in next st* rep between * around – 30 sts.
Rnd 6: *sc in next 4 st; 2 sc in next st* rep between * around – 36 sts.
Rnd 7: *sc in next 5 st; 2 sc in next st* rep between * around – 42 sts.
Rnd 8-12: sc around – 42 sts.
Rnd 13: *sc in next 5 st; sc2tog (sc decrease) in next st* rep between * around – 36 sts.
Rnd 14: *sc in next 4 st; sc2tog (sc decrease) in next st* rep between * around – 30 sts.
Rnd 15: *sc in next 3 st; sc2tog (sc decrease) in next st* rep between * around – 24 sts.
Rnd 16: *sc in next 2 st; sc2tog (sc decrease) in next st* rep between * around – 18 sts.
Rnd 17: *sc in next st; sc2tog (sc decrease) in next st* rep between * around – 12 sts.
Rnd 18: sc2tog (sc decrease around –6 sts. 
Finish off leaving long enough tail to weave in and pull tight.
Rnd 1: Make magic circle and work 6 sc; place a marker to indicate beg of round; move marker up as each round is completed.
Rnd 2: Work 2 sc in each st around – 12 sts.
Rnd 3: *sc in next st; 2 sc in next st* rep between * around – 18 sts.
Rnd 4: *sc in next 2 st; 2 sc in next st* rep between * around – 24 sts.
Rnd 5: sc around – 24 sts.
Finish off and leave long enough tail to sew onto body (6-10 inches)

Ears (make 2)
Rnd 1: chain 2, 5 sc into 2nd chain
Rnd 2: 2sc around – 10 sts
Rnd 3: *sc in next st; 2 sc in next st* rep between * around – 14 sts.
Finish off and leave long enough tail to sew onto body (6-10 inches)

Sew on ears using yarn tail.
Sew on snout using yarn tail stuffing lightly before making final seal.
Cut felt to make eyes, nostrils, and ears – sew on
Don’t feel like your felt pieces need to be perfect..these characters are charming because of their odd shapes
Next Friday, I'll post the Mad Bird.  Please leave me a comment if you decide to take the pattern - this will encourage me to post more!  Have happy crafty weekend!

My entry into Strut Your Stuff sponsored by Appliances Online and the Bosch Washing Machines 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Motivation or Insanity?

I think I may have just done the craziest thing ever.  Seriously.  I tried to get people to talk me out of it, but they instead turned on me and encouraged me.  Maybe it was time.  I've been participating in 5k races for a year and a half now, so maybe I needed some motivation to kick it up a notch.

What did I do?
Image from runDisney website
I signed up for the runDisney Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-miler.  Yep.  10 whole miles.  Not a 10k.  Miles.  My head is still spinning.  So now what?  

Now I start training.  In the Florida summer heat.  I told you this was insane.  Baby steps...ok, my goal is to finish.  I'll settle for last at this point, but I'm hoping that attitude will change as I progress in my training.  No big deal, you say?  Uh, for someone who has physical activity induced asthma this is a HUGE deal.  Back to wearing the heart monitor to make sure I don't over-do it.  Time to become best friends with my doctor to make sure my inhaler keeps getting re-filled.

The Tower of Terror race is making its big return this year after previously being a 13k race several years ago.  It starts and stops at the Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios park.  Did I mention this race is at night?  Saturday, September 29th at 10 pm...which means I will finish on the 30th.  Can I tell people I ran for a day?

I'm looking forward to the finish line, the Villains Hollywood Bash (after party) and most of all - the MEDAL.  Disney always puts on a good race and I'm sure this one will not disappoint.  Plus, I know a couple of moms on the Disney Mom's Panel who will be attending and I'm hoping to make it a wonderful memory.  You had better make sure I finish, Deborah and Ashley!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Where do you get your inspiration from?  Pinterest has been a huge part of my life lately when looking for inspiration. However, it's not the only place I look.  I purchased a small camera not too long ago so that I could take it with me where ever I go.  That way, when I see something that I like I can take a quick photo.  Instead of buying, I almost always say, "ooh, I can make that!" This way I have something to refer to. People  look at me funny sometimes, but it's quickly forgotten.  

During spring break we headed to EPCOT.  I am a huge Disney fan and they have these adorable new "ear" headbands.  So stinking cute!  However, they aren't cheap and I think they would be fun to make.

Feathers must be the new trend.  They seem to be everywhere.
And Kourey fell in love with these purses. They look like princess skirts, but closed on the bottom and finished off with a zipper.

And then we found these little coin purses in China.  Adorable!  These weren't terrible expensive, but I think it would be fun to create a larger size of these.
 Check out these turtles!
And this owl is so precious!
Looks like I have a lot of crafting ahead of me.  Isn't digital technology wonderful?

Sometimes people inspire me too.  My work day begins at 7 am, but this morning I was inspired to make a coffee cake beforehand and take it to work.  I have a co-worker who loves coffee cake.  She's been out of the office the past two weeks, so I thought we should celebrate our reunion with cake!  It was worth it making so many people happy, so I'm going to pass on that inspiration to you by sharing my mom's quick, easy recipe! 

Easy Coffee Cake
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons melted shortening or butter
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I usually add a sprinkle more)
teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk 

Mix dry ingredients together.  Mix liquid ingredients together.  Combine both.  
Spread into greased 8x8x2 inch pan.
Sprinkle top with a mixture of chopped nuts, sugar, and cinnamon to taste.
Dot the top with pats of butter.  
Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

This recipe is easily doubled into a 13x9x2 pan.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's Strawberry Season!

There are few things that the heat in Florida is good for with the exception of strawberries.  I love this time of year.  I almost feel bad for others across the country who have to get strawberries shipped to them because they are no where near as fresh and sweet as we get here.  We take our strawberries pretty serious.  Heck, my daughter's school is named Strawberry Crest for crying out loud.   
Every year, Wish Farms comes out to the University and sells these beautiful strawberries as a scholarship fundraiser.  It's a big hit and it draws crowds for two days straight.  I was sure to get mine early.  Of course, my husband thought I was crazy when I bought a whole flat and wanted to know what I was going to do with all of them.  Oh, I have plans!
 First up...strawberry shortcakes!
It's time to start preparing those berries.  First, cut off the top (make sure you use a sharp knife). I know this may seem like it wastes a little of the berry, but I have guinea pigs that love to eat the tops and I'm more about time when I have a whole flat.
Then, lay the berry on the flat side you just cut.  This will keep it from rolling away and allow you to slice easily. See how pretty the come out?
Did you know strawberry create their own juice?  Put the berries in a container and sprinkle with sugar.  The amount depend on how much juice you want and how sweet you want it.  I cut up two pints and covered with 1/4 sugar.  

Put a lid on it and let it set in the refrigerator.  It doesn't take long for the sugar to pull the juice out.  Look how much is here after an hour.  We waited a total of 2 hours and just couldn't stand it any longer.
We picked up some shortcake bowls from the grocery store, because we were so impatient.  They aren't the best for you and I'm sure homemade pound cake would be awesome, but this is a quick and easy way to get those kids some cake!  We also like these juiced berries on Angel Food Cake.  Yum!
Put it in a bowl.  Cover with the juice and strawberries and then top with whipped cream.
You can also add ice cream if you like.  
Kourey likes hers without whipped cream.
Are you ready for strawberries now?  Next time I'll post my strawberry pie's amazing!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ren Fest

We try to go to the Bay Area Renaissance Festival every year.  Mostly because my kids love any excuse outside of Halloween to dress up.  Lately, my 15 year old had been wanting to learn to sew and she's always liked the costumes we see there. The make-up and clothes are just stunning.

So, I picked out a pattern that I thought she could handle with little help from me.  
This was was perfect.  Lot of straight lines and very little frills.  We did the dress in a cotton blend and the over-skirt we chose to do in a cotton lining.  The pattern called for satin or taffeta for the skirt, but I wasn't willing to invest that type of money plus I thought it would slip on her.  It was actually a better choice for us to do the lining, because it's silky to the touch, doesn't wrinkle, and it extremely light.  The temperatures are already up in the 80's here in Florida, so we have to take that into consideration.  I think she did an awesome job on it and she thinks she's ready to take on a bigger challenge. 

I snapped a few photos of some of the display dresses that inspired me.  A girl can dream, can't she?

It was a fun day.  Perhaps I'll share more photos later in the week or maybe even next week.  But I do have one last photo to post here.
My fairy.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fantastic Friday

So the Internet is all a buzz with Hunger Games chatter.  Everywhere I look I see someone posting something.  Twitter, Facebook, and blogs are all full of reviews, comments, and just plain excitement.  Have you seen it yet? Are you planning to?  I'm still trying to decide if I want to go this weekend or wait until the crowd dies down.

On a more personal note, I received a package in the mail yesterday.  I've been waiting on this one for a little over a week now and the anticipation has been killing me!  What is it?  Well, a few weeks ago I was notified that I won a contest I signed up for.  I was pretty sure I wouldn't win this one, so I was REALLY surprised!  
It came wrapped in a little bow! So cute.  
Do you recognize it?  I know some of you entered the contest to win this beauty, too.   
Ok, this is a horrible picture from my phone, but I was too excited not to post this right away. I would never make it as a hand model.  I had taken another picture in the wee hours of the morning, but my battery died right in the middle of it.  Needless to say, it didn't turn out very well, so I opted for the camera phone (blah).  It certainly does not do this gem any justice.  Her photo is much better.

For those of you who don't know, I won the one year blogiversary contest over at vixenMade.  If you don't already know Vixen, you should totally check her out.  She's one of my favorite bloggers and when you check out her site you will understand why.  Be sure to tell her I said hello!

And if you can't get enough of her there, you can head over to her Etsy site and see all the beautiful jewelry she has ready for you to own.

Thanks again, vixenMade.  I absolutely love my new ring!  

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Yesterday I shared how I took over 180 photos from our trip to the Bok Tower Gardens. It's not easy choosing which photos to use.  Usually.  Sometimes, my family chooses for me.  Not literally, but I don't think you want to see my family being goofy all of the time.  So, I thought I would share with you some of the photos I didn't include and why.

I love these tender moments photos.  They remind me why I love my crazy family.  I didn't include this touching moment because it's really only special to me AND it's not in great focus.  
He will probably fuss at me for posting this, but it's not unusual to find my dad catching a few zzzz's.
Hey, so is that stranger in the photo, too!  Get one to smile and the other one won't.

 Three is even more impossible.  Now she's being goofy and pretending to be her grandma with her glasses down her nose.  Yep, that's my kid.
 Oh, this will be fun.  Maybe she won't go up 
too high or get hurt.
 Great...big sis has to join in.
 That's what I was missing.  Strike a pose, darling.
 Screams they can't get down.  Where's their mother?  Oh yeah, taking pictures.
 I hope you enjoyed my theatrical family as much as I do.  I'm sure you'll see more if you hang around here long enough.