Sunday, February 28, 2010

CROCHET PATTERN - Lazy Daisy Granny Square Motif

This little daisy square can be made in 6" or 7".  It's cute and simple!  Read the directions carefully & refer to the photo for stitch placement.  Enjoy! :)

Need: H or I hook, WW yarn (2 colors – CA and CB), yarn needle

Difficulty: Easy

Gauge: An H hook should give you a 6” square. An I hook should make a 7” square.

Stitch Guide: BLO – back loop only, ch – chain, dc – double crochet, hdc – half double crochet, sc – single crochet, sp(s) – space(s), st(s) – stitch(s)

Using CA, Start with sliding loop (magic ring) or ch4/join.

Round 1 – ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), 11 dc in ring, join with slip st to top of ch-3. [12 dc]

Round 2 – ch 4 (counts as dc + ch-1), *dc in BLO of next dc, ch 1; repeat from * around, join with slip st to top of ch-3. [12 dc + 12 ch-1 sps]

Round 3 – ch 1, sc in same st, ch 3, *sc in next dc, ch 3; repeat from * around, join with slip st to 1st sc. Fasten off. [12 ch-3 sps]

Round 4 – Using CB, join with sc to any ch-1 sp from round 2 BEHIND ch-3 sp from round 3, ch 3, *sc in next ch-1 sp in FRONT of ch-3 sp, ch 3, sc in next ch-1 sp BEHIND ch-3 sp, ch 3; repeat from * 5 times, sc in next ch-1 sp in FRONT of ch-3 sp, ch 3, join with slip st to 1st sc. [12 alternating ch-3 sps]

Round 5 – ch 1, sc in next ch-3 sp, * ch 4, sc in next ch-3 sp; repeat from * around, ch 4, join with slip st to 1st sc. [12 ch-4 sps]

Round 6 – slip st into next ch-4 sp, ch 3, 4 dc in same sp, 5 hdc in next ch-4 sp, 5 dc in next ch-4 sp, *ch 3, 5 dc in next ch-4 sp, 5 hdc in next ch-4 sp, 5 dc in next ch-4 sp; repeat from * 2 more times, ch 3, join with slip st to top of 1st ch-3. [15 sts per side]

Round 7 – ch 3, dc in next 14 sts, *(2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in corner, dc in next 15 sts; repeat from * 2 more times, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in last corner, join with slip st to top of ch-3. Fasten off. [19 dc per side]

Round 8 (optional) – Join CA with sc in any corner sp, 2 sc in same corner, sc in each st across, *3 sc in next corner sp, sc in each st across; repeat from * 2 more times, join with slip st to 1st sc. Fasten off, weave in all ends.

ANOTHER SUGGESTION:  Work rounds 1 and/or 4 with 3rd color to make flower pop.

This pattern is free & you can use it anywhere... but if you're going to make these to sell, please give me credit by providing a link to this blog in your listing! Also, please don't post my pattern on other sites, but feel free to provide a link back to this page instead. Thank you! :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Another Awesome Artisan - Debra from DMC Photography

Debra doesn't sell "crafts" or jewelry like most of the people I normally blog about.  She's a photographer.  She's the face behind DMC Photography, located in central California.  I don't know the exact town she works in, but you can find info about her business & see more of her wonderful photos on her DMC Photography website.

Debra is a mother of 2, a great photographer, and a super nice lady.  She has been super supportive of my business, and a great supporter of buying handmade!
She takes a lot of the photos of my toddler- and child-sized hats.  We have a great collaboration & I look forward to working with her again and again.  It's important for my future customers to see what my creations look like on real people, and Debra takes these really cute shots... actually, the kids are cuter than my hats, but I don't mind.  Ha ha :)

You may have seen some of these photos in my shops, but here are a few... enjoy! 

If you live in the central California area & are looking for a great photographer, I highly recommend Debra. 
She's great! :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tasty Recipe - Cheesy Potato Casserole

These Cheesy Potatoes are spectacular.  They're perfect for potluck dinners, or even just to make for your family.  Try them... you won't regret it!  One of my BFF's gave this recipe to me at my bridal shower, and I make them all the time!  Yum!

Cheesy Potatoes

1 big bag (2 lbs) Southern Hash Browns (mostly thawed)
1 can of Cream of ___ soup (whatever you have will work)
1 stick of butter/margarine (you can use a little less if you want, they'll still taste great)
16 oz sour cream
8 oz bag shredded cheese
3/4 - 1 cup crushed corn flakes (wheaties work fine too)
salt/pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients (except for the corn flakes) in a large bowl.  Spread into a 9x13 casserole dish.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees... sprinkle crushed corn flakes on top & then bake for 30 more minutes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Another Awesome Artisan - TJB Designs

Knitters, crocheters, and pretty much anyone who uses scissors or reads books will love TJB Designs! 

Tommye makes some of the most beautiful needlework accessories that I have ever seen!  Some of the things she sells include: scissor fobs, beaded stitch markers for knitting and crocheting, counting/marking pins, needle threaders, and beaded bookmarks. 

These are the wonderful beaded stitch markers for crochet that I purchased from her store!  -->

Aside from making these delightful needlework accessories, Tommye is also a big "Link Love" supporter, a hard-working mother, and an all-around nice lady!  If you knit, crochet, sew, quilt, scrapbook, or enjoy reading... please take a few minutes to browse TJB Designs on Etsy.  Also, become her fan on Facebook!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tasty Recipe - Skillet Chicken w/ Broccoli & Rice

This is easy to make and super delicious... my husband and my kids all love it!  My MIL gave me this recipe, and I make it all the time.  Enjoy!

1 lb. boneless/skinless chicken
1 Tbsp. oil
1 c. water
1 pkg. broccoli, thawed
1 1/2 c. instant rice
1 Tbsp. wine (optional)
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 c. shredded cheese

Cut and stir chicken in hot oil in a large skillet until browned.
Add water, wine, broccoli, and soup, then bring to a boil.
Stir in rice & cover.  Turn off heat & let stand for 5 minutes (or until rice is soft).
Fluff with fork & sprinkle cheese on top.

Makes about 4 servings... easily doubled.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Another Awesome Artisan - Two Kazoos

Today's Awesome Artisan is Stephanie from Two Kazoos!  She is a fellow CST member, mother of 2, and an all-around nice person!  I have ordered a few things from her shop, and have been tremendously happy with my purchases!

Two Kazoos offers "handmade fun felt goodies for kids of all ages."  Her tagline says it all!  She sells magnets, travel games, pins, tooth fairy pockets, felt food, and lots more.  I never really thought about all the possibilities of working with felt, but she really makes felt look amazing!

Also, Stephanie is also selling gray ribbon pins in her shop right now that benefit brain cancer awareness and the American Brain Tumor Association!  The pins are really cute & the cause is definitely worth it!

Please take a few minutes to browse Stephanie's shop & show her some love! 
Two Kazoos on Etsy

And here are a few of the great items for sale in her shop...  Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Give Your Mug a Hug!

I really wished I had made myself one of these this morning... I put my coffee in the microwave & when I took it out, I almost dropped the mug because it was so hot!

Mug Huggers are cute AND practical!  I really prefer my tea, coffee & cocoa to be HOT, but that means the mug gets hot too.  If I had made myself a mug hugger, I would've been able to take my cup right out of the microwave without a problem!

I make these mug huggers out of 100% cotton, so they will keep your hands cool (or warm if you put them on a cold drink), and they are so cozy!  You can slip one onto an empty mug, fill it up with your beverage & then pop it in the microwave.  The cotton won't get hot in the microwave, and it won't melt.  Also, it's absorbent so it will soak up any little spills or splashes, AND if you use it on a cold drink it will absorb the "sweat".

Mug huggers really are great!  Order one today!!  The pattern is also available in my shop, and it comes with a bonus coaster pattern!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tasty Recipe - Salsa Chicken

We'll start this off with a super easy recipe that can be used in MANY different ways... 

-- boneless skinless chicken breasts (turkey can be used also)
-- at least 1 jar of salsa or picante sauce

1. Put your chicken breasts into the crock pot.  If you're going to let them cook all day, it's OK if they're still frozen.  If you're on a time crunch, defrost them first.
2. Pour the jar of salsa into the crock pot, covering the chicken almost completely.  If there's just a little space left, pour in some tomato juice or just a little water.  If you're cooking several (more than 5) breasts, you may want to open another jar.
3. Sprinkle on some garlic, pepper, or other seasonings to taste.

 Let the crock pot do its' magic while you play with the kids....

 When the chicken is done, you can shred it for tacos/burritos, eat it on a bed of rice, or serve it with pretty much anything you want.  Yum.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Crochet Tip - Lube those Hooks!

Sick of your hook sticking to the yarn?  Here's a quick tip to help your hook glide more smoothly through your yarn...

Put a tiny dot of lotion (baby lotion or face moisturizer... any kind that's not too thick) on one of your fingers & lightly rub it around the shaft of your crochet hook. (I swear I didn't mean for that to sound dirty.  ha ha)  Avoid getting too much in the inside bend of the tip of the hook, and don't worry about putting it on the handle where you hold it. 

Now wipe the hook really well with a soft, dry towel.  A miniscule amount of moisturizer will remain on the hook, helping it glide through your yarn.  If you got too much lotion on your hands, wash them... sticky hands won't help anything. :)

Repeat this about every 2 weeks.
Try it.  I'm serious.  :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Another Awesome Artisan - Cosmic Clean Body, Handmade by Celyn & Gazed Upon Glass

Celyn, a fellow artisan and CST member, is amazing!  She successfully runs three Etsy shops while raising 4 children.  I don't know how she does it!  In the Cosmic Clean Body shop, she sells some of the BEST smelling soaps I have EVER used.  I bought a bar of the candy cane scented soap around the holidays & it was outstanding! :)  The fused necklaces she sells in the Gazed Upon Glass shop are so unique!  And of course, you know I love hand-crocheted scarves... that's just a given. :)

Celyn is kind & helpful to other artisans, and I'm happy to say that we've become "friends" through our mutual love of crochet & creating art. :)

Please take a few minutes to browse her shops & see all of the wonderful things she makes!
Cosmic Clean Body
Gazed Upon Glass
Handmade by Celyn

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Wrist Warmers: Fun and Functional

As I type this, I'm sitting at the desk in my bedroom/office/stash storage area... and my hands are freezing.  I keep saying I'm going to make myself a pair of wrist warmers... OK, I HAD a pair, but I sent them to a friend who was deployed over in Iraq.  

Anyway, wrist warmers rock!  They keep your hands & wrists warm, but leave your fingers free for typing, playing video games, changing diapers, playing instruments, driving... there's not much you CAN'T do while wearing them!  

I highly recommend these wrist warmers to anyone with poor circulation, arthritis, or drafty apartments!  Seriously, you won't regret it!  

If you would like to customize your own pair of wrist warmers, please visit my Etsy shopIn fact, if you purchase a pair of wrist warmers during the month of February, and mention this blog, I will give you 10% off!  

Fellow crocheters can also find this easy crochet pattern for sale in my shop!