unwrappingmommy

Archive for March 2013

There are a lot of things about childhood that I love.  I especially love the magic that surrounds tasks that adults do in order to make children feel more special.  I’m lucky to still have an 8.5-year-old believer who I can convince of just about anything.  That innocence is something that I cherish more and more as the kids get older.  I know that once K stops believing then L & B aren’t far behind.

One of the things I started doing when K lost her first tooth was delivering dollar bill origami from our tooth fairy.  We’ve expressed that not every family has the same tooth fairy, and this is what our’s does.  Some others might only bring coins, or more money, but our tooth fairy brings a dollar bill folded into some little “thingy”.  Aside from one time when K told me she didn’t want money she wanted jewelry like her friend, and the first time she lost a tooth when the tooth fairy brought her a $5, she’s woken up to a little folded something.

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Top: Butterfly, Heart, Pyramid, Crane
Bottom: Ring, Heart Bookmark, Elephant
These were all made using videos on YouTube. If you’d like to try some, the heart, I think, is the easiest.

So, what’s the point of this post?  Well the first reason is to say that IF you come up with a fantastically imaginative task for your tooth fairy, remember that your kid has 20 chompers that they are going to be expecting payment for, and if you have more than one kid, well…you do the math.  I did not know that when I started this origami adventure, and now, I think I’m probably scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as ideas go for single dollar bill pieces.  My fairy may have to move on to Sacajawea coins soon, since those are still a hot item under our roof.

The second reason is because it is totally worth it.  I don’t go overboard on that Shelf Elf thing.  I don’t write notes for lunch boxes.  I don’t play games for hours, or do tea parties, or build blocks, or do puppet shows.  I tried, for like a minute, to keep up with Momma Jones, but it was just too stressful, and I didn’t like it.  My kid could have cared less whether her sandwich was cut like a heart or a square.  However, if there is one thing I believe is my job as a mom it’s to keep my kids as innocent and full of wonder for as long as I am able to, and if that means I have to send them presents from Santa when they are in college then by golly, that’s what I’m going to do.  As much of a pain in the neck as it is to find a video that is good enough to follow to make that dollar origami “thingy”, when she wakes up and finds it her excitement makes that hour I spent folding, cursing, unfolding, cursing, and folding worth every second.

The third thing, and maybe not a reason for this post, but a point I’d like to make is this: I’m not sharing this because I want you to feel bad.  I’m not sharing this because I think the only way to make your kids love you is to do ridiculously outrageous things that stress you out beyond belief.  I already like to do paper folding.  I already like to be crafty.  I already like to pretend that fairies are real and write letters from them to the kids.  Stop beating yourself up about not being that other kid’s mom, or for not having time to do what you think other moms are doing.  Those moms don’t have your life or your kids.  Those moms don’t do it to make you look bad, so stop making yourself feel bad about not doing what they do.  They do it for their kids, but that doesn’t mean that they love theirs more than you love yours.  Kids are a chance to be a kid again.  Yes, yes, we have to be the grown-ups, and the leaders and the rule makers.  But, it’s okay to laugh at potty jokes (NOT at the dinner table, seriously, why at the dinner table??!!), it’s okay to get dirty, it’s okay to run through a parking lot with a cart full of groceries and a kid shrieking with glee in the front seat.  It’s okay to stop what your doing and look at a rainbow.  It’s okay to catch a fly and throw it into a spider web just so see what happens.  It’s okay to “car dance” when a fun song comes on.

My mothering style is K.I.S.S, meaning, Keep It Simple and Sweet.  I didn’t mean to get all ranty on you, but one thing that burns my biscuits is wonderfully wonderful moms getting down on themselves because they aren’t “THAT” mom who ever that is.  And, if you think I’m on of “THOSE” moms that has it all together, I’m totally not.  Be a fly on my wall any day and you’ll see a mom who is in yoga pants, glasses, over sized t-shirts and pulling her hair out because, “L is breathing on me AGAIN!”

Love yourself, love your kids, love their daddy if you’re able to (and if you’re not then love yourself even more), and keep the magic alive because while they might grow up they won’t ever grow out of it.  The magic you plant in them will live on, and one day you might get to see them share that magic with someone else ❤ 

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I’ve finished my project with the Tiffany Blue-ish yarn.  I’m very happy with the outcome, even though there were a few hiccups along the way.

I decided on a pattern from Simplicity, but when I started I felt like the finished size was going to be too small.  So I changed hook size to an “H”, set out to figure out how to make it a little bigger.  Upon doing this I found that there were 2 mistakes in the written pattern on Simplicity, and it gave me fits for, literally, 2 days!!  I finally figured it out, after I drew that pattern out on graph paper, and got to work.

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Just like I don’t write patterns, I don’t draw them either. But, you might be able to figure out what I did here. Each color is a new round 🙂

Once I figured out what the heck I was doing the bag was very simple.  I learned that the stitch used is a Nesting Shell.  I did modify the shell by doing a front post stitch on the center post.  I didn’t know how it would look when I did it, but I am very happy with the way it turned out.  Both the front and back had a nice texture, and I think I will try to do a back post next time I do this stitch to get the reverse effect on the right side.

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I did enough rows to make the blue section 9″.  I think it was 24 rounds, but if you try it, just measure as you go.  When I got to the end of my blue section I changed to white and followed the pattern directions.  I finished off with a crab stitch, which I’d never used before, but I liked how it turned out!

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Now I had the body of my project finished I had to figure out what kind of strap I wanted.  I knew that I wanted to incorporate black into the project to emulate the black writing on the T&C box.  I started out with a solid black strap, but it was too stark in contrast to the light colors of the bag.  I decided on modifying the shell stitch from the bag into a strap.  I did my chain and first round of sc in black, then changed to white and did one round of shells in the back loops.  Then I did the last round of the pattern to fill in the valleys of the shells.  Again, happy with the outcome.

Tiffany Strap

 When I started the project I knew I wanted to line my bag.  I’m not a great seamstress, but I know how to work a sewing machine.  I found a very nice, and well written tutorial over on While They Play.  The only thing I changed where my sizes, and I added fusible interfacing to give my sides support.  My bag is much bigger than the one she made, and it folded in on itself.  I couldn’t have that, so I asked the ladies at the Jo~Ann cutting counter and they recommended Pellon 71F Peltex.  Easy to use, easy to cut, easy to sew.  Hard to iron my seams flat, but I made it happen, and it looks great.

Tiffany Lining Complete

Originally, I was going to make a flower but thought a bow would make it look more like the traditional Tiffany box style.  I couldn’t find a bow that I loved, so I went back to the flower idea.  I looked and looked for a flower that would be big enough for a statement, plain enough to be subtle, and pretty enough to be a showpiece.  There are so, so many flowers out there that I had a hard time choosing.  I saw a great afghan from Red Heart that had flower appliques, and I knew the large rose on their project fit my bill.  I omitted the leaves on their project.  It also made my blingy button pop!  YAY!!!

Tiffany Flower

With all my pieces made I assembled my bag.  This is the first bag I’ve ever made, so it took a little trial and error to get all my pieces just right.  Whey they say “pin flower to piece” they really do mean pin that flower down exactly like you want it because if you don’t it will move, guarantee!  And, don’t under pin.  You always take the pins out when you’re done, so use as many as you need to secure it where you want it.  Trust me!

And that’s it.  I love my new bag.  It’s almost too fancy for me, but I’m sure I’ll find somewhere to take it.  Maybe I’ll make my husband take me out to a nice place just so I’ll have somewhere to go besides preschool pick-up and Kroger  😀

Tiffany Bag

I love tiny things.  It could be because I’m short, or it could be because tiny things that look like normal sized things are just so cute!  I secretly love my daughters’ Squinkies and Littlest Pet Shops.

About a year after I started crocheting I made my first doily.  I loved it!  I loved working with the thread, and making something so intricate.  I was interested in creating other things with threads too, but wasn’t sure I could do it.  I got a big set of Craft Thread with intentions to make something, I just didn’t know what.  Well that thread got sorted in a nifty little container by color and got stuffed under a pile of projects and skeins.  Fast forward to a few months ago, and I’d seen a cute lady bug pattern that I thought might be just right for my first thread project.  She was successful, and super cute.  “Lady Tiff” was gifted to a sweet friend for good luck before her surgery, and has since made several trips to bring cheer to others who needed a little pick-me-up. 

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I hadn’t done anything else in the thread since January, but when I saw a contest on The YarnBox, a great resource for free crochet patterns, I thought a mini amigurumi would be just right.  All you do is choose any pattern from their database, make it, post a picture of your finished project, and link to the YarnBox site you used.  I took a look around and found a very sweet turtle who was just right for my contest entry.  I followed the pattern almost exactly, only changing her tail a little to make it look better when attached (due to size, not pattern), adding a loop to her back to attach a key chain, and adding a small shelled border along the edge of her shell.  She was made using the craft thread in 2 shades of green, brown, and lilac, and a 2mm steel crochet hook.  She was too tiny to make eyes, so I just omitted them, but I am lucky enough to have an 8-year-old with a giant container of beads, so I was able to find a tiny flower bead to decorate her head.

Please meet my Shy Little Violet 🙂

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To get the shell border, I did (3 hdc in one fl, skip 2, sc) around, sl st in first hdc.  The loop is just a chain of 7.

After I posted a picture of this little cutie to my Facebook page I had another sweet lady ask me if I could make her a teeny owl.  Since I was in “Thread Mode” I found another cutie cute pattern on The YarnBox and got to work.  This guy was much easier than the turtle, since she had many bits to sew together.  If you’re interested in giving a mini a try I think the owl would be an excellent choice.  Again, I followed the pattern almost exactly, only adding a loop for his chain and I crocheted the whites of his eyes instead of using felt.  He was made with aqua, white, and yellow thread, and the 2mm steel hook.  His new mommy has named him Hooter, and I think it suites him nicely!

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To make the eyes for this guy, I just 10 sc into a magic loop, sl st to first sc, and pull center tight.  Make sure you attach them before you stuff.  I did the beak after I stuffed it, but it would have been easier to do it before.  I’m not good at hand embroidery, so I just used a small dot of paint for the pupils, but if you’re good at a French Knot, then I think that would be a fantastic option.

I’ve had lots of requests for other critters.  I’m excited to shrink another amigurumi pattern soon…the hard part is deciding what!!!

A long time ago, well, not that long ago, but in my crochet life it seems a long time ago, I started a hunt for “Tiffany Blue” yarn.  I’m not fancy, I don’t own any jewelry from Tiffany & Co, but I did receive a beautiful crystal bowl as a wedding gift.  It now holds cough drops on my night stand.  There is just something about that blue box that makes whatever is inside seem magical to me, and I’ve still got the box and the bag.  I’ll never throw them away…EVER!

So, anyway, I’ve been on this hunt for about 2 years for just the right shade of blue.  Some have come close, but usually they are just too blue or too green.  And, while they would probably work, and people would know what look I was going for I just could not settle for something almost “Tiffany Blue”. 

The other day, I headed out to Jo~Ann Fabrics to pick up a few skeins for some other projects I was working on.  I took the Tiffany & Co. shopping bag with me to see what I could see.  I came up with a pretty good match in the Red Heart’s Aruba Sea.  I picked up a skein to play with, but honestly, I don’t love the feel of the super saver yarn, and I didn’t think the quality would showcase a project modeled after such a well known and high-end brand.  I brought it home and threw it in my pile’o yarn to pick up and hook another day.

The next day, I had to go back to Jo~Ann’s to get more yarn for the original project I was working on.  As I was walking past some endcaps that were previously empty I stopped dead in my tracks!!  It was now filled with baby yarn, and holy, sweet mamma, there was a dead wringer match for “Tiffany Blue”!!!  I about yelp with happiness and quickly threw 2 skeins of the Bernat Giggles Giggling Green  in my cart.  Ooooooo, I was so excited!!!  I was also excited because there was a 50% off sale on buttons, and I knew exactly what I wanted!  Jo has this great line of wedding notions called bliss.  They are blingy and pearly and just right for my project.  I consulted my Tiffany & Co expert, Katie from Domestic Debacle, to be sure I chose the correct button.  Since I already knew what I’d be creating with this exciting find, I headed over to pick some fabric to attempt to line the finished piece.  I’m not a seamstress, per se, but I can use a sewing machine, so I’m confident it will be successful.  

Stay tuned for the finished project, and the story of how the pattern I was originally going to used gave me fits for a whole day before I just took the bare bones, and made it even better.

And now, behold my beauty:

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You spin me right round baby right round! Beggars Night 2017. #papyrus , #undertale , #dizzy #descendants2 #trex #halloween Dapper Dino looking dapper! #crochet #amigurumi #dino #dinosaur #dapper #bowtie #diytoys #crochettoy A new little monster needed a Sully hat to keep him cozy 😍 #monstersinc #crochet #crochethat #babycrochet #caronsimplysoft #disney #disneycrochet #sully #jamespsullivan #diygifts Guys! You can use a pumpkin carving saw on spaghetti squash!!!!!! Oh man, what a game changer 😆 Kit-Cat has arrived :) #ticktock #kitcat #nostalgia #madeintheusa  #clock Cross-Post from @chalk_n_awe of these little cuties I paints yesterday to hide around our town 😍 Boxtop Collection Hack: Put a magnet inside a #Ziploc sandwich bag and hang it on the fridge. When it's time to take them into school, take the magnet out, zip the bag and throw it in your kid's backpack. #done #slackermom #ziplocbaggies #boxtops #easypeasy #youfancy #instamom #hack #lifehack #magnet #collect #school #backtoschool Hooked a Hugamonster for my Hugamonster 😍 Pattern from the beautiful @jensalittleloopy  #crochet #funfur #amigurumi #monster #hug #toy #love #cute #creepy #furry #fiberart

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