Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy Holidays From Busy Mom's Designs


Looking for a last minute gift for the little cutie in your life? Try this wonderful headband from Busy Mom Designs. Learning to crochet this lovely headband for my niece was a joy...


Making the chain...


Creating the headband...


Flower power!


Ribbons and curls make a flower!


Rose


Artful creation...

The directions for this piece were very clear and easy to understand.
Check out more patterns to delight the ones you love!

Win a copy of this lovely pattern.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Halloween From Busy Mom Designs



Busy Mom Designs is a one-mama operation!


I am Tricia, busy mom to 4 little ones, but I still somehow find lots of time to crochet (often in the wee hours of the night) and love to design patterns for all levels of expertise.

In under 2 years, since my first pattern was published, thousands of Busy Mom Designs patterns have been sold worldwide via Etsy and several other resources (ArtFire, Ravelry, Annies Attic, Lulu, etc.).

Patterns are easy to read and understand and are always fun to work up!

I am always happy to help if ever you should have a question about any of my patterns (or crocheting in general) and will do my best to work with you to help you make the perfect creation!
CROCHET PATTERN - The Elegance Headband - All sizes included - Beginner - PDF 301


CROCHET PATTERN - Simple Pumpkin Appliqué - Motif - Embellishment - Great for any Autumn or Halloween Project - PDF 206


I noticed this pattern on Tricia's site and knew I had to try to make it. Being a very beginner at crochet, I felt the fear and did it anyway. Take a look at my progress!

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A visit to Busy Mom's website was
very worthwhile...on the pattern, she gives the link
to how to make the magic circle to make sure you get a perfect
little circle in the center that slides closed every time.

Step 12b


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I did it!

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And around we go! Time to form the pumpkin.

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Wow! It is starting to look pumpkiny!

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Making the stem...

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Done! 
We have a baby pumpkin!
Off I go to make some more!

If you would like the chance to win this really great pattern, fill out the giveaway form. Make sure you thank Tricia for being a part of our Halloween fun!

Monday, October 3, 2011

On My Wishlist...'Twas the Knits Before Christmas


Knitting enthusiasts will get into the Christmas spirit right away when they open this evocatively illustrated book. It combines a charming selection of holiday-themed knitting projects with an illustrated presentation of Clement Clarke Moore's classic poem, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Beautiful full-page and full-color Christmas illustrations capture the holiday spirit, and many of the book's pictures feature knitted items based on characters and objects cited in the beloved Christmas poem. Among them are a knitted Saint Nicholas, his reindeer, a Christmas wreath, Christmas dolls, and a large Christmas stocking. Best yet, knitters can reproduce each one of these items for themselves. Author Fiona Goble presents detailed directions for knitting each Christmas item--ten projects in total. Knitters who complete all of these projects will have a wonderful set of holiday decorations for their home or their Christmas tree. The book's opening chapter was prepared especially for inexperienced knitters. It reviews basic knitting techniques as an introduction to the book's projects.


Barnes & Noble.com


This book looks great and I am totally adding it to my Christmas wish list!



Thursday, September 1, 2011

Crochet Fun and Follow Friday


Hello everyone and welcome to another Follow Friday. I hope your week has been a good one and your fall projects are going well.



Q. If you could change the ending of any book (or series), which book would you choose? Why and to what?

A. Well, since this is a crafty kind of blog, I am going to stick with my current project book.



I love this book to death, and have already made the cupcake scarf.  Currently, I am in the process of making cookies for the one on the cover. So cute! What I wish the book had would be more bakery items and less things like pizza and spaghetti. Bakery items are cute, but I am not so sure I want to run around with meatballs hanging off my chest. Just sayin'. More cookies!!! Less weird pasta!

Make Stuff Together by Bernadette Noll & Kathie Sever


24 simple projects to create as a family.

During these uncertain times, families around the country are slowing down, reconnecting, and getting back to basics. One of the best ways for families to share experiences and meaningful time together is through the art of crafting, sewing, and recycling.

Make Stuff Together gives you 24 projects to build family connections while being creative and truly enjoying your time together. The authors have uniquely broken down projects into manageable chunks for the shorter attention spans of children?enabling even smaller kids to accomplish bigger projects. Projects promote the slow family movement. A fun variety of useful finished pieces and suggestions on where to find materials.

Brimming with full-color photography.

Whether you're a mom looking for innovative projects for your kids, or a seasoned sewer and advocate of the slow family movement, Make Stuff Together gives you 24 projects for getting back to basics.

Goodreads

This book has really gotten back to basics with projects that are primarily recycled and very much made from scratch. Each project is focusing on home, hearth and family and I found that very appealing. From the library bag, to the game roll ups, I thought the projects were very homespun, basic and great to work on together as a family.

Authors Bernadette Noll and Kathie Sever do a great job recreating cool crafts with easy to follow instructions, patterns and ideas. Celebrating milestones, events and just getting together to have some time unplugged with the family are big themes in this book. Both authors have been featured in publications including Mothering Magazine, Chicago Tribune and Child Magazine.





Friday, August 19, 2011

Better Homes and Gardens Best of Knit It


Release date:

August 29, 2011


I just got this in the mail this week from the wonderful publicity department at Wiley. As soon as I ripped open the package and sat down with the book, I was hooked.  With over 100 patterns both in knit and crochet, there is something for every level of skill and every desire. Kids sweaters, purses, coordinating pillows and bed spreads, crochet prayer shawls, stuffed animals, bath sets and more...


Looking at the directions, they are very clear and tell you exactly how many stitches you should have in a given row. There are skill levels at the onset of the project so you can gauge how you are doing. At the back of the book there are stitch guides to help you learn or relearn knit and crochet stitches. Most of the patterns are written out and not charted. For me that is a very good thing.

I want to do the Green Lace Shawl on page 99! Gorgeous!!! So is the Mohair Scarf on page 96.

This is a great book to have in any knitter or crocheters library. It is a keeper and I am so happy to have received it just in time for the holidays!




Friday, July 15, 2011

Follow Friday and Blogger Hop



Greetings fellow needle workers and I hope this finds you having a safe and cool weekend in the air conditioning. I don't know about you, but it is so hot outside, I don't go out there unless I have to! Sit a spell and tell me what you are working on. Thanks for stopping in and have a great weekend!


 
 
 
Question of the week:
What do I do when I am not reading?
Hmmm. I read so much, but filling in the blanks...I write alot. Blogging takes up some of my time. So do my puppies and my husband. I review music, so when I am not listening to it, I am usually writing a review about it. When time permits, I try to make my Thursday knitting class, but lately that has been quite the challenge with my full time job demanding more of my time than normal. So, I crochet a bit here and there, watch a sitcom with my husband over dinner and then I am usually back on the computer writing, blogging or reviewing something. Typically, this means I am surrounded by my furry kids, trying to either write a bit on the book, toss some laundry in the machine and run the vacuum all while running plot lines in my head and trying to squeeze as much into my time off as I can. Life is never boring at my house.
Book Blogger Hop


 
Where do you get your books?
Answer: Most of the time I buy my books, both on my Nook and in physical form. I get some from publishers and authors who are interested in having me review them, and I find some at the e-branch of my public library. I love that you can use the e-branch Overdrive system with the iPad and the Nookcolor. It is super cool. I also use Netgalley. For any of you bloggers out there who have not investigated Netgalley, you really need to check it out. It is like an extended library check out system that you can use on your e-reader or iPad.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Follow Friday and Blogger Hop




Welcome to another blog hop weekend! I hope your projects are coming along well. My cookie scarf is well on its way and pretty soon I will have more pictures to share with you. Until then, enjoy the hop, make some new friends and tell me what you are reading and stitching!



Q. Let's step away from besties...What is the worst book that you've ever read and actually finished?
A. Oh wow. That is a hard question. The worst book that I actually finished. That is so hard. There have been a lot of books I have read over the years that don't get finished. I think I would have to say the one I hated the most was:



Metamorphosis
I mean, really. A story about a guy that turns into a giant roach? Oh the horror. It was the worst. Wait. No that might actually go to:

Heart of Darkness


I hated every second of this book. It was awful. It's funny, I don't remember why I hated it, but the very thought of reading it again makes me shudder.


 As long as we are talking about knitting, crochet and books we hated, let's bring up this one. Last Christmas I tried to make the holly leaf pattern from this book. I tried. My knitting class tried. No deal. The instructions were terrible and the actual holly leaf "looked like a bug" to quote one of the ladies in my class. Not a stirring endorsement to be sure. One of the amazing ladies in my class ended up creating a pattern for me. Go figure.


Book Blogger Hop


This week, the question isn't really a question...It is a promotion of another blog's giveaway! So here we are a hunting! Let's see who we can find! Hmmm...our hostess of course! Since she took the time to give to us, I figured we should all know about her giveaway!


Friday, July 1, 2011

My first sugar cookie for the cookie scarf.

I am now starting on Twinkie Chan's cookie scarf. There are several different cookies in the scarf and it should look amazing. There will be sprinkles and chocolate chips too!
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Thursday, June 30, 2011

4th of July Follow Friday!




Happy Follow Friday! Hope this finds you in the air conditioning, happily knitting or crocheting something amazing. If you are just joining us, welcome! Hope you will stay a moment and tell me what your favorite knitting or crochet book is. Have a great weekend!



 
 
Q. ACK! Your favorite book/movie character (example Hermione Granger played by the Emma chick) just walked into the room! Who is it and what would be your first reaction? You get extra points if you include visual stimulation.



Nicky Epstein is one of my favorite knitting books ever. I have made three flowers from the book Nicky Epstein's Knitted Flowers  and have made one from the crochet version. Both are lovely books that are treasured pieces in my library. If I ever met Nicky Epstein, I would pepper her with questions about knitting and ask her if she has an orchid pattern.


Book Blogger Hop

What keeps you reading beyond the first few pages of a book, and what makes you want to stop reading a book and put it back on the shelf?

Answer:

The voice of the book has to grab me within the first few pages. The point of view, dialogue, and characters have to be there. The other thing that drives me crazy is when a book is marketed for a certain genre or age group and it doesn't fit within that category. Especially if a middle grade book is being marketed for a teen audience. That just does not work and that is the fastest way to find a book flying back onto the shelf.



Amigurumi Toy Box by Ana Paula Rimoli: The Review


Crocheters everywhere fell in love with the quirky toys in Amigurumi World and Amigurumi Two! Now Ana Paula Rimoli presents the third book in her best-selling series. Sparkling with playful ideas inspired by her children, this wildly imaginative collection will tickle kids of all ages.

* Choose from more than 25 irresistible toys that stitch up quickly
* Catch Ana's creative zaniness--put a grin on a silly hot dog, stitch a princess frog with a water-lily throne, make mom and baby koalas, create a tugboat, and more
* Find step-by-step instructions, great photos, and lots of funny friends


Goodreads

I received this book from the wonderful folks at Martingale for a review. This is one of the cutest books on amigurumi I have ever had the privilege to review. The designs are easy to understand. They are in the written style, not charted. At the end of each row of instruction, the author wonderfully gives you how many stitches you need. As someone who is learning more and more about crochet all the time, this is a wonderful thing.

The pictures and instruction are good also. Pictures to know what you are trying to get to, and the instructions for anyone who may need a moment to remember what a certain stitch is. Great book for beginners!

Project wise, this book has everything. Unicorns, birds, bears, pigs, snakes, frogs, bunnies, puppies...you name it, it is there. My favorites are the flan, hot cocoa and cake. Yes...cake!!!! So cute you won't believe it.


This book gets five stars because of the easy of instruction, the sheer cuteness of the projects and overall presentation. If you love to crochet, grab yourself one of these gems at the bookstore. It would be a great thing to start with for small gifts year round, or stocking stuffers for the holidays.

If you want to know more about this wonderful crochet artist/author, head over to her Etsy shop at:

www.anapaulaoli.etsy.com

Visit her blog:

www.amigurumipatterns.blogspot.com

For more excellent knitting, quilting, crochet and craft books, visit the publisher at:

www.martingale-pub.com

Saturday, June 25, 2011

How to: Colonial Knots



The wonderful ladies of my stitching and knitting groups told me about an easy knot that can take the place of a French Knot in embroidery. If you look at the pics of my cupcake scarf, you can see the finished product. Check out the technique and I am sure you will agree that this is an excellent stitch to learn.

Friday, June 17, 2011

At the craft festival last weekend.

Our local library had an event where we could show arts and crafts. I brought my cupcake scarf to work on.
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Cupcake scarf finished...

It is done!
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Steampunk Softies



One thing that defines the steampunk movement is the artistic nature of its followers. From the creation of eye-catching costumes to the aesthetic update of already existing technology, few movements encourage being handy as much as the steampunk movement does. The creations in this book will speak to the inventive soul of steampunk enthusiasts who frequent an array of blogs, online magazines, fan sites, and fantasy/role-playing conventions.

Steampunk Softies contains patterns, photos, and illustrated instructions for eight cleverly designed plush dolls. While the instructions are easy enough for a new crafter to follow, they contain enough steps to keep even a steampunk craft-master interested. The book even contains tips for how to distress fabrics and materials to give the dolls an extra aged appeal.

(Goodreads)

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

The originality of these dolls is wonderful. The directions are easy to understand and take to new levels of creativity.

If you are unfamiliar with Steampunk, you may have heard of authors like Lemony Snicket, Jules Verne or Mary Shelley. Gail Carriger is another wonderful author in this genre. Kady Cross is another. It is a captivating time of possibilities and very exciting gadgetry.

This book has great full color photos, blueprints for each of the eight designs and a reference section for materials. The coolest thing about this book is that it is for the experienced sewer or the novice. Just have fun, grab some gears and some scraps of fabric and go to it!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Positively Postcards


A small-sized commitment of time is all you need to create these picture-perfect postcard quilts! Give, trade, or treasure these 4" x 6" mini-greetings-and make a one-of-a-kind quilt in an evening.

Follow one step-by-step project to learn the technique; then get inspired by more than 85 creative variations, all shown in close-up photos.

 Choose a novelty fabric to start; then learn to develop your own themes with photos of fabric and embellishment collections.

 Embellish postcards with machine satin stitching, ribbons, yarns, buttons, beads, rubber stamps, costume jewelry-there's no limit to what you can use!
(Goodreads)

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book is simply beautiful. The photos of the projects are breathtaking and the instructions are easy and understandable. Looking at some of the amazing artistry, I wanted to scavenge around my closet for some fabric to start stitching right away. Perfect for quilters, these small projects are lovely and inspiring projects to keep or give away.







Friday, April 29, 2011

Baby Slippers!

I finished the crochet baby slippers I had been working on for a friend. My first granny square project. Woot!!
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It's My Birthday and I Must Have Cupcakes!

Happy Follow Friday!


Good morning everyone and welcome to another Follow Friday! This week's question from our host Parajunkee is:

Q. Keeping with the dystopian and apocalypse theme that seems to be running rampant on parajunkee.com, I have one very hard question for you: If you were stocking your bomb shelter, what books would you HAVE to include if you only had space for ten?

Wow. I actually had to go and sleep on that one and I am still not sure. Let's see if I can do this.
1. Hunger Games
2. Outlander
3. Forest of Hands and Teeth
4. My Nook (until the power goes out!)
5. Breathers
6. Twilight
7. Bird Sisters
8. Visual Guide to Crochet
9. Southern Living Cookbook
10. Fannie Farmer Cookbook
That was tough. I know I will change my mind and have to switch things out at least once. If it comes down to it, I was actually thinking about what you would need if it went all post apocalyptic. Has anyone read Life As We Knew It ? It is the book about the moon coming close to the earth and everything going crazy? The power goes out, volcanoes erupt and all the Walmarts run out of Twinkies. Wait. Maybe that was Zombieland. Whatever. Anyway. Twinkies. Or, in my case, vanilla zingers with cream filling. Orange cupcakes too. OMG. How would I live without orange cupcakes?
This week my washer went out and it has been the biggest pain ever. It reminded me of the hurricane a couple of years ago when we were out of power for several days and had to try and cook what we could from the freezer on the gas stove and grill outside. Kind of feels like that I guess. At least there is a laundry facility down the street even though I hate going there.
I digress. What would I need if the world did go nuts and I had to build a bomb shelter or at least start hording can goods or something? Ten things. Here we go.
1. Lots of can goods.
2. Orange cupcakes by the case.
3. Dog food by the ton. (furry kids)
4. Water. Lots of bottled water.
5. Granola Bars
6. Toilet Paper. (no comment)
7. Knitting needles, crochet hooks and yarn.
8. A weapon of some sort to kill anyone who threatened my zinger supply. (Just sayin.)
9. Soap and deodorant
10. A book on how to garden, because I think we may need more than canned yams eventually.
Now for more hopping...
"Summer is coming quickly - what 2011 summer release are you are most looking forward to?"
Wow. There are so many. The first one I am dying to get my hands on is the new Charlaine Harris book in the Sookie series. Dead Reckoning. I also want the new Ami Ami Dogs book. Yay!
Thanks everyone for visiting on the Hop and Follow Friday! If you want to join the linky list, head over to:
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will "Like" the new Facebook fan page while you are here. I love my followers and twitter peeps, so I hope to see you around!