Monday, June 22, 2009

Six Done, Six to Go

I wanted to do a quick post tonight, to show my sixth square, called Summer Romance, for my Calendar 'Ghan. April has been the hostess and designer for this crochet-along at Dishcloth Diaries. As I began this square, I could hardly BELIEVE this meant I am nearly half-way done!.. Half-way through the YEAR now? Is this POSSIBLE? Well, I guess it MUST be! The patterns for these squares are just beautiful, and April does a fabulous job writing these patterns. I still am tempted to start a second set of squares, so to make two of these afghans at the same time. I like the idea of having the two done ahead for Christmas gifts, which would then bring my count for afghans-in-progress up to FOUR! That's a little scary, but I still just might do it!

Well, I wanted to do some baking today, but that didn't happen. It is just too hot and muggy to be running the oven for the length of time I know it will take. I always do double batches! Nope!.. For the moment, having finished my June square, I'm putting the crochet hook down, at least for the evening. No, I haven't lost my head, and I'm not running a temperature! I just have my nose in a good book tonight! I'm about 2/3rds of the way through the book Twilight now, by Stephenie Meyer, and it's just getting too GOOD to put down now! I want to see the movie that has been out on DVD, but I refuse to watch it until I finish the book first! Of course, I need to get started on the second book, New Moon, before that movie comes out in November! I also hear that Edward and Bella collector dolls will be out this Fall, so you KNOW how excited I must be about THIS!

In the meantime, is anybody eagerly awaiting Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the movie, like I am? Based on the series of books by J.K. Rowling, this one will be in theatres on July 15th! I've already read ALL of the books in this series, and the the kids and I, ALL want to see it as soon as we can!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pink Saturday in Sequins and Sparkle!

This week I showed how I used homemade sequins on a cell phone case I crocheted. How did I make homemade sequins? I take colorful shiny empty juice packets, such as from Kool-Aid Jammers, or Capri Sun Coolers, rinsed and dried, then punch holes into them! From there, I've made everything from book marks, purses and tote bags, to Easter baskets and Christmas stockings! As all the shiny colorful dots left over from punching holes were piling up, they seemed too sparkly and pretty to just toss into the garbage! So a sparkly thought sparked my imagination! The thought to recycle arose, and my homemade jammer sequins were now being saved for future projects! How pretty they've even looked, just stored in a canning jar, till I decided on projects I wanted to try!

Here is a new dolly of mine, sweetly dressed in sequins and PINK!.. And behold the beautiful African Violet! I just picked this up for my kitchen window garden, and I can almost assure you that this is probably the most flowers you will ever see on it, EVER AGAIN! I wish I had a greener thumb, and I am working on that; but when any African Violet of mine blooms even ONE flower, I'm ready to take pictures and throw a party!! I have a Christmas Cactus that has NEVER bloomed, and well.. Let's just not even talk about that! Let's just move on...

Now I mentioned my crochet cell phone case, done in black, in a previous post, with a pattern!.. but here is ANOTHER, now done in PINK! Dear Daughter picked this one for herself! I'm so happy she likes it! My little princess, who is a teacher now, has asked me to make her a pencil case with some of my jammer sequins on it, so that's a little something I'll be working on soon!

Here you see a little flower keychain I made in a hot pink acrylic yarn with sequins and a very pretty button for the center. I know how rough I can be with a set of keys though, so this may just adorn one of my plain-jane tote bags, or maybe even hang from a rear-view mirror!

Thanks to Beverly, at How Sweet The Sound, for hosting this Pink Saturday event! I hope you enjoyed seeing a few quick and easy crochet projects I've done, and that maybe it inspires you to recycle and recreate too! Make sure you stop over to Beverly's to see a listing of all the other PINK Saturday participants. See the many fun and beautiful PINKS they all have to share on this fine day!

Finally, I'd like to share my pattern for the pretty little pink frock my fashion doll is wearing today! Again, I do hope that there are some girls out there, young and young-at-heart, who will enjoy it!

Pretty In Sparkling Pink!
Crochet dress pattern for any 11 and 1/2" fashion doll.
(c) Pattern designed and written by Beansieleigh (TS), on June 18, 2009
Pattern posted at http://beansiebabbles.blogspot.com/

Skill Level: Easy!

Materials Needed:
Small amount of 4-ply acrylic yarn, in color of choice
Crochet hook, size G (or size needed to obtain gauge and proper fit)
Sequins: store bought, or as I have, homemade!
Ponytail Hair Elastic (unstretched, approx 6" circumference)
Yarn needle, for weaving in ends
Sewing needle
Sewing thread that matches as closely as possible to the yarn used for this dress.
Scissors, and finally a thimble may be helpful.

Gauge: 2 sc = approx. 1/2"

Abbreviations used:
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
sc dec = single crochet decrease
dc = double crochet
st = stitch
sl st = slit stitch
FLO = Front Loops Only

Instructions:

Rnd 1: Crochet 30 sc around the hair elastic. Sl st to join the round. This is the top of the dress.

Rnd 2: Ch 1, *sc dec, sc in the next 4 st* around. Sl st to join the round.

Rnd 3-4: Ch 1, sc in each st around. Sl st to join the round. (25 sc)

Rnd 5: Ch 1, *sc dec, sc in the next 3 st* around. Sl st to join the round.

Rnd 6-7: Sl st over the next 4 st, sc in the next 11 st, sl st over the next 3 st, sk the last st, sl st to join the round.

Rnd 8: Ch 1, sc in each st around. Sl st to join the round. (18 sc)

Rnd 9: Ch 1, in FLO, sc in same st, 2 sc in the next st. *Sc in the next st, 2 sc in the next st* around.

Rnd 10: Ch 1, working in BOTH loops again, sc in the same st, sc in the next st, 2 sc in the next st. *Sc in the next 2 st, 2 sc in the next st* around. Sl st to join the round. (34 sc)

Rnd 11: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), in FLO, dc in same st, then proceed to crochet 2 dc in each st around. Sl st to join the round. (68 dc)

Rnd 12-14: Ch 3, working in BOTH loops, dc in the next st, and in each st around. Sl st to join the round. Fasten off main color, and attach white for the lacy ruffled hemline of this dress.

Rnd 15: *Ch 4, sl st into next st. Ch 4, sl st into same st. Ch 4, sl st into next st* around. (In so following this edging pattern, you will have one sl st in every other st, and then 2 sl st in the rest of the stitches around.) Sl st to join the round. Fasten off yarn and weave in end.

Take your needle and thread, and sew sequins to the top of the dress, and bottom of the dress, as shown in the photo. I also added one little sequin to the center of a flower I had in this dolls hair!

I hope you have fun with this! Make one, or make several!.. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

One Blingy Ringy Dingy!

I love my cell phone! I did away with the land-line phone a long time ago, because frankly, "Who needs it?" To me, it's outdated, it's history, and it's a extra bill I don't want! I've got new yarns and fabrics.. new purses and shoes.. and let's not forget all the Ice Cream shacks and parlors that call to me far more loudly than Ma Bell ever will again!

But in a day's time, as I enjoy the luxury of this portable little line to the outside world, on my person everywhere I go, every minute of every day, chances are very likely that it will fall and hit that hardwood floor or a cement sidewalk at any unfortunate moment! So I love a crocheted cell phone case for that padded protection of my beloved little device! Not only is it an essential measure of security to me, but of course it is now a fashion statement as well! I love making and carrying them around in all different styles and colors, and matching one to whatever outfit I'm wearing for the day! They are so quick and easy to make, that why not?! I must have close to a dozen by now, and if one looks a little dirty to me, I just toss it into the machine with the rest of my wash, then flat-dry it as easy as that! I have one basic pattern I've written up for my own phone. From there, I design, alter, and embellish to my heart's delight for each new case I make.

Now you might remember the jammer-sequin dots, just a bunch of leftover hole-punched dots from empty Kool-Aid Jammer packets, which I have stored from Easter projects some time ago? Having saved them all with future crafty RECYCLING intentions in mind, here you see one finished project I've made using this shiny homemade bling!.. And here is the pattern I want to share, so that you can make one too!

Blingy Ringy Dingy Cell Phone Case
(c) Pattern Designed and Written by Beansieleigh (TS), June 17, 2009
Pattern posted at http://beansiebabbles.blogspot.com/

Finished Size: Approximately 2 and 3/4" x 3 and 3/4" (but pattern can be easily adjusted to fit your own cell phone by changing hook size, or by adding/subtracting stitches/rounds.)

Skill Level: EASY!

Materials Needed:

4-ply WW acrylic yarn, in color of choice
Crochet hook, size G
Yarn needle, for weaving in yarn ends.
1 (3/8") button, for the strap of this case.
Sequins, either store-bought, or homemade like mine! (I used approx. 90)
Thread matching the color yarn used, and sewing needle
Scissors.. and you may find a thimble to be of great help!

Gauge: 2 sc = approximately 1/2"

Abbreviations used:
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
st = stitch
sl st = slit stitch
Rnd = Round

Instructions:

Rnd 1: Ch 7, 2 sc in second ch from hook, and in each of the next 4 st. 3 sc in the next st. Now working down the opposite side of chain, sc in next 4 st, sc in the last st (where you already have 2 sc), sl st to join the round.

Rnd 2: Ch 1, sc in same st, 2 sc in the next st, sc in next 4 st, 2 sc in the next st, sc in the next st, 2 sc in the next st, sc in next 4 st, 2 sc in the last st. Sl st to join the round.

Rnd 3: Ch 1, 2 sc in same st, sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, sc in next 4 st. *2 sc in next st, sc in next st* twice. 2 sc in next st, sc in next 4 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in the last st. Sl st to join the round. (24 sc)

Rnd 4: Ch 1, sc in each st around.

Rnd 5: Ch 1, sc in same st and in each of the next 11 st. Sc dec over the next 2 st, sc in next 8 st, sc dec over the last 2 st. Sl st to join the round.

Rnd 6: Sl st over to the next st, ch 1, sc in each st around, sl st to join the round. (22 sc)

Rnd 7-12: Ch 1, sc in each st around. Sl st to join the round.

Rnd 13: Sl st over to the next st, sc in each st around. Sl st to join the round.

Rnd 14-15: Ch 1, sc in each st around. Sl st to join round.

Strap: Chain 22, sc in 5th chain from hook (button hole made). Sc back down the remaining in 17 ch, sl st to the same st where you started your chain from. Fasten off yarn, and weave in end. Sew a button to the top opposite side of Round 13 of cell phone case.

O.K.. At this point, you'll want to set up your beverage, snacks, your thread, needle, your jammer-sequins, and a good movie. This next step takes a little time, but is easy and well worth it! Just make yourself comfortable, and you'll probably have all the sewing done by the time your movie is over! Take your needle and thread, and working from the top side of your case, around and downward, sew one sequin to every other st, down every other round, being careful enough with placement so as not to have the appearance of columns. For the protection of your fingertips and manicures, I would suggest using a thimble. Just weave your thread through the crochet stitches, into the sequins, and back through the crochet stitches again till you reach the bottom. Fasten off thread securely, and you're done!

Now you may ask why I gave my pattern such a silly sounding name, but this may help to explain. I'm a big fan of Lily Tomlin. Here is one of the many great characters she is most well-known for.. and with Cher too! Oh! You'll have to turn off my background music first! I hope you can stop back Saturday, to see some PINK jammer-sequin projects I came up with!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Morning Coffee And Donuts

Recently I saw a project done by Yarnjeannie, HERE in Blogland, that looked like fun! She's whipping up a batch in all different colors and flavors! She certainly inspired me, and I must say, it's definitely not the first time! She does beautiful work on everything she makes!

Well, I've seen these crocheted donut pincushions before, but the timing was just right for me to try them out now. You see, I have to admit I really had nothing planned yet for my Pink Saturday post, and I did need to find something quick to either make, or just take a picture of. Lucky for me, these little baked goods were just what I needed! They are easy, and can be made in no time!.. So Thank you Yarnjeannie!

Actually, this is a great project for a beginning crocheter! If you're teaching someone to crochet, it doesn't always have to start with a potholder! A younger girl who is just learning might find this much more fun to make!.. And wouldn't this also be just adorable to add to a little girl's first sewing box?!

These are also a great scrap-eater type of project! It's so nice to be able to use up all the little leftover balls of yarn I accumulate for such a cute project like this! I plan to make a few more of these as Christmas gifts for some friends of mine who also sew! If you'd like to make a crochet donut pincushion, or maybe even "a baker's dozen" for friends, HERE is where you can find the pattern!

Be sure to visit Bev, HERE, and all the other Pink Saturday participants today! Enjoy your morning coffee, and Happy Pink Saturday!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dolly Makeover And A New Pattern Too!

Well I've already posted "Garage Sale Dolly's" photo, in her "as is" condition, in a previous post. But if you missed it, here is the "Before" view of her, before I set to work on this Dolly Makeover.

Her hair, looks far shorter than it really was because, perhaps in the hopes of a quicker sale, someone I suspect with some well-trained hair-styling skills french-braided her hair in such a way, that you could not tell the mess that this doll's hair was really in! I suppose this may have been satisfactory to a young child who simply drags the doll around as a temporary companion, till the next newer, bigger, or better doll or teddy bear comes along. I, however, was not happy with this, and it took a good deal of time, patience, and the right products and tools to save the hair she had, without resorting to cutting it off, covering it up in a hat, or even having to buy a dolly wig! What I found to be the most helpful was fabric softener, a good strong comb and wire brush, and a good quality hair detangler, and a couple of hand towels. I must emphasize that I found time and patience far more helpful than the store-bought products, but all together, everything tested and tried, step by step, I found I was very happy with the results in the long run! Her hair was not only longer than I previously thought it was, but it was softer and shinier than I had even hoped for! You can clearly see the improvement in the photo, but even at this point, looks were still deceiving. After taking this picture, I still had to trim away approximately an inch of hair, just so that it could have at least some fair degree of manageability. By just doing this, I had a far easier time running a comb through her hair without a tangle or fight! If you have a dolly in need of a makeover, then I would suggest you could check out the following websites, here, and here.

Well, this all was great, and it was starting to feel like a job well done; but "Garage Sale Dolly" was starting to look far too pretty for a name like this! Bev, from One Yarn After Another, and I had put our heads together on that, and Bev had a couple of nice suggestions! The one name was "Lovey", and I just thought that was so sweet! So I decided on that, along with a middle name which brings me to a fun question for my readers! In all the time that I put into making over my new doll, her face kept reminding me of someone! I will give you ONE hint, and I'm hoping someone will concur and validate my opinion on this! I will only say that the person Lovey resembles is a on a weekday morning talk show. Between all three of today's photos, can anyone guess? Here at my house, one person definitely saw the resemblance, while another person did not see it at all!.. So I'm really curious what you think! In fact, I'm thinking that perhaps the first person to correctly guess who the t.v. celebrity is that I am talking about, via a comment, and therefore identifying Lovey's middle name, should win a prize! Unfortunately, I cannot tell you what that is, as I am frankly unorganized, and this is definitely spur of the moment! However, I hope to make it one that is fun and at least somewhat worth the effort for having just read this far into my post today!!

Well, anyways, having finally been given a name, Lovey was certainly in need of something to wear! I had my colors narrowed down to pink or yellow, and I had made up my mind to crochet her a dress, rather than sew one. I think that my excitement for the sunny summer season that's just around the corner now, was the biggest influence that lead me to choose a pretty shade of yellow! So, without further ado, I am sharing my pattern for this dress with you today!
I hope that girls of all ages will enjoy this pattern and the pretty new doll dresses made from it!
First, I'd like you to meet Lovey, as pretty as she now looks today!

Oh You Beautiful Doll Dress!
(c) Crochet pattern designed and written by Beansieleigh (TS) on June 11, 2009
Pattern posted at http://beansiebabbles.blogspot.com/

Dress is made to fit an 18" doll. This dress has a nice full flair to it, complete with pretty puffy sleeves, and a slip underneath.

Skill Level: Advanced beginner/Intermediate
Gauge: 2 sc = 1/2", 2 rows of sc = approx. 1/2"

Materials Needed:
Red Heart Super Saver acrylic 4-ply WW yarn, in main color (Cornmeal, one 7-oz. skein)
Red Heart Super Saver acrylic 4-ply WW yarn, in white, just enough for trim and slip
3 (5/8") buttons (*Note: number of chain stitches for button holes can easily be adjusted for the size buttons you may prefer instead for this dress.)
Crochet hook, Size G
scissors and yarn needle
thread and sewing needle (to sew buttons)
Silk Flower (optional)

Abbreviations Used:
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
trc = triple crochet
st = stitch
sl st = slit stitch
sk = skip
sc dec = single crochet decrease
dc dec = double crochet decrease
FLO = Front Loops Only

Special Stitches Used:

double crochet decrease: Yarn over hook, insert hook in next st, pull yarn through, yarn over hook, pull yarn through 2 loops, yarn over hook, insert hook into next st, pull yarn through, yarn over hook, pull through two loops, yarn over hook, pull yarn through remaining 3 loops on hook.

triple crochet stitch: Yarn over hook twice, insert hook in next st, pull yarn through, (yarn over hook, pull yarn through 2 loops) 3 times.

Beginning at the neckline of the dress, and with main color yarn...

Row 1: Ch 28, sc in 6th ch from hook (first button hole now made). Sc in each of the remaining 22 ch. across. (23 sc) Ch 1, turn.

Row 2: 2 sc in each sc across. (46 sc) Ch 1, turn.

Rows 3-4: Sc in each st across. Ch 1, turn.

Row 5: Sc in the first 8 st, 2 sc in each of the next 8 st, sc in each of the next 14 st, 2 sc in each of the next 8 st, sc in each of the last 8 st. (62 sc) Ch 1, turn.

Row 6: Sc in the first 8 st, ch 8, sk next 16 st, sc in next 14 st, ch 8, sk next 16 st, sc in last 8 st.
Ch 6 (second button hole made), turn.

Row 7: Sc in each st and ch across. (46 sc) Ch 1, turn.

Row 8: Sc in 8 st, sl st in each of the next 8 st, sc in the next 14 st, sl st in each of the next 8 st, sc in each of the last 8 st. Ch 1, turn.

Row 9: Sc in each st across, being careful to catch the furthest back loops, so as not to have unused loops showing on the right (see *Note below) side. (46 sc) Ch 1, turn.

*Note: When I refer to the right side of the dress, I mean that dress should be right side out, with button holes on the left side, buttons on the right side of back opening of dress.

Rows 10-11: Sc in each st across. Ch 1, turn.

Row 12: Sc in each st across. Ch 6 (third button hole made), turn.

Rows 13-15: Sc in each st across. Ch 1, turn.

Row 16: Sc in each st across, sl st to the first sc of this row, to now proceed crocheting in rounds.

Rnds 1-2: Ch 1, sc in same st and in each st around. Sl st to join round. (46 sc)

Rnd 3: Ch 1, then in FLO, sc in same st, 2 sc in the next st. *Sc in the next st, 2 sc in the next st* around. (69 sc)

Rnd 4: Ch 3 (this will always count as the first dc, now and for the remainder of this pattern) crocheting in both loops again, dc in the next st and in each st around. Sl st to join round. (69 dc)

Rnd 5: Sl st to the next st, ch 3, dc in the same st, dc in each of the next 2 st. *2 dc in the next st, dc in the next 2 st* around. Join round with a sl st. (92 dc)

Rnd 6: Ch 3, dc in the same st, dc in the next 3 st. *2 dc in the next st, dc in each of the next 3 st* around. Sl st to join the round. (115 dc)

Rnd 7: Ch 3, dc in each st around. Sl st to join the round.

Rnd 8: Sl st into the next st. Ch 3, dc in each st around. Sl st to join the round.

Rnd 9-10: Ch 3, dc in each st around. Sl st to join the round.

Rnd 11: Sl st into the next st, ch 3, dc in the next st and in each st around. Sl st to join the round.

Rnd 12: Ch 3, dc in next st and in each st around. Sl st to join the round. Fasten off yellow, and attach white at the same st.

Rnd 13: Ch 1, sc in the same st, hdc in the next st, (dc, trc, dc) in the next st, hdc in the next st, sc in the next st. *Sc in the next st, hdc in the next st, (dc, trc, dc) in the next st, hdc in the next st, sc in the next st* around. Sl st to join the round. (You should now have 23 scallops made.)

Rnd 14: *(Ch 4, sk next st, sl st in the next st) 3 times, sl st to the next st*, repeat from asterisk, repeating this pattern around. Join round with a sl st. (You should now have 3 little chain spaces for each scallop.) Fasten off, and weave in any ends.

Sew first button at the edge of right side opening, just between Rows 1 and 2, near the neckline of the dress.

Sew the second button at the edge of right side opening, just between Rows 7 and 8, down towards the middle of the back.

Sew the third button at the edge of right side opening, just between Rows 13 and 14, at the bottom of bodice of the dress.

Sleeves:

Attach main color yarn to underarm at 4th skipped st from left side of armhole.

Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in the same st and in next 3 st. Now working in stitches at the top of the armhole, 2 sc in each of the next 16 st. Now working back in remaining skipped stitches at the bottom of the armhole, sc in the last 4 st. Sl st to join the round. (40 sc)

Rnds 2-3: Ch 1, sc in same st and in next 3 st. Hdc in the next 2 st, dc in the next 28 st, hdc in the next 2 st, sc in last 4 st. Sl st to join the round.

Rnd 4: Sl st to the next st, ch 1, sc in the same st, and in each of the next 3 st, hdc in the next 2 st, (dc dec over the next 2 st) 14 times, hdc in the next 2 st, sc in the last 4 st. Sl st to join the round. (26 st)

Rnd 5-6: Ch 1, sc in same st, and in each of the next 3 st, hdc in the next 2 st, dc in the next 14 st, hdc in the next 2 st, sc in the last 4 st. Sl st to join the round.

Rnd 7: Ch 1, *sc dec over the next 2 st* around. Sl st to join the round. Fasten off main color, and weave in yarn end. (13 st) Attach white to same st.

Rnd 8: Ch 1, sc in same st, *ch 3, sc in same st again, ch 3 sc in next st* around. Sl st to join the round. Fasten off white, and weave in end.

Proceed to make second sleeve in the same manner.

Underskirt/Slip:

Holding dress upside down, flipping the inside of the dress's skirt out, attach white yarn at a back unused loop from Rnd 3 of dress.

Rnd 1: Ch 3, dc in the same st, dc in the next st. *2 dc in the next st, dc in next st* around; dc dec over the last 2 st. Sl st to join the round. (69 dc)

Rnd 2: Ch 3, dc in the same st, dc in each of the next 2 st. *2 dc in the next st, dc in next 2 st* around. Sl st to join the round. (92 dc)

Rnd 3: Sl st to the next st, ch 3, dc in the same st, dc in the next 3 st. *2 dc in the next st, dc in the next 3 st* around. Join round with a sl st. (115 dc)

Rnd 4-5: Ch 3, dc in the next st and in each st around. Sl st to join the round.

Rnd 6: Sl st to the next st, ch 3, dc in the next st and in each st around.

Rnd 7-8: Ch 3, dc in next st and in each st around. Sl st to join the round. Fasten off yarn and weave in end.

Hairbow: With main color yarn, ch 80. Sc in second ch from hook and in each ch across. Fasten off and weave in end. Wrap around doll's head like a headband, and tie into a bow.

Silk flower bow at front waistline of dress (an optional embellishment): With main color, ch 50. Fasten off with a knot, cut yarn end. Weave chain through only a couple st, at the front bottom of bodice. Tie into a bow. (See photo) Sew, hot glue, or wire-wrap silk flower onto the top of this bow, keeping in mind your intentions/methods for washing dress in the future. (My advice: cool water handwash, lay flat to dry.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Something To Remember You By"

Recently, I was over to City Girl Em's at Blithe And Blonde, and she had this clever meme on her blog. It looked like fun to me, and seemed to be the perfect way to remember the legendary Judy Garland on this day, her birthday!

Choose one band, or one musical artist.
Using song titles from this one band/artist ONLY, cleverly answer these questions:

1. Are you male/female? I'm a "Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow" (Ha! Ha!.. on a pretty little farm in my pretty little dreams!)

2. Describe yourself: "How Lovely To Be Me"

3. How do you feel about yourself? "Can Do, Will Do"

4. Describe an ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend: "The Peanut Vendor"(said with a VERY BIG smirk!)

5. Describe your current boyfriend/girlfriend situation: "Call Me Up Some Rainy Afternoon".. But remember, "I'm Nobody's Baby"!!

6. Describe your current location: "God's Country"

7. Describe where you want to be: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

8. Your best friend(s) is/are: "Mean To Me" (Ha! Just kidding!)

9. Your favorite color is: "The Birth of the Blues" (I didn't see any PINK songs by Judy!.. but I love ALL colors, so that's o.k.!)

10. You know that: "When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You)"

11. What's the weather like? "I've Got the Sun In The Morning"

12. If your life was a television show, what would it be called? "The Joint Is Really Jumpin' Down In Carnegie Hall" (some days more than others!)

13. What is life to you? "It's A Great Day For The Irish"

14. What is the best advice I have to give? "Get Happy"

15. If you could change your name, what would you change it to? "Liza (All The Clouds'll Roll Away)"

So, what's playing on my DVD player tonight?.. "We're Off To See The Wizard"!.. We're going to watch "The Wizard Of Oz" of course! "Strike Up the Band"! I'm going to set up the snacks and beverages for the kids and me! Maybe I'll pick up some Dunkin Munchkins for the occasion? Sounds good! "How about you?".. "Wish You Were Here"!.. "Why? Just Because!"..

Did you think this was fun? Why don't you try it too?!

Now, "Chin Up, Cheerio, and Carry On!"

Friday, June 5, 2009

Beansie, Put The Kettle On

Today's a busy one. I don't mean to say that I'm doing anything to make history, or set world records, or anything quite as exciting as that; but it's just one of those days where I'm moving from one chore or project, right on to the next one!

As you can see, my garage-sale dolly, is getting the full pampering treatment. I'm not sure how much I can do to restore any kind of luster to her hair, but I'm trying. One tip I've read is to saturate it with fabric softener, then let it sit in there for some time. I put this in her hair yesterday afternoon. From there, there was a suggestion to steam the doll's hair, so Beansie put the kettle on, to do just that. I held her hair over the steam for about 5 minutes, and was seriously getting restless after this length of time, seeing this particular procedure was really making NO difference at all, not in this case anyway. It does not show in the photo necessarily, but Dear Dolly seems to also have an injured/lazy left eye for some reason. There is not much I can do for this, as far as i know, so thank goodness it is not TOO bad. As I am washing and conditioning her hair, it is very important not to do further damage to either of her eyes. I have to be very careful not to get water in them, or it can leave a damaging mildewy effect on them. If I was to make that mistake, it would be at least a 24 hour setback, because I would have to towel dry them as best I can, THEN leave her lying face down, for at least that long, to allow drainage of any further moisture! Now by tonight, I may try to start combing through her hair, to further assess what I'm working with, and what I may, or may not still need to do with it. This could very well be a difficult process, requiring a wire brush and/or comb. Most likely, this will NOT feel like pampering to poor Dolly anymore! In the meantime, I have been trying to decide on an outfit; and of course, I can't keep calling her "garage sale dolly", so I'd like to give her a name! She's going to deserve a real pretty one after what horrible hair-pulling she may be going through tonight!

Finally, I ran across a cute sewing project that also doubles as kind of a recycling project. I thought it was so cute, I had to get out all the materials I thought I might need to try it! My sewing machine is set up and ready to run! I should be able to post this by tomorrow, so stop back if you can, to see how it comes out! I'll post a link where you can try to make one too!

Oh, I wonder if Aunt PittyPat sees this.. I think she's going to know already what I'm making here! She's gonna be so-ooo proud of me too, if I do this right!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sugar, Spice, and Sunflowers!

The Sugar and Spice Annie Swap #2, hosted by Aunt PittyPat, was so much fun the first time, I had to sign up AGAIN when I heard she was starting a second round! My swap-partner, Jany should be getting the doll I made her, hopefully, tomorrow. We mailed each other's packages right around the same time; but I think her mailman is faster than MY mailman, because I just got my package from her TODAY! I think MY mailman better start eating his WHEATIES! I was not expecting Jany's package already, but there it was!

(Gasp!).. But, oh no!.. I can't open it now! I am on my way out to pick up Dear Son from school! I have to WAIT to open it! NO WAY! Can I wait that long to open it? I guess I'll HAVE to!

Well, I headed out to the school, picked up Dear Son, and got back home, thirty whole minutes later, which was just torture, ya know! How did I ever do it?!.. Well, it WAS good to see my boy. He told me his day went well, and we talked on the way home. I love that, and anything concerning an agonizing wait is forgotten now! Finally, we got home, and I was ready to open this box, and as you can see, here she is!

An adorable little Annie, wearing the sweetest little sunflower dress, with matching bow in her hair, big beautiful eyes, and the prettiest little smile on her face! Jany also sent a cute little terra-cotta pot with a fabric sunflower in it, a packet of sunflower seeds, a very pretty tag (which I am determined to try to make some myself one of these days!), and then, of course, she also enclosed a small personal note. I have already emailed her, thanking her, but here I want to thank her again! She is clearly a very talented artist with all that she does! I just can't wait now, to see how she likes mine when she gets it! I will post that doll when she does, so as not to spoil the surprise.

If you would like to see more of Jany's work, just head on over to her blog, Look In The Nook.

Well, now that I've posted and boasted all about my new Annie doll today, I want to show you what I just finished, fresh off my crochet hook, this morning...

Here is my 12-inch, May "Flower Garden", the fifth granny square, for the Calendar 'Ghan crochet-along, over at Dishcloth Diaries. April's next June granny square is named "Summer Romance".. Hmmm, what colors should I do THAT in? Fiery Reds? Flaming oranges?.. or in Icy Blues?! Ha! Ha! I'll have to think about that! It seems most of the participants are doing their squares in single solid colors, but no, not me! I guess I'll find out how it all ties in together in December, but I'm liking my colors well enough so far!

Finally, here's a doll I found at a garage sale this past weekend. They were closing up shop, and I have to tell you there is always a soft spot in my heart, for the orphaned dolly laying in an abandoned heap, ready to be carelessly tossed into the nearest trash can or dumpster. So I said I'd take her, for the dollar they were still asking, and I'll see what I can do to clean her up, and make her feel special again! This is it, her "before" picture! Her tag says "Our Generation", and she appears to be about the same size as the American Girl dolls. Her hair is definitely dried out and slightly matted, so I think a wire brush may be necessary to style her hair as best I can. She's fairly clean, so I'm not too worried about that. She had NO clothing, the poor thing! I may have some sewing patterns to make her something to wear, but I might still prefer to crochet her a new outfit. I'll post the "After" picture of a hopefully happier new dolly as soon as I can!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Beansie's Bikini Beach Bag!

As the warmer weather approaches, and as we're running to the gym, trying on new swimwear, and consequently watching our diets in anticipation of hot summer days on the beach, I thought I would share my pattern for my Bikini Beach Bag! I designed this a couple of years ago, but having only just started this blog, and here it is June already, I'm only happy to be able to share it with you now!

Bikini Beach Bag
(c)Pattern designed and written by Beansieleigh (TS) July 6, 2007
Pattern posted on June 2, 2009 @ http://beansiebabbles.blogspot.com/

Materials:
Worsted Weight acrylic yarns in your choice of colors
Size G Hook (or size needed to obtain preferred size of bag)
Beads (optional)
Button, for belly ring (optional)
Yarn needle for weaving ends and sewing sides together
Note: I did not choose to line this bag. After 2 years so far, this has held up very well! However, this IS an old pattern of mine, so if there are errors, please do not hesitate to let me know, and I will make the necessary corrections.

Finished Size: Approximately 16" wide x 18" high (not including straps)

Abbreviations:
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
hdc = half double crochet
dc = double crochet
sc dec = single crochet decrease
sc inc = single crochet increase
st = stitch
BLO = Back Loops Only

First Side of Beach Bag:

First Side of Bikini Top:
Row 1: With color chosen for bikini, ch 9, sc in second chain from hook, and in each stitch across.
(8 sc) Ch 1, turn.

Row 2: 2 sc in the first st, sc across, then 2 sc in the last st. Ch 1, turn.

Continue this pattern of increases, until you have reached 34 st, at Row 24. Fasten off.

Attach two triangles together by stitching from two bottom corners, up 6 rows only, then pull yarn slightly to gather, for a little bit of a puckered look. Fasten off, weave in end. You are now prepared to crochet a complete row (midriff section) across the bottom of the two triangle/cups of your bikini top.

Midriff Section of First Side:

Row 25: Starting at first st, at bottom of one of the triangles, now choosing a right side, and REMEMBERING, attach skin toned colored yarn. Ch 1, sc in same st, and in each st across, up to the last few stitches, just before the middle puckered area made. Because of this gathered pucker, you must as best you can, crochet into stitches most visible and reachable; but while doing this, what you want in this center area is a set of stitches that will even out/straighten out your following rows.. So, as you approach this center of the bikini top, you have to determine the center/middle stitch. This is how MY row worked out: Sc in 32 st, hdc in 2 st, dc in the most center stitch of this row, hdc in the next 2 st, then sc in the remaining 32 st. (total of 69 st).

Row 26: Sc dec in first 2 st, sc in each st across, sc dec over last 2 st.

Row 27: Sc across (67 sc) Ch 1, turn.

Rows 28-29: Repeat Rows 26-27. (65 sc) Ch 1, turn.

Rows 30-32: Sc across. (65 sc) Ch 1, turn.

Rows 33-39: Repeat Rows 26-32. (61 sc) Ch 1, turn.

Rows 40-46: Repeat Rows 26-32 again. (57 sc) Ch 1, turn.

Rows 47-48: Sc across, fasten off, and weave in end. Attach color of bikini top to begin bikini bottom of this side of bag. Ch 1.

Bikini Bottom of First Side:

Rows 49-54: Sc inc in first st, sc in each st across, sc inc in last st. (69 sc) Ch 1, turn.

Row 55: In BLO, so as to add fancy edging or beaded embellishment later, sc in each st across. (69 sc) Ch 1, turn.

Rows 56-79: (working in both loops again) Sc in each st across. (69 sc) Ch 1, turn.

Row 80: Sc dec over first two st, sc in each st across, sc dec over last 2 st. (67 sc) Ch 1, turn.

Row 81: Sc in each st across. Ch 1, turn.

Rows 82-85: Repeat Rows 80-81 twice. (63 sc) Fasten off, weave in end.

Second Side of Beach Bag:

Repeat all of Side One. Sew two sides together with yarns, changing color when necessary, at the sides and bottom.

Bikini Top/Beach Bag Straps:

Attach yarn to top first st of one triangle, ch 1, sc in each st across. (8 sc). Proceed to crochet 35 rows of sc on this side of bikini top, then the other triangle of this side of the bag.. THEN, do the same for the other side of beach bag, so that you will have 4 straps made of 35 rows of sc. Stitch together the 2 straps from one side of beach bag to form middle of one completed strap handle of one side of your bag. (See photo) Do the same for handle on second side of bag to finish.

Embellish bag to your own preference, with beads, trim, buttons, sequins, etc.

Have fun on the beach!