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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Thankful Cowl

I am sorry to say, but I don't think I've written this before:

I am so thankful for YOU.

I've been more than surprised when people have come up to me and said, "I love your blog", to which I turn behind me to see if a more qualified blogger is peering over my shoulder.  My blog?  Little ol' me? I've had people quote things back to me, or laugh with me as I recount writing about a specific post.  Or even better, it has inspired others to share their stories with me; something that makes me feel like there is one big community out there that just wants to hang out and be friends.  Very cool.

So for today, with the approach of Thanksgiving, I'd like to tell you THANK YOU, from the very bottom of my heart.  This community of joy and love - that has been there even when joy and love seemed out of reach - has made this blog possible.

This post is not meant to toot my own horn, but to trumpet from the rooftops that YOU are AWESOME.

With all this mushy gushy stuff in mind, I wanted to "gift" you a simple crochet pattern.  I realize not everyone out there crochets, but if it brings a bit of love and warmth to you, then it has done its job.  I call it, simply enough, The Thankful Infinity Cowl.


Please enjoy, and know that YOU - yes, you who are taking the time to read my strange musings and give me encouragement in the things I write about; you who have known me forever or just by reading this post; you who have written comments, liked things on Facebook, or have encouraged me in person; you who related to my struggles and my joys; you who came back a second time to read - you, are such a blessing to me.


Thankful Infinity Cowl – Crochet Pattern


  • Worsted Weight Yarn
  • Crochet Hook Size Q
  •  Darning Needle (for weaving in ends)

  • r = row
  • ch = chain
  • sc = single crochet
  • dc = double crochet
  • st = stitch
  • sl st = slip stitch

Listed are instructions for small, medium, and large based on the number of chains that are added in the beginning.  So, for a smaller size (think teenager or a thin-necked adult) chain 50, for a medium chain 55, and for a large chain 60.

R1:  Using two strands at once, ch 50 for small, 55 for medium, or 60 for large,  sl st to first ch. (note: be careful not to twist the chain at all!)
R2:  sc in same st as sl st from round 1, sc in ea st around using only the top loops.
R3 – R7:  ch 2, dc in ea sti around, sl st to join.
R8:  ch 1, sc in ea st around, sl st to join.  finish and weave in ends.

Permission to Use this Pattern
My only guideline for using this pattern is that you make it for someone in whom you are THANKFUL.  If that means you are thankful for your customers at a craft show or your Etsy shop, then by all means sell it!  I ask that you please reference this site when using the pattern, and let the receiver know that it was made in a mindset of thanks and love.


A quick shout out to my amazing husband, Brad, for whom I am also so very thankful.  And of course, my sweet baby boy, Quincy.

And to YOU:  Thanks again, friends.  You mean the world to me.


P.S. To all of  my Ravelry Friends - thanks for stopping by!  I'd love to see pictures of your final projects, so please post through your projects page or email me a photo (and let me know if I can share it on this blog!).  

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Brag Board {Tugboat Yarning}

I'll keep the words short and the photos big for the Brag Board.  Check out these adorable kids and their Tugboat Yarning gear!

Baby Emilia - Magenta Baby Cocoon
Baby Judah - Grey & Teal Newsie Hat
Baby Judah - Navy & Orange Dino Hat

Baby Ahren - Green & Navy Dinosaur Hat

Baby Drake & Big Sister Kierstynn - Blue Newsie Hat with Teal Button 
Baby Isaac - Grey & Blue Newsie Hat with Red Button

Baby Jonah - Slate Blue & Navy Giraffe
Zac - Fiery Dragon Hat

For those of you out there that have a Tugboat Yarning product and would like it featured on the Brag Board, please email photos here.

Now, didn't this post make you smile?  There are sure a lot of beautiful kids out there!  Thank you to everyone that shared photos!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

My First m-DIY Baby Shower

It wasn't too long ago that I had to type this into a Google search:


I'll spare you the key strokes if you, too, are unfamiliar with this acronym: it means Do It Yourself.  Not in a No-I-Won't-Help-You-Make-The-Bed kind of Do it Yourself!, but a Let's-Be-Like-Martha-And-Make-It-Ourselves kind of spirit.  This is the latest lingo for The Crafters and Creative Types out there.

You may be wondering (based on the title of this post), what m-DIY means, to which I will answer: Mostly Do It Yourself, extra emphasis on the M.  This is a new acronym I'm trying to coin, mainly because I don't always hit the standards of Full DIY, and I'd hate to misrepresent myself.

I recently had the pleasure of throwing a baby shower for my sister, and it was a great opportunity to do a little DIY-ing to keep my creative side happy, and shave off some of the cost that can come with showers.  I have realized through the process of getting married and later having a child that anything marked as WEDDING or BABY has a 40-80% mark-up.  Find just a plain white candle at the store?  It may cost a couple of bucks, but once it even smells of a white veiled occasion, it's at least seventeen-ninety-nine-plus-tax-and-your-first-born.  This whole DIY'ing was great to cut out not only the middle man, but also the overly-priced-oh-but-it's-for-baby-so-of-course-I'll-pay-too-much mentality.

But, I digress.

What does a baby shower consist of these days?  Typically, food, an activity or a few games, dessert, and gifts for the mother-to-be.  I researched online to find other people's baby shower ideas, and decided to write this post to share with other Would-Be Shower Throwers some of the things I attempted.  I hope this is helpful to you!

nom nom nom FOOD nom nom nom nom...

Because you may not personally know all of the guests invited to the shower, you'll want to offer a variety of food that can suit a variety of palates (think: vegetarians, people with dairy or gluten allergies, or your general picky eaters).  I opted for easy to prepare, but delicious all the same.

Crescent Rolls + Beef Sausages

Cheese Broccoli Quiche
Find the recipe here, substituting broccoli for bacon

Veggies with Ranch // Yogurt, Strawberry & Granola Parfait
Ranch was creamier than veggie dip (and already in my fridge)
 and I used recyclable cups for the parfait.

Chocolate, Chocolate Cupcakes with Blue Sprinkles
Cupcake recipe here, chocolate cream cheese frosting recipe here
Decaf Coffee, Regular Coffe, Cream & Sugar, Orange Juice & Water
Not as glamorous as the cupcakes, but oh so necessary


I was left with one stipulation: NO GAMES, to which I said, NO PROBLEM!  Instead, I opted for a fun activity that also could be both a great memento of the shower and a gift for baby: A Thumbprint Wishing Tree.

I found a great template for the tree at this site, traced it onto off-white cardstock, and then wrote a poem to accompany the tree.

This is a photo of the tree partially filled out, but it will be cute once framed and given to Mom-to-Be!  (Photos to follow once the frame is finished!)

Wishes for Baby


I previously wrote about my absolute FAIL at making a cupcake stand (really, I blame the floor for not being more receptive to falling plates), but I didn't let it defeat me!  I went back to the thrift store, picked up some cooler plates and a pretty vase, and got new glue from the hobby shop.  
Cupcake Display Stand
Tutorial found here
This flag banner was great to double as a decoration for the party and a gift for Mom-to-Be in case the nursery needed a splash of color.
Pennant Flag Banner
Tutorial found here


To thank the guests for coming out, I made coffee cozies (you can find the tutorial here), and wrapped them around mason jars filled with homemade hot chocolate mix.  I'm actually selling the leftover cozies I made at my Etsy Shop while supplies last!  Check them out here!

Cozy Hot Cocoa

I got the recipe from a friend of mine, but you can find a similar one here.  Warning!  Delicious Sugar Crashes may occur that will end in a much needed nap, but it'll be the best nap you've had in ages, at least in my experience.

Have you had any m-DIY projects you've worked on recently?  Had a successful baby shower?  Share in the comments below!

The leftover hot chocolate mix is calling my name, so I shall say farewell for now.  Don't worry, I should be able to mostly drink it myself.

A quick shout out of CONGRATULATIONS to my sister, the beautiful mother to be.  I can't wait to meet my nephew!


P.S.  Overwhelmed by all the links?  This may help:

Pin this post for later use.

Follow me on Pinterest, and check out the Baby M. Board.