Friday, May 18, 2012

Pin #29 Crocheted Baby Stuff

My Pinspiration 

I learned to crochet from an old Russian Babushka who wasn't very patient. It didn't help that I had never been taught any crocheting words in my Russian lessons. She would get so frustrated when I couldn't remember what she was talking about and would just yell the instructions at me as if that would help me understand. The weird part is that after a few months of loud crochet lessons, I finally figured it out what I was doing and the two of us became friends. Over the years I have been grateful that I learned to crochet. It is my go-to skill when I have to make baby gifts. I am finally at the point where I can create my own patterns or change one to fit my needs. 
These boots are a good example. I found a pattern that looked awesome but was insane to crochet. It was supposed to create a cable pattern on the outside of the boot. After a few attempts to make the boots, I decided that I didn't love how they looked and changed things up. Here is what I came up with:

I am excited to send them off to my friend in Utah. She asked me to crochet a few hats and shoes for a baby that she is having this summer. I made the boots as a surprise and so I hope that she likes them. Here is a picture of the rest of the items I crocheted for her:
 She also asked for a baby cocoon. She found one on Pinterest that she liked and sent me the picture and I tried to copy as well as I could. This is the end result:

I took this picture but I kind of hate it. Am I the only one who thinks it looks funny when people use dolls to model their crochet creations? It just doesn't look right. But the cocoon by itself looks odd too. Oh well! Hopefully she loves it!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pin #28 Paper Mache King Tut

Inspiration Pin

I am not sure when I fell in love with paper mache. I don't remember doing much with it as a kid, but I was a camp counselor for one of my summer jobs after high school and I remember making a couple of memorable volcanoes with some campers. Last November I decided to make a pinata for my three year old for her birthday. I probably could have bought her one, but decided late Tuesday night that I was going to make her a festive turkey pinata that we could all whack around after dinner. Here is a picture of how that sad turkey turned out:
  Yes, that is a square turkey. Since I decided to make this pinata at the very last minute, I was not able to find a balloon to use as a base for the paper mache. The only thing that I could find to use was a freezer size Ziploc bag. Strange, I know, but it worked and we had our first ever Thanksgiving pinata. Hopefully, it is the first of many.
So a few weeks ago, I was reading  my new favorite blog, Lil Blue Boo and the author, Ashley, shared a tutorial on how to make a unicorn head using paper mache. The tutorial was wonderful and thorough as always, but I decided that I really didn't have the desire to make an animal head for our wall. A few days later, Jack came to me with a problem. He really wanted to dress up like King Tut and so we looked around and came up with this:
He was happy for a few days but kept asking for a real Egyptian crown. My mind went back to Ashley's unicorn head and I decided to see what I could come up with using paper mache. Thankfully my mother-in-law was here to help because I decided to try and make two different crowns.

Crown #1 King Tut
newspaper ripped into strips
table cover
paper mache- flour, water, and sugar
(the best paper mache recipe that I have found is over at Family Fun)
 We did one big layer the first day and let it dry for 24 hours. I did a second layer to fix the shape and let that dry overnight as well. Once it  felt good and hard, I popped the balloon and started covering the hat with construction paper that I cut into strips.

We sculpted a cobra and vulture out of newspaper and painted them once they had dried. I attached them to the front with one last piece of construction paper. Jack was pretty happy with the results.

Practicing his Mummy pose!
 He spent the rest of the day wearing his crown and so I think it was a pretty big success. 

Crown #2 The Blue War Crown
 This one was a lot easier, and as a result I took a lot less pictures.

Once the paper mache was dry, I painted it blue and attached another cobra that I made out of newspaper. Pretty easy. Without that cobra and the yellow band on the bottom, it could have been a MegaMind blue head. Maybe we'll try that out for our next paper mache project.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

On A Side Note...

On a side note, I love people who go out of their way to do nice things. A few weeks ago, I went with my family to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival. We spent the day walking through the flowers and trying to get some good pictures of our kids.When the tulips are this colorful and sun is shining, it is probably hard to get a bad picture. This is one of my favorites from the day. She really loves her big brother!

Anyway, I was trying to get some more shots of the kids together and they both lost focus and started to wander away. While I was trying to herd them back, a man approached us and motioned to us to look at his camera. He didn't speak English very well but explained that he had taken a great shot of Anna smelling flowers. He asked us for our email address so he could send us the picture. It turns out he is here in Oregon as a visiting photography professor from China. Long story short, we got an email from him today with this picture attached:

I am in love with this picture and am so thankful that this kind man took the time to edit it and email it to us.  I am also glad that Anna takes time to stop and smell the tulips, cause I was probably nagging her to look at the camera while he was taking this photo. So, today I am very thankful for nice people who do kind things just to make someones day. My goal is to do the same for someone else tomorrow.