Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Snowy Owl Hats

I was trying to decide what to make for our grandchildren when I found this free pattern for Snowy Owl Hats created by blogger Sarah at Repeat Crafter Me. It was perfect. I made two - one for our youngest grandson (6/12 months size) and one for our granddaughter (2/4 years size). 

I love how they turned out. Aren't they just the cutest Snowy Owl Hats? 
Our daughter assures me this hat was a great choice as our granddaughter is totally into polar bears and snowy owls at the moment. So much so that she asked for snowy owl and polar bear costumes for Christmas. How exciting is that? I can't wait to see her face when she gets her new hat.

If you would like to make one too, check out Sarah's free pattern here. You're sure to have a hoot if you do. Smiles from meo my crochet.

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Monday, 4 December 2017

Crochet Zebra

Early in July, our daughter sent me a photo of this toy zebra. The one shown below for $14.99. Our oldest grandson was totally into zebras and would love if I could make him one. 

An extensive Google search for a free crochet pattern turned up absolutely nothing. Since creating a pattern from scratch would take more time and since not a lot of crochet happens here in the summer anyway, I added this to my list for later. A zebra would make a perfect Christmas gift if I could figure out how to make one before then.
By the time I was ready to make a Crochet Zebra for our grandson, I was thrilled to discover a free pattern had been shared later in July by one of my favourite bloggers Sarah at Repeat Crafter Me

I made a few changes to Sarah's pattern so my zebra would look a little more like the one above. Her zebra was made with gray and white stripes and a loopy mane in solid gray. My zebra sports black and white stripes with a spiky mane in black and white to mimic the stripes you would see on a real zebra. I reversed the ears so the black is facing forward, used buttons instead of safety eyes and added a little red scarf with a fluffy black, white and red fringe in keeping with the season.

This Crochet Zebra made with love for our grandson was happy to pose for photos. I think he looks quite dapper in his red winter scarf. Don't you?
If you would like to make a Crochet Zebra, you can find Sarah's free pattern here

This scarf is super simple to make too. Crochet a starting chain in a length that looks about right (determined by wrapping it around the neck) then work eight rows of slip stitch. Work the first row of slip stitch into the back bumps of the starting chain (to create a nice edge) and the remainder of the rows in the front loops only. For the fringe cut 6" strands of yarn in red, black and white and knot them in four groups of three strands (one of each colour) along each end. Use a wire brush to fluff the fringe on the scarf and the tail too. And there you have it ... easy peasy.



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Sunday, 3 December 2017

Love My Djembe

When I was growing up I did not consider myself to be musically inclined. I couldn't carry a tune and never played a musical instrument. Yet I love dance, movement and drumming. I especially love primal tribal beats. 

About a year ago, I looked into getting a Djembe (pronounced "JEM-bay") thinking it might be fun to join a drumming circle. I watched videos and practiced on an empty bin, but with no real drumming knowledge, I couldn't decide what to buy. Plus I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it enough to justify the cost. In the end, I decided to wait ... still interested, just not actively looking.

Last weekend, one of our favourite local artists Mary Louise White hosted an Open House showcasing her new glass sculptures. In July, Mary Louise returned from Australia where she spent five months completing her Graduate Certificate in Visual Arts at the ANU School of Art and Design, concentrating on casting glass. We love Mary Louise's artwork, so were excited to see her new sculptures. 

My husband and I had a fabulous time at Mary Louise's Open House. There were so many beautiful pieces, we easily spent two hours admiring everything and chatting. I also noticed a few Djembes with price tags, so asked and was thrilled to discover Mary Louise used to teach drumming. She was selling her drums now that she no longer teaches. 

I trusted her advice picking my favourite from the few she was offering. It is a mahogany and goat skin 13" Djembe made by Joe Platz, a teacher, drum maker and performer from Massachusetts. It is beautiful and sounds absolutely amazing. I Love My Djembe and practice almost every day.  
When I am not using my Djembe I keep it tucked away in this green canvas bag to protect it from our cat. Maggie may look sweet, but her sharp cat claws could do serious damage to a Djembe. Thanks Mary Louise for this Djembe and handy-dandy storage bag ... so much appreciated.

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Monday, 20 November 2017

Crochet Christmas Gnomes

I first noticed Christmas gnomes while out shopping. They looked adorably sweet and like something I could make. I was thrilled to find a crochet pattern for the exact sort of Christmas gnome I had in mind. 

The pattern provided instructions for a round body stuffed with rice, little round nose, long fluffy beard and tall pointy hat. I loved it's simplicity. 

My first gnome toppled over unable to sit upright because I had stuffed it with poly-fill instead of rice. I added arms and legs ... problem solved.
This gnome worked out so well I decided to make another. These two Crochet Christmas Gnomes are soft and squishy... perfect for cuddles.
I continue to work with yarn from my stash. You can see one gnome is a little bit bigger because he was made using slightly heavier yarn. 
 
My next three Crochet Christmas Gnomes were made following the pattern exactly. Stuffed with rice, the body feels a bit like a Hacky-sac, but is perfectly stable. I managed to capture a few fun photos while the sun shone last weekend. 
 
 
 
 
I love my Crochet Christmas Gnomes. Like my daughter said, "They're adorable and hilarious." I hope reading about these colourful quirky little gnomes helps brighten your day with smiles from meo my crochet.

If you would like to make one too, you can find the free pattern here by blogger Nerissa at MissNeriss

Go ahead, make a few. You won't be disappointed if you do.

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Sunday, 12 November 2017

Four Lambs Together

I recently made another Little Lamb using more yarn from my stash. This Little Lamb turned out just a little bit smaller and softer than the others. I love how each Little Lamb looks similar yet oh so different. If you would like to make your own Little Lamb, you can find the free pattern here
While sorting through photos of my four Little Lambs yesterday, I was inspired to write this poem titled "Four Lambs Together". 

It's a silly little ditty, but such fun. I hope it brightens your day with smiles from meo my crochet.

Four Lambs Together

Four lambs in a row
Count them from above
Count them from below
1 - 2 - 3 - 4
No less, no more
Four lambs to love

Four lambs in a line
Count them one more time
1 - 2 - 3 - 4
No less, no more
What could be better
Than Four Lambs Together?

Counting lambs is fun
Who can stop at one?
1 - 2 - 3 - 4
No less, no more

Four Lambs Together
Big or small
I love them All
 

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Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Thanksgiving This Year

Our daughter and her family flew home for Thanksgiving again this year. Travel is more challenging with three children. 
 
Normally we would meet them at Detroit airport with a borrowed van, help collect their luggage then all pile into the van for the drive to London. This time they had to manage on their own renting a vehicle big enough for a family of five with three little ones in car seats. It is a logistical nightmare. We were impressed with how well they managed.

They arrived on Thanksgiving Saturday around 10 p.m. a little later than planned as the border crossing was busier than expected. We didn't take pictures. It was late and the kids were tired. After a quick bath and story, they were happy to snuggle down to sleep in their lovely new tent.

This year we delayed closing our pool hoping our grandchildren would be able to use it when they visited. Thankfully we awoke to warm sunny weather perfect for swimming on both Sunday and Monday. It was fun unwinding in the pool before everybody arrived for Thanksgiving dinner. 
We loved swimming so late in the season with our grandchildren. 
Instead of swimming, our newest grandson enjoyed cozy cuddles.
This year we hosted Thanksgiving dinner for the first time. My husband cooked both a turkey and spiral cut ham outside on his new Kamado ceramic smoker and grill. I prepared mashed potatoes, baked vegetables, cream corn and stuffing inside. My Mom brought pies (pumpkin and lemon meringue) and butter buns. My mother-in-law made salad. It was a fantastic feast with enough leftovers to last all week.
Our newest grandson slept through most of the festivities ... so sweet.
We managed to squeeze everybody around two tables in the dining room.
I love how our grandson was mesmerized by the flickering lights.
Our grandson was also entertained by ceiling fans and smiling faces too.

Thanksgiving Monday, we spent the morning swimming before heading to my brother-in-law's cottage near Bayfield. They call it "Lasting Memories Cottage" aptly named as so many happy memories are being made there.
 
 
It was a perfect day for a walk on the beach ... collecting stones.
Stones gathered from the beach were used to construct an Inuksuk back at the cottage. I think our son did a good job with a little help.
With tired kids, we left for home before the sun had set. Our sister-in-law sent us this photo ... a perfect end to a special Thanksgiving This Year.
This year, my husband and I both worked while our grandchildren were here. He was too busy to take time off and I have used all but three days of my vacation. I am saving those days for when they visit at Christmas and New Years. It wasn't a problem as they had planned activities with our parents every day.
In the mornings before work, our grandson would play and chat with me while I relaxed with a green tea latte in the living room. I learned to step carefully as Lego "disappeared" on that carpet. Our granddaughter woke up early enough only once to join in on the fun.
I managed to get a few snapshots showing how they spent their week while we were at work. They kept busy with lunches out, parks, visits to great grandparents' houses plus a trip to Stratford ... so many things.
My Mom (aka GG) joined the kids for story time one night ... so much fun.
In Stratford, they visited an "old" family friend Zibby and Gus where they posed for a group shot. I heard they enjoyed fresh baked treats.
Thursday night, they visited our niece and her husband to meet Pippin their kitten and play Wii.
Cuddles with the baby ... never get enough.
On Friday, we got off work a little early. My husband made good use of his Kamado smoker and grill making pizza for dinner ... very tasty treat.
Our grandchildren enjoyed another swim before dinner.
Our niece and her husband joined us for 'games' night Friday. Actually I sat and chatted while the 'kids' played Pictionary ... lots of laughs.
Saturday was a warm day, but rainy. Instead of going to Kustermans Berry Farm as planned, we went to Adventures on Wonderland - an indoor play area. Although it was crazy busy and noisy, our grandchildren loved it.
Our grandson loved these shakers. I could keep him entertained for ages.

On Sunday, my husband put his Kamado smoker and grill to work one more time preparing beef brisket for dinner. It was a relatively warm day so I went for one last swim with our grandchildren before finally closing the pool for the winter. 
As he often did, our littlest grandson slept through our 'good-bye" dinner. Our son had to drive home later that night while our daughter and her family started packing and preparing to fly home the next day. 

We enjoyed our week with the little ones and look forward to seeing them again at Christmas. They have not been home for Christmas since forever. I can't even remember when. This year they will be joining us for two weeks. I am super excited and already feeling more interested in decorating for the holidays. Only 60 more days ... yes I'm counting.


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