Running, Biking, Crafting, Living

More Ombre Blankets!

Zebra Ombre 1

Well Christmas is over… doesn’t it seem to come and go so fast?  You plan and plan, shop and bake and then.. poof… it’s over.  I feel a little bit of a relief and a little sadness.

In all the planning and business of the season, I was able to get all blankets got done in time…. barley!  Five blankets made since October!  Whew!  All gifts were given and I think everyone was happy with them.  Here are the last two I made, continuing on with the ombre theme.  The nice thing about these is that they work up pretty fast, the bad thing is that they take a lot of yarn!

For our youngest niece (6 years old)… my thought was girlie.  What little girl doesn’t like zebra print with a touch of hot pink?  Love how it turned out!

Zebra Ombre 2

And what do you think about the flower?  I was so proud of it, I kept showing it to anyone who would indulge me.  It came out so much better than I had hoped.  I think it really added a little something to the blanket.  Carol Ballard, of Cobbler’s Cabin, shared so many wonderful flower patterns on her blog, this one was my favorite!  (

Purple-TCU Ombre 2For our 10 year old niece I made a TCU themed blanket.  That’s where her dad went to school and so far where she says she wants to go.  Purple and white, of course, with a touch of grey.





Purple-TCU Ombre 1Purple-TCU Ombre 3


I took a little break from crocheting when I finished this one, turned out to be a very little break, by January 12th I was itching to start something new.  I found a very pretty stitch that looks like a shell and thought I might actually make something for myself.   I’m actually working on something else as well, a sort of experiment.  Hopefully it will turn out they way it is in my head, if so I’ll be sure to share.

Happy New Year!  And Happy Crocheting!







Leave a comment »

Crochet, Crochet, and then Crochet Some More!

20141107_065503I have such a hard time focusing on one thing.  I get these ideas of something to make or do in my head and it’s so hard for me not to jump from my current project to the next new idea.  It drives my husband crazy when we’re working on one project and I’m talking about the next one.  I try to be strategic when I bring up my plans or ideas to him, but sometimes I just get excited and have to share.

That was how it was when I was crocheting my most recent blanket.  I decided to make a few blankets for family members for Christmas, and as I was working on one I got an idea for the next one.  I couldn’t resist, I just had to see how the new one would work and I had to start it.  I went back and forth between two, I kept telling myself to finish the first one before committing to the next, but I just couldn’t do it.  I finished blanket number 2 and even started the next while still trying to wrap up the first.  I’m so happy to actually have all three of them done within a week or so of each other!  And I can cross a few items of my Christmas list… I love that!  Rose-35 Granny Squares

The first blanket is a gift for my husband’s 91 year old grandmother.  I’ve had this pattern for years, it’s one of those pattern books that just has the pattern for this blanket.  I’ve looked at it so often, dreaming of the day I would make it (for me it would have been in green) but I never took the plunge.  I think I was a little intimidated, truth be told.  But it turned out this was  perfect for me!  I easily get bored once I conquer a new challenge, this blanket is made up of 35 different squares, so it was a new challenge every time I started a new square.  There were a couple of squares that I struggeled with, I o skip, I just couldn’t quite figure the pattern out, but I was so proud of myself that I eventually was able to go back to them and figure it out.  The colors I choose are rose and linen and I think it turned out really pretty, I can’t wait for my husband’s grandmother to open it on Christmas!

Rose-35 Granny Squares 2

The next blanket is for my step-mother.  She has a lot of orange in her house, so of course I decided I had to use orange yarn.  I loved the idea of an ombre blanket and saw several pictures of bulky blankets using multiple strands of yarn at onceOrange-grey ombre.  Combining all these ideas and this is what I came up with.  Two different colors of orange and two greys, that gradually blend into each other.  I used a combination of sc or dc stiches, not absolute patter as I went, it is mostly sc, but I would do a row of double here and there to change things up (remember I get bored easily).  I think it will go really nicely in her house.

Orange-grey ombre 2

Orange-grey ombre 3

For my dad I decided to use his college colors.  Navy Blue and Gold for Kent State.  I used three different shades of blue (navy included) and blended them into gold.  I love the idea of making these in sport team colors, I think TCU colors may be next (purple and white, with a touch of grey).  Oh the possibilities.  Or do I move on to one of my woodworking ideas?  There just isn’t enough time in the day!

Blue-gold ombre 2

Blue-gold ombre

Blue-gold Kent state


Flower Blanket

Flower Blanket

My newest crocheted blanket!


Several months ago I came across this gorgeous blanket!  I fell in love with the colors and had to make one.  I tried to find the pattern for this exact blanket, but never found it.  One of my favorite things about it is that the flower is much more prominent then the border around the flower.  Mine didn’t flowers in the snowturn out exactly like that, the border is a little thicker, but I was ultimately happy with the results.

The pattern I ended up using was found here:  For the first two rounds of each flower I doubled my yarn using the colored yarn and a lighter weight yarn in cream.  I thought it gave the flower a little more interest.  I did the same thing for the border, using the lighter weight cream and a light weight gold.

It’s funny, even now, months after I finished the blanket, I can see what I probably should have done differently when I connected squares, it probably would have made the borders smaller.  Maybe instead of doing 3 dc in the spaces between the corners I could have done (1 sc, 1 hc, 1 sc) and 2 dc in the corners instead of tc.  Oh well, if I ever make another one I’ll try it.  I still feel like a newbie when it comes to crocheting, so I’m not totally comfortable figuring things out on my own without a pattern.  Getting better at it, but I still have a long way to go.

The blanket was given to my mother-in-law for her birthday.  Flower Blanket 2 Flower Blanket 3

I took several months off from crocheting after this one, but I’m now working on two others.  Christmas is coming and I have several I would like to make for presents.  One, that I can’t wait to share, has really helped me grow in my confidence.  It’s 35 different squares.  It’s been lots of fun to make, a little challenge and feeling of accomplishment with each square.





Leave a comment »

Crocheted Zebra Blanket

Zebra Print  Wow, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I picked up a crochet hook!  My husband and I went on a road trip over the holidays and I started itching to get back at it, what a perfect thing to do while sitting in the car for hours at a time.  I was very disappointed that I ended up not taking anything with me, so when we got home I was ready.  And I found the perfect excuse, my nieces’ birthday in January!  She loves zebra print, so after finding an adorable zebra print pattern online, off I went to Hobby Lobby to buy black and white yarn, and a little pink for the border.  I love how it turned out!  And I’m actually pretty proud of myself, this is the first blanket I’ve ever done that didn’t consist of making lots of little circles or squares and putting them together.  Crocheting long rows is different, and it was fun watching it grow. Zebra Print Blanket - close-up

I really have to thank Lorene from Cre8tion Crochet for sharing her pattern.  It was one of the cutest zebra patterns I found and it was fun to make!(
I changed up the edging a bit from Lorene’s pattern, made it a little ruffley, and I wanted to add the little flower she had on hers, but I ran out of pink and out of time to get it in the mail to the birthday girl.  I would make this one again, maybe pink and white with a black border would be cute… maybe one day!

I’ve got the bug again and I’m ready to move on to the next one.  Can’t wait to see what it will turn out to be!

Zebra Print 2

Zebra Print 3





1 Comment »


Ballet Silhouette

My husband and I decided to go to California this year to spend Christmas with some of my family.  I was so excited to see my family, especially my nieces and nephew.  Since I would be there to give them their gift in person, I really wanted to do something personal for them.  After seeing several silhouette ideas on Pinterest I decided wall art of their favorite thing would be perfect!

I was hoping I could use my Cricut for the project, but I just couldn’t find the right images, so I turned to Google.  One of my nieces loves horses, so I found three running horse pictures; the other niece loves ballet, so I found three ballerinas.

I purchased six 10” x 10” canvases (three for each girl), and I printed the pictures I found on the internet.  I laid the pictures on the canvas and kept re-printing to get the right size.  I wanted part of the picture to fold over the edge of the canvas for additional dimension and interest, like the horse’s mane, or the ballerina’s toes.   Once I had the right size I printed them on slightly heavy cardstock and then carefully cut out the picture.  Small scissors and patience was all it took.

My original thought/plan was to adhere the cutout to the canvas with adhesive spray (I used Krylon Easy Tack Repositionable Adhesive Spray), paint the canvas the background color I wanted and remove the cutout leaving a white silhouette.  Unfortunately the silhouette lines were not quite perfect, and it bugged me.  So I decided the picture should be vinyl.  It made perfect sense to me since vinyl is one of my obsessions right now!  So I traced the cutout onto the back of a piece of vinyl (I sprayed it with the adhesive so it stayed still while I traced it) and proceeded to cut it out… Again!  Next time I may try to run the vinyl through the printer, but since I had the cutout already done, I just traced them.  I felt like I got faster cutting out each image the second time!  (Ok, truth be told?  I actually cut the horses out three times… I just couldn’t decide if I wanted the silhouette to be black or white, but as you can see, black won!  I really should go with my first instinct!)

Horse Silhouette

Once I had all the cutouts I then painted the canvas the background color I wanted and applied the vinyl.  After much debate with my husband I ended up applying modpodge over the entire canvas (he said I should do it, I didn’t think it needed it).  Of course he was right, it gave it that perfect finished look and feel.  It turned out to be a really fun project, and the girls loved them!Horse Silhouette 2

I did three canvas Batman prints for my nephew too – I couldn’t leave him out and Batman is his absolute favorite! I’ll add those pictures later.

I had so much fun making these I decided to make a few more.

Years ago my two sons and I started a tradition.  Every year Santa would bring each one of us a new Nutcracker for Christmas.  We would always write the name of the person who received it and the year on the bottom, and then one day when the boys had homes of their own they would take their nutcrackers.  My boys are now men and the tradition continues.  It’s always fun to pick out a new nutcraker for them, and I love telling you that one of my boys now buys mine for me.  Anyway, this year I decided to make their nutcrackers.  Yep, you guessed it, I used the silouette idea!

Nutcracker Silhouette

You can’t see it in the picture, but I added a stripe of vinyl along the edges of the canvas as well, it just added a little something to the picture.  I saw how my son and his wife displayed their nutcrackers this year and I thought these two silhouettes would look perfect propped up behind them.

My oldest son is the father of my first grandson, so I thought something a little one could play with would be more fun.  And what’s more fun then blocks!  Isn’t it great when an idea in your head actually works?!  It makes me so happy.  All I did was buy a post from Home Depot, cut it down to three 4×4 blocks, painted them black, added my vinyl cutout as one piece across the three blocks, and then cut them apart with an exacto knife.  I then covered them with modpodge.  Done!  A fun and unique nutcracker to continue our tradition!

Nutcracker Blocks 2Nutcracker Blocks 3Nutcracker Blocks

Christmas is over and I feel well rested from the craziness of all the crafting!  Seriously, it’s been like a week since I’ve done something, time for a new project!

Leave a comment »

90th Birthday Party

Recently we celebrated the 90th birthday of my husband’s grandmother.  What a celebration was had!  She is such a sweet lady and has welcomed me into the family with so much love.  I was honored to participate in the planning of her surprise party, and couldn’t wait to play and be creative.

My first thought was that a happy birthday banner just wasn’t the right thing.  So with the beginnings of an idea, off to Home Depot I went.  I bought an 8’ long 2” x 6” board, which I cut into 4” wide blocks.  I painted each block and then pulled out my Cricut and vinyl and added letters.  I told my husband, who says he’s the engineer to my projects, that I wanted the blocks attached with twine and to be able to hang it on the wall or set it on a table, and he came up with a great solution!  I think it turned out great!


Next I wanted to display some pictures in a creative and different way.  Not to mention that I’ve been itching to try that method of transferring pictures to wood that I’ve seen so much of on Pinterest.

IMG_5213Here’s what I ended up with.

I transferred pictures to both sides of wooden blocks (leftover from my happy birthday sign), and painted the edges of the blocks black.  From Hobby Lobby I bought a decorative wooden base, dowels and round wooden dividers, all of which I painted black.  My husband drilled holes through the blocks and we assembled.  The blocks can be turned to see the pictures on both sides.  A fun way to highlight some pictures!


The black and white pictures are of the birthday girl, the color pictures are recent pictures of her with family.

Our theme for the party was balloons.  It started innocently enough, with a few balloons on the invitations, and then I found the balloon topiary on Pinterest and suddenly it was balloon craziness!  Here’s my version of the balloon topiary.


By the way, in case you want to make one, it took about 70 balloons per topiary.  I preferred using 9 inch balloons, I tried 12 inch, but they just seemed too big.  Once done it becomes very top heavy.  I tried setting the dowell in a block of styrofoam, but it wouldn’t hold it.  I ended up drilling a hole into a small block of wood and setting the dowell in the wood – that worked perfect, we didn’t have one centerpiece fall over during the party.  I placed the block of wood in a small white gift bag, added tissue paper, and after 7 more were made, cute, festive centerpieces done!

The party was a blast.  Memaw was very surprised, she didn’t suspect a thing!  And as much as my house looked like a craft room for the last couple of months, I’m already moving on to the next project!

Leave a comment »

Wall Art

So months ago I saw a window display at the store Anthropologie, they always have the most creative displays.  Anyway, this one caught my eye and my imagination.  It was different size paint cans nailed to the wall with different colored paint coming out of them.  I’m sure I’m not explaining it well, but trust me, it was very cool.  Anyway it got me thinking, I have this big blank wall in my dining room that really needs something; just how could I translate this cool display into my house?

Before I tell you what I came up with I have to tell you how amazing my husband is!  He is so supportive of my crazy ideas.  I want to make a giant clock on the wall, and he’s right there measuring it out and hanging the numbers so the circle is perfect.  I want to make a picture frame out of an old door and he takes me to the biggest flea market in North Texas and helps me scour the place for the perfect door.  He also helps me figure out details of the projects – we used house numbers for the numbers in the clock, and used all black and white pictures in the frame, both his ideas and both perfect suggestions!

So, when I come home from Home Depot one day with a couple of 3 foot dowels and lots of different colored paint samples he really doesn’t question me.  Here’s what I came up with, my very loose version of the Anthropologie display.


I took dowels of two different width sizes, they were each about 3 feet long, and cut them to three different lengths – 1 inch, 1 ½ inches, and 2 inches.  Then I painted them by dipping them into different colored paint samples I got from Home Depot.

Now if you know me, you know that I’m the kind of person who diDSCN1437ves in head first and figures out the details as I go.  I eventually got enough done that my husband could see where I was going with this and we started talking about how I was going to hang them.  After several ideas we ended up using an epoxy to glue the dowels to a thin sheet of aluminum that we painted black.  Two of the dowels are actually covering screws we used to add hooks to hang it.  There it is, my 3D art project, come to life and hanging in my dining room.

What’s next?  Well I have one more wall in my dining room that needs something (the ideas are brimming over!), and we’re just starting to renovate our master bedroom.  I can’t wait to see how those ideas turn out!



Picture Frame

Summer was busy, so sadly not much crafting happened.  Maybe I just needed a break from crafts after our Christmas in July party.  Maybe it’s because of vacations and a new puppy in the house.  Whatever the reason for the break, I didn’t realize how much I was missing it until I started up again.  I have been crocheting here and there, actually have 3 blankets at various stages, but have put them all down for now.

So my newest project has actually been in the works for some time.  Several months back I found a great solid wood door with window panes for only $35, I was so excited about the price!  I sanded down the door and stained it black.  I used those little clear picture corners (you know the one’s we used to use when we actually put printed pictures in photo albums!), to mount pictures in each pane.  Total cost for the project was around $42, which included the door, a small can of stain, and printing the pictures.

The door is propped in a corner of my dining room.  I love it!  It will be great fun to change the pictures out as our family changes and it fills a corner that needed something.  Thanks to my wonderful husband for the idea to use all black and white pictures, that was the perfect touch!

Next project here I come.  This is another one I’ve had in mind for several months.  It’s an art project for a wall in my dining room that includes dowels and paint.  I have no idea how it will turn out, but I’m excited to get started and see what happens!

Leave a comment »

Cirlces in Squares Blanket

I did it!  It wasn’t just a fluke, I finished blanket number 2!  When I saw a picture of this blanket on Debi Y’s blog I fell in love.  I just loved the colors and thought it would be the perfect blanket to keep at my house for when my grandson visited.

I only had to re-do two blocks this time, so maybe that means I’m getting a little better at this.  I have my third blanket well under way, and this one is a creation of my own.  Crazy I know, but I’ll just have to wait and see how it turns out.  This will be my first non-baby blanket!

Thanks again to Debi for sharing her pattern!

Leave a comment »

Crocheted Lego Blanket

In my typical fashion of getting an idea in my head and deciding that “I can do that!”, several years ago I decided to teach myself how to crochet.  I bought a few books, made a few pot holders, attempted other projects, but I don’t think I actually ever finished anything bigger than a pot holder.  I would pick it up every couple of years, play a little and then move on to something else. 

So doesn’t it make perfect sense that years later, when I find out I’m going to be a grandmother for the first time, that I decide I have to crochet a blanket for my new grandbaby?  I raised two boys, so legos were a big deal in our house, so when I came across a picture of a crocheted lego blanket on Pintest I just knew I had to make it for my grandson. 

Off I went to find my craftbox full of crochet hooks and unused yarn.  A quick glance at my old books to remember how to do the stitches and I was ready to go!  I decided that once I figured it out and could make one block I was set, all I had to do was make 99 more – serioulsy 99 more!  What was I thinking?!  There were times I thought I would never finish making those little lego blocks.  I ended up making way more than 100 blocks, when one block wasn’t quite the size as all the other I would do it over.  When I joined the first two rows together I figured out I could do it better so I had to remake the first row of blocks.   The baby shower had seemed so far away, but soon I was in major countdown mode!  I crocheted everywhere, and in all my spare time, as my husband would be happy to attest to! 

I thought I was so clever by organizing each row in ziplock baggies with the row number written on the outside and the order they were to be added, so the finished blanket would have a nice consistent pattern. Of course it wasn’t until I was about halfway through joining the blocks together that I discovered I got off my pattern!  Oh well, I think I like the new pattern better anyway!

I finished the blanket three days before the baby shower!  I look forward to my sweet little grandson sitting in the middle of the blanket playing.  I’m now working on two more blankets, and have the next project in mind when these are done. 

Thanks to Andrea Baker for sharing this cute pattern and sparking my passion for crochet!

Leave a comment »