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Tag Archives: Summer

  • Home Decor: Buttons & Candles for All Seasons

    August is a transition-time of year. Growing up in the northeast, it was the final month of summer vacation. The days were still hot, but the evening air would sometimes be cool. August ended with my birthday and an introduction to a new school year after the final three-day holiday weekend celebrating Labor Day. It was a cue for me to say, "Okay; now I'm ready!" I was anxious for new challenges, seeing familiar faces and getting ready for seasonal changes. This inspired me to create with Buttons and the LED Candle Set.

    I want a change to my summer decor, but I don't want to jump into fall leaves, berries and gourds. I scoured the few magazines readily available at hair salons and doctors' offices, but then turned to Pinterest for some ideas, too. I was inspired by this Vintage Button Garland and the ambience it created in quite a simple way. Plus, it was a perfect embellishment for a "fake" candle. LED candles won't burn so my garland is safe; easy-peasy, nice and easy!

    I gathered the buttons I had previously sorted and started planning. I decided to thread my buttons onto waxed linen in a color similar to the candles in my set. I love my LED Candle Set (item 47363 from Leisure Arts);  they look and feel like real waxed candles, plus they have a remote control to change colors, add flickering flames or set a timer!

    Gather different sizes, shapes and colors of buttons. Use buttons without shanks for this project. Used waxed linen to assist holding your buttons in place. Gather different sizes, shapes and colors of buttons. Use buttons without shanks for this project. Using waxed linen  assists by holding your buttons in place.

    Using the waxed linen allowed me to easily thread my buttons.  Also, I didn't have to place knots on either side of a strung button to prevent its repositioning. The waxed linen has a natural 'tackiness' which assisted in placing the garland on each candle. But, just in case your button garland gets heavy and wants to slide down your candle just a bit, use a little piece of mounting putty behind several buttons to hold the garland in place.

    Close-up of waxed linen removed from its packaging. You may like to use a mounting putty behind a few buttons on your LED candles to help hold your button garland in place. Close-up of waxed linen removed from its packaging. You may like to use a mounting putty behind a few buttons on your LED candles to help hold your button garland in place.

    Since the LED candles don't get hot,  you can safely walk away from your lit candles. I really do love the LED Candle Set (item 47363 from Leisure Arts).

    Here's the LED Candle Set I used. Leisure Arts' item 47363 has three candles of varying height, plus a remote control to set a timer, and options for candles' colors and flickering flames. Here's the LED Candle Set I used. Leisure Arts' item 47363 has three candles of varying heights, plus a remote control to set a timer, and options for candles' colors and flickering flames.

    This transition-time of year includes the colors of deepening yellows, fading greens, and dulling browns to its flashes of remaining bright colors. I decided to replicate those colors on each garland I made. I didn't measure at first. I wanted at least three rows of buttons to wrap around each LED candle. I wrapped the waxed linen six times around a candle to give me the rough estimate of the length I needed. Later, I did measure a piece of waxed linen and it was 6 feet plus; so to be safe, measure a piece that is 7 feet long.

    Experimenting with button placement on the waxed linen garland, and positioning on a candle. Seasonally themed garlands can be made ahead of time and swapped when the time is right! Experimenting with button placement on the waxed linen garland, and positioning on a candle. Seasonally themed garlands can be made ahead of time and swapped when the time is right!

    After making three button garlands, I discovered two unopened plastic containers that had plaid-patterned buttons and leaf-shaped buttons in them. Time to create a seasonally-themed button garland for my candle!

    A fall-themed garland for the short LED candle. A fall-themed garland for the short LED candle.

    I was not going to undo the previous garlands strung, so I decided to further embellish the candles with ribbons and/or their display area. Here are some developing ideas to inspire you for your home decor planning in the upcoming months. If you need some more inspiration, for more ideas using buttons and ribbons, look at Leisure Arts' item 6023 - Crafting with Buttons & Ribbons.

    Buttons galore with a golden yellow ribbon give your LED Candle SET a sense of transition away from summer. Buttons galore with a golden yellow ribbon give your LED Candle SET a sense of transition away from summer.
    Using waxed linen cording prevented the buttons from sliding together. Each end of the waxed linen was then wrapped around several buttons to hold it snuggly in place. Using waxed linen prevented the buttons from sliding together. Each end of the waxed linen cord was then wrapped around several buttons to hold it snuggly in place.

    For a preview of Christmas and winter, I thought of pom-poms. HMM...I tied a seasonal ribbon on one LED candle and the ideas started developing. For a winter theme, the LED candles could be placed on a stand then pom-poms could be stacked at their base -- this idea is just developing! Again there are no worries as these are flameless - I really do like Leisure Arts' LED Candle Set!

    Planning for a Christmas -themed holiday setting. You could place your LED Candle(s) on small pillars, add a ribbon to the candle base and have room on your tabletop for other seasonal decorations. Planning for a Christmas-themed holiday setting. You could place your LED Candle(s) on small pillars, add a ribbon to the candle base and have room on your tabletop for other seasonal decorations.

    What's great is that the button garlands can easily be swapped out with another. So let the themes Begin! Although the button garlands can be stored easily, I would recommend a cool storage area since it is waxed linen.

    A colorful glow to show the three heights of candles contained in the LED Candle Set. A colorful glow to show the three heights of candles contained in the LED Candle Set.

    Plan for your transitional decor with changes in color and themes. Do you need to get your creative juices flowing? Start small; try simple changes and see how a few special touches can give a new ambience to your existing home decor!

    Enjoy!

    Martha

  • Summer Fun with Gnomes and Fairies

    Have you made a gnome and fairy garden yet? Gardens can be as intricate, whimsical or expansive as you like. I decided to make my first gnome and fairy garden as a tabletop display; it seemed like a tabletop display would be a bit more manageable and accessible for me. It is now mid-July and the gnomes and fairies are having quite a get-together in the forest!

     My first decision was to choose a container for my gnomes and fairies. Since the theme was summer fun, I could get creative with a forest setting using some supplies I had to make different scenes in an imaginary world! My oval basket is quite large measuring approximately 25 inches wide x 18 inches deep giving me a lot of space as my forest backdrop. I filled the basket with styrofoam and plastic bags. I covered this basket stuffing with brown paper to conceal and secure the styrofoam pieces and bags in place.

    Gathering materials for a basket to become a tabletop gnome and fairy display. Basket stuffing includes hard styrofoam, plastic bags for spaces, and brown paper to cover. Gathering materials for a basket to become a tabletop gnome and fairy garden display. Basket stuffing includes hard styrofoam, plastic bags for any spaces between styrofoam pieces, and brown paper to cover.  

    The first part of the scenery to be put into place was the largest item to be used as part of the forest floor's backdrop. It was a  birch metal planter. This planter would be the hedgehog's home; the hedgehog is just one of the pieces found in Leisure Arts' Woodland Garden Kit (47858). I nestled the planter in between the basket's side and the edge of one piece of styrofoam. I added some extra filler to the birch metal planter that consisted of more brown paper, a peat planter and coconut fiber (taken from the lining of a hanging basket).

    Garden Gnome planter filler. A peat planter is inserted into a birch metal planter. This is the future home of the hedgehog.

    Here are some of the other supplies that I used to create the Summer Fun theme for my gnome and fairy basket garden. The coconut fiber was used throughout the basket as the forest floor and buttons were used as flowers. For my first gnome and fairy garden, I did not want to attempt to use live plants and flowers. And, quite honestly, individual plantings might not survive the intense summer heat of Arkansas even if placed in the shade and watered twice daily.

    Some other supplies used to make the Summer Fun Gnome & Fairy Basket include: coconut fiber, glass beads (Size 10), floral tape, dried beans, dried rice, a bottle cap, buttons, dowels, a cotton swab & non-tarnishing silver wire (28 gauge). Some other supplies used to make the Summer Fun Gnome & Fairy Basket include: coconut fiber, glass beads (Size 10), floral tape, dried beans, dried rice, a bottle cap, buttons, dowels, a cotton swab & non-tarnishing silver wire (28 gauge).

    I stacked buttons to make flowers and connected them together using 28 gauge wire. Then I attached the wired button flowers to dowels using floral tape. As the garden grew, a button flower garland was added to outdoor decor. See a later image showing the garland draped over the trellis!

    Tending the flowers in the Fairy Garden, this gnome is assisting with the watering. Tending the flowers in the Fairy Garden, this gnome is assisting with the watering.

    The gnomes and fairies are having fun together! They help each other and check on the woodland creatures, too.

    One fairy packed her day-bag to visit her friend the hedgehog. A welcome sign is held by a gnome greeting visitors to the forest summer activities including a campfire meal of stew and s'mores! One fairy packed her day-bag to visit her friend the hedgehog. A welcome sign is held by a gnome greeting visitors to the forest summer activities including a campfire meal of stew and toasted marshmallows!

    The trees were made by wrapping dowels with floral tape and then adding a small section of a leafy trim.

    One gnome is trimming some overgrown trees. He's being very careful not to remove too much greenery. One fairy is overlooking his trimming efforts. One gnome is trimming some overgrown trees. He's being very careful not to remove too much greenery. One fairy is overlooking his trimming efforts.

    The wading pool is an inverted plastic lid holding glass floral marbles and gravel covered with a lightly painted piece of plastic wrap.

    Gnome and Fairy crafts Just like hummingbirds, fairies love the water! These two fairies are enjoying the wading pool before getting ready for summer nighttime activities.

    The gnomes have cooked their favorite stew; they are very ingenious by using a discarded bottle cap as their pot!  I depicted the stew by using dried rice and beans; I covered all of the stew ingredients with clear nail polish. The gnomes also like toasted marshmallows. The marshmallows are cotton swabs glued to the ends of wire. The charcoal briquettes of the campfire were made by painting some dried black beans grey. Can you see the marshmallows getting toasted for dessert over the hot charcoal?

    Gnome and fairy craft basket. One gnome checked on the campfire before lighting the way across the bridge using a tea light for illumination. He'll travel along the Snail Trail to the wading pool for a quick cool-down before his evening of fun.

    The button flowers are blooming nicely and the garden has been well-tended! There was such an abundance of flowers, a garland was made and hung as outside party decor for the gnome and fairy get-together. It was simply made by weaving the 28 gauge wire through the buttonholes; including glass beads was optional.

    The flower garden has been weeded, mulched and decorated. I love the button garland decorating the garden's grounds! The flower garden has been weeded, mulched and decorated. I love the button garland decorating the garden's grounds!

    What a whimsical time I had creating my first gnome and fairy garden! I can see why gardening is such an enjoyable creative use of time and energy. Even if the location for your gnome and fairy garden is a tree stump or other container, make some whimsical fun by incorporating the gnomes, fairies, forest creatures and accent pieces with your craft and gardening supplies for some Summer Fun!

    Martha

  • Summer Yarn: Finger Crochet a Scarf or Necklace in Cotton

    I do love scarves as a great embellishment to most outfits. They can be fun and funky, or sleek and classic; chunky for coats, silky for dresses. Now that summer temperatures and humidity are looming, I don't want anything heavy, bulky or scratchy around my neck.  But I do want to wear a little extra color and pizzazz to more casual outfits. The perfect solution is a light-weight, airy Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace in cotton yarn!

    After choosing my yarn colors, I was off making chain after chain. I did hold my yarn a little differently than demonstrated in Leisure Arts' Finger Crochet video, (this video is found as an additional video listed with the, "Learn to Arm Knit" video. Scroll down below the initial viewing window and select the Finger Crochet video). Once I got comfortable with how I was finger crocheting, I easily fell into a rythym.

    Make chain stitches one after another creating a long chain for your Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace. Make crochet chain stitches one after another creating a long chain for your Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace.

    I knew Leisure Arts had both a video tutorial and pattern associated with finger crocheting, so all I had to do was to rummage through my cotton yarn stash and choose some colors. When I learned how to arm knit, I remember seeing a bonus finger crochet pattern shown in the leaflet, 75517 - Learn How to Arm Knit. If you don't have a stash of yarn but are quite intrigued by arm knitting and finger crocheting, you might consider purchasing a kit that has all needed supplies included! The kit's contents found in 47134 - Learn to Arm Knit includes yarn, an instruction booklet with a finger crochet scarf pattern and tassel/pom-pom making techniques.

    My Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace is growing. Finger Crochet is described in several Leisure Arts' items: 47134 - Learn to Arm Knit Kit and 75517 - Learn How to Arm Knit. My Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace is growing. Finger Crochet is described in Leisure Arts' items 47134 - Learn to Arm Knit Kit and 75517 - Learn How to Arm Knit.

    I chose colors that were definitely summery that elicited thoughts of beach breezes, mild winds, shoreline discoveries, porch swings, bare feet...relaxed fun. Trying to look fresh and cool during the summer can sometimes be difficult. In order to remain comfortable while adding some relaxed embellishment to my outfits, I wanted to use cotton yarn. It is light-weight and breathable. Both of these characteristics were necessities for my scarf or necklace that I planned to drape around my neck during the summer!

    Lily Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn in colors Cornflower Blue and Cool Breeze Ombre. The Learn to Arm Knit booklet that is included in the kit; note the Bonus items listed on the front cover. Lily Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn in colors Cornflower Blue and Cool Breeze Ombre. The Learn to Arm Knit booklet standing next to the box is included in the KIT; note the Bonus items listed on the front cover.

    I knew I had to have a very long chain to loop multiple times around my head in order to drape properly. I just kept in the zone of chaining; it was much easier to keep going once I started rather than breaking my time up into crocheting segments. I never did measure my final length of chain; I can only guess how long it was if the inside loop measures 27" in diameter when I laid it on the table.

    Close-up of the length of chain looped around and around trying to determine the final appearance of the scarf or necklace. Close-up of the length of chain looped around and around trying to determine the final appearance of the Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace.
    Finger crochet chain - chain - chain to whatever length you desire! The inside circle loop measures 27". Finger crochet: chain - chain - chain to whatever length you desire! The inside circle loop measures 27" inches in diameter.

    As I was crocheting, I thought of adding a little something more to finish the scarf a little differently than the examples that I had seen showing bulky yarns. I did not want to add weight to my project because that would defeat the purpose of the scarf or necklace being light-weight. I returned to my stash and found a solution!

    Other supplies used: 7-9mm Freshwater Pearls, Stretch Magic bead and jewelry cord (0.7 mm / 0.28 in), and a wooden button (1.5" in diameter). Other supplies used: 7-9mm Freshwater Pearls, Stretch Magic Bead and Jewelry Cord (0.7 mm / 0.28 in), and a wooden button (1.5" in diameter).

    I strung some Freshwater Pearls onto Stretch Magic Bead and Jewelry Cord before weaving into one section of my project.

    Fresh water pearls strung on the Stretch Magic cord to add a little glimmer to the chain. Freshwater Pearls strung on the Stretch Magic Bead and Jewelry Cord to add a little glimmer to the chain.

    I attached the scarf or necklace together as described in leaflet 75517 - Learn to Arm Knit or instruction booklet contained in the 47134 - Learn to Arm Knit KIT. Then, I added a wooden button as my signature - I love buttons, too!

    The final Finger Crochet Scarf / Necklace has seven loops, not six as pictured when the innermost loop measured 27" inches in diameter. The final Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace has seven loops, not six as pictured when the innermost loop measured 27" inches in diameter.

    The Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace is in summer colors and is a free-flowing pattern of loops. it is light-weight even with its added Freshwater Pearls and wooden button, and will feel cool hanging around my neck since it is made using cotton yarn.

    A snapshot at the end of the day; the necklace is a good length. A snapshot at the end of the day; the necklace is a good length.

    This is a great way to end a few long, hot days -- and summer hasn't officially begun! Until next time, stay cool!

    Martha

  • Summer Headbands

    FullSizeRender (18) Roxanne's Headband

    I created this pattern a couple of years ago right after I learned how to crochet. I can’t stand to have my hair in my eyes especially during the summer. This pattern is quick and easy. It should only take about 30 minutes. I also like to use Lily’s Sugar’n Cream yarn because it is 100% cotton. Cotton breathes a lot better than acrylic yarns, especially during this time of year - you want some ventilation. I used a size H crochet hook.  You can crochet headbands in all sorts of colors to wear with everything!

    First you chain 28.

    Then for your first row go into the 25th chain with 3 double crochets, and single chain in between the 2nd and 3rd double crochet.

    Then for the rest of the headband you will chain 3 at the start of every row and 3 double crochets with a single chain after the 2nd and 3rd double crochet.

    When you reach the length that you want, or use your head to measure the circumference of your headband, then you are ready to decrease.  I chain 3, and then decrease over the next 3 and then chain 25 and bind off. Tuck your ends in. Never just cut the end of your yarn; if it comes loose, your whole project could unravel. Here is a really cute epattern Too-Cute Kerchiefs Crochet  from Leisure Arts and yes it is really too cute. I was thinking about how to make one this afternoon - I'm totally going to try this!

    Too cute
  • Weekly Dishcloth: Knitting the Variegated Dishcloth

    I have made another fairly impractical-looking dishcloth because they're my favorite right now!  It's summertime and I am full of whimsy.  This time I made the Variegated pattern from Dishcloths by the Dozen.
     
    I don't think I'd ever seen a dishcloth with drop stitches before, and I remembered a few years ago when tons of scarves were made like this.  I didn't want to try it out because I like for scarves to be more solid, but when I saw the pattern I was intrigued.  In fact, I was even a little more intrigued after reading the less-than-glowing reviews of the dishcloth on Ravelry.  It's not that anyone had complaints with the pattern itself--they just didn't like how not-solid the knitted fabric of this dishcloth was.
     
    This is made with tons of yarnovers and then knitting (or purling) two stitches together on top of all the long stitches.  It's basically a lace dishcloth.  I don't care, okay?  I don't care!  I love when dishcloth patterns are written with variegated yarn specifically in mind, and I thought it would be fun to knit the Variegated pattern from Dishcloths by the Dozen with the same yarn I used to crochet the Variegated pattern from Dishcloths.  It's summertime and I'm full of silly ideas like that.
     
    I like my silly ideas.
    And I like this dishcloth!  I like the yarn, which is some I Love This Yarn! (a Hobby Lobby brand) cotton yarn that a friend gave me. I like these colors.  I like the construction of this dishcloth.  I liked knitting it because I went ahead and used #7 needles (I love #7 needles, but they give me a pretty loose gauge with cotton yarn) because I figured that it wouldn't matter if my stitches seemed loose when this was already so open.  And it didn't matter.  I think this will still be a fine dishcloth.  Not the scrubbiest or sturdiest, but still a good dishcloth.  And that's really what I like making: a dishcloth that's fun to work on and tough enough to use while still looking pretty.  I think this fits the bill just fine!

    I'm already scheming for next week's dishcloth.  I don't know if I can top this in terms of silliness, but I just don't feel up to making another salt-of-the-earth, super humble-looking dishcloth right now.  So I'm going to stay fancy for a couple more weeks.

  • Weekly Dishcloth: Red, White, and Blue Everything!

    This post was originally published on June 28, 2013. I'm reposting it because I love patriotic dishcloths because they feel incredibly summery to me.  Since writing this post, I've also crocheted the Around the Block pattern from Dishcloths and I love it!  Just about everything is better when you make it with red, white, and blue!

    Remember when I said I thought everything could be patriotic if you just made it red, white, and blue?  Well, I've been testing that theory out lately and I think I'm completely right.  I even have a collection of cottony crocheted things taking up half of my table to prove it!

    Here's three cheerful-looking Spiral dishcloths from Dishcloths.  They're pretty perky all by themselves, but when you put these three colors together it makes for a festive collection.  This would be a nice hostess gift if you're invited to any barbeques this summer.

    This is a modified version of the Lacy Stripe pattern from Dishcloths.  And even though there are color changes, I still made most of this while watching my little girl splash around in the bathtub one night.  I wanted this to look like bunting, and I kind of wish I'd made the second row blue and somehow changed things to make this look just a bit stripier.  But I really love the red edging.

    And here's the Fast Favorite pattern from (where else?) Dishcloths.  Even though I've probably made this pattern at least twenty times, I never tried it with the three colors called for.  So here we are!  Fast and festive!
    And lastly, here's a festive knit sundress for your kitchen.  It's a dishsoap bottle dress, but you can dress up just about anything.  I just used the Happy Day #2 pattern from the leaflet 75428 - Dishcloth Dresses and alternated red and blue for the rows that called for a solid yarn, and subbed the white yarn for variegated.  And this can be used for a dishcloth, but I'd be a little mad at you if you did because I think this is too pretty for that.

    With all this red, white, and blue cotton over here, my place is starting to look pretty patriotic for July 4th!  What about you?

  • Begining to Crochet the Lace Clutch from Totes & Bags

    I'm crocheting the Lace Clutch pattern from Totes & Bags. I love it!

    Ordinarily, some muscle behind my right eye begins twitching whenever I see a pattern call for working with two strands of yarn held together (there are plenty of yarns in any weight you could ever need!  Come on!), but this looked so cute!

    And I like the idea of a small summery clutch that will hold keys and a wallet for quick trips out. Plus, I had just the lightweight yarn just for this project!

    I received four skeins Louisa Harding Lanthe for my birthday a few months ago and was saving them for just the right project. The yarn is half cotton and half extra fine merino, and light and oddly stretchy.  This makes it surprisingly easy to crochet these fairly tight single crochet stitches.  The pattern calls for approximately 300 yards, and I have 400.  I'm all set!  This is a perfect project for the perfect yarn.

    This also feels like a perfect project for summer.  You know one when you see it.  Bags and purses are perfect summer projects because they don't take up too much space on your lap and make your legs hot.  They're usually fairly small and quick as well, which is perfect for when it's too hot to concentrate.  Plus, wit all the extra time you (I) spend outside, it's always nice to have something new to carry your things.  This is also a fairly simple little project.

     

    The bag's body is made up of single crochet stitches worked flat.  The flap will be a fun change of pace when I switch to some lovely double crochet shells.  I'm note sure if I'll line this.  On one hand, I think I have some cute fabric to go with this yarn.  On the other hand, I think the crocheted fabric will be dense enough on its own for the bag to hold its shape--and my stuff!

    This is already turn out to be a great little summer project, and I can't wait for it to turn into a great summer bag!

  • The Perfect Summery Banner for a Balcony

    Remember how much I enjoyed crocheting Square #49 from 99 Granny Squares to CrochetBecause I sure do!  I loved the off-white center and how great it looked with the bright contrast color.  I loved the extra lines created by the front post treble crochet stitches.  I loved how the dark blue border tied everything together. 

    I loved so many things about these squares that I made some more!  And then I made a banner!

    I really enjoy banners.  If we're being honest (and I usually am, for better or worse), I should go ahead and admit that I probably enjoy banners a little more than a person should.  But I'm a crafter, so we'll pretend that's a good enough reason to make more!  Turning granny squares into banners is probably my favorite things to do with them.  I thought these bright, clean-looking squares would look fun and festive on our apartment's balcony.  So that's where they are now!  I finally potted some more plants and rearranged a few things out there to get ready for summer, and adding the banner felt like the happiest possible finishing touch.

    The squares themselves were made with worsted weight cotton yarn and an H hook.  There are no required weights or hook sizes in 99 Granny Squares to Crochet, so you can make your squares are large or as small as you like with whatever materials you like.  I chained fifty stitches for the ties, and there are seven stitches between each square.  I just used single crochet stitches across the tops, and used the same dark blue yarn as I did for the border.

     

    I kind of wish I had made more squares, but I didn't want to repeat any colors, and these were all the solid cotton yarn colors I had.  Oh well.   I'll take it down if it starts to look a little dingy.  It's wonderful for now, and a trip through the washing machine shouldn't hurt it if it comes to that.  This will be fun while it lasts, though.

    And that's more than enough for me.

  • Crocheting the Basic Dishcloth in Bright Colors, or an Honest Attempt to

    I'm smack in the middle of a few projects and I'm queuing up a few more, and there's a fussy toddler and ohmygoodness it is hot.  And to anyone who wants to say "It's not the heat--it's the humidity!" let me just ask why we can't suffer from both?!

    Clearly, I'm not up for a challenging project.  But of course I want a project.

    Enter the Basic Dishcloth in Bright Colors from Dishcloths.

    No, really.  That's the name of the pattern.  If there's a more basic name, I can't think of it.

    And let me just say, the pattern title is not misleading.  If this were any simpler, I'd be crocheting rows of single crochet stitches until I had a square.

    Instead, I'm alternating single crochet and double crochet stitches until I have a square.  The result is a project that makes me pay just enough attention to keep from slipping up and doing something dumb, and a dishcloth that's textured without looking fussy.

    I have to be honest and admit that my brain is so easily overwhelmed that 1) I initially misspelled "overwhelmed," and 2) I did lose count on my beginning row a few times and I had to start over.  And that's why this is a "I'm working on this dishcloth" post instead of a "Here is a stack of dishcloths I made!" kind of post.

    I had good intentions.

    Oh well.  I've got this little pattern memorized, I've got bright yarns to make a few more dishcloths with, and I've already got a slightly calmer mind and happier spirit now that I know about this dishcloth.  It's going to have real scrubbing power AND it's easy on my hands to crochet.

    It's not going to get rid of this muggy heat (there's no cure for August but September!), but it's small, cottony, and cheerful.

    I haven't even finished it and it's the kind of project that makes me feel better already.

  • Sewing Summer Dresses for Little Girls

    A good point was made on Twitter the other day: “It’s too hot when the air temperature is halfway to the ability to boil water.” At one point, I read that Searcy, Arkansas, and Death Valley, California, were in a tie for hottest official temp in the U.S. That’s what we’ve been living with here in Arkansas. We’ve on our 20th-some-odd day of 100+ temps! I’m very jealous of my daughters who can run around in sleeveless, light weight summer dresses while I have to put on “real” clothes for work. Don’t you love little girls and their summer dresses; at least the kids can keep cool. In fact, with no end in sight to our hot summer temperatures, you’ve still got time for sewing some sweet summer dresses for your favorite little girls—especially if they’re quick & easy! To that end, check out Laurie Malm’s new sewing pattern book—Quick and Easy Dresses to Sew!

    Quick and Easy Dresses to Sew
    It's so sweet to see a baby, toddler, or girl in a pretty dress, especially when you've sewn that dress yourself. With these designs by Laurie Malm, you can quickly make an entire wardrobe of little warm-weather dresses! Most are as simple as sewing plain seams and cuffs or ruffles, while using binding to finish the armholes and shoulder ties. For an older girl, there's also a handy little bag that's so adorable when made to match her dress. Choose the fabrics that will make her smile, and get ready to whip up her favorite new outfits! Designs include The Simple Dress, The Fancy Dress, The Fancier Dress, The Prairie Points Dress, The Bag, and The Fat Quarter Dress. Other features include Fitting The Dress and Finishing Touches.
    The Simple Dress
    The Fancy Dress

    The Fancier Dress & The Little Sister’s Fancier Dress
    The Prairie Points Dress
    The Bag
    The Fat Quarter Dress

    Meet The Designer: Laurie Malm!
    Laurie Malm is the creator of Lollipops® Designer Bindings, a line of bias tape that is cleverly packaged to resemble candy. She came up with the idea for this time-saving product line while working with guild members to make quilts for soldiers, including her son, who was stationed in Iraq. Laurie lives in Florida, where she continues to develop fun ideas for sewing and quilting. She teaches workshops at quilt guilds and quilt shows throughout the Southeast.
    If you’re all about sewing up some sweet summer dresses before school starts, order your copy of Quick and Easy Dresses to Sew now!

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