WIP Wednesday: Lipstick Granny Ripple 

For this weeks installment of work in progress Wednesday, I’m featuring my Lipstick Granny Ripple blanket. I started crocheting this blanket last year as a side project for myself to work on between my shop orders. With the rush of Christmas and birth of my second daughter in February, it got pushed aside into a closet. But as April 20 approaches, I wanted to finally finish this blanket that’s been 9 years in the making. 

The reason why April 20 is significant to me is because that is the day my sister Heather died 8 years ago. I had originally started knitting a blanket for her with this yarn to give her for what would end up being her last Christmas, but unfortunately I never finished it in time. The project sat in a bag for many years and several moves before last year I finally decided to repurpose the yarn into a different blanket for myself. The original pattern I picked wasn’t a good fit for this yarn, but for 6 years I didn’t have the heart to undo my work, even if it never made it to my sister. 

Now as the 8th anniversary approaches, I have a strong desire to finally finish this blanket so I can wrap it around my two babies. It’s sad they never got to meet their Aunt Missy, but there are traces of her everywhere in our house. 

The Lipstick Granny Ripple will be just one more memory to add to our family and remember the one who isn’t here. Working on a yarn project has always been a way for me to cope with hard things in my life, so it seemed appropriate to work on such a special blanket this time of year. Someday I hope to tell my girls about the story behind this blanket as they pull it out to play with and cuddle under year after year. We love you Heather, forever in our hearts! 

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Photo Friday: A Late 30

 I forgot to post a few weeks ago that I officially turned 30. It’s weird to think that this is my actual age, when sometimes I feel like I am still 23. It’s amazing how much my life has changed and how much has happened in the last decade. The morning of my birthday I was awake early before my daughter got up, and I decided to start the day with some Bible journaling. Psalm 30:5 “…weeping may tarry for the night but JOY comes with the morning.” It would be easy to dwell on all the bad things that happened in my twenties and be fearful about the future, but this verse was a great reminder that with God there is always joy to be found. Only He can bring the type of joy that “turns mourning into dancing.” God has brought me a long way, and He is always there for me, so I am happy to say I have lived 30 years of life!

Ombré watercolor in purple, owl stamps, flower washi tape, and heart tab. All my favorite sort of things.

Feel Better Friends Volunteer

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Last week I came across Feel Better Friends in my Facebook news feed that one of my yarn pages that I follow linked to. When I saw the picture of all the kids with their special dolls (shown above), it just struck a chord with me, and I fell in love with this organization. After watching my sister go through her own cancer battle, it makes me empathize with other families dealing with tough illnesses. Even though my sister was 20 when she went through her treatments, she was often scared and needed a stuffed “friend” to help her face chemo or procedures. Many friends and family gave her stuffed animals to help bring some comfort and she loved them and decorated her hospital room with them. I can only imagine how much more a younger child needs a special “friend” to make it through hard times too.

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The first FBF doll

The next day I signed up to be a volunteer crocheter, and I got my instructions for making a test doll to show my skills (original doll by FBF creator shown above). Even though I’ve been crocheting for over 17 years and have made numerous crocheted toys and dolls, this was my first time making a doll to look like someone specific. For my test doll I used a picture of my own little girl to match, and I decided I wanted to use her Halloween costume picture as Minnie Mouse. My little girl has been showing a love of dolls and stuffed animals lately, so the finished doll will be for her first birthday in a few months.

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It took me two days to make the doll and all the extras. Usually I try to stay away from intricate, fiddly embroidery/finishing work as much as possible, but with this project I really enjoyed it, especially making the eyes with embroidery floss and sewing on the individual polka dots on the skirt. I think the fact that I had to match my work to a picture made it challenging and fun.

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After submitting my test doll, I was approved, and I am officially a doll maker for Feel Better Friends. I received my first assignment today, and I am so excited to get started! If you would like more information on how to donate or be a part of this amazing group or to submit a request to get your own Feel Better Friend for a child with an illness, visit their website here: http://FBFdolls.org

An Update

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Wow, it has been a long time since I have written a post, but I have had a very good reason: my husband and I welcomed our first daughter, Elinor Sadie on August 10th, and I have been adjusting to my new role of mommy.

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Ellie came two weeks early, and was itty bitty for awhile, not even fitting into a “newborn” hat I knit for her. Now she is three months old, and I can’t believe how much she has grown!

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As you can see from the pictures above, my little girl has no shortage of handmade items in her life. I have slowly been getting back into crafting, and just now feel as though I am nearly back up to my usual speed, especially since Ellie has finally outgrown her colic and has a regular naptime and bedtime. I have been taking orders, mainly for Elsa and Anna hats (available here), and I will be participating in my first ever Craft Fair on December 6th (more details on my Facebook page here). Now we’ll see if I can get back into blogging.

Vintage Circus Nursery

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Yesterday my husband and I put together the crib for our little girl, which means the nursery is now complete! I’ve been working on putting together this Vintage Circus Nursery since the beginning of this pregnancy, so I’m excited to share the official reveal.

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My main inspiration was a clown and circus animal mobile that my Grandma crocheted for my nursery when I was a baby, and I was thrilled to be able to use it for my baby.

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In the first trimester I got into an embroidery kick and made these two hoops. The designs are freehand and now hang above the crib with some other hoops with colorful fabric.

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The quilt hanging above the chair was hand-quilted by my great-grandma, and even has a few scraps included that have happy little clowns on them. I love that I was able to include handmade items from 4 generations of women in my family.

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I had leftover yarn from the rainbow blanket, so I was able to wrap the wooden letters with yarn and make the granny square bunting that hangs above the shelves that hold books and toys from my childhood.

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I was able to find a vintage circus valance on Etsy to hang above the window and matched the bright primary colors I used for the rest of the nursery. And of course no nursery is complete without a handmade sock monkey.

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Lastly, the blankets displayed on the front of the crib in the first picture were crocheted by my mom (the daisy one) and myself (the pink lace one; I couldn’t just make one baby blanket for her). The pink blanket I made will be a separate post because there is a backstory.

Thanks to generous hand-me-downs from family and friends, as well as the numerous handmade items, the total cost to set up this nursery was right under $100! We can’t wait to bring our baby girl home to her vintage circus nursery.

Rainbow Baby

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I’ve been working on a very special baby blanket for a very special baby: mine! That’s right, my husband and I are expecting a baby in August. We are hopeful this is our “rainbow” baby, since I’m almost halfway done with my pregnancy and baby has been doing great so far. For those who may not know what a “rainbow baby” is, here is a great description:

“A rainbow baby is a baby that is born following a miscarriage or still birth.

In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.

The storm (pregnancy loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm-clouds might still be overhead as the family continue to cope with the loss, but something colourful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery.”

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The first handmade object I finished is this rainbow baby blanket. I wanted something bright and cheery to greet our new baby, our rainbow after the storm. We find out next week if we are having a boy or a girl, but we decided to stick with a gender neutral themed nursery, because we hope to have more than one baby someday. The theme is vintage circus inspired, so I’m using lots of bright colors and vintage handmade pieces from my grandma and great-grandma, as well as favorite books and toys from my own childhood.

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Our other big news is that we now have a furbaby: an 8 month old black lab/border collie mix named Rosie. She’s a good little dog who keeps me company during the day and seems to really like blankies (likes to chew them too). She even shows interest in crocheting by trying to take my hooks and play with yarn. I’m happy to have a new crochet buddy (wink, wink).

Happy Thanksgiving

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I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving! My husband and I spent our first one married over at my parents’ house for some non-traditional Navajo tacos, followed by sugar cookies and 7-layer bars made from scratch. Then my husband and I came home to set up our Christmas tree. We already had wrapped presents to put underneath, so Santa’s been visiting our house early (aka after working in retail for 7 Christmases, I do my shopping early to avoid the crowds and mayhem).

Homemakery, Part 1

We’ve been in our new house for nearly two months, so now it’s time to start sharing some of the decorating and crafting I have been doing lately to make our house a home. I love my new role as a full-time “domestic engineer” (as my mom has always called it when people asked what she “did”), and I like having lots of wall space and extra rooms to decorate and fill with pretty things and memories. Plus it’s nice that everything has its place now instead of feeling so cluttered in our small apartment.

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My first new craft for the house was this tiny cross-stitch I made in one evening. I’ve had this little kit for years and years but often forgot about it tucked away in my craft supplies. I don’t do much cross-stitching anymore, but every once in awhile I get the urge to stitch something up. Plus hoop-art has become so popular lately, and I love the look of a stitched something in a hoop, so I had to make my own.

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The next craft I did for wall decor came about thanks to Pinterest. I took two shoebox lids and covered them with some coordinating fabrics that I’ve had for awhile to make “faux” canvasses. Not only was this free, since I had the supplies on hand, but it was so easy (I just used tape), and you can’t tell that these beauties hanging on the wall are actually a shoebox lid (well, unless I tell people).

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I was given a bunch of free, mismatched frames right before we moved in. Thanks to a free photo printing promo code, I got a bunch of our wedding pictures finally printed up, into frames, and on the walls. I love the look of “gallery” walls, so my mismatched collection of frames and other wall items look beautifully intentional.

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The most recent thing I’ve hung up is my great-grandmother’s handmade quilt. It may look familiar, since I’ve posted about it on my blog before, but this time we don’t have a twin bed to put it on, so now it hangs on the wall in our guest bedroom. I knew I wanted to have some way to display it, so when I ended up with an extra curtain rod that was too short for the intended window, I used it instead to hang the quilt on the wall. I love that I have items made by my great-grandma, grandma, mom, and myself throughout our house to make it feel more like a home.

Check back for Homemakery, Part 2 to see the yarny items I’ve made lately for around the house.

Handmade Wedding

It’s been almost 9 months since my husband and I got married back in February this year. I thought it was time that I posted pictures of more handmade details from our wedding. Since I want to be able to share what I did with others for inspiration, I’ve  also added a new page titled Handmade Wedding where you can see all the details. Click the link in the top menu to see more!

Here are a few pictures of what I made:

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Here’s a list of what I made in the four months before our wedding:

  • Knit my wedding shawl
  • Crocheted 4 bridesmaid shawls
  • Made over 100 flowers for my bridal bouquet, 4 bridesmaid bouquets, 4 corsages, flower girl basket, 1 memorial mini bouquet, and my hairpiece (crafty friends donated 40 hand-crocheted flowers and 24 hand-crocheted butterflies)
  • Made 10 boutonnieres using burlap, buttons, and ribbon
  • Crocheted 2 doilies using my Grandma Coombe’s cotton thread stash (crafty friends donated 3 hand-crocheted doilies, and I used other doilies that I have made over the years)
  • Made 100 favors using mini brown paper sacks, mini paper doilies, and mini clothespins. Each favor was filled with two peppermint tea bags (our favorite tea)
  • Decorated our unity candle set with ribbons and lace

It was a lot of work, but so worth it to have the wedding of our dreams. Also, we saved a ton of money by making our own stuff, especially on the bouquets. I spent about $150 for fabric (including a bolt of burlap) and supplies that made all the bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, cake toppers, my hairpiece, decorated the flower girl basket, and the unity candle set, as well as cut out burlap squares for all the tables. My wedding shawl was free because the yarn was a gift from my parents several years prior to the wedding that I had been saving up. The doilies, books, tea cups, and other decorations were all free because I just used what I had. The only decor we purchased was 12 mason jar mugs that we filled with peanut M&Ms (and now serve as our drinking glass set), the supplies for a thumbprint tree guest book, and the plain white candles and candle holders I bought to decorate as our unity candle set. The main thing I didn’t want was a bunch of decor stuff purchased for the wedding that then served no purpose afterwards, hence the reason why we used a lot of what we already had, which made it that much more personal.

If you are interested in a hand-knit wedding shawl, hand-crocheted doilies, or other knit or crocheted items for your wedding, please visit my Custom Orders page to fill out a request for price quotes and time estimates.

A Book and Some Mittens

I have another pair of finished mittens to show off. These ones should look familiar because I’ve made them before, but this time they went to my mom for her birthday. So far, I’ve been giving away Christmas gifts for the intended recipients’ birthdays instead, so I have to come up with a new plan for Christmas gifts.

 
{Strawberry Mittens by Spilly Jane
US Size 1 needles
Scrap fingering weight yarns
Mods include changing thumb pattern}

My mom has several out of state trips planned this fall and winter, so I figured she could put these to good use now rather than waiting until Christmas. When I made this pattern for myself awhile back, my mom wanted them immediately. Unfortunately, it only took me a year and a half to make her a pair for herself. Better late than never, I guess!

Besides celebrating my mom’s birthday this month, we are also celebrating the release of her first published book, My Porcelain Doll. This book is special to our whole family because it details the cancer journey of my sister and how our family fought alongside her. This week it is finally available on Amazon (My Porcelain Doll), so if you are interested, you can buy a copy now.