Alice had her first birthday in August! I can’t believe it’s been a year already and I don’t have a tiny baby any more. But I have to admit, I much prefer having a one-year old over having a newborn. Sleep is a wonderful thing, and so is watching Alice pick up new skills by the hour. She’s amazing!
My birthday gift to her was this super cute elephant jumper and amigurumi elephant. I grew up with the Ed Emberly drawing books, so I can’t get enough of this elephant fabric. Isn’t it adorable?! I want the rest of the fabric collection! The elephant amigurumi pattern is from the Tiny Yarn Animals book.
The dress is reversible! The pattern is the Jump-N dress from Olive Ann Designs. The dress is a bit too big on her now, but it should fit some time in the next year.
We had a quiet birthday with just the three of us. I promise I’ll throw big, fun parties when Alice gets a bit older. But this time, we just had a picnic in the park and Alice got to eat her first processed sugar. I made homemade funfetti cupcakes and she loved them (of course).
Update with a photo of Alice wearing the elephant dress. It finally fits her now that she is 20 months old.
It was my niece/god daughter’s 4th birthday party this weekend, so we went home to visit my family for the last time before we move. Look at all of those little girls!
The theme of the party was “hearts,” so I just cut out some heart stencils from wax paper and sprinkled her birthday cake with pink sugar. It was super quick and easy and made for a cute presentation.
See how cute! I made the cake using my absolute favorite chocolate cake and vanilla frosting recipe. Unfortunately for all of you, it is a secret recipe from my best friend Sara’s family, so under no circumstances am I allowed to publish it. (Aren’t you jealous?) But, to make up for it, I will post the most delicious carrot cake recipe ever at the end of this post. It is also a recipe that comes from Sara, and she somehow can always find the best cake recipes in existence. Dave and I made it for my birthday a few weeks ago, and it is delicious!
I made this little lamb for Alicia as part of her birthday gift. She asked for a lamb on her birthday wish list, which I imagine meant she wanted a real lamb as a pet. Since they live in a city and not on a farm, I hope she can love this little stuffed animal just as much. I used a pattern from Tiny Yarn Animals: Amigurumi Friends to Make and Enjoy.
And this has absolutely nothing to do with the birthday party, but I would love to share this with you all. My cousin/friend/bridesmaid is an amazing musician and wrote and performed this song for me at my wedding reception. It’s been stuck on my sister’s camera until this weekend, so I’m extremely excited that I can finally watch it again. I cry every time!
Okay, don’t forget to check out the amazing carrot cake recipe below. Yum!
Happy Spring! Who knew 45* F would feel so warm? After a very long Wisconsin winter, it feels positively balmy!
Dave got home last night from visiting the University of Oregon. He said if Portland and Ithaca had a baby, it would be Eugene. That sounds pretty good to me! He really liked the campus and the architecture program, so we may very well be heading back out west. We’ll be making our final decision next week. While he was gone, I made him this amigurumi fox from Tiny Yarn Animals: Amigurumi Friends to Make and Enjoy. He is by no means “tiny,” but he’s still pretty cute.
I also made myself a present this week. I made this Buttercup Bag from a pattern by Made By Rae. I lined it with some great tiny heart fabric that I found at a garage sale years ago. The pattern is super simple, and it can be easily made in an evening.
Whew, sorry I’ve been away from my blog for 2 whole weeks! I was at a recycling conference in Wisconsin Dells for most of the past week, and am now better informed and energized for my job. Remember to recycle whenever you can, and always try to buy things made of recycled materials!
Since we’ve been away from our kitty cat, Cricket, I made her some little presents. Three blind mice!
I’ve been meaning to make some tiny amigurumi for Cricket for a while now, and finally sat down to figure it out. Here’s the pattern I created to make these cute little toys.
Amigurumi Cat Toy Pattern
Worsted weight yarn in 2 coordinating colors
Size G/4.0 mm crochet hook
sc – single crochet
sts – stitches
sc2tog – single crochet 2 together
R1: Make an adjustable ring with 5 sc – 5 sts. Leave a longish yarn tail on the outside of your work.
R2: 2 sc in each stitch – 10 sts.
R3: Repeat [sc, 2 sc in next] 5 times – 15 sts.
R4-5: sc in each – 15 sts.
R6: Repeat [3 sc, sc2tog] 3 times – 12 sts.
R7: Repeat [2 sc, sc2tog] 3 times – 9 sts.
Make mouse tail: Cut a piece of coordinating yarn twice the length of the yarn tail on your work. Use yarn needle to add it next to your yarn tail. Braid. (see photos below)
If you want your mouse to have sight, go ahead and add some eyes with embroidery thread or safety eyes. I just left mine blind.
Stuff with cotton batting (and catnip!)
R8: Repeat [sc, sctog] 3 times – 6 sts.
R9: Repeat [sc, sctog] 2 times – 4 sts.
R1: Use coordinating color yarn to chain 4
R2: 3 sc
Fasten off and attach to mouse body with yarn tails.
Dave recently decided that he ought to take advantage of living close to his dad and his dad’s workshop and learn to build some nice furniture. We picked out a pattern for a beautiful mission-style coffee table and spent the weekend at his parents house so they could get started.
Here’s Dave learning how to chisel out some mortises. I’ll keep you updated on his progress. I can’t wait to see (and use!) the finished product!!
While the boys were working on the coffee table, I taught Dave’s mom how to crochet amigurumi. We made hearts using Owlishly’s pattern. The pattern is so well written and very easy to follow.
It was so nice to hang out with Dave’s family and have a relaxing crafty weekend.
Here are our final hearts. I’m going to roll that purple one in catnip as a present for my kitty. Happy Valentine’s Day weekend all!! <3
I’ve been itching to learn how to crochet, so this weekend I headed to the bookstore to find a good book to help me learn. I was disappointed in most of the “Learn to Crochet” books there, but then I remembered that Klutz had a crochet book. I headed over to the children’s section and picked up Crochet: Learn to Crochet Six Great Projects by Klutz. The book is great!! I highly recommend it for anyone looking to learn. Plus it comes with a crochet hook, a yarn needle, stitch markers, and some yarn to get you started.
While in the regular craft section, though, I happened upon Tiny Yarn Animals: Amigurumi Friends to Make and Enjoy. Now this “amigurumi” word I had just heard for the first time the day before by a friend who said to me “You’ve never heard of amigurumi?? How have you been in the online craft circle and not seen it? It’s huge online!” Apparently I have been under a rock. I bought the book even though I thought it would take me a few months before I could master crocheting enough to make a doll.
But it was actually incredibly easy!! The day after I learned to crochet, I made this adorable octopus. Then last night I finished up the little pig. Mainly you just have to figure out how to read the patterns and know how to do a single crochet. I started with the single color ones that looked fairly simple, but next I think I’m going to try a fox or a lemur or something.
You can also get tons of free patterns online. Here are a few sites I found that have collected patterns from around the tubes:
My name is Annie, I’m married to a wonderful boy named Dave, and we have the cutest kitty cat in the world named Cricket. We are new transplants to Oregon, and by day I am an environmental educator. In my free time I like to sew, bake, cook, letterpress, and do any crafty thing that I can get my hands on. I hope I can inspire others with my projects! You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.