Monday, November 23, 2009

guest blogging...

We leave tomorrow for our annual Atlanta thanksgiving trip and I won't have much access to the computer.  I will try to update from time to time with my phone but for the most part this space will be quiet.

If you really miss we that much :o) please check out Presser Foot where I will be the mini guest blogger for this week!  I made some cute little coasters that make for great gifts!  So check it out, I'll have 4 postings this week with instructions on how to make the coasters using this pattern.


emerging from the haze

WOW.  Its been a rough week.  Monday, my dear NP comes down with a bug.  By Wednesday he is miserable and we know this is not the common cold.  Doctor confirms H1N1.  Yay.  Thursday morning, Little Big and I wake up feeling horrid.  Aches, high fevers, coughing, the works.  I don't need a doctor to confirm that yes, we are little piggies just like daddy.  Squishy complains of a tummy ache on Friday night, and by early morning Saturday his fever is a-raging.  Needless to say it was a fun weekend and I accomplished nothing.

I finally feel up to finishing a few things, but can't do much without feeling exhuasted.  Fortunately we are all on the mend.  Seems like night #3 is the worst, Squishy is experiencing this night, tonight.  I'm praying he will sleep through it peacefully.

Enough about the piggy flu.  How about a cute dress for a little girl who is turning ONE YEARS OLD, in a few short weeks!
(this was completed pre-piggy) 

Leopard ruffles...mmmm.

Black, crushed velvet.

Lovely.  Can't wait to see her in it!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

a few things on the agenda

I missed yesterday!  I crawled into bed super late (after finishing a very cute birthday dress for a certain little girl) and just as I was drifting off to sleep I realized I didn't blog!  I'll make up for it today, I promise!

Now on to the agenda...

Item #1
I am thinking of changing the name of my blog.  Since I plan to open an etsy shop in 2010 I would like the name of this blog and the shop to be the same.  I haven't totally decided, but it will have to include the name "crissybell" I mean that's been my trademark since I was a baby!  crissybell's creations?  crissybell handmade?  just plain old crissybell?  I don't know??  Do you have any suggestions?

Item #2
I am lucky enough to be able to use a wonderful serger.  It isn't "mine" but I get to keep it as long as I need it.  It's worked great so far and I love using it!  But I finally had a need for a different color thread.  Looking at a serger can be scary, all the thread going in so many different directions - yikes!  But last night I was feeling brave and tried the "knot method" and it worked.  You cut the thread at the top of the little "hanger" and remove the old color, put the new color in place and carefully knot the new color with the old, trimming any tails.  Repeat for all the other threads.  Next is the tricky part.  You need to carefully advance the thread, it will snap through the tension knobs easily and right before the needles you need to cut the knots (or they will get stuck and bad things will happen) and then with the fresh cut thread, use tweezers to thread through the needle!

It's actually really easy.

If I can do it, anyone can!


Monday, November 16, 2009

why hello, monday.

This weekend was a blur, but so much fun!  I spent all of Saturday rushing around, baking, cooking and painting things for the shower on Sunday...

This is my nieces very first piggy bank.

She originally had weird googly eyes, but I didn't like them.

So I took them off and painted my own.

I also made these.

And of course this.

Baby showers are so much fun.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

short post

Its late and I am so very tired.  Another very long day preparing for the shower.  I baked, I cooked, I made nine million little, tasty wraps, I painted and I am beat.  What I DID NOT do was sew!  And that was wonderful.

Hopefully tomorrow I can squeeze in some pictures of my busy-ness.  For now here's a sneak peak at a cute baby shower project...

happy weekend!


Saturday, November 14, 2009


Finally.  The crib set for my niece (due to arrive in January) is DONE.  I spent two weeks working on this set.  I am sure if I could just sit down and sew for hours that it wouldn't take quite as much time.  But I have children to chase so my sewing sessions are short and usually interrupted quite frequently.  All that aside though, I am so glad to have this finished.  I never understood why people would charge $300 for a handmade crib set.  Well, NOW I know why.  It is tedious, time consuming work with lots of yardage, lots of gathering and lots of backaches.  My sewing room was starting to feel like a sweatshop.  I don't have pictures of the dust ruffle yet, it got too dark before it was finished.  It's my favorite part though.  Here's the rest of the set, for your viewing pleasure.  :o)

The quilt

the hardest part...the bumpers

two crib sheets (so easy)

the cute bunny pattern my sister picked out, it's cream and light green

Hope you enjoyed a fun filled Friday the 13th.
Happy Saturday (in 5 minutes)


PS I am painting a pig tomorrow, I'll post pics tomorrow night.


Friday, November 13, 2009

another thursday comes to an end.

Wow.  Today was a long, long day.  My back hurts, my right ankle hurts and my eyes are so itchy!  All from sewing!  In spite of my complaints I finished so much today.  The crib set is coming together nicely and will indeed be finished by tomorrow!  A day ahead of schedule.

I will post pictures of the entire thing, in all its yards and yards and yards of glory, tomorrow.

After this is done, I don't ever want to sew something large again.  Baby clothes or dolls.  That's it for me, for a while atleast.

I also squeezed in a minute or two for this

and these

These lovely green grannies are even a mystery to me!  They are for a mystery Christmas crochet project.  I need 12 total, so only 8 more to go!

Tomorrow is Friday, can't wait.  (that means only a week away from New Moon)  What are your plans for this lovely weekend?


Thursday, November 12, 2009

finally. a tute (of sorts)

First off I would like to say THANK YOU to each and everyone who has served, or is serving in the military.  Thank you for everything you have given for my freedom!  I am proud to be an American, through the good times and bad.  Happy Veterans Day!

As promised, I have a quick tutorial.  For this...

It fits a 12-18 month head and can be easily adjusted to go smaller or bigger by reducing the stitches and using a smaller/larger hook.  Whatever your preference is.

You will need:
1 ball of soft, chunky red yarn, I used lion brand (surprise)
1 ball of a bright white yarn, (something soft and fuzzy looks best)
a 6.5 mm crochet hook (you can use smaller or larger if you prefer)
a stitch marker, I use a big paper clip
scissors (of course)

This hat was created using only a single crochet (sc) stitch, I didn't even start official "rows" I simply stitch around in a spiral fashion, making sure to mark my stitches so I knew when each row "started."

Here we go!

using the red yarn
ch 3, join ch
row 1 sc 6 inside ring
row 2-4 sc 6 around
row 5 sc 1, sc 2 in next st, repeat (this will give you 10 st)
row 6-7 sc 10 around
the top of the hat should start to look like this

row 8 sc 4, sc 2 in next st, repeat (you'll have 12 st)
row 9-12 sc 12 around (make sure you are marking your first st in each row)

Now we will start the actual hat part.  If you are making this for a larger head you'll want the "tail" to be longer and the hat part to be bigger so be sure to adjust as needed.

row 13 sc 3, sc 2 in next st, repeat (18 st total)
row 14 sc 8, sc 2 in next st, repeat (20 st)
row 15 sc 4, sc 2 in next st, repeat (24 st)
row 16 sc 5, sc 2 in next st, repeat (28 st)
row 17 sc 6, sc 2 in next st, repeat (32 st)
row 18 sc 7, sc 2 in next st, repeat (36 st)
row 19-23 sc 36 around
row 24 sc 8, sc 2 in next st, repeat (40 st)
row 25-28 sc 40 around
row 29 sc 9, sc 2 in next st, repeat (44 st)
row 30-32 sc 44 around
finish off the red leaving a tail about 2.5 in long to weave..  At the spot you ended, start with the white yarn (make sure you st over the red yarn tail to secure it)
row 33-36 sc 44 around and finish off by weaving in the end

Now, you'll need to make a basic pom pom for the end.  (sorry no pics for this part)  I wrapped the white yarn around the tips of four of my fingers about 10 times.  I then tied it in the middle, tie it VERY tight and leave about 3 inches of tails to secure it to the top of the hat.  Use your crochet hook or a darning needle to thread it through the stitches at the top of the hat, then cut the ends of the yarn to create the pom pom, it will look like this:

Now find a cute head to put it on and enjoy!



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

a tutorial for tuesday?

well, almost... 

I finished this today...

Can you guess what it is?  I even wrote up a pattern for it!  Me!  The hate-er of all crochet patterns...I wrote one!  Unfortunately I am in crunch time with this shower for my sister on Sunday and the crib set (her gift) I have to finish by Sunday too.  So all my free time this week is devoted to sewing and planning and baking.  But I can sneak in a few extra minutes tomorrow, so I will post the tutorial then. 

I promise!


psssst!  I have a SECRET!  click here for a mystery crochet project from Sara London.  It involves granny squares so of course I just HAD to add it to my list of projects for the holidays.  :o)

Monday, November 9, 2009

dear monday...

I am doing my best to embrace you today.  Although you've arrived and given me no inspiration whatsoever.  You ended my weekend too quickly.  You made my alarm go off way to early and gave my five year old a great attitude before school.  Although you have been nothing but trouble since you began, I will forgive you.  Just this once.



PS even though you started off rather nasty, your afternoon brought me some much needed inspiration and holiday cheer.
(please click below each photo for credit)

(in case you are wondering why this posted on a TUESDAY, I had it all typed up and ready to post on monday night...then the baby woke up...the rest of course, is history) 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

a lovely sunday post

I usually try to stay away from the computer on Sunday, but we had a funky morning and didn't quite make it to church so we slept in - and oh my, was it heavenly!  Since the morning was thrown off, the rest of day is as well.  So we are sitting around, comfy and cozy, watching tv, while I browse my little blogger world.  Over at The DIY Show Off I found a giveaway.  So check it out if you have the time today. 

Enjoy your Sunday!


Friday, November 6, 2009

cozy things

I love being cozy and warm during these cold, wet fall and winter months.  I made a blue and cream set of wrist warmers and a matching beanie.  The yarn is uber thick and chunky (lion brand) and I used a big fat 9mm hook.  Loved how they turned out. (both are made without a pattern - yay!)

I even added a few rows around the thumb hole to keep them nice and toasty.

My son likes the beanie, so I may have to make another for myself.

Kitty, of course had to help me take pictures.  Which are horrible, so sorry for the bad lighting.  It was really dark here today, all day.

happy weekend!

PS check out the giveaway over at Carrie's Little World


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Auntie Ollie $100 Gift Card Guest Giveaway!

Take a peek!


such a long day

Today has gone on F O R E V E R.  And the worst part is I feel as though I hardly accomplished anything!  Well, besides making two loaves of banana bread, finishing another crib sheet and putting up a small Christmas tree. (yes I did it, I put up the Christmas tree...) 

I guess I did accomplish a few things, but nothing else from that pesky list of Christmas gifts.  I really need to get on that.  Pronto.  Have any of you started on gifts yet?

Oh yeah, Little Big is 11 months old today and Squishy thinks his tooth might be loose...why do kids grow up so fast?


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

right quick...

(as they say down south)

Although I've already posted once today I had two more items I found noteworthy that I wanted to share!

1)  Katja is hosting a giveaway for her online class in early 2010.  Please visit the link I provided and check it out!  I would love to win this free spot!

2)  Jen-A-Roo Blogs is having a giveaway as well!  "Fall into fun @ Jen~a~Roo Blogs fall give away for a custom blog package! Don’t miss out on your chance to have your every own unique custom blog for free! "  My blog totally needs a makeover and I've been way to busy to start!

That's all for now folks!


Dress design for Shabby Apple dresses

Here it is my official entry for the Shabby Apple Dresses Dare to Design contest.  

The dress is simple yet chic, it can be dressed up with a cute pair of heels,
or dressed down with a simple pair of flats.
On a rainy spring day a pair of boots can be worn as well for more of a western flair.

The material is light weight jersey knit, perfect for the warming days of spring.
The trim and belt are the same material but in a contrasting color. 
The belt is bunched up a bit to create a textured look,
yet sits high on the waist for a slimming effect. 
The faux wrap-around adds a unique look and helps the dress flow in a flirty way.
At the waist and hips the material hugs the body (not too tight) and slowly drapes down to the full hemline for a nice swish when you walk.

Springtime in Seattle is beautiful, we have our share of rainy days and sunny days.
A mix of bright blues, deep greens, dark blues and stormy gray inspired the pallete for this dress.
I created two color combos, the first being a heather gray with a bright sky blue trim.
The second is a darker gray blue with a deep forest green trim.

I've never designed a dress before.  Even if I don't win, I'd love to try and make this.  Yay for Spring!  (yes I know, it's not even winter yet)


Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween...a wee bit late

better late than never though...

I spent zilch, zero, as in nothing on the kids costumes this year.  SO proud! 

Squishy's was easy.  He wanted to be a train engineer (he was one last year too).  So I cut a 12x12 square of red cotton for his hankerchief and he already had the hat.  Overalls would have been great but I couldn't find a pair anywhere, and I looked all over the place!

For Little Big's Tinkerbell costume I used some fleece from a receiving blanket I had already cut up.  I had just enough for a little tunic which I trimmed with fabric paint for a cute sparkle...I mean pixie dust 

For the wings I stiffined them with heavy weight interfacing and used wire to hold them up.  I added some more fabric paint for a sparkle and viola!
The headband was just a simple crochet waffle stitch embellished with some fleece stars and more pixie dust (fabric paint).

Isn't she cute?

a dying battery

On Friday I woke up to find the cord to my laptop was no longer charging the battery.  Unfortunately, the night before, I didn't charge my laptop.  So I am running on fumes.  Hence the short post. 

Thankfully, the new cord should be here tomorrow.  (lets just hope it works!)  I miss my little online space.  Hope everyone had a wonderfully, sweet and sugary Halloween!  :o)