Star Wars

For those of you that read my blog regularly, you are well aware that we are on a crazy character hat kick. This Halloween we have been ridiculously busy with Star Wars characters.

My sister first started with R2D2, then after many requests, Storm Troopers. I contributed Yoda and Princess Leia.

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I actually had to call dibs on making the Leia hat, I thought her buns really needed to be knit for the proper look.

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A perfect combination of knit and crochet, I love when crafts mesh, it gives me such a sense of accomplishment. I can’t wait to get to the rest of the cast, my husband is already pushing for the Fets.

We will most likely keep these in the Etsy shop for the holidays. Our grand reopening will be November 1st, with many ready to ship holiday items.

Have a Crafty Day!

Magnificent Maleficent

I don’t have very many family traditions, we’re not really the kind of family that keeps them. The one tradition that hasn’t faded away is Halloween. Maybe being born on Oct 29th makes me a Halloween baby. Maybe because my sister and first son were both born in October too. But every single year, since I could remember, my mom always made a big fuss over Halloween.

We’d spend two months getting ready for it. Sometimes this included scouring the churches and Good Wills for our costumes. Two to three nights before “the big night” my mom would open up her Avon hutch. Now this was a large, orange wooden hutch packed, like a game of Tetris, with small Avon boxes. She had all the colors of the rainbow, glitter, fake eyelashes, and little gems you can glue on your face. It didn’t really matter what our costumes were, it was our make-up that everyone went nuts over.

My mom only really had one costume, a bumble bee. Pretty sure she still has it. Some years she would dress in all black but she ALWAYS painted her face; a dog, a cat, a she-devil. This lady could be a make-up artist for movies with some of the things she could do.

Since we’ve moved to the East coast and my family is on the West, we do everything possible to stay connected. I decided to use my new found crochet talent to make my mom a hat for Halloween. Scouring Pinterest (I know, I’m addicted) I came across this Etsy shop, Harvester Products,  that has AMAZING Disney crochet hats….and hair! Naturally, as a crafter, we look at something and think, “I can make that.” So I put myself to the test and started making my Mom’s favorite character, Maleficent.

I started with your standard crochet beanie, with short ear flaps and a tiny earflap to make the “widow’s peak” of the headdress. I stitched a purple chain down the center of the beanie.

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The horns were simple enough, with black yarn, and starting with a magic loop, I crocheted it in HDC throughout, adding gradual and dramatic increases here and there, adding purple where I felt it looked good. There was no rhyme or reason to how I made the horns, so I do not have a pattern to share with you, it was just me experimenting. Then I stuffed them with stuffing. IMG_0217

Here’s is really where I had to think about what I was doing. How would I get them to stand up straight? How would I keep the stuffing from spilling out through the DC of the hat? I went to my local Hobby Lobby, and walked around until, ta-da, floral wire! I inserted 4 wires in each horn, and spiraled the bottom to prevent poking. Then I crocheted a circle to fit the base of the horns and attached each to the hat. The wires helped with the unique shaping of Maleficent’s horns.

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I had such a difficult time keeping the headdress a secret while it made it’s we to my mom in CA via USPS. She was super excited when she received it. To be honest, I was sad to see it go, but it made my mom happy and I know she will treasure it. Here is my finished product:

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Have a Crafty Day!

 

Losing Half of Myself

I’m going to go off of the crafty portion that I’m known for with this post, but it is something that all women, Mothers, and those of us that craft battle with…WEIGHT! Dun-dun-duuuun!

As crafters, we have a predominantly sedentary “job.” Unless you have a job that you can do while exercising, professional sports entertainer is the only thing that comes to mind, the only payment we get from watching our weight is being healthy, and the satisfaction of liking the way our clothes fit; better yet, liking the way we look in the buff =)

My battle with weight cycles around 3 key issues:

1. Being pregnant and having children take a toll on your body. The older you are, the harder it is to get that baby weight off.

2. Diet. I am a self proclaimed foodie, I love food! All types of food, and lots of it.

3. Time to exercise. I mean, who has it? Between taking care of the kids, making meals, doing housework, and finding time to sit with my yarn and make string pretty, I’m up till all hours of the night.

So here’s my before and after:

IMG_0216From a size 16 to a size 8!!!

Literally half of myself. How did I do it? Well I am not a trainer, or medical professional, but I will share the things that I did for my radical transformation. I hope it can help you like it helped me.

First let me say this DID NOT happen quickly, it has been a year and a half of hard work and changing many aspects of my diet. So if you want a get skinny quick answer…good luck with that, but it isn’t here.

The photo on the left was taken before I started getting serious about losing the weight I had accumulated from my last pregnancy, and I have to say seeing that photo was my “a-ha” moment. My husband was deployed to Afghanistan and I did not want him to come home to that photo. I needed to make some changes, and I needed help.

I became good friends with a Beachbody coach. Don’t laugh or snicker, home fitness plans work IF you follow the program, to be honest I did not follow my first program to the letter, but I LOVE the DVDs. Turbo Fire got me started, I saw dramatic differences with Hip Hop Abs.  You can read about my coach’s transformation here, she is fabulous, high energy, and truly dedicated to me and my fitness goals. Unlike a personal trainer, where you only have their attention if you pay, once Nancy is your coach she doesn’t leave your side. I haven’t ordered a program for about a year, I moved across the country, and my girl has not abandoned me. She calls me often, posts workouts and reminders, and gives me motivation daily. This was something I could do to burn those nasty things called calories, make time for without having to go anywhere, and still take care of my baby.

Then I looked at what I was eating and why I eat it. Have you said or heard “make sure you eat everything on your plate.” I’ve heard it, I’ve said it, but why? So we don’t waste food, yes, but if we don’t eat OUR food are those starving children in 3rd world countries not going to starve? Ummm…..NO! This steams from our parents, and our parent’s parents living through tough times and the Depression where you ate all your food because they didn’t know when they were going to eat again. Is there a light bulb turning on? This mentality, although very relevant in their time, has only developed confusion and eating disorders in our time.

I increased my fruits and vegetables, A LOT! Converted to whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice. These are HUGE changes, I did them gradually. I even tried Beachbody’s Shakeology for awhile and really loved the feeling and energy it gave me. Some key food advice from Nancy, don’t deny yourself the food you love, just don’t keep it in the house. Go out and buy one cookie from the bakery, instead of the bag of Oreos. Go out and buy a fountain drink from 7Eleven, medium size, filled 3/4 of the way with ice, instead of the 24 pack or 2-liter of Coke. This way you don’t feel like your missing out and you don’t have these high calorie items at arms reach. SMART RIGHT?

Now I only walk to pick up my kids from school, I try to exercise regularly. I joined a stroller fitness class and it doubles as a play date for my almost 3 year old. I finally have a handle on eating healthier and I am keeping the weight off. I hope some, or maybe all of these tips can assist in your weight management.

Have a Crafty Day! 

Breast Cancer Coffee Cozy

Enter to win this Breast Cancer Coffee Cozy made by my sis. Like our Facebook page, like the picture. Happy give away =)

I’m obsessed with crochet coffee cozies right now!  As a coffee and tea lover I enjoy anything related to either one of those.  Who wouldn’t wanna accessories their daily cup of joe!? Coffee cozies are perfect for those super hot cups of to-go coffee where those cardboard sleeves do nothing to lower the heat level on your hands.  Annnnd they are even perfect for the ice-cold drinks that “sweat” condensation all over your hands.  I have been gifted several of those reusable Starbucks insulated cups and even though they don’t “sweat”, they still look and feel great with a cozy!  So many design possibilities…. I’m thinking a minion version, little Frankenstein, and this breast cancer awareness design I crocheted up in a jiffy this week.

crochet coffee cozy breast cancer

crochet coffee cozy breast cancer

This one is part of a giveway we are doing on our Facebookpage here .

Want a chance to win it?  Head on  over, like…

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Halloween Explosion

Wowwy, wow, wow, I have been going non-stop these past few weeks!

As you know, or do you, my sister and I share an ETSY shop, Chucks for Chancho. I started “guest posting” in her shop last year, and now we share many listings. It has been a whirlwind of orders, questions and requests. My sister, slightly more detail oriented than I, handles the on goings of the shop, she is the tech side and I am the PR side, or at least that’s how it began. We started this adventure when she was invited to her first craft fair last winter. She invited me to get a booth for my jewelry. Another tidbit of my past, before Etsy was the new Ebay for crafters, I had an Ebay shop where I sold beaded jewelry and hemp jewelry, but I couldn’t keep up when I went back to school. This was many, many moons ago. Back to my story, we decided to share a booth, her crochets and my knits. We were overcome by the compliments and sales, were invited to other events, and here we are.

Now that I can crochet too, we are rocking our handmade items. It’s been so busy with orders and fairs we barely have time to update our blogs and make new items. I am overwhelmed with our grand adventure! Some of our most popular Halloween hats are Frankenstein, Minions, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Monster High, and our new Jack Skelington from A Nightmare Before Christmas! Until things slow down a bit, my posts will be short and sweet, but I will keep you all updated. EXCITING!

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Have a Crafty Day!