October Favorite Finds

I know Halloween isn’t here yet, but this time of the year I’m always reminded that Christmas is coming soon. I have a lot of people that I shop for, so I always need to start thinking about Christmas early to be able to afford everything I want to get. I decided this month was a good time to focus on gifts for kids.

If you’re a crocheter, and you have kids, then these may be the perfect things for them. My kids always want to make things when they see me crocheting, and it’s never too early to learn. I found some neat things that you could buy as a gift for those kids in your life, or that you could give to them now so that they can make gifts for other people. It’s the perfect time to get your kid working on some crafts to give to people for Christmas. Handmade gifts are the best ones, and it’s never too soon to teach your kids that the time they put into a present is much more important than how much money they spend.

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Pom-poms are all the craze right now, and there are so many things you can make with them. First up, are these pom-pom makers. They make creating pom-poms really easy, and come in different sizes. Once a kid gets the hang of it, I guarantee you’ll be finding pom-poms all over your house.

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Once they’ve gotten the hang of making the pom-poms, this book will give them all kinds of ideas and instructions to turn those pom-poms into cute gifts that they can give to people.

These cute kits come with a book with instructions and the supplies they’ll need to make pom-pom puppies, kitties or other pets. I need to get these for my daughter. She loves making pom-pom animals.

Who doesn’t need some extra potholders? I know in my house, we can never have enough. This kit gives your child all the things they need to make potholders for family members, or maybe even some other things. It’s also a neat introduction to weaving. You can buy these refills to use once they finish with the ones in the kit, so they can make even more pretty things.

These kits are a great introduction to needlepoint, and they come with everything you need including the frame. They can make a rainbow, a horse, or a butterfly. I think these would be a great gift for a grandparent.

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Finger knitting is so fun. I had a friend who taught me how to do this when I was really young. Me and her used to make chains of these and string them all over her basement where we made our “clubhouse.” I’ve taught my own kids how to finger knit too, but this book goes beyond just the simple chains that we’ve always made. Finger knitting is so easy to do, and is a great tool to peak your child’s interest in other yarn crafts. And look at the fun things they can make to give to people for Christmas!

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For kids wanting to learn how to knit, a loom is a great starting place, especially if they’re wanting to make hats or scarves for their family and friends. This loom kit comes with 3 skeins of yarn, 2 different looms, and instructions for many projects.

Is your child ready to learn how to crochet or knit? These books are great tools for teaching them, and really would be good for any beginner, at any age. I’ve learned how to do a lot of things in my life, but learning to crochet has definitely been the best for me. I get a lot of fulfillment out of making cute things, and it’s such a nice way to relax and feel productive at the same time.

Is your child ready to start crocheting things for people? These kits are great for children or beginners. Granny squares are pretty easy to make, and very versatile. There are so many things you can make once you learn how to do a granny square. The Granny Square kit will teach them how to make them, then show them how to put them together to make hats and scarves. The Hip to be Square kit will show them how to make granny squares, and then show them some other things they can put them together to make. Or, if they want to learn beyond granny squares, the Rainbow Scarf kit is absolutely adorable and comes with everything they need.

I think this is a good starting point if you’re shopping for kids who want to be crafty or kids who want to give out handmade gifts this year. There are so many different options for things like this on Amazon, so if you find anything else cool, drop me a message on my Facebook page and tell me about them. I love hearing about new products, and I might use them in my next favorite finds post. And if you saw anything you like on here, by sure to use my links to order them, and help me keep posting my patterns for free. Happy shopping!!!

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Lions and Elephant and Pigs….oh my!

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One of my favorite things is to come up with a base pattern, and then find ways to alter it to make different things. Well, I took my Bailey the Bear pattern, and changed or added things to it to turn it into an elephant, a lion, a pig and a puppy. There are so many different animals I could make with this one pattern, and I may get around to making more eventually, but for now here’s all you need to know to make these four.

Just go grab the Bailey the Bear pattern from my other page for the head, body, arms and legs. Then come back here and see what you need to add to make each of these animals.

Abbreviations:

ch: chain

sc: single crochet

sl st: slip stitch

inc: increase (2 single crochets in one loop)

dec: decrease (pull yarn through loop, pull yarn through second loop, yarn over and pull through all loops)

Materials needed (with affiliate links):

Loops and Threads Charisma yarn (or any yarn, really)

L (8mm) crochet hook (or whatever size your yarn recommends)

18mm safety eyes

20mm safety nose (for the puppy or lion, or you can stitch a nose on)

Yarn needle

Poly-fil 

This pattern is worked “in-the-round”, and stitches are worked through both loops unless otherwise noted. 

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Elephant

Ears

ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * four times total, leaving the last 2 stitches undone, ch 1, turn. (12 stitches)

Row 3: Sc in first 4 stitches, inc, sc in next 2 stitches, inc, sc in last 4 stitches, ch 1, turn. (14 stitches)

Row 4: Sc in first 5 stitches, inc, sc in next 2 stitches, inc, sc in last 5 stitches, ch 1, turn. (16 stitches)

Row 5: Sc in first 6 stitches, inc, sc in next 2 stitches, inc, sc in last 6 stitches, ch 1, turn. (18 stitches)

Row 6: Sc around. Tie off. (18 stitches)

Make 2 and sew to side of head.

Trunk

ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Rows 2-6: Sc around. (10 stitches)

Rows 7-8: Dec, sc in next 2 stitches, inc, inc, sc in next 2 stitches, dec. (10 stitches)

Rows 9-10: Sc around. (10 stitches)

Rows 11-12: Dec, sc in next 2 stitches, inc, inc, sc in next 2 stitches, dec. (10 stitches)

Rows 13-14: Sc around. (10 stitches)

Tie off. Sew onto center of face.

I added a little tail to the elephant, by chaining 10, then adding some yarn to the end of it.

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Lion

Ears

ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 5 sc inside of circle. (5 stitches)

Row 2: Sc around. (5 stitches)

Row 3: Inc in each stitch around. (10 stitches)

Row 4: Sc around. (10 stitches)

Row 5: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 6: Sc around. (15 stitches)

Tie off. Make two, fold flat and sew to head.

Tail (For lion or puppy)

ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 8 sc inside of circle. (8 stitches)

Rows 2-16: Sc around. (8 stitches)

Tie off. For lion tail, attach yarn to end. Sew to back of stuffie.

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Pig

Ears

ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 5 sc inside of circle. (5 stitches)

Rows 2-3: Sc around. (5 stitches)

Row 4: Inc in each stitch around. (10 stitches)

Rows 5-7: Sc around. (10 stitches)

Row 8: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Tie off. Make 2, fold flat and sew to head.

Snout

ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 4: In front loops only, *dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Tie off. Sew to center of face. Use dark yarn to stitch on nostrils.

Tail

Ch. 7

Row 1: 3 sc’s in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across.

Attach to butt.

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Puppy

Ears

ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 5 sc inside of circle. (5 stitches)

Row 2: Inc in each stitch around. (10 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Rows 4-8: Sc around. (15 stitches)

Row 9: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (12 stitches)

Rows 10-11: Sc around. (12 stitches)

Row 12: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (9 stitches)

Rows 13-16: Sc around. (9 stitches)

Tie off. Make 2, flatten and sew to sides of head.

For the puppy’s tail, use the same pattern as the lion but don’t add yarn to the end.

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I hope you have fun making a whole zoo of animals. I’m sure I’ll come up with other animals to make using this pattern, but if you think of any other animals you’d like to make, let me know and I’ll see what I can do. If there are any mistakes, or something is unclear, please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know. Or message me on Facebook. If you create any animals of your own, be sure to post a photo on my Facebook page so I can see. I love seeing all of the things people are creating, and I’d love to see the different variations that people make of these.

Bailey the Bear

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It is my opinion that everybody should have a cuddly teddy bear to hug at night. Who doesn’t love teddy bears, right? I wanted to design a cuddly bear to make for my little Peanut for Christmas. Yes, that’s him up there hugging his teddy bear. No, it’s not Christmas yet. It’s ok. He just turned 1 last month. I put the bear in a bag, and he’ll forget about it by Christmas. He loves every single stuffie that I crochet, and lately he thinks he has to hug and kiss each of them whenever he sees them.

These make a great gift for pretty much anybody, at any age. I designed him using Loops and Threads Charisma yarn because it’s a nice, soft, chunky yarn, which means it works up pretty quickly, but also because it goes on sale quite often at Michaels so I like to stock up on it.

With the Charisma yarn, it’s a pretty good sized bear, the perfect size for cuddling. You don’t have to limit yourself to Charisma yarn, though. I actually made this bear with a few different kinds of yarn, and I’ll post pictures after the pattern so you can see how it looks. Also, I’ve altered this base pattern to make a few other animals as well, which I’ll share with you in a later post. For now, here’s my Bailey the Bear pattern.

Abbreviations:

ch: chain

sc: single crochet

sl st: slip stitch

inc: increase (2 single crochets in one loop)

dec: decrease (pull yarn through loop, pull yarn through second loop, yarn over and pull through all loops)

Materials needed (with affiliate links):

Loops and Threads Charisma yarn (or any yarn, really)

L (8mm) crochet hook (or whatever size your yarn recommends)

18mm safety eyes

20mm safety nose (you can sew a nose on if need be)

Yarn needle

Poly-fil 

This pattern is worked “in-the-round”, and stitches are worked through both loops unless otherwise noted. 

Head:

ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 4: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Row 5: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (30 stitches)

Row 6: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (35 stitches)

Row 7: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 6 stitches, repeat from * around. (40 stitches)

Rows 8-13: Sc in each stitch around. (40 stitches)

Row 14: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 6 stitches, repeat from * around. (35 stitches)

Row 15: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (30 stitches)

Row 16: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Row 17: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Tie off. Stuff tight with poly-fil.

Body:

ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 4: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Row 5: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (30 stitches)

Row 6: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (35 stitches)

Rows 7-9: Sc in each stitch around. (35 stitches)

Row 10: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (30 stitches)

Row 11: Sc in each stitch around. (30 stitches)

Row 12: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Row 13: Sc in each stitch around. (25 stitches)

Row 14: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 15: Sc in each stitch around. (20 stitches)

Tie off. Stuff tight with poly-fil.

Arms:

ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Rows 3-7: Sc in each stitch around. (15 stitches)

Row 8: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next stitch, repeat from * around. (10 stitches)

Rows 9-14: Sc in each stitch around. (10 stitches)

Tie off. Stuff halfway with poly-fil, pushing it to the bottom of the arms.

Legs:

ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Rows 4-8: Sc in each stitch around. (20 stitches)

Row 9: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Rows 10-13: Sc in each stitch around. (15 stitches)

Row 14: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next stitch, repeat from * around. (10 stitches)

Rows 15-17: Sc in each stitch around. (10 stitches)

Tie off. Stuff halfway with poly-fil, pushing it to the bottom of the legs.

Ears:

ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Rows 3-5: Sc in each stitch around. (15 stitches)

Tie off.  Flatten circles before sewing onto head.

Tail:

ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Rows 2-3: Sc in each stitch around. (10 stitches)

Tie off. Sew to back of body and stuff lightly with poly-fil before the last couple of stitches.

Use your yarn needle and yarn to sew the pieces together. I like to sew the ears onto the head first. Then I put the face on and center it between the ears. I also like to stuff the head before sewing anything on, and before deciding where to place the face. Once you attach the back to the safety eyes and nose, you can’t move them, so be sure you have them where you want them. I also like to take a bit of felt and put it behind the eyes to give them a “sad” look. Next, I sew the head onto the body. Then I sew the arms on, then the legs, and I sew the tail on last. Sewing the pieces on can be tricky when you’re trying to make them even, but remember that you can always remove one if you need to and reattach it. It can also help to use straight pins to pin both ears, arms, legs, etc. in place before actually sewing them on.

I love the Charisma tweed yarns the best, but I also wanted to try this bear with some other chunky, soft yarn. This one was made with Loops and Threads Country Loom yarn, which is a super bulky size 6 yarn.

It’s a bit bigger, but it’s so soft and squishy.

I also made a small bear using baby yarn. This one is actually an accessory for something else that I made, but I think it’s adorable. Baby yarn makes a bear the perfect size for stuffing in stockings this Christmas.

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I found this super soft Buttercream Angel Hair yarn at Joann’s the other day, and decided it would make a great teddy bear for my new granddaughter.

And then there’s my favorite bear. This last one I actually made for me. I need something soft and squishy to hug at night too, you know.

That one was made with Red Heart Buttercup yarn. If you’ve never worked with this yarn, I honestly recommend that you don’t. lol  Personally, I love this yarn and the Bernat Pipsqueak, but they’re really hard to work with. You can’t see your stitches at all, so it’s tough to keep track of where you’re at, and to avoid making mistakes. The one big plus to this yarn (besides the fact that it is heavenly soft) is that it also hides mistakes pretty well. So if you’re experienced with crocheting and with working with a lot of different kinds of yarn, then definitely make a bear with Buttercup yarn. You’ll love the way it turns out.

And here’s my whole family of bears that I’ve made in the last week or so.

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Side note: It didn’t take me more than 2 skeins of yarn for each of these, and they were normal, smaller skeins of yarn.

Bears aren’t your thing? Next week, I’ll be posting some other animals that you can make using this base pattern, so stay tuned. **EDIT: NEW ANIMALS POSTED. YOU CAN FIND THEM HERE.**

I hope you enjoy this pattern! If there are any mistakes, or something is unclear, please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know. Or message me on Facebook. If you create any teddy bears of your own, be sure to post a photo on my Facebook page so I can see. I love seeing all of the things people are creating, and I’d love to see the different variations that people make of these.

 

 

 

Halloween Ghost

Christmas is my favorite holiday. This time of the year, I start thinking about Christmas presents that I want to make for people, and Christmas decorations that I can create patterns for. But I have a couple of daughters who love Halloween so much, and they hate it when I’m already focusing on Christmas this early in the fall. So I wanted to do a quick project for Halloween. I was thinking something fairly simple that could be completed easily in 1 day. This little ghost popped into my head.

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This really is a simple and quick pattern, and it doesn’t use a lot of materials. I actually used some leftover yarn that I had here from a hat that I made years ago. I’ve got a lot of safety eyes, including googly safety eyes, but I hadn’t found the perfect project for them yet. So I made 2 ghosts, one for my grandson and one for my daughter.

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Of course, you could also just embroider eyes on with thread or black yarn. So here’s a quick weekend project for you to make in the spirit of Halloween.

Abbreviations:

ch: chain

sc: single crochet

inc: increase (2 single crochets in one loop)

dec: decrease (pull yarn through loop, pull yarn through second loop, yarn over and pull through all loops)

Materials needed (with affiliate links):

I (5.25mm) crochet hook

Any worsted weight yarn. Red Heart yarns work well for stuffies, although I think this leftover yarn I used was Big Twist.

15mm safety eyes

Black embroidery thread or yarn (if you choose to do a mouth)

Yarn needle

Poly-fil

This pattern is worked “in-the-round”, and stitches are worked through both loops unless otherwise noted. 

Body:

ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 4: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Row 5: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (30 stitches)

Row 6: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (35 stitches)

Row 7: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 6 stitches, repeat from * around. (40 stitches)

Rows 8-27: Sc in each stitch around. (40 stitches)

Tie off, leaving open at the bottom.

Bottom:

ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 4: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Row 5: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (30 stitches)

Row 6: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 5 stitches, repeat from * around. (35 stitches)

Row 7: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 6 stitches, repeat from * around. (40 stitches)

Tie off

Arm Flaps:

Ch 11

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across, ch 1, turn. (10 stitches)

Row 2: Sc in each stitch across, ch 1, turn. (10 stitches)

Row 3: Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 6 stitches, dec in last 2 stitches, ch 1, turn. (8 stitches)

Row 4: Sc in each stitch across, ch 1, turn. (8 stitches)

Row 5: Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 4 stitches, dec in last 2 stitches, ch 1, turn. (6 stitches)

Row 6: Sc in each stitch across, ch 1, turn. (6 stitches)

Row 7: Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 2 stitches, dec in last 2 stitches, ch 1, turn. (4 stitches)

Row 8: Sc in each stitch across, ch 1, turn. (4 stitches)

Row 9: Dec in first 2 stitches, dec in last 2 stitches, ch 1, turn. (2 stitches)

Row 10: Sc in each stitch across, tie off. (2 stitches)

Attach eyes and stuff body with poly-fil. With the bottom facing you, sc around the bottom, sewing it onto the body.

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Position the arm flaps and sew onto the body using your yarn needle. You can lay the flaps down flat against the body, or pose them however you want.

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I hope you enjoy this pattern! If there are any mistakes, or something is unclear, please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know. Or message me on Facebook. If you create any ghosts of your own, be sure to post a photo on my Facebook page so I can see. I love seeing all of the things people are creating, and I’d love to see the different ways that people make these. Happy Halloween!

 

 

Jennifer’s Zucchini Bread

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I have never been a fan of zucchini, but I’ve always loved zucchini bread. When I was a kid, my mom used to make it for us all the time and we’d eat it as a snack after school. Fall always makes me think of zucchini bread because that’s when we’d usually have a lot of zucchinis coming from our garden. My mom had the best recipe, which she got from a little old lady who lived across the street from us when I was 4 years old. It was her family recipe, and it became our family recipe.

When my kids were little, my grandma would bring me huge zucchinis, and I would peel them (you don’t have to peel them, of course), grate them, and freeze it in 2 cup bags so I could make zucchini bread for my kids all winter. They loved it as much as I did.

Unfortunately, at some point I lost our recipe. Coincidentally, my mom and brother both lost it too. I tried many other recipes, but none of them were right. This year, I had my own garden for the first time, and I got a lot of zucchini out of there. So I set out to recreate that family recipe that we all loved. I used 2 other recipes as a base, and then added and changed things until I got it as close to our original as I could. I’m pretty happy with the results, and I wanted to share them with you.

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Ingredients
3 eggs
1 c vegetable oil
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 c grated zucchini
3 c flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1 T vanilla
1 T cinnamon
1 T nutmeg
1 T ginger
1 T lemon peel
1/2 t cream of tartar
*1/2 c water, if you’re using fresh zucchini. When you use frozen zucchini, it will be watery when you defrost it so there’s no need to add water. Also, add this at the very end, and adjust it for consistency.*
Directions
Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease 2 loaf pans.
With electric mixer, beat eggs, sugars, oil and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix in zucchini. At this point, if the batter is really thick, slowly add the water. It should be the consistency of brownie mix. Pour evenly into loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour, testing after 50 minutes.
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We eat ours warm with some butter melted on it, and it is sooo yummy. If you grate your zucchini with the peel, it will have nice color to it too.
Don’t like zucchini? You can substitute the zucchini for grated carrot if you’d like. I made a batch where I did 1 cup of zucchini and 1 cup of carrot, and it was really good.
Here are some other variations that I did:
Pumpkin-chocolate chip bread
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I substituted the oil for 1 can of pumpkin puree, then added 2 cups of mini chocolate chips instead of zucchini. This one was really good. I made a glaze with powdered sugar and milk to put on it, but it’s really good all on its own too.
Apple bread
Apple
For this one, I substituted the oil for unsweetened apple sauce, then added grated apple instead of zucchini. You could make a homemade caramel sauce to put on it, or do what I did and get some caramel topping that you use for ice cream. This one turned out alright, but it didn’t taste as much like apple as I wanted. I think next time I may use apple chunks in addition to the grated apple.
There are so many different things you can do with this recipe. You could even just make the bread without the zucchini because it has so much flavor in it. If you come up with any other variations, drop me a comment and let me know. Or head on over to my Facebook page and share a photo with me.

Letter Board Fun

A couple of weeks ago, I was wandering through the craft aisles at Walmart, and I spotted this letter board for $9.97.

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I have a white board with erasable markers on my bedroom door where I write down lists of things that each person in the house needs to get done. I have an owl-shaped chalkboard on the wall by my bed where I write inspirational quotes. I have a chalkboard/organizer by the front door for us to leave notes for each other. And I have a big chalkboard/organizer on the wall by the fridge for us to write down things we need to pick up at the store. So really, I didn’t need this letter board. But….but….I don’t actually have any letter boards and it could be kind of fun to write things on it too. And hey, it was only 10 bucks. So I tossed it in my cart, brought it home, and threw it on my ever-growing pile of stuff in the living room that I eventually plan to do something with.

I’ve been babysitting one of my grandbabies while my daughter works now, which means Monday through Friday from 4am until 3 or 4pm, I’ve got an 11-month-old attached to me. He makes it tough to crochet anything because he thinks yarn is all meant for him to play with, and let’s face it, babies can be pretty boring. So last week while I was sitting there in the living room watching Moana for the ten-millionth time (that day), I grabbed the letter board and sat there and pulled all of the letters out, then wrote some random, generic quote on it. I hung it temporarily on the living room wall, but it was sooooo boring-looking.

I started browsing Amazon, looking for some funner letters to use on it, and added a few things to my wish list. I thought maybe I’d paint the boring white border and make it match my bedroom. I even considered just painting the letters that came with it, but I realized the paint probably wouldn’t stick to any of it. During an unrelated trip to Joann’s with my youngest daughter, we found these awesome 2 inch letters.

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They have them in other colors, like light pink, dark pink, red, gold, silver, black, and white, but the teal was perfect for my bedroom. I bought them. I went back later and also picked up some 2 inch silver letters, and some 1 inch pink ones, but these teal ones are my favorite.

Then at work last weekend, I have another idea. Instead of painting the border, I decided washi tape would be the best option. It’s quick, easy and comes in so many different colors and sizes. I picked up this great turquoise pack at Michaels after work.

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I really didn’t need this much tape, but really, can you have too much washi tape? I only used the glitter and the polka-dot tape, and now I have more for some other project. So here’s my finished letter board:

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I absolutely love it, and it matches my bedroom so well. Now, I just have to find some wall space to hang it…..

Have you spruced up any cheap products that you’ve found? I love seeing what people do to make simple things look fancier. Head on over to my Facebook page and share a photo with me.

 

Elliot the Monster

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This is Elliot. He refuses to accept the fact that winter is over. The flowers are blooming, but he just keeps on making snowmen.

I have a series of these monsters that I’m going to be posting over the next few weeks. This post has the patterns for Elliot’s accessories. You can find the pattern for the monster on this other post. And don’t forget to check out Camp Happy Heart Fibre Arts on Facebook to see the awesome monsters she makes that inspired these patterns.

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The fun thing about these monsters is that you can make individual ones like I did, or you could just make one monster, then make all of the different accessories so your monster can play dress up. I have a total of 9 monsters that I’m working on, so expect to see a lot more accessories coming in the future. For now, here’s the patterns for Elliot’s accessories:

Abbreviations:

ch: chain

sc: single crochet

 

sl st: slip stitch

dc: double crochet

hdc: half double crochet

fphdc: front post half double crochet

bphdc: back post half double crochet

inc: increase (2 single crochets in one loop)

dec: decrease (pull yarn through loop, pull yarn through second loop, yarn over and pull through all loops)

Winter Hat

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Materials needed (with affiliate links):

H (5mm) crochet hook

Caron Simply Soft Party in Silver Sparkle (You can use a different color if you’d like, but this is the color I chose for him because I loved the colors in the sparkle)

Yarn needle

Snowflake button (optional)

Hat

Ch 50, attach with a sl st to first chain to form a ring.

Row 1: Hdc around, sl st to first hdc. (50 stitches)

Rows 2-3: Ch 2, fphdc, bphdc around. Sl st to top of ch 2. (50 stitches)

Rows 4-12: Ch 3, dc around, sl st to top of ch 3. (50 stitches) Tie off at the end of the 12th row (or you can make it bigger if you want extra slouch on the hat), leaving a long tail. Using your yarn needle and the tail you left, weave the thread in and out of the loops in the top. Pull it tight, then stitch through a few times to tighten it more. I don’t have any pictures of this step from this hat, but I do have these pictures from another hat that I made.

Use thread or yarn to attach a button if you’d like. I picked up some simple snowflake buttons from Walmart, but here’s a pretty set on Amazon that I’m planning to purchase. There are others in their drop-down menu that I want to order as well.

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Boots

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Materials needed (with affiliate links):

H (5mm) crochet hook

Caron Simply Soft yarn in black and grey.

Snowflake buttons (optional)

Boot

Using black yarn, ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 4: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Row 5: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (30 stitches)

Row 6: Switch to white. *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Row 7: Sc in each stitch around. (25 stitches)

Row 8: 7 sc, dec, dec, dec, dec, dec, 8 sc. (20 stitches)

Row 9: 5 sc, dec, dec, dec, dec, dec, 5 sc. (15 stitches)

Rows 10-17: Sc in each stitch around. (15 stitches) Tie off. Using thread or yarn, attach snowflake buttons if desired.

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Mittens

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Materials needed (with affiliate links):

H (5mm) crochet hook

Caron Simply Soft yarn in blackberry

Poly-fil

Mitten

ch 3. Sl st to first ch to create circle. (Instead, you can perform the “magic circle” if you’d like.)

Row 1: ch 1, 10 sc inside of circle. (10 stitches)

Row 2: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next stitch , repeat from * around. (15 stitches)

Row 3: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, repeat from * around. (20 stitches)

Row 4: *Inc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (25 stitches)

Rows 5-8: Sc in each stitch around. (25 stitches)

Row 9: Sc in first 3 stitches, ch 2, skip next 2 stitches, sc in last 20 stitches. (23 stitches, 2 chains)

Row 10: *Dec in first 2 stitches, sc in next 3 stitches, repeat from * around. (Work 2 sc’s in ch 2 space) (20 stitches)

Rows 11-12: Sc in each stitch around. (20 stitches)

Rows 13-14: Ch 2, fphdc, bphdc around. Sl st to top of ch 2. (20 stitches) Tie off.

Thumb

Row 1: Attach yarn into space, work 6 sc’s around, sl st to first sc.

Row 2: Dec around to close. Tie off.

I used a little bit of poly-fil in each thumb to help it keep the shape.

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Scarf

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Materials needed (with affiliate links):

H (5mm) crochet hook

Caron Simply Soft yarn in lavender blue

Ch 7

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across, ch 1, turn. (6 stitches)

Rows 2-120: Sc across, ch 1, turn. Tie off at the end of row 120. You can adjust the length of your scarf by doing more or less rows. Attach fringe at the ends.

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Snowmen

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I used this snowman pattern that I posted last year to make the snowmen for Elliot. With the pink one, I used 1.5mm crochet hook, Aunt Lydia’s crochet thread, and 6mm safety eyes, For the blue one, I used a 2mm crochet hook, Bernat Handricrafter thread, and 10 mm safety eyes.

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Don’t forget, you can also make Gunther and his accessories:

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The patterns for his accessories can be found on this post.

I hope you enjoy these patterns! If there are any mistakes, or something is unclear, please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know. Or message me on Facebook. If you create any monsters of your own, be sure to post a photo on my Facebook page so I can see. I love seeing all of the things people are creating, and I’d love to see the different variations that people make of these. And don’t forget to check out Camp Happy Heart Fibre Arts on Facebook to see all of the other wonderful creations she’s made.