Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Easy Winter Hat with Flower

Hello Friends,

It's been a few days since I've posted. So, this is long overdue. All I can say is that I really need to get a hold of time and slow it down. The days go by too quickly :)

We live in the Houston area and the weather has been bitter cold and really nice almost at the same time. It seems like winter always creeps up on me. I hadn't really thought about warmer accessories for my girls until we were walking out the door one day this past week and YIKES! was it cold. Where did the nice days go? Anyway, I knew I needed to do something about. 

I haven't been crocheting lately. Not because I didn't want to, but because I'm trying to get better at knitting. I'm working on a sweater for my oldest and it's taking forever. I'm one of those instant gratification types. It has been a lesson in patience. I'm almost done with it though. I'm working on the sleeves :) I'm keeping my fingers crossed that both sleeves end up the same length. LOL

Anyway, I digress. I decided I wanted to whip up a couple of beanies for my girls that were functional and cute. Crochet beanies are pretty simple and easy to make. Plus, you don't have to do much to make a plain one cute. 

Here's what I came up with. I raided my stash of yarn (which is sadly shrinking) and decided on a dark teal super wash wool from Debbie Bliss. I wanted wool for the warmth and natural fiber content, but super wash because, well frankly, kids get dirty and I wanted to be able to throw it in the wash. I always lay flat to dry but machine washable is always a plus.

Here is my disclaimer: This really isn't a tutorial and I'm not a pattern writer AT ALL. So, I'm just going to give you the gist of what I did to make this beanie and you (who I am sure are more competent than I) will have no problem taking this idea and making it your own.

Supplies List:
1 skein medium/worsted weight yarn
size I crochet hook
scrap yarn for flower
button (If desired, for smaller children this can be a choking hazard)

dc = double crochet
hdc = half double crochet
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
yo = yarn over
sl st = slip stitch

When crocheting a hat, I always start by chaining two or three depending on whether I'm using double crochet stitch or hdc or sc. For this hat, I used a dc so I started by chaining 3, then yarn over (yo) and insert the hook into the first chain, dc, yo, dc, yo, etc until I had 12 dc in the first chain stitch. Slip stitch to join. That is your 1st round. Pull center yarn to tighten round and get rid of the hole in the center. Chain 2. Now you are probably thinking, shouldn't I chain 3 for dc. Well, yes, I guess you should, but I usually just do 2 because when I do 3 it leaves a hole and I don't like that so I do 2. You do what you want. It's your hat :)

For the second row, I dc 2x in each stich around, slip stitch to join, chain 2 and start my next row.

Row three, I follow a pattern of 2dc, then 1dc, then 2dc, and so on until the end. sl st to join. chain 2

For row four, I 2dc, 1dc, 1dc, 2dc around until the end, sl st to join and chain 2.

Row 5 I repeated row 4.

Now depending on what size you want to make your hat, I usually measure my kids head and make it to fit with a little stretch for growing room. This hat was made to fit my youngest whose head is 19" around. I keep a tape measure handy to measure each round as I start to get close to the diameter I need. If I need more rounds I progressively do fewer 2dc's and more 1dc's in each stitch to make it larger evenly around. Once I reach the desired diameter, I just do 1dc in each stitch until it's as deep as I need it to be. This hat has 14 rows of dc stitches.

To make it a little cuter, I decided to do a simple scalloped around the edge of the hat. I sl st in the first stitch, skip 1 stitch, dc 5x's in the next stitch, skip 1 stitch, slip stitch to next stitch, skip 1 stitch, dc 5x's in the next stitch. Repeat this pattern all the way around until you get to the end and slip stitch to join. Tie off and weave in your ends. That's it for the hat. Easy Peasy :)

For the flower, I chain 3 like I did for the hat, but I did 7 hdc's and then slip stitched to join them together. I chained 4, yo 3x;s insert hook into first stitch and quadruple crochet. Do this 3x's, then chain 4 and slip stitch to join in the same stitch. Then slip stitch in the next stitch, chain 4, yo 3x's quadruple crochet, chain 4, sl st to join. Continue this pattern all the way around. You should end up with 6 petals. This makes the smaller flower. You can do one layer if it's for a baby or you just want one or you can use the same idea and make a larger one by starting with dc's instead of hdc's, chaining 6 and yo 5x's. I like to leave my ends long on my flowers so I can use the extra yarn to sew them together, sew on the button and onto the hat. Then I weave in the ends and trim.

I hope this sounds as simple as it really is because once you get the basic format down you can make all sorts of variations.

If you want to mak this for someone else and don't have size measurements, I like to use to following website for sizing references: http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/size-chart.html

If you have any questions, feel free to post them and I'll answer as best as I can.

Hope you like the hat :)


Friday, January 18, 2013

Glasses vs. Contacts

This has been a busy week. TGIF! I am so ready for the weekend. I feel like I've been going at full speed and haven't had time to slow down. I'm ready to relax a little bit. Well, I'll relax after I clean the house, do the laundry, and work on my closet some more. A mom's work is never done :)

Yesterday I went to the eye doctor. I know there's technical term for them, but my head hurts and I don't want to look it up. Anyway... I went to the eye doctor and had my routine exam done. It's been over two years and I was shocked at how much prices have increased since then. Yikes! Praise the Lord for vision insurance and a health savings account.

I've always worn glasses. I've gotten contacts a few times over the years, but I have an astigmatism and the contacts have always bothered me. They weren't comfortable and I could feel them in my eyes. It felt like they scraped the inside of my eyelids every time I blinked. Not fun. So I would wear them on special occasions and wear my glasses the rest of the time. I always felt that this was a waste of money.

In thinking about getting my eyes checked, I was debating on whether or not to get a contacts exam. It was extra money for the exam. Would I really wear them? It was extra money for the contacts. I really wanted to give them another try though so I went for it. Oh my goodness! What a difference a few years makes. I put in the contacts and I couldn't even feel them. I thought it was great, but felt that time would make a difference and there's no way I would want to wear them for a full day. I've had them in since this morning and I still can't feel them and my eyes aren't all dry and itchy like they used to be when I would wear them. I know this is only day two, but seriously, I would totally be taking them out by this time of the day and wearing my glasses. I hated Toric lenses before, but these are great. I'm not sure what brand they are, but I think they've made me a contacts wearer. When I go back next week for my follow up appointment, I will definitely order them.

It's funny, I've been going on and on about how comfortable they are to my husband that he is wishing he got a contacts exam too so he could try them. He also says that he needs to get used to me wearing them because I look different. I asked if that was a bad thing. He said no, I don't look bad, just different. I'm not sure if I should be offended or not. LOL

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Paper Bag Puppets

I like to do crafts with my girls, but sometimes I get over zealous. I mean, they are only three and four. The crafts can't be too hard or complicated. I thought paper bag puppets would be perfect. It was a great activity to do with the girls. It kept them occupied for over an hour! Then we had a puppet show. So cute. They also made some books with construction paper and plain white paper and drew pictures of animals in them. A great way to spend an afternoon when it's too wet to be outside.

Of course the activity wouldn't be complete without them fighting over something. See photo #2 :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Hunger Games - My Favorite Book Right Now

I'm an avid reader. I LOVE to read. I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't. Some of my earliest and fondest memories as a child involve reading. I remember reading to my dad from a book called The Little White House when I was five. I would sit on a stool in his hobby room and read while he built model airplanes.

I remember wanting to be Anne of Green Gables, or Sue Barton, Nurse (I can see people saying "who is that?" LOL). I love the romantic world of Jane Austin and couldn't wait for my own Mr. Darcy to come along. As a shy teenager, books became my friends. They took me places I never dreamed of going. Romance, adventure, mystery, I loved them all.

I fought getting a Nook or Kindle for the longest time because I loved the feel of the pages and sound of an opening book. New books smell so good too :) My husband got me one a couple of Christmases ago. I love the convenience of electronic books, but I miss real books. In today's electronic laden society, I fear that my girls won't have the same love for books that I have. I'm trying, but when all you hear is "I want to watch Dora and Diego", it can get a little discouraging. (Just to clarify, I'm not against Dora or Diego)

It's funny, my husband loves to read as well, but we don't normally read the same types of books. He's more of a Tom Clancy type of guy. Well, I think I've got him hooked on The Hunger Games series. I didn't think he'd read it. Our mistake was watching the movie first. I did not get it. I felt terrible after I watched the movie. I mean, really, a movie about kids killing each other for sport? It was Survivor gone bad. It disturbed me so much that I didn't sleep that night. I just kept thinking about it. I kept asking myself questions. Why do people think this is such a good movie or that the books are so great? I put it on my Facebook page how much it disturbed me and was told to read the books. I had been trying to check them out from the library, but they were never there and it would be months before I could get them. I didn't want to buy them since I thought they were geared toward teenagers and I wasn't sure if I would like them. Finally, I decided to just do it. I bought the first book.

Well, I did like them. I was hooked. I couldn't put it down. Once I was done with the first, I bought the second and the third as well. I read them thru and then thru again. I finally got why they are so popular. I finally got what they were trying to say. Then I bought the movie and watched it again. I could tell that my husband wasn't too happy I bought the movie. He really didn't like it at all. I could tell he was thinking I was getting obsessed or something. I watched it and then I watched the commentary. Watching the commentary was like turning on a light bulb. It finally made sense. Why the story is so disturbing. Why they filmed the movie the way they did.

I really wanted to discuss this book with someone, but I didn't know anyone who had read them that was close that I could have a conversation with about it. Besides, I felt a little silly. I mean, they are supposed to be for teens and I'm much older than that. So, I told my husband to read them. He was reading something else and said he'd do it later. I really didn't think he'd ever read it.

I was working late one evening and came home to find him watching the movie. I was shocked! My husband, who I felt hated that movie, was watching The Hunger Games! He said he was reading it and wanted to watch the movie again to see how accurate it was or something. I was so shocked I really can't remember what he said.

So far, he's finished the first and is halfway thru the second. This is big because my husband is the world's slowest reader ever. Not that he can't read fast, he just doesn't rush thru books like I do. I often rush thru a book so I know what happens and then re-read it slowly so I get all the details I missed. Weird, I know, but with electronic books you really can't skip around :) Such a bummer.

Anyway, I know I'm a little late jumping on the I Like The Hunger Games bandwagon, but I glad I can finally talk about the books with my husband and he knows what I'm talking about. It's so hard to not reveal too much though. I don't want to give anything away.

All that said, I cannot wait until November of this year. Anybody out there going to wait in line for the first showing of Catching Fire when it comes out? I don't know if I'll be first in line or anything, but I'll definitely be going to see it.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Blog Look and Oganization Sympathy

I just started this blog and I'm trying to think of what I want it to look like. I can easily visualize what I want, but making that a reality is often not within my capabilities. I know that the easiest route would be to hire someone to do this, but I just don't have that in the budget right now. So, over the next few weeks there will be some changes to the look of this blog. I'm working on adding pictures and a custom heading and all sorts of things. I'm sure this will always be a work in progress, but so is life and change can be a good thing, right?

Well, on to other things...

One of my new years resolutions is to organize my home. Currently we are living in a very small 2 bedroom apartment. Moving from a 4 bedroom house with a garage to a 2 bedroom apartment has been a big adjustment and I'm still adjusting. I really didn't think we had that much stuff until we tried to cram it into a place that is less than half the size of where we were before. The loss of a garage has been the biggest problem. My husband likes to make things and has a lot of tools for woodworking. Before we moved, he sold many of his tools to thin things out. So, while we did get rid of a lot of our stuff that we didn't need before we moved across country we still had too much stuff.

When we first moved in I organized and stacked and put things away that I didn't need, but I wasn't really thinking of the future when I would need that box of craft supplies that I put on the bottom of the stack of boxes in the back of my closet. So what I thought was a neatly organized closet is now a big jumbled up mess of stuff that doesn't have a place and is in my way. What can I do? I almost don't want to tackle it because it gives me a headache just thinking about it. I cannot ignore it though. If I let it go, it will just get worse and I don't think I want to deal with worse.

Want to see my mess? Sure you do because when your hubby complains that the house is a mess all you have to do is show him this picture and say, "well at least it's not as bad as this". See, I'm helping you. You should thank me. LOL

Here it is.

We will call this the "before" picture. Bet you're wondering where the
"after" picture is? There is no "after" yet. I'm still working on it, but I will post some as soon as I get this project done. You can pity me now that you have see the work that I have ahead of me :)

Thanks for stopping by!
Bonnie :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pre-K Activities

Happy Monday Everyone!

Life has been crazy for my family for that last few months and things are starting to finally settle down and get back into a routine (of sorts). Thank God! I like routine and so do my girls. They can be terrors when their routine is off.

One of the things I've been trying to do is more preschool activities for my girls. I've always done things with them, but nothing organized. They went to preschool so I figured they were learning what they needed for their age range. (Delusional, I know) They only went two days a week and I wanted them to play the other days. Well, I really wasn't thinking about organized play. Then my husband and I decided to try preschool at home. We were debating on whether to homeschool or not when they got old enough. I wasn't crazy about the idea, but decided to give it a try since it was only preschool and it wasn't like I was holding them back or anything if it was a total fail.

It was a great idea on paper. It was a total failure in reality. There were a lot of factors contributing to it's failure, but ultimately it was me. I wanted everything to be perfect and since it wasn't turning out that way I gave up. Add in there two moves in 3 months of each other (one across states) and the setting wasn't ideal. All our books were packed. I couldn't find anything I needed. I was frustrated and aggravated.

Well, one of my New Year's resolutions was to start our preschool activities back up. It's nothing fancy, but I'm taking it slow and we will do this. Today is our official start day. How's it going you ask? We are still working on getting dressed, but we will prevail. Sickness made for some late risers, myself included. It's an easy day. Just some letter and number practice and a craft. Shouldn't be too hard, right? We will see.

Here's where I got my ideas for today:
http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/category/letter-c-theme we are making the cat faces

Hope you have a great Monday!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Welcome to BrewsterVille

Happy New Year!!

Wow!  It was 2012 and now it's 2013. One of my new year's resolutions is to have a blog. Not just have one, but to update it 2-3 times a week. So, here I am on January 2nd and this is my first post. Yeah, I know a day late to start it off on the 1st, but I'm sick so I'll cut myself some slack :)

Welcome to BrewsterVille. I wasn't sure what to call my blog because I didn't want to limit myself to just one thing. Hence the title "BrewsterVille". This will be a place to do crafty things, to organize your home, to save money, to get fit, and whatever else I think of to include. There will also be the occasional mommy brag on my two little girls and family updates for our family and friends who want to know what is going on in our lives. I would like to welcome you all to our little world.

Let's get started!

How did you ring in the new year? I'll admit, I'm not much of a party person. I do like to dress up and go out every once in a while, but with two little ones that doesn't happen very often. So, I didn't stay up and dance the night away at some swanky restaurant with my hubby while a babysitter watched my girls. Gee, that would have been nice though :) Since my husband was working and I'm fighting a cold, the girls and I watched a movie with some Kraft Mac N Cheese and apple juice. I even put them to bed at their normal time because, well frankly, I just wanted to go to bed. I was feeling pretty miserable. Yesterday was better and I felt (somewhat) like cooking our traditional January 1st dinner that must include black-eyed peas and collard greens. I'm really hoping they work this year. Yeah, I know it's just superstitious, but it's tradition.

I always make New Year's Resolutions and this year is no different. I have a whole list of them and subcategories for each. Some of my categories are spiritual, health/fitness, organization, finance, craft/hobby, personal and wife/mother. Throughout the year, I'll go more in-depth on some of these.

I've decided to start with a look at two craft projects I'm starting this month. The first is a knit sweater for my daughter, Abigail. I know it would be easier and quicker to just buy one, but I really want to knit a person-sized sweater. My second project is a crib quilt for a friend. This should be fairly quick and not too hard. I'm not much of a quilter, but I'm planning to make two twin sized quilts for my daughters next and I need some practice. I'll post some pictures of these projects as they progress.

Well, that's it for today.