Thursday, June 26, 2014

hats and booties for Nigeria

the sewing group I'm in sends newborn hats and booties to The Eku Hospital in Nigeria.  these are the patterns that I like to use:
Booties pattern by Paula Daniele from Crochet Hooks You.  these are pretty simple to do, and they look great.  she does her double crochet 2 together different, but I'm sure any way will do fine.
I can't seem to find the exact hat pattern I use from memory, but it could be that the pattern in my head is a mixture of a bunch of different hats I've made!

round 1:  make a magic circle, ch 2 (counts as 1st dc), dc 9 times into loop, sl st into top of ch 2 to join, pull tail tight to close hole (10 sts)
round 2:  ch 2, dc into same st, 2dc into each st around, sl st into top of ch 2 to join (20 sts)
round 3:  ch 2, dc into same st, *dc into next st, 2 dc into next st, repeat from * to end, sl st into top of ch 2 to join (30 sts)
round 4:  ch 2, dc into same st, *dc into next two sts, 2 dc into next st, repeat from * to end, sl st into top of ch 2 to join (40 sts)
round 5:  ch 2, dc into each st around, sl st into top of ch 2 to join (40 sts)
repeat round 5 until desired length is reached (I did 7" to have enough for a cuff), fasten off, and weave in ends.

I've attached buttons, flowers, and bows to the hats I've made, but they can definitely stay plain and still be cute.  I also use different yarns and hook sizes, so depending on what I use I check this chart to see if the sizing is good.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Father's Day gifts

I saw these gun mugs online a while ago, and just happened to remember them while I was thinking of gift ideas for Father's Day this year.
luckily, Bass Pro had them in-store, conveniently at the entrance.  since we didn't have to search the store for them, the boys and I took a ride in the elevator to check out the fish and turtles, and stand by the big dead bear.
I used the boxes the mugs came in as a basket, filled the mugs with jelly beans, and added beef jerky and ammo.
this is the kind of gift basket box that I wouldn't mind getting myself!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

10 years

Matt and I went to Ireland for our 10th wedding anniversary.  it's hard to believe it's been 10 years, but it also feels about right.  what's more difficult to wrap my head around is I'm no longer a 20-something.  I think that's more of a "what?!" for me than how long we've been married.
when I look at our wedding photos I always think we look so young.  I think that's because we were ;)  I was about a week shy of 20.
I think the first 5 years were the hardest - definitely seemed like the longest - but we got over ourselves and got serious about having kids (I was the foot-dragger) and it's just sorta zipped by since then.
On our way!
anyway, back to our trip.  we flew to Boston, grabbed some seafood (I don't remember the name of the place but I got a lobster roll that was very fresh), and dessert from Mike's Pastry (Boston Cream pie... Matt liked it, but I thought it could use more chocolate), then flew to Dublin - longest. freakin'. day.
Dunboyne Castle
our first castle was Dunboyne Castle.  the castle was mostly a big room (that we weren't allowed to go into), and the rest of the hotel was added on around it, so it was more like a swanky hotel than a castle-castle, but the garden area with walking paths were really pretty.  we grabbed dinner at a really good place in town called The Mint Leaf and then crashed in our room.
Glenlo Abbey
View out from our window
Glenlo Abbey was our 2nd stop.  this one looked more like what I was expecting, but still felt like a modern hotel because of the add on, but the view from our back window was pretty cool.
Matt at the Guinness gates
we went to the Guinness Storehouse, then rode a horse drawn carriage around the block.  I think the kids driving weren't much older than 10-12 tops!  they maneuvered the tiny crowded roads very well, though.
Oak Cellar Bar

I think something I liked most about the trip was going down to the castle's pubs and eating dinner.
Kayak Polo
we went to Galway City Museum and then walked around the shops for a little while.  we stopped to watch some Kayak Polo that was going on in Eglington Canal.  locals and tourists were stopping in and sitting in the grass to watch the playoffs - it was pretty cool.
Craigboy "beach"
Matt wanted to find a beach to walk on, so we drove on some tiny, winding roads and found some water, a bunch of rocks and a small patch of grey sand.  Matt waded in the freezing water and I climbed the rocks looking for shells and small rocks.
Lough Eske
I think our 3rd castle, Lough Eske, was my favorite.  I liked their room best and the garden outside our door was lovely.
lots of pretty flowers, some varieties I've never seen.  Matt picked a pom-pom looking flower for me that was pretty much growing everywhere there.  it was in peoples yards and just growing wild along the roads.
Slieve League Cliffs
we went to Slieve League and climbed up the mountain.  I wasn't really expecting to like that, but in spite of the biting wind, I had a good time.  it was very beautiful.
Fintra Bay
on our way back from the cliffs, we stopped at an actual beach, Fintra Bay.  Matt said the water was pretty cold there, too - crazy weirdo!  they had these huge jagged rocks in the middle of the beach that were encrusted with clams and other stuff.  it was very interesting to look at.
when we left Lough Eske we found a lake hidden in the trees within walking distance of the castle that we could have gone to see earlier, oh well.  we got some quick pictures on our way out.
Cabra Castle
Cabra Castle was very cool.  it had a Victorian feel to it - I felt like we were staying in one of the historical homes we tour in Galveston.  we were on the 3rd floor overlooking the West Wing, and it was all stairs to our room.
they have two giant horse-dogs that roam around downstairs and on the golf course.  one of them is very friendly and will stop and let you pet him.  I almost got him to follow us around the golf course, but it was like he knew where he was supposed to stay.
Ames Boston Hotel
we flew to Boston on my birthday and stayed overnight at the Ames, got some dinner (we'd been craving pizza, but it was so hard to find for some reason) and dessert (Mike's Pastry again - German Chocolate Cake - so good!).  the next morning we walked around in the rain and did a little shopping for the boys, and then flew home.
I'm so glad God blessed me with the perfect man for me - I'm looking forward to our next big anniversary, and the days when the time before we were together seems so short compared to how long we've been in love.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

painted tote

the boys helped me paint a canvas tote to give to Nana for Mother's Day.  they loved making it, and it was fun to do with them.  Leo was so cute while we were making the flowers, too.  after each fingerprint he'd say "it's so pretty!"
we did fingerprint flowers and footprint butterflies on one side, and I wrote their names and ages underneath their heels.  I used two paint colors together on each fingerprint to give the flowers more interest, which is easiest to see on the orange/red one in this pic, but it really made the bluebonnets pop.
I wanted to duplicate the same scene on the other side, but the boys ran out of steam so we just did some handprints on the two front pockets surrounded by a few flowers, and I doodled the rest to fill in some.  I really want to make myself one, so maybe I can get around to that before they get too big!