Tag Archives: family

Gifties: Black Kitty Hats

20 Dec

My cute little nieces live in Salem MA, and they have a black cat named Spooky. So of course I wanted to make them black kitty hats for Halloween!

I wanted the girls to have the hats by Halloween, but I started them later than I should have. To ensure that I could quickly make something at the correct size without any time-consuming experimentation, I used this Animal Winter Wear pattern by The Craft Frog because it’s geared specifically for toddlers and children. Also, for the ears, I was inspired by the ones found in this Crazy Cat Hat pattern by Brenda K. B. Anderson.

I should note that I have terrible luck with sizing hats. They rarely come out the size they should, even when I’m following a pattern for a specific size. I’ve tried making swatches to figure out the gauge, but I must be pretty terrible at gauges too because it doesn’t help. But because of time constraints, I think I talked myself in to believing that these would come out perfect the first time.

And here they are! They didn’t come out too badly. Sewing the ears was the toughest part, because I had to make sure they were sewn on symmetrical, and that the ear placement on the hats were relatively similar to each other.

To add a little pop of color to the hats, I crocheted and sewed on these little pink triangles.

It was only until after I finished up the hats that I decided it would be a good idea to test how big they came out, so I attempted to try one on.

Yikes. If its a little too big for a 30-year-old, it’s probably going to be *very* too big on a 3-year-old. Oh well, Halloween was right around the corner, so I sent the hats to my nieces anyways.

I don’t have pics of the girls in their hats, but I can assure you that they’re huge on them.

I love making stuff for my nieces, so they’re going to learn very quickly that “it’s the thought that counts.”


Gifties: Lotsa Love

19 Dec

Here are a few cute things I’ve crocheted for loved ones this year!

Love Cupcake for Kristen

This cupcake was part of a wedding shower gift for my lovely friend Kristen! She’s excellent at making fabulous baked goods, and I couldn’t resist making this little cutie to go with my baking-themed gift.

I used this Mini-Bite Cupcake pattern by Dena Stelly for the cupcake shape, and added a few of my own flourishes.

Since this was part of a wedding gift, I made these little hearts for the cupcake decoration. If this were a real cupcake, these hearts would be little candy conversation hearts, yum.

The little face! This is one of my first attempts at using yarn for the eyes instead of black safety eyes. I thought the black eyes wouldn’t show up as well, plus if this were a real cupcake, I envision the eyes as little daubs of vanilla frosting, yum.

Beet for Sara

My sis Sara loooooves vegetables, so I made her this little beet as a thank you gift!

I used this Beet pattern by NyanPon for the beet shape (I particularly love how the leaf was done!), and added a little face.

I added a loop of string to the top to turn it in to an ornament for her Christmas tree.

Sara shared this pic of the beet on her tree, chillin’ with some glass vegetable ornaments. This little guy sure found the perfect home!

Star Tree Topper for Shelley and Bob

My friends Shell and Bob moved in to a beautiful new home, and they wanted a cute star topper for their Christmas tree. I had to make sure it was large enough for their big, classic tree!

Luckily, I found this Star Stuffie pattern by April Draven, which proved to make the perfect size star for their tree, and I added a smirky smiley face.

I also added a little crochet band to the back of the star so it can stay in place on top of the tree. This lighting makes it look like this little guy has cellulite, haha! I’m not judging; pudgy is cute!

I have lots more to post, but I’m running behind because I’m in the throws of Holiday Crafting! But I hope to be with-it enough to post a little more this week. Til then!

Gifties: Spring Hats for Lulu and Rosie

1 May

My cool little nieces like to dress up, so I made them little, brimmed hats for the spring. I followed the Cheri Hat pattern, and I made the flowers by following this Flower pattern. And I used Sugar’n Cream yarn so the hats are light-weight and hold their shape.

This one’s violet, for Lucille Violette (Lulu).

And this one’s rose, for Rose Madeleine (Rosie).

A close-up of one of the flowers.

It’s hard to get the full effect of the hats unless you have a cute little model showing them off. Luckily, Lulu and Rosie’s mum took some pics and shared them with me!

Lulu’s going to be FOUR this summer (can you believe it??). She loves to draw, swim, and play with her friends at school. She also likes to build blocks, do puzzles, and have dance parties with Auntie Chrissy and Uncle Tim. She’s such a sweetheart! Photo (c) Liz Frazier

Rosie’s two and a half years old now! She also loves to draw and color, and she’s got some amazingly smooth dance moves. She’s very giggly and adventurous, and she looks up to her big sis to learn new things. And I hear she never leaves the house without a pair of sunglasses. So cute! Photo (c) Liz Frazier

I really like how the hats and the flowers came out. And I can already tell I’ll be using this flower pattern for future projects, it’s so simple and cool-looking. I hope the little ladies enjoy their hats!

Wedding Part Four: DJs on the Dance Floor

9 Sep

Another way Tim and I wanted to personalize our wedding was to have our favorite tunes during the wedding bash! We both love music, and our tastes include tunes from different eras; so we thought our musical choices not only reflected our unique tastes, but also lent a sort of “timeless” quality that worked well with the old-time-y museum we got married in. Current meets classic, like getting married in 2011 among cool old machinery from the early 1900’s!

We especially wanted to share some of the really special-to-us songs with our guests, so we included this little section on the back of the wedding program.

Coming up with the playlist for the evening was really fun! It was also challenging in that we knew the acoustics weren’t going to be great in the giant museum, so there was some stuff that would just sound terrible (I had originally been entertaining the idea of using this song as our Processional music and this song, sans the intro, as our Entrance music. Also, we couldn’t play anything remotely jangle-y. Sorry Josef K! Sorry MBV!)

To help save on money, we also decided to DJ and emcee ourselves. We’re so lucky that our wedding party was up for helping us out with this! Bill (audio guru) helped us set up the equipment, and Sherwin co-emcee’d with Tim. We had lots of help DJ-ing as well. Hooray for awesome friends!!

DJs behind-the-scene. Sorry for drawing arrows all over your pic, Mary! (c) Mary McCarthy-Gardiner

Tim during "The Humpty Dance". Check out the emcee mic a'flyin'! (c) Liz Frazier

We were also excited to have my brother/Bridesman John close out the evening with a techno dance party!!

Oh Daddy DJ, please take me to the party... (c) Christine Spiliakos

We had so much music in our arsenal and we were having so much fun that the end of the evening crept up on us, and we didn’t get a chance to play everything! Maybe I’ll make a “Best of Tunes You Never Heard” playlist, haha!

So even though we were psyched to share our fave tunes all evening, it wasn’t all roses. The equipment we rented ended up being… well, shitty. We took a chance on Daddy’s Junky Music on Mass Ave. Hey, it was local and the price was right. Well when we went to pick up the equipment that morning, they didn’t give us the stuff we asked for. Tim ordered specific speakers, but even though he reserved them, they “didn’t have them” that day. And the mixer they gave us only had one clean channel. So obviously no one there checked the equipment before giving it to us. Jerks. So unfortunately it was a little hard to hear the music at some points, and to hear announcements on the mic. I’m sure the acoustics of the room had a lot to do with it too, but dude, when you can’t understand what the two guys who studied Voice and Articulation at college are saying, it’s not just the acoustics! So yeah, Daddy’s stinks. I keep meaning to write them an angry review or something, grrr!!

Because no one could hear him on the mic, Tim had to go to each table to let our guests know they could go up and get food. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

The food was worth that little extra work though. So yummy! Thanks Katie at Clementine Cuisine! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

We still had lots of fun though!! If you’re curious about some of the tunes we played, you can click on the images below to hear ’em!

Processional: Mambo Sun by T. Rex. The Bridal Party and I entered from outside, walked down this ramp, and continued down the rest of the make-shift aisle. My parents were waiting at the end of the ramp, where I met up with them and they walked me down the rest of the way. (c) Forrest Frazier

Recessional: Till the End of the Day by the Kinks. Well, at least it was supposed to be! But due to last-minute changes, it actually kicked off Cocktail Hour.

Entrance song: (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures by The Rezillos. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

First Dance: This Magic Moment by Lou Reed. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Father/Daughter Dance: Isn’t She Lovely by The Idea of North. I love the Stevie Wonder version from when I was a kid so I was thinking about it for our dance, and turns out my Dad was thinking the same thing! But he found this cool funky acapella version. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Mother/Son Dance: My Mother’s Eyes by Frankie Valli. I think this is one of the nicest Mother/Son dance songs. Way to go Tim and Dyanne! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography.

And if you want to take a gander at our entire play list for the evening, we’re up on Hi-Fi Weddings!! This is such a great site. There are tons of wedding blogs out there, and it’s extremely overwhelming when you’re trying to plan a wedding. And a lot of it’s trite, repetitive, and impersonal. So it’s very refreshing to see a wedding-related resource that emphasizes personalizing your wedding through your music choices. Plus they’ve got some great song recommendations to get you inspired! (As soon as I saw the first three songs on this page, I knew I was in love.)

And here are some more snaps for you to enjoy!

Dancing with fabulous friend/officiant Erin! (c) Alex Garrido

Hug it out! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Dance it out! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

One of my fave pics of the evening! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Oh look, Corey Hart stopped by! (c) Mary McCarthy-Gardiner

Thanks for folding programs and tying ribbons on all those cookies, Gwen. Now I command you to DANCE! (c) Dyanne Gardiner

I see a man at the back, as a matter of fact, his eyes are red as the sun... (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

...And a girl in the corner, let no one ignore her, 'cause she thinks she's the passionate one... (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

OH, YEAH! (My least favorite picture of me, but my most favorite time that night.) (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Heehee, this makes me so happy! Stomp it out, Dave! Shake those hips, Dad! (c) Molly King-Smith

And this is just awesome. Sorry Paul! (c) Mary McCarthy-Gardiner

**UPDATE: I forgot to mention, my bro-in-law Forrest recommended that we check out the program djay to help us rock out our jams. We don’t know much about DJ-ing for real, but Tim and I really dug this program! If you’re without pro DJ equipment and/or experience, I recommend it.**

All right guys, there’s only one more post after this: Part Five: Outta Time!

And if you missed it, here’s the previous post: Part Three: Sew Crazy!

Wedding Part One: Hand-Made, Heartfelt, & Hitched!

6 Sep

Dudes, I got married! This is why I’ve been too busy to post in a regular manner, ‘cuz I was busy making stuff for the Big Day!

It's official: we're legit in the eyes of the law. (c) Forrest Frazier

Before I get in to the fun hand-made stuff, lemme share a bit about our day. Tim and I tied the knot at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation, on the exact date of our 10th anniversary. We wanted this day’s meaningfulness to be reflected in everything we did, and we also wanted to include our loved ones in on it too. So our day ended up being the loving result of a group effort: My buddy Karissa agreed to make my dress, and as a surprise she even made a matching purse! My sister Sara did my hair and make up. My sister Amelia made the hair flowers for the bridesmaids. My mom gave me my vintage Weiss Black Diamonds necklace and matching brooch. A design friend made our guest book. Tim and I DJ’ed. We also did the flower arrangements with Sara and my mother-in-law. And so many loved ones offered their help before, during, and after the wedding. We had some pros helping us too: Lisa Rigby Photography did the official (and gorgeous) photography, and Clementine Cuisine provided the phenomenal catering and cake.

Purse and necklace. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Look at how GOOD my hair looks! Sara did the color as well as the style. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Back of the dress with the brooch. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

All of my siblings were in my bridal party: Sara and Amelia were my Bridesmaids, my sister Liz was my Maid of Honor (who was also a VERY patient listener and advice-giver!), and my brother John was not only my Bridesman, but he also closed out the evening with a techno dance party play list (his specialty!). Tim is an only child, but his best pal/“brother” Alex joined him as his Best Man, and his close buds Bill, Dave, and Sherwin joined him as his Groomsmen. Instead of place cards, the groomsmen escorted all of our guests to their tables. Also, Bill helped with the audio set up and DJ’ing, and Sherwin co-emcee’ed with Tim and helped DJ as well.

So not only is our wedding party pretty, but they’re talented and helpful to boot! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

To make our wedding even more personal, Tim and I got each other gifts that we could wear on our wedding day.

Tim got me a beautiful hair fascinator that went perfectly with my dress. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

I got him old-timey diver helmet cufflinks (he scuba dives)... (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

...and a Black Watch tartan pocket square to represent his family and symbolize his grandparents, who weren't able to make it to the wedding. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Now for some hand-made goodies! Since it was at a museum, we didn’t really have to decorate, so we just focused on a few big pieces:

For our invitation, we made a book about how we met, how we started dating, and our engagement story. Here's the book cover! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

We both wrote it, and I designed and illustrated it, and set it up to print. We printed and trimmed 'em all at our house. And some friends and I hand-bound them.This is one of my favorite interior spreads. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

But we had to send out Save the Dates first! I designed and illustrated these postcards.

We wrote our wedding program, and I designed, illustrated, and printed it. Tim, along with our fabulous upstairs neighbors, helped fold them. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

You can see the back cover in this lovely photo of Mary! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

For our favors, Tim baked his famous chocolate chip cookies (He made over 300 of them!), and I designed, illustrated, and printed labels for them. A co-worker loved what we were doing and offered to bake a vegan version of the cookies for our vegan guests. Nicole, you rule! And know who also rules? Our upstairs neighbors again, for stuffing delicious cookies in to bags, tying ribbons at the top, and sticking labels on them. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Since we were getting married in an old-timey museum, Tim thought it would be cool if we named all the tables after 19th-century inventors! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

So after extensive research and carefully crafting our inventors list, I hand-made each sign with my trusty Micron pen and colored pencils. (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Then I scanned in each illustration, and used them to design the bio cards for each inventor. I took this close-up to show you an example; looks like we kind of forgot what a thesaurus was when we wrote this one, ha!

We wanted our signature cocktail to be old-timey-inspired (since we were in an old-timey museum), and also fun, unique, and delicious. After much research, the Monkey Gland was the obvious choice! If you're 21 or older, try it at home: one part gin (London Dry Gin recommended), one part orange juice, a dash of absinthe, and a dash of raspberry syrup (though grenadine is traditionally used; also, I think our bartender nixed the raspberry syrup, boo). I hand-made this sign with a Micron pen and colored pencils as well. I re-created this set-up my kitchen, mmmmmmmmm.

Also, here’s a snazzy card box. Yowza! (c) Lisa Rigby Photography

And some thank you cards, of course! I took this shot late on the night I realized that I wouldn't have time to do three card designs like I originally planned. Booooo.

We did all of this in a few months. Even though I was getting a little insane working on wedding stuff till 3-4am then working at an extremely busy full-time job all day, I love that I got to marry a rad dude, on our 10th anniversary, surrounded by loved ones, and that I got to make some fun stuff that made our special day even more special.

Gooey gooey gee! (c) Liz Frazier

Stay tuned for Part Two: Close-Up of the Book Invitation!

Gifties: Easter Eggs!

11 Apr

I wanted to make something for my baby nieces for Easter, so I decided to crochet them each a little Easter egg! I found this pattern on Ravelry and thought it was really cute: http://owlishly.typepad.com/owlishly/huevitos-amigurumi-easter-egg-pattern-free.html I used a size F crochet hook and bits of left over Sugar’n Cream yarn. To make the eyes baby-safe, I made little yarn knots instead of using buttons. My little eggies didn’t come out nearly as perfect as the ones in the pattern, but I’m still getting the hang of crocheting in the round and stuffing crocheted creations!

Tim snapped a pic of these cuties before they went to their new home!

My sis Liz ended up taking some really nice close-ups of them for me. Now that they’re preserved in time, the kiddies can have at them!

Rosie's egg!

Lulu's egg!

I think I used pieces of "Pinky Stripes" and "Strawberry" for Rosie's, and "Playtime" and "Daisy" for Lulu's.

Gifties: Baby Blanket for Rose Madeleine

29 Dec

The first thing that I knit was a hooded baby blanket for my first niece Lulu. When I found out my second niece was on her way, I decided to knit her a blanket too. I used the same pattern (I really like it! Here’s the pattern: Hooded Baby Blanket), but instead of doing a garter stitch and crocheting the border like the first one, I followed the pattern’s suggestions and did a stockinette stitch and a “broken rib” knitted border (which didn’t come out like the picture, I think because I had an even amount of stitches so things didn’t line up right… but I like how it came out, the purls were alternating).

I knit this pretty loosely, and I think that's why the blanket came out a little big. But that just means she'll grow in to it, right? 😀 I used a US 8 circular needle, and Red Heart Ltd. Eco-Ways yarn in Lichen and Bark. I would have preferred a warmer and more luxurious yarn for the winter months, but I fell in love in love with these colors! And this yarn's machine washable, which is a must!

Here's a pic of one-month-old Rosie snugging up in her new blankie. She's such a cutie!! Thanks to my sis Liz for taking this pic!