12.29.2011

Crochet Patterns from Inner Hooker

 
There is something about the cold weather that makes me break out the yarn stash.  That's probably the case for most of you right?  There is something cozy about being cozy inside with a ball of yarn creating something soft and warm to wear.  My favorite thing to make is hats.  Mostly because I find them fast to make and get to put them on the little ones right away so it's almost instant gratification.  My kiddos are still young enough to actually WANT to wear the things I make ;)  This year I really wanted to get myself a stash of baby sized hats to build my prop stash.  Being my first year in business I could use all the help I can get building an arsenal of cute things to use on a budget!  So of course DIY it is!!! Luckily, that's kind of my specialty. 


 

I was a bit bored with the patterns I had on hand.  Plus they were all for knitting (which I love, but am COMPLETELY slow at!).  Crochet (for me) is much faster and I found some really adorable patterns at Inner Hooker on Etsy.  They are completely addicting.  For me, these two in particular had me hooked (LOL, corny pun not intended, but I'll take it).


 

Above and below is the Long Tail Stoking Cap.   I love it because the length of the tail is completely customizable.  The stripes are as well (and optional if you prefer a solid color of course!).  I happen to love stripes!!! The pom or tassel on the end is also optional (and not included in the pattern).


 

I found Inner Hooker when searching for a scallop edge beanie pattern.  So glad I did!  The Scallop Beanie is  one of the shops original patterns, but I think it's a classic!  And so super easy to whip up.  I love that you can customize the colors to accent the scallop. 


 

The pattern comes with directions for making and adding a flower, but you could also add a silk flower or (as I did below) a ribbon and large bow!


 

Sorry for the terrible pic quality on that one!  Can you tell I'm playing with a new toy? ;)
I should also mention that I in no way consider myself a master crocheter.  These patterns were so easy to follow all it took was a little google to refresh my memory of some stitches and away I went!  So don't be intimidated if you have never made a hat before, or aren't an experienced hooker.

I also picked up a few more patterns that I cant' wait to dive into! The top yarn of that first pic I picked up specifically for the Teddy Bear Ear Flap pattern.  The yarn has some flecks in it that I think will make the teddy bear look a bit vintage. (there is a fox pattern too!!!!)


Image from Inner Hooker shop

And while we are talking woodland animals..... I think this little bunny is to die for!

again, image from shop

If your not into hats (or babies LOL) you can still find something fabulous.  Like this bag!

image from shop




Random thoughts on doing it all..... and the New Year

I'm not a resolution person.  Partially because there seems to be such thoughts of failure attached to them.  Everyone talks about broken resolutions and "next year" they will make it happen! We set resolutions and give ourselves permission to fail at them before the year has even started.  So I've never been a resolution person.  In fact, I have never been great at goal setting either.  Which is something I hope to change this year.  That kind of sounds like a resolution doesn't it, LOL.  Well what ever it is, I am setting a goal, making a plan, putting it out there..... this year I will make goals, and I will reach them. 

Did you go to see "New Years Eve" the movie yet?  I must say, I absolutely L-O-V-E-D it! I was apprehensive because there are so many huge stars in it, I thought it would be a bust, but it was soooo worth it.  I can't wait for it to hit DVD so I can see it again.  Great feel good movie to start your new year off. 


Any big plans for New Years Eve?  I will be headed to be on time as I have a photo shoot the next day, okay, maybe I will attempt to stay up late enough to watch the ball drop on TV.  I wish I could say that New Years Eve was a big night out for us.  Actually, I wish I could say it was EVER a big night out.  I have been to one fabulous New Years party in my life, I was 16 (I think) and a friend's mom, who was a party planner, had a huge bash at their house.  Each room was a different theme and done all out, it was amazing.  Maybe that needs to go on my bucket list (if I ever make one)..... attend fabulous new years eve party!

So for Christmas this year I requested a few things that would make my life easier.  Help me "do it all" if you will.  I'm excited about the new techy mommy toys that will help me keep up on this blog and share my projects a bit easier. Also keep up on taking snapshots of my own kiddos and share them easily with friends and families.  Even a new toy to help me connect to it all wireless.  If you guys are interested I can go into more details on all the tools that keep on top of things while managing three small kiddos and running a business. 

12.26.2011

Recovering

We are all having fun playing with new toys and gifts while recovering from all the holiday bustle. I adore this wig Santa brought Nadia how fun!

I would love to hear what you got (good bad or ugly lol).

12.19.2011

Sephora Gift Card Giveaway!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gift Card Weekend for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

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I will be the first to say that I did the MAJORITY of my holiday shopping through Sephora online!  I LOVE their products.  I got amazing fragrances, gorgeous makeup kits, shaving kits for the guys, quality candle sets for the grandmas, and even seriously cute Hello Kitty combs for my nieces!  So I'm very excited to be able to tell you how you can win a $20 gift card to Sephora!

sephora_logo.jpg

It'a all part of Gift Card Weekend.  All you need to do is like Gift Card Weeked on Facebook, then fill out the entry form on their sidebar menu.  If you choose to Share with your friends that you've Liked them, you gain extra entries into the giveaway for each "like" you influence!   The Saphora cards are being given away daily between December 19-23rd.  But be sure to check the page often as there are lots of other great things being given away too (all month long!).

So WHAT IS Gift Card Weekend?  Some popular (and fun) retailers have gotten together to boost your gift giving power.  When you purchase a gift card during the holiday season, the person who recieves that gift card can get even better deals when they redeem their card during Gift Card Weekend (January 6th-8th, 2012)!  Want to know who's participating?  Of course you do! 

-JCPenny
-Regal Cinema
-Subway
-Sephora
-Applebee's
-Bass Pro Shops
-Adidas
-Buca di Beppo
-Lowe's
-Spa Finder
-Marriot
-Giant Eagle

There is somewhere for everyone on your list right?!  Suddenly there is a little more thought behind giving that gift card ;) Head over to FB and like them today!

Visit Sponsor's Site

12.16.2011

BE PRODUCTIVE!

That was meant to be yelled more at myself than you ;)  Today.... I will choose something I've pinned and actually MAKE IT HAPPEN!


Now what board to choose from, probably going to start with the "try this" board!  Off to be productive :)  I will share what I chose and how it turned out soon!

P.S. Don't forget to enter the PS actions October collection giveaway

Alex Beadon Actions Giveaway

You've heard me talk about photoshop actions before.....

If you haven't, they are like little autopilot bits of goodness that take your images from drab to fab in seconds with very little effort from you! (well, as long as you have a GOOD action! there are lots of options out there)

Actions are a nice way to create consistency when editing your photos (if you don't yet have your own editing style).  I know most of you who read this blog aren't pros (although some of you are!), your moms who love to take pictures!  Some of you are even serious amateurs.  If you are a photoshop CS user, your going to LOVE Alex Beadon.  She's so my style!

She has some gorgeous before and afters on her site, but I wanted to show you a couple of my own using nothing more than the actions.  The images have not been touch by any other tool than the Alex Beadon actions.  I also made sure to use snapshots that I took on auto to further prove that you don't need a fancy image to get stunning results when you use these!   It was a chilly day out, so although Alex's actions are stunning on warm, cozy images, they look great on cooler weather images as well!

This first image (below the video) was done exactly as her "how to" video shows you.  It's a must watch (even if you don't have the actions, but warning, it will make you want them......BAD!).  



 Edited as video (without Maracas as this is a cool weather image) using actions from the October collection (which is what we are giving away today!).  No other editing was done to this images (notice the cookie on his face! LOL).



Below, edited with Sweet and Dreamy (from the November collection) as well as an edge darkening using the Contours action from October collection.


Clearly these are a distinct style.  You may not care for the vintage effect, I love it! All actions are completely adjustable so you can play up (or down) any aspect you choose.   Below again is the Sweet and Dreamy.


So many times I end up dumping my snapshots into my computer and not doing any more with them because it takes such a n effort to "edit".  But that's because I'm looking at them as I look at my paid sessions, I've come to realize that snapshots can be quickly brought to life with actions I love and I don't need to do a full edit on them, actions have it all worked in there and make my snapshots enjoyable to me!

Want to see another one of Alex's amazing edits?  Check out this video!



So much fun! She inspires me to want to play more with color!

Alright, now that your all drooling, let's have a GIVEAWAY!  One lucky reader will receive the entire October collection of actions from Alex Beadon Photography!

To enter:
 Leave a comment (Be sure your email address is either visible on your profile or leave it in your comment!)

For additional entries:
Twitter it, Facebook it, Blog about it... How ever you choose to spread the word about this giveaway, just leave me a link (or your twitter name) in a separate comment for each way you spread the word!

"Like" Alex Beadon Photography on FB!  Leave a seperate comment that you did!

Giveaway ends December 21st. Winner will be chosen at random and contacted by email.  Good luck!!!!

12.15.2011

TV Wall Mount from Wayfair

I mentioned I picked up a flat panel TV during a crazy Black Friday sale.  It's our first flat TV and I was excited to get it up on the wall.  There are a lot of options for TV mounts and Wayfair.com carries a TON of them!  So that's where I went when I was looking for mine.  Here is the one I picked up (which was shipped out to me in near record time!).

It has a solid constriction and was super easy to put up! It's a universal mount which means it will fit any TV between 26 and 42 inches.  It holds up to 125 pounds which is WAY more than my tv.  It also tilts 15 degrees if you need it to.  I really just wanted to get the TV up on the wall with a fairly slim mount so that I could do something like these inspiration images.



Source: houzz.com via Barbara on Pinterest


I love how the bottom two use store bought (probably thrifted) large frames and don't worry about custom building one to fit the TV perfectly. I think I will go with that option and switch my frame and frame color up with the season or holiday!  Like a orange one for Halloween time and a red one for Christmas.  Have fun with it!

Next time your looking to compare a lot of items in one place, check out Wayfair.  I've ordered from them several times (they used to be CSN stores) and have always been very happy with my experience! 

12.14.2011

Happy Holiday Fun

A good friend of mine (and fabulous hostess of Chapel by the Spring) sent the most fun little greeting this morning, I just had to share it with you. It's free if you have someone you would like to make smile today!  All the images were pulled off of FB so I'm sure you can do it too!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

12.12.2011

My holiday wish list?

I can be a hard person to shop for.  Not that people don't see things all the time that scream Taylor!, but I tend to be someone who buys the things they want when they want them..... I've always had a hard time WAITING for things LOL.  Galoshes asked me to put together a wishlist so she can bang out some last minute holiday shopping so I thought it would be fun to share the things I'm wishing for with you all.  For no better reason in that I know it's hard to write your wish lists when people ask for them, it's like how you can never find anything you love when you have money, but when your broke it seems the stores are packed with things you can't live without.  I know that's not just me!  So here goes, not everything is feasible for ME necessarily on my list (ahem, smartphone!), but they are all things I would love to see under my holiday tree!

1. If I could only have one gift for the entire year (I mean, I would throw in birthdays for this baby) it would be an iphone.  I'm not even sure it has to be an iphone.... can you use instagram on an android smart phone?  Anything that takes decent pictures and would allow me to easily post them to the internet.  My pocket camera recently died so I no longer have a camera I can always have on me, and I'm pretty sure an iphone would make keeping up on my blogging 1000 times easier!  Like that awesome thing my husband just made me I've been meaning to share with you all!  But that means getting out my big camera, shooting, loading, editing down to size for web...... You get what I'm saying, a smart phone would be instant photo, instagram, post, done!  Maybe that monthly fee isn't sounding so outrageous anymore LOL.


The rest of my list is in no particular order....

2. Protective case for my tablet.  I don't have a fancy tablet, it's an inexpensive generic beginners tablet that I'm completely fine with!  It's 7 inches and the perfect size for what I need right now.  BUT that means it's hard to find a case to fit it in and the one it came with isn't super durable.  Amazon is carrying cases for 7 inch tablets, I kinda need one.  There was an amazing pink one.... but it's no longer available.  Though I don't think the husband would love the pink one and he has been playing with the tablet lately too.

3. I'm pretty sure I would have as much fun decorating this little house as my daughter would playing with it!
That is just s screen shot, you can't really mouse over to zoom from here, sorry ;)

4.  I think this may be the cutest way to bake a cake ever!
5. This alarm clock has been on my amazon wish list for YEARS.  It gradually increases light waking you up naturally.  I always find I wake up in a better mood and more alert, when I think it's daylight out. 


6. Lighted mirror.  I have no real bathroom vanity right now and the lighting at my desk/makeup area is terrible.  I use two mirrors to bounce the light from a lamp onto my face, it's awful.  I know Target carries some nice options.  This one from Amazon is pretty. 
7. Pink ear buds.  I have a hard time getting ear buds to stay in, small ear canals or something? So I like the ones that have the wrap around the ear things, technical term ;) , like these from amazon (can you tell I'm an amazon shopper?  If only they would start taking Paypal!

8. Arthur on DVD, because it's HILARIOUS!  I may even want the darth vador mask LOL.

9. Kindle gift card so that I can get the Twilight books! Yes, I'm late in the game, I have seen all the movies but not ready any of the books.... yet! I think you can get kindle gift cards in the electronic section at wal-mart, so if your looking for a gift for that kindle (or tablet) owner in your life, it's easier to find than you may think!
Again, screen shot, you can not look inside unless you go to amazon's website.

10. I'm in pretty desperate need of a better way to organize my makeup.  I have it in drawers right now so some drawer organizers might be nice, maybe?  Here are some I like (not necessarily the in drawer kind, but fun!).


that one would fit in my drawers! found here


I saw this table on pinterest from Ikea and pinned it a while back, I have no room for it right now, but love it!


11.  nuf said
12. I'm pretty sure the iphone would be cheaper than this, but I still love it!

13. Photoshop shortcuts, how fun!

14. So many great notepads.  This self help (anger management?) one is one of my favorites for sure!
Really, that whole website if filled with must haves!

15.These bowls.  Love them! 

 I'm a big gimmic/gadget girl, can you tell? LOL. Did I inspire your wish list? What are you wishing for?  I'd love to hear, maybe you could help me add to my list.

Screen Recorder Software

Winner!

We have a Shabby Apple Dress winner........

Congratulations
Staci said...
I like them on FB. Thanks!

12.07.2011

You know your clueless, get out of the tie section and put down that gift card!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Parker Pens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

We all have the "impossible to shop for" person on our holiday shopping list.  The person who has everything.  I usually end up giving those people a nick nack that I know goes with their home or a baked good, but when it's someone you have to buy for year after year even that gets old.  We've all heard "not anothe neck tie!" which in my family is kind of funny because I think the men own maybe 2 ties and rotate them between weddings and funerals.  Pretty blue collar here ;)  BUT one thing I think everyone needs (and can appreciate) is a good pen!

That video is so true.  How many of you are walking around with trendy designer bags and wallets, great sunglasses, and CHEAP PENS!  Too funny.

Pens may not be a big deal in your home, but in our house there is always the quest for that perfect pen.  My mom is the worst, she buys pens like candy trying to find the right one.  So I'm excited to find out about Parker Pens.  Did I lose you?  Some of you are like "Taylor! Why are you talking about pens!" Seriously, a good pen is a big deal, hear me out!  You know that person on your list needs to write things down, I mean our phones may be great, but nothing beats pen and paper!

Photos of Parker Pen

Um, I want to borrow a pen from THAT guy! 

If you watched the video above, you may have caught what makes Parker Pens different.  Let me re-cap on that:

  • Three pens in one- the beauty of a fountain pen (seriously, who won't feel just a little special writing with that  tip?), smoothness of a rollerball, and the ease of a ball point. 

They look cool! The Parker Ingenuity collection is as beautiful as it is functional.  With lots of designs to choose from, there is one for that hard to shop for person!

B005SA4WCO-PageReview-112811.jpg

 

Plus they come in a beautiful box, ready to give!

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Trendy enough for even that nephew you've been struggling over, you know the one that is attached to his smartphone and knows more about technology that you know about...... well, what ever you know a lot about!   Don't go with another gift card, get him something that will last!

Even I'm dying to get one of these bad boys for myself.  Lucky for me, Parker Pen has 2 upcoming Twitter parties where you can win some amazing prizes such as pens that are valued up to $200! Like Parker on Facebook to keep up on the details! 

I think the pen would help me look more professional at client consultations, why would you want to win one?

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

WINNER Lily Giggle Patterns

We have a winner for the Lily Giggle Pattern set!  Congratulations Theresa who said:


BOAmommy said...
I could make everyone of the items for my nieces! I do like that cute Cloche the most I think. ~Theresa Klemm

12.03.2011

Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway!


 After all this holiday shopping for everyone else I'm thrilled to give you the chance to win yourself a little something pretty to wear! Shabby Apple is an online boutique specializing in woman's dresses. Their style is sort of vintage fabulous! There is a lot more than just dresses on their site, and even things for young and teen girls, but today we are focusing on dresses because I'm giving away this.....!


It's the Ballerina dress.  I love the flow of it and it's knit so I imagine super comfortable! Wear it to your New Years Eve party, or maybe a wedding! What ever you wear it to, you'll look fabulous.  Want to win it???

Giveaway!
To enter- "Like" Shabby Apple on Facebook. Then comment on this post that you did!

The facebook entry is mandatory.  Once you've done that, you can enter for a second chance to win by telling me where you would wear the dress! 

Giveaway ends December 10th at midnight central time.  Good luck!

DIY Scandinavian Tree Tutorial

I could not be more excited to share this project with you!!!! To be honest, this was one of those projects that as I was buying the materials, wondered if I could actually pull it off.  But I did and now I'm giddy with holiday joy to share it with you.

How it came about..... Everything starts on Pinterest these days right?  This project certainly did.  I fell in love with this tree (click on images for sources)-


I searched high and low, scoured the internet, looked at real tree varieties (as the one above is obviously real) but couldn't find a real one with a slim enough trunk or a fake one that was sparse enough.  So I knew if I was going to make it happen, I would have to do it myself! And I did, in about an hour!!!


Here are a few more cute, sparse trees to inspire you before we get started.....

This one (above) I actually pinned for the base.  It's a store bought and expensive way to hide the tree stand, BUT flip a thrift store basket upside down, cut out the bottom and you've got it!!!! If I find a basket large enough, I'm going to be doing this for my base.


This one's in a trash can! So fun.  I picked up a trash can like this for my deck at True Value Hardware, they had them in a variety of sizes for a good price.

On to the tutorial!!! I decided the easiest way to share was part photos, part video.  I'm extremely video shy, so not made for TV ;)

What you need-

At my local True Value I picked up-
4 foot piece of rebar (it's a medal rod made to go inside concrete) Mine is 1/2 inch
Roll of brown plastic tape
2x2 length of wood for base
2 Screws (optional)

On hand I had some 9 gauge wire.  But you could probably get that at True Value too! You will also need wired garland, which can be found in any Christmas decor section of your favorite store.



Tools needed-
Saw and small chisel to cut base and notch together
Drill and bit (the same size as your rebar)
Gloves
Wire cutter

With your wire cutter, cut your garland into sections for each level of the tree.  I wanted my tree to have about 5 levels and three branches per level.  The bottom two levels of my tree are the same length and the next two are the same as each other. This is what I cut-
6 branches at 17"
6 branches at 12"
3 branches at 7"
1 branch at 14" (for the top)

Now that you have your branches you need a tree to secure them to.  Cut the 2x2 into two 24 inch pieces (a skill saw is handy for this!) Then put a 1 inch notch in the center of each piece so that they fit together to form a flat X base.  You may need to use a small chisel along with your saw to make this notch.  We used a skill saw, cut some 1 inch slots down into the board, then chiseled them out.  Once your base is flat, you may choose to secure it by screwing at a diagonal (so that both boards are caught by your screw) from opposite sides. Drill a hole in the center to fit your rebar.


Now that your base is secure, cur your 9 gauge wire into various lengths (around 2 feet) and wrap around your rebar to create each level.  You will want to wear gloves for this part.  The rebar is textured so wrapping the wire tight is enough to secure it in place. You can also spiral between your levels to help everything stay put.  We used two sections of wire for each level, one to make two branch supports and the second one to make the third branch support and spiral up to the next level.


Photo is of the first (bottom) level  It doesn't have to be pretty.  We are going to wrap it in tape and cover it in our garland.  For the rest of the tree I thought it was easiest to video so you can actually see the technique in motion.  Not that there was anything difficult going on, just easier to show this way.  Directions for the rest of the steps are written into the video.

video

The final tree!

From start to finish this project took about one hour with my husband and I both working together.  For one person I would say under 2 hours.  There wasn't any part that could not have been done alone, just faster with someone to help ;)  Happy Holidays!