Christmas in July, Forest Fires, Family

Christmas in July… what comes to mind? Not Christmas, right? For me, its just the year is half over and the heat  does not help in preparation for holiday shows. Not sure right now , but once the weather calms down, and schools are back in session, holiday prep will begin.

Christmas in July gives you ideas for holiday projects, for those that plan ahead their handmade crafts. I look at Christmas in July and my mind swirls every time I open my email and see 50 projects I want to make. Close the laptop and get back to work.

Christmas in July is coming to an end, back to school begins in just a month, if not sooner and the weather begins to change. The days become shorter, the trees change color. Retail stores are discounting their summer wares and goods and bringing in holiday items. Halloween is popping up everywhere. Too soon? Red Heart Yarn has come out with a Joyful Home lookbook with 38 project to knit and crochet. Click on the link and it will take you to the page where you can peruse the projects.

Joyful Home, Red Heart

 

Gone are the bright neon colors, in come the fall rustic shades people will be wearing: hunter green, mustard yellow, steel gray, cornflower blue. These fall colors represent the colors of the firestorms that are happening all over California, and other western states. You hear stories of people barely getting out of their house without much of a warning, and then suddenly it becomes personal.

Pantone’s colors for Fall 2018;  photo courtesy of Pantone.com

 

My brother and sister in law live in Redding, and unfortunately, their house was not spared. They lost everything. They got out, with their kitty with very little. After 5 days, they returned to see what was left of their home. As my brother said to me “it sucks, but what do you do”. You start over, with nothing but you, your family, friends, the kindness of strangers.

Our sister, Terri, started a GoFundMe page to help them get a few necessities. It’s her way of helping out, as she said to me “I feel helpless, I don’t know what to do”. Click on the link, and you can read all about it, see the photos of what was their home. Many people are in the same predicament as my brother, over 500 homes lost in just this fire.

https://www.gofundme.com/help-mark-amp-kris-rebuild-after-fire?viewupdates=1&rcid=r01-153305226174-27653ed050c242b6&utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email&utm_content=cta_button&utm_campaign=upd_n

What am I doing to help out beside made a monetary donation? I am busily working on an afghan for them. Its my way of helping. Something handmade that will comfort them. It will be bright, full of colors, and big enough to cover a queen size bed.

Gizmo “supervising” the project

 

It’s ironic that this firestorm happened the week our father’s estate was finally closed. My brother packed up family belongings and shipped them to us right before the fires broke out. Maybe something in the boxes will bring a little bit of home to them. Will see….

 

 

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Shark Week, All Things Toothy But With No Bite

Shark Week is upon us. Well, actually Discovery Channel has expanded its annual event to 2 weeks this year —which is always in July, the height of vacation season and when sharks come out to hunt, er,  play in the waters. Here you will discover fun projects to knit and crochet all things sharks.

With many species of toothy sharks on the planet, fiberistas have taken it in their hands to create softer and more cuddly versions of aquatic  sharks. The internet has exploded with patterns of all shapes and sizes from little ball shaped to very large sharks. Here are a few samples of sharks that I have crocheted. If interested, you can purchase the patterns on Etsy and each photo tells you the designer name.

I have crocheted each of these sharks, all are easy. Chum the shark is small, Shawn medium size and Sam the shark is large.

Shawn the Shark, etsy, Theresa Crochet Shop

 

Chum the Shark, etsy, Critterbeans the designer

 

 

Large Shark, pattern on etsy.com/daaveydreamer

 

Once you have the shark plushie done, you might want to move onto shark shaped bags. These are fun to make, and are a great conversation starter. I have crocheted this bag in 2 sizes, kid size and adult size. I lined the adult bag with fabric to make it sturdy.

Shark Bag, by The Cookie Snob, on Ravelry

 

The Shark Bag is also a fun, easy pattern to follow. Go Ravelry, where you will find the FREE pattern by Erin Sharp.  I banged this out in less than a day, pretty easy.

How about a shark hat? Not just for babies, kids of all ages can wear one too.

Shark Hat, Free Pattern

 

Repeat Crafter Me, is the designer of the shark hat. She has great detail with instructions, many photos, and many sizes. The link provided will lead you to the FREE  pattern on Ravelry. The photo here shows you 2 different size hats made from her pattern. I added a little fiberfill stuffing to the dorsal fin.

And let’s not forget about “Fluffy.”  Your cat may hate you, but it is good for a laugh.

      

(Sorry, no link available for these cat costumes.)

 

Then there are the slippers, slipper socks, sleep sack, shark can cozy, shark oven mitts. The possibilities are endless. What can you come up with?

        

 

 

Summer: Dog & Cat Days; Light Projects for Hot Summer Days

Dog Days Cat Days of Summer, Light Projects for Hot Summer Days

June Gloom, where did it go? The gloom has parted ways, as the fireworks raged on –elsewhere this week. Baggy and Gizmo are scattered on the bed, fans blowing on them, trying to keep cool. Southern California has been  HOT, even at the ocean –no foggy mornings these days. The weather channel reports its hotter in LA than it is in Phoenix, WOW, now that’s HOT! Welcome to summer.

So, how do you crochet and knit when the weather is hot? (Let me know.)
Besides crocheting animals, I try to craft shawls for the fall and winter shows, often deterred by the weather. Who really wants wool resting on their lap when its hot outside? Maybe I need to think about wool more in winter…

Instead of focusing on the heat, I thought I’d share Here are some fun, small projects to keep you motivated during these hot summer days. Made with scraps of yarn in your stash.

Fruits and Vegetables. These are fun, quick projects that can be crocheted in no time. Imagine the possibilities of fun food. No more dusting off plastic fruits and veggies, crochet and knit them. Teachers tell me they use fruits and veggies as color association for kids to learn colors, i.e. apple-red, banana-yellow. They can also be cat or dog toys, before closing the fruit or veggie, just add some dried catnip with the stuffing. Your kitty will love you for it.

 

bowl of assorted fruits

 

vegetables galore

 

Cookies, Ice Cream Cones, Donuts. Why not, right? These are great toys for kids to play with, filled with fiberfill stuffing, no calories, just fun food. Put in a large clear container, and the kids will think you got them sweets to munch on. The cookies paid patterns can be found on Craftsy. The ice cream scoop is my pattern, and the Donuts are a free pattern.

knit, crochet cookies
Ice Cream Scoop, YarnKat Pattern

 

 

 

 

 

crochet donuts

 

Flowers.  The possibilities are endless. Take a straw bag, accessorize it with flowers. Get French clips, sew flower onto clip, you have made a cute flower for your hair. Take a mini flower, attach to paperclip and you have a cute bookmark. Daisies, Roses, Sunflowers, Lilies, Pansies. From small to large; earrings & necklaces to belts; scarves too. Add a stem and you have created a lovely bouquet of flowers.

Photo found on Pinterest, go to Ravelry

 

Cactus. . Saguaro, Barrel, Agave, Star just to name a few, just place them in cute clay pots. Wouldn’t these be cute as pincushions? A fun conversation piece sitting on a table. These teeny tiny cacti patterns can be found on etsy, with the direct link to the seller MuffaMiniatures

What’s great about all of these items, you can use up scraps of yarn. No need to stop by the local store to pick up many yarns. Little bits of leftover yarn and in no time you will have a cornucopia of little projects.

So stay cool, keep hydrated, place the pets indoors with fresh water, and enjoy the little projects during the hot, summer days.

“too hot to sleep”