A mouse bed…

Crochet mouse in mint tin bedI hope your Christmas was a good one… full of everything joyful, merry and bright.

There’s not much happening here right now, we’re still very much in holiday mode… but I thought I’d just pop by and share this sweet little buttercup mouse and her cozy new bed!

Crochet mouse in mint tin bedShe’s happily tucked up in her mint tin bed, it’s perfect for naps (or maybe for taking on adventures – inside pockets).Crochet mouse in mint tin bedGood night! xCrochet mouse in mint tin bed

A break away and some Christmas pillowcases

In the midst of the busy (or should that be silly?) season, we have decided to take a pause and make the most of the beautiful weather we are currently experiencing by spending a few days away at the beach…

At the beachCarter at the beachBeaching = happy kids!

Maia at the beachMy feet at the beachYes those are my toes. You’re welcome!

Ill post some more photos when we are home in a couple of days, but what I wanted to share today are these Christmas pillowcases I whipped up this morning – I’m embarrassed to admit they’ve been in my to-do pile for the last three weeks.

DIY DIY Christmas pillowcasesThere was really no reason to put them off; pillowcases are super quick to sew, requiring little prep and only three seams (and some over sewing so the edges don’t fray).Carters Christmas PillowcaseJust use another pillowcase for a template – there’s really nothing to them! Christmas pillowcase Maia 2 If you’re quick there’s still time to make pillowcases for some kiddos you know… in fact, I think my husband would quite like one made for him too! They are a lot of fun… and are certainly good for encouraging children, who are excited about Christmas nearly being here, to get into bed!Christmas pillowcase Maia 3I’ll leave you with a final photo taken from the top of Mt Maunganui this morning.  Paradise! Bay of Plenty from Mt MaunganuiI hope you are enjoying the lead up to Christmas, and are finding some time to relax? Love to all! Janette xox

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Despite the weather being almost unbearably hot….

Christmas centerpieceIt is indeed beginning to look a lot like Christmas!Christmas centerpiece 2From the Christmassy centerpiece on our table… Christmas crafts for kidsChristmas crafts for kidsTo the Christmas crafting that’s been going on. There are obviously going to be a lot of reindeer at the inn this year. Here’s hoping they don’t eat too much?Carter painting his reindeerCarter’s ended up with lightning bolts on both sides (he’ll need these for extra speed apparently).

Crochet christmas decorationsThe tree has been up for a couple of weeks, and the remainder of the decorations are now up too. These crochet decorations I made last two(!) years ago needed a few bead replacements, and are now good as new…Crochet christmas decorationsI’ve also started making a starry crochet garland, I’ll share the star pattern as soon as Ive made a few more. I’m loving my smaller hook and crochet yarns now I’ve become accustomed to using them.

Christmas muffinsAnd if you are looking for the perfect little Christmas muffin, give these a try. Sweet and cinnamony… just the thing for Christmas, wherever you may be!

Christmas Muffins

  • 1 cup plain white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk

Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a whiz mix egg, butter, sour cream, and milk –  until well combined.  Add in flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and whiz just a little until the mixture is all combined (dont over process or you’ll end up with tough muffins!). Scoop batter into 10-12 paper lined muffin tins.  Stir together topping ingredients and sprinkle about a 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of the mixture onto each muffin. Bake at 200C for 15-20 minutes or until muffins are golden brown.

Make a cup of your favourite warm beverage, put your feet up and enjoy. How are your Christmas preparations coming along?  Is everything ready? Jxo

Crochet mouse tutorial and free pattern

Squeakers!

Crochet mouse free pattern 110Its finally here!!

How to make your own tiny, adorable crochet mouse… just in time for Christmas!

I found the best results with these mousies using 4ply sock yarn and a 2.5mm hook. I also made some with 3ply and a 2mm hook. I’ve yet to try this pattern with any heavier weight yarn, and I must admit I’m reluctant to, as I like the small size that the lighter weight yarn and small hook gives… I may well yet try one an even smaller mouse (squeakness… baby mice!)

These mice are about 6-7cm tall (2.5 inches) and are perfect for small hands. Holding….Crochet mouse free pattern 24and loving♥…crochet mouseor even adventuring…Crochet mouse free pattern tutorialThese cuties are made in four pieces- the body, with arms, legs and tail are crocheted all as one piece. Head and ears are crocheted separately and then sewn together. A clever little stitch called a 3 dc pop (or popcorn stitch) is used for hands and feet. It goes like this: Work 3 dc into third ch from hook, take hook out leaving loop, put hook through 1st dc & pull loop through. Hopefully the photos below will help this make sense!

Other stitches/abbreviations (all US crochet terms):

  • ss = slip stitch
  • sc = single crochet
  • dc = double crochet
  • st = stitch
  • ch = chain
  • Sc2tog = single crochet two together (decrease)

One other note, please use a marker to mark your rounds and keep track of where you are up to. And count your stitches at the end of each round. If you don’t, the arms and legs are less likely to match up.

I know some of you are going to go ahead and not use a marker. If you lose your place or end up a stitch or two out you can always eyeball it – just remember to make sure your legs are in the same stitch on the round as your arms (so they line up)!Crochet mouse free pattern tutorialLets begin….

First up we are going to make the body:
Round 1: Make a magic circle ch 1 and work 6 sc;

Crochet mouse free patternPull tight – 6 st.

Crochet mouse free pattern Round 2: 2 sc in each st around – 12 st.

Crochet mouse free patternRound 3: [2 sc in next st, sc in next st] repeat around – 18 st.

Crochet mouse free patternRound 4: Sc in each st around – 18 st.

Crochet mouse free patternRound 5: Sc in next 6 st, [arm: ss into next st, ch 6, Crochet mouse free pattern…3dc pop into 3rd ch from hook, Crochet mouse free pattern…ss into next 3 ch, ss back into original st], Crochet mouse free pattern…sc in next 6 st, [arm], sc in next 4 st – 18 st.

Crochet mouse free patternRound 6 – 11: Sc in each st around – 18 st.Crochet mouse free patternRound 12:  Sc in next 8 st. [leg: ss into next st, ch 8, Crochet mouse free pattern3dc pop into 3rd ch from hook, ss into next 5, ss back into original st],Crochet mouse free pattern sc in next 6 st, [leg], sc in next 2 st (18)Crochet mouse free patternRound 13: Sc2tog, sc in next st, ss into next st, [tail: ch 22, ss into second ch from hook and each st, back into original st] Crochet mouse free patternsc2tog, sc in next st, sc2tog, sc in next st, sc2tog, sc in next st, sc2tog (12) Crochet mouse free patternAt this point you are going to stuff your wee mousie… Crochet mouse free patternRound 14: Once you have stuffed it, sc 2tog until hole is closed. Fasten off leaving long end, sew in ends and securely close hole.

Head:
Round 1: Make a magic circle ch 1 and work 6 sc into mc – 6 st.
Round 2: 2 sc in each st around – 12 st.
Round 3: [2 sc in next st, sc in next st] repeat around – 18 st.
Round 4-5: Sc in each st around – 18 st.
Round 6: Sc2tog, sc in next 2x 4, Scin last 2 – 14 st.
Round 7: Sc2tog, sc in next st x4, Sc2tog – 9st. Stuff as much as possible.

Crochet mouse free pattern 18Round 8: Sc2tog, sc in next st x4, ss into next st and FO leaving a long end.Crochet mouse free patternSew head onto body…Crochet mouse free pattern 20

Ears:
Round 1: Magic circle, ch1 and 8 sc in circle. Pull tight, do not join. 2sc in each st around, ss into next st. Fasten off and leave long end… Crochet mouse free pattern 17Sew in ends, then sew ears to head.Crochet mouse free pattern 21Sew face in place… no real instructions here, just use your imagination. I like mousies with a pink nose and black 8ply yarn for the eyes and a tiny mouth. I tried a french knot for eyes but actually just like eyes which are a tiny stitch or two in the right spot. The face gives each one an individual personality 🙂Crochet mouse free pattern Crochet mouse free pattern 232Enjoy your new wee friend!

Crochet mouse and MaiaBut be careful… they’re addictive and before you know it they multiply… like… well… mice!Crochet mouse free pattern 25I hope you enjoy making these mousies as much as I do! If you do give them a try, Id love to see how they turn out so send me a pic. If you notice any errors in the pattern, please let me know!

Edit to add: Find a Christmas hat and scarf for your mousie here.

And you can find out how to make a cute mouse bed, here.

 

Rainbow band bracelets

I had seen these rubber band creations on the internet quite a bit recently, and just last week found some for sale at our local video store (I know, random). When I questioned the guy behind the counter about how you turn the little rubber bands into bracelets he informed me everything I needed was in the bag.

Except it wasn’t. In the bag were little rubber bands, and some catches to hold the completed bracelets together. That’s all. No tools. No instructions. No loom. Nada.

Anyhoo, Not to let that small problem get in the way, we used a little kiwi ingenuity and created a simple tool to make these very cool bracelets:

maia and rainbow bands

Maia has been happily creating these bracelets for everyone she knows… they are crafty, creative, and simple enough for a six year old to manage! Love ♥diy loom If you’ve seen these tiny bright colored bands around and want to give these bracelets a try, without spending loads of cash, here’s what you do:

Put two drawing pins into an eraser or other small object (like a block of wood maybe?). Twist the first band:Rainbow band chevron braceletThen add two more bands on top (only the first band is twisted, none of the others need to be):Rainbow band DIY Pull the bottom band over the top two (on both sides, one side first, then the other), add another band and repeat…Its easier to pull the bottom band over the top two if you use tweezers.Maia making rainbow bandsKeep going (add a band to the top, pull each side of the bottom band over the top two) until the bracelet is the right length, then pull the last bands over each other one at a time:Rainbow band DIY Our bands come with these nifty little joiners which act as a catch. So there was something useful in the bag 🙂 Fit the catch into the open ends, and you’re all done. If you don’t have a catch, you could just tie two bands together. Easy huh! Rainbow band chevron braceletHope you are having a happy weekend, it’s been very warm here – almost like summer. We’ve had a nice quiet weekend at home, I’ve spent a lot of time in the garden, which is starting to look lovely now Im getting on top of the weeds. What have you been up to? Have you (or your children) been making these bracelets? xo J

Spring

It seems like life to have picked up the pace a notch or three recently… here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to the past week or so.

Enjoying being outside:Spring in our yardMaking lots of these:Rainbow bands bracelets 3 maia and rainbow bandsWatching the bees hard at work:Bee in the borageCrocheting (starting a lot, finishing a little): Doily 100Loving the ripe juicy sweetness of spring strawberries: Strawberries in a chipEnjoying foxgloves in my vege garden: FoxglovesWaiting patiently for my potatoes to be ready:Potatoes gardenSmelling this gorgeous geranium every time I brush past:Geranium pinkEating lots of lovely light meals now the weather is warmer:Veges and dipMarveling at the eggs that fell when a blackbird nest blew out of the tree in our yard:Blackbird eggMore crocheting (I must confess that while I’m quite fond of these wee mice, my children inform me they look like goblin mice. Thanks guys, tell me what you really think why don’t ya):Crochet mice in a tea cupLoving self seeded aquilegias:Aquilegia purplePlanting (well need to get planting) these verbena:VerbenaFeeling more than a little bit tired, and glad tomorrow is Friday! How is your week going? x Janette