Wednesday, December 10, 2008


So I hope everyone is keeping busy and warm this chilly December.

Lots going on in our house....
of course we are preparing for Christmas, which means I have been making some handmade gifts as usual. Crochet is my poision this year. So far I have 5 scarves, a few critters, & a baby doll finished. I am working on the final scarf and a guitar strap for my hubby (shhhhhhhhh).

Also I am working on a portrait commission for a girl I work with. She is giving to her mother for Christmas and there are 11 grandkids in it from 11 different photos. I have until January 2nd to get this done....and I am about 1/3 of the way done.. So I have a lot to do! I was thinking of doing a portrait for my parents, but may have to hit JC Penney's for a christmas photo of the kids instead.
One can only draw so fast!

Here are a few of the crochet patterns I have been utilizing~
one skein scarf
queen anne's lace scarf
bitty baby

And here is Charlie modeling the hat I made for Jack's birthday~

complete with earflaps

it turned out a lil big...can't remember where i found the pattern. Im sure it is on knitting pattern central under earflap hat or something.

a few of my own pattern designs coming in January!

Friday, November 21, 2008

crochet madness

lurkey, originally uploaded by cocomama1.

It's been a while since I have blogged here, and the reason is that I have been crocheting my fingers to the bone. Along with the holidays I also have my son and nephew's birthdays approaching, and all of these things call for HANDMADE GIFTS!

Before this summer I called myself a knitter. I taught myself to knit a few years ago and have made a handful of hats, bags, socks, wrist-warmers, baby items and critters. I was never all that confident in my knitting skills, though I got to the point where I could knit and watch tv, without staring at my hands.

This summer I really got into AMIGURUMI style of crochet. I bought a book, and taught myself the basics of Ami crochet and crochet in general. I am really loving it. I use the website RAVELRY a lot, it has tons of patterns and links to crochet/knit tutorials. The crochet projects use a lot more yarn than knitting, but they are much faster. I like the look of the critters also. I am just starting to stray from critters to wearable crochet: scarves, hats, etc... I figure adults will like wearable crochet items as gifts this Christmas rather than a stuffed critter. So if you are in my family, or you are one of my close friends, please let me know the color of your winter coat!

The other day I ran into my grandma at the craft store. She is a crocheter. She has been crocheting for as long as I can remember. One of my favorite memories is getting all kinds of hand crocheted Barbie clothes, as a kid. She would make use the coolest little clothes and accessories. It is nice to have another thing in common with my maternal grandmother, and also someone to call when I run into an unfamiliar stitch or pattern.

Happy Thanksgiving (almost everyone!) here is the link to the crochet pattern for the cute little ami turkey~

The above link has tons of great free crochet and knit patterns! I also made the Bitty Baby for my niece for Christmas!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

fall is in the air

halloween fall display, originally uploaded by cocomama1.

I get really excited for fall mostly because of Halloween. It is great to go to the local farm and pick out some pumpkins, gourds, and mums, then throwing them into a cool little display. I am always in awe of those great fall displays in Martha Stewart magazines and other publications. So this year I put out a few pumpkins and gourds and random little spooky trinkets on this little wire rack thing. I planted my 3 little mums in these skull pirate trick or treat buckets that I had leftover from my son's Pirate Birthday party last November.

I highly advise everyone to take advantage of after Halloween sales and use whatever you find for theme parties, birthdays, kids gifts and save some stuff for halloween next year. It is the best surprise to get out your Halloween stuff and find some surprise decorations you bought and put away!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Crocheting Binge

I have been crocheting my fingers to the bone the past week or 2! I taught myself the Amigurumi style of crochet in August and I have been making animals, monsters, and other huggable creatures since then. The book I learned from is called, Amigurumi World, Seriously Cute Crochet, if you click on that you can check out the authors blog. She is seriously talented! Most of my creations can be seen on my flickr set~ Knit and Crochet. I have been getting really into Amigurumi, I love the way they end up looking, they are just adorable. I am pretty much set for birthday parties, baby showers, and whatever else event I need a kid/baby present for.

Here are a few of my newest creations, including my first ORIGINAL creature, this little red monster~

I am also working on a little accessory for our families Halloween costumes which will be revealed later. (: AND I am going to attempt to sew my kids costumes, which is a first....I am open for any advice/ words of wisdom on sewing, putting together costumes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Halloween Party Room Mother Chair

Monday night was the Room Mother meeting at my son's sc
hool. I had volunteered to be a room mother, though not HEAD room mother, since it our first experience with kindergarten and class parties, etc. So I met the head room mother and the other room mothers, and I am really happy with our group. They all seem pretty laid back and fun. We started discussing the Halloween party and asked if anyone wanted to be the chairperson for it. My friend Aimee nominated me, she knows I go crazy about Halloween. I accepted and now I need to start researching some games, easy projects, and other fun ideas for the party. I am super excited, because as I said, I go bonkers for Halloween. (I am putting out my decorations this week!)

We have about an hour for the party, including the costume parade

Here is a list of things we need for the party~
  • candy/treats for the treat bags
  • supplies for games
  • supplies for crafts
  • halloween music
  • halloween book/story
  • healthy snack/drink
  • halloween plates and napkins
  • decorations?
  • coloring pages (someone else will have to print/copy, my printer is having issues)

I already have a few ideas on some projects~

(from Family

Spider Pops


Black pipe cleaners
Googly eyes

Time needed: Under 1 Hour
1. Holding all four pipe cleaners, center them at the base of the pop and wrap them around the stick once so there are four legs on each side.
2. Bend the pipe cleaner ends to form eight feet.
3. Glue on googly eyes.

Stage a spooky scene by assembling a colony of these winged creatures made from miniature pumpkins and craft foam.



Black acrylic paint
Ornamental (miniature) pumpkins
Black and white craft foam
Hole punch
Glue dots
Black duct tape
Wooden skewers

Time needed: About 1 to 2 Hours
1. Cover your work surface with a drop cloth or newspaper, then paint the pumpkins. Allow them to dry completely. (DO THIS AHEAD OF TIME!)
2. For each bat, snip two identical eyes from the white craft foam and use the hole punch to make pupils. Adhere the eyes to the pumpkin with glue dots.
3. Cut matching pairs of ears and wings from the black craft foam (our wings are about 6 inches long). Attach the ears by taping a toothpick to the back of each one, leaving about 1K inches of the toothpick exposed, then inserting it into the top of the pumpkin.
4. Finally, tape a skewer to the back of each wing, leaving a 2-inch point exposed, and push it in place.
at your child's school party or to visitors on Halloween -- fun and festive treat bags like the one below will surely do the trick.
i love this craft, but would it be dangerous to have skewers on the bus ride home? Maybe we could put the bats in a bag and place them in their bookbags.

Scarecrow-head bag/treat bag


colored markers
lunch-size paper bag
white crayon or chalk

Time needed: Under 1 Hour
1. To make one, simply use colored markers to draw scarecrow-style facial features onto a plain brown lunch-size paper bag.
2. Use white crayon or chalk for eyes and teeth.
3. Fill the bag with goodies, then staple the top closed, adding a bundle of raffia for hair.


Party guests are sure to get wrapped up in this activity: crafting mini mummies to take home as favors when the festivities are over.


Wire snips
Wooden craft sticks
Wooden craft spoons
Glue dots
1 square yard of muslin torn into 1-inch-wide strips (this should be enough for at least 7 mummies)
Small googly eyes

Time needed: Under 1 Hour
Step 1 - Craft Stick Mummy 1. With the wire snips, trim 2 craft sticks to 2 1/2 inches for the arms and 2 more to 3 inches for the legs. Attach an arm and a leg to each side of a wooden craft spoon (or plastic spoon) using 1 glue dot per limb.
2. Stick the end of a muslin strip to the skeleton with a glue dot and wrap the rest of the length around the wood, using another dot at the end. Wrap 4 or so more strips around the skeleton in this way. Use glue dots to attach googly eyes.

And a few ideas for games~

Which is Witch Game

Use this quiet game to settle the throng before refreshments at a party. The outcome will tell you which partier is the most clairvoyant.
Cauldron (a bowl)
Walnut shells (one fewer than the number of kids)
Green or yellow paint
Tally sheet
Witch's hat

1. Halve and hollow out the walnut shells. Paint the inside green or yellow (one color inside each shell).

2. Players sit in a circle, in the center of which is a cauldron with seven walnut halves (for a party with eight children) lying flat-side down inside it so no one can see the colors. The person who is "It" wears the witch's hat for dramatic effect. All the others pick a walnut half, keeping the color a secret. From his seat in the circle, "It" tries to guess the color of each child's walnut. As he goes from player to player, he gets help from the walnut holders, who try to help him psychically "see" their color by thinking hard about it (green, green, green...). After he guesses, right or wrong, each walnut holder reveals her color to him. An adult or older child sits nearby to tally up the number of rights, and then the game starts over with the next "It." When each player has had a turn at being "It," the player who had the power to "see" the most colors correctly wins.

Mummy Wrap Game

Twist your guests into a frightening frenzy with this simple game that has kids writhing with delight.
White crepe paper(Toilet paper)
Spooky music

1. Divide the kids into teams of two and give each pair a roll of white crepe paper. Instruct one member of each team to race to wrap his partner, mummy-style, at the sound of the music (play something devilish, such as "The Monster Mash"). Kids must use up the whole roll, avoiding the head and wrapping arms separately from the torso.

2. Once wrapped, the mummy hops to a finish line, holding his arms to his sides and trying not to break any of the wrapping.

3. Award the winning team, reverse partners' roles and then start again with fresh rolls of crepe paper.
(not sure if we have enough room in the class to do the race, but maybe we could do it in the gym.)

I Went Into a Haunted House: Students sit in a circle. Student A says "I went into the haunted house and saw a witch". Student B contines: "I went into the haunted house and saw a witch and a black cat". Continue around the circle...

Pass the Pumpkin: Ss sit in a circle. Provide a plastic pumpkin for children to pass while the teacher beats on a drum or plays some music. Children pass the pumpkin to the tempo of the music. Alternate between fast and slow. When the music stops the child who has the pumpkin stands and takes a bow. Continue.

Pass the Vampire Bat: Supplies: one straw for each child / bat shapes cut out of tissue paper. How To Play: Divide the class into 2 teams and line up each team. Sts pass the tissue bats down the line, teammate to teammate, by inhaling and exhaling on the straw to hang onto or release the ornament. No hands! The first team to successfully pass the bats up and down the line wins! (TP: V: bat, straw, line up, pass. AA: Before the game you can get the students to make the tissue bats).

Who am I Ghost?: Blindfold one student. The other Ss stand in circle around the blindfolded student. Spin the student around and then stop him/her facing another student. S says "Whooooooo (like a ghost). Who am I?". The blindfolded S must guess who that student is and call out his/her name.

Treat ideas~ (from
One of my room helpers brought this treat for our Halloween party. Take an orange and cut the top off as you would a pumpkin. Scoop out the inside as best you can. Then add chunks of fresh fruit. Put the top piece back on and put a wooden stick in the middle for the stem. Draw a jack-o-lantern face on the outside. My room helper put each of these in an individual baggie with a plastic spoon. The children just loved these!!!

Witches Brew~ adorable
This activity works well in the month of October. On the first of the month, bring in a large, black pot that resembles a witches' pot. Inside the pot there is a slip of paper that reads: "I am the Witch of the West and I am out gathering ingredients for our halloween brew." On designated days, place the bags containing ingredients in the pot. The ingredients should be placed in a pot, inside a plastic bag so that no smell escaped. Place plastic bags within brown paper lunch bags and have appropriate names printed on the outside of the bag. On Halloween, empty all the bags and stir the brew.
We could do this at the party, one of the room mothers could be dressed up as a witch, and could do this all at once, and then fill each child's cup with some. healthy and FUN!
1 C. Blood Drops - Red Hots
1 C. Owl Eyes - Peanuts
1 C. Cats Eyes - Peanut M&Ms
1 C. Chicken Toenails - Corn Candy
1 C. Colored Flies - M&Ms
1 C. Butterfly Wings - Fritos
1 C. Earthworms - Corn Curls
1 C. Cat Claws - Sunflower Seeds
1 C. Ants - Raisins
1 C. Snake Eyes - Chocolate Chips
1 C. Cobwebs - Triscuits
1 C. Lizard Gizzards - Shoestring Potatoes
1 C. Bat Bones - Pretzels
Taken from Open the Door for Reading

I am totally open for ideas and suggetions! If you are an experienced room mother, let me know what has worked for you, or what hasn't! Feel free to use any of these ideas for your own parties!