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The winner of the “Freshly Picked" moccasins is Amanda Z.!  Congratulations, Amanda :)  Look for my e-mail so you can tell me what colour and size moccasins you would like!
Thank you so much to all those who entered!  I enjoy sharing about products I love on the blog and I’m glad that I can partner with these artisans and entrepreneurs to bring you these giveaways!

The winner of the “Freshly Picked" moccasins is Amanda Z.!  Congratulations, Amanda :)  Look for my e-mail so you can tell me what colour and size moccasins you would like!

Thank you so much to all those who entered!  I enjoy sharing about products I love on the blog and I’m glad that I can partner with these artisans and entrepreneurs to bring you these giveaways!

Freshly Picked Moccasins Review & GIVEAWAY

I love supporting handmade artisans and moms who have started their own small businesses.  It takes a lot of work, dedication and patience to design your unique product, find your niche market, get your name out there, and hope that your work will be well-received!  

Susan Petersen is one such mom who decided to make and sell her own baby moccasins when she couldn’t find any well-designed, soft-soled shoes for her son.  After using some scrap leather from a yard sale to design a prototype that she was happy with, she decided to start her own company called "Freshly Picked" in 2009. 

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However, Susan was on a very limited budget, so she got creative when figuring out how to earn the money to start her business.  Her brother let her keep the old windows from his window installation business, and she spent the whole summer banging the glass out of these windows in order to recycle the aluminum frames.  With the $200 made from recycling the frames, she started “Freshly Picked”!  

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Fast forward five years and six design changes later, Susan has nurtured “Freshly Picked” into a thriving company that is an inspiration to so many.  She has appeared on “Shark Tank”, has been embraced by celebrities (and their children), and has amassed a huge following as her moccasins are seen as the crème de la crème of handmade baby moccasins (her Instagram account has over 230,000 followers).  After experiencing such success, Susan loves giving back and encouraging others through her “Entreneur Empowerment Movement" on Instagram and also providing scholarships for business start-ups.

Susan’s team over at “Freshly Picked" sent over some moccasins for Myla so that I could review them, and as you can see in the pics above, they come in this modern dust bag!

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"Freshly Picked" moccasins come in a wide array of exquisite colours (see here), and some of my favourites include blush, platinum and gold.  We decided to get the “Weathered Brown" for Myla since it is such a versatile, classic, gender-neutral colour that will match with anything!

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These moccasins are made of extremely soft and supple leather, and the elastic opening ensures that they will not fall off as baby shoes often do.  The fringe along the front, sides and back is a really cute touch, and the bottoms are stamped with the “FP” logo!  There is no discernible left and right moccasin from the start (the same sewing pattern is used for both feet), but each moccasin quickly molds to the child’s feet and it is then easy to tell which one is right and left based on how it curves.

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With the rise in popularity of “Freshly Picked”, these moccasins are now priced at $60.  I admit that it is a hefty price for baby/toddler shoes but clearly there is a market for it and Susan wrote a very good article entitled “Why You Should Raise Your Prices" (see HERE) directed to handmade artists.  In this article, Susan discusses how you must value what you are making and very carefully decide how much your time and talent is worth, particularly if you are trying to make a living from your art.  I respect Susan’s business model and her pricing and how far she has taken her company.  Susan now focuses on other tasks, and when I asked, I was told that all the seamstresses, suppliers and vendors are in the United States.

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Myla absolutely ADORES her moccasins as they are hands down her favourite pair of shoes.  She has worn them almost exclusively for the past five months and I love how they never fall off or get lost!  Here we are at a local Farmer’s Market at the beginning of the summer…

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These moccs are very comfortable for Myla as they are flexible, soft, and have plenty of grip.  They come in sizes 1-10 (for pre-walkers and walkers) and you can check out the sizing chart HERE!  

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On our recent trip to California, Myla pretty much wore them everyday!  They are so versatile as they look cute with both leggings and dresses.  I love the look of the fringe from behind :)

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I can’t tell you how many times we’ve received compliments from strangers when they gaze down and see the cute moccasins that Myla is wearing!

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Here are some photos of our little sweetheart’s first trip to Disneyland!  I love matching with my little girl 

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This is one of my favourite photos from the whole trip: Myla dancing in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland with that childhood freedom and innocence without a care in the world!

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You can see that Myla has really worn her moccasins down in our pregnancy announcement below from a month ago (I can’t believe I’m already 25 weeks pregnant now!).  The “FP” logo stamped on the bottom is actually completely gone, but the moccasins have held up well with no rips or holes.  They continue to look good even though they have worn down as our “Weathered Brown” choice now has a real weathered and vintage look!  I wouldn’t hesitate to get a pair of these moccasins for our next baby after seeing the quality first hand and how much wear Myla has gotten out of her favourite shoes!

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And now the exciting part…Susan and her team at “Freshly Picked” have generously offered a GIVEAWAY!  The lucky winner will get to choose one pair of “Freshly Picked” moccasins in any colour and size!   You can enter this giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below, and there are 10 different ways to enter- none of them are mandatory, but of course the more entries you have, the higher chances you have of winning!  This contest is only open to residents of the US and Canada due to shipping costs (sorry to readers from other countries!).  Also, you are not eligible to enter if you’ve won a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins in the last 60 days.  Take a look at all the different moccasins available HERE and have fun entering below- good luck :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DIY Yarn Storage

Thank you so much for all the love and encouragement you’ve shown us since we announced that our family is growing!  We are truly touched by each and every comment we received through the blog, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram, and we are so excited that we can share these special moments with you!

This blog has not only been a portofolio of my crochet projects, but also a journal documenting things that I love and what I’ve experienced.  In addition to my crochet projects, I’ve also blogged about my love of food and travel, and also topics such as maternity and nursing fashion since becoming a mom.  I created a special tab in the navigation bar called “OTHER" to help document these blog posts and to organize them a bit better so that they don’t simply get lost in the Archive!  To access ALL my previous posts, click the "ARCHIVE" tab where they are organized chronologically by month and year.  

The new “OTHER" tab has the following sections:

  • Food: I’ve blogged about some of my favourite recipes I’ve found on-line (e.g. the Red Velvet Cake pictured above) as well as some of our own recipes!  My Lychee Frozen Yogurt and Layered Fingered Jello seem to be pretty popular :)
  • Travel: We love visiting new places, and it’s been fun sharing our favourite restaurants and sites from destinations all over the world (e.g. the Black Sand Beach in Maui above).
  • Maternity/Nursing/Family: On my journey to becoming a mom, I’ve adapted my style to accommodate my growing pregnant belly and need to nurse a baby (e.g. nursing tank above)!
  • Cosplay & Craft Tutorials: We love making our own costumes and blogging about other crafting projects we’ve worked on (e.g. our DIY Yarn Storage).
  • Reviews: I’ve enjoyed blogging about shops and products that I love (e.g. Clover Amour Crochet Hooks) and hosting giveaways as well!

Check out this “OTHER" tab in my navigation bar to see some previous posts that you may have missed before!

Our Exciting News

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We have some exciting news to share with you all!  Myla is 21 months old and I’m……….21 WEEKS PREGNANT!!!  We are overjoyed that our family will be expanding again as the new little addition to our family will be arriving in mid-December 

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I am so thankful that this pregnancy has been similar to my first with Myla as I haven’t experienced any nausea or morning sickness!  However, once again, I did feel extremely fatigued in the first trimester, but this time round was different since I couldn’t simply nap whenever I wanted to.  Chasing an active toddler around and trying to keep my energy levels up was challenging, but I napped whenever Myla napped.  That meant little time for blogging, crocheting, and designing, so thank you for sticking around even though there haven’t been too many new projects as of late!  Now you know why :P

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It’s so surreal that there is another little one growing inside of me, and that Myla will be a big sister!  I was re-reading the blog post announcing my first pregnancy HERE from two years ago, and it brought back so many memories.  When I look at Myla now and how much she’s grown, it reminds me to cherish each and every day since she is growing up so quickly.  Sometimes the days seem long, but as they say, the years are short, and they really do go by so quickly.  Ryan and I have learned so much since becoming parents, and we’ve been able to experience a joy unlike any other since Myla came into our lives.  She sees the world with such wonder, and we love hearing her laugh and seeing her eyes widen with excitement with every new experience.  To think that we will have another special little one to share our lives with brings us to tears, and we thank God each and every day for our blessings!

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We know that our lives are going to change drastically again in a couple of months as we navigate life with a toddler AND a newborn….and adjust to the lack of sleep again!  Thankfully, I’ve had more energy recently and I’ve been having a blast designing some fall/winter crochet projects.  I also want to crochet some items for Baby #2, so feel free to send me cute baby projects that you’ve come across :)  It feels good to pick up my crochet hook again!  Thank you for supporting and loving our family so much, and we appreciate your prayers for us and this pregnancy!  

Cupcake Bib/Dishcloth

One day while shopping for yarn at Michaels, I came across this free adorable “Cupcake Dishcloth" pattern designed by Twinkie Chan.  Twinkie Chan is the queen of yummy and deliciously cute crochet (check out her site here), and I had seen her mention this project before on her social media.  I excitedly took a copy of the pattern home and began working on it right away with some Bernat cotton yarn that I already had in my stash!

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I was very impressed with this pattern and how this cupcake was designed.  The pink frosting part involves using a magic ring, but rather than working continuously around the circle, you turn your work in order to achieve this semi-circle shape.  The pink edging hanging over the green cake liner adds a pretty and whimsical touch.  My favourite part though was achieving the cabled effect on the green cake liner by working front post half triple crochets (FPhtr) around stitches found in rows below.  I thought this technique was brilliant and I love how it turned out- I’ll have to keep this in mind for future projects!

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The original project includes the pattern for a circular cherry with a loop on the top so that you can easily hang your dishcloth.  I wanted to make this dishcloth convertible into a bib as I wanted to gift it to a newborn baby girl!  Thus, I did not include the loop on the cherry- instead, I crocheted a little stem.

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After following the pattern for the cherry, I did not fasten off.  I did the folllowing:

Ch 6.  Sc 1 in 2nd chain from hook.  Sl st in next 4 chains.  Sl st in next 2 stitches of circle.  Fasten off and leave end to attach cherry to cupcake.

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In order to make this cupcake convertible into a bib, I added these two straps to the back of the pink frosting so that I could run a long neck strap through them:

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To crochet these:

Ch 7.  Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each chain across (6 sc).  Fasten off and leave ends to attach straps to frosting.

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Next I crocheted the long neck strap consisting of double crochets with a button on the end.  By using double crochets, this made the strap adjustable since the button can fit between any of the stitches!

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To crochet the neck strap:

Chain 70.  Dc in 4th ch from hook and in each chain across (68 dc).  Fasten off and weave in ends.  Sew button firmly onto one end.  (My strap measured approximately 17 inches).

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After feeding the neck strap through the pink straps, this is what my cupcake bib looked like!  I thought that the family could use it at first as a bib, and when their baby daughter no longer needed to use a bib, they could remove the neck strap and continue using it as a cute dishcloth in their kitchen!

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Cupcakes are so pretty and whimsical- I’m sure a Cupcake Dischcloth or Bib would be a welcome addition into many homes and kitchens, especially for those with a sweet tooth!

Myla absolutely detests wearing bibs now, but we managed to get her to wear this Cupcake Bib for a split second to capture this photo before she ripped it off, haha!  Isn’t the bib adorable?

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To make your own Cupcake Bib or Dishcloth, check out Twinkie Chan’s free pattern HERE!  Her post also includes a very informative YouTube video in which she shows you how to crochet the entire project as well :)  Have fun, and happy crocheting!

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Cupcake Bib (modification of Twinkie Chan's free “Cupcake Dishcloth" pattern)

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Cupcake Bib (modification of Twinkie Chan's free “Cupcake Dishcloth" pattern)

Pattern: Elephant

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Crochet these absolutely adorable, whimsical elephants with a brilliant amigurumi technique that requires minimal attaching.   Make them in a multitude of colours and add some fabric lining to the ears as a pretty touch!  This elephant is an original design by Japanese artist Chisachi Kushima.  For the Spanish translation, see Rani’s post HERE on “Amigurumies”, and for the French translation, see Fannie’s post HERE on “Petite Maille”.  Below is the English pattern that I have translated!  [Don’t forget to click the “Print" button at the bottom of this blog post right above the comments for a printer-friendly version of this pattern!]

Materials:

  • grey or pink yarn (I used Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice in “Pink and Silver Grey”) 
  • 2.5 mm or 2.75 mm crochet hook (I used a 2.75 mm hook)
  • yarn needle
  • fiberfill
  • 6 mm or 9 mm safety eyes (I used 9 mm)
  • fabric for lining of ears
  • white felt for tusks

Note: I worked in continuous rounds (vs. joined rounds).  ***PLEASE follow along with my blog post HERE to see many more step-by-step photos.  It is also VERY IMPORTANT that the "right" side of amigurumi is facing outwards for this project, otherwise the stitches of the body and the legs will look different.  Please read about the “Right Side of Amigurumi" HERE to learn more!

Body:

Ch 9 ( this is the foundation chain),

R1: Starting from second chain from hook, Sc 7 in back loops of foundation chain.  3 sc in last stitch.  Turn the chain, Sc 6 in front loops of foundation chain, then 1 inc in next front loop [we are making an oval by crocheting around the chain].  (18 sts)

R2: 1 inc, 6 sc, 3 inc, 6 sc, 2 inc (24)

R3: 8 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 11 sc (27)

R4: 1 inc, 9 sc, 1 inc, 2 sc, 1 inc, 2 sc, 1 inc, 6 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc (33)

R5: 2 sc, 1 inc, 6 sc, 1 inc, 3 sc, 1 inc, 3 sc, 1 inc, 11 sc, 1 inc, 2 sc, 1 inc (39)

R6: 1 inc, 11 sc, 1 inc, 4 sc, 1 inc, 4 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 3 sc, 1 inc, 3 sc (45)

R7: 15 sc, 1 inc, 5 sc, 1 inc, 5 sc, 1 inc, 17 sc (48)

R8: 2 sc, 1 inc, 14 sc, 1 inc, 6 sc, 1 inc, 6 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 4 sc, 1 inc, 2 sc (54)

R9: 4 sc, 1 inc, 7 sc, 1 inc, 7 sc, 1 inc, 7 sc, 1 inc, 17 sc, 1 inc, 5 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc (60)

R10: 6 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 18 sc, 1 inc, 6 sc, 1 inc (66)

R11: 1 sc in each sc (66)

R12: 1 inc, 17 sc, 1 inc, 9 sc, 1 inc, 9 sc, 1 inc, 11 sc, 1 inc, 7 sc, 1 inc, 7 sc (72)

R13: 1 sc in each sc (72)

R14: 2 sc, 1 inc, 18 sc, 1 inc, 10 sc, 1 inc, 10 sc, 1 inc, 12 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 6 sc (78)

R15: 1 sc in each sc (78)

R16: 4 sc, 1 inc, 19 sc, 1 inc, 11 sc, 1 inc, 11 sc, 1 inc, 13 sc, 1 inc, 9 sc, 1 inc, 5 sc (84)

R17: 1 sc in each sc (84)

R18: 6 sc, 1 inc, 20 sc, 1 inc, 12 sc, 1 inc, 12 sc, 1 inc, 14 sc, 1 inc, 10 sc, 1 inc, 4 sc (90)

R19-22: 1 sc in each sc (90)

R23: 39 sc, chain 6 (skip 12 sc to create the hole for the trunk), 39 sc (84)

R24: 37 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc, 1 dec, 37 sc (82)

R25: 1 sc in each sc (82)

Cut the yarn.  Leave a marker in the last sc of Row 25.  Work by rows for the next part.  We will now be crocheting the tab that falls below the trunk.

R26: Skip 37 sc.  Rejoin yarn and make 8 sc (8)

R27: Ch 1, turn, 1 sc in each sc (8)

R28: Ch 1, turn, 1 dec, 4 sc, 1 dec  (6)

R29: Ch 1, turn, 1 dec, 2 sc, 1 dec (4)

R30: Ch 1, turn, 2 dec (2)

Fasten off.

We have now created a tab that falls below the trunk. 

Place safety eyes between Rounds 16-17.

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Legs:

In order to create the legs, we will divide the body into leg chains.  Each leg chain consists of 6 chains and we will be making 4 leg chains (A-D) in total.  

Leg Chain A: Join to one end of the last sc of R25 (see pic below), chain 6, count 21 sc, join with sl st to this end.image

Leg Chain B: Continuing on from Leg Chain A, Ch 6.  Sl stitch to last stitch of Row 30 of the tab. 

Leg Chain C: Continuing on from Leg Chain B (the first end is in the last stitch of Row 30), chain 6, then count 15 sc from the beginning of the base of the tab of R25 and join with sl st..

Leg Chain D: Continuing on from Leg Chain C, Chain 6 then join with sl stitch to last stitch of R25 (where your stitch marker is).  Do not cut yarn.

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We will now be working on each individual leg, crocheting around the body and the leg chains that we have just created.

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Leg  A:

Starting from last stitch of Row 25 (so where the marker was, i.e. no need to cut the yarn from before, simply continue working):

R1: 21 sc (of the body), 6 sc (of the leg chain A) (27)

R2: 1 sc in each sc (27)

R3: 5 sc, 1 dec, 12 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc (25)

R4: 17 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc (24)

R5: *2 sc, 1 dec* repeat around (18)

R6: *1 sc, 1 dec*, repeat around (12)

R7: 6 dec

Fasten off and weave in end.

Leg B:

Count 23 stitches from where marker was in Row 25 (or as indicated in diagram above) and rejoin yarn.

R1: 15 sc (of the body), 6 sc (along the edge of the tab), 6 sc (of the leg chain B) (27)

R2: 1 sc in each sc (27)

R3: 1 dec, 12 sc, 1 dec, 11 sc (25)

R4: 1 dec, 23 sc (24)

R5: *2 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (18)

R6: *1 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (12)

R7: 6 dec

Fasten off and weave in end.

Leg C:

Begin in the last stitch of Row 30 (the tab) or as indicated in diagram above and rejoin yarn.

R1: 6 sc (along the edge of the tab), 15 sc (of the body), 6 sc (of the chain C) (27)

R2: 1 sc in each sc (27)

R3: 5 sc, 1 dec, 12 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc (25)

R4: 17 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc (24)

R5: *2 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (18)

R6: *1 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (12)

R7: 6 dec

Fasten off and weave in end.

Leg D:

Rejoin yarn in the body in the stitch next to Leg C (as indicated in diagram above).

R1: 21 sc (of the body), 6 sc (of the leg chain C) (27)

R2: 1 sc in each sc (27)

R3: 1 dec, 12 sc, 1 dec, 11 sc (25)

R4: 1 dec, 23 sc (24)

R5: *2 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (18)

R6: *1 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (12)

R7: 6 dec

Fasten off and weave in end.

Trunk:

Rejoin yarn in the hole left for the trunk.  Rejoin in stitch in the middle of the tab (tab edge consists of 6 sts).

R1: 3 sc (half of the tab), 12 sc (of the body), 3 sc (other half of the tab) (18)

R2: 1 sc in each sc (18)

R3: *1 dec, 4 sc*, rep 3 times (15)

R4-5: 1 sc in each sc (15)

R6: *1 dec, 3 sc*, rep 3 times (12)

R7-8: 1 sc in each sc (12)

R9: *1 dec, 2 sc*, rep 3 times (9)

R10: 1 sc in each sc (9)

R11: *1 dec, 1 sc*, rep 3 times (6)

Fasten off and weave in end.

Belly:

R1: 6 sc in the MR (6)

R2: 6 inc (12)

R3: *1 inc, 1 sc*, rep around (18)

R4: *1 inc, 2 sc*, rep around (24)

Stuff body and trunk firmly.  To close the belly, attach the crocheted belly piece to the edges of the four leg chains.  The belly piece should fit in perfectly since it consists of 24 stitches while the leg chains each consist of 6 chains (i.e. four leg chains x 6 chains = 24 stitches).

Ears (make 2):

Ch 7 ( this is the foundation chain),

R1: Starting from second chain from hook, Sc 5 in back loops of foundation chain.  3 sc in last stitch.  Turn the chain, Sc 4 in front loops of foundation chain, then 1 inc in next front loop [we are making an oval by crocheting around the chain].  (14 sts)

R2: 1 inc, 4 sc, 3 inc, 4 sc, 2 inc (20)

R3: 1 sc, 1 inc, 5 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 5 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc (26)

R4: 1 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc (32)

R5-6: 2 hdc, 9 sc, 7 hdc, 9 sc, 5 hdc (32)

R7: *1 dec, 8 sc, 1 dec, 4 sc*, rep twice (28)

Fasten off and leave long end for sewing.  Fold crocheted piece in half so that it curves inwards.  Sew fabric onto inner part of ears.  Sew open piece shut.  Attach ears to body.

Tail:

R1: 4 sc in the MR (4)

R2: 1 sc in each sc (4)

R3: *1 inc, 1 sc*, rep twice (6)

R4: 1 sc in each sc (6)

R5: *1 inc, 2 sc*, rep twice (8)

R6-7: 1 sc in each sc (8)

Fasten off and leave long end for sewing.  Attach to body.

Tusks (optional):

Cut tusks out of white felt.  Attach with glue gun with tusks pointing upwards or downwards.

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Now you’re done!  Enjoy your sweet elephants and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more crafty and crochet updates!

This pattern is an English translation by Stephanie of All About Ami (April 2014).  Please do not reprint this translation on your site. 

Make It! The Handmade Revolution

I love attending craft shows, and I have many fond memories of my parents taking me to Christmas craft shows growing up and allowing me to pick out something to buy.  I was always astounded by the things that people could make and I thought it would be so neat if one day I could have my own booth of handmade goods, meeting many interesting people along the way!  Although I never ended up having a booth, I do have this blog to display my projects and I have indeed met MANY interesting and wonderful people through it :)  I still enjoy attending craft shows and seeing people’s creativity and handiwork displayed in full force! 

This past weekend, we attended “Make It!  The Handmade Revolution”,  a large, hip, urban craft show in Western Canada that takes place in Edmonton and Vancouver.  It was the very first craft show that we took Myla to when she was less than two months old and we perused the booths with her strapped to us in the carrier a year and a half ago.  It was our first time attending their spring show this past weekend and I was very excited to see what vendors were participating!  I wore this pink crop top that I got from Forever XXI over my long black belted maxi dress from Old Navy.  I brought along the “Crochet Mesh Bag" that I made last year and hoped that I would be able to fill it with some wonderful handmade goodies!  The step-by-step blog post and link to the free pattern for this mesh bag can be found HERE in case you didn’t see it before!  It is the perfect accessory for all your spring and summer adventures coming up at the beach or farmer’s markets!

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"Make It" has a beautiful venue as the high glass ceilings allow natural light to pour in, giving it a very open, bright, airy feel.  It’s also a very popular event, so it was hard to maneuver around at times.  I wish I could’ve spent more time looking at each booth, but time was of the essence with a fidgety toddler!  Pictured below are some of the items that we purchased- we were looking for some gifts for friends, so this craft show was the perfect place to buy them!

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- Wooden Bow Tie by Dear Fawn Inc: I first met Loan at a different craft show last summer, and Ryan and I were really impressed by her crocheted handiwork and sewing skills (and killer sense of style :D).  She has since focused her company to selling bow ties, and she offers fabric bow ties with some really fun prints (Star Wars, Ninja Turtles) as well as fresh and modern wooden bow ties!  We couldn’t resist picking up a wooden one for a stylish little boy who we know :)  If you act fast, you could win two Storm Trooper baby bow ties by vising the Dear Fawn Inc facebook page HERE (giveaway ends tonight [Wednesday, April 16] at 8 PM MST)!

- Bunny Earrings by Foe and Dear: We were really impressed by Katherine’s beautiful booth as her jewelry was gorgeously displayed on books and vintage trays.  I love wearing stud earrings and I was immediately drawn to these adorable little bunny studs!  They are incredibly cute and lightweight as I can’t even feel them when I wear them (I hate wearing earrings that are too heavy!).  Katherine does a great job with packaging too!

Spring Shoes by WildCotton Gifts: We picked up these pretty little shoes for our friends’ baby girl and had a fun time looking around Kara’s booth.  Her sewing skills are amazing as she had beautiful boots, blankets, bibs, onesies and shoes on display with gorgeous prints and designs.  I really admire people who can create so much with their sewing machines….I have yet to use mine again since sewing the curtains for Myla’s nursery -_-‘

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We absolutely fell in love with the work by Caitlin Bodewitz of “CMBPrintWorks" as they all had a beautiful, romantic, ethereal feel to them.  It was fun choosing what to get and hang in our house, and as soon as we saw this wood print, we knew it was perfect!  We love the quote and the beautiful image.  We hung it up in my workspace as soon as we got home and it reminds us that we’re adventuring together as husband and wife through love, faith, family, travels, crafting and life till we’re old and grey, paving new territory and taking risks along the way!

We had a great time at the craft show, and I enjoy connecting with local crafters and hearing them excitedly and proudly explaining their work and what they make.  I would LOVE to hear about what your favourite craft shows are from your hometowns or places you’ve visited!  Wouldn’t it be absolutely amazing to attend craft shows all around the world and see what the local artisans are doing in each city?  Thanks for reading, and I’ll be blogging about an amigurumi that I think you’re going to love next week!

Fox Basket/Pillow

This past weekend I attended a good friend’s baby shower, and I was so happy to gift her with some crocheted goodies!  A while back, I came across a really cute pattern for a “Foxy Stash Basket” on the “Yarnspirations" website HERE.  I thought it would be a wonderful gift as it would not only make an adorable addition to the baby’s nursery, but also have the functional ability of storing items such as little hats, socks or towels!  I had a lot of fun crocheting baskets in the past (see posts HERE and HERE), so I was very excited to make a cute animal basket!  

I went out and looked for red and beige cotton yarn: I ended up purchasing “Bernat Handicrafter Cotton" yarn in "Off White" and "Country Red”.  You need to hold two strands of yarn together when crocheting this basket.  I did not buy enough skeins of yarn during my first shopping trip- in total, I used 4 skeins of the beige yarn and 2 skeins of the red yarn!  Some black yarn is also needed for the eyes and nose, but I simply used some black acrylic worsted weight yarn that I already had in my stash.  

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I began by working on the base of the basket with the beige yarn.  I loved the look and feel of it already!  I used a 6 mm crochet hook for the basket and a 4 mm crochet hook for the ears and eyes as recommended in the pattern.

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After crocheting the base, the basket started to build upwards…

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Then after all the increase rounds, it was time to build up the height of the basket!

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Next, I added the nose with some black yarn!

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I was excited to begin working with the red yarn!  Rather than cutting the yarn every time you need to switch colours, this basket is worked with the tapestry method of crochet in which you hold both colours at the same time, carrying and crocheting around the strands that are not currently in use.  If you are unfamiliar with this technique, check out this video HERE to see it in action!  Since you are working with two colours in the round, that essentially means that you are working with two strands of one colour while carrying along two strands of the other colour (thus four strands going at once)!

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As I was following the pattern exactly and building up the red in subsequent rounds, I noticed that the red appeared to be going lopsided upwards.  Even in the photo provided in the pattern (appearing below), I thought that the face looked crooked or lopsided.  When I read the pattern through, I thought it made sense in theory if each stitch were placed exactly ontop of one another round after round.  However, as you can see, stitches are not exactly aligned ontop of each other (e.g. third stitch of Round 3 will not be perfectly below third stitch of Round 4), as they tend to build up at an angle.  Thus, I tried to make some modifications and eyeballed it as I went along, trying to make the face as symmetrical as I could!

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This is what I came up with as I crocheted more and more of the face…

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Then it was time to cut off the beige yarn and continue working only with the red yarn!

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I tried my best, but I admit that I did not do a perfect job of making the face exactly symmetrical.  As you can see in the image below, the sides are not identical (left side curves more at an angle while right side falls more steeply).  I did not have the patience to undo my work and start that part over again, but you can always give it a try yourself and see what you come up with!

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After some decrease rounds, the last round was given a nice finishing touch as it was worked with the reverse single crochet.  I absolutely love the beautiful roped and textured feel that the reverse single crochet gives to the basket!

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The basket was not as sturdy as I expected it to be (compared to the other baskets which I had crocheted using two strands of super bulky yarn and using an 8 mm crochet hook).  Thus, we thought it would be neat to give this basket another function: by adding buttons to the top, the basket could be closed up to be a pillow or cushion!

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I enjoyed crocheting the ears as they were worked from the bottom to the top which is opposite to how I usually make my ears.  The shape turned out beautifully, and I love the pointed tips!  To give a bit more shaping and dimension, we pinched the ears in the middle and sewed the back, giving them a creased look.

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The eyes were simple to crochet as they were simply black circles with some white strands of yarn added!

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After attaching the ears and eyes, here was our finished product!

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                                  ******************************************

These are the modifications I made to the original “Foxy Stash Basket" pattern by Yarnspirations (all modifications made to the FACE part, not the base):

  • 3rd rnd: With A, 1 hdc in each of next 6 hdc.  
  • 4th rnd: With A, 1 hdc in each of next 9 hdc.
  • 5th rnd: …………..Do not break MC.  With A, 1 hdc in each of next 12 hdc…………..
  • 6th rnd: With A, ch 2, 1 hdc in each of next 21 hdc……….With MC, 1 hdc in each of next 7 hdc…With A„ 1 hdc in each of next 13 hdc………
  • 7th rnd: WIth A, ch 2.  1 hdc in each of next 22 hdc…..Do not break MC.  WIth A, 1 hdc in each of next 14 hdc…….
  • 8th rnd: With A, ch 2.  1 hdc in each of next 24 hdc…..With A, 1 hdc in each of next 15 hdc………….

                                   ******************************************

I presented this Fox Basket packed with some goodies to my friend during her baby shower, and it was a hit!  I think it look so cute, don’t you?

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It would be such a beautiful and whimsical addition to the nursery of any baby boy or girl!  Here it is pictured with some of the steel bins from Myla’s nursery (purchased from Ikea and Home Sense).  Most of Myla’s stuffies in her nursery were actually my previous stuffies that I brought from home….that goes to show how much stuffies can be loved and cherished and passed down the generations, amigurumi included :)

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Here is the Fox Basket serving its dual purpose as a cushion or pillow!  Doesn’t it look so huggable?  And how adorable would this fox pillow look on any sofa or bed?

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Thus, if you don’t feel like using the basket as storage anymore or if a cute pillow is needed for a big boy or girl bed, it can be converted easily into a cushion or pillow simply by closing up the top with the buttons!

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We used fiberfill to show what it looked like stuffed as a cushion, but we would not recommend using it as the actual stuffing unless you sewed the top shut (hazardous for children as they might remove it, play with it or eat it)!  You could try finding a small pillow or cushion that would fit inside to keep the button closure and to easily switch from using this as a basket or a pillow!

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And here’s a third use for the basket….as a Fox Mask!  Haha all joking aside, I thought it was funny how this basket was pretty much head size!

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If you liked this basket, check out these baskets pictured below that I crocheted HERE.  I still use them to this day in Myla’s nursery and my workspace as they hold so much and look so beautiful.

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If you’re interested in crocheting a matching amigurumi fox, here’s a round-up of some cute FREE fox patterns that I found on-line:

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{1. “Cute Amigurumi Fox" by Anna S. of "Spool of Sunshine”,  2. “Amigurumi Fox" by Timea Venter of "Timic’s Home”, 3. “Fox Amigurumi" by Nimoe Galad of "Nimoe’s Blog”, 4. “Mother Fox and Baby Fox" by Allison Hoffman}

As I mentioned above, I think this Fox Basket would be so cute in a nursery, particularly if it had a “Woodland Forest Theme”.  I enjoy looking through the beautiful handiwork of different artists on Etsy, and I found the following items that would go perfectly in such a themed nursery!

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{"Charlie the Fox Baby Toddler Onesie by Le Trango, “Teacup Fox Original Watercolor Painting" by Alisa Belzil of Sweet Afternoons, "Organic Kawaii Fox Baby Swaddle Blanket" by Simply Boco Baby, "Mini Plush Woodland Animal Set" by A Little Bit of Joy }

Hope you enjoyed reading about the making of this fun project and how we made some modifications to the original pattern and made it convertible from a basket to a pillow!  Keep in mind that the Yarnspirations website gives it a 3 out of 4 “Intermediate” difficulty level as it does involve switching yarn colours using tapestry crochet.  To access the free pattern, click HERE and download it!  I love this idea of making baskets into animals- you could add bunny ears, cat ears, bear ears…the sky’s the limit!  Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to stay updated with my work by following me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Sneak peek of upcoming step-by-step blog post: Fox Basket (modification of free pattern by “Yarnspirations”)

Sneak peek of upcoming step-by-step blog post: Fox Basket (modification of free pattern by “Yarnspirations”)

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