Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Getting Down to Work

The skies are sunny and the blahs are gone!
On Friday I only worked a half day at my day job. I had to run a few errands before I could go home, but I did that as fast as I possibly could. When I got home I gathered up all my half finished things and all the items on my to-do list and got down to work. I had a solid 4 hours before we picked the kiddos up from daycare and it felt so great to get something done!
Remember that craft show I told you about? Well, I still have some things that I made for it that haven't been added to my Etsy shop. Yikes! So on Friday I took a TON of pictures and got some new items listed to the shop! I'm so in love with these rose pens. :)

I also got some crocheting done on patterns I plan to release soon. See, I told you all I had to do was push through and make myself work to get my inspiration back! I even came out of it with more ideas. :)

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen these pictures, but here are a few of my latest projects:

P.S. I kind of really like flowers.. ;)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I've Got a Case of the Blahhhhhs

Have you ever just felt...uninspired?
That's how I've felt lately. Sometimes I get this way when I have too many options; too many directions to choose, so I just don't choose any. Also, the weather here in Iowa the past few weeks has been super gloomy and that definitely doesn't help anything.

I have lots of ideas for patterns, I have some patterns already written up, and I have ideas for new items to sell in my Etsy shop. But I don't know whether to offer the patterns for free, for sale, or submit them to a magazine/yarn company. There are a lot of decisions that need to be made when you're running a small business!

Another part of the uninspired-ness (yup, just made up a word!) is figuring out how best to use my time. With all these ideas, it's hard to pick which to work on. During the week, my only free time to work on business related stuff is after the kids are in bed at night and on my breaks at my day job. With such a short time to work, how do I decide which thing is most important? AND how do I get myself to stop working and get some much needed sleep? Some weeks it's hard!

Most of the time, when I feel uninspired or unmotivated, I just try to make myself forge ahead and keep working because if I don't do something, it just won't get done. Thankfully, the sun is shining now and the weather is warmer. I think a walk to clear my mind is just what I need to feel inspired again!

What do you do to motivate yourself when you're feeling uninspired?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Basket Weave Easter Basket & Basket Buddies

I originally designed these patterns for Michaels, but they have since changed their website and it seems some patterns are not there any longer.
I've had a few people point out that these patterns are among those missing, so I thought I'd post them here for anyone interested.
I know Easter is pretty far away, but I think this basket could be worked up for a lovely spring decoration for your home. Even the egg (made in a different color?) and carrot buddies could be worked up as play food gifts for a little one.
Lots of possibilities! :)

My other pattern designed for Michaels, the Tulip Pillow, is still available on the website and is another great springy decor item!

Basket Weave Easter Basket
Designed By: Elizabeth Ann Smith

Skill Level: Advanced Beginner

Materials Needed:  
  • Red Heart Super Saver: 1 Skein CafĂ©
  • Crochet Hook US I/9 (5.50mm) (or size needed to obtain gauge)
  • Yarn needle
  • Stitch markers (optional)
  •  Ribbon (optional)
  • Fabric Glue/Fray Check (optional)
Measurements: Basket is 4.5” tall and 5” diameter. Handle adds 5.5” to height.

Gauge: 13 dc x 7 rows = 4”x 4”

  • st= stitch
  • ch= chain
  • sc= single crochet
  • sl st= slip stitch
  • fpdc= front post double crochet
  • bpdc= back post double crochet
  • sc2tog= single crochet 2 stitches together (single crochet decrease)
  • yo= yarn over
Special Stitches:

  • Fpdc (Front post double crochet)= yo and insert hook from front to back around the post of the stitch in the row below, yo and pull thru, yo and pull thru 2 loops on hook, yo pull thru last 2 loops on hook. See Figure 1. 
  • Bpdc (Back post double crochet)= yo and insert hook from back to front around the post of the stitch in the row below, yo and pull thru, yo and pull thru 2 loops on hook, yo pull thru last 2 loops on hook. See Figure 2. 

  • Basket is worked from the bottom up.
  • Bottom of basket is worked in continuous rounds without joining. Use stitch markers to mark beginning stitch if desired.
  • Joining rounds begin with the rows of post stitches as indicated in pattern.
  • Beginning chain on joining rounds does not count as a stitch.
  • Handle is worked back and forth in rows.

Start with magic ring, or ch 3 and sl st to form ring.
Round 1: work 6 sc into ring (if using a magic ring, pull end to close ring).
Round 2: 2 sc in each sc around. (12 sc)
Round 3: *2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next sc; repeat from * around. (18 sc)
Round 4: *2sc in next sc, sc in each of next 2 sc; repeat from * around. (24 sc)
Round 5: *2sc in next sc, sc in each of next 3 sc; repeat from * around. (30 sc)
Round 6: *2sc in next sc, sc in each of next 4 sc; repeat from * around. (36 sc)
Round 7: *2sc in next sc, sc in each of next 5 sc; repeat from * around. (42 sc)
Round 8: *2sc in next sc, sc in each of next 6 sc; repeat from * around. (48 sc)
Round 9: *2sc in next sc, sc in each of next 7 sc; repeat from * around. (54 sc)
Round 10: *2sc in next sc, sc in each of next 8 sc; repeat from * around. (60 sc)
Round 11: working in back loops only, sc in each sc around. (60 sc)
At the end of round 11, join with a sl st to the first sc of the round. (you will continue
joining rounds while working the post stitch rounds)
Round 12: ch 2, fpdc in same st as join, fpdc in each of next 2 st, bpdc in each of next 3 st, *fpdc in each of next 3 st, bpdc in each of next 3 st; repeat from * around, join with sl st around post of first dc. (60 dc post sts)
Round 13: repeat round 12, sl st in top of first fpdc made. (60 dc post sts) Round 14: ch 2, bpdc in same st as join, bpdc in each of next 2 st, fpdc in each of next 3 st, *bpdc in each of next 3 st, fpdc in each of next 3 st; repeat from * around, join with sl st to first dc. (60 dc post sts)
Round 15: repeat round 14, joining with a sl st around the post of the first dc. (60 dc post sts)
Rounds 16-23: repeat rounds 12-15 two times.
Round 24: *sc2tog, sc in each of next 8 st; repeat from * around. (do not join at the end of this round, work continuous rounds again) (54 sc)
Round 25: *sc2tog, sc in each of next 7 st; repeat from * around.
Fasten off and weave in ends.

Leaving a long length of yarn for sewing, ch 51.
Row 1: sc in second ch from hook and in each ch across., ch1 turn. (50 sc)
Row 2-4: sc in each sc across. (50 sc)
Fasten off leaving a long tail for sewing.

Sew each end of the handle to the inside of the basket using a yarn needle and making sure handles are spaced evenly apart on opposite sides of basket. Weave in all ends.

Using a yarn needle and an 18-inch length of ribbon, thread ribbon through round 20 of basket weaving ribbon thru stitches. Tie a bow with ribbon on the front of the basket. You can use fabric glue to secure ribbon if desired. Leave ribbon off, or use other colors as desired for personalized baskets.

Figure 1 :

Figure 2:

Basket Buddies
Designed By: Elizabeth Ann Smith

Skill Level: Beginner

Materials Needed:

  • Crochet Hook US G/6 (4.25mm)
  • Yarn needle
  • Stitch markers (optional)
  • 4, 9mm black safety eyes
  • Fiber fill stuffing
  • For Carrot Buddy: Vanna’s Choice: Rust and Dusty Green
  • For Egg Buddy: Vanna’s Choice Baby: Duckie or Pink Poodle
  • Small amount of black yarn or black embroidery thread for mouth.

Measurements: Carrot: 4.75” tall including leaves. Egg: 3.5” tall.

Gauge: Gauge is not essential to this project. Just make sure there aren’t big holes between stitches for the stuffing to show through.


  • st= stitch
  • ch= chain
  • sl st= slip stitch
  • sc= single crochet
  • hdc=  half double crochet
  • dc= double crochet
  • sc2tog= single crochet 2 stitches together (single crochet decrease)


  • Toys are worked in continuous rounds without joining. Use a stitch marker  to mark beginning stitch if desired.
  • Both toys are worked from bottom up.
  • Safety eyes may be a choking hazard for small children. Instead of using safety eyes you may also embroider the eyes on.

Carrot Buddy:

With Rust, start with magic ring or ch 3 and sl st to form ring.

Round 1: work 6 sc into ring (if using a magic ring, pull end to close ring).
Round 2: *2 sc in next sc, sc in each of next 2 sc; repeat from * around. (8 sc)
Round 3: *2 sc in next sc, sc in each of next 3 sc; repeat from * around. (10 sc)
Round 4: *2sc in next sc, sc in each of next 4 sc; repeat from * around. (12 sc)
Round 5: *2sc in next sc, sc in each of next 5 sc; repeat from * around. (14 sc)
Round 6: *2sc in next sc, sc in each of next 6 sc; repeat from * around. (16 sc)
Round 7: *2sc in next sc, sc in each of next 7 sc; repeat from * around. (18 sc)
Round 8: *2sc in next sc, sc in each of next 8 sc; repeat from * around. (20 sc)
Round 9: *2sc in next sc, sc in each of next 9 sc; repeat from * around. (22 sc)
Round 10: *2sc in next sc, sc in each of next 10 sc; repeat from * around. (24 sc)
Round 11: *2sc in next sc, sc in each of next 11 sc; repeat from * around. (26 sc)
Round 12: *2sc in next sc, sc in each of next 12 sc; repeat from * around. (28 sc)
Round 13-16: sc in each sc around. (28 sc)
Round 17: *sc2tog, sc in next 12 sc; repeat from * around. (26 sc)
Round 18: *sc2tog, sc in next 11 sc; repeat from * around. (24 sc)
Round 19: *sc2tog, sc in next 10 sc; repeat from * around. (22 sc)

Fasten off leaving a long tail for sewing.

Finishing: Attach safety eyes between rounds 11 & 12 and embroider mouth. Stuff carrot and sew top closed using whip stitch.

Leaf top:
With Dusty Green ch 15.
Working in second ch from hook, *sc, hdc, dc, dc, hdc, sc, sl st; repeat from *ch 1 and turn work 180°. Then working on opposite side of chain, *sl st, sc, hdc, dc, dc, hdc, sc; repeat from *. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Finishing: sew leaves to top middle of carrot, using picture as guide.

Egg Buddy:
With Duckie or Pink Poodle, start with magic ring or ch 3 and sl st to form ring.

Round 1: work 6 sc into ring (if using a magic ring, pull end to close ring).
Round 2: 2 sc in each sc around. (12 sc)
Round 3: *2sc in next sc, sc in next sc; repeat from * around. (18 sc)
Round 4: *2sc in next sc, sc in each of next 2 sc; repeat from * around. (24 sc)
Round 5: *2sc in next sc, sc in each of next 3 sc; repeat from * around. (30 sc)
Rounds 6-15: sc in each sc around. (30 sc)

At this point, you can attach safety eyes between rounds 12 & 13 and embroider mouth onto front.

Round 16: *sc2tog, sc in each of next 4 sc; repeat from * around. (25 sc)
Round 17: sc in each sc around. (25 sc)

Begin stuffing toy and continue stuffing as work progresses.

Round 18: *sc2tog, sc in each of next 3 sc; repeat from * around. (20 sc)
Round 19: sc in each sc around. (20 sc)
Round 20: *sc2tog, sc in each of next 2 sc; repeat from * around. (15 sc)
Round 21: *sc2tog, sc in next sc; repeat from * around. (10 sc)
Round 22: sc2tog around. (5 sc)

Cut yarn leaving a long tail. Using yarn needle, sew the top sts closed and weave in ends.

**Please note, this pattern is for personal use. Please do not copy, redistribute or sell this pattern. Thank you!**

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Tami over at Tami's Amis hosts a WIP (work in progress) Wednesday post every week, so I thought I would join in and give you a sneak peek at a new pattern I'm designing!

Can you guess what it is?
I'm really super excited about this pattern, so I'm hoping it all works out.

This is my first time blocking anything, and it's actually kind of fun. Once the blocking is finished, I need to sew it up and add all the finishing details. Then, I'll get serious about writing the pattern. The first time I make something, I usually write a bunch of notes and outline the project. The second time is when I try to really write the pattern out so it makes sense. So be on the lookout for a new pattern from me soon!

Also, be sure to jump over to Tami's Amis and check out some more awesome works in progess! :)