Saturday, December 8, 2012

Advent tree + pattern

I finally finished the Advent tree! It's over a week into December, so we are starting late. But I am *so* happy with how it came out. The picture doesn't really do it justice (bad lighting, sorry!) and I'm going to hopefully get another picture tomorrow. It stands about 39" tall. I sewed 25 buttons on (one for the star) and we can now hang an ornament on for each day.

This was my first time doing a "foundation half-double crochet." But once I watched  YouTube video (linked) and tried it out - it wasn't hard at all!

Now to start putting our Advent ornaments up :) Need some? Remember Snappy-Tots had a crochet-along with lots of great patterns!

The pattern is just a quick write-up, I'll hopefully have it tested for accuracy and make it look better soon, but I figured I will get it up now for any others still thinking or working on their Advent trees :)

1.5 skeins Red Heart "Dark Hunter."
1.5 skeins Caron Simply Soft Dark Teal Heather
(or whichever colors you'd prefer)

Some scraps of 3 different brown colors  (mine had lost their sleeves so I'm not sure their specific color names, but they were Caron Pound, Caron Simply Soft, and a Sugar n Cream cotton)

N hook

Yarn is held TRIPLE throughout the pattern.  
I held two strands Red heart, one strand Simply Soft.
Gauge is not important.

ch. 56
Row 1. hdc in 3rd ch from hook and in each across, turn
Row 2 - 9. ch 2, hdctog, hdc across to last two, hdctog in last two sts, turn
Row 10. ch6, hdc in 3rd ch from hook, hdc across, after last stitch of the row do 4 foundation hdc’s 
(for information how to do a foundation half-double crochet, see here:  You will be working in the bottom left “loop” of the previous stitch for each foundation half-double crochet), turn
Row 11 - 20. ch2, hdctog, hdc across to last two, hdctog in last two sts, turn
Row 21. ch6, hdc in 3rd ch from hook, hdc across, after last stitch of the row do 4 foundation hdc’s, turn
Row 22 - 29. ch2, hdctog, hdc across to last two, hdctog in last two sts, turn
Row 30. ch6, hdc in 3rd ch from hook, hdc across, after last stitch of the row  do 4 foundation hdc’s, turn
Row 31-38. ch2, hdctog, hdc across to last two, hdctog in last two sts, turn
Row 39. ch6, hdc in 3rd ch from hook, hdc across, after last stitch of the row  do 4 foundation hdc’s, turn
Row 40+. ch2, hdctog, hdc across to last two, hdctog in last two sts, turn

When only one stitch remains, fasten off, weave in ends.

turn tree over so it is upside down
starting at base of tree, count 21 stitches over from the right and attach yarn in 22nd, ch2
Row1. 11 hdc, turn
Row 2-5. ch 2, hdc across
Fasten off, weave in ends.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Midnight elves

I was watching a movie last night where the mom wakes up in the middle of the night and decorates the house so that the kids go to bed with the house "normal" but wake up to it all fancy/holiday-fied.

I thought... how awesome.

But, we also enjoy decorating with the girls and don't want to give that up.

Who says we can't have both though?

Tonight, we brought in our little fake tree and set it up on Blue's nightstand. When she wakes up, she'll have a little bit of Christmas just appear in her room. Next year, perhaps we'll do more and make it fancier - garland and whatnot. But for this year, this small bit of magic is awesome enough :)

Room when Blue went to bed:

Room when Blue wakes up:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Rice and ice

We had a nice December afternoon. I worked at the coffeehouse this morning then Mr. River walked over with Blue and Baby Bear, and we all continued to the mall (about a 5-10 minute walk from our house).

Our mall has an indoor ice rink for hockey and ice skating - and it's in the foodcourt. So you can literally sit over the ice rink and watch them skate/play. We picked up some Japanese food - Mr. River got sushi - and woodfired sandwiches and watched some people practice ice skating

Photo: Lunch over the ice skaters

If you can't tell by the picture, daddy got the girls ready.... the good thing was that he remembered the diaper bag. The bad part was that it was empty except one diaper LOL

After lunch, we picked up a gift for Mr. River's work gift exchange, and then we had the girls say hi to Santa - who had no line. They were able to stand in the room with him and chat for a bit. Well, Blue stared at him all wide-eyed and quiet, and Baby Bear petted Blue's hair.

We're hopeful that this "introduction" will make it easier when they get pictures next week.

Then we looked at the time, and raced home so naps could be had and Mr. River could get to work!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Is Christmas Here?

The day started in the wee hours of the morning as I finished sewing a hat onto a snowman:

Then, at a far more decent hour, we finally took down our fall season wall so that we can start our Winter and holiday crafts. I have a pretty grand idea for our "tree" but I need to get to work on it. Hopefully I will have it up in a few days :)

Beyond the tree, though, we have lots of winter crafts planned, plus our ornament advent calendar.

Today, we started some snowflakes and a Christmas countdown chain. 

For our snowflakes, I got the idea off pinterest to use coffee filters. These work ok, though they're a bit too flimsy for young children. We'll probably do other ones with normal paper. Blue's scissors are missing, and her purple spring-loaded ones are not nearly as "preschooler-friendly" as they claim. So I let her use my scissors, under our sharp (pun intended) eye. She did good, but enjoyed hanging the snowflakes up the most. We put them up on the windows of the girls' room. Between those and the Christmas lights, it's looking quite nice!

While Blue and daddy worked on the snowflakes, Baby Bear did some coloring. She bored of that quickly, though, and moved onto tasting the crayons. So, we switched her to playing with the fall leaves we had taken down.

I worked on the Christmas countdown chain, with Blue helping me count. Blue is "getting" that Christmas "is coming." But is having a harder time realizing that we'll be waiting a few weeks... not hours. I think the chain will help with that, as well as making our wall even more festive :)