I learned how to crochet

I wanted the baby to wear a crocheted hat in our family pictures that are coming up and I didn't want to buy one.  I looked on Etsy, and as adorable as they were, there is just something in me that can't handle paying for something I know I could make myself.  I used to know how to crochet, so I decided that I was going to relearn and then learn how to follow a pattern and then buy a pattern and make it happen.

It pretty much went as planned.  I was even feeling confident enough in my abilities that I abandoned the pattern I bought towards the end and went for something a little more like this.  It worked out pretty well.

I don't have any tutorials or anything for crocheters out there, being only a beginner myself, but I do have this bit of advice:  If you've ever, ever crocheted in your lifetime, you probably still remember.  It's been 10 years since I learned, I only made one thing, and I hadn't touched a crochet hook since that until 2 weeks ago, but it all came back once I started chain stitching.  Also, it turns out that crocheting patterns are not as intimidating as I thought.  At least the beginner ones aren't.


Lacy scarf

I saw this, loved it, pinned it, then made my own yesterday. 

Our family pictures are on Saturday and I'm using a skirt I got for my daughter as a jumping off point for our palette.  There's a bit of mustard yellow in it, which I DO NOT look good in.  Not in any large quantity, at least.  I thought if I made that lace infinity scarf with the goldy yellow underneath and a dense lace over it in white or cream, maybe I could pull it off.  Here's the result:

It's still a maybe, so far as it making into the family pictures.  Still, it was a lovely tutorial and my fabric only cost a total of like 4 bucks, so I feel good about it.

Baby blankets?

I'm not sure these count as actual baby blankets, but "baby swaddlers" makes it sound waaaay too complicated and "baby fabric squares" could mean almost anything.

As with many of the things I do/make, this little project was sparked by a desire to not spend a ton of money (she outgrew these weeks ago and I didn't want to spend $30 on the three of the next size up).  And a bit of a dilemma.  The dilemma: Since she outgrew her swaddlers, there were exactly 2 blankets we liked to use to wrap her up- one very thin fleece one and one very thin knitted one.  They're both stretchy, which allowed me to pull them tight around her, which I think is the secret to getting a swaddler to stay swaddled.  She always kicked her way out of the flannel ones within moments, it seemed like.  It's possible I'm just not great at swaddling (I think I've used this word in every way possible now).

Anyway, my solution was to buy a yard of stretchy knit fabric, cut it in half, and serge the edges.

Oh, I rounded the edges, too.  

I bought 2 yds of fabric, one of each color, so now I have 4 blankets for a total cost of under $10.  And I won't have to panic when one of them gets spit up/pooped/peed on, since I'll have more than one acceptable swaddling blanket waiting in the drawer.  Ah.


You can freeze everything

First, my disclaimer:  I'm no food expert.

Freezing food is great, especially if you didn't get around to canning anything this year.  Like maybe you had a baby right around the time the whole canning season rolled around...or something.  It was always my plan to go big on canning once we had a garden, but it didn't happen for me this year.  However, our garden was still kind of planned around canning in future years.  We had 6 tomato plants.  And I don't even like tomatoes (in their unaltered form- I love salsa, red sauce, ketchup, etc.). 

My mom totally saved the day when she told me you can freeze whole uncooked tomatoes.  You just wash the tomatoes, cut off the top, and stick them in a freezer bag. Awesome, right?  I had no idea.  They're great for using in sauces and soups, apparently.  You can even use them in fresh salsa in the winter, but you need to make sure that those frozen tomatoes are blemish free, since you're not cooking out any possible germs. 
{These will be sauce.}

Another of my recent favorites when it comes to freezing food: pesto.  I know you can freeze fresh herbs (though I've never done it), so it made sense that you could freeze the finished pesto.  I especially love it when I'm making a creamy pesto sauce, because it removes half the process.  I should have done this with more of my basil before it all flowered.
{I freeze it flat, breast milk style.  It makes thawing it so fast.}

Your own pie crust.  The pie crust recipe I use makes 5 single crusts.  I don't often need that much at once, so I freeze it like they do in the store- I roll it out on top of wax paper, then roll it up.  I wrap that in saran wrap, then aluminum foil.  Another way to freeze it- if you have any of those disposable pie plates, you can lay the dough in those, trim the edges, and seal it up with saran wrap.  They don't take as long to defrost as the rolled up ones.
{They remind me of Christmas crackers.}

As well as freezing this stuff, I also froze broccoli and cauliflower.  We planted more than we could eat fresh, so I just blanched the excess and stuck it in freezer bags.  

That's most of my new freezer-ing.  I need to go check out the frozen foods aisle for more ideas.  


Itty bitty flowers

My baby was blessed in our church yesterday and in honor of the occasion, I made my first baby hair accessory.  I won't bother with a tutorial here, since there are so many out there on the interwebs and many of them are way better than I would put up here.  This is a good one, and it's simple, too.  I didn't go for 100% wool felt (so expensive!), just a wool blend that I got here.
So here's my darling in her Sunday getup:

The smallest flower level is actually a fake flower that I pulled off a dollar store stem a long time ago.  I had done it to a bunch of them and used the loose flowers as a vase filler.

A note about the dress and accessories- it's actually a christening gown that my husband wore when he was blessed (yeah, I tease him about it).  There are two blankets in the pictures, one made by Elle's great-great-grandma and another made by her great-grandma (her middle namesake).  The little sweater she has on was made by that same great-grandma.  There was another sweater and some booties that were made by the same great-great-grandma, another pair of booties made for my older daughter by a different great-grandma (not the middle namesake one), and a bonnet made by my mother-in-law.  My husband's family has a lot of heirlooms.  It's neat.

There will be more little girl accessories in the future, I'm working on making them for our family pictures.

Oh, and I didn't jinx myself about the basement; it totally looks awesome right now.  I'm just waiting for my husband to sort through his junk and consolidate it down to two storage bins, then I'll have an awesome before and after.