Thursday, July 31, 2014

Patchwork Granny Blanket


I'm not sure if you guys remember the Summer Garden Throw I made for Luna's first birthday last year, but I had a ton of yarn left over when I was done. I also immediately went into project withdrawal and needed something to work on right away. I got to work right away on making this beauty and a little over a year later, it's done!

I worked on it off and on (truthfully more "off" than "on") throughout the whole past year. Maybe TV shows were watched while making this blanket. Also, a lot of Harry Potter audio books. Hehe.

I love the end result though...88 Squares later, here it is in all its glory!

Of course once you finish a big project like this you must prance it about with you take pictures. How would it look in a chair? How about with a matching pillow? Folded up?




And for those who are curious...here are the stats:

Patchwork Granny Square Blanket:
  • Yarn: Tons of leftover Simply Soft Yarns
  • Hook Size: If you look closely you'll see I didn't use the same size hook for the whole thing. Ugh. I started off with my favorite 4.25mm hook but then around Christmas I got the awesome Clover Hook Set and switched to a 4.00mm hook. I didn't think it would make so much of a difference but you can kinda tell one side is skinnier.
  • Time: One year off and on. If I worked on it consistently then it probably took about 2-3 months.
  • Size: 42in x 58in
  • Fun: 6/10. I tend to think of really large projects like this as not so much fun. It's super fun at first, then it becomes a battle of discipline, perseverance, and dedication.
  • Pattern (ish): I used the Granny Patchwork Tutorial Lucy made from Attic24.
  • Help: Click on the links above for help!
Bonus shot! Lucy is right...this blanket totally is reminiscent of Elmer, the Patchwork elephant:

I must have a problem because I just started another project (another copy cat version of Attic24's Granny Stripe Blanket) this past week. A queen sized granny stripe blanket. I may not be done for two years or so at the rate I work on things. Follow me on instagram (twofortysix) to watch the progress on my crochet projects. You can also click here to see some of the other crochet projects I've done.

I know the Attic24 designs are pretty darn popular so...how about you? Have you made one? Link to it in the comments, I'd love to see it!

-Mrs. 246

*Affiliate links used when possible. I do receive a (very) small amount of commission which will probably be used to buy more craft supplies. ;)


Feel free to pin!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Crocheted Shell Stitch Baby Blanket


I have a confession: Months and months and months ago I had such an urge to crochet a baby blanket. I don't like making things without a purpose so I thought about who I could make one for? Random coworker I don't really know too well? "Friend" from high school who just announced on Facebook that she was pregnant? No, no...that's just too weird ...

"Hey, I don't know you too well but here's this thing I spent hours and hours on for your baby I will probably never meet."

A crochet blanket is a lot of work and anytime I set out to crochet something for someone I like to make sure it's for someone who will appreciate it. That being said, it was perfect timing for Cameron at Krug the Thinker to announce her pregnancy. Still a bit weird since I don't actually know her personally but I adore her blog and I knew she would totally appreciate it. And it was just so neat to read all her pregnancy updates. It was like I was along for the ride...definitely kept up my motivation to finish the blanket in time.

I've been meaning to post pictures of this blanket for a while but I'm just now getting around to it. Truthfully, it's perfect timing since the baby was born this past week! So, without further ado...


Apparently I lost all the photos I took and these are all I have left so these will have to do. I loved making this blanket. It was easy, it was gorgeous, I love how the yarn looks! (It was quite the yarn eater though since I used two strands to make it go quicker.)

Here's the stats:

Quick(ish) Shell Stitch Baby Blanket

  • Yarn: Tons of  Simply Soft Paints in Spring Brook and a little bit of Simply Soft Medium Country Blue for the border. (I lost count on the # of skeins but it was seriously like 8-10 skeins.)
  • Hook Size: Don't quote me, but I'm pretty sure it was a Boye Crochet Hook, Size K
  • Time: 2-3 months. But honestly it was probably only about 1-2 weeks of daily crocheting. I would work on it in spurts.
  • Size: 36in x 34in (ish.) I think that's about right. I don't remember exact measurements. I actually think it was a bit larger than that. I just know that it wasn't as long as anticipated but I had given up buying more yarn. Lol.
  • Fun: 8/10. Would have been more fun had it hooked up a tad quicker but it went pretty quick for two strands. I think was really made it awesome was the yarn. If you see the blanket in real life it looks like your staring into an ocean of crochet. I think it's a very relaxing color palette and pattern to look at.
  • Pattern (ish): I didn't really use a pattern. It's just a simple shell stitch with a couple rows of HDC border except I used two strands to make it thicker and quicker to work up.
  • Help: Stitchin' Mommy has a similar blanket with tutorial. Also, here's a video if you like that sort of thing better.
Happy I could share with you! And super happy for Krug the Thinker's new bundle of joy. If you'd like to see more of my crochet projects click here.

-Mrs. 246

*Affiliate links used when possible. I do receive a (very) small amount of commission which will probably be used to buy more craft supplies. ;)

Feel free to Pin!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekly Goals {Week 30}



This past week was simply terrible. First full week after vacation and work was terrible and chaotic every. single. day. I enjoy the particular job I have now based on previous nursing jobs where I would have a sense of impending doom/dread before each shift. It was like that every day. I like this job because I don't get that feeling. But if I have another week like last week...it may turn into that. It was that bad. 
I did pretty darn good considering! The only thing I was lacking in were my  health goals. That was mostly due to being so physically and mentally drained after work. 

Here's how I did last week:

GOALS MET FROM LAST WEEK: 10/13


FAMILY/MOTHERHOOD/MARRIAGE:
1. (Motherhood) Take Luna on at least one official playdate.  Playdate with mommy and daddy's friends? It counts.
2. (Family) Get out of town - get some quality family time in on my weekend off! Check! Drove up to the Sierras with some family friends to take their engagement photos. Went hiking, found new, amazing beautiful areas that we're definitely going back to.
3. (Family) Take more pictures!! At this rate I'll have nothing past the first week of July. I didn't turn into a shutterbug again but there were a couple times this week where I actively thought, "You should take a picture of this," then I did.
4. (Marriage) Leave Ryan little surprises all week. :)Nothing as grand as I would have liked but I fit in a couple surprises.

PERSONAL:
5. Scented candle time every night! It's one of the smallest things but I got a hold of "Leaves" from Bath & Body Works and it just makes me so happy every night. I think I'll have to stock up! Yes! I've even got Mr. 246 on board. We may have bought more candles. Why didn't I do this before?! Oh yea....read a book about all the chemicals a couple years ago. Ermm....still beats animal smell?
6. Stick to my budget!Success!

HEALTH:
7. Work out x4. I went 3 times. Pretty good for the horrible week I had.
8. 10,000 steps/day goal. I didn't have my FitBit set right but I'm pretty sure I didn't make this goal.
9. 8 glasses of water a day. Didn't count every day but I'm pretty sure I failed.

CRAFTING/HOBBY/INTERNET:
10. Two more rows of border for my crochet blanket. After a whole year of working on it....IT'S DONE!
11. Make an HP Craftalong post Check!
12. Finish secret project. Check! It was a minibook for my friend's engagement. She loved it! (...I think.)
13.  Write 2 blog posts. (This one counts!) Check...wrote three!


____________________________________________________



Weekly Goals


THIS WEEK'S GOALS:


FAMILY/MOTHERHOOD/MARRIAGE:
1. (Motherhood) Take Luna to the park at least twice.
2. (Family) Go swimming together.
3. (Family) Take more pictures! (Ongoing and repetitive but necessary to include: must take more pictures!)
4. (Marriage) At least 2-3 times, when I get things ready for the morning, get his/Luna's things together to so he can have a little bit more of a break in the morning.

PERSONAL:
5. Start reading the new book I got: The Opposite of Loneliness.
6. Save all receipts/update budget twice. Stick to my budget!

HEALTH: (We'll try this again...same goals as last week.)
7. Work out x4.
8. 10,000 steps/day goal.
9. 8 glasses of water a day.

CRAFTING/HOBBY/INTERNET:
10. Finish Yarndale Mandala, take pictures, and send it off!
11. Make an HP Craftalong post
12.Work on PL at least one night.
13.  Write 2 blog posts. (This one counts!)

Wish me luck! And good luck to you too! Let's kick this week's butt!

-Mrs. 246

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Full-Time Working Woes


I'm feeling it:
  • the lack of a good "break"
  • the stress of keeping up with the household 
  • not having enough time to do the things I love
  • the stress and sadness and guilt of not spending enough time with Luna
  • attempting to keep things together so Mr. 246 won't be stressed working and going to school.
I realize it's only been a short time and it'll be an adjustment but gosh...it really sucks. It's like everything takes just a bit more effort. The worst is the lack of quality family time. Maybe once we figure this new schedule thing out it'll be fine. Maybe I'll just work full time long enough to cover the cost of moving back to Ohio and forget about working toward a house.

Can I just win the lottery? Lol. I hope I don't sound whiny or ungrateful. Sometimes I just like to put thoughts out there to see if anyone else is going through the same thing. So, anyone else working full time? How do you fit everything in? Tell me your secrets please. 

Maybe I'll feel better after this upcoming weekend off. I wish a good weekend to all of you!

- Mrs. 246

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Our Vacation to Ohio!

 
For weeks I have been counting down the days until our trip to Ohio and it's finally come and gone. The first week of Ohio we visited Mr. 246's family and celebrated Luna's second birthday. (Can you believe it?!) I won't bother you with the hundreds and hundreds of pictures that were taken but I will share some!



We actually left the night of June 30 to take an overnight. I was weary about how taking a almost two-year-old on an overnight would be but it turned out okay. She only slept a little over two hours but was such a little trooper and very much well behaved. She was just excited about all of it. The pictures above are from the drive to SFO and the really neat hands on science playgroup thing that was right near our gate at SFO. (A genius came up with putting playgrounds in the airport!)

Hours and hours, and one layover later we landed in what we determined was the world's friendliest airport - Dayton, OH. A McDonald's breakfast and a quick drive lead us to Mr. 246's hometown and childhood home where this was waiting for Luna:


LUNALAND! My mother-in-law is the queen of details and niceties. They had so much stuff set up for Luna! And enough birthday presents for five children. Not pictured: the full size Christmas tree covered in pictures of Luna and origami ornaments made out of dollar bills (for Luna of course!).

Luna could barely walk right when we got there since she was so sleep deprived. (On her birthday no less!) We laid her down for a nap pronto because had to get rested up - it was the beginning of her unofficial birthday week! Presents were opened wherever she went and there were so many that she ended up opening presents on a daily basis. I joked that she probably thought that's just what strangers did now - meet a "stranger" and they give you a high five and a present to open.


The first night we went to Mr. 246's paternal grandparents. (Luna's GREAT grandparents! I wasn't around my grandparents growing up and I don't recall any great grandparents but now Luna has two sets of grandparents and two sets of great grandparents to spoil her. Hehe. How awesome is it to have that much family?)

An amazing dinner was made with no less than four casseroles....I was in midwest cooking heaven. I had seconds, then I had thirds. (I may or may not have gained five pounds in one week while I was there...)


We had a nice evening walk after dinner. Luna fell in love with this little car my MIL borrowed for her. Check that birthday girl out! Well, maybe not the second picture...

Then there was the house in the country:


Another afternoon we visited Mr. 246's maternal grandparents. Delicious cooking again but my favorite part was the perfect weather in the country and a HUGE yard for Luna to run in.



She loved every second of it and my heart tugged a bit and began yearning for a house of my own instead of the apartment life. All she wanted to do was play with stone birds, collect rocks, run in the grass and frolic about.

The next day, for a change of scenery, we went to Columbus area. We ate at one of our favorite restaurants, The Claddagh, which isn't on the west coast. It was just as delicious as I remembered it. Then, thanks to my almost brother-in-law, we were able to have prime rooftop seats to watch the fireworks over Columbus for the 4th of July. Totally felt VIP to me to be able to go up on the roof of one of the big buildings. It was one of those perfect nights where everything fell in to place. We couldn't have planned a better night.


We stayed at my sister-in-law's apartment, stayed up late, played board games, enjoyed each other's company. So much fun. Then the next day was the best part....the zoo!


The weather was perfect for the zoo and Luna had a blast! She quickly became obsessed with the kangaroos and we got the VIP treatment again from an old high school friend of Mr. 246 and his sister. She works at the zoo and got us into a special area to see the giraffes and African savannah area.

Another awesome night of hanging out together at my sister-in-law's apartment and sadly we were onto our last full day. We ordered some pizza and had some campfires and it was the perfect ending to our trip.


Conclusion: This post is greatly lacking in detail and emotions....if I were to include and describe the awesomeness of our trip and my in-laws it would be about five pages long. They are all such wonderful people and I am so blessed to have married into such a loving, fun, and supportive family. I don't know how I got so lucky. So, speaking of which...

Here's my somewhat big (not-so-new news): We're aiming to move back to Ohio toward the end of next year!

Mr. 246 will be finishing up with his masters and I'll have enough money saved up by then. Ever since I had Luna I knew I wanted to move back to the midwest. The west coast has a different vibe and somewhat different values. I want my child(ren) to have a somewhat similar environment to what I had growing up and you can't get that here in California. Plus we have a ton of family and lots of support in Ohio, it'll be fun for Luna to grow up around grandparents and cousins and friends. It's also cheaper to live there - maybe I'll be lucky and we'll be able to afford to homeschool. Hmmm...

Yes, anyway. So I'm super excited. And super motivated to save up my money. I even found my dream home already! Chances are it'll be gone by next year but I can dream. Haha. This seems a bit different then when we moved across country the first time. Anyone ever made a big move with children? How did that go?

Thanks for letting me share!

-Mrs. 246



Monday, July 14, 2014

Weekly Goals {Week 29}


WEEKLY GOALS MET: 11/15

FAMILY/MOTHERHOOD/MARRIAGE:
1. (Motherhood) No sneaking peeks at my phone during playtime. If I'm playing or reading I want to be all there. The rest can wait. I did better, I think!
2. (Family) I'm gonna continue with taking more pictures! An honorable goal, right? I was terrible at taking pictures this week.
3. (Family) Cook at least two meals this week! Half credit. I cooked once.
4. (Marriage) Have a video game date night. I haven't played as much lately and I know Mr. 246 loves it. Lol. Last night! We played another level of Skylanders.

PERSONAL:
5. Continue with project organization: Keep calendar up-to-date, get ready night before, continue with daily chore lists. I did pretty well...things went smoothly this week for the most part.
6. Continue organizing Luna's room. I only did a little bit, but it every little bit counts.
7. Gasp! Work on starting to get a budget together. No more willy-nilly crafting/food/random crap spending whenever I feel like it. Wooo! I did this! Mr. 246 helped me set up "You Need a Budget" on my computer. I'm gonna try this! I've set some pretty lofty savings goals and it'll be awesome if I can keep to it.

HEALTH:
8. Work out x4. Half credit. I didn't do so well and only worked out twice. It was a busy week though - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
9. 10,000 steps/day goal. Average of 10,260 steps/day. I'm actually surprised I made this goal. I really am.

10. Update MyFitnessPal in hopes I may start using it again. Check...I've started half using it again. Counts for something, right?

CRAFTING/HOBBY/INTERNET:
11. Finish secret project. *EDIT: Or work on PL at least once. Fail. But I'm a crocheting machine!
12. Catch up on blogs at least every other day. Yep!
13. Finish Luna's dress that I started in January. *EDIT: Finish one complete row of border for crochet blanket. Goal obtained last night! If you follow me on instagram you can see my progress!
14.  Write 2 blog posts. (This one counts!) Check!
15. Submit assignments on the HP Craftalong. Check!


____________________________________________________



Weekly Goals


THIS WEEK'S GOALS:


FAMILY/MOTHERHOOD/MARRIAGE:
1. (Motherhood) Take Luna on at least one official playdate. 
2. (Family) Get out of town - get some quality family time in on my weekend off!
3. (Family) Take more pictures!! At this rate I'll have nothing past the first week of July.
4. (Marriage) Leave Ryan little surprises all week. :)

PERSONAL:
5. Scented candle time every night! It's one of the smallest things but I got a hold of "Leaves" from Bath & Body Works and it just makes me so happy every night. I think I'll have to stock up! 

6. Stick to my budget!

HEALTH:
7. Work out x4.
8. 10,000 steps/day goal.
9. 8 glasses of water a day.

CRAFTING/HOBBY/INTERNET:
10. Two more rows of border for my crochet blanket.
11. Make an HP Craftalong post
12. Finish secret project.
13.  Write 2 blog posts. (This one counts!)

I'm not feeling as "gung ho" about this week. Don't know why. Maybe it's because I'm writing this post at 2:00 am Sunday night, but I'm just not feeling quite so kick ass. I am feeling enthusiastic about my crafting however. I've got a renewed enthusiasm to finish my granny square blanket and move on to the next project. And I've got to have my "secret project" finished by next weekend and it's already looking amazing. Maybe crafts will get me through this week. Haha.

Anyway, go forth and kick butt this week. Hope everyone accomplishes what they set out to do!

-Mrs. 246

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Right Now {July}



Right now I am...
reading // A Clash of Kings (off and on)
papercrafting // Secret Minibook Project.
crocheting // The scrap granny patchwork blanket
crafting // Nothing, but there are some thank you cards on my to-do list.
listening // Indie Dance and Dance Cardio (Pandora stations) while I work out
watching // Just finished Orange Is The New Black
craving // Some time to keep organizing the house.
loving // Crocheting!
playing // Skylanders SwapForce and MarioKart8 (still! lol)
wanting // To move to Ohio and buy a house now and not later. Hehe.
hating // All this non-stop Hobby Lobby talk. This isn't a political blog so I'll leave it at that.
thankful for // Family

Right now Mr. 246 is...
reading // School stuff but usually he's reading Reddit - like all the time. haha.

playing // Skylanders SwapForce and Shovel Night.
watching // The World Cup
listening // Comedy Station and Foster the People Station on Pandora
looking forward to // A possible new CAR!
wanting // Direct quote: "I always want new Skylanders."
hating // Comcast
craving // Taco Truck Tacos
loving // My new Skylanders Blanket

Right now Luna is...
reading // Everything! lots of Dr. Suess and she is constantly taking Mr. 246's Roald Dahl collection off the bookshelf even though she can't read it.
playing // Calico Critters!
watching // Dinosaur Train - the only show we let her watch, haha.
listening // Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, Itsy Bitsy Spider
saying // Anything you think a two year old wouldn't be able to say. She blows my mind every day.

loving // Visiting Ohio family and the zoo
laughing // At everything. I swear her new catchphrase is "That's funny!"
learning // She's definitely getting better at colors. She also read her name during bathtime this week. She recognized that it said Luna.
mastering // Working the teeny weeny accessories of Calico Critters.

What have you been up to lately?

 -Mrs. 246