Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

10 words smart people always use. I would describe this more as 10 words that people who are easy to get along with use. And it is indeed smart to try to get along with people.

If you have a spouse and children, this is why it’s important to make sure you get photos of just the two of you.

Comparing yourself to others is toxic. Here’s how to steer your thoughts to a more positive place when seeing other people’s success makes you feel badly about yourself.

A great 1-min video on some yoga to help crafters with shoulder pain. I get this, and I find it really helpful.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Strawberry Banana Ice Cream |

This 4 ingredient strawberry banana ice cream comes together quickly in a food processor- no ice cream machine needed! You just pop it into the freezer for a couple of hours, and it’s ready to go. Perfect for the warm weather that is either already with you, or hopefully coming soon (I’m in the latter camp- come on, spring!). Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken|

This slow cooker recipe is best for a weekend- if you love pineapple, you will adore this sticky Hawaiian style slow cooker chicken. It’s perfect for that take-out like taste. I find that you can skip the apricot jam and the pineapple juice (just buy the can of crushed pineapple already in juice, and you’re set) and you won’t miss out on anything. So good! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Coconut Cowgirl Coffee |

This iced coconut cowgirl coffee is perfect for those who like the idea of bulletproof coffee but want something a little sweeter, and of course love coconut! I’ve put coconut milk on my grocery list so I can try it this weekend. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: No Sew Felt Flowers |

I love these felt flowers, and they are a snap to whip up with a glue gun and some pruned branches. Wouldn’t’ they look lovely in some mason jars on a table? or maybe decorating a mother’s day gift? I think these are so pretty. Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Purl Soho Knitted Tee |

I love the simplicity of this knitted t shirt, which is totally reversible. I also love the marled look of knitting with two different colours of yarn, too! The free pattern can be found on Pinterest here, and the original pattern post is here.

I’m planning on a low key weekend this time- I’m not feeling so great, the cold that everyone has been getting has finally paid me a visit. If you need me, I’ll be taking it easy and drinking lots of hot tea. I hope you guys are all healthy and get a chance to enjoy the weekend!

Spring 2016 #craftblisschallenge Wrap Up

The #CraftyBlissChallenge on Instagram wrapped up on May 1st, and Melissa and I had so much fun hosting the spring challenge. I loved scrolling through the hashtag and seeing all the great photos, the interesting interpretations of the prompts, and getting to know some new people.  There were 1000+ photos tagged, and 83 people made it all the way through all 10 days! Melissa and I agreed we would each do a random number from the list of those who completed all the prompts, and send a little gift to that person as a thank you for participating. This year, the amazing Caterpillargreen Yarns and The Blue Brick have each offered a skein of something special to two lucky challenge participants – @spirittrailfiberworks was my lucky winner, and @k_express was the winner for Melissa!

 Here is a very small sampling of some of the awesome photos shared– and if you’d like to see more, click on the #CraftyBlissChallenge and see all the wonderful photos!

#craftyblisschallenge |

It was a great feeling of community, sharing our posts every day, checking out everyone’s photos. People posted at all sorts of different times, and in different time zones, so there was always something new to see. I also felt that so many people shared real moments and truths about their lives and how they felt about certain things, because of the prompts. Things that people treasured, and why. Or reflections on certain aspects of their life and craft. It was amazing.

As for myself, I had some challenges with truly grey and dreadful weather for days and days and days, and we all know how hard it is to get good photos when natural light has gone to play in someone else’s timezone.  These were my contributing photos to the prompts:

#craftyblisschallenge |

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I don’t usually post every day (and there are way more photos of my kidlets there than on the blog), so it was fun to stretch myself a bit. I’m actually terrible for forgetting to take photos of things, I don’t live my day-to-day life thinking, ‘I need photos to post on social media!’. What I found most interesting with doing the Instagram challenge is that I felt more alert, more tuned-in to my surroundings and how I could interpret the daily prompt. A fun way to flex some creativity!

Modification Monday: Crazed Scandinavian Leggings

Modification Monday: Crazed Scandinavian Leggings |

Original Patterns: Crazed Scandinavian Cowl  and Fair Isle Pants

Knitter Extraordinaire: Tanya (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Combining the pattern for the fair isle pants with the stranded design from the crazed Scandinavian cowl,  changed the gauge from worsted weight to fingering. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: Hands up who would love to have these amazing leggings in their wardrobe right now?! I am crazy in love with these crazed Scandinavian leggings (couldn’t resist!). Tanya set about using the fair isle pants pattern for her guide, and swatched with her fingering weight yarn to figure out which size of the pants she would need to make to account for the difference in gauge. She picked great neutral colours so that she could maximize the wearability of these leggings (I’m pretty sure they go with just about everything), and I recommend checking out her project page for the great detailed notes as well as loads of pictures, including the great contrasting waistband and the side ‘seam’ details. I’m completely blown away by these leggings, and so inspired!

Modification Monday: Crazed Scandinavian Leggings |

P.s- this isn’t Tanya’s first showing on Modification Monday, she also did this incredible Laika mod here!

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Feeling tired is no fun, so here are some tips on getting your energy back.

12 habits that are bringing your mood down.

In defense of messiness. Conversely, 4 little tricks to keep your space a bit cleaner.

So apparently someone has invented a device that deciphers cat’s meows, and then let’s you hear what they are saying in a human voice. It’s called the Catterbox, and I don’t know if I love the idea or think it’s creepy. Possibly both?

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Heathy Turtle Brownies |

These brownies are the healthed-up version of the decadent treat. There’s still chocolate chips and a fudgey texture, but with lots of fiber and protein, and no refined sugar (I tend not to have much luck with ‘no-sugar’ recipes, so I put in sugar anyway. I have a major sweet tooth). Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

vPin Ups and Link Love: Veggie Tortilla Roll Ups |

These veggie tortilla roll ups are such a great idea- they would work great for lunches, for a party tray, or even for a quick addition to the dinner plate. Plus you really could put just about any kind of veggies in there- great for using up what’s in your crisper! Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: DIY Pyramid Earring HOlder |

I love this DIY pyramid earring holder! It looks so chic and easy to assemble, and a beautiful way to store your earrings (I keep mine in a dish on the bathroom counter, they don’t look nearly as good as this). Pinterest link is here, and the original DIY post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Cables 101|

If you haven’t tried cabling knitting yet, here is a great little guide on getting started. Pinterest link is here, original post is here. 

Pin Ups and Link Love: Easy Flannel Baby Blanket|

Even for beginner sewers, this 10 minute flannel baby blanket is a great gift idea. And no matter when the baby is born, you can’t go wrong with cotton flannel for softness and durability. Pinterest link is here, and the original tutorial is here.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! I hope you have some sunshine and warm weather.

A Trio of Awesome: Cowl, Book, and Project Bag

That is my lovely new project bag from Madbird. Remember when I asked for feedback on the vote? The one with the top votes sold out (no doubt some people saw it, agreed it would be a great choice, and picked one up for themselves!), but the second one was waiting for me- and it turned out to be my favourite. Sometimes when I am trying to decide something and leave it up to chance, thinking I really don’t know which I would prefer, once the decision is made (vote, coin toss, etc.) I can see more clearly which option I most wanted (whether or not I got it is another story!). Fortunately in this case, it worked out great! I’ve been using it a lot lately, on my current knit in progress:

That is the Starshower Cowl by Hilary Smith Callis, and I’m using ‘Golden Rose’ Ombre from The Blue Brick, which is a beautiful gradient in a fingering weight. I know that right now we are looking at an unblocked pile of knitting, but if you look closely you’ll see that the gradients seem to shift right around each band of the mesh lace, so it’s lining up perfectly. The Starshower cowl is a very different pattern from a typical cowl pattern; it has a lot more shaping, and actually begins with a shawl-style construction before joining in the round. It’s so addictive to watch the colours shift as the cowl grows. I especially love this unusual bright and citrusy gradient, which has so much depth that I don’t feel the photos do it justice. But that probably also has to do with the fact that I took these photos with my cell phone thinking I was only going to use them for Instagram. I should have known better!

The project bag is a good size, comfortably holding everything in the photos- including the book! Speaking of which, this is the book I’ve been recommending to friends lately- When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi. It’s difficult not to be deeply moved by the author’s account of being at the brink of finishing up his student residency and embarking on a brilliant career as a neurosurgeon when he is faced with a terminal diagnosis of his own. And so, fighting the cancer, he sets about writing this book. It talks about his struggles coming to grips with being both the patient and a doctor, of he and his wife deciding to have a baby even though how long he will be alive to see that baby grow is uncertain, and throughout it all he talks about what makes a life worth living when you thought you had decades ahead of you and find that number is greatly diminished. The afterward, written by his wife, is as eloquent and beautifully told as the book.

I finished reading it one weekend morning, and as I was wiping away tears, Lila asked me what I was reading. I told her it was a book about a doctor, and that it was a bit sad. She paused for a moment, and then said, “Because the doctor says ‘no more monkeys jumping on the bed’?” And I laughed and cried and hugged her and felt so freaking fortunate to be alive and watching her grow. So…. if you like books that give you that sort of feeling, then I highly recommend.