Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Putting Edge Mini Golf - Living the Dream Wednesday

Todd and I loooovvvveeee to play putt putt. We go one or two times a month, and are always looking up new places to play... I have to take a moment out of what I am typing to share that my cat, Shiloh, is laying right next to me sleeping AND dreaming. His paws are moving, and he is growling. He must be dreaming about coming across another cat. Hehehehe! Anywho! We love to play putt putt, period. Please leave suggestions in the comments below on mini golf places you recommend (with city and state)! That way I can build a book on places to go when we are planning our vacations :)

Last weekend, Todd, my cousin Patrick and I went to Putting Edge here in Orlando. It's located in the Artegon Marketplace on International Drive, which has recently closed, but you can still access the mini golf, movie theater, and a couple other big shops for now. Looking online, Putting Edge has locations in four other states and several through Canada.

At Putting Edge you mini golf an 18-hole course illuminated by black light. You putt putt through different themes displayed in neon colors like a fairytale land, outer space, an ocean/lake, a garden (and jungle I've read online). Make sure you wear the appropriate clothing (white) so you can glow too!
Through the course you'll enjoy the challenges thrown out at you, like bowling the ball, kicking it with your foot and using a tiny putter (to name a few).

This is the first place Todd and I played mini golf together :) We are sad that it is closing, and hoping they relocate somewhere nearby so we can keep going here. It is also a great rainy-day option as it is indoors.
I can say that I was especially excited about this game because I won! And that never happens - haha! Only by one point, but woo hoo!

Enjoy your Wednesday!

This image is part of the garden.
It's a woman made of flowers.
My Knight in Shining Armor - hehe.
This room had a few of them. 
What a beautiful castle :) 
You can't see this one too well, but it's a window with a water view.
I would love to have a window like this in my house. 
This one is my favorite! It's in the garden, near the woman's face.

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Heartstrings Slouch Hat - Crochet Pattern Review - Kirsten Holloway Designs

I pattern tested this for Kirsten of Kirsten Holloway Designs, and it was a lot of fun! It features a line of star stitches that turned sideways create rows of small hearts - something I did not realize before beginning the pattern, but learned afterwards was the intention. I was intrigued by the texture and addition of the star stitch, and was quick to volunteer for it. 

There's also some matching Heartstrings Fingerless Gloves - another free crochet pattern!

Are you a raveler? If so, make sure to favorite this Heartstrings Slouch Hat and link up your project to it!

Materials I Used:
     - 203 yards of Deborah Norville's Everyday Soft in the Aubergine colorway
     - H8/5mm Crochet Hook 
     - #18 Tapestry Needle for Weaving and Sewing
     - Heartstrings Slouch Hat, Free Crochet Pattern from Kirsten Holloway Designs

Material Notes:
     Pattern calls for worsted weight yarn. Red Heart Soft used in original pattern. 

Originally in testing, the pattern called for 200-225 yards. My skein of 203 yards was only enough to work half way through Round 5 of the Brim, which is where I finished and it worked out just fine (though I did not include the button tab). Good news, with two skeins you should be able to work up the full hat with tab, AND the matching gloves :)

Time Spent:
     I had my hat finished in just over four hours.

Measurements:
     Finished measurements are 10" across (20" in circumference) by 9 3/8" tall.

My Gauge:
     Working in pattern and before brim and sewing, my piece measured 8" (shorter than should have been, but perfect for me).

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Pattern Notes:
     I settled on the 5mm hook for my piece, though I think with an I9/5.5mm hook, I probably would have been able to get to the 8.5" length stated in the pattern and the hat would have had more drape and flexibility. I do think the 8" length worked out perfectly though as I don't like my slouches to be too long, or else I think the ends tend to sit a little funny. From this length you'll gain some extra with the brim.

When working the Row 2's, I worked the beginning and end stitches into the actual stitch, not the 3rd loop to keep my edges straight and consistent.

To help keep my edge straight, when I worked the Row 3's, I added a yarn over after the initial chain, and omitted the second stitch which works into the side of the stitch. Worked wonderfully.
I just wanted to also point out in Row 3 (even though it's stated in the pattern), there is no chain 1 after the last star as the half double crochet creates an equal space, and secures the star. It is very easy to mistakenly add one there, and then the row will not form correctly.

In reference to Row 5, I don't like the uneven edge by working into the last stitch, rather than the chain. Personal preference - I worked the last stitch into the chain.

To reach the desired 20" length, I worked 12 repeats plus the original making 13 total. With working these repeats, I worked Round 1 of the Brim as 6 stitches in the first repeat, 5 in the next, 6 in the next, 5 in the next... around. Worked out perfectly.

In the seaming process, I turned my hat to the wrong side before sewing up the side. This isn't really necessary when using the whipstitch, but I think it hides the seam better.
Here's where I made my mistake... I went right from sewing up the side, to closing up the hole. In the testing process I did not know that the stars were supposed to be hearts so I wasn't looking for it, but in the published pattern it's emphasized so just make sure you pay attention to which end you close up as the top. Either way, the hat still looks great so if you do do them upside down like I did, it's really no big deal. 
To sew up the top, I worked from the wrong side, and weaved my needle in and out of every other stitch along the top. Once back to the beginning, I pulled it closed, and sewed to secure.

In reference to the brim, working a post stitch already shortens the length of the stitch. I did start by working the brim as written, but I just didn't like how the brim was bunching and didn't have as much flexibility. Usually, and in this case too, I worked each post stitch as a double crochet, and worked the regular stitches as half double crochets. This helps create a nice even piece with nice stretch.

As mentioned before, I ran out of yarn working on Round 5 so to finish off my hat, I ended up working through Round 4 as written, and then worked a final round of single crochets and fastened off.

Because I ran out of yarn, I did not work or test the button tab. I like how my hat looks without it, but think the hat looks even better with it, especially with that pretty flashy button that Kirsten used! You could experiment with a different color just for the brim, and then make the tab the original color, or make the tab with a different color. Find some fun, elegant button to attach - could take a trip to your local thrift store in search of a vintage button or even try your hand at making one out of clay or tree branch!
The pattern was fun, and simple but looks elegant and more complex. I love the mix of stitches, and the fit is great. I was a little worried that with the extra bulk in the top of the hat that it wouldn't sit right, but I wore the hat around all day, and didn't run into any issues - and it received many compliments.

Aside from this hat (and the matching gloves found in the introduction), I think this stitch combination would be perfect for a cowl, scarf, wrap, blanket, placemats, table runner, skirt, blouse... Just to name a few. Feeling adventurous? What would you make to match?

With so many size, yarn type and color options, I would love to see them! Join the EyeLoveKnots Crafting Community to share your creations, and see what other's are up to! or our latest Yarn Fanatic Party Link Up!

Don't miss out on new crochet patterns, reviews, jewelry tutorials and more! Subscribe to EyeLoveKnots by using the box on the right side toolbar, or follow me via Bloglovin!

Don't Crochet but Interested in Purchasing a Heartstrings Slouch Hat?

     Visit the EyeLoveKnots Etsy Shop to see what I have available! Use the search box to type in what you have in mind, or feel free to send me a message with your custom request. I am happy to make in any custom size and/or color. View color options here: Everyday Soft.

Friday, April 21, 2017

March 2017 Nails: Gray with a Daisy - Nail Inspiration

I went into this nail appointment thinking I was just going to get a manicure done, and not put any polish on, but when I looked over and saw this gray color on the ladies fingernails next to me, I just had to have it! It really is such a beautiful color, and neutral so it matches with everything!

I asked for a surprise design, and Lynn painted on a little flower for me on my ring fingers. I did pick out the yellow center though, hehe!
This is definitely something you could put on yourself using a nail polish pen - like I used in my Spring Flowers Nail Art Tutorial - or a toothpick, bobby pin, or dotting tool.

As mentioned before, I always go to the same place to get my nails done. They have great service, and fantastic staff. If you are in the Orlando area and looking for a place to get your nails done, make sure you stop by Club Nails and Spa! Tell them Alexandra sent you :)


I do have some other Nail Inspiration and tutorials for you on my Nail Art page. I would like to start doing some more nail art tutorials. Anything specifically you'd like to see? Drop me a line below!

If you love to craft too, I would love to see your photos and get your recommendations! Join the EyeLoveKnots Crafting Community to share your creations, and see what other's are up to!

Don't miss out on new crochet patterns, reviews, jewelry tutorials and more! Subscribe to EyeLoveKnots by using the box on the right side toolbar, or follow me via Bloglovin!

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Reversible Celtic Weave Wrap & Pattern Pack Pro #31

Photo Courtesy of Pattern Pack Pro
My Reversible Celtic Weave Wrap can be found in the latest issue of the The Pattern Pack Pro Magazine - April 2017, Issue 31, Wraps - which features four gorgeous rectangle wraps.

When I first saw the call for wraps, and read that they could be any style, I jotted down and began two different wraps - one being this Reversible Celtic Weave Wrap, and the other being a fun triangle shawl. After only working a few rows and ripping back and reworking on this wrap, I decided to take a break on this one until after the deadline, and focus my attention on the triangle one to submit - and it paid off because it was accepted!
But... Since it featured flowers, Emily (Pattern Pack Pro Editor) though it would fit better into an upcoming Happily Hooked Magazine issue, and so I was left to return back to my celtic weave wrap because I really wanted to be included in this issue, and keep my spot. 

I was in love with the beautiful texture of the celtic weave paired with the creamy color, but my horizontal sides were curling! What to do... What to do? Well, I went back to my local Hobby Lobby for some more yarn when I spotted the bright blue color you see on the belly of this wrap - it's called Splash. This is probably my new favorite color - I have it on my nails and toes, and several WIPs. Anywho, to solve the curling, I decided I was going to work a separate piece of a single, solid stitch pattern and attach it to the celtic weave layer to make it sturdier, and reversible. 

And... After 16 hours or so, my Reversible Celtic Weave Wrap was complete, and mailed off for photography, and I was super excited about sharing this design! I think it would look great as part of a wedding ensemble - could be white on top, and the bridal color on the bottom - or as part of a holiday ensemble - could be all white, or black on the top and gold on the bottom - just to name a few ideas. You also could just continue in pattern, and work up a throw blanket!

To complete your own wrap, you will need less than two skeins each of Baby Bee's Sweet Delight Yarn - I used the Naked and Splash colorways - or about 2260 yards of light weight yarn, and an H8/5mm crochet hook. 

Issue 31 Also Features...
The Evening Clouds Shawlette (left) by Natalia Johnson, the Juliaetta Shawlette (top right) by Debbie Richardson and Jen's Tunisian Winter Wrap (bottom right) by Darcy Johnson.
Front cover of Pattern Pack Pro April 2017 Issue 31.
Hop on over to the Happily Hooked Magazine site to subscribe and get the current issue - April 2017, Issue 31!

Share your version of this project on Ravelry - Reversible Celtic Weave Wrap. Check out the EyeLoveKnots Ravelry page to keep track of all your EyeLoveKnots favorites in your que, and share your WIPS and finished projects!

Don't miss out on new crochet patterns, reviews, jewelry tutorials and more! Subscribe to EyeLoveKnots by using the box on the right side toolbar, or follow me via Bloglovin!


Don't Crochet but Interested in Purchasing a Reversible Celtic Weave Wrap?
     Visit the EyeLoveKnots Etsy Shop to see what I have available! Use the search box to type in what you have in mind, or feel free to send me a message with your custom request. I am happy to make in any custom size and/or color. View color options here: Sweet Delight.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

DIY Easter Egg Pom Pom Decoration - Written by Tiffany

I've  been making tissue paper pom poms for several years now. I love how simple and fun they are to make. They can be used for any occasion and in many ways such as centerpieces or hanging decorations. There are so many variations you can do too.  
After Easter my kids always have an enormous amount of plastic egg shells. I  usually save some thinking I will find another use for them. Until now they have just sat in a storage bin. It’s great to finally have a use for these bright and colorful eggs.
This project can be done in as little as five minutes. It’s also kid friendly, so the little ones can help out too. This tutorial was written by my awesome cousin, Tiffany, for EyeLoveKnots! She loves baking and DIYing, and is going to be joining us more often. Want to see something specifically? Drop us a line below!
Supplies Needed:
- about 15 sheets of square tissue paper
- String
- Plastic Easter eggs
- Scissors
- Glue ( I used a hot glue gun for quick application)

Direction:
1. Start at one side of the stacked tissue paper and fold the sheets in an accordion style. Make sure to press each fold down as you go. Make each fold about an inch wide. 
2. Securely tie a string around the middle of the folded tissue paper. If you are planning on hanging the pom pom, make sure to leave extra string to hang it.
3. Cut triangle shapes along the edge of the accordion folds. I made mine about an inch deep. You can also cut different designs for a different look.
4. Gently pull inch sheet of tissue paper out so that it begins to fan out into a ball shape. Continue doing this around until all of the sheets are separated.
5. Glue the plastic eggs in various sections of the pom pom until you have the look you are going for.
Have fun and get creative with it!
Please DO NOT claim this tutorial as your own nor should you sell this tutorial, and DO NOT re-publish these photos as your own. DO NOT copy and paste this recipe anywhere, link to it instead.
Join the EyeLoveKnots Crafting Community to share your creations, and see what other's are up to! 

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Chicken Parmesan Sliders - Recipe Review - Home Made Interest

Tuesday afternoon, I was out and about yarn shopping (as if I don't already have enough - ha!) and was trying to figure out what to do about dinner. Todd and I had talked about doing Hamburger Helper as we have a bunch up on the shelf, but I wanted something more. I turned to the Betty Crocker site, but nothing really popped out at me. After about half an hour of searching, I turned to Pinterest and found these Chicken Parmesan Sliders from Home. Made. Interest. - perfect! I stopped by Winn Dixie on my way home, and picked up the few ingredients needed.

Yields: 12 Sliders (to feed about 4-6)

Prep Time: Less than 15 Minutes

Bake Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:
     - 12 Sliders - I used 12 of Martin's Sliced Potato Rolls
     - 1.56 lb of Chicken Stripes - I used a whole bag of Tyson's Crispy Chicken Tenders
     - 2.5 cups of pasta sauce - I used a whole jar of Classico's Tomato & Basil
     - 2 cups of shredded cheese - I used a whole bag of SE Grocers brand Finely Shredded 6-Cheese Italian Blend (which included Parmesan, Mozzarella, Provolone, Romano, Fontina, Asiago)
     - 3 tbsp butter, melted - I like to use Country Crock stick butter
     - 1 tsp garlic powder
     - 1-ish tsp Italian Seasoning 

You Will Also Need:
     - Baking Sheet
     - Aluminum Foil - to cover pan, and sliders
     - Pam (or Butter) - for greasing pan
     - Measuring Spoon and Cup - I only needed a teaspoon
     - Knife - to cut sliders
     - Chicken Parmesan Sliders, Free Recipe from Home. Made. Interest

Ingredient Notes:
     Above, I have provided the measurements for what I used - all are off from original recipe. All based on what I had on hand, and how it played into the recipe. For example, the original recipe called for 2 cups of pasta sauce, but I didn't want to leave 1/2 cup of sauce in the jar, so I used it all. Visit the original recipe for their measurements.
     Shredded Cheese: Original recipe calls for 2 cups each of Mozzarella and Parmesan. The only Parmesan cheese I could find was $4 a bag, and I wasn't about paying that. I found a combo cheese that had both, and others in it. I bought two bags to equal 4 cups, but I only ended up using one bag.
     Baking Sheet: Original recipe calls for a 9x13 casserole dish, but they also used small slider rolls. My rolls would not fit in the casserole dish, so I used a baking sheet.
     Foil: For easy clean up on the baking sheet, plus is needed in baking process.

*All ingredients found at my local Winn Dixie - not a sponsored post.

Recipe Notes:
     In the recipe, there seems to be a debate in the comments about using frozen tenders versus cooked tenders. I put half of my bag of tenders on a plate and heated for 3 minutes, then repeated with other half. This cooked them enough to not be frozen, and then baked the rest of the way assembled. I did not have any trouble with cold or undercooked chicken, and my bread didn't burn having to bake longer.

I lined my baking sheet with foil, and assembled as directed. I used a teaspoon to pour the garlic butter on each roll so it would be more even, and then I sprinkled on the italian seasoning straight out of the packet - not really sure if I used a teaspoon, perhaps a little more. There's plenty in the packet though!

Baked as directed, and my sliders came out perfectly! 

I will say, I made the whole pack of 12 sliders this time, but between the two of use, we only ate half of them. I was worried that they'd be soggy when I pulled them back out, but they really weren't. If you are concerned, or don't want to make a whole pack, it can easily be cut in half for Lunch/Dinner for 2. Left as such for Lunch/Dinner it will feed 4-6 or work great as appetizers, as I think this would be a great finger food to bring to a party or to munch on before dinner.

*To ReHeat: PreHeat oven to 425 F. Lay leftovers on greased baking sheet, and bake 7 (to 10) minutes. I did 6 sliders at 7 minutes.
Put your ingredients together, and go visit Home. Made. Interest to get started on your own delicious Chicken Parmesan Sliders!

If you love to bake/cook (and/or craft) too, I would love to see your photos and get your recommendations! Join the EyeLoveKnots Crafting Community to share your creations, and see what other's are up to!

Don't miss out on new crochet patterns, reviews, jewelry tutorials and more! Subscribe to EyeLoveKnots by using the box on the right side toolbar, or follow me via Bloglovin!

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Chicken Coasters & Happily Hooked Magazine Issue 36

Photo courtesy of Happily Hooked Magazine.
My Chicken Coasters can be found in the latest issue of the Happily Hooked Magazine - March 2017, Issue 36 - which features some pretty and practical Home Decor Projects.

For Todd's mom's birthday last year, he asked me to make some chicken coasters for her because she looovvveeess chickens! I came up with both of these designs, but settled on the Hen ones, and ended up making a set of 6.
They all laughed at the other design, saying it looked like a chicken's butt! That one was inspired by my Cat Face Coasters - I was going for a similar look. Worked out even better I guess, hehe!

To complete these coasters, you will need less than one skein each of Lily Sugar n Cream Yarn - I used Ecru, Red and Yellow colorways - or about 105 yards of worsted weight cotton yarn, and an I9/5.5mm crochet hook. With one super sized skein, you can easily make 6 - 8 coasters (or maybe even more).

Issue 36 Also Features...

These Crochet Patterns:
     - Spring Breeze Blanket by Kenneth Cormier
     - Cypress Bloom Centerpiece by Kenneth Cormier
     - Mandala Clock by Lucy Ward
     - Parchment Meadow Pillow by Heather C Gibbs
     - Jewel Tones Baby Blanket by Angela Plunkett
     - Paw Print Pillow by Karen Peacock
     - Cotton Candy Pom Pom Rug by Lee-Anne Sartori
     - Cottonwood Dishcloth by Debbie Richardson
     - Textured Waves Rug by Patsy Harbor for Red Heart

These Articles:
     - Stitch of the Month: Simple Chevron
     - Business Tip: Dealing with Negative Feedback
     - Crochet Heals: Athena Field
     - Artist Profile: Hannah March Sanders
     - Random Acts of Giving
     - Hooked on... Roundup
     - Red Heart Pattern Roundup
A few of my favorites include the Paw Print Pillow (top left), which includes "meow" and "woof", the Cottonwood Dishcloth (top right), which is a great project to learn the stitch on and apply to others, the Mandala Clock (bottom left), and the Spring Breeze Blanket (bottom right), which would look great in any color combination!
Photo is front cover of March 2017, Issue 36.
Hop on over to the Happily Hooked Magazine site to subscribe and get the current issue - March 2017, Issue 36!

Share your version of this project on Ravelry - Chicken Coasters. Check out the EyeLoveKnots Ravelry page to keep track of all your EyeLoveKnots favorites in your que, and share your WIPS and finished projects!

Don't miss out on new crochet patterns, reviews, jewelry tutorials and more! Subscribe to EyeLoveKnots by using the box on the right side toolbar, or follow me via Bloglovin!


Don't Crochet but Interested in Purchasing a set of Chicken Coasters?
     Visit the EyeLoveKnots Etsy Shop to see what I have available! Use the search box to type in what you have in mind, or feel free to send me a message with your custom request. I am happy to make in any custom size and/or color. View color options here: Lily Sugar n Cream.

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