Monday, December 26, 2011

Crocheted Christmas Gifts

Since it's after Christmas, I think it's safe to assume that my friends opened their gifts already and there isn't a risk of spoiling the surprise anymore. Here are some of the handmade gifts I prepared this year.

Giraffe Beanie
This hat would have otherwise been too hot for the Philippines, but I made it for my 5-year old godson who lives in Baguio City. Baguio City a city in the mountains up north and the only place in the Philippines with colder weather. I'm hoping he will send me a photo of him wearing it.

My favorite project so far... because it turned out so cute! 

I made these crocheted baby booties that look like Converse shoes for my office mate who is expecting a baby boy. I also made a matching white bear hat (no photo, sorry) to go along with these booties.

Those are it actually. If I had more time, I would have made more. I downloaded several free patterns for baby booties which I would love to try. I'm currently on vacation and working on another crochet project. A bigger project this time. I hope I get to show it to you guys soon!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sharing my 'Home for the Holidays'

Just wanted to let you know that I'm guest posting over at Amy's blog, One Artsy Mama, today for her Our Home for the Holidays series. I will be sharing about our family's tradition for Christmas eve.

So head on over there if you want to know how we celebrate Christmas eve here in the Philippines

Wishing Christ's blessing for all of you this Christmas. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

First attempt at a Diaper Cake

We organized a surprise baby shower for one of my friends (who was my maid of honor at my wedding) last Sunday. I volunteered to make the diaper cake because I have always wanted to try making one after I saw one for the first time at my sister's baby shower. 

I looked for inspiration online and it looked simple enough... but I had no idea rolling each and every diaper is so boring tedious!

We didn't have a party theme but we know she's having a boy so our main motiff was light blue. I used light blue and white ribbon to secure each tier. Then I printed baby animals on white card stock, cut each of them out, and glued them to the ribbon around the cake. I didn't have a cake topper so I printed a card that says "See you soon, TJ!" and stuck it on top of the cake. 



Not bad!

I also took care of the souvenirs.

I buy my baby wipes in bulk so I still had a lot at home. I printed smaller cards like the one I used to top the cake, taped it to the pack, and tied the entire package with a light blue satin ribbon.



I wish I had more time to DIY the decor but one of my friends was kind enough to take care of that.

Hope you all had a great weekend! It's 1 more week before Christmas! Are you excited? :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bonnie's 'Hair' Bonnet

  • 7 crocheted hats (including the ones for the dolls)
  • 1 pair of crocheted booties
It might not look like much but those projects took me quite a while to finish. I can't wait to share pictures of some of the stuff I made for gifts but I don't want the recipients to accidentally stumble onto my blog entry and ruin the surprise so I will be sharing them after Christmas.  They are already posted on my Ravelry account though. So if you are on Ravelry, please visit me!

Here's one of the projects that I can share though.

I made a hat for Bonnie, my daughter's other doll that burps when you tap her back, and says "Mama!" and "Dada!" when you press her hands. And the dress? It's the same one I made for Lizzie, it just gets passed around for both dolls since it fits them both. I really need to make more clothes for her dolls.

What's so special about this hat is that it comes with 'hair'... because you see, Bonnie is a baby doll that came to us wearing pajamas and a bonnet and without any hair.

Hello there!
But since she's all grown up now (according to Andrea), she needs to have more hair (according to Andrea too... she's 2 years old, where does she get these ideas???). I initially wanted to make her another bear hat, because that has braids... but I have already made several other bear hats since the time I posted about it to give away as gifts in a span of a few days and to be honest, I wanted to try something new.

Without a design in mind, I set about making the hat. I didn't use a pattern for this. I just kept fitting it on Bonnie's head until I was happy with the width and length of the hat. I wanted to make it 'girly' so I added scalloped edges. To make the scalloped edges, change your hook to one size smaller than the one you used for your hat and:

Row n+1 (where n is the last row on your hat): YO (if you are using different color yarn, if not, and still using the same yarn,  skip to Chain 1), Chain 1, *SC and HDC on one stitch, HDC and SC on next stitch*, scallop made. Repeat * until you have covered the edge of the hat in scallops.

 I also added a flower using this pattern on Ravelry (I think you have to be logged in to view the pattern). Then comes the fun part, adding the hair! My method was a little rudimentary: 

STEP 1: I  held a piece of yarn at the back of Bonnie's head where the hat meets the nape;
STEP 2: Stretched the yarn to the length I want Bonnie's hair to be and then doubled that length and cut the yarn. 
STEP 3: I then cut more pieces of yarn of the same length as that first piece. The number of pieces you need will depend on how think you want the hair to be. 
STEP 4: Then I attached it to the hat from the side, to the back, to other side, like this:

I bunched my yarn pieces in groups of 3... then using a large crochet hook, I  inserted one end from the inside of the hat through one of the stitches at the bottom.. and then inserted the end again on the next stitch. 

STEP 5: Repeat until all your yarn pieces are hanging from the hat. 
STEP 6: Then part 'hair' in the middle, and secure with pony tails. Yep, the only thing securing the hair to the hat is the pony tail holder. 

I used non-slip pony tail holders for Bonnie's Hat to make sure Andrea does not accidentally undo the pony tail and pull out all of Bonnie's 'hair'. I was so excited about this after I finished because I couldn't wait to make more 'hair' hats for Bonnie! I'm already working out several ideas in my head.

Linking up to the following parties:
Made by You Monday at Skip to My Lou | Handmade Tuesdays at Ladybug Blessings | Making Mondays Marvelous at C.R.A.F.T. |

Greenmeadows Christmas Bazaar!!

There are several things I love about the Christmas season, one of which is BAZAAR SEASON!!!

Bazaars... my joy and my curse. I always promise myself I will only go there to see what's new but I always manage to go home with an empty wallet. I'm a mall rat so I'm usually only exposed to what the malls have to offer. Going to bazaars opens my eyes to other great stuff being marketed out there and I love them for bringing them within my reach.

Anyway, there is going to be a bazaar at Greenmeadows this weekend and they seem to have a lot of great stuff!


MILK TEA LOVERS who will RSVP via email before December 17 will get a free drink of your choice with sinkers, from the Cha Dao Tea Place Booth at the bazaar. To RSVP, send you Full Name and Mobile number to

Bare Minerals is giving away mineral make up gift packs to you and 3 of your friends, worth P2000 each! Just RSVP via email before Dec. 17 by sending your full name and mobile number to First 50 to RSVP may claim a gift pack at the Organizers booth on December 18-19.

The Greenmeadows Xmas Rush Bazaar is the perfect place! No traffic, no crowded malls, no long lines... Just you and 120 handpicked vendors. You will surely find the perfect gift!

DECEMBER 17 - 18 (10AM-7PM)

Free entrance!!!
Free gift wrapping!!!
Hourly raffles!!!
And for the grand raffle, spa treatments and major kitchen appliances are up for grabs!!!

See you this weekend!!!


Did you see that? Free giftwrapping! That would have saved me a lot of time. And Greenmeadows is not so far from my house. Me going! If you're in Manila, you might want to check this out too. See you there! :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Decorative Thumbtack Christmas Ball

Finally! A craft project (albeit a very simple one).

So while I was stuck at home suffering from food poisoning yesterday (sigh... long story), I managed to finish my gold Christmas ball.

Here it is, sitting on top of the vase I "borrowed" indefinitely from my grandmother. I used EXACTLY 600 thumbtacks for this project. I know because, each box contains 100 tacks and I used 6 boxes.So the finished ball is a little heavy.

I used to see this project a lot around blog land a few months ago. There is a tutorial for this over at Landee See, Landee Do. I have to admire those who did more than one... this takes patience! Imagine carefully tacking each thumbtack 600 times! Though I guess others used smaller styrofoam balls.

Here's a photo of the ball while it was still in progress.
After I finished... er... I actually didn't know what to do with it. I initially wanted to stick a fabric poinsettia flower on top of the ball but it wasn't looking quite right (and it messes with the balance of the ball) so I scrapped the idea and covered the entire styrofoam ball with thumb tacks.

For now, I added it to my little ensemble on top of the shoe cabinet on our entryway.

I have some more Christmas DIY items on my list and maybe I'll find another place for it soon (sometime before Christmas, I hope).

Next on my list: WREATH! Stay tuned!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Crochet Project: More bear hats!

I posted the one I made from Andrea before but I didn't get nice pictures. I have made 2 more since then, using the same pattern from Maybe Matilda: One for my niece (she asked for a white one), and another one for Andrea's doll, Lizzie (yes, we already named her, finally!). They like to match you know.

I had to distract them by handing them stuff to hold to get them to stay still for the photo. Lizzie's hat was made from left over crochet thread after I made Andrea's.

She realized I was taking pictures and decided to hide behind balls of yarn :-/
Andrea and her doll, Lizzie (which she calls Baby Lizzie) with matching hats.
And finally... I was able to catch that elusive smile on camera again!

Errr... she was laughing because... um... you see, these photos were taken at my sister's bed room. And my sister was knitting while we were taking pictures. And Andrea thought it was ok to play her "Pulling Game" with Aunt Irene. The "Pulling Game" goes like this: Andrea sees yarn... Andrea grabs yarn... Andrea pulls yarn with all her might while chanting "Pull! Pull! Pull!". I don't know where she got this from, but she does this when I'm crocheting ALL the time! I've gotten used to it but my sister was caught by surprise and screamed. Andrea laughed. I grabbed her and ran out the door to avoid my sister's wrath. You can imagine what happened with the knitting.

Linking up to the following parties:
Made by You Monday at Skip to My Lou | Handmade Tuesdays at Ladybug Blessings | Making Mondays Marvelous at C.R.A.F.T. |

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Crochet Project: Ruffled Flower

Another flower, this time I made this for me. 

I bought some white acrylic yarn from the mall and wanted to try making booties after I downloaded a pattern on Ravelry. However, I didn't think this type of yarn will be good for any baby so I scrapped that idea and tried to make a flower for me instead.

I didn't use a pattern for this one. I just made a circle and then to make it ruffle, I just put 3 or 4 DC on each DC stitch on the previous row. The scalloped edges was something I tried to figure out on my own too. I think I did one SC and HDC on one DC on the previous row.. and then one HDC and one SC on the next DC on the previous row.

I then sewed on pearl beads and Swarovski crystals at the center, glued a piece of felt at the back and a piece of Velcro. The pin or clip can be attached to the flower using Velcro. I'll try to make another one and write down the pattern so I can share here.

Linking up to the following parties:
Made by You Monday at Skip to My Lou | Handmade Tuesdays at Ladybug Blessings | Making Mondays Marvelous at C.R.A.F.T. |

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Yarn Addiction

Hello. My name is Janelle and I am a... yarn addict this time. 

I was obsessing on yarn all of last week. I don't know why... it's not like I have any major project to use them for lined up. Aside from more hats and baby booties (the only projects that are within my skill range at this time), I don't really feel confident about making anything else. I guess part of what's fueling this obsession is the fact that good yarn is so hard to find in Metro Manila! So when I do find some... I HOARD!

Here are a few of my precious finds:

I got these from Craft World at Megamall. They only had 3 balls of this type and color so I got all 3 balls. They have another 3 balls of this type in beige and I've been thinking of getting those too (if they are still there). Each ball costs P250 (approx $5.77). The lady at Craft World told me they got it from Thailand and after buying it, I was seriously considering a quick trip to Thailand early next year to buy yarn. Who knows... I might be able to get away with it if I don't tell my husband exactly why I suddenly and desperately want to go to Thailand.

The labels for this yarn doesn't really tell me much about it: what weight it is, made from what, etc. I just bought it because I thought they were pretty, and different from the usual yarn I see around. Here's a close up:

Does anyone know what type of yarn this is? I tried searching online and I did find this site... only Google Translate doesn't fully translate it to English so I can't read it. I did see though, that is is available from that website for only $2.83! Darn it, I had to pay 2x that price. 

I also remembered that they make knitted and crocheted hats and sweaters in Baguio. So I contacted one of my friends who lives there and asked her about it. She said you can buy yarn by the kilo in Hangar Market in Baguio City. Each kilogram will cost around P180 (approx $4.15). One big ball of yarn will only weigh a few grams, so 1 kilogram is a lot! She bought some and sent them to me... yey!

All pink, she knows I love pink, haha. They're a little thinner than the yarn I can get from the mall. I'm not sure if they are made of acrylic too, all the yarns I got from Baguio didn't have any labels, but when I held them against my cheek, they don't feel as itchy as the acrylic ones I can get at the mall.

More yarn from Baguio. The yarn on the left and on the right are crochet thread. The one in the middle looks different... not sure what kind it is, but it is thin and stretchy. And yeah... this made me want to go to Baguio immediately! Maybe in January.

I still haven't made it to Dreams Yarnshoppe in Glorietta 5. I was at Glorietta 3 yesterday over lunch but I didn't have time to go to Glorietta 5 to check it out. Maybe next week. And I still haven't had a chance to check out that place that also sell yarn by the kilo at Rosario in Pasig. I hope to stock up on yarn so I can bring them to the province when we go on vacation over Christmas so I'll have something to do.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Little Sister Hat from Petite Purls

I've been working on my crochet during all my free time lately. And when I say all... I mean ALL. Which means I have some Christmas gifts that are still NOT wrapped. I have friends who still don't have Christmas gifts (I won't say who). And after decorating my tree... I stopped there. I NEED to finish decorating for Christmas soon.

I've been downloading a lot of crochet patterns last week, and so far, this must be the prettiest hat I've seen:

Little Sister Hat from Petite Purls
Pretty huh? And the pattern is available for free! I decided to try and make one for my daughter using cotton crochet thread to make it lightweight and useable in our climate.

I made the hat smaller so it won't cover her ears. And I was feeling a little lazy after finishing the hat so I didn't make a new flower for it. I simply used an old flower clip I made a while ago.

And what do you know...

She smiled! It's been a while since I was able to get her to smile and stay still long enough for me to click the camera.

Next project: More hats for some of my friends' kids, and baby booties for my friends who are having babies. I hope I finish everything before Christmas 0_o

I am linking to the following link parties:
Think Pink Sundays at Flamingo Toes | Craft-O-Maniac Monday at Craft-O-Maniac | Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative | Making Monday Marvelous at C.R.A.F.T. | Made with Love Monday at Sew Chatty | Motivate Me Monday at Keeping it Simple | Craftastic Monday at Sew Can Do | A Round Tuit at Creating My Way to Success | Manic Monday at Sew Happy Geek | Inspire Me Monday at Singing Three Little Birds | Market Yourself Monday at Sumo's Sweet Stuff | Marvelously Messy A Marvelous Mess | Amaze Me Monday at Dittle Dattle | Take-a-Look Tuesday at Sugarbee Crafts | Handmade Tuesdays at Ladybug Blessings | Tuesday To-Do Party at The Blackberry Vine | Tuesday Confessional at Confessions of a Stay At Home Mommy | Get Your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog | Made by You Monday at Skip to My Lou | Show Me What Ya Got at Not JUST a Housewife |

Monday, November 21, 2011

Crochet Project: Bear Hat

More than a month after I got my free pattern from Rachel from Maybe Matilda for completing my cowl at her Crochet-Along, I finally got around to trying it out. 

I asked for the Bear Hat pattern. Since I live in a tropical country, using yarn or any type is not practical if I want my daughter to actually use the hat. So I used crochet thread, 2 strands, and I had to adjust the pattern to work with the thread I was using.

After several days and several unravellings (is this a word? I get red squiggly lines under it, but you get what I mean right???), I finished!

Not the best photo... and the next ones aren't any better:

My little blur or activity... refusing to stay still and always on the move!
She finally stayed still for a photo and posed... covering the hat in the process.
My model is at that stage where she hates staying still long enough for mommy to take a photo. We haven't had a good photo of her (and photos for my blog too!) in a while. Tsk tsk tsk.

And since we're on the topic of hats... and I already mentioned I live in a tropical country where the closest we have to winter is when Baguio City (a mountain city, 5 hours away from Manila by bus) gets to around 10 degrees Celsius, and it's considered a cold day in Manila in December when we get to 25 degrees Celsius... there seem to be a lot of hats at the mall lately.

Case in point: Andrea trying out a hat we saw at the mall. Nope, we didn't buy it. She just likes trying stuff out.
Aside from these ones for children, I also saw a new stall at the mall selling hats for adults. Like ones made from wool, and thick yarn 0_o I checked the tags and they were imported from the UK. I wonder if anyone actually buys them?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Brown Bag Vintage and Crafts Market

Woo-hoo! There will be a crafts market in Manila!!!

 And aside from the crafts market, there will be some crafts workshops too:

If you're in Manila and want to dabble in crafts, you might want to check this out.

Happy crafting! :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

A quick hello and sharing discoveries

I still don't have a project to share :( But I dream of several projects.

I'm still here, though a little under the weather since last week (I contracted the flu last Thursday... nasty!), still buried neck-deep in work, but don't worry I will not bore you with details. Suffice to say, I'm working my way to get to waist-deep... and in time, maybe knee-deep... and soon... FREEDOM! Albeit, temporary of course... just taking a few days off work in December to go on vacation. 

A few updates and discoveries to share with you:

1. While planning and working on the photo book for my grandmother, I've been searching online for other free quick pages and digital scrapbooking elements. Here are some sites that I found which have become some of my favorites:
  • My Memories - They offer free kits and elements which you can use with the My Memories Suite or other photo editing applications like Photoshop. 
  • Shabby Princess - a lot of complete kits available for download for free!
  • Everyday Mom Ideas - more free kits plus quick pages.
  • Delicious Scraps - everything in her shop is $0.99 only. And she has a lot of free stuff too!

If you're planning to make your family photo Christmas cards for Christmas, you might find some helpful material from those sites. 

2. I did what Rachel advised and joined Ravelry. They do have a lot of free crochet patterns! I downloaded a lot already which I hope I can try soon (maybe when I get my break when I go on vacation).

And here's a little dash of Andrea to make this post a little more interesting :)

We attended a kiddie party last weekend and they had a kiddie salon booth. Andrea got her hair done and was really pleased with herself. The paint they sprayed on her hair was easily removed with water.... though the glitter mixed with it was a pain to get off!

Hope you guys had a great weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's November... therefore...

It's November, and in our household, that means it's officially Christmas!!!.

We had a 4-day weekend last week. November 1 is All Saint's Day and it's Filipino tradition to go home to their provinces to visit their dearly departed in the cemetery. Since November 1 was a Tuesday, October 31 (Monday) was also declared as a special holiday to give people more time to travel to their provinces.

Though we didn't go to the cemetery to visit my grandfather (cemeteries get so crowded around November 1 so we visit my grandfather's grave on other days), our weekend was busy too. I finally got around to visiting my dad in the province. My long overdue trip was supposed to happen last June for his birthday. But we were besieged by typhoon after typhoon since then and the area we will be passing to get there was flooded most of the time so we had to postpone our trip several times.

My daughter and my niece enjoyed seeing the "Bahay Kubo" (nipa hut) which they often sing about, in the yard at my dad's house.  And they got to play with cousin Mikki too, who they seldom see. By the way, Mikki is 4 months younger than Andrea but she's almost the same height and built. Should I be worried about Andrea?

We just stayed for a few hours. We arrived around noon time and travelled back to Manila in the evening. 

I also managed to put up our Christmas tree too!
It looks kind of like it did last year. I didn't want to spend money on new decor this year so I used the ones I had last year. The only difference this year is, I used some of Andrea's teddy bears to decorate the tree. One of my aunts gave her a set of Christmas teddy bears from Costco last year. There were 8 bears in the set and they were small enough. They're the perfect touch to give our tree something new. 

I haven't gotten around to the other decor yet. I have a few craft projects planned and hopefully... I can get them done BEFORE Christmas :) 

Hope you guys had a great weekend too!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Creating Success Around the World - Introducing your new host for Asia!

Welcome to 
Creating Success Around the World
The worldwide blog hop tour that introduces you to creative people from all corners of the world.

Click here to learn more.

This is my last post as host for the Creating Success Around the World. On last week’s post, I mentioned that I am looking for new hosts for the Creating Success Around the World for Asia. Starting this November, aside from meeting new talented bloggers from Asia through the interviews, you will also be meeting a new host every month. I write this post with a mixture of sadness and excitement. I had a good run as host… meeting and introducing you to 14 talented ladies from Asia in a span of 4 months. 

But I have other priorities right now which limits the time I can devote to blogging. On the other hand… I’m excited to see what the new hosts have in store for us.

And today, I have the pleasure if introducing the new host for Asia for the month of November. Let’s all welcome Divya from Jewels of Sayuri

You might remember Divya from my interview a few months ago. Divya comes to us from Chennai, India. She is a talented fashion and jewelry designer and you can browse her designs in her blog. Her style ranges from contemporary to traditional Indian. She does great work and I’m sure she will bring us fresh talent and ideas every week through our blog hop.

So what are you waiting for? Hop on over to Jewels of Sayuri to meet Divya. I can't wait to see her first post as the new host.


Be sure to check out the other interviews from the other hosts:

Australasia - Jill @ Creating My Way to Success

Asia - Divya @ Jewels of Sayuri

And now, it's your turn to introduce yourself to the world! Visit any of the hosts to link up to the blog hop :)