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When I see something I like, I check to see if it’s something I can make. I like being crafty and creative, so I’d much rather make something than buy it. After a friend had posted a picture on Facebook of some cute, colorful shoelaces her daughter had crocheted, I saw a new project to put at the top of my queue.

As is often the case with me, I look at yarn, think about what I want and how I want something to look, look at more yarn, and think some more before finally making my decision. I searched Pinterest for ideas and instructions, but all the ones I saw were made with a thicker yarn than I wanted to use. I Googled them and still didn’t find what I was looking for. Finally I couldn’t hold off any more. While I was browsing at Hobby Lobby last weekend, I decided to just buy the colorful crochet thread that I kept going back to.

Yesterday morning before we left to spend the day at Six Flags, I decided I needed a small project for the road. I grabbed my thread and a tiny crochet hook and looked up instructions on foundation crochet.

Originally I was going to make them with foundation double crochet, but that seemed too wide. I ended up using one row of foundation half double crochet. For the correct length, I measured against the laces in my white Converse tennis shoes, which the new colorful ones would be replacing.


Materials:

  • 1 ball Artiste acrylic crochet thread (I used color 108, Carnival) *There is a lot more thread on the ball than what is required to make one set of laces, so find another project for it or make extra sets for yourself or your friends. They’re going to want some, too!
  • 1 size D (3-3.25mm) crochet hook

Instructions:

  • Chain 3, yarn over, insert hook in 3rd chain from hook, yarn over and pull up loop (3 loops on hook), yarn over and draw through 1 loop (1 chain made), yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook – 1 foundation half double crochet stitch made.
  • *Yarn over, insert hook under both loops of the chain made in last stitch and pull up loop, yarn over and draw through 1 loop (1 chain made), yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook. Repeat from * for desired length of shoelace, then tie off and work in ends.

I can’t wait to wear them! I’d like to tomorrow, but a big guy in chunky boots stepped on my little toe at church this morning and it hurts to be touched. I don’t know if I’ll be able to stand a shoe for a few days… In the meantime, I think I’ll buy another ball of a different color and crochet some laces for my navy Converse shoes.

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I love making things, and I love giving handmade things as gifts. Sometimes there’s just not enough time, or maybe I just don’t have a good idea. I usually reserve the handmade gifts for Christmas and get an early start – the beginning of September. Still, not everyone gets something handmade and I have to resort to the usual stand-by gifts of candles, body wash, gift cards, etc.

My youngest sister’s birthday is in late February, but since I don’t get to see her then, I don’t get in a big rush. The day she and my other younger sister came with our parents for a birthday visit for my husband and my boys, I remembered I hadn’t gotten her gift yet. I immediately thought about running by the mall and getting her a candle. As much as she’d enjoy a candle, it just felt wrong to me. Too standard. Too easy. And I was in a crafty mood…

Since I had already planned to do some browsing in a craft store, I thought I’d look around and see if something struck me. Then the best idea hit me as I was walking across the parking lot: check her Pinterest boards! I pulled out my phone and scrolled through her many boards, looking for one with quick and easy DIY projects. Then I saw it:


It was saved to her “What a GREAT idea!” board, and I agreed.

First stop: frames. It had to be just right. No metallics or fine lines. No ordinary colors, but nothing too garish. It didn’t need to be too big, but it did need to be large enough to write on easily with a dry erase marker. I found some distressed 5×7 frames in colors that coordinated with her decor, and since they were 50% off, I decided to buy two for her.

Second stop: paper crafts. I am not a paper crafting kind of person. I tried to be, but it just wasn’t my thing. After our recent move I gave away all my scrapbooking materials, so I knew I would have to find something there. I loved looking at all the patterned papers and found several that fit themes in her house: birds (in her guest bathroom), bicycles (in her living room), etc. They would’ve been perfect – but they were too busy for background papers. It would be too hard to see whatever had been written across them. I finally decided on two simple patterns in different colors that would coordinate with the frames and the rest of her decor.

Third stop: an office supply store for a pack of dry erase markers. Of course, I had to complete the gift. I couldn’t give her cute message boards and expect her to go out and buy something so she’d be able to use them. For that, I went with basic black markers. No need for clashing colors or shades that wouldn’t show up against certain backgrounds.

Once I got home, I got right to work. I measured and cut the paper to fit perfectly – and to be symmetrically displayed. (Yes, I’m that person.) I put them together and wrote a special note on each one (with my own dry erase marker) since I didn’t buy her a card. (I hate shopping for cards…) Then I wrapped each frame in tissue paper and placed them carefully in a gift bag.

I kept texting her to see how close they were: Where are you? What’s your ETA? Now where are you? Almost as soon as she arrived, I had her open her gift. I was excited! And she was excited when she opened them! She started sharing her plans for using one in her guest room (for personalized messages to her guests) and one in her living room. 


My other younger sister’s birthday is the end of this month. I can’t wait to peruse her Pinterest boards and find something fun to make for her. This revolutionizes the way I will approach gift-giving from now on!

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In the early days of having my iPad, I found an interesting app called “Flipboard”. With it I can “subscribe” to various magazines and blog feeds that interest me: jewelry, food, books, photography, trivia, People Magazine, etc. If I don’t check in often, I won’t miss out on too much. A month or so of articles and photos are usually available at a time.

The only problem was when I found something on there that I wanted to save, I would have to copy the address, paste it into my browser, then pin it onto one of my Pinterest boards. Since it’s not the most convenient way to do things, I didn’t do it often.

This morning I noticed there was an update for Flipboard. Curious, I read the details about the update. The developers have added a feature where I can save my favorite images and articles to my own “magazines”, which can be public or private. My first thought was, Great, another site for saving things I want to keep. Isn’t Pinterest enough? Apparently not because my second thought was, Oh, great! Now I don’t have to copy and paste and pin the things I want to keep!

Granted, I will now have things in two places, but that makes things so much easier for me in the long run. Also, I typically repin things my friends have pinned on Pinterest. Sometimes I search out new things, but usually there’s enough new stuff pinned to keep me busy for long enough. Or too long… The things I find on my Flipboard pages are different. I can check in once a week or so and catch up relatively quickly.

Now I need to check all my Flipboard magazines and see what’s worth saving for later when I have more time. It’s kind of like flipping through the magazines friends and family have passed along to me. Only with this, I don’t need scissors and a divided file organizer.

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For last week’s Oh, How Pinteresting! link-up with The Vintage Apple, I focused on squash and zucchini side dishes. I was inspired by the presence of squash and zucchini blossoms in my garden and looking forward to the various ways I hope to enjoy its produce. I’m continuing with side dishes in this week’s post – with the promise of grilled meat in the not-too-distant future to pair them with.

You know the Lipton/Knorr brand of sour cream and chive noodles? Well this is the homemade version – and I intend to try it very soon. Probably this weekend.

 

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro and Lime (I have cilantro in my garden…)

 

Within the last year or so, I’ve grown to like cabbage. It doesn’t have to be boiled! This grilled cabbage looks interesting…

 

I’ve also started enjoying some asparagus here and there. So far I’ve only roasted it with some olive oil, sea salt, and fresh pepper. This grilled asparagus with feta looks like it could be tasty!

 

I’m dying to try this grilled corn on the cob!

 

Mushroom Skewers! Need I say more?

 

I’d probably be the only one in my house eating these Baked Parmesan Tomatoes, but that’s okay. It means more for me!

 

You know you can’t forget potatoes… These grilled Three Cheese Potatoes look downright sinful!

 

And for a salad, I really want to try this ABC Salad (apples, bleu cheese, and candied pecans – yum!).

Source: alagraham.com via Ashley on Pinterest

 

I guess I need to think about dessert, too… Next week!

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Now that my garden is getting ready to produce some veggies, I thought this would be a great time to focus on some scrumptious side dishes I’ve found on Pinterest. More specifically, squash and zucchini side dishes. 🙂

My sisters tried this Stuffed Zucchini and said it was great!

Source: kayotic.nl via Ashley on Pinterest

 

This Easy Zucchini Parmesan looks good…

 

…and so does this Parmesan Roasted Zucchini. I need to read the instructions and see if they’re basically the same.

 

How about these Greek Zucchini Fritters with Tzatziki? I sure do love me some tzatziki!

 

These Oven Baked Squash Chips would be great with burgers!

 

Of course there are always the “old faithful” recipes for squash and zucchini: stewed squash, stir-fried squash and zucchini with onions, veggie pizzas (in the toaster oven during these hot days…), squash puffs (a favorite childhood recipe that I haven’t made in ages), zucchini bread,… The list goes on!

See what other people are pinning on The Vintage Apple‘s Oh, How Pinteresting! Wednesday.

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For this week’s Oh How Pinteresting! post, I’m going to focus on words of inspiration for mothers – and some funnies to help get you through “those” moments.

Source: google.com via Ashley on Pinterest

 

To see what others have found pin-worthy, check out the posts at The Vintage Apple‘s linkup.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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I know this is a Wednesday linkup through The Vintage Apple, but the last two days have been extremely busy and tiring. The boys had STAAR testing (like IOWA and LEAP – and the former TEKS) two days in a row in a city about an hour away. Registration began at 8:00; testing started at 9:00 and lasted until 1:30. After all the getting up early to leave early, driving in (and waiting in) heavy morning traffic, late lunches, and errands afterward, I didn’t want to even think about writing. So today, here I am, happily sitting at home while the boys are back to their normal school routines.

In last week’s “Oh, How Pinteresting!” post, I focused on sandwich-type foods I found that I’m looking forward to trying this spring/summer – when it’s too hot to cook anything in the oven. (So long, baked potatoes, pizzas, and roasted veggies…) I never got around to the skillet-type meals, so that’s this week’s focus. Oh, and I’ve found some great-looking grilled items to throw into the mix. (Grilling must also be done before the weather gets too hot. Who wants to stand over a hot grill in 100+ degree heat?)

Shrimp Boil Kebabs

 

Grilled Pineapple-Teriyaki Chicken

 

Cajun Chicken Pasta (a light version!)

 

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta

 

Mediterranean Chicken with Rosemary Orzo

 

Ziti with Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese

 

Well, that should hold me for a while since I’m not likely to make more than one new dish each week – or maybe even every other week, depending on grocery shopping/planning. Of course, there are also several family favorite one-skillet meals on my recipe blog that we’re looking forward to enjoying again as well. Tell me what one of your favorite spring/summer meals is!

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