Friday, August 22, 2014

Free Pattern Friday

College kids are on the way back to school too! I ran across this adorable cloche hat pattern by Hopefully Honey a couple weeks ago and just loved it. I decided to make one for myself and share the pattern link with all of you. I think this would make a wonderful gift for someone going away or currently enrolled in college.

The pattern calls for a bulky yarn (5) and here I thought I had some yarn in my stash that would work so well! The blue hat is made with Lion Brand Homespun Anniversary Edition yarn in Lagoon. I love the colors, but the funky texture of the yarn made it so hard to work with on this project. The hat is a bit floppy (hence the wobbly looking hat in the picture), but when I have it on looks just fine. This one is all mine for the upcoming winter. After all that work I can't part with it. 

So I made another one. This gorgeous lavender colored hat. And I love it too. The yarn was a super bulky (6) sized yarn so it is nice and stiff following the directions, although I did leave a row or two out as it was getting too long with the thicker yarn. It will be so very warm! This was made with Lion Brand Hometown USA in Seattle Sea Mist. 

I used a different flower pattern to embellish the purple hat. The original flower is lovely, but I love this free flower pattern from A Morning Cup of Jo. I'll use any excuse to make one. Since I really can't wear two hats at once, this one is up for grabs in my Etsy shop. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Simple Crafts - Chalkboard Jar

We've been canning more and were gifted a few boxes full of pint and quart mason jars a couple months ago. Most of them are perfectly fine for our canning adventures but we have run across a few that have become chipped. Instead of throwing them out, I'm going to use them for some craft projects and tutorials. In order to keep all your pretty, personalized pencils together I've made up another simple craft - a chalkboard pencil holder.
Copyright Jennifer Chittum

You will need:
  • a clean, empty glass jar
  • chalkboard paint
  • a screw on band for the jar
  • ribbon (optional)
  • paint brush
Copyright Jennifer Chittum
I love chalkboard paint. It is so cool! We hand dipped wine glasses for our wedding and I loved they way it turned out, so I knew I would be using it again. You do not need the Ball brand paint, as it is actually probably a little more expensive. We picked this one up on clearance, so it was already in my paint stash.   You can pick up chalkboard paint at pretty much an craft store, home improvement store, or just about any place else that sells paint.

Copyright Jennifer Chittum
Start with a clean jar, and brush paint over the entire jar. Be sure to let it dry completely between coats. It doesn't take long for the paint to dry. The first time I just covered the jar in paint. I did two more coats after that, one with all the brush strokes going up and down, and one with all the brush strokes going side to side. This evens out your brush strokes. You don't need to paint all the way to the top, in fact I suggest only doing it once if you are going to, as the rim is going to rub it right off anyway.

Copyright Jennifer Chittum
After your jar is completely coated in paint and dry, screw the rim onto the top. If your jar is chipped like mine was, you may want to glue it on so no one can get hurt. We had picked up a white rim some place, but the silver most jars come with will look just as good. You can always use an acrylic paint on the rim if you'd like a different color.  Add a bit of festive ribbon around the top and you are done! Besides a fun pencil holder, this will make a cute vase, candy holder, etc for a teacher, or a fun catch all for your kitchen. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Simple Crafts - Personalized Pencils

Copyright Jenny Lou Creations 2014

I stumbled upon these adorable personalized pencils the other day and knew I had to make some for my craft table! This simple craft will be a great way for your kiddo to keep track of his or her pencils at school too. Grab a pack of plain yellow pencils, or any pencils you want to cover up, some glue or modge podge, a brush and some scissors.

Copyright Jenny Lou Creations 2014

The first thing you've got to do is head over to The Girl Creative and print out the template for the pencils. The author, Jackie (a guest blogger I believe), designed these too cute covers just for back to school. Be sure to take a look around the blog for some other fun ideas and recipes.

Cut out your pencil covers using scissors or a craft knife. Hold one of the covers to one of your pencils to check the fit and trim the end to fit.

Copyright Jenny Lou Creations 2014

I used modge podge to attach my covers, but white glue or tacky glue should work too. Brush the back of one of the covers with your glue and then line up the edge with a pencil. This part is a little tricky...roll the pencil just a bit and make sure the edge of the paper is stuck down and straight. Finish rolling your pencil bit by bit, running a clean finger along the pencil as you go.

Copyright Jenny Lou Creations 2014

A few tips...I used modge podge and it dried fairly fast. Be sure to do one at a time. I used two pieces of paper for my workspace. One for applying the glue and one for rolling. Make sure you hands are clean and free of dry glue when you roll and don't rub too much. You probably want to start with un-sharpened pencils to make it easier to cut the strips for a nice even end. The only made in the USA pencils at the store were pre-sharpened, so that is what I went with. I'd also suggest looking for pencils with flat edges like the ones pictured.

Copyright Jenny Lou Creations 2014

Aren't they super cute? I'll be sharing more fun projects I find, including a very special teacher vase/container soon. Don't forget to leave a thank you on the original blog post for The Girl Creative! I'll be adding some ready to ship items to my shop today and tomorrow, including Back to School Owls so be sure to visit!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Homework Station Inspiration

Since it is back to school season, I've been seeing lots of homework stations pop on pinterest. I'm gradually working on my craft area, so I'm always looking for fun looking, organizational ideas. I thought I'd share a few of my favorite homework stations from around the web for inspiration!

Dual Homework Station
Photo from Better Homes and Gardens
The colors in this one caught my eye. I love the light blue and white combo and I'm thinking I might incorporate it into my own space. I especially love that they re-used an old book shelf to create a dual work station. It gives your kids a bit of privacy to keep them on task and their own spaces to stash books, papers and other homework goodies. The baskets on the side are perfect for items the kiddos might be sharing. The best part though is that it takes up a small amount of space. Check out the info for this one over at Better Homes and Gardens.

Rolling Homework Station

Photo from
The globe caught my eye on this one. A second look revealed it was made out of an old library cart. I love themeing for the use of the cart is delightful. The two lower shelfs are individual spaces for each child and the top space is shared stuff. This one moves. They can spread out their workspace in a convinent location that day and move it back to the storage place when finished. And since the cart is made out of metal it is magnetic! Note the little reading timer. Great idea! Check out the details over at 4 Men 1 Lady.

Portable Station
Photo from The House of Smiths
This miniature homework station is awesome! The creator has so many things fit onto this little tray and even a bit of inspiration! I'm loving the chalkboard top containers. I'll be using that one for sure. The size of this one is the best feature by far. It all fits neatly onto a tray you can tuck away when not in use. The blogger that made this one was actually participating in a mystery challenge. She got a box full of mystery items including Krylon paint and was challenged to make something useful and pretty for her home.  There are detailed instructions over at The House of Smiths if you'd like to re-create some or all of this one. 

Seat Sacks Station
Photo from Scissors and Spatulas
Black and white is something else I really like. (Note the bit of blue thrown in...see a theme?) These homework seat sacks and are marvelous idea. I love how they use a typically un-used space to keep all the papers and art books contained when not in use. The blogger gives you a rundown of how she came up with them and at one point she was selling them as well for the non-crafty folks out there. It looks like it may have been a while since the last update so I'm not sure if that is still the case or not. Visit Scissors and Spatulas for more information.  

I hope you picked up some fun, inspiring ideas for your kids'  homework station, art desk or your own craft space!

Monday, August 4, 2014

August Amigurumi of the Month

I'm sharing some big news today! In order to bring you some handmade happiness all year, Jenny Lou Creations is going to have start having a monthly theme. August is launching this fun, new adventure with Back to School. I've got lots of fun stuff planned for the blog including, fun & free patterns from around the web, new products only available in my etsy shop, and a limited release pattern from me tied into the monthly theme. You may have seen a glimpse of my Back To School Owl over on my facebook page. The pattern will be available this Thursday, August 7th in my shops and be sure to grab it quick as it will be going away at the end of the month to make way for the September release. This is a great surprise for kids going back to school, plus it will make great teacher and grad gifts later in the year! For my non-crochet customers I'll also be adding a very limited number of finished owls to my Etsy shop for the month of August.

Copyright Jennifer Chittum 2014

Not only will there be a limited release pattern each month, but I'll be doing a giveaway tied to the amigurumi of the month too! Head over to my facebook page right now to enter to win the pattern for free OR this cute finished owl. (Finished item shipped to US addresses only please.) Be sure to share the giveaway post on facebook to earn an extra entry! Giveaway ends at midnight central time August 6th and winner will be announced with the release on Thursday morning.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Trolls Are Coming

I'm releasing my 16th pattern this Friday, August 1st! This is kind of a mega pattern full of trolls. You can mix and match heads, noses and ears (and colors!) to make your very own mountain troll clan. They go especially well with Snow Queens and Winter Princesses! *wink*
Copyright Jennifer Chittum

There are lots of decorating possibilities to make each one different. These will make lovely Christmas gifts for all those Frozen crazed kids out there. There is plenty of time to make up a few in time for the holidays. 

Copyright Jennifer Chittum

If you aren't a crochet-er, there might be a few of these available in my shop later this fall. If you can't wait though, hurry over to my Facebook page and sign up for my giveaway.  Ends the 31st at midnight...which means today is the last day! You can pick from a free copy of the pattern OR a finished troll. 

Copyright Jennifer Chittum

Friday, July 25, 2014


Just a quick update with what I've been working on this week. I'm hoping to have this new pattern ready to go by the end of the month. There will be a few different versions offered so you can mix up your favorite techniques and ideas to make your own set of trolls! The princesses are available now in my shops.
Copyright Jennifer Chittum 2014

My latest Princess is inspired by Belle. There are two versions of this little doll. Full instructions and lots of photos for styling her hair are included with both.
Copyright Jennifer Chittum 2014

If you don't crochet, you have a chance to win the ballgown version finished from Giveaway Goddesses on Facebook. She is going to be part of the Back To School giveaway running from August 16th to the 31st. I'll be sharing the album once the giveaway starts and she is all finished so she will be sent out right after it ends.

Lots more to come, including a new super big, super hero!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Latest Projects

I have been super busy here! We adopted a sweet dog recently, made a few visits out of state and the husband and I have been canning and creating delicious goodies from fresh fruit. (I'm eating some freshly made peach salsa as I type. Yum!) I've been busy working on projects for my shop and for friends and family as well, so I'm about to share some of my latest stuff with you! If you follow me on facebook, you may have run across some of these already, but you never know with those new and always changing facebook rules.

I got a brand spanking new sewing machine for any early birthday gift! Unfortunately, I didn't get to use it until the week of my actual birthday. My first project was a super fun Captain America "summer costume" for my Godson to wear in the 4th of July parade. He had a blast all decked out in his outfit made out of a basic tee, a pair of pants hemmed into shorts, some felt and foam. You can see photos on my facebook page.
Copyright Jennifer Chittum 2014

After that I got to work on my revers-able bucket bag. The pattern can be found in Lisa Lam's The Bag Making Bible" and you can visit her at U-Handbag. (Lisa's books and tutorials are amazing! Check her out if you are interested in learning to sew.) I had the fabric picked out for this awesome bag for over a month, but just couldn't get to it. I finally decided it was time to take a sewing day and went for it. Unfortunately I might have cut some of the trim incorrectly. This is not the first time I've done that either. Sigh. I finally finished it up and have been using it as my purse since. I have some fabric picked out for a couple more and will totally share when I get them finished. Next time, I'm thinking I'm going to attach a button on each side. The current one has 1 button that you move with a safety pin when you want to use the other side. I don't think I'd mind having a button on the inside too, instead of moving it.

Copyright Jennifer Chittum 2014

I also released my first Little Superhero pattern. I had to tweak and re-tweak him a few times but I am so happy with the end result. The patter for Little Patriotic Hero is available on Etsy, Ravelry and Craftsy

Copyright Jennifer Chittum 2014

I am really enjoying toys and whimsical things, so I have decided to start selling 18" doll clothes in my shop. The first outfit available is a crocheted houndstooth outfit with hat. I actually won this pattern from A Crocheted Simplicity when it was released and I think I may pick up her other doll outfit. I love how it turned out and she always has excellent directions in her patterns. If you crochet and know someone with an American Girl or similar doll, this makes a great gift for the holidays! If not, you can order the outfit in my etsy store
Copyright Jennifer Chittum 2014
I finished up a few other things and have a couple Princess patterns on the way so check back soon, or follow me on facebook for more updates!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Little Evil Mistress Amigurumi Pattern Release

I just released I didn't post my latest pattern here on my blog yet. I spent most of my work time Saturday getting it ready to publish before the end of the weekend. After I uploaded them on Sunday, I was ready to work on something else for the day. Here she is though:

I am very proud of each of my patterns so far, but something about this one was extra satisfying to complete. I think it was because some of the features Maleficent has posed some interesting challenges. I've had a lot of great compliments too, so thank you for that! Some of my favorite parts of her include the back of her skirt, sleeves and her head.

But most of all, I love her boots! Maleficent's dress is so long, you never see her feet. I imagine she wears some pretty awesome looking boots, so she got her own, unique version of the ami doll shoes. And you still don't see them when she is finished, but you know they are there. 

You can pick up your own PDF pattern of Maleficent in one of my online shops.

I've already picked up the yarn I need for my next patterns, plus I'm still working on my deluxe Frozen girls. Be sure to watch my facebook for updates!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Little Ocean Creatures Pattern Pack Release

I've just released my latest amigurumi patterns, including a complete pattern pack ebook full of adorable little sea creatures. These patterns will be quick for the experienced crafter, but even a beginner, to crochet or amigurumi, should be able to complete them!

These were originally created for a custom order. I really do believe a beginner can handle these patterns. They are made from basic crochet stitches with a few simple, possibly new techniques thrown in. I've tried to explain and add photos for some of the more unusual stuff, and as always I offer free help to anyone that downloads one of my patterns.

If you have never touched yarn or a hook, you can still do this! I have always believed a person can learn anything if they really want to. I have been crocheting since just after Halloween last year. That's right. Just 7 months. I've been dabbling in creating my own patterns since the beginning of the year and decided to publish my first patterns in April. I am hooked and plan to share many, many more. My point is, I am self taught and I have learned how to make my own patterns already. If I can do that, you can totally make a sand crab! There are great videos on beginner crochet on the Internet and they are all free. Contact me if you need a little push in the right direction! I'm happy to help...honestly I love to hear from other crafters. 

Check out the Little Chubby Dolphin, available in my Ravelry or Craftsy shop, for FREE. The rest are available in all 3 of my shops individually or as a pattern pack ebook. Visit the links below for more information.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Handmade Happiness Roundup (Week 2)

Did you have a happy week? I've been busy working on orders and finishing up a pattern, but that stuff does make me happy! I'm hoping readers/fans/followers caught a couple of the #handmadehappiness posts, but just in case here is a recap!

Mother's Bird Nest Necklace (Sunday)
This adorable little necklace features eggs and a monogram for each child. This one was featured on Mother's Day. The tiny details just mesmerize me and I think these little children/grandchildren/family necklaces are too cute! Vist Uqfashion on Etsy for many personalized pretties!
Photo from Uqfashion

Rainbow Stickers (Monday)
There weather has been pretty gloomy lately. Nothing like a rainbow to brighten your day! You can stick there on anything to spread some cheer to yourself or someone you love. These sticks were sold by time I started this post so check out the shop for other fun stickers or ask for a custom order! Check out Joey Design on Etsy for more stickers.
Photo from JoeyDesign
Laser Cut Owl Pendant (Tuesday)
This one doesn't need much of an explanation. The cuteness of the owl says it all! Made out of maple wood. So cool and unique! Visit exdesigns on Etsy for more fun trinkets.
Photo from edxdesigns
Butcher Cuts Pig Cookie Cutter (Wednesday)
This cutter (and many others in this shop) is so clever! I'm not sure why you would ever need a cookie shaped like the butcher cuts of a pig but it is too awesome to pass up! Visit Printmeneer on Etsy for this and more unique cutters.
Photo from Printmeneer
Grad Cap Ring (Thursday)
Looking for a different gift for a grad this year? Check out this crazy awesome ring! There are lots of creative pieces in this shop. I am amazed by the talent. I especially love the Harry Potter glasses ring. Super cute and don't be surprised if those show up for handmade happiness one day. Check out thinkupjewel on Etsy for some super unique, special gifts.
Photo from thinkupjewel
Van Gogh & Dr Who Parody Poster (Friday)
My husband and I watched all the newer Dr Who episodes last year so I finally get what some of the inside jokes are about. These parody posters are too much fun! Visit ParodiesLost on Etsy to look at plenty more. Look for some Alice in Wonderland/Dr Who prints and a cool Star Wars parody. 
Photo from ParodiesLost

Hopefully one of these made you smile this week! Follow me on facebook to keep up with the daily posts, or stop by the blog on Saturdays for the week's roundup.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Introducing a New Cutie Princess!

I'd like to introduce the latest in my line of cutie Princess dolls, Cutie Scottish Princess inspired by Merida from Brave!
Princess Merida
She is my third cutie doll so far. (I've got plans for more, so be sure to follow me on facebook or check back on the blog!) Merida had her own challenges. Her hair was the first. I do love how full and fluffy it gets. She could potentially use some different size curls. If I figure that one out, I will be sure to update the pattern with the new technique. 
Wild & Crazy Curls!

Another challenge was her bow. She was too plain without it. Plus would she really be the same Scottish princess without a bow? With a pipe cleaner and a little clever yarn work I came up with a simple bow and a belt/arrow holder to complete her outfit.
Bow & Arrow Holder
The only thing she might be missing is a cape. I was thinking about making one, but when I got to the point in the pictures I knew she was done. However later on I was thinking, maybe she should have a cape! It might be something I add on later and send out to upgrade the pattern.

Side View
Those icy sisters are happy to have a new princess in their little group. Here they are, ready to set out on a journey to find some new members of the Cutie Princess Club. I really am enjoying designing and creating these little dolls. You can make your own with the patterns available in my raverly or esty shop. Links below!

Cutie Princess Club

All photos used in post and on blog are copyright Jennifer Chittum 2014 unless otherwise noted. I am in no way affiliated with Disney or claim these to be actual Disney products. My creations are all inspired by my love for everything Disney. Full copyright information available in patterns or upon request. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Recently Released Patterns (Crochet)

Even though I have been trying to design my own patterns lately, I still like to shop for them too. There are a lot of amazingly talented people out there. A lot of the time, my own patterns come out a search for something and not finding what I am looking for. That being said, sometimes you come across a pattern that is perfect just the way it is. I'm going to share some recent released that I've found and purchased to make at a later date.

Houndstooth Handbag
I've seen pictures of this one in progress on my news feed so much I'm convinced every person in the world that knows how to crochet must have it. I still have to share it though. I was waiting for the release date myself. I haven't had a chance to get started on this one yet. Part of the reason is I can't decide on the colors, the other part is I know it will take me a while and I've had a lot to work on. The truth is, I am not a big fan of crocheted bags. They always look awkward and seem like the have no support. This one looks like a professional, useful, stylish bag. So check out Jennifer's design for the Houndstooth Handbag at A Crocheted Simplicity.
Photo from A Crochet Simplicity

Bob the Turtle Baby Set
I've seen cute loveys and loveys that make me wonder what someone was thinking.  Bob the turtle is in the beyond cute and too adorable for words category. Seriously how fun?! I went with the amigurumi/lovey combo pack on this one. I plan to get to this one soon. It is so fun and perfectly summer themed. Plus it's great for boys or girls, always a plus! Please visit Carolina's design for Bob the Turtle at One and Two Company. (Be sure to check out her Snow White patterns too. So cute!!!)
Picture from One & Two Company

Bread Loaf Letter Organizer
This one is just a little crazy, but so creative I had to add it. Twinkie Chan who loves all things food, recently shared this pattern - for free - along with a tutorial video. I love seeing her blog & facebook posts because they are always so colorful, creative and most of all full of happiness. Hop over to her blog where she offers lots of free patterns and inspiration. Bread Loaf Organizer by Twinkie Chan is sure to be a unique gift for someone special!

Picture from Twinkie Chan

That is all for today but check back for more fun patterns. If there is a recently released pattern that you just love, be sure to e-mail it in to me and I will feature it on the blog. Who isn't looking for some new, great patterns after all?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Handmade Happiness Roundup

Each day I log on to etsy, scroll down to the bottom and click on recently listed. The first thing I find that jumps out at me becomes the handmade happiness on my facebook page. Here is a quick recap of the handmade happiness this week, in case you missed any!

I couldn't resist posting these yummy, sunny colored oreos. They look just like Minions from Despicable Me! These are made by hitsthespot on etsy. You can also order minion marshmallow pops. These are so cute for a birthday party or maybe a summer cookout.

Picture from hitsthespot on Etsy.

A great end of the year teacher gift might be one of these personalized hand sanitizers. Polka dots are always fun and this shop has plenty more monogrammed items if you are looking for a gift. Go visit Embellish Boutique on etsy!

Picture from embellishboutiquellc

Last one for this week! I just love these rainbow colored earrings by CandyBead. They have lots of gorgeous crystal jewelry in their etsy shop or stop by CandyBead on facebook for lots of fun pics and updates. 

Picture from CandyBead

If you want to see my daily handmade happiness posts, be sure to like my facebook page!