Month: June 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow? Part 2: Incredible Crocheted, Knitted, and Embroidered Vegetables



Some of these crocheted and knit vegetables look so real! Garden Vegetables from Simply Crochet Magazine The Artistry of Olga Belkevich Olga is from Odessa, Ukraine. She describes her work as being comprised of varying combinations of yarn,…

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Project Crochet Giveaway — Or Why I’m Giving My Crochet Away

 

 

 

Hello everyone! How are you all? I hope everyone is well, and crocheting their hearts out like I have been.

 

I’ve been on a mission lately. A mission to… You guessed it! Give away my crocheted products! Why would I do such a thing, you ask? Well, for several reasons. Let me explain.

 

What is Project Crochet Giveaway?

I started Project Crochet Giveaway mostly because, like any crocheter (or other crafter), I love the work that goes into creating something, but I also want that something to be appreciated and used… and loved. Most people have family members and friends who are happy to have anything they make, but mine have not shown a great interest in just any item I crochet.

 

It’s been my deepest desire to have people using my items, and loving them, obviously. One of the main reasons I got into crochet was because I’ve always had an intense love for giving and helping others. I adore it. I live for it. So what better way than crochet?

 

My dreams have always been filled with giving to others. I’m not even kidding. I’ve brain-stormed billions of ways I could crochet useful things that would make people feel good, or warm or whatever.

 

To put it in a nut-shell:

Project Crochet Giveaway involves giving away crocheted items by leaving them at random in public places. I include a note for some added cheer, and obviously to let people know they can take the items.

I’ve crocheted a few handfuls of various fun little items, making sure to use something with versatility so that folks can use them any way they want. For instance, the flower and owl appliques I’ve made can be sewn on as appliques (sewn onto purses, clothing like t-shirts and baby onesies, or used as decor by slapping a magnet to the back and sticking it on the fridge, etc.)

Here are some of the other items I’ve used in Project Crochet Giveaway

 

 

 

Of course I hope to update to other items to giveaway instead of just flowers. At the moment, I have a handful of little owls and one small, stuffed bear I’m working on to add to the project! It’ll be small, but I figure a child (or adult!) may enjoy it. I’ll be leaving a hanging ribbon on his head so that he can be hung up (perhaps on a car mirror, if an adult wants him.)

What Else Inspired Me to Create Project Crochet Giveaway

Add to that, fellow crocheter and  blogger Jamie from Scissors and Steam who blogged about crocheting an adorable owl while on vacation where she left her owl as a gift to the next people who stayed in the cabin she was in.   And bam! The perfect way to give away my crochet was born. Okay, it didn’t go exactly like that, but eventually, the idea to simply leave the crochet items somewhere for others to pick up was inspired shortly after reading her post. That post of hers really struck me. I knew the minute I read about her doing that that something big had sparked inside of my giving heart. I knew it would somehow end up inspiring the ideas I’d desperately been hunting for for so long in my head regarding how the blasted he** could I make people take my crocheted products.

So, there you go. Project Crochet Giveaway is my new baby.

 

The Project/Challenge in Action:

The photo you see above is bad quality, but it captures the very first action of Project Crochet Giveaway. It was the first little giveaway and guess how I done it?

After tons of brainstorming ‘Where will I leave my items? Where is a place that people will feel comfortable taking the little products I leave?’ I came to one of, probably, the oddest ways possible: in the bathroom! As long as it isn’t packed, most people would feel comfortable taking something without feeling judged or anything.

So, I scrawled up a letter to my future takers. That’s what you see in my photos above. Of course it isn’t beautiful. It’s just a piece of notebook paper with a cute owl stamped at the top.

 

This is what the note says:

 

“Want me? Take me!

I was put here to make you smile, but if you don’t adore me, please leave me here for someone who will. 

You can sew me onto t-shirts, bags, other clothes, or just slap a magnet to my back and I’ll hang out on your fridge!”

And I figured it wouldn’t hurt to include my shop’s link just in case there might be some chance the receivers would like to see more items of mine. It’s a mini way to spread the word, locally about your shop, or in my case, hopefully get the word out that I crochet and would enjoy receiving requests from people if they wanted something. . .

 

“If you’d like to see more cute fellas like me, check us out online at our store Laughing Flamingo.” (except unlike the online world, in the real world, you can’t use text links! Lol. So I obviously wrote out the URL.)

 

*The notes vary from item to item.

How I do it

Basically, what I’ve done is crochet a bunch of different, small items like flower appliques in many colors. I tried opting for the bright, vibrant & happy colors because my main intentions for this project are to really bring a sense of joy and happiness to people. I want my little items to be the rainbow in someone’s storm. You know how you’ll be having a terrible day or something awful happens and it seems like the little good things come to meet you at that perfect time when you needed it most, the time when you were so down that having some random, little thing come to you seems to have been sent there just to brighten up your day. Just for you! Do those things ever happen to you guys? Can anyone relate? Or am I just a freak?

That feeling that you get when you weren’t feeling your best & someone reaches out and does something (minor even) that seems to put you in awe and gives you that rare, warm and fluttery feeling inside.Or perhaps it’s not a person, but something. Something happens during a moment you could use that something the most. A moment that causes you to appreciate that thing more than you otherwise would had you not been having such a ‘moment.’ For instance, you were just in an argument with your spouse and the day just feels like crap. The only thing that can ‘fix’ the crappiness is a good, hearty apology. Everything else about your day is quickly rolling down the rock-embedded hills because that’s just how these events happen. You’re late, then you lose something, etc. Domino effect, right?

Through your huffing and puffing, you happen to be digging through your purse for something (and of course since it’s a crappy day, you’ll obviously be digging forever and probably won’t even find the lip gloss or paper or receipt you needed) right before you break down, you pull out your… wedding band that you’d cried and panicked over for days because you just knew you’d left it in that hotel. You’d beat yourself up over losing your special ring forever. You probably even angrily visualized some crook with a crap-eating-grin on his face as he found the ring. Then, of course he went and pawned it because he’s a crook, and that’s just your luck. You’ll never get to have that beautiful, sentimental ring on your finger again & the pain will be there forever.

 

And what do you know? When you open your hand to see what that cold object was you grazed across at the bottom of your purse was. Your ring! The crook was kind enough to have tracked down its owner and secretly place it in her bag  after all!

What does that feel like? You know those kind of feelings? How some minor little thing just brings you a rare sense of joy, peace or happiness and it just completely turns your day around. Maybe even impacts you in such a memorable way that you’ll always cherish the memory and smile when you see something that brings the memory back to you.

That describes perfectly the kind of feelings I want to give to people. Those feelings are the whole reason Project Crochet Giveaway meant enough to me to start something like it.

I know. It’s small. It’s just a little flower made of yarn (good yarn, I might add!)  It’s not like I’m anonymously sending random folks a million dollars and a trip to Hawaii, right? It’s just a tiny thing that you may think is so minimal that people will walk past the taped-up flower and note & roll their eyes at it. They may even tear it off McDonald’s bathroom mirror, toss it in their purse just to end up throwing it in the trash next time they clean out their purse.

Maybe these items will mean nothing to anyone. The employees may even toss the items in the trash themselves, but it is what I can do. It’s the one thing I know how to do and so while I’m having fun with this on-going project, I’ll know that I’m at least taking action to contribute to just a little ounce of happiness in the world. It’s my intention that people will get to experience something good from my items.

Well, that’s enough of that! I think I’ve made my point.

So, will you guys be joining Project Crochet Giveaway challenge?

Are there any other crocheters out there who can relate to what I’ve said, and enjoy a challenge/project such as this? If so, what kind of ideas do you have? I can’t wait to hear about them! If you do decide to join me, I would love it if you shared your photos or experiences with me, too! Where are some places you’d leave yours?

I love wondering who will end up with my items each time I leave the place I’ve left them. It feels good to imagine what they’ll think when they see it. It’d be even lovelier to get to see the person’s face when they walk out with the item in their hands (or purse!)

So far, some of the places I’ve left my crochet love include: Public restroom mirrors (odd & possibly gross, I know, but hey. Why not?) Taped to trees in high-traffic areas, on the side of buildings where entrances are, doctor office waiting room, etc.

I’m considering other places and it’s a blast to go around and stick them up at different places in my area! Even better, the feeling of knowing there are a dozen random folks out there with one of your little crochet pieces is so fun.

 

I’ll update as I continue Project Crochet Giveaway.

 

If you join, please share with me! It would be awesome to see this happen all over the world. Just a fun way to make someone smile, and like I said, it’s been a blast using our imaginations and putting these up everywhere! B, my sweet boyfriend & I are doing it together, so if you’re up to it, have a friend to join with you! It’s so much fun that way.

Do you guys have any ideas of items that would be nice to crochet & giveaway? Of course flowers are loved by everyone, but aside from the owls and stuffed bear I mentioned, what ideas would you have?

Lots of love & I hope to see you guys having fun with this too!

6 Gorgeous, Free Crochet Motif Patterns

Since this is still a very new blog of mine, I thought a good introductory post would be my “Top Favorite Free Motif Patterns.” I literally spent days on end scouring the web for the prettiest, and free motif tutorials out there, and these are the ones I personally loved enough to crochet myself.

The patterns were easy to follow and pretty beginner-friendly, so I will share these along with their links with y’all. The shapes and styles of these motifs are so versatile that you can use them in many different ways. Add them to T-shirts (one of my absolute favorite uses!), make a “bunting” for a special occasion like a wedding or just for your room decor. You can apply them to purses, bedspreads, hell, even the wall if you like! 

 

Note: These are mostly floral shaped motifs as I was going with a floral theme. If you like posts like this, I’ll continue to post others that aren’t theme-limited. Just leave me your feedback in the comments section. 

 

*Another note, I crocheted all of mine in size 3 crochet thread. Obviously, using thread creates a whole ‘nother look. Experiment with any size/colors you like.

Hope you enjoy these as much as I have!

 

1. From “The Patter Family” Youtube Channel:

 

2. Medallion Motif (Scarf) Found on Ravelry, by Lion Brand. This has to be my top favorite of all. It’s the biggest of all these listed, but it makes a gorgeous “medallion” for any garment, blanket, etc. I adore this pattern! It’s for a scarf, but I just crocheted one for an applique.

Medallion Scarf by Lion Brand

 

 3. Violet 12 Block, (download-able PDF), also found on Ravelry by  Tigerbee’s Buzz. Using my crochet thread, this one came out small with an almost square-ish shape & a ruffle/picot edge.

 

Image by Tiggerbee’s Buzz

 

 

4.Evelines Motif by Ravelry User and blogger at Yellow Pink and Sparkly, Janet McMahon. Includes 15 petals (ruffle-looking because of the single-crocheted edging, which is genius!).

Image source: Janet McMahon (Ravelry user and blogger at Yellow, Pink and Sparkly)



5.  “Maybelle Crochet Flower
By A.B. McKenna (Downloadable PDF Pattern.)

Image source: https://6ichthusfish.typepad.com/

 

 

6. Adrienne Square” Video Tutorial by Yolanda Soto Lopez

Lovely motifs are one of my all-time favorite projects to crochet! They’re so versatile.

I spent days looking for the “perfect” floral motif and upon my hundreds of patterns I tried with, these were my top favorites based on these qualities: easy to follow tutorials, free, beautiful as can be! So, I thought I’d save others some trouble of searching and put a few of them here for you guys to come back to as you go.

 

I’ve actually managed to crochet quite a few of each of these beautiful motifs. Some of them will be attached together to make a little vest, others have gone into a top (which I’ll be posting soon), some went on the backs of plain t-shirts and others were sewn together to create a beautiful, white, bunting, which I think would add something pretty to gatherings, weddings, bedroom walls, etc. I’ll post photos of the projects I’ve made using these patterns later.

 

And before I go, I want to give a very special thank-you to each of the awesome folks who created these patterns and allowed me to show them off here at Laughing Flamingos. I hope you guys will be kind enough to go give them some blog-love since they did take the time to provide us with their work, for free. Now that’s awesome!

So, how do you plan to use your motifs?

Crochet Lace Blouse Free Tutorial (Intro and PT.1)

As you may know, I’ve been hard at work lately trying to construct a whole new blog with the focus of crochet — something I’ve picked up and loved! My latest project has been designing this beautiful lacey tank-top blouse, with the help of the very talented, lovely Girly from Girlie’s Crochet (thanks Girlie!) 

 

*Video PT.1 at bottom of this post*

 

*Note, if you’ve already began and are looking for the “Bust & Straps” portion of the tutorial, you can find that here. I made these separately because putting this post and that written part of the tutorial all in one post seemed overwhelming. Moving on.

 

While making the tutorial for this top, I’ve kept beginners (as I’m pretty much one myself still) in mind, so don’t be turned off by trying this one if you are new to crochet. Basically, all you need to know is how to double crochet, slip stitch, chain & cross-over double crochet and picot stitch. In the video, I took time to briefly show how those stitches are done. I’ve also created an entirely separate video tutorial on how to do the cross-over double crochet stitch, so my fellow beginners, I’ve got you covered! 

 

You also have the lovely Girly (from Girlie’s Crochet, which I’ve linked to above) who’s given us a free, photo tutorial on the majority of the top! She designed a skirt & I’ve used her exact same design to create the bottom portion of this blouse, so you can easily follow her pattern for the beginning length. I still suggest watching my Part 1 video on the blouse because that’s where you’ll learn what this design requires and all that important stuff.

 

 

Here is what the finished blouse/top looks like. In the photos I’ve added a belt and of course put a cami top underneath since this is see-through. 

 

Video Tutorial for Lace Crochet Blouse by Kendra:

Part two (the bust and straps) tutorial can be found here.

At the moment, the rest of the ‘series’ is being uploaded to YouTube and will soon be put here on the blog, too. If you need to access those videos before they’re posted here on the blog, you can find them on my channel.

Crochet Vest Project

Here’s some of the  photo inspiration I’ve been using to create a vest. I’ve had these ideas of a crochet vest floating around in my head for months now! I figured crochet vests, especially with any sort of floral or lacy look to them are always stylish, and since it’s summer, I can top a it over a solid colored tank to add a bit of… hippy-ness? I’ve been pinning different crocheted vests on Pinterest like crazy, but here are a few that I’m loving:

Of course mine is going to vary hugely from these photos, but here are some of the vests that inspired me:

Image source: Dino Direct.com
“Lace Hollow Crochet” found on Ebay
Source: found on Ebay
Image source: https://bo-m.blogspot.com.ar/search?updated-max=2012-10-10T21:40:00%2B01:00&max-results=20&start=60&by-date=false
Found on Ebay

And here is what I have so far:

Kendras crochet

This is the ‘block’ that will make the front left side of vest.

Kendra's Crochet

Kendras vest piece

Kendras Crochet vest piece

It may or may not help give you an image of what this simple block of motifs will look like when put together as a vest, but hopefully it’s helpful. I’ll update with photos as I go, if you guys want to see the progress?  Perhaps even give instructions as to how I put it all together in the end, too.

My Pinterest “To Do” and Likes are filled with similar items to these, so once I finally felt inspired enough, I found my trusty motif (The Sunflower Motif, linked to below ) and started brainstorming as I went. I really have to put my hook to action and see the work as I go in order to really plan it out. I can’t just see my whole idea in my head like some do. So, this vest of mine could wind up taking a whole different turn, but for now, I think I’ll keep joining these motifs until I reach the back.

Told you it’d be very different. See, I really would’ve loved to have been able to crochet something with the kind of stitching used in a lot of these vests, but as a beginner, I had no idea how to do so & there aren’t many instructions or patterns available for stylish, modern vests out there. I hope to learn some newer, more unique stitches so that I can incorporate them into vests and blouses in the future.  Had I known how to crochet something like the vests and blouse above, I’d have no doubt done something like that.

For anybody who’s interested, the motifs (called the Sunflower Motif) I’m using are a free pattern available on the blog of another crochet-blogger, Naomi at Knotty Living.

I adore her motif pattern and was elated that she offered it for free! I found it easy to follow. I did leave out the very last row on my motifs, though.
As it stands, this piece will probably be the front side. I’ll work up another for the other front side. I desperately hope to be able to do a racer-back style for the back, but I will be winging it and having to use a racer-back tank top I own for a pattern to follow. I’m hoping it turns out well. I’ll probably just use more motifs and double crochet rows or something to make up the back. I never know for sure how I’m going to do the entire project when I work on a top until I reach the end.

I’m probably going to add some sort of scallop trim/edging to the front sides (where it will hang open) and hope that adds a touch of ruffle to the vest.

Have you been inspired to crochet a vest top for summer? If so, please do share any of your work with me! I love connecting with other crocheters.

UPDATE: Here’s the finished product! I’m really happy with it, especially considering it was all free-hand except the motifs! Everything was put together without a pattern. I will share the whole process in another post if anybody happens to be interested.

The vest will be available in my shop Laughing Flamingo.

Vest

Vest 2

Vest back

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