So Manly! Cellphone Sleeve

My husband has been toting around an iPhone for work lately.  The way he has been tossing it is casually in his computer bag makes me cringe.  I mean, shouldn’t it get a little bit of protection?  It is naked after all!

I then came up with this cellphone sleeve that is fit for a man.  With clean lines, dark cotton yarn, and no frills, this is one of the few crocheted objects that he is willing to use.

So Manly! Phone Sleeve -

 This design is so simple that I did not create a .pdf version.  It is intended for an iPhone, but can be adapted for any phone (tablet or e-reader as well) with or without a hard case.

So Manly! Phone Sleeve -

You will need a worsted weight cotton yarn (in manly colors!) and a 4.0mm G-6 crochet hook.  Gauge is not critical.

1.) Tie a slip knot onto your hook.  Create a chain the length of the bottom of the phone.  Then Ch two more times.

2.) DC into the second stitch from the hook.  DC in each stitch along the chain.  When you get to the end of the chain, DC a second time into the first stitch and turn.

3.) Now DC along the opposite side of the chain.  The stitches should start to form a tiny canoe and not a flat oval. When you have completed the row, Sl St back into the first DC on the other side to complete the canoe.  Check that end of the phone (with hard case if you have one) can snuggly fit in to get an idea if it is sized correctly.

4.) Ch 2 then DC into the next stitch.  DC all the way around.  I like to work in spirals, so instead of finishing the row with a Sl St, DC into the first stitch of the row.

5.) Now that you have created the spiral, continue to DC in each stitch until you get the correct length.  Occasionally slip the phone into the sleeve to see if it is completely covered.  Once the case is long enough, DC to the fold in the side of the case.

6.) To even out the spiral, SC in each stitch until you are two stitches from the next fold.  Then Sl St in the last two stitches of the row.  Tie off and weave in the end.

So Manly! Phone Sleeve -

Voila! Now your phone is protected in (manly) style!

Adding Embellishments

I’ve made so many of my Easy Peasy Pacifier Clips that I’m looking for ways to make them more interesting.  I started with a dozen or so color combinations and have moved on to adding embellishments.

Pacifier Clip Teddy Bear Clips -

My favorite color combo has been this maroon and white for Texas A&M with my “12th Man Teddy” clip.  Recently I’ve discovered these neat little Teddy clips from  I don’t usually promote websites, but KAMsnaps really does have every type of clip you would ever want for this type of project, including plastic clips.

Pacifier Clip Flower Embellishment -

I also created a little button flower for girls.  The pattern is written up and will be posted to my blog soon!

Get creative with this project.  There are so many ways to make it your own!


Clothespin Reindeer Ornament

Once upon a time, a popular craft with children was a reindeer made of wooden clothespins, googly eyes, and tiny pom-poms.  I have to say I haven’t really seen them in about 15 years or so though.  In an attempt to bring the cuteness back, I have put a few together myself!

Clothespin Reindeer -

Only a few items are needed to assemble a whole herd of these little guys.  If you would like to try it yourself, here is what you need:

  • 3 wooden 3″ clothespins
  • 1 small red (or brown)
  • 1 white pom-pom
  • 2 7mm googly eyes
  • 1 1/2″ wooden spool
  • tacky glue
  • accessories such as jingle bells or ribbon (optional)
  • metal ornament hook or ribbon (optional)

Parts for Clothespin Reindeer -

First, pick out the best looking clothespin as the head.  Glue on the eyes and red pom-pom as the nose.  While it dries, glue the other two pins to the spool.  After the body and head have had a few minutes to dry, glue the head to the body and then the white pom-pom to other end as a tail.  Embellish with ribbon or bells (I used curling ribbon on the antlers and a bell around the neck).

If you want to make this an ornament, either wrap a metal ornament hook or a tie a piece of ribbon around the waist.

Clothespin Reindeer -

Voila!  Merry Christmas, everyone!


DIY Bead Nightlight

There is no doubt that my knack for crafts came mostly from my grandmother. Even at 88 years old, she still makes amazing and clever little things.  During my last visit she sent me home with one of these little gems- a nightlight with a fancy beaded cover.

Bead Night Light -


This would be a great project to do with a child.  Each row is just a line of beads strung onto a safety pin.  The top and bottom are circles of craft wire that alternate the rings on the safety pin and a round bead.  This little chandelier of beads is just set on top of a nightlight bulb.

 Bead Night Light -

The result adds a little sparkle to any room!


Cherry Chocolate Bliss

Living with a lactose intolerant husband usually means we don’t have ice cream in the house.  The ice cream maker had been retired and stored since we found out he had the intolerance.  That is, it was retired until we realized we can make dairy-free ice cream.  Delicious dairy-free ice cream.  Ice cream that also caters to other special diets- gluten-free, paleo, vegan/vegetarian… Did I mention it’s also delicious?

Alvin’s Dairy-Free Cherry Amaretto Chocolate Ice Cream

Cherry Amaretto Chocolate Ice Cream

16 oz frozen pitted cherries
2 13.5oz cans coconut milk
1 cup 60% cocao bittersweet chocolate chips (dairy-free)
1/2 cup raw honey
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

1.) Roughly chop cherries in a food processor.
2.) Roughly chop chocolate chips in a food processor.
3.) Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix.
4.) Pour mixture into an ice cream maker.  Follow the maker’s instructions on making ice cream.
5.) Enjoy that dairy-free goodness!

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Easy Peasy Pacifier Clip

My little Peanut was born earlier this year, and he has successfully kept me from blogging until now.  He hasn’t entirely kept me from crocheting however.  Instead, I have turned in my amigurumi for baby patterns.

My friends have had a baby boom this year as well.  With so many babies on my mind, the pacifier clip pattern was born.

Pink & Yellow Easy Peasy Pacifier Clip -

I love how simple this pattern is.  I have made a dozen or so of these in the past year, particularly since they make such great baby shower gifts.

Easy Peasy Pacifier Clips -

I have put together a picture-filled pattern here: Click here to download PDF

Inspiration and Test

I have been itching to try out the blog on the iPad. With vacation, new ideas are popping up despite the fact that the SLR is not with me this time.

My mom came up with this cute DIY for her sun room. I hope the iPad camera does it justice.

 Key tray

This coffee table tray is cheerfully decorated with hotel key cards from vacations and travels. After a fresh coat of paint, each card was simply glued to the top of the tray. Great idea to show off where you have been. Love it!

All this spare time has given opportunity to pick up the crochet hook again, so new projects are on the way!


Adventure Baby! Newborn Aviator Hat

The itch to create a new project set in over Thanksgiving, and a few hours later a cute baby hat was born.

I was impressed with the interest in my tiger hat pattern.  It only made sense to offer this hat pattern as well.  You can download the pdf pattern for free by clicking the link here.

The weather here has been anything but winter-like over the past few weeks.  I mean, 80F in December, really?  However, I know it won’t be long before a little hat like this will be needed and oh-so-cute on a newborn in your life!

If you have success with it, I’d love to see pictures or receive comments.  As always, you can email me at if you have any questions or feedback.


Saving Summer’s Bounty

After a short walk this morning, my husband and I spent pretty much the whole day in the kitchen.  We picked up our CSA veggies yesterday and were blessed with all of our favorite pickling veggies.  Our bin contained three huge cucumbers and over a pound of okra.

We had some luck with quick refrigerated pickles a few weeks ago, but we decided we would put in the extra effort to can them this time.  After slicing the cucumbers, I had trouble keeping from gobbling them all up.

I bought the Ball ‘Complete Book of Home Preserving’ last year, but I have to say that my favorite pickle recipes are by Food Network’s Emeril Lagasse.  His spicy pickled okra and spicy dill pickles are the perfect way to preserve the summer’s bounty.

I think they are so pretty too.  Why doesn’t Vlasic add peppercorns and arbol chilies to their pickles?

My favorite part of it is that my husband likes to cook with me.  The couple that cooks together stays together!  Happy eating, everyone!


You Can Do It! Easy Tomato Sauce

Tomorrow I want to try out a recipe for Zucchini Enchiladas that calls for basic tomato sauce.  I also have a couple of very delicious beefsteak tomatoes in my fridge from my CSA.  What do I do?  Make tomato sauce!

This recipe is a fantastic basic tomato sauce that you can make in 20 minutes, including prep and clean-up.  This is a basic sauce and not for Italian sauce purists.  Although, after tasting it, I still feel good about recommending  it over pasta.

Easy Basic Tomato Sauce

2 large tomatoes (I used beefsteak, about 10oz each)
2.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano (I used Mexican Oregano since this will be enchilada sauce)
1 pinch salt
1 pinch sugar
1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional- adds heat)

1. First, chop the tomatoes.  The larger the chopped pieces, the chunkier the sauce.

2. Next, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook one minute.  Then add the tomatoes and the spices.  Be careful to not splatter hot oil on you when adding the tomatoes.  Yes, it happens :)

3. Reduce the heat so that the juices just simmer.  Simmer about 10 minutes, stirring often.  The tomatoes will cook down into sauce and the aroma will make you drool just a little.

4. It’s now ready to eat or store!  I’m using mine tomorrow, so I put mine into a jar for storage in the refrigerator.

Yum!  We did lick the pan clean after storing the sauce.  If it wasn’t for enchilada sauce, I know that basil would have been a great addition.  So many possibilities!