Holiday Prep

The problem with having a blog is that there is this pressure to have something profound to say.

Unfortunately I’ve got nothin’.

So I’ll leave you with some glimpses of what I’ve been up to lately.  Prepping for Christmas by making some handmade gifts.  I’m including links, of course, to the sites where I got the original ideas!

This is an anniversary ornament I made last year for a friend of mine that incorporated her wedding invitation.  I’m making another this year for a special couple for Christmas!  I got the inspiration and instructions here.


Working on a memorial pendant for my mom that has my Dad’s handwriting on it.  This is my first try… not happy with it because it isn’t smooth enough so I’ll be trying another version today.  Will keep you updated!


Crocheting up a storm for gifts.  Ruffly scarves (instructions here) and owl hats.


!!!!Spoiler alert!!!! 

Gifties for friends – fuzzy socks and nail polish.  Aren’t these the cutest?  Free printable tags here.




And last, but not least, just in case you’ve started thinking I’m one of those women who have it all together – crafting handmade gifts, perfectly well-behaved children, and a picture-perfect home – well, think again.  Those of you who know me well know that cleaning is always last on my list!

This is what my living room looks like this morning:


Yes, yes, those are dirty clothes on the floor, a mound of knotted yarn under the tree, and books, legos, movies, a tape measure, blankies, and shoes that have not found their true home yet.

Maybe I’d better get off the computer.  😉





Crocheted Animal Hats

I have been seeing kids wearing earflap animal hats all over the place.  They seem to be quite popular.

So, our kids’ school auction is coming up and I thought I’d try my hand at making some. 

Here are the ones I made for the auction:

My favorites are the Angry Birds Hat and the Owl Hats.  I’ve been using the following websites for patterns, adjusting the patterns only a bit as necessary:

(Thanks to both of these bloggers for sharing patterns!!)

I’m still working on getting sizes right – going back and forth between patterns, stitches, and changing hook sizes – I still haven’t been able to make a hat that fits a school-aged child.  ha ha – and my hello kitty’s whiskers look more like eyelashes – guess I need more practice!  The owls and angry birds are preschool sized and the penguin and hello kitty are teen/adult sized!  It should be interesting to see if they sell at the auction and for how much!

After I see how well they sell on Saturday at the auction, I’m thinking about trying to make and sell them on my own.  What do you think?



Thanks and Giving Giveaway!

With Thanksgiving coming up, I thought I’d have me an itty-bitty giveaway on the old blog!!

This week for some reason I had been thinking a lot about giving thanks to God (maybe thanks to all my friends who are posting what they are thankful for on FB every day for the month of November??).  And I was thinking that when I have a proper attitude of thanksgiving to God, it very often spills over into an attitude of giving to others.  Then I found this verse…

2 Corinthians 2:14

“14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.”

Amazing!  When we are thankful for all that God has given us, we are able to submit to Him and be led by Him – and that in turn glorifies Him to others!  Let’s be so thankful each and every day and may that urge us to give, and may that glorify Christ!! 

So to get started, I want to give away a handmade crocheted shawl to one of you!!

Here are some pics:

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And here are some details: 

It is hand-crocheted in Red Heart Symphony yarn – “a worsted weight, brushed acrylic yarn with a soft, mohair look and feel” – in Persimmon.  It is a beautiful fall pumpkin-y color that reminds me of pumpkin pie!!  And it’s soft – so soft!

It is about a women’s size small or medium.  (I wear a large or extra-large and I think it’s a bit small for me!).  It can be machine washed (cold water) and machine dried at low temperature. 

This would make a wonderful gift (for yourself!!??) or someone else!  This is open to anyone who lives in the continental U.S.A. and who follows ledbytheshepherd either through an RSS feed or e-mail subscription (click on the link on the left hand side to follow / subscribe!  If you win, I’ll either mail it to or if you’re local, I’ll drop it off!  If you would like to win this shawl, please leave a comment letting me know if you’d keep it for yourself or give it away (and to whom!).  One entry per person.  I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner on Sunday evening, November 13th. 

Yay!  I’m excited to see who wins!!

(P.S.  I have to add this.  I had this post written as a draft – and then I read this post this morning.  Amazing.  And powerful.  How thankfulness to God can change us, can help us submit to Him, can turn our selfishness into serving and reaching out to others.  Read it – you’ll be blessed!)

First crocheted scarf!

L learned a new skill this summer!

Here she is showing it off…

And here’s an up-close picture.  She did a great job! 

We picked up free instructions for this scarf when we bought the yarn at Michaels.  It was called “Quick 7 Row Scarf” from Loops & Threads.

Don’t you just *love* those bright colors?

Teacher Christmas Gifts 2010

Tim Horton’s gift certificate

Crocheted coffee cozy (Lionbrand “half caf cozy”, instructions here)

Tin of white chocolate fudge-covered oreos, decorated like ornaments.

And Lindt truffles. 

I am so thankful for my children’s teachers!  They are top-notch and have such a positive impact on my kids.  Hopefully they’ll enjoy their gifts!

And I ask, who can go wrong with truffles?

My Newest Project

I am just a teensy bit proud of my newest project. 

As I was working on it, I really didn’t think I’d like the end result.  But I actually love my new shawl! 

Here’s a close-up…

I got the pattern from LionBrand patterns, pattern #81039AD.  They have a ton of wonderful patterns on that website.  I used their homespun yarn in “herb garden”.  It took me way longer than it should have, because I work on it for a while, then get bored and stop for like months at a time.  But it’s finally done and I’m so happy with it. 

If you crochet or knit, I highly recommend you check out the LionBrand website.  Enjoy!

My Superbowl projects…

OK, so they have nothing to do with the Superbowl, except that this is what I did while I was “watching”.  I’m not a huge fan of football, and I’m even less of one when it’s not a local team playing.

I had seen some of these cute, cute hats at the mall recently and decided I wanted to try to make one.  I googled it and found several patterns for similar hats.  This was my first one…

You can find instructions for this hat at:

My older daughter liked the hat so much that she wanted one, so I made this one next…

The instructions for this larger hat can be found at the following link:

Both are really simple and quick patterns.  I’d almost forgotten how much I enjoy crocheting!  And you can get some really great, useful patterns on the internet!

Oh, and in the interest of complete honesty ~  I DID crochet during the superbowl, during the few moments when I wasn’t stuffing my face with snacks.