Thursday, January 5, 2017

Crafty Birds Celebrate Bird Days


Bluebird Stuffed Toy on Etsy
Plush Bluebird Toy in Crochet (Etsy)
Bird Days

There are several designated dates throughout the year set aside to celebrate our feathered friends.  

There are nearly 10,000 species of birds and 'bird days' bring awareness of issues critical to the protection and survival of birds, both captive and wild.  

*Pictured above is an Amigurumi plush toy bluebird from Coastal Crochet Crafts on Etsy.

 

Crafty Birds


The birds shown here in the field of arts & crafts are these artists' way of celebrating the various bird days and helping to promote avian awareness.



Annual Bird Days Throughout the Year



  • January 5 is National Bird Day. It was begun in 2002 by Born Free USA in coordination with the Avian Welfare Coalition. 
  • May 5 is simply 'Bird Day'.  In 1894, Charles Babcock of Oil City, Pennsylvania, a school superintendant, set this date to bring attention to the conservation of birds.  It was the first bird holiday begun in the United States.  In 1979, the United Kingdom began their own Bird Day, which is coordinated by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. On this date, up to half a million bird lovers spend an hour counting birds.
  • In the United States and Canada, the second Saturday in May is known as International Migratory Bird Day.  Mexico, Central & South America, and the Carribbean celebrate this occasion on the second Saturday in October.
  • Since 2006, the second Saturday in May is also known as World Migratory Bird Day, established by the United Nations.

The main reason all this attention has been given to birds is due to the fact that nearly 12 percent of the world’s almost 10,000 bird species are in danger of extinction.  So celebrate by bird-watching, studying birds,  or educating others about other bird-related activities. You could also participate in bird adoption - which is often done on National Bird Day, January 5.  



Some individual species of birds have their own 'days'.

 

Parrot

Cuddly crochet parrot handmade toy bird
Crochet Amigurumi Toy Plush Parrot (Etsy)

World Parrot Day is May 31. It was begun by the World Parrot Trust in 2004 to highlight the threats to wild Parrots around the world. 

Inspired by World Parrot Day, I created a toy parrot in crochet to celebrate.  Cute and cuddly, he measures over 11 inches tall. His wings and tail are each 5 inches long. Beak is 3.5 inches long. Plush parrot is a hugable handful of delight for a child.

Plush parrot is available in my Etsy Shop, Coastal Crochet Crafts


Bluebirds 


A Blue Bird Day is defined as a beautiful sunny day after an overnight snowfall. It's a perfect skiing day with a clear blue sky, bright sun, and fresh snow. 

There are no individual holidays known as bluebird day, but 
September 24 is National Bluebird of Happiness day



A set of handmade drink coasters in the shape of a bluebird
Bluebird Beverage Coaster Set - Available on Etsy
Celebrate 'happiness' with your own bluebird as home decor with this set of Bluebird Drink Coasters handmade by Coastal Crochet Crafts.

A pretty set of mats for your tabletops in the colors of the mountain bluebird. 





Mountain Bluebird handmade Beverage Coasters
The Navajo identify the mountain bluebird as a spirit in animal form, associated with the rising sun. Use these coasters as you have your morning coffee and greet the new day, especially on one of the 'bird days' throughout the year.
 


Birds & Birdhouse Beverage Coasters
Backyard Birdhouses & Birds Coasters
Birds and birdhouses often go together when we think of birds.  This set of handmade beverage coasters with designs of birds and birdhouses are another lovely accent to your tabletops.  Perfect for those bird day celebrations.


 




Save the Eagles Day is January 10

 

Scroll Saw Hand-Cut Wood Eagle Key Chain

This flying eagle wood key chain is handmade by Susan of Wentzville, Missouri and featured in her Etsy Shop Ooh Look, It's a Rabbit.

Susan uses maple backed with walnut. She filled it with clear casting epoxy resin which allows the color of the backing wood to show through the image. She then attached a 4 inch long ball chain and a 32 mm split ring to securely hold your keys.

The size of the oval is 1 3/8 inches high and 2 3/4 inches long. 


Eagles are considered the "King of Birds", a common symbol in heraldry.  The 'American Bald Eagle' is the national symbol of the United States and is only found in North America.
 

More special days set aside to recognize the birds we all enjoy.  More about these 'days' coming soon.


  • February is National Bird and Wild Bird Feeding Month 
  • Great Backyard Bird Count - February 17-20, 2017  
  • Homes for Birds Week - Second Week of February 
  • International Festival of Owls - March 3-5, 2017  
  • National Birding Day - April 1, 2017 (First Saturday of April) 
  • Draw a Picture of a Bird Day - April 8  
  • Audubon Day - April 26  
  • National Go Birding Day - April 29, 2017 (Last Saturday of April)  
  • Christmas Bird Count Week - December 14, 2017 - January 5, 2018 (Every Dec. 14 - Jan. 5)  

A Bird Resource Book




 
Birds of North America Book by National Geographic
Available on Amazon

This book guide of the "Complete Birds of North America" is a terrific  resource that covers every bird species found in North America as well as all the seasonal visitors.  

The book provides information on more than 1,000 species, including hundreds of range and migration maps, identification information, and many illustrations by expert bird artists.




 
*Article written on National Bird Day January 5, 2017. (c) Wednesday Elf

Friday, October 21, 2016

Plush Black Cats and Not-So-Scary Bats

 

Cute & Cuddly Black Cats & Bats in Plush

 

Handmade and available on Etsy
Plush Black Cat on Etsy
Black cats are no particular breed, or rather, can be from any breed or mixed breed. Simply stated, these felines are called 'Black Cats' because their fur is all black!

Black cats have had superstitions attached to them in many cultures and are considered to be either 'good luck' or 'bad luck'. At some point in history, black cats were suspected of being the 'familiars' of witches and this may be why they are now associated with Halloween.

Bats, on the other hand, are flying mammals. There are over 900 species of bats, but the only ones I like are Plush Bats! :)

Lets take a tour through a world of plush black cats and 'not-so-scary' bats!


Black Cats


Black Cats in Plush are Purr-fect!

 

Ziggy the Plush Black Cat

Ziggy the Curious Black Cat is soft and silky and loves to be petted. He has an extra-long body (nearly 15 inches) that is a bit ‘understuffed’ which makes him as posable as a real cat.

Ziggy the black cat is cute and cuddly and lovable.  He is available on Amazon.




Black Cat in Plush Crochet
Plush Black Cat on Etsy

This cuddly black cat seen in the introduction photo is a perfect plush cat in crochet for a child's toy, a Halloween decoration, or anyone who loves black cats.  He measures 7.5 inches in a sitting position and 10 inches tall overall and is cute and cuddly soft.  He can be found in the Etsy Shop of Coastal Crochet Crafts!




Are You Superstitious About Black Cats? 

Do you think they bring 'Good Luck' or 'Bad Luck'?


On the "Good Luck" side, several friends have given me their opinions:


  • Black Cats Bring 'Good Luck'. That black cat 'bad luck' belief is Hogwash!
  • Since I've had several black cats over the years, I definitely don't think they bring bad luck. To me, Black Cats are 'lucky'!
  • I've had black cats before and they are just sweet and loving. The only time I'd think they were bad luck is if one was coming at me with a chainsaw, otherwise, no worries :)
  • I've never thought black cats were bad luck. A cat is a cat.
  • Any cat is good luck, in my opinion! Send your black cats my way.
  • Where I'm from (the UK), black cats have always been a symbol of good luck!



And, in the opinion of a friend's dog.....
  
Silly humans, all kitties are good to chase - I have no color preference :)


 

Scary Looking Black Cat for Halloween!

 

Furry Bones Black Mao Mao Cat

Now This is What I Call a Halloween Cat Face!

This Black Mao-Mao Cat Furry Bones Soft Plush Doll would make a terrific Halloween decoration. The 'face' is perfect for getting the attention of the 'trick or treaters' at your door on October 31st. 

After Halloween, Mao Mao Cat can then keep you company throughout the rest of the year. (Just watch out you don't come across him in a dark room on a 
stormy night! )



On the other side of the bad luck/good luck question, here are some 'bad luck' quotes:


  • No, no.... keep them away! Black Cats are Scary and bring 'bad luck'.
  • I would like to say I am not superstitious, but just yesterday a black cat ran quickly across the path of my car and I have to admit I shuddered!
  • Not sure but never let one cross my path lol guess i need to pick no no no...:)
  • I don't take any chances one way or the other so am always on my guard when I spy a black cat.
     
It looks as though most people LIKE black cats and think they are just fine.


BATS

 

The Best Kind of Bat - A Bat in Crochet!


Plush Toy Amigurumi Bat Pattern to Crochet

A Cute Bat to Crochet

If you are a crochet crafter, you could make a whole collection of toy bats with this darling pattern. A stuffed animal bat is the best kind of bat, in my opinion!

A clever crafter on Etsy creates adorable Amigurumi animal patterns from her home in Portugal. This crocheted bat pattern is just one of a wonderful group you will find in her Etsy shop she calls MevvSan. Check out all Mevlinn's patterns from a Sloth to a Unicorn to a Giant Squid. She has some quite unique and original patterns in her shop.



THIS is MY idea of a fun bat - a BATman PLUSH blanket.

 

I Like this Kind of Bat! - Soft and Warm. It's a super-soft fleece throw that measures 50" x 60".


This will make a great gift for my SuperHero crazy grandsons -- perfect for their BOY-cave! :-)




 

Unique Decor - A Bat Pillow

 

Metallic Bat-Shaped Pillow on Etsy
For a comfy soft spot for your head, or simply to decorate a sofa or chair for Halloween, you can't beat this handmade Bat-Shaped Pillow. This pillow is just one of a number of "Bat" pillows in a variety of colors and fabrics created by Theda of New York. She has a darling collection of bat pillows and other items in her Etsy Shop she calls Deflated Mouse.
Made with black synthetic satin with bright red metallic bats flying hither and yon. It's like a mad house!  Bat pillow measures approximately 18" x 8".



Black Cats (and the occasional Bat)... Wish you a Happy Halloween!

 

My children at ages 3 and 6 wearing their 'Mama-Made' Black Cat Halloween costumes





 

AUGUST 17 

is 

"Black Cat Appreciation Day" 

 





© 2012 Wednesday-Elf

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Plush Pumpkins for Halloween and Harvest Time


Kitty in Pumpkin Crochet Pattern. Source: Etsy
Plush Pumpkins can be a Halloween decoration for a party, or a hugable toy stuffie for a child, or a lovely part of your Autumn decor. 

Plush pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes, just like real pumpkins. Come browse this page of 'pumpkin patches' from Amazon and Etsy to see how many different plush pumpkins we can find.

*Kitty in Pumpkin seen here is a crochet pattern to make your own plush pumpkin with a kitty sitting inside and holding the top.  This cute Halloween pumpkin pattern was created by Barbara of Cape Coral, Florida for her Etsy Shop BVOE668.



PUMPKINS

A large, edible, orange-yellow fruit of the gourd family.


Plush Pumpkin & Toy Squiggly Spider

 

A plush pumpkin and a squiggly stuffed spider

Halloween Toys or holiday decorations


A little plush pumpkin crocheted in the Amigurumi style has safety eyes for features and comes with a friendly squiggly yarn spider. Fun toys for kids or cute Halloween party decorations.

Handmade in acrylic yarn and filled with a soft new fiberfil, these pumpkin toys are fun for kids. The set can be found in the Etsy shop of Coastal Crochet Crafts.


A Beanie Ballz Plush Pumpkin



Ty Beanie Pumpkin Plushie on Amazon

Measuring 5 inches long, you can throw 'em, catch 'em, or roll 'em and they will always land on their feet --- or leaves, that is. :)




Pumpkin Translations
  • pumpkin in Afrikaans is pampoen
  • pumpkin in Dutch is pompoen
  • pumpkin in French is potiron
  • pumpkin in Swedish is pumpa




Babies & Toddlers Love this Pumpkin Season too.


Pumpkin Pooh Bear Bean Bag
Plush Pooh Bear and Pumpkins... Fit Together Nicely for Halloween!

The perfect plush pumpkin for a baby is a Teddy Bear version. As an 'Elf', I relate to the smallest people in our households! :-) Soft sweet teddy bears, especially in a 'Pooh Bear' style, let little ones join in the Halloween season.

First in the Disney series of Halloween bean bags comes this adorable plush Pumpkin Pooh bean bag toy. Measures about 8 inches tall.


Don't Forget the Family Dog this Halloween!



Rubber Squeaky Pumpkin Pet Toy
For Halloween (or anytime) fun, here's an adorable addition to any pup's toy selection. Great for throwing and fetching games. Made of non-toxic material, this Halloween chew toy is currently one of the most popular with the dogs (and cats, too).

Dogs Love Plush Pumpkins Too.


Enjoy Plush Pumpkins in all forms for any age group.  Have a fun Pumpkin Season!






Oh how we love pumpkin season


You did know this gourd-ish squash has its own season, right? Winter, Spring, Summer, Pumpkin....We anxiously anticipate it every year.

        ~Unknown Quote






© 2012 Wednesday-Elf. Article originally written for another site.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Crochet a Cheeseburger - Handmade Pot Holders Tutorial


Free Pattern to Crochet a Set of "Cheeseburger" Potholders for Summertime Grilling, Fall Football Tailgating, or Anytime!


I love to crochet and enjoy sharing with fellow fiber art crafters. Here is a free pattern to create five unique potholders and/or sturdy hot pads that -- when stacked together -- look like a cheeseburger! Perfect for summertime grilling, for camp cookouts, or for tailgating at sporting events.

Dress up your kitchen or store in your camper for all your summertime cooking with these fool-the-eye pot holders! Put on your kitchen shelf next to your stove for a conversation piece all year round. Easy to crochet with these simple directions.

*All photographs of crocheted cheeseburger potholders on this page are the property of (c) Wednesday Elf.



Cheeseburger Potholders in Crochet 

- A Novelty Item that is also Practical and Useful

 

Cheeseburger Potholders Set of Five
Set of Five Novelty Potholders

An easy pattern to crochet-for-the-kitchen (or patio). Each potholder is crocheted double-thick for extra protection. I used acrylic yarn for it's ease of handling and the fact that it is easily machine washable & dryable, but cotton yarn can also be used. This particular set I call a 'Cheeseburger' potholder can be varied with less or more pieces (leave off the cheese potholder and you have a 'hamburger' or add a green round potholder for 'lettuce'). The set shown here consists of five pieces -- top and bottom buns, hamburger, cheese slice and tomato slice. All potholders except the cheese slice are done in single crochet in the round and are quite simple to do, so it becomes a good 'take-along' project for busy crafters.


*Each potholder begins with a Basic Round listed below, with variations for individual pieces described later down the page.



Materials:



  • Worsted-weight (4-ply) yarn: about 1-1/2 oz. beige or tan, 1 oz each of white, brown, yellow, orange and red.
  • G/6 Crochet Hook
  • Yarn Needle

Crochet Abbreviations Used in this Pattern

 
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
Rnd - round
sts - stitches





BASIC ROUND



NOTE: Bun top and bottom potholders, and Hamburger potholder are each made from this Basic Round. Make in brown for hamburger, in tan and white for bun.



  • Rnd 1: ch 2, 6 sc in second ch from hook (6) [Do not join rounds]
  • Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc around (12)
  • Rnd 3: (sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc) around. (18)
  • Rnd 4: (sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around. (24)
  • Rnd 5: (sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around. (30)
  • Rnd 6: (sc in next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around. (36)
  • Rnd 7: (sc in next 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around. (42)
  • Rnd 8: (sc in next 6 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around (48)
  • Rnd 9: (sc in next 7 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around. (54)
  • Rnd 10: (sc in next 8 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around. (60)
  • Rnd 11: (sc in next 9 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around. (66)
  • Rnd 12: (sc in next 10 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around. (72)


Cheeseburger Potholder Bun Top and Bottom


Crocheted Cheeseburger Potholder Set - Bun Top
Bun Top

Hamburger Bun Top with Seeds

  • Rnds 1-12: With tan or beige, make Basic Round through Rnd 12.
  • Rnds 13-15: Sc in each sc, fasten off yarn at end of Rnd 15.

Scatter seeds over top of bun by making 25 to 30 short stitches at random with white yarn and tapestry needle.

*White yarn is used for the inside of the hamburger bun and for the 'seeds' on the top bun.



View of the Inside of Top & Bottom Buns


Cheeseburger Bun in Crochet Potholder
Inside top and bottom bun

Crochet Inside Piece in White for Top and Bottom Bun Potholders

Make Basic Round in white, cut and fasten off at end of Rnd 12.

With tan yarn, sew inside of bun to bun top.



Cheeseburger Potholder Bun Bottom

 

Cheeseburger Potholder Crochet Tutorial
Cheeseburger Bun Bottom

Bun Bottom Potholder

With tan yarn, repeat Bun Top through Rnd 14.

Repeat Inside of Bun Top with white.


Sew two pieces together with tan yarn.



Red Heart with Love Yarn
Red Heart with Love Yarn, Tan.

Tan yarn is needed for both top and bottom buns.








Hamburger Potholder - If you prefer, you can make this into a 'Veggie' burger! :)

 

Hamburger Potholder in Crochet
Hamburger Potholder

 
Hamburger Potholder Instructions (Make 2)


  • Rnds 1-12: With brown yarn, make Basic Round through Rnd 12.
  • Rnd 13: Sc in each sc around, fasten off.

Make a second piece through Rnd 12, fasten off.

Sew two sides together with right sides facing, wrong sides out.
 


Red Heart Soft Chocolate Yarn


Red Heart Soft Yarn in Chocolate.

Dark brown yarn, like this chocolate one, is used for the hamburger patty.



Cheese Slice Potholder


Cheese Slice for Crocheted Cheeseburger Potholder Set
Cheese Slice Potholder

Cheese Slice Potholder is a Square!

The cheese slice is worked around the starting chain, making the front and back at the same time, then closing the top with a row of single crochet.

NOTE: Since rounds have a tendency to veer to the right (or left, if you crochet left-handed like me), stop every few rounds and pull work to the left (right) until stitches seem to be straight up and down.
Instructions:


  • Rnd 1: With Yellow, ch 24, sc in 3rd chain from hook (turning chain counts as 1 sc), sc in next 20 ch, 3 sc in end ch, turn, working back side of chain, sc in next 21 ch, mark end of Rnd. (46 sc).
  • Rnds 2-24 (or until piece is square): Sc in each sc around.
  • Rnd 25: Holding both sides together, sc across top to close, fasten off.

 

Available on Amazon

Bright Yellow Red Heart Super Saver Economy Yarn

Different Yellows for Different Cheeses...

Use a bright yellow yarn for your standard American cheese slice. If you want to get fancy, use a light yellow yarn for a different kind of cheese. In crochet, you can create anything you can imagine. :)


Tomato Slice Potholder

 

Tomato Slice Potholder for Crocheted Cheeseburger Potholder Set
Tomato Slice Potholder

The seed effect of the tomato slice is made by bringing the hook through from the wrong side and working sc (reverse sts) with 2 regular sc separating each seed section. Each round is increased 6 sc as in the Basic Round, with increases always worked in the reverse sts (seed section) after Rnd 3 is completed.



Tomato Slice Potholder Instructions with Seed Stitch
  • Rnd 1: With Red, ch 2, 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook, do not join rnds.
  • Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc around.
  • Rnd 3: *2 sc in next st, reverse sc in next st, repeat from * around (start of seed pattern).
  • Rnd 4: *Sc in next 2 sc, 2 reverse sc in reverse sc, repeat from * around.
  • Rnds 5-10: From here on, sc in each sc, reverse sc in each reverse sc, increasing 1 reverse sc in each seed section, or 6 increases per round (60 sts at end of Rnd 10).
  • Rnds 11 & 12: Sc in each st., increase 6 sts each rnd.
  • Rnd 13: Working back loop only, sc in each sc around, cut yarn and fasten off.

To finish: Make two pieces and sew together through both loops of Rnd 13 on first piece and through back loop of Rnd 12 on second piece

 

MY PERSONAL NOTE: If you want to keep this pattern simple throughout and don't want to fuss with learning a new technique, just crochet the tomato slice in the Basic Round through Rnd 12.



Red Heart Soft Yarn, Really Red

Red Heart Soft Yarn, Really Red

Red yarn is used for the tomato slice potholder.

 

FINISHING


Stack hamburger, cheese and tomato slice between two bun halves



Cheeseburger Potholder Crochet Tutorial
Cheeseburger Potholder Set of Five


Crocheted Cheeseburger Potholders - Set of 5. Or -- a 'calorie-free' Cheeseburger :)


A 'Made for You' Set!

 

If you don't crochet, or don't have time to make your own set of Cheeseburger Potholders, a ready-made set handmade by me can be purchased through my Etsy Shop, Coastal Crochet Crafts




September 18th... 

is National Cheeseburger Day!  


This set of Cheeseburger Design Potholders would fit in perfectly when grilling your cheeseburgers on this... and 'any' day!

 


 

Novelty Potholders Make Fun Conversation Starters. Fill Your Crafting with some Fun. 


*Tutorial originally published on 6/2/2012
on another site