It seems like a bit of a milestone for me, though I imagine that it doesn’t really matter to anyone else (haha!)–my jkwdesigns Etsy shop is now officially closed, which means that more free pattern are headed your way! I’m going to be working diligently to get all those patterns posted as quickly as possible, but please be patient with me because 3 kids and motherhood tend to get in the way of me getting much done EVER. If there’s a pattern that you’re in a hurry to get that haven’t been posted yet, please head over to Ravelry as those pattern listings are being updated as I post the patterns online.
So, let’s get to it! When I was on my lens buddy making spree, the ladybug is one of the very first that I designed because I just couldn’t resist. I love ladybugs. They’re just so damn cute! My very first tattoo is of a little ladybug on my shoulder blade, and nearly 20 years later, sometimes it seems silly to have a cute little ladybug tattooed on me, but it reminds me of who I was when I was 18 and the people who were and are such an important part of my life.
All of the lens buddy patterns are appropriate for intermediate beginner crocheters who are familiar with working in the round. This pattern uses single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, half treble crochet, and treble crochet stitches. I’m all for simplicity when it comes to knitting and crocheting, so I’m a big fan of making the fewest number of pieces that have to be sewn together, but there’s no way around the individual black dots that go on the ladybug.
Scroll down to the end of this post to download the Goonies party printables: Hey You Guys banner, cupcake toppers, water bottle labels, and movie quote signs.
Despite trying/wanting/praying to get my life organized and start off 2017 with grace and efficiency, I stumbled into February in a state of panic because Valentine’s Day parties and treats and crafts for 3 kids AND all 3 kids’ birthdays within a 5 day period on the middle of February. 😫 Somehow, I managed to pull it all off without DYING or killing anyone, although once all the madness was over, I did spend an entire day on the couch watching mindless television (AKA Law and Order marathon).
So with 2 boys turning 8 and a little girl turning 5, trying to think of a theme that would appease all 3 kids was my first challenge. The boys are all about Legos and Star Wars and the Avengers, while my daughter is obsessed with My Little Pony and (unfortunately) Shopkins. However, they miraculously agreed on a Goonies themed party because GOOOOONIES!!! That, and my daughter adores Cyndi Lauper (because who doesn’t), and she loves the Good Enough music video at the end of the movie. 😉
As with all birthday parties, invitations are key! They get (kids and parents) excited for the party, and they set the stage for what’s to come. A couple years ago with the boys’ 6th birthday party, the lightsaber invitations were such a huge hit with the kids. Several of the kids brought their lightsaber invitations to the party with them.
I would have loved to create a rolled up treasure map for the invitation, but that would have been difficult to send out in the mail. Luckily, the design of the treasure map used in the movie is actually meant to be folded, so here’s what I put together:
These fit perfectly in a 5×7 invitation envelope, so it was ideal for mailing. I would have loved to add some music notes to the top of the back of the map, but with irregular shape of the map, I thought it would be too much work to figure out the placement for double sided printing. My handy dandy Silhouette Cameo cut the invitations to shape so I didn’t have to sit and hand-cut each of them like I did back in the day with the lightsaber invitations.
With the invitations sent out, I had several weeks to plan the party, but in the meantime, I also had to make 3 Valentine’s mailboxes, 78 classroom Valentine’s cards/goodies, plus the usual 592 loads of laundry/week and the CONSTANT EATING!!! (It really does feel like meal prep is an endless cycle in this house!)
So pretty much the week before Valentine’s Day and birthday party, I had a panic attack and had to crank out all the decorations, the party favors, and the treats. We kept food and party activity simple by calling it a “movie night” party and popping in the blu-ray to (hopefully) appease the children, and serving up hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner. Luckily, my brother-in-law is our resident grill master, and he had no problems with manning the grill during the party.
As a side note, I rewatched Goonies a few weeks ago to get some inspiration for the party, and I was worried that there was too much cursing and general inappropriateness for 5 and 8 year olds, but my husband told me I was overthinking (as per usual). He insisted that pretty much every parent had seen the movie as a kid, and if they didn’t think the movie was appropriate, they wouldn’t let their kid come anyway, so I didn’t need to worry. And (as per usual), he was right. No one said a thing, and parents were so engrossed in the movie themselves that I think they may have forgotten that they had even brought their kids to the party! By the end of the evening as the movie ended, the parents and my boys were pretty much the only people still staring at the TV. Most of the other kids had run off to play, which was fine–as long as everyone had a good time!
Here’s how the party worked out:
I just happened to have a few decorative skulls laying around from an unfinished craft project, so those worked perfectly for decor. I cut an eyepatch out of black felt for One-Eyed Willie and threw on a kid’s pirate costume hat. For other table decor items, I used some copper Moscow Mule mugs that I already had and some silver wine goblets that I picked up at Salvation Army for $2. I also purchased some beads from Oriental Trading Company, but I should have just gone to Dollar Tree because I found better beads for way cheaper ($1). Lesson learned. I also happened to have a copper pot (Chester Copperpot, get it? Get it? Hahaha!) that I put on the table as well.
Also, with this party, I decided to save some money by not ordering a cake. I was spoiled when we lived in Korea because there were some amazingly talented bakers/cake decorators/military spouses who baked out of their homes and offered beautiful artistic creations for very affordable prices. As I discovered, the same in not the case anymore! A single-layer half sheet cake with some plastic pirate decorations was going to run me at least $45, and quite honestly, I don’t think I would have been happy after the amazing cakes the kids had in Korea. My solution was to bake a billion cupcakes! It worked out for us because each of the kids wanted different flavors, and as a parent, I actually prefer cupcakes because they’re small. Cupcakes are exceedingly easy to bake and decorate, especially if you use cupcake toppers, so that worked out well for me. I baked all the cupcakes the night before the party, then whipped up the icing and decorated them just before the party started.
I recently discovered a recipe for a whipped cream cheese icing, and being a lover of cream cheese icing in general, I had to try it out. It is simply DIVINE. It whipped up beautifully, and despite being a bit concerned that the icing wouldn’t hold its shape if it sat at room temperature for too long, the heavy whipping cream did its job.
Since we didn’t have a cake, I purchased 3 small cake stands from Target so each of the kids could have their own little stand of cupcakes. When it cake time to sing them happy birthday, the kids each had their own stand with the appropriate number of candles to blow out. Also, as party favors, I made each of the kids a One-Eyed Willie t-shirt that they received when they arrived. Most of the party-goers were excited about their pirate shirts. There were a couple of hold-outs, but it was pretty cute to see all the kids running around with the same shirt on.
In addition to the cupcakes, I made Rocky Road treats (just marshmallows dipped in melted chocolate, then dipped in crushed walnuts), and I had some Baby Ruth bars, Hershey’s Gold Nuggets, and chocolate gold coins to round out the treat table.
I had also intended to make pirate ships with food boats filled with popcorn for the movie night portion of the party, but I had some logistical issues with getting the sails to stand upright in the food boat. The night before the party, I figured it would take far more time than I had to make each individual boat, so sadly I had to let go of that one.
And that just about wraps up the decorative elements of the party! Oh wait… I also decorated myself! 😉 HEY YOU GUYS!!!
Oh, and last, but certainly not least–thank you cards–because GOONIES ALWAYS SAY THANK YOU!
Various printables are available here to download and print for free for your PERSONAL USE ONLY. Click on the thumbnail to open the high resolution image. Right-click the high-res image to download.
Use 110lb card stock for signs, banners, cupcake toppers, and thank you cards.
For the water bottle labels, regular printer paper or everyday quality photo paper will work. However, it’s best to not pre-chill your water bottles or the condensation from the bottles being set at room temperature will ruin the ink and paper.
For the water cup stickers, use sticker paper.
Set your printer to “Letter Borderless” and Best Quality. Images should print at 100% scale.
For best results, use a 2 inch circle punch for the Rocky Road toppers and the Goonies Never Say Die toppers. Use a 2.5 inch circle punch for the It’s Wet Ain’t It stickers. A paper trimmer is recommended for the straight edges of the banner, the quote signs, and the thank you card.
Disclosure: This post contains links to products on amazon.com. These are products that I purchased and used for my own projects with no compensation. However, if you click on the link and purchase the product, I will receive a small fee from Amazon.com.
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jkwdesigns.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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I’m sure you’ve seen photos of the AMAZING dragon scale fingerless gloves that have been making their rounds on the interwebs. They are absolutely fabulous. And I just had to make a pair. There are a number of patterns that have already been written for these gloves, and I tried out several of them, but found them to either be too confusing or too bulky or not full enough. So I worked on my own pattern, and it’s available here for free!
I made these with a specific person in mind because the pattern and the yarn I used were just too perfect for her. And she’s my magical mermaid, thus the name. 😉
For these fingerless mitts, I used Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable in Parrot, but of course, you can use any LIGHT worsted weight yarn. Be sure to choose a color-variegated yarn. This pattern does not look as magical or as pretty in a solid color. I promise. Also, I think I used a little over one skein of yarn. I’m not entirely sure because I used a bit of leftover yarn, then used a new skein… Crocodile stitches use A LOT of yarn, so just be prepared.
A couple months ago, I posted one of my most popular patterns, the Winter Crochet Headband. It’s a very classic ribbed headband that has a great deal of stretch to it and is super cozy for the cold winter months. It was one of the first patterns I wrote when I started my pattern store on Etsy, and because of its success, I wrote two other headband patterns that are variations of the classic winter headband shape. I also wrote a couple of patterns for flowers because I went through this phase where all I wanted to do was crochet flowers, and they’re the perfect way to accessorize headbands… And well, here they are! (And sorry for the crap photos! These patterns and pics are from several years ago, and though my photography skills aren’t stellar, they’ve definitely improved over the years!)
The two headbands are the Petite Puff Headband and the Crossover Cable Headband. As the titles indicate, they’re simply headbands that take advantage of unique crochet stitches that are simply repeated (so the patterns are easy to learn/memorize), but the results are impressive-looking.
The Winter Crochet Headband is appropriate for beginners, but for these other two (the Crossover Cable and the Petite Puff), I would recommend them for intermediate-beginners. You must be familiar with a variety of basic stitches for these two patterns.
The two flower patterns (1) Sweet Magnolia and (2) Gardenias for Lady Day are two of my all-time favorite patterns that I’ve worked on, not to mention, two of my favorite flowers! I would recommend these patterns to intermediate crocheters. There are photo diagrams to help, but because of the shaping, there’s quite a bit to the patterns that may confuse beginners. However, if you’re feeling brave, then go for it and feel free to contact me with any questions. I’ll do my best to help, but as I’ve discovered over the years, it’s sometimes quite difficult to explain crocheting and knitting issues via email.
Halloween is fast approaching, and if your child(ren)’s school is anything like my kids’, then you’ve been volun-told/tasked/guilt-tripped into preparing treat bags for your child’s class! A couple years ago, I made some “Ghostly Grub” for my boys’ class, which was a HUGE hit with the children. It’s super easy to make and these treat bag tags will top off your hard work perfectly!
Recipe for Ghostly Grub:
Combine the following:
Chex cereal – Monster Scabs
Pretzel sticks – Skeleton Bones (*Optional – cover the pretzel sticks with melted white chocolate or candy melts)
Candy Corn – Jack-o-lantern Teeth
Chocolate chip morsels – Witch’s Warts
Marshmallows – Ghost Poop
I put the mixture into ziplock bags, then placed the plastic bags into a cut up paper lunch bag. I wish I had had time to send the children outside to look for sticks, but living in a city without a yard or trees of our own, I realized that it was a bigger task than I could handle. I did, however, have some wooden chopsticks, which worked in a pinch to create broomsticks!
Both treat bag tags are available here for free: Just click on the image for the high-resolution jpeg and right click to download!
Ghostly Grub Tags
No Tricks, Just Treats! Tag
The tags measure approximately 2.5 inches in diameter, and I recommend using a 2.5 in circle punch to cut them out although scissors work just fine!
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, then you know that I’m well into the process of closing up my jkwdesigns pattern shop on Etsy (and also Ravelry and Craftsy). All of my original patterns will eventually be available on my blog for free. As I’ve (very slowly) been working on getting those patterns online, this particular pattern–the Winter Crochet Headband–is the most exciting because for several years now, it has been my most popular pattern!
It is a very simple pattern and absolutely suitable for beginners, and the best part is, the finished product looks amazing!
Basic Skills Necessary:
This pattern is for the HEADBAND ONLY. It does not include the flower that is pictured above; however, a video tutorial for the flower can be found here.
This trendy headband is great for beginners–single crochets and basic increases and decreases. That’s all! The mock-ribbing gives the headband a unique texture and also gives it quite a bit of stretch.
One size fits most, but the pattern is very easily adjustable to different head circumferences.
If you’re interested in variations on the crochet headband pattern, using different crochet stitches, you can find two more FREE crochet headband patterns as well as patterns for two unique crochet flowers here!
I love my DSLR—not because I’m a good photographer or even that I know how to use it properly—but because with 3 small children, I can snap endless photos with the hopes that in at least one or two of them, all 3 of the kids will be looking at the camera! The lens buddy is a wonderful way to entice them just a bit more. Whether you’re a professional family photographer or you just want to take photos of your own children, this is a great way to get kids to look AND SMILE!
This pattern is suitable for beginners who are looking for something just a little more adventurous! It includes a photo tutorial on how to begin the first round. You should know how to make a magic circle and to crochet in the round. If you’re not familiar
with making a magic circle (adjustable loop, magic loop), it’s very easy to learn. Here’s a link for a brief video tutorial.
A couple months ago, my bestie flew in from Naples, Italy for a 2 week visit. We did a bit of exploring in Pittsburgh, which is still new to me, and we road tripped down to Baltimore for a weekend, visited Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, and we spent an inordinate amount of time watching TV, taking selfies, and giggling like teenagers.
The best part of her visit is that it was an absolute surprise. She and my husband took it upon themselves to plan this trip without my knowledge, so I had no time to prepare for her visit. I didn’t care that my house was a mess and that we hadn’t even finished unpacking all our crap, that the guest bedroom was still in shambles, or that I had no childcare plans for while she was in town. However, the big downside was that I had NO TIME to plan and style a photoshoot for my kids!!! The fabulous Zayda of Zayda Barros Photography and I had talked about so many different styled photo shoots we wanted to do with my children, and here she was… And I didn’t have a thing prepared.
Thankfully, we had 2 weeks to put something easy together–thanks to my beautiful, wooded backyard–and my daughter wanted nothing more than to become a fairy princess for a day so it was perfect. And Zayda made it happen!
There was a mad dash to order things from Amazon and visits to Michaels and Joann Fabrics. Thanks to the genius of Pinterest, I was able to put together a very easy tulle dress very similar to this one. I just loop tied long strips of tulle to a crochet chain “thread” and belted it with another piece of tulle. Easy peasy! I spray painted a cheap black lantern with metallic gold spray paint, and we ordered a beautiful pair of wings, a flower crown, paper butterflies, and a bottle of glitter from Amazon. Then through the magic of photography, Zayda transformed my little girl into a fairy princess!
And because sometimes, Mommy wants to be a fairy princess too… 😝
Sometimes, you just want to dress up a newborn baby like a ladybug and take a photo of her all curled up, looking ADORABLE.
Back in 2012 when my daughter was born, the newborn photography craze was just starting to take off, so I took it upon myself to crochet ridiculous costumes for her while I was pregnant and miserable. And photos like these were my reward. 😆 Now that the newborn photography craze is in full effect, here’s the Picture Perfect Ladybug Photo Prop pattern for free!
It has been far too long since I’ve been able to post/update the blog! Since the kids got out of school for summer vacation, my life has been a whirlwind of activity. Our family of 5 traveled to Florida for my nephew’s high school graduation/family reunion, which was absolutely wonderful because we’ve been out of the country for 3 years and unfortunately missed out on lots of family gatherings here in the U.S. Plus, we were on the beach, and really, who doesn’t love being on the beach?
Right after we returned from our trip to Florida, my wonderful husband surprised me with a 2 week long visit from the BFF (the very talented Zayda of Zayda Barros Photography), who lives in Naples, Italy! We had such a great time while she was here–giggling like school girls and acting like complete lunatics and taking LOTS of selfies! 😉
Plus, on top of her visit, my 15 year old niece is spending her summer vacation with us, then we had a HUGE family gathering at our house over the 4th of July weekend, and finally… I’ve got a minute to sit at my computer and catch up on a million things.
One of the things that I’ve been planning to do/working on but haven’t had a chance to actually take care of is the closing of the jkwdesigns Etsy shop (not to be confused with the delightfuledesigns Etsy shop!). As listings expire, I haven’t been renewing them because my plan is to make all of those patterns available FOR FREE right here at jkwdesigns.com! If you’re interested in any of the patterns currently available in the shop, I encourage you to sign up for the jkwdesigns mailing list by subscribing to the blog so you’ll receive email updates. You will never receive any other email aside from notifications of blog updates, and your email address will never be passed on to any other company/advertiser!
Here’s the first of many more patterns to come!
The Choco Hugs and Kisses Hat Pattern – Crochet
What better way to top off your little sweetheart than with something that inspires thoughts of sweet, chocolatey goodness! This hat makes a wonderful baby shower gift, an excellent newborn photo prop, and an adorable addition to your baby’s wardrobe.
The pattern is suitable for beginners. The hat is crochet entirely in hdc, giving it just the right amount of thickness and stretch. The “ribbon” is made in sc, then folded in half after the letters are stitched on in order to hide the yarn on the back side of the work.