Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival

I have not been to the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival yet, but I am definitely going to go next year.  Next year’s event will take place April 6, 7, and 8, 2018 at the David L Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival

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Little Hats, Big Hearts

I found out about the Little Hats, Big Hearts campaign by the American Heart Association in connection with The Children’s Heart Foundation.  It is a campaign for babies born in February during American Heart Month to raise awareness about heart health as well as congenital heart defects.  They are asking for knitters and crocheters to make red hats for preemies and newborns to be provided to participating hospitals in February.

Little Hats Big Hearts

They are asking for hat donations or, for those that do not crochet or knit, monetary donations.  Again, all the information is located at their page.

So I bought a skein of red yarn and I’ve made my first hat for the campaign.  I plan to make as many of them as I can out of the skein I bought.  The page I linked to provides some sample patterns, but I preferred this one that I found on Pinterest called the Apple Crisp Newborn Hat from Salty Pearl Crochet.  It’s a quick and easy pattern and I liked the simplicity of it.

I hope everyone that can, participates.  It sounds like a worthwhile project, and I figured I could donate a skein of yarn and some time to the cause.  Hopefully, you can as well, or if not, maybe some money.


Handmade Arcade

For me, the Handmade Arcade is like Christmas.  I get giddy with excitement and this was only my second one!  I had already purchased my Early Birdie tickets and my husband came with me again to keep my company (and drive me). There are 170+ vendors!  We arrived way too early, 9:30 and hung out until Early Birdie shopping started.

Handmade Arcade

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24 Hours of Harry Potter

A local movie house hosted a spectacular event called 24 Hours of Harry Potter back in February.  The theater, Row House Cinema, is located in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh, which is a bit of a hipsterish part of the city.  My friends, Connie and Trisha, decided to go and we thankfully snatched up tickets quick, because they sold out.  The theater was playing all of the Harry Potter movies over a 24-hour period starting at midnight on a Friday night and running to midnight on Saturday with short breaks between the movies and a breakfast and a dinner break.


My full Luna Lovegood costume, but I blinked. If only I was wearing my glasses. Sigh.

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Croshame is a yarn artist

I came across this crochet artist from her brilliant version of Krampus, which is no longer for sale at her Etsy shop. I’ve often thought about buying this Krampus for my husband, thankfully the temptation is now gone. But if you spend some time at her Etsy shop, she has lots of unique and interesting crochet that you probably won’t find anywhere else including a severed arm with a Slayer tattoo, an Exorcist playset, a beheaded Lambchop, and a Sid and Nancy set. Photo of Krampus from Croshame.com.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t sell her patterns, only her finished projects, which is fine because I’m not sure if anyone else could do her crochet any justice. I absolutely love it and I would love to have the imagination and talent that she does. I feel if we ever met we’d be fast friends, or I’d be scared to death of her. Hard to tell. But I do admire her talent.

She also has her own blog, which I just became aware of as well. It doesn’t look like she posts often, but I have some catching up to do on whatever she has posted so far.

If you are like me, and you enjoy things that are a bit unusual and out of the norm, you may end up loving Croshame as much as I do. If not, you may be disgusted and terrified. But I hope at least you can appreciate the uniqueness of Croshame.

Teaching Connie to Crochet

My mom taught me to crochet when I was a little girl, maybe 10, or so? Then in my 20s I picked up one of those learn to crochet kits to refresh my memory. I’ve been crocheting off and on through the years, currently on a two year stint after being inspired by Lucy Ravenscar’s Star Wars Crochet.

My friend Connie wanted to learn how to knit and she wanted to take a class together. I thought, sure sounds like fun. (My mom also taught me how to knit, but it never stuck. She even tried to teach me again last Thanksgiving, but it just doesn’t feel natural after years of crochet.) Anyway, Connie and I are also fans of Harry Potter, so I told her I could teach her how to make this Slytherin Scarf.

She came over and I started to teach her how to chain and how to single crochet (sc). I also taught her how to turn rows. Her grasp was really tight, so I told her to try to keep it loose. I was making my own Ravenclaw Scarf as well while she made her Slytherin Scarf. After a couple of hours I thought she was doing pretty good and we could pick up on changing colors.

Next day, she says she went on YouTube and found a way to hold the yarn that felt better to her. I guess my hold on my hook (claw) and my hold on my yarn (also claw, I guess) is different than what is used out there on YouTube. So she showed me what she learned and it really did help her a lot. She also learned how to change colors. I’m so glad that I was so good at teaching, that my student learned more on YouTube.

Connie ended up making this cute little scarf for her cat, Squeaky Bob. He is the chillest cat ever. He loves his little scarf. She also made a full sized scarf for herself.

Squeaky Bob and his Slytherin Scarf

She recently took a knitting class and has been knitting now. So, to summarize, my first crochet student learned more from YouTube videos and switched to knitting at the first opportunity. And my hook and yarn hold is all off. That is how great I am at being a crochet teacher. Lol

My Ravenclaw Scarf

Artsmiths of Pittsburgh

I wanted to get Early Birdie tickets to the Handmade Arcade. Last year was my first Handmade Arcade, and it was a wonderland of Handmade goods, a convention center filled with a giant craft show. Many of the vendors include goods that are up-cycled as well. I enjoyed shopping there and talking to vendors and Christmas shopping, so this is on my to-do list this year. And last year I was able to get Early Birdie tickets pretty easily. The event itself is free, but for $15, you can get in an hour earlier than everyone else, plus you get a swag bag with some little treats and coupons. Once the people start to come in the place gets pretty packed, so I’ll pay to get in a little early.


Cute card with two kitties and a heart that I bought for my husband.

Well this year I went to buy my tickets, but they were no longer available online. Starting Monday they will sell a limited number of $10 tickets, but those tickets exclude the swag bag. But! The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh still had some tickets left. I was feeling kind of drained today and I wanted to take a nap, but my husband said I should get over there today to get my tickets before they were all gone.

I headed over there and OMG! It is like a mini Handmade Arcade there. The place is filled with all kinds of locally made products including jewelry, soaps, decorative items, Christmas ornaments, art, photography, clothes, accessories, etc. They even have an art exhibit downstairs. If only the holidays were not coming, I could have gone nuts in there, but I’m trying to watch my spending. Sure, I could Christmas shop in there, but mostly I wanted the stuff for myself. Lol. Oh well. I did end up buying a cute card for my husband with two cats and a heart and it says “love.” Perfect for crazy cat people in love. Lol

Long story short, I got my tickets and they only had two more after mine were purchased, so my husband was right. Anyway, if you are in the Pittsburgh area, check out Handmade Arcade next Saturday. And maybe check out the Artsmiths of Pittsburgh sometime. Tons of cute stuff. Lots to look at and hopefully buy, to support local artisans.