Crochet Pouf

Our local Interfaith ministries was looking for some stools and cushions for their new yoga and mediation room, so I volunteered to make them a pouf. I found the Red Heart Stylish Pouf pattern for free online. The yarn was no longer available so I found some super chunky Paintbox yarn from LoveCrafts. I chose a light blue and light grey, which really didn’t have a lot of contrast. If I could do it again I’d go for more contrast with the colors.

I bought a 10 mm hook for the pouf, but this hook was really disappointing. There was a rough ridge under the hook that kept snagging the yarn. But my swatch was too small so I ordered this 12 mm hook instead and it was so much better to work with. The pattern calls for filling the pouf with a bean bag. Instead of just buying a bean bag to fill it I decided to make a bean bag. I bought the bean bag liner and filling on Amazon. The Styrofoam beads are horrible to work with. They are filled with static so they either stick to everything or repel against each other. They spilled on the floor and trying to pic them up was a big mess, especially trying to keep them away from the cats. The pouf wasn’t full enough and I decided to fill it with more filler, but this time I chose shredded foam. I still wish it was fuller, but I already spent $50 in filling and didn’t want to spend more.

Rough ridge on hook snagging yarn.

I also decided to add a zipper to the pouf so the cover could be taken off and washed or refilled if needed. This was my first time sewing a zipper on my work and overall it was ok, the hardest part was lining up the two sides of the zipper, so pinning the zipper to the work helped to keep the zipper sides even.

Sewing on my first zipper

I was able to donate the pouf along with some baby blankets before Christmas. I hope they are able to enjoy it in the new meditation space.

Gargoyle Santas

I decided I wanted to make Santa hats and scarves for my gargoyles. I had some extra yarn around. I searched for a Cat Santa Hat pattern and found one. I got to round 12 before I got lost in the pattern. The counts and instructions stopped lining up, so I fudged the rest of the hat.

The scarf was just freehand. I made two of each for my little gargoyles all in one day.

Guardian Dragon Crochet Wall Hanging 

I finished up the year with 3 crochet project. The Guardian Dragon Crochet Wall Hanging was a pattern I purchased over the summer from Etsy. The pattern is by SRO Austin. This pattern was intense and is definitely an intermediate/experienced level pattern.

To start off, this pattern has 3 PDF exports and a long list of interesting materials including plastic canvas and Polyurethane. My first challenge was with the nose. My stitch is short, so I had to make extra rows to get to the end of the plastic canvas frame.

The PDF pattern has tons of step by step pictures, but they are small, so it’s best to read the pattern off the computer or at least zoom in on the pictures. Another hint, don’t print the pattern in black and white, because then the pictures are really hard to see.

The hardest part f the pattern, for me, was the reverse single crochet (crab stitch) in front loop only. I could not figure this out for the life of me. I was trying to look it up online, but still had trouble with it. It doesn’t help that I’ve never quite gotten the crab stich ether. Mom to the rescue! She told me the stitch is called Knurl stitch. I found a tutorial online that really helped.

I wasn’t crazy about the eyes and I bought some safety eyes to use for him, but the ones I bought were too small, so I stuck with my crocheted eyes. The final dragon was gifted to my friend Dawn as a Christmas present. I waited until she got the gift before writing this up. This was an incredible pattern and I highly recommend it. It’s just very clever all the pieces and how they come together.

Everly The Elephant

When I visited with my niece this summer, I asked her what her favorite animal was, and she said elephant. So I went and searched for a cute elephant pattern and found Everly the Elephant by Hannah Gerecke (HHDesigns4). Hannah also has a Facebook group that I follow and lost of really cute patterns in her Etsy store. I learned that if I don’t review something in Etsy, eventually the ability to review it goes away. Normally I like to make my crochet pattern before reviewing it, but I didn’t make it in time. Oops!

This was a simple, easy to follow pattern. The only thing that confused me was the optional mouth. I did make the mouth, but didn’t attach it. I realized later how it would be attached, but decided she didn’t need it. The only thing I would have liked is more pictures for the assembly including the tail, or at least a photo of the tail. But outside of those two wish list items, this pattern is awesome. I can’t wait to gift it to my niece.

I didn’t take too many photos while making; it just went so fast. I added her little flower headband to match the pattern picture for her. I sewed mine on, lightly tacked between the flowers. The yarn I used was Yarn Bee Yarn ID in Iron and Soft Shell.

Stranger Things Upside Down Portal and Chrissy

Some additional props I made this year are the upside down portal and a Chrissy. For Chrissy, I found a cool YouTube video of someone making her from an old Halloween Spirit prop. But the prop is discontinued and I could only find it on sale for $350 – $400 and I wasn’t willing to spend that much.

So for my budget Chrissy I started with a Styrofoam head that I already had and Billy Butcherson’s body. I used this screaming nun mask as the template for her face (I searched lots of masks and this is the best I could find for my purpose). I bought a bunch of pool noodles for her limbs, and used some heavy wire from Lowes to bend and form the noodles. I also bought some teeth for her mouth.

For her costume I used a girl’s costume, sweater, socks, sneakers, and wig. I also ordered this dickie to cover up the corpse body from Billy.

The biggest adjustment was the mask. I cut out the eyes and mouth. Then I painted the mask. I used landscaping fabric to fill the void of the eyes and mouth. Then I pinned the mask to the Styrofoam head. I cut the heads neck at an angle to make the head a little crooked. I added some teeth and the wig to her head. BTW, this wig is great, maybe the color doesn’t match Chrissy 100%, but the hair style does.

Oh yeah, I also bought her hands, but they didn’t arrive on time so I had to order replacement hands. They weren’t quite what I wanted. I couldn’t find any female hands. I even tried to make my own hands, but that turned into a big mess. In the end, I just used wire in the hands to break the fingers, and I painted them because the were too pink.

Next up was the portal to the upside down. I used a painting canvas, spray foam, red film, and lights. I cut a gash in the canvas and painted the canvas all black. Then I laid the canvas out on plastic and sprayed the expanding foam coming out of the opening. I also had a couple go across the opening. Then a spray painted black. Once dry I flipped it over, carefully to add the red film and lights. I just used tape because I was afraid of hurting the foam. Then I attached a wire to hang it on the wall.

Oh yeah, and I bought these because they were awesome and I couldn’t make them myself.


I lied. My Stranger Things decorations were not done. I found a new Facebook group called DIY Halloween Decorations and Props and I have been getting tons of inspiration from these talented people. I decided to add to my Stranger Things decorations.

Several members of the group made the demo dogs. one used the Home Depot Wolf skeleton as a base, some used bottles and pool noodles, some molded their heads, some one used a yoga mat. So I had a lot of ideas to work from and I decided to use pool noodles wit heavy wire running through. Then I used some one litter bottles to fill out the thigh muscles and a milk gallon jug to fill out the chest.

I added additional wire for the feet and then I wrapped everything with self sticking bandages. I tried to paint the bandages, but they just soak up the paint. Then I used some spray paint on then, but that didn’t add too much color to him.

The hardest part was the head. I decided to use foam clay in a bowl to create the inner mouth. Then I measured the bowl on poster board, measured out the circumference for five petals and made a template for the petals on poster board. I made cut out five petals from EVA foam. Once the clay had dried, I pulled it away from the bowl. This was my first time working with foam clay. It’s pretty funky. I think I need a lot more practice, especially if I want to use it for sculpting. Then when I glued the petals to the bowl shape, only 4 fit. I guess the foam had shrunk, so my demo dog only has 4 petals for his head.

I painted the inside of the mouth red, the EVA foam also absorbs the paint, so it took about 4 coats of paint. Then I painted the outside of the head beige to match with the body. The teeth were made from fake nails that were cut into claw shapes. I used these for the claws also. Then it was a matter of hot gluing everything.

So next year I definitively want to improve his head, and maybe build out his body a little more. But he’s still pretty cool and cheaper than buying the wolf skeleton.

Oh, I also made a Chrissy and an Upside Down portal, so more to come.

Sunseeker Pullover

Back in the spring I saw this Sunseeker Pullover by Sara Dudek on WeCrochet. For the yarn, I used my Manos Del Uruguay Fino, that I’ve had in my stash for years. I worked on this sweater most of the spring and into the summer. I finished it during this years Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival. I love this pattern. It was so easy. I love the sleeves and I added my own little flair to them. (Ignore the fact that I’ve gained weight.) I don’t really have anything else to say about this sweater. Just love it, and I’m wearing it right now!

Stranger Things Halloween

Well, as I’ve been writing about, my theme for Halloween this year is Stranger Things Season 4 and I’ll be dressing up as Eddie Munson. I started by trying to re-create the Grandfather Clock from the first episode. Then I built Vecna using a lot of foam and tape. And most of my other decorations center around Eddie’s story from Season 4.

Most of the stuff I used for decorations I found on Amazon, a couple of demobats to hang from the porch, a Stained glass poster to hang on my storm door, bats, pom poms, Tigers patch, and door mat. I also found Dusty’s hat, but that link doesn’t work anymore. I’m surprised I couldn’t find more.

A few things came from Etsy including a Hawkins sign, a Vecna garden flag, and headphones. And I bought a bunch of stickers from RedBubble to make my signs and a poster of Eddie’s guitar.

Welcome to Hawkins sign and garden flag.

A hung the grandfather clock on our tree and made a Chrissy sign with a pom pom and Tigers patch. A blue spot light shines on it at night.

I put Vecna on the front porch and used my vines to attach him to the porch posts. I also added vines to the house in several locations. My vines were several sizes because I used foam sliced in strips, for the thicker vines, and clothesline and dollar store clothesline for the smaller vines. They were wrapped in black duct tape and/or electrical tape. I also had some white spooky cloth that I wrapped around the vines in some locations.

Part of me wants to create a ton more vines to cover the house. And the other part of me say, just let it go.

Vecna Lives

My second prop for Halloween this year was Vecna. I wanted a life sized Vecna for my decorations, but I couldn’t find anything, so I made it.

I started with a Styrofoam head, cut off the nose and used modeling clay to add the embellishments to his face. I also learned a lesson about Styrofoam. I already knew not to spray-paint Styrofoam. Now I learned not to add modeling clay directly to the Styrofoam. It will eat away at the Styrofoam as well and cause it to sink away, until eventually it just falls off and leaves the eaten away Styrofoam. In this particular case, he kind of reminded me of Vison from the Avengers.

So after my first failed attempt, I decided to try again, but this time I made sure that I primed the Styrofoam a few times first. This time the clay stayed on and I was able to finish his head with paint and some doll eyes.

Next up, creating the body. This took a lot of foam and white duct tape. Oh, and a few wire hangers, plus some spooky hands. I started with the arms, then the legs, created the body and then taped them all together. Even Mara Jade jumped in to investigate.

I used brown packing paper, soaked in water and wrinkled up to glue on. Before papering the body and legs I speared the body with a broom handle because I wanted to use an umbrella stand to hold him up.

Once the “skin” was on I started painting, and painting, and painting. Plus I attached the head to the broom handle also.

I already made many vines for the house and to attach him to the house. I used lots of cut foam, clothesline, black duct tape, and electrical tape.

But, I found some great YouTube videos from Cris Alex, with lots of the embellishments for Vecna, including the vines, cones, and veins. It really helped me to take him to the next level.

My husband says he is the best thing I’ve ever made, and I have to admit that I’m pretty proud of him.

Eddie Munson Cosplay

This year for Halloween I decided to dress up as Eddie Munson. Which then made me start to work on decorating the house in a Stranger Things Season 4 theme for Halloween. I already made Vecna’s Grandfather clock from Episode 1. And I’ve worked on more decorations that I’ll post later. But I also worked my Eddie costume.

Vest, Jeans, Hellfire Club shirt, Bandana, and chain

It all started in the spring when I bought a Hellfire Club shirt. It was still while the season was airing and I just needed one. Actually, the Hellfire Club shirt I bought in the spring was polyester and I didn’t like it, so I replaced it with this cotton one.

Once I decided to dress up as Eddie, I thought it would be easy. I thought, add a jean vest, some jeans, no problem. But I didn’t realize how in depth his costume was until I watched I watched this video by Cosplay Chris.

First I made the vest. I bought a cheap jean vest. Next I found the Dio back patch on the Dio Store. I couldn’t really see all the original pins on his vest, so I bought this set of classic 80s metal band pins and I chose Ozzy Osborne, Judas Priest, and Anthrax from the set. I found a replica of the Wasp pin on Ruckus Tees. The Motorhead patch was available on Amazon, but I cut off the Copyright 2022 part. And I bought some iron on adhesive to iron on the patches (although I still needed to sew the edges on the Dio patch, at least the iron on helped to adhere most of the patch onto the vest.

Next up, the accessories. The mood ring was found on Ebay along with the Hog Ring. Unfortunately, when I bought the hog ring, I thought I was getting the full set of 3 rings for $44, but it was $44 for each ring. Since I couldn’t find the hog ring anywhere else, I decided to keep it. I found the tombstone ring on Amazon as well as a skull ring (but not the skull ring and I didn’t want to spend another $44, so it was close enough). If you don’t care about matching the rings closely, you can just grab a bag of rings on Amazon. I found a wallet chain on Amazon as well as a guitar pick necklace with a chain bracelet. Note, the picture on Amazon shows a plain pick, but the one that came says Munson on both sides, oh well, it can with the bracelet. I even found the bandana on Amazon. I also found white “leather” high tops on Amazon (Jaina approves). And don’t forget black nail polish.

Finishing off the look also requires a pair of ripped jeans (which I had in my closet). Also a black leather jacket. This was the hardest item because I did not want to spend a lot of money on a real leather jacket and part of me wished I held on to my old biker jacket from the 90s. I tried a few from Amazon, but they didn’t fit at all. Finally I found a cheap black “leather” jacket on Walmart.

And to finish it off? An 80s rocker wig!

Looks like I missed 3 patches on the jean vest, so I’ll update once they get added to the vest.