Ah-dorable Crocheted Elephants

Pinterest is truly a gift from the Internet gods. Before I left school, I found this super cute elephant pattern by blogger Dawn Toussaint. My youngest sister is obsessed with elephants, so I decided to make her one for Christmas. It turned out to be much easier than expected, and everybody complimented me on the results. One of my cousins loved it so much I decided to make one for her as well.

The pink one is my sister’s, and the blue one is going to my cousin. The first elephant took me about three days, but the blue one went much faster and I finished it in less than one.

Aren’t they charming? If you’re looking for an awesome crocheting project, I highly recommend making one of these little guys. Happy New Year!

Christmas Camera Pouch

Merry Christmas, everyone! For Christmas this year my parents gave me a camera, a very cute orange Canon Powershot, and I love it. The first thing I did when I opened the camera (after thanking my parents profusely, of course!) was pull out my yarn and hook to make a little case for it while the battery was charging. I took pictures to share, of course.

The pouch has a removable internal pouch I handstitched with a bit of fabric.

The entire project took me about 2 hours, from the time I picked up to the yarn to attaching the button. To make the pouch, I created one long strip of double crochets, with the front windows to reveal the fabric pouch, then circled the entire thing with a single crochet to bind the sides together. Super simple, but the result is charming!

Christmas is simply too much for our cat!

Christmas day with my family is traditionally super lazy. We all stay in our comfy clothes and play Christmas movies the whole day. Personally, I’m looking forward to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation later tonight. Happy holidays, y’all!

"Gingerbread" Ornaments

Well, it’s Christmastime again! Finals are over, all the college kids have gone home, and it’s time to reconnect to your family and high school friends (the ones that you still talk to, at least). By the time I had gotten home, my family had already set up the tree, but I still got to be festive while wrapping family presents.

Train and tiny village courtesy of my youngest sister (she’s 14).

My girlfriends and I got together to have a festive party during which we ate lots of Christmas cookies and decorated fake gingerbread ornaments made from a recipe my mom has had since before I can remember. They’re easy, quick, and fun– just like I like it!

My glittery Christmas tree!

“Gingerbread” Ornaments

2 c. flour
1 c. salt
5 tsp. cinnamon
3/4-1 c. water

1. Mix all dry ingredients together.
2. Add water and mix until smooth (it shouldn’t be crumbly, if it is, you should add more water).
3. Roll out, just like regular cookie dough, and use cookie cutters to make “cookies.” Use a straw to make a hole for hanging. I recommend using a coffee straw if the cookie is on the smallish side.
4. Bake at 325 for about 45 min. to 1 hr., or until dry.
5. Decorate with paints, glitter, whatever, and add a ribbon or string for hanging.
6. Spray with an acrylic seal, if desired. The cookies come out a little white sometimes so the seal helps them appear more like gingerbread.

That’s it! My family has some little gingerbread men we made when I was about 8 that are still hanging on our tree, and they still smell like cinnamon, too! Merry Christmas, everyone!

Review: The Elegance of the Hedgehog

If you’ve ever read any of my posts about books, you can probably tell that I’m rarely a fan of contemporary fiction. I can’t help it; when compared to Shakespeare or Fitzgerald, many modern books seem to be little more than novelized movies. You know the type: The Devil Wears Prada was originally a crappy book but the movie was fabulous, and the same goes for Julie and Julia. They’re everywhere these days, so I am very pleased to say that The Elegance of the Hedgehog proved to me that there are still authors who respect and can expertly handle their chosen medium.


   The Elegance of the Hedgehog is written from two points of view and features three extremely intelligent characters. Renée, an aging concierge at a posh apartment complex in Paris, is a chronic recluse. She spends a lot of energy trying to hide her intelligence and fool the residents into believing she is a low-class, idiot concierge, like she believes they expect. She rarely interacts with anyone as her true self. Paloma is a young girl who, in only 12 short years, has decided there is nothing in life worth living for. Paloma, who lives in the apartments, is disgusted and appalled by the behavior of the upper class, and, like Renée, spends most of her time alone. The story is told through alternating journal entries written by Renée and Paloma, and the two characters seem to hardly have noticed each other until an elderly Japanese man named Kakuro moves into one of the apartments. Kakuro is elegant and intriguing and he sees both Renée and Paloma for who they are. Paloma is grateful for his insight, but Renée is frightened, and it takes the encouragement of both Kakuro and Paloma to help her from her shell.
   The beginning of the novel has very little plot, but I enjoyed it. Barbery expertly constructed the novel so the reader continually makes discoveries about the characters and life along with Renée and Paloma. At the end of the novel, I was surprised to find out how emotionally attached I was to the characters. Throughout the discussion of tea, Anna Karenina, and camelias, Barbery quietly tied my sentiments to her leading ladies and I found myself cheering and begging with Renée when she is trying to muster the nerve to see Kakuro and jeering with Paloma at her older sister. And although Barbery does and excellent job of interweaving the lives of her characters, I especially appreciated how each character comes away with their own unique lessons learned in the end of the book. Barbery shows that there are many ways to comprehend meaning behind one event, equally important meanings that are often overlooked.
   If you haven’t read this book, you should. I managed to read it at the very end of a college semester, sneaking chapters in between finals and after studying at nights. It’s a wonderfully penned book and a life-changing event.