Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Crochet Scarf- Color Pooling

Crochet trends come and go. Some of them I try, some I don't. This planned color pooling was too cool for me to pass up! If you follow any crochet groups on social media, you would have seen multiple projects using this method by now.  If this is your first time, prepare to be amazed at what you can do with variegated yarn!

Crochet Scarf- Color Pooling by Over The Apple Tree

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Crochet Whale Project

"Can you crochet a whale?"

Crochet Whale by Over The Apple Tree

Well, I never would have thought of crocheting a whale. I mean what the heck for? I don't have a special affinity for marine mammals or live anywhere near the ocean. But when my family asks for something, I do it. I started searching for patterns and sending them to my brother to figure out what he had in mind. I knew he would have a very specific idea of what he wanted. Now here's what you get when a man is shopping for his male friend's new baby, of the few possibilities I found, this is the feedback I got..."Not the one with the blue eyes. Make them black and angry looking, I'm trying to scare his baby."

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Girl's Crochet Cape

With fall around the corner, what little girl doesn't need a cozy cape!

Crochet Cape with flowers by Over The Apple Tree

This cape was made with this free pattern, Red Riding Hood & The Wolf pattern from Red Heart. What a difference a color change makes right?

**I'm not sure if something is going on with the Red Heart website, but tons of people are having a hard time getting this pattern. Try this direct download link

One of the reasons I love Ravelry is that you can see other people's finished projects and read their comments or tips on the patterns. I post a lot of my projects there. All the comments on this pattern kept saying how small it was, small enough to fit a toddler. I thought, well, great, that's what I'm going for! This little cape is for my 1 1/2 yr old niece. I did the whole thing with my new 5.5 mm hook and guess what? It was big enough to fit my 7 yr old! Oh, all that time wasted...I had to pull it all out and start over again.

I realize the pattern calls for a 5 mm hook but I didn't really think it would make that big of a difference. Before I pulled out my project and my hair, I got my niece's measurements and compared them to what I had done. Since the hood needed to be a bit smaller, I decreased my center section to 60sc instead of 70. I added 5dc onto each of the side sections. My starting ribbing is the same 126 rows called for in the pattern. Sizes for crochet always depend on a person's own tension, you could get a different result than me as far as size goes.

Crochet Cape with flowers by Over The Apple Tree

Crochet Cape with flowers by Over The Apple Tree

This cape is really simple. It's all worked in one piece, then folded in half and sewed up the back. A great way to keep track of your rows when you first start is to use stitch markers. I marked every 50 rows of the ribbing so I wouldn't have to keep starting over my count. When I got to the main cape section, I used 2 stitch markers throughout the project to mark where my sc section began and ended. Another great way to use the stitch markers is to stick them in the beginning of your short row A so you don't loose track of how many sections you've done. I'm always picking up and putting down my projects, so these short rows would have gotten really confusing if I didn't mark it somehow.

I used two balls of Michael's Loops & Threads Impeccable Yarn and a 5.5 mm hook.

Crochet Cape with flowers by Over The Apple Tree

Crochet Cape with flowers by Over The Apple Tree

Crochet Cape with flowers by Over The Apple Tree

Crochet Cape with flowers by Over The Apple Tree

Crochet Cape with flowers by Over The Apple Tree


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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

DIY Cheap Tufted Headboard

My house is still a work in progress and my bedroom is the last to get any special attention. I've been scoping out headboard tutorials for a while and this project ended up using a little bit of everything from all the inspiration I found on Pinterest.

DIY Cheap Tufted Headboard- Made with a piece of $10 styrofoam insulation board and faux fabric buttons by Over The Apple Tree

If you read my blog, you know I like to find the cheapest way to make things. That's one of the reasons I chose to use Styrofoam insulation board as the base for this headboard. One board cost me less than $10. The second reason is that it's incredibly light weight which makes it very easy to maneuver by myself and I could cut it to size with a kitchen knife.

So with the pros of the Styrofoam, there are also cons. You can't really nail, tack or staple into it because everything will just slide out. I'm also not 100% sure yet how durable this will prove to be. I have to admit, halfway through this project I was wondering if I made a mistake by not just going with the wood. I stuck it out, improvising along the way, and ended up with a beautiful inexpensive headboard that I love!

The supplies I purchased:
  • Styrofoam Insulation Board $9.57
  • 2 1/2 yards of fabric $6.25
  • Batting $7.97
  • Command Strips $3.94
  • duct tape

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Family Camping 2016

Summer vacation means it's time to go camping! This past weekend we headed up to Grand Lake, CO for some outdoor family fun.

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Camping with a family takes some serious planning. This isn't our first time, so we already have all the camping gear we need. That just leaves meal planning and packing up the car. This isn't exactly a "how to" post, just a glimpse of some ideas I have and some I found online that worked for me.

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree


Our Meals:
Day 1 Dinner- Hot dogs and Brats
   When you first get to your campsite you have a lot to do with setting everything up. Any easy dinner is best, no need to add to the stress.

Dessert- S'mores!

Day 2 Breakfast- Scrambled eggs, sausage, and biscuits
    Cooked the sausage and eggs on our stove. I forgot to take a photo but this was the first time I made biscuits over a campfire! I got a tube of Pillsbury Grands, placed them in a foil baking pan and covered with foil. Set them on the grate over the fire. Worked great! The bottoms got a little burned but that easily peeled off.

Lunch- Tortilla Chip Tacos
   I prepared beef with taco seasoning ahead of time and I added in a can of black beans. After the meat was cooled, I dumped it in a ziploc bag. This is super fast to heat up over a fire or on a stove. After meat and beans are heated up, just dump on some pre-shredded cheese, pre-chopped lettuce and I brought along some sour cream for me. Everyone can gather around and scoop up with tortilla chips. You don't even need plates!

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Dinner- Chicken Parm Sandwiches
   So these aren't exactly Chicken Parm since my chicken isn't breaded but close enough. Like my lunch, this meat was prepared ahead of time and just reheated. I took chicken breast and cut up into small pieces. I seasoned it and cooked on the stove top with some onions and green peppers. Allow to cool and place in a ziploc bag. For both this and the taco meat, I froze them at home. It stays cold longer and helps to keep the cooler cold longer. I reheated this over the fire in a foil baking pan. Place chicken in roll with some cheese then toast over fire! These were so good,I think I'll start making them at home too!

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

My daughter wasn't down with chicken so she used the pie iron to make make a spaghetti and garlic bread sandwich!

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Dessert- Apple Crisp
   Prep the crumble mixture at home ahead of time and place in a ziploc. I don't measure stuff but my mixture contains butter, brown sugar, white sugar, flour, oatmeal and cinnamon. This takes some time to cook the apples so start prepping this one same time as dinner. Cut up apples and cover with sugar mixture. Word to the wise...in the past I packed this in aluminum foil and cooked over the fire, occasionally flipping it over so it would cook evenly. Worked great. This year I placed in a foil baking pan and covered...it burned on the bottom. because of the sugar and maybe our too large fire. This one failed this year. I would definitely go back to the foil packet that you flip.

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Day 3 Breakfast- Cereal or whatever you an find in the cooler while I'm packing!
   It's already time to go and check out at this campsite is 11am. Some of us had cereal and others decided Chef Boyardee sounded good. Anything fast and not a lot of clean up is good for me.


The Dollar Store has some great supplies you can use for camping. Here's what I bought there before we left:
Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree
  • outdoor solar lights
  • plastic table cloth
  • foil baking pans
  • kid toys(shovel & bucket)
  • plastic spoons
  • hand sanitizer
  • glow sticks
  • playing cards
  • kid flashlights
  • matches

There is wildlife everywhere here so you have to pack your food back in your car at night unless you want a visit from a bear. Rubbermaid bins are a perfect way to pack your nonperishable food. We also used another bin to pack and store our camping supplies.

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Entertainment is essential with kids. It takes about five minutes for them to get bored. Before we left I printed them maps to color in for the license plate game and a scavenger hunt list. I should have also printed them a real map to where we were going so they could follow along the route. I can't tell you how many times I was asked "How much longer?" We've stayed at this particular campsite before(Elk Creek Campground) and we come back because it's perfect for us. Besides the perfect location right outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, they have awesome bathrooms, a game room, playground, and small stream running through the property. My kids had a great time panning for gold and trying to catch minnows.

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Going on a long car trip? Make a seat belt travel pillow!


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