Iron Craft #2: Crocheted Heart Monitor Robot

This week’s challenge:

“This is a challenge I can’t resist posting every year, it’s the Hearts and Flowers challenge. Your project must included hearts, flowers or both. Yes, I post this challenge because Valentine’s Day is less than a month away, but your project does not need to be Valentine’s Day themed at all.” (Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

I have had this project in my favourites list on Ravelry for a long time – like since I started to learn how to crochet. I never found the time to make it, until now. It fits perfectly in the “hearts” theme.

Robot Heart Monitor

Isn’t she adorable? She’s my robot heart monitor. She keeps me company and makes sure my pacemaker is running properly. … Or maybe she just makes me smile and that makes my heart happy, which makes my pacemaker happy. Either… or…

Here is a link to my project on Ravelry.

To see all of the Hearts and Flowers projects from the Iron Crafters, please check out the Flickr Group.

Day 31: Jammies!

Logan is growing and growing and growing. I got tired of watching him wear his pajamas that were obviously too small. I know, it doesn’t really matter for sleeping in. But short pants where there used to be long pants was starting to get to me.

So I made him new pajamas today. He can pass those too small short pants onto his little sister now.



Day 25: Culinary Creativity with Beef and Broccoli

Today I got creative in the kitchen. I made beef and broccoli.

Here’s the recipe:

Post original published on my family blog on 22/07/2011

One of my favourite things to order from the Chinese Food place is Broccoli and Beef. Nummers. I used to love it at my grandparents’ restaurant (The House of Wong in Lethbridge, Alberta).

I’ve been trying to recreate it in my own kitchen for years. Finally my dad let me in on the secret I was missing – turkey stock. Of course!

So now, I’m ready to share my recipe with you:


– Stir Fry beef strips, or steak cut up into stir fry sized strips
– 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
– 4 teaspoons of corn starch
– 4 tablespoons of cooking oil
– 1 teaspoon of salt (or more to taste)
– 1 package of frozen broccoli (or vegetables of your choice) or fresh if you have it
– 1/2 ground ginger
– 3/4 cup of turkey or chicken stock

– Cut beef into strips if it isn’t done for you already.
– Combine soy sauce, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and salt in a bowl. Add beef, mix it until beef is coated well.
– Slice broccoli into thin strips if fresh. Heat ginger in 3 tablespoon of cooking oil in a skillet. Add broccoli and stir fry for 3 to 5 minutes to get that nice ginger taste into the veggies. Remove from pan.
– Add more oil if necessary and stir fry the beef for about 5 minutes or until well browned.
– return broccoli to pan. Add turkey stock (I have all my turkey stock frozen in ice cubes so it’s super simple to add – yay!). Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. I like a lot more sauce than usual – so if you add extra stock and it doesn’t thicken, that’s nummy too. Makes a great sauce for rice!

Serve over steamed rice.

*** you can add all the things that you might like in your broccoli and beef likes baby corn, mushrooms or water chestnuts. For example, I used a bag of frozen Chinese style veggies for the broccoli and beef in the photos. Go crazy. And enjoy!

How To: Crocheted American Girl Winter Toque with Flaps

Oh my gosh…. I’m so proud of myself this weekend. I decided to make a hat for Lane’s dolly and couldn’t find a pattern that was quite what I had in mind.

So I made up my own pattern!

Emma's Crocheted Winter Hat with Flaps

Emma’s Crocheted Winter Hat with Flaps

I thought I’d share the pattern with you.

Supplies Needed to fit an 18″ doll:

  • a small amount of worsted weight yarn (I used Red Heart Super Saver) for the main colour, the edging and then a scrap of yarn for the middle of the flower
  • A size G (4.00 mm) crochet hook
  • a yarn needle for weaving in ends and sewing the flower to the hat

Time Needed:

This took me an evening while I was trying to figure it out, so it should take someone with reasonable crochet skills only about an hour.

Skill Needed:

Basic crochet skills. You should know how to crochet in the round and Half Double Crochet (hdc)


  • Round 1: With main colour, chain 2 (counts as first hdc). hdc 6 times into the second chain. Join to top of the first hdc.
  • Found 2: chain 2 (counts as first hdc), hdc in the same stitch. 2 hdc in each stitch around (14 hdc). Join to the top of the first hdc.
  • Round 3: chain 2 (counts as first hdc), *2 hdc in next stitch, 1 hdc in next sttich* repeat around (21 hdc). Join to the top of the first hdc
  • Round 4: chain 2 (counts as first hdc), hdc in same stitch, *hdc in next 2 stitches, 2 hdc in next stitch* repeat around (28 hdc). Join to the top of the first hdc
  • Round 5: chain 2 (counts as first hdc), hdc in same stitch, *hdc in next 3 sttiches, 2 hdc in next stitch* repeat around (35 hdc). Join to the top of the first hdc
  • Round 6: chain 2 (counts as first hdc), hdc in same stitch, *hdc in next 4 sttiches, 2 hdc in next stitch* repeat around (42 hdc). Join to the top of the first hdc
  • Round 7: chain 2 (counts as first hdc), hdc in same stitch, *hdc in next 5 sttiches, 2 hdc in next stitch* repeat around (42 hdc). Join to the top of the first hdc
  • Round 8: chain 2 (counts as first hdc), hdc in same stitch, *hdc in next 6 sttiches, 2 hdc in next stitch* repeat around (48 hdc). Join to the top of the first hdc
  • Round 9 to 11: One hdc in each sttich around (48 hdc)
  • If you want to make earflaps on your hat, don’t fasten off yet. Instead, chain 2 and hdc in the next 5 stitches. Turn. Chain 2 and skip first hdc, hdc in the next 3 stitches. Turn, chain 2 and hdc across the row. Fasten off. One earflap made.
  • Fold hat in half and attach main colour yarn across from first earflap and repeat instructions to make 2nd earflap.
  • Attach edging colour anywhere on bottom row of hat. sc in each stitch around. When you get to the earflaps, work your sc sttiches evenly around the earflaps to make a nice trim.
  • Cut 3 or 4 lengths of yarn about 12 inches long. Attach them at the bottom of the earflap by threading the yarn through to the middle so that there is about 6 inches hanging on each side. Braid the yarn and use a scrap piece of yarn to tie the ends.
  • Repeat for the other side
  • To make the flower:
  • With middle colour, chain 2, hdc 5 times in the second chain from the hook. Join to the top of the first chain.
  • Switch colours to flower colour
  • Chain 1, *sc, dc, sc* in each stich around to make petals. Join to the first chain. Fasten off.
  • Weave in ends.


I hope this pattern makes sense. It is my first attempt at writing one and I realize that I should have made more comprehensive notes instead of winging it and then thinking “Hey, maybe someone else might like to make this hat too.”

If you make this pattern (and it works out… or doesn’t… ) let me know. I’d love to see the results! You can check out my Facebook fanpage and post on there as well if you’d like.

Iron Craft 2016 #1 – Wooden Spoon Puppets

Day 19 of my daily creative endeavor challenge also belongs to my first Iron Craft project of the year. If you’ve followed my family blog these past few years you’ve seen all of my Iron Craft projects. It’s a fun challenge that I like to participate in. Every two weeks another prompt is given out and we reveal on Tuesdays. This year I’ve decided to move all my crafty stuff to the Tawny Bee front page and keep my family stuff on my family blog.

This week’s challenge:

“We’ve have just finished 5 years of Iron Craft challenges, so let’s celebrate by making the theme for this challenge the Fifth Anniversary. This one is a little tough, but I know you are up to it! Your project needs to be based on gifts associated with the fifth anniversary, wood (traditional), silverware(alternative) or daisy(flower).” (Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

I started by thinking of all the things I could make with popsicle sticks, but decided against it. I remembered a project I had bookmarked in a craft book I had – wooden spoon puppets.

Here is my version of Hansel and Gretal puppets:

Hansel and Gretal

These cute puppets were made using wooden spoons as their bodies. I think that fits the “wood” challenge enough. And they turned out super cute, so I’m sorta proud of these guys.20160113_151230

Lane really loves them. She brought them in the car and made them dance in the back seat to songs on the radio while we were driving to the mall the other day. Adorable!

To see all of the Iron Crafters 5th Anniversary projects, check out the Flickr Group.

And if you’d like to participate in the Iron Craft challenges this year, visit Just Crafty Enough for the details.