Mandala Wall Art – Still a WIP

Remember that mandala wall art project I started two months ago? Well, I’m happy to announce that…it’s almost done! I know, I really thought this would be done but after seeing what the mandalas look like on the wall I want to make more. This is what it looks like so far:

Mandala Wall Art - Pops de Milk

As you can see, this is not in my bathroom as I originally wanted it to be. After getting feedback from Jay and my family about bathroom humidity and potential mould growing on my beautiful mandalas, I decided to instead place them above our dresser. This decision was made a month ago and it was only a week ago that I actually put the mandalas on the wall. Why? Because I was really stuck on how to secure them to the wall without having to hammer in nails. I had thought about reusable adhesive but feared it wouldn’t be strong enough. I continued to think and brainstorm until eventually I gave the adhesive a try. And it worked!

Now I just need to make a few more. If you’re wondering how to make your own mandala wall art just check out a few mandala patterns and then experiment with different stitches. Once you’ve made a few you can stiffen them by applying a generous coat of Mod Podge to the back of the mandala:

Mandala Wall Art - Pops de Milk Mandala Wall Art - Pops de MilkAllow to completely dry and apply more glue if needed. Stick reusable adhesive to the back and press firmly into the wall. Each mandala is different in size and weight so you may need more or less adhesive and if it falls (as one of mine did) just apply more adhesive.

Mandala Wall Art - Pops de Milk

Mandala Wall Art - Pops de Milk Mandala Wall Art - Pops de Milk Mandala Wall Art - Pops de Milk Mandala Wall Art - Pops de Milk

Foxy Mason Jar Cosy

I think it’s official – I’m obsessed with these mason jar/can/bottle cosies. They’re quick and fun to make and I just love ‘em! I mean just look how cute this Foxy Mason Jar Cosy is:

Foxy Mason Jar Cosy - Pops de Milk

For this fox cosy I used the same pattern as the bear mason jar cosy, except I’m not sure why – could be the yarn I used or I made looser stitches – but this one turned out slightly bigger so I just did less rounds (20 in total).

This pattern is for a 500ml mason jar but you can adjust the size by increasing/decreasing the base circle stitches. Pattern is worked in the round in both loops (or v’s) with the exception of Round 7.

Stitches Used:

ch – chain

sc – single crochet

dc – double crochet

tr – triple crochet

inc – increase (2sc in same st)

BLO – back loop only

sl st – slip stitch

Materials:

-Worsted weight yarn. The yarn I used is called Pumpkin by Bernat and scrap yarn in a creamy colour for the tail.

-Crochet hook size 4.00mm

-7mm safety eyes (I purchased mine from 6060 on Etsy)

-Scrap piece of felt in cream or white and black.

-Embroidery thread and needle.

Body

Round 1: start 6 sc in ring.

Round 2: inc in each st (12 sts)

Round 3: [inc, sc] repeat 6 times (18 sts)

Round 4: [inc, sc 2] repeat 6 times (24 sts)

Round 5: [inc, sc 3] repeat 6 times (30 sts)

Round 6: [inc, sc 4] repeat 6 times (36 sts)

Round 7: sc in BLO

Rounds 8-20 (or 22 if you use tight stitches): sc around.

Final round: sc in next 13 sts, in next st (dc, 2 tr, ch 2, 2 tr, dc, ch 2), skip next st, sl st in next 6 sts, in next st (dc, 2 tr, ch 2, 2 tr, dc, ch 2), skip next st, sl st in next st. Fasten off and weave ends.

Tail

Starting with orange yarn, ch 10, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in next 7 sts, switch to cream yarn and make 4 sc in last ch, switch back to orange yarn and continue on bottom of foundation ch to end. Fasten off and sew to body.

Foxy Mason Jar Cosy - Pops de Milk

Cut out two almond-shaped pieces of felt. Mark where you want the eyes to be and then cut a tiny slit, big enough for the safety eye to fit. Attach the safety eyes and trim the excess stem if necessary (with this cosy, because there is the layer of felt in between, I didn’t find it necessary to trim the excess safety eye stem). With black felt, cut out the nose and stitch it on.

Foxy Mason Jar Cosy - Pops de Milk Foxy Mason Jar Cosy - Pops de Milk Foxy Mason Jar Cosy - Pops de Milk

You’ll notice there’s a bit of a gap in the pointy ears – option to stitch the gap closed with a bit of yarn.

Foxy Mason Jar Cosy - Pops de Milk

Voila! Another cute animal cosy!

Cat Cosy for Cold Drinks

After the Mason Jar Bear Cosy I couldn’t help myself but make another cosy, this time for a canned (or bottled) drink. Introducing the Cat Cosy!

Cat Cosy - Pops de Milk

Just like the Bear Cosy, this pattern can be adjusted to fit other containers. Pattern is worked in continuous rounds.

Stitches Used:

ch – chain

sc – single crochet

hdc – half double crochet

inc – increase (2sc in same st)

BLO – back loop only

sl st – slip stitch

Materials:

-Worsted weight yarn in colour of choice

-Crochet hook size 4.00mm

-7mm clear safety eyes (I purchased mine from 6060 on Etsy)

-Acrylic paint and paintbrush for eyes – I used Light Green

-Scrap piece of felt in colour of choice.

-Embroidery thread and needle.

Body

Round 1: start 6 sc in ring.

Round 2: inc in each st (12 sts)

Round 3: [inc, sc] repeat 6 times (18 sts)

Round 4: [inc, sc 2] repeat 6 times (24 sts)

Round 5: [inc, sc 3] repeat 6 times (30 sts)

Round 6: sc in BLO to create edge/walls of base. Measure and make sure it fits.

Cat Cosy - Pops de Milk Cat Cosy - Pops de MilkCat Cosy - Pops de Milk

Rounds 7-17: sc in each st (both loops).

Round 18: sc in next 11 sts, in next st (sc, 2 hdc, 2 ch, 2 hdc, sc), sl st in next 5 sts, in next st (sc, 2 hdc, 2 ch, 2 hdc, sc), leave remaining sts as is. Fasten off and weave ends.

Tail

ch 12, sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across, 4 sc in last ch, continue along bottom of foundation ch to end. Fasten off and sew to cat cosy (around beginning of rounds 8 or 9):

Cat Cosy - Pops de Milk

For the eyes I applied two coats of paint to the inside of each eye, careful not to get paint on the outside:

Cat Cosy - Pops de Milk Cat Cosy - Pops de Milk Cat Cosy - Pops de Milk

Once the paint was completely dry, I attached the eyes and with pliers I carefully trimmed the excess.

Cat Cosy - Pops de Milk

For the nose and mouth, I used pink embroidery thread on a scrap piece of white felt, which I later cut into a round shape and with needle and thread, attached to the cat:

Cat Cosy - Pops de MilkCat Cosy - Pops de Milk

And now I have a cute kitty to protect my hands while I drink cold beverages!Cat Cosy - Pops de Milk

Mason Jar Bear Cosy

Isn’t it amazing when you discover something so cleverly awesome? That’s what I thought when I came across the genius idea to use a mason jar with a blender. I’ve been using the 500ml jars so I’m not sure if other jars work but basically you just screw the blade portion onto the jar and blend away! So with this new-found knowledge I started making single serving smoothies (recipe to follow). One thing I should mention is that with my blender some of the contents leak a little bit – nothing terrible but just something to keep in mind. Otherwise, smoothie-making has never been easier.

Alas, smoothies are usually very cold, especially when frozen fruit is involved, and that results in cold hands. That is why I made this Mason Jar Bear Cosy:

Mason Jar Bear Cosy - Pops de Milk

Not only does this cosy protect your hands from the cold (or hot) beverage, it also provides a source of warm, fuzzy cuteness that only a smiling bear can provide.

This pattern is for a 500ml mason jar but you can adjust the size by increasing/decreasing the base circle stitches. Pattern is worked in the round in both loops (or v’s) with the exception of Round 7.

Stitches Used:

ch – chain

sc – single crochet

dc – double crochet

inc – increase (2sc in same st)

BLO – back loop only

sl st – slip stitch

Materials:

-Worsted weight yarn in colour of choice

-Crochet hook size 4.00mm

-7mm safety eyes (I purchased mine from 6060 on Etsy)

-Scrap piece of felt in colour of choice.

-Embroidery thread and needle.

Round 1: start 6 sc in ring.

Round 2: inc in each st (12 sts)

Round 3: [inc, sc] repeat 6 times (18 sts)

Round 4: [inc, sc 2] repeat 6 times (24 sts)

Round 5: [inc, sc 3] repeat 6 times (30 sts)

Round 6: [inc, sc 4] repeat 6 times (36 sts)

Round 7: sc in BLO

Mason Jar Bear Cosy - Pops de Milk

Stitching in the back loop will create the edge/walls of the cosy:

Mason Jar Bear Cosy - Pops de Milk

Rounds 8-22: sc in each st, both loops.

Round 23: sc 13, in next st (sc, 3 dc, sc), sl st in next 7 sts, in next st (sc, 3 dc, sc), leave remaining sts as is. Fasten off and weave ends.

When I attached the safety eyes (between Round 17-18) I found it necessary to trim the excess with pliers. If you do this be careful not to trim too much or the eye could fall apart.Mason Jar Bear Cosy - Pops de Milk

For the mouth and nose I cut a small square piece of felt and embroidered it before cutting it into a round shape. Luckily I had thread that matched the felt colour and using a safety pin to hold the felt in place I stitched it on to the cosy.Mason Jar Bear Cosy - Pops de Milk Mason Jar Bear Cosy - Pops de Milk Mason Jar Bear Cosy - Pops de Milk

And then I enjoyed this delicious Banana-Mango-Ginger Smoothie!Mason Jar Bear Cosy - Pops de Milk

To make the smoothie I put about 1/3 cup plain yogurt, half a frozen banana, handful frozen mango, about 1/4 cup of milk, and a small chunk of fresh ginger into a 500ml mason jar. Then I blended away as I thought, “This is awesome.”

Mason Jar Bear Cosy - Pops de Milk

 

Crochet Sandal Earrings

A while back I purchased a package of earring hooks, hoping to make lots and lots of earrings. As it usually happens with random craft purchases, the hooks ended up in the back of a craft drawer, forgotten. I even bought a second pack because I was convinced I didn’t have any earring hooks! Recently I came across a pair of beautiful crochet hoop earrings. Sadly I didn’t keep the link but the earrings were almost like a mini mandala, so pretty and unique and that was enough to get me thinking about my earring hooks. I guess I must have had the earring hooks on my mind yesterday because when I saw a pair of flip flops I immediately thought, “Sandal earrings!”

Crochet Sandal Earrings - Pops de MilkHere’s how I made these cute and fun summer Sandal Earrings:

Using crochet hook 3.25mm and acrylic worsted weight yarn I made two rounded rectangles:

Ch 7, sc in 2nd ch from hook and next 4 ch, 3 sc in last, continue on bottom of foundation ch and sc in next 4 spaces, 4 sc in last space. Fasten off and weave ends.

Crochet Sandal Earrings - Pops de Milk

 

With scrap yarn and a needle I threaded the yarn through the toes part of the sandal so that I’d have two separate pieces to pull through on either side (like flip flops) and secured them with knots.

Crochet Sandal Earrings - Pops de Milk Crochet Sandal Earrings - Pops de Milk

Lastly I inserted the earring hook into the heel portion and then put the earrings on to show off!

Crochet Sandal Earrings - Pops de Milk

I think now that I know how easy it is to make a pair of crochet earrings I’ll most likely make some more!

Garlic Scapes Pesto

Up until last week I had never heard of garlic scapes. We got a bunch of the curly green stalks in our Fresh City bag and at first glance I thought, “What are these and how do I eat them?”

Garlic scapes are the curly stems that are usually cut off to allow the garlic bulb to grow bigger.

I did a quick search and found a recipe for garlic scape pesto (original recipe is from The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook by Kim O’Donnel). The recipe seemed easy enough and I had all the necessary ingredients and equipment so I made a batch. Original recipe says the pesto will keep for a week in the fridge and can also be stored in the freezer. Makes about 3/4 cups of pesto.

Garlic Scapes Pesto - Pops de Milk

Here’s how to make Garlic Scapes Pesto:

I cut about 10 garlic scapes into pieces and put them in the food processor with about 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts. With the food processor running, I slowly added a little more than 1/2 cup of olive oil. Once it was all combined I transferred the mixture to a bowl and added about 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Transfer to a jar and that’s all there is to it!

Garlic Scapes Pesto - Pops de Milk Garlic Scapes Pesto - Pops de Milk Garlic Scapes Pesto - Pops de Milk

Garlic scapes smell like garlic but are not as pungent or sharp tasting so they work really well for making pesto. They also have an almost sweet taste to them which is complimented by the Parmesan cheese. I’ve been eating the pesto on burgers so far but I’m hoping to try it on a pizza soon. Definitely glad I made this!

Crochet Bikini Top

Are we loving this weather or what? I know I am and to show my appreciation for this warm summer I made a simple white bikini top.

Crochet Bikini Top - Pops de Milk

Just like the mesh summer top, this bikini top was so easy and quick to make. You can try on the piece as you work on it to adjust the size or use a bikini top you already have as a guide – this particular bikini top is a size medium. I find the stitches in this pattern are tight enough that a liner isn’t necessary but feel free to use one if you prefer.

Crochet Bikini - Pops de Milk

The warm weather was not the only inspiration for this project. I came across this article (kind of NSFW) on Huffington Post about bikini tops that look like bare breasts. The bikini top, aptly named Tata Top, was created because it is illegal in many places for women to walk around topless but totally okay for men to do so. I wanted to show my support for this campaign so I crocheted a similar bikini top. It’s the same pattern as the white bikini top but for the yarn I used nearly one 50g ball of Handicrafter Cotton in Jute and for the nipple I used Handicrafter Cotton in Desert Rising Ombre, switching the shades to get the right skin tone. This part was actually kind of fun, if a bit time consuming.

Crochet Bikini Top - Pops de Milk

Are you looking for a new bikini top? Maybe you’d like to protest for gender equality? Find the PDF pattern here.