Monday, July 29, 2013

Love to read? You'll love this program!

Last week, I was introduced to a new program from Tyndale House called "Tyndale Rewards." The Tyndale Rewards program is designed to provide you with opportunities to get books and Bibles for zero dollars. That’s right—F. R. E. E. As a member of the Tyndale Rewards program, you’ll have access to inspiring literature, Bibles, special promotional offers, and much more.

Other member incentives include a free gift on your birthday, along with opportunities to share your personal recommendations and feedback concerning Tyndale products. The more participation you have with the program, the more points you earn—and points translate into free stuff!

The Tyndale Rewards program is a great way to get free books and Bibles that you can keep for yourself or give to friends and family. Your journey to earning free faith-based products starts here. 

You can earn points in a number of ways: taking surveys, reviewing books by Tyndale Publishers, subscribing to email newsletters, referring friends, sharing on Facebook or through a blog.

The points rack up quickly, and soon you can claim a free book. My biggest problem right now is that I have enough points to get a free book, but there are so many to choose from that I want! Do I go for a new fiction book (there are a couple of new legal suspense books by Randy Singer) or non-fiction (I'm leaning towards a book called "Desperate Households" - about seven areas of household life that can get out of control. "Equips the reader to take steps in her own home and personal life that will make a huge difference in her family’s—and her own—quality of life.")  I could save up points for a new Bible, or get a devotional book. There's C.S. Lewis's "The Last Battle on audio, or some new romantic fiction. So many choices... Okay, I've convinced myself. I'm going with the "Desperate Households" book! Redeeming my points was easy, and I have my first free book ordered.

I'm looking forward to getting more free books from this program! You can too! Just click through this link and sign up today! I'll get points for referring you! 

Happy reading, friends!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

It's Minion Time!

Despicable Me 2 came out yesterday, and I can't wait to see it. In the meantime, I made up a pattern for my own little Minion, to keep me company at work.
I've had this idea in my head for quite some time... using a blue cap from laundry detergent as a base for a little Minion doll. It took a "Design Wars" challenge from Cre8tion Crochet to get me to finally give it a try.
Isn't he cute? I've found that if I pinch his arms, the yarn will hold that pose for a few seconds. I could probably thread some very fine wire through his arms and make him more pose-able.

I'll share the pattern I used to make him, so if you know how to crochet, you can make your own little minion. I don't know if I'm going to put these in my Etsy Shop since they would cost more to package and ship, but I will definitely have a little Minion army of them at my November craft show! I do have some other Minion items in my shop right now: an adult Minion hat and a couple of baby hats. Local friends... save your detergent caps! If they're blue, I can use them for Minions. If they're other colors, Cathy A. makes a craft for Mom's Morning Out with them.

To make your own Minion, you'll need:
Size F crochet hook
about 1 oz. bright yellow knitting worsted weight yarn
small amounts of black, brown, white and gray knitting worsted weight yarn
blue detergent cap
fiberfill stuffing
glue gun

Start from the top of Mr. Minion's head
With bright yellow yarn, make a "magic ring" (picture tutorial here or YouTube video)
Round 1: Chain 2 and make 8 hdc in the magic ring. Pull tight, tie off and tuck in yarn ends. Mark the beginning of your round
Round 2: 2 hdc in each stitch around (24 stitches)
Round 2: *1 hdc in first stitch, 2 hdc in next stitch* repeat 7 time (32 stitches)
Round 3-5:  1 hdc in each stitch around
Round 6: Change to black yarn - work hdc around. Don't worry if your band of black looks a bit uneven at the joining point- you'll cover it up with the eye later!
Round 7: Change back to yellow yarn - work hdc in back loops
Rounds 8-15: Work even in yellow yarn.

With black yarn, make a magic ring.
Round 1: Chain 1 and make 6 sc in ring. Tighten ring.
Round 2: Change to brown yarn and do 2 sc in each stitch.
Round 3: Change to white yarn and do *1 sc in one stitch, 2 sc in next stitch* around
Round 4: *1 sc in first 2 stitches, sc in next stitch* around
Round 5: Change to gray yarn and work one sc in each stitch. Join with slip stitch to first sc and end,, leaving a long tail to sew on.
Center eye on black band, covering up the spot where you joined rounds. Sew on at the point where the white stitches meet the gray stitches. This way, the last round of gray you made curves up for the rim of the goggles.

Hair: Cut 2-3 lengths of yarn about 3" long. With a crochet hook, pull them through the top center of the Minion's head, making a loop. Pull the yarn through the loop and tighten. Give him a haircut as needed. You might want to make 3 or 4 separate bunches of hair. Minions have some very different hairstyles. It's easier to do the hair early in the project, before the Minion's body gets very long.

Arms: With yellow yarn, draw up a loop at the side of the Minion's body, about 2 rows down from the goggles band. Chain one and tie a knot to secure the yarn. Chain one more. Yarn over and draw up a loop from the same area where you attached the yarn. Draw yarn through (1 'hdc on the fly'). Make 5  more 'hdc on the fly', using the bottom loop of the last hdc to draw your thread through. Change to black yarn. Make 2 'hdc on the fly'. Slip stitch back to where you changed color. Chain 2. Slip stitch back to  where you changed color. End and tie off.  Repeat for other arm. Tuck in ends.

Using black yarn, embroider on a mouth.

Fill Minion and detergent cap with polyfill. Use glue gun to attach Minion to cap.