Sunday, October 27, 2013

Red Dye 40 Safe Candy

This is a general list of Red Dye 40 free commercial candy. Everything on this list had no red dye 40 in it! I made it mostly for myself because one of my children is sensitive to the artificial coloring. It causes his behavior to spiral out of control. I made this list to have on hand, especially around Halloween. But I also noticed that there is a lack in lists of what is safe. I will add on to this list as time goes on, it's just for reference.

Just remember, just because it isn't red colored, it does NOT make it safe. They can sneak red into any color just to make it more appealing. Even brown M&M's have red dye 40 in them.

Your best bet is to read the labels, but sometimes the label just isn't available to you such as at a function, or at Halloween.

If you know of any other candies that do not contain Red Dye 40, leave me a comment and I will update the list.

Disclaimer: While I have checked the ingredients from the company websites as well as package labels, they do occasionally change their ingredients. For example, online Laffy Taffy says the Strawberry ones are made with Red 3, not Red 40, but the label on the candy itself says Red 40. When in doubt, don't give it.

3 Musketeers
Almond Joy
Baby Ruth
Charleston Chew
Dum Dums
     • Blueberry
     • Blue Raspberry
     • Cotton Candy
     • Cream Soda
     • Sour Apple
Haribo Happy Cola (submitted by Kylie L.)
Heath Bar
Hershey's Cookies and Cream Chocolate
Hershey Kisses
    • with almonds
    • Dark Chocolate
    • with caramel
    • Hugs
    • Pumpkin
    • Kit Kat
Fun Dip
  • Razzapple
Laffy taffy
  • Banana
  • Grape- Red 3
Laffy Taffy Rope
  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Wild Blue Raspberry
Milky Way
Milk Duds
Tootsie Rolls
    • Chocolate
    • Vanilla in blue wrapper
    • Lemon Flavored yellow and brown wrapper
    • Lime in green wrapper

Tootsie Pops
    • Brown

Willy Wonka Gummies
  • Sluggles
  • Puckerooms
  • Splashberries
Yummy Earth Lollipops

Drop in the Pond Afghan!

I've been working on this Drop in the Pond afghan, by Elizabeth Ham, on and off for awhile now. It's been my evening wind down project so it took longer than if I was only working on this. This one fits on top of my Queen size bed!

The pattern is free and available on Ravelry. She has a video and photo tutorial on her website.

The pattern calls for just 3 colors but I adapted mine to 5 colors.

I used Red Heart Soft in White, Berry, Grape, Lilac and Pink. I love using Red Heart Soft because it's affordable and sooo sooo soft!

 If you would like a Drop in the Pond Afghan for yourself, feel free to email me at jaimeddesigns at!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sweet & Simple Baby Crochet Book Review and Giveaway!

I had an opportunity to review the new book, Sweet and Simple Baby Crochet, by Kristi Simpson of RAKJ Patterns!!

Sweet and Simple Baby Crochet is PACKED with 35 patterns for babies up to 12 months as well as a detailed stitch guide in the back.  Inside, is not only hats, but also diaper covers, footwear, sweaters, and more. You can also check out the "look book" online to see everything included in the book.

I wanted to try out one of the patterns to check for gauge and accuracy. I am happy to report that everything was spot on! The photos are gorgeous, it's easy to read, and follow along.

My favorite one in the book is the Fruit Punch Hat. It is so cute and I had the perfect yarn for it. Kristi suggests yarns to use and they are all affordable and easy to find in stores.

There are quite a few patterns in this book that I can't wait to make!

Now for the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 12, 2013

Popsicle stick Bracelets- Pintester Movement

I participated in the first Pintester Movement and had fun, so I am back to do the next Pintester Movement 2.0! Unlike last time, this time I had to re-do one of the Pintester's previously done pins. (Is it just me or does this post already have a lot of "P" words?!)

I chose her attempt at the Popsicle Stick Bracelets.
Photo from Pintester
The original pin is by Craft Affection. Aren't her bracelets beautiful?!
Photo from Craft Affection
Well, anyone who knows me knows that in my mind I am pretty decent at crafty stuff. I figured it can't be too hard. I read the comments and tips on both blogs, I felt worried because many were unsuccessful. But I still had high hopes and lots of confidence.

Off to the craft room I went to find some popsicle sticks (ok, craft sticks, 500 to a box), while looking for those, I found a literal popsicle stick. As in the ones from last nights dessert!! Score! Now I can "compare" the brands.

Soaked in water for a few hours as suggested. After soaking some were bendy some were not. The ones from actual popsicles didn't bend very well. They are actually the only ones to break. The fat ones were craft sticks and they bent relatively easily. The trick was to not bend them with thumbs pressed in the middle, but pressing evenly along the whole stick, with most of the pressure near the end of the sticks.

Once you get the pliably soft, put them in a cup to dry.
Sitting in a really narrow cup, my hand can't fit in it. The bottom two's ends touched, the top one not so

They've sat in the cups overnight to dry. Now it's time to whip out the mod podge! In true fashion, I couldn't find any of my bottles. But I had remembered seeing the Pintesters take on homemade mod podge and figured I'd just go with that. I already knew this homemade mod podge wasn't going to work very well because I'm not exactly a stranger to MP. I've used a half dozen bottles over the years. But it's whatev. I coated my now very nicely curved popsicle stick and gave it a nice coat of glue. At this point I felt fairly (When I first typed "fairly" I typed "faily" maybe it's a sign of things to come?!) confident in this pin. Up to this point it's actually working! Then I stuck it back in the cup so it would keep it's shape.

Move on with my day. Wait for it to dry....

Finally it was dry, I couldn't find any red paper that I had planned to use. But there was a nice sheet of tissue paper laying on the floor. Works for me! Glued that on. Coated both sides with my fake mod podge. Made a mess. Stuck to my fingers. Didn't turn out so pretty. Whatever. I didn't really care at this point. Back in the cup to dry.

Fast forward again. My 5 year old spilled the entire bottle of fake Mod Podge all over the floor. But he cleaned it up... with a towel that my Aunt embroidered for him when he was a baby. Sigh. Laundry time while the bracelet dries...

I pull them back out of the cup and wouldn't you know, it was a circle... mostly. The ends almost touched. A few centimeters apart. It stayed on my wrist which was the goal. But as you can see, they didn't stay that way. Whomp Whomp Whomp.

The red one still fits (for now, we'll see come morning). One of the white ones actually fits better, and clearly the other one will never fit. I don't know why one stayed so small and the other practically went back to its starting shape. They were all in the same size glass and were closest to the bottom of the cup, ends were touching. Anyways. Pinterst Success or Fail? Ummmm We'll go with Plausible.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Twilight Princess Shield

I was commissioned to make a set up for a Link and Zelda photo shoot. One of the items requested was a Twilight Princess shield. The image below is what I had to go off of.

 This is the result many hours of embroidery later! I love it. It's probably my most detailed piece of work to date.

I'd say I nailed it. Patting myself on the back and doing a little happy dance!! 

I can't wait to see this is the photo shoot set up!

Pintest- Screenprinting with Pantyhose

I love watching the Pintester try out all the various pins on Pinterest! Everything look so easy, beautiful, and perfect on Pinterest. For me, nothing I do ever looks as good as it does on Pinterest and a lot of times, it works that way for The Pintester as well.

Then I saw that she was doing a Pintester Movement! She invited anyone with a blog to try out a pin, write a blog post about it and submit it to her.

I thought and thought, then resorted to my Fan Page to see what you all wanted done! Martha A. from Craftymom's Creations shared with me a link to a tutorial by Calico skies to doing a screen print with an embroidery hoop, mod podge and panty hose. That sounds pretty easy and I had all the supplies! SCORE!

In true Pinterest fashion, it looked easy (and the photography was beautiful!)

First of all, in my mind, I can do all things crafty and can succeed the first time. Yea, that doesn't usually happen. In reality, I try all things crafty, and many times I realize I should leave it to other people to do instead. I rarely start with something easy. I just do whatever I want, and learn on the way.

Why should this be any different? Let's gets on with the Pin Test shall we?

  • Embroidery hoop. They come in wood and plastic. I am glad I used plastic because I got Mod Podge all over it.
  • Panty hose. 
  • Mod Podge. Any kind works. I happen to have the glass kind near by, but any kind will do.
  • Fabric Paint. Acrylic will work too, but I find it's a little rougher and in time it cracks. If you mix your acrylic with a fabric medium, that will work too. 
  • Paint brush.
  • Permanent marker to trace your design on to the panty hose.
  • A drawing/print out of the design you want.
  • T-shirt. Or whatever you want to screen print on to.
  • Cardboard to put under your shirt while painting.

To start, cut open the leg of your panty hose and stretch it tight across the embroidery hoop. TIGHT!!!!

With the pantyhose side down, trace your image with the permanent marker. *Tip* You don't have to press down hard, just swipe your marker over the design.

Next is the Mod Podge step. It's an important step! don't rush this part! You want it perfect if you want the paint to stay in your design and not all over the outside. *Tip* Make sure you flip it over so that the panty hose are not touching the paper. Mod Podge dries relatively quickly, it will stick to your paper and really mess you up. Lesson learned.
You'll notice that the rest of the photos aren't a yarn ball. Remember how I said I don't start with easy projects... Yep, the yarn ball was really difficult, I decided to scrap the other one and do something easier.

You will paint the part of the design that you do NOT want painted. In this example I painted outside of the heart and hook because I wanted the heart and hook on my shirt. Make sure you paint all the way to the edge. Really glob it on there. If there are any tiny holes left open, paint will seep through.

You can hold it up to the light and if you see holes, cover them up. Let dry.

After you let it dry (a couple of hours), check again for holes. I found a few, covered them with more Mod Podge and let it dry again.
Now, put some cardboard under your shirt so the paint doesn't seep through. Center your design on your shirt or whatever you are painting. Squirt a big ol' glob of paint and with your cardboard, spread it around.

When it is all spread, CAREFULLY lift it up. In theory you are left with a beautiful, clean edged picture. As you can see below, that is not what happened for me.
Whomp whomp whomp....

I followed all of the directions. I'm going to say for me, it's a pinterest fail. Bummer. Well, I didn't want to waste the shirt, so my only option left was to attempt to freehand the edges and try to salvage it.
Turns out I'm not so terrible at that!

What do you think, Pinterest fail or success?

This post has been linked up to The Pintester Movement. Go check out all the other pins!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Yummy Yarn Cakes!

 I ordered my new Knit Picks Yarn Ball Winder way back in early March, but it was on back order until April 5th. Boooooo! But finally April 5th came and a few days later, so did my new yarn ball winder.
I did a lot of research trying to figure out which one I wanted to get. I had a few things I knew I wanted.

My requirements:
  • I wanted it to make yarn "cakes" (Cakes= cylinders of yarn usually flat on the top and bottom).
  • I wanted a manual crank one and not an electric one. (I can't wind yarn in a hurricane if the power is out with an electric one and there isn't much else to do them. :)
  • I wanted it to be under $50

In my search I had only found one that really fit all of my needs. That was a Lasic Yarn Ball Winder. Then my friend Kendall over at Up in Stitches clued my into one that Knit Picks sells. It met all my requirements, got decent reviews, came recommended, was inexpensive and seemed perfect! So I go it! YAY!
  I love that I can clamp it on to a table top or attach the handle to use it. The only struggle I had was getting the beginning tail to stay on, but really I think that will work out once I get some experience using it. It's relatively easy to work. My kids are 4 and 5 and both had no problems cranking it once I got it started.
(Just a disclaimer, I am no way affiliated or attached or getting paid for this review, I just love it, but Knit Picks, feel free to email me and we can talk! Hehe)

Look at that pretty wind! So orderly and neat! So much better than the half used skeins all flopping around in my yarn storage! Is it just me or do all skeins of yarn just look so much better all wound up?!
So that's my super pretty yarn cakes. Now I just have to figure out if I want to store them differently then in the tubs that I usually store them in. I saw a really cool yarn wall that used peg board. That would be awesome, but I think keeping it out of sight from my husband might be a better idea. :)

Do you have a yarn ball winder? Do you like it? Which one do you have? Feel fee to leave me some comments letting me know!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

How I organize my yarn stash

If you crochet or knit you will already know that yarn multiplies while you sleep. First you have just a little grocery bag, then you upgrade to a basket, then a tub and before you know it you have 16 tubs and some bags and a basket or two! So how do you organize and sort all of this multiplying yarn?! This is how I do it!
My yarn collection started small and has grown to over 774 skeins (last time I counted). That number has and will change from that as I use and buy more, but that's a whole lot of yarn!!! I even weighed each of my tubs! Combined, it is over 188 pounds!

I sort my yarn by weight, color and brand. All of my worsted weight yarn is sorted by similar or very contrasting color. For example I have reds and oranges in one box, but yellows and greys/black in another and so on. I have 1 tub that has all Lion's Brand Hometown USA. I got a lot of it on sale during Black Friday. Until I use it all, it will just stay in it's own tub because there is so much of it. I have a tub for all Bulky #5 yarn and another for Super Bulky #6 yarn. Also the novelty fun fur yarns get their own box. There are also tubs for the variegated yarns that have multiple colors in the skein.  The colors I use the most I have put on the shelves so I can get to it easier.

I also utilize these canvas storage boxes I got at Walmart on clearance for $3. They have a metal frame inside and hold up really well!

 The front of each of my storage tubs is a label letting me know what's inside. I find it helpful for the boxes that have the Bulky and Super Bulky yarn inside.

Finally I have 2 of these large glass containers. I like putting my small balls of yarn it in for a little pop of fun color. :)

So that's it! That's how I organize and store my yarn! Not necessarily pretty, but very functional for me!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Do the Bunny Hop!!

You all should be proud of me. Why? Because for the first time in I don't know how long, I didn't procrastinate on making a holiday gift. I almost always wait until the night before to make a holiday item for my kids. But not this time! Here we are  11 or so days away from Easter and I have already finished my kid's Easter basket item. Whooo hooo!

I got the pattern from The Green Dragonfly. It's free too! It was so easy to work up! You should head over to her blog and get the pattern!

Friday, March 1, 2013

How to crochet a graph into a hat!

Have you seen all the really cool graph patterns that Nicole of Boomer Beanies has been drawing up?! Aren’t they awesome? If you haven't seen them yet, click here to go check out the album of graphs! 
I love the Lego ones, the Denver Bronco one, and the cute owl! You could do so much with these graphs! Hats, scarves, washcloths, and even room decor. I could definitely see an owl made up in the colors to match a little girls room, then framed and hung on the wall. 

When she started releasing all these free graphs, there was a ton of interest on her fan page! But so many didn’t know how to even work the graph into a hat. They liked them, but were lost. Nicole would comment under the photos with quick directions, but I felt there needed to be more. I messaged her and asked her if I could do a tutorial to help some of her fans use these really cool graphs. Together we came up with this simple tutorial for both a beanie version and a slouchy hat version. If you don’t know how to crochet a graph hat or change colors, the following tutorial should help!

Beanie Version
Slouchy version

When you work this hat, instead of working in a circle, you are working a rectangular panel. When you finish the panel, it should be as long as the circumference of the head it should fit. 

Approximate Circumference (Or Hat Length from Row 1 to last Row):
14 inches for Newborn
15 inches for 0-3 Months
16 inches for 3-6 months
17 inches for 6-12 months
18 inches for 1-2 years
19-20 inches for child
21 inches for Teen
22 inches for average adult
23 inches for Large Adult
24 inches for X-Large Adult

Gauge: Using “H” hook and SC with Worsted Weight Yarn 10sc = 3 inches.

To obtain gauge:
Make a chain a little over 3 inches. Do 1 SC in 2nd CH from hook and across. CH1 turn and SC across until your swatch is a little over 3 inches. Then with your ruler count how many stitches you have in 3 inches. Adjust hook if needed to obtain my gauge above. If you need more help, see this post.

Beginning Chains:

Newborn & 0-3 Months- Ch 22
3-6 months- Ch 25
6-12 months- Ch 26
1-2 years- Ch 27 (35 for slouchy hat)
Child- Ch 28 (36 for slouchy hat)
Teen- XL Adult- Ch 30 (38 for the slouchy hat)

Chain according to size above, if you want a slouchy hat, chain the number in parentheses.
Row 1: 1 SC in the 2nd CH from hook, and in each CH across. CH 1, turn.
Row 2: 1 SC in each ST across, CH 1, Turn

NOTE: You can work in BOTH LOOPS - or – in BACK LOOP ONLY

Difference in Back Loop and Both Loops:
Back Loop Only
Both Loops

Repeat row 2 until you are about 1/3 of the way to the desired length (Shown above)

With the right side (or outside) of the hat facing you, start the graph. You will need to rotate the graph on its side (See Photo Below). If you need help with changing colors, jump down to the bottom for a photo tutorial.

I decided to do the LEGO mini-figure head for my 5 year old. 

Left Handers
Right Handers

Start at the far right side (For Right Handers) or the left side (For Lefties) of the graph. We’ll be working from the bottom of the picture to the top. You can either carry your yarn or cut and weave. Either way is fine it's just a matter of what you prefer. When you get to the end of the row, finish off (tie off), cut the yarn and join to the first stitch of the row you just did. Yes, it will make a lot of tails, but if you crochet over them as you go, it’s not a big deal. The reason for this is to keep the backs of the stitches to the inside. It will create a more uniform look and better outcome. If you want to turn and carry you can, but that’s a little more advanced.


After you finish your graph picture; SC in each ST across, CH 1, turn. Repeat until your panel measures the same length as the circumference you need (given at the beginning of the pattern). 
Bring the two shorter sides together with the right sides (outside) facing each other, SL ST through the last and first row of sc that you did all the way to the top (crown); Tie off and weave in all tails. Thread 2 strands of yarn through your yarn needle, and weave up and down around the top of the hat in every other row; pull tails tight to cinch it closed. Tie a knot with the tails and weave them in.

 Join your yarn at the back of your hat. HDC evenly around. Join with a slst to the first HDC. Fasten off, weave in ends.
You can add a 2nd or 3rd round if desired. Change it up, add different colors, have fun with it!!!

A. Finish last stitch completely before color Change
B. Pull the new color through the loop and tighten up both colors. (like a SL ST)
C. SC with the new color.
D. Find your next color.
E. Loop it on to your hook.
F. Pull through the loop and tighten up both colors.
G. SC with your new color. Complete your graph.


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