Happy Halloween from Lexa

It’s one of my favorite days of the year…the only day it’s socially acceptable to dress up in public, and with free candy to boot!

As you may recall, I’m a huge fan of The 100, so I decided to go as my favorite character, Commander Lexa.

IMG_9522

I’m really happy with how it turned out. I used this tutorial as a starting point with a few modifications. It took me about two weeks to make, working on it pretty consistently. I think it only cost about $15 to make, since I used a bunch of stuff I already had.

Also, the red cape is actually a table runner from the dollar store. 🙂

IMG_9526

It’s actually pretty comfortable – the corset belt is surprisingly so. Gives some back support. I did make it an inch larger than necessary so I would have room to eat a bunch of candy. 😉

IMG_9502

For once my eyes are the right color for the character. Unfortunately I cannot see without my glasses, which definitely is not show-accurate, but what can one do? It takes FOREVER to wash off the makeup, but it’s so worth it, plus it’s really fun to apply!

IMG_9500

I went to a Halloween party and, lo and behold, it was held in the Clark Room. For non-100 fans, Clarke is Lexa’s girlfriend. They’re pretty much the cutest thing ever. So I had to take a picture with this sign. ❤

I’m about to go to my Gender & Sexualities class, and my professor encouraged us to dress up, so you better believe I’m going as Lexa. Today I’m actually giving a presentation about The 100 in class, so I’m pretty excited about the timing. I get to talk about how Clarke is a good “possibility model” by being an openly bisexual character on a popular TV show, in addition to just being an all-around awesome character. I don’t like public speaking but I’m excited to fangirl at my class.

IMG_9529

Not sure how Maisie feels about this, but I’ve always wanted to see Lexa holding a fluffy puppy.

It’s funny how much more confident I feel when dressed up as a character I love. I noticed I was standing up straighter because, after all, Lexa wouldn’t slouch. Do any of you feel like that? Are you dressing up for Halloween?

Hope y’all have a candy-filled day!

I’m Publishing a Book

If you don’t do things that scare you, you’ll never grow.

Whether it’s something big like skydiving or something small like writing an email, we can’t avoid things we’re scared of. If we do, our world becomes really small.

And sometimes the scary things end up being the most rewarding.

With that said, today I’m doing my “scary thing”…I’m self-publishing a book!

FINAL book cover 2

Of course, this started well before today – it’s been in the works for several months. But today is the scary part because I’m actually telling people about it. 🙂

So…I’m taking the jump into self-publishing and will be releasing my first book next month! I plan to pursue traditional publishing in the future, but I was inspired by the many indie authors I love to give self-publishing a try.

I chose a pen name to keep some distance between my writing and real life. Ruby is the name of my beloved poodle who recently passed away. I wanted to pay homage to her in some small way. ❤

Screen Shot 2018-10-18 at 5.47.30 PM

So let me introduce you to my new child book, Song of the Sea!

It’s the first in a planned trilogy and involves the ocean, music, and romance. Plus there are quite a few sassy characters. (They might also use jokes as a way to avoid reality…but I don’t know anything about that.)

Here’s the cover, which I am so excited about. It was designed by the wonderful germancreative and I’m so happy with it. Below that, you can read the blurb!

FINAL book cover

Song of the Sea

A kingdom at war.

Lyra Moon has three rules: Don’t go in the ocean. Don’t sing in front of anyone. And never, ever fall in love. She’s about to break all of them.

A hidden princess.

When mysterious, blue-haired River arrives in Oceanside, Lyra’s life turns upside-down. He brings news that will change her life forever. Lyra isn’t human – she’s an ocean sprite. And what’s more, she is the heir to the underwater kingdom Moon Cove.

A deadly secret.

Lyra must journey to the depths of the ocean to stop a years-long war between two kingdoms. Despite herself, she begins to fall in love with the world of Undersea…and with River. But when she discovers a long-dormant ability that threatens everything she loves, she must find a way to save both her worlds.

***

It will hopefully be available October 30, which is right around the corner. 🙂

You can find more details on my author website, rubyfinneganbooks.wordpress.com. My blog will remain separate for the most part, so to hear about future publishing adventures, feel free to follow Ruby Finnegan.

Screen Shot 2018-09-08 at 9.21.58 AM

I’m so excited (and nervous) about this new adventure. I’ve dreamed about being an author for years and it feels so good to be making that into reality. I owe a huge thanks to everyone who read my stories and encouraged me over the past six years of my blog. You guys are the best. Keep an eye out for the acknowledgements page. 🙂

College Crafting

I remember the good ole days when I posted here all the time. Then I started college. Now my hobbies are pretty much watching Netflix and sleeping. I just finished my first week of fall classes and thought I would share a college-related craft project.

I’ve been doing more paper-crafting than crochet lately; my thumb is giving me some problems so I’m resting it for a while, and I’ve been having a sticker obsession these past few months. I got bored having plain dividers in my binder so I dressed it up a bit.

IMG_9065

I decorated pieces of scrapbook paper and then stole borrowed my mom’s laminator to laminate it. This one has postcards from Canoe Island French Camp, where I went as a camper and also worked at a few summers ago. The feathers are from Harriet, my chicken, and were collected after she molted them. This one is currently housing my notes for Gender & Sexualities, which is a class I’ve been excited for for months.

IMG_9066

This one is for my French class stuff, if you didn’t guess already. I’ve been taking French since sixth grade (about age 11 for my non-American friends), so it’s been a regular part of my life for quite awhile now! I’m taking a French film class this term with my favorite professor ever, so I’m excited about that. Although the French definitely have different standards when it comes to content, haha.

IMG_9068

I’m using this one for my writing class. The tarot card is from Collage, a really cool craft store with lots of random things – buttons, cards, charms, stuff like that. Or tchotchke, to pull out my $100 word of the day. I don’t do tarot but I really liked how it looks, plus the message seems to fit for a school binder.

IMG_9069

I learned while making this one that if you laminate bus tickets, they turn interesting colors. Thermal paper or something. Although this was a surprise, I still like how it turned out. I take the bus all over the place, so I’ve gotten pretty fond of it. The stickers are also from Collage and they’re my favorite thing ever…it’s Alice in Wonderland!

It makes a nice change having something new to look at. I especially like having Harriet feathers with me. In a future post I can show you my bullet journal/notebook if you’re interested – I use it for taking notes and it has a fair share of doodles and stickers within. I might be a little obsessed with school supplies. 🙂

Thank you for reading! Do you like school supplies? What’s your favorite thing to get for back-to-school shopping?

Peplum Top for 16″ Disney Rapunzel: Free Crochet Pattern

Today I have another pattern for the lovely 16″ Disney Rapunzel. She’s super fun to design for; the larger scale is a nice change from Barbie outfits. This shirt was inspired by some fashions I’ve spotted this year, most notably ruffles, peplum, and yellow. I’ve never been particularly on top of fashion trends for myself, but Rapunzel will be!

Materials

  • G hook
  • worsted-weight yarn
  • 2 small snaps

PEPLUM TOP PATTERN

Row 1: Ch 39. Starting in 2nd ch from hk, sc 3. 3sc in next ch, sc 10. 3sc in next ch, sc 7. 3sc in next ch, sc 10. 3sc in next ch, sc 4.

Row 2: Ch 1, turn. Sc 5, 2sc in next st. Ch 4, sk 12, 2sc. Sc 9, 2sc in next st. Skip next 12 sc, 2sc in next st, sc in remaining 4 sts.

Row 3-5: Ch 1, turn, sc across.

Row 6: Ch 1, turn. Sc 4, sc2tog. *Sc 6, sc2tog* 3 times, then sc in last 4 sts.

Row 7-8: Sc

Row 9: Ch 1, turn. *Sc 4, sc2tog* across.

Row 10-11: Ch 1, turn, sc across.

Row 12: Do not turn. Ch 2. Bring your work to form a circle, with the RS of Row 11 facing. Working through the back loops, 3dc in each st around to form a ruffle. Sl st to join.

Single crochet up the side. Fasten off, weave in ends. Sew one snap to the top and one to the bottom, making sure to try it on the doll for placement.

closeup of ruffle and high-waisted shorts

I’ll post a third pattern for Rapunzel next week. But that’s the last one I have made. What should I crochet next for her? Your suggestions are always appreciated! 🙂

The one with the poodle poem

Thank you all so much for your kind comments on my last post. It means a lot. Hugs to all of you who told me about your own beloved pets passing away. I’m glad to have you all as friends!

I wanted to branch out a bit and post a poem here. I took Intro to Poetry Writing this summer at my college, and nobody was more surprised than me when I discovered I like writing poetry. I never was much of a “poetry person,” but turns out I actually quite like reading and writing it. Just goes to show you should always keep an open mind!

Anyway, I wrote a couple dozen poems over the course of the class, and I thought it might be fun to post one here. Either that or this is the day my blog jumps the shark. This poem wasn’t for an assignment, it’s one I wrote about Ruby as a way of dealing with her passing away.

Screen Shot 2018-08-22 at 1.01.04 PM

Here’s the PDF if that doesn’t show up for you. The awesome cursive font is from dafont.com.

Nothing spectacular, but I had fun writing it and wanted to share it with you. I’m actually in the process of compiling all the poems I wrote about Ruby with the goal of self-publishing a poetry collection. What do you think of that idea?

Are you fans of poetry? Or do you prefer normal writing? I’d love to chat about it! (I still prefer traditional books myself.) As always, thank you for reading and for all your support. 🙂

 

 

Ruby’s Afghan

This post is not a cheery crochet project, but it’s something I want to share. It’s about my beloved poodle, Ruby, who passed away last week. If this is difficult for you to read about, please don’t feel guilty about skipping this post. 

If you set down a crochet afghan, it’s a scientific fact that a dog will appear there soon after. They flock to them like moths to a light. And once they lay down on the afghan, woe betide anyone who tries to disturb them. Take it from my family’s poodle, Ruby, who loved crochet afghans more than anything.

IMG_5261

Case in point

I crocheted my first afghan when I was around 14. It’s made of granny squares from I Love This Yarn (my favorite yarn) in my favorite colors at the time. It’s much smaller than a traditional afghan because I ran out of patience…but that made it the perfect size for Ruby when she swiped it. I’m not sure how she accomplished it. One moment I had a brand-new afghan, the next moment it was Ruby’s afghan. But that was fine with me. She looked so content curled up on it.

IMG_4200

Doing homework with me; her special afghan is the pink one

A few years later I made a mandala afghan with the thought that since Ruby had an afghan, this one would be for me. Wrong. The afghan turned out smaller than expected and I presented the poodle with a bright pink mandala blanket. It was added to her pile.

IMG_8549

She ran to my side whenever I sat down on the couch with a crochet project. Her breeder was a knitter, so as a puppy she got used to laying next to people while they crafted. She was my crafting companion for many projects and even modeled some for me.

IMG_6347

I thought a sweater might help keep her joints warm and less painful. The look on her face says what she thinks of this idea

IMG_7371

Daffi-dog

When our new puppy Maisie came into our lives, I crocheted a new afghan for her. Because the first one was Ruby’s afghan. I couldn’t see her give that up.

IMG_7235
Happy Claire surrounded by doggos: Ruby on gray afghan, Maisie on pink one (which is hers)
IMG_6226

Pile of dogs and afghans. Ruby’s special one is on the far left.

Ruby suffered from arthritis for pretty much all her life. I think curling up with a warm, soft blanket felt good for her achy limbs. When she started losing mobility, she would spend all day napping on the couch. Sometimes I would snuggle with her. Other times she would curl up on an afghan. Still other times we would snuggle with an afghan, which was the coziest thing imaginable.

IMG_8513

The plaid is my elbow. Ruby patiently humored me whenever I needed some cuddle time.

Last Tuesday she lay on her special blanket, in my arms, as she went to sleep forever. The hardest thing I’ve ever done is hug Ruby for the last time. When we laid her down on the blanket, she was relaxed instead of stiff with pain like she was for the last six years. The vet said she was ready to go. I know she was. But I could never be ready to say goodbye. She was the best dog I could ever have the privilege of loving.

IMG_8418

She LOVED giving kisses.

I’ve written pages and pages about her. Taken so many pictures. Crafted things inspired by her. Maybe you’ll see some of it here. I want to share the joy she brought into my life. She’s not in pain anymore, and I’m glad, because she deserves to run and play again. I just miss her. But I’ll never forget her.

The blanket has returned to me. I wish it were still hers.

In memory of Ruby
13 years 10 months
October 3, 2004 – August 9, 2018

IMG_8656

Ruby’s afghan

Jean Shorts for 16″ Disney Rapunzel: Free Crochet Pattern

Hi friends! Today I’m posting the first of several garments for one of my favorite dolls. She’s the 16″ Deluxe Disney Rapunzel, who I received for my birthday a few years ago. As you probably know, Rapunzel is my favorite princess, and I have a whole collection of Rapunzel dolls, but this one has to be my favorite…she’s gorgeous! She’s been sitting on my windowsill for months and I thought it was high time she got some attention.

IMG_7886

She isn’t listed on the Disney Store website anymore, so perhaps she’s discontinued, sadly. I’m going to check if there are similarly-sized dolls who would fit in these clothes – do you know of any? But here’s a link to a doll review where you can see how she arrived.

I had a lot of fun making this outfit. I forgot how much I love making doll clothes. She’s a super fun size to design for, too – slightly bigger than a Barbie so more room for detail, but smaller than an American Girl doll so less intimidating. I’m planning to make her a whole wardrobe, but today I’m starting off with a pair of jean shorts! They’re modeled after the high-waisted shorts that seem to be popular this year.

IMG_7893

Materials

  • H (5.00 MM) hook
  • Worsted-weight yarn (I used Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn in Denim to get the jean short look)
  • 1 small ponytail holder that fits snugly around your doll’s waist (this is for the waistband)
  • 2 small white buttons (optional)
  • Work in front loops throughout, except for the last stitch of each row, which should be worked through both loops as usual.

Shorts

Ch 13.

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hk and in each ch across. (12)

Row 2: Ch 1, turn. Sc across until 4 sts remain; hdc 4.

Row 3-4: Ch 1, turn. Sc in each st across.

Repeat Rows 1-4 two more times. You’ll have 12 rows total.

Row 13: Ch 1, turn. Sc 7, making 7th stitch through both loops. Skip last 5 sts. Ch 6.

Row 14: Sc in 2nd ch from hk and in rest of the stitches across. (12 stitches)

Row 15: Ch 1, turn. Hdc 4, sc in remaining stitches.

Row 16-17: Ch 1, turn. Sc in each st across.

Row 18-25: Repeat Rows 14-17 two more times. (Except Row 14 will just be a normal single crochet row, since you won’t need to work into a chain.)

Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing.

Fold in half so the legs align and sew the inner leg seams together. Then sew the back seams together. Since this is hard to explain, here are some in-progress photos (with my puppy as a backdrop):

IMG_7824

IMG_7825

Now we’re going to add some length to the top of the shorts. Join the yarn to any stitch and make (2sc in the end of a row, skip next row end) around. (This makes a more even edge than just making 1 stitch per row end.) Join with a sl st.

Row 2: Grab your ponytail holder and single crochet around, encasing the ponytail holder with each stitch. (It’s just like crocheting over your ends.) Sl st to join, then fasten off. Weave in ends.

Sew two buttons to the front if you wish. You’re all done!

IMG_7895

Behind-the-scenes help from Maisie.

I’ll be back soon with one of the shirts you see in this post. What have you been crafting lately? Any doll clothes? I don’t know why I took a break from doll clothes for so long, they’re so much fun! Thanks for reading, and have a marvelous day. 🙂