Ollie Loops. The Beginning.

It started back in March (2013) when I first wanted to pick up a crochet hook and learn the art. A few of my photographer friends and I were talking props for their business, and I wanted to help them out for all the times they were there for me with a photography question. So I went to the store and picked up some yarn, the basic crochet hooks, and a ‘How to Crochet Book’. Well, that book was written in a WHOLE new language to me! I got frustrated very quickly and almost wanted to quit right then and there…but I couldn’t, I wanted to learn.

I ended up searching online and founds some great blogs, tutorials, and videos. I sat in my computer chair and just followed along. My first work is embarrassing as I’m sure any first timer’s was. It was supposed to be a square- I don’t even think there is a name for the shape I created. It was just warped. BUT I have it hanging over my computer desk to remind me of how far I’ve come since then.

Next, I made myself a scarf, then one for my daughter too. I really started expanding into a new world of loops and stitches. About a month later I was asked to make my first newborn prop. A nesting bowl for the newborn to lay in, but using my infinity scarf pattern so it would be versatile.

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The third one I made was using a softer yarn. It felt like silk. I love the color choice also!

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Don’t mind the doll ;) I borrowed my daughters for the photos!

Since then I’ve made 2 more nesting bowls, headbands to match. Little boy bow ties. I’ve also made a few Hula Outfits. Can’t wait to see these in professional photos- and ON the babies!

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I’ve also created a few items for myself and the kiddos. A pair of granny square boots, still working on a granny square blanket (keep putting it off for other projects!) and an over-sized infinity scarf. Princess crowns, and frisbees.

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My first blanket. I love the colors, and it’s perfectly thick. Perfect for Maine winters!

Last month I came across this pattern for a beard, and I knew I had to make Tank one! He had the perfect hat to match it too!

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Momma’s little lumberjack! LOL!

I also made an orange pullover vest for Tank for this upcoming hunting season. They don’t make safety vests in his little man size. But he has a crafty Momma….so orange and camo vest it is!

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Still a work in progress. I ran out of camo yarn. Still need to finish the neck and arm holes. Then might add a ‘sweatshirt’ pocket and outline with more camo. Tank loves it already.

And for Jay, I wanted to do something special for her since she was always asking me to make her something. I found a pattern online for a dolly. I knew she would love it. I’m going to make a few outfits for it to go along…but here is dolly so far…

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Isn’t she adorable!!! Eeek! I can’t wait to see her face…but it will be awhile. This will be her Christmas present, so she has not seen it at all. She was so fun to make.

So…I started today’s blog because I want to start providing people with my creations. I want to keep expanding in this art and share it with others. Today I’m publishing my Facebook page and making it official. Christmas will be coming around the corner soon enough, and why not give that person you love a homemade item?

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ollie-Loops/472818406149373

‘I’ve put love into every “loop” I create’

I’m Still Here!

So, it’s been awhile since my last blog. 3 months to be exact- but what can I say? I’ve been a busy woman! We got a lot of beautiful warm sun this summer and I spent every waking moment I could sitting at the picnic table crocheting, talking with good company or just watching the kids play. My nice tan can even prove it ;) But now, the warm days are soon to be gone and is now being replaced with crisp mornings of bitter cold, leaves falling to the ground and leaving branches bare. Winter is almost here.

BUT- I’d like to take a moment to re-live the past few months with a few photos…who am I kidding? A lot of photos!

Let’s start with this little guy. He was living in the birdhouse at my Dad’s. I wish I was there the day he finally used his wings and ‘flew the coop’ .

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“Myeah, see? Myeah.”

We went to D.E.W. Animal Kingdom & Sanctuary for my birthday. We all really enjoyed checking out all the animals. Tank loved the ducks and chickens. He would try and follow where ever they went. Bawking at them! LOL

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I’ve never seen a white peacock before. Interesting to say the least!

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“I like to Move It, Move It” —Now that song will be stuck in your head too!

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I’m sorry, but there was no ‘enjoy’ing that sound! But glad to see it’s all natural for the horny camel ;)

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Of course I had my traditional chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting! Yuuummmmy!!

August was a great month- but I couldn’t wait for it to be over. School was starting and then we were gearing up for a 4 day camping trip to Hermit Island. Pictures to follow…

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Our sunflowers we planted!

Jayden was so excited to be a second grader! New shoes and new backpack of course!

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My child and her “style” …Love her!

So…finally on to Hermit Island. We stuck Tank in his pack-in-play while we set up camp. I think he was enjoying the view…what do you think ;)

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I’ve never been able to actually explore the island and get the photos I wanted- but this year was different. I watched my first sunrise on Saturday morning…

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We took a morning trip down to Sailboat beach. One of the 8 beaches on the island. Tank decided he was going to run on the seaweed- straight for the ocean! I had already taken my sandals off on the beach to enjoy the sand and now I’m running through seaweed hoping and praying for no crabs out and ready for attack mode….Was not fun. At all!

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My toes WERE enjoying the sand…

We did a lot over the coarse of 4 days. Searched for sea life and walked the trails. Spent mornings and some evenings on the beach. Or just sat around the campfire listening to some good ol’ tunes. The weather was perfect. Not hot, but not cold.

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The deer are used to campers. So they pretty much stay put and enjoy themselves while you observe them. Any sudden move will still startle them though. Amazing right?

Sunday evening we went to Sailboat beach again to explore and watch the sunset. It was really windy, but made for a perfect evening to finish our trip.

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Maine is beautiful.

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Pushing the sun down…

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Monday morning I got up before anyone. Grabbed my camera and ran down to the edge of the campsite and watched my second sunrise. This one more perfect than the first. Really made me want to just stay and not go home. I’m already preparing myself for next years trip!

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Hermit Island, Phippsburg, Maine <3

Dogs day of Summer- All I’ve seen is rain.

Only 9 days in and already I think this is the best July yet. I’ve loved having two kiddos running around to chase and play with. They’re really growing too fast and I’m trying to get every moment in with them I can. Tank (My Son) is going to be 2 in November- he is an incredibly smart one year old! Not much of a talker- but you know what he’s saying through his expressions. He is a dare devil and a half- climbs all and has no fear- unless it comes to someone he doesn’t recognize. Hands go up over his face as he tries to give you the “I can’t see you, you can’t see me.” LOL He has officially moved on to a regular cup. Thinks hes a pro holding it with one hand ;) The other day I found him standing in the kitchen bare-assed and smiling. He had taken off his diaper and pooped on the floor! So Mommy and Daddy went out and bought him a potty. We’ll see how that goes!

Jay is 7 1/2 and blows me away everyday with her reading skills. She reads at a 4-5th grade level and is going into the 2nd grade! She loves to read. Her favorites right now are any type of the Junie B Jones series, Witches by Roald Dahl, and Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. She is really into any kind of art/craft. Her artwork is amazing. Truly like her Momma that one. Attitude and all ;)

Hubby and I just celebrated our 8th anniversary on the 2nd. Gosh, I love that man. Don’t know what or where I would be without him. We didn’t do much, then again, we never have. We celebrate our love everyday. Mostly we’ll reminisce about the day and look at our wedding photos. It was one heck of a day I’ll tell yeah! Me, 20 years old and 10 weeks pregnant with Jay. Hubby was sweating bullets and smiling all at once. I can still remember his expression when I met before him after walking down the “isle” (a dirt driveway). He really loved me and we were starting our life together officially. We got married at friend’s house, in her backyard. Under the arbor that went into her garden. Freshly bloomed flowers, friends and family all surrounding us. The sun was bright and beautiful. It was magic. 

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Now- onto the Fourth of July Celebrations! We got up early and went to a local parade. Not as exciting as I’d like, but the kids really enjoyed themselves. Jay loves to dress up on celebrations like this…and I found a cute idea for a hair style on a website so we tried it out…

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She loved her hair and so didn’t I. It came out so cute. My Patriotic Beauty.

Later in the afternoon we went to the neighbors for a BBQ. It was a great time. Tank was making everyone laugh. We went back over to the homestead to light off fireworks. We had a quick thunder/lightening storm that went past. Everything was wet and the mosquitoes came out something horrid, but the beautiful explosions in the sky made up for it.

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So they say July and August are the Dog Days of Summer and I’m really hoping for more of it throughout the next month, and the next. All we’ve seen is rain. Not a little drizzle either. Days upon days of heavy rain. Just putting a damper to everyone’s mood. Keep the sunshine coming please! :)

Summer Has Arrived!

June 21st. First Day of Summer.

And the Todaro family kicked it off with a bang. It started with a trip into town to get a few things- and ended up getting new flowers for the flower bed. They are gorgeous. Foxglove and Salvia.

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Beautiful right!?!

We played on the slip n slide then had pizza on the BBQ grill for lunch. Mommy jazzed hers up with some garlic and herb butter to rub on the crust. It was soo good! Everyone loved their pizzas.

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Then we blew some bubbles, and cut up watermelon to enjoy. Later we built a fire and made s’mores. The Hubster bought some fireworks for the 4th, but we thought just one would be fun for the night. We literally started summer off with a bang!

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Really looking forward to the next two months with my family. Going to makes some great memories to last a life time.

Bring It On

The homestead has taken a beaten over the past 2 years. Since I was pregnant with little guy I haven’t had the time to get my flower bed going. A project that was important to me considering my love of photographing flowers. So this year I knew that would be one of the first things to get done. I don’t even want to show you the before photo…it was overgrown with grass and weeds.

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Embarrassing I know. That was just a little corner over to the left. After I had planted the snapdragons, which are finally starting to show their buds.

It’s been quite the process over the last two weeks. With the family trip we just took over the weekend and all the rain- I haven’t been able to get out there and get it finished like I wanted.

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Finally all the weeds and grass were gone. But it’s still not looking as pretty as I would like. A few of the flowers are really starting to show. The allium I’ve been babying, finally bloomed open. It hasn’t bloomed in the last two years! The process has been slow- and it still has more to open…but it’s looking beautiful…

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Really amazing to watch all this time.

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Loving it! Another flower that hasn’t bloomed in a few years opened to.  The rhododendron bush is putting flowers on only one half- but that’s better than nothing!

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And now… the finale… my beautiful flower garden to attract all those beautiful bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

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Beautiful isn’t it?

First Timer

Tonight was the night I was making Cheeseburgers for the first time ever. Yup, you heard me. EVER. Hubby makes amazing cheeseburgers that I can’t get enough of. But now that he is working later during the week, he wouldn’t be able to make them. Cheeseburgers is one thing I always have him cook. Honesty, it’s just so he will cook something and I don’t have to do it all the time.

I talked to The Hubster before dinner, and got all the advice I could. The size, the seasoning, the temp, etc. I was going into this like I was going to make some kick butt burgers! I got all my ingredients together and heated up the pan. Slammed my burger into good size patties, because of course we all know the shrink (Oh, you didn’t know that? Well you do now, so make those babies big!) and placed them into the pan. 

Next comes MY favorite part. Sauteing up some onions. I’m not a big onion fan. Raw- yuck. I can’t do it. But cook them with some butter, nice and slow in the frying pan. Yum! 

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Don’t those look good!!?? I love the little pieces that brown up real nice.

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Next comes my other favorite toppings. Mayonnaise, ketchup and ranch dressing. Oh yeah, mix that all together and you have a deliciously creamy sauce. 

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I bet you’re trying to lick the screen right about now huh?? ;) 

Slap that puppy together and you have one delicious burger…now to see if it tastes anything like The Hubsters….

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