Last year I had the amazing opportunity to go on a Mediterranean cruise with my parents and friend. We traveled all over the Med from Barcelona à Nice à Florence and Tuscany à Rome à Naples and Capri à Venice à Croatia à Montenegro. Now I’ve previously been to Rome and Venice, but on this trip, I had the opportunity see many different things with exclusive Italian tour guides set up by my friend, Renee. I HIGHLY recommend Joe Bananas if you’re headed to Italy and would like to use private guides who know the language, the cities, history and the hidden gems at a VERY reasonable price.

Check them out here: https://www.joebananalimos.net/

I’ve seen amazing things all over the world, the temples in Nikko, Japan, the White Cliffs of Dover, the Louvre, the Swiss Alps – but this, is a must see in Rome! Our tour guide, Gianni, asked us if we wanted to see something cool.  Well who doesn’t want to see something cool? . So, he drove our minivan through the winding roads of what looked like a regular Roman neighborhood of villas. We just kept going up..up…up the hill. When we got to the top it was basically a large circle with a walled building type enclosure with some big blue double doors. Now there weren’t a lot of people up there, just a few people on Segway’s, but it didn’t seem like anything special. At the top, he told us to get out of the car and go over to the doors and look through the keyhole

Of course, we looked at him like he was a bit crazy, but a couple other people had just done it and well, as they say…….

When in Rome
 

Perfectly lined up with the keyhole….waaaaaaaaaaay off in the distance is the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. It was totally amazing, and a little mind blowing.  This architectural marvel is a MUST SEE for your trip to Rome!

I found some information about it here (Excerpt below):

http://www.reidsitaly.com/destinations/lazio/rome/sights/knights_malta.html

A peek-a-boo view of St. Peter’s dome through the keyhole on the gate to the headquarters of the Knights of Malta on Rome’s Aventine Hill


View of St. Peter’s through the Cavalieri di Malta Keyhole. (Photo by Gary Arndt)

Peek through this keyhole on a piazza designed by Piranesi in 1765, and you will see a garden path that ends with bushes perfectly framing the dome of St. Peter’s in the distance.

What you are peering through are the gardens of the Villa del Priorato di Malta, one of the Rome properties of the famous Knights of Malta (I Cavalieri di Malta)—who are technically and more correctly called the Knights of St. John Hospitaler.

The knights left their late medieval home on the island of Malta long ago, and their headquarters are now here in Rome (if you’re curious, it is at Via Condotti 68, at the corner of Via Bocca di Leone near the Spanish Steps.) This Aventine villa is home to the Order’s ambassadors to Italy and the Holy See.

*Photos not attributed courtesy of Google Images, search Knights of Malta Keyhole

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On Friday afternoon, I happened into Michael’s to find a crochet hook with a softer handle. I find that when working with smaller hooks, I prefer the hooks that are not all metal as they tend to dig into the palm of my hand. There are so many ways to hold the hook and yarn, but my style is the knife hold, so the end of the hook is usually cradled in my palm and depending on the size of the hook it tends to dig in. I find this especially true when working on my extremely small amigurumi. I find it fascinating when looking on YouTube for instructional videos how many different methods there are for holding hooks and yarn.

After I found the hook I was looking for I went to check out the sale bins just in case there happened to be something I couldn’t live without. I was admiring the Caron Cakes while in the yarn section and loved all the variegated colors. Imagine my surprise when I came upon some cakes on sale. Now I’ve  been a bit obsessed with Orange and Coral lately, I’ll admit, so when I saw the sale bin I knew I had to purchase this yarn in Spice Cake. It’s an amazing mixture of oranges and corals and yellows – almost like a sunset. Now I’ll be trolling Pinterest to find the perfect project to use my clearance Caron Cakes. If you have a pattern that would highlight my sunset yarn – please send it on!!!

Not every sweet baby girl is going to be all ribbons and lace. Some girls grow up and want to wear camo and ride horses and be a rancher or a farmer. These baby girls will still love their pink and their bows, but they’ll want to hang out with the boys and ride four-wheelers and shoot guns and drive tractors. This is for the girl who not only can do everything the boys do, but they can beat them at their own games. So, for the future deer hunter I made this sweet teething rattle. Now, yes, I do realize that female deer rarely have antlers, but bear with me here. I wanted to create something for the future tomboy, but I also wanted everyone to remember she’s a sweet little girl. I looked for a sweet little fawn pattern, or something a bit more girly, but I didn’t find anything I liked.

 

 

 

Then, I found Rory….Rory the Reindeer….it’s a pattern for an ornament that I fo080617_0133_FortheFutur2.jpgund on www.ravelry.com.

Rory is a cute little guy and his pattern can be found here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rory-the-reindeer-ornament

I used brown and black safety eyes and a safety nose. I also ordered the following rings from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MS6BJ3R/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I prefer the all-natural wood rings for teethers instead of something plastic. I also prefer the bigger rings than you can traditionally get at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. This one is 3.7″ and I got it from Amazon. (If you keep up with 2LittleRedBirds you’d know that I’m a bit of an Amazon Prime addict.) It’s still plenty light for an infant but it’s much better with the size of the head and makes for better balance. I also recommend these rattle inserts https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SKLWG0S/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I used 2 inside the teether so that it made a loud enough rattle.  So for the Future Tomboy I give you this sweet deer teether/rattler.

Amazon.jpg

I may or may not have a problem!

The summer is winding down, which means FOOTBALL season is upon us. Spending my formative years in Nebraska as a
CornHusker
started my love for the sport. After moving to Arkansas, I was in the High School Marching Band in the flag corps so Friday night football was a way of life! After high school, I moved on and attended the University of Arkansas and so came my love for the RAZORBACKS!!!! WOOOO PIG SOOOOOIE. There’s nothing like being in packed stadium surrounded by RED and hearing the crowd

C A L L those H O G S

I’ve always loved the traditional Razorback but lately I’ve come to love this motif even more!! I love the funky letters and the Hog face becoming the O! I hand painted this ornament.

First I prepped the Ornament by coating the inside with Glitter. I used the technique found here:

https://todayscreativelife.com/how-to-make-glitter-painted-glass-ornaments/

This is a 4″ glass craft ornament, so he’s good sized. I used the Glitter- It! Product simply because I had it on hand. I also use an extremely fine glitter when I am going to hand paint so that the sparkles don’t take away from what I’m putting on the outside. Next for the painting. I used a combination of brush and paint pen. I started the design just like I would a drawing and drew in an outline with a sharpie. Once I got it the way I wanted I traced over the lines with a black paint pen. Don’t worry if you mess up….even a 100 times….just grab some acetone, clean it off and start again. My next step was to fill in all the Red and White. Next, I focused on the Hog face and getting his details correct. I added in the eyes, fixed the ears and his snout and tusks. I used mostly paint pen here. After I got the face just like I wanted it I went back and went over my black lines again across the entire motif. The last step was adding in the white highlights. Now, I didn’t do this all in one sitting. It is important to let the paint dry well before trying to put on more layers, otherwise the paint pen just scrapes of the layer underneath. Be patient and wait for things to dry! I’ve forgotten how much I enjoyed this activity and how cute he turned out. Maybe this year I’ll focus on some hand painted ornaments…stay tuned!

Hello chirpers! I know it’s been awhile…a LONG while. I have been remiss in posting to 2littleredbirds, but no worries I’ve still been working on projects! I can’t seem to give up my passion for creating things! I have spent a lot of time crocheting and knitting in the past year and the next posts will reflect that. I recently completed another baby gift for a friend. She’s having a little girl.

As per my usual attention deficit I experimented with new stitches and a style of border.

I used the following materials:    

  • Crochet Hook I (5.5 MM)
  • 4 skeins Caron Super Soft in Taupe
  • 4 skeins Caron Super Soft in Neon Coral

I found the best price and the colors at Wal-Mart. I don’t usually shop there, but I must say I love the Neon Coral – not quite Pink but not quite Orange. The Caron Super Soft is perfect for baby blankets.

I found my inspiration on Pinterest as always. I went with the Crunch Stitch that I found here:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/287878601161688732/

It really goes quickly and looks great. I used double-stranded yarn for a thicker, bulkier look. I chose to color block the brown and the coral (you know I love a color block ) with the brown on the top and the bottom. Since I chose to color block I wanted a fun new border that incorporated both colors and I found this one:

Criss-Cross Edging – it looks twisted and I love the way it turned out!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/287878601163958591/

I used this video to learn how:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBtHPUPa5gE

 

    

Chandler box

To go with the Panda themed baby shower I made a collection of baby items for my friend’s baby Chandler.  I used a modern color palate of Cranberry, Light Pink, White, Gray and Lime.  I used a simple chevron pattern for the blanket.IMG_2874    The pattern is called Double Shell Ripple

I also made a few little toys and baubles for her.

The simply cute Panda bear I got from a pattern on Craftsy.

IMG_2868 IMG_2873

I used this modified pattern from Ravelry for the Panda Rattle

IMG_2872

The super cute Panda lovey

Manda Elephant Manda Elephant2

This was a really fun pattern I found on Pinterest.

http://amigurumies.blogspot.fr/2013/06/elefante.html

He’s super cute.  If you go down into the comments there are some links to the pattern in English.  It’s a really cool technique with very minimal attaching.  I decided to NOT add the tusks as she looked so cute without them.  I also added some fun fabric to the inside of the ears for a pop of color.  I had the metal Greek letters on hand to add to the butt for my friend.  She’s not very big and turned out as cute as can be.

Another invitation.

I found this inspiration on Pinterest  (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/287878601157536857/ )and decided that since there were just a handful to make — that I could make them by hand and add some 3D embellishments to them.

Chandler invite

I made the panda shapes with Silhouette Design Studio.  It’s really a very simple design, only 3 pieces, very easy to put together.  I used a white marker for the eyeball.  I designed and printed the invitation using Microsoft Word.  Then I created the tree using a Cherry Blossom stamp I picked up at Hobby Lobby.  I used brown ink for the stamp and then some cute flowers  in shades of pink for some more pops of color.     I absolutely love how they turned out.

The matching cake from Julies Sweet Shoppe in Conway, Arkansas was not only super to cute….but delicious as well.

Chandler cake

Hello chirpers.

I have been busy but it’s been making gifts.  I’ve been holding out on posting them until I could actually give them.  There are a lot of ideas on Pinterest that use the lyrics to the first dance at the wedding.   I’ve made several different versions and this time went for something totally original.  It’s definitely a 2 Little Redbirds exclusive.  I think it turned out beautiful and classy.

I started by finding out the song for the first dance at my friend, Victoria’s, wedding.  The song is “Let it Be Me” by Ray Lamontagne.  I had never heard this song so it was a first for me.

Victoria2

Supplies:

  • Black Frame 8 x 10
  • Gray – Double Mat 5 x 7
  • Black Card Stock
  • Silver Vinyl
  • Vellum Paper
  • Printer
  • Microsoft Word

First, I put the lyrics to the song into Microsoft Word and played with it a bit until I found the right font and the right size.  I decided to lay it out in the landscape orientation to maximize real estate.  Next, I printed the lyrics onto a piece of vellum. (Hint:  Be careful not to touch the ink until you are sure it’s dry – – smudges are not cute)

Next, I created the monogram using my Silhouette Designer Studio.  I get my fonts from Dafont.com.  I used a silver vinyl so that it was easily seen behind the vellum, a little shiny, but not distracting.  I placed in on black card stock so it really stood out.    I placed both in the frame and here’s how it turned out.

Victoria1