Saturday, June 21, 2014

Now on Bloglovin!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Hey everyone, I'm now on Bloglovin' so feel free to follow me there to stay up to date with all the latest FauxMenno posts!

Friday, June 20, 2014

More Free Sports Crochet Charts!

I recently finished up a few more sports teams logos to crochet into throws or stadium blankets. I have been concentrating on college teams that are important to my family and friends, but I can make any other team by request, or you can give it a try yourself. I also now have the option to make larger sized afghan charts instead of only smaller throws.
Once again, please only use these patterns for personal use.  If you attempt to sell the pattern or the finished products you are breaking the law.  These make excellent gifts, but it is not okay to profit monetarily from someone else's intellectual property.

As with my other sports logos, if you want the full size .jpg pattern, just email me and I will send it to you until I am able to have them hosted externally.

#1 Bowling Green State University 

This chart shouldn't be too complicated to follow. Use 4 colors of yarn to create this charming falcon logo.  I recommend making this throw longer by adding rows of the background color to the top and bottom and also adding a border of orange, brown, or both.

#2 The University of Georgia

Support your favorite SEC team with this simple G logo stadium blanket. Extend to whatever size you like by adding rows to the top and bottom, or to both sides, and then finish off by adding a bold red border. Go Dawgs!

#3 Michigan State Spartans

Clean lines and contrasting colors make this Spartans logo really stand out. Simply add three or four rows of white border and you have the perfect stadium blanket to fend off those chilly Michigan breezes.

#4 Miami University (OH) 

Love and Honor to Miami! The original and best Miami, that is.  Show your school spirit with this striking throw. All it needs is a few more rows of white around each side and then a red and black border and this blanket is ready for the football stadium or dorm room.

Keep an eye out for more patterns as I will be updating regularly. Remember, email me if you would like these charts and you can always make your own at:

Save 20% off any Knook product at Use promo code KNOOK20.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book Review! "A Gift of Thought"

*I received a copy of this book free of charge in return for my honest review. All opinions expressed herein are my own*

After I finished the first book in the Tassamara series by Sarah Wynde, I was astounded by the quality of her writing and couldn't wait to read the rest of the series.  I emailed her expressing my appreciation of the first novel and she graciously provided me with the rest of the series for free. (Sidenote: If you read a book that is really good and the author has a website or email address, email them! Authors love to hear your feedback, especially new and upcoming authors)
"A Gift of Thought" by Sarah Wynde

The second Tassamara novel is "A Gift of Thought".  This book leaves the setting of Tassamara and takes place mostly in Washington, D.C.  I was mildly disappointed that Akira and co. were left behind, but I actually really liked that this book focused on ghostly teenager Dillon and his new relationship with his parents.  Dillon was one of my favorite characters in "A Gift of Ghosts", and in my opinion, is really the star of the series.  As usual with Wynde's writing, the dialogue and plot are superb.  Every character really comes to life and you feel like you get to know them on a personal level.  I do wish a few of the background characters had been fleshed out a bit more, but within the constraints of a shorter novel the writing is still exceptional. On the plus side, there was more action and drama packed into the last few chapters of this novel and I really enjoyed that. I read the entire book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down.

Bottom line: Even though this is probably my least favorite book of the series, it is still extremely well written and worth a read if you enjoyed the first book.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Book Review! "A Gift of Ghosts"

I'm an avid reader and can read several books per week. As such, I'm always on the lookout for new books. I'm not really picky about what I read so I recently downloaded several free Kindle ebooks from Amazon. One of the books that caught my eye was "A Gift of Ghosts" by Sarah Wynde.  Now, I usually don't have high expectations for free books. Most of them are rather amateur attempts by self-published authors. Some can be quite good, but others are horrendously bad.  I wasn't sure what to expect from "A Gift of Ghosts" but I was intrigued by the description. Let me just say now, I am so glad I came across this book.
A Gift of Ghosts by Sarah Wynde

Sarah Wynde studied English in college, and that definitely comes through in the technical aspects of her work. More than being technically good, this book was also very imaginative and had a ton of soul.  The beginning of this book does start off a little bit rocky, with the character Akira having an internal dialogue that can be a bit confusing until you get past the first few scenes.  Once you get past the first chapter though, this book is astoundingly good.  To sum it up without spoiling it too much, a skeptical academic named Akira is offered a mysterious job in the fictional town of Tassamara, Florida. Despite having a special paranormal gift Akira is skeptical of the company that hires her and even more so of all the rest of the mysterious residents of Tassamara.  With an eccentric cast of ghosts, telepaths, and scientists, this book is a great for nerdy readers who were fans of the SciFi channel show "Eureka". I should also warn you that there are a few steamy romance scenes that are probably not suitable for younger audiences, but I found them to be very tasteful and not smutty or obscene in the least.    

I was absolutely blown away by the creative writing of this story.  I found the plot to be extremely well written and the dialogue was supremely natural and fluid.  I found myself getting emotionally invested in the characters and wished the book was longer so I could have more time in their world.  This is also the book's biggest shortcoming. It is so rich and engrossing that it is simply too short to be entirely satisfactory.  I understand the writer's preference to write shorter stories, but I think Wynde could really excel with a longer novel.

Bottom line: If you want to get lost for a few hours in a mystical yet modern fantasy world, go ahead and read this book.  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Crochet Graph-ghans

Bear Chart
My latest hobby is crochet. I find that it really helps me de-stress and focus in the evenings and I love being able to gift my family and friends with handmade hats, scarves, and blankets.  Lately I've been teaching myself how to crochet from a graph and it has most definitely been a lesson in patience! Crocheting from a graph allows for really beautiful intricate patterns to be worked into blankets, pillows, and more, but it is extremely time-consuming and you have to pay VERY close attention to your work.  I'm currently working on a few smaller pieces to join together into a throw, but I have grand plans to complete a few afghans this year as well.  What I love about crocheting from a graph is the incredible level of customization you can add. I found this website: where you can upload your own design/picture and almost instantly have it converted into a graph!
Deer Chart

Now, there are some things to keep in mind when planning a graph design:
  1. Keep it simple to start with. Maybe choose a geometric border design for a small throw blanket so you can get the hang of it. 
  2. Choose an image with a simple color scheme, and simplify the colors on the pattern maker. There is an option to choose custom colors and I recommend choosing the closest 2-4 colors depending on your design. 
  3. If you use any of the patterns that I linked to, be aware that the coloring isn't perfect, especially on the Ohio State logo.  Use common sense and simplify the color scheme as needed. For this one in particular I was planning on a gray or white background, and then using one shade each of a green, a red, black, and brown. So 5 colors total.  
  4. Be aware that the patterns are based on single-crochet stitches so they are fairly time consuming.  The best yarn to use is usually a worsted (4ply) or sport (3ply) weight yarn and a size G or H crochet hook.  
  5. Be mindful of copyright infringement. If you're using someone else's design or a trademarked logo, please don't try to sell the pattern or finished product(!!!). This is illegal(!) and could get you in some serious trouble if you get caught.  
  6. Have fun and don't be afraid to experiment! The only way to get better is by practice so start small and work your way up to larger projects. Soon you'll be able to make custom afghans and throws to gift your friends and family! 
  7. If you would like either the Ohio State or IU pattern, please email me and I will send you the full size chart as a .jpg image. I will hopefully have them hosted somewhere in the future but for now I can only email them as attachments. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Fathers Day!

Just a quick note to say Happy Fathers Day to all the hardworking fathers and father-figures out there! Here's to all the dads who put their children's needs before their own; who get up early for hockey and swim and dance lessons, who help with homework and stay up late to help finish school projects, who are there in the audience for the school play, who work tirelessly to provide the best life they can (with or without a partner parent) for their kids.

And to my own father, thank you for supporting me and giving me the freedom to find my own direction in life and for being there to catch me when I fail spectacularly. I know it wasn't always easy, but I appreciate it. Love you always.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Duggar-Dillard Wedding Mock-Up

Hello and happy June everyone! Later this month Jill Duggar (fourth child of the supersized Duggar family of "19 Kids and Counting" fame) will be marrying accountant and missionary Derick Dillard.  They make an absolutely adorable couple and I was inspired to design a mock-up of what I consider to be their ideal wedding based on Jill's public Pinterest account*.

Take short and sweet to a whole new level in this lace cap sleeve tea-length wedding gown.   Picture perfect for an outdoor wedding or reception dress.   Short gown features illusion neckline and beaded lace appliques.  No train. Sizes 0-14. Available online and in stores in Ivory. Available for special order in White.   Fully lined. Back zip. Imported. Dry clean only.
David's Bridal CMK513
Based on Jill's Pinterest and recent pictures of the happy couple's wedding shower, it seems like they have chosen a rustic theme with a mint green and peachy pink color scheme.  I imagine a simple and cute outdoor ceremony and reception could take place on the Duggar family's ample property, but it was recently reported that the future Mr. & Mrs. Dillard will be tying the knot in the same church where Jill's parents wed 30 years ago (Information found here).

As with all of the older Duggar girls, Jill seems to be very girly and petite.  I think she would be best suited to wear a mermaid/fit and flare or slim A-line style lacy dress with possibly an illusion neckline and cap sleeves. I really like the look of this "Esperanza" style dress from, as well as this tea-length dress from David's Bridal.  A floaty light veil, pearl jewelry, and pink shoes would complete the bride's look.  

  For bridesmaids dresses, I actually really love the look of these lacy      peach dresses found on Jill's Pinterest.  The style is modest enough to fit the Duggar's strict religious standards, but also appears to be stylish and would likely look good on most of the girls Jill chooses as bridesmaids.  Each bridesmaid could wear a different style of pearl jewelry and nude shoes to complete her ensemble.

The bouquets and decorations should look simple and use classic, rustic flowers such as baby's breath, peonies, and old-fashioned roses in various shades of cream and pink, tied with mint colored ribbon.  Large, high-impact flowers such as peonies and hydrangeas are a great way to minimize floral costs because you can use fewer flowers in each individual bouquet and still end up with a stunning arrangement.
Peach & Mint Wedding Party
Finally, since this is a somewhat informal wedding theme, I imagine the groom and groomsmen could wear light gray or tan suits accented with mint green ties and small rose and baby's breath boutonnieres. A fun touch that I've seen recently is having the groomsmen wear coordinating colored socks to show off in some goofy pictures.  
Even if the ceremony is indoors in a church, June is the perfect time of year to have an outdoor reception.  I imagine setting up 3 or 4 outdoor canopies to shelter the food and beverages from the sun and provide a small bit of shelter in case of rain, but having assorted seating options such as chairs, chaise lounges, and straw bales set up in small clusters. The bridal party table could be decorated with burlap and small arrangements of baby's breath or other flowers in vases made out of glass jars.  To encourage mingling among guests,  there should be an ample array of finger foods and and desserts.  A really fun touch that goes well with this rustic, Southern theme would be an iced-tea and lemonade bar with various fruity syrups that could be used to customize each drink.

Best wishes Derick and Jill! May you have many happy years together and be always blessed. <3

*I'm choosing not to include direct links to any of Jill Duggar's social media out of respect for her privacy. Her Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter accounts are all public and easily available to find on your own if you really want to.