Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


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Crochet Calavera Flowers

Calavera Flower Crochet MotifMy favorite moment every year is that first morning when you can begin to feel fall in the air. I was lucky enough to catch the chill early this morning and it was exhilarating. My head began to fill with ideas for crochet hats and scarves, mittens and socks. Yippee!

It made me think of the scarves I designed for Day of the Dead several years ago. I remember crocheting skulls and flower motifs everywhere I went for months before finally sewing them together to create Sugar Candy Skull scarves. 

A friend of the picnic asked me for the pattern for the flower motif I had used in these scarves, and I was genuinely surprised that in three years I have never gotten around to giving it to you. Well better late than never, here it is! I hope that I will be able to find some time this fall to crochet one.

Because all the pieces are small this is a great project for traveling and for using up leftover yarn. Enjoy! Continue reading


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Crochet Sleepy Bears to Show You Care

Sleepy Bears by Just a Few Stitches Crochet Group

The Just a Few Stitches Crochet Group gets a big head start crocheting Sleepy Bears for kids in their community!

We all know that Sleepy Bear makes a great gift. I love seeing the way a child’s eyes light up when they hug this lovable and cuddly bear. As summer begins to wind down, I’m already thinking about the coming holidays and all those kids out there who really need a Sleepy Bear the most. I’m thinking of the kids who lost someone special to them this year. Those who have survived tragedies like fire or natural disaster. The kids who are afflicted with illness. Those who are struggling to be accepted at school. Those who are battling depression. While a teddy bear can’t be expected to solve all their problems, it can help them to feel loved and to let them know that someone cares.

That’s why I’d like to give you this call to action. Let’s each make one Sleepy Bear to give to a child in need this holiday season. Here’s what we can do to fulfill the need between now and December 25. Continue reading


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The Story of Sleepy Bear

The Story of Sleepy BearI’ve been honored to hear from so many of you who have made Sleepy Bears for your family and friends. I wanted to share with you one such story I received that includes, quite literally, a story about Sleepy Bear.

Earlier this year, a wonderful woman named Maureen Speerly sent me an email. She had written a story about Sleepy Bear, which had come to her as she nodded off to sleep on the night after crocheting her very first one.

I was so moved by the story that it brought tears to my eyes. A humble and bighearted bear experiences love and loss, but heals his broken heart through the act of giving. The message of turning tragedy into something positive for yourself and others really resonated with me.

Maureen and I both could see how meaningful it would be for a child to receive this teddy bear and his story, especially in a time of need. So she took that inspiration and ran with it, beginning a crochet group of six to make Sleepy Bears for children who have survived tragic circumstances.  Continue reading


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Sleepy Bear’s Naptime Accessories

Sleepy Bear's Naptime Accessories Crochet PatternsSleepy Bear has long been one of my favorite patterns, and from the number of Sleepy Bears you all have made, I’d say he’s one of your favorites too! It always makes my day when someone shares a photo of a Sleepy Bear they’ve made. Each one has such a unique personality. I love it!

When fellow picnickers Nelle Helleur and Janette Vanzanen shared photos of their Sleepy Bears decked out in pajamas and nightcaps, I knew that I just had to create some accessories for my bears too. Any nap really wouldn’t be complete without a nightcap and a blanky, after all. Thank you both for the inspiration!

And finally I’m ready to share these patterns with you.  Continue reading

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