Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


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How to Assemble Sugar Candy Skull Scarves

Black skull scarf with pink flowers

Black skull scarf with pink flowers

Several years ago I made a few scarves incorporating my Sugar Candy Skull Motif pattern with flower motifs. I ended up with two scarf styles: one pairs black skulls with 3-D red or pink rose motifs, the other pairs white skulls with a colorful, lacy flower pattern.

Over the years, people have often asked me how to make these scarves and finally I think I am able to present a pattern of sorts. If you are interested in making a Sugar Candy Skull Scarf of your own, here I will provide links to the patterns you will need to make the motifs, instructions on how to arrange your motifs, and a video tutorial on how to join these motifs using a simple whip stitch. Continue reading

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Up to My Eyeballs in Color

Rocky Mountain National Park 1 Rocky Mountain National Park 2 Rocky Mountain National Park 3 Rocky Mountain National Park Aspen Chihuly Denver Botanic Gardens 2 Chihuly Denver Botanic Gardens 1 Chihuly Denver Botanic Gardens 3 Denver Botanic Gardens October 2014 Olivarez_Sugar Candy Skull

My parents came to visit us from Virginia this past week and what a whirlwind adventure we had. We went to the Chihuly exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens, the Air Force vs. Navy college football game in Colorado Springs, and up to the mountains to visit Georgetown, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Estes Park. When we weren’t off exploring, I was working on my Skullbow Art Hoodies for the Muertos Mart. From Chihuly’s vibrant blown glass to the golden aspen leaves to the work I am doing on these very colorful calavera appliques, I feel like I’m up to my eyeballs in color… and it feels pretty good.

Ever since my friend, Sylvie, told me I should crochet flower pins to adorn my larger skull appliques (isn’t that a great idea!), I have been sketching and brainstorming and playing with yarn and color to come up with some fun designs. I finished my first skull this week, embellishing it with beads, buttons, embroidery, and crochet flowers. These skulls are sewn to the backs of the hoodies to create a real statement piece. For the colors, I’ve been choosing beads and buttons first and then letting them direct the yarn colors I use. It’s been a challenge for some reason, but the Ideas Man has been at my side every step of the way with his solid advice.

I know that I promised you I would release some Hodge & Podge squirrel costume patterns for Halloween this year. I will try to get them out soon, but I hope you will understand if there is a bit of a delay. In addition to my hoodies, we’ve got a Charm Exchange coming up too. I better get back to work. Have a great week everyone!


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A New Sugar Candy Skull Crochet Pattern for You… This one’s big!

Large Skull Crochet Pattern by Squirrel PicnicIt’s hard to believe that it’s October already. Halloween and Day of the Dead will be here before we know it, so I wanted to get this larger skull pattern ready for you to use. Well, that’s not entirely true… I designed it for my own use too. You see I’m using them on some of the items I’ll be selling at the Pirate Gallery’s Celebration of Dia de los Muertos. Pirate has been hosting this vibrant festival for the last 30 years! This will be my second year to attend and I’m so excited that I get to be a part of it. This year I’m selling hoodies with small crochet skulls on the elbows, like elbow patches. I’m calling them Skullbows. You may have seen photos of them in the small skull pattern post. I’ll also embroider and embellish larger skulls, like the one featured here, with beads and sew them to the backs of other hoodies. The festival will be held on November 1, so I better get to work!

Right now, my bed/craft room is buried in boxes of hoodies and yarn and beads. I’d show you a picture, but I’ve lost my camera somewhere under there. In fact, if you don’t hear from me for a week or two, don’t despair. It just means I’m buried amongst the piles and I’ll be working my way out shortly.

I’ll be sure to share photos of all my preparations for Muertos Mart as we get a little closer. In the meantime, enjoy crocheting some large and small sugar candy skulls! Continue reading


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Sugar Candy Skull Crochet Pattern

Candy skull coin purse

Sugar skulls and many other forms of calavera are a popular feature of Day of the Dead celebrations throughout the world. Traditionally, these skulls are made of cane sugar that is molded in one piece and then decorated with line art, flowers, and often the name of a deceased loved one as a way of honoring them.

I drew inspiration from these designs to crochet my own version of the sugar skull. The pattern starts out with a fan to create the forehead, then you work on the opposite side to create the eyes, nose, cheeks and teeth. Within the PDF pattern, I’ve included a very detailed step-by-step photo tutorial to guide you along. It’s a lot of fun to embellish these motifs with beads, embroidery, and crochet flowers to really make them look like sugar candy skulls.

Squirrel Picnic Crochet Skull AppliquesEmbellished or just plain, I’ve found so many uses for these skulls. I’ve worked them into scarves, using floral motifs in between each skull. I made a small coin purse (pictured above) by sewing the bottom half of two skulls together and adding a lining and metal clasp. They also make fantastic appliques. They look great on just about anything! Sew them to pillows, bags, scarves, hats, mittens, and jeans. Sew them to your pockets for an original and fun look. But by far my favorite use for them has been as elbow patches on hoodies. It’s so easy to do, and it creates a garment that will definitely get people’s attention.

Check out photos of all these projects at the end of this post. And download the free pattern below to give yourself a great head start on your Halloween and Dia de los Muertos preparations.

Sugar Candy Skull Crochet Pattern

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