Crystal Madrilejos

Design & Creative

Living in an old farmhouse has its charms, but freezing cold floors is not one of them. However, this can easily be remedied with super cute slippers!


I crocheted and felted these for Quil and Ellis (though cold floors are the least of her concerns) for these chilly months that are upon us. Last year, we got Quil a pair from H&M that worked well enough but I decided to make them this year after seeing this pattern on Ravelry.

You can purchase the Easy Felted Crochet Kids Slippers by Sarah Lora pattern on Ravelry for only $3.50. It comes with directions for sizes Newborn to 4T and directions on felting and making the slippers non-skid.


Q wears around a toddler size 7-8 shoe and I made the medium-sized slipper. They fit but still have some room to grow over the winter months. The non-skid works great on our hardwood floors. Ellis’ are still pretty big even though I made the newborn size. Luckily for her, Andrew’s brother’s wife made an adorable knit pair that will fit until she grows into the ones I made.



I used Cascade Ecological Wool yarn in Natural and Silver and they felted up beautifully.

If anyone else decides to make a pair, I’d love to see photos!

I eventually had to cover the puffy paint soles with suede as a more permanent non-slip solution. I found that with our hardwood, the puffy paint would get dusty and eventually harden up and become slippery again. I would occasionally wipe them down and the stick would return for a short time, but the leather seems to work much better (though a bit hard on the fingers to have to sew through! Excuse the terrible color of the photo below. Bad lighting!)

2013-09-08 21.51.28 copy

I started this jumper back in 2010 when I was pregnant with Quil and didn’t get around to finishing it until a couple months before Ellis was born (2 years later -yikes!) I used the Tutu Onesy and Hat – Crochet pattern, sans the hat, by Lion Brand that I found on Ravelry. The pattern is sized for an 18-month old, but I modified it so that it would be for a newborn.

Ellis is about 3 and a half weeks old and it fits like a glove. I initially brought it to the hospital thinking she could wear it home, but it was still too big. Luckily, I tried it on her a couple days ago for the first time. Had I waited much longer, she might not have fit!
I used black Lion Brand Microspun yarn instead of the multi-color stripes in the pattern photo and removed the little skirt/ruffle thingy since I didn’t know if I was having a boy or a girl when I was pregnant with Q. Honestly, I probably would have removed the ruffle anyway because I’m not a fan of it to begin with. Also, I added snaps in the crotch area for easy access when changing baby’s diaper because it would be a pain in the butt to have to take this entire thing off every time.

Look at that cutie! If anyone else makes one, send me a photo! I would love to see :)


On Family, Uncategorized

She’s Here!

Hi hi! Apologies all around for being MIA. Finally getting around to sitting in front of the computer to do… computer-y things. Since Ellis was born (2 and a half weeks ago!), I have been solely connected via my iPhone and I can’t stand typing on that thing. My main interwebbing activity has been done through Instagram.

Slowly, slowly, slowly I’m getting around to emailing people back and such, but we’re still finding our balance around these parts when it comes to free time. Free time meaning free-of-baby-and-toddler-time, which is basically non-existent. I’m constantly having ideas for things that I want to blog about, but have resorted to just making lists of things to blog about.

Also, my grey hairs have seem to multiplied exponentially in such a short period of time. I wonder why…

So, without further ado, I’m happy to introduce the newest member of the clan, Ellis:

It seems like just yesterday we were announcing Q’s arrival. *Sigh*… they grow up so fast!

-c + a + Q

Image via

We’re still here – “Still one person,” as my boss likes to say.

This past week has been a swirling mass of craziness. So just an update on the progress of Baby Girl. And by progress, I mean the lack thereof.

Around 37 weeks or so we had an ultrasound (Side Note: I’ve had more than the “normal” amount of ultrasounds due to the fact that I have Graves Disease AND Gestational Diabetes. Sheesh.) and as it happens, during this ultrasound we find that the baby had turned head up after being head down for most of the pregnancy. So, this was bad news for me and major blow to my plans of having a VBAC and trying for a natural childbirth. Though my doctor assured me that there was still plenty of time for the baby to turn, we went ahead and scheduled a c-section for the 22nd (yesterday), just in case.

Fast forward to last Wednesday and all through that night the baby was moving so much I thought that I might be in labor. It was really painful, but I ended up falling asleep and waking up and baby was still chillin’ in utero. So, I called my doctor to be sure that the pain I was feeling was okay. They asked me to come in that afternoon, just to get it checked out and, lo-and-behold, the baby had turned and that’s what I was feeling all night!

I had my 39 week ultrasound on Monday and baby is still head down, so that means no scheduled c-section! And as happy as I am about not having to have a c-section, there was part of me that had already accepted it and was consoling myself with the idea that she would be here sooner than later. So, now I’m an emotional and physical wreck. Having to wait around until whenever the baby decides she is ready to arrive is torturous. Could be tonight… could be my due date (Aug. 27th)… could be a week AFTER my due date, eeek!

So, of course I have to occupy my time. I’m still going into the office – which is difficult, but a good way to keep my mind occupied.

And of course, just like when I was pregnant with Q, I have multiple projects in the works that I hope to post about soon!


This photo was taken exactly one year ago today – 08/08/11 – and I noticed it was taken on 8th Street! And look at little Q – his hairdo is hilarious.

This was from our yearly trip back to our home-away-from-home, New York City! We miss so many things about living there, mainly our friends. But also everything else the city has to offer – convenience, restaurants, sidewalks, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, I love where we live now. Nothing beats living close to family. With that said, I think not being able to take our yearly trip to NYC this year has made me wistful about city living. Maybe we’ll still be able to make the trip after the baby comes. I’m sure she will love it as much as Andrew, Q and I do.

Also, if you missed last year’s “One Year Ago” post, you can view it here. Aaahhh baby boy!


Finally! A million years later and I’m done with Baby Girl’s blanket. And yes, 3 weeks (or less) to go and we still don’t have a name picked out.

This is actually the only blanket that I’ve ever knitted. In the past, I’ve only made wearable things. I always thought making a blanket would just take too long. It did take a lot of time to make, but in the end, I’m happy that I did it.

Some details about the project you can read about in my previous blanket update. But just to reiterate, I got the pattern from the Purl Bee blog. I didn’t use any fancy yarns, just whatever they had at the local craft store. Next time, I think I will invest in some better quality yarn but I wanted to be sure I could commit to an entire blanket before shelling out cash for the good stuff. My color inspiration came from these blocks by Ambrosia Girl, but obviously I changed them up a bit. It was really the jumping off point. And since we are having a girl, I figured it would be good to balance out all the pink that, I’m sure, will be in her future.


Image via Flickr

I’m three days shy of being 36 weeks pregnant. Meaning four more weeks until my due date, which in turn means I have the luxury and right to complain (lovingly) about this last stretch. Being pregnant is, seriously, an amazing thing. Right now, as I type, I have a little naked person floating around in my body. I mean, that’s some crazy, other-wordly, type stuff we’re talking about here. But still, there are just some emotions, thoughts and situations that exist regardless of how awesome it is to be growing another human being. Just a couple things to note about my current state:

1. I basically, sorta, kinda (definitely) wore what constituted as pajamas to work one day this week. I just couldn’t handle regular clothes – if you can call maternity clothes “regular clothes”. And it felt great. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I wore an unfortunate combo of maternity clothes that when paired together looked like pajamas. But this time, I literally wore something that I would wear as pajamas.

2. As if dribbling food or drink on yourself doesn’t make you look slovenly enough. Imagine dribbling food or drink on a huge pregnant belly. It makes me look like a total slug. And this happens daily. I might as well walk around with Cheetos dust on my fingers too.

3. I feel extremely motivated to get things done, but am frustratingly hindered by my physical state. I am not one of those women who will be running a marathon at this point. Granted, even if I weren’t pregnant I wouldn’t be attempting such feats. However, not being able to just tend the garden (a whole other post) without help from Andrew is really really maddening.

4. I am  constantly amazed at the resilience of the human body. The fact that my skin hasn’t, literally, split open and spilled out some guts is pretty remarkable.

5. The past couple weeks seem to have taken as long as the previous 30 or so weeks combined. Why, oh why is time slowing down right now when I am most uncomfortable and unsightly?

6. My body hurts. The arches of my feet feel like they are falling. My legs ache. My belly is sore. Sometimes, I just have to lift up my stomach and carry it because my torso just needs a break. I’ve thought about this a lot in the past, the sheer amount of weight a pregnant woman carries around daily. I didn’t even gain that much this time around. I’m about average at 25-30lbs of weight gain. But have you ever thought about how much that actually is? That’s like carrying around 5-6 bags of flour or roughly 3-4 gallons of milk. I gained, like, 50lbs with Q. Have you ever carried 50lbs around? That’s craaay. I’m surprised my knees didn’t buckle with every step.

7. I’m exhausted. Just straight exhausted. Out-of-breath-melting-into-a-puddle-of-slobishness exhausted.

Sometimes, I think pregnancy and its trials are just a big lesson in swallowing your pride and realizing that you are just going to end up in a room full of strangers looking at your private bits.

But in the end, it’s all worth it.


Looking at my post from the other day, I was slightly depressed by not having any new photos to post (the one I posted was old and already posted to my Instagram account…boooring.) Since getting an iPhone I’ve been extra lazy about breaking out the real camera to take photos. Bad technology! Bad, bad! Ha!

Anyhoo, this post is an update on the baby blanket that I’ve been working on for the past 3 months or so. I found The Forever Baby Blanket pattern on one of my favorite crafting/fiber/blog sites, The Purl Bee.  I just wanted something super simple that I could zone out while doing or just sit and not have to be 100% focused on some elaborate pattern. I’m also relatively new to knitting so I didn’t want to be overwhelmed when I knew that the time I had to dedicate to crafting was going to be limited.

This blanket turned out to be just what I needed. The pattern itself is really simple, but not boring. It’s a rib knit so it’s thick and squishy with a lot of texture. My color inspiration came from these blocks (minus the gold + a lighter grey):

I’m still on the fence as to whether I’m going to use black. I bought some with the intention of using it, but when I put all the colors together it seemed too bold to me. Incorporating the lighter grey helps, but we’ll see. I’m winging it for the time being.

I didn’t use any fancy yarns (which I’m slightly regretting) but my reasoning was that 1.) I wanted to see if I was committed enough to finish an entire blanket and 2.) I was unsure if my skills justified using something a bit pricier. However, part of me is glad that I didn’t splurge on this particular project. I did mess up a bunch in the beginning when I was trying to catch my knitting stride so there are definitely some imperfections. I would have been super pissed if I bought nice yarn and wasn’t completely happy with how it turned out. But now that I feel a lot more confident in my skills, I think for my future projects I won’t’ feel intimidated spending a little more on better quality materials.

I’m hoping one day to have some of Andrew’s parents Alpaca wool processed and have someone spin it into yarn for me. Now THAT, my friends, would be super fancy.


This pregnancy has flown by. Only 6.5 weeks to go and I’m feeling the restlessness that comes with the last home stretch.

It’s a bit late in the pregnancy to be in the nesting phase, but having a 2-year-old, a new job, and a lingering illness to contend with has pushed us into month 8 with much still left to do. There is a reason they say you should get as much done as possible in the 2nd trimester because, dang, is it hard to do much with this huge belly.

When I was pregnant with Q, we had all the time in the world to just… do stuff. I was crafting up a storm. Andrew was building and baking awesome things. It’s taken me the entire pregnancy to knit one stinkin’ baby blanket (pictured above – back when I first started the darn thing months ago!) and the jury’s still out on whether it will be done by the time baby girl comes. I started a baby sweater, but I’ve given up any hope that particular project will get done.

Luckily, Andrew is super awesome and has been able to take the reins on many of the things on our to-do list. I just make lists at this point. Make lists and grow a baby. That’s my to-do list.

But still, however long our to-do list is, it feels good to have our little family getting it all done together. Hoping to have more photos of our progress in the near future!


Why, hello stranger?!

Almost forgot about this here blog. Not really, actually. It’s been in the back of my mind nagging at me for the past 9 months, chiding me on my neglectful ways! I just spent a little time the past couple days reading back on some old posts and it got me motivated to finally sit down and say “hello!”.

So many things can happen in 9 months, you know? Some highlights being:

  1. We’re having a baby girl, due Aug. 27th (yeah, that’s a big one.) Yikes, that’s soon.
  2. New job for me! Yay! I work at an amazing start-up in Cleveland with a bunch of equally amazing people. It truly is a joy to go to work everyday.
  3. Andrew had a rough patch with some health issues but he’s finally on the mend. Thanks to our supportive family and friends who helped us along the way.
  4. We took a wonderful trip to Denmark during the Christmas season. Which was mine and Andrew’s first plane ride together and Q’s first plane ride ever. More on that later.
  5. I’m sure there are many many more things that I’ll (hopefully) post about in the near future.

In other news, I’m in serious consideration of moving this blog over to WordPress. Mainly because I really want to play around more with customization and honing my html/css skills. I’m sure you will notice when that happens.

So until next time, hope you all are enjoying your summer thus far and staying cool. It’s been a scorcher lately!

Photos from my Instagram account. Like everyone else in the world, I’m addicted to it! Isn’t Q getting so big?! Eek!