I Otterly Love You

One of my favorite YouTube videos is of a pair of sea otters floating around holding hands. It’s just sooo gosh darn cute. And yes, they actually do hold hands. It helps keep them from drifting apart while they’re floating around.

It seems that sea otters have worked their way into popular culture lately. A quick search on Etsy alone pulls up over 2,000 results.  One of my favorites is this super cute enamel “You’re My Significant Otter” pin sold by Tiny Bee Cards on Etsy:


So when I  asked to test an amigurumi pattern of a sea otter, I jumped at the chance! Tommy over at Snips And Stitches Shop on Etsy recently released his Emmet the Otter crochet pattern and it is just too cute. I love making amigurumi–they’re usually smaller projects (in comparison to my graphgans) and easy to do while on-the-go. My Emmet the Otter was worked up using my favorite–I Love This Yarn line from Hobby Lobby.



Happy Fall!!!

Fall is my time of the year. I love seeing all the leaves changing colors. It truly is a magical sight to see. I grew up in Hawaii where there is no fall. When I moved away from the islands at 25 years old, I immediately fell in love with the drop in temperature and the beautiful colors of fall. One of my favorite things to do is have a glass of hot apple cider and sit by the firepit in our backyard with a campfire going–all while wearing a sweater. Now, because of where I live, our fall is short (sometimes you can wear shorts on Thanksgiving), but that just means I savor every moment.

To celebrate the first day of fall, I have designed a few fall themed graphing panels that you can grab for free, right here on my blog.

Like I said earlier, I love hot apple cider. Don’t throw rocks at me, but I don’t understand the love for pumpkin spice lattes. My husband loves them, but I’d rather have some hot apple cider. So, the panel I chose to work up is my Hot Apple Cider. I plan on turning this into a fall throw pillow for my living room–it’s the perfect size!

hot apple cider.jpg

For those of you who are PSL fans, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered:

PSL graph

Just because I’m not a PSL fan, doesn’t mean I don’t like pumpkin! I love pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin graph

These graphs are the perfect size for making a seasonal throw pillow or two. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, you could always arrange them in a grid and make a small lap blanket!

fall throw

To grab your FREE copy of my FALL TRIO graphs, just click on this link. It’ll take you to a Google Drive document that you can download at your leisure.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Be sure to tag me (#ChaosAndChopSuey) in your photos so I can check them out (and possibly feature)!


Happy Fall y’all!

<3, Angela

Valentine c2c Potholder

Confession: When I learned how to crochet, I totally bypassed the potholder and scarf phase. I jumped right in and made a large amigurumi unicorn for my daughter. I didn’t want to ‘waste me time’ dawdling with things like potholders. I wanted to jump right in and made something useful. At the time, I didn’t have any need for potholders. Funnily enough, I’m at a point right now where, I really do need some new potholders. Ahh…the irony!


In my last post, you may have seen my video tutorials for how I work up a mini corner-to-corner (c2c) graph. True to my ‘make pretty but useful stuff’ nature, I decided to make one of those handy dandy potholders I am in need of using that little heart graph from my video tutorials.



Valentine c2c Potholder


  • Cotton yarn (I used various scrap cotton yarn in white, Pastel Azul (Premier Home Cotton), and Country Red (Sugar ‘n Cream)
  • Size 5.00mm hook
  • Yarn needle
  • Scissors



Using the HEART GRAPH found here, work up 2 of these heart squares. Need help working on them? Find the videos here. Make sure you make 2 of them now so you won’t burn your hands! I always do a round of sc on my c2c pieces. Always. Makes joining pieces together so much easier. Seriously. You’ll thank me.Now, finish them off and weave in all your ends.


Now, holding them together, back to back, using the background color (mint) sc in every stitch all the way around, doing a sc+chain 2+sc in each corner. EXCEPT for ONE corner where you will make your big loop for your potholder (like all potholders seem to have). I chose the top left corner for my large loop and did a sc+chain 10+sc in that corner. Fasten off and weave in end.

For the next 3 rounds (red, then white, then mint), I did a simple moss stitch (sc+chain 1, skip next stitch, sc+chain 1 in next stitch, skip next stitch) all the way around EXCEPT in the corners. Normal corners had the same sc+chain 2+sc as the round before. The large loop in the corner is a bit different. In the first moss stitch round, when you get to the large loop corner, sc around the entire length of the loop and then continue on with the moss stitch when you get to the other length of the square. For the following rounds, you will sc in each stitch on the corner with the large loop. The first row of moss stitch was done in red, then white, then mint for the last row.


The Price of Pretty

I like glitter. Probably a little too much. My mom says I’ve always loved glitter…on everything. I also happen to like glue. I like scissors and tape and pretty paper. I love yarn and my sewing machine. I love beads and wire and buttons. Don’t forget about the buttons. And felt and fabric (but let’s skipping the ironing part of sewing, because really, who likes to iron?). These are the random things that make me happy and get the wheels turning in my head. I dream in crafty-vision.

b85f2c0632ad436d90684ed74deedfc6I grew up with an extremely crafty mother. I mean, seriously. I can remember my mom teaching me how to sew on her sewing machine with pieces of scrap fabric when I was little. Probably before I even started kindergarten. And then it was cross-stitch. And then it was following sewing patterns on my mother’s sewing machine. And then scrapbooking came into the picture. Then beading. It was a lot of fun having a mother that crafted. Sometimes we worked together, but sometimes it was nice to just go at it alone.

I know my love for creating things came from my mother. And I’m grateful that she shared that with me. Not only did I inherit her crafty her hands, but learned how to visualize and plan out a project from start to finish. She taught me how to have a vision and think outside the box to see it through. I learned perseverance. I gained confidence and self esteem with each project I finish and each obstacle I overcame.

df9b8b8d0a90f2199f73c2e492407890If you’re not a crafty person, you may not see these things in a finished piece of work, but a lot more goes into handmade items than just the basic materials. Sometimes it’s more than blood, sweat, and tears. Sometimes it’s a string of 4-letter words not meant for my toddlers’ ear and more tears. But there’s always love and passion put into handmade items. With your finished handmade item, you are receiving a bit of the artist behind it-the hours and hours it took perfecting their craft; the countless failed attempts at the final project (think: versions of technology that are released. There are ALWAYS prototypes.); and the time it took to create the item.


ee5f6ea56616da80a4e67888fca447ceBefore you hire an accountant, you make sure that they have the proper credentials. While the artist of a handmade item may not have earned a special degree to create the item, it doesn’t mean you should discount their experience any less. The next time you receive a handmade gift or gawk at the price tag on a handmade item, just remember that more goes into handmade items than materials.

Now that my mom and I live so far apart, we don’t have the opportunity to do crafty projects together often. But when she does come to visit, I ALWAYS have a project or two for us to work on. Same thing when I visit. Now that I am a mother myself, all three generations get to be crafty together! Hopefully I will pass on the same love and appreciation for handcrafted things to my children, if not the love for creating.

Happy crafting!