Stacked Marauder’s Mugs

Every true Harry Potter fan knows about the four Marauders.  A group of Gryffindor friends made up of Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black, and James Potter, the four attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the 1970s and had a serious knack for rule-breaking…

The truest of friends during their time at Hogwarts, Pettigrew, Black, and Potter all became unregistered Animagi (a wizard who can turn into an animal) in order to protect their friend, Lupin, who was a werewolf.  Pettigrew’s Animagus was a rat, making him small enough to slip under the Whomping Willow so the group could go to the Shrieking Shack, where Lupin would stay during his time as a werewolf.  Black – a dog – and Potter – a stag – were both big enough as animals to help control Remus during his monthly transformations.

In order to protect their identity, the four Marauders gave each other names that nodded to their animal counterparts.  Throughout the Harry Potter series, these four are known as Moony (Lupin), Wormtail (Pettigrew), Padfoot (Black) and Prongs (Potter).

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Towards the end of their education, Remus, Peter, Sirius, and James created the Marauder’s Map, a small, bewitched roll of parchment that displayed the castle grounds and inhabitants of Hogwarts – including all staff, ghosts, and students – in great detail.  It showed where everyone was in the castle so the boys could continue their mischievous ways without getting caught, as well as help Lupin escape the castle when the full moon rose and he would begin his transformation.

At an unspecified point in time, the map was discovered and confiscated by Hogwarts caretaker, Argus Filch…and remained in his custody until Fred and George Weasley stole the map in their first year and later passed it on to James’s son, Harry, in 1993.

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Much of the history of the Four Marauders is introduced in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and continues to come up now and again throughout the remainder of the story.

Designed to pay homage to the four Marauder’s, these stacking bowls each feature the name of one of the Marauder’s, as well as the footprint of their animal counterparts on the back.

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Great for holding snacks, treats, or just odds and ends on your desk, these stacking bowls are a must for any Harry Potter fan, and are available for purchase at my Between the Pages Etsy shop!

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Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Living Inside a Story

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Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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Arroz con Pollo with Cilantro and Jalapenos

For the past two years, I’ve hosted a little Oscar viewing party, complete with themed foods and a comfy-clothes-only policy…it’s a very exclusive shin-dig 😉

I try to serve foods themed around the Best Picture nominees, and for the amazing film, Moonlight, I decided to create my own version of Kevin’s (Andre Holland) chef special, Chicken and Rice.

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Served with fresh cilantro and black beans, this Arroz con Pollo recipe is a light and refreshing dish that has a bright burst of citrus flavor.  You can use brown or white rice (make sure to cook it ahead of time!) and you can add a deeper chicken flavor to this dish by using chicken thighs and legs instead of breasts.

A spicy and tasty dinner that’s big enough to feed 6-8 hungry mouths, this Arroz con Pollo recipe is a great one to have in your back pocket for last-minute dinner parties or gatherings.

Arroz con Pollo with Cilantro and Jalapenos

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, skinless
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • 1 white or sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 2 limes, zest and juice
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 bag frozen corn (or canned corn)
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced (for garnish)

Directions:

  1. Cut chicken into 1 in. cubes.  Heat oil in pan and cook chicken on all sides until lightly browned.
  2. Add onion and garlic; stir until fragrant and onions have softened.  Add chopped jalapeno, chicken broth, chopped cilantro, lemon zest and juice of lemons, and lime zest and juice of limes.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked.
  3. Add cooked rice; mix to combine.  Add corn and beans.  Reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until heated through.
  4. Serve in pot or transfer to casserole dish.  Garnish with additional chopped cilantro and sliced jalapeno.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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This Time Together Book Review

Back when my whole family lived under one roof, I remember spending many a sleepless nights watching The Carol Burnett Show on On Demand.  Always entertaining and filled with an amazing cast of guest stars (including Jimmy Stewart, Lucille Ball, Cary Grant, and Julie Andrews, just to name a few!), The Carol Burnett Show was always a joy to watch.  I loved how much the cast loved each other…and how much they loved and respected Carol herself.  It was a beacon in the realm of TV comedy and won an impressive 25 Emmys during its long 11-year run.

One thing I really enjoyed about The Carol Burnett Show was Carol’s genuine love for what she did.  Just watch one show, one scene even, and it will be so clear to see that this woman lives to make people laugh.

Unlike several of her colleagues, Carol Burnett is one of the most authentic actresses on film and TV today…what you see is what you get.  That same funny, irreverent, and irresistible person you see on The Carol Burnett Show, Annie, Noises Off!, and Glee is the same funny lady off-screen, too…she’s just as sweet and warm as you’d imagine…and the proof lies in her most recent autobiography, This Time Together.

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A heartwarming memoir filled with hilarious and touching stories, This Time Together is a collection of Carol’s most cherished memories from her personal and professional life.  Filled with adorable photos of Carol and her posse, this book feels like sitting down with an old friend who has amazing stories and photos to share.

From her life-long friendships with some of the world’s most well-known entertainers to her heartbreaking story of losing her daughter to cancer, Carol’s poignant look back at her amazing legacy will leave you laughing and crying alongside her.  By the end of the book, she’ll feel like an old friend, a soul mate, a dear companion who, despite all odds, reminds us that laughter really is the best medicine of all.

 

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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45 Fun Facts About Breaking Bad

Let’s face facts…Breaking Bad is easily one of the best TV shows ever.

breaking bad bryan cranston walter white correct thats right

Starring Bryan Cranston as Walter White and Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, Breaking Bad was part of the golden age of AMC, airing alongside such classics as The Walking Dead and Mad Men.  A story with a simple plot (a cancer patient decides to make meth to raise money for his treatments), Breaking Bad set the bar for amazing television programming, combining tormented characters with intoxicating storylines to keep viewers addicted to the program week after week.

Set and filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Breaking Bad was a modern day western, complete with good guys, bad guys, and a heavy dose of casualties.  In its short 5 seasons, Breaking Bad took viewers from this…

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…to this…

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…and by the end, we were just hoping we’d make it out alive.

I’m currently rewatching Breaking Bad for the 3rd or 4th time now, and thought I’d share some interesting facts I’ve learned about this amazing show.  If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen Breaking Bad, note that there are spoilers ahead…you’ve been warned!

With a large fandom that continues to binge watch this amazing series, I think it’s safe to say that Breaking Bad will continue to be a cultural phenomenon for years to come…and whether you love Walt or you hate him, you can’t deny that man’s got us all by the…well, you know…

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45 Fun Facts About Breaking Bad

The name Walter White gives to his alter ego, “Heisenberg”, is a shout out to Werner Heisenberg, one of the most important physicists of the 20th century.  He won the Nobel Prize for developing the theory of quantum mechanics.

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The cast of Breaking Bad is filled with comedians. Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman), Bill Burr (Kuby), Lavell Crawford (Huell), Steven Michael Quezada (Steve Gomie), and Javier Grajeda (Juan Bolsa) have all done stand-up or comedic acting.  Even front-runner Bryan Cranston (Walter White) spent a few years doing stand-up before making it in Hollywood.

Gus Fring’s death was actually based on a real story. Rocket scientist John Parsons came to an unfortunate end when he was making up a batch of mercury fulminate for a special effects project.  Something went wrong and the batch blew up in his face.  He supposedly survived several hours with half of his face peeled off before finally succumbing to his injuries.

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Lovers of Breaking Bad and AMC’s other amazing show, The Walking Dead, know that there are several parallels between the two shows…one being that famed zombie artist, Greg Nicotero, who is the mastermind behind the zombies on TWD, was brought on to help create the final look of Fring’s blown off face. According to producer Vince Gilligan, it took months to get it right.

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Actress Julia Minesci, who plays the meth addict and hooker Wendy, is actually much healthier than she looks. She’s done the Hawaii Ironman six times, the Germany Ironman once, and has run countless marathons in between.

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Gale’s complete karaoke video is on YouTube.

Several of the residences in Breaking Bad are real family homes, including the homes of Walter White and Hank and Marie Schrader. You can see both homes, and many other famous Breaking Bad filming locations, on the Albuquerque Breaking Bad tour.

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The coordinates that Walt hides on a Lotto ticket reminding him of where his money is buried actually point to Q Studios in Albuquerque, where Breaking Bad was filmed.

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Los Pollos Hermanos, the restaurant of Gus Fring, is actually a real chicken restaurant in Albuquerque. Named Twisters in real life, the restaurant still sports the painted chicken brothers logo on the inside.

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Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston actually first met on the set of The X Files. Gillian wrote an episode called “Drive” and he needed to cast an actor who “could be scary and kind of loathsome but at the same time had a deep, resounding humanity”…hmmm…sound familiar?  Cranston got the part and Gilligan would later approach him again to star in his new show, Breaking Bad.

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The now famous Heisenberg Hat was originally given to Cranston to prevent sunburn on his shaved head.

Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn (Skyler White), Bob Odenkirk, and Jessica Hecht (Gretchen) were all guest-stars on Seinfeld.

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The science behind Breaking Bad is flawed for a reason. Show creators felt that viewers might try to emulate Walter’s recipe based on what happens in the show, so Gilligan had a real DEA crew on set to advise him on what science to include and what to leave out.

Besides the popular Breaking Bad tours, New Mexico also offers blue meth candy, blue meth doughnuts, locally brewed Heisenberg beer, Heisenberg Pez dispensers and much more.

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After watching Season 5, Episode 14 – “Ozmandias” – George R.R. Martin called Walter White “a bigger monster than anyone in Game of Thrones”.

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Besides winning three Primetime Emmy Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, A Critics’ Choice Award, and having slew of other wins and nominations under his belt, actor Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman) has never had one acting class…just a natural heart-breaker!

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Nearly two decades before Breaking Bad, Cranston was in the original Power Rangers!, voicing the character of the Twin Man. The Blue Ranger (Billy Cranston) was also named after him…kind of had to be the blue one, right?

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Jesse Pinkman was actually supposed to be killed off at the end of the first season…however, the chemistry between Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston was so strong and Paul was such a joy to work with that Gillian said it would be a “colossal mistake to kill off Jesse”. Yeah, bitch!

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On the final day of filming the show, Cranston got a Breaking Bad tattoo on the inside of his finger. Aaron Paul also has “No Half Measures” tattooed on his arm.

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Image result for aaron paul, breaking bad tattoo

According to Anna Gunn, Cranston cried for 15 minutes after filming the scene in which Walt watches Jesse’s girlfriend Jane die.

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The first, fourth, tenth, and thirteenth episodes of season 2 all have black and white teaser intros. When you combine the titles for those episodes, you get Seven Thirty-Seven/Down/Over/ABQ – foreshadowing the plane crash at the end of the season.

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The iconic “roof pizza” scene was shot on the very first take.  #pro

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Ironically, Christopher Cousins (Ted Beneke) needed a stunt man to film his neck-breaking scene because Cousins himself was recovering from spinal surgery.

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While RJ Mitte (Walt Jr.) does have cerebral palsy, he walks without crutches and had to learn how to walk with them for his role on the show.

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There are 62 episodes total of Breaking Bad. The 62nd element on the periodic table is Samarium, which is used to treat pain in lung cancer patients.

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Walt Jr. is the only major character that Jesse Pinkman never meets or encounters throughout the entire series.

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There are 270 deaths throughout the five seasons of Breaking Bad.

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Walt Jr.’s site, http://www.savewalterwhite.com, is a real website. Donations made on the site go to the National Cancer Coalition.  Click on the banner to check it out!

Save Walter White

The final episode of the series, “Felina”, can be broken up into three elements: Fe, Li, Na – iron, lithium, and sodium…or blood, meth, and tears.

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In the premiere episode of the 5th and final season, the camera lingers on Walt’s New Hampshire plate, showing the state motto, “Live Free or Die”. This is the name of the season 5 premiere and also foreshadows the outcome of the two main characters.

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Before signing with AMC, a lot of networks passed on Breaking Bad, including HBO, Showtime, TNT, and FX.

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Whenever you see the blue meth on screen on Breaking Bad, what you’re actually seeing is blue rock candy…specifically blue rock candy from The Candy Lady, a boutique candy store in Albuquerque. They now have a whole line of Breaking Bad-inspired treats, which they sell under The Bad Candy Lady line.

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Jesse Pinkman says his famed “Bitch!” 54 times throughout the series. That’s roughly once per episode.

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Marius Stan, who played Walter’s boss, Bogdan, at the car wash, has a PhD in chemistry and is a Senior Computational Energy Scientist at Argonne National Lab.

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Jonathan Banks (Mike Ehrmantraut) was beloved by cast and crew alike. On his last day on set, everyone wore black armbands in his memory.

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Gilligan’s one regret about the show: Jesse’s teeth.  Jesse took a lot of beatings throughout the show and obviously used meth and other drugs.  In real life, Jesse’s teeth would have probably been terrible.  But…dat smile…SWOON.

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Aaron Paul was once a contestant on The Price is Right. Hold on to your ovaries, ladies…

Aaron Paul also auditioned for the role of Francis in Malcolm in the Middle, meaning he would have played Bryan Cranston’s son 8 years before Breaking Bad.

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Another Walking Dead Easter egg…The car that Walt buys Walt Jr. is the same car Glenn drives in The Walking Dead.

Furthermore, the general manager who sold Walt the car was named Glenn.

There are also a bunch of fan theories that Jesse Pinkman was the drug dealer for The Walking Dead character, Merle Dixon.

Shooting the series in New Mexico pumped about $1 million per episode into the local economy.

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The term “breaking bad” is a southern colloquialism, referring to someone who has taken a turn off the path of the straight and narrow.

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Bryan Cranston and Dean Norris (Hank Schrader) also appeared in Little Miss Sunshine, which was also filmed on location in Albuquerque.  Cranston was the agent Stan Grossman and Norris was the police officer that investigated the bus after the horn on the bus broke.

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Image result for bryan cranston, little miss sunshine

It should come as no surprise that the bromance between Cranston and Paul is alive and stronger than ever.  They still talk often and Cranston was even a groomsmen in Aaron Paul’s wedding.

Breaking Bad guys:

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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Little Crocheted Robot

You guys…I am in LOVE.

Just look at this adorable little crocheted robot!! DON’T YOU WANT TO GIVE HIM ALL THE SNUGGLES??!!??!

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I saw a similar robot to this while browsing Pinterest one day, but could not find a pattern to make one of my own…so I decided to write one myself! Therefore, I present to you my first 100% hand-written crochet pattern!

Yay!

I love this little robot so much…and this project works up surprisingly fast. Nonstop you could easily make one in a couple hours. I think I might have to make him a little robot buddy or lady friend so he’s not lonely!

Want to make one of your own? Check out the free crochet pattern below!

Little Crocheted Robot

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Materials:

  • Worsted weight yarn in the color of your choice (I used Red Heart Spring Green)
  • 4.0 mm crochet hook
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors
  • Various buttons and embellishments
  • Embroidery thread
  • Pipe cleaners

 

Instructions (Head):

Front and Back Head Panels (make 2):

  • Chain 13.
  • SC in second chain from hook, and in each chain across (12 SC).
  • Ch. 1, turn. SC in second chain from hook, and in each chain across (12 SC).
  • Repeat previous row 8 more times for a total of 10 rows.
  • Bind off.

Top and Bottom Head Panels (make 2):

  • Chain 13.
  • SC in second chain from hook, and in each chain across (12 SC).
  • Ch. 1, turn. SC in second chain from hook, and in each chain across (12 SC).
  • Repeat previous row 3 more times for a total of 5 rows.
  • Bind off.

Side Head Panels (make 2):

  • Chain 6.
  • SC in second chain from hook, and in each chain across (5 SC).
  • Ch. 1, turn. SC in second chain from hook, and in each chain across (5 SC).
  • Repeat previous row 7 more times for a total of 9 rows.
  • Bind off.

Head Assembly:
Keep in mind that the side you seam is the front side, this piece will not be turned inside out. You want those sharp defined lines on the outside of your robot.

  • Join front head panel to top head panel by lining up both pieces on the long sides and SC through both stitches to join.
  • Join bottom panel to bottom of top head panel.
  • Join back head panel to bottom of bottom head panel.
  • When completed, your piece should look like this:

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  • Join top of side panel to side of top head panel. Repeat on other side. Now your piece should look like this:

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  • Continue joining the left side panel to the sides of the front and back panels and bottom panel. Leave the right side panel open for stuffing.
  • Now your piece should look like this:

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  • Now it’s time to weave in all those ends!
  • Phew! Now this is what the head of your robot should look like, with the right panel still open:

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Now is also a great time to add facial features to your robot.

Once your facial features have been added, stuff the head, pushing stuffing into the corners to create a more defined corner. Join right panel to sides of the front and back panels and bottom panel. Cast off and weave in ends.

Yay! Here’s our finished head piece:

crocheted-robot-head

Instructions (Body):

Front and Back Body Panels (make 2):

  • Chain 9.
  • SC in second chain from hook, and in each chain across (8 SC).
  • Ch. 1, turn. SC in second chain from hook, and in each chain across (8 SC).
  • Repeat previous row 3 more times for a total of 5 rows.
  • Bind off.

Top and Bottom Body Panels (make 2):

  • Chain 9.
  • SC in second chain from hook, and in each chain across (8 SC).
  • Ch. 1, turn. SC in second chain from hook, and in each chain across (8 SC).
  • Repeat previous row 3 more times for a total of 5 rows.
  • Bind off.

Side Body Panels (make 2):

  • Chain 5.
  • SC in second chain from hook, and in each chain across (4 SC).
  • Ch. 1, turn. SC in second chain from hook, and in each chain across (4 SC).
  • Repeat previous row 6 more times for a total of 8 rows.
  • Bind off.

Body Assembly:

  • Join body panels exactly like head panels, leaving one side panel open for stuffing.
  • Add any embellishments to body.
  • Stuff body and join remaining open panel. Weave in ends.

And here’s our finished body piece:

crocheted-robot-body

Instructions (Assembly):

Assembling your little robot is super easy! Simply thread your tapestry needle with some excess green thread and run it through the middle three stitches on the top panel of the body and then through the middle three stitches on the bottom panel of the head. I took a pic of mine so you can see…I ran it through twice…so the body dangles just a little from the head, but I love it that way!

crocheted-robot-assembly

Then just weave in the ends from that string and your robot is ready.

To add arms, legs, and head pieces, I just used pipe cleaners and shoved them into the spaces between my stitches. For the arms, I cut a pipe cleaner in half, then in half again, then wound the ends into small spirals. Then just shove the straight end into each side of the body. I did the same for the legs and the yellow head pieces.

I also added a string to the top of the robot so he could hang if he wanted to!

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When completed, this little guy is a little bigger than my hand and I just love how he turned out! I need to make another so he has a friend!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this fun pattern! I had a great time writing it and I’m in love with this little buddy! ❤

 

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Beautiful Melodies

beautiful-melodies

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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