Friday, July 18, 2014

BLOWING UP PUMPKIN HEAD .....

What happens when you blow this up .....


Well, you get this .....


This "little" guy was part of a gift, that I sent to my friend Val, for her birthday. It seems odd to many of you, I'm sure, but for our group of zombie doll swappers, it makes perfect sense :-)
I took the teeny tiny pattern to Office Depot, and got them to enlarge it ..... the head pattern piece fills approximately 75% of an 8,5" x 11" sheet of paper. He was fun to make. I crocheted a long length of chain stitch with the red yarn, to use for his brains !!!

Hope your day is a sunny, summery one :-)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

REUSABLE GROCERY BAGS ....

This is the day and age of  The 3 R"s (Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse). I think it's awesome, that we're being encouraged to dispose of less stuff. Stuff that fills up landfills, or just lies around and makes a mess.
Back home, plastic grocery bags are not just given out, you have to pay for them. This has greatly reduced the amount of plastic litter lying around, and must certainly make people more aware of what they do with their bags. I am no fan of the plastic grocery bag - I'll go as far as to say, that I detest them .... they're so flimsy anyway. Nine times out of ten, they break before you even get them home. There is no substitute for a good, reusable grocery bag ..... hey, you get to choose your fabrics, your colors, your designs !!! Now, why wouldn't that be appealing :-)

I found this See & Sew pattern last week ........ definately my new favorite !!!


 It's quick and easy to put together, but my most favorite part ....... it folds up to the size of a little notebook. Perfect to pop in your bag, without taking up too much space. See for yourself ...


All they require is a yard of fabric, and a pack of binding,  three inches of velcro, and an hour or so of your time. Such a great way to use up those pieces of fabric that you bought way back when, but now have absolutely no clue, what you were going to make with them ..... let's be honest, we all have some of those in our stashes.



As you can see, I joined the handles in two different orientations, to see whether I prefered one over the other ..... the verdict - I like them both equally. These bags are roomy !!! Both the bags above, are View A on the pattern ....... I'm guessing View B will be ginormous !!!

Can't believe the weekend is already over ...... It's been a HOT one here - the first time this summer, that we've crept over 100 deg F !!! We have a busy week ahead .... Richard heads off to a 10 day Scout Camp in Missouri ...... and we have a cold front coming through ..... 63 Deg F at night - never dreamt it was possible here in Texas in July :-)

Monday, July 7, 2014

CALORIE FREE SWEET TREATS ....

I had a little free time over the past week - I didn't have a specific project on the go, that required my attention, so I decided to make another batch of goodies for the Enchanted Woods World Record Crochet attempt. One of the "lands", the kiddos visit in the book, is a Candyland (it's not called that exactly, but that's what it is ...... a land full of candy, cakes and lots of sweet treats).


So cute .... I had so much fun hooking these up. Super quick, super easy and ever so charming :-)
I wish Brittany was 4 years old again ....... we'd have the most delightful tea parties !!!


These donuts just make me smile ..... frosting and sprinkle ..... Yummy !!!


Who doesn't love chocolate chip cookies !!!!
Cupcakes and lollipops complete the spread.

Here are the links to the patterns I used .....
THIS DONUT PATTERN can be found on this lovely blog.
THESE IMAGES were the inspiration for my cookies. I just single crocheted in the round (amigurumi style), until I thought they were big enough.
THIS SWEET LITTLE CUPCAKE was shared by this kind blogger.
THESE LOVELY LOLLIPOPS can be found among the many free patterns Lion Brand have on their website.

This week is a different story however ..... I have a few birthday presents I need to get started on ...... I'm excited to see how they turn out !!! Watch this space, as I'll be sharing them with you in the days to come.
Hope your day is full of sunshine and fun !!!!

Monday, June 30, 2014

KITCHEN CHIT CHAT ....

Summer is well and truly here .... I find we tend to eat lighter meals at this time of the year. Fresh fruit often replaces vegetables as our sides - a very popular substitution too, I might add :-)
I love browsing through recipes ..... Pinterest has made this so much easier and more enjoyable. My recipe board is choc full of delicious, eye candy, that I'm systematically trying to work my way through.

That being said, I hit on two gems last week. When a recipe is requested twice in one week in our home, it's a winner !!!
Brittany found the first recipe ...... she eats virtually no meat. I try to get her too occasionally, but more often than not, it's a no go. Vegetarian recipes can be a bit bland and boring a lot of the time, so when we come upon a goodie, there's much rejoicing.



THIS POTATO PIE RECIPE was outstanding !!! Layers of potato, scallions, parsley and swiss cheese, sandwiched between layers of puff pastry, and then moistened with a creamy, garlic and nutmeg sauce ...... Oh yes ... heavenly, for sure :-) My family argued over the leftovers .....

Next up .....


GARLIC CAPRESE BREAD ... what's there not too love? The balsamic glaze that you pour over this, is yummy !!! I could have eaten it by the spoonful.

I can highly recommend both of these recipes - so worth it too give them a try.

For me, it's back to Pinterest ..... Let's see what culinary delight I can find for us to have for dinner tonight :-)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

BONEYARD SHAWL ....

Many many moons ago, I started knitting this shawl. I made really great progress in the beginning, but then I guess other projects jumped too the top of my priority list, and this shawl got put aside, while I took care of those other projects. Yes, that was about 2 years ago !!!!

At the beginning of summer, I decided that those WIP of mine (there is still another one, that I'm busy with .... also from a couple of years ago :-), were going to get finished !!! I'm not casting on another stitch, until they're done !!!
So I picked up this shawl, and continued knitting ...... it wasn't too far from being finished anyway.



It is The Boneyard Shawl, designed by Stephen West. It was an easy knit .... those long rows of garter stitch and purl, are very therapeutic. It's a pattern I'd definately knit again.

I used a LionBrand yarn, called Amazing (not too sure whether it's even available anymore). The color is Cobblestone. It's a very light weight yarn, but it's very warm. To obtain this length shawl, I used 8 balls of yarn.

It's part of my Mother In Law's birthday present, together with those blank cards I showed you in my previous post.
What's a birthday present without a birthday cards .....


This is called a bendy card .... Pinterest has a multitude of examples. I'd never heard of them, but by all accounts they're as old as time itself. 
HERE'S the instructions I followed to make my card. Very cute, with so many possible ways to embellish it :-)

Hope your Summer is going well ... Full of days spent making lifelong memories !!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

CARDS, CARDS ...... AND MORE CARDS !!!

I've been busy with the paper and adhesive again ...... I find it quite funny, how I seem to do specific crafts in little pouches of time ...... It's all about paper at the moment, although to be honest, there's a  lot of knitting going on around here too. Summer heat .... Living in Texas .... I know, it makes completely no sense at all !!!

It is my Mother In Laws birthday later on this week (her gift is going to be late ..... why did they have to retire the Concorde ? I could do with it's speedy ability right about now). Last year I made her a big bunch of assorted blank cards, and she loved them. So much so, that she requested some more, for her birthday this year.

Here's a peek for you ..... All of my inspiration came from Pinterest.









This one is one of my favorites .... It's got a little bookmark incorporated into it :-)
I tried to include a variety of different cards, as she sends to young people, older people, males, females ...
I hope she likes them - I had fun making them for her.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

PAPER PIECED CHALLENGE ....

I've made two sets of the paper pieced hot pads I've shared with you, and I've really enjoyed the process. I've been on the lookout for another paper piecing pattern, one that offered a bit more of a challenge. Browsing Pinterest, I found THIS PAPER PIECED STAR PATTERN. The kind lady who put it together was offering it, and three other paper pieced patterns as freebies. I signed up, received the patterns (within 10 minutes of signing up :-) ..... then I sat debating as to whether I really had what was needed to complete it. It's huge ..... had lots of sheets of paper, that needed to be cut and joined together .... and there was A LOT of paper piecing to be done !!!
What the heck ...... I didn't have anything to loose. If it didn't work out, the trash can was near by, and nobody would ever need to know that I'd attempted it.
I had two fat quarter packs, five pieces in each pack of fabric, in different shades of blue. Time to get cutting and sewing ..... not forgetting the ironing that goes with this kind of project !!!

Here's the back of the project ..... see what I mean by LOTS of paper piecing ....


The four corner blocks are pieced together individually, and then attached to a central square, by four strips.
It is far from perfect, but I'm thrilled about how well it turned out. The completed square measures 24" by 24", so they are big. I'm wondering whether I have it in me, to make another eight of those squares, join them with sashing, and create a quilt ...... Hmmm, maybe it needs to be one of those projects that's created over time. Although, this square only took me two days, working for a few hours on each of those days.

Here's the front ...


I need lots more practice to reach even close to perfection, but for a first try, I'm very happy with this square. A square every couple of weeks .... this may just be doable :-)