Monday, June 30, 2014


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


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


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


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 :-)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


It often amazes me, as to just how versatile paper is .... there are limitless things you can do with it. Cut, fold, glue .... and a lovely creation is born !!!

Today it's a very special friends birthday .... we're kindred spirits, both foreigners in an adopted land, and we both happen to come from South Africa. It's awesome to have a friend like that, someone who knows just how you feel (and more often than not, feels the same way you do), because she's walked the same path.
Birthdays call for presents of the best kind ..... Handmade, with lots of love.

I love the Stempeleinmaleins Blog ..... it is a paper crafter's dream. Every Saturday they post a new tutorial ..... they're all so good, and so well written (the Blog is a German Blog, but the Saturday tutorial is also written in English, or has a link to English instructions.). A couple of weeks ago they posted THIS TUTORIAL, and today I gave it a try ....... so stinkin cute !!!

This is what the lid looks like.

Filled with some homemade peanut clusters ..... Yummy !!! It holds a dozen of them, so it is fairly roomy inside.
I could think of a million different ways to embellish this little basket .....  think I may be busy :-)

No birthday gift is complete without a card ....

I've been meaning to give these flower pot cards a try ....... just Google flower pot card tutorial, and you'll be spoiled for choice.
It was quick and easy to do .... again, the flowers you choose to decorate your pot with, can change the look of this card completely.
As you can see, the flowers attach to the pull out piece you write on .... so cute :-)

Well Summer is definately here ....... We're in the mid to upper 90's daily now !!! Oh how grateful I am to that inventive person, who came up with the idea of air conditioning ..... they're a Saint in my book.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


I love today ...... a day set aside to celebrate not only our own Dads (and mine just happens to be super fantastic :-), but also those sweet men, alongside whom, we've chosen to raise our kiddos ..... our hubby's !!!

We're not doing anything fancy ..... cards, some yummy imported chocolate bars, a special dinner, and an even more special dessert !!!  And lots of extra hugs and kisses !!!!

 I made the cards that the kids gave to hubby.
The card Richard gave Dad ...... they're great fishing buddies, and just last night spent a couple of hours hauling in some catfish ....
All of those fish were returned to the water unharmed :-)

Brittany is Minion mad ...... she loves those cute little, yellow creatures !!!
When I saw this card on Pinterest, it was too good an opportunity to miss.

Now for that super special dessert ...... back home, we have a dessert called Koek Susters (I've posted on them before ..... waaaay back !!!). They're laden with calories, take a fair bit of prep time, but are worth every calorie and minute of that time. Flash fried dough plaits, that are tossed in an ice cold syrup, while they're still HOT !!! They soak up the syrup, and are just YUM ... YUM ... YUM ... !!!!

This particular recipe came up on my Facebook feed during the week .... a definite use again. There are differences in the colors, as I played around with frying time .... personally, I like the ones that have been fried for a little longer, but hey, there's no such thing as a bad Koek Suster (pronounced cook sister).

Hoping you've all enjoyed a wonderful and relaxing Fathers Day.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


I've heard these being talked about on various crafty blogs, but have never really paid much attention too them. Then Lucy from Attic24, posted about some she had made .... colorful, pretty, and totally decorative. I think we've established that they really don't have a practical use ..... but who wants practical anyway !!!!
Then she made THIS REQUEST. It was too good an opportunity for me to pass up .... I'm a Lucy fan. It was finding her blog, a couple of years back, that reignited my desire to take up crochet again .... and advance past a granny square ..... not that I have anything against a granny square, I do love them !!!!

I found THIS LOVELY FREE PATTERN, and decided to give it a try. While the house was still quiet, and everyone was asleep yesterday morning (Ahhh - you've gotta LOVE summer ), I gathered up some little sample balls of yarn I'd got as a magazine freebie on my last trip to the UK, made a cup of tea, and plonked myself down in front of the computer, to learn something new.
This was the result, of just a few hours crocheting ....

I love it !!! I learned a new stitch too ... The Puffy Stitch. Jacquie's tutorial was so good .... easy to follow, with lots of pictures, to help you on your way. I stiffened it last night, as was requested, and will now pop it in an envelope, and send it on its way, to be part of the Yarndale project. 
This will most certainly not be the last one I make - I quite fancy making some more, and sewing them onto cushion cover. There are so many different patterns out there in blogland - we're spoilt for choice.

Until next time ....

Sunday, June 8, 2014


I love this idea .... the idea of using fiber art to brighten up something !!!!
I came across this on my Facebook Feed last week ....

This Yarn Bomb project, is serving two purposes :
To break a World Crochet Record, and to provide a gorgeous Enchanted Garden, that will be enjoyed by the children and their families, who are being cared for by Little Havens Hospice. This is a Hospice in the UK, that cares for terminally ill children, and offers support to their families.
I love the idea, and can't think of a more worthwhile project to contribute too.

A bonus for me, is that they took their inspiration from the children's book The Enchanted Woods, written by Enid Blyton. I was very shocked to learn, once arriving in the USA, that Enid Blyton is not a name familiar to the majority of Americans ...... what a shame !!! To me, she remains THE best author of children's literature ever. I have many of her books .... treasured possessions ... that I've bought on various trips to the UK. This is a fun, enchanted story, that will spark the imagination of any child. The grammar is perfect, the vocabulary is great and best of all ...... there's no slang !!!!

I have made two items, that will be popped in the mail tomorrow ...

Little Flower Fairy ..... I used THIS FREE PATTERN, to make her. I wanted her to have a skirt that looked like petals, so I crocheted a whole lot of bunny ears, that I then sewed directly onto her body. I then made some simple wings, that I attached to her back. She was really quick to crochet up ..... a couple of hours crocheting at the very most.

This toadstool is from THIS BOOK. Ana Paula Rimoli, helped a great deal when it came to cutting my teeth on amigurumi, a couple of years back !!! This is the large sized mushroom.

So cute .... little button nose, and all !!!!

To any of my crocheting friends out there, if you would like to contribute to this awesome project..... it doesn't matter how big or small your item/s are, you still have time. I've been in contact with the organizers, and they've assured me there's still plenty of time. Here's their email address, if you'd like to contact them

Until next time ...... Hope your summer has got off to a fantastic start :-)

Monday, June 2, 2014


I've made these before, and had so much fun making them, that I decided to make some more.
This technique, that I always thought looked so complicated, is really very easy. Ayumi does a fantastic job of explaining how it's done ....  clear and easy to follow.

So pretty, and such a great way to use up all of those teeny tiny fabric pieces ..... no wasting any fabric, when you can make these beauties !!!
I backed these in green fabric, and while the pattern doesn't call for the loop, I like to have something to hang mine with. I just made a simple binding, that I sewed together, and then I attached it to hot pad with 2 buttons.

For anyone wanting to give these a try ..... and you really should ..... this is the book that tells you how to do it !!! As well as how to make many other lovely things too !!!

4 days left of school ..... I cant wait !!! No more obnoxious alarm clock in the morning .... Yippee !!!!