Monday, May 31, 2010

The blue elephant in the room . . .

I am still working on Garren's Elijah. I know it's late, but that's just me.

He's been going slow partially because I don't bring him as my work knitting. I have some time on my breaks and lunch to knit, but he is awkward and big. I did quite a bit of work today though. Hopefully next weekend he'll be ready to send off!



On a side note, I'm not sure how many of you have heard of Video Blogging. It's kind of like pod-casting and blogging all together. I am highly considering giving this a try.

I got the idea from Sister Diane of CraftyPod, here are her video blogging sessions: Number 1, Number 2, and Number 3.

Mine would not be the same topics she is doing, mine would be related to the crafts I do. Basically a video blog instead of a written blog entry. I'll see if I can do this with my camera and all that. I am quite excited about the prospect of this, hope it works out!

If I do it, it wouldn't be until this coming weekend as I have many exams this week in training.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Inspirations

This quilt top from Focus on Fiber is wonderful. Sandy designed her own quilt block and I think did a wonderful job with the choices of color on this. The play between negative and positive space is lovely. I find this very aesthetically pleasing.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Baker's Dozen Square for May

The Member of the Month for the Bakers Dozen group I am in on Ravelry was interested in free form crochet and cables. I chose to work with cables. I am not comfortable with free form crochet and had not learned how to do crochet cables yet. May's person liked the color combination of bright green with purple as one of her color choices, which fit exactly in with some yarn I had.

Yarn 1:Sockotta
Color: 816 (Spring Green)
Content: 45% cotton, 40% super-wash, 15% nylon
Care: Machine wash cold, tumble dry

Yarn 2: Panda Silk
Color: 4006 (variegated plum/pink)
Content: 52% bamboo, 43% super-wash, 5% combed silk
Care: Machine wash cold, lay flat

Hook: US 00 / 3.5mm

Pattern: My own after learning crochet cabling from YouTube.

Here was my first attempt. I liked this, but it was using too much yarn and I wouldn't have enough to make my 12x12 inch square. I was running each yarn between the rows so each row was a different color so I could make the cables just purple.
BD May

My second and successful attempt. With a granny square configuration, each row could more easily be a different color. This also worked better because May's person liked drape and this made the square have much more drape.
BD May

BD May

A close-up of the center where I started as a circle before morphing into a square.
BD May

A close-up of one of the cables. I love the way the cabling is actually worked into every other row but it looks like it was attached later.
BD May

I really enjoyed learning this technique and will definitely use it in the future. This square was more frustrating in some ways, learning a new technique, but I enjoyed it. I also think the color combination worked out well. I did think about using the green for the cables instead, but the green was a more stable yarn and worked better for being the dominant yarn used.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Food Friday - Pies

I personally am not much of a pie person. Never have been. However the boy LOVES pie. We use to buy pies and I would eat a little and he would eat most of it. Now that I cannot eat them with him, he doesn't like to buy a whole pie by himself. So I figured I better learn how to make gluten free pie so he can still have his pie.

I want to be able to make my own pie crust from scratch but at this time cannot afford to buy multiple kinds of flour to do that, so I decided to try a boxed mix.

This is the gluten free mix I decided to try.
GFP - Perfect Pie Crust Mix

For my record, this is the type of butter I used for the recipe.
GFP - Perfect Pie Crust Mix

For my record, this is the type of shortening I used.
GFP - Perfect Pie Crust Mix

I bought a 9" glass pie pan. I rolled the dough out between two sheets of plastic wrap like the box says to do and placed the first on in the bottom of the pan.
GFP - Perfect Pie Crust Mix

Unfortunately I ran out of plastic wrap so I tried aluminum foil with the top pieces. Uhm, don't do that, it sticks to the aluminum like no ones business.
GFP - Perfect Pie Crust Mix

I mixed the inside for an apple pie as the back of the box for the pie crust suggested to do. My apples were not baking apples like suggested. They were just a bulk bag of apples we had bought that needed to be used soon.
GFP - Perfect Pie Crust Mix

The top is now on and I pinched the two layers together and made the slits on the top.
GFP - Perfect Pie Crust Mix

All baked up.
GFP - Perfect Pie Crust Mix

It was good, however, the apple mixture could have used some more liquid.
GFP - Perfect Pie Crust Mix

The boxed mix makes enough for two pies. For the second one I made a mixed berry pie. I used a bag of frozen blueberries, a bag of frozen blackberries, and a can of raspberry pie filling. I cooked the frozen berries over the stove and added about 4 Tbsp cornstarch until they thickened some. I added the canned raspberry filling and let it all mix together.
GFP - Perfect Pie Crust Mix

This crust was better because the liquid inside the berry mixture helped to not make the crust quite as flaky.
GFP - Perfect Pie Crust Mix

As always, pie is even better with a little vanilla frozen yogurt!
GFP - Perfect Pie Crust Mix

I will admit that I didn't have much faith in this from the get go. I just don't do well with baked goods. This worked out very well. The boy says it's not quite as good as normal pie that you would buy in a bakery, but he said they were better than the frozen pies you buy in the grocery store.

I consider that a compliment. :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Inspirations

I absolutely love this idea on making felt bags of different sizes. I would have to switch things a bit since I don't have an orbital sander. This sounds like a wonderful project for kids too!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Contest Winners!!

At the random number generator site:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-05-22 13:04:28 UTC

Since we had 18 comments, there were two prizes given out:
$20 gift certificate to the Etsy store of their choice
$20 gift certificate to

Number 17 is : LizzieK8 . . . you can choose the $20 gift certificate to any Etsy store of your choice or $20 gift certificate to Please contact me to let me know what store you would like and how to contact you.

Number 9 is : Dianne . . . you can choose the $20 gift certificate to any Etsy store of your choice or $20 gift certificate to Please contact me to let me know what store you would like and how to contact you.

Let's not forget, if you recommended this contest to other people and they mentioned your name, you won extra chances to win . . . this is a separate contest. :) Aren't I sneaky . . . since there were nine commenters who said they were sent from someone else . . .

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-05-22 13:20:13 UTC

The 6th commenter who said they were sent from someone else, was sent by : Channon! Chan if you could please email me to let me know if you would like a $20 gift certificate to an Etsy store of your choosing or would you prefer a $20 gift certificate to

Thank you to all who entered the contest! It was nice to see so many new people with wonderful blogs to read!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Food Friday - Cauliflower Gratin

When I saw this posting for Cauliflower Gratin I knew I had to make some. I used the recipe as a stepping stone.

Cauliflower Gratin
First I melted 6 Tablespoons of unsalted butter.

Cauliflower Gratin

Whisk in 7 Tablespoons of rice flour. When it begins to thicken, whisk in each item before adding the next:
1/3 cup half & half,
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream,
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese,
3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella & Provolone mix.

Mix well, will kind of look like dough and act similar.

Cauliflower Gratin

Cut up a small cauliflower head into florets. Sprinkle with black pepper and ground red pepper.
Cauliflower Gratin

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
Cauliflower Gratin

After done, put cauliflower into greased (I used PAM spray) baking dish and cover with cheese mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Cauliflower Gratin

All done!
Cauliflower Gratin

It was quite good. The boy loved it how it was, but I think having a little more flavorful cheese in it next time might make it better.
Cauliflower Gratin

This is something I will make again, but will try a little more variety next time. Was surprised the boy liked it so much. :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Continuation of the Blogiversary!

Well, we have received 12 comments as I write this, so we have more than 10. Next prize offered in the giveaway will be a $20 gift certificate to!

To be entered into the drawings, you still have to comment on the original post, not this one. There is still until Friday at Midnight Eastern Standard Time to be able to enter the drawing. If we make it to 21 comments, another prize will be added into the drawing.

Remember if you tell others about the contest, make sure they mention your name and you get additional chances to win!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Frogged and Blogiversary!

First, I brought the Tribute sock (blogged about here and here) to knit on my first day of work, we have 3 days of orientation all together . . . any who, it has been sitting in a bag for a while when I worked on some other things. It produces a fuzzy halo that does not look good with the sock pattern, so it was frogged. Not sure what I want to do with the yarn yet.


So . . . onto the lovely BLOGIVERSARY!! I have been blogging for 2 years now. So, in honor of that and all the positive things happening right now we are going to have a lovely giveaway.

The first prize is a $20 gift certificate to the Etsy store of your choosing!

Now this may or may not be the only prize given . . . a second prize will be named if we get more than 10 comments on this post . . . a third prize if we get more than 20 . . . yadda yadda. So, those of you who read my blog have to decided . . . do you tell others about this giveaway and increase the amount of prizes given or not?? :) Do you like how I leave it all up to you? Also, if you send others here and they mention that they found this contest through you . . . then you have additional chances to win stuff.

Any comments made on this post through Friday at midnight Eastern Standard time will be considered eligible for the prize(s). Good luck!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Well, I finished up all the little bags. I was hoping to have time to make them each a labeled sewn bag to hold each different kind but I just don't have the time. I am posting this real quick before I get ready to get some sleep before I start work tomorrow.

Honestly, there was a chunk of time which I just gave myself too much to do. I wish I had more time to work on these as I truly did enjoy the time I was able to spend on them. They have some ideas swirling in my head for some other types of bags.

Here are the Shape bags.
LOEP Shapes

Here is what the back of the Shapes are patterned with.
LOEP Shapes

Here are the Color bags.
LOEP Colors

Here are the spelled side of the Number bags.
LOEP Numbers

Here is the digit side of the Number bags.
LOEP Numbers

The capital side of the Letter bags.
LOEP Alphabet

The lowercase side of the Letter bags.
LOEP Alphabet

The flash makes it a little hard to see some of the lettering on the bags, sorry. Any who, I will be sending these off tomorrow after I get out of work. I hope the kids enjoy them and learn lots. I can definitely see how beneficial these would be in any classroom.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Stitching and Shopping

Well, I have been working today to finish up the little bean bags for LOEP. It is going quickly and I see no reason why I won't be able to ship them all off Monday. Yes, I know that still makes them late, but hey . . . it's me we are talking about here, I'm always late.

Here is some of what I worked on today. Will post pics of all finished either tomorrow or Monday when I mail them out!

Let's not forget the shopping. I was actually able to find some work shoes that I like and that fit me. Yeah for small favors!!!

The black pair.
Mudd Peytron Oxford Shoes

The brown pair . . .yes, they are identical except for color. I liked them and they fit, both rarities, so I grabbed both. Plus, they were on clearance.
Mudd Peytron Oxford Shoes

Only cost me $30 for both pairs!
Mudd Peytron Oxford Shoes

I love the look they have. The heels won't bother me too much as my job involves me sitting on my butt and talking to customers on the phone all day.
Mudd Peytron Oxford Shoes

We won't tell anyone that I had to get size 11. Depending on manufacturer's, I wear between and 9 1/2 to 11 in women's shoe sizes.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Food Friday - Spinach Florentine Potato Soup

I used this recipe for Spinach Florentine Potato Soup. When Amy posted this on her blog, it immediately sounded good to me. My only point of concern is the fact that I am so picky about my spinach. I love spinach, but only if it's cooked just right. :)

I did modify it some:
~ground Rosemary instead of crushed (ground rosemary is the only kind I can tolerate)
~gluten free chicken stock instead of veggie stock (I am not a very big fan of veggie stock)
~did not use the parsley
~did not use the Neufchatel Cheese (did not have it on hand and didn't see any particular reason to use this cheese in specific)
~used 1 cup Parmesan Cheese, instead of a half cup (had plenty of this on hand)
~used 1 cup heavy cream instead of 2 cups of milk
~used black pepper instead of white

Okay, so maybe I modified it a little more than some. :)

Spinach Florentine Potato Soup

I know it doesn't look like a lot, but it was very yummy. I am a complete leftover lover, in fact, I usually think things taste better as leftovers than when first made. The leftovers of this were okay, but not as good as when if was fresh.

I will definitely make this again sometime.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Well, I've decided to make Garren an elephant using Ysolda's Elijah pattern. I am using a light blue color that the boy picked out of my yarn stash. I gave him some elephant patterns to look at and told him he could pick which one I made. He chose this elephant but it was oddly written and a little too complicated for the elephant you got. So I vetoed him after I looked through the actual pattern.

He's not much to look at right now, cause I just started him today. Still working on my May square for Bakers Dozen and finishing up LOEP work. Hoping to get both of those projects done this weekend so I can mail everything off on Monday.

Monday, monday . . . it is my first day of my new job . . . and it is my blog anniversary! So, I am thinking of some lovely things to do for my blogiversary. I'm thinking about maybe an Etsy gift card giveaway or something along that line. We shall see.

Also . . . work shoe shopping sucks when you are a women with size 10 double wide feet . . . I mean seriously . . . the universe has a wicked sense of humor.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Great Sewn Potholder Swap of 2010

My potholders for the Great Sewn Potholder Swap of 2010.

Again the top was sewn with the sewing machine and the back was sewn by hand on and the embroidery was by hand.

Fabric: 100% cotton fabric
Thread: Coats Cotton All purpose thread
Batting: one layer cotton batting, one layer Insul-Bright Thermal Batting, and then another layer of cotton batting.
Pattern: My own creation.
Size: 10" x 10"

The middle square is sewn strips of fabric, a border of black, then the blues that were used in the stripes are used for the second set of borders, and then the greens for the third border. The black edge is part of the back folded over and sewn with an invisible stitching.

This is the Herringbone embroidery I did to secure the layers in the corners and then I sewed in the ditch around the inside of the black border to secure things.

You can see the pattern of the stitching on the back of the potholders.

I had a lot of fun making these. I hope she likes them, the boy thinks they are a little bright, but I am thinking I need to make myself a pair that is similar cause I love them! I kept tumbling through ideas and finally chose one. I need to make more potholders just so I can work out some of the ideas that I have jumbling around. It was nice to sew and such small things make it not too big of a commitment.

Monday, May 10, 2010


I think the greatest thing about handmade items is finding out someone truly is appreciating something you made. Not just because it's a great boost to the ego. :) Also because it validates your choice for that person. Garren's birthday is coming up here on the 19th. He will be two. His grandma says he really likes the frog I made him for Christmas.

This one:

Garren's Frog

So of course this has me all psyched! So I am going to try to knit him an elephant for his birthday and if I am truly ambitious, I might try to sew him a giraffe too. It's amazing what one is willing to do for others who appreciate their work. :)

I will be back tomorrow with pictures of my potholders from my swap as I forgot to go out in good light today. And maybe I'll have some ideas for stuffed toys for young Mr. Garren.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers out there!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Second Car!

We purchased our second car today. This will be the car I will be using to commute to work and we will use as our main car on shared days off because it gets way better gas mileage.


It is a used 2006 Chevy Cobalt LS. It's weird to drive because it's so much lighter than our other car, a little more than I wanted to spend, but the boy wanted something that would last for a little while. I drove it around a little today to do some errands, it is nice.

I start work in 10 days! Yikes! It all flew by so quickly.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Interweave Knits - Summer 2010

Well, guess what was in my mail box . . . Interweave Knit Summer 2010 issue.

~Counterpane Blouse - - There are elements of this I like. I like the lace square in the back, the lace makes it look nice and breezy. I want to like it, but it looks to me like maternity wear. The side view in the magazine makes it look like any chubbiness would make the wearer look pregnant, not the look I am looking for.

~Jali Cardigan - - I like this, I would probably even wear this in a different color. It's design features fit the purpose of the garment perfectly. It looks like a nice and comfortable cardigan. I like the simple stitch detail, it is just complicated enough to look fancy, but not over designed. The welted front band makes a nice edge with not curling.

~Empyrean Tunic - - I love the look of this, although I am not sure how practical it would be. I love the transparency and the drape it has. However, I tend to wear my clothing without a great deal of attention to the delicacy. I would probably ruin this the first time I wore it. Still would be tempted to knit it . . . especially in a nice neutral color.

~Marigold Sweater - - I adore this top. I love the vintage look. The stitch pattern looks more complex up close, but fits the design perfectly. It would be nice if the sizes went up farther.

~Impasto Shawlette - - This is nice, but I think I like it mostly because of the colors used. Otherwise, it is a nice, simple, small shawl.

~Ruth's Tee - - I like this one. A nice top to layer over a tank top. I like that the lace looks sturdy and not easily damaged, basically I could wear it and probably not ruin it the first time. This would be nice in a neutral color and wear colored tanks under it. Although I would probably make this in a bunch of different colors. It is meant to be worn with no ease or negative, still I would need to make it a little larger than the largest size given in the pattern to make it comfortable or aggressively block it.

~Lacy Leaf Satchel - - Not really a bag person, myself. Even if I was, I don't think I like the detail of the bottom lace opening up to reveal another stitch pattern. It looks grandmotherly to me.

~Stria Art Jacket - - I don't really care for this. I am willing to admit that I might not be able to look past all the pink. I can't tell how well it really fits as it looks a little too big on her. It might look better if the bands were done in a different color, maybe a contrasting one. It blends in a little too well with the dominant color.

~Persephone Shell - - I think this has potential to look nice in the right situation. I think this top would look better on larger chested girls, as is, it emphasizes the lack of endowment on the model. Gosh, that is hard to word and not sound insulting to the model. The top looks like it is mean to accentuate ones chest, which means it will accentuate what isn't there as well. This I think would look better with a color scheme similar to the previous shirt, maybe a light blue on the top and then the rest of the top be a medium blue.

~Teacup Pinafore - - This looks cute. As always, not real sure about kids cloths, since I don't have any kids. It looks like it would be a nice dress though, except maybe around the sleeves and neck. That just seems a bit over designing to me.

~Intrepid Pullover - - A nice simple pullover. Looks maybe a tad big for the boy it's on.

~Singalong Sweater - - Looks nice, although I don't know many boys who like 3/4 sleeves. Not sure that the colorwork in it would go over well with children of that age as it makes it look like a homemade sweater.

~Florentine Dress - - I find this adorable. I would do a different color combination because I think the yellow and red are a little too contrasty for a small child. It looks nice and flowing, so it would be easy to move and play in. I like the design features that make the dress almost look like sewn material.

~Petite Feet - - A free download from Interweave Knits.

~Box 96 Pullover - - I like this. I like the repetition of shape with the neckline and then the bottom. The crisscross over the neckline would be flattering on most body types. This doesn't look like maternity wear, but would probably work great as maternity wear also. My only trouble is you would have to layer as it is probably too revealing without layering. The neckline could be brought up, but there would be more calculations involved to make the crossover hit at the waist still.

~Gamine Tank - - I really love the look of this on the model. I don't think it would look as nice on me or probably on most people. This is definitely a top for slender women with smaller chests and if I was one of them, I would most definitely make myself one of these. It perfectly emphasizes soft and subtle curves that are almost not there. I have a feeling in anyone who had larger curves, it would accentuate it badly.

~Thoroughbred Stripe Pullover - - It doesn't really stand out to me as anything special. A nice man's sweater, but basic.

~Nautilus Mitts - - Nifty-ish design, but don't much care for it. It doesn't seem to fit the hands well, it's geometrically awkward.

~Essential Cardigan - - A very nice, simple sweater. Really, really like this. I would probably add some waist shaping, just because I would prefer not to look quite so boxy. And I would shorten the sleeves to just above elbow length. This would make a lovely work sweater. Will have to look through my stash to see if I can manage this.

~Buttercream Jacket - - I love the soft and comfy look this has. A jacket that would look good on multiple body types and would make a great work sweater. My mind is on work cloths, can you tell? The detail on the jacket is nice and not over done. The ribbing makes shaping not as needed, but it might be beneficial to add in if you are shapely.

~Lace Saddle Tee - - Looks nice and simple. Nothing in particular grabs my attention. The sleeves seem a little bunchy.

~Daisy-Stitch Tunic - - I like this. I like the side vents and the neck. I would probably add sleeves, probably 3/4 or full length. As a larger girl, no sleeves doesn't always look good. I like how it looks dressy, but also casual.

~Picnic Cardigan - - I'm not much of a cropped top kind of person. It looks okay.

~Ambrosia Cardigan - - I don't like this. I don't think anything that an adult wears should be held together with hook and eye closures. I don't like how far the front dips down, it would look good on so few people. It would probably look ridiculous on anyone with a large chest. I do like the cabling. If the neckline was raised significantly and a zipper was installed instead, it might be a good cardigan.

~Beach House Pullover - - Doesn't this look comfy?!?!?!?! Part of it is the yarn that was used to knit this, but this looks like a very comfy pullover. There isn't any waist shaping, but this isn't really the type of sweater that needs it. It's definitely a curl up on the couch or jean and sneakers type of sweater. Love the collar.

~ A Better Buttonhole by TECHknitter - - a nice article on buttonholes and how to work them.

Interesting Info:
~I like the fact that they have a photo index at the end of the magazine for quick reference.

Overall, this seems to be a better issue than some previous ones. I like a few things in here enough to want to knit them. There were a lot less ridiculous items and these were better paired with proper clothing. This is definitely a better issue.

This reminds me though that I forgot to do my review for Interweave Crochet Spring 2010, so I will do that in the next few days also.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Back . . .

Well, I am home. It was an absolutely lovely wedding. The rain tried to sneak in a couple of time, but it behaved.

My sister and brother-in-law. Don't they make a lovely couple?


My Dad actually wore a tux! I don't think I have ever seen him in a tux.


Echo's daughter, Justice, was Rhoni's flower girl. Doesn't she look lovely? She got her hair all curled for the day and everything.


Both Echo and Vera looked lovely. The thing to point out here though, is Vera is wearing the sweater I made for her for Christmas. She is so skinny, it'll probably fit her until she's 2 or 3.


I didn't really get a good picture of my mom, myself, or Echo all dressed up. Everyone looked very nice. It flew by like crazy!

Last to show is my bummer. I got my hair permed a few days before the wedding . . .


Yeah, super fail. I'll be going back to them to either get it fixed or to just get it cut. Blah. Otherwise it was a lovely weekend! I hope they have a great time on their honeymoon!