Thursday, February 27, 2014

something for a friend....

Sometimes you meet friends in the strangest of places.   Like on the internet, through a blog.  I met someone years ago through my blog and we became blog buddies.    Then we would email. Now we text a few times a week.

The sad thing is she lives up north, I live down south.  We've never met but one day we will.  Until then, we continue on this way.

I made this little fat bottomed bag for her this past weekend.  It was rainy and windy and I should have been cleaning house.  But I wanted to make her something instead of just sending a card.  
She loves crochet but is a novice so I thought this would make her happy.  I've wanted a reason to make this bag for a few years now and a birthday is a good one.  I love the book the pattern is in so I got to kill 2 birds with 1 stone as I'm linking to the craft book sew along too!

It is a total surprise, no hint from me.  She is a good friend.  Good friends deserve surprises every now and then but especially for their birthday!

I used the lining tutorial made it SO much easier.  As you can see, I hand stitched the lining to the interior.  My machine is old and I don't trust the feeder dogs to NOT eat the yarn....

I didn't use a tutorial for the rosette but got the serged edge idea here.  After making it, I sewed it to heavy interfacing that I'd sewn a pin to.  That way, it can be removed if so desired.

I wish I could see her face when she gets home from work and sees the package and then opens it.  She won't be expecting it.  How fun is that!?  I included a little something for her daughter too....just because she likes surprises too....

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

this and that....

This past week was a busy one.  I had stuff to do for the kid's and myself before work, during work, after was one of those weeks!

Kaela helped redo my door and my neighbor's door. 

 I had an idea to use bunting to change out the saying so I could use it the rest of the year.

Chrysti asked to have something simple with just a couple ladybugs....

What is it about this little dog that makes so many people smile?  

Matt's girlfriend got a car for her birthday.  The first thing a teenager needs in a new car is a trash bag so I stitched one up for her.  In giraffe, her favorite.

She loves how about a steering wheel cover?  I happen to have a tutorial pinned so just maybe......

Monday, February 24, 2014

full bloom

Best tulips EVER....

The tulips Dean gave me for Valentine's are STILL going strong.  I've never had any last this long 10 days!

And most of them are FULLY open like this one.

Matthew 6:28-29

" See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.   Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these."

Friday, February 21, 2014

Mardi Gras door!

Living in Louisiana means picking and choosing which holidays to decorate for.   I love to put up the few Valentine's things I have but the very next day, it all came down.   If it, I would have been in trouble.  They take Mardi Gras seriously around here y'all!

So my front door went from red and hearts to Mardi Gras in a couple hours...and I love it!

By day...

By night....

and my favorite part?

Looking up into this.....

Amazing what something so simple as netting, beads and fairy light can create....
As for the neighbors, I'm safe now that I've joined the leagues of the Mardi Gras decorated houses!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dances and dinner...

The kids both went to a school dance this past weekend.   It is so much fun seeing them excited about the fun night ahead....and yet, I am always a little sad because I know my time with them is increasingly becoming more limited.

Kaela and her girlfriends.  All three have curly hair that they flat ironed...

Matt and his girlfriend...he is rocking a bow tie this time out...funny how girlfriends can convince you to try new things!

While the kids were dancing the night away, I made a new pasta dish I found on pinterest called Italian Wonderpot.  OH. MY. GOSH.  

This is one of those dishes that everyone has "their own version" of....and it is so worth trying out. Dean used the feta that was suggested...while I stuck with Parmesan.  

The version I tried didn't have meat in it, but it doesn't need it.  It was so good and so easy.  It is one of those dump recipes....including the pasta.  I think it went from prep to table in less that 30 minutes.  Seriously y'all, when you work, that is a GOOD thing to be able to do.   

Monday, February 17, 2014

Flowers for Valentine's Day

We don't do a lot for Valentine's Day.  No extravagant gifts or uber expensive dinners out.  I tell Dean he got off lucky because I'm so NOT high maintenance!   I usually cook something special and we exchange cards.  He usually gets a bottle of wine and I get flowers.  Sometimes as a potted plant, other times from the florist.  My only tip to extravagance is the type of flower I want....gotta be tulips!  I love roses but not long stemmed....much prefer ramblers and those don't do well in arrangements.

This year, instead of paying for an arrangement, Dean went to the flower market in New Orleans and brought me these spectacular tulips.   While in line, guys kept saying they wish they had thought of that.  He told them not to bother, he wiped out the entire bucket!

He bought so many that we had to try several vases to find one to fit....and even that was hard!  

After a couple days, they started to open...

Then a few opened all the way so you could peek inside...beautiful and perfect.

In case you don't know, tulips like it cool.  So each night, I put them in the garage.  In the morning, they are closed up tight like new buds....but slowly over the course of the morning, they reopen again.

This is the one gift that still gives me chills......I simply adore that he loves me enough to bring me tulips!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Perfectly Pink Day

While everyone is celebrating Valentine's Day today, we are also celebrating Mojo's 13th birthday.

Nowadays, he has more is grey than black hairs! This old man struggles with the stairs and is half blind and pretty much deaf but his attitude is amazing and he still acts like a puppy.   Okay, so he bumps into walls when chasing toys but that doesn't seem to faze him one little bit!  

Happy Birthday sweet Mojo Jojo!

Another birthday was celebrated this week.   There is a sweetie pie down the block that K babysits for all the time.  She is the CUTEST little thing and pink is her favorite color.  She loves the hand made goodies I make her so I talked with her mom and found out she needs a swimsuit cover up.   I made her this cute set for her birthday.

I know it looks like a shirt but I don't have a 5 year old who can model it for me.    If you have a little girl who needs one, I highly recommend this pattern.  There is also a photo on the gal's website showing what it looks like  here.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Grousing Gunter...

Gunter has been cranky.   This cold weather ran the fairies off and he misses them terribly.   They've been gone since the beginning of January.  To make matters worse, their little house was in need of repair.  I had some serious work planned this spring.  
But I forgot to bring their house into the garage during the ice storm. and it froze...and since it had rained, it split too....and some of the tile came off.  Poor little house. It was only 4 years old.  It used to be so lovely too....

So, to make Gunter happy, we have started on a NEW fairy house!  I've already primed it with sealant so putting it together will be a nice break from crochet.  
( In case my sister's are viewing this...yes, those are CHRISTMAS gifts on the buffet in the background.  I'll get to Florida eventually!)

The front is taking shape...this time I added a blue bell that fell off Leo's collar.  The front portico is from a lovely wedgewood piece that broke so I kept it.  The kids say I'm a hoarder....but in reality, I'm just keeping bits of this and that in order to be prepared....

if you look closely, you can see the shell "awning" over the back window.  

I can go ahead and grout sometime this week, then complete the roof.  And although the cold weather is still with us, I've promised Gunter that once their house is finished, it will go outside to welcome them home.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Toasted Pecans....

Dean was out of town this past weekend and I planned to get my craft on.  Serious, sit in front of the t. v. and craft. all. weekend.

But instead, I felt sick, like I was trying to fight something off.   So in the morning I made myself a little spoonful of this:
I had read about it last year and boy does it work!  A teaspoon of honey combined with a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Ok so am I the ONLY person alive who doesn't like honey?  It tastes like plastic or wax to me....nasty stuff.  

Anyway, since I didn't feel good enough to craft, I dusted my rooster lamp....with a paint brush.  I surface dust him when cleaning, but dang, those artichokes and feathers are KILLER.   My sister does all her detail dusting with a paint brush and yep, it works.  Look how clean Rocky is!

Then I whipped up a batch of cinnamon/sugar pecans.   My other sister made some that were amazing but couldn't remember how she did it.  These turned out really good....much better than some I made at Christmas with a recipe I had found on line.

So this is what I did:

2 pounds of pecan halves

1 cup sugar 
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon salt 
mix in a baggie and set aside

Melt a 1/2 stick of butter
Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla 
Add 2 egg whites
Stir to combine.  

Then mix the pecans with the wet mixture.  Make sure everything is coated.  Then pour the pecans into the bag of spices and coat well.

Dump them onto a parchment lined pan IN A SINGLE LAYER and bake for an hour at 250 degrees.  I stirred mine a couple times through baking.

These are awesome!  Be careful though because if you don't put them in a single layer, they don't get crunchy, they stay sticky.

Friday, February 7, 2014

cold but cozy

This weather has been CRAZY.    

Lucky for me, we can start a nice fire to take the chill out on these cold, wet nights.....

Lucky for Ginger too...she always takes the warmest spot.

Or does she?    Suki always fits herself into rolled up blankets, like on K's belly (K was sound asleep) 

or on my bed....on a different but equally cold day!

As for me, I usually have a cup of hot cocoa nearby.......stay warm my friends.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A little decorating...

Remember this?

Well, I liked how it turned out so well that I made one for my Valentine's garland.   

Something about a small set of fairy lights just makes me happy.   And look how sweet it looks on the mantle with the little swag of hearts I got last year.......

I don't decorate much for Valentine's but I did put out a few things like these crocheted hearts...

and this lovely embroidered one....

I love decorating the door for Valentine's.  This year, I added the little wooden swag I had been using in the house.  I always wanted to put it on the door though....and I'm glad I did.

by day.....

by night......

Spreading a little love at the door step....KK style.

I love how pretty the door looks with the fairy lights and netting.  On dark, rainy days I'll turn the lights on too....just to brighten things up a bit.

Monday, February 3, 2014

cold weather crafting

We've had some seriously cold weather here I used some stash up making a few things for myself.  I only busted 14 grams but it all adds up....

I wanted to make myself a pair of fingerless gloves using the same yarn to match this infinity scarf.

The yarn is Marble Chunky and is super soft and this colorway is lovely.

close ups...I used a v stitch for the gloves and then added a short thumb hole.  I edged the gloves with a shell stitch.

I still had some yarn leftover so decided to make a cowl.   I knew I wouldn't have enough yarn left to complete it so I dug around in my stash until I found another yarn that would work with it. 

It is hard to tell from the photo but the solid brown has a shimmer like the MC and it matches really well with a color that runs through the yarn.   I did the cowl in hdc and then 2 rows have a bobble in there.  I edged the whole thing in picot.

I used all but 8 inches of this yarn which is pretty good considering these were unplanned projects.  I love being able to create things from what I have on hand.
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