Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ice Cube Sun Catcher

This idea was in Family Fun Magazine this month. It was really fun and easy.

~Fill an ice cube tray with water and food coloring. Let freeze.
~Fill a cake pan with water and let it partially freeze (about an hour)
~Put the colored ice cubes into the cake pan.
~Put a cup filled with water into the cake pan to displace water to make a hole for hanging later.
~Let freeze overnight (we were able to leave ours out over night.)
~Pop it all out and hang from a shepherd's hook or a fence or eaves.

It looks so pretty!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fibers on Friday: Hat Shaped Hats

"In walked a man in the shape of a man, wearing a hat shaped....HAT!"

All I've been working on this week is hats for my family. You may recall last week, I had to totally rip out one hat and start over. If only I was smart enough to realize I could have kept it for a dollie's hat, like Elise suggested....oh well.

Nevertheless, I got two (almost three) hats completed!

The "Flapper Style" is a pattern called "poppy". I used an inexpensive wool yarn from AC Moore. The hat knits up fast! It's a fun, easy pattern and as you can see, it's super adorable!

My husband's hat is just a simple beanie knit in the round using Crazy Aunt Purl's calculations. Plus some of my own modifications, like a ribbed edging.

Now, I'll work on a hat for ME! Stay tuned.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Heart Faces: Peach Fuzz

The theme for this week is texture. Texture can be applied to the photo or implied in the photo. Can everyone just feel the fuzziness of this peach? Can you taste the sweetness? Can you feel the sticky juice running down your arm? Are you ready for summer?

Need more texture? Visit i {heart} faces by clicking the button below

Meatless Monday! Beth's Lentil Soup

Soup weather, anyone? This is a "Beth Original"! I never make up my own recipes, and when I make adaptations to a written recipe, I never write them down and my husband gets mad because I can never remember what I did to make something "so good" the last time! This was the one and only time I actually wrote down the recipe! It makes A LOT of prepared to freeze some and give some away!

I made this soup several years ago while I was living as a geographical bachelorette as my husband completed a tour in Korea.

Beth's Lentil Soup

~Soak 1 lb. dried lentils in water over night
~Saute 1 lg onion and 2 lg garlic cloves in soup pot
~Add 3 carrots and 3 celery stalks (chopped)
~Add the celery hearts (whole) they add such good flavor
~Add 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes, plus 2 cans of water
~Add 1 lg carton veggie stock
~Add the lentils
~Drop in 2 Bay leaves
~Add 2 lg bouillon cubes, salt, pepper, and oregano to taste

~After an hour of simmering, add 1 bunch of fresh spinach (coarsely chopped).
~Simmer for an additional hour or until the veggies and lentils are tender.
~Discard the celery hearts and bay leaves.

Join the movement! Visit Meatless Monday to see why you should!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Valentine's Day Heart Banner

This garland idea is all the rage for all different occasions, isn't it? I've been seeing it everywhere. I was inspired to do this Valentine's Garland from Little Birdie Secrets. So, I ventured up to the attic where my box of fabric is hidden to see if I had appropriate fabric. Look what I found!! I didn't need to buy one scrap of fabric for this project! I had ALL of the fabric, ALL of the embellishments, and the poly-fil all on hand! I don't pride myself at being a good keeper of a stash.....but I think I'll have to reconsider after this project!

It was a little more time consuming than I had anticipated, but a fun project nonetheless. I cut out three different shaped hearts from paper as templates. Cut pieces of my fabric and embellished them before sewing them together and stuffing them.

I went through an old bag of buttons from my Grandmother and came across this one that said "St. Peter's School". My Dad went to St. Pete's! So, I have a button on my project that my Dad once wore on a school uniform. I LOVE that! Click image to enlarge.

So, there you have it! An adorable Valentine decoration to hang from a mantel, a doorway, or a ledge like I have it.

I think it would be a pretty economical project even if you didn't happen upon a stash of red fabrics like I did! I think you could go to the fabric store and buy a couple fat quarters and go to town! Go do it!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fibers on Friday: It's Been HAT week!

The sweater is finished, so I decided to obsess over some quicker projects. I spent hours looking through Ravelry. I'd been to their site before but didn't create an account, so I wasn't exposed to the huge amounts of patterns they have online. I decided on a pattern called Poppy to knit for my one daughter. It's a "Shaker" "Flapper" style hat. It's so adorable in the pictures, but I'm not sure I'm loving it and I'm not sure it's really my kid's style...we'll see. I'm going to add a little knitted flower to the side flap. Also, it looks a little small.

***edited to add*** I frogged this entire hat last night! It was way too small. So, I started it over with some extra stitches and I'll add a few more rows of pattern. I could tell it's gonna be cute, though!

I also knit up a simple hat for my husband. The basic hat pattern is calculated by using Crazy Aunt Purl's method. I also got caught up in reading almost her entire blog. She's hysterical.

Things I've learned about knitting this week: How to do a provisional cast on.
Things I messed up on this week: the provisional cast on!

The provisional cast-on is used as a means for saving "live stitches" that you're later going to go back and "pick up". You cast on using waste yarn that you can later remove from the project, exposing the stitches you want to pick up and knit. In this case, I went back and picked up stitches to knit the ribbing of my daughter's hat.

There are nice, neat methods of doing the provisional cast on. I did not know this. I just cast on as usual, which made it hard to get rid of those stitches later. You can search for the correct way of casting on on YouTube.

A Girly Girl Project

I saw this idea on Little Birdie Secrets for a Hairbow Holder. I have two girls, so we always have a few hair bows lying around the house! I thought this idea was perfect for holding their bows AND adding a little decoration to their bathroom. Anyone who has even a few scrapbooking supplies can easily do this project in no time!

I bought the plain white frame from Target. I had the ribbon, buttons, and paper on hand.

Adhere the paper to the cardboard behind the glass.
Adhere ribbon (loosely) to the front of the glass.
Put it all together and embellish!

With buttons!

Add ribbon to the back to hang it. And take a crappy picture in the poorly lit bathroom.

Decide later to not be lazy, put the big flash on your camera, add the mess of bows you have, and take a picture that will do the project justice!

There you have it! I think it looks so pretty up against the light blue walls. I just love the colors. I am thrilled with this project!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fibers on Friday: It's DONE!

I can't even tell you how proud I am that this sweater is COMPLETE and LOVELY and totally WEARABLE and destined for a GOOD CAUSE. This sweater was easy to knit. The pattern was easy to follow. It came together rather quickly and I highly recommend it for a first sweater, if you're so inclined.

As you know by now this sweater was knit for a foundation called Afghans for Afghans. The current campaign is a collection of sweaters for children of Afghanistan ranging from 7 to 14 years old. My model is only 4 and it's big on her, so I think this sweater will be perfect for a 7 year old. Sweaters sent in by March of this year will be for next winter. Won't you read about this campaign and consider knitting something?

CPS #149 A Boy Card

I needed a boy Birthday card for my nephew this weekend and this CPS sketch fit the bill perfectly!

Oh how I LOVE Cosmo Cricket's Mr. Campy paper!

Cardstock: PTI
Patterned Paper: Cosmo Cricket Mr. Campy
Car die cuts: Cosmo Cricket Mr. Campy
Alphabet Stickers: CTMH
Birthday Stamp: PTI It's a Celebration

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: A Sad Juxtaposition

We need words on this one: yet another reason to use your canvas shopping bags. This was the view from my back window last week. That bag hanging in the trees is making me sick! It's at least 60 ft. in the trees, so it'll hang there until another strong wind tears it down. The NJ Pine Barrens should not look like this.

For more WW entries (and probably more uplifting ones), visit 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Best Face Photo Challenge

This week's challenge at I heart faces is "best face". Mercy, this is many best faces on my hard drive! I chose this one, though, of my niece because it's my favorite in recent months. Those eyes! That coat! I love that kid! I love that face!

Wanna see more "best faces"? Head on over to I heart faces by clicking the button below:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

CPS #148 A Thank You Card

It's been a while since I've done a CPS challenge. Here's a little Thank You card for this week's sketch.

**Stamp set is Flower Chat by Stampendous
Ribbon, button and card stock from PTI
Patterned paper from Wild Asparagus

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fibers on Friday: We have a sweater!

Wow! Who knew this would take so long? It's ok, though, I'm enjoying knitting this sweater. The front, back, and sleeves are all complete. The sleeves are attached and the front and back is now connected by the collar. The only things left to do is complete the collar and seam up the sides! Wooo Hooo!

I think I'll work on a nice, easy hat for my next project!

PS. This sweater was knit with love for an Afghan Child. To read more about the project, Afghans for Afghans, click here.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Gift card holders

I learned how to make these note card holders last year at a scrap weekend getaway.

~Cut cardstock to 4" X 9"
~Score at 3" from top and 2 " from bottom
~ Fasten a clip to the back for closure. I used cute little clips with the initials of the kids I gave these to.

And there you have a nice little festive gift card holder. I gave one to my mail lady with a coffee gift card....she left me a little thank you note that said "The card was neat"! It's nice to have your work appreciated!

Meatless Monday! Pickles and Beets!

So this really isn't a meatless meal, per se (although it could be). These are the homemade gifts I made for Christmas this year. This is the second year I've made the pickles and had many requests for more. It was my first attempt at the beets and they turned out really good.

Easy Refrigerator Pickles (from Cooking Light)

6 C. Thinly sliced cucumbers (Kerby)
2 C. Thinly sliced onion
1 1 /2 C. White vinegar
1 C. Sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. mustard seed
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

Place half the cucumbers in a large bowl, and top with half the onion. Repeat procedure with remaining cukes and onions.

Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook for 1 minute. Pour over cucumber mixture; let cool. Cover and marinate in frig for 4 days.

Pickles can be stored in frig for up to 1 month.

Easy Pickled Beets
(also from Cooking Light)

1 pound small beets (about 7 beets)
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves


1. Leave root and 1-inch stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Place in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Cool slightly. Trim off beet roots; rub off skins. Thinly slice beets; place in a large bowl.

2. Combine vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Pour vinegar mixture over beets; cover and chill. Discard bay leaves.

I thought this made a lovely, festive, red and green, Christmas gift. I love having something homemade like this to give to those who "have everything" or to have on hand to pass to neighbors and teachers. No packaging or wrapping paper required! That's a plus.

I've been away from the blog for more than a week. I have some catching up to do. Stay tuned for some cute little gift card holders I made and also my sweater update.....pretty excited about that one!