Sunday, October 31, 2010

Freaky Little Stuffed Animals

My girls wanted handcrafted stuffed animals. I think they spotted a pattern for them in a JoAnn's circular. They asked if i could make a couple and I said sure, as soon as I bought a pattern (because I'm a by-the-book kinda girl....not just a wing-it kinda girl). So, we find ourselves in JoAnn's, I let them pick their fabric, and I find the pattern. I'm also buying fabric for the Halloween pillow cases and tote bags. This trip to beyond what I expected to pay for these little crafty items. But, we paid and walked out. When I got home, I glanced at the receipt and notice the stupid little pattern for the animals was $15.99!! WHAT??!! Oh, no! We are NOT keeping this.......

"I am breaking outta my mold and I'm making my own pattern for these creatures!" I declare.

So brave aren't I?

So, I traced my interpretation of a freaky little animal onto paper bags and got to cutting and sewing. And here's the result!

Definitely freaky. Definitely weird. Definitely cuddly. And apparently a couple little friends who've seen them want one for their own :-)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fibers on Friday: Something Beautiful Shrug

Hello, awesome people!! I cannot even express how exciting last week's party was for me. First of all, it grew again. Second of all, it warmed my heart immensely to be leaving a comment on someone's post and see that someone else from Fibers on Friday already had! My dream come very own knitting circle! I'm not aware of any other parties dedicated just to knitting and crochet (I know they're out there....and I'm seeing a lot of mention of WIP Wednesday, I have to check out) so I'm just really, really happy about this one. And lastly, you guys left me the sweetest comments about my sweater. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You all are as warm as the sweaters and blankets we make....and then some!

So, this week I started....and finished....the Something Special Shrug! The other night before bed my girl said, "Mom, can you knit A LOT tonight, because I want to wear my shrug tomorrow?" So, I worked as hard as I could. I blocked it last night and when I had her try it on for these pictures, she didn't want to take it off even though it was still a little damp.

I love the pattern, but I'm not thrilled at all with this yarn (I think it needs a project requiring much smaller needles, like US 5 or smaller). It's a little too stretchy and not tight. It's Cotton Fleece from Brown Sheep. I'll stick with wool for my next one....I was really trying to just pull from my stash.

So, here's the photo montage of my little model in her shrug. When you're done perusing, please grab my button and post it on your blog for your yarn loving friends to see. And then post away!! I can't wait to see what you've been working on!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fibers on Friday: Taaaaa Daaaaaaa!

Here it is in completion! Beth's February Lady Sweater. Anyone who loves sweaters should knit this one! Anyone who has never knit a sweater, but wants to give it a shot, should knit this one. Anyone who says, "I wish I could knit sweaters", should knit this one! It's lovely. The pattern is written nicely. The lace pattern is not difficult. It's simply wonderful.

Here is what is on my needles now, Something Beautiful Shrug, for one of my girls. I'm knitting it with Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, must say I'm not loving the yarn. It doesn't give, it's very slippery. Oh well, hopefully it will be a short project.

Our party is growing little by little. What really makes me happy is when I click to leave comments on someone's project and see that someone else from here already has. Spreading the love....spreading the love! So, please grab my button on the sidebar and keep spreading that love!

And I'd like to spread a little love for my friend Stephanie, who's sponsoring a give away over at Make It and Love It. Stephanie is a consultant for Thirty One Gifts, plus she's my berry berry good friend. Go see what she's all about and enter to win something!

Wandering Wednesdays: Pumpkin Patch Past

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jack-o-Lantern T-Shirts

This has to be my last post of 2008 Halloween projects. But, I think they're totally worth going back and posting about. Such great projects! These are tie dyed pumpkin t's. I know this idea was from Family Fun Magazine.

We took plain white t-shirts and tie dyed them in orange. We achieved the white rings in the pattern by tying rubber bands randomly around the shirt. Once they were dyed and dry we took black fabric paint and painted jack-o-lantern faces in all of the white circles. Like I said, we did this in 2008 and these shirts are still around and being worn! I'm sorry I didn't get better pictures of the faces all over the front of the shirts, I wasn't in blogging, picture taking mode yet!

Incidentally, it was from this picture above that I created my all-time favorite edit:

"Paigey and the Purple Flower"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Woodland Creatures

Another project from 2008, pre-blogging era!

The girls and I went on a "nature hunt" and collected sticks, twigs, pine cones, pine needles, and acorns. We came home and created these adorable little creatures. Unfortunately, at this point, I only have one left. It's on my "Fall" shelf right now. I guess we should make more.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Spooky Spiders

I made these little spiders back in 2008. Look how little my kids were! It was before I was blogging. Oh, how lonely it must have been to make such an adorable project and not have tons of people to share it with!

I may have gotten the idea from Family Fun Magazine. I simply took a button (and I found big orange and black buttons with 4 holes) and stuck pipe cleaners through the holes as legs. Then I glued on really cool googly eyes and hung them from spider web stuff. So easy and fun for my then 4 year olds (sniff sniff).

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fibers on Friday: Close, But No Cigar

Oh how I wished this would be my FINAL post for the February Lady sweater! But, it's not. I still need to sew on the buttons and I think I may need to re-block it. I took these pictures even though it was still a tad damp. (Actually my 5 year old photographers took these pictures)

I think I need to block it again because I may have stretched the back down too much. Before it was blocked, the bottom of the sweater was barely at my waist line. So, as I was blocking, I pulled it down, but it looks a little too stretched, see.....

And speaking of blocking. Ummmm.....why have I never heard mention that a wool sweater (when wet) smells like a big, ol', furry, WET DOG???? GROSS!! I had to flip it over this afternoon because it was not thoroughly drying.

I'll get there. This is the first garment that I've knit that has really required blocking, so if I have to tweak it a few times, it's all good.

Next on my needles, a shrug for one of my girlies.

Our party is growing, folks! Let's keep it going!

A Few Cards!

On Sunday I was able to get some card making done with Steph! I always turn to CPS for some direction and sketch inspiration. Here is the sketch for this week:

And here is how I went with it:

The stamp set is called Everyday Button Bits from Paper Trey Ink. I don't have a whole lot of stamp sets, but I am sooooo glad this is one of them! It fits so many needs and it's just ding dang cute!

But why stop there when we have carved out time for crafting? Here are a few other cards I made that day:

Thanks for looking!

Stamps: Every Day Button Bits from PTI
Cardstock: PTI
Pattern paper: Cosmo Cricket

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Beach Beauties

I know it's no longer the season, but I LOVE these pictures, taken by my cousin Amy.

For more WW, visit 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Halloween Pillowcases

Now that I know how to do these awesome (easy!) pillowcases, I can't stop thinking of making them for every occasion! I went to the fabric store last week and bought fabric for two pillowcases AND two trick-or-treat bags. As I was having it all cut, the girl said, "this is cool, they can use the pillowcases until Halloween and then use them on trick-or-treat night."

Yes! Double Duty!!

No need to make separate bags for trick-or-treating when you have these awesome, festive, pillowcases to do the job! I suppose I'll save the rest of the fabric for a different project!

Linking to these parties this week. Please click to see the buttons that will blog hop you around to all the best linky parties!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meatless Monday! Crispy Tofu

I've had this recipe torn out of the Family Fun magazine for over a year now! I'm not sure what took me so long to make this because it was scrumptious! My kids are still not digging tofu, though, despite my best efforts at introducing them to a variety of ways to eat it. I really thought this would grab them. Nope! Not even cut up in these cute little cubes and served with tooth picks! Not even after depriving them of an after school snack so they'd be super duper hungry!

So, while I highly recommend this recipe, if you're not serving it to kids, I wouldn't do the little cubes. It made the cooking more labor intensive, flipping all those buggers. I may have carpal tunnel syndrome now, too. I'd leave it in long strips or even big slices.

  • 1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs found in the ethnic food aisle of supermarkets)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  1. FOR THE TOFU: Drain the tofu, then press it with paper towels toremove excess water. Cut the tofu into O-inch cubes.

  2. Combine the soy sauce, lime juice, and sugar in an 8-inch-square baking dish. Add the tofu cubes and turn them to coat all sides. Set the cubes aside to marinate for 30 minutes, turning them once halfway through.

  3. For dredging, make an assembly line of three small dishes: the first containing the cornstarch; the second, the egg; and the third, the panko. Toss each tofu cube lightly in each dish, in the order listed. Set the cubes aside on a plate until all are coated.

  4. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and heat the oven to 200ยบ. Heat a 10- to 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, then the tofu cubes to the pan. Fry them on one side until golden and crisp, then continue cooking them until all sides are golden, using tongs to turn them, about 6 minutes total. Transfer the cubes to the paper towel-lined baking sheet and place it in the oven to keep the tofu warm.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fibers on Friday: One Down, One to Go!

Look at this! I finished one whole sleeve this week and have started the second. I'm so excited and still love with this sweater!

What have you been working on? Please show me anything you've knitted or crocheted....a recently completed project, your all time favorite project, a work-in-progress, or a picture of what you want to work on next.

Here's what is on MY radar, the Shalom Sweater. In my quest for my next project I came across this version by Three Pumpkins Little and I'm totally in love with the way it turned out, the yarn looks fabulous and perfect. Yup....up next for sure!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Halloween Decor for this year

Everything I've made this year is a total knock off! Can I get a hip-hip-hooray for blog parties?? Without them, I'd still be sitting around with nary a ghost or a goblin in my house!

I love this acorn frame! I can't link to it because I couldn't find it on line, but I can tell you I saw the idea in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I just took a thrift store frame and hot glued acorn caps all around. I took a single leaf to frame. Perfect and simple.

This is the dollar store wreath that's been circulating like wildfire from House of Hepworth's.

I just HAD to do the dryer ducting pumpkin, also from HOH. And the paper centerpiece by Lil' Luna.

I am such a late bloomer when it comes to decorating. I spent the first part of my married life not decorating AT ALL. Not for NOTHIN'! I wasn't interested, I wasn't inspired. But, I've added little festive pieces of flare here and there since I had my kids. I add a couple pieces every year. I still only need one big storage container for each holiday, but I'm getting there. I'm not trying to break the bank all at once ;-)

And even though these are all borrowed ideas, I'll link to these parties just to spread the word and inspiration!

The Girl Creative

Monday, October 4, 2010

Meatless Monday! Soaked Oats

I had never tried steel cut oats until this week. I always buy the Old fashioned slow cooking oats and my kids do like them, so that makes me happy. But I think I've read that steel cut oats are healthier, more of the grain is left in tact, more fiber remains. So, I decided to spend the extra money and try them.

I used this recipe from Cooking Light.


  • 1/3 cup steel-cut oats (such as McCann's)
  • 2 tablespoons uncooked pearl barley
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon honey


1. Combine oats, barley, and 1 1/4 cups water in a microwave-safe 4-cup bowl. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

2. Uncover bowl, and stir in salt. Microwave, uncovered, at HIGH for 6 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed, stirring well after 3 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg. Top with almonds and honey.

What a way to start your Meatless Monday! So easy to just pull it out of the frig in the morning and cook in the mikey. I found it was quite tasty and not mushy or gummy.

Visit Meatless Monday for more ideas to help you go meatless at least once a week!