Monday, December 31, 2012


This very blog is all about my nutty domestic tendencies and my crazy crafting compulsions.  I work part time at an Independent craft boutique and I teach a variety of crafty classes, including crochet.  I get asked by many customers and my students how I started crafting and how I ended up so domestic.  I believe that there HAS to be a domestic/crafty gene that I inherited and there is only one person (well 2) to blame.  My mother passed this crazy gene on to me from this lady, my Grandma.

My grandma did it all, cooked, cleaned, sewed, crocheted, crafted....  you name it.  My mom and my Grandma both taught me how to crochet and I will never forget that!  I remember a specific time when my Grandmother was "heckling" me (her term) because my crocheted beanie was more of Yarmulke.

On Friday, December 28th 2012 my Grandma passed away.  She celebrated her 90th birthday this past June and lived a very full life.  She had 6 kids (wow), 11 grandchildren (if my math is correct) and currently 8 great grandchildren.  She had a great and feisty sense of humor and she told the best stories!!!

Every time I crochet I will think of my Grandma....  she will be missed dearly by many people and her stories will live inside us all!

Love you, Grandma!

Oh MY!!!

I can't believe that it has been so long since I last posted!!  Christmas season this year was crazy, to say the least.  The preparations and the family that we visited kept us very busy.  This year I decided not to make my Christmas cards...  that adds a whole new level of busy onto an already busy season.  Plus this year I was a little more interested in making my gifts.

And so here are some of the gifts that I made...

I made a TON of these Headbands/Ear Warmers this year:

...  I had to make one for my in-law's dog too!!!  :-)

I had fun mixing yarns for a cowl:

This is the flip toy that I made for my 4 month old nephew.

And he needed a hat too, although it didn't fit because lil man had a HUGE head!  :-)

 I made a similar hat for my son's teacher.... hopefully it fits :-/

I also make a bunch of these scarflettes:

I made this ruffle scarf for my ma...

The beard hat is the biggest rage here in the Midwest.  I knitted & crocheted this one for the Redneck Gift exchange that we participated in.  

I embroidered a few tea towels for my MIL, and failed to get completed pictures:

Despite my diligent watering....  my Christmas tree died 2 weeks before Christmas!  Just dropped all of it's needles and decided it was done.... we ran out and bought a fake one!  We are now officially a 'fake-Christmas-Tree-houshold':

But.... I love how it looks.

And even though Christmas is over, I am still working on projects!!!  Which I can't wait to share!  Hope everyone had a great holiday and I wish you all a fantastic New Year!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Jessica Scarflet!!!!

'Tis the season for a free pattern!!!  I can't take credit for this one, my girl, Jessica made this and I became completely obsessed with it last year and made one for pretty much everyone on my list.  She posted a free pattern here or you can just use this one that I adapted.

The Jessica Scarfflette
Hook Size G, 2 skeins Manos Silk Blend
Ch 31. 
Row 1: 2 DC in the 4th Ch from hook. Skip 2 Ch, SC in the next Ch. *Skip 2 Ch, 5 DC in next Ch* repeat from * 3 times. Skip 2, Sc in last chain. Turn.
Row 2: Ch 3, 2 DC in same Sc from previous row. *SC into the 3rd DC from previous row, 5 DC in the next SC in the previous row.* repeat from * 3 times. SC in the top of the Ch 3 from previous round. Turn.
Repeat Row 2 until piece measures aprx. 28”. On last row, do not end yarn, continue scallop pattern around the other 3 sides of scarf. Sew on 5 buttons, vertically, along the bottom right side of the scarf. Buttons will fit through holes created by crochet stitch.

Here is a recent one that I made with a different yarn.  This is made with Monsoon, which is a chunkier yarn, so I used a K hook with this guy.  Below I have a comparison between the Monsoon version and the Manos version.

Hope you like this pattern.  I also have another free crochet pattern coming soon! Until then, Happy Yarning!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Winter is practically here and I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite winter drinks.  First up is my Caramel Apple Cider Cocktail.   I came up with this recipe a few weeks ago (although I am sure there are some similar recipes out there).

Ingredients (makes one drink)
1 c. Spiced or Mulled Apple Cider
1 shot Butterscotch Schnapps
1 shot Whipped Cream Vodka
Caramel sauce, whipped cream, ice (optional)

Ingredients (makes 1 pitcher, apx. 5 drinks)
5 c. Spiced or Mulled Apple Cider 
1/2 c. Butterscotch Schnapps
1/2 c. Whipped Cream Vodka

I buy apple cider from the store, I heat it up in a pot on the stove or in a crock pot and steep mulling spices in a tea ball infuser.  (At this time of year you can usually find the mulling spice next to the apple cider in the produce department.)  Although this adds depth of flavor, it is by no means necessary.  I mix the cider and alcohol together pour it on ice or serve it hot in a mug.  I like a small amount of caramel ice cream sauce in mine, but it is also fun to serve topped with whipped cream with caramel drizzle.

Chai Tea has become pretty popular and my best friend came over with a Vanilla Chai Latte form the new Dunkin Donuts up the street.  One sip and I knew I could make it and for WAY cheaper.  Here is what I came up with.

Ingredients (Make 3 drinks)
Chai Tea Bag  (I use Twinings)
3 c. water
Vanilla simple syrup (recipe below)

I use one Chai Tea Bag per 3 c. of water, this makes a weaker tea which is pretty common when buying the drinks at a fast food restaurant.  In a mug, I pour in 1-2 Tbs. vanilla simple syrup, I nearly fill the cup with the prepared tea and then add a splash (about 2 tbs.) of milk.

Vanilla Simple Syrup
1 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan over Med. heat just until all of the sugar is dissolved. Remove from hear and add the extract.  You can store this in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

I hope everyone drinks lots (responsibly) during this holiday season.  Until next time, Cheers!!!

Friday, November 9, 2012


I have started on Christmas already!!!  I have been a knitting fool and I am completely obsessed with making these headbands!!!

You can find this FREE Pattern, The Morning Walk Headband Ear Warmer, here and it is super easy and quick to make.

I just. can't. get. enough.  And I have decided that I need one in every color. I use vintage buttons and I have been crocheting a ton of wool flowers for embellishments.  

I am also considering knitting another sweater....  this time with a pattern.  Am I crazy or what?  :-) Until next time, Happy Yarning!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Its been busy around here!  I have plenty to share but with limited time to do it in.....  so here is a quick post about a recent scarf that I made.

My inspiration came from this Anthropologie throw.

I love the flowers and the colors and I intend on making a similar throw for myself, but I thought that I would do a trial run before jumping into anything that time consuming.  So I started with a scarf.  I made the flowers and crocheted them into a grid.  It was a bit challenging because the grid was freeform and it kept me guessing the whole time but I love how it turned out and can't wait to make another one.

Until next time, Happy Crocheting!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie!

I posted this picture....

.....of the pot pies that I made last night on all of my social networks and had everyone drooling.  Many asked me for the recipe so I will share the recipe with you and the changes that I made to it.

Last night I actually had something else planned for dinner but I had half of a rotisserie chicken left over from the enchiladas I made the night before....  I didn't want the chicken to go to waste but I also didn't want to buy anything extra to make a separate meal and I instantly thought of a pot pie and figured I had everything on hand.  I don't have a recipe, so I turned to Pinterest with no luck... then I went to the Food Network and found this recipe by The Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten.  What I liked most about this recipe is that it didn't call for a bottom crust...  I'm not a fan of the bottom crust in pot pies, it never gets done all the way and is always soggy.  Plus this is WAY easier.

I didn't use the crust that was suggested in the pot pie recipe, pie crust (for me) can be delicate to make and I have perfected this recipe from Betty Crocker so that it works every time for me.  I sub in cold butter instead of shortening so that I can use it immediately and not have to refrigerate it.  For the pot pies, I made the double pie crust recipe (see Step 3).

With the leftover chicken, I made my own chicken stock.  To explain it simply, I remove all of the usable meat, cover the carcass with water in a stock pot fitted with a strainer and boil for 1-1.5 hours.  I remove the strainer and carcass and simmer for 1-1.5 hours to thicken and condense the flavor.  For this recipe I also added 2 chicken bullion cubes while simmering.  (I used 5c. for the pot pies and had over 5c. leftover that divide between 2 containers and froze for future use).

Since I used a cooked chicken, I skipped the 1st part of the recipe that tells you how to cook the chicken.  Another change I made was with the carrots, I figured the purpose of the blanching process was to make the carrots "al dente" but frankly I like my carrots super soft.  So after I melted the butter, I added my onions and carrots at the same time.  I also completely forgot to add the heavy cream, even though I had it.  I thought the pot pie still turned out great without it, so that helps the calories and makes it better for those that are lactose intolerant!

I have these really nice soup bowls that I bought specifically for French Onion Soup that worked perfectly for this recipe.  Once they were filled and I had the dough rolled out, I just eye-balled what I thought would be enough dough and cut sections out of the dough with a butter knife.  After I added the crust to each bowl, I brushed with egg wash and instead of seasoning with salt and pepper, I freshly grated Parmesan cheese directly onto the crust.  I would have preferred Gruyere, but I didn't have any on hand.  

Baked in the oven for an hour and they turned out great.  I was surprised that they were so tasty.  I usually cook with lots of herbs and spices and this recipe didn't have much of that in there, so I had some fresh sage ready to add in case it needed a little something and surprisingly it didn't.  I will also note  that I personally don't like curly leaf parsley in soups and alike, so for this recipe I used flat leaf (that just happens to be growing in my garden).

On another note.... I have a few vegetarian friends that would like this recipe without the meat...  If it were me, I would substitute cooked potatoes for the chicken and used vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.  I might also add both corn and peas for flavor.

Hope everyone likes this recipe!  Let me know how it turns out!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Anthro Copy Sweater

I can't believe that I am finally saying this but IT's DONE!!!!!!  I was nearly done when I put it away indefinitely, 10 months ago.  I had been so frustrated that it took 10 months to dig it back out and complete it!  And I did!!!  So...  here is the original Antropologie Sweater that I was trying to replicate:

And here is how mine turned out:

There are definitely a few things that I would change if I had it to do over, but I like that it is homemade!

Aaaand in the interest of Anthropologie copies...  I started a new one.  This one is crochet and shouldn't take me nearly as long as the sweater, but we'll see :-)

Here is the inspiration:

And here is what I have so far:

Until next time, Happy Yarning!