Thursday, January 26, 2012

Food Swing swing

-Definition courtesy of Urban Dictionary

This is me.  I don't like getting into the rut of eating the same thing over and over again. You know that rut that we all get into at times when Monday turns into Meatloaf night and Tuesday into Pasta night (whatever that is).

As crafty as I can be with textiles, I am equally as crafty at cooking, or rather crafty at finding a huge variety of published recipes to try. :-)  With such a variety, I have trouble remembering them all so I have turned to Pinterest to file them all but I like to comment and review each recipe and Pinterest has a limit for their comment boxes.  What better place to catalog my culinary onion than on my blog?!

1st review: Roasted Garlic Chicken Pesto Pizza

(Let me 1st start by telling you that the hubbs has acid reflux.  This means I can't cook with anything acidic like tomatoes (including tomato sauce and salsa) or citrus.  So standard pizza is out, which is why this pizza was so appealing...not to mention that I LOVE pesto).

This recipe comes from another blog, Sugar Cooking, which I found on Pinterest. And let me just tell you this was super YUMMY!!!  It is a bit time consuming with having to roast your own garlic and make your own crust but definitely worth it!!!  The crust is the easiest pizza crust that I have ever made and that includes the stuff out of the package and cans from the store.  It was easy to "press out" into the pizza pan that was lightly dusted with corn meal;  usually I have a heck of a time trying to get pizza dough to full size.  I shortened the rise time just a bit, which made for a thinner crust, but I still liked it.  The roasted garlic was hard to spread (not sure if that has to do with the roasting time) so I just "smeared" it randomly and evenly throughout.  Then I used most of 1 container of store bought pesto..... The chicken I cooked while the crust was rising and I used a tablespoon or so of the pesto to cook the chicken in (the rest I used as sauce).  Then I used 8oz. of fresh mozzarella (which I recommend hands down over the shredded stuff).  Then I shredded Parmesan cheese (from a brick) directly onto the pizza, so that it looked even and enough to hold on the toppings once melted.  After about 10 minutes in the 425 oven, it was pretty much done.  Although the crust was done, we still needed a fork for the center part of the pizza but man was this yummy.  The hubs gave this a 9/10 stars and I would definitely give it a 10!!!!  I used a whole chicken breast for this so 1 piece was pretty filling.  I made a standard pepperoni for the kids (not because the wouldn't eat this one, the pepperoni is a little more mild in flavor and they most likely will eat it better...  next time I will make enough for them) , so this + the pepperoni fed us for 2 nights, making the longevity of preparation even more worth it.   YAY!!!  Winner!!!  

I hope everyone tries this pizza because it was really good, even as leftovers!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I wouldn't say that I am an avid embroiderer or anything, but I do like to embroider here and there.  Out of all the crafty things that I do, I find embroidery to be the most time consuming.  And that might not be very accurate, but it definitely seems more time consuming because it keeps both of my hands busy and I have to actually pay attention.  So watching my kids or TV while embroidering proves to be somewhat difficult...  as opposed to knitting, for example.

This Christmas, I decided to make a few embroidery projects.  1st up was a direct rip off :-)  I saw this image on Pinterest and tracked it back to this blog.  I instantly wanted to make this for my hubbs for Christmas. Not only was it cute, but we sell the exact Joel Dewberry fabric at work and it would look great on my upcoming "Woodland Creature" wall that I plan on making in my living room.  Here is the inspiration:

I didn't draw the heart on first, I just free-handed it... so it is a little lopsided (in my mind making it more authentic looking and definitely handmade).  And I also had to add in our middle initials, since we have the same 1st and last... it would look like my hubbs was crushing on himself :-)  I also bought a "woodland" themed frame that I actually had to paint and adjust the color to match better.  But it is pretty much a direct rip off.  (Click the links above and the pic to get to the original blog)

When I was buying the embroidery floss for this project, I got an idea to embroider a set of tea towels for my in-laws.  They have a "Cowboys & Indians" theme in their house, so I was going to mimic that in their towels.  These were iron-on embroidery patterns that I purchased, and I just used the colors that they suggested, since they matched the colors in my in-law's kitchen perfectly.  I ironed transfers onto 3 towels but I only completed 2 of those for their Christmas present and I ran out of time for the 3rd.  The last one will end up taking less time than the other two, and I plan on embroidering that one to give them soon.

Notice that the Sheriff is the Cowgirl and the Deputy is the Cowboy, I told my mother-in-law that I made it that way so that my father-in-law remembers who is boss :-)  hehe  I am knitting up a storm, more to come soon!

Friday, January 20, 2012

It's Gaptastic

Just finished this infinity scarf/long cowl.  Not sure what my obsession with infinity scarves is lately, but this might be the last one I do for a while.  This one is also knitted, which gets me away from crochet for a little bit, but is a little frustrating since knitting takes more time to do vs. crochet.  To give you an idea, my previous post was on a crochet cowl that was about equal in size to this one....  the crochet scarf took me 2 hours, start to finish...  this baby took an easy 6-10 hours.  

I have some other projects in the works, so those should be coming to blog land soon. :-)   This GAP-tastic Cowl is a free pattern available on Ravelry.  It is a pretty simple pattern, I didn't make mine as wide as the pattern, but it is still made with the same concept.  I also used a baby alpaca yarn, so it is super soft.

Hopefully my upcoming projects won't take me as long to complete :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Crocheted Cowl

I received a request last week for a scarf.  She was completely joking...  but if I can, I will, so I did :-)  I turned to Ravelry for some inspiration.  I wanted something quick and easy and "trendy-looking" and I found it with the Scrap Happy free scarf pattern.  Honestly, I didn't even look at the written pattern, it looked pretty simple and what I liked about it (for all you crocheters) is that it is a basic grid pattern with a twist.  Normally you would alternate Ch and DC, DCing in he previous DC stitch.  This pattern, however, had you DC in the Ch space which made it easier, made it look a lot more trendy and a lot less uniform.  The pattern was written as a standard scarf but I turned it into a long cowl so that you could wear it as an infinity scarf, double it up to become a short cowl, or use one of the loops in the short cowl to cover your head and be a sort-of hood (in case you get caught in a snow storm with no hat)  :-).  The requested colors were black, white and gray, but I threw in a teal for interest.  I used yarn that I had with one exception, I bought the fluffy white stuff (Plymouth Heaven) to make it softer.  I absolutely ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤  how the scarf turned out... so much so that I am definitely making a matching one for myself....  see what you think.....

You can't tell me that you don't  it as much as I do!!!!  :-)

Friday, January 13, 2012


My girl, Jessica, made the cutest scarf a while back.... one look and I was swooning.  So I bought a ton of the same yarn (in different color ways) and made 4 scarves for 4 different people for Christmas.  This is a really easy crochet pattern and doesn't take a long time to make, the best part is that she has posted a FREE PATTERN on her blog!!!! Click here to get it.   The yarn used is Manos Del Uruguay and it is divine!!  It is a blend of Fine Merino Wool and Silk that is hand/kettle dyed.  I absolutely LOVE this yarn.  (In KC you can purchase at Urban Arts + Crafts).

The 1st scarf that I made (surprisingly) was for myself.  I picked the Spumoni color way with pinks and browns and I sewed on 5 different vintage buttons.  The part that I love the most about this pattern is that there is no need to create button holes when you are crocheting.  Because of the open stitch pattern, you can button anywhere on the scarf... which is really fun to play with all the different ways to wear it.

Then I made 3 more :-)  This one is the exact same scarf but, the yarn is in a different color way (mostly browns and blues) and I used matching buttons that bought to match the scarf.

The last 2 scarves were in the same color way with dark pinks, dark blues, blacks and browns.  I picked this one specifically for my son's teacher.  I don't know her well and I have no idea what color her coat is....  I was confidant that this color way would match whatever color coat she had.  I also made this for the hub's cousin...  I have a pretty good handle on her overall style but it was still nice to give her something that she could wear with anything.  I have started to collect vintage buttons for projects like these and I was able to get all of the buttons for each from my stash.  

This is definitely my new "go-to" gift!!!  Usually when I make multiples of the same item, I get really bored and burnt out, but with this scarf...... I am still excited to make more :-)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A few quick things

With all of this talk about New Year's resolutions, I would like to share one that I made a year or two back that I have surprisingly stuck with.  My resolution was to try to be more 'green' and more environmentally friendly.  And now, I make a conscious effort regularly to consume less and to reuse and recycle as much as possible.  Directly after making this resolution, I ran into a sale at Target for fun kitchen towels that just so happen to match my kitchen.  I stocked up and now we not only use them as standard kitchen towels, but also everyday cloth napkins.  When I was a kid, cloth napkins were only used with the good china so we regularly used either paper napkins or paper towels.   I'm not exactly sure how much waste I have saved in the last year, but if you consider that there are 4 of us using napkins at least at dinner, sometimes at other meals, everyday... for 1 year+.... it really adds up, 1460 napkins+.

On another topic, the forecast today says sunny with no precipitation.  It is cloudy and snowing :-)  A perfect setting for one of my favorite treats!!!

As you can see, I LOVE playing with the photo apps on my phone.  I love Hipstamatic and I am currently obsessed with Instagram...  what are your favorite photo apps?


Here are a few scarves that I made this Christmas for my Mom.  They look a bit complicated, but really are the easiest scarves I have ever made!!  Both of them I got done in under and hour and they are both made with only one skein of yarn each.

This one is made out of a Trendsetter yarn called Improv.  The yarn literally does all the work for you, all you have to do is knit and you get an awesome ruffled scarf.  I used only one ball and cast on only 6 stitches.  The outside of the ruffles are gradient light gray to a medium gray.  The inside of the ruffles are gradient dark gray to black.  Super CUTE!

This one I crocheted but you can also knit it...  and basically you are just slipping stitches in order to gather one edge of the yarn.  Even if you aren't a crocheter or a knitter, you could totally pull this one off.  This is a brand new yarn from Berroco called Lacey.  There are free instructions on the Berroco website on how to make this scarf and the knitting and crochet instructions are also listed on the inside of the sleeve on the yarn skein.  The color way I used was Tea Rose, so it is an antique blush color.  This scarf definitely reminds me of the "Madonna-Like a Prayer" days, but I think that it could definitely work into any look.  This is a very new yarn and I am really excited to see the different ways that this will be incorporated in other projects.

Still working on some things and I have more to post.  My New Year's resolution was to clean at least 1 thing every day, to do at least 1 thing creative every day and to blog more.  So far, so good...  we shall see how long it lasts :-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Christmas is over....

... and I just can't stop making Christmas presents!!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Owl Hat

Up next is the owl hat that I crocheted for my niece, Chloe.  I have to confess that I completely ripped this one off.  I originally saw the picture on Pinterest and I instantly LOVED everything about the hat. Here is the inspiration (click on pic for link):
The best part is that I had the exact colors of yarn in my yarn stash.  I used a free pattern for a basic crocheted ear flap hat in the size that I needed from Ravelry (which was much bigger than the inspiration hat that is an infant size).   I changed colors in approximately the same place as the inspiration hat and I made up and crocheted the embellishments.  I think it turned out great!
 And just as I did with her brother's hat, I embroidered a name tag on the inside.
I made it a touch too big so that she had some room to grow.
And here she is modeling her new hat with her "Diva" pose :-)
Still more Christmas gifts coming... plus this is the BEST time of the year to score some major deals on clothing, so I will also be sharing my bargain hunting soon :-)