Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Make, Take and Bake

Here's a collection of some of the best tutorials, freebies, giveaways and recipes that I've stumbled across on the blogosphere this week.

A tutorial showing how to make this fun crochet hook clutch can be found at Little Birdie Secrets.

Enter to win a copy of The Bag Making Bible and score a free pdf pattern to make the Reversable Bucket Bag at Sew Mama Sew.

Brush up on your sandwich loaf making skills at Farmgirl Fare.

Monday, January 24, 2011

On Vacation

I'm taking a little break until Wednesday to celebrate the birthdays of the two most important guys in my life.

Until then, you can visit me over at Celtic Cat Photos

I'm being featured in the Spotlight on Michigan Artists.

Then be sure to pop over to her Etsy store filled with beautiful prints.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Make, Take and Bake

Here's a collection of some of the best tutorials, freebies, giveaways and recipes that I've stumbled across on the blogosphere this week.


Always losing a button?  Stop by Sew Mama Sew for a tutorial on how to make this great travel sewing kit.

Want a Silhouette? 
I do, I do. 
Then make your way over to Made and enter their giveaway.

How about some free baubles?  Above is an example of what you could win over at MelJoy Creations.  Head on over here to see how you can enter the monthly giveaway.

Chocolate Covered Oreos. 
Need I say more? 
Stop by Boutique-It for a great step-by-step recipe.

And, if you are looking to get a jump start on your Valentine's Day shopping Willew Creations is having a sale this week.  Use promo code LOVE11 for 10% off you entire order.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Goodbye Friend

The past week I have had a friend traveling everywhere with me.  I thought she looked a lot like an octopus.  With an extremely easy to knit pattern I could haul her anywhere and add on a few stitches here and there. 
My kind of pattern.

In less than a week, I had the finished project.

Can you guess what it is?

Extra large cowl for my sister's birthday.

You can find the pattern here and my notes here.

I'm thinking I might need to knit up another for myself.  I'm really digging it and needing some more company.

Craft Hope for Haiti Shop Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time

And, if you haven't already seen, Craft Hope has announced their newest campaign. They will be supporting the Konbit Sante organization that continues to aide in the rebuilding of Haiti, a year after the devastating earthquake.  

Campaign Eleven will be providing Konbit Sante safe birthing kits to distribute to mamas.  I have definitely taken for granted that when my Little Ones came into the world I did not have to worry about things like having a sterile environment.  The mamas in Haiti do not have that luxury.  If you are interesting in helping or would like more information head over to the Craft Hope site.  

Friday, January 14, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I Have a Secret

It has been a funky day. 
Like stuck in a funk kinda day.

Then this showed up on Made

An hour later, life was a little better.
If you want some, and you know you do, Dana at Made has a step-by-step recipe here.

Then the Little Ones and I snuggled up in blankets, watched snowflakes and read The Tomten.
Things got even better.

Then the Mister came home, took the Little Ones out and left me with an empty house.
A very rare treat.

I finally could listen to my newest batches of CDs from the library.

And, now I am really happy.

If you listen to The Secret Sisters you will be, too.

Lister to a preview here.

Now I just have to find some red lipstick to be really, really happy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Make, Take and Bake

Here's a collection of some of the best tutorials, freebies, giveaways and recipes that I've stumbled across on the blogosphere this week.


Learn to sew buttons and buttonholes at Made.

Show off your winter craftiness at The CSI Project and be in the running to win fun prizes.  They have 29 different categories to enter, including: Winter Table, Updated Winter Gloves and Wreath From a Picture Frame.

For a chance to win this beautiful tree fort by Manzanita Kids, stop by Zach Aboard.

Bake up some Goose Bread with Cold Antler Farm.

Friday, January 7, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Day Interrupted

I had plans for many more accomplishments today, but the snow and the huge load of books, cds and dvds awaiting us at the library derailed that.  We each dove into our favorite corner with our new books and ignored the heavy snowflakes falling outside. Until, Mama had to go shovel.  I left the little ones with the instructions that they could watch the end of one television show and they must turn off the television in the living room.  I need to learn to not speak so literally.  When I came back in they had indeed turned off the television in the living room and were cuddled up in my bed watching my television.  Outsmarted yet again, there was nothing I could do but join them in bed.  With the extra down time I got to dive into Chocolat.

I love how well loved this library copy is. I am really enjoying this book only a few chapters in.  I'm not sure how I missed it before.  The inspiration behind this choice is The Crafty Book Club.   The Crafty Book Club is a site where like-minded artists can come together, read great books and share work inspired by those books.  If you like reading and crafting you should check them out.  They even make sure all their book choices have been made into movies for the time strapped crafters.

So, what would go better with being curled up on a snowy day reading Chocolat then a cup of coffee with Mint Chocolate Truffle Creamer?   I have found the cost and long list of disturbingly unpronounceable ingredients in store bought creamer not conducive to my buying habits.  Luckily, I stumbled upon a whole cache of creamer recipes and have been happily creating my own for some time now.  Following is the Mint Chocolate Truffle.  Try really you have to try it. 

Chocolate Mint Truffle Creamer
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cup milk
3 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Teaspoon peppermint extract

Mix all ingredients in a glass container.  Shake each time before use to avoid settling.  Will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Make, Take and Bake

Here's a collection of some of the best tutorials, freebies, giveaways and recipes that I've stumbled across on the blogosphere this week. 

Design it yourself wooden key chains from How About Orange.
Instructions can be found here.

Nylon Chiffon Fleurs shoe clips from Grosgrain.
Instructions located here.

Enter to win this photographic artwork by Alpha Dog Photo
Just visit Around the Plate and leave a comment here.

A great step-by-step recipe for Three Kings Day Bread provided by Mexico in My Kitchen.  Click here to find how to make this beautiful bread.

Finally, if the Winter's cold is starting to get you down stop by my Etsy shop for our scarf sale.  All scarves are twenty-five percent off this week and are guaranteed to take a bit of chill out of the day for you.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Borax Crystal Snowflake Tutorial

I've had a few requests to share how to make these borax crystal snowflakes, so I thought I would share a quick tutorial.  These are really fun and easy and if you are anything like me they will leave you thinking, hmm what else can I crystallize.

For this project you will need to gather up the following:

pipe cleaners
borax (found in the laundry aisle of the grocery store) 
food coloring
glass jars
chopsticks or pencils
boiling water

Bend your pipe cleaners into any shape you would like.  We went with some more free form flakes, but you can achieve a very authentic look by using multiple pipe cleaners.  You are only limited by the size of the jar you are using. 
Once you are done bending tie some string to your creation and suspend it in the jar by tying the other end of your string to the chop stick or pencil.  Make sure your pipe cleaner isn't touching the side or the bottom of you jar.
Next, you will mix two cups of boiling water, six tablespoons of borax and two drops of food coloring together.  Pour this mixture into the jar and let set overnight.  In the morning your snowflakes will have crystallized and are ready to enjoy.

And, just like.. 

in nature...

no two flakes...

are identical.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Back to Normal

Even though the Holidays are so enjoyable, isn't it great to get back to your familiar routine?  After all that celebration, fellowship and reflection, it feels so good to get back to our regular lives.  Even with the boxes of ornaments that need to be put away, mountains of laundry to do and the ten pounds (in two weeks!!) to take off, it just feels good to be back to normal.

Hopefully, these little guys will help with the last weighty issues at hand.  I just adore sprouts.  I have two early homemade food memories.  One is picking strawberries behind our garage and mashing them up to make freezer jam.  The other is my mom growing sprouts in a jar under our sink.  I can still remember the yellow mesh lid that was used to strain them.  Thankfully, the process has gotten much easier and now may I introduce you to my most green Christmas present.

I love this sprouter.  Add water in the morning and in siphons down through the layers.  Empty and refill at night.  In a few days you have yummy, edible sprouts to add to your salads, sandwiches, soup, etc...  One of my favorite sprout infused sandwiches was from a pub in our local mall of all places.  Sadly, they are no more, so I've tried to recreate it more or less.  You take one pita, halved, and add sliced turkey, Munster Cheese, Cesar dressing and sprouts, heat it up and enjoy.  And, yes I realize that cheese and Cesar dressing do not lead to weight loss. What can I say.  I am working on it.  I even cut bangs to help offset the weight gain.

Haven't tried these since I was eleven.  Kind of digging them.  Little Boy told me they were awful.  Apparently, he does not like it when Mama doesn't look like Mama.  I think they will stay for awhile even with the objections.

So, I really was doing good today and this arrived. 

Darn you, Midwest Living

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

And ye, who have met with Adversity's blast,

And been bow'd to the earth by its fury;

To whom the Twelve Months, that have recently pass'd

Were as harsh as a prejudiced jury -

Still, fill to the Future! and join in our chime,

The regrets of remembrance to cozen,

And having obtained a New Trial of Time,

Shout in hopes of a kindlier dozen.

~Thomas Hood