Monthly Archives: March 2013

Spring Cleaning

Hoarding is not a good thing.  My laundry/craft room is only so big.  I have to make some decisions about what needs to go.  You would think I would start with the stuff you can see but I figured if I attacked the things inside the cabinets that I never go into then I’d have space for the things I can’t find a home for.  So I started with some magazines that I thought I never wanted to live without.  Turns out that since 1988 I have much more creative and crafting skill then the projects reflected in these back issues of a defunct magazine.

St Patricks Day and etc 007

Seriously…this would be the ugliest lamp ever.  Grab some lamp parts, plaster, rope, and a garbage bag and you get a shabby chic lamp?  Nope…not even close.

St Patricks Day and etc 008

While paging through my late 80’s collection of magazines I did learn some interesting things like Pillsbury’s Funetti cake line was new in 1989. Also I could make some nifty looking keepsake frames, mirrors, and boxes by gluing seashells I “found”  while on vacation all over them in a pleasing pattern.  I never want to do that…ever!  I really do like shells though.

St Patricks Day and etc 015

I could make the mother – daughter sweater set…but I don’t have a daughter…

St Patricks Day and etc 014

There are some leaflets and projects that I did do…I made the busts with heads made out of shrunken apples.  In my defense I did this in junior high school.  Sadly I no longer have the bust I made but seeing the project guide brought back fond memories indeed.  I also found a leaflet for making flowers out of pinecones.

St Patricks Day and etc 019

I did decorate a Christmas tree with ribbon garlands cascading down just like I saw in this picture.  It was one of my favorite trees!

St Patricks Day and etc 017

I did come across a real gem in my purging…a leaflet that has real possibilities.  In full disclosure I actually did wear crocheted vests like this made by my mom and grandma when I was in grade school.   I must have been too young at the time to realize that there was a need for bags to carry around your feathered farm animals and rabbits.  Who knew?!  I kept this instruction leaflet, it was too funny to ship off to the Goodwill.

St Patricks Day and etc 020

St Patricks Day and etc 022

I ran across my son’s membership packet for the Pee Wee Herman Fun Club…complete with 2 autographed 8 x 10 portraits.  And the purging continues…I’ll keep you posted on anything else of interest that I come across.

New Hat

Twigg Stitch Hat
Pattern: Improvised twigg stitch hat
Yarn: Some random acrylic yarn

Monica: I finally posted the finished Twigg Stitch practice hat I was working on a few weeks ago. Sadly I have been able to wear it often since we are stuck in winter.

Twigg Stitch Hat on head

I like the purple side better. I tried to be creative by adding more rows of the different color. I need to practice this method more because my gauge is still wonky. Also I’m still knitting with one color in each hand and I’d like to be able to use my left hand only for both colors because it would go much faster.

I know I’m supposed to be enjoying the knitting and not rushing it but there are so many projects I want to knit!

Buddy waiting for his corned beef

Buddy waiting for his corned beef

He’s been smelling the crockpot all day. It drives the humans crazy to smell it all day so I’m sure it’s doubly irritating to him since his nose is much more sensitive.

ETA: Buddy said the corned beef is delicious! The humans were saying that it was too tough but Buddy said if you don’t chew it it’s perfect.

Some Finished Objects

hey girl...
Pattern: Hey Girl by Chic Knits
Yarn: Dream in Color Everlasting DK in Holly

Monica: I was lucky enough to test knit the pattern for BonneMarie a few months ago. This was another great pattern that was easy to knit. I really like the classic style of it. I used the mill end Dream in Color yarn I bought last fall and I’m glad it worked perfectly for the sweater.

hey girl ...

Sorry I cannot get any good pictures of the sweater. The first picture was taken in the bathroom and you can’t see that the sweater is a nice navy color with some hints of green. It’s more like the colors of black watch plaid as Rebecca called it when she saw it.

hey girl in daylight

That is a picture of the sweater in progress. You can really see the color variation there.

Another item I finished were some mittens. I started these last summer and I took my time finishing them.

decadence mittens
Pattern: Decadence by SpillyJane
Yarn: The Loopy Ewe Solid Series in carnation and orchid.

I love SpillyJane mittens and I have most of her patterns in my queue. I gave these to my friend Diana from work. She has carpal tunnel syndrome and finds it difficult to knit with smaller needles so I was happy to give them to her. I like knitting mittens and I have so many pairs I was happy to give them away. I have enough yarn left over to knit another pair but will probably have to reverse the colors.

That’s all for the finished objects. I have a many works in progress so it takes me a while to have finished projects.

A Busy Weekend

Monica: I had a crazy weekend of driving all over Chicagoland. I drove a total of 196 miles!! It was the wrong weekend to do it since we had daylight savings time and lost an hour yesterday. I’m just glad it’s over and hopefully I won’t have to do it for a while. Next time I will plan better. At least I had fun catching up with some friends. I even got to see a play that I haven’t seen in a long time – Fiddler on the Roof. I remember when I was in high school it was one of the more popular productions so it seemed like all the high school plays were the same.

Yesterday one of my friends and I met for brunch at m.henry. I had black bean cakes and huevos borrachos:

a little bit of everything

I liked it a lot. I always say that breakfast is a difficult meal to screw up but I’ve had some awful breakfasts. My friend Frances had been practicing brioche stitch all week long so of course she had to try the cranberry walnut brioche french toast.

brioche french toast

She let me have a taste and it was really good. Surprise right? The restaurant was one block away from Windy Knitty – a yarn shop that was going to be featuring Fleur de Fiber yarn later — much later. We managed to find something to do while we waited for Angela to show up with the goodies:

All the goodies Potlucky Chicago-inspired colors

Of course I couldn’t walk away from all that yarn without acquiring some. I just forgot to take a picture of it so I’ll have to post it later.

Let’s Talk Food

Lynette:  So I’m a foodie – meaning n.Slang A person who has an ardent or refined interest in food.  I love watching food TV shows (I’m a huge Top Chef fan), reading food blogs and biographies by chefs and fictional food books.  However, I wasn’t very creative or inventive when it came to cooking. My meal plan was always the same.  So late last year, I started actually looking at the recipes I’ve read about.  Time to change up my meal repertoire.  It’s all a part of my Learning New Things.

One of the blogs I’ve recently discovered is called Simply So Good.   Her name is Janet and her food looks delicious.  The post that made me want to ‘cook this’ was her Crusty Bread recipe.  It is amazingly simple and delicious!  Originally, I thought to myself I’ll try it but my bread won’t turn out like that.  But yes it did!  This recipe is SO easy, I’ve made it almost every week.  Not for myself but I’ve baked it for my family. It taste so much like the bread they serve at Panera.  I’ve yet to experiment with it by adding herbs, cheeses, raisins, etc. because it taste so delicious on it’s own. You have to try this.

Next up is her Chicken Tortilla Soup and Black Bean Salsa.   Double Yum!  This was one of the most delicious meals I’ve made in a long time.  I no longer buy packaged soups because of the high sodium content and now I can enjoy it the healthy way. There is some prep work and that’s ok.  I’m learning now that all meals don’t have to be cooked in 30 minutes or less.  I’m very, very pleased with the outcome.

There are more recipes from this blog I intend to try.  Here’s a link to the recipe index if you want to check it out.

Onto another blog called The Crepes of Wrath.  The Crock Pot Beer Chicken was calling out to me one day.  So here’s my result.  My pictures don’t look as good as the original, but the taste is great!  The chicken was so very moist and truly fell apart when I tried to lift it out of the crock pot.  My only drawback was that I don’t know anything about beer so I went to the store and bought a can of Miller’s I think.  Next time around, I think I’ll go to Trader Joe’s and get some Lindemans Framboise Raspberry Lambic Beer or some other flavor.  I tried this at a friend’s house, and it was so good.  It tasted more like sparkling wine rather than beer.  I think that would give a totally different flavor altogether.

The last recipe (with pictures) I want to share with you is called Grands! Chicken Pot Pie Puffs by Pillsbury.  Again, it’s super easy, quick and delicious.  My family ate it up within a few minutes.  My son ate his while standing in the kitchen then asked for more.  Here’s my version.  Next time, the only thing I would change is to make two batches or use two cans of biscuits.

These recipes don’t have pictures for it, but I wanted to share them.  I tried the Slow Cooker Pepper Steak by  I served it over rice.  I keep saying the word delicious.  And it was!  You’ll have to take my word for it and try it one of these day.   The last recipe is from a blog I read called Under The Tulip Tree.  The recipe is called Family Pancake, which is basically a dutch pancake.  Instead of cooking a stack of pancakes, I made this on a Sunday morning when everyone was home, and it was a winner.  And delicious!


Fiber Therapy

Dee: I was feeling a bit irregular this weekend, it started yesterday.  Saturday just started out wrong so I decided I’d soothe my soul with some retail therapy.  I jumped in the car and headed off to one of my happy places…Nordstrom Rack.  I went in thinking about how much I really wanted some colorful jeans for spring but the styles were all wrong for me which was really disappointing so I headed off to shoes.  Shoes always make me feel better.  Sadly I couldn’t find a single pair to buy.  I didn’t think this was possible.  I always find a pair of shoes at the Rack but not this time.  Saturday ended and I was not appeased.

Today…Sunday…I took a peek at the ads in the paper and discovered that Tuesday Morning had yarn!!!  I jumped in the car and headed off to do some errands at the grocery store which just happens to share the same parking lot as Tuesday Morning.  Soon I had my arms loaded down with skeins of sock yarn. I carried them around the store with me whilst I was deciding how much fiber did I really need to feel better again.  I put all of it back in favor of one lovely skein of Araucania Lace Merino which is actually a light fingering weight.  So soft, so lovely, it was just the right thing to ease my constipated soul so I bought it and now I am much relieved.  I am regular once again and it only cost me $4.99.  I plan to make this cowl with it.  The skein is a lovely shade of taupe.  Ahhhhh……I will sleep peacefully tonight.


Monica: I had a weird dream last night and woke up feeling like it was real. My dreams always seem to make sense in when I’m experiencing but when I describe them out loud it seems like I was on some kind of acid trip! I was about to describe it in detail in this post but I realized that I forgot so many details so it would just be a jumbled mess of assassins, time limits and dobermans.

I don’t have a good segue to the next part of this post. Yesterday was the second and last day of our Twigg Stitch class. It was fun hanging out with Lynette and her friends and seeing Rebecca again. I got to see her circle scarf up close and it’s much prettier in person. I also got to see Finion again.

She was getting so close

Lynette and I tried to stuff him in our bags but he was not interested. I should’ve brought bacon with me. Duh! So back to the class:

Twigg Stitch Class

Everyone was concentrating on the class. I was in between projects so I started a practice hat during the week:

My twigg practice hat

One thing I noticed is my gauge was so off when I was practicing this last week. I can tell that it’s getting slightly more even as I keep working on this hat. Also I see a bias in the knitting and I can’t tell if it’s because I’m magic-looping (yes I just made it into a verb) or if it’s from my knitting. We’ll see how it looks when I’m done. I have a feeling some person working at Goodwill will get it and say “what the …??”

The classes were held at Lynette’s friend Debbie’s house. She was such a wonderful hostess. On both days she unnecessarily provided us with drinks and food. Thank you Debbie!