Sunday, November 28, 2010

Holiday Mug Sweaters

When the weather gets cold I crave warm drinks....among my favorites, coffee, Chai and Green Tea (Peach flavored)  I am pretty pleased with the way this Mug sweater turned out.  It was knitted with two strands of worsted weight yarn. 

The sweater wraps around the coffee mug and will also fit regular paper cups as well.
More Christmas Coffee  Mug Sweater cheer in Green
 Coffee Mug Sweaters sure to warm someone....and the price is right...
$10.00 each.


Busy Time of the Year for Me

Being crafty is rewarding but at the same time exhausting with all that goes on at this time of the year. There are cards and gifts to make, orders to fill, cooking and baking to be done for events, programs at the Library to plan, etc...etc...

I try my best to keep things simple and quick. I found some very inexpensive cards during my shopping trip to AC Moore.  I could not resist especially since I had already used all of my hand made cards.  The quality of the studio g cards was not really very good since the paper what I would call thin card stock.  With the 25% discount these 8 blank cards cost under a $1.00.   I was determined to make something pretty and I was not disappointed.  Just wish the card stock would have been a little thicker.

I found everything I need for this card at home. 

This is the easiest bow you'll ever make.  Just knot and trim to the desired size.
The water color was done with Stampin' Up markers and the water color brush. I stamped the angel on the inside of the card.
To add some color to this plain white card, I simply added a border made from scrapbook paper.  I did cut off 1/2 an inch to the front of the card and used a glue stick to glue the border.

 The next cards were made at a friend's house....They took much longer to make.

It's beginning to Christmas.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Spiral Crochet Creations

I always learn something new from my friend Connie.
Right after viewing the tutorial for making the Pinwheel Coasters, I knew I had to try it.  I was not disappointed.  I downloaded the free pattern from Redheart and have been inspired to make round cloths.

Connie's tutorial is excellent so check it out.  Just click here for Part One.  Click here for Part 2.

 My Pinwheel Coasters
The crochet coasters are super quick to make and I think someone special on your gift list would be thrilled to get these. I told you I got into working round shapes, the next cloth was made by working single crochets.
I'm a fan of dishcloths and I have to say that I tend to like the round ones the best. I have uploaded the pattern for the cream color cloth to Scribd if you'd like to give it a try.  These cloths are super fast to make and can easily be made in any size.  The pattern is here.
The smaller ones make great face scrubbies.
Happy Crocheting....


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cozy and Headband Fever

I recently replaced my mugs for all white ones to be uniform. These mugs have been begging me for a cozy mug sweater more like it.   The mug sweater is still in the design stages, I'm not totally satisfied with what I came up with.  It's actually really neat to hold a mug with a sweater not to mention that coffee or tea should stay warmer longer.  I just love touching yarn, so why not while holding my coffee or tea.
These mug sweaters are special.  The mug sweater was knitted using Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn The wool patch bears the initial of its owner. I'm thinking anything short that strikes your fancy can be put on the little patch which is made from  re-purposed wool.
El cafe is the word for coffee in spanish.
I've also been having the head band fever and during my daughter's last visit I was  thrilled she agreed to be my model.  This Ooh-La-La Head Band was crocheted with acrylic yarn and it's very stretchy to accommodate different adult head sizes. The neat feature about this head band is that the flower is detachable.
This head band can also be worn as a neck warmer.  I like my neck protected from the cold but get too hot wearing turtlenecks indoors so I know I will enjoy one of these this winter.
My daughter likes the one tone headband in Linen tone.  The owner of the Hazelaid saw on of my headbands on Andrea's blog and asked her if I'd be willing to make a trade.  This sounded neat, so I will be getting one of her Baltic Amber healing necklaces and I will send her the head band pictured below in earthy tones.  I will also be including an extra flower for this special lady.  My three grandchildren have been wearing her Baltic Amber necklaces which can help with teething.  I really think Owen drools less when he wears his necklace not mention he looks adorable.  Make sure you read about the benefits of these healing necklaces.
Ooh-La-La - That's it for now.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Crochet Appliques

Figured out a way to make a crochet monkey applique.  I have been making crochet slouchy hats an I will use my appliques to embellish and add whimsy.  One of my co-workers asked me to make a monkey to attach to the hat.  I have lots of small amounts of yarn and making these small creations provides an instant gratification.

What do you get when you put a cute monkey applique on a slouchy hat worn by the cutest grandson? I'm short for words to describe how adorable he looks even if this hat is really intended for girls but I could not resist letting my grandson Taite model it.

Here's my beautiful daughter modeling one of my slouch hats.  I just really like this design because it does not mess up your hair as other tight hats or beanies do.  You can't really see it, but there is a butterfly applique on the side.

And here is Caleb...He was not too happy to wear the hat.  Still I think he looks so sweet and I like the one ear showing and the other one hidden.  Caleb is my beautiful 6 year old grand son.

Here's some cute japanese inspired kitty appliques...sure to add whimsy to one of my hats.

This cute wee owl was crocheted with white yarn.   The yellow part of the eyes is actually vinyl.
I am sharing this pattern which consists of two oval pieces.
 You will find detailed instructions to make this Wee Owl here:

Wee Owl Crochet Appliqué                                                                   


Monday, November 08, 2010

Picasa Collage Creation

Remembering Beautiful Isle of Palms

This 3 picture collage was created using the Picasa Picture editing Program.
Go to the create option and choose picture collage.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Baked Chile Relleno

 Chile Relleno simply means Filled or Stuffed Chile. I order this dish at my Favorite mexican restaurants such as Azteca or Monterrey. Searching online for a recipe I discovered that deep frying is involved to make Chile Rellenos. Eating out can get you into trouble because the food is delicious but oh so rich in fat. The peppers commonly used for this dish are the poblano peppers. The link also includes a recipe.

You will first need to roast the chiles.  Since I had never made this I just used three poblano peppers and put them in my toaster oven to broil.  The heating element is quite close, so you will have to keep an eye on the peppers and turn as the skin gets charred. If you have a gas stove, you can also roast the peppers over the flame.  I may just try this method next time to see if I can achieve a more even roasting.  Allow the peppers to get black on all sides if possible.  The peppers will look burned, but that's how they're supposed to look.  Put them in a brown paper bag and seal.  Leave them sealed for at least 10 minutes.  If you do not have a brown bag, you can also use a bowl with a lid. The steam will help to remove the pepper's dark skin.

 Peel off the dark skin.

Carefully cut a slit along one of the sides of the pepper and remove as many seeds as you can using a small spoon.   Peppers will be soft and mushy.  Set aside.

Add about a  tablespoon canola or olive oil to a pan and saute about 1/2 cup of chopped onion.  You may also had 2 cloves minced garlic.

Once the onion is cooked add about 1 cup of your favorite cheese.  Cheddar, Colby or Monterrey Jack work well.  Turn off the heat.

Using a spoon fill your chiles with the cheese mixture. Place the chiles in a lightly greased pan.  I used my Pampered Chef toaster oven stone pan.  Bake in a 350 oven until the cheese melts. Remember the peppers are already roasted so this baking should take about 8 minutes or so.

To make a sauce for the chiles. Use a small can of stewed tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes.  The stewed tomatoes that I used were a tad sweet, but that is all I had in my pantry.  Process only the tomatoes and discard the juice. In a frying pan, cook about 1/4 cup onions, 1/4 bell peppers in hot oil.  You may add 2 cloves minced garlic too.  Add the chopped tomatoes.  Cook for about 5 minutes, then 1/4 cup of  half and half or cream.  Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

The Sauce

Almost forgot to say: the Poblano peppers are not spicy.  They are mild.  This recipe was a little involved but as you can see low in fat and nutritious.  So make these on a day when you are not tired.  I will definitely make a larger quantity next time.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Fall Baking

My first recipe using Agave nectar as  the sweetener turned out good. I have always liked making quick breads because they are the less complicated alternative to making bread.  Like everyone else I have a limited amount of time to spend in the kitchen.  I decided to try using Agave nectar as the sweetener since I'm trying to eliminate refined white sugar from my diet.  In just 3 weeks of making this change, I have noticed a big difference in my weight loss, especially around the waist and stomach.

The secret of making a light quick bread is not to over beat.  I use a wooden spoon to incorporate the flour into the moist ingredients and lightly mix.  The mix will be slightly bumpy.

The can of pumpkin will yield approximately 2 cups so you can double up this recipe to get two loaves.  You can also freeze the left over pumpkin for future use.  This bread is also delicious toasted.   I have not tried making the bread with regular milk but I would think it would not make a difference.  I used almond milk.

The recipe for this healthy Whole Wheat Pumpkin bread is here.