Sunday, September 30, 2012

I'm a Fun-gi

I went on a kind of mushroom spree recently with 2 different little mushroom patterns.  The little red and white toadstool is from a free pattern from Annas and the brown one is another free pattern from Julia Kelly (both links go to ravelry library pages).

I love how the red and white one turned out.  I even gave it little French knot spots and same color gills if you look closely under the cap.  The brown one did not turn out quite as I had hoped (the Ravelry feature photos are super cute) since I may have put in an extra row of increases to accommodate for mismatched stitch counts when joining the cap to the underneath-part.


P.S. This is my first project in a 52 week project that I am joining in on over at MadCrochetLab.  Hopefully, I'll keep up!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pretty Stitchery

I think these are so pretty. I spotted them at an estate sale, and I just couldn't leave them even though I have no practical use for them.  They're hand made, so I think the slightly crooked stitching is really charming.

I have them hanging over my bed, and they are pretty much the only wall decoration that I have.






I love that each of them has a different basket of vegetables.  It's possible that they might have been a kit to stitch (one of them still has the washable fabric marker on it).

Monday, September 17, 2012

Orzo with Sausage and Bell Peppers

This recipe is so yummy and and really not that hard.  I'm just bummed that the Crabby Cook isn't posting recipes any more.

We used a spicy turkey sausage and roasted the bell pepper.  And maybe accidentally set off the smoke alarm while roasting the bell pepper over an open flame.

This makes a ton of food (probably because it's a pound of orzo), there were leftovers for days.

It's a pretty cheap dish too.  $1 (on sale) for a whole box of orzo, $0.33 for one bell pepper, and variable on the sausage, but no more than about $3/pound.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Yip yip yip yip yip yip

Basically favorite character(s) on Sesame Street.

Also, tiny whisk!

Made from a free Ravelry pattern :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Requisite Sunset at the Beach Pictures

Everyone who gets a new camera has the sudden urge to go to the beach at sunset and take artsy pictures.  Myself not excluded.  It just took me 2 years to get here.

On a related note, I have absolutely no idea how to edit pictures so that they actually look good.  Maybe I should look into that.


I love this picture (regardless of any actual photographic merit).  I like how the seagull in the foreground waiting for a snack is lit against the dark rocks.



Piers make good geometric focal points, don't they?


Funnily enough, there was a couple taking professional engagement/couple shots standing right at the water line, they must have been freezing!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mushrooms Stuffed with Spinach, Feta, Bacon

These are so yummy. They take a little bit of work but are totally worth it.  Plus, it's crazy when they bake and the centers fill with liquid!

Mine are nowhere near as pretty as Deb's, but I think they're still tasty.
Recipe via smittenkitchen

(haha, the mushrooms were just out of the oven and steamed up my lens!)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

When pigs fly...

I've recently had a sudden obsession with putting everything into glass jars.  And then I came up with this brilliant little gem:


I even added some poly-fil "clouds" for realistic flying effect :)
And of course, I have a limited range of safety eye sizes so tulip puffy paint in a slick finish gives my piggy some nice glossy eyes.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

How to dress up a boring pack of $1 cards

I love beautiful handmade cards, but I find it difficult to make 8-10 of them all at once. Plus, when you're pressed for time, it's all you can do to jot down thank you notes and get them mailed off.

Here's how I dressed up a pack of cards that I picked up from Michael's dollar bins (in just 3 easy steps!):

I love Melissa's modern calligraphy style, and I would have totally printed these out in a heartbeat, but alas, I am out of color ink on my printer, and I already had these in my stash.
1. Add a pretty sentiment to the front of the card.

2. Just add a fancy envelope seal, also picked up in the dollar bin at Michael's.

3.Add "faux-calligraphy" for the address like Melissa's and hop off to your local post office for some pretty postage stamps.  Try Centeria for your look-a-like calligraphy from

4. [optional] Beam stupidly at the post office lady when she admires your hand lettered letters, and tell her proudly, that, yes, you did do those all by hand.

Obviously, these still require a neat bit of handiwork, but I find that they have a nice hand made touch without having to design and make up a whole card from scratch.

Also, I love these Staedtler triplus liners, they come in a bunch of colors and have a 0.3 mm nib.  And the reason they're called triplus is that the barrel of the pen is actually a triangular prism, so no more pens rolling off the desk :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Animal Dishes

I think once you have 3 of anything, you can call it a collection.  This is the start of my animal dish collection, I guess.

This little piggy dish I found at the same estate sale as the pretty plates, and it was half off!  I love the little features and that little tail ^^  I keep it on top of my dresser and put all my hair bands in it.  I have to justify my random thrift purchases :)

I really debated about getting this rabbit...thing (at aforementioned estate sale).  I think the little rabbits are just so cute, but I couldn't figure out what exactly I should do with it (I assumed it was a candle holder or something).  I must have picked it up and put it down at least 5 times while I was walking around that sale.  Fortunately, I had this little white ceramic bowl that I got for free from someone getting rid of things at work.  I didn't even think of these two going together until I brought it home, and the base of the bowl fit into the candle slot.  Perfect as a little catch-all.

This was a different estate sale purchase, but I almost didn't buy it.  I missed it in the first once-over and was just going to pick out my sewing patterns and leave, but I happened to see it when I went back to look at some cooking utensils.  It's just a kitschy little hen on basket jar, but it's really sweet and simple.  It's got a really nice heft to it, and I am using it to hold my pins instead of keeping them in a canning jar lid (which I have knocked over onto the floor before!).

Anyone else have a fun/quirky/unique collection?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Boliche (Stuffed Beef Roast)

We get pretty adventurous trying to make new recipes in order to find new favorites. This makes a really delicious roast (plenty of leftovers!) but it takes too much time to prepare on a regular week night. 

The well-loved cookbook.  You can tell by the mysterious food stain on the edges of the page.  This is American Home Cooking and it has some pretty Americana classic-type recipes as well as more modern recipes.  What's Americana? Think: a whole section devoted to game and venison as well as the classic meats.

Boliche (or bo-LEESH as we are saying it) is a beef round roast stuffed with a mixture of sauteed pork chorizo, bell peppers, and onion.  It's simmered for a few hours in a tomato sauce and stock and served with artichoke hearts.

My first time making popovers! They're kind of amazing to watch rise in the oven.  Obviously, I have a little to learn about making them because some of them didn't rise in the middle, still tastes amazing though.

And the finished meal: marjoram popovers, boliche, and some caramelized garden carrots to round out the plate.  I don't know if it's because we grew the carrots ourselves, but cooked over medium heat in butter, they come out really sweet and really really tasty.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Coffee Cup Cuffs

I did a bunch of variations on the re-useable cotton coffee cup sleeve because STITCH was trying to sell these for a while at our local coffee shop.  I still have these 8 at home to try and sell next year, perhaps.  I'm not much of a coffee drinker myself, but I would definitely carry one of these around for my occasional hot chocolate or hot tea :)


It was actually really fun making up all of these because it's like making a bunch of tiny swatches that are useful!  I have this beautiful book of crochet motifs that I picked up at my local used book store, and I tried out a few different patterns from there.  I even tested my technical skill with some Tunisian crochet and some crossover/front post stitches.