Friday, December 17, 2010

Book: Twinkie Chan's Crochet Goodies for Fashon Foodies

Twinkie Chan's Crochet Goodies for fashion Foodies - 20 yummy treats to wear.

I saw this book and just had to get it! I ordered it from Amazon for $10.19 (USD) The designs are so cute! There are 20 patterns in this (mostly scarfs). It has great directions for all levels on the techniques used including the basic stitches.

You could easily mix up the designs like if you wanted to add toast to your bacon and eggs scarf it would be easy to do.

It's broken up into 3 sections.

Sweet Things
  • Cupcake scarf
  • Candy button scarf
  • Cookie scarf
  • Gingerbread man scarf
  • Lemon coconut cake tissue cozy
  • Rocket popsicle scarf
  • Soft-serve ice cream scarf
  • Chocolate cupcake hat with blue frosting
Fruits & Veggies
  • Green salad scarf
  • Pink grapefruit scarf
  • Baby radish lariat scarf
  • Pear scarf
  • Giant carrot scarf
  • Strawberry fingerless mittens
Savory Stuff
  • Bacon and eggs scarf
  • Buttered toast scarf
  • Sushi scarf
  • Pepperoni pizza scarf
  • Popcorn scarf
  • Spaghetti 'n' meatballs scarf
You can click on the cover images to enlarge.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Brick stitch scarf - crochet

also called crazy stitch or crazy shell. I reverse engineered this from a rug that was crochet for my grandmother as a wedding gift in the late 1930's. This is done a bit different than other similar stitches I have seen which I believe is why all edges on this are nice and "brick" like and even all the way around.

The scarf pictured is rather old and well used. i used a washable wool blend yarn and it is very warm.

Using the recommended hook for the yarn you choose to use (or the hook of your preference), chain in multiples of 5 + 2

row 1: DC in 3rd chain from hook and in next chain, skip next 2 chains and slip stitch into 3rd chain. This is one "brick" of 3 DC and 1 ch3 space (the 1st ch3 counts as a DC) * ch3, DC in next 2 chains, skip next 2 chains and slip stitch into the 3rd chain.* Repeat * to * all the way across ending in a slip stitch to the 1st chain stitch you made in the starting chain.

row 2: Turn and slip stitch over last 2 DC of previous row and in 1st chain of the ch 3 space. *ch3, 3 dc in same ch3 space, slip stitch to the 1st chain of next ch 3 space.* Repeat * to * to end. ending with 3 DC into last chain 3 space.

repeat row 2 for all other rows till scarf is desired length.

If you want to do it in 2 colors: I recommend crocheting length wise. If you do it width wise you will have a lot of ends to try to weave in up both sides. That is how I did the scarf in this photo and you can see all the ends starting to poke out. Doing it length wise won't change the appearance very much from what you see here.

At the start of each row you can leave a long tail and when finished with each row fasten off and you can leave the ends to incorporate them into a fringe if you like.

for each row turn and join w/a DC to the last ch3 space of previous row, 3 dc in same ch3 space and continue as + to + of row 2

Saturday, December 11, 2010

sorry for the laps in posts

I just got done painting Christmas cookies. I invited the family kids over and we had fun. I made 2 batches of cookies and a load of icing which we colored into many different colors.

My camera is currently MIA and i have so much I want to post and update for this blog. Hopefully I'll find my camera soon!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Family update

Last week I was called to Robert's (my middle child) school. He had an asthma attack but we didn't know he had asthma so nobody was prepared. I rode to the hospital with him in an ambulance where they kept him for several hours and still could not get his blood oxygen level to raise w/o him being on oxygen so they admitted him into the hospital and I stayed with him all Wed. night.

He is now doing great. They say it was intermittent asthma and was allergy induced. He's fine inside the house but has a rough go at it when he goes outside though he has been fine lately. I want to get him tested to see what it is he is allergic to. Michigan is a bad place to live if you have allergies. I have seasonal fall allergies and never had them till I moved to Arizona then came back to Michigan.

And then the other day Michael clogged our toilet (it's an old toilet and clogs easily). But he flushed and flushed and flushed till he jammed the valve into an open run. I was taking a nap before work and Anja came in saying it was raining in the basement... sure enough the whole bathroom, hall, entrance to the boys room and our bedroom was beginning to flood (or was well flooded already). The water was raining down through the floor into the basement! What a mess! Luckily it stayed on the side of the basement that didn't have the pool table but I had to shop vac the upstairs than shop vac the basement and everything is a sloppy mess!

WE have all hard wood floors which will need to be replaced and refinished as needed. But I don't intend to even think about that until the kidlets are older and out of the "oops I destroyed the house" stage. What would be worse than flooding our house is putting in new floors and THAN having it flooded.

So Now I'm cleaning the basement and everything that got wet. Well I have been putting it off for way to long so i guess this is my motivation.

Why does it seem we put things off and then it's 10x the hassle to clean when something happens?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

We do(n't) have a new cat

So we have had this stray kitty on our porch. I was feeding it to keep it near as I posted a found add on Craigs List and also a "seeking a good home" add.

Well, DH felt sorry for it as it was storming and let it in. It is really friendly with the kids and lets them pet him and pick him up. I went and got a litter pan and small bag of food but it looks as though we have a kitty now! He doesn't have fleas and is litter trained. I will take him to the vet down the road to see if he has a microchip in him and if not, he's good as ours.

Robert has decided on his own that the cat's name is Cookie.

Book: The Doubleday Large Print Nedlecraft Book

This is a great book with simple projects and is written for those with vision impairment. It contains many simple projects using common yarn weights, needle sizes and lighter colors. The projects in it are small and flat some times with some easy seaming to shape them.

Printed in large type so it's easier on the eyes this is a great book for anyone who's eyesight as started to slip, anyone seeking easy patterns to learn from with clear instructions and tips for making your own stuff.

Chapters cover:
Decorative stitching

You can get this book used at Amazon

This is the ball I made for what I believe will be our new kitty. The pattern is in this book and it's crochet flat and then sewn into shape. My youngest also enjoys playing with the ball as it's so soft, light and squishy he can throw it in the house. A quick little project I had done in a hour or 2.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Great Wolf Lodge

So we took the Girl Scouts up north to Traverse City MI and stayed the night at Great Wolf Lodge (they have locations around the US). We had a blast! GWL is a massive indoor water park and they have pools, play areas, lazy river and 5 water slides. so much to do there. Just had to share. This photo was taken of the fort in the middle of GWL the bucket at the top dumps 1000 gallons of water every 5 minutes and this is the big dump. It really comes at a huge force and knocked some PPL down who weren't expecting it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Book: Tasty crochet

So I was browsing the book store yesterday while I was out getting a memory card for DD's PS2 as she got Guitar Hero for her b-day and just couldn't resist this gem!

A cute little crochet book that has 33 patterns for food in it. It's broken down into

Breakfast - 7 patterns
Lunch - 12 patterns
Dinner - 7 patterns
and of course...
Dessert - 8 patterns

Stitches are pretty basic and these are small easy to work patterns. I have not made anything yet but they appear to be well written. Just an over all cute little book.

My boys love to play with their kitchen and their play food but the plastic stuff just get's broken and poses pinch hazards so I thought this would be fun.

you can get this book on Amazon - Tasty Crochet !

back cover *you can click to enlarge these cover images.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Illusion knitting

I will be updating this post with photos of the progress on this piece.


I have decided not to continue on with this because I have had some bad experiences with Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn not holding up well at all. I intend ot make this with a much sturdier yarn because this will be for me and i intend to use it well.

So I started this w/the intention of making a scarf but got lazy at finding smaller yarn so it will be an afghan (my 1st knit afghan). Illusion knitting is a visual play on the garter stitch and knits and purls. It's quite simple to do but you have to keep good count of your stitch. Form a top down view it looks like stripes (maybe a tad wonky) but as you look at the same piece at an angle the picture starts to emerge. I am making a Harry Potter afghan out of this. I think one square will be like this and the other will be reversed (a negative if you will). I am using the EXCELLENT pattern found at Wolly Thoughts. He Does an excellent job of explaining the process of illusion knitting and how it works.

When looking straight down at the project (you can super size the image if you like to see the stitches). You can see the slight disturbances in the stripes but it's still mostly just stripes. I have placed my stitch markers spaced every 10 stitches (added one stitch to each side ) this matches up with the grid on the pattern and it's easier to follow my spot. I also have tied contrasting yarn to mark every 10th ridge which also is the way the pattern is marked to keep better tract of my place.

But when you tilt it at an angle you see the design.

Being a left handed person and knitting as such when I follow this chart as written it makes the image appear mirrored. This really isn't a big issue but if you are intending to do an illusion knit and want it to face the same way as the designer I recommend printing out the charts in mirror image that way your finished project will face the way it was intended to. Some day I want to knit the Mona Lisa but she will face the wrong way If I don't flip the charts and who want's the Mona Lisa to be facing the wrong way?

I'm editing this so that I will be putting the most current photo on top.


Here is a short video that shows how this illusion works.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Book: The Best of Terry Kimbrough Afghans

This is one of my favorite books to go to for crochet afghans. The patterns are very well written and there is quite a variety to choose from. Some solid some lacy, others with motifs and flowers.

You can purchase this book on Amazon

Patterns I have made in this book are: Timeless Lace, Shells Galore, Lacy Valentine, Rosebud and Loving Hearts. Each one was easy and a joy to make.

Full pattern list for this book:
Tantalizingly Teal - A bulky afghan worked holding 2 strands together.
Exquisite Shells - Lacy afghan worked in motifs.
Ribbons & Lace - a unique looking afghan with a "ribbon" going through the center of each row.
Victorian Garden - Lacy afghan worked in strips with a flower pattern.
Lacy Diamonds - Lacy diamond pattern worked in strips.
Peachy - lacy shells worked in one piece.
Tea Time - A lacy afghan made of squares joined as you go.
Boudoir - Lacy afghan worked in one piece containing shells and puffs.
Pansy - Square motifs and some contain a 3D pansy flower.
Wildflowers - Squares containing 3 3D flowers each. Pieced together at the end.
Vintage Lace - A one piece afghan done in a ripple lace pattern.
Timeless Lace - A one piece afghan containing many picots.
Grandma's Lace - Lacy square motifs joined as you go wit ha shell border.
Handsome for Him - solid afghan done in panels containing a diamond pattern.
Pretty Pansies - Squares containing very colorful 3D pansy flowers, joined at the end.
Shells Galore - A one peice afghan composed entirely of shells.
Simple Stripes - a chunky afghan worked in one piece.
Aran Comfort - A solid afghan with varying textures.
Hearts Aplenty - A one piece filet afghan but with written instructions (no chart).
Snow Glories - A lacy flower pattern worked in strips.
Wedding Rings - Composed of ovals, large and small squares in a classic wedding ring pattern.
Lacy Valentine - Worked in squares containing 4 hearts each and joined at the end.
Absolutely Gorgeous - A lacy pattern worked in strips
Rosebud - Worked in squares and joined as you go with alternating plain and flowered squares.
Loving Hearts - Worked in open lacy motifs joined as you go with a border of hearts that have flowers in the centers.
Bouquet of Shells - Made in 3 wide panels.

Rosebud baby blanket

I just finished my Rosebud baby afghan for a co-workers son. One of the ladies I worked with asked me how much I would charge to make her a blanket for him and I told her that if she bought the yarn, picked the pattern and I would make it and we could call it a gift from both of us. So this is the pattern she chose. I got it out of my afghan book (Best of Terry Kimbrough Afghans).

This afghan can be made with any amount of squares and the border instructions do not need to be changed.

Here are a couple other views. click for larger image if you like.

close up of the corner.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

DD's b-day cakewiches!

So we are having DD's party today and we just finished the cakewiches. one is ham & cheese on "rye" and the other is yet another pb&j. The ham & cheese one is butter creme frosting for the "mayo" and marshmallow fondant for the ham and cheese it is a yummy fondant recipe! easy to follow and make. for the ham I used brown Wilton frosting coloring and a touch of orange. the cheese is just orange. I colored the ham frosting before putting it on so it would be more marbled but the cheese was done as it was being made to make it more uniform. The fondant frosting is a marshmallow fondant which is really quite good and easy to follow.

I"m going to dust the white spots w/cocoa powder to help hide them.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


So Anja's b-day is coming up soon (and I will soon be the parent of an official teenager). She has my since of humor and we saw this cake pan made by Fred & Friends. I bought my pan from Amazon.

I figured that since I have not made it before I would do a test run to see if there are any changes needed. the box comes with recipes for a pound cake and peanut butter frosting. It's really quite good. The cake is not large but being a pound cake you don't need large slices. I will be making 2 for her party. The directions say to cool it for an hour in the pan and then remove. But I think next time I'll cool it for less time as it cracked while unmolding it. But here is my 1st cakewich. I used strawberry preserves along w/the peanut butter frosting.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A small town celebration

I went to my Grandma's town yesterday and they had their 4th of July parade on the 3rd. I took some photos. She lives in a small town. My uncles were in visiting and after the parade we took the kids to the ice cream shop around the corner. I like small town stuff like this.

Here's my youngest with his bag of candy he collected.

And what parade would not be complete without the hot dog eating camp!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saginaw River - Graveyard of ships

We went to Bay City MI this weekend for my grandmother -in-law's funeral. She passed away at the age of 93 in her sleep.

I took some photos of the graveyard of ships along the Saginaw River in Bay City and thought I would share as I think it's interesting so maybe someone else may as well. Please click and enlarge the images for better views and to be able to read the description of the graveyard.

These ships sunk at least 100 years ago and were left where they lie and what you see are the remains of these "tall ships". You can see the outlines of the hulls and different portions of the ships. Back then the water in the Saginaw River was much higher. I have another series of photo's which detail just how much the water has dropped in the Saginaw Bay.

This one is "E"These are "F, G &H" actually not sure if H is visible.

Another good shot of "E"
This is one I took off the River Walk which you can see in the background of the other photos. I do not believe this one is on the map and it runs directly under the river walk bridge. IF you enlarge the 3rd photo in this post you can see the river walk and then the stubbs of this ships remains sticking out at the base of the massive pillar. it looks like small sticks sticking out of the water as it's a far away image in photo #3

And here is one of me.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Purple Gail

I finished another Gail. I love the color purple and saw this yarn. it's serentiy sock yarn and is a self striping yarn. The color changes are really short as it's designed to have really narrow stripes. I was a bit concerned due to the nature of the color changes as they are really sharp and do not blend but my love of purple made me go forward and I'm glad I did! I love the way the gray plays with the purple!

This yarn is so soft! it's a blend of 50% wool, 25% nylon and 25% bamboo.

I'm now using the left over yarn for a pattern called Queen Anne's Lace (PDF file). Which is coming along quite nicely and is a easy knit.

And of course, you can click on any image for a super sized, detailed, photo.

this is before blocking

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No, I haven't abandoned this blog

Things are really busy and I'm wraping up the school year. last week I had a concert for Roberts class and a band concert for Anja. Today I went on a field trip to the zoo w/Michael and later will go to a band awards thing w/Anja.

Trying to wrap up Girl Scouts and prepare for our trip to Great Wolf Lodge.

I have some things I want to post but will need to do so when things settle and I have a bit more time.

I've been working on a new Gail shawl and started a broomstick lace scarf. Still working on the afghan and other things.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Knitting Gail

So I knitted up Gail (AKA Nightsongs) and I love the pattern! It did take a bit to figure out and I had to make a couple minor mental changes to the pattern to make it work for me. Not really changes to the pattern it self but things to make it "click". You can get the pattern free on Ravelry but I don't think it's available off the Rav site (though Ravelry is free to join).

For starters the pattern has a left and right side chart. You don't need both these charts as the shawl is symmetrical and one chart works for both sides. And as for the double YO's at the peak, I purled into them so as to twist each stitch. this worked much better than knitting and purling, makes a cleaner, more consistent stitch.

Then the pattern says to repeat it 7 times. I had one skein of yarn so did 6 repeats as one is not quite enough to get 7.

It says to repeat the chart. But you will make the full chart on the 1st repeat and then after that you will only need to repeat rows 23-37. I made a line to mark this on my chart. This is a small clip of how I drew my lines for the repeats. I repeat the center part as many times as needed and when headed twards the peak or end I then followed the chart to the edge (ignoring the stitches in the yellow poriton). This is my marked on chart but you can transpose the lines to your chart.

The pattern says to repeat and end on row 33. I ended on row 35. On the last 2 pattern rows you need to do the peak slightly different. On row 33 make 1 YO instead of 2. and at the peak on row 35 I did yo, k1, yo. this will set you up to easily make the border.

Because by knitting up to row 35 you will need to start the border chart on row 5.

Here is a photo before blocking. You can click on them for super sized images.

And after blocking. I, again, used my steamer and blocking this way was really fast, I was able to unpin it as soon as I was done steaming it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sausage gravy and biscuits

One of my son's (and mine) favorite breakfasts! Easy to make and well worth it.

For the gravy I brown and crubmle a 1lb. roll of sausage. I always make this in one of my cast iron skillets. When that is browned I add 1 stick of butter and pour milk into the skillet to reach the bottom of the pour nub indents on the sides and simmer. I dissolve several tablespoons of corn starch into cold water and add to the gravy till it's the desired thickness.

For the biscuits I use this recipe. You can add some flavor by substituting what ever amount of the shortening for reserved bacon fat/drippings if you happen to save them for cooking. I also like to sprinkle in some garlic powder and Italian seasonings. If I have it I also like to shred in some cheddar cheese. I generally double this biscuit recipe when I make it for the family as we are a family of 5.

I prefer to roll the biscuits in my hands and drop them onto the baking stone (I bake on stones). But you can also roll them out and cut them with round cutters or what ever you desire.

I like to hard fry an egg and break open a biscuit or 2 and then smother the plate in gravy. I used to buy white gravy mix till I was reading the side of my corn starch box and realized how simple it is to just make it.

Baking Powder Biscuits

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Breads Breakfast
Side Dishes

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups all-purpose flour -- see notes
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tabelspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk

1. Heat oven to 450

2. Cut shortening into flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in medium
bowl, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture looks
like fine crumbs.

3. Stir in milk until dough leaves bides of bowl (dough will be soft and

4. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead lightly 10 times, Roll
or pat to 1/2" thickness. Cut with floured 2 1/2" round cutter. Place on
ungreased cookie sheet about 1" apart for crusty sides, touching for soft

5. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from
cookie sheet. Serve warm.

"Betty Crocker's NEW cook book"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 165 Calories; 9g Fat (50.3%
calories from fat); 3g Protein; 18g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 2mg
Cholesterol; 307mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Non-Fat Milk; 2
Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES : *Add a bit of extra flavor to your biscuits by stirring in
2 teaspoons chopped fresh or 3/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
or basil with the flour.

*If using self-rising flour, omit baking powder and salt.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0

My son loves to help make this and here is a photo of him kneading the dough.


So last night at work we decided to get subs. There is a 24 hour Subway not to far from work. A lady called them to see if they would be open at 3am (I work 3rd shift and that's before last break).

She gets to Subway and.... they are out of bread! How does a sandwich shop run out of bread?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Walpapering the van

Or, Contact papering the Woodie!

So we have 2 Voyager's. The newer one ("99" is mine "88" is DH's) So the 88 is a "woodie" meaning it has wood panels on the sides. Well the trim around those panels had gotten rather ratty looking so DH took the better part of 2 days and removed the panels, cleaned them very well and covered them with wood grained contact paper before putting them back on.

So, I suppose you could say that our van has been freshly wallpapered!

And this is not the 1st time he has done this. But the last time he did not take off the panels before adding the contact paper so it didn't last long at all. Although I don't know exactly how long you can expect this to last.

He calls the van his Woodie. He doesn't like calling it a van. I think he just likes to say he drives a Woodie. Oh well.

I would like to add that the Woodie only cost us $500 and we have had it for at least 4 years now... one of the benefits of marrying a mechanic!

Here's a photo of the newly wallpapered Woodie.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Book: Blue Ribbon Crochet

This is a wonderful book and I would recommend it to anyone w/a divers taste if what they like to crochet. Wide range of projects. You can find it at Amazon . I have scanned the cover and chapter pictures page, click on them for a larger view if you like.

This is not a book to learn by, many of the patterns are rather advanced but well written and easy to follow.

chapters include:
*Judges' Choice Afghans - 9 designs
*First Place Fashions - 9 designs (sweaters, purses, earrings, shawls and more)
*Heirloom Masterpieces - 9 designs (doilies, curtains, coverlet/bedspreads and more)
*Best-In-Show babies - 8 designs (blankets, clothing, bibs and more)
*Award-Winning Dolls & Toys - 5 designs (puzzle, stuffed dolls, animals and cloths for them)
*Home Accessories Showcase - 9 designs (pillows, afghans, rugs, place mats and more)