Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Break

With a busy three day weekend planned, a blogging break (and crafting break) was needed.   My little island was blessed with sun all weekend and that meant a packed three days.  Accomplished lots of yard work, chores, sun bathing and fun.  Also the towns annual fair was this past weekend, so everyone was downtown enjoying carnival rides, games, fair food and craft booths.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spreading Peace

The other night I went for an ice cream run.  I stood in front of all the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and this one flavor called to me...."Imagine Whirled Peace".  So fitting for me.  I really didn't care what the flavor was, I just needed this pint of ice cream.  Luckily for me, the ice cream was delicious.  It is a Caramel & Sweet Cream Ice Cream, with Fudge Peace Signs & Toffee Cookie Pieces. Mmmmmm Good!  As I sat there, pint in one hand, spoon in the other, I noticed words on the inside of the container.  Which of course meant I needed to eat the whole thing so I could read each and every word...things like..."Give Peace a chance" and "Love and Peace are Eternal".

The inspiration.  After all the ice cream was gone, I had to keep these words!  I wrote everything from the inside of the container on a few post-it notes and the light bulb went off.  Art!  I will make a couple of art pieces to go into my Beatles room (also my craft room).

The process...I started with a piece of linen fabric and spread three different shades of white acrylic paint to create a base.  Let that dry.  Next layer was the blue, nothing fancy just squeezed out the color on the canvas and used a sponge brush to spread it out.  Let that dry.  For the next layer, I took my kitchen sink sponge and cut it into a square.  Brushed the metallic silver paint onto the sponge and stamped it to the canvas.  Let that dry.  For the peace signs, I squeezed out two shades of green (one was metallic) in the shape of the peace signs, making numerous lines of paint.  Then with scrap paper, laid the paper on top of the paint, pressed down slightly and gently pulled off.  Let that dry. 

At this point I wanted to cut the canvas and get them into a frame before the words.  Using a rotary cutter I cut two identical rectangles from the canvas.  Then, using some 1 1/2" x 1/2" wood I created a 16" x 12" frame and stapled the canvas to it.  Finally, with dimensional black paint wrote the words.  Took a few days, because I wanted to make sure the paint was completely dry before I went to the next layer....but I am very happy with the end results.  Not sure the picture does them justice.

"When Ben & Jerry's wanted to talk about peace, we couldn't think of a better person to exemplify the message than John Lennon. Through his art and lyrics he imagined a world without war and asked us all to 'Give Peace a Chance'. We hope this whirly mixture of toffee cookies and fudge peace signs enlightens your bellies and souls and makes you ask what you can do to promote peace in your lives." - on outside of container.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Whoot Whoot, It's Party Time

Even though it is hard work, I really enjoy creating the Friday night snacks.  It is creative and rewarding.  Tonight I give you...

Burger Bites

Minced Onion
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
1 lb Ground Beef
Cheddar Cheese

Pre-Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Beat egg, add onion, milk, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.  Stir in bread crumbs and ground beef, mix well.  Press into a 13" x 9" pan.  Bake for14 to 16 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.  Add a layer of cheese on the beef and let melt in the oven for a few minutes.  Cut into squares and put on rolls.  Serve with Ketchup and Mustard.

These are always a hit, but they do take some time (bake two pans at the same time, when making lots).  If you are feeding lots of people depending on the prices of beef in your town, they can get expensive.

* If you try any of the Finger Food Friday recipes, I would love to know what you think. If you changed them up, I would love to know what you did. Email me or comment on this post.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Crochet, Crochet and more Crochet

My hands have been extremely busy with crochet.  I am very amazed at how much I have completed lately.  I have managed to finish a vest, tank and "hair tube", as well as work on the flower blanket.

(Will post pictures of me wearing the items soon, so you get a better idea of how they look.)

The vest pattern is from Crochet Today, called the Stripped Shrug.  I thought it would look pretty as one color (plus I didn't want to have to carry the double yarn throughout).  I choose the cream and I added the fun fur in hopes to make it look a classy, yet fun.

The tank....hmmm, not sure if I like how this turned out.  Found here, called the Happy Days Halter.  I am not very happy with how it lays on my tummy.  I do not have a flat, ripped out abs, and this halter/tank hugs that area...maybe if I block the halter, it will look better. (or do more sit-ups) 

The Hair Tube.  Love it!!!  Using a larger hook, and crochet yarn, it is very flexible.  I don't have dreads, but do have lots of curly hair to tame.  This thing looks great, is comfortable and was easy to make.

The blanket, not finished, but at least still getting worked on.  Maybe not as fast as I would like, but at least I am picking it up every couple days and making progress.  I have even figured out the layout of all the flowers.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Peace Offering

A peace offering for my laziness....Three Friday night reciepes.

 #1:  Grilled Cheese Biscuitwiches

Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits
Butter or Margarine
American Cheese Slices
Thin slices cooked ham

Separate dough into 10 biscuits, press each biscuit into a 4 inch circle.  In a large non-stick skillet, melt margarine on medium heat.  Fry biscuits in margarine for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.  Place cheese and ham slices on 5 of the biscuits; top with remaining biscuits.  Cook 1 to 2 minutes until cheese is melted, turning once.

#2:  Easy Meatballs
(You will notice I deviate from the directions in the picture.)

Frozen cooked Italian meatballs.
Barbecue Sauce
Sweet and sour sauce

Cook meatballs according to package.  In a medium sauce pan combine BBQ Sauce, and Sweet and Sour sauce, heat thoroughly on medium heat.  Once meatballs are cooked in a large bowl combine sauce with meatballs.

I like to put the meatballs in a crockpot when ready to serve, so I can keep them warm on low heat.  I also serve them with Hawaiian bread rolls.

#3:  Aussie Sausage Rolls

Ground Pork Sausage
Onion, finely chopped
Garlic Cloves
Refrigerated Crescent Rolls

In a bowl, combine cooked sausage, onion, chives, basil, garlic, 3/4 of paprika, salt and pepper.  Roll out pastry in to about a 11" x 10 1/2" rectangle.  Cut into 3 1/2" strips.  Spread 1/2 cup of mixture down center of each strip.  Fold pastry over and press edges together to seal.  Cut each roll into six pieces.  Place seam side down on a shallow baking pan.  Sprinkle with remaining paprika.  Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes.

*I would suggest adding a cheese to the sausage mixture.

Monday, May 9, 2011

1970 Flash Back

While visiting my mother in law a few weeks ago, she showed me this Crochet hot pad she was given years ago.  She really liked it because it was double thick and slightly larger than the ones you buy at the store.

"Do you think you could figure out how this was made?".....and just like that the challenge was made.

I took her hot pad with me that day and after examining this thing, trying to determine where the starting chain would of been, and how it was constructed, I decided the best bet would be to search on the Internet for a pattern.  I was successful! 

The pattern is really easy.  They take some time to work up because they are made up entirely of single crochet.  The pattern called for a starting chain of 26, but I did 36 for the small one and 46 for the large one.  I used a size H hook, and Peaches and Creme Cotton 4 ply Yarn.  I love how they turned out.  They are nice and thick.  Which means to pull something out of a hot oven with them will work very well.  The two blue ones in the pictures were given as a mother's day gift to my mother in law, but I will definitely be making some of these for myself.
If you would like to make some yourself, the pattern can be found here.

Friday, May 6, 2011

For the Ladies

After posting yesterday, I really felt the need to do a small project that could be finished in one sitting.  It helps me stay interested when I can accomplish something quickly.  Immediate satisfaction is a wonderful thing.

With leftovers on the menu for dinner and a two mile walk still pacing through my veins, I had the energy and attention to make some crochet hair ties.  I remember seeing this crochet item at craft fairs.  Usually in bright childish colors adorned with loud plastic beads.  Not really something an adult would use to tie their hair up with, or any kid older than 8.

For mine I chose earthy colors and no beads.  Although some wooden beads sparsely crocheted in them might be a nice touch.

The two lacy hair ties were made from patterns I found on Raverly.  The "Scrunchies" are my own design, pattern coming soon.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Works in Progress and An Obsession with Patterns

It seems that of late, I start a new project, get halfway thru, then get bored, or can't decide how I want to finish it, and start another project.  This is a very bad cycle to get stuck in.  At the moment I have five unfinished projects and two projects that I have the yarn set aside for.  I also found this beautiful ribbon yarn at the local fiber store that I am determined to find something to do with, so I can buy it.  Oh and I can't forget another project idea to make my Easter Lillie's pots prettier. 

Collecting more and more patterns, though is going quite well.  It is almost an obsession.  Everyday, two or three times, I check Raverly for new patterns.  I have so many saved that it would take me months, maybe years, to finish them all.

So lots of patterns and ideas, but no finished projects.  This must get turned around.