And here’s another project I finished a while ago but neglected to blog. Inspiration came from Free People’s Navajo Cardigan (currently unavailable). Alright, it was a bit more than inspiration, it was downright thievery as I closely copied the stunning design, even down to the colorway. Continue reading
Here’s a little number I made for a friend’s baby shower a while back. There are a number of baby kimono patterns on the web, but I wanted something that allowed me to use a bulky yarn for a quick knit. Continue reading
The jury is in and I’m guilty of being the world’s laziest blogger. I’ve been happily unemployed and crafting…and not updating my blog. Without an excuse in the world. Anyway, I’ve got a few handmade Christmas gifts to report, which I shall do. Continue reading
Being borderline obsessive, I knew that the moment I decided to significantly cut my carb intake would also mark the beginning of a feverish quest — to seek out then hone low-carb recipes which best mimic their high carb counterparts. It’s been a formidable challenge, not to mention a pricey endeavor, but so worth it as my energy level has skyrocketed. And today, folks, I have stumbled upon my greatest success thus far — these low-carb chocolate Madeleines. Enjoy! Continue reading
…using some leftover outdoor fabric I used for bistro chair cushions a few months back. These old faux leather boots had been sitting in the back of my closet unworn for over a year, as I have too many brown pairs of boots to keep track of. After today, no longer shall these be lost in the crowd! I simply cut out some pretty floral motifs from my fabric, coated the backs with Fabric Mod Podge (paying close attention to the edges), and applied them to the boots. I’m currently waiting for them to dry so I can seal the appliques with more Mod Podge. Before I actually wear them out, I plan to treat them with a couple more coats of Outdoor Modge Podge (once I buy some, that is). Now I’m off to see if I’ve got any more footwear needing a makeover!
Operation stash bust is in full swing, and this red/gray crocheted handbag is the result of my latest yarn closet raid. Ignoring the fact that I had a sizeable yarn stash of my own, my sister decided to gift me the entirety of her stash. (Could you say no?) So, little by little, I am chipping away at my towering mount everest of odd skeins. A couple days ago, I picked up a deep red skein of some sort of workhorse acrylic yarn (no label to be found) and began crocheting these pretty triangle motifs from my Reader’s Digest stitch encyclopedia. Two triangles turned into 4, then 6, then 8. I’ve got this strange habit of working first, then figuring out what I’m making later. Before the second hour was through, the yarn spoke — and it said it wanted to become a handbag. Fine, I said. So I stitched together my red triangle motifs into semi-circular shapes, picked up another unidentifiable skein of yarn (gray in color) and continued working the semi-circular body by adding rows of shell stitch and double crochet. When it came time for a handle, I braided together 9 crocheted chains and stitched them on. Lining? Used some gray woven material from my fabric stash and added a couple of inner pockets. Finally, I threw in a button loop and one of my freshly made polymer clay buttons to take care of fastening duties.
I dig how the purse’s body juts beyond the straps on either side — as if its wings are unfurled and ready for flight. Perfect, given how I winged the design from start to finish. 😉
I’m considering writing this all out as a proper pattern and posting it here — but that requires far too much planning for the likes of me.
After quite a bit of online research regarding all things polymer clay, I’ve finally taken my first leap into the medium — crafting homemade buttons. I started out with some el-cheapo clay (Sculpey) which a lot of people apparently gripe about in terms of durability. But as I don’t plan on machine washing these buttons nor do I predict any delicate figurine sculpting in my future, I reckoned it was safe to take the thrifty route for my first attempt.
I thought that it would be a good idea to make molds out of some buttons from my stash, so I bought some of this molding compound which was super easy to use. I simply followed those abbreviated directions on the side of the box and it seemed to work fine. Thing is, though making the molds was easy, using them was another thing entirely. Too impatient to look up more online tutorials, I set my molds aside and proceeded to roll little balls of the clay and stamp them down into discs using some textured trinkets (pendants mostly) from my jewelry box. I made texture stamp molds of some decorative surfaces so the designs on my buttons would be in relief rather than in grooves (make sense?). I pricked buttonholes with a toothpick, baked them as directed, let them cool, and went to town with acrylic paint. Also decoupaged a few (like the green one pictured at bottom right below) with some ink-jet-printed tissue paper. I love the results! Really can’t believe how quick and easy these were to make. Now to practice my molding skills.
These cookies are actually the result of a happy accident whilst I was attempting to bake another sort of snack entirely. To my surprise, these delicate, crunchy, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth-y cookies actually turned out so amazingly tasty, I almost shed a tear. They’re quite similar to Trader Joe’s Chocolate Almond Laceys, minus the chocolate. Though, I must admit, I believe these are better. 🙂
Oatmeal Coconut Laceys
3/4 c softened unsalted butter
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c flaked coconut
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 c finely chopped almonds (optional)
Cream butter and sugar. Combine flour and salt separately, then gradually add to the butter mixture. When the batter is well blended, mix in coconut, oats and almonds (if using). Spoon teaspoon-sized dollops onto ungreased baking sheet. The dough will spread very wide, so space cookies accordingly.
Bake in 350 oven for approximately 14 minutes, or until the edges are browned and crisp and the centers are golden. Cool and enjoy!
As I couldn’t stop wearing the previously blogged cloche — the Sideways Grande Hat from Boutique Knits by Laura Irwin — I decided to make more. I’ve also decided that hats are my favorite short-term knitting project.
…and also from Boutique Knits, the Side Slip Cloche…
…pavlova (the Australian/New Zealand favorite shown above), “tropical” mince pies, and two types of shortbread buttercream sandwich cookies. I’m exhausted, my kitchen’s in ruins, but my sweet tooth is sated!
My husband hails from Northern Ireland and for most people far from home, the nostalgia looms large during the holidays. I try my best to recreate the Christmases he’d grown accustomed to, and this year I attempted to tackle the mince pie — a British yuletide staple…but with a twist, of course, as the called-for raisins, dates, and prunes for the mincemeat filling aren’t exactly foods that make my mouth water. I, instead, used sultanas, pineapple, mango, cranberries and substituted macadamias for almonds. The result was rather good, I must say.
And finally, a duo of shortbread sandwich cookies: one filled with lemon buttercream and another a chocolate and mint buttercream combo. I altered Nigella Lawson’s Custard Cream hearts recipe (on the fly!) for both of these. As they actually turned out quite well, I’m upset with myself for not having written down my recipe alterations while I made them and I can’t quite remember the exact proportions. Ah well. Guess I’ll just have to make another batch of both. 🙂