Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Blue Hat, Knitted

This past year i started taking knitting lessons at our local Michaels Crafts Store.

I had knitted in the past but really needed a tune-up on my skills.  The teacher, Mary was fabulous and with her help my confidence has grown. 

I would say I am still a beginner but did venture out to make this pretty blue hat from some yarn in my stash (that I am trying to use up).  I used a pattern from Joannes Web on You Tube
The written directions are in the "Show More" link under the video.  It is always so nice of crafters to share free patterns and "how to's".

It was a joy to make and I do plan to make more from this pattern.  It is very stretchy and fits very well.  I used a worsted weight yarn but lost the label.  I do buy Vanna White yarn often so it may be from her line of yarn.

I am thankful for crafters who share .......freely....

Monday, February 16, 2015

Crocheting and Knitting

During September and October of 2014, it was time to begin crocheting and a little knitting some items for the faires my daughter Jessica presents in.  She is ( Formerly SunnyStitching,) Her New Site is  Crochet Nature Website, Crochet Nature Facebook)

She needed the faire items by November 1 as she lives in England with her husband and 2 children (2 of my precious 5 grandchildren!) and needs time to label, price and plan the layout of her space.

Here is a photo of Jessica and her fabulous display.  She had a fabulous day of sales...but no wonder as she uses a lot of organic and eco friendly yarn and we both take care to make each piece carefully.

Jessica also donates a percentage of all sales to an organization that supports all kinds Human Slavery and Trafficking.  You will find information on her facebook page.

I love Crochet Nature!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Pasta

This is final post about Valentine's gifts for the neighbors for Valentine's Day February 14, 2015.

The Valentine Cupcakes and French Bread were baked so time to make the Valentine's Pasta.

Now, my daughter Mary had received the Pasta Maker Kitchen Aid Attachment so she gave me her Cucina Pasta Maker.
Jerry and I used this YouTube Video to watch while we made the pasta.  We  used the recipe in the Cucina Manual for the pasta dough

 Jerry turns the lever and we pull the dough through
 We used the fettuccinni setting to make the final pasta....
 Then made each section rolled through the machine into "pasta nests""

We added a can of Hunts Original Pasta son who is a chef says it is one of the BEST pasta sauces, as is or to add other ingredients to.
 We added a can of Hunts Original Pasta son who is a chef says it is one of the BEST pasta sauces, as is or to add other ingredients to. (The bread is in the back of the plate wrapped in foil)

 Gift is ready for delivery....Pasta, Hunts Pasta Sauce, French Bread in foil and Valentine Cupcakes for dessert.

Jerry is on his way to their house excited...we love to give gifts.......

Valentine's French Bread

As mentioned in previous post Valentine's Cupcakes, Jerry and I were spending Friday, February 13, 2015 together baking Valentines gifts for our neighbors.

The Cupcakes were just one part of our gift.  The next part was Homemade French Bread.

We started with French Bread since it would need time to rise and we needed to make 2 loaves.  Jerry made one loaf and I made one.

We used a recipe from a friend and of course, the Kitchen Aid Artisan do the mixing and kneading.
If you cannot read the recipe above, and would like a copy, please email me and I weill send it to you.

I am warming up the Kitchen Aid Mixer Bowl before adding the warm water, yeast, etc.

Using a Candy Thermometer to test the warmth of the water the yeast will go in.
Jerry is getting ready to mix and knead the dough!
 (with the help of the Artisan Kitchen Aid)
 My dough being punched down and then I covered it with towel for 2nd rising.
 Jerry's dough before being punched down.
Jerry punching down that beautiful dough
 After the second rising, we each rolled out the dough to be about 15" x 4" and then rolled it up to be the loaf.
 Rolled up loaf. ...before being put back on cookie sheet for final rising.
Final rising
Picture of one of the loaves right before being put in oven to bake.
Beautiful Homemade French Bread!

See next post about the Valentine's Pasta

Valentine's Cupcakes

Today is Friday, February 13, 2015. .... One day before Valentine's Day.

Jerry had a holiday from school so we had what we called Fun Friday!!!!  We were busy!

Sidenote:  I apologize for the Valentine Cupcakes, Valentine French Bread and Valentine Pasta being linked up to parties for the week of February 16.  I make the gifts usually day of Valentines and cannot post them before:)

We wanted to make Valentines Cupcakes for 3 of our neighbors.....

So, using the Joy Of Cooking recipe, we made Vanilla Cupcakes.

Above is the ingredients.  If you click on the link above photo, the recipe is on that page.

We put the cute cupcake papers in the muffin tin.  I had leftover decorative toothpicks from last year.
Ingredients...I always think pictures of the ingredients look so nice and colorful.
Jerry is zesting the lemons from our fabulous Meyer Lemon Tree for the cupcakes.

Jerry is whisking the Lemon Zest, Flour, Baking Powder and Salt to put in the Kitchen Aid Mixer
 The cupcakes baked really well.  they are cooling before we put on the homemade frosting from the recipe.
 We made a heart out of them.
 Following the recipe, we made the frosting and decorated the cupcakes with the white frosting and Jerry sprinkled red sprinkles on each one.

 More decorating.....
This is a really pretty tray we found at the 99 Cent Store.  We bought 3 since we were making gifts for 3 neighbors.
 Decorated cupcakes in pretty tray.
 Closeup of the frosted and sprinkled cupcake...they turned out so pretty.
 Added the leftover heart decorated toothpicks to six of them.  Put 6 more regular toothpicks in the other cupcakes so the cellophane paper would not stick to the cupcakes.
Jerry painted this pretty heart on a one sided Valentine's Card that we put with the gift.  Click here to see tutorial for it from Grow Creative Blog.  I plan on painting some of our blank cards with this beautiful heart.

Jerry delivered these 12 pretty Valentine's Cupcakes to our neighbor.....they were happy!!!

and so were we........... 

(Now we will make more to add to some Homemade Pasta and Homemade French Bread in a gift to some other neighbors....see Bread here and final gift here,including bread .)

First French Bread

February 11, 2015

The day I made my first homemade loaf of French Bread.

Of course I had help from my friend Wendy who is an excellent cook and baker.
Must also give credit to my new Artisan Kitchen Aid that I purchased a few months ago.

It was fun.

Served it with Rachel Ray's recipe for Spaghetti and Meatballs...delicious recipe! and green salad with romaine and butter lettuce (butter lettuce adds so much flavor to a green salad).

Plan to make more this weekend! also tasted delicious!

More New Scarves

As mentioned in previous post about getting new scarf, gloves and hat....I also wanted 2 more scarves.

In December I had purchased the scarf below to participate in a campaign that Crochet Nature was part of to raise money for an organization that works to end all kinds of slavery in the here to see the scarf.  It is crocheted from Boodles Yarn that Jessica purchases in Thorpe, the city where she lives in England. It comes in a choice of beautiful colors and if made from fiber not yarn.
The color of the scarf I purchased is below....and it went beautifully with my new hat and gloves.

Below is a photo of the other scarf I purchased from Crochet Nature .  Jessica arm knitted it from Lion Brand Nature's Choice Organic Yarn in a beautiful blend of colors. And...the taupe color in it goes prefect with my new gloves and hat. 
I will be wearing these at the end of January when I travel to Michigan........feeling very pretty

New Hat,Scarves and Gloves!

Time for a new hat, scarf and gloves......for me!   I was planning a trip to Michigan this January/February 2015. (I call it the land of the arctic) visit my daughter Mary and her family and help unpack boxes, etc. as they have purchased a home in Ann Arbor.

Yes, this blog is finally starting 2015 posts!

I had purchased the beautiful knitted scarf below at a boutique where my knitting teacher and her friend Katie were selling items.  Katie made the one below:
I asked my knitting teacher if she would make me a hat like the ones she was selling to go with the scarf.  I chose Vanna's Choice Yarn in the color Taupe
This color blended so nicely with the gray taupe color that is one of the 4 yarns in the scarf.
Now this is a photo of the hat my knitting teacher made with the Vanna's Choice Taupe yarn but you can see the color in the photo is not is really the beautiful gray taupe color of the yarn.
All that was needed now were the gloves which I knitted out of the Vanna's Choice Taupe yarn using double strands.  I used a pattern from a Discover the Knit Stitch class I took at our local Michaels store.  It was very simple.  I wanted to knit the gloves since the hat and scarf were knitted.  Otherwise I would have used this Crochet Nature Pattern to crochet them.  I love Crochet Nature patterns.

Yarn:  Lion Brand Wool-Ease THick and Quick (I used two strands of Vanna's Choice instead)
Knitting Needles Size 13 (9mm)
Large Eyed Blunt Needle

Size:  About 6 1/2 In. (16.5cm) Circumference
Gauge: About 9 Stitches=4 in. (10cm) in Garter Stitch
(Knit Every Row)

CUFF (make 2)
Step 1 Cast on 15 stitches
Step 2 Work in Garter Stitch (knit every stitch on every row) until piece measures about 8 1/2 in. (22cm) from beginning.
Step 3 Bind off, leaving a long yarn tail
Step 4
Fold knit piece in half. Thread yarn tail into blunt needle.
Sew sides of Cuff together for about 2in. (5cm).
Leave next 1 in. (2.5cm) unsewn for thumb opening then seam remainder of sides.
Weave yarn ends into inside (wrong side) of Cuff.

Next Post will show the other two scarves I purchased to take to Michigan (from Crochet Nature)

I forgot how fun it is to have new winter accessories...............

Bath Towel for Nolan

Around the beginning of November, my daughter requested a towel for her son soon to be 1 year old.  He had outgrown the ones she had been using.

Jerry and I went to our local JoAnns Fabric Store and purchased blue terrycloth and Jerry found a really cute print that had a taupe/gray background with cute little footballs on it.  Perfect! since Mary and her husband are great sports fans.

I did some research for patterns for the child towels and used ideas and instructions from these two blogs..Pretty Prudent....Stitched By Crystal

I cut out an "N" to applique on the hood of the towel.
I think I cut a 45" square of the towel fabric.  I honestly cannot remember the exact size of the hood, but I think it was 22" x 15"x15" with the 22" being the bottom of it
I made the bias binding out of the really cute cotton fabric Jerry found.  See above!
Next cut out the triangle for the hood.  Appliqued the N on it and sewed on the fabric bias binding.
Before sewing the fabric bias binding on the towel, I used a bowl to trace the curve for the edges. (This was a suggestion in one of the tutorials.)
Sewing on the fabric bias binding to edge of towel.  I folded the binding in half, ironed it and put the raw edges against edge of towel.  Sewed all around, then turned the folded edge over to the back of the towel and sewed in the ditch of the first seam made.

Finished hooded towel and washrag.

For Nolan

Thanksgiving Cards

Time for Thanksgiving!  Time to make and send some Thanksgiving Cards.

Pumpkins on cards are made from 3 circles. Turkeys are foam cutouts and I glued the wiggly eyes on them.

Happy Thanksgiving!

From our home to yours