Monday, June 28, 2010

Our trip to Moab!

A few weeks ago, my hubby wanted to take us all to Moab.  Being born and raised in Utah, I guess it was kind of ironic and a bit sad that I'd never been there before.  At the time, I was swamped with orders, but, I figured it's important to always make time for family, right?  So I gathered up all my work and took it on the road.

When planning vacations, I generally go for the more tropical destinations, you know, nice beaches and such.  I do have to say though, Moab has some truly breathtaking sights.  We were just there over a short weekend, so there's much more than what we saw.  We went through Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park.  I think the kids favorite part, however, was the sand dune.

Do you see us in the delicate arch picture?  We are there, you just have to look close. 

 We happened to be there when it rained.  When it rains, you have instant waterfalls all over!  This is one that we stopped to see.  If you look, you can see Mitch behind it!

I have two new hats that I am introducing to the shop that we took pictures of as well.  One in hunter orange, for those hunters out there!  And one I call the green river hat.  The picture we liked best of it was at the green river viewpoint in Canyonlands.

And last but not least, we decided to take one more picture of the family.  I call it a family of beard hats!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

How I became a hooker! (Crocheter, that is!)

So my etsy team, the Create Crochet Team, is doing a series of questions for us to discuss on our blogs for everyone out there to get to know us a bit better.  This weeks question is - 

When did you start crocheting?  Did you teach yourself, or did someone teach you?  Tell us the story of how you became a hooker.

My crocheting I credit solely to my stepgrandmother.  My grandmother had died many years before I was born and my grandpa had since married a sweet lady named Neta.  They lived next door. My grandpa died when I was very young and she was left alone in the little house.  I was the youngest in a large family.  I would often visit her.  She liked to cook, sew, and crochet.  All things which I like to do now too!

I vividly remember her watching Dallas and Dynasty when I visited her in the evening.  She would crochet as she watched her old tube TV.  She started teaching me when I was probably 5 or 6 yrs old, I'm not sure exactly.  She taught me to make granny squares from her scrap yarn.  Eventually I started making hotpads, then I moved onto bigger projects. I would crochet baby sweaters for my nieces and nephews as they were born and often did edgings on receiving blankets that my mom had hemstitched.

Several years after she passed away, my mom brought over a bag of yarn and granny squares that she had received.  I took them all and put edgings on them and made them into a nice afghan.  It brought back a lot of memories of a sweet lady that taught me so much.  Hopefully I can pass it on to someone too!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

medallion earring pattern

I'd been toying with the idea of working up a pair of earrings for awhile.  I don't make jewelry in the traditional sense.  I've always been afraid that if I allowed myself to learn, I'd have beads everywhere!  and I already have yarn everywhere!

Anyway, here is what I came up with.  I was pretty happy with how they turned out!

I used a small amount of aunt lydia's cotton crochet thread in white and a size 9 (1.15 mm) hook.  Gauge is not really important here.  You want a fairly tight stitch and try to make sure your gauge is consistent.

Medallion Pattern:  Ch 3.  Sl st to beginning ch to form a ring.  Row 1:  Ch 3.  Make 20 dc into ring.  Sl st to beginning dc to join.  Row 2: Ch 4.  Skip one stitch and sl st in next stitch.  * Ch 3, skip one stitch and sl st in next stitch. *  Repeat the pattern between ** completely around the circle ending with a sl st in the stitch where you began this row.  Row 3:  In each ch space, work sc, hdc, dc, hdc, sc.  When you have completed this pattern in each ch space, sl st to beginning sc to join.  Fasten off and weave in ends.  Attach your earring hooks to your completed medallion by simple inserting them in the desired position.  I used 'beadalon' ear wires I purchased at my local craft store.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

perfect oatmeal raisin cookies

So at my house, we are diehard oatmeal chocolate chip cookie fans.  However, about once a year, I start craving oatmeal raisin cookies.  But, it can't be any oatmeal raisin cookie, it has to be just the way I like them.  I really hate raisins, so it's a bit strange that I like this oatmeal raisin cookie.  All I can say is the secret for me lies in the treatment of the raisins.  I hate biting into a cookie and 'finding' a raisin.  The raisins have to blend in with the texture, and the flavor of the rest of the cookie.  This cookie is soft and chewy with a bit of cinnamon to round out the flavors.    And, the raisins blend with, not stand out from, the rest of the cookie.
Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
2 cups raisins
1/3 cup water
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 - 1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla
 Bring raisins and water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Cover and turn off heat.  Let this set until all or most of the water has been absorbed by the raisins.  I would recommend letting this set for at least 1 hour to get the proper effect.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bown, cream butter and sugars together well.  Add eggs and beat well (4-5 minutes), or until light and fluffy.  Mix dry ingredients in another bowl and gradually add to the batter until thoroughly incorporated.  Add the raisins and mix thoroughly (if there is much water left in the pan with the raisins, drain it first).  Stir in vanilla.  Form cookies into 1 1/2 - 2 inch balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 6 - 8 minutes.  Do not overbake these cookies.  They will appear slightly underdone, but once they are thoroughly cooled, should be perfect.  You may, however, have to adjust this cooking time for your oven and your bakeware.  One more note, I use whole wheat pastry flour in these.  It makes them a bit healthier, and you'd never know the difference! 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

headband /ear warmer patterns available

Due to several requests, I have added a line of heaband/earwarmers to my etsy shop.  After playing around with different patterns and flower options, I came up with a few that I especially liked.

I have the patterns available now in my esty shop.  The purple one is a bit wider than the other, and the flower styles on the two are different.  The patterns are in pdf format to be emailed after purchase.

Most of the prototypes are also available for purchase in my esty shop.  Even though it is warming up a bit, they are great for those cold mornings going out for a run, walk, or even getting a bit of yard work done!  The headbands themselves are adjustable.  They fasten with a button in the back, and two buttons are sewn on, so they fit most adult head sizes. 
They are made from 100% cotton and are priced at $15 shipped.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Are you looking for the white rabbit?

We recently had a 48 hr challenge on my etsy crochet team where we had to make something spring or easter related in 48 hours.  We had just gone to see Alice in Wonderland, so I chose to make a new spin on the bearded hat as a white rabbit.  Here you see the results.  It is unique, don't you think? 

And many kudos to my sweet sweet hubby for modeling for me!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Candy Kiss Hat

We went on a family vacation to California for the last few weeks of February.  It was so nice to be in the warmer weather and see green plants!  I'm very much looking forward to spring!

I did manage to make this sweet little hat while we were there.  It's my version of the candy kiss.  I am currently working on sizing the pattern and will have it available in my shop when it's ready!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

St Patricks Day Hat!

I had been working on a St Patrick's Day leprechaun hat for sometime.  With the influx of orders for the bearded beanies and lumberjack hats, it got put on hold for a few weeks.  Well, I finally finished it!  I wrote up the pattern for the hat alone, as Cole is wearing it.  That pattern is available in my shop on etsy.  However, before I listed the hat itself, I thought it needed a reddish brown beard, just to complete the look!  I hope you like it!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

newest style of the bearded beanie!

The bearded beanies and lumberjack hats have become a fairly hot item in my etsy shop.  I was having a hard time keeping up with demand!  So, a few weeks ago, I invested in a knitting machine.  I've been so busy, I hadn't had too much time to try it out.  Finally I figured out a hat pattern that seems to work pretty well!  I thought I'd share some pics of the new style and see what you all think!  And the red one is up for sale in the heartsforhaiti shop and will help benefit the victims in Haiti.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

bearded beanie for haiti

Just a quick note today.  I recently listed this hat in the etsy shop named Hearts for Haiti.  All of the proceeds from this hat will go to Doctors without borders to help the people in Haiti.  It would make a great Valentine gift for your sweetie!   If you're looking for something else, I encourage you to browse through the Hearts for Haiti shop on etsy.  There are lots of other wonderful items to choose from!

Monday, January 18, 2010

the flower bed birthday cake

My sweet daughter turned 3 yrs old on Saturday!  She LOVES flowers.  So, for her birthday, this is the cake I came up with.  The bottom (dirt) portion is just a chocolate layer cake with extra crumbs put on top and around.  The flowers were made using Bakerella's cake pop recipe.  You can check it out on her website There are lots of insanely cute variations.  This variation was what I came up with to make the flowers on the cake.  I will give you a quick summary of how I made them.

First I made the center for the cake pops, which is just one cake mix (I used chocolate here) baked and crumbled into crumbs with one container of cream cheese frosting added and mixed in.  I also added some mini m&m's to the mix.  After it's thoroughly mixed, I shaped it into balls using an ice cream scoop, making sure that one side remained flat, so that I would have a place to adhere the fondant flowers to.  So after I shaped the balls, I put them in the freezer long enough for them to get stiff enough to hold onto the sticks and hold their shape while being dipped.
Meanwhile, I had my two boys coloring 8 inch sucker sticks green with their nontoxic markers.  I purchased one bag of green candy melts and a local craft store.  I melted them in the microwave and when the balls were stiff enough, I took them out one at a time, inserted one of the newly colored sucker sticks and dipped it into the green melted candy melts and place it in a jar or vase for the candy melts to finish hardening up on the cake pops.

To make the flowers, I bought a small package of fondant that had 4 colors inside and a small set of flower fondant shape cutters.  We rolled out the fondant and cut it into the various sized flowers and used a small amount of simple syrup to adhere them together and to the cake pops.  I think water sticks them together just as well, I just had a bit of simple syrup leftover from the cake.  So, to finish it off, We stuck the flowers into the cake and put a small amount of green frosting near the base of each flower.  And it was finished! And my daughter loved it!  Mission accomplished!

A few tips I would give to anyone who decides to make this.  Wait until just before serving to insert the flowers.  The sucker sticks may soften in the cake and start to bend.  Or, you could use wooden skewers instead of the sucker sticks which probably would hold their shape for longer.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The children's bearded beanie

Here's my newest take on the beard hat!