Wednesday, April 20, 2011

gone on spring break

Another spring break at my parents in Florida.
I have big plans to do a lot of nothing AND finish a sweater.
Have a good one, I'll see you next week.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

i finally made a laptop carrier

This project has been in the back of my mind for some time. Almost two years, to be exact.
My beloved laptop has been carried around in a bulky carrier. One that came inside a bag I got on super sale at Staples. It was cumbersome and not so cute, really.
I honestly don't know what took me so long. Especially since this is a pretty quick project. (And, because I love my computer so much.) A project that can be made in an afternoon. Or an evening. Or a morning.
I purchased a walking foot a while ago which was very useful for this project since you are sewing through a lot of layers. The outside fabric was something I purchased from Leslie back when she had her goodness shop. (Oh, how I miss that shop.)
For the lining fabric, I used an old flannel swaddle blanket. Yep. All three kids were swaddled in that blanket starting with Charlie. Love that.
Can you see the tip of my thumb? I was trying on colors for my toes. It was down to purple or navy. After much thought and consideration (numerous texts to my sister) I went with the blue. It makes me so happy to look at my toes. I think it's true, yoga-ta get this blue!

Friday, April 15, 2011

love. these. things.

This is what showed up in my pan a couple of weeks ago. I know. Don't you love it. Just a little reminder that love really is everywhere.
A few loves to share:
Ali started the one thousand wishes project. All proceeds from the shop will go to the Canadian Red Cross Japan earthquake and tsunami fund. Many thanks to Ali for her wish and hope to collect at least one thousand dollars. I absolutely love this project and the story of the paper cranes.
I listed a pair of toast mitts for sale and I have another pair on the needles to contribute.
For those iphone users. Have you seen this new app? This app is SUPER cool! Design your own hat using whatever yarn you have on hand. Big man head? Small baby head? Super chunky yarn? Super fine yarn? No problem! It has 99 different hat combinations. For $5.99, I think it is quite a deal. Imagine all the personalization you can do! How about designing a bunch of different hats and writing your own pattern book?! Come on. Tap into those passions and dreams. And, don't let anyone tell you you can't, cause you absolutely can! Oh, and for those android users, this app should be available in September.
Blarter. Have something you want? Something someone else may need? Do an exchange. Molly is a serious genius coming up with this idea. I love the idea of exchanging your crafty goods with someone else's. 100% totally useful!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

on their way

Winners of Knitting over the edge: #50 JMacKnits and #106 KellsShells. Congrats! Please e-mail with your address and the books will be on their way.

Speaking of on their way. Have you been watching the eagles? Amazing. The best reality show, ever!

Have a great one.

Friday, April 08, 2011

knitting over the edge

Over. A whole book on knitting OVER the edge. The second collection of decorative borders by Nicky Epstein.
So many ideas for creative borders. I love how this book is divided into sections. And, all color coded for that section. It really is so pleasing to the eye.
Unique ribs.
All showcased in lovely red and orange and peach.
Cords.
This is probably my favorite section. Such cool cords! I think it would be so cute to make a hat and put a bunch of that cord fringe around it. Oh, except along the front. That might be annoying to have that fringe in your eyes. And, I love those circles.
Appliques.
I've never experimented much with appliques. But this section is so sweet. Heart appliques. Hugs and kisses, flowers, stars. There are so many fantastic ideas in this section. I envision baby girl sweaters with applique over the edge. (Um, yeah. I guess that's the idea.)
Colors.
If you have a fear of color. Fear no more. And there are charts for just about everything. Dogs, cats, hearts, flowers, bunnies, ribbons, butterflies, moons, suns, snowflakes, stars, ducks, fish, animal print!
Nouveau.
Yep. Totally new and different. This section has some really cool and funky borders. Endless possibilities.

I have two of these books to give away. If interested, please leave a comment here by Monday the 11th at 12 p.m. I will have the random generator choose a couple of numbers.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

WHOOPS!

Sh*%$#!, S*&$#!, Sh$@%!
I woke up this morning to an email from my new sweet friend, Nigel. I made an error while writing the recipe. I SO apologize to anyone who has already tried them. I have changed it below, however, while adding the 1/2 cup of flour at a time, add 2 cups more. (NOT 1).
Please accept my apology.
Have a great weekend!
xx

Friday, April 01, 2011

smooth and creamy

Nigel. Nigel. Nigel.
My friend, Jennifer, is a flight attendant. Jennifer was working a flight from New York to Venice when her path crossed with Nigel. Nigel boarded the plane with a container full of sugar cookies. Sugar cookies that he baked. (How darn NICE is that!) Jennifer described them as one of the best cookies she has ever tasted. Nigel told her that he has won many awards with those cookies. (How lucky were those flight attendants?!) Nigel emailed Jennifer the recipe.
These are Nigel's Sugar Cookies and his words:
I use three cookie sheets when I bake these cookies. You will also need a glass, about 3" across and completely smooth on the bottom.
Preheat oven to 325˚ ( 350˚ in New Mexico for the elevation.)
Ingredients: (All at room temperature.)
1 stick sweet butter (same as unsalted) (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Mix together until very smooth and creamy. Then add:
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
Mix together until very smooth and creamy. Then add:
1 large egg
Mix together until very smooth and creamy. Then add:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Mix together until very smooth and creamy. Then add:
1 tsp vanilla
Mix together until very smooth and creamy.
Now, 1/2 cup all purpose flour in a separate bowl gets added to it:
1 teaspoon baking SODA
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix together and then add to the butter mixture.
1/2 cup at a time, add another 2 cups of all purpose flour.
All mixed together nice and smooth? Good. {I loved that part. It was like Nigel was talking to me.}
Roll the dough into balls the size of a large grape. {Thinking mine were a bit larger than a large grape.}
I get 12 of these on a cookie sheet.
Here is the secret part: Take the glass and press it into the bowl of dough to put a film of oil on the bottom. Now take the glass and put it in a bowl of granulated sugar. The sugar will cling to the oil and leave a layer of granules on the bottom.
Now use the glass to squish the little balls of dough. This takes some practice. Sometimes each cookie takes two pressings with more sugar added each time.
Bake your first tray for 5 minutes. They are cooked when the edges show the slightest hint of even thinking about the merest possibility of turning brown.
If not cooked after 5 minutes add more cooking time in 30 second intervals.
One tray in the oven. One tray cooling. One tray being prepped. I get an average of 12 dozen cookies out of one batch.

Okay, so I made them. They really are unbelievable. They are thin (wondering if mine could have been even thinner, my glass had a bit of an arch) and crispy and you feel like you could eat a dozen. And of course, my kids LOVED them.

I did email Nigel to ask his permission to share his recipe. Nigel couldn't have been sweeter and funnier. He also did mention that he tweaks this recipe when he enters them in the state fair in order to meet requirements. The cookies have won blue ribbons 6 years in a row in New Mexico and another 2 in New York!
Wow. Thank you, Nigel!

I heard Charlie wake Andrew at 6 am to tell him to hurry and get up, time to find the Easter baskets. Andrew didn't buy it. But, I almost did.
Happy April Fools Day!