Sunday, March 27, 2011

Taking the Plunge

For years now I've been fascinated by all the fabulous projects in Japanese craft books. Particularly the sewing projects. As Japan has been on my mind a lot lately I decided to stop into Kinokuniya.

The flagship store on Avenue of the Americas is huge so you can just imagine the selection of craft books. I could have spent hours flipping through then all. I started with sewing projects but as I'm not very good at sewing in English, ahem, I moved on to knit and crochet, many of which use universal charts. Still not what I was looking for. Finally I landed in the embroidery section.

Let's call it . . . Idees Vol. 12. :) Some of my favorite projects:

Love these! 

Perfect for summer, no?

I want this set for myself.

And this might just be my favorite. But it's hard to decide.

So what did I start with? Inspired by this:

I started my own red work sampler:

It's come a long way since I took this photo and I'm enjoying finding elements to add from this book and other cross stitch pattern books. It's something I can grab to work on while watching TV or if I only have a few moments. I can't wait to see the finished product.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Vintage? No? Really?

When I went out to run errands last weekend I had two things on my mind, a new spring coat and Splenda. That's all I HAD to get while I was out and didn't want to goof off too long so I could get back and get some work done. Well I guess The Force took over and I somehow ended up at the thrift store before I realized where the car was heading. And believe it or not, I found some honest to goodness vintage items.

These refrigerator dishes were scattered all over the store and my intention was only to buy one. Then of course I found the others and who am I to break up a set?

A little worse for wear, I'll use these in the craft room for storage. There is no makers mark but I bet they were something in their hey day. Anyone know anything about them?

A small bag of ugly 80s style salt shakers yielded these beauties! One still has the original glass cap. Too bad the others are missing but I have an idea for them. We'll see how it goes. It would require me to find a cap that will fit them so the search is on. I believe these are true depression era glass.

Two vintage readers from the 30s.

Aren't the graphics divine?

Four vintage aprons. Count'em. FOUR. And all cheap! Under $6 for all. Some are a little frayed and sad but I love them anyway.

I think this is my favorite.

Also loving the embroidery on this one. Love the little crowns!

Also love finding the holiday ones. I'm on the hunt to collect 12 vintage Christmas aprons and I'm well on my way with this addition.

So all in all a nice vintage find day. I also snagged a new Brita pitcher and a breadbox. So again this weekend, I have absolutely NO intentions of going to the thrift store.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


So my husband one day says that I make toys for every one but him. Um, okay. So he requested a monkey that he could put on his desk at work.

He was made using Lion Brand Cotton Bamboo in brown and some mystery white from the stash and a pattern from Itty Bitty Toys slightly modified. I do love this book, it has very cute knit toy patterns including that giraffe I was telling you about.

So I asked Luis if he named the monkey and the conversation went like this:

HIM: "Yeah, I named him Costa Rica."

ME: "Why Costa Rica?"

HIM: "Aren't there like a boat load of monkees in Costa Rica?"

ME: "I don't really know."

HIM: "Okay, Flingsapoo it is then."

Well. Meet Flingsapoo.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Don't muffin it up . . .

In an attempt to try to be more domestic I made muffins from scratch on Thursday morning. I got up super early and made them before I started work. Amazing, I know.

Based on this recipe for butternut squash muffins though adjusted to suit my curiosity and pantry. I recently made a pumpkin cake and had half of a large can left over so I substituted that for the squash. I also substituted half the flour for whole wheat flour, added chopped walnuts and ground flax seed. And since I was out of eggs I used apple sauce instead plus 2 TBS of canola oil.

Not bad, but next time I think I'll up the amount of pumpkin pie spice or maybe add some ginger. They needed a bit more zing.

In my effort to cook more I've tried or am trying the following recipes:

Chicken Marsala - delicious! It tasted just like a restaurant dish. :) A keeper.

Fettuccine with sweet pepper cayenne sauce - good, however I substituted Cajun seasoning for the cayenne, added smoked turkey sausage and deglazed the pan with sherry so a totally different meal.

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup - in the crock pot now!

Chicken & Black Bean Casserole - to be served with the soup tonight (DH does not think soup equals a meal.)

Asian Turkey Meatballs - on deck for tomorrow night though I might make a sweet coconut rice as the side.

Also have plans for corned beef with sweet potatoes (I know, I know but I have a really hard time eating white potatoes) and chicken enchiladas. What new things have you been making?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


So, you see, I started this cowl oh . . . let's say . . . 3 years ago. Rough estimate. And it's been living in a knitting container thingy since then, on the needles and almost finished.

And there she is. Done. Made with a yarn I can't even remember and finished (after 3 years) in about an hour. Why do I let this stuff sit so long? I'll tell you why. Because I knew I wouldn't like it.

Not even with a cheesy grin and crazy bangs to go with it. The yarn I chose, while lovely, is too drapey. I think it's bamboo silk. The ball bands were not in with the project and I really cannot remember. I may have blogged about it but I couldn't find that either. Sigh. So now what? Perhaps it needs to be a pillow. Who knows. But at least it's finished. Which is more then I can say about most things hiding in the corners of the craft room.

Pattern HERE. And this is the second time I've made this pattern and didn't like it as a cowl. Again, yarn choice was not good.

Oh, and since I couldn't resist this picture found while trying to find the original photo of the cowl :

Cutest. Puppy. Ever.


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