Saturday, June 2, 2012

Grill-a-rama!

I've wanted a grill for a really, really long time. It's been like a life wish or something. After over 2 years of researching I finally went ahead and decided on one!

It's a gas grill- Char Broil infrared 3 burner with a side burner as well. Porcelain-coated cast iron grates, with electronic ignition too. I really like it!

My first big grill-out party was memorial day weekend. Had family and friends over for burgers, chicken, hotdogs, and veggies and fruit. Later in the week I made trout on a wooden plank, grilled pizza, and of course toasted marshmallows for s'mores. Yep, it has been pretty fun. My husband has been enjoying it too. He's in charge of grilling those veggies!

 grilled asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, and yellow bell peppers
 grilled corn- sooo good.
 grilled pineapple with honey drizzled on top. 
Hebrew National Beef hotdogs and chicken breast fillets
ground chuck burgers
 putting it all together
 homemade grilled pizza
Hungry yet???!!!

So yeah, looking forward to continued grilling. Another thing I really like about grilling outdoors is the way it keeps the kitchen so much cooler than when using the oven inside. I have yet to make steaks- so will have to try that soon too.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

It's summer time 2012!

Summer is here! I'll take a moment to catch ya'll up on what has been going on craft-wise since I last posted: 
I'm still practicing my bobbin lace. I've worked up a few Torchon edgings, and have been trying out Schneeberger lace too. Below is a torchon edging I worked up for a set of hand towels. Once I complete a decent Schneeberger piece I'll post as well. But it might be a while! :)

 The heavier looking blue thread is called a gimp and contrasts nicely with the white and blue embroidery on the towel. Other components in the lace include tallies and fans. I believe I used size 30 crochet thread in white, and size 10 crochet thread for the blue gimp.

My homemade pretzels. (I consider baking/cooking crafting too). These are plain (salt & butter) and cinnamon sugar varieties. Finally broke down and ordered diastatic malt powder- which gives them a nice malty flavor. So good!
 Tatted squares. The total size of the piece is about 6" x 6". Size 20 thread Lizbeth.

Homemade crunchy sourdough-wheat bread with walnuts and cranberries. Recipe is called "Pain au Levain, Raisins, et Noix"  from Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking. I used craisins instead of raisins.

Homemade whole wheat banana bread mini loaves
Crocheted food. This was my first go at the amigurumi-style of crocheting objects. I like them! They make nice pin cushions too. Pretty realistic looking eh?
 A crochet hat with fake yarn hair and beads- what more could anyone want! Cap part is made from "Moonlight Mohair," (Lion Brand) a wool, mohair, acrylic blend. I found this pattern in a neat book called 100 Hats to Knit and Crochet by Jean Leinhauser & Rita Weiss. The pattern is called "Cleopatra's Crown."


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Holidays 2010

Wishing all the cakesmix fans out there lots of holiday cheer and looking forward to sharing more crafting goodness in 2011. No major projects lately- still reading up on bobbin lace and practicing on some simple edgings for the most part. I only managed to make one homemade xmas present this year: a handknit washcloth to go along with a soap/candle set. Thought the washcloth would be a nice touch, and the recepient was happy soo... mission accomplished!

I love to use the Idiots Washcloth Pattern because you knit on the bias and it's garter stitch all the way with a simple edging you get by yarning over at the start of each row. So it's a fairly quick knit and doesn't require a lot of concentration, which is a nice break sometimes. If you enjoy quick knits I highly recommend the pattern. I use Sugar and Cream cotton yarn for these. I'll sometimes make larger versions and use them as face and hand washcloths too.

Anyways- I have a treat for the those who enjoy a little British humor. I think they're really quite clever!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Edgerydoo



I stumbled upon this while surfing the web yesterday. It appears to be a heavy-duty plastic template with pre-made holes to line up over fleece/flannel and punch out the holes, making a nice row of holes to crochet into. They are rounded to line up with corners, and there are also square templates to make and join blocks. I'm seriously intrigured. I really like the look of the crochet combined with the fleece- would be nice for gifts and baby blankets. Plus it's a tool I don't have!

These pics are examples from the website:
http://www.edgerydoo.com/

It's a bunch of fleece blocks crocheted together. Seems the templates help everything come out neatly.

We'll see... If I do decide on it I will definitely post some finished projects. If anyone else has tried or heard about this product let me know.

Meet Wormie and friend!

Busy last few weeks, but have managed to keep practicing my bobbin lace. Made two worm bookmarks using size 8 pearl cotton. Love their little bead eyes!

The Specimens: wormie on left has half stitch body with linen stitch (CTC) head and tail. Wormie on right is done entirely in linen stitch with a few twists here and there to create the open bar designs. Both patterns are from A Beginner's Guide to Bobbin Lace by Gillian Dye & Adrienne Thunder. It's a good book for beginners and they go over the basics in setting up your pillow, winding bobbins, and explaining the basic stitches.

The fruits of labor thus far...

Current Project: Simple Old Danish Edging with 10 pairs of bobbins. I'm 90% sure I'm doing it right...but don't look too close because there are a few glitches here and there ;)

Some of the components of this piece: spiders, diamonds, and fans. Looking forward to learning how to turn a corner for decorationg hankies, etc.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Return of the Bobbin Lace

A few weeks ago I went to Lace Day w/ the Lacey Ladies of AZ and had a fabulous time! I look forward to this event every year- there are lace lessons, lace vendors and amazing exhibits. Hats made entirely of airy, open lace! Ornate bobbin lace trims that use over 50+ bobbins to make. It's the ultimate inspiration for me. So this year I'm going to start practicing more on my bobbin lace. Here is what I've been doing lately:

Beginner's Pattern: torchon lace ground with fan edge; 9 pairs of bobbins. The brown thing is known as a "sanity saver" a crochet strip made with dc, ch1 that creates little holes for the bobbins to slip into and not move around when you're taking a break.

Size 10 mercerized cotton. Hope to use finer thread as I get better!

So far I have a mix of danish and continental style bobbins. No spangled-beaded ones...yet :)

Finished piece being wet blocked: 7 in long and 1.25 in in width. A good start! Really like this pattern too.

Meanwhile crocheting a baby blanket for a gift. This is my first time working with Sensations rainbow boucle (sold at Joanns). It's 100% acrylic with a mossy texture and very soft. It varigates in color from light green to white. It's an interesting yarn that works for crocheting into big spaces (like granny square patterns), but seems it would be tedious if crocheting into single or double crochet stitches. It's pretty fuzzy, so not easy to see where your hook is going.
Ultimate plan: 20 granny squares will be combined to make a sweet baby blanket.
Has anyone else tried these chocolate covered fruit candies..? Soooo good! You don't feel so guilty because there's fruit inside. heehee. My husbands not a big candy person but even he liked them too.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Eastern State Penitentiary

Has it been 3+ months since my last post here? Whoa- I'll have to do something about that! Just returned recently from Pennsylvania- where I went to: THE EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY!!!

Okay, okay- it's a tourist attraction now- I didn't actually get put in prison. *whew*

'"America’s Most Historic PrisonEastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of convicts. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone." ...from http://www.easternstate.org/

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Original Cell Door



Exterior of prison



Streetview of Prison



Prison Design



Inside of prison cell





Cell Block



Al Capone's Cell



I took like 600 pictures in Philadelphia, and probably 30 of the prison alone- it was just mesmorizing to be there, and feel the energy inside. I didn't *see* any ghosts, but we were there in the early afternoon... I think after dark might be a different story. We had an audio tour through the prison and then smaller tours on various topics lead by the park rangers: prison escapes, punishment, etc. Very interesting. I toured Alcatraz over 10 years ago and this is definitely a different feel. Very old... very dungeon like and very intimidating. The prison was purposely designed to make you feel that way and guess what, it really does. For those who plan on visiting the Philadelphia area I would highly recommend this attraction.