Monday, August 29, 2011

Crochet projects

I finished this project this weekend while hubby was gone to Woodbadge training.  It was a free pattern I picked up in Hobby Lobby one day called Snowflakes Throw.  It's made with Red Heart acrylic yarn in Shaded Dusk and White.
Here's a closer view:
I'm not sure about the edging, I think mine ended up too tight.  I might redo that.  I added another layer to the edging since I thought it needed a bit more, by doing single crochets in the sc from the first edging round. Now I can't wait for winter weather to snuggle in this throw.

A while back I found a pattern for a reusable market bag that I thought I'd try.  It's fairly easy to do, just a little tedious as your rounds get bigger and bigger.  My first attempts were just using up some of my leftover yarn, so I ended up with a two-tone look, but I like it. 
While I was working on this one, my 4-year-old daughter came and asked what I was making.  I showed it to her and she said it was a rug.  I laughed, but then realized that when you only see the bottom in progress, it does look like a rug!  Now if I ever get the urge to crochet a circle rug, I know how to do it.

My second bag started with some leftover green yarn and then I bought Red Heart Aran to go with it.  I tried a few rounds in stripes to see how they would look.  I added a few extra rows in the handle so it can more easily fit over the shoulder.  This one is my favorite. :)
I'm thinking my next project will be an amigurumi fox since hubby's Woodbadge critter is a fox.  I have a week and a half before he goes back for part 2 of his training.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A couple of recipes

First off, I'm not on top of things enough to do the step by step photo guides for recipes, so you'll have to survive with just the old-fashioned recipe itself. :)  Anyway, I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite easy recipes.  The chicken one came from my sister-in-law and the steak fries I got from a class in college.  Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Chicken
(a chicken gravy made in the crockpot)

4-5 chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 cup butter
1 packet Italian dressing mix
1-2 cans cream of chicken soup
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed

Put chicken and butter in crockpot.   Sprinkle Italian dressing mix over the top.  Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.  Stir in soup and cream cheese.  Cover.  Increase heat to high and simmer for another hour.  Serve over noodles or rice.

Homemade Steak Fries

Non-stick cooking spray
Seasoned salt

Scrub potatoes.  Cut as desired (I like spears) and place on cookie sheet.  Spray potatoes with non-stick cooking spray.  Sprinkle with seasoned salt or other desired toppings.  Broil 10-15 minutes until lightly browned and tender.  Best when served with fry sauce (catsup and mayo mixture, for anyone not from the Mountain West area).

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hair accessories

I have recently decided to make more of an effort to wear something in my hair.  I've decided headbands (but not the traditional plastic ones that give me a headache) are a great way to do this, so I've been doing some experimentation.  
First, these adorable monkey and banana ribbon sculptures were purchased from Agape Love Boutique:
I have fallen in love with Maria's shop and blog and couldn't resist getting a headband for myself.  I decided on her Date Night headband (although I wore it to visit our pre-K classroom instead of on a date).  I love the rhinestone elastic.

I decided it would be fun to make some headbands, so I got online and did some research.  I liked the patterns Cami at You Seriously Made That!? had posted.
This is her Sweet Little Headband design made with Red Heart acrylic yarn in White:
I modified the design slightly since I didn't have ribbon to use for the ties.  Instead, I made crochet ties by leaving a long tail at the before my slip knot, then making a slip stitch through the ends of all three strands of the headband.  Then I chained about 50 or so to make a 15-inch strand.  Finish off.  I wound the tails around the triple strands to secure the excess, knotted both tail ends together in a square knot and trimmed the ends close to the knot.  Usually this is all underneath the hair, but in the photo above I had my hair pulled into a ponytail, so the ends are slightly visible.

This design is the Double Flower Headband from Cami's site.
This one I made with Red Heart acrylic yarn in Aran and finished it with ribbon, but I don't recommend using sheer stuff -- the hot glue seeps through and you end up with burns!

What's your favorite hair accessory?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Get lost" drive

One activity we had to include in our summer before school starts up again is what I call a "get lost" drive.  Basically, you drive around with no particular destination for a set period of time, letting the kids determine where to turn and which direction to go.
We've tried this before, but it hasn't worked so well as a spur-of-the-moment thing.  My kids don't make decisions easily, so giving them five seconds to decide which way to turn and them not being able to decide generally leads to melt-downs all around.
This time, however, I had the genius idea to have each child write down five random directions and then we went through the ranks.
We may or may not have had to delay our trip by my locking the keys in the house and waiting for Hubby to come home to unlock the door.  No really, I meant to do that . . . yeah.
Anyway, we started out and had the kids take turns telling me which way to turn at each intersection.
Here's me, the fearless driver:
The kids, actually cooperating.
 We started out wandering through several subdivisions and decided to make some new rules.  In the future, I would also have each child roll a die to determine how many blocks/stop lights/intersections we go before turning again.  After a bit of parent direction, we finally got out into the countryside.
We even found an amazing little private pond.
Now, what are you waiting for, load up the family and try a "get lost" drive of your own.  See what you can discover.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

World's Most Dangerous Recipe

Hello! and welcome to my little eclectic collection of crafts, recipes, ideas, etc.

You've probably seen recipes for 5-minute chocolate cake baked in the microwave.  I was intrigued with this idea and had to try it. So, several months ago I assembled all of the ingredients and hubby and I sampled 5-minute chocolate cake after the kids were in bed.
Meh.  I wasn't thrilled with rubbery, slightly chocolate flavored cake.  This was one recipe that I deemed "not a keeper."
I've now discovered a new dangerous recipe thanks to my daughter and middle school science.  Without further ado, here is the world's most dangerous recipe (you can thank me later):

One-minute Crispy Rice Treats
1/3 cup marshmallows (those giant Campfire ones are the perfect size)
1 tsp butter
1/3 cup crispy rice
1 microwavable cereal bowl

Put marshmallows and butter in bowl.  Microwave on high for 15 seconds.  Remove bowl from microwave and add crispy rice.  Stir and eat. 

Go on, you know you're dying to try it.  Crispy rice and marshmallow goodness is only a minute (or less) away.