Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring, 2012

This is the Japanese Maple in front of our house. A week or so ago, I found...

...this baby Japanese Maple growing in one of my decorative whiskey barrels around the side of the house. These barrels had...

 ...a few tulips growing in them. The bulbs had gotten kind of old and the soil wasn't great, so this is about the only tulip that came up. I just redid the soil in preparation for some summer perennials and put the...

...cut tulip in a pretty vase in the windowsill in my kitchen and transplanted the little tree into another planter to see if I can get it to grow. The tulip has opened a little more and I think it's really pretty.

Just outside my front door, I took this picture of what I thought was a really cool cloud formation. I love all the contrast of the dark storm cloud and the blue sky.

Friday, April 13, 2012

My First Zippered Pouch.

This is something I've been wanting to make for quite awhile now, a zippered pouch. I love containers and little bags to hold things and until now I've been quite happy making drawstring bags. But drawstring bags have their drawbacks (no pun intended), and it was time to learn something new. So, I turned to the internet and searched "How to sew a zipper in a pouch." After watching a couple, I pulled out all my materials and the zipper foot to my sewing machine and went to work.

I had the zipper on hand. Like I said, I've been thinking about making this for awhile now. The fabric was something I had gotten in a pile from my mom. I think this little bag turned out well. It's not perfect but it met my criteria, it's lined and has a zipper closure. Good for my first try and I'm hoping my next try will be even better.

I would eventually like to make a small purse with a long thin strap to hold my cell phone and driver's license, but I'm not sure what to use for the strap and the video that showed how to make a thin strap didn't work for me. So, that will have to be something I work on next. I don't care for ribbon straps and would like to make one from the same fabric, but not too thick. I think the fabric store carries a tool to help with the turning, so I'll have to look into that next.

It's freezing in Alaska! Someone turn on the oven!

I made Baked Alaska for dessert on Easter Sunday. It's a recipe that's been in my box for years. I wasn't sure where it had originally come from, but my copy was a copy of a copy that was cut apart and glued to three sides of two recipe cards. There are four layers. The first starts with a baking a homemade yellow cake about 1/2 inch thick and then cooling it completely in the freezer. The second layer is simply vanilla ice cream cut into 1/2 inch thick slices, placed on top of the cake and put back into the freezer. The third layer is more time consuming. It is a mixture of chocolate chips, milk and marshmellows, melted then cooled to which cool whip is added. This layer is spread on top of the ice cream layer and, you got it, back into the freezer. Lastly, the fourth and top layer, is meringue. The baked part comes after you spread the meringue on top of the chocolate layer, put the 9 x 13 pan inside another 9 x 13 pan and bake in a preheated 450 degree oven until light brown, about 3 minutes or so, after which, you remove the outside pan and put it back in the freezer. This dessert is a lot of monkey business and takes a considerable amount of time to make, but the result is wonderful, not too heavy and your guests will love it. That makes it worth the time, right? I asked my mom where the recipe came from and she told me my Aunt Connie.

Friday, April 6, 2012

My "Long Pom Pom Cowl".

I LOVE the Purl Soho websites. They have so many wonderful projects and tutorials in knitting, crochetting and sewing, that I regularly find something I am dying to make. If you haven't taken a look, you really must. Seriously! If you are like me, you really find more projects you'd like to do than you have the time and/or money to finish. Anyway, last week they posted this photo on Facebook of some of their more recent projects. I think it was of a display at their store. I had been wanting to make this "Long Pom Pom Cowl" ever since I saw it on the website in September of 2011.

So, this week, I ran off to my local fabric store and purchased the supplies and started sewing. It calls for a half yard of linen and four yards of pom pom trim. It cost me less than $15 to make. This isn't a difficult project, but the linen fabric can be a little slippery to work with, so use your iron to crease the edges and lots of pins or basting. I also changed the pattern a bit and made a rolled seam connecting the ends into a cowl BEFORE I added the pom pom trim. I thought it made for a nicer finished back seam.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sky Scarf, March, 2012

Well, I'm three months into the Sky Scarf for 2012. That is a quarter of the way done for those mathematically challenged folks, such as myself. To be honest, I'm getting a little tired of this project. It's not that I wouldn't recommend doing it. Just know going in, that it's a committment. A daily committment to knit two rows. It doesn't sound like a lot and it isn't, but it IS a DAILY COMMITTMENT. Of course, I could stop any time, but I won't. I'm one of those people who like to complete projects once I've started them. I love the "doing", but I hate to leave things uncompleted also. I have lots of projects I would love to do and once they are started, they get done.

We've had a lot of blue sky here in Michigan for this first quarter of 2012. In fact, I may have to buy more blue yarn! I also didn't think I would get to use the dark grey yarn at all, but we have had a few days with some dark clouds. Again, I'm knitting my two rows based on what the sky looks like at noon. I'm generally home for lunch, so that makes looking at the sky on my way home and knitting my two rows once I get home, pretty easy.