Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Tablescape

I know this is a little late, but I lost my camera for a while in the move. I finally found it, and can show post pictures of the table we had for Thanksgiving.

The whole table with the beautiful view of the grapevines and Keuka Lake.

Close-up of a place-setting I made from mini Indian corn, raffia, and orange paper.

Our pumpkin/turkey/leaves center.
Close-up of one of the candle decorations on the table. Those two mini-mini Indian corn in the back were a steal from Michaels (a package of three was only $.50!) and are made from glass beads. Wish I had a better picture of them, they are so cute! Note the table cloth with the grape embroidery to match the outside view :)

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dill Pickle And Dried Beef Rollup Appetizer

My husband's uncle makes the best appetizer in the whole wide world. I never knew about these things until a few years back, and honestly I thought they were going to be disgusting. Now, they are something I look forward to every holiday. Here is the recipe I have learned.

1 - jar of large whole dill pickles (usually about 8 pickles)
1 - 8 oz packages of creme cheese, softened
1-2 - jars of dried beef (we prefer the dried beef in a jar, as to the kind in a plastic bag)

1. Take pickles out of jar and pat dry. Let air dry if needed.

2. Once the pickles are dry, hold them on end and spread the cream cheese evenly around the pickle.

3. Wrap the dried beef around the pickle. They should now look like the picture below.

4. Place the plate of wrapped whole pickles in the fridge for 30-40 minutes. This will allow the cream cheese to harden again, making them easier to cut.

5. Slice wrapped pickles to look like the photo below.

Voila! You have an amazing appetizer that everyone will love...even if they think it sounds disgusting at first :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Story of the Rosemary

Because all of the projects I am working on right now are presents for people who read this site, I will share some other things that are going on around our house. In addition our Christmas tree, I decided to decorate our rosemary plant. Now, this isn't just some ordinary rosemary plant. This plant has a story.

This plant was purchase in New York in the spring of 2007. The pot it's in was a gift from my mom...something she she wasn't using at the time. The plant then resided in Virginia for a year where I used it for cooking—it's great with potatoes, chicken, or in olive oil for a simple dipping oil!

Then, in the summer of 2008 it made it's way back up to New York. See, I was getting married, and since rosemary represents friendship, love, and fidelity, I knew it had to play a part in our wedding. Sprigs of rosemary were included in the floral arrangements for the pews, my bouquet, and my husband's boutonniere. After the wedding, the rosemary plant was kept at my in-law's house. We just didn't have enough room in the car to bring it back to Virginia.

This fall, I bought my in-laws another rosemary plant and was able to bring my long-lost friend home with me and pretty him all up for the Christmas season.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Winter Wonderland!

So, we got 20+ inches of snow in Fairfax, VA, over the past two days...amazing! This snowfall has broken the 77 year record for snowfall for D.C. (set back in 1932 on December 17). The snow is still in pristine condition, making the outdoors so serene. I went out and took some pictures this morning, and thought I would share. I hope you enjoy.

Abby, our 4-year old Shih-Tzu/Maltese in her corduroy winter coat.

View of our backyard from our side porch. Note that the wooden fence is about 6 feet tall!

View of our backyard from the driveway.

Close-up of our neighbor's tree with berries. Is that a holly tree?

My Chevy Cavalier in the driveway. It was there the whole time it was snowing.

I love icicles!

View from the front door.

Our snow-covered house.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Very Merry Office

My office is having a holiday decorating contest. Since my husband doesn't appreciate the beauty in my vintage aluminum Christmas tree, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to show her off! White lights, blue satin balls, and all...


My mom found the beautiful E
vergleam tree at a garage sale a few years back. It was even in the original box!
My next mission is to find a revolving color wheel and my masterpiece will be complete! Anyone know whe
re I can get one?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Christmas Wish List

Slowly but surely, we are getting settled into our new place. Last night we got our Christmas tree, I mailed out the Christmas cards this morning. I am finally getting into the Christmas spirit. Here are some cute items I found while perusing Etsy that I will be adding to my "Wish List"...

Bird Seed Wreath Christmas Ornament by Nature Favors

Monday, December 7, 2009

Packing, Moving, Unpacking

Hey all...long time no see!

Just wanted to let you know I am still alive. We have been in the process of packing/moving/unpacking for the past week, so things are a bit hectic. I plan on catching up on posts later this week, so see you then!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sweet Potato Pie

So, I know it has been a while since I have posted...but this whole new house thing has been keeping me quite busy! Pictures to come...

But, what have I been doing lately? Well, tonight I made a sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving. It made the whole apartment smell soooo yummy! We will be visiting our families for the holiday. Let's hope it travels well.

You can find the recipe here.

I have been working on Christmas projects, but since some of the recipients read this site, I can't go posting and ruin the surprise. Let's just say I have been crocheting...a lot. So much so, I think my sewing machine is getting lonely. Don't fret, sewing machine, I will return!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mario 1-Up Mushroom

Just a quick note and picture. I crocheted my husband a 1-up mushroom for his thirtieth birthday. I figured since he hit that milestone, an extra life was in order :)

You can find the free pattern here.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Scratchy Scarf

WARNING: Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends yarn is deceiving!


My boss bullied me into making asked me to make her a scarf for her birthday. She demanded said she would like it in black. I went to the Michaels that is next to my work and picked up what I thought was a soft and lofty yarn. Boy, was I wrong!

Yes, the yarn was soft to the touch in the skein, but once worked up into the scarf it was horribly itchy and too painful to wear. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how unwearable it was until I was finished with the scarf and put it around my own neck. By that time it was too late to make another.

On the other hand, I LOVED the pattern. I will be surely making this scarf again (with a different yarn, of course).

Happy crafting!

P.S. My boss is really nice, and her husband reads my blog :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Huge Mistake

Yesterday we went to our house to do some more painting, and we drove up to this...


Yes, that's right. Its the beginning of a porch. A porch we didn't ask for...and an off-centered one at that! At first I thought maybe my husband knew something I didn't know. I could tell by his face that that was not the case. Then I thought maybe the previous owners had plans that they didn't cancel. By the time we were getting out of our car, our neighbor came over and informed us that the construction was supposed to be happening to a house three doors down from us!

Long story short, the construction company's office made a huge mistake. The paperwork had our address on it, but the permit had the correct address on it. The owner and the project manager have agreed to put everything back as it was before they showed up–matching siding new concrete and sod, and all. I will be sure to post later on the outcome.

For now, I will leave you with a little bit of irony...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Red Door (Spa?)

I wish it was the Red Door Spa! But, it is just my new red door on our new house...

Before

After

What do you think? Better or worse?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Home

Yesterday we closed on a house! Tomorrow I am painting the front door red! I have always wanted a house with a red front door :)

Also, I have a feeling I will be spending a lot of time at Home Depot, and I don't know if that is a good or bad thing.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Etsy's Front Page

I logged into my Google Analytics account this morning and got a wonderful surprise! My numbers were off the charts. "What happened?" I wondered. With a little research, I found out I made it to the Front Page!!! Whoooo hoooo! Below is an archived screen shot—my item is the reclaimed yarn in the right-hand column.

What a great way to start the day :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Snowflake Afghan

I started the snowflake afghan. I finished a whole motif with the white and navy.

Being the Virgo I am, I will be working systematically by finishing all the white flake parts of the motif then add the navy and attach each motif together. Here are some of the flakes I have completed so far.

I am finding the pattern easy to follow and the afghan seems to be going quickly. As a variation, I think a light dusty blue color would look nice...like a daytime snow.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hand-Felted Crochet Hooks

I finished four more crochet hooks this morning and they are now available at my shop. Check them out!

They are comfy for your hand, ergonomic, and pretty to boot!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Project

So, I am totally in LOVE with the new issue of Crochet Today! magazine!

Retro-inspired holiday decor. To that I say, "You had me at 'retro'!" a la Jerry Maguire. I pretty much want to do everything in this issue, but I will first tackle the Sparkly Snowflakes afghan.

I purchased Loops & Threads Impeccable Yarn in navy and Red Heart Super Saver in soft white.



If you haven't already, I highly suggest you go out and get the newest issue of Crochet Today! Tons of good stuff :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Wedding in October

We went to a wedding in Western New York this weekend—my husband was a groomsman. It was an outdoor ceremony, which had me worried a little as it was cold and raining the morning of. But, Lady Luck worked her magic and cleared the skies. The air was brisk, but the sun was warm.

View from the ceremony tent.

Cupcake wedding cake with Wall-E and Eve.

Hydrangeas (my favorite!) with green apples. Awesome idea.

Paper flowers at each place setting.

The beautiful bride and her groom dancing their first dance.

The groom's band, Highland Drive, playing together again after three years!

Needless to say, we had a great time!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Scarf to Match the Durango + Robin's Egg Blue Crochet Hat

Earlier, I had posted about the scarf I was working on to match the Durango + Robin's Egg Blue Crochet Hat.


I knew I wanted to build off of the ribbing. I used two skeins of Hobby Lobby Bamboospun (worsted/10ply, 148 yards/135 meters) and a size H hook.

Abbreviations: CH: Chain; HDC: Half Double Crochet; ST: Stitch; DC: Double Crochet; FPDC: Front Post Double Crochet; BPDC: Back Post Double Crochet



CH 10

Row 1: HDC in second CH from hook and each CH across. (9 HDC)

Row 2: CH 1. Turn. HDC in each HDC across. (9 HDC)

Row 3-22: Repeat Row 2. You have formed your scarf end.

Row 23: CH 2. Turn and work into last stitch of Row 22. Rows will now be perpendicular to scarf end. DC into each ST in the scarf end. (22 DC)

Row 24: CH 2 (will count as first DC now and throughout). Turn. DC in last ST of previous row, DC in next ST, *FPDC in next ST, DC in next 2 STS.* Repeat from * to * 5 times. DC in last ST in row. (22 DC)

Row 25: CH 2.
Turn. DC in last ST of previous row, DC in next ST, *BPDC in next ST, DC in next 2 STS.* Repeat from * to * 5 times. DC in last ST in row. (22 DC) Your BPDC should go around the previous row's FPDC.

Row 26-104: Repeat Rows 24 and 25.
Your BPDCs and FPDC should work around each other from the previous row. You have completed the scarf body.

Row 105: CH 10.

Row 106:
HDC in second CH from hook and each CH of Row 105—working back toward scarf body. (9 HDC) SCTOG2—working in two DC of Row 104.

Row 107: Turn. Do not chain. HDC in each HDC—working away from scarf body. (9HDC)

Row 108: CH 1. Turn. HDC in each HDC across
—working back toward scarf body. (9 HDC) SCTOG2—working in two DC of Row 104.

Row 109-128: Repeat Rows 107 and 108 ten times.

Finish off and weave in ends.



And, voilĂ , you have a matching scarf for your Durango + Robin's Egg Blue Hat! This pattern has not been tested, so please let me know if you find any mistakes. This pattern is for personal use only. Make this scarf for yourself or friends (I am sure they will love you for it), but do not sell the pattern or product made from this pattern. Please do not copy and republish this pattern anywhere. When referencing, please use a link.

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