Monday, July 23, 2012

Blooming Flower Cushion


This is a pretty exciting post for me ... I finished my first ever pillow cover! 
I got my inspiration yet again from the wonderful Lucy of Attic24. Her "Blooming Flower Cushion" was so cheerful I knew I would have to give it a try. . . Now that I have finished one pillow/cushion I know I will make more! 

You may remember when I picked this yarn up in Abingdon, Va about three weeks ago from the lovely yarn shop, A Likely Yarn. I chose a blend because I wanted it to stand up to spills, cats, and eventually baby! I see this cushion needing some good washings over the years! :)

 Aaaah ... the beginning ... 
Hmmm ... maybe this thing will work after all! 

I started out using the Susan Bates bamboo handle 4.00 (g/6) hook ... usually one of my favorites - but with the nature of this project I found the notched head caught too much on the yarn ... and since I wasn't going for a necessarily tight stitch it was getting a little frustrating. I decided to dig through my bag of hooks for something a little more forgiving. . . I found the hook pictured above. It was a nice basic metal hook with a smooth easy to work head. Working with it on this project was a DREAM. . . I also was very excited about using this because it belonged to my Grandmother, Gigi (Grace Lay Rollins). She was a very enthusiastic crocheter and knitter. Of course, I didn't discover my love for the needle/hook arts until long after she passed away. I still find it sad she and I never got the chance to sit and craft together. BUT low and behold, last Christmas my mother gave me one of the best gifts I have ever received ... My mother is a wonderful seamstress and I have always been lucky to reap the benefits of her creations. Her gift to me this year was a handmade project bag (I will have to get some pics up of this to really do it justice), with tons of pockets and various needle holders. As if that wasn't enough - it also contained some things I thought were lost forever - my grandmothers crochet hooks/knitting needles and supplies (like labels, stitch markers, row counters, measuring tape, etc)! I was ECSTATIC! So, this wonderful HERO metal hook made in Germany was part of that stash. It really made me feel a connection to my grandma while I was making this cushion ... and I think that positive energy is partly why it turned out so great! 



Aaaah ... Doot Doot Doot(the cat) really loved snuggling up to this yarn.
I love this pic ... Ernie, Doot Doot Doot, and my very beautiful flower that is getting very blooomy!

 Can't really push her off ...

I took a little break ... I had to wait for my pillow form to arrive! 
But as soon as it came ... it didn't take long for me to finish!

 Left: Back of Cushion - Right: BLOOMING FLOWER!

A shot of back of the flowery part - so basically behind the petals ... still pretty though!

 I know I'm posting a lot of pics ... but I just love these colorful petals!

Time to start stitching these suckers together!

If I had any skills with a sewing machine I would have lined each side and put in a zipper ... 
BUT I don't, so I just stitched it all the way up ... 
there is some extra stuffing so I think it will hold up over time. 


You know you want to snuggle this! 


I can't thank Lucy from Attic24 enough for her fantastic tutorial <-click here! 
She always can make the most daunting of patterns or projects easy to follow and fun to create!

Hope you all enjoyed my colorful creation! 
Check out Lucy's tutorial if you want to try one of your own... :)
It hasn't left my side yet ... :)

Delicious Randomness!

      Last week was as eventful of a week as I have had in awhile ... as the weeks tick by I find myself moving slower and slower ... but with each passing week I get closer to holding and caring for my little Ernie ... every night feels like Christmas Eve at this point! I keep thinking ... tomorrow could be the day! 

      Anyway, my husband and I had an interesting day when he discovered the most pitiful pretty tiny kitten sitting right outside his office door. He contemplated what he should do about it for awhile ... we don't live in an area where it's easy to help stray animals and I think most of the time they just end up feral or dying. However, being the big softy that he is, my husband opted for a rescue operation! 

     We collected the kitty and drove to the nearest shelter we could find that was still accepting animals ... about 35 minutes away ... only to find out - THEY WERE CLOSED! Ugh. What a pain. The poor little sick kitty was just cooing in the backseat in it's little carrier probably scared and confused. Luckily my husband was able to keep the kitten at his work - we couldn't bring her home because we already have 2 and didn't want to expose them to anything she may have ... or expose me and Ernie for that matter! It was good for kitty though, she had a couple of days inside with food and water.

     It took me all Monday morning to call around and finally find a place that would take her in. It's funny, there are "groups" in are area that help to get animals adopted (a great service!) but not many who will take in a stray and get it cleaned up and ready for adoption (wierd right?) ... I was pretty much on the verge of tears when I decided to call the animal hospital we take our cats too ... about 15 seconds later they said they would take the kitten, get her straightened out and help her find a home! YAY! 
     I was more than happy to drive the 45 minutes to the Animal Hospital knowing that the kitten would be cared for... plus I got to do some shopping in Hazard, practically the big city to where we live! We donated the carrier and some money towards her shots/tests. She was a super sweet kitten ... if I wasn't pregnant I probably would have considered taking her - but I will have my hands full in no time!

This was a neat bus/trolley I have never seen before in Hazard. It was full of school children so I think it may be used for some special field trip ... I spotted it at a light and was happy to get a shot of it! I wanna take a ride ... 
My husband is quite the cook. He is modest about it ... but there are few meals he prepares that I don't LOVE. I'm not saying that I'm horrible ... but I think he just enjoys cooking more than I do. I just love it when he finds a special recipe and gets excited about it. His homemade pesto is incredible! One of his newest culinary adventures was Ratatouille. I won't lie, we were both inspired after watching the Pixar Movie ... but then again I don't know many people who weren't! Despite the whole rat in the kitchen thing - I was ready to go home and cook and drink wine right after leaving the theater!

It's funny he wanted to make Ratatouille considering he is particularly NOT fond of vegetables ... especially when there is no meat involved! I think he wanted to make it for me (I LOVE VEGGIES!) - I haven't been cooking much the past couple months because I honestly have not been inspired at all and have zero energy by dinner time. He is very sweet.

We found our recipe from a great site called The Kitchen - anything that can be cooked in a dutch oven pretty much perks our interest. I must say I did my fair share for this meal ... check out all that chopped deliciousness below!
Simple ingredients: Zucchini, tomato, bell peppers, onion, egg plant and garlic! All freshly chopped. 
My husband did the actual cooking part ... which takes a little bit of time, because the different parts are cooked separately before all being combined. Once combined it take about 45 more minutes of simmering before everything is perfecto ...

Here is a shot of Q's awesome homemade bread - he makes it from scratch and this loaf came out perfectly! A nice crunchy and salty crush and hearty insides - it went great with the ratatouille!

Over all the dish came out perfectly! I think we both realized quickly that it wasn't really great as a "stand alone" type of dish. I think if we made it again we would leave out the eggplant and substitute with mushrooms and maybe  yellow squash. Beans would really kick this up into a more substantial meal too! I will say, just  following this recipe, it was soooo delicious and I really loved it! I can't wait to try this again and hopefully have a glass of wine to go with it! 

The plants are really starting to produce! These are just a few of our mini bell peppers that were ready to be picked! I hope to throw these into different meals throughout the week ... the lone tomato came from one of our Tommy Toe plants, not quite ripe yet but I couldn't resist. It should still be ready to eat in a day or two!

Brewin' Beer!

I'm not going to get to far into depth here about the homebrew process as I was more of a passive observer of this process. My husband and some friends have been collaborating efforts to make some potentially yummy beer! I hope to try some ... eventually!

Hops! They smelled delicious! They are all added at different time during the brewing process...




Mixin' the malt in the hot water before adding it back to the large pot ... many more steps happen that I have totally left out! oops!

Adding the cooked mixture to the "carboy" ... the small mason jar is to help the beer breath while it sits without allowing any air get into it (it sucks up the water instead).

And now we wait ... about two weeks until it's ready for bottling! 

I can't stress enough - this is by no means suppose to be instructional as I have left out many many details, ingredients and steps. I hope to actually participate in the brewing process one day ... Just felt like sharing!

On a crafty note ... I spent most of last week getting a swap together ... I don't want to post any pics yet until I know my swap partner has received my package - I don't want to spoil any surprises!
A little owl applique ... I found this from a great blog called "Love the Blue Bird " - check it out!



Monday, July 16, 2012

Neat Ripple Scarf Joy!

I have started the Ripple!

After I finished the Granny Stripe Baby Blanket for Ernie, I decided that I wanted to do something for myself ... something that I probably wouldn't have much time for when he gets here. . .

I have been eyeing Lucy's Neat Ripple Pattern for awhile now so wanted to give it a try. I didn't really want to start another blanket ... and I wanted to make myself a new scarf soooo .... I decided to give the ripple pattern a whirl in scarf form! I just started it! I really love the easy to follow pattern that made learning this super easy and fun! I'm hoping to finish this soon! I still need to figure out what type of border to put around this when I'm done ... 

Project Name: Neat Ripple Scarf
Project Started: June 26, 2012

Yarn: Cascade Sport 100% Wool  
(I purchased from Yarns to Dye For)
Hook Size: Susan Bates Bamboo Handle US G6/4.00mm

Off I go!

Hookin' in the Studio! 
I volunteer at WMMT FM ... our community radio station. 
The best radio station in the whole wide world! 

Check out the facebook page for my show, Indie Jones and the Temple of BOOM!!


I have finished the Neat Ripple Scarf!!!

I finished this wonderful scarf July 14, 2012 ... It really wasn't hard I just had several other projects going on and would pick it up here and there when I could. I really made a great on the go project.

It's a nice length and it will stretch more over time ... I enjoyed this yarn, I would definitely use it again. 
Not to mention the beautiful colors! Yummy! Such a pleasure to work with ...

I think the best part of this project was mastering the dc2tog/double crochet 2 together stitch (US terms). Lucy really walked me through it step by step with her wonderful tutorial and after repeating it over and over again with the project, I've got it down! Sooo happy! I see more ripples in my future ...

Malu keeps me company!! Whether I want it or not ... It's funny though, both our cats absolutely LOVE wool. Either one of them try to find ways to make themselves comfortable on whatever wool project I'm working on. Little furry devils. 


Baby Ernie is due August 5, 2012 .... I just CAN'T wait! 
I already love him ...