Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Chicken Gets Herself into Some HOT water...

Pick a little, talk a little....

I found this precious pattern on Ravelry called "Spring Chicken" by Bluesocks Designs. It looks like it's only available as a Ravelry download.
Having cleaned Hobby Lobby out of their entire discounted Lion wool, ( at $1.99 /skein,who could resist?), I just had to do something with it. After all, I'm definitely not going to wear much wool down here, it's too warm even in the winter, except for the occasional frigid day. So I knit the pattern on larger needles, stuffed them loosely & popped them into the washer. I even needle felted one of them.
I'm really branching out & loving every minute of it.
I can still see stitches on the white chickens & they were felted twice. I think I stuffed them too much but this is a learning situation. Se la vie.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Chicken Bag under construction...

chicken in the works
Originally uploaded by nandersonsphotos

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this pattern!! I'm not quite finished, still have to sew the tail & other strap on & add a fastener & maybe line it, but I think it's so happy I couldn't wait to post it! Here's a link so you can check out this & other patterns by sonicka......http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=sr_list_14&listing_id=22771376&ga_search_query=chicken+bag&ga_search_type=tag_title&ga_page=&min=&max=&order==

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Today's weather...

Originally uploaded by nandersonsphotos

This was the cause of my yarny crime spree...

I give you exhibit B: See, these Kool-aid dyed balls of yarn are bright & fun & exciting. I even stumbled upon a mixture to make peachy flesh color for using in doll knitting, which I didn't write down, naturally. I think it was Lemon & Pink Lemonade with a teeny tiny sprinkle of red. All of a sudden I could do (dye) ANYTHING, (wrong!). I am not sure I can be trusted anymore...Behold these happy balls of yarn...they mock the poor Malabrigo with their bright & fruity cheerfulness.

Confession is good for the soul...

O.K. ya'll, I've committed a crime & I need to get if off my conscience. It's been nagging at me for quite some time. I got into kool-aid dying in a bad way. I was obsessed!! Hoarding Kool-aid packages like a junkie, running around all over town with the hideous Kool-aid stained fingers of a complete & utter addict, not even taking the time to put on gloves when I was dying. But that's not the crime, (I paid for them).

No the crime was that I overdyed some GORGEOUS, pale gray Malibrigo yarn. If there were a court for prosecuting people who abuse yarn I'd be booked for sure on felony cruelty & abuse charges. Not to mention that I almost felted the once lovely & supple yarn & now it looks like wimpy, horrible colored dreadlocks. O.K. suspend my Kool-aid buying priviledges, I deserve it.

I give you exhibit A: (go ahead throw the book at me)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Brunswick & Stewie are almost here...

B & S are coming...
Originally uploaded by nandersonsphotos

Some photoshop fun with the nearly finished dubious duo...Brunswick & Stewie. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 23, 2009

This Bunny is a Real Square...

This procedure has been around for a long time, in various forms & fashions. Anybody remember learning to tie handkerchiefs into bunnies in Girl Scouts? I used this pattern for mine, only I crocheted him, this time.
The basic idea is to knit or crochet a square & sew & stuff it according to the schematic drawing. Simple & fun. I went a step further & felted mine. Used some stash yarn, sorry don't have the label. It was the roving sort of yarn designed for felting. First I crocheted an extra large, loose square using an I hook, loosely stuffed him & sewed him per details on the schematic, made ears, attached them & popped him into hot water.
Lastly, I embroidered eyes & made him a puffy tail.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Babe Chick gets a new "do"& is living La Vida Loca!!

Here's Babe Chick sporting the bed-head hairdo, (is that still in style? I have no idea). Love the self-striping Stata by Red Heart, which is now discontinued in my area, bummer!! She's going to be living La vida loca in Miami, bon voyage, bebito! Be sweet!

Babe Chick is a super easy pattern. In fact, ya’ll don’t need a pattern to make her but I thought I’d write it down anyway, just in case. She is about 5” tall, (sorry I mailed her before I remembered to take her measurements).

Red Heart Strata yarn (for body) or any worsted yarn
Red Heart Super Saver in orange (for beak)
G hook
Plastic pellets
Safety eyes
Tapestry & sharp sewing needle
Feathers or Novelty Yarn (optional)

This chick is worked in un-joined spirals, unless otherwise indicated. Gauge is not important, just be sure to use a tight tension, adjust hook size as needed.
[ ] = repeat steps in brackets as indicated after bracket
arnd = around
rnds = rounds
sc = single crochet
st(s) = stitch, stitches
tog = together
Dec = decrease
Inc = increase

Rnd 1: With G hook, sc 6 sts in adjustable loop.
Rnd 2: [2 sc in ea st] arnd (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [sc in st, 2 sc in next st] arnd (18 sts)
Rnd 4: [sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st] arnd (24 sts)
Rnd 5: [sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st] arnd (30 sts)
Rnd 6: [sc in next 4 sts, 2 sc in next st] arnd (36 sts)
Rnd 7: [sc in next 5 sts, 2 sc in next st] arnd (42 sts)
Rnd 8-12: sc arnd (42 sts)
Begin stuffing, (If using plastic pellets for weight, place some of them in toe of an old stocking, tie off & stuff them in first). Continue to stuff as you work!
Rnd 13: Beg dec [sc 2 tog, sc in next 5 sts] arnd (36 sts)
Rnd 14: sc arnd (36 sts)
Rnd 15: [sc 2 tog, sc in next 4 sts] arnd (30 sts)
Rnd 16: [sc 2 tog, sc in next 3 sts] arnd (24 sts)
Rnd 17-19: sc arnd (24 sts)
Rnd 20: Inc[sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st] arnd (30 sts)
Rnd 21-23: sc arnd (30 sts)
Rnd 24: [sc 2 tog, sc in next 3 sts] arnd (24 sts)
Good time to place eyes if using safety, (post & washer) eyes!
Rnd 25: [sc 2 tog, sc in next 2 sts] arnd (18 sts)
Rnd 26: sc arnd (18 sts)
Rnd 27: [sc 2 tog] arnd (12 sts)
Finish off leaving long yarn tail for sewing opening closed.

Beak: ( I think I made mine too big. Too late! If I do another one I will probably cut out a tiny felt diamond shape & attach it by tacking it in the middle of the diamond.)

If you want to continue here this is what I did for the beak;

Rnd 1: Chain 4, join with slip st to form ring. Do not pull opening closed.
Rnd 2: 5 sc in the ring
Rnd 3: Sc every other st
Finish & attach with needle & thread

Make a whole flock of them (or whatever you call a group of chicks), and have your very own (baby) hen party!!Hey let's all break out the Miami Sound Machine CD's & do some Salsa dancing, (Man I love them!).

Oh & please don't forget;
Babe Chick is my own design but you have my permission to make them to sell if you like, just please give me credit as the designer, thanks!!

Miss,(Mint is my middle name),Julep

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Paddy says: "Top O' The Mornin' To Ya...."

Erin Go Bragh, Ireland forever!!!

I hope all you dears are having a grand celebration today!!


Don't forget to wear the green or ya might just get pinched!

Celebrate repsonsibly, don't ya be gettin' fluthered now...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Yay for Friday...

It's sunny & warm & best of all it's Friday!! Still waiting on "Toad Time" to begin. They're a little late this year.

4 More Days 'til St. Patrick's Day!!!

Stuffed Easter Eggs

Here’s what I’ve been making, when I’m not crocheting or knitting or working…
Each year I make these eggs for our local Festa. They are real chicken eggs, blown out, cleaned & carefully stuffed with a rosary, necklace or other special surprise.
Extra long needle, (like the needles used for sewing on stuffed doll eyes)
Bulb syringe,(found in baby departments, used for clearing their noses)
Tissue paper, (assorted colors)
Elmer’s white glue
Paint brush
Clear coat spray, (I use Krylon)
Waxed paper
Dish soap & water
*Optional: Ribbons, sequins, flowers & other embellishments
Salmonella warning! Use good handwashing practices when handling raw eggs & don't try to blow the egg with your own breath, it's too hard & you could get raw egg in your mouth
Blow eggs out first: http://www.wikihow.com/Blow-Out-Eggs (they tell it better than me)

Using the large needle, carefully poke a tiny hole in one end of the egg. Poke another hole in the opposite end and carefully chip a little of the shell away with the needle. Use needle to puncture yolk.

Using the bulb syringe, place over pinhole & slowly squeeze the bulb forcing the egg out through the larger hole. Repeat a few times until it feels as though all of the egg has been blown out. Fill the syringe with water & flush it through the egg to clean up the insides. (I always use a different syringe & flush a mild mixture of soap & bleach through the egg shell). Place the blown egg shells in an egg carton to finish draining. Let them dry for a few days if possible.

When eggs are completely dry, carefully chip away at the larger hole until you can just squeeze the surprise into the egg shell(fig 1). Don’t worry, you’ll be covering this hole but remember the smaller the hole, the easier it will be to patch.


Carefully work surprise into the shell ,patch the hole with a piece of paper & some white glue (see photo below). I use notebook paper or something a little heavier than the tissue paper. Set aside to dry a bit.

Meanwhile tear tissue paper into random shapes. Pour some Elmer’s glue out on a saucer, take your paint brush & get ready to decoupage. This part gets a little tricky but ya’ll will figure something out. I do about half of the egg at a time & place it on waxed paper to dry, then finish it up holding it by the finished, dried side. The first time I made these I added ribbon loops for hanging & hung them to dry on a peg board but attaching those ribbons entailed using hot glue & fine motor skills which was a pain, literally.Once the eggs are all decoupaged, give them a nice clear finish. Again, laying them on waxed paper, in a box, take them outside & spray with the clear coat. Once dry you can turn them & spray the other side.I know ya’ll can come up with more efficient ways to do this , sometimes I do things the “hard” way just to get them done in a hurry, if you know what I mean.

decoupaging the shell - overlap torn pieces & brush to smooth, some wrinkles are o k.
Embellish eggs with ribbon flowers, bows, sequins and so on...

Other fun uses for these eggs:
My daughter was living several times zones away from home when she had her 21st birthday. I just had to do something to show her how special she was so I sent her some birthday eggs...
one was called a "birthday cake egg". In it I put some cash with a note telling the poor baby to go buy herself a cake, (sad, huh? Did I mention that she was living in Hawaii at the time? Poor girl indeed).

In the next egg I put bunches of glittery birthday confetti. The sky is the limit here, right? You could put notes, poems, a balloon…all kinds of things.

I also made a tissue paper hat & ever so carefully folded it & stuffed it inside another egg, (like the flimsy hats they put in the Christmas poppers).

What can you think of to put in them? Have fun crafting, these are messy & seem to have a lot of steps but they are so much fun, especially for the recipients. Kids are especially amazed by these. And a final word of warning they are oh so addicting to make...I can't stop:)

One final note: If you are planning to save the egg insides for eating, PLEASE use care not to get soap or bleach in the eggs or otherwise contaminate them & refridgerate and use them right away. Don't want anyone to get sick. Use 2 different syringes; one for blowing the eggs & one for flushing the shell with soap & bleach solution & mark them well so you'll know the difference. When in doubt, throw them OUT!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cooper's Flock

Coopers Flock
Originally uploaded by nandersonsphotos

Here's my version, in progress, of a Cooper's Flock bird. This is a cute & easy pattern & the purpose behind this bird is heartwrenching & touching. Please read about Coopers Flock. (see link on right hand column)

Paddy goes on a trip...

Accepting his first official assignment as Goodwill Ambassador for spring festivals & revelry, Paddy has dyed his fur purple & changed to a bowler. Have a safe trip & don't eat all of the candy in there Paddy.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Necessity is the mother of invention or "what the heck to do with leftover Peeps"..

Ya’ll know you’ve got them, (or will have them). So now what? They have a lot of fun recipes over at the Official Peeps Fan site but I didn’t find the one I made up. So here it is;

Peep No Mores
Ingredients (yields 2 servings)
2 Peeps of choice, (I like to use the bunnies & chicks)
2 whole Graham crackers
1 Lg Hershey Bar, (plain)

Break graham crackers into halves. Likewise, the Hershey bar. Place 2 graham cracker halves on a microwaveable plate, side-by-side. Lay Hershey bar half on top of each graham cracker half. Place one innocent, sweet little unsuspecting Peep on top of each Hershey bar half.

Microwave for a few seconds, (15 - 25 seconds). Watch carefully so they don’t overcook.
When Peep is all puffed up, quickly remove from microwave & place other graham half on top to form a gooey, marshmallowy, chocolatey, rich gut bomb Peeps sandwich guaranteed to cure your sweet tooth for 7 days, at least, (more if you happen to eat both & wash them down with an icy glass of milk).
"I'm melting, melting...ohhhh what a world...all my beautiful wickedness...." Enjoy!

And look here at the precious crochet Peeps pattern!! I’m going to give it a try…

TGIF ya'll...It's almost Toad Time!!!

So what is toad time anyway? Well, several years ago I built a little fish pond & for as many years now, in March the toads all congregate for their own spring break, if you know what I mean. It's a regular "Toads Gone Wild" for certain. All night long you can hear those party animals screeching & bellowing for mates. It can be loud but I love it. Drives my cats CRAZY!
The pond is right outside our bedroom window & this time of year with the windows open you can't help but hear all the foolishness. I love toad time because it means tadpoles & teeny-tiny baby toads. (My fish love it too).
Here's a couple of "family" photos from last year: