Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More snowballs in the deep south...

Here are some snowballs you can sink your teeth into.YUM!
snowball cookies
Two things I've learned by making these cookies; 1) watch them carefully lest they burn, better yet reduce the oven temp a wee bit and always bake on parchment paper & 2) roll them in the powdered sugar when they are still warm, especially if you have a sweet tooth as the sugar sticks better and makes a thicker coating. I use a plastic food bag and shake the cookies in the sugar.

The candy in the foreground is chocolate dipped Brazil nuts. So GOOD!

Have you seen this blog?

Y'all, this lady is a creative genius and has devised such a fun way to capture her child's babyhood while creating fantastically whimsical photo compositions. I can not say enough here so just run on over there and have a look. Scroll down to read about her project and upcoming book, "When My Baby Dreams".

Friday, January 21, 2011

Counting Fun & Cake Ball Shortcut...

Remember in early grade school math when we were instructed on the use of an abacus in counting and calculating? I loved the click of the beads then and I love the sound today.

I found this toy wooden abacus on one of my thrifting forays and just had to take it home for the nostalgia of it. Well now I have a fun and useful purpose for my abacus; COUNTING, (imagine that). Granted it isn’t portable for taking along in a project bag but for counting rounds and rows when crocheting while watching TV, it’s been perfect and frankly fun to look at.

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Recently my friends and I have joined the cake ball craze. Now every time there is a celebration we make cake balls. If you are familiar with cake ball construction you'll know that one makes a cake, mashes it up & adds frosting to make "cake clay", rolls said "clay" into balls, dips into melted candy and embellishes. Easy but time consuming.

So I purchased a discounted (due to last date of sale), ready-made butter cream frosting 1/4 sheet cake from the grocery store. Because it was a complete cake I did not need to add frosting to make the "clay". I simply heated the cake in the microwave, mashed it up, mixing in the frosting and commenced rolling cake balls. Thrifty AND time-saving. And frankly, if you like rich sweets, this version was my favorite to date, probably because of the artery clogging butter cream frosting. Everyone loved them and while they aren't as professional looking as some from a bakery they looked fun & festive on a glass serving tray.

cake balls

TGIF y'all!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy 75th Anniversary Red Heart!!

In celebration of 75 years in business, I was hired to design two full-sized three tier anniversary cakes for Coats & Clark's Red Heart yarn. These were such  fun projects but they sure had me craving cake while I was working on them. You can find the patterns, called "Anniversary Rose Cake" and "Trendy Fondant Cake" on RedHeart.com..

Traditional Cake 3

TrendyFondant

Happy Anniversary Red Heart!!Thank you for ALL of your wonderful, quality products!And thank you for the opportunity to be involved in such fun, whimsical design challenges!!



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

WIP's....

During a short respite from assignments this past weekend, I started on an afghan for my home. I am making it super-sized, almost as large as a comforter and my color inspiration is a photo from my recent visit to Miami. It's really cold down here this week so the idea of a warm comforter in bright beachy colors is quite appealing. Plus anytime blue or rather blue/green and yellow can be used together in the same project is a GOOD thing. I love that combination and always have.

The worsted weight yarn is held doubled throughout and I am using a US P/10 mm hook. The stitch pattern consists of 1 double crochet and 1 slip stitch across, ending and beginning with a single crochet stitch. SO EASY!

Here's the inspiration photo.
Miami Beach

Here's the beginning of the afghan. I am roughly 1/3rd of the way through.
Miami Beach

Next, I have been intermittently working on the Gnome Home. Such a CUTE pattern. I increased the size of mine by adding half again as many stitches and was able to use a gallon sized paint can for blocking. The house is completely felted now. I need to shave the lint and shore up the doorway and windows per the pattern. The roof is next to go into the hot wash but it still needs the roof top plants before felting.I can not stress enough how adorably cute this pattern is and the fact that it incorporates a plethora of crafting techniques really tickles me as this is my favorite way to craft.

Here's my rough draft start to this fun project. Can't wait to start on the embroidery and embellishments.
gnome home 2

Stay warm y'all!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Who wants cake?

yarn cake, that is...
who wants cake
I received my hand dyed yarn order yesterday from my friend Jennifer at Desert Garden Farms. She included a surprise hank of gorgeous hand spun in yummy browns! I love it! I also love winding hanks into cakes. It makes me happy and because I don't have a lot of free time, it makes me feel productive and prepared, so that when extra time arises I can grab a cake and go. So here you have the resulting cakes...
cakes
Aren't they beautiful? The 2 multicolored cakes of hand dyed yarn are aptly called "Caribbean Dream" and the gorgeous brown hand spun is comprised of  lincoln , yak,silk,llama, camel & a bit of sparkleTalk about luxury, WOW!
chcolate brown closeup
I'm calling this yarn "Hot Fudge Sundae" because that's what it looks like. YUMMMM!

And because the swift and ball winder were set up I also wound this, which was formerly a Tommy Hilfiger sweater. The fiber content is 55% wool & 45% cotton. Not bad for under $4.
Hillfiger yarn cake

Lastly, here's a spiral motif that I found in one of my afghan books. The sample afghan done in this pattern was gorgeous! I love spirals and have been rather fixated on them for the past year or so.

Spiral study

Here's a super quick snapshot of the sky last evening. Winter sky is always the best!

Dec sky

TGIF y'all!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fat Burger in Paradise...

While visiting south Florida over the holidays we of course went "shopping" in the Coaral Gables Miracle Mile shopping area.
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Here's what we bought...
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Fat Burger extreme closeup. Boy was it good and aptly named.

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I LOVED this window! The striped legs growing out of the wall were fun and fantastic!

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Loved the nostalgic/retro feel to this shopping district and theater.

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There wasn't a single knitting store on the strip, (not that I expected one), but I did see one nearby, as we were leaving the area. We were too full to stop.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy Hot Pink & Blue New Year...

My family just got back from a week in Miami. It was our collective Christmas present, although Mr. Julep, (aka Mr. Witty), got the raw end of the deal by having to pay for just about everything.
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Giant Hot Pink Snail installation at Miami Beach
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What's not to love about the architecture,( both classic art deco style and modern), and the blue sky ?
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Miami Beach
And the beautiful blue water!!
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And hot pink Bougainvillea!
Key Deer
And just for fun, a cute little wild Key Deer greeting cars passing by on their way to Key West.

Hope you all have a wonderful & prosperous New Year!