Sunday, December 16, 2012

New Addition

Liam Connor
He was born on November 10th at 12:01am, weighed 11lbs, and was 21.5 inches long.
That's right. 11 pounds. I birth giants.

It's Been Busy...

Hubby came home, we moved 1200 miles to Washington (state, not DC), we moved into our new house on post, and I had our 2nd baby.
The house is slowly coming together but my workroom hasn't been touched yet; it's full of boxes and there's no telling when I'll be able to start unpacking. Last night I was able to make 2 necklaces and a bracelet while nursing Liam on the couch so yay for multitasking.
With some luck I'll be back to crafting soon. Happy holidays!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mini Dutch Babies

Last year I saw an episode of Good Eats about popovers, and one of the recipes he made was for a dutch baby. We made one later that week and it was good but lately I've been looking for small, single serving things to make for breakfast. It feels like I've seen everything made in muffin tins lately so I decided to make mini dutch babies.

The recipe is very basic:
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1% because that's what we had)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I use less and sometimes skip it completely)
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
Spray your muffin tin with a nonstick spray. Mix all the ingredients together and fill the cups 2/3 full. Cook in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until they're lightly golden and fluffy. Once they've cooled remove them from the pan. Serve by drizzling with lemon juice and sprinkling a little sugar on top.

My first batch was slightly overdone so the centers didn't deflate like they should have. The second batch was so good it was gone before I had a chance to take a picture. The recipe made 18 mini dutch babies but that number will vary depending on how full you fill the cups.

These came out soooooo good. As an added positive: they freeze and reheat well too. I froze the leftovers and later on my son wanted more so I put them in the microwave until they were warm and he gobbled them up.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Unbreakable (I hope)

Dorian can't leave a crayon in 1 piece. I don't know if all kids have a phase like this, but I'm hoping this one doesn't last too much longer. This morning I sat him down with a pack of crayons and a coloring book; instead of coloring he decided to break every. single. one. My frustration gave me an idea: crayon pucks.

First you'll need a mini-muffin tin and 4-5 boxes of crayons (I got 24 packs for 25cents at Target). Start out by taking the paper off all the crayons. Next, break up each color into 1/2-1 inch pieces and put them into the muffin tin, while keeping the colors seperated.

Now put the tin in the oven at 225° until they are melted, about 7-10 minutes. Once melted take them out of the oven and let them cool. After the tin is no longer hot put it in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Finally, turn the tin upside down and the crayon pucks will pop out. Now your kids can't spend drawing time snapping crayons in half and you don't need to spend more money on thicker crayons.

Quickie Craft

So I just noticed that I never published this post. Posting it now...
My husband is a few thousand miles away so we're always thinking of ways to keep him in our son's thoughts. I saw popsicle stick puzzles online where a woman drew a jack'o'lantern on the sticks and gave them away. Since I have tons of pictures of Walter (hubby) and Dorian (oldest son) I decided to make a puzzle using one.
I took 5 popsicle sticks, glue, and a picture. I cut excess backround off the picture, laid out the sticks, rubbed a thin row of glue on them, and put the picture I chose on top. Once the picture was dry I used my rotary cutter to cut the sticks apart. Then...all done!

Friday, August 10, 2012

How to Make a Needle Book

It seems like I'm always buying large eye sewing needles. I only use them to sew in yarn ends when I'm done knitting something but every time I need one, I can't find any. Last year I made a knitting needle holder & a crochet hook holder, and since I still have fabric left from those I decided to make a sewing needle book.

I started out by cutting 2 pieces of cotton fabric and 1 piece of cotton batting 3.5" x 5" each, a piece of felt 2.5" x 4", and a small piece of cotton fabric 1.5" x 3".

Second, I folded the 1.5" x 3" piece with right sides together, sewed the long sides, and turned it right side out. Then I put the fabric I chose for the cover on top of the batting, put on 1 side of a snap about an inch from the right edge, and pinned the short piece to the left side.

Then I placed the fabric for the inside of the book, right sides together, on top and sewed around while leaving an an inch open at the bottom for turning. When I finished that I trimmed the excess batting.

I used a long knitting needle to turn it right sides out and then I added the other side of the snap to the tab.

Lastly, I pinned the felt in place and sewed it using embroidery floss (and yes, I know the stitching isn't quite straight but my son chose to get into everything while I was doing that part).

That's it. Now I can stick my sewing needles in the felt and keep this book with my other needle and hook holders. After I get some other sewing out of the way I'll make another one with extra felt pages to keep my sewing machine needles organized too.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Just Add Water Paint Pages

When I was a kid I had coloring books with colored dots on the page. I'd swipe a wet paintbrush across the dots and I could paint the picture. A month ago I bought one for my son but it was a big let down. The colors were pale and pictures were printed on each side of the page so the water being used on one side ruined the other. I'm always looking for new craft ideas (thanks to Pinterest I'm finding tons) and I found this post on making watercolor paint pages earlier this week.

I made a Joann's run and luckily the one near my house has a good selection so I was able to find watercolor paper and watercolor paints.

The watercolor paper was 9x12 which is a little big for my 3 year old (he tends to make smaller pictures) so I used my rotary cutter and ruler to cut the pages in half so they'd be 6x9.

Once I had some cut I laid them out so they'd overlap with only an inch at the top of each page showing. This isn't necessary but it was much quicker to be able to make a bunch at once instead of one at a time.

Next I added a dot of paint, starting with red, to the top (or bottom) of each page.

After I was done with red I did the same with all the other colors.

After I finished adding all the colors all that was left was to let the pages dry. Once dry they can be used with a damp paintbrush. Dorian loves playing with these now. Next time I make a batch I'll need to do it after I put him to bed since the entire time they were drying he was asking every 5 minuutes if they were ready yet.

Here he's using one of the full 9x12 sheet I originally made (he decided he'd rather swirl the colors together than make a picture).

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day in Missouri

For those who don't know, my husband is in the Army and currently stationed (without our son and I) at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Since he was going to be getting passes Saturday, Sunday, and Monday for Memorial Day weekend I had the insane idea to drive 1700 miles each way to spend some time with him. Last time we made this trip I had some down time so this time I made sure to bring my spinning wheel.

We got to Fort Leonard Wood Thursday night and I was able to get some spinning done while Dorian watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (off topic but he saw a little person at the store the other day and stared a ton so we had to have a talk about how everyone's different). I brought three 4 ounce braids that I bought from an etsy seller, Chimera, months ago. I chose to spin one called Starry Night because that's always been my favorite Van Gogh painting. Then on Saturday morning Walter, Dorian, and I went to the park and I was able to spin up the rest of the 4 oz braid of falkland wool top.

Once Walter had to report back to the barracks for formation Dorian and I went back to the on post hotel and I got to work plying. By the way, plying yarn while your toddler alternates between jumping around your second floor room and trying to get as close as possible to touching your wheel without actually touching it is less than easy. After telling him "Don't touch", "Stop jumping! We have people in the room under ours", and "That'll hurt" dozens of times a piece I finally finished.

Turns out my bobbins don't like holding a full 4 ounces of wool. It was as full as I was going to get it but hopefully it can fit more of a thinner yarn. That I'll have to find out another day because right now I'm in a mood to spin thicker yarn, possibly even try out some art yarn. There's so much on my crafty to do list that right now I'm doing some spinning just to spin. There's a partial bobbin of BFL in a colorway called Toadstool (it made me think of camo so I got it to spin & knit something for Walter) waiting to be finished, but it needs to be a 3-ply fingering weight yarn and right now I don't have the patience for spinning that fine. For now I'm happy with spinning up fiber from my ever growing stash.

On a side note, I hate Missouri. It's beautiful here and I love the post but I hate the weather and the bugs. I'm 4 months pregnant and the heat brings out the worst pregnancy symptoms for me; it's been in the 90's the entire time we've been here and it's humid all the time. Last time we were here I woke up with some evil looking cricket thing on me and this time I found a brown recluse in the closet. Thankfully our family will be out of here soon: Dorian and I'll be heading home in a day or two, then Walter's off to Virginia for more training in 5 days.