Friday, February 27, 2009

Tada!

I finished the baby blanket last night! This was my first afghan and biggest project so far. It took a little over a month, but that was with putting it down a lot. It is so soft and precious, I hope my friends and their new baby will love it. It goes in the mail today.

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Etsy Front Page!


Thanks to Natasha of Luxe for letting me know that my Sunset collage ring was on the front page last night!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Decorating Style



I found this quiz on Sproost thanks to my mom. According to their choices my decorating style is:
60% Vintage Modern
20% Rustic Revival
20% Cottage Chic
That actually sounds about right. Frank and I were talking to a friend who does upholstery and she asked what our style was. We looked at each other and didn't have a clue. Eclectic was what she offered, and I suppose that is correct as well. Take the quiz, its kind of interesting.
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Slumdog Millionaire



Frank and I went to see Slumdog Millionaire on Sunday afternoon. It was wonderful, and so much more than I expected! I loved the soundtrack, and walked out of the theater singing the ending song "Jai Ho". Don't get the wrong idea, it is not a musical, the dance scene is only during the closing credits. I had seen Frida Pinto and Dev Patel on Ellen showing her some dance moves a while back. The soundtrack and sound mixing were so great that I was wondering if they had been nominated for Oscars. They were, and they won several, including Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song) for "Jai Ho" and one for sound mixing.

I am a big fan of MIA and recognized several of her songs in the soundtrack as well. If you haven't seen the film yet, don't wait. It is a wonderful mix of adventure, drama, and romance. It pulls at your heartstrings and is uplifting at the same time. Definitely one of my new favorite movies!
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Upside Down Dogs!


Alley posed for us the other night. We have tried getting upside down photos of Lucy, but she is just not into it. Check out this cute website, Upside Down Dogs.

In case you are wondering, we are working with a local rescue group called Paws and Claws. Alley will be up for adoption this weekend. It is going to be really hard to let her go as I am completely in love with her. If we didn't already have two crazy dogs we would totally keep her.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Etsy Metal Charm Swap 3

The Etsy Metal Charm Swap number 3 is under way. I finished my charms just now and am really excited about them. I used copper with 7 colors of polymer clay. They are tube riveted with a sterling tube. Big thanks to Lena for letting me use her disc cutter! Two of the finished bracelets with 20 charms each will be for sale in the Etsy Metal shop before long.

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Post Office Hat

Over the weekend I searched and searched for what to do with my hand painted yarn. I thought a hat would be nice as the yarn would go well with my turquiose bobble scarf. I settled on the Post Office Hat pattern by Shannon Murphee. I altered the pattern a bit because I prefered the way the yarn looked in single crochet. I did fewer puff stitches and made it longer and more cloche like, which I really love.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Etsy front page!



My Iolite Earrings made the front page last night! I had a great feeling that his lovely treasury would be picked. Thanks to The Bashful Apple for choosing this lovely list!

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Saturday Well Spent





A couple of Saturdays ago Frank and I went up to my parents' house with plans to work on their Airstream. The bathroom in the trailer was basically unusable, so we were going to start tearing it out. I had no idea how fun that would be! I really like doing demolition work, apparently. The way everything was riveted together in there you really couldn't take one thing out without removing everything around it. So we ended up tearing everything out including an adjacent closet, making more space for the bathroom.

Before we got started, Dad, Frank and I were craving pancakes. I found this recipe for buttermilk pancakes and we added blueberries.

The key to fluffy pancakes is not to overmix the batter; it should not be beaten smooth.

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

2 large eggs , lightly beaten

3 cups buttermilk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted, plus 1/2 teaspoon for griddle

1. Heat griddle to 375°. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons butter; whisk to combine. Batter should have small to medium lumps.

2. Heat oven to 175°. Test griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If water bounces and spatters off griddle, it is hot enough. Using a pastry brush, brush remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter or reserved bacon fat onto griddle. Wipe off excess.

3. Using a 4-ounce ladle, about 1/2 cup, pour pancake batter, in pools 2 inches away from one other. When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, flip over. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.

4. Repeat with remaining batter, keeping finished pancakes on a heatproof plate in oven. Serve warm.
Dad had to try out his HUGE cast iron skillet. The problem was that on an electric stove, even with two burners on, it was only getting hot in the middle. I think that monster would be best over an open fire! We had two skillets going though, so it worked out fine.





Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's Thursday...

Introducing Etsy Metal New Release Thursdays. I wanted to let you know that I am releasing new designs each week on Thursdays as part of Etsy Metal New Release Thursdays. This has been a great motivation for me to come up with (and follow through with) new ideas each week! I hope you will check my New Designs section each week to see what I have come up with. I am attaching a picture of my newest ring, which will be in my shop shortly. I also have a matching necklace that I have yet to photograph.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fancy Fibers Winter Retreat

Mom and I attended a fiber retreat on Sunday in Argyle. It was put together by Mary Berry of Fancy Fibers. There were lots of really neat women there, spinners, knitters and crocheters alike. Much of the day was just free time to work on whatever you wanted. I took along the baby blanket, and got quite a bit done.
In the afternoon we took a workshop on dyeing/painting yarn. We used superwash merino wool and jaquard acid dyes. Mom has tons of experience dying fabrics, but the yarn was new to both of us. I really enjoyed seeing the surprising colors that came from blending the dyes. I used Turquoise, Brilliant Blue, Pumpkin Orange and Hot Pink. There are some really beautiful and subtle shades of green that came out of blending those colors. I kept telling myself that I wanted to keep some white, but it was really hard to stop adding colors! I did leave just a bit of white, and I love the way my yarn turned out.
Oops, my glove had a hole in it!


As a novice I don't have a swift or ball winder. I googled instructions and came up with this makeshift way of winding my skein into a ball. Put the skein around two chair backs and move them apart until you get tension to hold the yarn up. Then cut the ties and start winding your ball. It worked fabulously!


I am really excited by the outcome of my handdyed yarn, and can't wait to make more! I had wanted to reskein it to see all the pretty colors, but since I'm not selling it I didn't see the point in that. Check out my beautiful ball of yarn bellow. Now what to make? It is 220 yards, so maybe a scarf?



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Cocoon Designs



I am in love with these gorgeous creatures by Karna of Cocoon Designs. I asked Karna to tell me a bit about herself and what inspires her. Here is what she had to say:

What inspires me is seeing color- lots of it
taking many random recycled sweaters- felting them and putting the colors and texture into my piece
i never have a plan going into a project-just a glimmer of an idea
i let my work transform itself
i use 90% recycled-the extra 10 % is the thread i use -that is not recycled
my three girls and i know every thrift shop in chicago
and they know us
i have a masters in fine art
i was a painter before and the color just transfered itself to 3d textile
i also love working with clay and textile to create figures
i see things all around me that i file and use for my ideas
but as i said nothing is concrete until it is finished
my studio is a mess -sweaters and stuffing everywhere but it is cozy
and if it was clean i would not create as well
-i think secretly i like chaos
I can definitely see the painterly influence in Karna's work. Her colors are vivid and eye catching. How thrilling it must be to have such a wonderful imagination!

You can see more images of Karna's work on her flickr page.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Next baby blanket pallette?

I have no lack of friends and relatives (my brother) expecting babies! So I will be kept busy making baby blankets and the like in the near future. I put this bright pallette together for fun, and for future reference. This is the Sonata yarn from Elann.com. They have a great selection, and the prices can't be beat. By the way, the under construction baby blanket is nearing completion. I will post pictures when It is finished.

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Baked Penne



I'm trying really hard to not make this blog all about food! However, I am having so much fun lately with cooking and baking that I can't help but share. We made this baked penne last week and it was sure tasty! I used this recipe from Martha, but added spinach and italian chicken sausage and used penne instead of rigatoni. This is a good meal to make and freeze the extra. It was similar in taste to Lasagna, but so much easier.
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Monday, February 16, 2009

Spring Coming Soon!! New Designs from Harrilu



Spring Coming Soon!!
Originally uploaded by muttsywonder
You know how much I love Megan Mucci aka Harrilu's Designs. Well, imagine my excitement at seeing a sneek peak of a couple of her new spring designs. I thought I would share with you. Megan will be at the Funky Finds Spring show in Fort Worth. I can't wait to stock up on new shirts!

Ps, check out her blog for a coupon code.

Valentines Treats

We celebrated Valentines on Friday night.
Frank surprised me with a bottle of Patron, so we had yummy and super smooth margaritas!
We made a delicious dinner, but the highlight for me was the dessert. I had made Roasted Cinnamon Ice Cream in advance, and we made Mexican Chocolate Souffle Cakes on Friday. This is our go to romantic dessert, as it reminds us of our honeymoon here in Belize. For two servings I do half of the recipe, and put it in two individual souffle cake pans instead of the tart pans. The nice thing is they can be made ahead, stuck in the fridge and are ready to pop in the oven. I did leave out the cinnamon this time since we had the cinnamon ice cream. Yummy!


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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Help! Found puppy and she needs a home

We found this little girl in the alley behind our house yesterday. I have put up signs but no calls yet. If you are looking for a new dog, or know someone who is please let me know. I am in Fort Worth, Texas, but would be willing to drive her a ways. She is sweet, smart and gets along with other dogs. She is skinny, and food aggressive, but young enough to change that. She already knew how to sit and I taught her how to shake! Please help, if you know of any rescue groups please share that info as well.


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Friday, February 13, 2009

Shoshona Snow




I have been a big fan of Shoshona Snow's ceramic work for a long time now. Somehow though I only recently discovered her blog and flickr page. I love seeing some of her more complex pieces, and am especially enjoying her owls. Here is a description of her work and process from her etsy profile:

I'm a huge design freak and am inspired by the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century. My work has a wonderful, tactile quality...you just want to touch, touch, touch. I love clean lines and clean colors.

Most of my work is thrown on the potter's wheel, although I do some hand building as well. I use fine grolleg porcelain. The entire outside surfaces are usually painted with a black slip (liquefied clay) and carved so the white porcelain beneath it is shown. This process is called sgraffito. The work is dried slowly and fired in the kiln. It is then glazed and fired once more to 2400 degrees F. The work becomes vitrified and durable and is food safe even when not glazed.


Visit Shoshona's
Etsy Store
Blog
Flickr

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Opinions Please...





I have been wanting to make my photos for etsy more dynamic and three dimensional. I was at a loss for what to do until today. I am experimenting with some props, including river rocks and a aqua vase. I kind of love that the vase is the same color as my paper backdrop. What do you think, successful, or not?
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