Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Winter storm

It began as rain, then turned to ice.  The ice collected on the bottoms of the windows:
 
The ice turned to wet, heavy snow:

The next morning, we awoke to a world that was transformed!




Saturday, February 23, 2013

Crocheted Sunburst Heart

I recently stumbled upon the blog Bunny Mummy and was completely smitten.  I'm sure she is a well-known blogger among the crochet set, but somehow I wasn't aware until now!  Last evening I followed her excellent tutorial for the Sunburst Crochet Heart and ended up with this very charming ornament.  The colors are so saturated that it didn't photograph well; it's much prettier in person.

I would like to crochet a granny square afghan, the kind made up of many small granny squares.  I have my granny square afghan that is just one giant granny square, and I love it, but I think it would be fun to whip up a bunch of small grannies and sew them together.  The trouble is, I have no clue how much yarn I would need, so I'm not sure how to start!  And I can't decide if I'd want to have all the granny squares be exactly the same, or if I'd rather do them all in the same color scheme but in alternate color sequences.  Fun things to ponder...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Shortbread Cookies



Since Tricia posted in the comments to my previous post "drat, no link to the cookie recipe" I thought I'd indulge.  I can't link to the recipe because it was a recipe I scribbled down some time ago without making note of the source.  Sorry!  If anyone recognizes this as their own recipe, please do say so!

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Combine the three ingredients until a dough forms.  (In my experience, this is best done in a stand mixer with the flat paddle, but you can try to do it by hand if you don't have a stand mixer.)

Press the dough into a mini muffin pan, filling each hole about halfway.  No need to grease the pan first.  If you like, you can shape the dough like a little cup and fill the indent with chocolate chips, Nutella, jam, or whatever other goodies you can think of.

Bake at 325 Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, let sit for a  minute, then pop each cookie out using a fork or knife and cool on a wire rack.  They come out very easily, even if you don't grease the muffin pans.

Now, how did I get my cookies to be heart shaped?  I used this sweetheart pan from Chicago Metallic instead of a mini muffin pan, but sadly it seems no longer available for purchase. I've had my pan for a few years now.  Since the heart shapes are a bit larger than a mini muffin pan, I spread the dough in flat and then pressed some mini chocolate chips into each cookie before baking.  If you wanted to use this recipe to get heart-shaped cookies and can't find a pan like mine, I don't know what to suggest.  The dough does puff and rise as it bakes, so I don't know if cookie cutters would work, and I don't think this dough would roll out easily anyway.  There are lots of shortbread recipes out there that do call for rolling dough and using cookie cutters if you want to go that route.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Frozen Toes

A jogger passed me while I was out walking today, and these are the footprints he left behind.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines!


My Valentine treat to myself this year was to finally finish this heart shaped sampler into something, well, finished.  Yes, I stitched this up years ago, and it's even been my avatar all the years I've been on Flickr and Blogger, but it's languished in my WIP bag since 2007.  Shameful!  I honestly was afraid to finish it as the directions instructed because I was afraid I would ruin it. I thought about framing it, but that didn't seem like the best way to showcase it.  I would fret over this, then forget about it, then remember and fret again.  

Enough fretting!  Part of what scared me in the finishing instructions was sewing in a fleece lining, so I finally decided to use iron-on interfacing instead.  Simple and easy!  Once I started it, the final finishing took me less than an hour.

I don't think I've ever showcased the back.  I finished stitching the alphabet side in 2007, but I didn't finish the back until 2011 (as noted by the 11).  

The pattern and finishing instructions are available here, if you'd like to make your own.  Just don't wait 6 years to finish it!!

And since today is Valentine's Day, I baked some shortbread hearts!

Hope you all enjoy your Valentine's Day.  


Monday, February 11, 2013

Saturday

Saturday was bright and sunny.  We left early in the morning to take our daughter to a science competition, which was a bit of a drive away.  The day before we had had freezing rain, and the temperature was still below freezing, so all the trees shimmered and sparkled in the sunshine.  This frost pattern decorated the inside of our windshield.

When our children were in elementary school, my husband and I organized the school's involvement in science competitions, so competition day was non-stop and exhausting for us.  Now that we are at the older level, we leave the organizing to other people, so I spent the day in the wooden bleachers, knitting and reading, with the occasional snack break.
I enjoyed it!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Valentines



I wasn't going to make Valentine cards this year, but then I saw this project at the Making Spot and decided to give it a try.

I spent a pleasant hour in my sunny dining room snipping and gluing.  I was reminded that I don't really like working with paper and glue, but I do like the results of this project!




I only did the faux stitch marks on one heart because after I drew them on, I decided I liked the hearts better without.

This hawk showed up in my backyard yesterday, which was quite exciting because less than a week ago I had a conversation with my 7-year-old nephew about hawks.  He told me they are his favorite bird, but he never sees them in the wild.  I told him I have seen them from time to time in my yard, and since his yard is only one street over from mine, I was sure he'd see one some day.  And then this guy (gal?) showed up!  I needed photographic proof for my nephew.

A housekeeping item:  a few weeks ago I turned off word verification for leaving comments because so many people complain about how difficult they are, and I agree.  However, I just turned it back on because I was inundated with spam.  I'm sorry if you are someone who has trouble with word verification!