Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Quick like a cat

So here's the story; there was this baby squirrel running around at Kaiden's school, like a totally-looks-like-a-wee-cute-baby squirrel. I just barely stopped the car in front of me from crunching it--it was right under her tire just sitting there, and I knew it, and couldn't just witness THAT so... She was rolling forward, it was mostly done but I'm all waving my arms and yelling for her to stop. Which she just barely did, but managed it with the speed and instinct of any super hero mom picking up kindergarteners. Slam on the brakes when the crazy, slipper shod woman is waving her iphone in your window. I was talking to my grandmother who was busy telling me how squirrels are nothing but rats and should all be poisoned along with all cats because she hates them both. Except for maybe dogs, she says dogs are ok. So I saved a squirrel in full view of her ear which blares silent disapproval like only my grandmother can. She's had a lot of practice.

So the lady behind me says it's a baby (as I'm trying to scare it away from the cars so no one ran it over) and that it will die bc it's still nursing. She goes to find a box, and I was able to coax it out from under her car and being the opportunistic dumbass that I am, I grab it and catch it with my bare hand. So of course it bit me, and I lost the little bastard anyway but then we caught it again and she's taking it to her uncle who does a squirrel rescue thing. Like I guess if we didn't catch it, it would have died anyway.

The moral of the story? I caught a baby squirrel with my bre hands. BAM!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The elephant in the room

I have some ivory beads a friend gave me some time ago.  If anyone knows me well, you know that I am lucky enough to have many people just donate crafty items to me.  So I know this is how I got them, but don't know exactly who gave them to me.  So if you are reading this now, please don't think I don't appreciate the things you give me.  If I can't use them, I send them on to their next home.

Anyway, I've had them for years now, and have tried and failed to use them many times.

I've never felt right about them.  Call it weird energy.  Not super duper bad energy, just troubled and spinny and not positive.  I've never wanted to just throw them away, or give them away either, but I want to move them out of my house.

Ivory in general doesn't work with my energy.  In fact, I think it at best distasteful unless it's harvested honestly and we all know that's just not the case, and there's no way to figure that out anyway so....

Good, clean, energy is what I'm bringing into my home, call these beads a dust bunny.  A really big one though, that's been sitting innocuously under the bed gaining sentience and growing teeth.  It needs to go.

Now to the point.

If they are ivory, I feel like I need to dispose of them respectfully, and am interested to see what my lovely friends of fabulously varied backgrounds have to say on the matter.

How would you do it?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Some of the latest projects!!

I won't even apologize for not updating this blog more often, and I won't promise to do it more often because we all know I won't.  Plus my kids are obsessed with Minecraft and I have next to no computer time anyway so...

You get the general idea, add flower as needed
Down to business!  Below I'm posting the directions for the granny style childs cloche hat that I've been working on lately.  It seriously stumped me for a bit, just because I didn't have a valid child model(my sons head is enormous!!), so once I got it worked out I thought I'd get it up before I lose yet another handwritten pattern to the gaping maw of the recycling basket.  Plus I ended up with 2 or 3 infant sized hats as well, win/win.  It can easily be adapted to an adult size, too.  I got this on request from a friend who sent me a picture of a hat that's super cute, but since I had to work out the pattern myself I figured I'd post it here.

Ok, here goes, and if I blew it, please let me know so I can fix it.

Shell--4 dc
inc shell--3dc ch1 3dc

Round 1:  ch 4 to make ring, join.

Round 2:  Ch2 and 11 hdc in ring, slip to 2nd chain of beginning ch.
Ch2 (counts as 1st dc), 3 dc in same stitch, ch 1, skip 1 st, shell in next st, ch1; skip one, inc shell in next space, ch 1; shell ch 1[twice], inc shell ch 1, join to second ch of beginning ch.

Round 3: slip stitch to first ch 1 space in previous round.  ch 2 (counts as 1st dc), 3 dc in same stitch, ch 1. inc shell ch 1, shell ch 1 [3 times], inc shell ch 1, shell ch 1 [twice] slip to 2nd chain in beginning dc.

Round 4:  slip stitch to first ch 1 space of previous round.
Ch2 (counts as 1st dc) 3 dc in same st.  Ch 1 *shell ch 1, inc shell ch 1 from * to end, join to 2nd ch of beginning.

Round 5:  slip stitch to first ch 1 space.
Ch 2, 3 dc in same stitch, ch 1, shell, ch1 all the way around, slip in 2nd ch of beginning.

Rounds 6-11:  slip stitch to first ch 1 sp.
Ch 2, 3 dc in same stitch, shell in each space from previous row.  **You will not ch 1 between shells in this part, unless you are making an adult hat in which case you will want the extra room.**
slip to 2nd chain in beginning, cut yarn, weaving in ends.

Working in back loops only, sc in contrasting color all the way around, do not slip to first sc, but keep on going, making a spiral effect.  After 5 rows, slip stitch in 2 stitches (at the same spot you originally started) and cut yarn, weaving in ends.  

Pick 1st color again, sc in previous row, shell, sc all the way around, slip to first sc of this round, weave in ends.

And that's it if you are just doing the hat.  You can add a crochet flower right where it looks funky from the contrast color join, covering the weird spot, Put any flower you want here, you are only limited by your imagination.  It's all smoke and mirrors baby!

I hope this isn't confusing and if I totally blew it, please let me know.

And there we have it, thanks for your patience dear friends, now I relinquish the computer to the children.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

in Blanket terms

Just popping on here to say "Hi"



'waves hand at the gathered masses, you know who you are...

I just realized the last post was also probably the last healthy day my family has seen since.  Today included, since I have now fallen ill to the plague my hubbs has been battling since, maybe, Friday?  blech

The crochet blanket mentioned previously is coming along nicely, although it has changed forms a couple times since then.  It has attained the form it will finish with now, even if it means sacrificing the previous incarnation which was awesome but not doing for me in a crib blanket.  I'll get some pics up when I'm not feeling like I've got a monkey on my back...literally....with his monkey hands encircling my throat and squeezing. 

Until which time I'm feeling less monkey ridden I leave you with a few pics of some oldies but goodies...things I've created in my more obsessive healthier days...good times.

Yarrrrgh, I need a haircut!  But you get the drift.  

Monday, March 7, 2011

Crochet and Spring!!


It was a busy morning, and unexpectedly so; filled with trips to Les Schwab (just checkin'), the toy store(the baby's turning 5) AND the craft store since I finally got my plan together for the crib blanket I've been asked to make, and yay for that!  So since my tires are not in fact going to fall off things are looking well.  Also let child play in park after preschool today, and went by to get his kindergarten enrollment papers so I don't feel bad about letting him watch tv. 

Yay.  Time for me to turn on the tea pot and get to the important stuff:  the yarn. 

I finally closed the door on the crib blanket and locked into a pattern.  I've been trying to figure it out and have finally gotten working.  Sometimes it takes a while, in my case, it took weeks but who's counting, right?  I am however, counting myself lucky that she said May 3, not March 3...I hope.  I figure it would be immediately on Facebook and so far we've made it and there's been no mention.  It's sad I have to turn to fb to remember things like this but that's a whole other story.  Once I realized I had some time, I could breathe a little and try to imagine a giant blanket.  I'm working with a lucious lilac-lavender acrylic, Caron's this time.  Gonna just go all giant granny square till I run out and then edge it with a couple other pretties not shown here.  The picture, as always, doesn't totally pick up the color but it's pretty yummy, like salt water taffy.  Add some giant flowers for edging maybe?  With sparkles?  I just may.


Almost done with the car seat one. 

Still needs an edging and a good, sound  blocking but once it's done it'll rock.  Again the color thing is funky.  I'll get it someday. 

Notice the slit left for the carseat buckle in the right hand picture?  "Is that  a seatbelt hole?", you ask?  Yes, indeed it is, in all it's i-can't-believe-i-didn't-think-of-that glory.  That had never, ever occurred to me till I saw in a crochet book I've owned for years and it's freakin' brilliant.  Just goes to show you never know it all which is why I'm a yarn-o-holic.  Now I go forth to watch ghost shows and crochet for a couple hours. 

Have a good afternoon!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ducks and Crochet

It's still Duck season here. As in Oregon Ducks. As in Oregon Ducks in BCS. As in Oregon Ducks rock!! So, in light of the hell-has-frozen-over cold we've had lately AND the Oregon Ducks in the BCS game, I've been turning and burning on Duck themed yarn goodies. I have this one scarf available now, along with a fabulous and funky headband/ear warmer. I also pasted a picture of the Webfoot scarf that has made such noise this year. I've been surprised by how many people wanted one! I'll be making more in the next couple days, and will have the whole lot up on my Etsy.com shop whenever I can get my 4 year old to lay off messing with me and the chair everytime I get on the computer! Hope you enjoy.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Crochet and truffles? uh no, just truffles

One of my friends asked about favorite chocolate dessert recipes. So I had to go all overkill and do a post. Cuz that's just what I do. Following is what I used to make for Christmas Gifts, prior to the d-word and I just can't have truffles in the house without eating them. At All. So I'll share the technique and recipe here and wish you well, young one. The picture above is just plain funny. The pic below is a bad one of my hubbs spreading this same recipe on a layer of peppermint studded white chocolate for Peppermint Truffle Bark. What's better than men spreading chocolate on more chocolate? Not much. Keep reading:

Truffles of Doom

About 10 ounces dark-black as you can get chocolate,
a splash of cream or lowfat milk, depending on how rich you want.
About 2 tbsp coffee, or rum, or kahlua, whatever, more booze = less cream/milk/Eggnog(YES)
about a tblsp of butter

My recipe morphed from Master Alton Brown linked below, but has been modified to create a truffle that doesn't need to be dipped, and is a lot stiffer than the Masters. This could be the student exceeding the Master, or pure laziness because dipping them is a pita and messy. I am unable to do it without wasting good chocolate. That could, or should, be considered a crime in some places.

Throw the chips and butter in a microwave safe measuring cup or glass bowl. Glass seems to conduct and retain heat better imo, and I never like heating plastic in the microwave.

Heat at 20 second intervals at 50% power, stirring in between heatings. It wouldn't be overly cautious to do it 15 seconds instead, the slower on the heating thing, the better. But it doesn't really take all that long, once the butter melts. It will take 4 or 5 times, maybe more but scorching is another chocolate crime so watch out.

Just before the chips are totally melted, like when a handfull of them looking like mini m&m's, take out and stir till they are fully melted. Should look like a nice thick pudding, and shiny. Add your pre-selected and properly tested liquid, be it booze or eggnog, about a teaspoon at a time. If it gets all grainy be patient, just add more liquid, but at like a teaspoon(or less) at a time, it's easy to overdo it. But also super easy to fix it, so fear not, Grasshopper. The beauty of it is, overdoing the liquid requires more chips which means more truffles. Just be patient with it, it doesn't take long, but it's easy to throw it out, thinking you effed it up, like I did a number of times. I shudder to think of all the chocolate I wasted(crime), it was like 20 ounces! ugh, 'shudders'. Just keep stirring and it will even out.

Only a session of frantic stirring so you don't screw the pooch at a party when you were bragging about how great your truffles are will teach you that more liquid, maybe warming it again and patience is a good thing. Because you don't have anymore chocolate and can't go get more (crime) so you have to make this work. And it did. Lesson learned. The truffle chocolate turned out fine, fyi, no sending the feds to my house.

Put the whole bowl in the fridge for 1-3 (or more) hours, covered by a paper towel. No plastic here, condensation is a bad, bad, bad idea. Did I mention it was a bad idea? Yes? Good, moving on. When fully cooled, use that nice cookie scooper, or melon baller(could never get this to work), or just regular teaspoon to make small(ish), round(ish) balls of awesome, put them on a cookie sheet, parchment's never a bad idea here either. Back in the fridge, at least an hour. Tasting for poison here is acceptable. If you hand roll, be fast, and only after at least half an hour in the fridge. Your hand heat will melt this stuff quicker than you think. Licking your palms is optional but must be done at the end of said hand rolling. I use gloves (slower heat transfer) but never get too fancy here. It's chocolate people, if someone really is worried about receiving a less than perfectly round home made truffle, then they just don't deserve one and you should eat it.

I haven't tested out the margarine or low/no sugar option and believe me...the Truffles of Doom will find a way into my newly diabetic life. Just not this year. *Shakes fist at sky*

Trust in yourself, youngling. Easy to make, truffles are.

Check out the link for the pre-morphed recipe: Master Alton provides a totally easy, and I wish I would have read the whole thing myself, way to coat them with chocolate.