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  • Doodles Easter Frock

    You might be wondering what is a Doodle and why does it need an Easter frock. Well Doodle is my almost two year old Schnoodle named Doodle Ninja. I have a seven year old boy Connor that I nanny for and he has been wanting to make a paracord bracelet. So since I wanted to get Doodle a new collar for Easter. I decided to make her a collar out of paracord. Continue reading

  • Easter Egg Dishcloth

    Wow! Easter is a day away. I have finished crocheting a cute little Easter egg dishcloth just in time. I found the pattern for this in a Leisure Arts book called Crochet book called A Dishcloth a month. So if you are looking for a last minute project it didn't take much time at all. Continue reading

  • Ribbon Canvas

    Flipping through Decorate with Ribbon by Leisure Arts I found a quick project. I took out a 9x12 canvas and painted it gray because gray is a neutral color. As I waited for it to dry I played with what ribbons that I wanted to use. April is Autism Awareness month and April 2 is Worldwide Autism Awareness month. So I chose a project that is called Ribbon Canvas. Continue reading

  • Praying Hands

    Easter is just a couple days away. I am still addicted to washcloths/dishcloths. I really liked the Dishcloths for Special Days by Julie A Ray. I knitted the Praying Hands washcloth in just a couple hours. I used yellow Lily’s Sugar n’ Cream worsted cotton. Continue reading

  • New Year's Brunch

    (Click here to download free recipes)


    Welcome the New Year with a relaxing brunch that celebrates the pleasures of good food enjoyed with family and friends. This versatile menu accommodates diners who prefer a large morning meal, as well as light eaters who simply want a bagel or sweet roll. For prosperity in the coming year, consider adding some traditional “good luck” foods—and leave a little on your plate to guarantee that you’ll have plenty to eat all year!


    • Crab-Cream Cheese
    • Bake Brunch Eggs
    • Sunrise Mimosas
    • Shrimp Rémoulade
    • Overnight Fruit Salad
    • Creamy Orange Bagel Spread
    • Cranberry-Pear Rolls

    Party Tips

    • This combination breakfast-lunch is a pleasant way to start the first day of the year. Scheduling the brunch to begin at 10 or 11 a.m. will be appreciated by any guests who had a late night of New Year’s Eve partying.
    • Set a cheery table that will counter winter’s typical grey skies and foster a mood of optimism.
    • To keep the eggs and other foods warm throughout the brunch, serve them in chafing dishes.
    • There are a number of popular New Year’s traditions for attracting good luck in the coming year. During the meal, invite everyone to talk about their favorite traditions or to share their New Year’s resolutions.

    Crab-cream cheese bake

    Crab-Cream Cheese Bake Crab-Cream Cheese Bake

    In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, onions, and dill weed. Unroll crescent roll dough onto a greased baking sheet, being careful not to separate dough into pieces. Press dough into an 8 x 11-inch rectangle.

    Spoon crabmeat lengthwise along center of dough. Spoon cream cheese mixture over crabmeat. Fold long edges of dough over cream cheese mixture, slightly overlapping edges; pinch edges together to seal.

    Place, seam side down, on baking sheet. Lightly brush top of dough with egg yolk. Cut slits in top of dough. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown and flaky. Cut into 1-inch slices and serve warm.




    YIELD: about 12 servings

    • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
    • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
    • 1 can (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
    • 1 can (61/2 ounces) crabmeat, drained
    • 1 egg yolk, beaten

    Brunch eggs

    Brunch Eggs Brunch Eggs

    In a saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter. Stir in 1 cup onions and sauté until soft. Whisk in flour and, whisking slowly, cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk and cook until thickened. Whisk in cheese, sherry, seasoned salt, dry mustard, curry powder, white pepper, and cayenne pepper; cook until cheese melts. Cool.

    Beat eggs with water. Scramble eggs in remaining 1/4 cup butter and oil until barely set. Salt and pepper to taste.

    Butter two 2-quart casseroles. Pour a small amount of cheese sauce into bottom of each casserole. Spoon scrambled eggs evenly into casseroles and cover with remainder of sauce. If the casseroles are being made in advance, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to bake. (It is important that eggs be completely covered with sauce.)

    When ready to serve, bring casseroles to room temperature and bake, covered, at 275° for 1 hour. (Eggs may be kept warm over hot water until ready to serve.) Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup green onions.

    Serve warm.

    YIELD: about 12 servings

    • 1/2 cup butter, divided 11/2 cups green onions,
    • chopped including tops and divided
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 21/2 cups milk
    • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
    • 1/4 cup sherry
    • 3/4 teaspoon seasoned salt 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard 1/4 teaspoon curry powder 1/4 teaspoon ground white
    • pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 18 eggs
    • 1 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil Salt and pepper

    (Click here to download free recipes)

  • In Praise of Yarnbombing Your Own Home

    It's September.  I have already enjoyed a pumpkin spice latte, gone hiking, placed the fall wreath on my front door, and decorated my balcony with a banner made from Square 3 from 99 Granny Squares to Crochet.

    I'm really in the swing of things this fall!

    I recently took down the banner I made from Square 49 from 99 Granny Squares to Crochet.   I loved that banner.  With cotton yarn and a slightly nautical look, this was a perfect summery banner for my balcony.


    But we're slipping slowly out of summer weather, and the banner has been starting to show some wear and tear.  It needs a good trip through the washing machine, and some squares are a little faded from the sun.  It was time for a new look.

    When I made my fall banner last year, I didn't think about the length of the banner.  I don't know why I wasn't thinking, but I definitely wasn't!  Maybe I got excited about the fall colors, or the fact that I was crocheting granny triangles instead of granny squares.

    Something went a little haywire in my excitement and I made quite a few granny triangles and when I strung them up I had a banner longer than any space in my home.  The balcony is a good place for this!

    Sometimes I feel a little weird about tossing my handmade items out into the elements.  I worry that having a bunch of things out on the balcony will look a little trashy.  I almost worry about some yarnbomb-hating person reading this and getting all huffy (I've seen it happen before. Did you know people on the Internet have really strong opinions?!), but not quite because I'm an adult and don't care.  If I had made someone a blanket and they left it out in the rain, I'd be in a huff to end all huffs.  But these are a few squares that I enjoyed making and now I've out where I can enjoy them.  I can't think of a more fun way to declare "A crafter lives here!" than doing silly things like this every once in a while.

    We live in an apartment and since we're stuck with Apartment Beige walls we can't change and ugly carpet we can't change and a really ineffective dishwasher we can't change, decorating our little home is a big change we can make to make this space truly ours.  We have family photos and my daughter's drawings on the wall, my husband's posters and cookbooks spread everywhere, and I've covered every major piece of furniture with an afghan.  Banners and blankets make our home cheerful and inviting.  I think adding a little yarn to our balcony keeps it looking festive and homey.

    I'm starting to wonder about Christmas decorations.

  • Gift Ideas for Mother's Day! There's Still Time!

    Mother's Day is just a few short days away, and if you don't have something yet for the special mom/moms/mom figures in your life you might want to get on that.  I'm here to help.

    Yes, a better blogger would have prepared a list of patterns to knit or samplers to stitch weeks ago, and so would a better daughter.  But y'all (and my mom) just have me.

    We'll get through this.  We always have.

    (Hi, Mom!  Thanks for always reading!)

    No surprise, I'm a big advocate of DIY gifts.  Part of this is due to my lack of funds, and part of it can be chalked up to my crafting tendencies.  Mostly, though, I was raised to believe that things you make with your hands carry a significance that just can't be bought.  Handmade things carry emotion and time and your own special skills that you used to make something to suit your own special gift recipient.

    And who is more special than your mom?  Or your grandma?  Or that nice neighbor who always had time for you?  Or anyone else you like to celebrate on Mother's Day?  You may have guessed I like to share a lot of the love on Mother's Day.  Here are just a few of the ways you can share that love with your special mom figures.

    1. Dinner.  No, I am not talking about taking someone out to lunch on Mother's Day.  I'm actually begging you NOT to do that. You would have a more peaceful time at a livestock auction.  I know this because I've been to livestock auctions and they seemed less crowded than a restaurant on Mother's Day and there were fewer people yelling about money. Ugh. Go out to eat on the Tuesday after Mother's Day.  Or better yet, make dinner yourself.  Only do this if you're a moderately good cook.  (This is why my husband is the designated dinner-cooker.)  It doesn't have to be a fancy dinner--it just has to be tasty.  Bonus points if you don't ask Mom how she "always makes XYZ" and you remember to clean up afterwards.
    2.  A nice experience.  It could be a weekend camping trip, a walk through a museum, or the promise of everyone leaving the house/everyone coming to the house (the difference between a mom's idea of a good time and a grandma's idea of a good time is pretty stark).  As long as it's something that brings your recipient joy, it's a good gift.
    3. Pictures.  If you're an adult, this can feel a little silly.  Your special person does not care.  I have rarely seen my parents as excited as I did the time we gave them portraits of us for their anniversary--my siblings and I were all in our twenties and there were no adorable grandchildren.  I once did a year-in-review style photobook for my mother-in-law featuring my husband and his ridiculously camera-averse brothers, and she loved it.  She would have loved it more if they smiled and had gotten more frequent haircuts that year, but a big part of being a mom is remembering to manage your expectations.  I'm not in the habit of taking lots of pictures of myself, but I like to occasionally order little brag books of my little girl to send to my grandmothers who live far away.  You can use Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Snapfish, Shutterfly....there are so many others.  And several of these sites offer express shipping!  I think I You might need it by this point.
    4. Something handmade.  If your mom likes scarves, make her one.  If she likes to cook, decorate an apron. Paint a flower pot for the gardener.  Give her a stack of crocheted dishcloths because I think that is an appropriate gift to give to anyone at any time.  Heck, just draw a nice little sketch on the inside of your card!  Doing that extra little something with your own two hands just adds a wonderful personal touch.
    5. Something she can make with her hands.  May I remind you that this is a blog for a craft pattern publication company?  Head over to Leisure Arts and if you see something that reminds you of a special lady you love, then go ahead and purchase it for her!
    6. Whatever she wants.  If she says "Oh, I just want the whole family to be together," then you'd better haul everyone down there for a visit and bring some flowers.  My gift for my own mom isn't especially personal this year, but it's something I know she wants and I think she'll like it.  And that's all I'll say about it because, like I said, she's a super supportive mom and reads this.   Moms and aunts and grandmas and extra special Sunday school teachers are all deserving of a little--probably a lot--of extra love and attention on their day.

    I hope this helps!  If nothing else, you can either give something wildly expensive or a homemade card.  Those are always winners--especially the handmade card.  (Note to self....give everyone's favorite granddaughter some more glue and buttons!)

    What are your go-to gift ideas for Mother's Day?

    This post was originally published on May 7, 2013.  I don't think moms have changed very much in the past year, and I certainly haven't gotten any wiser or creative with my gift ideas.  So I'm recycling this post in case you haven't seen it.  Enjoy!

  • Happy Valentine's Day!

    Pattern from Treasury of Holiday Crochet.

    Okay, I promise I won't write about Internet things every Friday but I really wanted to write about love, crafting, and the glories of the Internet today.  So I did.  And I threw in a billion links to interesting things because I like you.  Happy Valentine's Day!  I love the Internet.  I love yarncrafting.  And I love enjoying yarncrafting things on the Internet.  I apologize if this post seems disjointed, but I have a few links and updates I'd like to give you.  So let's talk about the wonderful things I like about the Internet on this happy day of love!

    -Sharon Silverman wrote a post about her new book's blog tour on her own blog.  I loved emailing with Sharon when Tunisian Crochet Baby Blankets first came out, and if you read her post you'll get to see a ton of reviews of the book from other bloggers.  There are a lot of blogs that I didn't know about before that I want to follow now because I read her post.  Awesome!

    -Friend of the blog Debbie Trainer said some nice things about last Friday's post in a recent blog post of hers.  I've had fun swapping blog posts with Debbie this past year, and I really love dishcloth dresses.  Like a lot of awesome designers, Debbie has a Ravelry group where people can upload pictures of their dishcloth dress projects and I love seeing what color choices knitters have made to those fun designs.

    -Let me say this for the millionth time: you should join Ravelry!  If you're not on there, you should be because it's an absolute godsend to yarncrafters.  I love seeing what other people are doing with patterns, and if I have the chance to see what a project looks like when it's not featured in a perfect pattern book illustration I'm going to check it out every time.  I love finding out what kind of modifications other people are trying out, and what yarns they're using, and um....I'm just very nosy.  I like seeing what people do with the Rainbow Set afghanI like that a lot.  And I loved checking out all the amazing ways people were making the Crocheted Surprise Jacket.

    -Did you know that all 99 granny square patterns from 99 Granny Square Patterns to Crochet have project pages?  And there's a group for a crochetalong for all of the squares?  Let's take a moment for me to hyperventilate with joy.

    -The Leisure Arts Facebook page always makes me happy.  People upload pictures of their projects, the nice media interns interact with crafters, and it's a good way to get Leisure Arts news.  If you have a Facebook account, you should like them.  And 'Like' them.  Get it?  Sorry.

    -Lastly, there is a Ravelry group for fans of Leisure Arts!  So fun!  It's brand new, and I can't wait to see what happens next! 

    Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope you love some of these links to projects, blogs, and groups as much as I do.  And if you don't, there's always tomorrow's super-cheap chocolate on sale to make you pretty happy instead.  Happy crafting this weekend!

  • Weekly Dishcloth: Super Romantic Dishcloths for Valentine's Day!

    Can dishcloths be romantic?  I don't see why not.  I really like the Sweetheart pattern from Holiday Knit Dishcloths

    If the picture looks familiar, it's because I've made this project and talked about it before.  I was going to knit this in a different color for today, but I could not knit a dishcloth this weekend to save my life--or to at least drum up enough content for a blog post. 

    Seriously, I tried out 2 patterns 3 different times and it was not pretty. 

    The top of the heart got all mangled.  This is what happens when you try to count at knit night.

    But Valentine's Day is just a short little while away!  I wanted to talk about dishcloths with hearts.  They're a nice way to dress up your kitchen.  They're nice gifts to give to people you love, whether in the romantic sense or not.

    Plus, knitted hearts are so darn adorable.

    See? So darn adorable.

    So I thought I'd at least mention that this is a great pattern to make when you're not in some sinus-aggrieved hell because Holiday Knit Dishcloths has plenty of cute patterns for holidays, but I think the Sweetheart pattern is my favorite because I love these two simple lines that 'draw' a heart in the knitted fabric.  It's just so cute.  I gave it to a cousin as a wedding present this past fall, because I'm cutesy like that.

    If one heart--however beautiful--is not for you, there's always Dishcloths from the Heart.

    There's not an ebook version of this available, but the more I look through the project pages of these patterns on Ravelry the more I think I might go ahead and order this.  Surely I could I could knit a couple of those lovely dishcloths before Valentine's Day, right?  This could be the cure for my bad-dishcloth-knitting affliction!

    I may be a little biased since I believe there's nothing a good dishcloth pattern can't fix, but whatever.  It certainly can't hurt!

  • Merry Christmas

    Presents for my family: dishcloths and homemade jam.

    Merry Christmas from my family to yours.  I hope it's a wonderful day filled with joy, laughter, and loved ones.

    And that maybe you'll find some good yarn in your stocking!

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