Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Currant Muffins

I was lucky enough to receive a few cups of fresh currants from a coworker this summer.  I have never cooked with currants so I froze them until I figured out something to do with them.  I thawed them last week to make currant muffins.  They are (at least the ones I had) somewhat sour but flavorful.  Currants are a lot like blueberry's - same color, shape and texture.  So, I took a blueberry muffin recipe and instead of using blueberry's I used currants.  To top of the basic muffin recipe I sprinkled a crumble of butter, brown sugar and flour onto the muffins before baking.  This added a sweetness to them to counter the currant's sourness.  They turned out pretty delicious - a perfect breakfast with a nice cup of coffee.  I always enjoy using fresh produce that is local - it is a really great feeling!

Monday, August 30, 2010

I finished my sign!

I finished the sign I've been making for work!  This was a massive undertaking but I really enjoy painting so it was fun to work on and so satisfying to finish.  The man who renovated the Bear Mountain Coffee House & Art Gallery last year helped us build the sign out of plywood and 2X4.  Once the sign was built we painted it white with a primer.  Then I painted the whole thing our navy blue color.  It took several coats to cover it well.  After that, I cut out the letters using my Cricut - each letter is approximately 8 1/2 inches tall.  After they were all cut out I measured out my board then taped each letter and played around with the arrangement.  I traced each letter with pencil, then painted each letter in with white, twice.  Once all the letters were painted I put a few coats of polyurethane on the whole board.  After this dried I then painted each letter again with polyurethane and before it dried I sprinkled reflective dust on it.  This way in the evening each letter will be reflective for traffic passing by.  It's a large sign measuring 10X8 feet so we put it on Hwy 60 as you are coming into town for travelers to read on their way in.  It was a lot of hard work but turned out pretty good!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Cat & Bird Card


Cricut Machine or access to one such as in a scrapbooking store
Cartridge - Wild Card and Meow
Cardstock paper in four colors [tan, gray, orange, red ]
Craft glue
Bone folder
Black and red markers [i.e. Sharpie thin point]


Using your Wild Card cartridge in your Cricut machine,  cut one #1 using red cardstock.  Cut this at 5 1/2 inches.  This will create the base of your card with a small window in the front.  Use your bone folder to fold this in half.  Next, using the Meow cartridge cut on one Bird, with your Real Size dial on, at 1 3/4 an inch in gray cardstock.  This is the base for your kitty.  To make the kitty orange or your desired color, cut one layers Bird in 1 3/4 an inch.  Glue this to the top of your kitty and bird.  Using a lighter cardstock then your card, I used tan, cut out a rectangle that is smaller then your card folded for the inside.  You can add a decorative edge around this using scissors if you'd like. Glue this to the center of the inside page.  Lastly center your cat in the window and glue the cat to the card lining.  I added to small black eyes and colored it's nose red with markers.  I also used my new stamps to spell out Happy Birthday.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Knitted coffee mug scarf

I had to make a gift this past week for a friend and she owns a coffee shop so I decided to go with a knitted coffee mug 'scarf'.  They are so easy to make, I finished this one in less then an hour and a half.  They are meant more for the paper cups in coffee shops so that the sides don't burn your hands and or the coffee stays warm, but they look cute on mugs too!  I got the idea from Interweave Presents Knitted Gifts: Irresistible Projects to Make & Give

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Another flowering succulant!

I have another succulent flowering!  This was a gift from Lewie's grandma on our trip back East this summer.  As she put it, 'This plant doesn't do anything, doesn't grow, doesn't flower, nothin', it's all yours.'  Well, apparently, it likes New Mexico's sun because it's flowering!  It first shot up a stalk and then slowly the stalk has opening into lovely white flowers.  They are very tiny but delicate and sweet.  

 Below is the plant it came from:

The flower stalk is so big, that it's hard for me to get both it and the plant in the same picture!  Of course, I have sent a copy of it to Lew's grandma so she can also enjoy its beauty!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Matching gloves and scarf!

I finished my matching scarf and gloves for the hat I knitted earlier this summer.  They are made with the same Peruvian highlands wool that I got from Purl In The Pines.  They are fun colors, almost child like, but will brighten up a gloomy winter day this fall I'm sure.  They are also very comfortable and warm.  I'm excited to be able to wear them for the first time!



Yarn: Berroco Peruvia Colors
Color: Raku Glaze
Needle: #8 16" Circular
CO 15 stitches.  Garter stitch until you run out of yarn or until desired length.  Cast off.  Weave in tails. 

This pattern is part mine part Knitting Pretty.  I did a combination so it work work with my yarn and fit my hand.  For the entire Knitting Pretty pattern click here.  


Yarn: Berroco Peruvia Colors
Color: Raku Glaze
Needle: #10 set of five DPN's

CO 36 stitches.  Divide this stitches among 3 needles, 12 on each.  Working in the round, do a 2-2 rib stitch for 13 rows.  For row 14, K2 M1 K3 *M1 K4*.  Repeat * till the end of row 14.  You should have 46 stitches now.  Next, knit rows 15-21.  Then, divide 11 stitches on to three needles and 13 stitches on to a forth needle or a stitch holder.  This will become your thumb, but not until later.  Using just the 33 stitches (11 on 3 needles), knit in the round for 23 more rows.  To start the decrease after knitting 23 rows start by K3 k2og in a round until there are only 10 stitches left.  Cut your yarn leaving a 8 inch tail and weave your tail through your 10 remaining stitches.  Pull tight to close and weave in tail.  

Next, finish the thumb.  This part was taken from Knitting Pretty:
Slip the 13 stitches from the stitch holder onto 2 DPN's.  Place 7 stitches on one side and 6 on the other.  Using a third needle, pick up 3 stitches in the space between the first 2 needles to form a triangle.  Starting on the right side of the third needle, knit a round, leaving an 8 inch tail to weave in later.  Knit 14 more rounds.  Begin decreasing to create the thumb tip.  For 1 round, knit 1 stitch and then K2tog, repeating throughout.  For the final round, K2tog throughout.  Cut an 8 inch tail and use your yarn needle to draw the yarn through the remaning stitches.  Pull it tight, knot to secure and weave in and trim the ends.  Gently tighten the trail at the base of the thumb and weave it in.