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11  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Nerdy Hats on: March 01, 2016 08:44:28 AM
This set of R2-D2 hats were made for my fiance's nephews. These were 99% finished in December: the hats just needed the little details sewn on.

These were made using this Star Wars Droid Beanies pattern I found on Ravelry.



I made the Deadpool hat for myself to wear on Valentine's Day when my fiance and I went to see the Deadpool movie. But the weather was warmer than previously predicted so the hat stayed home. It's simply my basic beanie pattern with an applique of Deadpool's logo sewn on it.
The red Mario hat I made for my cousin's son, who adores the Mario games. It was made using a pattern for a lady's newsboy cap. I noticed that many who had made the hat using the same weight yarn, same hook, and matched the gauge had said it was much too small, even for a woman with a smaller head so I knew it would be the perfect size for him Smiley
The Pokeball hat was made using my own pattern with color changes and a sewn on release button applique.
12  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Snuggly baby things on: January 17, 2016 07:14:43 PM
I'm pregnant with my first sprog and since he's due at the end of March, which is sometimes still chilly, I crocheted up a cocoon, booties, and beanie for him Smiley

The cocoon was made using this pattern from Red Heart, the booties are from this pattern from Crochet Hooks You, and the hat was made from my own pattern, which involved some trial and error.
I know it looks a bit weird that there's no white on the hat or booties but the cocoon was supposed to have a fuzzy trim on it and I didn't have fuzzy yarn (I hate that stuff).

Yarns used:
Loops and Threads Charisma in Aqua (the label says it's Aqua but it doesn't look the slightest bit green; the blanket pictured on the label called for Aqua and it looks more green)
Red Heart Super Saver in White
13  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / So many hats on: December 30, 2015 08:19:39 PM
Most of these hats were made while my fiance and I were visiting his grandparents in Arizona for the week of Christmas. The only ones that weren't are the purple one and the reddish orange one. The purple one is mine, the grey one is my fiance's, the reddish orange one is my dad's and the others were just made for the heck of it Tongue




Yarns used (from l to r starting with the first photo):
Red Heart Super Saver in Red Hot
Red Heart Super Saver in Claret
Red Heart Super Saver in Skipper Blue
Red Heart Super Saver in Cherry Red
Caron Pound of Yarn in Deep Purple
Red Heart Super Saver in Skipper Blue
Lion Brand Heartland in Great Smoky Mountain


Expect more hats from me throughout the next year: I'm going to attempt to set up a table at a street fair in my hometown and hats are pretty popular.
14  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Holly barrettes and brooches on: December 11, 2015 07:55:52 PM
A week ago, I made myself a holly cluster because I decided I needed something Christmas-y in the house as we don't have any decorations. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it though because we don't have the space to put up our tree (my boyfriend has a 6ft tree but his ex-wife took all the decorations when she left).
I finally decided that I should make myself a barrette out of the holly. I posted a photo of it to FB and my sister asked if I would make one for her. Then my aunt asked if I could make her a brooch pin with holly and I figured my mom would like one. I also knew that if I made one for my aunt that her two daughters would want ones of their own.

The leaves were made using this pattern that I found via Pinterest. I made the pattern for the berries myself.
The barrettes are hair bow clips like you can find in Walmart, Hobby Lobby, and other craft stores. The brooches were made with brooch pin backs that I bought at Walmart a few years ago but I haven't found any of them this year.
15  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Hats and stockings on: December 11, 2015 01:29:01 AM
I've been busily hooking away this holiday season.
Actually, more accurately, with the exception of the Jack Skellington stocking, I've been hooking like a mad woman the past week in order to get things done two weeks before Christmas since my boyfriend and I are leaving for Arizona the Saturday before and will be staying with his grandparents there 'til after Christmas. This isn't all I've made: I've also made four holly brooches and two holly barrettes which I need to take pictures of but I'm working on a blanket that I have to have finished before next Saturday Tongue




The black/white hat is for me. I wanted an elf hat but didn't have enough red/green yarn and am trying to de-stash so I used black/white because I knew I had enough of those colors to make the whole hat. I used this pattern but instead of using fun fur for the brim (I don't have any in stash and hate that stuff anyway) I made two rows of alternating fpdc and bpdc to give it a ribbed brim.

The purple/black hat is made from my own pattern. My boyfriend says he "might want it" but doesn't know yet. I think he's waiting to see if I hook up any more hats before he decides.

The hat that looks like it belongs to LoZ's Link was meant for my sister but I forgot that I had already made her one in green. Since I already have one in green myself, I've asked a friend if she'd like it for her husband who is LoZ obsessed. She has yet to get back to me on it though. The pattern for it was written by the amazing smileyyogini (she's the one who made my green hat, too) and can be found here on her blog.

The teal/bright purple stocking is for my mom (she wanted bright colors), the deep purple/gold stocking is for my dad (LSU's colors as they're his favorite college team), and the Jack Skellington stocking is for my younger sister (she quite literally grew up with TNBC because it came out the year she was born and I was obsessed with it so she came to love it, too). I made them using this pattern from Red Heart yarns.
16  COOKING / Dessert / Mawmaw's Banana Bread (recipe included) on: November 06, 2015 12:24:29 PM

I'm pretty sure that this recipe is exactly like my Mawmaw used to make because I didn't have any chopped walnuts on hand (it still tastes good). And because I was working from memory and haven't made an attempt at making banana bread her way since she passed away, which was in 1998.
But November and December are always filled with thoughts of my maternal grandma because for my family, Thanksgiving and Christmas are all about family and food. And because November and December are generally the coldest months in Louisiana, which means we do a LOT of baking, and not just for the holidays Smiley
Since I was in a particularly nostalgic mood this morning and had some over ripe bananas, I decided it was a perfect day to make an attempt at her banana bread.

I'm not sure all of my measurements are 100% exact because she often didn't measure, but here's the recipe I came up with:

1/2 to 1 cup of sugar (my grandma typically used 1/2 because she was diabetic but you can use up to 1 cup if you want it sweeter)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
3 large over ripe bananas (if you have smaller bananas, use 4)
1 pinch salt (which I've learned is roughly 1/16 of a tsp)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp Watkins* vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350F and spray or butter a 9" x 4.5" or similar sized loaf pan.
Peel your bananas and, using a fork, mash them up in your mixing bow until they're relatively smooth.
Stir in the butter, egg, baking soda, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar.
Add the nuts and flour then gently mix until the batter is a light brown but don't stir too much or it will make your bread turn out harder (my aunt typically has this issue).
Pour into loaf pan and allow to bake for one hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in pan then turn out onto a wire rack (or a plate if you don't have a wire rack).
It will keep for about a week in the fridge when wrapped in plastic wrap, if it lasts that long Smiley

*My mawmaw would only use Watkins brand real vanilla extract and refused to buy any other brand but you can use whatever brand you have on hand
17  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Letter Quest Grimm + v2.0 on: October 27, 2015 02:45:05 PM
I am obsessed with word games and one of my favorites is "Letter Quest: Grimm's Journey".
In the game, you take the role of Grimm, an adorable little grim reaper who is on a journey to find a pizza place and you fight ghosts along the way by spelling out words. Since I think that he's just the most adorable little grim reaper ever, I decided I just had to have one of my own so I set about making up a pattern for him. He's made of quite a few pieces and was a LOT of work, but he was worth it.
I'm currently working on another one, tweaking the pattern as I go to make him more proportional. If it turns out right, I'll try to clean up my notes and share it. My mom wants this one because she also plays the game and thinks he's adorable Smiley


The little string at the back of his hood is to attach a skull bead. Grimm has a skull on his hood but I can't find my skull beads so the string is just there for now.

Here's some photos to show the progress before I sewed him together (I wish I had taken more):



18  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Devilishly simple costume (with horns pattern) on: September 30, 2015 01:14:53 PM
For Halloween this year, I went with something super simple for two reasons: 1) my boyfriend said we don't get trick-or-treaters in this area because there aren't a lot of kids here and 2) we're going to San Antonio to take his friend to a Magic: The Gathering Regional PTQ. (While his friend is playing, we're going to have fun around town.)



I made the patterns for these myself. The tail is simply a single row of double crochet sewn around a piece of wire with two triangles sewn together on the tip. I didn't count the stitches for the base, but the tip of the tail was made by chaining 10 then decreasing each row until only 1 stitch remained.

For the horns (and tail) I used an H hook but you can use whatever sort of hook you need for whatever yarn you're using. The yarn I used is Caron Pound of Love in Claret.

Pattern:

ch 2
4 sc in second st from hook, join (4 sts)
ch 1, 2 sc in ea st around, join (8 sts)
ch 1, 2 sc in ea st around, join (16 sts)
ch 1, sc, 2 sc in next st; repeat around, join (24 sts)
sc around in front loops (closer to you; 24 sts)
ch 1, sc in next 2 sts, sk 1 st; repeat around, join (16 sts)
sc around (16 sts)
sc around (16 sts)
ch 1, sc in next 3 sts, sk 1 st; repeat around, join (12 sts)
stuff firmly
ch 1, sc in next 2 sts, sk 1 st; repeat around, join (8 sts)
ch 1, sc in next 1 st, sk 1 st; repeat around, join (4 sts)
f/o, weave in ends
After weaving in the ends, squish the stuffing around to shape them however you like. I gave mine a slight curve. If you leave them as they are, they'll look more like Hershey's Kisses. Which would actually make really cute Christmas or Valentine's decorations, come to think of it! Cheesy

Repeat for your second horn then attach them to a headband or hair clips and have fun raising a little hell Grin
19  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Fun hats and cute gloves for friends on: September 23, 2015 12:25:21 PM
One of my friends is dressing her seven year old daughter and three year old son up as Raggedy Ann and Andy for Halloween and asked me to make wig hats to go with their costumes.
I felt up to the challenge so I agreed and made these using a basic beanie pattern but substituted the loop stitch for single crochet. I had to adjust the rows a bit and recommend that if you want to make a loop stitch hat, use this pattern for a CPK inspired hat from Repeat Crafter Me. It will save you a headache!

Made with Red Heart Super Saver in Cherry.

Another friend asked if I could make fingerless gloves for her and her little sister. Since I'd already had plans to do just that, I made these up using this quick and easy pattern from Ravelry. I added the buttons to the backs of the pink gloves to give them visual interest and to appeal to an eight year old's sense of style. I'll be adding skull and crossbones crochet appliques to the purple gloves as soon as I finish making the appliques.

The purple ones are Caron One Pound of Yarn in Deep Purple and the pink ones are Red Heart Super Saver in Shocking Pink.
20  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Manly Meal- filet mignon, potatoes and corn (with potato recipe) on: July 06, 2015 11:46:17 AM
First, I'd like to say that my boyfriend is the one who named it a "manly meal" because "steak and potatoes is as manly as you can get". Roll Eyes
Second, the recipe is adapted from something I used to help my maternal grandmother make when I was a kid. She called it "stewed potatoes" but I'm not sure if that's an accurate description. Huh The recipe can be easily adjusted if you're cooking for more, or less, people.
Also, I don't measure so I'm not sure how accurate the 1/4c water is.


Stewed potatoes for two
You'll need:
Medium-sized skillet
3 potatoes of your favored variety (I used three Russets because it's what we had; it's really delicious with red potatoes)
Butter (I used 1/4 stick; you could also use olive oil instead)
1/4 cup water
Salt & pepper, to taste
Optional:
Garlic powder or fresh minced garlic, to taste*
Onion powder or fresh minced onion, to taste*
*Preferably the fresh but if the powder is all you have, use it!

Wash, peel and cube your potatoes or just wash and cube them, if you prefer to leave the skin.
Melt the butter in your skillet over medium-high heat. After the butter is completely melted, toss in your potatoes and saute them for about five minutes. Add the water then cover, allowing them to cook for five minutes then season to taste and stir. Cover and allow them to cook for another ten minutes. You should now have melt in your mouth delicious potatoes with a creamy "gravy" of sorts. Enjoy!
Note: you could also use this as a start for making homemade mashed potatoes, as my grandmother sometimes did.
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