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1  KNITTING / Projects from the Stitch 'N B**ch Books by Debbie Stoller / SNB Nation's Newsboy Cap on: August 12, 2010 07:04:54 PM
I really enjoyed making this hat, and I've already received a request from a friend to make one for him. Huzzah!

I used Patons Classic Wool medium weight yarn (205m, 100g) in Peacock.  I used size 10 1/2 double-pointed needles (I went without the circular ones, and it worked out fine). Though I did have to add one more repeat to the cable pattern to get it to fit my (large-ish) head. The whole thing came together quickly over two evenings.  And the pattern was clear, and I didn't have any difficulty at all. I can't wait to make more of these!!!

I can't wait for fall so that I can wear it all the time!

You can see more pictures on the old blog. Here's the link to the post:
2  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Doily Style Dishcloth on: June 09, 2010 05:57:50 PM
I made a quickie dishcloth over the last couple of evenings.

Basically, I wanted something that was quick and fun, with a bit of variety to keep me interested. This totally fit the bill.

I got the patter from one of those "knit a project every day" calendars. The pattern comes from www.sugarncream.com.  It was super easy to follow.

The yarn is from a thrifted sweater I got years ago. It's red cotton, and works well for a dishcloth.

I TOTALLY need cuter stitch markers!!!

See more on my blog: Bad Dirt designs... http://www.baddirtdesigns.org/2010/06/doily-style-dishcloth/

3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Cycling Cap on: May 16, 2009 01:00:32 PM
I tried my hand at making a cycling cap. I followed the tutorial from a recent Threadbanger episode. It was actually quite simple, and I knocked it out in just over an hour.

You can read more about it on my blog: http://speed-trials.blogspot.com/2009/05/cycle-cap.html

The fabric came from the half-off bin of my local fabric store. I love that bin! I shop almost exclusively there.

Here are the pieces all cut out:

And after the first round of stitches, ready to be assembled:

And here are a couple more, from different angles:


Thanks for looking!
4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Bookmark on: December 28, 2008 05:01:48 PM
Made this quickie for a stocking stuffer. I like it!!

The back

In use.

Comments welcome!
5  COOKING / Dessert / Christmas Baking Day 2008 on: December 24, 2008 04:15:43 AM
So the Baking Day tradition continues at my house, and so last Saturday My mom and I, and my friend and her mom packed into my mom's kitchen to bake and bake and bake. We made two recipes each.

We had: Lemon bars, soft ginger cookies, dainties, apricot bars, lace cookies, pistachio shortbread sandwich cookies, snowballs, and chocolate & jam bars. Yum yum. By the end of it there's always so much to go around. I have a freezer full that I'm taking to my boyfriend's grandmother's for Christmas.

Here are pictures:

From the back: Snowballs and Dainties, Sandwich Cookies, Chocolate Meringue Bars, and Apricot Bars

Lace Cookies, Chocolate Meringue Bars, Lemon Bars

Dainties (filled with preserves and pecans)

Snowballs (shortbread with lemon icing)

And as always, this was my favourite day of the whole Christmas season. I think I might even like it better than Christmas Day itself... Well, almost!


Pistachio-Cherry Sandwich Cookies

1 1/2 cups shelled pistachios
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (or Earth Balance for you vegans!)
1 cup sugar (I used half that amount)
1 large egg (or egg replacer)
1 Tbs. lemon juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup cherry preserves

1. Process pistachios in food processor 1 minute, or until finely ground. Transfer to bowl, set aside. (I only have a hand food processor - my arm was tired!!)
2. Cream butter and sugar in food processor 30 seconds. or until fluffy. Add egg and lemon juice; pulse 15 seconds, or until combined. Add pistachios, flour, lemon zest, baking powder and salt. Pulse 15 seconds more, or until combined and dough starts to clump together. (I just mixed in a bowl).
3. Divide dough in half, flatten into two disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 1 hour, or until firm.
4. Preheat oven to 350F. Roll out 1 dough disk on sheet of lightly floured parchment paper, to about 1/8" thick. Transfer parchment and cookie dough onto cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Place in freezer 5 to 8 minutes to firm up.
5. Cut out cookies with 2 inch cutter, and place 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 12 minutes or until edges are golden. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
6. Spread 1 tsp preserves on half of cookies. Top with remaining cookies.

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
3/4 cup light brown sugar (I used about half cup of each)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup butter, softened (again, I used Earth Balance)
2 3/4 tsp ground ginger
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon (who measures that out??? Just go by "feel")
1/2 tsp salt
3/8 tsp ground cloves
1 large egg, beaten (or egg replacer)
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup crystallized ginger (I forgot this ingredient at home, so omitted and the cookies still tasted really gingery)

1. Combine molasses and brown sugar in saucepan; heat over medium high heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until sugar dissolves and bubbles appear around edges of saucepan. Remove from heat, and stir in baking soda. Add butter, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and cloves, stirring until butter is melted. Stir in egg, then flour, and mix until no white streaks remain. Add crystallized ginger.
2. Line workspace with 10" long sheet plastic wrap. Roll out still warm dough to 3/8" thickness on plastic wrap. Cover with plastic wrap, and place on baking sheet. Chill 10 minutes, or up to 8 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 350F, and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut dough into shapes with cookie cutter, and transfer to prepared baking sheets. (If dough is too warm, refrigerate 10 minutes). bake 10 minutes, or until firm to touch. Serve warm, or transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Notes: I used a 1 incher cookie cutter, so I knocked off a couple minutes baking time.
I used store bought egg replacer for these recipes, instead of other substitutes like applesauce or banana because I didn't want any competing tastes.
For the Pistachio cookies, less is more with the preserves. You don't need much to hold the cookies together, and it keeps them nice and moist for days.

Lemon bars and dainties to come...
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Holiday Apron on: December 06, 2008 11:41:42 AM
This is what I made for the Vintage Apron Swap...

I used plaid taffeta, and a black chiffon with eyelet design for the trim.

I'm very proud of the sewing on this one, and the taffeta looks really great and festive.

Check out my way skinny dress form. She comes from Holt Renfrew. She makes my apron look kind of like a skirt - it's actually better on a real person, because the pockets are more in front and the bow stands out more in the back. But I like her, she stands real still when I ask her to pose!!

Comments/Criticism always welcome!
7  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 30 ENTRIES / Bicycle Cozy (Top Tube Protection) on: September 01, 2008 06:53:49 PM
Bike Polo is pretty big in my city, and the gang here threw a tournament this summer called the NSPI (North Side Polo Invitational). We had teams from different cities, and it was really super fun.

Bike Polo is played by some pretty hard core bike fanatics (messengers, hipsters, roadies, etc) and a lot of them play on fixed geared bikes.

Now, of COURSE you have to get your fixie tricked out with the coolest accessories... Hence the birth of the Top Tube Protector. Basically, this is a cozy for your bike to protect it from scratches when you lean it against posts, or when you lock it up with your bike chain.

This is my version of the Top Tube Protector. I made three super girly ones as prizes at this year's NSPI, wanting to give them to an all-girl team. The girls who received them liked them (I think) and I'm really pleased with how they turned out.

I made them reversible because the fabrics I used were just so cute. The bright yellow is an oilcloth, and would work well in rainy weather; the checkered pattern has a nice gold touch to it that really stands out on a bike. I also embroidered NSPI on them, to make them more legit!

Usually Top Tube Protectors are fastened with velcro, but I used a reversible zipper, which I think is a stroke of genius! The protectors are finished with bias tape. There's some batting in there too, for added gushy-ness.


8  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / My First House on: August 27, 2008 02:42:49 PM
My boyfriend and I bought our first house together in March 2007. We've spent the last year and a half fixing it up... It's gone through a lot of stages, and so has our relationship!!! I've posted some of the work as it was completed on other threads... But here is the whole thing all together... To note: when we first bought the house, it had been used by 5 college students, so you can imagine the disrepair. They had tried to do a cover up job, but it was pretty lackluster. The walls were covered in the worst paint job ever, the carpets were beyond salvageable, the kitchen was a nightmare and the addition was sinking! Oy!

The Master Bedroom was the first room we tackled. We enlarged the closet door, and added an organizer. We painted the walls, and generally just cleaned it up a little.

I ripped out the carpeting in the second bedroom in a fit... Check out my post here https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=203993.msg2175533#msg2175533

The last bedroom is now the computer room. We also put down new carpeting in the whole top floor. We redid the bathroom too. ripped up the linoleum and put in ceramic tiles. (using the tile cutter was one of the more frustrating jobs - mixing the grout was one of the most satisfying!).

Downstairs we updated the house with a uniform coat of paint, cleaned up the dinning room, and totally redid the addition and the kitchen.

See the kitchen reno here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=261627.msg2932000#msg2932000

And the addition (as we call it, the Florida Room!). This room was hella slanted, covered in ugly carpet tiles, and the walls were splattered with paint (Pollock this kid was not!).

My boyfriend used bottle jacks to host up the room (1/4 inch every day for 8 days) and poured concrete footings and made the whole thing super secure and insulated. It was by far the warmest room in the house last winter!

Then I pulled up the carpet tiles, painted the whole thing, we replaced the baseboards, and added the most beautiful pine floor ever. Our friend was opening a pub, and he had this great wide-plank flooring left over. Once we put it down, we loved it so much we couldn't stain it or cover it with anything, so we just rubbed in three coats of tung oil, and it turned out great. Water resistant but still so natural.

And last but not least, the exterior: We paved the driveway, filled out the bald spots in the yard, cleaned out the garden and painted the railings.

Phew. This weekend we're going to my parents' cottage for the first time this summer! We are going to sit on the dock and do ABSOLUTELY nothing for what seems like the first time in our entire lives!!! hahaha.
9  COOKING / Dessert / Mom's Birthday Cake on: August 17, 2008 12:21:00 PM
My mom's birthday was last week, and we went out for dinner, but had dessert back at her place. I wanted to bake her a cake, and found a great recipe for a nice fluffy cake with whipped cream and blueberries.

Now, my mother and I have VERY different diets, so I succumbed and whipped up some actual, honest to goodness, straight from the cow, whipping cream. BUT, I also used Earth Balance Shortening (I was kinda weirded out when I saw it in the supermarket) so there is no bad trans fats in the cake at least.

I liked the cake a lot, but my family - who are very stubborn people who refuse to try new things or open their minds even slightly - couldn't get over that Earth Balance taste. (I personally prefer the taste to Crisco... but that's just me).

The cake turned out nice and moist. It wasn't crumbly (but maybe that's because I also put eggs in it, like a "traditional" cake). The flavour was a little bland (even as I was making it, I thought it was weird that the recipe didn't call for Vanilla Extract. I should have listened to my instincts and added a tsp anyway!). But with the blueberries, it was great!

Yum yum. Love those blueberries!

So as you can see, there's a layer of jam, a layer of blueberries, and then I added the whipped cream and the second cake.

Diggin' in!

10  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Kitchen Renovation on: August 06, 2008 04:56:21 AM
My boyfriend and I bought our house about a year and a half ago, and when we bought it, it was used as a student house. The dining room was used as a bedroom, and there were 5 university students who lived there before we moved in.

The kitchen was in dire need of some TLC. The before pictures show how the wall cabinets were hung way too low, the appliances were almond colour, and there was some major rotting going on under the sink.


So I took one week off work, and yes, it's true, I demo'ed the old kitchen and installed the new one in only SIX days!!! Though putting in the doors and handles happened a little later because I had to order them in... Sigh.

First off I took out the terrible old cabinets.

There was no drywall behind the upper cabinets, so I had to repatch it, and I had to lay some plywood down on the floor to make it flush with the tiles. Oh, I did ALL of this work myself, because the boyfriend didn't have the week off. It was SO much fun, and I felt very proud of myself! (Bob Villa with a p*ssy, as one of my friends said!!!)

But then I had to finish the drywall, taping and all. It was fun. I knew that only a small portion of the taping would be visible after the new cabinets were installed, so I really only tried to make those areas beautiful. The rest was pretty sloppy, but it's okay, because it got all covered up.

Compound drying... It was tough having to wait 24 hours between the coats. I really wanted to get painting!!!

And here is the final install. Minus doors, obviously.

So for a couple of weeks, we had to live with our new kitchen without the doors. I couldn't WAIT for them to see how it all looked. Sigh.

And here are the after photos:

Thanks for looking!
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