Friday, January 8, 2010

Clean-up Time and Get Ready for Giveaways!

Now that the craziness from the holidays is over it's definitely time to clean my craft studio. It's a total disaster.

These shelves are pretty organized after 2 hours of cleaning- gathering stray supplies from all over not only the craft room but the entire house!

The island is next on the list. I also have to reorganize the cabinet storage under the island counter. I'm really not using that space efficiently right now.

I'm really excited for this next part of the post- in a few weeks I will have been blogging for one whole year! I can't believe it's been a year already!!

When I started it was a totally new thing to me and I wasn't sure if I was going to like it or not. Turns out I really love it. I've met some wonderful people. Blogging opened up this whole new world to me and I love seeing and sharing this creative energy.

To celebrate my blog's birthday I am going to be doing my first ever giveaway!

Well more than one giveaway- actually a whole week of them. My husband and I do "Birthday Week" for each other instead of just one day so I've decided to the same for the blog and have a "giveaway-a-day" for the week leading up to my blog anniversary.

The plans are still coming together but it's going to be January 17th-23rd. I'll be posting more details over the next few weeks!

Lucy is very excited about the whole thing.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Gift of Crafts to Come

I haven't had a chance to share the crafty gifts I received this year. But I'm soooo excited about them.

First the Martha Stewart multi pack of glitter (oh how I have lusted after this glitter). I already have a few ideas for projects I want to do. Maybe I'll get to one of them this weekend!

Finally, finally I have a few sharpie paint markers. I couldn't wait to try these after I saw this post from CraftyPod but I hadn't been able to find them anywhere. Getting this pack was a real surprise.

This rock and shell drill was purchased on a whim with a gift card. It was too good of a sale to pass up and I can see a ton of possibilities with this toy.

I can't believe I'm saying this but I actually got a spinning wheel! (YAY)

I never imagined that I would actually get one- it was on my "keep dreaming" wish list. I wanted one so much after this weekend class I took and it's the exact model I used that weekend! It's still in the box because I've decided I have to clean up my craft studio before I set it up but adventures in spinning will be coming to this blog soon! Perhaps after a "cleaning up the studio" post- or two (It's a real disaster)!

From my dear husband I also received something for this crafty blog- a light and light tent kit. This also needs to a new home in the studio- but it will be so wonderful to not have to worry about gray days or how early it gets dark now. A-ma-zing.

Thank to my family for such wonderful crafty gifts!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lemonade Stand

Update: A huge thanks to Amy at Mod Podge Rocks for featuring my wrapping paper frame today! And thanks to Diane at CraftyPod for taking the scare factor out of this list- read on that will make more sense.

Thanks to Joanne at Ready, Set, Craft for nominating me for the lemonade stand award.

To be honest- I sort of didn't know what to do about this at first. I felt a bit shy about nominating 10 other blogs. I don't know why but it was just something that made me a little uncomfortable.

In the end I decided a few things:

1. I was flattered that Joanne thought of me and I didn't want to ignore that.

2. Maybe doing something that makes you feel a little uncomfortable is good for you. It can open you up to new possibilities.

3. Blogging is about a community of people- and why not show 10 other people that I appreciate what they are putting out there.

4. I'm making a conscious effort to leave comments on other blogs. There are some blogs I read pretty frequently but don't leave many- if any comments. This is the perfect way to solidify the more comment effort. There may be some people genuinely surprised to get this award from me- they may have never heard from me before.

And 5. If there is a blog I admire I'm not going to hesitate to put it on my list- even if I'm afraid they are "much bigger than I am" and "won't care" or they "might think it's corny and not care". In short- I don't care if they don't care- I'll list them anyway.

So here it goes-

First of all I wish I could give this award right back to Joanne- she totally deserves it. "Meeting" her through the blogosphere is exactly what I hoped to get from this blogging experience. We are states and states apart and otherwise would never known each other but through our blog exchanges we've become friends.

1. Chubby Mummy. I love her style and her embroidery/quilting rocks!
2. It's Loverly. She always has great insights.
3. CraftyPod. Ok this one goes in my scary big category (it's not the only one on here either) but Diane's advise on blogging through both her podcasts and workshops have truly been an inspiration to me and I can't say enough how much I have valued it. I think her insight and attitude are amazing.
4. Dabbled. I just love her attitude! Always something wonderful to share.
5. Mod Podge Rocks. I love her attitude too. It's just a fun site with so much inspiration!
6. Samster Mommy. Her blog is one of the most honestly written things I've seen- it's hilarious and refreshing.
7. The Magic Onions. I love her attitude and the pictures are always beautiful!
8. Bakerella. Ok super scary big! I love her stuff, all the tiny details make me giddy. You can tell what she creates really makes her happy. I'm going to move on now before a chicken out and take her off my list.
9. With a grateful prayer and a thankful heart. I really like her projects and I think her blog name fits right in with the spirit of the award.
10. Ok so maybe this is cheating but I really have to give Joanne's kitten mama blog a shout out- it's a wonderful story documented in blog format. I think it shows attitude and gratitude... and she doesn't have to do anything for getting this award since she already did her list of 10 for her craft blog.

Maybe the link chain portion of this award dies a little bit with me (because I'm pretty sure there are people on this list who won't pass it on) but that's my list and I'm sticking too it!

(Official award rules... put the lemonade logo on your blog or within your post, nominate at least ten blogs with great attitude or gratitude, link the nominees within your post, let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog, share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award)

Thank you Joanne!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The case of the cursed slippers

Ever had one of those projects that just won't cooperate? Something that fights you at ever turn! Unfortunately these very cute slippers have turned into one of those projects for me.

It's not the pattern (which knit up really easily) but rather the felting that's gone completely off the rails.

I'm totally in tune with the fact that since I tried to cram 3 pairs of these in as last minute Christmas gifts they were probably not going to go smoothly but I really wasn't prepared for just how difficult this was going to become. Perhaps the holiday cramming meant they were doomed from the start?

Let me qualify this by saying I don't have a washer in the house. I usually felt at my mom or my mom-in-laws house. That wasn't an option with these because I couldn't make the trip to either mom's house (both are 45 minutes away) and get all the other holiday stuff done- plus they were supposed to be gifts.

The first attempt at felting these involved a late day at work, thereby missing the last wash at all laundromats near me and driving around with bad directions to the only late night mat around (which btw, I never found). I will admit- once I missed the Christmas deadline, felting these went on the back burner a bit and I didn't try again until this past Sunday.

The second attempt to felt was at the laundromat down the street. One thing you need that's pretty important for felting is hot water- something this place didn't actually have. Cool to lukewarm water.... yes.

Three washes later I ended up with soggy slippers much larger than they were when they went into the wash. Ugh!

Take three at our usual laundromat a short drive from me- they had warmer water than the last place but sadly not hot water. I now have half felted still too large slippers.

Really, a sad pathetic sight wouldn't you say?

The person working at the last mat said none of the other places really have hot water either
so I don't see any way to felt these other than at one of the mom's houses. I'm definitely starting to feel like no matter what I do these slippers just won't turn out well. I think they might be cursed.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cupkins January: Pineapple Orange Sunrise Muffins

Oh the idea of a tropical getaway!

It's the first Monday of the month and the first Cupkins (cupcake and muffin collaboration) post of 2010! Joanne and I have decided on a citrus theme for January. Not only is it citrus season but now that the holidays are over and we still have a few long months of cold snowy weather here in the northern half of the country I'm longing for a tropical vacation.

I wanted something sunny, bright and with the type of flavor you'd get from sipping a fruity umbrella drink on a beach. (See totally ready for warm weather and blue water). I started with the idea of a pineapple orange muffin but added the flavors of ginger and rum to spice it up a bit. (Yum!)

Here's the recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of flour (reserve tablespoon)
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of non-fat milk
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of chopped macadamia nuts
  • the zest from 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh pineapple *canned is fine too
  • 1/4 cup of ginger ale you can also add a dash of ginger on top of the soda to bring a bit more ginger taste out
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of light rum or 2 tsp of rum extract *if you want more of a rum flavor use the extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Chop nuts.
Chop pineapple into little tidbits. Then use a few paper towels or a tea towel to press out the excess juice or else the muffins will not cook properly. You'll need to do the same if you use canned crushed pineapple.

Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder together into a bowl. Add apple sauce, oil, milk, egg and extracts. Stir until combined being careful not to over mix. Sprinkle a little bit of flour over the pineapple. This will help the fruit stay throughout the muffin and not sink to the bottom. Add pineapple, nuts, orange zest, ginger powder and ginger ale and mix until incorporated. I sprinkle the tops with a little bit of nuts but this is optional.

Bake about 22 minutes (for large muffin pan) or until golden brown and a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For more of a tropical feeling I added little drink umbrellas.

Makes 6 large or 12 regular size muffins.

Click on the cupkins logo below to check out Joanne's lemon cupcakes. I love a good lemon cupcake!

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