Thursday, May 29, 2014

Henry the Sheep Digital Downloads: Banners

New Banner Downloads from my sweetie peas featuring Henry the sheep in an array of color options!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

New Pattern! One Hour Photo: Baby Hat

Introducing One Hour Photo, a very quick and silly adorable baby hat that is perfect for newborn and older baby photos. Sized for newborn and 3-9 months.

The pattern uses chunky or super bulky yarn and is available through Ravelry.com or my original etsy shop My Sweetie Peas.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pool Noodle DIY Play Food Fruit Salad and Steak!

So here is what about 5-bucks worth of fun looks like.


Pictured are Dollar Tree plastic cake plates that look like real china plates ($1 for 6), small crystal-ish plastic bowls ($1 for 4) that are actually really nice and some fancy 12 ounce cups ($1 for 12). All the tableware was in the same area as their other themed tableware sets. Also pictured are two pool noodle parts (used about half of one orange flower shape and half of one blue round pool noodle) and one red kick board aka boogie board that is about 1" thick and wave shaped.

A serrated steak knife works well to cut the foam down to size. Scissors work for cleaning up corners or for really small pieces. This is a glue free project.

Next trip to D.T. I plan on picking up a yellow and green pool noodle to make pineapple and kiwi chunks for the 'fruit salad' (pictured below). All the foam components come from U.S. manufacturers which is cool.

The drinks are made by cutting one 5-6 inch section of pool noodle, filling in the middle with an extra scrap chunk of noodle and then slipping them into the cups (one small segment is plenty to fill the hole).

The blue 'ice cubes' were made by slicing a 1 inch section from a round noodle, laying it flat and cutting the slice into four pieces. Each piece is 1/2 a semi-circle.


The 'steak' and 'watermelon' chunks came from the flat parts of the boogie board. I used a brown Sharpie to trace the shape of the T-bone and white nail polish to fill in the bone and fatty parts. The Sharpie also worked well to draw in lines on the 'orange' segments and seeds on the 'watermelon'.

We also cut a long, flat strip of foam boogie board into triangles for watermelon wedges with one green painted edge for the rind. They are about 5 inches tall which works well with our set of dishes.

The segments of citrus fruit were cut from 3/4 inch slices of a flower-shaped pool noodle. Each slice was then placed flat on the cutting board and divided into 5 individual petals or chunks. The kids used thinner slices of flowers to garnish the fancy fruit drinks they made.

We took a 6" segment of flower pool noodle and cut it long ways down into five long, individual petal sections, then cut each of these tall-skinny sections into about 4 or 5 carrot sticks per petal. A yellow noodle could be used for french fries or a green noodle could be used for celery sticks.

'Raspberries' can be made by cutting small chunks of foam and gently skinny the slick outer edge of the foam with a knife to expose the courser inside before using a sharpy to highlight the texture. Be careful with this step. The foam is pretty wobbly, so go easy and tread carefully.

Overall I think we will use more pool noodles in the future to make more pretend play food. The foam is a really easy material to manage. We have a good amount left over to make more foods or drinks with. The coloring and cutting activity keep everyone busy for over an hour. They really got into complying different food combinations too.

Next time I would skip the painting of the watermelon rinds as it was really messy waiting for the paint to dry and just glue some green felt on the edge of the triangle or color the edge with a green market to avoid the messy-factor all together.

Craft safe!
- Kat

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Chicken Livers and Bread

I've been cooking and baking up a storm again. Today's menu included chicken thighs using BBQ shake n' bake, chicken livers, smashed-together apple pie filling tart (pie crust was all broken so we made one big, open faced rectangular tart instead of turnovers) and homemade bread.

It's an odd assortment to be sure but it all turned out yummy!

There was going to be a photo of the finished chicken livers but somebody in the house (cough, cough... husband) ate all the food off my presentation plate while I turned my back to put the bread in the oven. grr.

Here's the recipe anyways:

Meat:
Pint container of Chicken Livers (no gizzards)

Dredge:
3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
2 tsp. Cumin
1.5 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Lawry's Seasoning Salt

Plus this stuff:
Digital kitchen thermometer 
10-12" Skillet or flat bottom pan
Corn Oil
2 Tbsp. Butter for cooking with

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, warm up enough Corn Oil to almost coat the entire bottom of the pan.

Mix dredge ingredients together on a paper plate. 

While the pan is heating, use tongs to remove individual chicken livers from their container into the coating mix. I usually prepare several in the time it takes the skillet to heat up all the way then add them one-at-a-time once ready to cook.

Once all livers are in the skillet or pan, add butter into the center and carefully swish around so each piece gets some butter on it.

Continue to flip the livers ever few minutes until uniformly crispy. Livers are done when an inserted thermometer reads at least 165 degrees. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

I did manage to snap a photo of my fresh bread, before it also disappeared...

Not too bad for a first-go-around




Pinterest link to the 5 Minute Bread recipe I used:




Amazon Links:







Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I deserve a medal

Only one art thingie to show off tonight


cause I actually cooked meals two days in a row and baked today!


... all without catching anything on FIRE!!! isn't that the awesome?

Craft safe!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Caran d'Ache day 2 & 3 and a turtle

More craft-everyday stuffs mixed in with some studying:

art with a side of Bacon, Francis Bacon that is...

Finished the "extras" yesterday and the "crochet" sign today. Looks like I'll need to rework the knit sign to make it blend in with the rest.

Per request, someone needed a new turtle pic so here is the progress so far. I used a bright mango-orange 3x5" card with a smooth finish as my base.

first rough-in
Caran d'Ache Neocolor I's: starting with orange to rough-in the shape, then going over the background with turquoise blue.

next layer

 After making a few modifications to my design with the orange, I moved onto the emerald green to start laying in and finalizing the shape of my turtle. I like to start with the lighter shades of wax sticks and then build on my design with progressively darker sticks. This way if I made a mistake with the first try I can keep layering colors until the shape is just what I had in mind.

getting closer...
There is probably one more set of layering to finish up this little guy, including finishing out the shell plates and word bubble. So far the main color of the turtle is made up of the yellow-green stick with the background color of the card showing through. I added flower chunks with a magenta toned stick that is actually called purple. For a link to the supplies I used check out yesterday's post. Thanks!

Happy crafting!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

I caved...

It's been a long while but I finally caved and bought myself a new set of Caran d'Ache Wax Sticks (also called wax pastels). Think of these as the adult version of that 64 pack of Crayola Crayons you got all excited about as a kid. I love these!

 Pictured: Neocolor I - 15 piece set


Since February is craft-every-day month, I thought I would start off with some elements to use on the new scheduling sign in the store. Above is my roughing-in phase using a 3x5" piece of card stock as my background.

Neocolor I's are capable of creating saturated, crisp lines or large areas of blended fill. It all depends on how you rotate your wax stick while using it. The sticks can be sharpened in a hand-held pencil sharpener too for added precision.

Below is the finished piece after much layering of colors, it is very saturated and bright, though the cell phone camera doesn't show it very well.


The Neocolor I set is water resistant so these images will not run if they get wet. Pseudo-batiks can be created by washing water paints over laid colors. (Be sure to use a good thick paper if using large amounts of water with your design.)

One of the main reasons I am willing to drop big $ on Caran d'Ache wax sticks is their amazing ability to build color on a page. They blend beautifully like an oil pastel yet can also retain the vibrant colors when needed without all the mess of oil pastels. The higher pigment concentrations make the sticks last much longer than your standard crayon too. Similar to buying a good eye shadow, paying more upfront will even out over the long haul.

Another nice feature of this product is the metal tin that all Caran d'Ache wax stick sets come in (as shown in the first photo). I still have my first tin from the originally set I bought in college back in the day. The sturdy hinges allow the lid to lay flat and there is a thin piece of foam included to help keep the sticks from moving around or getting blunted during transport. If my house gnomes ever return my heavily-used original crayons the tin will go right back into frequent use.

For added variety, Caran d'Ache also produces a series under the Neocolor II heading that are water-soluble like watercolor pencils with the same oil pastel appearance.Youtube has some nice videos showing the different Caran d'Ache lines including other series which are designed for professional use. All lines are Swiss made.

Caran d'Ache products can be found at most major Art Supply shops or through the affiliate link below. I'll be including more examples through out the month!




Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Theme Day: Neon

The neon trend is still going strong around here. Below are a few pictures of the new shop yarn Adriafil Bloom and Plymouth Neon Now sock yarn that we just received in at the store.


The Adriafil Bloom line is perfect for arm knitting. Though arm knitting is super fast it does require a little forethought on which type of yarns to use. Super bulkies or several chunky yarns held together will produce a nice full and drape-y product.

I used one 50 gram ball of color 91 to create the cowl below, 2 balls would easily make a cowl that could be double wrapped. From no pattern idea to finished product was about 20 minutes max.  

 
Here is a link to a great video on how to arm knit.

To start: 
Cast-on 11 stitches (using the method outlined in the video), leaving about a foot of yarn at the beginning.

Knit for 7 or so rows until about 2 feet of yarn are left in the ball. Each row will be about 4-6 inches tall.

Grab all the loops from your arm and threaded the remaining yarn though them.

Finish by tying a knot so the bind off doesn't come undone but not so tight that the last row unravels into the bind off.

One method is to run yarn through all loops twice, then slip the yarn under its own wraps and make a knot while holding the last row firmly so it doesn't unravel. Do this twice. (A traditional bind-off may be used, but I found it took too much yarn so I simply gathered and knotted the piece off in a similar fashion to finishing off the crown section of a knitted hat.)

Now connect the beginning and end of piece by using the yarn tails to join them shoelace-style but instead of finishing with a bow, make it a double knot.

Wrap remaining yarn tails around the knots to form a smooth layer of yarn covering the knots. Tuck in ends and all done!

Happy Crafting!


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Theme Day: Red

Ever have a day were things seem to pattern?

A few Sundays ago I ventured out to see what kind of after holiday stuff could be scored. First stop was at my favorite clothing store maurices where I scooped up a load of "teacher" clothes and shoes (4 shirts, 1 pair of shoes, bracelets and nail polish) for less than $35! My frequent shopper punch card gave me for $10 off next shopping trip coupon, w00t!


After coming home I noticed a trend in my selections, lots of red and metal studs, both of which I normally do not buy.
 'Red' (well, and pirate sort of...)

After a long day shopping all over the place I cleaned out our cupboard to clear space for hubby's new baby (read: big bottle of Crown Royal). Apparently, we do not drink much wine...

Yes, the bottle has been etched red... a pretty, transparent hue, very similar to the clothing I just bought. Does anyone else notice odd patterns like this?

And one more 'red' I just stumbled across... photo of some hats I finished last year. Chunky hat, CO 60 on size US 11 and about two or four hours later finished!


 Happy Crafting!