Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Pinned It & Did It: Mug Cozy Crochet

My crocheted mug cozy...
Crocheted Mug Cozy | Sunny Stitching

Crocheted mug cozy I pinned...
                                          Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

I love how pinterest tells me exactly when I pinned something. I originally pinned this crochet mug cozy 22 weeks ago from my mom's board Crochet and Knit. She's always finding great projects to crochet, knit, and sew. She shows quite a few of them on her blog, Jerry and Kay. Yesterday, I needed a quick, relaxing project and thought this mug cozy would be perfect...but I couldn't find the original pattern for it anywhere! So, after studying the picture above as well as some others, I attempted to make my own mug cozy without a pattern.

Crocheted Mug Cozy | Sunny Stitching

It worked. It's not exactly the mug cozy pinned, but I love that I got inspiration from my pin. Making this mug cozy made feel very productive, even though it was a small, quick project. And I  really enjoyed taking a step forward in my crocheting ability by making something without a pattern...something I've mostly been scared to do.

Crocheted Mug Cozy | Sunny Stitching

So, another successful pinned it & did it attempt has been made! ...and I think I'll be crocheting more of these mug cozies soon. And if (when) I feel up for another challenge, I might even attempt to write a mug cozy pattern!

My mom found the original pattern (click here for it) for the pinned mug cozy. Thanks, Mom!

I'm linking up to these fabulous parties!

I'd love for you to follow my pinterest board.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Zucchini Bread

One and a half courgettes in the fridge and no plans to use them. Hmmm...they won't last another two days. Let's make zucchini bread...or should I say pain de courgettes? Either way, it's delicious. 

I used my favorite zucchini bread recipe called Mom's Zucchini Bread found on one or two years ago. It's got 5 stars out of 5 from over four thousand reviewers. Not bad.

The only change I made was to leave out walnuts because my little girl won't eat them and I wanted her to enjoy the zucchini bread...especially because she helped make it (along with my little guy).

And everyone helped eat it!

I'm linking up to these fabulous parties!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Pinned It & Did It: Braided Scarf

My braided scarf...

Braided scarf I pinned...

                                                                    Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

I absolutely loved this braided scarf when I came across it and pinned it immediately. I love the color and the style.

I've been on the lookout for some great fabric to make this scarf, but haven't had any luck (slim pickings where I am). However, I did have a few stained, ill-fitting shirts stored away to make something on a rainy (or sunny) day. I thought I'd use them to make something for my little girl or guy. Instead, I made something for me! Wow...I can hardly believe it. I made something from my actual "things to make for me" pinterest board that has been more of a place to dream than a place where dreams come true. When was the last time I made something for me??? Maybe this hat. That was a while ago.

Nette describes how much fabric she used here and gives some sort of instructions here. I had to do some fiddling since I used a shirt instead of purchased fabric. My adjustments included adding two seams in order to make long enough strips to braid. I used lace like Nette, but wrapped it around all the lengths in two spots instead of one so that all my stitches would be hidden. 

Another difference was the type of fabric: mine was cotton and hers was viscose. The cotton worked well, but doesn't seem as full as hers. Next time I'd try to make my unbraided length wider but couldn't here because I was limited to the amount of fabric in my shirt.

Overall, this was a success! Hooray! It was easy to make, I got to reuse a lonely shirt, and I now have a new cute scarf to add a little bit excitement to a plain shirt any day!

I'm linking up to these fabulous parties!

I'd love for you to follow my pinterest board.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Taggie Blanket

 By the time I discovered taggie blankets, my kids were both too old for them. But there are always new babies being born and yesterday I had just enough time to make this taggie blanket as a baby gift for a friend.

 I took a look at two taggie blanket tutorials (here and here) and then used my favorite parts of each to make my own.

What a cute baby gift taggie blankets make and they are so easy to make!

 It was a great way to use up scrap fabric and ribbon to make something beautiful.


I've linked up to these fabulous parties!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

How to make salsa verde...

You may have read about our weekly veg box delivery here or here. We get a box of vegetables every week from Riverford Organic Farms. It's full of delicious freshness - so fresh that there's even an occasional slug on the lettuce. Recently, they have had a special kit for salsa verde. I was hesitant to order it at first because I love good Mexican food and good salsa, which are both hard to find in England. Their availability has improved over the last 7 years that I've lived here, but I have to travel to London and pay too much money for one good taco. I'd rather make it at home. I had great doubts that a tomatillo salsa kit in England would give me tasty salsa verde. THEN...I got to taste it in Riverford's stall at the Egham Royal Show. How pleased I was to taste it and love it. I ordered the kit as soon as I could, made it as soon as I could, and ate half of it in one sitting!

The sad part is that I won't be able to order it for much longer, so I made sure to get three kits in this week's box. I made two of them today which resulted in a large batch of homemade salsa verde. If you can get your hands on some tomatillos, I highly recommend making your own salsa verde by following Riverford's recipe below with (or without) my one modification. The first time I made it, it was super spicy (which I loved) but the one below is less spicy which allows me to eat more of it. I hope you enjoy my way of savoring the salsa with the steps recorded here.

Ingredients for Salsa Verde
400g tomatillos, husks removed & rinsed well
1 small red onion, finely diced
1/2 to 1 chilli
20g fresh coriander
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon brown sugar
sea salt

Step 1: Mix diced onion, lime juice, zest, and brown sugar. Let it sit in a bowl for 30 minutes.
(A shallow bowl is recommended, but mine were dirty and a not-so-shallow bowl worked well, too.)

Step 2: Pulse tomatillos and chillies in a food processor.
(I don't have a food processor but the blender worked fine.)

Step 3: Mince the garlic. Chop the coriander. Add a pinch of salt.

Step 4: When the 30 minutes have ended, stir all the ingredients together.

Step 5: Enjoy your homemade salsa verde with a chip...

Then again, enjoy your homemade salsa verde with another chip...


I've linked up to these fabulous parties!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Remembering 9-11

Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

Pinned It & Did It : Frozen Balloons

This edition of "Pinned It & Did It" makes me laugh when I think about it because unlike the gnome hats, this was pretty much a complete failure. I pinned this idea months ago via my sister...

The title of the pin reads is as follows: "Fill balloons with water, freeze and use and reuse them instead of ice! Good idea for birthday parties!" 
How clever, right? 

I was waiting and waiting to have a party that I could use the idea. The day of the fairy party was perfect - not too hot, not too cold, not too sunny, but not too grey either. So we needed cold drinks. I asked King Damascus (read About Me to find out who he is) to fill the balloons and freeze them. Easy. Ten fit in our freezer...plenty for our small party. Before the guests arrived, King Damascus cleaned a wheelbarrow that I thought would be cute to hold the drinks in the garden. Then we added the frozen balloons...


The balloons popped. All of them.

What a contrast to the festive idea that was pinned. I just made myself laugh because I realised there is a contrast in our beverages as well. Ha. At least we had some really large ice cubes to keep the drinks cold!

I've linked up to these fabulous parties!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

DIY Chalkboard Party Favors

She'd talked about having a fairy party since last October, so she got one! Therefore, the next few posts (and a previous one) will be all about my little girl's 4th birthday party. I'll be sharing all about the party she dreamed of for (almost) the last year. First off - DIY chalkboard party favors. 

I wanted to make my own party favors and have them be something more than candy and the usual party bag fillers. I got inspired when I was at Michael's over the summer (totally distracted from the original reason I stepped into the store) and decided to make chalkboard party favors. Each child received one chalkboard, a bag of chalk, and a color your own puzzle as their gift. More than one parent told me their children spent up to half an hour with their new goodies at home after the party!

These chalkboard party favors were so easy and quick to make. Here's how what I used and how 
I did it:

Cardboard Shapes (butterfly, star, flower)
Adhesive Chalkboard Roll
Felt in various colors
Scissors & Glue

1. Trace your shape onto the back of the chalkboard roll, adding about 1/2 to 1 inch. Cut it out.
2. Peel the paper off of the adhesive chalkboard. Lay the chalkboard on a flat surface with the sticky side facing up. Carefully place the cardboard shape onto the adhesive chalkboard.
3. Fold the edges of the adhesive chalkboard up and over onto the backside of the shape.

4. Admire your lovely chalkboard shape.
5. Using your cardboard shape as a pattern, cut out the same shapes from a variety of colored felt.
6. Glue the felt to the back of the chalkboard and let dry. 

 Just add a few pieces of chalk in a decorative bag and you've got your own colorful, easy to make chalkboard party favors for your guests to take home with them!

If you make them for yourself, I'd love for you to share them in my flickr group.

I've linked up to these fabulous parties!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Pinned It & Did It

I've been on Pinterest for about a year and a half now which means I have a good little collection of pins for crochet, sewing, baking, upcycling and so on. I thought it would be a satisfying and attainable goal to start completing tasks I've pinned and have a regular post about them: Pinned It & Did It. 

Some will be successful and some will be failures. I thought I'd start on a positive note with a pin I just completed that was a success!

                 Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

I pinned these gnome hats as possible favors to have for the boys at my daughter's fairy birthday party. I loved how the weren't just a plain cone shape like so many I have seen. I also love the beard...can a gnome hat get any cuter??

                                                        Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

I spent a while just staring at these pictures, trying to figure out how I could make them. I noticed there weren't any side seams, which I liked. And even though I absolutely love the beards, I decided to leave them off of my hats so that the boys could possibly wear them on a daily basis and not just for play. 

I also wanted the hats to fit a bit looser and floppier than the pinned gnome hats. 

I drew a couple rough sketches on some paper, cut them out and taped them together to get a feel for what the shape of my pattern needed to be. 

Once I felt comfortable with my pattern, I sewed a test hat. It turned out really cute, but really small! Small enough to fit a baby, but definitely not any of the kids coming to the party. 

So, I made another test hat that was larger and loved it!

I made enough in different shades of blue chosen by the birthday girl and her brother. I'm hoping the kids will love them enough to wear them for warmth in the winter. 
When asked, "How many chocolate marshmallows did you eat at the party?"
He coolly answered, "All of them."

I've linked up to these fabulous parties!

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