Getting Closer to the Finish Line


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So, I found my thread. You know where it was? In my craft bag in a little compartment that I don't use that often. :-/ Well, folks, I'm almost done with the bag. I pulled out my sewing machine and made the lining tonight. Then I handstitched it to the body of the bag. All that's left is for me to crochet the straps, possibly line them (I think I should), and attach them to the bag. I thought about showing a picture, but NAAHHH! You'll just have to wait....

Pasta Fagioli Soup - The Remix


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Tonight, I felt like soup. Nothing spicy, but something flavorful. So I searched and found a Pasta Fagioli Soup recipe. And before you ask, no, I did not follow the recipe as outlined. However, I would love to try the recipe as directed at another time. I'll definitely bookmark it.

My style of cooking is this: use whatever you can that you already have so that you don't keep traveling to the grocery store. In other words, improvise. So, here is my improvisation:

Pasta Fagioli Soup - The Remix

Ingredients:
(I'm also not really including measurements because I added more from time to time.)
tomato soup
hominy
black beans
chopped spinach
chicken broth
shredded chicken (this was leftover from that sauteed chicken recipe and I didn't want to waste)
water
minced garlic
dried parsley
oregano
garlic powder
black pepper
seashell pasta

Directions:

In a saucepot or stockpot (if you're making a large amount), add all of the ingredients except the pasta. Bring to a boil; cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add pasta and cook until pasta is tender.

To view the original recipe, click here.

I Understand


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In the face of these hard economic times, my coworker friend and I were having a discussion on how many Americans don't know how to really live simply, with few things, and when asked to cut back, we mostly reply, "What could I cut out?" Most people that I meet who are from outside of these borders are able to do that when they come here, but the longer they stay, the more Americanized they become. This way of life is somewhat contagious I guess. :-)

So, my coworker friend mentioned how she noticed that her sister, the crafter, found a job in Hawaii and left bags and bags of her crafting materials behind...ribbons, thread, fabric, etc. She said, (and this is really not a direct quote) "I mean, it's not that she purchased just enough ribbon for one project, but she has all this ribbon because it was 'ON SALE'." What could I do, but hang my head in shame and say, "I understand."

A Little More Work


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Today, I was able to work a little more on my bag. Last night I had attached the remaining squares, but I didn't attach them into the final bag shape because I wanted to block them, so I did that part this evening. Let me just say that blocking really does make a huge difference. I didn't use a complicated or time-consuming method. I just sprayed water from the iron onto my squares, made sure that the setting on my iron was on steam, and I steam ironed the squares. I could tell a difference instantly. I never heard of blocking until this year. Interesting.

After I blocked the squares, I finished sewing them together into the bag shape, then cut out the fabric for my lining. I seriously thought that I would sew the lining tonight, but I can't remember where I saw that "perfect colored" thread. It was just yesterday that I saw it - in the wrong place. Hum. I'll just take that as a sign that I didn't need to finish the sewing tonight and to get to bed. So, no sewing tonight.

Well, that's all folks. :-)

"I Feel Like Chicken Tonight, Like Chicken Tonight!"


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and mushrooms. and spinach.

The last time I went to the Fresh Market, I purchased some baby bella mushrooms. I'd never had them before or their mommas - portobellas, so I thought I'd give it a try.

I searched high and low to find a recipe using them. Finding only two tasty sounding and looking recipes in the one day that I searched, I finally settled on this one: Sauteed Chicken and Baby Bella Mushrooms Served Over Garlic Spinach.

You know I'm the queen of modifications. I'm not sure how many posts I've written where I mentioned modifying the recipe. At any rate, I made only a couple of modifications: I didn't use white wine (which I'm sure would have only enhanced the flavor of this dish) and I sliced my onions instead of chopping them. I will also mention that I did use Garlic and Herb Seasoning, but not the brand the recipe mentions. I used the Old Bay Seasoning kind.

To view the recipe, you can also click here. Although it seems like a rather long recipe, it was very easy and quick to make. Preparation is the key.

Without further ado, the Sauteed Chicken and Baby Bella Mushroom dish, served over garlic spinach:

and again....

:-)

Oh, What a Wonderful Morning, Oh, What a Wonderful Day...


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First, let me say that I do not like to shop. For clothes, that is. Electronics, yes. Crafting items, yes. Clothes, no. You know when you look in the closet, see a lot in there, but still you keep wearing the same items. That is me. Really, and I'm not joking. When your mom, who is not fashion conscious, says, "How many times are you going to wear that?", you know you need to go shopping. Period.

So, one of my friends so graciously accepted the challenge of helping me out. "We must go out of town; that is a requirement," she said. Today was the day we decided to do that. Today was such a beautiful day out. Even in spite of my draining sinuses, I had a wonderful time.

What I really like about my new friend is her ability to question respectfully. She asked me all these questions about my style of dress, what I would wear, what I would under no circumstances wear, etc. It didn't matter to her the reason for it, it just mattered so that she could help me find things that I would like. I admire that quality. Many others will look at you funny if you say that I don't wear that style or they will try to force you to wear/try on/buy something that they feel really looks good on you, even though your mouth and face are saying, "Didn't you hear me say that I don't like this?" So with that, we were able to cover much territory today.

Clearance rack after clearance rack. Line after line. Store after store. Finally we were able to get a stash of things that I would wear and could match easily with somethings that I purchased today and some that I already owned.

After we did those things, we went to a fabric and crafts store and she helped me pick out some fabric for the lining of a bag I'm working on. It felt so good to be in a real craft and fabric store. The thing is, when you are in a specialty shop such as that, you know that everyone else in there has something in common with you even if you're making different things. Customers give you ideas and encouragement on whatever craft you pursue. And then you walk out of the door, probably not seeing them again, but leaving with a sense of assurance that you can complete your projects successfully. You definitely don't get that when you shop online.

You know one of the places we traveled to was Best Buy, and although it was a temptation to go look at cameras and computers, I resisted, because this time it was for my friend. Her husband entrusted her with the power to purchase the GPS for them! So we looked, asked questions, and found one for a really good price that he (her husband) would appreciate. I know that he will be so excited when he gets off work tonight. She almost opened it to test it out, but I said that that would take away the thrill of opening it for the first time. There's no replacement for that. So she put the device back into the bag.

After we were almost weary, we finally stopped to this grocery store she had been telling me about. This store has a deli that we ordered from. The foods are all Latin American or Caribbean foods. She ordered rice, beef, and batatas with passion fruit juice. I ordered rice, chicken, and pintos with horchata. Then she ordered a plate of fried chicharon for her husband. No longer being able to eat anymore, we shopped (or rather she shopped) for some ingredients that were from her country. This store was amazing because they had some of the same items repeated throughout the store, but they would be from different countries. For example, there would be hominy in the American section, hominy again in the Venezuelan section, and yet again in the Peruvian section. All of the bags would say "hominy" but each would look different depending on how they package it in that country.
I got a joy of just looking at the varities of meats and fruits. I even managed to find a Jamaican section, and purchased some spices that my brother loves, but cannot find anywhere except New York or places like that. I also found him a couple of different kinds of plantain chips. I'm going to surprise him with this package. I sure hope he doesn't read my blog, which I'm sure he doesn't.

It was a really great day, even though by the time we were heading out of the city, I had lost my voice almost completely. Whatever you were doing today, I hope you had a wonderful time. Now I must go and drink my hot tea.

Ciao!

Oh, What a Wonderful Morning, Oh, What a Wonderful Day...


0 comments
First, let me say that I do not like to shop. For clothes, that is. Electronics, yes. Crafting items, yes. Clothes, no. You know when you look in the closet, see a lot in there, but still you keep wearing the same items. That is me. Really, and I'm not joking. When your mom, who is not fashion conscious, says, "How many times are you going to wear that?", you know you need to go shopping. Period.

So, one of my friends so graciously accepted the challenge of helping me out. "We must go out of town; that is a requirement," she said. Today was the day we decided to do that. Today was such a beautiful day out. Even in spite of my draining sinuses, I had a wonderful time.

What I really like about my new friend is her ability to question respectfully. She asked me all these questions about my style of dress, what I would wear, what I would under no circumstances wear, etc. It didn't matter to her the reason for it, it just mattered so that she could help me find things that I would like. I admire that quality. Many others will look at you funny if you say that I don't wear that style or they will try to force you to wear/try on/buy something that they feel really looks good on you, even though your mouth and face are saying, "Didn't you hear me say that I don't like this?" So with that, we were able to cover much territory today.

Clearance rack after clearance rack. Line after line. Store after store. Finally we were able to get a stash of things that I would wear and could match easily with somethings that I purchased today and some that I already owned.

After we did those things, we went to a fabric and crafts store and she helped me pick out some fabric for the lining of a bag I'm working on. It felt so good to be in a real craft and fabric store. The thing is, when you are in a specialty shop such as that, you know that everyone else in there has something in common with you even if you're making different things. Customers give you ideas and encouragement on whatever craft you pursue. And then you walk out of the door, probably not seeing them again, but leaving with a sense of assurance that you can complete your projects successfully. You definitely don't get that when you shop online.

You know one of the places we traveled to was Best Buy, and although it was a temptation to go look at cameras and computers, I resisted, because this time it was for my friend. Her husband entrusted her with the power to purchase the GPS for them! So we looked, asked questions, and found one for a really good price that he (her husband) would appreciate. I know that he will be so excited when he gets off work tonight. She almost opened it to test it out, but I said that that would take away the thrill of opening it for the first time. There's no replacement for that. So she put the device back into the bag.

After we were almost weary, we finally stopped to this grocery store she had been telling me about. This store has a deli that we ordered from. The foods are all Latin American or Caribbean foods. She ordered rice, beef, and batatas with passion fruit juice. I ordered rice, chicken, and pintos with horchata. Then she ordered a plate of fried chicharon for her husband. No longer being able to eat anymore, we shopped (or rather she shopped) for some ingredients that were from her country. This store was amazing because they had some of the same items repeated throughout the store, but they would be from different countries. For example, there would be hominy in the American section, hominy again in the Venezuelan section, and yet again in the Peruvian section. All of the bags would say "hominy" but each would look different depending on how they package it in that country.
I got a joy of just looking at the varities of meats and fruits. I even managed to find a Jamaican section, and purchased some spices that my brother loves, but cannot find anywhere except New York or places like that. I also found him a couple of different kinds of plantain chips. I'm going to surprise him with this package. I sure hope he doesn't read my blog, which I'm sure he doesn't.

It was a really great day, even though by the time we were heading out of the city, I had lost my voice almost completely. Whatever you were doing today, I hope you had a wonderful time. Now I must go and drink my hot tea.

Ciao!

¿Qué Pasó? What Happened?


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Today I was all prepared for having some fish for dinner. (Remember I said that I would love to have a piece every week.) I had purchased a seemingly nice piece of flounder that was waiting in the refrigerator just for this special moment. I seasoned it with Old Bay Garlic and Herb seasoning, a couple of pats of butter, and lemon juice. I placed a whole sprig of fresh dill on top and a couple of half slices of lemon, then sealed the baking dish and put it in the oven.

When I checked on it, the entire fish had disintegrated! I never heard of such. I mean, it literally disintegrated. Even the pieces that looked "whole", when I touched them, they too fell apart. What did I do wrong?

Now, for dinner, I must resort to the plain rice I was going to eat WITH the fish and um, cereal? oatmeal? peanut butter and jelly sandwich? what? I'm not thawing out any more meat and I don't want a salad. I guess I just need to find something and go to sleep. :-|

Have a great weekend, folks!

The Sweetest Little Thing


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This evening I went to get my oil changed in my car. While I waited, I decided to work on a granny square for a bag. It was sort of difficult because I didn't want anything to touch the floor. No stains. No stains. Anyways, people came and left, but finally a little old lady sat down beside me, all out of breath from walking from one end of Wal-Mart to the other. Now she was just waiting for her tires to be rotated.

She inquired about my project, so I showed her what I was working on. She seemed so interested so I asked, "Do you crochet?" "No," she replied, "but I do Swedish embroidery on monk's cloth." I don't embroider, but I definitely had never heard of this. It sounded tedious. She went on to explain how she'd been doing this for years and how she makes these baby afghans and some adult ones too. Currently, she's working on a project for her new pastor at her church. She said she managed to find out the colors in their living room, so she was able to match the yarns to that. Fascinating!

I really enjoyed listening to her stories and projects. And then, she told me her name, and told me to call the Sr. Citizen's Center in one area of town and they would relay any messages to her. She wants me to stop by the center so that I can see some of her projects. WOW! I told her that I would love to learn to knit in the summer time. Her reply was that they didn't have enough people to come to the knitting class there, so it was canceled. However, I was more than welcome to come learn how to do Swedish embroidery (because she would teach me) or I could play games there with them.

Can't you just imagine all these elderly people at the center. Some playing games, some crafting, some maybe talking a little "too loud." Ha Ha! Glorious. You know, I might just stop by there one day. I think many elderly people tend to get lonely and we should spend more time with them, learning from them, listening to them. I definitely haven't done enough of that. I used to do volunteer work in one of the wards in the hospital when I was a teenager, but most of my "free" time has been wrapped around kids to the forsaken of the elderly.

If I go, I will definitely let you know. You see what it's like being in a small town! :-)

Have a great weekend everyone,
Libby

Image source: http://www.appropedia.org/images/5/59/9i2p36a.JPG

It's Contagious!


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The most amazing thing happened today at recess. Yes, we went out there in that sweltering heat to double dutch. The kids went first. When I got outside, I noticed two of my girls sitting in the shade at the picnic tables. I went over to check on them, and lo and behold, they were practicing crocheting!!!!! It really did make my day. One girl (the one who made the purse in the previous post) had badgered her grandma about it and finally ended up creating a pocketbook of her own. The other girl, a lefty, pestered her mom yesterday and learned one stitch. She had her yarn wrapped around a paper towel holder. How genius! Maybe after the end of grade tests we can have a few moments to do some things like that. I would so love to show them a little more before they leave me to go to middle school.

What a Pleasant Surprise!


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You know how it is when you're busy or super focused on the main task at hand and a kid tries to ask you a question (seemingly unrelated) or engage you in a different conversation and you put them off and in the end you wished you had spared a moment to listen better? Well, I must admit that I do that sometimes. Not with my own kids, because I don't have any, but with students sometimes. I'm mid-sentence or trying to quickly transition from one subject to the next, knowing that my time is running out for the day, and a kid asks me about something cool they saw or if I've seen some new movie. ???

Yesterday, one of my students asked me if I had made any more crochet projects. But of course, I was juggling a hand full of papers and thinking of the next subject, so I replied quickly, "Yes, but I don't have time to talk about that right now." Well, this was one of the two students who had begun taking an interest in crocheting and I felt kinda bad for not listening or at least telling her we could talk about it later and actually doing it. Today, I noticed that this same student had a cute bag draped on her shoulders. "Did you make this?" I asked. "Yes," she replied. Was this the same project she was working under her desk during her "free" time? Why of course, it was! No written pattern, just her own imagination. I'm glad that recently her grandma finally showed her how to stop making the chain stitch and turn her work - thank goodness because she had a really loooonnng chain stitch and was supposedly making a blanket! LOL

At any rate, I just had to show you her little bag. She really shows great promise.

Check out this purse made by an 11-year old!
Look at that flap.

It is my belief that if every kid could find an outlet such as this, it would be great. Even though I believe that we are social beings, it's nice to have a talent/craft that you can do independently. Kids face so many pressures today and if crocheting can help them find a productive outlet, so be it!

It's Finally Here!


2 comments
Remember that shrug that I said I wanted to make? Well, a Flickr friend directed me to Knit Picks to find some really inexpensive wool yarn that I could use to make that shrug. The yarn was $1.99 a skein and I didn't want to purchase so many, just basically what I needed with maybe an extra skein or two. I'm officially all yarned up! :-)

100% Peruvian Highland wool - fingering weight. I don't know when my friend from Peru's mom will come to visit, so I thought I better get this yarn now while it's on sale. :-)

The Square Stands Alone


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Spring Break is officially over. Today was the first day back to work. I didn't think that I would get any crafting time in today, and of a truth, I didn't get much in. But some is better than none, right?

Well, I finally got my order in from Joann's this weekend. Remember I was waiting for the yarn to finish my bag and then I bought some look-alike yarn just a few days before the real yarn arrived? I guess I'll have to make a return or exchange later. This is enough neon yarn for me. :-) Anyways, I started making a square. One single square, but it's just one more square closer to the finish line.

Only four more squares to go. Then I can make the straps and one day line this bag. Thanks to deedee for tips on lining my bag.

A Little Fish for Sunday


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After church today, I decided to make dinner. Actually, I had purchased some salmon fillets this weekend and some fresh dill, so I knew my dinner would be a salmon dinner. I just needed to find the right recipe. And indeed I did. Well, actually it was a combination of two salmon recipes that I found online.

My Sunday Dinner was simple:
1. Salmon
2. Steamed Herbed Green Beans
3. Potatoes

* Now if it were my mom's Sunday dinner, she would have all sorts of "choices," but I'm good with just these three. :-)

Here's my remake of the two recipes I found online - yes, at Allrecipes.com.

Lemon and Dill Salmon

Ingredients:
a salmon fillet
a clove of chopped garlic
chopped fresh dill
lemon juice
lemon slices
salt and pepper
olive oil
a pat of butter or margarine

Directions:
Line a small pan with aluminum foil. Then lightly oil the pan with olive oil. Place the salmon fillets, skin-side down, in the pan. Score the salmon so that the seasonings can penetrate the whole salmon. Rub a tiny bit of oil on the salmon fillet, then season with salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, and chopped dill. Garnish with lemon slices. I placed a pat of margarine on my fillet during the last five minutes of cooking. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, sealing the edges. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.

Again, I had to serve the salmon with the herbed green beans and some potatoes. I'll talk about the herbed green beans next. Again, I picked up some green beans from the Fresh Market this weekend and decided to give them a try today. I snipped off the ends, washed them, and then tried my remake of the Allrecipes version found here. Instead of the seasonings suggested by the recipe, I only used two - a little bit of salt and Herbes de Provence, which is a combination of rosemary, marjoram, thyme, and savory, among other spices.

So here's my recipe:

Ingredients:
washed green beans with ends cut off
a pinch of salt
Herbes de Provence, to taste
a pat of margarine

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan or steamer and steam until beans are tender. I use a very little amount of water because I have a waterless pot that seals and does not require any to much water/liquid to cook.

Finally, I served small potatoes with the meal. I purchased some Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes. They are so cute and petite. Anyways, here's the recipe for that:

Ingredients:
small yellow potatoes
Herbes de Provence
salt to taste

Directions:
Cut the potatoes in half. Place just enough water in the sauce pot to cover the potatoes. Sprinkle a little salt (if desired) and Herbes de Provence. Boil until potatoes are fork tender. Pour off most of the water after the potatoes are done.

In the end, here was my complete meal:


Buen Provecho!

A Day in the "Woods"


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Today I took a trip to the Horticultural Gardens at the community college in the neighboring county. It was sooo nice there, but I should have known. I mean, in order to get there, I had to pass through neighborhoods of houses that cost more than I will ever make, pass by several driveways leading to country clubs that said, "Members Only" so those of us who are not members, won't mistakenly turn in. Instead of having crosswalks, I saw signs that indicated that people bike frequently. And then there was that fancy private school on the left. Yep, I was in another world. And this world had a special kind of quiet. A nice kind of quiet.

When I finally figured out the correct entrance to the gardens, I immediately unpacked my gear and spent some time re-familiarizing myself with my tripod. Yes, it has been a while. I was glad to be in the gardens because all the plants were properly labeled with their common and scientific names. That will keep me from labeling my pictures, "The Purple Flower" or "Yellow Flower II". :-) The garden is maintained by the students of the horticulture department and the department teachers on campus use the garden for teaching purposes. Good deal.

There were not many people out. I know this because I passed the same couple of families multiple times in different parts of the garden. The beauty of the South is that by the time you pass the same person twice, you feel like you know them. Can you believe it, but I even let this kid use my camera? She was so excited because she has an interest in photography (says her mom) and she had never used a "real" camera before. She was all smiles and that made me feel good inside. Hey, maybe her mom will purchase one for her. I hope so because it is a worthy investment for someone so interested.

Well, after a while, I started feeling more comfortable with my camera and I began to "see" all these shots, some of which I dont' have the experience or equipment to make happen right now, but I believe one day I will be able to truly capture what I "see" the way I see it. In some other photographs I feel I captured what I intended.

I couldn't cover the entire garden today. I don't know if it is as big as I think or if it is that I kept stopping so much that I really wasn't going very far. Who knows, but I would like to go back to these gardens on several occasions, preferrably in the early morning. I know it's better to capture flowers before 10 A.M., but that didn't happen today because I was a sleepy head and didn't get up til late. Plus, I didn't schedule this trip until today. Next time.

Some things that I learned or reaffirmed today:
  1. I need to use my camera more.
  2. I need to learn as much as I can about the not so obvious features of this camera. [I've got to break out my manual now.]
  3. Manual mode beats Automatic any day!
  4. I need a different lens - a better lens for what I want to do in nature photography.
  5. God's creation is BEAUTIFUL!!!

Cornus Florida 'Variegata'
Variegated Flowering Dogwood

Have a great weekend!

A Lesson in Sharing :-)


4 comments
First of all, thanks for all the kind remarks you left on my previous post.

Ok, y'all. Misty had to learn a lesson in sharing. And yes, so soon. We switched hats this afternoon. I let her wear my pink one and she let me wear her sherbet one. She didn't even complain. :-)

To commemorate my last official day of Spring Break, I took a photography "day" trip to the Horticultural Gardens at the community college in the neighboring county. It was my first time there and it was soooo nice. Just me and my camera and a few strangers here and there. The buzzing of some bees, the fluttering of butterfly wings....

I'm so glad that Misty let me borrow her hat, and that I got a chance to wear these cool shades that I got for the fishing trip we took earlier this month.

Thanks, Misty!

A Little Something for Misty


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I liked the pink floral beret that I had to take it off of Misty's head. Now that left her a showing her bare scalp, so I felt obligated to make her a little head covering....so I did.

Last night I made this cap for Misty. I call it the "Sherbet Beret":


*In case you're wondering, Misty is my Styrofoam head's name. I think she at least deserved a name since she helps me out so much, modeling my hats!

Have a good day, everyone! :-D

When In Doubt, Make a Salad, right?


1 comments
Well, at least that's what I did today.

+ Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette. Can't you see it? Look closer. Just kidding. I added it after I took this picture.

Now, do I have all my colors? :-)

A Day With Mom


3 comments

Yesterday, my mom and I had the pleasure of spending the day together. Actually, I had an out-of-town appointment and she accompanied me, but before and after the appointment we window-shopped some and visited a few places that we don't get to visit very often, being that these stores are out of town for us. Anyways, we went to Walgreens to pick up some prints I had sent there from Snapfish, we went to Staples, Bed, Bath & Beyond (and no, this store didn't have the Mrs. Meyers products!), but they did have a tier curtain on clearance that had a very similar fabric print to a pillow I made for my wicker love seat. I'll see if the fabric will look okay. A couple of quick stitches and I can turn it in a valance, without making a single cut!

My mom found this wicker seat (which was white) for $3. A friend and I spray painted it, then I covered the seat with upholstery fabric and made two envelope-back pillows. I still need to make a couple of more pillows.
* The picture in the left corner is of the curtain from BB&B and the pillow I made a while ago. Do you think I can get away with a not perfect match?

After that, we stopped by Waldenbooks, Pier 1, and Michael's. I didn't get much from Michael's because they weren't having a sale and I couldn't see myself paying that price for Caron's yarn. I'm trying to finish up these hats for my students and I'm having such a difficult time finding the yarn. I can't find a place to sell yarn for a reasonble price in the colors I need. I mean, can I find some orange pretty please with cherries on top? I did, however, pick up some cotton yarn in colors that appear to be the same as my Bernat Handicrafter yarn that Joann's is holding back from me. (Probably now that I bought these four skeins of Sugar and Cream, when I go to the post office today, Joann's will have sent me what I've been waiting for. lol I just need to make 5 squares.)

After we left the "chain" stores, mom wanted to do a little consignment shopping. We stopped by a place called, "A Little Bit of Couture." It's an amazing store. I found a cute red top, a nice jacket, and a two piece beaded black outfit that would be appropriate for something after 6. I agree with my mom. You have to have something extra in your closet just IN CASE you have to go to a banquet or special dinner. Then you won't have to run ragged looking for something to wear.

Oh, I love this jacket!
Just check out that lining!

And here is the black sparkly two-piece. It sparkles more in person. :-)

The next place we went was to Habitat for Humanity. It's more like a thrift shop. My mom headed straight for the magazines that they sell for $0.10-$0.25, but I headed for the table linens (which I never found) because I saw a craft section. They had fabrics hanging up, bolts of fabrics in bins, vintage patterns which I picked up two, costing me all but $0.22 (tax included). I even saw some manequin busts, but they were male. The sales clerk said they do get female ones so now I'll be on the lookout because I've wanted a manequin or at least a dressmaker's doll for many years now. It's so hard to try hemlines on yourself when you have to keep bending down.

Just $0.22 total! Oh this so cool 70's style. :-)

Anyways, it was really fun with Mom on yesterday. I wish we had more days like that, of course without doctor appointments. :-)

Oh I Love This Pattern!


4 comments

LaKeesha, wherever you are in the Dominican Republic, let me just say that I L-O-V-E your "Center Flower Slouch Hat" pattern. I started this hat last night (Tuesday) while watching "Jane Eyre" but I was unable to finish it until tonight (Wednesday).

Let me just say, very easy pattern to read, a quick crochet, a lovely pattern. I must make more in the future.

* Putting in a little extra plug for LaKeesha, for those of you on Ravelry, check out her page. For the rest of you, check out her blog and her boutique website. She even has a free pattern for hoop earrings that are just too cute!

Now with that being said, here are some pictures for you!

Oh, Jane...


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Yesterday I decided to go to the public library, and not to check out children's book for a change. :-) My mom was there studying for an upcoming test and while I waited for her, I browsed through the very limited collection of crafting books. I could only find 3 on crochet, so I checked out the two that intrigued me. One is a book on one skein projects and the other is a technique book.

I then decided to look at their movie collection. It's really been so long since I've been to the public library (shame on me, as the daughter of a librarian!), that I didn't realize that you no longer had to rent the movies. I checked out what I thought was the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre. When I got home and ready to craft, relax, and watch a movie, I discovered that the Pride and Prejudice was in a mini-series so I had picked up the first movie on the rack and it ended up being part II, so that would do me no good. I had just assumed they were multiple copies of the same movie. Well, Jane Eyre it was then. And it was such a lovely choice.

I've read the book Jane Eyre quite some time ago, but I don't remember ever having the chance to watch the movie. It was good. While watching, I made a crochet dish sponge. I know I must have misinterpreted a stitch somewhere at the beginning because my sponge doesn't make that braid on the sides, but oh well. Then I started on a hat with a flower center. Both of these patterns were in my queue on Ravelry. I haven't finished the hat yet, but I'm sure to finish it today. It's an easy pattern. The only term I had to look up was "dcdec" to see how to do that. Again a very interesting design.

Now I just need to get that collection of Pride and Prejudice I suppose, so I can see that version. I've seen the Keira Knightley one many, many times. Hey, has anyone seen Bride and Prejudice? It's the Bollywood Indian version. I like that one too!

My April Swap Box Has Arrived!


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I was so excited to see that one of the four packages that I'm waiting to arrive at the post office has finally arrived. And, it's my April Swap Box from my Ravelry partner. I was tempted to open it up in the car, but I forced myself to wait until I got home so that I could take pictures as I opened up the big reveal.

My, oh my, my partner is very creative. She wrote me this cute letter with clues to what was beneath the tulip covered tissue paper. Each layer revealed something new. She's genius, I tell you.

The first thing that caught my eye was the packet of patterns that she printed out for me: an aran bag and a knit and crocheted version of a beanie cap. You think she saw my finished objects and figured out what I like? Maybe she's psychic. :-)

Then, I saw that huge 14 oz. skein of Bernat's Handicrafter cotton yarn in a beautiful shade of green. Oh I've never seen such a big skein of cotton before. My eyes were opened so wide, like a kid in a candy store. I think I'm still cheesin' right now! lol

There were candles inside and candle holders. And two mesh toy holders that pop up to make a cube. Instead of storing toys, she told me I could store my yarns inside. Genius. Well, I could keep rambing, but the pictures say it all. And guess what, she didn't spend over our limit - $12. She must be a true bargain shopper. She did tell me she used up some coupons! Man, sunriseknits, you did good.



I sure hope she likes what I sent her.

Later!

Staying Indoors


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Today I refused to leave the walls of my home. Yes, I refused to go out. I slept a little later than usual (that was unintentional, but much needed) and then I lounged around...literally. At some point I turned on the t.v. and you know what, I still didn't watch it. I haven't been much for t.v. lately. I think it just provided some background noise. It's a good thing my hair is braided because when I have days like this one, especially consecutive ones, I usually look "to' down!" or as some would say, "a hot mess." lol

Anyways, I basically spent the day crafting. I worked on my crochet bag until I reached the stopping point due to running out of yarn. I rearranged my fabric and pattern stash to prepare for future sewing projects. NO! I'm not going to work on another one of my hobbies because it would make me too scatterrbrained to function. I will patiently wait until one or two subside in my mind before starting the other one. *insert sheepish grin here*

When it came to eating, I did everything I could to not have to really cook, but then the inevitable happened: dinner time. Yes, it was getting around dinner time and I realized that I must eat something "for real" because there weren't any more left over chicken and dumplings and I finished up the Raisin Bran this morning. Since I don't really snack on snack food, meal preparation is essential. So I decided to eat that last piece of tilapia in the freezer, cook some rice, and fix a little onion salad - basically do a recreation of Andry's meal for me on last Friday.

My mom came over to work on her project for this class she's taking at the community college. She's trying to improve her computer skills and me, being her teacher and what not, I like to leave her in the computer room and give her directions from another room. That forces her to do it on her own, but following my oral instructions. When I'm in the room with her, somehow I end up doing her work. But I digress. I shut mom up in the computer room because I didn't want any fish smell getting in there. I could hardly believe myself - frying fish. I've been in my house for about 4 years now and I think I have only fried one thing, not including an egg. I don't fry foods.

Anyways, I tried the fried tilapia made according to the recipe posted a few days ago and I think I really like it. But more importantly, my mom was like, "Oh, this is good!" What???? I figured if it had my mom's approval then I must make this recipe a keeper. lol


Recipe Posted again: here

Now, it's time to call it a day. I'm sipping some hot herbal tea and I'm going to force myself to actually shut down my computer. :-)

Good night!

GIVEAWAY!!!!


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Ok, readers out there, my friend Alessandra is having an amazing GIVEAWAY on her site.

Her prizes are:
1. A crocheted fat bottom bag made from Brazilian yarn.
2. A blue, cotton rag tote.
3. One of her crocheted necklaces from her Etsy shop.

These are great prizes, so please stop by her blog and post a comment for a chance to win. And, if you want your name entered into the drawing for an extra chance to win, post a link to her GIVEAWAY and you'll be entered into the drawing for a second time.

Good Luck!

WIP Haekelbeutel Bag


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Yes, folks, the bag I'm working on has a name - a Haekelbeutel Bag. I just finished sewing the squares together. That's all I can do until my yarn shipment comes in. This is the first time I've heard of crocheting squares together to sew them. I've always used a tapestry needle. This pattern says to single crochet the squares together. Fascinating!

I'm a Skirt Girl!


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Like just about everyday. Jean skirts. Cotton skirts. A-line skirts. Half circle skirts. Skirts - I adore them.

I was browsing again, looking for some good patterns online - to get me thinking - and then I stumbled across this book on Amazon:

What? You mean, I can make all those different skirts without bothering with patterns that cost "a pretty penny," as my mom would say? Needless to say, I'm ordering this book!

Machine Envy


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I'm itching for a new project. No, I haven't finished the bag I started, but I can't finish it until the yarn from JoAnn's arrives. I'm still waiting. After browsing through many crochet patterns on Ravelry, downloading some and contemplating others, I couldn't find a project that I felt like starting. Let me go back and mention that I want to make some type of clothing item for myself. (I've never crocheted an article of real clothing, but it seems so intriguing.) So, after not really finding a pattern that screamed, "Make me, Libby. Choose me!" I went to the closet and pulled out my box of sewing patterns. I checked them all out, then pulled a Rubbermaid storage container of fabric out, which by the way also contained a few patterns. I saw one of my favorite pieces of fabric that I bought the last remnant of last year at JoAnn's. Finally, I looked in my other huge fabric bin and browsed through some fabric prints.

Now I mentioned earlier or on somebody's post, I can't remember at the present, that I was not going to pull out my sewing machine yet. And I'm sticking to that. I was just hoping that I would find a pattern or a piece of fabric for inspiration so that I could crochet something meaningful to accentuate the outfit, even if I don't really know what that outfit is right now. Does that make sense?

Now that I think about it, I saw a really cute shrug online today that might be just the thing for this piece of fabric.
This is one of my favorite pieces of fabric. Unfortunately all that was left was a little less than one yard, so I have to pick my pattern wisely. That's why I didn't make anything last year. I couldn't decide on whether it should be a top or a bottom. Maybe this year I will be successful. (Please cross your fingers with me.)



Here are a few other fabric choices that I pulled out of the bins. The pink and white fabric is another favorite of mine. It too was the last bit on the bolt, so here again I have to choose wisely. I think I may have to sew a border to the fabric. I actually have a design in my head, but I need to find a pattern close enough that I can modify being that I am not a fashion designer. :-)


A bit about me and what I like: I really like circle skirts! I love the fullness of their swing! :-D

Wish me well! :-)

A Cloche for Lynnette


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A little while ago, a lady at church asked me if I could make her a blue hat. "Sure," I said. I settled on this beret pattern, made it last week and then realized that it was waaaaayyyy too big! I followed the pattern to the "T", but maybe it was my choice of yarn. Sooooo, after church today I told her that I would make her another hat. I decided to make the cloche hat that I had just made in that sweet pea color earlier.

I used the same pattern, but I added one more row of length before starting on the brim. That way I figured the brim would fall a little further down on the head. I didn't make the flower on the side; I just made it plain. I think the flower would make it a little too teen-trendy for her.

I found out that she is coming to church tonight, so I'm excited to be able to give it to her tonight. Well, I better go, or I'll be late!

Chat later. :-)

p.s. I hope everyone enjoyed their Easter today. :-)

Lunch at Andry's


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This post is not about crafting, but I told you that I was going to have lunch with one of my friends on yesterday, and the food she prepared was so delicious that I wanted to share it with you on this blog. If you want to know more about the lunch, you'll have to read my other blog.

Here are the dishes that she prepared:

Chupe de Camarones
Shrimp Chowder


Pescado Frito (Tilapia) con Ensalada y Arroz
Fried Tilapia with Salad and Rice


In case you would like the recipe for the tilapia, here it is:
  1. Butterfly the fish fillet so that it is thin and opens out flat.
  2. Season the fish on both sides with a little salt, pepper, and cumin.
  3. Rub mustard on both sides of the fish.
  4. Batter the fish in flour.
  5. Pan fry the fish in a little oil until done on both sides, turning only once in the pan.
That's it! This was my first time having fish battered in flour. I've always used cornmeal for fish, but it did give it a soft texture. The rice is simply jasmine rice, cooked according to the package. The salad is lettuce, tomatoes, radishes and cucumbers, sprinkled with black pepper and lime juice. Needless to say, this meal was very good. I know that I will not make the chupe de camarones for myself because, although it was delicious, it is too time consuming for just one person, but the rest of the meal goes right into my stash of quick and delicious meals!


Enjoy!