Monday, May 28, 2012

Crochet Pattern: Hacky Sack

Quite some time ago, a friend of mine purchased a hacky sack from a local smoke shop and it was unlike any hacky I'd ever felt. It had such a great consistancy, unlike the typical stiff and crunchy filling I've known. You know what it was? Sand!

I was trying to come up with some homemade gift ideas for my brothers birthday and part way through my project, I decided to make it a hacky sac.

-Crochet hook 4.0mm
-Wool needle for sewing
-Nylons (cut about 4" from toe)
-1/2 Cup of Sand

ch - chain stitch
sl st - slip stitch
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
2dctog - 2 double crochets in same st
dcdec - double crochet descrease (Instructions here)

Row 1: ch 4 and sl st into first st. 8 sc's in the loop.
Row 2-3: ch 1, *db, 2dctog* repeat between *'s til end. sl st in first st, (optional: ch on new colour yarn every other row after sl st)

Row 4-5: ch 1, dc in each st. finish round with sl st in first st.
Row 6: ch 1, *dc in next st, dcdec* repeat between *'s til end of round. sl st in first st.

Fill nylon with sand. Fit inside hacky to make sure it fits well (but still has some room). Sew it up and keep it inside your hacky.

Row 7: ch 1, dc in each st. finish round with sl st in first st.
Row 8: ch 1, dcdec to end of round, sl st in first st.
Row 9: To close, sc in each st, end off. Tuck the remaining yarn inside the hacky sac.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Recipes: Potato Bacon Soup

Many years ago, I worked at an auto wrecker and there was an amazing diner across the road from it that had THE best potato bacon soup. It was my first time ever having it and I instantly fell in love. Unfortunately, they closed down the diner and I was in search of the next best potato bacon soup. I tried every kind in my town and I think the best one out of all the food chains was IHOP. Really though, its pretty good.

But I didn't want to always go there to get my fix. I wanted to make an amazing version of it myself. I've never made soup before so I didn't quite know how to go about it til I found a recipe for it and it is AMAZING!

1/2 pound bacon, roughly chopped (or however much you want to use)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
3/4 cup diced celery
4 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 medium red potatoes, diced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 cups heavy whipping cream

Optional garnishes: chopped chives, bacon bits, sour cream, shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese
In a 6- to 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, fry bacon until crisp.
Remove bacon and drain on paper towels, reserving half for garnish. In bacon fat, cook onions, carrots, and celery until the onions are translucent. Add potatoes and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Whisk in flour and stir constantly over low heat until the flour is cooked and the mixture has thickened slightly, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add chicken stock and half of the bacon. Season with salt and pepper.
Over medium-high heat, bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Mash some of the potatoes for thicker, creamier texture. Add whipping cream and simmer for 5 minutes.
Adjust thickness by adding water or stock. Soup should have a creamy consistency.
Season to taste, and garnish with toppings.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Crochet Pattern: Steering Wheel Cover

Does your steering wheel get super hot in the summer? Does it get super cold in the winter? Now you can protect yourself without spending all the money and fighting trying to put it on your wheel! This simple pattern I created will show you how to make your own unique steering cover for all year round.

Note: All stitches in this pattern are single crochets. Keep in mind all steering wheels are different sizes so be sure to measure yours before proceeding. Mine measures 47" around but keep in mind the finished result should measure 5" shorter (unstretched) than your measurement so when its complete, it will stretch on and off with ease and will fit nice and snug. My finished cover measures at 42" long (unstretched) and 3" wide.

What you will need:
-5mm crochet hook
-yarn (any kind and as many colours as you'd like to use, I used 2)
-rubber strip (for grip between the cozy and your wheel so theres no slippage, I used cabinet liner rubber and cut it to size)
-elastic string (can't remember what type I used but you can see it in the image above)
-tapestry needle

ch - chain
sc - single crochet
st - stitch

Row 1: Ch 9 (or however many equal the width of your wheel). sc into second st and one in each st across.
Note: if you want to make a border around for a clean edge or a colour burst, chain 7 and at the end sc all around both sides.
Row 2: ch 1, turn. sc in each st across.
Row 3-end: repeat step 2 until you have reached your desired length. As previously mentioned, if you want a border around your edges, sc into each st around edge on both sides. If you want to use a different colour, add on new yarn. For help with this step, go here.
Cut yarn  and weave in ends.

With elastic string, weave into outer stitches all around on both sides. Cut elastic a few inches longer.
Cut rubber strip to the width/radius of your wheel, stitch ends.
Fit rubber onto your wheel, then fit your cozy over. Tighten elastic, tie knot to fit and trim off excess string.

If you have any questions please ask, I'd love to see how yours turned out!

Yummy Shapes

I enjoy the simple, lovely, finer things in life. My son also does, and he certainly loves these cute watermelon pieces I put in his lunchbox every now and then. 

What are some cute/quirky things you put in your child's lunchbox? 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Retro Canisters

I mentioned in a previous post that I had found a set of retro canisters at my local thrift store (unfortunately it's missing one), the paint on the labels was quite worn off and was too hard to read. Now, I love when vintage things are dirty, rusty, ect but I really wanted to touch-up the labels on these.

retro vintage canister canisters metal green

As you can see it is quite hard to read the labels, especially from afar. 

retro vintage canister canisters metal green

Ah, much better! Don't you think? 

Biodegradable Diapers?

cloth diaper diapers gdiapers biodegradable baby

Yes, it's true! gDiapers introduces biodegradable diapers in North America. These things are awesome! I've heard of cloth diapers before but these come with the option of having a disposable insert (which is biodegradable, flushable and compostable) or a cloth insert (which can be used over and over). Genius!

cloth diaper diapers gdiapers biodegradable baby

The cloth insert (above) is made of two layers of baby-soft micro fleece to draw moisture away from baby's bottom and two layers of hemp/cotton to trap the wetness so baby stays dry. 

cloth diaper diapers gdiapers biodegradable baby

The disposable inserts (above) are plastic-free and they can be flushed, home composted or tossed. No stinky diaper pail and no landfill necessary. Here's  a  diagram to give you a better look and idea on how they work.

cloth diaper diapers gdiapers biodegradable baby

I'd like to have another baby someday, and these would save me so much money. They are a bit pricey though ($84.99 for a 6-pack!!) so I'm considering making the diaper and the cloth inserts myself.

I actually found a great pin on Pinterest for a DIY cloth diaper pattern via 'It's a Long Story'. The very worthy pattern can be found here.

Thanks for reading! Catch ya next time,

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mary Jane Slippers

crochet slippers mary janes

These slippers are the reason I wanted to learn how to crochet! By the way, the first time I found this pattern was late 2011 and now I have finally made my own and I LOVE them!! The pattern for these adorable mary jane slippers can be found here thanks to Lisa at ohmygoodknits! What a cute and witty name isn't it? 

crochet slippers mary janes

The pattern is super easy. I had to make some minor adjustments for it to fit my feet. I suggest that as you go along, keep putting it on your foot to make sure it won't be too lose. Happy crocheting! Oh and before I forget, Lisa also has other great tutorials so check out her blog :)

Vintage Finds

I love vintage, and Im not putting that lightly as a strong like. I truly love it. I often goto thrift stores and garage sales in hopes of finding fantastic items-which I have and this is where I will be sharing them with you.

My Latest find is this vintage scale, (not sure what year).

retro vintage scale canisters pyrex

I also found a steal of a deal for this beautiful yellow pyrex mixing bowl. 

Aren't these canisters great? I've thought about painting my kitchen red and I also thought about painting these red, but if my kitchen is red....would it be too much? I'm just missing the large 'flour' canister but I WILL find! (one day)

vintage train marx #20102 caboose

I found this adorable little HO model train red caboose # 20102 at a garage sale which is made by Marx. It is all metal including the wheels. It was manufactured in 1934! It's missing some wheels and it's awesomely dirty, just the way I like my vintage stuff to be. :)

vintage phonograph cylinder edison

Have you ever seen these? These are cylinder phonographs which was how people used to listen to music before vinyl records came out. They would play on a phonograph, like this (see image below). Unfortunately, I don't think mine can be played. It appears to have a huge crack going straight through (as you can see in the image above).


vintage phonograph cylinder edison

vintage phonograph cylinder edison

The label on this states it was made in the 1900s by the National Phonograph Co. by Thomas A. Edison which is a one track record about 4 minutes in length.

Till next time, stay classy :)

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