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Preview: Craftiness


David and Tina are a couple of Austin crafters creating functional art.

Updated: 2017-07-23T03:57:00.468-05:00


Stitching Gems just for you by Jenny Hart


Jenny Hart from Sublime Stitching shares a few gems... width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

A little Steam Punk couldn't hurt anyone...


Dave's latest creation with the help of the very talented pen blank artist who crafted these clock parts in resin so pen turners like Craftiness could make beautiful pens:)  It could be a wonderfully, thoughtful gift for the nerdy geek in your life;P

I am thankful for simple pleasures....


I am thankful for opportunities to slow down....
I am thankful for my family's health....
I am thankful for my life and family....
I am thankful for opportunities to serve....
I am thankful for opportunities for adventure...
I am thankful for all that I have.....
I am thankful .......

Kasparek The Jester


Kasparek was a beloved character in a Czech puppet theater, the main comical hero in folk puppet shows.  His first appearance was around 1820.  Kasparek is extremely popular in Czech Republic as he is a good natured, cheerful Czech peasant and a court jester.  Kasparek was used in politcal satire skits during Czechloslovakia's struggle for independence from Austria.

I picked up this guy from a marionette shop in Prague while my friend was next door shopping for amber jewelry.  He is handmade in Czech Republic, hand carved out of wood.  Kasparek's signature colors are red and yellow.

Hopefully he can fend off the feline psycho that lurks in dark corners.

Riga Art Nouveau Museum


 I had the privledge of visiting Riga, Latvia with a good friend from Germany.  We had a splendid time exploring a historic city with a beautiful but tragic past.  The city is absolutely beautiful and should be on any explorers wish list.  We stayed in Old Town at The Blue Cow Hostel.  We met several travelers including an indefinite traveler from New Zealand who taught English in Japan long enough to save enough money for traveling.  Wow!  What a life.  Gunni at The Blue Cow is awesome, helpful and has a great espresso machine.  She also stocks a fridge of beverages for 1 Lat.  She has a city map ready for you as well as suggestions for the latest activities.  Thanks Gunni!The Hostel's Great Room with TV, WIFI and computer.  This was the place to rest, warm up and meet people from around the world.  I highly recommend hostels for this reason.  You can reserve private rooms or do it cheap, dorm-style.The kitchen with full cooking capabilities andespresso machine.  This can save you a lot of money.  Having the ability to pick up a few items from the neighborhoods market and bringing it back to the hostel for food prep, picknicking is a great time and money saver.  You can still enjoy exploring the local cuisine like a foodie but in Europe, eating in a restaurant can be a 2-3 hour ordeal.  It's more of an experience than the utilitarian property of feeding people.  There is a lot of socializing, live music and impromptu dancing.  Definitely, slowing down and enjoying life.  This is a great experience maybe ONCE per day but having more efficient eating options is definitely a plus!  After all, there are world class museums to visit and people watching to see;)  The view from our window:)  We had a private family room.  We ended up with two twins and a queen bed with bathroom ensuite.  It was very roomy and comfortable.  Our hostel was the third floor of one of the old Swedish Barracks.  We had a restaurant and a dining club below us.  The street we were on was very well located in Old Town.  We only had 50 feet to walk to visit basement restaurants and amber jewelry stores. The Art Nouveau Museum-  As per their website:Riga Art Nouveau Museum was opened on April 23rd, 2009. It is located in the apartment where the outstanding Latvian architect Konstantīns Pēkšēns (1859 – 1928) lived until 1907. The building was constructed in 1903 as K. Pēkšēns' private house. The project for it is the work of K. Pēkšēns himself together with Eižens Laube, then a student of architecture. The building is notable for its extremely powerful dimensions and expressive silhouette. The ornamental reliefs, craftily incorporated in the architectonic shape, feature stylized motifs from the local flora and fauna – fir needles and cones and squirrels. The building has a spiral staircase with ornamental ceiling paintings, quite possibly sketched by the prominent Latvian artist Janis Rozentāls. This Art Nouveau staircase is among the most impressive not only in Riga but also the whole of Europe.  The authentic interior of 1903 has been renovated in the museum. Investigation of the premises was started in 2007 when the original interior decoration was revealed and registered. Renovation works were done from 2008 to 2009 under the guidance of master renovator Gunita Čakare. The current display of the museum shows the characteristic furnishings of an apartment of a Riga inhabitant in the beginning of the 20th century. The author of this interior project is the architect Liesma Markova. As per Eat Riga Tours website:The history of Art Nouveau.The History of Art Nouveau goes back to the late 19th and early 20th century, with its peak spanning from between the mid 1890′s to the mid 1900′s. Known within France as Art Nouveau, Jugendstil by G[...]

These ain't your Big Box Doors


Europeans take their door aesthetics very seriously.This one Hitler used.[...]

Par le vous crêpes?


 I like to think of myself as a 'Foodie'.  Someone who has an innate curiosity as to why people prepare food the way they do.  Almost always, it is the same food prep as can be found in many geographical areas but with difference in ingredients.  Starch + Protein + Spice etc....   The Crepe is a little different.  I first had the wonderful experience of Crepe couture in Paris, with a street vendor.  I witnessed these small crepe 'factories' whereby locals lined up to get their midday meal.  I queue'd up with the locals, trying hard to memorize the few French phrases I thought would get me through this ordeal, paying close attention to the patrons in front of me.  After it was all over, the phrases that got me through this adventure along with  many sympathic facial gestures that let me know, 'Nice Try'!  Anywho,  a good friend I met in Mannheim, Germany taught me how to make crepes.  I was eternally grateful for this impromptu lesson.  I was able to pass on this knowledge to DD who embraces any excuse to slather Nutella on anything, including cardboard, paper, etc...I shopped for a Crepe pan and found one at Crate And Barrel. It was their only  one. They didn't however have any Crepe products except a beautifully packaged dry crepe batter packaged by a famous food tv persona.  I knew better thanks to my connection in Germany;)  I had darling husband make me this crepe spreader out of material he already had. Then, daring daughter setup for our crepe extravaganza.  We creacked open 6 eggs, whisked in flour, only enough to make a batter the consistency of a weak cake batter, added 2 T of butter and enough water to make a watery batter.  Then ladled a cup full of battter on our pan, spread with Dave's spreader and made delightfully thin, French pancakes, ready to fill with particular ingredients. The Parisian Foodie Crepeire:) J'aime les cepes!If you can not find the crepe spreader anywhere, such as my experience, Dave said he is willing to make them on request.  so convo him at  He is in denial as to the value of this little tool;P[...]

E.A.S.T. (East Austin Studio Tour)


Darling daughter and I had a spontaneous opportunity to visit East Austin for E.A.S.T. which stands for East Austin Studio Tour, pretty catchy.  The tour is in its eleventh year and showcases artists in their studios.  We only went to two venues out of hundreds and had a lot of fun.  The first venue off of Shady Lane had 8 studios total in one warehouse.  The WPA (Womens Printmakers of Austin) had a demonstration of Monotype printing with water based inks.  The process was interesting and really easy.  Thanks Jo for the demo!
Applying the inks on an acrylic sheet with a brayer.  Stamping the areas to remove some ink in patterns.
Placing different
media on top of the
ink and covering
with paper.  Running it through
a press.
(image) The final product.

(image) We also watched a laser cutter in action.  This one was making business cards out of chipboard.  The artists at rent out studio space for their laser cutter and offer classes.  I took a business card for Darling Husband, he mentioned wanting to use a laser cutter for his pens.
Another great day in a weird city.....

Farmer by proxy...


 Life happens.  I am exceptionally busy with other work projects at this time and am unable to maintain my vege and herb garden.  The timing is unfortunate as Winter is THE time to vege garden in Texas.  Our mild winters mean we can grow spring crops in the Fall and all of the usual Winter fare without many pests or frosts.  Instead of trying and failing to maintain a vege garden at this time, I subscribed to Johnson's Backyard CSA.  I was already familiar with CSA's and I picked this one because of my friends experience with this particular farmer.  I will be turning over my dead plants, re-compost, add horse manure and re-mulch, lay the garden beds fallow until Spring. The soil was looking a bit abused anyway, might just be a good time for a rest.  Meanwhile I have a lot of veges to prepare before my next delivery.  As I opened the box, a moment of cautious tension rose.  "Will I be able to use all of the veges? I don't want to waste food.  Will I like the veges in the box?"  The difference between growing your own and subscribing to a CSA box is that you have no control over the vegetables.  Instead of seeing this as a hindrance, I am taking this on as a challenge! EGGPLANT:( Except for Moussaka, I HATE, am learning to embrace new challenges (like a good, little Girl Scout).  I scoured my usual internet sources for eggplant recipes.  There aren't many, maybe my endearment toward this nightshade is somewhat common.  The perennial favorite seems to be Eggplant Parmesan.  Sounds easy, I have made Chicken Parmesan before.  This is actually EASIER!  It actually turned out, very much to my surprise, VERY good.  Darling hubby liked it too!!These little purple eggplants worked great!  I don't recommend the Black Beauties, their texture is rubbery. Eggplant in 1/2 inch slicesCooking Spray or OilMarinara sauceProvolone CheeseMozarella CheeseParmesan CheeseFresh BasilThe amounts are relative to how many people you are cooking for and what you have on hand.  Very flexible.Bake Eggplant on cookie sheet at 350 for 20-30 minutes.  Set aside.  In a baking dish spoon marinara sauce and layer eggplant, provolone, parmesan, marinara, eggplant, mozarella, parmesan, basil.   Bake at 350 until hot and bubbly.  EZ Peasy!!  I loved it and so did my hubby:) Bon Appetit![...]

Chickpea and Feta Salad


I LOVE trying new recipes! It's like a little culinary adventure without much risk. The risk is only that nobody will eat the left-overs and the food rots in the fridge. I really try to avoid this since wasting food seems very wrong. Because of this I am pretty selective on recipes I will try. I don't always know if hubby or darling daughter will like it so I try to make the recipes that sound good to me, at least I will eat the leftovers. This recipe has a lot going for it. It's incredibly healthy, filling and you can easily substitute or add veges if you have a garden going or leftover veges in the fridge. I am serving this over a bed of baby spinach as a side to baked Tilapia.

 15 oz canned chickpeas
2 cloves of garlic
1 scallion
1 sweet bell pepper
4 T finely chopped parsley
12 Large olives
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 T olive oil
 juice of 1 lemon
 1 cup of cherry tomatoes

 Slice and chop everything except the chickpeas, toss and serve. You can easily tweak this recipe to suit your tastes.

Polenta Lovers Unite!


width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> This is for the adventurous cooks that are following this blog. I love this show, although it did move to YouTube. You can follow it here.

Erin's Beet and Kale Salad


I was invited over for lunch recently by a new friend not knowing what I was in for. She asked me what I liked to eat and not being a picky eater said "Everything!". I didn't feel the need to offer "Everything but tripe", I think that is an unspoken understanding by all, no offense to Tripe lovers, I have not met one yet. Erin apparently has been a cook for a few local, popular restaurants and I didn't know she could really cook. Lucky me! We had cucumber soup and this Kale and Beet salad.

Kale, washed, catapillars removed, chopped in bite-sized pieces
Beets, washed
Olive Oil
Fresh Lemon Juice
S & P
Choice of Nuts, I used toasted almond slices
Avocado, Sliced

Boil beets in water until fork tender, peel, chopped or slice into matchsticks. Massage chopped Kale with olive oil vigorously. You will feel slight crunching in your fingers as the Kale is bruised and the olive oil is absorbed. Add beets, lemon juice, S&P, nuts and toss. Plate out and add Avocado slices on top. Excuse the lack of amounts, everything is to taste and well, it's a salad. YOU CAN DO IT! Thank you to Cesar and Erin for having me over and feeding me this savory, fresh, organic lunch! I also truly value your friendship and hospitality:) Namaste!

Nelkin Designs


Dave had been gaining popularity with his Knit Spinners and Nosteppines.  The social knitting world has embraced his handmade knitting accessories and are blogging about him on Ravelry and personal blogs.  Nelkin Designs hosted a give-a-way with one of his Knit Spinners  via a You Tube video.  He has been extremely busy trying to meet the demands of these knitters gone wild;P width="420" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

Yummy Pakora!


Although Pakora is an Indian dish, there are variations of this throughout Asia.  You can deep fry any vegetable.  Here I fried kale and beet greens:)

2 cups of chickpea or besan or gram flour
2 tsp salt
1 T turmeric
1 T ground corriandor
1 T chile powder
1 T garam masala
1 T onion powder

Add 1-2 cups of water to the above ingredients and whisk to a semi-thick batter.  Coat veges well and drop into hot oil.  Fry each side about 3 minutes or until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Enjoy!!

Easy Naan Bread


 I have had Naan bread many times and really liked it.  It's kind of like a thick, stiff tortilla with tasty seasonings.  I came across this Naan bread recipe in Modern Indian Cooking and adapted it to the bread machine.  I have had a lot of luck using the bread machine for kneading and rising bread dough.  There is a bread dough feature on my machine where all I have to do is add the ingredients, set it, take out the dough in a few hours to put in the oven.  If you don't have a bread machine, don't buy a new one.  The second-hand stores are full of them.  Apparently they make really bad loaves of bread so a lot of machine owners chucked them.  I picked up my Oyster for $10 at Goodwill.   1 1/4 Cups Milk1 egg3/4 Cups plain yogurt1/4 Cups of fresh rosemary, chopped. (If you don't have fresh, use 2 T dried)4 Cups of flour1 package dry yeast1/2 tsp baking powder1 tsp saltPlace the ingredients in your bread machine in the order listed and set.  When done, knead dough on well floured surface and divide into 10 portions.  Roll out dough into 7 inch diameter and place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 8 minutes then turn over and cook for 8 minutes more.  Easy!  I ate this with Keema, an easy but good indian recipe which you can use any ground meat of choice or textured vegetable protein for vegetarians;P  Enjoy![...]



FO's are 'Finished objects' in case you aren't up to date with crafting lingo. To differentiate between these and UFO's, FO's happen on purpose, with crafting materials.  UFO's happen by accident, when running out of alien space craft fuel over Roswell, New Mexico;P  I know, you weren't expecting that, were you? The first FO is The Hitch Hiker by Martina Behm from Germany.  This is a pretty popular pattern on Ravelry and on many Knitting Podcasts.  It's as if everybody else is doing it so I have to do it too! Right? Where have I heard THIS before?  I guess we really never grow up. The next project finished actually only took me a few days to knit it.  I could actually do it in one day if I had about 6 hours to knit.  This was part of Vickie Howell's KAL (Knit A Long) from the previous post.  I LOVE this pattern.  It's easy but not boring, same as the Hitch Hiker actually, works up fast and is super soft.  It's also quite stylish, kind of like making a fashion statement using neck wear.  I had 3 silver type buttons from one of my fun button jars but kinda had a plain fourth one so I glued a Wyoming Quarter to it with a cowboy on it.  I like improvising.  It challenges my imagination.... David finishes things all of the time.  He is extremely prolific.  Here he has a beautiful Amherst Pheasant Feather Sierra pen made of chrome.  I really like the unusual media he uses.  The feather pens always turn out amazing!  He also has a clock fetish with these little clock faces.  This one is made of tulip wood which has a warm, almost coral like color.  Each piece of tulip wood is very unique as evidenced by these three pieces of tulip wood he used.Other than his Etsy Craftiness Store, you can find David's functional art at Austin's Lyric Opera showing of The Magic Flute or at Christmas At The Caswells.Craft On![...]

Vickie Howell's Knit-A-Long


Because I am a clever person, I was able to trick, entice, encourage a friend to participate in this Knit-A-Long with me.  This KAL is Vickie Howell's pattern from her line of yarn at Caron yarns.  This is going to be a quick project because it is double stranded on large needles and works up quickly.  I like her philosophy of making quick projects so that you can feel like you have accomplished something.  Also, for longer projects, make sure you really like your yarn, you will be with it for awhile.  You can join in on Facebook for this KAL or Ravelry, although I still can't find the Ravelry KAL for this.  If anyone knows, send me a message please:)

The Cowl Knit-Along schedule from VH's Facebook page:

‎10/19: I'll post an image of double-stranding, we'll cast-on and begin ribbing.--Remember to reply with where you are, any questions, etc.

10/20- Work on ribbing, share pictures of progress. Yay!
10/21: CABLE DAY! We'll start on the first cable repeat of the cowl. I'll upload a video how-to for the 14-st cables used for this project.
10/22-24: Work the 7 repeats of the cable section of the cowl. I'll be checking in throughout the weekend to answer any questions, if you get stuck. Showing pictures of mistakes is helpful for me, so keep your camera phone handy!
10/25: Move on to 2nd ribbing section and discuss button hole row. If you guys would like, I can post how-to photos for that as well.
10/26-10/27: Weave in ends. Attach buttons & finish! Share photos. I wanna see your FO's! If you want to model them, even better!


Sierra Club Trip; Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sept 2011


“JOY OF BEING” SIERRA CLUB BACKPACK, ANSEL ADAMS WILDERNESS SEPT. 20117 Days, 40 Miles, 10,700 feet*Limerick by our fearless Co-Leader, Christine**There once was a backpacking groupThirteen men and women, the troopSigned up, one and allJoy of Being, the callAn Ansel Adams Wilderness loopClover Meadow is where they did meetSet up camp, had a meal and a greetThe tarp went up quickThe hail mighty thickA foreshadowing start to the weekDay two, we drove over rough roadTo start Isberg trail with our loadWe hiked through some rainDid I mention, the rain?Cora Lakes: Destination Wet ModeThat night, Gene and Alex went outT’was dark, so was quite a long routeAnd Stan found a viewFrom a knoll above, trueWe could see, for some moments, to toutLake Isberg, the journey next dayA stunning display, I must sayMy goodness sakeAn infinity lakeBut windy as hell, and skies grayA glorious day sure did followTwo passes, descriptors ring hollowSpectacular, theyBreaths taken awayMinor troubles seem so very shallowPleased we all were to see Packer ChickHorse and Mule too - it was quite a kickThe bear cans you seeThey are right by a tree “You can’t miss them” was like a bad trickWhile the Great Bear Can Hunt seemed to failNot the rain, thunder, lightning or hailMorale remained highNot a whimper or sighNo rumblings of those seeking to bailBy now, we were pros on the flyGive us rain, hail, wind or clear skyRain gear went on fastThe tarp tied to lastSay we: Only wimps must stay dry!The Reedy Lake, t’was nothing thereOf bear cans, it was very barePophry, tooNary a clue“It’s a ways down” was Lord knows whereTo Ron and to Tina: Thank youAnd to Stan and to Tim: What a crewThe cans, they were foundAs told, by the groundJust five lakes down, who could have knew??!!So, hunger, wasn’t to be our fateOur lunch on layover day was greatIgor led folks toA waterfall viewThen once again t’was a hailing tarp date!With morale amazingly gayWe continued on our merry wayTo the Lakes, FlatAnd Lady, after thatEnjoying scenery more lovely each stayOne morning we lost Tina brieflyBut Tom, true to form, remained ChieflyIn the dark, gone to peeHer way back, couldn’t seeShe did good and made breakfast. Relieved, we!Thanks to Ann, Mary Ann and to StephenYou tempers were wonderfully evenAnd Stephen helped firstWhen leftovers were worstThat’s less weight, that re-quired heavin’!Hike and meals have been social and funDeb and Stan bestowed gifts to every oneWe’re each a new friendSo, Happy Trails without end!May your future hikes have lots of sun!!!! allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' FRAMEBORDER='0' /> allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' FRAMEBORDER='0' /> allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' FRAMEBORDER='0' />Thanks to my new friends! Stan, Deb, Stephen, Mary Ann, Igor, Alex, Gene, Tim, Tom, Christine, Ann, Ron:)[...]

Charity Crafting


This is from The Stitch Lab:


The devastation of the Central Texas wildfires has left many area friends, families and their pets homeless. We all want to help those who have lost everything, but how?

Quilter Heather Grant and the Modern Day Quilters snapped right into action with a quilt drive. Their goal is to give a quilt to provide comfort and warmth to every child who has lost their home in the fires. They are encouraging twin bed size quilts, but any quilts 45"X60" and over are being accepted. You can ship quilts to:

Valli & Kim Quilt Shop, Attn: Wildfire Quilts

700 West Highway 290, Dripping Springs, TX 78620

If you live closer in to Austin, you can bring them to us at the Stitch Lab and Heather will happy to pick them up.
Stay tuned for more opportunities to help out.

If you're like me and don't have the immediate time to make a quilt from start to finish alone, consider working on one as a group or donating fabrics from your stash for others to pick up and work with. The Stitch Lab will keep a free fabric bin dedicated to wildfire relief quilts on our front porch. You can donate or pick up fabrics at your convenience.

You can also help in many other ways: Austin Humane Society (currently housing many Bastrop pets), and here is a comprehensive list from the Austin American Statesman

Reusable Lunch Bag


I recently acquired new craft supplies in the form of yarn and fabric. I found some beautiful fabric, including laminated fabric (similar to oil cloth but thinner), from The Stitch Lab on So. Congress. I made darling daughter a re-usable lunchbag, lined with the laminated fabric and closable with a velcro tab. If you look closely, the fabric got caught in my feed dogs on the lower right. It's a reusable lunchbag, I am not worried enough about it to rip it out and risk tearing this fabric. Apparently there are tricks to sewing with laminated fabric and oil cloth that I am unaware of. There is a book out there that has some reportedly great techniques for sewing with this type of fabric. The author's bio is quite interesting:

Kelly McCants is the go-to girl for working with oilcloth. Known online as both Oilcloth Addict and Modern June, Kelly stays busy running her blogs and operating her online stores where she sells handmade housewares, accessories and oilcloth yardage.
Kelly has been sewing and making patterns since she was a teenager. After a career in costuming for films and theater, Kelly opened up Modern June in 2005. Kelly put her BFA in costuming to work by redesigning her favorite vintage aprons for the modern woman. Kelly quickly discovered oilcloth and created a line of housewares and accessories with the slick stuff. Kelly and her Junies make the handmade housewares for Modern June in Richmond, VA.  Kelly McCants, believes that there is still a bit of a 1950's housewife in all of us, even if we have left the days of June Cleaver behind--we all want a comfy place to call home. After all, our homes are where we make our memories, and it's where life's celebrations begin. Her Modern June goodies, Oilcloth Addict tutorials, and her new book "Sewing with Oilcloth," are all meant to help you create a bright and happy home that's easy to care for. Oilcloth, laminated cotton and chalk cloth items are her specialty, but helping you to make special memories is her goal.

If you have experience with this type of sewing, leave a comment. I would love to hear your experience, good and bad. I hope to conquer this fabric as it is beautiful and so practical.

Now, off to my next adventure! Pictures to follow, in about two weeks;P

Craft On!



Congratulation BlessedNJoyful on winning the dymondwood Nostepinne!

Carpe Yarnum!!

The Knit Girllls Give-Away!!


You may earn a chance to win Dave's nosteppine on The Knit Girllls podcast:) Laura and Leslie gave a wonderful shout-out to Dave's Nosteppine and we heart them very much** Just leave a comment on TKG's Ravelry group page for a chance to win!!

If you aren't a member of Ravelry and you knit, crochet or spin, then shame on you! Being on Ravelry is life-transforming experience;P When you are a member, you get a home-page where you may show your works, both finished and in-progress, cross reference the pattern or yarn you are working on with one-click, and see how the pattern is being worked on by other ravelers. You also get some insight into patterns before you ever cast on. You can find free patterns and patterns for purchase, yarn, knitting accessories etc. If you listen to crafting podcasts or love your favorite LYS (Local Yarn Store), you can follow their happenings too. I know Gauge Knits, by my house, announces new shipments of yarn, craft night, sales etc on their page. Ravelry has more features than I use so I am not the best advocate for them, just check it out yourself at

Warda's Algerian Soup


I wanted to share this recipe that I cooked last night, absolutely delicious! I got this recipe from another blogger, Warda of 64 Square Foot Kitchen. She grew up in Algeria and her creations are both traditional and reinventions of that area'a cuisine. Everything that I have made from her blog has been delicious! The recipes are not complicated, the ingredients easy to find and the food full of flavor but not hot. I have picky eaters and her recipes have been very handy:) I used her recipe but exchanged spinach for the peas and asparagus. I would have preferred her version over mine but, picky eaters;P I added the spinach to the onions and cooked them down before adding liquid. I used an emersion blender but if I had more time a food processer would have worked better. We ate this with buttermilk biscuits but any bread would have been just fine. Trying foods from around the world gives a fresh perspective on cuisine, matching new ingredients for a unique dish that you normally wouldn't try. Try this one, you will probably like it! Did I mention, it was really easy?

Craftiness Update**


I am going to cast on for the shawl 'My Wish' by Laura Linneman:) This will only be my second attempt at a shawl, my first is still a work in progress. The first pic is Lemonhalf's shawl with the cream edging and the second is Laura Linneman's with Tempted's two colorways. This shawl pattern is available for purchase here and is a fundraiser for the Make A Wish foundation. Laura of The Knit Girllls designed the shawl and offers the pattern to support this fabulous foundation and the crafty team, Cupcake Mafia I am going to knit this out of Madeline Tosh fingering weight in the Ruby Slippers and Composition Book colorways. I 'acquired' these pearls from Gauge Knit in Austin, Thanks Karli for your help! I did finish a baby blanket a month ago but forgot to take a picture of it :P It was a basket weave pattern with Lion Brands Vanna Choice. I liked the neutral blue color and the durable acrylic it is made of. It doesn't feel like acrylic when you knit with it. Dave made me a custom barometer/hydrometer for my birthday:) It is made of Cocobolo and is double sided. The weather in Texas can change in a heartbeat and I thought it would be fun to watch the meters go nuts! Dave also made me a beautiful bowl which he put little wooden apples in it made by Boyd Wright. Boyd taught Dave how to make kaleidoscopes:) Thanks Boyd! He made these gems out of dymondwood which is an art in itself. The dymondwood blanks are dyed wood, usually Birch, sliced thin, glued together so that woodworkers, especially wood turners, can make beautiful art! Dave is starting to get interested in Intarsia, which is interesting since this is a knitting consept also. He made this dolphin for darling daughter which she ADORES! She was so motivated by this that she started to learn Intarsia herself using the scroll saw! Craft on Y'all! [...]

I actually completed some crafts...


I bought a flour sack from Lehi Roller Mills and framed it using stretcher bars artists use to make their own canvas. I like that it's a historical flour mill from a town that we visit whenever we can. It will remind of us of our Utah adventures past and future. Stretcher bars are useful in crafts because they come in four pieces. You pick the sizes of the pieces that are delineated by the inch and thus can make custom frames for craft projects relatively cheaply compared to trying to find a frame in the size you need which are usually expensive. I buy mine locally at Jerry's Art O Rama. For this project I just stapled the flour sack, uncut onto the back of the frame I made from the stretcher bars. It took 15 minutes from start to finish and a lot of that time was spent finding an industrial stapler and dusting it off:) The next project I finished was a banner for my kitchen. I hung it over my antique mirrors for a nice, finished touch to a semi-bare wall. The idea came from my sister-in-law who made a similar one for the 4th of July family reunion on the previous post. I really like hers especially since the colors were red/white/blue but not distinctly 4th of July. She can use that banner for birthday parties or any festive occasion. I took that spirit with this banner and made it double sided. The other side has warm, winter colors that suggest christmas. I used bias tape for the string which is easy, peasy to use and I hung it on two nail heads. I hot-glued vintage buttons onto the nail heads for a little detail. I plan to make more of these.... It only took about 1 1/2 hours:)This dishcloth is apparently a very old, traditional pattern called Grandmother's Dishcloth and is familiar to many. I knitted this up pretty quickly and I find it a great project to knit while watching TV with hubby. The pattern is simple enough to knit while half paying attention to the tube. I knitted this in 100% cotton with aluminum needles. The pattern can be found here. I have knitted 3 already and printed a coupon so that I may buy more cotton yarn at 40% off over founders weekend. If you frequent JoAnns then it may be worth it to sign up for their newsletter. They send electronic coupons you can print out a few times per month. They are usually 40% off.I have a few (several) more projects in the works. I will share when I have more pictures. Craft on![...]