I've been crocheting baby stuff like crazy lately! Everyone seems to be expecting all at the same time. I thought I'd go ahead and share with you one of the cute projects I just finished for one of these lucky babes.
I'll be including pics of the finished products plus some info on how you can make yourself a set of baby birds! (If you're not familiar with Amigurumi (a Japanese knitting and crocheting style) you can read more about it here and here.)
For some reason the birdies on the top look bigger than the birdies on the bottom in this picture. This is untrue! They all measure about 4" tall and 7.5" around.
The pattern I used for the bird bodies is from Lions Brand, I'm pretty sure you need to have a (free) account to access it, here's the Ravelry link. At the last minute I decided these guys needed to have some little feet so I used this pattern to make little feet for the birdies.
I used Vicki Howell Bernat Sheepish yarn for this project. I love this yarn, it definitely has some good qualities and some bad. It's 70% Acrylic and 30% Wool, which means it is machine washable but should be lain flat to dry (or just lain on a towel in this case.) It's very durable and water repellent and holds up just like an acrylic with a nice, wool texture. Fair warning, it is not easy to remove stitches from this yarn because of its texture, I wouldn't recommend it for a beginning knitter or crocheter. Also with lots of washing it does start to pill over time so it occasionally needs to be trimmed. But for the price and the wool content it is a good deal, plus it's soft and glossy and makes adorable birds.
I also used Polyester Fiberfill and Safety Snap Eyes to complete the birdies. The eyes have a locking mechanism in the back so they can never be removed but, for safety sake, always supervise babes when playing with toys!
I think these guys turned out pretty darn adorable! I've made this pattern a few times for Christmas and Birthday gifts and they always whip up quickly and are well loved! Give it a try! The Holidays are quickly approaching and I'm guessing there are some Nieces and Nephews in your family that are desperate for their own baby Amigurumi birds!
Thanks for stopping by!
Casserole season is upon us!!! This is one of my favorite recipes, I've spent years perfecting it to be just the way I like it! No evil mushrooms, extra creamy and no cans of stuff! It's a pretty large recipe, Alex likes to eat Tuna Casserole leftovers morning, noon and night so I usually make a big batch. (Pictured is the recipe cut in half.)
We tried out about 5 different Tuna Casserole recipes before we decided we just needed to make up our own! None of them were quite right! Too bland, too many servings, canned soups, cream cheese! This one is just perfect for us, plus, it's super easy to cut in half if you'd like to make less. I actually ended up using 2 cans of tuna for the halved version today just because I really like tuna, but it's up to you! Choose your own adventure!
Without further ado, here is my magical recipe;
Tuna Noodle Casserole
4 Tbsp Butter
4 Tbsp Flour
2 Cups Milk
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/8 tsp Nutmeg (optional)
4 Cups Egg Noodles
2 tsp Canola Oil
1 Cup Diced Onions
1 Cup Peas
1 Cup Diced Celery
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
2 (or 3) Cans Albacore Tuna in Water, Drained
1 Cup Breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp Butter
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Boil your egg noodles for the recommended time, usually about 5 minutes, drain and set aside. Spray a 9x13" casserole dish with Pam or grease with butter. Chop your onions and celery. Heat canola oil, saute onions and celery until just tender, add tuna, peas and spices and set aside.
Roux time! Melt butter on medium in a large sauce pot, whisk in flour, stir for about two minutes, add spices. Slowly whisk in your milk and heavy cream. Leave on medium, stirring often until roux bubbles lightly and/or it has thickened enough to coat your whisk, just a few minutes!
Combine roux with veggie mix and egg noodles, pour into greased casserole dish. Sprinkle generously with breadcrumbs. Melt your 2 Tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the top of your casserole. Bake at 350 Degrees for 20 minutes, broil (if desired) for about a minute before removing from oven to give the crumbs a nice, brown color and a little extra crunch! Yum!
Here's the printable version.
Not gonna lie, this is the cats favorite recipe too. They get pumped the second they hear the cans come out of the cupboard. Hehe. Try it, you'll like it!
Thanks for visiting!
My big sister needed some new curtains whipped up for her super 60's themed basement she's been working on. I came up with a simple pattern for her four tiny windows (16.5"x34" windows to be exact.) It's quick and easy and doesn't use very much fabric at all! Traditional Valance patterns call for using double the amount of fabric width for the width of your window to create a more pronounced ruffle; ex. 30" wide window, 60" wide fabric, but this is my simple (cheap) version which uses as little fabric as possible so these are a bit smaller.
Jeanne picked out these wonderful cotton retro print fabrics for her new curtains. Her windows are small, standard basement windows; approximately 16.5"x34" so I created a pattern to match using 1&1/3 yards of each fabric for 4 small curtains.
Here are the Turquoise and Orange panels. You can find this fabric here.
And here are the light Aqua Kitty Cat panels. You can find this fabric here.
Didn't they just turn out precious! She has 4 windows in her basement and each one will be getting a little, retro valance!
If you also have tiny windows that need new curtains, here's how I made these guys
First of all you'll need to wash and dry your fabric to ensure it doesn't shrink on you after you've done all that time consuming sewing. Iron it so it's all perfectly flat and beautiful then cut out your pieces. Mine were four 44"x24" rectangles. This is the pattern that I put together so I could make the most of my fabric.
Whew! Got it? Here's a JPG of my little pattern if this is helpful to you.
I wish I had a picture of how they look in their new home!
I do like how they turned out, if I had to make them again I think I would buy a little more fabric and make the curtains wider, even if they ended up having a center seam. I think these turned out a little flat and could use to be more scrunchy.
I searched around on Pinterest to get some ideas for how to make a set of tiny, basement curtains and had no luck! I hope this diagram is helpful for anyone needing to cover up little windows, be it a tiny, over the sink window, RV windows or teeny basement windows!
Thanks for reading!
Every September I get super excited to bust out some of our favorite Fall recipes. We spend the whole Summer making burgers and stir fry so when September rolls around I'm more than ready to eat some comfort food. I've listed some of the substitutions we use to make a lot of these recipes Vegetarian.
Without further ado, here are ten of my favorite Fall Recipes! Warning, starch ahead!
#1) Soup! Nothing says cozy like a good, hearty soup. We love the Cheesy Vegetable Chowder from Lulu the Baker. I've made it about 100 times and it always turns out delicious. We've also made it in the crock pot a few times with great success.
#2) Casserole! The Bakey Cheesy Pasta from Back to Her Roots it one of my very favorites. It's quick and easy and reheats wonderfully. We substitute Smart Ground Veggie Protein Crumbles instead of ground beef and it turns out nice and tasty.
#3) Mac&Cheese! Who am I kidding, we make this all the time! The Baked Macaroni and Cheese from A Beautiful Mess appears on our menu at least once a month regardless of the weather.
#4) Seafood! Is there anything better than a gravy based dish on a cold day? This Shrimp Etouffe recipe from Closet Cooking is just ridiculously good. This dude knows what he's doing in the kitchen.
#5) Chili! This One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese from Damn Delicious is the comfort food to end all comfort food. It's soup, but it's pasta, but it's casserole!? It's all the magical hearty Fall foods mixed together and covered in cheese. We substitute Smart Ground Veggie Protein Crumbles and Veggie broth in this recipe and it turns out great every time.
#6) Potatoes! Man, it was tough to pick a favorite, I LOVE potatoes! In the end Ree Drummonds Crash Hot Potatoes won. We start making these as soon as the weather gets cool. They're perfect with Salmon or a big Cobb Salad. Try them! You'll like 'em!
#7.) Fritatta! I love me a good Fritatta. It's the best way to use up all your leftover veggies. This Cheesy Bacon and Potato Fritatta from A Cook at Heart is awesome! We use Morningstar Veggie Bacon Strips and add an extra egg or two because our skillet is a little bigger than the recommended size, and it is magical.
#8) Bread! Alex is pretty much crazy about caramelized onions and when I came across this recipe last year I knew he was gonna love it. This Caramelized Onion and Cherry Tomato Focaccia Recipe from Cake Duchess is fantastic. (Though if I put Tomatoes on it I'd have a riot on my hands!)
#9) Pumpkin Spice! I wait all Summer to make these. Seriously. They're that good. Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes from The Comfort of Cooking. They totally taste like super fried, unhealthy donuts, but they're not! They're baked, and we all know baking burns off all the calories! :) (I would recommend keeping these guys in the fridge otherwise they get a little soggy by day 2 from the delicious buttery coating.)
#10) Pie! Skillet Shepherds Pie from The Cooking Jar is fabulous. Of course we substitute Smart Ground Veggie Protein Crumbles and Vegetable Bullion. This recipe calls for frozen mixed veggies so it comes together in a pinch. Sometimes I even toss in Kidney Beans to make it a little more filling.
I really wanted to include a more traditional Veggie Pot Pie recipe for you guys but every recipe I have saved has a long list of substitutions and additions, and well, isn't quite true to the original recipe. I guess I'll just have to write one myself!
Give these a try! I've made all the recipes on this list a bunch of times and have never been disappointed. Go forth and make comfort food!
Oh man, I think I need to go for a jog after looking at all these starchy recipes!
Thanks for reading!
I've been taking on a lot of large projects lately and sometimes with the big ones it seems like the end is never in sight! At these times I like to give myself a tiny project to work on in my off hours. Something with instant gratification. Tiny needlepoint is usually the answer. I love needlepoint because it allows for total creativity; a blue house with an orange roof!? Sounds good to me!
I did want to share with you a couple of the "in between" pictures. Just for fun. This is the original idea, it came from a sketch I was working on late one night.
Sometimes you've just gotta draw cute little houses. You can see some purple on the fabric in these pictures, it's because I like to use an erasable fabric marker to sketch my designs onto the fabric before I start working. It disappears in time OR you can use water to make it fade away.
Lighting change! I wasn't sure what to do with the little clouds of chimney smoke, I made a few swirls at first but they just didn't look right. I also tried out a dark blue door but it just looked terrible! Avert your eyes!
In the end I really like how it turned out. Especially the cute little pebbles on the walkway and the happy little trees.
Now, I'd like to show you how I finish my embroidery projects. It's a little bit time consuming but the reason I do it this way is that I like to have the option in the future to take the backing piece off the fabric and wash it if need be. Fabric projects can get stained and dusty with age so it's always nice to have the option of cleaning them somewhere down the line. They also will become less taut over time and lose tension so you should reasonably be able to remove them and re-stretch the fabric in the future. This tutorial really helped me the first time I finished a piece. I've since added to it and made it my own.
I forgot to include pics of the beginning of the process. I like to measure the hoop and make sure I have a piece of lightweight iron on interfacing placed behind the image to keep the project nice and stable before I start stitching. You can see the interfacing a little bit here.
Now, for finishing the project I like to cut around the edges as pictured^. I then run a basting stitch around the edge of the project with a long strand of embroidery floss to gather.
Then gather all the thread together and tie a double knot.
Then grab a coordinating piece of felt and cut it to the appropriate size to fit the back of your hoop.
I then do a little whip stitch around the edge to secure it all up.
I think it turned out pretty darn cute! I love tiny embroidery hoops, they make awesome gifts and fun little projects to work on when you have a little extra time on your hands.
Here's a copy of my original image if you'd like to trace it onto some fabric and make an adorable little house for yourself! You could always print it and then change the size for whatever hoop you have available. Or, if you don't wanna take the time to make one you can always just purchase it from my shop!
Let me know if you have any questions! If you haven't tried needlepoint/embroidery before you should definitely give it a shot. It's a cheap hobby and there are all sorts of resources out there on the Pinterest to get you started. I even have a Pinterest board devoted to some of my favorites!
Hope you're having a happy September!
Thanks for stopping by!
I love me a good Calzone. For a long time I was obsessed with Greek style Calzones with artichoke hearts and Feta cheese, yum! But now that I've fallen in love with Field Roast Vegan Sausage, I have a new favorite.
Italian Sausage Calzones!
I know, I don't make very pretty Calzones but believe me! They're delicious! Super magical and flavorful!
Vegetarian "Sausage" Calzones
I like to use this fantastic bread dough recipe from The Two Bite Club
*This recipe makes two large Calzones, I cut it in half, freeze one ball of dough for a later date and cut the remaining ball into quarters for 4 Calzones. You can make 2 large Calzones using the entire dough but you will need to double the filling amounts.
1 cup of lukewarm water
2 Tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp of salt
3 cups of flour
1¼ tsp of active dry yeast
If using a Bread Machine, add ingredients in order listed, choose Dough setting and let your machine do it's thing! Make sure to check the dough about 5 minutes into the first Knead cycle to make sure it's not too dry, add an extra teaspoon or so of water if it is.
If making dough from scratch, combine water, olive oil and yeast, let sit for about 5 minutes until frothy. While liquid and yeast are sitting, sift together salt and flour. Mix activated yeast water to dry ingredients then knead into a ball, set into a large, greased bowl, covered and let rise for one hour (I like to spray the top with a mist of canola oil so it doesn't dry out.) Knead after one hour, put back into greased bowl and let rise for another hour.
Cut Dough in half, freeze half for later by wrapping in saran wrap and freezing in a gallon freezer bag. Roll out 4 balls with remaining dough on a floured surface and flatten into 4 little circles for your Calzones.
3 Field Roast Italian Vegan Sausage Links
3/4 of a Yellow Onion
1/4 cup Black Olives
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning
pinch of Thyme
*Cornmeal, for dusting baking sheet
Red Pepper Flakes
*Marinara for Dipping
Preheat your oven to 400 Degrees. Chop sausage into bite size pieces. Mince your onion. Shred your Mozzarella.
Add 2 Tbsp Olive Oil to a non-stick skillet, heat until shimmering, brown your vegan sausage. Set aside, add 1 Tbsp olive oil to same non-stick pan you were using for the sausage, add yellow onion, saute until translucent. Toss back in the sausage, add the olives, Italian Seasoning and Thyme, turn off heat.
Dust a baking sheet with cornmeal, I like to place my Calzone dough hanging off the edge of the pan so I can fill the Calzones but not get cornmeal on their tops. They're going to be covered with delicious spices in a second here.
Fill your Calzone dough until full then top with Mozzarella cheese. Fold dough over and and pinch edges with a fork. Poke top of Calzones to vent. Look at those unusual shapes! True artistry.
Brush the tops with Olive Oil and sprinkle with a little bit of Parmesan Cheese, Oregano, Red Pepper Flakes and Garlic Salt.
Cook at 400 Degrees for 18-20 minutes until golden and delicious.
Look at that browned Parmesan Cheese! These are super tasty! Definitely a cozy treat for a chilly Fall day!
Here's the printable version
Make them! They're freaking delicious.
Thanks for stopping by
Have you started decorating for Fall yet? I sure have! I'm kind of obsessed with Seasonal Decor. Some might even say I over decorate. I can't help it! A festive home is a cozy home!
I was picking out some Fall decorations from Jo-Ann's recently and I was sure that I would find myself a batch o'Pinecones to put in some glass bowls around my living room but to no avail! They were already sold out! Then I though, why not just fetch my own from nature! Crazy, right? So I read this helpful tutorial and got to work!
Alex and I took a walk around the neighborhood and filled up a bag with happy Pinecones. When we got home I shook them out over the trash one at a time and popped them on an old baking sheet. I baked them at 200 degrees for 20 minutes then popped them in a fresh bag and gave them a good shake to get all the remaining dirt off.
Alex sprinkled them with cinnamon and nutmeg before we baked them so the house smelled like a delicious, spicy campfire when we took them out. He didn't know I was gonna spray seal them (: After they were baked and bug free I took them outside and gave them a few light coats of clear spray sealant.
I flipped them over and made sure to seal their little bottoms too.
I let the Pinecones dry for a few hours then brought them inside and used them to fill up a bunch of glass bowls and containers around my living room.
I even added some cute LED lights to one of the larger fishbowls.
I am aware that a bag of Pinecones costs around $3, not exactly an investment, but this way was freee! Plus Alex and I like to do stuff the old fashion way whenever possible. And the Pinecones in the oven with Cinnamon smelled pretty darn amazing. It's a perfect way to start out the Fall season. I think I'll be fetching my own Pinecones from here on out! It's just so easy and nearly instant gratification, shake and bake decor!
Give it a try if DIY decorations are your thing, they're totally mine. You won't be disappointed!
Thanks for reading!
Since we're still not quite out of the Summer season (unfortunately) I thought I'd share one of my go to Summer lunch recipes. It's perfect for picnics and days when you don't want to turn the oven on. You can make it simple (like I do) and make an open faced sandwich, or make it complicated like my bf does and turn it into a crazy, monstrous Dagwood sandwich.
You can dress it up with veggies or just plop it onto a salad without any frills. It's really versatile and a pretty quick dish to whip up. I like to use fancy French bread with this meal. It just feels like the right thing to do! I also like to hard boil the eggs the night before so I can quickly peel them and throw the salad together the next day.
Just look at how pretty it is! Eggs and veggies and herbs and spices! Yum!
Let's make salad! I realize my recipe makes a pretty small portion but the ingredient amounts are easily doubled or even tripled with a little simple math!
Egg Salad Sandwich (makes 2 large sandwiches or 3 small sandwiches)
2 Sticks Celery
1 Minced Baby Dill Pickle (or 1.5 Tbsp Dill Relish)
1 Green Onion
1 tsp Fresh Dill
1/4 Cup Mayo
1 Tbsp Mustard
2 Splashes White Wine Vinegar
2 Grinds Fresh Black Pepper
Sprinkle of Paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste
First of all, hard boil your eggs; put them in a small pot, fill with water, make sure there’s at least an inch of water on top of your eggs. Bring to a boil, immediately remove from heat and set aside, covered for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from water with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice water to cool until ready to peel.
After the eggs have cooled you can put them back in the fridge to make the salad the next day OR you can keep cruising right along and finish the salad now. Options!
Peel your eggs, chop them roughly. Also chop up your celery stalks, dill pickle, green onion and fresh dill. (If substituting dry dill use half as much.) Toss them all in a medium bowl together. Next, measure out your mustard, mayo and spices and toss those all in the bowl. Give it two shakes of white wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Keep in mind, the spices will become more pronounced after the salad has a chance to chill in the fridge.
I usually let the salad sit in the fridge (covered) for at least 30 minutes to cool and get flavorful and delicious but if you're really hungry you can just dig right in. (Which I might have done right after I made this particular batch...)
Here's the printable version;
Give this recipe a try before it becomes full on casserole weather! (OMG I'm so excited for casserole weather!) But we have to eat between then and now so, schedule in some egg salad time! Haha, what a glowing recommendation...
But fer reals, you should give this a try, it's simple and delicious and you will not regret it.
Thanks for stopping by!
Oh man, I am so ready for Fall! I've got all sortsa fun stuff planned to share with you guys for September; patterns, recipes, Fall decor ideas. It's gonna be a blast.
I wanted to share a couple of the projects I have in the works right now with you, stuff you'll undoubtedly be seeing more of in the next few weeks.
First of all, I've been working on a new needle point project! I know, exciting! First needlepoint project so far! It's still in the works but here's a little preview;
My goal is to make this a printable PDF pattern so you can trace it onto fabric and make your own cute, little house!
I've also been working on a new Positive Thoughts Shawl, the one I'm working on now is the large version and is a beautiful shade of mustard yellow. It's going to be for sale in my Etsy Shop when it's done.
Look at that yarn! It's an Alpaca blend and it's just dreamy.
I've also been working on sewing two sets of curtains for my big sis. They're cotton, and super retro. I might share my measurements and details for the finished set if you guys are interested. They're pretty small though. I don't know how many of you are looking to dress wee basement windows.
I have a couple other patterns I'm working on creating, I'm gonna keep it hush, hush but expect some felt crafts and some super kitschy crocheting in the future! I also have some awesome recipes planned that will be perfect for the between seasons weather. I'm so tempted to tell you what they are but I'm not gonna!
I hope you guys are as excited as I am to see a new Season! I don't know why but Summer always seems to get me down. I'm much happier when there's a little rain and gloom and I can wear my "normal clothes." I never feel quite right in a pair of shorts. Give me leggings or jeans any day!
I hope you're now curious and excited about a new month of crafts and recipes here on the blog! I know I am!
Thanks for reading!
This is a creative space dedicated to building a happy handmade home! I feature recipes, crafts, DIY's and pictures of my cats! Join me on a journey of exciting wonders. Get inspired! You might even learn something new!