Saturday, September 29, 2012

Stitching trouble

Have you ever had a stitchy project that you just couldn't get right? I started this project earlier this year as one of my 2012 Crazy Challenge projects. I've already stitched the other 3 in the series so I really wanted to get this one done as well so I would have actually finished a whole series of something:) I knew from the start that I didn't like the purple that was called for and I wanted an orange for the pumpkins that was a bit more bold. So I started changing some of the colors. And that is where things went wrong!!!
 The picture above was actually the second attempt at getting the color right, and I just didn't like that shade of brown with that shade of red. It just doesn't look like autumn colors to me.

This is my 3rd attempt and the one I will stitck with. Sadly the red that I choose this time looks real close to the purple in the picture, LOL!!! Figures, doesn't it? :) It does look a bit different in real life though, and I'm happy enough with it that I'm not going to start again.

So do you do this sometimes too? Most of the time I can change around the colors with no problem, but then other times are like this:) I actually have 2 more projects that are like this. One of them I did get figured out, but it took a long time and I haven't gotten around to stitching on it since. The other I gave up on, but one day I may get back to trying to figure it out too:)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pantry Basics - Peanut Butter

I thought I'd start posting on some pantry items that we home make for ourselves. I'm going to start out with peanut butter. Of all the things that I need to make homemade to make sure I'm eating as gluten free as possible, peanut butter isn't one that I would need to make. Generally this is a naturally gluten free food. However my dh has a bad habit of reading all those nasty on-line articles about what gets into our processed food (really you don't want to know), and telling me about it. Soon enough I've added one more thing that I make for ourselves:)  I do want to say here that we do eat processed foods. I don't make everything myself, but I am slowly working towards making a bit more here and there.

 Peanut butter is not a hard staple to make, but it does take some time. I start out with a little more than a pound of in-the-shell non salted peanuts. We choose non salted just so we can control the amount of salt in the peanut butter, salted peanuts would work fine though. If you start with raw peanuts that have already been shelled, you would need around 1 lb of peanuts.

 I then pulse them in my food processor until it looks like this. Then I add 1/2 t. salt, 3-4 T. of olive oil (or oil of your choice), and about 2 T. honey. Then I continue to run it in the processor until it bunches up into a ball. I usually spread it apart a bit and run it some more until it is pretty smooth. The more oil you use the more smooth it will be and the easier it will be to spread as well. I wanted to use the least amount of oil that I could and found for us that 3-4 T was a nice balance. It is a little hard to spread straight out of the frig, so I let it sit out just a bit and that helps.

This is what mine looks like when it's done. I store it in a sealed bowl in the frig. I'm not sure how long it would last as we go through it pretty fast:)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Week 2 crafty project finished!!

I already posted the finish of the P.S. Autumn Ornie the other day, but it wasn't the only ornie that I finished off. I was also able to finish the P.S. Summer ornie as well. So here is a pic of both with a hint in the background of what Week #3's craft project will be.

I finally found a copy of Just Cross Stitch's Ornie issue this week too!! We don't have a LNS here, so I visit the book store over and over again until they have it:) After I looked through it for a while I got out my past issues (I have every one of them since 2004) and looked through them a bit. I'm thinking I will start doing an orniment a month to post on here. I have a few pieces that I have stitched in the last year or two that I need to finish into some ornies too. Maybe I can stitch a few more and then have an ornie sewing/glueing/crafting 'party' in Dec:)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy 1st Day of Autumn, 2012!!!

Got this all finished up just in time for Autumn:) As a way to celebrate the first day of my favorite season, my dh and dd decided to make a pumpkin pie. Since going gluten free my dh and dd do most of the baking around here and I just help them find things as they are making a mess the yummy food:)

A lot of times my dh grills our dinners too, which means I don't do much cooking around here. He is really good at grilling too:) He has played around with baking on the smoker grill some with mixed results. The cookies he and dd did last fall turned out really good, the pumpkin pie they did last year, not so much, but I'm pretty sure it was the recipe, not the cooks. So dh and dd decided to use a different recipe this year and give it another go on the grill. They choose Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie. It is part pumpkin pie, part cheesecake and SOOO GOOD.

We made one adjustment so that I could have some as well. All we needed to do was use gluten free graham crackers and put them in a food processor to make the graham cracker crumbs. Oh, and cooking it on the grill was different too. If you try this recipe, read the comments on the link. Some people found they needed to cook theirs longer, and we did too, but it could have been the different cooking method for us.
Kitty wasn't bothered by all the cooking and clean up happening around him:)
And here is the finished product. Dh and I have both had two pieces already and we are both planning on another piece with our coffee for breakfast tomorrow:)
I hope you had a great first day of Autumn as well!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Week one done and working on week two

 Lots of busy-ness around here lately. Running back and forth with dd's activities left me with little time to get my fun crafty things done, but I did finally finish my week one project!!! Two sets of dish cloths wrapped up with a pretty bow. Since these will go into a couple Operation Christmas Child boxes, I figured the ribbons could also be used by any little girls that might get them. I really like to do the crochet but not so much the finishing work:) That really is the story of all my crafting - I love to get started, but not to do the tedious finishing work!!!

And here is week #2's project. This is Prairie Schooler's Autumn Ornie that can be found in Just Cross Stitch mag 'Ornie Preview 2006'. I aim to do the whole set and I have stitched the summer one, but I haven't finished it into anything yet. I think I will finish them all the same with a simple felt backing and a ribbon to hang them so I can switch them out with the seasons. This is coming along pretty quickly so I'm hoping to have it stitched and finished off in the next couple of days.
Maybe once I get this one done the weather here will finally make up its mind and stay with the cooler autumn temps. As of right now it has been fluctuating between 50-60s at night and 70-90s during the day. We've even had the a/c on here and there and we're almost into Oct!!! My favorite season is autumn and my least favorite is summer, so this is very frustrating to me:)
Hope all is well where-ever you are!!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Week 1 craft project

It's coming along nicely:) I decided to use a different pattern on the second set of two though as the first set came out a bit wonky. Mostly that would be my fault as I'm trying to learn how to put a boarder on and I think I'm doing the first pass around wrong. So I have the 3rd washrag done and it looks much better. The pattern for this one is from Blooming Patterns and is her Hi-Five pattern. I love her patterns, very easy to understand:)
So here is the pic of what I have finished so far. These should be done in the next day or two and I'm also hoping to have a stitchy finish to show off as well:) Here's to hoping I get a bit of 'me' time in the next couple of days!! :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

One day late!!!

Running one day behind on my posts already!! Surprise, Surprise!! LOL DD and I went to our state fair yesterday and ended up staying quite a lot longer than expected. Then after all the sun and noise, I wound up fairly sick by the end of it. Really bad headache that I'm sure was the cause of the nausea and dizziness as well. After a couple Advil and a short nap I was feeling much better, but it was 8:00 pm by then and no one had eaten dinner yet, so, well, that shot the rest of the evening:)

On to crafty things... Here is a pic of some wash rags that I'm trying to crochet. Crochet is something that I've been teaching myself off and on for the past few years. Just this last year I started to realize that I could understand some of the written patterns if I tried hard enough. So I've been trying out a few very simple patterns here and there, some I've had success with, and some not so much:) This pattern is from Heather at The Good Life blog. Her instructions are very easy to follow and this is one that I've had good luck with following.

My intent is to do 4 of these in various colors (the yarn is leftovers from another crochet project I have going), and to put them in an Operations Christmas Child box that our 4-H group will be doing. I figured since I had the extra yarn I should do something with it.

Not sure that these will get done within the week as the first one took a couple weeks for me to finish, but I've got the pattern down without having to look at it anymore, so the next one is going pretty fast (actually, it is just about ready for the boarder even now, and I just took that pic this morning). But even if I don't get it all done, I 'll go ahead and post the next project (a quicker one) early next week and just try to get them both done:)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lots of new ideas for the blog:)

Yep, it's been a while, but I've got lots of ideas of things I want to start posting about. I've been working on my stitching, of course, but I've also been trying my hand at some other arts-and-crafts things as well as getting into the kitchen a bit more and working on doing a little glutten free baking.
So what I am looking to start out with is some crafty type posts. There are about 14 or 15 weeks left until Christmas (!?!?!?!) Yikes, yes I know, not nearly enough time:) I have half finished crafts all over the place, so my goal is to finish off and post on one project for each of the next 12 weeks or so. That will leave me a couple weeks to get other things done for the Christmas season. Not all of the projects I'm working on are for Christmas, and a couple of the projects that I'm wanting to do haven't even been started yet, but most are just random things that I started and then put a side - like all those stitchy ornaments and other smalls that need to be made into something.
For next year I have some ideas brewing for a weekly craft project posting on new things I want to either learn to do or get better at. Sort of a way to clean out my Pintrest 'craft' file:) Oh, and I have SOOO many things pinned on there that I could keep myself busy for many, many years to come!!
I'm also hoping to start doing some posts on glutten free eating/baking. This is something that I'm just getting a little better at. After so many years of trying to perfect whole wheat baking, it is rather difficult to get use to. I have come up with a couple recipes that work for us, so I want to start sharing them.
I am still stitching as well, but that is going rather slowly. I won't be doing any crazy challenges next year other than just trying to finish up as many of the stitchy projects that I already have as I can. I've been a very good girl and haven't even bought anything new in quite a long time:)
Okay, so tomorrow I will start with the pretty picture posts, those are more fun anyway, but here is one of a stitching project that I finished last month. This is 'Joy and Peace' from Little House Needleworks. It was a new start (I really did have this one in my stash!!! Really, I didn't buy it new!! :) I can see this finished off like an old time gift tag. It will one of the 12 projects that I finish off before Christmas.