Thursday, March 29, 2012

So... it has come to this...

We've owned our house for eight months today, and been living here for about ten days less than that.  And the terrible truth is, I'm still not unpacked.  I have ten boxes left, seven of them in my bedroom.  In fact, half of my bedroom is a complete disaster.  The half with our bed and dressers is okay, but the other half is supposed to be my little creative nook, where I can have my sewing machine, craft supplies, etc.  And that half needs help. See?

Okay, so the point of airing this dirty little secret in public is that I need some oomph to get that room whipped into shape, and I'm hoping public humiliation will do it.  I'm giving myself two months to transform that space into a usable, orderly, creative zone, and I intend to post progress pics here.  If I don't have it done by the end of May, you'll all know about it, which I'm hoping is enough extra incentive to keep me working on it whenever I can.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Asparagus Wraps

You may be noticing a pattern in the recipes I post here.  Yes, we love asparagus.  We rejoice when it appears at the grocery store.  We eat it at least once a week while it's in season.  We have beloved asparagus recipes that we yearn for.  We're hoping to raise our own next year.

So anyway, here is our absolute favorite asparagus recipe.  We've had it twice this spring and just might make it again before the season is over.

Asparagus Wraps


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup green onions -- chopped finely
1/2 tsp. basil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 bunch asparagus -- ends snapped off
1 pkg. 8" tortillas
2 cups chicken pieces
1 pint grape tomatoes -- halved lengthwise


Steam asparagus for 4 minutes.  Rinse with cold water until cool.  Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, green onions, basil, lemon juice, and salt.  Spread sauce on tortillas, fill with remaining ingredients, roll, and eat.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Featured on Crafty Saints!

I came back from a short trip to Chicago to find that my egg pattern got featured here on the Crafty Saints blog!  That was some lovely news to come home to :-)  I also sold a couple more patterns while I was gone, which enabled me to order some hand-dyed yarn on Etsy today for my Secret Project.

Why was I in Chicago?  For my new niece's baptism!  My brother's wife had their first baby a little over a week ago, so off we all flew on Friday.  Man, flying with three kids?  Lots of work.  They were all really great on the plane, except for the last 10 minutes of our flight home, when Sadie objected vociferously to having her tray table stowed and told the entire plane in no uncertain terms what a "Bad, bad Daddy!" she has.  But we had a great time in Chicago, spending lots of time with my parents, my grandma, and my brother and his wife and new baby.  It's very nice to be home too, though, even with four loads of laundry staring down the barrel at me.

I just have to share a photo of the beautiful baptismal gown my mom crocheted for her newest grandbaby:

Isn't it amazing?  My mom is a phenomenal crocheter, as you can see.  My sister-in-law crocheted the blanket, and the two have matching rosettes.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Visiting the Garden

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – soulemama
(feel free to link to your own ‘this moment’ post in the comments below)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pattern Number Twenty

I just listed my twentieth original pattern!  I'm rather proud of this milestone, I must admit.  When I converted to only selling crochet patterns, I had fourteen in my shop, which means I've added almost one a week since the beginning of February.

Here's pattern number twenty:

Adult Sun Hat
A few weeks ago, someone requested I make an adult version of my baby sun hat, and I finally had a chance to do so.  You can find it in my Etsy shop, my Ravelry shop. and my Craftsy shop.

For good measure, here are my other new patterns since I opened shop:
Rosebud Embellishment

Daisy or Sunflower Baby Toy

Large Daisy Embellishment

A Good Egg

Baby or Child Daisy Hat

Friday, March 16, 2012

To Market, To Market

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – soulemama
(feel free to link to your own ‘this moment’ post in the comments below)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Easy Cheesy Macaroni Salad

I made a double batch of this yesterday to take to a church potluck.  I love how colorful it is -- a bright, cheerful dish, don't you think?  And it's very easy.  You can eat it cold or hot.

Easy Cheesy Macaroni Salad


1 box macaroni & cheese
As much milk as the mac & cheese calls for
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup celery -- sliced thinly
1/2 red pepper -- finely chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs -- chopped
1/4 cup green onions -- sliced


Prepare mac & cheese as directed, replacing butter with mayonnaise.  Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well.  Serve warm or cold.

That's it!  I used the green onions we've been regrowing, of course :-)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Monday, we spent some quality time in our new garden.  First, the kids helped me break up clods of dirt and get everything ready for some planting.

They have enough shovels and rakes and implements of destruction for 4 or 5 kids, but hey.  This way they don't fight over trowels and scoops.

I got this hat at Colonial Williamsburg last summer specifically to be my gardening hat.  It's perfect!  Well, almost -- the inside gets caught in my hair a lot, so I'm thinking of sewing up just a band of fabric to go around the bottom of the crown to save my hair and act as a sweat band too.

All we got planted was a row of carrots, but it's a start.  We have lettuce and tomatoes started inside to transplant later.  We need to build our fence higher, though -- the way our neighbor tells it, we have mutant bunnies around here that can leap houses at a single bound...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Giving Away a Sunflower Baby Toy

Can you believe it's Tuesday already?  Yesterday, my hubby stayed home because he pulled a muscle in his neck and couldn't turn his head at all -- he held it cocked at an angle like a curious little puppy all day long, which was cute, but not at all safe for driving to work, hee.  So today now feels like Monday to me, as yesterday I had help around the house (sorta) and got to spend lots of time out in the garden (will try to blog about that later).

Apropos of it still feeling like Monday to me, here's a link to my friend Julie's Monday Meltdown Giveaway over on her blog.  This week, she's giving away something that looks very familiar... cuz it's from me!  We're offering a ready-made sunflower from my new pattern for either a sunflower or daisy that I recently added to my shop.

We're also offering the crochet pattern as a PDF file, so go follow this link for a chance to win!

Friday, March 9, 2012

No Pictures, Please!

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – soulemama
(feel free to link to your own ‘this moment’ post in the comments below)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spring in the Air!

Cherry tree?
Spring has arrived in our neck of the woods!  The tree out front is getting these lovely pink flowers -- I'm thinking it's some kind of cherry tree.  Since we've only lived here since August, I have no idea what's planted where, or what might burst into bloom next.  There are two Bradford pear trees in the back, that much I know, and those should bloom any day now.  We also have what appear to be a couple forsythia bushes back there.  There seem to be a few little perennials popping up along one side wall.  I need to figure out a way to mark where they are so I don't plant anything on top of them.

This year I'm not doing anything in the ground since I don't know what might be where, but I'm planning a small container garden for back by our deck.  And as you saw last Friday, we're preparing to plant a small garden too.

The kids and I picked a bunch of tiny wildflowers yesterday.  I suppose they're technically weeds, but they look sweet in my new little vase.

I bought this little gem from Etsy shop AranelDesigns:  The Ring and the Lion.  It's a shop full of Middle Earth- and Narnia-inspired pieces.  This vase says "For the love of things that grow" around the top, handlettered in Elvish.  It looks black here because it's reflecting my black counter top, but it's really a deep blue and brown.  I love it!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Darn Good Yarn

Speaking of yarn, here's another awesome place to buy some:  All the yarn there is recycled, made from things like banana fibers, newspaper, and recycled sari silk.  They also sell patterns and ready-made items.  Look at these yarns:

Recycled Sari Silk Yarn
Banana Fiber Silk Yarn
Reclaimed Cotton Yarn
According to the Darn Good Yarn newsletter, they saved more than 6,000 pounds of waste from landfills in 2011 alone by recycling things into yarn  And right now they're giving away $75 of their yarn to one lucky person.  Might be you, might be me... let's find out!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Loophole Yarn from Six Skeins

I won a giveaway last week!  The Made With Love U.K. blog offered 100 grams of yarn from Etsy shop Loophole (aka SixSkeins), and I won!  I chose a skein of this hand-dyed sock yarn called Limelight, and it arrived in the mail yesterday!  Isn't it beautiful?

It's so fresh and zesty and spring-ful, isn't it?  In fact, this yarn has inspired a whole bunch of new ideas for crochet patterns that I can't wait to get started on.  Good thing I've just finished my current crocheting project and ready to start a new one!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Regrow Your Green Onions!

We cook with green onions (aka scallions) a lot.  Every week or two, in fact.  A couple of weeks ago, my hubby ran across this article that said you could regrow them with nothing but some water in a jar.  We thought, "No way!  But if it works...."  So we tried it.  And it works!

After we used the green part of the onions for a recipe, we stuck the ends in a glass jar (that we would have otherwise recycled) and filled the jar with water.  At first, nothing seemed to happen, but then we noticed that the roots were growing like crazy!  Once they had grown out into a swirly, twisty mass, then the green tops began to grow.  

The twisty mass of roots

Some of the shoots we'd cut just grew up taller, and new shoots joined them.  After about 10 days, they were as tall as they'd originally been when we bought them, and they stopped growing.  We started another jar in the meantime, which also grew like mad.  We harvested the first batch this weekend, and what do you know? Just as tasty as could be!  In fact, they were a bit stronger than when we get them from the store, probably because we could use them fresh instead of after they sat in a truck and the store for several days.

The jar on the right was the first one we started.

Because my husband is both thrifty and a bit nerdy (such a sexy combo, do you agree?), he did a bunch of math and figured out that with the cost of green onions around here, assuming we harvest them once a month, at current interest rates, an investment of $0.12 (for the water) for one jar of green onions would yield the same rate of return as putting $3,600 in our savings account.  And hey, who doesn't like saving money, right?  The jarful we harvested this weekend is regrowing again.  Who knows how often we can get new growth from the same batch of roots, but we shall see!

(Edit:  You need to leave a couple inches above the roots intact so they will stand up in your jar.  We stop cutting ours when the stalk goes from green to white.)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Breaking Ground

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – soulemama
(feel free to add a link to your own ‘this moment’ in the comment section below)