Thursday, January 30, 2014

A New Closet

So in my head I am a master carpenter who can accomplish all tasks. In real life...I have very few skills with carpentry. But I can make things look nice with a few quick fixes!

Our bedroom is quite small, and we have a large bed. feels even smaller. I have plans to put in cabinets around the bed for added storage, and to spruce up the look of the room (right now it is very boring, with just a bed, a dresser, and a little catch all table that always needs to be dusted!). But those plans won't go into effect until spring or summer...and I wanted to do something now!!! Being that it is a rental, I can't do a TON...but I did do this:

It was super simple, and has added so much space to the room already! I just popped the old sliding doors out of their sockets, put up tension rods (okay, so maybe Matt helped with that part!) that were prehung with our new curtains (Kohl's, on a pretty good discount!), predrilled my holes, then hung the hold backs (from World Market, very pretty and decently simple to install), and voila! A room renovation that cost less than $50. Now to work on the other curtains....

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How Tuesday: How to Navajo Ply Yarn

Just kidding! I'm not really going to give a tutorial on this, because there are so many great resources online that can teach you ten times better than I could! (And a lot of them can do videos too) Youtube is actually where I learned about Navajo Plying back when I lived in Green Bay. I wasn't nearly as good a student back then, and spent a lot more time on the internet. I came across one of those videos (and of course I don't remember which one!) and I thought, "Cool! I can totally do that!" So I did! Here's a picture of it:

Isn't it pretty? I believe that was Gracie fiber mixed with the white girl's wool. Lori let us use her electric carder one day to card up a bunch of the girls fiber, and this was the end product of one of the batches.

Pam has been spinning a little bit lately, which is a lot a bit more than me. She's gracious enough to send me new fiber though, so I can look at it and touch it and wish I had time to spin. Speaking of's time to head to class. Have a great Tuesday everyone, and remember - no matter how much you know about something, there's always more to learn. Like nifty spinning techniques. :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Etsy Weekends - Drop Earrings

Although I still only wear the same two or three pairs of earrings every day, I dream of owning more. Someday I will have a wardrobe where I can coordinate my earrings to match every day of the week, like a certain professor I had the opportunity of learning from last semester. Here are some of my recent finds!   

Teal Drop Earrings Rustic Earthy Chrysocolla Handcrafted Wearable Art Oxidized Sterling Silver Gift Ideas For Her Green Blue Stone
Teal Drops from Rootie Birds
white pearl and silver dangle earrings, oxidized metalwork dangle earrings
 White Pearl Dangles from The Bead Aerie
Blue beaded semi precious gemstone dangle earrings of lapis lazuli and vermeil earhook
Blue Beaded Dangles from Florence JewelShop
Black Sea Glass and Silver Earrings
Black Sea Glass Earrings from Bevmar Designs

Come on back next time and see what else we've curated for you!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Ginger the Cat

When Becky went to Florida, she came back to Wisconsin with a surprise. Ginger, the cat. We called her the dumb blonde, because she didn't seem to be very bright. But she was incredibly sweet! Here are a few good shots of Ginger, Orange Tabby, 2000-2011

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

In the Kitchen with Pam: Garden Roasted Tomato Style

Last time when we chatted with Pam in the kitchen she was sharing her time tested salsa recipe. This week she's willing to share another recipe, this one new to our kitchen this season!
A friend gave me a great recipe for roasted tomatoes.  She uses a type of tomato that is similar to a Roma but bigger.  You slice the tomato in half and take out a lot of the seeds.  Then sprinkle them with garlic powder and parmasean cheese.  I also added some dry Italian Salad Dressing mix that I bought from Penzey's.  You roast them at 450 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour.  They are great. You can change the seasonings that you put on top of the tomatoes depending on what you think you'll use them for.   I'm not going to show a picture of them because they are all smooshed in freezer bags in my freezer!  I'm planning on using the roasted tomatoes on pasta this winter or on a great pizza recipe I watched on Cooks Country called "Grandma's Pizza".  You make the crust, put on the mozzarella cheese and parmesan and then sprinkle the tomatoes on top.   
How great is it to use those summer veggies all winter long? How do you use your summer veggies in the winter?
Grandma Pizza

Monday, January 20, 2014

Yarn Porn - KnitPicks Cadena

Welcome back to the third installment of yarn porn! If you follow our blog, you already know we love yarn (check out installments one and two!) so today I'm here to share another yarn we have found really enjoyable to work with! KnitPicks Cadena!

This is a yarn Pam purchased and sent to Kirsten so that she could learn how to make Moebius scarves. (She also sent a few sets of the Harmony Interchangeable needles, which are pretty nifty!!) It is a heavy weight yarn with a beautiful sheen. The label says it is 70% Peruvian Highland Wool, and 30% Superfine Alpaca. Superfine indeed! The heavy yarn shows great stitch definition, worked well on needles 9-15, and knit up beautifully! It even grafted together well with the spit and rub method (if you are unfamiliar with this method, when you reach the end of a skein and need to add more, you simply splay the plies apart, then lay them next to the new skeins splayed plies, get them wet with saliva, then rub vigorously against your jeans. It essentially felts the yarn in that small area, fusing the two ends together into one continuous strand!).

Here are some of the Moebius we made with the Kestrel and Currant colors.

Red and Gray Infinity Loop Wool and Alpaca Scarf - Warm Hand Knit Moebius
Gray and Red Infinity Loop size 11 needles, drop stitch

Red Infinity Loop Wool and Alpaca Cowl Scarf - Warm Hand Knit Seed Stitch Moebius
Red Textured Moebius size 15 needles, seed stitch

Check out their other yarns (and goodies!) in their online catalog!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Etsy Weekends - Dragons

While compiling last weeks list of clothing items for Children, I noticed a trend in my favorites...dragons! So here are some of the best!    

Fantastical Stuffed Fire Dragon,  Red Plush Dragon, Handcrafted from Eco Fi Felt, Magical, Mythical Stuffed Animal Toy
Fire Dragon from The Roaming Peddlers
Dragon and Princess Painting, Little Girls Room Decor, Storybook Style Original Art, Fairy Tale
Dragon and Princess Print from andralynn
Yoki The Fat Dragon Sewing Pattern - PDF
Yoki the Fat Dragon from DIY Fluffies
Drakin, The Outrageous and Unique Hand-Crafted Wooden Rocking Dragon
Drakin Rocking Dragon from Trott Wood Creations

Come visit next weekend to see what else we've got up our sleeves!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Winter Nature Walk

Before Christmas we headed out to get our Winter views from Peet's Hill. I think they turned out well! We caught the hill on a perfect day, in between snow storms on a warm(ish) afternoon.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Two for Tuesday - Knitting Needle Organization

It's Pam and Kirsten, back again to talk about organization. Last August we started the conversation about how to keep things organized with your yarn stash. Today we're back to talk about how each of us stores our needles!

My needles have always been a mess, languishing in bags with UFOs, or stuffed into another bag all jumbled and mixed together with other knitting notions and crochet hooks. So last fall when all of the dorm room organization stuff came in I found myself a great little shoe rack and brought it home for my needles! I'm a little short, so the top rows aren't as useful as they would be to someone taller than me, but I have more than enough room for all of my circulars, dpns, and the tips for my new Harmony Interchangeable nedles from Knitpicks! I'm a little weird, and like to keep the original packaging for all of my needles, so it makes it even easier to keep them organized. The little baggies my Addi's are in are labeled with their cable length already, and the Crystal Palace bamboo dpns are also labeled with their length! Pretty handy for me! There's still plenty of room for when I buy all those sock needles I've been meaning to pick up....

This hangs on the backside of the door in our second bedroom, which is almost always open. This way they are out of sight, but also really easy to get to, I just have to swing the door shut!

I do mine a little differently. I like to keep my needles mobile! I put all of my needles in a bag by size. The bags are labelled with the size:

 I have bags for every size needle I own:
 And they all fit nicely into this zippered pouch! Along with a needle sizer, just in case they get mixed up!

This way, they are all together, they are easy to find, and I can carry them with me in case I have a needle emergency!

How about you? How do you organize? Or don't you? :)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Etsy Weekends - Items for Children

Is there anything better than knitting for kids? You cans till do intricate, difficult work, but it takes a fraction of the time! If you are a little goofy, it's okay - kids are goofy too! Here are some like-minded people on Etsy:   

Crochet Newborn Christmas Dress Haylin's Twirls in Green with Black Ruffles Accented with Red Ribbon Christmas Keepsake Baby Shower Gift
Crocheted Dress from Southwest Crafts
Knit Baby Hat Christening Baptism accessorie Newborn Knitted Infant Photo Prop Gray All Sizes Pixie Beanie
Baby Hat from Maruma Kids
Little Lamb For Her (Wool)
Lamb Hat from Sweet Pea Toad Tots
Knitted Baby Bolero Jacket - Light Brown, 2 - 2.5 years
 Bolero Jacket from Sasas Handcrafts 

Hope you liked this edition of Etsy Weekends! We'll be back again next weekend with more Etsy goodies!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Dog Cuddles

I'm a sucker for cute pictures of critters laying together. Here are a few good ones of our late Bruce and Sheila.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

In the Kitchen with Pam: Garden Tomato Sauce Style

We're joining Pam in the kitchen again this week where she shares insight into making tomato juice from your Garden veggies...that you can dream about all winter and utilize next harvest season!!

Since I had more tomatoes than peppers this year I also made a lot of tomato juice.  I cut up the tomatoes and then cooked them for about an hour and then ran them thru a sieve to remove the seeds.  I then put the juice back on the stove and simmer it until it gets as thick as I want!  The longer you cook the thicker your juice will get.  Mine is normally somewhere between juice and tomato sauce.  I use it in vegetable beef soup and chili.  If I have a lot of peppers I add some peppers to the cut up tomatoes.

Have you ever tried making tomato sauce? What were your experiences? Too sweet...too bland...or just right?

2013 Stupice Tomato Harvest

Monday, January 6, 2014

Knitting for Animals

We love making cute things for the critters, but ours didn't always like the modeling. They sure were cute though hey??

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Etsy Weekends - Writing

As much as I love knitting, I love to write nearly as much. There is a wonderful sense of release when you can pour forth all of your emotions onto a page. Granted, being back in school affords me little time to do any fun writing - but before I went back to school I wasn't really writing at all, unless the mood struck me so suddenly that I couldn't do anything but write. Someday I would like to pen a novel or two, and as my favorite cat lady (Crazy Aunt Purl) says, you need to write every day if you want to be good at it. I don't know that blog posts truly count, but I'm going to count it :) Either way, here are some items I've come across on Etsy that would make writing that much easier to do....
Fountain Pen Made With Green Maple Burl
Fountain Pen from Gecko WoodWorking
Fall Colors Large Grimoire Book of Shadows Journal with lock ties Burgundy Harvest Autumn Diary
Journal from Ann Enchanted
Twig Pencils, Bundle of 5 Rustic Wooden Pencils - Made in Australia
Twig Pencils from Trees 4 the Wood

Come visit us next weekend when I share more Etsy finds!