Friday, August 29, 2014

Nails Day!

It was nails day!  I went patriotic in honor of the upcoming Patriot Day on September 11th. 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Happy Mail!

I've been "off work" the past couple of days, so it's like Friday.  Today, we are hopefully headed to play tourist in the city.  August is my mom and mother in law's birthdays.  Here are the cards that were in their boxes:

I used some fun things and went a little wild with this one.  This is done with an old MFT Die-Namics First Class Friend and a stamp set that I believe is retired, but I still love it!  I threw in a Paper Smooches Happy Birthday for good measure.  I colored the stamps with Big Brush Pitt Pens.  I really like how they bled together a bit on the edges.  I used some Prima crystal chevrons.  My sketch is based on this week's MFT sketch (#191).
Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Old School Christmas

Today it's my turn to host the WTUI Challenge.  I'm challenging you to use a chalkboard.  I keep seeing all these little chalkboards all over the place.  I was going to do THIS little number, but I took a mini step to get me there.

I used this FUN digital collection by Echo Park - Tis the Season with just a few little digital stitches and staples from ChrissyW.  It is mounted on black card stock that I inked the edges with Moonlight ink.  I found this old Authentique set of stickers for the "I believe in santa" sentiment in the bottom right corner.  Everything else on the page is digital.
I even decorated the inside!

That's a stamp from Hero Arts' set Chalkboard Greetings stamped in the same Moonlight ink.  I inked the edges and added a couple stickers from Studio Calicos' Chalkboard Access line.
I will use my White Big Brush Pitt Pen by Design Memory Craft to sign it.  One Christmas card done!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Turkey Burgers - Take 1

This weekend I decided to get adventurous and try to make my own turkey burgers.  How hard can it be?  Throw stuff in a bowl, smash, and grill, right?  Well... It was not as successful as I had hoped.  First of all, let me say the flavors were awesome; it was the execution of the actual burger that was the fail.


  • 1/2 ripe avocado smashed into a paste
  • 1 tsp green onions chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced (I use a garlic press)
  • 1-2 tsp fresh mint chopped
  • 1 Tbl Argyle Street Asian Blend seasoning (reserve enough to sprinkle the top of each burger)
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tsp olive oil
Mix all the ingredients and form into patties.  Here is what it looked like:

Sounds and "looks" yummy, right?  The photo is purposely fuzzy because I think raw meat doesn't look very appetizing.
I'll say it again, it did have amazing flavor, but let me tell you how this went off the rails...
First of all, I put all of my ingredients in the bowl before I tried to mash my avocado.  My avocado was not ripe enough to smash, so it stayed all chunky.  So I tried to put everything in the food processor to make it mash.  Turns out, ground turkey and a food processor are incompatible.
I was able to take some of the chunks out of the mix and put it in the food processor to get it mixed in.  There still were chunks of avocado, which wasn't necessarily bad, but that wasn't going to help hold the mixture together.  I'm allergic to eggs, and that is usually the binder for turkey burgers, so I was improvising here (not well, though!).
Next, I completely forgot I had a burger press that would have greatly helped get these bad boys firmly packed.  I HIGHLY recommend using a burger press for these!
And finally, the mega fail: I threw this loosely-packed "thing" on the grill, just like it was a "normal" burger.  WRONG! FAIL! STUPID!  It made the biggest mess on the grill as it shed its parts.  Luckily, I had made two burgers, so what was left of both of them was enough for my lunch.  Here is what the grill looked like afterwards:

I will definitely make this recipe again, because, as I said, the flavor was awesome, but here is what I will change:

  • I will put all of my other ingredients in the food processor before adding it to the turkey.
  • I will USE the burger press.  We've only had it for two years now, and it's still in the packaging.
  • I will either cook it inside on the stove or put a pan on the grill to cook them.
  • I think I may add some shredded cheese to the mix, also, so it will hold it together even better.  I put provolone cheese (and pickles, of course) on top of my burger before I ate it, and it tasted really good.
  • I didn't put quite enough Argyle Street in mine, as I was expecting to put some extra on top while it was cooking.  Yeah, that SO didn't help, because that's all the parts I lost.  The ingredients above is what I plan on doing for the next batch, just keeping out a very little to sprinkle on top before putting it in the pan.
In any event, I had a good lunch and a learning exercise in what not to do with turkey burgers.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Happy Friday!

Well, it's FINALLY Friday!  I swear this week did NOT want to end!  In any event, I don't have a completed project for you today, but I thought I'd share a wrap I'm working on.

I'm using the Living Room Afghan pattern, only shorter because I want a wrap not a blanket.  In any event, have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Electric Lemonade

It's a rainy Thursday here in Chicagoland, and I'm super excited because I get to take the train downtown, which will probably be delayed at least 30 minutes due to the rain.  SUWEET!!!!  As a result, I'm thinking of happier times and thought I'd share the Electric Lemonade recipe I made this past weekend.

Mix up the lemonade, and stir in the rest of the ingredients.  Yup, it's that simple!  It's SO yummy and doesn't give a hang over.  This is definitely on the do again list!
Since once again, I didn't take a picture, how about a crazy puppy pic instead?

If you follow Two Crazy Furry Friends on Facebook, you will see more of these funny ones.  They are always up to something funny!

Latte is SO sharing my sentiment here - why isn't it Friday yet?!?!?!?!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Spice Jar Cozy Tutorial

Ok, so here goes, my first crochet tutorial.  I am awful at following a recipe or a pattern.  I always want to do my own thing, so the pattern I used for my Spice Jar Cozies was loosely based on THIS pattern.  Without further ado, here I go...
As I showed you earlier, I made a few of these this past weekend:

I had one jar that I used too much, and it needed refilling, so I had forgotten to make it a cozy:

This is one of my favorites, and so far, I haven't anything it doesn't taste good on, seriously - Lake Shore Drive Seasoning.
WARNING: This is my first tutorial and it's 4AM when I'm typing this, so you may want to read through the whole thing before beginning your cozy.
For this pattern, I am using Lily Sugar & Cream yarn in Lava Lamp with an H hook.
To begin, make a Magic Ring, Chain (CH) 1, and do 10 Half-Double Crochets (HDC) inside the ring. (If you don't know how to do a Magic Ring, check out this tutorial from Craftsy - Demystifying the Magic Ring in Crochet.)

Pull the ring tight, and join with a Slip Stitch (SL ST) in the top of the first HDC.
CH 1, and do 1 HDC in the each of the next 2 stitches, then 2 HDC in the next stitch all the way around, ending with 1 HDC in the last stitch for a total of 13 HDC.  Join with a SL ST in the top of the first HDC.
I like to hide my tail under this round, like so:

My tail is the bright green piece, and I just stitch right over it, so I don't have to weave it in later.
For round 3, you will do 1 Single Crochet (SC) in each of the first two stitches, then 2 SC in the next stitch all the way around ending with 1 SC in the last stitch for a total of 17 stitches.  I do not CH at the beginning of my SC rounds, but I know some do.  The SC stitches in this pattern are meant to "tighten" things up, and the CH stitch will add "give" in it, so I skip it.  Join with a SL ST in the first SC.
For this next round, you are going to turn to go up the sides of the jar, so if your bottom is bigger, you will want to repeat round 2 or 3 to add more HDC or SC rounds to get to the circumference of the jar.
For the next round (4), you are going to HDC in the front or back loops only all the way around for a total of 17 stitches.  It doesn't really matter which you pick, as they both really do the same thing. I find the front loop to be easier, so that's what I did.  Here is what that looks like:

When I was first learning, I found this video from Lion Brand Yarn very helpful to show me just how easy it was:

Once you have your 17 FLHDC all the way around, SL ST in the first HDC to join.
For the next 3 rounds (5-8), you are going to CH1, then HDC all the way around and join with a SL ST.  If your jar is taller, you'll want to do more rounds until your jar is about 1/3 of the way covered:

The next two rounds (9-10) will be SC all the way around, joining with a SL ST in the first SC for each round.  Again, I did not CH at the beginning of these rows, which meant I really needed to count my stitches (since it was 4AM).
The next two rounds (11-12) return to the CH 1, then HDC around, again joining with a SL ST in the first HDC.  I find that when doing rounds, I sometimes add extra stitches.  Here is where I stop to avoid that:

That last stitch is just a little hard to push through, and that's my signal that it's time to join.  After round 12 (or whatever number you are on), you will want to again "size" the project:

When you are about 1/4 of the way from the top, you want to begin the final 3 rounds.  These rounds are SC all the way around, but do not join with a SL ST, just keep going around.  That's a total of 54 SC around (unless you added rounds at the bottom for a bigger jar).  You can use a stitch marker, but I find it quicker to just count the stitches.  I find this makes it a little tighter to stay put on the jar, even being jostled around in my lunch bag.  Join with a SL ST at the end, and I like to do a CH to make the final knot, then weave the end in.
And here my Lake Shore Driving Seasoning all happy and snug in its new cozy:

Here is a summary of the rounds:
1: Magic Ring, CH 1, 10 HDC, join with SL ST; 10 HDC
2: CH 1, 1 HDC in next 2 stitches, 2 HDC in 3rd stitch around, join with SL ST; 13 HDC
3: 1 SC in next 2 stitches, 2 SC in 3rd stitch around, join with SL ST; 17 SC
4: CH 1, 1 FLHDC in each stitch around, join with SL ST; 17 HDC
5-8: CH 1, 1 HDC in each stitch around, join with SL ST; 17 HDC
9-10: 1 SC in each stitch around, join with SL ST; 17 SC
11-12: CH 1, 1 HDC in each stitch around, join with SL ST; 17 HDC
13-15: 1 SC in each stitch all the way around, but do NOT join; 54 SC
Join with SL ST at the end, CH 1, then tie off and weave in ends.
Hopefully, you have fun making your own jar cozies.  If you don't understand something, please leave a comment, and I'll be sure to clean it up right away!  Have a great day!


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