Friday, May 28, 2010

birthday necklace

This year I made birthday gifts for two of my three teaching partners. The third one has her birthday in July, and I always miss it. Not this year! She'll get her gift early (next week, when I see her) and can decide whether to open it on the spot or wait til her actual birthday. Either way, I think she'll like it... I like it so much I almost kept it for myself!


It's a really long necklace. She likes to double them around her neck... this first picture doesn't really do justice to the beautiful color of the beads... the one below is a little better.

Every Wednesday during the school year, teachers at my school are encouraged to wear purple (one of our school colors). I thought this necklace would work perfectly for my friend on Wednesdays! I got the purple beads from JoAnn and the clear seed beads were from my stash.


Bead stash, yarn stash, fabric stash, scrapbook stash... I have too many stashes. :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

volunteer gifts

I had four lovely ladies who volunteered their time regularly in my classroom every week during the school year. I wanted to give them a little something to say "thank you for helping me wrangle 22 five and six year olds fearlessly and with good humor". What to do?

I ended up getting them gift cards to a local ice cream shop and a scratch ticket. I was orginally going with a "sweets for a sweet volunteer" theme but decided that was lame... so I left off the cheesy title.


I also made four different thank you cards to go with the gifts:


(this is the front of the first one)


(and the inside)


(2nd card)


(3rd card)


(4th card)

It was a very small token of my gratitude, but it seemed to go over well!
Sorry for the really bad photos. I'm having bad camera mojo today.

Friday, May 21, 2010

let the crafting begin!

Yesterday was the last day of school. I celebrated today by staying in bed until noon, watching tv and crocheting. It was marvelous!

I decided to ditch the granny along here... one pattern choice was not in American crochet terms and the other was available only on Ravelry, to which I do not have an account. Instead, I found a traditional granny square pattern and picked out yarn from my stash to work with. Here are my first three grannies:


The first and fourth rounds of each square will be a different color. The second and third rounds are cream; fifth and sixth rounds are dark grey. Yay for afghans!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

giveaway at sewtakeahike

Penny over at sewtakeahike is having an awesome giveaway! She has a new sponsor and is celebrating. Head on over and enter to win a gift certificate to superbuzzy!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

you must make this salad

Seriously, this is the best salad I've ever made at home. I first had it at a friend's house, and she sent me the link to the recipe.

Three words, people. Blue. Cheese. Croutons. Homemade croutons. Ohhh my.


This is all that's left. One little tupperware bowl. I made more blue cheese croutons to go on top (which is why there's so many in the picture, haha.)

Apples, blue cheese, caramelized walnuts... so very yummy.


There are a lot of ingredients but it is SO WORTH IT. Please, make this salad. Please?

(A few changes from the recipe... I used cranberry juice instead of apple cider to make the dressing. My friend says that any fruit juice will work. I also used olive oil instead of canola oil to make the dressing... not really a big deal. We also skipped the prosciutto.)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

mother's day bouquet

I found this great tutorial over at MADE for lovely no-sew flowers. I decided to make it for my mom for Mother's Day.

Here's the first one:


Yuck. Not good at all. Looks nothing like the photos on MADE! The second one was only marginally better:


Eek! Still scary. Third (and fourth, and fifth, etc.) time's a charm:


MUCH better! This one is actually my favorite. I ended up making a dozen, and here's the final product:


So pretty! I wanted to keep it for myself, but then I'd be left without something for my mom. So I went ahead and gave it to her... it looked lovely on a side table in her living room. I had a glass vase handy and put some crinkled paper in the bottom that matched the fabrics perfectly!


I did make a couple of modifications. I used pinking shears on the top edge of each flower, to minimize fraying. I also left off the bottom felt part... I wasn't crazy about that part and thought my flowers looked great without it.


This was a great tute! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. :) Perfectly suited to my instant-craft-gratification gene. I love this next photo... I was trying to take a shot of the other side of the yellow flower, and inadvertently focused on the whole bouquet on the floor. So neat!


I'm definitely going to be making some more of these for gifts (and myself!)

Friday, May 7, 2010

what i baked today

My version of "What I Wore Today". Have you seen that around blogland? There's NO WAY I'd post what I wore. Now, what I'm cooking, that's another story! Ha.


Mmmmmm... I'm not a huge fan of peanut butter desserts, but these are so good! Here's the recipe.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

lots of alongs

Aaahhh! I'm on project overload. I have so many things I want to make and now I've come across THREE different craft-alongs that I want to participate in, all in the same time frame.

I decided a week or so ago to complete Randi's Quilt Along. I've been wanting to make a quilt for a long time and her tutorial seems so comprehensive. Nancy (and probably Mia too) will be doing it too. I love that other people that I already know will be working on the same project, that way if we have questions or problems we have sources for answers.

This afternoon I was checking out one of my favorite blogs for projects and came across this Granny Along. I haven't been this excited about crochet in a long time! The granny along starts this week, though. But I think I have all the yarn I need in my stash.

THEN, I was checking out Randi's blog and she's starting a sew along for an adorable wrap skirt! I've been tiptoeing around clothes making for a while now and this seems perfect!

Other projects I've been thinking about or wanting to make:
-restring a bead necklace for a friend
-Mother's Day *something* for my mom
-Birthday apron/pot holder set for one sister
-Birthday placemats or table runner for another sister
-Finish Starling Handbag (this one's been almost a year in the making so far)

What's a girl to do?

Monday, May 3, 2010

birthday scones

A good friend at work is celebrating her birthday this week. She is a Starbucks FANATIC... loves her some Starbucks anytime! She also loves their Vanilla Bean Scones.

I found Pioneer Woman's recipe for Petite Vanilla Bean Scones and knew I had to make them for my friend. I already had most of the ingredients- just needed to get vanilla beans, powdered sugar, and heavy cream. Simple, right? And a great, inexpensive gift for my lovely friend.


Um. Do you know how much vanilla beans cost??? Oy! This recipe calls for 3 vanilla beans. I found them at the grocery store, sold for TWO in a jar, for fifteen dollars! So I bought two jars. Eep. I couldn't help myself... I really wanted to make these scones! (Note to self... do not tell husband how much you spent on vanilla beans.)


At any rate, the scones were made with great success and only a minimum of teeth gnashing over the consistency of the glaze. And they are so YUMMY! I ate one (okay, three) and packed up some for Hubby to take to work. The rest are for my coworker.


I bought a lovely box in which to pack the scones, nestled in tissue paper. I also made a recipe card (she's a scrapbooker) and will get a Starbucks gift card to complete the presentation.


This will definitely be a special occasion recipe... unless I find a cheap supplier for vanilla beans. I'm not holding my breath. :)


ETA: She LOVED them! I was very excited to see her face as she opened her box. It was so funny.. her jaw practically hit the floor and she immediately picked up a scone and took a bite. Yay for great birthday presents!