Friday, March 28, 2014

Bucket List

Ive made the decision that what is needed to live for ever is to fill my crafting bucket list to over-full and to kit up enough projects that I can never die as you cant leave projects uncompleted.

What brought me to this you ask?  A couple of items really. 

D has demanded a Jayne Cobb Hat.  And to really make a good one, one must knit.  Sorry but any crochet version just wont cut it and the crochet patterns Ive seen arent Jayne’s Hat.

So I recently learned how to knit.

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(more finishes.  Runic letters B & A)

Ive gotten comfortable enough with the knit and purl that Ive moved on to making letters (above).  I found patterns for 24 runes that I have plans to make into a blanket.  The letters are nice and easy enough that Im able to get into that zone stage and just loop the yarn.

And I cant believe how little yarn Ive used so far!  Im 2.5 letters in and I have a good 1/2 of my Red Heart SS skein left and I think I can get at least 5 letters done with this one skein.  With Crochet I may be only two letters in, depending on what stitch I used.

This new hobby/lifestyle/obsession has me adding even more to my Ravelry wish list, more patterns to my need to do list, and more tangles to my Pinterest boards – all screaming for me to work on them some day.

THEN (more stuff!) Ink Circles released 2014 RYO pattern.  I was on the fence about joining this year as I still havent come close to finishing the one (of two) I started last year but dang it the latest color combo posted on FB today changed my mind.  I know – me passing on one of Tracy’s charts can be shocking but I was trying (really!) to pause on all the kitting projects as I have a ton already.

So as you can see, my lists are ever growing and I need to do them all, therefor I can never die.  Makes total sense to me.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mexican Polenta Casserole

I do love cooking.  Step into the kitchen, get ingredients out and play.  Then pray and hope that your creation passes the picky pallets of your loved ones when they sit down to eat.

But tonight?  I amazed myself yet again.

Behold – My rendition of Mexican Polenta Casserole 

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Mexican Polenta Casserole

This makes enough to fill 2 (TWO) 9x13 casserole dishes

Casserole ingredients

1 tbsp cooking oil of choice (tonight I used EVOO)
½ - 1 Onion, diced
1 Bell Pepper, diced
8 oz mushrooms, diced
8 oz ground seitan (I used Upton’s Naturals, Italian Seitan)

1 25 oz can Black Beans, well rinsed & drained
1 25 oz can Pinto Beans, well rinsed & drained
1 15 oz can Tomato Sauce
1 6 oz can Tomato Paste
1 14.5 oz can Petite Diced Tomatoes
8 oz (1 cup) mixed frozen veggies (I had corn, carrots, peas)
8 oz (1 cup) frozen corn
¼ - ½ cup salsa (I used about ¼)
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Ground Pepper
1 tsp Chili powder
2 cups Daiya Cheese or other vegan cheese of your choice (I used a mix of Cheddar, Mozzarella and Pepper Jack Daiya)

Polenta ingredients (this is for a single batch, you will need to make two or double the batch)

4 cups liquid – This can be all water or you can mix it with any variation of water and broth
1 cup Cornmeal
3 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
½ tsp Garlic Powder
1-2 tbsp Vegan margarine
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

Make the Polenta first as it needs time to setup. For this dish you will need to make either a double batch or make two separate batches

Polenta Directions

In a small soup pot, bring liquid to a slow simmer. In a bowl, mix Cornmeal, Nutritional Yeast & Garlic Powder together. Stir in the Cornmeal mix into the liquid. Cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the Polenta from sticking to the bottom of the pot. I suggest using a whisk during this part as it keeps the lumps to a minimum.

Lightly press into a 9x13 greased casserole dish and set aside while the casserole mix is being prepared

Casserole

Preheat the oven to 350 deg (I have a convection and 350 deg is perfect).

Using med heat, heat up a skillet and add the oil. Add the onions and let them cook for 2-5 min. Next add the bell peppers and mushrooms and cook for another 3 min. Next add in the ground seitan and cook on med to low heat until seitan is fully cooked, about 3-5 min.

In a large pot, add the remaining casserole ingredients. Mix together and heat on med. Once mixture starts to bubble, add the skillet mixture and mix altogether.

Casserole Dish preparation

Take 2 cups of the casserole mix and spread it over the Polenta. Next add a light layer of cheese. Add a 1 ½ cup casserole mix over the cheese (do best you can to cover but there should be enough to cover the cheese)

Cover the casserole dishes with foil and bake for 35 min.

Take foil off and add cheese to the top of casserole, do not add foil back on. Bake for an additional 10-15 min, until cheese has melted.

Eat and enjoy.

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This is one after picture.  Currently there is only one dish left and even it has a chunk out of it.  So a big winner!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Another First!

A quick dance before bed.

My first knit finish!

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A simple knit stitch wash cloth!  Its about 8 1/2 inch square using Sugar n Cream cotton.

On to the next square!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Muhaha’d

Sort of in the spirit of March being the craft month, Ive started a new craft.  Or more so I found my third arm and started knitting.

Ive tried knitting before but with my background in cross stitch my tension was way too tight and I just couldn’t figure out the best way to hold the needles and figure out the holding of the yarn and keep the tension happy.  Hence the need for that third arm to make everything work as it should

My third arm just happens to be circular needles. 

A friend and I joined in on the Rose City Yarn Crawl this year and made it to 4 of the 18 shops that were part of the fun.  Friday was a perfect day to walk around downtown Portland and check out the shops.

Ive been wanting to knit my own socks but felt that a loom wouldn’t get me the ease of crafting I wanted and I know the crochet wont craft the socks I want so hear I am.

On the yarn crawl I picked up a beautiful skein of yarn that will be made into a scarf – someday soon Im hoping.  Until then Im practicing to get up to the whole k1, p1 business.  Other needed items were the needles.  The scarf suggested circular needles and that’s what I picked up.

I spent most of the weekend practicing cast on, knit, and purl.  Even did a bit of the pattern the scarf uses

My first knitting project – a simple knitted washcloth

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I have a few rolls of Sugar and Cream cotton yarn and I will be spending some time practicing stitches and making lots of washcloths.

Sharing that Ive caught the knit bug with another friend at work, she muhaha’d me and welcomed me to the madness.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Checking In

Hidey Ho peeps!

Ive been lazy.  Thoughts of creating posts, then by the end of the night I just don’t want to, so I havent.

Tonight Im a bit jumpy thanks to being on the wrong side of ick and taking some real sudafed to help keep my head unclogged.  Sudafed has side-affect for me that makes my heart race and nerves jumpy.  All that keeps me really awake for a good hr then I get to fight the crash.

So as Im on the jumpy side of that noise I have energy to burn so to speak and I have some new finishes to show and other updates to share along with sharing my WIPocalypse and IHSW posts.

Finishes

Hat

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The yarn from this is from a scoody (scarf-hood) I made a couple years ago that I just havent worn so I thought to rip that out and create something that I would/might wear or gift to someone who will

I have a scarf that will go with the hat that I will show when its completed.  It has front & back post stitches along with shells and looks pretty and I think complements the hat well.

Sheep

Wisdom is complete!

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Im taking a break before starting the next sheep.  All sheep-ed out at the moment.

LHN Neighborhood

I have been working on LHN Neighborhood – total blast from the past.  Looking back though updates, last time I may have touched this is in 2010 so its in dire need of some needle time.Neighborhood 7-23-10 2010

I do have a bit more done than the above pic and have decided to frog the lady currently stitched and just leave them out.  The people have always bothered me and Im just choosing not to stitch them.  Not sure if they will be replaced with other items or just leave the voids.

Ive also have Ladies’ Night by Cricket Collection mostly fully kitted.

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I have a 28ct fabric (CS Gothic) that I picked out years ago – for this project, that I have been thinking about going to a 32ct but as of today Im sticking with what Ive got.  1) finding another fabric to go with the ladies is hard. 2) Ive already got it – paid for it, and its in my stash now.  That said, when I finally get around to stitching this, my mind may have been changed again but that’s for then.  Thread is as charted but I may not use Kreinik for the braid, still thinking that over.

Well, that’s all Ive got for now.  Im off to get a few other things completed while the energy is buzzing.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Just a bit flakey

The weather has been a tad nuts over the last few days.  Snow, snow and starting this afternoon, freezing rain/sleet.  Love ya Nature!

Here are a few pics from what nature has gifted us today.

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There are kids down the road building an igloo.  Looking pretty good!

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We may get some snow, as in see it falling, rare is the year we actually get a good bit sticking.  So seeing the flakes fall for three days and have freezing rain on top of that is not fun. 

Thankfully D got home early on Friday and we trekked off to the store and got most of my usual Sunday shopping done.  More of a prepare for possible snowed in weekend, which we have been.  Very happy this mess landed over a weekend and not during the week.  Less reasons for people to think they have to be out and about..

Stitching

Thanks to this year’s SNOWMAGEDDON, school was cancelled Friday and I spent part of the day making this

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It’s a pattern from Crochet Geek, Caleb’s Hat.  I stitched 26 rows on mine, the pattern called for 21 just felt too short and I wanted to flip up the edge.  Its very thick and warm.

Today I finished the basket weave scarf.  Its not very long but Im hoping after a wash it will stretch out a bit.

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Clean

Asthma, mold, mildew and harsh cleaning chemicals have had me searching for a better for me cleaner.  The shower areas are always such a pain to keep clean and using any chemicals is harsh as I always seem to smell it everywhere, even after the shower is cleaned, like its stuck in my nose, hair, on my skin and I cant wash it off.

My latest trial is using Tea Tree oil.  Its very astringent and if not mixed with the right amount of water, can be over-powering.  But so far its strong smelling but not as harsh as a chemical.

I have the essential oil mixed with water and Dr Bronner’s soap with Tea Tree oil.  The first run through went well, nice not to deal with chemical smells.

Garden

Things are moving a bit slowly.  Still cold outside for much activity in our garden.  The greenhouse was picked up and D got the frame together this weekend.  I have a game plan for getting plants started and it looks like next weekend will be a good time to get some of those started.

I checked the strawberries from last year and I see new growth already started!

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This year Im planning on getting the runners planted, then replanted so I can have loads of home grown strawberries to nom on.

Stitching

Thanks to the Super Bowl, my LNS was open and having a % off drawing.  I ordered Ink Circles Turrets and Town, picked that up along with the floss and fabric.

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My thoughts for this chart when I first saw it was making the colors gradient, inside to out.  The fabric is R&R Mink.  I have two color choices and talking with P, I will be doing the group on the left starting with the lighter color in the middle and moving out to dark and the group on the right, dark in the middle and going out to light.