Books · Crafty Goodness

Keeping My Hands Busy

I have been crafting a lot lately.  I quit smoking 3 weeks ago and keeping my hands busy is important.  My wonderful crafty friends and I have also started a monthly Stitch and Bitch. We had our first one 2 weeks ago and it went great.  I made a Sock Bunny.  I have made sock monkeys before and thought I would branch out to other animals. I got the book Socks Appeal by Brenna Maloney for Christmas so I used her pattern it came out really cute, see:

Sock Bunny!

I have also been knitting a lot too.  I just starting knitting in November and I taught myself so I am still pretty new at it.   I did just finish a cute pair of hand warmers in a ribbed knit and I really like them.

Now I am teaching myself to increase so I am working on the kerchief from the book Stitch and Bitch by Debbie Stoller which is a really good beginners knitting book if you are trying to learn.  I will post pictures of it soon.

So how do you keep you hands busy and what are you making?  Leave me a comment and let me know

Books · Parties · Recipes


Tomorrow is Cookiemeggdon which, as I explained in my last post is the day all my friends come over and make their favorite cookie recipes.  It is a blast and I can’t wait. This year I am making Ginger Snaps. They were a great hit last year so I thought I would share the recipe with you.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup molasses

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of ground clove

1 Tablesppon ground cinnamon

1 Tablesppon ground ginger

2 cups of flour

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1/4 cup white sugar

Here’s what you’ll do: 

1. Preheat the oven to 375

2. Mix together the molasses, brown sugar, oil, and egg

3. In a separate bowl combine the cloves, cinnamon,  ginger, flour, baking soda and salt.

4. Stir the flour mixture into the molasses mixture till a dough forms

5. Roll the dough into balls. Roll the balls in the white sugar.

6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes

7. Let cool or else they won’t snap.  Then Nom!  These are pretty spicy and great with a dark roasted coffee.

In other news today I had to do emergency surgery on a sock monkey.  I had to do it on site too because my 3 year old nephew refuses to sleep without the sock monkey I made him.  If that’s not the ultimate reason to keep making stuff I don’t know what is.

I also made those salt preserved Meyer lemons I talked about last week.  The recipe is from the book Canning for a New Generation by Lianna Krissoff.  The book is great. It’s got all kinds of preserving recipes from around the world and recipes to make with the things you’ve preserved too.  If you are interesting in canning check the book out and check out this particular recipe it is really simple.  No water processing the jars or anything. Truly canning 101.

Here’s a picture of the lemons all jarred up:

Salt Preserved Lemons

Well that’s about it for this week,   I am sure my next post will be full of cookie goodness.

Books · Crafty Goodness

Weddings and Birthdays and Snow Storms Oh My!

So much has been going on here at the rabbit hole.  Two weddings, a new nephew,  our first anniversary and my birthday, with karaoke.   Also craft projects, lots of Monday night family podcast dinners and a snow storm.

There was a snow storm here in New England on Saturday the 29th of October.  October is a little early for snow even here in the frozen north.  As a result much of Connecticut was without power for days and in some cases over a week.  We were very lucky we did not lose power though much of our town did and a lot of our friends didn’t have power for days.  We had our friends here nearly every night charging cell phones and keeping warm, it was like a week long epic sleepover,  and mostly I was just glad I could help them out when they needed it.

About my lack of posts lately,  I have set a personal goal to update at least once a week likely on Fridays.  I am trying to get posts written ahead of time so there won’t be anymore long gaps.  Maybe you will forgive me if I tell you about the projects I’ve been working on.

Secret Project X – A gift for my friend Jeri.  Jeri is a Shakespeare scholar  and maybe a tiny bit superstitious.  She refuses to say the name of the play “Macbeth” out loud, because it is considered bad luck in the theater.  If someone else says Macbeth she will respond with the phrase  ” Angels and ministers of grace defend us.”   So as a gift I stitched the “Angels and Ministers” quote on a canvas  (yes, and actual artists canvas).  Sort of like an old fashioned sampler.   I have never stitched on canvas before, it’s a little bulkier to work with and the needle has to be very sharp to get through the fabric.  Other than that it was just like stitching on a hoop and actually easier than things like tote bags that have less room for your hands to move around.  I did the entire thing in a satin stitch and it came out pretty good.  Here’s a picture of Jeri with it.

In other news got some awesome home crafty books in the last few weeks, one filled with canning recipes from my awesome husband.  Canning is one of the projects I have been dying to take on.  I am thinking of doing salt preserved lemons first.

The other book is a beginners knitting how to book.  I am teaching myself to knit.  So far?  My stitches are terribly uneven and I am clumsy at it, but I think I am figuring it out.  I promise to post picture of what are sure to be my less than beautiful results.

That’s it for now, leave me a comment and let me know what you are working on.  What you’ve made or what you want to learn.  And have an awesome weekend!

Books · Cleaning · Parties

Alabama Dinner Party, A Pretty Cool Book and New Projects

Last night, I went to an awesome dinner party that my best friend threw as a benefit for the Alabama Tornado victims. I just wanted to mention how much I love this idea. We all brought donations to help the victims and ate a wonderful southern feast. The menu included, pulled pork, black eyed peas and collard greens, corn bread, and ice box cake for dessert. Jay did a great job. This is one of those ideas I really think needs to be stolen. So, if there is cause you feel strongly about, make some great food and, invite your friends over.

Also yesterday, my wonderful hooligan of a husband gave me the book Generation T by Megan Nicolay. If you’re like me, one of those punk rock girls who never got over cutting up her T-shirt’s this book is for you. It’s got a bunch of great projects so that you can keep wearing that old much loved t-shirt or turn it into something entirely new. Since we all have old t-shirts stuffed in our drawers all the projects are inexpensive, maybe even free! What’s cooler than that? I hope to do my first project from the book this week, I’ll make sure to post some pictures when it’s done. I am also looking forward to making pillows, tote bags (even one of my own design), and eyeglass cases from my old tee shirts.

Speaking of eyeglasses, one quick tip for my cool girls who wear glasses. When I was a kid, my optometrist told my I should always clean my glasses with dish soap. He explained that dish soap was made to clean the very materials glasses are made of and, to remove oils like the ones in your skin. Just soap them up with your hands rinse them in warm water and dry them with a lint free cloth. I swear, you will never use glass cleaner to clean your glasses again.

I think I may have another recipe for you next time and, maybe some notes on tonight’s karaoke birthday party.

(don’t you love teasers)