We are finally green and flowers are blooming in our neck of the woods. My roses haven’t bloomed yet, but my tulips and other things have bloomed. I’m really trying to practice thinking of my shot before I take it. Learning to visualize it before taking the photo. I think I did pretty good this time.
This past weekend I went on my first scrapbooking conference and it was a blast. My mom had invited me to go with her. My mom and I have never been able to go out on a weekend together like this, so this was an extra special time. We had connecting hotel rooms, which was so much fun. We worked on our crafts, went to some craft stores, ate at some yummy restaurants, and enjoyed relaxing in our rooms. It was strange for me to have a room all to myself, usually I’m sharing with my family. It was such a nice, fun, relaxing time. I’m so glad I got to go.
Neither my mom nor I are huge scrapbookers, but we do enjoy making greeting cards, and that’s what we did this weekend. There was a lady there that was selling card kits, we bought quite a few of them. I’ve enjoyed putting them together. We even bought enough so I have some to work on at home. I’m hoping doing these kits will help me learn how to design my own. I’m still not too good at that.
I haven’t taken any pictures of my finished cards yet, but I do have some good photos of the conference itself. I’ll post some of the cards later.
I hope that some day I can go to another conference with her, or at least spend another weekend today.
I’ve been working on my crochet projects lately, simple projects, but ones I like, dish cloths and coasters. What do you think?
I wrote before about my desire to add more things to my gift box, and these coasters and dish cloths are going in that box. I’m also working on some greeting card ideas too. I’m practicing making boxes that will hold my greeting cards, though it’s still a work in progress so no pictures.
As I wrote before about my family and I need to go gluten free. We are using some store bought GF foods while we learn how to cook and bake gluten free.
Our first try at gluten free was a simple mac & cheese with GF pasta. Though the picture isn’t the best, it tasted really good. We were pleasantly surprised at how good the GF pasta tasted. I’m so thankful that the store that Paul works at sells it in bulk.
Then we took a break on GF eating because of surgeries, schedules and what not. So this past week we finally cleaned out our kitchen and stocked up on things for GF cooking. I knew the first thing I wanted to find was a GF all purpose flour. I found a recipe on this site, and it looked simple enough and people liked it. So I went ahead and made some.
With the kitchen cleaned up and my GF all purpose flour made I decided to try out some simple GF chocolate chip cookies. I took the Nestle recipe and exchanged normal all purpose flour with my GF mixture. I figured, why not, lets see if it works. Our baking is a little tricky, because we don’t bake with eggs, we bake with a homemade egg substitute. Sarah is allergic to raw eggs, and she likes to bake, so we’ve been baking with substitutes for a few years now. But this is a new recipe we started using just a few months ago. We’ve been having a hard time with our cookies and this substitute, even with regular flour. So instead of regular cookies, I decided to bake bar cookies, it’s easier and quicker.
It mixed together just fine, and even the dough tasted yummy. It looks like normal cookie dough, doesn’t it?
I’ve been fooled before. When using the egg substitute, we’ve made desserts and they looked great until we tried baking them. So I wasn’t too impressed until I saw how it did after baking. One of the things I have learned is that with GF baking the mixture isn’t as thick, and you need to let things sit for a while before cutting into them. So when the cookies looked like they had baked long enough, even though the middle seemed a bit wiggly, I went ahead and took them out of the oven. I let them sit for a while, but not quite long enough. I just really wanted to see how they tasted, and I wanted Paul to try them before he had to leave. They looked liked normal cookies, don’t they?
Because I didn’t wait quite as long as I should have, they were pretty gooey when we tried them, but they tasted really good! I was so happy and pleasantly surprised with how good they tasted. There was a bit of a difference in texture, but I think it’s how it would taste if I had substituted wheat flour. Paul and Paulie couldn’t tell a difference, and Paulie can always tell when things are different. But then I found when I tried some after dinner, they were set perfectly, not so gooey. So my first thought was right, I just need to let GF baking sit longer before I cut into them.
I don’t know how they would be as drop cookies instead of bars, but like I said, we haven’t been able to get drop cookies to work with the egg substitute anyway, so I’m not going to worry about that right now. I’m just so happy to know we have a least one snack that we like, that we can throw together quick and easy that is GF.
Now our next thing to try is GF bread. That should be fun.
Last fall I decided to go to my friend Vickie’s monthly Cricut Club meeting. She designs different projects and teaches us how to make them using our Cricut machines. It’s a fun time with friends and I’ve learned so much about my machine since going.
This year the first few months we will be putting together a calendar. It’s been fun seeing the great pages my friend comes up with. She is so creative, I can’t believe what she makes. We have through April done and will be finishing the rest of the months soon.
We get together from 1-6, and she shows us how to cut and create the pages, but I can never quite completely finish the projects. So Sunday night I pulled out all my pages and all the little extra things I didn’t finish and I got it all finished. Now when I go this month all I’ll be all caught up.
The pictures don’t really do it justice, but they did turn out pretty good I think. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
I’m trying to keep busy with different creative endeavors as much as I can. I still haven’t gotten out for a photography shoot like I would like to, but I have worked on some things.
Here is the baby blanket that I started a few weeks ago.
I know I should be farther along since I started it a couple of weeks ago, but I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far. It’s a simple enough pattern, and works up pretty quick. Well, when I make the time to work on it.
I think I might make some coasters soon. They are a nice, easy project and I need to fill up my gift box a bit more. But I’ll keep working on the blanket too.
I also had a chance today to work on some birthday cards too. Not only am I trying to build up my gift box, but I’m also trying to build up my card collection.
They turned out ok. I need to get some books from the library or check some sites and get some more ideas so my cards are a bit more creative. But it’s still fun to work with my Cricut and make what I can.
I haven’t been working on my crocheting as much as I would like to lately, but I am accomplishing some creative things.
I think it’s turning out pretty good, and I do enjoy working on it when I want to work on something that I don’t have to think too much about while I’m crocheting. I do hate that the corners are turning in. I’ve tried everything, using a hook 2 sizes bigger than is needed for the chain, making my stitches looser, everything I can think of. I just crochet too tight. Maybe next time I’ll try a hook 3 sizes bigger.
Besides crocheting I’ve been working on my loom knitting and I’ve made some baby hats that I want to donate to our local hospital. The first one I tried I didn’t use the two strands they suggested, so it doesn’t look to sturdy.
I would like to work on some more and maybe even make a baby blanket or two. I have a hard time making things without a purpose. And though I do want to build up my ‘gift’ box (you know items I have on hand to give when a birth or other event comes up) its still easier for me to stay motivated when I know I have a specific purpose for what I’m making.
So that’s what I’ve been creating lately. What have you made?
It’s our weekend right now and I enjoyed a wonderful day at home with the family relaxing, making some goulash for dinner and working on my crafts. It was a new recipe for the goulash and it turned out so good. One of those comfort foods that sounded real yummy to try on these cold days. I need to organize the drawers I keep my paper crafts in. I do like to organize, but today it just sounded like too much work. So instead I decided to work with some Sashay yarn I bought recently.
I’m truly more of a crocheter than a knitter. My mom taught me how to do both, but when I knit my shoulder and neck starts to tighten up from an old injury. Because of that I crochet most of the time now. When I started using the Sashay yarn making frilly scarves I did a modified crochet stitch with it. It’s very simple and easy, but honestly it’s always looked a bit loose to me.
Sarah and I were out shopping the other day and I picked up some more yarn. I really wanted a more neutral color scarf and Sarah needed a blue one.
We’ve decided we’ll just share all the scarves I make since we both like the same colors. This time though I decided I wanted to try knitting a scarf instead.
I looked up a video on it, and it seemed simple enough so I gave it a try. It does take a lot longer to make and it tightens up my shoulder a bit, but not as bad as it was before. I think because I can’t hold the yarn like I would regular yarn, so it doesn’t pull on my shoulder as much. I’m hoping to finish the scarf by this Saturday or Sunday, but I got a good start on it today.
I like the look of the knitted scarf better than the look of the crocheted one (the knitted one is on the left). It looks more full and I think just more neat and finished.
I do like it better, but honestly not the time it takes to make them. I know I’ll still pick up different crochet projects once and while because I still prefer crocheting. Speaking of which, here is how my afghan is looking so far.
I like how it’s coming along, though the corners tend to curl a bit. Then again most of what I make does that. No matter how hard I try I tend to crochet too tight. But I still like how it looks and how simple the pattern is. And maybe I’ll put both things down and get those craft drawers organized, maybe.
I’ve been wanting to make a ruffled scarf from the Sashay yarn for a while, but I never took the plunge to try it. I finally looked up some information online, waited for the yarn to go on sale and picked up two skeins to try my hand at crocheting with this fun yarn.
Sarah picked out the orange skein, and I picked out the pink/purple skein. (Oh, I have to say too that this picture is with natural light coming in from my bedroom window, no flash. I’m trying to learn how to take pictures of my projects with natural light to show the true colors. So these are the true colors, not the darker looking colors in the following pictures.)
I tried chaining and then doing some single crochets to make the scarf, but honestly working with this yarn, it was just too hard to see the stitches. So I went with a simple version which is pretty much just putting multiple stitches on your hook and pulling it through a stitch.
I worked with my yarn first, so if I made any mistakes, it was only on my scarf.
I really liked how it turned out.
I decided to use less stitches on Sarah’s scarf because I thought it would make it look ‘tighter’ but what it really did was make it longer, WAY longer.
It’s so long Sarah has to wrap it about four times to make it look right. I wanted to re-do it right away, but she said she wanted to try it. It does look cute, but really is just too long. I think I’m going to have to frog it (take out all the stitches) and start over. But honestly it works up so quickly, I don’t mind.
Now that I know how to work with it, and how easy it is, I want to get some more yarn to play with. But I should keep working on my afghan before playing too much.
It has been way too long since I’ve picked up my camera. I know I used it for Christmas morning, but other than that, I really haven’t used it much lately. I’ve been having a tug-of-war with myself in a way. I would think of using my camera, and then I would think why should I? I’ve already stopped doing my 365 photos for the year. I still don’t think my photos are that good. On and on it went. Stupid thoughts because I started comparing myself to lots of great photographers out there. And because of that comparing, I allowed myself to be robbed of the joy I have of taking photos. But I finally came to my senses and decided, who cares! Who cares if it’s lined up properly? Who cares if the background, coloring, lighting, are perfect? I like taking photos, I like using my camera. I’m not big on post processing. I don’t really like sitting in Photoshop Elements for hours playing with them. But that’s ok too. So today I decided to ignore all the comparing thoughts. To not worry if I got the perfect photo and to get out and use my camera.
I thought about just going to our back yard, but I’m kind of bored of those same shots. So since I had to run some errands I stopped by our local river for a quick photo shoot. Not quite sure why I chose to pick today to ignore all those thoughts, look how cold it was when I was outside shooting!