Kitty Sun Soaking Time

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Wednesday 30 December 2009 at 7:53 am

The life of a cat! Here’s Silty soaking up the sun on a fairly cool winter morning in Florida. We woke up to the mid-40s this day, but she found a way to cope with it!

Nothing like a comfortable crochet blanket and the sun warming your tummy!

Project Runway Encourages Kids to Sew

Blogged under Sew Simple by Tammy on Tuesday 29 December 2009 at 10:32 am

I saw these mentioned via one of my Facebook friends, Project Runway kits for young people who are interested in fashion and learning to sew. Amazon.com has a few of them available on line:

Plus, there are lots more over at Simplicity Creative Group web site. I think this is an awesome idea if you want to encourage kids to learn to sew or even for those who draw as well. I guess we missed the boat for giving these as holiday gifts, but there are always birthdays.

Black-Eyed Peas and New Year’s Luck

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Monday 28 December 2009 at 10:00 am

This is a picture of last year’s pot of black-eyed peas. It is a traditional dish we make every year in my family and one of the few dishes I have any real expertise at making. My father originated this recipe and I pretty much copy his approach, which is sort of a spicy black-eyed pea stew. Here is the basic recipe if anyone is game. I also recommend having some sweet corn bread and butter to go with.

1) If you can get fresh black-eyed peas, great, but that’s pretty rare, so for dried peas, soak them over night.

2) Early the next morning, rinse the peas well, and put them in a crock pot.

3) Add a ham hock in the pot, or if you are like my husband and insist on having some real meat to eat with it, you can put pieces of pre-cooked ham in there. Just make sure they are large enough for your wife, who doesn’t like ham, to pick out!

4) Add the following to the pot per taste: tomato paste, oregano, basil, cyan pepper, a few cherry peppers, chopped Vidalia onion (is there any other kind?), water, 1 bay leaf, chopped garlic, and some generous dashes of Tabasco sauce. DO NOT add any salt. You can salt it to taste after they are cooked.

5. Turn it on medium/high, and let it cook for the rest of the day. To check if they are done, take out a few peas and eat them. They should be soft.

If you want to be able to eat an earlier meal of black-eyed peas, set up your crock pot to cook on low over night, and they will be ready to eat the next morning.

I believe eating black-eyed peas as a way to bring you good luck is a southern tradition, but I’m not 100% on that. I was raised in the South and my folks are from the West, and they are the ones who started this tradition in our family, so who knows how that all really started? Either way, these are super yummy, especially if you enjoy spicy food. If you can’t handle the spice, obviously, you can tone it down a little and maybe add some items like Tabasco and peppers on the side to add for those who do like it so they can “doctor up” their own bowls.

Craft Bloggers Unite 12/27/09

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 27 December 2009 at 10:51 am

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
Press On with Trylon and Perisphere Cross Stitch using a cool font from the book A Rainbow of Stitches

Aileen’s Musings
To help bring in the New Year Aileen has a snazzy freebie New Year’s card for you to download and send to your friends and family.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
At Craftside there is a Steampunk-style cam chain necklace, how to make an image have a pop art look, recycle a milk jug into snowflakes, and a tutorial on making domed bead caps.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy is going bananas, literally, over amigurumi again. Crochet folks take note!

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style
Linda DID get a present or two made before Christmas actually arrived–check it out!

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
File this one away for next year…Madge’s final Retrofabulous Christmas Craftabration Project for 2009! This one kicks tinsel!

Mixed Media Artist
Mix fabric and paper for a one-of-a-kind collage!

The Artful Crafter

Don’t toss those leftover holiday candle stubs! Here’s how to organize them for recycling later – after the holiday whirl subsides.

Merry Christsmas Crafters!

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Friday 25 December 2009 at 4:58 pm

Here is our sad (and blurry) little tree. We just finally got some time to get one the other day! Any way, I’m now sick this Christmas, but I wanted to stop by and briefly tell everyone a Merry Christmas!

Bamboo Blend Spa Yarn Scarf

Blogged under Fiber Fun, Finished Projects by Tammy on Thursday 24 December 2009 at 8:33 am

Here is a picture of one of the Christmas projects I managed to finish recently. It is just s simple single and double crochet scarf, but the yarn I used made it extra special: Spa Bamboo Blend from NaturallyCaron.com. This yarn so so soft and silky, it was a dream to run through my fingers! It is a blend of acrylic and rayon from bamboo. My only issue is that it is 3-ply versus 4-ply, which is what I’m used to working with. Plus, many of the patterns I have for stuff like hats ask for 4-ply. Now, if I was a more experienced crochet person, I could probably adapt the patterns, but I’m not. This is why I played it safe with a simple scarf. Hopefully, the recipient will find that it feels wonderful around her neck.

Jewelry Packaging Counts!

Blogged under Crafting a Career, Crafty Biz, Jewelry Designers/Artists by Tammy on Wednesday 23 December 2009 at 8:23 am

Kenneth Fron, known for his beautiful beaded necklace designs, sent me a jewelry piece to include in the gallery section of my new book. Of course, I can’t show you the necklace (you have to wait for the book to come out), but I can show you this beautiful box it came in. And, when you open it, he has the necklace secured in a wonderful necklace box as well.

Packaging for jewelry (and really any retail item) is so important, and I often think designers are so focused on the item they are making that they don’t consider the final step in the process when selling it. This is really critical when you consider that fact that most of what we sell these days is through the Internet. If you sell in a store, then there isn’t that “ah” factor you get when you receive an item in the mail and unwrap it. This is another chance to “sell yourself” to the customer, to show that your work is quality and that you are there to pamper him/her. Take some notes on on Kenneth has done it!

Crafting Pie Time

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Tuesday 22 December 2009 at 9:17 am

I had to show off my husband’s amazing cherry pies he made for a holiday get together we had with family last weekend. Yumo!

He usually makes two of these every year, and every year, we have a hard time figuring out how to transport them without messing them up. Finally, I had an idea of purchased two pie carriers from Bed, Bath, & Beyond as early Christmas presents for him. In the past, he would “poo-poo” this suggestion, but I knew once he saw them in action that he would think differently, and he did!

After he made the pies, I pleaded wit him not to throw out the leftover pie dough. He hates pie crust, but to me that’s the best part of the pie. My grandmother used to make amazing pies when we would visit her during the summer in Colorado, and she always rolled out the leftover dough, sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar, and baked it. Then she would cut it up, and we would munch on it as we waited for the pies to finish baking. He humored me. Yup, he’s a keeper!

Craft Bloggers Unite 12/20/09

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 20 December 2009 at 3:35 pm

The Crochet Dude
Drew reveals his themed Christmas wrap and also announces a fantastic giveaway!

About Family Crafts
Find out how you can spread the holiday spirit throughout your entire neighborhood using this fun pass-it-on gift.

Aileen’s Musings
As a gift to you Aileen’s created 2 beautiful recipe cards for you to download and print.

Cathie Filian
Check out Cathie’s quick video on how to make a Christmas tree from a tomato cage.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
The Holiday Goodness Giveaways are in full swing with lots of great answers to fun questions and a week more to enter to win free books along with a free knit placemat pattern with a plaid detail, ribbon and pom pom trimmed dish towel, apron and Christmas tree how-tos, and an inside peek into artist studio with some fun recycled storage ideas.

Cross Stitch at About.com
Wishing you Merry and Bright holidays with a cheerful free pattern perfect for the holiday season.

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style

Where did December go? Linda’s sharing her mantel decorations as she ponders her lack of handmade gifts this year. Yikes!

Margot Potter-The Impatient Crafter
Know someone bitten by the Twilight bug? Check out Madge’s holiday themed Twilight silhouette ornament and pendant project for iLoveToCreate teen!

Mixed Media Artist
Make a stab-bound scrapbook or journal to hold all your Christmas cards and memories this year!

Stefanie Girard’s Greeting Card Album Craftiness
Find out how to decorate your Greeting Card Album for Christmas and recycle a card from last year with a fabric die cut.

The Artful Crafter
Eileen’s been elf-ed! Join in the fun and spread some holiday cheer. There’s still time for a few more elf-ings.

Crafty Tool Kit Gift Idea

Blogged under Crafty Products by Tammy on Thursday 17 December 2009 at 9:17 am

My hubby brought this home from Home Depot with the idea of giving it as a gift for a guy on our gift list.  Of course, as soon as I saw it I envisioned round-nosed pliers and wire cutters tucked inside the pockets on the outside and bags of wire and boxed of beads on the inside. For scrapbookers, you could put in your scissors and cutters. For stitchers, you can put in your yarn, hooks, needles, fabric rolls - you name it.

This tool caddy is only $9.99, and hopefully there are a few more left because I want to pick up at least one for myself!

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