Sunday, February 19, 2012

Busy month...

...and this is just the stuff that's written down.

Hope to be back soon.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Is the chicken really this good in pubs?

Most of my grocery shopping these days occurs during twice weekly Gymnastics classes, so I find myself doing just what they tell you not to do - shopping while hungry, just before supper. 

This is not a great idea.  Publix knows this, and has chicken frying in the Deli and nice ladies cooking at their "Aprons" kiosks. 

They sell a lot of fried chicken and Aprons meals ingredients that way.

As I was shopping in Publix a couple of weeks ago, I tried a sample from the Aprons kiosk.  I wandered down the next aisle, taking a bite...and circled back to grab a recipe card.  As I returned, the lady who had gotten a sample along with me was coming back from the other direction!  It is so full of savory-sweet-tangy-spicy-rich flavor that it kinda inspires little moans of yumminess.

It's so good that my husband requested it for his birthday meal.  Check it out:

Pub-Style Chicken and Caramelized Onions With Fresh Spinach

Friday, January 27, 2012

Kitty Ripple

I learned to crochet a ripple using the Neat Ripple pattern from Lucy at Attic 24.  I LOVE rippling!!!  I love Lucy's blog - so full of color!  She NEVER crochets in neutrals - it's all bright, happy, exuberant color.  And yet the effect is serene. 

This is the second ripple project I've done, a bright afghan for Earthgirl's room.  No, it does not belong to the kitty. 

Next up, I think I'll try out this even more ripply  Ripples of Happiness pattern.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How being Facebook friends with teenagers can make you less cool

You'd think being Facebook friends with teens would make me cool.  I mean, I feel all cool inside when I get a "friend request" from the younger generation.  Oooo...I'm feelin' cool...

But not only am I already NOT very cool, but being Facebook friends with some teens has made me even LESS cool.

I am hopelessly uncool.  Not cool, man, not cool.  That's me.  I wasn't cool back when I was a teenager, so the chances of getting cooler in my 50s is pretty slim.  (The chances of getting slim in my 50s is pretty slim, too). 

But I'm learning. 

Angsty teens often post angsty status updates.  I used to sometimes worry, and maybe respond to the status. 

Ha!  Rolling their eyes, they type back (at least, I imagine they roll their eyes), "It's from a song."  Or a poem.  Yup, if you have teenager Facebook friends, be aware:  they often post snippets of poetry or song lyrics as status.  They do not say where the words come from, because if your FB friends are cool, they would know. 

I am not cool.  But here's what I'm learning to remember: 

Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise;
When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent.

Thanks for the wisdom, Solomon.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Coping with Crochet

I stayed busy in December.  I was a Crafty Mama, in fact.  I was not a Bloggin' Mama.  The next few posts will probably feature little crafty thingies whipped up between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Hmmm...maybe next year I can just re-post those posts if I get overly December-busy and unable to put words or pictures to blog...

First up, Coping with Crochet

I use crochet to cope with waiting time when reading would take too much concentration - like at Gymnastics practice!  
I love making a Super Star Baby Afghan.   Mikey showed me how:  Super Star Baby Afghan.  I wish I'd found his videos back when I first started reteaching myself to crochet.  He shows so clearly what he is doing.  Of course, some of my confusion may have stemmed from misunderstood terminology.  Did you know that USA crochet and UK crochet have different definitions for "single crochet" and "double crochet"? Live and learn...

The first one I made is hot pink, blue, and green,  all Caron Simply Soft yarn.   


The second, one made for a new great-nephew, is white, blue and green, also Caron Simply Soft yarn.  You can make these any size - just keep going round and round and round until you think it's big enough or you run out of yarn.  I made both these car-seat baby-lap-blanket size.   

They were so much fun!  As I worked on them at Gymnastics, piano lessons, Science club, they always attract attention - they are just so cute!  Seeing these pictures makes me want to get another one started - maybe I'll use this week's Hobby Lobby coupon for another skein of yarn.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Returning Soon

I disappeared for a month, more or less, but I will return soon!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Recycled T-shirts party

This post was 2 months in the making - she has been 11 for a while!

Being a child of the 70's and a sewist (there's a reason we don't call ourselves "sewers"), I have always loved recycling denim.  But these days the hottest recycled clothing trend has got to be recycling and up-cycling T-shirts. 
This year for Earthgirl's 11th birthday party, we jumped into the fun with a T-shirt recycling party.  She grabbed the idea from the September/October 2011 issue of American Girls magazine.  You can find recycled T-shirt ideas from all over the internet.  Take a look here and here,  for example.  I found bunches and bunches of ideas for the future - for example, I'd love to make one (or 15!) of these recycled T necklace/scarves.

Now if one is inviting 14 girls over, and 2 of your projects take a T-shirt apiece, you gotta have lots of Ts!  Our big crafts, requiring a T-shirt apiece per girl, were the fringed scarf and the big T-shirt bag. We invited the girls to bring Ts with them, but knew we wanted to provide plenty.

For several weeks ahead, Earthgirl and I hit a couple of local thrift stores, one which exists to support a local church's international missions; the other to support Hospice.  We like spending our $$ where they do some good works, too!   We snapped up Ts at an average price of about 40 cents.  We looked for colors we liked, designs we thought would look good on a bag, and the right sizes to make bags and scarves (bags can be any size, but a XXL makes a humongous bag, whereas a sturdy size small or child-size makes a nice bag, and our scarves worked best with child-sized, soft, lightweight Ts).

Recycled T-shirt Scarves:
For our scarves, the girls cut off the hem and cut across under the sleeves, leaving a wide tube of fabric.  They fringe-cut both sides, then pulled on the fringes to make them curl up. 

The best-looking scarves had really skinny fringe - but the trick is to cut it skinny enough, but not so skinny that it tears when you stretch it.  This red scarf had the prettiest fringing of all the scarves.

The result is a fringy cowl-type scarf.  If you use a T as big or bigger than your own size, the cowl can be doubled.  If you use a little preschooler-size T, you get a once-around-your-neck scarf.

And then, of course, you cannot resist playing with the leftovers.  Lots of braided headbands, bracelets, anklets appeared!

The scarves also double as hula skirts.

Recycled T-shirt Bags:
Our big T-bags were made simply - cut out the sleeves and along the neckline, leaving something that looks like a tank top.  Check to see that it fits over your shoulder.  Good.  Now, if you want a plain-bottom bag, turn the T inside out, and sew up the bottom.  The cutest bags were sewn with a curve.  If you want a fringe-bottom bag, cut off the T's hem, and sew up the bottom, leaving a 2-3" seam.  Trim the seam in to a fringe. Pull the fringes to make them curl, and you're done! 

In all the excitement, I did not snap 1 picture of any girl with a bag.  This one is taken weeks later.

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