February 12, 2012

Moving Time

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:14 pm by treacleandinketsy

I am excited to announce that the Treacle And Ink blog has moved to it’s very own static website at CraftLifeCentral.com! Every post that appeared here on the WordPress blog has also been moved to the new site, so you won’t be missing a thing. Treacleandinketsy.wordpress.com will no longer be updated, so please head on over to the CraftLife website for all new posts, podcast episodes, and more. 🙂

August 4, 2011

Name That Skein Contest!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 7:38 pm by treacleandinketsy

I may be taking a brief hiatus from podcasting, but things are still happening here behind the scenes of CraftLife, the result of which is …(drum roll)… the first CraftLife contest!

I have finally finished spinning up that kool-aide dyed fiber I shared with you all those episodes ago, but I’ve run into a bit of a snag. What should I call it? This yarn ranges the spectrum of bright reds to pale pinks, and will be offered up for sale in my Etsy shop during the month of October to raise money for breast cancer research.
Here’s a peek at the as yet unnamed skein:

Drop Spindle Spun Yarn In The “???” Colorway:

If you have a brilliant idea for a colorway name for this, please share it in the CraftLife group thread on Ravelry. If you have more than one brilliant idea, share that as well! There is no limit to the number of ideas you may submit.

This contest will be open until August 16th at 11:59pm, CST. I’ll choose my favorite colorway name from the suggestions, and announce the winner in Episode 11.

The winner of this contest will receive one skein of Corntastic by Kollage Yarns in the Garnet colorway. This is 105 yards of machine washable and dry-able 100% corn fiber. I had originally purchased this yarn to use in a project that I have since decided to take in a different direction. It has been wound into a center-pull ball, but I can certainly re-skein it if the winner prefers.

Tell ‘Em What They’ll Win!

Thanks for offering up your suggestions! I can’t wait to see what all of you creative-types come up with. 🙂

April 3, 2011

CraftLife Episode Two Addendum

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 9:41 pm by treacleandinketsy

Eeek!

Well, as a newbie at this whole podcasting thing, there are bound to be bumps in the road.  Such a bump happened this weekend.

I recorded the podcast early this week and set it to publish on Saturday morning, since we were out of town visiting the family.  I (foolishly!) left my computer at home, confident that everything was going to go just fine.  The blog post went up right on time on Saturday morning, and episode two appeared in iTunes about 4 hours later.  If you have already downloaded episode two as of the time I am posting this, you already know the rest of the story.

When my dear mother-in-law downloaded the episode from iTunes and played it, it played a one minute clip of Natalie MacMaster’s song “Appropriate Dipstick.”  Arg…

Evidently, putting a link to an mp3, other than the actual podcast, in the show notes is a bad idea!

So sorry if you have already downloaded episode two and wondered what in the world was going on.  I ran to my computer as soon as we got home tonight and have removed the link from the show notes.  iTunes should update over the next 24 hours, and hopefully that will fix everything.  My best guess for those of you who have already downloaded the erroneous episode two, is to unsubscribe, and then resubscribe.  Sorry for the inconvenience!

February 4, 2011

Let it Snow!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 12:45 pm by treacleandinketsy

 

This is me, shamelessly showing off my dogs. They love the snow almost as much as I do!

Ahhhhh, Texas in the wintertime!

You know, they tell me it’s not the norm here, but for the past two years, we have been hit with some serious winter weather in February.

Now, there are some who would scoff at my excitement to see a few inches of this beautiful white stuff.  You know the people I’m talking about – the ones who reside in areas in which they daily shovel their sidewalks before walking to work (up-hill, both ways…in short sleeves), who join “Polar Bear” clubs, and who eat snow cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  These people probably smirk at the way the whole of Dallas shuts down from a few days of ice and snow, and react to yet another day of snow the same way I react to yet another day of rain.

Needle Felting kit, Needle Felted Snowman - by bearcreekdesign

But, oh, the magic of snow still exists for me!  Whether it’s getting outside and making snowmen and snow angels, staying inside and succumbing to my sudden urge to bake, or enjoying the view from my cozy living room, curled up with some knitting or a good book, I love a snow day.

If the idea of snow cream for, well, at least one meal out of the day sounds good, and you’ve never tried it before, here’s a quick recipe to get you started.

 

What you’ll need:

Snow – Place a bowl outside to catch some while it’s still coming down. [Toss out the snow and start over again if it has “yellowed” ;)]

Milk or Cream

Sugar

Vanilla Extract

Snow Cream - Vanilla Fudge - Southern Style - by VeesWear

Once your bowl has filled with snow, bring it inside and add just a little milk or cream.  Too much will make the snow too slushy, and remember, you can always add more.  Add a teaspoon or two of vanilla, and sugar to taste.  Voila!  If you don’t eat it all the first time around, snow cream can store pretty well in the freezer for the rest of the day.

Have you tried snow cream before?  Do you just love it, or is it something you could totally live without?  Leave me a comment below and tell me about it!

February 1, 2011

Some May Think I’ve Gone Too Far

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 9:55 am by treacleandinketsy

CARD – Intervention BLACK LINOCUT kitty cat – by thebigharumph

At the end of the most recent exhausting work week, I sat myself down on the couch to revel in a little r&r.  A few moments later, my hubby sat down on the couch opposite me, called the dogs over to him, and began plotting with them.

“Babies,” he said in hushed tones, “I think it’s time we stage an intervention.”

“Who do you want to intervene with?”  I asked, interrupting their discourse, and mentioning that he might possibly be referring to an acquaintance who may have begun turning up the bottle a little too often.

“I’m talking about you,” he said.

I put down my knitting and looked up.  Whatever could he be talking about?

“At work on break, you’re knitting.  When we’re watching tv in the evenings, you’re knitting.  On the weekends, you’re knitting.  Every time I look at you, you’re knitting.”

I chuckled to myself.  He’s right, you know.  I can not deny it.  I love to knit.

While they say that knitting is a gateway craft, I only came to it back in August.  I had always wanted to learn to knit, and I had learned to crochet back when I was little.  A friend of mine, a non-knitter, purchased the book, “Pretty in Punk,” by Alyce Benevides and Jaqueline Milles, last fall when she became enamored by the hat on the front cover – a double-sided Union Jack with ear flaps, complete with a red, white and blue mohawk.  After making the purchase, and realizing she could not knit, and had no intention of learning how, she gifted the book to me, knowing the crafty gal that I am and hoping it may some day be of use.

The rest, as they say, is history.

With the help of some wonderful online videos (many thanks to Amy Finlay at knittinghelp.com), I have become another one of the thousands of self-taught knitters.  My iPhone has become cluttered with all manner of knitting podcasts (current personal favorites include Cast On, iMake, and Electric Sheep).  I am a new Ravelry member (stop by and see me, TreaclAndInk).  My knitting que is growing longer by the minute.  And in an attempt to put my new obsession to good use, I recently joined my church’s charity knitting group, Threads of Grace.

Where will this new obsession lead?  Who knows?

 

Knitted Lab Rat in an actual dissection tray – by CraftyHedgehog
green lumberjack hat with ginger beard – by taraduff
Dr Spok Star Trek style finger puppet – by dingdongdesigns
Forest Glen Knit Chucks – by Pretty Sneaky

The possibilities are endless!

 

January 16, 2011

Sunday Scripture Snippet – I Wanna Know What Love Is

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 12:45 pm by treacleandinketsy

 

1708 - Vinyl Lettering - And now these three remain, Faith, hope and Love by DesignDivasGallery

I Corinthians 13:4-8

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails…”

I popped on over to Facebook yesterday to see what had been going on over the past few days with my friends and family.  Some had been enjoying the leftovers of a rarely occurring snow storm.  Another had been surprised by her boyfriend with a trip to NYC.  One was reveling in his newly purchased Microsoft Kinect, while still another was lamenting her toddler’s tantrum-filled week.  I read through these updates with some interest, but one update in particular gave me pause.

“What is love?” (or, to be more accurate, “…wat is lovee?? to u??) was the gist of the post belonging to my niece.  She is approaching that age when friends begin to pair off and be “in love” for the first time.  She had been hearing these friends talk about loving each other, and was wondering what this love stuff was all about.  Remember that time?  Oh, I am so glad that I don’t have to live through it again.  🙂

This update was one I felt compelled to respond to, almost as if I had been given a chance to go back and give my own younger self some sage advice that might have made a difference in the way I perceived life and love.  And so I responded:

“Hmmmm… I think sometimes what people call Love is just not love at all, but just a feeling they have. Love is not a feeling. Love is a choice you make each and every day to put the wants and needs of others above your own, even if it means going without, or not getting what you want. It is a choice to care for others before you care for yourself. It is a choice to give without expecting anything in return. That’s what love is, in my humble opinion. 🙂 (check out 1 Corinthians chapter 13, verses 4-8 for a better explanation of what love is.)””

I realized as I was writing my response to her question that I was reciting I Corinthians 13:4-8 in my head.  That really is the best answer to that question.  It tells you what Love is, and what Love is not.  And the best part is, it applies to any type of relationship.  Mother/daughter, friend/friend, brother/sister, husband/wife.  Real Love looks the same in any situation.

January 13, 2011

Be Careful What You Wish For

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 8:05 pm by treacleandinketsy

Hello, hello hello!  Happy 2011, and thank you for choosing to visit with me here on the Treacle and Ink blog at the beginning of this new year.

I must say, I am glad to be back, dusting off the blogging cobwebs…blogwebs?… and discovering a new routine.  I have been shamefully absent these past two months for one very good reason – my new job.

While I entered into this new occupation with high hopes and a positive outlook, I was not anticipating the physical, as well as mental taxation that I was going to undergo.  There is just so much new stuff to wrap my head around, and the pressure of excelling in my work, and getting used to sitting at a desk all day…ugh!  As a result, I have come home at the end of every day completely exhausted, without the motivation to do anything but veg on the couch.

The time has come to put a stop to that!  I can either revel in my lethargy, or I can choose to re-take my life.  No more coming home every day and just sitting around.  After all, energy can come out of doing, and especially crafty doing.

So, let’s get to the crafty doing.  Even though the blog has been completely neglected lately, crafting has still received a little share of my time.

In honor of my new job, I made this flower pen bouquets for my desk:

On a visit to the doctor’s office about a year ago, I was looking for a writing utensil with which to fill out my check, when the nurse casually said, “The flowers are pens.”  How cute is that?  I have since seen these all over the place, as I’m sure many of you have as well.

There must be plenty of tutorials on the web addressing this particular craft, so instead of going into a fully detailed one of my own, I’ll just give you a quick run-down.

Supplies Needed: artificial flowers, floral wire, floral tape, cheap pens, vase, pebbles/marbles/vase filler, wire cutters... hot chocolate optional 🙂

Cut the heads off of the flowers.

Wire the flower heads to the tops of the pens.

Wrap the floral ribbon from the base of the flower petals to the ends of the pen bodies.

Arrange the flowers in a vase filled with pebbles/marbles/ or other vase filling, and enjoy!

And that’s it!  It’s a really simple and fairly inexpensive craft to undertake.  I have not been gifted with the skill for flower arranging, so I went with these big bright Gerbera and Spider Daisies.  I’d love to hear from you if you’ve tried this craft before, or if you have any wise flower arranging tips to share!

November 18, 2010

And For All You Potter Fans…

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 8:00 am by treacleandinketsy

As we were sitting in our car outside of Pizza Hut/Taco Bell last night, waiting for them to cook Adam’s pizza, I checked my phone and saw that I had a convo.  It seems a pair of my fingerless mittens have been featured in a Gryffindor themed treasury!  I didn’t realize it before, but those mittens do come close to the Gryffindor house colors.

Click to check out the treasury!

Any of you out there looking forward to the new HP movie??

November 16, 2010

My Education In Treacle

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 5:42 pm by treacleandinketsy

I had someone ask me last week where I got the name “Treacle and Ink”.  If you haven’t been reading this blog from the very beginning, you may have missed this post where I answered that very question.  Since I’ve already addressed the question, I won’t dive into the answer in today’s post (check out “Treacle = Molasses” for more info), but instead, I would like to take this treacle education a little further.

According to Dictionary.com, treacle is defined as:

“a.  molasses, esp. that which is drained from the vats used in sugar refining.
b.  also called golden syrup. a mild mixture of molasses, corn syrup, etc., used in cooking or as a table syrup.”
Now, I have known that since I was young, and therefore been able to ask the occasional “What is treacle?” inquiry.  But, up until a few weeks ago, I had never actually messed with the stuff.  In fact, my first treacle taste was as a part of that treacle fudge I sampled over this past year’s summer vacation.  So, after I posted my Last Minute Halloween Party Round-Up, I did just what I said I would, and set out to make some Treacle Tarts.

British Emporium in Grapevine, TX (photo courtesy of british-emporium.com)

This experiment began with a trip to British Emporium.  Fortunately, I live in an area in which you can find specialty stores for countries all over the world.  Not only did they have a stack of lovely cans of Lyle’s Black Treacle, but they also had a stash of Kinder Bueno bars, which I love. Now, if you don’t have a British specialty store in your area, you might just be able to find some treacle in your local grocery store.  I’ve seen some in a few on the international foods aisle.
I trucked my treacle home and popped off the lid.  What was inside was about the consistency of tar, very thick and very sticky blackness.  It was so thick that it was difficult to spoon through and even more difficult to get into the pan without leaving sticky trails across the counter.  The recipe called for heating the treacle, which worked like magic on causing it to thin out and become more manageable.

Treacle Tarts

Once I got the tarts mixed and baked, it was time for the taste test.  They were very sweet, and quite bitter at the same time.  The tart had about the same consistency as a brownie right out of the oven, but as they cooled they began to get more and more dense.  I liked the flavor, but they were almost too bitter for me.
Bottom line:  I liked the flavor, but I think if I make them again, I’ll use Lyle’s Golden Syrup instead.

November 14, 2010

Sunday Scripture Snippet – Light Bright

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 10:57 am by treacleandinketsy

 

Hand Lettered Bible Verse Illustrated Sign- -Psalm 119-30 by mulberrylanefolkart

Matthew 5:14-16

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

When I was little, my parents would close the door to our room after putting us to bed.  The room would get so dark, especially in the winter time.  But, while my sister and I were in our beds trying to go to sleep for the night, my parents were still up and moving around the house.  The lights would still be on in the kitchen and in the hall, and some of that light would creep in under the crack at the bottom of our bedroom door.

Now, if I had gotten up and turned on our bedroom lights, I would not have noticed that little bit of light peeking in under the door.  But, since it was the only light shining in a completely darkened room, it seemed so bright that it always drew my attention as I was trying to fall asleep.

I have heard people say things like, “I just don’t think I’m ready to go on a mission trip,” or “I’m not as strong in my walk as so-and-so, so I don’t think I’d do a good job at that.”  I feel like my “light” is brighter at some times and dims a little at other times.  But, no matter how strong of a glow that light casts, in darkness it is very noticeable.

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