November 20, 2011

CraftLife Episode 17 – Bumps In The Road

Posted in Podcast tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:56 pm by treacleandinketsy

Ebenezer Scrooge opens this week! Tech week is upon us, costumes and props are being worked in, sound and light queues are next in line.

Pearl Fryar is a master of topiary sculpture. You can learn about his story in the documentary “A Man Named Pearl”. You can check out the trailer at that link, too.

One of my favorite holiday movies, and where I first learned about Hot Buttered Rum, is White Christmas. Bing Crosby and Christmas music are synonymous in my house.

Hot Buttered Rum

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup unsalted butter

2 cups vanilla ice cream

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp all spice

1/2 tsp clove

1. Combine sugar, brown sugar and butter in a saucepan over low heat until butter is melted.

2. In a large bowl, beat ice cream, sugar/butter mixture, and spices at medium speed until smooth.  Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks, or in freezer for 1 month.

3.  To serve, fill a mug 1/4 – 1/3 with mix, add one ounce (2 Tbsp) of rum and fill the rest of the way with boiling water.  Sprinkle with nutmeg.

It’s giveaway time! Leave a comment in this post between now and 11:59pm CST on 12/1/11 to enter to win a copy of the Hello Kitty Online Premium Edition. The random number generator will be used to chose TWO winners, each of whom will receive a copy of the Premium Edition, which comes with $15 worth of in-game points to shop and spend as you play, an exclusive virtual pet to follow you around and assist on quests, and 2 Hello Kitty Online collector’s postcards. (System requirements include Windows 2000/XP/Vista (32 bit) and 512 MB RAM minimum)

Speaking of giveaways, Janeen of the Clothed in the Lamb podcast just had a 1 year podiversary giveaway, and I was the lucky winner! I’m looking forward to casting on the Gypsy tank with my winnings.

I’m working hard on the Dovakhiin Gauntlet’s for Adam. The Lustrous Extrafine Merino DK by Sublime Yarns is working beautifully!

Thanks to Fraydele on Ravelry for suggesting this week’s song!

Lyrics to this week’s song (based on the song “Whip It!” by Devo)

Rip it!

Frog that sweater
Then re-knit it better
Take out your sticks
Get right to the fix

When a problem comes along
You must rip it
If you want to fix what went wrong
You must rip it
One sleeve is far to long
You must rip it

Now rip it
Frog it back
Back it up
Don’t be slack
You must go backwards
To move ahead
When you detect it
It’s not too late
To rip it

Rip it good

If you mess up the design
You must rip it
If you put in a life line
Then you can rip it
It will look better in time
If you just rip it

I say rip it
Rip it good
I say rip it
Rip it good

Frog that sweater
Then re-knit it better
Take out your sticks
Get right to the fix

When a problem comes along
You must rip it
If you want to fix what went wrong
You must rip it
One sleeve is far to long
You must rip it

Now rip it
Frog it back
Back it up
Don’t be slack
You must go backwards
To move ahead
When you detect it
It’s not too late
To rip it
Frog it back
Back it up
Don’t be slack
You must go backwards
To move ahead
When you detect it
It’s not too late
To rip it
Rip it good

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July 10, 2011

CraftLife Episode Nine – Happy Knittapendence Day

Posted in Podcast tagged , , , , , , , at 7:22 pm by treacleandinketsy

The heat is really wearing us down in TX this week.  As I write this the thermometer reads 100 degrees.  I’ve heard of people trying to fry an egg on a hot sidewalk, and I’m thinking of seriously giving that a try this Wednesday when it’s supposed to be back up to 106.  Ugh!  Wherever you are, I hope you are staying cool.  And whether or not you celebrated Independence Day on July 4th in your part of the world, I hope you get the chance sometime soon to celebrate your creative independence.

If you’d like to learn a little Mandarin while getting your knitting podcast fix, you should give a listen to Clothed In The Lamb.

Let’s have a go at that recipe sharing!  Here’s your first one:

Classic Pecan Pie

1 cup Light OR Dark Corn Syrup

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans

1 (9-inch) unbaked or frozen** deep-dish pie crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (178 °C).
  2. Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla using a spoon. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into pie crust.
  3. Bake on center rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes (see tips for doneness, below). Cool for 2 hours on wire rack before serving.
  4. **To use prepared frozen pie crust: Place cookie sheet in oven and preheat oven as directed. Pour filling into frozen crust and bake on preheated cookie sheet.
  5. RECIPE TIPS: Pie is done when center reaches 200°F (93°C). Tap center surface of pie lightly – it should spring back when done. For easy clean up, spray pie pan with cooking spray before placing pie crust in pan. If pie crust is overbrowning, cover edges with foil.
  6. High Altitude Adjustments: Reduce sugar to 2/3 cup and increase butter to 3 tablespoons. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F (163°C).

*This recipe is courtesy of Karo.  Pictures and a how-to video can be found here.*

Here are some of the bracelets I have been working on.  Thoughts?

Along with the bracelets, I have been working on the Tangled Branches hat by Grace Akhrem. You can click here to have a peek at her many other designs.  And, the kits for the breast cancer awareness socks are available through Pagewood Farm.

June 11, 2011

CraftLife Episode Seven – Crafting for Good – Part One

Posted in Podcast tagged , , , , , , , at 3:39 pm by treacleandinketsy

After this very busy week of unexpected overtime, and unexpected knitting, I wasn’t able to get a full podcast together for you.  But I didn’t want to leave you with nothing.  So, instead of a full episode this week, I present you with a mini episode – part one of a two parter.

Many thanks for the lovely comments from Lori of Happycrafter 207, and Martine of iMake.

Up-and-coming sweater designers might like to check out the I Knit Guernsey design competition.

Need yarn, and need it fast? I had great turnaround time with the skein of Apl Light I ordered from Covetedyarn.com.

I’m just about finished with the frog from Amy Gaines’ Knit Animal Friends Amigurumi Set, and I am quite pleased with the results. AND… the Beehive Booties are done!

Looking for ways to get involved in crafting for good? Check out Talents of Sisters and M.E. Research UK.

CraftLife Knitters Theatre brought you “The Elves and the Shawlmaker”. You can read the original story that inspired this adaptation here.

May 15, 2011

CraftLife Episode Five – Creating On A Budget

Posted in Podcast tagged , , , , at 7:27 pm by treacleandinketsy

I have been absolutely spoiled these past two weeks.  Right after completing episode four, Adam took me out on a catamaran for a dinner cruise to celebrate my birthday!  (…which was back in January, but who wants to be out on a boat in the middle of winter??)  Then, on Mother’s Day weekend, he surprised both me and his mother with a day of pampering at a spa.  Like I said, I am completely spoiled sometimes, but after weekends like these, where does a girl find the funds for crafting?  Well, that’s why “Thrifty” is the name of the game in this CraftLife episode.

If you visited Mayfest in Fort Worth, TX, you had the opportunity to see Tim Decker (aka: Painter Tim).  If you didn’t make it to Mayfest, check out his facebook page and watch the video of Painter Tim at work.

Looking for some inexpensive craft supply alternatives? How about Kool Aid Dyeing, Tee Shirt Yarn, recycling yarn from old or thrifted garments, making use of newspaper end rolls, or home made play-dough.

Interested in trying you hand at tea bag folding? Here’s a website to help you get stared. A quick google search for printable tea bag folding papers will furnish you with plenty of pretty patterns to choose from.

If you’d rather cut paper than fold it, how about some nice silhouette portraits? If your model doesn’t have the time (or “fidget” control) to sit still for you to trace his or her shadow, you can achieve similar results with a photograph and tracing paper, or go a little more high-tech with this Photoshop method.

Still need a few thrifty crafty websites to get you inspired?  Check out DollarStoreCrafts.com, DecorHacks.com, and TheThriftyCrafter.com.

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 10, 2010

A New Job, A New Reason To Make Stuff

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 6:05 pm by treacleandinketsy

I know I’ve been absent this past week, but it’s with good reason.  I received a phone call last week about a possible job opportunity, and after calls, emails, interviews, and paperwork… I have a new job!  This will be a regular 40-hour work week job with all the regular holidays and a fair paycheck.  But the best part is, I’ll be working in the same building as my hubby, so we’ll get to carpool and do lunch!

Soooo…. my schedule will do a pretty dramatic change-up in two weeks.  No more days off mid-week.  No more half day work days when I can get my grocery shopping and errands done in the morning.  I’m really not sure of the entire impact this will have on my schedule, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see when it happens.

No worries about craft time, however.  As it happens, I ran across this podcast from Sister Dianne over at CraftyPod last week.  I have been listening my way back through the CraftyPod archives, and this little beauty from 2006 was exactly what I needed to reassure me that the crafting will continue!

photo courtesy of CraftyPod.com

CraftyPod #27: Craft Up Your Cubicle: Projects for your Workspace.

I already had it in the back of my mind that I was going to make one of those pen flower arrangements, and this just gave me tons more ideas.  Give it a listen and go make something!

October 22, 2010

A Little Spray Paint Goes A Long Way

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 7:29 pm by treacleandinketsy

In my last post, I showed you the Man Cave makeover that I did for my 49ers fanboy hubby.  Today, I just wanted to share a bit more specific detail on how a little spray paint helped turn trash into treasure!

We had a garage sale recently, and after I decided to do the Man Cave, I went rummaging through the garage sale leftovers.  You know that if it didn’t sell at a garage sale, it’s really at the bottom of the barrel.  Then again….

Here is a silver and gold touch lamp, and two end tables that are part of a three-table set.  Each table is smaller than the next, so they can nest underneath each other.  I decided that the smallest and largest table would work best for my purposes.

Just add a little San Francisco 49ers colored Krylon spray paint, and voila!

I covered the entire lamp and the tops of the tables in Cherry Red.  Then, I sprayed some gold metallic paint lightly over the red lamp to give it a speckled appearance.  I used the rest of the gold to paint the metal frame and legs of both of the tables.

As you can tell, the smaller table was turned into a footstool.  I’ll be covering a How-To on the footstool cushion in my next post.

If there is one thing that this project taught me, it is that I am no spray paint pro.  I had drips here and there, especially on this bookcase:

There are quite a few drips on the sides, and an uneven texture to the back panel.

…and on the shelf:

Most of these drips are on the back. The gold hardware came out nicely, though!

But, all in all I think it all turned out okay!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  It’s amazing what a few cans of spray paint can do.

October 20, 2010

A Man Cave Makeover

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 10:28 am by treacleandinketsy

Since our very first anniversary, I have gone by the traditional gift list for inspiration on what to give my hubby each year.  The first year it was paper, the second was cotton, the third, leather, and the fourth was flowers.  This Friday will be our fifth anniversary, and the traditional gift for year five is wood.

So, here’s what Adam unwrapped yesterday:

Why did he unwrap it yesterday, you ask?  Well, this sign is intended to go with his brand new man cave that I have been working on.  I got it finished yesterday, and decided that I couldn’t wait until Friday to show it to him.  🙂

We have this little 7′ X 7′ unfinished room off of our garage that is temperature controlled, but that hasn’t been used for anything but storage.  Adam had commented a few times that it would be the perfect room for a man cave.  Here’s what it looked like before:

Check out that exposed fuse box. That's got to be some kind of fire hazard, right?

Not too much to look at.

And

here’s what it looks like now!:

Can you tell he's a 49ers fan?

Every king needs a throne.

This shelf was perfect for hanging some of his jerseys.

What Man Cave would be complete without a TV?

As you can see by that last picture, this “unfinished” room comes without baseboards.  We are renting right now, so I did not do anything with the structure of the room… well, except closing up that fuse box.  Don’t worry, there is now a metal box covering all of that wiring behind the flag.

The best part is, a good portion of the items in this room are things we already had, so that really helped to cut down on cost.  It’s amazing what a few cans of spray paint can do.  I’ll get into a little more details on some specifics in my next few posts, including a “How To” on that super simple stool cushion, so stay tuned!

October 18, 2010

The Dog Ate My Crochet… No, Really, She Did

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 1:43 pm by treacleandinketsy

I have been working on a child sized version of my “Did You Ever See A Lassie” hat and scarf.  Mostly, during the week, I do my crafting when my sweet little charge is down for a nap.  This past Friday, I was doing just that, when she woke up a bit sooner than expected.  I sat down my crocheting in the middle of the table, and pushed everything else on the table closer to the center as well, before heading to her bedroom.  After rocking her for a few minutes, and then changing her diaper after realizing she wasn’t going to fall back asleep, I walked out of her room and discovered this:

The youngest dog had taken advantage of my absence, somehow managed to get up on the table, and pilfered my crocheting!  She had run up and down the hall about four or five times, unraveling and unrolling yarn as she went, and then chewed through a few outside rows of my hat!

Oh well.  Back to square one. 🙂

October 10, 2010

The Creative Environment

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 3:27 pm by treacleandinketsy

*Today is the LAST day to enter the Raggedy Ann scarf giveaway and take advantage of the blog readers’ special sale!  Check out this past Monday’s post for more details.*

What does your creative environment look like?  Do you have one particular space in which you craft, or do you get creative pretty much anywhere?  Do you have a special craft notebook that helps you get inspired?  I once met someone who couldn’t get any work done unless she was holding her favorite pen.

For me, it depends on what I’m working on and where I am.  If I’m crafting from home, I almost always have my own special Celtic blend playing on Pandora in the background.  You’ll find me set up at the kitchen table, or, right now, in the garage, since I’m working on a super secret anniversary gift for my hubby. (more on that later)

If I take my crafting outside of the house, I’m usually listening to podcasts, such as Sister Dianne’s CraftyPod , Ira Glass’s This American Life, or the latest monologue from Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion.  Yes, I say with no shame that I am an NPR nerd.

So, I guess in my case, my creative environment is more auditory than visual or physical.

How about you?

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