Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hooks and Needles: Simulated Braid Join

I've been stalking Pinterest for a way to join my granny squares together.
   And when I found a picture of the Simulated Braid Join, I knew I had to do it!

Problem was the link didn't work....
   And then when I found it...
   You had to refer to another link to do the first part....
   And then go back to the first link to finish it up...
   Totally a mess!

But I persevered.

First I needed to go to the yarn store...
   To find a great variegated yarn to set off the colors in my square...
   And besides, do you really need an excuse to go to the yarn store?

 - Easy-peasy
 - Accentuates the colors in the granny square.
 - Squares up the granny square.

 - More yarn used.
 - More time involved.

And you want the low-down on how to do it?  Let me break it down for you:

Step 1:
Edge stitch two blocks by (single crochet, chain three) in each chain-3 space, (single crochet, chain 3, single crochet, chain 3) in each corner.

Step 2:
Hold the two squares right sides together matching up the corners.  Working through both thicknesses, single crochet in the first corner, chain 3 - single crochet - chain 3 across ending with a single crochet in the corner.

Easy peasy, right?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Recipe: Lemon Pound Cake

Downton Abbey, Earl Grey Tea, and a bit of Lemon Pound Cake....sounds fab, doesn't it?

I have to admit I grabbed onto this recipe when I found it on Pinterest the other day....
   printed it...
   and made it the next day.

Unfortunately it didn't turn out so well that first time...
   the inside was a bit like warm pudding
   not the product I was looking for...
   but it was really, really good!

So I tried again...
   mixed it all together...
   added a bit of vanilla...
   increased the oven temperature...
   and baked it a bit longer.

Now I feel absolutely comfortable sharing it with you, as it turned out totally perfect!  I even switched up the lemons for the glaze...more of a tart taste to offset the sweetness of the!

   Adapted from Plain Chicken's recipe found on Pinterest

3 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Salt
3 cups Sugar
1 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Shortening, room temperature
5 large Eggs
1 cup Whole Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
6 tablespoons Meyers Lemon Juice
1 Meyers Lemon, zested

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray two (2) loaf pans or one (1) Bundt pan.
3. Cream together sugar, butter, shortening, eggs, milk, vanilla, lemon juice and zest in your electric mixer.
4. Add dry ingredients, using a low speed on your mixer and blending just until incorporated.
5. Pour batter into your prepared pan(s) and bake approximately 55 minutes, or until your tester inserted    into the center of the cake comes out clean.
6. Cool in pans for 15 minutes, turn cakes out onto baking racks and then let cool completely.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sewing: Hubby Ripped Them for Me!

Some tiimes you need something simple to sew...welll at least I do on occasion.
  Something really easy-peasy...
  Something requiring no pattern...
  Something you can do in your sleep...

And this was one of those times.
    And it needed to be in the colors featured in the front room...
    Kona Peapod was the first up...
    Sort of a bright citrus green guaranteed to brighten your day.
    Perfect contrast to the stark brown leather sofa.

I went searching on Pinterest and found the Plus and Minus blocks.
   They could be based on a 9-patch block
   Center is white...
   Corners are Peapod...
   Center is striped white/Peapod.

Easy enough, right?

It was...until I started doing math and tried to figure out how to speed piece these blocks.

I stripped together three sets of:
    4.5 inch x WOF of Peapod
    4.5 inch x WOF of White
    4.5 inch x WOF of Peapod
 and then subcut into 4.5 inch rows for the outside of the block.

They were perfect...
   the seams were straight...
   I was so proud of myself for coming up with a shortcut.

  That center white piece should be a striped Peapod/White block!

And then Dear Hubby came to the rescue and RIPPED ALL THE SEAMS FOR ME!

That, my dears, is true love!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Family: Edgar Is TWO!

January 18, 2012...Edgar's Birth Date

That means he's TWO today!

It's hard to believe that he was once this cute little guy!

Current stats:
 Weight: 102.3 lbs
 Loves: Tennis Balls and Playing Catch
           Terrorizing Silas
           Talking Jaunts with Sophie
           Laying on the Back Porch in the Sunshine
           Eating Apples
Taught Us:
           Always put away your shoes or they'll get eaten
           Same with remotes and eyeglasses

So big! So different! But still a big lap puppy!