Monday, April 30, 2012

outdoor monday ~ 4.5 mile hike

We got an email from the park ranger today about a possible Eagle Scout project on one of the trails.  We didn't waste any time and went right away to check it out and then spent the afternoon exploring.

First through the swamp.

Lots of turtles out sunbathing.

We found this little one sitting on the trail.

Dropping bits apple for the fish to eat.

 If you look carefully y'all see the fish eating the apples.

Leaving the swamp and getting into the woods there is this sign.

Skipping and singing 'there are cottonmouths in the woods' to the tune of 'lions tigers and bears.'

Oh my!

These trenches were dug during the Civil War Battle of Lee's Mill.

We didn't see any eastern cottonmouths {no loss there :)}  We did see a couple black rat snakes and had lots of fun!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

handkerchiefs ~ April

I found some embroidered floral handkerchiefs the other day and decided they need crochet edging.  This is the first one I finished.  I used DMC Cotton Pearl in white and a 1mm hook. 

The first round is single crochet into the scalloped edge.  The second round is single crochet, chain 3, slip stich in the back loop of the first chain, then single crochet in the next single crochet; repeat around.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

stash busting ~ a bit of this and that

This is what I've been working on this week.

I finished up some flannel wash cloths that have been half finished for over a month and crocheted an edge on the wash cloths from last week.

I found 6 skeins of Patons Be Mine in Fuzzy Yellow, 2 skeins of Red Heart Hunny in Sunny, and Bernat Softee Baby in White stashed away and decided it was going to be my next stash busting project.  Three skeins of Be Mine were from the same dye lot so I decided to make a simple knitted baby blanket.  I cast on 60 using 10mm needles and knit every row until it was 40inches long.  Then using a K hook, put a single crochet edge on it.  The blanket turned out so soft and fluffy.

I'm working on baby hats with the yarn that doesn't match up in dye lots. 

This was the favorite pattern of the week at my house and a request went out for one that would fit my girlie.  She also asked if I would make her a bumble beehive hat in black and yellow.  That's what she is calling it...the bumble beehive hat.

child size bumble beehive hat
Using 5 8mm dpn needles cast on 80; 20 stitches on 4 needles using Bernat Softee Baby White. Use a place marker to mark the beginning of the row. Pearl the first row, knit the next 4 rows.  Switching to Pattons Be Mine Fuzzy Yellow pearl the next 2 rows. Knit the next 5 rows with white, pearl the next 2 rows with yellow. Repeat the knit 5 rows, pearl 2 rows  pattern until it measures about 7 inches ending on the pearl 2 rows part of the pattern.

Decrease: Knit rows are with white, pearl rows are with yellow.  Knit 6, knit 2 together around. Knit the next 2 rows. Knit 5, knit 2 together around. Knit 1 row. Pearl 1 row. Pearl 4, pearl 2 together around.  Knit the next 2 rows. Knit 3, knit 2 together around. Knit 2 rows.  Pearl 2, pearl 2 together around. Pearl 1 row.  Knit 1, knit 2 together around..  Knit 2 together around.  Cut leaving a long tail. Using a tapestry needle sew through the loops and finish off.

I'm thinking of making some booties to match the little hats to keep up with the stash busting.

Ohhh, maybe little flowers to attach to the hats too?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

cupcake challenge ::: week 5 ~ earth day

This is my inspiration for this weeks cupcake challenge:

This bag of crushed up Oreos kinda looks like a bag of dirt and since earth day was this past Sunday there is my theme. 

 And this is what I came up with (with the help of my Littles.)

I know it's a mess but it actually tasted yummy.  Once the sour worms came off.

I made golden cupcakes and chocolate mousse for frosting. Then topped them with crushed up Oreos, green coconut flakes and sour worms.

The chocolate mousse is the just add milk and whip it kind that comes from a box.  Crush up some Oreo cookies to sprinkle on top.  Mix a little green dye in the coconut flakes and place around the edges.  Add some worms, or not.  I have to say my favorite part is the cupcake itself.  I set a couple off to the side to eat later with a glass of milk.

Golden Cupcakes
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, separated at room temperature
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350*F and put liners in 12 cupcake tins if you fill them 3/4 of the way and 18 tins if you fill them 1/2 full.

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl on medium speed with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes.   Mix in the egg yolks and vanilla very well

In another bowl sift the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add about half of the flour mix to the butter/sugar mix.  Then half of the milk.  Then the rest of the flour and milk. Mixing the whole time.

With clean beaters beat the egg whites for about 4 minutes on high till stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the egg whites into the batter with a spatula.

Fill the cupcake liners and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.

I know it makes more dish mess and takes more time to separate the eggs and whip the whites. It is worth it though.  I've made the cupcakes by tossing the whole egg (out of the shell of course) into the butter/sugar mix because I didn't want to deal with the extra steps.  The texture of the cupcake isn't as nice and they aren't as fluffy.  If any of y'all decide to make the golden cupcakes; it's worth the extra work and dishes.

Now, I'd love to see any cupcakes y'all make and maybe try out a new recipe.  So go ahead and leave a link in the comments and I'll stop on by.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

cupcake challenge......anyone???

How does that phrase go... even well intended plans fail?  That's the cupcake challenge right now.  There were 20 participants.  We were getting our challenge on Saturdays and had one week to make our cupcakes then post a picture and a link to the recipe to the group.  Sounded fun to me!

There has been a growing pattern to the group that kinda made me laugh when I thought about it.  Because it happens so often with life.  We intend to do something and life gets in the way and..... well you know.  So I thought I would share with all y'all in case you can laugh a little and say "yep, been there. done that."  If that quote isn't in your vocabulary, you probably don't know me personally and might count yourself lucky for that.

The Pattern:
1st challenge ~ strawberries = 9 participated
2nd challenge ~ mocha = 4 participated
3rd challenge ~ Easter = 2 participated
There was a week that no challenge was given due to admin changes
Then the 4th challenge ~ chocolate.....
Can you guess from the pattern above how many participated?  If y'all followed the pattern and said 1 you got it right.
This past Saturday there wasn't a cupcake challenge given.  But y'all probably already figured that out too. 

And I was having fun with the cupcake challenge too!  It's been a helpful distraction from the "D" word.  So I'm not going let this little bump in the road of life get me down.  I've decided to copy the cupcake challenge over here and make it personal.  I'm going to challenge myself each week with a cupcake theme/idea...something cupcake like.  Heck, if any of y'all want to join in you are always welcome.  Don't worry I'm not going to keep tabs or stats. Like I said it's personal now.

Check back in a while and I'll have a theme figured out. If y'all are wanting to make some cupcakes too...GREAT!  I'm thinking it might have something to do with my kid's dessert last night and what was left over.

 ***no Oreos were licked in the cleaning off of the creamy center. 
(at least not the ones in the container) 

Friday, April 20, 2012

stash busting ~ washcloths

Nothing cute about this project.  Though the yarn is amazingly soft.  It is wonderful for baby items and washcloths.  And baby items and washcloths are good stash busters.  Stash busting is good for making room for more great yarn finds.

I find great deals on yarn that I can't pass by.  I got this yarn about 8 years ago in the clearance bin for 50 cents a skein.  For that price it all came home with me; 20 skeins of various colors.   This is how my stash has been growing out of control.  Last year I put a hold on buying new yarn and I did better with it than I thought I would. Except for the great deal withdrawals.  There is something exciting and addicting about great deals!  I need to come up with a new plan soon because I saw a gorgeous bamboo silk blend the other day.  It was an amazing deal and now I'm kicking myself for passing it by.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

cupcake challenge ::: week 4 ~ chocolate

Though not the devils food cupcakes with chocolate mousse buttercream frosting I mentioned on Monday.  I looked for a recipe that was the same as the one in  Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey to give all y'all a recipe link.  But didn't have much luck.  Though I found this recipe.  No, I didn't make those cupcakes either.  I need to get to the store to pick up sour cream and keep getting sidetracked by the beach; every day this week.  Can you see where my priorities are? 

Last night I raided my pantry for a box cake mix.  I found a Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix and a 4oz box of chocolate fudge instant pudding.  I added the pudding mix to the cake mix and followed the box instructions for the cake.   Except for substituting softened butter for the oil and adding 1 cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to the mix. 

I needed to add about 10 minutes to the cooking time.  Checking their doneness by the spring back method rather than inserting a toothpick.  Because the chocolate chips will make the toothpick come out dirty.

I made a basic chocolate buttercream frosting that my mom taught me to make around age 12 without measuring ingredients. So it ends up a little different each time but basically the same. This recipe will work.  I used Ghirardelli dark chocolate and heavy cream instead of the milk.  After frosting the cupcakes I dipped them into a bowl filled with chocolate sprinkles.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

cupcake challenge ::: leap week

Last week we didn't get our challenge due to a few changes with the admin. in the group.  But things are back on track and we have been given the theme of chocolate.  Right away I thought of the yummy devils food cake with chocolate mousse buttercream frosting that I made for my oldest's birthday last year.  I found it in the book Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O'Connor.

 The book is so worth looking into if you have a serious sweet tooth.  **Warning** Stay away from if you want to stick to your diet; there is nothing low fat about it.  Now to adapt it to cupcakes!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I received some pictures from the port call in Piraeus, Greece and wanted to share them.

Acropolis at night; beautiful!

My Love was thinking of me while seeing these amazing places and went to the market (not one of his favorite places) to get me some Mati beads ~ evil eye beads.  I'm a lucky lady!

I would love to spend the rest of my life on a beach like this; with all my family and friends.  But the beach wouldn't look this pristine for long.  It would end up looking like the circus moved in.

Monday, April 9, 2012


I like to carry handkerchiefs.  Usually they are plain white men's hankies that I can pick up at a department store.  This year I've decided to try add some character to my handkerchiefs.

January:  crocheted lace edging on 2

February:  I made 15 and sent 12 as valentines.

March:  After making quite a few in February...

I'm starting to think about making my next hankie.