Monday, December 26, 2011

The Wedding of Janice & Zane

Thursday December 15th, my husband and I landed in the big state of Texas. Many shrieks of joy and overdue hugs from friends and family. Through the flurry of last minute preparations, we made it to the big day. Saturday December 17th, we toasted to Mr. and Mrs. Martindale! Congrats to a beautiful couple!

Last Minute Preparations: Making purple tissue paper flower balls for the pews!

Girls Night Out: Bride with her Bridesmaids at Benjy's

Getting Ready for Tea Ceremony

Tea Ceremony

Getting Ready for Wedding Day

Wedding Reception at Safari Texas Ranch

Mr. Zane Martindale
Mrs. Janice Martindale

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wilson Family

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of photographing the Wilson family. We had perfect weather and beautiful smiles! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Camera Purse

I have been dreaming of a camera bag that doesn't look like scream "tourist" or "going hiking." I have those bags and love them for their purposes but I wanted something ... different. There are many camera handbags out there now beautifully designed by amazing artists. What can I do with what I have? With less than $15 (not including the handbag), I bought foam, purple ripstop (lightweight rip-free nylon), Velcro, and purple thread and got to work! It's very "freestyle" and a little rough along the edges in terms of not being the prettiest of handiwork but it works for its purpose and makes me extremely happy! Mission accomplished!

Fits SLR with lens, extra lens, and flash. A little room for a pen, skinny chap stick, credit cards/ID, keys, and phone.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sunset Lake Infinity Scarf

These colors remind me of a sunset over a lake. Neutrals layered with warm and cool hues. 

Followed a similar pattern to the Trifle Infinity Scarf and The One for the Blue Coat - Infinity Scarf.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Roasted Eggplant and Sweet Pepper Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Excited to use eggplant from the last harvest, in the mood to avoid washing pots and pans, and looking for something cheesy but with texture, a bruschetta comes to life! Marry together roasted eggplant and sweet peppers over a generous helping of warm goat cheese drizzled with garlic infused olive oil and you're in for an easy appetizer or dinner (depending on how many you eat!)!

Time: ~30 minutes
Oven: 350 degrees F
Yield: amount below are for 4 appetizer servings (I ate all 4 for dinner)

2 English muffins, sliced in half
1 small Black Beauty eggplant
4 small red/orange/yellow sweet bell peppers
1 large chunk of goat cheese (it was probably about 4oz?)
olive oil (I used garlic-infused olive oil)
  1. Preheat oven. Line sheet tray with aluminum foil. Drizzle on some olive oil. Set aside.
  2. Wash and slice eggplant in 1/4 inch thick rounds, no thicker. Place in a shallow dish and sprinkle on salt. Set aside and let sit while you slice the bell peppers. Salting the eggplant draws out the liquid and any bitterness. You can avoid this step if you're in a hurry and don't mind potential bitterness.
  3. Wash and slice bell peppers into 1/4 inch thick rounds, no thicker. Spread on one side of prepared sheet  tray. 
  4. Slice English muffins in half, place on another side of sheet tray. 
  5. Rinse eggplant slices, pat dry. Place on whatever empty space is left on the sheet tray.
  6. Drizzle olive oil over peppers, eggplant, and English muffins. 
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes. When the English muffins feel drier with a crunch, pull out the tray, evenly spread goat cheese on each half. Put tray back into oven and broil for a few minutes. 
  8. Assemble bruschetta by placing a few slices of eggplant, topped with peppers.
  9. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Apple Pear Crisp

What goes better with a dinner of chili and green chile corn bread on a rainy winter day than an apple pear crisp? The beautiful golden Asian pears are from my in-laws' garden.

Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: 30 minutes
Oven:  375 degree F
Makes: 8 servings

5 cups diced and peeled apples and pears
2 T granulated sugar
1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 c butter
1/4 c walnuts

1. In a mixing bowl, stir diced fruit with granulated sugar. Pour into pie plate.
2. For topping, in a medium bowl combine oats, brown sugar, flour, and spices. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle topping over fruit.
3. Bake for 30 minutes, topping should be golden. Serve warm.

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book 75th Anniversary Edition.

Chili and Green Chile Corn Bread

Chilly days call for chili and green chile corn bread. Finish it off with a warm fruit crisp of pears and apples!

Total Time: 45 minutes
Makes: ~5 servings

1lb lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped bell peppers
4 cloves garlic, minced
15oz can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
15oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
15oz can corn (unsalted, no sugar added), rinsed and drained
8oz can tomato sauce
1 T brown sugar
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
1/4 tsp black pepper

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, cook ground beef, onion, sweet peppers, and garlic until meat is brown and onion is tender. Stir in beans, undrained tomatoes, corn, tomato sauce, brown sugar, chili powder, basil, black pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

While chili is simmering, get your green chile corn bread going! Traditionally in the south, one would make this in a cast iron skillet. Without a cast iron skillet, I used a square ceramic baking dish.

Green Chile Corn Bread 
Total Time:
Makes: ~9 servings

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 c cornmeal
3T granulated white sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 T butter
2 beaten eggs
1 c milk (I used soy)
1/2 c melted butter
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
4oz can diced green chile peppers, drained

In a medium bowl stir together four, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Add 1T butter to baking dish and place in 400 degree F oven for a few minutes until butter melts. Remove dish from oven and swirl butter around to coat bottom and sides of the pan. In a small bowl combine eggs, milk, and melted butter. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture and stir until moistened. Fold in cheese and diced green chile peppers. Pour batter into hot dish and bake for 20 minutes, wooden toothpick inserted near center should come out clean. Top should be crusty with a moist inside. Serve warm with honey.

Recipes adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book 75th Anniversary Edition.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Vintage Neck Tie - Sweet Grass

Similar to the Vintage Neck Tie - Paprika, this one is made with larger hooks and Loops & Threads Impeccable yarn in Lush.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Vintage Neck Tie - Paprika

I had been eyeing this pattern for months but thought it just looked too complicated.... I finally got the guts to try it and can't believe I waited this long!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Blue Lavender Coasters

Coasters make great housewarming and hostess gifts! Here is a pretty way to gift them :o)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The One for the Blue Coat - Infinity Scarf

Have blue coat that needs a matching scarf? Have no fear! "The One for the Blue Coat" infinity scarf is here!

Pattern from Trifle Infinity Scarf post.

Ribbon Wrapped Scarf

Do I hear bells jingling??? It's Christmas time!!!! Have some gifts you're just not sure how to wrap? Here's an easy and cute way to gift a scarf.

  1. Roll up scarf like a jelly roll. 
  2. Wrap a ribbon around, loop it through some spaces in the scarf to keep the ribbon from sliding off, slip on a tag (I made mine out of unlined note cards cut in fourths and hole punched one end), and tie a bow.
  3. Set the super cuteness in a deep square box loosely lined with tissue paper and you're set (I haven't found the perfect box yet so it isn't photographed...please use your imagination!). 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Prayer Blanket

Happy Thanksgiving! There is plenty to be thankful for. Family. Friends. Health. Love. The 12 sections of this blanket represent the 12 months in a year. Everyone has ups and downs but we make it through. The days go on. There is always tomorrow. Be thankful and take time out of your day everyday to reflect on your blessings and feel grateful for them. Let compassion and kindness fill your heart!

This blanket is made of all shell stitches with a finishing border of single crochet, 5.50mm size hook.
Basic Directions For Solid Shell Stitch
Starting Chain: Multiple of 6 stitches plus 1, then add 1 more for base starting chain.
Row 1: 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, * skip 2 ch, 5 dc in next ch, skip 2 ch, 1 sc in next ch **, repeat * to ** to end of row. Turn.
Row 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2 dc in same st as ch-3 just made, * skip 2 dc, 1 sc in next dc (which is the center st of the 5-dc shell), skip 2 dc, 5 dc in next sc **, repeat * to ** to end of row, ending the last repeat with 3 dc in last sc, skip turning chain. Turn.
Row 3: Ch 1, 1 sc in first st, * skip 2 dc, 5 dc in next sc, skip 2 dc, 1 sc in next dc **, repeat from * to ** to end of row, ending last repeat with 1 sc in top of the ch-3 turning chain.
Repeat rows: Repeat rows 2 and 3 consecutively, until desired length is reached.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I started with a 29oz can of pumpkin, and had some leftover after making the Cranberry Walnut Pumpkin Bread. What better use than pumpkin chocolate chip cookies? These soft cookies are fluffy and like bite-sized pumpkin bread. If you're looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, whip up some cream cheese frosting and make a whoopie pie!

Recipe slightly adapted from Food Network Recipes-Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Trifle Infinity Scarf

I am obsessed with scarves. Solid. Striped. Floral. Fringe. Circular. Cotton. Short. Long. Wool. Practical. Decorative. You name it, I probably have it...or I just haven't found the perfect one yet. In fact, I even have a drawer devoted to my collection. 

This infinity scarf I crocheted using a few basic stitches and a couple new ones I hadn't tried before. This scarf is worked in rounds - hence "infinity." The main color doesn't get fastened off so the only ends you have to weave in are the color changes! The pattern below is based on using 2 colors (A and B) so if you use more colors like I did, just keep track of what color you're on and if it's supposed to be "A" or "B." 

Cranberry Walnut Pumpkin Bread

Bring on the spirit of Thanksgiving with this tart and nutty pumpkin bread! Easy to make on a weekend for the week's breakfasts or after school/work snacks.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Coziest Shrug

With chillier mornings and evenings, a cozy shrug is in order! Dress it up - comfy for work. Dress it down - great with pajamas for a night in.

3 balls of Lion Brand Homespun yarn in desired color (I used Corinthian)
Crochet Hook Size N 10mm

Note: A large hook is used to create an open fabric that will easily stretch to fit a range of sizes. Your finished product should measure approximately 38 inches by 42 inches. It will be folded in half and seamed on the sides, leaving a 7 inch gap for armholes.

(Pattern adapted from:
Ch 85
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across – 84 sts.
Row 2: Ch 1, turn, hdc in each st across.
Repeat Row 2 until piece measures about 38 inches from the beginning.

Fold piece in half to measure 21 x 38 in. Place markers on each of the 21 in. sides, 7 in. below fold for armholes. Seam sides from markers down to lower edge. Weave in ends.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Amigurumi Jellyfish

This started out as a little blue bird but the yarn color ran out and the eyes were placed in the wrong spot. Days went by and this little creature had no identity until one became a jellyfish!

There isn't a set pattern to this morphed creature. It probably goes something like this:

Amigurumi Turtle

Lion Brand Pattern 70591AD
Note: I used 3.75mm hook (instead of a 6mm hook) and plastic pearl beads (instead of safety eyes). I also omitted the tail.

Friday, November 11, 2011

3 Boys at the Zoo

Today I had the pleasure of chasing after Cameron, Eric, and Ronin. These boys recently celebrated their 2 year birthdays, 6 days apart. We celebrated their milestone at the zoo! 

This is probably the only split second the three sat still for one frame.
Carrots Make Giraffes and Little Boys Very Happy

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Amigurumi Pig

Oink Oink

I tried making it a little smaller since the pattern called for a 4 inch tall piglet. However, I didn't proportion all parts of the little Miss so she's 3 inches tall and a little funny lookin' but still cute :o) Check out Pattern Number: 70589AD below (without my adjustments):

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Amigurumi Inch Worm

My little sister Janice has always had a thing for inch worms. So obsessed, she used to pretend she was an inch worm. Janice, this one's for you! Love, Sis.

Adapted from Lion Brand Pattern #: 80284AD.

Amigurumi Penguin

Amigurumi is the Japanese art of crocheting small stuffed creatures. They're usually made of single crochets and smaller hooks to achieve a tighter gauge which keeps in the stuffing. I followed Lion Brand's Amigurumi Penguin pattern (below with a couple modifications). Have fun! Once you start, it's hard to stop! Think of all the creatures who will dance upon your Christmas tree!

Worsted Weight Yarn:
A: Black
B: White
C: Gold

Crochet Hook H 5.00mm

Bear Beanie

It finally feels like fall/winter here! Bring on the hats and scarves! To celebrate, I made a Bear Beanie. It's a pretty standard beanie of sc and dc but with added ear flaps and ears.