Monday, February 14, 2011


This is not a word typically used to describe me.

BUT from time to time...I can be sappy.

And crafty. Let's not forget crafty.
And cheap. Er, I mean fiscally challenged.
It's all about the free and re-purposed!
Yea, found stuff!

Check out these Valentine's Day gifties for my sweetie and my best bud:
Edit: the first project was for my sweetie who IS my best friend and the second project is for my bestest GIRLY friend. She's awesome.
xoxo to them both!

I found this idea over at Make-Gather-Grow. I found some scrap wood in my Dad's stash of stuff. Used some light bronze colored nails and red yarn I had in my stash. I cut out a paper heart to use as the template and taped it in place as I put in the nails. I tried to keep them evenly spaced. The pic below shows the template still in place with the nails around it. Don't forget to remove the paper template before wrapping your yarn or string! I left the wood unfinished and rough around the edges. It isn't cut perfectly, but I kinda like it! All part of the "found" look. I still need to attach a picture hanger to the back.

And here is a handmade Valentine for my friend, Cara.

Oil pastels on Bristol board, mounted onto a scrap piece of cardboard.
It's an abstract piece - just a little pretty for my pet!

There's also a silly little note on the back, but that's not for anyone but her! :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Yeah...I got skills

Mmhmm. That's right. I got skills.

AND I cook.
I cook GOOD.

Granted having a fella who loves to cook means I don't do it as often. (I usually let him do the cooking. While I sit back and eat bon bons.) But I do cook. And I like to cook for him when he's had a long day of cooking for others.

So THIS was Friday evening's dinner.

What was on the menu, you ask? Spicy, roasted cauliflower...tilapia over lemons with onions and Parmesan, glazed carrots. That's right. I even balanced the savory/sweet/spicy. Yeah, that's right: I planned. Yeah, for all of five minutes. But as I said: I got skills.

Seriously, people. This was an easy 30 minute dinner. I'll give you the run down.

Start with the cauliflower. It takes the longest. While oven is preheating to 400 degrees, cut a medium sized head into wedges, as I did, or cut up further. Place cauliflower on foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with some olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes.

While that's roasting, slice the lemons. Use four slices per each tilapia fillet to make a 'bed'. Again, use a foil lined baking sheet. Put a pat of butter in the middle of each bed. Lay the fillet on top. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and ground, black pepper. Place more lemons on top along with some red onion slices and another pat of butter. (The lemon-butter sauce that accumulates on the foil will be used to pour on the fillet once it's done.) The fish will go in once the initial roasting of the cauliflower is done.

While you're waiting, slice, dice or chop your carrots however you want. Once the cauliflower is past it's 15 minutes of roasting, pull it out of the oven, sprinkle with some salt, cayenne pepper and paprika. Place the cauliflower and the fish in the oven for another 10 - 12 minutes. You want the fish to be opaque and the cauliflower to be tender.

While that's going, bring some orange juice to a boil in a sauce pan. Throw in a few slices of fresh ginger. Add the carrots and continue boiling. The OJ will begin to cook off and thicken. You must stir regularly or it could burn. But since everything else is in the oven, doing it's thing...what else you gonna do? If you're like me, you're already done with your first glass of wine at this point. But, hey, that's just me.

Parmesan crisps can be made ahead of time if you wish, but only take 2 minutes in the microwave. Spray some oil on a plate. Make small mounds of Parmesan and flatten them out. Make sure they're far enough apart to not touch. Stick in microwave for about 2 minutes. That's about it. I broke them up and used them to garnish for the fish. Nummy.

Anyway, once everything is done, you can use some extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over the cauliflower and don't forget to use the lemon-butter sauce that accumulated in the foil to pour over the fish.

So. Freaking. Good.

And easy. You know I'm easy...
Wait. What?!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bouncing Baby Boy Blanket

Okay, say THAT three times fast!

Anyway, this is a basic granny square blanket I worked up. Added three rows of single crochet to edges and then a modified picot trim. This is a nice soft cotton (especially after washing) and will make a great lightweight spring/summer cover-up.

I LOVE these colors! I actually wanted to use this yarn for a throw for my living room, but the blue was a little too "bright" for my color scheme. Looks great with the green - perfect for spring! Not too boyish - not too girlish - juuuust right!

BTW...this is for the baby of a boy I used to babysit for. Granted, at 28 (?) I can hardly call him a boy anymore. He's quite the man now! Damn, I feel old!

But he was a great big brother to his little bros and is gonna make a great papa! Congrats!