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Friday, September 30, 2011

Celebrating Pancakes, Waffles, and Crepes

As cool weather starts to kick in with the arrival of Autumn, I start craving real breakfast food (and not just at breakfast time), and, as usual, Leisure Arts has come to my rescue with a new cookbook that’s got just the recipes I’m looking for—Celebrating Pancakes, Waffles, and Crepes by Avner Laskin!

Chef Laskin offers basic recipes (that even a beginner can master) for each delectable breakfast goodie—pancakes, waffles, and crepes, and then goes on to serve up a tempting selection of both sweet and savory recipes for each for a total of over 90 recipes. (After looking at it, I now wish to taste test all of them…)

Take a peek at just a few of the treats I’m drooling over:

Layered Berry Pancakes (Yum, berries and crème fraiche!)

Fresh & Festive Pineapple Coconut Pancakes (Ohhh, pancakes with ice cream!)

Corn Pancakes (Delicious dipped in sour cream or Greek yogurt!)

Waffles with Caramelized Pears (Topped with traditional maple syrup!)

Waffles with Saffron Salmon (Just a few strands of saffron result in a beautiful, fragrant dish!)

Apple & Cinnamon Crepes (Warm, cinnamony aroma says holidays to me!)

Mushroom & Herb Crepes (Love mushrooms!)

Are you breakfast hungry yet?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Scraplifting Inspirations

Are you ever tempted to scraplift? I certainly am, and it’s okay, you know? It’s not stealing. It’s borrowing ’cause, after all, isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery?

It’s easy to borrow ideas and make them your own thanks to the 379+ layouts in this new book from Creating Keepsakes—Scraplifting Inspirations. According to the book, “…anything goes! From a clever title to a layout’s design to the entire layout itself, you can scraplift anything you like.”

I spent some time last night flipping through this amazing book and marking some little inspirational ideas that I might just want to scraplift myself—

I literally want to lift this whole layout to use with the daffodil photos I took last Spring because it shows how to fit 10 flower photos on one layout.

This layout first got my attention because it was about junking (a weakness of mine) and because it suggested ways to transform solid-color paper into patterned paper with rub-ons.

Not exactly what the editors intended, but I like oddly cropped photos, and this layout gave me a way to do that successfully!

I’ve been thinking about putting together a cookbook for my kids, and here’s a fun idea for giving a notebooky look to the pages plus some inspiration on intensifying color with spray ink.

I have stacks of books all over my house. This page makes me want to photograph them. The border made from paper circles would also let me use up some of the little scraps of paper that I compulsively save.

Inspired by this page because I want to do a funny feet layout, and I love this sun made from different patterned papers.

It’s fall, and Halloween will be here before we know it. I love all the little details from Halloween—the pumpkins, the candy, the costumes, etc. This layout would let me feature all the little bits and pieces!

Are you guilty of scraplifting? Indulge yourself with Scraplifting Inspirations!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Retro Treats

I’m all about a little bit of retro in my clothes, in my jewelry, in my home décor, and in my food. Remember the Chocolate and White Chocolate Fondues from the 50s, 60s, and 70s? Find the recipes in our Celebrating Party Foods cookbook!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

That Wood & Metal Thing

In Sunday’s Recent Auction Loot post, I asked if anybody could identify this wood and metal thing.


I think, thanks to my readers, that we’ve got it figured out! It’s the perfect size for holding Cebelia crochet thread.

Cool, huh?

Rita Weiss’ 50 Fabulous…For Autumn Afghans

Knitters, have you seen Rita Weiss’ 50 Fabulous series from Leisure Arts? Each book features 50 stitches that you can use to add creativity to your knitting projects. They even include the multiples info you need to plan new projects. Take a peek at what’s inside, and, this Fall, when you start planning what afghan or afghans you‘ll be knitting as the temperatures start to drop, why not create a one-of-a-kind design and learn something at the same time?

Look at all these stitches! You know you want to try them all!

50 Fabulous Knit Stitches

50 Fabulous Lace Stitches

50 Fabulous Aran Stitches

50 Fabulous Ripple Stitches

50 Fabulous Garter Stitches

These books definitely belong in every knitter’s library.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Afghans to Crochet This Fall…

Lately, I’ve babbled about sweater weather, sock weather, and now I’m moving on to afghan weather. Each Fall, I try to commit myself to completing at least one crocheted afghan. (I like to work on smaller projects during the hot summer months and take on larger ones when it cools off.) With all of the wonderful patterns out there, it’s hard to pick just one, but this year, I thinking squares in Fall colors…

I’m leaning toward this Autumn afghan from the Leisure Arts Afghan Lover’s Collection. Done in ecru, brown, green, and gold, it really fits into my current fascination with Fall.

Or I could take this Buds & Blooms blanket from The Big Book of Baby Afghans, change up the colors to rust or maybe burgundy and tan, and create my own Fall floral-themed wrap. (I like to make baby afghans that call for light weight yarn with medium weight because you get a bigger afghan with the same number of stitches, and they’re a great size for wrapping up in.)

Even though it’s gorgeous just like it is, I think this Rose Promenade afghan from Floral Touches by Rena V. Stevens would turn out nicely crocheted with Fall colors.

Love the rust, gold, and red mixed with black in this Zig-Zag & Rick-Rack afghan from Rena V. Stevens Take-Along Afghans.

My most favorite pattern so far is this Sampler Throw from Melissa Leapman’s Hip 2 B Square Throws 4 Home. I wouldn’t get bored crocheting all those different squares, and I really like the colors it’s pictured in!

What afghan do you have on the hook for this Fall?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Recent Auction Loot!

My collections are growing. I got so much good stuff at the auction this weekend, I just had to show off my new treasures—an (allegedly) 1930s snack set with plate, cup, and glass; a Pyrex casserole in an Oak Leaf & Acorn pattern (perfect for Fall food); a green depression glass Princess pattern cake plate (the auctioneer now thinks I’m supposed to bring him a cake at Christmas time); a couple of sets of salt & pepper shakers; some marbles; and that wood and metal thing there in the middle of the picture…

Does anybody out there have any idea what this thing is? I really like to know ’cause I’m now the proud owner of two of them…

I also came home with some other wood and metal goodies—license plates, a stamp set, an assortment of rulers, a temperature gauge, an aluminum serving tray, and some earrings. Not sure what my plan is for most of this stuff…but those earrings…

Thinking I might disassemble those earrings and combine them with a chain I found at an estate sale plus some other odds an ends and turn them into a necklace. For inspiration, I may need to consult with the experts…

I’m so spoiled working for Leisure Arts ’cause I can get my hands on great resource books like Beading Workshop and The Passionate Beader’s Guide without ever leaving my office!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sock Weather!

Happy first day of Autumn, y’all! I’m so looking forward to the cooler temps, changing leaf colors, and sock weather! I’m generally a run-around-the-house-barefoot kinda girl, but as the temps drop in Arkansas, there’s nothing better than a nice thick pair of handmade socks.

I’ve been eyeing Karen Ratto-Whooley’s I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks book with the thought that I might actually try my hand at crocheting a pair for myself. She’s developed some great basic toe-up and cuff-down designs for a total of 9 patterns with easy to follow step-by-step instructions!

I really like this pair of Ripple Socks!

If you’re a sock knitter (or you aspire to be a sock knitter), there are a lot of pattern choices out there! Novice knitters might want to take a look at I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Socks by Cindy Guggemos. It offers up everything you need to know to knit socks and includes 10 fun patterns.

I’m sort of coveting these Basic Chevron Socks!

If you’re really into knitted socks, you’re going to love the patterns in another book from Cindy Guggemos—A Cuff Above featuring 23 designs for everyday, for baby, and for the holidays!

I haven’t had knee socks since elementary school, but I’m thinking that I’d really appreciate the added warmth from Cindy’s Annelise Knee Socks this winter…

…but I’m also kinda liking these pretty Ivy Socks—probably ’cause they’re green.

Ready for a walk on the really creative side of sock knitting? Seek your inspiration from Lena Maikon’s Knitted Comfort For The Sole! (I’m thinking The Cat and I would have a lot of fun with the Snow Falling on Socks pattern shown on the front cover!)

I also have to admit that I really want a Lucky Leather Sock Pocket (instructions are included in the book) to hide my house key in (shown here on these Zingy Zigzag Socks).

Could you resist taking these Mutt-ering Around Slippers for a walk around your house?

And I’m pretty sure that the warm wonderfulness of a pair of these Traditionally Cable Socks would simply make me very happy!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Scarf Update & New Project

Yes, I finished crocheting my tube scarf from the Wrapsody in Blue pattern in Tube Scarves by Barbara Shaffer. It was fun to make, just crocheting in circles, and the finished product feels great around my neck.

And, yes, I’ve chosen a new project! I started crocheting a wonderfully easy hat in the round in the doctor’s office the other day. The reason it’s so easy is that I found the pattern in Teach A Group of Kids to Crochet by Kay Meadors! (I figured if a kid could do it, I might be able to wrap my brain around it in a waiting room…)

Here’s the gauge swatch. I had to go up to a bigger hook ’cause I’m a tight crocheter!

I managed to finish the increases section before the nurse came to get me…the rest of the hat is simple—just single crochets that go around and around and around!




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