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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Vintage Collectibles Update

I scored on vintage collectibles during my last weekend’s rounds of flea market, auction, and yard sale venues! Came home with some cool 1950s-era snack sets, an Iris pattern depression glass candle holder, a Hazel Atlas Chevron pattern depression glass milk pitcher (my only auction loot this week), a fun pincushion, some sterling silver jewelry, tatting shuttles (bone and sterling), two John Wayne biographies (for the Love-Of-My-Life), plus a bound copy of the movie script of Casablanca (for me)!
During the holidays, my family likes to have appetizer nights, so I was tickled to find two snack sets still in their original boxes at a flea market—
Federal Glass Company Homestead Snack Set
Anchorglass Serva Snack Set
Snack sets work great for appetizers with the cups filled with dip or soup!
Yard sale treasure: Gotta love this vintage, Made in Japan, Lovebirds double pincushion! (I can’t help but wonder about the first owner of these lovebirds. Did she fall in love on a trip to Dallas? Am I being lame?) Plus a not-very-good peek at my tatting shuttles...
My turtle ring! Its head, feet and tail actually move! Too much fun!
How’s your vintage collectibles search going? What’s the greatest find you’ve made lately? I’m on the lookout for a new glass display case for my vintage goodies (need more no-dust-allowed storage space)…
Now, I need to get busy planning how I’m going to use my new vintage snack sets for the 4th of July!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Patriotic Cross Stitch Digital Download Patterns!

Looking for a patriotic cross stitch pattern to work on while you celebrate the 4th of July? I’ve found some great cross stitch ePatterns (digital download patterns) on LeisureArts.com.
Take a peek:
Show how proud you are to be an American with this spirited, flag-waving sampler. The design was cross stitched over two fabric threads on Tea-Dyed Irish Linen (28 count) and custom framed. The stitched wording says, “America, In God We Trust, Our Country, Our Destiny” and includes the alphabet and numbers.
Show how proud you are to be an American! Remember those who fought to keep our flag flying with this patriotic cross stitch digital download featuring American military men from 1776, 1812, 1848, 1861, and 1900. Our design was cross stitched over two fabric threads on Antique White Lugana (25 count) and custom framed.
Show off Baby's true colors with this star-studded bib digital download. The patriotic pleaser is a snap to whip up in three all-American colors. The design was cross stitched on the 14 count insert of a denim bib. ALTERNATE PROJECT IDEA: Stitch the design on a length of any evenweave fabric and attach to a tote bag, a lunch box, or other item. If stitching on white fabric, substitute red or blue floss for white backstitching.
Salute the broad stripes and bright stars of Old Glory by stitching our patriotic cross stitch digital download. It's great for Independence Day or during an election year. The design was cross stitched over two fabric threads on Dirty Dublin Linen (28 count) and custom framed.
Black fabric provides a dramatic background for this stately eagle, a proud symbol of our American heritage. The regal bird makes a fitting accent for your home on patriotic holidays -- or let your national spirit shine by displaying it all year through. The digital download was cross stitched on black Aida (16 count) and custom framed.
Show your patriotism or support our military with this charming flag-themed cross stitch digital download. It will make the perfect addition to your July 4th decorations, too. This design was cross stitched over two fabric threads on Antique White Lugana (25 count) and custom framed.
These patriotic cross stitch pattern are inspiring me to pull out the needle and floss for the 4th of July! I love download patterns ’cause they’re affordable, portable, have no shipping fees, and you can get started stitching almost immediately! What more could you ask for!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

4th of July Party Food

{Hey Everybody! We’ve got a guest blogger here on Everyday Life at Leisure for today! Welcome Celia Harkey, our Leisure Arts Food Editor! She’s all excited about 4th of July party food, and she’s got a free Peppermint Crunch Candy recipe for you from our Celebrating Party Foods cookbook!} 
I enjoy patriotic holidays and I’m so looking forward to next week—Independence Day or, as most of us call it, the 4th of July! I love getting out all my red, white, and blue decorations, including large and small American flags, plus numerous other patriotic items to set the 4th of July party theme.

In addition to the patriotic sparkle, summer is a fun time to have a delicious variety of hot and cold party food to share with friends, family, and neighbors. Leisure Arts’ Celebrating cookbook series includes Celebrating Party Foods—an enjoyable assortment of foods with fun themes as well as hostess tips and decorating ideas.

One of my favorites is a Christmas Open House celebration that you could use for 4th of July. WHHHHAAAAT??? I can just hear you now, “Christmas party food for 4th of July?” The best thing about the Celebrating Party Foods cookbook is its entertaining collection of 13 menus, each with a tasty selection of recipes for party food and Success with Parties tips. So what am I going to do to change Christmas into patriotic! It’s much easier than you might think!

The Holiday Open House chapter, with 21 recipes, includes some of the following party food: Hot and Sweet Tidbits, Festive Cheese Ball, charcoal-grilled Marinated Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches with Jezebel Sauce, Party Meatballs, Peppermint Crunch Candy, Cheesecake Bites, Chocolate-Coconut Cream Fudge, Merry Cherry Cocktails, and ice-cold Sparkling Fruit Tea. So to transform Christmas into 4th of July, just think patriotic red, white, and blue!

A sweet, cinnamon- and chili-flavored appetizer is Hot and Sweet Tidbits. This is a perfect crunchy snack to nibble in the cool shade with a glass of ice-cold Sparkling Fruit Tea. The tidbits are made with cereal, nuts, popcorn, and seasonings and then red and green candy-coated chocolate pieces are added before serving. To change from one season to another, just substitute summertime red, white, and blue candy-coated chocolate pieces—it’s that easy.

The Festive Cheese Ball is a tasty blend of Parmesan and cream cheeses with bits of celery and carrots for a touch of crunch. This flavorful spread is shaped into a ball and decorated with green, red, and yellow sweet pepper cutouts to resemble a Christmas ornament. From ornament to patriotic only requires a few changes! Press the cheese mixture into a star-shaped container lined with plastic wrap. After chilling, turn the cheese mold out onto a blue serving plate and decorate with finely chopped sweet red pepper and yellow pepper stars cut out with a small star-shaped aspic or cookie cutter.

A quick and easy treat to make is the Peppermint Crunch Candy (see recipe below). These sweets are shown in the book in red, white, and green candy cups on a Christmas-theme plate. 

Changing them to fit into your 4th of July party takes no extra time at all! Make the candies in patriotic-themed paper candy cups.


24 ounces vanilla candy coating
26 vanilla sandwich cookies, coarsely chopped
Crushed peppermint candy
Place about 5-1/2 dozen paper candy cups on baking sheets; set aside.
2. Melt candy coating in top of a double boiler over hot, not simmering, water. Fold cookie pieces into melted candy coating.
3. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of mixture into candy cups. Immediately sprinkle crushed peppermint candy over tops before candy coating hardens.
4. Chill about 15 minutes or until candy is firm.
5. Store in a cool place.
Yield: about 5-1/2 dozen candies

Wasn’t it easy to make the Peppermint Crunch Candy? Then you should know that hosting parties for lots of different occasions will be a breeze for even the novice cook with this collection of 13 themed menus and 101 party food recipes. Celebrating Party Foods offers entertainment for all age groups, parties include a sweet baby shower, elegant chocolate party, holiday open house [that’s our 4th of July re-do!], wine and cheese party, bridal shower, girls’ night pasta party, casual meal for sports fans, teen fiesta, child’s birthday party, Halloween party, kids’ Christmas party, New Year’s brunch, and a book club luncheon. Some plans call for a variety of snacks and sweets, while others feature a complete dinner. Each provides a starter menu with kitchen-tested recipes plus ideas to enhance the fun. General cooking tips and advice for Success with Parties are included. Easy? And bonus—You can order the downloadable e-version of Celebrating Party Foods right now and be planning for your 4th of July party tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Duct Tape Coozies for the 4th of July!

{Happy early 4th of July Everybody! Patti Wallenfang, Leisure Arts designer and creator of all the cool duct tape projects in our craft pattern books—Go Crazy with Duct Tape and Just Duct Tape It!, is back again today as a guest blogger here on Everyday Life at Leisure! Check out her fun idea for making patriotic coozies for your 4th of July celebration!}
Get out the red, white and blue duct tape! Time to get ur “patriotic” ON!
I know you are probably planning some fun things to do for the 4th of July, and I’m sure being outdoors is in there somewhere. Swimming, havin a cook-out, goin to watch the fireworks, maybe even camping!? Don’t forget the bug spray!
Another thing you’ll want to have is a drink “coozie” to keep your beverage of choice COLD!
And, of course, this coozie should be made of duct tape to reach the ultimate level of “Coolness”...
Here’s a picture of some that I made.
God Bless America! Besides the duct tape, I also used some stick-on foam stars and some sparkly garland. Adds a really festive touch, don’t you think? As I always say, it’s all about the shiny stuff! If you are going to be with a whole gang of people, putting your name on ur coozie is a great idea. That pretty much eliminates the chance of someone else’s cooties getting on your drink! Hahaha!
To make the coozie with the personalized star, stick some duct tape on a piece of non-stick foil (get it at the grocery store by the reg. foil...Super great for duct tape crafts). Trace or draw a star on the tape, cut out and then peel the foil off the back of your shape. Sam Patriot, u have a sticker!
Stick it on ur coozie and write ur name on it with a permanent pen. As a joke, I like to write “not yours” on my coozie. Well, it’s NOT! This always makes people laugh. I write that on my luggage tag, too...

So, to make the coozie, follow the instructions from my Just Duct Tape It book or watch my free video—Learn to Make Duct Tape Coozies. Lots of other cool ideas in the book, too. Check it out. 
Now that you already have the patriotic duct tape rolling, make some patriotic flip-flops if you have time. Or a tote bag, or a hat, or a flower, or a...
Have a great 4th of July! Be safe with your sparklers and eat a bratwurst for me....L8r!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Loom Knitting Progress—1st Hat Finished!

Remember the Beginner Knit Hat from Kathy Norris’ I Can’t Believe I’m Loom Knitting that I was babbling the other day? I actually finished it—

I actually got to hold my little baby hat up in a house full of girls and say the words, “I really knitted a hat!” It was pretty cool! Then, I got to share my limited loom knitting skills with the girls! They were thrilled when I showed them how easy loom knitting really is…

And, at that point, I only thought I’d found the easiest way to hand make hats ever! Then, I started on the next hat in I Can’t Believe I’m Loom Knitting—the Next-Step E-Wrap Knit Hat! It’s made while holding two strands of yarn together, so it works up super fast! (I’m making another baby hat!)

I’ll show you my loom knitting hat #2 when I find a minute to finish it…of course, the girls announced they needed food just as I was about half way done…But once again, I just want to share how simple it was to pick up right where I left off with my loom knitting. No counting or fuss, and if you have hand issues (sometimes mine really hurt if I get on a crocheting or cross stitch binge), so far, loom knitting isn’t bothering me at all! If fact, a lady on Facebook told us that she was able to loom knit with one hand when she had hand surgery! Pretty cool, huh?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Patriotic ePatterns to Crochet for the 4th of July

Are you ready to start waving your American flag? Looking for a pretty patriotic crochet pattern to work on over the 4th of July holidays? Check out our downloadable ePatterns. These instant download designs are perfect for when you don’t want to wait for a pattern to come in the mail, plus they’re affordable ‘cause there are no shipping fees!
Here are a few of my favorite patriotic ePatterns to crochet:
The star-spangled bow tie on this adorable crocheted bear reflects his American heritage. Made popular during the term of President Theodore Roosevelt, the teddy bear has become an American favorite. For an old-fashioned look, we gave our bear an embroidered face and used wooden buttons to accent his movable arms and legs. What a lovable, huggable bear! It is crocheted using two strands of worsted weight yarn and a size H (5.00 mm) hook. We gave our bear an American flag to celebrate the day!

Baby will be a Yankee Doodle doll in these patriotic American flag booties! Made using bedspread weight cotton thread (size 10), each bootie features red and white stripes and embroidered stars on the blue tops and soles. For a comfy touch, we sewed socks inside the footies to keep them snug on wee feet. We used a size 6 (1.80 mm) steel crochet hook.

Patriotic pride isn't just for the 4th of July! You can showcase the red, white, and blue throughout the year with this all-American afghan. Star shapes dominate the airy center of each of the 7"-inch squares in this afghan; the striped edging is worked in Double Crochet Stitches. The afghan is crocheted using worsted weight yarn and a size I (5.50 mm) hook.

Give a rousing salute to independence by displaying our patriotic granny square coverlet. Rustic shades of red, white, and blue, combined with a star-like center in each square, reflect our pride in Old Glory. It is crocheted using worsted weight yarn and a size G (4.00 mm) hook.

Patriotic pride isn't just for the 4th of July! You can showcase the red, white, and blue throughout the year with this all-American afghan. Imagine looking up into the dark night at a sea of stars that range in brightness. That's what this afghan resembles with its two square motifs that alternate the placement of red and white stitches. The afghan is crocheted using worsted weight yarn and a size I (5.50 mm) hook. The plush blue fringe seems to extend the night sky.

As a rousing salute to Old Glory, our patriotic pillow commemorates America's independence on the Fourth of July and throughout the year. This American flag pillow is crocheted using worsted weight yarn and a size H hook. Eight buttons create the circle of stars.

With its bold stripes and field of star motifs, this throw pays tribute to the American flag. What a spirited accent for your decor on patriotic days or all through the year! The afghan is crocheted using worsted weight yarn and a size J (6.00 mm) hook.
With these crochet ePatterns, you can have a great project to work on in time for the 4th of July holiday and a finished design that shows off your patriotism all year around!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Vintage Goodies from Auctions & Estate Sales!

I’ve been going to auctions and estate sales way too often lately! It’s sort of getting out of hand. Last Saturday, we drove 3 hours from Little Rock to Memphis, so the Love-Of-My-Life could bid on a ukulele banjo. He didn’t get it. I bought a bowl (a vintage jadite Swirl pattern mixing bowl), and then we drove another 3 hours home. (It actually took longer than 6 hours total ’cause we got lost in Memphis!) I didn’t even get a Krystal burger…
It was evidently a weekend for green vintage purchases…
I also came home from assorted estate sales lately with a green mailbox bank & a green teapot!
Other folks crave chocolate, I indulged myself to a bag of assorted crochet hooks, knitting needles, bottle openers, and a green shoe button hook! (Plus, I was tickled to find a Reynolds Metals Company paperweight! My Daddy retired from that company many years ago!)
From other auctions, I acquired some of those wonderful old green canning jars plus some neat vintage Hazel Atlas jars and Ball jars.
Couldn’t resist these rusty, crusty vintage implements…
I’m liking this claw-looking tool in my green button bowl!
And to break my green streak, I had to have this red Tonka truck…
It’s a Jeep (and I’ve been driving Jeeps for around 15 years now)!
What have you been adding to your vintage collectibles collections?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tunisian Crochet

{Note: Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Tunisian Crochet went up on the Leisure Arts site for sale a couple of days ago and promptly sold out! So while we’re waiting on more copies to hit the warehouse, consider this post a sneak peek at this wonderful new book!}

I’m intrigued again! This time I’m contemplating Tunisian crochet, and I can’t wait any longer to show off this long awaited how-to book—the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Tunisian Crochet by Kim Guzman!
Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Tunisian Crochet
If you like the ease of working with a crochet hook, but admire the look and feel of knitted fabric, you'll love learning Tunisian crochet. Award-winning teacher Kim Guzman walks you through the basics and takes you through each step with clear photos and friendly instructions. Nine fresh projects for you to explore will help you develop the skills you need. Designed for a variety of yarns, the nine unique projects include:
Seed Stitch Ruana
Drop Stitch Cowl
Diagonal Hearts Crib Cover
Felted Duffel

Cabled Mitts
Hoodie Vest
Mitered Vest 
Stockinette Scarf and Hat

Meet The Designer: Kim Guzman!
Kim Guzman is an award-winning designer of knit and crochet projects, including Tunisian crochet. She has authored several pattern books, and her designs have appeared in yarn craft magazines. “My goal is to produce crocheted items which more closely resemble knitted garments,” Kim says. “Even my ribbed garments are designed to specifically avoid bulkiness.” You can see more of Kim’s creations at KimaneDesigns.net and CrochetKim.com. She maintains a blog called WIPs ’N Chains at KimGuzman.wordpress.com and is an active member of Ravelry.com.
You can get your copy of the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Tunisian Crochet just as soon as we get the new shipment in—which should be any day now! Then, you, too, can be intrigued by this easy technique and these pretty, pretty designs!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The June 20 Issue of the Leisure Arts Newsletter

Just in case you missed it, here’s all the new news that went out in the June 20 Issue of the Leisure Arts Newsletter:

Fill your need to knit, crochet, knook, and cook with new how-to books from Leisure Arts! Great titles like the Big Book of Loom Knitting, Learn to Crochet Socks, and more have just arrived to spark your creativity!
Time’s flying! Have you entered our Knook & Tell Contest yet? We wanna see photos of what you’ve been knooking! Check out the collage above for a peek at some of the entries so far! The deadline for submitting your entry is July 15. Don’t miss your chance to win a $500 LeisureArts.com shopping spree, a yarn package from Bernat, and assorted Knook products!
For bargains, browse all the different skill categories in our Current Promotions list. For more info about what’s happening at Leisure Arts, our Facebook page and Everyday Life at Leisure daily blog always have the latest news, so bookmark those sites and visit often.

Editor's Corner:
Knitting looms are amazingly easy to use, and they're available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Look at the stylish knits you can create—without knitting needles! All the basic instructions are here. You can make hats, wraps, and a cozy blanket with sleeves (inspired by those popular fleece cover-ups sold on TV!). There are slippers, scarves, a felted tote, and mitts that convert to handwarmers...read more!

For a meal that’s both tastes good and is good for you, whip up our free June recipe for Green Frittata, one of 116 vegetable recipes in Deliciously Healthy Vegetables. It’s chock full of broccoli, peas, and spinach, so if you’re looking to eat your veggies, this recipe’s the perfect choice!

In the Spotlight:
Learn to Crochet Socks for the Family (5567) So comfy and soft, hand-crocheted socks are one of life's ultimate luxuries! Crochet expert Darla Sims presents 15 cozy toe-warmers for the family and also teaches you how to design your own. There are socks and slipper socks for children, women, and men...read more!

Knit Dishcloths (5568)
Making dishcloths is quick and fun! Even better, this plentiful collection of 15 designs by Julie A. Ray can be knitted—or knooked...read more!

Family Living Classics: Chicken Snacks and Soups—Salads, Too (75396)
Tender, tasty chicken is a favorite family food, but that doesn't mean you always have to cook it the same way. This book presents 35 recipes for a wide variety of chicken soups, salads, and snacks that make exciting choices for lunch, dinner, and informal gatherings...read more

Family Living Classics: Snacks for Children—Vegetarian (75397)
Are you looking for children's snacks that are kid-friendly but also meet parents' nutrition concerns? Choose from 37 quick, easy, and healthy vegetarian options for mornings, lunches, and after school. Most are shapes and sizes that kids can relate to, with lots of finger foods they can eat fast and then rush off to play. Don't be surprised when grown-ups love these recipes, too...read more!

Family Living Classics: Cakes and Cookies (75398)
Cakes and cookies are sweet delights that help us celebrate life's special occasions, as well as to savor everyday moments. Whether it's fancy cakes for birthdays or parties, or simple desserts and cookies for snacking, the 33 recipes in this book will help you impress guests and please loved ones...read more!

Family Living Classics: Microwave Cooking (75399)
For today's busy families, the microwave oven often saves the day. Making it possible to prepare great meals in minutes, microwaves even let you do the cooking in the serving dish, so there is less mess to clean up afterward. This book has a range of delicious microwave recipes, from starters and soups to desserts and cakes...read more!

Family Living Classics: Sizzlers Cookbook (75410)
There's nothing quite like the sound and smell of sizzling food to make diners sit up and take notice. With a little adaptation and a cast iron serving griddle, many of your favorite foods can be presented this way. Our 38 recipes reflect a variety of cuisines to serve as a sizzling meal-in-one with interesting accompaniments...read more!

Family Living Classics: Sandwiches and Wraps—Vegetarian (75411)
Easy to fix, easy to eat, and easy to carry along, sandwiches and wraps are family favorites any time of day. With the huge variety of healthy breads now available, building a nutrition-filled sandwich takes just minutes. And once you know the basics of a wrap, it's fun to create innovative tastes and textures...read more!

Current Promotions
Be sure to check on current promotions at LeisureArts.com as new promotions will be added on a regular basis. Below are a few we are currently running.

Holiday Celebration Sale! The holidays are the perfect time for crafting, quilting, paper crafting, painting, crocheting and more. Visit LeisureArts.com to find patriotic projects for July 4th plus inspiration for all your favorite occasions at 30% off! Offer runs from June 20-July 5!

• Buy our Just Duct Tape It! and Go Crazy with Duct Tape craft pattern books and get *free shipping with coupon code: DUCTTAPE! *Credits shipping costs up to $8! Duct Tape special ends June 30.

• Knook Bundle Summer Special—You can learn to knit with a Knook this summer with our Knook Bundle promotion! Receive *free shipping with your $50 purchase of select Knook soft cover pattern books and tool kits with coupon code: KNOOKPROMO! *Credits shipping costs up to $8! Limited time only!
• Mary Engelbreit products on sale at 50% off the original retail price. Click here to see all of our products in this category.
• We have select products marked at 40% off the original retail price in the following categories: Crochet, Cross Stitch, Knitting, Painting, Paper Crafting, Quilting and Sewing.
• Select DVD products on sale at up to 50% off the original retail price -View Products
• Clearance Products: These products have been placed on clearance and greatly discounted from the original retail price. Click here to see all of our products in this category.

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