Tuesday, December 10, 2013

More Holiday Prep

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I posted this pattern on google as a repost from someone else. It's fun to do and easy to follow and is a departure on the horizontally crocheted scarves I usually make. It's fast to work and these two were done with two different size yarns and hooks.
The black and white is done with a light worsted weight yarn and a G hook. The white and rainbow is done with a chunky yarn and a J hook. Neither took more than a few hours to make even with the addition of the fringe. And both so neat. The possibilities are endless if you have a yarn stash like mine.
Mug rugs and coasters make great additions to a gift basket filled with homemade goodies, a mug or two, some hot chocolate packets and there you have it. These were made from remnant pieces I won online in an auction on  Listia. Here's a link  https://www.listia.com/signup/3799850
They were already cut into squares and rectangles and are upholstery fabric samples. Perfect for a project like these.
 My new Singer has quite a few decorative stitches, so I tried them all out on these. So much fun and, aside from having to re-thread the needle a couple times (which is hard for a far-sighted person like me), it was effortless.
 The last two here are backed with some off white felt I had from another project. I still plan to put a border around them using some blue piping I have.
 Here are some links to more pictures of my latest and greatest (if I do say so myself)  - http://www.facebook.com/CsCraftedCreations
and    https://www.etsy.com/shop/3Csshop
The creche has been updated this past Sunday to include another animal and the shepherd. I put in the cow and the lamb with some straw on the 1st. Next Sunday I'll add the Holy Family, sans the babe, of course; my set doesn't have an empty cradle or manger. I'm not sure whether to add the Wise Men after the 25th or add them along with the appearance of the Baby Jesus. To be correct, they don't appear until quite a while after the birth, but we'll have to play around with those details, I suppose.

Have a good time with all your preparations for the holidays. I know I am.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Advent - A time of preparation

Top piece of wall hanging "The Nativity" by the author. 
A star appears, the angel waits, hovering above the land, a land filled with expectation.

Bottom right of "The Nativity" wall hanging.
Sheep graze while their shepherds watch...


We prepare for Christmas by decorating, cleaning and rearranging our homes. Strings of electric lights help us illuminate the darkness of winter. We hang up wreaths, green garland and put up evergreen trees and boughs, to remind us that even amid the bleakness of these cold months, there is life. Scents of pine, cinnamon and other spices help to remind us of the security of home and hearth that most of us enjoy (and take for granted much of the time).

Perhaps this could also be a time to prepare ourselves -  to face another year; another year to be better to those we love,  another year to nurture our own inner life, another year to do more for those less fortunate.

Perhaps we can keep that illumination, even after the last string of twinkling bulbs has been stowed away. Perhaps the wellness of the earth that we remind ourselves of during wintertime will be cherished for the miracle that it is, even after spring flowers reappear and snow and ice melt away. Maybe we'll think more about those who are not as comfortable as we are, and be more alert for opportunities where we can make a difference when the free turkey dinners and handouts of Christmas food drives subside. Just maybe...

We are counting down the days; the counting starts sooner each year, it seems. Already several Christmas specials sales, animated stories and musical shows have passed. Children are excited and behaving like little angels themselves, or trying to anyway. Some kiddies, good or bad, will get very little, if anything at all, due to circumstances they have no control over; some expect nothing, some will be disappointed. Many youngsters will receive more than they wanted or needed, however, and fail to appreciate any of it.

Yet, Christmas can be a marvelous time to impart life lessons on these future adults. Sure, we've helped perpetuate this myth of the Jolly Ol' Elf; we've bought into the "department store Christmas" just as our parents and their parents did before them. But a mere century and a quarter before now, Christmas presents were handmade and needed, one or two store bought items, if that. We've come a long way from that scenario these days. I'm not saying it's for the worst or for the best, I'm just saying that's the way it is.

But it needn't be that way, if that's not our true vision of the world we'd like to live in. Our children can be taught not to buy into the hype of spend-spend-spend for Christmas. Our families can practice the ideal of giving out of our excess to help those who have less than enough. Our spirits can rise above the frey, our world can become full of light and love, and we can be the cause of that joyous sound that will fill the air. Just maybe...


For the grace to bring the light of Christ to the world by offering lives of service, we pray to the Lord.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Now It's November?

The busiest of months

Here we go:

- from today until Christmas, will be trying to plan the holiday meals. I will change them multiple times and probably decide on a menu two days prior to the day. 

- by the end of this month, I will have looked through each and every cookie cook book I own, which is many, to settle on which dozen or so i'm making this year

- before Dec. 15th, I will have boxed up the gifts I am sending to those who live afar, but until then, I'll be crocheting and sewing up a storm to get them all made

 - FYI, there will not be enough hours in the day to get it all done, but we'll put forth an honest and hearty effort to do so.

 A felted bag I made, my first effort in felting and tapestry crochet
 Two cheap felt throws crocheted together using the blanket stitched edge already on them. Neat!
 Oil painting I did. Another creative outlet of mine. Nice to finally have time to do it!

Day tripping! We love discovering new sites nearby and this one is about an hour away. Who knew we had a natural bridge right here in Middle Tennessee (mid-southern, actually)

This is a little bit of what I've been up to since the last posting.Right now I have a few projects on hooks, so to speak. One is a boucle infinity shawl. Another is a vest in autumn colors which I think I'll keep. Another is a round throw which will be donated to the prayer shawl ministry, which goes to veterans in the local VA hospital. I'm also working on a needlepoint Christmas scene which I hope to get done by Dec 1st. I'm also supposed to be doing a CAL which I have not even started yet. YIKES! 

So, I'd better quit killing time on here and get busy! But first, I'm taking my cup of coffee out onto the front porch and setting a while. Here I come, kitties! 

May God Bless you all and keep you until we "meet" again. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New Giveaway from Lion Brand Yarn and FaveCrafts

Another great yarn giveaway for all you needleworkers and crafters out there.   Here's the link - http://www.favecrafts.com/sweeps/Lion-Brand-Yarn-Prize-Package-Giveaway/ml/1

I love Lion Brand Yarn because they keep up with trends in knitting and crochet and their yarn and free pattern selections prove it.

You can find just about any material of yarn for a reasonable price, too.

And, almost best of all, EVERYONE carries their brand, so no hunting around and, likely, you have a store within driving distance, so don't have to sweat the shipping charges from online sites.

Best of luck, everyone.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Pumpkins and Falling Leaves

Autumn colors

I'm inspired by the palette of fall, aren't you? I used to live up north where the leaves changed on cue, it seems. In the south, it's not as predictable or pretty, most of the time. For one thing, there aren't as many maple trees here. More walnut (black variety) and other nut trees, elm and cottonwoods, which all seem to turn a similar shade of golden brown and yellow, and evergreen cedars which don't turn at all, dress up the treed hills around here. We do have some stunning shrubs, though. The flaming color of  sumac can be a real surprise when driving along a curvy, hilly backroad. There's one down the road in full brilliance right now. It's magnificent! 

Crochet Pumpkins

I promised a crochet pattern and I think I've got one for you now. It only takes a few hours to complete, so there's still plenty of time to make one for Halloween or, even more time, for Thanksgiving.  I'm new to pattern writing, so bear with me and here goes:

Yarn: Sport (3) or worsted (4) weight  - in two (or more) colors (yes, pumpkins are usually orange, but they can be yellowish or more reddish, and stems can be green, olive or brown. Or go crazy and make a purple pumpkin with a black stem!).
Hook size: G or H, depending on yarn

Begin with a Magic circle (Wrap yarn around finger twice, go under one wrap of yarn on top of finger and pull up a loop from the other wrap of yarn, and then make one chain. That's about it. When you are done with the first round, pull the beginning tail to tighten the circle and join together or whatever your pattern suggests.) Make 9 scs in circle and join to first ch 1. Mark this last stitch.
Round 1: ch 1, *2sc in next stitch, sc in next*; repeat from * around and join. Move marker up to join stitch and continue to do this after each round is completed.
Round 2: ch 1, *{1sc, 1hdc, 1sc} in next sc, sl st in next sc*, repeat around. Join and mark.
Round 3: ch 1, *{sc in next sc, hdc in hdc, sc in sc, sl st in sl st}* repeat around. Join and mark.
Round 4:  ch1, *{sc in next sc, 2 hdc in hdc, sc in sc, sl st in sl st}* repeat around. Join and mark.
Round 5: ch1, sc in each st around (including sl sts); join and mark.
Round 6: ch2 , skip first stitch, *{dc in next st, 2 dc in next, dc in next, sc in next, skip next st}* repeat around and join to sl st join of previous row.
Round 7: Repeat Round 5.
Round 8: ch1, *{sc in dc, hdc in next 2dc, sc in next dc, sl st in sc}* repeat around. Join and mark.
Round 9: repeat Round 8.
Round 10: ch1, *{sc in sc, sc2tog in next two hdc sts (decrease made), sc in sc, sl st in sl st}* repeat around. Join and mark.
Round 11: ch1, *{sc in sc, sc2tog in next two scs, sc in sl st}* repeat, join and mark.
Round 12: sc2tog around, join and fasten off.
Stuff the pumpkin before you go any further. [I've used traditional polyfil, but I've also used broken-up packing peanuts, yarn clippings, and dried beans.]

Round 13: Join new color using regular method. ch3,  (sk1, dc in next) around. No need to join or mark.
Round 14: sc in each dc made around and repeat this for 3 to 4 more rounds until your stem is a long as you want it.
Round 14: ch1, begin to dc in skipped stitch from Round 13 and continue the stitch by picking up dc stitch in previous round as well. Do this same stitch around and then continue in sc around until stem is of desired length. Fasten off.
 - OR-
make your stem any way you want to, you just start decreasing until it's closed enough, then work even around to make a column. Not rocket science, right?

Section off your pumpkin using the same color yarn as you did for your pumpkin. Thread a good length onto a tapestry needle. Starting at the bottom center, thread it up and out the top near the stem. Go back into the center bottom and continue in that way until you have 5 or six sections. Make last stitch come out the center bottom and tie the two ends together in a square knot. Trim ends.
Decorate with a leaf , coiled pipe cleaner or wet a length of yarn in school glue and wrap it around a pencil until dry and use that as a coiled piece of vine. Don't forget to leave a length of un-glued yarn so you can fasten it onto the pumpkin.

So, there you go. Feel free to message me with any corrections or problems noted. As I said, I'm new at pattern writing.
Hope you have fun with it!

Friday, September 6, 2013


C's Crafted Creations: REVELATIONS IN SEPTEMBER: With Liberty and Justice For All  The last few days have been strange. Syria's troubles and the US and world's responses, debate ov...


With Liberty and Justice For All
 The last few days have been strange. Syria's troubles and the US and world's responses, debate over the words of the Pledge of Allegiance, personal setbacks and betrayals of trust, and the reading of Jane Addams book Long Road of Woman's Memory seem to jumble together in my psyche and spirit. If you've never read anything by this woman, whose birthday is celebrated today, September 6th, you should, especially, but certainly not only, if you are a woman. Here's a link to a free reading of one .

  Reflecting on the events of these first days of September, the Jewish New Year - Rosh Hashanah -, and just leaving behind the national holiday of Labor Day, I can't help but be struck by the content of the book mentioned above in relation to all the other events I've recently experienced. Jane Addams was a brilliant author and a keen observer of human nature. Her words continue to ring with truth and brilliance. In this one not over-long tome, I found answers and explanations to the debate over the efficacy and justice of wars, traditional and cultural methods of dealing with personal failings and struggles we all go through in life, and clear representations of how it is that a nation, such as mine, and other nations, continue to progress. How serendipitous!

What I most adore about Jane Addams writing is the narrator's perspective that makes the history lesson, sociology lesson, psychology lesson, and spiritual dissertation come alive to the reader. I was able to read her book mentioned in the first paragraph online for free after a short search for her writings. There is no excuse not to, at least, read the introduction. Likely you will not be able to "put it down" until you are finished reading it, as was I. Let me encourage you by saying, I learned much, I was entertained, and I cried a little, too. It boggles my mind that this book was not one we were encouraged to read in High School or College, yet, even so, somehow, it doesn't surprise me. First, because it is a strong, intelligent and educated female's work; and, last, reading lists, at least while I was school-aged, were likely compiled by men. "Nuff said.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Also Known as the Sturgeon Moon While I fully expected August to be miserably hot and humid, it has not turned out to be so here in Middle Tennessee. Cooler than average temperatures and just enough rain here (more than enough an hour or two away). Nice. We've had some hot days and humid nights but really can't complain at all. I've been working on a few projects, one I just today completed. Original design, no written pattern.
I'm still not sure if I'll part with this one. I love it. It embodies autumn, my favorite month, right down to the oak leaf and acorn tie ends. Another is a cover for books, tablets or journals that I came up with. Shell stitches with more fall colored yarn (Knit Picks acrylic - very soft and wooly).
I'll likely make more of these using different stitches (I like variety in my crocheting). In creating my poncho (above) I finished up the bottom few rows with a stitch pattern I found in my encyclopedia of stitching. It has no name, but I really liked it. As I was crocheting it (in red)I could see that stitch being quite useful in a bath set of washcloth, scrubby, and soap bag, so I made a set using cotton yarn in just a few hours.
FREE INSTRUCTIONS TO DUPLICATE THIS STITCH PATTERN I love the texture and look of this simple stitch pattern - so try it out yourself! I used a cotton worsted weight yarn and an H hook - All you do is: chain a length and in the third chain from the hook, insert hook and pull up a loop, yarn over (YO) and draw through one loop on the hook, reinsert the hook and pull up another loop, YO and draw through one loop, then YO and draw through the three remaining loops. Stitch is completed. Skip a stitch and repeat all the way across the chain, turn and ch 2 and repeat the pattern. You'll figure it out.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Summer Comes to a Moist Close

Where does the time go? I don't know about you, but my summer sped by like the rain storms the Southeast U.S.A. has had countless numbers of this summer. No flooding here, and corn and soybean fields are tall and full and green. The harvest should be bumper crops for all. While I didn't have a veggie garden myself this year, I planted potatoes and have an asparagus bed or two that did quite well. Fresh dug red potatoes - you can't beat that with a stick! My daughter and her s.o. do have a garden and they both work full time outside their home, so, not long ago, they inquired about hiring a gardener for a share of the produce. I volunteered and set to ridding their patch of a bumper crop of crabgrass and other weeds. It only took a week. For my efforts, I was awarded some gorgeous purple or black peppers, some black cherry tomatoes, some anaheim peppers and jalapenos. Also a couple of turnips and greens and some cattle beans seeds to plant myself in my former potato garden container. They have already sprouted and are taking off.
CROCHETING RIGHT ALONG Also, I have not neglected my crocheting and sewing. I've gotten into making baby shoes, likely inspired by a friend or two's new arrivals. They are cute, quick, and you can really play with colors. I also enjoy making my own buttons for them out of polymer clay. I'm also getting ready for a craft show in October (my first!) so I've made a cute Halloween-y banner and am upping my inventory to include some fall-ish items.
Just so you know, those multicolored things that look like canteens to the left in the picture are stowable shopping bags. The second picture is the larger one in use. They are pretty cool items to make and useful, too. I plan on having some to sell at the craft fair. INSPIRATIONAL MOMENTS I would be remiss to exclude those blessed occurrences we often refer to as inspiring that I've experienced in recent days. May they also serve to inspire you. Here's my list: A friends daughter just graduated high school last month. She has struggled with her weight all her growing years. Recently, she joined a team of coaches and began a diet using the Medifast program. Her success thus far is remarkable. She is amazing even herself and offers the thought that "once you get your head around it, it becomes easier." I think she's hit on something there, don't you? A blind parishioner at my church recently performed the reading of scripture at a service. He had to climb some stairs to the podium and read from his handwritten braille version of the verses. Then find his seat on the side and wait to descend the stairs again after all the readings are read. I'm sure this is nothing that special to him, but it is to me. A woman whose son was shot and killed spoke, through her grief and pain, to the three young men who murdered him for no apparent reason, saying that she hopes her son's senseless death will serve to call attention to the fact that young men of color need to turn their lives around and stop killing one another. As she communicated her heartfelt message to these men, she choked back what must have included rage, sorrow and despair, and also seemed to include the forgiveness that faith dictates we give those who trespass against us. It was so very touching. Inspiration was not only taken from this poor mother, though, but from the news agency who deemed the story important enough to include in their evening news broadcast. We are often given only the sordid side of most stories; this time the viewer was left with some hope, at least. These are just a few quite recently noted moments. I'm sure there are many I'm unable to recall at this time. If you have some you'd like to share, please leave a comment here with your "moment of inspiration" - and thanks for taking the time to read this.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


THE MONTH OF MAY COMES TO A CLOSE IN TENNESSEE This has been an unusual Spring season in the mid south. We've had a LOT of rain and cooler than average temperatures. While bothersome to many, I suppose, the change in climate, though short-lived, is a welcome one to me. We've been able to keep windows and doors open during the daytime and into the night. This old house is poorly insulated and the breezes help cool and heat the interior. I enjoy having the house open to the outdoors. So, I've enjoyed this particular Spring. As the month ends, so do the mild temperatures. Very soon, we will have to keep everything closed up and turn on the AC units - 2 window units and one portable, vented unit. Going outside will be limited to early mornings and late evenings or short spans during the day. I hope we will not suffer from water famine as we did last year. I collect and save rainwater to water plants with, but then I have to worry about mosquito larvae breeding in it, so have to be sure to use it fairly quickly. June tends to be a dry month, with grass, now green and lush, becoming brittle and sparse. The hubby, who does the mowing is looking forward to that aspect of summer. I, who prefer to walk barefoot, do not. But I get where he's coming from. Summertime Blues Here's my list of summertime woes: 1. I don't have a pool. 2. The pool in town has no shade and it's too crowded. 3. The car is too hot when you get into it and takes too long to cool off. 4. My fair skin can't take the sun for long and I loathe wearing gobs of sunblock. 5. Flies,chiggers and ticks. (Did I mention I live in the country?) 6. I have to wear less clothing and I need to drop a few kilos. Here's my list of summertime yays!: 1. It will soon be fall. OH, TO AGAIN SAVOR THE JOYS OF SUMMERTIME AS A CHILD When I was a kid, summer meant a rewarding break from school. It meant days and early evenings of outdoor play with neighbors and friends. It meant family get-togethers and bbq's with corn on the cob, hot dogs and watermelon. All eaten outside, no one to make you clean your plate or watch your manners. It meant days at the beach (I grew up on the New Jersey shore), days at the neighbor's pool, days reading in a tree (one of my favorite summer pasttimes), evenings catching fireflies and keeping them in your darkened room, watching them as you fought off demon sleep. Now that my kids are grown, summer has lost a lot of its meaning. School in, school out, didn't much matter, except for hearing the bus come so early in the morning. But now, I have a grandson who just graduated from Kindergarten. His first summer vacation is now here. We have, so far, spent time together at the park, took a walk to the creek, and spent a few hours playing board games. I'm hoping some of that enthusiasm for SUMMER! will rub off on me. I think - I hope - it will.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day Comings and Goings

Another Year Bites the Dust My 59th year of living is but a memory now. I remember my 30th birthday, nearly 30 years ago, when I marveled that the "milestone" of turning 30 did not make me feel old; my quarter-century mark seemed much more profound at the time. Approaching the 60th anniversary of life feels a bit more on the inspiring side than previous mile markers. Time has been passing much too swiftly and I hope to do more savoring and less speeding through it in the future. 'Nuff said about my age. "C's Crafted Creations" shop on etsy.com has become "3Csshop" and I have acquired a few repeat customers, I'm extremely happy to say. I've been branching out a bit from crocheting exclusively and including some sewn items. Never officially told I have ADD or ADHD, nonetheless, I have a tendency to keep several projects on line at the same time. I enjoy new challenges, so whether that means I have a 'disability' or not, I prefer to think of it as an 'ability' to be creative in more ways than one, at the same time even. Crocheting in the warmer months means a complete change in pending inventory, certainly. No more winter hats and scarves, no more neck warmers or mittens. Patterns for light stoles, pretty and airy scarves, purses and bags, vests of cotton and bamboo, even swimsuit coverups are now the focus. In temporary storage is the wool yarn cache, with acrylics in fall and winter colors joining the skeins and balls for now. Out of the stash are spring and summer colors in the natural fibers that keep one covered and cool at the same time. I love just perusing through them and then hope for inspirations to come. Being a slightly-better-than-novice at sewing means my projects have been, what to me is, uncomplicated. Blankets and bedspreads, tote bags and pillows are what I've been creating. A little hand quilting to go along with that on the blankets, because I do so love to do hand sewing. Have I mentioned that I still darn socks, too? For Mother's Day, which followed my birthday by a few days, I gave my Mom a stole I made(I have one similar to it for sale on etsy) and she loved it. I am now working on a messenger bag for one of my repeat customers. I really enjoy doing custom orders and feel like this is going to be the cornerstone of my shop in the future. It's just wonderful to be creating something you already know someone wants! Season's Change and So Do I What has been a struggle for the past year is to be forgotten. Coming back to normalcy from the accident, I still have my moments of fear and flashback when in an automobile. Our recent trip to the Appalachians was not without a few. But all told, I'm much more comfortable riding than I was a year ago. The residual aches and pains of injuries sustained have become the status quo and I embrace them, when they appear, as a reminder to be thankful for the present life I now enjoy. "O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Your mercy."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

WHAT A MONTH THIS IS TURNING OUT TO BE!!! I feel like a reviving perennial, waking from the slumber of winter. New friends, visits with family, antiquing and out on the town forays with the significant other; things are just popping. Business (my crafting business, that is) is really picking up. I've put out more feelers, joined some crafting groups and have been posting pictures on Facebook, so I take some credit for the upturn. I've also been busy crocheting and sewing, too, and when I finish something, I put it on Etsy.com. I like to try to list something every day; it helps to keep your shop in the forefront. Perhaps now that the election is in the past, people feel more comfortable about spending a little, not to mention some are getting their refunds about now. Whatever it is, I hope sales continue to trend upwards. Speaking of economics, the job I applied for recently didn't pan out. I've been an RN for 27 years, and have been on hiatus since a car wreck side-lined me for a time. I started writing articles to make ends meet, but the market dried up after about a year. I did get a bit extra in the settlement, so all's well for the time being; I don't need much except yarn and fabric, lol. After the physical therapy was done, there was still a healing period where being on my feet for 8 hours a day was not an option. I still am not sure that would be possible, but I'd be willing to give it a try. Unfortunately, it wasn't it the cards this time. Being the optimist that I am, though, this increase in custom orders for my crocheted articles has really buoyed my spirits and maybe life has other plans for me after all. Now, there are all these horrible happenings in the news and people are suffering and hurting from north to south & east to west in America. What I notice most is how stuff like that, awful as it is, tends to make us a better people; stronger in our love for neighbor, stronger in our resolve to live as good, decent people. That's what I take from it all. Comfort and peace to all those hurting from loss and injury.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Finally, a breath of springtime in the air! The Redbud and Flowering Almond are beginning to bloom in the back yard and the Primroses in the front. The Quince, Bradford Pear, Toadstool Trillium, Daffodils and Cut-leaf Toothwart are braver and have been showing themselves for a couple of weeks now, along with the Hyacinths, both wild and planted ones. They don't seem to mind the colder weather at all. I've even seen a large asparagus spear poking it's head up out of the still chilly soil. I see tulips buds getting ready to show their stuff, too. Nature is so magnificent.

Very soon, it will be difficult for me to stay inside and crochet or sew all day. I'll have to get out in the gardens, here and at the parent's home, which is where we plant vegetables. Their yard is flat and without rocks. Mine is sloped, full of rocks, and there is really no one spot that gets enough hours of sun to plant a vegetable garden. Many years of trial and tribulation have proved that to me. So, being it's only a short drive to the folks' house, we decided to do a large garden there. Last year was the first one doing so and, aside from the victims of drought, the plantings did well. Corn dried up, and the beans did, too. But we harvested a lot of tomatoes and squash, lettuces and chard. Hopefully, this years weather will cooperate more and we will be a bit more successful. Time will tell.

Anyway, the exercise as well as the food is so good for the body and soul, it's a win-win situation, no matter what the outcome of the crops. It's time to move more, sweat some and get dirty! I can't wait! I'll be sure to take pictures of the progress and stumbling blocks as they occur and post them here so you can see how I'm faring. In the meantime, if you are interested in what I've been up to all winter and fall and part of this spring, you can start here:

Friday, March 22, 2013

Baking Day!

I just made my first creme puffs and eclairs and don't know why I thought this was such a difficult thing to make! Really it was pretty simple, didn't make too much of a mess and the result is as good as bakery fresh.
The biggest obstacle was putting the cream inside the pastries. I got it in there but not without a bit of a botch here and there. Creme filling graced outside as well as inside of the puffs. And, Tupperware makers, I'm sorry, but your "pastry bag" is a waste of filling. The tips are fine and the concept should be, but the accordian folds in the "bag" hang onto the filling and it's difficult to get air out when you're piping into something and it pops out at the most inconvenient times.  I ended up using the tip placed inside an "old fashioned" plastic bag and that worked out so much better. I mean, I get it, Tupperware, it's plastic, so what can you do besides make it have folds? If you can keep the thing full all the time, then it will work quite well.
Anyway, I hope the picture shows not only how good they look but also how messy the creme filling made things. Still, well worth the effort. I got the recipe from The Shiksa in the Kitchen (theshicksa..com), and although I did use some matzo meal, I mostly used cake flour in place of the balance I didn't have on hand. No problems.
I share and find recipes on Pinterest too. I also share my crocheted stuff - <a data-pin-config="above" href="//pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.flickr.com%2Fphotos%2Fkentbrew%2F6851755809%2F&media=http%3A%2F%2Ffarm8.staticflickr.com%2F7027%2F6851755809_df5b2051c9_z.jpg&description=Next%20stop%3A%20Pinterest" data-pin-do="buttonPin" ><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pin_it_button.png" /></a>

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Another Year Older and Dapper in Dat

I am a neglectful blogger, I admit it.
There are many reasons for that:
Scrabble, Words with Friends and Facebook, to name but a few.
Here's the gist of what I've been up to for real lo these many months...

Crocheting for the holidays took up much of my time the latter portion of 2012. I worked up hats mostly, but some scarves and fingerless mittens, too. The gentlemen look pretty dapper in their new caps, I must say. I also have increased my inventory on etsy.com (name changed to: 3Csshop), and sales are up a bit. I'm still not in the black, however, but I remain hopeful. In any case, the yarn stash is bigger and, with the new sewing machine (Christmas gift from loving spouse :-)  ) the fabric stash can now be utilized in ways I imagined.

I mentioned previously about neglecting certain other of my many muses. Well, I have found time to fondle the keyboard once again. And the guitar is now being kept next to my computer so I can pick it up at any time. I find I do so much more when it is handy.

I did not do much writing in 2012 after all, in particular, work on my children's story book. Recently, however, I have become acquainted with a fictional character named Scot Tremble who lives in the late-middle of the 21st Century in America. He and his friend, Truth Passage, attend high school together in a world where school uniforms are made of Kevlar and vigilantes run rampant through the countryside with their assault weaponry in hand. Oh, and I should mention, Scot and his other friend, Martin, love old rock n' roll music, like the Who and Bob Seger, for instance. It's exciting to have a new idea for a story and I hope the thread doesn't run out before I solidify the plot.

The coming year looks good right now, since I have lots to keep me busy with things I enjoy doing. It is a wonderful thing to be able to do what you enjoy and I do not take that for granted. Sometimes I still sometimes feel like the grasshopper who fiddles while the ants toil, but I always did kind of admire that foolish fellow.

Oh, if you care to see some of my creations, you can check me on Facebook at  C's Crafted Creations  or on etsy.com as I mentioned earlier. Or check me out on Pinterest <a data-pin-config="above" href="//pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.flickr.com%2Fphotos%2Fkentbrew%2F6851755809%2F&media=http%3A%2F%2Ffarm8.staticflickr.com%2F7027%2F6851755809_df5b2051c9_z.jpg&description=Next%20stop%3A%20Pinterest" data-pin-do="buttonPin" ><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pin_it_button.png" /></a>