Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I picked up this book - Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts: Amigurumi - a few weeks ago... just could not resist it and was so happy I had a gift card to buy it with. I had to pull out my "Learn to Crochet!" book for some refresher tutorials and eventually got a good rhythm going and finally finished this little guy this morning. I like the teeny-tinyness of these projects. Makes for easy crocheting at the park. There's an adorable little duckling in this book - he might just have to be next up.

Here's something fun: do a Google image search for "amigurumi"... too cute!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

felt applique

I had so much fun with the first two felt appliques that I decided to use my crafty time today to make another for the Etsy shop. I did these a long, long time ago - but I'd forgotten how much fun it is. I like layering the felt and using different stitches to uniquely create each piece. Fun!

Monday, January 26, 2009


I can't believe my youngest is now TWO!

We had a little party to celebrate and, as always, I had a few little craft projects to help make the celebration extra special. As soon as I saw this pinwheel pattern from Heather Bailey I knew I'd be making them.

And since I recently made a felt applique for another birthday boy, I was determined to make one for my little guy. Right now, as dedicated followers of the blog know, Finnegan is obsessed with "Maggie and the Ferocious Beast". So here is that "Ferocious" Beast on his birthday shirt:

And here is the birthday boy (just can't seem to get this serious one to smile in front of the camera - he freezes up whenever that lens is in front of him!):

Without getting involved in Ebay auctions I couldn't find any "Beast" party supplies, so I had to come up some of my own. This foam core Beast watched over all the festivities.

And, of course, there was the cake. I used fondant for the Beast on the cake and the eyes on these cookie lollipops. Now why is it, exactly, that food is funner when it is on a stick? The kids LOVED these cookie lollipops. I think all cookies will have to be on lollipop sticks from now on.

And now I can breathe a sigh of relief because all the birthday parties are done until next Fall. With both birthdays within months of each other (on either side of Christmas, no less) it's both a burden and a blessing. It's a lot of work - but once it's over, it's OVER for TEN whole months.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Spent the morning crafting (pinwheels for the upcoming birthday party) + watching history.

Friday, January 16, 2009


This is what I make at 4 o'clock in the morning when a little one wakes me up for a sip of water and I can't go back to sleep. It's meant for a gift but I'm tempted to throw it on Finn and keep it instead. Chances are, though, that there will be another early morning to sew up another.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

in lieu of pita

I was going to make Falafel tonight, but just couldn't stand the thought of stopping off at the grocery store with two fiesty little boys to pick up pita bread after an afternoon at the park. So, I fixed a Falafel salad instead. Delicious. I am so thoroughly full and content right now. (J- Tell me this isn't what you guys had for dinner - because if it is, there really must be some strange time/space continuum warp thing going on) The vegetarian gig (or pescatarian, as I've learned - eats fish) is going great. I feel wonderful, energy level is high - I'm very excited to keep it up.

Monday, January 12, 2009

at last!

Here he is!

My patient little Finny would point at him while I was finishing up and all he'd get from me was, "Not quite yet!" And you know, I never did find that fourth missing wheel. And wouldn't you guess, Michaels didn't have any more wheels. So I ended up making my own and I actually like them better - they're oversized and I think it adds to the whimsy of the toy.

I really loved the technique for making this guy. Again, here's the link to the Martha appearance by Katie Steuernagle: Pull Toys. I wish I knew more kids young enough to want one. Trying to think of other ways to use my huge bag of paper mache. Maybe some mobiles.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A +++

I rarely do product recommendations - I just don't think about it - it's not like I'm trying to hide my secret discoveries, trust me. I was using this new fabulous glue tonight and thought I'd share. It's just like the packaging promises... fast drying and completely wrinkle free. I used it for my Christmas cards and picked up another bottle for birthday invitations.

I like to swirl it around on the paper and unlike Elmer's, the swirls seem to vanish the second you put the two pieces of paper together. Has the same end result as spray adhesive - but I hate using spray adhesive because I haven't figured out to apply it without getting a fine mist of adhesive on everything around me. So try for yourself. It's so incredible - but watch those fumes!

Another birthday party coming up. Our soon-to-be 2-year old has developed a obsession for Maggie and the Ferocious Beast. He shouts, "Beast! Beast!" So, it'll be a wonderful little party in "Nowhere Land". Trying to decide if a stuffed Ferocious Beast softie would be worth the effort.

Friday, January 09, 2009

project dinner

Spinach Noodles
Peanut Sauce

This Peanut Sauce recipe has still got to be one of my favorite recipes. Of course I substituted the chicken broth for vegetable. And I upped the garlic. It was very, very garlicky. Yum. Now I wish I'd made more so I would have had left-overs for lunch. Still not quite as good as noodles from Saffron, but pretty darn close.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

better than paper liners

After watching an episode of Maggie and the Ferocious Beast this morning, two little boys were pleading with me to make pumpkin muffins. (the Ferocious Beast's favorite) Used my favorite pumpkin bread recipe and tried a muffin liner that I found on a Starbucks muffin over the weekend - simple cut squares of parchment paper smooshed into the muffin tin before adding batter. These are so much easier to remove from the muffin than traditional paper liners because you have all these corners to pull - no having to dig your finger nail into the muffin to get the liner to pull off. I like this. No more paper liners in this house. So much prettier too!

Monday, January 05, 2009

project dinner

Grilled Ginger Garlic Tofu
Red Peppers


Really surprised, actually. This is what I'd planned to make tonight and somewhere around 5 o'clock it sounded like the very last thing I wanted to make tonight. But I pushed through, and as the garlic hit the pan the smells began to fill the kitchen. I was immediately convinced it was a good thing, this Grilled Ginger Garlic Tofu. It was delicious. With this on the menu once a week, I may actually succeed at this vegetarian in '09 resolution.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

best intentions

I've been meaning to take pictures of all the Christmas creations, but that just hasn't happened. I'm still in denial about actually taking down Christmas. (must happen today, it's January 4th for heaven's sake!) So I may as well post this picture of a toy I gave to a friend's son. Followed Katie Steuernagle's tutorial on Martha... it didn't come out quite as smooth as the ones Katie makes, but I thought it was cute nonetheless.

I made a pull toy of a flying elephant as well. Somewhere along the way, though, I lost one wheel and that stopped production because I was in no mood to hit the craft store in the days leading up to Christmas. (I still hold on to the belief that it's just got to turn up SOMEWHERE... where the heck did that thing go?!?) So I need to go buy a wheel and finish this pull toy so I can finally give it to my little Finn - he's so overwhelmed by all the new toys that he's not even aware that his special Mommy gift never made it's way under the tree. Robbie's special Mommy gift was a child-sized workbench for using all his new child-sized tools. Will photograph that SOON.

And now, while the Irish steel cut oats are cooking up, I must make my menu and grocery list for the week. Resolution: Eat healthy, eat vegetarian, eat whole in 2009.