Because crafts are like crack.

Little boy gifts are my FORTe December 23, 2011

Filed under: General Crafting,Sewing — Casey @ 10:47 am

It is so difficult to find a gift for a four year old boy that does not include lights, sirens or laser repeating action. For the sake of parents, I usually try to give gifts that run on imagination instead of batteries.

This Fort Kit might be the most adorable thing I have ever seen. What a great way to encourage a budding engineer. A thriftier, more resourceful person could make one of these out of things around the house. A poor planner like myself ends up buying a lot of the supplies. And finishes a few hours before giving it thanks to the help of my mother, father and husband. Hence the poorly lit photo.

I found some great flat sheets at Target that could be purchased separately from the fitted sheets and come in a little bag that could be re-purposed. Most everything else came from Lowe’s.

I hope this will bring fort-building fun for years to come.


Thanksss Sssusan B. Anderssson November 17, 2011

Filed under: Knitting — Casey @ 10:04 am

For creating ssssuch a sssssimple pattern. (For those of you who don’t know, that’s snake speak!)

Rarely do I find a pattern book from which I make multiple projects. I think my current count from this book is six and each has been just as cute and easy as the next. (Sisters is one of the several reversible doll patterns.) I highly recommend anyone who makes baby gifts look into this book.

I vaguely remember these snakes from my childhood. I know we had a couple brightly colored specimens hanging around when I was growing up and they were perfect for dangling from banister or attacking hapless Barbies.

This particular snake went to a brand new big brother. I figure he could use it in his arsenal of toys with which to torture his little sister. One of the best things about this pattern is it is perfect for using up sock yarn scraps. I used Deborah Norville’s Serenity Sock Yarn for this snake. I find this yarn works up pretty well, and you really can’t beat the price.

Even kittens think this is a pretty nifty project.


Pumpkin Dip November 6, 2011

Filed under: Cooking — Casey @ 10:30 am

To say that I like pumpkin would be an understatement. I consider myself a pumpkin gourmet. This year I sampled more than a dozen pumpkin beers. I have recipes for pumpkin nachos, pumpkin chili, pumpkin burgers, and pumpkin lasagna along with all of your normal pumpkin uses. I come by it honestly though. The only people I’ve known that like pumpkin as much as I do are my cousins and we all got it from my late grandmother.

Pumpkin Dip is a great fall appetizer or snack. It would even make a great dessert. I serve it with apple slices, gingersnaps and graham crackers.

Pumpkin Dip

  •   1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon frozen orange juice concentrate
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Mix in the pumpkin, spices, and orange juice concentrate until well-blended. Chill until serving.

I am thankful for my Cricut November 5, 2011

Filed under: Cricut — Casey @ 5:41 pm

I had a great time playing with the vinyl I received from pickyourplum.com the other day. I purchased the Thanksgiving cartridge over the summer and have been dying to make something with the adorable pilgrims and turkeys. Ikea is the perfect place to go for some cheap glassware and other household items to decorate.

The upside of vinyl is it is super easy to start over if you mess up. The downside is that the items are not washable. That slightly limited our imaginations, but I think the final products are very cute.


I think these are drinking glasses. I am really hoping they don’t shatter with the candles inside them. I will have to watch them closely to make sure we don’t end up with a super exciting Thanksgiving dinner.


I love this pitcher. I plan to fill it with wheat for my harvest decor.


Welcome Baby Amelia! October 23, 2011

Filed under: Crochet — Casey @ 4:31 pm

There may not be anything more dangerous than pinterest when you have new babies around. And coming from a large family, I always seem to know someone welcoming an addition to the family. Most have been boys, so when a cousin announced she would be having a little girl I was extremely excited to attempt these booties.

The pattern calls for fingering weight yarn and I wanted to crochet a matching hat. The choices on ravelry were slightly limited. Most patterns called for a heavier yarn. I love the more delicate look a fingering weight yarn gives to tiny girl clothes. I must have had a specific style in mind because I ended up selecting a hat pattern from the exact same designer just by browsing pictures on ravelry. Apparently, she and I must have very similar taste!

While nothing beats an afternoon in a local yarn shop, I have recently developed a love affair with Knitpicks. There are so many great options for great prices and it eliminates some of the impulse purchases of skeins just because they are so soft. I picked the Stroll yarn for it’s washability and gorgeous color palette. The dogwood heather is just perfect for a little girl.

Both patterns crocheted up fairly easily with minimal frogging. I am not sure I would suggest the pattern for a first timer, but I always fudge my pattern-following so that I get the general shape.

I might crochet a little large, but the booties seem a little large for a 0-3 month size. I really haven’t tried them on any actual baby feet though. I am sure they’ll get use at some point in baby Amelia’s life.


Bonus treat bag October 16, 2011

Filed under: Cricut — Casey @ 2:32 pm

As we were using the Cricut and Mini Monsters cartridge for the Melted Witches, I decided to make one of the treat bags. I had concerns about the usefulness of the box and bag patterns on the cartridges with the Cricut Personal machine, but I think this little guy is perfect for a party favor.  I will definitely be making more of these at some point in the future.


There’s a coven in my oven! October 11, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Cricut — Casey @ 6:31 pm

These timely treats were in fact not made in my oven. That would be a messy process and these were much easier than that. However, we have been experiencing some unseasonably warm weather here lately, making these treats especially appropriate. Well, actually I guess they would be most appropriate for rainy weather, but I have been craving some cooler, crisper days. Not appreciating our current blue skies and 80 degree temps probably makes me a bit of a witch.

Mom was again in town and we had both seen these on Pinterest, linked from Confessions of Cookbook Queen.

Our witches started as Wilton Candy Melts. A couple quick minutes in the microwave (follow the instructions on the back of the bag) got these good and goopy. We spooned the melted candy onto a cookie sheet covered in freezer paper. We made ours about 2-3 inches in diameter.

Each green circle then got a dot of melted milk chocolate swirled in and then refrigerated.

The brooms were made from halloween taffy and pretzel sticks. The taffy was difficult to work with, so we stuck a half dozen pieces in the microwave for 5 seconds.

Update: The original blog post we followed for this called for Laffy Taffy. We tried using this instead. We found all of our lines melted out of this pretty quickly, so I would not use it again.

We pressed out the taffy into a rectangle and wrapped it around the pretzel stick. The bristles were created using scissors to make indentations. It is a good idea to make several more brooms than you think you might need. We broke several of the pretzels in the assembly process and a broom without its stick is kind of pointless.

The witches hat is made from Oreo cookies and Hershey Kisses. My favorite part was twisting apart and separating the Oreo cookies as we all know that the most satisfying part of eating these cookies is disassembling them! Keep the half of the cookie with the filling part and discard the other part of the cookie. Actually don’t discard the other cookies. If you can’t think of anything to do with them, please feel free to mail them to my house.

Place the cookie filling side down. Dip an unwrapped Kiss in a bit of melted chocolate and stick to the center of the Oreo.

Assembly of the witches is fairly simple. The taffy retains its tackiness and the Oreo filling acts as a glue. Be gentle to prevent breakage.

We used 4×6 inch cellophane bags to package our treats. We secured the tops of the bags with a stapler. Our labels were made using the Cricut. The font came from dafont and was titled “October Crow”. We decorated the bags with small cut outs from the “Mini Monsters” and “A Child’s Year” cartridges. Using an assortment of Halloween scrapbook papers and bakers twine, I don’t think any two packages are the same.

Happy Halloween!