Archive for March, 2011

Free crochet Jellyfish pattern

Posted in crochet, Tutorials on March 25, 2011 by Angie

Greetings, readers! Thought I’d drop in and offer a free crochet pattern this week. I’ve been making these cute nautical creatures, and they’re just so fun that I wanted to share!

I have been thinking of our dear friends in Japan and all of the turmoil that they are still enduring, and hope that you are all still sending thoughts and assistance their way as they try to begin to deal with the tragedy, and to move forward.

Crocheted Jellyfish

Materials:
• worsted wt. yarn in two contrasting colors 
• U.S. size G crochet hook
• needle for construction/sewing in ends 
• wind chimes, bells (optional)

Cap (main body of fish)

Notes: Cap is worked in continuous rounds without joining, so place marker where indicated and move with the work as you go.
Also, information between parenthesis [ ] will be repeated to the end of the given round. 

Start with a main color, of your choice –

Round 1: Using magic ring, sc 6 in ring, then place marker to indicate beginning of second round (and therefore the start of each consecutive round to follow). Tighten the ring, then continue.
Round 2:  2 sc in each sc around (12 sts)
Round 3:  [sc in next st, 2 sc in following st] around (18 sts)
Round 4:  [sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in following st] around (24 sts)
Round 5:  [sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in following st] around (30 sts)
Round 6:  [sc in next 4 sts, 2 sc in following st] around (36 sts)
Rounds 7-9:  sc in each sc around (36 sts)

Pull end of thread through last loop and, using a needle, weave in the end.

Tendrils (make two)

Using the same main color yarn as the Cap and leaving a long tail of yarn for the string at the end of each tendril, chain 41, turn and
Row 1:  sc in second chain from hook, sc in each of the remaining 39 chains. (40 sts)
Row 2:  ch 1, turn, 2 sc in each st across (80 sts)
Change to your second yarn color and work row 3 as follows:
Row 3:  ch 1, turn, 2 sc in each st across (160 sts)

Pull end of thread through last loop and, leaving a long tail of yarn at this opposing end of the tendril, cut off and set aside while you make the second tendril in the same fashion.

Assembly

All three of your parts finished, you can now assemble by laying the two tendrils flat at opposing angles (forming an ‘X’). Select a center point on both strips and stitch together with a small, single stitch using yarn and a yarn needle. Finally, attach this center point of the tendrils to the underside of the Cap and stitch in the center of the dome formed in the body of the jellyfish.

Now, you are ready to hang and enjoy! You might even attach windchimes or small bells to the strings at the end of the tendrils for added flair!

Hope the project was fun for you!

LOAF-ing on a Friday

Posted in Food, Inspiration on March 19, 2011 by Angie

It was a lazy day off today. Spring is nearly here! I know because I have several of these gorgeous lavender krokus’ coming up in my yard. They’re always a welcome and cheery sign that warmer weather is on the horizon!

I had lots of time today for resting and relaxing, but I was motivated to cook something new. I’ve been carrying a magazine recipe around, for days now, for a turkey meatloaf. I like to cook but rarely do I take a chance on a new recipe. We have a lot of the same old fare around here. However, this looked really good and I’ve never tried my hand at a meatloaf of any kind before. Why not start with a slightly more healthy turkey version?

It looked so beautiful with its sweet and tomatoey salsa. I have to tell you that it was AMAZING! I received rave reviews and was told to keep the recipe handy for a future repeat appearance! All-in-all, I’d call it a great success! I topped it off with a cornbread and potatoes. Yum.

Though I began with a recipe, I did make a few of my own modifications, so I thought I’d share it with you (below). Keep in mind, it’s a large meatloaf. It should yield 8 servings. 

My sweet pet, Lola, had to sample the finished product, then she took a nice long nap!

Don’t let the ingredients list throw you. There are several items, but it really doesn’t take too long to put together!

Turkey Meatloaf in Tomato Salsa

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound white mushrooms, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2-1/4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons roasted red pepper, diced
2 pounds ground turkey (white meat)
1-1/2 cups bread crumbs
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon allspice

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
– In a non-stick skillet, over medium high heat, heat the olive oil and then saute half of the onion, the mushrooms, garlic, roasted red pepper and crushed pepper flakes until the mushrooms begin to brown and onions get translucent.
– Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and then add the fire-roasted tomatoes, 1/2 each of the sage and thyme, vinegar, brown sugar and allspice to the mixture and simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes or until about 1/2 of the liquid reduces.
– In a separate mixing bowl, combine the turkey with the remainder of the salt, pepper, onion, sage and thyme. Add the bread crumbs and ginger and mix well. Using your hands, pack the turkey mixture firmly into an oiled, glass casserole dish. I used a slightly smaller than a 13″ x 9″ x 2″ as you want your turkey-loaf to fit the pan well. There will be some shrinking of the loaf as it bakes.
– As soon as your mushroom mixture (salsa) is reduced, top your turkey loaf with half of the salsa. Cover with foil and bake for approximately 40 minutes. Then uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. You can serve the remainder of the salsa on the side for additional garnishing.

Enjoy!

They say elephants never forget…

Posted in Inspiration on March 16, 2011 by Angie

Greetings fellow crafters! It’s been a long time since I’ve been on to share my crafts and to blog about art/life/etc. Of course, as stated in my last post, it has been a long period of adjustment for me since moving from caregiver back into a so-called “more normal routine”. There was a dark little period where I seemed to fall into a crafter’s “block”, but I took some time to work on some creative projects that were drawn from patterns and tutorials which allowed me to keep my hands moving but didn’t stress me to be original all the time.

When, years ago, I found myself aggravated over not seeing growth in my drawing/painting, I decided to take the pressure off myself and say, “it doesn’t have to be great…if it’s a ‘dud’, you can simply do another,” and suddenly my art improved by leaps and bounds. And, this same method seems to have worked with my recent crafting block, for now I have several new and original ideas which will be shown in coming weeks!

I am showing off a couple of my new and bright Ele-friends! I made several from a Simplicity pattern just a few months ago. They’re very cheery! And, I love the stylized nature…that they are simplified with little facial detail, etc.


I stitched these little characters simply for the joy of it. Also, I plan to take some to my Mother at her Alzheimer’s care facility. There’s perhaps something about elephants and how they ‘never forget’ that appeal to me. Even if some of us are unfortunate enough to lose that ability, it doesn’t mean that friends and family can’t remember for us. Give your loved ones an extra hug today!

And, while thinking of sharing our love, find a way to reach out to our fellow humans suffering in multiple countries right now, including Japan and Libya, etc. If you can share monetarily, or only with prayers, do what you can. Giving always makes you feel better!