Tuesday, October 07, 2014


Eventually this blog will be closed, but not until all the content is converted to PDF for easy downloads and printing. In the meantime, Ctrl C will allow you to copy any highlighted text OR you can use Printfriendly.com to more easily print blog pages or better yet, save them to your computer.

As always, I will ask that you use your printer wisely! Remember our forests and only print what is absolutely necessary!!! Thanks!.

I hope you will check out all the new stuff over on:

All ADIAS pattern help will always be available through Jenna Wingate Designs


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Spinach Tortellini Soup

This was an accidental soup that I have remade a few times since. I found these little dried tortellini at the grocery and, without any clue what to do with them, brought them home. I googled a bunch of recipes and, of course, they asked for a lot of things that I didn't have. I really hate going out to pick up one or two things. Really hate that. I am a planner, penny-pincher. Plus running out to get one or two items usually ends up buying those one or two items plus a candy bar or something else I don't need. So, I threw together soup-y type things I had in the pantry and holy cow if it didn't turn out fantastic.

There is a rich flavor to this soup. Hearty. Flavorful. All that good soupy stuff. The only real problem that I have with it is they are no longer carrying these tortellini. I bought several packages the other day off the close-out shelf but after that I will have to play with some of the frozen or fresh ones. So... if you aren't using the dried like these you may need to alter the cooking times some, or the order in which you add the last ingredients. I will update here when and if I need to experiment further. Now... to the ingredients. Really couldn't be simpler.

Spinach Tortellini Soup
1/2 an onion, chopped
Tsp of oil
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder
cannellini beans
large can crushed tomatoes
4cups veg broth
2cups water
pre-packages tortellini (this happened to be spinach/ricotta stuffed, so bonus)
fresh baby spinach

Add the oil to a medium soup pot and saute the onion until just beginning to brown. Turn down to med-low and add the broth, water, tomatoes, and beans. Stir in the seasonings to taste (tons of cumin makes it for me). Turn the heat up just a bit and let come to a simmer before adding the tortellini. Allow to simmer on for 20-25 minutes, stirring occassionally. When the tort all all swollen and you are pretty sure they are cooked to your liking, remove from heat. Stir in 4 or 5 handfuls of spinach (I use a bit more than half that package there ^ ), cover, and allow to finish cooking.

It will thicken up just a tad as it cools and the next day it will be even thicker. I am pretty picky about pasta, but these seem to hold onto their firmness for the most part, even refrigerated for a couple of days. I haven't tried to freeze this, so don't have great hopes for the components in that aspect. This makes about 8 generous bowls of soup, though, so I managed to eat it over a few days without needing to freeze it. (I often eat the same thing days in a row because I am too busy and important to cook more often than that) haha

If you have fresher ingredients without using the canned, then totally go for that. I was having a convo the other day about the crappy tomato crop I had this past year and how I wish I didn't have to resort to canned tomatoes because apparently they are very bad for you. This soup is not super great for you, being all pantry items, but I am sure it's better than fastfood or a box of donuts. Even if you really really like donuts. I really really like donuts.

Okay. Back to work. No more thinking about donuts. Enjoy your soup!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Birthday Gifts (Made It Monday)

I skipped a couple of days blogging there- Saturday was the party for Nugget's First Birthday and yesterday I spent all day ripping out old UFOs and balling yarn. I got just over 6 lbs of scrap yarn balled and all of it will go to make dog toys. I am going to try really hard to make myself to one rat toy in between every project. They don't really take that long to make but they do make my hands tired, so spreading them out is a good idea. Any small bits of yarn leftover will go to make mice. This is a good plan, at least, and hopefully I will stick with it.

Nugget had a fantastic birthday party! Almost every single bit of her family was there- there were a couple of cousins and spouses working, but pretty awesome turnout and very full house. Her Aunt LaLa even climbed out her apartment window and rented a car to get there since her keys ended up in Atlanta with Uncle Brad. haha. That is true dedication right there! Nugget is definitely a very loved child. And she was in heaven. She was a little suspicious and shy at first but once the crowd started filing in she became very excited! She also got to play with her 2nd cousin Wil, who is 5 and very good with babies. They had an instant connection at family Christmas- the first time they had spent any real time together since Clemmie was old enough to be fun.

photo by Virginia of Smithcetera
And of course she got some pretty great gifts- lots of books, which are her favorite- and a lot of different kinds of toys which are good for girls to not just have babydolls, right? I can't even remember it all, but her family was very generous and they have excellent taste! I am sure she is going to have years of fun from all of it!

Probably my favorite gift she got was from her parents. Her dad built her these shelves and this little reading corner, her mom found the little wicker chair at a consignment shop, helped paint the shelves, etc. It's the perfect gift for a budding book-lover, as books were the very first things she showed any interest in (besides Mommy). And it's a nice beginning of transitioning the nursery into a little girl's room, since the baby days are numbered!

As stated in earlier blog posts, I had not meant to make her anything for her birthday but the Tshirt and even that I went back and forth on quite a lot. I didn't care much for how the fabric pastels turned out, but in the end I went back and got a black fabric paint marker and outlined everything and then I didn't totally hate it. Of course not many people would get the shirt and she certainly wouldn't- and her musical tastes so far, I am sad to say, lean more toward things with banjos- but it was an idea that popped into my head when I came across the book Rock and Roll Alphabet by Jeffrey Schwartz.

I started to not explain the shirt, but now I have this space here to fill in. Roughly, next to anything by Led Zeppelin, the best album in the world is Quadrophenia by The Who. This shirt is about the song 'I'm One' which really doesn't have anything to do with babies at all. The entire album/movie is about teen angst and, quite poetically, how life is always about conforming one way or another) but it has some great guitar lines and Nugget loves guitars. The image I used on the shirt is from the movie poster, though I put Nugget as the silhouette. It was probably not quite as clever as I thought it was, but it was unique and that's always good, right?

So rockandroll tshirt and book were gift number one. Gift number two was a set of books about farm animals and a cowboy hat and boots:

Photo by Virginia of Smithcetera
Now, I had not meant to crochet anything at all. Truly. And then one day Crochet Today put up this cowboy hat pattern for free. I really couldn't resist. And then, of course, she needed boots, too, right? I looked at a few different boot patterns but none of them were quite what I wanted. OR they were too small. This kid has a long foot! So, I took the pattern for the sole from my boots (that I have stalled working on) and then made up the uppers for the most part, though I did borrow some of the toe shaping from the Crochet Rain Boots pattern on Repeat Crafter Me. The hat I did exactly to the pattern, though I did not begin early enough to order milliner's wire (Hobby Lobby could not help me there!) and I had to substitute and it is not going to stay shaped right and her ma will have to keep fixing it but oh well they got some adorable pics of her anyway. Such a goofball, that kid. 

So, other than that, trying to not be such an over-gifter as I usually am, I just made them all some handwarmers. It's a new pattern I am working on and need testers soon. Well, I say I need testers, though I haven't actually written out the pattern yet. In fact I spent this morning and last night creating a new hat pattern (hellacute!) so really need to tackle my to-do list for sure! So no more blogging today and just two last pictures for you: 1, the close-up of the cowboy hat and boots and 2. the mitts I made for Nugget and her parents. I did see a couple pictures of her wearing them but I am gonna guess she didn't like it too much. We are luck to keep a hat or socks on this kid! I will see her tomorrow and find out!

Adios, Amigos!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Throw Back Thursday/Free Pattern Friday

As one of my early projects (There were some granny squares and a several attempted/frustrating sweaters from patterns before this) it is pretty amazing that I remember it so well. I had the idea how a dog was shaped in my head (from all those patterns that never fit) but my execution was very sloppy. The stress on the seams of this sweater was sad. I had worked in some various rows of bobbles and other stitch sampling just because- the buttons I had bought because they were large and the smaller original buttons weren't staying buttoned. Neither did these. Things you learn as you go, one big one would be crochet/knit buttonholes STRETCH!!!

The sleeves are set in differently on this sweater, which is why they are stressed. But Paypoo was such a cutie then, huh? She still is. There's not much different about her now but she is fatter and has quite a bit of gray on her face. She is still the same, curious, eager-to-please puppy with the too-long nails that she has always been.

There used to be a written pattern for this sweater. I made quite a few from it for friends' dogs. Sorry about that. I know they walked out of them after an hour LOL

Facebook has proven to be a useless tool. They limit how many people will see your posts if you do not pay to boost them. Things like links are rarely seen. What gets seen are silly shares, dumb memes that do nothing to promote your business or your cause. I shall be relying on Facebook almost none in coming months and comparing my sales and traffic with and without that tool. I seriously doubt it will make any difference.

So, The Nugget's birthday is tomorrow. I have all of her presents done. I decided to scrap the Tshirt. I came to decide that it was a joke that only I got and the book will stand on its own.

So, now that I have combined 2 days posts (I really felt horrible yesterday- almost convinced I had the flu for most of the day) I have to come up with something for Free Pattern Friday. So here goes: The first person to comment on this post gets a free pattern of their choice. The tricky part is that I am not advertising it on Facebook AND this offer expires at midnight tonight. So, if nobody reads my blog posts (of the 1200 people that come here every day for free patterns) then I keep my pattern. Seems fair to me!

Have a great weekend! I don't think there will be a post tomorrow as I will be celebrating the smartest baby in the world's first birthday. Plus I have a fruit salad to make and a bunch of balloons to pick up :D