Wednesday, July 30, 2008

So Honored

I am so honored that Cathy over at The Christmas Corgi Blog thought highly enough of me and my little blog here to award us the Arte y Pico award. She is such a fantastically fun artist, her colorful, corgi-filled paintings are a delight! It tickles me that anyone even reads CorgiPants, let alone thinks it's fun and creative! Thanks Cathy! And now it's my turn to choose 5 (or so) 5 blogs that deserve this award, based on creativity, design, interesting material, and contributions to the blogger community. Please visit these great ladies, maybe you'll find a new blog to read or a new project to try out.

First up, Bertha of Karma Kitties. I have known Bertha since we were both on Livejournal. I fell for her kitty illustrations! But she is an A+ super knitter. She whips out socks like I wish I could, and they're beautiful, not just some shabby worsted weight uglies but fancy, lacey dainties! Mmm, and her delicious yarn porn on flickr!

Next we have Miriam of Crafter by Night. Miriam is all kinds of crafty! Lately I've been watching her tasty delights come out of her kitchen. I like to watch what pops up on her flickr!

Drewzel is also a long-time read of mine. I think I found her through Loobylu, back in the days of a Month of Softies. Remember that? Anyway, Drewzel is amazingly talented and has some crafty endevours going on! I wish to channel her creative and productive energies as I venture into my own crafty endevours. She is in Australia (hence the Loobylu linkage) and is a member of Brown Owls.

Now, allow me to make an aside here within my award-giving-out post. I don't know where I have been but this group was totally unbeknownst to me until last week! I think those Aussies are so lucky to have a place and a group that they can religiously craft together with. And I hope that everyone believes me when I say the Make-Do Marigolds and the whole Make-Do Mail/projects/badges thing, while I certainly drew inspiration from several places, has been in my head sometime and I've been working on the whole concept and writing the first edition booklet for a while now. I'm not a copycat, I promise! I hope no one sees it that way.

Back to the awards!

Sarah of Craft and Clutter certianly deserves mention! She's got the crafty spirit, some of which I got to see in person when I won her blog contest and might I say that banner was the perfect decoration for Mike's birthday and is still hanging up because it is just so darn cheerful! She's got a cute pup and makes super cute crafts! I like that I've seen several clothepin dolls on her blog. Oh, and she likes American Girls dolls, speaking of which, I'd love to see more pictures of them in their new setup!

And one more! Happy Zombie's Monica gets my last award because her blog is pure eye candy! From the blog design itself to all those lovely projects! Delish! Free Projects, my most favoritest of internet things! And she's a swapper so we always get to see what she makes and what she gets!

There you have it, some (but certainly not all) of my blog favorites. Ladies, you keep me entertained and in awe!

Super Busy Making Make-Do

I have been busy busy working to get the very first edition of the Make-Do Mail ready! Today I finished up the last little bits and just need to print them out! Hooray! I hope you're all ready for Zucchini recipes and gingham!

I got my Summer Sassy Apron Swap. My partner was tied up for a bit taking care of her mum in Mexico so it was a bit delayed but it is awesome! And it came with a bag of lovely cherry candy, green tea towels and two new spatulas which I used last night to make zucchini cupcakes with old -fashioned caramel frosting! Yummy! Thanks so much to Danezka for the lovely package!
Oh, and what's that sneaking into the picture? No, not the prominently displayed zucchini. It's Mike's newest toy, the Kitchen-Aid mixer he just bought and promised to make me cookies with every friday from now until eternity because he bought it without consulting me! We have a perfectly good hand mixer (Hamilton Beach) and stand mixer (Sunbeam). Here's a better look at the new giant:
I have yet to use it but he did make some pretty tasty chocolate chip-molasses cookies last week!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Contest winner!

Edit: If you haven't received an email from me yet, it's because I was not able to find your email address on your website. Please email me if you were one of the 29 who left guesses and want to take advantage of my offer.

First off, I bet you are all waiting to see what that building is! There was only one correct guess, from Karla and Karrie. Yes it is a McDonald's! Complete with drive through, and chandeliers!

We stopped here because I have world's smallest bladder and had to use the restroom, and because it was just wacky!

True to my word this morning I choose, at complete random, the winner to the contest and her name is:

But no one goes away empty-handed here at CorgiPants! I have a special offer for everyone who offered up a guess!

I have been working on a new project. I call it the Make-Do Marigolds, a mail club with a depression-era work ethic, choc full of tips and hints, recipes, and projects for home and garden. Membership packets and Make-Do Mail booklets will be available in my Etsy Store.

Do you find yourself wishing you could darn those socks instead of throwing them out? Wanting to use up that stale loaf of bread in some creative way instead of wasting it? Dreaming of fixing your broken radio instead of buying a new one? Then might I suggest you join the Make-Do Marigolds, a club for trying, learning and preserving the skills and attitude that make your grandmother would be proud of you for possessing!

When you join the Make-Do Marigolds, you get a membership card (which is also a handy kitchen conversion chart for your pocket!), a welcome letter and our latest edition of the Make-Do Mail, our series of educational booklets. Each edition of the Make-Do Mail contains recipes, projects and the badge you earn by completing that booklet's requirements!

After you are a recorded member, you can earn more badges for each booklet you complete and accumulate the skills you need to Make-Do with what you have!

I would like to offer a membership packet including a copy of the very first edition of the Make-Do Mail, Seasons Series #1-Summer, to everyone who posted a guess (with only one little condition). All you have to do after receiving your packet in the mail is either email me with your true and honest thoughts and/or blog about it on your blog. Look for an email from me later today, just respond with your address to claim.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Big sewing news!

I have big sewing news, but first here are the County Fair results!

Crochet doily-1st place! I was so excited to see this as this was my goal!
Doll outfit-2nd place, but out of only two dolls.
Beaded bow brooch-3rd place out of a nice class of 7 entries
Yo-yo table runner-4th place out of a large class that included both table runners and placemats
Knit snowflake washcloth-nothing, I didn't expect anything but I blocked it and took it anyway

All in all, a very good outcome! I didn't take any food this year. I was going to do Challah bread and cinnamon rolls but I ran out of time. Next year I will budget my time more wisely.

My big news is....

I bought a new sewing machine! Actually, I should say, my husband bought me a new sewing machine. :) It is a Janome DC2007LE and it basically thinks for me! 30 different stitches! One step button holes! A thread cutter that actually cuts thread! It has it all!

I was a little scared of the computerized machine. I'm so used to taking my machines apart, putting them back together, tinkering and fixing and rejiggering, that I worried I would be losing control to the computer and wouldn't have the options that I had! Ha! This thing is amazing! And the nice man at the sewing machine store explained to me that machine only wants to help me, not take away my control and flexibility. I finished one project on it already:

It's a pillowcase with a quilted square in a square border and this fun tooth fabric. I'm calling it my "There is no tooth fairy" pillow since some of the teeth are decayed and unhappy.

I won a giveaway at Darcy's Knotty Knitter and was supposed to receive a Leslie Wind Shawl Pin. Not only did I get a gorgeous shawl pin in the mail, but since it was a little late in arriving, she also sent one of the absolutely amazing cable needle necklaces! Those things are the best idea yet and not only are they so handy, they're beautiful! I spent most of the car ride to and from Ohio doing cables and I can't tell you how many times I dropped my stupid cable needle (which was really just a tiny crochet hook I had with me since I don't actually own a cable needle, I just use whatever rod-like apparatus happens to be within reach)! Thank you so much to both of them for the great surprise in the mailbox!

Lastly, but not leastly, Wednesday is my dear, sweet husband's birthday but we celebrated this past weekend. If you have a spare minute, give him a birthday shout over at his rarely-updated blog. :)


July 26th is Corgipants' blogoversary! And in following with tradition, I am having a little blogoversary giveaway contest. (Thanks to If Ponies Could Knit for having her own giveaway which reminded me to post mine!)

The prize package will contain:
1 issue of Workbasket magazine, circa 1958
1 cross stitch Christmas ornament kit to get you working on the holidays!
at least 1 craft item/pattern tailored to the winner's likes
some candy of some sort (not chocolate due to melting temperatures here right now)

How do you enter?
On our recent trip to Ohio, we went several places and enjoyed lots of fun things! This is one building we stopped at.

What business/establishment do you think this is? Comment on THIS POST with your guess.

Entries close July 25, 2008 and I will choose a winner from all the names (not just the ones who guess correct) and post the winner on Saturday the 26th. Random draw from a hat-old school style!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Free cookie for you!

It is sweltering here at work, the a/c is out and there are about a bajillion fans scattered around the place but they're not helping! I'm melting and it's Friday and I want to go home!

But on a brighter note, here is a little freebie for you, a free cookie on a stick or individual cookie!

The offer expires Monday so be sure and print it out and eat it up this weekend!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Some requests

In a comment, Mary Ellen requested pictures of my works in progress. Well, I'll admit I don't like to post WIP pics because they look so....unfinished. :) But here are the fair projects I've got in various stages of completeness.

This is a snowflake dishcloth from this pattern. Although, as this knitter found out as well, the pattern has a boo-boo and mine has an ugly ring of purl stitches in the middle. I think this one will remain at home and not go to the fair since it is not perfect.

A yo-yo quilt table runner. You can see the space in the middle, I have connected the yo-yos to the right of the space, I still have the ones on the left to go. My goal is two rows each day to get it done with time to spare.

This is an outfit for my Jenny doll. She will also get a pair of brown felt mary janes and a head kerchief in matching fall colors. I would show you this on the doll but only the shirt is 100% done, the jumper needs snaps hand sewn on.

This is the picture I cringe at showing because doilies look like terrible blobs of string until you starch and block them. But you can see above the mess a picture of what it will look like when finished. I am on row 13 and it is 20 rows. It is very pretty and quite different, I think, from many doilies which usually have the same motifs, pineapples or picots and such. This one is called Oriental Fantasy and it is done in size 30 thread. I think I said that before. I have in the past used size 10 so this is a challenge for me.

Also in a comment, Kitten with a Whiplash requested the Sweet and Sour Faux Meatballs recipe. Tragedy that I ate the last of them and didn't take a picture! But luckily there is a picture on the recipe's page here. I make some small adjustments though. I usually use grape jelly instead of apricot jam because that's what I have on hand. And I vary the nuts depending on what I have on hand too, I have used ground almonds, chopped walnuts, pecans, what ever's handy. I use less eggs (3) and add a little water if it seems like it needs it because 5 eggs is almost 1/2 a carton and I am frugal! This time around, I had panko breadcrumbs instead of seasoned ones so that's what went in. These are so remarkabley meaty thanks to the nuts and cheese! I make them for holiday parties and everyone eats them and there's no "Oh, these are good for vegetarian meatballs", they're just plain good!

And as a bonus, here is one of my favorite hot summer day dessert recipes! Crock pot dessert doesn't heat up the kitchen, gotta love that!

Hot Fudge Cake
1-3/4 cups packed brown sugar, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons baking cocoa, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1-3/4 cups boiling water

In a bowl, combine 1 cup brown sugar, flour, 3 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine the milk, butter and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until combined. Spread evenly into a 3-qt. slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
In a bowl, combine the remaining brown sugar and cocoa; stir in boiling water. Pour over batter (do not stir). Cover and cook on high for 4 to 4-1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted near the center of cake comes out clean. Serve warm with ice cream. Yum!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

An Eerie Vacation

Ahh, the sea
Originally uploaded by Corgipants
A week or so ago, we enjoyed a week off (Mike took a week and a half, the layabout!) and took a trip to Ohio! We stayed at the Quaker Square Inn, ate oatmeal every morning and slept in a silo! We cruised Lake Eerie, enjoyed a train ride in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and made a trip to Toys Time Forgot. I spent quite a bit of the car time knitting and crocheting my county fair projects.

Lately I have been making:
A fall outfit for my Jenny Doll to enter in the 'doll outfit' catagory
Thread crochet doily from a 1942 pattern book, in size 30 thread (TINY)
Knitted snowflake dishcloth that just didn't quite turn out like I wanted
Hoe cakes! Yum with maple syrup! (re-reading Little House on the Prairie books and getting strange cravings)
Crockpot Chocolate fudge cake
Sweet and Sour Faux Meatballs
Yo-yo quilt table runner that is shaping up nicely!

Stay tuned for a Blogoversary contest giveaway coming soon!