Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cable Knit Sweater Pillow

After seeing sweater pillows by Martha Stewart and on for $50, I decided to make my own. My version is the one on top. Here's a quick demo of what I did.

First, measure the pillow you want to cover. I recommend using an extra large sweater.
Next, remove the sleeves and neckline using scissors.
This is what the sweater will look like minus sleeves. Now I cut the same amount from the front and back of the sweater to make a square shape.
Use yarn in a whip-stitch or blanket stitch pattern to join seams. You can use yarn of the same or contrasting color. I selected a cream color.
I made my pillow in an envelope style and added a fleece flower with pearl accent to close the envelope. Stylish and affordable since I recovered an existing pillow with a sweater purchased from a church rummage sale for a dollar.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sweater Pillow

Fall is here. Crisp weather means breaking out the warmer clothing. Why not do the same for your furniture?

I had a men's XL merino wool sweater just waiting to be donated when I decided the burgundy color would work well with my family room and the green pillow needed some updating. One thing led to another and soon I was cutting off the sleeves to the sweater and blanket stitching the arm holes. I used a spare sleeve across the neck area of the sweater to create a false fold.

A fast and easy update.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Art Featured at "Knock-off Decor" Site

My dog pictures inspired by Target are featured at the KNOCK OFF DECOR web site. Check it out! This site has lots of great ideas to help you recreate your favorite store finds at a fraction of the original cost.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hats for My Niece and Nephew

Since I made my soon-to-be born nephew a bear hat, I decided his sister might want a hat as well. My niece is four and likes to wear what the older girls wear - older equates to 10 and 12 year old girls. No animal subject for my niece, just a crocheted hat that she can roll up.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Clam Chowder Recipe

Cooler weather means time to make soup. One of my favorites is clam chowder. The version I make is dairy-based and features potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, spices and a small can of clams. I only buy clams harvested in the United States. This helps local fisheries and reduces my carbon footprint.

New England Clam Chowder
Makes 4 large servings

Drain  a 6-ounce can of clams and save the juice. Add water or milk to make juice equal to a cup of liquid. Cook 3 strips of bacon in a frying pan until crisp. Remove the bacon. Use bacon drippings to cook one chopped medium onion, 3 cups of diced potatoes, one grated carrot, one rib of celery finely chopped along with a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and clam juice mixture. Cook until potatoes are soft - about 15 minutes. Mix 3 cups of milk and 2 tablespoons of flour together and add the slurry into the potato pan. Cook until the mixture thickens. Add clams and reduce heat. Cook soup about another minute. Serve warm with bacon on top of the soup portions.

Monday, October 15, 2012

How to Make a Flower Frog

Maybe the more appropriate title to this post is, "How to make an ordinary object into a frog for flowers."

Flower frogs are segmented containers that hold individual or small numbers of flower stems to create a more pleasing arrangement. Rather than spending big bucks on a manufactured version, I make my own to accompany the plants I cut from my garden.

With autumn in full swing, most of the flowers in my yard have faded. Some Master Gardener friends were kind enough to give me some dried hydrangea's  - my favorite.

I used a square vase/candle holder to make my frog. All I had to do was place tape in a plaid pattern on the top of the vase and insert the flowers. Voila! Flower frog.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Crocheted Baby's Hat

The post is a little late this evening. And I still have some work to do on the baby's hat, but I thought it was complete enough to post.

This is a sweet little baby's hat made from acrylic. When complete it will have two brown ears, an orange nose and and mouth that resembles a bear.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Shallots from my Garden

The nights are getting cooler and I am putting my garden to bed for winter. I dug these shallots out a couple weeks ago and they have been drying on the soil. They are ready to spend the winter in my basement and add flavor to soups and casseroles. Yum!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nadine Necklace

I needed a necklace to wear with a beige fabric dress. This necklace looks terrific with the dress. The copper and multi-colored beads accent the neutral tones.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lily, a.k.a "The Vole Hunter"

She looks so sweet and innocent. Don't let those big, brown eyes fool you. Lily is a vole hunter. She's so fast that she can catch those wiley creatures. Today, she dug one out of the ground and was tossing it into the air. I thought she was playing with a pine cone - one of her favorite past times. I was mistaken.

Puppy has such a soft mouth that she can play with a grape tomato and never break its skin. Apparently, things that squeak activate her jaws.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dog Pictures Inspired by Target

Saw some framed artwork of dog silhouettes on burlap at Target and decided to make some of my dogs.

 First, I found photos of my dogs and traced around their images. Next, I cut out the images and traced around the dogs pictures onto a spare piece of oatmeal-colored drop cloth I had left over from my loveseat transformation. Then I filled in the images with a permanent marker and black Behr paint and primer paint from Home Depot, then I framed them. Not too shabby though.

Best of all, these are images of my pets. And I saved almost $30 by doing it myself.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pumpkins at Aldi

Pumpkins are just $2.49 at Aldi - any size! And they have pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin frosting. You name it, and they probably have it in pumpkin.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Gwen Necklace

The Gwen necklace was what I had planned on posting yesterday. That was until Lily had other plans. Lily does like the spotlight. 

This necklace features an amber-like bead with a pearl and green glass bead held together with copper on a black silk cord.

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Hot Tamale Dog

I am posting photos of Lily eating a green chili pepper. And she was running from me, trying to keep her delicious snack from my hands, the little stinker. The peppers were drying on the counter and puppy decided to take one.