Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fancy Fairy Tale Pumpkin Purée

I finally got around to cooking up the fancy fairy tale pumpkin that I bought back in November. It took almost an hour to chop it up and cut the thick shell off of this extra large pumpkin. In all honesty, after spending around 2-3 hours on pumpkin related duties (chopping, cooking, food processing), I suspect that next fall, when I get a wild hair to buy a fancy pumpkin, I'll just let it sit adorably until it rots; then I'll toss it and probably get just as much enjoyment out of the whole process.

I know these funny plastic wrapped balls are so unphotogenic, but it's still a fun idea.

So, despite all the work involved, I'm enjoying the fact that I now have pumpkin pur
ée available for the next few months or so. Because I'm not entirely sure how I'll be using the leftovers, I went ahead and portioned out the pumpkin into one cup measurements onto squares of plastic wrap. There are few things more frustrating than trying to chip off the amount of an ingredient I need from a giant frozen block.

Other than the deliciousness factor, I'm also loving the really bright, vibrant color. It's so pretty and cheery!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

jiggly little jelly

Don't worry, this little jelly fish won't sting, in fact, he's much more interested in cuddling.

This little fellow is the result of my first attempt at making a jelly fish and I am quite happy with how he turned out. His tentacles are, perhaps, sewn on a bit precariously and so I wouldn't give him away to a small child, but I'm sure my next jelly fish attempt will be perfectly giftable.

I actually love the two-toned tentacle look, which wasn't part of the pattern. I was worried about running out of cream yarn and so figured a little aqua accenting his look wouldn't go amiss. I honestly think he looks better than he would have with all matching tentacles.

The only problem with making these cute little creatures is that once I've made them it's impossible to give them away. They are way too cute with their big round eyes; I just can't part with them. The other reason they tend to stick around our house is that first attempts at a pattern tend to be somewhat experimental and they never seem quite polished enough to give away as a present. I'm sure that with practice I'll feel more confident with a new pattern, but for now Matthew and I are amassing quite a pile of little cuties. It's kinda cute, if a bit silly =)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lovely Lemon Macaron

This brightly colored Macaron was one of my many delicious Valentine's Day treats. I picked it up from Bread and Cie along with the Tiramisu torte and the Passion Fruit mousse cake that I took home to share with my sweet little valentine.

My dear, sweet Mother included a Bread and Cie gift card in with the sweet little valentine's package of goodies that she sent to me and suggested that I use it to buy something special for Matthew and I to eat in celebration of Valentine's Day. It was a wonderful excuse to try something that we normally would never buy. Of course, being a greedy little thing, I also bought a macaron cookie to eat all by my self; it was delicious! =)

petite pansy pin

I recently crafted this little Pansy pin during a mini crisis; I suddenly realized a couple of weeks ago that I didn't have a clue what I was going to send to my mother for her Birthday and that the best thing to do would be to make her something very special that she couldn't find anywhere else. I knew I didn't have enough time to make anything very complex and I honestly didn't know if she would need an amigurumi or a tiny baby hat(the only things I can crochet right now) and I was certain that she didn't need any of my famous, holey pot holders, besides, I've given her so very many of them over the years and she has always sweetly used them, despite the fact that they offer no protection what-so-ever from burning hot pans.

So, in a moment of panicked despair I suddenly realized that I should give up any idea of making a grand, impressive piece that would elicit oohs and ahhs and just make something sweet and practical that she would probably like and use. Considering the fact that she loves pansies and the color purple, and the fact that she likes wearing accessories, a Pansy pin was the ideal gift!

This photo is of me modeling the pin. It's so pretty against a pink shirt!

Now that I've made a little Pansy pin and know how easy it is to make, I'd like to make one for myself as well. In my recent crafting phase, I've come to re-regard the glue gun as a friend rather than an enemy and even used it for one step of this project. Instead of trying to sew the flower onto the felt backing, I just glued it on. It actually looks better than if I'd tried to sew the pieces together. I would say that being more coordinated now than I was during the very gawky phases of my childhood have helped immensely in my ability to use a glue gun without burning myself horribly. What a revelation!! It may turn out to be a useful tool after all =)

You can see the uneven stitching of the Stamen - I was in a bit of a hurry =)

Monday, February 6, 2012

sweet little valentine

Because my dear, sweet mother knows that I regard Valentine's Day as the very best holiday of the year, she made sure to send me a slightly earlier than normal valentine goody package so that I could make use of the darling decorations in the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day.

I will admit, Valentine's decorations are my very favorite to put up; I suppose this is only natural, considering the fact that pink is my favorite color (one year, I took down the halloween decorations in January only to replace them immediately with valentine's decor). Also, I've always held a special place in my heart for the fashion faux pas of combining red and pink together. If I didn't get such horrified looks, I would happily wear pink and red together all year round, not just on the one day of the year that it is acceptable.

I always adore the sweet little packages of thoughtfully purchased or handcrafted presents that my mother sends to me through the mail and this year was no different.

This sweet Love Notes tea towel is just too cute to use. So far, I've carefully kept it away from the kitchen for fear of it getting stained. I suppose I'll use it eventually but, even then, perhaps just for drying very, very clean dishes, which easily excludes anything I wash.

The fuzzy, little, pink heart (pictured above) was hand-felted by my mother and is just darling. I'm not sure what to use it for, but when I called to thank her for the gifts, my mother suggested sewing it onto a dress for a tiny pocket, or applying it to the outside of a canvas handbag which would brighten up any drab book bag. I'm not entirely sure what to do with it, mostly out of fear for it's safety. It is fairly delicate and i don't want it getting ruined. Any suggestions for a safe way to use the little, pink, felted heart without it getting destroyed?