11–20 of 29 entries from the month of: December 2009

Adventathon: 20

December 18th

Holiday Jam!

{I’m throwing in some great tutorials from friends for the next couple of days. These are projects I love and am so lucky to have found these great ladies on the interwebs. They teach me something new each week and make me want to be better daily.}

awesome photo I can’t figure out how to steal HERE

Do you read Zarah? If not, you should. She is fabulous with a capital F. She is the first ever bloggy friend to hop on a plane and come for a visit. We had a great time when she was here earlier this year. Ms. Zarah — who is currently creating a baby boy — is one of the craftiest women I know and by far the best knitter I know. This summer she whipped up some fantastic jam with this recipe.

In email, she writes:

Summer berries are a bit hard to come by right now, so if someone wants to make jam right now, there are lots of good ideas at freshpreserving.com.  Here’s an apple butter recipe that looks pretty easy and is a bit more in season:  http://www.freshpreserving.com/pages/recipe/215.php?recipe=112

For the decorations, I just cut circles out of index cards (the back is plain white) using the jar lid as a guide.  I drew a squiggly line with a green Sharpie, added another line for the trunk, then wrote my greeting.  (If I can draw it, anyone can!)  It took a few tries to end up with a design that didn’t get cut off on the sides once I screwed on the jar lid band, but eventually I got it.  Finish with a pretty bow (I used red yarn because I had it on hand.)

Canning can take a bit of time and involves some specialized equipment, but for anyone who made something this summer and is now looking for a quick and easy way to dress up the jars to give away as gifts… this should work!  I like it because it’s not quite as “country” looking as the traditional fabric-circle topper + ribbon tied around it.

(I have the type of jam and expiration date written on the metal lid underneath in Sharpie, so I didn’t duplicate that on the topper.  But that is good info to include, too!)

There are also tons of free printable jar lid toppers available:  (these are just a few cute ones I found)

http://www.domestifluff.com/2009/08/free-printable-jam-tags-labels/
http://asonomagarden.wordpress.com/2008/07/21/canning-lids-download/
http://asonomagarden.wordpress.com/2009/11/27/christmas-gifts-to-make-with-christmas-label-download/

Um, see what I mean? FABULOUS.

Jam on, rockstars!

~K

Posted in
Adventathon, Celebrate!
Comments (1)

Adventathon: 19

December 17th

Helmetliner

Adventathon: 19

What to knit for a brother who is notoriously difficult to craft for? Hmm… in lieu of a gorgeous blonde, I decided on something that would keep him warm outdoors. (vs. indoors? There is a tasteless joke there somewhere.)

Adventathon: 19

Cody is a Colorado outdoorsman. He’s a hunter, archer, fisherman, snowboarder, skiier, hiker, runner, cyclist and dog-owner. All that time in the cold — at times with weaponry involved — led me to the Helmetliner pattern. It helps that the signature orange “watch out and don’t shoot me!” color is the same as the Denver Broncos — another favorite.

Adventathon: 19

I got the idea from the Balaclava we included in a CRAFT along post a few months ago, minus the tricky and underappreciated-by-my-brother cables. Not perfect, but close enough and I am hoping he’ll love it.

Go Broncos,

K

Tagged
Posted in
Adventathon, Celebrate!, handmade
Comments (6)

Adventathon: 18

December 16th

Breckenridge Cowl

Adventathon: 18

I heard about this pattern on Twitter and knew I had to buy it. I love wraps. They are perfect for Phoenix because we rarely need long scarves, hats or even jackets. What we do need is a warm neck. And if you can make that neck warm in a pretty purple wrap with a bone button? All the better.

{Let’s just celebrate the $3.50 pattern on Etsy. BRAVO! This is such a great use of sharing creativity via technology. Thank you French Press Knits!}

Advent: 18

Although that damn button cost more than the yarn — it is still a practical gift. This also knits up quickly.

Christy

And look how pretty the recipient is! She’s rocking the wrap.

~K

Tagged
Posted in
Adventathon, Celebrate!, handmade
Comments (10)

Adventathon: 17

December 15th

Peruvian knit cap

Advent: 17

A friend recently asked me for a “white knit cap with ear flaps.”

Advent: 17

This got me thinking about that incredible journey I took several years ago to see Machu Picchu.

MP terraces

Kelli, Machu Picchu

The Peruvians wore fabulous knit caps, sweaters and scarves from llama wool. What did I wear? A thin Gap cotton sweater that kept me just above hypothermia. I got wet about 4 days before this photo was taken. I was still wearing the same clothes (backpacking) and still freezing.

Llama

How I wished I’d dressed like a Peruvian for this trip. Look how woolly and warm these babies are!

Good morning MP

That said, I would do it all again tomorrow if I had the chance. Machu Picchu remains the single most incredible place I’ve ever visited — where one can’t help but feel the power of God and man’s creation when they align.

Hannah

A knit cap with ear flaps, a bunch of reminiscing and a happy recipient it is!

~K

Tagged
, , ,
Posted in
Adventathon, Celebrate!, handmade
Comments (12)

Adventathon: 16

December 14th

Golf Driver Cover

Home stretch! Now the crafting gets a little more crafty — I have to show projects carefully as to not give away too much before the recipients can enjoy the surprise.

Adventathon: 16

Knitting up a chunky yarn driver cover takes all of 2 hours, tops. This is an easy project, although I’d recommend a prettier yarn. This yarn was selected by the recipient, a very smart 10 year old who has recently taken up golf.

Harry

Adventathon: 16

Pattern:

1 skein chunky yarn (about 85 yards)

size 15 needles

Cast on 16. Knit 10 rows.

R11: Add one stitch (K thru front and back), knit 16, Add one stitch

R12-16: knit

R 17: Add two stitches (K thru front and back), knit 18, add two stitches

R 18-22: knit

R 23: K2tog, knit 18, K2tog

R 24-26: knit

Cast off

Fold in half, sew top and edge together with remaining yarn, add a pommie on top if so desired

And do not ever cheat on your wife, especially if she is a gorgeous Norwegian goddess who will make you look like the biggest asshole in the history of cheating assholes.

The end!

~K

Posted in
Adventathon, Celebrate!, handmade
Comments (5)

Adventathon 15:

December 13th

Ginger Teriyaki Chicken Pasta

Ginger Chicken

Warm, spicy dish that is a great balance of protein, veggie and carbohydrates

Feeds two generously

Ingredients:

1 larg chicken breast, pounded flat

1 tsp olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, minced

3 ” of ginger, peeled and minced

3 cups of your favorite pasta

3 heads of broccoli, chopped

1 dash of cayenne

1 dash of teriyaki or soy sauce

1 lemon

Ginger Chicken

Directions:

Add olive oil and garlic to a frying pan at medium heat. Add chicken and juice of 1/2 the lemon. Add ginger. Flip chicken after 3 minutes and the juice of the other half of lemon. Add a dash of cayenne and your broccoli. Keep on medium heat for 15 more minutes, turning chicken occasionally. Boil your pasta water and add pasta while chicken is cooking. After 10 minutes, remove cooked pasta, drain. Add splash of teriyaki sauce just before you remove chicken from pan. Cut chicken into cubes. While in pan and then place in two bowls on top of pasta.

Fresh, flavorful and easy!

~K

Posted in
Adventathon, Celebrate!, Domestic Art, Kitchen Talk
Comments (3)

Adventathon: 14

December 12th

Hiking Guide

advent 12 013

I purchased a set of watercolors last week with the idea I’d put together a set of hiking maps for a new friend who recently moved to Phoenix. She and her family are the outdoorsy type and I knew they’d appreciate a series of trail maps. This also gave me a chance to share the details I’ve learned from countless years of hiking in Arizona. There is something incredibly magical about the array of mountains circling our city. They are so incredibly different.

Phoenix Hiking Guide

Phoenix Hiking Guide

Phoenix Hiking Guide

The Papago Mountains are Sedona-red and look like they were plopped down like drop cookies by God. One has a giant hole through it that you can hike to. They overlook the Desert Botanical Gardens and the Phoenix Zoo.

Phoenix Hiking Guide

Phoenix Hiking Guide

Phoenix Hiking Guide

The Superstition Mountains in the far East Valley have a distict line of different colored rock striping the range. They have many winding, beautiful trails that will take your breath away by the desert’s awe.

Phoenix Hiking Guide

Phoenix Hiking Guide

Phoenix Hiking Guide

Phoenix Hiking Guide

Piestewa Peak — also known as Squaw Peak — sits in North Phoenix and is one of the tallest mountains in the Valley. It is silvery purple and ragged. The summit hike is one of the hardest and most fun I’ve done.

Phoenix Hiking Guide

Phoenix Hiking Guide

Phoenix Hiking Guide

South Mountain runs from Tempe to Laveen and father west. The range separates Phoenix from the suburb of Awhuatukee. There are hiking, climbing and biking trails on both sides of the mountain and there are stables for those looking for a hooved adventure too. While the hike to the communication towers is a grueling run or ride, these mountains are more hill-like and less mountainous than the others in Phoenix.

Phoenix Hiking Guide

Phoenix Hiking Guide

Phoenix Hiking Guide

Finally, a hiking guide of Phoenix would be silly not to include the gem of the crown — Camelback Mountain. Her sienna soil juts from the center of Phoenix, providing a barrier between Arcadia to the south and Paradise Valley to the north. The mountain truly looks like a kneeling camel. Her ribs and head are dotted with mansions these days, but they are few. Her stature is impressive and hiking this 1.2 mile summit in August is about as tough of a workout as I can muster. Several times, actually, I didn’t think I was going to get back to my car. It is a quick, hard climb up and a sweaty, shaking hike down. There is nothing like it.

Phoenix Hiking Guide

Phoenix Hiking Guide

Phoenix Hiking Guide

Phoenix Hiking Guide

Stapled and delivered. It does resemble a bit of a 10-year-old’s art project, but it has a purpose and I really enjoyed working with water colors.

~K

Posted in
Adventathon, Celebrate!, Domestic Art
Comments (27)

Adventathon: 13

December 11th

Stationery

advent 12 010

Um, holy Moses. This 24-days of advent thing I’m attempting? Phew. You’d think I would have started this with a plan of action, but really I started on a whim and have been struggling to keep up. Not to mention next week I’ll be scheduling posts while I’m on the beach and exploring Mexico with my family. Feliz Navidad! So, thank you for hanging around for all this crazy creativity. The self-imposed challenge has me learning to work with new medium and rethinking patterns, etc. I really do appreciate your feedback.

advent 12 011

Stationery is one of my favorite things to have on hand. My love of correspondence is well-known. Stamping cards for the holidays is an easy blend of several passions — art, the holidays and the craft of letter-writing. Plus, it is an inexpensive way to check in with so many people during this time of year. I regularly underestimate how many I will need, but this year capped my list at 150. Stamped, mailed, sent with love.

Next year I am going to save the trees and the energy by the mail trucks and email a photo collage. It simply makes more sense ecologically.

Are you making your holiday cards? Do you ever save cards? Reuse the envelopes for scratch paper? I have mine displayed on the mantle. My favorites include the family chronicle letters with lengthy updates on everyone’s activities.

~K

Posted in
Adventathon, Celebrate!, Correspondence, Domestic Art
Comments (15)

Adventathon: 12

December 10th

Two birds

CRAFT Along, Nov/Dec

What’s that, Dear Finny? You say — “Donk! That looks like one of the November CRAFT projects that you didn’t complete so we extended the deadline through December!” Correct, my sweet friend. This is the scrappy zippy wallet.

CRAFT Along, Nov/Dec

It’s also meeting my Adventathon requirements for a cute, simple* and easy project that can make the holidays a bit sweeter. Sure, it is a spotty little zippy wallet. But you know what would make it even better? A gift card inside. Or a zip drive full of music. Or a tiny genie with a magic lamp and one million dollars.

Hey? A girl can dream.

Check, my friend. Your move.

~K

*The snap? Not so simple. In fact, this process produced a rather vulgar series of screams from my kitchen involving a hammer, my fingers and directions printed so tiny you’d think they were created for the yet-to-have-appeared magic genie.

Posted in
Adventathon, Celebrate!, Domestic Art, handmade, Sew Along
Comments (5)

Adventathon: 11

December 9th

Namaste Bag Accessories

adventathon 014

A little known fact about living in the desert — you drink more water and sweat more than one could even imagine. It’s just part of life to always have a water bottle with you. The gym is no different, and I am particularly fond of these Eddie Bauer bottles because they have a sippy-cup like top that eliminates my normal Nalgene bottle spillage issues, especially during spin class. Also, a plush hand towel embellished to match that namaste bag*? Parfait. Makes being a sweaty yogi a bit more stylish.

{This is so easy, it doesn’t need a tutorial. Pre-wash your towel and your fabric. Measure the band of your towel and cut your fabric 1 inch larger on all sides of the rectangle. Turn under the edges with an iron. Top seam. Presto!}

Mixed tapes are pretty much always included with my gifts too, especially those with a theme. Who doesn’t want to rock out to Jaydiohead?

~K

*Namaste bag tutorial underway, along with new bags added to my shop. I’ll be certain to post the details soon. Thank you!

Posted in
Adventathon, Celebrate!, Domestic Art
Comments (3)