Browsing the blog archives for January, 2013.

Magnetic Fabric Bookmarks


Today, I’m linking up with Petals to Picots, Sippy Cup Chronicles, Happy Go Lucky, and Chubby Cheeks Thinks.

I had seen a few different tutorials online for magnetic bookmarks, first over at Flipflops & Applesauce and then on Split Coast Stampers but ultimately, it was the beauties from The Southern Institute that inspired me enough to actually do it. Louise from I’m Feelin’ Crafty made an excellent tutorial for The Southern Institute that I deviated from a bit to make my own. I still struggle with my sewing, and it’s no one’s fault but my own – I just need to do it more so I can get better! They came out pretty cute though, I really like them. I will try again after more practice and we’ll see how they look then!

These were super fun to make and a great way to use up pretty and cute scraps. I know pretty much everyone reads on some kind of eReader, but I also know that pretty much every reader has a weakness for the handful of actual books they still have kicking around. A lot of my friends, plus my sister and my dad, have a serious love for used book stores. We also all have a serious love for the library. So these bookmarks were a practical project for us and I hope they are used in place of random subway transfers and bits of paper.

Magnetic Fabric Bookmarks
-scrap fabric
-little magnets
Magnetic Fabric Bookmarks
Magnetic Fabric Bookmarks
First I ironed down the edges of a 2″ x 6″ piece of fabric and hemmed all around.
Magnetic Fabric Bookmarks
Magnetic Fabric Bookmarks
Then I folded and ironed in half, and sewed that side down.
Magnetic Fabric Bookmarks
Magnetic Fabric Bookmarks
Next I placed a magnet circle (attracting ends up!!) on each edge, folded the fabric over and sewed it in place.
Magnetic Fabric Bookmarks
Magnetic Fabric Bookmarks
That’s it!! Then I tried it out in a couple recipe books and did it all over again five more times!
Magnetic Fabric Bookmarks

M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies

Domestic, Kids

We spent New Years Day playing board games and the little ones ate way too many cookies and chocolate almond milk, but I tried to level it out with some hidden kale in dinner and I’m going to go ahead and call that a win! Two of the games we played on Tuesday were the Pinkalicious Cup Cake Party Game, super fun for Wee One #2, and the Super Why ABC Letter Preschool Game, which totally worked for both Wee Ones #2 & 3. The Pinkalicious game reminded me a lot of Partini, but for kids. You roll the dice and you draw a card from the deck that matches the icon you rolled. You’re either doing charades, drawing, rhyming or dancing. After you perform the task on the matching card you earn a cupcake and the first person to get 6 cupcakes wins! You also have the possibility of rolling two other icons (duh), one gives you a free cupcake, one takes a cupcake away. Wee One #3 wasn’t huge on the rhyming or the charades and seemed to think it was pretty lame. Yeah, my three year old was too cool for it – and that’s fine because this game was technically for Wee One #2 who loved it so much she insisted we play it again after her menacing toddler sister went to bed.

The game we picked up specifically for said menacing toddler was the Super Why game, since that is one of her favorite shows and one of the few shows that actually teaches kids something useful! The show (and the game) focus on letter sounds and early reading. My seven year old liked this game because it was easy for her, but the littlest one liked it a lot too and it’s so neat to see the connections she makes and the little spark that goes off when she finally ‘gets’ something. In this game, there is a spinner instead of dice and you move around the board and land on one of four Super Why characters. Each of the four characters has their own deck of cards and each has the kids practicing a different reading skill – either you match a lower case on your card to the upper case of the same letter on the board, find the letter that the picture on the card starts with, rhyme with the words on the card or you replace a silly word in a phrase with a word that makes sense.

This recipe is my first cookie of 2013. Technically, I made these for New Years Eve, but since they ushered in the new year I’m counting them! It shouldn’t come as a surprise at all that I am posting a Martha Stewart recipe as my first of the year since I’ve been cooking and baking my way through her books since I was a teenager at my parent’s house cooking for their friends on Friday nights!

Soft & Chewy (M&M) Chocolate Chip Cookies – via Martha Stewart

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips
1 cup plain chocolate M&Ms

My granny would dump M&Ms into her standard chocolate chip cookies sometimes if I was in the kitchen with her. It kept the grown ups from eating them all and my sister and I loved them even more this way. This is your standard sift together the dry, cream the butter and sugar, add eggs and then add dry to wet style cookie recipes.

To clarify…whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Cream the butter and both sugars together, then add the eggs one at a time and the vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and then stir in the chocolate chips and M&Ms. Bake at 350 for about 11 minutes.


Work in Progress Wednesday #18


I may have lost count, but I’m pretty sure this is my 18th WIP, I think my last one was in October!

These socks were knit for Sockdown, month 4. They’re called Basket Case Socks and they were a pretty quick knit. I kept getting distracted by Christmas prep for the kids – first Christmas in a new country with all our stuff back home meant I needed to round up a lot of the traditional comforts for them and to be honest, that wasn’t easy. Most of November was eaten up with planning and then of course December was full of doing! I just casted on for Aramis Socks last night, so there’s not much to report on that front other than to say I’m making a dent on my first day out of the gate!

Between socks, I’m still working on my Beekeeper Quilt. I have a list of projects I really want to work on this year, but I think I will make a rule for myself that everything has to be made with sock weight yarn so I can use all my scraps for the quilt. I’m looking forward to finishing my quilt this year but I do love the look of all my hexi puffs on the table like this. When I come to the end of a scrap ball, I start up with the next in line and I love those puffs the most! Here are my favorites out of the 200+ that I have so far.

I’m nervous to admit that I want to take on another knitting challenge this year, in addition to the 12 pairs of socks for Sockdown 6 and the finishing the beautiful quilt from all these puffs – I want to do Tiny Owl Knits 13 in 2013. The Beekeeper’s Quilt is a Tiny Owl Knits project and all her (Stephanie Dosen) projects are equally adorable and full of whimsy. Dare I try it?! Someone encourage me!!

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Here’s to 2013!

California, Domestic

I love New Years Eve! We never really do anything epic, but it’s the traditions that make it epic for us. As a kid and teenager, I always spent it with my parents, my sister and my grandparents. My granny would make her tuna, salmon, egg and sometimes chicken bouchees. My mother always made a bunt cake and stuck a coin in it. Then she’d cut pieces and name them for people in a very specific order, whoever gets the coin is supposed to have great luck that year! Instead of a bunt cake, the traditional Greek New Year’s cake to slip a coin into is called the Vasiliopita. Interesting that the tradition itself comes from the name day (Greeks celebrate name days almost as seriously as we celebrate birthdays) that lands on Jan 1 (Saint Vasili the Great). This saint would distribute cakes with coins hidden inside them to the poor people in his parish. Ha! Snuck in a random history lesson! We always cut a piece for all the poor people in the world, and this year that’s who got the coin!

Here’s the recipe I used this year! Wee One #2 helped, it was pretty simple and despite having six eggs in it, we tried it and it was really good!!

vasilopita - green new years eve cake
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
6 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup warm milk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup white sugar

I had a three year old ‘helper’ making this with me and it still came together quickly!

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 10″ cake pan. Cream the butter and the sugar, then stir in the flour until the mixture looks like almond meal. Add the eggs. One. At. A. Time. Mix the baking powder and milk and then add that to the egg mixture. Now mix the lemon juice and baking soda and add that to the mixture as well. Pour into your cake pan and bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the top of the (half baked) cake with the chopped almonds and sugar and bake for another 45 minutes. Mine baked up so tall and grand the almond and sugar on top looked so pretty!

vasilopita - green new years eve cake
vasilopita - green new years eve cake
vasilopita - green new years eve cake

Anyhoo, the first couple of years after my husband and I got together we celebrated just as I had done as a kid, with my folks and after the little ones started coming, we started rotating where we’d spend Christmas and New Years. It was either laid back with my folks or his. There was one year when a few of my girlfriends came over and we knitted through the countdown. Since then I try to do that where ever I happen to be celebrating. This year we are thankful to be able to say we have made a lot of great friends here already, but when it comes to New Years they are generally divided into two groups. Those with kids that celebrate with family, and those without kids that celebrate with shots.

Both are equally fun, but we have decided to start a new tradition – settling in with fun treats for the littles, and savory treats for us. A kid’s countdown at 9pm PST was perfect because that’s midnight in Ontario, and gave me time to get the littles to bed before the actual countdown at midnight!

happy new years 2013
happy new years 2013
happy new years 2013
happy new years 2013
happy new years 2013

*I think the teeny nerds-encrusted martini glasses with dark chocolate almond milk helped make this NYE a little different, and special, for the little ones.

We had a lovely New Years Eve and plan to spend our entire New Years Day playing board games and watching Dinosaur Train. I love me some resolutions and I’ve been getting better at sticking to them so here’s my official list for 2013.

1) read 52 books

2) sew a dress for myself

3) send everyone a card for their birthday

4) make candles

5) hand write and mail (at least) 52 letters

6) knit this quilt (202/400 puffs)

7) knit 12 pairs of socks

8 ) bake one new cookie recipe every week – and blog about it

9) make a small quilt

10) start a ‘What I did today’ daily journal project (I really like the index card one)

11) participate in Craftster’s Monthly Challenge

12) go on at least one epic road trip and as many smaller ones as possible

Let’s recap how I did with my to-do of 2012, shaaaall we?
1) read 52 books (24/52) – So I fell 28 books shy of my goal. Instead of lowering it, I’m going to aim for 52 again in 2013.

2) sew a dress for myself – No excuse. I even bought a new sewing machine after leaving mine in Canada! Back on the list for 2013.

3) send everyone a card for their birthday – I came reeeeally close but I can’t cross it off because I did overlook a few and some were crazy late. Hoping to manage it in 2013 better!

4) learn to play chess – I’m not exactly losing hope on this one, but I would really rather knit than learn chess. Not adding it to the 2013 list, but if it comes up, I’m all over it.

5) make candles – This will totally happen in 2013

6) hand write & mail letters (76/52)I nailed this one! Plan to do it again in 2013

7) learn some fashion historyI did hours of online research, poured over old Vogues from the library and read The Beautiful Fall on the recommendation of my girl Mutant Supermodel. So good!

8) watch these movies (14/100) – I totally abandoned this list in April when we moved down to LA, I have watched at least 50+ movies this year but not from that list! In 2013 I will just keep a list of what I have watched!

9) make (& use) a worm bin – We moved from our house before the ground thawed and into a garden apartment so no worm bin this year! I also don’t know if I care enough about it for it to make the 2013 list haha.

10) make soapI did this with my friend Vanessa, her boyfriend Steve and my husband. It’s like magic! So fun too!!

11) knit this quitI got halfway there!! It’s defo going on the 2013 list.
puff count = 202/400

12) knit 12 pairs of socks (14/12) – I rocked this challenge too! Doing it again in 2013!

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