Cowboys Mason Jar Koozie

I haven’t written a blog post in forever. A lot of that is that it takes a lot of effort to figure out a pattern I improvised from pictures after I already gave away the actual product. I’ve been lazy. I decided to play catch up just sharing what I’ve been making. If someone wants the pattern, I am more than willing to share!

First up: a Dallas Cowboys mason jar koozie. I actually did not love how this turned out. I was knitting at a friends’ child’s birthday party and their neighbor asked if I could make them a mason jar koozie with the Cowboys logo. I said sure. I figured out a pattern for the letters, but it was really wide. Knitting with number 2 needles and worsted weight yarn (which is ridiculously tight if you know knitting) the letters went more than halfway around the jar. The only way I was going to get the letters on the front was to use super fine yarn. That would have been a crazy number of stitches, and I would have to buy new yarn instead of using stash yarn. Considering I had already spent a lot of time ripping out my work to even get the letters mostly on the front half of the jar, I really didn’t want to go through any more effort. Next I tried several different crochet star patterns, none of which were pointy enough.  Lastly, the letters ended up too low. I’m a perfectionist. Here is how it turn out. Not my best work.   

  
   

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 6 Movies (Due to a lot of ripping out)

Overall Experience: Meh

Glass Etching

My amazingly talented friend Shanda (see my soap making and felting posts) taught a group of ladies glass etching a couple of weeks ago.  The process is quick and easy.  The product is beautiful!

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Materials Needed:

  • Glass for etching
  • Etching cream (we used Etchall)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paper towel
  • Spatula
  • Stickers, painters tape, or cut vinyl to create your design
  • Transfer paper may be useful to transfer intricate designs to your glass.

Instructions:

  • Clean your glass using the rubbing alcohol and paper towel

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  • Create a design using stickers, painters tape, or vinyl.  Shanda has a dye cutter and cut all of our initials for monograms using vinyl.

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  • We adhered the monograms to transfer paper, removed any part of the dye cut design we wished to be etched, adhered the vinyl directly to the glass.  We then thoroughly rubbed on the design to make sure that it was well adhered.  Any bubbles near the edge of the design would allow the etching cream to run into that bubble and create a less crisp edge.  We also cut painters tape around our designs to give us a larger buffer in case the etching cream ran.

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  • Next, we applied the etching cream on the vinyl next to the design.  We then used a spatula to evenly drag a thick layer of cream across the design.

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  • Allow the etching cream to work for the specified period of time (15 minutes in our case).  Scrape off the access cream and replace it in the jar (it is reusable).  Wash the glass and remove the stickers.  Voila!

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  • We also monogrammed mosaic tiles to create pendents.  The etched glass didn’t show up as clearly on the colored tile, so we added Rub n’ Buff to add a little contrast.

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Difficulty:  Easy

Time Required:  1 hour for 4 jars

Overall Experience:  Good

Slow Cooker Apricot Pork Roast

This recipe is a little fluid…  I make it a little differently every time.  Feel free to experiment!  This started out as a recipe from my mom, but I’ve added to it over the years.  The roast turns out extremely moist with a sweet glaze.  Adding root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes to the roast creates a complete meal.  I don’t have a picture here, but sliced tenderloin on a platter surrounded by carrots and potatoes presents beautifully.

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Ingredients:

  • Hormel Original Pork Tenderloin
  • Approximately 8 small red potatoes
  • Approximately 16 baby carrots
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Approximately 4 tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar
  • Approximately half a jar of Smuckers Appricot Preserves
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • Olive oil

Instructions:

  • Unwrap pork tenderloin and place in slow cooker
  • Salt and pepper tenderloin to taste
  • Squeeze dijon mustard onto tenderloin
  • Drizzle tenderloin with balsamic vinegar
  • Cut butter into single tablespoons and arrange evenly around tenderloin

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  • Spoon half a jar of apricot preserves on tenderloin

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  • Cook tenderloin on low for four hours
  • While tenderloin is cooking, wash and quarter the potatoes
  • Add potatoes and carrots to a ziplock bag and drizzle with olive oil
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Shake bag to coat carrots and potatoes

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  • After the tenderloin has been cooking for about four hours, add the carrots and potatoes and allow to cook for an additional two hours (a total of six hours of cook time)

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Felted House Slippers

I had been wanting to try a technique where one knits an object using 100% wool then washes it to create felt.  I found an adorable house slipper pattern and decided my friend needed them for her birthday.  I knew that the slippers would shrink during the felting process, but I couldn’t believe how big they were knitting up!  They ended up shrinking down to the perfect size.  Here they are next to a pair of my Toms pre-felting.  Huge, right!?!

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The pattern called for straps to simply be sewn on the toes; however, the stitching was quite obvious.  I used the needle felting techniques I used for my soap and pumpkin to make the seam nearly invisible.

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Lastly, I added vintage-looking buttons.  I love them and need to make some for myself!

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Difficulty:  Easy

Time Required:  3 Movies

Overall Experience:  Good

Baby Baseball Hat

In honor of Craig Biggio being elected for the baseball hall of fame today, I will finish my summer of baby hats (I know…  I’m super behind.  Other hats included:  Chappy Newsboy Cap, Lacey Summer Baby Cap, Elmo Inspired Baby Hat, and Emory Beanie.) with my baby baseball hat.  Some friends of mine are huge Astros fans, so when they had a baby I naturally wanted to make them a baseball hat.  I had seen pictures of hats I liked, but couldn’t find a pattern.  I ended up remaking the Chappy Newsboy Cap with same alterations.  Instead of single crocheting in the front and back loops, I single crocheted in both loops to give a smoother texture.  I crocheted the hat in white with a red brim and embroidered baseball stitching over the white.  It turned out super cute!

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Difficulty:  Easy

Time Required:  2 Movies

Overall Experience:  Good

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Bugs Bunny Carrot Koozie

As mentioned in my last post, I’m way behind on my blog. There are things I made in August that haven’t been added yet! I decided to start the posting with something quick and easy. A coworker asked if I could create a beer bottle koozie that looked like a carrot for his Bugs Bunny costume. Challenge accepted! I improvised the carrot using alternating groups of rows of knits and purls to give the carrot texture. I also created a large cartoony leaf that snapped to the bottom to give the effect of Bugs’ carrot. It turned out great!

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Difficulty:  Easy

Time Required:  2 Movies

Overall Experience:  Good

2014 in review

WordPress put together stats from my blog this year.  This is both really fun and humbling.  It’s amazing that so many people are interested in what I have to say!  I am also way behind on blogging.  Since my last post, I’ve had 17 orders from my Etsy store.  17!  Before this November I had seven total.  I also had some personal orders from friends and holiday gifts to make.  November and December have been crazy.  It’s all finished, and I can finally breathe (and work on a project for me).  I’ll catch up on the blog soon.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 30,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.