Popping the Question

When I started posting wedding stuff, I should have started with this.  Immediately after getting engaged, I found this adorable pin and knew that I had to proposed to my bridesmaids.  This doesn’t even really count as a craft.  All you do is get a small box, fill it with tissue paper, a ring pop, and a note “popping” the question.  I only got to give one away in person.  I had to mail the boxes to my other two bridesmaids.

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Wedding Afghans

An acquaintance who had been in countless wedding once showed me a crocheted blanket that a bride had made her.  She gushed about how that gift was the most meaningful bridesmaid gift she had ever received.  Since I crochet, I tucked that little tidbit of information away for later.  When I got engaged, I pushed my fiance to help me pick out colors so I could start on the pile of blankets I was planning on making.

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I decided to make blankets for our three bridesmaids and both sets of parents.  I had to make five blankets, so I needed to find an afghan pattern that I could make fairly quickly.  I have made many afghans that took me months to make.  I didn’t have that much time.  I had an afghan pattern pinned named “Super Quick Throw.”  The blanket was crocheted with four strands of yarn held together as one with a giant hook.  That’s about as quick as one can hope for.  The blankets crocheted beautifully.

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I do have a few tips:

  • The pattern is available free on the Red Heart website.
  • I bought yarn in bulk in our wedding colors.  I chose acrylic yarn because it holds up well and for the price.  It crocheted into a stiff, scratchy blanket.  However, after washing and drying each blanket once, they were completely transformed.  They became pliable and soft.
  • The pattern calls for a hook size P-16 (11.5 mm).  I couldn’t find a hook this size and ended up with a 10 mm hook.  I adjusted by crocheting to the correct size rather than the correct number of stitches.  The pattern is easy, so it wasn’t hard to do.  The rows that require a certain number of stitches have a three stitch repeat.  There is a two stitch “border” on each side.  This means that your starting row should have a total stitch number that is a multiple of 3 plus 4 stitches.  (As written, the pattern calls for 58 stitches.  This is a multiple of 3 (54/3=18) plus 4.)  I don’t remember how many stitches I used.  I think it was 70.  Whatever gets you to a 48 inch wide blanket.
  • I used the no foundation row starting technique instead of the chain start technique in the pattern.  Here is a good tutorial.  This technique keeps your tension from being off in the first row and is easier to measure your 48 inches.
  • With the same “size verses stitches” philosophy, you should repeat Rows 2-7 until the blanket is the length you want.  The pattern calls for 58 inches.  I wanted my blanket to be at least 60 inches so I repeated until I finished on a Row 7 with a length greater than 60 inches.
  • The edges of the blanket turned out a little jagged.  I finished the blanket off with a border.  I slip stitched in each stitch on the short edges and single crocheted along the long edges.  This cleaned the blankets up nicely.

Difficulty:  Easy

Time Required:  About 13 movies per blanket

Overall Experience:  Excellent

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Groom’s Survival Kit

While searching for wedding things on Pinterest, I found many groom’s survival kits.  Since I knit I really liked the idea of making socks for my groom, so he didn’t get cold feet.  I put my own spin on the rest of items.

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The typical groom’s kit list comes with a piece of paper that says something similar to the following:

Groom’s Day-Of Survival Kit

  • Socks to keep cold feet away
  • Lifesavers to keep you from drowning in emotion
  • Small bottle of alcohol to calm your nerves
  • Mints to ensure a fresh kiss
  • Ring pop in case you forget the essentials

Looking at the list, there were lots of things I didn’t like about it:

  • Socks–Loved the socks idea
  • Lifesavers–Neither one of us are emotional people.  I’ve been called a robot by several people, and he isn’t any better.  He got me a shirt for my birthday that says:  “Feelings are boring.  Kissing is awesome.”  Lifesavers were off the list.
  • Small bottle of alcohol–I wasn’t sure when I would give this to him, and we got fined if we got caught with outside alcohol at the ceremony site.  A small bottle of alcohol was off the list.
  • Mints–This implies that he NEEDS a mint.  I didn’t want to imply that he had bad breath.  That seemed in poor taste.
  • Ring pop–Apparently the essentials are that he buys my jewelry and/or candy?  I didn’t like this one either.

That left me with one item.  Socks.  I decided to replace the items with different items that matched our personalities better.  I wrote a note on a tag on each item.  If you click on the pictures above you can see them.  Otherwise, each note is listed below:

  • Socks–So you don’t get cold feet
  • Lip balm–For the perfect first kiss that tastes like me (I wear Burt’s Bees all the time.)
  • Flask–In case you need courage of the liquid variety (that won’t get us fined…he could fill it at the venue)
  • A bottle opener key chain that says:  “I’LL LOVE YOU UNTIL THE ZOMBIES GET YOU”–So you know exactly how long I’ll love you
  • 52 REASONS CRAIG IS AWESOME–So you remember where we began and why we are doing this

Each of the items (except the lip balm) was hand made, not necessarily by me:

  • Socks–I made the socks.  See my Don’t Get Cold Feet post.
  • Lip balm–I actually had an unopened lip balm laying around because I buy them in bulk.
  • Flask–The flask came from Scoutmob.com.  Scoutmob is a site that features products by independent makers.  It’s pretty cool.  Check it out.
  • Key Chain–The zombie key chain came from Etsy.  The maker, FleurDesigns, was great to work with.  I got the key chain crazy fast.
  • 52 Reasons Book–I made the book during our first Valentine’s together.  See my 52 Reasons Book post.

52 Reasons Book

Note:  While this does not appear to be a wedding related post, it will become relevant in a later post.

This was in fact the first pin I ever brought to life.  A couple of years ago I saw Pinterest start popping up all over Facebook.  I understood it to be a digital pin board where one can organize his or her ideas.  I don’t keep real notebooks or pin boards, and didn’t see the point of a digital one.  One day I was bored and decided to see what all the hype was about.  I was immediately hooked.  There were SO MANY craft and recipe ideas.

I started using Pinterest about a month before Valentine’s Day.  This would be my first Valentine’s Day spent with my now husband, Craig.  We hadn’t talked about Valentine’s Day gifts.  I wanted my gift to “match” his.  I didn’t know if he was getting me anything.  I found this adorable idea on Pinterest.  I decided to make him this and bake something.

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Materials:

Instructions:

  • Make a list of 52 reasons you love your man
  • Cut 54 pieces scrapbooking paper to an appropriate size (the amount of playing card you want behind the paper is totally up to you)
  • If you want the border look I used, cut 54 solid color pieces of scrapbooking paper slightly smaller than a patterned piece
  • Write one reason on each piece of solid paper
  • Write a title and an opening message on the remaining pieces of solid paper
  • Glue the solid pieces of paper onto the patterned pieces of paper
  • Choose the location for the binder rings and hole punch each card
  • Remove the two jokers from the deck (these will be your front cover and your message page)
  • Glue a message on each of the normal 52 cards
  • Glue the opening message on one of the jokers
  • Glue the title on the back of one of remaining joker
  • Put all of the cards on the binder rings

Difficulty:  Easy

Time Required:  2 movies

Overall Experience:  Excellent

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XKCD pretty much described my dilemma.

Valentine Dilemma

Melt in your Mouth Chicken

So…  it turns out that I’m cooking a lot this week.  I found Melt in your Mouth Chicken on Pinterest.  It sounded good, so I made it.  I’m not overly salt sensitive, but I found the chicken to be extremely salty.  It was so salty that I found myself taking a drink after every bite.  I adjusted the recipe.  It now has a great flavor, and I’m not overwhelmed with salt.  It’s also super easy to make.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese

1 cup of plain Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon of seasoning salt

1/2 teaspoon of pepper

2 lbs of chicken tenders

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Wash chicken tenders, trim any unwanted portions of chicken, place in bottom of baking dish
  3. Mix the remaining ingredients and spread on top of chicken
  4. Bake for 45 minutes

There is one oddity.  When the chicken comes out of the oven, you will find that it is sitting in quite a lot of water.  This has happened every time I have made the dish.  See the picture below.

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