September 27, 2013

For Your Listening Pleasure


To say my taste in music is eclectic would be an understatement, although I'm sure we all have that song on our iPod that makes us happy but we're slightly embarrassed about. Lately I've really been into the singer/songwriter genre of music.

Here are 5 of my most recent iTunes music downloads in that category -

1. February Seven - The Avett Brothers

2. I've Been Accused - Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons

3. Windows Are Rolled Down - Amos Lee

4. If you Could Read My Mind - Gordon Lightfoot

5. Baby Can I Hold You - Tracy Chapman


September 20, 2013

Scrapbook Layouts

I've found time to put together a few scrapbook pages recently. It seems the first layout takes a while but once I get going the rest come together a bit faster.

I have a Pinterest board of scrapbook layouts I like to refer to for ideas. This Squirrel Hunter page idea came from this Sketch Saavy sketch.

September 18, 2013

How to start a coffee habit

I can't even believe I'm writing this. It was only a year ago that I though coffee smelled horrible and tasted even worse.

It all started with a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. I saw all the ads and heard everyone rave about this seasonal, limited time offer beverage, I had to try it for myself. It was disgusting. I couldn't get over how much it tasted like coffee and not so much like pumpkin.

Then a friend told me to try a venti white chocolate mocha latte. She explained that the coffee to milk ratio was lower so it would have less coffee taste. She was right - it tasted more like sugary white chocolate mocha than coffee. 

I have been drinking tea for several years but it doesn't have nearly the caffeine coffee does. The energy  it gives me is amazing...obviously I'm on my way to a caffeine addiction.

Things were going well but really, this was more of a dessert than a cup of coffee. I justified it with the fact that since Starbucks was a 60 mile drive I didn't really have one that often. That all changed when I started ordering them from the local coffee shop. So now I was spending $5 a pop a couple times a week but worse, I was drinking all that sugar.

I started cutting back on the syrup flavoring, which is where most of the sugar comes from, from 3-4 pumps to just 1. Then I added an extra shot of espresso to get more coffee flavor and less milk flavor. My how my tastes changed in a year!

I now make my own latte's at home using this stovetop espresso maker.

Isn't it cute?!

It makes 3 perfect shots of espresso (I use this Lavazza Caffe Espresso). I pour this into my mug and add whole milk or coconut milk that I've heated up in the microwave. 

It tastes great and gives me that extra jolt of energy I need in the morning!

September 15, 2013

Wildcats Football

Jake started football this year and is loving it! For the next few weeks our Saturday mornings will be spent going to his games. Go Wildcats!

September 12, 2013

Do it Yourself Photo Ledge Shelves

I've had this blank wall in my livingroom that I've wanted to do something with but just haven't been sure what. Originally I thought it would be cool to put some sort of photo gallery there like these ideas from Pinterest.

I've also been looking at these tchotchke shelves from The Container Store thinking I could do something like this...

I decided on the shelves so I'd be able to change out the pictures plus have less holes in my wall. Since I'm married to a handy guy I showed him the photos and asked him to make some. I picked up a piece of crown molding at Lowe's and Tim had all the other materials in his shop.

They came together in no time! (I have no idea how much time they took but compared to some other projects this one was quick - ha!) I put two coats of white paint on them and they were finished.

It needs a little work but this is how it looks on my wall. Each shelf is 3 inches deep. The top shelf is 3 feet long and the bottom is 4 feet 6 inches long.

The great thing is being able to move things around, add items, remove items and just change things up!

September 9, 2013

Do it Yourself Roasted Almonds

I love almonds and eat a ton of them. I buy the big containers of Archer Farms raw almonds from Target then separate them into baggies to keep in my purse and at work.

Sometimes though I'm in the mood for the oily, salted, roasted variety. Rather than purchasing them already roasted, usually in unhealthy oils plus other ingredients, I make my own. It's super easy! Just put a couple tablespoons of coconut oil on a baking sheet and add your almonds and some salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. That's it!

One thing I've learned is that you need much less oil than you might think, so start with very little, you can always add more during the roasting time. I used about 3 Tablespoons for a 12 x 17 inch pan.

For something salty/sweet these pumpkin pie roasted almonds sound awesome. I think I will try those next!

September 8, 2013

Oversized Chunky Knit Scarf

I received a custom order request last week to make one of my knit infinity scarves in an oversized style. She sent me a photo of what she had in mind and after studying it I got to work.

This is what I came up with.
I shipped it out earlier this week. I love how it turned out and I hope she does too!

May 11, 2013

Knit Camera Strap Covers

I'm so excited about the newest addition to my shop - knit camera strap covers!

It is so fun to see the pattern emerge when working with this yarn. I am knitting a rainbow colored one right now that I am loving, I might keep that one for myself!

April 29, 2013

Starting Seedlings Indoors

Spring is finally here and in a few short weeks I will be outside preparing my garden.

Referring to last years lessons learned, I started my seeds indoors on May 24th.

I ordered my seeds from heirloom seed company Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds again. All of their seeds are non-hybrid, non-GMO, non-treated and non-patented.

I used plastic spoons as markers, they are holding up much better than the wooden popsicle sticks I used last year.

It's important to plant about 3 seeds in each container. This way you have a better chance of getting at least one sprout in each. Of course all 3 could sprout, and then you have to start thinning them out leaving the strongest one.

Pulling out out the little sprouts always feels a little bit like killing your babies. So sad. :(

This is how the plants look today, 5 weeks later!

Everything is growing beautifully and will soon be ready to plant in the ground!

April 26, 2013

New! Lisa Olson Designs Dishcloths

I recently added dishcloths to Lisa Olson Designs! I tested many different stitch patterns and determined this waffle knit texture provides the most scrubbing action. If you've never tried them, hand knit dishcloths are simply the best! They are very durable and last for years. They work great for any household cleaning chore and make great gifts!

I am currently working on more color options so check back soon!

March 28, 2013

Pinterest Success! Balsamic and Onion Pot Roast

I've tried a handful of recipes from Pinterest in the last while, some have been epic fails and others a success. Here is one that I would label a success! Balsamic and Onion Pot Roast

There is a fair amount of prep work required before placing it all in the crock pot. If you plan to start it in the morning before leaving for work you will want to allow yourself a little extra time. The only change I made was to cut the amount of vinegar to 1/4 cup. There were more onions than roast left after we finished dinner. I saved the onions and placed them on top of grilled burgers the next day. Delicious!

March 26, 2013

I Made a Sweater!

Since I began knitting, you can read about it here, I haven't tried too many "big" projects. I have mostly made dishcloths, scarves and cup cozy's. I even opened up an etsy shop to sell some of my items!

This is the book that got me started, The Chicks with Sticks Guide to Knitting.

The sweater I made came from a pattern in this book. The cable on the front intrigued me, I thought it added such a nice detail but it looked so complicated. Well I'm here to tell you it's not! The instructions were very clear, and with a special cable needle and a twist of the yarn, voila!

There are only two things I will change when making this pattern again. I prefer my tops a little longer so I will add a few inches to the bottom. The yarn I chose is a little stretchy -  it's a Vanna White acrylic, rayon blend and is very soft and comfortable but next time I might try wool for a more fitted look.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is learning to knit or a seasoned knitter looking for some fun and stylish patterns!

March 24, 2013

March Stamp Club - Faux Mother of Pearl

This month we did a faux mother of pearl technique using the Crosses of Hope and Blooming with Kindness Sets. The faux mother of pearl technique is very easy and adds such a pretty effect. Here is a tutorial if you would like to learn how.

All Supplies are Stampin' Up!
Stamps: Blooming with Kindness
Ink: Primrose Petals
Paper: Whisper White, Summer Starfruit, Early Espresso, Primrose Petals
Accessories: Summer Starfruit Marker, Early Espresso Marker, Vintage Faceted Buttons, White Organdy Ribbon, Glue Dots, White Bakers Twine, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch, Frost White Shimmer Paint.

All Supplies are Stampin' Up!
Stamps: Crosses of Hope
Ink: Basic Grey, So Saffron
Paper: Very Vanilla, Wild Wasabi, Basic Black, So Saffron
Accessories: Vine Street Embossing Folder, Big Shot, Very Vanilla Seam Binding, Frost White Shimmer Paint, Sponge.

March 23, 2013

Project Life - Week Reality Sets In

I'm done. I thought it would last longer than 8 weeks, but not so.

I have a tendency to live my life as a series of obsessions. Some of those obsessions stick, others go, and then come back, weeks, months, years later. I sometimes have grand ideas of what I can accomplish in a day and then reality sets in.

I was excited about Project Life, especially after several of the blogs I follow regularly post updates on their albums every week. They made it look easy. They work from home in the design/paper crafting industry.

Soon it seemed like one more thing on my to do list. In fact PL was constantly written on my list. I would cross it off and then write PL again at the bottom of my list because I had to do it over again the next week. Type A personality much? Looking at that PL on my list everyday starting giving me anxiety, because IT WAS NEVER DONE. Should documenting your life give you anxiety? I think not. Now, I realize I could just skip a week or two, or catch up on a severals weeks at one time, and just relax about the whole thing. But I can't. Not me.

Now that I've given myself the freedom to let that go I can move on to my next obsession, whatever that might be, and the cycle will being again.

March 5, 2013

Project Life - Week 7

Week 7 Highlights:
Jake asked if we could exchange names for Valentine's gifts. He wanted to buy a gift with his own money but he only wanted to buy one..funny!
My mom and my sisters and I all went to the Martina McBride/George Strait concert. What a fun night with family!

March 4, 2013

Project Life - Week 6

I'm still keeping up with this project, just getting a little behind in posting. It is too dark in the evenings once I get home from work to get good photos of my album so they must wait until the weekend.

Week 6 Highlights: 
We started watching Downton Abbey on our Amazon Prime. We are hooked - tonight we watch the last episode! 
Tim and Jake made a batch of deer jerky.
I got new glasses, I only wear them while at my computer at work.
We celebrated Rhett's 6th birthday!


February 23, 2013

February Stamp Club - Swallowtail

This month we made two cards using the swallowtail stamp from the spring catalog and the emboss and emboss resist techniques.

All Supplies are Stampin' Up!
Stamps: Swallowtail, Itty Bitty Banners
Ink: Versamark, Melon Mambo
Paper: Very Vanilla, Basic Black, Melon Mambo
Accessories: Melon Mambo Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Big Shot, Bitty Banner Framelits

All Supplies are Stampin' Up!
Stamps: Swallowtail, Itty Bitty Banners
Ink: Versamark, Basic Gray, Tangerine Tango, Summer Starfruit, Gumball Green
Paper: Whisper White, Summer Starfruit, Gumball Green
Accessories: Black Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Sponges, Big Shot, Bitty Banner Framelits, Vine Street Embossing Folder

February 18, 2013

Lisa Olson Designs Color Choices

I put together a chart of some of the color choices for the eternity scarves in my shop. There are many more options available so if you have a certain color in mind please ask. I will update the chart as I add more colors.

You can visit my shop here!