Friday, December 19, 2008

Family Cookie Recipe

I thought I'd share with you my family's favorite cookie recipe. This was my great-grandmother Eleanor's recipe for sugar cookies. They've since come to be called "Nonie Cookies" since she was "Grandma Nonie." It is a classic cookie recipe, enjoyed all year long. I like them a little thick, while my Mom likes them thin and crispy. See what you think. Sorry I don't have a picture of these yet. I promised I'd wait for my daughter to make these!


NONIE COOKIES

Mix together 3 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar and a dash of freshly ground nutmeg. Make a well in the center and add 1 cup shortening, 1 egg, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Mix well.

Roll half the dough on a floured cloth or board. Sprinkle with sugar and roll it in gently. Cut with your favorite cookie cutters. Bake at 350° until lightly brown. Roll and cut remaining dough. You can use colored sugars if desired.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

And the Winner Is.....

A big thank you to all that participated in my first Blog Giveaway! I enjoyed reading all of the destressing suggestions and although I haven't yet, I will be taking them into consideration soon...I promise!
Each entry was assigned a number 1 - 20. The numbers were put in a bowl and mixed up. And the winning number, picked at random is.... #6 which is Theresa from TiLTcreations! I'll be contacting you, TiLT, and your new, vintage Christmas apron will be on its way to you shortly!
Thanks again everyone!

Stop by and visit TiLTcreations shop.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Finds....Here Kitty Kitty



My freaky cat, Magic, is loving the Christmas tree. Every time I try to get her picture she takes off. I'll get it at some point. Wait until I set up the train. She'll really love that.
Here are some fun finds from the EtsyBloggers Street Team.
Top left: ACEO Aqua and Red Cats Original Painting from JenniferHayesArt
Top right:
Original 5x7 Photo Sebastian 1 from donnapool
Bottom left:
Tres Kitties -Blue and White Porcelain and Pewter Beaded Bracelet from beadedtail
Bottom right:
Pure Style. LE ACEO, orange cat on blue and brown background from PurrPrints

Mojo says Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Do the Peppermint Twist



I made this pillow a few years ago and it never sold at local shows. I want to make another one now that I'm a little better at what I do. I'll be able to change colors and not have the colors show through. I'll also try to design it so that I can remove the cover to wash it. It was pretty for a first try design and it's now adorning my futon : )

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Snowy Saturday


Yay! It's snowing! Time to snuggle up and do some online shopping!
Stop by and browse my Etsy boutique. I'm offering a Free Gift with every purchase!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Giada, Giada, Giada!!


(photo from Food Network)

Anyone who signed up for Food Network's 12 Days of Cookies Newsletter must be pretty disappointed in today's recipe. I know I am. Giada De Laurentiis provided a recipe for Peppermint-Chocolate Sandwich Cookies that actually calls for a tube of refrigerated sugar cookie dough. Blech! Pillsbury must be a sponsor because a coupon pops up when you put your mouse over it. I'm sorry, but I expect more of such a "foodie" site. I know how to boil water too.

The EtsyBloggers Team Blog Carnival topic is Brownies! Now that I can do. December 8th is National Brownie Day. I've been making my Grandmother's recipe for years. I allowed my daughter to tweak it a little this last time by substituting some peanut butter for some of the shortening. It worked and they liked them, but I like the recipe as written.


Easy "Scratch" Brownies
Beat together 1/2 cup shortening and 1 cup of sugar with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add 2 eggs and mix well. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix together these dry ingredients then add to the egg mixture... 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 4 tablespoons cocoa powder (more if you want them really chocolatey). Mix well, add a little milk if you've added extra cocoa, or if the batter is too stiff. Add chopped nuts if desired.
Bake in a greased 8" square pan at 350° for approximately 30 minutes (longer if not done in the middle). Test with a toothpick to see if they're done. Bake as for a cake, not the traditional gooey brownie mix type. When cool, dust with powdered sugar.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Twitter


I heard people talking about Twitter, but I avoided going there for a long time. With there being so many social-networking sites and trying to keep up with inventory, Etsy, shows, and every day life, I didn't think I had the time to Twitter. I joined several months ago, and I'm really glad that I did. Because you're limited to 140 characters or less, it's kind of like blogging and texting combined. Yes, there are those that only use it to promote, but I like to chat with friends, see what everyone is up to in different parts of the world, and I do occasionally show a new design or promote a team event. You can do a Twitter search to find people that might share the same interests or location as you. One word of caution, and something that I heard on the news a few weeks ago, is to be careful posting exactly where you'll be and when. You never know.
Have fun Twittering...and click here to follow me.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Have you been to the Virtual Labs?


If you haven't been to Etsy's Virtual Labs, now is your chance. The Virtual Labs are a really cool place to have a lot of fun. Starting on Wednesday, December 3rd, Etsy is hosting an online shopping event like never before. Several big-time magazine and blog gurus will be sharing their Etsy favorites just in time for holiday gift-giving! And, first up to kick-off the festivities is Brett Bara, editor-in-chief of "Crochet Today" magazine! Stop by the tree house at the virtual labs at 7 pm EST on Wednesday, December 3rd. (Get there early so you can get a seat and take a quick tour.) Be there or be square! (get it?? square - as in granny ; )

Upcoming events and special shoppers include BURDA STYLE, WIRED MAGAZINE, EXTREMECRAFT, AMERICAN CRAFT COUNCIL, BROWNSTONER, TEEN VOGUE, and LUCKY MAGAZINE!! Visit The Storque on Etsy for a complete schedule.

Need a Little Christmas?


I'm having a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit. Normally I would be cleaning and decorating, feeling the peacefulness of the snow fall, and be prematurely excited over the coming holiday. So far this year it has been quite stressful. It's difficult for me to relax with my husband being laid-off. I'm afraid to go shopping in case I need the money for bills or groceries.
My kids are wonderful. They bring so much joy to our lives. I love working, which for me is knitting and crocheting. That takes my mind off of things for awhile, but I need to find something else to help me destress. I may dig out my yoga mat later. There's too much ice on the trail for a good run. Maybe Santa will bring me a treadmill some day? Exercise usually helps, as long as I am consistent at it.

So, how about a little Blog Therapy?? And a BLOG GIVEAWAY!!?!
I've never done a blog giveaway, but I have this cool vintage Christmas apron that I showed you in an earlier post. I'm not promoting my shop or asking you to tell me what your favorite item is, or anything like that.

To enter to win this lovely vintage Christmas apron, please give me your advice on the best ways to destress. Leave a comment on this blog and be sure that your comment links back to your blog, or give me a way to contact you if you win. I will pick a winner at random from all the entries on this post on Saturday, December 13th. Thanks for entering...and be sure to tell all your friends to stop by and enter too. And thanks for the blog therapy!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

EtsyBloggers Featured Blogger - Storybeader


Tipi Treasure Necklace from storybeader
“Doves Rising”

The young woman looked
Out the tipi towards the white
Doves and rising sun.
- Deborah Baroff, the Storybeader

Deborah the Storybeader calls herself "a frustrated writer who likes to put words and colors together to make wearable art." She writes a haiku for each necklace that she creates. What a unique concept! Stop and visit Storybeader.Etsy.com or check out her blog Stroll Through Storyland.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cleveland Handmade Market



Cleveland Handmade Market November 2008, originally uploaded by virtuallori.

Cleveland Handmade held its first market show on November 23, 2008, at Mojo's Coffee in Bay Village, Ohio.

Back row, L-R: Stacie (staciepate), Lori (virtuallori), Kathy (smashing), Jodie (petitelibellule)

Middle row, L-R: Leah (LeahAnaDesigns), Teresa (SilverMadeStudios), Jodie (LakeErieBeachGlass), Tricia (LazyTcrochet)

Front row, L-R: Ramona (ramona), Nicki (handmade)

The Cleveland Handmade Market was a huge success. It was so fun to be able to get together as a team. We do work well together! Click the names above to visit each, amazing individual Etsy shop.

Visit ClevelandHandmade.com for more!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hurry Hurry

Last big show of the season tomorrow and Saturday, with a Cleveland Handmade Market on Sunday! I'm trying to finish this sweater by tomorrow. I'm not sure if it's possible, but that's what's keeping my busy and not blogging much these days.

I took pictures of my new hood out in the snow today. Looking forward to relaxing a bit next week before the big shopping weekend!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Coming Soon....


Soon we'll be voting on the November Challenge for Big Ticket Items from EtsyFAST (Fiber Arts Street Team). Here's just a peak at some of the other entries.

Friday, November 14, 2008

November Challenge


The EtsyFAST (Fiber Arts Street Team) challenge for November was a "Big Ticket Item." I wasn't sure I would have time to make something for this. Thanks to my sister and her fabulous handspun yarn, I was able to create this gorgeous Wool Wrap in Royal Purple. Crocheted with fascinating fibers of thick/thin, hand-dyed, handspun blend of wool and mohair. The color blend has an array of royal blue and purples. An all natural, bulky yarn with whispy bits and fluffy bumps makes for a warm and fabulous wrap. A hand-carved wood shawl pin is included. Visit snowwaterwoolworks to find more amazing handspun yarns and fiber. Her headbands are incredibly soft and beautiful!
Search EtsyFAST Team NovemberChallenge to find all the amazing challenge entries. Contest and voting coming soon.

I would also like to thank virtuallori for making the Cleveland Handmade Trunk Show a great success! And, special thanks to miesmama, my fellow EtsyFAST and EtsyBloggers Teammate, for visiting the trunk show. It was great having someone there to support me!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Random

Why do consignment shops wait until November to contact me? Sure you need items for your shop, but so do I. Contact me in June when I've nothing better to do! And 50%??? wow

How stupid was it for me to name my shop LazyTcrochet? I think that "crochet" in general prevents people from even browsing, let alone the Lazy part. It's too late now, plus I stink at naming anything. I had a cat named "Kitten" for goodness sake.

Great timing for the Ohio Unemployment Fund to run out of money! What the heck? I thought people paid into that for a reason.
Oh yeah, and Etsy has hardly mentioned it, but there's a big Trunk Show in the Virtual Labs tonight! Watch for Cleveland Team artists, among several other teams in the Around the World Trunk Show - tonight at 7 pm Eastern time HERE in the Virtual Labs.

P.S. - Etsy did post a Storque article later this morning regarding the trunk show!
You can read about it here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I made the news!!

Oh my goodness! I just found my interview with Fran Henry from the "Cleveland Plain Dealer" on Cleveland.com's website. It's going to be in the Style issue of tomorrow's newspaper! She interviewed me, along with three other Cleveland-area Etsy artists for a fabulous article on Etsy.
Here's the link to the Etsy article. And here's my interview. I'm so thrilled. It couldn't come at a better time with my husband's accident and his job on-the-line. Congrats to HiAnnie, stonz, and Monaco too!

Baking Day

I decided to bake bread today. Since I don't have a car and I have all the ingredients for a pasta dinner....except for some crispy bread.

I found a wonderful-sounding recipe in "The Italian Country Table" for a Sage and Mushroom Focaccia. The sage is still bountiful in my garden, but the dough takes a day or two to rise. I may start that for tomorrow, we'll see.

Today I found this Simple Crusty Bread recipe that was published in "The New York Times." I'll have to rescue my baking stone from the gas grill. We had a wind storm after hurricane Ike that cause a power-outage just when I was about to bake off a bunch of pizzas for guests. My husband did a wonderful job of rescuing the situation and helped me bake them in the gas grill. They were delicious, but the baking stone is a bit charred.

I also came upon this recipe for Pane Rustica (Italian Peasant Bread) which is a modified version of the recipe above. It looks easy and delicious.

In any event, I'll try the crusty bread and see how it goes. After that, I'll be finishing up some scarves, hats and fingerless gloves keeping busy busy busy!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fun with Felting

As if I don't have enough to keep me busy this time of year, I decided to gather some supplies and try my hand at felting. So many people have asked why I don't spin my own yarn. I'm sure it is fun, but I wouldn't have time to knit and crochet the designs that I love to make. So, for me to buy carded wool and roving, was a bit shocking. There it was all gathered together and me without a clue as to what exactly to do. I've read several blogs and watched a few videos on feltmaking, specifically on how to make a scarf.
Tip #1 don't try it outside on a breezy day. I started laying out my fibers on the batting and the wind blew them all over the place. So, I went to the basement. This is a messy wet project and it didn't matter if I got the basement wet.
Tip #2 use a sturdy work surface. I used a fold-up craft table and it was rocking all over the place!
It ended up being a little too thick and wide for a scarf, but a wonderful fabric nonetheless. The picture doesn't pick up the gold sparkle throughout. I am thinking that, with a sturdy lining and shoulder strap, it could be made into a fabulous bag.
Tip #3 keep trying. It was fun and I'll definitely try again. I also have a silk scarf that I want to try felting the fibers onto. I want to dye it first. I also have some yarn to dye...but I've never dyed before. Yet another thing to try.
So, that's what I've been working on, along with more shrugs, sweaters, hats, and fingerless gloves for upcoming shows. Busy time of year!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Take a Little Time to Unwind

Today is a much-needed rest day for me. I frantically tagged and tallied all my items to set up at the Tour of Homes Christmas Walk. I still have a few works-in-progress that I didn't complete on time, but since it's a 2 1/2 week show, I can take them in later on this weekend. Today...I get to do whatever I want!
I think I'll bake some cookies. I created a fabulous cookie treasury on Etsy the other day. It's about to expire, but here are a few of my favorite treats. These rub-ons from Yaelfran are so cool. I will be adorning my coffee mug with some of these soon I hope.

There are lots of sweet treats available on Etsy. Check out the selection by cakeboxcookies. You can't rush fall with these beauties!

As for me, I think I'll make some soft pumpkin cookies. Pleasing my picky son with anything besides chocolate chip has always been a challenge. He loves pumpkin pie and I'm sure he'll eat pumpkin cookies, as long as there's no nuts in them.

Get in the holiday baking spirit by checking out 12 Days of Christmas Cookies at Nestle's VeryBestBaking.com. Sign up now to receive Food Network's 12 Days of Cookies Newsletter at FoodNetwork.com. Happy baking!

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's Show Time

I've been working non-stop trying to prepare for my first show of the season. Christmas already? Yes. Every year the local historical society holds their Tour of Homes Christmas Walk....the weekend after Halloween. I know - that's a bit early. (I admit that I like seeing the Christmas lights already.) Last year I had to empty my Etsy shop in order to have enough items for the show. This show runs two weekends and I have no idea what sold or not until I go into town and check.
This year, I vowed to have enough items so that I can keep my online boutique up and running during my shows. That makes things a lot more stressful and busy for this time of year, but when the shows are over, I'll have lots of new items to add to the shop.
I couldn't wait to show off this funky new design. I thought it was much better suited for the Etsy clientele and it probably wouldn't be appreciated by the local craft show ladies. 'Close Encounters of the Hooded Kind' is what my son thought I should call it. I put that in the listing, but thought the title should be more descriptive to show up in a search. Check out the Winter Wool Buttoned Hood. It was fun to make.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cold Hard Steel


I received a package in the mail today. I wasn't expecting a package since I hadn't ordered any Etsy goodies in awhile. But...I had forgotten about a blog giveaway that I won a few weeks ago. Inside the package was cold, hard steel. Yep....steel! (And cold because it actually snowed the other day.)
If you haven't yet, go visit Timothy Adam Designs and enter his blog giveaway! You, too, could win a Modern Steel Necklace. I love mine and it was so exciting to feel the cold steel against my neck when I first put it on. The magnetic clasp on the neck wire makes it even more fun to wear.
So, stop by his blog and enter the giveaway, and check out TimothyAdamDesigns.Etsy.com to choose your favorite Modern Steel Necklace!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween...Let's Dance!

Richard O'Brien has always been my favorite character from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." He wrote all the music and co-wrote the screenplay as well. I tried to find a clip of his solo. There is a short bit of him singing in the tower "Over at the Frankenstein Place" but I thought there was a longer solo of his towards the end of the movie. I can't seem to find it now. He is an amazing singer. Here's a fun clip to celebrate this Halloween. Hope everyone has fun tonight!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sweet Treat


Craving chocolate, but trying to stay out of the kids Halloween candy? Here's an easy sweet treat to try. Wash and dry a bunch of grapes, allowing them to sit at room temperature so they're completely dry. Snip them into tiny bunches of 2 or 3 grapes per stem. (Any type of grapes will do.) Melt a 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips or any other of your favorite chocolate (I love Ghirardelli semi-sweet). Dip the bottoms of the grapes in the chocolate and place them on waxed paper to cool. Let sit or refrigerate to set the chocolate. Let the kids help. They can have the individual grapes that fall off to scrape out the chocolate bowl at the end! I like to make these at Thanksgiving. They make a fun addition to a fruit tray and having the little stem makes them easy-to-grab snacks. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chilly Blue


Woke up to snow on the ground this morning! I am not complaining, other than it does get me a bit prematurely-excited for the season! LOL
Special thanks to Valerie Tyler for including my capelet in this lovely list, perfect for a chilly day in Northeast Ohio! Treasury expires 5 pm Friday, Oct. 31st. Stop and check it out!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?

I do...that's who!
Any chance I get to pick up a cool button, I grab it. I made lots of button scarves last year and intend on making lots more. Some buttons will wait until the perfectly matching yarn or fabric appears. It's great having a wide selection of big buttons to choose from.
Here are two new scarflettes that I'll be adding to my Etsy shop. The blue/green yarn is called Lagoon. It reminds me of the Loch Ness monster, so I added a picot edge and a celtic-style carved bone button. For the soft, creamy homespun, I added these faux bois toggle buttons.

I also finished this wrap over the weekend. It is knit from handspun merino wool in a wonderfully soft Terra Cotta. The buttons are 3" in diameter, handcarved from Argentina. I knew I had to create something special to use those spectacular buttons!
Be on the lookout for more button designs in the LazyTcrochet Boutique!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Spooky


I'm not much of a story-teller, with words anyway. I do love taking pictures and often-times people might wonder "why is she taking a picture of that?" Here's why. If I hadn't grabbed my camera and went out in my pj's on this cold, dark morning, I wouldn't have captured this spooky sky.This one is from last year. The kids were outside playing with the camera. They caught this picture of their breath on a cold night.

For a fun time, visit the M&M's Dark Chocolate website to play "50 Dark Movies, Hidden in a Painting." My kids cheat every year, but it is fun! Google the answers if you want to cheat too.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Notes from the Trail


I finally dusted off my running shoes and made it to the trail yesterday. My husband showed me a different trail network and I allowed him to take off without be because I have to go at my own pace. It was a beautiful, secluded woods in maple-sugar country. The leaves were crisp and noisy on the trail, but at least they weren't wet and slippery. The loop was short, so I pushed myself to do three rounds. The difference between the trails is intense because of the hills. Previously running on a flat rail bed, my behind was not at all used to it.
Anyone who has read previous "Notes from the Trail" might recall that I have a Nike+ gadget in my shoe that tracks my pace, distance, etc. through my iPod Nano. In the past I've received post-run congratulations from Lance Armstrong or Paula Radcliffe, marking various milestones and achievements. While the run ended silently this time, I was half-expecting a voice to say "Where the #### have you been, you fat #####!"" LOL Silence is kind. It felt great!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Etsy Cleveland Team Challenge


The ClevelandTeam on Etsy is having an Orange and Black Challenge. Stop by the Cleveland Handemade website to vote for your favorites!
Vote HERE thanks!

And, don't forget that you can search ClevelandTeam on Etsy for all items from our amazing team!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Winner!


I was so surprised to receive a note from Charmaine at High Desert Diva saying that I won her blog giveaway! Yay! That really made my day.
She is sending me this package full of fun things... "Coming your way: a hot air balloon collage, bookmark, vintage hanky lavender sachet, refrigerator magnet made with Cicada Studio fabric, and a quilt scrap framed in part of a clock case."

Thank you so much! Everyone do stop by and visit her gorgeous design blog.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rose Red

After my last post, I thought I had better lighten it up a bit around here!
Seeing so many gorgeous RED items on Etsy lately, I was anxious to use some vintage Italian kid mohair yarn that I found.
A little bit of luxury that I couldn't wait to work with, ended up into these fabulous long-style arm warmers or fingerless gloves. I designed them to be long at the fingertips as well so they can keep you warm, or wear them folded.
Stop by and take a look.....and give me a heart while you're there?

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