Saturday, October 31, 2015

Super-Easy Halloween Costume: Brain Slug



For Halloween this year, I decided to run a 5K. Ok, so maybe the word "run" is not especially accurate, but I completed a 5K. My lovely boyfriend went with me, and he actually ran it, but decided to stop short of the finish line and wait for me to catch up.


I'd never done a race of any kind before, but I knew that people sometimes go all out with costumes for the themed ones. I wanted to participate in the fun, but I didn't want anything fiddly getting on my nerves or causing me to have to stop. I wasn't intent on running the whole thing, but I was hell-bent on not having to stop at all. So I had the idea of wearing a brain slug a la 'Futurama'--when you're sucking wind, you actually just look in character for someone with a brain-sucking slug.


To make my brain slug, I used the free pattern from Louie's Loops. If you can crochet a hat, you can crochet a brain slug. It's the easiest amigurumi project I've ever done!

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

French Toast with Sauteed Bananas


It's the weekend! To celebrate, why not think outside the cereal bowl and whip up some French toast? Here's a recipe that looks fancy, tastes delicious, and is a cinch to whip up. Print the recipe card below, and get cookin'!


Do you like this recipe? Please Pin it using the image below:



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fridge Clean-Out Ramen Bowl


When the temperature starts to dip, I love making simple, filling soups. This recipe was developed out of a craving for Cup-of-Noodles (hold the artificial stuff) and a need to use up some carrots and cilantro I had sitting in the fridge. When inspiration hits, I typically season everything by taste, so please consider the measurements provided below as suggestions.


Ingredients:

  • 8 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 packages of Ramen, throw out the seasoning packet
  • Tablespoon(ish) soy sauce
  • Teaspoon(ish) fish sauce
  • 6 small carrots
  • 1 small container mushrooms (I used shiitake)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 of a bunch of cilantro


Directions:

  1. While waiting for the chicken broth to boil, peel and chop carrots into 1/4"-1/2" coins.
  2. Season the broth to taste with the soy sauce and fish sauce.
  3. Go ahead and add the carrots to the broth even if it hasn't boiled yet. They'll take longer to cook than anything else.
  4. Once broth is boiling, add Ramen and mushrooms. Stir occasionally, and let boil for 2 minutes.
  5. Give the cilantro a rough chop while you wait.
  6. Crack the eggs into the soup. Stir a few times to break up the eggs into bite-size pieces.
  7. Cook for about another minute, adding the cilantro in the last few seconds, giving it a chance to wilt slightly before serving.


Serves 6. Reheats nicely.

Monday, October 12, 2015

School Spirit Scarf


And now a brief intermission from bat-related posts to share something I whipped up for school spirit Fridays. At my high school, teachers can wear jeans on Friday if they are in school colors. I jump at almost any opportunity to wear jeans, so I'm totally on board with this, but I don't like wearing the same thing week after week. Add in the fact that I need layers to adjust to the temperature swings of my classroom over the course of the school day, and you can see why I decided that a scarf in school colors was in order.

My scarf is knit in three sections: solid black, solid "gold," and black-and-gold stripes. Customize your scarf by switching up the colors and/or changing the relative length of the three sections.

Materials:

  • Size 10 needles
  • 1 ball of Lion Brand Heartland in Black Canyon (Color A)
  • 1 ball of Lion Brand Heartland in Grand Canyon (Color B)
  • Tapestry needle


Gauge:

  • 21 stitches and 28 rows = 4"


Broken Rib Stitch (multiple of 2 + 1):

  • RS: Knit across all stitches.
  • WS: P1, *k1, p1, repeat from * to end of row.



Directions:

Cast on 45 stitches.

Section 1:

  • Working in broken rib stitch (see above), work 2 rows in A and then work 2 rows in B, repeating until scarf measures about 20" and ending on a WS row. Do not break the yarn when you transition from one color to the next; instead, carry the yarn up the side.


Section 2:

  • Switch colors one last time, and then continue in broken rib stitch with a single color for about 20", ending with a WS row.


Section 3:

  • Switch colors, and then continue in broken rib stitch for about 20", ending on a WS row.


Bind off all stitches in pattern. Sew the two ends together.


Finished Measurements:

  • I chose to leave my scarf unblocked, and mine measures approximately 8" wide and 60" long. You could block yours to make it a bit wider, or you just cast on more stitches.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Bonanza of Bat Crafts: Free-Form Quilt


I love curling up with a hot beverage and a lap quilt as the weather starts to get chilly. As I've been working on sprucing up my apartment for bat season fall, I thought, "A new quilt for the couch might be nice." Then I saw these bat fabrics at JoAnn and thought, "A new quilt is happening." Here's how you can dip your toe into the world of quilting:

Materials:

  • 1 yard each of two fabrics
  • 1 yard batting or packaged crib-size batting
  • Safety pins
  • Good fabric scissors
  • Embroidery floss in a complementary color
  • Sharp embroidery needle with large eye
  • 2 packages of double-fold quilt binding
  • Thread
  • Straight pins


Directions:

Build your "quilt sandwich" by spreading out your batting on the floor (or fancy crafting table, if you are so lucky). Layer one of the fabrics over top of the batting. Safety pin the two layers together. Flip. Layer the other fabric over top, and then safety-pin in place. Trim excess fabric and/or batting from edges.


Determine how you would like to do the actual quilting. Do you want to do rows of running stitch? Ties? Ties in a grid? Free-form ties? Crazy stitching all over the place? Whatever you want is great--the only objective is to have sufficient ties/stitching to hold the layers together.

I wanted to draw attention to the geometric background of one of my fabrics, so I stitched X's over top of X's built into the pattern, and then tied the loose floss ends on the opposite side. However you decide to do your quilting, use all 6 strands of embroidery floss at once. (In other words, use the floss as is; don't separate the strands.) Since you aren't doing any piecing, part of the interest of this quilt comes from the quilting, so you want it to really stand out. When done stitching, remove safety pins.


Attach your binding to the quilt edges using straight pins. To conceal raw edges, I cut the binding longer than needed for each side and then folded the excess under, leaving a finished edge at each corner. Sew into place. Trim loose ends, and then get cozy with your new quilt, a good book, and a hot cup of tea!