Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Thanksgiving!

I don't know the original source, but I found it here
Share your own family friendly Wordless Wednesday post!

Friday, November 22, 2013

7 Quick Takes

1. I really dislike, I might even go so far as to say hate, when my sweet little girl is sick.  I'd rather be sick twice over and have her be happy and healthy.

The Sick Child by Edvard Munch
2. Thanksgiving is next week!?!?!?  How did that happen?  Hopefully Catherine will be better very quickly; obviously just because I want her to be healthy, but also in a minor way because I had plans for quite a few Thanksgiving themed crafts that I think she'd enjoy.

3. I have a fun blog post all written up just waiting for pictures.  Sadly, this particular post will be waiting for a while since Catherine misplaced the item that needs photographing.  (In her defense, I did give it to her . . . at the beginning of the summer!)

4. Yes, I am behind.  On pretty much everything.

5. I saw this article, stating that GAP will be saying "Merry Christmas!" this year.  I, for one, think that this is great!
Original Source: Unknown
Where I found it.
6. Random question for all of my fellow bloggers -- did you notice a decline in your page views after Google Reader abandoned us?  It happened roughly at the same time as my big move so I wasn't sure if there was a correlation with GR or just my lack of posts, but a few other bloggers have been talking about this and I was curious.

7. Please enter this awesome Hobby Lobby Giveaway!  (There will be TWO WINNERS.  It ends December 2, 2013 and is open to US residents.)  If you win and don't want the prize I will gladly take it off of your hands.  (Just kidding . . . well, sorta.)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

WIPS: A Scarf and A Cowl

I've made some real progress on the Easy Mistake Scarf!  Catherine is anxiously awaiting the finished product.  So much so that she gets frustrated with me whenever I work on my Purple Cowl!  I started this particular project as a way to get used to working with circular needles.  I was going to follow this pattern, but with the textured Homespun yarn I decided the pattern would get lost.  I'm sticking to a simple rib pattern.

Below is a slightly better picture showing off the rib pattern.  In case you were wondering, after "talking" to a few more experienced knitters I have decided that I will give the Magic Loop Method a try again.  Maybe next week . . .  

Be sure to check out this Hobby Lobby giveaway!  There will be two winners of a $50 gift card.  
It ends December 2, 2013 and is open to US residents. 

I will be sharing this post at the following:
Frontier Dreams with Nicole
Work In Progress with Tami
Yarn Along with Ginny

Wordless Wednesday: Blast From the Past, Ireland 2005

Share your own family friendly Wordless Wednesday post!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What is Craftsy?

I'd like to tell you a little bit about one of my newest affiliate partners, Craftsy!  I'm pretty excited about this partnership.  (This post does contain my affiliate links.)

What is Craftsy? 

Craftsy is a worldwide craft community offering online classes. It also has a patterns marketplace where independent designers can sell their patterns; a supplies shop with great deals on yarn, fabric, and class kits; and a projects section where members share pictures of their latest craft successes. With over two million members and counting, Craftsy has something for just about everyone, in categories ranging from quilting, sewing, knitting, painting, photography, cooking, and more.

Craftsy Logo

Behind the Scenes

The Making of a Craftsy Class 

Before filming even begins, hours and hours are spent determining what content will be covered in each class, and how to best teach specific techniques to the camera. Instructors work with an instructional designer to create an in-depth outline of each lesson, and decide how to best prepare props or “step-outs” that show what your project should like at different steps. Instead of a scripted class, instructors follow their outlines on camera to create an authentic and engaging teaching experience. Most Craftsy classes are filmed in one of five Craftsy studios in Denver, CO, assuring that every part of the production process goes off without a hitch. They fly in instructors from all over the world to spend several days filming, then spend several weeks turning hours of footage into a two to three hour class experience that has been watched, re-watched, and reviewed by industry experts. The final result is an HD-quality video that takes you in-depth into specific topics in any given craft category- from cooking and fine art to sewing and knitting.

I can't wait to learn how to knit cables!

What IS the Craftsy experience? 

Craftsy classes are designed to have all the benefits of an in-person class, with none of the drawbacks. Available online and on-demand, you always have world-class instructors at the tip of your fingers. You can retake the class as many times as you want, and the 30-second repeat feature allows you to watch the same section over and over again until you get every technique just right. Watching a Craftsy class is like having a first-row seat with some of the best instructors in the world. Even better, classes have a 100% money-back guarantee. Try online learning today with a free mini-class from Craftsy! Choose from 23 Free Craftsy Classes ranging from drawing and painting to sewing and quilting, from knitting to cake decorating and more.

Monday, November 18, 2013

$50 Hobby Lobby Gift Card Giveaway TWO WINNERS! (Ends 12/2) US

Hosted by: Momma Lew's Blog 
Sponsored by:  Sussle

I'm very excited about today's giveaway!  Long time readers know that I have a passion for crafting and think that craft stores are magical places.  If you're interested, here are some of my crafting endeavors:

Amethyst Teardrop Memory Wire Bracelet

The Orange Hat

Handmade Envelopes Using Scrapbook Paper 

A Little Information About Today's Sponsor by Momma Lew: 
"Have you heard of Sussle yet?  It's a great new website where YOU control the content!  Think of it as an online encyclopedia where the very best of the web is added to it -- images, videos, websites and more! 

So what do you want to know about? 
For me, I was searching for some new ideas for crafts!  
I did a search for "crafts".  I was given the definition of what a craft was and then I was given a very long list of great crafts that my fellow "crafters" have submitted.  Like what you see?  You can rate each post and when you do, you are entered to win $50 via PayPal!  Readers can even "pin" the ideas that they like right to their Pinterest as well!   Do you have something interesting to add?  You can do that too!  The more you add, the more chances you have of winning their $5,000 scholarship!  So, add some of your own great ideas! 

Some of the best content includes information on art, tattoos, fashion, photography, music, nail polish, books, desserts, do-it-yourself and there is so much more.  So, if you have a "niche" I would definitely encourage you to start adding some great new content to Sussle!"

Since Sussle doesn't spend money on marketing or ads, they spend their money on YOU - their contributors!  As a thank you for contributing some great new content, Sussle is offering:

Two (2) lucky winners a $50 Hobby Lobby Gift Card 

(And, they want you to create something new to contribute to Sussle!)

To enter, follow the steps on the rafflecopter below!  All entries are optional, but the more you do, the more chances you have of winning!  Giveaway is open to US readers, 18+ and one entry per household.  Begins 11/18/2013 and ends 12/2/13 at 11:59pm EST.

The Philosopher's Wife is not responsible for prize shipment or fulfillment.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

7 Quick Takes

1. How many of you lovely readers are making handmade Christmas gifts this year?  I have a few that I want to make, but am not sure how many will actually be finished in time.  (These crochet snowflakes I did were a hit last year . . . )

2. I achieved one of my blogging goals recently!  I have 5,000 fans on my Facebook page!  This makes me a little giddy.  Thank you, everyone!  

3. Any knitters out there?  Magic Loop -- should I learn it or not?  (It's giving me some trouble.)

4. In case anyone cares, I'm at twenty-one weeks and still have yucky morning sickness.  I love this little boy like crazy, but I sure wouldn't mind a break.  (I'm sure my hubby and Catherine wouldn't mind either!)

5. Last night I decided to undertake a rather large project with a time sensitivity.  It might have been a foolish decision.  After you factor shipping time for some of the materials, Thanksgiving get-togethers, Christmas plans, etc., I will have about twenty days to finish said project.  Then add to that the fact that I feel like throwing up about ninety percent of the day . . . I didn't really allow myself any leeway.

6. If I succeed with #5 I will be quite proud of myself.  (And I'll share the results with you!)

7. This made me laugh:
***If you have a minute to enter this $100 Walmart Gift Card Giveaway and leave a comment that would be fantastic!  (The giveaway ends Sunday, November 17, 2013 and is open to US residents.)  There is a blogger contest to see who can get the most comments and while I'm an underdog I'd really love to be competitive.  Thank you so much! ***

For more Quick Takes visit Jen

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Orange Hat (A Crochet Project)

I whipped this cute little hat up in the middle of a knitting disaster.  The yarn is a mystery skein from my stash -- but I really love how the color looks!  I had picked a purple to be the accent color, but Catherine was insistent on the light brown.  In the end, the three year old might have been right.

Pattern notes: I used my favorite ear-flap pattern from Repeat Crafter Me.  

I made the "child size" hat, but I did add an extra row of double crochet to the bottom.  I also worked around the entire hat (ear-flaps included) with one row of single crochet.  I think the single crochet round adds a nice finishing touch.  (It's very subtle, but I think that it cleans up all of the edges and looks more professional.)

The flower is a super simple one that I whipped together. This is what I did: Chain five. Join. *Chain three. Three Treble stitches. Chain three. Slip stitch around ring.* Make five petals this way. 

I'm calling this project a success!  I think it's cute and Catherine loves it, so it's a win-win!

I love sharing my creative endeavors!  {Here} and the following are some of my favorite places to party:
More the Merrier Monday, Fine Craft Guild

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Be Carton Smart and Eat Cheesecake!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carton Smart for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Thanksgiving is almost here and Christmas is just around the corner!  That means lots and lots of holiday baking.  Carton Smart is trying to make life (and food!) better for all of us.  

Carton Smart sent me three of their products to try.  I received Pumpkin Puree, Chicken Stock, and Cranberry Sauce.
photo 795e421d-1ec8-414e-b1b8-dde8f5f23ded_zps62983f0a.jpg

photo d1d52bb8-c150-4f19-9a7c-b8c9ab3c8df3_zpsac6b75dd.jpg

photo 62adf36b-e1dc-4d93-98c1-aa80d97a468d_zps600d562e.jpg

 For today's post I will focus on the Pureed Pumpkin.  I love cheesecake and my husband loves pumpkin pie, so one of my new favorite holiday desserts is Pumpkin Cheesecake!  (I believe the first time I had this delicious dessert my sister-in-law made it at the in-laws.)

Here's the recipe that I used:

  • 4 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1 carton of pureed pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 
  • 4 eggs 

Heat oven to 325.  (Since I made a crust-less cheesecake I lightly sprayed my cheesecake pan.)  After beating together the cream cheese and sugar, add the pumpkin, spices, and vanilla.  The eggs are the last thing to add, and it is best to add them one at a time.  I baked my cheesecake for a little more than an hour.  (Although I should note that I prefer my cheesecakes on the "well done" side, so you might want it to be a little less.)

Confession time: I almost had an epic fail, I came very close to forgetting the eggs! 

A little whipped cream and it was delicious!  

If you wanted to add a crust:
  • 1½ cups finely ground gingersnap crumbs (roughly 1/2 a 15 oz box)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar 
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Press the mixture into your prepared pan and bake at 325 for about 15 minutes. 

Now, you might be wondering "Why do I care about this carton thing"?  Here are some reasons:

• Cartons use 1/3 of the packaging compared to cans (Yippee for less trash!)
• The cartons are easy to store by not wasting precious pantry space.
• The unique packaging process preserves the flavor (and nutrients!) without preservatives.
• The cartons are easy to recycle.

• Cartons are even reclosable, eliminating the need for extra plastic or dish-washing  
• Tetra Pak® cartons are mostly made from a renewable resource

photo 1898ca76-3272-4baf-a8df-07abf60e15e3_zps1bf425e9.jpg

So, this holiday season why don't you Become Carton Smart!  You won't regret it!

Be sure to check them out on social media!
Visit Sponsor's Site

WIPS: A Success, A Failure, A Teaser, and Future Projects

The knitting is coming along.  The Easy Mistake Scarf is starting to look like a scarf.  There are some places where my purls and knits are a little off, but I'm not really going to worry about that.  (Sorry the above picture is so bad, for some reason I simply can't get a good picture of this particular Work In Progress.)

I tried to start knitting a hat.  Tried being the operative word.  My circular needles are 24 inches, which obviously would make a huge hat, so I needed to employ the Magic Loop.  I failed.  Just failed miserably.  I *think* part of my problem is the super easy cast on method that I found doesn't have enough bulk or stability or something.  I am trying to decide if I should try again or buy double point needles.  I'm leaning towards trying again with a different cast on method.  (I'd rather not spend a lot of money and it does look like the Magic Loop could be a helpful thing to learn.)  Any words or wisdom, advice, encouragements, warnings, etc., are more than welcome!   

After my knitting a hat fiasco I needed a quick, somewhat instant gratification, project so I crocheted a cute little Orange Hat for Catherine.  Since my girl is just adorable (in my humble opinion) I'm putting together a full blog post on it for tomorrow.  (The Orange Hat post is live now!)  So for today, here's a little teaser:

My next knitting project will most likely be this Thick and Quick Ribbed Cowl and I am thinking it's time to crochet some more snowflakes

I will be sharing this post at the following:
Frontier Dreams with Nicole
Work In Progress with Tami
Yarn Along with Ginny

And maybe some of these places!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Gender Reveal!

1. As you know, perhaps too well, I've been having a lovely bout of morning sickness . . . for the past four months or so.  I am now officially halfway through this pregnancy and had the 20 week ultrasound yesterday.

2. It's a baby!  

3. I'm going to have to try my hand at this awesome onesie pattern by Winter Peach!

Photo Source

4. And this super cute Faux Vest Onsie by Erica over at B is for Boy.

Photo Source

5. I hope that my knitting keeps improving so that I can make this Gramps Cardigan!

6. There are so many cute brother and sister photo ideas on Pinterest just waiting to be tried! (And I am sure that their photographer Aunt with have an idea or two!)

7. Did I mention that it's a boy?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

WIPS: Scarf Progress and Hat Ponderings

The coloring is off here a little bit.  It's a rather gloomy day and I used the point and shoot instead of the nice camera.  (Someone needs to do a giant photo dump . . . )

The Easy Mistake Stitch Scarf is coming along nicely.  Catherine has decided that it will be hers.  I am picking up speed, although it still feels pretty slow compared to my crochet speed.

(Speaking of my crochet speed, did you see the hat I whipped up?)

I picked up some circular needles off of Ebay, so now I want to start knitting a hat!  Any beginner pattern recommendations?  I think this one is adorable and it looks easy enough . . . but time will tell.  I haven't actually practiced decreasing (or increasing) stitches but this tutorial makes it look pretty simple.

I will be sharing this post at the following:
Frontier Dreams with Nicole
Work In Progress with Tami
Yarn Along with Ginny

Wordless Wednesday: Catherine Fashion

*UPDATE: Since so many of you are asking, yes, I did make the hat!  Read about it {here}.*

Share your own family friendly Wordless Wednesday post!

$50 Best Buy Gift Card TWO WINNERS (Ends 11/10) US

Sorry, this giveaway has ended and has been removed.  Please check the more recent posts for new giveaways to enter! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

An Easy Peasy Crochet Hat

Never fear, despite my recent foray into knitting I am still a crocheter!

Last week I whipped up a cute winter hat.  It was super duper easy and quick (hence, the "Easy Peasy").  I loosely based the pattern on this Cloche Pattern from Lion Brand. I'll be super honest and say that I don't really love most of the hat patterns from that website. (I'm so sorry Lion Brand!) For the most part they seem a little too frumpy.  (This of course is my own humble opinion--and I am no fashion guru!)

 I used some homespun yarn from my stash.  The original pattern calls for two different hook sizes, I simply increased the number of stitches per round for the brim.  I also added a flower to the side.  Also, this hat stretches!  My three year old is modeling this hat, but it also fit on my husband's head!

The lighting was terrible and my model was only mildly co-operating with me, but I just love my girl's cheesy smile!

I love sharing my projects around the blog world!  Some of the places I like to party can be found {here} and:
More the Merrier, Make it Yourself Monday

Friday, November 1, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Halloween Recap

1. Happy Solemnity of All Saints!

2. My girl was an adorable Princess last night.  Due to the never-ending-won't-go-away-morning-sickness I took a somewhat lazy approach to her costume: we already had everything.  I think it worked though.

3. So, we rarely, and I do mean rarely, allow Catherine to have candy so her little haul could probably last her until next Halloween.  (Unless Mommy and Daddy raid the stash . . .)

4. Her favorite item of the night:

5. So last night's Mommy Fail was when I got us lost and accidentally brought the Princess to the same house twice.  Whoops.

6. Conversation I was not ready to have this morning:
        Catherine: Did you eat the Baby?
        Me: No.
        Catherine: Then how did the Baby get into your tummy?

7. There was another big exciting thing that happened for our little family yesterday.  The Philosopher (a.k.a. my hubby) now officially has the title of "Doctor"!