Thursday, April 28, 2011

$35 Wedding

This weekend the NVO and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary.

I am so darn proud of our nuptial thriftiness
 that I must take this opportunity to brag about our fiscal finesse:
The cake and the flowers totalled $35

The NVO's shirt and tie totalled $35
My Dress was $35 on eBay
The pedicure complete with white daisies
to match wedding flowers...
you guessed it...$35
(I have been informed by certain fashion conscious offspring that hose is a "no-no" especially with opened toed shoes. Oh well, when one is so fiscally responsible one has the right to be fashionably challenged. Yes?)

The feeling we got from being so very cool with money....
you probably already know....


The $5,000 we saved by being ever so clever, we quickly paid down on the mortgage.
(This just very well may be the new status symbol of weddings - Dave Ramsey would be proud.)

For a truly inspiring and heartfelt thrifty wedding memory check out Lolly's wedding post...her post brought back memories of our wedding and spurned my post...and so very timely.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Viking Hat

Finally something "manly" crocheted for the NVO!

I purchased this pattern from Tara at the "Easy Makes Me Happy" blog. She has a wonderfully simple and to-the-point blog, full of love and warmth with amazing projects and lots of talent, to boot. The pattern for the crocheted leaves on my header come from her blog, as well - see "Apple Blossom Header" post for a link to her free leaf pattern. I love everything she creates! The pattern has been sitting around here for a while and yesterday I noticed that some of her followers had sent in photos of the viking hats they had made and I did not want to be outdone! :-)

So here ya' go NVO
You truly are my viking!
(I think viking is a good thing...if not, I meant it to be!)
I hope you like it better than the "funky chicken hat"

The pattern was easy to follow - some of these stitches/techniques were new to me, so I will likely make another one to correct my mistakes.
Thank you Tara - this was perfect for us being Norwegian and all!

Follow-up Thursday April 28th:
The NVO has been wearing his hat since he received it.
Odin or Thor?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Carrot Cake for the Bunnies

A Favorite Carrot Cake Recipe Made for my Favorite Easter Bunnies

I've been making this one for about 30 years and it always seems to turn out. Not many recipes are like that, especially cake recipes.

Carrot Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour 3 cake pans or one 9 x 13

Sift the following into a medium bowl:

2 cups flour
2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 1/2 t. cinnamon

Mix in a different bowl:

4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups oil
2 cups sugar
2 3/4 cups coarsely grated carrots
1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple (drained)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Slowly add sifted ingredients to above mixture

Pour into pan(s).

Bake for 35-40 minutes.


Cream Cheese and Butter Frosting

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 lb powdered sugar
1 1/2 t. coarse kosher salt

Soften butter and cream cheese. Cream together with vanilla and salt. Slowly add powdered sugar.

Frost, decorate and eat!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Påskebord (Easter Table)

Three members (Mor, Litte and Liv)
of the "The Secret Norsk Knitting Club" paid me a surprise visit yesterday:

I was so excited to see them, I'm not really sure they came to see me; I believe they came to see where the Husnissen lives. :-) However, to my surprise and delight, Liv brought me a gift from Norway. A lovely chicken and rooster tablecloth. There is nothing that could have given me more joy on this day!

The crème de la crème of Easter gifts.

Luckily, I thought quickly on my feet and presented each of them with a Norsk flag dishcloth; which seemed to delight them, as well. (They are so easy to please :-)

This changed the entire direction of the Easter table. I absolutely had to incorporate this tablecloth into our table setting for Easter Brunch, but I had already made a centerpiece??? What's a gal to do? Hmmmm...well, this gal dug, once again, to the bottom of the stash of yarn and frantically started crocheting a second chicken to match (not to the delight of the NVO) and this is what she came up with:

Ah Ha!
The table is set and ready for tomorrow morning's festivities.

Now I blog while the NVO....
makes "Chicken Crepes with Mushrooms and Asparagus" in preparation for the family visit.
Ahhhhhhh...this is the life; how sweet it is!

Having two crocheted chickens really is great because now the two young gals: #6 and #3a will receive them as gifts after brunch. (It's funny how I followed the same pattern, or so I thought, for these two and they turned out so different - one is short and plump and one is tall and slender. Very perplexing???)

Here's (clockwise from top left) Astri, The NVO, #3a, #3, and #6.
A Motley Crew, eh?
"An assorted and ill-disciplined group of ne'er do wells"

 I'm afraid these crazy gals will use their gifts as hats...

with the NVO as their leader.  :-)

I love our family and I love excuses (like holidays) to have them over.  I wish the rest of the motley crew in Texas, Lousianna, Minnesota, Arizona and California could be with us too!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Chicken

I found the most darling  crocheted chickens on The Very Savvy Snail blog.
Take a peek, you will be amazed at how cute her chickens are!

They were SO cute that I wanted to crochet six for Easter brunch, one on each plate, specifically customized for each kiddo. So many ideas, i.e., one in tie dye, one with a MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) twist, one as a nurse, one as a mad scientist, etc., etc. The chicken is designed with a crocheted "liner", this helps her sit up without flopping and she has lots of room to keep an egg in an egg cup warm, or hide Easter goodies.

Silly me, I pictured them much smaller so I thought I could whip them up in no time. Boy, was I wrong; she barely fits on the plate and I would have been crocheting non-stop until Sunday morning to make them all. :-)

"Hey, buddy, you want a piece of me?"

Change of plans....
a centerpiece...

She will now rest (alone) upon an elevated nest which allows us all to see each other underneath the nest across the dining table. Perhaps I will add some blue glitter eggs, then she won't feel so lonely and those will be easier to make than five more chickens. ;-0

Six would have been great....maybe next year.

Happy Easter !!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dishcloth Tutorial with Happy Colors

That Lolly from This Domestic Life is my crafting idol! Because she is my idol, her wishes are my command. ;-). She inquired about a plaid dishcloth "how to" from my last post, and seeing how I need additional writing practice, another tutorial was born:

Seems like I put red in everything I make lately, probably so that I can photograph whatever it is with the same old red tulips. :-) Perhaps it's time for a different prop...I've been eyeing some red geraniums but am waiting until Mother's Day to purchase them. Mother's Day is the day that marks no more frost for the season here in our parts.

I chose these colors because of a comment on my post about color from My Little Kaleidoscope Light. She indicated that she liked aqua and pale yellow with red. I had never thought about using these colors together so I dug out the closest colors I had in cotton to these colors, put them with white, to see how they would look. Boy, are they happy! Reminds me of a birthday party with clowns. :-) I think the colors she had in mind may have been different; nevertheless this is my ode to "My Little Kaleidoscope Light".

Well, here are the results, this is an easy pattern; however, a few little quirky things that are easy to show in real life but a little more difficult in writing. I'll try my best.

The Plaid Dish/Wash Cloth

A few things to keep in mind with this pattern:

1) Count in fives: (Owwww, five is my favorite number, hence I love this pattern.) Five single crochets and five rows before a color pattern change. (Squares of color; however are 6 x 6)

2) Carry the alternating color along with you behind your stitches except for the squares of colors on the ends (the fifth row of each color pattern will be an exception to this exception). If this is confusing hopefully the photos will help out.

3) When changing colors be sure to bring the color through the two loops. See photos below.

O.K. If I haven't frightened you with this detailed gibberish then here's the lesson:

Gather supplies.
Once again I used Sugar 'n part: some were in my stash and the rest were on sale for $1 each at Michael's last week. Yeah!!!


CH 31 with "D"
Switch to "A" in last CH, turn

Rows 1-5, 11-15, 21-25: 

*5 SC "A"
 5 SC "B" (Bring "A" with you behind your work)
5 SC "A" (Bring "B" with you behind your work)
5 SC "B" (Bring "A" with you behind your work)
5 SC "A" (Bring "B" with you behind your work)
Pull "A" in front of your work and leave it there so that it's waiting for you as you come back around
5 SC "B" (Remember, do not bring "A" with you to the end as you will turn and use "B" again) CH 1, turn

Repeat from * 4 more times
On the 5th row do carry "A" with you as you will switch to this color once you turn

Rows 6-10, 16-20, 26-30:

*5 SC "A"
 5 SC "C" (Bring "A" with you behind your work)
5 SC "A" (Bring "C" with you behind your work)
5 SC "C" (Bring "A" with you behind your work)
5 SC "A" (Bring "C" with you behind your work)
Pull "A" in front of your work and leave it there so that it's waiting for you as you come back around
5 SC "C" (Remember, do not bring "A" with you to the end as you will turn and use color "C" again) CH 1, turn

Repeat from * 4 more times
On the 5th row do carry "A" with you as you will switch to this color once you turn

With color "D" SC around edge one time (3 SC in each corner)
SS around edge
CH 7 to form ring and SC around ring to form loop to hang.

 Here are some of the instructions in photos:
31 CH with "D"
 On last CH slip in color "A" and turn
5 SC but on 5th SC while two loops are on hook slip color "B" through the two loops as below
SC 5 Color "B"
(This is how you switch colors, pull new color through both loops)
See how the turquoise yarn string is to the left, hold this against your chain and crochet it along the back of your SC because in 5 stitches you will need that color again. :-)
Continue this pattern of alternated "A" and "B" back and forth for 5 rows

Then switch to "C" and "A" for 5 rows
Alternate these two sets of 5 rows until you have 6 sets.

Here's more detail:

 This is the 5th row turn and switch to color "A"
CH 1 with the color "A" and turn.
Here's switching from  "A" to "C"

Here's that last 5 SC where you bring "A" in front and leave it there so it will be waiting for you when you come around. (This is last square where you DO NOT work "A" against your work to bring with you.)

An example of switching from "A" to "B"
With color "D" SC around edge with 3 SC in each corner then slip stitch around edge.
7 CH to form ring and then SC as many in the ring as needed to fill it up. SS to attach.

I did not test this pattern after it was written, so I hope it works. This was a tough one to explain, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Pay it Forward?

With much gratitude I have received the below blog award from Malu in Norway.

I am unfamiliar with this "Blog Award" giving process. From what I gather, it's like a chain letter complimenting others blogs and to give followers of those blogs an opportunity to check out other favorite or inspirational blogs. Unlike a chain letter, it certainly has a positive vibe to it. To receive such an award from a fellow blogger in Norway is such a compliment and treat.

I am to pass this award along to five blogs that inspire me, as well. The trick is these blogs must have less than 100 followers. There are so many blogs that inspire me and bring me so much joy so it's hard to narrow it down to five, but here's my best effort:

So thank you and back at ya' Malu, I send the award to you as your blog is truly inspiring. You crochet all kinds of fun and unique things that always make me smile and for that I am grateful.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rødt, Hvitt og Blått (Red, White and Blue)

Three Proud Flags, Three Proud Colors

Through my travels in this life, I have found that there are three countries that are especially proud of their flags: the USA, Norway and Texas. Now I know, and I know you know, that Texas is not a country (apparently it's a "Republic"), but Texans don't know that, so I just simply smile and play along.

It's funny and interesting to me that all three of these flags are red, white and blue and that the three "countries" that these flags represent are so near and dear to my heart.

USA: The country where I spent most of my years, the one that I call home.

Norway: The country of my birth, that I also call home.

Texas: The country that was home to the man of my dreams for 26 years: the NVO.

So how better for a crocheter to honor the flags of these three countries than to crochet dish/wash clothes of these flags. Especially appropriate with Norway's Independence Day celebration coming up just around the corner on the 17th of May (Syntende Mai). The Norwegian love, love, love their flag and you've never seen so many flags on this particular holiday.

This is the French flag.

Hmmmm... I just had another thought...I have a new blogging friend from France (another red, white and blue flag). She enjoys making dish/wash clothes fact she made some from my post with the dishcloth tutorial. Click here for her blog. She is involved in many lovely things.

Don't be fooled though, these are more than meets the eye, they actually do an excellent job at cleaning the dishes:
Look how sparkling clean and shiny the dishes came out!
That's a mug from Finland...beautiful, eh?
OH NO!!!! I just realized Finland's flag is blue and white! I wonder if there's any yarn left?)

I have gone "Red, white and blue" crazy!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Childhood Portraits

What to do with your childhood portraits once you become an adult?

The NVO and Astri
It seems a like a shame to get rid of them. Soooooooo...... much to the delight of both of our mothers we have been displaying them in their old deteriorating frames until today.... the NVO made frames for them to match our living room decor. :-)

When the NVO and I joined our lives in this home I ran across his portrait under his bed. (We won't talk about the other under bed things like dust and.....stuff.) Oh my goodness, it was the cutest thing I had ever seen . How about that outfit with the bow-tie? It's so early 50's Americana and it just oozes with nostalgia. I couldn't stand not seeing it every day so I hung it in the living room.

Shortly thereafter my mother came to visit, she looked at the portrait didn't say much and left in somewhat of a huff and returned lickity split with my portrait in hand. (Not oozing with anything but a happy smile.) She was not to be out done. It was so funny. Gosh, we laughed and are still laughing over that one. The story is told often, probably more than once to the same people, but we don't remember so that's okay. haha. What started out as a silly idea ended up being a part of our home's permanent decor. It makes the mom's happy and that makes us happy.

Thank you Mama Corky and Mormor for thinking we were portrait worthy.