Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pinter-test Tuesday - Just like the school cafeteria

When I was little I vividly remember that may absolute favorite lunch at the cafeteria was mac 'n cheese with little smokies, solely because that meal came with a delicious cinnamon roll. My second favorite meal was whatever came with the chocolate cookie with oats. I had not idea what it was called but it was a sweet cookie made with chocolate, oatmeal and a hint of peanut butter.

I came across this post on Pinterest from the blog One More Moore and instantly recognized the cookie I loved from school. Of course I had to test it.

Naturally, it was delicious and addictive. It's hard for me not to sneak this cookie at all hours of the day. The bonus is that these yummy treats are also no bake. Especially important during Arkansas summers.

Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake Cookies

1/2 C Butter
2 C Sugar
1/2 C Milk
4 T Cocoa
1/2 C Peanut Butter
3 to 3 1/2 C Oats
2 tsp Vanilla

On the stove top bring the butter, sugar, milk and cocoa to a rolling boil. Let boil for one minute. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and drop on foil or wax paper to cool. I have used both quick cook and regular oats and both seem to work fine.

Enjoy your school memories!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Quilting Journal

I started quilting in January 2009. I know this, not because it was insanely memorable, but because at the same time I started a quilting journal. I have used the journal to write information about every quilting project I have started. I use it to remember patterns and fabric I liked and remind myself of what worked well and what worked not so much.

I also add a swatch of as many fabrics as I can fit on the page and include what part of the quilt the fabric came from.

This has been a great way to remind me of unfinished projects that I need to re-visit and what settings work well with different types of thread. Here is a list of what I include for each project:
  • Start and finish date
  • Project type and pattern name
  • Fabric collection name(s)
  • Thread brand, color and weight
  • Who I am making the project for and why
  • Tension settings
  • Quilting style
  • Any snags I run into along the way
  • Any great things I want to remember
  • Feedback from the recipient
The most important thing is that I have a catalog of what I've done to pass on to my family. Good luck tracking your projects!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Zig zags in Illustrator

My son just started Kindergarten and I wanted to practice my Adobe Illustrator skills, however small, by creating him a special sign to hold for photos. I had an idea to create zig zags within a large letter K, but I had no idea how to easily create a zig-zag line.

A little searching on the Internet and I came across this tutorial on the blog web designer wall (you'll find some other great tips there as well). Here are my step-by-step instructions for creating a zig-zag line.

Start by creating a straight line with your Line Segment Tool. I have changed the color and the stroke weight to 30.
With your line selected, click on the Effects tab and scroll to Distort & Transform and then click on Zig Zag.
This opens a dialog box where you can adjust the attributes of your zig zag line. The "Size" slide bar adjusts the height of each zig and zag and the "Ridges per segment" slide bar adjusts the number of peaks within your line.
The default zig zag settings in my program.
In this version I increased the size and the number of ridges to seven, creating more zigs and zags.
Choosing the Smooth radio button allows you to create a rounded transition between your peaks and valleys.
A simple concept, but it was new to me as I continue to explore Adobe Illustrator as a complete novice. I should note that I did this tutorial in CS2, but the effect is still available in the latest version of Illustrator.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Follow Friday - Cross stitch cleaning tips

A great post about cleaning your cross stitch projects.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Modern Needlecraft

Any time I'm in a craft store, I always make a point of walking down what I call the "counted cross stitch aisle." I was raised on counted cross stitch projects...it's where I cut my crafting teeth. I've completed countless cross stitch kits in my time, but it has been a very long time since I've purchased a kit. The designs seem so old-fashioned.

However, the other day as I was completing my compulsory march through cross-stitch land I noticed that the company Dimensions has put together some more modern kits. Several caught my eye, included this modern family tree.

Stylized Family Tree Crewel Embroidery kit by Dimensions

Poppies Counted Cross Stitch by Dimensions

Bird on a Branch embroidered pillow by Dimensions

I'm loving the new style. It's seems that for quite some time needlecraft kits were stuck in the 90s. But we're finally coming out of that phase and becoming more modern. If quilting can do it...why can't needlecraft?