Sunday, February 9, 2014

Journals for Project Valentine

OOPS! I did it AGAIN!

This marks the second year in a row that I've missed the donation deadline for...

Check them out at

Project Valentine is a great organization that also believes in sharing for the love of sharing. Ever year on Valentine's Day, they deliver care packages to people of all ages who are undergoing chemotherapy in hospitals across the Denver Metro area. Just a token to let them know that they have supporters from all across the world that are thinking of them and praying that God will lay his healing hands on them. 

Before I started working, I would try to make at least one item a month for Project Valentine. Last year I also missed the deadline. Perhaps because I am fearful that my little offering isn't good enough to gift. Crocheting is very therapeutic for me. It forces me to let go of my OCD tendencies because in crochet you have to let the stitch come naturally instead of forcefully. It has been a growing experience for me and based on requests I am getting from friends and co-workers, I know I've improved. But am I good enough to gift it? I hope the recipient loves it. I really do.

This year I vowed to get it together and to the Assembly Team on time. I was so happy to find that I hadn't missed the deadline Friday night. Late Saturday morning I went about getting my tags ready. I made these tags last year to put on my donations. 

I decided to change it a bit by spelling out LOVE and replacing ALL of my letter "O"s with hearts. I thought I saved it, but when I went to pull it from my flash drive, it wasn't there. First sad face. I knew I didn't have time to fix it again, so I went about printing out the old tag and handwriting a little note to each recipient. And oh, what a good idea it would be to date it with 2014 and write an inspirational quote to help them through their battle against cancer. Then hole punch it and string it through the gifts with yarn. Unfortunately, when I was done, I had a half hour - enough time to drive down to Assembly just in time to see them packing it all up and leaving.  Second sad face. I guess I need to add to the collection for next year. Again.

My favorite stuffed crochet animal to make is one in the round. So cute. And fun too. 

I also had a really fun time making these journals.  I found spiral notebooks for like a quarter each and decided have fun with them using scrapbook paper and ribbons. Simply unwind the spiral, cover using your favorite scrapbook paper with Mod Podge, hole punch it (that is the worst part of it), rewind the spiral and voila!

I remember making "Slam Books" when I was in elementary school. I suppose they were supposed to be like the "Burn Book" from Mean Girls, but what we made in elementary school was not mean at all.

Come to think of it, I think that may have been my first attempt at scrapbooking (sans pictures) because my Slam Books were more like the following, albeit handwritten.  You would ask one question on each page and pass it around for people to answer (mostly anonymously because EVERY Slam Book had a page that asked "The person I love is...")  For these journals, I tried to think of fun things a pre-to-teen could do in front of their journals to make it special.  I took my time changing the fonts with all the wonderful free fonts out there from more people who share for the love of sharing.  I tried my hardest, but truthfully I started this project way too late, and ended up making only three of them. In my defense, there was a lot of hole punching that had to be done, and my hand hurt. In fact, I think this was the reason I missed the deadline last year... Yes. I procrastinate. But not at work. Just for pleasure. LOL.

Sorry for the crooked scan... Used the "auto-feed" feature... 

I had hoped to give the chemo recipient something to take their minds off of the side effects of chemo, give them something to smile about, and give them a reason to continue to be brave and hopeful. Anyone can make a journal and have a great time with it. If I had better handwriting, I would have used the existing lined pages and handwritten these things in a variety of colors. That would have saved some my hands from some hole-punchin'.  Next, I will make pens wrapped in pretty scrapbook paper and micro-bead them to go with the journals. In the meantime, if you have other ideas of pages to add to these journals, I would love to hear them! Share with me! For the love. 

xo ~
Rolly <3

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

with a Pecan Streusel Crumble

I am a local team kinda gal and I stand by our Broncos, but I really am not much of a football fan. I prefer the smooth gliding, fast-paced, sexiness that is HOCKEY (Go Avs!). But like I say, I stand by our Broncos and hope that they come away victorious today (so sorry to my Seahawk friends).


As we are hosting the Superbowl Party this year, I started prepping for it last night to get ahead of the game. Lot's of yummy food to be had. I posted my Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins with Pecan Crumb topping on my Facebook page and since I was asked to post the recipe, I decided "Hey! BLOG Opportunity!"  And yes, I realize that I'm having a bit of a blog identity crisis.  Papercrafting? Crocheting?  Cooking?  Baking?  Still all for the love of sharing so let's go with that. 

Can't forget the ORANGE CRUSH!

So here it is... This is a combination of two recipes that I found. I am Mile High Altitude, and I'm not sure how adjustments are made for you sea-level folks. These are Nom-Nom-Nom to die for.  I do not believe in making margerine-for-butter substitutes, and I always have heavy whipping cream in the house for my coffee. Please, no substituting milk here either.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins (with Pecan Crumble)

      Ingredients:                                                             Pecan Crumble
      2-3 ripe bananas                                                      3 T flour
      4 T butter, softened                                                 3 T brown sugar
      2 eggs                                                                      pinch of salt                                3/4 - 1 C brown sugar (Not packed)                     ½ tsp cinnamon
      4T heavy whipping cream                                      2 T butter, room temp, cut
      1-1/3 C flour                                                           1-2 oz. pkg chopped pecans
      ¾ tsp salt
      ½ tsp baking soda
      ¼ tsp baking powder
      ½ tsp cinnamon
      1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.   Preheat oven to 350.
2.   Put liners in muffin pan.
3.   In large bowl, mash bananas.
4.   Add softened butter, eggs, sugar (I found that 1 Cup made them 
      pretty sweet but the consensus of eaters was "it is just right"), and
      4T of heavy whipping cream, and mix well.
5.   Combine all the dry ingredients into another bowl. Gradually sift 
      the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing well.
6.   Mix in chocolate chips.
7.   Fill muffin liners about ¾ full.
8.   Prepare the crumble by combining all the ingredients until it 
      looks crumbly!
9.   Top each muffin with a generous amount of crumble.
10. Bake 22 minutes. Toothpick test it but mine were perfect at 22 
11. Cool completely and Nom-Nom-Nom.

Crumb topping adds a nice texture.

Who doesn't love the melty gooeyness that is the chocolate chip?

So I realize I'm having a blog identity crisis, but my blog is for the love of sharing, so there you have it. Enjoy!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Puff Stitch Scarf

Puff Stitch Scarf

Not long ago, my lovely sister posted a picture of a knitting needle carrier she made. I let her know how much I liked it, and lo and behold, she sent me one for Christmas for my crochet hooks and she included two new tiny hooks. So talented!

My Lovely Sister sewed me a Crochet Hook Carrier

Here it is again, closed, next to the original packaging that I used to carry my needles in. My original store packaging made me sad because I had two extra needles that it wouldn't hold that just rolled around loose in my crochet container. Yes, I have a crochet container.  Now I have room for two more hooks! Yea me! Yea Sis ~ and THANK YOU! I am loved! I'll have to see if she will send me a pattern to post for you all to make your own! I don't sew, so I would never figure this out.

As promised, here is the scarf I made my Lovely Daughter to complete the trifecta of Puff Stitch Slouch Hat and Gloves. It took a couple of attempts, starting with how wide to make it, then making a complete puff stitch scarf and then changing my mind and combining the puff stitch with a DC. I am happy with how it turned out. So was she. :) <3

After it was finished, I knew I wanted to put a nice fringe on it to add to the length. Here is what I came up with. The puff at the top of the fringe compliments the puff stitch in the scarf very nicely.

Here is what I came up with. Hope you like it!

     Row       Scarf
       R1        CH 18. Puff 7 into the 16th ST (top loop only), CH 1, Skip (SK) 1,
                    Puff 7 across until you have 7 puffs. You should be left with two ST
                    left. SK 1 and DC in last ST. CH 2. Turn.
     R2-6       DC into each ST across, ending with a DC into the top of the first
                    DC in row 1 for 15 DCs across. CH 2. Turn.
       R7        SK 1; Puff 7; CH 1; across for 7 puffs. SK 1, DC into last ST. CH 2.
    R8-end    Repeat, alternating DC row and Puff row, ending on a Puff row
                    until you reach your desired length. Finish off and weave in ends.

     Steps      Fringe
        1          Cut 11 lengths of yarn, approximately 10" - 12" long for each fringe
                    you want to make. I made five on each side of the scarf, but you
                    can make more if you'd like.
        2          Take 10 lengths of yarn, even out and fold over your hook. Pull
                    through the first space between the DC and Puff stitch. Even out.
        3          Take remaining length of yarn and place strands on top in middle.
                    Tie right over left then flip up so you are looking at the back of the
                    strands, tie right over left, then left over right.
        4          Repeat at the opposite end, between the last DC and Puff stitch.
        5          Find the center and repeat.
        6          Find the center between the beginning and middle fringe. Repeat.
        7          Find the center between the end and middle fringe. Repeat.
        8          Repeat on the other end of the scarf.
        9          Fold scarf in half so fringe is lying atop each side. Trim.

I hope you enjoy it enough to make your own Puff Stitch Trio or at least find inspiration to make your own lovely creation! Happy Crocheting!

XO ~
Rolly  <3

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Puff Stitch Fingerless Gloves

Happy New Year!

In our family, New Year's Day means good food all day.  Traditional Japanese cuisine is the reason this holiday might be my family's favorite. Mom is a rock star. I hope to learn some recipes from her, but alas, she is busily making dishes while we labor at work. Plus, she has no written recipes. A handful of this. A pinch of that. This is the reason my kids don't have most of my recipes. I am an apple that didn't fall far from my Mother's tree.

Still, she brought over everything but her kitchen sink and we were able to help with some of the prep. She made the Nishime before she came over. Nishime is a lovely vegetable dish, and a New Year's staple. I love this dish. It is one of the reasons that I look forward to New Year's. The only thing I don't love is yama-imo which translated verbatim means "mountain potato". IMHO it is mushy and slimy and icky. Speaking of IMHO, please check out blogger and author Jen. Here is a link to her year in review: One of my favorites was her 8 Ways to Say FU - I laughed my butt off because I've used quite a few of them. Those that I don't use (IMHO is one I don't use until I read her blog), many of my friends have. I will warn you that she has a potty mouth, but I'm okay with that because so do I. And she makes me laugh. And let's face it, everyone can use a little more laughter in their lives. Let us all make that one of our New Year's Resolutions - to laugh more. It cleanses your soul. But I digress... again. Inari Sushi is a great starter for the sushi-squimish. It has no rawness in it. It is sushi rice stuffed in a deep fried tofu shell, which has been seasoned with a sweet sauce. Even kids like this one.  I stuffed these with my lovely sister from another mister. Although we were careful not to overstuff, so not to burst the pouch at the seams, we still did, laughing and hiding them from Mom. My lovely sister rolled the assorted sushi and did a magnificent job. More food was had, not pictured. The best of which (IMHO) is Omochi, another ONLY-ON-NEW-YEAR'S-DAY-DISH that makes you look forward to the day. Omochi is rice that has been pounded down into a patty - looking somewhat akin to a flat river rock. Grilled on a fish fryer then served a multitude of ways. Good food. Family. Food. Love. We are blessed. Thank you God. <3 <3 <3

Assorted Sushi
Inari Sushi

And I finally managed to get my daughter's gloves and scarf done! Too late for Christmas, but she didn't mind, even though she's been waiting since her birthday. That's when she got her puff slouch beanie. She didn't want to be in the picture, but I think this is a great one, so pffffft. Anyway, YEEHA I'm done! So here goes with the gloves. Scarf to follow.
My beautiful daughter

The gloves are inspired by the Lovely Olivia at Hopeful Honey. Please visit her blog at Her gloves included a pretty button embellishment. Alas, I didn't have enough cute buttons, and in an effort to only use what I have in stock (with the exception of yarn) I skipped that part. So again, a modification was in order. Here is the pattern.

Puff Stitch Fingerless Gloves
Rows Double Crochet Rows
1 CH 25, slip stitch (SL) into first CH to form a ring. 26 SC
2-3 CH 2, DC into next ST around, SL join into top of 1st CH; 26 DC; finish off leaving tail to weave in ends.

Rows Puff Stitch Rows
1 Puff 7 into same ST, CH 1, SKIP ST (SK ST) around. Join w/SL to top of 1st Puff; 13 Puffs
2-4 SL into 1st SKIPPED HOLE (SH). Puff 7 into same, CH1 repeat around. SL join into 1st puff. 13 Puffs in alternating spaces
6 SL into 1st SH, Puff 7, CH 4, SK ST, Puff 7 pull through then in last 2 SC - this is your thumb. SK ST, Puff 7, CH 1 around. Join w/SL to top of 1st Puff; 13 Puffs.
7-10 SL into thumb hole. Puff 7, CH1, SK around; 13 Puffs
11-12 CH 1, SC around; finish off leaving tail to weave in ends.

I love that Olivia is a free-sharer. I love that she came up with such a beautiful creation. I hope you will visit her page and bookmark her like I have. My daughter gets complimented all the time, and not just from people she knows. These beautiful gloves are incredibly warm. Takes a lot of yarn to make those Puffies, but so worth it. The end result is quite stunning.

Hope you are able to follow the instructions. If not, write me a comment and I will try to help you work it out! Happy crocheting! And HAPPY NEW YEAR! Blessing to you all!

<3 XO <3