Crocheted Animals

Okay, I am trying again on my Crafting With the Stars entry.  I’ve recently started a little business making things.  I make an assortment of things, but one of my favorites is crocheted hats.  I love how cute they are and how happy they make people.  Also, crocheting is nice, because I can take it anywhere with me and still be involved with the people around me.  Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE to sew, and I love my little sweat shop (sewing room, those machines create a lot of heat!), I just appreciate being around the people I love.  🙂 

So here’s my entry.  These are hats I created using a basic pattern for the hat base, but designing the rest of the hat on my own.  I have a zebra, horse and kitty cat. I did the photography last weekend with a pretty little model named Olivia.  We had so much fun!

Sew Lucky Hats

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!  Here are some more pics!

Olivia modeling the Zebra Hat

Olivia modeling the Zebra Hat

Olivia modeling the Horse Hat

Olivia modeling the Horse Hat

Olivia modeling the Horse Hat

Olivia modeling the KittyHat

Olivia modeling the KittyHat

Thanks! ~Joanna

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My Dream Wall

Ever since I bought my house, I have had a dream of hanging tons a pictures on my dining room wall.  I even got a bunch of pictures printed a while back that I took of my parents salt and pepper shakers.  I didn’t end up liking the pictures very much and thought it would be incredibly expensive to get them all framed and matted.  So I did what anyone would do, I gave up.

Fast forward 2 years probably and I still don’t have my dream wall.  In the meantime, I went on a great trip to NYC and took tons of pictures on a couple photography walking tours.  I love these pictures and I never get to see them.  So, I went attic diving and saved a bunch of frames from the dumpster.  I figured what a good time to do this.  I ended up spending about $50 on printing pictures and $40 on mattes and 1 piece of glass I needed for a frame and probably $10-15 on spray paint.

So, last month, I painted each frame, and put them together piece by piece, cleaning the glass and only cutting myself once in the process (glass is sharp).  I framed 18 pictures, and used 14 of them.  I am debating adding another row on top.  It’s just so nicely balanced for now, I thought I’d live with it for a while and see how I feel.

About the pictures:

Pictures-2

The top left is a picture my grandpa took in 1939 in California when he was walking around I think in Downtown Los Angeles.  To the right is the salt and pepper picture I took years ago when I planned this project.  I put it up, because I like it and it is kind of an homage to my original plan.   The little pictures are from New York City.  The top is the benches in Central Park.  The bottom one is one I took during a walking tour of Greenwich Village.  I don’t know if you can see it, but there’s an awesome wooden carved owl on the fire escape.  The bottom left picture is a shack we found driving around Parachute, Colorado where I go for work occasionally.  It was beautiful, as we drove up there were deer grazing in front of it.  I got a picture right as they looked over at us.  I also got one of them running away, but it’s not quite as good.   The bottom next picture is from Central Park as well.  I laid down in the middle of the sidewalk to get the great perspective of the trees.

Pictures-1

The big picture on the top row is behind a Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles.  My grandpa took this picture in 1947.  I love it.  It’s kind of eerie.  My grandpa is who got me into photography, so I love having pictures he took up.  To the right of this is a fence from the walking tour of Greenwich Village.  I love the colors and shapes.  The windows below also from Greenwich Village.  The two little pictures to the right are also from NYC.  The first is a tree in Central Park.  The trees there were beautiful, it was the beginning of spring and they were just turning green with new little leaves.  The next is on the way to the Statue of Liberty.  If you’ve ever been, you know how beautiful Ellis Island is and how many birds there are.  I love this picture of a seagull with Lady Liberty in the background.  The two small pictures on the bottom row are also from NYC.  The left is a statue of Hans Christian Andersen reading The Ugly Duckling to a little swan.  There was a duck walking around in front of the statue.  The way the duck and the swan look in the picture, there little noses are touching.  I love it.  The next was a restaurant window in NYC.  The carved duck was cute.  The last one is a beautiful net of tree limbs with little buds all over them.  The lamp post makes me think of The Chronicles of Narnia.  Also, there’s a little birdy hiding in the branches.

I’m not sure if this is my most impressive project, but it’s one I could get done in time for the Crafting With the Stars audition.  So, vote for me and I will do some more awesome things.  I promise.

So here it is, my dream wall:

Photo-Wall-All

And closer:
Photo-Wall

I can’t believe it took me living in this house for 5 years to finally do this.  I am so happy with the result.  If you ever want to hang a ton of pictures, I’ve got some hints for you.  I might post a tutorial of all the great tricks I have learned from my dad over the years.  My mom is an artist so we’ve always been moving pictures around the house and adding more to the mix.  I hope you like it!

Have a Happy Labor Day!

~Joanna

Ice Cube Bread

I found this awesome sounding recipe on Pinterest and decided I’d make it tonight.  It is delicious!  I am not kidding, this recipe is fabulous!  It’s soft on the inside and crusty on the outside.  We’ve always made Pillsbury French Bread, but this will replace that from now on.  🙂  Unless I am feeling very lazy.  You should make this.  Tonight.  Tomorrow. Everyday.  So Good!!

Here’s how mine turned out:

Icw-Cube-Bread

I found the recipe at The Family Kitchen, but I’ll repost it here for you:

Quick & Crusty French Baguettes

  • 2 cups very warm water
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 cups flour (For me it took 5 cups)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together the warm water, yeast, and sugar.  Set the bowl on top of your preheating oven for ten minutes.  Stir in the salt and add the flour a half-cup at a time, until the dough becomes soft but not sticky.  Knead the dough until elastic.

Cut the dough into four even pieces.  Roll each of them into four long, thin ropes.  Twist together two of the ropes to form one loaf.  Twist the other two ropes together to form a second loaf.  Transfer both onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

You can now bake the loaf right away (if you’re in a hurry) or allow it to rise for an additional 15-30 minutes on top of your warm oven.

Now for the SECRET: Fill a large bowl with 3-4 cups of ice.  Open your hot oven and place the baking sheet with the baguettes inside, then toss the ice cubes on the bottom of the oven and quickly shut the door.  Do NOT open your oven for 15 minutes.  Bake until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes. (For me it took closer to 20 minutes).

Serve fresh and hot with your favorite olive oil for dipping.