Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Crocheted Chocolate Bunnies


One door may have closed this week, but another one opened, proving I could still find it in my heart to love again! Not a moment too soon, he is everything I could ever hope for. My heart fills with joy at the sight of him. I tip my crocheted hat, in tribute this Tuesday, to the Chocolate Bunny!

Yes, the Easter Bunny can fill our baskets with all the eggs, jellybeans, and every kind of sweet imaginable, but my "basket full of Easter joy" would never be complete without a chocolate bunny!

The very first confectionery bunnies can be traced as far back as the 1700's in Germany, where the first tales of the "Oschter Haws", or "Osterhase" (the Easter Hare) were told. If children were good, he would come to hide eggs for them to find. The Germans came to America, bringing their traditions with them, a good number of them heavily concentrated in Pennsylvania. It is said that here, sometime around the early 1900's, that the very first chocolate bunny was ever made! Automation, and increased production during WWII boosted sales, and today approximately 90 million bunnies are produced and sold each year, for the celebration of Easter!

My crocheted chocolate bunnies were made pretty much (but not to the exact letter, as I added a few rows to the body) by following a pattern, Love Bunnies, by Erika Hughes. I used 4-ply acrylic yarn in a dark chocolate brown color, with a size F hook, and found I could make 3 bunnies (approximately 9 1/2" tall) out of one 7-oz. skein. I used 1" grosgrain ribbon for bows. Next, I wanted the eyes and noses to resemble candies. I played around with buttons for a bit, but I wasn't happy with how they looked. Preferring not to pay unnecessary expenses, nor to make a field trip out of this project, I decided to go with the (9 x 6 mm) pony beads I had on hand. I found I was very happy with how they looked. This little chocolate bunny trio worked up fairly quickly, and I really did enjoy making them! Still, nothing could ever take the place of the real thing.

Chocolate Bunny, oh Chocolate Bunny.. Wherefore art thou, my Chocolate Bunny? Shall I see you on Easter morning?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Oh So Blue


So ends a relationship between owner and vehicle, on this dark and dreary day. It's been nice, and we've had fun; but things were just getting too difficult. Things that couldn't be fixed. It's time to go our separate ways, but always remember, I'm so glad we had this time together...

I'm so glad we had this time together,
Just to have a laugh or sing a song.
Seems we just got started and before you know it,
Comes the time we have to say, 'So long'.

There's a time you put aside for dreamin',
And a time for things you have to do.
The time I love the best is in the evening-
I can spend a moment here with you.

When the time comes when I'm feelin' lonely,
And I'm feelin' ohooooo- so blue,
I just sit back and think of you only,
And the happiness still comes through.

That's why I'm glad we had this time together,
'Cause it makes me feel like I belong.
Seems we just got started and before you know it,
Comes the time we have to say, 'So long'.


(Carol's Theme)

Well, we just have to move on, don't we? Today I will pick up my crochet hooks, yarns, and plarns, and I will continue work on my afghan and various Easter projects. Time is flying, and there is no time for sweet sorrow these days!

Friday, March 27, 2009

No Blarney! It's Plarny!



A tisket, A tasket,
Some plarn in just one basket,
Like Rumplestiltskin hard at work,
And now I have TEN baskets!

I have only worked with plarn once. I thought it was o.k., for the simple project I tried with it; but for whatever reasons, I just haven't thought to use it on anything specific since then. Well, Easter is just around the corner, and I like to make little holiday goodies of one kind or another for the kids at church. I had a couple of ideas in mind, but here's one for starters! Inspired by Cindy's baskets, you can find her pattern here. See her other ideas too!
As I was choosing to work with this project in particular, I knew I wanted to save my own yarns for other projects. I had to consider, as sweet as I think these little gifts will be, I don't honestly know that all parents will be saving these baskets, or tossing them out with the trash when the holiday is over. So, with these thoughts in mind, I was hoping to keep expenses down to a minimal amount, and I decided plarn was the way to go. While I didn't follow Cindy's pattern to the exact letter and count, I DID think hers was absolutely adorable, and I DID follow it pretty closely enough. I also found great appreciation for her tutorial, showing how to make plarn in her February 17th post.

With my little bluebird friend joining me again (my cat must have been napping at the time!), you see in my photo that I had a big basket of plarn ready to go. I made about 10 balls of it, each ball made from approximately 4 plastic bags. After crocheting 10 baskets, I still have enough plarn leftover to do one more; so for the number of kids I am planning on sharing with, I will probably be making up about 4 or 5 more balls of plarn, I think, to make the 15 or 16 baskets I may want in all. These worked up very quickly and easily, so I have no doubts that I can get these done in good time, and ON TIME! I must also say, before I go on, photos don't really do these any justice. To look at them, even right in front of you, you would almost think they were wicker! It's amazing to me the look of these baskets, made only from plastic shopping bags! People really don't seem to know, so it's almost funny to watch as they pick one up and feel what it's really made of!

Well, I've given a couple of reasons for saving my pennies where I can.. Another reason, in this case, was because I do not yet know how much I plan to spend on goodies that may go INTO the baskets! I want the appearance of my package to be cute, but I still have to decide what more will go into each basket, and into each egg. More often than not, parents feel their kids have ENOUGH candy for the holiday, and I will also have to take that into consideration. So onward, with a planned budget in mind, I shopped for Easter grass. I found ONE brand on the shelf. I was not happy with the quality, nor the quantity.. NOR THE COST! But where there was a will, I came up with a way! I found a 16-count, luncheon-sized, package of green-colored paper napkins, at a clearance cost of 75 cents! NOW, I was happy! I went home, and ran each napkin through my paper shredder. WHAT? Yes, my paper shredder. I shredded one napkin to make enough Easter grass for each basket. It fit just nicely! I was very happy with how it looked, as I finally placed one plastic egg into each basket!

Now, I'm feeling satisfied with the look and quality of my project. I'm hoping the kids are really going to like these, as this, of course, is what matters most! Still, I'd like to tally up what each basket cost me, so far, before making further plans and/or expenses on candy or other such goodies. Well, each bag was free, and hopefully Mother Nature is smiling, as each bag has now been recycled! It's not exactly "straw into gold", but it's still a very good thing, and we must all do our part, making our planet a little healthier, whenever we can! O.k., now as I was saying, each bag was free, while each napkin cost me a nickel, and each egg cost me a nickel. My total cost for 16 mini Easter baskets, as you see them in the photo, has come to $1.60! How awsome is THAT? I think that's pretty good so far! Yes, Beansie loves a BARGAIN! Wait a minute.. What's that I see? I think my checkbook is SMILING!

Monday, March 23, 2009

What's REALLY On My Bookshelf


What a beautiful weekend we had!! The temps were much warmer on Saturday, as if teasing us that Old Man Winter is gone, no longer to be seen till his rightful turn is due again for the year! Well, our hopes were set a little too high, we should have known, and the mercury dropped quite a bit on Sunday. Still, Mother Nature was kind, letting the sun shine brightly all the way through to the first hint of dusk on Sunday evening! For mid March, in "the Great Northeast", we were thrilled, and enjoying every bit of it!

The kids and I decided to go for a drive and do some shopping. One of us wanted to shop for clothes, while one of us wanted to check out the pet store, and then ONE of us wanted to check for a certain shade of yarn she can't find closer to home!.. Hmm, wonder who that was!
Anyways, terribly frustrated and disappointed in not finding the color I'm desperately searching for, my spirit was consoled.. no, ELATED, forever just the kid at heart that I am, to at least bring a little something.. or somebody home with me!! While checking out of Kohl's Department Store, we found this plush Cat in the Hat for sale, for a very reasonable price! Any profit made from my purchase of him would go towards children's charities too! So, certainly, all the MORE reason I HAD to bring him home with me!

I knew where he belonged as soon as we got home. One of my bookshelves has the all the cherished Dr. Seuss storybooks I read as a kid, and then the many more books I had since read to my OWN kids. Bedtime stories with my kids are amongst the fondest of memories dear to my heart, reminding me to again and again thank God for my greatest blessings! My Cat in the Hat now holds a prominent spot on this shelf with the Harry Potter crochet doll I made some years back! Now, doesn't this look nice? Looking at it, I just LOVE this little corner of my home! My heart is full, and I smile from ear to ear. Life has it's ups and downs, but God is good to me.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sing-Along Sunday! Flame

Just saw this group for the second time, and had a blast! Flame, a musical group made up of very talented people with disabilities formed a band back in 2003. Since then, they have perfomed all over the country, and have now performed as far as Athens, Greece! If you have not yet seen this truly inspiring group, and should they come 'round your way at all, GO SEE THEM! I would not hesitate to see them again, and again! I dare you to sit still in your seat, as they play rock, pop, country and the blues, entertaining an audience of all ages, young and old!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Well, Hello My Spring Dolly!





Hello Dolly, Well Hello Dolly!
It's so nice to have you right where you belong!

Here she is! My entry for the "Little Madness In the Spring Rag Doll Challenge"! I have named her "Alliebean". Her body is made of cloth, of course, as guidelines were set; but my truest, comfort zone is with crochet, surrounded by all my hooks and yarns, so I crocheted her outfit for this event. I am including my own original pattern for this dress today, if any fellow participants would like to try to make one like mine, or for any of my readers who would like to make one for any of their own similar sized doll!

Oh but WHERE are my manners?! We were just introducing Alliebean, weren't we?! Well, I just couldn't decide on only one photo of her! The theme of this event was SPRING, so...

Photo No. 1: Here is Alliebean in a spring setting, enjoying the fresh air, and joined by some little woodland creatures who are as happy to see Spring as the rest of us! Her skirt is designed with panels of long green leaves, with silk roses applied to each one. I loved choosing just the right lace and trims for my new doll! They are all hand-sewn to the outfit.

Photo No. 2: Won't you join little Alliebean for tea with me?! Apparently we have another guest joining us! Well, that's just wonderful! We're happy to have ALL our visitors today!

Photo No. 3: Here you can see the back view of my doll's outfit, if my dear Allybean will pardon us for just the moment.

Photo No. 4: Peek-a-boo! We couldn't resist an early Easter Egg Hunt!

This was such great fun! We do hope you enjoyed having tea with us today, and are having fun traveling through Blogland to see all the other wonderful new doll friends being introduced today! Oh, if you need directions getting around, to see all the new Spring Rag Dolls, make sure you stop at Blithe and Blonde, and look for City Girl Em's link list to find everybody who is participating today!

Now, if you are interested, here is my very own original crochet pattern for the outfit you see on Little Miss Alliebean!...

Well Hello Spring Dolly Dress
(c) Written and designed by Beansieleigh (TS) March 21, 2009

Level of Difficulty: intermediate, perhaps, but beginners can certainly give it a try!
Size: made for a cloth doll of approximately 10-inch height
Gauge: 2 rows/rounds of sc, using white = approximately 1 cm.

Materials needed:
Bernat Baby Coordinates yarn, in white
Red Heart Super Saver in, light sage
Crochet hook, size F
Various laces, ribbons, and trims, as you would prefer
Silk roses for the skirt and at the collar
Buttons: not used here, but if preferred
Hot glue was used only to apply silk roses
Threads, Needles, Scissors

Directions:
Starting at top of Blouse: With white baby yarn, chain 13.

Row 1: Sc in each ch across. Ch 1, turn.

Row 2: 2 sc in each st. (24 sc) Ch 1, turn.

Row 3: *Sc in first st, 2 sc in the next* for this row. (36 sc) Ch 1, turn.

Row 4: Sc in each st across. Ch 1, turn.

Row 5: Sc in 6 st, 2 sc in each of the next 6 st, sc in the next 12 st, 2 sc in each of the next 6 st, sc in the next 6 st. Ch 1, turn.

Row 6: Sc in 6 st, ch 5, sk 12 st, sc in next 12 st, ch 5, sk 12 st, sc in the last 6 st. Ch 1, turn.

Row 7: Sc in each st and ch across. (34 sc)

Row 8: In FLO, 2 sc in first st, sc in each st across, 2 sc in last st. (36 sc) Ch 1, turn.

*Note: You are now starting the skirt of your doll's dress.

Row 9: Back to working in BOTH loops again, ch 3 (counts as first st), dc in next st and in each remaining st across. Turn.

Row 10: Ch 3, 2 dc in first st, dc in next 2 st. *2 dc in next st, dc in next 2 st* across. (48 dc) Turn.

Row 11-13: Ch 3, dc in each st across. (48 dc) Turn.

Row 14: Ch 3, dc in same st, dc in next 2 st. *2 dc in next st, dc in next 2 st* across. (60 dc) Turn.

Row 15: Ch 3, dc in each st across. Fasten off, and weave in end.

Sleeves:
Now holding dress upward and rightside facing yourself...

Attach white yarn to the 2nd st "under the arm", to start a sleeve.

Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in first 4 st, hdc in the next st (where you can see here, you're starting the top ruffle of the shoulder area), 2dc in each of the next 10 st, hdc in the next st, sc in last st. Join round with a sl st to the first st.

Rnd 2: Ch 1, sc in 5 st, hdc in next st, dc in each of the next 18 st, hdc in next st, sc in the last 2 st, sl st to join the round.

Rnd 3: Ch 1, sc in 6 st, hdc in next st, dc in next 16 st, hdc in next st, sc in last 3 st, sl st to join.

Rnd 4: Ch 1, sc in 4 st, hdc in next st, *dbl-cro dec over the next 2 st* 9 times, hdc in next st, sc in the last 3 st, sl st to join.

Rnd 5: Ch 1, *sc dec over next two st* around.

Rnd 6: Ch 1, sc in this first st, ch 4, sc in same st, *ch 4, sc in next st, ch 4, sc in same st* around; ending with a chain 4, then sl st to first st to join the round. Fasten off yarn, and weave in end. This completes your little ruffly-puffly sleeve of the dress! Proceed to do exactly the same for the second sleeve.

Collar: Attach white yarn to the first st of neckline. Repeat crochet edging exactly as you did for Rnd 6 of the sleeve (But do not join yet.) Fasten yarn, but leave a long enough yarn tail to now sew the back of the dress together.

*Note: You may choose to add snaps or buttons for this dress, for your own purposes and style of doll, but for the design and shape of this doll in particular, I felt it best to just sew the dress on permanently.

Skirt: (worked in 9 panels of green "leaves")
Ch 11, hdc in 3 ch from hook, and in next 8 chains. (Hdc, ch 1, hdc, ch 1, hdc) in next st. Now working down other side of chain, hdc in 9 st. Fasten off, weave in end.

With one long strand of green yarn, sew your panels of leaves together (from flat end to pointed end for only 9 st up. See photo.) to form the outer skirt of your doll's dress. Fasten any yarns and weave in ends.

Now, attach green yarn to either end of the long flat edge of the skirt, so to now start the waistband of the skirt. Ch 1, crochet 4 sc across the flat edge of the first leaf, then proceed to crochet 4 sc across each leaf for the remainder of this row. (36 sc) Ch 1. turn.

Row 2: Sc in each st across. Fasten yarn, leaving long enough yarn tail for sewing both short ends of green leaf petal skirt together. Sew skirt over and onto doll's dress, using the unused loops of stitches in Row 8 of dress, as a guideline for placement as you sew. Fasten off yarn(s) and weave in any ends.

Well, there you have it!! The basic pattern for this dress! From here, the fun of embellishing is all up to you! I got out all my lace, ribbons, trims, silk roses, and various color threads to add to my own design. For ideas to help you out though, I will tell you that I used a 5/8" ribbon, hand sewed that onto the top of the waist band with basic needle and thread, then tied and sewed a big, pretty bow at the back. I used lace and a fine floral trim to attach to the white bottom edge of the doll's dress. I sewed a very small length of 1/8" silk ribbon, made into a bow at the collar, and I used a total of 10 silk roses for the entire dress (one for each leaf of skirt, and one for the collar, each applied with hot glue). Enjoy!




Friday, March 20, 2009

A BEFORE Peek


It's not long now, before all participants in the Spring Rag Doll Challenge, at Blithe and Blonde, will be unveiling their dolls for the Big Spring Event!! We all started with the same pattern, as you can see in the photo above, but tomorrow morning is going to be SO-oooo much fun to see the all the individual talent, creativity, and imagination that each person put into their own doll! Just look at how plain she looks now, then go back to "City Girl Em's", at her Blithe and Blonde blog, on Saturday morning to see her link list, where she'll direct you to where you can see each entry!! I'll be on the list, so make sure you stop back here to see mine too! I am really looking forward to this! How does tea sound? I'll have some ready!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Few St.Patrick's Day Pics





Well, all good things must come to an end, they say, so as I reflect today, I guess I can now drop me... oops!.. MY Irish brogue till next year! I just wanted to share a few photos of the prep and goodies that went into our day. Some of my little green friends around the house INSISTED that they be included in on the fun! (Don't ASK where I found the time to oblige them!)

Photo #1: I had to start my Corned Beef in the crock pot.

Photo #2: Next I started baking my Irish soda bread, then my Irish Potato-Custard Pie.

Photo #3: How do they look?

Photo #4: GREEN onion chip dip, anyone?

Well, dinner was great! It was a nice St. Patrick's Day to remember! But yes, I am STILL cleaning up from the festivities; so till we meet again, may you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top O' The Mornin' To Ya!


Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

I'm takin' a wee break here to wish me family, friends, and all me darlin' readers "Top o' the mornin' to ya!" Whether you're Irish or you're not, I'm hopin' that in good fun you ALL are dressed in green from head to your wee little toes!!

I had the BEST time yesterday, playin' me Irish music, and makin' Shamrock cookies with me darlin' children! Me Irish eyes are surely smilin', because 'tis moments like these I'll be holdin' most dear to me heart!...

But, sure and begorrah, I can barely get me crafts cleaned up in one room, and next think you're knowin' I'm findin' meself makin' a bigger mess in the kitchen!

Aye, I'll be very busy today, preparin' our Irish Corned Beef Dinner for tonight, but I'm wantin' to share another favorite Irish recipe with ya! Oh, I'm bettin' you've made 'em before!.. not knowin', o' course, the right 'n proper IRISH name for 'em!

Boxty

(Irish Potato Griddle Cakes, a traditional potato dish, often enjoyed with a hearty breakfast)


An old Irish rhyme goes like this:

Boxty on the griddle,

Boxty in the pan,

If you can't make boxty,

You'll never get a man.


Ingredients:

1 cup raw potato

1 cup mashed potato

1 egg, beaten

2 cups self-rising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

pepper to taste

onion powder to taste (fresh, finely-chopped may be used, if preferred)

1/4 cup of butter, melted

approx. 1 cup milk (more or less, if necessary for texture)

sour cream (optional)

Directions:

Grate the raw potato into a bowl. Mix with mashed potatoes. Sift your dry ingredients into potatoes, adding the melted butter and beaten egg. Add just enough milk necessary to make a doughy batter, but still loose enough to drop from a spoon. Dropping from a spoon is optional, but I prefer to knead my batter on a floured surface, to make into flat, round patties. With melted butter/margarine on a hot griddle or heavy pan, brown the patties, approximately 3 - 4 minutes each side, till browned on both sides.

Serve hot with butter/margarine, or with sour cream. Enjoy!


Now, with all me Irish heart,

and upon every star I can find in the sky,

I wish for you...


Walls for the wind

And a roof for the rain,

And drinks by the fire,

Laughter to cheer you

And those you love near you

And all that your heart may desire!


~Beansie




Monday, March 16, 2009

ALL Me Little Shamrocks!




The following words are said in an old Irish ballad, "The Wearing of the Green", written by an unknown author in 1798:

"And pull the shamrock from your hat, and throw it on the sod But never fear, 'twill take root there, though underfoot 'tis trod. When laws can stop the blades of grass from growin' as they grow And when the leaves in summer-time their color dare not show Then I will change the color too I wear in my caubeen But till that day, please God, I'll stick to the Wearin' o' the Green."

In times long ago, it was believed that wearing green clothes in spring would attract fairies to protect the crops.
The words in the song above, speak of the repression of that time period, during the Irish Rebellion. A shamrock was worn in the "caubeen", was a symbol of rebellion, and the color green was considered the same, as it became the official color of the Society of the United Irishmen. Wearing the revolutionary insignia was a crime, punishable by hanging.

Well, the countdown is on, and I'm lookin' over ALL my 3-leaf clovers! One day, I found a wee little pattern,
adorable as it is, over at Suzie's blog, for a crocheted 3-leaf clover. I made one. I made two. And I just RAN with it from there!! When all was said and done, I had made a total of 37!

The shamrock, or three-leaf clover, linked to Ireland by Saint Patrick, may be seen on many a
lapel or corsage; but history more seriously recalls how not only was the shamrock embraced by Irish Nationalists. It was later, during the First World War, that the motivation of the Irish regiments in the British army seemed to improve when allowed to wear their shamrocks! Isn't it interesting, the history behind a simple clover?!.. what it really meant to people, and what I'm sure it still means a great deal today!

During the past week, I'm happy to say I came up with not only the hat
you see, which is inspired by the one I found here, but the rest you see in this post as well.... A little fabric, six crochet shamrocks, glittery shamrock tulle and fun foams, scrap lace, a few buttons, some hand sewing along with the help of my sewing machine, all went into embellishing a simple $3.00 bag, found on clearance at my local Walmart!! How much fun and satisfaction I found it THAT!!! I like to have ALL "my stuff" with me at ALL times, so a BIG bag is just my style!! It would be easy, or perhaps preferred, to decorate a smaller purse for the holiday, as simply or elaborately as you would like; and I KNOW that the Walmart in my neighborhood still has plenty of purses and bags just WAITING to be purchased at prices you can't beat! Even my son just said to me, "You gonna make one for Easter, too, Mom?" Ha! The kids are onto me! They know me TOO well!

Ya know? It's funny how my daughter laughs at me for being able to take a scrap of fabric, and somehow
I'm able to stretch it and make a number of things from it! When I first found the glittery shamrock netting, I saw the nearly $8.00/yd. price tag on it, and walked right on by! I just didn't NEED it that badly. Well as I was got first making my hat, I then thought I just couldn't do without it! So, I went back to the store, and frugally bought 1/8th of a yard! I cut from that the amount I needed not only for the band on the hat, but the boutonniere as well! I added me little shamrock to the boutonniere, I did, and now I've got a hat that I think any sassy Irish lassie would like! Ya think so?!!

O.K., I still have some of this glittery shamrock netting left to use, so now I've got a hankerin' to make jewelry! I cut out two small shamrocks
from the netting, glue them onto flat marble-like decorative/aquarium gems, such as seen here, using E600 glue, a craft staple I could not possibly live without! When the glue was completely dry, I then painted the back of the marble white. When that dried, I then clipped one side of a small paperclip, and glued that onto the back of the marble, again with E600. When a couple more coats of the acrylic paint, and a final coat of clear nail polish, were applied and dried, I then just attached my chain. Often I prefer to crochet a choker for this kind of thing, but the marble is a heavier pendant, for which I prefer a chain. Anyways, a very inexpensive, but very pretty accessory for the holiday, I think! I made one for my daughter; and aye, one for meself too, of course! See the snowman I've done for the winter season? Well, here all my jewelry hardware was out, and I thought let's just do this one more piece. I've always wanted to make myself a thimble necklace! I finally got around to it! You must forgive me for the novice photography-taking skills I possess, and the editing program I do not have as of yet! This photo was the best I could do. To see these up close would be so much better, but we work with what we have here, right?

Oh! Now, would you believe I STILL have a 15 x 4" piece of the glittery tulle netting left to use? I love it! How many things have I made with just that 1/8th of a yard so far? Three?.. No, four!... A hat, a bag, and TWO necklaces! And I know I'll find something to do with what's left of it I'm sure!


Next, back to my crochet clovers, I had used only 7 of them so far. I remember back in February, I was so happy with a Valentine garland I made, that I knew ahead of time I wanted to make a garland for St. Patrick's Day too! I used my remaining 30 clovers to make that! I really liked that I was using up a lot of green scrap yarns in that particular tangled-up collection of leftover stash! I was happy to clean up that little mess as I went along! Now, when you look in the photo, you can also see the larger plastic canvas Shamrocks I hung at the ends of my new garland,
which I had made last year! I liked how they ended up tying in nicely together with my new garland!

Well, there you have it, ALL me little shamrocks, and some ideas to share with you! I hope you liked them, and can find the time to make something before the big day gets here! If not, maybe now you have a couple crafty new plans for next year! For today's post, and while many versions actually exist, I leave you with the song I spoke of today, in it's entirety:


"O Paddy dear, and did ye hear the news that's going round?
The shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish gound!
No more Saint Patrick's Day we'll keep, his colour can't be seen
For there's a cruel law against the Wearing of the Green."

I met with Napper Tandy, and he took me by the hand,
And he said, "How's poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?"
"She's the most distressful country that ever yet was seen,
For they're hanging men and women there for Wearing of the Green."

"So if the colour we must wear be England's cruel red
Let it remind us of the blood that Irishmen have shed;
And pull the shamrock from your hat, and trow it on the sod
But never fear, it will take root there, though underfoot 'tis trod.

When laws can stop the blades of grass from growing as they grow
And whem the leaves in summer time their colour dare not show,
Then I will change the colour too I wear in my caubeen;
But till that day, please God, I'll stick to the Wearing of the Green."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

St. Pat Preparations


I am getting ready for the big day! I went to the market this morning to pick up my corned beef and fresh potatoes. I made a double batch of sugar cookie dough, chilling in the refrigerator for baking tomorrow. Some Irish soda bread is sounding good to me, so I think I will be baking that as well. This year I read a recipe for potato-custard pie. I'm thinking about trying that out, if I can find the time... SOMEWHERE! Here it is, if you'd like to try it too...


Irish Potato Custard Pie

from the Irish kitchen of Beansieleigh!

Mix the following ingredients:

* 1 cup mashed potatoes

* ½ cup cream (milk may be substituted)

* 2 eggs, well beaten

* 3/4 cup granulated sugar

* 2 Tbsp butter

*1/8 tsp salt


Directions:

Brush inside bottom and sides of an unbaked 9" piecrust with egg white to help prevent a soggy crust. Pour custard mixture into the piecrust. Lightly sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake at 400 degrees, for between 25 to 35 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes clean out of custard center, and crust is baked and browned. Cool on a wire rack. This makes one large custard pie. Sweet potatoes may be used the same way. Meringue is also an option, if preferred. You may certainly choose to add a little green food coloring while mixing your custard ingredients, for a fun St. Patrick's Day dessert!! Enjoy!



I've got our Irish music CD's out to listen to, and my green clothes picked out for the day! (which reminds me, I STILL wish I had a pair of those shoes, like the ones Simone got, in her "Linden Grove" January 31st post!! Now THOSE were some beautiful GREEN shoes, if I remember right! Oh well, the style will probably be white canvas sneakers for the day here!

As you can see, my little craft basket holds some of the supplies and materials I've been using this past week for this year's St. Patrick's Day projects! Now last week I was seeing squares in my sleep, wasn't I? THIS week, I'm definitely seeing GREEN! I wish it was the green I could run to the bank with, but I'm pretty happy enough with the goodies I'll be showing you very SOON!

I LOVE the holidays!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dolled Up 4 Irish Coffee!



Why here I am! While I'm busy working on some St. Patrick's Day projects for THIS year, here are a couple of crochet dolls I did in years passed! The bigger laddie, done with crochet yo-yo's, stands about 12" tall, while the wee one sits at about 6" high. I have been wanting to do a new Irish doll of some kind, but have not yet had the time. I'm thinkin' on it a wee bit more now though; and it looks like I'll be makin' a new doll of some kind very soon!

Check out "Blithe and Blonde", for a blog event I couldn't resist signing up for! I do love my dollies, and this sounds like fun to me! Maybe you can join the fun, and sign up too! Then, on March 21st, maybe we can all get out our new dolls and have one big Tea Party in Blogland together!!

Today, I leave ya with this wee bit o' wisdom:
Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fat!... Aye, that sure sounds good to me!!