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Hello, my name is Cindi and I am a rice.a.holic.  I love white, brown, wild, steamed, fried, Spanish, Saffron, dirty, pudding and as you will see, even leftover rice.  I love it all!

When I was a kid, my dad would save any leftover rice from dinner and have it for breakfast the next morning. I couldn’t tell you what he would put on it other that milk, probably some sugar, but other than that I don’t know.

I remember thinking during those times, what an odd thing to eat. I never tried it and I don’t recall him offering to share. If he’s like me, it was HIS leftover rice and he wanted it all to himself to enjoy the next morning.

Well fast forward 50 years…now I’m the one squirreling away any left over rice, so I can have it for my breakfast the next day. Unlike my dad’s, mine is a little more fancy. Well gosh, I mean after all, we now have microwave ovens and it only takes a few minutes to whip up this warm and yummy breakfast dish.

Breakfast Sweet Rice

Actually it’s so good, it almost feels like I’m eating dessert for breakfast.   I’m sure this isn’t a new thing.  People have probably been doing this since forever.  But you really don’t see or hear of many people just “loving” this so much that they share it all over social media, let alone blog about it.

But it’s seems like it should be classified as a rustic dish…rice has been around forever right?  And as you will see it’s a pretty hardy dish.  Those two things qualify this as a Rustique recipe, therefore it will be from this day forward.

Now as with most of my recipes, there is no measuring so I’ll share with you what I put in this recipe, but measuring is out the window.  In my kitchen it’s all about the pinch and dash, a little and some…I imagine your kitchen is like that too.

Maple Cinnamon Sweet Rice

Cold White Rice (any amount, the more the better and left over is preferred)
Butter (as much or as little as you want)
Almond Milk
Maple Syrup
Vanilla Extract
Cinnamon
pinch of salt (optional)

Place any amount of cold white rice in a bowl, add desired amount of butter and about 1 tsp of vanilla. Place in microwave about 2 minutes, long enough for butter to melt and rice to soften. Add a desired amount of Almond Milk or any type of milk you prefer, add maple syrup again the amount is your preference, if you love sweet then dump it in, if not then drizzle, add a pinch of salt if desired, and sprinkle with cinnamon, stir and eat.

That’s it…sweet and simple, just like breakfast should be.

Breakfast Sweet Rice textbanner

Want to know what other leftover food I love for breakfast?  Cold Pizza is my all time fave!

What are your favorite breakfast foods?

peace. love. rust.

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It’s an awesome feeling when you have sewn in that last piece of yarn and you’ve finished that long term project.

Crocheted Granny Ripple Afghan

After completing a number of crochet projects last year, Riley asked if I would make an afghan for her.  I agreed, however I gave her the assignment of choosing her colors and buying the yarn.

Her first choice of yarn color was not my cup of tea, but she was set on her choice of a pale mint and red combo.  Like I said, not my idea of pretty so I was reeeaaallly happy when when changed her mind….whew!

Her selection of pine, cream, teal and brown was definitely more to my liking and I loved that a father’s day card, that she had given to her daddy a few years ago, was her inspiration for her colors.

color inspiration for Afghan

My mister is very sentimental and saves pretty much every card he receives.  This one stayed on his nightstand for a couple of years only to be moved when I dusted, which in truth isn’t very often, but every now and then.  Now that the afghan is finished, I will put it back.

I posted this pick on Instagram last August only four rows and the first color change into the project.  You can already see the shape of the ripple.  This for some reason was very exciting for me.  I guess it doesn’t take a lot to get me excited, uh?

crochet granny ripple afghan

A week later I posted this pic after I had completed the first two of four color sequences.  At this point I was about 22 rows into the project and I found a mistake.  So about 10 rows had to come out.  This happens a lot for me.

first sequence

I know sometimes little things can be overlooked, but this mistake was a whopper and it would have messed up the whole design.  So pulling out stitches and sometimes starting over is just part of the process.  Plus I am just a little bit of a perfectionist, and it really would have driven me nuts to know there was a mistake and I didn’t fix it.

After that one mishap everything went great from there.  And then came the holidays…those can through a kink into your projects can’t they?

This Granny Ripple design was really easy to learn and it was a very enjoyable project.  I look forward to starting another one for my oldest daughter in the next few days.  I found this design on Pinterst and because the pic was pinned correctly (yay for the person who pinned it, you’re awesome) I was able to find the tutorial and start working the project.

In hindsight…no regrets but the one thing I would have done differently is the width.  You  can make an afghan as long as you want, but the width has to be set with the beginning chain.

crocheted granny ripple afghan

It’s about the width of a twin bed and it is really long.  She wanted it to cover her from head to toe.  I made it about 7′ in length.  So it more than covers her.  But I will probably make the next afghan a little wider.

In the photo below you can see the color repeat for this design.  Again this is something Riley had decided on.  She told me how she wanted the colors to change and the pattern for the repeat.   This photo shows the colors nicely due to the natural light in the room that day.

crocheted granny ripple afghan

Riley is very happy with her afghan and I’m thrilled she loves it.

Crocheted Granny Ripple Afghan

She has is stored away for her future home with her future hubby.

***

Big news….Riley is engaged!

We are thrilled for her and we love our future son in law.

He’s pretty terrific and he treats her like a precious gift.

Justin and Riley

Can you guess what I’ll be busy with in 2015?

peace. love. rust.

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Online Crochet Class

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DIY Sisal Umbrella StandThis is how this project ended up.

A pretty close picture of what I imagined it would look like.

Here is what it looked like before a zillion sticks of hot glue and yards of rope.

Glass Cylinder Vase crop

Can you believe this glass container was brought home from a curbside trash pile and survived in my garage for three years without getting broken!  No kidding…we stored baseballs and baseball bats in it.  The fact that this escaped injury for that long in my possession is a miracle in itself.  I had a plan for it from the very beginning, but as many of my plans do, it changed several times.  So I’m really glad it lasted until I could make up my mind then get myself motivated to bring my plan to fruition.

Once the motivation kicked in, it felt like a race to get the supplies bought and get this thing cleaned up and completed before an accident claimed it.  Wouldn’t that just be my luck to have everything ready to go and I break it?

Oh don’t think I didn’t have a few nightmares over this project.  When I brought it in the house to wash it, I envisioned me dropping it, or banging it against the sink while washing it up.  It kind of made me crazy just thinking about it.  But it finally made its way to the table unscathed.  And then it sat there for a few more days.

Pushing my luck has never been something I enjoy doing.  I’m not much of a gambler, so I figured the longer I put this off, odds were an accident would occur and that would be the end of a really great DIY project.

I finally got to Home Depot and found the rope I wanted to use then I needed to figure out what type of adhesive would work best.  I researched and thought I’d found just the right product. But no…while E6000 was recommended, it was not.  Well it might have if I had the patience to deal with it. Took too long to dry and it has a noxious  odor, which I knew from other projects.  Turns out, I didn’t need to get all fancy about it, hot glue did the trick just fine.  And from the amount of glue I used, this was a very good turn of events.

rope

As far as rope goes…who knew there were so many choices?  I love texture in our decor, especially the natural colors of texture.  I would even love to have a sisal rug someday.  But I’m afraid it wouldn’t hold up to well in our home.  So I really try to bring in those elements with other things, like the mop rope pillow I crocheted, or the wicker lamp shade I found in an antique shop and refashioned for an old lamp.

For this project I wanted a really nice bold chunky texture so I went with a 3/8″ Manilla rope from Everbilt.

Everbuilt Rope

FYI…this stuff will leave nice little splinters in your fingers.  Probably should recommend you wear gloves when playing with it.  For sure if you let your kiddos use it for projects.

I bought three coils figuring if I didn’t use it all I could always return the extra.

Well I didn’t use all three but I didn’t return the leftover either.  I was so happy with the outcome of this project, a million more began flooding my little brain.

Sisal Umbrella Stand crop

So readers beware!  I have more posts coming with some really fun and easy home decor projects.

This was a really easy project and it didn’t take too long to complete either.  But like I said, the splinters were an issue as was the hot glue getting on my fingers because your using your fingers to push the ropes together as you are wrapping.

Now my entry has a very functional and awesomely textured umbrella stand and I love it!

DIY Sisal Umbrella Stand

peace. love. rust

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Funky Junk Interiors – PJ#261

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Burlap Roman Shade

It’s pretty.  It’s functional.  It’s finally done!

This project took longer to think about than to make.  I will think on something forever before I move into “get it done” mode.

Kitchen window Before

Before this window treatment I’d never had anything over my kitchen window.  We have an arbor in front of the window that is completely covered up in grapevine during the spring and summer months.  So privacy was really only an issue in the winter.  But another issue is this window faces north and putting up this roman shade has helped keep it the kitchen warmer.  Crazy to think that a lined shade can really make that much of a difference, but it does.

We really only keep the shade down in the winter, and then only on the coldest days.

Burlap Roman Shade

Before I got the shade up, I lived with just the valance for a few months and even that was such a nice change from just looking at a plain window, even if the window is full of lush green grape leaves, and cute “bug eating” geckos at night.

The valance was pretty easy to make and install.  I just used some left over tapestry type material and a scrap piece of wood I found in the garage.  Cut the material to size and wrapped the board and stapled.  I also had some L brackets left over from our mantle headboard project, so that part of this project was really cheap.

Burlap Roman Shade

My thought was to make roman shades for the two dining room windows too, but I decided not to for several reasons, one being my sewing is not one of my best skills and I prefer leaving my blinds down and open rather than up everyday.  This of course could change someday, but by then I’ll have moved onto another preference in material and color.

I do plan on making some simple valences out of burlap and the tapestry used on this cornice board.

I found the instructions for making this roman shade on YouTube but now I can’t find the video, soooo….I will have to hunt that down, but in hindsight, the tutorial I used was really detailed and I thought rather complicated.  There are tons of videos on YouTube that will walk you through making roman shades.  A lot of the videos are for the “no sew” method.  I chose to go with the sewing, lining and installing the rods to help make the folds.  But if I were to do it again, I would opt for the easy-peasy tutorial.

Since taking these photos, we have installed a cleat to wrap the cord around and keep it locked.  That was another option I didn’t want to put into my shade, the locking device for the cord.   The cleat works fine for this window, but finding one in any color other than silver and metal, was next to impossible for me that it.  So I bought the silver and spray painted it in oil rubbed bronze, screws too.

Also, now that this shade has been up for over a year now, the nice straight edge at the bottom is no more.  You see, burlap stretches a lot and since we keep the shape up most of the time, where the material is attached to the rods inside the shade, this has caused the once straight bottom edge to have a scalloped effect.

Live and learn.

I guess it’s a good thing I like a scalloped edge

I love the texture of the burlap and the color.  So I’m a happy lady.

peace. love. rust.

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We have a little niche in our den that doesn’t really serve a purpose. There used to be a wet bar there and we tore it out years ago, leaving a little area next to the fireplace that could be a nice little reading corner if I ever find a cozy chair and ottoman to nest there.

It had my cedar chest there for awhile, then a desk, now a chair that no one sits in. But it’s a pretty cool chair with a really awesome chippy shutter behind it.   It’s great for taking photos of my finished afghans, for my Ravelry project files.   Like this afghan below.  It has a sweet little story to go with it, I’ll share that soon.

Sienna Crocheted Afghan

I had plans to fill the walls of this area with family photos…but somehow that plan took a detour.  I did get one picture up and then never got back to getting that project completed.

Family Alcove stage three

All that to say, that  I was playing around with some ideas the other day and made a fun little photo collage out of my rustic tag clips and some twine.

I even toyed with the idea of making several and listing them in my Etsy shop, but I haven’t quite perfected this design, so I’m going to push it on the back burner for awhile, but that’s not going to stop me from showing ya’ll how it turned out.

I spent more time on my computer trying to locate photos of my kids and their families, than I did on this little design.  But I finally found some great pics and printed them out on computer paper in black and white.  I wanted a frayed edge rather than straight, so I tore the extra paper from around the photos, then arranged them on the photo clips.

Photo Collage

I got all five chick-a-dees up and one happen to have my mug in the photo with Jake because I couldn’t find one of him alone.  You’ll never guess who felt left out….it wasn’t Rudy.  Yep, my hubby commented on not being part of the wall of fame.  Mr. Drama!

I told him he would have pulled attention away from the other photos so I opted to leave his out….no I didn’t.  It was intended for showcasing our five kiddos and their kiddos.

Family Photo Collage

Now that it’s been hanging their for a few months, it’s sort of growing on me.  Still not sure I want to make a bunch and sell them, but I’m happy to have this one hanging in this small space in my home.

I am filling my shop with the single photo clips, getting ready for the Christmas shoppers.  They are great for hanging photos, special cards or even vintage sheet music, on your Christmas tree.  Also great for using as gift tags that people can keep and hang on their tree.  They come in sets of 24 or 12 and my customers receive a small sample package of 3 clips when they spend $20 or more in my Etsy shop, from now until December 24th.  (custom orders included)

024sheetmusicheartornament

Speaking of Christmas trees…when do you put yours up?  Before Thanksgiving or after?

peace. love. rust.

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In 12 Hours We Got a New Laundry Room thumbnail

The day began like most weekend days, coffee with my guy in the backyard by the pool.

We sat in silence for awhile, sipping our coffee and watching Rudy chase squirrels, then I asked hubby what he would like to do that day. We considered a day at the flea market…fresh air, exercise and trolling for rusty treasures sounded fun.

Then I asked how much he thought we would spend if we did go flea hopping… about $100 including gas and food he said. I pondered on that a bit, then offered up another suggestion.

What if we dedicated the next 12 hours to reclaiming the laundry room. It was a disaster and avoiding it was making me crazy.

I proposed we empty this dumping ground, leaving only the washer and dryer, and reclaim our laundry room. Staying within the $100 we might have spent going to the flea market, our goal within the 12 hours was to clean out the room, clean behind and underneath the washer and dryer, paint the walls and add floor boards that were never added when we made the laundry room/pantry larger some 11 years ago, and trim out the door going out to the garage. If we had any day or energy left, move a cabinet into the space for storage.

After two more cups of coffee and a nourishing breakfast, we got busy.

From 8am to 8pm we worked our tails off.

Putting all pride aside, this is what our 9′ x 9′ laundry room looked like.  The photos are placed in order as I turned to my left and made a full circle of the room.

I know it’s bad…really bad.  But considering this little room was used as a laundry room, pantry and my work area for making my crosses, this was bound to happen over time.

laundry room before

pantry before

work bench before

work area before

garage entry before

Man that was painful to share with you.  Even though it’s nice and clean now, it is still hard to look at these photos, but I had to come clean.  I had to let you see what it had come to, so that you could be as shocked as I was with the photos I took the next morning.

After one trip to the paint store to get one more gallon of paint (we had a partial gallon left over from painting the kitchen), a trip to Home Depot for trip boards and a quick lunch we were left with this…

w_d after

sewing corner

sink corner

garage entry after

and we had $14 left over.  Now can I tell you how sore I was after our 12 hours of cleaning, painting and moving things around?  Like so sore I had trouble sleeping.  But it was worth it because now we have a clean, uncluttered, blank slate to work with.

Below is a idea board I threw together for this area.

plan for Laundry Room

As you can see we have a way to go before we get this room done, but at least it is now functional and easy to move around in.  And I’m not so stressed when I walk in the back door.

I’ve already painted the cabinet with ASCP in Graphite, the same color as my kitchen cabs and we are shopping for a counter top.  We finished the floor boards in this area and I’ve put a table in the corner and set up my sewing machine.  I now have a sewing area!  I’m so happy about that.

Rudy has a place to eat, drink his water and store his food, without getting in everyone’s way.  And there is now a place for my ironing board! Yay!!!

I removed the roman shade to paint this window well and decided not to put it back, I love the light coming into the room and it’s a great place for this stained glass window to live for awhile.

 

window

I’ll be sharing more updates in the next few weeks.  I’m ready to get that ceiling done and the cabinet up on the wall.

peace. love. rust.

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My favorite season is finally here.  Hello Fall…I love you.

I love your crisp mornings, the call of the blackbirds, warm afternoons, cool evenings, the slant of long shadows of the sunsets.  Mums, pumpkins and pansies in the garden.  And of course weekend football games with a basket of yarn by my side ready to be crocheted or knitted into something warm and cozy.

There is also the urge to nest.  I always want to nest and fluff my home with the change of seasons, but more so in the fall and spring.  This year was no different, but I fought the urge to splurge on more things to decorate.  Instead I hit the closets and pulled items from other areas to create a very scaled down and simplified fall decor.

Fall Centerpiece Vignette

I love this little chicken. I picked her up at Hobby Lobby about a year ago.  At half price she was really irresistible.  She’s so sweet and looks great front and center of my dining table fall centerpiece.

I went with a more the more subdued colors this year since I’ve never been a huge fan of orange, I love that I have the choice of white pumpkins, the greenish gray pumpkins are awesome too.   But again, I didn’t want to spend money on things that were temporary, although I did treat myself to a couple bags of mini pumpkins to sit around the house.

I dug my burlap runner out and dragged the old galvanized bin out from under a dresser.  Had to take outside to dust it.  I found a family of dust bunnies living in it.  The secret is out…you now know I don’t keep a perfect house.   Confession is so good for the soul.

I stole some greenery from another room and from storage, gathered three grapevine hearts that I seriously considered hanging on the wall, but decided to nest them inside the galvanized bin with the greenery and some dried hydrangeas.  Plopped a couple of pumpkins down and called it done.

Fall Vignette

The table is flanked with a couple of rust plates because I only have two, and then I added my grandmother’s amethyst glass candle holders as an afterthought because I think purple is a perfect fall color.

That’s pretty much it except for a couple of pumpkins on my mantle which I haven’t touched for months, only to dust it once….oops, another confession.

In the entry I did change out the pears in my vintage sewing drawer for some mini pumpkins…nested pumpkins are pretty, but I really think all white would look better.

nested pumpkins

I hope you are loving the fall as much as I do.

Happy Fall Ya’ll

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Hello cooler temps, pumpkins galore and football!  Pinch me, I must be dreaming, because when all those events begin to happen, that means we are in my favorite season of all…Autumn!

This also means, I get to wear my jeans and sweaters, make big pots of chili with a side of chips and queso and open my windows.  It also means going for long walks will actually be fun again.

It also means it’s time to get my Etsy shop stocked for the holidays, which leads to organizing my work space because it becomes a dumping ground in the summer months.  Custom orders begin to fill my inbox and since I like to make things really fun, we also have some renovating going on.

Why not do everything at once?  Makes life a real challenge and it also makes keeping a clean house next to impossible.  But ya know what I’ve learned?  A messy house is not so bad.  I’m either mellowing in my old age or I’ve just learned to be comfortable in the mess.   Probably a little of both.

Life at Rustique Art became a bit overwhelming about a year ago and had to take a step back.  Just a little back story, last year we had a daughter move out on her own, a son graduate high school and head out for college.  By this time last year, we were officially empty nesters.   We loved every single minute of it too.  You would assume that I would’ve jumped into my business with both feet, but this momma was tired.

Ever have those days where you just want to sit and stare at the walls, and listen to the silence?  That was me and still is.  But I’m slowly coming back to earth.  I can’t really say what it was, maybe I was a little blue, but I think I just needed a break.  So I pulled away from RustiqueArt…creating, marketing, blogging and even junking!

But a few weekends ago, I sat down at my work table and began to create again after a year off.  It was just as if I’d never left.  Hours flew by and I realized I was still in my pj’s and probably hadn’t eaten.  But oh what a time I had. My first beaded cross of the season was done.  Just a small one, but it felt great to play with all the wire and beads again.

Beaded Wire Cross

A few days later I received the sweetest email from a client requesting a custom design for a gift.  She had done her homework too, armed with a photo of another cross I had made a few years ago.  She knew I could not recreate that exact design but she wanted to know if I could get close.

I accepted the request and began to pull beads for her cross, it didn’t take long to realize I had to go shopping.  So off I go and three hours later I return with beads for the cross I was working on and more.   Can I just confess that self control around beads is not an easy thing for me.  But I was so good…I set a budget and stuck to it.

You have to see what I found…they are the cutest little owl beads, and I knew immediately what I wanted to make with them.

Owl Necklace

I added a bead chip at the bottom to make it look like he’s sitting on a branch, then added a little copper bead cap  and strung it on some leather.  He’s so cute!  and perfect to wear with jeans and a cozy sweater.

I put both in my Etsy shop last week, the cross sold pretty quick, which just made me want to make more, and the little Rustic Owl necklace will be a limited item for the fall.

The custom order was completed and shipped last week and I received an email from my client this afternoon;

Good Afternoon Cindi,

I just received my sister’s cross and I love it and am sure she will as well.  I especially love the beads with the roses on them and the little cross at the bottom.  Just little touches that make it so very special!
Thanks again so very much.  I can’t wait to see mine.  ~M 

Here is the cross she received…

8" Beaded Wire Cross

I’ll keep her name a secret since it is a gift.  And did you see that last line?  I get to make a cross for her too.  I love it, two orders in one day.

So I guess you could say that this fall season is off to a great start.  I’m knee deep in beads, wire and of course yarn.  I’m working on an afghan for Riley now.  She picked out some awesome colors and I found a great pattern, can’t wait to share it with you.

***

Fall is usually when some really great Bible studies are offered. A friend of mine wanted to know if I would join her in a women’s Bible study.  It’s over the book of Joshua, we are going into our third week and so far I’m keeping up with my reading and studies.  But I could use prayers for keeping on track.  Sometimes I get into a study and get lazy.  I really want to stay on task and finish strong this time.  Joshua is such a wonderful story and full of God’s promises coming to fruition.

***

And lastly the room redo…our laundry room is getting a makeover.  But I have to say, just cleaning it out made a HUGE difference.  Want to see how bad it was?  I’ll give you a sneak peek.

laundry room before

Oh my golly!  and this is the less cluttered area.  Our laundry room is a wonderful 9’x 9′ room, but for some reason I found it necessary to cram as much junk in that space as I could possibly fit.  When hubby and I were moving things out so we could paint, he kept asking me how I got so much stuff in there.  It’s just a gift, I replied =)

It’s really nice now, all painted and empty, can’t wait to show it off…..but I’ll save that for the next post.

peace. love. rust.

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Jake and Jack have been friends since kindergarten, since they were 5 years old!

jake and jack 2000

Now they are both 19 and in college.

jake and jack

Both of their birthdays are in June and 9 days apart.

What a pair!

My son Jake is up in Fayetteville, Arkansas. This is his second year there.  Jake is also a cheerleader, he is a Razorback through and through.  Go HOGS!!! WPS!

Razorback Cheerleaders

Jack is now attending Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, TX on a basketball scholarship.  He’s now a Lumberjack.

jack at sfa

Arkansas and SFA don’t compete against each other in football, but they do in basketball, so when that time comes, Jake will get to see Jack play for the Lumberjacks, and Jack can watch Jake toss girls into the air.

Jack’s family is from Illinois originally, they are Bears fans.  My husband, Jake’s daddy is from Wisconsin, so of course we are Packer fans.  We live in the same neighborhood and we love Jack and his family, despite the fact they follow the Bears.  It has been a fun rivalry for years.

When Jack graduated from high school this last June, I wanted to make him something special for his birthday and graduation.  I thought an afghan in his new school colors would be fun.  I ran the idea by Jake and he thought Jack would like that.  So I set out to find and simple crochet pattern since I’d never made anything as big as an afghan before.  Up until this point I had only crocheted dish clothes, or squares as Jake would say.

I found a tutorial on YouTube, which by the way is how I learned to crochet, via YouTube.  The tutorial was for the C2C afghan, or Corner 2 Corner, meaning that it would be square not rectangular.  You literally begin with one tiny square in the corner and work out from there.

There were times where I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew.  But I persisted…and crocheted in my sleep almost.

Two things I learned with this crochet project; it will be awhile before I do another C2C full sized afghan and purple is a hard color for me to photograph.
Sorry for the dark photos, if I were to lighten any more, the white and gray are washed out.

Afghan in Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack colors

This blanket had to be big because it has to cuddle with a 6’2″ SFA Lumberjack Basketball player.  When I laid it out on Jake’s bed to get the full effect of the stripping, I was amazed that it completely covered the entire top of his full bed.

Mission accomplished.

SFA Lumberjack Afghan

It turned out so much nicer than I had imagined it would.

Purple, Gray and White C2C Afghan

When I took Jack’s blanket down to him I was a little worried that he would feel uncomfortable, you know how it is?  Somebody gives you something and if by a small chance you don’t like it or it’s just not your cup of tea, you graciously smile and say thank you.

But there was only genuine appreciation for his handmade gift.  Either he really, really loves it, or he will win an Oscar.

All kidding aside, he did love it.  So did I and I am so glad I persevered, because there were times where this little project went untouched for days.

From the time I started this afghan, I started and finished a baby blanket for our nephew, another full sized afghan as a thank you gift for the family who let Jake stay with them a week in July,  and several other little projects.

All in all it took me 3 months to complete this afghan but now it’s done and hopefully making Jack feel cozy in his new dorm down at Stephen F. Austin.

SFA Afghan close up

While proof reading this post I begin to tear up, which turned into to full out cry.  They are all grown up now.  After all the soccer games, track, football, sleep overs, gaming until the wee hours of the night and silly things these two could dream up, I can’t help feel a little sentimental.

Now college, next careers, girl friends, marriage and babies some day.  Man my crochet hooks and knitting needles are gonna be smok’n!

peace. love. rust.

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With the fall season being right around the corner, I’ve already started experimenting with a variety of veggies and lean meats for some tasty new soups and stews for the cooler weather.

Oh but who am I kidding? I love soup anytime of the year, especially when I get last minute notice of guests for dinner and I quickly need enough food to feed more mouths.

Soups, Chilies and Stews are perfect for large gatherings because you can easily add hearty breads and salads as sides.

This Yellow Squash and Chicken Stew turned out wonderful.  With five to feed one evening and nothing planned or prepared for dinner, I needed something quick, filling and enough to feed a lot of people.  Confession: I buy veggies and forget they are in the fridge then often find them past their prime and have to toss them.  Man I hate to do that!   I had bought yellow squash and needed to get them cooked or they were doomed for the compost bin.  Knowing I had a abundance of canned chicken, a recipe began to take shape in my little head.

Scratch cooking is my all time favorite thing to do.  You know….gather ingredients then prepare something delish.  This is how the yummy recipe below came to be.  Follow my recipe loosely.  In other words, use things you have around the house if possible.  I only add the brand name of certain ingredients because that is what I had on hand.

Yellow Squash and Chicken Stew

Yellow Squash and Chicken Stew

2 quarts chicken broth

5 medium sized yellow squash (cubed)

1/2 large white onion (chopped)

4 –  (12.5oz) cans Kirkland’s Premium Chunk Chicken Breasts (do not drain)

2 – (4oz) cans diced green chilies

1 – (10oz) can Rotel Original

Cumin

Oregano

3 – cloves fresh Garlic (minced or chopped)

Seasoning salt (optional)

chopped green onion for garnish

optional additions:

 zucchini

black beans (rinsed)

sliced mushrooms

fresh Cilantro

green or red bell peppers

fresh jalapenos

In a large (5-6 qt) dutch oven prepare your chicken broth ( 2 quarts water with 6 tablespoons of “Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base”), you can buy this at Costco, or use any other chicken broth or stock to equal 2 quarts.

Bring chicken broth to simmer, add cubed yellow squash, chopped onion, garlic and spices. Sorry,  I don’t measure my spices, just season to taste or to your preference.

Simmer until squash is tender.  Add cans of chicken breast, including the water in the cans (use fork to separate chicken in the can before adding to stew), add green chilies and Rotel.

 While stew simmers for about 20 minutes, prepare a fresh green salad and warm up a nice crusty bread.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped green onions.

This recipe filled a 5 qt dutch oven to the top and it fed five people with a few of us going back for seconds and I still had a lot left over for lunch the next 2 days.

Yellow Squash and Chicken Stew2

Hubby and Riley’s beau gave a thumbs up!

I don’t know about your house, but in ours that means “make it again soon”

Hope you and your family enjoy this delicious recipe!

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