Thursday, February 28, 2013


It's been a bit of a slow process as I learn how to post and share recipes, but I did add three more today on my lunch break!  Be sure to keep checking back to the RECIPES tab on the top of the page - I hope you'll find something fun to make.

Also, don't forget that you have until 11:59 p.m. TONIGHT to enter for a chance to win my "Irish Pride Cowl"!
You actually have 4 chances to win, so make sure you've done all that you can to improve your chances - and pass it on to someone you know :-)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Cooking with Crafty Holly Louise

In an attempt to make the recipes that I share a bit easier for everyone to locate, you’ll see that I’ve added a RECIPES tab to the top of my blog.  I hope that you’ll be patient with me as I figure out the best way to share my favorite recipes with you (both old and new).  Please feel free to leave me a comment if you have any tips/suggestions – I’m always open to good ideas!

I’m starting out my “official” recipe-sharing with yesterday’s dinner; which we enjoyed with good friends.  I’ll apologize right now for the lack of pictures in this cooking post.  My itty-bitty kitchen was still “pre-scrub down” when I was prepping, and by the time the soup was ready, I was too hungry to think to take a “final product” shot!

Using my crockpot during the week always seems [in theory] like such a great way to make dinner on a week night, until I remember that it requires either morning prep before work, or evening prep the night before (and enough room in my fridge for my crockpot sleeve overnight)!  This basically means that my crockpot rarely gets used, and if it does, it’s on the weekend.

Anyway – I love creamy potato soup!  This recipe was easily made Gluten-free, and very easily adjusted to accommodate a vegetarian friend!  This was my first time using this recipe, so I really have no idea how differently it would taste with chicken stock and cream of chicken soup.  Honestly, it tasted so good the way I made it last night that I really have no desire to try!  I love that this is now a vegetarian meal – bacon’s a vegetable right?

The one thing that I will try next time is using some milk and cornstarch to thicken it up instead of cream cheese.  I think it’ll be just as tasty without the full-fat cream cheese (required to melt properly), and a bit less rich.  I’m going to put cheese on top of my bowl in the end regardless, so adding that much to the soup as well just doesn’t seem necessary in my book!  I’ll try to remember to do an update the next time I make this soup with the cream cheese substitution, and let you all know how it works out!

Crock-Pot Potato Soup

1 30 oz. bag of frozen, shredded hash browns
5¼ cups chicken or vegetable stock (or three 14 oz. cans)
1 can cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup
½ cup onion, chopped
1 T garlic powder
1 T dry dill
¼ tsp. each salt and black pepper
1 pkg cream cheese (not fat free, it won’t melt)

Combine everything in Crock-Pot, except cream cheese.  Cook for 6-8 hours on low heat.  About 1 hour before serving, add cream cheese and keep heated until thoroughly melted.  Dish soup, and top with shredded Cheddar and crispy bacon.

(Recipe adapted from Cara of

Did everyone watch the Oscar’s last night?  We “watched”, but a napped halfway through, and definitely didn’t make it till the end of the evening (5 a.m. comes waaaay too quickly at my house!)  I haven’t seen any of the movies that were nominated (other than Brave), so I really watch the same way we watch the Super Bowl – not because we’re football fans, but because it’s the Super Bowl, so you watch!

Of course, there HAD to be Oscar crocheting!  I just got a new mill-ends of cotton yarn on Saturday that was screaming “Make pot-holders and matching dish cloths out of me!!, please”  So I followed orders:

Who did you think was best dressed?  Of what I saw of the Red Carpet, Kerry Washington’s dress was my favorite!

Don’t forget about my GIVE-AWAY and all the ways that you can enter to win!  Spread the word too – you have until Thursday, February 28th at 11:59 p.m. to enter for a chance at being “most-fashionable” this St. Patrick’s Day!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

GIVE-AWAY Announcement!

I’ve wanted to do a give-away for a while now; probably for about a year the more I think about it!  Last spring I put a reminder on my calendar to do something on my “Blog-a-versary” in August, but it came and went without the time for me to be really serious and do something special.  Now, I could wait until this August and do something BIG for my 5-year Blogging Anniversary, but I don’t wanna  ;-)

So, ATTENTION family, friends & crafty bloggers:

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2013 in style with this Granny Cowl with Cream Rose!!!  It’s the perfect way to show your Irish pride this spring, and for years to come!  This cowl was made by yours truly using 100% Acrylic yarn in a smoke-free, pet-free environment.  And, I speak from experience when I say that you’ll LOVE wearing this crafty accessory!


To enter to win, simply leave a comment on this post and answer one of the following questions:

“What’s your favorite way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?”

                                     - or -

“Why are you most looking forward to SPRING?”

You can receive up to THREE additional entries to win by doing the following:

1.  Become a follower of my blog; leave an additional comment on this post letting me know you’re now a follower of Crafty Holly Louise

3.  Add my ETSY Shop to your favorites; leave an additional comment on this post letting me know that Crafty Holly Louise is now one of your favorites

4.  Share my give-away on your blog, linking back to this post; leave an additional comment on this post with the link to your post

Deadline:  Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 11:59 p.m.

Winner:  The winner will be announced on Friday, March 1, 2013.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be selected.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Holiday Weekends

I hope that everyone is enjoying their long, holiday weekend! To me, three-day weekends mostly mean one extra day of uninterrupted crocheting and crafting!!

Jonathan and I are in WNY visiting family. Sadly we have to head back to MD later today, but as always it's nice to be home (and it's an added bonus to even have some snow!)

Just a quick hi to my blog friends this morning, and an exciting preview for an upcoming announcement:

Please check back later this week for my first blog giveaway!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Inaugural / Valentine's Crocheting

My Inauguration Day crocheting last month was fueled by my desire to get some Valentine’s Day packages sent out prior to Valentine’s Day.  I had also finally taken down my Christmas tree and decorations late that Sunday night, and decorated for Valentine’s at the same time (yes, I was a bit of as mad-woman that night – I have my moments).  By Monday, I was just in the mood for MORE HEARTS around the apartment!

For those of you who don’t know, in 2009, Jonathan and I had tickets for the Inauguration, and were lucky enough to stand [in the freezing cold] on the Capitol lawn and watch history being made LIVE.  That weekend 4 years ago, Jonathan had also just returned from a 2-week trip to China so between the jet leg, and how bitter COLD it was, there was NO WAY I was getting him to stand outside again in 2013!  Since 2009 I have changed jobs, and I now work right on Pennsylvania Ave – along the parade route.  Coming downtown and watching the parade from my building was an option, but neither of us were 100% sold on the idea of dealing with public transportation (couldn’t park in my building that day)/security/waiting around all day.  So, instead, from the comfort of our warm apartment, we invited our friends over for brunch!

 This is right outside my office building.  President Obama is looking up into what I can only assume is my office suite (we’re on the 2nd & 3rd floor). 

This is what I’d call “the lazy girls way to document history” – a photograph of my television!  I hope you are more impressed with the pictures from 2009 that I linked back to above.

Anyway, the entirety of January 21, 2013 was spent on the couch, in sweats, watching another big day in America’s history.  Sounds to me like the perfect conditions for some serious crocheting ;-)

By the end of the day, as the parade was finally winding down, I had this:

Thanks to Pammy Sue for the inspiration and Lucy for the pattern
I just LOVE these!!

After inspiration had struck weeks prior, I was in AC Moore while the front of the store was overly saturated with the smell of Roses thanks to those $1 pouches of home scent/potpourri stuff.  I picked up a couple pouches with these hearts in mind, and when I stuffed the hearts I just added a little bit of the potpourri throughout the batting.  Each heart has a lovely rose smell now too!  I doubt these will go away with my Valentine’s Day decorations (this year at least) – they’re just too cute

Besides, we all know how I feel about ROSES these days ;-)

*Side Note*  The weather in DC was incredibly spring-like on Tuesday afternoon of this week.  After a lunchtime doctor’s appointment, I decided to walk back to the office (Metro trains run less frequently in the middle of the day, so if I get a good pace going, I can usually walk from the “doctor offices corridor” back to 1001 Penn in the same about of time!)  I made a point to swing by the White House on the last of my walk and snap a couple of pictures. 

I leave you with shots of the White House with the least amount of tourists I’ve ever seen in this location, and what’s left of the Presidential viewing stand that the Obama’s and other lucky guests used to watch the Inauguration Parade.

Monday, February 11, 2013

You'll be Swell, You'll be Great!

Growing up, I remember my Grannie having a small pewter hanging in her kitchen that read “take time to smell the roses”.  I seem to recall asking her about this one day as it made little sense to my pre-adolescent self.  I believe she told me that it was a retirement gift (I’m sure she’ll correct me if I’m wrong once she’s read this – Hi Grannie J)  Looking back, I believe that at age 10, the thought of needing to take time to smell roses seems like a silly thing to make time for.  To me, this probably seemed like nothing more a nonsensical way of getting closer to a bee than was truly needed.

I’ve known the words to “Everything Coming up Roses” for as long as I can remember.  It’s actually been stuck in my head all day today.  The lyrics and melody lift my spirits as they conjure up memories of my childhood, and make me stop and think about what will, hopefully, be a bright future (at a time where my life is filled with the kind of upcoming changes that lately, seem to fill me with anxiety.)

Does anyone else find roses to be as romantic as I do?  They’ve always been my favorite – whether as flowers given to me after a show in my childhood; or adolescent, romantic daydreams of “Prince Charming” bringing home flowers. 

I even carried roses on my Wedding Day.

“Where’s the crafty tie-in!” you ask?

Well, my Sunday started with me finishing up a new cowl.  I saw pictures of this great cowl at MaybeMatilda back in the fall, and was convinced that I could figure out the pattern on my own…..THINK  AGAIN,  HOLLY.  I tried variations of what I thought Rachel may have done for a couple of Christmas gifts; but it was a complete struggle of trial and error, cursing, and frogging.  The two Christmas gifts were completely different when finished and I didn’t 100% love either version as a long term pattern for my use.  My penny-pinching self held out though (sorry Rachel!), and I believe that I have finally figured out the correct combination of base chain, “infinity crocheting”, hook, and number of rounds to create something very similar to what I first fell in love with last fall.

 If my counting is accurate, I do believe mine is 5-8 rows wider than Rachel’s, but I.LOVE.IT.  Now that I have my own chicken scratch notes to go off of, I look forward to make one again in the near future – I mean who wants to try and make something again if you can’t consistently make it the same each time?

“What's the big deal with the roses you yammered on about 2 pages ago!” you ask?

Well they started out here on my new cowl (that’s right, I’m keeping this baby for myself!).  I used a different rose pattern on the cowls I made at Christmas.  These roses turned out pretty, but were 3x more time consuming to make and weighed about 5x more than the one does!

Once I found THIS pattern, and I played around a bit with different hooks and one vs. two strands of yarn; they became (just as Lucy warned….)

VERY addicting!

For anyone who is curious, I’ve settled on 2 strands of worsted weight yarn and my trusty Susan Bates “L” hook.  The one on my cowl was made with my favorite “K”hook and measures about ~3” across while the ones I now prefer with the larger hook are ~3.75” across.  Now you know!

There’s 15 of them sitting there.  I made all of them last night. Someone I still need to go through and sew them, etc. [which I’ll likely hate every second of], but I just LOVE them!


Can’t wait to see what I decide to do with them all ;-)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Super Bowl Sunday!

I have started, and saved more half-finished posts than ever before, including:
  • Christmas gifts (now that I've gifted all of them)
  • Inaugural/Valentine’s crocheting
  • Custom Orders
  • Baby Blankets
  • PINK
It would probably make the most sense for me to FINISH the posts I’ve started before writing something new.  Yet here I am writing and posting about my Super Bowl crocheting instead!

Anyone who knows us knows that Jonathan and I are not “football people” (we’re more, West Wing, Downton Abby, Harry Potter, Disney World people!)  For those of you who don’t know us personally, my lack of discussion regarding, basically all sports should have been your first clue J

On that note, we do typically watch the Super Bowl every year.  Mostly for the commercials and Halftime Show.  Usually by kickoff we’ve selected which of the teams we plan to root for as well (it’s been a looooooooooooooong time since the Bills made it to the Super Bowl so each year we pick our favorite of the “last two standing”)

This year Jonathan and I were both rooting for Baltimore (yea Ravens!!)  My Uncle Warren lived in Baltimore for ~35 years and I used to visit with my family each spring.  Jonathan and I also just marked our 8th Anniversary of living in DC – just one hour away (depending on the traffic!) from Baltimore. Add into the mix that Jonathan is current student teaching in Columbia, Maryland; about halfway between DC and Baltimore.  From the sounds of it last week, he’s in the middle of “Ravens country” and everyone was very excited for their team to be in the Super Bowl.  It goes without saying that Jonathan wore purple to work both Friday and today.

To me, the Super Bowl also means two other things:
Fun foods that we usually don’t eat
It’s time to pick my “Super Bowl craft”

First, the food.  I found this recipe online quite a few weeks ago, and thankfully cauliflower seems to have good staying power in the fridge (at least this cauliflower did!), cause it’s taken us a few weeks more to make it!  I’ve even seen a few FB friends making something similar since I originally found the recipe.  No, it’s not the same as wings, but it was sooooooooooo yummy on its own that I definitely did NOT care.    You really can’t go wrong with anything covered in Frank’s and blue cheese, right?  Jonathan even declared (through my Instagram-filtered FB uploaded picture) that “he would only be eating vegetables in buffalo wing form from now on.”  I’m [fairly] certain he was joking ;-) Definitely will be making this again!

For the crafting, I had planned to start a new “Super Bowl project” for the night – I was thinking of a new pattern that would be great for custom orders/ETSY.  I picked up my current order to just work on for a bit before kickoff….then, once I realized that I was crocheting purple, I felt that I would be jinxing things to put it down!  Here’s my progress as of this morning:

I realized last night that I can’t crochet as quickly during the Super Bowl as I can during other TV – you actually want to watch the commercials!!  Even if we’re using our Roku or watching a movie, it doesn’t require me to look at the screen as frequently as football and Super Bowl commercials!

Speaking of Super Bowl commercials – what was everyone’s favorite(s)?  I did not think there were as many good/funny ones as in years past (I still have the Go Daddy one burned onto my retinas…not funny – painfully gross), but did giggle throughout following:

I fell asleep at the end of the 3rd quarter, waking up with 5:30 left of the 4th quarter, so I missed this next one last night.  They showed it on the Today show this morning as one of the top 5, and while it seemed little long during the recap, by the end I found it hilarious!!

Leave me a comment if I’m missing a good one, or let me know if you agree!

Lastly, I have to make a quick comment about the power outage….I mean come on, I really thought all GREAT nights included a power outage!!!

If only we had the manpower of the NFL fixing our power outage on August 6, 2011!

NAH, I wouldn't really change that night for the world!