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Quick Craft - Lace Curtains to Pillowcases

Our living room throw pillows needed an upgrade. At $20-30 a pop, I wasn't about to buy two new ones, so I dug through my fabric stash and found an old lace curtain panel. Two cuts and four seams later I had a couple of gorgeous throw pillows.
Quick Craft -- Lace Curtains to Pillowcase
Here's how.
1 lace curtain panel
2 square pillow forms
straight pins
sewing machine
Quick Craft -- Lace Curtains to Pillowcase
Directions. Lay out your curtain panel on the floor and place your pillow on top of it to measure how much fabric to cut. If you have a removable slip cover on the pillow already, then remove it and use the cover as a guide. Cut the curtain widthwise, leaving a half an inch of seam allowance on the top and bottom edge.
Quick Craft -- Lace Curtains to Pillowcase
I made an envelope slip cover, but instead of the envelope being on the back side, like most throw pillows, it is on the front because the lace trim is already a finished edge and it looks so pretty overlapped.
Quick Craft -- Lace Curtains to Pillowcase
Lay your pillow on the long width of fabric and figure out how you want it to overlap. Fold one edge over the pillow and the other edge over. Mark where you folded and remove the pillow. Refold the lace and pin the raw edges in place.
Sew across both edges. Turn right side out and stuff your pillow inside. That's it! Repeat with second pillow.
Quick Craft -- Lace Curtains to PillowcaseQuick Craft -- Lace Curtains to PillowcaseQuick Craft -- Lace Curtains to Pillowcase
Questions? Leave me a comment!


Creamy Crock Pot Chicken

My son and I both had the day off (thanks Abe and George!) and by 1:30 p.m. I realized I hadn't taken any meat out of the freezer for dinner.
I've seen slow cooker recipes where you put frozen chicken right in with a bunch of other "cream of" somethings and cook the hell out of it and get some sort of slop. Yes, I wanted to make that, mainly because I didn't plan anything for dinner and I was way too lazy and tired to go to the store.
What I ended up with was just what most people describe on their "crock pot chicken" Pinterest posts -- easy, creamy and delicious!
The secret to my dinner's success was the homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup that I concocted because I didn't have a can of it in my pantry. I followed this basic recipe from Pinch Of Yum, but sautéed 2 cups of sliced baby portobello mushrooms and 1/2 an onion, finely chopped, with half a stick of butter before adding the stock and milk. I also added smoked paprika, thyme and oregano to the recipe. It yielded quite a bit of thick soup and was perfect for my crock pot concoction, which was loosely based on this recipe from Coersfamily.com.
Creamy Crock Pot Chicken | Alaska Knit Nat
Creamy Crock Pot Chicken
Serves about 4
What you'll need:
2-4 pieces frozen chicken (I used skinless thighs)
1.5 cups condensed cream of mushroom soup (or one can of the store bought stuff)
1 brick of cream cheese (I used neufchâtel)
1 bay leaf
1-2 potatoes, quartered
2 carrots, cut into large chunks
1 celery rib, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup dry egg noodles
1/2 cup chicken stock
Place your frozen chicken pieces in the slow cooker and surround it with the carrots, potatoes, celery and bay leaf. Pour over the cream of mushroom soup. Break up the cream cheese and add it to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. After a few hours, stir it and break up the chicken if you can.
Forty-five minutes before serving stir in the peas and egg noodles, making sure to coat them thoroughly. If it's already looking a bit thick, add 1/2 cup chicken stock. Cover and cook on high.
Remove bay leaf and roughly cut up carrots and potatoes before serving.
Savor the fact that your entire family should adore this meal that took little effort and zero defrosting.


Salmon Cheddar Grills -- A Quick and Healthy Snack

I was invited to test a recipe from Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's new e-cookbook, "Alaska Style -- Recipes for Kids," which is chock full of healthy snacks and meals for children and adults.
I've not cooked much with my 21-month-old son, but last week he did a great job of sprinkling cheese on some focaccia I was baking, so I knew he'd be able to assist in the salmon cheddar grills we whipped up for lunch. When I mentioned I would need his help in the kitchen, Jack explained to his dad, "Help mama make snack," so he knew something special was about to happen.
These salmon grills are perfect if you're introducing fish to your little picky eater as the fishy taste is almost completely disguised by the cheesiness. Jack eats just about anything so I knew they'd be a hit. They were easy to prepare and after a few minutes in the toaster oven we had lunch for two.
Salmon Cheddar Grills -- A Quick & Healthy Snack
Salmon Cheddar Grills
For the original recipe, check out the e-cookbook "Alaska Style -- Recipes for Kids"
1, 7.5-oz. can of wild Alaska salmon, pink or red
2 oz. light garlic and herb cheese spread (Alouette or Laughing Cow is good)
2 tsp. green onion or chive, finely chopped
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 English muffins or slices 0f rustic bread
Salmon Cheddar Grills -- A Quick & Healthy Snack
Drain the salmon and break it up with a fork in a mixing bowl. Add the cheese spread, green onions and half the cheese. Add pepper to taste. Mix well. Spread onto the bread and top with more cheddar. Place in the toaster oven or broiler till cheese is all bubbly. Enjoy!
Salmon Cheddar Grills -- A Quick & Healthy Snack
Salmon Cheddar Grills -- A Quick & Healthy Snack
For more great recipes and e-cookbooks, click here!
For more great recipes and e-cookbooks, click here!


Preemie Football Hat -- Free Pattern

My friend Laura asked me to make her new little one a tiny football hat. I was definitely up to the challenge. I was surprised how few knitted patterns there were floating around Pinterest. Most of the patterns are crochet, which can be made very quickly, but for a football hat I think knit has more room for detail.
This hat is so cute and teeny! It's based on a tiny Steelers hat I made Laura's second child a couple of years ago.
Preemie Football Hat -- Free Pattern | Alaska Knit Nat
Photo courtesy of www.laurastennetphotography.com
Red Heart Brand worsted yarn in white and brown
size 8 double pointed needles
darning needle
k1, p1 = knit one, purl one ribbing
k2tog = knit two stitches together
With your double pointed needles, cast on 56 stitches (14 stitches per needle) in brown. Join your work, being sure the stitches aren't twisted and k1, p1 rib for three rounds.
Knit two rounds regularly and switch to the white. No need to cut the brown yarn. Knit two rounds in white and cut leaving an 8-inch tail. Bring up the brown and knit 15 rounds. Knit two rounds white without cutting the brown. Cut the white leaving an 8-inch tail and knit one round in brown. Decrease as follows:
*k2tog, k6* Repeat * till end of round
K one round
*K2tog, k5*, repeat * till end of round
K one round
*K2tog, k4*, repeat * till end of round
K one round
*K2tog, k 3*, repeat * till end of round
K one round
*K2tog, k 2*, repeat * till end of round
K one round
*K2tog, k1*, repeat * till end of round
*K2tog*, repeat * till end of round.
Cut yarn leaving an 8-inch tail. Using a darning needle, weave in all ends.
For the football stitches, thread a darning needle with a 24-inch length of white yarn. On the front of the hat, whipstitch the vertical line using short diagonal stitches stacked on top of one another. Then run three wide stitches perpendicular to the vertical line. Tie off the yarn and weave in the end.
To make this hat for a newborn-3 month size, cast on 64 stitches and follow the same pattern.
Preemie Football Hat -- Free Pattern | Alaska Knit Nat


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