Monday, February 16, 2015

(Wo)Man Could Live by This Alone

Pinterest Picture
My mother-in-law, Donna, is a fabulous cook and is always trying new recipes. Growing up she regularly made homemade bread for the boys and they still talk about it to this day. Served with her navy beans - that homemade bread has become legendary! Oh boy, I'm suddenly hungry :)

My dad loved crusty bread. In fact he liked the crust way more than the soft, chewy inside. He liked to bite into a fresh loaf and crunch through that crust - you could actually hear it. He always talked about getting a really crusty loaf and hollowing out the middle, then stuffing it with butter and eating it just like that.

I too love a crusty loaf of good bread. And I've tried over the years to make homemade bread with varying degrees of success. I even had a breadmaker for a while, but eventually gave it away and went back to store-bought. All the kneading and mess and it never really came out great.

Well, this past week, I stumbled across a recipe on Pinterest called, "No Knead Dutch Oven Crusty Bread". It calls for a really quick mix of flour, salt, yeast and water and then a LONG resting time before baking it in a really hot cast iron dutch oven. The picture looked amazing and I thought, "Yeah right, mine won't look anything like that!" But I decided to give it a try and to amazement it came out perfectly. Crusty - oh yeah! Delicious and almost no effort! Absolutely no kneading and I got this amazingly beautiful loaf. This bread has changed my life. I can't imagine an easier and more perfect recipe. So if you haven't tried it yet - what are you waiting for?

Nailed It!

Find the recipe at:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Cabin Fever

We've had a bit of a hiatus here at the Three Strands blog - life got busy and we are all off in different directions. For the last few months here in the Midwest it's been snow, cold, snow, and more snow. We're all a little tired of it. It's supposed to hit the 40s next week so maybe some of this will melt off finally.

Cabin fever is in full swing. I've been spending more of my time reading and cooking things like soup and stew than I have on crochet, but I vow to get back to it soon. I posted a lovely baby blanket today that I finished on Etsy ( It's such a sweet little pattern, I knew I had to make it the moment I saw it. It was fairly simple too, just a little rosebud granny in 3 different colors, assembled in strips with a ruffly green border. So sweet! I wish we had a little girl in the family to give it to but all our babies are practically in their 20s now!

Hope you are all in fine spirits and staying warm.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

This Won't Take Long, Will It?

The answer to that in the Home Depot ad about the flower tower is:  No, it won't take long.  My husband doesn't accept that answer.  My niece made a flower tower for her mother for Mother's Day.  My husband looked at it and decided he would make one for me.  This is it.

He put red, white and blue petunias in it.  It needs to fill out a little more.  There are a few blank spots in it.  If we ever made another one, I think we might go with ground cover type flowers and put them a little closer together.  But since my husband says he will never make another one I guess I don't have to worry about what flowers to use.  It was very nice of him to make this one.

I got a cortizone shot in my wrist and thankfully most of the pain is gone and I am trying to do some crocheting.  I finished the cupcake pot holders that I was working on.  Here is a picture of them.

What do you think?  Do they look enough like cupcakes?

I am now working on a ruffled scarf for my sister-in-law.  I will post it when I am finished.  I am trying to decide what to work on next.  I have several unfinished projects that need completing.  There is also a pair of patriotic baby booties I want to try.  I have the yarn for a baby afghan and I want to try making a baby dress.  What will it be?  Decisions, decisions! 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Crocheting

I've been MIA for quite a while.  One of the reasons is that I've done very little crocheting since January.  I hurt my arm and I wasn't able to do much crocheting. Therefore I don't have much to talk about and nothing to brag about.  I have so many things I want to crochet but I can't.  The arm is getting better so I can crochet a little now but only for short periods.  I have only crocheted two baby afghans for a charity project, four hanging towels, four dishcloths, four pot holders since January.  Pathetic, isn't it?
This set if for Halloween and is for sale in our Etsy store.

This set is for Halloween and is for sale in our Etsy store.  I think my Jack o'lanterns are kind of cute..

This set is for Thanksgiving and is for sale in our Etsy store.  Does my pot holder look like a turkey?

This set is for Thanksgiving and is for sale in our Etsy shop.  The dishcloth and pot holder are supposed to be pumpkin pies.

I am in the process of making a set of pot holders shaped like cupcakes for a friend of mine.  Hopefully I can get back into some larger projects soon.  I am in withdrawal here!  I need that hook in my hand.  At least I can still read as much as I want.

Monday, May 13, 2013

WIP ~ Scrap Heart Blanket and Grapevine Basket

by Kelly

I've been so interested in the garden blooming around me that I haven't done much crafting lately. But with all that grapevine all around, I've been inspired again. After making about six simple wreaths, I decided to branch out into something more challenging - basket making.

I've never made a basket in my life, but the all mighty Internet showed me the way. It actually doesn't seem too hard, if you know who to weave things together. I'm flashing back to Kindergarten, where I learned basic weaving techniques with large pieces of green and white construction paper. I wonder whatever happened to that 'basket' I made back then? I fear my mom might still have it, tucked away somewhere. Moms are like that.

While I'm learning how to weave grapevine baskets, I've also gone back to a crochet blanket pattern that I've been eyeing for some time.

It's called the Rainbow and Hearts Blanket, and the free pattern is here. The hardest part is hiding the stray ends around the hearts, but Bethany is happy to share her technique in the pattern. Thanks, so much, Bethany!

But even with all this crafting going on, I still have some gardening on the agenda. For example, I have to go weed my own garden, although that might have to wait until tomorrow. Today is lawn mowing day. Since we have almost two acres here, that's no light chore. My husband and I are currently tag teaming it around our work schedules.

I think I enjoy it more than he does. There are any number of flowers that I can admire in passing, but he doesn't have a computer or radio attached to the mower.

Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that possibility...

Friday, May 10, 2013

When Life Hands you Grapevine

by Kelly

One of the things I like about this garden is the sheer photogenic quality of it. No matter where I look, there is something interesting or unique. The best part is, I think a lot of this is accidental. It doesn't have that overly orchestrated feel of a garden that was plotted out on paper before planting.

Did I mention we have grapevines? Well grapevines have to be pruned every year. The end result of that is better grapes...and a ton of grapevine, perfect for baskets, wreaths and other crafty purposes.

What you see here, piled up on the picnic table, is only a small fraction of the amount I have available.

I need to add a little to those wreaths, but I kind of got distracted by some other possibilities:

via Makeitandloveit

via FabyouBliss
And the best part is, I have SO MUCH grapevine that it doesn't matter if I make some mistakes along the way. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Flower Pictures and Craft Links

by Kelly

Sorry for the delay in posting - we were experiencing technical difficulties.
As in the pictures wouldn't go into Blogger for some reason. And yeah, I could have done a text only post, but what fun would that be? I love playing with our camera.

Thinking of spring but don't have flowers yet? Check out the amazing pop-up cards I stumbled across on Extreme Cards and Papercrafting.

Window box cards

Make a pop-up card for someone. Or just for yourself! Don't worry, it might look intimidating, but she offers free lessons and how-to's on her blog.

For butterfly pop-ups, check here and here.

If anyone can identify the bush in that picture above, please let me know in the comments. This grows out by my mom's house, and I want one for my garden. The flowers don't have any scent, and grow in small clusters. The leaves are oval and alternate, and red berries show up in the fall. I thought it might be a chokeberry, but the stamens on the bush above are yellow, not red. Maybe it's a cultivar? But the flowers of the chokeberry aren't shaped quite right either...

Speaking of flowers you can't identify, check out these that my husband surprised me with:

I love them! And he even took the trouble to arrange them in a perfect rainbow. That's my guy - a perfectionist artist even when he's putting flowers in a vase. I usually just cut the stems and shove them in the water. If I'm feeling especially inspired, I'll make sure all the tall ones are in the center.

Anyway, I'm off to do some lawn-mowing, weeding and other gardening type stuff. Yay for spring!
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