Jun 29, 2012

A Rose By Any Other Name...

...Would be just 2kute. A crafter with various loves, she has focused on her crochet and even in designing her own patterns. Let her tell  you her story.

Cozy Corner Crochets: What are the names and addresses of your Pages, Blogs, and/or Shops
Rose Kute: 2kutekreations, also known as 2kute

CCC: What is your primary craft

RK: Crochet
CCC: What materials do you work with
RK: I work with organic natural fibers such as cotton, wool, bamboo. I do also work with acrylic.

CCC: How did you get started and where do you see yourself headed
RK: Back in 2004 I was bedridden due to chronic illnesses and a stroke. I was bored out of my mind, unable to do much of anything. I started to watch the HGTV channel---at the time they showed Carol Duvall show. She got me inspired. I started making cards, then decided to teach myself to crochet. In 2008 my children talked me into opening an online shop.
I want to expand, have more ready to ship items. I am an one woman business so there’s only so much I can do. I hope I can do some craft fairs when I move to NC.

How to Make a Basic Red Chile Sauce

June 29 --Write a "How To" post

I think I had promised someone to
 post my recipe for making red chile sauce. In New Mexico, we use this on everything, from enchiladas to eggs.

I came from South Texas where red sauce consisted of a can of Hormel Chili. Notice that "chili" and "chile" are two different words with different meanings. They are not interchangeable. Chile refers to the plant that the peppers come from.

Green chile is usually fresh, then roasted in a large rotating basket over a propane burner. You can also roast a few at a time on your grill or even in the oven. Ummm, nothing says fall like the smell of chiles roasting. Many people buy them in 40lb bags. They take them home after they're roasted, sort them into freezer bags and pop them into the freezer. Some people take the time to peel and chop the chiles before freezing them. Not me---too much work for one sitting. I actually get only a few at a time and roast them myself. I also buy them already chopped and frozen.

Red chile comes from the same plant as the green. They've just been left to ripen and dried. You can buy whole, dried chiles in bags to use over the season. People also tie the drying chiles into ristras, a staggered grouping of chiles that hang from the ceiling where they can be accessed throughout the year. These are quite expensive, but people love them to use as decorations, especially tourists. Red chile can also be purchased crushed or powdered.

When we speak of chile-with-an-E powder, it is pure dried red chiles. Chili powder most commonly sold in stores is chile plus other spices such as cominos (cumin), oregano, garlic, and salt. It is often used to make chili con carne (like Hormel or Wolf) with or without beans. Aficionados of Texas chili con carne says beans or tomatoes are not to be included. To my mother, enchiladas are covered with chili con carne. Not here. We top them with the red sauce made from the red chiles.

This recipe is not my own, but it is the one I use. It comes from a little booklet called License to Cook New Mexico Style and is "collected by the members of the New Mexico Federation of Business and Professional Women" from across New Mexico.

Red Chile  Sauce

1 clove garlic, minced
3 TBS olive oil or lard
2 TBS flour
1/2 cup ground red chile
2 cups water
about 1/4 tsp salt

Saute garlic in oil. Blend in flour; add chile powder and blend. (Don't let pan get too hot as chile will burn.) Blend in water and cook to desired consistency. Add salt to taste. Store in refrigerator or freezer.

Disfrute de su comida

Note: all photos are slurped from the internet

Summer Blog Challenge 22-28

I don't know what happened to last week, but it is  l o n g   g o n e. I'm not even sure if I was around when it zipped in and out. This is what I missed out on for blogging last week.

June 22-- When I was a kid, what did I want to be when I grew up?
June 23--Favorite Blog Post you've written before this challenge.
June 24--Favorite eco-friendly thing to do.
June 25--Ideal day of "me time".
June 26-- What does your significant other do that makes your heart melt?
June 27--What's the best gift you've ever received?
June 28--How do you do your laundry?? Give your laundry tricks.

22: Easy, an astronaut. Ask me how many women astronauts there were, and I'll tell you. None. So what made me think that I could be an astronaut? Go figure. It's like my favorite birthday gift was my chemistry set. I would sit under the oleanders and make purple stuff and smelly stuff. I don't remember what it was, but it was fun. Dolls? Nah. Bicycles and climbing trees. Yay! I also wanted to be a veterinarian, but the school cost too much money. So what did I end up becoming? One of the few female dominated occupations of the time--a nurse. And I loved it. I loved nurturing and teaching and caring for people. I still do even though I can't work any more. And now they have female astronauts.

23: Easy, my first one. Because it got me started writing again. The first post is boring and has no pictures; the content is irrelevant to anyone but me. But I wrote it.

Jun 28, 2012

Another Wasted Day? No More.

Every  morning I get up with the intention of spending more time on my crochet and less time on the internet. But it calls to me like a chocolate bar---I'll just take a little bite. I'll just read the emails that are business related. Wait, that email directs me to a BNS, and that means checking out all the featured shops. What's the point, I don't have any money to spend. Go back to reading email. While I'm on Etsy, I'll check out the activity. Another waste of time because I got redirected to two more BNSes. Well, I might as well check Facebook. I'll check on family, read the notifications, check the business page. Don't you know, Facebook still hasn't gotten my newsfeed fixed! Take a screen shot, fill out another report, complain about it in a status update.

Where did the time go? I haven't even brushed my teeth! What have I accomplished? Am I any closer to making sales? I don't have enough inventory to attract sellers. I know this in my head. I'm afraid I'm going to miss out on something. Someone is going to have a dialogue that may be interesting or relevant.

I have a plan. It is obvious I don't have the strength to resist the pull of the internet. In my morning devotions today, I read, "The Lord is my strength." I have experienced the result of asking God for strength. When my husband broke his leg, I needed God's strength to take care of him and to pick up his responsibilities since he was non-weight-bearing. I relied on God's strength to care for my mother when she was ill. Now, I'm going to rely on His strength to balance my work life.

By admitting my weakness and releasing my grip on the thought that I can do it myself, I relinquish my pride. Pride is my greatest downfall. I said I had a plan, but it is not my plan after all. I haven't used all the resources that are available to me.

"The God of Israel gives power and strength to His people. Praise be to God." (Psalm 68:35)

Jun 26, 2012

Win Bernat Yarn on AllFree Crochet

I am enamored with this Bernat Mosaic Yarn. The color changes just flow one into another. I've seen various items knit with this yarn, and if I win this giveaway, I am going to crochet something gorgeous. Maybe a shawl---what's new, I always crochet shawls when I'm not crocheting Mug Hugs or Yoga Socks. Or I could do three scarves or cowls. Cowls are so popular these days. Christmas is coming...

If you are interested in entering this giveaway, it is posted on AllFree Crochet. You can enter once a day. I'd wish you "Good Luck", he he, but I want to win! All in fun.

Jun 20, 2012

Star Stitch Mug Hug

I plan to write up a pattern for the Star Stitch Mug Hug, but for now, let share with you some of the basic steps.

I use the magic loop for starting my Hugs. Once you get the hang of it, it is easy to use. I'm never going back to making loops with chains.

After the bottom is completed, start on the star stitch rows. Begin by pulling up a loop in the next three stiches

Jun 17, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge 15, 16, 17

Day 15, 16, and 17  Post a photo you took that you're proud of, Fitness guru or couch potato? Talk about your fitness habits, 3 things you are proud of about your personality.

No beating around the bush here, I am sadly behind on my challenge. So this will be short and sweet.

I enjoy taking nature photos, so I looked at three possibilities. I like this one for the colors. The other pictures were one of a Cooper's hawk taking off out of my yard with a pigeon or a male American Goldfinch in my sunflowers. This is a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly on the Valerian in my butterfly garden.

Couch potato...my fitness habits consist of getting out of bed in the morning. I blame my lack of fitness habits on my fibromyalgia, because I used to be fit. And before you start lecturing me on how much better I would feel if I just exercise, let me ask you this. When you had that flu last year and all you wanted to do was lay around with a pillow over your head, did you want to exercise? Well that's how I feel every day, some worse than others. Day in. Day out. 365.

Personality-wise, I'm compassionate, forgiving, and nurturing. Sadly, I sometimes think my good aspects are outweighed by the negative ones, like procrastination, or being over-reactive, impulsive, undisciplined, and so forth. It's hard being me, and it's even harder living with me.

But I'm very proud of my strong points. You don't find too many forgiving people around these days. Everyone is honking at each other and shaking their fists as they drive. People push you out of the way to get the best seat. I had that happen to me even when I was walking with a walker. I say, slow down, and live and let live.

Jun 15, 2012

You Have Found The Perfect Knot

Meet Michelle, and let her tell you her story behind The Perfect Knot Crochet and More.

Cozy Corner Crochets: What are the names and addresses of your Pages, Blogs, and/or Shops 

The Perfect Knot Crochet & More: I can be found here

Facebook Fan Page

CCC:  What is your primary craft
TPK:  Crochet & beading currently, but I’ve always been into crafting ever since I was a kid. I could just pick something up & start messing with it to create something else.

CCC:  What materials do you work with
TPK:  For my crochet I work with thread, yarn, alternative fibers, & pretty much anything I can bend around the hook to crochet with. For my beading, I use seed beads, bugle beads, gems & pretty much anything I can either string or sew together.

CCC:  How did you get started and where do you see yourself headed
TPK:  I started crocheting when I was a child. My grandmother taught me how when I was about six or seven years old. She taught me the basics, & then as I got older, I learned more on my own. When I was about 12 or so I, started coming up with my own designs & creating my own projects. I am however just recently starting to publish my own patterns & designs for others to enjoy.
I actually only started my business a little over a month ago, & it pretty much came about because a friend asked me to make her some bracelets. She paid me to do it & she really encouraged me to pursue it further & turn it into a small business.

It’s been a good thing for me because it helps me fill some of my down time. I care for my mom who has Alzheimer’s 24/7, & she sleeps a lot but cannot be left alone no matter what. So I crochet or bead in the in-between times when she doesn’t need my assistance.

As for where I see it going, I’m not exactly sure, but I am leaving that up to God for Him to help direct me as to where to take it. I like having my business online because I can just work on what I can in my spare time, take a picture, & post the completed project or pattern for someone else to purchase when they want to. It’s nice this way for now because it allows me to do what I love but still be able to care for my family.

Jun 10, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge Day 10

Day 10 What famous piece of artwork would I like to own

It has been a long time since I considered any really famous artwork. I've been to some museums to look at art, but not with the eye of owning any. I did buy a little print of an O'Keefe work a year or so ago.

I don't think I'm a Rembrandt kind of gal. Besides, have you seen how enormous some of his paintings are. If I'm going with enormous, I'll take The Thinker by Rodin. Wouldn't he look nice on my porch.

Now, I'm not saying I would turn down a Monet or Pollock, if it were given to me.

I wouldn't mind a van Gogh on my wall either. Maybe there was a time in my life when I thought about these things, but I can't remember. Just give me the money instead so I can buy a horse.

ETA: this post was updated on 6/30 to include photos slurped from the net.

Jun 9, 2012

Hats off to Sophies Hats

Sophies Hats is a very busy and productive shop. The owner works tirelessly to make her items and promote them. I've watched as hats flew out the store due to her efforts in designing, crocheting and promoting her hats. Let her tell you the story.

Cozy Corner Crochets: What are the names and addresses of your Pages, Blogs, and/or  Shops

Sophies Hats:            

CCC: What is your primary craft

SH: I hand crochet hats which have a vintage style to them. Each hat is created out of pure inspiration, no patterns are ever used.

Jun 8, 2012

Nurture or Guilt

What's the Word June 8--intermittent

I feel swell. I got my lab test done that has taken me eight weeks to get scheduled. Then I made it to the first official meeting of the Duke City Hookers. It has taken a lot of soul searching on my part to come to this point with the crochet group. 

You see, I have fibromyalgia, and getting things done takes supreme effort. I already organize the Albuquerque FibroFriends Community, a fibromyalgia meetup, the ABQ Cribbage Meetup, and attend several knitting/crochet groups on an intermittent basis. Now, I'm also trying to sell my crochet designs on Etsy, run a Facebook page and this blog. What was I thinking of by starting a new group?

Summer Blog Challenge Day 8

Day 8 Other than blogging, what is my guilty pleasure.

I started not to write on this one because I don't consider writing my blog to be very pleasurable. It's more of a chore that has to get done. At least a lot of the time.

You have to think of a relevant topic, find pictures, and put it all together. I'd rather just write what pops in my head, which most of you could care less about. I'm not trying to be snobby, but my thoughts just aren't that interesting. I have to work hard to come up with a post that is topical and fresh. When you are trying to compete with Attic24, and others like her, it is hard to get the motivation.

And besides that, none of my pleasures are worthy of producing guilt. I get enough guilt from reality, so I escape into my pleasures: caring for my chickens, eating a whole dark chocolate (85%) bar myself, crocheting on the sofa while my husband watches dreadful shows on TV, shopping with my daughter, going for coffee with my friends, drinking wine out of take-along water bottles, and more. Here lately though, I feel guilty when I get caught playing games on my Kindle in the middle of the night. I guess that counts.

Jun 7, 2012

Who Am I as a Blogger

AKA: Blogger.com is giving me fits

What's the Word June 7---polka dot

My poor blog followers, all one of ya, must think I'm schizophrenic. Don't feel alone, most people think that of me. I bet you're wondering, "How many times is this woman going to change the appearance of her blog!" I really don't mean to mess with your heads, but you know what, Blogger is messing with mine.

When I first started my blog, I had this cutesy picket fence background. Or wait, did I start first with the zen garden background? Maybe this is a sign of me not knowing who I am when I blog, or knowing what audience I want to reach, or what I'm going to emphasize. I'm on my 22nd blog, and I still can't answer those questions. Who am I as a blogger?

Picket fences portray an image of "hearth and home". Is that what I wanted?

Summer Blog Challenge Day 7

Day 7 Post a picture of something that makes you happy.

Just about everything I've posted so far makes me happy, especially the dead cockroach.
All kidding aside, unless I die and go to heaven before I finish this post, nothing makes my heart swell like the sight of my children. My family, my friends, my activities---all those bring me happiness, it's true. There's just something about a child.

Molly with her dog Peanut in the Gulf of Mexico at Port Aransas, TX. March 2012.

Colin, in the red shirt, clowning around at his cousin's wedding in Kansas. April, 2012.

Jun 5, 2012

The Chicken or the Egg

(What's the Word June 5---Fusion)

I have kept a few hens in the backyard for 15 years or so. They are not only fun to watch, but they provide us with fresh eggs. In the Spring, there are usually more eggs than we can eat, so I'll sell some cartons to people I know. Many people will pay decent money for fresh eggs, but the few dollars I get doesn't even begin to cover the expense of raising them.

This year we had something special happen. Our neighbor's rooster decided he liked our backyard better than his own, and since no one could catch him---not even the dog---we let him stay. All my hens have names. His name is Rooster.

Day 1
Rooster did what roosters do, and surprise, we now have one very adorable chick. Funny thing about hens, though, is they sometimes set on a nest with no eggs. This is called brooding. Opal was being broody, while Rocky was getting all the action, if you know what I mean. So I stole one of Rocky's eggs and stuck it under Opal. Opal is a white hen and Rocky is a black and white striped hen, so it seems kind of funny to see this little grey and white chick running after its white mother.

Summer Blog Challenge Day 5

Day 5 Short term goals for this month and why those goals

Seeing as how it is after 2 in the morning, the first thought that comes to me about goals is to go to bed earlier. Stop staying up so late. Quit gluing yourself to the computer for hours when everyone else is abed.

The second thing I want to do is to crochet more items for my inventory. I got lazy because there have been few sales. Apparently, though, "they" say that the more items listed in your store, the better chance  you have of drawing customers.

Then, thirdly, I want to make a different item for the store. Branch out a bit, make something mundane. Because to tell you the truth, it seems that mundane sells. Goodnight.

Jun 4, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge Day 4

 Day 4 Meaning behind my blog name

I'm an impetuous person, and I often do things without rational reason. Is that redundant? When I was at my mother's house last summer, I tried to help them set up their wireless network. I asked my stepfather what he wanted to call it, and he said, "Cozy Corner."

About six months later, my mother got an iPod Touch, and she could not get hooked up to Cozy Corner. The password wouldn't work and on and on. She was so disappointed. We were there this April, and I tried to get her connected but to no avail. Interestingly, her laptop works fine on the wireless. We just couldn't connect the iPod.

So I guess you could say that "Cozy Corner" was on my brain. And obviously I crochet. It has a nice onomatopoetic ring to it.

Jun 3, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge Day 3

Day 3: List 15 interesting things about myself

1.People think I'm a lot younger than I look.
2. I wanted to be either and astronaut or a cowboy when I grew up. In that era, neither of those were available to women. Even now I could be a cowgirl but not a cowboy.
3. I love animals of all kinds. I've raised backyard chickens for about 15 years. This year for the first time we had a chick hatch at home.

One day old chick

 4. I moved 11 times in the first 15 years of my life, and I wasn't even an army brat. My mother and father just had their differences and they couldn't live with each other and couldn't live without each other. I moved a few more times after that. It wasn't until I got married and we bought a house in Florida that I lived in one place for more than two years. Today, we have lived in our Albuquerque home for 19 years.
5. I once taught keyboarding (piano) at a music school for a year. Well, less than a year because they fired me for taking time off (without pay, mind you) for a previously planned vacation before my first year's time was up.

Jun 2, 2012

On the bonnie, bonnie banks of the Rio Grande

(What's The Word June 1 and 2 smitten and mushroom. See if you can spot them.)

Hoo boy, I totally intended to blog yesterday, but I drove my mother to Taos. Expecting to take about six hours, we ended up taking nearly 12 hours. First, there was road construction on the interstate that had us at a creep.

Then we decided to take the "High Road" to Taos which goes over a mountain and through picturesque towns. My mother was totally smitten with the scenery, but it added considerably to our travel time.

Finally my car had had enough of ups and downs, arounds and arounds, slow and fast. By the time we got to Taos, the poor thing overheated. Fortuitously, or heaven-sent, we were within a couple of blocks of an automotive repair shop. The kind gentleman took care of us for nothing, refilling the lost fluids.

He gave me a gallon jug of water and said he hoped we made it back to Albuquerque OK. That was not particularly encouraging.

Summer Blog Challenge Day 2

 Day 2: Post a picture of myself smiling

Here I am in 2011 soon after I first got my hair cut. 
This is me in April 2012 holding my great-nephew Jayden for the first time.
I'm not usually very photogenic, but sometimes you can catch me with a nice smile. I'll give you 10 guesses as to how old I am.

Jun 1, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge Day 1

Day 1: Why am I doing this: It really has less to do with writing or writing everyday as it does with belonging. I've always been a joiner; I wanted to be part of something. I didn't always choose well, but that comes with the territory of maturing. But I do want to write daily or so just to get into the habit of it. And hopefully I'll make some new friends along the way. Having a topic ahead of time to write about takes some of the pressure off. Like when you plan your menus for the week or write out a grocery list. I look forward to completing this challenge and the word-a-day challenge I'm also working on. Shoot, my vocabulary may improve. If ever I feel the day's challenge can be incorporated into my crocheting blog, I will leave a link here to that post.

ETA: I was posting all my blog entries for the Summer Blog Challenge on one page, but it wasn't working out the way I had planned, so I'm redesigning them into separate posts. I'm sorry, but they will seem quite out of order.