Thursday, June 30, 2011

Freedom Giveaway Hop

Giveaway Is Closed

Happy Cananda Day
Happy Independence Day!

I have a wonderful treat 
for all my dear readers
to celebrate!

is a blog hop giveaway
that is 
200 blogs strong!

Hosted by

This giveaway features 200 bloggers
all giving away something book related.
Please go check out all the 
participating blogs

So this is what I 
have for you dear readers:

One copy of 
Simple Stitches Crochet
by Carol Meldrum
This book is perfect for the novice
The patterns are clear and
easy to follow and the projects are 
This book retails for $17.95
and you can have it

Here are the details:
Open to US and Canadian 
mailing address only

1. Follow NekoKnits via GFC
2. "Like" NekoKnits on Facebook

Fill out the form below for 

Winner will be
announced on 
July 8th!


Proud to Be Canadian

Hello readers!

Happy Birthday 
A day early,
but there is a reason for it!
Since I have been on a Scrabble Pendant
kick lately.
I decided to make a few to celebrate
July 1st.

What do you think?

These are
already sized down to 
fit on a scrabble tile.

Maybe you will
grab them and
make a few to

As always
I am happy to share,
but please
give credit where credit 
is due.

Happy Canada Day, eh! 

These images are for personal use only,
(Unless you want to cut me in in the profit!)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My First Scrabble Tile Pendant

I have been obsessed with 
Scrabble tile pendants as I am
sure you are all well aware of.

I just HAD to show this one 
off to all of you dear readers.

I love how this turned out!
The blues are so pretty, 
and the crow is a little

Not the worlds best picture,
but I think it gives you the
right idea.

The bails are super easy to put on.
Just a drop of Super Glue
and it is on there forever!

If you look close on this angle there
is a small air bubble.
But it's hard to see when wearing it.

I'm putting one up in the 

Hang tight for a tutorial,
I'll share what I learned with you!

But in the mean time,
what do you think?
Smart and Trendy Moms

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Korean Style Beef Ribs

I don't usually buy beef ribs.
For one thing they usually come in 
family sized packages
being part Korean, 
I prefer beef short ribs
or galbi
as we call it.

But this weekend climbed to 113 here in Phoenix!
There was no way the 
Mr or I wanted to cook in the kitchen 
barbecue was the only other option.
At the grocery store 
I notice beef ribs were on 
for a great price.
And there was a package of smallish ribs.
We haven't had galbi in ages because of 
the outrageous price of short ribs.

I grabbed the ribs, 
took them home and made them up 
gabli style!

These are super easy to make,
and I haven't met anyone who doesn't
like them.

Grandma's Galbi Marinade:
(This amount makes roughly 1 pound of beef ribs)

4 tablespoons of Soy Sauce 
6 tablespoons of Mirin (Japanese rice wine)
1/2 a Kiwi (ripe as possible)
2 stalks of Green Onion chopped
1-2 teaspoons of Garlic Powder
1-2 teaspoons of Sugar
a few drops of Sesame Seed Oil

Mash the kiwi in a bowl until mush.
Add Soy Sauce and Mirin and whisk together.
Add sugar to taste, the amount usually depends on how sweet your kiwi is.
Add Garlic Powder to taste, if you like you can substitute fresh garlic and whisk well.
Add Green Onion and Sesame seed oil.
Pour over beef ribs and allow to marinate over night, then grill!

  This recipe is done in approximate measurements. This is the on recipe my grandma was able to teach me growing up and I learned in watching and tasting. Grandma's English wasn't very good but she could tell me if it tasted right. 
  Taste the marinade before pouring over your meat, if you like it go for it, if not play until it tastes right. I will tell you that the kiwi is key. It adds flavor AND tenderizes your meat.

I hope you like it,
it is my favorite recipe that 
grandma used to make.
And my husband swears it's the
reason he married me!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Karmacrochet Winners!

Happy Monday 
dear readers!

As promised 
here are the winners
of the Karmacrochet 

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
22	94
Timestamp: 2011-06-28 00:38:54 UTC

Which means,
the winner of the 
Scrabble tile pendant 
Entry #22

The winner of a choice of 
magnet or pinback set 
Entry #94
Francine Enger!

Ladies congratulations
and a huge thank you to
sponsoring this giveaway.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I love trying new crafts,
but that usually means having 
to buy all the supplies needed.
as you all know it's really hard
to do that on a students budget.

Yesterday I found this 
beautiful fabric
Only $1.99 for the quarter.
Perfect for kanzashi flowers.

I could really use a
 nice fabric cutting board so 
my squares come 
out with straight edges
I can't afford one.
what is a gal to do?

of course!

So this is how I cut my little
fabric squares for kanzashi flowers
Remember that Scrabble game I got
from a friend at work?
The grid pattern is very useful for
lining up your fabric edge.

I used a the bound edge of a 
magazine to line up my markings
and draw a line on my fabric
The squares came out darn near 

Now I need some 
little rounds of felt.
A water bottle cap is 
the perfect size. 
And I LOVE these mini

I have a ton 
of left over squares.
one very 
pretty hair clip.

Who says you need
all sorts of fancy
equipment to craft?

The hair clip is up
for sale on my Etsy Store.

The first 3 pople 
to leave a comment
will get a discount code 
from me
for 20% off 
in the store.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Image Cropping: Dissection vs Trimming

Since I'm stuck in bed here at the
hospital I have had a lot of time on
my hands to play with images on my 
laptop for my pendants.

I have noticed that cropping can be
a very important tool in the image 
refining process.
There are basically two ways you 
can use image cropping.

The first,
is to use cropping as a way to get 
a new image from a much larger one.
Essentially dissecting out a part 
of the image.

Take this image for example:
It's a really pretty picture and I 
can actually cut it to get a couple
smaller images.

This is from the top right 

And this is from the 
top left segment.

This is what it looks like
when you are done.

Sometime you have an image you want
but you need to trim it down to make it fit.
Like this image:
I picked this one for a friend who
loves Alice in Wonderland. 
I love the vintage image.

When I shrunk the whole image down it 
looked like this:

Even with some cleaning up
I lost alot of the detail 
and focus of the image

So I cropped the image in closer
concentrating on the important part
of the picture, being the face and upper body.
And trimmed away the excess.
See how much nicer that
image is?
And you didn't really lose anything.

The finished product looks pretty good
except for a tiny air bubble.

Does anyone else make their own pedants?

Turn Around is Fair Play

Hello dear readers!
I'm coming to you from a hospital bed!

But don't worry,
I'm perfectly healthy.
I volunteered to be part of a
dry run for a new hospital 
that is opening on Monday.
They wanted their staff to have 
a shot at moving real patients around
the hospital before the real patients got.

So I have had a pretend broken wrist 
and pretend surgery.
And now I am pretend recovering in my pretty
private room.

I'll have some crafty
fun to reveal to you later,
but I'm due for my pretend meds now!

Bye bye!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How To Make Images for Scrabble Tile Pendants

Scrabble tile pendants,
they seem to be all the rage right now.
My husband thinks they are a waste
 of a perfectly good Scrabble game.
But, he loves to play.
I think he likes it because he always wins!

A friend of mine was doing
some cleaning and wanted to get 
rid of her Scrabble game.
So I volunteered to "adopt" it.

Now that I had the tiles I needed images.
There are a ton of people on Etsy and other
places that are offering to sell you files 
or pre-made images. 

Don't be tempted!
It's really very easy to shrink 
down an image of your choice.
I mean isn't that the point of this craft?
To make personalized jewelry?

lets start with an image.
I happen to really like this one,
and since it is so famous and old no one
will be hounding me about copyright

Use whatever photo editor your chose,
for my purposes I will use Picasa.

Now crop it into a roughly 
rectangular shape
Try to focus on one large image
that doesn't have a lot of detail.

Now shrink the image 
using the "Resize" function 
to approximately the same size 
as your scrabble tile.
I found that the best size was
65 to 70 pixels across.
I shrunk this one to 70 x 81
Notice that you have lost 
image clarity when it gets this 

To fix this issue
use the "Sharpen" function 
and boost it way up.
Notice how much clearer the
image has become.

Then go into the "Color" function 
and up the saturation. 
After that use the "Exposure" function
and bump up the contrast of your image.
Trust me you want a little extra
color in the picture to make it pop.

I tried three images last night,
this is how it turned out after I glazed them.

Some tips:
  • Use images with bright colors, you get better results
  • Try to limit white space, pictures with color show up better
  • Don't use a highly detailed image, the detail gets lost
  • Experiment with where you crop a larger image, you may be able to use part of the image in a way you didn't see before.

I hope this was helpful,
later this week I'll post 
other How To's on how to 
make these pendants.

Stay tuned....

Smart and Trendy Moms