Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Making a Bola - Part 1

A bola is a fun fashion accessory you can make! It is a fluffy, feminine scarf - not a western tie that men wear, which is what I first thought! You can use a bola to dress up a sweater, dress, or jacket. And they are very warm. No knitting skills are involved - all you need to know how to do is weave. The picture below shows the first bola I made last fall. You can't tell here, but it has a little mistake in it. But don't worry - you won't make the same mistake because you will listen to instructions, unlike I did. ;-) After this bola, I went on to make many others sans mistakes :-) and gave them as gifts. But, I was thinking that I would like to have my own to wear this winter. One that I don't have to worry about constantly adjusting to hide my mistake. :-)

If you would like to make one, too, this is all you will need -

four skeins of fun fur
yarn in a matching color
5 straws
a paper clip
and tape

The straws need to be the "over sized" ones like for shakes and malts. You can find these at Whataburger, McDonalds, Starbucks, etc.

The fun fur can be purchased at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, JoAnnes or other sewing/crafting stores. Wal-Mart even has a small selection. Fun fur can range quite a bit in price. I've seen some brands as high as $6 or $7 dollars a skein! And, that would be a pricey little bola! The brand I'm using today is Moda-Dea from Hobby Lobby - originally priced at $1.99. After the third clearance mark down, it was only $0.42 a skein.

To make your bola, first cut 5 equal lengths of yarn (not fun fur) about 5 feet long. It doesn't have to be exact. Next, cut a 1 inch slice into one side of each straw. Thread one piece of yard through the paper clip. Drop the paper clip into the non-cut end of one straw. Tap the straw on the table to force the paper clip to drop to the other end of the straw. (You are threading the yarn through the straw using a paper clip "needle".) Once the yarn is through the straw, remove the paper clip and pull about 1 inch of yarn down through the part you cut out. Tape the yarn securely to the outside of the straw as shown here.

Do the same thing for the other four pieces of yarn and straws.

Line up the straws evenly and

tape them together securely near the bottom, leaving some space in between. (Part of my problem with my first bola is that I taped my straws too tight - give them a little breathing room. :-)

You have completed making the straw "loom" that you will weave the fun fur on. (The straws will be removed at the end of the project.) Next, tie your fun fur on to one straw, knotting it a few times.

Now you are ready to weave! Holding the base of the straws in your left hand, place your skein of fun fur on your right (or reverse if left handed). You want to weave the fun fur over and under the straws from one side and then back to the other. See how the tops of the straws are spread open a little wider to make it easier? That is where the fun fur goes in and out. You will also need to make sure your straws are adjusted right so that the fur doesn't snag on the open cuts, or it'll drive you crazy. :-) After a minute or two you'll get your natural style and rhythm down and the weaving will go very quickly.

Continue weaving until most of the lower part of the straws are covered.

You can now remove the tape that is holding the straws together at the bottom. It is not needed anymore since the fun fur is anchoring the loom. Keep weaving until the straws are filled. Then, push the lower part of the fun fur off the straws and onto just the yarn, but leave enough on the straws to keep it secure. As you continue to weave, continue to push more fun fur down the straws, but never push all of it off - always have some on the straws. And, do not, I repeat do not, pull up on the straws. Only push the fur down gently. (I was told this, too, but I didn't listen! I was almost finished with my first bola when I pulled up on the straws and one of the yarn pieces broke! Disaster ensued and my bola was never the same. Learn from my mistake!)

When you finish the first skein, simply tie the start of the next one on to the end of the one you are finishing up and keep weaving.

Stay tuned for "Making a Bola - Part 2". It will included instructions on how to take the straws off the yarn and complete your bola!

Jalapeno Chicken Enchiladas

Jalapeño Chicken Enchiladas
5 servings

1 can (15 ounces) red enchilada sauce
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
10 flour tortillas

Spread 1/2 of the enchilada sauce in a 13 in. x 9 in. x 2 in. baking dish; set aside. Combine soup, sour cream, jalapeños, onion salt and pepper. Stir in chicken and 1 cup cheese. Spread about 1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in prepared dish. Top with remaining sauce; sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover and bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes or until edges are bubbly. Ole'!

Oh, were these good! The original recipe called for tomato sauce (blah!) instead of the enchilada sauce and boy am I glad I made the change. They tasted like a yummy cross between green chili chicken enchiladas and my usual cheddar cheese enchiladas with red sauce. My husband said he liked the new combination a lot!

Roasted Corn Salsa
2 cups

2 ears sweet corn
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped green pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped sweet red pepper
1 teaspoon minced seeded jalapeno pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
tortilla chips

Grill corn. Cool. Remove corn from cobs and place in a bowl. Add tomatoes, onion, cilantro, lime juice, peppers, salt and pepper. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

I purposefully bought a few more ears of corn than I thought we needed for our July 4th cookout, so we would have left overs for this recipe. ;-)

A Month Of Proverbs

Proverbs Chapter 8

Wisdom's Call
1 Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3 beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud:
4 "To you, O men, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind.
5 You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding.
6 Listen, for I have worthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right.
7 My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness.
8 All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.
9 To the discerning all of them are right; they are faultless to those who have knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.
12 "I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power.
15 By me kings reign and rulers make laws that are just;
16 by me princes govern, and all nobles who rule on earth.
17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full.
22 "The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old;
23 I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began.
24 When there were no oceans, I was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world.
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
30 Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.
32 "Now then, my sons, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it.
34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.
35 For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD.
36 But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death."