Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bernat Blanket Holiday Yarn Colors Now In Stock!! Pine Bough, Cranberry, Christmas Swirl

Yeah! The new Bernat Blanket Holiday colors are here in stock and ready to ship! And I have to say they are just beautiful! They are 150 gram skeins or 5.3 oz. These are a limited color yarn so please order enough for your projects as I hate it when people can't get enough to finish an project. I hope these will be available all fall but we all know many times Bernat special colors sell out early. I have every color they made in the Holiday colors plus I added a bunch of new colors in the regular Bernat Blanket yarn. All of these are available on my Etsy store and will be on my Ebay store later today.

Get them while you can!

Bernat Christmas Swirl\Bernat Caramel


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Yahoo Associated Content Closing

I knew it was coming and its finally here. Yahoo Associated Content is closing to freelance content writers. If you have been a writer there be sure to get your content off by July 31 2014. As you guys can see I have posted some of mine here on my blog. I tried to copy and delete as many of mine as I could. Honestly its something I should have done long ago but at least this forced me to do it.

But I guess if you got an upfront payment you cannot delete the article. Which kinda makes sense but still pisses me off. I wonder what will happen with those articles? And I wonder how big of a hit Yahoo search will take when all those links are no longer viable? I feel really bad for the writers that depended on Yahoo AC for their living wages. I could see when Demand Studios got rid of so many of their writers that Yahoo AC wouldn't last much longer.

Maybe it has to do with the Alibaba deal? Who knows.

Another free lance writing era comes to an end.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Interesting Facts About the Famous Clydesdale Horse

Interesting Facts About the Famous Clydesdale Horse

The History and Use of the Clydesdale Horse by Kay Baxter


The famous Clydesdale horse is rich in history. Clydesdales are a breed of heavy draft horse. This gentle giant was first bred in Scotland from the Flemish Horse in the early 1800s. In the late 1900s they were exported from Scotland to the United States and other countries by Scottish Canadians. According to the official registry site for Clydesdales, www.clydeusa.com, the name came from the area they originated in which was Lanarkshare (previously Clydesdale) district of Scotland. Known for their strength they were mainly used for agriculture, coalfields, and pulling wagons on the streets of Glasglow . Later they would be replaced by tractors but their popularity continued to rise. They are the ultimate parade horse as evidenced by the famous Budweiser Clydesdales, and make excellent carriage horses. They are still used in agriculture today where tractors are unavailable or unwanted. Most people do not realize that this large horse is often ridden under saddle and makes a great sport mount for dressage and hunter.

Clydesdales average 16-20 hands in height, and 1600-2400 lbs. Depending on their work load these horses can eat 25-50 pounds of hay per day a long with 2-10 pounds of grain. They are especially known for the large size of their hooves that enabled them to easily work the soft farm fields in Scotland where they originated.

Clydesdales are usually colored bay or black but you will occassionally see sorrell. They are well known for having white blazes and 4 white legs. This is caused by the Sabino gene and the early Clydesdale breeders were some of the first horsemen to capitolize on the white spotting pattern. Oftentimes you will see Clydesdales with white spotting on the body. While this is not as desirable this again is due to the Sabino gene and breeding Sabino horses to Sabino horses. They are also famous for the "feathers" on their hocks. This long silky hair accenuates the movement of the horse and makes a beautiful picture.

Clydesdales are not only known for their size and strength but for their amazing gentle temperment. This is why they are referred to by many as "gentle giants". They are a very intelligent breed of horse that is very willing and wants to please their owner.
The typical life span of a Clydesdale is pretty much the same as any horse. Given good care and nutrition many live into their 20's and occassionaly 30's.

Clydedales require much the same basic care as any other horse breed. Special care to nutrition though should be given due to their large size. Especially young Clydesdales often grow at a fast rate so feed must be adjusted to account for their growth or they can become too thin rather quickly. Another consideration is obtaining a farrier that has the skills to trim and shoe a very large hoof. Clydesdales hooves average the same span as a large dinner plate. In comparison a light horse hoof is about half that size.

Health concerns of Cyldedales are pretty much the same as any horse breed. Major concerns would be laminitis and colic. One specific concern can be scratches on the heels due to the feathering. It is important to keep that area clean and dry to avoid scratches.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Famous Spaghetti Sauce with Italian Sausage and Meatballs Recipe

Kay's Famous Spaghetti Sauce & Meatballs

Delicious Authentic Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs and Italian Sausage


Years ago I started with my mom's spaghetti sauce recipe that she learned from an Italian neighbor. Then over the years I tweaked this as I met more cooks and tasted more Italian sauces. I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does! While it is a little bit labor intensive, it is worth all the work when your friends and family beg you to make it. Last year I canned this by making 2 double batches in 2 different pots. They came out wonderfully! This sauce also makes a great pizza sauce.

Ingredients:
1 lb Hot Italian sausage
1 lb Ground chuck
2 Large cans tomato sauce
3 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Medium yellow onion minced
3 tbsp. Oregano
2 tbsp. Basil
2 large bunches of fresh garlic
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Anise seed
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Italian bread crumbs
1 Cup Romano/Asiago shredded cheese divided

Make the Sauce:
Add olive oil to a large pot. Heat the oil to medium high heat. Add diced onion and saute until onions start to brown and translucent. Turn the burner down to low/medium and add 4 cloves fresh minced garlic. saute 2 - 3 more minutes. Add tomato sauce to the pot and stir. Next, add in sugar, basil, oregano, anise seed, salt, pepper and 1/2 C shredded cheese and stir completely. Bring the sauce to a boil for 1 to 2 minutes and then turn the heat down to simmer. Cover with a lid.

Meatballs:
Place the ground chuck in a large bowl. Add one egg 1/2 C shredded cheese, 1/2 C bread crumbs, 3 cloves minced garlic, salt and pepper. Mix completely. Round into medium sized meat balls. Spray a broiler pan with Pam cooking spray. Place meatballs on the pan and broil approximately 5 minutes. Turn each meatball over and broil an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Add the meatballs to the sauce and cover.

Italian Sausage:
Remove the skin from the Italian sausage to cut fat and calories. Cut each piece into 4 - 5 bite size pieces. Arrange on the broiler pan and broil 5 minutes. Turn each piece over and broil an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until brown. Add to the spaghetti sauce. Cover with lid.

Putting it all Together:
Simmer the sauce on low heat with the meatballs and sausage at least 2 hours with 4 hours being preferable. The longer it cooks the better it tastes! Be sure to keep the pot of sauce and meatballs covered while simmering or you will lose sauce.

Tips:
Anise seed is a good secret tip to add sausage flavor to any sauce. Try to make all the meatballs the same size so they all cook evenly. Most stores now sell the shredded Romano/Asiago cheese but you can substitute parmesean cheese. It's important to add sugar to any kind of tomato based sauce to cut the acidity. Be careful when you saute the garlic not to let it burn as garlic burns very quickly.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My Newest Crochet Baby Blanket Pattern The 3 Dimensional Baby Blanket!!

I had so much fun making this 3 dimensional crochet baby blanket. Yes its a yarn eater but the results are so worth it. People go crazy when they see and feel this blanket in person. To order this crochet pattern use this link or see my Etsy shop

Its really hard to get a good picture of the 3 dimensional texture. Included with the written crochet pattern is a video of tips. This pattern uses 4 skeins of Bernat Baby Sport which I will have for sale soon.

Bernat Blanket Christmas Colors on the Way! Pine Bough Christmas Cookie etc

I have had a lot of people emailing me about finding the new Bernat blanket colors like Pine Bough, Cranberry, Christmas Cookie etc.


I just put in a huge order (as they are finally available) and should have them getting here in the next 2 weeks. I cannot wait!! Please order the colors you need as soon as they get here because I suspect some will sell out quickly. I know many of you are waiting for these colors to finish projects when they pre sold these at Joanns. To make it easy they will first be listed on my Etsy store.

I also reordered the colors they ran out of like Mallord Wood that was so popular. Once the order gets here I will have every color that the new Bernat Blanket Yarn is sold in! As a yarn addict that makes me very happy.

I also have big skeins of the baby colors coming in as you all know I prefer big skeins to little. And in honor of my newest baby blanket crochet pattern I am also bringing in Bernat Baby Sport yarn. I will make another post for the new pattern.

And I have another big afghan pattern coming out made with the new Bernat Blanket colors. But like many of you I am waiting for this order to come in so I can finish it. It is HUGE as my daughter in law requested a huge blanket.

And I am finally finished with the baby waffle blanket made with Bernat Blanket yarn and am writing up the pattern now.


Copycat Recipe Texas Roadhouse Rice

Copy cat recipe for Texas Roadhouse Rice

Ingredients:
2 Cups uncooked white rice
1 stick butter or margarine
1 Medium yellow onion finely diced
1/2 Cup fresh parsley finely diced
4 Cups chicken stock
1/2 Cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp cayenne red pepper
2 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:
Saute the butter, rice, onion and parsley in a large pot on medium high heat for 5-8 minutes or until rice is brown and onions are translucent.
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to incorporate. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed.

Tips:
Do not take your eyes off the rice while sauteing, as the rice can easily burn. Be sure to stir the rice frequently during the sauteing and cooking.
The cayenne pepper can be adjusted up or down according to your own taste.
Remove the pot of rice from the heat as soon as most of the liquid is absorbed to avoid over cooking the rice.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Trying Free Trial of Ebay International Sales Program Webinterpret

So Ebay called me a few days ago and practically begged me to try their new sales tool for International sales called Webinterpret. I already sell a good amount internationally on Ebay but they said this would increase my international sales by 25-30 percent.

He explained that they take your top 100 listings and list them on the top 5 international sites such as Ebay Germany, UK, France etc. They translate your listings to that countries language and money. They also said a real human tweaks your listings to make sure they have the top keywords. And if a customer asks a question they translate it for you and email it to you.

So I said whats the catch? Well I get 30 days free to try it and after that its an additional 5 percent fee. Wow. Thats a lot when you add it to the normal Ebay/Paypal fee. But he did say I can change the prices for just those 5 sites to add the 5 percent. I feel a bit guilty about that.

I decided to give it a go and see what happens. I spent an hour on the phone with them setting up my accounts to do this. Then this morning I got an email asking me to review the top 100 listings they picked. Yikes not good at all. I don't know how they think this list is my top 100. Not even close. Some of the items they picked have never sold international while some of my top sellers are not on the list. Strange.

I guess I will have to call in and talk to support about this top 100 list. Oh yeah I am supposed to get top level tech support for signing up. Should be interesting.

I will do follow up posts when I see how this goes. If anyone else is using this would love to hear your comments!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Crochet Edge Blades Now in Stock and Ready to ship! Makes Perfect Crochet Holes in Fleece

Woohoo! They are finally here. My very own crochet edge blade for making perfect crochet holes in fleece. Works with almost any 45 mm rotary cutter. I used to sell the Skip Stitch blades but they just got too expensive and hard to get. So I had my own made. Free digital instructions sent to your email once you order. I have these on my Etsy store, Ebay shop or my own website at kayscrochetpattern.com



Kay's Crochet Mystery Boxes/Bags Update

We have been getting a lot of questions on our Mystery boxes so here you go! First some have asked why we are now shipping in bags. USPS...