100% Dairy Free

100 percent dairy free lactose intolerant cheese milk butter

100% Dairy Free!

Show off your Dairy Free side with my latest allergy-themed design! Find the artwork on everything from mugs, t-shirts, candy jars, aprons and more in my Zazzle store. I personally love the stickers. They’re a fun way to gently remind others that you, or a loved one, is lactose intolerant.

Things-I’m-Working-On Thursday

It’s been really busy around here lately and I’ve been neglecting my blog a bit. OK. A lot. To get back on track, I thought I’d share a bit of what I’ve been working on lately.

It was Mother’s Day a little over a week ago here in the US. I really enjoyed making special goodies for my mom and mother-in-law. I sent them each a personalized card and some crochet coasters. My MIL loves the ocean and everything beach related, so I went with a seashell theme for her Mother’s Day gifts.

Mothers_Day_Handmade_Card_Cotton_Crochet_Coasters_Designs_From_Scratch

Scallop Shell Mother’s Day Card and Crochet Coasters

Inspired by the beautiful colors of spring, I decided on a floral theme for my own mom. I made her some colorful coasters and a card with some pretty, paper flowers. Thanks to almost a whole bottle of glue, the 3-D roses arrived safe, sound, and still attached to the card! Since my mom is the one who inspired me to crochet, I just had to send her a “Captain Hook” t-shirt too!

Mothers_Day_Handmade_Card_Flowers_Cotton_Coasters_Designs_From_Scratch

Pretty Flower Mother’s Day Card and Crochet Coasters

I started working on this crochet Deep V-Top a few months ago. Bernat offers it as a free pattern on their website. It’s my first real attempt at crocheting something wearable. I’ve had to alter the pattern quite a bit to keep it out of crop-top territory. Somewhere along the way I got all mixed up and crocheted the cap sleeves backwards. Luckily I don’t have to undo a million rows to fix the problem, but I’m still a little embarrassed at my total “D’oh” moment!

My First Attempt at Something Wearable…Keyword: Attempt!

The other day my Meema (maternal grandmother) asked me to crochet a baby blanket on her behalf. Her only request was that it be for a baby girl. After getting sucked into Ravelry for what seems like a life-time, I finally decided to crochet a basketweave stitch blanket. I’m thinking about adding some flowers to one side, so the little one can play with the petals! I picked out some Caron Simply Soft yarn in Grey Heather and Watermelon. I can’t wait to get started!

Baby_Blanket_Yarn_Heather_Grey_Watermelon_Pink_Designs_From_Scratch_Caron_Simply_Soft

Super Soft Baby Blanket Yarn

Before starting the baby blanket I really wanted to try out the basketweave stitch. Since I have tons of cotton yarn on hand, I decided to make a dishcloth for our kitchen. It’s gone surprisingly fast and I’m already almost halfway done! I just love the basketweave stitch now that I’ve gotten the hang of it!

Basketweave_Stitch_Crochet_Cotton_Dishcloth_Designs_From_Scratch_Ivy-League

Cotton Crochet Basketweave Stitch Dishcloth (Try saying THAT 10 times!)

These projects are only the tip of the iceberg! I’ve been doing tons of gluten-free baking, and have more t-shirt designs and crochet patterns on the way. I’ve also re-listed some of the products in my Etsy shop, and have new items to add soon. Stay tuned!

 

Schrödinger’s Cat Still Played With Yarn

schrodingers cat still played with yarn

Schrödinger’s Cat

Whether he was dead or alive, still in the box or not, one thing’s for sure – Schrödinger’s cat still played with yarn…

Grab the t-shirt, hoodie, or protective case for your favorite electronic device! Find them all and more in my Zazzle store!

100% Gluten-Free

100 percent gluten free celiacs disease wheat intolerance

Dare to be Gluten Free!

Proudly display your lack of gluten with my newest design! The artwork would look great on a t-shirt or mug. You can even keep your goodies safe with this “100% Gluten-Free” candy jar! Find it all in my Zazzle store!

I can’t wait to get a reusable grocery bag (or ten) to take grocery shopping! What about you, what’s your favorite way to show off your gluten-free side?

Designs From Scratch Boutique now on Zazzle!

Designs from scratch boutique Zazzle shirts craft accessories

Get your official Designs From Scratch gear from the official Zazzle store!

Whether you crochet, knit, sew, or are just plain crafty, there’s something for you in my store. There will always be new products and designs, so please check back often! I try to come up with ideas that are uniquely attractive and designs which look good on a wide variety of products. A great deal of work has also gone into making sure my online store looks good and is easy to navigate.

From time to time people ask me how they can repay me for providing free patterns, recipes, and information. The easy answer is to buy yourself a shirt or get yourself some stickers! I make a very modest amount of money off of each item sold in my Zazzle shop. I assure you as a fellow, budget-friendly crafter, I will never list anything for more than what I’d be willing to pay for.

Go ahead and check out the store! If you don’t see a product or style you’re after with the artwork on it, please just let me know. I’d be more than happy to make you a custom design!

Crochet Bath Mitt Buddies

Crochet bath mitt buddies frog whale hippo

I made these adorable bath mitts for my two young nephews who live in Germany. My husband and I love to video chat with the little guys since they live so far away. We always seem to catch them before or after their bath time, so I thought they’d enjoy having a couple buddies to play with in the tub.

I found this free Bath Buddies crochet pattern on the Sugar ‘n Cream website. I used Peaches & Creme 100% cotton yarn for both mitts. The pattern includes instructions for making both a frog and a whale version of the bath buddies. I made the frog first and followed the pattern without changing much. Rather than adding the puffy, bug-eyes, I chose to hand embroider them with some black cotton yarn instead.

Crochet frog bath mitt buddy cotton

I changed things up a little more when I made the whale. Rather than working in the round, I turned between each row on the main piece. That way the body matched the row turns on the head and chin extension pieces, and the whole thing looked uniform. I really liked how the bath mitt looked with the turns, but they’re both so incredibly cute! After I finished the whale, I took a step back and felt like something was missing from the little guy. His eyes were sewn on, all the yarn ends were hidden, but he just didn’t look complete. Then it hit me.

Cotton crochet whale bath mitt buddy

EARS! The whale didn’t look quite finished because he was actually a hippopatamus! He just needed some hippo ears.

Crochet cotton hippo bath mitt buddy

Since the pattern obviously didn’t come with instructions on how to make ears, I had to create my own. After a bit of trial and error, here’s what I came up with:

Crochet hippo ears how-to

Hippo Ear How-to:

R1: sc, dc, 2tr, dc, sc into a magic ring; pull tight into a half-oval; ch. 1 turn (6sts)

R2: 2sc, 2sc increases, 2sc; fasten off – leave enough yarn to sew ear to head (8sts)

Repeat for second ear.

Sew one ear to each side where the head edging starts to slope down.

This bath buddy is ready for his trip around the world!

Crochet frog bath mitt buddy cotton

 

UPDATE: These little guys were so cute I was asked to make more! This time around I made another hippo and a bear. Check them out here in my new post which includes a new how-to for the bear ears.

happy smiling crochet bath mitt buddy bear

This Bear Is All Smiles 🙂

Crochet Dog Wallet – Free Crochet Pattern

Crochet dog bag holder wallet loop clip

It’s no secret that dog is man’s best friend. Sometimes our furry companions show us their love by leaving some not-so-special “treats” while out for a walk. It’s easy to forget to grab a plastic bag on the way out the door and, take it from me, it’s not cool when you do! I came up with this Crochet Dog Wallet so that I’d never be without a way to retrieve Rover’s precious gifts.

I made the wallet a little bit stretchy so that I could cram quite a few bags inside of it. This way I don’t have to remember to refill it every other day! The front opening is partially sewn shut on each side to keep the bags from bursting out.

Crochet dog bag holder wallet

I also added a small loop to one corner of my doggie wallet so I could clip it to the dog’s leash or my backpack. The loop could easily be lengthened to make a “doggie wristlet,” so you can keep your hands free on those long walks.

Crochet dog bag holder wallet heart embellishment

Ready to make a wallet of your own? Here is the Free PDF pattern for my Crochet Dog Wallet! You can also find this pattern on Ravelry! This pattern is for personal use only and may not be sold, reprinted, or copied in any way without my express permission. If you decide to sell something you make from one of my patterns, I ask that you give credit to me as the pattern designer. I also ask that you include a link back to the free pattern, so that others may have the opportunity to make the item themselves. Enjoy and happy crocheting!

UPDATE: After making this dog wallet I needed something else to hold the rest of our plastic shopping bags. I crocheted a bag eating monster to devour them all. Of course by the time he was finished, our bag collection was pretty much extinct (from all the wallet refills!). So he adapted to eating all kinds of household clutter instead! I’ve added the free PDF pattern here, but beware – they multiply!!

crochet plastic bag clutter eating monsters

Beware: They multiply…quickly!!

Starting From Scratch

Awhile ago I decided to to back up my iPad 2. It had been ages since I’d made a copy of the device or even plugged it into the laptop to sync. Somewhere between backing-up and syncing, the data was completely wiped from three of my applications. The apps themselves were still there, but they were totally empty. It took me a while to notice anything was missing because the rest of my iPad was exactly the same. My settings were unchanged, my apps were still sorted the same way, even my pictures were all there.

You may be thinking I’m extremely lucky nothing else was lost, except that those wiped applications just happen to be the three I use the most. One after the other, Pages, Penultimate, and Procreate each welcomed me as if I had never opened them before. I was devastated to learn that I had lost countless notes, crochet patterns, and artwork.

You see, I have been using my iPad full time in lieu of an actual computer or laptop. I had been writing crochet patterns, gluten free recipes, and blog posts in Pages for months. Penultimate offers unlimited notebooks with unlimited pages. I’d fully been taking advantage of that feature by filling journal upon journal with handwritten notes on every subject. Even Procreate was full of everything from original blog artwork to sketches and doodles.

The hardest part of losing all that work was the “I should have known” feeling that came along with it. I’m not an expert in technology, but I’m smart enough to know that I should always have my work backed up and saved to multiple places if I don’t want to lose it. Unlike a computer, however, I can’t just plug a USB backup drive into my iPad and make a copy. For some reason I had never even thought to email myself copies of the documents and notes I had spent so long working on either. Hindsight. Long story short, I hadn’t saved a backup of my iPad in ages, so all that missing data from those three applications is truly gone.

It’s taken me a while to get back into blogging. I kept getting frustrated at all my lost work that would now have to be done over. Then I remembered why I started this blog. I wanted to share my crochet patterns, recipes, and craft ideas with others. I also wanted to have a place to personally refer back to and see what I’ve made and how. It took me a while to come to the realization that a bit of lost work was no reason to give up blogging completely! I’m still working almost every day on perfecting my gluten free recipes and am seldom without a new crochet project on my hook. Instead of continuing to dwell on the past, I’m going to move forward from here and blog about my new designs as I create them.

As for the lost work, I can always go back and reverse-engineer my creations when I run out of new projects. For now though, I’ll be designing completely from scratch.

Designs From Scratch Boutique Now on Etsy!

UPDATE: After almost a year on Etsy, I’ve decided not to re-list or add any more products to my shop. I realized that I was using my store as a way to refer people to my work and general prices of items that I make. This is obviously something I can easily do on my blog! I would have stuck it out, but I really disagree with the allowance of so many resellers on Etsy. When it started, Etsy was a great way for individuals to sell their one-of-a-kind, handmade creations without worrying about competition from big brand companies that mass produce items. Since this is no longer the case, I’ve decided to close up shop. If you’re interested in one of my custom creations, please contact me and I’d be happy to work something out! You can also find my craft-inspired artwork on a range of products in my Zazzle store.

I’m proud to announce the grand opening of the Designs From Scratch Boutique on Etsy! I’ve started off by listing some of my favorite crochet items. This high quality messenger bag is made to order and comes with a sturdy, cotton liner. The roomy design makes it a great everyday purse to protect all of your essentials. Personalize it by choosing your own colors, and I’ll have your custom bag on its way in no time!

Magnificent Crochet Messenger Bag

Looking for something a little smaller? This clutch purse is the perfect accessory for any occasion. You can make it yourself using my free pattern or order the ready-made version and have it shipped to you for free!

Ice Blue Crochet Clutch Purse

Children, pets & elephant lovers alike will enjoy having these adorable elephants around. Since they’re too cute to just have one, these little buddies come in a set of two!

Crochet Amigurumi Elephant (set of two)

Feel better about transporting your laptop with this cotton laptop case. It’s made as one piece for added durability, and has a simple three-button closure.

Cotton Crochet Laptop Case on Etsy

Love your iPad? Then you’ll love this cotton sleeve made specifically for tablets! The inside of this case is ultra-soft, meaning it won’t damage your screen. The top portion of the sleeve folds over to keep your device in and everything else out!

Crochet iPad/ Tablet Case

 

Yummy Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Recipe

Gluten-Free Pizza

Note: This post got a tad long…if you just want to hurry right on to the pizza-crust-making part I won’t be offended! There are some tips I found helpful along with the recipe. If you are brave enough to wade through the tales of all my trials and errors, you may just find something helpful 🙂 Either way, good luck and happy eating! I’d love to know how your crust turns out!!

If you’re like me then you LOVE pizza. If you’re really like me you then you’re probably here because you can’t eat gluten. Either way, gluten-free is definitely the way to go when it comes to delicious, homemade pizza! Think about it, how many times have you seen someone refuse to eat their crust? That’s because it’s just regular-old-pizza-crust. Try this gluten-free recipe and stop picky eaters in their tracks!

I’ve had pizza on the brain ever since I cut gluten and dairy out of my diet. Out of all the foods I can no longer eat, I’ve missed pizza the most. It turns out that my true problem is with gluten. I was honestly very relieved when I realized I didn’t have to give up dairy for good. I could go my whole life without eating another grain of wheat, but life without dairy? No way! Coffee just isn’t the same without milk, and I’m a huge fan of cheese and yogurt. I’ve been scheming up ways to make a gluten free pizza, but it’s been way too hot lately to bake. The other night it was finally cool enough to turn on the oven.

My husband was totally on board to make gluten-free pizza for dinner. After listening to me talk about pizza non-stop for months now, we were both excited! We’ve made tons of pizza over the years, and have perfected our crust recipe. We found that baking spices into the actual dough really adds a lot to the finished product. This was our first attempt at making a gluten free pizza though, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

gluten-free pizza crust

Gluten-Free pizza crust dough

Our first attempt was a bit of a disaster. We used a mix of garbanzo bean and brown rice flours. Since we’d never tried/ worked with garbanzo bean flour, we decided not to use a lot of it. Even with the small bit of flour, it made the dough really gummy and hard to work with. We ended up adding more brown rice flour to even things out. The resulting dough still had a heavy garbanzo bean taste to it, so if that’s not your thing, you may not want to use garbanzo bean flour (unless in tiny amounts). I ended up putting half of the dough in the fridge and made it the next day. That batch surprisingly did not taste like garbanzo beans, so maybe that helped!

Since we were new to being gluten-free, I didn’t know to add starch to the pizza mix. We ended up making thin crust pizza dough, so this didn’t seem to be a problem. It was definitely very crispy though, so if you are looking for a softer crust (or something other than thin crust) then I would recommend using at least 1/3 part starch in your total flour ratio.

I have since perfected (in my very humble opinion!) my pizza crust and to be honest the exact flour mix I use is different every time based on what flours I have on hand. The basics, however, are always the same. I like to make it 2 parts flour and 1 part starch (so 1/3 cup of starch for every 2/3 cup of flour). In my experience, this has proved to be a good ratio for both texture and taste. I like to use a mixture of brown rice and sorghum flours along with a starch (usually potato or tapioca starch). A few table spoons of blue corn meal is also a good addition. No matter what you choose, I highly recommend using at least two types of gluten free flour with your starch. This will help keep one flavor from being too overpowering. It can also help with the texture of your crust, as some GF flours can be coarser or finer than others.

I also like to add spices such as basil, oregano, garlic, pepper, and onion powder to the flour mixture to give it some extra character. Fresh onion, spinach, and olive slices are also great additions when baked right into the dough. In the past we’ve even added pizza sauce when the dough felt a little dry.

This recipe produces two medium sized pizza crusts, and is enough to feed 4 to 6 people. It can easily be doubled – or more! I like to triple the recipe and make a bunch of mini pizza crusts to freeze and use later.

Once you bake the crust, don’t forget to load it up with pizza sauce and all of your favorite toppings! We love adding lots of vegetables and turkey pepperoni in this household 🙂

Gluten-Free Pizza with all the Toppings

Load it up with your favorite toppings!

 

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
1/2 c brown rice flour
1/2 c sorghum flour
1/2 c tapioca starch
OR
1 c gluten-free flour mix
1/2 c gluten-free starch
herbs & spices – to taste (optional)
1 pkg. instant yeast
1tbs sugar or 1tsp honey
2 tbs olive oil
1 c warm water

  • Combine the flour, sugar and yeast together in a large mixing bowl. Add your favorite herbs and spices, such as, basil, oregano, garlic, and onion powder.
  • Add the olive oil and warm water (this is where you add the honey if that’s what you are using instead of sugar. Mix the ingredients together until the dough is too stiff to stir with a utensil.
  • Knead the dough by hand. If the dough is too dry, add pizza sauce 1 tablespoon at a time until it’s the right consistency. If the dough is too wet, gradually add flour.
  •  Divide the dough in half, cover, and let rise for 10 minutes. See baking instructions below.

Regular Pan-Crust Pizza

  • Using two greased 9x9x2″ baking pans, press the dough into the bottom of the pans and 1″ up the sides for the crust. Cover the pans and let the dough rise until it’s doubled in size (approx. 35-45 minutes).
  • Bake the crust at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes or until brown.
  • Top with pizza sauce, cheese, and your favorite meats and vegetables.
  • Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes at 375 degrees

Thin-Crust Pizza

  • Roll the dough out onto two 12″ round pizza pans. Do not let them rise.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Add the pizza sauce and toppings while the crust is still hot.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for about 12 minutes – 15 if you like it crispy.
Gluten-Free Pizza

Gluten-free pizza straight from the oven

Some basic pizza crust tips I have found helpful:

  • Use at least two types of flour in addition to the starch. I know I have mentioned this, but I’m saying it again because it really makes all the difference! It can be hard to find/ keep multiple types of gluten free flour, but it it truly helpful. You can always freeze the flour to help it keep longer. Some of the flours I have used: brown rice, millet, sorghum, buckwheat, blue corn meal, garbanzo bean flour. I know there are others, but those are the ones that come to mind at the moment.
  • Don’t be afraid to change up the ratio. This recipe is a basic guide, but everyone has different tastes. I have found that using a little bit more starch and less flour in your mix makes it easier to roll out.
  • If your crust falls apart or is crumbly after baking, you may want to add some sort of binder to the dough next time. A little bit of xanthan gum or unflavored gelatin helps. I also like to use 1/2 Tbs of chia seeds mixed with 2 Tbs of hot water. Let this mixute sit for 5 mintues before adding it in with the wet ingredients. If you use the chia mixture in your crust be sure to use a little less water from the main recipe.
  • Get creative! As I said, I like to add spices to my dough mix. The possiblities are endless. However, this crust kicks some serious booty without any help too 😀

Our gluten-free pizza was so good that my husband and I even thought about making it again for the third night in a row! Let me know how your crust turns out!