Saturday, January 31, 2009

love this picture--

so I am sharing it...just because. I need to find a way to print it in high resolution for my office! I am going to email them: the purl bee.

Pin It

the quilt is finished

Up close, there are definitely some boo boos but all ones I learned from so I can do better next time. Although I like my fabric choices, I unintentionally chose a scheme that matches nothing else in my house!
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Thursday, January 29, 2009

a winter storm, lots of ice, a sick kid and the kid who loves the cold...

So, we got 4-5 inches of snow, then a nice thick layer of ice, and then more snow on top. That was yesterday. I walked down the driveway and risked my life by standing under these very ice-laden drooping trees for some pictures. I also took two steps out my back door for the icicles in a row photo.

One kid has had a cold and a fever off and on. The other spent way too much time outside yesterday. I cannot admit the actual length of time should it somehow be against the law, and the authorities seek me out. She loves it though. And for the first time ever, her Dad took her to the big hill around the corner. If you are wondering how I came to have a pic of this, it is b/c I drove around said corner, in Dave's jeep to get them...and to pick up the little sickie who insisted on going along but who I knew would not, could not last.
We are on our 3rd snow day too. So cabin fever might have begun to set in but I was forced out of my warm house long enough to take the little one to the doctor only to find out she seems to have a bad cold. On our return, we got McDonalds which was just the taste of civilization we all needed.
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

the lap quilt continues

Let me first say, I am learning a LOT. I am enjoying the process and will try this again. Maybe something smaller but more quirky like this kind of stuff: mini art quilts. I am all over flickr and the inspiration right now. I am now attaching the binding which is what intimidated me most. I have struggled with the corners, and they are sewn (incorrectly) to the front side but I am OK with moving on, this being my first quilt ever. I think I know what I did wrong so next time, I might beautifully mitre my corners. I am pretty sure I mastered this blind stitching too so add that to my list of things I thought impossible. I have asked myself often: just who am I?! For instance, today I ate soup from a can. And you know what? It really was good! I had the Progresso Light Vegetable Soup and it was tasty (thanks to my friend Amy for vouching for it). Now, I am not on Weight Watchers but I do know anything you can eat that equals 0 points, is a darned good thing. So I, ate mine, with crackers. And some cheese too. I am a rebel.
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Monday, January 26, 2009

free stuff on Wednesday at Panera

So, today will be a public service announcement:

To sum it up, free coffee and breakfast samples. I am ALL over it! Unless of course the impending white death ensues here in my locale. That would be snow. I may live in the Midwest but it doesn't take much for the city to panic. I have a few work appointments that I MUST make this week but otherwise, I'd be up for a cozy, stay at home, kids play outside, snow day. Pin It

Sunday, January 25, 2009

the goodness of the past few days

A yummy dinner of roasted chicken breasts, potatoes and green beans. Super easy and delicious. You toss all of it with Dijon mustard, olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper and then bake at 450. Roasted green beans are like candy.
A cookie bouquet from Mama and Papa to celebrate Olivia's Reconciliation.
A basketball star in the making. That is my #33 shooting at the basket. She looks good even if it did not go in. Not quite enough power to shoot from the line...yet!

Enjoying a dinner to welcome Craig home from Iraq. Craig is Kacie's boyfriend. He is the one on the right, in the hat. He is home just for a few weeks and then returns to Iraq for I don't know how many more months. Grateful for his service and grateful to have him with us for a visit.
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Saturday, January 24, 2009

the lap quilt is underway

I am seriously amazed by the progress I have made so quickly--since late yesterday afternoon. It is now 1:45, one day later and I have it to this point. Three strips "stitched in the ditch" which means to sew directly over the seam only I am not the straightest at that so a lot of inconsistencies are apparent. I think this also had to do with fabric choice (stronger contrast in places) and also that I am using white thread. I am still just thrilled. It is definitely puckering up and I cannot wait to wash it. I am hoping it comes out looking already well worn and loved. One more shout out to Amy Karol and Bend the Rules Sewing which is where this pattern is from and where I really got enlightened and empowered to try all this. Also, I was able to install my "walking foot" and it literally just feeds this thick quilt through the machine like a dream. And I have one el-cheapo, yet hard-working machine. Stay tuned.
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Friday, January 23, 2009

my first ever, quilted anything!!

I did it! I made this bag! I cut all the squares last night, and completed the rest today. This was my quilting test as I am seriously considering a major sewing machine upgrade so I wanted be sure this whole quilt-y idea was something I could not only do, but like. Uh, yea, I think I like it.
This bag came from a tutorial here and frankly, it must be pure genius b/c I did it with no issues. I lined mine with natural looking muslin and did not turn it first (mistakenly thinking that both sides could be considered the right side), so I have two exposed seams in the lining, otherwise it worked. Oh, I am also not 100% I did the ties right but I love this idea for handles b/c it is really simple. And I got 25 yards of that cord for $1.99 at Hobby Lobby today. I think that might be a lifetime supply!
As for what I spent on fabric, that will not be revealed here. Actually, I am never going to reveal it anywhere for it is proof I have totally gone insane!
That last photo was my first completed side and I was so darned proud around about 8:30 this morning, all jacked up on coffee, wearing my pj's and sewing for all I was worth! A special thanks to my cooperative sidekick: Shelby.
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Thursday, January 22, 2009

a few milestones for Miss Olivia

Last night, Olivia made her First Reconciliation which is a sacrament in the Catholic Faith. Big doings. I am so proud of her, she was very brave and excited. These pictures are right before we left for church.
The second milestone of the evening, which actually came before having her sins forgiven, was that she changed her pierced earrings for the first time. She wore a pair of sweet, dainty crosses.
Tonight, she changed them again (a bit of drama ensues, but overall she is doing well) and is now wearing her "real gold" earrings from Santa. She was so enthralled by the little white box they came inside, and the 14K gold declaration on a shiny tag. She also believes that the diamonds might be real. I am going along with that...they might be.
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

the half birthday...

I would like to know when this phenomenon started? Back in "my day" you had your birth date to celebrate, typically one party on that day alone. Now, kids (mine included) have a family party (or two) and a kids party and the darned celebrating can continue a week plus depending on what day all those parties fall on. I have accepted this (for now.)
But I am a wee hard pressed to embrace this half birthday idea. Translation: my kids are born in July, so they do not have a B'day to celebrate during the traditional school year. Enter: the half birthday.
In pre-school with Olivia, I just sort of ignored it and that worked, so I have done the same with Shelby. Fast forward to grade school: Olivia's school acknowledges birthdays with a monthly Birthday Bash which means they get a free lunch of pizza, drink and cupcakes during their regular lunch period plus a little party favor. Ok, this is nice but I have found myself this week having baked two dozen cupcakes TWICE b/c I contributed to that and now tomorrow she is bringing them in as her snack for her class.
So my point? I have baked 48 Birthday cupcakes and I do not have a family member with a birthday in January?!
Different but related, I also have to bake cookies for a school Open House on Sunday! I don't have to, but I volunteered to :) Pin It

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I am feeling a strong desire to...

Quilt. Yes, quilt. And what I like does not look like something easy to pull off. This particular group on Flickr strikes my fancy: Fresh Modern Quilts. I was going to make a mosaic showing a bunch of my favs, but I could not figure it out so please, click and go look. I have narrowed it down to some things that are really speaking to me and one is the mostly white background with the bright shots of color. Also, I love the really modern quilt back approaches, like just one off center strip of color in the center of a sea of white. I also like the free style ideas with houses, and trees and owls. I think I am mentally preparing to try the lap quilt in the Bend The Rules Sewing book, which is really what shot me out of a cannon this summer into the world of sewing.
There is a flickr group for this too, where people submit their projects. Love that inspiration. And today I found a new group for Anna Maria Horner's new book, Seams to Me, as well. I have yet to see this book, although I ordered a copy to be sent to my library, I can already tell from the Flickr viewing I will need to purchase it so I can have it for keeps. Here is one just simply, striking piece of handiwork:

by the author herself. Wow.

Ok, so back to me and the thinking about attempting to quilt (that is the stage I am at right now.) I have gone so far as to call a sewing store and I plan to take my old, simple machine in to find how to "lower the feed dogs" and perhaps buy a few different "feet". I do want a zipper foot which has nothing to do with quilting, just another little item on my wish list of things I really want, practically need, yet did not know existed a year ago. The man who answered the phone, and my questions, was trying to be kind when I identified my sewing machine and did not come right out and say I need a serious upgrade, but he hinted at it. No budget for that presently but who knows about someday.

I leave with you with a sample of the lap quilt I dream about, I mean think about making:

I took the huge liberty of sharing this from feebeefee's flickr photo stream. There are many others where this one came from to inspire you.

Quilts. Quilting. Sewing. Who am I?!

Pin It

Monday, January 19, 2009


Always a topic for me, huh?! If you have ever visited my little blog, you know I have come to love soup in the past year. My preference is homemade. I still remain skeptical of soup straight from a can. But I tried this:

Soup from a box and it was darned good! A little spicy, this one was. I am a bad judge but I think it is pretty healthy too. And it was enough for two separate meals for me. Pin It

Saturday, January 17, 2009

creative party touches

First, is my basket full of calendars. Again, the template can be found here. Those were a super, big hit. I think this would make a terrific favor for a bridal or baby shower, and you could highlight the upcoming big day in some way. Next, here are the super easy drink "identifiers" I made using 2 circle punches, cutting a little slit and adding some bling (Well, Shelby did that part). I had made lots of sweet treats and bought some others, so I put labels on some cello bags for people to take home a few morsels with them. Last, is my new M&M dispenser, filled courtesy of my children, bought at the $1 Store (in it's first life, it was an olive oil bottle, I just took off the spigot.)

Posted by Picasa

Moving on, we have my buffet tricked out as a dessert station/candy bar. Here is a close up of my homemade candy:

Well, it was lots of fun and most of the clean up is already finished. Good times!

Pin It

Friday, January 16, 2009

homemade cousins pen pal kit

These are just the digital versions of what I compiled for my nephew, Justin. He lives in NC while all the other cousins live in Ohio. They are in town this weekend so I will finally give him this as part of his Christmas gift. The top pic is the return address label I made, the next is a pdf file that when printed onto card stock, and then cut in half, becomes tw folded note cards. The bottom is the free digital kit I used. Darling stuff there, huh? I also included some store bought items like markers and stickers along with a sheet of stamps. This is a variation of some of the things I did as Christmas gifts but the "cousins pen pal" part came from Family Fun Magazine. Love that magazine. I subscribed when Olivia was a if she would be crafting yet? I was just very anxious. Actually we did make Thanksgiving cards using her tiny footprint that first year, turned them into turkeys and mailed them to family. To this day, one of the cutest things I have done.
Just winding down, waiting for my little gathering later today. I am on the record saying that I love the shopping part, the cooking part, the decorating and creative touches, the cleaning? Not so much. I figure at this stage in my life, that is just not going to change. Dave really helped me out earlier in the week in that department was a nice surprise. I will share some of the things I made for tonight later this weekend.
Posted by Picasa
ETA: Ooops, just realized I had shown a real address so the first picture has been deleted. Feeling sick over it too since it was my nephew.
Pin It

Thursday, January 15, 2009

peanut butter pretzel bites recipe

(photo from Taste of Home)

So my neighbor, who is not an avid cook, delivers these awesome treats and candies at Christmas. I mean, delicious. So I ask for the recipes for a few and instead, after Christmas, she delivers a whole Taste of Home cookbook to me. So, I made these earlier in the week. A bit time consuming but so darned good! I actually just made half of the recipe which is plenty for my little get together tomorrow night. Enjoy.

peanut butter pretzel bites

1 package (14 ounces) caramels
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 tablespoons water
5 cups miniature pretzels
1 jar (18 ounces) chunky peanut butter
26 ounces milk chocolate candy coating
Directions: In a microwave-safe bowl, melt caramels with butter and water; stir until smooth. Spread one side of each pretzel with 1 teaspoon peanut butter; top with 1/2 teaspoon caramel mixture. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until set. In a microwave, melt candy coating; stir until smooth. Using a small fork, dip each pretzel into coating until completely covered; shake off excess. Place on waxed paper. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. Yield: 8-1/2 dozen.

You can also view the recipe here, with comments from other cooks. Pin It

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

christmas brag book repurposed as thank you...

I downloaded this freebie from Weeds and Wildflowers during the month of December. Not sure if they still have stuff available for free, but there were some GREAT things being given away.
Last week, I dropped in a few pictures from our Holidays, had them printed at Walmart and then made this little booklet. I simply glued the pages together back to back, punched two holes and tied them together with ribbon.
I mailed this to my parents yesterday so hopefully they either A) receive it in the mail today or B) do not read my blog until they do!

My little model had some ideas of her own but I think she helps me to get the idea across.
Posted by Picasa
Pin It