01 December 2011

sewing with sadie

In October, Sadie celebrated her 11th birthday... my how time flies!  We figured she was old enough for her own sewing machine.  It was so exciting to order it and anticipate it's arrival.  She loved it! And for the last few "mommy nights" since then, we've sewn.

Isn't it a cute machine!

Her first project she actually designed the pattern herself.  She did such a great job meticulously drawing it out, measuring every side and angle exactly.  Finally she got to sew her first project on her machine.  What fun!

It's a tie pillow!  Quite the belly warmer!  Great for car rides!

So proud of her creation!

Just look at the comfort.  Doesn't it make you want one of your own?  I'm sure she'd take orders.

Here's Sadie in her own words...

I really like my ''new'' creation.  :)  It sooooooo fun to sew with my new sewing machine!(!!!!!!!) I can't wait for my other projects!  Next up:  a pillow case.

There it is.  We'll be sure to post about the others too.  I have visions that one day (when I have an actual sewing room), that Sadie and I will sit at our separate machines and sew.  Or that she'll go in on her own, and whip something up.  One day.

27 June 2011


Feels like I've been behind for a while now... could have something to do with a*new* (well, he's been here for 5 weeks now, but we're slow to adjust with the kids out of school and all), two-month old. Anyway, it's all worth it, and we hope he stays for a very LONG time! So here's some catch-up:

So, for teacher gifts this year, we went REALLY simple. Zipper pouches with candy. I asked the kids what colors their teachers liked, and we went from there. Here's what we ended up with...

At this point I don't remember what went to who... but they turned pretty fun. And really, who doesn't LOVE chocolate, plus a little zippered bag for whatever later - can't go wrong.

These next photos/gift are from last year. They were a gift for a baby girl...

Diaper/wipes envelope. One of my very favorite things... carries diapers and wipes, then when you need to change a diaper, you grab the pouch, instead of having to take the whole diaper bag with you. Especially handy if you have more than one child needing that diaper bag.

To go along with the diaper/wipes envelope, I made some cute baby shoes. They are really fun to make, lots of steps, but really not too bad... and they turn out so cute, that's it worth all the time.

Well, obviously Easter was a while ago, but here's the various fabrics I used for my girls' Easter skirts. Seersucker is such fun!

So, I had a *great* idea for the green/white plaid, to make a tie for Silas. I found a free pattern online and gave it a whirl. The pattern said it was for a little boy, guess it meant a little smaller little boy, because it was too small, by far. So, since that was left until last, Silas didn't have a new tie for Easter, he'll live. I want to try it again, but haven't yet... sometime. Course, the longer I wait, the bigger/longer the tie will need to be. Lovely.

Here's some of the fabric cut, ironed and ready to be used as bias tape on the skirt. What fun.

Of course, I don't have a finished picture... I'm sure we took one, I just can't find it right now... later.

About a month ago, Silas had a little friend that had a birthday party. She was turning 5, and after thinking what he could give her, here's what we came up with...

She got a Market Skirt. Here's the free tutorial, and here for the pockets. Really easy and fast. Always turns out cute. Can't go wrong. If you're in the mood for a cute skirt, go give it a try.

Close-up of the pockets. So fun. We actually hid some little stuffed animals in the pockets just for fun. She loved it!

I'm working on a gift for a birthday coming-up on Sunday - can't believe he'll be 4! Crazy. When I finish that, I'll post pictures, along with a large project I've been slowly working on.
Here's to a GREAT Monday!

28 March 2011


First time seeing it. Shocking, I know. I'm now asking myself, why didn't David Bowie do more? And, was that a wig? He must have been tight with Tina Turner. Wow. Not really sure what more to say. I'm glad Sara got Toby back. Hopefully there weren't too many puppets injured while filming. I'm pretty sure that when Sara first met Hoggle (a puppet that helped her through the labyrinth), she called him Hogwarts... was this inspiration for J.K. Rowling? Just saying. Seems like most everyone saw this when they were a kid, so I'm pleased to be in good company, now.

16 March 2011


Just a quickie to document that I'll be running my first 1/2 marathon on Saturday, in Fort Smith, Arkansas. At the beginning of the year as I was setting goals, I decided it was time to give it a try. So, we'll see how it goes. Here's to 13.1 miles (or something like that).

09 March 2011

rumplestiltskin report

I'm REALLY late this time... and I'm not really expecting to get much better. Is that setting myself up for failure?

I've lost track of what I've done when, so this will be a random summary of the last two weeks.

This little pink doll (Ruby Lou Doll Pattern, found here), I actually made a long time ago. She's just been patiently waiting for a "sister". I don't think I ever posted a picture of her though, so here she is:

And here's the "sister", in purple. I was curious to see how she would turn out. It's actually the same pink dot, sheer fabric on top, but the pink one is backed with a plain pink, and the purple is backed with purple, obviously. I wasn't sure that it would turn out LOOKING purple, but it's fun that it did. Two little sisters are going to love these "sisters", I hope. I just have a few little somethings to add, and then they'll be off in the mail.

This has been a project long in the works. Like, forever. I originally made this skirt years ago. It's linen, basic A-line, elastic waist. It was my favorite go-to pattern for a quick, cute skirt, for a long time. Anyway, the pattern is for a just-below-the knee skirt, but I made this one long... probably close to ankle length. I wore it and really liked it for a long time, but the linen was such a light color that I almost felt like it was white. I already have a white linen skirt. Lame. So I decided to dye it.

The first time I dyed it, (no picture, sorry), it was too light. Guess I didn't leave it in long enough. So I dyed it again a couple of months ago. I cut the bottom off, and was deciding what to do, when I had an idea of putting a pleated ruffle on the bottom.

So, using the bottom of the skirt that I had cut off, (I actually cut it off twice, so I had two pieces), I sewed them together, and began pleating. It took a while... but looked kind-of cool, I thought.

And then sewed it onto the bottom of the skirt. I think I like the outcome, but now the problem is that the skirt is dyed unevenly... and I'm not sure that it looks intentional enough. So, it has yet to be worn in it's new form, until I buy some more dye and re-dye it, yet again. I'm just hoping that it will turn out uniform, that you won't be able to tell the previous lighter/darker areas. Guess we'll see.

And lastly, I spent time cutting up a bunch of rectangles of various types of fabric for more Cozy Car Caddy projects. Sometimes I have really GREAT ideas.

08 March 2011

cupcake... or not

The other night at a church meeting for the women, we did this fun thing. One of the ladies had recently been on a cruise. As one of the crafts that they offered, they learned how to make different things out of an ordinary cupcake. So, she taught us how.

The original, inspiration. Pretty fun.

Most of it is frosting with the lettuce and the cheese being fondant. Pretty smart. Who comes up with this stuff? Anyway, there were some left over cupcakes and frosting, so I brought some home to make with the kids. Here's how they turned out...


Sadie's hamburger

Phebe's hamburger

Isaac's hamburger/cupcake.

Mmmmm. Afterwards I told them that they could eat it, well half of it anyway. I thought it might be a bit much to let them eat the whole thing, you know... sugar shock.

The next time you're looking for something different to make with your kids, or with your friends, give it a whirl.

21 February 2011

rumplestiltskin week 2

I'm late in posting this. Oh well.

I wanted to try this recipe from the Rachael Ray magazine... Lemon Crepes. Every time I make crepes I think about how fun and cool it would be to have a crepe pan. We don't actually have them that often though, but maybe we would if we had the special pan?

They were pretty good. I wasn't too wild about the cornmeal in the crepes, definitely gave them more texture. I might try them again just using flour instead of the corn meal, I think they'd probably work fine. The lemon filling was yummy. I think next time I'll just do a regular crepe recipe. Here's the recipe. Give it a try. Let me know what you think.

Lemon Crepes

(Basic Batter)
In a bowl, whisk together:
1 c flour
1 Tbls plus 1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Beat in until smooth:
1 c milk
3 beaten eggs
5 Tbls melted butter
1 Tbls vegetable oil

To this add:

1/2 cup white cornmeal (I had yellow, so that's what I used)
2 Tbls half-and-half
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 c powdered sugar
grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
3/4 c heavy cream, chilled
3 Tbls butter, melted

Combine the batter, cornmeal and half-andhalf. In another large bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon peel until fluffy. Beat in the lemon juice.

Using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold into the cream cheese mixture and rerfigerate.

Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Grease the pan with some butter. Add 2 tbls of the cornmeal batter and, tilting and rotating the pan, form a thin crepe. Cook until golden, 1 minute; flip and cook for about 15 seconds. Repeat with the remaining cornmeal batter and butter.

Arrange the crepes on a work surface and spread some of the cream cheese mixture on each one. Fold the crepes in half, then fold in half again to form a fan. Dust with more powdered sugar. Serve with fruit.

My good friends' little boy had a birthday last week. Number 2! I had been wanting to make one of these for a long time, but have just never gotten around to it. So, I finally had the perfect excuse.

Cozy Car Caddy. On the outside:

And it folds up into this:

Found the great tutorial here. I'm planning on making a bunch more of these for some family with little boys, and another friend whose little boy will have a birthday in April. And of course Silas in July... plenty of time for that one. Now I just need to locate enough pairs of jeans that I can cut apart.

The last project I got to this week were some pants for Silas... or maybe I should say some testing of patterns for pants for Silas. I almost hesitate to post the pictures, since I'm not sure that he'll ever wear either pair, but it'll give you a good laugh, so I'll post away...

The first pair are some knee patch pants. I drafted the pattern from this blog post, but I did it a LONG time ago, so I knew that by now they would be to short, which they are. I think the knee patches are too big, and the size in general is just a little too baggy. But, at least I know what I would change for next time.

Go ahead. Laugh.

And the second pair. The tutorial for these is here. We like to fondly call these his Greg Brady pants. Try not to be jealous!

I think I'll try these again, with a few adjustments. And I'm thinking I need to get my hands on some old Brady Bunch episodes. Maybe if I start watching them with Silas now, I could be half way done with a Halloween costume!

11 February 2011

the rumpelstiltskin challenge

Found this challenge the other week while stuck indoors with all the snow. Sounds groovy, and I think I'll give it a whirl. I know, I know, I'm great with finding these "challenges" or sew-alongs, but I'm not so great with following through... at least not with posting pictures of what I do with those challenges or sew-alongs. But, it's a new year, so we'll see how it goes this time. I LOVE the idea of using stuff I have. Course I know that I won't limit myself to only stuff that I have, cause I've got so many projects in my head that I've promised to do for people, but I'm lacking a few items to make it a reality. With that being said, I still hope to use a lot of the stuff that I have, as much as possible. So, here's my first report...

I've decided that although I'm sure that a lot of the stash I'll be trying to get through will be sewing stuff, but I've also recently tried to organize the pages and pages of recipes that I've torn out or copied down from magazines, blogs, etc. Seems like the pile grows and grows, but my desire to work through it doesn't. So, some of my stash burning, will be working my way through collected recipes to see if they're keepable or not. So my two entries for this week have to do with "new" recipes that I've had for who-knows-how-long.

Growing-up we had coffee cake for breakfast frequently, so I really LOVE coffee cake. I have a couple of recipes that I really like, but it's always fun to try a new one.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Taste of Home magazine. The submitter claimed that it was a very moist cake, and she was right. It was very moist, and had the traditional cinnamon/sugar ribbon in the middle, and surprisingly was a little too sweet... which is saying a lot coming from someone who's favorite part of the meal is the dessert. I think if the recipe were altered a bit, less sugar, then it would be really good.

Chocolate Truffle Pie from Kraft Food and Family magazine. (tried to get the link for this one, but it wouldn't work, so if you want to try it, search Kraft Foods website and you'll find it.) We tried this the other night when the missionaries were over for dinner. It was just okay. I threw the recipe away, I wouldn't make it again. If you want a really AMAZING rich, chocolate cake, make this one. You won't be disappointed, and neither will anyone else you might happen to be nice enough to share it with. It's worth the time and ingredients... you'll be looking for excuses to make it again and again!

08 February 2011


It's becoming the norm... I post through about fall time, and then fall out of blogland until January rolls around. Then, I make something for Abby's birthday, and suddenly decide to post pictures. Therefore, so-as not to disappoint, here was this year's birthday gift:

A felt house. Just the right size for Polly Pocket, or Strawberry Shortcake dolls (I LOVE that they brought these back. What clever marketing!)

This is the inside of the house. That's a swimming pool, with a nice walking path, flowers, you know, Arkansas in the summer. (Shawn wondered why there would be a swimming pool on the wall of a house. I had no response to this.)

I originally got the idea here. But as I looked at the size, I wondered if it would end up being too small for a soon to be 7-year old. So, I used the basic idea of using felt, oh, this was the cute small house from felt - anyway, I decided to use an old pattern that my mom used years ago. I've used the pattern before, probably about 6ish years ago, and made some fabric houses for my girls. They still play with them, so they were totally worth the time, which is nice, cause they require a good amount.

The back of the house:

The side:

And the front:

The house was given with a small Strawberry Shortcake doll wrapped inside. When I asked P how she liked the gift, P gushed, "Oh, she really LOVED it mom! She LOVED Strawberry's long hair!" Like I said... typical.