11 December 2012

baby, baby...

Went to a baby shower on Saturday.  I should have taken pictures of the decorations, it was beautiful.  I always imagine throwing a party with such cute decor, but never have.  Anyway, it was fun to see someone else do it... and to be invited.

I made a diaper caddy.  I need to make myself some of these.  So cute.  You can find the tutorial with pattern download here.

And of course, a couple of hats... a knit pink and brown...

and a crocheted cream one, with a hot pink flower.  Hope she likes pink.  And hats.

I actually started the cream one probably about 12 months ago, for another baby.  It was put down, and not picked up until recently.  It really was so quick to finish though.  Of course then I felt badly that I hadn't made myself finish it so many months ago.  Oh well.

Both hats have the same triple layer flower on them.  The light pink one is made with a bigger hook.  I'm really loving that flower.  It's all one piece, instead of three separate flowers, layered.  Fun.  It came with the crocheted hat pattern.  You can find it here, if you're interested.  She's got a lot of cute patterns.

08 December 2012

winner! winner!

Congratulations to Maureen!  Number 57.  She said:

My favorite holiday goody is sweet Potatoe pie. I usually only have from Thanksgiving until Christmas time, so I look forward to it as a special treat. Thanks for the chance to win this adorable cupcake hot pad!

Thanks to everyone who commented.  So fun to read about your favorite holiday treats.  Thanks for sharing.

I'll be contacting you, Maureen.  Expect your hot pad soon.  Just in time for lots of holiday baking!!!

07 December 2012

handmade gift exchange

A couple of weeks ago, before Thanksgiving, I participated in a Handmade Gift Exchange.  Twice a year, Craftaholics Anonymous hosts this exchange for readers and crafters everywhere. Participants make a handmade gift for another crafter with whom they are paired.  

This was my second time participating.  It's a lot of fun.  I mean, who doesn't love getting mail?!

This time around, my swap partner was in Austin, TX.  Knowing this, I couldn't do anything for cold weather.  So, I decided to make her a scarf that she could wear right now.  Well, year-round, really.
This picture was taken with my iphone, right before mailing the package... not a lot of modeling choices.

The fabric was slightly sheer, hemmed on all sides, with 3 rows of elastic thread.  This was my first time sewing with elastic thread.  It was cool.  I don't know why I waited so long.  It was easy.  I NEED to make Hazel something smocked... soon.
Try to imagine the cuteness of this in real life.
I added to it a cute little wristlet.  There's no picture of the lining, but it was a cute red and white design.  And chevrons?  What's not to love!  You can find the tutorial for this wristlet here.

So much fun.

And here's what I received...

A couple of brown paper packages tied-up with string, er, a, twine.  The excitement grows...

Check out how cool this is.  Vintage flatware that she has stamped.  LOVE it!  

How fun will this be to use?!

Mmmm.  Ice Cream.

I Am Sew Happy!  Clever.

I'm thinking this could be a really cool gift for someone who's maybe a little hard to shop for?  You should check out her shop:  For Such A Time Designs.  Thanks Aly.  LOVE IT!

04 December 2012

Giveaway Day!

I think I've seen this previous years, but never in enough time to participate.  This is the year!  Such a great idea... thank you Sew Mama Sew.

Here's what I'm giving away...

... a cupcake hot pad!  Your fingers can slide in under the frosting.

So here's what I need:

  • 1 comment telling me what your favorite holiday goody is (if you want to leave the recipe, feel free)
  • Email address so I can contact you
  • Open until Friday, 7 December, 5pm
  • US and international entries
Can't wait to read your entries!  Don't forget to check out all the other great giveaways on Sew Mama Sew.

long time gone

Feels like it's been forever.

Practically has.

I mean, I can barely remember August.

Lots going on.  Which, isn't really a great excuse.  Everyone could claim the same.  But, I'm still going to use it.

We sold our house.  Looked and looked for a new one.  We moved.  To a rental.  The kids started school.  The kids were in soccer, 3 times a week, all afternoon or morning long.  Four kids in soccer is a BIG commitment.  Laundry.  Dinner.  Lunch.  Cleaning the house.  Speech for Hazel twice a week.  After school tutoring.  Chess club.  Press club.  Two work trips to Dallas.  Breakfast.  Thanksgiving.  Christmas sewing.  Birthdays x 2.

I'm sitting here racking my brain for other things I could possibly include on my list to make this long absence seem legitimate... nothing else is coming.

Anyway.  Here we are.  December.  Wow.  How did that happen?

We had a GREAT Thanksgiving.  Spent it with two of my sisters and their families.  Good times.

Lynette (sister) whipping up something amazing.  Rachel (sister) in back ground, and half of Shawn, cutting something very important to the meal.

Lynette and I working diligently, as Lynette pauses to smile for the camera.

Rachel working on some pickle dip.  Mmmm.

Turkeys.  Traditional in Anthony's (Lynette's husband) family.  Cute.  Fun.  Edible.

The little, little kids table.  You can tell how much they loved the turkeys.

A little "Just Dance" action while the dinner was still being prepped.

The meal.

Funny that you slave in the kitchen for half the day (at least), and it's gone in maybe 30 minutes.  But so worth it.  I love Thanksgiving.

08 August 2012

bake 52: cheddar cheese bread

A cheesy quick bread.  Mmmm.

 Parmesan, grated on the large side of the grater.  Cheddar cut into cubes.

Sprinkle half of parmesan on the bottom of a loaf pan.

Dry ingredients.  That red stuff is cayenne pepper.  Interesting.

Add milk, sour cream and melted butter.

Fold together until just combined.  Batter should be thick and heavy.

Put in pan and top with the rest of the parmesan.

Bake.  Allow to cool slightly in pan.

Doesn't that look yummy?  Love that melted, toasted cheese top.

Look at those cheese pockets.


I really loved that it was a quick bread, so no need to wait for it to rise.

For the full recipe, hop over to Betsy's blog.

01 August 2012

bake 52: monkey bread

Monkey.  Bread.  For as much great information as this recipe book contains, even they don't know exactly why the title, "monkey bread".  But you know, who really cares?  A recipe this good, can be called anything.  It'd still get eaten.

Start with the basic sweet dough recipe.  I didn't take pictures of all the steps of the dough since it's all pretty much the same method, and similar ingredients to the other dough recipes, here and here.

So, make the dough, and let it rise once.

Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon.

Cut the dough into 36 pieces.

Melt the butter.

After rolling each piece of dough into a ball, dip into the butter, and then roll in the cinnamon and sugar.  Covering completely.

Place in a greased bundt pan.

Continue staggering the balls in the pan.  Pour any remaining butter and cinnamon/sugar mixture over top of rolls.  Allow to rise again.  Bake.

After baking, let cool for 5 minutes in the pan.

Turn upside down on plate, and allow to cool another 5 minutes.

Make the glaze.  (Milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla).

 Drizzle over monkey bread.

Serve.  Try not to eat the whole thing.  Good luck with that.

I can see us making this over and over.

Check out Jenn Z.'s blog for the full recipe.

31 July 2012

Plaid Barn giveaway....

Have you heard of Plaid Barn?  It's a daily email with fun craft items or other greats.  Check out this fun giveaway!  Doesn't it look like a fun camera?!


Go comment to win!

18 July 2012

bake 52: cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon.  Sugar.  Butter.  Cream cheese.  Enough said.

I'm STILL on vacation.  These rolls were really yummy.  I ended up doing the dough and forming the rolls, and then sticking them in the fridge overnight and baking them in the morning.  They were great.  I'm thinking it would be such an easy breakfast for Saturday or Sunday mornings (if you have church a little later).  I actually appreciated that it only made 12 rolls.  And just the right amount of frosting.  Nice.

Next week should be my last vacation post.

Check out Valerie's blog for the full recipe.

12 July 2012

Bake 52: fresh fruit tart

This week was a fresh fruit tart. I'm out of town x2... Went to Utah to visit family, and then went on a work trip with husband. (right now we're in Ohio, yesterday we were in New York... hence the day late on the post. )

 The tart was super yummy. The pastry cream was my favorite. Mmm. The crust was like a cookie, so it kind-a reminded me of a large fruit pizza, only with pastry cream instead of the cream cheese spread. You should really try this one.

Visit Amanda's blog for the full recipe.

27 June 2012

bake 52: black and white cookies

In one of the description of this cookie it explained that it was "cake-like".  I was interested to see what they'd be like.  I'm not a huge fan of "cake-like" stuff... unless it's really moist.  But, it's a cookie.  With chocolate and vanilla icing.


Dry ingredients:  cake flour, baking powder and salt.  Whisked together and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar.

Add the eggs, vanilla, and lemon extract.

Add the flour alternately with the milk.  Starting and ending with flour.

Here's the batter all mixed.  It really was more like a batter than a dough.  I was worried that maybe I had skipped something.  I was halving the recipe, so I was wondering if I had halved some but not others.

The dough is placed on a cookie sheet in 1/4 cup portions.

I did 6 to a tray.

The book said to smooth the tops of the cookies with the back of a spoon, or with wet fingertips.  So here's my "smoothing".  I was really starting to worry, and wonder how these would end up.

Out of the oven.

I felt like they looked okay, similar to the ones in the book, so some of my uneasiness started to diminish.

Powdered sugar, corn syrup, water, vanilla.

Split the glaze in half.  Leave half plain - vanilla.

The other half, add to the melted, unsweetened chocolate.

Frost half of each cookie with the chocolate icing, and allow to set up.

Then ice the other half with the vanilla icing.

I wasn't sure how runny or think the icings were supposed so be.  I'm thinking my chocolate was a little thick and maybe my vanilla was a little thin?  So we just scraped off the vanilla icing drips before serving.  No one had to know.  Well, except you, cause you've seen the pictures.

The sure were pretty cookies.  LOVE the brown and white.

The kids liked them okay.  They were a little too cakey for me, but I do really love the looks of them.  This technique would be fun to try on another cookie.

This was a fun pick.  Check out Janet's blog for the full recipe.