Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cupcakey Goodness!

I am so excited!

Today I got this cute apron in the mail! Too funny, it even matches my workout top I had on at the time.

I was in a 'Crazy for Cupcakes' Apron swap through swap-bot and this is what I received from my mystery partner! Isn't it great?!

The package also included several cupcake making goodies....sugar crystals, 2 kinds of cupcake liners, a frig magnet with a cupcake on it, a cupcake wash cloth (need the pattern!), 2 embellished hand towels that match the apron... and... BTW, look GREAT in my kitchen.
Oh, and a "take along" cupcake holder....GOTTA get me more of those!

I will be seen wearing this lovely confection creation on May 12th for National Wear Your Apron Day!

Thank you so much Cindy!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Childhood is calling....

When I was little, we lived in Germany for 3 wonderful years. I have a lot of really GOOD memories from while living there.
A couple years ago, my husband said he had discovered a new treat.
When he pulled out a jar of "Nutella" I couldn't help but laugh.
I ate that stuff the entire time we lived overseas. When we moved back to the States in the late 60's, they didn't have it I moved on to PBJs....and then simply forgot about it.

The reason Dean wanted to try it is because Giada has a cookbook with a recipe or 2 using it...BTW, her cookbook rocks....

I make these sandwiches for the kids a few times each week and Dean eats them as a midnight snack on a regular basis.

Today, I decided to make myself one of these yummy treats disguised as a sandwich...after all, peanut butter IS a protein. The Nutella and marshmallow cream make it naughty........oh, and a you gotta have a huge glass of milk.

Since I am no food stylist this picture will have to suffice. It was prettier this way than after I had squished the 2 pieces of bread together!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Mosaic Monday

Curly Girl and I were discussing Summer art plans. She wants me to teach her how to crochet, make a softie and make mosaics.
So we decided that Monday would become 'Mosaic Monday' for the Summer.
To get me primed and ready, I thought I would take this month and start gearing up by putting some of my mosaics from the past up. Help get those creative juices flowing.

Here is Lizzie. She is the first mosaic I made. Why I decided to make a 6 foot lizard as my FIRST mosaic, I have no idea. It was no small undertaking either! The photo is bad but I didn't feel like sifting through years of photos online to find the good one...I didn't make folders 'back then.' Originally Lizzie was bound to an art and garden store in Fort Worth...Dean thought she was pretty neat so we kept her instead!


This one is my son's....Lizzie 2...she is only 4 feet long. Ripstick boy begged me to make him one. I originally made this one for a show I was in but as we were taking it out of the car, we bonked it and one piece popped. I fixed it but wouldn't have felt right selling it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Good morning Glory!

This is our first Morning Glory bloom from the seeds we planted by our pergola.

I thought the vine would climb up a bit more before starting to bloom. But this one started producing blooms right away.
It rained early this morning and the droplets are still on the bloom. Very pretty.
I can't wait for it to cover the pergola.....which will take most of the summer. The good news is that Morning Glories come back by themselves and are very hardy. This one will be here til the frost kills it.........

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Canadian apples?

Okay, so the picture is backwards and the mirror is atrociously dirty but hey....I was sick last week!
I've been meaning to get a good picture of this cute apron but noone was ever around. So, I took one of it myself.
I really like this one. It is simple but functional. I love the giant pocket at the is split into 3 separate sections. The apron itself actually fits me! I only had to tie a tiny knot in the neckband.
I am thinking of using this as a pattern to make myself another one...and some as gifts.

A bit of ric-rac, a ruffle and we're in business!

My thanks go out to Cheryl for this cute apron and some AMAZING fabric and other goodies she sent me in exchange for Lulu.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Frogs n toads n such.....

I try not to 'overdo' yard ornaments but here are 2 I just love.
They add a bit of whimsy to our traditional landscaping.....and I smile whenever I see them.

Dean gave me the 'prince charming frog' years ago for Mother's Day. He bought him from one of my favorite stores....Restoration Hardware.

The toad and ceramic mushrooms came from Green Mama' organic gardening center in NRH Texas...right outside Fort Worth.
I used a gift certificate Dean gave me for yet another Mother's Day!

I wonder what he has planned for me THIS Mother's Day...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Atomic Housewives!

The title of this post cracks me up but I was in a swap by that name so it fits.......
I made a few things for the swap but my favorite were these potholders. I used the pattern from Lotta Jansdotter's book entitled "Simple Sewing."
I found the cute retro 'drive-in' fabric at Hancock's and knew it would be perfect.
The back is solid denim. They are quite thick and should make handling hot pans a lot easier!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Guido has hair.......

Today when I went out to water my herbs, I realized that "Guido ' has HAIR!
"Guido" is a mosaic planter I made several years ago.....I am really glad he survived all our moves. I always worried his ears would fall off!
Last month, I planted chive seeds in Guido's head and I am happy to see that he now has a buzz cut of chive seedlings. They are small but growing pretty well.
I'll take another picture of it when it gets longer........I usually plant him with petunias but decided that was much too girly for this manly man.

This is of one of my little herb garden planters. I have 5 of them on the back patio.
Dean always builds me an area for a large herb garden but that is on the back burner until next year. This year we are all about adding on to the patio and covering, this will suffice!
I use it just about every day when I am can tell by the little chopped off tops!

Monday, April 21, 2008

and it stood up.....and walked...

Today I feel human again.
Since Thursday of last week, I've been in my cave....just like Dean was until he passed the plague on to me. Lucky, me. I haven't been sick in ages. I never get sick.
But I got sick this time. And it kicked my butt. So now, I feel like this cavegirl in the picture.
I kinda look like her too, except my hair is shorter and sticks out like Medusa's. And I don't have any face paint on....or that shirt....oh, and I have about 20 years on her too.
Well, I guess I don't really look like the cavegirl in the picture at all. But I FEEL like her....I've just come out of "the cave" in almost a week and boy am I happy to be ALIVE!
I tried to find a really horrid picture of a cavegirl to depict how I REALLY felt.
Right....all I could find were old pictures of Rachael Welch or Jane Fonda in their skimpy, hot bodied movie poses........
You can find all sorts of nasty caveMEN pictures....really gross ones with the unibrow and armpit hair hanging down to their waist. But not cavegirl or way, they all look HOT.
Not a troglodyte in sight.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Leo's tower

Dean and our son built this kitty tower for Leo last weekend. They built it as a last ditch effort to keep from declawing him. The tower is about 5 feet tall and has a couple shelves to lay on and a tunnel. So far, he doesn't use the we may take it off and put another shelf there.

As usual, Dean didn't have any schematics....he just built it. Cracks me up. Everything he 'sees' in his head he can build.

We adopted Leo last June through PetSmart and the local shelter. We had to 'promise' to keep him indoors...not a problem.....and not to declaw him.....a problem.
At first, he never used our furniture. But we went out of town for a week and when we came back, our furniture was shredded. Since then, it has been more difficult to keep him from using it.
So far, the tower is working out pretty well, Leo is using his claws on it instead of on the furniture. He loves to climb up it like a tree.

He likes to go to the very top and sleep. Here he is looking very smug and happy with his new place.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Birthday Boy has the Flu.......

Today was tax day so everyone remembers it.
In our household, it is also Dean's birthday! It is funny how we dread the 15th for one reason and look forward to it for another.
Every year, I think up a special menu and do fun stuff to the table to celebrate his special day.

But, today was a bad day. Dean has the can REALLY tell from his pictures. He's all puffy and looks like he'd rather be in a cave then at the table.

He slept for 18 hours. Then he got up insisting that he couldn't sleep he drug himself to the couch and promptly fell asleep for the remainder of the day and early evening.
He got up to eat a tiny bit and force a smile for the camera.

We are going to go out to dinner for his birthday this weekend ...hopefully by then, he will feel much better.

Man it really bites to be sick on your birthday.

We Love You Honey, get well soon!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Daddy's repurposed shirt.....

Several weeks back, I got Lotta Jansdotter's book entitled "Simple Sewing." It is a lovely book, full of good ideas for a novice seamstress.
I found this pattern and really wanted to make it for myself. I looked everywhere for a similar fabric, including on line but I couldn't find it anywhere. The book gave resources but not by project.

As luck would have it, when we went to Florida for a long weekend over Spring break, my mom gave our son one of my dad's old shirts.

She thought it would fit our son but it was still way too big for him. The pattern of the fabric was pretty close, so I snatched it up and turned it into the apron I saw in the book.

Dad is shrinking! (its true what they say....)
He used to wear a large but this was a medium so there wasn't much fabric to work with once I took it apart.

Since there wasn't much fabric, I didn't bother with the pattern...except for the oven mitt pocket. Also, I added a waistband to try to give it some length without changing the entire look of the apron. I really wanted it to look very much like the one in the book...very bistro.

Since it is so short, the oven mitt pocket looks huge but I love the color combination so overall, I am very happy with it.

Best of all is that I get to think of my dad each time I wear it!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ferns and Urns

Last May, my husband flew down and bought our house. He had 2 days to find one and make an offer. I stayed behind in OK because school was still in session.
He found this beautiful Acadian home and fell in love with it. He has always wanted an Acadian home with the ferns on the long front porch.
Well.....the problem was that he wasn't actually paying attention to the direction that the house was facing on the lot.
He saw something like 28 houses in 2 days and forgot little details (more on that later.....well, maybe not.)

Our house faces WEST so the front of the house gets full sun all afternoon.....that means NO FERNS.

He wasn't happy most of last summer, he would walk by ferns and mumble under his breath how he wish we could have them. At the very end of summer, we went to a new garden center and found these 'Sun Ferns' that grow in full sun all day long. We almost bought some but were skeptical so we did some research and waited until this year. Today, we went and bought some right after church.
Dean is happy that he got his ferns and life is good.

Our urns are another story. I wanted the iron know, the ones that cost 400 bucks a piece! What we bought were the concrete ones that cost 60 bucks a piece.
I used a bit of paint glazing and ta-da.......fake iron pots.
From the street, no one can tell the difference. That's good enough for me.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fresh strawberries.........

I was looking for a strawberry amigurumi pattern the other day. I found several flat ones for magnets, etc. but I couldn't locate one for what I wanted....well, not one that was FREE!

So, I made one up. I put them in this little basket that some real strawberries had come in a few weeks back. When the kids came in, they were both so excited....until they realized they weren't real!
I decided that if they could fool the kids, they must look real enough to write down the pattern.
I have two sizes of strawberries here but you'll find the pattern is simple enough to change to all sizes....even little buds.
So, here it is... another freebie!
Although I am getting better at this, I'm still no pro at writing the pattern down. Please forgive me for any errors you might find!

Little Strawberries Pattern

You will need:

Small amounts of yarn in red, black and green. I used bernaut for the berries and redheart for the caps.
Blunt needle for attaching and to make ‘seeds’
Crochet hook sized ‘F’

Small Strawberry

Work 4 sc into a magic ring
Row 1: 2 sc into each sc around = 8 sc
Row 2: 1 sc in first sc, then 2 sc in next sc, around = 12 sc
Row 3-5: sc into each sc around = 12 sc

At this point, using the black yarn and blunt needle, sew little dashes into strawberry to make ‘seeds.’ You could also use seed beads...that would be even cuter.


Begin decrease

Row 6: sc 2 together, then sc 1 into the next 3 sc, twice = 10 sc
Row 7: sc 2 together around 5 times, slip stitch across opening and fasten off. Sew in tail.


Work 4 sc into a magic loop, then join to the first sc with a slip stitch. Do NOT turn.
Chain 5 and slipstitch into next stitch. (picot stitch created)
Do this 3 more times.
At the end you should have 4 loops.
Fasten off but leave a sewing tail

Large Strawberry:

Work 4 sc into a magic loop
Row 1: 2 sc into each sc around = 8 sc
Row 2: 1 sc in first sc, then 2 sc in next sc, around = 12 sc
Row 3: sc 1 in the next 2 sc, then 2 in the next sc = 16 sc
Row 4-6: sc in each sc around = 16 sc

Begin decrease

Row 7: sc 2 together, then sc 1 in next 2 sc around = 12 sc
Row 8: sc 2 together , then sc 1 in next sc around = 9 sc
Row 9: sc 2 together around, slip stitch across top to close.
Fasten off and sew in end.

Large Cap

Work 4 sc into a magic loop, then join to the first sc with a slip stitch. Do NOT turn.
Chain 7 and slipstitch into next stitch. (picot stitch created)
Do this 3 more times. When done, you should have 4 loops.
Fasten off but leave a sewing tail

To assemble.

Place cap on top of strawberry and using the sewing tail from the cap, attach cap to the strawberry. Push the loops closely together as you sew. To form a point, pull the thread up and down at the end of each loop.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Itty Bitty Kitty

I needed a kitty pattern for an amigurumi swap but didn't want to use any of the ones I had on hand. They didn't fit the 'look' I was after.

So I decided to make my own up. I was aiming for a 'webbles wobble but they don't fall down'  kinda look but didn't quite get much for my 'vision!'

However, itty bitty kitty did turn out to be pretty cute so I thought I'd share my pattern with anyone interested.
I'm not the best at writing patterns so forgive me if you run across an error.

You will need:
Small amounts of yarn...I used Redheart acrylic
Seed beads for eyes (or small safety eyes)and a bead for the bow
Small amounts of embroidery floss
Polyfil stuffing
Needles sized for floss and yarn.
Crochet hook size “G”

Begin with body color.
Sc 6 into a magic ring, pull tight. If you don't know how to make a magic ring, here is a tutorial.
Row 1: sc 2 into each sc around = 12 sc
Row 2: sc 1 into next sc, then sc 2 into next, around = 18 sc
Row 3: sc 1 into next 2 sc, then sc 2 into next, around = 24 sc
Row 4: sc 1 into next 3 sc, then sc 2 into next, around = 30 sc
Row 5: sc 1 into next 4 sc, then sc 2 into next, around = 36 sc
Row 6: sc around = 36 sc.
Begin decreases
Row 7 : sc 2 together, sc 1 into next 4 sc around = 30 sc
Row 8: sc 2 together, sc 1 into next 3 sc around = 24
At this point, you may add the eyes, whiskers and mouth.
Stuff, but not too tightly.
Begin to close
Row9: sc 2 together, sc 1 into next 2 around = 18
Row 10-13: sc 2 together around until you can close. Fasten off and thread ends through.

Ears (make 2)
Chain 5
Turn, sc back along chain into 4 sc
Turn, sc back along chain into 3 sc
Turn, sc back along chain into 2 sc
Turn, sc 1, fasten off, leaving a tail for sewing.

Sc 4 into a magic loop, pull tight
Row 1: Sc 2 into each sc around = 8
Begin Decrease
Row 2: sc 2 together into next sc, sc 1 into next sc, around = 6 sc
Row 3***-8: sc around, fasten off.
***If changing color, do it at Row 3
Keep in mind you can make the tail as long or short as you want!
Do not stuff the tail.

Paws (make 4)
Sc 6 into a magic loop, pull tight
Row 1: sc 2 around = 12 sc
Row 2: sc 2 together , sc 1 in next 3 sc, around
Row 3: sc around
***Row 4: sc around
***if doing a color change, do it at row 4
stuff each paw just a wee bit.

To assemble kitty just attach the ears, tail and paws with yarn using a blunt tapestry needle.
Tie a bow, sew to head and add a cute bead.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Mother's Work........

I was in another apron swap recently. This one was for a working apron for mom's that never slow down.
I decided to use some leftover cat fabric and used my husband's old shirt as the base.
I added some essentials to the swap and threw in a couple things I thought my partner would like.
For a totally 'free' apron, I think it turned out pretty cute!

I especially like the 3 large pockets....

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Naughty Leo

Awhile back, I posted that our sweet Leo was in love with the new waterer.

Just look at that his little basket...which he decided he wanted to live in...even though it was on top of the refrigerator....and he had to climb on all sorts of stuff to live in it.....and he knocked a bunch of stuff down... and it broke.
So now, Leo is very happy in his little basket that is now on the end table in the family room.
Leo likes to live in stuff...

Oops wrong Leo story....stories

Oh yes, Leo loves the waterer....yeah, well I misspoke. Leo is OBSESSED with the waterer. He goes bonkers whenever it makes the gurgle sound to refill the basin. Whenever the dogs drink out of it, he gets to play. He is so happy that he jumps on top of it to watch the bubbles escape. Or he stands on his back legs and bites at the bubble.

He loves it. And we thought it was SO CUTE.

It still IS cute.....sorta...well....maybe not.

Since Leo doesn't drink enough to make the water bubble, he has learned to take a more physical approach:

He takes a RUNNING leap and pounces on it REALLY hard with all his body weight. This forces a bubble to escape. He has gotten so good at it that he can do it all in one move : run, hit the top , land on the floor.... all in one fell swoop. That way he can chase the bubble and try to catch it by shoving his paw in the water basin...into that tiny little crack.

The problem is that when the water lever drops to about half full, he hits it so hard that water splooshes EVERYWHERE.
Oh, and he looooooooooooooves that! It makes him very happy.
Whoever said cats hate water never met Leo. I fussed at him one time and sat him down in the water. Yeah, he LAID DOWN and then looked up me like. "GOOD IDEA!"
No dashing off to dry himself or flicking water off each individual leg. Nope.

I've tried to put stuff under the know, those rubber rug things to keep stuff from slipping. Yeah, that works fine until he TIPS IT OVER! He hasn't gotten it to fall all the way over yet. It usually hits the wall and tips back into place....but the water sure does gurgle a lot! And so he does it again and again because that makes him so happy.

That is why we have towels on the floor in our kitchen now. Something every hostess should have....piles of soggy wet towels....

If we didn't love him so much..........

Friday, April 4, 2008

Tea Party?

I think this cute apron just screams Tea Party!

My partner for the Flirty Apron Swap made this adorable apron. I love the bright colors and it is great because it is reversible so if I yuck up one side, I can flip it over and become the perfect hostess all over again in a flash!
June Cleaver, eat your heart out!

She included some blue rimming sugar and a couple recipes for me to try out!

Even though I should be pouring tea and serving cucumber sandwiches in this apron, I think I'll be pouring margaritas and serving guacamole!

Thank you Abigail! I love it!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A day at the farm.....

Over Spring Break, we went to Florida for a family visit.
The last few times we went, it rained so we didn't get a chance to go to my sister's farm. This time, the weather held and we got to go. Although we call it 'the farm' it is not a true working farm....yet!
They have some wonderful acreage they are clearing and have a stable, several paddocks and an apartment on sight. I always get choked up when we first arrive. I love the smell of the barn. Reminds me of when I had horses....

On the spur of the moment, my sister took our kids up to spend the night and have a 'flesh pile' on the floor. The kids had so much fun helping her with evening chores, feeding the dogs and cats, bringing in and feeding the horses. In the morning, they got to help feed everyone again, clean stalls and turn the horses out for the day.
They got to see the neighbors goats with their little babies.
Best of all, they got to drive the 'gator' and golf cart around by themselves!
As you can see by the pictures, everyone had a good time! Here is our son driving the golf cart around the place.........And here is our daughter in the 'gator' getting ready to take a drive to the paddock.My mom and dad went out with us to the far paddock to feed treats to the horses.Here are the kids with Parma. He is Page's dressage horse.........what a handsome fellow!Here is another picture of Parma walking up to get his treats!

Here is Merrylegs.....aka Merryfoots.....he is Parma's companion.
Here is Merrylegs with our daughter.......she just gave him a 'treaty-weaty'..........Here is Ameila.
She is also known as " little fluffs of love, Meme, Wuffle fluffle " and any other baby doll name that Page can come up with at the moment.
We all laugh because she is really old and sort of hobbles along like an old lady UNTIL you call out the word 'treat'...then she BOLTS for the house to get her treat. Too funny.
Here are the neighbors goats with babies. This mama has two babies but it is hard to see in the photo. We accidentally spooked them and they dashed over to mama, ran under her and began nursing to comfort themselves. They are sooooooooo darn cute!

Thank you Page!
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