Monday, March 30, 2009

Vintage Spring Sweetness swap

My box from Jenny arrived this week!

I love all the little goodies she packed for me. Lucky for me, Leo insisted on making himself comfy in the box.

In order for him to be 'one with the box' I had to remove the shred....and found 2 more little lovelies I had overlooked! Some vintage ribbon and lace.

she sent me little Easter picks, a tiny cookbook, cupcake liners and a little duckie cupcake topper,
vintage lace and ribbon....even the shred is lovely....
Here is a photo of the handmade swag she made me on my china hutch

and here I am with a lovely vintage apron....with built in potholder!

Thank you Jenny!

This is what I sent HER:

she is the one I sent this sweet apron to.....

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A little green.....

This week has been drab and dreary.
It has rained every day since Wednesday with NO sign of stopping any time soon! Luckily, the rain has brightened up everyone's lawn.....into a deep spring green.

Speaking of green, this cute little hankie arrived in my mail box....

It has the cutest little shamrocks and little top hats on it.
I won this cutie by being in the Vintage Spring Sweetness Swap.
Thank you Linda! You are a wonderful hostess!

Then, my "Weads" necklace arrived!
OMgoodness, this necklace is gorgeous!
And GREEN! favorite color...along with orange, red, periwinkle, teal.....okay, one of my favorite colors.
I won it by helping Nadine name her new jewelry collection.
Here it is next to the handmade ribbon bag she packages them in....both are just lovely.

and here it is on...I wore it last night with a lovely sweater which showed the entire necklace but forgot to take a photo.

Thank you Nadine!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring color apron.......

Here is a cute apron I just got....for the Spring Color apron swap thru swap-bot. Cute, huh?!

and here is the one I sent my partner......

Friday, March 20, 2009

Top 100 Tutorials of 2008

While deeply pondering my employment future, I got sidetracked.

In other words.....I was blog surfing a bit and stumbled across Long Threads blog where she has a listing of the top 100 tutorials for this past year. What a great reference for us crafty is the link.

As far as I'm concerned, you can NEVER have enough tutorials!
Afterall, why reinvent the wheel?

now...back to pondering.......

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Crafting kind of weekend........

This past weekend, it rained both fact, it rained Friday thru Monday!
Perfect kind of crafting weather!
I made some toys for upcoming Toy Society drops and we managed to fit in a movie for the kids.
The toys all turned out pretty cute....even the wonky owl. I had to redo his eyes a couple times but then just gave up! He definitely needs glasses!

Today, after the sun came out, I went ahead and dropped the little owl at a local playground.

I hope someone adopts him....even with his wonky eyes!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Toadstool Tuesday...

I participated in Sonya's little mushroom swap and got my box in the mail yesterday!
I was sooooo excited!
Look at the cute little mushrooms I got...and what great variety.

I've already emailed my thank yous to the talented ladies who made them.....if you'd like to see the rest, check out the flickr group for it. There are tons of REALLY cute ones out there....
Here is the link.
Now I feel like making some of my cream of mushroom soup.......

Monday, March 16, 2009

Oh, the Horrors!

Saturday I was upstairs on the computer when I heard this weird ripping noise.
I looked over the loft edge and saw my husband destroying his favorite sandals.
Then I start laughing because I know EXACTLY what he is doing.
So I go downstairs and take this picture...

and this one...

then dear hubby starts on sandal number 2...

surgery with kiddie scissors...

as I am doubled over holding my aching stomach I only have one thought in my head.
I gotta getta job!

Dean was so horrified at the thought of my posting this, that he ran out and bought new sandals! Of course, he insists on keeping his old ones for when we work in the garden...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

For the love of birds....

Lori hosted a little birdie swap and had 2 partners! I waited until I got my goodies and my partners got theirs before posting about it.

Tangee sent me this nice package:

here is what I sent her...she especially liked the little 'Zebra' finch I made her...I already posted about it...and linked up to the website where I got the pattern.

Here is what Angi sent me:

I've already changed out my handbag to use the one she made me!

And here is what I sent her.....she really likes the apron! I couldn't resist sending her one of the little birdies I made. I also made a toadstool pincushion for her (decidedly UNbirdie...but useful if you sew as much as she does!)

She got her package yesterday and loved everything!

What a fun swap!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A little birdie business....

I love birds.
I usually feed them during the winter... but we didn't do much of that here, it just isn't cold enough.

So instead, I put my favorite purse on a shelf in my closet where I could see it everyday.
This vintage bag was made by Collins of Texas. It was my mom's. It was sitting in the top of her closet so she gave it to me a couple of years ago.
I used it for the entire summer but then I sadly put it away so it wouldn't get worn out or beaten up...or stolen.
This little bag got A LOT of attention...I don't understand why they aren't made any longer. It is small but totally worth the trade off!
I keep thinking I need to display it somehow. It is so beautiful.
Thanks Mom!

another birdie...

Check out this bird mobile I stumbled across. I was looking for a birdie pattern for a swap I'm in.

I made 2 little birdies using the pattern....I wish I could say I need to make the mobile...

They look pretty cute....can't wait to make more!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Toadstool Tuesday: Toadstool toppers

I'm in knitsonya's little handmade mushroom swap.
The participants have to make 5 identical mushrooms to mail in, then she will mix them up and mail them back out to you.

After seeing what everyone else was making, I decided to do something different so I came up with these little crocheted pencil toppers or plant pokes.

And here are the patterns, a little gift from me to you. They are created amigurumi style:

You will need little bits of yarn in white and red. I use Red Heart because it stands up well on its own with this type of crochet.
Size E crochet hook
Tapestry needle
Pencil or dowel rod the diameter of a pencil

For the stem:
With white, sc 6 into a magic ring
Row 1-12, sc into each sc around = 6 sc per row***
***at row 2, flip the stem so the correct side is on the outside.
At row 12, fasten off and work tail into stem.

For the basic cap:

With red, sc 6 into a magic ring
Row 1: work 1 sc into each sc around = 6 sc
begin increases
Row 2: work 2 sc into each sc around = 12 sc
Row 3: work 1 sc into next sc then 2 sc into next sc, around = 18 sc
Row 4: work 1 sc into next 2 stitches then 2 sc into next sc, around = 24 sc
fasten off, work yarn into cap.
Using white yarn, make 3-5 french knots for the little spots , fasten off and work in yarn.

Using red, attach the cap to the stem and slip onto pencil or dowel rod.

For the droopy cap:

With red, sc 6 into a magic ring
Row 1: work 1 sc into each sc around = 6 sc
Row 2: work 2 sc into each sc around = 12 sc
Row 3: work 1 sc around = 12 sc
Row 4: work 1 sc around = 12 sc
Try this cap on while working, it should be snug. If not, you may need to work 1 decrease to tighten it up a bit.
fasten off, work yarn into cap
Using white, make little dashes over the cap, fasten off and work tail in.

Using red, attach the cap to the stem and slip onto pencil or dowel rod.

I didn't write this pattern down...just went by memory so I apologize if there are any errors.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mail call...

Last week I worked everyday at one of the local elementary schools so I didn't get a chance to sew.
But.....I was so excited because, I got two aprons in the mail!
I posted about what I sent my partners

First off, here is the toadstool apron I received from Mary. Now you KNOW how much I love these little characters.
I actually squealed when I opened the package. My partner must have really studied my profile. She couldn't have made me a more perfect apron! She started with polka dots and then added toadstools and snails. Then to top it off, she added lace trim, the unique ribbon waistband and the cute ribbon embellishment! Even if you DON'T like toadstools, you'd have to love THIS APRON!

Then I got this wonderful bright green apron from Pat! I know she doesn't know how much I love pears because I don't really have it on my profile.
I have prints of them in several areas of my home...I love their shape and their rich. Hmm...maybe I need to post about pears one day....

isn't this so cute...

and here is a close up of one of the has the same blue as my kitchen!

Thank you ladies for such perfect aprons!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Going, going, gone....Cinnamon Rolls

When I was growing up, each weekend you'd find my dad in the kitchen...creating recipes and making lots of wonderful things to eat. He even created a wonderful cookbook which he gave all us kids. I use that book every week!

These cinnamon rolls were some of my favorites. He always made them with raisins and walnuts which I didn't like.....but once I started baking with him, he would let me make a batch for myself...just plain old cinnamon and sugar...with LOTS of cinnamon!

Here is my dad's recipe that I grew up with. Be prepared, this makes A LOT of cinnamon rolls:

For the dough:

1 c milk, scalded
1 c very warm water
3/4 c sugar
2 packages dry yeast (I use RapidRise)
2 tsp salt
6-7 c flour
1/4 c softened butter

Scald the milk, add sugar, salt and butter. Stir well. Let cool to lukewarm.

Proof yeast in a large bowl (directions on the package) with the warm water. When the milk mixture is cooled off, add it to the bowl along with half the flour.
Start mixing, then gradually add the rest of the flour as needed until you get a soft ball of dough...not sticky. Be careful not to add too much flour.

Halve the dough into 2 portions and then use the dough hook on your mixer to knead it about 5 minutes each. If you don't have a dough hook, knead on a floured board about 10 minutes.
Don't over work the will get tough. Once it works easily into a ball, stop.
Put dough balls into a large bowl sprayed with Pam and cover loosely. Put it in a warm place and let rise until double in size.*

*I put mine on top of the dryer while it is running if it isn't warm in the house.

For the Filling:

1 stick melted butter
Mix 1 cup sugar with 6 tsp cinnamon (more or less to your taste)
if you like, add walnuts and raisins too. My dad always soaked his raisins in rum to plump them up.

Remember to work in 2 batches!

On a floured surface roll the dough out to about a 1/4 inch thickness.
Using a pastry brush, brush the dough with the melted butter...go all the way to the EDGES.

Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar mixture and any other ingredients you added.
From the short end, roll up jellyroll fashion. This is why you want buttered edges, you need to smooth the edges into one another. Some people 'pinch' the edges but if you put the butter to the end of the dough, they will slip together easier.

Then cut the rolls into equal segments. I use a skinny boning knife for this so the dough doesn't drag over a large blade. I cut mine about 1 and 1/2 inches thick.

Arrange them into a pan that has been sprayed with Pam. For the ends of the dough, they are usually funny shaped. Put them in the pan upside down, they'll cook more evenly...sometimes you have to push them down a bit to help even them out.

Cover again and let rise once more...about 30 minutes or until the sides touch.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. I bake mine at 375 for 20 minutes because my oven runs hot.

As soon as you pull them from the oven, drizzle this glaze over them.
Whisk together:
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
a dash of cinnamon
enough milk to combine it (about 4 tsp.)
Be careful not to make the glaze too thin.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Curly Girl's self portrait

My daughter did a self portrait Tuesday night. She was so cute when she brought it out for me to see. It took her about an hour.....mainly because the hair took 30 minutes! She paid a lot of attention to detail with the curls.
Here is a close up...

I asked her how she got started and wasn't surprised when she said "Oh mommy, I just pressed my face to the page and put my finger where my nose was!" (the delight of 11 year old ingenuity...)

This first self portrait is lovely.
Her forehead isn't that high...and her hair is fuller and not so long....but isn't it lovely?
I can't wait to see how her talent and skill develops over the she is holding the portrait and trying not to smile!

Oh how I hope she continues to love drawing.....her gift is such a blessing!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Fitness Friday...

I've been working out for about a year now.
I joined a class called Body Pump and it kicks my boo-tay 2-3 times a week.
And I love it.

Plus, its paying off....


Now I look like this:

Oh wait! Silly me....that is the WRONG photo. where did I put MY photo...I look JUST LIKE HER.
...well, I have it around here somewhere.....when I find it, I'll be SURE to post it.
really.....I will.....

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sew on and sew on....

Here are aprons I made this past weekend. They are for some swaps I'm in.....
This one is for a 'green' can't see it in the photo but the stripe has a pretty cream in it to match the waist and ruffle.

and this one....TOADSTOOL!

I made a GIANT cute. I like this one enough that I think I may make myself one too!
And here is one for a bird lover

And this one has some spring can't tell from the photo but the two long pockets overlap one another and make 4 separate is really cute on.

All but one apron has been received, and so far, everyone is happy with them....

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Toadstool Tuesday..stuffies

I was in another toadstool stuffie swap and had so much fun!

Here is what I sent my amigurumi toadstool and a toadstool bookmark (the pattern is on my blog)

Here is what I got from my partner....a cute toadstool!

Here is the top...

She also sent some buttons and yarn to me. Sweet!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today is our son's 13th birthday....wake up sleepy head!

To help celebrate it with us, watch his new favorite video....HA!

Here he is with his sister...she gave him a new basketball!

and with birthday money he bought an ipodtouch...

and his favorite...a Disciple's Cross and the book 'Monster' by christian author Frank Peretti

someone is growing up way tooooo fast for mom........
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