Monday, May 26, 2008

good news

the angels have been busy! last weekend i received one of my favorite aprons ever. lorrie, you are amazing! the picture is terrible, i'm sorry! the fabric is fab, a green, yellow, & white floral on black. she also included a recipe, a silicone scraper and a measuring cup - they are cool and i am a little overwhelmed with her generosity! thank you so much!

last weekend's menu turned out so well. the potato bites were a big hit. i didn't get the lemon bars made, and did rice krispy treats instead. the rocky road brownies were devoured by the kids. it was a lot of fun.

starting tomorrow i have to get busy sewing. i have three aprons to make! i have my fabrics picked out, and most of the designs ready, but with all the chaos i haven't started them yet. wish me luck!

Friday, May 23, 2008

mail call!

some of my swaps have come, and i wanted to share them! first off, let me say thanks to valerie over at yarni gras. she angeled me a garden apron(she tells how to make it on her blog), full of goodies. my kids snatched them and ran! this is our daughter with a giant flower pen that she declared her love for. it made her whole day that this came in the mail! alas, poor son was left with the beads.

i also got my mother's day apron and it's so cute! i can't decide which side i like better. i love the pockets on the front, and she made a matching pot holder for me too. and i have a few new recipes to try out! thanks happydollmaker!

the best laid plans...

sorry for not chatting more, things are still hectic around here! my husband is finally off of his night schedule after almost three months, so he took off the entire week. and strangely, i find i am more productive when he's not around! is anyone else like that? he's been the crafty one, building the kids a wood fort complete with slide, climbing wall, and picnic table! we still need to put on the roof, the sandbox and the trapeze bar.

anyways, we've also been preparing for a big weekend. first, a fishing tournament and camp-out on the lake. then our kids are getting baptised on sunday, followed by lunch at our house. then tuesday i am hosting bunco here. which means i have been planning menus and cleaning like a mad woman!

i made two pies today, and have two to make tomorrow. i tried a new recipe, for cranberry pie. i threw in a sprinkle of dried cherries and a dash of almond extract. i think it could use something else, but it's pretty tasty as it is. tart and full of flavor, the taste lingers on your tongue. but in a pleasant way, not in that cloying perfume kind of way. i think i added a 1/4 c. more sugar, and had a few less cranberries than it wanted. we'll see what the verdict is tomorrow. i am thinking it also needs to be warm with a big scoop of breyer's vanilla.

the other pie i made was a pecan pie and this is the third time i've made it. the first two, i didn't get to taste before they were all gone! i like that it doesn't use karo, too messy! i am also going to make a sour cream apple, and a chocolate cream pie. yummo! it's been so long since i got to just bake.

the buffet i decided on for the baptism luncheon is:
spinach dip
twice baked potato bites
pickled cucumbers and onions
salad bar
grilled salmon and chicken
rocky road brownies
lemon bars

the potato and dessert recipes are in the latest everyday food magazine, and they are all make ahead dishes i can do tomorrow. i already made the pasta salad for the bbq saturday. we're smoking ribs and pork roasts, and mom's bringing beans and who knows what else. we always have so much food.

and finally, for bunco - i know this is fascinating stuff, right! - i am thinking of a platter of little sandwiches, cut in quarters with toothpicks in them. and then spinach dip because i never get sick of that. and for dessert, i may try the new one kraft is pimping everywhere, the strawberry cool whip oreo one that is advertised all over the place?! it's a make ahead frozen dessert and sounds super easy. i just hope that easy=delish.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


i've been busy with one of my hobbies - gardening - for the past few days. mostly i've been potting annuals. i've still got some plants to get in the ground, and a few flower beds to clean and mulch.

flowers - red/white, violet, & pale yellow petunias, wizard mix coleous, lobelia, hibiscus
the usual greenery - spikes, asparagus fern, elephant ears, dusty miller

i've got a few hostas that survived their first year here! and the iris that i brought with us that is in full bloom right now. and some moneywort that mom gave me is thriving. wow, that stuff is aggressive! future plans include terracing the yard with a rock wall, a vegetable plot, and berry bushes. troy wants some grapevines so he can make wine. i'd love some fruit trees for pies. how holly hobbie is that?! we are also going to clean up the gravel drive edges somehow, and take out a few ugly cedar trees.

one of them is enormous. when you start to fell a tree that large, you can't help but wonder if it's the right thing to do. we've waffled back and forth on this, yes, cut it - no, we can't... in the winter it's like a giant christmas tree, pretty, all covered in snow. but the rest of the year it's an eyesore and the ground underneath is pretty muddy from all the shade.

i've been birdwatching and have already seem a hummingbird sampling this year's selection of blooms! we've also had cardinals, bluebirds, finches, woodpeckers, turtle doves, cowbirds, chickadees, and bluejays. the bluebirds are new to me, i've never had any on my feeders anywhere else. last year for our anniversary, troy bought us a purple martin house. so far, zero. but there's still hope!

Saturday, May 10, 2008


my dishcloths came yesterday! a pretty yellow basketweave and a grandmother's favorite in a green twist. thanks, emily! check out her etsy shop, boutiquegirl

yummy fabrics

i don't do a lot of fabric shopping online, simply because i can't afford to pay shipping on top of it all. but if i could, i would drop a bundle at warm biscuit. i just found their site today while looking for a brown polka dot for an apron i'm making. of course, they have the perfect fabric to complement this cupcake print, but at $12 a yard, with a 2 yard minimum and $8 shipping, it's too much for me to spend. arrgh. all i need is a small piece for the center panel! i am having the hardest time finding a brown print to finish this out!

i'm planning to make the two-tone apron from handmade kate. the how-to video is available over at the new sewing republic, although i can't get the pdf to open. but i think i can figure the pattern out, besides, i may add a bib to it. but wouldn't it be scrumptious in this!
Brown Multi Dot - click to enlarge

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

snail mail

well. i am still checking my mailbox with anticipation, every day, waiting for my swap goodies to arrive! i know that my flirty apron is lost somewhere in the usps, but i've looked at the photos of it and it's a beautiful emmeline, done in cupcake fabric. so sad. but where oh where is my lunchbox bag? my mother's day apron? my dishcloths?

in other crafty news, i made emma some wide leg pj pants last night out of flannel. the dinosaur print came from my grandma's stash. the only thing is that when i prewashed it, it already started pilling, so who knows how long they will last. especially since alex has already laid claim to them, pink dinosaurs and all! i made the pattern based off a pair of her sweats, and i was really surprised how cute they came out! i see more pairs in her future. and i'm planning to make some for zach out of a t-shirt that i got paint on. it's a nice blue shirt, and i felt bad about ruining it, and now i feel better since they will make great loungey pants for summer.

i cut out another pair of capris for her, these in a bright abstract butterfly print. of course i didn't pay attention while laying the pieces out, and so there's only pieces of butterflies. i am such a MISER! i was trying to save the biggest piece of fabric i could, and let design go right out the window.

so i moved on to papercrafts. i made a banner for the boys room, i know, it's so last week and all, but i still think it's cute. the kids thought it was too cool. it has both their names spelled out. we are moving zach's crib in there this month, so i thought we needed a celebration banner! i made the gingham curtains in there too. go, me!

Monday, May 5, 2008

and more aprons...

the signup is on til the 15th for the flirty apron swap 2! the theme is independence day, but you can interpret that into red, white & blue, fireworks, bbq - you get the idea. head over to sign up and enter the contest to win a sassy apron, too! i'm thinking of using a great print i have, with cherry pies and watermelons and summery things, hmm, i better go get started!

also, tie one on has extended the theme until june 1st on the havana nights aprons. if you have one to add to her gallery, make sure to check that out!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

aprons everywhere

two more apron swaps coming up, and i can't wait to get my other partner so i can get started. the planning takes me longer than it should. that's one reason why i don't think i'd have enjoyed interior design. i love the idea of doing it, but not the reality of making decisions! anyways, i know i'd like to make a smock apron. i need to make it for myself and see how the size runs.

ahem, if my swap partner is reading this, i really love full aprons. i (used to) bake a lot and i always wear (wore) one while i decorate cakes. so please, no tulle, or rhinestones, or anything along those lines. pockets and a button to hang a towel from would be way more appreciated. and i adore embroidery, if that's your thing. but if you are just dying to make a "for looks only" apron, that's ok too. i will wear it (someday) at my craft booth while i sell delicious desserts and handmade stuff.

hmm, what else is new. i really want to make some clothes, but when i start to do it, i remember why i don't. i hate unfinished seams, and i hate finishing them, and until i get a serger it just seems pointless. all that's left for me to do on emma's ruffled skirt is the hem and waistband, but i got disgusted looking at all those ugly edges, and i hung it up. ok, and because it's too big for her, that's another reason. if she can't wear it now, why finish it, that's my motto!

we are having a bunch of company in a couple of weeks, so i have got to get my craft piles under control. hopefully this week will be when it all starts to come together. i have made a little progress around here. mostly in my mind.


so here's my latest apron creation! i made this for a mother's day swap. i'm hoping she'll enjoy it, it's a nice weight and even though i'm not a fruity kind of gal, i really like this cherry print. i think it's the black background and the bright green stems! it's hard to tell in the photos - terrible lighting - but the solid red is actually tiny white polka dots. i started with a simplicity pattern for this one, but i abandoned it right away.

choosing the fabrics took me forever! the polka dot i found a couple weeks ago, but it's pretty thin, so i knew i wanted another material to go with it. i had picked up a couple of florals, but i think those will go into a summer dress for emma. i found the cherries yesterday afternoon while in lawrence with the kids. so i whipped this out after bedtime last night! i used the apron pattern for the skirt, pocket and ties, but made my own waistband so it would be wider. i also love the rick-rack ends on the ties. the apron is wide enough to cover the sides of your thighs, which is where i always wipe my hands.

i tucked this in a box with a hand-knit dish scrubbie, an oxo wooden spoon, recipe cards, and a couple of chocolates. now it's on it's way to it's new home!


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