Thursday, July 31, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

paint in my hair

and under my nails! i started painting this weekend, and we are ordering our carpet later this week. they did a knockdown texture on all the walls and ceilings, which turned out great. the walls were pretty wonky, so some of the seams aren't straight, but what an improvement over the tan paneling and knotty pine seams. and i'm painting all the walls and ceilings the same color so that it will help hide the flaws. they are putting in our windows today!

i also painted the laundry room shelves and walls, and now i am filling them up with my craft supplies. my goal is to use up enough of my fabric stash that it will all fit on one of the long shelves. i've decided to sacrifice my craft room upstairs in order for all three kids to each have their own room. we've been having the boys share a room, but now we're going to put the crib in the guest room instead. there's a closet up there where i can store my sewing machines.

ok, enough about home improvements! my pepper jelly looks like honey, but the pectin box said it can take 2 weeks for it to fully set. so i'm still hoping it comes out. i made another pillow for the living room. i'm in two fabric swaps right now, one for 6 inch "i-spy" squares and one for vintage sheets and fabric squares. i only have about half of what i need for that one, and i had hoped to go shopping the other day but that didn't work out so well. the kids were being unruly, so we didn't make it to the thrift store. maybe this week.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

we shall see...

well, i haven't made it very far on my to-do list. i've made some headway sorting through our junk and i've got a truckload ready to go to charity. and, as always happens when sorting through piles, i found recipes i want to try, and more unfinished projects. i did make the zucchini bread, it was wonderful and i didn't give it away. i plan to make another loaf (from the largest zucchini ever grown! seriously huge.) and i can't stop "designing" the upstairs, trying to figure out what color paint and carpet to get. exciting!! i've never got to make a room from scratch, it rocks!

so i canned some jelly instead. i had a bunch of assorted peppers, so i made a pepper jelly. green bell, yellow/green bells, jalepenos, and two italian peppers. my dad had picked them all from a friend's garden and i am hoping it turns out! every time i've tried canning, it's been a disaster in one way or another.

once, in our old house, i boiled out all of the water in my saucepot and my salsa jars exploded, what a mess. another time i made tomato sauce. it wasn't tasty. all that work and i didn't even like it. this time i tried my pressure cooker. i frightened our daughter when i released the pressure - she hates loud noises - and then when i popped the lid the water boiled up and scalded my hand. i can't believe i jumped back quickly enough to avoid burning my legs. oh, and i thought powdered pectin is what you bought to make liquid pectin with. it comes in a box like jello. but no, they are different. so will my jalepeno jelly set up correctly? we shall see.

Monday, July 21, 2008

helping hands

crafty plans this week include:

finish baby gifts for maya
make another set of cloth napkins
thrift shop for vintage sheets and fabric and cut squares
bake zucchini bread and banana bread for the sheet rock guys, who are awesome and almost finished!

i am taking our neighbor kirby with us when we go shopping, she's happy to get out of the house and i am happy to have help with the kids, it's a win-win! i told her i'd buy her lunch. but all i can think about it that i'll be able to actually shop! if i find anything good i'll let you know :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008


this is starting to get boring. i need a new pattern! this apron is so darn comfortable though. i was thinking of altering it into a sundress, what do you think? you never see halters with a neck like that, do you? but it's really easy for me to wear. the kind that tie behind the neck always gap across my flat chest. anyways, this one has red topstitching, and guess what? i still have bias tape left over. two aprons, baby bibs, and it's still going strong!

and i made some cloth napkins, they were super easy. the prints are a little country for me, but they should hide stains well. troy took the kids for a few hours today, so i was able to get in some sewing time. although i did spend a chunk of it with the couch and the tv.

and really, how much can i get accomplished when my fabrics are all packed up and stored in the garage while we finish sheet rocking the upstairs? the end is in sight, i should be able to paint and set up my new craft area in the next few weeks!

Friday, July 18, 2008

crossing my fingers

there's a beautiful quilt giveaway going on - check out the link on the right! and get out your video cameras! the contest ends soon, so run on over.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

soaps and dreams

i think i found the soap molds i want! look at the buttons
and these patterns. and how cute are the animals?

i am only dreaming at this point. i have so many unfinished projects! i won't make the deadline for the craft fair entry this year. maybe next year.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


a reusable swiffer cloth - knit from scraps! here's another style - sources say, this one is better. you better believe i'll be making one of these. i cringe every time i have to buy swiffer cloths!

a great idea for organizing your dp knitting needles found here.

a tute for a sewing machine mat with attached pincushion - what a nice way to disguise my ugly sewing table! i think i will make one of these.

and recently i saw the prettiest soap molds on another craft blog - but i cannot remember which one! she had just gotten them, kind of a round filigree if i remember correctly. i am dying to find them, i want to make gift bundles with knit washcloths and pretty soaps. any ideas?

Monday, July 14, 2008

my crafty to-do list:

sew two pillows for the living room - finished!
sew the kids pillows for the van
finish the hem on my tunic
finish the ties and pocket on my apron
finish emma's skirt
sew 4 napkins for swap - finished!
sew my swap apron - finished!
sew baby bibs and burp rags for baby gifts
cut squares for sheet swap!

whew. i'd better get started!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

another project to tackle

i am dying to make a recycled jeans bag for our daughter. the tute looks super easy, and i have a special pair of jeans that i had when my hubs and i met, with a long story behind them. ok, you've been warned. long, boring story.

i got a pair of calvin klein jeans my junior year of college. i wore them every day. they were my most favorite pair, ever. then troy and i got in a bad wreck in his truck back in 1996. i wasn't wearing a seat belt. i crashed into the dash and windshield, and hurt my face and leg pretty good. after i regained consciousness in the ambulance, they were asking me where i hurt and i said my leg. so they whipped out some scissors and started to cut my beloved jeans! i protested but got overruled. (we were both ok, just banged up, which was a miracle)

but my jeans now had a rip right up the side seam. i managed to cover the repaired seam with some ribbon - i was cool way before they sold them that way - and i still wore them every day. then a few years later, i cut them off to make them capris. and finally, they were out of style - the waist was too high - but i still hung on to them. they remind me of so much about my life then. how in love troy and i were when we met, and who we were back then. but most of, they remind me how skinny i was! heeeheee.

so that's the scoop, shovel. the flower fabric is going to be the lining, and i'm thinking of some appliqued flowers and maybe felt letters to spell her name, emma jane, across the front. yay, so excited!

more dishcloth patterns

first, a find from the thrift store! i adore old sewing notions. someday i will have a craft space where i can display and use them. i found this hem marker my last trip. so great.
i want to get my napkins done. my partner had absolutely no preference on color, so now i am confused about what i should make. i think i'll play it safe with white or cream, and maybe do some decorative stitching on one hem. i don't want to spend the time on bias trim without an idea of what their decor is, and choosing a patterned fabric is hard too. i may make some cool napkin rings. you use a tube of fabric and stitch d-rings to one end. voila, little napkin belts!

i finished knitting a washcloth yesterday, the pattern is really cute diamonds but i had a hard time remembering which line i was on. it was from a book i read a few years ago, but i can't remember the title. the other stitch patterns are the kitchen cotton and raised box stitch. the striped is a combo of a bunch of leftover yarn, the orange is a diagonal checks, and i think the cookie jar is adorable. i found a pattern for a sewing machine cloth, and i may try that soon.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

stormy feelings

we had a storm roll through tonight, strong winds and hail. we lost a few tree branches, but no major damage. it made me think about the people who have lost so much recently. photos, family recipes - those are the things that would hurt the most over time. i mean, i'd love a new wardrobe and furniture! but to lose the old wooden bowl my great gramma mixed her biscuits in would make me sad.

i did get my aprons sent off last week to lucy's apron angels. i hope that those little aprons, just bits of fabric and thread, will help heal some that are hurting. i sent the pink polka dot, with a knit dishcloth tucked in the pocket. i also sent one from my always growing collection, a very cute apron with a matching potholder. plus a note for each, with a recipe card for my favorite pasta salad. we love this so much we made tons of it to serve at our wedding! it's from taste of home magazine.

sweet-sour pasta salad:

1 16 oz. pkg. tri-color spiral pasta
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 medium cucumber, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 red or green pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley


1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. vinegar
1 Tbsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. salt(optional)
1 tsp. garlic powder

cook pasta according to the package; drain and rinse with cold water. place in a large serving bowl. add. the onion, tomato, cucumber, peppers, and parsley; set aside. in a saucepan, combine the dressing ingredients. cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved. pour over salad and toss to coat. cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. eat entire bowl by yourself.


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