Friday, October 31, 2008

more family traditions

it used to be, in my family, that on christmas eve we would be make turkey tacos (from frozen thanksgiving meat), tamales (which we would get from our favorite mexican restaurant) and my nana would make her "guacamorle" as she says it. we'd eat tons, and play cards! hearts, crazy eights, whatever. this was something my mom and i always looked forward to all year. you had to make sure you saved enough turkey in november for the feast. here's the recipe - turkey tacos are just turkey meat rolled into a corn tortilla and fried! yummy with guacamole, and also cold out of the fridge in the middle of the night! the night always ended with us getting to open a gift. or sometimes, all the gifts!

as we got older and went away to school and married and moved around, this tradition has sadly become a memory. but one i will always remember! and just a note - target carries market pantry frozen tamales that rock! my fave are the chicken chile, but the beef are really good too!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

more swappy goodness

in the interest of keeping myself sane, i am NOT going to join this swap, but i thought i'd put it out there, in case you, dear reader, don't have three kids under age 4, a head cold, and an unfinished paint job in your living room...

check out the happy scraps swap!


if you're already in the holiday mood, like me, run over and join the swap at sewliberated. we don't have a lot of "traditional" traditions in our families, but i think that's what makes it special and fun. like, how my mother in law waits until a day or two before christmas and then goes out on her farm and finds the ugliest cedar tree around, cuts it down, and plunks it in her sun room. then she throws tinsel at it , hangs lights and pretties, and voila! christmas time is here! the smell of the fresh cedar is great, and with a fire in the pot belly stove, full tummies and some good beer, we have a great time.

i'll be sharing more of these unique bits of our holiday lives over the next two months, and i'd love it if you'd share too. leave me a comment, or post about it on your own blog! and don't forget to join the swap, sign ups end november 9th! and i've set a goal to make one handmade thing for each special person in my life this christmas. look for lots of links to tutorials and pics of completed stuff. i'm in the crafting zone, i tell you!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


i wanted to share my most favorite cookie recipe, just in time for holiday baking! these cinnamon crackles always come out perfect for me, and i just love the way they taste. i've found that fresh peel works better than dried, the dried seems to stay crunchy and i don't care for that. but these always have a place on my cookie trays!

Friday, October 24, 2008

gifty goodness

here's my first apple picking tote! i have another almost done, just a few more seams to go. i carried this one around while i ran errands last week, and it held up pretty well, so i am going ahead with plans to make them for christmas gifts. they are very floppy, best for groceries or, well, apples!

i also embellished a store bought tote i had on hand for my niece. a sweet squirrel holding a flower, some satin ribbon trim and her name spelled out in beaded felt. i plan to fill it with books for her gift this year. my daughter said it was beautiful, so i am hoping lyla will like it as well.

i am also about finished cleaning out the laundry room. one shelf of fabric and some notions remain. now that the upstairs is carpeted, i am moving everything back to the guest room. my plans for a craft table i found on craig's list fell through, so i am rethinking the room's design a bit. but i am so glad to have space to fold laundry again!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

baby fever

i finally finished it! the maya quilt is done. and quite cute, if i do say so myself! i can't wait to make another one. i have a nephew due in a little over a month, so my next blanket will be for him. i have a sweet doggy print picked out, along with some vintage yellow rickrack and probably a gingham binding. also on the machine right now are two apple picking totes - they are almost done and i can't wait to show them off!

speaking of babies - i just found out a good friend is expecting baby #2! yippee! for them and me, because now i get to make more baby gifts!

and finally, there are babies in need, and i want to help. do you knit or crochet? if so, consider making a cap for save the children's knit one save one campaign. i've only made one baby cap before, so hopefully i can come up with something wearable and warm. the pdf packet includes patterns for both knit and crochet. i have some beautiful yellow yarn i think will work well.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

be my partner?

aargh! i missed the signups for the winter sassy apron swap! i've been meaning to check on it, and missed it by a couple of days. and of course, this one is awesome and all about cookies. grr. did anyone else miss it and want to be my partner? the swap is for a cookie themed apron, and you need to include a cookie cutter and a cookie recipe, plus any extra cookie things you'd like. let me know and we can swap addresses!

i made another batch of applesauce last night, only this time i reduced the amount of sugar and cinnamon and i'm much happier with the results. i also made an apple coffee cake, and have eaten about half of it by myself. not good, people. i was wanting to drop a couple pounds so i can fit in my winter clothes (they are all prebaby sizes, i've been knocked up for the last couple years!). between that and my new hankering for hot wings, i'll probably have to get a whole new wardrobe. maybe my new apron could cover it all up?

Shenandoah Costume GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Shenandoah Costume GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!
this costume is gorgeous. how she can bring herself to give it away, i do not know. i just hope she gives it to me (and emma)!

Monday, October 13, 2008

get it done, already

so, in an effort to once again reclaim my laundry room, i am putting out a new to-do list. up first, the oliver & s lazydays skirt. since it's so quick, i think i will try to make one for each of my nieces, in fall/winter fabric, and hopefully reduce my stash a bit. i have a lot of suiting that i think may work well for this. maybe not, the first one will tell the tale. i'd also really like to make the apple picking tote from purlbee for my mom (and myself), it looks fairly simple as well. i am just having a hard time finding two fabrics i like together in my piles. amazing, that i could have laundry basket after laundry basket and still not have anything that coordinates right.

of course, the actual item that will be tackled first is my maya quilt - it's so close to done, i'm ashamed to even still be writing about it. the poor baby is like three months old already! i ran out of thread on my very last quilting line. seriously, halfway across, my bobbin gave up and there wasn't enough on the spool to finish. so i picked up thread the next day and in the morning light, realized late night sewing doesn't always mean the straightest seams. so i ripped out half of them, and haven't had a chance (or made myself) tackle it again. i used a straightedge and a marking pen, so i'm not sure why i was so crooked. better luck next time (tonight?)

Friday, October 10, 2008

juicy bits and pretty things

are you still visiting me, even though my craftiness has dwindled to a halt lately? if so, thanks. i promise to do better in the future. for now though, let me share this great site that's new to me! juicy bits has a wonderful tutorial on making felt crowns. which i had wanted to make for the party last weekend. i didn't care for any of the felt colors they had at walmart, but now that i've found this tute, i have to try to make it, it's too darling! tomorrow i am going to be in lawrence, alone! and i'm going to hit all of the stores i never get to, like hancock's and hobby lobby and michael's! so cross your fingers i find some beautiful felt to make christmas gifts with.

and craftsbury kids is having another giveaway, which i can't help but try to win. check out littleida for more information about all of the fabulous stuff they're giving to one lucky winner!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

baker in training

last night i started on my cakes for this weekend. we have a party to attend saturday, and then our own party on sunday. i was planning a sheet cake for sat and some kind of tiered round and cupcakes for sunday.

but my daughter really wanted to help me make the cakes. and after she recited an entire scene from strawberry shortcake where s.s. meets angel cake for the first time and they work together on a cake for apple dumpling... can you see where this is going? so i let her help me after her brothers went to bed.

and it was so much fun! we haven't done anything like that in awhile. i've tried. but with both of the older kids together, they always start to fight and the "supposedly" enjoyable experience becomes a big headache. but she and i, one on one, was a blast. she cracked the eggs (about as well as i do) and she pretended to read the recipe ("we need 4 cups of milk and 4 eggs") and she informed me that making chocolate cupcakes was hard work. she wore her little apron and stayed up late helping me work. i always pictured that we would have three girls, and this is exactly why i wanted that. what a doll.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

party prep!

no time for sewing this week - i have birthday cakes to make! if you've never seen my cakes before, you can check them out here. this should be an interesting project. i haven't decorated any cakes since our youngest started walking and getting into everything! he turned one today, happy birthday zach!

so here's the plan. my daughter said she wants pink frosting and white frosting with a heart on top (have you seen cinderella 3? she has) and cupcakes and sprinkles too. cousin lyla loves girly, and zach won't care, food is food. i'm planning a tiered pink and white cake for the girls, and some kind of blue smash cake for zach to tear into. maybe a princess crown on top of the cake? or just flowers everywhere? i do know that i need to get busy, i have a lot of cake to bake tomorrow! chocolate fudge cake with cookies and cream filling and buttercream icing, with ice cream on the side, of course. luckily, the menu is pizza, and salad bar, so i don't have to worry about cooking too.

i'm not sure what i'll do about decorating. my sis-in-law got a pinata, that should be a lot of fun! i really hope the weather is nice so all ten kids can be outside. i want to draw a huge chalk maze on the sidewalk and driveway, and do bubbles and all that stuff.

i did make some fabulous applesauce with all the apples my MIL brought us. i filled up the crockpot and got two jars to give as gifts and a big bowl for us to enjoy! and as a bonus, the house smelled delicious too.


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