Monday, December 26, 2011

Overheard This Week

Son: Mama, why did the old tree lights stop working?
Me: Ummm, probably because they had been stored in a really hot garage.
Son:  Do you think the goblins did it?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

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Here we are, I'm off work until after Christmas and everything is in full swing.  The kids and I have a cookie date with Grandmommy.  I'm going to attempt to make some Cinnamon buns for tommorrow morning. I'm going to try to get some more fabric bags made to cover the presents with.  I'm hoping I don't have to go to the grocery store for a few days.  I'm definately going to make some magical memories for all of us. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Overheard This Week

Son: Is it Christmastime yet Mama?
Me: Yes, it's Christmastime.
Son: Yay!  So is Santa coming tonight?
Me: No, Santa isn't coming until you're in bed on Christmas Eve.
Son: Why is it taking so long?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ornament

My knitting group had a small ornament exchange and I made this little guy:
owl ornamentHe's made from this tutorial.  I'm pretty taken with him myself. I could see myself making some more.  The kids have already requested one for themselves.  Sometimes a small project is the best.  Although, I think I really need to start buying wool felt if I want to make more.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More Elving

I'm really hoping there are others with the "There's no reason to buy it, I mean I can make that." syndrome.  So far I've learned I can make a lot of stuff, but most of it is time consuming and I figure out why it cost so much in the first place.  For example, I've seen all kinds of beautiful wooden toys on Etsy and in several catalogs.  I kept looking at them and wanting to buy a few items for my kids, unfortunately my budget kept getting in the way.  I decided to use the money to make some toys for them.  I'm pretty proud of them.  The pictures are just of the food items as I haven't completed everything yet.  I used poplar wood from a hardware store, my cousin graciously let me use his band saw and belt sander, I used glob paint, and made my own sealant from jojoba oil and beeswax.  I also bought a wood burner to make the lines on the toys a bit more rugged. 
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I still have half of the wood I purchased uncut, and plenty of all my other supplies. I think there may be a few more toys coming. And hopefully a lot of cooking in my little girl's play kitchen come Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cookie Day!

It isn't Christmastime without Grammy's Molasses Cookies!  I really think of them more as being my mom's, because I don't remember ever having had any that Grammy baked.  I think she just gave mom the recipe... Well anyway, these are my essential holiday cookie.  They are big, soft and not overly sweet.  They are great by themselves and really good with coffee.  My favorite time to eat them is actually the day after they are made and have sat all night in a sealed container, they just, soften up to the right density.  Best of all, no frosting required!  I mean you could frost them, but I've never had any that were.
Molasses Cookies
Grammy's Molasses Cookies
1C Sugar                 
1/2C Shortening (not butter)
1 Egg
1/2C Molasses
1/2C Cold Water
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Ginger
1 tsp Baking Soda
4C Flour

Cream shortening and sugar.  Add egg and beat well. Stir in Molasses. Add cold water and beat.  Add flour, ginger, salt and baking soda.  Mix soft dough, kneading as little as possible.  Roll about 1/2" thick for soft cookies, 1/4" for medium cookies, or 1/8" thickness for crisp cookies.  Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

Oh and just a caveat, um if you have a regular kitchen aid mixer, I uh wouldn't double this recipe.... just sayin.  And I'm make sure you have the top locked down, this is a very thick dough.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Overheard This Week

Me: Hold your horses!
Son: All my horses are in the desert.
Me: Why are the horses in the desert?
Son: Because that's where they live.  They have a barn there too in case it rains.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holidaze

I absolutely adore the winter holidays.  Honest.  I like them so much that I start thinking about them way too early, and try to start making all the things for people that I want to give them.  Today, I decided I was done with worrying.  I bought things for people whose gifts did not get made and mailed out all the packages.  Now I'm going to make this season magical for my family.  Time to start the cookie making, and evening Christmas light walks (okay Texas I gotta hand this one to you, it's nice to have the warmer temps on this account).  So Merry Christmas, and yeah I got the cards sent out today too!

Monday, December 05, 2011

For the Grandparents

I was working on something for them, but as always I fell behind schedule, well that's not really true.  I kept adding projects and had to put off the more time consuming ones.  I really wanted something special for my parents.  I found this tutorial, and thought it would be perfect.  Here it is:
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I'm pretty happy with how it came out, especially considering I've never quilted anything before.  Also the only thing I had to buy was the frame as I already had everything I needed in my stash.  But can I get it in the mail in time?

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Overheard This Week

I'm so glad we made it out of the froggy forest!  Mama, it was silly of you to take us through the froggy forest, but it's okay because we've made it back to the land of sunshine.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

My Advent Calendar

Quite a few crafty mamas have blogged about their advent calendars.  Elsie Marley and Boy, oh Boy, oh Boy! are both advocating activity cards for each day.  As I child I only knew of two kinds of advent calendars, the flat paper kind where you opened a flap everyday to reveal a picture and this one:
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This is not the one I had as a child (that one is still at my parents) but an Ebay find.  They were made by Avon in the 1980s.  We moved the mouse from pocket to pocket, there were no candy or toys involved.  As an adult I was shocked to learn that most advent calendars had treats!  I never felt like my parents cheated us, I loved moving that mouse.  I am passing on this tradition, the moving of the mouse each day, and no other treat.  It's simple, easy, adds no holiday stress.  I remember that calendar so fondly that I can't imagine candy making it any sweeter.  Here's to hoping you have a wonderful holiday season, and that your traditions will be remembered fondly by all!
Now let the elving begin!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Day 5

A nod to Habit.
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He named the elf Baloney, and I thought, well how appropriate.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Day 4

A nod to Habit.
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Knit a bit here, knit a bit there, and soon the sweater will be done!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 3

A nod to Habit.
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No matter how many tickles or chases, they are always ready for more.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 2

A nod to Habit.

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And much too quickly I was in bed.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 1

A nod to Habit.
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Tempers were hot, we cooled off outside.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Overheard This Week

Mama?  You see those holes in my jeans?  I got them when I was Zombie hunting.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Overheard This Week

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Me: Who is this a picture of?
Son: Ummm, Erik?
Me: No, it's a picture of Mama, it's me when I was little.
Son: Why were you a little boy?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Investing in Myself

I've been feeling a little bit burnt out lately.  I have a long list of crafts to make, and books to read, and dinners to plan, and... I haven't been thinking much about what I really need.  So in the midst of this,  these other wise ladies posted their thoughts:
Liz Lamoreux
Vivienne McMaster
Soulemama

Sometimes the hardest thing is to do nothing, to take a break and breathe.  I push myself to stay up late to finish projects, or bring them with me to work on during my lunch.  I need to invest in myself.  There is only one me, and I need to take care of myself so I can be a better caretaker for my family.  No one likes being grouchy, or losing their temper.  I will be gentle with myself, I will leave time to exhale, and I know a little investment in myself is the best thing for everyone. 

I am going to start a practice of slowing down, and being.  To allow myself to be the imperfect creature that I am.  To accept myself as the imperfect creature that I am.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Overheard This Week

Mama I love you more than ice cream and bears, and the same as glass cups.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Young Adult Fiction

I am a YA addict!  I read from many different genres, but YA is my favorite.  I have a new author obsession right now too: Ilsa J. Bick .  I just finished Ashes and have another novel of hers reserved at the library.  I read her blog today and think she has an amazing thought process.  As the year grows cooler, what books do you find yourself drawn too?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Overheard This Week

Son: Mama can I have a sip of your Dr Pepper?
Me: No, I'm not drinking Dr Pepper.
Son: Can I have a sip of your Diet Coke?
Me: No, It's not Diet Coke either.
Son: Can I have a sip of your drink please?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Friend Becky

I spent a bit of my lovely week in New York going through the boxes my parents have kept for me.  Some items I brought home, some items I threw out, and some I asked my parents to please keep for the time being.  I think I only have 4 file boxes left!  Most of what I brought home consisted of Dolls and Sewing patterns.  I found my mom's stash of stretch and sew patterns, and I think I may be buying and/or reusing a lot of jersey in the coming months!

One of the most exciting finds involves this pretty lady:
2011-10-25 20.17.37.jpgI remembered playing with the My Friend Dolls after reading several posts about them on various blogs.  I also became momentarily obsessed with having one again, luckily my parents still had this cutie.  I know we also had several outfits (I remember the ballerina outfit, the rain coat, and the jogging outfit) but alas they did not make it.  One of the cool things is that there were a lot of patterns made for these dolls.  I didn't only find stretch and sew patterns, I found a My Friend dress pattern too!  Now, to find time to sew...
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Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween is Coming

2011-10-23 09.36.31.jpgI'm not a big Halloween person, but I do still remember the childhood anticipation of it.  This is the first year my son remembers and knows what is going on.  We've bought our costumes and the dress up play is in full swing.  Plus, we just put up the Halloween tree, which I must admit is a personal favorite.  (Yes, he did do double duty as the Christmas tree before we had the kids.)
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Overheard This Week

Mama, I'm glad we're back in North Texas, but if we could get back on an airplane and fly back to New York I'd be even happier!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Overheard This Week

Son: Grandpy what is that on the ground?
Grandpy: It's a pool cover.
Son: Where's your pool?
Grandpy: We don't have one, the people who lived here before us took it with them.
Son: Oh, you mean like the light fixtures?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fall

There is nothing like an east coast fall, especially if that is where you want to be.  The seasons in Texas just aren't as dramatic.  I've been enjoying the crisp temperatures, the excellent cider, and the leaves.   Oh and of course the sheep and wool festival!  More on that later.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Overheard This Week

(While staring at a stack of cheese sandwiches waiting to be grilled)  Mama that is the biggest sandwich I've ever seen!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Just Add Elastic

I'm pretty excited about this project.  I made a cute pair of pants for each of my kids!
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The pattern is Basic Pocket Pants from Growing Up Sew Liberated: Making Handmade Clothes and Projects for Your Creative Child.  It was a very easy project to make, now I just need the elastic I ordered to show up!
These pants started out innocently enough, I was browsing the clearance section of Super Buzzy when I saw these fabrics!  I originally intended for my daughter's pants to be green with pink edging and my son's to be red with green edging, but well once the kids saw the fabrics the whole color scheme was changed!  Luckily for me there was a 1 yard minimum or everyone would have been sad.
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Sunday, October 02, 2011

Overheard This Week

Daddy: Is your scratchy throat gone?
Son: Yes, Mama gave me some honey and it went away.
Me: Do you know where honey comes from?
Son:Yes, it comes from the barbershop!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Something New

Today I made applesauce and canned it!  It was the first time I ever made applesauce or canned anything.  It was so easy I could hit myself for not doing it before.  I've had homemade applesauce, I remember a batch of my Grammy's that was pink.  My mom did a little bit of canning when I was young, but we were more of a freezer family. 

This is what I did: 
I cut the apples into quarters (how many, ummm 5lbs or more?)
Removed the seeds I could see and the stems and threw them into a stockpot 
The pot had an inch of water in the bottom 
I boiled them on medium until they were soft 
I then ladled them into a food mill 
From there I heated up the applesauce again and canned according to the directions in my kit instructions.


I also had some left over which I put into containers and transferred to the fridge.  Let me tell you Just Do it! It will be worth your time.   (I bought the food mill because I like very smooth applesauce, many people do not, so you could just peel and core the apples and mash them with a potato masher.)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Overheard This Week

Me: You have to put on a t-shirt before you put your sweater on.
Son: Why?
Me: Because sweaters can get hot, and this way if you want to take it off you already have another shirt on.
Son: Mama why didn't you buy a fan to cool off the yarn before you knit my sweater?  That way the sweater wouldn't be hot!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pinky Dinky Doo!

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It was entirely by accident, but after putting the hair on this doll I cannot ignore the similarity between the two!  This little one is still in progress.  She is a prototype for a small (around 9 inch) Waldorf style doll.  I have yet to decide on her clothing, I'm thinking a dress...

In other news I have started a new job!  It is full time and a bit of a commute, but wonderful all the same.  This is me apologizing for what will be a lack of crafting in the near future as the family figures out and settles into a new Rhythm.  I hope all of you are enjoying the weather cooling off as much as I am.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Overheard This Week

Son: MamaDaddy?
Daddy: I'm just Daddy.
Son: Okay MamaDaddy.
Daddy: Do you want me to start calling you DaughterSon?
Son: MamaDaddy my name isn't DaughterSon, it's just Son!
Daddy:Okay DaughterSon.
Son: (spoken very rapidly with no breaks) Mama Hi! Daddy I want some more milk please.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rag Dolls

I have been experimenting with different types of dolls.  After finding this tutorial, I decided I needed to give these little dolls a try!  I made them the size the pattern prints out, I did not enlarge them as the directions call for.  Here are the two I made for my kids:
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My son insisted his be blue with a bow in her hair.  I really like these little ones.  The felt hair is fun too, so many possibilities!  Plus it's a great way to use up the bits and pieces of beautiful fabric I have been unable to part with.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Overheard This Week

Son: Mama I want some...some...I want that...Ummmm.  Mama I want some of that stuff that makes this yummy.
Me: You mean salad dressing?
Son: Yes, I want some salad dressing.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Baby Blankets

I learned how to crochet when I was in high school.  Shortly before moving across the country I found out one of my friends was pregnant.  I wanted to give her something special.  So, I learned how to crochet to make her a blanket.  My mom found this yarn shop a town away where a little German woman said she'd teach me if we bought all of the supplies from her.  It was a good deal, not only did I learn how to crochet, I learned how to read patterns and how to ignore them or add to them, all from my first project.  I also learned that Saturday knitting circles with old ladies can be more crass than sitting in the back of 5th grade next to Jake and Sterling.

But I digress, where were we?  Oh yes, so now my family calls upon me when friends are having babies to make blankets.  It's not my favorite thing, but who am I to say no to a cute little blanket that doesn't really take very long?  And after I'm done I always love them.  So here is a blanket I made for a friend of my sister:
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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Swap: Completed!

Of course I completely forgot to take pictures of the stuff I made for my swap mate, but today I received my package and have photos to share!  I think my partner did an amazing job figuring out things I would like.  The theme of the swap was dishclothes and scrubbies, and the colors she picked for me are perfect.  My kids enjoyed everything as well, my son had to take the little basket to bed with him tonight.  I must say my favorite are the Flower Fairy magnets, I have loved Cicely Mary Baker's creations for, well decades...
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Monday, September 05, 2011

Overheard This Week

Mama I'm growing really fast because I have gears inside me!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Patterns!

I am proud to say that this past week I created not one but two patterns!  The first is a doll pattern that I am still tweaking, but it is a pattern.  Drafted by myself onto paper to be replicated by me at any time I see fit.  The second is a simple bag.
I moved to Texas in October of 2010.  I was living with my inlaws and feeling very, well lost.  I decided I wanted to make my children Halloween candy bags, you know nothing fancy just a little bag.  Shall we say my sense of scaling was off?  I made 2 huge tote bags that we could have carried the children in, and neither of the children could actually carry.  So this year, back to the drawing board.  Here is one of last year's bags:
IMG_0873
Just imagine a two year old inside it with a bit of room, you get the idea...
My work is having a craft fair at the end of September and since I'm crafty they asked me if I want to sell anything at the employee table. I'm a little panicked as I've never sold any of my crafts before. I'm also lacking capital to buy raw materials. Which prompted me to remake the bags, and with the extra material I would be able to have a few to sell. Just like that:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Overheard This Week

Daddy why do you have to go to work?  Is it so we can buy cheese?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dolls!

I have been bitten by the doll bug.  I am busy making little dollies and trying to come up with a pattern that is versatile enough that I can make it many times without getting bored.  There is so much to dollmaking that I never thought about before.  Right now I have these books checked out from the library:

I am going through them line by line, then dreaming, and doing.  I do find though, that I have a very strong opinion about what I like and what I don't like. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Goodies

So, almost a month ago (!) the family and I made a short trip to Denver.  Too short of a trip honestly.  I got to see some friends and have a bit of time.  The highlight for me of course was getting to go to the lovely shop of wonderment that is Fancy Tiger!  I had been holding myself back from buying all sorts of lovelies so I could buy a whole bunch of beauty there!  So without much ado my scores:
Fabric

Yarn
Can you guess what I'll be making this fall?  Have any ideas of what those fabrics need to be made into?  If you look to the far bottom left and far right in the fabric photo you will see my fat quarters of the limited 5th anniversary Fancy Tiger print.  I was one weekend too late to join in on the festivities, but thanks to an amazing friend they saved me some.  In case you hadn't guessed all of Molly's hair was purchased during this trip(with the exception of the brown which I did buy at Fancy Tiger just like 2 years ago!).  I know what you are thinking, the yarn purchases looks a bit on the small side right?  Well that's because in October I am going to Rhinebeck!  I fully intend to increase my yarn stash while there.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Swaps and Things!

I have signed up for two craft swaps.  What is a craft swap you may ask?  Well it can be many things.  The ones I am a part of are through Ravelry, you sign up and are assigned a partner, there are specific classes of things you make ie. a dishcloth and then you mail it to your partner and they mail you one too!  I'm kinda excited about the whole thing.  I also discovered this website, and I may participate.  I love the idea of making something to send to a complete stranger to help cheer them up.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Overheard This Week

Son: Mama the mouses took my cars and broke them.
Me: The mice took your cars?
Son: No, not the mice the mouses.
Me: Oh, the plural of mouse is mice, not mouses, it's an odd word.  And we don't have mice in the house.
Son: Well, if we don't have mice then who will steal my cars and break them?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

And Molly Too

I just finished a doll for my daughter.  These little dolls are addictive!  I'm already planning the next one, outfit and all.  Molly was made from a pattern in the Growing Up Sew Liberated book.  I did however do a crochet cap wig and did not sew the hair as the instructions in the book gave.  I think she came out nicely, and my little girl hardly has let go of her since I handed her over.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Overheard This Week

Son: Mama this is a good dinner.  This is the goodest dinner you've ever made!
Daddy: Is it better than the pot roast?
Son: Pot roast? Pot roast!  Pots are not good to eat!  Pot roast is bad for you.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Tent is Done!


I have been working on this project since mid June when I received Growing Up Sew Liberated in the mail.  I let my kids look at it and pick out one project each I would make them.  My son of course chose the tent.  My daughter, not quite understanding chose one of the babies photographed in the book.  I informed her that although I am capable of making a baby, I am not planning on making anymore, so she needs to choose a project made of cloth.  She is still debating... but in the mean time I started the tent!  Canvas can get very thick quickly.  I don't think I'll be making anymore tents for some time to come, but I am very happy with it!  So are the kids! 

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Dance Party



Today was 110 degrees here in Texas.  Thus there was no outside time for the little ones.  We have found though, that a little dance party to Duran Duran does wonders!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Another Pizza Post

I really am in love with Pizza right now.  Maybe it was this post that made me start thinking about it, and maybe it was my success earlier this year with this recipe that made me think about pizza from scratch.  Whatever it is, my children love pizza and with the heirloom tomatoes on sale and my laziness (really making 3 crusts at once leaves you with free time on the other days) it's a winner!  Tonight we had pizza with a tiny bit of sauce covered in heirloom tomatoes with a sprinkle of salt on each tomatoe, a generous sprinkling of thyme, pepperonis, some spinach coated in olive oil on one half, this baked for 20 minutes before adding the full fat mozzarella and baking for another 5.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Overheard This Week (a small departure from my cute children)

Older man in grocery store: Honey is it okay if I pick up some hotties?
Wife (very indignant): What did you say?
Older man (somewhat confused at reaction): Is it okay if I pick up some hotties?
Little Boy (pointing to endcap shelf filled with pickles): See hotties!  The pickles are hotties!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Introducing Cookie

Cookie is the first doll I ever made.  I had checked out some books on the Waldorf philosophy of schooling and childhood, so of course the dolls were mentioned.  I drooled looking at the dolls on etsy, and knew I would not be able to afford one.  So, being the crafty lady that I am, I scoured the internet for tutorials and made my own using only things I already had in the house.  Now who knows why I had a small amount of stokinette tubing, but I did and indeed I used it!  My son loved him, and loved seeing me build him.
Today Cookie got a new pair of pants.  He's been wearing a dress that's a little too short lately and I decided maybe he'd like some pants.  I took an old knit shirt and cut the arms off and just sewed them together. The cuffs make beautiful already finished hems.  I just made a small casing and put in some elastic.  Plus, I still have plenty of material to make more doll clothes with.  I think Cookie might like having some options, and well I guess I might just want him to have some other outfits.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fairy Gardens

These are truly delightful!  I have been thinking about making a Fairy Garden for quite some time now.  Maybe this is the inspiration I need to just do it.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Oh Fish in the Sea!

My son has completely fallen in love with the story The Magic Fish: The Fisherman and His Wife.  It is a fable about wanting too much.  I remember reading it as a child myself.  The magical part about this story is, my son doesn't just love having it read to him, he now pretends to read it himself!  His inflection and intonations mirror mine, it just warms a mama's heart you know.  Today before nap, he wanted to read it to himself.  I heard his little voice floating in from the other room "Oh fish in the sea come listen to me!".  I really hope his love and interest in reading continues.