Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Christmas Corners

This afternoon Jenny and I set up our nativity set. The "cave" is just a cardboard box covered with one of our play silks, and the star is one from my ornament collection. We will put baby Jesus away until Christmas, and the three kings will wander around the house until Epiphany, but we wanted to see what it will look like all set up. :)

ps) Now that we are home I should be back to blogging as normal!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I didn't stop blogging, I'm just knitting!

Nothing quite ready for pictures yet, but I'm hoping in the next few days to have completed a few things to share. Lots of business going on here, but due to a major lack of sleep, not much thinking about blogging. :) But I did want to share my is such fun to do this! I'm thinking of doing a series of posts on the follow through of the menu. With pictures of the food each day along with recipes, what do you think?

Well, for now, here's what's coming up on our plates.....

Breakfasts: Oatmeal with brown sugar, raisins and milk
Lunch: PB&J or leftovers
Snacks: Yogurt, string cheese, cookies, crackers (Mommy- trail mix, yogurt)

Mac'n'cheese with green beans
Creamy garlic chicken pizza
Chili & cornbread
Sweet and sour meatballs (new make ahead recipe)
Crock pot roast, roasted vegetables, rolls, broccoli "Wellesley Fudge Cake" (new recipe)
Spaghetti & meat sauce, garlic bread, green beans
Chicken & rice pot pie (new recipe)
Oven baked Chicken Chimichangas (new recipe)
I'm doing more new recipes than usual, but I am feeling the need for some fresh inspiration, and my latest "Cooks Country" magazine arrived just in time! :) Also, since we will be gone for a few days over Thanksgiving, there are a few days planned simply as "left overs" so that we can clean out the fridge before we go. I hate coming home to nasty food!

As for special Thanksgiving things, I'm planning on making two loaves of THIS Cranberry Orange Bread, and a batch of spiced nuts (new recipe). I'll be sure to share recipes and details for the good new things! Saturday will be a busy day of cleaning, cooking and crafting, (and Joe's going to put our Christmas lights up, because we like to turn them on the first Sunday of Advent) then Sunday Joe and I have a date to finish up the last of our Christmas shopping. After that I will just have to get busy with my crafting! I can't wait to pull out our Christmas bins! I have some new plans for Advent this year, and I am so excited to share!

What yummy things are you making??

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Technical Difficulties

Hi- I know I'm supposed to be posting, but due to some strange technical difficulties, my camera will not upload pictures for me...... so I need to have Joe look at it and make it work for me. :) Sounds easy enough, but of the last 8 days, he's only been home before 9 twice, and I haven't wanted to pester him with it that late. So...either tonight or tomorrow you will have some good picture-filled posts!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Rest

The only place where housework comes before needlework is in the dictionary. ~Mary Kurtz

(P.S. I will be back this week! Last week was very long and very tired, but I have lots for this week! Thanks for understanding.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WIP Wednesday:: A Variation...

The weather here is dark grey and rainy....and I don't have any good pictures for today. I've moved all over the house, turned lights on, turned lights off, flash on, flash off...on and on and on, and not one good picture. :( So, I thought I would just share some of the things that are on my to do list. I have some fun crafting plans for Christmas (aside from gifts) that I can't wait to get started on!

I found this super cute mini mitten ornament pattern (free) that I really want to make...they are super super tiny, I've seen pictures that compare them to a quarter and I'd say that they're probably only twice as big! I'm thinking I might up the yarn and needle size so that they're a wee bit bigger. Or maybe make a little family of them?

I also have a few more gnomes to make, I want to do one with a "light" theme for our nature table, and Bitty wants one just like this one that I made a few weeks ago.

While I was growing up we had a really fun Advent calender that was my mom's growing up. It was a big felt tree and each day you added a new felt ornament, placing the star on the top on the last day. Well, I was thinking of doing something like that, and was looking for free tutorials online when I found this one. I *love* the idea of a garland, and I could fill it with all sorts of tiny things... I really really Really want to make a small nativity set out of my horde of scraps, and I would love to put one piece into each pouch. Nothing too fancy, just something small and friendly to little hands... I think it will be fun! Oh, and I want to make the garland out of fabric on hand too, as wonderful as wool felt would be, I don't think it's in the budget this year.

I collect star ornaments. I love them. I think they are the most beautiful kind of ornaments. Each year I pick out two or three to add to my collection, and our tree just looks so happy! :) When I saw this tutorial, I knew I had to make some! (Although I'll probably use flannel scraps instead of felt.)

I just saw these beautiful mason jar candle holders this morning over at Frontier Dreams, and I can't wait to make them! I'm considering doing three purple and one pink instead of the more traditional taper candles for our Advent wreath this year... I foresee making many of them in different color combinations...they looks so pretty!!

And last but not least, are these Waldorf star lanterns. I really love just about everything Waldorf related, but I really love these lanterns. I'm so excited to make them!

Thanks for looking! What special crafts are on your to do list?

Monday, November 9, 2009

My Fall/Winter Collection:: Part One

I've been working on a little project that I thought I'd share with you all. (And yes, I know how late it is, but it is still Monday!) So, I've been re-inspired recently to work on some sewing for myself. I haven't been doing much sewing lately, so I'm really excited to get to work on this. I've come up with my plan, and I believe, chosen my patterns. Next I will fit mock ups and then I can start! So today I thought I'd share the outline and patterns, and over the next few weeks I will continue to share updates as things develop.

Colors: Browns, pinks/berries (I will firm this up once I find the fabric!), blues, and white/grey

Item list: (everyday clothing)
4 skirts: 1 long khaki skirt, 1 long navy skirt, dk brown print tiered skirt, pink/berry print skirt
3 dresses: 1 brown w/ pink floral, 1 blue floral, 1 pink/berry
4 blouses: 1 white, 1 chocolate brown, 1 navy, 1 pink/berry
4 knit tops: 1 white, 1 chocolate brown, 1 navy, 1 pink/berry
3 cardigans: 1 chocolate brown, 1 berry, 1 navy

Sunday: khaki plaid skirt, white blouse, navy cardigan

Okay, for the patterns...
Skirts- I'm going to see how far I can go with Simplicity 5914, probably views A and D. For the tiered skirt I'm going to copy a favorite one that is worn out.
Dresses- for the dresses, I'm going to be using McCalls 4769 view F. I think the seams will let me alter it easily, and I might tweak the sleeves a bit, depending on the fit of the mock up.
Blouses- The Sense & Sensibility romantic blouse

I think I will probably purchase the knit tops since those are easy to find in lots of colors and styles. Then for the cardigans I have the chocolate brown one, and haven't decided where exactly I'll be getting the other two.

Well that's what I've come up with, I'd love to hear what you think!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Rest

(photo taken by Bitty)

- Elsie N. Brady

How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.

At other times, they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Family Night

So coming up with brilliant things to blog about today proved to be somewhat difficult. Joe spent the day working on a rather huge project (more on that in another post soon), so the kids and I had the day free to go play. We spent a few hours at my mom's; now that everyone is healthy again we can finally start visiting again. :) After that we went down to WalMart to look at fabric. I'm working on a fall/winter wardrobe "collection" (again, more on that soon!) and I was looking for some pretty see the only problem is that WalMart has several lines of fabric that they stock and rarely do they get anything new. So, since I've been buying fabric from them for the last oh, 10 years, I feel like at some point I have worn every version of calico they sell. :) So in order to not completely let the kids down, I started talking about the new and exciting concept of "Family Night" that we were going to start this evening. Of course Jenny wanted to know all about it, so I told her that she and Daddy would be making pizza and that after we could watch a special movie or play a game or something else fun. She really liked the game idea and asked what we would that point I quickly realized that I had miscalculated one thing... we only had big people games. So after a quick browsing of of the game isle, we found that there is a line of games by one of their favorite illustrators, Eric Carle. They just had one of them (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), but it looks like Target has several more that I think we might start "collecting"...maybe a few as family Christmas gifts? We really had fun with the Caterpillar game, Jenny especially. :)

Here are links for anyone interested...

Other Games (not Eric Carle)

And this pizza dough is really good, really easy, and doesn't need any time to rise!

Pizza Crust

1 cup of warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast (one package)
2 1/2-3 cups of flour

Preheat oven to 425*. Put all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Pat out onto a greased pizza pan and add your toppings of choice. Bake for 20 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Yield 1 large pizza. Enjoy!!

ps) A blog I love, Sew Liberated (side bar link) will be hosting an exchange that looks like lots of fun, so go over and take a look!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Gratitude Friday

Jenny's hands
Anthony's hands

This week I am grateful for...

~ A husband who will take the day off so I can have a sick day
~ Beautiful fall weather
~ My dear friend Sommer who celebrates her birthday today!
~ A successful first week of my new blogging routine!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Menu Plan:: November 6-19

I'm trying to use what we have in the freezer and pantry this time so that I can do a bit of fabric shopping. (Those of you have seen my sewing room please stop laughing, I need a few things for my wardrobe!!) So without further ado...

All breakfasts: Fried egg sandwiches (two pieces toast, 1 fried egg, 1 piece bacon)
Morning snack: Doodles- "mix up", Mommy- yogurt
Lunches: Vegetable soup with pepperoni rolls (the Doodles might just eat the rolls)
After nap snack: Doodles- Applesauce and muffin, Mommy- Trail mix
Friday- Homemade mac'n'cheese, green beans
Saturday- Homemade pizza (family night)
Sunday- Crockpot roast, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes and pie for dessert (have to choose a kind!)
Monday- Lasagna, salad, and garlic bread
Tuesday- Chicken pot pie
Wednesday- Pancake night (at my sister-in-law's--I bring eggs and or bacon)
Thursday- Leftover night/or PB&J (Joe almost always works late Thursday, so I like to keep it easy)

This time I'm trying a new way of writing this out. I normally just put it in my notebook, but this week I'm also trying writing each day out and posting it on my fridge. I think it will help things go smoother to have it right there in front of me! What's on your menu?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

WIP Wednesday: A few firsts

I could probably split this into two posts, but I figured you wouldn't mind me showing off my finished project too? It just so happens to by my first felting project...

Jenny's slippers
At first they looked nothing like slippers and I really had my doubts, despite all of the cute finished project pictures on Ravelry...
But I continued on and after lots of (bad) seaming, I was rewarded with two BIG slippers. I made the children's size, and they were much bigger than my hand before felting. Then came three or four trips through the washer and dryer....
and *poof* they were slippers! :-D I'm not sure who loves them more, Jenny or myself. :)
Her toes go right up to the start of the pointy bit, so there is still some growing room, but they fit her nicely around, and honestly, now that she has them I'm not sure I could get them away for any more felting. :)
I used this pattern: Felted Slippers child sized
With Cascade 220 wool (pink is 7802 and grey is 8400)
They are raveled here

Jenny's Mittens
Now for the WIP's, first up are my first mittens! The pattern is a vintage one my mom found that is like the one her mom used to use. A nice, basic two needle mitten. They are to go with Jenny's hat. The lighting isn't great in this shot, but the yarn is the same as her hat. I am not thrilled with this first thumb, but I'm not sure what I did wrong...if I don't figure it out soon I'll just leave it wonky and fix it for the next one. I d like the pattern over all though, but I think I'll try the version that is knit in the round next time. After I finish this pair, I will be making these brilliant ones for Anthony (maybe with this hat?).

I'm using this pattern: Classic Mittens (two needle version)
With yarn from See Jayne Knit Yarns (Apple of My Sky)
and Knit Picks Shine Shine Worsted in Harbor (discontinued color)
They are raveled here

My 1st Shawl
I'm So excited about this project! I first saw it back in February when SouleMama made hers, and I thought "that looks easy enough for me to do!" I finally got the yarn a few weeks ago, but just got the chance to start it yesterday. The pattern says to split the yarn in to two balls and then you alternate between them for stripes, but I just adore the gradual color changes, so I left mine as one ball. I. Love. It. It is SO easy, and the colors are so magical that it's hard to work on anything else. :) The yarn changes from pinks to browns, to greens, to oranges... <3

I'm using this pattern (rav. link): Simple Yet Effective Shawl (fingering weight)
With this yarn- (not purchased from this link): Noro Silk Garden Sock (color S84)
And it's raveled here

Thank you all for looking! I have a few other things going, but I think that's good for today. :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A give away!

I was just over at one of the blogs I read (Blessed Femina), and Jenny has reached her 1 year bloggiversary! In celebration, she is hosting a give away for a beautiful apron, as well as a woven pot holder set. Her work is so lovely, you should go look! You just have to comment on This Post (link) for a chance- the drawing is November 23.

My favorite chili

This morning I woke up feeling more than a wee bit under the weather. Not at all what I had been planning on, but I guess with everyone else in the world being sick right now, we were bound to get our turn at some point. There are two kinds of flu, and rumors of strep in our area...I hope it's none of those, but if it is, I find myself hoping for flu instead of strep... I guess we'll know in a few days! Maybe it's just a fluke. So anyway, I wanted to share my favorite chili recipe with you all today. It is my fall back meal, because it is so easy and fast. If you brown hamburger and freeze it ahead of time then it is also one of those one pan meals. :) Between the grocery store, and taking advantage of a food co-op sale, I can find most of these things organically, so don't see cans and despair (if you eat organically that is!).

My Mom's Chili

2 cans dark red kidney beans
2 cans black beans
2 cans corn
2 large cans diced tomatoes
1 (small) can green chilies (I think they come diced?)
2-3 Tbsp chili powder
1-2 tsp cumin
1 lb. cooked ground beef

Mix all ingredients together in a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn down and allow to simmer for an hour or two. I always serve this over cornbread. I haven't found a very good recipe yet, so I use my favorite mix, the blue Jiffy box. If you have a good recipe let me know!! This is also really good with sour cream or shredded cheese on top.

I'm off to go pull together the coffee before Bitty gets up (btw, Bitty is Joe's sister who is currently living with us while she goes to school). Then I think the day will be one of those days when you have to just go into survival mode before breakfast. :) Fresh sheets, tidy a room or two to be sick in, read lots of stories (especially those new ones, Thank you Grammie!! Bob hasn't put his new dog book down!) and try to get healthy before we get sicker.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A bit of brainstorming

So, with this being my main blog now, first let me say welcome!! I'm super excited to "set up shop" here. I have some fun things in the works, so do please keep an eye out!

I'm working on building some structure in our days right
now...nothing super rigid or "busy", but just some nice, solid routines and rhythms. I have always done really well when I have the good foundation of routines, so I'm wanting to lay a few down for my blog as well. It's nice for you readers, because you can look forward to certain things on certain days, and it's nice for me, because it takes some of the creative guess work out of posting. Please remember that this is a work in progress, so I will most likely change this up a bit at some point; but for now, here's what I'm thinking....

Sunday~ Quotable Sunday -I've noticed several blogs doing some version of "quotable Sunday", whether it's a Bible verse, or just an inspirational quote, so I'd like to try that.

Monday~ Monday is my cleaning day, so I'm thinking of doing a "corners of my home" series, where I can share nice spots of my home, once they're nice and clean :D

Tuesday~ General blogging

Wednesday~ W-I-P Wednesday -A day to show off any of my current works in progress

Thursday~ General blogging

Friday~ Gratitude Friday -Like last Friday, just a day to quiet
down and be grateful

Saturday~ General blogging

Okay? Thoughts? I think it will be fun. :) I really must chug t
he rest of my coffee and get going now, but I wanted to start with this post today. So please let me know what you think! I will leave you with Miss Jenny's new hat (mittens are in the works!).

I used This free pattern (pdf link), and the wool is from See Jayne Knit. It went really fast, you just knit a rectangle, sew it up the sides and *viola* you have a hat. :) I learned a New Way (go down to "Finishing" and look at the mattress stitch) of sewing up my seams that looks So Much Better, and I am really super excited about it!

on my Mom and Dad's porch...we just got out of the car, so you can't really see Anthony's belt...
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