Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Craft show or bust!

Craft show season is drawing to a close with our last sale this coming Saturday at South Knox Elementary in Vincenes Indiana. I will be there with Nords Country Store! Mention this blog post and receive $5 dollars off your $30 dollar purchase. Lots of nice things to help you finish up your holiday shopping. Hope everyone is enjoying all the snow and cold weather. Hope to see you this weekend!
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Monday, October 4, 2010

Sew much more

When life gets busy, the first thing that gets cut from my to do list is this blog.  I like the creative outlet it allows, but it just isnt enjoyable when I know I have a long list of other things to do.  With the holidays fast approaching, lost of sewing orders, and I wont complain about that. Just keeps us super busy.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  House is always well decorated and very festive.  Along with my new embroidery machine, came the search to find cute Halloween designs.  I have been working on trick or Treat bags.  Here are a few orders.  They are also listed on my Etsy site if you would like one.  Most of the designs I use come from planet applique.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Little Cake Boss

Last week, was a bad week.  My sewing machine was in the shop, I wasnt happy.  This week, the machine is back, and its working, beautifully.  Here is what I came up with yesterday.  Short post today, but the pictures say it all.  Cant wait to see this on my little model!

Go to my etsy shop if you would like one custom made for your little cake boss!

Looking for ideas for boy aprons.  So far I have a firetruck, fire hydrant, and pirate ship.  What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ham and Cheese hot pockets

This summer I canned a lot of things.  Problem is, you put so much work into all those pretty jars, and now I dont want to open them.  But at the same time, I feel ridiculous buying the same things, in cans at the grocery or from the freezer section.  What to do?   yeah yeah yeah, I know the answer is plainly obvious, but the getting past the pretty jars has been a difficult step.  To help push past the hesitation, the girls over at From mess hall to bistro and A latte with Ott, A have started a weekly blog hop.  Check them out and the other folks who are participating.  They are linked at the bottom of this post.


This week, I am opening up a can of tomato soup, but you could also use a can of pasta or tomato sauce.  This week I made homemade ham and cheese hot pockets.  It was originally suppose to be pizza pockets, but apparently no one told me there was a LARGE family of mold living in my pepperoni container.  So, we adjusted on the fly, and it was well worth it!

Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets

you need-

1 can of ready to use pizza dough(I used the longer can of thin crust dough)
Cheese of your choice, shredded
Ham, or your favorite pizza toppings if you are making the pizza variety

for topping-

olive oil
garlic salt or your favorite kind of seasoned salt
italian seasoning

To dip your hotpockets either your canned tomato soup or pasta sauce

Start by rolling out your dough or unrolling it.  you want it to be about 8 x 12

slice it into squares about 2x2 or 3x3  enough so you can pile your cheese and toppings and still gather the dough up and around to form a ball.  Once you make your ball shape, place the gathered side down, so your smooth side is facing up.  You dont want the ball to come apart during baking.

Once you have them all rolled up like so

drizzle with some oil and sprinkle your salt and italian seasoning on top.

Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned.

Dip in your choice of sauce, and enjoy. 
Dont forget to stop by and check out the other great recipes this week.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Moving and Selling

Its no secret anymore that we want to sell our house. Its been an ongoing thought and a thorn in myside for sometime now. I had a small accident and havent been able to lift, then my daughter breaks her arm, so my helper, isnt much help either. Needless to say selling has been put off for another month. Meanwhile, I look more and more around my house, envisioning our new home, and what I want in it. Our dining room tables was the first thing hubby and I purchased as a couple. Little did I know, he didnt really like it, but thought it was a short term fix to a tiny house we were living in.  So not only have we added living room furniture to our list of things to buy, but dining room furniture is on the list now too. I have a feeling this is going to be a costly move.

Large Flower Hair Clippy Tutorial

This post falls back to my post where I want more baby girls to sew and create for. My girls are out of the hairbow stage. So  I tricked convinced our local Joanns to let me teach a hairbow and flower clip class among others. So here I am practicing with you, the blogging world.  If you read through my tutorial please leave a comment, tell me what you thought, how it could be better or even if it was spot on.  If you share this on your blog please link back.
 Most of the classes I teach at Joanns are to people who have no creativity or crafty spirit in them at all.  I often assume the little steps are implied, and then find myself going through them step by step in the classes, hoping not to insult anyones intelligence while doing so. 

Here are the clippies finished.

Here is your supply list and a picture, incase you need a visual refence like me

Large 1 inch gems
Coordinating 3/8 inch grosgrain ribbon
Fabritac glue
E6000 adhesive
needle and thread(I use dental floss)
wire cutter(to get your flowers off the stems)

Start by removing the flowers from the stems.  You also want to remove the flower center(yellow fuzzy part)

You might need wire cutters here.

Now your flower should look naked like these

Now we are going to take our needle and thread and sew aroung the hole in the middle.  Our gem is going to cover the stitching.  This sewing is going to keep all our layers of petals together.

It doesnt have to look pretty. Again, the gem will be glued over this area and cover the stitching.

Here are the gems I chose.  These come in lots of colors and shapes. We are going to use E6000 glue to attach these.  DO NOT use fabritac, it will eat the shiney mirror like finish off the back of your gems and you wont like the results.  If you dont have E6000, I dont have any other suggestion for you at this time.

You only need a little bit of glue, its spreads thin once you press it on your flower.
After your gem is placed on the flower with the glue, we are going to line our clips with the ribbon, to give them a more finished look. Once you cut your ribbong to size, I use a lighter and gently pass the ends of my ribbon by the flame NOT THRU THE FLAME and heat seal the ends.

I like to leave one of the prongs of the clip unlined.  You can do it however you would like.  But this is my technique.

I smooth a layer of fabritac on the ribbon to hold it to the clip. Or you could also use E6000, it just takes longer to dry.

Once you get your clips lined lay a small bead of e6000 on your flower backs and place the ribbon side down on your flower.  I use small clamps to smoosh the gem and flower and clip all together, so you have a good glue adhesion to all layers.

And here is the finished product.  Now if I had a little girl model, this would be complete.

Please do not use my photos with out asking, but feel free to link to this post if you want to share this tutorial.

504 Main

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Inspiration Wall

So, I was chatting with my BFF on facebook, actually, shes my best friends mom, quilting goddess(she owns a long arm quilter), she posted a comment on my facebook page, but alas, she mentioned I needed an design wall. WHAT? Why is it that it takes one, one line comment to get my creative energy flowing? Seriously, why didnt I think of this a LONG TIME AGO?!?!? Well, it only took me about an hour to decide what my plan of action was going to be. In my craft room, I have the  Expedit shelf from Ikea and I love it, I knew it would make the prefect backdrop for my design slash inspiration wall.  Here is what I came up with.

I used 4 yards of flannel, its always on sale after thanksgiving for around $2 a yard. I cut it in half and sewed both pieces down the center. 

Here is the shelf behind the "design wall" lol
I forgot to mention that anything seen from this photo forward can not be held against me.  I have nothing to say about the amount of fabric jammed in those boxes.  lol

Here is apicture of the top of the fabric, where it attaches to the shelving unit.

All I had was black velcro.  I didnt want to use anything that would damage the shelf and i wanted this "wall" to be removeable.  The way it hangs, it will be really easy to roll up, and store on top of the shelves, and it will easily roll back down to be used.

What is special about this, and why I used flannel you may ask?  Well, the flannel works like magic and it holds your fabric up on the "design wall" with out any pins.  This way you can lay out your project, or quilt and move things around, take a step back and see how they look before commiting to it.  Seeing things up and in front of you at eye level gives you a much better view and perspective then having it laying on your cutting table. 

I plan to steam the wrinkles out of the fabric tomorrow, but I was so excited to get this done, I had to share right away!

Here is the top to the table runner I posted about a few days ago.  See how nice it is hangin up there, no pins or anything. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Baby Boys

Just about everyone I know who is expecting is having boys.  Blech!  Seriously, I long for someone to have a sweet baby girl, so I can justify buying some cute girly fabric. And I want to sew ruffles!!!! Yes Ruffleeesssss! Instead, we will settle for all these boys and keep praying for more girls to enter this world soon. ;)  I shouldnt have this attitude about the topic.  All the boys who have entered this world to friends and aquaintances have been healthy and happy, bouncing baby boys. I know, trust me I know, that we should just be blessed with the bundle of joy, but I really want to sew some girly stuff! Work with me here.

Here are some pictures of some gifts for friends.  I was even blessed to get photos of the sweet little guy in these, but I wont post those here. 

I made her a total of 4 burpies and two onesies.  I added jumbo ric rac to the tops of the fabric on the burpies.  But would these be super cute in some purple and hot pink? 

I will list similar sets in my shop this week.  2 burpies and a onesie $25 includes all custom embroidery work.

Join in on the link up for Making Friends Monday More details by clicking on their button below

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Table runner pattern making

I have been on th elook out for the perfect pattern for a table runner.  After loads of surfing the net, I found several.  My problem was I had fabric in mind to use, and the patterns I found, well, I want to make those in the colors they are shown in.  Oh well, here are some pictures of where I am starting.  More to follow this week to chart the progress.  I am also drafting my own pattern for this, lots of notes and changes to measurements, its been a fun process. 

These are the fabrics I went with.  My daughter picked these out.  I was going to help her make a dissapearing nine patch but with a broken arm, that will have to wait. 

Here are my triangle pieces waiting to get joined.

It is a modified log cabin type pattern that I was going for.  Here are the pieces for the logs.

The Great De Stash! Huh WHY?

So many of you are probably thinking the same thing I was when I read The train to Crazy's blog and saw her post about The Great Destash! WHAT? WHY?  Its like sacrificing your first born! Never, Im not going to do it.  Not this sewer, crafter lady, nuh uhhhh! Well I read through some comments and realized there were some great ideas that seemed practical and applicable to my own sewing situation.  Check it out and take the pledge. I have, and I vow, from this moment forward, to reduce, reuse and repurpose from my own stash! 
Do you have suggestions or solutions that work for you?  Post them here and help the rest of us material girls.
I Took The DeStash Challenge Button

Friday, August 27, 2010

Canning and Preserving

A good friend has a great garden and graciously shares her harvest with me.  This week I went over for a dozen or so tomatoes to make a little spaghetti sauce.  We grabbed our bags and buckets and headed to the garden, next thing you know we get to chatting and an hour later we had two full bags of maters.

Here's what I came home with

Large maters will go to the sauce, little ones for tomato soup tomorrow since I strain that and all those little guys and their seeds wont matter.

For the sauce I gathered several recipes and used the ingredients that I wanted to.  When canning, all my reading has brought me to believe you use the ingredient with the longest processing time and that's what you go by.  Since I added meat, we went with that.

To start, cut out the stem area of your tomato and discard. I like to keep a bowl nearby to collect all the "trash" or if you have a compost bowl, throw them in there.  Next you can either cut your tomato into quarters or slice an X on the bottom of your mater like seen here

What we are trying to do with all this cutting and slashing is prepare our maters for skinning.  While we core and slash the tomatoes you need to start a large pot of water boiling and prepare a second bowl with cold water and ice.  Several at a time, add the slashed tomatoes to the boiling water. 

 Let them boil for a minute then remove and place in the ice water bowl we prepared. 

By placing the tomatoes in the ice water, you stop the cooking process.  Once they sit for a minute in the ice water start pulling the skins off.  At this point they should slide right off.  This step is hard to photograph so picture one slimy mater with the tough outside cover slipping right off the juicy mater flesh.  Got it?

OK here are some of my tomatoes all skinned and ready for cooking.

Since tomatoes on their own create such a large amount of juice, I didn't add any extra juice to the tomatoes before cooking them down. In a separate skillet I cooked up onions, green peppers, mushrooms and garlic then added it to the tomatoes.  I also added a handful of fresh basil to the mix.  Then my chosen spices.  I also cooked the meat but wait til the end to add it.  I used my immersion blender to puree all my ingredients.  Our kids wont each chunky sauce so I have to hide everything.  The blender does the trick with that.

Here is my blender and my sauce getting all bubbly and sauce like.


Because tomatoes are SO juicy, you need to cook them down for a good bit to make your sauce nice and thick.  This is the perfect time to start cleaning up all your prep supplies, and also make some cookie dough! More about that later but here is a picture to hold you over.

At this point your sauce has cooked lets just say an hour or so.  Your area is clean.  You really need a treat.  Go ahead, I know you do.  One of my all time favorite cookie recipes comes from http://www.thepioneerwoman.com/  and its her classic/basic cookie dough recipe.  I like to make a batch and freeze some for later.  I think this falls into the preserving category so it deserves a spot at the canning party.  Once you get your dough made, whatever you favorite is of course, I set out 4 sheets of wax paper.  You can divide yours however you see fit.  Its just two of us here, so 4 sheets will do us fine.

Here they are

Make sure while you are having all this cookie dough fun, you remember to stir your sauce, and, stir your sauce, there you go.  Now back to the dough.  Once its divided on your paper simply fold one edge over and  press it into a tube shape and roll it up.

  I twisted the ends and placed them in a freezer safe gallon Ziploc bag.  This will hold us over for at least a week, uhhh, I mean a month, lol.

So back to work we go.  Here is our sauce getting all saucy.

Mine has cooked down as far as I think is good so I add my meat and get my canning stuff ready.  All my jars are washed and sterilized.  At this point you want to start your canner boiling and also prepare your lids and rings. I always make sure I have enough jars prepared and a few extra just in case.  In this case, I needed more jars, and they were all ready to go!  This bunch made 6 full quarts and enough for a bowl for the fridge so my hungry patient has something to eat later on.

Once you get your jars filled with the proper head space, wipe the rims clean and place your lids and rings.  Pack your canner and wait.  These beauties "canned" for 90 minutes.  The wait is always worth it!

This week of canning has me all jazzed to get more stuff canned for our family.  Since we had a chilly morning and a cool night tonight I am in the mood for some chili. Check back and I will post our favorite chili recipe.

Don't forget to check out A Latte with Ott, A   and   From Mess Hall to Bistro  for more great canning fun.