Friday, December 16, 2011

The Holidays and Crepes

Cade and Cole before their acting debut.

So proud of these two. 

They were the narrators for their 4th Grade Christmas performance. They did such a good job and were not the least bit nervous! Cade's name was "Charles" and Cole's name was "Alistair". Too funny! All of the students did a fantastic job --this included songs as well as speaking parts. Big undertaking for the new music teacher, Mrs. Obaker. Congratulations to all on a good job!

At our house, we cook a big breakfast every weekend day. Even while on vacation. One of our specialties is Crepes with Sweet Sour Cream filling. Since I've had some requests for the recipe, I thought I'd share it here:

Basic Crepes

1 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of melted butter

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cook over medium heat in a skillet, turning over once.

Crepe Filling

3/4 cup sour cream
8 oz. cream cheese (or one tub of plain Phila. Cooking Cream Cheese)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine sour cream and cream cheese in mixer, mix together until smooth. Add sugar, vanilla, sugars, and vanilla. Continue mixing until all ingredients have mixed until smooth on high -- approx. 5 minutes. Spoon into open crepes and fold over. Top with fresh berries or bananas.

Christmas is fast approaching! I only have a few more gifts to buy and most of them are wrapped. I still have to address Christmas cards. We are still getting over our flu bug from Thanksgiving -- slowly but surely. Still have a lingering cough.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Second Quilt - Vintage I-Spy

 I just finished my second quilt! This one is called the Vintage I-Spy Quilt from Amy Smart. I also got all the printed blocks from her. The pattern was very easy to follow and an easy quilt to do.

The size is 40 x 40 and a perfect size for my new nephew that will be born in just over a month!

In addition to the printed squares, I used Ash Kona cotton for the solid squares and the backing. The red was also a Kona, but I am not sure exactly which one. The red and white is a new one from Moda -- Circa 1934 Davis in Red. As you can see it is a much brighter red in person. The blue is a Timeless Treasures fabric.
 I quilted it by echoing the seam lines. Not too confident in my free-hand quilting ability yet, so I'll stick with this for now! Here's a closeup of the label I made by hand-stamping and hand-stitching.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Last week - maybe...


This may be the last week for football. Hard  to believe  that the  season is almost over already! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Other Sewing Projects

I've been busy with some other sewing projects too besides the quilt I showed you yesterday. I made a new Halloween table runner for my kitchen table. I used this method and I can get it totally done in about and afternoon. I have done quite a few of these for gifts and they are so fun and easy to make!

Here's my new laptop case I made from DS fabric from JoAnn. I got the instructions from this book. It has a lot of cute ideas for sewing and the instructions are pretty easy to follow. It fits my laptop perfectly and has double batting to keep it safe. It was my first attempt at straight line machine quilting.

This one I am pretty proud of. I made the design myself, based on the laptop case. It was really out of necessity because it is hard to find a case for it since it was just released.

It's a case for my newest gadget that DH got me for my birthday. It's a Acer A100 tablet. I really didn't need a smartphone since I rarely use a cellphone, but I wanted the functionality of having an Android. This is the next best thing. I picked this one because of the size. It's 7". I didn't want the 10" version because that is almost the same size as my laptop!

So far I haven't tried to download too many apps. But one of my favorites is the GroceryIQ app. I can make out my grocery list at home and then take it with me to the store and check off things as I get them. So much easier! I usually forget to add things to my list as the week goes by, but with the app I can just add as I go along and you can even scan the item's UPC to add it to your list!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My First Quilt!

I've been working on this for a while if you remember. After the kids went back to school, I made the push to finish it up. The quilt pattern is from Denyse Schmidt - A Hop, Skip, and a Jump. I had a lot of fun selecting all the patterns for this. I made it for my son, Cole. I think it reflects his colorful personality. He told me that it was the best thing anyone had ever done for him. Awww.

Here is the front of the quilt. It is fun to collect all those wonderful patterns and put them together!
I'm so glad that it turned out well and I am already working on my next one that is a gift for someone special. After that I have 3 more to make for my other 2 boys and one for me!

Here is the back of the quilt. I just used the same pattern to go the whole way across in a rainbow.
I machine quilted it in a random straight pattern. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Our Summer So Far

Colonial Williamsburg - June 2011 - rolling hoops at the Powell House
We've been busy so far this summer! We took a trip in June to Colonial Williamsburg. The kids enjoyed it as much as I hoped (CW is my most favorite place in the whole world --I interned there when I was in college).

Colonial Williamsburg - June 2011 - flash mob with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
We even made history by singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! They were part of a flash mob in the Historic Area on June 21, 2011. You can see it here:
YouTube Video
Colonial Williamsburg - June 2011 - mixing clay for bricks at the Brickmakers
The kids enjoyed everything we did here and I think that we visited all of the sites, with the exception of only 1 or 2! They had maps to fill out of places they had visited and they got the idea to do them all. Overall it was a great trip and I hope to do it again with them sometime soon.

Pig Roast - July 2011

After our trip, it was time for the annual Pig Roast in Corry -- this being number 19. It was nice weather and good to see old friends!

Marco Island - Tiger Tail Beach - July 2011
Then two weeks ago we went to Marco Island, FL for a wedding. We stayed for a week in a very nice house. The kids loved to pool and spa. We spent time at the beach and swimming in the pool along with enjoying the local seafood!
Marco Island - Our House - July 2011
The wedding was beautiful on the beach by the Hilton (if you  know the area). Very wonderful time!
Marco Island - Jenn and Dave Wedding - July 2011
And now that we had all those wonderful vacations, it's now Football time! Practice started last week. For it signals that summer is just about over. We have to eat either before or after practice (usually after since school is still out) so that takes up about 1/2 of my day it seems.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Last Day of School

The last day of school for the 2010-2011 year. That one really flew by! My mom always told me that as soon as the kids start school, the years will fly by. They certainly do. Carrick will be 11 and starting 5th grade at the Middle School. Not looking forward to that drama and the awkward adolescent years. Cole and Cade will be entering 4th grade -- but we don't know if they will still be at the same school due to the state budget cuts.

Here's the photo I got when I told them they could do what they wanted. Interesting.

I am very proud of them, though. They all do very well in school and behave themselves for the most part. Let's just hope that I can survive the summer! We have a trip coming up as I said, and lots of nothing to do too.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Let me clean off the dust!

I've been missing in action again! Where did the days go? Been busy now that the days are hot and lots to do outside. Lots of grass cutting and weed-wacking (it takes me about 3 1/2 hours to cut the grass since we have such a big yard).
Last weekend we started the Summer off right with the Memorial Day Parade. Carrick and the district's 4th graders marched in the parade with their recorders playing "Yankee Doodle Dandy". A good way to get them interested in Marching Band. Which makes this momma happy since I was the "Head of the Band Fags" as my wonderful husband likes to call me (stupid pants). I was in Marching Band for over 4 years -- two of those as Drum Major. I have do many wonderful memories from being a part of the band.

Here's a shot of Carrick from behind since I didn't see him until he was almost past me. He's the the left of middle.
I was also busy making lots of table runners, 5 in all. I made one for my mom for Mother's Day, one for DH's Grandmother who recently turned 100, and these three for my kids' teachers gifts. They are pretty easy to make with the tutorial here.
The first one in the top photo was for Cade's teacher that loves the Wizard of Oz, the second for Carrick's teacher made with Denise Schmidt fabric from JoAnn, and the third for Cole's teacher that likes pink and made with various fabrics from my stash and a heart batik from JoAnn. I can say that I was successful in getting them all done on time and the teachers loved them. I hate just giving them something bought like a mug, and I thought something handmade would be better. Nice to know what I made was appreciated!

Today is the last day of school and they will only be there 2 hours. Here's to hoping I will keep my sanity over the summer. We have a trip planned to Williamsburg, VA with just the kids and I since DH will be traveling to
 China and Korea for work, trips to my parents cabin up north, and of course Football starts July 25th!
I am also working on Cole's quilt, painting around the house, and cutting more grass!

Monday, April 18, 2011

My newest pursuit

The kids have been enjoying the warmer weather. If it would just moderate and stay around 70°, I'd be happy! I hate it when it's warm one day, cold the next.  It was so windy yesterday -- that's why they have the tarps -- to pretend they were parachutes.
Or tents.
I already have cut the grass once ad rolled they yard. We must have a huge family of moles living in our front yard. The whole thing was all torn up with mole tunnels, so I had to roll it before cutting so that the mower blade didn't chew up the high parts.

I plan on starting my Spring Cleaning this week. Lots of dust and dead stink bugs to remove. Yuck.

This is my newest pursuit. I started quilting. I made my first smaller project from a kit that I found here (but now out of stock). It came with all the fabric, all I had to do was follow the directions for cutting and sewing. It was good to start out on something smaller. The quilting was hard to get the hang of -- it's something I'll have to get more practice on. I did enjoy the whole process.
I must say that one of my favorite aspects of quilting is all the fabric. I love to pick out prints! There are a few shops not too far away, and there are lots of fabric on Etsy. That's where I've gotten the majority of mine.

And here's why I wanted to learn to quilt:

I had fallen in love with these types of quilts. So I wanted to do a quilt for each of my boys (and one for me). This is only one block of Denyse Schmidt's Run, Hop & Jump quilt. I'm using a random grouping of fabrics from my stash for this. I have 4 blocks done, but still need to do about 26 more! I enjoy the cutting and piecing process...I did all 4 of these while watching the NASCAR race yesterday. I can't wait to see what it turns out to look like! This particular quilt is for Cole.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Signs of Spring!

What is this in the field?
Oh! It's Mrs. Duck from the creek.

A daffodil ready to bloom.

And crocus in bloom.
Happy Spring!
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Master Bathroom Reveal

OK, I told you when we had a sunny day I'd take photos. I kept my word. Welcome to my Master Bathroom...
This is the view from my bedroom into the bath. Please ignore those two stink bugs on the floor! Now that the weather is warmer, they are popping up everywhere. Yuck. 
This room was a new addition to our house, built on over where the old porch was built. The previous owner told me a story about when he and his wife first moved into the house over 50 years ago...she was out on the back porch cleaning the windows when the whole thing fell in on her! Can you imagine? At the time he had bought the house it had been vacant for a couple of years (like when we bought it) and was in disrepair...but they moved in to their first house and fixed it up and lived here for almost 50 years!
Anyway, I knew that I wanted a bigger bath with room for a clawfoot tub (had one in my last house), separate shower and toilet. This is what I came up with. It was all done by DH and me, with the exception of some of the plumbing and electric. I must also tell you that as everything in our house, most everything was bought at discount. I scour sites and the big box stores for deals and make things work for a fraction of the price.
I painted the walls my favorite Martha Stewart Araucana Blue. I  love this paint because it changes colors as the light changes -- sometimes it looks blue, while other times it looks green. It was Valspar MS313 when they still carried her colors. I think they can still mix it. The sinks are Pegasus from HD and faucets are these from Overstock. The mirrors are from IKEA. Not my first pick, but they work for now until I get the money for these medicine cabinets.  The angel above the sinks is from The Wooden Hen, one of my favorite craftswomen. I love her creations, but they had a fire a while back so I'm not sure if she's still making items.
Other items here include a Baldwin Brass towel bar I got on clearance at HD, towels from T.J. Maxx, and see that wooden box on the wall? I got that at the Salvation Army store. I knew exactly what it was when I saw it. Can you believe it is from David T. Smith? I think that I paid $4.00 for it and it had a tag on it from an interior decorator that is cost $90.00! (Just ignore that hole right by the can light...still fixing where DH cut the holes a little too big!)

Door to toilet.
On the opposite side of the room we have the toilet room. It's nice to have this when you have kids that don't know how to knock before entering! The floors in the bath are 18 x 18 travertine from HD, Kohler toliet (no longer made).

Inside are photos of my little ones with bare bottoms. :)
Bedside the toilet is the shower.The floor is travertine and walls are marble with a green/blue rock insert. The marble is a pinkish-brown-gray mix. I'm not sure I would go with this again. I'd probably go with white marble or white subway tiles in a running bond. But at the time, the price was right. The fixtures are from Kohler that I bought from the HD Expo when they were going out of business 5 years ago.
 And the shower curtain that I made myself, based on this inspiration.
Here's the full shot. The top piece is made from white heavy cotton decorator fabric I bought at JoAnn's on sale from the clearance bin. The patterned fabric is Heather Bailey Nicey Jane.  I needed a curtain a little longer than normal, so it made sense to make it myself. It total it cost about $30.00. The branch hook on the wall is from Tag -- a Marshall's purchase for $3.99! The blinds were also another bargain at Lowe's for $16.99 each in the clearance section.

Next is my pride and joy. My clawfoot tub.
This has been sitting in my backyard for over 5 years, after I bought it in Chicago before we moved. I finally got it refinished through Miracle Method in January. I also had to find matching feet, which is not an easy feat! Not all feet are the same and vary from tub to tub. So after a lot of research, I found the right ones on eBay. I had the pillow and rack from my last tub, but all the fixtures are new and also from eBay. It was a job to find all the pieces that needed to work together, but I think it looks beautiful. So nice to take a bath in this deep tub.

And last, my cabinet that holds all my bathroom supplies. This was found in our garage, but it must have been part of the original china cabinet in the house. It was really dirty and had red plastic where the windows had been. I had originally intended to paint it, but I kind of liked it after I had stripped off many layers of old paint. I still have yet to fix the right hand door (it needs some TLC) and add some chicken wire or screen to the door openings along with a barn board top. What do you think? Should I leave it with the paint or paint it?

I hope you enjoyed my tour. Please ask questions if you have any! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Where I've been for the past 3 months...

...mostly at home, doing projects. Hockey Start also began for all 3 boys. And Mark was traveling a bunch for work to Austin, San Francisco and Boston.

First on the project list was doing Coaches' gifts for all the coaches on my sons' football team. I didn't have a huge amount of money to work with and 6 coaches to buy for, so I had to get creative. I got hooded sweatshirts on sale at Kohl's and also bought a matching t-shirt that I cut up for the freezer paper stencil I did on each.

Here's how they came out:
I wanted them to look a little distressed, so I stenciled in a rough font and then sewed around it a couple times randomly. I also used a football button for the apostrophe.
 I also added an iron-on on the inside for identification.

I added the bulldog from the shirt I bought to the back of the head coach's shirt.

I hope that they liked them. We gave them their shirts at the banquet, but that was chaos. It was a lot of work. Each stencil was cut out by hand, stenciled, ironed on, and sewn on x 6! If you are interested in the freezer paper stenciling technique, check out this link where I learned.

We also got to finishing our Master Bath. It was mostly done with the exception of installing my clawfoot tub. The tub had been sitting in my back yard for the past 5 years where it had sat since buying it in Chicago before we moved back. I got it refinished in January for my Christmas gift. It took a while to get all the pieces together! I had to find feet to fit (not an easy task, but I found them on eBay after a lot of research) and a faucet (eBay again - from England), adapters so that it would fit the holes on my tub (another eBay find) and the fittings and drain.(eBay again!).
After getting everything together, we found out that the pipes where plumbed in at the wrong space. So we had to pull up 6 travertine tiles and subfloor to move them. After moving the pipes and replacing the tiles, we were ready to move on. It took a while to get that all done, and now I am happy to say it is all done! I will share photos soon when we have a sunny day...
I also made a new shower curtain for my shower. I based the design on this dishtowel I found on Etsy.
The fabrics are all from Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane fabric. Like I said, I'll share more photos when we get a sunny day!

I also made a few things for my Etsy shoppe. Here they are

I enjoy making these things, but it gets hard to make them when they don't sell. I just keep making things that I would like to have in my own house. And it gives me creative outlet!

And the last thing that I have been doing is getting myself back in shape. I've lost almost 10 lbs. since the beginning of December. I got EA Sports Active 2 for XBox. I'll tell you, it kicked my butt for the first couple of weeks! I could hardly walk. But after keeping at it, I actually enjoy it. It's easy because you can do it even when the weather is crappy (which is most of the time here during the winter), it keeps track of your calories burned (I've burned over 5500 calories) and you can miss days and go back and make them up. I had a bunch of that back in January and February because I got a sinus/ear infection. Good times -- not! I'm also eating better and keeping track of what I eat online.

I promise to share more of my renovations when it gets sunny and I can take better photos!

Have a great day :)