Monday, October 29, 2007

Well phooey!

Yesterday I was primed and ready to make a new apron. I had my fabric picked out, had chosen the pattern, and sat down to read the instructions only to find part of them missing.

Now where do you suppose pages 3 and 4 went? I tore the sewing/guest room apart and didn't find it. I hunted in the living room and dining room. Didn't find it.

I tried to remember where I had it last and when I'd used the pattern. I had the kids looking and grilled them about it. I could see one of them thinking it was a cool coloring page and getting off with it. Nope. They were innocent.

Today I picked up my chemistry notebook and guess what was under it. Yep, pages 3 and 4 of my instructions. I guess the message here was study instead of sew.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Happy Birthday to my baby sister

Just for the record, she hates it when I call her my baby sister. She prefers youngest sister. I tell her to listen to her elders and with me being 18 years older, I'm definitely her elder.

23 years ago today my baby sister was born. She was a mess when she was little. Honestly, she's still a mess.

I fed her the first solid food to touch her lips. I taught her to pet kitties nicely and not to pull their tails. I held her hand when she started walking and picked her up when she fell down. I yelled at her when she got caught shop-lifting and my mom didn't do anything but sell her car.

Today, there won't be a birthday cake around here. My sweet baby sister is off in South Carolina studying culinary arts. A month or so ago I helped her pack her car for a three day trip that started the rest of her life. I miss her terribly.

Happy Birthday ABL!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

What I managed to get done

I have a zillion things I wanted to do today and I didn't get a quarter done. There's just not enough hours in a day it seems. It didn't help that the kids were either killing each other or being too quiet. It made me uneasy.

So my accomplishments for the day...

I made a stocking. Of all the things I needed to make, this wasn't one of them. LOL! Oh well, it was fun and easy to do. It just needs to be pressed and then the toe won't have that wonky spot.

Next was this childs apron. It's a girls size 7/8. I plan on make all of my nieces an apron and this is the first of the bunch.

This morning my dear husband told me I was being selfish when I told him I planned to sew all day. Selfish? I have to admit it hurt my feelings just a bit.

I give to him, the kids, my mother, and school all week. I asked for one day and I'm being selfish? This after he comments on the roast I'm sticking in the oven. Pfft! Just for that, I'm sewing tomorrow too. I'll show him selfish. Of course I'll be sewing between loads of laundry and getting ready for school next week.

It's Saturday!

You have no idea how much I've looked forward to this day.

Last week was so busy and stressful. I did a pretty good job whittling down my to-do list.

I think I'll make a pot of coffee, visit my favorite places on the net, and then get busy sewing.

I hope everyone has a productive and happy day.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Very first tatting

This is what I did last night instead of studying stinky chemistry equations. It's a bad picture, but at least you can kind of see what it's supposed to be. I've got lots of practice to do before I make anything worthy.

ETA: Annie, here's the site I found. It has pictures!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Happy Birthday to my sister - you only turn 40 once

I have a bunch of sisters, but this particular sister and I are closer than any of the others.

She's exactly 13 months and 4 days younger than I am, down to the minute.

We fought like cats and dogs growing up and even had our share of fist-fights. We've been best friends and worst enemies, but we'll always be sisters.

Her cake request this year, like this would surprise me, was Granny's Chocolate Cake. Every birthday that I can remember, this has been the cake to have. Forget those store-bought things. Forget the added pounds, just give me the cake.

This is the one and only recipe I don't share. I know that's selfish, but every girl has to have a secret recipe. If you want something very similar head over to Pioneer Woman and try this one. The basic ingredients are nearly identical, just the proportions are different and there's a little difference in how it goes together.

New trash can

I love enamel items. I have an old chamber pot that belonged to my grandparents that I use as a trash can in my bathroom along with a child's chamber pot and a bedpan that I have sitting on a shelf. My favorite is black and white although if I really like the piece I'll take red and white.

I happened into the antique store today and came home with this lovely for $5. This enamel ware piece is 15-1/2 inches tall and 10-1/2 inches in diameter. It's seen better days, poor thing. There are a couple of places where the enamel has chipped away and there's a small hole in the bottom, but nothing that would prevent it's use.

I've got the perfect place for it next to my sewing machine. Surely I can hit this with those little snips of thread and clips of fabric.

So, does anyone have an idea of what it's original use might have been? Let me know.

Floral apron - finished

I finished the apron last night. I have to admit, I'm just not crazy about this pattern. This is the half apron from Kwik Sew #3396. It wasn't hard to sew. I just don't care for the way the front hangs. I changed the pocket because the one on the pattern is just fluff. I want a pocket that will hold stuff, not just look pretty. This apron will probably end up as a gift.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Where was I?

Oh yes, now I remember. I had made Eggs Benedict and eaten until I was nearly comatose.

Then, life got busy and my husband and I had to make a flying trip to check on his parents and straighten out a few 'issues'. Now I'm back and ready to get busy sewing.

I was working on an apron. I'm down to deciding on the pockets and then assembling the waistband and ties. I have no idea when I'll get it done. I hope this week. I hate to let things sit for too long because I find it difficult to pick it back up and finish. Hence, my many unfinished projects. I'm trying to break that habit.

While away I did pick up a bit of fabric, a couple of patterns, and a tatting shuttle. I need another hobby like I need a hole in my head. I'm not sure what possessed me except it was on sale.

The last visit to the thrift store found me dragging home two more craft patterns and three craft books.

I need to spend some time locked in the sewing room and finish up the Morsbags I have cut out. I might do that this afternoon if nothing blows up in the meantime.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day and that your blessings are many.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Eggs Benedict complete with Hollandaise sauce

Since it's just us girls here at the house I decided to go all out for dinner. My husband would chew boot leather before he would let this much butter touch his lips.

I have to say, he just doesn't know what he's missing. Lands! That was good stuff.

I figure I'm going to die one of these days and until then, I'm going to eat well. I refuse to live in fear of my arteries clogging and my waistline expanding. That said, I don't think I could eat this richly very often. Maybe once a month.

Check out Pioneer Woman for this delicious recipe. Quick, simple, and utterly delightful. Sinfully so.

We could be good friends. She likes her butter as much as I like my butter.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I'd rather be sewing

Sometimes life just isn't fair. The weather is yucky and I'd love to be closed up in the sewing/guest room working on the new apron I cut out last night.

Instead, I'm curled up on the couch trying to wrap my little brain around a poster I'm presenting in two weeks. Two weeks!

I fondly remember my very first science poster, the kind you did back in junior high for the science fair. My subject was mold. Yeah, mold. We had molding bread, oranges, etc. I think I won second place for my grade that year. So long ago.

Posters these days are certainly a step up from the hand lettered job of days gone by. This particular poster has to be 40 x 40 inches, white background, black text, and color pictures that don't pixelate when you blow them up. More importantly, they have to actually have useful content. That's my hangup. Useful content.

I'd better go get busy. It has to go to the printer tomorrow.

Drop over at Annie's. She made her first Morsbag and it's gorgeous!

Friday, October 12, 2007

At least I didn't buy fabric

I found a bunch of cute craft patterns at the thrift store today. Somebody paid a bundle and they've never been cut.

  • Aunt Martha's Hot Iron Transfers - 6 alphabets for monograms
  • Simplicity 7025 - stocking, tree, wreath, ornaments
  • Simplicity 6442 - Embroidery designs
  • McCall's 8741 - Snowflake embroidery for apron, potholder, placemats, pillow, napkins, etc
  • The Buckeye Tree #107 - Memory stockings
  • Country Stitches #102 - Surprise for Mom 8"tall bunnies
  • Country Threads #118 - Allie Cat
  • Homestead Station - Buttons, Bunnies, and Bows embellished applique quilts
  • Dream Spinners #121 - Apple Annie
  • Hearts Content - Blessed Bunny and Friends
  • Prairie Farm Designs - Bunny Tales
  • Dream Spinners #134 - Warm at Heart; draft stopper/doorknob doll
  • A Quilter's Wardrobe - Sweatjacket II
  • Color Me Dress - Marilou's Dress

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Rice pudding and more bags

I'm trying out recipes trying to find one like my granny made. This isn't even close. It's okay, just not Granny's. I'll keep looking.

Three more Morsbags. That puts me at 4 made out of the 9 I cut out. Only 5 more to sew up and then I can do another color. This tan is getting old.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Today feels like autumn

We woke to rain this morning and today has a certain crispness than says the seasons are changing.

This afternoon my pressure saucepan sang me a song while it cooked venison and potatoes. If I closed my eyes, I could picture my granny in her kitchen with the pressure pan singing for her.

I went out to the garden and picked the last of the peppers. I have a few green tomatoes that might make it before it gets too cool. I'll be sad to be without fresh produce come winter. I didn't plant nearly enough in my little garden this year. Next year, I need to triple its size.

More on Morsbags

Annie set up a pod and now we need to get crackin' making bags. We can't just have one lone bag.

Remind me to tell you the story about my Morsbag and the cashier at Wal-Mart. It almost got ugly and I wasn't very nice. I'll have to do something to remedy that.

I've got eight more cut out. Now I can just sit and sew.

I need to get some iron-on transfer to make labels. I need to make myself a note for that one or else I'll forget.

I don't see much in the way of apron making happening this week, but I think I can squeeze in a few bags. We've got mid-terms coming up and homework is stacking up like crazy.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

It started out as pockets

Now look!

Red and white ticking, red and white rick-rack, and red bias.

Apples galore! Green rick-rack and red bias.

What's this? It's reversible.

I am so pleased with how this turned out. Would I do it again? Probably not, unless it was a gift for someone.

I feel like I've been wrestling calves all day and my back hurts. LOL!

Sewing Saturday

I finished my yo-yo's and they are so cute. I started making a few square ones too. Super easy.

I have to brag on my husband just a bit. He brought home his first deer of the season yesterday. I'll spare you the grusome pictures and just tell you it was a 6-point atypical buck that weighed about 200 pounds. He got this one at 20 yards with a bow. Good job honey! If you've ever been bow hunting you know how hard this is. In his entire hunting career of 20 years, this is only the third deer he's ever brought home.

Last night I cut out two more aprons. One is an apple print and the other is out of the red and white ticking. I hope to make this a reversible apron and if it turns out the way I think it will, I'll enter it in the fair next year.

I've got more Morsbags cut out to sew inbetween apron sewing, studying, and housewifing.

I hope that everyone has a beautiful Saturday.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Skeleton apron and Morsbag

I finally got my mom's apron done. White skeletons on blue. This was the Kwik Sew pattern that is all the rage right now. I really like how it went together. Ignore the funny neck spot. I moved just before the picture took and the front puckered.

This is my first Morsbag made out of the heavy-weight cotton I bought today. Start to finish it might have taken 30 minutes. Super easy and fun to do.

Now that I've actually completed a few things I don't feel quite so bad about buying more fabric. I'm still not buying more until I get some other things done, but for now the guilt isn't quite as crushing.

Two more aprons

Okay, last one for the day. I've got a ton of fabric and need to be sewing.

I picked up these two aprons at the charity thrift store today for the outstanding price of 25 cents. Not each...25 cents for both! The ladies working this morning thought they were hideously ugly and just wanted them gone.

The first is a black and white check with red cross-stitch. Notice the funny little thing (reminds me of a pediment on furniture) above the waistband. It flops down if you're not careful.

This is a blue floral. I like the triangular shape. Alas! No pocket.

Bread recipe

Okay, here's the recipe I promised a couple of days ago.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon instant dry yeast
1-1/4 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 cup water

Mix together and set aside to rise. Punch down and let rise again. Cook as you normally would.

This is a pretty no-fuss recipe. I've walked off and forgotten it for hours at a time and it still turns out good.

Sometimes, about 5 minutes before I take it out of the oven, I like to add finely grated cheese to the top or Italian herbs and butter. I also like to rehydrate dried onion and add that to the dough and then a few on top.

I think I need help

I should just stop going to the charity thrift store. Every time I go in, I come out with an armload of stuff.

Today's treasures for $19.11
6 yards of 52 inch heavy cotton fabric in dark brown
5 yards of 50 inch heavy cotton fabric in tan
1-1/3 yard cotton muslin
1-1/2 yard pink gingham homespun
1-1/2 yard rose floral on red
1 yard blue gingham homespun
1 yard fine pink stripe
2 yards yellow floral print
1-1/8 yard of green and blue polka dot

a couple of pieces that are less than 1/2 yard of rosebud seersucker, yellow/blue floral, tan on tan floral.

1 coffee can of old buttons

I'm going to force myself, and I do mean force, not to buy any more fabric until I get some sewing done. This is just ridiculous.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Baking bread

This morning started off cool and cloudy and so I found myself making bread at 5:30. I hadn't even had my first cup of coffee yet.

I just took the bread out of the oven. Doesn't it look yummy? I may make a stew to go with it although it's warmed up outside. A little comfort food never hurt anybody.

I'm nearly done with my yo-yo making. I think I've got 14 more to do and should be able to get those done tonight. School is taking a serious hunk out of my crafting time.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Left pocket syndrome

The attachments have arrived, but I can't play until possibly tomorrow.

Tuesday and Thursday are bad days for trying to squeeze in crafting time because I have class and labs all day.

I started my mom's apron last night and all was well until I discovered a screwed up right pocket. I wasn't paying attention when I pinned the piece and on one pocket the pattern was upside-down. Rather than have an obvious mistake I decided to cut another pocket.

Full of confidence I cut it, only to discover it was another left pocket. Huh? How'd I do that?

So I tried again...and ended up with yet another left pocket. Now I've got three left pockets and no right pocket.

I finally gave in to "left-pocket syndrome" and just turned everything off and shut the door.

I blame my sister for this sudden syndrome. She's left-handed and told me yesterday to be sure and put her pocket on the left side of her apron.

This morning I was determined to get a right pocket if it killed me. I took my left pocket and laid it on the fabric next to the pattern piece and cut out the correct pocket. Whew!

Now I'm back on track. Maybe I can get a little sewing done this evening.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Pink flour sack apron

I finally finished my pink flour sack apron.

My granny used to get flour in these and would use them for pillowcases since it didn't require any sewing. She would get so excited if Grandad could find two that matched. Then she'd have a pair.

I have two more, a green and a blue. My sister wants the green one.

I serged and hemmed the sides, added the waist, ties, and pocket.

My husband thinks it's too long, but capri length is perfect for messy people like me.


I got all of my yo-yos cut out and two stitched up while Sam did his school work. If it continues to go this fast I might do another 50. We'll see.

I'm not crazy about either of these fabrics, but that's what was available today. If I find better fabric I might do more and have 3 different ones. The red really isn't that pink (bad flash) and has a holly design in black. The blue and white snowflake is my favorite of the two.

Chicken and Dumplings - Recipe by request

Sue asked for my recipe and I sure don't mind sharing. I actually have two that I use depending on the amount of time I have to devote to cooking.

Original Chicken and Dumplings
1 3-pound chicken
4 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, cut into quarters
1 stalk of celery, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place the chicken in a large pot, add water, broth, carrot, onion, celery and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat. Simmer until tender and chicken is done. Remove chicken and allow it to cool enough to handle. Remove the carrot, onion and celery pieces from the broth and discard. Reserve the broth. Bone the chicken tear into bite-size pieces and return to broth.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening
1 cup buttermilk

For the dumplings, combine the flour, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture is consistency of coarse meal. Add the buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead 4 or 5 times. Pinch off bite-size pieces.

Drop dumplings in simmering broth and cook until done.

Fast Man's Chicken and Dumplings
This is the recipe I use if I'm in a hurry or don't have a bunch of time. Total cook time is 20 minutes.

2 large cans Cream of Chicken Soup
2 small cans chicken broth
1 large can of white chicken meat
dash of celery salt, onion powder, and 1/2 grated carrot
two cans of biscuits.

I dump the soup, broth, and chicken meat in a pot and add the celery salt, onion powder, and carrot. Bring to a low boil. Quarter biscuits and drop in hot soup mix. Cook until done.

My family likes this one almost as well as the original, but only because they get it more often.


Thrift store apron and fabric find

Here's a cutie I picked up at the thrift store just moments ago. I was so excited to show you fine folks that I forgot to take the price tag off. I didn't realize until I got to the car with it that it is a full apron. The neckline is more square, which I really like. All of the aprons I've picked up at the thrift store have never been over 50 cents.

Maybe I'm too nostalgic, but it makes me sad to see them discarded. I think of the hands they wiped, the tears and noses they dried, and the women who wore them. Sniff.

I also found a ton of fabric for Morsbags. I found 2-1/4 yard of red and white ticking and 1-1/2 yards of light canvas. I think some of the red and white may be destined for an apron. I love ticking.

This morning before class I picked up my holiday fabric for yo-yos. I think I'll yo-yo this afternoon. Maybe I can at least get started drawing circles.