Thursday, August 28, 2008

Some doggy is loved

We had been using an old comforter that didn't match at all for a dog bed. So, I decided to try my hand a making one. I added a contrasting piping and buttons to make look a bit more professional. I didn't have a pattern and wanted to make it big enough for the cat and the dog to lay together as they are prone to do. Ta da...We used plastic grocery store bags as the filling and we need more because I made it so big...not a bad way to reuse.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's a pity

Wish I knew more people into sewing. I love these little wrist pincushions and they would be a snap to make!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Spicy Stuff

I made a Jalapeno Cheese Bread yesterday as well as Chicken Cacciatore. The first was a knock out success and the whole loaf was gone by today (I didn't have any, so you know who really liked it) and the latter needs some tweaking. There was not enough sauce and the sauce wasn't very saucy. Next time, I'll throw in a can of tomato sauce as well as the chopped tomatoes. Because the bread was so well received, I made another loaf today.

Besides that, I have cleaned for 6 hours straight today and am getting ready to hop in the shower...whew, am I beat! But at least the house looks great!
Bobo wasn't bothered at al by the cleaning.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

There is an IKEA opening in Charlotte, and I just ordered the 2009 IKEA Catalog...I LOVE CATALOGS! They provide hours of colorful and sometimes thoughtful entertainment. Really good ones I can read over and over again. I actually made space in my car to take my 2008 IKEA Catalog with me across country above many other items which were probably much more practical. I have had an obsession with the printed word since I can remember and catalogs are my dummed down version of it extra light reading. I wish I could convince myself how better it is for the environment to read books online but there is nothing like the feel of bound paper in my hands.YEAH IKEA! We have lived in our house almost a whole year and have practically no furniture...we have a bed, a hand me down couch (very large), a TV, a very old wobbly table and 2 chairs. We decided not to buy things unless they were what we really wanted and were going to last, so all has been free (except the bed). We haven't had a lot of money, so thus the empty house. IKEA will change all of this..yippee! I love color and am getting inspired just thinking about it!

Monday, August 18, 2008

woo hoo

i survived my first game

First Quilt EVER!

So, I worked my tail off the past two days making a baby quilt for a girl at work's shower on Tuesday. I have never ever made a quilt of any sort, but I just got the urge and wanted to try it. I was totally messy and did a lot of measuring by eye. Also, I did not follow the traditional one decorative side idea and instead put the squares on both sides. I threw together a few ideas of machine quilting and hand tieing. There are A LOT of little mess ups, but it is soft a cuddly, and I think is just fine for my very first quilt done in 2 DAYS!

The squares are nursery rhymes which were intended to be made into a soft book ,but I decided to break the rules. They are on both sides, and I just love it!

Now, I am off to do another new thing...referees my first soccer game. EEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHH! I am terrified!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lacy Gift

Finally, the gift arrived... I am able to post about my sister and her husband's gift. I made them a set of brown pillow cases with a hand knitted lace inset from the book Weekend Knitting. They are king size as who doesn't just love big pillows? This was my first time knitting lace and the hand sewing it onto the pillow cases was intimidating at first, but not that bad after I got started.
This is the leaf pattern in the book. So first you knit to the proper length, then T-pin it out and starch and iron.

Next, launder your fabric, and if using purchased cases, cut about an inch above the hem and sew hems on each side using a basic stitch. Then hand sew your pieces together. The lace will shrink a bit when laundered, however it will return to it's shape if ironed flat. Viola!

Crumbly Goodness

This morning I used the rest of the blackberries that the hubby picked for us. I made one batch of jam, blackberry sorbet and blackberry muffins. You can see the muffins kind of fell apart (next time I'll use the pan liners), but boy oh boy were they tasty! So soft and scrumptious! The sorbet is still freezing; I'll let you know how it turns out...I can't wait!

Also, I will be starting a baby quilt this weekend for a girl on my team who is due soon. This is a real first for me; I have never made a quilt, but I am super excited. It will be a squared quilt using this fabric I found that has nursery rhymes on it. Photos to come! TTFN!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cute and Crispy

Our late planted potatoes are coming up like gang busters. Joe has been hilling them faithfully and we are excited to have some tasty spuds soon.
I also was able to harvest some tasty baby carrots for lunch today. Yeah for mother nature.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bone Tired

That is how I felt last night after completing the Soccer Clinic the last three days as well as going to work, getting Naph's and Anthony's gift sent off & going to my boss's picnic, but it is all over and I passed. I only got an 89% and, of course, I wouldn't really be happy with anything less than a 100%, but there is nothing I can do about that now. I am not going to complain too much, but my teacher seemed more concerned with letting us know how much he disliked the parents of the players he refereed than teaching us the rules. Enough said.

So today is MY DAY. I have decided to spend the first part of it reading The Friday Night Knitting Club. I get to accomplish the whole two bird and think about knitting = )

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


The hubby and I decided to try our hands at a puzzle this weekend, and for $7 it only took us a few hours to put together this 550 piece beauty. Not sure if that is a very good return for our money. We will see if we can pick some up at thrift stores or something. However, we did have a lot of fun and it was relaxing. We put it together last night and this morning on the front porch and it was so peaceful to get away from the TV. We are thinking about shellacking it and placing it on the wall, but not positive yet.

Monday, August 4, 2008

No (or low) Sugar Jam

I was asked about how to make no-sugar jam from my friend, Willow, so am posting what I have learned so far. First, you can make no-sugar jam, but make sure you are using a naturally sweet fruit like strawberries for the best results or you can use Splenda if you don't mid adding sugar substitutes. Both Ball and Sure-Jell make special pectin which are to be used for no or low sugar recipes, so it is important to get that kind and not regular pectin. I have tried both and thing the Ball brand has a better jell set to it. I have now made no sugar and low sugar and, although I don't have a sweet tooth, I prefer the low sugar. What we used in the low sugar recipe was 3/4 cup of honey instead of granular sugar for a whole batch of jam (about 4 pint jars). This made it just about the perfect amount of sweetness, but you can cut it back as much as you like. I just recently made the honey version and am thinking about switching to make that my standard as it has this amazing consistency and honey after taste which was delicious.

If anyone is really interested in preserving your fruits and veggies, I have found the Ball Blue Book, the National Center for Home Food Preservation website, and the Canning USA website to be very helpful.

Good Luck!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

stargazing in sunlight

The girls came over for some blackberry picking and preserving today; we made regular jam, sugar free jam and pie filling. We tried out a few different recipes and after they left, I took some of the remaining berries and made blackberry cordial for another friend who is kindly picking me up some of my favorite salsa and bringing it all the way across the country for me...what a friend. The recipe for the cordial is an amalgamation of several I found on-line...2.5 cups berries, 1 cup sugar, 2 cups vodka - let sit in a dark place for 8 weeks and presto...blackberry cordial.

The newest addition to our random flowers is this stargazer lily which has bloomed in the bulb bed recently. Are we living in heaven or what!?!

And finally, I am getting around to responding to Jmae's request for more information about the plastic canning lids for after you open your preserves. I think they are really great to have around if you do much canning. Take care!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

fish out of water

That is pretty much what I feel like with the whole referee thing; but I think that is a good thing. I went to the high school certification clinic today and had to take a physical. The whole thing makes my stomach turn in knots but it is because I just have no idea what I am doing. But isn't that kind of the point of doing something new? I was 1 of 4 girls while there were over 40 guys at the meeting, but everyone was very nice and welcoming. Guess I'll just have to jump in and learn even though baby steps would be much easier. I will be doing the USSF certification this weekend and it is a 3 day long certification, much more intense. Hopefully I won't have to do sprints again!

The rest of today is lazy day. Hubby sweetly cleaned the house while I was at the clinic and tomorrow is blackberry day...YEAH!