Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ice can't stop the mailman!

We're on a snow (ice) day here! Yay!!! I feel like I'm 12 years old on mornings like this.

I couldn't go back to sleep this morning, but then I took a nap and slept until noon! How nice!
In the middle of watching a movie and lounging on the couch, I heard the sound of a car. I knew it must be the mailman because 1) it was that time and 2) nobody else can get into their cars.

Because my driveway is a hill that goes around back, on nights that we might get bad weather, I have to park on the street in front of the mailboxes. This makes the mailman very angry and thus he won't stop to get out of the mail truck to deliver our mail. I quickly threw on my coat and slippers and, get this, chased him down in the pouring icy mix. I had to see what mail I had today. And guess what!!! More fabric squares.

Man, what a good day!!!

Thank you Leanne, Carolyn, and LouEllen!!!

LouEllen included the sweetest little letter with her fabric, which included a picture of her with her grandson. I just loved it!

Oh no! Just got a text message that there is no power in parts of Berea! I hope I keep mine!!! Say a prayer for me!

Monday, January 26, 2009

A "Scrapdown"

Katy at Sycamore Stirrings has organized a "scrapdown" exchange, which I am excitedly participating in.

The swap involves sending 10, 3 inch squares to each person participating in the exchange. A total of 25 women signed up! Did you get that?? That means I cut 250 3"x3" squares this weekend. (10 squares for each one) I had a lot of fun doing it though.

I didn't get out of my pajamas all day on Saturday!!! Just cut and ironed all day. This was a great chance to get rid of a lot of the scraps that I had from other projects.

We will be constructing a charm quilt from our squares. Not to state the obvious, but I will be receiving 250 squares in the mail...10 each from 25 wonderful women. We had 3 oversees participates...Luxembourg, Germany...Tokyo, Japan...and the United Kingdom! I also sent squares to Washington, California, Virginia, Illinois, Oklahoma, Alabama, Minnesota, Colorado, Massachusetts, Utah, New Mexico, Delaware, and Idaho!

A charm quilt is one in which each fabric is used only once. You can see why a scrap exchange would be beneficial. That's a lot of different fabrics to make one quilt!

Can you imagine my excitement when I got home this evening and found these in my mailbox??!!! How lovely!! I couldn't wait to open each envelope.

4 down...21 to go!!!

I can't wait!!!

Thank you soooo much to E.L, Audrey, Maja, Kayce, and Carrie (who included the sweet note)!!! Happy Quilting!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Thought

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Philippians 4:6

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pfaff in the house! (and at Sew-A-Lot)

Several weeks ago, I told you I was going to be purchasing something that would make you very jealous. Well, I don't know how jealous you will actually be, but you should be!

This is it!!!

It is the Pfaff Hobby 1142. This is by far the nicest machine that I have ever owned and one of the nicest that I have sewn on. I am so excited! Now because of the investment, I have to dedicate more time to using it!

If you would like to purchase a sewing machine, fabric, supplies, take classes, or meet some of the nicest women, you should definately go here! Sew-A-Lot is such a wonderful place! This is where I purchased my sewing machine and have gotten most of my fabrics. They offer many classes including Beginning Sewing, in case you are just getting started. I have taken two classes from them and can't wait to take more! I refer to the classes as my therapy sessions.

Everytime I pop in I'm greeted with the most friendly, helpful women. Sew-A-Lot is located in the Hamburg shopping area in Lexington, KY.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

To Keep You Warm

It has been colder than (insert your own word or phase here) outside! I made a few things to help keep warm.

I made 3 pairs of these hand warming gloves last weekend. They really do work and stay warm for a short period of time. They were sew easy to make also. I followed these simple instructions. It only took about 20 minutes to make each pair. Here is a picture of them turned inside out. (Please excuse my lousy photography skills in all pictures below!)

All you need is a cheap pair of gloves, felt, and rice. (Well, obviously a sewing machine, needle, and thread)

I also made a zillion of these handmade heating pillows. They only took about 10 minutes to make. Cut a piece of fabric the length you want your pillow and double the size you would like for the width to be.

Fold the fabric to make a small hem along the width of the fabric. (Do as I say, not as I do...wash and iron your fabric first!)

(And yes, I am cutting my fabric on my living room floor. I couldn't seem to pull myself away from the TV. I've got to get that TV hooked up in my sewing room!)

Fold the fabric in half (right sides together). Sew up bottom and side. Turn inside out.

Fill with rice and any fragrance you like about 2/3 full. I used dried lavender. Sew up your hemmed edge. Pop in the microwave until desired heat is reached. I heated for 1.5 minutes then turned pillow over and heated for another 1 minute. The pillow will sweat the first few times you microwave it, so place paper towels underneath it to soak up the moisture.

Viola! A new heating pillow to curl up with on chilly nights!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Buttercream Icing

This post is for my mother. (So she doesn't have to write all of this down over the phone)

Buttercream Icing

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (clear, if you have it)
4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar (Sift before measuring)
2 tablespoons milk (maybe a tad more if you think it needs it)

Cream butter and shortening with mixer. Add vanilla extract.

Gradually add sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.

Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Use immediately, or keep icing covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

Yum! Yum! I wish I were there to lick the bowl!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Amish Friendship Bread

Grrrr....I hate those chain letter things that someone gives you and then you must pass the same thing onto a zillion other people. But, I always hate saying no to people and hate the thought of throwing away food. So, I made Amish Friendship Bread last night. (Not to mention that anything that has the word Amish associated with it, I have to have.)

One of those gallon size bags full of yeast and other "secret" stuff (yeah right!) has been fermenting on my counter top for the past week. When I say it stunk, I mean it reeked! The first time I opened the bag I started gagging! Phew...it was bad. Last night I had to add a bunch of stuff to it and divide it up into 4 more bags. One bag I keep to myself and add even more "stuff" to the mix. This is my final product...Amish Friendship Bread. It turned out pretty good. It has the taste of french toast and texture of pumpkin bread. (In my opinion)

The paper I received said that "only the Amish know the starter"...yeah right! Google knows all secrets and answers. Even about the Amish.

Now I have to find 4 other willing recipients to give the "secret starter" bags. Grrr.... Interested????

By the way, to the friend that gave me this, I really am glad that you thought of me to give this to and I know what a big baby I am. Also, I don't want this to stop you from giving me other Amish stuff or ideas that you may come across. Just no more bread...please.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!

I love you very much!!!



Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Plain and Simple

My friend Lindsey has made an interesting goal for herself this year. She has asked 12 people to recommend a book of their choosing for her to read. I was one of the 12 people that she asked.

Here is my choice...Plain and Simple.

Plain and Simple is a book that I read this summer. As the cover states it is about one woman's journey to the Amish. Now, if you know me well, you know I have a strong interest in the Amish as well as the Shakers...as well as MANY more things...I know, I know. I'm not really sure why this book captured my heart so much...after looking through it for a second time last night. I really contemplated my decision to choose this book over all the other wonderful books out there. Are you surprised...I over think all my decisions. But, I wasn't going to stress over it or even let myself become self-conscious over this. (Which I tend to do about everything)

Lindsey, this is the book I chose and I hope you enjoy it half as much as I did!

In keeping with the Amish, I decided that I would make her a Shoofly Pie for when I gave her the book. I've never made, tasted, or even seen Shoofly Pie before. I've heard and read about it in other Amish readings though. It is quite poplar in Pennsylvania. It turned out pretty good...probably not a favorite though. You need to like the taste of molasses to enjoy it, which I do. It is kinda like a coffee cake with a gooey molasses bottom. It gets it's name from the cooks having to continually "shoo" the flies away because the molasses attracted so many while the pies were cooling. Here is the recipe if you would like to try your hand at it.

I would also recommend listening to this while you bake.

Shoofly Pie
1 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup shortening, chilled and diced
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup boiling water
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup dark molasses
1 pie crust(9" size) unbaked
Cool Whip or some type of whipped cream
(I really recommend using a deep dish pie shell)

Preheat oven to 375.
In a bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and shortening. With pastry blender or knives, combine ingredients together until the shortening resembles small beans. Set aside.

In another bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water. Add the corn syrup and molasses. Stir to blend. Pour filling in to the shell and sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top. (This layer will be thick)

Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 and bake for 25-30 minutes more. The filling should be set even when it quivers when the pan is tapped. Do not overbake.

Serve with whipped cream.

I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

This Ain't It

In my last post I confessed my love for miniature food.

Let me clarify!

I only love miniature FAKE food. Not real food that I plan to eat and allow my taste buds the pleasure of consuming!

This is defiantly not what I meant!

These are the new 100 Calorie brownies by Little Debbie. What are they thinking?!! Is this just a tease or a huge mockery of the other 100 Calorie snacks?!! Shame on you Little Debbie! You shouldn’t have taken your name so literal!

Now Chiquita…that chick has it together! Their snack packs are wonderful. Already washed and cut fruit and veges with dip. Yummy and convenient! I have to admit I also think they are kinda cute! The folks at Hostess know what they are doing too!

I also tried the 100 Calorie Peanut Butter Wafers from Little Debbie.

They are whole-friggin-wheat!!! What??!!

I don’t want my PB Wafers to be whole wheat!! They were also less than satisfying!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


As you may know I have a major obsession with food.

Everything about food!

I have a weird minor obsession with miniature food. (especially in jewelry form!)

Is that weird?!

I meet someone once that thought food in fake form was so gross and totally weirded her out. I can kinda understand and see why she felt that why. But not me! I love it! I know its a little kooky, but I can't help it. The only thing that keeps me from wearing the fake food is I know how abnormal and strange it is. One day though, I'm not going to care.

So if you run into me one day with cupcake earrings, a hamburger on a chain around my neck, or sushi on my rings, don't be surprised. And you know what, when I can finally start wearing culinary masterpieces I won't care what you think. But for now, I still do! I can dream though!

If you would like to waste a little time on this rainy Saturday, check out some of my favorites on Etsy. I just love food in miniature form too. It doesn't have to be jewelry.

DanzDzynes http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5087023 This stuff is actually scented! Can you believe that?! Sheer brilliance!

PetitPlat http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5831696

ShayAaron http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5093660

Umecraafts http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5332354

OneElf http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5035783 I actually already have something from here!

Roscata http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5968012

On another note, I love these prints! I would love to have them all for my sewing room. If any of my family (mom, husband, dad, etc.) is still reading this...hint, hint...wink,wink. You should check out all of her prints. They are great!

Dreamy Giraffe http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=50177&section_id=5688188

Friday, January 9, 2009

Shari, Sewing, & Casa

It's a regular event! A fav event! I told you so already!

We will fight cold, rain, sleet, cougars, bears, or anything else that may stand in our way of Casa. Believe me, we fought the cold last night!

Ok, so there's the Shari and Casa part...and now for the sewing part of the evening. I have been dying to make Lilly a pillowcase dress. The problem is that I have no pattern, no instructions, and the biggest problem...no measurements.
Mary Jo O'Bradovich was very kind to give me a quick tutorial over the break on how she has been making them for her granddaughters. I really wish that she would have been part of the evening last night. I really needed her help. The dresses she has created are to die for! I was actually trying to measure Lilly's body last night by looking at pictures of her and attempting to measure by her size relation to objects in the pictures. Impossible!

The first one I made would only possibly fit her new Raggedy Ann doll. The second one I made turned out much better, but still a little too short. Oh well, I am proud to say I made a long pillowcase shirt. I think it will look great with cream tights. I love love love this fabric. I plan on trying to make another one this weekend...with a little more detail. Hmm, maybe a ruffle at the bottom. I already have several great fabric choices with matching ribbon.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Not just a stroll in the forest

We decided to do a little exploring in the mountains last weekend. Well, what we thought was going to be a pleasant stroll through the forest actually turned into the "marathon runners" (mom and Tom) taking us on a hiking adventure that only the fittest of bodies could keep up with and actually enjoy. Raven (AKA The Grand Poopster) and Shakira had a blast though. (I know horrible nickname for Raven. You can blame the Mr. for that one) Here are some snapshots from our adventure. This is my granny's and other family members land in Letcher County.

Look at what we were hiking through for crying out loud! (Literally!)

I know it's hard to see, but look at The Grand Poopster's collar. I have starting sewing all of her collars instead of buying them. (Tutorial to follow later) This was her Christmas one, which I hate to admit she is still wearing because I haven't made a new one for her.
Look at this beautiful spot. This is where I dream of one day building a small 2 room cabin for me and the Mr. to enjoy the weekends! Wouldn't it be wonderful!

The Grand Poopster was seriously pooped! Excuse the ridiculous picture of me.

The Mr.'s birthday was on New Year's Eve. He loves ice cream cakes and I had full confidence in myself that I could make him a great one. I wasn't going to post pictures, but thought what the heck. It turned out VERY bad! The ice cream ran out each side and then froze! That is a plastic knife sticking through the middle to hold the three layers of cake and ice cream together. I made a delicious homemade buttercream icing. However, I could only put icing on the top because the whole thing was so fragile! (and it looks like a 3 year old done that!) It was a disaster! Oh well, it's the thought that counts. Right??

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More from Christmas

I thought I would post some pictures from Christmas! Hope you enjoy!

My mom was so proud of her fruitcake creation. I think that my Mom and Granny might be the only two people left in this world that enjoy fruitcake. Yuk! Gross! Someone else must like it because they continue to commercially produce it for our eating pleasure. I can't imagine this being pleasurable to eat! Oh well, good job Mom! You spent loads of time and way to much money to successfully create this 8th wonder of the world we know of as fruitcake!!!

On to something much more interesting. I made these snazzy new aprons for my mom and granny for Christmas. The photo really doesn't do them justice. I have to say I was quite pleased with them. Although I think a full apron that covers the bust is much more practical, but oh well, they can feel sassy in these aprons while baking! If you would like to feel sassy while you are cooking dinner, you can make one yourself by going here. My mom and granny preferred to not tie them in a bow like I wanted them too! ...Whatever.

I recently fell in love. Have I told you about it? I mean head-over-hills in love. Her name is Lilly and she is my niece. Here she is with my husband and my dad with the Raggedy Ann Doll I got her for Christmas. Every girl needs one ya know! She agrees!

Oh yeah,
FYI: This evening I am purchasing something very exciting! I can't wait to show it you! Prepare to be jealous!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm still here!

So I finally get my blog up and running and then decide to go on a 2 week hiatus. Sorry! I really am going to do good about keeping this up. I plan on doing some backtracking for a little bit so I can post some of my Chritmas planning and holiday events.

My friend JKCuddles and I spent an entire weekend before Christmas baking goodies for the students we work with. I don't think we realized what an undertaking that would be. Here are some photos of the baking and the result. I thought they turned out great!
I have to give credit where credit is due so, we got the idea and package for the Krispy Treats from a great blog called Schlosser Designs. You should really check it out. She usually does a tutorial every Tuesday. Thanks to her!

I promise I will never go another 2 weeks without posting. I have some great recipes and projects to come!