30 October 2010

I couldn't wait to show you...


By the way, he's not crooked. Apparently I can't hold the camera straight after sewing almost non-stop for 3 days. Isn't he just the cutest turtle you have ever seen? There will be photos of all of them later - I know you've been waiting to see my creepy Nosferatu, and he's coming.

Halloween Countdown

10 hours until the first Halloween party. 2 costumes complete, 1 to go.

34 hours until the pre-teen Halloween party. Pumpkins carved, first batch of munchies in the oven, still need to decorate. Here's my favorite decoration so far:

28 October 2010

I have to make this!

Brain cap from Crochet today! Magazine (Sept./Oct. 2010 issue)

If I have time, I want to make this for me to wear at my son's Halloween party this weekend. I think it's so cool.

27 October 2010


I wish I had a photo of my cantaloupe vine to show you. It was so pretty. All summer long it climbed up its trellis and flowered. Of course, there never were any cantaloupe, but it was so pretty.

Sunday afternoon, the kids went out to the garden to get our pumpkin off the vine. They moved a few things around, and look what they found!

Of course they picked it before I could get a photo in the garden, but isn't that lovely? Our very own home-grown cantaloupe. It made a wonderful addition to breakfast this morning. Good thing we found it too as we're rapidly heading for 32 F tonight and 29 F tomorrow night.

Also, just there, in the corner of the photo there are some pumpkin cinnamon rolls with caramel icing. They were delicious. I found them over at Groovy Pumpkin where you can find everything pumpkin for the month of October. Worth a visit!

26 October 2010

Let down your hair...

Costume number one is complete - by necessity. We had a Halloween themed birthday party to attend on Saturday night. All that winding of yarn we did last week - here is the final result!


We got this fantastic costume idea from Family Fun Magazine - including instructions for making the wig and hat. One new thing we learned is that yes, you can sew on craft foam. Her dress is a nightgown like I make for my Etsy shop (shameless promotion alert). She loves her costume, and looks adorable, if I do say so myself.

23 October 2010

Weekend Book Review - A Little Princess

This weekend I am in the mood for a good old-fashioned story. A timeless tale of riches-to-rags-to-riches about a little girl full of imagination and hope. She models how to behave even when life is truly difficult. A great story to read out loud to your little girl.

22 October 2010

Cream of Broccoli Soup

I started taking photos of the soup making process, and my camera battery died. I am posting the recipe anyway. Enjoy! It's perfect for a chilly fall day. Make biscuits to go with it. Yum!

Cream of Broccoli Soup (from my cousin's kitchen)

2 lbs broccoli
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup chopped onion

3 Tbsp  flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups light cream or half and half
1 tsp. salt
8 cup grated cheese

Chop broccoli. Cook in salted water until tender. Saute onion in butter until clear.Whisk in the flour to make a roux. Slowly add broth and cream. Add salt and cooked broccoli. Can puree here, if you wish. Heat through. Just before serving, stir in the cheese. Serves 6

21 October 2010

A Little Teaser

Halloween costumes are in the works. 

The baby (4 yr old) will be Batman again because it makes him happy. Honestly, it makes me happy too.

My daughter - well here's what we have so far:

 winding yarn

 and winding yarn (a good job for her - it made me so dizzy)

 tying the yarn into a bundle

 Cutting the other end
 Stay tuned! We've got to have it done by Friday for a party.

Always the challenge, my nearly 12 yr. old is hosting his first Halloween Party wants to be this guy:

Creepy, no? So I visited the fabric store and acquired 7 yards of black satin for a collared cape and creepy coffin lining type upholstery fabric for a gothic looking vest. Now I just have to find time to make it. And go through my button jar and find some vintage buttons for the vest. I suppose we will also need one of those bald person costume accessories and lots of white makeup. And teeth. I'll show you how it goes.

20 October 2010

Making Some Progress - Thanks to Lacrosse

Remember this post? Remember this mess?

Believe it or not, I have been working on it. I have. But it was taking a really long time. I was starting to wonder what kind of kick in the pants I would need to really just get it done. To be honest, I was kind of avoiding it. You know, the kind of avoiding where you work on it for a little while, then you find some urgent project that must be done...

Well, I got my kick in the pants. Last weekend we hosted part of the BYU Lacrosse team. Three players. Sleeping in my basement. It's amazing what you can get done with just the right motivation.There is still some work to do, but I thought if it was in good enough shape for company, it was in good enough shape to show you.

Notions and pattern storage (nearly done)

Cutting area - my husband is making me a plywood top to cover the bed

Inspiration board and reference books

Sewing table and more pattern storage

It feels soooo good to work in there. Now, to keep it that way through the holiday rush...

19 October 2010

Some Knitting

Last week I finished a pair of socks - a Christmas present for somebody - made with Patons Kroy, stripes.

and a neck warmer hat for my sister-in-law. I sent the neck warmer hat without taking a photo, but the yarn was so yummy that I have to show you a photo of it. It is Manos, silk blend and so pretty.

Maybe if she likes it she will send me a photo, and I can share it with you. This is the picture from the pattern - Neckwarmer Hat from Knitted Gifts.

17 October 2010

Weekend Book Review - Princess of the Midnight Ball

I love fairy tales. I usually love fairy tale re-tellings. This one was no exception. It was true to the original tale "The Twelve Dancing Princesses", and completely charming. A great weekend read.

14 October 2010

The Cocoa-Latte

What's your favorite treat? Mine is probably hot cocoa. Good hot cocoa. 

This is my new Cocoa-Latte. I acquired it recently at Bed Bath and Beyond (I was not asked to advertise this or compensated in any way. I'm all on my own here too bad). This machine makes me happy. I know things aren't supposed to make us "happy" but as far as it goes, this machine makes me happy. The price wasn't too bad either (remember your coupons)!

Here's a little teaser for you - we woke up this morning to a temperature of 36 degrees and frost. I could have felt sad about that - here in Colorado it means snow could happen any time - but I wasn't sad. I thought of my Cocoa-Latte and smiled.

Pour in milk according to how many cups you want to make

Add the proper amount of your favorite cocoa mix (2 Tablespoon per each 8 oz.)

Push the on button, and away it goes.

When it is all heated and mixed, there is another button that froths your cocoa up nicely as it pours into your cup.

Delicious. I may survive another Colorado winter after all.

12 October 2010

Cowboy Room - Update

It's about time. My poor boy's valance just kept getting set aside for other projects like Sewing Through the Decades or Halloween costumes (more about that later) or just plain old work. Saturday I put my foot down and said "I'm not doing another thing until this boy's valance is hanging up in his room" and I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

I used decorator fabric from my stash. I think I may have planned a cowboy room for my older son and it never happened, but I have all this great high-quality cowboy fabric. 

Mini tutorial:
I cut cowboy and lining fabric to 2 times the width that I wanted the finished valance (127") and the drop I measured from the rod to where I wanted the curtain to end. I then spent a ridiculous amount of time making tabs out of corduroy and sewing them properly in the lining and everything, hung up the valance and hated it. It actually leaned back against the wall. Sorry there's no photo because it was hilarious (or it is now). I removed the tabs and went back to the stash. I found this great dark brown with tan zigzags. I cut a long strip 7" wide by 128" long, hemmed the short ends and sewed it to the top of the valance, lining and all. Measured the circumference of the rod one more time to be sure, then ironed a hem at the top and folded it down so it would look finished on the back. I then sewed it to the valance "stitching in the ditch" or in the seam that already existed. I didn't want the seam to show. Then I top-stitched on the brown zigzag for a nice finished look that also holds down the seam allowance and keeps it out of the way of the rod. I looked at it and decided it needed a nice Ric-rack accent along the bottom. That's the only thing I bought. Everything else came out of stash. Slid it onto the rod, hung it up and fluffed it until we liked it.

To finish off the room, I am waiting for the Daddy to build a couple of shelves, then we will hang a quilt my mom made and some photos of great-great-grandpa working with cattle. I haven't seen them yet, so I couldn't tell you what he's doing exactly, but the cattle are there. With any luck, this room will be done by Christmas...

10 October 2010

Weekend Book Review - Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

A charming Cinderella tale, set in 1930's England. Miss Pettigrew, who has lived a quiet and virtuous life, suddenly finds herself the personal assistant of a socialite and aspiring actress. Her day is full of new experiences and adventure.
The film with Frances McDormond and Amy Adams is well done and very enjoyable as well.

09 October 2010

Sewing Through the Decades

A few words on the 1980's:


Been there, done that, can't go there again.
See you in the 1990's.

08 October 2010

Giveaway Winner - Pixelated Mushroom

The winner of the cotton chenille yarn is:

PixelatedMushroom said...

squee how lovely! I'd probably crochet a pair or two of my mobius mitts ^_^ think they'd feel lovely with this soft cotton yarn.
Thanks for holding this lovely giveaway!


And while we're here, I'd love to show you a few things from her shop. She is very creative and makes all kinds of fun things from scarves to patterns inspired by Dr. Who.

Drop by Pixelated Mushroom and take a look!

07 October 2010

Quick Reminder!

Don't forget! Today is the last day to enter to win the lovely cotton chenille yarn. Go to this post to enter.

Best Luck!

06 October 2010

Comfort Food

It's been awhile since I shared a recipe with you. Cooler nights have me thinking about comfort food. One of my personal favorites - Macaroni and Cheese. Not the Kraft kind. While I absolutely LOVE the homemade butter and bread crumb topped baked deliciousness that you may be thinking of,  I don't have time to cook like that most weeks. Our adaptation is the Crock pot Mac n' Cheese recipe from the 30 Day Gourmet

I highly recommend their cookbook - it has changed our lives. 

Anyway, back to the recipe:

Crock Pot Mac n' Cheese

16 oz. elbow macaroni
12 oz. can of evaporated milk
1 cup milk
1 can Campbells Cheddar Cheese Soup
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
8 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Cook macaroni according to package directions.
Line crock pot with slow cooker liner (a seriously good idea)
In a bowl, mix evaporated milk, milk, cheddar cheese soup and grated cheese. Stir in cooked macaroni. Pour into crock pot. Cook on low 3 hours.

At our house, we eat some, then put the rest into 8x8 foil pans and freeze for another day. That is when you bake it for that deliciousness I was talking about earlier.

A word about Slow Cooker Liners. If you don't have some, get some. They are right up there with the turkey bags. No joke.

05 October 2010

Thank You Elizabeth Zimmerman

For April: Mystery Blanket: Weaving. About which you so charmingly noted "much of my knitting is given over to techniques to foil my friends." I never thought we were friends, but I thought we were getting along much better than this. I'm just going to call it the 6 month pain in the @%% mystery blanket. Or the "it's not a mystery why it took me so long" blanket.

In all fairness, I should note that it would not have taken 6 months if it was the ONLY thing I had done until I finished. However, had it been the only thing I had done, I would REALLY hate it, and it might have been flung across a room and stomped on. Elizabeth and I are taking a break.

I am currently enjoying some sock knitting, 

and continuing to work on a little something for me. The little something for me: unlike the socks,  it takes my brain. The pattern has a chart and stuff. Brain time is limited. It mostly occurs on weekends during football games. I'll keep you posted. Right now it still looks like this:

EZ moment - a little something to laugh about - depending on how well you know me (OK a little background for my new friends here). I read. Alot. Along the lines of 14-16 books a month. I also knit. Alot. You will find me knitting at swim practice, soccer practice, during meetings of the school board, or anywhere, really, that it might be considered rude to read. Except church. In church I do neither. I just fidget. Anyway, this paragraph, included in the instructions for the mystery blanket of April actually stunned me.

"I started with 8 stitches deployed on four #10.5 needles. This was awkward going for the first few rounds (she's not kidding), but at the fast rate of increase - 8 stitches every second round - in no time there were 32 stitches, which would fit on a 16"circular needle. At this point I put a marker at the beginning of the round....The marker was soon left behind, as my fingers rarely failed to feel the woolen marker as it came moving along. A trap into which I fell only occasionally was the tendency to knit into the marker itself when I was knitting and reading at the same time."
OK - wrap your head around that. Knitting and reading at the same time. Of course, you know I'll have to give it a try. I'll let you know how it goes. Not while I'm driving though. You have to draw a line somewhere. Seriously.

03 October 2010

Weekend Book Review - Wild Swans

Wild Swans is a memoir, telling the true story of three generations of Chinese women. It begins with the story of the author's grandmother, before the communist revolution. The story continues with the experiences of the author's mother, who joined the communist party. The author finishes with her own story. It is a compelling history of a family and a fascinating read.

02 October 2010

Sewing Through the Decades - 1970-1979

Ah, the 1970's. The decade of my birth. The reason I am wearing brown gingham with orange deer appliques in my baby pictures. For this week, I departed from the sewing machine and went for the granny square. I don't know about you, but one of my strongest memories from early childhood is a pile of granny squares in olive, rust, orange, gold and brown next to my mother's chair. So, it's crochet, but I'm still calling it sewing, I did sew the squares together after all.

I finished this earlier this week but I've been trying to find a tiny model. I've been totally unsuccessful. The tiny person this is intended for is my niece in California. I will see if I can talk her mom into taking a photo of her in it so I can share it with you. (Please, B? Please??)

  • I used stash yarn (it's Stashbusting September you know) in 100 percent cotton, because I wanted it to be washable. 
  • I followed instructions for a basic granny square. I made a couple of squares with smaller and smaller needles until I got the finished measurements I wanted (3" square using size D hook).
  • This skirt needed to be about 24 inches around. I put together 3 rows of 8, and it worked perfectly, because of the gauge squares, don't you know. 
  • I whip stitched the rows into a tube and did one row of a single crochet border along the bottom, and two rows of single crochet along the top. 
  • Last of all, I crocheted a basic chain about 30 inches long and tied a knot at each end. I then wove it in and out of the single crochet border at the top, making a draw string.

I'm happy with it. Now I want to see it on a cute tiny person... 
See what others have made by visiting the flickr group.