30 November 2010

Knitting Update!

It's been a while since I told you what I've been knitting. I've got quite an assortment of items to share. The photos are as good as you're going to get when it's snowing outside (and I'm taking them).

A hat for my new, nearly here nephew. It's teeny, here's hoping he is too.

 A teddy bear/hot water bottle holder for my already got here a while ago nephew. I'm going to stuff it with a little pillow, because I'm not sure his mom wants him to have a hot water bottle.

A pair of boot toppers for somebody...not sure who yet. I will spare you my attempts to take a photo of my own leg wearing them with my boots. Hilarious, yes, but I will still spare you.  Instead, I will show you a photo from Knitting Daily - the photo from the pattern I used. It was a great pattern, very clear and worked up quickly.

Cute, right?

By way of  a teaser, I have made this - remember it? However, it requires a head for really quality photos. I will have a photo soon. Then, it is off to a world traveling business woman I know, who may just be seen wearing it in a business meeting in Japan? Australia? Singapore? You never know.

What's on the needles now? A  hat for my son. We got out the winter stuff, and he's hat-less. All his hats are too small and are now adorning little brother.

27 November 2010

Weekend Book Review - A Single Shard

My latest Newbery Award winner. Set in Korea, it is the story of a young orphaned boy who is taken in by a homeless man and they become friends. They survive by scavenging in rubbish heaps and gleaning fields and foraging. They refuse to steal or beg. Eventually the boy becomes apprenticed to a potter. It is a parable about working hard and being honest, and having the courage to continue in spite of the odds being against you. A great read for any age.

26 November 2010

Shop Handmade!

Join the Etsy Mom team for our Black Friday sale. It will run Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Avoid the crowds and shop handmade!  Over 90 shops will be offering fabulous deals on their handcrafted wares.   You'll find a little of everything from eco friendly + modern felt stockings, boutique-style children's clothing, cute Japanese handmade fabric button accessories, Twilight inspired jewelry, photography, handstamped cards, stationary, holiday decor, and more!

Click here to visit participating shops, or, on Etsy, search EtsyMomSale.
lavenderave.etsy.com * petitetuques.etsy.com * mimimarie573.etsy.com * AngelLeighDesigns.etsy.com * louloututu.etsy.com * countrychiccottage.etsy.com * sykin.etsy.com * nwwonders.etsy.com * zoegirldesigns.etsy.com * allyouneeddesigns.etsy.com * guzanito.etsy.com * yjennings.etsy.com * LauraElainedesigns.etsy.com * miatortilla.etsy.com * PinkStripe.etsy.com * thelittleredwagon.etsy.com * anhoki.etsy.com * RockefellerJewelry.etsy.com * PeriwinkleJazz.etsy.com * ninabonita.etsy.com * monstermeng.etsy.com * woodenhive.etsy.com * meeabee.etsy.com * silverrosedesigns.etsy.com * www.rikrak.etsy.com * bellerosedesigns.etsy.com * twistedribbonsbows.etsy.com * lisamicheleproducts.etsy.com * twolovebugs.etsy.com * stoneymistdesign.etsy.com * camelotstreasures.etsy.com * cr8something.etsy.com * scperkins.etsy.com * kitkatcreationsinc.etsy.com * homemadebyamanda.etsy.com * shopannavirginia.etsy.com * twosugarpeas.etsy.com * acheekymonkey.etsy.com * sreneedesigns.etsy.com * anasbabycouture.etsy.com * monkeypoddesign.etsy.com * loveyoumoredesigns.etsy.com * Terrbear37.etsy.com * momscrafts4u.etsy.com * boutiquelittlepeople.etsy.com * theavidbeader.etsy.com * etsy.com/shop/USCGwife *babyjives.etsy.com * www.babyswank.etsy.com * natortiz23.etsy.com * nume.etsy.com * www.etsy.com/shop/NewCreatioNZ * oceanbelle13.etsy.com * OrchidLaneDesigns.etsy.com * lifesoapsimple.etsy.com * peaceloveandkids.etsy.com * beyondwords12.etsy.com * TamsyTrends.etsy.com * nellaboos.etsy.com * babysindulgence.etsy.com * DaisyandLilly.etsy.com * DYEnamite.etsy.com * rockpapertekla.etsy.com * MommysDream.etsy.com * addybscakes.etsy.com * LoisAndLinnea.etsy.com * shoprhubarb.etsy.com * elizabeth71080.etsy.com * starknits.etsy.com * elisaann.etsy.com * feltedkitten.etsy.com * 2sproutsandalilvoice.etsy.com * HandmadeWhimzy.etsy.com * lilprincessbow.etsy.com * cinnamonspice.etsy.com * katekatenyc.etsy.com * lilybugboutique.etsy.com

Happy Thanksgiving!

25 November 2010

Another Silhouette Giveaway!

If you're like me and you will do just about anything to lay your hands on a Silhouette (for free), go to The Idea Room for yet another opportunity to win one.

For examples of what can be done with a Silhouette:



Two kids, two loaves of bread and two butter knives. Genius, if you ask me.
The bread will be dried in the oven, getting ready for stuffing. And my house smells like:


24 November 2010

Giverslog is hosting a Mega Giveaway

Have you seen the Silouhette? I know I posted about this several months back. I want one so bad my teeth hurt. I just entered a giveaway on giverslog to win one. Oh, the things I could make with one of these. It's kind of scary if you think about it. You should know now how much I love you - that I'm sharing this at all...OK, actually, I get another entry if I tell you about it.

If you want one anywhere near as bad as I do, go to giverslog now and enter to win!While you're there, browse a bit. Giverslog is one of the best blogs I have ever seen. Fabulous gift ideas, crafts, recipes, guest blogs, all beautifully organized and easy to find.

Good luck!

The Winner Is...

jensenfamily said...
I'm an official follower and I just know this is my lucky strike and I'm going to be randomly picked to WIN!!! erin lynn jensen - you know where I live. 
Erin, it was your lucky strike! My expert random raffle drawer pulled your name right out of the bowl. Now, all you have to do is choose who gets the PJ's...
Thanks everyone who entered and became followers! I appreciate your visits.
Watch for another giveaway - coming soon.

20 November 2010

Coming Soon...

Just a couple of housekeeping items that may interest you.

1. The giveaway I am hosting, found here, ends Monday night at midnight. If you were thinking of Christmas PJ's, this is the giveaway for you. Why not win some?

2. I belong to a team on Etsy called EtsyMoms. We will be having a team-wide Black Friday sale. Stay tuned for details coming early next week.

3. Right now, through November 25, my friend Anastasia is having a Christmas sale in her Etsy shop. Visit L'Accent Nou for some fabulous, unique jewelry. Here are a couple of my personal favorites:


Have a great weekend! See you Monday.

19 November 2010

Menu Platter - Chalkboard Paint!

While browsing among some of my favorite blogs, I found this great tutorial for a menu platter - basically any old platter you have spiffed up with chalkboard paint.

The Sleepy Time Gal has tons of great ideas. This particular one really fit my mood. I have had a can of  Rust-Oleum Chalkboard paint from Home Depot in my garage for a couple of months, and it's been whispering to me quietly. Nothing brightens my day like a spur of the moment project using a new toy like chalk paint!

So, this morning after dropping my older kids at school, I took my mini-helper and we went to Goodwill. I don't really have lots of platters lying around, and the ones I have are not for repurposing purposes. There wasn't much today, but I did find this big ugly melamine platter for $2.

Isn't it just begging to be repurposed?

Once I got home, I started thinking. Melamine is not the best for painting on. I looked around online a bit, and the general consensus seemed to be that with a bit of sanding and multiple coats, things would work out fine.

After sanding and cleaning, I got out the chalkboard paint and a little foam brush. I applied my first coat. It didn't look so good. 

I decided to read the instructions on the paint can. A roller was recommended. Good idea, no? While I waited for the first coat to dry, I rummaged in the garage and found a great little roller and improvised a paint tray. Second coat done! Much better.

I decided that a third coat would be a good idea. After that was dry, I got out some chalk, and voila!

 I chalked it with tonight's menu
 My son chalks it - "It's too plain Mom."

I love this! I think I just found a new gift idea. The most expensive part is the Chalkboard Paint ($20), but one little can will go a long way.

**Don't forget to go here and enter my celebration giveaway - just a few days left!***

16 November 2010

100 Sales on Etsy - Giveaway!

I am celebrating! I just celebrated my two year anniversary on Etsy, and I reached 100 sales. 
I want to invite you to celebrate with me! In celebration, I am giving away either a nightgown or a pajama set. You can choose.

To enter, you have to do two things, but in 1 comment only. 

1. Please become a follower of this blog and let me know about it
2. Tell us which you prefer, the nightgown or the pajama set
Don't forget to leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.

Giveaway will close at midnight on Monday,  November  22.

14 November 2010

Weekend Book Review - Lady Susan

Lady Susan is one of Jane Austen's less well-known novels. It is a series of letters written between different characters. The main letter-writer is Lady Susan who is a saucy, manipulative society lady. Her escapades, her view of them and how they affect those around her make for very entertaining reading.

12 November 2010


May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country!  ~Daniel Webster

Where liberty dwells, there is my country.  ~Benjamin Franklin

Our great modern Republic.  May those who seek the blessings of its institutions and the protection of its flag remember the obligations they impose.  ~Ulysses S. Grant

11 November 2010

Beef Stew

Over the last two weeks, I have been participating in a food test (I don't know if that is what they call it, but it's what I'm going to call it). We were invited to take 5 beef products and prepare them at home and fill out a survey regarding our experience. We are also being paid, but we were not asked to advertise. Just so you know. Naturally, I am happy to take free food and eat it, even happier to get paid for my time. Today was the final product. Beef stew meat. Since outside looked like this:

I thought it was the perfect day for beef stew. Since outside looked like that, it was not the perfect day for me to be taking pictures inside. I continue to have camera troubles and the debate now is camera vs. serger. But that's a story for another day. Following is my recipe for beef stew, minus the unappetizing photos.

Beef Stew
2 lbs. stew meat
1/3 cup flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 med/lg onion, chopped
3-4 stalks celery, chopped
olive oil
3 potatoes, diced
3-4 carrots, diced
2 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. paprika

Put stew meat in a gallon size Ziploc baggie with flour, salt and pepper. Close bag and shake to coat. Set aside.
Heat saute pan. Coat pan with olive oil (2-3 tsp.) and add onions and celery. Cook until tender and onions just begin to brown on edges. Remove onions and celery from pan and add a little more olive oil. Brown beef in pan. 
Put potatoes and carrots in crock-pot. Add bay leaf and paprika, onions, celery and browned beef. Pour broth over everything. *I deglazed the saute pan with a little water and added that as well.
Cook on low 8-10 hours and on high 4-6 hours. Serve with biscuits.
The stew was delicious (and the meat was great).

07 November 2010

Weekend Book Review - Becoming Naomi Leon

Pam Munoz Ryan may be my new favorite author. Although this is written for a young adult audience, I believe there is something here for everyone. The heartwarming story of a brother and sister being raised by their great-grandmother. When their mother comes back into their lives, it is difficult and confusing for the children, but ultimately they rise above it all and it changes their lives.

05 November 2010

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving?

I love all the Thanksgiving food, but let's be honest. It's really about the pie. I grew up in a family of 8, and pie was the main event. My mom always made enough pumpkin pie that we could have it for breakfast (my favorite) and plenty of left overs. We had cherry, apple, pecan, lemon meringue and sometimes even banana creme.

The other day one of my friends came by with a big bag of apples from her Dad's orchard. Aren't they pretty? We've been eating them, they are delicious, but we're not going to be able to eat them all unless... Pie!
Here's a recipe I've been using for about 15 years. It's great every time.

Sharon's Perfect Apple Pie
recipe from Food Day in the Oregonian

9 cups sliced apples
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

3 Tbsp. flour
Pie pastry for 9 inch, 2 crust pie
1 Tbsp. butter

Put apples in a bowl with sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, salt and lemon juice. Mix well. Let sit at room temperature overnight or 8-12 hours. 

This is what they look like after 8-12 hours

When ready to bake: Preheat oven to 425°. Roll out pastry for bottom crust and place in pie pan. 

Using a slotted spoon, place apples in crust, mounding slightly above top of pie tin. Add 3 Tbsp. flour to juices remaining in bowl and mix well. Pour over apples in pie pan.
Dot apples with butter (optional) and place top crust over. Make slits in top crust for air to escape. Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Or, if you have a little helper, cut out shapes.

Place pie on rack in lower third of oven. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°and bake another 45-60 minutes, or until apples are tender when pierced with a fork in the center of pie.
Place on a rack to cool. Makes 1 9 inch pie