Nov 12, 2012

Logan's Favorite Things at 1

I'm only 4 months late in sharing this - better late than never!

Oct 23, 2012

Charlie Brown lives with us

It was inevitable. A love like that couldn't last forever. The fact that I was knee deep in a project (you know the type - pbj for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, still wearing pajamas at 5pm, and paint from my fingertips to my elbows) didn't change the words that blurted out of Superman's mouth, "Hey, it looks like Charlie Brown threw up!" as he admired my handiwork.

And, just like that, it was gone. My long time love affair with chevron patterned anything. Almost every room in our house has some form of chevron or a plan for it to make a grand entrance. Those little zigs and zags were drool worthy and doggonit they made me happy.

Due to Superman's lousy timing at humor, I had these pillowcases sewn and stuffed already. I'm enjoying them even though every time I see a chevron print now I think of Charlie Brown and simultaneously start dancing and thinking of lines..... Wa Wa Wa Wa Wa? And then that baldy, white head and obnoxious orange and black chevron shirt are all that I can picture. Nuts.

 Our living areas are a work in progress. I'm happy with the progress but I see how they still have a long way to go. Specifically in the area of throw pillows. I got tired of looking at my plain white forms, so I whipped up a few cases using some leftover drop-cloths and paint I had laying around. I think they're kinda cute... even if they are just temporary!

Maybe I'll try ikat instead? Or houndstooth? Or plaid?

Oct 21, 2012

How bout them apples?

It's fall. And to me, fall means applesauce and pumpkin roll can finally Unfortunately, there was a bad freeze earlier in the year and most of the local orchards were either out of apples or charged more than a tank of gas for a bushel of apples. After weeping and mourning in sackcloth and ashes, I decided I would just have to live without apple pie this year. Then my mother in law tracked down an orchard that had some apples to pick. Happy day! I ditched the black veil and we trekked out to the Anderson orchard with Grandma and Grandpa Harmer and Aunt Lori so that we could pick our beloved apples! Logan loved it, of course, because he was outside, dirty, and he got to throw every apple he could find. What more could a kid want?!
I found one! We can go home now!
Logan loves tasting the apples thanks to Grandma

He would throw an apple, go pick it up, and throw it again.
 I like to think he was starting the applesauce process to save me time...

Daddy was glad to climb every tree in sight.
 According to him, only the apples at the tippy top of the tree are worth picking.
 I think he just wanted an excuse to climb more

He ran up and down each row

Aunt Lori... check out that bling bling!

He loved riding in the wagon

Helping Grandpa find some good apples

Faster, daddy!

Logan was so amused by the pumpkins and tried to push them over.
 He wasn't very happy to be 'contained' for a picture, but at least
he isn't screaming and wiggling out of their arms! Win!

Oct 19, 2012

Once again, with style

Anyone who has followed my multiple blogs in the past knows I am horrible at consistency. And here's the truth: I don't do well when I have a blogging agenda to maintain. Of course those agendas only exist because I create them. I constantly get swallowed up by grand ideas of having a theme, a schedule, a target audience. But the truth is, that kind of blogging just isn't working for me. I have seen lots of other people succeed with having blog structure... Not me. So I continually 'quit' blogs. And then I miss blogging, so I come back with a vengeance and try to whirlwind all these thematic posts that might generate comments and followers, then I burn out or real life gets in the way so I quit, yada yada, the cycle continues. No more! I have decided that from now on I am just going to blog about what I want to blog about, however boring or mundane, because that's why I blog. I want to look back on my 40th birthday and have some kind of written down record of what life was like, pajama days, crunchy Cheerios in the carpet, and all. And so I blog...

Jun 19, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Blueberry Crumble Muffins

When I was little, I started a revolt against blueberries. They were gross, horrible, icky, and DEFINITELY had no business being in my breakfast. Thankfully I matured. Like 2 years ago. And decided blueberries were amazing - Especially in muffins! Enter these bad boys. Please, oh please, make these blueberry muffins for breakfast this weekend. They really shouldn't be classified as a breakfast food. I'm pretty sure they fall more in the dessert category. But, I won't tell if you won't...

Blueberry Crumble Muffins

1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking powder
1/3 C Vegetable oil
1 Egg
1/3 C Milk
1 C Blueberries
1/2 C sugar
1/3 C flour
1/4 C butter
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400. Grease 12 regular muffin cups or line with muffin liners. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

To make Crumb Topping, mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix together and sprinkle over muffins before baking. Bake for 20 minutes.

(Fresh blueberries are always better, but if you want to use frozen, toss the bag into the fridge the night before. To use them, rinse the thawed (but cold!) blueberries in a colander and spread on paper towels to dry.)

Jun 12, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Ho Ho Cake

I'm a sucker for packaged, artificial, overly processed chocolate sometimes. Especially when it comes in the form of a little debbie cake or a hostess cupcake. Unfortunately, I finish eating one and then I feel like I ate wax and plastic. Icckkkkk. So, if you have similar cravings, please go make these today. (right now! Goooo!)

Ho Ho Cake

1 Devils Food cake mix (and ingredients needed to make the cake)
5 T Flour
1 1/4 C. Milk
1 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Shortening
1/2 C. Butter
1 tsp Vanilla
3 oz Semi sweet chocolate
1 tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 T. Hot water
1/2 C. Butter
3 C. Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cake as instructed on box. Pour into a 16×11” pan and bake 20 minutes. Cool Completely. Heat flour and milk in saucepan. Cook until thick and then cool completely. Beat sugar, butter, shortening, and vanilla for 4-5 minutes or until creamy. Add cooled flour mixture and beat until smooth. Use it to frost the cooled cake and refrigerate for 1 hour or more. Melt chocolate. Mix together chocolate, vanilla, water, butter, and powdered sugar until smooth. Spread on white icing layer. Keep refrigerated.

Jun 11, 2012

SewingBee: Gathered Clutch

I have a problem. It's called big-bag-syndrome. Those giant, colorful bag/purses calllllllmynameeeeeee! Unfortunately, I also suffer from 'gotta-big-bag-so-now-I-must-fill-it-all-the-way-up-itis'. Seriously, if there is space it So for the sake of our chiropractor budget and my future scoliosis, I have given up my big bag ways. It's small purses for me, baby! Having to carry around only necessities/less junk is very freeing and makes me feel much more organized when I'm out and about.

I found this tutorial over at NoodleHead and thought it was so adorable I just had to try it. I'm excited to contain all my essentials on our upcoming vacation in such a cutesy clutch!
  **Note: I am not a hand model. I am in desperate need of a mani. The end**
First things first - pick out some fabric! (Isn't this the best part? I heart fabric!) You'll need the following:

- 1/4 yard each of two coordinating fabrics (you'll definitely have scraps leftover)
- 8" zipper (you can always purchase a longer zipper and shorten it, just follow the directions on the package
- medium weight fusible interfacing
Next you'll want to cut all your pieces. This is the most time consuming part of the whole project! Cut the following:

Cutting the pieces:
For the main exterior, cut two pieces, one 5.5" tall by 9" wide, and one 5.5" tall by 13" wide (this will be the gathered front)
Pieces of medium weight fusible interfacing for exterior pieces of clutch: (2) 5.5" tall by 9" wide
For the front band, cut one piece 4" tall by 9" wide
For the lining, cut two pieces 5.5" tall by 9" wide
For the zipper end covers: two pieces 1.5" tall by 2.5" wide.
Optional Parts:
For the card holders, cut one piece 7" tall by 9" wide (apply interfacing to half, you'll need at 3.5" x 9" piece)

Now you're ready to sew! Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance unless otherwise specified.

Take the front band piece (4"x 9") and sew the long ends with right sides of fabric together.
Turn inside out and press with the seam in the middle
Take the main exterior piece (5.5x13) and sew two lines of gathering/basting stitches down the center about 1 inch apart 
Gently pull the top gathering threads together and slowly work the gathers until the whole piece is 9 inches long. Press the gathers into place (aka: slam your iron down on the whole piece of fabric and you're good! Oh wait, I'm the only one sewing with a toddler pulling on my leg?)
Take the front band piece and lay it down the center of the front main piece over the gathers. Topstitch (1/4" from the edge) along each side of the band. 

Iron the 5.5 by 9 inch piece of interfacing to the wrong side of the front piece. This will hold it all in place. 

To make the optional card holder:

Apply interfacing to half of the piece and fold it in half with wrong sides together (so you end up with a 3.5x9 piece). Press.
Top stitch along the folded edge. Top stitch a second line under your first line. 

Take one piece of lining fabric and lay your card holder fabric with raw edges together and pin. Sew a seam down the middle of the card holder piece. 

Grab one of your credit cards and use it to measure your card 'pockets'. You can decide how tight you want to make them. I like them pretty tight so they won't fall out. Mark the edge and sew a line down the sides to create a pocket. Decide how 'high' out of the pocket you want the cards to sit and mark a line along the bottom of the card. Sew along that line to finish your pockets.
Now for the zipper! Don't be intimidated, it's not that bad!

Fold your two small piece of zipper fabric in half width wise. Turn each raw edge in so that they meet in the center and press.

Sandwich the fabric around the ends of the zipper.

Topstitch straight across the zipper. THE LENGTH OF THE ZIPPER SHOULD MEASURE 8.5" FROM END TO END INCLUDING THE TABS. If you need to make adjustments to your zipper do so according to package directions.

Assembling the Clutch!

Place your gathered exterior piece right side up, put the zipper teeth side down with the pull tab to the left. Then put the lining piece with card holder wrong side up. (Right sides of fabric are touching.)
Using the zipper foot, sew along the edges of the 'zipper sandwich'.

 Flip the pieces so the wrong sides are together.

Grab the other exterior piece and place it right side up.  Put the zipper teeth side down with the pull tab on the right this time. Place the remaining lining piece wrong side up on top of the zipper.  Pin in place, sew.  Flip pieces with wrong sides together. Press! (I had it wrong in the picture above. My blank lining piece should be upside down and laying on top of the zipper!)

Now open it up and sew a line of topstitch down both lengths of the zipper (I also forgot to do this so you won't see it in any of these pictures. It just keeps the fabric from getting in the way of the zipper). It's starting to look kinda cute now, right?! Almost finished!

Open your zipper up halfway. Place the lining pieces with right sides together and the exterior pieces with right sides together.

Sew all around the edge with a 1/4" seam allowance and leaving a 2 inch opening on the lining side to turn your clutch right side out. (It helps to sew with a slightly larger seam allowance when going around the lining pieces.)

Turn the clutch right side out. Push the corners out. Stitch the opening in the lining closed with a small seam allowance.

Tuck the lining into the clutch, press, and you're done! Thanks, Noodlehead, for the great tutorial!