Monday, November 30, 2009

Turkey day dress and sweater dress

I have outlawed Bee's favorite dress until warm weather returns. It's too summery but it is her favorite. It was decided (by all parties involved) that she needed a fallish version. We picked out the green and mustard floral first and then found 4 other fabrics to coordinate. I had the red at home from a friend who couldn't find a use for it. (thanks M!)

First, I made a lined top section that ties at the shoulders.

I cut the fabrics in 6 inch strips and sewed all of those together.

Then I cut that in 6 inch strips and sewed them in a long chain. I used my ruffle foot and sewed the layers to each other for the skirt.

It's pretty full. I think she could go square dancing!

She loves it! She saved it for her class Thanksgiving party and then for Thanksgiving day.

This next dress really turned out to be more of a top for Bee. I had this pretty angora Ann Taylor loft sweater that was a little too short. I picked it up for $1 at a yard sale this past summer. I did wear it a time or two when the weather was warmer, but the sleeves just weren't long enough to be a warm sweater.

I cut it all to pieces along the original seams. the neck opening was a nice size for Bee, which was lucky. I just shortened the length from neck to shoulder and the width and length of the length of the body and the sleeves.

I was even able to use some of the width of the body to make a little belt. It didn't turn out long enough to be a dress, but it makes a cute top for her. She doesn't like the belt at all but will wear the sweater since I showed her one in the store window at Justice. They are showing long sweaters this season, and while we don't shop there yet, she does like to look in the windows at the mall.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

turkey day

We have returned from our Thanksgiving travels. We had a fantastic time and are ready to sleep now.

There was good food. so good. and so much! The turkey was smoked and was so delicious. That is everyones favorite cooking method, or rather eating method.

Lou and I made up some rolls, this time using all bread flour. They were so light and fluffy and really much tastier than the ones I was making!

My sister and I made up some candied pecans. And even though neither of us like nuts, we ate almost the whole pound of nuts. I came home with 2 more pounds of nuts to make at Christmas.

The kids put out our leaf name tags.

The kids sat at our new table. My aunt found this at a tag sale for 25 cents a chair and the table was free. We crammed everything in the car so that we could bring it home. I also came home with a red wool pea coat that my sister fought me for. I should have let her take it since I think it will get more use with her. It's really pretty and I love the buttons on it though. Maybe I'll keep it.

There was crafting.

The kids worked on their Christmas story books. More on that on Tuesday.

I had a whole basket of projects to work on. I crochet a hat that turned our really really large. I got Lou's car cozy almost done. More on that this week.

We made braided headbands. More on that this week too. We had to pull out the old sewing machine which looks great in my sewing room next to the first piece in my collection. It's not hoarding, it's collecting. This one seems to be from 1908, but was upgraded at some point with an electric motor and light.

My dad helped me finish up Lou's natural blocks and rhythm sticks. I can't wait to share those later this week.
There was the crazy hunting through ads to plan our the strategy for Friday. I should have gotten up with the early crew. I missed out on the tray carts I hoped to get at Joann's. I did get some nice things even waiting until 7:40 to shop.

The girls had a movie afternoon! Hubby and I haven't been to a movie together since September of 2005. Regardless, the girls and I went to see New Moon. I must say that it was MUCH better than the first movie. Three of the four of us are real fans of the books. The littlest sister still has time to come around. I think she really did like the movie though, so maybe the books are soon to come.

Bee wore her thanksgiving dress and sweater dress/top that I made her (more on those on Monday).

There were several very kind and patient Aunts and Uncles who played 'little birdie' and read many stories.

Bee even took some time to clip coupons. She has decided that this is my Christmas present. She said 'mommy loves to save money'.

I ordered 2 tickets to The nutcracker and I can't wait to tell Bee. This will be her first time!

I hope that you have a great Thanksgiving too.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Art from an apple crate

I have had these apple crates for several years. I'm pretty sure that I got them from my dad, but it has been awhile. I used to have them, intact, on top of my kitchen cabinets. At some point, I took the fronts off and spray sealed them. They have been hanging in a dining room or kitchen for about 7 years.

This is my favorite part. I was so sad when a piece of the Indian picture chipped away.

When Lou was first born and I was looking for indoor projects for myself since either Bee or Lou was asleep almost all day. I took the sides of the crates apart and reassembled them the other direction. I searched online for some beachy signs I liked and used those as inspiration for my two beach signs.

They are in our living room with some of the other beacy projects, like the shell frame.

I found couch pillows that match the signs really well. They were cheaper than if I had made them myself. I should have bough a few more, but only bought 4. Looking at the couches just now reminds me that we could sure use some new couches. How did these get so filthy? Maybe they just need slipcovers. I'm sensing a large after Christmas project!

Friday, November 27, 2009

a friend of the squirrels?

We have been feeding more than the birds and squirrels. I wondered who was raiding the compost pile at night. He also has figured out how to open the box we keep the corn in. I hope the squirrels have another source this winter. Ours isn't going to last long.

The cats have been going wild at night. We finally figured out why. This guy was right on the back steps teasing the cats through the french doors. He might be a friend of the squirrels, they seem like they might hang with a rough crowd.

On another note, we enjoyed the local zoo a week ago or so. I just wanted to share this picture. I think you'll see why. Also interesting, Lou got bit by a goat. He was fine. Luckily the skin wasn't broken, I think mostly because he had a long sleeve shirt on. He is still upset when we talk about goats.

The zoo has a smooshed penny machine (or elongated coins if you want to do it right) and as luck would have it, we had just enough change for two pennies. The collection is growing!

Lastly, hubby insisted that I share these two photos. This is a master garden from the Purdue University program. He thinks it's funny since that's where the oldest of my two little sisters goes to school (although not in the agriculture program). The garden is pretty sad. I guess that's what made it funny.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

fruit salad napkins

Awhile back we made some fun apple napkins. This week we added to our fruit salad collection with some other fruit stamping. This almost uses up the supply of cloth napkins we bought in bulk.

We figured out pretty quickly that stamping off was a good idea. Lou's first oranges were a bit wet.

Still in our jammies, this was some early morning crafting. This is Bee's least favorite nigthgown, I made the head opening too tight for her big noggen.

The kids did the stamping and then I went back later and added a little something to each one. The oranges got yellow seeds.

The kiwi got black dots made with a fork, the bananas got a little bit of brown, the grapes got stems and a leaf.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

little something for the teacher

Whenever Bee is the leader at school, we like to take in a little something for her teachers. We have been so blessed this year with the teachers she has and the staff at her preschool. teaching isn't an easy job by far and these ladies sure need to be treated well.

The first time we took in these water bottles. This time, we took some bags of granola. I used our regular granola recipe and packaged them up as I saw somewhere online. I know I bookmarked it, but I can't find the link, I'm pretty sure it was the same site where I got the idea for the water bottles. Anyway, they are in plastic baggies- I had some larger bags from the candy making/cake decorating isle, maybe from Michael's or Joann's. I folded the top down a little since they are a little long. Pieces of scrapbook paper folded over the tops of the baggie get stapled on. I added the ingredients on the back since the granola does contain lots of different ingredients and you never know what food might make some get all hivey.

This would make a cute gift for neighbors or colleagues with really any homemade treat inside. The ones I saw online had cookies inside and the front said "You are sweet."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

candle redo

ok, I'm not a big candle person, but I was. In college, my dorm buddies and I would go to the Ball factory outlet and buy CHEAP candles and glass. When hubby and I were first married these candles came with. Over the last tens years I have weeded through our supply and we actually had to go out and buy a few last year to be prepared for a possible hurricane (the FL ones, not here in IN!). I read that a lot of wicks contain lead (although I think here really lately, they are phasing those out) and I wasn't all about that.

People give candles though and I do have one or two jar candles hanging around. When I re did the bathroom last month, I decided to re do the candle that usually hangs out in there. It is never burnt, so I'm not sure why it gets to stay around. Now it will stay because it's cute and matches the shadow box frame I constructed.

This project involves modge podge and scrapbook supplies.

Before: The candle is the right color, but the label on front is blah.

First I modge podged on a blue piece of scrapbook paper that I had added a rubbing of a shell to first. It was one of those that looks like a sticker, but you have to use a popsicle stick to get it to rub off onto the paper.

add a bow.... hmmmm... It's not looking great.

Right on top of the blue paper, I added a tan piece and rubbed on three shells. Another layer of modge podge and we are good to go. The three shells in a row match the frame.

I don't know if the ribbon is a keeper, but I sure like this candle much better than before. You could add a child's artwork, a printed photo (maybe not a print, but like a computer print out), a love note, or something sweet for a nice teacher or friend gift. Teachers never have enough candles (ha!).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Window to bow holder

Guess we have plenty of hair bows. Bee outgrew her small bow holder some time ago and the bows have just been getting clipped all over for storage.

My neighbors have been remodeling their kitchen (how lucky!) for the past month and I am like a stalker watching all the cabinets and windows come out of the house. When I spied this funky window sitting out, I ran over and asked if I could have it. They seemed confused why I would want it and so did hubby. Some people don't know a treasure when they see it! Hubby now says I'm a hoarder. We've seen the show. I am no hoarder.... if I am, I'm a tidy one.

It got a coat of super light pink mixed with some sparkle paint. Lou was my painting helper today. We love doing little projects when Bee is at school.

I added strips of ribbon on the backside. I staple gunned them on.

The little bows clip right onto the ribbons. Guess we need a second one...

I hung it up by the hinges. The hardware is my favorite part. Bee is hanging her necklaces on the hook at the bottom. The window was free and I had the paint and ribbon on hand. I love a free project! That fits right in with my envelope budget.

Someday, if/when we replace the windows in this house I have more projects in mind!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

turkey crafts and the nature center

This week at the nature center, we talked turkeys. There were real turkey feathers in the touch box and I read a few random turkey books. Our craft was a toilet paper turkey. I had the feathers and beaks precut, but would not have done that if our audience was older. These guys are little bitty ones, mostly 2 year olds.

Or, here is a lovely advanced version of a toilet paper turkey from Four Crazy Kings. Also, I must share a picture of the room where we have our class. These are the files where the supplies for our class are stored. If you've been around for awhile, you may remember that I really really dislike birds. This makes retrieving the glue and other supplies tricky. That owl is ready to attack me!

Here is another random turkey craft: The brown place mat below is Bee's place mat from her school thanksgiving party. The yellow is our recreation at home. Lou had to have one too. There was much crying about this. They are laminated so we can use them all month. 

Saturday, November 21, 2009

can we bring the rolls?

Grandma, can we bring the rolls? My baking team has been working hard on perfecting some delicious yeast rolls. This recipe makes a lot of rolls! I think we had 42 today. I have made a half batch before, but why not make them all up and share with friends. (If you half it, don't half the yeast, use @ 1T plus 1t)

Dinner Rolls

2 c warm water
2 c warm milk
2/3 c sugar
2/3 c vegetable oil
2 T salt
2T yeast
@ 8 C flour (I used 1 c whole grain, 1/2 c spelt flour- that's all I had left, 1/4 c wheat germ, 1/4 c flax seed meal, and the rest unbleached flour)

mix water, milk and yeast. Let sit 10 ish minutes. Add sugar, vegetable oil, salt, and mix well. slowly add the four(s). Add enough flour until the dough is slightly sticky, but workable. Knead on a floured surface. I always prefer to have it be lighter and use less flour rather than more, but you don't want a sticky mess. Let raise 1 hour or so in a greased bowl. You can punch down and rise again and I do prefer to do this is time always. If not, that fine too. Pull off small sections and roll into a snake. tie in a knot and place on a greased sheet. I like to use my baking stone for everything, but all my batches turned out great today no matter what kind of sheet they were on. Let rise 20-30 minutes and then bake 365 degrees for 15 minutes. Watch them though, you certainly don't want to burn them after you put in all that effort. Plus, I think the whole grains brown up faster... maybe that's just me and my tiny oven. Brush with butter after removing from oven while they are still hot. This makes them so pretty.

That's a lot of liquid!

Here is my morning baking team hard at work. I did have the kids get right up and start baking since we had our volunteer morning at the nature center before the Thanksgiving party. We let the dough rise for 3 hours since we were gone and then baked them right before school. I'll share the craft from that tomorrow. 

Our little knot rolls are all ready for the kiddo's plates. The kids ate a little of each dish (traditional thanksgiving food) and then had a choice of several desserts. No one left hungry!

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