Wednesday, September 30, 2009

felt project preview- dinosaur island

I'm workin on a new felt project for Lou for Christmas. Felt handwork is such a nice project for the car and traveling. The numerous hours needed for detail work just don't matter when you're stuck in the passenger seat anyway. Last Thanksgiving I made this mail set. I made this felt dessert set last winter.

I was going to call this new project 'Dinosaur Island' but Lou might play with his Diego animals on it too, so I think we'll just call it volcano island. I don't want him to feel limited as it's supposed to be an open play activity. I am not done, but here are some sneak peek photos. Boy, it was hard to photograph the felt in the poorly lit bedroom I was hiding in to take pictures.

stuff I'm going to steal... I mean ask for

When we were at Hubby's parents place last time I spied some things in the garage, and barn that I am going to steal, I mean ask for... They have been in there for a super long time and I think they'll be ours for the taking. Look at these gems.

An old coal bucket:

This table was from my mom's old garage and then we used it as a kitchen table when hubby and I were first married. It's been in storage in the garage for some time.

This frame is shouting for some paint and a new job. That tennis racket might be fun too...

This old wooden tool box up in the rafters might be the best find (not the best picture though). Father in law said he got it in a trade from a guy who had him do some work and then couldn't pay him the full amount. It was once full of precision instruments.

Here's one of the drawers and the only instruments left.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

homemade noodles

I've been watching for a noodle maker at garage sales for some time. A few weeks ago, I finally found one. It was practically new and still in the box. This and huge also new looking crock pot for $12 total, not bad (this is after I originally offered $6 each and she countered $7 for the noodle maker and $5 for the crock pot.... hmmm)! Then it sat in the box for a few weeks before I got up the nerve to try it out.

I found most online recipes to be so similar. I also found a few you-tube videos that explained the process, but it's pretty simple. I used 2 eggs only because that's all we had left and 1 1/2 c flour. I think I also added a shake of salt.

You make a little well out of the flour and then break the eggs in the middle. With a fork you just start mixing and slowly mix in the flour.

I'm not sure if this is how it's supposed to look, but this is what I ended up with after a bunch of trips through the press. This particular recipe did not need to dry, which is what I remember about my mom making noodles. After boiling for just a minute or so, they are done and ready to eat.

I think we all enjoyed them. The kids could have eaten thirds and fourths. I didn't have any sauce prepared for them and the kids were pretty confused. Next time they will be a main dish with some kind of sauce or vegetables cooked with them. I am also thinking about different purees that could be mixed in, or maybe cheeses?

Monday, September 28, 2009

back from traveling

We are back from our travels and settled again. I finally was able to upload pictures last night and at least check my email. I have a strict no computer until the bags are unpacked and laundry is going strong rule. Despite that fact that we went for a funeral, we had a really good time. It was good to see all my siblings, as well as other family. I found out that I have more readers of my blog than I thought! There must be some rule that if your relative writes a blog, you are obligated to read it, or at least browse occasionally (just kidding, they read under heavy threat). I have a few posts coming soon from our little trip, including several new recipes. These picture will be of little interest to most, maybe except the previous required readers, but here are some family pictures from last week.

Bee used some of the flowers to play wedding. We played over and over and over. My aunt was so patient and agreed to be the flower girl, the maid, the bride, and even probably the groom. The roles rotated. Here my sister and cousin (fresh from a jog) are the ring 'berry' and flower girl

The reception. Lots of dancing and repeated throwing of the bouquet.

That's my hubby on the right, me holding lou, my handsome brother, my youngest sister, and other beautiful sister holding Bee. We missed my brothers lovely wife who has become like a sister to us.

There was some flower arranging.

Bee and Gramma. You can't see much of it here, but my Grandma has such a lovely home.

Apparently my uncle is a dog whisperer. His dog was doing some fancy tricks for us.

We snuck out for some wings after everybody went to bed. Same people as above, except hubby stayed home in case the kids woke and my cousin came along. Our 5 IDs represented 5 different states.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

fall meal- apple kuchen and stuffed acorn squash

This meal pretty much says fall, stuffed acorn squash and apple kuchen.

Apple kuchen is a delicious and soft bunt cake that I remember my mom making pretty much my whole life. I think I remember her saying that she got this recipe while she was in la leche league some unnamed number of years ago. The kids really love it so it's a real treat when we make it. It's also a good way to use up a bunch of leftover orchard picks.

Apple Kuchen
Beat together:
3 eggs
3/4 c oil
1 1/2 c sugar
sift and add to the above mix:
2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 t baking soda
stir in:
6 medium peeled chunked apples
Bake in a greased bunt pan at 350 for 45-50 minutes. top with a thin powdered sugar icing.

(I'm totally laughing about Bee's face in this picture. She was trying so hard to pose.)

I have always had it baked in a bunt pan, but I suppose you could make it in a 9x13 of something similar.

Stuffed acorn squash comes from something similar I tasted at a grocery store. We used to occasionally go to this higher end grocery store in Indy that had a chef on site. They made really good prepared food to buy by the weight. I often looked, but never bought anything in this section. Once they were giving samples of this and I tasted it and then asked a lot of questions. I have come up with something pretty close. I don't measure when making this, so it's a guestimate here.

Stuffed Acorn Squash:
2 acorn squash
6 corn muffins (either make from scratch, or use a mix)
about 1/2 c of craisins
about 1/2 an orange
2 T+ brown sugar

Cut the squash in half and clean out the seeds. Bee is good at this.

Turn the squash skin side up and bake at 350 degrees for 45 min in about 1 inch of water. When out and cooled a little, scoop out a little squash, leaving a nice 'shell' to bake in again.

Crush up corn muffins. Mix extracted squash, crumbled muffins, craisins, brown sugar. Stuff the squash and top with some more brown sugar. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

inspiration needed

My dad sent me this. It's a good size piece of car leather, like the kind used for leather car seats. Not sure what to do with it. If I recall, there is a good story about why he has this, I'll have to ask. I know someone has a great idea though and there's a great remake out there waiting to happen. any help?

Also, the wedding we went to recently had a luau theme. The napkins were tied with shells on hemp twine. Bee collects a few dozen. So far we have tied them into garland. I think they might make fun wind chimes. We have tons of shells from our days beach combing and hubby is great with a drill so we can make more. We have a beach themed living room and bathroom. any ideas?

Friday, September 25, 2009

corn husk dolls

Kim at 4 Crazy Kings shared a while back about how she was going to learn to make corn husk dolls. Since then, I've been looking for our corn husk doll family created years ago. I also have been seeing them all over the bogs I read too. And, I read too many. I found them in one of my school boxes. I forgot I taught my 6th graders to make them one year. Here are our dolls.

I will be making more after the farmers plow, which should be shortly. I like to use the leftovers in the field after harvest. I will take lots of pictures to describe how we make ours, but until then:

angry chicken shared this link at her site to a great tutorial on making corn husk dolls.

Her cup overfloweth has some nice pictures describing the process too.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Halloweens past

We are on the road right now. I wasn't sure if I'd have time to write or not, so I have written up some posts to have scheduled just in case. If you are reading this, then I haven't had a chance to write. I am working on a new felt project, so I might be doing that instead.

I am already in serious Halloween planning mode. I love Halloween. Once we return from our road trip, I am going to start assembling the Halloween costumes. Bee's preschool doesn't do Halloween. The preschool director asked us to really think about it and the message it sends. Yep.... I think I just like an excuse to make costumes! Here are some Halloweens past.

Here's Bee's first Halloween. She is a bee and I am the bee keeper. We went to the Halloween party at my school.

The next year we went to my school's Halloween party as a monkey and a banana (a pregnant banana). I have a Chiquita sticker painted on my shirt but you can't see it well here. People kept thinking she was a lion.... yep, a lion and a banana.

The next year, we had two trick-or-treaters. Lou is a potato in a potato sack. We got lots of compliments on this last minute costume. That's his regular sling, I just painted and safety pinned on the Idaho label.

Bee was Madeline.

Last year, Bee was Cinderella and Lou was Gus Gus, her pet mouse. My mom made the dress and I made the mouse costume.

This year we have a wanna be fairy and a wanna be pirate. Those should be fun!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

every girl needs some pearls

Our friends from FL sent us a little package this past week with some treats inside. Bee received this pearl necklace. We actually spied it while on a short road trip with these friends to see the mermaids. They remembered it and sent it to us. It is an oyster with a real pearl inside and a necklace.

You open the the shell and retrieve your pearl.

Then you place it in the enclosed necklace.

Bee loves it! Unfortunately, we had it three days when it mysteriously vanished. I was taking a lot of pictures that day and can pin point it to about a 10 minute slot which makes it even more frustrating. I quickly ordered a new online last night, luckily they are only a few dollars. I found mine on eBay. I'm sure we will find the old one as soon as the new one arrives.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

lovely leaf craft

That artist woman shared a neat technique for water color painting over crumpled tissue paper. She has been using that technique for several different projects, trying some things out to prepare projects for her art students. They have been too advanced for my little artist, until this one making fall leaves.

We used plain white tempra paint to 'glue' the crumpled tissue paper down as well and for the top coat. I wasn't sure if it would work the same as what she did, but it seemed to do fine. Here's the back side of the paper where I traced the leaf shape.

The kids didn't want me to tell them what colors to use, so they got to one in fall leaf colors for me and one free choice colors. Blue leaves? Probably somewhere in the world there is a tree with blue leaves, right? These pictures are before I realized we didn't paint veins.

We used one of them to make a card to attach to a gift.

Monday, September 21, 2009

This weekend and a wedding

We learned this weekend that my Grandpa had mere days to live and Sunday morning he did pass away. I don't think I could at all put into words how much he was loved and simply adored and how much he will be missed. He was a fantastic story teller, amazing craftsman and made friends wherever he went. We will be traveling early this week to be with family and while it will be a difficult time I do look forward to seeing everyone.

Sharing a wedding might be an odd way to follow that news, however such events remind me how things carry on and people start new chapters everyday. I know my family reads my blog, so I hope not to come off as insensitive. My grandpa's story came to a close of sorts and two young people just began the best part of their story. It's just more bearable right now for me to share about the happy event of the weekend.

Hubby's cousin was married this past weekend. Bee LOVES weddings so we drove the 7 hours each way to go in a road trip we are calling the "how many times can we stop to potty in one hour" trip. It was a lovely outdoor wedding wedding at the park.

Lou and I blew dandelions during the wedding, good wishes for the happy couple I'm sure:

Bee watched everything so closely:

I might have taken as many pictures as the actual paid photographer.

Here's the bride with her dad. He is actually hubby's cousin, although his daughter is closer to our age.

Bee met a friend. The two little girls watched as the bride and groom did some things outside before coming in to the reception. The think they are already dreaming....

apparently we've both been working out: