Friday, April 30, 2010

growing, growing, growing

Our garden is growing. I keep thinking of other things I want to plant, usually after seeing what my neighbors are doing. Here's this weeks addition. Hopefully I'm done digging for this year. (The rest of the fence should be up by now)

Bee has her little garden going next to mine. She helps plant in mine, but she's in charge of hers. I don't see anything growing, but she tells me that everything growing in that area is from her seeds. I didn't know they packaged clover seeds.

Fingers crossed, this will be the first of lots and lots of trip to the garden where we eat something fresh picked! It's way early, but the kids and I were out thinning some spinach plants. I asked if they wanted to taste the tiny tender plants and both seemed eager. Lou liked it so much that he begged and begged for me to pick some of the other smallish leaves. I did. They were good.

He's worse than the rabbits! I think he would have eaten all of them if the could have climbed over the fence. He even picked a young sunflower plant and ate it before I could tell him not to. Bee was rather concerned.

These peas are going slow, but it may be that I'm stalking them. They seem nervous.

The broccoli seems to be doing especially well. I think they like this cool weather we've had this week. The rest of us would care for the warm weather to return.

Something great to come. Bush beans specifically.

This poor cauliflower was an extra. He's growing in a flower bed. The rabbits love him. We sprinkled some hair around him and a few other leftover-flower bed friends today. Hopefully that helps. Yikes, my hair is shorted than it's been in some time!

Baby bird is growing too. This was taken on his 1 week birthday. In the next week, he will double in size!

I forgot how much fun spring is.

edited to add: turns out he's a brother!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

just more practicing- cheesecake strawberries

Hubby had a birthday last weekend so I thought I'd practice another potential new recipe for a little summer tea we're working on. I found the recipe for these cheesecake stuffed strawberries from Hope Studios. It's a marshmallow fluff and cream cheese combination (50/50) that I've had before as a fruit dip. With the strawberries, it really taste like cheese cake. After being filled, they get dipped in crushed graham crackers. Oh yum. Seriously yum.

I should have bought a second thing of strawberries because there was a lot of filling left. Dont worry, we found other things to put it on. Mostly, the kids lined up at the fridge randomly during the day and asked for a taste on their finger.

These are plates Bee and I have collected at yard sales. They go with our collected tea cups. I'm getting more invested in this bargain at-home birthday party then if I just booked a party at a jumping place in town! Shhh.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

grilled vegetables- how did I miss this?

Seriously. How can someone go this long in life and not catch on to this? I don't even know who to blame for my ignorance. Don't get me wrong, we eat a lot of vegetables. But, this whole grilling vegetables is new territory. Hubby got this great gift for his birthday. Its a vegetable or fish grilling dod-dad thing. We had asparagus and summer squash on hand so that's what got grilled.

Seriously, I can't believe this is the first time we've grilled vegetables. The asparagus tasted like popcorn. Bee willingly ate all of hers. The squash tasted like yellow tomatoes. Lou and I fought over the last ones. I ate a lot of them before everyone even made it to the table. Shhhh. We just added a little olive oil and a shake of salt before grilling. Delish.

We did note a problem with the grilling thing. The handle got hot. The wooden part was fine, but good grief, the metal running down the sides got hot. I have a solution on the way.

Yum- made another batch of granola bars. Added walnuts and almonds this time. Used homemade peanut butter instead of store bought. I think we liked them better than last time.

Does anyone have vegetable grilling ideas or tips? I'm trying zucchini and green beans tomorrow. What's your favorite?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

what to do with this?

I picked this wash board (the one on the right) up at a garage sale this past weekend. It said 'make an offer.' I don't like those. I asked what make an offer meant. Did he want an offer of $2 or $20? He said that if I agreed to take it home and treat it nice I could have it for $2. Deal.

So I hung it by our other wash board. The other one holds our keys. The door to the right is the entrance from the garage. It's just opposite from the laundry room. The door to the basement is to the left. Not that those details are important, but since I'm not able to crop pictures these days, I thought I'd give you more details. While I'm giving more details than necessary, those curtains on the garage door and on the window next to it are from my grandma. They hung in her house at one time. The cat scratched a hole in one and I haven't changed them out yet. I rather like them.

Back to the wash board. It looks a little rugged next to the other one. Should I try to clean up the new one? I can vaguely see the words "Sunny Monday." Should I try to varnish the board and paint these letters back on? I'm really tempted to.

Monday, April 26, 2010

pot holder how-to

Last week I showed the pot holders that I gave to my engaged friend. They come together pretty quickly so I made a set for my mom since she just moved into a new place and a set for myself, since.... well, since I wanted to.

I will show the steps for this particular potholder set, but leave it open for your own personalization. I am assuming that you can fill in any missing descriptions and/or sewing steps. Also, these pictures are from various potholders, do not be confused by the changing colors of the fabric.

I started with some scrap fabric from my quilt. You can do a solid square (or rectangle) or piece something together. Some were just several wonky stripes, others were more pieced together. You could also use a cutting from an old shirt, an old quilt, a table cloth, whatever.

I like my potholders a little bigger, so this is bigger than a standard potholder. I am thinking 8 1/2 inches ish? Iron any seems down and square it up. Use a ruler mat and cut it out to be straight on each side, assuming you want a straight pot holder.

You will also need a backing piece of fabric. It could be a coordinating piece of fabric, a matching piece, etc. Lay the backing piece right side down. Next, a layer of mylar batting. Then on top place your front piece right side up.

My fabric store calls it thinsulate, perhaps that is a brand name of it. It's batting and a layer of mylar together and provides some heat resistance.

Pin your potholder sandwich with safety pins in at least five spots. Pin all three layers together.

You'll need to sew your layers together. I used my free motion quilting foot to do a meandering stitch. You could just sew a few rows from edge to edge or make some kind of design.

Your layers are sewn together. Trim all the edges now so it's nice and clean and straight.

Who likes pot holders, raise your hand? I do. I do.

When you're doing the quilting part, make sure that your edges don't get caught under. There is optional cussing should that happen.

To do the binding I cut strips of 3 inch wide fabric and folded it in half and ironed it. then You sew that to the front. That's vague... you can find more directions about using binding in this method here at I Have To Say.

I do my corners using directions from that link too.

I join up the ends using directions from that link too. You should go to the link. Apparently, it's a good one.

Then you just flip it and hand stitch the binding to the back.

I did a few each evening. They made for good hand work during Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.

I keep thinking of more people who need potholders. Like they don't already have potholders.

This lovely group is for my bride-to-be friend.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

just practicing

I'm just practicing... There is a little event I'm helping out with in two weeks and I'd like to use flowers from the yard to save our funds for other treats. I thought using these collected tea cups might be good for smaller arrangements. I just don't know if these guys will still be blooming in two weeks. This yard is a surprise for us this season.

Bee and I have been collecting mismatched tea cups for another big event this summer. More on that is sure to come. In fact, I might make you sick of reading about said event. Too bad.

I won't pay more than 50 cents a cup. Some have even been 10 cents. They seem to be at most garage sales and surely every thrift store. We like the ones with fun details like painted roses. The daintier, the better. Bee has good eyes.

I should have been paying more attention and collected saucers too.

Here's a peak at the little event coming in two weeks.

I can't say too much about that, there is a chance of spies. Total espionage amongst the preschool crowd.

Friday, April 23, 2010

This does not apply- Fabric pictures

Here's a post that applies to about four people... literally. Most of my computer problems are fixed... still remaining is my lack of ability to crop pictures. I am working on a solution. I have four custom orders I am working on where I need to share pictures of fabrics. With Etsy, you have to crop your pictures down so much it's a little crazy. I can't do it. So, for the four of you waiting to see some fabric pictures, here they are.... for others, normal posts returning tomorrow.


Mari-Ann- Here's the food related fabrics I have on hand... will be taking some more pictures for you tomorrow at the fabric store too.

Angela- here's a bunch of fabrics to look at.


yellow and oranges:







Suzie- Here are some boy fabrics you asked to see.