Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sew much to do!

I've been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the fabric I ordered for the apron swap I've signed up for. In the mean-time I've finished the romper that I started for my grandson Gabriel. It has two little monkeys on it. His mommy calls him "monkey" :) I also made an outfit with a cute little hat for an upcoming birthday party for a sweet little one year old girl that is coming up in August. It's the first time I tried my hand at the fabric roses. The rose came out pretty good I think and it was fairly simple to do. *Darn*...the mailman was just here and no fun packages with fabric for me today.........think I'll made some cards....

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Beauty from Ashes

So here is a photo of the tomato plant I bought from the garden center. It's planted in organic soil and has been given special tomato fertilizer. I've had a few odd sized tomatoes (I have to say they have been very tasty) dispite my attempts to be a good farmer. I've even tried talking nicely to it as I water it. I've moved it to a new location hoping to maybe catch the perfect amount of sun....but alas.....

And here is the MASSIVE wild tomato plant that has taken up residence behind my garage. It is almost 6 feet tall and I've had to prune it back twice! No organic soil, no fertilizer, no nothing! It has taken root in the hardest, dryest, most unyeilding patch of dirt anywhere on our property. The fact that the only reason it's there is because a bird must have pooped the seeds there and the weather conditions were just right, makes me smile at just how amazing God is and what He can do. The bible says that He makes beauty from ashes. Obviously He also makes tomatoes from bird dookie :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

My handsome hubby had to work until 9:30pm last night, so this morning after he left for work I baked up a batch of these super yummy cookies. He ate 5 of them when he got home today and he said he's going to have some more after dinner. I think that's the true test of a good recipe :)

1/2 stick Crisco Butter flavored shortning
1 cup "Dark Chocolate Dreams" (dark chocolate peanut butter available at Target)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tblsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Combine shortning, chocolate peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Beat in egg.

3. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Mix into shortning mixture at low speed unitl just blended. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet approximately 2 inches apart. I line my cookie sheets with parchment paper so I don't have to wash the cookie sheets when I'm done baking.

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Owl Rightie Then!

You may have noticed my fun little owl pin-cushion hanging out in the background of some of my photos. Well, my daughter-in-law mentioned that she loved my little owl. So I made her one of her own for her birthday. I forgot to take a picture of it before she went to live at her new home. But she is green with flowers embroidered on her back. I have to admit, I wanted to keep her for myself! after looking at my owl, I realized that her new owl was much cuter than mine, so I made myself a new one. My grandson David wanted an owl too, so he adopted my original (more masculine looking) owl. I feel good knowing he is in a good home too. So now I have this girlier owl. No embroidered flowers, but she is red and I love red :) I have really fallen in love with felt lately. I found this super fun website with free patterns (YES FREE). If you are interested in working with felt check them out: There are some great tutorials and really great info on working with felt. Happy crafting!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Project finished!

I finally finished the button holes and such on these two little rompers for my youngest grandson Gabriel. The one in pastel cammo has a grosgrain ribbon that says "absolutely dangerous" across the chest. So cute! And if you knew this little guy, he's so sweet....that dangerous is the last word I'd use to describe him which makes it even cuter!
I love to have a project competed!
Now I can start on something else. I'm anxiously awaiting the email that tells me who my apron swap partner will be so that I can go shopping for apron fabric! Should be fun times ahead!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Just call me "Scrap Happy"

Sometimes I sit in awe of how amazing God is and how much He blesses me in my life. I've been "retired" (due to fibromyalgia) for almost 10 years now. We downsized in a big way and get by on one income. (Thanks Hozer!) Inspite of rough days and nights, I wouldn't trade places with anyone I know. Our family actually enjoys spending time together. And I always manage to get the things done that need to be done one way or another. Everything I buy is on clearance or previously used and I jokingly tell my hubby "look! God had a gift for me today" when I return home with a new prize at an amazingly low price! I told Jose that I don't even stop the car for less than 40% off :) So this is my craft room. An accumulation of sale items and thrift items (my desk was 25.00 at the Salvation Army) The curtains I made were made from $2.00 a yard designer fabric from an outlet close to my home. My scrap supplies - you guessed it - all on clearance online and with 40% off coupons at my local Joann's and Michaels. My latest acquisition is the green hutch that I found on Craig's list. This is my happy place. This is where I create. I am grateful!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fun Felt Photo Envelope

Every year my Mom goes to Germany for a few months to visit her family there. Every year I print some pictures to send along with her so that she can show them to her sisters and her friends from school (yes they still live in the same town) and probably to anyone else that she comes in contact with, people on the plane, etc. This year, I got a bit carried away and ended printing 200 photos. I didn't want to just hand her a fat stack of photos and wish for the best, so I crafted this cute felt envelope to hold her treasures in. I used my sewing machine to make the side seams for extra strength and then I did a blanket stitch by hand all the way around to add some color. I embroidered a few flowers on the cover and "Voila" the photo envelope was born! I love the way it came out. And it's red.......'nuf said'..... :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Man Cake (aka Chocolate Chunk Streusel Coffee Cake)

Ah the look of complete joy in my hubby's eyes
when he comes home to see and smell this yummy cake! He calls it "Man Cake" (not to be confused with "Man Bread" which is bacon and beer bread) because he says it has all the flavors that any man could want in a cake. It combines coffee, dark chocolate, almonds and brown sugar. Yum! Streusel and melted chunks of chocolate - who could ask for anything more?

2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 (1/2) stick butter
6 oz chopped dark chocolate (or more if you're like me)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 package (2 layer size) yellow cake mix
doulble-strength brewed coffee (cold)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Lighty grease 15 x 10 x 1 baking pan.
2. Mix flour and brown sugar in medium bowl. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/2 of the chopped chocolate and the almonds.
3. Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box, substituting the cold brewed coffee for the water. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with the streusel mixture and the remaining chopped chocolate.

4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and cut into squares.

Makes 24 servings.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Aprons! Aprons! Aprons!

So today is a very exciting day for me. A few weeks back, I stumbled across a blogsite ( that the ladies were posting about an apron swap. An apron swap? I'd never heard of it. So I started reading and it turns out that these crafty ladies sign up to sew an apron based on the given theme and then they are assigned a partner and on a particular day they mail off these darling aprons along with a few other goodies and "swap" them. How fun is that??? Who doesn't love to get a package of crafty goodness in the mail??? So I've been waiting for a new swap to start up so that I could join in the fun. And today is the day! I've sent in my info to Val, the amazing organizer (and very talented crafter as well) and I'm anxiously awaiting info on who my partner will be. This swap is titled "Hot Mamas in Wonderland:. The theme is based on Alice in Wonderland this time around. I'll be posting little updates as I go through this process for the first time. I already know which pattern I'm going to use for my apron. Jose and I just watched the Johnny Depp version of the movie 2 weeks ago and because I knew that this swap was coming up, I watched with special attention to think of ways I could incorporate things from Alice to make this a really fun swap.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday April & Gabriel!

Today we celebrated my wonderful daughter in law and my youngest grandson's birthdays together. Gabriel was born last year 2 days after his Mommy's birthday. It seems to be a pattern in our family. My daughter was born 7 days after my birthday (exactly on our wedding anniversary) and our first grandson was born 4 days before his Daddy's birthday. And with the promise of more grandchildren in the future, who knows which pairings will be next! About a year and 1/2 ago, I was reading Becky Higgins blog and she posted about a beautiful cross stitch angel calendar that her mom had made for her. As soon as I saw it, I wanted to make it for April. It's a pattern by Heart to Hand designs. I changed it a bit (I always end up doing that) and found the perfect frame with a hinged door at Michaels so she can open it and change out the apron with each month. I love the way it came out and she was really happy with it too. The older I get the more I enjoy giving gifts that have a piece of my heart in them that will last long after I'm gone. And for Gabriel I sewed his this cute little blue elephant "Morty". I sewed him some outfits too, but hopefully, the elephant will be a loved plaything for him :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

G/F Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

Since adopting the gluten-free lifestyle the hardest part has been finding a good substitute for all purpose flour. I came across Domata's website and decided to give it a try. I have to admit it was expensive when you add in the cost of shipping, but I figured if was good, it would be worth it and I could buy in larger amounts next order to save money. was my first recipe replacing my regular all purpose flour with the Domata g/f flour. It is TASTEY!!! And more importantly the texture is not at all gritty! So here's the recipe....hope you like it!

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread ( This recipe can also be made using regular all purpose flour)

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (I used Domata)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 (150z) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 - 9x5 loaf pans.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, spices, baking powder and salt.
3. Combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil in small mixing bowl until just blended. Stir wet mixture into dry mixture until batter is just moistened. Fold in cranberries. Spoon into prepared baking pans.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes.