If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Monday, March 28, 2011

more sewing and a little baking

 I finished 3 more blouses -one is a retro print dotted Swiss, one is black polka dots and the other is a pastel floral print.

 A pair of apple green pillow cases for my daughter -they have new bedding but the set did not come with as many pillow cases as they needed.
Pillow cases are very quick and easy to sew up.

 For our master bath, I used a yard sale sheet to sew up a new window curtain and add a matching valance to a shower curtain we already had. The wreath is from silk hydrangeas used at a Elizabeth's parents wedding 4 years ago.
I like the lighter, summery look it added to this bathroom.

close up of the sheet

my version of a WW chocolate chip cookie recipe  -I baked a quadruple batch on Saturday and most went in the freezer.

2 T butter, softened
2 t canola or vegetable oil
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1/8 t salt
1 large egg white
3/4 C flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 c chocolate chips - I used the mini chips
(I usually bake this recipe times 4, that uses the whole bag of mini chocolate chips, a whole stick of butter and I use 2 whole eggs instead of just whites)
preheat oven to 375.
In a medium bowl, cream together butter, oil, brown sugar and vanilla. Add egg white or eggs if you make more than one batch and mix thoroughly.
Stir in flour, salt and baking soda.
Stir in chips.
Drop by rounded (1 inch or so) balls onto baking sheet (I usually line the sheets with parchment)
Bake until just golden for 6-8 minutes depending on the size of the cookie. Mine are pretty small, about 1 inch scoops of dough and a quadruple recipe yields about 85 cookies.
Cool on wax paper or a wire rack.
I like these better than regular choc chip cookies are they taste good and are sweet but not too sweet.

My anniversary roses are about a week old and are getting a little wilted, some might say they are  a lot wilted. But I did not want to throw them out just yet so I trimmed the best ones down to about 8 inches and put them in a little round vase -the vase is saved from the wedding of Gavin's parents.
Now I can still enjoy them for a few more days.

That is most of the recent projects from my home -I am in a sewing mood and may start a few more things this afternoon,  after I do a good housecleaning from one end of this house to the other. 

Hope you all are having a nice start to you new week!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

this week

It is time to put away the St. Patrick's decorations and get started with the Easter decorations.  I will show those soon. 

I have no idea how the pansies I planted back in the fall survived the extremely cold winter, but they mostly did and even seem to be thriving. 

Colorful backyard
I mowed it for the first time this season.  The lawn chairs got a fresh coat of spray paint, 2 are now black and the other 3 are red, blue and apple green. 
With all the different color toddler toys,  it seemed pointless to worry about everything matching. 

our uncle went to the Denver Zoo and brought back these shirts for us.

Jeff and I celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary this week. 
He gave me a big bouquet of pink roses,
I baked him a  cherry pie. 
Gavin does not know what anniversaries are but he does know what pie is and he was very happy to have a little slice after we ate supper.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

sewing and shopping

I finished the blueberry blouse and it turned out just like I hoped it would. 
It fits just right and I think it looks nice on me. 

So I went through my fabric and found some prints,  then  I cut out 3 more - all will be the same pattern as the blueberry blouse. 

I've stacked all the same pieces together and plan on sewing them up assembly line style.
Hopefully, I can get them done this week. 

this pin cushion was pieced from selvages by my mom. 
She made 2 for me.  I have my needles in the smaller one.

Here is my newest Pyrex. 
It is a small casserole dish,  and did not come with a lid. 
I have some other casserole dishes that are deeper and the lids interchange so coming without a  lid was not a problem.
This dish was $2.50.
All the other Pyrex we saw at  thrift stores and the antique mall was priced much higher.
Yard sale season will start soon and I will be looking for some reasonable priced Pyrex at those. 
 No $80 bowl sets for this Pyrex collector!

Here are my coupon deals from Walgreens this morning.
I spent exactly 10 dollars and got
7 Reach toothbrushes,  8 bags of Chex Mix and 3 cans of salmon
and I got back a $4 register reward to use on my next shopping trip.

I am not one of those coupon maniac people  with 1000 rolls of toilet paper or 200 bottles of shampoo.  But I do look at the deals online and buy things we use when I can get them at great prices. 
If you are interested in learning more about coupon shopping,  there are lots of experts out there that post the deals non-stop. 
I learned about the Reach and Chex coupons at
However, I don't think the exact printable coupons are available any longer though.
New deals come along everyday,  I read the sites and print off any coupons that I am pretty sure I can use right then as they don't usually stay available too long. 

Finding grocery deals all depends on where you have to shop. 
My town does not have any deep discount grocers like Aldi or SavALot. 
So I shop carefully at the 3 grocery stores here,  look for coupon deals on line and also shop the sales at  Walgreens when they are for products we like. 

I hope you all had a nice weekend. 
We did a little shopping, a little yardwork, 
had some really good meals including strawberry shortcake
and went to church today. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

a reason to celebrate

this is what it looked like out our front door the first of February.

Today is the last day of winter!
1st of day of Spring is tomorrow and it will be very welcomed.

Monday, March 14, 2011

offspring that do stuff

Nina made this cute rainbow tutu for Elizabeth to wear when she celebrates
St. Patricks Day.
She also decorated Elizabeth's onesie with a pot of gold,
but since this picture from the back shows the rainbow tutu
best, you can't see the shirt. 
Son Bobby constructed this playset last week. 
He works doing odd jobs while he is in college.
He has always been good at mechanical things and constructing things,
so this playset was right up his alley.

Our backyard is not too big,
or I might be hiring him to build one in our backyard too. 

My children grew up in home where we always seemed to be making something  or cooking something or sewing something or fixing something.  I am happy that they still like to make things and they are not afraid to work when needed.

this and that March 2011

Since I found new towels last week,  I turned the grungiest of the the old ones into rags.
The hand towels got cut in half and a zig-zag stitch put over the cut to keep it from raveling.
I added a little scrap of trim to the washcloths so they will be easily recognizable as a rag and not get put back with the towels.

I made a simple batch of pineapple preserves - it was simple, easy and tastes good......
but I cooked this batch too long,  it is way to thick (hard) so I will try another batch later

Our son finished law school in December,  took the bar exam in Feb. and will found the results in April.  He studied lots,  stressed a lot,  so to relax a little at home,  he got this tissue flower kit from my craft closet and started making some. 

the kit makes 24 so he has a ways to go- they are really pretty and realistic for just paper.
The local attorney he is working for is keeping him busy,  maybe all 24 will get done, maybe not.
I am trying to make a blouse for me using an old blouse as a pattern - I've been sewing for 40+years but I've never done this.  I'll let you know how it turns out.
I really like the fabric - blue blackberries - fabric designers don't have to be realistic.

I've done a few diaper and wipe deals - I read about the deals at some of the coupon blogs and found some great savings. 
I think I am stocked up, for awhile anyway!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A sweet card to celebrate a baby that learns to clap

Baby Elizabeth got this cute card in the mail.
It was made by the mother of one of her
mother's good friends.
(I have never met her, she lives in a another town
but I am pretty sure I would like her)

The card says "E learns to clap"
and is full of little hands. 
Isn't it cute? Almost as cute as E herself. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Jilly's giveaway times 2

Surf on over and visit Jilly,
She is hosting a giveaway for 2 sets of a bakers dozen fat quarters. 

Jilly's blog is called Jilly's Happy Quilts -isn't that a fun name? 
She is a quilter and Navy wife living in beautiful Southern California. 
I always enjoy her beautiful California photos she shares as well as her quilts and stitching,

she will close the contests on March 18th,  so hurry on over.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tip for loud baby toys

This little key chain toy is a favorite of both Gavin and Elizabeth. 
It has multiple buttons that make 5 different car noises. 
But it is a loud toy. 
I don't like loud things and I don't think the loud noises are good for little ears. 

Nina suggested I cover the speaker with masking tape.
I put several layers over it. 
The toy still plays but is a very low sound level now. 
Still fun but much better for all of us!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sewing a new cash spending billfold

I sewed a cash spending envelope system about 2 years ago and have been using it ever since.  It worked pretty good but had a couple of flaws and was also getting worn from so much use. 
you can see it here and read a little about my method.

I wanted a new one and searched for some tutorials.  I did not ever find one exactly like I wanted but I did like this one
Except hers is made from oilcloth. I like oilcloth but I tried  to buy some in my town a few months ago and no store here carries it. 
I used that tutorial, but for fabric.  So I added a 1/2 inch for seam allowances to all the pieces,  added some batting to the base and back pockets for a little stability and used less pockets. 

Since I am trying to use-down my craft supplies,  I made this strictly from supplies on hand too. 

a little larger than a regular wallet or billfold
but I think this size and number of pockets will suit me.
to make the labels,  I just used some bias tape and rubber stamps,
 then I machine-sewed on the labels.
I put my rewards cards in the front pocket.
Change is in it's own pocket and the only one with a zipper. 
On the oilcloth tutorial,  she used zippers on 6 pockets,  but I did not need that many pockets. And the pockets that hold paper money and receipts are deep enough that I don't think mine will require zippers to be secure. 
the back has a pocket for my checkbook. 
The checkbook cover already has a spot for my license, insurance cards and money cards
so I did not make special pockets for them on this wallet.

It may seem silly to mainly use cash for spending and then to also carry credit cards and a checkbook but this system works for me.

If you have any questions,  I will be happy to try to answer them
but I don't have any plans to do a real tutorial.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What $10 bought

Back in August,  I started a makeover of this dining room.  We changed out the carpet for tile. 
Jeff built the shelves for his plate collection.
I sewed up some new curtains. 
What we still needed was chairs.  Not just any chairs, as this room is not big and has 2 odd angles that look nice but take away from the square footage.
I've been patiently looking and hoping to find the right style.....

and it paid off'
we got 9 chairs for $10 for all of them!
They were an Ebay auction - surplus stuff our city was selling. 
I bid a lot higher because I really wanted them but nobody else bid on them so we got them for almost nothing.

small dining spaces need chairs with staight legs,  not the kind that flair out as they require more floor space.

yep - that is a vinyl tablecloth,  this is a real house with real people living in it. 
I like fabric cloths but with little ones and sometimes messy adults,  the wipe-off vinyl is just more practical.   

the flowers are a flat of dianthus that I got at Lowes last week.
They will soon be planted outside but our weather has been cold so they are staying inside for now so they don't freeze.
I think the flowers may of cost about the same as the chairs.  hmmmmm 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

quirky things

All our bath towels are white, 
except for a few beach towels and old towels used for messes and Theo's baths.
White towels can be washed in hot water and bleach to kill germs with out fading
and they match any bathroom.
This week,  I found white hand towels and washcloths on clearance
-both of these were things we need and I have been looking for at a good price. 

I unwrapped them and then I cut off all the tags before washing them.
anybody else like white towels and no tags?

and even if you don't have to have white tagless towels,
if you do buy new towels,
 be sure to empty your lint screen if you machine dry
them the first time you wash them. 
it will be full!

Friday, March 4, 2011

use what you have

Don't we ALL have too many craft supplies? 
Well,  I am trying to use up some of mine. 
Over the last week or so,  I made up a batch of greeting cards. 

all the supplies were things I had on hand
I don't have time to go shopping any way

I have been bad about not writing thank-you notes and thinking of you notes.
Now, I am all set and plan to do a better job.

Gavin had fun with the leftovers from these card projects.
He really liked the glue stick.