Showing posts with label Creating. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Creating. Show all posts

Friday, April 24

How I Manage to Find Time for Fun

You can find this post on my new blog,, by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, March 19

W.I.P. Wednesday

I finished another baby quilt! One more down to finish all of the ones needed for this year, so far. I haven’t gifted this one yet, but I doubt the recipient will see it here.


I’ve also been busy working on the Easter dresses for the girls. I was waiting for the re-release of the pattern from TheCottageMama {it’s a freebie for newsletter subscribers}. I had made this dress for Avelyn for the babies’ baptism in 2012. The problem was it didn’t go beyond a size 4 originally. I had begun to resketch the pattern, when I saw that it was being re-released in sizes 6months to 10. WOOHOO!

If you follow me on instagram you’ve been getting a lot of teaser-shots of the dresses over the past few days.

Dress collage

Ellie got a surprise when the sewing machine started sewing! Can I just say how much I LOVE this fabric?! Well, I will anyways…I LOVE THIS FABRIC! It is so fun and so cheerful! It may just HAVE to make an appearance on my blog as the inspiration for my new spring/summer blog re-design! It’s Summer Breeze by Riley Blake and is perfection for little girls, or anyone else for that matter!

Here they are!

DSC_0175 Party Dress Stitched by

I still have to make the buttons for the backs of the dresses, but I’m beyond pleased {once again} with how this dress comes together! You’ll have to wait until Easter to see the girls’ in their dresses. Now on to making bow-ties for the boys!  No, they won’t have pink…both boys will have white button downs with the turquoise fabric.

I have a couple of other projects in the works, but I just haven’t sat down to give them any thought. The last baby quilt I have to make is for a baby-girl due in July; then I have to get started on my girls’ big girl quilts.

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for this weeks W.I.P. Wednesday…

Friday, March 14

How to Make Your Own Freezer Pizza

We love pizza. We usually have pizza 2 Fridays a month, and it is never from a pizzeria. Usually on those Friday afternoons I’m busy throwing dough and slapping on sauce and sprinkling cheese, but sometimes it’s just not worth the work it takes to make a couple of pies. It’s certainly not an “easy dinner”.

And sometimes I would just throw a store bought freezer pizza in the oven, because I just didn’t feel like doing it {or I forgot to make the dough the day before}. And I said to myself, “Self. There has GOT to be a better way.” So I started experimenting.

How to Make Your Own Freezer Pizza {and save $$ too!} @

The first time worked great! I did everything at once: Sauce, Cheese, etc, but instead of throwing it in the oven I threw it in the freezer. Let it firm up, then wrapped it in foil. One night I wasn’t home, Matt threw 2 pizzas in the preheated oven, and he had perfect pizzas in 12 minutes. The next time we tried freezing just the formed dough…that didn’t turn out so good. The dough cracked when we tried to remove it from the pan in the freezer.

Here’s what we do:

This is our go-to pizza crust recipe: Absolutely wonderful! It’s from Cook’s Illustrated and it’s perfection in a pie crust! I should know, I’m kind of a pizza afficionado ;-) A single batch of the recipe will make 2 good size {15”} pizzas. Now, when I’m doing this, I usually make a double or a triple batch of dough. It takes a bit more work, since I can’t fit it all in my food processor at once, but it’s worth it.

Follow the instructions for the pizza crust, just as you would if you were making fresh pizza.

Once your dough is ready to spread out, start spreading it out on a well greased {I use olive oil} freezer safe pan. If you want to do it on parchment paper or foil, that works too. You don’t want the finished, frozen pie to stick to your pan and break when you try to remove it {if you’re like me you don’t have cookie sheets that you can just leave in limbo in the freezer}.

Put on your sauce {about a cup of sauce per pie}, your pepperoni, your cheese, your granulated garlic and anything else you enjoy…even anchovies or sardines, although they don’t grace the pies in our home. If you’re going to throw things like eggplant and other high water foods on, I would hold off and throw them on just before baking them.

Pop the pies in the freezer! Let them get good and hard…a couple of hours usually does it. Once they’re done, let them sit on the counter for a few minutes {letting that grease warm up, because it’s probably hard too}. If you can safely remove the pies from the pans then wrap them up in foil, or plastic wrap, or whatever else you use, and throw them right back in the freezer.

Once you’re ready to cook them.  Turn your oven to 500* an hour before hand, have your stone in the oven all ready. Let the pies sit on the counter for about 5-10 minutes {you want them slightly thawed, but not so thawed that the dough isn’t hard}. Pop’em in the oven for about 12 minutes, checking that they’re getting golden, but not burnt. Pull’em out. Let’em cool. And eat’em up!


There are a couple of ways that this saves you dough {$$$}: One, you’re not ordering from a highly marked up pizzeria. Did you know that it costs less than $2 to make a pie (12.5C on the flour, 50C on sauce, and a $1 or so on the cheese)?! How much are you paying for a pizza? Even freezer pizza {if you can find it for less than $10} isn’t that cheap.

You’re saving money on the ingredients if you buy bulk; buy a 5lb block of mozzarella and shred it yourself: Which is what we do. You have completely control over the ingredients. You know what is in your pizza. For us, knowing what exactly we’re eating is a big deal.

There you have it! Now, that’s pretty easy isn’t?

Tuesday, February 25

W.I.P. Wednesday

I’m also {almost} done with another baby quilt!

I don’t recall if I ever shared a finished picture of my sister’s baby quilt, but here it is. It’s the best I have.


I realized something though…that I’ve been very BAD about keeping track of what fabrics I’ve used in my quilts, so I have no idea when I need to get more most of the time! This quilt was made using Kona’s Ash as the grey, the patches are Legacy Studios Calliope – Monotone Leaves, Journey Easy in Floral Breeze, a batik I had a fat quarter of, and a gradient yellow from I don’t know where . The back is a flannel Sultan Hill by Demetria Hayward for RJR Fabrics 2010 {I use this for all my baby quilts – I think I bought 10 yards originally}.

The new baby quilt that I’m working on is from the line Lavender and Lace from Troy Corporation for Riverwoods Collection. I had planned on using the collection Lavender and Cologne, but it hadn’t released yet, and I found this line in the quilt shop down the street. I’d rather give them the business anyways {it IS quite convenient to have a quilt shop down the road}.

I’ve been posting a few teasers here and there on instagram under the hashtag #arrowheadsamplerquilt. I should be able to finish this quilt this week, which would be fantastic, because then I can get started on the girls’ Easter dresses {using the Summer Breeze By Bella Blvd For Riley Blake Designs}. And, yes, I watch Downton while sewing…iPads are great for this kind of thing *wink-wink*

imagephoto (1)

Here’s a peek at what it’s coming out like….my helper was a bit distraught at what I had asked her to do.


The patterns are from the book Jelly Roll Sampler Quilts, which has a ton of beautiful patterns, all of which you can just pick and choose by size and go for it! I used Arrowhead and the Union Square blocks in this quilt. I still need to slap a border on the quilt, hand tie it and bind it, but it’s only Wednesday, right?!

Linking up with

Tuesday, February 4

Ideas for Indoor Fun!

Last week, I shared with you how I was starting to lose it, what with being sequestered indoors for weeks on end with 4 kids 4 and under. This past weekend, Matt and I decided to grab the bull, uhh to do list, by the horns. We’ve been wanting to make a tent/fort/teepee thing for months now, and it was just time.Ideas for Indoor Fun {some assembly required} TeePees and Other Fun Activities for the Cabin Crazies

Activity One – Teepee

We asked Ave if she’d rather have a “house” or a teepee and the teepee won out. We found this awesome tutorial, and Matt headed to the hardware store: For around $60 he got everything we needed. The instructions were pretty good, but the blogger wasn’t quite sure how the previous person managed to get all of the pieces out of a 9x12 tarp, so being the person I am, I spent about a half hour figuring out how to cut all the pieces out of one drop cloth.

The way I worked it out is this way…
Ideas for Indoor Fun {some assembly required} TeePees and Other Fun Activities for the Cabin Crazies

I had all the panels cut out in about 20 minutes. The first one took the most work, with figuring out the measurements and such. We used a chalk line to mark it. Then used that piece as the template to cut out the other 4 panels. I did hem the bottom edges that were un-hemmed; I didn’t realize that drop cloths frayed the way they did.
Ideas for Indoor Fun {some assembly required} TeePees and Other Fun Activities for the Cabin Crazies

The rest of the instructions on the blog were easy to follow. I did end up serging all of my inside seams, because of how much the fabric frayed and because it strengthened the seams too. We didn’t have ribbon on hand to finish the inside ties, but we did have some good rope that Matt pulled out {one of the perks of having a nautically-minded husband…you always have rope}.

I thought I had this great project for Matt to do, and it ended up making more work for me than him. Matt had all the PVC pieces together in about 15 minutes: I spent about 2 hours {with the ties being stitched in} sewing together the whole actual teepee {not quite what I had planned on doing during nap time}. The whole thing came together awesome!

We do think that there needs to be some adjustments on the teepee frame, because the legs on the front get spread too far back and then the teepee falls over. Have to figure that out still.

Activity Two – Doorway Bean Bag Toss

Before Christmas everyone was asking me for gift ideas for the kids, but we really didn’t WANT anything more. One thing we did find was a 3-in-1 monkey toss for a doorway, which looked pretty awesome. Then they were out of stock, so my mother in law, crafty lady that she is, made something similar.Ideas for Indoor Fun {some assembly required} TeePees and Other Fun Activities for the Cabin Crazies

It was pretty simple construction on this, and wouldn’t even need to be made as fancy. Depending on how much you spent on fabric, will determine just how much the project costs. If you could find $1/yd fabric, the whole thing could be made for less than $20, plus the rod for the doorway {Target has tension shower rods for $7.00}.

My mother in law asked how high and wide we wanted it to be {it did end up being a bit longer than we needed}. She took 2 pieces of fabric that were the same size {she was going for fish and picked these fabrics out}. On the front piece she cut out holes and then finished the holes with a bias tape {if we were to make this again, I think the holes would be smaller—they’re about the size of a small dinner plate, which means the kids fit through them}.

Then she stitched the two pieces of fabric together on the short ends. With it right side out, she stitched another row about 3” down from the top, to create a sleeve for the shower curtain rod. In the bottom you can put a a shallow tote or an old cookie sheet to spread it out and way down the bottom. I ended up going back through and stitching the sides together, because the kids kept climbing between the 2 layers of fabric and pulling the whole thing down on their heads.

My mother in law is a seamstress, so the kids got actual fish-shaped bean bags, complete with painted gills, spots, and faces. You could just as easily stitch together squares or circles. Our fish weigh around 4ounces, which is a good weight, and are filled with dried beans {but you could use rice to fill them, too}. This project could be as simple or as detailed as you want to be. Honestly, your kids aren’t going to mind too much either way.

Fish Collage

That’s what we’ve been up to lately. Believe me, the TV is still on way more than I would like, but most of the time they’re not even paying attention to it…they’re too busy moving furniture and making mountains out of cushions…yes I am one of those moms. I figure furniture can, and will be, replaced eventually, but these days inside…they can’t.

kids on couch

Friday, January 31

Just a Touch of Cabin Crazy

Most nights, I lay awake in bed; assessing the day’s craziness. I often thinking about what I could do differently the next day, what I would do better, and all around thinking of all those “good intentions” that I have for my children {most of which do not come to fruition}.

This winter has been a bit of a challenge. It’s really our first winter with mobile triplets, plus a 4 year old. It’s the first winter in which our house has felt too small {the kids pretty much spend their time in our living room}. It’s the first winter when we really could have gone outside, but didn’t because it’s been consistently too cold {YAY! For a REAL winter!}

Yesterday I kind of lost it, I may have gone off the deep end, I may just have thrown all sensibility out the window. I searched pinterest for some fun inside activities, and realized that most of them required forethought and planning. Then I figured what the hell and threw my arms in the air. I pulled out the blocks; I pulled out the play dough; I pulled out every single one of those things that make way too much of a mess.

And, I let this happen….


And this…..

Cabin Crazy: The Goodness of Messes |

And yes, even this…..{I will forewarn you to  turn off the sound, so you don’t have to hear my blaring voice}.

And you know drove me a bit batty: Wait, I’m not going to lie, it actually drove me more than a bit. All of those things on the table and floor, the play dough that was ground into the cracks in the wood floor and the rug, all of it everywhere, made me want to pull my hair out. Because I know there is no point in cleaning it with little ones still up and about, and that as soon as they wake up from their naps, it’s going to happen all over again; which means mommy and daddy get to clean it up on their time.

Cabin Crazy: The Goodness of Messes | LifeintheWhiteHouse.comYou see this is one of those things of mommy-hood that I really don’t like: The mess. You know what I did like though…watching their creativity, watching the fun they had being in an off-limits room, watching how they actually behaved pretty well, despite my sewing machine and china cabinet being mere inches away.

But it is also one of the things that we need to do, allow the mess and the creativity. Allow them the opportunity to discover and learn who they are. Even if it does mean an hour spent with a steak knife cleaning play dough off the floor {and I truly say that with a smile on my face}.

Wednesday, January 29

W.I.P. Wednesday

UntitledIf you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know that I’ve been working on a new baby blanket, from the book Growing Up Modern by Cluck Cluck Sew {aka Allison Harris}, pattern Sweets. This quilt went together really fast, which is the entire premise of this pattern book. I think I could’ve made the whole top in a matter of 2 hours, but I had a few distractions to deal with and a week in between that left me with no time to do any sewing.

I had a bunch of fabrics in my stash that I knew would be perfect for this quilt, just the right colors! I did have to buy a neutral though. The book suggested white, but after my last white baby quilt, I wasn’t doing that again! So I went with Kona Solids’ Ash: PERFECT! Black would’ve been too harsh; the grey just sets it all off perfectly.

Peacock Grey Sweets Quilt from Growing Up Modern

The other day, the kids were napping and I just wanted to get the top finished so that I can get it tied and packaged up and ready to go! My machine started giving me trouble: The thread cutter wasn’t working and instead of doing nothing, it was twisting all the threads up in a mess and pulling the fabric. I had the machine apart twice before I was able to do something {don’t ask me what} and it worked again.

Then before the kids came down from their naps I raced out into the cold to get a picture….

Sweets from Growing Up Modern, by at

It’s not quite as Technicolor as this, but it is pretty close: I’m going to try and get a better picture of it once the binding is on. I love how the yellow POPS! against the other colors. This is really not my “style” of quilt, but I absolutely love how it came out! I think it would’ve been better with a few more fabric types, but I’m still pleased with it.

Linking up with

Thursday, January 9

Quilts in 2014

I’ve gotta get crackin’ this year on quilts! I’m already behind the 8 ball on a baby quilt for my sister in law. Technically the baby wasn’t due until the beginning of February, but she made her debut 2 days after Christmas. The problem is, the perfect fabric hasn’t released yet….I’m still waiting on the email from to tell me I can order it!

Then we found out on Thanksgiving that my sister is expecting at the end of March, which means another quilt! Plus I wanted to get the girls’ big girl quilts done for next Christmas {my goal is that they all get the quilts for their twin beds as a Christmas gift—the boys’ were finished last month}.DSC_0001 And then just before New Year’s we found out that another dear friend of our’s is expecting on my birthday, so that’s another quilt. All these baby quilts!

And, of course, there are always those little things that I want to do. There’s still the Falling Leaves quilt that I started *ahem* almost 5 years ago. And, I have a couple of Jelly Rolls that are waiting for me to sit down and play with them, as well as a couple of books of just Jelly Roll samplers. I’m having a feeling this is going to be a year of Samplers.

I did FINALLY finish my Heartland BOM sampler! I got it in the mail on Christmas Eve, but the fabric I had gotten for the binding just did not work with it. I ended up having to order a yard of one of the fabrics I used in the quilt, but since it was a kit, there just wasn’t enough to bind the whole quilt. I love how the black makes the whole thing pop!

After doing my Heartland BOM sampler, I’m really loving the idea of being able to play with different styles and blocks without the commitment of a WHOLE QUILT of them. Most likely almost all the quilts I do will be samplers. The  girls’ is the trickiest, because I want to somehow tie it in with the boys’ quilts, with having their names appliqued on them…not sure how to do it yet.

I’m not getting too crazy with my to-do list, since I may very well not a have a house much this year. We’re still a go-ahead on our major home renovation for the Spring, which means that there will be lots of DIY going on and not a lot of time to sit in a {most likely covered in dust} dining room and sew.

What projects are you hoping to accomplish in 2014?

Tuesday, December 31

Blog Posts of 2013–The Best of

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2013 - The Best of

I thought it would be fun to finish the year with a Top 10 listing of my most popular and favorite posts!

 Gwynnie Bee—“The Netflix of Plus Size Fashion”

A while back I saw an ad on Facebook about plus size fashion. I clicked over, which I never do in Facebook, because Lord knows if it’s a virus or whatever else on there, and was pleasantly surprised. Gwynnie Bee is pretty fantastic. Isigned up for a free month trial, just around my sister in law’s wedding, so that if I needed some nicer clothes I had the option to get some things from Gwynnie Bee.
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Reverse Hospitality: Bringing the Blessings to Them

I’ve stolen this phrase from a friend, because I love it! I love welcoming people into my home. I’ve somehow managed to get over the fact that my house needs to be perfect to entertain {this has only been by God’s grace and 4 kids}. I have yet to decided whether this is a good thing or not; I fear I may have become too lax in this department now.
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The Dry-Skin Dilemma

As much as I love winter, my skin doesn’t. Between the cold weather, washing my hands 50 times a day, and hot forced air heating…my skin gets dry. Fortunately not dry and cracked, but dry and very itchy, to the point of being painful.
I used to use Bath and Body Works Shea Butter, it comes in a big blue tube and would cost around $20 {I’m sure it’s more now}. The stuff worked great, but it’s expensive and had a bunch of other things in it that I wasn’t too comfortable with using on the kids.
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W.I.P Wednesday – Heartland BOM Quilt

The past few weeks {here and here} I’ve been posting about the Heartland Heritage Block of the Month kit that I got from, eons ago {seriously I think I got it at least 5 years ago…I know it was before I was pregnant with Ave}. Well, today I am pleased to say that I have finished the top: YAY!!!!
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What 17 Days without Hot Water Will Teach You….about yourself.

It’s been a week now, that we’ve had hot water again. I’m going to admit it, I’m guilt of thoroughly enjoying having running hot water. No more lugging a 7 gallon pot around the house to bath 4 kids at once. No more sponge baths over the shallow sink because I just didn’t feel like loading everyone up to drive somewhere to shower. No more scalding my hands while trying to wash dishes in a bowl.
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From Busy to Blessing– An Introduction

“I don’t know how you find the time?!”
“I wish I had skills like that!”
“I could never be that organized.”

Ever heard these things? I have. And I don’t deserve such praise. See, I’m not all that organized and I really don’t find the time. I’m rather lazy when it comes to serving others, particularly when they’re in my own family.

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Embracing Beauty When You’re a Plus Size Gal

I’m going to tell you a story, about 2 little girls…

Once upon a time there were two little girls, more a like than they realized. One was dressed in long denim skirts, with long sleeve tops, her hair pulled back in a braid; the other was dressed in Adidas tear-away pants, a Korn t-shirt, pumas and a pony tail. What on earth could these two girls, approaching adulthood have in common. Neither of them were dressing for themselves, and neither of them had a clue of what that look should be.
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Giving Loneliness a Name {part 1}

I mentioned during my review of Desperate, that I’ve been struggling with something. I’m not even sure how to explain what it is, but I guess the best word for it is loneliness. I’ve struggled with even writing this post for some time, because it isn’t any thing that someone has said or done that has made me feel lonely and I certainly don’t want someone to take this personally.
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Mamas its OK…

Maybe you’ve spent years and thousands to have that little one your holding, maybe you just wanted to be a mom and it happened, maybe you weren’t planning on being a mom, but it happened anyways. No matter, I want to tell you something…it’s ok to get tired of it sometimes. To get tired of the demands, the discipline, the whining, the not being able to just do “whatever” for dinner. It’s ok.
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Thoughts on Creativity

Over the last few years, and more this past year, a handful of people have told me that my children should be my priority, that this is not the season for me to spend frivolous time on my writing {and blogging}, sewing, photography or reading {for fun} or any other non-necessary creative endeavor. That I somehow am doing wrong by my children, if I continue to pursue these avenues.
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I hope you enjoy this trip down “Memory Lane”….there were a few pieces this year that I was proud of and some that just blew me away with how they struck others. Be sure to share this with your friends and others.


Wednesday, December 11

W.I.P. Wednesday

I managed to get quite a few things started and finished since my last post. The kids’ Christmas outfits are sitting patiently by waiting until Christmas Eve, the jammies were finished just in the “Nick” of time for St. Nicholas Day, and I got the binding stitched on the boys’ quilts…I’m now just hand stitching it down.

I love how the boys’ quilts came out. There are a couple of spots of quilting, that I would’ve done differently {more symmetrically}, but they’re beautiful still. Once they’re finished, I stitch the label on them, and pack them away until next year…when, hopefully, the kids will all move into their big kid rooms!Sailboat Quilt collage

And here are the kids in their jammies! We had to pull out one pair of bottoms from last year for Ellie, her nightie kept hiking up on her and she was getting cold at night. I had to bribe them with chocolate to get this picture.


Linking up with Lee at

Wednesday, November 27

W.I.P. Wednesday

I picked up the boys’ quilts last week!!! I have yet to pull them out and look at them, but I will have to this evening after the kids go to bed. I’ve got a couple of things in the works. Next week is St. Nicholas Day, which means I’m in the process of making PJs for the kids {I guess it’s going to be a tradition}. I had bought a TON of fabric last year, with the intention of making ALL of us PJs, but that didn’t happen, so I had plenty to use. I did decide to do something different, the girls are getting nighties, the boys are getting pants.

Growing up my Oma made my mom and I beautiful matching nighties with buttons on the front and puffy gathered sleeves, hems down to our toes, they were beautiful. I cannot find a pattern like that. They were probably from the same pattern that my Oma used when my mom was a little girl. Someday….

In the mean time I wanted something simple and easy, and since I couldn’t find a pattern that I loved I started searching for alternative methods. I found one using a t-shirt that was too short, and adding the skirt to the bottom. Bingo! That’s what I did. I had a few trials and error, I haven’t sewn kids clothing since LAST Christmas.Girls nightgowns from a knit shirt and skirt at

I took the shirts that I used as the tops for last year’s PJs, trimmed the bottom and stitched on a skirt. Ellie’s is still super long, but I’m not sure if I want to hem it further or not. These will probably fit them for a few years, since the top is so stretch, which was somewhat problematic with sewing. I’m not at all familiar with sewing with knits, but didn’t feel like investing too much time and energy into research.

I still have the boys’ pants to do, they’ll have the same shirts from last year too {there are perks to intentionally buying clothes that are too big…they last longer}. I think I’m going to use a current pair of pants as a template, because last year it was a nightmare trying to find an easy template that was free.

So, what’s on my list of things to accomplish in the sewing department:

  • Start and finish the boys’ PJ bottoms
  • Alter the kids’ Christmas outfits from LAST year {yay for them coming out too big…I just need to move buttons and let out hems}.
  • Cut bias binding for the boys’ sailboat quilts and stitch on
  • Cut bias binding for MY quilt and stitch that on
  • Start working on a baby quilt for my SIL…{I can’t start until this fabric is released though}
  • Figure out what I want to do for the girls’ quilts…I’m thinking a sampler, but I want to put their names on them the way I did the boys {but not with the call signs}

And add to this list the rest of the Christmas stuff I’d like to do. Christmas is going to be low-key this year, I’m not even sure how much we’re going to do with gifts. We’ll have our tree, doing that Sunday, and stockings and Christmas lights and cookies, but I don’t think I’m putting up my village {James will break it} and I’m not doing a ton of baking. I do need to get our Christmas cards finished and mailed, but that won’t take long. I really do love this time of year.

What’s on your to-do list for the next few weeks?

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced today, for WIP Wednesday.

Wednesday, November 13

W.I.P Wednesday

This is more of a finish than a WIP, but I’m going to count it. You won’t mind, right?

I shared a few weeks ago about the baby quilt that I was working on. I got it finished and in the mail last week, just a few days after the recipient was born. I even somehow managed to do that despite my machine giving me a love F04 error code {that the repair place couldn’t figure out}.



and Back…


I love the back panel on this quilt…it’s so fun! I have decided one thing while doing this quilt: White makes me nervous….extremely nervous. I did my usual double thickness of cotton batting, then hand tied with embroidery floss…I just think it makes for a cozier quilt that way.

On to the next one! I have to work on a quilt for my sister in law, but the fabric I’m using won’t be released until January…so that gives me plenty of time to procrastinate figure out what pattern I’m going to do. AND, AND next Tuesday I’m picking up the boys’ sailboat quilts and my Heartland BOM quilt!! So excited!

wipwednesdaybuttonLinking up with Lee at

Thursday, September 26

The Boys’ Sailboat Quilts

Last night I realized something. While I know I was excited about the boys’ sailboat quilts being finished, and getting them shipped out to be quilted, I don’t think I ever even wrote about them. Today that is remedied.


I was beyond pleased with how they came out. So much better than I thought they would. They’re the perfect size on top of a twin bed, with good overhang and placement.

The names took a bit of work to do. I didn’t have stabilizer to do the applique stitching around their names, which resulted in a bit of puckering, but once they were ironed it worked out ok; I ended up holding the fabric extremely taut while I stitched, so that it couldn’t pull the fabric. I had to do a few of the semaphore blocks a couple of times, because my measurements were off.


And yes, those odd looking things at the bottom of the quilts are the flag call signs for their name spellings.


I ended up not having enough of certain fabrics and having reorder quantities to finish the quilts, which ended up getting a bit pricy, but for counting the rest of the fabric was bought 2 years ago {at least} I wasn’t getting too worked up about, I was just glad to be able to find the fabric I needed!

I also found this awesome fabric for the backs of the quilts. I chose another print from this line, Northcott’s Sail Away, to be the binding. It’s a white anchor on red background. Now I just need to figure out how to cut fabric for a bias binding: No idea on that one.

I have enough of this left, that if I really want to I can make throw pillows or curtain valances for the boys’ room. It was just too perfect to pass up! Makes me excited for renovations and getting the boys and girls in their own big kid rooms!

I really can’t wait for these quilts to be back home. It’s perfect handing sewing weather for quilt bindings! Put a movie on, climb under a quilt and stitch away….

Wednesday, September 18

W.I.P Wednesday

DSC_0277editI’ve actually made some progress these past few weeks on the baby quilt that I started at the beginning of the month. I’m actually almost done with the top, just need to put the borders on. Then comes putting it all together!

I still have a good month before this little one is due to arrive, so I’m not too worried about not finishing it in time.

I’ve been patiently awaiting my other quilts return from the quilter, but boy, with it getting cooler I’m getting antsy to climb under a quilt and put a binding on!

I’m heading to our quilt shop’s Quilts and Casseroles next Friday night, in hopes that someone there will be able to help me figure out how to do a bias binding.

I got a super cute white on red anchor fabric, that I’m going to use for the binding on the boys’ sailboat quilts, but I have no idea how to cut a bias binding. I’ve watched several videos online and all those folds just leave my brain feeling all folded and tumbled.

But, in the mean time, the fabrics sit ready and waiting.

Linking up with Lee at FreshlyPieced for this week’s WIP Wednesday.

Monday, September 16

Perfect Pancakes

I’m a bit of a particular person when it comes to my pancakes. They have to be golden. They have to be light and fluffy. Perfect PancakesAnd they absolutely cannot be raw. Pancakes were the bane of my existence in the kitchen for many years until I figured out the trick.

I would constantly burn my pancakes when I would make them, or they would be raw, or too thick or too thin. Then Matt’s parents asked me to do pancakes at the fair one year…I laughed. Me, do pancakes. I forewarned them of my less than stellar history with the flap-jacks. It was all me.

Want to know the secret?

Thin. Hot. Fast.

Your batter needs to be about the consistency of shampoo, runny, thin, but not watery. Watery won’t turn out anything good, and too thick and they won’t cook.

Your pan/griddle needs to be hot. I usually have my flame a little less than middle of the road. It needs to be hot enough to cook, but cool enough not to scorch your pan. I put a pat of butter in the pan before the first batch, then never again.

Pay attention. You cannot be doing a bazillion other things while making your pancakes, because just like that, they’ll burn. They won’t take more than 30 seconds a side, if the pan is the right temp. Once the edges start to round up and bubble, they’re done, flip them over.

And since I obviously can’t stand over your shoulder and tell you whether you’re doing it right or not. Here’s a video, but I’m always open to skyping or facetiming in the name of science. You’re welcome.

Tuesday, September 10


Apple is RipeDoes anyone not like apples? I’m sure there is someone who doesn’t. I used to not like them. Whenever I’d eat a raw apple I’d end up with an itchy throat and the sniffles. Not fun!

Then I realized that it was only some apples, specifically grocery store apples. This was back in the day, when organic farming wasn’t as big as it is now. I braved it a few years ago, and was pleasantly surprised that organic apples didn’t bother me: Yay!

When we bought our house, we knew there were two big trees in our backyard, but it wasn’t until the spring that we realized that they were APPLE trees! Huge apple trees! Nearly 3 times the height of normal, pruned apple trees. That fall we waited, and waited, and waited…finally we got a few apples. It was rather anticlimactic.

Over the years I’ve just enjoyed it for what they where, beautiful trees that shaded our yard. The perfect spot to sit on the stone bench beneath, and breath, listening to the wind chimes hung by a previous owner, high up in the branches, gazing up at the blue sky and the hills rolling on the other side. It is my favorite spot in our yard.

We’re still only picking drops off the ground, but they’re getting to be as big as my fist! The apples on the trees are almost ready. Just a bit longer and we’ll start picking the apples from the trees. I’m sure we’ll be apple-ed out before too long. Fortunately these guys and gal aren’t.


Matt got home early enough this past Friday that he was able to press 2 bushels of apples: We got about 4 gallons of cider, which has been so good. Some of it will be for drinking fresh, the rest will be for hard cider…yum! We’re planning on doing another AppleFest this year, so Matt’s been packing the refrigerated truck full of bushels of apples.

DSC_0136editOn Sunday we went around and picked more of the drops off the ground, sifting through the good and the bad. We still managed to come up with 2 full crates of good apples. The bad apples *hehe* are getting put in the freezer to feed the deer during the winter. They don’t seem to mind brown spots, rot, or bugs.

We've had to get a bit creative as to how to best preserve the deliciousness our trees have given: We've done apple cider, applesauce, apple butter, apple pies, apple crisps, apple slices with caramel or peanut butter, and pretty much anything else that you can think of with apples. I’m beginning to run out of ideas and stamina…and we STILL HAVE TO PICK APPLES from the trees! Oy!

If you’re enjoying the bounty of the apple harvest this year I’d love to hear your favorite apple-iciousness! If you’re looking for some ideas of your own, be sure to sign up for my newsletter, which will go out next week, with a few of our favorite recipes.

Happy Picking!

Wednesday, September 4

W.I.P Wednesday

If you follow me on instagram, you probably saw a stack of fabric a while back, hash-tagged #BWBBdeepseaquilt : That’s what I’ve been working on. One of Matt’s cousins is expecting a baby in the beginning of November, so a new baby quilt was on the schedule!

SeaBreeze-Bundle-450I decided to pick a pattern from one of the many that I’ve pinned on Pinterest: Boys Will be Boys from It was fun! It was different than what I normally do! It was perfect!

I ended up using Sea Breeze by Amy Shaw for Wilmington Prints, from {my favorite online fabric shop!}

The pattern had me a bit confused, but ended up going together easier than I was thinking it would. Although I wish patterns would show not only tell you what fabrics {a…b…c…} etc, but what colors are going near what. I always end up having to cut extra blocks, because my colors end up not being matched up nicely.

I still have to finish my sashing and border, but I’m pleased with how it’s coming out. I’ll do by usual double cotton batting and hand tie it. But, boy, do I have an adorable backing planned for this quilt!

Sea Breeze Quilt

Linking up with Freshly Pieced.

What projects have you been working on? Anything slated for the Fall and Winter?

Friday, August 2

Dry it out!

Last week I posted on Instagram about how I was attempting to make dried fruit. I’ve been wanting to try to do this for quite some time, but always felt a bit unprepared. I googled instructions again and found that most of them had you turn your oven down to 200* or so. There’s no time like the present!

Ipod 001The kids and I were heading out for that road trip and I knew I needed some relatively clean snacks for in the car, so dried fruit it was. I had both apples and strawberries on hand and decided to give it a while. Of course I didn’t have an apple corer to make those fancy round slices that you can find in stores, so I just cut the apples into wedges the way you normally would, just made them thinner. I did the same with the strawberries.

I laid all of the fruit out on cooling rocks over cookie sheets lined with foil, I had no idea how messy this would get and didn’t want to be scrubbing baked on dried fruit juice.

I sprinkled the apples with a touch of cinnamon and in the oven it all went. I kept checking the oven, opening the door and making sure the temperature wasn’t too high {we keep a thermometer IN the oven, because I do not trust the little dial on the stove}. After about 3 hours, everything looked dry and slightly leathery, the way dried fruit usually looks.

I let everything sit for a few minutes, then gingerly peeled all of them off the cooling racks and in a container.

They were so good. What I did learn though is that my fruit didn’t have to be sliced so thin, and would’ve been a bit better if it hadn’t. I think a good 1/3” thick slices for the apples and just halving the berries would have been sufficient.

dried fruit

As for the kids, they loved the strawberries, but weren’t so crazy about the apples. The strawberries were super sweet, but the apples were a little tough to chew, because they were so thin they got a bit over-done, and I hadn’t peeled them. I have since ordered an apple corer from and hopefully I’ll be able to dry some of the abundance of apples we have on our trees.

Easy peasy! The kids were able to have fruit without making a huge mess in the car and I was a happy Mama!