Saturday, December 3, 2011

Gearing up for Christmas

It is time to break out the boxes and get all the decorations out.  I love this time of year!  I went with low key decorating and left the rest of the house to other family members.  I had to put out my favorite snow man decorations.  These little cuties were created by my oh so talented cousins.  I love the one with the little baby snow man.  


I love these little guys too.  Although I do worry they are going to get to cold not being ready for the cold weather.  I think I might have to get them some hats so they will be all bundled up. 

Oddly enough we have been experiencing a cold snap.  Because he must always be within 2 feet of me Kip was feeling a little cold next to the door.  This is his red blanket.  He loves it! All his items are colored red it's his favorite color.

Do you have all your decorations up?  Are you going all out or just putting up your favorites this year?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Shopping.

I love black Friday. Usually we make rice crispy treats, form a strategy and go hit around five stores. This year we are attempting the midnight madness in the mall. So far we have not found anything spectacular bit it is fun to be in the hustle and bussel.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My first take up job!

So I know sewing hems for pants is not rocket science but it was a first.  I was asked to shorten a pair of overalls this weekend of course only a few hours before they were to be worn.  :)  I went an bought new sewing machine needles and measured twice so I could cut once.  They came out fabulously!  This tiny project bolstered my sewing courage and I think I am going to have to make my sewing machine cover sometime this week... or maybe a Christmas tree skirt that has been on my to-done list for a year! 

What tiny project has gave you great satisfaction or encouraged you to step out in unknown areas?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sentemental

So today I was getting ready to go to work and I noticed a broach that came with a sweater sitting in my counter. As I reached to pick it up I thought about another one I had tucked away for just a day like this. I don't know if it is just that time of the year when you think about family or the fact as the youngest I feel a bit left out. I went and got the beautiful broach that we found in a traveling case owned by my great grandmother. I am not sure if it was hers or my great aunt's who had the case afterwards. Either way I was very excited to get to wear a fun piece of jewelry and be connected to them in a physical way for a day. So I just wanted to share it with you. Do you have a fun small thing that brightens your day when you remember the people who had it before you?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A plan!

Well I have a plan! And I think it is workable! Those seem to be the best kind :) I have cast on the Toasty woodland wrap from the 2011 Holiday issue of Love of Knitting. So I figure if I can do at least one repeat each day I'll have this knocked out by Dec 15th. So I think I'll cast on my other scarfs and work them simultaneously.

So my question is do you do one project at a time when your on a deadline or do a bit of each one?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Holiday season has opened!

Yea! My favorite time of the year is fast approaching. The time you can listen to Christmas music without judgement, you get Christmas and thanksgiving breaks and it is baking season.

I thought I would set out some holiday goals and I invite you to add your own!

1) I am going to buy all my presents before Dec 24th.

2) I will not eat a whole pumpkin pie all by myself (it is so easy to just even it up until there is none left)

3) I will blog once a week.

4) I will finish all Christmas presents. (gifts in pieces are not near as much fun)

How about you? What are your November-resolutions?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

WIP, Cookies and a new app

WIP

Hello! I wanted to drop by and tell you about my latest project. My new scarf! Well actually it is half of a new scarf!
I have started knitting the Saroyan by Liz Abinante. It is lovely. I am half way done which is awesome as I should have cast on Christmas presents instead of something for me :)

Cookies

Well you know how I can't turn down a good cookie idea. I attempted to make candy corn sugar cookies for an October party. They turned put quite lovely.

They are super simple to make. Just make your favorite sugar cookie recipe. Split it into three parts. Add food coloring so you have a yellow third and an orange third.

Layer them in a pan. First making sure it is covered in Saran wrap. Let this chill all the way through. I mixed up my dough before work and left it all day.

Finally remove it from the dish and cut into strips. Cut the strips into triangles. And tada! candy corn. Putting sprinkles and sugar on them make them all sparkly.

New App

I am attempting to blog from a new app on my phone so we will see how that ends up.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It's Alive!!

Oh wow!  I thought it had just been a month since I had written but it has been two!  I don't know about you but when school starts things get a little crazy around here.  I have been busy crafting and baking away so I wanted to share a little highlight of what has been going on.  Hopefully I will do some more in depth posts about these projects later. 

On the Baking front! 

I have been baking quite a bit lately.  Most of my baked goods are scarfed up before pictures but I do have some goodies to show you. 

Anti-Aging Potion Cookies for my sisters birthday party!


Cinnamon Rolls
I have been craving Cinnamon Rolls so in order to work on that I have made them totally from scratch and with pizza dough from a can!  Yummy!


In the Crafting World!

In September I made a puppy set for a little one.  Blanket, pillow cases, stuffy (toy stuffed animal) and cross stitch. 

I learned how to do pin weaving.


Attempted an ironed crayon abstract piece.

And lastly have started to teach myself how to crochet!

So I will get instructions and more info about each project!  Check back soon!

Monday, August 8, 2011

When it gets below 100 out its baking weather!

(Imagine a dog laying by a couch)
Izzy wiped out by the heat


This summer it has been crazy hot!  We have not had any rain in our part of the country in weeks so I have been to hot to bake.  But we had a few days where it did not reach 100 until late afternoon making me believe that it is baking time!  A baking weekend was declared!

Friday
I found this fun recipe for these Chocolate-frosted Peanut butter Cookie Bars on Our Best Bites.   I believed them when they said they are quick to make only 15 min and with things found in your own pantry!  Yea!  lol so this was about 7pm.  I went to my pantry and quickly found that I did not have many key ingredients (read: peanut butter, butter, vanilla) so off to Walmart.  Then as I was precisely following the directions apparently just dumping all the ingredients in the bowl.  Lets just say many things happened between starting and pulling the finished product out of the oven around 9:50pm.  Just a note I found that I needed to add more water to the icing to make it spread and I needed to cook the cookie about 7 more min to get it to set up enough to put anything on top.  I must say it was worth it they are so yummy!

Saturday


I decided to try out a vanilla cake from scratch.  This was my first scratch cake that is not one of the tried and true recipes in my mother's recipe box.  Lets just say it did not go so well. This time I actually followed the directions.  Something was off.  I had more of a cornbread consistency that was a super yummy batter but a not so good cake.  I also had some trouble with the crust.  It was super thick and started popping off so I pulled it off made a lackluster frosting and called it good.

So I think I am going to work with the vanilla cake.  Make sure I have the ingredients on hand for the peanut butter cookie bars because they are oh so good!  And try out a cinnamon roll recipe this week.

What yummy quick recipe do you whip together when you have company on the way?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Where did July go?

Hello!  It seems like July just zipped by so quickly and I was side tracked with so many summery things.  

I have not got to be very crafty in July but I did go to a Harry Potter Marathon and got my very own Harry Potter 3-D glasses!! So I'm chalking July up as a success! 
Moving on to August! 
I have been working on several ideas for embroidery so I thought I would start out with a simple kitchen towel project. So with out further ado.  I used the light box and draw it on with pencil method.  I used a drawing from the book Rainbow of Stitches

 

So here I used the Stem Stitch to outline the blender and the mixer following the tutorial from Needle 'n Thread



So here is my final piece.  I really like how it turned out. 



And because I am always nosey and want to see here is the back of my piece.  I messed up a little on the first one I worked on so I am going to go back and tuck in the threads. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Count the Happies!

I have a stamp that hangs out on my desk where I can always see it that says "Count the Happies"!  I bought it at hobby lobby one day and although I have not used it yet it always brightens my day.  So today I am going to start a post that I will be repeating on a regular basis called Count the Happies!

1)  My new cook and serve dishes!  The perfect size for one person in wonderful colors!  I have looked high and low for pans like this and was so excited when I found them last night :)

2) My dog Kip.  He is always ready to hang out and cuddle with me when I feel not so great.  

3) Tickets to the antique road show.  I know I'm a nerd but I am also a very excited nerd!  I get to go in July to the Tulsa event.  I am ready to see how my chairs work out!

4) Having enough money to pay the bills.  I am thankful I am past the point in my life where I am barley breaking even pay check to pay check.  I know that I probably will be back there sometime but I am working towards making sure that does not happen!

5)  Allergy medicine!  I am so happy that I get to live when we have modern medicine!

6)  No mosquitoes!  I know the lack of rain is reeking havoc on the land but at least we don't have to put up with mosquitoes too!

7) My family!  I love that my family is not just my blood relatives (although they are pretty great) but also include close friends.  Even though we have not had a ton of "real" relatives I have never felt like I was missing out. 

Join me and Count your Happies below!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Badly done, Emma...badly done

Ok so you may know from the title of my post that I have been watching the 2009 version of Emma.  That one quote has been stuck in my head for over a week now!  I absolutely loved the miniseries it is so funny!  This fun movie came all the way from Wisconsin with my cousins as they settled in for a long visit.

I thought I would catch you up on my crafting since it has been so long. 

Knitting

I have finished a washcloth.  I knit it in I Love this Cotton that I picked up at Hobby Lobby.  It was a white with flecks of color.  So much fun and so soft. New dishcloths are on my list to make for my own kitchen.

I have started another project.  It is the Robbin Hood Hat by Grace Akhrem.  So much fun so far.  I had an extra skein of Cascade 220 Tweed and this is the perfect project for it!  I had tried several different things but none of them worked out.  Sometimes you just have to listen to the yarn.

My afterthought heel sock.  Well I have not yet tried to put the heel back in but I think I will be brave enough quite soon!  I got some fantastic advice at the knitting group I attend so hopefully I will be done with this sock soon and can start the next one. 

Embroidery

While my wonderful cousins were here we went to an estate sale and found the most wonderful embroidery transfers!  My favorite are the fairy tale book ones.  I am going to attempt to work them as pages of a soft book for some special little ankle biters! 

What are you working on?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Books Books and more Books!

I have been on a sappy romance kick for awhile now.  When trying to pick out books to read during the 48 Hour Book Challenge I went for Young Adult fiction.  Seven pages into my first book I realized that if I was reading for the fun of reading I was going to just go for complete potato chip reading and started looking for some romance books to read.  I decided to go ahead and read in order the Arcane Society series! 

This series is a bit different from other series because it is written by one author with three pen names and it skips from historical romance, current day romance and futuristic romance with each book.  It is also the best of all worlds as it is a paranormal romance mystery series.

So I thought it would be fun to do a list of fun potato chip books to read. 

  • Arcane Society -- By Amanda Quick, Jayne Ann Krentz, Jayne Castle
  • Percy Jackson Series --Rick Rioridan
  • Any of the historical fiction by Ann Rinaldi
  • The Time Travlers Wife -- Audrey Niffenegger
  • The other books written by Sophie Kensella that are not the Shopaholic series
  • Dirk Pitt Novels -- Clive Cussler
Did I miss any fun series that you can just sit down and read one after another?  Or any stand alone titles that you just think gee that was fun when you get done?  Let me know!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Time and ideas

48 Hour Book ChallengeIf you know me personally and have been around me this week you will have noticed that time is a fuzzy concept in my head. When things get busy and I get off track it takes awhile to find my way back. I think I am doing good now that I have untripple booked myself for this evening. (apparently making appointments for tomorrow, Thursday and a week from today does not work when they all mean the same date) 

With that in mind I would like invite you to join me as I participate in the 48 Hour Book Challenge! I am excited to participate and have a bag all ready to go back to the library so I can get some fresh ones.  Let me know if you join in!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rain is not Izzy approved

 Izzy who does not love thunder

Early this morning I awoke to one very worried dog. Kip, my oh so brave boy, woke me up because Izzy was barking. It took me a minute to figure out what was going on. RAIN!! This might not seem like much to you but there has been a horrible drought in my part of the world for a long time now. It made me think all those deep thoughts you think at way to early in the morning so I thought I would share some of them with you.

The sound of rain

I have lived several places in my life. Not a ton like some people but two specifically that are very different from one another. Texas and Wyoming. One of my very first memories is from Wyoming. I was in kindergarten and the school had all the classes stop and go into the atrium. We all sat down and waited to see why they had pulled every one out of class. We were given one instruction. "Listen to the sound of rain." since that day perhaps because of it I have loved the sound of rain. As we moved to Texas it was no longer a novelty. It seemed as if everyone took it for granted but to me it always takes me back to when someone decided that the sound of rain was essential to the education of elementary students.

The promise of rain

Last night while playing with my puppies outside I noticed that it felt like rain coming. You might know the feeling. Suddenly the atmosphere seems a bit dangerous, the wind picks up and you just know. I looked up at the sky I saw that there were no clouds. Suddenly I felt that maybe I was wrong. All the weather reports I had seen had not called for rain but deep in me I just knew. This reminds me if how my life has felt for the last while. A bit dangerous with a sense of urgency to get things done. To strip away the things that are not important and to get ready for the storm. When I look around me I see no clouds, no reports that something is going to change and honestly I am hesitant to actually prepare because it feels like if I do than things will really happen. But I think the waiting time is over. I am ready to trust and dance in the rain.

So these are my oh so tired musing I had at 5 this morning to the sound of rain and barking dogs!  Eventually Izzy gave up and came to me for pets and Kip he never really left my side. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tips and Tricks for Searching Google

Today I watched to a really neat webinar that is free through RootsMagic.  You can find a whole series of webinars for free under their learn tab.  I listened to "Google Search Tips and Tricks with Lisa Louise Cooke" it was delightful.  I am starting to get on a family history kick so it is made for genealogists but the information could apply to any search. I am so excited to see if I can put into use the things I learned.  I thought I would share two tips I had not know before and maybe they will help you as much as they have helped me!

1)  The magic three dots ...
Ok! When looking for information about a particular time period it can be hard to narrow down your results.  Not anymore!  Put in the earliest date such as 1800 and then the three magic dots and the last date such as 1910.  1800...1910 and add your search terms.  This will give you results that have the dates your looking for and they are highlighted so it is easy to see!

2) The tilde as a synonym finder
I had no idea that this would work and I am so excited.  To use it simply place a tilde ~ in front of the word you are looking for.  It will also search using synonyms for the original search term. 
Example: ~loo   
Results include: toilet

Thursday, April 21, 2011

1 Out of a Dozen Isn't Bad!

Mini Pies!  What could be cuter?  That was the thought I had today while looking at books and blogs.  Dreams of perfectly formed crusts and tiny jars filled my head.  So I set off to make my own.  I decided to make 6 cheesecake and 6 pumpkin pie.  The cheesecake seemed to be a sure thing and the pumpkin pie a good try... it helps that those are the only two pies I eat!

I collected my materials and put on my new apron (see the fun fabric in the back of the pic) and away I went.  I started with the cheesecake because it is super easy to make.  I use a recipe that my cousins have shared: 
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3 packages of cream cheese
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Bake on 450 for 10 min.  Lower temp to 250 bake 30 min.


 
To make the tiny cheese cakes I actually just cut the recipe in 1/3 and they filled the jars just fine.  I did put quite a bit of crust in so if you have a thin crust you might need more filling. 

I baked them on the high temp the full time and the lower temp for 8 min.

While I was waiting for them to cook I whipped up my pumpkin pies.  I used the family recipe for my pie crust and decided I need pie crust lessons!  It seemed really shortening-ing.  Undaunted I went ahead and patted it down in the cups for the crust instead of rolling it out. 

I always just use the recipe for pumpkin pie off the can so I got it all made and filled.  I had double the filling I needed. 

It was time to take out the cheesecake and put in the pumpkin pie. 

Then DISASTER struck!!
I baked my jars on a cookie sheet so they would be easy to move in and out of the oven.  I set the cookie sheet on the stove top and started to transfer them to another surface one by one.... when I took the first one off it disrupted the balance and the remaining 5 fell to the floor!

Quickly the clean up crew moved in to take care of the problem (Kip and Izzy)  I put them outside and cleaned up the mess.  Oh well I kept telling myself you will still have pumpkin pie to eat!

When the pumpkin pie was done I peaked at it.....

Epic fail! 

Oh well.  The good news is I have one cheesecake to eat and I am going to clean up the jars and try again.  My hypothesis is that the pumpkin filling was part of the problem not just my crust. 

Have you ever had an epic fail in the kitchen?  If so, let me know!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

National Library Week Craft!!

It is National Library Week and to celebrate I got to do an awesome craft/display.  This year ALA has chosen the theme to be Create your own story @ your library.  Previously, I had seen a website by SMITH all about Six Word Memoirs.  Six Word Memoirs are simply when you take six words to tell your story.  It can be a phrase, sentence or simply six discriptive words.  I thought this was the perfect activity to get our students involved and into the library. 

Step 1:  Getting students to participate. 

Students rarly come to the library without a purpose in mind so I set out to find them in their natural habitat.  To do this we set up a table next to the cafateria during lunch to catch the students.  In the first day we had about 60 students participate and about 25 the second day.


 Part 2:  Transcribeing
All the slips filled out by students were typed up and all names were taken off.  The majority of students would only participate if it was anonymous. 


 Part 3: Setting up the display
I could not come up with another way to display their answers than to put them up on the windows of the library classroom.  This is very visible from the door and actually is pretty easy to see despite all the glare.  This also has the benefit of making them walk past the librarian on duty to get to the display!


I am not sure how many students will be interested in reading the answers everyone wrote.  The ones that did participate sounded like they would make it over to check out the display.  I'll let you know. 

Please take a minute and leave your 6 Word Memoir.  They are fun to write!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What's on the Telly?

Kip when his favorite show was McLeod's Daughters!


TV! I love tv and movies and books. But today it is all about tv! I just started watching Off the Map on ABC and was so excited to see an actor from my favorite Aussie show.  I realized that everyone may not have had the chance to check it out so here is my top 5 tv shows you may have missed.

1) McLeod's Daughters
    This is show is Australian and so much fun.  It chronicles the lives of the McLeod daughters along with their neighbors and hands.  I must say that this show had more twists and turns that are unexpected.  It is a must see.  All 8 seasons are available on DVD in the United States!  I started watching this show when I had just got my puppy.  I would watch a few episodes each night before bed.  When I ran out of episodes to watch I noticed that he would not calm down and go to sleep until I put on the intro music to the show! 

2) Wonderfalls
    I actually am not sure when this show aired or what station it was on.  I loved it!  The girl has inanimate objects talk to her while she works in a souvenir shop in Niagara Falls.  Sarcasm abounds in this show!  Unfortantly this show ran for only 14 episodes.  Check it out you won't be disappointed. 

3) Eureka
   This is a fun show!  It is about a town that is made up of scientists.  It is on the SyFy channel right now. If you like cheesy with a side of science fiction this is your show.

4) Doc Martin
   This is a British show that is focused on a doctor who used to be a surgeon until he could no longer stand the sight of blood.  I really like the main characters but the rest of the cast is so much fun to watch.  Definitely a great show to check out. 

5) Ballykissangel
    This is a wonderful funny British show about a pub owner and a priest.  The characters are heart warming and the stories are so hilarious. 

So here are my top 5 overlooked shows.  Let me know what ones you think I should check out and if you have any opinions on my suggestions!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cookies Galore!

Saturday I woke up wanting to make cookies!  Not just any cookies.  I had not yet tried out my new cookie press or Taste of Home Cookies cookbook both from Christmas.  So around 3:00 I got down to cookie making business.  I picked out a Pecan Spritz recipe and, after one quick run to the store when I realized I was out of butter, I was off!



 I have to admit I was surprised at how much butter was used in these cookies.  It also took a cup of crushed pecans and a lot of flour.  I used pecans off our tree outside that had already been shelled but my food processor was playing hide-and-go-seek so I resorted to crushing them with a mallet.  Apparently I did not get them all crushed up good enough and had some problems with the dough getting stopped up when I used the cookie press.  


 Finally some were done and it was time for taste testing.  Verdict:  No good.  They did not really taste like anything at all.  So the batter went in the trash and the baked cookies are going to a good home in small children's tummies.


I was so sad that my cookie experiment failed so later that night I got together with a friend and we made Sugar Cookies and Snickerdoodles.  They were amazing.  Moral of the story:  Always have sugar cookie ingredeance lying about for emergancies!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Here we go!

Hello! 

Thanks for dropping by!  I am so excited to start this new blog about cookies, crafts, and stuff!  I tend to have a short attention span so I bounce around from project to project!  Knitting, baking, embroidery, random facts, and genealogy are just a few of my current interests!

There is no time like the present so lets get started! 

When I was in college I got a Game Cube for Christmas and it included the Legend of Zelda games.  My roommate and I set out to beat the Ocarina of Time.  That following summer all I did in my free time was play the game. 

I absolutely love this video.  I hope you will too!


 
Let me know what you think!