Ramblings...

Welcome to my blog! I hope to make your visit worthwhile and reward you with some new inspirations, sewing and recycling, crafts tutorials and recipes. Please add yourself as a follower, so that you will automatically be updated when I post something new! Please comment, I appreciate sharing mutual interests, like sewing, crafting, cooking and of course eating well! I am a former Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, I sub in 3 school systems and moonlight at a retail ladies clothing store. which sometimes allows me to indulge my creative energies. A wife, a mom through adoption, Christian, boomer and a member of the sandwich generation I hope to share my unique perspectives and help you with some of yours!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Count Down


Dear Diary    Friday Dec 17th: Whew, so glad it is Friday, and I finally can approach my Christmas to do list with vigor!  Just finished 10 weeks as a long term sub, with today on another assignment.  I was hoping to use today to get through the list.  Our family party is in 2 days, and as usual I like to torture myself by offering to bring the cookies and side dish.  Don't get me wrong, I love it all, but in less than 48 hours, I have gifts and food to make, cards to finish, and then, I have to focus on creating the Christmas magic for my own family.  At least I got my side of the family little tokens mailed off.   I haven't blogged in a while, all my creative energies went into teaching my 6 classes, 4 preps and hours of grading papers.  And I completed 2 grad online classes, resulting in keeping my grade point at 4.0.  Yay...hope I have enough energy to follow through on my next class. This 2 week break from school couldn't some much sooner!
I put together little packages for my siblings and dad, that are safely in the mail; and included my "Powell" potholder towels.  Everyone needs a new kitchen towel, right?  For my sis, a pretty recycled tote bag, a tutorial will follow this post...hopefully before the big day!
For my brother and his wife a Powell of course, a few little trinkets including an upcycled butterfly pin, made by my besty friend Max. My dad and step mom got some homemade cookies and honey made in my other besty friends' backyard, from our local bees.  The taste is so floral and sweet! Hope they like the simplicity of it all, we got Omaha steaks, so now I know what we are making for Christmas day!

Tuesday Dec 20th: Ok, I got through hours of baking and cooking on Saturday and Sunday, my hubby's family's party was at a hunting lodge on Sunday evening.  Thankfully I got all the little family gifts and sis in law gifts done, daughter and I made homemade cinnamon cocoa mix, in little canning jars.  Each family will get theirs, (I have 5 sis n laws, but one couldn't make it).  The following are cookie pics and activities and a few from the event.













 Recipes for some of my favorites follow:  hubby saw this recipe on the Today Show Producers Cook segment, it included all his favorites, Bacon, Feta Cheese Mushrooms...the chef created it as an alternative to the green bean casserole everyone always makes at holidays.  I left out the almonds because there are a few nut allergies sprinkled amongst the cousins,  it wasn't missed! Along with cookies, our potluck was colorful!

Green Bean stir-fry   Sarah and Pete Clagett
Ingredients:  olive oil
1/2 cup thinly choppednuts (almonds or pecans)
2 slices chopped thick-cut bacon
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced (Vidalia or white)
1 1/2 red peppers ( I used pimentos)
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
2/3 handfuls about 3/4 pound fresh french-cut green beans
4 ounces thinly sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper
Feta Cheese

On medium-high heat, start cooking, chopped bacon, cook for a few minutes, then add chopped nuts with some olive oil until it forms a bit of a paste.
Continue cooking bacon and nuts for a few more minutes until the nuts are toasted.  Then add thin slices of red pepper and onion and cook till onion is translucent.  Add in heaping teaspoons of minced garlic, add french-cut green beans and mushrooms to the above ingredients and then stir-fry green beans and mushrooms for a few minutes.  Pour in chicken broth, put lid on to steam.  Finish cooking the green beans, add salt and sprinkle feta cheese over the top.  Keep warm in a chafing dish or in my case, I used a crock pot.  ENJOY!



Gingerbread Cookies


4 cups sifted flour
1 T cinnamon
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t ginger
1/2 t cloves


1/2 cup shortening, (I use margarine, the cookies are firmer)
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1 cup molasses
2 t vinegar
1 additional cup flour/confectioner sugar for dusting work surface

Sift together flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, ginger and cloves, put aside.
Cream brown sugar and shortening, add egg.  Blend in molasses and vinegar, then stir in dry ingredients.  Add additional flour if necessary until dough can be easily handled.  Chill dough in refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.  Roll dough out on floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut dough with cutters or design your own.  Using pancake turner carefully transfer cookies to well greased cookie sheet.  Bake in 350 oven for 10 to 15 minutes.  When cool, decorate with frosting or candies. 

Royal Icing
2 cups confectioners sugar
2 egg whites
almond or lemon or your choice flavoing to taste
food coloring
Mix all ingredients together until smooth.  Spread or pipe onto cooled cookies. 



I hope to post a few tutorials, if I can get back into my sewing room!  Seems like it will have to wait till all the flurry of finishing up Christmas prep.  Come back, followers, more recycling and tutorials to follow!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Grateful for this and more:

As I take a quick moment to reflect, on the coming busy week, I am so grateful for:


my family - daughter Kate is turning 14 the day before Thanksgiving, son Kevin is doing well in college and working full time, hubby Ted has been working so hard to maintain our home, living through a 2 week re-roofing, new windows ordeal.  He is now doing all the drywall and finishing work around new skylights, God bless him, my mind is on other stuff, but he keeps the home fires going while I while away hours on my computer preparing for school each day! A shout out to a nephew Colin, who's football team is winning all their games, (thanks to his amazing catching skills on the field) and for a niece, Ashley who is working on a doctorate while very pregnant with number 2 daughter...My big extended family whom I don't get to see very often but are thought of and prayed for.

my friends - my two dearest, Max and Paula as they struggle with parenting special needs children, yet facing every day with such grace and creativity! They inspire me, they keep me from wallowing in self-pity and depression, they make me accountable and keep me close to my God in the process!
 
having a job - being overwhelmed with the amount of work, and being full time as a teacher while taking classes, yet feeling so rewarded and loving the challenges!  I am still long term subbing, and praying for more time as my hourly pay rolls into a salary.  Pray for this, as it will come just in time for Christmas! And for my real estate career, for 2 closings this year, grateful to have met some great people, Lauren and Zach in their new 1870's home!
 
my hobbies - like sewing and crafting, and sharing the joys of both with my students and my fans on etsy, blogging and local craft shows.  I have a beautiful new skylight in my work room, that lets me glimpse heaven, and for that I am so grateful!
 
What are you grateful for?  Post a line or two, especially if you are one of my followers, I so enjoy hearing from you, even though I have been a little absent lately. Watch for upcoming Tutorials for using vintage.  God bless...
leaving you with a pic in my teacher role

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Living Green as Fall turns Gold

I am a member of Going Green Crafters Blog, and I infrequently post over there.  I enjoy some of the wonderful crafting ideas that combine creating with recycling.  To me, the real joy is in giving stuff new life!  Saving from landfills is done one small craft at a time. Consider stopping by, and maybe contributing!  My recent post is here: 

Well if you are a facebook friend, you would have seen my goofy attempt at dressing in the 1800's.  No, that is not my hubby, some random guy walking by, I think he was part of the civil war encampment. I will explain the interesting apron, further down.

Our little town celebrated it's Bi-centennial last weekend, and I had a wonderful day sharing booth space with my good friend Crystal, and enjoying demonstrating, hawking our wares and eating our way around the fair!  This one doesn't even hold a candle to the Country Living Fair in Columbus, (last post) but it was so nice outside, the views of the sparkly lake, the breeze bringing a recent fish kill smell to the nose, mingling with the vendor foods, and the smiles of the crowds, a memorable day!  I even broke my record for selling my stuff!

yes that is a trundle machine!  So much fun in lace up boots!


The historical society ladies, portarying our founding spinster sisters, the Cahoons
It seems my weekends are these glorious fairs and soirees, but truth be told we crafters work hard during the week so we can enjoy being out and feeling the fun.

Which brings me to the apron tutorial, and Doily Jewelry Holder Tut

If you notice the stunning apron I am wearing, you'll detect a flower bouquet upside down on my chest, with a matching one towards the bottom.  Yes, this was formerly a dresser scarf, one in decent condition, but way oversized for my general use.  It fit my body pretty good, so I decided to make up an apron with it, by adding interfacing behind the bib part, and adding a waist band, ties and neck strap.  Pretty straightforward, the only addition was to add an underskirt behind the apron to visually widen it and create more coverage. 
Here are the steps in pictures:

















a touch of elastic behind, cinched the bodice a bit for contour



Even Kitty likes my new apron!
And another redo of a doily, is my own design.  I dreamt about this jewelry holder one night and I couldn't wait to make it.  I actually sold it already last weekend, so I think I might have to make more! 
Again follow the steps in pictures: Begin by making pockets, edge in hem lace.
Reinforce the back of the doily with fusible pellon.  Then after edging the pockets with lace, sew onto the front, add a calico fabric casing on top.  Clean finish edges, fold over to make the casing for the wooden dowel.  Not much to do, since the doily is finished, and the clear pockets make it useful, but don't cover up the beautiful handiwork.  I made a matching pillow to this little lady, and still have it.  Watch for it in my etsy shop soon.






See the jewelry holder hanging proudly in the breeze, it sold to a nice lady who sold me a lemon bread!  Yum!
Enjoy my "living with vintage ideas",  I am sure you have a few dresser scarves laying around, so try and give them a new life, be green and enjoy the golden leaves by getting outside!



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