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!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Check another item off the holiday list, hand surgery!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday, our Christmas is put away, due to the fact of surgery 2 days ago. Ok, the bandages are off, as of this morning, I am wearing a bandaid and brace, (not pictured) and am exercising my fingers by blogging! Can't do much else, but I am catching up on my Google Reader!

Christmas is a fond memory, the family party went well, excepting the major gastritis attack following cleanup, I lost 6 lbs in 8 hours! Not exactly a smart way to diet, I checked to be sure no one else had any bad experiences. None reported, so it was definately my own delicate constitution. I have sworn off sweets and baked goods, and if I never eat sausages again, I will be fine. My Banket recipe was tried by a few, and most said they liked it! I will include it below, for any curious lurkers...

Well we have had 3 babies born into our family this past month, one girl, Zora for my side of the family, and 2 baby boys, on hubby's side born a week apart,

Jack and Andrew. I am glad I started making baby blankets and taggies etc. I have a nice stash of baby gifts as they are needed.

A busy but happy time, though quiet around our house, hope the New Year we ring in tonight brings with it lots more biz opportunities for us all. Here is the Banket Recipe, as written by my mom for a cook book in the 70's, "Christmas is a Warm Cookie", The Children's Board of Lakewood Hospsital, Lakewood Ohio 1979

Banket - Dutch Almond Pastry

as it comes out of the oven
and arranged into an initial, M

1 C Butter
1C Margarine
4 c flour

1 C ice water

1lb. almond paste (found in a can)
2 c sugar
1t lemon extract
1/2 t almond extract

1 beaten egg
2T milk

Crust: cut butter and margarine into flour; add ice water till it makes a soft dough. Roll up into 4 balls and wrap individually in waxed paper. Chill overnight.

Filling: Put all filling ingredients in a mixer bowl and beat till smooth. Chill overnight.

Roll each ball on a floured board to about 8x13". Cut lengthwise into 2 equal strips. Divide filling into 8 parts. Make a cylinder of each part and place down the center of each strip of dough. Fold over the ends, and then the long sides, moistening 1 side to seal, before pressing closed. Place with seam down on greased cookie sheet. Brush top with mixture of beaten egg and milk. Bake at 425; 10 minutes. Prick holes on top for air and return to oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes then loosen from cookie sheet.

When ready to serve, cut in 1" slices. Yield: 7-8 dozen.

Best to keep in freezer if not serving with a day or two.

Watch for giveways soon!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Cards are done and gone!

Here is my Christmas Card this year, saved money and bought the cards at half price, the pics I created with Publisher, and took to a drug store to reproduce. I wrote a newsletter on a half sheet to explain the pics. You need a magnifiying glass, but that is ok, you see less gray hair and wrinkles right? A week and counting, hope to blog again before Christmas. There should be some good stories by then!

On to the next item on the list, the family Christmas Party! Hubby and I are the hosts, as it cycles around his 5 brothers every year. Pictured here is most of the family, none of the babies made this event. Our extended family is too big to host at home, so we are meeting in a city park cabin, with kitchenette, fireplaces and tvs. We can watch the game, eat and visit and let the kids and babies roam the large space, and not worry about the breakables! It is so nice that we can still get together, all but one brother live in town, and with all of our kids having their babies, it is important to keep the traditions. I chose a menu based on my Dutch heritage and hubbies Irish heritage. So of course we are having sausages, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. I am making a Dutch Christmas treat, Banket, which is a pastry with almond filling. My sis calls it Dutch Twinkies, but it is way richer and after eating alot as a kid, not something I seek out. We make it in the shape of the person's initial. We also give chocolate in initials, if we can get to the import store. Should be alot of fun!

One more Cleveland Team Show tomorrow night, got to finish a few more items, and hopefully get them up on the etsy site. I get to rest my hands after Christmas, as I am having carpel tunnel surgery on my right hand, a few days after Christmas and eventually my left. I have worn them out over the years, playing piano, sewing, tennis, sports, saxophone, of course typing on the computer...I will be glad to end the pain and numbness. Anyone out there in craftland have this surgery, what should I expect? I will be anxious to learn more, so far most people say it is worth it. I will hate not being able to work with my hands, but maybe I"ll get a few more years out of them?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Holiday Show

Holiday Open House, in Bay Village, details here: some of my friends from It Takes A Village and others:
CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSESaturday, December 6th 10am-3pmFeaturing the following artists:
Premier Designs Jewelry
Winsome Expressions
Pauline’s Fine Chocolates
Jane Godfray & Peggy Joyce
Scottie Boy Knits
“The 4Rs” - Recycle, Repurpose, Renew and Redo
Pure Imagination*
Shop for unique, affordable gifts in the comfort of our holiday
home with friends! Holiday goodies too!
Pic from Y Craft Show
Premier Designs Jewelry features affordable, high fashion designs with a lifetime guarantee.
Winsome Expressions creates beautiful, one-of-a kind clothing that is reasonable for 18” dolls.
Pauline’s Fine Chocolates—custom design your own box of delicious chocolates.
Jane and Peggy are known for their creative beaded items and gifts.
Scottie Boy Knits by Nancy Popovich—fabulous hand-knitted scarves and mobius.
The 4Rs feature hostess, baby and child gifts, vintage and upcycled, and collage desk setsPure Imagination featuring custom jean jackets and extraordinary holiday scrapbooking gifts!

*Several additional crafters will be joining us—Burpie Buddies and Bay Village Natural Honey!!*
All guests will be entered into drawings for special prizes!
Children are always welcome!
The Lyles Holiday Home
23021 Lincolnshire Drive in Bay Village
(Conveniently located off I 90 via the Columbia Rd exit). Head north to Lake Rd. Turn right on Lake Rd and go approximately 1 mile to the second street past the Clague Rd. intersection which is Sandalwood. Turn right—Sandalwood ends at Lincolnshire and the Lyles home which is a colonial blue ranch with beige heart shutters. Phone 440-331-3186 for more information!

Please forward to your friends, if you live anywhere in the Cleveland area. Lots of christmas cookies and refreshments, and a leisurely way to shop and meet the artists. Our version of a trunk show.
Hope you posted on the Blog Giveway Dec 3rd. I have one gift to send, to LazyT who is a member of our Cleveland Etsy Team. She bravely posted, and I owe her a small hostess gift. You never know when a posting will yield something exciting, am I right?
I'll report on the open house in my next posting, till then, my friends, I am in my sewing room!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Giveaways and Rock Band Fun

Hi, quick post to spread the word, SewMamaSew Blog is promoting those of us who have blogs to make the 3rd a big giveaway day. Sounds like fun, I am offering a hostess gift towel/soap set, hand embellished and ready for your round of Christmas parties. Write a post under this giveaway, to be included. Winner will get announced on the 3rd.

Time seems to be going really fast, and having one successful craft show under my belt, I am trying one more next weekend. So hard to know what people are buying, but I will bring my repetoire with my 3 other gal friends, who participated with me under the name, It Takes A Village. We are each giving back a small portion to our special needs at church. It feels good to craft on a mission.

My little girl's 12th birthday party is tomorrow. We spent too much money on a xbox and Rock Band II game. Sitting here through all the rock band noise, all day, as she practices, I am wondering if this was such a great idea. Her pals are invited to participate in "the band" and they will get to have a Mary Kay facial and design their own pasta and cupcake. I will follow with pics, but here she is practicing with her friend.

Well, back to the crafting room, got to get ready for the last show and Christmas gifts. I want to recommend my friend Jessica at Happy Together . She has been doing a series on handmade gifts, she is up to # 6 in her series. The link above gets you to where she begins, with great ideas. I owe her a package for posting on my last givewaway.

More soon, make a note of that date!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cleveland Rocks!

Hi friends, a quick post, if you live in my area, you would have read all about a few etsy artists in the Cleveland Team, that I recently joined. Great publicity for them and all etsians. Here are links to the article:



If you are in the Cleveland area, stop by to view my wares and a few friends, under the name "It Takes A Village" at the Bay Village Early Childhood Holiday Home Walk and Marketplace, with our table located at the Middle School. November 15th, 9-4. Pictured are our banner signs and my friend Paula's custom denim jackets, look for her kids items too!

Thanks to Happy Together blogger Jessica for commenting on my last post. I just haven't had much time to devote to contests or creating traffic, but I sincerely love those who have stopped by. Watch for a "pretty" in the mail from me soon.

Off on a quick biz trip to NY city, I will be scouting for some finds to add to my stash, and eventually to my inventory. Stay tuned, readers, some cool stuff coming!

Hey, if any of you professional bloggers read this, I need a tutorial on how to add a tutorial to my site. I want to add a few, but can't seem to figure out how upload a word doc and then link to it.
More later, feel free to post links to my problem!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Harvest Hankerings

Finding time to post has been kind of tough lately, I have been picking up more subbing jobs and real estate tasks and there is always lots to do to help hubby with his work. Spending more time indoors means I am turning more time to my kitchen. After picking apples last weekend with my daughter, I turned our efforts into my favorite dessert, apple pie. I am including a tutorial of how my mom taught me, and now I hope to pass it on to my daughter.

I have been busy making stuff for a harvest show benefitting our Early Childhood Association, so I decided to put my crafts together with 3 other friends, we are calling our little group, "It Takes a Village". I know it is not original, but we have more than one reason to call ourselves this. We each have special needs children, we try to help each other out with life's little challenges, and we all attend the same church, and have over the years volunteered our time to others in similar circumstances. We plan to donate a small percentage of our sales to the work of special needs groups at our church.

Been busy making stuff for my etsy site too; though don't know if they are being seen by anyone? Times are tough for everyone, I know I am not shopping for much for the holiday, knowing that it will have to be handmade, by me. So I have been searching the internet for good ideas, the hardest ones to make for our the boys and men. Anyone have some easy, inexpensive ideas for crafting for the guys that would be a gift they'd actually enjoy? Post your ideas, here and I have a flower pin/band or clip for the winner, to be drawn by next Friday, Nov 7th, 9pm. Post a comment, even if you don't have any brainy ideas, ok?

Last topic I wanted to share some of my "collections". I try to limit my hoarding to groups of things, here are a few pics of them. What kinds of stuff do you hoard, and why? Post a comment here also if you have a pic or a category to share. I think it is amazing how these little collections take over, but kind if in a sentimental way, right?

I have more, this is just part one, of stuff!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Lighthouses in Life

It was the weekend, and another night on our boat and Halloweekends at Cedar Point. I couldn't pass up the Marblehead Lighthouse Festival, and Craft Fair at Lakeside, Marblehead on a beautiful Saturday. I need to balance the intensity of amusement park lines and rides with something more bucolic and restful. I got my wish! Pictured are my daughter and friend Sara enjoying the sights. We met some lovely people and enjoyed a great pizza lunch at Sloopy's. We left my hubby to puttering around the boat, so he could get something done.
Lakeside, Ohio is a unique place, a collection of turn of the century cottages and shops that started out as a Methodist Summer Camp. Today, many families return every year to vacation together, in a low tech environment. My best friend from high school's family still goes there every summer. They come from all over the country to hang together. Well it was a beautiful day to get some sunshine and to peruse the crafts. I gave the etsy address to two ladies who were selling dog jackets, something I thought of doing, if I could make it worth my while. I urged them to check out etsy.com, they said they would.

Lighthouses have been pivotal in my life, named our real estate company Lighthouse Realty, met my hubby in a park with a lighthouse. Always loved the bible passage, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your works and glorify God in heaven." I think this was our class motto as well at my Lutheran parochial school. Lately, I have been traveling down memory lane, remembering my mom, who has been gone almost 20 years, lost to breast cancer. I have kept her smiling pic on my refrigerator, since the day she was diagnosed. She is a reminder of the beacon of light her faith was to her, and now, as her daughter, I must keep the light shining. I know it is my duty to shine the way for my kids too. That is the hardest job of all. But so worth it. Well, I got all serious on this blog, but it it cathartic.

Today I attended a family baby shower, and I made my gifts, after seeing similar items on an etsy shop. (I love how inspired I get checking out what people make!) Here is a pic of what I made for my niece who is expecting in December. An etsian calls the loopy blanket, Hug and Tug, it was a big hit! I might try making more in the future, easy, but fun stuff. Check out my site, a few new items have been added, the4rs.etsy.com I have some great boat pics, for another day...as we say adios to Indian summer!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Crazy for Crazylilcraft

What do you want to cozy contest, garnered a winner. Congrats to Karen of Crazylilcraft! I put each entry (post) into my bowl, and had my daughter Katerina (Kate) pull a winner. Karen Meyers name came out on top. She suggested putting a zipper on the top of the cozy to make it into a clutch! Great idea, it just might end up being recycled again into a purse. Thanks to you all, Karen, you won a gift certificate for any item in my etsy shop or any future item. Convo me or send me an email to redeem! Thanks again, to everyone, I had fun, and I am making lots of great friends!

The Winners?

Birthday treats for daughter(shhh, surprise)

Hi, I will announce the winner of my gift coupon after I return from a benefit for our schools, hopefully it won't be late, it is a school night after all! Still time to enter more ideas, for more entries, thanks to all who have posted so creatively! Spread the word, I will draw around 9:00...!

Friday, October 3, 2008


Cozy Contest closes by 6:00 pm on October 5th. Enter as many times as you wish, I will put all the names and their suggestions in a hat, and pull one for the $5.00 coupon on anything in my shop or in the future!

Quick posting for newbie bloggers like myself. A fun option you can offer your visitors allows them to follow your blog, and post that they are following you. This tidbit from the Blogger People: "A few posts ago we let you know about Blogger Following. The feature lets readers publicly subscribe to your blog (so you know who's reading) and adds a Reading List to your Blogger Dashboard so readers can stay updated with the blogs they follow.Now it's available to all users in English. We'll keep you updated about when we launch it in Blogger's other languages.To learn more about Following, read the Blogger Buzz Post or the Google Blog Post." I would love to have you be a follower, just click and join me on my adventures!

I don't know if I am totally up to speed on bloggin, but I sure love Google Reader. I use it every day, it saves time, and sorts out what I want to read. I use the Google Shared Calendar with my hubby, so we both know what the other one is doing, and the kids' schedules. It sure helps us stay organized. I put my part time work schedule there, soccer games, etc, and it comes up like a home page with my blogs, weather, and favorite sites. If you haven't used this feature yet, try it!

Meanwhile, I cranked out my second tote, "Heart Cats", that I am putting up for sale on my http://the4rs.etsy.com site. I love marrying doilies with whimsey and practicality. Big words for fun! More later...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Love reading blogs!

I have only been blogging and reading them for a few weeks, and I truly am getting dizzy from all the great stuff out there. I follow many crafty blogs daily now, and have run into quite a few contests! I tried one here as well, but no takers! 

boating fun!

With our fav folk singer, at a west side home, David Francey

Meanwhile, a blog I just visited has some great gifts for checking them out. Hop over to visit Jayne at http://www.bunnychicboutique.blogspot.com/ don't forget to leave her a Comment and then for 5 extra Entries ~ post about this Great Giveaway on your Blog. This Giveway will include the Sew Gracious Spider Web Tote AND the Carnival Bloom Mini Wallet/Card Case.A winner will be randomly selected at Midnight ET on October 3, 2008. You don't need a Blog to enter ~ however, please provide an email address on her site.
Please visit Pam's Etsy Store ~ Sew Gracious to see all of her Trendy and Chic Designs!! She offers Boutique Bags, Clutch Wallets, Eyeglass Cases, Mini Wallets/Card Cases and Wristlet Key Fobs ~ all of which are meticulously handmade in her Robin's Egg Blue Studio.

What a great idea to up your readership, and of course, I will be back to see whether you or I win! Contest ends October 3, so hurry on over.

Whew, hope I win! Meanwhile, check out my etsy site, link on this page to see all the items I have added just this week! And please post a comment about my cozy, $5.00 coupon towards an item in my shop for winning my contest. I will announce the winner on October 5th, so leave me a comment, ok?

Got to get back to the sewing machine!

Monday, September 22, 2008

What do you want to cozy?

Created this "cozy" today, but not sure what to list on my etsy site as it's use. Can you help? I am offering a coupon towards buying one of my items to the person who comes up with a creative use for my cozy. It is sized 15x10x 3. I envisioned a large tea pot, 4 slot toaster or just using it to hide something. Email or post your ideas!
Fall starts today, there is definately a chill in the night air. Time to break out the quilts and get cozy! We spent the weekend, trying to squeeze out the last bits of summer, motoring on our boat on Lake Erie, riding rides at Cedar Point, (the roller coaster capital of the world) and getting plenty of sunshine after the previous week spent cleaning up and dealing with the last remnants of Ike. Looking over my piles of items to recycle and redo, I get excited for the rainy days. Then I don't feel so guilty sitting in my sewing room. What do you craft when the weather is nice or gloomy. Post your thoughts! Also, check out some of the amazing blogs I am collecting on my site. Some great ideas and recipes!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Greatful for electricity!

Today, I am grateful for electricity! Our little village got hit hard by the spinning top, "Ike", and we lost our ability to entertain, eat, communicate, and work for 3 days! Power was restored around midnight, last night (Tuesday) Today was spent shopping to replenish all the food that had to be thrown away. Ice in a box, just doesn't cover all the condiments and extras you stash for years in your refrigerator. So I got to clean it head to toe, and pitch all the mystery packages, so that we are now looking at fresh food, and fresh smelling fridge! My dad and step mom fed us a hot meal last night, and took in all my salvaged condiments and food. We get to go again tonight to eat up the over abundance our larder added to theirs. At least I can get back to this computer, I really missed it! But I got to reconnect with hand sewing, scrapbooking by candelight and the really beautiful full moon and stars we were treated to, as we walked the darkened neighborhoods. I really feel for the hard hit hurricane areas, at least we didn't have the driving rain and water. Blessed to be sitting here right now, thanking God no one was hurt as trees went flying on Sunday night. Well here is a recipe I am hoping to try, perhaps tomorrow, I enjoy this meal at the Buca di Beppo near by us, so much so that I found a "copy" on the internet. Don't have an author, but I have made it, and it is great.Enjoy...

Buca di Beppo Lemon Caper Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, (6 oz ea) Salt, to taste -1 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup olive oil - 1/2 cup white wine 4 large lemons 1 stick unsalted butter, softened A small handful drained capers

Cut three lemons in half and use for fresh lemon juice. Pour the juice through a fine strainer. Cut the last lemon into wedges for garnish. Begin to heat the olive oil in a 12-inch saute pan on medium-high heat. While oil is getting hot, lightly season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt. Lightly dust the chicken breasts in the flour. Shake off excess flour. Place chicken in the saute pan skin-side down.When the chicken is golden brown, turn over and brown the other side as well. It is important to brown both sides to insure the chicken is completely cooked through. When both sides are nice and brown, add white wine and lemon juice. Continue to cook for approximately two to three minutes. The liquid should reduce approximately half.Once the liquid is reduced, remove the chicken breasts from the pan and turn off heat. Check to make sure the chicken breasts are cooked by turning each piece of chicken over and cutting it halfway through with a knife. There should be no visible pink. If the chicken is not completely cooked through, place in a 400 degree oven for five minutes to complete cooking.Finish the sauce by placing the softened butter in the pan. Using rubber spatula, work the butter into the sauce as it melts. Pour sauce directly on top of chicken breasts. Garnish with capers and lemon wedges. Makes 4 delicious servings!

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Rambling We May Go, The Journey Begins!

First time publishing my own blog! Ok, I have guest starred on other blogs before, but this is exciting to have my own place to ramble, and rant and maybe share in the crafty community my ideas and learn a thing or two!

Here is what I made a few days ago, and am now taking orders on www.The4Rs.etsy.com. I hope to pick up a few new friends and maybe indulge my passion for handmade. Watch for recipes, giveaways and fun!

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