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!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thrift Pile Skirt Restyle, and Strawberry Crunch Cake

Technical difficulties, I renamed a folder on picasa, and alot of my recent posts are now missing pictures...I will be working on this, asap, please visit my other colorful posts!

Daughter Kate has been at camp all this week, and here it is Thursday, and I haven't taken advantage of the quiet time to get some projects done. Good news is that my sewing corner in my bedroom has been re-organized, and I put priority projects on top of the pile. The whole room needed cleaning badly, so I have been doing this instead of sewing. But this last skirt from my thrifting adventures at the local Good Will will finally get is redo, I promised, right? Tut is at the end of this post.

 Meet Beamer! My son moved home in April, and abruptly, moved out last week  to live with a friend he works with, and for the 3rd time, we have a pet cat left behind.  This one is not quite a year, male, that I had to have neutered the first weeks, because he was so aggressive to my other docile male and female.  Now we are faced with having the front claws taken off, because he has clawed his way through 3 screens, and has permanently scarred my favorite cat, Kitty. So here is a pic of him before, stay tuned to see the sad pics of after...!

 I mentioned in a previous post we had a surplus of strawberries from a u pick it place.  I love anything that includes strawberries, so below these pics is a vintage recipe from my mom's collection for Strawberry Crunch Cake.

  YUM, with icecream, poolside!

 Strawberry Crunch Cake
3 cups sifted flour

5 teaspoons baking powder

2/3 cup sugar

1 t salt


½ c shortening

1 cup milk

1 slightly beaten egg

3 cups sliced fresh strawberries

                                                            ¼ c soft butter

                                                            ¼ c sugar

                                                           1/3 c all purpose flour

Sift together first 4 ingredients; cut in shortening. Combine milk and egg; stir into flour mixture; blend well. Spread in greased 9x13 baking pan. Spoon berries over; sprinkle with ½ cup sugar. Mix butter, ¼ cup sugar, and 1/3 cup flour; crumble over berries. Bake in 425 oven 35 to 40 min. Serve warm with ice cream. Makes 8 servings.

Here is a little gem I found at St. Pauls Lutheran's rummage sale:, it is hanging above my sewing machine now.

Thrift Pile Skirt Redo, Part 5
Remember back at this post, I bragged that I had purchased a number of items at Good Will, and I had plans for all of them.  Well here is the last redo, a stylish fabric on net over a black underskirt, that was just too small on me, and it was too "fancy" to put an elastic band on.  So I decided to do the simplest thing of all and just roll the "no-waist" over twice, to get the waist the right size.  Sew simple right? Here are a few steps in pics.

 Here is a closeup of a nice skirt, just too small in the waist, and a bit too long. I rolled the waist twice, and tried it on. Good length, and fit so...
 Repinned and turned

 Don't forget to cut off the tag, to get it out of the way
 And cut off the zipper that extends after you rolld the waist to where you want it.
 I machine basted it first, then turned it right side out to make sure the fabric strips were straight
 Here at the top of the cut zipper, I zigzagged a number of times to make sure the zipper doesn't pull off the end

What remained was the tab from the original waist, now repurposed as a tab at the new lower waist.
 My camera is not very clear close range, but I am sewing on metal hook and bars, on that fabric tab. No hemming or finishing work necessary, already done! Try reworking your too tight skirts, or thrift clothes, you will expand, hint hint, your wardrobe (as you expand your waistline.)

 And cleaning, organizing and sewing was a dream today, in my air-conditioned bedroom,  we have been running this window unit from my son's empty room, the past 2 days for the 88 degree muggy heat.
And my reward waits, a pool that is almost 82 degrees, we wait all year for this, ahhhhhhhh!
Hope you are making summer memories!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A tribute to Dad

                     Then and now

My 50th celebration with my Dad and stepmom, Ingrid.

 My parents 55 years ago this summer... we are celebrating my Dad's 80th Birthday, this July!
 Quite a milestone,
Just a couple of pictures, happy times and memories.  Happy Fadders Day, Dad!
 You are loved, unconditionally. 

Part 5 of my Thrift Pile Tutorial is coming next! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What I've been doing for the past 2 weeks, and summer is just beginning! Also Thrift Pile Part 4

 I have been snapping tons of pictures and talking to myself about what I want to post next, what project I would like to show, and every day I have more of these thoughts. I hate to be chained to typing posts every day, but the pictures are piling up. So here goes, what I have been doing the two weeks, and I finish with a link to my Thrift Pile Tutorial Part 4 60's flavor skirt below, and a link to 2 Link Parties Sew and Tell Fridays. and Tea Rose Home Link Party #12

 First, my little niece Kimmy (pictured in my wedding photos as flower girl) turned 40 on June 2nd! (I have 2 nieces with the same birthday, Happy Birthday Ashley as well!) I found this cute Tea Pot at a Tuesday Morning store, kind of like a Big Lots, don't know if you International Girls know what I am talking about, but stuff is cheap and different. I put together a little basket with a flower topped box of tea, and my infamous dress topped kitchen towel. I have so many baskets laying around, I like giving gifts in them, my attempt to recycle, as usual. I cover the bottoms with padding and fabric, but sometimes also make a basket liner.

 I stupidly held a garage sale for 3 days, with only a Craigs list post. I made enough $ for a haircut and dye.

Went last week to a pick your own farm, got some daughter time, and she is hiding as usual from the camera as she helps me crush the berries for jam. The smell was heavenly as we prepared to make jam to can.

Jam looks great, but was better suited to topping waffles,

 Well I couldn't stop with just jam, so a few days later, I pulled out the rest of the berries and made this super yummy cake. Check out my next post for the how to's!

Thrift Pile Tutorial Part 4,

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Thrift Pile Part 3 and The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies ever!

Here is part 3 of my infamous Thrift Pile Redo's, and for dessert a cookie recipe that rivals all my Toll House recipe versions. 

Here is the finished skirt, I decided to do the same thing to mine as I did for my daughters' But this skirt started as a gored skirt with a fitted waist  that just didn't fit me, so by ripping out the invisible zipper, chopping off about two inches off the top, serging the top edges, and then laying the band on top of the edges, evenly distributing the gathers around after pinning. 

The remnants from the waistband
With the leftovers I made a headband.  So simple, the waistband had an interfaced layer,  I simply tried it on, measured the piece of elastic at the back, then sewed elastic on the ends, turn right side out, folding over the edges, and it's done!

Modeling the headband with my hair newly dyed to cover the gray springy pieces...
The 4RS, Recycle, Repurpose, Renew and Redo! My next installment is a super easy summer tote, from that 60's inspired neon print skirt! Stay tuned!

I have been baking for probably 50 years, beginning as a toddler as I learned that licking the spoon was the whole point!  Well in most of those years, making our favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies, I used a variation on Toll house, adding more brown sugar, less white, and horrors -margarine, or a combo with butter.  As the years have rolled on, I have been less satisifed with how they turned out, thin, gooey, but too soft hours later, when they felt like they might be stale.  I researched a bit on allrecipes.com and tried a few new ones.  Voila!  The best one I bookmarked and have been so happy, we have been baking mass quantities of them.  Recipe follows here. 

Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie - Allrecipes.com

Submitted By: ELIZABETHBH    Servings: 18 Big cookies!

"These cookies are the pinnacle of perfection! If you want a big, fat, chewy cookie like the kind you see at bakeries and specialty shops, then these are the cookies for you!" My sentiments exactly!


2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2010 Allrecipes.com Printed from Allrecipes.com 5/28/201

Try this recipe out, and follow the scooping directions to make super size cookies.  Your family will make this their new favorite!

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