Monday, September 29, 2008

Stress & Lasagna

I opened up the blinds on my front windows today to see that the leaves on the big tree out front had almost completely changed color. I love fall, but I couldn't help but be super stressed at this sight. Immediately a list of to-do's came to mind. I need to:

* pack up all the kids' summer clothes
* make sure they are have warm clothes for fall & winter...which means I need to shop.
* make their pajamas for the colder months
* start working on Christmas gifts
* get my shop ready for holiday shopping

I do love doing all of these things, so why am I stressed out of my mind? I will take it day by day & maybe I'll just have to drop a few things off my list along the way.

I made this lasagna from Everyday Food Magazine on Saturday night. I left out the prosciutto (Dylan will be bummed when he reads that). My family loved it. I was worried about their reaction because of the amount of spinach, but they really enjoyed it. Whoever invented oven ready lasagna noodles is a genius.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Scarves


I've listed a few scarves in the shop. I really, really love both of these scarves. The patchwork one was really fun to put together. Sorta like a mini quilt. It's great to be able to use smaller pieces of fabric & complete a project with them. This one in particular is backed in fleece & it is super soft & snuggly. I'm happy with the gray against the blue & white & the little pop of linen makes me smile. I plan to make a smaller one for Sadie & may make some kiddo ones for the shop as well. We'll see what the demand is.



The orange plaid fringe scarf is another that I love with all my heart. It is really comfy. I made one for myself & plan on wearing it all through fall. This fabric was a super lucky thrift store find!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

3 Good Recipes

Yes, I am still working on answering all of the reader questions that were asked oh.....over a month ago. As promised, I will get to them all!! I have been a little busy with custom orders, which is good. It's always good to have work to do, right? Anyway...

Stacy asked: What are three of your favorite really quick family meals? Recipes or tips would also be appreciated!


Cuban Black-Bean Stew with Rice
I just tried this one last week & loved it. It comes from Everyday Food magazine. It's a quick, easy, hearty vegetarian meal. My kids loved it too.

Quick Fettuccine Cacciatore
We went through a spurt where I made this like once a week. It's really quick & very tasty.

8 oz. fettuccine, uncooked
2 tsp. oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 c. green pepper strips
1 c. sliced mushrooms
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 c. Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1 c. shredded Italian mozzarella/parmesan cheese blend
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil leaves

Cook pasta as directed on package.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir until no longer pink. Add peppers and mushrooms; cook 3 min., stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes and dressing. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 min. or until chicken is cooked through.

Drain pasta. Toss with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and basil.

Makes 4 servings, 2 cups each.


Broccoli Cheese Soup

I call this Caitlin's Broccoli Soup. It is a really fast soup & it is seriously SO good. Replace chicken broth with vegetable broth for another vegetarian meal. My family loves this one. So good with a green salad on the side.

Enjoy! Let me know if you try any of these. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

WIP

I'm currently working on a custom order for 63 feet of flag garland for a local business. The garland is going to be used to decorate a fund raising dinner.


63 feet of garland = 98 flags!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Quilty Update & Etsy Finds


Link
I added a couple quilts to the shop today (one is a mini). Go check them out.

Also, my vintage map wooden blocks made it into the Etsy daily finds article today!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Oops


I think I mentioned a shop update today. Turns out, I'm not ready. Life got in the way. I'm oh so close to finishing that blue & brown quilt & I have a few other items in the works, so watch for updates this week. Thanks!

(The cupcake is from Sadie's birthday)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Quilting Itch


I'm really enjoying quilting these days. I'm working on a few basic patchwork block quilts for the shop update. I'm aiming for Tuesday of next week. Are you excited? Combining the fabrics has been the most exciting to me lately & I keep having lots of fun, new ideas come to mind as I go along. Hopefully, I'll be able to make some larger quilts soon. Oh! Be on the lookout for a few mini quilts with this update as well. The little ones have got me all worked up too! :)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Fall Is Here


Isn't it the greatest? Winter is not my best bud & summer isn't always the best for this easily irritable when hot girl, but fall....fall is the greatest. I pulled out a favorite shirt to wear yesterday. One with longer sleeves. I'm sporting a different hair style this year & I really liked my big waves with this gingham shirt.

On a side note...once in junior high school some jerk of a kid told me that I look like Kermit the Frog. It hurt my feelings obviously because I still remember it to this day. Anyway, I think the above photo caught me looking quite a bit like that green little frog. It's my thin lips. Ha ha.

Really though, what I wanted to tell you about today is that I am working towards a shop update with some new handmade items. Maybe sometime next week. I'm loving the routine that we've established now that Sadie is in school. Those few hours in the afternoon while she's away & Claire is napping really give me a chance to get a lot more done. I have a few scarves, quilts & purses in mind. Now I just need to get to work.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sadie Turns 4


Every year on her birthday, I can't help but think back to the day she was born. Does that ever go away? Anyway, it's amazing how fast they grow. We sure love this little girl & we had a fun day with her today.


We took cupcakes to school for her to share with her class. She came home with a birthday crown & told me that she was the birthday queen at school today.


Grandma's package was waiting for her when she got home. Inside was the Barbie Island Princess dress up gown. She put it on immediately & wore it the rest of the day.


Luckily she was really happy with the new cash register that we got her. And here's a shot of Claire eating cake.


Happy Birthday Sadie!!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Your Message Here


Earlier I linked to the Your Message Here project by something's hiding in here. Well, it looks like my sentiment appeared in the window today!! Anybody else out there Willy Wonka fans?

Also, heads up...Just Be Jewelry is giving away a necklace over at petit elefant. It's one of my favorites from their shop. Go check it out!

Happy Friday

Check out some of my favorite posts from around blogland this week & have a great weekend!


One to make you laugh: chewbacca: just a few observations
One to make you cry: she wouldn't have missed it
One that's just plain cool: your message here

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Where Are the Good Enchiladas?

I need some help. The missionaries are coming over for dinner this Sunday. I like to ask them what their favorite dinner is & they usually try to be polite & say "oh, anything is great". But I truly want to know what their favorite dinner is so I can make it for them. Well, last month one of the elders told me he really loves roast. So roast it was & he enjoyed it. I could tell. :) This time I worked it out of the other elder that he really likes enchiladas. Now here's my problem. I haven't really mastered enchiladas yet, but I'd like to feed that hard working young man what he wants this Sunday. Do any of you guys have a super good recipe? Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks!

Sewing Related Questions

Michelle asked, Where and how did you learn to sew?

I got my sewing machine as a Christmas gift from my in-laws in 2001 & I've taught myself everything I know. When I first set up my machine it took me about an hour to figure out how to wind the bobbin & thread the machine. Seriously! I can't even remember the first thing I tried to sew. Notice I said "tried". There were a lot of projects started & never finished in the beginning because they weren't turning out how I wanted them too & I'd give up, or I'd get to a certain point & be too afraid to continue on. I made baby blankets for my nephews when they were born & I made some curtains for our bedroom. One hung a little lower than the other. Ha ha!

Where do you get all your crafting ideas from?

I spend a lot of time looking around at what other crafters are doing. I follow a lot of crafting blogs & I absolutely love flickr. You can check out my favorite groups here. I never try to exactly copy what somebody else has done, but I think all that looking sometimes triggers new ideas for me.

Inspiration a lot of times comes from outside influences as well. I took a lot from this Target holiday bag for my doily mobile. :)


Alexandra asked, Which sewing books are your favourites and why?

Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol: This book has a lot of really cool projects, but she also shares a lot of helpful information for sewing as well & explains it in such a wonderful way. As if you were sitting on the couch with a friend & they were telling you why it's important to change your sewing machine needle out after every couple projects.

Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter
: I just love Lotta. She is so stylish. Her projects are very modern & cool. I love seeing modern & cool handmade items. It makes me feel like what I'm doing is not so "homey" but can also be hip & cool.

Sock & Glove by Miyako Kanamori: This book is adorable. I still haven't made anything out of it, but I am planning to make some of these cutie cute softies for the girls this Christmas. Beautifully photographed & simply laid out. It's a neat book.

misspotts asked, I have a sewing machine brand new and in the box I just don't know how to use it or set it up. Can u tell me how to get started. Like what should I purchase to start sewing. I love the grocery bag holder and short aprons u make. Are those easy and can u point me towards the directions?

I would suggest starting with small projects that you can finish quickly. For me, there is nothing like the satisfaction & the feeling of accomplishment that comes from finishing a project. It doesn't even matter how small it is. Read through your owner's manual. You really just have to go at it! If you are able to take classes at a local fabric store I would suggest doing that as well. Just stick with it & keep trying. You will feel more confident in no time. I honestly still feel like I am a beginner at sewing. There is so much more I still need to learn. Just this week I learned to do a quilt binding. I've been scared to try & you know what...it wasn't hard at all!!


The short apron pattern is from the Bend the Rules Sewing book & the grocery bag tutorial can be found here.

Grace asked, Is there another kind of craft you would like to learn in the future (pottery, weaving, painting...etc)?

I would love to be able to knit. I have tried a few times, but haven't done it consistently enough to get a real feel for it.

Do you still scrapbook?

No. I don't scrapbook anymore. I really jumped into sewing & blogging & haven't felt the urge to want to scrapbook in a long time.

How do you find time to be crafty? I think it's awesome how so many moms are out there helping earn income through sewing and crafting. Y'all are an inspiration!

I do most of my sewing at night once my girls have gone to bed. I do work a little during the day as well, but it's usually just 10 minutes here & there. During the day I pull fabrics together, cut & iron. I usually don't get my sewing machine out until the girls are asleep. It's too hard to focus on them & they usually want to climb all over me while I'm at the machine.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Drawings From The 3 Year Old

Me: "Sadie, who is this?"
Sadie: "That's a giant!"


Me: "And who is this?"
Sadie: "That's a girl with words."
Me: "What is she saying?"
Sadie: "I don't know."


I particularly love those little red cheeks on the giant & this word bubble is something I haven't seen her draw before, but I think it's totally cool!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Auction Winner

Thanks so much for all your bids. The winner of the quilt is Mak. Please make your payment directly to the Nielson Family Fund here & then e-mail me your receipt at sparklepowercandace@gmail.com & I will get that snuggly quilt off in the mail right away!


We are enjoying our Labor Day weekend with Dylan's parents in town. We went & checked out some historic tall ships yesterday & there is more fun in store for the next few days. Hope you are enjoying your weekend.
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