Saturday, November 19, 2011

A New Treat

I have a treat for you all! I've added a bunch of special things to my store...just a hint: it's something new to keep baby's feet warm all winter and into the spring:) Here is a sneak preview!
Thanks to my mom - my knitting mentor:) Don't miss out, there is a limited number of these precious sets available!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Creative Halloween

Since I have three boys I have a limited number of things I can sew for them.  Those of you with boys know what I mean.  There's no dressmaking, no cute purses, no dolls etc. etc. etc.....So, I've made it my business to create a tradition that I get to make their Halloween costumes.  I have to admit that this has become a little more daunting now that there are three of them to make, but so far it's been ok.  I start early and think about it for months (as do they of course).  Another thing that helps is that once the project gets going, there's no turning back - no changing your mind, you are what you are.  This year I have tried to curb the violent tendencies that come with having three boys by encouraging good old fashioned cowboy games.  Instead of the typical fighting, good vs. bad, robot/soldier/monster/droid battles that go on in our neighborhood I've been trying my darndest to get the boys interested in the wild west.  And, thanks to PBS and Bonanza, it's been working!  That's now their favorite show:)  And, thanks to Dad who willingly fabricated some rubber band rifles one afternoon there is no turning back from the Wild West excitement. 

So, where to from here?  We decided it was cowboys for Halloween this year so I started looking around online for ideas.  I found this great website that offered some wonderful tutorials - just what I was looking for!  I had an old leather jacket lying around and Dad had some old pants that didn't fit right.  I also had some wide elastic in my sewing drawer that I had bought without purpose (I do that a lot).  Perfect lineup for some great Halloween costumes.  Here's a fashion show!

Jasper - the arms of the leather jacket (size large) from a thrift store worked perfectly for his little legs.  Leather is the perfect material for this project since it doesn't fray and so you don't have to finish the edges or hem them at all!  There was enough left from the jacket to make monogrammed holsters for them all.  Once again, the blue leather I used for the monogram was purchased without purpose - it just inspired me when I was scrounging around the scrap bins at the leather store. 

Now that's just too cute I can't stand it!!!  I know, I know, he's mine, I'm biased. 

Next, Noah.  He is sporting his chaps and a nice Wild West tough guy pose.  He already got to wear his outfit to school since they had a cowboy day a few weeks ago.  His chaps were made from old men's pants.  I just cut them to the right height using the bottom hem then I sewed the side seam onto the outside so that I could 'fray' them by clipping the sides.  He was so excited and proud!

And finally, Jack who is zealous about his new cap guns. 

I have to admit to you that I didn't make their vests..those were found at the thrift store.  All that fringe!  Love it! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pickled Peppers

So fall is here, officially. I have spent a lot of hours this year harvesting and finding ways to preserve things without a ton of work. One of my favorite things has been sun dried tomatoes (ok, they're not really 'sun' dried, more like dehydrator dried:). I dried them for about a day and half and then pack them in olive oil in a jar in the fridge. They've been such a delicious treat to add to eggs in the morning, salads, pizza (on the grill - our latest obsession!) and much more. Unfortunately, the dehydrator was sitting on the counter and got knocked off by someone (who shall remain nameless) and is now broken. Sad! The oven doesn't really do the same job - my oven only goes down to 200 degrees and the dehydrator would stay as low as 95 for me. I did try a batch in the oven but they got a little browned, still tasty and good though. Another thing we have had in abundance has been peppers. I'm learning that from year to year I'll always be surprised by what my garden yields. Anyway, I planted 3 pepper plants - two 'garden salsa' knock your socks off fire breathing pepper plants, and 1 red (disguised as green) chili pepper plant. *Note to self: Home Depot doesn't know how to label their plants*. After discovering that our garden salsa variety was NOT going to produce those lovely Anaheim type peppers that you can fill with cheese and munch on, I lost my enthusiasm for them. I did make one batch of my annual canned salsa using tomatoes and peppers from the garden (the first time we've ever done that!! Yay!) but after that the pepper plants sat untouched for most of the summer. once in a while I would go out and pick one for our morning eggs or something like that. Anyway, after putting all that work into my garden I'm not about to let the fall frosts take the fruit of my efforts without a fight, even if it was an unexpected bounty of HOT HOT HOT peppers. So, I decided the answer was to pickle them! After picking a bushel (ok, not really) of peppers I brought them inside to use this recipe on. An easy Saturday night project - no canning involved, using ingredients I already had on hand. An unsuspecting cook, standing over her stove. Here is where my plan when awry. As I'm standing over the stove slicing away my husband mentions, 'hey, maybe you should wear gloves...?'. 'Na,' I reply. These peppers aren't that hot after all and I don't think just slicing them and throwing them in the jar will effect me.  I'm careful, I'll wash my hands before I rub my eyes.  And on and on with the excuses...

The peppers were finished, and set in the fridge to brine.  Pretty huh? 

Not long after finishing this simple project, my hand began to burn.  And I mean BURN.  I tried to ignore it out of pride but it wouldn't be ignored.  It started throbbing, pulsating with heat - like I had scalded it or something.  I couldn't wash it off...I sat down and tried knitting but it continued to throb.  Later when I went to bed, I just lay there while my hand sat outside the covers to cool.  It didn't work.  I didn't sleep well...and when I finally woke up I thought it was much better.  But, alas, when I went to put my contacts in I discovered my problems were NOT over...with burning pain shooting through my eyeball I had to reach in with the pepper infected finger again to retrieve my contact - ahhhh!!!  And then I went on all day with a burning hand.  That was yesterday, and even today I feel the effects of it still.  Phew that was quite a lesson.  The moral to this story is: always wear gloves.  The secondary lesson to take away is: your husband is smarter than you, listen to him.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I'm always blogging....

In my head that is.  I have many thoughts, and ideas etc. etc. the problem is, most of them never make it to this page.  I've learned to give myself some grace in this department, and even in the whole etsy shop business as I watch my family grow and enjoy our transitions - like first grade, pre-kindergarten  (yes, it's different than preschool!:) and a total rascal who is giving two year olds everywhere a bad name!  But, with all that said, I did find time this week to finish up a bunch of fluffy little diapers.  I even listed them in my shop!

Some fun boy prints for you...

And of course a fair share of girly ones...

Fun fun!  And here's something else that's especially fun for this month..

Go check 'em out!!