Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
So I will be sporadic, but here I promise!
Hey, it's spring! Does it look like spring at your house? Mine doesn't really. The only thing I know is I have literally 32+ squirrels in my backyard picking up my walnuts that we didn't get picked up before winter. They are chasing each other and eating and having a great time. I tried to catch it on video, but it was so dark and dull outside you couldn't pick out much of the squirrels.
I thought since there hasn't been much content to this blog lately, I'd re mention a website I go to frequently to find out about the child appropriateness of different movies, games, books, TV, music, etc... Many of you probably know about it, but I have found it invaluable. I can't read every book my kids want to read to see if they are appropriate. I wish I could. Also, my oldest was reading at an 8th grade level in 2nd grade, so I needed to see which books would engage him, but weren't wrong for him. So anyway, I love Common Sense Media, you get kids ratings, adult ratings, and the actual web site's ratings. You can read comments on the language, sex, violence, product placement, drinking/drugs/smoking, and the moral/message. It's great. Check it out, bookmark it. I go back to it a lot. I even have convinced my kids they won't like certain movies/books by the ratings, so we didn't have to go see a stinker movie at movie theater prices.
**Not affiliated, just like it, and use it**
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Ginger Molasses Cookies
1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling cookies
1 large egg
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup un-sulphured molasses
Preheat oven to 375F.
Cream butter and sugars together until nice and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
Add egg, vanilla, & molasses and beat.
In a separate bowl combine flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, black pepper and cloves.
Combine wet ingredient mix with dry ingredient mix until well combined.
Place remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar in shallow bowl. Scoop dough with small cookie scoop. Form into balls and roll in sugar. Place them on an ungreased baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-13 minutes. You want to slightly under cook them, or they become quite hard. Let them cool on baking pan for about 3 minutes. Remove, from pan and let cook on a wire rack. These freeze well and pack well for shipping also the recipe is fine doubled.
Ok, so that's the recipe. It's good if you follow those directions, now here's the key to making them great.
You MUST use freshly ground cloves! I have a small mortar and pestle, but you could use a bowl and the back or a spoon or a spice grinder. It makes an enormous difference!
Yep, that's it, I know it sounds silly, and it really isn't a big deal, but it is a huge difference trust me. I hope you enjoy, if you make them let me know if you like them.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
I am working on making groups now, so if I missed someone please let me know ASAP. I've been checking my spam folder and everything, so I'm quite sure I didn't, but if I did, please let me know.
I will hopefully get the groups out by tomorrow night.
Friday, February 27, 2009
I just wanted to remind any possible straglers that there is only one day left to join the row robin swap. We have quite a few. I am very excited by the amount of people that have signed up, and the amazing variety of quilter/crafters! This is going to be so much fun! So if you are interested, please go to the signup post and be sure to read through the guidelines first. Then follow the directions about sending me an email with your info.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
If you are still having difficulties picturing what this would look like. Imagine some of the most beautiful row quilts. Here are a few I found online. Some were row robin swaps while others were done by a single person.
memaquilter's row robin quilt
Pat on the hill's row robin quilt
krommama's liberated row quilt
dianezirin's rowrowrow your quilt
cactuspatches christmas row quilt
stitchnagain's row quilt
And again if you have any questions, please ask!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Here are some of my favorites that I have found. If you have found some great ideas, please post them in the comments!
DIY Scratch off lottery Ticket Valentines by Skip To My Lou
Other Skip To My Lou Valentine Ideas
MadLib Valentines By Design Mom
Friendship Bracelet Valentines by Design Mom
Valentine Candy Maze by Zakka Life
Shrink Art KeyChains by Lost Button Studio (we've done these before, but worth mentioning)
Candy Coated Oreos by Her Cup Overfloweth (we love milk chocolate covered ones for Easter gifts)
Oreo Truffle Kisses by Bakerella
Heart Crayon Valentines by Chef Messy
I know there are tons of great ideas out there, if you know of more please leave them in the comments, I'd love to have a huge list by next January to arm all moms/dads for giveouts for school (or wherever)
I'm off to see Wicked tonight (my belated birthday gift from the hubs.) Have a great day everyone!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Your first row with your Theme will be mailed out by April 1st 2009
We will be making a quilt row by row. You will have 6 weeks to finish each row. The first month you will make your own row. After that you will be adding a row to another member’s quilt each month. At the end you will have enough rows to put together a quilt. Each row will be made by a different member of the group (one by you.) The goal of this is to combine the skills of different quilters in different areas with different skill levels together to make one beautiful quilt for each of us. I want everyone in this swap to have fun and expand your creativity. The swap guidelines are specific to ensure that no one is disappointed in the end.
-Use only 100% quality cotton fabrics. Nothing with a loose weave and please pre-wash and press all fabrics.
-This is a commitment! This is a big swap, and no one wants to let anyone else down. Communication is key! If something happens let us know. We can always pass on the package to the next person, or come back to you. We understand, but don’t go missing, keep talking to us!
I would like every week to have some sort of communication. Either a picture on the flickr group, posting to the flickr group, or an email directly to me (faerydaydreams @ gmail.com). Something to let me know you are still with us.
-Each row should be unique. Try not to repeat what other rows have done. We want variety.
-Fabric & Rows must be placed in zip top bags. Please don’t use the slide zipper style bags as this adds quite a bit to shipping.
-Everyone must put a note/card in with their first row. On it should be the owner's name, email address, mail address, likes/dislikes. this will stay with the quilt rows the whole swap.
-Do not attach your row to the next row! This will be done by the quilt owner. They will be able to decide if they want sashing and what order they want the rows to be in
-Treat each quilt with respect, keeping it in a clean, dry and safe place.
-You will always pass the quilt to the next person on the list following your name. The last person always sends to the first person on the list.
-When you send you must email the organizer, owner, & person you’re sending it to.
When you receive you must email the organizer, owner, & person who sent it to you.
You must get delivery confirmation!
-Follow the Golden Rule of Quilting "work on another’s quilt like you would your own!"
We will be doing a mystery block row quilt. You will decide on a broad theme or colors for your quilt (ex: all purple, stars, Christmas, etc). The other swappers will decide on the blocks to use, thus the mystery!
Everyone must put a note/card in with their first row. On it should be the owner’s name, email address, mail address, likes/dislikes. Everyone will do their best to make a row they believe you will like. You should not try to dictate what is on your quilt. You can suggest or make requests, but they may not be followed exactly as you had hoped. Feel free to list colors/color schemes that you prefer. Feel free to give it a “theme,” but remember to keep it simple.
(Example 1: Colors- green, red, white, Dislike- orange, Theme- Christmas, Dislike- please no angels. [This is fairly detailed, but totally do-able by everyone]
Example 2: Colors- I only want red, teal, and yellow, Theme- I want only pinup girls in Cowgirl outfits. They all must have blond hair. [This would be really limiting, if you want a quilt like that, go for it, (I'd love to see it!) but this isn’t that type of swap])
You will make your own first row. That row will set the tone, colors, length, and orientation of the rows. We will make rows for a quilt that is either 48" to 60" long. You decide what the length of rows should be for your top. One swapper may want a top no larger than 48" and another swapper may need their top to be 60". (please note: these are 'finished' row lengths, a 60" top will actually measure 60.5" with the seam allowance etc)You may make your top Vertical or Horizontal. Do not attach your row to the previous row. Place your row in the bag with the other rows and pass it on to the next name on the list. The owner will decide what order they want the rows in and if they want to add any additional sashing, rows or borders.
You must make your rows to the length and orientation (vertical/horizontal) requested by the owner. All rows need to be between 5" & 16" wide (this is up to you.) Remember there will be a seam allowance, keep that in mind when you make your rows.
**Edited To Add- You will be supplying the fabric for each row that you make. You can use from stash and/or go buy, but please use fabric that the owner will like and use 100% cotton fabrics. If you have a fabric or two that you really would like the other rows to have you may include that when you mail your row. Put a note on your card that you would really like if they would be able to include that fabric in your row somehow.
Block Pattern & Size
You will decide each month which block pattern would be best for a quilt as it comes to you. All blocks in a row do not have to be the same pattern or even the same size. Blocks don’t have to be square. Please do not repeat blocks used in a previous row for that quilt. We want you to use your creativity and this is all part of the challenge. Be sure to use whole blocks … no half blocks, please. Keep with the theme of the quilt using your own fabric and any fabrics that may have been mailed. Traditional piecing, paper piecing, or finished applique, make the row special for the owner.
The deadline to pass the quilt on will be either the 1st of the month or the 15th. The deadline to mail your first row and any theme / background fabrics is April 1st. If you finish a row early, then please send it on. When you mail out each package, please use a label and put the next person’s mailing address on the outside of the Ziploc bag that contains all the rows! If the package becomes damaged en route, then the postal people have a name and address to forward it to. *If you are mailing in the US please buy a tracking number. If you are mailing the rows to a different country than yours, please make sure the rows are sent airmail. Please be aware that there may be International swappers in your group. The earlier you can get the rows mailed if they are going out of the country the better. Do not mail your rows if you know the person you are mailing to has more than two sets of rows already, please contact your hostess for further information. Please post weekly, whenever you mail and receive a package of rows. Communication is vital to the success of this swap!
Mail dates for these rows will be;
April 1st (Your starter row)
If you have any troubles, questions, or comments anytime during or before the swap, please ask, you probably aren't the only one. You can email me at faerydaydreams @ gmail (dot) com, or leave a comment here.
To Sign Up
Send me an email at faerydaydreams @ gmail.com (take the spaces away from around the @ symbol before sending.)In that email please include the following;
Mailing address (include zipcode & country)
your flickr account (if you have one)
blog address (if you have one)
Do you mind sending outside of the USA ?
If you know already, what your color/theme preferences would be. (If you don't know yet that's ok)
Any questions or comments you may have, or anything else you want people to know
*There has been some interest from people outside the US, so I thought if enough people don't mind sending outside the States, we could include them. If not we'll do that on another round or maybe one group will have international senders and one won't.
PS. I am looking to have a button pic made up. If anyone is interested let me know!
Participants (so far)
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
It can be vegetarian quite easily. I use homemade Chicken stock, that’s what I prefer and I always have some in my freezer. You could just as easily use vegetable stock.
I don’t measure at all, so these are guesstimates. Start less, you can always add to taste.
Oh, and this makes a ton of soup, because it freezes like a dream!
2-3 Large Cans of Black Beans Drained & rinsed a bit
1 can refried beans (Vegetarian if you’re going that route)
1-2 boxes of Stock (Chicken or Vegetable) This is a preference thing. I like mine thicker, my kids like it thinner.
¼ cup dried minced onion
2 Tbsp Diced jalapeno or more if you like (use fresh, jarred, canned, whatever)
¼ cup chopped up red pepper (you could use from frozen)
~2 cloves of garlic minced (you can use the jar stuff)
cumin (I start with a good palm full)
~ 1-2 Tsp cayenne powder (depending on how hot you like it, that would be medium)
½ tsp chili powder
salt ( not much, canned beans tend to be salty, you can always add more)
Fresh Cilantro (I’m sorry I think this is a must & I use a ton!)
1 Tbsp Lime juice (optional I like it)
¼ cup Prepared Salsa/Pico (fresher the better though)
Dump all of the ingredients in a big pot and cook on medium heat until it starts to bubble a bit, stirring occasionally. It should take about 20-30 minutes. Put in bowl, top if desired. Eat. Makes a ton, freeze extras if you want.
1-2 bags of dried black beans
1 can refried beans
8 cups or so of homemade stock (more if you like it thinner, less if you like it thicker)
¼ cup diced onion
¼ cup diced red pepper
2 jalapenos diced
2 cloves garlic minced
A palm full of dried cumin
1-2 Tsp Cayenne powder depending on how hot you like it
½ tsp chili powder
salt (Usually about 2-3 Tablespoons worth, but I don’t salt my stock or beans, so it needs it)
Fresh Cilantro (LOTS!)
Juice of 1 lime (optional, I like it, hubby not so much)
¼ cup salsa/pico (I use my recipe)
In a huge slow cooker, soak beans night before according to package directions. In the morning drain and rinse (helps prevent a lot of excess gas.) Return beans to slow cooker. Saute onion and red pepper in a bit of butter/olive oil until tender. Add to slow cooker. Add everything except the cilantro and toppings. Cook all day on low (4 hours or so)
10 minutes before serving add cilantro. Cook for 10 min. Put in bowl, top as desired. Enjoy. Freeze leftovers if desired.
It’s a “wing it” recipe. Everyone has slightly different tastes, so some things are less appealing. Go with what your family likes.
Monday, February 2, 2009
First, I'm just going to throw out a line and see if anyone is interested. This isn't an official sign up! I simply want to know if there is enough interest out there to proceed.
I'm thinking of hosting a Row Robin Quilt Swap.
For those of you who don't know, (this was a new concept to me until recently,) You create a row up to 54" long (determined by the owner.) You would be allowed to use applique, piecing, etc... to create this row. Then you send what you made to the next person and they make a row for this quilt also. This continues through all of the participants. Then the quilt strips would be sent to the owner and she/he would piece them together and have a finished quilt top. I think there would be 5-6 people per quilt.
If you are having difficulties picturing what this would look like. Imagine some of the most beautiful row quilts. Here are a few I found online. Some were row robin swaps while others were done by a single person.
memaquilter's row robin quilt
Pat on the hill's row robin quilt
krommama's liberated row quilt
dianezirin's rowrowrow your quilt
cactuspatches christmas row quilt
stitchnagain's row quilt
These are just a few that I thought were quite lovely.
I know life happens, so I believe in generous craft times!
So, anyone interested?
If you are even a little interested please leave a comment on here. We only need 4-5 interested to do it!
***Edited to add, I think since this is my first non-affiliated swap to host (I've hosted tons on craftster,) and because of the style of swap this is, it will be a USA only swap. If I get a lot of interested from international parties, I may revisit this***
Thursday, January 29, 2009
As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too. How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:
To the Parents of Young Students:Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.
To the Avid Reader:Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.Article from the American Library Association http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=1322
To the Lover of All Things Handmade:Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.
To the Environmentalist:Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.
To the Second-Hand Shopper:Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.
To the Entrepreneur:Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.
To the Antique Toy Collector:Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123189645948879745.html
To the American Economy:Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.
To the Worldwide Economy:Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses. If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/16/cpsia-safety-toys-oped-cx_wo_0116olson.html
And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Lawhttp://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html
Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The stuffed jalapenos recipe (did I mention they are wrapped in bacon!!) came from The Pioneer Woman Cooks blog. They were quite delicious, but I still think they were missing something. So I may have to make up another batch and fool with it a bit.
The tostadas were leftover beef roast, sauteed onion & red pepper, portabello mushrooms, refried beans, black olives, Monterrey jack cheese, Colby cheese (for the boys,) greens, & my homemade salsa. Unfortunately it was canned tomatoes, as I couldn't get my hands on enough fresh ones, but it is quite delicious. I don't really use a recipe, I totally wing it, and it's always a touch different every time, but I'll leave a guideline style recipe in case you're interested.
Fresh & Yummy Salsa
- 1 28oz can petite diced tomatoes; drained (I save the drainings for chili)
- 1-2 diced up jalapenos (if you like spicy leave in some seeds and veins, otherwise get rid of the seeds and veins)
- 1 small-medium onion diced (I prefer red usually, but I had a sweet onion and a red last night that I used)
- Juice of one lime
- salt (I use sea salt) & fresh crushed black pepper to taste
- fresh cilantro (I use a good handful)
- Dried cumin (I use about a big palm full)
- Chili powder (not much, only about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon full)
Mix all together and let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Eat
This salsa is perfect for chips or with tacos and such, but it doesn't always work very well in the casseroles that call for adding salsa. It's maybe more of a tomato filled pico than a salsa that you'd buy in the grocery stores in USA.
I hope you enjoy! I know we did!
Friday, January 23, 2009
Now I was going to go a little crazy, I know completely unlike me =)
I was going to make a quiche for breakfast, pot pies for lunch (the kids are home and we got Jo a day early!) and a Shepherd's Pie or Pizza Pies for Supper with pie for dessert.
First off, I think that is way too much crust for anyone in one day! So instead I think I will simply make one pie today. It's been so cold and it's supposed to get really cold again, I am wishing for spring. I have some leftover rhubarb in the freezer, so I think a delicious rhubarb pie sounds about right for today. The kids can help me bake it. And Tim hates rhubarb, so we may eat it after lunch! I'll probably make him an apple pie or something, he will be hard at work today, he should get some pie too!
How will you celebrate this joyous Pie Day?
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Here he is standing like the Statue of Liberty
It's a Federal Glass Patio Snack Set. I have four cups and 4 plates. There is a lovely little groove for the cups to set in. The bottom is sort of "skid resistant". I love, love, LOVE it! I got it for $5 at Goodwill of all places. Now I want another set, so that I can have snack with my nieces. The boys adore it and wanted to use them right away. Unfortunately one of the plates has really old masking tape adhesive on it, and I had to soak it overnight with some oil. It came off no problem. So tonight I'll have to make a supper that will fit on these plates.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Some that I remember growing up with;
- Harry the Dirty Dog
- Pokey Little Puppy
- Goodnight Moon
- On top of Spaghetti ( I cannot find the version I loved anywhere)
- The Velveteen Rabbit
Some of the books that my children have loved/I loved reading to them;
- Goodnight Moon
- I spy books (one of many)
- No David
- The Spider & The Fly this is my absolute favorite retelling!
- Where the Sidewalk Ends
- How I Became A Pirate
I know there are tons more, but I'm drawing a blank. There are so many great ones out there. What were/are your favorite children's books?
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
A small peak into my crafty endeavors of 08.... let's see what 09 brings!
I thought I should go back a year and see what my goals were for the coming year.... now let's see how I did!?!
-Make all of my boys a mommy made quilt. well, I've started all of them
-Make a Christmas Tree Skirt and Stockings again, I've started all of them
-Make Tim things (especially a throw/quilt) I made him a checkbook cover does that count?
-Help Boys make a quilt for Grandma Wanda They kept changing their minds, so it didn't get done
-Make a window quilt (or more than one) Nope
-Help the boys make and publish a comic book We made them, we didn't get them published though
-Make dessert for the family at least 2 times a month I DID THIS ONE!!!
-Make our home more OURS (Paint Kitchen and Dinning Room, etc) Living room is painted, laundry room in process, and kitchen shelves are mine!
-Spend one WHOLE day with each of my kids individually, doing what THEY want. Stop and breathe more. YEP!
-Open an etsy shop I never seem to get enough "stock" to feel I am able to.
-Work cleaning and exercises into my daily routine. More of it yes, perfecting... not even close
-Embrace quiet Oh, I'm embracing and giving it a full on tongue kiss!
-Call my best friend at least once a month non-prompted! Every other month.... not quite up to what I had hoped, but closer.
So out of 13 goals I have 6 that I've done, 4 about half way, and the rest no. It could be worse.
- Finish a quilt for each of my boys
- Form better cleaning habits
- Open an etsy shop
- Finish Stockings
- Make this home even more ours
Yep that's it. Not much. Keep it simple and hopefully do-able.
I wish you all the best in the coming New Year!
Our December is always crazy it's expected. We were really happy this year, because we were going to have the whole last week/first week of the year off, as a family, to do family fun stuff.
-Beginning of December I broke a tooth.... no dental insurance... expensive crown needed. Bummer.
-Right before Christmas break, my hubby's first 2 days off and we were hoping to get our stuff done while the kids still had school, the boys ended up having off because of the weather. No biggie, but unable to get stuff accomplished.
-Day before Christmas eve, plumber informs us we need a new toilet because my niece somehow managed to get a tweezers stuck in our toilet, and there was no way to get it out with out destroying the toilet. We tried. Expensive, and a pain.
-My brother and his family need help moving on the other side of the state. We help, but it cut deep into our family (immediate) time.
-We get back and our wall in our laundry room has decided to collapse....we had to fix it, and be without laundry for the rest of our vacation.
-The weather has been horrible both weeks. Too cold for the kids to go out and play. We've been getting on each others nerves instead of enjoying each other.
-Today I was hoping for a little peace and quiet, so I could come back to missing them..... well, they have a delay this morning because of weather.... THEY ARE STILL HERE!
I know I love them, I know I will miss them when they do go off to school, but right now...... boy I hope the rest of this year is much smoother.
They have off all day!