Thursday, April 30, 2009

They're Supposed To Be Working

but instead decided to take a break and play a few games of OUT... and one is still in bed sleeping! Get working, I say! They're digging a new trench for the invisible dog fence to keep the dog in the back. Seems our neighbor gets a bit irritated when our dog barks when people walk by or ATV's ramble up the street. We live on a private road and we don't get much action here, so I like the dog to warn me when anyone's around. Now he'll have to do all his warning from the backyard.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spring Top Number Two

This is the second top I made, Simplicity 4589. This one gave me a bit of trouble. For some reason, I couldn't get the neckline to line up right. I ended fudging the entire neckline. It came out O.K...not perfect, though. It also is a bit short. I'm long-legged and short-waisted anyway so it would probably have been fine except that I like to wear low-rise jeans so I would have liked the top to be just a bit longer. I should have checked that beforehand, but didn't. If I were to make this top again, which I probably won't because it gave me so much trouble, I would choose a more giving fabric; something more flowly, lengthen it, and redesign the neckline... which is a joke because I have enough trouble just following a pattern, let alone redesigning it! Anyway, I'll wear it just the same.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Top Week is Here!

Wow, that came awfully fast! Remember I posted about this weeks ago? The Made by Rae Spring Top Week officially began today. I have three tops done so far. I'd love to squeeze one or two more in by the end of the week, but I don't know. Anyway, here is my first top: Simplicity It's So Easy 2962. It was very easy and fits me quite nicely, too. I used a soft cotton blend material I bought last year. I loved the print then and now that it's sewn up, like it even more. I will surely make another top from this pattern.
If you'd like some inspiration to get you going, click on my sidebar on the Spring Top pic thingee and visit Rae's blog. She has lots of links to other people's tops and a free pattern by her! It looks like a fun week ahead!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Seedlings and Chickens

The chickens are enjoying the freedom to roam the yard. They're supposed to stay contained in their own 'playground' but lately have been able to fly over their fence. My husband will clip their wings this weekend to keep them where they're supposed to be. I wouldn't mind, but trying to avoid chicken droppings isn't fun.

My seedlings that I planted in March are doing really good. I put them out on nice days to get some fresh air and direct sunshine.

Normally they're stuck on the windowsill and a table I set up in my bedroom. They do get plenty of sunshine though, even there. On Memorial Day weekend I will plant them in the garden. My father-in-law always said not to plant until that weekend, as we nearly always get one more frost before that. Every year, he's been right.
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Peek Into My Living Room

We started tearing down wall-paper on Good Friday and had the walls painted and the room back together for Easter Sunday dinner. Boy, was that a lot of work. All the kids helped though, one way or another, and I'm happy with the finished room. The name of the paint is Covington Blue by Benjamin Moore. It's a beautiful color, and depending on how the sun or lack of hits it, changes the color. It's a very calming color. I bought a new picture for over the couch... my one big splurge for the room, oh and area carpet, too; O.K., two splurges for the room. I sewed the valances but still need to make some pillows for the couch and a new runner or something for the coffee table. The linens on the end tables were bought at an antique store for $1.00 each. They're hand embroidered on linen and simply beautiful. It saddens me that people don't appreciate the time, art and talent of hand-work. I think they're beautiful and am happy to have them in my home. So, beware, this post is picture heavy with some work shots along with finished room shots...

Cassidy helping to tear down wallpaper. After wetting and scraping, underneath was a bright yellow paint.

The owners before us must have liked the sunshiny look; funny I don't remember that when we looked at the house.

Kaleigh goofing around. She was a HUGE help, though. We had a lot of laughs, with music blaring and lots of dancing!

My beautiful fireplace. On the mantle is my collection of Hummels. They're delightful.

My finished valances. They're made from a soft yellow calico fabric and give a cottagey, homey feeling to the room.

Here's a view from the couch.

And another from the opposite side of the room. I sat in there last night for two hours; the longest time since we redid the room. I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Peek Into My Kitchen

Remember all that painting I was telling you about? Well, my kitchen is painted and nearly all decorated. I used a Benjamin Moore paint and was trying to get a 'vintage' feel to the room. I still have to make a wall hanging for the main wall, which I didn't take a pic of just yet, but thought I'd share some of the kitchen that is done. I picked up this bowl before I knew what color my kitchen would be. I just couldn't resist as it reminded me of my childhood; ya know, Snap, Crackle, Pop!
I thought I'd make good use of this shelf. I used to use it to hang some country"ish" things but found it to be dusty and useless. Instead I decided to hang our pretty aprons on it.

When I was shopping a few weeks ago, I went into an antique store and purchased a pretty vintage table cloth and hand embroidered, round centerpiece. I put it on the table last night before I went to bed. Oh, did it look pretty. This morning the girls were up and eating breakfast. We're talking twenty minutes into the day. They spilled milk all over it. Nope, cloth still doesn't work here... so instead this afternoon I went to the hardware store and picked up this vinyl, flannel backed table cloth. I LOVE it! Again, it takes me back. Just the look I want.

I was a busy bee this afternoon. I remembered I had this pretty green and yellow fabric in my stash. I bought it a couple years ago and intended to make one of the girls a skirt from it. I zipped up a valance and got the rod at the same time I got the tablecloth, came home and hung it up. Perfect match! And still some left over for that skirt I'm gonna make...

Remember this set up in my other room? This nook is a much better place for this work-center.

Oh, and these two little pictures are counted cross-stitch I did several years ago.
Thought this little wall space was a nice spot for them. I'll be back with more room
transformations... I'm on a roll!

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Giftee of Socks

I haven't been posting lately as I've been terribly busy finishing up school with the kiddoes and deep cleaning, painting and spiffing up the house. I really want to get most of the inside stuff done before gardening weather is here. And you know how home improvement stuff goes; once you paint one room, the next room/hall looks iffy and you just keep going. That's how it's been at my house for the past week or so, and I'm not done yet. I'll get some pics up soon.
I just celebrated my birthday on the 15th. Gary and I went out to dinner on my son, Kyle, and it was really good! I love Italian food and he got me a gift certificate to an Italian restuarant. We both really enjoyed that. I got some other nice gifts and cards, too, but thought I'd share the cute socks that Kaleigh knit up for me. After all the work I've done today, I thought I could put up my feet for just a few minutes and admire my new socks at the same time!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fresh Eggs

I hope you all enjoyed a blessed Easter. Our weekend was filled with all kinds of busyness. Lots of cooking, church, and family; but all good! Not the right time to tear off wall-paper and paint, but more on that later in the week.
Anyway, my husband is in the middle of building a new chicken coop. This old, shabby one was quickly built and was supposed to be replaced quickly. Instead, it's held up for several years. Time for the ladies to get a new home... but they'll need to just a few more weeks. Their "rent" isn't quite ready, yet. Kaleigh is here, collecting some goodies for us...

This is what she came in with.

And here are a few that the little kiddoes dyed for Easter. Any way we cook them, they're good. The yolks from fresh, home-grown eggs are almost orange and the taste is fresh and wonderful!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hot Cross Buns

Blessed Triduum to you and yours!
Hot Cross Buns was on my To-Do List today. I wanted to make sure they were all set to go tomorrow morning for breakfast. They're fresh out of the oven... and of course, I had to try one. They are G-O-O-D! I will heat them up in the morning and me and the fam will enjoy them with a cup of tea. The recipe comes from the Urban Homemaker. Once I learn how to highlight to a web-site things will be much more efficient. I've gotta learn how to do that.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spiffing Up a Bookcase and Shelves Plus A Giveaway!

My press board bookcase was not only overloaded it was also ugly. I decided to give it a good cleaning out and paint job. I put many of the books that were in there in the book room downstairs and reload it with just the things I really use. I also decided to designate a few shelves to my works-in-progress. I (meaning I directed my hubby) to sand everything first. He then put on some stuff (can't remember what it was, I'll have to ask if anyone's interested... leave me a comment)so that the paint would adhere to it. Then I (yes, I) painted the whole bookcase a pretty yellow. I brightened up that corner of the room and I'm quite happy with the end result.

I also decided to paint some white shelves that were sitting around in the garage. I painted them the same yellow and put a few baskets of sewing items in them. It sure cleaned up my sewing table drawers and now I can actually see what I have. I still have to get baskets for the top shelf and am also thinking of replacing the plastic baskets with wicker ones. I'll keep my eyes open at tag sales and flea markets for some cute storage containers.
And now some info on a GIVEAWAY! One of my daily blog roll friends is having a give-away to celebrate her 100th blog post. Quilting Memories is a delightful place to visit and is just a mouse click away. Visit Cheryl over there and take your chance at winning a gorgeous pin-cushion that she just hand-made and a book to go with it. Even if you don't win you'll have a nice visit! Hit my side-bar to get you there!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

French Knot Tutorial

Making a french knot seems to be a little confusing, but really, it's a very easy stitch once you know how to make one. I wish you could sit right here next to me, in my very cool penguin PJ's, but since you can't, I'll try my best with the help of my second rate camera, to show you how to make one, step by step. So here we go:

Thread your needle with two stands of embroidery floss and knot the end. You can use a waste knot instead, but I usually don't.

Oh, and I don't use a hoop when I embroider. I like to hold the material in my hands. So our first step is to hold the material taut. Don't be afraid to grab and crinkle it... we can always iron it later...

Next, pull the thread up through your material from the back side (with your right hand), holding your material with your (left) hand very taut.

Now, hold the thread with your (left) thumb and pointer finger, very tightly.

Now, place the needle side-ways, UNDER your thread, all the while, holding the thread taut.

Wrap your thread twice (or however many times you need to) around your needle, all the while, holding everything tightly.

Now poke your needle down into your material very close to where you came up, all the while still holding the thread and material tightly. As you pull the thread down from the underside (with your right hand), with your (left hand), guide your floss and hold floss tightly to make a nice, neat knot.

Ta-daaa... you're done. Now try again. You probably didn't get it the first time through, but if you keep trying a few times, I think you'll get it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Making Bread and Spring Top Week!

I did a bit of sewing today. I'm going to join Rae from the Made by Rae blog. Beginning April 27-May 1 you can participate in making yourself tops... from one to five. I'm going to see what I can do, as I have patterns and material waiting to be made into spring/summer tops that I bought last year. I'm up for the challenge as I'd like to use up what I've bought and make myself some cute tops. Hit my side bar to go directly to her blog.

I also made some delicious bread. I got the recipe from It's a wonderful recipe and I can make six loaves of bread without one of those expensive heavy-duty mixers. I just use a hand-held mixer. Look on Granny's blog and hit her Bread post, scroll down to the comments and see where she answered my question about the mixer. She saved me $400.00 because I almost bought one, but had a real hard time parting with that kind of money! Check out her blog, but do so when you have a lot of time. Her blog is wonderful!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Knitted Friendship Scarf

I have four friends that I'm on a Yahoo group with. One of the ladies organized our little group as we were all friends with her. She asked each of us if we wanted to belong to her little knitting group and swap projects. Without all knowing one another,we all blindly agreed. It has turned out to be a wonderful decision for all of us. We've found friendship, prayer, support and of course, great knitting buddies. We decided to knit a round-robin scarf. This one is mine... I started it with a garter border and six stitch border on either side. I then knit 16" or so of a pattern stitch. I then mailed it to the next person and she knitted whatever pattern stitch she wanted for 16" or so, then passed it on to the next person, and the next. While my scarf was being passed across the country, I was getting in their scarf and knitting on it. What fun! As we knitted on each others scarves, we prayed for that person's intentions. When I wrap the scarf around my neck, I feel like I have a hug from each of my knitting buddies.

Each is an example of a different stitch...

Some are reversible...

Some are not...

It really didn't matter what we knit, as long as it was pretty!

I have no idea what our next project will be, but I know whatever it is, I'll cherish it as it will be passed through my very good friends' hands.