Friday, February 29, 2008

This is Fashion?

I went to the high school this morning for a fashion show. Silly, huh? Prom Preview it was called. Mac had been asked to be a model. His dad took him to the local florist where Mac picked out a tuxedo all on his own. Complete with bow tie and vest. He did a great job. I was excited to see the prom line-up. That is, I was excited until I got there. Mac looked great, as did the majority of the other young men. However, I was totally unprepared for the outfits that these young ladies had on, and I hesitate to use the word ladies here.

Ladies, no. S*ex Kit*tens, yes. And you know what I really want to know? What are their parents thinking? Mac knew I would be upset. He said that even the other guys couldn't believe the dresses that these girls were modeling. Shameless! Really, I'm not exaggerating.

How about this little number. Or this one. Or this. One of the girls wore a dress with this cut, but in a leopard print. She looked like she ought to be on her honeymoon! Have a look around this site, and you'll get a very good idea of what I saw today.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, the girl who was emceeing the show talked about "how s*exy you could look in this little number." What happened to wanting to look beautiful, elegant, and lovely? Now all the girls want is to entice and to see who can draw the most attention.

Thankfully, Verne had to work, and couldn't make it to see Mac. And Collin was at the Federal Courthouse with a Boy Scout outing. It was bad enough that the girls and I had to sit through this horrific show, and that Mac was a part of it.

Parents, it's time to stop looking the other way, and get busy leading our children. Don't be afraid to say "No." And have the courage to make your children put some clothes on!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

You Should Smell My Closet!

My ever helpful husband installed shelving in a corner of our walk in closet for my soap business. It has to cure for four weeks before I sell it, and takes a lot of room! Since the door is always closed, the fragrance is very strong every time I walk in there. Not a bad thing! I certainly don't have to buy air freshener.

When I take the soap out of the molds, I trim each bar. I collect the shavings and set them in pretty bowls in different rooms. Easy and economical potpourri!

A bowl of almond shavings:

A bowl of beer soap shavings, scented with orange and clove.

And there are new soaps in my shop today!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hubby Made a Cubby

Title by Autumn. Anyway, when Grandma came to live with us two years ago, she brought her recipes along. Yippeeee!!!! I was thrilled to have them.

She had them in a long index box, and it had to sit on the counter to the right of the stove.

Not a big deal, but 6 inches really is a lot of space on a counter.

I recently got an idea to put them under the upper cabinets. I mentioned this to my wonderful husband, and he got right to work.

Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate, and he got set back, not being able to stain and polyurethane outside.

He did get it finished, and installed it this weekend.

My counter is freed up once again. Thanks, sweetheart!

Oh, and speaking of recipes, there's a new one over at Mama's Fixins!

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Crochet News

Last week I wrote about Project Linus, and I showed some Granny Squares that I had been working on. Those squares didn't go into my Linus afghan. When we got to the class, we were furnished with crochet hooks and yarn. I had to buy extra yarn to complete my project, but I finished it last night. It measures 46 x 35 inches.

Here it is, in soft pastels.

I also mentioned that I was working on a second type of flower, and that once I got it finished, I would share the pattern. It turned out so cute!

To begin: Chain 5, join with a sl st to first chain to form a ring

Rnd 1: Chain 2 (counts as 1 sc), work 15 sc into ring, join with slip stitch to beginning ch

Rnd 2: * Chain 4, skip 2 sc, sl st in next sc; repeat from * 4 more times, ending last st in base of beginning chain

Rnd 3: In each ch 4 sp around work ( 1 sc, 4 dc, 1 tr, 4 dc, 1 sc); join with sl st to first sc

Rnd 4: *Chain 5, sl st between next 2 sc (between petals); repeat from * 4 more times, ending with a sl st to base of beginning chain

Rnd 5:In each ch 5 sp, ch 1, work ( 1sc, 5dc, 3tr, 5dc, 1sc) around, ending with a sl st to beginning ch. End yarn, leaving a tail of at least 6 ". Weave tail into flower and cut.

This isn't a small flower, but is very pretty!

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Creating Your Own Recipes

Do you ever experiment by making a recipe of your own? I've done so many times. Sometimes they turn out wonderfully, other times, they are okay, but I wouldn't necessarily make them again. Thankfully, I've never had a total flop.

Many years ago, Mac requested a Black Forest Cheesecake for his birthday. I couldn't find a recipe, and I set out to make it anyway. I spent all day, and quite a bit of money making that cheesecake. After supper, the moment of truth came. The birthday candles were blown out, and the cheesecake was served. I placed the remaining 2/3 of the uneaten cheesecake on a stand in the kitchen while we ate in the dining room.

That cheesecake was delicious. Mac oohed and aahed with each bite. I was so proud! Suddenly, there came a loud noise from the kitchen. Our very dumb basset hound (that we no longer have , NOT due to this episode!) had gotten up to the stand, and pulled the cheesecake over.

When I entered the kitchen, he was helping himself to the mess on the floor. I was so angry! And the worst part? I didn't think to write the recipe down as I was making it! I've never made Black Forest Cheesecake again. Someday...

This morning, I woke early, and decided to experiment in the kitchen before heading out to worship. This time I did write the recipe down. Two recipes, in fact! One is for normal people, the other is for low-carb eaters like myself. Let me tell you, it's not much fun to watch everyone else eat the homemade soft pretzels, cinnamon rolls, and cakes that you make when you can't eat them yourself. I need to get creative! Although this cake isn't low-carb enough to eat everyday, it's still a nice treat, without the guilt.

The verdict? Even Grandma said that the cake was delicious. A winner! And I wrote it all down so I can make it again! The recipes for Ginger Pear Cake, and Lower Carb Ginger Pear Cake can be found at Mama's Fixins.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Guess What I Get to do Today?

Tax Sign

Edited to Add: It's 8:00 PM, and I'm finished. With ours and our son, Mac's. This is the first year he had a job. He's happy to be getting a small refund! Yea!!!
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Friday, February 22, 2008

Blogiversary Winner

Congratulations to my Canadian friend, Beck! Are you wondering what exactly it is that you won? Here is a little something to help you welcome Spring!

♥ Lindt Chocolate
♥ Handmade Lavender soap with a hand-crocheted soap sleeve
♥ a handmade almond scented Lotion Bar
♥ two hand crocheted flowers
♥ a Sweet Violet Yankee candle
♥ a Vanilla Lime Yankee candle
♥ an egg shaped dish featuring flowers and a pretty little butterfly

I'm thankful for each of you that visit me each day and share your lives with me!

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls- Take II, Blogging Anniversary, and a Giveaway

It seems I've missed my blogging anniversary by two days. I thought I started later than that. Leave me a comment today. De-lurk, and let me know you are out there. I'll pick a winner for a giveaway tomorrow evening at 9 PM.

Can you smell them? I posted the recipe almost a year ago, and it's been almost that long since I've made them. Pour yourself a cuppa and enjoy.

This one's for you!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Project Linus

It's been awhile since Mac (almost 17) and his buddies have been able to practice for their band, Civic Service. He was hoping for a snow day so that they could come over and practice today. I told him if they didn't have school, the guys would be welcome here. We discussed how today would be better than tomorrow as I explained that the other children and I are heading to the library for a Project Linus class.

"Project Linus?", Mac asked. I explained how we are going to learn to crochet blankets for babies. He thought I said we were going to crochet babies. "Mom," he replied, "Now, I know that I'm not extremely familiar with the process of how babies are made, but I think that it takes a little more than crochet."

Proud of my quick wit, I responded, "You're right, Mac! Psalm 139 says, 'For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.' "

He smirked, and told me that I shouldn't try to play God. I then explained that we are crocheting baby blankets that will be donated. The entire conversation tickled my funny bone. By the way, school was open.

To find out more about Project Linus, visit here.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Pocket Full of Posies

At the request of Hannah, here are the directions to make this sweet little crochet flower. These would be adorable attached to a hat, a purse, or your lapel. The list goes on and on.

What you need:

4 mm crochet hook ;7 yards yarn; yarn needle

1.) Start by making a chain of six stitches.

2.) Join to the first stitch with a slip stitch.

3.) Chain three.

4.) Make 14 double crochets right into the center of the ring.

5.) Attach with a slip stitch. To do this, push your hook into the space between the chain of three and the first double crochet.

6.) Chain 1.

7.) In the next stitch, make three stitches: 1 half double, 1 double, 1 triple.

8.) In the next stitch make three more stitches: 1 triple, 1 double, 1 half double. Chain 1.

9.) Make a slip stitch into the next stitch.

10.) Repeat steps 6-9 until you have 5 petals. Make a slip stitch into the last stitch.

11.) Cut the end of the yarn until it's about 6 inches long. Pull it all the way through the last stitch to tie it off. Weave the loose yarn into the flower.

The flower in the top right hand corner is a different pattern. I'm still working on that one. ;o)

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Set a Pretty Table

... your love for your family should be shown every day, not just on Valentine's Day.
...dinner seems a little more special.
...children tend to be more careful, and manners are used.
...even brussel sprouts are savored over a pretty table.

You can find the recipe for Tender Baked Mustard Chicken at Mama's Fixins.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Show and Tell Friday: A Case for Crochet

Show and Tell

Welcome to Show and Tell Friday. To participate, head over to Kelli's House.

A fabric store that is local to us sells sheets and pillowcases by the pound. Some are more expensive than others. It all depends on the thread count. On an outing several months ago, I picked up several interesting pillowcases. Not for the sake of the pillowcases, but because I liked the fabrics, and thought I could transform them.

UFO's or WIP's. No matter what you call them, I have lots! This week, I decided I was going to start AND finish this project that had been formulated in my brain for some time now. I wanted to make a case for my crochet hooks and knitting needles. The pillowcase that I found looked like it had been knitted, but it's just a very high thread count cotton!

I started by ripping out all of the seams to this pillowcase. Then I cut the pillowcase in half. I used fleece to line it, and interfaced some coordinating fabric for the pockets, making it very sturdy.

The case folds in thirds...

I machine quilted a flap that folds over the inside contents, insuring that they won't fall out the top. The quilting makes the flap less bulky so that it will lay flatter.

I made sure there were a few larger compartments for holding scissors, a stitch gauge, and a ring full of stitch markers.

I was unsure of how to hold it all together, but decided to sew these buttons on the cover. They had a similar look to the knitting pattern on the cotton. I then used a silky brown ribbon to wrap around the buttons and tie in a bow.

all opened up...the outside view

...the inside view

I even had time to learn how to make flowers and granny squares. Woo hoo!

I'm really enjoying crochet, but learning from a book is HARD! Autumn's friend let her borrow this book and it really helped with the granny squares. If you're wanting to learn crochet, I'd highly recommend that you start with this book. It's written more clearly than anything else I've seen and has excellent illustrations.

And guess what? I still have another half of the pillowcase. I may make a separate case just for knitting.

Thanks for stopping by today!

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Each year when our children were very young, I would make them a simple dinner and feed them early. I would prepare a nice dinner for Verne, and the children would serve us. After serving, they would entertain us with skits and songs. It was so much fun for everyone! As the children have gotten older, the skits and songs have ended, and they eat with us on Valentine's Day.

We've never made a big deal with cards, flowers and gifts. Well, except the one year. Instead we find love and joy in the everyday. Verne asked me to come to work with him today. I don't know if I've ever said before, but he is in sales, and drives long distances each day. I had to wake at 4:30 AM. We had breakfast from a greasy spoon out of styrofoam containers, standing, while talking to an account. We've been in the car for 8 hours, and it's not even 2 PM. We are together. Verne has expressed many times throughout the morning that he's glad I rode along. He's glad he doesn't have to travel the miles solo today. He's glad that I'm keeping him company. We got to smooch while getting a car wash, and had a lovely lunch. You may not think it a romantic Valentine's Day, but there's no where else I'd rather be.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Black Bean Burritos

This was tonight's supper. I made them years ago, and then forgot about them. Do you do that too? Collin has been requesting them, and I'm glad. I had forgotten just how easy and good they are. Try them with Tostitos tortilla chips with lime and some salsa as a side!

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, minced
olive oil
lime juice
sour cream

In a large skillet, heat 3 Tbls. Olive Oil. Add garlic and saute until soft. Add black beans. Stir often, until beans are hot. Remove beans from skillet, and place in a food processor. Drizzle with lime juice and puree beans. Serve on warm tortillas with cheese, sour cream, etc.

By the way, I tripled this for a family of seven big eaters! And I forgot to take a picture.

Looking for a way to impress your sweetie on Valentine's Day? Try the recipe for Chocolate Truffles at Mama's Fixins!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lotion Bars

with a tin...

or provide your own the shop!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Pretty Almond Soaps

For those of you whom have purchased almond soap from me, yes, these do look different. More of the good oils, and a harder, longer lasting bar. AND, a pretty design on top. The design was made by dying the soap with all-natural paprika!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hearts Abound

Yesterday evening, Abigail, Collin, and I made Valentine cookies. Dozens and dozens of hearts. And hands with hearts cut out of the palm.

I made this one especially for Autumn. She's studying sign language, and this is the sign for "I love you". I left the fingers all intact on the rest of them.

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