Thursday, August 27, 2009

Market Skirt

I made this cute skirt for Mika out of scraps from Linkon's quilt and the white was some super cheap fabric I picked up at Walmart. I had to double it so it wouldn't be see through. The pocket called for a cute button, but Mika hasn't gotten over her fear of buttons yet, so no button on this skirt! I only did one pocket so you could see more of the cute Blast Off fabric. It was a perfect skirt for her brothers birthday, since I didn't get a photo of them all that day, I took this one the other day at the park. Kind of goofy, but at least you can see her whole outfit! Find the tutorial here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Matt hanging with the Celebrities

Long ago before Matt and I met, he worked at Cooks on Crocus Hill teaching cooking classes. Some of the classes were co-taught with Andrew Zimmern from Bizarre Foods. Andrew featured Matt on his blog last week, read it all here! How cool is that?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Treasured Items

We went back to my hometown recently for my 20th high school reunion. It was a nice time. The kids had fun swimming in the hotel pool with us and I got to see lots of old friends. One other benefit was stopping in to see my step-grandmother, Pearl. My grandmother died 1982 and my grandfather in 1992 but many of their things are still in the house and Pearl still keeps it pretty much as it was. Unfortunately she was ill and we didn't get to stay and chat long but Matt and I did manage to bring my grandmothers' old treadle sewing machine downstairs and out to our van and now it has found a place in our spare room. We're calling it the vintage room. Pearl also gave me one of the quilts my mother and grandmother made and finished when they were alive so that means so much to me. I love the quilt. The colors and style fit in the room very nicely. It took quite awhile to clean up the machine and table but it was well worth it and it just needs a new belt or I may be able to fix it. The vintage sewing manual has arrived from ebay as the one that was in it had been damaged in a flood long ago. The machine also housed lots of other goodies including two unopened satin blanket bindings and an item we don't know what it is. So if anyone has any ideas, let me know! On a sewing blog, they've suggested that it is a pin frog used for flower arranging which it does look like, Alana and just can't figure out why it was in the sewing table. So now I think our guest room is almost complete. I just need to find our create some artwork. Our chaise is thanks to Wendy and it works perfectly in the room too. Want to come and visit?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cookies--Week 4 and 5

Ok, so I kind of failed on my Lemon Squares review. After searching the MSLiving page, I couldn't find the recipe for the lemon squares that I made out of the cookie book but she has plenty of other lemon bar/square recipes. Matt liked them lots, but I had a couple and that was enough to satisfy my craving. I guess I'm not much of lemon "bar" type of person. They are VERY lemony. Super lemony. Matt loves lemonade and can drink it everyday, twice a day. That is too much for me and if I'm making a bar or cookie, I'd like to indulge in it twice a day but didn't want to with the lemon bars. The kids only liked the crust. Not too surprising. I had him take the pan to work. It came back empty. This recipe also called to line the pan completely in parchment and the butter to lift the bars out which I did not do and the bars came out just fine with a sharp knife so make sure you make them in a glass pan so you don't scratch a metal one.

Surprise Cookies
These were super good. Kids loved them, I loved them. Matt didn't get too many since he was traveling. I'll make some more since I didn't use all of the frosting it called for and we'll make some more in the next day or two. My first batch was a little burnt on the bottom since I kind of forgot that once you baked them for the allotted amount of time you have to top them with the half marshmallow and bake for 2 more minutes. So I recommend baking only 8 minutes and then 3-4 minutes with the marshmallow to get it a little toasty and a more developed flavor to the marshmallow, but that is probably a personal preference. I didn't cover the marshmallow completely with the frosting either so it really isn't a surprise, but that much frosting was a little overkill to me. Our neighbors liked them and the 7 year old boy thought they should be called s'mores cookies. They would just be missing the graham cracker. Martha remarks in the book that it is reminiscent of a hot chocolate. I can go with that. Also the recipe calls for whole milk and I just can't buy a half gallon of it when I'm already buying two kinds of milk--2% worked just fine. (photo taken from the Martha Stewart Cookies book)

Robot Party

Jasper had a wonderful party! He loved that everyone was there to celebrate with him and was excited about his cake. His favorite part of the cake was the little bolt eyes and had to eat them and of course he loved them. They were made of almond paste and very sugary! I think we did pretty good for our first fondant cake. I searched all over the web for Robot cake inspiration but found none. There was one awesome one, that I didn't dare try recreate and it had lots of airbrushing, but don't own a $200 cake decorating airbrush set and it isn't on my list of things to get! I used plastic curtain rod molds for the arms. They held the rods in the box from Jaspers' new book "shelf", when I unpacked the rods, I thought, "hey, this might make a good robot arm!" and it worked perfectly. It was a rainy day so we ended up inside instead of at the park like planned but it was still a nice party. I wish I would have taken more photos. I was hoping to get a photo of all the kids in their robot shirts but completely forgot in all the party revelry. It was a good weekend. We especially loved having all the family and friends here. Thanks to everyone for a great weekend!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Purse on my birthday

My super sweet husband gave me the day off on my birthday last week and I took the day to finish up a skirt for Mika (will post photos later) and make myself a purse. I'm super happy with how it turned out, being my first one. Next time I'll either use a heavier fabric or some interfacing. I had received this fabric in a scraps stack I ordered in hopes to use on a quilt for my sister. Sorry, I just had to use it in the purse. The print was too big for her quilt anyway. The purse pattern is free from a blog and you can find it here. It's called the Buttercup purse and you can also see many versions of it on flickr. That night after a wonderful day to myself of sewing, organizing and getting stuff done, Matt made me my requested birthday dinner of Buffalo Shrimp. Seems like an odd request, but I had them in Florida with my friend Rose years ago and loved them and it's not like we can get them here on the prairie. He made his own batter and buffalo sauce. We ate a pound and a half. Yummy!

I was sick last Monday so I didn't make cookies but I did make some Pinapple Macadamia muffins for our trip up north. They were missing something... we decided it was white chocolate chips. Then I think they'll be a winner! I did make Lemon Bars tonight and will do a review and find a link for the recipe later this week.