August 19, 2010

Making Things Happen!

So I did get something started.

  I was excited to try a little project like one that I had read about some time ago. It was the sweetest little pink house in a hoop.  I didn't wish to copy this exactly because I had also in mind to do a project for Autumn.

I've wanted to make a small quilted project before I tackle a large quilt (which I plan to make one for a Christmas gift, hopefully).  I thought this would be a good primer for that project.

  Hope to be able to shop for the quilting cottons this weekend.  Then the big decision:  Do I attempt to hand quilt or use my "new" machine?  

August 17, 2010

Back to School, Summer Reading & Looking Ahead

Today was the first day of school for my boys.  This summer (break) has gone by so fast.  I hardly blinked and those long days were over.  We were not very busy.  No trips or vacations. No big projects.  No renovations or remodels.  Just about 100 hot, long, summer days and nights.  I did get back to work and did a lot of sewing, though.

I did some summer reading.  I have always loved to read but in the past many years I have forsaken books except to have them around me to make things look pretty.  Now, however, having been inspired by a certain book list, I have picked them up again.  I have decided to start with the ones I have already read.  The ones I know that I love.  

This is my pile so far.  I don't know where I'll keep them when the pile gets much larger as they are going to obstruct my lamp and they may prove to be too much of a burden for my rickety old side table but this will not be a problem for the near future as I do not read that fast.

Which is also the case for my sewing/crafting/crocheting.  I'm not that fast.  Hence, I have begun to look forward to those cooler, shorter, sometimes stormier days that just make me want to do handicrafts.  Yes! It is only mid-August and already I am looking forward to autumn days.  I have also been thinking about the holidays.  Is that so strange? 

 I have so many things that I want to make for gifts that it seems I should have started in January.  I'm that slow.  And I have been known to procrastinate.  That is all behind me now because the beginning of the school year is like a new beginning for me also!  I'm going to make things happen!

August 13, 2010

I Call This Bag The Olivia Bag

I have found that when I make a new pattern of bag I must name it.  Usually after one of the many sweet girls in my family.  This Olivia bag is named for my dear sweet Olive, whom I love dearly.  She is three years old now and oh so precious!  She loves her baby dolls.  She takes great care of them.  She loves having her picture taken and whenever a camera pops out she is ready to pose and smile and say "Cheese!".  She is beautiful. 

This bag I named immediately upon having the idea of it. It just came to me as did the idea of it.

I'm sure there are many of this bag out there.  I dont kid myself to think that it is original in its shape or design but I did try to embellish it in an original way.

That is where the stitching came in.  First I was doing the "stuff" sections by hand and then I remembered that my new machine has free-motion sewing capability so I thus began to do them by machine.  Either way it is so much fun and I have been very pleased with the results.

For now my artistic ability, creative will and crafty desires are all speaking to me in the form of bags. And so it has been for quite a long time.  I have many, many bags of all shapes and sizes hanging around my creative space.  My female family members have been known to sport them around from time to time as well.

This is how it goes with me.  I get an inkling for a particular type of creativity and it just has to run its course.  I'm happy to indulge!  I love making pretty things.  At least I think they are pretty (or I would not make them!) 

I'm very blessed to have the time and the means to do these lovely little projects.  They make me happy and I hope they make others happy.  I want my blessings to reach those around me and that is all I can hope for.

God Bless!


August 11, 2010

Granola On My First Day Off

Today is my first day off since I started back to work.  Granted I have only been at work for 2 short days but still...

Anyway, I'm back on my regular schedule at work (Mon, Tues, off Wed, Thur, Fri, off Sat, off Sun).  When I was on this schedule before my medical mishaps, Wednesdays were always a cooking day.  I would make stuff for a nice dinner and also some treats, snacks and meals that would keep well or could be frozen. I was so looking forward to keeping this schedule and I am so thankful that I got to have one of these days before the kiddos go back to school next week.

I wanted to make something healthy and inexpensive.  Today I made Cranberry Almond Granola.  Very good.  So much less expensive than buying.  And it makes a bunch!  It keeps very well...I store it in an airtight plastic lidded container or in quart mason jars and I've found it stays fresh for a couple of weeks.

My recipe is kind of a mix of several recipes that I have tried in the past and like certain features of.  I wanted to make it low in fat and I wanted alot of healthy grains in it. 


Lisa's Cranberry Almond Granola

2c. 5 grain cereal
1c. unproc bran
4c. oatmeal (not quick cooking)
2c. sliced almonds
1c. honey
1c. dark brown sugar (packed)
1/3c. veg or canola oil
1/2c. water
1T. vanilla (optional)
1+3/4c. dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with Pam.  Mix cereal, bran, oats and almonds in a large bowl.  Set aside.  In a medium saucepan mix sugar, oil, water and vanilla.  Bring this to a slight simmer then immediately pour over oat mixture.  Stir until everything is well coated.  Pour half of mixture onto each prepared baking sheet.  Bake for approx. 40 min. stirring several times during the baking.  You're looking for the mixture to be mostly dry and crunchy.  This may not take the full 40 min. depending on your oven, etc.  When it is done cool slightly then add the dried cranberries.   Store in airtight container(s).


Along with this I thought yogurt would be perfect.  I had been wanting to try a homemade version and as milk has been less than $2 a gallon, I decided to try it now.  I followed this recipe.  I have yet to try it so I dont know what it is like yet but I have tried several of her other recipes and have been pleasantly surprised by them all so far.  In fact this is now a favorite around here.  I make this about 2x a year, usually when we have people over and they always love it!
I've had my cooking fun for awhile and now I'll be back to other things.  Sewing.  Papercrafting.  What fun it will be.  Thinking ahead about some projects for the holidays....

Have a good week!