Friday, April 29, 2011

Something From Nothing (Part 2)

I finally got around to putting the binding on my Swap mini quilt.  I am just so not a finisher and that can be such a problem sometimes. I love to start and take on projects, but sometimes when it comes to the finishing details I just D...R...A...G my feet.
Oh well, it got finished and sent along to my secret person yesterday!

Front of mini-quilt:

Back of mini-quilt:

I was given some motivation this past weekend, as my Something From Nothing Mini-Quilt arrived in the mail!  You can see it here.  It is even more beautiful in real life than in pictures.  Lynn sure is talented, thank you so much.  Now I need to decide where to put it.

I hope that you have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Answers for 'Hoo are you?'

Since my craftiness for the week is still buried under candy wrappers, jelly beans, and chocolate bunnies, I thought I'd share the answers to Leslie's Hoo Are You? this week.

This week's questions:

1. Do you plant a garden or flowers, or neither?
   Answer: We plant a garden, this will be the 3rd year, and it has expanded each time!  I love garden fresh veggies!  But not a huge flower lover in my own yard; I can appreciate other people's flower gardens though.
2. Does it bother you to have your blinds or curtains open after dark so people can see in your house?
   Answer: No, but I live so far off the road that you cannot see the house from there.
3. Do you like to go camping?
  Answer: It does not feel like summer if we never bust out the tent and all the gear - usually it is just for a week to the park about 10 miles from home, but that just makes cruising home for the must have items that we forgot so much easier.
4. Do you have a laptop or a desk top computer?
  Answer: I personally use a lap top - although the kids have a desk top that I have been known to use on occasion!
5. What time during the day do you have your most energy?
  Answer:  Definitely night time - not sure why, but I would WAY rather be up until 2 am than wake up at 7am.  I even get the kids on the bus and dive back into bed, but I am usually awake until 1am (ish) - so really it all evens out in the long run.

Have a wonderful day!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Dress

This week I put together an Easter Dress for my princess!  I can remember my mom making dresses for my sisters and I; in some ways it feels like life has come full circle.  The dress my mother used to make were much more intricate than the dress I made.  You know with puffed sleeves, smocking, lacy, and collars (the kind that look like doilies)!
Still the little girl is happy and excited that I made something for her!

This is a pattern I picked up from a garage sale!

Plus I guess that I am not really into puffed sleeves and lacy things!  So this dress fits my style just as the dresses from my youth fit my mother's preferences.  We'll see someday what she makes for her own girls!

I love this pose, because I told her to fling her arms out (loosely) and pose.  She looks pretty stiff to me, but when you are 5ish you can get away with that!

Linking up to:
Feature yourself Friday
Show and Tell Friday
Weekend Bloggy Reading :: Link Up!!
Craft Goodies

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Stitch Magazine - Inspiration!!

A few weeks back {when this blog was just a figment of my imagination}, I purchased this:

And from that little magazine I have a head buzzing with projects to create!  Love, love, love that feeling. I need that creative energy to feel like a whole person.  Does anyone else feel that way?  I hope so!

It is filled with techniques, tips, and beautiful projects.  Applique has been on my list of things to learn; this issue is chuck full of applique projects.  Woot, woot!  Now to find the time to try some projects.

From there I wanted to find out how to have it delivered to me on a regular basis... Luckily I found out how.  You have to visit the Interweave Store and search for {Stitch Auto-Ship Program} to sign up for their auto-ship program. The good part is that the issue is $12.50 and no shipping!  Yay, I hate shipping costs, although I know that they are inevitable and necessary; I just hate paying for them.

A little off track.... I then received this in the mail:
{Used from Interweave Press}
YAY!! And honestly it did not disappoint.  Love the inspiration!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Week 1: Update!

So this week was crazy busy - I did way too much running about and not enough staying home, and my attitude by Friday evening was reflective of that chaos.

Updates on this past weeks goals:

  1. Sleep - I pretty much got the 6 that I require.  I feel full of energy and that is awesome!  
  2. Daily To-Dos:  not so great here - like I said too much bopping about and not enough home time.  This week is going much better!
  3. Daily Journal: Big fat fail here.  Spending too much time browsing blogs and finding inspiration.
  4. Breaks throughout the day: CHECK!!
  5. Finished the 1st month of INSANITY for the second time around.  Woot! Woot!
  6. Eliminate energy drainers:  Work in Progress - installed 12 foot length shelves in the mudroom, laundry room and in the master bedroom closet {aka: craft area}.  So i am working on this area in my life.
  7. Control your time:  I am trying, but this is one of those habit things, hopefully in a couple of weeks it will be second nature to me and I will just set the schedule and follow it daily!
Speaking of scheduling, a few years ago I opened my mouth and the following year I received a phone call asking if I wanted the job I had such a strong opinion about, and no I could not just do part of it.  It was all or nothing.  So I took on the job of scheduling our entire little league - all 37 (this year) teams.  Initially I looked for a software program, but there are too many little nuances and preferences to accommodate all in our league that I will once again do this with Excel and my little brain!

So when did your mouth get you into trouble?  
When did you say yes to something that seemed unsurmountable?  
And have you ever had people expect you to carry all that info in your head everywhere you went? {hello that is why I have a computer!}

Have a lovely day!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Favorite Bread Maker Bread Recipe

Today I am going to share my favorite bread recipe. It is probably not the healthiest bread out there, but I figure that it is much better than some of the junk you find in the grocery store, plus my kids like it!  
I make this in my bread maker, and before you think that I am super lazy remember that bread is best fresh, so I only need a couple of loaves at a time.  Somedays I make a few batches and freeze the extras, and it is just as yummy that way.  I have tried to make it by hand for a larger batch, but for some reason it tastes better when I make in the machine.

Bread Machine Bread Recipe:
2 Tablespoons oil (or softened butter)
2 Tablespoons powdered milk

1.5 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

{I use my electric kettle to heat up the water}

1.5 Cups warm water

2 Cups bread flour
2 Cups spelt flour (I started adding spelt instead of all bread flour for more fiber and iron)

1.5 teaspoon yeast

Put it on the dough cycle of you bread machine and start!
{in the hour and 20 minutes that it took to make the dough I accomplished many tasks today - many loads of clean cloths folded and put away, lunch (and breakfast) dishes done, and a fabric project started!}

And the dough is ready to be shaped into loaves.

Greased 2 bread pans

Punch down the dough.

Form into 2 loaves and put into pans, pushing the dough to all sides.

Let rise for 40 minutes.

Ready to go into a preheated oven.  350 degrees for 25 minutes. I rotate half way through because my lovely oven has a hot spot in the back.

Promptly remove from pans and place on a cooling rack to cool completely before putting in bags for storage.  It will freeze well for up to a month.

Last April, I was grocery shopping and looking at ways to reduce our astronomical grocery bill.  Standing in the aisle in our local IGA, I decided that bread and cookie (especially cookies and bakery bread) were much to highly priced.  So since then I have {mostly} made my own bread and refrained from purchasing cookies.  Once in a while bread or buns are needed now, so we do buy them.

And now, a quick sneak peak at the fun fabric for the project I started today!  Stay tuned for photos of this fun project.

Hope you have a wonderful day!  Also coming soon an update on my first week of organizing {my mind}.

Linking to:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Something From Nothing (Part 1)

I am participating in my first swap!  Organized by Victoria on the 15 Minutes of Play blog.  It has been so fun for me to use some of my scraps, and think of the math behind quilting.  I do have a chemical engineering degree, so it feels good to reactivate that portion of my brain after chasing toddlers and children for 10 years.

I started with an idea of what I wanted to try in my head, and for the most part it pieced together as I visioned (although I did have to cut out one more row (or 'book') as I was putting it all together.  So this is my {first} 'Stack of Books'  I love books, so this is appropriate.   I think that I need one in my living room!

Now all I have left to do is the binding (hand sewing!!!)

I really wanted to try free motion quilting on this little piece, but I do not have the correct foot for my machine.  I think I'll invest in that item on my next trip to JoAnns or  Plus, maybe I should try it before I use it on something I am giving to someone!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Week 1: Organize Your Mind

I am a bit of a self-help book junky.  I have parenting books, organizing books, housekeeping books, and financial books.  So far I have only finished the financial book, but that is still a work in progress.  I am hoping that with Jennifer Ford Berry's organize now! book I will be well on my way to finishing the other books and finding glorious amounts of time in my currently stuffed and cluttered life!

This first week, my goals for my self are:

  1. Sleep (she says 7, but I do well with only 6) for 6 solid hours - that means to bed by 12:30!  For a night owl like me this is not the easiest task in the world.
  2. Daily To-Do Lists: I work best off of some sort of schedule/list, so we'll begin with a list and see what happens.  With 3 toddlers underfoot days do not always have the number of hours I would like them to have.
  3. Daily Journal:  I have never been a diary keeper, but part of me would like to be.  I think that someday I may enjoy looking back to see what happened during these busy years of mothering.  So the journal is purchased, but the actual start has not yet occurred.
  4. Breaks in the day to take inventory and stock of personal feeling.  A couple of minutes to focus on just me that sounds glorious!  But I have to actually schedule those small amounts of time...
  5. Exercise - I am currently in a good routine - the best I have been since I became an adult (in age only!).  Maybe I am crazy, but I have found a system that works for me; I use Shaun T's Insanity DVD Program at about 10pm every night.
  6. Eliminate energy drainers: Clutter and unfinished projects (goodness knows I have many of those).  I am working on creating a large master To-Do List for the household and for me personally, kind of a logistical nightmare.  And there is no possible way to eliminate all the clutter in this household in 1 week without professional help, so I am going to add that into an on going weekly goal!
  7. Control your time: I am a schedule person - there I said it, I have a problem.... My name is Amy, and I am a schedule person.  Wow, there is something cleansing in admitting that.  I like to know the where, when, why, and how of what is happening in my life, and when that is thrown loopy I get cranky.  So why in all my years of being a mother have I not ever set up a consistent daily schedule?  When I do I am SO efficient with my time that it is almost scary.  Maybe, subconsciously, I do not really want to admit that I do have many hours in my life for all the things that I think that I do not have time for!  Or perhaps it is because there are days when the schedule is thrown out the window due to other circumstances - sick kids, beautiful day outside, company, lunch plans, park days, etc - and there is potential there for me to get cranky because, darn it, {start whiney voice} I have a schedule.
So those are my goals, taken from the guidelines in the book, and I will update at the end of the week with my personal progress in each of these areas!

Bag Before Beginning

I am not sure if it is legal or not, but I am going to do it anyway!
{Post a project that I completed before I officially opened this blog}

This is a bag that I had cut out and half put together months ago - I am sure that I am the only one with half finished projects laying around my crafty area.  'Crafty Area' sounds much more sophisticated than bedroom closet, which is the reality in my life.
I finally found time to finish it all up last week and I am 'in love' with my newest bag, even if I did not necessarily need a new bag.

This is Panache by Sanae for Moda fabric left over from a blanket I made for my mom last Christmas, and lucky me I got to use the scraps for my own lovely bag.  This bag was made from Whistlepig Creek Productions #1145 Charming Totes 3 pattern.  I had to cut the 5 x 5 squares from my scrapes, but I did make a previous version of this from a charm pack.  I love, love, love the ease of that kind of project - no cutting, just sewing and matching seams!

I hope you have a wonderful day.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ready, Set, Go...

I am going to re-enter this blogging world. I was here a few years ago; journaling the progress of our house building project. Once that was completed I fizzled out on the topics I wanted to share. In the mean time I have found my creative and design bones and they want to share.

I am a stay at home mom of 5 boys and one little lady. I love them, but they also make my life very chaotic.

So to start with I am going to begin this journey with the help of Jennifer Ford Berry's book organize now! Maybe in the next little bit you can enjoy this journey with me. More to come in future posts. The first section focuses on self organization so that is the goal for me in the next couple of weeks.

Along the way I hope to share some of the projects I enjoy creating! I am a very capable knitter, I sew (but am still learning many things), and I am not afraid to bust out the chop saw, jig saw, or drill when it is called for.

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