Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Big Picture

One of the reasons I wanted to get yesterday's table runner done was to finish up a little redecorating project in our dinning area. (Although if you never had decor in the first place, I am not sure it can be called decorating.) When we moved to this house I ended up killing off almost all of our house plants. I just couldn't find a good place to keep them and they paid the price. When a friend heard that we were living sans house plants, she graciously gifted me with three new ones. (She also included the white pots I had been looking at from Ikea. Score!) The only bad part was that now I had to find a place where they wouldn't join their already departed forerunners. (Isn't is a bummer when you have to buy something to decorate with???) Since they were smaller than our old ones, I came up with the plan to install floating shelves close enough to the patio door to allow them plenty of sun. I ended up finding a set of shelves that I liked at Menards. Mr Cherry happily put them up for me. (After he informed me that I better be sure I wanted them because once he drilled for them they weren't going to be moved. Ever.) Another bonus of the new shelves is I now have a place to store the Anthropology measuring cups that I won, er bought, through a blog auction. I shopped the house for a few more items to round out the look and now have a darling plant corner in our home.
Next to the shelves is a vinyl Bible passage that I bought at Hobby Lobby. I was so happy when I found it because it is part of our wedding reading and has become a motto for our life together. Since the passage was on the small side, I added two candle sconces from Kohls to help beef it up a bit. Now that the runner is done, I am happy to say that the redecorating/decorating is complete.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday: Simple Stripped Table Runner

I have been wanting to create a runner for our appliance shelf for a while now. I even purchased the fabric and there it sat. I knew that it wouldn't take long. I knew I just needed to dive in and do it. And that is just what I did starting yesterday. The master plan was to get it all done then and posted about it this morning. That didn't happen. Oh well. However it is done now and it is still Tuesday.

What you will need:
Random fabrics (I used a fat 8th pack from Joann Fabrics, but you could easily make this from scraps you have around.)
1 yard for backing, binding and borders
Quilting supplies

What you will need to do:
1. Measure the how big you would like your runner to be. (The top if our shelf is 25 by 15. I decided to make it a little longer so that it would hang over a bit.) Subtract the borders from the width. (I used 3 inch pieces for the border. Subtracting 1/2 inch for each side for the seams left me with 10 inches for the center of my runner.)
2. Cut strips the size of your middle at varying lengths. (All of my strips were 10 inches wide since the center of my runner is 10 inches. The smallest strip I cut was 2 1/2 inches and the biggest was 3 1/2. I think if I would do it again, I would cut some strips even smaller.)
3. Lay out your pieces to ensure that you have enough and to find an arrangement that you like. (Don't forget the you will subtract 1/2 inch for seams on each piece.)
4. Stack your pieces on top of each other being sure to keep them in order.
5. Stitch your pieces together. (I started with the top two pieces and stitched them together (pieces 1 and 2). Then I took the next two and stitched them together (pieces 3 and 4.) I continued until they were all stitched to a partner. (I had an odd number, so I had one piece remaining at the end.)
6. Stitch your sets together. (I took the piece that was made out of 1 and 2 and stitched it to the piece that was made out of 3 and 4. I repeated this until every piece was stitched together.)
7. Repeat the process until all of your middle pieces are in a row. Then press all of your seams in the same direction.
8. Cut your borders. (I cut three strips of my border fabric the width of the fabric and 3 inches wide. I also fussy cut four 3 inch squares from one of my prints for the corners.)
9. Sew the two borders onto the long sides of the runner and trim off any excess fabric. (I wasn't thinking and started with my shorter borders. Then I had the hardest time getting my long borders to be the right length. I finally ripped it all off and started this way. You can learn from my mistake and avoid the ripping.)
10. Cut the remaining strip into two pieces for the remaining borders. (I cut mine into two 10 inch strips.)
11. Sew the corner pieces onto the 3 inch sides of the borders, one on each side. Then sew the final borders into place.
12. Cut four 2 1/4 inch strips for the binding from the backing fabric. Join the pieces together at a 90 degree angle. Trim the seam to 1/4 inch. Press the seam open. Press the entire strip in half with wrong sides together.
13. Using the remaining backing fabric to make a backing for your runner. (I ended up piecing mine.)
14. Place the baking on a table face down. Place the batting on top of the backing. Place the pieced runner on top of the batting face up. Pin through all three layers.
15. If necessary, trim the backing and batting around the runner. (Make sure to leave a little extra.
16. Quilt. (I decided to make boxes around each of my strips 1/4 inch away from the seam. I also quilted 1/4 inch in from the border seams.)
17. Stitch 1/4 inch away from the edge of the quilt on all four sides.
18. Trim the backing and batting along the edge of the top.
19. Bind.
20. I added some buttons to my flower corners.
21. Sit back, relax, and admire your work.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Shamelessly Asking for a New Toy

Have you seen all of the Silhouette cutting machines that are being given away in blogland right now? I can't wait until I win one. (Positive thinking never hurt anyone, right?) The latest one that I came across is over at Just-a-Girl. In order to get one extra entry I am blogging about it now. If any of you win because you read about her giveaway here, please know that I will be camping out at your house all hours of the day using your new toy. Okay? Thanks!

Works In Progress

As I look around my house, I find more and more to add to my to do list. However, it is summer, and this is the time of year that the weather sets the schedule. If it is nice outside, you can be sure I will drop anything at hand and head outside with Little Peachy.
Here are a few things that are on my do to list presently:
1) Finish the front porch. Nothing much has happened on this front since my last post. I was able to purchase some red outdoor pillows at 50% off, however.

2) I recently added to my to do list when I found this Peachy-sized picnic table for a price I couldn't refuse! (It was out on the curb on garbage day. :o) Don't worry, we got the owners' blessing on taking it.) I have a grand vision of red for this little guy.

3) While the wet warm weather we have been having is making the garden pretty much self-sufficient at this point, it is still a work in progress. (Thankfully it has survived the strong winds, driving rain, and hail we have also received.) We had our first taste of its goodness yesterday with a yummy spinach, butter crunch, and gourmet lettuce blend salad. I can't wait to sample some more of its bounty.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Foodie Friday: Itty Bitty Cinnamon Rolls

Mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm. Tasty little bites of heaven.

1 cup warm milk
2 1/2 tsp yeast
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 1/2 cups flour

1 cup brown sugar
lots of cinnamon- when you think you've added enough, add some more
butter or margarine to coat

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm milk and let sit a couple of mins
  2. Add melted butter (make sure it isn't hot), and add eggs
  3. Add salt and sugar
  4. Stir in flour to form dough
  5. Let rise about one hour
  6. Split dough in half and roll each half out into a rectangle of about 13 inches by 4 inches.
  7. Spread butter onto your rectangles of dough and sprinkle with sugar mixture. Remember you can never have too much cinnamon or sugar, so when you think you've sprinkled enough on, sprinkle on some more.
  8. Roll up and cut each "roll" into 12 buns
  9. Put them into a 24 piece mini cupcake pan and let rise about another hour
  10. bake at 400 degrees 12-15 mins. Watch em close and pull them out when they are golden.
Makes 24 mini buns. (I totally agree that these outgrew our mini muffin tin and could be made on an even smaller scale.)

Cream Cheese Icing
1/2 brick of cream cheese
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
tsp of vanilla

Mix together and ice your cooled rolls.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

1. Sassy Baby Mealtime on the Go Feeding Set: I had been thinking that we needed something just like this when Peachy went exclusively to table food. Gone were the days of grabbing a baby food jar, spoon, and bib and calling it supper. Then I saw this set advertised on the back of a parenting magazine AND it was available at Target. Win, win. Now when we are eating away from home, I toss Peachy's food in and we are a go. The only complaint I have about this product is that the spoon that it comes with is pretty much flat and therefor not so useful. Oh, and the set we got is all blue, not the cool mix-match of colors shown here.

2. Tupperware Sandwich Keeper: Since we have a fun food storage set for Peachy, we may as well have one for ourselves, right? Actually these will mainly be used in packing Mr Cherry's lunches. I think that it will be nice not to go through so many sandwich bags every week. Also, these are able to just be tossed into the dishwasher to be cleaned.

3. Tresemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo: This is a product that has been making a big splash on some of the blogs I read. (Or maybe not a splash, since it is dry! :o) I have the kind of hair that really needs to be washed everyday. I have the kind of motivation that makes me not want to wash it and style it everyday. When I saw this product, I thought that I might have found my solution. I have tried it a couple of times now and it really does help my hair not too look and feel so greasy. Now, it isn't the same as actually washing your hair, but several steps up from doing nothing at all. I was also able to pick this up at Target and it cost less than $5.

4. Up and Up Daily Cleansing Cloths: Add these in with the dry shampoo and you can have yourself feeling halfway human without setting foot in the shower. (Sorry to admit this to those of you who always thought that I was perfect and to those of you who know me in real life. :o) I am told that these are just like the Biore brand cleansing cloths, but of course they come with an Up and Up price tag.

5. Safety First Sleepy Baby Nail Clippers: I have never been a fan of cutting Peachy's finger and toe nails. The clippers that we had made it very hard to see where you were clipping and it only took a few bad clips to make me hesitant. When I found these at K-Mart recently, it looked like a design that might work for me. Plus the added emery board feature really seemed like a good idea. These clippers work really well for me. I can see where I am clipping and feel steady while doing it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday: Adventure Bag

My godson turned 7 this month! Wow! I can't believe that he is already 7!! He is a wonderfully outgoing kid who has the heart of an adventurer. He is forever catching bugs, toads, and other creepy crawlies. Any boy who goes on adventures needs certain tools, right? And if you are going to carry tools you need a place to stash them, right? So I made him an adventure bag. (I think that this should be said with an echo setting, Adventure Bag Bag Bag.)

I started with a half yard of fabric that I cut into four rectangles measuring 11 inches by 14 inches. I stitched two rectangles to each other on the sides and bottoms. (I added a looped piece of bias tape to one side as I sewed.) And repeated for the remaining two. I added squares of interfacing to the bottom corners for reinforcement. I then pressed 1 inch under all the way around the top if both sets. I turned on bag right side out and slipped it over the other bag. (Now I had a lining and an outside of one bag.) I stitched an angular top stitch across the bottom corners through all four layers and then sewed a button hole in each corner. I then sewed two more button holes at the top of the outside of the bag only. (These button holes are set a bit down from the top and about 1/4 of an inch apart.) I then sewed the tops of the bags together just down from the top and then again about an inch below. (This will create a channel.) I then threaded cording through the bottom button hole on one side and secured it with a knot and wooden bead. I ran the cording up the outside to the top button hole and threaded it all the way through the channel and out the other top button hole. I then ran the cord down the outside to the remaining bottom button hole where I threaded it through and secured it with another wooden bead.

Now I had a bag that could draw open and shut and be worn as a backpack--a true adventure bag. I filled the bag with a magnifying glass and a child's binocular set. I clipped a compass carabinar to the bias tape loop. Now all the bag needs is a 7 year old adventurer.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Donuts for Dads

Here is the little gift bag we put together for our dads this year:
Little breakfast bags!!
The side pockets held little bags of coffee.
Inside were mini-donuts and honey buns, ala Little Debby.
And what Father's Day gift is complete without a tie tag?
I got the bags from 31 Gifts. I had a party last month. I will have to show you all of the fun (FREE) stuff I came away with as a host.
What fun things did you give the dads in your life this year?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Foodie Friday: Rich and Decadent

I don't know what put the idea in my head, but it all started with trying to come up with a dessert that I could make and add fresh strawberries to. As I looked through cookbooks, recipes were ruled out one by one. I either didn't have the time or the ingredients. Finally I decided to try my hand at crepes. I always had this notion that crepes were an unobtainable goal. Here's the truth, they really aren't that hard at all. They are just a little putsy.
Anyway back to the dessert. I couldn't just have crepes and strawberries (remember the title of this post?) I need a little wow factor. I found that wow in some chocolate genache. (Bakerrella, bless your little heart for introducing me to this confectionery delight. Mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm.)
So, yeah, in the end we had a short stack of crepes with each layer slathered in genache and topped with strawberries. (Now if only I had some cream for whipping.) Oh, and you can't forget the light dusting of powdered sugar on top.
Yeah, Mr Cherry and I didn't even finish it, but boy what we did it was deliciousness.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Birthday Weekend

Mr Cherry had a big birthday this past weekend. I won't tell you how old he is, but it was a big enough birthday for me to give him a little bit of grief. :o) I originally had some pretty big plans, but in the end they didn't work out. The next plan also didn't pan out due to crummy weather. So, we ended up enjoying a fairly relaxing weekend at home. On Sunday, the weather allowed us a hike in a nearby state park.
Peachy had quite the fascination with this guy.
The perfect sized buddy.
Trying out the new-to-us backpack.
Yup, it works.
Hiker Man and Hiker Chick together again!!
Some pretties in the woods.
This is about all we saw for wildlife.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Beginning of a Quiet Book

Little Peachy is rarely found sitting still. If she is awake, she is on the move. While I love this about her, it does make church a bit difficult.

For a while I have had making her a quiet book on my to do list. I finally got around to starting it. She now has a quiet book with the letters A-F. Hopefully I will get the rest of the alphabet made before she goes to kindergarten!!
I wanted an interactive book, but I didn't want all kinds of pieces to keep track of. Each page has some element that is firmly but not entirely attached.
I made the pages out of a heavier weight muslin that I cut to size and when I have two complete, I serge around the edges. When I finish a page, I add two small button holes so that they can be attached to the clips. (I am not sure of the proper name for the clips. They are the hinged circle clips that have an opening that can be purchased at office supply stores.) Most of the images were found through Google images. (What did we do before Google???)
I think that about sums it up.I'll be sure to post the rest of the pages as I complete them. Let me know if you have any questions.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday: Rolled Fabric Roses

These fabric rolled roses have been popping up all over lately. I figured it was about time I tried to create my own. There are lots and lots of people who have posted wonderful tutorials out there. I found this one at Everyday Chaos helpful.

Type of Tutorial: handwork/fabric
Difficulty: Basic/Beginner
Supplies: fabric strips (1 1/2- 2 inches wide, the longer the strip, the larger your flower), needle and thread, felt, hot glue gun, pin back

1. Fold your strip in half and tie a knot in one end. Begin rolling your fabric around your knot. Secure the fabric with a few stitches after you have wound around the knot a few times.
2. After securing, you can start twisting your fabric. Hold the knotted end in one hand and fold the twist the loose end. (Now your raw edge will be opposite from where you started.) Continue rolling the fabric around the knot, twisting every once in a while.
3. Stop every now and then to secure the fabric with a few stitches.
4. When you have reached your desired size, secure the end by stitching it to the bottom.
5. Cut your felt to cover the back of your rose without sticking out. Attach your flower to your felt using hot glue. (For this project I attached all three flowers to the same piece of felt, so I trimmed my felt to hold all three.)
6. Using the hot glue, attach a pin back.

I can see that the more you play around with these, the better you will get. The nice thing is that they are meant to look a bit shabby chic, so you don't have to worry about being perfect.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Foodie Friday: Pizza Scones

This recipe has been making the rounds. I first saw it in the May issue of Family Fun Magazine. Next I saw it on Sumo's blog. It really was an awakening for me. Why only add fruit to scones and leave them for breakfast? Why not add other fun ingredients and eat them anytime of the day? They touted them as the perfect picnic food in the Family Fun article. Easy to pack, eat, and clean up after.

Of course I couldn't leave well enough alone and had to make some changes to the recipe mainly for the sake of using what we had on hand. Here's my recipe:
-1 c all purpose flour
-1 c whole wheat flour
-1 T baking powder
-1/2 c corn meal
-1/2 c butter
-1 T fresh basil
-1/2 t oregano
-1/2 t garlic powder
-1/4 t salt
-1/4 c diced onion
-1 c finely shredded cheddar cheese
-1/2 c chopped pepperoni
-2 eggs
-1/2 c buttermilk
-1/4 c pizza sauce

1. Mix flour, baking powder, and corn meal in large bowl. mix in butter with a pastry blender. Add in basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, onion, cheese, and pepperoni.
2. Whisk eggs, buttermilk, and pizza sauce in medium bowl.
3. Mix the wet ingredients into the other ingredients.
4. Divide dough in half and pat each half into a 1 inch thick circle. Place dough circles on a baking sheet covered with parchment or sprayed with cooking spray. Cut each circle into fourths.
5. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. (Until golden brown.)
These turned out delicious. We did decide that it would have been good to have a little pizza sauce to dip them in as well.

I am linking to the Fabulous Friday Linky Party over at Saving Money, Living Life.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Peachy's Purse

I know the way I am raising my daughter could prove dangerous in the future. I know this, and yet I haven't changed my parenting style.

 I am training Peachy to be a shopping, shoe loving, and purse toting kind of girl. So far, my training is paying off. She has always loved shoes. It makes no difference to her the size, color, or style. When she finds a shoe she will do one of two things, try to put it on or try to put it in her mouth. Ah, funny, funny girl.

She has recently latched on to one of my purses. She will carry it around on her shoulder as best she can while crawling around. She will fill it up with her things. In fact, in her mind,

I don't think the purse belongs to me anymore.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday: Toddler Leg Warmers

Remember Peachy's tie-dye birthday leg warmers?
I do! I also remember that I promised you a tutorial on how I made them.

Here is the tutorial I shared on Sumo's blog last Friday.
Toddler Leg Warmer Tutorial (AKA The Easiest Tutorial You Will Ever Find!)
1. Purchase knee high socks. (They have a great selection at Target for $2/pair in the women's sock section. The pair I am using today came in a three pair set from Wal-Mart in the girls' department.)
2. Measure the length of your child's leg.
3. Cut your sock the length of your child's leg. (Measure from the cuff of the sock down. You will be cutting off some of the leg and the foot of the sock.)

4. Set your sewing machine to a small zig-zag. Stitch around the sock where you made your cut. As you stitch, pull the sock. (This creates the ruffle edge. If you are having trouble getting the sock to ruffle, try pulling a bit harder.)

5. Repeat with the other sock and you're done.

Now Peachy is all set for a chilly Fourth of July! (It could happen around here!)

I am linking to:

Monday, June 7, 2010

All In a Row

Here is a peak at what I have been working on with my sewing machine lately.
And another.
And another.
Want to see more?
Yes. I have caught the pillowcase dress bug. 
They are just so cute!
And fun!
And I don't think I will be able to stop making them.
I really like how the flower pins look on them. 
The possibilities are endless, really!