Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer Fruits!

 Tonight when Cory came home from work, he presented me with a bag of fresh blackberries he had picked Monday night while out of town.  My mind immediately went to.....scones!  I made two batches.  A plain one (for the girls) and one topped with blackberries for us.

It only takes 2 ingredients and a few minutes to whip up these amazing, and QUICK scones from my talented niece Robyn over at Ramblings by Robyn.  Simply combine 1-1/2 cups of baking mix (like Bisquick) with 3/4 cup of whole whipping cream and mix together.  If desired, fold in blackberries (or other fruit, chocolate chips, nuts, endless possibilities), turn onto a lightly flowered surface, form into a circle and cut scones into desired sizes (I used a pizza cutter :)  Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes.
Because we are a frosting-loving-family, I make a simple glaze for everything.  Mix  confectioner's sugar with milk until glaze reaches desired consistency.  Drizzle over scones.  I cheated and added a spoonful of fresh blackberries over the top of my scone before drizzling with glaze.  They were incredible if I do say so myself!
Here's the kid-friendly version.  Plain scones with glaze.
These scones will only take about 15 minutes from start to finish, but everyone will think you spent hours preparing them :)
These shiny little gems are white plums which my brother in law gave me this evening as well.  It must have been a great day for fruit?!  They're currently sitting in this little green bowl, but come Friday they will morph into a crisp or buckle of some kind served with vanilla ice cream since I volunteered to take dessert to a family gathering.  Oh summer do I love thee!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Craft Cabinet Clean-Up!

For months I have intended to clean my home school/craft cabinet.  Every time I complete a craft I think I should put my supplies away....but where?  Usually they end up in a basket next to my sewing machine.  That simply would NOT do.  So today, inspired by my niece Robyn, who posted on Facebook that she was feeling guilty for playing on the internet instead of working, was the day to clean it out.

I started at 11:30am and this is what my cabinet looked like (embarrassing).  I figured it would only take me a couple of hours. my basement.  I only photographed the bottom two shelves because I had the top shelf empty when I remembered to take the picture :)

Here's the entire contents of the cabinet, spread out on my basement floor (well, minus the dog - he was not stored in the cabinet, but came down to keep me company while I cleaned).

5 and a half hours (with the exception of stopping for lunch) and 4 bags of trash later, it was finished.  It was overwhelming trying to figure out where to put things, how to store tiny objects and figuring out the best solution for organizing.  It's still not my dream organization project, but it's significantly better.  I really should invest in some racks and vertical storage shelves, but until then.....this is working for me!

Happy Organizing!!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's Almost Heeeeere........

It's almost that time of year again.  My favorite.....autumn (or fall if you prefer).  I have tagged dozens of fall crafts and projects that I cannot wait to put together and blog about.  I hope my sister will join me :)  What are you most looking forward to about fall?  I am looking forward to...................................................................................
keep scrolling........

What did you think I was going to say?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Favorite Finds!

As summer is drawing to a close, I thought I'd let you in on a few of my favorite things during summer 2011.  Oh, and I just added a new poll.  Play along if you like :)  In no particular order:

Fabric!  I love a fabric store.  The way the bolts are stacked according to color, warms the organizational part of my soul.  They're beautiful to look at and even more fun to purchase.  As I search for sewing projects that appeal to me, my fabric selection continues to grow.

Not just maple syrup, but anything maple flavored really.  Maple candy, maple frosting, maple bars.  I'm mad for maple!

Whether you call it robin's egg blue, turquoise or aqua, it's my go-to-color for summer.  And since I just purchased a shirt today in a shade just a touch darker than this, it may be my go-to-winter color as well :)

Even though this has been on the market for some time now, I have not enjoyed it as much as I did this summer.  The best part about iced tea?  As the ice melts, it doesn't water down the drink and make it unpalatable like a soda.  I love that!

I always enjoy Bath and Body Works products, but their Fresh Picked scents for spring/summer 2011 were pure genius.  Not only did they smell divine, the packaging was the perfect complement to my country styling.  My favorite products were the hand soaps, but I did acquire quite a few of the PocketBac's as well!
Mat stacks.  They're not just for scrapbooking anymore.  They're the paper version of fabric.  I love the way the stacks are grouped by themes and color coordinated.  While not a scrapbooker, I have enjoyed accumulating these for decoupage projects, home made cards and any other project that comes to mind.

Even if you don't blog about it or post pictures, be sure to leave me a comment and share your summer '11 favorites with me!

Summer Status Update....

Summer's almost over, but we're still trying to cram in a bunch of things....

Yesterday - Took the kids and cousins to the park downtown where they rode the rides, enjoyed the carousel, and got in a ton of walking (Clare, that's PE right?! :)

Today - Removing some plants that got scorched in a couple of our 90+ degree days, and putting in some mums that are great cool-weather plants!  Then.....going shopping with my sister.  Trying to find some swim shorts for me.  I have a cute swim skirt and it looks great OUT of the water, but once I get in, it floats up (ridiculous).

Tomorrow - Taking the kids and cousins to the pool.  It's supposed to be in the mid-90's.  It's going to be a great day for swimming and soaking up the last few days of sun before our cold weather hits.

Next Week - Going with the family and cousins to Silverwood.  The girls received free passes for reading and they are very excited to spend the day at the park.  Also need to use a day next week for Cayla to take her CAT-5 test.  She's been doing a little school work all summer, so we're looking forward to getting her testing out of the way before September.

Next Month - School won't start for us until our co-op starts, so we have an extra 1.5 weeks after the public school starts.  I'm hoping my sister and I can take the kids on a picnic and engage in a few activities that would normally be full/busy, but due to school being in session will be less packed.

Whew!  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.  Fortunately, nearly all of it is fun and should be a great time.  Hope you're enjoying your summer and having fun with family and friends before the cold weather flies.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cupcakes and Coasters!

While I loved Autumn's skirt from last week's post, I thought the outfit was lacking something.  It really needed a matching top and not just a plain white one.  So I added an applique.  There's a close-up in the next shot.  I also made a skirt for Cayla.....but her top is not appliqued as she frequently wears it with other things.

Cayla and Autumn dressed and ready for church.

Cupcake applique!

Yeah, these have absolutely nothing to do with skirts or appliques, but everything to do with sewing.  I made myself a set of 4 coordinating coasters.  And they're not to protect my desk (though it IS a lovely grey, laminate :) as much as they're to prevent condensation from collecting on the desk top.  I hate a wet work space!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Shorts Are Soooo Yesterday!

On Monday I made Autumn a skirt.  I think it turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself.

The skirt's owner, in shoes of her choosing :)
Such a simple and quick skirt.  It took me about 40 minutes from start to finish and that included picking out the fabric!

I love the double stitched waist band, even if no one will ever
see it :)
Surprisingly, she loved it and was excited about it.  As a  tomboy, skirts aren't high on the priority list, but when she realized she could throw on a pair of tennis shoes or flip flops with it, it became freeing as a great summer alternative to shorts.

To match the waist band, the hem also has a double stitch.  I thought it was too cute.  Oddly enough, my camera didn't capture the colors very well, but this is a better match to the true colors of dark lavender with lime green dots!

My sweet model was excited to show it off, and I'm excited that she loves it so much.  Now, keep your fingers crossed that she'll ACTUALLY wear it :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Wal-Mart $5 Bag! The Rachel!

 On one of my numerous Wal-Mart shopping expeditions I saw some fairly cute, very basic bags that were made of a light weight canvas with matching handles, and they were only $5.00.  I really wanted to buy one but decided I could make one that I liked even more, in colors of my choosing.  So tonight I checked my fabric selection and decided on a nice red/white/blue striped denim fabric, and set out to make my own version of the Wal-Mart $5 bag, aptly renamed "The Rachel".

The finished product.  It's a little taller than I think I want it to be.  Originally I was going to use it as a tote bag, but now I'm leaning towards a purse, so it should be shorter.  But I'm not tackling that tonight, so I'll carry it 'as is' for a while :)
Unlike the unlined Wal-Mart bag, I wanted mine to have a lining and an interior pocket so I could slip pens, cell phone, keys, and other various items in.  I chose a blue background with white stars as the lining, and used the outer fabric to make a pocket, which I stitched down the middle turning it into two pockets.
Here's a picture of the inside of the bag, showing the two pockets!

When I was finished I thought it looked a little plain, so I created an outer pocket with matching fabric, but turned the stripes the opposite way.  Since the outer pocket was an after thought, it was a little difficult to sew, so my stitch isn't straight.  Nothing a few buttons couldn't fix.  I often use buttons to cover up flaws, and while others might just think they're cute embellishments, I know the truth....they're hiding a multitude of sins :) So there you have it.  My version of the Wal-Mart $5 bag only cuter...and a little more time consuming!

Earlier today Autumn told me she wanted a bag to hold some of her Squinkies (little girl toys - just take my word for it).  I liked my tote bag so much that I decided to use the same fabric for Autumn's draw string bag.
Autumn's bag, with strings pulled open.  She was pleased as punch, and I was happy it only took a few minutes to create!!!