Monday, August 31, 2009

Kraft Food and Family Magazine

Have you received your Fall '09 issue of Kraft Food & Family? (If you don't get it, go here and sign up - it's Free!) I got mine last week.

Over the weekend I tried the Slow-Cooker Lasagna (pg. 32) and it is delicious!!!!! Another bonus, you use the crockpot and it is easy!!!! I will definitely make this again. We love lasagna, but it is usually a little time consuming, but not this recipe. Try it and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gorgeous Gift Bags

Decorate your own gift bags.

You will need...
scrap fabric
spray adhesive
kraft paper bag (there are all sizes)

I bought mine at Hobby Lobby (love to use those 40% off internet coupons), but I have also seen these at Wal-Mart.

Spray adhesive (Hobby Lobby).

Scrap fabric from my fabric stash. (This is a great way to use those little pieces that just aren't good for anything, but you really hate to throw them away.)

I cut out an apple shape (out of a red homespun plaid fabric). I did mine by free hand, but you could use a child's simple coloring book or google "apple coloring page." I also cut a leaf shape out of a green stripe fabric. Turn the fabric to the wrong side and in a well-ventilated area on a protected surface, spray the back of the fabric with spray adhesive. (You could also use Heat-N-Bond instead of spray adhesive just follow package directions.) Then place fabric (wrong side down) on bag, let dry.

I took a brown marker and drew a stem on it.

The finished product.

You can use scrapbook paper and scrapbook adhesive for this project, but I really like the look and texture of the fabric. For another great look, slightly 'rough' up the edges of the fabric (or unravel them slightly), it gives it more texture.

There are also colored bags (I just love brown kraft paper).

You can use any shape/design you like.

Use a yellow fabric and cut out a duck shape for a baby gift bag.
Use balloon shapes and assorted colors and sizes for a child's or birthday gift bag.
Cut a letter out of fabric using a large stencil and monogram the bag.
Use a large number stencil and do the same as above (for child's birthday).
You can use the apple design that I used above as a teacher/principal gift.
You can use the school mascot and colors for a teacher/principal gift.
You can use tool/sport shapes for a man gift.
You can make theme bags for party favors (use them as table decorations and allow guests to take home after).

You could also take a brown stamp pad and using a clean makeup sponge (dollar store), 'dirty' it up a little. (You could also tea or coffee stain it - google for directions - be very careful doing this on a paper bag.)

There are lots of ways to use these plain gift bags. You could paint them (if you are that talented - I am not). You could stencil or rubber stamp them. You can personalize these bags to the recipient (whatever their interest/taste is).

The nice thing about this project is very unique. It depends on the fabric (paper) you are using, the person designing the bag, etc. It becomes part of the gift itself.

If you have ever done this project, I would love to see pictures and hear your ideas.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Scooby Pillowcase

O.K. Anthony started Pre-K. Today was his first full day. Last week he went until 11:00, this week until 2:00. It was lonely (for me) and quiet. Rance didn't seem to notice. He got all of the attention, all of the toys, and the computer to himself.

Over the weekend, I made Anthony a new pillowcase for Pre-K. They lay down and take a nap or rest and the school asks for a blanket, pillow and towel to cover the mat (mat provided). I sent his monkey towel, I had a travel size pillow, but I didn't have a pillowcase for it (the ones that I had made in the past were in use here at home).

Last week we went to Hobby Lobby and he picked out Scooby Doo fabric (I picked out the trim - he didn't really like it, he wanted all of it to be Scooby, but I thought his name wouldn't show up as well on the print fabric). After he saw the finished pillowcase, he was pleased. (I did it the same way that I showed you how in my tutorial except this one was travel size instead of full size.)

I didn't time myself exactly, but I got home Friday around 11:30 (after picking Anthony up) and was finished before 1:00. I'm not sure exactly what time I started, plus I had to stop and fill up sippy cups, break up fights over toys, kiss boo boos, help 'go potty,' answer the phone and a few other mommy things. So you see, making the pillowcase is actually pretty quick and very easy (even with extra steps). The first time may take you a little longer, but the more you do the quicker and easier they are to make. You can whip one up in no time.

I think it is supposed to be a Scooby Doo camo print.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm Still Here

Sorry that I have been absent the past few days. Last week was the first week of school for Lee and Champ, this week is the first full week of Pre-K for Anthony (he goes 1/2 days this weeka and full days next week), the weekend was full to the gills. (Over the weekend we litterally came home long enough to shower and sleep.)

I will continue to be absent for just a few more days. Now I have to catch up on laundry (every day I do a minimum of 2 loads a day - I am behind since Thursday of last week) and house work.

I haven't forgotten you, I'll be back soon. Hopefully with some great crafts (I've got several in mind) to get you inspired.

Friday, August 14, 2009

My First Blog Award

I want to thank Amanda at Faith, Food and Family for giving me my first blog award. Please stop by and say "Hi and Thanks" to Amanda for me.

I would like to pass this award on to the following blogs.

1. The Farm Chicks
2. How Far We've Come
3. Just Because I Am Me
4. Just A Girl
5. nannygoat
6. The homespun heart
7. {Mz}Cellaneous
8. Women Living Well Blog
9. Skip To My Lou
10. With All That I've Been Given
11. She Looketh Well
12. One Mom, Five Boys
13. Nikki's Nacs
14. monkeys on the bed
15. kirstencan

These are just 15 blogs of the many that I love!
In accepting the award, you are asked to pass the award on to 15 other sites you love.

So if you accept this award from me copy the picture to your pc and pass it on to your 15.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Are you a humming bird or a vulture?

A humming bird flys around looking for bright, beautiful flowers to collect good, sweet nectar. They are also spreading wonderful pollen by doing this (which aids the flowers). A humming bird stays mostly in the air (very seldom do you see them on the ground).

A vulture can smell something dead and rotting from very far off, they then fly and circle looking for the dead. They feed on dead and rotting carcasses by picking at it. A vulture stays near the ground when feeding and digesting their food.

Do you look for the good in others? Do you try to spread encouraging words? Are you uplifting to those around you? Are you out there looking for good?


Can you smell a rumor/gossip a mile a way? Do you try to dig up "dirt" on others? Do you pick on others and try to bring/keep them down? Are you out there looking for the bad?

Which bird are you? A Humming Bird or a Vulture? "He who sees good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it." Proverbs 11:27 (NIV)

*Pictures courtesy of Wikipedia.

It's Here! It's Finally Here!

My Gooseberry Patch new, fall cookbook 'Autumn With Family and Friends' is here. I had submitted a recipe that they decided to use in their new cookbook, so they sent me a cookbook before it can be purchased in stores (there I am - right there on page 24).

I am so excited. I luuuuuvvvvvvvvv Gooseberry Patch products. I have been collecting their cookbooks for awhile.

Their cookbooks have great recipes submitted by everyday people like me. They also have crafting, decorating, gift giving ideas at the bottom of each page. If you have never seen a Gooseberry Patch cookbook, I suggest you get at least one to see what you think about it. Around here, they can be purchased at Cracker Barrel Restaurant and Country Store, around Christmas I see selected cookbooks sometimes at Hobby Lobby and I think I have seen them at JoAnn Fabrics. If you can't find them near you, you can order them online. You can also request a free catalog of their products here. Do you have a great recipe that you would like to share? You can do that here.

See my other post on Gooseberry Patch here.

*Note: Goosberry Patch did not ask me to endorse them (I am not getting paid by them to write this post - the cookbook was for submitting a recipe and not for endorsement).

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Birthday Cake

My niece, Danika, and Rance's birthdays are coming up really soon so we are having them a party on Sunday afternoon at the in-laws. (This is Frank's younger sister's daughter.) {You can see what I'm getting her for her birthday here - you will have to scroll down near the bottom of the post.}

Here is the cake that I made for them. It's more of a family get-together, with birthday cake than a party. We are having hamburgers and hot dogs, chips and drinks - very simple.

My other SIL (one of Frank's older sisters) is bringing her inflatable thingy (not sure what it is called). It has a water slide and things. The kids really enjoy this. This is also the last weekend before school starts on Monday - sort of an end of summer bash.

Playing in the water while it is still warm enough is always a hit with the kids (it's fun watching them too).

Well, today is our MOPS group's Scrapbook Luau (fundraiser) and I will be gone all day, then this evening I am helping my dad, tomorrow morning is church so I had to make the cake last night.

Katy gave us a sneak peek on one thing that we will have the opportunity to do there - check it out here.

Sorry if this sounds really scattered, but I am trying to get this posted before I have to leave for the Scrapbook Luau. I'm afraid that I won't get to post again until maybe Monday.

Anthony is starting Pre-K on Monday - please keep us (me) in your prayers. If I had to work and he would be at daycare anyway, Pre-K wouldn't be that big of a deal to me (that was the situation with Champ), but being a SAHM I'm not really ready to let go of Anthony. I am having a hard time with this. If it wasn't for the fact that Anthony wanted to go so badly - it wouldn't be hard (I wouldn't send him). He is so ready, he will love it (which is good). I've never had much, if any, one on one time with Rance so this could be a good opportunity for Rance too.

They grow up so fast and are kids for just a short amount of time that I don't want to rush it. Anthony has now started taking showers (instead of baths) like his dad and older brothers (he tells me he's big now). He had me cut his hair last night - like his dad's and his brother's (he no longer has the 'little boy' look). This is too much too fast for me. I am really struggling. I know it's going to happen, but so soon????????

Friday, August 7, 2009

Memo to Pillowcase Tutorial

I just wanted to say that making a pillowcase is great for a beginner or someone learning to sew. It is fairly quick and easy (it can be completed in one afternoon). There are many ways to make a pillowcase (mine is just one way), see here for another way (it shows how to do trim, but with out making the "tube" that I made).

If you wanted to make it like a purchased pillowcase (all 1 piece of fabric), you cut it 43 inches by 36 inches.

1) Take one side (43" long) and fold it over to wrong side of fabric 1/8" and press.
2) Take the pressed edge and fold it over again (to wrong side) 4" and press.
3) Stitch on the right side of fabric slightly less than 4" from folded edge.
4) Fold fabric in half (it should now measure approximately 21 1/2" by 32").
5) Sew the bottom (21 1/2") raw edge and go up the side (32") raw edge,
6) Clip 2 bottom corners.
7) Turn right side out and you are finished.

These make great gifts...

1) for wedding gifts
2) birthday gifts
3) great for sleepovers (your child will know for sure which pillow is his/hers)
4) great for going to camp (use your child's favorite colors, school colors, favorite characters, etc.)
5) great for holidays (get holiday fabric on clearance after the holidays - make these all year long and give them as gifts on that holiday)
6) great for High School graduates going off to college (do in school colors)

See Pillowcase Tutorial Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pillowcase Tutorial - Part 3

This is the 3rd and final part of my pillowcase tutorial. Check out part 1 and part 2 first.

Now it is pressed. Looks much better.

We are going to do a 'French Seam.' It's not complicated or difficult, but it makes the finished product look professional. It is actually just a couple of extra steps. It is well worth the effort.

With wrong sides together, pin 2 sides together (the side and bottom - not the edge with coordinating fabric).

The side and bottom are pinned together (wrong sides together). Then sew the 2 sides with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Trim the 2 bottom corners.

Now turn it outside in or inside out or whatever. Get the right sides together. Make sure you push out the corner with your fingers (to get a sharp point). Press the freshly sewn edges. Sew the side and bottom again (right sides together) with a 1/2" seam allowance. (I had a picture, but my camera is doing it's weird thing again and deleted some pictures and that is one of them - sorry.) Now trim threads and turn rightside out.

Here it is. The finished pillowcase. It is the size to fit a standard/queen pillow. If you want to make one for a king size pillow (or travel pillow) it is the same process, just measure your pillow first and take in account seam allowances.

Here is a look on the inside. No raw edges, no threads will be dangling (see below) after it has been washed. Looks almost as good on the inside as the outside.

This is the finished pillowcase and a bedtime story book (I got the idea here) for my niece for her birthday.

This is a pillowcase that I did a few years ago (for a travel size pillow). Sorry, it's sideways again.

Here is the inside (I didn't do it the "tube" way, I just sewed on the edge of the pillowcase. It doesn't look very finished on the inside. This is Rance and Anthony's (Anthony's name is on the other side) pillowcase and it has been washed lots and it has somethreads dangling.

Pillowcase Tutorial - Part 2

Part 2 to a Pillowcase Tutorial. Check out Part 1 here first.

Fold the coordinating fabric over the top of the "roll" that we just created. Make sure that the wrong side of the coordinating fabric is now on the outside.

Pin all 3 layers together (4 if you basted trim on the main fabric) along the raw edge..

All 3 layers pinned together. Now sew along the raw edge, leaving both ends open. It will make a tube. While sewing be extremely careful not to sew part of the roll on the inside (only the raw edge).

This is the tube all sewn up. Don't panic. Trust me. This will work.

Grab the center of the main fabric on the inside and gently pull.

Keep gently pulling. It looks like a mess, but it will work out. I promise (as long as you didn't sew part of the roll). Trust me. The tube will start to come right side out. You should start seeing more of the main fabric and the right side of the coordinating fabric.

TA - DA!!!!!!!! (Sorry the picture is sideways. I didn't realize it until too late and I want to finish this post instead of correcting the picture before I have company.)

Here it is all pulled out straight. You can see the trim a little better now. I thought I wanted it, but now I wish I hadn't added it. Oh, well. It's not so bad that I want to take it apart and take it out.

Part 3

Pillowcase Tutorial - Part One

This is a pillowcase tutorial. I hope that I have explained it well, but if you have questions, please feel free to ask me in a comment or to e-mail me.

You will need 1 yard of fabric and 1 yard of coordinating fabric (this will be enough to make 2 coordinating - not matching - pillowcases). Decorative trim is optional (rick rack, accent fabric, ribbon, lace, etc).

Trim your fabric to 43 inches wide (ex: if it is 45" wide, you will trim 3" off the width) and 28" tall.

Trim your coordinating fabric to 43" wide and 8" tall.

With wrong sides together fold the coordinating fabric lengthwise and press it. (I embroidered my niece's name on it, see the right side - if you are going to do that do that now).

If you are adding a decorative trim (I did rick rack - does not show up for several pictures), baste it onto the main fabric now. The trim should be 43" long.

Now take your main fabric and roll it up fairly tight (if you added trim, start at the end without the trim). You are rolling it toward the wrong side of the fabric. Lay the coordinating fabric right side up, lay the main fabric roll right side down on top of the coordinating fabric, making sure to match raw edges.

See where the raw edges match up (with right sides together).

The roll should be quite smaller than the coordinating fabric. VERY IMPORTANT!

Part 2
Part 3

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What happened?

This is what happens when your kids get the camera without you knowing about it.

Join Me

I have started reading Proverbs. That is my favorite book in the bible (there is so much wisdom there). There are 31 chapters in Proverbs and I started on the 1st of this month, so I will read a chapter a day (it's not too late - so jump right in and join me).

I am also doing 31 Days of Praying for your husband, check it out here. Katy Lin at The Great Adventure is also doing the 31 Days of Praying for your husband (I just started late so I started on the 1st day of August).

I am also joining Deb at One Single Minute and reading 'Created to be his Help Meet.'

I feel that I have a wonderful marriage, but Satan doesn't sleep so I want to pray for my husband, my marriage and my family (they are my most prized earthly possesions). [Even a wonderful marriage can get better.] My husband is my life partner. Every thing about him affects me in some way or another. I pray for him daily, but there are times that I pray for him more diligently than others (the same goes for my kids). This month I will be concentrating on my husband.

I have read in the past 'Power of a Praying Wife' by Stormie O'Martian. That is an excellent read if you haven't read it (I highly recommend it).

Jesus states in Matthew 5:44 "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"

If God wants us to pray for those that do evil against us, how much more should we pray for those that love us?

Read my post about making our husbands a priority here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

FREE Magazine for kids

Sign up here for a free subscription to Lego Magazine. My boys absolutely love this. They also love the fact that they get mail (that's a cool bonus).

It says it's a 2 year free subscription, but I'm pretty sure that I signed up my boys like 4 or 5 years ago and they are still getting it. But it wouldn't matter, after 2 years you could sign up again.

I am now signing up Anthony and Rance because they love looking at Lee and Champ's magazines.

Lee's Cake

This is a cake that Lee designed and decorated himself. He drew it out on paper first and told me what ingredients he needed. I got what he needed at the grocery store.

It didn't turn out quite like he had planned, but I think he is pleased with it anyway.

This is supposed to be a pond or a stream. He asked for blue jello to make the water. He made the jello all by himself, but he had used "tainted" water and it didn't taste good. [The "tainted" water was from the fact that I was going to make mac-n-chees and I had put salt water on to boil, then realized we were out of milk and I just turned the stove off and left the salt water there. Lee didn't realize the water had salt in it and used it for the jello.] He didn't miss a beat and improvised, we made blue icing.

The green icing was the grass. We ran out of the green icing we made (and it is difficult to match shades), so he finished up with blue to make it look like the stream was running around the side of the cake.

The pretzel sticks/rods are trees. He wanted to use icing on the tops of the trees for leaves. I told him the icing was too thin and wouldn't stay up there, what we really needed was some "green" chocolate (like the kind Wilton makes in meltable wafers and you can get from Hobby Lobby).

He used teddy grahams. Some of them are laying on 'beach towels' made from a striped gummy candy (did you see a couple of 'beach towels' laying on the tree branches?). He has some teddy grahams swimming and diving in the water. He has a teddy graham doing a hand stand on land.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Matthew 5:41

John, our preacher, preached a whole sermon this morning on this verse.

Matthew 5:41 "And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain." KJV

It was a very inspiring sermon. It is a short verse, but it says alot. How often do we go the second mile?

He had also mentioned a multi-millionaire retiring at age 38 and at his 'retirement party' he would give the secret to his success. It was..."And then some." He said he always did what was asked of him in school 'and then some.' He did the same at college and had places asking him to come work for them. He did the same at work and he became very successful. He opened his own company and it grew, he opened more companies, etc.

Basically this man followed one of God's principles and he went the extra (second mile). I have no idea if this man knew God or not, but God teaches in other verses throughout the bible this same principle.

Whether I ever become a millionaire or not, I know that I am going to be working on going the second mile. More often than not, I complain or resist the first mile much less go the extra mile. It is nice when others go the extra mile for me, so I will try to do the same for others.
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