Who wrote: "You must live somewhere by me because we've had the same weather you've described.
I've also been cleaning out closets and also cleaning the house. Call it a pre-spring cleaning. I've begun thinking about what I'm going to plant in my garden and when I can start my seeds indoors next month."
Yep, we do live close.
Thanks to everyone who entered. And Shannon, drop us an email letting me know what size your daughter is and what colors/styles she likes. Then we can discuss the options via email--or telephone, 'cuz I think you might be that close.
I've been working on swimsuits already here at my house because this winter is just killing us. Seriously, we are so DONE! It has been so long with lots of snow and lots of cold. About a week ago we had a great sneak peek at Spring with about 5 days straight of 40ºF+ weather. It was BEAUTIFUL! And although not all the snow disappearred--unbelievable after that many days of warm weather--we did melt off a bunch. We saw the streets for the first time since the beginning of December sometime. My kids were so ready to break out the bikes, skateboards, scooters, and even swimsuits. All that occurred just in time for an all-time record breaking February snowstorm (15+ inches of new snow) the beginning of this week.
Oh Spring, so close.....
Anyway, the winner of this drawing will get to determine their prize based on what materials I currently have.
Choose from size 1T to girls' 14
Fabric color--to be determined by me and the winner (we've got lots of options--see the pic below)
Winner and I will also discuss any other embellishment options :) i.e possibility of two-tone or one shoulder suit, skirted.
For a chance to win leave a comment telling how you are gearing up for Spring & Summer at your house. Besides making swimsuits I am de-junking a lot of my life--right now that is mainly my laundry room and storage.
Leslie's giveaway will be up tomorrow, and you can still enter Emily's from yesterday.
Good luck to everyone! Winners will be posted on Friday.
*If you don't happen to win this round I've got quite a few suits in my Etsy shop that are available immediately. I'm adding more as I get them photographed. Or you if you are looking for something else truly unique you can order a custom suit. Drop me a note about it....we can talk.
Last week I hit one of my local thrift stores on their 25% off day to do some browsing for who knows what exactly, but I did find this:
(2) - 11 fat quarter bundles of Venetian Holiday by Hoffman--which are no longer available and probably outdated, but I don't care about that. I just love all the blues mixed with some green, cream, and a little brown. I don't have many blue scraps at my house. Too many girls running around I suppose, even though 2 of the 3 girls have proclaimed "blue" as their favorite color.
It was also originally priced at $31 per bundle--the tag was still on them. However, I paid only $5.92 for the 2 bundles together, making each fat quarter $.27 each. Gotta love that!
Anyway, I don't know what I am going to do with them yet, but I'll figure something out. I was kind of thinking along the lines of some sort of string/scrap/coin quilt--yeah, I know they are fat quarters, but I need to try something different for me.
This quilt is a total knock off from one I saw in a magazine.
It's made almost entirely of recycled/upcycled material. I cut up shirts from Leslie and my husband's closets and sheets I've been collecting over the years.
This is one of four quilts I recently took to my quilter. I gave her some direction on what I wanted, but then turned it over to be done with as she saw fit. I think she gave it a very nice texture.
The backing is the lighter blue ticking stripe. It was a sheet in a previous life. The binding is yardage from my stash. Love them both!!!!
The thick striped outer border is also a former sheet. And those mitered corners make me very happy!
If I'd ever describe a quilt as being "Me" I'd have to say this is it. I mean -- recycled sheets, reclaimed shirts, ticking, plaid, red -- all things I LOVE! My husband declared it one of his favorite quilts I have made so far. Not really sure why he likes it so much, but I'll take it! (I'm sure you can guess which one is his all-time favorite.)
Started: July 2010
Finished: February 2011
Size: 55" by 70"
Fabrics: reclaimed shirts, upcycled sheets, yardage from my stash, and purchased yardage.
See the fabrics up close here.
This little quilt has been hanging around my sewing room for.ev.er! I used a bunch of odds and ends to make it way back when. Once it was done (as in completely bound) I realized one of the fabrics had a small tear in it. I put it aside until I could figure out a good repair method.
After much deliberation, and lots of searching for the right piece of fabric, I decided some applique circles would do the trick.
The back is a reclaimed sheet.
In my opinion, you can never go wrong with ticking...in anything!
This time of year is a great time to do some pressure canning--the weather is cold and so heating up your kitchen is not a big deal. And lots of time you can get meats on sale. I usually pressure can meats and dried beans during the first months of the year. I usually buy an extra turkey, or two, around Thanksgiving or Christmas when they are the cheapest, save them in the freezer and pressure can later. I've got one in the freezer right now that needs to be taken care of. Buy any meats that you can find on great sales and then freeze them to can later if you can't do it right then.
When I pressure can I usually run 2 at a time. The one on the left is my 23 qt. pressure canner from hubby's grandma and I can double stack pints in it, thus canning 16 pints at a time. The one on the right is my 17 qt. pressure canner and I can only do one layer in it--therefore I usually just do quarts in that one. But even still, running 2 canners at once I can get 23 or 24 jars of stuff in one sitting.
Last week I canned Chili (recipe from the Ball Blue Book), without beans (I can those separately), and actually did a cost analysis on it. Sometimes people ask why we can--and sometimes it is because it is cheaper than buying in the store. Peaches and pears, depending on where you live, may not necessarily be cheaper than store bought. However, if it's not for the price it is definitely for the taste. Hands down canning your own stuff tastes better. So here is the breakdown for my chili:
Yield: 8 qts.
$22.32 (not necessarily the cheapest price for ground beef currently)
2 large onions (4 c. worth)
Chili powder (1 c. worth)
4 cloves garlic
Salt (9 tsp. worth)
#10 can diced tomatoes
divided by 8 = $3.49 per qt. jar (or $1.75 per pint jar which is a similar size to a 15 oz. can you'd buy in the store.)
Since I don't buy canned chili in the store (at least I can't remember the last time I did) I don't know if this is comparable or not. But the taste, and the nutritional value (way less salt and fat) outweighs anything you'd get in the stores in my opinion. And really this is the only chili that my family will eat.
As far as the beans go, I know for sure canning your own is WAY cheaper. You can buy a 1 pound bag of pinto beans in the store for about $1. They will be cheaper if you buy the beans in bulk. But a 1 pound bag of dry beans equates to 4 pints of canned beans. That means it is $.25 a jar, much cheaper than in the stores. They have less fat and less salt than store beans, and if you add your own jalapeño to each jar you can get more flavor without hiking up the price as much as they do for spiced refried beans in the store.
I also canned beans 3 different mornings last week and ended up with this:
Pinto beans 10 qts. and 23 pints
Garbanzo beans 5 pints
Soybeans 12 pints
Black-eyed Peas 2 pints
So here is why I canned beans this past week....earlier big empty shelf.
Now here is what it looks like after canning 62 pints worth of beans. 8 jars deep and double stacked.
L to R: Pinto, Garbanzo, Black-eyed Peas, Soybeans, and 10 bean soup in the quart on the right.
Here are instructions for home canning dried beans--very similar to what the Ball Blue Book instructs.
This site has instructions also along with pics---keep scrolling down a ways to see it.
I've been trying my hardest to get all my in-progress quilts DONE once and for all. I'm ashamed to say that this quilt top was started way back in the fall of 2009.
I made it with the intention of using it at Christmas time. I like that it doesn't scream Christmas.
Here are some close-up's of the different fabrics I used. I really have no idea what any of them are anymore as it was so long ago when I used them. Some are designer, some are not.
This was one of the quilts I sent out to have quilted last week. Though not as satisfying as doing it myself, it is such a huge relief to have it finally done!!
I think part of the reason it hung out in the unfinished pile for so long is because I wasn't sure I'd be able to find the right backing fabric. When I came across this print (Mingle Circles in Leaf by Robert Kaufman) I knew I'd hit the jackpot. It was pretty much perfect.
The binding...was exactly what I had envisioned as well!
Funny story: I took a bunch of scraps from this quilt to my LQS when I was searching for a backing. I immediately decided on the awesome Mingle Circles. When I took it up to the front for cutting the ladies at the store were like "I'm not so sure that one even goes with your scraps. Maybe you could find something a little more suitable to match." I'm happy to report that I didn't let them sway me in the least. Just goes to show that everyone's opinion /tastes can be different and still work!
Recently I found this idea in the book "Smart Kids Activity", pg. 16, while browsing at the library for ideas for a school Valentine's party (that I now don't have to be in charge of--whew, so happy about that!) After seeing the book I remembered having seen this years ago in a Family Fun magazine--and sure enough when I went looking online I found it right off--Crayon Hearts.
I am sure that many of you have a similar container of crayons that resembles this:
Broken bits, papers removed, a big 'ole mess of leftover crayons dumped together into a bucket at the end of the school year with the hopes that they will get used again, ... sometime.
Basically here is what you do to make the "new" crayons:
Find all the little crayon pieces without papers in your "stash" and use those first. If you need more, remove wrappers and break into pieces that will fit into your muffin tin. **Family Fun used heart tins, but we didn't have those.
Heat oven to 170ºF.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the wax has melted.
Remove and allow to cool.
If they don't come out easily, place them in your freezer for up to an hour--they should pop right out.
Here is what they look like hardened in your muffin tin.
But here is what the other side looks like once you pop them out. Totally COOL!
We'll add some sort of note with each that says something like:
You color my world
Valentine, you make my heart melt
Have a happy Valentine's Day, for "crayon" out loud!
Friends are the Rainbows of Life
***We ended up doing 2 batches--the first was a practice run for the 2nd grader's Valentines, just in case they didn't work out like we hoped. They did, and B. loves them. And so did the rest of the kids--they wanted some for themselves to make and use.
There was an unplanned change of scenery in our living room earlier this week. We hadn't planned on getting a different couch, but a friend of ours was getting a new one and wanted to get rid of their old one. Theirs happened to be in MUCH better shape than our current one and the style worked for me, and so the changing of the couches took place.
And instead of paying $40 to "recycle" (i.e. pay someone else to dispose of it) the old couch, hubby decided he could dismantle the couch with a little help from his friend the reciprocating saw. Then we chucked some pieces in the trash and we'll probably do that 2 more times to get rid of all the pieces. Before he got to that point however, we had to take out the hide-a-bed mattress and metal springs portion. You can see it in the background on the left. The kids thought the couch frame made a great play area and tried to talk us into keeping that. Uhhhh,.....no! We will, however, keep the old cushion and use it as a sleepover mat of sorts. (see it standing up in the back right corner?)
If you ever need to take out some frustration or aggression I highly recommend destroying a couch. Did I mention we've been in the middle of a possible job loss drama for the past 10 days or so? Oh yeah, the couch destruction was EXTREMELY therapeutic. So would've been a great game of raquetball.
Almost complete with the destruction and dissambly.
Here is the "new" couch--also a hide-a-bed, which we sometimes need. If nothing else the kids like to have a movie night or sleepover out in the LR on it. I may end up making a slipcover for it, but for now we're all happy with a better couch that was free. Thanks, Amber! (I love your new couch too.)
I made this baby quilt a long time ago using the leftover scraps from the zig zag. I'm finally getting around to posting it (and selling it). I thought about keeping it for the girls to play with, but we don't really need it. I prefer gigant-o quilts for tall people. It's super cute though. More pics here.
I had a super productive day on Saturday. My family was cooperative and found lots to occupy their time while I hunkered down in my sewing room for most of the day. A rare, but much appreciated occurrence!
First off, I spent a few hours ripping all the paper off my string blocks and sewing them together. The top is now done and waiting for me to decide on the backing fabric. With so much going on on the front I am leaning towards some sort of solid. But we'll see...
I revisited my Vintage Sheet Quilt. After getting stuck and a bit frustrated on it I left it alone for about 4 months. After digging it out and spending some time on it this weekend the top is now done. I think I've decided to use this quilt as a starting point in regards to decorating my girls' room. I'm thinking bead board and ticking sheets.
Finally, I picked up this quilt from the quilter and dropped off my Star Wars quilt, the one for my niece, and this one. I was really feeling bogged down with my huge pile of tops waiting to be quilted. (Quilting would be my LEAST favorite part of the process.) Now that someone else is quilting them I should be able to concentrate more fully on my ever expanding list for 2011.
One of the things that I got from our Grandma's home when we were going thru everything after the funeral was a doily crocheted by her mother, our Great-grandma Cooper. Nobody else seemed to want it, and although I wasn't sure what I'd do with it, I took it anyway.
Then during the course of the days after that one of my aunt's gave me a tour of her home and she had a doily framed on display in one of her bedrooms. Great idea for me.
Once I was home I checked with Michael's framing dept. to see how they would attach it and they told me they just sew it carefully onto a mat board. Well, I can certainly do that without paying someone else to do it for me. So I found a 12" x 12" shadow box frame on sale ($6), and bought a pretty piece of scrapbooking cardstock ($.25). I couldn't find the right color mat board for the price I wanted to pay. I hand sewed the doily onto the paper myself. Then I attached the paper with double sided tape to the mat board.
Now that is it completed I'm going to hang it in my living room.