Monday, June 24, 2013

Storm Interruption

This is just a quick note--written while I am briefly hooked up to the internet..

Friday night we had a super storm here in MN.  Hubby and I were out on a date when it hit.  We almost couldn't get home because it was SO BAD.  2 big limbs off one of our ash trees came down into the neighbor's yard, but over the power lines.  We lost power that night and here we are Monday and our home is still without power.  The power guys came and removed the limbs off the lines, but we are not expected to get any until Wed. evening.

Shoot me now!
This sucks!

I had my meltdown on Saturday afternoon.... right before we found a generator at a Home Depot in Bloomington, 30 miles away from us.  Well worth the drive!  And well worth the money at this point. Every thing, and I do mean everything, close by was sold out.  Our neighbor told us where he found his there was fight that broke out over the generators.  Fun times.

I am supposed to be leaving tomorrow for Church girls camp, with possibly still no power.  Not sure if I'll be able to do that.  Can't leave my other kids here in charge of a gas generator while I'm gone.  Could be an even more interesting week.

So, anyway, the point of all this is I probably won't be posting anything any time soon.  Although I did briefly hook up my sewing machine to the generator so that I could applique two more camp shirts for a couple late comers..

If you're the praying type we could use some.  I really need to have power by the morning so I can leave with the rest of the group and know that my kids will be fine too.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Another summer dress for the girl

I don't intend for this to happen (well maybe I do) but it seems that I rarely follow a pattern exactly as directed.  I'm more likely to use it as a base and then embellish it how I see fit....or how my fabric dictates.  I say that because I tend to buy remnant pieces from the thrift store, or end bolt pieces and so I get what I get and then I have to work around it.

That is what happened with this dress.

Had I used a different style and pattern I would've had enough but #3 wanted this particular dress and so I had to "wing it" a bit.  Not enough of the bird print to get the entire dress.  So I substituted one front panel with some red dotted Swiss to make it appear to be an "apron", added an upper band at the empire seam for the apron band and Voila! she is happy with it.

  • Simplicity 5645--used this same pattern for #3's Easter dress in 2012
  • Heidi Grace fabric that I probably bought at the thrift store.  Design is "We are Family".
  • Topstitched rickrack to each side of the "apron" panel to make it appear more like an apron and not like I had run out of fabric.  
  • Added band at empire waist to create the illusion of waistband of the "apron".  It is attached into the side seams and seam attaching bodice to skirt.
  • Once again I didn't put elastic in the sleeve hem but added a contrasting band by gathering the sleeve edge onto it.
  • Added tiny piping to the faced neckline.  Just sandwiched it between the bodice and facing pieces. And then topstitched it all down.
  • Finished the skirt hem edge like I do quilt bindings.  It gives it some body and shape too.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Duct Tape baseball caps

This week has gotten away from me.
We started swim lessons.
Had 2 sports physicals for swim team.
I've been making swimsuits for all sorts of peeps, both others and for my own girls.
I forgot to take pics of 4 of the ones I did for custom orders and already sent off.
It has rained off and on all week.....blech!
However, we did get one glorious day of swimming at our friend Mary Ann's pool.  Thanks!!!

So with the wishy-washy weather here is one of the things my kids have been doing.

My youngest three, mainly my oldest son, are obsessed with duct tape.
We have this cool place called Ax-Man Surplus where you can buy large rolls for $5.
They make all sorts of things.
For awhile there it was lots, and lots, and lots of weapons.

However, just since school has been out last week, son #1 has been making hats.

He was nice enough to make his younger siblings each one too.

Complete with personalization.

And new glasses.

They sort of look like thugs, but they are all happy with their hats.
Daughter #3 even wore hers out in public the other day and got some nice comments from a cashier.

Link to video how-to is HERE

Enjoy your weekend and Happy Father's Day to all!

I hope to post swimsuit stuff next week.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Our Garden is finally IN!

Usually we put our garden in around Memorial Weekend--sometimes sooner if the weather is helpful.  Not this year.  After 21 days of rain in May there never seemed to be a time that we could plant anything.  Finally this past weekend I planted my garden.

The rhubarb (on the bottom left) is going great.  And the strawberries (top right) came back after daughter #3 and I planted them late last year.  I think we got 5 strawberries total last year.

This year, however; things are looking better in the strawberry department.

This other little plot of earth makes me so happy!

This is in the back, off the driveway, side of the house and patio.  This space has been loving the rainy season.  Phlox, salvia, bleeding hearts, hostas, daylilies, and some other stuff I can't remember, but I planted perennials so I don't have to replant every year.  This year I had to divide some of my salvia out.  And next year I may have to do something with the bleeding hearts and daylilies and they are going great guns too.

Last year I found this wooden cardinal somewhere--most likely in someone's trash pile--and added it to the garden.  My kids LOVE cardinals!

I got this rusty water spout from our parents' house over Memorial Weekend.  It was sitting on their patio and had been for some time.  I asked my dad if I could have it and my hubby just rolled his eyes.  Hey!  I've got plans for this baby.

I used the little clay pot that my youngest made for me last year Mother's day and we filled it with some flowers, put it in the water spout, and then added it to my garden space.  I like it's quirkiness there.

So now that the garden is mostly in....bring on the sunshine!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hot Fudge Cake Recipe--GF and dairy free version

This is one of our most favorite dessert recipes and it is so easy.  We've had to tweak it some with our daughter's food intolerances, but since this has few items we have to alter it makes a good dessert recipe for all of us to enjoy.

Hot Fudge Cake
from Taste of Home magazine.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour  (we have used GF All-purpose flour, WonderFlour***, brown rice flour, and Sweet Sorghum Flour all with good results)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons baking cocoa, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk (have substituted with both soy and coconut milk)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups hot water
  • Ice cream or whipped cream, optional (Don't use for those with dairy issues, or use dairy free substitute)


  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk milk, oil and vanilla until blended. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened.
  • Transfer to an ungreased 9-in.-square baking pan. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and remaining cocoa; sprinkle over batter. Pour hot water over all; do not stir.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes. Serve warm. If desired, top with ice cream. 
  • Yield: 9 servings.
Nutritional Facts1 piece (calculatd without whipped cream and ice cream) equals 253 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 2 mg cholesterol, 171 mg sodium, 54 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.

Originally published as Hot Fudge Cake in Taste of Home April/May 1994, p37

***WonderFlour is not GF, only wheat free, but it can be made on your own by combining equal parts spelt, brown rice, and barley.  I mix it all up together in a large bowl and then run it thru my electric grinder.  You can order the flour online, but it is super easy to do by yourself.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Black Tie Baby Suit

Well, this is the last week of school around here, our local public swimming pool opens on Saturday and I haven't really made any swimsuits for my girls yet.  Life has been too hectic.  It feels like I've just been putting out fires for the last couple of weeks, or maybe months.

I should be making for my daughters, but instead I made another little baby swimsuit.  As I was going thru the stash of swim fabric I pulled out the "little" pieces that I couldn't really use for my daughters.  I had this striped black piece that reminded me of a tuxedo.  And thus was born the black tie (O.K. red bowtie) baby suit.

This suit makes me so happy.

  • Used 3 pearlized snaps (one side--female end--only) as the "buttons" on the shirt.
Snaps on inside of the swimsuit
  • 1 1/4 inch wide ruffle.  I ran 2 lines of gather stitches at 1/2" from each cut edge.  Then I went back and used these lines as the topstitch lines when attaching to the body of the suit.
  • Topstitched with a small zigzag stitch.
  • Bowtie is made from a piece of red grosgrain ribbon. Hand sewn on.
  • Used my basic baby racerback swimsuit pattern from Kwik Sew 2512 (discontinued).

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pink Ombre Ruffle Bum Swimsuit

Don't know why I didn't think of this style for a baby swimsuit before......I mean ombre is THE thing of late.

I guess I just needed to find the right fabric (pink swimwear) at the right time ( after receiving another baby shower invite) and at the right place (my favorite thrift store).

Size 2T

This will be heading to Holly's baby shower later this week.  I'm super excited about this little swimsuit.

Seriously, anyone else having a baby girl here soon?!  I might have to make some more of these....they just kill me.

I've got another baby suit coming up tomorrow too. 'Cuz every girl needs at least 2 suits.


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