Saturday, October 31, 2009

ode to anthropologie

The last three years, I've been making fabric ornaments to include in Christmas gifts. First, I made some birdies, then some cupcakes, and this year, it's boots. They are still in progress, as you can see. Can you see that boot, it sort of blends in!

So, with ornaments on the brain, I received an email from Anthropologie last night with a link to their ornaments page. Awe, be still my heart! They are all SO pretty. As usual. As if Anthropologie could ever make anything NOT pretty, right?

I noticed they used a lot of handcrafty materials this year. Notice all the crochet, knitting, buttons and embroidery.

And the Merry Christmas garland. I see myself making something similar. Maybe next year, when a knock-off won't be so obvious ;)

I hope these inspired you!

Friday, October 30, 2009

smart kid food

We had a party at my in-laws' house over the weekend and Casey's mom came up with this shish-ka-bob idea for the kiddos. I tell ya, my girls don't usually eat lunch meat, but put it on a stick or in a muffin tin and suddenly it becomes tons of fun :) Above is my niece Jillian and below is my nephew Thomas. You can see that good looking kids run in our family ;) Anyway, just thought I'd share the great idea!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

sneak peek and some quilty inspiration

Here's a little peek at a quilt I've been working on. I think it's going to be realllly pretty, I can't wait to show you the finished product :) I'll share a little more about it when it's all finished, of course. My Christmas sewing list is getting longer by the day, so I wanted to go ahead and get this one off my plate. We've been enjoying some blizzardy weather today, so sewing time was more plentiful than usual.

I ran across this pattern recently and L-O-V-E it. It's called Another Brick in the Wall and you can find it in online shops everywhere. To me it looks like stacks of books.
Also, I saw this quilt on a bed in Crate & Barrel while on a date with Casey several months ago. It looks especially cool on a bed, since the uneven strips drape over the sides. Pretty cool, I think I can copy it :) Use up the bucket of strips I've been collecting! (I wish I could make these pictures bigger, sorry.)

I've decided to go ahead and reopen my Etsy shop! Thanks to those of you who offered encouraging words. I wish I could open it up before Christmas, but that's not gonna happen :) so I'm shooting for the end of January. I'm excited! My goal is to start selling fabric there eventually, so I would so love to hear input on what kind of fabric Etsy shoppers would like to see there, as well as ideas on how to make my shop stand out among all the other fabulous fabric vendors in cyberspace :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

and the world makes sense again

I'm happy to report, Casey returned home last night after six months of Officer Training! We are soooo happy, as you can see by Kelby's face below...

Silly Natalie ;)

Daddy and son reunion this morning, it was so sweet, Kelby was giddy and giggly and silly when Casey got him up.

And the girls have barely left his side all day. This is them watching Cinderella together :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

to top it all off...

I finished the strawberry headbands for the cupcake costumes. Not bad, eh? I'm going to JoAnn today to hit the big sale. I'm considering reopening my Etsy shop, but I keep going back and forth. I would stick to a few things for starters. Maybe more of these blankets, some baby shoes, some tea towel sets and perhaps some birthday banners? And, I was thinking about turning these guys into paper dolls and adding those too. Any thoughts?? Any tips??

Thursday, October 15, 2009

hello, punkin

Yesterday after dinner, I made some pumpkin crafts with the girlsies. They love craft time :) First we made these big pumpkins and formed them into a circle for a candelabra of sorts...

...but then I hung them up here so we could keep the fire department at bay :)

Then we made some pumpkin crowns. Speaking of crowns, my Mom and I had a sort of break-through last night with the veggie eating! Since Layla ate all her baby carrots, without complaining, we called her the "Dinner Princess" of the night! What a concept!!! Natalie, of course, wanted to be the dinner princess too, so she's determined to eat all her veggies tonight too. We'll see :) However, I would love to hear any other ideas you all may have--kid-friendly veggie recipes, etc...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

some Christmas sewing and how to make yourself miserable

I got going on my Christmas sewing! Can you tell what this year's ornaments will be?? Super cute. Again, out of this book. I think I've gotten my money's worth.

I read this on my favorite online devotional today. I love her :) Lets all try to reign in our complaints today, shall we?

Elisabeth Elliot's Daily Devotional

Elisabeth Elliot

Title: Several Ways to Make Yourself Miserable

Author: Elisabeth Elliot

1. Count your troubles, name them one by one--at the breakfast table, if anybody will listen, or as soon as possible thereafter.
2. Worry every day about something. Don't let yourself get out of practice. It won't add a cubit to your stature but it might burn a few calories.
3. Pity yourself. If you do enough of this, nobody else will have to do it for you.
4. Devise clever but decent ways to serve God and mammon. After all, a man's gotta live.
5. Make it your business to find out what the Joneses are buying this year and where they're going. Try to do them at least one better even if you have to take out another loan to do it.
6. Stay away from absolutes. It's what's right for you that matters. Be your own person and don't allow yourself to get hung up on what others expect of you.
7. Make sure you get your rights. Never mind other people's. You have your life to live, they have theirs.
8. Don't fall into any compassion traps--the sort of situation where people can walk all over you. If you get too involved in other people's troubles, you may neglect your own.
9. Don't let Bible reading and prayer get in the way of what's really relevant--things like TV and newspapers. Invisible things are eternal. You want to stick with the visible ones--they're where it's at now.

Monday, October 12, 2009

hey there, cupcake :)

Hey, I finishes these cupcake costumes the other day!!! I'm giddy, they're so cute ;) I still need to make the strawberry headbands, but I need some headbands first. Obviously, Pottery Barn uses wool felt on theirs and I used polyester, so mine don't stick out quite like theirs, but I still think they're awesome because mine didn't cost $100 either, HA!

Our house is in a very campy-looking neighborhood and there are trees everywhere. It makes for a beautiful Fall here, since there is a blanket of leaves outside for several weeks. Yesterday I took the girls out to play so I could practice my mad photography skills ;) Kelby was napping, I'll need to take him out there today maybe to get some good pics of him!

Layla was being exceptionally cooperative :) That's why there are more of her.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

it's that time again...

...for the bloggers' quilt festival, that is :) I decided to enter my picnic quilt, since it is sorta close to my heart.

I made this quilt because I wanted something for the kiddos and I to sit on outside. I know I just blogged about this one at the beginning of summer, but now that we've used it so much for a season, I like it even more :) The pattern is called whirly giggles and can be found (for free!) here.

I used parts of jeans along with several red fabrics. The jeans are perfect for this type of thing and reusing them makes me feel green :) Be forewarned, when people see something you've made from jeans, you will be inundated with them. Just FYI. The borders are sturdy vintage tea towels that a close friend gave me when her grandmother passed away. Some had stains and holes so cutting them up for this gave them new life.

The back is a "tapestry" I bought at Urban Outfitters several years ago and hung as my bedroom curtains for a long time. All in all, the only thing I bought new for this was the batting! We've created so many memories on it already and I'm sure we'll have many more to come.

And here it is in use! :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Eat, eat, then eat some more

First of all, THANK YOU for the tips about blogger. Sometimes it can be sooo irritating :) But, I looked into some other options and I think I'm going to try Flock to maybe make posting easier. SO, thanks for helping me realize I can use something else to form posts!

I have a couple of favorite food magazine I'd like to share. The first is Martha Stewart's Everyday Food, which is NOTHING like the recipes in her Living magazine (meaning super complicated and time consuming, with lots of obscure ingredients.) Rather, these have simple, fresh, everyday food ideas. A lot of them are even non-recipes, just a veggie idea, etc... The other is Clean Eating, which I have more recently discovered. In our quest to get the sugar out, this is a GREAT resource for us. The following two recipes are from this magazine and are excellent.

Tomato and Feta Salad

2 pints cherry tomatoes
1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper

In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with the feta. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss. Top with the thyme. (We skipped the thyme and used fresh, chopped basil instead and I think it really added a lot.)

Coco Cran Nut Muffins

1 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 medium apple, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted pecans, chopped
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup plain or Greek yogurt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/2 honey
1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (I actually used blueberries and they worked fine.)

1. Preheat over to 375. Prepare muffin tin with paper liners or cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flours, oats, cocoa powder, salt, apple baking soda and powder, and pecans. Stir until combined.
3. in a large bowl, mis together buttermilk, yogurt, vanilla, eggs and honey. Add dry mixture to wet and stir until moistened. Then gently stir in cranberries. Fill muffin cups halfway. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes.

ALSO, I've made some progress on the cupcake costumes today. I was almost giddy after finishing the muffin cups, they turned out so cute. I was wishing I had retained a little bit more geography in school, though :) I hope to have the finished product to show you soon!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

some things I am loving...

1. The Elisabeth Elliot Daily Devotional.

2.Vintage playthings. I don't know if my hubby would appreciate me calling his Constructs "vintage." (He's 28 and still swear that's mid-20's.) Natalie made several of these masks yesterday--all of them perfectly symmetrical!!! She's 4! She has also been enjoying the three generations of legos we have here and my old Upsie Baby. Anyone remember her??

3. My mocha pot. These are a household staple in Europe. Why it hasn't caught on here, I do not know, but I tell ya...this is soooo much better than using an espresso machine at home. It's faster, it's less mess, it's easy to clean and it's not rocket science!! I also have an inexpensive hand held milk frother that works great. You can get both these things on Amazon for about the price of a week's worth of Starbucks :)

4. This Beautiful Doodles book. I bought one for my niece for her birthday, but we thought it was so cool, my mom went out and bought one for my kids. It is soooo much fun. We don't color in this, I just make copies of the pictures, so we can use it over and over. It has all kinds of starter pictures, like a dress shape that you can decorate, etc...

5. The Fossil watch Casey bought me when I visited him in Virginia. I l-o-v-e it :)

6. This washable snack bag tutorial! I love this, I'm going to make several for us and several for Christmas gift additions. Also a good opportunity to use the funny novelty fabrics I have that I have no idea what to do with :)
7. These three cuties :) wearing the t-shirts Daddy sent them from Virginia. Speaking of Daddy, only TWO WEEKS left until we get him back and we are sooo ready and overjoyed :)

p.s. I have NO IDEA WHY THIS POST IS SO MESSED UP AND SPREAD OUT. Does anyone else occasionally find Blogger JUST IMPOSSIBLE????????

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Darn you, Pottery Barn!

I told myself I was NOT making costumes this year. I don't have the time and it would cost the same just to go to the consignment store and let the girls pick out their own costumes.

That was back when all they wanted to be were Disney Princesses or Dora.

Then I used the restroom at my friend Angela's house and saw this. Pottery Barn Kids. A cupcake costume. Super cute.

Of course, I immediately thought, "I can make that." *sigh* The girls actually agreed to be cupcakes instead of Princesses (which we get way too much of around here) so I went out and bought the felt yesterday. Less the $10 for two super-cute costumes, you can't beat that!!!

Now, Kelby is going to be a cowboy. I am NOT making him a costume!!!!