Friday, March 31, 2006

Just a little bit of hippie...

I bought these overalls on the clearance rack at a tanning salon of all places (I don't tan) for $7. Although I love patchwork clothes, these overalls are just a little too hippie for me. But, I just couldn't pass them up. These things are usually at least 40 bucks. So, I took them home anyway. After I set them on the couch when I got home, I realized that they match my livingroom perfectly! So, the legs became throw pillows. The pillows I had already really needed some re-stuffing. So I cut them open, restuffed, then just attached a square piece of fabric from the overalls to the front. Here's a close up of the fabric: (you can also click on it for a larger picture)

And here's the result!

I am REALLY happy with these. I was going to try to make my own applique pillows for the living room, but this was just too easy...and for $7! I still have the top half of the overalls. I think I'm going to get some corduroy fabric and attach a skirt to the remaining top half to make a jumper. I think I might even have enough fabric left to make a little skirt or something for my toddler.

I also got this little dress for $5. It's really strange, though. It is sized for a small child, but the neck is too small for a child's head to fit. That's probably why it was on the clearance rack. I'm going to open one of the shoulders, hem the rough edges and attach ribbons to tie.

One of our favorite children's books right now is "You Can Do It, Sam" my Amy Hest. I absolutely love the illustrations by Anita Jeram (the same gal who did "Guess How Much I Love You"). In this book, Sam the Bear and Mother Bear (who live on Plum Street, by the way) wake up early on a snowy morning to make cakes for all their neighbor friends. It was so sweet and inspiring that we decided to make something for our neighbors. I'll blog about that later this weekend.... also coming up this weekend (for Susan), my hubby's Chicago-style stuffed pizza recipe and pics (he'll be making one)....also, a knitting project.

Friday, March 24, 2006

I'm so spoiled...

After reading Angry Chicken's blog about cookbooks this morning I thought it would be a good time to introduce my hubby. We decided that although this blog would primarily be mine, he could record his baking activities from time to time as well. Aren't I sweet?
We don't eat any red meat and hate sea food, so that pretty much leaves us with chicken and pork. We're very picky with our veggies, so it gets really hard to come up with new, interesting meals. I try to do alot of cooking, especially since he's at work and I'm at home and we hate eating out. But...I certainly need help having two little ones. And...he really enjoys it.
I love to look through cook books, but really only if there are alot of pictures (so sad, I know). I admit, when I really need a recipe for whatever it is I'm craving, I usually consult the internet. Apart from a few well worn cookbooks (look below), I've found the internet to be my greatest resource. "The Basics" was a wedding present from and authored by a friend in Colorado (Hi Ann!). I use it ALL the time.

"Breaking Bread with Father Dominic" is one of hubby's favorites. The Alton Brown book isn't a cookbook. But, it's a good organizational tool and...good reads.
My hubby and I both enjoy cooking. I usually stick to comfort foods. I absolutely love making soup or chili and corn bread on cold, rainy days. I also usually make the quick breads like banana and zucchini and the cakes and cookies (see my last post). My wonderfully talented husband loves to bake yeast breads and has expanded into pie crusts (the deep-dish pizza kind!).
Did I say that he makes the BEST deep dish pizza? Four years of college in Chicago completely ruined any other kind of pizza for him and since you can't get authentic "chicago stuffed" anywhere outside Chicago, he toiled away until he came up with his own perfect recipe (crust and sauce both from scratch).
He is also the master of dessert pies (I know, I know, I'm spoiled rotten). He makes an apple-cranberry walnut (adapted from his grandmother's recipe) the "wins" at every Christmas get-together. We replace our pie pans annually. This is because we usually leave the remaining pie with the hosts and almost never get the pan back. Oh, well.
We've been married about five years and I think he's starting to rub off on me. I can now make a pretty darn good chicken curry w/ flat bread and I think I've aced just about every kind of soup. I'd like to try my hand at baking and make croissants from scratch. Every now and then I look at a recipe. It looks horribly difficult and tedious, so I put it off. Is this year the year I'll try it? We'll see....

Oh, and by the way my hubby has TWO brothers....
......sorry, they're taken.

Friday, March 17, 2006


Mmm...This morning's breakfast is a maple apple walnut scone, coffee, and o.j. I substituted 1/3 or the white flour for wheat, hoping to make them a little healthier. These are definitely not "getting-back-to-my-prepregnancy-weight-scones". There's plenty of butter and sugar. Whatever. Yay for yummy breakfasts.
This is supposed to be a craft/ideas blog, but I'm working on reorganizing my sewing space, so I haven't been working on much lately. We have a 3rd bedroom that we were using as a playroom/guest room, but my daughter found a way to continuously scatter her toys all over the house regardless of the fact that she had TWO rooms in the entire house devoted to her belongings. Well, enough is enough, I say. I was having a hard time managing the day to day clutter, toys, AND my sewing stuff all in the living/dining room, playroom, and her bedroom (not to mention the kitchen and bathroom). So, I moved everything from the "playroom" back to her room and moved all my sewing stuff in to my BRAND NEW STUDIO(/guestroom)! I also put some toys in storage to rotate every so often. *whew*. Now, when I am working so diligently in my own little world (up to my post-baby waist in fabric, buttons, ric-rac, and who knows what else) I can wade out of the bedroom and shut the door when I need to move on to reality. The following are pictures from Alicia Paulson's blog at posie gets cozy that were so inspiring and so cute:

This photo is from here. It's actually from the December issue of Martha Stewart Living. but I also think it's beautiful and inspiring. The photo below is from here. I love the colors, the bowl of thread, the jar of buttons...everything. Alright, well, i probably have a good half hour before the kids wake up. Maybe I should actually go work on my "studio".

Monday, March 13, 2006

Snow Day!

Yay for snow, yay for skis, yay for dates in the snow on skis. I don't think we were gone for more than 20 minutes, but it was wonderful. Some friends invited us up to play in the snow at their house in the mountains today. They baby-sat the girls while hubby and I tried cross-country skiing for the first time. I learned that I love cross-country skiing. My husband learned that I sound something like a yelping poodle when I trip over my own skis. I had no idea how much exercise I was getting until after we settled down indoors in front of a fire. Then, all of a sudden, my legs felt like jello. I grew up in the Colorodo Rockies, but today was the first time I'd put skis. The ski resorts are horribly expensive and if you live in an expensive area, it's hard to come up with the money every year for tickets, gear, gas, turns into a weekend trip actually. So, I've never been.

Isn't this beautiful? *sigh* Today was wonderful. We don't really get snow at our house, so this was a wonderful change of scenery. My older daughter doesn't remember sledding last year, so I'm glad we got to take her again.

This is our puppy having a wonderful time (and also the tops of my girls hats). Watching dogs run in the snow is almost as much fun as watching them run on the beach.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Finally, a sunny day!

It has been so cold and rainy and yucky here in northern California. My older daughter really needs to get some outside time, but it gets really hard to get motivated to bundle up her and the baby and go out even when it's gloomy. I'd much rather stay inside, turn on some music, play a game, dance, whatever! Don't get me wrong, I love the outdoors, but I'm also very particular about the tempurature, humiditity, direction of the wind...ok, not really. I really love spring here, sunny, slightly breezy 70 degree days. I can't wait for all the poppies and purple hyacinth (not sure on that spelling) to come out. Every year seems to be different here (as we've only been here three years) and this one is particularly cold and rainy. It's supposed to rain and actually snow a little (which rarely happens here on the valley floor), but for now the sun's out-just right for taking still-lifes.

This month's tie-on-on assignment is to make an apron for a toy. I love that Amy picked this since this is the first time I come out of lurker-status and get my butt moving on some projects. I like starting small. This was really fun to make and equally as fun to watch my toddler's delight, "Mama...make...bear...dress! Yeah!!!!". I love the way she talks right now, although I have to laugh because it really reminds me of Malcom's friend on Malcome in the Middle. It frustrated me so much when he would pause for a breath inbetween each word. Well, my little big girl does the same thing. That's ok. It's wonderful to see and hear her growing and changing every day. What can I say? I love being a mom.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Too Cute for Words

Really, what is there to say? I think these are the cutest things I've ever seen. I absolutely love the one with piggy tails. I wish I had one sitting in my window sill, waking me every morning. Wouldn't that be a wonderful start to a day? By the way, they're made in Japan of glazed ceramic. The store's link is here.

I can't believe how big my baby's getting. *sniff, sniff* I had planned on making this after she was born, but I've been a little busy with her and her big sister and all. Well, here it is, I finally made this little dress I've been trying to get around to for months. It's a very simple pattern, but I've never made baby clothes before. So, I think it was a good project to start on. The pocket is from an old swing skirt I found at a costume shop. Believe it or not, I was at one time a swing dance champion. Does that give away my age? (not during the '40's swing era, but the short-lived, super-trendy '90's one.) Well, those days are definitely gone, but I still love florals from that '40's. The skirt went great with bright red lipstick. I'm still going to make another dress similar to this one for her big sis. I also made a matching mini-apron for this month's tie-one-on. I ran out of day light, so pics for that will come later.