Archive for March, 2008

Me

I saw this on Crafty Mama’s blog and thought it would be fun to do so here goes:

Four jobs I have had in my life:
– Berry, onion and bean picker- paid for clothes and stuff during my teens
– Forklift driver for Smuckers Cannery- no, you really don’t want to know what’s in your jam.
– CNA- worked in a nursing home after college- hmm, what does that say about a college education?
– Human Resources Generalist- I hired and fired, not fun

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
– Princess Bride – who hasn’t seen this at least ten times?
– Gross Point Blank – love that movie!
– Superbad – I’ve actually only seen this once, but I haven’t laughed so hard in a long, long time. I’m going to watch it again, soon.
– Star Wars – against my will every time

Four places I’ve lived:
– Fiji
– Saudi Arabia
– Montana
– Oregon

Four TV shows I watch:
– The Office – one both Chris and I can watch together- a rarity!
– ER – started watching this show while a premed in college and recently started watching again
– Law & Order – Augie could sing the tune before he was four- not good mothering I think
– Girls Next Door – Gross, but I can’t help it!

Four places I have been:
– Egypt
– Rome
– London
– Israel

Four favorite foods:
– Coffee
– Bread and butter
– Rice
– Dungeness Crab

Four places I’d rather be right now:
– Sleeping
– Sewing
The Ranch
– On a beach

Four things I’m looking forward to this year:
– My week off in May with just my kids, I do this every year
– Summer Vacation
– BIL’s Wedding
– Turning 35!

Four places I love to shop:
Craigslist
Lands End
Stitchin Post
REI

That’s it- a little of me. Want to write one too? Tag, you’re next!

New Ride

Eddie’s birthday is next week, but we gave him his present today:

Eddie's New Ride

And oh man are they having fun with this!

Taking it for a Spin

Neither one has mastered the spin-out yet, but I’m sure the day is coming soon. This is a Kettlercar and I’m impressed how well this car stays on all 4 wheels. It’s a sturdy one, but well used before we got it.

Yes people, it’s another Craigslist purchase. I love rescuing old things and giving them a purpose again. I mean, really- why buy new when there’s so much treasure out there already?

Easter Goods

Easter

Like I promised, these were whipped up the night before Easter. I made each kid, my 3 plus 5 cousins plus a family friend, 4 books of different sizes and tied some pencils, a pen and a pencil sharpener to each gift “pack”. I of course added some chocolate bunnies and my two boys got their first watches. Eddie keeps informing us that it’s 90:40 and we “gotto go!”

All Ready to Give

Each pack was opened up pronto and put to great use.

Augie's Book

And this is exactly what I like to see, kid writing. I love how they sound out things, how lines are turned into rainbows, and the snakes, lizards and insects crawling here and there.

These are a great way to save those early drawings and writings. And it’s super easy. The idea has been floating around in blogland for months and I’ve made these several times for my kids as well as for gifts. They really are great and so simple to make just by running them through your sewing machine on the longest stitch or stapling will work as well. All it takes is some card stock, paper (6 pages per book turns out well), and anything you have around to decorate it with- stickers, stamps, punches. You could really go to town with these and make them extravagant or very simple.

These were enjoyed over at Auntie “Mimi’s” yesterday along with ham, cake (it was also Hayden’s birthday), a huge egg hunt, and plenty of sugar to go around. I hope your Easter was a happy day as well!

Egg-cited!

We dyed these last night:

2008 Eggs

And the USPS brought these to our door this morning:

Wood Fun

We have eggs everywhere! We hid some of our dyed eggs last night each taking turns hiding and searching. Everyone got into it especially Ms O. She loves to *throw* the eggs into her basket and needless to say, we had a few casualties. I was egg-cited (ha!) to see my package from Casey’s arrive this morning- talk about perfect timing! And so the kids got to hide even more eggs today and I didn’t have to constantly yell out “GENTLE!”

This year I’m especially worried about my eggs because for the first time, I actually blew out ten of the eggs. I was thinking that the kids were older so it might be fun to have some lighter-than-air eggs. Have you ever tried to blow out eggs? It was a challenge until I found out that my holes were *way* too small.

So just in case you want to try to blow out some eggs, be sure that you put in two holes at each end almost the size of a hole punch. I found that a thumb tack worked better than a needle to break through shell without too much trouble. You also want to stick a long needle into the egg to pierce the yolk so that it blows out easily. And lastly, rinse out your egg by covering one of the holes with your finger while filing the egg with water through the other hole. Then cover both holes with your fingers, shake and blow out the water. Repeat until the water come out clear.

The bad thing about blown-out eggs is that they float in the dye bath. We still managed to get them all dyed and had fun coming up with new methods.

We always loose one or two eggs in the house each year, but end up finding them eventually. It’ll be nice to finally have some wooden ones that I don’t have to worry about tracking down. We may paint them. Or not.

Either way, we’re all looking forward to a wonderful Easter with plenty of eggs for everyone!

It’s What We Eat

I know that this is mainly a sewing blog, but really I haven’t been doing much of it lately due to my typing work. (The book is almost done. I only have 3 more chapters to type. Woohoo!)

I made my sister Mary 6 cloth grocery bags out of some more IKEA fabric. (You can’t beat their price or durability.) Yes, she now owes me big time, but I’m happy knowing that she’ll be using (and reusing!) my bags instead of adding more plastic to places like this.

I did more sewing yesterday trying to make cloth easter eggs and tried this wonderful idea, but stuffed eggs require hand stitching. I can’t do that to save my soul so that project didn’t make it far. I even tried to enlarge an egg pattern to see if a bigger egg would be easier to stitch. I wanted to make my kids and all the cousins one large egg with their name hand embroidered on them, but the first one I made turned into a mushy, squished, lopsided ball. UGLY. I gave it to Eleni anyway and she’s declared that it’s a ball for her doll. Great.

Did you know that you can’t just keep enlarging a pattern to the size you want even if it’s a simple pattern like an egg? Chris warned me about this when I was making all the kids’ slippers for Christmas, but I figured that it’s just an egg and what could go wrong. It turns out that you can’t simply enlarge and if you do, everything must be to proportion or else it turns out wacky.

So I’ve got another idea for Easter, but since it’s only a couple days away and I’ve still got 57 pages to type before Saturday, it’ll be a simple one. I’ll post it soon…

In the meantime, here’s what we’ve been eating:

Eats

Starting at the top, we have some chocolate shortbread mushrooms, a favorite Uwajimaya treat around here. (Ms O is sticking just to the chocolate and leaves the nubs for me.)

Next, whole wheat waffles with Daddy’s homemade blackberry syrup. This was last night’s dinner- Yummy!

Thirdly, we have the whole wheat artisan bread I promised to report about. What can I say? It was good, nutty and filling, but man, that white bread still rocks!

And lastly, tonight’s bedtime snack- steamed artichokes with your choice of butter or mayo for dipping. These were meant to go with dinner, of course, but since they take forever to steam, they weren’t done until 8pm. Bedtime snack it was and it was GOOD. (Yes, my kids really love these. Augie saw them while grocery shopping today and begged me to get them. I know I was a bad mom at first not allowing him to buy something that was $2 each, but we’re on a budget. So yes, he did have to beg for them! But really I think it’s the fun of scrapping the flesh from the leaves with your teeth. Even though Ms O and Eddie have trouble, they eat up what Daddy can get off for them.)

There you go, our eats so far this week. Tomorrow I’ll be on my own since I can’t stand duck!

Dangerous Bread

I’m sure you all have seen or read the many blogs out there who are baking this bread:

5 Minute Artisan Bread

I got a craving yesterday and so I tried it. Since I don’t have the book, I googled 5 Minute Artisan Bread recipe and went to town.

There’s only 4 ingredients: water, salt, yeast and flour. It was easy throwing everything in one bowl, mixing it with a spoon, covering and letting it sit on the counter overnight. This morning, I pulled off a chunk, shaped it and stuck it in the oven for 20 minutes. I didn’t have a peel or stone or whatever the original recipe called for, but read that Angry Chicken just used cast iron. We always have our 8 inch and 12 inch pans seasoned and ready to go so I floured the 8 inch pan, put in the dough and stuck it in the oven over a rack that had a pan with hot water in it. (On a side note, I sure hope you’re still not using teflon-coated pans! Really, people you MUST STOP.) Anyway, so I made a loaf for us and one for my neighbor. She was so impressed and in fact so was I.

Must Touch

The bread is good. I think I may have to go out and get the book as well as the peel or stone because I think I will be making this alot! (Actually, as I type this I have a new whole wheat batch that I just started sitting on my kitchen counter. I will report back on how it turned out with the whole wheat.)

So if you need a carbo kick on this rainy day, get in the kitchen and whip up a batch.  Yes, it’s that easy and very dangerous because you will want it all the time!

Now I Can…

Ummm. Yeah, make bibs, and yeah, put like snaps in purses and stuff and …

Old Snap Press

Really, I have no idea what the heck I’m going to do with this thing, but it does work. I put a couple snaps in. Well, Chris did since there wasn’t any instructions and I don’t have the time or patience to sit and figure something out. It works well, much better than one like this that I picked up from a thrift store. (Don’t ever buy this plier kind! There’s not enough pressure to put a snap in right.) If you’re looking, I’ve heard that these are the best and you can even buy specific dies to insert plastic snaps into things. How cool would that be?!

I bought this one from Max who I found on Craigslist. Max is a great guy with a garage full of stuff that he’s trying to get rid of before they move. Poor guy. I could tell that he didn’t want to let any of it go, but $25 cash was exchanged and I got my snap press.

Now, if I can only get sewing and make something with it before Chris teases me for yet another Craigslist purchase that’s never used.