Thursday, January 29, 2009

adventures in soap making

My friend Linz and I tried our hands at soap making yesterday. It was an interesting, freaking out, having fun soap fest! Thanks to mi amiga in Maine, Mandi, we had a step by step tutorial on how to make it. Mandi is the guru of soap making, no doubt. She runs Long Winter Farm, a fantastic shop on Etsy. We had to make a few calls to her yesterday to make sure that we were doing it all right. I mean really, when water, milk and lye are put together it does not look good. Linz and I freaked out a little bit, called Mandi and she reassured us that, "Yes, that's what it's supposed to look like." Phew.
Here are a few shots of us creating!


Stuff for soap making

Linz and the stick blender

Our loaves after pouring

My loaf today after being cut

On a funny note, working together, it took us about 3 hours to make the first loaf and 20 minutes to make the second one.

New Treasury

I've been out of my treasury making mode for a while- esp since my Etsy shop is on vacation but I gave into the urge yesterday and created this one:

Check it out if you have a moment!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Quilt Preview

I'm on a roll now! I got 3 quilts bound over the last 3 days and just finished this little top. Sorry that the photos are a little dark, but we don't have a whole lotta sun right now. The last photo includes the fabric that I will be using to back this quilt. Once this is quilted you won't see the lines as much.

I'm currently working on my Mary Engelbreit quilt and am thinking about starting one with the Civil War Crossing fabric from Moda that is sitting in my stash. I love reproduction fabrics. I've got 2 quilts to be quilted right now. Both are my larger quilts. Plus, I still have to bind Tiny Tots and my Thimbleberries quilt. I guess I'd better stop typing and start sewing!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Giveaway time!

But on another blog! Knitsational is doing a really fun giveaway on her blog! To find out more about, how to enter, and what you can win (trust me, it's good) check it out here.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


This is one of my all time favorite songs. Every time I hear it, it takes my mind to the special day of Sunday.

Raymond's in his Sunday best.
He's usually up to his chest in oil and grease.
There's the Martin's walkin' in,
With that mean little freckle-faced kid,
Who broke a window last week.
Sweet Miss Betty likes to sing off key in the pew behind me.

That's what I love about Sunday:
Sing along as the choir sways;
Every verse of Amazin' Grace,
And then we shake the Preacher's hand.
Go home into your blue jeans;
Have some chicken and some baked beans.
Pick a back yard football team,
Not do much of anything.
That's what I love about Sunday.

I stroll to the end of the drive,
Pick up the Sunday Times, grab a coffee cup.
It looks like Sally and Ron finally tied the knot,
Well, it's about time.
It's 35 cents off of ground round,
Baby, cut that coupon out!

That's what I love about Sunday:
Cat-napping on the porch swing;
You curled up next to me,
The smell of jasmine wakes us up.
Take a walk down a back road,
Tackle box and a cane pole;
Carve our names in that white oak,
I steal a kiss as the sun fades,
That's what I love about Sunday.

Ooh, new believers gettin' baptized,
Momma's hands raised up high,
Havin' a Hallelujah good time
A smile on everybody's face.
That's what I love about Sunday.

-Craig Morgan

You can watch the video here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Feature

I'm trying to get back into the swing of features here on my blog. I love exposing all of you to some of the most creative and awesome artists on Etsy!
So for my first Friday back, I am going to be featuring a shop that is very special to me, drearyneedle. Teresa is the shop owner and creator of all of the fabulously cute girly outfits, dresses and skirts that you will find at drearyneedle. My daughter, Timber, has quite a little collection of clothes from Teresa's shop. Teresa uses mostly re-purposed fabrics. Re-purposed you say? What is re-purposed?? It's where you take something that has once been used as, for example, a pillow case, and then turn it into something adorable, like a dress!

Throw a little bit of new fabric in once in a while and you've got the makings of some terrific clothes for little girls.

One of my favorite things about drearyneedle is that when you purchase a piece of clothing there, it will fit your daughter for many, many months, if not years! Timber is already wearing this skirt and with the nice elastic waist and perfect length, she will still be able to wear it when she's 3!

Take some time today to stop by drearyneedle and check out the clothes for yourself. Teresa adds items regularly so mark it as one of your favorites and check back in often. I personally recommend "stalking" her shop because her outfits sell out fast! :)

I hope you enjoyed today's Feature! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

free is always good

My quilt batting came today but there was one slight wasn't the size I had ordered. Ugh. So I called the outfit that I had ordered through and they told me to just keep what I had received and that they would send the correct one out tomorrow. Score. And in all honesty, pretty darn good customer service!

Did you notice that this cotton batting is organic? Yep, I'll be using organic cotton batting ONLY in all of my new quilts now. Sweet.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Biscuit Time

Day two: Making the biscuits!
Now hopefully you won't need a lot of photo's showing you how to make the biscuits. If you need photo's baking may not be the hobby for you. :)
Here's what you're gonna need:

2 1/2 cups of flour
3 T sugar
1 1/2 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup of buttermilk (made yesterday)

Combine all of your dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl and stir well. Add in your butter and then add your buttermilk stirring until JUST mixed. Do not over mix your batter or your biscuits will turn into little hockey pucks!
Now here's the great part- there is no kneading, no rolling out, no cutting, you just grease your muffin tins with butter and spoon the batter in. I make big muffins so this recipe makes about 10 muffins for me. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes and you've got warm, made from scratch, buttermilk biscuits for breakfast or dinner. Yum.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


There's nothing better than homemade buttermilk or homemade buttermilk biscuits! I'd love to share my recipe with you if you'd like to try it for yourself. Making the biscuits is a two step process though. You first need to make your buttermilk. This needs to be done at least 20 hours before you plan on baking so it's a good idea to get the buttermilk made the day before.
We're going to do the first step today: Making the buttermilk.

Step 1: Get out your supplies!
You'll need: A wooden spoon (no photo needed hopefully!)
1 quart sized mason jar with a lid

Cold milk- preferably whole raw milk but organic whole pasteurized milk from the store* will do

And buttermilk culture. I use this one (#901)

Step 2: Making the buttermilk

Starting with 1 quart cold milk

Stir in 1/16tsp of buttermilk culture until dissolved

Hold at 74-77 degrees for a minimum of 16 to 18 hours. Our house can get cold at night so I like to set mine on top of the fridge. The longer you let the buttermilk ferment the more sour it will become.

Refrigerate once it has turned into buttermilk and viola, you're done!

*I personally do not recommend letting pasteurized milk stand out overnight, so use raw milk if you can.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the biscuit making!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Quilt Preview x2

So I guess that my "break" from quilting really isn't a break at all. Not keeping up my Etsy shop has been a break though- especially from the computer. (You Etsy addicts know what I'm talking about.) So in the long run, I think it's actually given me more time to sew. Here are two new quilts that will be included in my shop when I reopen.
The first is my Tiny Tots Quilt. Remember I told you that I had ordered that fabric about 2 weeks ago? Well, I just couldn't wait to put it to use! (Huge props to me though because I did manage to complete my, already started, two larger quilts before I began this one.)Anyway, this is a little snippet of the quilt in progress. I have about half of it completed. I still have some creating to do. This quilt will end up being child sized.

This is the finished portion of the quilt.

A little close up look.

Two more blocks to be added into the quilt.

The second quilt here is one I've been working on for a while. Honestly, 342 charm squares is enough to drive anyone mad. The fabric in this quilt is from two Moda collections put together, Ruby's Flower Garden and Summer's Basket of Flowers. This is the first patchwork quilt I've made for my shop. Before I began it seemed easy enough. How hard can it be to sew 5" squares together? And it was easy, just painstakingly tiring! I don't think that I want to see another charm pack for quite a while. I think I'll leave these "simple" quits to someone else. I am pleased though with the way it turned out. It is an over sized queen for sure- possibly a king. I laid it over our California King bed and it almost fit well enough to use it on that.

new fabric!

Look at this new Heather Ross fabric I ordered from downshadowlane on Etsy. Oh my gosh- it so so perfect! Seriosuly, when I saw it, I almost fainted. What girl doesn't love horses? Well, maybe I'm just biased and think that everyone should if they don't already! I am anxiously awaiting it's arrival so that I can turn it into a quilt. The mail feels as though it takes forever...........

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

where's winter?

No, seriously, where has it gone? It was 71 degrees here yesterday. Weeeeiiiirrrrrdddd. And actually, our 10 day forecast predicts sun every single one of those days. So very strange for a climate that is usually swimming right now. By that I mean in all the rain, not in a refreshing swimming pool. I'm not sure if I should be thankful for the sun or worried about our well drying up this summer.
The kids have loved it though.

Layton measuring boards to cut with dad.

Timber in the chips.

Having fun.

No one would ever believe that you could dry dipes on a line here in January!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quilt Preview

Here's another little gem that will be in my shop when I re-open next month. This little cutie is made up of flannel fabric which, in my personal opinion is great year round. Layton's blankie is made from flannel and you can always count on "mik" (as he refers to it) to be cuddly and soft; something that every little kid needs! Plus, the design on the fabrics is so funky and fun. I love it! And really, even if you didn't have a little one, this would make a great little quilt for an adult to throw over a lap on the couch.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

did you win?

If you're not Chelsey, then no, no you didn't, sorry. Congrats to Chelsey for winning an entire USPS Priority Mail box full of fabric scraps! The random number generator selected her this morning. Hope that you and your daughter enjoy putting these scraps to good use!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

on it's way!

I can not wait to get this book. I ordered it last week. I have read it once before and absolutely could not put it down. But it was a borrowed book (the best kind) so it had to go back to it's owner. I finally decided to buy it myself so that I'm able to read it again and again. I've never read a book that was so addicting. I enjoy reading but I wouldn't consider it a hobby. I think that I read about 200 pages in one day in this book. Which is saying a lot since I can barely get through a magazine without being bombarded by other things. So, really, it's good.

****Edit 1/16/09- The book came a few days ago and it has now been read. Seriously, I could not put it down AGAIN, even though I already knew what the story would tell. I guess I'll put it up for another year and bring it back out next January!*******

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Out of Doors Fun

Layton and I can get into all kinds of mischief while Timber is taking her naps. We had fun yesterday afternoon, in the mud, at the bird bath, pretending to roll grass seed, etc. Here are a few pictures to prove it. Oh, and I had to add a cute one of Timber from a few days before just cause she's so stinkin' adorable!

So cute and innocent looking........

Mmmmmmmmmm, mud

Did you see this stuff?

It's all over mama! I need a hose!

The calm, unsuspecting bird bath....

Terrorized by a 2 year old

Keep on rollin'

The girls.... if they don't start laying again soon they're history!

There's that sweetie!

Hope you all enjoyed those! Also, don't forget to enter my fabric scrap giveaway- it's two blog entries down!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fabulous Finds

A recent trip to one of our local second hand stores turned up some FANTASTIC finds! Take a gander......

I got 4 of these little glass cups, which are absolutely perfect size for toddlers- so easy to hold, for $0.10 each!

And this steal of a deal was only $1.25. I needed a little stainless steel saucepan and this works perfectly.

I don't know why I don't shop at second hand stores more often. Well, let me take that back, I do know why. Because trying to wrangle a "ready to run" 2 year old and a 10 mo old on my hip doesn't make for pleasant bargain hunting. I need to get out more, alone, so I can snatch up great items like these!

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