Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ordering from Esty

I am sure many people have heard of the website Esty, but if not.... it is a little like Ebay except the rules of the game are this, you can only sell things that you made and supplies for making things. On to what I ordered from Esty.

It came wrapped up so nicely that I have to show you the wrapping.

And here it is a night light made from a vintage glass slide made by vintageaimee. Thanks Aimee it looks so nice in my kitchen. If you click on Aimee's name it should take you to her shop so that you can see all her pretty things.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Do a public service and shop local!

I visited my local yarn shop today for what will likely be the last time:( I was so sad to learn that they are closing at the end of the year, so I made the trip over and bought way more yarn than I need. They would like to stay open but, they just not getting enough business. That leaves me sad and with out a close place to buy yarn. It also leaves some really great women out of jobs in this down economy. I will really miss this little yarn shop and all the helpful clerks. So is you can support your local small business, so they can stick around.

Friday, December 5, 2008

And the winner is.....

I am so blown away by all the people who commented on my little give-away.
I decided to select two winners because so many people entered. They were randomly selected by my own personal ten year old daughter. She felt that this was the part of the whole process. So with out further delay here they are (drum roll please)

MichelleB of MichelleSews

And Jossan of Skrutt

I also won something. Which totally amazed me. Thank you so much Katy. She has a lovely blog called Handmade and Homespun. She gave away handmade soap and a homemade soap mold. Of course I will post pictures when I get her package.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

one amazin give-away day

I just want to thank all the people out there who visited my blog for the Sew Mama Sew give away day. I am amazed at how many people visited. I has been a wonderful experience and I visited so many wonderful blogs today. I will not chose my winner until Friday morning as the comments are still trickling in.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

December 3rd give away

This is my small little package for the give away. I am giving away a small hand knitted (by me) piggy and a linen tea towel with strip of cute fabrics (also made by me). To enter the give away please leave a comment to this post and I am sure I will come up with some horribly scientific way to select a winner. I am willing to ship pretty much anywhere with a regular address. Thanks for visiting my blog and good luck.

Monday, December 1, 2008


I am finding it hard to blog about the things that I am creating lately. I have been making lots of gift for people , but I would hate for them to see their gifts ahead of time so..... I will save all my photos of those projects until all the gifts are dispersed.

This weekend the early morning sun shone through the window and made a lovely shadow above my lovely old block singer sewing machine. The star in the window is from a window star that Lena and I made last week.

Actually we made quite a few. With her broken arm she can't draw or do many of the other crafty things that she like to do. They are made with kite paper so they glow when the sun shines on them.

One of the nice things about making this is that you don't need a whole lot of supplies. Really just paper, scissors, glue and fingers. That makes clean up super easy!

I did do some sewing that I can show on my blog this week. Lena and her friends tie dyed some dog scarves and I serged the edges of all 23 of them. It was a bit repetitive, but it was for a good cause. The girls are going to sell the scarves to raise money to help animals in need.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

From cast to cast iron

The other day I posted a picture of our corn bread in our small cast iron skillet. I thought I would write a post about my cast iron collection. My favorite if the pan in front because it has a rather large cooking area, but is also very light (for cast iron). I use both of the larger pans for making pizza, but I have seen pans specifically designed for pizzas. I also have the large Dutch oven in the back that does not see much use. Hubby had visions of using this puppy over a campfire, but we usually leave it at home because it is so heavy. Here are the reasons I love cast iron:
It's rather inexpensive
It has no nasty chemicals
It lasts almost forever if treated well.
It cooks so well.

To clean our cast iron we just use a brush and plain water to clean up when we are done cooking. I like to run it under the water and clean it while it is still warm then let it air dry, if you wait until the pan is cool them you need to dry it soon to prevent rust.

Friday, November 21, 2008

New Cast at our house

No, not a new cast of characters just a new bright green arm cast. My lovely daughter (pictured above) decided to try a Tarzan like swing from a rope swing on Tuesday. At first we thought that she had just sprained it badly. For two days we did the ice and wrap it up thing, but alas that was not enough. So off to her very nice doctor today and voila a cast.
She really is handling things quite nicely even though she is very bummed about missing next weekends annual indoor soccer tournament. I also got the full story on the fall today and I am really glad that a broken arm was all she has to show for the adventure :0

Monday, November 17, 2008

In the kitchen

Food is really important our house. Above it our cornbread from tonight's dinner. I just love cast iron pans. We cook nearly everything in our cast irons. We use them for sauteing and frying, but I also love them for cooking pizza (the crust gets so crisp) and if all else fails they also make a great weapon. I have never used my cast iron in anger, but my grandmother had a great story that she used to tell about using one to lay someone out. It is also the weapon of choice for one of my daughters favorite heroines, Tiffany, in the Wee Free Men.
This is one of the last vine ripened Brandywine (the queen of tomato varieties in my opinion) tomato. The end of tomato season always makes me so sad. I know that I am spoiled but, I can't stand those fake tomato's that they sell in the super market.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Painting Day

Today was Veteran's Day. After I put out my flag and thought about my Grandfather and other Veterans that I know and then David and I got busy painting our living room. I always agonize over picking the color for paint but in the end I picked a greenish-yellowish color that seems to go well with our couch. We were finishing up up as the sun was going down so I have to wait until tomorrow to see it in true sunlight. The picture above contains both my helpers for this.

Today was Veteran's Day. After I put out my flag and thought about my Grandfather and other Veterans that I know and then David and I got busy painting our living room. I always agonize over picking the color for paint but in the end I picked a greenish-yellowish color that seems to go well with our couch. We were finishing up up as the sun was going down so I have to wait until tomorrow to see it in true sunlight.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A new wreath for Fall

I found the idea for this here on the internet. I had some color aid around the house, so I purchased a foam wreath for the base and a 2 inch circle punch. I just picked out all the muted colors from the box and threw in a few brighter colors for an accent. I really want to try this again using the red family for Valentine's Day.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Another day another door!

We have installed another door (our third and hopefully final door) in our house this weekend, but this time it is in a place where we previously just had a window. We were so happy to get rid of the ugly aluminum window in my daughter's room. We decided that we would rather have a door that lead out to the deck than a window. This project also had some added work because the siding on the left side of the window a lot of dry rot so that needed to be replaced.
Here is David starting to pry the old window out.
This is a bit scary because at this point there is really no going back .
Here is the door installed. Notice the patriotic theme that we have going on to the left of the door. The reason for this it we were able to purchase used siding at a local salvage place. It feels nice to used other people's waste to repair your house. Since we will be painting our house relatively soon we will use this area to test out our new color schemes. We also have some finish work to do on the inside of the wall where we have to add more drywall.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Project Round up

I have finished quite a few totally unrelated project over the last week or so. Above is the cowgirl skirt that I made for my daughter for Halloween. We designed it together and tried to make it something that she would wear again. We succeeded! She wore it this week over a pair of jeans and it looked so cute. I used the Sew U book to help design, of course the patterns were not the right size for my daughter but it was helpful to have the book to use as a reference because I have never really sewn clothing before from a pattern that I created from scratch. Below it a picture of the skirt in action on Halloween night.

I picked this fabric last month to make some throw pillows for my couch.
Here are the gloves that I made for my husband. He will use them for his ride to work on his bike. They go very well with his day-glow yellow wind breaker. The pattern is Annemor #7 from the Selbuvotter knitting book.

One more throw pillow!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Finished Quilt

Now that all the vacation pictures are posted for everyone to see. I can get back to my regular blogging which is usually about stuff that gets made around our house. Last Friday I finished the quilt below. I been working on this quilt for over a year (it might be over two, but I will not cop to that). During that years time (or two years time depending on who you ask) I have decided that I really am not that fond of hand quilting and will find just about any excuse to avoid doing it e.g. "I can't work on the quilt tonight because I need to clean the lint out from between my toes." ;) Anyhow now I know why they held Quilting Circles.

Anyhow this quilt was special. I didn't make the top it was made by my Great-Grandmother and I had decided that I wanted to quilt it up for my Mother as a gift, so I snuck it out of her house and got to work. After looking at the quilt top I realized that all the squares were hand sewn together and at that point I knew that I would be doing the quilting by hand. It just seemed wrong to use a machine to quilt this baby.
Unfortunately I did not get a picture of the finished quilt before my mom took it home with her this weekend. I really don't know what I was thinking, but here are some pictures that I took while the quilt was in process.

I just love these vintage fabrics. My great-grandmother made many quilts in her life time, but I love these scrap quilts the best. To me they are like a window to another time.
I also have another quilt top that she made that I am going to quilt up for myself, but like the pains of child birth I need to forget a little how much I disliked the process before I can convince myself to start another hand quilting project.

Costa Rica 10/16 (Day 3)

As promised, our last Costa Rica post is actually Day 3. Day 3 was awesome for two reasons. First, when we woke up on Day 3 it was not raining. As you now know, it was the beginning of two rainless days, which is extremely unusual for Costa Rica in October. The second reason was that we were picked up for our zip-line excursion with Dreamforest Canopy.

We were taken to a private reserve about 30 minutes north of Quepos. We were accompanied by two guides, who spoke some English (mostly just enough to pull some pre-planned jokes and describe some of the flora) and a "photographer". The photographer was a kid (he was about 25) named Tomas. Tomas was born and raised in California and received a master's degree in environmental science from Berkeley. He traveled for to Costa Rica for a six month project and liked it so much he deciced to stay, which meant he needed a job. One day he was in a bar and struck up a conversation with a stranger. The stranger apparently thought he knew Tomas and stated that he had heard that Tomas was a photographer and asked Tomas whether he had his equipment with him. Tomas said that it was on its way. The man offered him a job and he immediately asked his mother to buy and send him some equipment.

In any event, we arrived at the reserve to beautiful blue skies.

After donning the equipment we headed to the first platform. On the way, we stopped to learn about this acacia relative. It is covered with spines to protect it from climbers. The guide offered David $100 to climb it. When it appeared that David was inclined to take him up on it, he began to add conditions, e.g., he had to be naked and he had to slide the way down.

We also saw our first "walking tree". The tree moves a couple of inches each year (but only down hill). The purpose of moving is to provide more access to sun in a crowded canopy.

As you can see, we all enjoyed the zip-lining.

The trip was certainly fun for all, but I think that our own "monkey" Lena enjoyed the tree-top traveling most of all.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Day 8 in Costa Rica (10/22)

We woke up on the 22nd early to depart Manuel Antonio at 6:00 AM, steeled for a full-day of traveling, to yet another beautiful day (we still plan to post day 3 when we get the pictures, which should be here any day). We said goodbye to house that had been so lovely.

We said goodbye to the gardens.
We said goodbye to the beach.

And hit the road. We had gone the whole trip without seeing many of the well-known tropical bird species. So of course, about half way to San Jose our driver spotted a tree full of toucans. It was amazing.
We stopped one more time to take a picture of an unusual find that we will post sometime next week after we give a present based upon it. In any event, we made it safely to the airport for the first of two long flights home (3 hours and 5.5 hours). Yet the good feelings we captured in Costa Rica stayed with us and remain today still. It was a trip well worth the time and expense.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Day 7 in Costa Rica (10/21)

Day 7 was an amazing day for pictures. Originally scheduled as a free day, Suzette decided we should take a tour of the mangroves. It was an excellent decision. We were set up on Cambute tour. As you will see, its posters are very accurate.They promised wildlife and we started to see some right away. This bird was awfully casual around crocodiles.
And of course, we saw more beautiful Costa Rica.

Lots of crocodiles:

But the highlight was again our tour-guide. He could accurately reproduce dozens of animal calls. Part of that skill included calling a troupe of capuchins. They proceeded to crawl all over us.
This serious guy was the leader of this troop of monkeys.

One decided to try and eat Suzette's hair clip.

It was quite a ride.
On our way out we even saw one of the famous symbols of Costa Rica (not sure why), the oxcart.
On our way back, we asked to be dropped off at Regalame so that we could pick up some souvenires. We took the bus back. This is the view from the bus stop.
We went home to our final visit by the endangered spider monkeys.
A final stroll on the beach.
A final frolic in the ocean.
A final Costa Rican sunset.

And a final dip in the pool.
Oh, and Robert got a final visit from a friendly crab that wanted a dip in the hot tub.