Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Fabric Store Sales

I went to the fabric store for the After Christmas Sale, boy did I do good. I got 13 fabrics, most cut at 2 yards (3 were cut at 3 yards), and it only cost me $58. I bought most of the fabric to make myself some shirts. I am very excited because I have a big project to continue working on. I had a couple of small projects here and there but nothing that couldn't be finished in a week.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

First Impression

The day after Christmas my husband's cousin called inviting us to visit her Friday. I can't wait to meet her, but on the other hand natural I'm nervous. I've actually only talked to her once, on the phone, at 2:30 in the morning. No big emergency, that is just the time it was convenient for her to call. She lives in New York, and until recently lived in Manhattan. I haven't had much positive experience meeting my husband's family. I will spare you the details, but they have certainly made me nervous about meeting other new members of the family. Fortunately his family and I get along very well, now that they gotten to know me and I understand them.
While we are going to New York I'm going to visit my friend who lives there too, not to far from my husband's cousin. I have a couple of bowls and plates to give her for her daughter. They are all toddler sized, and her daughter just turned one.
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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to say Merry Christmas to all. I am very blessed to have such a great family. My mom came to visit, which helped out a lot. My husband has been home for a couple weeks, and will be home probably for awhile after the holidays. My mom and I give him a hard time for being a bum, but only because he actually can't stand not to work. He is just using some of his vacation time right now.
I got a lot of great compliments on the things I made for gifts. A real treat this years was my husband joined me to pass out cookies to the neighbors. I love doing that, so it was nice he was there with me.
Enjoys the holidays everyone!
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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Stocking

I made some stockings this year.

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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Pecan Bars and Rice Crispy Treats

I have been busy getting ready for my Christmas cookie baking. I've finally completed all the dough. I'll pull it all out of the deep freeze tomorrow and start baking. I got a head start today, I finished my Pecan Bars and Rice Crispy Treats. I tired something new with the Crispy Treats, I topped them with a peanut butter and chocolate topping. I liked it, but my husband wasn't to crazy about it. I'm not to worried though, I know lots of people who love chocolate peanut butter stuff.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Quilt

I just finished a quilt I've been working on. It is a present for my father-in-law. He gave me a quilt top that his grandmother had done and asked me to finish it. That was about 2 years ago, so I just now got around to finishing it. I love working on old quilts. There is always so much history in them. He was telling me how he remembered some of the fabric in the quilt was a dress his grandmother used to wear.

It was a little challenging because part of the quilt was uneven, but I think I balanced it out pretty well. I am very pleased with how it turned out. Usually I'll sit and pick out all the problems with a finished project, but not this one. It turned out great!

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Monday, December 12, 2005

Hat and Scraf

I finished the cream Alpaca hat and matching scarf.
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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Christmas Cookies List

I have a family tradition of making Christmas cookies for everyone I know. It is really nice to see the expressions on peoples faces when you hand them a box of cookies. Since I move so often and my family lives far away, I've been shipping cookies to various friends and family. This of course has made my once small list of select cookie receivers grow enormously. I have a list of 21 people to send cookies to this year. I like to make a different kind of cookie for each person receiving cookies, that way there is a great variety to give. I just finished making this years cookie list...

Chocolate Chip Cookies
White and Semi-sweet Chocolate Chip Cookies
Brownies
Brownies with Peanut Butter Chips
Oatmeal Butterscotch Chip Cookies
Soft Sugar Cookies
Roll-out Sugar Cookies
Buckeyes
Butterballs
Date Pinwheels
Peanut Butter Blossoms
Peanut Butter Cookies
Thumbprint Cookies
Kisses with M&Ms
M&M Cookies
Fudge
Gingersnaps
Rice Crispy Treats
Chocolate Crinkle Cookie
Vanilla Wafers
Maple Pecan Squares
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Friday, December 09, 2005

Snow Day Humor

It is the first snow day of the year. So my daughter comes out this morning sees that it has snowed and goes back in her room. She comes out of her room giggling, I then see why. She is dressed in a sun visor, flip flops, sun glasses, and a dangling beaded necklace.

Later this afternoon, after the horrible winds calmed down, my kids got dressed to go out in the snow. My daughter anxiously bundled up in several layers. My son did also, but he had a different way of layering. He had his sweats on, then his t-shirt and shorts, and he was putting on a tank top. I wonder if I would have given him another minute if he'd have underwear on top of that. He finally figured it all out, and they had a fun time trying to build a snowman.
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Joseph

My nephew is remarkably 2 months old now! He was born very premature, at only 25 weeks gestation. He has just gotten to 3 pounds, which is suppose to be a huge milestone. I have been making him some sweaters and I am esp. proud of the one I made him today.
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To give you an idea of how small Joseph is I found a glue bottle that is 7.625oz. (the big size) and it fits on perfectly

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Under the weather

Oh the weather has been snowy the week. I've come down with a cold that is making Christmas preparations difficult. I've been working on making candy cane ornaments for the retirement home my son went caroling at last night. That went really well, everyone was very appreciatively. I started making a cream alpaca hat for a Christmas gift. I have already made a scarf to go with it. I have complete finished my Christmas shopping, now I just need to finish the projects I want to give as gifts.

Sore throat tip: When you get a sore throat drip hot lemonade with a spoonful of honey.
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Monday, December 05, 2005

Christmas Tree Ornaments

I made some ornaments for the latest Craft Challenge on the Crafter.org message board. Here are my entry for the challenge:
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The challenge was to take $10 at a hardware store and make something crafty. They have a different challenge every month. I have a lot of fun doing them. I never win, but its fun to see what others come up with. This is what I bought with my $10 at the hardware store:

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It was pretty simple to do, I just cut out the tree from a sheet of aluminum and then filed the edges. I hammered a nail to give it some decorations and to put the holder on top. The reason for the red thing is so that the aluminum doesn't cut through the string. I also decorated it with some puff paint to give it a finishing touch.
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Sunday, December 04, 2005

JC Penney Discount

I have a discount code for JC Penney that is good for today only. You can receive an extra 20% off your order by using NEIGHBOR in the promotional code spot.
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Friday, December 02, 2005

Snowman

My daughter made this adorable snowman in art class. It's just made out of Model Magic clay that air dries. There is a sprinkle of white glitter to give it a cute shine like snow. It is sitting on a piece of styrofoam.

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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Alpaca Knit Hat Pattern

I love alpaca, and I found some beautiful yarn in my favorite color blue. I made the hat to wear when I have my hair down. Since alpaca is such a light yarn it doesn't mess my hair up, but still keeps me warm.
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I used size 8 needles and my gauge is 1 inch is 6 1/2 sts and 5 rows.

Cast on 100 stitches to either a pair of circular needles or double pointed, your choose.
K2, P2 rib for 1 1/2 inches
K1, *P2, K2* Repeat for one row
Stockette stitch for 5 1/2 inches for a total of 7 inches long.
Start decreasing
*K5, K2tog* Repeat
Knit 2 rows even
*K4, K2tog* Repeat
Knit 2 rows even
*K3, K2tog* Repeat
Knit 1 row even
*K2, K2tog* Repeat
Knit 1 row even
*K1, K2tog* Repeat
Knit 1 row even
K2tog every stitch finish off by pulling the left over strand of yarn through the remaining stitches so it creates a circle. Pull tight and weave in your ends.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Candy Cane Ornaments

Yesterday I was driving all around town looking for plastic tri-beads. My husband has volunteered us to organize a visit to the local nursing home with my son's boy scout troop. I needed to make up craft kits so that the boys can make them ahead of time to pass out to the residents. I was told specifically to make the tri-bead candy cane ornaments. I finally found some at Michaels, so now I just need to divide all the supplies to make 50 craft kits with them. I got the instructions from Kids Domain website. I love that site, it has all sorts of useful crafts to do with kids.

Kids Domain Crafts - Tri-Bead Candy Cane Ornament
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Monday, November 28, 2005

Leftovers

Our trip went alright. The drive was horrible, we had problems in PA both on ways. On the way there it was snow, on the way back it was a closed freeway and traffic. It was good to see family though.
Now for all of you with leftovers still, here are some creative ways to use up the food.

Turkey and Noodles
Just take some noodles and add chunks of turkey. For the sauce you can use leftover gravy, you can thicken it a little by adding some flour and heating it up in a pan. It will get thick and bubble some.

Turkey Tacos
Same as regular tacos, only use a white cheese instead of chedder. I always like white cheese with white meat, but that might just be me.

Turkey Pizza
Roll out a pizza dough (hand made or store bought whichever). Then use ranch dressing for your sauce. Add the turkey, white cheese, and onions taste pretty good on it too.

Baked Sandwich
Take a small square baking dish. Spray with nonstick spray. Put down enough bread to cover the bottom, then add turkey/ham/both, and then add cheese on top. Layer it in that order until your close to the top. Crush us cornflakes and sprinkle on top. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and drizzle on top. Bake at 350 for a hour.

For those Ham leftovers try..

Ham and Veggies
Just cut up chunks of ham and mix with a can of veggies, like green beens.

Ham, Egg, and Cheese English Muffin
Cut a piece of ham to fit the english muffin, heat it up in the skillet, put cheese on top so it can melt while you cook the egg. Cook the egg as you like it, and put it on the muffin.
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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Over the River and Thru the Woods

We are off on our 12 hour road trip now. I won't be back until Monday. I'm hoping not to run into traffic going through New York, and praying there is no snow in Pennsylvania. I will not be one of the thousands of insane shoppers the day after Thanksgiving, although I may do some online shopping. Although there is really no need, I have everyone but my husband taken care of. I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Activity Notebook

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This is another trick I have up my sleeves for the road trip. It is a 3-ring notebook that I've enchanced. First I have glued felt on the inside front cover. On the back inside cover I glued a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock that I first painted with magnetic paint found at most craft stores. Then I painted it with spray paint chalk.

I put some paper in the notebook for drawing, and also a pencil pocket to hold all the supplies such as chalk, crayons, felt, magnets, and eraser for the chalk board.

A fun thing you can do to personalize it is to print up some cool sayings or pictures and stick it to a magnet sheet. This way you can have your own words, pictures, or whatever you want. It is a great way to make it a little more educational.

To help secure the felt I put a border of clear packing tape around it. I also added a foam border, that I glued on, to the magnetic chalk board to avoid the paper from getting torn. I'm working on a better system for this project, but for now this works okay. It will last awhile and will definitely occupy the kids for some time.
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Monday, November 21, 2005

Squash Casserole

With Thanksgiving coming, I always look forward to my favorite dish Squash Casserole. I prefer summer squash, but I have made it with butternut squash with great success also. It all depends on what is avaliable in your area when you make it.

Squash Casserole

2 medium summer squash or a large butternut squash - cut in small pieces
1 small onion - diced
2 ribs celery - cut in small pieces
1 cup diced carrots

Cook above vegetables for 6 mins. or until tender.

In large bowl mix:
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 cup Sour Cream
Blend well. Add cooked vegetables. Stir to blend.

In a 9 x 13 glass dish, put 1/2 package stuffing/dressing mix. Sprinkled over bottom. Spoon squash mixture over dressing. Add remaining dressing.
Pour 1 stick melted butter over top.
Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees
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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Road Trip Tips

As you can see I decided not to do Daily Logs because I realized my life isn't that interesting. You can pretty much figure out what I'm up to by my regular posts.
Like many of you, we are going out of town for Thanksgiving weekend. We are going back home to Ohio, which is a 12 hour drive away. We will be leaving Wednesday hopefully around noon. Many think I'm crazy for going so far for a 4 day weekend, but it isn't so bad when my kids love road trips. It is all a matter of keeping them occupied and letting the stretch out some.
The most important thing we have for our kids is one of those back seat organizers, only ours has a tray like you see on an airplane. Today I'm going to explain what all we keep in these that really make things run smoothly.
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First and foremost we have toys, this is my son's so he has picked out some action figures and a race car. Next we have snacks and drink, I recommend finding a snack in your child's favorite character. On the road it is okay for kids to play with thier food. Then comes the coloring items (markers, pencils, crayons, ect.), activity books, craft kits, and notepads. I also like to include some reading material so there is a new kid's magazine and a his favorite book. The key is to mix the old with the new so things are fresh and exciting, yet there is some old classics.
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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Party Games

As you've been reading it is birthday party day today. That got me thinking of all the birthday parties I have thrown for my kids. I always have great parties, but as my mom says "They are all just the same party, you just move so much they are new to this group of people". Of course I know she is right, I'll just never admit that to her lol. Anyways, over the years I've done almost every Pin the Tail game I could think of. So I thought it might be nice to make up some unusual ones for people to print out. I've drawn these all on my own and I don't mind you using them, just don't try making a buck off of them.
Right click and save the images on your computer.

I use double sided tape on the "tails" but any adhesive would work, and the nice things about these is you can write the kids name on the "tail" so nobody has to remember numbers.

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Sub
Portholes


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Castle
Castle Doors

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Pig
Pig Snouts

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Space Ship
Space Ship Cones
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Friday, November 18, 2005

Pics of Gift Bag

Here are some pics of the bag I described earlier:

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Image hosted by Photobucket.comFinished Bag
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Fleece Gift Bag

Since my daughter is going to her best friend's birthday party tomorrow I thought it would be nice to make a little fleece gift bag to go with the presents. It was really simple to make, so I thought I'd write out the details. I'll post some pics of the finished product later.

This is an easy project that takes less than an hour to complete, and is great for kids to help out at the end.

Take a rectangle of fleece, for mine I used 17x35 inches, but you can use whatever size suits your needs. Leaving 3 inches from the top and bottom cut a 4 inch slit ever inch (see diagram one).

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Now you are going to cut off the 3 inches from the top and bottom. These are going to be your straps. There are two straps for this bag, so fold each 3 inch strip in half and sew close to the edge. Now just turn them inside out and you have two straps that we will sew on later.

Next you are going to take the big fringy rectangle we made and cut the 4 inch fringe on both side to the top and bottom, but make sure you leave the center. You want to turn the center down and hem it to have a nice finished edge. When you are done with that go ahead and sew one your straps on the X after you have hemmed the tops. (See diagram two).

Just fold in half and tie up the sides and your all done.
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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Daily Log 11/17/05

Today was pretty uneventful. After I walked the kids to school I got home and started a new knitting project. I'm making a hat for my daughter, although I'm worried I might not have enough yarn. In which case it will end up being a head band/ear warmer, we'll see what it wants to be when I'm done.

I went to pick up my daughter (she is in half day Kindergarten) we had lunch and I got the mail. We usually just have sandwich for lunch, so it wasn't anything difficult. My daughter seems to need attention every waking minute the past couple of days, so I didn't get many chores done. I'll work on the dishes after the kids are in bed.

We went to Toys R Us today to get the kids some presents for their friends' birthday parties. My son is going to his first sleep over, he is such a big boy now. My daughter has a dinner party to go to, which ought to be interesting to say the least. They both picked out some nice toys for their friends. I am sure the parties will be lots of fun for them.

When my husband came home from work we discussed going home for Thanksgiving. Then we talked about our move in January. I think we worked out some major kinks in both trips, but there is still a lot that worries me about them. I have found out though that worrying does nothing and things will work themselves out on their own.

To conclude I'll share with you my recipe for tonight's dinner. It has no name as of yet, but it was pretty good.
I put some boneless skinless chicken tenders (breast would work fine too) in a baking dish. I cut up mushrooms and put them on top, I like a lot of mushrooms so there was a lot. Then I drizzled Alfredo sauce on top, just enough to lightly cover the mushrooms. I sprinkled some tarragon on top followed by a light coating of bread crumbs. Then I baked it at 350 for an hour. Before it was done I threw some dinner rolls in the oven. I buy the pre-made heat and serve kind. I got them on sale for a dollar (for 12 rolls) and I make them 4 at a time, so it will last 4 nights. A quarter a night for dinner rolls sounds pretty good to me!
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Welcome

I'm starting a blog here about being a homemaker. Contrary to popular belief it really is a job, just not one that you get paid for. A lot of my friends think I'm everything from Mrs. Crafty to Betty Crocker, so I thought I'd start a blog on my daily life and tips on how to do some crafts and maybe some cool recipes. I hope you all enjoy it, but I must warn you English is not my subject of choice so please mind grammar.
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