Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Day with Henrietta, Part 2

Enjoying the warmth of the sun, Hen? Time to finish our sewing ~

Press, press,

Pressing makes perfect!

Take a break with a bit of tea.

Basting . . . .

Gathering . . . .

Gathering . . . .

And MORE gathering!

Where'd all your pins go? You're a little bare, Hen!

Don't get lost in all those folds, Henrietta!

Ahhh . . . . Now you're looking a bit more like yourself!

All done! Lovely job, Henrietta!


(Originally published @

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Day with Henrietta, Part 1

It's a rainy day today, the perfect day to stay inside and sew. Let's go see what Henrietta is up to, shall we?

Well, it looks like we've caught her in the middle of a sewing project. Pinning a neckline with a collar can be tricky work, but I'm sure our Hen is up to the task!

She's giving it a final inspection . . . . Yes, I think it's all ready to go to the sewing machine.

Here she is, patiently collecting her pins as the neckline is sewn.

Henrietta has done a very nice job of pinning the first bodice lining in place - How will she do on the rest?

OH! She's staying away from that hot iron! She'll move in and finish the rest of the pinning once the iron has completed its' task.

Well, well! Things are moving right along for our gal Hen. The handsewing on the bodice front and back is finished, the sleeves are both gathered and pinned and ready to be sewn.

Is Henrietta looking a bit tired? Poor dear, she's had quite a day. Just a bit more to do though. I'm sure she can hold up!

Ah, now we are nearing the end. Henrietta has pinned both side seams very nicely and they are already for the first sewing of their French Seams. I knew she could do it!

All Done! Lovely Job, Hen! Just the kind of help any seamstress needs when the needle and thread are flying.

What's this? We're NOT done yet? There's still a ruffle to do?

Pardon me, but did you say that the ruffle was FIVE Yards Long?!?

Oh, no! I think our Poor Hen is getting a little worried. She may not have enough pins for this job. What will she do?

What is Henrietta doing? It looks like she is trying to hide in the folds of the ruffle. I'm afraid our Poor Hen is overwhelmed.

Oh, Hen! Maybe we can tempt her out with a little treat?

How would you like a nibble of some sugar cookie? There now, that's better, isn't it? Yes, yes, eat up and regain your strength.

Now, you just rest, little Henrietta. We can finish that ruffle tomorrow. Don't you worry anymore about it tonight. After all, tomorrow is another day . . . .

(Originally published @

Sunday, February 25, 2007


I never really thought much about bowls until I read an excellent posting a few years ago by Lady Lydia at LAF titled "The Mixing Bowl." If you have not read it, I would highly encourage you to do so.

I love the picture she paints of the woman of the house standing with her apron on, holding the mixing bowl firmly with one hand and arm, stirring vigorously with her other, all the while watching over the affairs and doings of her home. There is such grace and nostalgia in a simple apron, a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon. A gentleness that pulling the mixer out of the cupboard will never be able to match.

I have my own favorite bowls now, each with it's own story and purpose.

This is my Grandmother's bowl. This is also my largest bowl which is used for the BIG things like making bread, holding a family-size serving of noodles, or for mixing up a big batch of Refrigerator Bran Muffins which will last us for a week of breakfasts. It is a heavy ceramic bowl and I love using it because it brings back thoughts of a Grandmother whom I never really got to know, yet wish I had. Bittersweet - I understand what that means now.

This one is a two-quart batter bowl that I bought several years ago from Pampered Chef. This is invaluable to me for a quick batch of muffins or pancakes in the morning or for brownies in the evening . It's even been known to handle some tuna salad for lunch! It also has a lid and is great for storing leftover soups. I couldn't be without this or his little sister, the one-quart batter bowl.

This little bowl is not for mixing - it is simply pretty and I love serving things in it on the table. It has held chips, scrambled eggs, salads, and vegetables. I didn't buy this bowl, it was actually left at the house we bought. It was left in the garage, underneath some shelves with planting containers. I guess at one time it held a potted plant and was then forgotten. But it caught my eye as soon as I saw it. I took it in the house and scrubbed it clean. Now it is a little bright spot in my cupboard or on the table!

This cheery bowl was found on the bottom shelf at Goodwill. I love all things chicken and so this immediately caught my eye! It is a bit chipped around the top, but it is useful just the same. This is the bowl that sits out on my stovetop - not only decorative but practical, too. Whenever I am cooking and need a quick place to put something, this is the bowl. It holds cooked onions for me while I finish cooking the meat, and it keeps the fajitas or taco meat warm while I heat the tortillas in the skillet. This is my little everything bowl and I'm so glad I found it!

These bowls will be a part of my children's memories - of mom in the kitchen, of the special treats that were baked for them, the stories that each bowl holds, of 'home.'

What memories in the making are in your kitchen? What are your everyday treasures that will last forever in the minds of your children? I hope you have a few, or if not that you'll get some soon.

(Originally published @

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Pretty Green Pinafore

There's something new for daughter to wear --

I have finally finished her new pinafore after many trials. My sewing machine was disabled for a bit - but thanks to the wonderful man at the repair shop (who fixed it on the spot and didn't charge me anything!!) I was able to complete the buttonholes this morning and sew on the buttons.

Sewing all of her clothes (dresses, pantaloons, pajamas and such) is a necessity in this present age. And the best part is that we get to go shopping at the fabric store for all sorts of fun and pretty fabrics for great one-of-a-kind dresses for a one-of-a-kind girl!

(Originally published @


(Originally published @

Friday, February 23, 2007

Lovely Chocolate Cake

My first Chocolate Felt Cake is done!

It was so much fun to make --

I envision many more to come!

With simple needle, floss and tender care,

There is soon a lovely gift beyond compare.

A Chocolate Cake with dripping Chocolate Fudge icing, a generous dollop of whipped cream and topped with a sweet, fresh strawberry. The Chocolate Leaves were the perfect finishing touch for this little gem.

What a scrumptious treat!

An easy tutorial for this project is here. Try your hand at it - and with a little skill you'll be able to make anything you can imagine!

(Originally published @

Stampin' with Bugs and Monkeys

We all stamped tonight - even sons! They were thrilled to be included and put their own fun spin on the cards we made.
Our first card was made with the stamp sets Bugs & Kisses and Bodacious Blossoms.

This was stamped on Certainly Celery, Regal Rose and Whisper White card stock using Certainly Celery and Regal Rose inks.

We used the punch tool for the flower outline accent and a dimensional for the ladybug on the leaf.

Cute, Simple, and a hit!

Our second card was this very cute little monkey waving a BIG thank you!

Stamp sets are Monkey Business and Seeing Spots, with Linen Background.

We used Cool Carribean, Regal Rose, Chocolate Chip and Whisper White Card Stock along with Tempting Turquoise, Regal Rose and Chocolate Chip inks and a Turquoise grosgrain ribbon.

I really like this Cool Carribean Card Stock and will have to order some -- it is a really nice between color for the Bashful Blue and Tempting Turquoise that we use a lot of.

Now, if you notice, the little monkey is wearing a 'banana skirt' -- so the boys decided to improvise a bit when they made their cards!

J (dear son 2) went totally wild and decided to dress his monkey with the bananas! You'll see he has the fashionable turquoise banana trousers, the matching banana top and a cute, I mean Very Smart beret to top it all off.

H (dear son 3) decided to use bananas in the background instead of the flowers - and he opted for no skirt. Go figure. He says this card is going to Grandma C. He placed his request for the Bugs & Kisses Stamp Set - and since it was his idea, I have never really paid attention to it until he pointed it out ot me, I got it for him! (picture below)

R did a wonderful job on her card, too! She's been wanting this Monkey Business set to go along with her Wild About You Stamp Set -- so now she can have the monkey hanging over the crocodile! ARHHhhhhh!

Here is H's new Stamp Set. Aren't those bugs just too cute? I love the snail!

And a friend brought a little gift for me tonight -

How very sweet is that?

Thank you, Thank you. What a blessing it is to have wonderful friends!

(Originally published @

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Popover Pizza

Not a lot of time for dinner tonight - we're going stamping! - so I made one of our favorite's, Popover Pizza.

A really simple recipe and easy to double, which I do so that we can have some for lunch tomorrow!

This is from The Southern Living Cookbook that I borrowed from my mom about 11 years ago. I hope she doesn't want it back anytime soon. ;-) As always, the first time I make a recipe I follow it exactly. Then if it is good enough, we tweak it and make it our own - so what follows is essentially the Southern Living recipe with a few little changes made by the children and I.

Popover Pizza

  • 1 lb. mild italian sausage
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz. jar pizza sauce
  • 1 sm. can of mushroom pieces, or 1 cup fresh mushrooms sliced
  • 1 15 oz. can olives, sliced
  • 2 cups shredded mozzerella cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese

Cook sausage, onion, and garlic in large skillet until meat is browned; drain fat. Add sauce - after pouring sauce from jar, add about 1/4 c. of water to jar and shake to get remaining sauce then add that to the skillet also along with mushrooms and olives. Stir well and simmer 10 minutes.

While sauce is simmering, beat eggs, milk and oil in bowl until foamy. Add flour and salt, beating with wire whisk until smooth.

Spoon meat mixture into a lightly greased 9x13 dish, then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Pour batter over meat mixture. (Yes, it is very thin and looks like nothing at all, but trust me - it will be wonderful!) Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 400F for 30 mintues, or until the top is puffed and golden brown. Cut into squares and serve hot. Serves 6.

NOTE: This is just a great basic recipe that you can adapt to fit your family. Whatever you may like on your pizza, go ahead and put it in! When I double this, I add 1 lb. ground beef and 1 lb. of sausage to stretch the sausage. I cook the meat mixture all together but mix the crust ingredients separately so that they are equal. You could also add spaghetti sauce and some diced tomatoes (without the olives) for a more Spaghetti-type dinner. And the crust on this is so easy and delicious that I can imagine it poured over any kind of meat/vegetable mixture - like chicken and broccoli with cheddar cheese. Delicious!

(Originally published @

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Lazy Saturday

I wasn't feeling too energetic today - and now that the day is done, I wanted to take a look at what I accomplished today. Let's see . . . . .

I didn't finish my stamping project . . .
. .

I didn't get to the laundry . . . . . .

Sewing? Well . . . nope, not that either.
These are two pinafores that I am sewing for my daughter and a friend. They're almost finished. But they've been almost finished all week. :-(

I didn't even get a nap, like this cozy fellow did curling up in the warm sunshine.

So, I'm beginning to ask myself -

"Just what DID you do today?"

* * * * * * * *

Okay, I did do a few things today.

I answered some e-mails, read some blogs and lots of neat information on making your own toothpaste and deodorants (because the ones available at the stores are so full of chemicals that we are going to start making all our own stuff, from soaps and detergents as well as personal care items like -- toothpaste and deodorants!)

I had a very nice little talk with Dear Son 3, and watched Dear Son 2 practicing his fire building skills.

We are working on a great unit study right now called Prepare and Pray --

It's focus is on emergency preparedness, do-it-yourself homeskills (which goes along with our learning to make our own soaps) and wilderness skills, too!

So, for the past week the boys have been in the backyard just about any spare minute they get - trying to start a fire. They've used magnifying lenses, wood shavings, their magnesium fire starters and more trying to find the right combination to get a fire going. No matches or paper allowed!

The goal is to be able to build a fire with the materials on hand in all kinds of situations: clear weather, windy, rainy, or snowy.

It took awhile, but he finally had a great success!

He wanted to keep piling wood on it to build it and keep it going, but I didn't think the neighbors would really appreciate a bon-fire in the backyard!

(and yes, there was a bucket of water right next to him in case of any mishaps.)

And - I DID set a lovely table complete with tablecloth, table runner, and stemmed glasses . . . . for our pizza dinner. ;-)

(Originally published @