A blog about my adventures in sewing & crafting

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I am sewing!

No pictures of finished products but I wanted to let you know I AM SEWING!  I have made my daughter some spring/summer tops.  She's at that 10 yr old age that the clothes I buy at the store do not fit her well.  They are either too tight, too short, or too low cut.  This Simplicity 2986 pattern is so easy. I have made the short sleeve version and I also made a sleeveless version.  I just add bias binding to the arm holes to finish it off.  I have tried both the square neck and the round neck versions.  I prefer to sew the round neck because there is no additional fuss.

Girl M. doesn't like any fuss around her neck so I try to keep it simple.  Three shirts I have made  were from a sheet.  One is of Easter design, with Peter Rabbit on the top yoke and a plaid bottom.  I think she will like it.  In the last year I have made her about 10 shirts from this pattern.  Cool, comfy and stylish.  I will post pics as soon as I can.

Until next time.....


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Look what I found!

I went to get eggs out of the Chickens' nesting boxes and look what I found!

See the tiny egg on the left....

One egg doesn"t fit in!

Tiny egg verses Giant egg!
I don't know which hen layed this tiny blue egg.  I thought maybe a bird flew into the pen and layed us an egg, but the door wasn't open.  I think maybe I have a mystery layer!
I just think that it's the cutest little egg.  I might have to have to have a mini piece of toast with my mini egg!

Until next time.....


My Favorite Coleslaw

I love coleslaw!
I really only like MY coleslaw, so here is MY recipe:

1 head cabbage finely chopped
4 tbsp minced onion
10 pks of Equal or 2/3 cup Sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cups buttermilk*
3 tbsp white vinegar
5 tbsp lemon juice

*I don't usually have buttermilk on hand so I just use 1tsp Lemon juice and 1/2 cup of half-n-half.  Mix together and let sit for 10-15 minutes until it curdles.

1. Chop cabbage fine.  I use food processor.
2.  Combine lemon juice, vinegar, buttermilk, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, sugar and onion in a blender.  Mix until combine. 
3.  Pour over cabbage.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Taste better as it ages.

Serves 10-12

 Tomorrow we are going to eat MY coleslaw, along with hot dogs, beans & Lemonade.  Sounds like summer is on it's way!

Until next Time....


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy B-Day to Me!

Today is my 38th Birthday! 
I don't feel like I'm 38 so I'm going to say I feel like I'm 28 with the knowledge of a 38 year old! How's that!

When I got home yesterday from work this is what I found on the counter waiting for me:

Surprise! More baby chicks!
Seven baby Silkies!
These little babies are about the size of a ping-pong ball.  They are the tiniest little chicks I have ever seen.  I am almost afraid to hold them.  They are just the cutest chicks ever!  Thank you so much Boy T. & Girl M!

I could not take pictures of the other chicks so here they are:
I luv me some little chicks!

Dark chick is from the Chicken swap

Chickens roaming the yard

Valentine Chick, getting big about 6 weeks old.
Boy T. worked on the Jeep seat for me.  The passenger seat sits too far back.  I feel like I'm looking out the top.  He tried but I think I might just check junk yards for a new to me seat. 

I made an appointment for Friday at an Auto Audio store to have them give me an estimate on fixing the DVD players in the Yukon.  I looked online and saw the same setup for $1,899.00!!!! The two headrest DVD players work if I hook up the house DVD player but there is no sound.  I see that there in a transmitter on the ceiling for wireless headphones, but I have no clue how that works and there is a DVD player on the passenger sun visor but I do not even know how to work it.... I'm not technically inclined with all this modern technology but I figure if it is in there, I might as well get it working for the kids.  We might want to drive it farther than 15 miles one day!

I made homemade cabbage rolls in sauce in the crock pot for dinner.  Yummy! So glad I don't have to cook when I get home tonight.  I am a one pot cook.  I love soups and crock pot meals.  I just like it simple and only one pot to clean.  Then I can have more time to pet chicks!

Until next time.....


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Weekend in review

I don't have photos to post but I thought I would tell you what all I did this weekend.
  • Washed all the laundry (with the goatmilk laundry soap) and hung it out on the line to dry!
  • Drove the Jeep to the grocery store with the kids to get Salt for water softener system & Corned Beef & Cabbage!
  • Stopped by the Feed Store to see if they had any new baby chicks (no luck!) but then saw a sign saying they were having a shot clinic in a few hours for your pet...
  • Went home, made lunch, brought in clothes from clothesline, gave the dogs a bath, started dinner.
  • Took dogs back to Feed Store for their shots.  (I think I spend more money on the dogs than on the kids!).
  • Finished up dinner, let the chickens out to roam the yard.
  • Husband took us for a ride in the woods in the Jeep.  The weather has been wonderful for Jeep riding!

  • Decided to go to a Chicken Swap (never been to one of them).
  • It was another beautiful day to drive around in the jeep.
  • Came home with 6 new baby chicks
  • Fixed lunch for everyone then Boy T & his girlfriend took the other two kids to Hog Island and The Iron Bridge for the afternoon of sunning and fishing. 
  • I was at home ALONE!  I didn't know what to do so I VACUUMED & cleaned the kitchen.
  • I made Coleslaw
  • I made Lemon Curd Cupcakes( I'll try to remember the recipe).
  • I cut up a 1/2 flat of strawberries for Strawberry Shortcake
  • I made Lemon water with the leftover Myers Lemons
  • I cleaned the kitchen again
  • I sat on the swing and watched my Chickens roam the yard
  • Kids came back
  • Finished up dinner
  • Cleaned the kitchen AGAIN
  • Sat on swing and watched Kids play in the yard & the chickens chase each other until dark and then had Strawberry Shortcakes.
  • Cleaned the kitchen once again!
  • Took Girl M. to school
  • Went by the grocery store to pick up a few things on my list.  Came home with a few extra things NOT on the list.
  • Put away all the groceries, cleaned the kitchen
  • Folded and put away all the clothes I brought in on Saturday from the line.
  • Husband wanted to take the Jeep to get Lulu (the dog) some special dog food the vet told us to try.  Wellness diet with no corn.  Think she may be alergic to corn.
  • Went for a ride in the Jeep.  Came home with dog food & a Beta fish for Girl M.
  • Started Homemade Yogurt in the crockpot
  • Made Homemade Dog Treats (with no corn products)
  • Started dinner
  • Vacuumed
  • Started on Girl M's closet curtain out of a sheet I bought at the thrift store.  Sheet is too short but I'll just put a bottom hem of fabric on.  Maybe I can finish that on Tuesday.
  • Let the chickens out to roam the yard
  • After dinner we went outside to sit on the swing & watch chickens
  • Ended up reading some of the Old Farmer's Almanac to the kids
  • Picked up trash in the yard while Boy F. mowed leaves.
  • Watched my husband put the baby chicks up by calling them like dogs.  The crazy chicks actually followed him into the pen and huddled to go to sleep.....
So which one of us is really the CRAZY CHICKEN person?

I feel like I didn't get much done but once I look at it on this page, it looks like I never sit still.  This must be why at the end of the day my feet are dirty and my legs hurt!

A friend at work was telling me about EARTH BOXES.  I read up online about them, but I can not bring myself to pay $76 for two boxes.  I remember my neighbor lady sent me a paper on self watering planter boxes made from Rubbermaid Totes.  http://www.josho.com/gardening.htm Well I got lucky yesterday and while I was shopping, I spotted some 18gallon totes on sale for $3.50 each.  So now I have $14.00 in totes.  I have some pipe & baskets, so now I only have to get potting soil. ( I heard that Jungle Growth potting soil is good stuff).  Hopefully I can make them for about $25.  That's more reasonable.

Now what to plant in the earth box?  We have tomatoe plants in the garden right now.  I am thinking some cucumber plants or maybe some tommy toe tomatoes.  I have to watch out for the chickens, they love my plants too.

As soon as I can I will post some pictures.  I guess I put the camera up this weekend and only realized this morning I did not take pictures of the weekend.  Sorry.

Until next time....


Friday, March 16, 2012

Going Topless?

Our new Jeep!

  Well, husband finally found a Jeep!  I think I might drive it.  He wants to get a bikini? top for it.  He want's to drive around topless!  Gas milage should be better than my bling ride.  I thought about driving it today since the weather is beautiful but he locked it in our barn?  Maybe that was a nice way of telling me I can't drive it? 

Going topless until next time....


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Valentine Chicks

For Valentine's Day my BFF gave me 8 cute baby chicks to go with my current flock!  I just love baby chicks.  They are so cute.
I am just amazed that something just hatched can make it on their own without a parent.  I had these in the house for about 3 weeks until my laundry room smelled so bad that the kids told me it's time to move them outside to the baby pen. 

Valentine chicks about 1 week old!

Valentine chicks about 1 month old!
I have 16 other chickens.  My husband just got rid of two beautiful Rhode Island Red roosters so I went and got 7 new baby chicks to replace them!!!!  I tried to take pictures of the flock but sometimes they have other things on their mind.
Rooster with no name!

Young Hen

"Naked Neck" Turken Hen
All the other chickens must have seen me following them around with the camera so they went outside the fence into the pasture to find peace and quiet. 
I will have to take pictures of the newest batch of chicks, there are 4 Wyandottes, and 3 something else.  It's like a big suprise with they grow up because I can not tell the difference in chicks except yellow or black chicks. 

Until next time....


Florida Strawberry Festival

For my Girl M's birthday we took her to the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City.  The day started out cloudy and a few sprinkles but by the time we got to Plant City it started to clear up.  The day ended up being beautiful!  Not too hot with a nice breeze.

My husband and I are not fair types.  We usually get a friend to take the kids to our local fair.  But to celebrate Girl M's birthday, we even rode the faris wheel with the kids! (I won't do that again!)

Having more fun than me!
The kids enjoyed riding more rides and at least they got to ride with each other.  Neither one would have rode by themselves or with a stranger.  I don't think they fought one time until we got into the car.

We saw some of the strangest foods.  Deep fried Reeses' Cup, Snickers bars, M&M's, Brownies and Hershey's Drops. But the one that really made us laugh was "Deep Fried Bubble Gum?"  How would you eat that?  We were not even brave enough to try it.

Deep Fried Bubble Gum?
We did eat some pretty good food though, Boy F. tried fried jalapenos, he said they were good and not too hot.  Husband had a fried onion, it was good but it was almost too pretty to eat.

Heart attack goodness?

Girl M. & I shared a Stawberry Shortcake.  The Catholic church has a booth and you get to make your own.  This is the one thing I look forward too because you get to choose between cake or biscut (I like biscut) and then you make your own.  Lots of strawberries in yummy syrup then all the delicious whipped cream you can get on top!It's only $3.50 and it is pure delight!

I hope girl M. had a birthday to remember!  We had a great time! 

Until next time.....


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Good-bye Harley.....Hello Jeep!

I bought my husband a Harley motorcycle as a suprise for his 35th birthday (6 years ago).  (I can be wild like that!)
We traveled to quiet a few bike fest, some out of the way eating places, a few long and winding roads with nothing but the wind in our hair and the sun on our shoulders.  He decided it was time to sell the bike and look for a Jeep maybe. 
Now that our oldest is 19 and he no longer wants to babysit his angelic siblings so that we can go for a ride, our thought was to buy a Jeep so that all four of us could go for a ride with the wind in our hair and sun on our shoulders!

It is sad to see the the bike go, but I look foreward to new ventures of a Jeep!

Until next time....


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Homemade Laundry Powder

I have a new friend that has some goats and is trying his hand at making goatmilk soap.  I am lucky that he brings me shavings and samples of his soaps.  I use them to make my homemade laundry powder.  I traded him some fresh eggs too! Currently his soap is unscented and I like that.

We are a family of 5 and we do a lot of laundry, about a year ago I decided to make my own laundry powder and I have never looked back.  We like to experiment with what ever bar soap we have on hand or that is on sale.  That is why I am so excited about my new friend's goatmilk soap.

Girl M. helping with homemade soap

He gave me about 5 cups of soap scraps that I put into my food processor to chop up alittle more. I added 5 cups of Washing Soda and 5 cups of Borax.  Put it into my recycled coffee creamer containers and we are ready to wash!

Goatmilk soap scraps

I tried some scented bathsoaps from a discount store.  The soap was made with olive oil and had a nice fragrance to them.  The soap was like a brick, so the kids had to grate it first then add to the food processor. 

Boy F. grating soap
 I added the washing powder, borax, soap and some oxyclean to this batch.  The good thing about making your own laundry soap is that you can mix and match whatever you like.

Scented olive oil soap
I found an old canning jar with a rubber seal for this batch,  It makes it look like sand art.  I use about 1 oz for each load in my front load HE washing machine.

Finished Laundry Soap
 Until next time.....


Canning Tomatoes

  I have a nice gentleman that runs the local produce stand that I trade his produce for some of our Fresh Eggs.  Lately he has been giving me boxes of tomatoes that he is unable to sell because they either have soft spots or blemishes on them. 

We go through the box and the tomatoes that look really good we save aside for salad or sandwiches.  The ones with the blemishes, we make an "x" on the bottom end with a knife and put into boiling water for about 1-2 minutes, until they start to float.  Then we put them into a bowl of iced water.  Peeling is so easy then. 

The tomatoes with the soft spots or punctures, I usually just cut off the bad spots and then put them into the boiling water/iced water.  When all the tomatoes are done, I chop them up and cook them in a large pot with salt and citric acid for about 15

I boil my canning jars for about 3-5 minutes and set aside for my hot tomatoes.  When I add the tomatoes, I make sure I wipe the rim of the jars good before I put on the canning lid and I tighten the ring.

Girl M. helping with canning

I bring a pot of water to a boil and add the jars of tomatoes lid side down and boil for 15 minutes.  Then set the hot jars on a towel on the counter to cool.  Either lid side up or down (my husband and I argue which way is better).  Usually within about 15-20 minutes the jar lids start to "ding" letting me know they are sealed.  I leave them on the counter overnight to cool then write the date on the tops and put away in our pantry. 

Easy enough!

 Now we can have good tomatoes when the prices jump this summer/fall!

Until next time....


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Good-Bye and Hello!

After driving a 1991 Volvo for the past six years I have been blessed with a new vehicle.  My mother gave me the Volvo and I have thankfully been driving it forever.  I did love the car but things were getting to where my husband was having to work on it every week!  He was getting worried that it would strand me somewhere with the kids.  I tried to talk him into getting just one more year out of it.  My kids were almost embarrassed to ride with me in the Volvo.  I just told them it was FREE!  You know how kids are!  I am going to miss her!

R.I.P Free Ride!

So even though my new ride will guzzle a little more gas, I must say she is PRETTY SWEET!  Now the kids can actually bring a friend if they want.  More room for thrift shop and auction finds and the A/C works without opeing the glove compartment

My new ride!
Tomorrow is my first adventure out in it!  Watch out!  Until next time......


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Party Time!

Any weekend we have our oldest son's girlfriend over, the younger kids think we should have a party!  This weekend we had a "delayed" race party.  We live in Florida but the weather was anything but.  Boy F. is wearing a hat and long sleeves but you don't see he has shorts on too.  It was raining and only 59 degrees, so I guess his attire is appropriate.

Boy F. is our newest cook at our house.  He loves spicy food and grilling.  Today he asked if he could make the Buffalo Chicken dip for our "party". 

Boy F making Buffalo Chicken Dip

Frank's Buffalo Chicken Dip

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch salad dressing (I use Ranch) 
1/3 cup FRANK'S® REDHOT® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce or FRANK'S® REDHOT® Buffalo Wing Sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I only had cheddar)
2 cans (12.5 oz. each) SWANSON® White Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
HEAT oven to 350°F. Place cream cheese, salad dressing, Frank's RedHot Sauce and cheese into a skillet. Stir in chicken. Pour into cassarole dish when blended.
BAKE 20 min. until mixture bubbly. Garnish as desired. Serve with crackers or vegetables.

Yummy goodness

The kids think this is the best dip ever.  They will even eat any leftovers on bread as a sandwich.

Until next time.....