Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Going Dairy-Free: Zucchini Bread

I didn't have to do anything to this recipe; it is originally dairy-free. And it makes a TON! This is what's left of a dozen muffins, a whole loaf, and a smaller loaf made in a pyrex dish. (Which is great, because I love to freeze things for later.) However, there are much healthier options that I can and do plan to try. Applesauce instead of oil, whole wheat flour for at least half the flour, cutting down on the salt and sugar... is great because there are reviews with the recipe, and according to Teresamas, Iowamom, and Princess Sandra, to name a few, these substitutions should work pretty well.

The fact that my husband likes this recipe is saying a lot. But late last night, after he got home from his bowling league, when he said, "Honey, you've really got something with this recipe. After tacos, beer, AND brushing my teeth, it still tastes pretty good!" -- well, for what more could one ask in a commendation? :) Seems we've found a keeper.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Going Dairy-free: Whoopie Pies

Recently I was made aware that acne can be caused by a dairy allergy. On the chance that a dairy sensitivity may be responsible for my skin problems, I'm cutting it out of my diet for 3 weeks--or longer, if my skin clears up. That is a BIG downer for 2 BIG reasons: baking and creaming my coffee. I have found that, while soy milk is fine for cereal, it just doesn't get the job done as a coffee creamer. And I LOVE to bake! Butter and milk are in so many things that my family enjoys, so I'm having to find which substitutes work best in our favorite recipes. Yesterday, I tried dairy-free Whoopie Pies. These amazing little cakey cookies are usually SO yummy, but not this time. :( Well, okay, I shouldn't be so hard on them. They were fine--just not like the last batch that I made! But I'm thinking that it had more to do with the fact that I was out of vanilla.

Because the texture was good, and the mouth-feel was still normal, I'm going to have to say that soy milk works for the milk substitute in this recipe. I'll just have to load it with vanilla or some other flavoring next time.

Coming Soon: Baby Pants!

These are a rough draft of some pants that I'm making for my shop. I LOVE how wide these little legs are--this is like a 70s flash back, baby style! Adorable! Nick's not too crazy about the wideness, tho. Not sure--I might make them a little less bellflowerish. Any opinions on that? I'd love to hear from you!

I'm also going to try to make a few girls' jumpers to go with them. I was thinking, so many people like to dress their kids alike, but what do you do if you have a boy and girl? I guess your only choice would be to coordinate fabrics (unless you just dress one like the opposite sex). So, we'll see how long my reddish brown corduroy fabric stash holds out, and I may be able to crank out a few pairs of matching outfits in fall colors. How fun!

Friday, September 25, 2009

I've Been Busy!

I've been working on a few things, so please forgive my absence over the last week or two. Here's a quick snapshot of what I've been up to:

Pillowcase dresses for my shop.
Some hot/cold packs. Not sure yet if I'm going to add them to my shop. Although small, they're heavy and I'm afraid it wouldn't be worth it to ship them. I don't know yet. What do you think?
If I could post pictures of my laundry piles, dusted tables, and vacuumed floors, you'd get the real picture of what I've been up to, but these will have to do. Wouldn't want to bore you!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's Our Anniversary Today!

Today is Nicholas' and my 3 year wedding anniversary. We didn't have a honeymoon (it came in the form of apartment hunting in Virginia so that we could move) but we had a honeymoon baby! So there have been some rocky parts, but it's been mostly good and the more mountains we climb together, the happier I am that we've stayed together. Let's hope that continues. :)

I LOVE you, Darling!

PS We're spending our anniversary at Pizza Hut with the kids, for a hurried dinner so that we can get to Wed. night church. Isn't that romantic? lol

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Slow Week

Holy moly, it's been a while since I've been here! 5 days is too long. But I've been busy. Not a lot to talk about, just working on things around the house and such.
Last Saturday morning was spent again at the Keokuk Farmers Market. It went well. That is to say, I made $1 more than last week ($1.50 if you figure that they didn't charge me a booth fee, because I made so little! lol). But I made some good connections and got some custom orders, so I'm pretty happy with that! I really need a bigger table. As soon as business picks up, right!? :)
I had both kids almost the entire time. Rhyl took a strong liking to the nice older lady beside us and spent a lot of time on her lap, calling her "Grandma". How weird. And Gus, in true form, played quietly in the teepee (yes, I brought the teepee!) until he got hungry or tired, and then he ate and went to sleep. Gotta love that kid! He makes parenting SO easy!

Perhaps later today I'll have some time to post pictures of the crafty things I've been working on. Nothing too special. Actually, I'm having a little trouble coming up with ideas that really grab me, so if there's anything you would like to see on my blog or in my shop, please let me know! There are a few things in the hopper, but inspiration in coming slow at the moment. :(

Thursday, September 17, 2009

This Morning's Shop Update - TOTE!

I went spelunking at the SA the other day and came home with all sorts of goodies, including these two pillows. What great fabric!! It's a retro print, but I'm assuming not actual vintage material since it's in perfect condition. No wear, whatsoever, so I decided it was perfect to re-purpose into a tote bag for my etsy shop! And I had enough material to make a little card wallet.
It was a tough decision to post this one to sell. It's one of those things that I'd LOVE to keep, if I didn't have a closet full. Whoever ends up with this, compliments are sure to abound. It's such a great bag! I'm so proud of it! And considering how tough I am on my own stuff, that's saying a lot.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Big Fun Weekend Success Story!

As promised, my commissioned prairie girl outfit! Well, S's outfit, now. I made this whole thing--bonnet, dress, petticoat, and apron--in about 5 or 6 hours. Not straight, of course, as the husband and children do not allow such a thing. It's very similar to the Thresher's outfit that I made for Rhyl, but this bonnet is more authentic. All in all, I'm very happy with how a couple hours' impromptu work turned out! And I was SO happy to have a custom order!! If I could sew for a living, I would in a heartbeat. This project brought the reality of being paid to sew just a little bit closer. This, paired with more interest in my etsy site, have been SO exciting and inspiring to me. Thank you to everybody who's helping me to follow a small dream and bring home a small slab of bacon every now and then!

BTW, as always, if you like this and want one for yourself, or something like it (or anything at all!!) I'm happy to accommodate. Making this little outfit was SO much FUN!

My Saturday Keokuk Farmers Market Experience

I packed the car and said a prayer Friday night. Saturday morning I did NOT wake up to any screaming and vomiting babies, so I ran for the door. Gus joined me on my 6 o'clock endeavor. We drove to the mall and set up our little table. I realized too late that I forgot the end tables (I currently own only one portable table) so my display was rather small. But we made the most of it.

For all the trouble I've had making it there--we've either been out of town, sick, or had prior commitments--it wasn't very successful. But I made $10 and got a custom order (Coming Soon: S's prairie girl outfit!), so all in all, it was a good morning. I kept hearing that it was a slow morning for the vendors. I certainly hope so, as I hope to return next weekend and do a little better.

It was a little chilly, so Gus got to wear his winter weather gear. Check out the ears on that hood! He slept in the car for a LONG time, and donned cooler duds when he woke up. It warmed up pretty quick, but that was a chilly pre-dawn!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Blue Felt Pin

I made this to go in a thank-you basket for our first MOPS speaker. She's not a girly-girl, so these colors are appropriate, altho I think browns may have fit her personality a little better. Oh, well. You work with what you have.

I'm finding it a little hard to get design for these pins that I really like. On my search for inspiration, I stumbled upon She has the most beautiful pins! Check her out if you like this idea.

Oh, and another idea for these little gems: close your gift basket wrapping with them! I did that, rather than just put it in the basket.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Little Embellishment

Remember that large floppy canvas hobo bag I made a long time ago? Remember? REMEMBER? :P Anyway, I'm sending it to a friend and wanted to dress it up a little. I was going to put on an applique, but that didn't work out (couldn't find the fabric). So I did a little running stitch embroidery in the corner instead. I like it! (BTW, it's supposed to be crooked to match the print; it's a little quirky!)

You know how many plain-jane things you can dress up with an oh-so-simple running stitch?? The possibilities are truely endless.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Minnesota Messenger!

I got so many compliments on this bag, and suggestions to sell it, that I HAD to make some to retail! The first two are done! Pick one up at now! And watch for more, coming very soon (as soon as the kiddos will give me a few free moments in the sewing room!)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Midwest Old Threshers Reunion

This time in Mt Pleasant, Iowa, and HUGE! Nick and I were both SO happy to sit down, and quite tired today, from walking around the acres and acres of museums, exhibits, and demonstrations. It was a heck of a sight! There were tons of things to see and do, and we all had a very good time. Perhaps we'll camp there someday, as there really is way too much to do in one day.

In these pictures: my mom and dad, my husband, my daughter and son, and myself.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Placemat Rug

I cannot believe I didn't think of this before now. (I'm sure someone else has!) I was shopping at the Salvation Army, and I saw three place mats that looked like the kind of rug I've been looking for--something lightweight, woven, washable, and neutral in color. Three mats, four hems, and the rubber no-slip piece that my daughter pulled out of her dresser drawer later, and I have a floor mat! I'm not sure where I'm going to put it. Everything in my kitchen is some shade of brown, so the mat will probably not stay in there!! If it ends up staying indoors, I will probably add some of fabric pieces to match its home room. BTW, I never iron when I know I should. This could be much straighter! Total investmant: 75 cents!

(Please forgive the catastrophe that is my kitchen flooring.)

There are endless possibilities with this idea. Size, shape, colors... you can arrange them 1000 different ways and get exactly the look you're going for! Place mats are so cheap anyway, and it seems that it is a favorite item to donate to thrift stores--I may never have to go buy a rug again! :)

Something else to think about: This is a project that you don't need a sewing machine for! It's very easy, not much sewing at all, and you can even attach the backing with safety pins if you wanted to take it off for washing. Sometimes it's good to mentally slow down a bit, and a small sewing project done by hand can be soothing to the spirit. (It can also make long car rides more productive!) Which reminds me: handmade baby shoes for Gus, coming soon!

Another Bag Boy

This one is for my mom. I know that, no matter which way you look at it, there is one upside-down rooster, but that's just how it goes. That's how they're carried to the butchering stump at my parents' farm, so it's all good. Ha! Betcha got a mental picture there, huh?? lol

Total cost: about $2.oo

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Some More Attempts at Photography

PLEASE, if you're even a decent picture-taker, leave tips here! Just a few more snapshots I took around my house. I like these for different reasons--simplicity, colors, contrast. I tried to spot anything interesting or aesthetically pleasing in itself to photograph.
Oh, btw, these are NOT edited.

The messy fridge. Shopping list, photos, drs office numbers... a quick sample of my daily life.


I know that this is just a cheap plastic frame, but it's awfully pretty!

Fake mum by a vase in the living room.

The end table I recently painted, next to the bed.

Now... what on earth am I going to do with these?...