Saturday, December 22, 2012

Gluten free Christmas baking

Every year I do lots of Christmas baking and every year I say I will cut back on the amounts and every year I over estimate and every year I still make too much. This year was no exception. Of course every year I seem to screw some thing up and out of it comes some thing new. Last year I came up with chocolate pudding peanut butter balls, This year it was....
Yes, Nutella. I needed 2 cups of peanut butter for my last batch and after cleaning out the house I only had one. Whats a girl who doesn't want to leave the house to do? Well, I have a cup of Nutella, bingo. Nutella peanut butter balls are born. My husband, who loves his peanut butter balls, really liked them. Still liked his regular balls better but liked these as well. I don't think it would work as well if it was all Nutella because I think it would have been too strong of a flavor. I think the blend works well and it just tastes like Nutella to me. 1 cup of peanut butter 1 cup if Nutella 12 TBs of butter 4 cups of powdered sugar Cream your peanut butter/ Nutella Add your powdered sugar and mix well Roll your balls and let sit at least 20 mins to dry a little (I did not find this necessary for the Nutella balls because they were already on the dry side and I think the powdered sugar could have been reduced a bit, this is just my regular peanut butter ball recipe and I haven't played with it any yet to adapt it for the Nutella) Melt some chocolate in a double boiler, not generic (for some reason it doesn't seem to melt all the way for me) and dip those balls and let dry til set. Enjoy!
I also made some thing new this year. Egg nog truffles, a recipe I found on Pinterest and of course they are delicious and the recipe never makes as many as it says it does. Also they never look as pretty as they do online but they sure are delicious!
I also made my normal peanut butter cookies but this year added a small peanut butter cup because I thought it would be easier for Alec to eat those rather than a Hershey kiss.
He loves them. I made sugar cookies too but have yet to frost them because he prefers them with out the frosting. I will frost some of them later today though. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Bye!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Finished Basket

I really enjoy basket making. You take strips and pieces of wood and make them into awesome baskets and some of them can be very detailed. They always look more complicated than they really are. Eventually you get so many baskets you just don't know what to do with them. I have a friend that I do basket class with that has so many that they are piled into a huge mountain in an extra room in her home. We joke that she has created another layer for mount basket. When I start a new basket I try to think of a use for it. Will it be a decoration on my shelf, a laundry basket. Will it hold apples and other fruits or can I use it to pick the produce from the garden? But lately it is getting to that point where I am running out of ideas for uses and have started a mount basket myself. This newest basket I just finished will not be part of the basket mountain. I created this one with one thing in mind, Alec's Hot Wheels collection. Alec has quite a Hot Wheels collection at my house and at home. Here they are piled into different places, a wagon he likes to pull around, a Mickey Mouse Easter bucket from last year, a Halloween candy pumpkin bucket, you get the idea. So when me and Becky dug through all the reed I had bought for home to use it up I decided I needed a large bushel type basket for Alec's Hot Wheels collection. About the using up reed I had at home. When I cleaned out my sewing room at one time I realized I had a tub full of unused reed for basket making at home. The thing about that is I do not weave at home at all. I prefer to use my time at home for sewing and fabric crafting and I do not have the room to spread out and keep things out that long to work on a basket. Also reed goes bad. It gets brittle and will eventually be un useable. So I took the tub to Becky's and said lets use it up, what can we make? This is my second finish from the tub. Hot Wheels bushel basket.
I'm hoping that its sturdy enough to hold up to Alec. I know it will do what I want it to do but Alec likes to push baskets around and climb in them but hey, who doesn't like a good basket sit. For example....
That's just him chillin, watching Mickey. Obviously, the basket I made would not hold up to this so if he does try this I will have to use it for some thing else until he's older. We shall see. Wish me luck. And progress on the cross stitch gift.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My sewing room

On a quilting group I'm on we have been talking about sharing photos of our sewing rooms. I have shared mine before but I don't think I've shared since Dan made my awesome new cutting table. I also rearranged my sewing room a few weeks ago. This layout works much better for me and makes the room feel like it is bigger. I've always been opposed to having my back to the door but I told myself to suck it up and do it. Well it's fine. I don't know why I had an issue with it but issue resolved. This is the view from outside the door looking in.
This is the front of my cutting table. I left the table top wood because I was too impatient to paint at the time but I will probably paint it white some time down the road. As you can see I didn't bother to clean it up for the photos. I don't mind if you see how messy it is. You can see my large stack of knits for clothes for Alec Daniel. I have a good sized stack of fabric cut out to make pj's for him. I have some Christmas ones cut out too. On the left there is a pile of taped together patterns for a couple of pajama patterns I am trying out to find a go to one for Alec. I love pdf patterns and have accumulated quite a few of them. My tv is up there too.
I have shelves above the table for supplies and you can see I like to hang things I love everywhere and I love bright, bold colors.
This is my sewing desk. I love this desk. We bought it years ago and used it for what it was intended but when we went to lap tops and I finally wised up and decided to use this room for a sewing room and not a junk room I started using it as a sewing table. When I upgraded to a much nicer machine Dan cut it out for me and added supports so my machine bed was level with the desk top. I love that he is so handy and can do anything! I never need a mechanic and never need to hire any one for repairs of any kind or to build buildings. It's awesome! Anyways, this desk is huge and I even have my serger on it permanently with plenty of room for quilting still.
Nothing fancy in this corner. Just my ironing board, some extra machines (there are more in the closet, these just didn't fit) and some books stacked up that don't fit on the book shelves. I do love this oversized ironing board. I bought it years ago with some birthday money my Grandma sent me. It's a nice reminder of her since she has since passed.
This is just the bookshelf. Lots of quilting books and magazines here. That awesome green chest on top is a floss chest to hold my cross stitching floss. It's home made and I bought it off a yard sale site full of floss and had room to add my substantial collection. It was a stained wood that I was not fond of so I spray painted it this awesome green. I do need to touch it up a bit but that will be awhile before I get around to that.
This is the door to my closet. You can not look in there, it is that bad. It is my plan to tear every thing out and reorganize it some time after Christmas.
This is the shelving unit under my table. Lots of craft supplies, fabric, and aida cloth crammed down here. I'm out of room down there.
And that is it. I'm hoping to get those tubs in front of the books case into the closet when I reorganize and also those extra sewing machines. I like an uncluttered space. I work better in one. What am I working on now. Well some of it I can't show yet and some clothes I plan on sewing this weekend but I can show you a gift in progress that I am working on.
Heres a shot of the pattern. This pattern and many more can be found here Wee Little Stitches I can not say enough good things about their patterns and customer service.
And just a shot of Alec so you can see how big this little boy has gotten lately.
So sweet. Bye!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Alec Daniel

Well, I got it together and snapped a photo of the finished project that I gave you a sneak peek of a few weeks ago. Please ignore the fact that the room still needs the top trim put up and I will not admit it has needed that put up for about the last 9 years, oopps! It is getting done this winter! I swear! Anyways.....
I love how it turned out. This is what I started with.
When I bought the letters I spotted the colored popsicle sticks hanging and figured I could come up with some thing to use them for. I really like how I chose to use them as the back drop and the different design with the colors really turned out nice if I do say so myself. I was surprised at how long it took to do this. I figured it would be a quickie one day project but it actually turned into a 3 day project. The gluing the popsicle sticks together and the multiple coats of paint to cover the wood letters took some time. We love crafting around here and I have started getting Alec on that path.
Love him! Bye!

Monday, November 12, 2012

I missed October....

Ooooopps. I complexly missed posting in October. Thats ok. I got into a sewing slump. Who knows why, they just hit me once in awhile. I had caught a couple of stomach flus from the grand baby and that didn't help and I also was diagnosed with another ailment so I spent time learning about it and learning another new way of eating. That wasn't too overwhelming as I was pretty prepared from having to overhaul my life when I had to go gluten free. I'm still learning and will probably have to be on different meds to help, but that is the way it goes some times. But, I have really gotten back to my sewing in the last couple of weeks an am able to share some awesome work and patterns with you. I was super excited when a pattern designer put out the call for pattern testers for like 6 new patterns and can you believe 4 of those were for boys!? Talk about super exciting. She is really breaking out with new patterns for the boys and this is super exciting as there is a huge lack of patterns for them in the market place. I love her designs because she makes it so you can embellish and change things how you would like. She calls them Blank Slate Patterns Seriously, go check them out. I had the pleasure of testing the Trendy Tuxedo Pants, Trendy Tuxedo Shirt, The Holiday Pajamas, and The Saddle Shoulder Polo Pattern which I don't see up for sale yet but you should jump on it when it does come up because it is such a fantastic pattern. I love it and it is a new favorite for me to make for my grandson now. This is my Holiday Pajamas. You will notice it is not in holiday fabrics. I used some I had on hand and can you believe I have not been able to find any holiday fabrics yet? I will be making a couple of stops later today to see if I can find some, fingers crossed.
I used a too cute Yogi Bear flannel and I love it. It was my first time working with piping and I had a few curse words for it while working but that was more about my zipper foot really. I can officially say I hate my zipper foot for my beloved Horizon. I need to work with it a bit more and I will work with piping again. This is my version on the Trendy Tuxedo Pant. I used a colored denim but it's not as heavy as a regular denim and used a ribbon I had on hand. I wasn't liking my choices until I put them on him and saw how adorable they look on.
This is my version of The Trendy Tuxedo Shirt. I didn't have any plain fabric so I used a cute Charlie Brown fabric that I have had in my closet for at least 10 years. No I am not joking on that. It turned out so cute! My only problem and big disappointment was I used an orange chalk to mark my pleats and darn it it did not come out in the wash! Big time FAIL! But the shirt is still cute as can be.
And finally the Saddle Shoulder Polo. I LOVE this shirt. It is so adorable on. It reminds me of shirts people wore in the early 80's. And I have to say I just love the color combo I chose on this.
I believe I gave you a sneak peek on what I was working on in my last blog post. I was making some decorations for Alec's room walls in his room at my house. It was pretty plain in there and needed some thing to jazz it up. I will have to share that in my next post because I need to take the photos. I took them with my phone and put them on Facebook but forgot to take them with the regular camera so I will do that soon. In the mean time I did take a photo of some thing I am working on now so here is a sneak peek of that project.
Every body needs a Thneed right? And finally Halloween has passed and here is Alec in his costume.
Cutest Mickey ever! Bye!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cross stitching

Yes, cross stitching. I have been doing a lot of it lately. I used to do it all the time but as I got into quilting I got sporadic at best with the cross stitching. My taste changed and I could not find any thing I wanted to take the time to work on. It is easy to do but takes up a lot of time and I do mean a lot. One day I was looking around on pinterest when a pin caught my eye.
I HAD to have this pattern! I have a grandson now and this would be awesome in his room here and a sampler of super heroes spelling his name is just what his room at home needs too! Heck, he's just the excuse, I would have totally bought this and made it for ME! I search for over an hour because of course the pin did not go any where and I hit pay dirt. Wee Little Stitches They are awesome! I have been buying patterns like crazy and stitching them up! I am still working on the super hero alphabet and in between have made Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Golden Girls, Milk and cookie Love, Peanut butter and Jelly Love and have a ton more to do. I am also working on Harry Potter. These are cute and stitch up fast. Here is some of what I've done and what is done on the Super Hero sampler. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
The Golden Girls
Milk and Cookie Love and Peanut Butter and Jelly Love
Super Hero Sampler in Progress
A shot of what my cutting table was looking like when I was prepping all of this work.
And a sneak peek at what I'm working on now, along with fitting in the cross stitch while watching tv.
Yeah, wait until you see the cuteness! Bye!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's been awhile, I know

My husband reminds me often how I have not updated. Well it's been busy and not a ton has been accomplished and yet some has. I have been baby sitting the grand baby so some days no sewing gets done, some times days and days at a time. But now the boy is getting older and less clingy, more independent so I am able to do more. I also post lots of finished projects on my face book instead of posting here. It's pure laziness really. I just snap a pic and upload it with my phone instead of getting the big camera out so I can load them here. This summer I had the pleasure of testing 3 patterns from Melly Sews She has created a whole book of Blank Slate Patterns all for boys. I love it! There is such a huge hole in the market when it comes to patterns for boys. Every thing is for girls and it drives me crazy when I am trying to find some thing to sew for the grandson. You can buy these patterns in a booklet and can make a whole wardrobe of basic patterns that would be so simple to embellish. I tested the blank T, the prepster pull over and the jeans. Loved them all. The instructions are so simple and clear. The prepster pull over even taught me how to install a yoke. I had actually started a shirt for me in the beginning of the summer that has one and because I just could not understand what the instructions were saying about it I set it aside. Now, because of her instructions with this pattern I completely understand what I'm supposed to do!
This tee is my very favorite t-shirt pattern of all time. I have made quite a few and they are my daughter favorite for my grandson as well. She loves how they are well made, the fit and how cute they are on. This pattern is the skinny t from Made By Rae I can't say enough good things about this pattern and I have praised her pattern before. She is very meticulous to make sure they are easy to follow and the instructions are very clear. I have used this pattern for jammy t's and every day t's. Because my grandson's body temp is so hot I always make the short sleeve version.
These overalls are called the over most from Whipstitch fabrics I took her online kids clothing course and learned so so much. I loved it and walked away with so many great patterns and skills that I can reuse until Alec is at least 7 or 8 years. Awesome! If you want to learn to sew clothes for kids defiantly take this course next time it is offered!! This version of the over most I made into shorts and I have a plan to make a couple more for the winter time. I love how these are lined so I can choose a nice flannel for our super cold winters if I'd like.
I'm not sure if I've shared this jacket on here or not but it cam from the kids course as well. The class was in the spring and even with all the growing Alec has done he will still be able to wear it this fall, yay! It's so adorable and I can not even tell you how much I love the fabrics and colors I chose for his jacket.
This final outfit is a pair of pj's I made just the other day. I actually made several pairs but this one we got a picture of with the big camera because of all the climbing around he was doing. I am still working on more pj's so I will be sure to get good photos of those. The top is once again Rae's skinny t top that I discussed above and the bottoms were a free pattern I found online. I don't recall the link but I would not recommend them anyways. The tushie area is just too small. This little guy does have a big tushie but not much bigger than another diapered babe so these pants I will not make again. I will go to my stand by of Rae's big butt baby pants. Follow the pattern link above for the skinny t and you will find those as well. I love those pants and am so sad I am on the largest size for Alec. I don't know what my go to jammie pant will be next but I am testing a few now so hopefully I will find one.
And I will leave you with one more photo (ok, 3). Non sewing but we had a huge mile stone around here lately.
Alec Daniel turned a year old in August! What an amazing boy! So smart and sweet and independent. We love him so much! He is such a joy. Next time I post I will show you some more sewing I am doing and another craft that I used to do all the time but got burnt out for a few years. But isn't it funny how just one picture you see can spark that interest again? Bye!