Monday, August 1, 2011

A different kind of busy

For the last several months I have been busy ...just a different kind of busy. I wasn't feeling that great and didn't do much crafting of anything and if I did I wasn't blogging about it. Now that I am well into the second trimester I am feeling really good and back to the sewing and pregnancy safe projects.
 20 weeks
 Pictures of our little miracle baby (more posts on that later). These are pictures of the sonogram pictures so they are not very good quality.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Laura Bars

If you have never eaten a Lara Bar you don't know what you are missing! They are essentially very healthy whole food energy bars. So far my favorite flavor I have tried is the cherry pie bar. The only problem with these bars is that they are $1.00 or more a piece. The ingredients are simple and usually less than 5 things. I searched for a recipe and found a great blog called "Enlightened Cooking" with a great tutorial. Click on the word tutorial to go to the link and scroll down for recipes.
 I made cherry pie, apricot almond, and cashew cookie bars. It didn't take long at all and the results are really good. The cherry pie turned out the best for consistency.
 Basic ingredients of dried fruit and nuts, that's all!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wordless Book

I recently saw a link (can't remember the site) showing a baby book someone made using embroidery. I loved the idea and kept it tucked away in my mind until I was ready to make this. The design of the book is loosely based of Amy Butler's pattern in her book for the "Imagination Book".
 It is a soft accordian folding book using 6 embroidered panels (3 on each side) and coordinating fabrics. The fabrics I used are so amazing and of course come from my Japanese stash.
 The woodland deer fabric is one of my favorites and I have been saving it for something special.
 Cute little red riding hood fabric.

I made a ribbon tie closure for the book rather than a fabric envelope case like the original pattern. The book doesn't really fold very well and is more like a long flat book when open. I don't think I would make this style again but I do love how the fabrics coordinate and the pictures I stitched turned out.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sushi Love

After living in Japan for 4 years I find myself craving sushi at least once a week. Given our current location that presents a bit of a challenge. There are no restaurants within 50 miles that I would dare eat sushi at so therefore it has been over a year since I have had any. There are some restaurants that would be okay within 90 miles but I can never convince Matt that he is hungry for sushi if he has too many other options. I tried making sushi one time quite a while ago with disastrous results but I was not going to give up.
 The key is the rice. Last time I did not prepare it correctly so it crumbled when I tried to roll the nori around it. This time it went much better.
 I used canned salmon, cucumber and mayo in this set. I repeated it again in a few days once I had a ripe avocado. Of course I mixed up some wasabi paste to serve on the side.
Of course I am no expert in this and wouldn't even consider this well done but passable. Once you have seen true sushi masters at work in Japan you know you will never come close.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

18 dresses and 10 pairs of shorts

I want to share with you another charity that I have been sewing for. The organization is called Little Dresses for Africa. They accept donations of simple home made girls dresses and shorts for boys. The dresses are distributed not only in Africa but in other impoverished nations as well.
 These are just a few of the items I am getting ready to send.

 As I sewed these items I often thought and prayed about the children who will receive them. For many it will be the only new item of clothing they will ever wear.
On the website they have instructions if you are interested in participating. If you are planning on going on a mission trip they will also provide you with dresses/shorts to take along. Most of the items are distributed this way.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Project Thrive: Days for Girls

I want to introduce you to a charity that is helping give girls and women a chance in impoverished communities. Project Thrive's Days for Girls makes it possible for girls and women to:
                                                              - go to school
                                                              - continue work to earn an income
                                                              - have safe feminine hygiene

In impoverished communities where females have no access to feminine hygiene products they are forced to go without which means they can't attend school or work. It also leads to the use of unsafe and unsanitary items in an effort to manage, which of course leads to infections. Days for Girls provides kits containing reusable sanitary pads and a number of other hygiene items necessary for safely managing menstruation. It is something so basic that we take it for granted here in the U.S.

 Here is an example I made of the panty shield and pad holder that the girls can use. Pieces of flannel are then folded and used as the pads.
 Inside the panty shield is a layer of PUL which is waterproof.

Even if you don't sew you can still help with this charity. They need other items that go in the kits such as underwear, soap, washcloths, etc. For more information visit the links.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Recently I came across some yummy looking granola on a few blogs. I decided to go ahead and make some myself. I don't know why I didn't do this a long time ago!
 Granola is so flexible and fun to switch up. In this batch I used rolled oats, slivered almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pieces of figs, cranberries, cherries, honey and olive oil.
 There are recipes all over the internet so I didn't post one for this. Look one up and try it today!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Raeleigh's Dress and Bloomers

My youngest niece just turned 3! I sewed up this flutter sleeve dress and bloomers and mailed them off to her. The pictures are washed out but you can get the general idea.
 Hard to tell from this picture, but the front of the dress has 2 pockets. Perfect for little treasures!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Laundry Sign

One more project for the laundry room crossed off the list!
 I made the sign using a piece of MDF we had in the garage. I painted the board and then applied a vinyl wall graphic.
 I really like how it turned out and it adds some color to the laundry room as well as fills the awkward space between the upper cabinets.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Flower Child Shoes

Another baby gift for our friends. Cute little baby shoes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New to me Artist

I have been searching for a song I heard on the radio (don't think I have found it yet since I can't remember enough of the lyrics) and came upon Francesca Battistelli. Amazing voice and a great big breath of fresh air for Christian music. I couldn't paste a link to let you listen because they are all protected but if you google it you can see it on Amazon or Francesca's own site. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Vietnamese Salad Rolls

I recently had our neighbors/friends over for an Asian meal. The only thing I remembered to take pictures of were the salad rolls because I made them ahead of time. I was too busy cooking and serving the other stuff to get a picture. We also had Singapore crab, Thai black pepper chicken, rice, miso soup and mango pudding. It was a little tour of Asia in our bellies!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Henny Penny and Six Chicks

As I have been sewing up baby gifts I made the adorable hen and chicks pattern in Anna Maria Horner's book Handmade Beginnings. If you don't know who Anna Maria is go check out her blog. She designs amazing fabrics and patterns. I loved the choice of colors used in the book so tried to follow them as best I could with the fabric I had on hand.

This mother hen can hide 3 little chicks under each wing with the help of hook and loop.

I will say that this project was tedious and somewhat challenging due to the size of the chicks and the amount of hand sewing required to finish the openings. Not my favorite thing to do.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Laundry Room Progress

A few more things completed for the laundry room. I built a laundry folding table to look like an old farmhouse table to fill the awkward space along the one wall. It is counter height for easy folding and the dimensions are 24"x48" on the surface.
Looks empty underneath I know, but that is actually where a dog bed normally lives and is getting updated eventually.
I upgraded our dog food storage with a 10 gallon bucket from the hardware store. The bag of dog food hides nicely inside and I no longer have a blue plastic tote sitting there looking ugly.

I heavily distressed the finish of the wood to look like it had been in use for years in a kitchen.
Here is the view as compared to the new gate on the door.

More changes to come:

- shelf for above the table
- artwork between the upper cabinets above the washer and dryer
- more color with accessories
- coordinating dog bed for under table