Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie-- Mmm, Mmm Good!

Tonight I decided to try out a recipe from my new cookbook from my kids-- "The Pioneer Woman Cooks".  This is a great book -- much more than just a cookbook.  I enjoy Ree's style of writing, and all the beautiful pictures she includes in the book.  Anyway, I followed her recipe exactly (well, except that I didn't have any white wine to put in it), (oh, yeah, AND I forgot to add the seasonings -- major mistake -- I was just so excited to get it in the oven), but besides that -- even without the salt, pepper, and thyme included before baking -- it was delicious! My husband is not a huge fan of thyme, and he always adds his own salt, so I don't think he even noticed.  His comment was, "delicious!"  Ree's pie crust -- called "Perfect Pie Crust" -- really was perfect.  It was light, flakey, and so, so, good.  I had my doubts as I was mixing it because it seemed too wet to me, but sure enough, it rolled out beautifully and WAS perfect!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Family Times

Our time of having the whole family together is coming to a close much too quickly.  I'm so grateful for the fun time we could enjoy with our kids.  We've eaten a lot of good food, played many games of golf, sword fighting, bowling, rowing, etc. on WII, shopped, toured a cavern and museums, attended the Schulte family Christmas party, put a puzzle together, talked, laughed, looked for treasures in a few junk drawers, and have just had a wonderful time.  We treasure these moments together.

All of my sewing was finished before Christmas so now I've got a week home before school starts up again, to think about some new projects. I do have a few pieces of material cut out to make some reusable grocery bags.  I like to add my "green footstep" when I can!  My mom received her Christmas surprise so I can post a picture of that now.  For Mom I made an apron and hot pads out of a beautiful Amy Butler fabric.  Amy Butler is one of my favorite fabric designers -- using bright, bold colors and designs.  The last time I was at Mom's I used her apron (because I can't function in a kitchen without one), and saw that it was one I had made for her YEARS ago.  (I think I had made that one).  Anyway, I knew then what I was going to make.  I love aprons -- possibly learned to appreciate them from Mom.  I remember her wearing aprons when I was growing up.  So -- although an apron may seem like a humble item to those who never wear them, to me, they are treasures of the heart -- an instant "basket" to gather flowers in, a "towel" always handy to wipe floured hands on, a corner to wipe a tear on when the onions get to the eyes, a handy pocket for a tissue or stray penny found on the floor, and of course, a cover-up for keeping clothing clean.  So, Mom, for whatever purpose aprons have for you -- ENJOY! You are the best!!
My own Silent Night label

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's finished!

Just a quick note today -- The lap quilt is finished!  While I do prefer hand quilting, the machine quilting was nicer on my hands -- and quicker.  Overall, I'm pleased.  My favorite part it the little label I stamped and added to the corner.  It says, "Silent Night".  Not only is it appropriate for the season, but also for the "silent" night of sewing to get it finished today! :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Snow Day AGAIN!

Christmas vacation has officially started!  Our second snow day of the school year is upon us.  I feel a little sad for the children who anticipated the fun of giving and receiving little gifts, the Christmas Sing-along, Christmas parties, and of course, a day with not quite the same academic rigor as most!  But, here we are -- another snow day, which I will accept with gladness. :)  Here's a sneak view of my project for today.  This one is a lap quilt for my mother-in-law -- who NEVER uses a computer -- so I think I'm okay to post it here.   This is the first project (other than purses) that I've done machine quilting on.  I'm not very pleased with it yet, but I'll finish it and see what I think at the end.  I'm just not liking the way the stitches are stopping and starting.  Hopefully it will all blend in when the quilting is finished.  My mother-in-law loves cardinals, so I think she will think it is just wonderful.   Note to MY mom -- if you are reading this you can keep guessing about your gift!  It is not a purse, it is not a lap quilt -- but it is made with a beautiful Amy Butler designer fabric.  Now -- that should keep you guessing! :)  Happy day!

This is the front side ... partially quilted!

This is the back.  It's the first quilt I've made inserting a strip of  coordinating fabric on the backing.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow Day!

I really don't know who likes snow days more -- teachers or students! The unexpected treat of a day off is pure joy. Today I spent most of my day at the sewing machine. I have had several Christmas sewing projects going this year, and am down to the last one. One of the more challenging ones was to make this purse for a dear aunt (who LOVES horses). She has a cloth purse she has used for a number of years. Last year when I was making a purse for myself she advised me on the fabric placements and mentioned that she preferred purses with zippers and a smaller size. The one I made for myself did not have a zipper, and is quite large. But, she liked that pattern, and commented on how "handsome" it was. So this Christmas -- when I was trying to think of what to give the aunt who has whatever she wants -- I thought of the purse. I found the perfect horse fabric in blue (her favorite color) and made it a smaller size. The tricky part on this was to add a zipper. I'm not too sure I'm happy with my solution, but I managed to create a zipper closure. The finished product actually looks nicer than the photo, but here it is -- a horse purse for our horse collector aunt!
Oh...the word is already out that tomorrow is another SNOW DAY! :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Giving Thanks

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!" I love this time of year -- the pondering of so many things and people to be thankful for. Right on the tail of this act of thankfulness comes the anticipation of celebrating the joy and gift of the birth of Christ. On Wednesday I am taking a personal day off of work in order to bake, and clean house in preparation for our annual hosting of the family Thanksgiving dessert buffet. This year I'm making pecan pie (recipe found on The Pioneer Woman website), the traditional Sour Cream Lemon pie, pumpkin pie, and Pumpkin Cranberry Upside-down cake served with devonshire cream. Mmmm.... I must say I had not made this recipe of the pecan pie before, and did a trial run on Sunday for a carry-in meal at church. Oh my ... it is the BEST ever. If you like pecan pie, give this one a try -- It's called "The Pie That Will Make You Cry"!

On a crafty note ... I've moved my sewing area to make it more convenient, and am so pleased with my little sewing nook. I found a great little sewing table at our local thrift store. It's just the right size for the "breakfast nook" (never used as a breakfast nook!). A few months ago I saw an idea at The Painted Quilt for a pin cushion made from felted wool. I found some wool sweaters (also at the thrift store) and threw them in the wash to shrink it down into a workable felt. It came out great, and I used some of the wool to make this BIG pin cushion. I'm on a roll with some Christmas gifts now. Pictures will be posted later.

Well, off to other things. Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Creativity... where are you?

It's been weeks since my last Blog, and quite frankly, it's felt like weeks since my last creative attempts! Perhaps when the house cleaning is finally caught up ... or when it's cooler outside ... or the sewing room is organized ... or.... too many excuses! I will try this week to create something!
Oh, what will it be? :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Garden Time

One day last spring, my husband and I decided to join his sister's family in doing a garden together. It's been years since we've tended a big garden, and it was kind of a spur of the moment thing. One Sunday afternoon we were all sitting together drinking coffee, and here it comes -- "Let's do a garden together this year. It would be such fun!" This weekend I continued to reap some of the rewards of that fun garden impulse. And it truly has been fun -- despite the weeds, rabbits eating off the first batch of beans, insect bites, and HOT summer days. My pictures are of the tomato processing. It's showing the process backwards, but I haven't quite figured out how to get the pictures to go where I want them to yet. :) On the last batch I added a basil leaf to each jar for added flavor. Oh, so tasty!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Flowers & Pumpkins

Flowers and pumpkins. I've mixed mums and pumpkins in decorating, but these flowers are summer flowers! They are still growing so beautifully in my garden beds. The vegetable garden continues producing swiss chard, beets, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, lima beans ... and ... wonderful, little orange pumpkins. They are so cute! So, my moment of creativity today is to mix the end of summer with a touch of autumn.

Friday, August 20, 2010


In four short days, life at the elementary school I teach at will come alive with the faces and voices of excited children. This week has been full of preparation ... setting up the room, meetings, posters up, new supplies out, lesson planning (well--I have a bit of THAT to do yet before I'm ready!)... One of the things I love about summer break is that I don't have to think about making a lunch in the morning. On school mornings I'm sometimes on my way out the door and think ... "Oh, lunch! What can I take today?" It's a race back to the fridge, grab some leftovers from the night before, stick it in a plastic grocery bag, and continue on my way. Last year I decided a plastic grocery bag just was not classy enough to stand up to some of the lovely lunch bags my fellow teachers carried -- the purple Tupperware lunch set, or the fuzzy plaid lunch bag, to name a few. Nope -- plastic bag tied in a knot would no longer cut it. So I used a pattern found on called Lunch Sack Gift Bags, and created my own pretty bag to use for my lunch. It was super easy to make! Tuesday morning I'll head out the door with lunch bag in hand, ready to begin a new year of teaching and inspiring a wonderful group of children.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Can a creative moment win a Serger?

SewMamaSew at is hosting a giveaway for a Husqvarna Viking Serger. They've asked the question, "How would your life be better with a serger?", and are looking for creative responses from which to choose a winner. If you have done a fair amount of sewing and do not own a serger, my guess is that you, like me have wished for one. As a teacher one of my goals is to inspire the children I teach to become life long learners. Several years ago I received a grant and was able to set up a classroom cooking center, tool center, and sewing center. In the sewing center, it was priceless one year to see the pride and sense of accomplishment students felt in sewing a pillow -- even kindergarten students! So what does this all have to do with the question -- How would my life be better with a serger? I, too, always want to remain a life long learner. My sewing started as a child -- learning from my mom. When I graduated from high school my mom gave me a beautiful little old portable Singer sewing machine. I loved it. Not only was it cute, but it sewed a beautiful straight stitch. I used that for many years. My next machine was purchased several years ago. My Janome is great, and sews beautifully. Now I'd love to learn to use a serger and take my sewing projects to a new level. So.... here is my moment of creativity...
See a difference in my sewing,
Easy serging will get me going,
Really quick and effortless,
Giving seams loveliness,
Even finishes in a snap,
Ready I am to own one at last!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I enjoy old dishes -- especially those with blue, purple, pink, or yellow. This love of dishes came from my Mom, and perhaps my grandmothers as well. I remember all of their china closets -- Grandma K. had several sets of pretty china in her closet; Grandma S. had a light, milky blue set with square plates and saucers, and Mom had a beautiful blue and white set, part of which I now enjoy in my own china closet. The other day I was at a thrift store seeing if I could find a "treasure", and as I was paying for my 64 cent vase, I saw this beautiful child's tea set on the counter. I asked about it, of course, and waited -- hoping the price would be right. It was -- $2.99 for the set!! So here it is -- my moment of creativity -- bringing a smile to my face as it reminds me of the other women in my family who loved pretty dishes as much as I do.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hi friends,
Do I really want to create a blog? Yes, after reading many blogs out there, I decided I would like a spot to "journal" some of my own creative moments. This blog, just like my creativity, will be a work in progress. It may take a few days...weeks?...but let's see where it goes. My first task will be to figure out how to design a page! :)