Thursday, February 28, 2013


Heirlooms. I think of quilts, furniture, jewelry, and now produce.
Around November or December (maybe January) I saw that my friend Kara had posted on Facebook about browsing her Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company Catalog. I googled it. Then requested my own catalog. It's seriously a beautiful catalog folks with some interesting tidbits. Well one thing led to another and I've ordered some seeds. And a book. Now I confess, I'm not totally thrilled with their customer service at the moment and I deliberated sharing this with you as a result. HOWEVER
I read the book cover to cover in one night. It was so interesting! The founder of this company started gardening at age three. I learned science (seed saving, soil fertilizing, cool stuff.) I learned more about some interesting current noteworthy topics (Monsanto and GMO crops.) I also got some more context and history about certain plants! The book notes early references of certain plants and produce in the bible, Thomas Jefferson's Garden, and Egypt. There are also funny stories about produce and how they were perceived during different eras. (My favorite is a tomato story with multiple written accounts.) Whether or not I have a successful harvest is still to tell. However, I already consider this venture successful in how much I've learned. I think I could read this book several more times and be just as engrossed. (Which is why I cant let anyone borrow it yet. I'm reading it again...slowly this time.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I'm jumping on the bandwagon because I've had quite the works in progress today!
I've been hoping to get a hand quilting group going (one especially for beginners) and Mary contributed some blocks she had to the cause. They were part of a color "phase" for lack of better words and now they don't quite mesh with what she's feeling like working on. I started putting the blocks together to make the top and consulted some quilting experts RE what to do for quilting. It was pointed out to me that with all the seams it may not be a good hand quilting quilt for learners.
SO after consulting with Mary I'm going to machine quilt it and it will go to MCC  machine quilted!
Here is the larger quilt's crib size cousin!
Today I got the big one sandwiched and started quilting it! I would have gotten a lot further if I hadn't broken the plastic piece that holds my walking foot onto the machine. I don't know if I have enough lines in yet to free motion the rest of the lines. I'm going to call around tomorrow and see if there's a universal foot to be found in Garden City. (Cross your fingers.) If not, I can get one in Amarillo, Texas on Saturday on my way down to Olton, Texas to see family! It's going to be a great extended trip that will include a fun continuation trip to see my SISTER!!!
This should be my last WIP with this sweater as I have FINALLY picked it back up to do the button bands. I know, all that's left is a dinky button band, bite the bullet and get it done right? It seems with big projects there's always a wall. Mine is the button band. I think I can, I think I can!
Many thanks to Freshly Pieced for hosting WIP Wednesday!

Monday, February 25, 2013


Isn't that a funny name? That's what these are called. Or at least what the pattern calls them! (Find the pattern here on Ravelry.) I developed duffer envy when my friend M brought a pair to Stitch in One (our fiber group.) They're so dense and cozy. Because they're felted, they don't really have any funky spots for bulk or discomfort either. So as soon as we procured the pattern, we got to work. (M has the fever too!)

I made my first pair. I seamed them up, and suspiciously they fit perfectly before being felted! Ugh! 

Just to see how things went, I felted them anyway. They got to be so cute and tiny! 

But they sure weren't going to fit on my feet.

So I tried again. I made the largest size the pattern gives "numbers" for. I was so anxious to have them on my feet that I completely forgot to take a picture before felting them!  

Here they are with the mini's. 

And on my cutting mat for some size gauging. One square= 1 sq inch.
The tiny ones went to my dear friend Charlotte W. I thought that they couldn't get cuter but she sure is icing on the cake!

Mine are on my feet. Under a quilt. With funky white socks. They're not being photographed. But they're fabulous. The best thing about them for me, is that I have particularly sweaty feet. Sometimes if I wear slippers or socks my feet can get COLDER because the slippers or socks hold onto or trap the moisture which then conducts the heat away from my feet. Wool will keep a body warm EVEN WHEN WET!!! That's why wool mittens are the bee's knees.

Red for the Little Lady

One of my friends and mentors who I've known since Jr. High recently had a baby girl! I couldn't be more excited for her and her husband! I put together this layered fringe/rag quilt with fabric that had been my mom's since technically she was my mom's friend first!

I've done this kind of quilt with flannels before but this was my first time using regular quilting cotton and machine quilting a 1 inch smaller piece of batting in between the outer layers. 

 I tried a different free motion pattern on each of the blocks!

Fewer layers of fabric with batting in between made for a lighter quilt, and it still looks just as full post washing. Call me a dreamer but I imagine the little recipient of this quilt having fun learning all the different quilting designs, picking a favorite square, and studying the different fabrics in the car, or before bed. I hope she enjoys it to pieces! That is the true sign of a loved quilt!

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Remember back here I made these things I called pulled pork and black bean goodness. My friend Jamie reminded me that they're empanadas. She also gave me a couple other dough recipes to try out. The first one was a LOT easier to work with than swiebach dough and kind of acted more like a tortilla when being baked. (I'm opting for the lower cal baking route.) I'm able to roll the dough very thin and they're very crisp when done. One drawback when using them as freezer lunches is that they do produce more crumbs. (Said the messy eater.)

Here is that dough recipe:

2 cups flour, 1/3 cup
shortening or butter, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2-2/3 cup water (just enough for the
dough to come together and be soft and pliable). Wrap the dough in plastic wrap
and refrigerate an hour or two before using. You could also freeze the dough.
Should make 10 2-inch circles, or 5 bigger ones!

Then, yesterday I tried a different recipe to see if I could get the same pliability but maybe a little softer. The recipe can be found here. The ingredients are 

  • 3 cups flour (plus a little more for kneading)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup cold water

  • 1 egg

  • 1 egg white

  • 1 teaspoon vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons shortening

This recipe was a bit softer when baked, but didn't look as nice or roll out as easily. 

All of the picture credits go to Luke in this post. He took all the process pictures over my shoulder and it went so much more quickly than if I had taken them all myself. With the photos I even got a bit of commentary on how my dough isn't very round when I roll it out. He says it's because I don't have enough of the culture. Punk.

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

I have done it. I have caved to the freezer breakfast burrito. We had two convenient snow days, and I used them as an opportunity to fill the freezer. I read Iowa Girl Eats' Tutorial and followed it loosely. I differed in that 3 of them have cooked diced potatoes, and 3 of them have a black beans that I cooked with taco seasoning for empenadas. I'll hold off on posting until I get the review from Luke.
Review from Luke:

"Those are pretty good!"

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Matty's Mac n Cheese

This is the recipe my brother in law Matt uses. (At the time he introduced us to this recipe, one of their friends persistently called him Matty much to his dismay. It may have been catching.) This recipe is so good it needs publishing and to be preserved online in case of tragedy.
Please note: Substitutions cannot be made. I have tried, it does not work. This recipe can, however, be trippled.
1 3/4 cups small elbow macaroni
1 1/4 cups EXTRA sharp cheddar and White Cheddar (about 5 oz) cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper (black pepper makes suspicious black flakes)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/3 cups half and half
1 1/3 cups whipping cream
2/3 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 cups packed grated extra sharp cheddar
Preheat oven to 350* F. Lightly butter 9x13 glass baking dish. Cook macaroni al dente, drain, put into baking dish, and add cubed cheese. Combine dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients gradually while whisking. Pour over macaroni noodles and cubed cheese. Sprinkle grated cheese on top.
Bake for 25 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes. (Resist the urge to sneak even just a bite. The sauce needs to thicken as it cools. If you take an early bite there is sauce that cannot claim noodles. (The voice of experience.)
Because we're lactose intolerant (and bad ones at that) I portion this delicacy into 1/2 cup Tupperware and freeze it for those snack time cravings...when I haven't had too much dairy that day.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Quite Palletable

I'm hoping to start a garden in the spring. As I have yet to have a productive garden in my life, I'd like to keep the financial risk on the lower end. On the other hand, I've heard quite a bit of success stories with raised garden beds.
I've seen many wooden pallets behind stores here in Garden City and thought I might try out one of the many pinterested raised beds made from pallet wood. The thing is, pallets are like milk crates and go back to vendors for re-distribution. Pay attention pinners. Those pallets aren't all out there to be taken as junk, they're waiting to be picked up. I learned this after asking 5 business owners if I could have the pallets out back. Then, this afternoon when Luke and I were on a pallet hunt, I happened across a manager who knew of some smaller ones that may have been broken or used for display that wouldn't be going back to vendors. SCORE!! He said to come back at the end of the evening when more would be empty. Nooo problem! So we had another new kind of date night and went to pick up pallets. We each drove our own car so we could bring more home.

My handsome helper helped me load them up...

and then load them into our cars.
Time to start building!!!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

A love for Pinterest...and a Party

In early February, I hosted a Valentines Day Pinterest Party at Luke's work. Everything at the party came from Pinterest and can be found on this board. 

 Chef Shad pinned the recipes he was going to use and embellished all of the recipes with fabulous touches like heart shaped carrots in the soup and a heart tomato garnish.

 I ordered the wool felt to make these super fun heart garlands from tadaa! Studio Felt on Etsy (find her shop here). She was awesome and got my complicated custom order shipped to me very promptly! Things I learned: Fishing line that will hold thirty pounds can act as its own needle to get through the felt when cut on an angle. If it doesn't go though easily, cut a new angle.

 The template for these super hero suckers can be found here. And the pattern for the butterfly suckers was more or less improvised by me. The nice thing about the butterflies is that you can doodle on them as much or as little as you want.

 I made my own handprint templates in photoshop for time's sake, but the best thing about that one is that it can be created pretty easily with things you have at home.  For the heart card, q-tips are your pain brush and this one takes hardly any paint at all. I made heart templates for the Army Guy valentines with a fun stencil font and lots of fun song lines.

These bookmarks were really fun! I went to Home Depot and asked the paint department if I could have some paint cards. She was so surprised I actually asked and offered me a box to take them home in. I cut them in half and then used one of the cards curved sides as a stencil for cutting curve into the two straight corners.. (My corner rounder was too curvy.)
Anyway, all in all it was a blast! I encourage you to have a Pinterest party of your own and share what you do!

Because Italian is Always Romantic

About two weeks ago, Luke mentioned to me that he'd like us to cook something together. I was a bit surprised but I sure wasn't going to turn down a cooking buddy! I went out and got the ingredients to make lasagna roll-ups and stuffed shells. It was really fun! Because there were two of us it was pretty easy and quick to make enough extra to put in the freezer for later meals, and have dinner that night! 

Here are our stuffed shells.

We put about six in containers and froze them to heat up for a light dinner or lunch.

 And there anything more handsome than this beautiful man in the kitchen?

Luke is holding the lasagna rolls. They make for nice easy portioning, but they were a little tricky to eat. Maybe if I had put more egg in the filling to help it set up nice and sturdy.
We finished up the night watching Timothy Green.
This little date night has stayed with us as we have enjoyed the deliciousness in later nights too! We're pretty proud of ourselves!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Spin Me Round

One of my new, and dear, Garden City friends loaned me this BEAUTIFUL spinning wheel made by her father. I could look at it all day, but I didn't. Well I sort of did because as soon as she brought it over I began to learn to spin yarn!! It took a bit but once I got the hang of it I was hooked! It's so rhythmic and fun! I did two single strand spools and then plied them together. That's what you see in the lower left picture.

Here they are in hank and ball form. Or as one of my Facebook friends says: Donut form!
She's right! They look like maple donuts! My favorite!
Any ideas for what to make with this maple donut yarn? It's a liiiittle rough for a right up against the skin chunky cowl.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mom Dream

Mom dream last night. I was shopping at a store I'd never seen in Kansas. There was a section of things called Susan. I noted it then kept looking around. Then when I was looking at a trinket toward the front I heard her voice commenting on the Susan section. It was her and we hugged and I cried and she hugged me tighter. I told her that I missed her so much. And then I woke up. Boo.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

H 2 the O

Tonight we're talking water.
Remember this:

I showed a local friend this picture and she said no way should our water look like that. Rather ironically, on my way back from my walk today there was a city truck parked out by the corner fire hydrant and the water was running. I've seen people use that hydrant for many things and easy too concerned.

Then there was a knock at the door and a public works service man was at our door wanting to know if I had notice a brown tint to our water. I said "I've got a picture!"
He had quite the laugh and explained to me that because we live in an older neighbor hood and at the end of a pipeline it was fairly common and that all we need to do is call the city and weather pending they will come flush our lines. Seriously?! That easy? Even the water softener man told me we would have brown ish water. Even my handy dandy father in law said some brown is normal with iron in the pipes.
So then for reader benefit I went out and took some pictures so you could see what was getting flushed.

Here you can see the clearer water vs the "brown water."

I feel duped and enlightened all at the same time and maybe it's the placebo effect, but I'm pretty sure our water tastes better all ready!

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What's Your Deal

When it comes to laundry? Growing up, my parents each did their own laundry because...well... My mom didn't do laundry the way my dad preferred. As kids, we were doing our own laundry by the age of 5. It was each man for himself. In Luke's family, as far as he remembers, his mom did all the laundry. Luke had a sweet deal that he could negotiate more Sports watching on TV as long as he was folding laundry.

Which leads us to sorting out our new laundry system. I like to have clean laundry. I don't mind sorting, washing, changing over or drying. I weirdly like to fold sheets and towels. I tolerate folding clothes but I hate ironing clothes. It takes forever and they never seem perfect. I've even gotten a lesson from Mrs. C (someone who has mastered the skill like a ninja) and it still just gets my goat.

Additionally, Luke has taken to wearing a button up shirt every day to act his job. Which means more ironing. If I don't iron then he wears a sweater or vest over to cover up the wrinkles. More laundry.
When I married Luke, the dude wore polos every day. Polos made of nice athletic material that in wrinkles as it air dries.
Do I negotiate for a return of the polos? Do I wash all and tell him I he wants to wear a button up he should iron it? He has enough clothes that if I boycott washing his clothes they'll get stinky in the basket, fester and contaminated everything else so that option is out. Thoughts? What's YOUR laundry system? Has it changed since "the beginning?" How has it evolved?! Even if you don't comment you should email or message me, I'd really like to know!

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Almost Tuesday Tidbits

The 49ers made it to the Super Bowl and boy did it make this guys happy. He wore his 49er red knickers in the golf tournament before the game.

We started watching the game at Luke's work but the golfers had chowed down on all the snacks Chef had put out and I was staaaaarving so when the power went out we headed home.

Where we discovered the 49ers were making a come back! And then had our spirits crushed. In case you have no idea the Ravens won. Luke was sad. Like...really sad.
On a brighter note, I no longer have to wear a visitor sticker when I sub as I have an official badge!

Also, my friend Mary introduced me to a new local restaurant called Pho ______. I honestly can't remember the name. Just the landmark blue wall that helps me find it.

I really enjoyed the lighter, fresher tasting flavors and textures so 4 days later, I took Luke....or he took me. He paid.

His fortune cookie is the top one. He's thrilled. I thought mine was appropriate. I'm going to help him with all kinds of advice. He LOVES my advice.

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Happy Hands. Happy Heart.

I've been on a felt kick lately. I was digging around in my mom's sewing tool box for pinking shears and found this goody!

It's a pinking rotary cutter. AWESOME! So I haaaaad to make hand warmers.

I still got to use my grandmas pinking shears.

I'm telling you. They set me up for life. And these are good tools!

Here they are! 4 heart hand warmers and one "Love Bug". They're stuffed with rice and when microwaved for 30 seconds they hold enough heat to keep my hands warm well through recess.
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