Fleece is all around us!

During this freezing cold spell, I played around with some fleece and vinyl to create a new collection of roller derby and personalized scarves.  My muses were are a dear friend, and the CUTEST kids in the world (second only to my own). They were great sports about their photo shoot.  Don’t these pix just make you smile?

DIY Daddy’s Turtle Costume…

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My son has recently started enjoying a certain turtle ninja hero movie.  He LOVES to play dress up, so… of course, he asked for a costume.  (He has a million).  My wonderful husband decided to take this one on.  We had a few boxes laying around that needed some upcycling

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He cut and taped it into place, and then we used paint markers to draw a design on it.  DSCN9196

He cut a few weapons out of cardboard too.  We have ONE HAPPY BOY at our house!

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P.S.  The cute mask was a party favor from a friend’s birthday!  Thank you Brittany!

Yummy Spaghetti Squash and Bacon-Gorgonzola Beef

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We got the motherload of yummies in this week’s bountiful basket.  Tomatoes, Fennel, Spaghetti Squash, Blueberries, Plums, Bananas, Lettuce, Strawberries, Red Peppers, Green Peppers… YUM!  Well, Cole and I are making a super delicious meal (while Eva’s anxiously waiting for her opportunity to taste test) .  I looked up several recipes for the squash, but we didn’t have enough ingredients, so… we winged it.  Here’s what we did.

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  • Halved and scooped the squash
  • Brushed them with oil and sprinkled with salt, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper
  • Baked them at 400 for 50 minutes.
  • Run through them with a fork (makes “spaghetti”)
  • Saute with onions, butter and garlic and a little parmesan cheese.

Then the meat… mmmm….

This week Top Round Steaks were on sale, so here we go:

  • Pound them thin
  • Sprinkle with Gorgonzola
  • Roll it up
  • Wrap with Bacon
  • Secure with toothpicks
  • Brown lightly on each side on the stove
  • Finish in the oven for 20 mins on 350
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The family loved it!  (The baby ate two portions.)

Painting the Days Away…

Well, I have been a busy bee over the last week or so.  I’ve been working on several rugs, and painting quite a bit.  Here’s a few sets of letters I’ve been working on:

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I also had a request for this bar sign for a father’s day gift for a lawyer.  It’s painted on a piece of found driftwood.

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Several other projects are in pieces, and stages right now, but this is what I’ve been up to lately…

Bountiful Basket

A friend recommended that I try this, and I am so glad that I did.  We received our first ever Bountiful Basket this week.  I was so excited.  Look!  ImageIt’s loaded full of goodies- a mountain of fresh oranges, mangos, pineapple, cantaloupe  lettuce, cauliflower, carrots, corn, butternut squash, and tomatoes.  I will definitely keep doing this.  If you’re interested, go to http://www.bountifulbaskets.org/ to sign up.  It’s $16.50 each time you order except the first time which is $3 more.  They come every 2 weeks with different produce and goodies.  There are add ons you can do too, or get all organic for an additional fee.  I love that it’s not a subscription. You can choose to participate each time.  I can’t wait to see what is in the next basket!  It’s surely going to get my creativity going to figure out new ways to cook with ingredients I may not usually pick up.

DIY Watermelon Basket

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I’m not sure how, but for the last few years I have become the watermelon basket person among my friends.  I was once asked to make one for a graduation party.  Not knowing the “correct” method of how to make one, I improvised.  Every year since then I’ve been asked to do one for another party.  Well, it is that time again, and I’m making one for a graduation party tomorrow.  Here’s my method:

  • First, gather all your supplies.

DSCN8827I used a watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew for this one, but in the past I’ve also used grapes, strawberries etc.

I get a dry erase marker, shot glass, towel, big knife, detail knife, melon baller, spoon, and this nifty little tool I got for free (standing around the grocery store watching a product demonstration in the produce department).

Roll the watermelon around until you find the way that it lays flat the best.

  • Next, grab your marker and draw a horizontal line where you want the basket to open.

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Sometimes I make them higher so the fruit doesn’t fall out, but I’ve made them lower too.

It’s completely up to you.I hold my hand still and turn the watermelon so that I get the same height all the way around level.

  • Next, draw your pattern.

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I take a shot glass and make 2 small lines on the sides.  Line up the little lines with the line on the watermelon and trace.  Repeat all the way around.  Draw a straight line where you want the handle to be and draw your shot-glass-circles in whatever pattern you’d like.  You can use your towel to erase the straight lines and leave the scalloped edge.  Don’t worry if the line doesn’t erase completely right now.  After you’re done with the whole project try again, and if not, you can wet the towel a little and it should come straight off.

  • Next, start cutting.

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I take my little “v” tool and notch out where the scallops come together.  If you don’t have a tool like this, just use a little knife and make little v’s.  Next, I take a larger knife and cut out big triangles to get rid of the larger sections.  Use the detail knife to go in and carve away at the curves now.

  • Next, make the balls.

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Insert the melon baller and twist gently to create the watermelon balls.  It’s like scooping ice cream.   Remember we’re adding other fruit, so you won’t fit it all back inside the watermelon.  Clean it up by using a spoon and scraping the walls and the handle being careful not to make the walls too thin.  Cut your other fruit in half, clean out the seeds and make balls of those too.  Mix all the balls in a bowl.  Make sure to empty the watermelon of any additional juice before returning the fruit to the basket.

All done!  

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Basketweave crochet.

I had some jute lying around from another project and thought I’d try my hand at making a fruit basket. Image

Here are a few pics of the process and the finished product:

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I must say that this material is a challenge, but after it was all done, I think it looks lovely and suits it’s purpose.  I like that I can flip the edges up for the handles, or fold them over.  I’m in the process of writing out the pattern to add to my Etsy Shop.  I’m also making the same one in a larger size out of kitchen cotton.  Here’s that work in progress:

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We’re participating in our first Bountiful Basket this week (so excited!!!), and I wanted something special for the produce.

 

Teacher Appreciation.

The school year is winding down to a close and I just realized that I needed to get/ make something for my son’s pre-k teachers.  When I was at World Market yesterday, I found some really cute coffee cups and it got me thinking.  I found this free pattern on Ravelry yesterday courtesy of  Louise Howe for an apple coaster/ mug rug and thought I’d give it a try.Image

Please note- the pattern is written in U.K. terms.  I had to write it down in U.S. terms to keep myself from using the wrong stitches (again).  I used a Susan Bates I9/ 5.50 mm. hook and some random leftover cotton kitchen yarn that I had in my stash.  I followed the pattern up to the point that it said repeat on the 4th row and stopped. Image I wasn’t too sure about what happened after that point in the pattern, but I thought the size was perfect, so I didn’t worry about adding any more.The leaves worked up really quickly too (I may need to keep them in mind for something else).  I added a chain-stitch stem to top it off.  Image

I also picked up little bags of coffee, chocolates, and wafers to add to the gift bags.    I think that it made a fun way of saying thank you.Image

Click Here to check out my Etsy Shop.

Catching up on the clippings…

Every week it’s the same thing.  Buy the papers, clip the coupons.  Well, I waited a little too long and had 2 weeks piled up.  This was a 3 hour mess last night.  ImageI buy 5 papers a week, and then I inherit the remainder of my friends’ leftover coupons.  I’m not sure how some people get hundreds, but my family couldn’t use much more than 5 of anything anyway, so I’m cool.   I usually spend Sunday mornings sorting through the expired ones, clipping away and scouring the internet for the best deals of the week.  I know most couponers use a binder, but I prefer my good old rubbermaid bin.

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I use index card dividers and sort them by manufacturer.  I’m thinking that I may need to invest in a paper cutter for as much as I do.  I’m not as diligent as others, but save (on average) about $100 a week (more or less) on my grocery bill.  When I get a great deal and pick up a ton of something, I share, or donate it.  I see no point in hoarding more than my family could reasonably use.  That being said, in the event of zombie apocalypse, my family is covered in toothpaste, croutons, deodorant, and breakfast pastries.