Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Little Wood Sprite

Back in the day, Halloween costume making was a month long event.
My husband would have Columbus Day off and for many years, that day was designated as Buy-the-Fabric-for-the-Halloween-Costume Day.
The week or so before that day, the children would decide what or who that they were to be and I would try my hardest to accomodate.
I cranked out princesses, brides, mickey mouse, elves, a variety of super heroes and my personal favorite: Loving You Barbie. You remember; the Barbie with the red bodice dress with white netted skirt with red hearts scattered all around. Thoroughly enjoyed the making of that one.
As you can see, it was always a family project that superceded the day itself.

But the day itself was hardly shabby.

We decorated the house, lit all four pumpkins, stoked up the bonfire in the backyard and summoned all the neighborhood ghosties and ghoulies.
Even the years that we opted out with religious objections, we still gathered and celebrated Reformation Day.
Our neighborhood was not one to pass on a reason to celebrate.
One year, we passed out candy from our bonfire, inviting parents to join us in a cup of hot cider. We went through a ton of hot dogs that night! After all the little creatures went home, my husband and I drifted off to a sleep in front of the fading bonfire and under the sparkling stars of the clear, cold fall night. Waking, I discovered my crepe soles on my shoes had melted from being propped up too near the coals.
It was worth it.

My costume making days have been resurrected by the arrival of Miss Vivien.
Her mama procurred a sweet little fairy like costume that just needed an extra umph.
A bouncy headpiece with lots of color and bells (of course) and some little ankle/feet covers and she was set....

Absolutely adorable.
Happy First Halloween my little wood sprite/fairy Vivien!
Here's to many more!!!

Rejuvenation!

Eldest/Admin Girl has a vintage mama's collection tote bag.
This bag has been with her through several moves, college, and now, motherhood.
It has shlumped her knitting, her books and laptop.
Her Creative Chicago Friend helped her pick out the fabulous fabric for it.
In fact, she modeled/designed it based on a bag that CCF already owned.
And she loves it.
No, seriously. She loves it. Kinda like a security blankie for a 30 something.
And I am tickled pink that she loves it so much.
But now mama's collection has kicked it up a notch and the vintage bag is a bit worse for the wear.
Starting to look a bit puny.
Look at it, all saggy and baggy and sad looking.
Poor over loved, overused bag.

But have no fear!
I can help!
And Eldest/Admin was going to be visiting for several days, so perfecto time to be able to do the overhaul!
Taken apart, new interlining, some seam corrections with some strengthening, a new, stout handle, courtesy of a swanky discarded AE belt from the 2G's mama and Beloved bag is an updated, rarin' to go mama's collection overhaul!
Fabulous again!
Worthy of a tag!

Doesn't she look happy?
All new like and perky!
And was Eldest/Admin Girl ever happy!
Oh yes she was!!!!:D

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Busy with My Vivie!

I have a new purse to post.
And a swell manicotti made with homemade crepes recipe to share.
But I am busy making the rest of Vivien's wood sprite costume for this weekend and her mama has kept me to task to learn how to organize my flikr photostream (it really is more cohesive and promised to be more cohesiver soon!check it out!) and to do my data entry of my excel spreadsheet on all my bags and homemade goodnesses.
I have learned much this day and my business shall benefit greatly from my Eldest's tutelage.....
So, off to Vivieland, a most pleasant place to be.....

Here is the first (of many photos) of her swanky new mama's collection jacket and her mama's hand knitted hat!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Adoptive Pretend Daughter

Just found out tonight that I will soon be the adoptive pretend mother of a young woman in Cincinnati!!!

Chris (Kris?) is a friend of Eldest Daughter and a follower of my blog...
And now she is applying for Daughter Status!

Of which I give a resounding YES! I love my Adoptive Pretend Daughters!!

Thank you Chris, for all your kind words.....
I will pray for you on your motherhood journey and be guaranteed that you will have an 'in' on needed sewing items on this pregnancy, baby things, and beyond....

Can't wait to get to know you better....

Love,
Your Pretend Adoptive Mama....

Sneak Peek

Shhhhhh!
Some secret sewing going on....
Vivien is here for a visit (Yay!!) and she hasn't yet tried on her dandy new jacket that Grammy made for her, but it nearly matches exactly with the purple in her new hat that mommy knitted for her! Great minds, huh??
It was a giant hoot to make this tiny coat...
I hope she is warmed by the love that was crafted into it.....:D

This tidy little bag is one that was special ordered from Most Interesting/Loving Friend...
As soon as I saw the material, I knew it was her, but she hasn't seen any of it yet, so I can't reveal too much....
I believe she and her wonderful hubby are in China as I type this....
And I believe that they have the Internet in China as well, so I must be covert...
So Happy Belated Birthday, Dear Most Interesting/Loving Friend!
And remember, for these two weeks before MY birthday, YOU are older!!!!! :D

Monday, October 26, 2009

More on the Birthday Celebration.....

The 2G's Papa's favorite cake is German Chocolate.
So that is what we set out to make.
HOWEVER, the 2G's Papa is cake maker extraordinaire. His skill is dazzling and awe inspiring.
Yikes!
How in the world do you make a cake maker a cake for his birthday? His 30th birthday at that?!
Bigger Yikes!
I decided that what I lacked in decorative ability, I better make up for in good taste.
So I do what every modern woman does.
I go to the internet!
And here's what I found:
www.myhomecooking.net/german-chocolate-cake/
Details of details but clear and helpful.
(the roasted pecans are yummy! Make extra cause you WILL snack on them!!!)
And here's what becomes of the five page recipe!
Yay!
Happy 30th 2G's Papa!!!
Have a wonderful year!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Crazy Mixed Up Birthday Soup


In my 'later years', I have discovered the wondrous use of my own recipe inventions.
Not that I was ever recipe bound, but recently I have had some rather successful forays into my own concoctions...

Last night was one of them.
We were out to celebrate,big way, food wise. It was the 2G's Papa's Big 3-0 and we wanted to fete him in a foodylicious way...
Being a meat and potatoes man, Hubby did his part by providing his Italian Beefs. My input was a deviation of my traditional potato soup.
For once, I'm glad I swerved out; 2G's Papa and Mama loved it and compared it to their favorite restaurant's fave soup. BIG compliment to Nana!

So here is the recipe the best I can recall. Do not fret. Get the main things together and don't think you'll go wrong!

Enjoy!

Crazy Mixed Up Birthday Soup (aka Creamy Potato Soup)

10 potatoes (I have the privilege of using fresh potatoes from a friend's garden)

2 carrots

1 onion

6 cups of chicken boullion

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup whipping cream (or half and half or anything creamy in your fridge)

1 cup milk

1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 lb of cubed ham

1/4 lb of butter

1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley

(this gets tricky; I had leftover steamed broccoli and cabbage maybe 3/4 cup each)

Saute cubed potatoes, chopped onions and carrots in the butter. Cook till onions are clear and potatoes change color a bit.

Add the boullion and cover and cook till potatoes are soft.

Puree this mixture, adding the cooked leftovers, in a food processor till really smooth.

Place pureed mixture, cheese and ham back into stock pot.

Add the milks/creams and stir well. Simmer on low till bubbly. Stir in fresh parsley.

Serve with a bit of shredded cheese on top if you want.

Good stuff....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Not Sleepy

The other night, due to an over indulgence of Crazy Dee's heavy duty tea brew, I found myself WIDE awake way past sleepy time.
Since Hubby gets up at 4AM, I decided to just stay awake till his alarm went off and it would be Make the Lunch/Make the Breakfast time.
After making his oatmeal, I popped a mug of milk in the microwave, spritzed a couple o teaspoons of vanilla, a shaking or two of raw sugar and an antidote for sleeplessness was born.
As is our tradition, we read our bibles and prayed while I sipped on my warm mixture.
Before long, it was time for hubby to head to work, and by the silly hour of 5am, I was ready for beddy bye, blissfully tired and eager to sleep.
Warm vanilla milk...
Does wonders for the sleepless soul...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Friendship Painting

I painted Crazy Dee's living room today. Well, first coat. Daylight will have to be in place before the second coat goes on. We are redecorating 'on a dime' by painting, making a window larger by putting up a bigger rod, applying a chair rail, doing some stenciling...etc etc....Fun stuff....

I love my friend so painting for 6 hours was nothing.

CD celebrates my birthday for the whole month.
She has a red and yellow sign for my front yard, reminding passers by that they should greet me all month in celebration of my special day (month).
It is a month long hoot.
Last year, I had a gift every other day of my birthday month.
It was amazing.
We can be totally honest and lovingly joking with each other. We pray for each other and enjoy our bible study together.

I will sew to my fingers bleed for her.
And sometimes they do.

She is a rare and precious friend....
Off to clean my brushes.....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Library Love

I love our library.
It is 198 steps from our home.
Tonight, hubby and I sauntered down there to return our audio books and just look around.

The library is a turn of the century Andrew Carnegie library with some well done updates.
It is beautiful and helpful.
I feel good just being in there.

It was my first official business in Mitchell when I moved here. Took my daughter down to get us some library cards before the moving truck made it here.
Before cutbacks, it used to host different classes. I learned garden sculpture, oil painting and poetry writing.
All in my neighborhood.
Literary enhancement and information and resources available just down the block.
Magazines that I can't afford to subscribe to, are there. Back in the days when I cared for my father at home, I could sometimes sneak down to the library for a few minutes to look through some garden or decorating magazine to take me away from the rigors of care giving for awhile.

The children's section is colorful and complete.

A jewel in a small town.
Thank you Andrew Carnegie

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fleur de Lis Fun

On the third Monday of each month, from October to May, a group of ladies meet in Mitchell. This group is celebrating it's 171rst year this year and we really like to celebrate...
We have in our group, three 90+ year olds.
These women are the hallmark of what makes this group great.
A gathering of women that have lived life well and are living in their winter years with great attitudes, good advice and hilarious stories.
Some of us 'younger' ones, just love to sit and listen and learn.
The untold and known tragedies that these women, collectively, have suffered, are astounding to most of us of weaker stuff.
Their memories of war, death, loss and pain, makes me sit up and take notice of their indomintable spirit and gracious attitudes.
These women could teach world leaders a thing or two.
They could answer many questions the young of today have.
I know that I have learned much from this wonderful bunch of ladies and I am thankful to be their 'fearless leader/president for another year.
Here's to this lovely group of Third Monday at 2:00/noon/10am (depends on where our free spirits take us!) that take literal pains to come out and gather and listen and learn and above all, laugh, laugh, laugh....
God bless them...

We do like a good meal.
Whether it's my house for brunch or the Mexican restaurant or the tea room or Georgia's(90 In November!) house for Christmas, or Jennie Lee's river home for luncheon, these ladies can eat....!

We had two published authors, one local poet laureate, one cattle rustling farm owner etc etc present at this meeting...
Wonder why I just sit and observe?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Button Up Time!


Sunny Saturday in October.
Time to Button Up for Winter.

1. Clean gutters.
2. Mow grass for last time?
3. Clean storm windows.
4. Put on storm windows.
5. Drain radiators.
6. Drain fountain and cover.
7. Drain bird baths and cover.
8. Take down patio umbrellas and put away.
9. Bring in window boxes and other potted plants.
10.Decorate front door for fall.

Finish it all real well then go to the Mitchell Volunteer Fire Department's Annual Fish Fry with friends! Sit in the fire house and eat all the fried fish you can with a wonderful assortment of desserts, WITH your coat on!

Good Button Up Day!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Misc

Look, Look, Look!!!!!
Vivie has her first knitted hat from her mama!!!!
Did you even notice it what with those adorable chubby cheeks and sweetness radiating from her cute little self???
Oh yes! Her new hat will go quite well with her new fleece coat that Grammy finished last week!
I defy anyone to gaze upon this little imp without smiling profusely!

Friday Night at the Pizza!
Time to ready for the weekend by making a new pizza recipe..This one a thin crust...Yum...

And what's going on in the sewing room after making five bags?
Beret making!
Found a long lost Martha Stewart pattern that is easy beasy and fun to make..For this one, I used an old sweater that I had worn one year too many...

And we have heat! The furnace is in and furnishing very quiet and productive heat. Wow.

How to do mundane housework and easy sewing projects?
Listening to a good book...
This one is good and long and very tangly...
Encompasses Columbine, Katrina, the Civil War and women's rights, murder and imprisonment...Whew.

Let the weekend begin!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Furnace Fun

In celebratory style, once again Hubby and I have decided to help our home celebrate it's 90th birthday with a new heat system.
According to our furnace people, our current system is celebrating it's nearly 60+ years as prime heat source in our abode.
Lots of technology has occurred since the old boiler system was installed,probably post coal furnace in the 30's or 40's. Fifteen hundred pounds of iron was hauled out noisily starting on Monday. As you can see from the photo, it was formidable. And the photo was taken after it's surround and shell was removed.
And it's place?
A petite, 95% efficient unit, performing the same responsibilities with hopefully less fuel and higher productivity. We shall see when our January bills come in, historically our highest of the season.
Once again, in keeping with our government's incentives to create a more efficient environment and to keep our economy more fluid, Our Home gets new heat.

All this new furnacing requires me to be at home whilst the technicians are here...for three plus days....
What an opportunity to get some work done!
Two new bags and Baby Girls bread bags for all her homemade bread that comes out of her mix master and local bakery!
But first.
I needed to keep the home warm for the fingers to work in the coolest, wettest week so far...
Stoke up that fireplace!


Here are two that got completed this week...
The first one is terribly cozy, kinda like a pillow, it has so much interlining in it! Quilted pockets, outer pocket, magnetic snap and flap over. Ample and full for whatever you need to haul. A goody.
Then we got a little more tailored.
A nice swirly upholstery fabric with a brocade lining.
Button accents and goodly pockets.
Shaped right with a comfy strap..
These bags get to go to school to be sold to Purse Needy teachers and their friends.

Then there is the twin bread bags made from a previous bag owned by Baby Girl summers ago.
Don't we just love it??

Time to stoke up the fire!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Visit with Mr. and Mrs. Young

First time in the official First Apartment of the Newlyweds...Yes, they lived for a few months in another apartment, but this one they got together. Picked it out before NYC then moved in there upon their return. The last time we saw it was while we were helping Baby Girl move in whilst her hubby was still in New York.
Looks a bit different from the hectic move in day.
A peaceful refuge in College City.
A haven.
A home.
And we arrived to Baby Girl's first homemade dinner for her parental units.
And it was delicious and prettiful. Nice placemats, huh?
Yum.

After the bountiful dinner, it was off to walk around downtown Lafayette.
Love to peruse the store fronts.
Oh look! A Landon Birthday Plate! We sing to him.
We end up at a quiet little coffee shop for the best chai ever and a huge, for four, piece of chocolate cake. Yum.

True to their promises, breakfast was served as soon as we woke up at the crack of ten AM.
Landon sang a sweet little wake up song then proceeded to make one of the best breakfasts that I have ever eaten. Truly.
In the tiniest kitchen ever.
The toaster was on the end table. The mix master was in the living room. And his helper had to dance around to work around his busyness..
First apartments; memorable and usually challenging...And fun....


Another first visit with our adult children in their own digs with their better halves and their own distinctive tastes.
Seeing them come into their own and become the people that we only dreamed they would become.
What a wonder and what a blessing...
Precious times; lovely memories..
Thank you God......

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Martha Worthy

Unbelievable.
The Great Pumpkin Patch. In Arthur Illinois, Amish country.
It should probably be labeled The GREAT Pumpkin Patch. It's that big.
How big you ask? 60+ acres. And worthy of a trip for Martha S and her photogs.
I was impressed.


Displays of all kinds of gourds, pumpkins and squash. More than I ever knew existed. And artfully arrayed.

There was a large Noah's Ark artfully made of recycled wood with two by two squashes parading up the plank...
There was a small corn maze for children...
There was a sweet shop with seasonal favorites....
There was a little outdoor lunch area, grilling up corn on the cob and other yummy grilled food...
Pumpkin Ice Cream Stand!
Squash tasting booths!
Photo ops with wood cut outs...
An Amish run bakery!
Cute little wagon carts to place your fragiley squashers and pumpkins. I just had to fill my little green wagon to the brim with flattish pumpkins, white pumpkins, acorn squash, teeny gourds, preparing to make a keen pumpkin totem in my urns by the door....
So much! A delight for the senses!
Soggy previous weather (our weather was wonderful!) kept the pick your own fields closed and the hay rack rides still...
Never matter; the other opportunities held our interest superbly.
Kept our interest for nearly four hours. And we had no small children to bid us stay yet we did...
Enchanting....


Truly Martha Worthy....

So Much; So Good....

The Weekend started here..
Rain, rain, rain.
But a warm car, grand company and Sugar and Cream yarn to work with.
And a car, that Hubby wisely picked out based on if the dashboard would accomodate my legs on a long trip. He even told the car salesperson that he needed to make sure that his wife would be comfortable in the co pilot seat by putting her feet on the dash. The salesperson, unwisely said, 'you let her do that?' To wit, Hubby said, she can do whatever she wants, bucko, this is my car.....Good Hubby.....

This was the weekend that we were to meet up with Most Interesting Loving Friends. We decided to meet half way from their location, our past home. We have shared nearly 25 years and needed time together to catch up and enjoy each other's affable company. What a good time. What pleasant entertainment we are!
It always helps to stay at a Bed and Breakfast out in the country and with plenty of stories to go with as well!
The house photo is the grand old lady with quite a story.
The Pumpkin Patch story, with a Martha Stewart commendation, is a blog unto it's own. Pretty amazing. Wait till you see.


After leaving Most Interesting and Loving Friends, we headed northerly to visit Baby Girl and her Hubby in Lafayette.
Another amazing visit with a blog unto it's own.
Suffice to say that Baby Girl's Hubby prepared us the most wonderful breakfast one half hour before lunch time!
Ah! Rest and relaxation on a long weekend!

And no visit to Lafayette would be complete without a visit to First Class Clutter, BG's fave store.
I took in the three bags I had promised her and she promptly placed them in the window pictured here. Can you see them amongst the most pleasing clutter??
Picking up a hefty supply of vintage buttons rounded out the visit there.
On to an Aveda Spa visit then lunch/supper at an Irish pub..
Off to make a short check in visit with Eldest Son and Lovely Wife...
Wow.
A blessed weekend from start to finish.
Can't wait to share it with all of you....

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What Would You Do?

The Autumn has been gorgeous. The trees are just starting to turn, promising a golden show.
When the rain stops.
Can't complain too much. Just every other day, we've had 'The Rain'.
So what would you do?

First, get yourself a nice mug of soup to ward off the chill in the non heated house. (new furnace comes next week and trying to stall off using the old one...)



Then, make yourself a roaring fire to do your administrative work the Admin Girl gave you to do for homework. A nice, long conversation with Eldest is another good way to help perk up The Rainy Day. Listening to Miss Vivien in the background, imitiating mama on the phone, is quite the mood lifter.
Make sure you get all the info the Admin Girl needs to do data entry for your business. And be smug and warm in front of the lovely fire. With Companion Dixie by my side....

Pretty good option to a cold rainy October Day, huh?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Vivien's Winter Coat!

Appropriate on a cold rainy October night that Grammy should be working on Vivie's winter jacket!
The 2G's mama picked out the right shade of purple fleece while we fabric shopped today.
Grant thought it comfy as he lie on the fleece in the fabric store's cart.
Pre approved; that's what I look for in baby fabric!
So here we go...
I made her quilt for the cool spring for her babyness and now it's time for a proper coat for her sitting up big girl in her second half of her first year-ness!
Mama's knitting her a matching hat and scarf...
She will be prepared, yes?

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Purse in the Gray Flannel Suit


Ready for work. Or a special event..
This bag is professional and business like...
Yet....
You peek inside to reveal a bit of zany! Isn't that how we like it? To lure people into thinking we're one way then surprising them with a sillier aspect of your personality?
That is this bag in a nutshell! Two personalities; one bag...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Memory Maker

This is how it started.
Chilly October winds brought on the need for the First Fire of the Season.
The occasion also celebrates the arrival of Old Friends from Far Away.
A lifetime ago, we raised our children together as next door neighbors.
We shared our lives and lived better because of each other.
Our children grew up knowing that these neighbors were branches of their own family.
Talents and gifts were utilized and appreciated.
Then time and life happened and years go by and miles in between keeps the day to day from being a reality.
But then time comes for a reunion.
And it is sweet.
Time together melts the distance and reignites the friendship on a new level.
Meals shared. Thoughts and concerns aired. Prayers in His name are lifted up.

Spending time at Spring Mill State Park..
Slow down the pace..
Neutralize your brain from the input of the week.
Hike, rest, take in the pioneer past to appreciate the convenience of the day..
Go to the Inn for lunch..
Sigh and get ready to say good bye to our Old Friends...

The ending of a wonderful weekend...
Old friends, fresh hope for the future;
Encouragement for the day to day..
Gateway of hope..
Thank you Lord, for friends....

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