April 30, 2009

Surprise your hubby!

Looking through iPhoto again, I found these pictures of the little treats I sent with my hubs' lunch on Valentine's Day this year. I highly recommend this for your kids or spouse. It wasn't that hard and he felt pretty special - and he is!!

I was trying to think of cute little things I could do for him everyday for the 14 days before V-Day (I got the idea from the Mahaney's Blog, Girl Talk) but so many of my ideas involved candy and other sweets and I didn't want to be a stumbling block on his road to eating healthfully.

So I pulled out my food dehydrator (I have a Nesco and it's just great - worth every penny) and sliced some apples. Then I cut the slices into heart shapes before placing them on the dehydrator trays. I just placed the other bits (left over from cutting out the hearts) alongside the hearts and took them out sooner (smaller pieces dry faster) and have been using them for baked goods where they don't have to look pretty.

I placed several dried apple hearts in a plastic baggie meant for homemade candy or favors (you can find them in the candy/baking isle at Michael's Arts and Crafts) and I tied up the baggies with ribbon, placing each one inside a tiny paper bag I made using Martha Stewart's instructions and template. The exact patterns are no longer available, but these are almost the same. The whole project took awhile, but these are the types of little projects you can work on a bit at a time over a week or so and then dole them out to your loved ones throughout the month or season to show them you love and think about them while they're away at work or school. Looking back it was well worth the effort!

April 29, 2009

Where Was This Pattern 3 Months Ago?

...When I could have really used it?! I love the elastic-waist (oooooh, how I've come to appreciate elastic) maternity skirt tutorial posted by See Mama Sew. Check it out if you're preggers or know someone who is!

Simple Skirts Giveaway - another treat from Grosgrain

So, like I said, Kathleen hosts lots of giveaways over at Grosgrain. Check out this adorable little skirt she's giving away.

Are her little models some of the cutest you've ever seen?! This photo is so French!

Due Dates Are Bogus!

And I knew that already because our birth instructor and all the literature we've read say it all the time. But that didn't stop me from being shocked when I went in to see my Ob/Gyn today and he told me that I'm due Thursday (yeah, as in two-days-from-today) and not next week! So really, due dates are completely bogus!

I am elated and nervous at the same time - like what if the baby doesn't know he/she is due Thursday and I end up having to be induced? Or what if I go into labor...now? These are not questions I had previously pondered. Also, I think it's kind of funny that it never came up before that the due date we were going off of was wrong, and also strange that the doctor would say "Hey you're due a week earlier than we'd previously discussed!" as if a whole week wasn't a big deal when you're this close to the end of a marathon!

Well, it just goes to show you, "The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD." Also, this all reminds me that this whole science of medicine we have going is really only our best guesses at the mystery of the human body - it's so far beyond our capacity to grasp completely! God's creative power is truly amazing!

April 28, 2009

Why can't I sew like this?

Kathleen over at Grosgrain is giving away this beautiful "Picnic Frock" she made.

My eyes popped out of my head when I saw it - it reminds me somewhat of the lovely costumes in The Sound of Music. Her photo-shoot turned out amazing too, but that's not too surprizing - as you can see, she's really photogenic. I'm so in awe of people who can actually make something this beautiful that still looks beautiful when it's on a person - being able to put together the fabrics and colors and shapes, but then also being aware of the human form - it's very cool. Someday, maybe I'll attempt something like that but not yet!

If you don't read Grosgrain you should definitely head over and check it out - it's a very pretty site and Kathleen hosts lots of giveaways, yet without making her blog a boring read (I think that's impressive!)

April 27, 2009

What happened to my day?!

I didn't mail out my swap package yesterday!! I was supposed to mail my package for the Pink and Green Swap yesterday and then my whole schedule for the day went out the window! I'm going to the post office now with my tail between my legs! I hope Kimberly likes the things I've put together for her when she gets them...late!

On the other hand, I don't mind having my schedule thrown off too much; the teachers in my husband's department at school threw him a little surprise shower! It was so unexpected and they were so thoughtful and generous too! Someone made a cake for him that's amazing! DH said, "I feel like we're on Ace of Cakes!" I'll have to try to figure out how to get the picture of the un-cut cake off my phone and onto this post! DH texted me with a photo of it and asked, "Do you think this would get home from work safe on the back of my motorcycle?" Silly man.

In other news it's a trillion degrees again today here in Jersey and a girlfriend just texted me this morning to say she'd finally had her baby (does this mean maybe the 90 degree weather will encourage this heater in my belly to make an appearance soon? I sure hope so!) Congratulations Rachel!!

April 10, 2009

Perfect Pie Crust

(makes 2 generous 9-inch crusts)
This is a sweet shortcrust that I use for everything (just omit the sugar, vanilla, and one of the yolks for a plain crust). It really makes a difference using a sweet crust when you use less sweet fillings: the counterpoint to cranberries is wonderful! This crust can be made easily in a food processor (I do it this way exclusively). Just don't process past the crumb-stage; if it balls together, you over-processed.

2 C flour

1/4 C sugar

4 oz cold butter
2 egg yolks
1 t vanilla extract
2-3 T ICE COLD water

In large bowl, mix together flour and sugar. Cut butter into 1/2 inch cubes and add to dry mix, cutting in with a knife until crumbly. In small bowl, lightly mix yolks with extract and add to flour mixture. Add 2 T of water and site together to incorporate. Mix just until dough comes together, adding no more than 2 more tablespoons of ice cold water. Divide dough in two, and roll out with minimal flour to 9 inches. (Or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator if not using right away. Let rest at room temp 10 minutes before rolling out).

April 9, 2009

The Giveaway for Modbe Swimsuits!

If you've never visited The Giveaway then now is the time; right now you can enter to win a Modbe swimsuit! These suits are pretty great but pricey in my book, so winning one would be great! Modbe carries a whole variety of swimsuits, all 2 pieces but also all very long in the tank part: some even have ruching which you can let down past the hips for even more coverage- there's even a swim-skirt bottom!

This one's very cute- my favourite I think :)

I like the skirt-action here...

You can see the ruching-detail in this photo.

They all seem to have the feel of 50's swimsuits, only they're made of nylon/spandex like modern suits so you won't get the "vintage swdimsuit wet cotton sagginess"-look. I highly encourage you to check them out and then head over to The Giveaway to enter to win.

April 3, 2009

Visualized By Christy: Don't Throw That Button Away Swap!

Visualized By Christy: Don't Throw That Button Away Swap!
Check out this swap - It's really simple and should be a lot of fun! I never seem to have enough interesting or cute buttons when I want them for a project, so this is perfect!

SHI SHU BABY gieaway at J. Leigh Designz

J. Leigh Designz is hosting a giveaway of one of these beautiful Shi Shu Baby blankets. The blankets are gorgeous and all natural, so I really hope I can win one for my little one coming next month! I love the colors too - they are so vibrant yet still are pastels not bold colors. Check out J. Leigh Designs awesome website and make sure to enter the giveaway by 4.10.09!

April 2, 2009

Makeup Bags

How is it that we can never, ever have enough "little bags". And how come I feel so much better inside when I know things are organized into wee pouches in my purse or closet? It's a mystery, but I do, and I think most of woman-kind would get behind me on this point.

Anyway, I was going through iPhoto and saw these makeup bags I made for a friend last year - and now I want some for me!! Hmmmm...I wonder what Hubby will think of adding another project to the list...

Isn't the fabric fun?!

The "RolyNester" pattern is from StudioKat Designs. They have some fabulous ideas over there - they really are bags "designed for the way women REALLY live". Check out some of the impressive examples of this pattern from other crafters - and I thought the larger ones were difficult!

I heart freecycle!

A lovely lady on freecycle offered these fabulous sample fabrics that her design company was getting rid of. What a goldmine!!! I got them home and threw all my plans for the day right out the window. I couldn't wait to test drive them, just a wee bit, so I made this pincushion out of the tiny sateen samples...I hate the way the photo turned out (I really need to learn how to use our amazing new camera) but I do love my new pincushion :)

I have to sit on my hands to keep from crafting up all the rest of the samples before I've say, done the dishes, or arranged with the hospital for our stay when my baby comes in 4 weeks...these of course are just minor roadblocks on the highway to sewing nirvana.

It's the Square Deal Pincushion from HELLOmynameisheather; I really enjoy Heather Bailey's website. The design is beautiful and her designs and photos are so inspiring!