Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Old Wooden Spools

I had a chance to do a bit of thrifting over the weekend. I could rummage through flea markets and yard sales until the cows come home. There's such a rewarding feeling in finding a rare jewel amidst a sea of junk. It makes me happy.

Anyway, this jewel was amongst my treasures. I just love old wooden spools. And as if these beauties weren't treasure enough, they came in a gorgeous vintage mason jar. I couldn't possibly have resisted these. I considered it my reward for having survived my first week back at work in almost 2 years. Whew! I earned them.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Anonymous Anniversary Artwork

My husband and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary last month. This is what he gave me, which made the silver engraved money clip I gave him seem small and insignificant. You see, this man of mine doesn't care the least little bit about art. But he knows how much I enjoy it. And red. Oh, how I adore the color red. I use punches of red and black throughout my home. They're such dramatic hues... must be the drama queen coming out in me.

This painting was done by a local artist for Gallery East, one of my favorite places to peruse. I'd love to tell you who did it, but the truth is, I don't know. My husband didn't think to ask when he bought it, and the signature is completely illegible. I'll have to take this photo with me when I visit the gallery again and ask. In the meantime, I love to sit back and admire this somewhat anonymous work of art.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hair Bow Making - A Southern Tradition

You've probably seen pictures of Sara Lynn and you may have noticed that she always has a bow in her hair. Not only do they look nice, but they're super easy to use for keeping her hair out of her face. These use alligator clips (salon style clips you can purchase in your local beauty supply store) and take only a few minutes to make. Really simple. Really easy to make. The pinwheel style bows are my favorite (pictured above). I whipped these up in about half an hour this evening to match a few new outfits in Sara Lynn's closet.

Tutorial here. On this site there are 30+ tutorials for making different styles of hair bows and clips. Some are very elaborate - turkey motifs for Thanksgiving, pumpkin clippies for Halloween, and Minnie Mouse ears to name a few. If you're into girly hair things, this is the place for you.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Yummy! As promised, I made a pineapple upside down cake last week. This is an easy recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake that uses a cast iron skillet. Recipe here. I did modify the recipe slightly. I used fresh pineapple, and half the butter and brown sugar for the pineapple mixture, and it turned out great. It was still really rich.

My heart is heavy as I blog today. I started a new job today. I'll be working for the same firm I worked for before I had Sara Lynn, so I'll be working with wonderful people I know and love. But I will miss these precious months I've been at home with my little one. She started at Montessori today, and she loved it. What a relief!!! Daniel will be attending a daytime summer camp program at our local YMCA, and I'm sure he'll be happy there.

Please be patient with me as I'm sure my presence here will become more sporadic. I intend to continue sewing, cooking, crocheting, gardening and everything else I love to do, it'll just be on an irregular basis. And of coarse, I'll continue sharing my creations and my world with you. It's been a wonderful experience, this world of blogging. Thank you for all of your encouragement and support over the past few months. God bless you for your kindnesses.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cafe Curtain Completion

Yes, I'm doing my happy dance about these curtains. Not only am I happy that I'm done, but I'm also happy with the way they turned out. Which gives me a reason to celebrate! I hate to admit it, but my projects don't always come out the way I hope they will.

We've been in the midst of a master bathroom remodeling project that is finally coming to an end. It's been a LONG road travelling upstairs to use the bathroom and take our showers, but the wait was definitely worth the end result.

If you look really closely, you'll notice that we're missing the little ceramic circle with a "C" for "Cold", compliments of Sara Lynn. I don't know how that mischievous baby girl managed to get it off, but she did, and promptly threw it on the floor. Into a million little pieces it went. Such is the life of a mother. It's always something. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tomorrow will be our official Daddy Day. He's spent so much time and energy working for us, remodeling our home, and lavishing us with affection. Tomorrow will be a day all his own. To do, or not to do, anything he wants. We're wishing you and yours a wonderful Father's Day.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Nanny's Banana Nut Bread

One of my most prized possessions is an old cookbook I inherited from my grandmother. It's full of wonderful recipes that my "Nanny" cooked for us all the time. The pages are tattered and stained by years of use, and that's one of the things that makes it so special to me. Seriously, I can remember eating at my Nanny's house more often than eating at our own home while growing up. That said, I'm sure my memories are biased by my fondness of my grandmother and how much I miss her.

This was the recipe she used for Banana Nut Bread. Both she and my mother (who is also a fabulous cook) made it often, and since I began running my own household, I now make it every time I have extra bananas that need to be used. Super moist on the inside, and crusty good on the outside, it is definitely a family favorite.

Banana Nut Bread

3 ripe bananas

1/2 c. vegetable oil

2 eggs

2 c. self rising flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. firmly packed light brown sugar

1 c. chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat bananas, oil, and eggs until bananas are mashed. Add dry ingredients and beat just until mixed. Fold in nuts. Bake about 50 minutes or until deep golden brown. Makes 2 loaves or 1 tube pan.

Can you tell that I've had tons of fresh fruit in the house this week? All that's left is the pineapple I just sliced up yesterday. I feel a pineapple upside-down cake coming on... I've been in Betty Crocker mode lately, no doubt.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

This is soooo good. And it was a really simple recipe. I had never made my own shortcake before, but after making this easy recipe, I'll never buy store-bought shortcake again. It took all of 5 minutes to whip up the batter. Really.

Recipe here. The only modification to the original recipe I made was to bake it in muffin tins for 10 minutes. Individual servings mean no complaining about who got the biggest piece. My boys can be crazy ridiculous when it comes to dessert.

And this is what my little sweetie does while I cook. It can be rather difficult to navigate my kitchen with every single pot, pan, and lid decorating the floor. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

And to update you on Daniel's t-ball progress, his team lost the championship game last night. But 2nd place isn't too shabby, if you ask me. Both teams played their hearts out and it was a really good game. I'm still a touch hoarse from all the "woohoo-ing" I did.

I'll leave you with a picture from our last night of Vacation Bible School (which was tonight, actually.) There's my boy (pretending to snap my picture) with my man. A handsome pair, those two.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Crazy Little Fruit Tree

We inherited this crazy little fruit tree when we bought our house. The previous owner told us that it produced three kinds of fruit: apricots, peaches, and something else (I forget.) I didn't believe her until this spring...

When it produced peaches (1st photo) and apricots (2nd photo). I haven't identified a third fruit, but I'm still looking. Everyday, Daniel asks if he can he try a peach. Finally, I relented and let him sample the first fruit of the season. It was still a little sour, but in another week or so, they should be perfect.

I'm sorry about the lack of sewing related posts lately, but I just can't seem to find the time. I'm spending my days trying to soak up every moment I can with both of my children knowing that this season will only last a short while.

Daniel's t-ball team has been in 2nd place this season, and tournaments have just begun. We're also in the midst of Vacation Bible School at church. The theme is "Game-On!" and we're having so much fun learning and laughing together. God is good!

Friday, June 6, 2008

River Rats

We all love to play on the river. This is our favorite spot. We found the perfect tree to hang a rope from. Could you blame a boy for loving the water?

Woohoo! Daniel and his friend had a blast swinging from that rope... they were so worn out that they slept until 9:00am this morning!

And my baby loves the sand. She particularly loves to smear it all over everyone and everything (including herself.) We have so much fun playing together on the water. It's our family therapy.
And it occurred to my husband that I don't appear in many photos. I'm usually behind the camera (which is where I prefer to be!) So he snapped one of Sara Lynn and I. I don't suppose it would make me happy to look back in 10 years and realize that there aren't any photos of me and my babies. We'll have to work on that.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fresh Out of Bed

My son has been getting used to life without school days. Summer Break. Kid Heaven. Every morning, he gets straight out of bed, puts his clothes on, and heads out the door. He's a busy boy. He catches frogs, plays on the fort, jumps on the trampoline, rides his bike, and has kid company over. He's a handsome little fellow, isn't he? I made him slow down just long enough to flash his pretty smile at his adoring mommy.

They grow up so fast. I'm struck by how tall he is from time to time. Where did my little baby boy go? He is maturing into a considerate and caring young man. I pray over him at night where he can hear me. I often pray (pretty much every prayer)that he'll grow up to be a man of God. When he was about 3-years-old, a friend of mine casually asked him what he wanted to be when he grows up. He very seriously told her, "A man of God." I love that boy. My cup runs over.

Daniel's Talent

During the last week of school, Daniel's class put on a talent show. My boy chose "Catching Frogs" as his talent. I can just hear his teacher asking him, "Daniel, what are you good at?" And Daniel saying, "Catching frogs!" He's had ORFF music lessons, taken Taekwondo, played t-ball, and done Abracadoodle (art). And still, his talent is of the amphibious sort! Classic.

We've really enjoyed Montessori this year (1st grade.) Daniel had fabulous teachers. So fabulous, in fact, that Daniel was able to bring baby frogs to school that he'd caught the night before.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cafe Curtains

I'm ashamed to admit how long I've had this fabric... let's just say I've had it for a while. I got it for 50% off at Hancock's Fabric. If you know me personally, you know how much I love red when it comes to my home decor. I picked this fabric to make cafe curtains for a HUGE bay window in my master bathroom. I'm leaving about a 10 inch space uncovered at the top of the window to let light spill into the room. I also sewed a very generous hem (1 foot indeed) to keep it interesting from the outside of the house. This window is very visible from my patio.

This toile is a delightful print of a woman washing her clothes in a creek while her children play happily alongside her. I really like it and I can't wait to see it hung. I'll be sure to show you when I'm finished and it's hanging in my bathroom. I've sewn 3 panels that are 60" x 42" each (whew!) Only 5 more to go... Ugh! Better get sewing...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Provencal Tuna Salad

WOW!!! This is a great tuna salad recipe. Like every recipe in The Splendid Table's: How to Eat Supper, this is so different. It's full of capers, olives, grape tomatoes, dill weed, and fresh lemon juice... fabulous. It's almost unbelievable that tuna can taste SOOOO good. If you only buy one more cookbook in your lifetime, this one needs to be it. This book has caused my blog to appear to be a cooking blog, which it's not (usually!) I just can't seem to help myself - good things were meant to be shared.

****Recipe here.