Saturday, December 24, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Treats

Last Christmas, I did this blog post for the EtsyMom Team showing how to make a 12 Days of Christmas Treat banner. 
This year I wanted to do something a little bit different.  Mainly because I didn't have any place to hang the treat banner from last year that was easily accessible to me.  My son could easily access it anywhere as he is now a giant.  But since I stopped growing 30 years ago, I can only reach so high without dragging out the step ladder.

I decided to make a treat sac that I could hang on his doorknob.  It's bigger than the treat sacs from last year, so I could get bulkier items in it.

 I started with 2 rectangles of cute Christmas fabric - I think it was about 9 x 6 inches.  And a strip that was long enough to go all the way around the top.  I sewed the 2 rectangles together, right sides facing and then pressed the seams open.  Next, I put a button hole horizontally in the strip so that I could pull a cord through the top.  Pin the strip of fabric all the way around the top of the sac.  I folded mine in half and ironed it first so that I would know where the top would be.

 Once, you get it all pinned, sew it up.  I then folded the strip it half at the iron line and sewed it down on the inside of the bag.  I also did another seam around the top edge of the bag.  Then I threaded my cord through the top using a big ol' safety pin.  I tied knots to try to keep it from fraying or getting lost back inside the bag.
 Then, I hand stitched my son's initial, "B", on the front of the sac.  I used felt and embroidery thread.

 Now, all I have to do is put a treat inside and pull the cord closed. 
I did 12 days of Christmas treats, so I started on the 13th of December.  Some treats were really small like a ring pop, or box of jelly beans.  A few were larger items like the Nintendo Power magazine he likes to read.  In all, I spent about $25 on treats for his sac.  This doesn't include gifts or stocking presents for Christmas.

I know it makes it seem like he's spoiled rotten, but he's such a good kid.  He makes straight A's in school, he's so laid back and sweet.  I just wanted to do something extra.  Plus it helps him to get excited about Christmas.
So, I don't care if it seems like I'm spoiling him.  He's my only baby and he's growing up so fast.  I want to treat him special for as long as I can.
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Short post to start catching up

Ok, I'm trying to catch up on all the blog posts that I haven't made in the past month.  So here we go.

About 3 weeks ago, I got a big pile of fabric in the mail.  I LOVE fabric order days!  Expect to see new aprons coming soon in my Handmade Whimzy shop.  Some of this fabric is scrumcious!

Also, a couple of weeks ago, my sweet hubby talked me into getting a tablet.  One of the back problems I have manifests itself in my shoulder and using my laptop really irritates it.  So, he researched all the different tablets out there and made me go look at all of them until they all just looked the same to me.  I liked the bigger screen size because I'm blind as a bat.  We finally decided to go with the Toshiba Thrive.  It has a full size USB port that I can hook my printer into, or my camera or anything else with a USB port.  This is unlike the Apple Ipad which has Apple specific ports only. 

I really like it so far.  I'm able to surf the internet and do other stuff that I haven't been able to do for awhile without alot of pain.

So thanks to my sweet sweety for thinking of it. :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christmas Stockings

I've been busy lately with custom orders for Christmas Stockings.  Specifically, quilted elf stockings.
I love making them but I finally just got overwhelmed and had to deactivate the listings.

I'm hoping to have some time this next week to work on more aprons and also some "ready to ship" Christmas stockings.

Anyhoo, here are some pics of some of the custom ones.  They've all turned out so cute!

Meanwhile, my hubby is on vacation this week and is helping me finish the painting in my living room.  I hope to have it done this weekend so we can start decorating for Christmas.
I'll be sure to post pics when we're finished. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

To all those who have served our country and who continue to serve, thank you.

 The very poignant Korean War Memorial in Washington DC.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tales from the Crypt

My son helped me decorate for Halloween this year.  He also answered the door every single ring.  Of course, he did it by running up to the door and slamming into it and acting like a monster.  He scared some of the little kids really good.  One kid was shaking so bad he could hardly hold onto his candy sack. 

The older kids (8 and up) loved it though. 

The signs were my son's idea.

It was scarier at night with the lights and all.  Plus we have this skeleton head that is motion activated.  It wiggles it's eyes and makes this aweful noise.  We have it on the porch where people don't really notice it until it scares the crap out of them.   MWAAHAA

Monday, November 7, 2011

Where have I been?

Well, my blogging has been spotty lately, at best, but I'm going to try to do better.  I could ramble on and on about my new wonderful High Blood Pressure (sarcasm) and the meds I've tried that didn't work and cluster headaches, plus all the other health related stuff that's been happening, etc.  But what fun would that be?  
One thing that I'm not going to do is say that I'm feeling better, because I don't want to jinx myself.  The last post I made where I rambled on about feeling better caused me to immediately feel like crap. 
So, lets not do that again.

Anyhoo, I'm going to attempt to do better.

The Studio show that I did on Saturday was great.  Thanks so much to Sharon and Tana for inviting me to participate. 
The crowd was really good that morning but thinned out quite a bit in the afternoon.  I SOOOO enjoyed spending the day with such wonderful local artists and crafters.  I got lots of tips and sold some stuff.  How great is that?
Plus, one really nice lady that I met sold me a bunch of her fabric stash (because she is downsizing) and I'm totally in love with my new giant box of fabric.  You rock Gwenna! 

I've already talked with my husband about how we can redo my closet in my sewing room to make it more efficient.  I promise to take before and after pics and post the progress when we get started on it.

But for now, I want to show some pics of my son's b-day that took place about 2 weeks ago.
He turned 13.  I swear he was just 3 last month.
His b-day was on a Wednesday which is chapel day at the school  he attends.  So, on his b-day, he had to wear his church clothes and tie.  Bless his heart.  When I asked him what he wanted for breakfast, he said butterflies.  So, this is what I made.

He also wanted a white cake (I used my Heavenly White cake recipe that I've posted here) and he wanted it to look like a Lego brick.  I'm sure I've mentioned before what a dismal cake decorator I am.  But I'm always willing to try.  I did lots of internet searching and looking at pics and this is what I came up with:

I wanted to use fondant because I wanted the cake to be nice and smooth but I'm no expert fondant roller or anything plus my hubby and son have decided that they don't like the taste of it.  So, as a substitute, I researched the Paper Towel Method.  I think it turned out pretty good and it was a lot easier than rolling fondant. 
I made 2 rectangular 9x13 cakes which I stacked so that it would be a layer cake.  Then I used Ding Dongs for the round "stumps" on top.  I covered them all with blue buttercream icing - you have to use a buttercream icing that will "crust".  This is the recipe that I used - except I left out the almond extract because I used that in my cake.

My happy b-day boy.  He got just what he wanted - a Wii and lots of games.

Happy Birthday to my young man.  He's almost 6 feet tall and his shoulders are getting wider every day.  Sigh.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Arts and Crafts Show on Saturday, November 5th at Azzurro Luna Studio

Handmade Whimzy has been invited to participate in a Studio show at Annurro Luna Studio this coming Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.
If you're in the Tyler area, drop by and see what's what.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Update on EtsyMom Challenge

Well, according to the EtsyMom Website, the participation with this challenge was awesome.  I know I thought that the items made were great.

We were suppose to encourage people to vote on the item that they thought most represented the challenge and used the color palette the best -  not just have our friends vote for us (which is hard to do because I want to win!).

This is the item that I liked best.  It's by Little Tadpole Designs.  I thought she used the color palette best and it looks like she put alot of work into her little doll.  Plus it's cute as a bug.

Well, guess what.  She won and clearly someone else liked her adorable doll too because it's sold.

Congrats to Little Tadpole Designs and her sweet Kelly.
What a great Christmas present that will be for some sweet little girl.  And never fear, this one may be sold but she has more in her shop that are just as cute!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Time to VOTE!!

It's time to vote for which item you think best represents the EtsyMom Color Palette Challenge.
All you have to do is go to the EtsyMom Website and follow the instructions to vote.  The 3 color palettes are there to view.

Please vote!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

EtsyMom Color Palette Challenge

The EtsyMom team is having a color palette challenge for Fall. 
The idea behind it was to choose 1 of the 3 "mini palettes", make an item using those colors, list it in your etsy shop, have people vote on all the cool stuff and the winner gets a prize from a sponsor shop.

SO, I decided to enter.  I chose mini color palette #1.
And this is what I came up with:

The fabrics I used are from Robert Kaufman.  The coffee bean fabric is from Metro Market and the chicken fabric is from Monaluna.  The apron is for sale even though it's part of the challenge.  Just CLICK HERE to go to my shop! 
I think it turned out really cute. 
Voting starts on Monday and I'll be posting instructions on how to vote.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ho Ho Ho Christmas Stockings

This week I started listing my new quilted Christmas Stockings in my etsy shop.  I have two styles:  the traditional, and the elf stocking.

I can personalize the elf stocking with an initial.  I'm going to list those as "made to order" today.
I'm really loving my new walking foot for my sewing machine, btw.  I can't believe I didn't have one before.  Where has it been all my life?

Honestly, if you don't have one for your machine, get one.  You can use it to sew almost anything and it makes everything so much easier.  The only thing that I've found so far, that I CAN"T sew with it, are the little labels that I use in my coin purses and aprons.
I love you walking foot - almost as much as I love my Eureka Steam Mop.  Or maybe more. :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Duke Scholar

Warning:  Proud mamma bragging about her super smart kid!

My son (and 22 of his classmates) was given an award for qualifying as a Duke Scholar at school yesterday.  This means that his scores on his last standard achievement test (which he took back in April) were in the top 5% in the nation.
He is the 3rd boy from the left in the back row.  He's in the 7th grade.

I'm so proud of him!!!  Plus, he gets to take the SAT's in January which will be a great experience for him.  It will give him an idea of what to expect when he takes them for real.

Monday, September 26, 2011

96th East Texas State Fair and PIE

It's time for the 96th East Texas State Fair!
It goes on for about a week and a half.  So far, we've gone once but we plan to go again (and maybe for lunch a couple of times too!) 
Even if you don't like to ride anything, it's still fun to go, just for the food.  ALOT of people go just for the food.  For example, the PIE at the Trinity Lutheran Church booth.  It is awesome!
I love their pecan pie which is kind of funny because I don't like pecan pie.  And their chocolate pie, OMG.
Here's a pic of the pecan pie which I might have already started eating before I took the pic :)

I think the reason I love fair time so much is because I'm from a small town and the fair was the biggest social event of the year.  It started with a Monday parade and ended with Saturday night at the fair and rodeo.  Good times.

And here  is a sneak peak of something that I'm working on. 

Can you guess what it will be?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day everyone!

Enjoy the last few days of summer.
After having over 77 days of temps OVER 100 degrees here in Texas since June, we are finally having a nice day.  It's only about 84 degrees right now and the rest of the week is showing 80's.

That's so crazy!!  It was 104 on Friday.

Anyway, I'm off to the inlaws for a free lunch.
Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

One Christmas Present Down

A few weeks ago, I posted about a table runner that I had seen in a magazine and wanted to make for my MIL for Christmas.  I even posted pics of the top that I had finished piecing together.  See the post HERE.

Well, I've finished it!! YAY!!
I finished it a couple of weeks ago and I'm just now getting around to blogging about it.  This is not the entire runner - I have it folded in this pic.  

I really enjoyed making it though, and I think it turned out great for my first quilting project (if you don't count the Christmas tree skirt that I made 20 years ago).  You can see in the pictures that I quilted each seam.  I did what's called "in the ditch" quilting.  At least, I think I did. 
(this is the back side.  I'm not loving the fabric I chose for the back as I think I should have gone with a darker color like a matching brown.  But hey, live and learn.)

The quilting part took the longest of any part of the project but it would probably have gone faster if I had known that I needed an even feed foot for my sewing machine before I got started.  I didn't figure that out until I was at least half way done quilting.  But now that I've used this foot, I LOVE it.  It is soo awesome.  I've even been using it when I sew up my aprons.  It makes all the fabric move so much smoother and it goes over seams well.

I've also started making quilted Christmas stockings which I'm going to list in my Etsy shop.  I'll post about those next time.  Stayed tuned for more great crafting :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Funny Dog Story

This is our dog Mac.
I had given him a Dentley's pig ear to chew.  Usually, I try to give him small ones because he's a small dog but this one was kind of big.  He chewed on it for most of the day and then that afternoon, I walked into the living room and saw him with it hanging out of his mouth.  He was carrying it around with him so that no one would get it. 

I was the only person home other than the cat.
Who did he think was going to steal it?  Plus, I'm the one who gave it to him.  I have a whole sack of them, why would I want a partially chewed one?

It's funny how a dogs mind works.
So, I started laughing hysterically at him because he looked so silly.  He was very offended by this - especially when I started trying to take his picture - and he took his ear chew and went to hide in his box.

He's giving me his "you are so mean and you hurt my feelings" look.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to School Breakfast Recipe

Hello all!
Today was the first day back to school for the public schools in our area as well as a few others.  Not ours though.  My son started back last Monday, so we've already been at it for a week!

So, in honor of Back to School, I thought I'd share a yummy easy breakfast bake recipe.

This is from my Bisquick recipe book.  This recipe is called Do Ahead Breakfast Bake.

1 cup diced fully cooked ham (6 oz)

2 boxes Betty Crocker® Seasoned Skillets® hash brown potatoes
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
1 tablespoon dried chopped onion
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
1 cup Original Bisquick® mix
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 eggs

Layer ham, potatoes, bell pepper, onion and 1 cup of the cheese in baking dish. In large bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk, pepper and eggs until blended. Pour into baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Cover; refrigerate at least 4 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

Heat oven to 375ºF. Bake uncovered 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown around edges and cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes.
I used sausage instead of ham and I used frozen hash brown potatoes.  I also used real onion and egg substitute.
I made this on the Sunday before my son's first day of school.  I was really hoping that he'd like it even though he doesn't seem to like egg dishes (loves hard boiled eggs on his salad though - go figure).
He liked it ok and tolerated it for about 3 days before he started asking if he could just have a pop tart for breakfast.  I loved it though.  If I could, I'd eat this kind of stuff every day.  It would be great with a bit of sour cream on top.  Or maybe some picante'.  Or both.
Anyhoo, I hope everyone had a great first day back to school.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fancy Chocolate

A few weeks ago, I found some Ghirardelli Semi Sweet Baking chips on clearance at Target.
They were a great clearance price so I HAD to buy them.  I mean, who can't always use chocolate chips?

So, this past Thursday, I decided I needed to make them up into some Best, Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies.  It was my little taste test to see if they are as good as good ol' Nestle.

Here is the recipe from the link above which really is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe that I have EVER tried.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1.Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
2.Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3.In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
4.Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

My conclusion is - they were good but not "buy at regular price" good.  They tasted a lot creamier than Nestle but didn't really have the semi sweet flavor that I like about Nestle.  Nestle's semi sweet flavor is much stronger which I think tastes great with the sweetness of the cookies.  That's why I don't care for milk chocolate chips in my cookies - although my son LOVES milk chocolate chips so I use them often even though I don't like them.  My what we do for the love of our children :) 

Friday, August 12, 2011

End of Summer

Hello Everybody!!!

I've been neglecting my blog lately.  I've also been neglecting my sewing and some other things.  But things are about to change.  I went to my Pain Management doc yesterday and got my meds adjusted - :) - YAY!  So now I'm hoping I'll be able to sit and sew as well as sit and blog!
**Explaination:  I have some problems with my back that makes it very painful to sit or lay down or stand in one place.

Anyhoo, I'm filled with hope and purpose today.  My son starts back to school on Monday, so we are busy this weekend getting uniforms washed and ironed, getting school supplies ready, cleaning out last years school clothes from his closet, etc.  I'm also planning to work on some of the many half finished projects laying around my sewing room.

And one other thing to share.  I had my shop on vacation mode for a few days earlier this week.  We took a mini "end of summer, last hurrah before school starts" vacation.  We went to Grand Prarie, Texas to the Great Wolf Lodge.  It's a really cool hotel that is totally geared to families and children.  It has a huge indoor waterpark as well as an outdoor pool with water slides - but it was 110 degrees outside while we were there, so forget about that.
This is a really cool pic of the outside of the hotel - it's also the view from our room. 
This hotel is a great concept and they did a really good job of following through with the concept.  A lot of hotels or restaurants that seem to come up with these grand concepts seem to have trouble following through.  But this hotel reminded me of Disney because they did a great job of following through.

Here is an outside view of one of the slides - the Howlin Tornado.  I didn't ride that one.  The funny red and yellow hat looking thing has a spiral slide inside that's part of the ride. 
Here is my son doing his favorite thing no matter where he is:

I wish I had taken more pics of the waterpark area because it was really cool, but I didn't.  My son really loved the wave pool.  I really liked the hot tub.  I don't know what my husband liked but he seemed to be having a good time.

Well, that's enough blogging for today.  I have to install my new even feed foot onto my sewing machine.
Have a great day!!