Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas For the Family

Last weekend we had Christmas with my side of the family and this year I decided to make a few of my Christmas gifts. First off, I made this wall hanging for my sister and her family.

Then about two years ago, that same sister gave me the recieving blankets from her little twin boy's to make quilts out of. So I came up with these quilts. Took a while but they are big enough for the boys to use for quite a few years.We have puppies on the green one and monkeys on the other one. I did a 'quilt as you go' pattern where I stacked and slashed the blocks, quilted the individual blocks and then put sashing in the middle to put the quilt together. I probably won't do it again for a while but it was fun.
Live and Love

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Funky pointy fabric thing.

This is another one of those posts to acknowledge somebody else's hard work. At my Quilt Guild Christmas party, I gave some book covers and I happened to receive this funky pointy fabric thing from another member in the guild. She informed me that when she was little, she had a toy similar to it and after some trial and error she figured out how it went together and so she made a couple. This one is made all out of 1930's vintage fabrics. I probably won't use it as a toy for baby, but it will look really nice in baby's nursery. Maybe as a mobile?
Live and Love

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tea/Coffee Cupboard

I am so excited about this that I have to post it. Mr.Sir and I got all motivated tonight and organized the tea and coffee cupboard. We moved all of our bulk tea's into little labeled jars so that we can see what we have easier. Yes, we drink that much coffee and tea that we have an entire cupboard dedicated to it. There is also hot chocolate mixed in there too.

Anyways, every time we go to the Natural Food Coop we always have way too much fun in the bulk tea and herb section. We have found that it is so much cheaper to buy the tea in bulk rather than in bags. It looks expensive when you look at the container (ex. 35.00/lb) but tea and herbs are so light it adds up really slowly. When drinking it, for just one mug we have a 'tea' spoon with holes in it, and for a pot of tea we just put it in the french press. I am not saying that we don't drink tea in bags, because we do. They are just so easy. But we also like our loose tea and our herbal tinctures with basil, oregano, and the such. It depends on our mood and the time of day.

I have also started making my own additions. A couple of those containers have home grown dried mint leaves and powdered orange peel that we have preserved ourselves. I don't have much in the way of an herb garden yet but next year I plan on putting a little more effort into one. It is so easy and takes very little time to make your own.

Live and Love

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fabric Book Covers

On Monday I have a Christmas Party for my quilt guild and it took me ages to figure out what I wanted to give for a gift. Sure I could go out and buy a 20 dollar quilty gift but that would defeat the purpose of being in a quilting guild. I also like to create useful gifts. Today I had been talking to Mr. Sir about how I needed to make a few covers for our books. So perfect. Also, if any of them happen to see this blog, well they know what will be in my package!

I used the Little Bits- Paperback Book Covers pattern by Cindi Edgerton. It was a lot of fun and really simple. I hope my giftee enjoys it!

Live and Love

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Food Storage, Rice and Beans

A few weeks ago I came across this blog called Earthineer. It is pretty neat in general but I found this article called "Long term food storage, done cheaply" about storing food long term, on the cheap. They just use 2 liter bottles and put rice and beans in them with bay leaves to kill any bugs or larvae that might be in the rice. It keeps for years and stacks nicely in little crannies. How ingenious. Right now I have 20 lbs of rice taking up room in my freezer.

Did you know that some rice comes complete with bug larvae? That is why when you leave it in a warm (sealed) container in the cupboard you still get bugs in it. Personally, I don't care about the bugs as long as they aren't alive destroying my pantry. So I freeze them and kill them. Problem is that now I am out of freezer space. So I am now going to try this bottle storage trick. We don't drink much pop out of 2 liter bottles but I do save all of our old liquor bottles. Something about the glass feels classy, even though its not.

So here I go. Being all frugal and stuff. I will update later when I find out how well it works. Until then, Live and Love.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cucumbers with Hummus

One of my main goals during this pregnancy is to eat and keep healthy. This means remembering to walk and do my squats. I had icky 'morning sickness' my first trimester, dropping 15 pounds in about 4 weeks. Also, at the moment I am craving lots of healthy foods such as celery with ranch, oranges, and cucumber. So I need to remember to try adding lots of protein to my veggies. Here is my lastest protein packed concoction.

Cucumbers with Hummus.
For the hummus I take and rehydrate dried chickpeas (cheaper than buying them in a can), blend them in the blender adding lemon juice, olive oil, and chickpea juice all to taste plus a dash of salt. That is it. I don't add the tahini because it is something that I don't think I have ever had in my household. I know the tahini makes it just that much more yummier but unless I specifically put it  on my grocery list, it never ends up in my hummus.
I just put the hummus on my cucumbers and made it pretty with Paprika. Simple, to the point and delicious.

Live and Love

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Little Baby Hat and a New Afghan

I guess I skipped the month of September, and almost the entire month of October. I haven't really been working on much besides Christmas presents though. Those always get posted after Christmas anyways.

But there is nothing like good news to make me want to post! Mr. Sir and I are expecting a baby! It is due around April 1st. I also joined a small community sewing group. Most people in there don't know how to sew at all so it is just basic sewing projects but still a lot of fun. So I sew with them along with my County Quilt Guild.

For the last community sewing meeting the theme was baby hats. So of course I jumped right on board to make my little baby a hat. No we don't know the sex of the baby. I just chose blue because it was on hand. If we happen to have a little girl, I will either hold on to it or give it as a gift to some adorable little baby boys I know.

 Then Mr. Sir and I went to the thrift store in search of a new nice hoodie for him to wear and ran across a couple of baby afghans. This green one below is really soft, made with high quality yarn and is a decent size. We got it for 2.50. I think about how much work went into making it and love it all over again. This was our official first purchase for baby. I was gonna try staying away from green because we are finding out the sex when it is born but I couldn't pass up the softness.

Happy Halloween!
Live and Love

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dilly Beans

I realized a couple of days ago that I haven't posted in almost a month! It has been quite crazy around here. I was trying to think of things that I have accomplished to post about, but it has been so busy that I haven't gotten much done around here.

So yesterday I took some green beans from our garden and made dilly beans. I love dilly beans with a passion, especially my mom and dad's dilly beans. I used a different recipe, I used the one from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.

We aren't quite sure how they will turn out though, first of all the type of green beans we planted this year aren't very tasty. We are hoping that the taste improves with the pickling. Second, we didn't have any garlic cloves so we used minced garlic. Third, we also didn't have any dill seed heads so we used dried dill seed. Finally, our jars were just a little too empty so we filled the space with some onion.

So, hopefully they turn out okay. If they aren't any good then we aren't out too many ingredients.
Live and Love

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Home for my Shiny's.

I have this bad habit of taking my jewelry off and just tossing it on top of my dresser, or dropping it in a drawer.
Not only that, but I have a decent amount of jewelry. It helps having a mother who is a jewelry artist ( I can't always wear jewelry due to some excema that flares pretty badly at times but I love having it available for when I CAN wear it.

Anyways I decided that I needed a good DIY project to organize my jewelry and I came up with this.

It is just a long rectangular box that my laptop cord came in, I painted it. Added some roses on top (left over from our wedding cake that I haven't found a use for yet, no they are not edible). I then screwed in a bunch of screws and glued a couple of pearl buttons on to cover a couple of blemishes. Tada! Easy peasy. I  made two holes in the back and hung it on the wall with a couple of nails. I put my hairpiece from our wedding onto the top of it, the long skinny red box on top has a pearl necklace that my oldest sister got me. If you can see the paper that I pinned behind it. It is a love letter that Mr.Sir wrote to me once when we were apart. I have it there to remind me of how good he is to me.

A lot of my necklaces consist of a chain and then a pendant, I had this storage container on hand and decided to put my pendants all in it underneath the chain hooks. That way I can pick out my chain and pendant without digging through the drawer.

Then I needed a place for my earrings. What I really wanted to do was take a embroidery hoop and put lace inside, but alas I had neither hoop or lace. So what did I come up with? Yogurt lids. We go through a lot of yogurt. So I took two lids, cut out the inside, painted them black and glued in some tulle. I finished two of them, but I think I am going to do two more to
spread out my earrings a little better. I also need a system for my bracelets.

Hope you enjoyed.
Live and Love

Monday, July 16, 2012


I know, attractive title right? Mr.Sir and I just adopted a new puppy. His name is Sherlock. He is only 5 months old and needs some training, which is to be expected. Of course, we are still learning what his 'gotta go, gotta go' cue is, resulting in 3 accidents. Two of those three accidents were on our bedroom carpet. Yikes.

We have had a urine problem with Luna too. She is a feisty Siamese and can be temperamental and decide that the couch, my old roommates bed (I am still sooo sorry about that!), or any soft spot on the floor makes for a good substitute for her litter box. So I had done plenty of research for pet urine removers, before the puppy. The best I found was Natures Miracle from the pet store. But at 8 dollars a bottle, it gets pricey and I am frugal, frugal, frugal. So one day, I was talking to my pastor's wife and she mentioned a mix that she used on her puppy piddle spots. I tested it on the kitty urine couch cushion and it worked!

Pet Stain Remover
- 3 tbsp Laundry Detergent, I use a homeade mix which is 1 box Borax, 1 box washing soda, 2 bars fels naptha soap. (I think I keep messing up and telling people 1 bar, but I am pretty sure I used two, just so all you family type people know) I got the recipe from Being Creative:To Keep My Sanity then I drop essential oils in it and shake it real good.
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 cups white vinegar

I mix the laundry detergent into the boiling water until it is all dissolved, let it cool a bit and add the vinegar. I use an old olive oil bottle because it has a decent spout. The original recipe didn't have as much vinegar but I feel it is needed for the odor. *test the carpet/furniture first like with everything other foreign cleaning mix* then soak down the spot, let it sit just for a couple of minutes. I like to do some rubbing to get into all the crevices of the carpet then I step down on it to soak up as much as I can and let the rest air dry. It is so cheap that you can use a ton, like I did for my couch cushion, I made a HUGE bowl of it and just drenched the cushion, then I used the hose to rinse it all out.
Hope it helps!
Live and Love

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lack of Rain, Grass, and a New Dress

Over here in the Midwest, we haven't received much rain lately. My garden is doing okay thanks to my city water and soaker hose (at least until I see the water bill).
 You may be wondering how I gauge how dry it is? I look at my grass. Yup our grass is brown brown brown, with a hint of green here and there. Especially where the hose leaks. I am one of those people who think that watering grass is just sick. You don't eat grass, well some people might. Green grass is a vanity thing to me. Especially now that I live in town and see my neighbor who installed sprinklers to, yep, water his grass. I know that the water just goes right back down into the earth but wasting clean fresh water on grass? I don't know, it is just one of my pet peeves.

Anyways here is short-ish poem, asking for rain.

Look around, what do you see?
I see the whole wide world staring at me,
candles a-flicker,
flames a-light,
I wish for rain to fall tonight.
I yearn for the dreary,
as it casts the grey ,
It is for rain that I do pray.
To hear the thunder,
as the lightning strikes,
Oh, it has been very dry these past many nights.
 The garden moans,
the fields all cry,
I sit and listen to the wind sigh.
 The candle on the table flickers with life,
my Bible sits open, listening to my strife. 
It is not as dry as it has been in the past,
yet this prayer is for rain, and it won't be my last.

Oh, Oh!! Before you go! Check out this ADORABLE dress I found at the thrift store. It was only 6 dollars. It also fits me like a glove. It goes well with my sequin shoes (of course those match everything)  and my grey vest I sewed. I thought the vest and sequin shoes dressed it down a bit.
Live and Love

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Conclusion of Silence

Well, my silence week is over. My conclusion : Silence is nice. Computers are handy.

I did better than I thought that I was going to. I only allowed myself a short amount of time each day to answer email's and check for messages on Facebook. It also got a little tricky because Mr.Sir got a new iphone and boy is that a neat toy *ahem* I mean phone *ahem* ipod?

Overall it was a nice week, with lots of work being done. Lots of time spent with Mr.Sir. We went hiking, fishing, and swimming. Some house cleaning, I couldn't figure out what was making my house reek. Turns out that it was a bad egg, sigh, what a mess to clean up. I also did some book reading, knitting, and crocheting. I spent time visiting during sewing day for our Quilt Guild.

It did become a little easier because my brand new laptop won't charge for some reason, so I was down a computer until I get it fixed. I will admit that I like doing handwork while watching marathons/movies on Netflix.

I also decided that it is okay to have a little bit of downtime in front of the computer. You don't need a massive amount of it, that is not healthy but using it as a tool for communication and entertainment. That is acceptable.

So really... honestly.. I didn't learn a darn thing. Except what a bad egg smells like.
 Oh well, Live and Love.

Monday, June 25, 2012


In a world bombarded by social media, advertising, and just media in general it is no wonder that we have a problem with people not being in shape. I know, I know. Posting this in a blog is kind of hypocritical. I am sitting in a chair on my laptop during a beautiful day like this. The good thing is, that is my problem not yours. It is also my problem to fix. 

Anyways, when you work from home like I do I have always thought that it was nice (and productive) to have music in the background. Or turn Netflix on to watch a show that I have seen countless times for some good 'background' noise (some of my favorites are Doctor Who, Firefly, and The Dresden Files). I know that I would probably (scratch that, Most Definitely) get more done if I didn't have the media on but something about the noise makes the house feel less quiet and less lonely. For some reason that makes me feel like I get more done, when I actually don't.

But do I really need this media? Would I be more creative if I worked in the silence? The next question is, would I be more creative withOUT Pinterest? Uff da that is a tough question... Pinterest is great for inspiration but I can spend hours on there just paging down the page letting my eyes glaze over at all the pretties. Would it be more beneficial for me to spend that time out in the garden, or behind my sewing machine? Would I walk more? Would I be so bored that I want to exercise? Would the house be cleaner? If it took me half the time to get a project done if I didn't have my 'background noise' what would I do with my spare time. 

I have decided to set myself a goal for this next week. Today is Monday the day of all days to start goals. (Really, what other day makes sense?) Starting today, right now I am going to try to limit my social media (as soon as I post this blog). This includes Facebook, my blog, Spotify, Pandora, Pinterest and Netflix. I will allow the radio when I am doing cleaning and other such menial tasks and my cell phone to make calls and texting is allowed. Another thing allowed is research, for example if I want to look up a recipe or whether or not vinegar will kill my plants I can look it up, but must keep it quick and no 'drifting' to other sites. But for the majority of the day, lets say until 8 in the evening that gives me 2 hours before I go to bed if I want to use it. I will not use my laptop at all. In fact, I think I will turn it off and stash it away. I want to see what it does to me. Will I spend more time outside? Will the silence be lonely, or welcome? We will see. I will update again next Monday with my conclusion. For now, Live and Love.

Friday, June 22, 2012

My View on the Wonder Called a Mason Jar.

So I have decided that mason jars are possibly the most versatile glass invention ever made.
Mr. Sir and I went for a picnic today and I couldn't find any water bottles that I could fit ice into, so wha-lah, ice in a mason jar to pour warm iced tea into later. It closed nice and tight so as not to spill any liquified water and the only problem was the sweating, which you get in most containers. My mason jar-turned ice container got me to thinking about all the uses for mason jars.

- My grandmother in law uses the smaller jars as everyday drinking glasses. Works well for her, and I love the ambiance.

-I have seen people carry one in their bags to use and fill when they get to a drinking fountain instead of a plastic water bottle.

- Vases, I used them at my wedding reception as centerpieces with ribbon and flowers tied around them.

- I even have a candle melted into a chipped jar that can't be used for canning anymore.

- Using them in place of tupperware. It is perfect to carry dry cereal to put milk in later. Or salads keep well in jars, or transporting yogurt. Putting oatmeal to add a dash of water at work and microwaving... Just use your imagination.

- There is even now a top for them so that you can use them as a coffee cup called a Cuppow!

- I use them in the cupboard to store dry foods like beans and cake mix.

 - I have seen on Pinterest and other places. People have welded mason jars to goblet bottoms to create a mason jar goblet.

- Last but not least you cannot forget using them as good old preserving methods for jams, jellies, beans, tomatoes, soups, and other such preserved foods.

What a versatile invention. Don't you agree.
Live and Love

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Proverbs on leaves.

I finished the painting that I started yesterday, I was itching to go all crazy kinda like my spirals painting. But I knew that I wanted to hang this one in the bathroom so simplicity is better. So I went outside and picked the first 3 leaves that I saw, they aren't perfect. That is the best part, you can tell that they are leaves but they aren't perfect. I wanted to hang something in the bathroom that had a daily reminder on it. So I paged through proverbs and picked this one. Can't wait to put it up once it dries.
Live and Love

Monday, June 18, 2012

Painting Spirals

One day a couple of months ago I got into a painting mood. It was one of those days where all I wanted was to sit down and mix colors. It was a blast! I also needed something to spruce up the walls in my sewing room. I think that this spiral collage does the trick. The print and random pages are ripped/cut out of my Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

I am painting again today. Right now I  am waiting for the background to dry, I love this color. It is kind of a sage green. It is going to hang in the bathroom and brighten it up a bit. Not quite sure what I am going to put onto the green canvas but that is the glory of art, it doesn't matter as long as what you feel gets down onto the canvas/paper/fabric/or whatever you are doing then your job is done.
Live and Love

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Strawberry Jam Delight!

I am in Rochester MN for a Quilt Show at the moment but these strawberries look too yummy not to post.

Last week I went strawberry picking. It was a first time for this girl. Tons of fun too. I didn't even get 1/4 way down the row of strawberries and I had already picked 20 pounds. I am also pretty sure that I ate 3 pounds while picking and had a tummy-ache for the rest of the day. (I went picking at 9 am before it got hot so I had a looong tummy ache).

Mr. Sir and I decided to make strawberry jam out of some of them.


and I froze the rest to combine with other fruits later for jam. Oh and smoothies!

 I took the healthiest looking stems and dehydrated them in the oven at 170 for about 7 hours. They were still damp though and so I upped it to 200 and 2 hours later they were fine. Next time I am going to just start at 200 and shorten the baking time. Oh I should mention that the stems are dehydrated for a strawberry tea infusion. We go through a lot of tea and have decided to start making our own infusions when possible. *Live and Love*
The little bit that we scraped out of the pan when done.


Monday, June 11, 2012

One year together......

One year ago I got married to my husband. He is such an amazing guy. I love you dear!

I am actually on my way to a quilt convention today so we celebrated last Saturday. He made me lamb, with a couscous pilaf, and red wine. We had the top tier of our wedding cake that was frozen for the past year for dessert.

We shared the missing slice for Dessert.