Cherish Yesterday...Dream Tomorrow...Live Today

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I Spy Puzzle Bags, a Hearty Casserole, and Fat Quarters

Hi everyone and happy Sunday.  Actually, it isn't all that happy as I am going back to work after a week off, as is my husband and my high school senior also, so we have the Sunday night blues!  But let's skip past the blahs because I am excited to show you these I Spy puzzle bags I made my nephew's boys to send along with the baby gifts for their new sister.  I always try to soften the blow of all the attention heaped on the new baby by making a big deal out of the older siblings.  Anyhow, these puzzle bags were fun to make.  I picked out all kinds of "boy things" to hide in the bags. 

 I don't know if you can tell but those are pellets you buy to stuff toys to give them that "bean bag" feeling.  I bought clear vinyl and looked through my massive fabric stash to find prints that were masculine enough for boys.  I got the idea from Brittany's Best blog.  I made a smaller prototype before I made the big ones and my 21 year old would grab it every time he passed by it on the table!  I hope they like them. 

I also wanted to share the recipe for this cornbread chili casserole because my  guys all gave it the thumbs up.  I don't eat hamburger, so I can't tell you but I trust their judgement!  Here goes:  Take 1 lb. of ground beef and 1 chopped onion and cook together in a skillet about 10 minutes until beef is browned and the onion is soft.  Stir in 1 can of tomato soup, one soup can of water, 1 can of corn, drained, a chopped green bell pepper, 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder, and salt and pepper.  Simmer over medium heat to blend the flavors about 10 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350.  Transfer mixture to a 2 qt. baking dish.  Prepare 1 package of cornbread(8.5 oz.-I use Jiffy) according to package directions and spread on the meat mixture.  Bake 20-30 minutes until the cornbread is done and the casserole is hot and bubbly.  Pretty easy dinner for a busy week night. 

   I think I mentioned earlier that I participated in a fat quarter swap.  I received my fat quarters and I love them.  They are so bold and vibrant.  My partner Sky picked perfect prints and colors for me.  I have tons of ideas and hopefully this week I will start working on them. 

I have been helping my youngest work on applying for scholarships.  We waited a little longer than we should have and now we are really rushing and burning the midnight oil.  He is also in the process of getting ready to take his driver's test(he is not quite ready), applying for the Animal Management  program at our local college, and getting a part-time job with his brother at our local hospital.  Alot is going on and it is overwhelming all at once.  I hope you all have a great week and I hope everyone has the time to be creative in whatever way you wish.  Take care.  Nancy

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Friday Night Sew In

I joined the Friday Night Sew In that took place last night and it was fun.  What a great excuse to close the door to my sewing room and get creative!  I chose a project to add to my gift box for my nephew's new baby Alison. 

Sumo had a wonderful tutorial for this flannel strip rag blanket so I decided to sew one up.  I enjoyed picking out the fabric.  Because of my love for kitties, I chose the backing and three strips to be done in this adorable flannel with cute cat heads and the word "meow" all over it and of course it had to be very pink!  I will definitely join next month's Sew In.  Thanks Susie for giving me the idea when you posted about your experience with it last month. 

 I think my gift box is almost ready to go.  Take care.   Nancy 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sewing For A Baby and Much Much More!

Hi everyone and happy Sunday evening!  I just want to start out by saying my oldest turned 21 this past week and boy was that more difficult than I care to admit!  We took him out to dinner and he ordered a beer with dinner-yikes-is that my baby ordering a beer?  He normally chooses Rocky Road brownies from my Mr. Food cookbook but this year he was game to try "Knock You Naked Brownies" as his birthday treat. They were a big hit.  That Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond sure knows a thing or two about recipes! 

 Now onto some really fun sewing.  My nephew and his wife recently welcomed their third child to the family and this child is the first little baby girl in my sister's family.  Everyone is thrilled to say the least!  I spent this weekend sewing up a storm and I had so much fun.  I found this adorable and practical pattern on Craftiness is not Optional for a bapron which is a bib/apron.  The pattern was great, the instructions easy to follow.  I think they turned out pretty great. I backed the bug one with pink tie-die flannel.  I backed the pink puppy bapron with brown minky.

 I also made four burp cloths from a tutorial I found on Craftaholics Anonymous-super easy and quick to whip up.  I used soft flannel for both sides and prewashed all my fabrics.  Having had two boys myself, it was fun to use pink in my baby sewing. 

I ordered this decorative daisy stitch foot for my machine and I am anxious to try it out. 

I watched videos of it being used online before I ordered it.  It looks easy and I liked the effects it created.  I am such a gadget girl!  I will definitely share how it worked when I use it. 

I decided to branch out some more in my blogging interactions and I joined a fat quarter swap at Ninth Street Notions.  I talked briefly to my swap partner by way of a quick email and she is really nice.  This will be fun.  I love fat quarters so I am hoping to pick up more ways to use them from this experience.  I also signed up for the Friday Night Sew In from Handmade by Heidi.  It is this Friday night and I have several choices of projects I want to sew for that.  All this and it is Valentine's Day this week which is big doings at my Pre K classroom.  Also, next week I have my Winter break so I have a week off. I hope to spend some serious time in my craft room! 

I hope you all have a fun and creative week.  Take care.  Nancy

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Snowman Garland and a Ham Casserole

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!  I am not into football, so I am one of the few human beings in the United States not watching the big game.  I did, however, finally finish my snowman garland.  I have to say, I am not completely sure I am in love with it.  I came up with a pattern for a man and a woman with their accessories.  Then I wrestled with myself as to whether or not to add the facial features.  I was concerned that they would look too "cartoony" with the faces-sometimes faceless is more classic and dignified.  I went with the faces, as you can see, and I added the pom pom fringe detail between each snow person.  It is growing on me and it adds that certain something to my growing snowman collection.

    I wanted to share a comforting ham casserole recipe with you.  The homemade biscuits are a flavorful touch.  Saute one chopped green pepper, and 1/2 a chopped onion in two tablespoons of butter.  After the vegetables are tender, stir in three tablespoons of flour.  Gradually add 1 3/4 cup milk.  Bring to a boil.  Cook and stir until thickened.  Whisk in one can of cream of chicken soup.  Stir in two cups fully cooked cubed ham.  Heat through and turn into a buttered nine inch square baking pan.  Bake at 375 for ten minutes uncovered.  Meanwhile, make your biscuits.  In a bowl, combine one cup flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cut in two tablespoons shortening until the mixture forms crumbs.  Stir in 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1/3 cup milk and one teaspoon chopped pimentos.  Turn onto a floured surface and gently knead a few times.  Roll out and cut 6-8 biscuits.  Arrange them over ham mixture and continue to bake 18-22 minutes.  It is delicious. 

I hope you all have a great week.  I have been talking to a friend at work about snowshoeing and it sounds like something I would enjoy.  Unfortunately, we have no snow.  If we ever get snow, I think I will give it a try.  If you snowshoe and would like to drop me a line about how you like it(or not), I would love to hear from you.  Take care.                                           Nancy