Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Scout Camp + Mom in Survival Mode = Sewing Frenzie (Day 2 - includes tutorial)

My amazing friend, Keri, is scheduled to have her 4th baby TODAY so here are some little goodies I made for her last week:


"4" - because he's the 4th!


"E" - No, it's not for Ed (from the Bachelorette) it's for Evans!



So, here is a quick "How-To" if you're interested:

First, get yourself some Heat 'n Bond, some fabric, thread and some onesies. I got a package of 5 onesies at Wal-Mart for $8-something.
Trace the image onto the paper side of the Heat 'n Bond. Note: If your image is not symmetrical (like an "E" or a "4") then you will need to create a reversed image. To do this in Microsoft word, click on "Insert" at the top of the page, then click on "Picture", then click on "Word Art", then select a word art style, enter and edit the text you want and click on o.k. when you're finished. Your text will show up on the page. Next, click on the "Draw" button in the bottom-left corner of the screen, then click on "rotate or flip" and then click on "flip horizontal". Now you should have a reversed image.


After you trace the image onto the paper-side of the Heat 'n Bond, iron it onto the wrong-side of your fabric.


Then, cut out the image on the traced lines. Peel off the Heat 'n Bond paper and there should be the sticky dots from the Heat 'n Bond on the wrong-side of the fabric. Now you can iron the fabric image (with right-side up) onto your onesie.


You're just about done now. You just need to stitch around the edges. I used a small zig-zag stitch with my sewing machine, but you could do whatever kind of stitch you prefer. Use whatever color thread you want to jazz it up and you're done.

Here is one last one I made. Congratulations Keri! Can't wait to see the little guy!


Now, does anyone have any ideas on how to wrap these babies up?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Scout Camp + Mom in Survival Mode = Sewing Frenzie (Day 1)

Whenever RJ goes out of town I tend to get more projects done. Almost every day last week (while he was at Scout Camp), I had some kind of get-together planned with friends/family to work on various projects. The kids just ran around with the other kids while the moms sewed. Then, at night I would stay up late and sew too. Friday came and I realized that I needed to have a play day with the kids so we ended up having some good quality time (no sewing) on Friday. The week went by really fast and now I have lots of projects to show for it. I thought I would share, so starting today for one week, I will show pics of last weeks projects.



DAY 1:
B's Pirate Apron

B kind of likes pirates. We love the book, "How I Became a Pirate" by David Shannon and we had a pirate themed birthday party last year for him. Thus the pirate fabric apron.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mom, don't look!

O.K. So I was the lucky recipient of this beautiful chandelier from my parents (who got it from my dad's mom many years ago). I just got it and haven't had a chance to put the crystals back on it so just add those on in your minds. Don't mind the table it's resting on - we still need to buy a dining room table (this room has had NO furniture in it for the 5 or 6 years we've lived in this house. One thing at a time, right?)


Anyways, this is our paint color:

It's called Tribal Pottery by Ralph Lauren. The floors are really dark brown, as you can see.

So now that I've set the stage - I've got a question for ya. Do you think I should leave the chandelier as is or paint it black? I'm not sure if my mother would approve of the idea, but at this point it is just that- an idea - something I am considering. I like the antique gold, too, so I just thought we would take a vote. What do you think? I'd love to hear your comments.

Also, I have been sewing like a mad women this week since the hubby has been at Scout Camp. So, starting Monday I will be posting one project every day for a week for those of you that want a little fabric inspiration. I've got home decor, kids clothing, Christmas and quilting projects to share so come on back Monday for some pictures.

Have a great weekend!
~Amber

Friday, June 26, 2009

Have you ever gotten one of these for your birthday? I'm not sure if this wonderful gift was more for me or...


for selfish reasons

but it was so cute I had to capture it on film.


A couple weeks ago, Little Missy and I picked some roses out of the garden and did a little mother-daughter floral arranging.

She had her vase for her room:
She just jam packed it full of flowers and I had to admire her carefree attitude.
I tried to be a little more "artful" about the whole thing, but definitely don't have my mothers eye for this kind of stuff.

It's always a treat to have fresh flowers around. I don't have a green thumb, but when I was younger I use to dream about having a big flower garden in my yard so I could always have fresh-cut flowers around my house. Here's to the one bush in my yard that fulfills that dream.

Technical difficulties

I am so thrilled right now because I figured out some technical difficulties I was having with my blog - all by myself! I haven't been able to post for days. Pictures and text were showing up as code. At one point I thought I lost all of my links to friends, family and inspiration (what would I do with out THOSE?!?) Amazingly, I cleared my cache and cookies (I am laughing inside right now because I don't know what those are, but I followed some directions and actually cleared them...my husband would be so proud!) Finally, I realized that the problem was simple - the tab for "edit Html" was on during my posts instead of "compose." Anyways. I usually call my husband to see if he can walk me through my technical difficulties, but he's away at Scout Camp and I just couldn't wait. I love feeling like a "Can-Do Girl!"
Well, the week started off good. Bright and early Monday morning we went over to the old homestead and picked cherries in my Grandparents orchard.

I thought these were pretty - turns out they're really just weeds.


Even though this picture is dark, I love the aqua and green with a little touch of red, together.

The kids had a blast and didn't want to stop when I was "satisfied." P.S. I don't normally let my children play on ladders, but this one was really stable (a 3-legger) meant for cherry pickin'.

The whole Utah crew was there and we had fun working and goofing around together. And, best of all, we were able to bring home a big bowl of these beautiful babies. Aren't they cute?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Americana Wall Hanging



I made this wall hanging for my brother and sister-in-law a few years ago. My sister-in-law just sent me a picture of it today, so I thought I would post it...This was a lot of fun to make! I took a class for it at Quilts, Etc. in Sandy, Utah with my mother-in-law. We learned how to paper-piece the stars. Paper-piecing is really fun and easy. You just have to learn the technique and then your projects will come out perfect every time! It's a great way to get exact seams. You just sew on the lines of the paper and then tear the paper off when you're done. Hmmm...maybe I should do a tutorial on paper-piecing. Anyone interested? Anyways, I loved the embroidery around the border that says, "I pledge allegiance to the flag...with liberty and justice for all." Oh, this is getting me in the mood for the Fourth of July!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Praline Turtle Cake

Country Living Magazine - 2005

(photo from countryliving.com)

½ c. butter

1 c. brown sugar

14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1 c. chopped pecans

2 c. all purpose flour

¾ c. unsweetened cocoa

2 c. granulated sugar

1½ tsp. baking powder

1½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 large eggs

1 c. sour cream

½ c. canola or vegetable oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. white vinegar

1 c. hot water

½ c. fudge topping

½ c. chocolate chips, melted

favorite chocolate frosting

1. Make the cake: Heat oven to 350ºF. Butter the bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pans and fit a circle of parchment paper large enough to cover 1 inch up the side of each cake pan. Heat the butter, brown sugar, and sweetened condensed milk in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar is dissolved. Do not boil. Divide the sugar mixture between the prepared pans. Sprinkle ¾ cup pecans over sugar mixture and set aside to cool.


2. Combine the flour, cocoa, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.

Add the eggs, sour cream, oil, vanilla, vinegar, and hot water and mix with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the cake pans (over sugar mixture) and bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the cake center comes out clean – 35 to 45 minutes. Cool cakes in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans and turn cakes out onto cooling rack. Remove the paper and cool completely.

3. Assemble the cake: Spread the fudge topping over the sugar mixture side of one cake layer. Place the second layer over the first and drizzle with the melted chocolate and the remaining ¼ c. pecans (I actually pat the pecans around the outside of the frosted cake – I don’t put them on top.) Frost the cake sides with your favorite chocolate icing.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Project # 51 Thousand 900 Ka-Trillion

No, this is not a picture of my actual quilt, but I did just start one like it with some friends yesterday. Go Shelby! :) We're going to add a border with a bunch of applique, which is what I am excited about (I need to get a little more comfortable in that area). I got 8 blocks done yesterday and the rest of the centers of the log cabin blocks done today. This quilt is called Watermelon Picnic by Black Mountain Quilts. I'm trying to have all 56 log cabin blocks done by next week. I'm crazy. I know.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

On a serious note...

I usually try to keep things pretty light on my blog. I'm not one to get too personal up in here:). But, I've had a lot on my mind these last few days. My thoughts have really been focused on adversity and how we handle it. I feel like I have a great life. So many blessings. I can't complain about anything. When I look back at my growing up years, I recognize that I have only had just a couple of seriously trying times. Of course I had the usual problems that teenagers have, but seemed to miraculously get through that time in my life without any major regrets. But, I did make some bad choices and slowly started feeling unhappier and unhappier. I had a couple of events take place that prompted a lot of soul searching and looking within. Finally, I got to the point that I was fed up with feeling bad. I knew I felt bad because of choices I was making at the time. After a long time of being unhappy, I realized that I was just plain sick of feeling that way. I put my foot down. I knew what I needed to do and I did it. I changed. It was a hard and emotional time, but I did it. I guess that's why I'm such a big believer in the fact that so much of our happiness is dependent upon our choices. I believe that good choices bring freedom. Bad choices make us captive. I thank my parents for teaching me what is right and what is wrong. I have never gone wrong in doing the things they taught me were right. Never.

Now I've been married for almost 11 years (yay!) and life seems to constantly get better and better. Much of the heartache I've experienced the last 11 years of my life has been because of the pain that I see other family members going through. There seems to be so much adversity going on in the lives of siblings, parents, etc. Some of it is because of the uncontrollable like the economy, loss of jobs, etc. Some of it is because of choices. I pray for those who have control over their happiness that they will be able to be strong and have the clarity to do what is right, even if it is hard. While discussing some of the attitudes that one particular family member was having in regards to trials, a friend mentioned the following story. I found it online. It is from a catholic church devotional. It helped me understand a little better about why we have trials. Here it is:

Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy - when I see my image in it."

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

[ Author unknown ]


I'm thinking ~ trials are opportunities. Opportunities to grow closer to God and become a little more like his Son. I feel like I wasn't one that welcomed trials before. But I'm thankful for this trial that Ryan and I have been going through as of late (him being out of work for 6 months). I've enjoyed the opportunity to show myself and those around me that I do have more faith than I realized.

Well, I've been rambling for a little while now. Sorry. Just had to get a few thoughts off of my chest. Goodnight.