Friday, June 29, 2007


What does independence mean to a four (almost five) year old?

Being able to choose your own outfit. Wear your shorts backwards. And put your sandals on the wrong feet.

Because that's the way you like it.

(And I was a good mommy and didn't change a thing!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Getting To Know You Wednesday

Today is Getting To Know You Wednesday at Create A Connection. I've been reading the CAC blog for a while and decided to jump in on the GTKY challenge, which happens to be food related today. I enjoy cooking, baking and food in general and since Dana asked me to share the recipes I used for the S'more Cupcakes I made a while ago, what could make a better blog post?

S'more Frosting (courtesy of Jenny at Sew Darn Cute.)
1/2 - 3/4 lb. butter at room temperature (2 or 3 sticks)
1 lb. Confectioner's sugar (2 cups)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extracr
16 oz. tub Marshmallow Cream (Jenny recommends Fluff brand)

Cream the butter on high until it is light and fluffy. Add sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, and beat until fluffy each time. Beat in the vanilla until incorporated. Add Marshmallow Cream and mix it until it is all creamy. Transfer to pastry bag (if desired) and pipe onto cupcakes! (You can also cut the corner off a Ziploc bag and use that instead.)

And for the cupcakes, you can use any chocolate cake recipe (or boxed cake mix). I used Martha's One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcake recipe. When the cupcakes are completely cool, frost with the S'more Frosting, dust tops with graham cracker crumbs and top with a piece of Hershey's chocolate.

I enjoyed the frosting so much that I think next time I might pipe a bit of it inside the cupcakes, like a cream filling. I mean really, if you're going to have cupcakes this delicious, what's a few hundred more calories? Yum, yum, yum!! (And in the Getting To Know You department, it's pretty obvious that I have a sweet tooth.)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Santa Barbara Adventure

**Caution - Photo heavy post ahead!**

As promised, today's post is all about our day in Santa Barbara. I've live in California most of my life, but I don't think I've been to the Santa Barbara Zoo before. It is a beautiful place. The landscaping is wonderful and we could not have asked for better weather.

First up, a pair of canoodling (sp?) Flamingos. I thought they looked so sweet together.

And what's this? A wild beast darting out of the trees?
Nope. That's Nathan being stubborn and not wanting his picture taken.

A big, sleepy lion, enjoying a little shade.

Well, hello there! Do you fancy sharing some biscuits?
This was the best part of our zoo visit. Nathan and I got to feed the giraffes! I think they are my favorite animal and it was amazing being so close to them. But, the sign does warn that you may get slimed....

And this is why.....They have the longest tongues! These giraffes know you're there with biscuits and the big one is not at all shy about sticking his/her tongue out to find them. Their tongues are also very thick and strong, and curl around the biscuit before pulling it into their mouth. It was hilarious trying not to get licked by this one.

Sorry kids, no more biscuits.

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that we like the beach. We couldn't possibly go to Santa Barbara without going to the beach. So, yes, you get more beach photos.

Digging in the wet sand.

Throwing big handfuls of wet sand back into the ocean.

Throwing little boys into the ocean.
I wasn't really going to through him in, but he didn't know that! He was squealing with laughter.

A very happy little beach bum!

Hope you enjoyed the photos. Maybe tomorrow I'll make something and this can be a crafty blog for a post or two!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Another week gone!

I just cannot believe how fast the weeks are flying by! I feel like such a slacker for not posting since last Sunday. I didn't actually realize it had been a week until I transferred some photos of today's outing and came across some photos of my thrifting finds from earlier this week. So, buckle your seatbelts for a quick replay of this week's highlights.

Okay, this isn't a thrifting photo, but it made me laugh, so I had to share!

DH made a "fishing pole" out of some chopsticks, tape, string and a paper clip. Nathan was using it in the bathtub to fish for his little plastic boats, but last Sunday night he decided to use it for a new game......Fishing For Underwear. (I'm so proud.)He got quite a kick out of it and caught quite a few pair!

On to thrifty finds:

These items are from two different thrifts. I picked up two uncut vintage dress patterns thinking I might resell them. The buttons were only .25, so you know those had to come home with me. The pillowcases have the sweetest daisies on them. Daisies are my favorite flower and pink is my favorite color, so had to have the pillowcases. Also a nice Strawberry tablecloth that will be reappearing as an apron or two sometime in the future. And in the background, a large orange tablecloth that I'm hoping to incorporate into the Summer Fun Swap. (Don't worry Dinah, I'm not sending you an orange tablecloth!)

I think there is some good thrifting Karma going around. A few days ago I saw a set of vintage Old Maid cards on a blog (cannot for the life of me remember which one) and I really wanted a set. Low and behold, I found one! I think it's a complete set (1 thru 19, plus the Old Maid) and the illustrations are great. I think "Go Go Gertie is my favorite card. I'm not sure about Thermo Thelma. She looks a bit like Nurse Ratchet to me. They're copyrighted 1968.

And this I just had to have because she makes me happy! I remember her from my childhood, but can't remember which game or play set she comes from. Anyone know?

I have some great photos from today's Santa Barbara adventure, but they'll have to wait 'til tomorrow. We had a blast, but it's been a l.o.n.g. day and I definitely need some sleep. :)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Crafter's Block

No, this is not a post about some new quilt square pattern.

This is Crafter's Block, similar to Writer's Block, but without the depression.

I certainly don't lack inspiration thanks to all of you wonderful crafty bloggers out there, but I do seem to be lacking in the creativity department. I guess I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I've been building a nice fabric stash. I also have a good sized pile of craft books and magazines. My list of favorite crafty blogs keeps growing too. It really just comes down to the fact that I don't know where to start or what to start on! Ugh! I had such expectations for the lovely stack of fabric I bought last week. Maybe I'll go iron some of it and see if inspiration strikes.

And, if you've read this far, you deserve a photo! Here's my little cutie paddling in the ocean waves.

And here I am, not enjoying the COLD water quite as much as Nathan did!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Today, this is a Fabric Blog!

Yes, today you get abric photos....several of them!

We were down south this week, visiting my Mom and attending my niece's 8th grade promotion ceremony. We had a great time. I especially had a great time because I went to my favorite thrift shop and my favorite fabric shop - all by myself! It's so much nicer to do that sort of shopping without a less-than-cooperative-kiddo in tow. Anywho, I got fabric, lots of fabric! And yes, I'm going to show you photos of all of it. At least I piled it together a bit so there are only four photos.

So here goes:

First up, three sheets from my favorite thrift for less than $7! I must be in a "blue phase" because I saw lots of nice sheets, but HAD to have these blue ones. The bottom one is a blue gingham from Martha Stewart. I don't know what I'll do with it, but you may see it sometime soon as part of an apron, quilt or tote bag. I absolutely love the middle one with the butterflies. I'm hoping to use it for a skirt or maybe a summer dress. I thought the top sheet with the fishes and wavy lines would be really cute for making kid size tote bags or drawstring backpacks.

Again with the blues....mostly for a quilt I have in mind, or maybe for something totally different. The bottom piece has a nice white floral pattern and I'm thinking skirt for that one. And I just had to have the piece with the cherries on it. Don't know what I'll do with that one either, but I'm wishing they had more of it. That's the only drawback of going to this particular shop. They sell flat fold fabric for $1.69 a yard and there are stacks and stacks and stacks of it. If you see something you like, you'd better pick it up because you probably won't be able to go back and find it again. Next time, I'll take my camera so you can see the loveliness of all that fabric.

And some more fabric for quilts I have in mind. I'd like to use the red as the center square in a log cabin quilt. And the two pieces on top are flannel that'll be baby quilts someday.

Finally, my favorite fabric from this haul.
This is a Robert Kaufman fabric and I couldn't believe that I found it in the cheapy flat fold section .I think it'll make some pretty darn cute barbecue aprons! Of course, I wish I'd bought more than two yards. Oh well, next time I'll be more prepared and hopefully have more than an hour to pilage the fabric stacks!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'.....

Corny, I know but Crayon rolls are all I have to show for crafting recently. These are the first two I've made and each was a learning experience. Both were birthday gifts for friend's of Nathan.

The first one was for a girly-girl. I thought the roses and bright pink leopard print were a nice contrast. I used the tutorial from Skip To My Lou, which is a great tutorial, but because I used the Twistable Crayons, I should have made some size adjustments.

The second Crayon roll was for a boy, having a pirat party. I found fabric that looks like an old pirate map and used rope to tie it up. I made the size adjustments for the pockets, but am still not completely happy with how it turned out. Because of the way I sewed the pocket seams, the roll won't lay flat. So, the next one I make I'll cut the fabric bigger, start sewing the pockets from the middle one out and THEN cut it to the right length. Hopefully this will solve the "rolling" roll problem!

I do like the look of this one. And I wrapped it (along with a coloring book and story book) in brown craft paper and kitchen twine. It looked very piratey. (Sorry for the wonky photo angle. I didn't realize the roll was upside down until I tried to read some of the print on the fabric!)

My only other sewing has been to add lining to curtains for a friend's daughter. Not exactly creative, so I'll spare you any photos!

P.S. My sincere apologies to anyone who subscribes to bloglines for my blog. I didn't know that a message was sent every time a blog is "published". And being a bit (really) ditsy about blogger, I didn't know that I could use the "Compose" tab to compose and see what the post will actually look like! I've been writing my posts on the "Edit Html" tab, publishing, then going back to edit, then publishing again, until I was happy with the spacing and photo arrangement and everything. So, I'm sorry if this has been clogging up your email!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

A pause in the crazyness

Ahhhhh....finally, a day with no committments and no list of things that HAD to be done. Yippee!!

I knew I was busy, busy, busy. And that I was burning the candle at both ends and at several places in between, but I didn't realize how exhausted and tense I've been until today. After cleaning up the disaster area that is my kitchen and paying bills which should have been mailed a good three days ago, I sat down. Yep, actually planted my behind on the couch. Not in front of the TV. Not in front of the computer. Not in the driver seat of the van. I sat on the couch and did nothing for a bit. I feel like I can breathe again. That said, on to photos....

A fabric flower for Nathan's dear preschool teacher.
Sincere apologies for the blurry photo. I've had my camera for a year and a half and still don't know what all those little symbols mean! Anyway, I wanted to give his teacher a corsage on graduation day and thought it'd be nice if it was something she could keep. Turned out pretty well and matched her outfit perfectly that day. Several people even thought the flower came with the blouse! Thanks to Blair at Wise Craft for the great tutorial!

And my big "Ta Da" for recent crafting:
A picnic blanket also made for Nathan's teacher. Her family is very outdoorsy and I thought this would be a nice thank you gift for all she's done. There was supposed to be a tote to put the blanket in, but I didn't finish the blanket until the very wee hours of the morning and at that time I just couldn't wrap my head around the measuements for a tote.

A close up. The fabric is Alexander Henry, Brave Law Enforcement.
Miss E LOVES fire engines. Her dream is to ride in the back of a hook and ladder truck one day.

Phew....almost caught up now on the recent crafty goings on around here. Nathan and I've been doing some kids crafts and I finished my first Crayon roll tonight. Might have photos of those tomorrow.