Friday, April 30, 2010

Fibers on Friday: Tank Top Progress

This is the coolest pattern I've ever worked on in my short knitting life :-) It's making me think I'll never try free patterns again!

I have no idea how it worked, but I started off just knitting in the round. I had a circular band about an inch wide. The next step in the pattern said to cast off half of the stitches and.......voila! I had tank top straps! So cool!

So, here's the front and back of the top of the bodice so far:


I slipped it over my little one's head and I love the fit. I love the coverage. I love this pattern!

See my original post for starting this for details on the pattern, called Eden's Adam.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Smiles: I {heart} Faces

This was taken over the weekend at my girls' 5th Birthday party! What a fun day and a smile to prove it!

I'm submitting it to this week's i {heart} faces contest.

Meatless Monday! Fruit Smoothie


My kids drink a fruit and yogurt smoothie nearly every morning before they go to preschool. They call it a "Fresh Beat Smoothie" because they saw this recipe on Nick Jr. and have been obsessed ever since.

Basically, here are my adaptations:

1/2 c. Yogurt ( I use Greek w/ fruit or Plain w/ added honey)
1/2 c. Frozen berries
1 banana
1 TBS ground Flax seed
milk or juice to desired consistency

Blend until smooth.

My one daughter never refuses a smoothie. But the other sometimes wants something different. It's no problem if you have leftover smoothie, because you can poor it into an ice pop tray and freeze it for later!

What a great way to sneak in fruit and yogurt twice in one day! A nice refreshing frozen yogurt treat after a hard day of running, playing, and riding bikes.

Want more meatless ideas? Want to read about the Meatless Monday Movement? Click the button below.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fibers on Friday: The Agony!

So, over the weekend I finished this sweater.

I hated it.

So this is what I turned it into:

Can you believe that? I frogged the entire thing. I had even seamed it and crocheted the neck edge. I put it on my child and it was ridiculous! So wide...so square....so boxy....so strange. I checked my gauge and ALL of the measurements and everything was spot on according to the pattern. It's just weird. So, it's gone.

Gone. Gone.

Here's what is on the needles instead

In an attempt to make this tank top instead. It's called Eden's Adam.

Adorable, I must say. And the pattern includes directions to turn it into a dress, too.

Is anyone else knitting? I'd love to hear what you're working on!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How Does my Garden Grow?


And here are some others from left to right: peas and onions, spinach, carrots and radish, and beets (you can barely see the beautiful red sprouts).

I love my garden! I step outside and look at it early every morning. I go outside and tend to it every afternoon with my kids. They help me water all the time. I'm waiting for them to get sick of it :-)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tackle it Tuesday: A Welcome Sign


I bought this sign at my local thrift store for $3 about a month ago. I knew I wanted to refinish it into a chalkboard sign I could hang at my front door. I finally had time to tackle it over the weekend.

I taped it off, primed it, and got one of my kids to start painting on the chalkboard paint.


It took a couple coats of chalkboard paint. And when I peeled off the painters tape, most of the border paint came off right along with it. DARN! I really wanted to keep it that red color, because it matches our shutters. Oh well.

I then taped off the middle chalkboard portion and primed the frame. Then I applied a few coats of this green paint because darling husband had it in his shed. Speaking of darling husband....he's been away for 16 days. He comes home tomorrow. What a perfect message to greet him at the door:


He's been sorely missed....but as you can see, we keep ourselves BUSY when he's gone!

What have you tackled lately? Visit 5 Minutes for Mom to see more.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Kids' Activity Book


I saw this idea for a Dry Erase Activity Book on Somewhat Simple. I bookmarked it. Then the other day I was driving to Target to frantically choose a toy off the toy shelves for a birthday party gift that I totally forgot about. Fortunately, the planets aligned on my way and I was struck with a vision of these activity books and knew they'd be perfect for a birthday gift. So, I changed my plan; I went to Costco instead. I bought a 6 pack of three-ring binders and document protectors. Then I went to Staples for pencil pouches and markers. Then I went HOME to my beautiful stash of scrapbook paper!

I have at least 5 birthdays for which I plant to use these as gifts. They are SO adorable, useful, personal, ever-changeable, and FUN!

I used some of the pages from Steph at Somewhat Simple, but I also used some from this site. I love how it can be customized for the age of the kid you're making this for.

I put washable markers and wipes into the pouch for the birthday girl. That way it will all be accessible to her when she wants it. At one point in time I found washable dry erase markers at Wal Mart, but haven't been able to find them again. I just don't trust my kids with non-washable markers :-)

What I learned: Because I put the pencil pouch in the front of the book, having activity sheets on the fronts AND backs of the pages really doesn't work. The pouch would make it too lumpy for the kid to work on the back pages. So, I changed it and put all activity sheets on the fronts only, so they always have a flat surface to work on.

I simple ADORE this project!

Linking to:

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And Blue Cricket Design

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Another Skirt for Me

I had a pair of capris that I really didn't love. I also had this tee shirt from my husband which didn't fit him right, but is a good color and also had a nice image on it.


I cut the inseam of the jeans as I've done on the other jean skirt posts. Added the tee shirt fabric panels and it's wearable. But, I cut out the image of the Eagle with the faux stitching and I want to do something with it. Should I add it to the skirt? Should I embellish a shirt with it? If I put it on the skirt, would you go with front/back/side?

Using capris for this project is so awesome because they're already hemmed at a great skirt length. Adding a tee shirt is great, because you can line up the bottom hem of the shirt to the bottom of the skirt and there's no hemming needed at all. Very easy.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fibers on Friday


Last Friday was "knitting night" at my house. I didn't pick up the needles once! Really, I should stop calling it knitting night and just call it Mojito Madness or Girl Social. It's OK, though. I love having friends and family over.

But, through the week, I was able to finish the back of the sweater and start making my way up the front. As you can see I shaped the neck opening and the shoulders are about 1/2 inch from completion. Then all I have to do is seam them together, make a draw string, and do some finishing work on the edging.

Things I learned: When I got to the "shaping the neckline" part, the directions said to mark off the middle 14 stitches. No problem. Then it said to work in pattern and when you reach the first marker, add in a second ball of yarn and bind off the 14 stitches. This had me baffled. Add a second ball and do what? Continue knitting holding two strands? Just bind off and then go back to using the original ball?

Well, I read it over and over. I set it down and came back to it. Finally, I just picked it up and did it step by step. And as it was in my hands and on my needles, I figured it out. You have two balls of yarn so that you can work on the shoulder pieces at once. You can see in the picture, one ball is for the right and one is for the left. You just keep switching balls as you work each side. And there you have it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Did You Know?


Did you know that Crayola markers are recyclable? We visited the Crayola Museum in PA a couple months ago and watched a demonstration. The guy informed us that the plastic tubes are recyclable.

First, though, if you have a bunch of markers that have dried out, you can put them in a little warm water to refresh the ink. I tried it and it works well. There comes a point that the ink is gone, but it's good to know you can recycle these babies.

I guess we need to take the innards out, though. Right?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Meatless Monday! Tomato Soup

I have my little tomato seedlings happily germinating on my window sill. I'm dreaming of the summer when I can pick 3 pounds of homegrown 'maters and throw them into a crockpot to make this soup. Last year my crop wasn't big enough to pick 3 pounds at once, so I'd have to beg and borrow from friends. This year, though, I have high hopes for my own crop.

Here's the delicious recipe from the Crockpot Lady.

Ingredients

-- 3 lbs. Vine Ripened Tomatoes
--1 med onion, chopped
--2 cups tomato juice
--1 cup cooking sherry
--3 T granulated white sugar
--1 gluten-free chicken boullion cube (I use veggie)
--2 T chopped fresh basil

to add later:

--2 cups heavy cream (don't skimp on the heavy cream! Splurge!)
--salt and pepper to taste

optional:
sour cream and/or Parmesan cheese for garnish

The Directions.

Use a 5-6 quart crockpot for this soup.

Wash all of your tomatoes, and cut them in quarters. Nope, we're not going to peel the tomatoes, yay! To save your counter top from tomato gook, put your cutting board on a cookie sheet with sides. The juice will then stay inside the cookie sheet.

Put all the tomatoes in your crockpot.

Chop up the onion, and add it. Cover with the tomato juice and sherry, and drop in the boullion cube. Stir in the sugar and chopped basil.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

If you'd like your soup to have chunks, go ahead and stir in the cream. If you'd prefer a chunk-free soup, CAREFULLY use an immersible blender to soupify, or blend in small batches in a traditional blender. Then stir in the heavy cream.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bandana Dress

This Bandana Dress Project seen on Joy's Hope has been on my to-do list for quite some time. I finally found these great bandanas at Five Below for $1 each! I made them each on a very warm day and the girls were able to wear them with no shirt underneath, but the next day they wanted to wear them to school and it was COLD! But, look how cute they are even with a turtleneck underneath!


It was a great easy project and my girls love them!

Linking to:

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Show and Tell Green

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Exciting Step in Composting

Have you seen the 100% Compostable Sunchips Bags? I say if it can be done, all companies should do it! This is the first bag I'm adding to my compost. I'll try to track it's progress and see how long it takes to degrade.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Most Adorbable Skirt for Grown-Ups!



I've been so excited to make this skirt! I'm generally not into skirts, but times....they are a changin' for me. I had my eye out for 2 men's tee shirts to turn into this skirt. When I saw these at Wal Mart I was thrilled because the color is awesome! So, 2 shirts only cost $9 and look at the cuteness!

I can't wait to make more!

Click the button to visit V and Co., the designer of the pattern.



PS. No Fibers on Friday today because I haven't made much more progress on the sweater, but knitting night is TONIGHT, so I'll get more done :-)

Linking to:
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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rain Boot Planter


One of my girls saw this idea on a website. I'm not sure where, she just ran to me an excitedly told me, "Mommy, we can use our rainboots to plant flowers!" Luckily, I had this pair set aside because they're too small. Look how cute!

I just had to drill drainage holes through the bottoms.

And plant!

Love it! I'm going to submit this to Strut Your Stuff:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Vase


Part 2 of adding to my Easter/Spring Decor. I had this huge vase I bought from IKEA, with grandiose plans of filling it with seasonal things for every holiday. Yeah, this is the first time I've done anything with it! But, darn it's cute!

I went with the gum drop theme and covered styrofoam balls with more gumdrops.

Then I took more styrofoam balls and covered them with petals from fake flowers and also some spanish moss.

Threw it all in there with some plastic eggs (which would have been way more cute covered with paper mache, but I didn't have time) and some more moss and flowers. Lovin' it!



Show and Tell Green