Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Lovely Sewing Project

 This amazing hand embroidered pillow was made by Elizabeth. It took her a week of sewing in her spare time to get it finished in time for her friend's birthday.
 Once all the handwork was finished Elizabeth proceeded to stitch a brown border around the horses and then she used a horse print fabric for the back of the pillow.
I think the Birthday girl is going to be very surprised!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sewing for Annie

 Seldom do I make doll clothes just for Elizabeth's American Girl Doll Annie. Most of the time this doll is dressed with clothes that are practice pieces or clothes that are not good enough for my store.
With Elizabeth soon visiting a friend I decided a new dress was in order for her doll. The fabric I used was a two tone pink knit.
The waist of the dress was accented with pink and purple flower buttons. In the photos the purple looks like blue.
 I also made Annie a bracelet of pink and purple beads.
Every new dress needs a pair of fancy panties too.
How fun it was to sew specifically for Elizabeth's doll.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Outdoor Cooking

 I recently had the idea to buy a rolling cart so I could move the toaster oven outside when in use.
Even though the toaster oven makes less heat, during warm summer days it still heats up the kitchen; just not as bad as the regular oven.
This cart, bought used off of Craig's List, has large casters making it easy to roll around.
It was a success, all the heat stayed outdoors and I was even able to leave the oven outside until it fully cooled off.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday Sewing

While Elizabeth was busy working on a Birthday gift for a friend.
 I took a pair of jeans....
 And turned them into a pair of cuffed shorts.
Such a nice way to spend our Saturday :O)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

This Years Garden

 This years garden will be in the old chicken yard. By using this yard the fence that kept my chickens in should keep the bunnies out. Plus, all the weeds we pull from the garden will be tossed over the fence into the new chicken yard.
Elizabeth and I have been slowly working the ground.
I saved all my fireplace ashes, this is just a small part of what is stored in the garage, to be used in the garden.
 We have been breaking up the dirt by shovel and hauling compost to mix with the dirt.
 Hopefully the combination of dirt, compost, ashes and fertilizer from the chickens will make for a productive garden.
 In the middle of transplanting tomatoes we had a setback.
Our small garden tractor died! I can't complain since it's over 30-years old. Pat grew up using this small workhorse :O)
 Until we get the garden tractor up and running again, I am stuck hauling with a wheelbarrow.
I really miss the garden tractor, dirt is heavy!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Day at the Machine

 Today was spent sitting at my embroidery machine.
On my to-do list...
Four hand towels...
 And six burp cloths.
And the best part of this job?
I was able to watch the television at the same time.
Multitasking at its best :O)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Crock Pot Meal

 Until recently I pretty much only used my crock pot for beans or homemade broth. Thanks to my mom, who uses kitchen gadgets more than anyone I know, I am now using my crock pot more often and loving it more than ever. 
For a recent meal I seared some port rib tidbits in oil and seasoned them with garlic powder and salt. These were placed in my crock pot with barbecue sauce added to the top of the meat.
Next I topped the meat with foil covered potatoes.
After cooking on high 5 hours the meat was falling off the bones and the potatoes were moist and fork tender. This works using the low setting as well.
 When it was time to eat I simply added a salad and a homemade cheese roll; it was a feast fit for a king.
And the best part? Once you fill up the crock pot you don't have to worry about "What's for Dinner" the rest of the day!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Kitchen Chairs

A year ago we purchased a set of used kitchen chairs. Each chair needed new fabric because the old seat cover fabric was pretty worn. After putting off this project, for far too long, I decided it was time to get the job done and out of the way.
I started by removing the old seat, foam and fabric. Once done it was simple to measure how much fabric would be needed as well as how to attach the new fabric.
 Sometime back I purchased some clearance upholstery fabric and some heavy clear plastic to go over the fabric; this way any spills could easily be cleaned up without staining the new cover. Both pieces were stapled to the underside of the chair pad.
 This was such an easy job and I was totally amazed at how nice the chair looked once the seat cover was screwed in place.
Here is a side by side comparison. 
The hardest part of covering the chair was removing the staples used to hold the old fabric.
As soon as the first chair was finished I started another one; 2 chairs done and 4 more to go!
I love how my chairs are turning out!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Eating From The Pantry

 What's for dinner? How about some amazing roast beef sandwiches!
I started by removing the fat from a jar of my home canned beef.
 The meat, with broth, was put in a pot and cooked on high until all of the liquid cooked out; I stirred often shredding the meat as it cooked.
The shredded beef was then placed on a burger bun...
 And topped with barbecue sauce.
Add chips and a pickle and you have one amazing sandwich.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Canning Beef

 A recent sale on boneless steak had me curious about canning beef. Would it make its own broth like chicken?
Yes, it did make its own broth!
So far I have canned 9 pints, using regular mouth jars, and every jar sealed. Perhaps what I read about the smaller Tattler lids is correct.
Time will tell since I still have more meat to can.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Yard Work

 At one time we had 4 enormous trees that filled the sky and helped block some of the winds we often get in our area. Sadly 3 of these trees had died sometime back.
One morning we looked out and noticed the wind had blown over one of the dead trees. This scared me a little because these trees are what held up my clotheslines and I was afraid another one would fall at anytime.
Pat cut the tops of the other two trees and secured one, that was leaning over, so I could keep my clothesline and not worry about a tree falling on me.
 All the branches from the trees were cut off the trunks and piled up for future bonfires. The trunks have been rolled to the side for a future project.
While the dead trees were on the ground Elizabeth had a good time playing on them; but I'm happy to have them out of the way so we can now water and mow the grass.

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