Friday, March 30, 2007

March Apron

I know this is really late. I am sorry. I had these done for a little while now but just have been so busy sewing other things (that I will post about later) that I just haven't had any time to post this.
This apron is very simple and fun. I guess I should tell you the background story first. Last month on the 22 of February, I found the FLY Lady. She has changed my life. I have to tell the truth that I have lived in CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome) for years. I am a little ADD (OK maybe a lot) and I get lots of projects going and then move to the next and live a very busy life. House cleaning is not my favorite thing to do. I have never been very successful at it. I just seem to get so distracted with it that I end up starting everything and finishing none of it. Things seem to pile up and I don't know where to begin. Well, when I was led to the Fly Lady site, things changed for me. She has a wonderful plan of baby steps that helps the distracted to focus on their messes for only 15 minutes at a time. This concept is changing my life. My home is now not perfect yet but I can have people over without just dieing of mortification. My family is also slowly picking up these good habits and we are seeing family changes that are making life so much better. I know that her program isn't for everyone, but if you have been living with CHAOS or have clutter problems, I recommend giving her site a visit.
The March Apron was inspired by the Fly Lady ideas. It is my Fly Baby apron. It is simple in design so it can be quickly made and it is very functional. I use it when I am cleaning house. The pockets in the apron are made to carry my timer too help me manage my work. There is another pocket for my notebook. I use it as a mini "control journal" to keep me focused on what I am doing. I have spot for a pencil and a large middle pocket to put those things you pick up and need to put away. I love this little apron and hope you do too. You will have fun making it.

Here are the instructions:
First, get a good heavy dishtowel. If you don't have one then just cut out a rectangle of heavy fabric and hem it up. My dishtowel is 27 1/2" by 17 1/2" finished.
MA 1

Next I attached the ties. For this apron I had my good friend Jill over and she brought her grommet press and put grommets in for me 3 1/2" down on each side. We did this so that the top of the apron can fold down in front over the apron ties. You can do it this way or you can attach them at the top corners of the apron. You don't need to use grommets. We just liked having and excuse to use the press. Hee Hee.
Here is a close-up of the holes. We added a scrap of heavy fabric to the back to re-enforce the grommets.
MA 2 MA 3
Next I made the pocket for the aprons. I made these of patchwork strips of fabric.
The pieces are :
black 10 1/2" x 5 1/2"
black 10 1/2" x 3 1/2"
red 10 1/2" x 5 1/2"
Plaid 10 1/2" x 3 1/2"
Sew the 5 1/2 black to the plaid. Sew the red 5 1/2" to the black 3 1/2". Next sew those two sections together.
MA 4
Now attach the pocket to the apron. To do this, I top stitched around the outside of the apron. Then I stitched the pocket spots down. I went over about 1 inch for the pencil. Then I went over 4 inches from that and stitched along the seam of the black and plaid for the notebook pocket. On the right side of the pocket, I wet over 4 inches into the red fabric for the timer pocket.
MA 5
To finish off the pocket I added a little patch with Mama Byrd on it. She is my little logo for Mama Byrd Creations.
5
As usual I did make up some extras and this time Rebecca got one for being my Fly baby partner and always cheering me on. Jill got one too for helping me with the grommets.
I do have a few left over and will put them on my Etsy site. Sorry these instructions are so sketchy but I feel really terrible that I didn't have them on before and really need to post them for you all.

Monday, March 26, 2007

To Vea, Michelle, Emma, and Jill

Yes this one is just for you (all other's reading are welcome too.) I was led to this site today and when I saw it I knew that you had to see it. I also know that I won't remember to show it to you for weeks if we have to rely on my memory so here it is. Eat your little aproned hearts out!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Easter Bunnies

My niece and I have been working on this doll. I am thinking of making a pattern for it if there is enough interest.
White Rabbit 4
I got a custom order for one of these for Easter this year so I made up several at once and they sold really fast before I could get them loaded in here. I have 3 left and they are posted in my Etsy store now.
I have a Dark Chocolate Bunny,
Brown Rabbit 2
A Carmel Bunny,
Tan Rabbit 1
And a Marshmallow White Bunny.
White Rabbit 1
Each mama bunny has 3 baby bunnies hidden in her skirt.
Brown Rabbit 3
My girls love them. So does Jeddie. I am trying to work up a Daddy bunny version now with pockets or a backpack for babies. Little boys need to play "Family" too.

Conchas

We have a new Paneria that opened up in Neosho. We are so excited to be able to get Mexican treats not. However, we decided we wanted to try these at home. So I searched Pan Dulce recipes and did some tweaking so I could eat them too. I love Pan Dulce but can't have that many carbs all at once. I have come up with a whole wheat version that I like and my kids like. Even Bryan ate them which was amazing.
Here is my version.
Conchas 1 Conchas 2
Here is my recipe.
Whole Wheat Conchas
1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 Tbsp yeast
2 tsp salt
6 cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tbsp Gluten
1/3 cup honey
2 eggs
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
4 Tbsp Flax Seeds
Melt the butter and milk together in a pan to 110 deg. F.
Mix the yeast, salt, gluten, and 2 cups of the flour with a whisk. Add the milk and butter mix to this and beat well for 2 minuets.
Add the honey, eggs, lemon juice, ground flax seeds, and 1 more cup of the flour. Beat for 2 minutes.
Add the remaining flour until you have a stiff dough. (no more than the total 6 cups - remember that whole wheat flour takes time to absorb the liquid but when it does it can leave a stiff dough very dry, NOT GOOD).
Kneed the dough for about 5 minutes. Cover with a dish cloth and let rise for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the topping.
Vanilla and Cinnamon topping
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup white flour
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 tsp vanilla
Yellow food coloring (optional)
In a med bowl bead the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour, vanilla, and salt and mix until it has the consistency of thick paste. Divide the paste into 2 containers. Add the cinnamon to one and the food coloring to the other. (in the bakery they have yellow, pink and brown conchas).

When the dough is done rising, divide it into 16 equal balls and place them on a greased baking sheet (or two). Divide each bowl of topping into 8 balls, and pat them flat. Place the circles of topping onto the balls of dough and pat down lightly. Cut grooves into the topping like a clam shell (thus the name conchas or shells). To do this I used a canning jar lid. Cover them and let them rise for about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375*F and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

You can make chocolate topping by adding 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder to one of the bowls of mix.
These are great warm or cold and with the wheat and flax seed in there they don't make a bad breakfast. :o)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Behold the Bread

the loaf
I made this bread in my oven. I am still amazed! And yes, it did taste as good as it looks. So chewy and good.
My friend Jill came to my house for a diaper making day and brought a loaf of this bread and the recipe with her. I am so glad! I love bread and I love making good bread. I have dreamt of making bread that looks like this and now I have. Here is the link to the original recipe. When I made it, I did 4 times the recipe and added 2 Tbsp. gluten. This make 2 nice big loaves. I have tried this in whole wheat and am still working on the recipe to make that work well.
Here is how you do it.
First you mix the dry ingredients.
Mix the dry
Then you mix in the water by hand or with a spoon.
Mix in the wet
This is what it will look like. Very wet and sticky.
mixed
Then you cover it with plastic wrap and let it set for 18 hours. It can go up to 24 hours if you need to. This is what it will look like.
Day 2
Now dump it out onto a floured board and fold in thirds one way and then turn it and turn in thirds again.
Form loaf
Cover with an inverted bowl and let rise for 2 hours. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 450* and heat a lidded dutch oven for 1 hour.
Plop the dough into the hot dutch oven and put the lid on.
Bake for 20 minutes with the lid on. Then remove the lid and bake another 20 minutes.
the loaf
Pull the loaf out of the oven and let it cool and a rack completely ... if you can. Hee Hee
Then Slice it and enjoy.
The crumb

Friday, March 02, 2007

New Computer

Bryan got me a new computer today with more memory so I can do things so much faster. It is a nice upgrade. However, he forgot to make sure that the user was also upgraded. Soooo. I am almost in tears now with the frustration of trying to learn a new system. I have not felt the dumb in a while. I am going to have to learn a lot of things over again.
Argggg. Well at least I can still log onto the internet and at least get here and log in. I really shouldn't be posting anyway because I have some custom Easter Bunnies to sew up and I need to get things ready to post the March apron pattern. I am going to have to figure out how to use this computers photo program. !!!! HELP !!!!!!
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