Saturday, April 28, 2007

Donut

Donut
I was craving some sugar yesterday and had to have a donut. Thank heaven Daylight Donuts and Krispy Kreme are too far away. Soooooo..... I made my own donut. I have wanted a donut pincushion for a long time. Now I have one! It was so fun and fast to make.
I will not post a tutorial as there is a much better one here. I will let the experts Tute you on this one.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sesame Noodles

Sesame noodles
(note the awesome bowl!! Miss Caroline made that for me in pottery class this spring)

I think this is my favorite noodle dish. Bryan has been asking me to make it almost everyday. Today I had to make it to end my NO salt fast. I had to have some tests done and couldn't eat salt for 4 days. I didn't know how much I loved the stuff.
Here is the recipe
Sesame Noodles
4 Tbsp peanut butter (I like it with crunchy)
4 Tbsp soy sauce
Pinch cayenne pepper
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 pound cooked pasta, drained and cooled (I don't salt the water as this dressing is so salty)
3 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
4 green onions chopped
Whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, cayenne, oil and sesame oil. Add the noodles and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions to garnish.

Friday, April 20, 2007

SOAP SALE

It has been a miserable and pathetic Spring here in the Ozarks. First we had that terrible ice storm that broke most of the trees here. Then we had a terrible deep freeze the first week of April that killed off everything but the weeds. We lost our whole grape crop too. This was a big bummer because I had worked so hard in pruning and trellising them. Things are just a little glum here and to very spring like.
To cheer things up, I am offering a Spring Soap Sale at http://www.freewebs.com/mamabyrd12/ if you are interested in a great deal on soap, go check it out.
Pine Tree
Lye soap is good for so many things. Here is a list of my favorites (or at least the ones I can think of off the top of my head):
-The natural pH of lye soap removes the dirt from your skin without removing the essential skin oils thus leaving your skin soft.
-The pH of the lye soap also in naturally anti-bacterial and helps keep your hands germ free longer and without the harmful chemicals of anti-bacterial liquid soaps.
-The hand made lye soap has all its original glycerin which helps keep your skin soft.
-Lye soap is offensive to Ticks and Chiggers (if you don't know what that is your are very lucky!!) Washing with it helps keep them off longer. Using it after being bitten also helps you heal up faster.
- Lye soap is a must for people with Poison Ivy problems. If you are exposed to poison ivy, washing yourself off with lye soap in cool water will help prevent an outbreak. If do have an outbreak, washing with lye soap (especially the oatmeal scratchy kinds) will help you heal up faster. (how do we know this?? Bryan has a major allergy to poison ivy and cedar trees and this is what he uses now and hasn't had to have the shots for years).
-Lye soap is great for your complexion.
- because of its moisturizing properties, it makes a great shaving soap for legs and faces.
- Lye soap is very mild on your skin and is great for people with sensitive skin. I have a couple of kinds that are especially designed for that.

I could go on and on and on...... I love lye soap and what it does for you. It is another way of going back to natural things for your body.
If you've never tried it, give it a try. You will love it!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Lucy Needs .....

Angelic has this on her blog and it is too funny! What you do is type your name with "needs" after it in Google and see what Google says you "need"!
Lucy needs ....
1. gosip! (tell me your juice!)
2. a haircut (too funny as my hair is about 3 feet long)
3. ... your love. (a springer spanial in need of a new home) :o)
4. ... professional help ( you have no idea how badly!)
5. ...Lucy needs to realize that there is no way you can make your parents be what you need. They either are or they are not. (hmmmm interesting)
6. Lucy needs to assess what things she likes doing most. ( true but hard since there are so many things I like to do most)
7. Lucy needs another animal like her as a companion (I think this is my favorite!)
8. Friends and family from Coast to Coast are aware that Lucy needs Butt Support. (well!)
9. Lucy needs a turban and a crystal ball. And a ruby in her navel! (don't we all?!)
10. Lucy needs to be an only cat not only because she is declawed but also because she does tend to get a little upset if she isn’t the center of attention. (there you go)

This was too much fun. Thanks Angelic.
Now you go out and do it. Make sure you go pee first though!
Good Night!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

April Apron Tutorial

Can you believe it! I have an apron pattern before the end of the month. How amazing!
AA 1
This one is so easy. It is another Dishtowel Apron.
You will need:
AA 2
1 Dishtowel (washed and dried before starting, these shrink a lot and you don't want to distort your apron)
1 package double fold bias tape (2 1/2 to 3 yards)
Ric Rac (the requirement for the March/April Tie-On Challenge)
Fabric scraps for the pocket

1. Fold your apron in half lengthwise.

2. Starting at the top of your apron measure 4 inches and mark it. From the top corner measure down 10 inches (this is the non-fold side).
AA 3

3. Now, using a rotary cutter and ruler cut from the 4" to the 10" marks, making a triangle.
AA 4

4. Now un-fold your apron and lay it out.
AA 5

5. Now take the bias tape and fold it in half to mark the center. Measure down 9 inches from the center on each side. This will be the neck of your apron.
AA 6

6. Now pin the bias tape to the apron. The pins at the 9" marks should line up right at the top of the apron. Open the bias tape and sandwich the apron inside.
AA 7

7. Sew the Bias tape close to the edge (top-stitch) starting at one end of the tape and sewing all the way to the other end.
AA 8

8. Now take the left over triangles and any scrap fabrics you have a make a pocket. I made several aprons so I mixed and matched the scraps and made half square triangle units for pocket patches.
AA 9

9. Now comes the token Ric Rac. Place the edge of the ric-rac under the edge of the pocket and top stitch in place.
AA 10

10. Place the pocket on your apron and pin in place and titch it down and you are done.
AA 11

OR ......
You can add and applique to the pocket before you stitch it down. Here are some that I did.
AA 12 AA 13 AA 14 AA 15 AA 16 AA 17 AA 18
I made an extra for a friend and Vea is the lucky winner. She took hers home to embellish it herself. I can't wait to see what she did.
I also made two for my Etsy store. You can check them out there.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Welcome to Hogwarts

April 5th was my oldest son's 11th birthday. In honor of this special occasion we help a one night Hogwarts Trial for him and his friends.
We started off with official invitations written in green ink on preachment paper. Here is what they said:

Dear ,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to a one-night trial with the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry staff in honor of Josephs 11th birthday. Hogwarts is temporarily unavailable do to repairs made necessary by the mischievous acts of certain red headed twins. As a result the Ministry of Magic has set up a safe location disguised as a muggle home at (our address). Please use ministry approve port keys or, to not attract attention, please employ a muggle to bring you by car. The trial will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday, April 9th, 2007. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary equipment for your trial.
Professor Albus Dumbledore
Please Bring
Muggle attire
A broomstick
A cauldron
One sock for Dobby the House Elf
When the kids arrived at our house we sorted them into houses. Because we were in such a muggle infested location we had to transform the sorting hat to disguise it. I think it really worked.
1 the sorting
Here is Hannah being sorted. She ended up in Hufflepuff. I had printed off house badge stickers to put on their shirts.
Next the children had to go Olillvander's to get their wands. My nephew Angus was our Ollivander. The children had to try out their wands by swishing them and calling out an animal name. If the wand was the right one, then Ollivander would transform into that animal.
4 Olivanders
Here poor Owen is laying on the ground recovering from the attack he suffered when he transformed Ollivander into a Lion.
3 Olivanders
Now the kids were ready to go to their classes and see if they really were worthy to attend Hogwarts. First up was Potions class with professor Snape. Apparently the Slytherins thought it would be really funny to transform the drinks for the feast into water so the children had to try their hands at potion making to turn it back into pumpkin juice. This is very tricky to do.
14 The potions master
The potion went as follows. First Snape poured rainbow water into the cups (vinegar) and the water turned a different color in each cup. (the spoons had dried food coloring on them) Then they added powdered unicorn hair (baking soda) and had to stir it properly. If not it would boil over. (well of course it bubbled over and Snape berated them all).
19 Potions
Next they added dried Hinkypunk hearts (pop rocks) and had to stir till it quit crackling. 20 Potions
Next they added Dragon milk mixed with Oil of Sunshine (2 cups white school glue mixed with 1 1/2 cup water and yellow food coloring). To this they added Essence of Boom slang (2/3 cup water with 2 tsp borax mixed in and food color for effect). Then followed a very complicated series of stirrings.
21 potions
If they messed this step up they did not end up with delicious and refreshing pumpkin juice. Instead they got ....
22 Troll Boggies
Troll Boggies. We all gaged and choked.
Snape felt it necessary to show us how it was really done and whipped up some Sour Snape Grape Spirits for us.
23 Good Potion
(this was 2 bottles of lemon lime pop and 2 packages of grape Kool-aid mix and the left over pop rocks) It was pretty good.
The next class was Divination with Professor Trelawney.
2 Trilawny
My Niece Rebecca filled in for us. She had them put Dragon's blood (red food coloring) in a bowl of Troll milk (milk with dish soap added) and them read the fortunes they saw. We saw many basilisks. She then used her Crystal ball (round fish bowl) to read their fortunes.
17 Divination
There were many prophecies given such as , "you will eat cake tonight", and "I see treats in your near future" and such. They kids thought it was really fun and thought she sounded like Gollum.
The kids then went to Care of Magical Creatures with Professor Grubbly-Plank. (my Sister in Law, Miyuki)
18 Care of M Creatures
She taught them the anatomy of woodland creatures and the showed what they learned by making Origami replicas of owls and bats. They had to touch them with their wand to make them fly (they looked a lot like paper air planes).
6 Care of Magical Creatures
The last class was Defense Against the Dark Arts with Professor Loopy (Lupin's sister).
13 DADA Professor Loopy
I had the kids make Anti Dark Wizard Missiles. We took plastic eggs and added powdered asphodel (baking soda) and powdered boom slang skin (citric acid) to this we added essence of gillyweed (green water). We had to quickly shut the eggs and throw them.
9 DADA Mislies
If you were fast enough they would blow up.
7 DADA Anit Dark Wizzard Missiles
Sammy worked really fast. His blew up as he threw it.
8 DADA Misile
The children also leaned to do the Patronus Charm. They practiced on a Boggart we found. (Angus)
11 Expelearmus
Our poor Boggart really got hit hard.
12 Angus Demented
The kids then went out in the field and played quidditch. They were all looking for the snitch (a golden Easter egg).
24 Quidditch
We finally had a feast. We had Wesely Cheesy Weezy Pizza, Pumpkin pasties, our Snape Juice and a Madd Eye Moody Eye cake.
25 Madd Eye Moody's Eye
Everyone was really grossed out by the cake. It was great!! (it was baked in a Pampered Chef mixing bowl and we put a blue jell-o eye on top.
We sent everyone home with a bag of treats from Honeyduke's candy Shop.
27 Treat bags
We gave them Chocolate frogs, Fizzing whizbees, Bertie Bott's every flavor beans, Drooble's best blowing gum, Owl Droppings, lemon drops, Acid worms and a squirting frog. Joe also made each of his guests a wand for them to take home. He will be selling these in his own Etsy store soon. They looked really great!
This party was so much fun. We love to have fun at birthdays and celebrate our family this way. I couldn't have pulled this off without a lot of help from my friends and family. Thanks to Vea for giving up our craft play day and helping me pull this off. Thanks to Sam, Miyuki, Angus and Rebecca for filling in as faculty and Characters.
I hope you enjoyed sharing in our day.

Easters

We had a fun Easter party this year and my brother said I ought to post it somewhere so I will post it here. (maybe that way I can remember next year what we did!) Hee Hee.
We had 17 cousins together this year for the hunt which made things fun and a little complicated.
We divided the kids up into smaller group, babies - up to 2, Littles - 2 to 5, Bigs - 6-9, and biggers 9-11. (we have a 9 year old girl that wanted to stay with the bigs and a 9 year old boy that wanted to go with the biggers as they were all boys).
For the babies we put 1 jelly bean each into several eggs and scattered them in my mom's back yard as it is pretty small and a protected area. (the babies both fell asleep so we skipped their hunt and will do it tomorrow when they come back for babysitting)
For the littles we put treats into 12 eggs each. The older ones had fun counting up to 12. It was fun. We hid them in my mom's front yard which has many fun places to hunt.
For the Bigs, we had 12 different kinds of eggs from them to each look for and gave them a check list to help them keep track of what they were looking for. They seemed to love this. It really extended the hunt because in got harder and harder to find specific kinds of eggs. We hid these in my back yard (I live next door to my mom). It is a real mess with long grass so they really had to hunt for them. I also had my 13 year old nephew hide them and he really hid them well. It was a lot of fun.
For the Biggers, I arranged a scavenger hunt with rhyming clues around my front yard. That was tough for me but fun. On each clue there was a letter. These letters had to be unscrambled to find the candy cache. Which was my mother's treasure chest. That was fun and a lot harder for the kids than I guessed.
I will post some pictures when I have time but I wanted to put this down before I forget. This was successful enough that we would like to repeat a version of this every year. It wasn't that hard and it was so fun having so much to do.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Match Book

Match Book 001
I saw these this week and just had to make them. They are so fun and cute and fast.
Michelle at Greetings Art has a great tutorial on how to make these. Go check it out. These are really too much fun. My kids are in love with them and the fun they are. Caroline is my journalist and has already taken possession of one and is journaling in it (in very tiny print). I love projects that I can hook the kids into. They already have plans to make their own now and maybe in different sizes. For myself, I thought it is a much cuter way to keep track of bits of information such as e-mail addresses and websites I must see or even for jotting down those bits of inspiration that seem to hit me and then evaporate when I get time to act on them. :o)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter

There are some things that are just plain happy.
Happy Easter
We only get to have this cookie only a couple of times a year and Easter is one of them.
I have to share the recipe.
Sugar Cookies
Mix and set aside:
2 cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg* (this is optional)

In a mixing bowl cream:
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar (I use 1 cup)
1 egg
When this is fluffy, add:
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
Really mix this well and get it good and fluffy.

Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate 2-3 hours.
*(a note on the addition of nutmeg, If you are going to bake these right away, the nutmeg flavor is a little strong so in that case I leave it out. However, if you can leave the dough in the fridge for a couple of days, the nutmeg mellows out and gives these cookies the most wonderful flavor.)

Roll the dough out on a well floured surface to about 1/4" thick. Cut as desired. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 375*F for 10 - 12 minutes. Personally I like these cookies a little brownish. I like them crispy. Just my own personal preference.
Let them cool and frost them with butter cream frosting and add some sprinkles (Mary Kay for cookies, not necessary but so much more cute.)
Butter Cream Frosting
(we put this on very thin so that we can afford to eat just one more cookie)
1 stick butter
3 3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 - 4 Tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
food coloring
cream the butter and sugar together, add the vanilla and then the milk until it is nice and fluffy. I divide it into bowls and add a few drops of color and frost away.

Mama and Baby Byrd

Mama Byrd
Do I really need to write anything here? Doesn't she say it all? I HAD to make this last night when I saw it. Sometimes you just have to do something just for mama. This little Mama Byrd sits above my desk and watches over my crafting dreams till I get time to work on them.
Here is her little baby.
Baby Byrd
Here is a fuzzy close up. Sorry.
Baby and Shell
She is just too much fun. I am going to have to help the girls make their own little babies and eggs today to play with. (They keep sneaking off with this mama to play with her.)
Mama and Baby
If you got the bug not and just HAVE to make one, the tutorial and pattern are at MollyChicken.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Big Blue

I so wanted to post the April Apron pattern here today but it isn't going to happen. It is simple but it just didn't happen this weekend. Some other things happened instead.
Sarah went to her first sleepover. We all missed her so much.
Joe fixed tin foil dinners without burning anything down. They were fantastic!
We listened to 4 sessions of General Conference from the convenience of our own living room.
My Monkey Diaper fabric came and I had to sit down and make this.
Monkey Diaper 1
I make clothe diapers for Jeddie and love it. I have about 12 more cut out and just need to sew them up. You can get the pattern here. The fabric is not available yet. When it is, I will post a link.
I also made this.
BF Bunny 1
Here is his back side.
BF Bunny 2
Rebecca and Clara came over and were looking at the pattern and so I decided to whip one out. He is for Jeddie. The red smudge on the face is strawberry freezer jam from Jeddie's kiss. He is now sleeping tucked in Jeddies arms. Too cute.
You can get the pattern here. It was pretty easy to make but the feet are a little tricky. I am going to have to work at that. All the other kids want one now. I will have to see what I can do.
I start working tomorrow at the health department as a peer lactation consultant. I am pretty excited about that. I get to take Jeddie with me in a baby carrier. I hope he co-operates.
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