Saturday, November 22, 2008

Benefit for Josephine Elizabeth

I would like you to meet Miss Josephine.
Josephine Elizabeth is the the beautiful daughter of my little brother Jon and his sweet wife Clara. Her beautiful story is posted on their blog.
Josephine was born with Trisomy 18. Trisomy 18 is a genetic disorder associated with the presence of extra material from chromosome 18. Fifty percent of infants with this condition do not survive beyond the first week of life. Only 5 -10% of infants survive to their first birthday. The outcome is fatal - however, each case is unique and there is no timeline for Josephine's survival. Josephine has many of the outward characteristics as well as all four of the heart defects associated with T-18.

My niece Angelic and I have come together to create a blog for Miss Josephine to host a benefit auction to help Jon and Clara with Josephine's medical expenses.

We are asking anyone how has been touched by Josephine's story, or by Trisomy 18 in any way to please bid on items in the auction.

If you would like to donate an item to be included in the auction please feel free to contact me through a post here or an email. The auction will be held through Ebay starting on November 26th.
As items are donated they will be posted at the Josephine Blog and here.
If you would like to make a monetary donation, that would be greatly appreciated as well.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

One Yard Half Apron Tutorial

OK so I don't know what to call this apron but I do love it.
Apron tutorial e Apron Tutorial b
It meets my criteria for a good apron - fast, fun and easy to make and only takes one yard of fabric.

This apron makes a quick gift for birthdays, Christmas, Swaps, or just because you love your friends. It works up in about an hour or less.


1 yard cotton fabric (the fabric I used is Morning Call by Hoodie's Collection)

4 yard ric-rack trim in a coordinating color

Cutting instructions

Apron tutorial t

Lower section - 13" by width of fabric

Upper section - 8 1/2" by 27"

Waistband - 4" by 19"

Ties - 2 1/2" by width of fabric


2 pieces 6 by 6 1/2"

Sewing instructions:

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1. Take the lower apron piece and gather the upper edge of it.

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2. Pin the top of the lower section to the bottom of the upper apron section. Stitch in place.

Apron Tutorial p

You can top stitch this seam for a more professional look if you like.

Apron Tutorial o

Be sure to press the seam toward the top to catch it in the top stitching. (by the way I finish all my seams with the serger or with a zig-zag stitch, nothing ruins a fun apron faster than ravelled seams on the back. It is just plain tacky!)

Apron Tutorial n
3. Make a narrow hem on the sides and bottom of the joined apron pieces.

Apron tutorial k
4. Gather the top edge of the upper apron section.

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5. Pin the apron skirt to the waistband and adjust the gathers. Be sure to leave 1/4" of waistband sticking out and each side of the apron. Stitch in place.

6. Fold the top edge of the waist band down 1/4" to the wrong side and press.

7. Sew up your apron ties. You can do this by folding them in half lengthwise and sewing down one long side and across the end and turning. OR... you can hem both long sides and one end of each tie by turn under a scant 1/4" and turning under again and top stitching. (sorry I forgot to take a picture)

Apron tutorial i
8. Place the apron ties on the waist band right side down pointing toward the apron center and pin or baste in place.

Apron Tutorial h
9. Fold the apron waist band down toward the apron front with right sides together and stitch the short ends together. Turn the the right side out and press in place.

Apron Tutorial f
10. Top stitch along the base of the waist band catching the front and the back of the waist band making sure the apron skirt seam is inside the band. This will finish off your edges nicely.

apron tutorial s
11. Sew around the pocket piece leaving an opening at the bottom to turn.

Apron tutorial l
12. Clip the corners and turn and press the pocket. Place 3 rows of the ric-rack trim on the pocket and stitch in place about 1/2" apart. Be sure to leave about 3/4" tails on the trim. Fold these under when attaching the pocket to the apron to make sure they are secure.

Apron Tutorial g
13. Position the pocket on the right or left side of your apron upper layer where it is comfortable for you. Top stitch around the sides and bottom of the pocket being sure to back stitch a few times at the top of the pocket to secure.

Apron Tutorial d

Apron tutorial m
14. Sew ric-rack trim on the bottom of the apron in three rows about 1" apart. Be sure to leave tails and fold them under to the back side of the apron to secure in place. I am using just a straight stitch to secure the ric-rack.

Apron Tutorial c
You are now done and have a fast, fun, and flirty new apron.

This apron fits most. For a smaller or skinnier apron cut the waist band at 16". For a larger apron cut the waist band at about 22 inches and increase the upper portion to 30". The lower section can stay the same and will just have more or less gathers depending on if you are sizing up or down.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Popcorn Balls Recipe

pumpkin day i

I figured I had better post this before I lose the recipe again. (I post a lot of my favorites here so I can find them when I want them again.)

Popcorn balls

2 big batches of popcorn (that is about 3/4 to 1 cup of kernels popped in an air popper or a stir crazy popper)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
40 marshmallows (regular size not mini marshmallows)
vanilla (or other flavoring you like)

Pop your pop corn and get the unpopped kernels out.
Melt the butter and sugar together in a large pot.
Bring to a boil.
Add the marshmallows and heat until melted.
Remove from heat and add about a teaspoon of vanilla. Orange flavoring is my favorite. You can also add some food coloring drops if you want. We added red and yellow for classic orange popcorn balls.
Pour over the popped corn and stir quickly to evenly coat.
Butter your hands lightly and start forming the mass into balls.
To store, wrap in plastic wrap.

Edited to add:
We made this again this week and added a blob of molasses when we were boiling the sugar and butter. It was about 2 to 4 Tbsp. of molasses.

OH MY it was wonderful. Very carmely gooey, chewiness.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Happy Birthday Bubba

My little bubba turned Three this weekend.
Birthday 4

He had two requests for his birthday this year.

One -- he wanted a Choo Choo train cake.

Two -- he wanted a birthday card.

I love how innocent and uncomplicated he is!

Birthday 2

Bryan got him a Thomas card which he loves. My mom saved the day an picked up a card that plays the chicken dance. He stopped opening his present when he saw the card and spent the next five minutes opening it and listening to the music over and over again. It was so funny to watch his face. Pure delight.

Birthday 3

Birthday 1
Of course it was all finished up with some loud singing of "Happy Birthday To You". All in all a very happy day!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Pumpkin Day at the Byrd House

We have had a very fun week celebrating Pumpkin day yesterday, aka Halloween. We love Halloween and all the fun dress-up play we get to do. The kid's school usually picks a theme that the kids can dress up to. This year is was your favorite G rated Disney character.

The teachers dressed up like characters from 101 Dalmatians. My brother and sister are there in the photo.
Pumpkin day a

The kids just loved it especially Cruella. She works in the library. She was fabulous!

Pumpkin day b

My children dressed up as ... Walt Disney (Joe's idea including a Sharpe mustache), Brier Rose (sleeping beauty), Alice in Wonderland, Little Red Ridding Hood, and Jeb is simply himself (he dressed up as a Robot on Wednesday and wouldn't wear it again).

We also did the traditional pumpkin carving.

Pumpkin day 1
We planned out our pumpkin faces,

Pumpkin day 2
drew them on the pumpkins,

Pumpkin day 3
had dad carve them out, or ....

pumpkin day 4
carved them ourselves.
Pumpkin day 5

Then we took them outside and lit them up with candles.

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Pumpkin day  6
Pumpkin day 7

Instead of going Trick-or-Treating which is pointless when you live in the middle of no where, we stayed home and had some family fun. Joe built us a fire and we roasted Weenies and marshmallows. We tried to make biscuits to wrap around the hot dogs but they turned out nasty. So the dog ate the biscuits instead and we ate the hot dogs.

Pumpkin day h
Joe made roasting sticks for everyone. Thank you go for having such good camping out skills. hee hee

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Toshi came over to check it all out and helped Hannah and JEB make sure the fire had plenty twigs, grass and such to keep burning well. No campfire can burn properly if little kids aren't throwing junk on it all the time.

Pumpkin day d
Jeddie simply bunt his biscuit rapped hot dog. It turned out ok though. He peeled off the charred biscuit and ate the warm hot dog inside. :o)

Pumpkin day g

Pumpkin day c
Sorry I couldn't resist the hat. I just love this little hat. He wore it all day yesterday. It was a treat from Vea for being so good at the store while we looked at kitchen cabinets with mom. She made it from a pattern she got off Etsy. It is fabulous for Jeddies poo bald little head and he is so stinkin' cute in it!

Last we came home and made traditional popcorn balls.

pumpkin day i
We went to our neighbor's house and delivered some of these to celebrate the day. Popcorn balls are my all time favorite Halloween treat, well that or sugar cookies with orange frosting and candy corns.
I hope you have enjoyed fall as much as our family did. Now on to Thanks Giving! My next favorite holiday!
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