Thursday, December 17, 2009

Crab Salad

Confession: I post recipes here because I lose things and there are some recipes that I am lost without. This is one of them. I have spent days looking for this recipe so I could take it to my Quilt Guild's Christmas Party tonight and FINALLY found it. So..... I am posting this recipe here so I will be able to find it next time I want it AND because it is so fabulous I want to share it with my readers too.

Jill's Crab Salad
I got this from my daughter's best friend's mom. She has lost an amazing amount of weight in the past few years and when I asked her what her secret was, she said it was a handful of recipes that she loved, that were good for her, and safe to eat (meaning you aren't going to hurt any diet by eating them). They also have a good balance of fats and proteins which fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied. Combined with smart carbs, you have a great meal.

So..... Here is the fabulous crab salad recipe.

Jill's Crab Salad

1 cup imitation crab meat chunked
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
1 cup cottage cheese
vinegar (a dash to taste)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Mix together and enjoy.
This is great with veggies, crackers, and a slice of fresh bread and a cup of V8 juice.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Puppy Pouches

I wanted to share a fabulous Etsy Find with you!!
Bottom Zipper a
I am afraid he is my favorite. I know you shouldn't have them, But I do. I wouldn't mind if this puppy followed me home!
Blue a
Here is another that isn't in the shop yet.
How do I have access to such a photo you ask?
Well the Etsy Shop owner just so happens to be my fabulous Big Brother Sam.
He has wicked sweet leather working skill and an incredible talent for creating these fabulous bags/pouches. I am sure his wife might have something to do with the creative design though.
They were married in Japan and lived there for 10 years before moving onto the farm here next door to me and my little family. It has been great for the last few years to have cousins right next door. His sons helped my poor lonely boy have instant brothers before his own brother was born. My girls have been there to balance out life for his one daughter.
One last treat for you.
Kitty 1 a
Now head on over to Sam's Etsy Shop "Sam Hill" and send some etsy love.
How do you send Etsy love you ask?
You go to Etsy and log in or sign up if you haven't already, and then check out his shop and favorite it with a little red heart. Better yet, you actually buy one of his pouches.
Hey I will go one more, if you buy one of his pouches and tell him that Lucy sent you, I will include a bar of my fabulous soap with the pouch for free! You can't beat that.
Now run over there before my big sisters swoop down and snatch them up. You have a running start because some of them are techno challenged and can't even log into Etsy yet. hee hee but I didn't tell you that. HA!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanks Givings Past

I was digging though some old treasures this week and stumbled on an old book of my mothers that was printed in 1905. It is "The Economical Cook Book" by Mrs Sara T. Paul. Click on the link and you can see the whole book yourself. You can see it here too. You can buy it here.

Book
I love this description of the book!
Kitchen
This is an illustration from the book of the "Ideal" Kitchen. I love it!
In case you can't read it, here is what is says.
"The two views show a model kitchen arranged for convenience, for health, and economy. The floor covered with oil cloth for tiles, the walls papered or painted, plumbling easily accessible, pantries and cupboards ample -- range of the latest pattern, and sinks with hot and cold water."
In looking through this treasure of a book, I found this recipe for Roast Turkey and thought I would share it with you. It is interesting to see how things have changed, and how they haven't in the last 100+ years.

Turkey
Roast Turkey
"Singe the turkey with burning paper, pick out all the pinfeathers, wash it clean and wipe it dry; then draw out the entrails, and wash the inside of the bird with several waters; prepare a filling as follows: bread-crumbs sufficient to fill it loosely (it should never be packed in any kind of poultry or birds), season with half a teaspoon of sweet basil, one of sweet marjoram, and onion chopped very fine and stewed for five minutes in a quarter pound of butter, which pour over; pepper and salt, and if convenient two dozen oysters chopped fine, fill the bird with this, reserving a little to put in where the craw came from, put the ends of the legs through the opening you made when you drew it, letting the joint come just through the vent, turn the wings back and run a skewer across through them, securing it with a string, skewer the legs in the same way, season the outside of the turkey with pepper and salt, dust with flour, and place in a dripping-pan, pour round it a cup of water. If the turkey is a very large one it will require three hours, one of ten pounds will roast in two hours, and a small one in an hour and a half; baste it frequently. For the gravey, when you first draw the turkey, put the liver, gizzard, end of the wings, and place the neck, and the heart into a stew-pan, with half a large onion cut in two, pepper and salt, cover with cold water and simmer for several hours; when perfectly tender, take out he liver and gizzard, chop the latter and put it back, rub the liver to a smooth paste with the yolk of a hard boiled egg and a piece of butter as large as a walnut, moisten with some of the broth, add a heaping tablespoon of flour, stir this into the sauce-pan, boil up once, when you dish the turkey, pour the contents of the sauce-pan into the dripping-pan, stir it round until brown, pour a few spoonful over the turkey after you have removed the skewers and strings, and serve the rest in a gravy-boat."
Isn't that wonderful!! This is how my grandmother cooked and I would hear directions like this from my mother as I grew up. I love it when recipes aren't bound by measurements and lists of detailed instructions.
This book was found in the attic of the cabin where my parents lived when they were a young married couple. My mom thinks it belonged to her mother-in-law or more than likely my dad's maternal grandmother . We will never know! It is a treasure though and I think I will see how much of this I can try this year.
I would like to take a minute to tell you my peeps that I am thankful for you and your comments and the friendships that have sprung up for me here through this wonderful medium of blogging. I hope each of you has a wonderful week and if you are celebrating Thanks Giving, I hope you have a lovely time with family and friends, remembering the many things you have to be thankful for.
Love, Mama Byrd

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Baked French Toast

French Toast 001

My dear friend Suzanne fixed this for our Quilt Guild Retreat this past month. It was Fabulous! I use that word a lot but it really was.
My children love French toast and so do I. I may post how they make that but here is how we adapted Suzanne's recipe and made it our own.

4-6 sliced of whole wheat bread cubed or torn in chunks
1 pkg 8 oz cream cheese (optional)
6 eggs
1 cup milk
sprinkle of cinnamon and/or nutmeg
pinch of salt
brown sugar or Sucanat

Butter a 9"x9" baking dish
Place half the cubed bread in the dish.
Cut the cream cheese over the bread.
Cover with remaining bread cubes.
Mix eggs, milk, salt, and cinnamon or nutmeg together in a blender.
Pour over bread.
Sprinkle the top of the bread mixture with Sucanat or brown sugar.
Cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate overnight.
In he morning, preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
Bake for 45 - 60 minutes.
Serve warm with maple syrup, powdered sugar or just the way it is.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Scented Play Dough Tutorial

Play dough was one of my favorite things to play with when I was a little girl and I love making it for my children now. I love how home made dough feels. It is so smooth and has the right texture. I loved helping her make it over the stove and then helping her kneed in the color when it was done. I loved the feel of warm fresh play dough. It was so wonderfully soothing.
As a little kid, I had to attend many meetings and some night classes with my mom. She would pack a baggy of play dough and I knew that I was in for a treat for hours. I loved making sculptures and had all kinds of stories running in my head as I sat on the floor next to her or at the back of the room with a chair seat as the stage for my pretend play.

Well here is the recipe I use now for my kids. I switched over to scented dough several years ago. The one thing I hate about play dough is what it smelled like after a couple of kids had played with it. Now the dough has a nice fruity scent.
I bet you could also use essential oils and have herbal scented play dough. I might have to try that with lavender. Hmmmm.... Any way this is the recipe that always works for me.



Play Dough 001

Scented Play Dough
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
2 pkg fruit flavored drink mix (without the sugar)
1 Tbsp Alum
3 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup flour
2 cups boiling water

Directions:

Play Dough 006
Add flour, salt, flavoring, alum, and oil into a large mixing bowl.


Play Dough 007 Play Dough 008
Add the boiling water ....


Play Dough 013


.... and stir.
Play Dough 014
Add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour if needed ....

Play Dough 017
..... and kneed by hand .....
Play Dough 020

..... until smooth, soft and definitely not sticky.
Play Dough 021
Now Play!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ozark Christmas Stockings

I know it is still early BUT in true anti procrastination spirit of the Holidays, I am posting my stocking selection now rather than the week before Christmas.
Stockings 018
I have a collection of Old Quilt Stockings that I have made. These are made from an old quilt top I rescued from an antique mall here. Sadly the shop is no longer there.
The quilt top was hand made by someone with less than perfect quilting skills however, it was packed with charm and I was delighted with the effort and hard work that had been put into each stitch. The poor top had also suffered some damage so I rescued the top and turned it into a set of Christmas stockings. There were 14 in all but there are only 10 left in the shop.
I also have some stockings made with some rescued and re purposed hand made lace.
Go check it out at

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Suzanne's Stuffed Peppers

Suzanne's Stuffed Peppers

This is one of my favorite, vintage recipes. I owe it all to one of my dearest friends, Suzanne. When I was a teen I used to babysit on a regular basis for several families I knew. Suzanne's was one of them. I got to watch her two boys. Suzanne is a great mom and a great teacher. She almost always had dinner in the fridge and I would just fix it up for the kids while she was at work or night school. The foods she had were always wonderful and the introduced me to new flavors that have become some of my favorites. This recipe was one of them. I had never cared much for cooked peppers (what kid does) but I would try anything once and I wasn't going to set a bad example for her kids so I tried it, loved it, and have craved it ever since.

So here is the lovely recipe she shared with me.

Stuffed Peppers

1 lb. ground beef
1 egg
3/4 cup of crushed crackers
1/2 can tomato sauce
garlic to taste
onion fresh or dried to taste
salt & pepper
red pepper if you like bite

Mix together by hand, don't over work.
Stuff bell peppers,
add Ketchup on top, and
bake for about 1 hr. 350. enjoy!
I added little strips of bacon to the top because there was some in the fridge.

It was as good as I remembered and my kids gobbled it up.
THANK YOU Suzanne for sharing the recipe. Sometimes you need comfort food and this is it for me.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Blogger's Quit Festival - Fall 2009

I know I am getting in on the last day of this BUT I just found out about it this afternoon. So here I am entering and am so thrilled that something like this is going on. Park City Girl hostessing her second Blogger Quilt Festival and there are, currently, over six hundred folks participating. How it works is quilters all over the world post a blog post about a quilt or maybe two that they have. It can be a quilt you made or were given or even picked up somewhere. BUT you have to tell the story. So here is MY quilt and MY story and I have to tell you, I love it!


This is my wedding quilt.

fruit aprons 030
It was made for me by my mother, and was quilted by my best friend Vea.
The quilt it self is full of stories.
The center panel is a representation of my family.
fruit aprons 033
The seven stars in the sky are me a and my six sisters. It represents the constellation Pleiades or the Seven Sisters. We are seven sisters and if you will notice in the constellation, there are six of them bunched together and one a little way off but still part of the group. Well my six older sisters are much closer in age than I am but we are all still together.
The swans represent my six brothers. They also represent the six brothers from the fairy tale, The Six Swans. In the story six sons of a king are turned into swans by their evil step mother. They only way to break the spell is for their sister to to make them each a shirt from asters. You will have to go read the story to find out how it all works out. ☺ It was one of my favorite stories my mother told me when I was little. I loved the little sister and wanted to be as loving and giving as she was. (You will have to ask my brothers if I even remotely measure up.) I never made them shirts but I do remember making pants for one of them. I did make them all cookies though. The six swans with their heads held high represent my brothers and the six with their head bent are my brothers-in-law. Clever isn't it?
The row of girls around the outside edge represents the song "I dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls".
This song had special meaning for me. It was my favorite song growing up in the late 80's and early 90's, It was one of my mother's favorite songs in the 40's, and it was one of my grandmother's favorites in the 1910's. It is now my own daughters' favorite song today.
It is a pretty special song for me.
fruit aprons 042
I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls
With vassals and serfs at my side,
And of all who assembled within those walls
That I was the hope and the pride.
I had riches all too great to count
And a high ancestral name.
But I also dreamt which pleased me most
That you loved me still the same,
That you loved me
You loved me still the same,
That you loved me
You loved me still the same.
I dreamt that suitors sought my hand,
That knights upon bended knee
And with vows no maidens heart could withstand,
They pledged their faith to me.
And I dreamt that one of that noble host
Came forth my hand to claim.
But I also dreamt which charmed me most
That you loved me still the same
That you loved me
You loved me still the same,
That you loved me
You loved me still the same.
The square blocks around the girls are actually a block called marble floor. I thought that was pretty cool. My mom made sure that each princess had her own spot on the dance floor.
fruit aprons 039
I love the detail that the quilting added to the princesses. They are now Fairy Princesses.
Oh and for you Quilters out there these ladies are NOT paper pieced. She pieced every single girl. My mom really hates paper piecing.
fruit aprons 040
In some of the "marble halls" she quilted castles. I love it!
fruit aprons 044
The back of the quilt is even significant because I love hand dyed fabrics and have been dying them myself since I was in high school some 20 years ago.
So there you go. That is my quilt and my story. I hope if you have a quilt and a story you will share it too.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Blogiversary Giveaway!

Holy Cow. I have been blogging for three years this month. I can't believe it. Time flies and I have had a lot of fun. I went back today to look at my first post and it was about some lovely Halloween Costumes I made for my girls with some help from my lovely friend Michelle.

Happy Halloween 2006

Well to celebrate my anniversary I would like to give away a child's corset set.
That would be :
1 child size corset
1 child size skirt
1 child size blouse
(I will have a picture up here ASAP of the outfit)




Here is how you win......
  • Leave a comment here telling me what you have enjoyed about my blog in the past three years (even in you just found me today) -1 entry
  • Post about my giveaway on your blog, face book, or twitter page and invite your friends to come see my lovely blog and giveaway - 3 more entries (but you have to come back here and let me know so I can give you credit
  • Go and buy something from My Byrd Nest or Sexy Apron Day -Get 10 extra entries

The Giveaway ends at midnight Central time on October 25th. The winner will be announced on Monday morning October 26th, 2009.

This is my chance to say a big Thank You! to my wonderful blogging friends that have entered my life through my blog. Some of you have become very dear friends!

THANK YOU!

By The Way -- If you are thinking .... How do I get such a lovey costume for myself???

Answer....

Go to Michelle's site and check out what she makes. She has an Etsy, Artfire, and Ebay shop.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I'm a Loozer!

If you were my swap partner and you got this apron.....

pink aprons 013

...... would you truthfully say that it was better off LATE than never??

Yes I am a late swapper. I will not tell you which swap it is for because my partner would know and because then you would know how big a LOOZER I am. Life jumped up and BIT me this summer and fall and things are not happening as I had hoped.

pink aprons 014
The apron was very fun to make and I think should be sized up so some of us chubby chickas can wear it too. What do you think?? yes that means I am asking for comments.....

Soap Giveaway!

FUROSHIKI Giveaway 1
The wonderful Mindy at Apron Girls is hosting a giveaway for my soap!!! It is a furoshiki 4-pack of my soaps (your choice). So hop, skip or jump on over to Apron Girls and Check it out!!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Passionately Pink Apron Swap is Here!

Shawnee and I are once again sponsoring an apron swap. This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to celebrate and promote this great cause we are hosting a
pink aprons 004
Everyone knows someone that has been affected by breast cancer - a friend, co-worker, neighbor, sister, mother or even more personal. The Purpose for this swap is to raise awareness and help support the cause of breast cancer research. For more information and to join in this wonderful swap, please go to our swap blog for details.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sugar Pie Dollies

I have some new little friends to share with you.
Etsy Dolls 012
In my spare time I have been creating some more little friends. These little Dollies are for you. You can pick one up at My Byrd Nest.
We are calling these new dolls, Sugar Pie Dollies. They are homespun and sweet as pie and waiting to come visit you or a little girl you know. They have perfect manners and love tea parties, sleepovers, walks in the woods and keeping special secrets.
Meet the new Sugar Pie Dollies.
Aileen
Etsy Dolls 006
Miss Aileen is just "a wee bit Scottish." Her dress is a sweet homespun plaid and she is wearing long bloomers. She is a hard working little farm girl with lovely copper colored pigtails. She is looking for a new home and a new set of friends.

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Gracie

Gracie

Is a sweet little 1930's country girl with golden pigtails. She is always happy ready to help. She has clear blue eyes and sweet little smile. She loves to have stories read to her and is the best of listeners. She loves to bake cookies and gather the eggs from her chicken coop. She can't wait to go home with a new little (or big) friend and share secrets and giggles.

****************************************************************

Kirstin

Kirsten

Miss Kirstin is a Swedish Dairy Maid from Minnesota. She has a slight accent and can sing like and angel. Her hair is golden yellow and is put up in two little buns. So cute! She is sweet and wholesome like like the sunshine and sweet air on her farm. She can't wait to meet her new family and share many fun adventures with them.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Maid of Honor Cupcakes

I don't know where I had been hiding but this is an old treat that I had never tasted before. My dear friend Cheridyn and her sweet mama Lauralie shared this old time treat with our girls at a recent Girls Activity Day. Cheridyn shared a story about her great Grandmother Lucille Rawlins and shared this tasty treat that she used to make for her family each Christmas. I was lucky enough to know Lucille and she was a wonderfully sweet lady. She was always very pleasant and had a great sense of humor. She was really old when I knew her and I was only 12 or so. I remember her always being busy doing something.

maids of honor 1

This treat is a very old one. According to the story (as I remember it) this treat was a real Luxury for Lucille to make. It required using precious sugar which was rationed during WWII. It also has raspberry Jam in it which was a real Luxury because the berries were dear and because it required so much sugar to make it.

Here is the recipe as we got it.
Pie crust - from scratch, mix or ready made from the store.
Cake batter - from scratch or from a box (use a yellow or white cake)
Raspberry jam
Frosting - from scratch or a can

Directions:
Roll out your pie crust and cut out circles ( you can use a large glass or I use my biscuit cutter that is just under 3" in diameter)
Place the circle of pie crust in the bottoms of your greased muffin tins.
Place a small spoonful of Jam in the center of each pie crust.
Mix up your cake batter and pour some over the pie crust and jam. Fill the tins 2/3 full.
Bake at 350 deg F for about 20 minutes.
When they have cooled, remove them from the pan and frost them.
You can add half a maraschino cherry on top for fun.

maids of honor 2

These are really easy and so tasty. You can put any kind of jam inside these and I was thinking that raspberry jam with a lovely piece of chocolate on top of that baked in there. It could be something wonderful!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Basic Muffins

I just found this recipe and have to share it. It is so fast and easy and tastes fabulous. I have been looking for a recipe like this for a long time. Something that I can use for breakfast or dinner when we are out of bread but the meal screams for a tasty piece of bread to go with what ever we are eating. The recipe can be dressed up with additions if you want to also.

Muffins 003

Whole Wheat Muffins

2/3 cup brown sugar (can use less)
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup sour milk (add 1 tbsp vinegar to a 1 cup measuring cup and then fill with the milk, OR you can use buttermilk.)
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups whole wheat flour (fresh if you can get it)

Blend the sugar and butter, stir in egg. Add the other ingredients and mix. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 375-400 deg. F. for 15 minutes.
Makes about 12 muffins.

You can add 1 cup dried fruit (raisins, dates, apples, etc.) to the batter.
You can also add grated cheddar cheese to the batter.
These are great plain with just butter.
They go well with soups on a cold fall or winter night.
Are you drooling yet? Go make some. You will have hot, delicious, and healthful muffins in about 30 minutes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Breakfast Meal Plan

Rooster Moring
Those of you that know me well know that organization is my bain. I am about as scattered as you can get (at least I hope no one is more scattered than I am.) This past month I had a brilliant thought that might just save me some confusion and stress in the morning. With 5 little and now big Byrds to get up and ready in the morning I can't face my kitchen stove at 7:00 a.m. in a panic thinking "what do I feed them this morning??" I don't have time for that. So I have taken a leaf from the books of several organizational gurus and have set up a weekly Breakfast plan. Each day of the week has a set aside breakfast so I know the day before what I will be fixing for breakfast. It is making life so much easier for me and there is a lot less parental stress before the bus gets here. I planned the week according to our time and mood constraints.
If you want to do it too look at:
  • What is easiest for you to do in no time flat?
  • What are you willing to eat? (that sounds weird but if you can't deal with cereal than don't think of it as an option)
  • What can you fix in advance to make breakfast a snap (ie. freezing and warming up stuff)
  • What can your family help do when time permits? (Saturday or Sunday morning traditions that everyone participates in, learning great self help skills)

So with that in mind here is what I came up with:

  • Sunday - Cereal/granola (busiest day of the week for me with church so we need a no stress breakfast)
  • Monday - Cereal/Granola (we are all dead heads on Monday so we can slide into our day without too much stress.)
  • Tuesday - Toast and Cocoa - (this changes according to what is on hand, homemade whole wheat bread, muffins, bagels, cinnamon rolls, etc. and from scratch cocoa or homemade mix cocoa)
  • Wednesday - Oatmeal
  • Thursday - Biscuits, eggs, sausage
  • Friday - Eggs and Toast
  • Saturday - Pancakes, waffles, or something fun like that

Now each of these meals has many variations. I might stick muffins in place of biscuits, or we might have biscuits and sausage gravy instead of eggs. The egg and toast day could be any kind of bread (bagels, muffins, etc) and any way of fixing eggs (boiled, scrambled, fried, toad in the hole, etc.) The oatmeal is always from scratch with old fashion oats and we add things we have fresh on had to it.

I have lots of different recipes I use and have posted many of them here under good food and breakfast.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tatting

I found a new obsession.
(Like I need one!)
Tatting
I picked up a tatting needle several years ago and have meant to give it a try, well now I have. My good friend Robbie at Bittersweet Quilt Store showed me how to use it again. It was addicting.
After looking at a couple of tutorials on the net I figured out how to do some of the basics. It was a lot of fun and didn't take too long. I thought I would pass along the links and let you get obsessed if you choose. hee hee Sorry!
Here is the tutorial I used. Actually she has a written tute and a video tute of the same thing. Watching, reading, doing and watching again really helped. It really wasn't hard once you the the rhythm down. You have to check out her Etsy shop.
Here is a link to a place you can get supplies. The needles are hard to find.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Soap Day

August afforded some much needed time to make soap. I have finally had a chance to re-stock my sad soap supply.
Stack o soap 2
This is all 100% natural, hand-made, Lye Soap Goodness.
If you have never given your skin the treat of a bath with good old fashion lye soap, you have been really missing out.
I got started making lye soap about 12 years ago when my daughter Sarah was born. Her soft sweet baby skin was so sensitive we couldn't you any commercial soaps or detergents or even wet wipes on her. She would break out in a bright red lumpy rash.
So my friend Vea taught me how to make my own soap and we have been making our own soap and laundry soap ever since.
Lye soap is PH balanced very similarly to your skin so it is very gentle on your skin. It takes away the dirt and germs without drying your skin out like commercial soaps.
During the soap making process, you take a weak acid (the oils used are fatty acids) and a strong base (the lye) and mix them together. When measure properly there is a chemical reaction that converts the lye and oils into new product = soap and glycerin molecules.
The soap does a great job of cleaning you while the glycerin moisturizes your skin.
Commercial soaps remove the glycerin and then re-package it in lotions to help sooth your skin that is dry from using the commercial soap. Tricky huh!?!
There have also been studies done of lye soap and have found it to have better anti-bacterial properties that the liquid soaps without the harsh chemicals that are bad for you. Lye soap seams to repel the germs better and longer.
Another interesting thing we have noticed with our own use of the lye soap, is that the bugs around here (namely chiggers and ticks) don't like it and you get less bug bites, and when you do get bites, they seem to heal up faster with the use of lye soap.
We have also had a lot of success in treating our poison Ivy with the scrubby Oatmeal soap. My husband gets Poison Ivy really badly and now only uses the oatmeal soap. When he knows he has been exposed to the plant, he comes in and takes a cool shower with the lye soap which helps close the pores and removes the poison ivy oils. This usually prevents the rash. If that fails though and he gets a rash, he scrubs it with the oatmeal soap which opens up all the blisters quickly and dries them out and the rash is usually gone in a couple of days instead of lingering for weeks. He hasn't had to take the steroids in years now. He used to puff all up and look like a lava monster before he broke down and gave the soap a try.
We also use the soap for laundry. The plain lye soap bar works great as a stain stick. You just get the stained clothing wet with warm water and scrub the stain with the soap and wash as usual. It takes out most stains. My husband got out mud from my daughter's brand new white and rainbow striped leggings once. He had allowed her to scoot around the garden in them while he was working one day (I was not at home) and to my horror on returning home they were covered with our lovely red brown dirt. He scrubbed those pants with a bar of plain lye soap and washed them and they came out white with bright rainbow stripes. He was so lucky!
We also grate up the soap and make our own laundry soap. It works great for getting the cloths clean and costs so much less than commercial soaps and is better for you and the environment.
Oh..... one more thing. Lice don't like lavender soap. That was a wonderful find with three daughters. We wash their hair with bar soap and rinse it with a little lemon juice in water and they have soft, clean, sweet smelling hair, free from lice and the chemicals in shampoo.
Have I convinced you yet? Hee hee
Sorry, I love hand made soaps and love to share the wonderful information I have learned about it with others.
If you would like to get some of my soap for yourself, check out my Etsy shop.
****edited to add the list of scents for convenience *****
Oak Leaves & Acorns
Orange Mint
Goat's Milk and Oatmeal
Morning Bliss (citronella, lemon, Lavender and Cedar)
Mint Magic
Facial Blend (Peppermint, Lavender, Tea Tree, and Patchouli)
Lavender
Peach Nectar
Gardener's Blend (citronella, lemongrass, lavender, etc)
Spearmint & Eucalyptus
Basil Lime
Red Clover Tea
Rosebud
Desert Sage
Plumeria
Cucumber
Sweetgrass
Fudge Berry Brownies
Almond Biscotti Scrub
Tropical Fun
Pineapple
and
Plain Old Lye Soap

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Rescued Orphan Blocks

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I have been "Rescuing" Orphaned quilt blocks and vintage fabrics for several years now from all over South West Missouri. I have to say I have a pretty descent collection now. I love seeing quilt blocks made by other women. It is interesting to see the ones that don't make the cut and end up in odd boxes and drawers because they just don't fit in. Some of these blocks are odd sizes, not square, won't lay flat, made with odd color combinations, have glaring mistakes, or are damaged in some way. I love the snap shot of human nature captured in their tiny stitches. I believe that these blocks should all be given a life and should be enjoyed. I have taken several orphaned blocks that I have found and even made myself and given them a home and a purpose in quited Handbags. Here are some of the bag collections I have finished.
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These are made from vintage blocks and my collection of vintage fabrics. These fabrics date from the 1930's feed sacks to 1960's wild, bright, prints.
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These are made from my hand dyed fabrics and some orphan blocks of my own that just didn't make it into a finished project.
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These are a set of five chicken blocks that I made last year but never worked into a project. They are sashed and backed with fabrics from my 20 year stash of homespun fabrics gathered from many of my favorite quilt shops.
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Bag backs.
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This set was made from a couple of vintage table cloths in need of rescue and re-purpose. They are lined with 1930's reproduction fabrics.

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I love these wild fabrics. The colors and patterns are fabulous!
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**Sorry this one is Sold**
This poor block is made from lovely fabrics but the poor thing just wouldn't lay flat and didn't have a single straight edge. I love the prints I had to mix with it.
You can find these bags at my Etsy Shop

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Harbingers of Fall

It has been the coolest Summer that I can remember in 20+ years of living her is Missouri. We had one week or so of really hot humid weather. The rest of the time has been very tolerable.
Well now we are starting to get the tale tale signs of Fall. The little trees in the fence rows are turning orange and red and that never happens till the first of October or late September at the earliest. Makes me wonder if we are going to have an early winter too.


Here are some shots of life here in the MO Zone this month.

Pumpkin Heaven



My brother Sam planted a bunch of seeds I bought a couple of years ago. Well the grew!
I can't wait. I can smell baked squash with butter and salt, pumpkin custard, pie, bread, and muffins. I think our skin is going to turn orange from all the pupkinness that is going to happen around here.
Zuucchini Quiche
The garden as also yielded a bumper crop of Zucchini this Summer, as usual, so I looked up some recipes and made a tasty zucchini quiche. I used Joyful Adobe's recipe and added some onion and ham.
Stormy Weather
We have had the most rain this summer that I can remember in 20 years. This is a picture that my 10 year old daughter took after a big storm last week.
Toady
With all the rain this year it has been the year of Frog and Toad. We have seen at least 100 of these this summer. Who knows how many we didn't see around the house.
This is another of Caroline's photographs.
Waitin' for the bus
School started this month too.
Isn't that Cherry Red truck of my neighbor's the sweetest ride ever! He used to have it painted yellow with purple trim. It looked pretty fabulous then but now I have to admit that my heart skips a beat when I see that truck.
Banana Muffins
With school back in full swing come early breakfasts and home lunches. These are our favorite breakfast muffins. They are banana oatmeal muffins. They are super tasty and they fill you up. We have set a breakfast schedule for the week to help cut down on the chaos in the morning. I have a hard time thinking of what to fix and so now each day of the week has an assigned breakfast to help us cope with the morning rush. Muffins is one of them. I will have to post the schedule for you and the recipes that go with it. There are several things that I bake and freeze in advance to make the week run smoothly. It is really helping us get a good start to the day and get on our way on time.
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