Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Lists...

Hope everyone had a restful weekend. We've had our fill of Thanksgiving leftovers and Christmas decorating and some organizing and sorting for mama. Yes my tree is up, the lights are on outside and the Christmas books are in the living room. There has been a lot of yarn on our minds and ideas for Christmas.

Here are some of the posts that I collected for this holiday season or next year.
-I was thinking about making dishtowels these are cute.
-Inspiring crochetted and embroidered projects.
-These sock ornaments are cute ideas I was thinking maybe white socks with some beading.
- Colorful stars for any season.
-I know we are a long way off from spring but these flowers are cheery.
-Crochetted gift tags for any occasion. Hmmm... I'm thinking maybe next summer making a batch of these for all occasions.
-I could just hug these owls.

-For Thanksgiving I tried a Cranberry Nantucket Pie which I'll share tomorrow.
-The salmon recipe from the last Monday list was very good. Hope to have pictures next time.
-The wooden bowl and beads in this post was a thrift store find over the weekend. I added string and keep it in the kitchen for my busy 2 year old when she can't prep meals with me.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sweet Potato Soup

I sort of strayed from the blogs to the finish some Christmas shopping and prepare for Thanksgiving. I have been meaning to share this Sweet Potato Soup for days. I started this post on Sunday night and never finished it. The night I prepared the soup it went like this....
Went to Field Wonderful to look up the recipe. There weren't exact quantites to this recipe so I pulled the clipboard out to write down what I was doing.Next pulled out the ingredients I had: cooked sweet potatoes, 1 onion,1 garlic, curry poweder, coconut milk, chicken broth (didn't have any homemade) and ground ginger (because I didn't have any fresh ginger). Continued following the recipe and then went on to slice fresh bread I made that day. Watched out for the bread thief while soup cooked.

Then enjoyed soup with a little bit of rice and a slice of fresh bread. This is how I came up with the soup adapted from Alison's recipe.
Sweet Potato Soup
1 tablepoon olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 garlic chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (or use fresh ginger)
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
32 oz chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
3 sweet potatoes boiled and mashed
In a pot heat oil then add onions cook for 1-2 minutes then add garlic. When onions are clear and garlic is soft stir in ginger and curry powder. Add the rest of the ingreadients and warm soup up to your liking. Enjoy it's really good.
-I cooked the sweet potatoes a day ahead which made it easier on the night I wanted to make soup.
-This tasted great with rice which made a hearty meal.
-Might be nice with turkey broth for a post thanksgiving meal this weekend.
-For my allergy friends stay tuned for some more of my finageled allergy friendly soups. I love the combination vegetable/chicken broth with the coconut milk it looks creamy and tastes good which I'm thinking could open up a world of creamy soups for our family.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Finished Basement Projects

There has been a lot of cleaning, projects and sprucing up in the basement especially in the art studio and my sewing studio. So here goes.

We put curtains up to hide the storage utilty shelves. The curtains are from the Ikea "As Is" bin. They not only hide the shelves but make a great stage. To the left of the curtains is the art studio.

It was in need of a clean up and an area carpet to cover the cold basement floor. Across the way is my sewing studio.Covered the chairs with new fabric and made pillows.

Made copies of the fabric with the patterns to be used as templates for doll clothes or paper dolls.

Oh and the little red table finally made it into girls' room.

Tired but now have an aahhh feeling.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WIP Wednesday-Furniture and Fabric

There has been a lot of activity in the basement lately from laundry, cleaning, kids in the art studio , in the sewing studio, furniture fix ups and furniture painting. Here is what's in progress now.
Two chairs in the sewing studio that need a new cover and a pillow.
These are the fabrics (Alexander Henry Collection 2008) I'll be using. A friend found them at Mardin's over the summer. I'll have pictures of the finished chairs tomorrow.

Almost done with this night stand for the younger girls' room. The paint is still drying and hope to have it in their room by tonight.

This is next on my painting project list. A friend found this and thought it would be perfect in my home. I'm thinking a white night stand in the older girls' room.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Coffee, Crochettting and Monday Lists

Got up this morning thinking about pumpkin spice coffee and how to crochet my own ric rac. One of my nightly rituals lately has been to wind down with all my crochetting projects and the only thing I couldn't get started on was the ric rac so I woke up this morning determined to figure it out even if it is a little off.
I have a small basket of thin crochetting yarn that I found at a yard sale and started out with the red and a US H8/5.00mm crochet hook. It was not coming out too pretty so I went with a smaller hook.
I think I'm getting closer to actually making it look like ric rac using a C/2-2.75 mm crochet hook. So far I'm liking this and getting the hang of it. The red would be great for Christmas and the other colors in the basket could be for wrapping gifts, embelish skirts, pillow cases, curtains, blankets or anything that comes to mind. Now I just have to make it look a little more consistent.
This is one of the links on my Monday List that I wanted to share today.

Inspiring crafts and ideas that I would like to try:

Recipe List:

This I thought would be helpful for anyone who has an American Girl doll and needs a conditioning treatment or hair help.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Crochetting in Progress

Lately my on the go activity bag has gotten quite full yarn, books and hooks.

I have been trying to replicate the hat in the book and a matching scarf. I know wouldn't be easier to just follow the directions in the book? The problem is I don't follow directions well lol and started my own pattern for the hats along with a matching scarf.

Lately I have been thinking about little doilies for the Christmas tree. Ok now these little doilies I actually did follow the directions. I'm using a finer crochet yarn and 3.75 mm hook. I'm hoping to make a few for when we decorate for the holidays.

These are my crochetting hopefuls. The two on the left (pink and blue) are a suede yarn that will be made into a shawl for a Christmas gift. The grey in the middle will be an afghan for my bed. The two cotton yarns on the right will be used to make little crochetted make up pads. I thought how cool is that so soft for eye and make removal. Great gift idea too.

Oh the possibilites with yarn the problem is getting it down before the holidays. Hope you too are enjoying a favorite project.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

yesterday in the kitchen

Two things went on in the kitchen yesterday that turned out successful doing the dishes and dinner preparation.
1. I know how can doing the dishes be fun and successful well I have been having a little trouble with my homemade liquid dishwasher detergent. I'm not sure if the dishes weren't rinsed well or maybe should have put vinegar in the rinse compartment.
I still like the liquid because I used Peppermint liquid castille soap and the kitchen always smells very fresh but the dishes were still coming back dirty. So I tried mixing in a jar 1 cup borax and 1 cup baking soda and 5 drops of sweet orange essential oil (I think only 1 drop was needed.) Last week when I ran the dishwaser I used 2 tablespoons of powder and the white vinegar as a rinse. Well the dishes came back clean and shiny with white gritty stuff. Luckily yesterday I used 1 heaping tablespoon of the powdered mixture and white vinegar for the rinse compartment. The dishes came out clean and no gritty stuff. Ok it took some tweeking but it was a success :) A few dishwasher detergent recipes can be found on Tipnut.
2. The second success didn't look too promising at first. The plan was to make a pork loin. Into the oven it went for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees. When the timer went off I didn't have the ingredients for the glaze. Uh oh so I scrambled. Ok there was a jar of apricot preserves what else?Found a packet of Lipton onion soup & dip mix. In a bowl mixed them both together and then glazed the pork cooked it for 10 minutes and then turned it and cooked for another 10 minutes. Checked the temperature to make sure it was done. Then sliced it after it cooled down.

The successful part is when everyone enjoyed it for dinner and there were only two slices left. Phew.
Let's see what today holds?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Finally I'm getting back to some blogging this week. As I mentioned in my last post I have been in need of a break to think and well now I'm feeling rejuvinated. One of things I had to share is a soup that I finageled. One of my favorite Chinese soups is Hot and Sour Soup and when it gets cold out it's one of the soups I crave. This version is adapted from a cookbook and is not as spicy but I think pretty tasty for the adults in our household. The kids aren't fans. Here's some of what goes into it.
Diced carrot, onion and tofu.

On the left wooden ears and on the right dried mushrooms. Both were soaked in hot water for 4 minutes.All the ingredients simmering.I apologize that the picture doesn't make this look appetizing but it was good.

My version of Hot & Sour Soup

1 small onion diced

1 carrot diced

1/2 cup dried mushroom (soaked in hot water for about 4 minutes and drained)

2-3 dried wooden ears (soaked in hot water for 3 minutes and drained)

1 cup diced tofu

1 cup cooked ham or pork (shredded or diced)

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon chili oil (or more if you like it spicy)

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

10 cups water or 8 cups soup stock

1 beef boullion cube

In pot heat 1 tablespoon oil then add carrots and onion. Sautee till carrots are soft and onions are clear. Then add water or soup stock and the rest of the ingreadients. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.


-I don't know exactly how much this yields I would guess about 4 adults. I stretched this out for more for my family.

-If you don't have grated ginger the orginal recipe uses 2-3 slices fresh ginger. It's cooked for 2-3 minutes then discarded.

-This soup is more like a broth not like the restaurant. It's because in the original recipe a cornstarch solution is added as well as an egg. I don't do either one. If you choose 4 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons of water are mixed and then added to the soup cook till thickened about 1 minute. Then remove from heat and mix in 1 beaten egg. I omit this from my recipe because it doesn't come out well for me.

-To make this vegetarian skip the meat it's just as tasty without it.

Enjoy and keep warm :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mama needs to think

I'm sorry friends there have been no posts this week. I had wanted to write about so many things finding a new homemade dishwasher detergent, the Hot and Sour Soup I finageled and a couple of hats that I'm finishing up and what's next on the project list before the holidays.
I'll try to keep this short and not too moody. I just have been in need of some thinking time. There has been no relief in sight. Some mornings started off too early continuing all day with endless questions till late bedtimes. hmmm... Been working on finding a better activity schedule for us all and adjusting to homeschooling (I'll explain that in another post.)
All this has not been unmanagable but my biggest challenge has not been with my own children.
As you have seen in my profile and pictures I have 5 children ranging from ages 2-9. You can imagine that sometimes all mamas need a little time clear to their heads out alone, doing errands or waiting at activity. Those moments are important so I can come back refreshed for my family.
Unfortunately it does not happen because somehow even when I am out alone minding my own business other children approach me, greet me, have questions, and stare and whisper when I bring yarn to crochet and knit. This happens while their parents are close by (some on their cell phones) I 'm pleased to be an inspiration to young children but I almost need a Do Not Disturb sign because I have been hugged and nearly groped by little people. I have enough evidence to file a lawsuit for harrassment but don't worry I won't lol that would be awful and that's not what I want to be known for.
This does bring me to another dilemna when I am with my children to regroup with them. Other children will leave their parent to come join my family. It happens often. We must seem like a lot of fun especially with 4 girls. Children have stopped and stared at me like an exhibit while knitting/crochetting and my own children have commented about this to me. My kids have been asked "What's your mom making?". Adults stop to comment or ask my son about his crochetting.
Again it's wonderful that children are fascinated by our family. But this mama just needs to think alone. Some of the children's parents are with their children and explain what I'm doing and others aren't paying attention to their own children at that moment. But this mama just needs to think.
So this sums up why I have been off the blog I'm just tired lol. As you can see. The only hazard to all this is that sometimes when other children join our family they follow us to our car/home. I sometimes count my own children to make sure I have all 5 and not one extra.
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