Saturday, November 6, 2010

Stamp Club

Tonight I am hosting Stamp Club at my house. Stamp Club is a group of friends who enjoy rubber stamping and we get together every so often to craft and create together. I am going to do a demo tonight of some candy boxes that might be fun little Christmas gifts.

I haven't decided which one I am going to do yet. There are a few cute options:

Ghiardelli chocolate boxes

Snowman boxes (using the Stampin' Up Top Note die) - based on these Frankenstein Treat bags. Using this tutorial to make the inner box.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quilting Bee

On November 3 and 4, 2010 I will be hosting a quilting bee at First Lutheran Church where a small group of people will be making quilts for Lutheran World Relief. They are a relief organization that distributes supplies to people in need and they have a need for quilts. Quilts provide shelter and warmth to people who desperately need both.

I would gladly welcome donations of extra fabric you may have and also materials for lining the quilts. Lining materials could be old flannel sheets, quilted mattress pads, bedspreads, heavy curtains (not fibreglass) or old blankets. It's okay if they have holes in them as they can be patched up. The quilts need to measure 60 x 80 so it would be helpful if the lining material was at least this size.

We are starting small and hope to make several quilts over these two days. If you want to help, you are welcome to do so. You don't have to know how to sew as there are plenty of other jobs to do. Lunch will even be provided!

If you have an interest in helping - whether it be through donating material or time - please email me at bencer99 (at) hotmail (dot) com and just let me know! Thanks for reading.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A few quickies

Well lately it seems that everyone I know is having babies. I have been sewing up a storm of receiving blankets (over 20) and packaging up gifts to go in the mail.

My sister's best friend, who has a thing for turtles, just had a little girl. I made a few turtle patterned receiving blankets for her and also made a little flower arrangement. I found the ceramic turtle dish at Value Village and thought it would be perfect to use for an arrangement. By no means am I a professional flower arranger so don't judge me too harshly.

A very good friend of mine just had a little boy and I wanted to do something for her almost 4 year old daughter. I know how difficult it can be for kids that age when their new sibling is getting loads of presents and they don't get a present too. I wanted to make something special for her so decided to make a Big Sister shirt. I cut out the stencil on freezer paper using my Cricut machine and the School Book cartridge. This worked very well! I'll be using my cricut machine to make more stencils for sure. If you look closely the sister is slightly off center but I'm sure I'm the only one who noticed that.

Last time I tried this technique I ironed an extra piece of freezer paper underneath the stencil on the inside of the shirt. I skipped that step this time but will definitely not skip that step again. I found that I had cleaner, crisper lines with the paper ironed on the back.

That's it for today! Maybe I will go forth and be creative some more!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Greek Salad from the Garden

Here was our salad from dinner - tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers from the garden tossed with some feta cheese, oregano and some Kraft Greek Feta dressing. Yum!

OCD: Obsessive Crafting Disorder

A friend named Kristie has an amazing blog with many cool sewing projects called OCD: Obsessive Crafting Disorder. She makes beautiful quilts and recently had her own bag week where she showcased many different bags she has designed and sewed.

Kristie has redesigned her blog and in celebration she is doing a giveaway for some cute Nicey Jane fabric which looks pretty adorable. Her friend also makes note cards and she will be giving away a set of them as well.

Check out OCD:Obsessive Crafting Disorder for some great crafting ideas, neat tutorials and a cool giveaway.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ready to Eat

Here are the oven dried tomatoes, gently tossed with garlic, basil and olive oil. Yum!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

In Which I Am On A Roll...

My life seems to be filled with babies lately and this is great! Between friends and family members there will be at least 6 babies in the next few months so it is time to get sewing!

Last night I sewed for several hours and made 9 receiving blankets, numerous hankies and 5 burp cloths. Back at it again tonight. I figure why haul the sewing machine out every week when I can go into mass production all at once!

I also have a few special projects planned for Christmas gifts and my sister's baby shower so these will be featured soon too. I'm really excited to get crafting again!

Stay tuned for pictures and more updates!

Dried and Ready

Here are the tomatoes after drying in the oven at 200'C for about 5 hours. Tomorrow they will be turned into a jar of oven dried tomatoes with basil, garlic and olive oil. They taste so delicious - like concentrated sweetness. Even Hubby tried one and he doesn't eat tomatoes!

Thrifty Saturday

Today Hubby, Junior Jay and I went bargain hunting at Value Village and man did we SCORE!

A bucket of duplo legos and an equal amount of Mega Blocks ( a ridiculous amount of lego) -$3.99

Getting a scrub in the sink!

A laundry basket full of Mega Blocks - including a castle set and pieces to make a house - two bags - $11.99 total. We didn't realize that there were this many blocks in the bags.

A Fisher Price Circus Play Set - $3.99

A Fisher Price Dump Truck (with Little People driver) - $3.99

A play table for Mega Blocks/Duplo - with a storage compartment underneath - $9.99
Lift the yellow lid and there is a storage compartment underneath. Also has adjustable legs to change the height.

A bag of kids books, several unique shaped glass jars for canning ($0.49 each), a tiny little teapot (so Junior Jay and I can have tea parties), two shallow corningware baking dishes, and several little tub toys/play toys for Junior Jay.

Also picked up some Hardy Boy books for my brother.

A successful shopping day with some great bargains!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ripe and Ready

Yellow Pear, Juliet (grape tom), Tumbler, Sweet Million,
Sweet One Hundreds and a few orange Sun Sugar's

These are going in the oven tonight and will hopefully turn into something delicious tomorrow. Yum!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Canning with Mom

Yesterday my mom and I "put up" some cucumbers and peppers. We made a tonne of yum yum pickles, two jars of pickled jalapenos and two jars of pickled banana peppers. We also made 5 pints of pickled beets last week. Pictures of the jalapenos to come - my camera battery ran out just as I was trying to take the last picture.

A productive day. Next on the agenda - tomato sauce - with carrots, peppers and zuchinni!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Burst of Energy

Last night Junior Jay (my son) went to bed pretty early and I had some pent up energy so I decided to spend some time in my crafting room. It felt great to be creative!

I made seven cards using the pattern of a card I first saw at my friend H's house. I liked the way the front of the card was folded back on itself and also the use of patterned paper. I added the little band myself - my cards needed a little something extra so they weren't too plain. I used my cricut to make the cutout of the boy and his puppy. I love that machine! Best birthday present ever! I used my scor-pal to make sure the folds were nice and crisp. The Thinking of You stamp was a $1.50 stamp from Michael's. Cute little stamp.

I made a few of each card. These are the results!

Garden Roundup

I had some time tonight to spend in the garden. The raised garden beds have been very productive this year - especially the peppers! My hubby loves his peppers and he wanted to try growing a variety this year. We harvested ancho chilis, habanero peppers, banana peppers, jalapenos, and bell peppers. Thank goodness the rabbits don't have a taste for peppers! I'll be turning the bell peppers into tomato sauce and freezing for stir fry veg and pickling the jalapenos and banana peppers. I am at a loss of what to do with the anchos and habaneros. Friends have suggested to try to dry the anchos and then grind up to put in chili etc. If you have suggestions, please share!

Yellow banana peppers, dark green anchos, light green jalapenos

I also grew six different varieties of tiny tomatoes - Juliet (grape tomato), Yellow Pear, Tumbler, Sunsugar (I think they are called), Sweet 100 and Sweet Million. I plan on making sun dried tomatoes with some of the small ones and of course they are perfect for snacking on or for bruschetta! I planted all of these in containers hanging in baskets or on the deck. It's been a bumper crop!

I also have several varietes in my garden (Manitoba, Celebrity, Roma, Fantastic, Early Girl). Maybe a few more - I forget now! The rabbits have been eating the ripe tomatoes so unfortunately no vine ripened tomatoes for me this summer. I have been picking them in at the first site of orange! I will spite those rabbits if it is the death of me!

The cucumber corner is full with cukes too - slicing, pickling and long english.

Tomorrow my mom is coming over and we will get to pickling the bounty! The beets have been pickled already - yum! Love pickled beets!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Harvesting the Bounty

Well it's that time of year - time to harvest the bounty from the garden. A bumper crop of cucumbers and peppers calls for attention! Pickles, pickled jalapenos and banana peppers are on the menu. I plan to make tomato sauce using zuchinni, onions, tomatos and peppers from the garden. The beets have been harvested and pickled as well.

I found a recipe to make sun dried tomatoes and will try this recipe with my tumbler and juliet tomatoes. I have basil drying in the oven now using the method I used last year.

Unfortunately the beans and peas were decimated by the rabbits this year. Only little stumps left. The carrots have been chewed down and I don't have much hope for them either. Probably enough to make some carrots and dip!

What plans do you have with your garden produce this year?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Value Village Deals

I've stopped in at Value Village for some shopping over the past few days. The prices weren't super great but I did find some cool items. One of the items that I didn't purchase and regretted not doing so was a Fisher Price Castle toy from my youth! I went back the next day and it was gone. I am kicking myself for not picking it up. Oh well. Maybe next time.

The fabric and sheets are for a quilting project that my mom and I have planned for the fall. We will be making quilts for Lutheran World Relief an organization that supplies materials and resources to people in need. The quilts are used for shelter and warmth so the biggest criteria is warmth and comfort versus fancy fabric and fancy piecing. They are going to be simple squares pieced into tops with blankets for stuffing and sheets for backing. These will be tied and a binding sewn along the edges. We hope to make at least 10. Maybe a few more if we can get some helpers! Hint hint! If anyone who reads my blog has any fabric, old sheets, or old blankets to donate as filler they would be gladly accepted.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Shirt in Action

Here is an action shot of the Team Ultimate Westie shirt! Not actually taken during the walk but at a birthday party later in the day. It turned out great!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Team Ultimate Westie!

Tomorrow my hubby, Little E, myself, my sister, mom and Wilkie (the Ultimate Westie) are walking in the Winnipeg Humane Society Paws In Motion fundraiser. We walked it last year while I was pregnant and this year I am so excited that Little E is able to come along.

I had been dying to try freezer paper stenciling on a t-shirt and this was the perfect occasion for it. Hence the very first Team Ultimate Westie shirt for Little E. After several attempts at tracing a stencil (and having my husband remark they looked like cats), I referred to the book "Good Boy Fergus" for inspiration and found my muse. I even got Wilkie's bitey parts onto the stencil!

The shirt is drying now. I couldn't wait to see if it turned out and took the stencil off while wet (I would advise not to do this!). Here are some pics!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Adventures in Gardening

These dianthus are from last year. I left them in the ground and they grew again this year. They already have flowers too!

Geraniums in hanging baskets!

Rhubarb is growing!

Today little E and I went outside to do some gardening. I had him all set up in his stroller with toys and a good view and managed to weed half of one garden bed before he started fussing. I also ordered 3 yards of dirt for the flower pots and my new garden bed. My dad is going to be building this for me and I'm excited to get planting.

My mom came over to babysit for me today and as soon as I went outside it began to rain! Then after it stopped raining I attempted to take a load of dirt to the backyard in the wheel barrow and discovered that the wheel is flat. Grr. It rained off and on about 3 times. I was slightly ticked as I finally had a babysitter to watch Evan and give me some un-interrupted time in the garden and it kept raining.

Oh well. I managed to spray some roundup, weed both garden beds, hang my shepherd's hooks and hanging baskets and plant a few planters. I also discovered little rabbit "chew chew" had munched on a few of my plants that were sitting on the deck waiting to be planted. One was chewed down to a nub! I know know that plant needs to go in a hanging basket!

I have hubby assigned to fix the wheelbarrow wheel and hope to get some more work done this weekend. Hopefully my baby sitter will return! We are feeding Nana some Chinese food tonight to keep her coming back!

I planted about 50 tulips, daffodils, crocus etc last fall. At last count there are 6 purple tulips that bloomed in the front yard and about 5 red tulips in the back yard. Also some muscari that amazingly grew! The bunny has been chewing on the tulips as well!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rhubarb Crisp

Made some rhubarb crisp with rhubarb from my mom's house. My dad brought over a chunk of rhubarb and planted some in my garden but it isn't quite big enough to pick yet. It was tasty and delicious! I mixed a little sugar, cinnamon and some tapioca in with the rhubarb and it tasted just right! Served it up with some vanilla ice cream. Yum!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Next project - maybe

Well I had been saving some old t-shirts that are worn out/stained for my next project - making t-shirt yarn! However I read this post for directions on how to make t-shirt yarn and discovered that the t-shirts I had planned to use are not suitable as they have side seams. Now I need to be on the lookout for some old t-shirts in groovy colors. Value Village has 50% off day on Monday so maybe I will pick up some shirts there.

I found another potential project that I could use my old t-shirts for. I have been reading the blog Helping Little Hands and this blogger uses old t-shirts to create appliques for children's clothing. She uses t-shirt material as it doesn't fray and is easy to applique with. I have visions of cute clothes for Little E. He definitely needs a shirt with a tractor on it for his visit to Papa's house as he will likely be going for his first tractor ride.

I also want to try freezer paper stencilling as well. Just have to find some freezer paper - which has proven surprisingly hard to find.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

London Drugs Shop

Well today Little E and I went to London Drugs to do a quick shop. This was the first mommy and baby solo shop for us. The stroller was loaded!

Here's what I got:

Cascade Dish Detergent-$3.79 x 3- coupons (and had 2 buy a gel get action packs free) $1.60 each
Old Spice Body Wash - $3.99 x 4 - coupons = free!
Herbal Essences Shampoo - $2.49 x 2 - coupons = $1.75 each
Febreeze Luminaries - $12.99 x 2 - coupons = $2.99 each
Gillette Fusion Razor - $9.99 - coupons = $1.99
Gillette Deo (buy one get body wash free) = $3.99 plus body wash ($4.99 free)
Old Spice Deodorant - $2.99 x 8 - coupons = free!
Glad Reed Diffuser - $10.99 - mail in rebate for free trial = free!

Grand total of $48.55 ($14.37 of that was taxes) less $10.99 for mail in rebate) = $37.54

Coupon savings of $85.57

Pretty good for a LD shop! Lots of free stuff too!

If you are looking for some tips on how to do "stack coupons" read this post.