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Friday, April 30, 2010

a Crisis

My husband's dad has been diagnosed with lymphoma. He is in this hospital four hours from home and we are here too. Since Wednesday. If you pray, please keep him in your prayers. His health is rather poor anyway, so this chemo is going to be very hard on him.

Anyway, there's only so much time kids can spend in the hospital. And Todd has pretty much been there constantly. Which leaves the kids and me. We have been to the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Natural History and the Denver Botanical Gardens. All are beautiful, wonderful, etc. I'll leave you with pics. Sorry, no sewing to show today!


I can't remember how many thousands of carats that diamond is, but Anna immediately wanted it. It's about the size of her head.

Love,

xoxo

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

the Dough, Week 3

(not my cake, but it looks similar)

Okay, it's been crazy around here for awhile. I haven't made bread for a bit, but I did make myself a lovely coffee cake on my birthday. So I thought I'd share the recipe. Sound good? If you e-mailed me recipes, don't worry. I will get to them (I promise!)

•2 cups flour, sift before measuring

•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1 teaspoon baking powder
•1/2 cup butter, room temperature
•1 cup sugar
•2 eggs, lightly beaten
•1 teaspoon vanilla
•1/2 cup sour cream
•1/4 cup heavy cream

Topping
•1/4 cup flour
•3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1/4 cup butter, room temperature

Preparation:

Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder.

In another mixing bowl cream together butter with sugar until fluffy and light; add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing just until flour is blended. Blend in sour cream and cream then stir in remaining dry ingredients.

Spread half of batter lightly into a greased and floured 10" tube pan. Sprinkle half of Topping and spread with remaining batter. Sprinkle with remaining Topping. Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes.

I actually saved all the topping for the top (which becomes the bottom) of the cake and put cinnamon and sugar mixed together in the middle as well as sprayed the pan with Pam and then sprinkled cinnamon and sugar all around the pan to prevent sticking.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake Topping: Mix together flour, sugar and salt. Add butter in small pieces. Work butter in with hands until mixture is crumbly.

By the way, birthday candles and hair are a dangerous combo. Emilie burned her bangs on my cake! Not too much damage though.
Love,
xoxo

Sunday, April 25, 2010

It's About Time!

So, are you ready for the winner of the big blogiversary giveaway? I know I am. Drum roll please. Okay, random.org do your stuff!

The winner is: #109 Mindy, a 20-something girl in a quarter-life crisis. At least according to her. Congrats Mindy! Send me your address and I'll send you your prizes.

Oh, and I just got the last drawings mailed out, so look for them this week.

Love,
xoxo

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Favorite Things, Part 2

Tomorrow is my blogiversary! Wow, I can't believe it has been a year and 161 posts. And what a busy year too! I won't bore you with the details. Let's get on to the giveaway, shall we?

This is going to be one giant giveaway to one great follower!
8 fat quarters, but my camera is out of batteries, so I can't picture them. They are random and assorted.
Lessons from Mama quilt book

1 yard of Feedsack Melody by Gloria Hall. This one's hard to give up. I just love it!

And finally, three of my favorite PDF patterns, delivered right to your e-mail! First, the Carson shirt by Froglegs and Ponytails.

Second, the flirty skirt pattern by V and Co. I haven't showed this yet, but it is the most comfortable skirt in my closet. So easy too!


And finally this folder pattern from Melissa of 100 Billion Stars. I just love it!

So, to enter, be a follower who shows up on my sidebar. Without followers, I wouldn't have this blog. Thank you for listening to my sewing and kid stories and other random ramblings. You don't have to leave a comment, just be a follower!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. And the government will be upon His shoulders. And he shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Love,
xoxo

the Winners!

#5 Starbucks giftcards, 170 Patty! Patty is in my Dozen Quilters group. Congrats!

#4 my fav soap, 230 jiaying

#3 Puddle Jumper shoes, Jenny, also of a Dozen Quilters! Great day to be in my group,huh?

#2 fat quarter pile, #217 becky @becky ann designs

#1 my fav yardage, #80 deserae!

Congratulations everyone! It was a great day for round numbers, huh? Also thanks to random.org for giving me the numbers.

Stay tuned for the next contest!


Love,
xoxo

Monday, April 19, 2010

Funked Out Peasant Blouse Redo


Okay, everyone! Hop over to Brown Paper Packages to learn how to make a beautiful blouse into a dress. It will make such a versatile pattern for your collection. I LOVE this dress. In fact, I wore it yesterday for my birthday! Thank you all for the warm wishes. The contest is below and is still open until midnight tonight!

And to all of you who say I always cut off my face in the pictures, here I am!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Love,
xoxo

Friday, April 16, 2010

my Favorite Things


Moda recently asked some of use Bake Shoppers to send in our projects for their annual retreat for shop owners. Thank you to Susan of americanquiltretailer.com for letting me use her photo. You can see my coloring bag and the child's apron and chef's hat. How fun!

Did you see the pattern makeover button on my sidebar? Leisel of Brown Paper Packages is making over patterns starting tomorrow. She is having some guest bloggers and you just might see someone you all know really well. Hmm. Better check it out!

So what else is new? Did someone say something about a birthday? And a giveaway? A gi-normous giveaway? Okay, here goes. I LOVE my birthday! Love, love, love it!!! My husband doesn't get the whole birthday thing, but he knows I love it, so he tries to go along. I tell everyone it's about to be my birthday for about a month leading up to it each year. And this year is a big one. Two numbers exactly the same. Not 22 (don't want to go back there) and not 44. So you can guess!

I decided to give away some of my favorite things. I have 5 prizes. 5! Whoo hoo!

5. A $10 gift certificate to Starbucks. Or if you don't have a Starbucks, I'll send you a sack of their coffee. My fav drink is the Zebra. It's half mocha and half white chocolate. I don't make it there very often, but it's always enjoyable.

4. Either a bottle of my favorite lotion or a bar of my favorite soap. Haven't decided which one yet. Lipi de Provence. It's made in France. Oh my word, it smells so good. And it's all made out of shea butter. Utterly delightful.

3. A pair of puddle jumper shoes. Oh wow! Now, you have to need these to win them. So be sure to let me know. I bought these for Emilie and she might have worn them twice. They are size 8, but everything runs small so they are really a 7. They are leather and beautiful. But a little bit narrow. She won't wear them.

2. Eight coordinating fat quarters. Aren't they pretty? I believe they are a 3 Sisters from Moda line and I just haven't used them despite their prettiness. (They may be missing a little square here and there but they are nearly fat quarters) :o)

1. My favorite, favorite thing. Riley Blake's Summer Song fabric (1/2 yard) and Anna Griffin fabric. I'm not sure how much, but somewhere around a yard. Mmmm. Doesn't it feel like summer? This is a hard one to give up. In fact, I bought another half yard of Riley Blake but I can't do it. Sorry! But you will see it here in the form of something or other pretty soon!



Now, I have lots more favorite things, but I kinda thought 5 were enough. How to win:

You don't have a lot of time! I'm closing the contest at midnight on Monday, April 19, so hurry and enter.
1. Leave me happy birthday wishes for one chance.
2. Blog, facebook, twitter, e-mail so others can come to the party for 2 chances.
3. Become a follower for 5 chances. If you're already a follower, that's worth 5 chances too, but make sure you tell me.

And then leave me a separate comment for each entry. Don't just leave one comment telling me you did everything; you'll only get one vote!

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8

Love,
xoxo

Thursday, April 15, 2010

SYTYCQ Round 2 and a WINNER!

If I counted right, there were 97 individual entries. So by virtue of random.org, the winner is #92 Carmel from Israel! How cool is that? Carmelita, this sounds funny, but I have been on your blog several times before. I can't remember the original reason why.

Okay, so I was very tricky this month and made a very, very hard quilt by combining two old quilt patterns. I quilted it myself because Lisa had surgery, so I spent most of the month working solely on this project. Plus I got to use some of my favorite new fabrics! It certainly wasn't the most popular quilt, but I think it's beautiful and wouldn't trade it for anything. It hangs on my bedroom wall and I can see it every morning and every night.


By the way, I thought most of the quilts were very nice this month. Certainly better than last month. So it will be interesting to see what comes next.

It's almost my birthday! Come back tomorrow for a big giveaway.

Do not let this book of the Law depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be propserous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:8-9

Love,
xoxo

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

the Dough week 2


Let me introduce you to Erin of Mama Cubed Creations. She makes bags. Lots of bags, like this gorgeous diaper bag (where were you when I had my kids?)

And boy can she ever cook. She sent me the best recipes. And I'm going to share two of them today. Bonus! They are both new family faves. It feels so good to make bread for my family. Something that ties me to history since women have been doing this for their families for centuries.


Honey Whole Wheat Bread

(I ran out of whole wheat flour so, I used half and half white flour. Turned out great!)
Yield: 4 loaves, 16 slices each
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
12 cups whole wheat flour, divided
1/2 cup warm (110o) water
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup honey
5 cups warm (110o) water
2 tablespoons salt
In a small bowl, add yeast and sugar to 1/2 cup water. Do not stir; set aside. In a large
mixing bowl, combine 5 cups warm water with 7 cups whole wheat flour. Mix until water
and flour form a dough. Combine vegetable oil, honey and salt in separate bowl, then add to
dough mixture. Mix until completely blended. Add the yeast mixture, and begin to knead
the dough. Continue to knead the dough as you add remaining flour. If the dough seems
sticky, you may add additional flour in small amounts until the stickiness disappears. If the
dough seems dry, add additional water in small amounts. Knead the dough for 10 - 12 minutes
on low if using a mixer. Knead the dough 18 - 20 minutes if by hand.

Grease four bread pans. Divide dough mixture into fourths. Shape each loaf and place
them into the bread pans. Oil the top of the loafs lightly and cover the loaves loosely with
plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in the pans until it has doubled in size. Bake at 350o
for 35 - 40 minutes.

The second one I didn't get a picture of and I SO wish I did. It was the prettiest bread.

French Bread


Yield: 2 loaves

6 ½ to 7 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp shortening
2 packages dry yeast
yellow corn meal
2 ½ cups water
1 egg white
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
1 tbsp salt

Heat oven to 375°F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of flour with yeast. Heat water, sugar, salt and shortening just until warm (115°F - 120°F), stirring constantly until shortening almost melts. Add to flour and yeast mixture and beat slowly at low speed with an electric mixer for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. By hand, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough (~ 2 ½ cups). Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gradually knead rest of the flour (~ 1 cup) into dough until dough is smooth and satiny (approx. 10 min.). Do not under knead. Shape into a ball.
Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 – 1 ½ hours. Punch down; divide in half. Cover and let rise 10 minutes. Roll each half into a 15x12 inch rectangle. Starting with the long edge, roll up tightly; seal well. Taper ends and tuck under.

Place each loaf diagonally, seam down, on a greased baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal. Gash tops diagonally every 2 ½ inches, 1/8 to ¼ inch deep. Brush with egg white mixed with 1 tbsp water. Cover, let rise until double, approx. 1 hour. Brush again with egg white, and sprinkle with sesame seeds on top of each loaf, if desired.

Bake in 375°F oven for 20 minutes, then brush again with egg white and bake an additional 20 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks.

Thank you so much, Erin! And if anyone else would like to be featured on this little old blog, just e-mail me your recipes! Happy baking!
Love,
xoxo

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Our New Babies and My New Kitchen

We took ourselves down to Orschelns Farm and Home this afternoon and bought some new girls to add to our hen house. We have a side of our chicken house devoted solely to chicks (I think it's called a brooder?) and it has been empty way too long. So now we have six new girls living it up in there.


Emilie's not quite sure.


For the past seven years this is how my kitchen has looked. Dark red walls. I was happy with it for six years. Then I decided I wanted to paint. Can you believe it took a whole year to get to that point? Anyway, my sweet, adorable sissy came over and we painted it up all weekend. I'm pretty drained now. But the result is the opposite end of the spectrum: soft green. Since I'm sort of shabby chic, I guess, this is much better for me. Plus the kitchen opens up to my sunny dining room and living room and I wanted to let the sunshine in!

Next up, decorating. And probably a rummage sale.

Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. Proverbs 1:8-9

Love,
xoxo

Friday, April 9, 2010

5 Pocket Curtains

Well, I finished a new Moda Bake Shop project -- 5 Pocket Curtains! It posted much sooner than it was supposed to, so I don't think it's getting the looks it should. Make sure to stop by and check it out. And don't forget to read the previous post to enter my great giveaway! Have fabulous day!


Love,
xoxo

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Quilt Contest Round 2 and a Giveaway


So it's time for round 2 of So You Think You Can Quilt. One of these little beauties above is mine. Might not be the one you think. Tricky tricky! I know what you're going through as I am trying to figure out which one is my friend Lisa's.

Anyhoo, I thought just for the fun of it, I would have a little prize of my own this time around.

Up for grabs are four random fat quarters.

Aquilt book by Piece O' Cake quilting AND the newest issue of American Patchwork and Quilting, featuring yours truly.

Here's how to enter:
  • Go vote for your favorite quilt and come back and tell me. (on your honor, no cheating) 1 vote
  • Use my photo collage on your website and come back and tell me. 2 votes
  • Use my little button on the side to link this page to your facebook page. 2 votes
  • Twitter, e-mail your friends, etc. 2 votes
No matter what, come back and tell me. Each entry needs a new comment. If you say you did everything in one comment, that's only one entry. And would that really be worth all that work? The contest ends when the voting ends, about a week from now. Good luck!

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24



Love,
xoxo

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

the Dough

Did everyone have a happy Easter? I know we did. Beautiful weather and a weekend with my parents. It was so nice to be home.

Today is the start of a new weekly feature called "the Dough." You send me your bread recipes and I feature someone each week.

First up is Jenny Fish of Sew Pretty Dresses.  And this is one of my favorite dresses that she has made, although she's always coming up with new great ones.

But you're all here for the recipe. She sent me a recipe for a very sweet bread called German Chocolate Cake Bread. I knew I had to make it for Easter weekend, because German Chocolate is my dad's favorite. Turns out we all loved it, even those of us who don't care for coconut! Here's the (easy) recipe:

German Chocolate Cake Bread

1 Package German Chocolate Cake Mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 cup water
1/2 can coconut pecan frosting (yup, you throw it right into the mix)
1/4 cup sour cream

Mix in order given, bake in greased and floured pans at 350 for 40 to 50 min. Makes 2 loaves.

It's all gone, but boy was it good! You'll have to try it. And to those of you who sent me e-mails last week, your turn is coming! Stay tuned . . .


Love,
xoxo
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