Friday, January 29, 2010

Knitting, Pearling, What am I doing...OH MY!!

My name is Kim but most know me around Denise's house as Aunt MaeMae! Yes, craig's sister here...ready to show my secrets (or mishaps) of my fun knitting experience! I was feeling alittle empty and needing some craft time (missing being around mom and Denise, there are always crafty ideas looming near them) I go to Michael's, buy size 15 knitting needles, and a ball of yarn.
I start off with a regular knot. Many suggest using a slipknot but I was in such a hurry to start my craft, I just did what I thought would work. You'll see later that this
may not always be the best way to go about things. I knit about five or six rows and I'm told by a friend of mine (a gentlemen officer in the Navy) that I'M DOING IT ALL WRONG, I'M NOT
EVEN KNITTING, I'M PEARLING! Oh whoops. What's pearling and why does this guy know more than me? Haha. Now I'm really determined to keep doing my "pearling" knot and somehow prove that THIS knot will still work.
So I press on, no matter where I'm at...on the way to dinner, watching a movie, or on a road trip...I'm knitting, oh excuse, pearling away. I have my trusty needles and my faithful pearling knot.

I start to see about 20 rows now and I'm wondering how long this scarf/blanket/whatever the heck this is, is going to be! One day, I feel it's time...time to learn to end this and see what I created. I
go to and search "Ending knitting a scarf". I see the term 'casting off' so I run with it and search "Casting off". So for once, I actually listen to directions and learn how to cast off. It took a few tries and a couple of really ugly knots, but I started to cast off. I was actually seeing results! I love it! I finally cast off the last knot, place the needles on the table, and starting jumping up and down!

I HAD MADE MY OWN SCARF! YAY ME! There are a few random holes, knots in my scarf that I'm not sure how they got there, but it is very warm and I know my mom will love it! No matter what craft I'm doing, I like to use alittle, 'just jump in the mud and start swimming' attitude.
Once you come up for breath and realize you've jumped in the wrong 'knitting pool', go back and read the directions, to see if you like them. If you don't, then try it on your own! You will still produce a masterpiece because it will be YOUR masterpiece! Happy crafting!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I Heart this wreath...

In my journey around this here interweb I have been seeing really cute burlap hearts like this one on Craftaholics Anonymous:

So my partner in craft Denise called me up the other day and told me that she had some raw muslin that was in the stuff that her mom brought down and offered it to me to make my heart.

It is actually pretty nice muslin, very natural. So I set to work on trying to make my own wreath with what I had around the house. I had read somewhere (I can't remember where, please forgive me) that one person had used a coat hanger, so I tried that.
Um yeah, it was a little too stiff and not bendy enough for my liking. Remember, this is one of my "on a whim" crafts and therefore I wasn't willing to put in sweat or blood. As I was rooting around for a wire cutter it hit me that I hadn't taken down my greenery wreath from the holidays. Score! All those little pine branches were held on by thin wire. So I scavanged that wire. After playing with the fabric some I discovered that it was too flimsy to do the nifty little folds. Sure, I could have starched it or used fabric stiffener, but I was in instant gratification mode so I improvised and I tucked the wire inside one long fabric strip and braided it in with two other strips. Then I got real professional like and held it all together with a twist of the wire and safety pin.

As you can tell, it's a fairly small heart and my walls are cream. So I tried hanging it different places and just wasn't digging it the way it faded into the walls. At this point I called Denise and told her that she was going to be the recipient of said heart because I thought it would look cute hanging in her kitchen with her new valance. In the process of talking to Denise my mind started going, and I starting thinking and I ran to the office and grabbed a frame and got off the phone with Denise because she doesn't need to be privvy to the craziness that is my train of thought (well, not tonight she didn't), grabbed some of the pretty pretty scrapbooking paper I have stashed and now there is no way she is getting my heart!
The glass in this particular frame had cracked and the black is the cardboard that came with the frame with some pretty paper taped on using double sided tape! This is hanging above my fireplace and it looks kind of lonely so I guess I better get to work on his friends!

I had this post ready last night and woke up to find this morning that Linda of Craftaholics Anonymous was having a fun mclinky party! How awesome is that?


Busy baking week..

This week I had two potlucks to attend and on a serious mission not to go to the store until Friday I needed to make things with what I had left in my pantry and refrigerator. Luckily I almost always have the basic baking needs, flour, sugar, butter and most of the time eggs, some weeks we go through a lot and some we don't, it just depends on what the girls want for breakfast and how dedicated my husband is at preparing all his meals before work. So, for last nights meeting I made Amish Friendship Bread. It was my first split on this 'starter' and next week I am going to experiment with it, more to come on that. For this mornings meeting I made homemade brownies. Nothing fancy! I did substitute Andies mints for the the nuts. They turned out YUMMY.

the yummy ingredients

the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla

everything but the mints mixed together... I could eat this just like this.

roughly chopped Andies mints

layering them in

I realized I totally forgot to take a picture after I put more batter on top of the mints. Oh well.

The pan is half gone, I hated bringing ANY home.

Guess this means I will have to eat the brownies myself.

Denise :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

From like to LOVE

In a previous post, I claimed to have finished a dress for Madelyn as modeled by Pooh Booh. After thinking about it and looking at it more and feeling like it resembled a ruffley pillowcase, I made a few changes and now I am in love! A little pleated ruffle at the bottom and some cutie patootie flower buttons and be still my heart. Now this really is a Valentine dress because I love it so much.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday afternoon quick sew....

My Mom brought this cute red rooster fabric to me when she came down last week. I knew I would eventually want to use it to make something for my kitchen, I wasn't sure when I would, just too busy with all the other projects. This morning I really looked at the fabric and my kitchen and it seemed like the fabric was the EXACT size to make a great simple valance for my kitchen sink window. I debated over it for awhile. Thinking that if we move over the summer I might be using the fabric needlessly. I decided that the other housing on base that we might get moved to are very similar to the ones we are in now and a valance should fit any standard window.

Denise :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bailed on the weekend but for good reason....

I had to bail on Katrina and our crafting weekend. Craig graced us with his presence, he has been in and out of the field for the last two weeks and we jumped at the chance to spend the evening together as a family. I don't have much to share about my crafting day, I jumped back and forth on a few projects not able to stay focused. I did finish one big one, almost. I can't even blog about it because it is a gift for my SIL. Her birthday is the 28th so as soon as she gets the present and opens it I will BLOG CRAZY about it because I am making three more. One, which I will give away the first week in February. More to come on that. Katrina has something fun to give away too. Oh, FOLLOWERS of Three G's Crafts will get more chances to win.... SHARE us. Thanks. Denise


Our crafting weekend together has been cut short, but I plan to move ahead with as many crafts as I can. I had a list going on and I still want to come as close to finishing that list as I can. And given the fact that my daughter is passed out at 6:30 on a Saturday, I might be able to do so! Of course, I might also be up all night trying to get her back to sleep.

Enough about that though, you don't want to hear me ramble on about Madelyn's sleeping patterns, that's what you go to Frog E. Mama for. :)

While Denise and I were in the back of the house distracted, Madelyn and Paige had fun with the camera and apparently Madelyn wanted to try her hand at sewing. Photographic evidence!

Tulle from 6 half way completed tutus. It's so pretty and so much fun! I think the girls are going to have one in every color!

A ruffle sleeve dress, using the pattern Denise used for her ruffle sleeve shirts. Madelyn is already asleep so you get my stand-in model, Pooh Booh. (Madelyn has named him Pooh Booh and if I say Pooh Bear I am corrected). Isn't he darling?

Pooh Booh hanging with his dress and new tote bag.

I had forgotten how much I love to create with fabric and thread! Thank you Denise for inspiring me to sew again!

Dueling blog posts... Craft Day 1 Denise's version

We have completed crafting day one... I really should have posted this last night but I had a revolt from the three year old, waking up with leg pains and wanting to "nug" (snuggle). So as Katrina said in her post we hit the ground running with our crafting adventure.
The day started off in my house with loading up all the girls stuff, two suit cases, pillows, Leo, Lemonade and Bear, and the bouncy seat for Claire. I made sure I gathered up one of my sewing baskets with all of my supplies, plus another bag full of fabrics and patterns. I didn't forget my hefty sewing machine, what a weekend that would have been. We all loaded up into the suburban, which was hard to do because Katrina left her big stroller in the back when I "kidnapped" her last Saturday to go to Joannes. Seriously?
With a trip to the mall and another trip to Joannes completed the adventure started on the way home with Claire (8 months old) choking and a crazy drive across I15 to get to the median to assist Katrina who was half way in the front of my suburban and half in the back with her finger down Claire's throat.... SCARY. Claire was fine, well a little shook up but ok, Katrina drove the rest of the way back to pick up Reese from school. After that we had to stop back by the house to let Ender out and get gas. Well, I was more empty than I thought and after telling Katrina I wasn't going to park in my steep drive to save gas I literally ran out of gas on my street 6 houses down.... LUCKILY I was able to coast to right in front of my driveway. HOW CRAZY. Well I hoped and prayed we had some gas in the garage and we did. I passed it off to Katrina to start putting in to the tank while I let Ender out, when I came back out I noticed the yellow gas can read DIESEL. I about passed out. Katrina and I became detectives, sniffing the evidence in hopes that it truly wasn't diesel and that we could prevent a murder from happening. You know, mine when my husband found out. We stopped putting the fuel into the suburban and tried to start it and it started right up. THANK YOU LORD. I later found out that Craig does plan on putting Diesel in there for his truck.
Claire cried all the way to Kat's house. Once there we all got into our comfy closed set up the dueling sewing machines and laptops and got to work. The tu tu's will be absolutly adorable when done. I guess we will be back at Joannes this week to buy the much needed tulle... I can't wait to finish today's projects...

Serious business...

Some people might think of crafting as a hobby, something to do in your spare time (whatever that is), a passing fancy, silly girls making stuff with glitter. Well, I am here to tell you that Denise and I take our craft very seriously. No monkey business here. As a matter of fact we are hunkered down in my house now cranking out pretty things. Our kids are fending for themselves and falling to sleep in a sugar coma to the whir of sewing machines. This crafting is serious business.

Our crafting weekend is going wonderful! Except for the gross underestimation of the size of our butts for tutus. In defense of my own butt (Denise will have to defend her's) we also didn't have enough tulle for the little girls tutus either. Our total projects so far are 6 half done tutus and I've made a tote bag that just needs some handles. We are lucky to be that far seeing as how I forgot how to use my sewing machine, Denise ran out of gas, we ordered pizza, and have 4 girls under the age of 5.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Craft for a quarter!

Madelyn recieved a play kitchen for Christmas and with that came an entire flipping grocery store of plastic food. After picking it up, seeing it piled in the "fridge" and on the floor I decided that we needed to do something with it.

Thus was born the $0.25 basket! I took a shoe box from some sandals I got for Christmas, covered it with one piece of scrapbook paper that was on sale 4/$1, and a coat of modpodge and voila! I'll be making a few more and one for the freezer to help keep things a little more organized and a little less all over the floor.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Missing my Grandmother terribly today....

WOW, it is super wet here in SoCal. My parents made it down for their quick stop on their way to San Diego. This crazy weather caused their visit to be a bit shorter than I had hoped. People here just don't know how to drive in the rain like they do on the East Coast.
Lunch was yummy and the cupcakes still need some improvements, Mom liked them. I am not ready to share them yet because they just aren't blog worthy to me. Oh well.
So, in all the goodies that my parents brought down were these two little rubbermaid containers of some crafting items that belonged to my Grandmother. As my Mom showed me what kind of goodies where in there we came across these two crochet butterflies that my Grandmother must have crocheted over 14 years ago. So beautiful and precise.
My Grandmother passed away 10 years ago next month. I loved her so much. She was a second Mom to me. My Mom is the youngest of 4, and I was the first Grandchild. I am not trying to be high and might here or boastful in the least, but I was the favorite Grandchild. Nothing against all my wonderful cousins and siblings, it is just for years we lived with my Grandparents and then once we moved from TN to WA, I would spend whole summers with them, as did my brothers but at the time I was already 12 and they were just 4 and 2. My Grandmother and Grandfather were both amazingly talented. My Grandmother could play the piano, and my Grandfather could play the guitar and banjo beautifully, they even recorded a song together. Eventually my Grandfather became a beautiful woodworker, building furniture and making items for my Grandmother to display her crocheting on. I don't think I have any memories of my Grandmother where she wasn't crocheting something, or her crochet work was right there in her lap or next to where she was sitting or her bag yarn and rainbow colorful hooks right there begging to be dug through, always fun to play with.
I think my Grandmother is the one who brought crafting to my life at a very young age. Not that my Mom didn't, she did. Her talents at making ANYTHING look gorgeous, well, I am still trying to achieve. She can do it all, the best of both of her parents. I just really remember visiting my Grandparents house and going to Michael's or Hobby Lobby and picking up little craft kits for me to entertain myself with. That I did, and still do. I miss my Grandmother so much at times. Seeing these little butterflies just brings tears to my eyes. I can see her crocheting them so clearly, she had beautiful hands and her nails were always long and painted a modest shade of pink. Over the years she made me many afghans, baby doll blankets, baby dolls that were blankets, GORGEOUS barbie doll clothes that my Mom has safely stored for me, when the girls get older I will let them play with them. She made me one of these butterflies in pink to match my room when I was young, framed and matted. I still have it in a box. She made me Christmas decorations and in the pictures below are wooden round disks (cut by my Grandfather) marked to hold coasters that I am guessing she was planning on crocheting for someone, I remember these in her house and I know that my Mom has several sets. I know that she made many many beautiful things through out her lifetime, I really wish I could have had the chance to have her teach me half of what she knew.
I love and miss you so much.

such delicate work...

I only wish I had three for my three little girlies...

the wooden coaster discs cut out by my Grandfather for my Grandmothers coasters

and the size 8 Boye hook

Friend Making Monday!

Amber over at .{aefilkins} is hosting a really fun event called Friend Making Monday! I like making friends so I'm joining in, plus her question today ties in with something that I've been thinking a whole lot about lately given my recent escapade to JoAnnes and the realization that I really need a whole lot more money to feed my habit. :)

The Question:
With the new year here, and resolutions & organizational goals in full force, what are some of the projects on your list? Are you working on any specific projects around the house, such as purging, organizing, craft projects, home improvement projects?

In my new notebook, I have a list of projects that I want to complete for 2010, plus several pages of fun ideas for holiday and seasonal fun with Madelyn.

So, here's a quick peak at my list:
1. Redo cushions for my Grandaddy's chair. I started this project 9 years ago, my sewing machine crapped out on me and I've just be laying the fabric on the cushions. It's quite sad actually.

2. Create a backboard for the headboard on Chris' childhood bed that is in the guest room. The thin pressboard one it had was damaged 3 moves ago.

3. Make a quilt top with Madelyn's baby clothes. I'm a beginning sewer and never quilter, so I'm just pushing for the quilt top which I may or may not send out to be quilted.

4. Prettify our tv tables that are used for everything in our family room and are showing the wear and tear.

5. Knit, sew, and create at least 4 Christmas gifts for family. I have one planned already but these have to be secret until December 25, 2010.

There is what I would consider my top five, but obviously my true list is much much longer! :)

Jessica's Give Uh Ways....

Go visit Jessica's blog and read her funny stories and the best part is she has this 12 weeks of Giv Uh Ways going on.... yup she is giving stuff away..... coming in Feb. you can win a pair of booties made by ME.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lemon curd tonight, yummy lemon cupcakes tomorrow...

My Mom and Dad are coming down tomorrow on their way to San Diego. My Dad has to work there for the next two weeks and my Mom is doing a bit of traveling with him. I am super excited because they are bringing some loot from my Mom's shop, an old book case for the girls room, and little rocking chair to re-do, some vintage buttons, some fun fabric, and a rubbermaid container of crafting supplies that was my Grandmothers... I can't wait. I promised them a yummy lunch and a visit with the girls in return. I am planning on making a big sandwich on some delicious focaccia bread, pasta salad and these great lemon cupcakes that I made at Reese's lemon themed 5th birthday party back in September. These cupcakes are my creation and I am slowly perfecting them. Here is a simple lemon curd recipe that I could just eat out of the jar.

you need:
3-4 lemons (zest & juice 1/2C.)
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. unsalted butter
4 eggs
1/8 tsp of kosher salt

zest three lemons pulse with sugar until the zest is ground up

meanwhile, cream butter then add lemon/sugar mixture until blended, add eggs one at a time add 1/2 C. of lemon juice and salt

place into 2 qt. saucepan

simmer on low until thickened, about 10 mins

remove from heat and cool

I love to store mine in mason jars... too cute and so GOOD!

Crafting extravaganza.

Yesterday, less than 48 hours after arriving back in CA, Denise kidnapped Madelyn and I for a craft shopping trip. This is not a good thing. Denise and I craft shopping is kind of like two drunks in a bar, there's a lot of laughing, some fun times, somebody falls down, and the next morning we wonder what we were thinking.

Don't believe me? Let me play it out for you. We arrive at JoAnnes and being the awesome mom that I am, I leave Madelyn in the capable care of Paige and Reese while I go to get a buggy from the other side of the buggy catcher thingy (what, your store doesn't have a buggy catcher thingy?) and Madelyn fails to keep up with the train and ends up with a bump on the head. I bribe her with M&Ms to stop crying so that I can get my craft fix. Mom of the year award right here!

Denise drags me through the fabric aisles and I start thinking about all the things I could sew, if I were capable of sewing a straight line. Finally we wind up on the aisle with the tulle, something I can work with to make tutus and I just start putting tulle in my buggy for all the girls and then determine that maybe I need a tutu too...and so does Denise. I'm not sure there was much of a color selection left of the "shiny tulle" when we left the aisle. We find the elastic and I go drool over upolstry fabric for a chair I need to redo for my projects of 2010 list (more details to come).
The girls are playing and being bribed with M&Ms, Madelyn and Paige are filthy from playing on the floor and now it is time for us to venture to the other 2/3 of the store. I've got a lot of crafts running through my head and just kind of wanted to browse. Denise is behind me complaining about the cost of her addiction, like I had anything to do with the purchase of $100 worth of tulle for tutus (OK, not that much, but you should have heard her).

Then we hit the pretty papers where they were on sale 4/$1. Yeah, that is NO good for crafters who love modpodge as much as I do. It's like $1 beer night. I was trying to edit myself and only get papers for specific projects and was very proud that even with that price I only walked out with 10 pieces of paper and only 2 are for a project that is still very conceptual.

By this point Madelyn had gotten in trouble for running off and was sequestered in the buggy across the aisle smelling fake flowers that Paige and Reese were bringing to her. We checked out and ended our journey with chicken from chick fil a. Where Madelyn didn't eat because she fell asleep and slept the whole ride home.

After some visiting and some play time, Madelyn and I headed home and this sunset greeted us. It was a very nice day, productive, and fun. Of course Denise is a brat and didn't bother to show me those super cute shirts until AFTER our trip so now I have to go buy fabric so I can make one in each color.

Valentine ruffle tunic top

I am sorry I haven't blogged in awhile, Craig is out in the field, Paige had three speech therapy appointments this past week, then ended up sick Thursday night. Reese had basketball practice's, game and team pictures. Claire is crawling and pulling up on furniture, so there really hasn't been the time or the energy to sneak off into my little sewing hole to finish up projects. Plus, I was waiting for my partner in crime, Katrina to get her butt back from NC to make a trip to Joanne's with me to buy some much needed supplies. One, the elastic to finish off these adorable little shirts. I came across this tutorial on how to make a simple ruffle sleeved tunic top and just had to do it. I have a pair of booties cut out for Claire and I plan to embellish a simple onesie to match the big girls shirts. Should be super cute. What do you think? Make sure you leave us comments.
I love the way Paige is looking at Reese in this picture, Reese just kept making faces and Paige was like, can we get this done so I can get back to my jelly beans.
the fabric

Paige eating a very unhealthy morning snack...

They are so darn cute.

My older adorable little girls, the both love PINK... so I am sure these shirts will get worn out.

Thank you Candace over at Sparkle Power for a great Tutorial...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Chicken Parmesan

Like Denise, I love to cook. I love food, just ask my butt, it will tell and SHOW you just how much I love food. I cook the way I craft and live, I just go with it. I will read a recipe and then adapt it and make it my own. There are a few exceptions, anything baking related (cookies, cakes, breads...those are a science), japanese white sauce, asian noodles, and anything else that is perfect as is wtithout my tweaking. I invite you to try my "recipes" and experiment on your own to tweak things to your liking.

I apologize for the lack of pictures, I kind of forgot about taking them once I started cooking.

The ingredients: (not pictured - egg, parmesan cheese, mozzerella cheese - they were still at the store during the photo shoot)

That's 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, olive oil, pasta, spaghetti sauce, and Italian bread crumbs.

Cut the chicken into smaller pieces, I find that I can get three pieces per breast half. Dip the pieces in egg and then in bread crumbs.

Fry in olive oil. (Tip, if you add canola oil to your olive oil, you use less of the expensive stuff without losing flavor. I use roughly 2 canola to 1 olive .)
Once the chicken is done, place in a glass baking dish that has a thin smear of spaghetti sauce on the bottom, top with a spoonful of sauce. Use as much or as little as you want. I like the chicken to be covered but not swimming. Top that with as much or as little mozzerella as you want and a sprinkling of fresh parmesan. You could also add some fresh basil, thyme, or other Italiany spices and it'd be delicious!
Bake on 350 until the cheese is melted.

Serve with pasta and extra sauce.
So easy, so yummy and there are so many different things you could do with it. Eggplant parmesan, more spices, different veggies like mushrooms, bell peppers and onions baked w/ sauce and cheese.

Get in the kitchen and have fun and enjoy the yumminess!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

BOYS.... well booties for one for Jessica's Give Uh Way...

Finally! I got back into my little hole and was able to sew one pair of BOY booties... the other 4 pairs planned are all cut out, assembled from 6 pinned pieces per shoe into their three finished pieces per shoe they just now all need to be sewn together. No biggie, right? Well, I am behind on my packing up Christmas, Paige is not starting an intense speech therapy program. Claire is really crawling now. Craig is due to go to the field and Reese started basketball back up. Late night sewing for me. This first pair of BOYISH booties is for Jessica's "Give Uh Way". I will be featured in her 12 weeks of "Give Uh Ways" in February. Until then check her site out weekly for the other amazing vendors along with her great sense of humor. Katrina and I are planning to do some sort of Give Away soon too.

I honestly think the is my best pair yet.

My little Claire modeling

These are so cozy. I really need to try to make adult sizes.