Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Picnic Bag

I made this lined picnic bag (or reusable grocery bag) for a good friend.  I loved the freezer paper stencil design so much that I'd
used for the kids' table, that I got one more use out of it for this bag.
I really like this stencil pattern, but it causes me to sigh thinking of cutting it out again.  (New Depths of laziness)

I used interior paint for the design.  China Red.
The paint was fine for this heavy fabric.

Easy Gift Idea

The kids are getting slippers again this year for Christmas.  Of course, I found scads of
adorable little-girl-slippers to choose from.  But the boy slipper selection was a bit ho-hum.
Nevertheless, I purchased some comfy-looking ones anyway and sewed on two monsters for added-interest.
They look a bit like teeth, don't they? I assure you that they are, indeed, monsters.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fall Tunic Dress

I make a lot of tunics. 
Hubby still hasn't taken me up on my offer to make him one
(without the gathering, yoke, and floral patterns, of course).

I don't purposely make tunics, but kind of like my attraction to striped fabrics...I'm drawn to tunics and realize when I finish a project that I've just made another variation of a tunic...

This is for Baby Girl.  Who isn't so "Baby" anymore.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Venison Heart Sandwich Spread Recipe

I grew up eating mainly venison (deer meat).

And.  I grew up eating sliced-deer-heart sandwiches; I always liked them.  I particularly remember my Dad's immense enjoyment of these sandwiches.

Since Hubby and I married, I've prepared deer heart the same way I'd grown up seeing it prepared.  Boiled, then sliced for sandwiches.

For years, I'd assemble the king-of-all-deer-heart-sandwiches for Hubby and I'd think "you lucky, lucky man...".  Furthermore, I would save the entire heart for him; no one else really got to partake of it.  So he got sandwich after sandwich...

Now, I'm a lucky, lucky girl; in that, Hubby never complains about what I cook.

Last year, he offhandedly mentioned that his grandmother used to make a meat spread with the deer hearts when he was kid. 
I cringed inwardly. "Meat spread."

This year, earlier in the archery season, Hubby mentioned his grandmother's meat spread again.  I thought nothing of it. 
 (Just cringed again, and thought "interesting.")

Then Hubby shot a doe this past week in archery season.
I sprang into action preparing the heart. 
Hubby finally "went out on a limb" and casually remarked that he isn't terribly fond of boiled, sliced deer heart.

Bells! A light went on.  We laughed.

I didn't have time to get his grandmother's recipe, but this is what I came up with; and the results aren't too shabby (nor was it "rocket science", I realize).

Venison Heart Sandwich Spread Recipe
1 Deer Heart
2-3 oz cream cheese/or neufschtal spread, softened
1 tsp prepared mustard
1 T salsa (or ketchup, or picante sauce)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried minced onion
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Thoroughly rinse heart until it doesn't drain red or pink.  Put heart in pot with enough water to cover. Add a few "glugs" of apple cider vinegar or wine. 
 Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer covered for 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours, until done.  Allow it to cool and slice, cutting out fat or any hard tissue.
Run it through a food processor until it is the consistency of bread crumbs (or the consistency of whatever you like...I don't like "chunks".  But maybe you do.)  Add the cream cheese and process until well blended.  Add the rest of the ingredients; blend. Spread and enjoy.

And to the rest of you who are still cringing at the thought of eating "heart"....
It's got to be better for you than lunch meat
Try it sometime. :)

My stoic-looking child ate all of hers... onions, pepper jack cheese, and all.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pookin's Punkins

Strapping Young Lad had his own garden this year.
Hubby actually extended the family garden, and Strapping Young Lad got his own patch of land composed primarily of composted horse manure.

To make a long story short, his pumpkins and other viney plants...excelled..bounding out with no regard to their boundaries... in their respective locations.
So much that, Strapping Young Lad had a Pumpkin-for-Sale wagon on our road.  (I tried to talk him into putting "Pookin's Pumpkins" on the sign...we called him "Pookin" when he was a tyke.  However, his 6-year-old-MAN-self wasn't having any of that.  So we put his "real" name on the sign, just like any other self-respecting farmer man would do..)

The pumpkin wagon contents sold.  And we reloaded it; several times.

And he was cleaned out.   
Of every last pumpkin that he was willing to sell.
His coffee tin full of cash.
He will save most.
He'll give some to Jesus.
He'll buy more seed, of his choice, for next year.
And he was allowed to spend $5 of it at the Fair, in any manner of his choosing.

 I was pleased that he didn't spend all that he was allowed to, at the Fair. 
 He was very "tight" with it.

 Now that he is more personally acquainted with earning "the fruit of your labors."

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Teal Bench

I've been pondering what kind of bench our porch "needed", for two years.
I felt it should be Sleek.
And Modern.
I thought it should be a Color.
I wanted to still see "wood grain."
(Did you know you can dye wood with RIT dye?)
Now, it is not lost on me that,
in spite of my intentions for this bench...

That it looks like it should be on the cover of Country Living magazine.
(aside from that it would be more artfully arranged)
No matter, I still love it.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

For the Birds

I used to hate making "little things."

Now I like it. 
 Probably due in part that, for a small time investment
(not to mention the chance to delve into my wealth of fabric scraps),
 I can make a happy-little-thing for a Little Person.

Strapping Young Lad has a bird house on the wall of his room (don't ask...). 
He needed some Birds.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dresser Overhaul

To answer the question that has been weighing on everyone's mind... yes! you can paint wood veneer furniture successfully.  And I do realize that the only mind this possibility was weighing on... is mine.
But I'll share with you in case you become inspired with your next homely-garage-sale-find.
I overhauled a dresser for Baby Girl that matched the fore-pictured nightstand.  Again, I neglected to take pictures of the "before" of the actual dresser.

At any rate, I sanded the entire piece well, taking the shine off of the veneer, but not sanding down to the "stuff" underneath it (which is, most certainly, not wood).

I primed it with a good primer, using 1 2 3 primer.  Then painted two coats of the lovely shade previously used for the chicken house. Then I brush-painted a thin coat of off-white paint, letting the colored paint show.

Used a little mod podge (glue) to line the drawers with fabric.

And, of course, replaced the hardware.  These were quite inexpensive at Lowe's.
Sorry for the picture quality.  Some day I'll take a break from painting and sewing to brush up on my photography skills.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tomato Jam Recipe

This recipe is effortless as far as tomatoe-preservation goes. 
I blended mine in the blender: seeds, skin, and all.
My Mom has been off-handedly mentioning this recipe for a few years.  I've been thinking, " Tomatoe Jam....Ugh."
Nevertheless, the results of this recipe are a cheery, sunny-tasting jam.
(I'd make it again.)

In case you can't read the picture:
Tomato Jam
4 c cooked tomatoes
5 c sugar
Bring to a boil and let simmer for 18 minutes. 
Add 1 package of raspberry or strawberry jello. 
 Keep in refrigerator, or freeze.
PS I didn't cook my tomatoes first.  I blended them up and then "brought to a boil. etc..."

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sunflower House & TeePee 2012

I have been lax in posting anything regarding our several-year-tradition.
In spite of everything (ie...an odd growing season, occasional blatant neglect, & varmints), this does appear to be the most sucessful year for a our little pet projects:
The Sunflower House
Vine Teepee
The Sunflower House was a heavily used play spot this year...even in the hot afternoon sun, it provides enough shade.
We've had very little luck with runner beans for the teepee, for years, so we planted a variety of interesting gourds this time. (Good call)
No one likes to play in the teepee; too scratchy.  But it is a general source of pride and  interest in what's growing.

Friday, August 24, 2012

An Historic Event

Someone lost a tooth at our house.
It unfortunately "went down the hatch" along with a late-night peanut butter and bologna sandwich, at a rodeo.
Nevertheless, we observed the Toothfairy ritual with a makeshift paper tooth.
I love this little bag.  I got the idea from somewhere on the internet.
Perfect for securing the tooth.... paper, real, or otherwise; until the Parent Tooth Fairies happen along and leave some cool cash in its place.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Children's Table Makeover

I bought this table at a yard sale for $10 (it came with a little chair).
It's solid wood.

It was as ugly as...."sin"....
Many layers of dark varnish that had bubbled.
Yes, I wish I could remember to take "before" pictures.

I sanded it and painted it a dark moss-green color, then finished off
with a layer of brush-painted off-white.
I purposely gave it a scant coating with the off-white.
(I don't like things to be too "perfect".  Good thing, eh..)

Then I printed off an image that I liked, traced and cut it out with freezer paper which I used as a stencil.
A word to the wise:  the paint did bleed a bit under the freezer paper; hence the outline in white around the utensils.
(Again, it's a good thing that I don't require "perfection" to be content, hhmmm...)
And there it is.  The (little) People can be found perched at this often, on our porch.
A happily overhauled and useful object for The People.
It is them, The People, that I'm workin' for, after all...

Here's to many-a-peanut-butter-sandwich..and this Table!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bag O' Mouses

This is a project Strapping Young Lad and I did together to make a birthday gift for one of his gal friends.

The mouse "pattern" came from a book.  We made one for his friend, and then I thought that a whole family of mice would be best, so we kept going.

Strapping Young Lad's varied stitches lend a certain charm, I believe.  He enjoys "stuffing" them, the most.

This is the book that we got the mouse-idea from.  It's a nice book and I like it because Strapping Young Lad spends time leafing through it and it inspires him to create, even out of the scope of the projects in the book.

Monday, July 2, 2012

While We Were Sleeping

While we were sleeping,
I heard the screen door slam.

I told Hubby that Someone or Something is Here.

Hubby went down to investigate.

Our terribly backwards & bashful,
 rescued-dog Buffy,
 (who sleeps in the far corner downstairs)
had realized that
there was a Varmint on our porch.

That being said,
 Buffy busted through the door
and proceeded to take care of The Situation.
(It was, indeed, A Situation.)

No more varmint.
(We don't like Varmints. 
This kind, in particular, is a disease carrier.)

The next morning, we gave Buffy a few extra smiles and pats on the back.
I like a dog that has your back while you're sleeping.

I wish I could have seen the point at which the "ole girl" decided,
"This is not acceptable". 
Prior to door-busting and varmint-rendering.

I guess if
a fearful little dog can face down a varmint,
 by herself,
in the middle of the night...
(and proceed to put the old smack down..)

I can too.

Thank you, God, for the little lessons.
And here's to all of you facing "Varmints" today....

They steal from you.

They carry sickness and death.
They come under the cover of Darkness.

They're all around us.

But you don't have to let them on your porch.

And there it is.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Excuse?, he says.

A touch more water would be refreshing...he says.

And....he'll have the seared groundhog...
on lightly toasted rye...

"What do you mean, 'Get out of the pool.'?!"